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Metabee

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Metabee last won the day on January 10

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About Metabee

  • Birthday July 28

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    ID:104005
    Name:metabee
    Race:Shinigami

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  1. Metabee

    Everybody has a Secret

    Iris and Alice had quite a lot of trouble carrying Arthur not only because he was out of it due to blood loss but also they didn’t want to be seen by other people. Two women carrying a guy covered in wounds and blood frankly wouldn't be received very well. They tried to stop his bleeding as much as possible so that he wouldn’t bleed out before he got there. Naturally, Liz didn’t have such troubles in getting there and using her full speed above the rooftops she got there in no time but seeing as they weren’t in his house she kept going until she met with them. As she was stronger than them, Liz carried Arthur while they made sure there were no obstacles in her way. They got to his apartment without any further trouble started his treatment immediately. Iris first cleaned his wounds as best as she could using stuff she found in the bathroom and Liz began healing them. Alice was left outside not to disturb them as she couldn’t help in any way, but she didn’t take it personally. Even though she wasn’t panicking anymore she was still extremely worried so she just couldn’t sit still and kept pacing about. This continued for another two hours until Liz came out from the room and told her the news,’He’ll be fine. You can go and see for yourself.’ She looked absolutely exhausted and sat herself down on the sofa and let out a sigh of relief. Alice went into Arthur’s room and saw him laying on the bed, awake, and Iris was seated beside him. However, one thing that she noticed is that his wounds were completely gone. She’d never witnessed such a miracle and she was sure he would have to heal for at least a month. ‘How are you feeling?’ Alice asked him still a bit worried. He nodded,’I’m fine now. Need to rest though.’ It was clear that he was still weakened but hearing it directly from him also gave her relieved some of her nerves. However, she still had no idea what actually happened to get him into that state,’Can you tell me what happened?’ Arthur let out a sigh,’It’s complicated.’ This time he couldn’t lie to her since it was clear that this was not some case of mugging or theft due to his wounds. The only way he would get out of this is by telling her the truth, but he didn’t want to involve her in these affairs. She can’t take part in them so it would only make her needlessly worried all the time. Alice insisted,’Tell me! You almost died! You don’t get to avoid the subject like it never happened! If it happened once it can happen again!’ Iris listened to their conversation and wanted to let them work out it out themselves, but her gut instinct didn’t let her. Arthur was her boyfriend and Alice was his best friend, she was her friend as well and out of all the people in the house only Alice didn’t know anything about it. She could understand that it was frustrating. Iris looked to Arthur,’We can’t hide it forever. She deserves to know,’ she said in a considerate tone. He knew she was right though he still wasn’t fond of the idea of telling Alice the truth,’Ugh, me, Iris and Liz have a special trait of being spiritually aware. We can see spirits, and yes, they exist. However, just like people some spirits are assholes and will attack the living to eat them. Both me and Liz have a special power called Fullbring which lets us fight against them. I was completely unaware of this until recently. I know it sounds like I’m crazy, but this is the truth.’ Like any normal person who was not able to see any of this with her own eyes, Alice found it very hard to believe and initially thought he was making some bullshit up to get rid of her. However, despite these emotions she knew that he had to get those wounds somehow and she did not see any sign of an assailant before or after it happened,’So you’ve been fighting these ‘evil spirits’ this whole time and you didn’t bother to tell me? You could have died at any time! You almost died today! And I wouldn’t even have known what happened to you!’ Alice couldn’t hold it in anymore and she was furious. Putting aside whether all that was true or not, the fact that he was doing something like that behind her back was unbelievable. Granted, they didn’t have to tell each other everything but he was doing all this life risking stuff and keeping it a secret. She stormed out the room but stayed in the apartment as she didn’t know what to do with herself anymore. Arthur sighed,’That went about as well as I expected it to,’ as he had already played out this conversation in head when this all started. Iris reached out to hold his hand,’Give her time. It’s not easy to understand it. She has to come to terms with it in her own way.’ He agreed,’Yea, hopefully it doesn’t take too long though.’ He doubted that she would cut all ties with him because of this, but it was certain that it would strain their relationship and he didn’t know if this gap could ever be overcome now. She stroked his hair and spoke,’I know you two so I know it will work out somehow. Anyway, let me sort them out and then I’ll come back, alright?’ He nodded,’Sure,’ and as she was leaving she made it a point to remind him,’No getting up!’ He nodded under pressure and she left,’Sheesh,’ he was supposed to be resting but with the combination of these three he wasn’t sure it was possible. Iris looked between the other two women present in the living room, Liz was still resting on the couch with fatigue showing on her and Alice was leaning on the kitchen counter, making it a point not to look at or interact with Liz. She approached Liz first as she would be easier to deal with,’Do you want to stay for the night?’ The blue haired girl shook her head,’No, you have enough to deal with it as it is. You don’t have to worry about me, I’ll be fine on my way back.’ She knew that was true, so she let her leave. Then there was Alice. She approached her and held her hand,’Stay here for the night. I know it’s hard to come to terms with it, so I think it’s best for you to stay here and think through it rather than go out and do something stupid. You can ask me anything and I promise I’ll answer. You can sleep in the spare room.’ Alice thought about it and nodded,’Yea, alright.’ She went to the room without a further word. Iris returned to Arthur’s room and laid down besides him,’I’m staying with you tonight.’ He smiled,’How lovely. Big spoon?’ She chuckled and snuggled up to him,’Fine.’ Despite all this stuff happening, they had to just be themselves. This is what their lives would look like for a long time, so they just had to get used to it. However, this also served as a reminder for her that Arthur was not an invincible warrior like her father, and she should not take it for granted. That’s why she wanted to cherish every bit of a normal life that they could have. Word Count: 1,262
  2. Metabee

