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Phoebe

Arachnophobia [Class B Quest]

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Called to assist James in the resolution of domestic affairs in Predator's Keep, Addison could hardly refuse to offer her aid.

Gathered within the city to lead investigations, she sought to tackle this undertaking alone, with only her few trusted associates to assist her in resolving the problem.

A case of monstrous spiders terrorizing civilians? Ever since she was a child, Addison had been observing animals, watching the lazy grazing movements of sheep and the elegant dance of cranes (and the wild horsing of her boyfriend). And as she grew older, she began to think more like a hunter. She hunted the hunters, knew their every move and anticipated it with great precision. She was one with the beasts of the wild, embodying their strength, determination, and primal instinct.

She was a Predator.


Standing outside the remains of a destroyed shed, filled with large cracks in the walls and massive gaping holes, Addison folded her arms and addressed her associates.

"A spider did this? It looks like Red Harpher had a seizure in a barn."

@Peter @Truthless

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" Holy shit! That's fucked up, man. " Masuda exclaimed, staring at the shed. " We're facing a BUG, you say? I hardly believe it. " He stared at the shed in awe and confusion, as well as amazement. 

How the hell would a mere spider decimate an entire shed? Masuda had to admit, this was getting him a bit fired up. He was always craving a good fight, and this show of strength could prove to be promising. 

He grinned, a small chuckle escaping his mouth. " Well, this is gonna be fun. " He said in a mixed tone.

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Addison would have received her information from one of James's subordinates, as he was away.

A few years ago, the Daemonslayer ventured into the forest and slew a giant she-beast, a spider queen of unholy size and power.

4205f76e8377bdbd23e10e40d37c031a.jpg

He was the only survivor of that quest, the party going with him having been wiped out. These smaller spiders were rumored by some to be the queen's progeny. Now they were returned, having hidden in the depths of the dark forest. Best to stamp out the problem while it was still small.

Edited by Fierach

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He glared at the damaged building, still not willing to believe this was caused by a simple insect. This was something else and he wanted to know what it was before fighting it, hell, probably a swarm of these things... A swarm. Maybe they aren't actually that strong on their own?.. Too many possibilities, and none of them can be ignored. Maybe this was just one of them? Maybe it was hundreds? He had to be prepared to fight any number of these.

"Aye. No spider could take down a building. Probably a swarm. And if it was just one then we're about to get trampled.''

 He expressed his opinion and, as pesimistic as it was, it was probably true. If these things were powerful enough to level houses all on their own they had no chance against a full-on swarm.
 Another thing he was thinking about was why these things were doing this. One house in a village, nothing else. Food? Probably not. Would've attacked the rest. Maybe they wanted territory? Destroying human settlements, house by house, overtime killing off the population? He knew way too little about these 'insects' to make assumptions like this. Who knows? Maybe they were like humans and were doing this for sport. No matter the reason behind it, it had to be stopped. The quicker the better, before it started spreading to other villages and cities.

"So, what do we know about these... spiders?''

He asked after a moment of silence spent thinking. More information would be useful for approximating their chances against their enemies. Size, number, strength, many variables that could turn the tide of battle during the confrontanion.

 


 

 

Edited by Peter

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Currently, only what James told us about the creatures he fought before. Human-sized spiders, and a Queen with a human’s upper body ending at the torso with a spider’s lower half. However, we can’t confirm that we’re dealing with the same culprits.

She stepped forward to one of the smaller holes in the wall and placed her fingers into it.

That’s why we’re here to look for clues. If I had to take a guess, an appendage went through here.

She placed her index finger and thumb against opposite sides of the hole and raising it to eye level to measure its diameter.

Six inches, thereabouts,” she remarked. Irryn’s theory was partially correct. This was the work of a large creature, far beyond the size of any normal arachnid from their world. But what he deduced incorrectly, was their ability to combat such a creature.

Masuda, if we’re looking at man-sized arachnids, how many do you think you could slay before you are eventually killed?” she asked innocently.

@Truthless

Edited by Phoebe

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" Pfft. Me? Killed? Funny joke. " Masuda said in response, grinning sinisterly. " Ninety to a hundred by hand and blade. Otherwise I could settle for chakra techniques and cap one-hundred-fifty before needing to take a break. " He explained. " If we're facing swarms, I plan on using a rebound-like tactic. Slice through the group, make it to the back, and travel back to your original spot. " He added.

" If the time is right, I'll span out and flare away with fire and lightning techniques. I could also travel between them and round them up with silk. " He remarked, having already thought up a plan for dealing with these spiders. Masuda was a guy that didn't need much information. He's been in countless battles, against monsters, people, animals, you name it. He had a set catalog of ready-made strategies in his mind. All he needed was the current situation to conjure up a solution. That's the kind of skill you get when you're a Shinobi, afterall.

" Maybe I could even try explosions for the first time! " He exclaimed. There it is. His childish recklessness. One of the many things keeping him from becoming a lord-like fighter. Well, everyone's got ups and downs, don't they?

@Phoebe

Edited by Truthless

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"Precisely. Therefore, no trampling," Addison asserted boldly. She knew well the capabilities of her companions. There was a firm line to be drawn between irrational youthful confidence, and the somber knowledge of a veteran. Masuda, although young, proved to be aged in his mastery of sword craft. "I don't believe there's more to be derived from the scene."

She shook her head, eyeing the various marks and scratches which the spider's sharp limbs had made in the wall of the barn. Apart from those, there was no trace of any biological fluid or splatter of blood. They had deduced all that could be acquired. Now was the time to act.


