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[TOG] The Floor of the Test, South

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ariehana.png?m=1495174793

T-arie.png?m=1495250055here were few joys in the world set aside for a princess of Zahard. The role was one of duty, constraints; manacles bound their wrists in a way unlike the princes and princesses of yore. Reputation had earned as much fear as respect. Those who bowed their heads had learned to do so out of contempt. The few from one's own family who held a princess in high esteem, did so only so far the princess brought the name honor and did their reputation the justice they assumed the family deserved.

The name, the honor, the esteem rarely lasted.

So, to describe the scene that now unfolded on the mound of flesh and blood that had been spilled, in the one tiny stretch of unmarred earth beneath Hana's feet that had been left, was a task that few rivaled.

"And I'm gunna name you Fluffykins, and we'll enjoy our afternoon tea everyday." The bunny-girl was now being strangled, hugged tight to the chest in a suffocating grip that sent her tossling back and forth with the sway of Hana's torso. She swung left and then right, then left, and right. The look on her face was one of bliss, bliss fitting to a young child on Christmas morning having just unpacked a puppy all of her own, both unwilling and unable to show restraint, "And at night, at night, you can sleep with Mr. Buffy and Madame Louise. They can be a little gruff about new company, but they'll get used to ya!" The sway of her body conveyed youthful joy, the result of so much unhampered happiness that she could do little than give into the instinct to move, and shake, and spin.

Sometime later that hour

"Oh, and don't worry about the Illustrious Sir Mittens. He doesn't bite. Not usually." The Illustrious Sir Mittens, not to be abbreviated in any way, shape, or form, was her pet alligator, a little fact she had spent the better part of the last fifteen minutes raving about.

It wasn't likely that poor little Fluffykins had gotten a word in since the first two met. Even now, Hana's thoughts and voice had raced onto the rather strict diet The Illustrious Sir Mittens observed: carefully culled kale and a strict balance of free-roam chicken breast kept him ornery but insured that his irritable bowel syndrome presented little challenge to the burdening lifestyle the shroud of Zahard rought.

"And then, you wrap the cloth around your pinky and get really deep in there, otherwise he—" For the first time since the two had happened across one another, levity left Hana's expression and silence took her. Fluffykins, still clutched tight to her breast, was abruptly dropped. What was probably a comically-large young girl being toted around like a handbag would have likely descended the six inches between she and the floor and plopped on her (huggable and fluffy) hind-quarters.

The scene was alien. About as alien as they came. A young man dragged his half-dead carcass through the grass with a cat (ALSO totally adorable, by the way), a princess and and her absolutely to-die-for-Fluffykins? And dead bodies. Man, dead bodies everywhere.

Nah, perfectly normal in Evankhell's hell.

(As for the cat, maybe Hana'd have ta add him to the collection, too. Sir Snuffles? The Esteemed and Peerless Timothy Dalton, Esquire [not to be abbreviated]? So many possibilities.)

 
Edited by Reign

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The cat’s visage had altered slightly; taking on a far more feline appearance – instead of his bipedal form depicted earlier on. There was no explanation given to Eobard to realistically describe what had happened; the transformation had taken place sometime during his blackout anyhow and perhaps added to the confusion as to just how he’d gotten into such a situation to begin with.

"I'm sorry, why do I have to carry you again?"

The human posed a valid question; the cat, who’s ears protruded from the rucksack thrown over shoulder, wasn’t injured -- in fact Eobard had managed to embarrass himself to such a point that bringing him along was far more a hindrance than actual help. Granted, the boy’s only saving grace is that he possessed enough strength still to carry the rucksack as they both attempted to survive the moments that remained; taking the actual travel into his own hands and allowing further Zzz’s to be caught and dreams of mice sandwiches to take place until the eventual “fat lady” solo that would signal the end to the entire ordeal.  He wouldn’t allow the boy to contemplate his own question for too long; for fear of actually causing more distress to his mind and prolonged confusion as to what life would be like moving forward.

“I don’t need to stretch my feet; rather resting and keeping my legs fresh is in both of our interests. Especially if you plan on making it out of this floor alive…”

It was hard to gauge Eobard’s strength; Eobard in general didn’t seem to belong in a place like this – a misplaced transplant that got lost amongst the several dozen that were just discarded here. Still he had survived the altercation between the pair for some reason; there was a quiet strength – a resolve or determination perhaps that ushered forward and kept him wayward. Plodding one foot after another kept them moving forward toward their respective destinies -- these waves of grass would carry them higher. There wasn’t a certainty that he’d bring Eobard along on his quest to ascend the tower – but if the boy continued to make himself useful – there was no reason he couldn’t tag along.

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There wasn’t much time to ridicule this decision or to contemplate it further; the latest wall of grass parted and the scene that unfolded in the instant may have taken a moment for his mount to comprehend. However, the vibe of death that shuddered against the air was all too familiar. He was certain that his voice hadn’t carried over the grass – he’d remain quiet for the moment; the blood red woman before them sent a shiver down his spine and the body count that littered the area realistically warranted it.

Edited by Messiah Complex

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Fluffkins?