    Everybody has a Secret

    A week passed since Arthur and Iris became an official couple though on the most part things were still the same, just with more closeness or affection. They also felt relieved that they didn’t have to hide their feelings from each other anymore and could freely talk to each other without having to hold back. Both of them preferred it much better this way. As usual, on their weekend the two decided to stay at Alice’s café and do their normal routine of Arthur helping out, Iris studying and then playing together in the evening. However, this was interrupted by Alice just a bit after all the customers had left,’Come upstairs!’ she called to them. Arthur and Iris looked at each other in confusion but decided to listen and go. She was the boss after all. What they found instead of a clean café was all sorts of food and snacks accompanied by drink laid out on the tables. Arthur looked from table to table at all the nice food, but it didn’t really register with him,’Nice, what’s it for?’ Alice sighed in disbelief and explained,’It’s for you two obviously! A congratulation party! I’ve waited so long for this so I’m happy that it finally happened.’ Iris was both surprised and a bit embarrassed that someone went through the effort for such an occasion, but she was happy nonetheless,’It’s a nice gesture. You didn’t have to though.’ Arthur agreed but Alice had a different opinion,’Well, now that it’s here let’s not let it go to waste. It’s only the three of us here so you don’t need to worry about anyone seeing.’ They did just that as they ate something from every table, sat around and talked as they didn’t feel the time pass. Arthur could tell that Alice probably started planning this as soon as she found out and that she spent quite a lot of money on this as well. Honestly, he would prefer if she didn’t, but it gave them another reason to relax and celebrate. It was times like these that they would remember when reminiscing. Alice too now decided to be more honest with Iris and he could see that they got along fairly well. It made him wonder if they haven’t talked outside of the café as they chatted about girly stuff. Obviously, he didn’t take part in that conversation, so he finished a few snacks that there was barely anything left of. Then, a weird feeling came over him, but he couldn’t quite tell what it was. He looked through the doors to check if there was anyone there, but he couldn’t see anything unusual. This action interested the girls, Iris in particular, as she asked,’Do you see anything?’ She was weary of a Hollow attack and wanted to be ready just in case. He shook his head but kept watching,’No, not yet.’ Alice approached him and curiously looked out the door as well,’What are you looking at? Is it the stray cat again?’ The atmosphere changed from cheerful and easy-going to one of tension as all three of them become on guard against what might be lurking outside. A few long moments later a big blue something dropped from a nearby roof. He didn’t have to look long to figure out it was a Hollow, so he quickly faced Iris,’Go! Take her downstairs and stay there until I come!’ She complied and dragged away the questioning Alice as they went downstairs while he quickly went through the door to meet this Hollow. It was quite big, at least three times his height, it was mostly blue in colour and seemed to be lizardy in nature, though instead of scales it seemed to have more metallic circular segments akin to what you would expect on a centipede. He could also see its sharp teeth and claws as well as the three sword like features coming out from each forearm. Arthur looked up at the Hollow and questioned,’What do you want?’ The Hollow looked down at him like a pest,’I have come for revenge,’ it said in a raspy voice. He didn’t really understand,’Revenge? This is the first time I’m seeing you. I haven’t done anything to you.’ The Hollow agreed,’Not to me personally, but you have slain my fellow Hollows from my group, and I have watched you since then. Now I will destroy everything you cherish!’ The Hollow roared and instantly started attacking while Arthur summoned his umbrella to intercept its attack. He was pushed back from the sheer strength of this Hollow, but more than that he wasn’t able to pierce its metallic skin. He tried every form of his umbrella to attack it, physical, reiryoku, even Gafu but he was just not able to wound it. On the other hand, the Hollow was easily able to wound him as even if he dodged it’s claws, the sword things still got him. The right side of his shirt was stained with blood as his side was bleeding and that was only the beginning of it as more wounds appeared on his arms legs and torso. It was clear that this was the strongest Hollow he met so far and as it did not have the appearance of a Gillian then it must be an Adjuchas. His body was hurting all over and he was becoming dizzy from the blood loss. If he couldn’t find a way to kill this Hollow quickly then he would die and next on the list would be Iris and Alice. He couldn’t allow that to happen, so he had to fight. He kept analysing the body of the Hollow, but he did not see any soft spots that he could take advantage of. Arthur noticed another reiatsu approaching as a ball of reiryoku was shot at the Hollow’s face who winced at the impact. He turned to see the shot came from Iris and there was a barrier around the café as a defensive measure though he knew it wouldn’t last long against the attacks of an Adjuchas. She looked to him worried,’If you can’t do it yourself then I will help you!’ He knew she was putting up a brave front though as she was just a normal human being without powers. However, her attack gave him an idea which should have been obvious to him. No matter how hard the Hollow’s body was, the eyes and the inside of its mouth couldn’t possibly be hard due to biological reasons. Arthur motioned for Iris to fall back,’Go! Protect yourself! I can handle this.’ She didn’t comply this time though,’I can see what state you are in! I’m not leaving you. Especially not after I can finally be with you!’ It was clear she too couldn’t just sit back and watch as her loved one was getting killed. He let out a sigh and raised himself,’Just stay safe. I don’t want to see any wounds on you.’ He changed the umbrella into gun form and aimed for its left eye and as a gunshot rang out blood exploded from the Adjuchas’ eye just a few milliseconds later. The Hollow roared in pain as it was completely blinded on the left side, but it wasn’t enough to hit the brain. Arthur shouted to Iris,’Get back! Shoot for it’s mouth when the time is right,’ as he could see the Adjuchas become infuriated and he did not want her to be anywhere near it. The monster lashed out with its claws, swords and tail as well as it could, but it was more difficult with its now reduced vision. However, this still did not make dodges easier for the wounded Arthur but he couldn’t dodge forever as he had to destroy its other eye. Upon the next slam of its hand, Arthur dodged to the side and then quickly jumped up on its hand to run right next to its head. He changed the Myriad Manifestations Umbrella into spear form as 4 reiryoku spears appeared floating behind him. He stabbed the spear right into the Hollow’s right eye which was then followed up by the 4 spears piercing into the same spot. This roar was even louder than the previous and Iris shot another reiryoku ball into its mouth, right on queue. The now blind Hollow couldn’t dodge and was hit with the shot causing it to fall to the ground on its back. It couldn’t close it’s mouth now either as it was burnt from the reiryoku which gave Arthur the perfect opportunity to finish it off. He jumped into its mouth and continuously stabbed his spear into the roof of its mouth to make his way toward brain. Seeing that his spear couldn’t get any further, he changed his umbrella into gun form and gathered reiryoku into the barrel to fire a charged shot which pierced its mouth and brain though it did not come out through its skull. However, this was enough for it to die as it instantly stopped moving and Arthur emerged from its mouth. The Adjuchas started disappearing, but now that his adrenaline also disappeared, he felt his strength drain instantly as he fell to his knees. Alice emerged from the café and screamed as soon as she saw Arthur’s state. Both her and Iris ran up to him and started helping him up,’What happened?! We need to get you to a hospital!’ He shook his head,’No, no hospital.’ Alice was panicking and she couldn’t understand as tears were welling from her eyes,’What do you mean no hospital? You’ll die!’ He knew they wouldn’t be able to fix this and not in a timely manner anyway. Iris may have understanding of reiryoku but he doubted that she knew any healing techniques. Still, he looked to her anyway though his weakness was making it hard to talk,’My phone, Liz.’ Iris understood though and reached into his pocket for his phone and immediately made the call and explained the situation, obviously she was far from calm though. Liz also was quick to understand as it wasn’t the first time to happen and they decided to meet at Arthur’s house due to distance reasons. Iris and Alice each took his arm and carried him towards his house where his fate would be decided. Word Count: 1,718
  3. Metabee

