After bringing back all of the materials both sides had found, everyone was back at Orie’s residence, wondering how the materials will play into their plans, as well. Flamme also decided to use this time for the group unacquainted with Xavier and Cassandra to introduce themselves.
Tokatsu: So you were sent by the Magic Guild in Ishana to stop this? I guess they don’t want a repeat of the dark war’s events, or the powers of the Nox Nyctores in the wrong hands.
Cassandra: We’re trying after all.
Tokatsu: I wouldn’t blame you. It’s nice to meet someone with that kind of dedication, Cassandra.
Cassandra: Well, we’re still just rookies after all.
Tokatsu: We? Unless you refer to your companion.
Ventus: The familiar is probably who you mean, Tokatsu.
Lucky: She means me, yep. (Barks)
Tokatsu: Heh, interesting familiar.
Elettrico: So what’s it like being a ninja? Do you use a katana?
Xavier: Much like my sensei, I use my fists!
Elettrico: Heh, fistfighting is how I fight too! And Ventus uses his feet!
Ventus: Yep, I got greaves to do my talking.
Xavier: If I am lucky, when my sensei is ready, he will pass down to me his gauntlets of flame so that I may use them.
Ventus: Heh, that ought to be cool to see. I wield wind with my greaves. And with her tonfas, Elettrico wields electricity. I bet your master was a great ninja.
Xavier: Indeed, he was, and still is!
Matt: Yeah, he’s actually quite strong. Also he wielded one of the more powerful Nox Nyctores.
Ventus: Really? What was it?
Xavier: You have never heard of Rettenjo?
Ventus: I heard it by name once. But I never thought it was strong.
Matt: I said I didn’t want another possible attempt at the day of destruction!
Ventus: Well enough on that, what does it look like? Probably something small if it causes the day of destruction. Sounds like a possible detonator kind of weapon.
Xavier: It is the nail he wears on his back. I hope that he one days gives me the weapons he uses to create his signature flames.
Ventus: Oh, so you’re the trainee of that Ikaruga ninja I heard things about. I heard a lot of good from a friend of mine. Wielded a...pretty big sword.
Matt rolls his neck, no one in particular had come to mind when he mentioned the sword.
Xavier: Perhaps one day we will meet this man who wields a big sword.
Ventus: He’s a great guy… Fair warning, he’s a skirt chaser somewhat.
Matt: ...Okay then.
Flamme: I think I have an idea who he might be Ventus, but for now let’s get the list checked, so we can see what other materials are needed.
Matt nodded, quickly pulling out the blueprints once again he soon crosses out the supplies the two groups have gathered.
Elettrico: So we found leads for Bolverk and Yukianesa. I bet if we’re quick we can stop them before they start the soul conjuring process.
Ame: Trying to reform Noel Vermillion’s and Jin Kisaragi’s former weapons, I see. Both were deadly.
Matt: The fact that the latter is still alive, I pray for our sake he doesn’t find out. I don’t think he’ll take it well. Neither would Miss Tsubaki.
Ventus: Heh, if they have no souls, their just plain old weapons, no ice, no hail of bullets. Just a plain old katana with a cool-looking sheath, and twin pistols.
Matt: That’s a..good way to look at things, Ventus. But we can’t be so calm though. This is involving the government. If they have someone with that kind of experience, they WILL have them in working capacity. And then mass-produce them for the MOR’s men!
Ame: Mass-produce would be difficult. The process cannot be done at will. However, we cannot even allow one to be made.
Matt: That’s our plan, stop it before even one can be made.
Tokatsu: But who in the MOR would have experience with the Nox Nyctores?
Matt: Only one man I know, and he technically has a knockoff of Deus Machina and Fluxus Redactum. The latter also being a more.. ‘better’ knockoff.
???: My ears are burning...
Tokatsu, Ventus, Flamme, and Elettrico were understandably taken aback and quickly take stances, unaware of where the voice was coming from. The man comes out from behind a tree, which his Deus Machina right behind him.
Matt: Tabor?! How the hell did you find us?!
Tabor: Now where would the fun in that be.
Ame steps in front of Aiko.
Flamme: So Akane was correct..! You did have involvement to a degree in the project!
Ventus: Any words before we take you down?
Matt: Guys, wait! Tabor’s dangerous! It’d be a bad idea to go in head on!
Tabor: Oh don’t worry, I do not plan to fight here, I have quite the different intention here.
Ventus and Flamme look to each other, Matt sighs as he decides to step up in front of the group.
Matt: To be perfectly honest, as long as it isn’t anything to demoralize us. Or if it involves Aiko… I ‘guess’ I could hear you out.
Matt put a lot of emphasis on ‘guess’, he had doubts that Tabor would come out in the open with intent other than fighting. He crosses his arms as he stared dead-on at Tabor.
Matt: But if you laid a finger on my sister, or have any intent of doing the same to Aiko or my friends, consider yourself deported back to Kazamotsu.
Tabor: I have no interest in your sister. As for your friends, I have quite the vested interest in Flamme.
Flamme: ..? And pray tell how you know my name. Unless it was an inside source who informed you.
Flamme soon steps right next to Matt, equally disdainful of Tabor, one hand handling her rapier.
