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NuclearCommando

LOTE: Wartime Festivals?

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"Hey, you up for splitting up? We can do some good work out of them!"

It took Mason a moment to realize that Tolok was talking about him. No... that's not a good idea... can't risk anybody finding out... he looked to Amber, who seemed to have gotten the attention of Innes, and then to Eve, who was striding off with the Ebon Knight... almost... too eagerly. And there was no way he was going to try to go with Wymp, after that little fiasco with a pouch of sand. If he's that danger prone, then something bad might happen to Mason. Can't risk that somehow the pocket sand blowing off his swimsuit. Madon and Jill? Mason didn't have a death wish. There was a quiet sigh. Mason really didn't have any other choice, did he?

"Alright, fine, we'll go together. Just... try not to get separated, ok? Not having someone watch your back could be fatal."


And somehow Mason got separated from Tolok, though that in and of itself is a story of itself.

When Mason finally found Tolok again, he found him standing in the middle of a semi-circle of six holes, palm tree posed to strike. "Tolok? What the hell are you-" Before Mason could finish his sentence, an enemy soldier popped his head out of one of the holes, and Tolok bashed the soldier back into it with the palm tree. This repeated multiple times. "-doing..."

God.

Damn.

Wack-a-Soldier.

"God damn it, what the hell is wrong with this festival?"
 


Amber frowned at who she was dealing with... the lecherous pervert. She wasted no time unleashing venomous words against her new partner. "Listen here you pervert, I am not calling you Wanker. I don't care if you are one. Actually, you are one. But I don't care, I am not calling you that, Innes. Second off, if you make one comment about somebody sticking something up somebody's happy place, I will ragnarok you back to the stone ages, understand? Yes, I am that mage who stopped Jill some time ago, so you should know I'm fully capable of doing just that." She let out a sigh as she caught her breath and composed herself, and then noticed the soldiers that were approaching the shack. "Well, try not to fall behind. I know you perverts tend to lose focus easily." She ran past Innes, smacking him with her tuna as she did so, and performed a jumping strike against one of the soldiers.
 


Eve was her quiet self until they were out of range of the others, before she straightened up her posture and her tone of voice quite drastically changed. "The Knight clad in ebony armor, it's so good to see you again. I was worried that I wouldn't run into you again, we never did finish our sparing session, did we?" She let out a flirtatious smile. "What, don't be so surprised I recognized you. It's plainly obvious who you are. I'm not so sure why the others couldn't... but I guess that speaks for their intelligence, no? Onto more pressing matters... I would love to continue fighting with you, but alas, these annoying insects must ruin all the fun... perhaps if we mop up our area quickly enough we can engage in a little... fun times?"

There was a glint in her eyes as she said that. A few moments later, she extended her arm, stopping the Ebon Knight dead in his tracks... and saving him from an eruption of water and fish just in front of him. Eve started pouting. "Of course we'd get the mages... they don't even put up a good fight... they just go pop..." She turned to face the EK and flashed a devious grin. "With your armor, you're never going to get to them in time before they waterlog you. Let me just help with that..." She then picked up the Ebon Knight quite effortlessly, and yeeted him at the closest mage, and then ran towards another mage herself.

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Now you might be wondering: "What exactly happened to Mason when he got separated"
Well, here's the full story:

Spoiler

I have no idea what happened. I was traveling with Tolok, and the next thing I know I'm in the middle of an empty beach, nobody around but just me, and some enemy soldiers. I have no idea where Tolok went, nor how we got separated. What mattered now was that I had to survive. I threw my beach ball at the nearest enemy... missed. Missed? How the hell did I miss? In the corner of my eye I could see a stat block. It said... a 98% chance to hit? The odds were in my favor! But fortunately it said that the enemy had a 15% chance to hit me... wait, how is that... what the hell? He hit me! He only had a 15% chance to hit me! The odds were in my favor!

I couldn't see the stat blocks anymore as I got knocked to the ground. For some reason, I couldn't find the strength to stand up. It's like all my strength was sapped... it's like I was a damsel in distress... how? I was helpless as one of the soldiers approached me, seashell axe in hand, ready to end me. "Hey is one of those bikini heroes! No armor, an easy kill!" He exclaimed.