    Everybody has a Secret

    That night they went to sleep without finishing the movie, though they did finish all the pizza and about half of the snacks remained in each packet. As they went to sleep quite late, it was natural that they also woke up later to compensate. At least he thought so, as he found Iris in the kitchen washing the plates from the previous night,’You didn’t have to you know.’ She nodded and smiled,’I know, but I wanted to. As thanks for letting me stay. It’s the least I can do.’ It was indeed nice of her, but he felt bad that his guest was doing chores for him, especially when it was her,’Did you wake up long ago?’ She shook her head again as she looked from him to the plates,’I’m used to waking up early. I did sleep in though. I woke up like 30 minutes ago? Something like that.’ He nodded and leaned on the counter,’Well, you can stay as long as you like. I usually spend my weekends in the café anyway, so I don’t have anything planned.’ Just like last night, she must have not wanted to be a bother as she said,’I’ll think about it.’ He nodded,’Sure, but I’m definitely not letting you leave without breakfast, you hear?’ he said which made her chuckle,’Alright, shall we get started on that then?’ They inspected the contents of his fridge as they thought about what to make. Arthur definitely wasn’t one for luxurious eating so ingredients were limited but milk and eggs were always in supply in his fridge, which is why they decided on American style pancakes. They started working together as Iris fetched the ingredients while Arthur got out the tools for her as she mixed the ingredients one by one and then he was responsible for whisking the mixture into shape. Once he was done, Iris then heated up some butter on the frying pan and poured in the pancake batter in the right dosage to make a nice and fluffy pancake. While she did that, Arthur checked if he had any syrup to pour onto the pancakes but according to his expectations, he did not find any as it was simply not something that he used often. So, they decided to substitute it with powered sugar to satisfy their sweet tooth and as for fruit didn’t have any berry typed fruits, but he did have some bananas on hand, so he cut those into slices. They didn’t end up using all the batter, so the remainder was put into the fridge and just like the previous night, they enjoyed their breakfast on the sofa with the TV on. They also talked about minor topics, in particular he wanted to find out more about Iris so that’s how his questions were oriented. She told him that she would soon graduate and since work experience was mandatory in the medicine field she was thinking about going back to the place she worked in as part of her degree. He didn’t really know how hard it was to get a job in the medical industry but nonetheless he encouraged Iris to pursue her dreams. He felt that was the best approach to things. After their breakfast, Iris took his offer and used it to study further while he did the washing up. Of course, he wouldn’t force her to stay, but it certainly was more fun this way but either way he wouldn’t push her to stay or leave. Later in the day, he fetched a spare laptop so that they could play some trivia games which was good fun since there was nothing good on TV so it boring them. However, all things must come to an end as before dinner Iris decided that it was time to leave,’Thank you for letting me stay. It was really fun,’ she said as they talked at the door. Arthur smiled,’Yes, it was. You’re welcome any time.’ She did some sort of nervous chuckle and then he gave her directions to the main street and saw her off. He let out a sigh as soon as he closed the door. Alone again. A few weeks passed since then and they went on many dates since then though neither of them mentioned the boyfriend/girlfriend thing yet, so he wasn’t sure exactly what to call it. Close friends? Friends who go on dates? Was there even something like that? It was easy to tell that he wasn’t very familiar with this sort of thing and his best reference being Alice didn’t help much either as she didn’t have a lot of experience either, though she eagerly encouraged him regarding Iris. On those dates they would do the usual things couples did like go to the cinema, a restaurant, for a walk in the park and so on. Pretty much everything that couples did but without the touchy stuff. Arthur though wanted this to change as he was certain that he was in love with her and so wanted them to be an official couple which is why he worked up the courage and made the decision to finally talk about this topic. Their next major outing was to see the cherry blossoms along with a picnic. They arrived in the park and were mesmerised by all the pink petals on trees,’Looks so beautiful, doesn’t it?’ He nodded his head in appreciation,’It does. Let’s find a nice spot.’ Needless to say, this was a very popular event so there were many people about so finding a space was hard, but they managed to find one with a decent view. Arthur laid out the blanket on the grass and Iris got out various snacks from the basket that she brought, which contained both store snacks and some sandwiches and biscuits that she made. They got themselves comfortable and enjoyed the scenery while simply relaxing. Some time later, Arthur decided to finally begin the topic,’I wanted to ask you…well, we’ve been seeing each other for some time now but we aren’t exactly a boyfriend and girlfriend since he haven’t talked about it, but you haven’t exactly shrugged off my attempts either. I feel like it’s a good time so do you want to? Be my girlfriend I mean.’ Iris listened to him speak and he noticed that her expression became more troubled as her grey eyes looked at him,’Arthur… I understand where you are coming from. Don’t get me wrong I also feel the same and would like to be together with you. It’s just that…’ She hesitated and didn’t finish,’What is it?’ he asked,’Is it your parents? Or are you in trouble?’ Iris shook her head,’No, I’m sure that my father would be happy with anybody as long as I was happy. It’s more complicated than that. There are special circumstances.’ Arthur nodded along,’I see. Do you want to talk about them?’ She looked at him unsure,’I’m not sure you would understand.’ He chuckled at this,’Try me. You won’t know unless you tell me.’ If this was going to be such a deal breaker, they would have to talk about it eventually. Besides, he was a pretty understanding guy so he wouldn’t judge her harshly or anything. ‘The truth is… that I’m spiritually aware. I can see spirits and because of that at times evil spirits come after me so by being with me your life might be at risk too,’ Iris confessed to him. Arthur couldn’t help but let out a laugh. It was just too perfect,’Hey! Don’t laugh at other people’s secrets! I’m serious.’ He recovered himself,’Sorry, I know you are. I believe you.’ She was taken aback by his sudden acceptance as most people would think her crazy,’Really?’ He nodded earnestly,’Yea, me too. I’m a Fullbringer.’ Both of them had been supressing their reiatsu so they didn’t know until now but the fact that both of them were spiritually aware was like being meant for each other. They would be able to talk about it with someone and they would understand. Iris was surprised like him but too understood the logic behind it and let out a sigh of relief,’So, with that out of the way, what do you say?’ Their hands overlapped and she smiled,’Yes,’ before they snuggled up closer to each other,’I like it better this way.’ He finally got his answer. He would be surprised if she declined as the frequency at which they talked and went out was a bit too much for just normal friends and everyone around them could clearly see that they liked each other. However, nothing was ever certain which is why they had to talk about it. Perhaps he should have done this much earlier but they were both happy and this is all that mattered. Word Count: 1,466
  4. Metabee

    Battle Of The Degenerates

    The other Fullbringer didn’t take long to think over Arthur’s deal as he shook his hand in acceptance and introduced himself as Hizorashi Masato. He did likewise,’I’m Arthur Wright. Arthur is fine as well, no need for honorifics.’ As they needed a way to contact each other they also exchanged their contact information and saved it in their phones. However, Masato said that he would not be continuing the search tonight, but he knew someone that was better for the job which should increase their chances,’Alright, you do that. I’ll search a bit more tonight to see if I can’t find anything. I’ll keep in touch.’ He let Masato leave when he felt ready and Arthur simply bided his time until the ambulance was near. He could hear the siren from a good distance away due to his hearing which he could improve if he focused on it. Another trait which reminded him that his perception was in fact, better than normal humans. He took the unconscious man over his shoulder and jumped down to street level to lay him down on the pavement before returning to the rooftop before the ambulance arrived. It would be likely that they would question him about what happened to him and he didn’t want or need to be a part of that. His safety has been guaranteed and he could continue his search. Arthur reached for his phone and called Layla and it was clear that she was waiting for news as she picked up quickly,’Did you find it?’ He shook his head though she couldn’t see it,’No, but I was able to get some intel, but I’ll fill you in later on that. Tell me, do you see the Hollow’s signal? I need to know which area to search more thoroughly.’ Layla went silent for a few moments, no doubt to check the software, and then spoke,’No, it’s not there at the moment.’ He let out a sigh,’Alright, keep monitoring it and call me immediately if it appears. I’ll let you know when I’m done for the night.’ He hanged up and took a few moments to collect his thoughts. If the Hollow was small, looking from rooftops may not be a good idea as he might miss it. Furthermore, it can take control of normal people to blend in with the environment making it even harder to find. Like Masato said, if it didn’t want to be found then perhaps it may be too hard. However, when Masato was chasing it, he was clearly able to sense its reiatsu. Why? When it possesses a human, it is most likely able to supress its reiatsu so that it isn’t picked up by the software. Maybe it isn’t actually skilled at supressing reiatsu so when it gets distracted then it can be sensed? In any case, he now had to check humans as well, but what was the best way to weed out this Hollow? Arthur assumed that even though it was able to take control of bodies, it wasn’t likely that it could take control of memories as well. Therefore, it wouldn’t be well versed in information about Karakura. He came down to ground level and kept roaming the streets and any time he passed by a person he would ask them for directions, asking them for specific streets on the other side of the area. People who were walking around at this time were likely latecomers home so they should know the area. If they weren’t able to answer his questions, then it was possible that it was the Hollow. Furthermore, this Hollow may have seen Masato but not Arthur so it wouldn’t be on guard against him. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and he didn’t have any leads to go on. As it was late, he decided to call it a night. From his medical examination it didn’t indicate that the possession itself was harmful to the person but maybe the longer the Hollow was in control the more harmful it was. He could not confirm this and hoped that the Hollow instead chose to run away instead of possessing someone. He messaged Masato about his unfruitful results and headed home. Word Count: 700
  5. Metabee

