A cat beastkin with black stripes on their fur rushes through the thicket, it rustles as he makes his way through droves of lush foliage; his twin tails bobbing and a pair of ears twitching. There's a sense of clear unease on the muzzle of the one sprinting by. Moonlight shines through the gaps in the trees, and the soft pattering of their paws is heard along the soil road. They make their way to the end of the path, and exit with an agile leap through the air they begin to use the side of the cliff and its protruding rocks to bound to a lower and secluded area surrounded by the sloshing and dark water. Within moments, his feet soon hit the damp, solid stone and he quietly comes to a brisk walk upon hind legs.
Looking around he senses the presence of another as he keeps his hood over his face that conceals a pair of cat eyes glistening in the darkness, looking around expectingly.
Koyoto: (Looking around worried) I assume you made sure you weren't followed?
Looking over to the one who spoke and stands a short distance away, the first cat beastkin releases a sigh, getting a bittersweet sense of relief at the sight of the other. His tails lower, the fur on them falling back flat again; even though worry rides on the second cat's words.
Imyo: (Walks toward them without concern) Koyoto, I'm glad you arrived, (he grins at ease) it's always a welcoming thought to know in case anything happened you'd be the first to defend her.
The smile is soon replaced by a more grim expression, as he hides his eyes and dips his head a bit.
Imyo: I was tailed on the way through, but I seem to have lost them. They were more concerned with each other... (Shakes his head once) typical of the governments.
Koyoto: As long as they're focused on each other, we get to move much easier, and I'd much rather they hunt each other than us.
Imyo: Wouldn't disagree.
He gives an agreeing nod.
Imyo: With our numbers thinning every day we need every chance we can manage, but... still not used to being hunted this way. No longer being in the Liberator's ranks is... rather strange to me.
He makes his way by Koyoto and looks at him from the side once his words finish.
Imyo: Nevermind that, though. Now that we're both here we shouldn't be chatin', or keep her waitin'. (Raises his brow with an amused huff and a small laugh) I'd hate to upset her.
Koyoto: (laughs) Yeah she's just like her, not someone you want mad at you, and a hell of a wit to go with it.
They walk a bit further and the water spreads out touching more of the cliffside. The two beastkin wait patiently, as a shorter blonde haired girl comes to view under the light of the moon. Her body is clad in a black and gold dress, and she speaks without casting a glance to the pair.
Legna: I see my invitation found you both.
Calmly the girl turns around on the slightest step to gaze at them from closer to the water by a leafless tree, and her hands relax to her side. The girl's facial features are delicate but there's also a power behind her stare, along with a twinge of sorrow in her gold eyes.
Imyo: (Bows his head once) Arrived as quickly as I could lady Alucard.
Legna: (Softly) You came alone...
Imyo goes quiet as he breathes in and his ears droop. As though knowing why Imyo becomes silent, Legna turns her gaze back up and rests her hand on her temple in a calm acceptance.
Legna: It wasn't your fault, there was little that could be done to change such an event. The NOS and LS were present.
Imyo: I know it but... (Releases his breath in regret and frowns) I still am sorry... I wanted to stop it.
Legna: There is little point in dwelling on it now. The Grimoire has joined his soul.
A pained expression comes across the beastkin's muzzle as his teeth touch, but he drops the matter.
Koyoto: At this point, all we can do is break him out and seal it in hope to train him until he's ready for it, it's too much for him to take the full power at this point.
Legna: (Makes a small smile in assurance) I would trust no others to raise him. I have my faith in you two.
Imyo: And we'll do our best not to let you down. Still, there is something I should mention. There were... (ears twitch) other groups besides the NOS or LS that were near the independent city.
Legna: That is hardly a surprise. Many would wish to claim the Grimoire to use against the Governments, that power in such an artifact and now him, has become invaluable. It can alter this world.
Imyo: That's true... still, I think it's best to remain cautious. They seemed to be more than run of the mill criminals interested in challenging the government. They had a certain presence to 'em.
Legna: I see... I have noticed strange activity as well to be perfectly honest. But he is not held by them, he's with the NOS now.
Imyo's ears flatten.
Imyo: As we thought.
Koyoto: Which makes our efforts to get him essential, before Lukain gets his hands on him.
Imyo: That's a given... anything he does would be near impossible to reverse. Thankfully, I don't think he leaves his position in the NOS too often, unless ordered. The World Order Council has kept him busy lately.