I threw my hand in front of me, in a futile effort to save myself, when suddenly his ally stopped him.

"WAIT, DONT KILL HER!" He yelled
The soldier in front of me was confused. "Uh? What?"
"Just hit the clothes, we must not ruin such beautiful skin."
"But sir, that sounds incredibly hard to do, its just so much easier stick an axe to her face-"
"JUST THE CLOTHES I SAID!"

I couldn't believe my ears. "Perverts!" Was all I could say.

The soldier once again readied his axe. I shut my eyes, fearing the worst... when suddenly I heard the manliest voice suddenly shout.
 

Spoiler

FALCON... PUNCH!


My eyes shot open just in time to see the soldier with the axe utterly obliterated. A man in a blue uniform and a red helmet with a visor and what appeared to be a bird... a... falcon? Whoever this man was, he just saved me. This man grabbed the other soldier and threw him up into the air, jumped up after him, and hit him with his knee. The soldier must've hit mach 2 as he flew into the distance.

And suddenly, seeing all this... it all made sense. In this world you had to be strong. You had to fight to keep your spirit alive.

The man in front of me let out a triumphant "YESH!" And then looked down at me. It seemed like he knew who I was, despite my disguise, and yet he did not judge me for it. Even I could feel his power, and at that moment I saw no fear, I felt no pain.  Truly, this man will forever be my hero, that I better believe he knows the way, and not just only for tonight.

He extended his hand to me and I took it. Upon helping me to my feet, he gave me a salute. "Show me ya moves!" And suddenly, a bunch of soldiers started falling from the sky. At this point, without questioning it (I had the power after all, I was going to fight to win), this man in blue and I engaged in hand to hand combat with these soldiers, sending them flying with combos of punches and kicks.

After what felt like fifteen minutes, the last of the soldiers stopped falling. The man in blue approached me once more. He gave me a letter and then shouted "Come on! BLUE FALCON!" A strange blue machine came racing by which he climbed into with smooth efficiency, and went rocketing across the beach and out of sight. I looked closely at the letter he gave me. It clearly had my name printed on it, "Mason". It also had a strange wax seal on it, showcasing a circle with an offset cross in it. A logo of some kind? I would ponder this later, I really should get back to the brawl.

 

Edited by NuclearCommando

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"Alright, fine, we'll go together. Just... try not to get separated, ok? Not having someone watch your back could be fatal."

Tolok let out a crude smile and lifted his palm, as a sign that Crystal!Mason should stop worrying about all these things. "Haha, no worries there, lady. I will make sure we won't split up, but I can assure you I can take of myself all right. I have a big palm tree with me, after all!"
Even with all that, both of them got separated, thing which happened in the blink of the eye. None of them noticed and before they've realized, they were too far away from eachother. "Oh well. Guess I'm all alone now, with just a big, tall TREEEE!!!! Who in their right mind would try and ambush this man I am, with a big tree by my side!" And with that, a few soldiers appeared out of nowhere, with sand on them. It looked like they emerged from within the sand, ready for any kind of encounter. Some of them had... brass knuckle shaped shells...? While others had lassos knotted with seaweed, which somehow resisted all the pressure and stress put on the knot. Tolok, of course, was slightly confused of all this. "So......." A long pause occured, having no idea what's going on, looking at each of the ambushers, then at his 2.5m (8.2ft) tall palm tree. It's not that big as some other of its species, but it was probably long enough to take on at least two of them at the same time, "....Uh..... What do I have to believe first.... That you have lassos and brass knuckles and you want to fight me...... Or that you came out of nowhere, as soon as I..... uhh.... mentioned there'd be an ambush out of nowhere, just he-" The ambushers didn't let Tolok finish his words and rushed him. He shrugged and started doing his job with his big tree.
------
"Phew, you guys are pesky enough. It took a while to beat you all to a pulp. Huh, why are you not vanishing?" Six people were stuck deep in sand, with just their heads out, while the rest were tied with the lassos, thrown in a bunch like they were rotten apples. "Ahahaha, I get it now. I am actually bored. Okay, want to play a game? Whoever is the last one surviving in these six holes survives. Whaddya think of it, fella soldiers-ambushers?" The six came to create a visual cacophony of nods and headshakes, as if they had a choice in here, Tolok grinning while looking at them. "Alright, alright. Let the games begin!"
------