The trio met at the edge of the forest shortly after. They had with them their personal equipment, and no armed escort. Truth be told, there wasn't a need for one. Within the group itself, each individual possessed highly specialized combat abilities, two of whom were more than capable of turning the tide of combat with their mere presence alone. As the thick foliage stared back at them, Addison sniffed the air vigorously like a bloodhound.

"Neither of you are to ever mention this to anyone," she remarked sternly, before removing a small clump of hair from her pocket - one which she had earlier collected from the ruins of the barn.

She inhaled deeply, taking in every ounce of its deep scented odor, before snorting into disgust.

"Urgh-" she cursed several times incoherently before tilting her chin up slightly and airing her nostrils.

She sniffed several times, feeling the breeze against the skin of her neck, her hair tingling with hundreds of sensations simultaneously. And then, her eyes widened with delight as she pointed slightly off to their left.

"This way," she said, leading the way into the forest without any hesitation.

@Truthless @Peter

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"If it works... It works?''

 Probably the only response to his companion's actions he could come up with. As strange as her tracking methods were, they worked for dogs and lots of other animals and, well, apparently for her as well.
 He followed her into the forest, visibly getting more cautious. He slowed down his pace, granting his eyes more time to look for threats. Every tree, every bush, even a branch could hide a threat. 

"Well then, where are we going?"

 He spoke quickly, in a hurry, keeping his voice down. Talking masked other noises, something he did not want to allow to happen for too long. After all, sound was one of the most important sensations when detecting an enemy. Any new noises: a breaking twig, a bush rustling out of sync with the wind, a shuffling in the trees, all of those can signal the presence of an enemy.
 
 The further into the forest they went, the more paranoid he got. Less light lit the path through the dense layer of branches, leaves and the thick water vapor hovering in a steady layer over them. He reached behind his back, grasping the handles of his tonfa blades and flipping them to their intended position, ready to fight anything that could emerge from the misty cloud above them.

@Phoebe

Edited by Peter
Sent too early

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Masuda stopped himself from bursting into laughter. * Is she a DOG now? AHAHA! * He thought to himself. He was definitely going to tell Azami and Koyama about this.

" Yeah, where ARE we going? " He asked curiously, looking around at the dense foliage. " Hold on... " Masuda slowed down for a little, closing his eyes tightly, opening them after a few seconds. They faintly glowed purple. " I plan on saving energy, so I won't use it fully, but my senses have gone up considerably. " He explained, his eyes darting all over. Every single little noise, he stared in it's direction. 

He continued to follow his comrades, ready to punch the shit out of whatever came out at them.

@Phoebe

Edited by Truthless

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After an hour of trekking, the group arrived at a thick concentration of bushes. Addison raised her hand in warning to indicate a halt.

"We're close," she said quietly. "And this is unnatural."

She poked at the large clump of leaves with her gauntlet, grabbing some of it and pulling it out slowly. The leaves began to shake softly as a vine was pulled out along with several roots. Addison hadn't even pulled that hard.

"This is artificial," she stated. Truly, if one observed long enough, they would notice that the large wall of foliage consisted of mismatched plantlife that shouldn't have been intertwined. Something had set this up.

"Something is moving," she remarked quietly as she closed her eyes, listening in to the rustle of the trees around her. The wind blew, but every now and then, something moved just out of place, against the direction of the wind just a little bit.

"Get ready," she grit her teeth, sliding her hand back to her side, resting around White Reflection's hilt.

@Truthless @Peter

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 He froze in place a few seconds before Addison did. Despite not possessing as much knowledge about plants as she did, at this point, his hearing was extremely sensitive to disturbances in the natural order of sound. He fixed his grip on the tonfa blades, his head snapping rapidly to every sound that he distinguished from the wind.

  At some point, he just stopped breathing, listening, not making a single sound, not moving a muscle. Now, this wasn't just a matter of finding the enemy to get the first strike; This was about survival, detecting the foe before it became the predator. And he knew it was.  

 He looked over at his companions, his gaze lingering in their general direction. Maybe they had found something already? He knew Addison and Masuda had some impressive tricks up their sleeve but wasn't sure if some of those skills carried on to tracking or perception.

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*Eh? Fake? What? Why?* Masuda thought to himself, glancing around at the bushes. *They really ARE fake! Those leaves aren't natural at all.* 
 

Getting into a fighting stance, he commences surging chakra around his body, yare for anything. *Shift your weight... Let your energy run free... Keep your eyes forward..* He reiterated in his mind, ascertaining he wasn't caught off guard by some giant spider. He followed through with what Irryn was doing, staying completely still. It was a bit more difficult, considering his energy was surging through his body, but it was a must. He didn't want to be reason they were all randomly attacked by a crazy mutant.

His eyes widen, heedfully listening into the nature around him. He was ultra-focused.

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For a long while, nothing happened. Addison looked around, searching for some sign or hint as to where they were being watched from.

They’re playing the waiting game,” she remarked. “They want us to make the first move.

Even if they tried, whatever was observing them was too well hidden. There was always the slight possibility that they were being paranoid, but Addison sensed a fourth presence near them, something powerful, as well as several smaller presences with less significant impact.

Shall we check out the bush? See what’s under it?

@Truthless @Peter

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He nodded before letting down his guard, dropping his arms back to their natural position. He agreed with Addison, whatever this was, it wasn't dumb. He also agreed that moving the bushes was probably the only way to progress with this adventure. He held out his left arm a bit forward before a vine sprouted from his wrist, slithering towards the bushes like a snake before coiling itself around a branch of the wall of bushes. He didn't expect anything to reveal itself just from the bush being moved, like their foe jumping out of it, so he decided to give the vine a tug, try to move the bush out of the way, which he did. He yanked the vine back, sending the bushes flying towards them and to the side, clearing the path and revealing whatever was hidden there.

@Phoebe @Truthless

 

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