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King Wolfe

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The Influx. A world surrounded by myth and legend, it has been told that this is the first world to exist, and that this is the first world to fall to darkness. It is a dystopia with blackened skies and a red moon, skyscrapers reach to escape this hell but to no avail. Major cities and towns compose the world's surface, the denizens reach up to the billions. Morning creaks around the corner as the Influx's three suns peak up the horizon and shine it's pale gray light over the world, the people are perplexed at the sight of these suns, with Dark Hour it feels quite literally like ages since they last saw the sun.

When Dark Hour rolls around the worlds become a pitch void of darkness, and for 18 hours every day it remains like this. Only those with a powerful affinity to darkness or those with Keyblades are able to remain solid during Dark Hour, everyone else in the entirety of the universe falls to darkness and ceases to exist only to reappear into reality when Dark Hour ends. It is hard to say what happens to the person when Dark Hour starts, people often describe a feeling of weightlessness and a sense of being light-headed, then quickly followed by losing feeling in their entire body and experiencing a feeling of floating. They say they have no sense of time and when Dark Hour ends they only wake up in their original position unaware of even being gone.

It is an unfathomable feeling this Dark Hour, for everyone else able to retain their existence they describe the worlds as being enshrouded in darkness, those who have an affinity in light describe feeling drained or weakened, those who fall under twilight describe as being strengthened or powerful. Dark Hour cannot be controlled by anyone, not even the Master of Darkness. He is able to use Dark Hour to his advantage but he cannot control how long Dark Hour lasts or when it'll start, it is said to have last six hours because the death of the original primal force of Light lasted six hours until it was revived into a pure spirit. But then again, I wasn't alive back then.

Deep within the center of the grand metropolis of the Influx sat the center of the world, a large castle that consumed 1/4th of the world's surface sat there awkwardly in the center of everything. And deep within that castle sat a lone apprentice busily cooking for her dear master. She carefully mixed the batter with slow deliberate movements, despite training herself every day for three years she still had to refer to the cookbook so she doesn't screw it up.

It's pancakes, it isn't that hard! Azusa chided herself for her ineptitude, she had cooked this accursed dish for three years but she still felt uncomfortable looking at the ingredients. While Azusa was the type not to admit defeat she had seceded to her proud and went for microwavable pancakes but through some ungodly force of nature the pancakes had imploded. She thinks something out there is cursing her or something. Azusa drifted to her daydreams while the four large pancakes crackled unnaturally, the scent of cooked pancakes assailed her, she looked down with a dreamy look to see her pancakes rapidly being cooked. In a frenzy Azusa quickly flipped over the pancakes and sighed a breath of relief when she saw that the pancakes weren't burnt but a golden brown.

But wait, what's the burning smell? She looked over to see her six strips of bacon being burnt, "Shit!" Flipping the strips of bacon the oil splashed up and out of reflex Azusa lifted up her arm to block against the oil, it graced her arm burning it instantly. Yelping Azusa fell down and smacked the two frying pans by the handle causing all of the food to fly up in the air. Azusa lifted up her burning hand and an aura of darkness quickly surrounded her hand and flew over to a stray plate, the plate lifted up in the air with a mind of its own and launched itself through the air grabbing the pancakes and pieces of bacon perfect. Azusa smiled and pumped her arm, "Yes!"

In her excitement she had released the aura of darkness and the plate fell down on her head, she instinctively raised her arms and caught the plate. She looked at the food, half-expecting to see a mess, but everything was on in piece... Although the bacon was blackened.

"My cooking is terrible but I could always invest in being a waitress." Azusa muttered to herself as she stood and strode over to the refrigerator to pour herself a cup of orange juice and a bottle of syrup. Grabbing a tray she placed the meal on it and headed out of the kitchen and towards the stairs walking up to Van's room. She turned over the bacon so that the burnt side wouldn't show. Standing in front of Van's bedroom door she methodically fixed her skirt and her hair and with a deep breath she opened the door. Van was still asleep but Azusa couldn't blame him, she had woke up insanely early, she looked at the time: 6:45 AM.

She placed the tray of food on his nightstand and sat at the bed, she looked at Van's sleeping face to see him looking rather distressed. Ah, he was having another nightmare. She felt guilty since she didn't know how to help him, but she figured, at this point, that waking him up would end the nightmare even faster. She gently pressed on his shoulder, "Hey, wakey-wakey. Come on Van, wake up~".
 
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ThePromise

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"Run!" Van shouted against the roaring walls that shuddered and creaked. He was in another nightmare but to him, it was always real, always holding the consequence of his actions. The academy, three years ago, and his lover standing before him, not noticing a single thing taking place. The darkness was beginning to overtake the entire academy, the once radiant halls turning black and worn, the corruption not ceasing to spread itself all across the once magnificent building. He was racing, racing towards her and exerting more force than the body should be able to lose at all, but no matter how far he reached, or how close he thought he was getting, Van was not coming any closer to getting her.

She was turning around to him at last, smiling and unaware of the gathering darkness, nor the scene around her.

As much as he tried to draw the darkness to him to contain it, it was spreading too far. He had brought too much, more than he was able to control and in doing so, allowed it to spread like wildfire and consume all that was pure and good in the immediate area. Namely, her. Tendrils of darkness rose up from the surface of the ground. By now, there was no other color than black, and all that stood out was her, and even now the darkness was stealing her as well. Feeling a disturbance below, she looked down to find what was going on, and her eyes widened in panic. Unable to free himself and finally understanding why Van looked so worried, she looked towards him, extending her right hand out to him for help. Darkness binding her, she couldn't even move at this point.