"Tolok? What the hell are you-" Tolok looked over at Crystal!Mason, who was as shocked as any normal person would be. "Oh, nothing! Just playing with these fella ambushers here! They came with brass knuckle shaped shells! Shells shaped as brass knuckles at me! How can you tell me these things really exist, and how can they be so foolish to try those! against me! Oh, and some lassos." He pointed at the remaining bunch of soldiers tied with the lassos, shaking in fear, as if they were Tolok's next toys ready to be destroyed to a pulp. "I thought I would pay them back for ruining my stroll, and here-" one soldier's head popped up and a loud BONK! could be heard. "-I am, having fun. Say, wanna try?" He handed Crystal!Mason the tree, as if (s)he would be able to carry it with no difficulty.

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Wymp let out an annoyed sigh, and tossed a handful of sand from the pouch into the eyes of an incoming enemy. The grisly result of the attack caused even the battle-hardened and pious Cardinal to blanch. He murmured a quick prayer at what he had been forced to do here and then looked around. He saw men starting to surrounding Owend, and rushed to her side. Owend, for her part, laughed for a moment before taking a drink from her cocktail and then sweeping her arm imperiously. The cocktail sloshed around as bubbles formed around then men- and then a cavalcade of water with fruit within it poured down upon the men. They did not get back up.

The battle raged in a similar fashion for a bit longer until the waves of enemies finally subsided. Wymp and Owend stood back to back for a moment longer as they scanned the area for any more threats, then collapsed with grateful sighs onto the sand below. They laid there for a time, until Wymp broke the tranquil silence that had settled.

"Owend. Was going to mention this earlier, but then this whole thing broke out. Your choice of swimsuit seems, hmm, somewhat more provocative than I would have expected from you. Are you trying to catch the attention of someone in particular?"

Owend giggled before responding.

"Oh? If I caught your attention like that, then perhaps my intent was on you?"

Wymp chuckled and shook his head.

"Come off of it, we've been through too much together. We both know that's not true... Is it the Exarch, then?"

"... Wymp, I do not have a death wish. Olivia, Jill, and I'm sure there's more women out there perfectly willing to skewer me or blast me to smithereens if I had designs on the Exarch's heart. That aside, I have no such aims. He is, or rather was, my liege. And I cannot forget what he has done for me in my time in Isore, and cannot help but like the way he has ruled. But he is a man far removed from the likes of you and me. I cannot in good conscience try and take a heart that I innately just do understand."

"Ah. A very fair response. It is my lot to try and understand that heart's driving force as best I can, so that I can guide Madon down the path of what is good and right. But I agree that there is something there that is just above us, that escapes the understanding of those in our station. ... So, if not Madon, then who? Do you have, ah, a certain preference for the fai-"

Owend turned toward Wymp with a dagger-filled glare.

"No! Just because I am Severa's successor, Wymp, does not mean that I share her proclivities... Ugh, forgive me. I was just the target of several nasty rumors of that nature back before I had left Glia, so it's a bit of a sore spot."

"Okay, okay. I did not mean to offend. I'm just indulging my curiosity, and learning what I can about you since the times where you and I have been able to talk alone have been few and far between. So that thoroughly eliminates Olivia, Amber, and the de- Eve."

Owend raised an inquisitive eyebrow as Wymp continued.

"Mason is always off on his own and not even here, that leaves him right out. So by process of elimination, that leaves... Tolok?"

Wymp gauged Owend's reaction. Bingo.

"Ah. I see. If that is your aim, then, I shall see to it that your aim is more easily fulfilled. I owe you that much."

He paused and glanced at Owend's drink for a moment.

"Has that thing gone down at all this whole time?"

Owend shook her head with a grin. Wymp stared for a bit longer, and then let out an annoyed sigh and laid back down on the sand.