Koyoto: Which is why we've been given a window to do this before he gets to touch Nex, at least if the information we have is good
Legna: I can say he is believed to be in that area... also, there is an AIP in the same facility as Nex.
Surprise invades the beastkin's calm tone.
Imyo: An Azure Interface Prime Field... is it an original?
Legna: I can not say... (troubled) I do not know their intentions with that AIP either.
Koyoto: If it's already in the NOS' hands we should make an attempt to seal it while we're there.
A downcast look comes into the beastkin's eyes, as he looks at Koyoto with his ears slightly back in uncertainty.
Imyo: Shouldn't we at least try to help 'em? I can't help but feel we'd be treadin' the same path into mistakes by sealin' 'em all away; or even killin' em. Although I know well enough that sometimes it can't be helped.
Koyoto: I don't think we can afford to take the chance at this point, this could be the only chance we get do deprive the NOS of a valuable asset.
Imyo: (Sighs in thought) Unless that Primefield is guarding Nex, I just don't think we should do more than we need to. The people in this world hate them enough as is.
Koyoto: I suppose you're right, though I think just leaving it could create problems as well.
Legna: I will leave that up to your discretion.
Putting her back to them she speaks once more with a calm and quiet tone while casting her eyes to the moon.
Legna: I can't go with you...but I do hope for your success. This is the only opportunity we'll have.
Imyo: One we'll not be wastin'. You got us until we drop to the grave. And that isn't gonna be anytime soon, guarantee it.
Surprise shadows her gold eyes as Legna lowers her head and she releases a sigh.
Legna: (Closes her eyes) Yes. As I said, I would leave this to no others.
Koyoto: (Smiles at Legna) Don't worry kid, we've managed to survive the war and I for one, don't intend on leaving you alone anytime soon.
A faint and warm smile crosses the girl's expression as she opens her eyes, but she doesn't look back to them.
Legna: I couldn't get rid of you two even if I tried. Go now, I must return to my own realm before the NOS detects my presence.
Imyo: Can count on us.
Koyoto: Stay safe Legna.
Legna: You both as well.
With those words, a massive gust comes by in a golden light and she vanishes from their sight in a portal, leaving the beastkin duo on their own.
Imyo: Well, seems we've got our orders.
Koyoto: Yeah, it will be nice to shake some of the rust off. Keeping a low profile can sure get boring after a while; especially when you're as used to fighting as we are.
Imyo: That it can.
The friend affirms with a quick nod of their head.
Imyo: We're certainly about to have our fill of it. According to the sources, the facility we're looking for in the restricted zone situated between Naobi and the Ruined city Ibukido will be heavily guarded. (Ears flatten a bit) Naobi is Lukain's city, so... don't be surprised if we see him on the way or commin' back.
Koyoto: Considering our luck I wouldn't be surprised if he expected us to come and was waiting. That's exactly why we should do this as quickly as possible and raise our chances of catching him off guard.
Imyo: Yes, we shouldn't waste time. We should be there soon if we hurry.
With those words he walks by and jumps back up the rocky surfaces, using them to gain height up to the cliffs once more, Koyoto behind him. Upon reaching the grass, cool winds pass him by, but the stench of heavy Seithr is strong and makes the pair frown. His ears flick about a bit while he perches himself on a branch of a cedar-covered in glistening white snow. He straightens on the branch with his twin tails twitching around, while he squints in order to get a better scope of the land. Gripping the body of the wooden limb with his cat paws, the beastkin focuses his attention past the lighted horizon where the impressive stature of the behemoth city Naobi is situated, but his eyes stay on the luminescent sky only a moment, instead he peers down and scowls at the many rows of plants and facilities that sit on the ground level. The purpose of these facilities was to harvest Seithr and keep it from concentrating beyond control to break down the Ars-generated barriers; though the faculties stretch to the borders where Ibukido's wastelands begin.
Imyo: Somewhere down there. Hard to believe people don't bother to notice the activity beneath their cities.
Koyoto: Most of them are willfully blind, willing to allow those who control the world get a free pass as long as they don't bother them.
Imyo: (Sighs, dipping his head slightly) We know it too well.
There's a hint of remorse in his tone.
Imyo: Still, it's a saddening state our world is in, and one coming out of a war; the prosperity is nothing more than a guise. With the Azure's resurface, it won't be long until it spirals back into suffering and violence...