"No! LET HER GO!!" As he was now, Van was unable to stop the force he had unleashed on anything and everything he cared about in this academy. He'd lose the one who taught him, all the other friends he may have had, but he couldn't lose her. He wouldn't.

Finally it seemed he was coming closer to her, but the darkness was already overtaking most of her body, already reaching the waist and going beyond. He was just a leap away, but the closer Van reached with his own hand, the faster the darkness moved. Time seemed to slow, and the burning image of Mio's fearful eyes, glossy and calling for his name to help him, were forever locked into his head. And everything was going black now, Mio fading and his hand grasping nothing at all.
"MIOOOOOOOO!!!!"

---

His body sitting up before his mind could register it, Van's eyes were open wide and his body was covered in sweat. The heart in his chest pounded, reminding him of what he lost, and how he felt three years ago exactly. It was a dream, but it was so real in a sense as well. He could bend the darkness to his will now, but before, it was the reason she was taken from him. It was his fault. Van would make it right though, he swore it.

The right arm of the Master of Darkness was outstretched, reaching out for nothing at all. Another dream, that was all.

Another about his dear Mio.

Breathing hard, yet at the same time barely disturbing the mild silence in the room, Van lowered his arm and shut his eyes, laying back in the bed, feeling the sweat he left as he rested back. Looking up towards the ceiling, his eyes slowly shut again, but remained open by just a small crack. Sleep was terrible. It has been for years now. It seemed every few nights he dreamed about her, dreamed about failing to save her again and again. The blue sheets that covered him were once shared with her. Judging from the remaining blackness in his room, it was only 6:30 in the morning. The scent of food was in the air, and while his mouth did water, he just wasn't in the mood to eat. Mio not only took his breath away, but everything else.

...

...

"Hey, wakey-wakey. Come on Van, wake up~"

Opening his eyes, he looked towards the ceiling first before looking to his apprentice, who was beside him every morning with breakfast, always looking down on him. If he said he wasn't hungry, she wouldn't believe him, and would feed him. Heck, she fed him anyway, and never let him even touch the food personally. Sitting up with his hands on his lap, he looked from her, and to the food. The pancakes looked amazing, as usual ..but the bacon looked normal too. Did she ..really get it right this time?

"Always getting me up early like this ...you never sleep in." he managed to smile at her, despite the effects of the nightmare still leaving him worn and shaken. Taking a deep breath, he took a chance, hoping she'd let him feed himself for once. He reached for the plate. "Thanks. Is today the day I can feed myself?"
 

IceBlueWings

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Theia sat against a fence for a moment as she looked up at the dark sky for a second, the bitter and frustrated feeling of her weakened state agitating her. She had slept out in the open like she usually preferred to, albeit the dangers of it. Besides, the good thing was that she didn’t really have to spend on accommodation. She stood up. Moving around wasn’t the hardest thing for her – she had done this often – but if she were to be attacked by someone she’d be in a pinch.

She made her way to the nearest café or what seemed to be like an eatery. Her mouth watered from the thought of spicy stew. And a nostalgic voice invaded her mind.

“You’re really having spicy food for breakfast?” He asked her incredulously.

“I don’t see why I shouldn’t; I’m craving for something spicy.” She answered.

“You’re going to get a stomach ache from all of that.” He told her.


Theia grinned. It was a few hours after, while they were training, that she ended up with a massive stomach ache from the spicy food she ate. And Lex had only responded to her with an ‘I told you so’. But she never stopped eating spicy food. It was too good to stop. She knew that the Dark Hour meant she had to do things herself.

This was fine, really, because she could cook her food the way she wanted it. And so she borrowed the kitchen and got herself to cook. Spicy vegetable stew, spicy chicken, and spicy fried rice with beef strips were soon on the table, where she gobbled down the food eagerly. At the end of it all, her lips were throbbing slightly from the spiciness but she was satisfied.

She leaned back on her seat and sighed. It would be a bad idea to be caught by someone who was aligned with the Darkness. It would be worse still if she encountered the Master of Darkness right now. She grimaced, imagining what could happen if she did come across the Master of Darkness. Had Lex encountered the same Master? Had he been brutally beaten in his weakened state? Was he really even gone?

She shook her head, getting her mind off Lex. It was all in the past. She held out her hand and summoned her Keyblade for a few seconds, remembering her promise. “I will never forget.” She whispered, dismissing the Oathkeeper and placing a sum of munny on the counter to make up for the food she ate.

She walked out of the eatery and looked around. She looked up at the skies once again before continuing her walk. "It's too dark for my liking." She mumbled as she sighed, dragging her feet to somewhere safer.
 

King Wolfe

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Azusa reddened visually at the sight of Van. He sat up and allowed the sheets to fall off of him revealing a bare chest, she diverted her eyes and cleared her throat deliberately. In her embarrassed state she forgot about the burnt bacon and allowed Van to take the tray, her eyes widened as she remembered and just as quickly she snatched the tray back. "N-no, of course not you know the drill!" She feverishly stepped back and poured a good amount of syrup over the pancakes and then remembered she forgot about bringing a knife. She looked at Van then back at her pancakes.

"W-well, I guess it's worth a try." An aura of darkness surrounded her hands and she zapped at the food as the darkness crackled like lightning. "All we need now is sugar and spice ne?" She looked back at Van and gave him an innocent smile, then her eyes drifted downward and she turned back to the food flustered. Looking at the food she noticed how it changed colors. Ah, it must be the dye huh? Wait, what?

She ceased the darkness to notice an almost demonic spirit emitting from the pancakes, it was cut up neatly though but she felt as though the pancakes were laughing evilly at her. Crap, did she just Frankenstein her food to an evil existence? Oh well, maybe Van won't notice. In a rush she stabbed a piece of pancake and stuff it in Van's mouth allowing him to eat it she pulled the fork back.