    Battle Of The Degenerates

    The other Fullbringer watched Arthur perform his medical examination but did not seem to make further moves, whether positive or negative. This also included not calling for an ambulance. Despite his previous concerned tone perhaps he did not care that much. Arthur could not say that he was surprised about this as not many people were willing to help a complete stranger. However, protecting citizens was just as much his responsibility as killing Hollows. That’s what it means to be part of Duality. To fight for those who can’t fight themselves. Besides, his moral compass didn’t allow him to leave someone just like that. With the examination finished, before putting away the phone into his pocket he quickly called for an ambulance and then approached the stranger to tell him of the result and question him about the Hollow. He confirmed Arthur’s suspicions and shed some light on the situation as well. This Hollow was apparently a parasite which jumped from host to host which adds up with the info he was given from Layla’s briefing. This explained why he was so hard to track and why the signal would irregularly disappear and appear. However, the Fullbringer’s next comment did not add up with his current theory. Vasto Lorde class Hollow’s were supposed to be human sized but from his description it seemed to be much smaller than that. Perhaps, because of its parasitic nature it did not grow properly? Either way, with this Hollow being able to take control of living humans it was definitely an abnormal one. Though he could not say that he saw every type of Hollow out there, but the ability itself was definitely a rare one. Arthur thought about what his next action should be and came to a decision,’It seems that we are after the same Hollow then. I do not mind which one of us kills it as long as the job gets done, but like you said this guy is a slippery one. How about we join forces? If we split up, we can cover more ground and if one of us finds it first send a signal to let the other know. Deal?’ He put out his hand for a handshake and awaited the Fullbringer’s decision. If he agreed, he would speak,’You can go ahead and start. I’ll pass this guy to the ambulance and start searching as well,’ he pointed at the unconscious man as he said so. If he declined, as long as he wasn’t hostile towards him Arthur wouldn’t keep him here either and let him get on with his search as it was in their best interest to get rid of this Hollow. Word Count: 447
  6. Metabee