He jumps down, making a soft crunching sound when his hind paws touch the snow, and despite the chilling gales, he makes his way down to a path that'd lead them through to the area framed by the bright white trees.
Imyo: Not to mention, the NOS has most people's favor, they're not willing to get in the way of their desire.
Koyoto: So we become the villains because we're the ones who fight to save their sorry asses.
Koyoto jumps down and follows the other beastkin, eyes glowing with magic.
Koyoto: (deadpan) Funny how losing a war tends to bite you in the ass isn't it?
Imyo: It changed everything...
He continues walking along the path, his twin tails swiping with his slight frustration.
Imyo: There was a time I would trust leaving someone like Nex with the people who run the Liberation Sector, but with the recent events in the decades (shakes his head) it's best that he isn't. I don't even recognize most of them. Losing the war has altered everyone for the worse...and it was only perpetuated by the Phantom Operations and the split the LS took.
Koyoto: The LS isn't the organization we created anymore.
He adds with an almost bitter sigh.
Koyoto: And despite my best attempts I don't think Nicaiah can do anything to keep even her sector.
Imyo: Nicaiah is as damaged by the war as any, she has lost a lot of faith with the knowledge her mother Telia had during the war, the choices we made regarding the Gate and the Corrosion baffle her. But she can handle herself, she knows not to blindingly trust the ones above her.
Koyoto: (Gives a bit of a smirk) Guess I did that much right...
Imyo: You did fine... (his voice drops) but the others...
The instant the thought comes to mind his muzzle dips into a frown.
Imyo: It is mostly the Hierarch and Sector 51, their choices have put LS into a desperate time. All over gaining technology and resources that could end the NOS oppression, Nex and the girl paid dearly for those ambitions. In that pursuit... I feel like he's also spearheading this desperation unknowingly, he doesn't care that his allies are falling by the minute, and is using the knowledge he was entrusted with for all the wrong reasons...
The beastkin makes a pained growl through his teeth while his voice continues to rise with his frustrations toward the upper echelons, but quickly, he calms down and regains control over his rising emotion.
Imyo: (sighs) I wish we could go back to our better days. I miss our allies, not the shadows they've become.
Koyoto: Pining for the old days is pointless as long as we can still fight to give everyone the future they deserve. Besides there's nothing we can do to get them back now, they made their choice.
Imyo: I'm not a man who can turn my back on a legacy, Koyoto. (Looks at him with a clear resolve in his orange cat eyes) the LS exists because of people like us. Those people in there, to me, they're still part of that creation and part of me wants to restore it... even though I'm not welcome to. I only hope they realize their mistakes.
Koyoto: We can't force them to realize it, though. Trying to push them into it can just as likely push them away from the right path.
Imyo: (Looks at Koyoto) What really is the right path, though? We thought we made the right choices in the war, look where we are now. Being detested by the very people we deended, and worked with.
Silence ills the air when his words end, Koyoto closing his eyes with a look o lasting disappointment; not to his ally but their former lives. Imyo begins to speak once more to break the awkward moment.
Imyo: I think it's more up to a new generation to change things, much as I hate to step to the sidelines.
Koyoto: (Sighs) It's hard after so long to realize you're powerless to change things, having to let go and hope we've taught our successors enough so that they can triumph where we failed.
Imyo gives a laugh as his mood lightens a bit.
Imyo: Oh I'm not about to step out so easily... I've got a right mind to work the kid 'till he can't stand. Gotta since he's the one who will represent the Azure's will, and if he's anything like the one we worked with back then who was helping us in the war, then a good upbringing is key so he knows we're not the enemy.
The despairing look on Koyoto's expression soon melts away as well, the old cat finally cracking a grin along with a chuckle. But it soon returns to concern when he replies.
Koyoto: Still, the last thing we want is for him to underestimate what is role is and how difficult it may be for him, lest he decides to destroy everything instead.
Imyo: A choice that's up to him, but we can push him in the right directions. 'Sides... raisin' him will take my mind off things.
Koyoto: Us old wardogs could use the challenge to keep ourselves occupied now (His gaze wavers) even if we're not the ones who should be raising em.
Imyo: Better us than someone else... when the ones who should raise them aren't around.
Koyoto: True, better us than the NOS, well, for this one at least.