She felt uneasy asking for feedback so she figured to just let him eat in piece. Ah, good he isn't choking. Azusa mentally high-fived herself. Looking down at the fork she noticed her own rumbling stomach, then she contemplated eating but remembered that this was the fork Van ate from. Ah, she'll just go downstairs to get another piece of sliverwar-

She nearly dropped the fork when the thought struck her, I-indirect kiss?!

Van wouldn't mind would he? He wasn't the type to sweat the little details, he wouldn't find it weird that she would eat, after all she's hungry! She cooked! She deserves to eat right?! She was reassuring herself in order to muster up the courage then she decided. In a slow deliberate, yet epic, motion she stabbed a piece of pancake and pulled it close to her mouth. She wavered when she was opening her mouth but at this point she didn't care, she was going to do it! Just one little bite!

No! I can't do it! She stuffed the fork in Van's mouth, Damn coward...
 

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An ominous wind blew over the metropolis of Influx. A vast number of small drums are simultaneously playing the same eerie tune for some mood music. A crowd full of people have gathered around a wooden platform with a gallows because they are sick and twisted bastards. Under said gallows seems to be a young man with his hands and feet tied together yawning. Suddenly, the soldiers in back of the crowd go into a formation forming two lines with a large gap in the middle. Each side of the arrangement pointed their guns toward the sky. It was then that the crowd made a path going straight to the gallows. After about 16 seconds, a middle-aged gentleman wearing dull grey armor without a helmet proudly walked up to the gallows holding something rolled up behind him. He stopped a foot in front of the platform where the young man is and unrolled the fancy piece of paper he was holding then read aloud:

"Mr. Victor Shamus for your man crimes which include: smuggling, piracy, several counts of arson, and murder, you will be hung by the neck until dead. May God have mercy on your soul."

"Sorry, I've never believed in such a thing" The youth responded with a smile.

The tempo of the drummer's beat increased as if something climatic is about to happen. A man garbed head to toe in black came from behind him and wrapped the noose and tightened it around the Victor's neck. The man stepped down and grabbed a lever connected to the gallows and waited.

The armored officer nodded to the executioner as he rolled up the paper. The executioner pulled the lever next to him and with that the floor under Victor gave way, causing him to plummet through the floor and toward the ocean. Finally! He thought as he cut the ropes binding his neck, arms, and legs using what appeared to be darkness coming from under his skin. Using that same ability, he used it to launch himself on top of the gallows. "Hahaha! Remember this day as the day you almost hun-whoa! Whoa!!" He said before being assaulted by gunfire. He dove from the top of the gallows through a window of the prison next door into an office with a huge map behind an important-looking desk.

"Let's see, let's see" Victor said to himself as he looked around the office. "Now where's my stuff" He added while looking above, behind, and under everything that isn't nailed down. The only things he found of value when he got done turning the office inside out was: some munny (not his), some sort of schedule, a picture of some woman (which was thrown out the window), and some more munny (still not his).

He pulls out the drawer under the desk and finds what he was looking for, a flintlock pistol without any rounds and a silver pocketwatch with an emblem on it. "Nice!" He said holstering the pistol and putting his newly acquired munny and watch in his, well, pocket after checking to see if it worked and stashed the schedule in it. It was then when lightly armored soldiers came in. "Crap!" He shouted before he jumped out another window to avoid the firing squad onto the roofs of the buildings in the town.
 
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Eva

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"That is a complete and total ripoff!" The red haired girl yelled, slamming her hands onto the counter.

The cashier seemed unfazed, but raised an eyebrow in curiousity. "Ma'am, the prices are clearly set, there isn't much I can do--"

"Like hell! Five hundred money for a piece of toast and coffee?!" The girl was clearly riled up, raising her voice so the entire place could hear her. "It's highway robbery! Madness! I demand to see your manager!"

Finally getting annoyed, he rubbed his temples gingerly, trying to figure out how the hell to get her to shut up. "Listen, I can't do much, we charge what we charge, I'm sorry, how 'bout I throw in a donut?" rossing her arms across her chest, the girl glared at him, and the two just glared at each other as the place went eerily quiet. After a moment or two of just glaring, the cashier raised his hands in defeat, subtracting some from her total. "That'll be three hundred fifty munny...ma'am."

With victory in her hands, the girl grinned, uncrossing her arms and fishing some munny out of a small pouch at the side of her outfit, and gently handed it to the cashier. "You have a good day, too. ♥" She replied cheerfully, practically skipping out of the place.

As stingy as it was, Venus needed to keep a close eye on her munny, especially in places like those that charge you for every little thing. That, and she was starting to run out; she had plenty for the moment, but in the long run, it probably wouldn't last too much longer. With a small sigh, she took a quick look above and narrowed her eyes as she squinted at the clouds. It was an odd, odd place.

What to do, what to do...
 

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Nadine could keep at this forever. Her blue eyes intent on her work, her hands moving over the canvas in a graceful motion, like watching the most pretegious ballet company perform, and her figure, swaying side to side as she took each stroke. Taking a step back, she took a moment to critique her work. Her canvas was huge, twice as big as her, and so she had to use a stool to help reach the top, but still, it wasn't as dark as the rest of the painting. It gave it a hidden concept. That no matter how dark everything seemed, there's always going to be some light that can be unseen now, but will someday shine.

Not even thinking about it, she wiped the side of her hand on her face, and then smelled the familiar stench of oil paints.
"Really? Like really?" Going into the nearest restroom, she looked at her face, and saw a red smear coming across her mouth to the corner of her eye.

