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Holly tried to press forward but the ore was holding her back. She was struggling against the contamination and with every step she makes, her legs seemed to grow heavier and heavier. Will she be able to survive this attack? She may not have the time to find out as someone else landed near the hospital, a few steps away from the others.

Naherin-no, Mana Nahi. Is this fate?

The two old comrades faced each other, a brief moment of acknowledgment before their clash began. Both knew what must be done and only one of them will leave this place alive. Such is the fate of those within the cartel. Conflicts are best solved with duels to the death.

Still trembling, Holly stumbled toward's Mana Nahi's direction. The other woman snickered in response and then leaped straight at the poor burnt girl, the Black Heart Mirror greatsword in her hand. There was not enough time for Holly to respond, so she was forced to use Sunscar to defend herself.

As both blades clashed, the cartel's contractual sorcery blossoms and will protect the pair's battle from outside interferences until only one is left.

Edited by Thotification

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The Changed kept coming; knowing no fear, no hesitation as they saw their comrades struck down before them. Fists, elbows, knees, and legs all lashed out in a whirlwind of brutality that rendered all that approached to human wreckage. A flurry of punches would pulverize the heads of a few before a twirling kick would scythe through anyone caught in its path. Those who came from behind were often met with skull shattering elbows and rib crushing back kicks. Rarely was there a need for a followup attack; as the first hit was almost always the last.

At the center of this chaos, Grant was like a blur. One strike flowed into another, and another, and another with blinding speed and devastating accuracy . None of the human wall that advanced from all directions ever got close enough to do any real damage, his body was still soaked in blood from all the injuries that would be inflicted and healed just as quickly. There was no time to acknowledge the pain, for if he let up for even an instant, he would be overwhelmed. 

After a while the flood of Changed slowed to a trickle, and then ebbed until the streets were once again quiet. Looking around at the remains of the people he had been meant to serve, the victory brought him no comfort. Anger welled up in his chest, and he decided that he'd had enough. With earth shaking force, he jumped into the air, eyes scanning the rooftops for the ones causing this. As he landed on the top of another building, he saw them.

Landing on the roof, he boosted his implant up to thirty percent, and jumped again, this time straight at the side of the building where the enemy stood. A roar of fury escaped his throat as he slammed into the building with enough force to cause the top third to shatter and collapse; namely the part the enemy was on.

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Well that was rude..  

Claudette spoke as she grasped Grant's hand as it attempted to smash into the building she was standing on. The ice princess smiling, a malicious one as she pulls the man near her but keeping them an inch apart.

Of course you'd greet an old friend like that. Can you call yourself a man after the things you've done Grant? Your people suffer yet here you are, killing them. Aiding in their suffering. Such a weak man.

Claudette pulled him close to her as he could breathe in her. The ice princess then threw Grant into the building across from the one she was on. The tendrils coming forth from her as they came flying at him like daggers that if hit him would pierce his skin.

Deep down, you desire what all humes desire, power. Strength. I think I can help with that. You should be happy I'm about to give you this gift. My dearest Grant, it's time to create a king that will be a great puppet servant.

Claudette closed her eyes as the tendrils oozed the mirror shards into him. As she pulled them out, and they vanished, she fell to her knees. The mirror shard that entered him, should it hit him, would settle into his heart and it would in time slowly take over him. The ice princess stood behind him then as she picked him up by the collar of his shirt.

My dear, unlike the others here, I see greatness in you that needs to become better. Not only is a mirror shard in you but a piece of ore as well. And we both know--

She dropped him then as he had pushed her aside. It didn't matter as the shard awoke, beating within as it whispered within him, within Grant.

Ah, the princess chose our host well. And you secretly desire her don't you? Don't you want to make her happy? Serve her as her puppet? Let's see what else I can see.. Ah…

The mirror shard chuckled, oozing more into him as it began to bloom.