Imyo nods as they continue their way down.
Imyo: Right you are my old friend. It's time to seize our hope we've waited for, for far too long...
Imyo nods as they continue their way down.
Time passes as they, at last, make it closer to the industrial buildings in question, Imyo looks around when they come to the sight of the facility.
It appears to be operational, the cylindrical towers all around letting out billowing haze toward the now gray skies, and glyphs decorate the silver grounds causing light to scatter through the floors. Banners hang about the area with the NOS insignia embroidered on their flapping cloth bodies as snow continues to drift down, but it's all strangely quiet.
Imyo's steps come to a pause, as he takes it all in.
Imyo: How odd...
He mutters under his breath, turning his gaze around the perimeter as they continue to walk along with caution.
Imyo: No NOS soldiers in sight. Not even any in the towers, or maintaining the devices...
Koyoto: It's worrying, almost like the calm before a storm (deadpan) maybe I wasn't that far off saying Lukain knew we were coming after all.
Imyo: So you think they wanted us to come? I don't think so... they went out of their way to hide their location, it took days following the incident with the Grimoire to even get a clue. Is this in the black beyond even the majority of the NOS and their other higher ups...?
Koyoto: That or Lukain knew we would come for him eventually and prepared this place for when we came
Imyo: Only one way to know.
They continue moving and walk into the building through a large door with the NOS symbol emblazoned on the front, their advance continues to go without interruption. Making their way through the hollow chambers with nothing but the groans of distant machines. With the top levels vacant, they descend, opening the doorways each time without a problem; the Seithr becomes thicker, but the beastkin aren't bothered or slowed. The light in the area diminishes, swallowed up by the narrowing path as they continue through a tunnel with pipes and wires surging with a liquid energy. The absence of people continues to disturb Imyo as their steps are the only thing to make any sound on the metal panels.
Imyo: This isn't right... no one is even here, but the air's been tampered by Seithr. There certainly is something present.
Koyoto: Is it just me or does the sethir seem to be getting heavier as we go further in?
Koyoto's ears flatten and he gets an uneasy look in his eye.
Imyo: No, (Looks around) you're right on that. It's almost disorienting. Haven't felt anything this strong since the Third War, around the beasts that existed back then and similar energy the original Exitium gave off...that's concerning. (Shakes his head in a slight daze, but continues walking) It's as though the Boundary is nearby.
Koyoto: I haven't felt smothered by seithr like this in decades, I wonder ...
Despite all the troubling signs, the pair continues to move through and the linear chamber opens up into a much larger room that glows with deep crimson and azure runes. A small and runic glyph sits on the casket with a much larger one sitting on that ground. Energy travels into the casket which sits inside a much larger structure, and above is a small crimson and pitch sphere. A cycle between it and the sphere-shaped mass seems to be in progress as energy surges through both at a synchronized pace.
When the two come in their eyes widen, while Imyo sill tries o shake the chilling sensation he immediately glances to the casket.
Imyo: The Azure Interface Prime field, it isn't born yet... that's why there are no people here. The disorienting pull, it's from the force causing it in that black and red sphere.
Imyo growls as his fur stand on end, blackness emits in the center of the room from the sphere, gyrating and concentrating together.
Imyo: It's a smelting...
Immediately following Imyo's growl, there's a sharp sound of his ally pulling blades out in both hands as Koyoto takes a fighting stance.
Koyoto: We need to stop this, now, while we have the chance!
Imyo: Stop it... you mean by killin' it, don't you? (Sighs) Though there isn't much a choice at this point.
Koyoto: ... It's necessary unless you can think of a way for us to spirit it away-- I don't know if there's another solution.
Imyo: (Shakes his head once) No, it's too far along. Waiting too long will just make it harder to deal with.
Slithering around, the black hazes encroach, emerging from the black sphere and pooling across the ground. As though it could sense their intentions, the darkness shoots toward them, the bits of Seithr assimilating into a completely black serpentine creature growing to easily a dozen feet in height and length. With a final convulsing ascent, it opens its jaw, with a set of glowing fangs, to let out a horrible roar prior to pointing its face to them with curving horns atop its head. It's completely colorless aside the outer crimson aura burning around it, and bright red eyes that look toward them with a piercing power as other shadows squirm about and build. It doesn't look complete or very defined, more like a phantasm rather than a real beast.