"Jeez, it looks like someone punched me right in the face with brass knuckles..." Shruging a little bit, she wiped most of it off with a paper towel, but still some of it remained, adding a sunburned look to her cheek. It looked like she put way too much blush on only one side of her face. Giving a sigh she collected her stuff and left the old place.

She always went there to paint. The old man who lived there used to know her older sister, and always had let Nadine paint in the spacious attic. He was always gone anyways, off running errands. It wasn't like he would mind. Putting up the hood on her zip-up sweater, she avoided the people walking the streets. It was cloudy out, no sun, just dark, enough to weaken her substantially. She kept her head down low, and continued walking.
 

nightmarezeroX9

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The wind was blowing a cool breeze, the grass and wild flowers weaving and dancing along with it. The grass was very soft to lay down upon and stretch, which Jack was already doing. He had originally taken his dog out for a walk, but for some reason he felt incredibly drowsy, and stopped in the perfect spot. He had let his dog, Rex, off of his leash, but instead of walking off he plopped his whole self straight down next to where Jack had been stretching himself out. It had been a full thirty minutes since he stopped, and he was in no rush to go home immediately. Besides, he needed to stop at the store so he could pick up a few things to eat for the next few weeks.

Stretching out his whole body and letting out a wide and obnoxious yawn, Jack snapped over to face Rex, and attached his leash to his collar, and stood straight upwards. Brushing the back of his jacket and the back of his jeans, and began to take off towards the grocery store. Rex was keeping up with him at a good pace, panting and skipping about happily. He was one of the things in this world that Jack could never get mad at, and pretty much the only 'family' he had. Right now he was content with that, since he was alone most of his life. Approaching the small store, he could overhear in a nearby shop a small commotion involving raised voices. Peaking over to look into the window, he could see a girl complaining about whatever the phuck it was. Maybe if she knew the word around town, that one particular place had overbearing prices for cheap food and drink. Shrugging and not caring, he continued his short distance to the front of the store. There was a pole outside for him to tie Rex's leash to, which he had already done. After doing that, he walked into the even cooler store, and began his shopping trip.
 

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As expected of Azusa, she had snatched the tray right back and began pouring delicious syrup along the pancakes. He had always wondered what inspired her to feed him like this every morning, but she never made mention of a younger sibling she had. That ruled out any responsibilities she had at home. Her love of cooking (although she was still working on her skills) was easy to recognize, but to personally feed him and not even let him so much as touch the tray himself was a little strange to him. For the past few years he hasn't complained, as it seemed to make her happy despite all the circumstances in which he brought her here. Azusa was his apprentice, and a trustworthy companion. There weren't many girls like her anywhere.

Without the knife, Azusa would be unable to cut up the pancakes, and as he noticed, she did as well. Taking it upon herself to do it the normal way, her darkness was channeled through her hand, and giving it a good zap, it allowed the pancakes to neatly be cut, showing how far Azusa had come when it came to control and precision. However, while the edges of the pancakes were noticeably darker, Van couldn't shake the feeling of the breakfast food being somehow different, and while he suspected Azusa knew something went wrong, he was certain it wouldn't stop her from feeding him. As his mouth opened to comment on the situation, she stabbed a stack of the pancakes she cut and forced it into his mouth. Pausing and letting the maple goodness coat his tongue, he slowly pulled it from the fork and chewed.

It was hard to ignore her rumbling stomach, and he turned his head towards her entirely.

"We can eat downstairs..your hungry." stating the obvious that Azusa tried so desperately to hide, her actions didn't stop, and instead she grabbed another stack of pancakes with her fork, guiding it to her mouth. Now Van had mixed feelings about sharing that fork with his apprentice. On one hand, they've been in the same bed, as Azusa had trouble sleeping alone when it came to storms and bad weather in general. Nothing ever happened. She climbed in and cuddled with him comfortably, and was sleeping minutes later. And on the other hand, they were sharing the same forks ..something lovers did. He didn't have the gall to stop her, and he didn't have to, as the wavering fork did a 180 from her mouth and to his slightly open one. Narrowing his eyes at her, he pulled free and chewed before swallowing and speaking.

"As I was saying ...we can go downstairs and eat. Your hungry. Eat off my plate if you'd like, the bacon looks like it turned out nicely this time."

Unless of course, it was secretly undercooked and she wouldn't tell him ...Azusa was good at presentation but quality was ..different.


"Besides, we're in for a long day ..I think you're ready." Ready. A word Van would rarely use when it was absolutely not true. He had been monitoring those in the Influx who showed an unusual amount of strength within themselves, specifically spiritual strength. One in particular, he suspected to be one of his two real targets. Van had admitted to his apprentices that he did know of the two he needed, and as eager as they were to aid him, he decided against it and had them train further. If he was correct, he was currently tracking the strongest one of the four spirits, and had been doing so for some time now. She was the most powerful, and would logically be the more troublesome to bring down.


"Can I count on you?" Van inquired, joking but not displaying such a feature on his focused face. If Azusa wasn't ready, then perhaps he'd leave it to Fleur ..or perhaps not Fleur at all. He'd do it alone if he was meant to, he wasn't afraid, but he didn't want the instruction he gave his apprentices to be for nothing. Van was no coward, but these girls always sought to improve themselves.


-


A small creature rose up a few feet in front of Venus and stared at her, its body twitching and jerking around strangely as it did so. Its yellow eyes watched her carefully, as it was to gauge her power and see how strong this person really was. The spirit of Love, said to be the physically stronger when it came to pure power, however one of the more innocent types when it came to battling. The shadow fiend was soon joined by another beside it, and then another on its other side. Rising from the ground came a total of seven shadow fiends all around Venus, and all just appeared to be watching her for a while.