    Everybody has a Secret

    Arthur met again with Iris a week later though they had also been texting through that time, so they had a chance to get to know each other a bit more. They met in the Alice’s café like last time but even though she agreed last time she might have changed her mind since then, so he decided to ask for,’How about it? Want to spend some time with me?’ She nodded cheerfully,’Yea! But I need to study a bit first so give me like 2 or 3 hours, ok?’ He nodded as well,’Sure, no rush. Same seat as last time, I’ll help out here until then so call me down when you need anything,’ he talked as he booked her in. Naturally, he could just go down with her and stop working now, but he didn’t want to get in her way. Even more than that he didn’t want to seem desperate, so he decided the best solution is to take his time with things. Once Iris went down Alice smiled mischievously,’So, any progress?’ to which Arthur frowned,’None of your business.’ She rested her hands on her hips and bent slightly towards him,’Don’t be like that! I want to know! Little Arthur is finally growing up.’ That comment especially irritated him,’I’m not a kid! Especially not yours. I would dread that more than anything.’ Alice let out a sigh,’Tell me!’ He knew that she probably wouldn’t stop until he told her, so he gave up,’I don’t know. We are talking whenever we can, but I don’t see any signs.’ She chuckled,’Do you even know what a sign looks like?’ He instantly replied without any hestitation,’Nope.’ She simply brought her hand to her face in hopelessness,’Do you at least know if she is single?’ Arthur looked way,’I didn’t ask…yet,’ and Alice crossed her arms,’Well, let’s hope that we aren’t getting out hopes up for nothing then.’ 3 hours later Iris came upstairs to tell him that she was ready, so Arthur looked to Alice and she nodded. It was a bit earlier than usual, but it was a just cause that she had no problems with. They started with a refresher of what Iris learned last week and he got her to do some side quests, but she too wanted a challenge and told him she wanted to try ‘one of these things where a group of people fight a monster’, a raid basically. He didn’t refuse her and let her try one but obviously not the hardest level difficulty and he didn’t want her to say that he was going easy on her, so he chose a medium difficulty. He explained to her about the holy trinity of gaming and she followed along with the other players. They defeated the monsters on the way with relative ease and eventually got to the boss where her skills would be truly tested. The tank pulled and the fight started as everyone was doing their roles fairly well. Arthur could tell that her party members were also average players, both from their gear and their skill level. That’s why soon the tank made a mistake and the whole thing fell apart as the party started taking heavy damage and were on the verge of a wipe. Iris’ monitor was red on the outside as she too had low HP, but she still kept trying as she kept dodging and using skills and attempting to block. Arthur could no longer resist as his gamer instinct took over and he took hold of the mouse, or Iris’ hand that was holding it. He felt her hand flinch under his, but she did not pull it back. He started guiding her by pressing the mouse buttons for her and told her which way to move. Thanks to that they successfully got behind the boss and unleashed a few back attacks which redirected the aggro to them. He then told her what to say on the microphone and she repeated it,’Healer, heal me while I hold aggro and use that to heal the rest of the party. Tank, once you have enough health take the aggro. DPS, use CC skills to hold the boss in place.’ The other players complied, and their plan went into motion. He himself played the DPS role so they couldn’t take too much damage which is why he told Iris when and how to dodge the incoming attacks while the party healed up. After this the party pretty much discovered and they killed the boss without much further trouble. All this time he was holding her hand and only when he let go did it get to him as he felt his face get hotter. Was that too sudden and awkward? He knew that girls didn’t like sudden physical contact so he braced himself for what she would say. She let out a sigh of relief as she looked at the raid rewards,’Phew, that was…intense,’ then she looked to him,’I can see why you like it,’ she said with a smile. It looked like things turned out in his favour then as she didn’t say anything bad about and seemed to enjoy the experience. He too smiled as an idea came to him,’How about we make you your own account so that we can play together?’ Iris looked a bit surprised but thought about it carefully,’I don’t think I can play too often by myself, but that way when we are here, we can both play together which I think would be better rather than just you watching.’ Since she agreed he got her to go through the registration and character creation process, one in which he didn’t influence her class decision, and they spent the rest of the evening playing together side by side. Just like last time, Iris stayed all the way until Alice had to close the café and they left together again. Obviously, Alice wouldn’t hide her friendship with Arthur, so she waved them goodbye and went her own way leaving them two together. Iris too was about to leave but he stopped her with a,’Wait,’ so she stopped and asked,’What is it?’ He didn’t have a plan in mind when he said that, so he quickly had to think of something,’Uh, it’s very late and I don’t want you to go back by yourself. My house is fairly close to here so would you want to stay over?’ Iris hesitated to answer which he found natural as they only knew each other for a week and he was already inviting her over. Not that he meant anything by it, but the streets truly were dangerous and you never know when a Hollow could appear. She answered still uncertain,’I wouldn’t want to impose myself…’ she said but he shook his head,’I have a spare room that you can use. It’s no problem really. If you really don’t want to then I could walk you to your house?’ She thought about this new proposition,’But then you would have to go back by yourself at an even later time.’ She then let out a sigh,’Alright then, if you don’t mind then I could stay the night. However…’ While it seemed like good news so far Arthur prepared himself for the rest of that sentence,’I’m feeling a bit hungry… Can we get something to eat?’ It was quite ridiculous that he couldn’t help himself but chuckle,’Of course, what would you like?’ They started walking as she thought about it,’Well, takeaways are closed at this hour so the 24 hour supermarket is our best bet. We can decide there.’ He agreed and they hit the store in which they bought some snacks and 2 ready pizzas,’If it wasn’t so late, we could make our own pizza next time.’ Arthur nodded,’Sure, sounds good. I’ve actually never had homemade pizza.’ He was more interested in that next time in all honesty. Iris wasn’t really surprised at his statement as most people would decide on takeaway over making it yourself. They paid for the food and Arthur brought her home where they quickly got set up and put the pizzas in the oven while they started on the snacks until they were ready. They set the pizzas on the table and got comfortable in the sofa while some movie was playing on the TV and simply dug in. Arthur felt like this has been the happiest he has been since Scarlett’s death so there was no denying it. He really was in love. Word Count: 1,419
  7. Metabee

    Battle Of The Degenerates

    It was clear that this other Fullbringer was also cautious of him as he did not make any unnecessary movements or even speak until Arthur questioned him about the state of the victim. The man turned to face him, and he turned out to be young, maybe a bit younger than himself. He looked towards the cocoon and replied that he wasn’t able to tell with a voiced worry and instead asked him to do it, if he was qualified of course. Arthur nodded,’I can check if he’s not in immediate danger, but I can’t give any treatment myself so his best chances would be an ambulance,’ he said and crouched to one knee in front of the cocoon. He got out his phone and turned on the flashlight to increase his visibility. The only reason he was able to do this was that Liz showed him how to do minor first aid and then there was also Iris whose experience as a medical student also taught him a few things. First, Arthur checked the man’s pulse which was normal for an unconscious person. Then he raised the man’s eye lid and shone the light into it and the result was that the pupil constricted, meaning there was no brain damage. Next, he brought his ear to the man's nose and listened to his breathing, it was a bit shallow as he was unconscious, but he couldn’t hear any irregularities that would indicate lung damage either. Arthur also opened the man’s mouth to take a smell, but there were no signs of alcohol. He also noticed that there was bruising on the left side of his face but there was nothing he could do about that. Lastly, there were no traces of high reiatsu coming from the man, so he was simply your average Joe. Concluding the examination, he got up and turned off the flashlight on his phone and put it back in his pocket. Arthur turned back to the Fullbringer, who he expected to call an ambulance in that time, and informed him of his analysis,’He doesn’t seem to be in immediate danger based on outward appearance and neither does he seem wounded too heavily. However, the impact which caused the bruising on his head might have caused internal bleeding, which I can’t solve.’ If the Fullbringer was hesitant to call for an ambulance, Arthur would do it himself and give their current address and any other details. While they would wait, he would question the man further,’You were chasing a Hollow, but this guy is a normal human and not enough time passed between you stopping and me catching up to you for a fight to have happened. What happened?’ He had to know as if the Fullbringer didn’t kill it then a Vasto Lorde class Hollow was still out there and there may be more victims. Word Count: 481
  8. Metabee