Imyo: We need to get through... what the hell are they doing here?
Koyoto: And why the hell are they keeping the kid here of all places?
Imyo: It's clear they've been studying the Grimoire... there's a synchronization going on between that thing and the AIP.
The massive thing worms around, emitting more hazes while Imyo dodges a shadowy explosion of veins that morphs into lashing tendrils. Brandishing a sword he cuts through the Seithr with its straight edge that glows with a strong magic and repels the Seithr from his spot. When more shadows swarm his location, he backflips away and lands on a nearby pillar, scanning the large chamber.
Imyo: Nex has to be somewhere nearby, so let's focus on findin' him and taking the AIP out. The beast should disappear back to the Boundary once we end whatever is causing the connection that's lettin' it come through.
Koyoto: We can only hope it works, I have a bad feeling about what's coming.
Imyo: Try to keep that beast back Koyoto, gonna see if I can't get closer to the AIP!
Imyo growls as he jumps forward, twisting his body with his tails coiling around the hilt of the thin blade. As the weapon gives a bright glow, he carries it through the smaller beast that lunges ahead toward him but the edge slices clean through, scattering it to miniature flakes. On the ground once more, he rushes ahead, avoiding the quivering masses around him while trying to get near the casket just further below the obsidian sphere.
Koyoto coats his blade with magic and strides forward to face the beast, creating a strong magic field casting a glow around and behind him to force the beast to focus on him.
Koyoto: Let's see if these things have come up with any new tricks...
The creature moves its head around and looks at the beastkin, opening its jaw to release a booming cry. Seconds later, bursting gales of crimson energy cut through the air and swarm the magic field around the cat.
Meanwhile, Imyo spots the casket in the metallic shell of a much bigger container, while it glistens with a blue light and various runes gleam along it. He takes a quick look back to Koyoto and then jumps onto a flat bit of the suspended structure. A bit away from him is the casket lying within its center, the pipelines travel to the depths, liquefied materials flowing through them in helix-like and pulsing patterns of light. Darkness swirls violently underneath the beastkin, but when he manages to get near the AIP's casket, he bends down and puts his forepaws around the object to try and pry it out of the main body; Imyo grunting with effort between his feline fangs.
Koyoto rushes the creature using a magical blast to push its disorienting darkness away from the barrier and slashes in the creature's direction with a short growl. The blade rips through a portion of the beast's snake-like body, but it quickly regenerates as blackness creeps throughout and strands of the Seithr to pull it all back together. It then whips its head to the side making the beastkin jump away to avoid its raging ram with the horns jutting out the side of its pitch skull, instead of the beastkin, they incinerate the side of a nearby statue.
Imyo: Just a bit more...
Koyoto: Do me a favor and hurry if you don't mind, it's not like there's a crystallized shard in this one to destroy!
Imyo shakes his head when the object doesn't budge, seals of magic all around it. Exhaling a quick sigh, the beastkin pulls his weapon to his side with his tails. Conflict washes into eyes, but he raises the edge overhead, preparing to slash the being within the casket.
In that moment, though, the air around him burns and then suddenly crescents of energy manifest, blasting inward, knocking Imyo off his footing as he tumbles down. Righting himself he plunges his blade into the side of the structure to prevent himself from dropping into the gaping void below.
A lower voice void of most emotion calls to them from the opposite side of the chamber.
???: (Placid) The two cat beastkin is it? Did you come to stop the smelting...? Or perhaps to take that child?
While Imyo hangs by the hilt of his sword, tail wrapping tightly around it, his eyes narrow when he recognizes the man's tone.
Lukain: (Holds his hand to the side and manipulates a spherical void) Neither would help your situation to any real extent.
Hollow navy eyes set on the two as he stands tall with purpose and without the slightest slouch in his position.
Koyoto: Our situations don't matter anymore, stopping your plans is all that does.
Lukain: (Shakes his head slowly) Stopping me won't prevent what's going on in this world. (raises his hand near the side of his face and flexes his fingers as he waits) I have little interest in what happens as a consequence at that, but none of you have seemed to be able to stop anything regardless.
Koyoto: (Leans his head in and squints with a scowl) I figured you'd show your face here eventually, though the lack of any other resistance was surprising.
Lukain points his gaze at the sphere, lowering his hand back to his side.