Without warning, mere moments later the one nearest her left side leaped in the air to attack her with its sharp claws, small, but painful. When it was destroyed, the others would end up joining in, following her wherever she went, intending to be only a minor test. If she really was as powerful as her spirit energy gave off, this would be a short battle.
 

Lumine

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There was a faint, slight tapping against the dark polished wooden floors of the attic. Steady, slow but definitely rhyming to the ears. The only source of illumination in the spacious room was a soft yellowish white glow scattering from a single decorative lantern laid upon small ornate round table against the plain ivory white walls. It shed a relaxing atmosphere upon the silent room and the lone willowy figure lying lazily on that one single bed in the cotner. Her bare, manicured feet dangled lazily to the ground, drumming melodically to the tunes streaming through the headphones perching on her pink crown. A low, sweet humming escaped her lips once in a while in synch with the music as she lay there across the messy bed, gazing at the distant and painted domed ceiling of her room. A colorful and breathtaking imagery of a velvet midnight sky, strewn with diamonds of stars.

Those sleepy deep bluish-greens were off again in their own little world, faraway from this cozy and finely decorated attic, from this centric dark castle, from the gloominess of Influx, almost detached from the material reality. The pink haired girl was not lying on her comfy blue and white bed cushions, she was there again back in her home, laying against the tiled roof of her house enjoying the mint scented breeze as she gazed to the real sky, listening to the wind carrying her younger sister's quarrels with her younger brother, the smell of the delicious cooking of her mother, her father's voice lecturing both of her siblings...Those distant memories were so...-

She sighed, flipping to her side as she plucked off the headphones and clicked stop her music, registering the time from the clock beside her bed. They must be up by now. With one quick spring, she was standing gracefully to her feet, stretching and yawning. Might as well, get some breakfast, Fleur smiled at the thought of a delicious cup of coffee and quickly put on her boots. Seconds later she was descending the stairs on her way to the kitchen when she heard voices coming from Van's room, apparently Azusa was serving breakfast as usual. A playful smirk made it's way upon Fleur's lips and the pink haired Wielder giggled mentally at the thought. With a couple of knocks, Fleur slid into the room just right when Azusa was shoving a piece of pancake into Van's mouth. And there seemed there was a talk about a mission, the thought sent tingles of curiosity and excitment to Fleur's little head.

"G'morning" She chirped as she stepped inside, crossing her hands behind her back. Though at the site of her KeyMaster's bare chest and Azusa's apparent red face, she raised a single eyebrow naughtily before she brushed aside the thought.

"So What's that talk about a task for the day?" Her gaze seemed to glint with challenge as she looked at both of her companions. If it's something she could test her skills against, then she's all for it. At least, if he thinks she's ready enough. Well, three years under a master can change a lot of things.

"uh! and is there anything left for breakfast?" Fleur questioned innocently, rubbing a hand against her tummy before she caught sight of the funny pancakes. ehe!, She eyed the tray suspiciously, her nose had sniffed the smell of something burnt. Better stick with the coffee and toast.
 

King Wolfe

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Of course Azusa was ready! There was no doubt about it, Azusa's eyes flared with determination as a playful smile made its way to her face. She couldn't help but feel giddy, she always got excited when it came to fighting or showing her strength plus she wanted to prove to everyone in the world that darkness wasn't a terrible force.

"Is there any doubt in your mind my dear master?" Azusa grinned, she gripped the fork tighter and methodically stabbed a piece of bacon and held it close to her mouth, "I can be trust-worthy, after all I cooked this breakfast didn't I?" Before she could eat the piece of bacon Fleur had graced the room with her presence, Azusa had always liked Fleur. There was something about her that was appealing, she felt comfortable around the girl.

"Ah, actually.." she looked at Van nervously, she didn't want to admit that she had tore up the kitchen cooking this small meal and had exhausted the supply of bacon and accidentally spilled the milk and eggs all over the floor and had to spent the time cleaning it up allowing the bacon to overcook. "I-I dunno~." Azusa said innocently as she scratched the back of her head.

"I think we're out of milk actually." Even though we bought some yesterday... She shrugged and absentmindedly stuck the piece of bacon in her mouth and chewed on it thoughtfully. After 3 bites several thoughts occurred, one: she had just eaten from the same fork that Van had eaten from and two: she had eaten a burnt piece of bacon. The bitter taste erupted in her mouth and Azusa stood up holding her neck, she looked around desperately to find a place to spit out the rancid piece of bacon but alas there wasn't a suitable container.

She glanced over at Van and remembered it wasn't ladylike to be spitting out food. Azusa forced herself to swallow the piece of bacon and as the breakfast treat slid down her throat she nearly gagged out of reflex. She took the cup of orange juice and drank three huge gulps to wash out the taste. Satisfied she placed the cup down to notice it was empty, and she noticed that the tray of food was scattered over the floor. Ah... Shit..

She wiped her mouth and smiled at the two, "I'll clean that up." She promised childishly.
 
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Strolling through the town Hanahime frowned at a piece of paper in her hands. It was a shopping list, full of things her father wanted her to buy before the dark hour began. She found it annoying that he constantly sent her on errands, just because she was immune to the effects of the dark hour. Looking up she noticed dark clouds crowding the sky, that, and the fact that it was windy made her think it could rain soon. That would just be the rotten cherry on the top of an onion sunday if it did rain.

Reaching the store she saw a rather tall young man enter, as a red haired woman exited. Hanahime was hesitant to enter, the place had pretty high prices on it's goods. The owner was most likely taking advantage of the fact that there were hardly any other stores nearby. Letting out a sigh she took a step towards the store, but stopped when a German Shepherd began barking. It didn't seem to be barking at her, more like something behind her. Turning around she was shocked to see a small group of black creatures.
"What.. The hell!?" Hanahime jumped back, unsure as to what to do about them. One of the creatures leaped towards the red haired girl, it's claws threatening to hurt her.
"Hey strawberry-head, LOOK OUT!" She screamed at the girl, hopefully getting her attention.
 