Madon and Jill tore through the enemies arrayed before them like a hot knife through better. The synergy of the pair was something to behold- Madon took incoming blows with ease and slashed away anybody who dared within reach, while Jill blasted away enemies who rightfully stayed out of Madon's reach with her strange weapon's power. One might have wondered if the duo had inadvertently chosen to fend off the very vanguard of the assault, for the tide of enemies before them seemed unceasing. Eventually, they found themselves surrounded fully as they stood to back to back. Scanning around, they caught sight of two figures surveying the beach from a high rock outcrop. One hooded and with a massive bow, the other in dark robes with a turban atop his head was about all they could make out. Madon broke into a devious grin as he remembered where he had seen the later before.

"Village wasn't enough for you, you rat bastard? Trying to kidnap festival goers for your schemes? I'm not having any of that. Jill!"

He looked over his shoulder at her, as she also turned and met his gaze.

"Stay close to me. We'll crush these bastards in front of us and then bash those guys atop the rock. If we can at least force them to flee, any remaining forces should be easy to rout."

Jill nodded thrice, and blasted the front ranks of the enemies surrounding them as her and Madon began their forward charge towards the apparent enemy commanders.


"... No, we never did finish. A shame, that."

There was an obvious amusement in the Ebon Knight's tone as he continued.

"A disguise as flimsy as throwing swimming trunks over my armor seems to have worked wonders in obfuscating my identity. Whether that speaks to your greater perception than the rest of them, or the lack of perception is them, is speculation best not said in front of those in question."

Eve then spoke of more pressing matters, to which the Ebon Knight nodded. He spoke up as he began to move toward the enemies before them.

"Hah. Then we shall sweep them way wit-"

Mages. Eve stopped from him stepping into a blast directed at him. He inclined his head in agreement with her opining that mages weren't fun opponents.

"As Byrn works with the mages of Zenith, I can agree with that. Damn Glians must be bored stiff facing them down."

With that, the Knight readied his weapons, one jump rope in each hand. Then, before he could begin his charge, Eve picked him up and effortlessly tossed him like a javelin at the nearest mage.

I love this twisted, twisted woman.

He crashed into the mage, the sheer weight of the armored knight crushing the mage into the sand with a sickening crunch. Pulling himself up, the Knight looked down to determine that the mage was, indeed, not getting back up. He turned and scanned the area, his gaze focusing on a mage who was seeking to blast Eve from behind. The jump rope in his right hand glowed with a red aura of power as he leapt forward and swept the odd weapon forward. It wrapped around the poor mage's neck. One pull snapped it with ease and the mage collapsed.

The Knight exuded an aura of glee and sheer unshakeable confidence... perhaps even some bloodlust. The mages might have been soiling himself as he closed in on them, for he was bound and determined to clear this area as swiftly as possible. And barring any surprise, his efforts along with those of Eve would very soon see that to fruition.


Innes rubbed his cheek angrily as Amber ran past him, slapping him with her tuna after she gone off and berated him. He shouted after her with an annoyed expression and tone.

"Pervert? What kind of scandalous rumors are being spread about me?! I understand how you would know my name, but where you might have heard that I would dare say such crass comments about things being stuck into "happy places"..."

He shook his head.

"Yes, I may have done some ribbing towards a certain person, in privacy and confidence, that could be interpreted as something of that nature. That does not explain where the hell you heard about that. Or why you're in such a fuss about-"

Innes realized that Amber was probably out of earshot by now, or at least almost. He sighed, then raised two fingers to his lips and let out a whistle. Jill's wyvern, Arvez, flew from the direction of Onstade proper to land beside Innes. He stared at Innes quizzically, and perhaps with a bit of hostility. The archer rolled his eyes at the creature.

"Ehh, come off of it. Your master isn't here anyways, and she likes me too much to not lend me her wyvern in a time of need. Come on, Arvez, we've got a stupid bitch to show up."

Innes climbed onto Arvez' back, and the wyvern took into the air. A shadow passed over Amber as the pair flew above her, then Innes pulled Arvez down as he hit an enemy with a diving slash- a deadly one, his banner on a stick somehow having similar power as an axe made of real metal.

Edited by EpicRome23

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