Yes, a mighty king. But a corrupted and unmoral one at best. Desiring what you want for once. Selfish… Tyrant… these people your pawns, your servants. And the princess… the ice princess at your mercy. Yes, with our power you can even enslave her. Give in.

The shard pumped more and more into Grant as Claudette stood there. Injured a bit as she sighed softly. But she would gain the king even if it would backfire on her. She shook her head.

Yes, become my host and everything you desire will be yours Grant. Fulfill the contract...

 

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The shard bled darkness into the Prince's body and mind; an inky black despair that ate away at his resolve. How could he ever have hoped to win? He had failed from the moment the first shards had rained down from the sky. So much blood was on his hands; the blood of men, women, and children that he was meant to protect. Another failure in a life that had been defined by failure. What was the point of going on? As his city burned, all he wanted was to burn with it.

Suddenly he saw it, the shard that whispered to him of redemption, of comfort. He walked towards it slowly, something in his heart telling him that he should resist, but he didn't care anymore. All he wanted was for the pain to stop. The voice promised an end to his suffering, his shame, his sorrow. As he drew closer, he reached out his hand to touch the shard. As he was about to make contact, something seized him.

My turn.


A thunderous roar accompanied a massive blast of wind that scoured the streets, and sent anyone on them flying through the air. The building the Prince had been thrown into exploded into a cloud of rubble and bodies. Suddenly wild, malicious laughter rang out from the crater where the building had been.

"Oh, I need to thank you! Thank you so much your highness!"

Suddenly another gale force wind dispelled the cloud of dust and debris to reveal the Prince standing in place of the building. But it was clear to anyone who laid eyes on him that something was terribly wrong. His body language, his facial expression, the glint in his eyes all spoke of malice. He looked up at Claudette, and flashed a sinister grin.

"Now... how shall I... thank you?"

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Claudette said nothing as she watched Grant change. The mirror piece did its job well, and the people around, those not changed looked on in shock and terror. 

You can swallow this kingdom whole and turn into a city of despair and darkness. These people becoming your puppets and servants. Building a mirror glass here.

Claudette replied before turning around. She eyed the onlookers chuckling before eyeing one in armor. She growled low, as someone had followed her from Athentha and now just got here. 

The elf sighed, seeing she wasn't in time to save anyone. Rhaspody (not her real name, but a code name to keep the mirror from enslaving her) eyed Claudette with those rainbow eyes. Her rainbow hair cascading down her spine. She wore heavy Scarab Zweifer armor. 

I found you demon! Now to put you in your place. You will not go any farther in your plan. These people will be freed.

Another flea coming with false bravado to try and fail. Don't you see? You're too late? Besides, the king here won't let you attack me, will you dear?

Rhaspody's eyes widened. No, that couldn't be true could it?

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1 hour ago, Rin said:

Another flea coming with false bravado to try and fail. Don't you see? You're too late? Besides, the king here won't let you attack me, will you dear?

More laughter, "Oh no! No no no no no no no no no. No one is going to lay a finger on you..."

The prince was looking at the ground, one hand covering his features as his entire body seemed to vibrate with barely contained mirth. Anyone close enough could see tears streaming down his face. Swaying back and forth he knelt down to the ground, pressing his forehead to the ground. Muttering to himself with increasing fervor, he suddenly reared his head back and slammed it into the stone. Then again. Then he kept doing it, a web of cracks spreading out from the site of the impact. Suddenly he just stopped, blood dripping from his head. Then he got back to his feet.

"Yes... no one shall harm you..."

With incredible speed, the prince flew into the air and positioned himself behind Claudette.

"Except me!"

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Claudette moved to her left as the attack barely missed her. She tilted her head as it didn't faze her. This knight intrigued her more than Grant's change. 

Saying nothing, she walked down the path thinking to herself as she pondered the different effects these mirror shards had on others and that Esben in his own deceived her. Shaking her head as she looked back, the knight's blade entered her shoulder. 