Tabor: Actually, I know quite about you. A red panda beastkin with O type blood.
Flamme: …Okay if you knew that from the get go, you somehow can read into a person without trying. If you had an informant… You have a very good informant.
Tabor: Isn’t that right...Aiko?
Matt quickly attempts to attack Tabor, Flamme grabs him to try and hold him back
Matt: What did you do to her?! Tell me!
Tabor: Oh I’ve done very little. But I’m sure Ame can tell you how much I’ve done.
Tabor: You see, while approaching Aiko head-on would be impossible due to interference by Ame and her sister. I devised a more, interesting way, of causing her powers to...how do you say it, spin out of control?
Matt: ..So it was YOU who is causing her powers to fluctuate!
Tokatsu: What sick man are you to do such a thing to an innocent child?!
Tabor: Such meaningless drivel. Everything can be experimented with. For example, without even moving, I could place a bug into this red panda beastkin, and even force her to do as I wish without even having to order her.
Flamme, understandably, backs off. Letting Matt go in the process, who again attempts to punch Tabor, this time stopped by Tokatsu. Who at this point was glaring daggers at Tabor.
Tokatsu: ..I will not let that happen. Like Aiko means a lot to Ame and Matt, Flamme means a lot to me. Touch her, and I will unleash an ice age that you cannot evade.
Tokatsu tosses Matt back towards Ame.
Tokatsu: Hold him… This man is mine.
Ventus: Tokatsu, WAIT!
Ame keeps Matt back. Tabor simply smiles and gives off a hearty laugh.
Tabor: How simple it is to fool you with misinformation. I have done nothing to the girl. I simply wanted to test you all. Sadly, you are all as gullible as I had predicted. Either way, I am here not to fight but to speak to two people among your ranks.
Ventus: Then speak. We don’t have all day, and if you take too long, we’ll unleash Hell in the form of Tokatsu and Matt, whom I’m sure at this point...are willing to beat you to a pulp.
Ventus’ green eyes stared deep into Tabor’s masked face. His scowl seemed deep as well, showing a side no one had known Ventus had.
Tabor: Very well. If you don’t ‘have the time’, perhaps I can ‘make the time’.
Alexis suddenly activates causing them to be slowed down so that Tabor’s movements seemed incredibly fast.
Tabor: I do apologize for this, but I do not have time to deal with those that are not privy to what I intend to do.
He walks between them and places mechanical bugs on Flamme and Elettrico. He then returns to his spot as the time ticks away at the field. Time then seemingly returns to normal as Alexis goes back to her dormant state.
Matt: ...What the hell did she just do?!
Ventus: It looked as if he sped himself up!
Tokatsu: Time manipulation??!
Tabor: Sadly, this sort of thing causes Alexis to overexert herself. So I must simply be going. I hope that Flamme and Elettrico will ‘show you a good time’.
With that, he turns and begins to walk away.
Matt: Damn it, Tabor…!
Matt soon manages to break free from Ame’s grip, quickly as he escapes he was grabbed by both Flamme and Elettrico, their faces were emotionless. Possibly as results of the bugs Tabor had planted on them.
Aiko: What happened to them?
Tokatsu: ...Flamme, Elettrico! Say something..!
Elettrico: It’s...nothing Tokatsu! I have no idea what happened…!
Flamme: Matt! How is this even happening?!
Matt: Tabor must’ve done something! But I dunno what!
Ventus: Tch.. We can’t pursue him… Whatever he did is probably too strong right now..!
Aiko and Ame keep their distance. Xavier and Cassandra are also unsure of what to do.
Tokatsu: Let’s go back and try and see what we can do…!
After Tabor had soon left everyone’s field of vision, Flamme and Elettrico soon let go of Matt, the both of them breathing heavily, as if the bugs had constricted their breathing while under their effect.
Aiko calmly walks over to Flamme.
Aiko: Um, Flamme, are you okay?
Flamme: I wish… Whatever Tabor had done, he seemed to be able to keep me and Elettrico unmoving and heeding whatever he says… I think that it is.
A sudden command comes into Flamme’s bug, forcing her to try and choke Aiko.
Flamme’s hands quickly reach out for Aiko’s neck, her eyes were now glowing magenta, as if to show the bug was active. The hands wrap around Aiko’s neck causing her to choke her.
Aiko: Ugh, stop!
Ventus quickly attempts to interrupt Flamme’s forced order with a kick powered by his greave’s wind conjuring ability. Flamme was sent back, but her grip on Aiko caused Aiko to fly off with her.
A command comes into Elettrico’s bug, to force everyone away from what Flamme was doing.
Elettrico quickly turns on the group, quickly aiming for the closest of the group, tackling down Matt she quickly starts punching at him, Matt blocking her strikes.
Matt: Guys! Get Aiko and Flamme separated! I’ll keep her busy!
Matt quickly uses a chance to move himself out of the way of Elettrico’s fist, causing it to get stuck into the ground
Elettrico: I can’t stop…! EVERYONE STAY BACK!
Matt quickly uses his chance to tackle Elettrico, the two soon trading blows.
Tokatsu: We have to help Aiko…!