    Battle Of The Degenerates

    Layla invited Arthur to her office once again and he sat himself down comfortably,’A new mission?’ She nodded in response,’And a dangerous one at that. According to the reiatsu levels it is a Vasto Lorde.’ She said quite gravely as they both understood the implications of this. Arthur was able to kill an Adjuchas level Hollow on his own before, well he did receive minor help from Iris but he still did 95% of the workload so he counted that as by himself. However, a Vasto Lorde will be even stronger than that. He was not entirely confident that he would be able to kill it himself,’Tell me more.’ Layla nodded and spoke,’Vasto Lorde class Hollows are the top of the Hollow race, excluding Arrancars which is an evolution of a Hollow. As you already noticed, Adjuchas class Hollows generally aren’t much bigger than normal human height while Vasto Lorde are normally human sized but still with Hollow features. The worrying part is that they are said to be even stronger than a Shinigami at Captain level.’ He could tell that she was concerned for him and Arthur wasn’t really keen on dying, especially after the recent events that he has been through. The reason he will be going alone is that everyone else was unavailable and naturally Layla had to stay here to look after the base. ‘However…’ she continued and he raised his eyebrows in interest,’What is it?’ She let out a sigh and showed him her monitor,’This one is a bit weird. Its signal disappears very fast, much too fast. It would be like entering the room and then leaving it straight away. It’s really hard to track.’ On her computer Layla had a software that was able to track down Hollows, or at least give their location and strength level. Apparently, it was something similar to what the Shinigami use but as it was hard to program only she had access to it. She re-winded the record to the previous night. He could see a dot flashing and moving about before it quickly disappeared but then it appeared again several hours later only to disappear just as fast. This continued for some time but there didn’t seem to be a trend in the interval between its appearances,’What is it doing?’ She shook her head,’I can’t answer that.’ Obviously, this didn’t seem to be within the norm,’Any victims?' She couldn’t answer that either it seems as she shook her head,’There hasn’t been any news reports about any bodies found but a Vasto Lorde has much more intelligence than a normal Hollow so it must have some sort of purpose. Perhaps, this one emerges from a Garganta and takes its victim to Hueco Mundo to eat before coming back.’ He got up from his seat,’Anything else you need to tell me?’ She smiled sympathetically,’I would like to but unfortunately I don’t have much to go on.’ They could theorise all night long and still not get anywhere so the best solution was to simply go and find out yourself. Arthur had some preparations to make beforehand, both physically and mentally. He quickly sent a message to both Iris and Alice telling them that he will be fighting. It was something that he started after his fight with the Adjuchas since Alice yelled at him for it. So here he was, in the area it was last spotted but he didn’t really know what he was looking for. Since the system couldn’t pick up the Hollow’s reiatsu he wasn’t doing any better job trying to sense it himself. Perhaps that was the innate of the ability of the Hollow. The only thing he could do was to physically go street to street in hopes of finding a human sized Hollow, well maybe hope wasn’t the right word since he’d rather be at home in his own bed. Obviously, this kind of footwork didn’t provide much in the way of results, so he was ready to give up. Besides, it wasn’t like he had to kill it today and could receive back up on a different day but at the same time what if there were victims? He didn’t want to be responsible for that number increasing because of his laziness. Arthur kept up the search until he saw 2 people whizzing past him above. No normal humans would be able to easily jump between roofs and such long distances. However, from one of those people he felt a Hollow like reiatsu and the person chasing it also had a considerable reiatsu as well, but the flash of cyan most likely indicated another Fullbringer as Shinigami were known for wearing black kimono thingies. He immediately gave chase by using Bringer Light and caught up to the two with a slight delay. When he got there, he saw a cyan cocoon covering the face of a man before being completed. The Hollow reiatsu couldn’t be sensed anymore and he was sure that the person was an ordinary human, an innocent human. Besides if it was a Hollow surely a battle would have lasted longer but there were no signs of battle and neither was there any blood spray. For now, Arthur decided to give the Fullbringer the benefit of the doubt and assume he didn’t kill the man so he would ask,’Is he alright?’ However, he was still very careful of his actions as Layla told him about the conflict between different Fullbringer factions and so he didn’t know how this man would react. For all he knew, Arthur might end up in a similar cocoon. Word Count: 935
  9. Metabee