Eva

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As the creatures surrounded her, Venus watched each of them. She had to stay calm; she waited until each of them was fully surfaced, for she could not touch them if they were submerged with the ground. Raising her right arm to her side, with a brilliant, flower-petaled flash her Keyblade was at her side. Whether it was coincedence or not, one of them suddenly leapt. Before she could respond, however, a shout distracted her.

Her head turned to the source, a big mistake; the Shadow leapt at her. As she turned back to it, she had instinctively raised her keyblade against it, and by some dumb luck, actually blocked its attack. Finally getting a firm grip, she back-stepped away from it, her weapon at her side as she executed a clean, fresh cut. Unfortunately, once the Shadow faded, the others sprang to life; each of them went on the offensive.

Biting her lip, Venus quickly gathered her thoughts and acted; summoning the light inside her heart, a bright light erupted from her, covering her body entirely. As each Shadow touched her light, it writhed in pain before dissapearing. One by one, they came to her and fell, until they were no more. As the light faded, she gave a long sigh of relief.

I didn't think I could actually do it... Venus thought as her Keyblade flashed itself away, scratching her head. Turning to the source of the voice, she placed her hands on her hips, pouting. "Hey, I take slight offense to that nickname!" She called, irritated.
 
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The black creature was dangerously close to clawing this woman's throat out, Hanahime was ready to summon her keyblade. Her hand stretched out and ready to grasp it, however a familiar flash came from the young woman.
"No way..." Hana muttered, letting her hand fall to her side. This strawberry head also had a keyblade, and from the looks of it was not a stranger to combat. Some sort of warm light came from her body, and the little monsters vanished one by one. As she called away her keyblade Hana was standing there with her mouth open, an astonished look on her face.

"Hey, I take slight offense to that nickname!" The woman yelled at her, snapping Hana back to normal. Closing her mouth her normal scowl spread across her features.
"Well, sorry~" She walked closer to her, then leaning her head towards her and awkwardly examining her. She grabbed her right arm, and lightly squeezed her biceps. Letting her go she took a step back.
"You're tougher than you look, and that makes you good in my book..." She made a disturbed face as she realized she just rhymed there, an annoying habit her father has.
"A-anyway, you have a keyblade like I do. So It's only proper that we introduce ourselves right? I'm Hanahime Igawa." She held out her hand for her to shake.
 

nightmarezeroX9

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The inside of the store was always modern looking, despite the outside appearance of it. Though small and locally run, the place seemed like it was doing very well, which it was. Everything in there was fresh, looked fresh, and smelled fresh. The qualities of a well ran business when it came to grocery stores. Always Jack found himself coming here instead of the mainline places since the prices were always cheap. Compared to the mainline stores, their food was slightly less better than this place, and most of their food was priced up too high, and even if it was bought, most of the time it wasn't that good.

After grabbing a shopping cart and going to all of the aisles that he had planned to, his cart was shortly filled with a bunch of essential food items, and a few snack items. Not to mention drinks. He walked up to the cash register to pay for all of his items. Once he had finished that, which took a few more minutes than he had thought, he began to walk towards the door when he could hear Rex barking, more loudly and more aggressive than usual. Normally he only barks and a passerby, but it seems like he saw something that really got him riled up. Hopefully nothing that couldn't calm him down. Walking outside, he could see a very short woman standing near Rex, and shouting across the street. That wasn't causing him to bark, but what was across the street seemed to be setting him off. Looking over, he could see that shadow like creatures were all over the place, attacking the same girl he saw arguing about her purchase. He would have possibly helped if he felt like it, but she seemed like she was able to handle herself since she didn't seem panicked and all. At first she really seemed like she didn't know how to fight, until she cleanly cut through one the fiends, and destroyed the others with a bright flash of light. After that fantastic and nearly blinding display of brilliant light, everything seemed in order.

Putting down the three bags of groceries that Jack had bought, he untied Rex from the pole he had previously bound his leash to. Once again picking up the bags of groceries and placing them in a position where he could hug them to his body, he took Rex's leash with his free hand and began to walk back home. Shaking his head, he mentally commented about how everything in this world was weird and messed up, and nothing was ever 'normal'. Taking one glance back at the site of the incident, he let out a sigh, turned into a back alley, and disappeared with Rex, without any trace of where he went.
 

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Azusa's fighting spirit kicked in as Van had hoped, and she was ready, too ready in fact, to display her strength and show how far she had come. Responding to him and grinning with confidence in her own unique attributes, he expected her to accomplish her task without fail. Azusa was his more trusted apprentice, her view of independence rather limited, as she enjoyed her time with him these past three years. Fleur, while he did respect her, had previous loyalties to another master who was now dead, and she had originated from the Light's teachings. While Van was more neutral than he was taking a side, both sides tended to agree on who was better or worse, which was absolutely stupid. As a result, Van had always given Azusa more opportunities than he gave Fleur, but did so enough so that it was hardly noticed. It was wrong, but Azusa was his favorite, and he wouldn't lie if asked, but wouldn't go so far as to proudly state it as well. His second apprentice was a nice young woman and she was free to abandon his teachings if she so chose. Azusa never showed signs of wanting to abandon him. He could count on her.