Aiko, despite not wanting to harm Flamme, uses her power.
Aiko: Cold Touch.
Aiko’s body becomes like touching an ice sculpture.
Flamme quickly lets go, soon backing off. Leaving her open to Tokatsu grabbing her by behind.
Flamme: How the hell did I even start doing that!?
Tokatsu: Tabor’s done something! I don't know what though, but you and Elettrico are going crazy!
Ame, seeing no other choice, decides on a plan.
Ame: Detain them.
Tokatsu: I got Flamme under control
Orie soon tosses Tokatsu a spare pair of handcuffs, which are swiftly placed onto her wrists.
Matt: I didn’t think you’d pack a punch with those tonfas…!
Elettrico: Well I do…! Dammit Orie do you have any cuffs left?!
Orie: Their inside…!
Elettrico: Just great…!
Matt quickly decided to headbutt Elettrico, who decided the same idea to end the trading blows. This however knocked them both unconscious.
Ventus: ...That’ll leave a mark.
Ame walks over and picks them both up. He begins to carry them on his shoulders as he heads back towards the house. Aiko follows behind him.
Tokatsu: ...Are you all right Flamme?
Flamme: ...I wish I could answer that honestly.
Ventus: It wasn’t your fault. Tabor felt it was funny to do something and he did it….don’t blame yourself.
Flamme: But I injured Aiko!
Aiko rubs her neck cautiously. She seemed to be alright, but she was generally interested as to why she would suddenly try to choke her.
Ventus: But whatever Tabor did...it caused them to act as if they were against us. But after they let go of Matt it seems as if it’s against their wills. Question is, how did he do it?
Tokatsu: Better question. How the hell do we get rid of it? And what if he thinks of doing it to us too? Then again we should probably find a way to bar those two elsewhere without harming Orie or Aiko.
Ventus: ...Xavier, has Tabor done anything similar to this in the past?
Xavier: I am just as confused as all of you.
The bugs seem to activate again, sending the signal to free themselves and attack again.
Flamme attempts to break her cuffs, struggling, Ventus uses his chance to hurry after Ame, incase Elettrico’s bug could rouse her from unconsciousness.
Tokatsu: Stand guard, everyone!
Ame: I am not so weak that simply squirming could not allow you to escape.
Elettrico: We’re not doing this on purpose…!
Cassandra follows behind the group with Lucky right behind her. She seemed to be focusing. Xavier prepares in case the two would seemingly try to escape. Ame seemed ready to throw them into the ground if they got too difficult to hold on to them.
Ventus and Tokatsu ready themselves, trading a glance to each other, and the unconscious Matt right beside them.
Tokatsu: We need restraining magic if this gets too difficult..!
The bugs activate again, forcing them to use their powers.
Flamme’s hands quickly alight with flame, melting the cuffs, quickly she attempts to try and attack Ame this time, her eyes were still magenta, showing the bug was still activated.
Tokatsu and Ventus quickly hurried to assist Ame on command. Ame simply jumps and piledrives them into the ground.
Ventus: ...okay. That’s gonna leave a mark in the morning.
Tokatsu: Cassandra, quick! Before they get back up!
Lucky: Give her a break, she’s focusing her power on the spell!
Ventus: Sorry! I would have Matt keep ‘em down but he’s down for the count!
Aiko: Ice Prison.
Ice forms around Elettrico and Flamme, making them look like huge blocks of ice that had separated from a glacier. Aiko falls to the ground. What she had done seemingly took a lot out of her.
Ventus and Tokatsu hurry to Aiko, kneeling down.
Tokatsu: I still feel her pulse… It’s weak but she’ll be okay… Give her some rest tonight. She’ll need it.
Ventus: Right.. *looks back to Matt* Same with Matt…
Cassandra opens her eyes.
Lucky: The search spell is done?
Cassandra: Check the back of their necks.
Ventus and Tokatsu check as Cassandra specified. The bugs sit there, seemingly activated.
Ventus: ...He planted bugs?!
Tokatsu: Damn idiot, he thinks that this will make him do as he pleases to them?! Can we remove them?
Xavier: I believe it is because he simply wanted to annoy us.
Cassandra: They seem like they’re not indestructible, let alone attached in a way that would harm them if destroyed.
Ventus: ...In actuality they look like ticks...
Tokatsu: ...I pray there’s no tick beastkin in the vicinity who heard that
Tokatsu and Ventus quickly but carefully remove the bugs. soon crushing them in their hands as if they were actual bugs.
Ventus: Piece of cake.
Flamme: ...thanks...Tell her that..I’m sorry.
Flamme soon passes out. Ame breaks the ice around their bodies, and Elettrico soon scooting to her, placing a hand on her in worry.
Ventus: ...We’ll be sure to give Tabor his death sentence...
Cassandra: Let’s just focus on our group first, shall we?
Tokatsu: ...Yes. Elettrico, take Flamme to her room. Xavier, you and Ventus go and carry Matt in.. I need to get in contact with an old acquaintance before we decide things further...
Tokatsu huffs heavily as he walks in, his tail was low, and his ears drooped. Seeing the somber scene had lowered his mood.