“F-Fluffy-- “ She coughed loudly when the woman squeezed her tight. Like her animal counterpart, she was a delicate girl. Her tail puffed up in frustration at the tight grip the princess had on her, long ears slowly laying back towards her head to signify her displeasure.

She was a person, not a toy!

But, despite the princess' constant chattering on about her.... pet alligator? She did not struggle terribly hard in her grasp. Really, if she could lay waste to as many as she already had-- it wouldn't be hard for Hana to dispatch her as well. So, instead, she allowed the tight, clingy grasp and did her best not to interrupt her rambling. For now, she would be the reluctant pet to the spoiled child.

Really, all she needed was a giant, red bow around her neck and she would certainly fit the part.

It took a lot for her not to wiggle, a girl so used to bouncing, running and skipping about-- from place to place or person to person. Time dragged on, horribly... horribly slow. '...I do have that needle, I think if I just... just get myself just right in the eye-- ' idle thoughts of suicide came to a tumbling end when she, in fact, went tumbling to the ground. It took a second or two for her brain to actually catch up with her surroundings, or the fact that she had been dropped among the leftovers of Hana's blood and gore. Once more, the girl paled and this time made a loud near gagging sound.

Pale, dainty hands now soiled with a mix of blood and dirt-- her white clothing now soiled in the same way. Wide magenta eyes weren't sure where to look first, the strewn bodies or the fact that her clothing was ruined-- or maybe that cold, coagulated blood clung in little jelly bits to her hands and even her knees from her scramble to stand.

Instead of having to take the gore in anymore, her eyes pulled away from the dirt up to--- a man and his cat? It was the cat that immediately grabbed her attention before her eyes drifted over the man. He looked like hell, poor thing.

Despite her better judgment and without permission from her new... companion, she carefully approached the pair. "That looks pretty bad. Here just let me.. " She didn't ask permission before she reached her stained hands towards Eobard's face. Fingertips settled on his cheeks as she drew in a short breath, her tail shuddering just a bit in concentration1. Warmth spread from her fingertips to help sooth the aches and pain that came with the heavy bruising and swelling. Without sitting down and actually applying bandages, for now, this is the extent of what she was able to do.

With the swelling reduced and pain returned, her fingertips fell from her cheeks. With her hands gone, a wide, pleased smile settled on her lips and her tail gave a pleased wiggle.

Really, the girl had no sense of self-preservation. This place would probably eat her alive, but.. for now her heart was still hopeful and her body went unscarred.

“..We help each other, yeah? “

Spoiler

1 - Relief. 

 

Edited by Moth

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W6_zpsqtdjcqq3.png
ith his new found "protector" in tow, the much abused, not amused, and much less enthused Eobard had stumbled upon another pair of Regulars. As the grass parted, his head turned back to retort at the rucksack strapped to his back, he had to about face and take stock. There they had run across a pair of girls, one tightly embraced by the other. Considering the circumstances, it was incredibly out of place.

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Quickly they separated and the one with the ears—he had just noticed that wasn't actually an accessory but rather appendages approached him. Instantly his body slid from tenseness into relaxation of conditioned reflexes, ready at a moments notice to do its thing. But he sensed no ill will from her, she seemed harmless and when the...rabbit-girl touched his face, he almost reacted on instinct. But he didn't—no, in fact it was a suddenly soothing sensation, pain from wounds ebbing, fatigue easing, that washed over him, not danger. Whomever she was, she was not going to take his life after restoring him, he felt confident in that. Hell, he felt pretty good considering.

"Y-yeah...Thanks" He muttered in appreciation, with a curt nod. 

But the other girl, he suddenly noticed, was very different than the one who now treated his wounds. He saw the blood, not just its existence, but the pattern of it, its distribution and knew enough to assume its origin. There was also her eyes, and what he saw in that pair was enough to give him chills. Then he saw the bodies, not just the number of them, but also the state of them. We have a real monster here too. Great, one ahead of me and one behind me. Just my luck... He smiled then.

"Hehe..heh..heh..So listen, before we get off to the wrong foot here, I'd like to point out the game will be ending in about five minutes, give or take. At this point, we've all made it, so there's no real need for further violence. Truce?" And his eyes flicked from person to person, even jerking his skull towards the small body nestled at his back. He was reading his crowd and the mood. This was extremely touch-n-go here, and he had to be extra careful to play this exactly as it needed to be played. 

"I'm Bard, and this here is Puss-n-Boots—I mean..I didn't exactly get your name fur-ball.." He said, jerking his thumb over his shoulder. Like a pro, he started off introductions. At some point they would need to split up and form groups, and the resounding sentiment he felt was that he could not wait to get away from these lunatics.

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ariehana-3.png?m=1495783052

T-arie.png?m=1495250055he riveting conversation partner Hana had just made had abandoned her. Having wiggled free from her arms, lil Fluffs, as she would soon be known affectionately, had begun a rapid approach of the injured man.

"I wouldn't—" but it seemed her words fell hard on deaf ears.