His dark blue eyes examined the underside of the bacon Azusa had raised, noticing the severely burnt bottom and snorting silently in a little laughter. Like he said previously. Presentation, she did lovely ..but quality, she had to work on. Turning out of bed just as Azusa realized what she was chewing on, he looked towards Fleur and stood up, the covers revealing nothing except black sweatpants and bare feet. "Good morning Fleur.." Van nodded his head to her, Azusa looking at him awkwardly before swallowing the bacon out of respect. He smelled as he always did, clean, masculine, and almost like rain, odd yet pleasurable to smell to some. Showering hours ago, he didn't need to do so now, and Azusa may not be able to resist jumping in to try to wash him and get her task.

He had picked up a special technique that took him quite some time to manage. By placing his normal outfit in an enclosed space in his own personal realm of darkness, he could store it there and call it to him whenever he so chose. Stepping over the tray Azusa had dropped, he snapped his fingers, two small shadow fiends coming to life on his carpet and moving towards the mess, picking up the tray and the fork, and gathering most of the thick food and placing it on the tray as well. What was left were merely small crumbs and a few smudges of syrup. The one shadow that wasn't holding the tray, ended up getting down and devouring all that was left until the carpet was surprisingly spotless.

Satisfied, they both carefully left the room and towards the kitchen.

While all of that was happening, Van had changed into his normal attire instantly, darkness having gathered around his body and effectively placing the clothing on for him. Boots, pants, shirt, shoulderpad, belt, headband, cape, everything. He was prepared.

"I intend for Azusa to do this task herself, but I'll need you to back her up Fleur, in case anything goes ..not in our favor." Van had enough 'heroes' ..the timely arrivals grew annoying. "If the legend of the Four is true, you may be engaging the strongest of them momentarily. Are you ready for that?"

Van didn't expect any objection from Fleur to take the role as 'back-up' since it was a fair job, besides, he planned to have her engage 'Hope' but one thing at a time. Azusa would be getting to take on 'Love'.
 

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Looking down at the empty streets that riddled the world of Influx Caleb found himself in a position that he himself did not like. Somewhere within the thousands of homes and apartments resided the four Chosen beings embodying the spirits of Love, Hope, Anger, and Chaos. He had going against his nature decided to intervene finally in this war and defend these beings before darkness again takes over.

“But where to start,” Caleb murmured to himself as he sat down off the ledge of one of the skyscrapers that made up one of the cities of Influx. He knew he could sense them if they were close and he knew that so could the Master of Darkness which meant it was all a race against the clock and if there was one thing Caleb hated doing it was rushing into situations without thinking. Caleb raised his head to the sky took a deep breath and let out a sigh, “and what should I do if I find one of these spirits follow them the rest of my life?” Caleb smiled, “yeah right,” Caleb looked back down and streets. It was no longer Dark Hour which ment it was going to be even harder to search for the spirits being as everyone was out and about. Caleb knew that this wasnt the best time to find one of these chosen four but agian it was a race agianst the clock, still even so it was a big world and he was only one man.

“Well guess I better get moving,” Caleb said standing himself up, he began walking toward the middle of the roof and in an instant a light portal opened up and he walked through it. Not two seconds later another portal opened on the street of where Caleb had been looking at from the roof and out of the portal stepped Caleb. “Best I start my search,” Caleb uttered to himself as he began walking down the vacant alleys, “it’s going to be a long day.”
 
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Azusa humbly smiled as Van cleaned up the mess. Inwardly she was cursing herself for acting so idiotic about the whole thing, she needed to shape up and be more mature. She made a mental note to start practicing elegant mannerisms and such. She followed him without a word and nervousness began to set in. No, no, it wasn't exactly nervousness, more like anxiety. Azusa had been far too lax these days, she was itching to fight. It wasn't like she could just go outside and randomly pick a fight with someone so there were quite a few opportunities to show off her skills.

But then again she had a Master to train with. But when she wasn't fawning over him she was busily practicing by herself. It wasn't that she didn't trust Van's teachings it is just she liked to practice something over and over until she had it down. Nevertheless Azusa tuned in when Van looked at her expectantly, ah crap what did she miss this time?

She had a habit of spacing out, it was annoying but she couldn't control it. Azusa just had an active imagination is all. Flustered Azusa backtracked what Van was saying. Something about Love and spirits and powerful people. She may as well take a stab in the dark.

Azusa pumped her fist excitingly, "Yosh! I'm ready for this." She felt pumped up, a bit excited as adrenaline coursed through her body and in her euphoric state she mustered up all of the courage she had and hugged Van. "Thank you! I won't let you down!" Pulling away Azusa couldn't help but smile like an idiot.

Van with frightening resolution had provided a method of transportation for his two apprentices. A portal of darkness molded into reality from the very shadows, he assured them that it would lead to the Spirit. Azusa nodded and jumped right into the portal and allowed the darkness to overwhelm her.

"Ah, so which one is it Fleur?" Azusa's voice resonated off the old city, it was omnipotent it seemed. Her voice came from everywhere and nowhere. She shimmered into existence as her body melted off the shadows off the floor directly in front of Venus. Azusa grinned and crouched slightly.

"I can feel the resonating energy from your spirit but it is damned difficult to focus on." Azusa admitted, she had been trained to make her body sensitive to spiritual energy but it was almost impossible to focus on the Spirit of Love. It felt too bright for her, she could feel the warmth and the power Love emitted but pinpointing its exact location was far from Azusa's abilities even though she is right in front of the ancient spirit.

"But it has to be you huh?" She pointedly said to Venus. Azusa brandished her sword, "I'm sorry but I have take you with me." Well she wasn't exactly sorry so she felt a little bad for lying.
 