Claudette was still unfazed. 

Seems I have more work to do… I wonder if Iblis still exists. Could help me with the experimation.

Sorry for the short post

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"Oh?"

The Prince looked in the direction Claudette had gone in and cackled like a mad man.

"Quick one aren't you!"

Grant vanished from his position and reappeared in a crouch before the departing figure. It should have been obvious to her now that this was not merely the effect of the mirror shards. Something darker had been unleashed from the depths of the Prince's psyche; and would not be easily restrained again. Rising to his full height, he loomed ominously over the elf.

"Don't be so cold... lets have some fun!"

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The ice princess stopped as he appeared in front of her. Tilting her head, she blinked. This man wasn't Grant indeed but at the same time he wasn't that threatening either. She let her hands go up and forward as she allowed her energy to flow freely. She then pushed the man forward hard. 

You don't scare me you know. Just because you've changed doesn't mean I'm supposed to be scared. But if you really want to, you can try. That's always a lot of fun.

Claudette then crossed her arms against her chest as she stared him down. Of course it wouldn't be as easy as he thought it would be to fight her. She looked towards the un-named knight as she chuckled even more. She was amused. She then pushed the man again almost egging him on. 

Well. This should be interesting indeed. I wonder though how long you can fight that shard in you. Before it takes over you. I wonder. 

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"Shard?" he tilted his head, "You mean this one?"

The Prince shuddered and groaned, the flesh near his chest rippling and distorting as though something were trying to escape from within. Veins became visible underneath the skin, and a bulge began to travel from over his heart. It continued moving until it reached his right forearm. He seemed to consider it for a moment before laughing wildly and biting down on the bump. Jerking his head to the side, he tore a chunk from the limb. Working it around in his mouth for a moment, he spit it out before Claudette. The mirror shard was clearly visible among the shredded flesh.

"Blech!" he laughed, "I taste awful!"

He refocused his attention on the elf, "But if you're waiting for me to fall in line, you're going to be disappointed. But I'll gladly take you up on your invitation to play!"

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Claudette tilted her head once more. She was more confused than annoyed. That someone didn't want to be a part of the mirror. Usually they did. She sighed, this was more of a headache as it went on and on. 

Well, you really shown me. Seeing you won't just comply and give in. Kind of annoying actually. Play? I don't play, that wouldn't accomplish a thing. 

She then eyed the knight both had forgotten. She said nothing still for a moment as the ice princess thought more to herself. The elf knight then ran at the man. If it was Grant then it wouldn't be good either. 

The woman knight slammed her blade down against Grant's form. She hoped it would do something at least. Claudette chuckled as she leaned against Iblis. She wondered who'd win here. 

 

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The Prince caught the female knights blade in one hand, not even looking at his assailant as he did so. Only once it was clear that her attack had failed did he spare her a glance, and a feral grin.

"If you're going to join the fun, you need to be much stronger than this!"

He lashed out with a devastating side kick that would send the young woman flying; potentially through a few buildings. Once that distraction was done with, he turned his attention back to Claudette.

"Now let the games begin!"

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Claudette shook her head as he came near her. Of course it wasn't going to be easy to leave but here she was. She placed her palms together as the ice princess said nothing. 

As this occurred, the ground shook with maddening power, like an earthquake as ice pillars rose and grew from the dirt. With her arms moving backwards, she aimed the pillars at Grant. 

And then she fired them at him, rushing forward with the pillars as she jumped off of them into the air before her arms would come in front of her, ice daggers flying from her palms at his skin. 

And then her right fist came to his jaw as she landed on her feet. Though inside her, the mirror shard bloomed forth and she fell to a knee in pain as her nails dug into the earth. 

Iblis! P--Protect me... 

It was the only words she spoke as she gritted her teeth in pain. But no one could protect her as the ground shook around her, and then the ice princess blacked out. 

 

 

 

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