Hana felt her grip instinctively tense against her hilt, only catching her discomfort after the fact. Alarm bells blared in the back of her skull though there was little evidence to support concern. Simply put, the two before her— the beaten man and his hidden feline companion —were off. Though the cat had managed to tuck its way out of sight, there was no mistaking the feeling he gave off. Perhaps it was the hidden partner that had thrown the mojo all amok. But for now, there were no words available to articulate what it was that was off. There was just a keen sense of it, exuding off of them. It was like looking at a picture of yourself when your life had grown accustomed to staring into a mirror image. Just a subtle displacement was all that lingered, but she couldn't shake the discomfort it caused.

Even as Fluffs took the injured man in her arms and offered to heal him, Hana could feel herself inch forward, eyes affixed and unwavering. The posture she took wore the mantle of a beast defending her kin; as she moved, she did kept herself clear and in the line of sight, as if to make the message clear— nothing stood in the way of retaliation were events to come to that.

"It's not as though you aren't the fourth or fifth man today to offer the olive branch," She nearly spat her terse reply, "Fergive our skepticism." Even if Fluffs didn't look the skeptical sort.

 

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The bunny humanoid cut through the concrete thick tension that arouse and filled the space between the newest arrivals and the cuddle session that was taking place only moments earlier. It was an interesting trick she was able to perform; healing the mount beneath his paws – perhaps she knew of a water hole nearby where the young lad would be able to quench thirst and be ready to continue their quest in a matter of moments. But alas, that wasn’t where Eobard’s mind wanted to take this foray. 

At this point, we've all made it, so there's no real need for further violence. Truce? " The offer lingered in the air for but a moment before Little-Red offered a rebuttal already on the prowl forward; like a mother lion carefully keeping an eye on the cub with a mind of its own – a ritual of sorts he’d been a part of once or twice. The connection between the two (Little-Red & Bunny Girl) seemed to be a hair deeper than just acquaintances – perhaps they had come to the event together? It was a detail difficult to gauge based on the notable differences in how they carried themselves individually.

Eobard took the first step towards introductions; ever vigilant at keeping the peace when he has the chance. Maybe he should’ve given the lad a chance to speak his mind in their previous engagement. Nyah. No sense wasting thoughts on their past – they were in the present and there was an all too real threat slowly approaching from the front. 

Head rose out of the rucksack over Eobard’s shoulder and paws carried the feline form from one shoulder, behind his head and to the other before an all too real voice manifested from the form’s mouth.tumblr_oquavprsoW1ud6n6oo6_540.png

“Nyah-name’s Nezz – The Great and Powerful. And Barbie; if we wanted you dead, we wouldn’t be having this discussion now. This olive branch is more of a tree – we’re looking for strong roots to help this canopy reach the tower’s top. Meow.”

With the proposition carrying on the wind; Eobard would feel the slow emergence of claws piercing the fabrics beneath – Nezz lowered slowly and readied to pounce into action should the need arise, tail flicking this and that way to the rear.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Messiah Complex

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"So.... No killing each other then. Perfect!" Slender arms raised above the her head in victory, even accompanied by a small cheerful jump. A wide, pleased smile spread across her features as she turned towards the protective woman at her back. 

To the princess she returned, pleased with the results of her attempt. The cat was strange and a bit rude, but she was probably someone who shouldn't talk about strange. 

 

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WRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

A loud siren split the air and echoed to every corner of the field. To all the remaining survivors, whether it be one by one or in groups all looked up at the sky as the noise rippled across it. After a pause, squelching microphone feedback assaulted the weary contestants, before the announcer's voice boomed happily.

"MIC TEST—!"

"OHHHHHHKAAAAYYYY! EVERYONE STAY WHERE YOU ARE! THE FIRST TEST IS NOW OVER. THE REMAINING REGULARS, STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND LISTEN CAREFULLY!! ANY REGULARS FIGHTING FROM NOW ON WILL BE ELIMINATED !!!"

A pause.

"TO THE TWO HUNDRED REGULARS WHO PASSED THE FIRST TEST, CONGRATULATIONS ALL OF YOU!SPECIAL SHOUT OUTS TO THE REGULAR WHO ELIMINATED THREE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY REGULARS BY THEMSELVES!! I'M SORRY, IT'S A BIT OF A RUSH, BUT A SHORT SECOND TEST WILL NOW BE CONDUCTED!!!"

Laughter boomed from the floating observers scattered about the sky over the prairie. 

"DON'T BE SO GLOOMY! THE NEXT TEST IS REALLY SIMPLE!! FIND TEAMMATES!!! OF THE TWO HUNDRED REMAINING, FORM A TEAM OF THREE—OH AND BY THE WAY, YOU HAVE FIVE MINUTES TO DO SO."

And it was just like that, the first test concluded. Two hundred regulars would now be forced to group up and pass together onto the next challenge. It would be difficult, but this was an important time; the Tower was cruel, and allies were an essential component to advance onward. Even Zahard did not climb himself, and the tale of the great King and his ten cohorts was legendary. These tests were an homage to that, and these fresh crop would have to forge their mettle for the trials ahead.

Edited by Ghost

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