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Fleur couldn't but shake her head, a heartening smile painting her small lips as a fluttering chuckle escaped her. Azusa's utter carelessness in managing the house chores to please everyone was rather childish but surprisingly cute and adorable in a way, even if cleaning up later was such a pain. Irritation or whatever annoyance would rise to the surface but when Azusa looks at Fleur with that innocent smile, Fleur's defenses always fell down. She liked Azusa, despite keeping her distance emotionally from both of her companions, Azusa had a certain charm about her that's hard to resist and Fleur found herself eventually feeling eased around the girl even if she denied that her presence was pleasant.

"Heh, at least the coffee is still intact." She said nonchalantly, flicking her glassy orbs to Van who was rising out of bed. He stood tall, his freshly yet darkened scent whiffed in the air of the room, like everything else in the castle. His presence was like a mantle that covered everything around in an atmosphere of his own touch. He wasn't a Master of Darkness out of nothing, he was different, distinct no matter how ordinary a human he might look to the eyes. Ever so effortlessly, he called on his minions of dark creatures to fix the mess Azusa had erupted a moment ago as he nodded his good morning to Fleur. Clothing wrapping up his being from thin air as he called at his own darkness.

"I intend for Azusa to do this task herself, but I'll need you to back her up Fleur, in case anything goes ..not in our favor." He voiced, his darkened blues switching their focus at her momentarily before he continued, more thoughts of importance taking his attention. "If the legend of the Four is true, you may be engaging the strongest of them momentarily. Are you ready for that?" He asked.

Fleur's young visage lit up at his words, the messy pink strands fluttered ever so slightly as a soft breeze scattered about, as those deep sea blues stared back intensely at her Master's inquiry, sparks of challenge swimming in their pools. Am I ready, huh?, I've never been more ready like now.

"What do you expect? Of course, I am ready. Let no doubt cloud that." She voiced calmly and yet every word left the confidence trailing evident in the air. He seemed to register her words as he walked past her and out of the room. And soon enough, I'll be ready for you too...Soon enough., Fleur determined in her thoughts, her gaze following him and Azusa as they passed her out of the door. Her steps soon echoed behind them as she descended to the kitchen as well. Back up or not, she flinched mentally, it's still a good chance to test my progress a bit, even if Azusa was gonna take the lead in this task.. She wasn't going to complain, Azusa was more than a force to reckon for, or, perhaps he thinks I'm not ready enough.... She pondered for a second but quickly shook the thought out of the way. He's free to think as he likes, She determined, He's a master and all and he knows what he's doing, I'm just gonna do what I'm good at, as far as this goes the only thing important is to make this task successful. Azusa deserves this from me. I know I'll get my chance soon enough...even if I'll have to make it myself.

"Yosh! I'm ready for this." Azusa announced enthusiastically, cutting right through Fleur's train of thought. Hehe, Azusa's sure excited

"Thank you! I won't let you down!" She voiced loudly as she stepped into a portal of darkness conjured by none other than Van himself. What can I say?, He's not one to waste time.

"See you in a bit." Fleur said over her back, a slight smile wavering about her beautiful features as she waved a two fingered salute and stepped through the portal behind Azusa.

A few seconds ran by and they were standing in one of the large City's numerous streets. As soon as Fleur stepped into the gloominess of the city once again, her eyes started to scan her surroundings for both layout and leads on their target. If his words were true about the legend, then that spirit would have a powerful presence, something that would significantly react against their darkness.

"Ah, so which one is it Fleur?" Azusa wondered by her side as she in turn started to seek the presence as well. Fleur let her senses respond to the currents in the immediate area, letting them flow into her ears with whatever whispers around told and scents about whiffed. She was once of Light, and she knew how it smelled like...how it felt to be bathed in that brilliant pure white. Luckily, she did catch something across the sea of currents, though she couldn't exactly pinpoint it, but surely it was close by. "I'm not entirely sure Azusa, but" She allowed her scrutinizingly orbs to sweep the individuals close by. "It's close, though..." She voiced absentmindedly as she noticed that girl. The one red haired girl standing not so far from them along with another one, was it her imagination or was there an air about her that seemed so...inviting?, Fleur recognized the feeling though. That girl radiated enough of it, to fill the whole world...what was that feeling again...?

But Azusa had already known it was her, that Venus was the one within their reach that had the greatest potential to be the Spirit Van talked of. "I'm sorry but I have take you with me." Azusa brandished her elegant sword and pointed it to Venus. Straight forward, huh?, Fleur noted to herself keeping to where she stood as she watched Azusa make her move. She wasn't going to interfere unless the situation called for, sure that girl could be pretty powerful but Azusa was not someone to take lightly as well. She was doing it out of respect to her comrade.

Now what will you do?
 
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Theia walked along the streets of The Influx for a while until she stopped and sighed. "This is hard..." She whined to herself. She mentally slapped herself. "No, I shouldn't say that. I have to find them. I'm sure the Master of Twilight is doing the same."

She took a deep breath. There has to be a sign that one of the chosen are here. And she had to get to them quick, before the Master of Darkness does. She started walking again, a slight frown on her face. "Why can't we be in harmony together?" She asked aloud.

It was no longer Dark Hour and Theia felt wonderful. In addition to that, people were bustling about the city, maybe in some confusion. But still, it felt a lot nicer seeing people.

"Wait!" She grabs his hand. "Don't go out there alone!"
"I'm not alone." He said, smiling warmly as he hugged her. "You're not alone."


Theia grimaced and shook her head. Even though she hated remembering, they just invaded. And she might have just been allowing it herself, because she was afraid of forgetting every memory she had with him.

And then she felt an ominous presence somewhere. She also felt a strong presence of...Light. She glanced around. The ominous presence felt faint, but they seem to be close to each other. She quickened her pace. It could be the person she was looking for. Ugh, I'm so slow, she thought as she searched.
 
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