Lukain: Sacrifices are necessary to make progress. (looks back to them) Something your former allies are very familiar with, and I suppose I owe them for making the future events more interesting.
Imyo jumps back up to the edge of the platform and scowls at his comment.
Imyo: Why are you making a new AIP? The last isn't enough to satisfy you?
Lukain: It isn't new per se.
He comments calmly, staring at the two without concern.
Koyoto: Even still, all this for an AIP? Especially when, or if you're found out could be so dangerous, what could possibly be so important for you to take that risk?
Lukain: Hm... (frowns in disinterest) you believe I'm doing so under the radar?
Imyo: It isn't like you haven't in the past.
Imyo quickly responds, his ears flicking with slight aggression as he looks at Lukain with wary eyes. The piercing stare is met only with a short shrug by the Marshal.
Lukain: Regardless, how I went about accomplishing the task was my own business, but nonetheless, the order was from the top. After all, they want to control the child's possibility in favor of their desires, thus, tools need to be built to accomplish that task.
Imyo: They're in over their heads...
Koyoto: And you assumed we'd just sit here and let you manipulate him like that; no, you won't succeed this time.
Lukain: Manipulate...? How is what I do any different than what any do to assure their success?
The sounds of his steps echo as he begins making his way toward the beastkin duo. Their hairs up and their bodies coiled in aggression, ready to spring at the man. While he approaches them, the navy-eyed Marshal remains completely calm looking at the sharp edges of the weapons raised up.
Lukain: As I recall, a certain Observer manipulated others just the same. Still, it's foregone that you'll try to grasp a win here in any way you can.
When his words finish, Lukain draws in the Seithr and then reappears before the two, making a dark glyph before throwing an orb out that spins about becoming a gyrating void that pulls them in. Imyo growls as he grounds himself using his blade, plunging it deep into the ground.
Imyo: That isn't similar at all.
Koyoto: No, it isn't. You'll use him to force your vision onto the world, all we want to do is give him the opportunity to fight back and have his own choice in the matter.
Lukain: Shallow-sighted as usual...
Imyo flings himself over the void and whips his body around smoothly before the blade's edge comes near his opponent, but Lukain motions an orb which swells and breaks apart loudly leaving a rapture in the air itself. Seconds later, a skeletal creature's hand swipes the lunging beastkin away. With a swing of his opposite hand, the Marshal then directs a second magenta orb to Koyoto, smashing the magic field as it bursts with the weight of both the beast's assault and his own. A tendril lashes against Koyoto's body and sends him rolling away next to Imyo, who grunts as he gets back up to his feet.
Imyo: Where is he?
Lukain: He's near. Though, isn't that the least of your worries?
Koyoto: (Deadpan) Considering we need to be alive to get Nex out of here he's right...
Koyoto begins drawing energy for a spell, putting his hand out and narrowing his eyes.
Koyoto: So I think we should show him what we can do.
Lukain: I'm aware of what you can do... we were in the same places after all. We all know each other well.
Imyo: No, we need to deal with that beast. (Looks around the chamber as his ears flick) Battling Lukain isn't going to get us anywhere...
Koyoto:(Growls slightly in frustration) Well unless we can get at its crystal we may as well be running in circles!
Lukain: This? (Looks at the creature momentarily) It has no crystal... its mind, its life force is not where you can reach it with a blade. (Puts his eyes back to them) You're fighting a projection of power.
Imyo: (Surprised) No crystal...? Then...
Another void opens up on Lukain's command and Imyo quickly uses his sword to cut through an apparition that comes darting by, turning it into the haze on contact. But the Seithr thickens due to the continuous presence of the towering creature.
Koyoto: So then we have to cut off the projector instead of destroying the crystal then ... that can be arranged.
Koyoto motions with his head for Imyo to get close.
Without losing composure, Lukain tosses an orb their way which melts away and makes a field that spreads a glyph, weakening the pair's magic. Imyo plunges the tip of the sword to the glyph to interfere with it allowing his ally to gather energy.
Imyo: (Strained as he holds the force back) Hurry Koyoto.
Making no other attempt to stop it, the man looks toward the casket instead, lacking concern for what the duo was about to do. Seconds later Koyoto unleashes a wave of energy, his magic blasting out through the room in a shockwave, attempting to seek out the source of the beast and its energy.
A bright aura surrounds the black sphere above the structure that cradles the AIP's casket.
Koyoto: Well you don't need to tell me twice.
The cat beastkin mentions as he jumps at the sphere, slashing at it in an attempt to destroy it. Cracks ripple along the body of the spherical mass, to which the beast violently reacts with a deafening screech, and darkness swallows the ground crafting a burning black mist to swarm Koyoto.
Imyo pulls his sword out from the glyph, resulting in it emitting pressure that blasts him backward. Corkscrewing his body, his back legs hit the face of an ivory column feet-first. When it occurs he bends his knees and then springs away, using the momentum to fling himself toward the sphere. Repositioning his blade with his tails, Imyo narrows his cat eyes with focus as the blade responds, encasing itself in a bright magic aura, and when he's close enough he then makes a swinging slice against the pitch mass. There's a pause until the edge goes ripping through the darkness as the sphere begins to fall apart.
Right when it breaks apart, a person drops down with their body consumed by blackness in most areas and laced in carmine-colored patterns. Surprise flashes through Imyo's eyes as he watches it occur.
Imyo: You were... inside it?
As most of the strange material that built on the person breaks away into flakes it reveals a white-haired boy shortly before he drops, falling toward the cat beastkin. Imyo doesn't hesitate, stretching his sleeved paws out to catch him, and quickly coils his body upon the young teenager hitting his arms. The lunge Imyo took carries him through to the other side of the chamber as he goes sliding across the ground and then rises up just a bit as he holds the boy. There's a quickened breath from him but he seems to be alive. Lowering his head, the beastkin can see most of the darkness encasing and consuming the boy subside.
Lukain puts his attention to them before he notices the beast begins to vanish, taking the Seithr with it as it becomes crimson and black mist that fades into nothing.
Koyoto jumps from the structure, landing in between Imyo and Lukain. He walks over to his ally, staring at the near-unconscious boy in his companion's hold.
Koyoto: Well, now all of this makes a lot more sense...
Lukain: Good enough.
The sudden remark is made while the Casket disappears as the runes around it glow. Imyo points his head to it and then back at Lukain with a scowl.
Imyo: What were you thinkin', Lukain?
Lukain: Isn't that easy enough to determine...?
Imyo: ..You had him inside a concentrated mass, of that damn Seithr Scourge. What the hell is wrong with you?
Lukain: He survived didn't he? I see no issues... he's durable. His mind endured more than I thought it would. Although, it's to be expected of a soul originating from that... object. A shame that it's no longer around, it could have been an interesting endeavor.
There's a faint smile on his face appearing during his response, leaving Imyo to huff and merely scrunch his muzzle in distaste.
Imyo: (Shakes his head in disbelief) You're reprehensible...
Expression turning to an emotionless stare once more, Lukain puts his hand out in gesture.
Lukain: The order was to study the possibilities in the Grimoire. Although admittedly, that's not easy due to the Azure's own interferences, still, once something is observed it becomes the all encompassing truth of the object.
Imyo: (Ears flick while he scrunches his brow in disdain) The NOS wants to control the outcome, then.
Lukain: Azure 0 isn't an exception, his possibility, while connective to the Azure, is currently powered by a desire that threatens their order.
Imyo: (Eyes squint) Azure 0?
Lukain: (Plainly) His identity.
Nex groggily opens his eyes, and Imyo notices the metallic collar around his neck with a thick silver plate that inscribed the name Nex Azure 0 with a symbol that has patterns of vein-like lines atop it.
Koyoto: Why does your clinical lack of respect for Nex's autonomy and health not surprise me in the slightest, considering you won't get your hands on him again, however, it doesn't really matter what you think.
Lukain: It's not disrespect, Azure 0 is his innate identity. I've already experimented with the Azure Grimoire to a semi-satisfactory level, and desire will develop regardless of where he is... however, letting him go free is an issue to the NOS, and I wasn't quite finished.
Imyo: (To himself) At least it sounds like the Azure protected him.. (To Lukain in a growl) Well we're gonna have to cut this short.
The silver-haired boy jerks in surprise, his two-tone eyes darting around when he comes to notice his surroundings, but he winces soon after with a quiet groan.
Imyo: Easy there kid, we're gonna get you out.
Koyoto: Well we didn't exactly expect you to let us go with thanks and a pat on the back, (under his breath to Imyo) get ready to take the kid and run.
Imyo: (Nods once) Got it.
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