    Everybody has a Secret

    Alice looked him over carefully,’Did you start hitting the gym? You seem…more buff.’ Arthur watched as the kettle in the process of boiling the water and smirked,’Yea, something like that you could say.’ She nodded in acknowledgement,’Who would have thought? What brought the change? In the entire time I have known you never once have shown interest in being muscular or being healthy in that matter.’ He frowned slightly,’Is it so wrong to want to be healthy? People change given enough time, you know. You should try it sometimes,’ he said with a devilish smile. This time she frowned and tapped her finger on her elbow as she was crossing her arms before her face lit up and she pointed her index finger at him,’Ooh, I know! It’s for a woman, isn’t it? Has to be! You finally found someone?’ A perplexed expression came over him,’What? No!’ The kettle clicked as steam began coming out of it,’Focus on yourself. Time is ticking you know. You don’t have long left,’ he said as he pointed at her with a spoon. Clearly, he hit a raw nerve as Alice got angry and punched him in the arm before storming off,’Good grief,’ he said with a sigh. It’s not like he could tell her that he’s working out to fight evil spirits with his magical umbrella. Arthur opened the cupboard and looked at the selection of coffee with thought as he already forgot the order that was given to him. He slowly looked over the jars one by one and then nodded,’Yea, it was this one. Probably,’ and then used it to brew a single cup of coffee. He took it downstairs to the computer area to his seat, or more specifically the seat next to him. The young lady next to him ordered it and since they were still open he decided to take it upon himself. He put the cup next to the book she was reading for which she thanked him, and he sat back down on his chair and continued playing. Some time later, he noticed that she was staring at him, so he put down his headphones and asked,’Sorry, am I being too loud?’ He had been raiding so he was giving out many commands and in critical moments he tended to raise his voice so he wouldn’t be surprised if it annoyed someone who was reading. She shook her head though,’No, it’s just that I find it fascinating. I’ve seen many guys play games but you’re... different. You seem to have a true passion for it.’ Her hair was that of a dark auburn colour, her skin was more pale than fair, and her grey eyes looked through her glasses at both him and his monitor. He found her to be really beautiful and even though he had seen many pretty women, and even Alice was far from bad looking, but she was giving off a different aura. Arthur smiled,’Thank you. I really do enjoy playing. Many people find it a waste of time to play games or think that it’s dumb to be happy over getting a legendary item, but I find it all fun,’ he looked down at her book,’And what about you? What are you reading?’ She smiled at his response,’I can see that. It’s a biology book. I’m a university student so I have exams quite often.’ He nodded in acknowledgment,’Nice, you want to be a doctor?’ The lady nodded with pride,’Yes! It’s been my dream for quite some time so it’s good that I get to follow it.’ It seemed she too had a passion, one that she will be able to fulfil,’Totally, as long as you are happy with it.’ Arthur saw that she was still gazing at his monitor,’Do you want to try?’ She seemed to be taken aback by the proposition and became a bit flustered,’I don’t know how. I’ve never played a computer game.’ Arthur chuckled,’Not a problem. I’ll show you how, come,’ he said as he invited her to take his seat and she did so happily,’Left hand on the keyboard and right hand on the mouse.’ She positioned herself just like he said,’You use WASD to move and the mouse to turn your camera. Try it.’ The lady did just that as the did a 360 with the camera to look at her surroundings,’Wow, it looks pretty! Look at all these crystals!’ This kind of joy brought a smile to his face as nothing made him happier than seeing someone genuinely enjoy a game. She walked up to them to get a closer look and simply stared at their sparkling glow,’Ok, what next?’ Arthur pointed at the monitor,’Look here there’s an enemy. You attack with the left mouse button and block with the right mouse button or you can dodge by holding a directional button and space. Try going up to it and attacking it.’ She nodded and did just that as the mob got aggroed and started attacking her as well. She spammed the attack button and tried to block when she saw an attack coming but she didn’t have the timing right, so she took the hits. Seeing that she couldn’t pull it off she decided to dodge instead until the mob finally died. She raised her hands and exclaimed,’Yay, I did it!’ He nodded with just as big a smile,’Good job!’ he said and then they high fived. Meanwhile, Alice came down the stairs but stopped in her tracks with the scene before her. She came here to make an announcement for customers to leave since they were officially closing but they would still be open for another 2 hours to clean and so on. Alice recognised the game Arthur always played but now in his place was a woman and he was standing besides her and teaching her. She smiled and thought that maybe she wasn’t so wrong earlier though from her knowledge this was probably their first meeting, but she didn’t want to disturb all the same, so she quietly returned upstairs. Arthur continued,’Next, I’ll show you how to use skills. It will get a bit complicated, but you don’t have to remember all the combinations. The easiest way is going to be to use the 1-9 and it will use them for you, so you’ll just need to aim.’ She nodded along to what he was saying and one by one he showed her the main skills. They spent the next two hours just like this. He was showing her step by step how to play and her excitement didn’t fall as they kept going. This time Alice had to interrupt them as she could not leave them without closing the store. He noticed this and checked the time on his phone,’Oh, it’s closing time,’ he said in surprise. These last hours went by so quickly he felt. The lady was also surprised,’Oh no, I overstayed. Sorry!’ Alice shook her head though,’It’s alright,’ and cleaned up like normal. They left the café as a three though Alice quickly left and didn’t pay them any attention,’Probably still angry,’ he thought. The woman then realised something with an ‘oh!’ she stopped and looked at him,’I forgot to introduce myself. I’m Iris,’ she said, and she reached out for a handshake. He smiled and shook her hand,’Arthur.’ Iris nodded,’It was really fun! Thank you for your time.’ Arthur shook his head though,’It’s not a problem. I had a lot of fun myself.’ He then cleared his throat,’How about we do it again?’ She tilted her head in thought with a,’Hmm,’ and smiled,’Sure!’ They exchanged numbers and were ready to leave,’I’ll let you know when I’ll come next. See you next time.’ He nodded and saw her off,’Until next time.’ Later, he found out he made the wrong coffee as Iris teased him about it. Word Count: 1,311 Total Word Count: 2,418 Iris Appearance:
  10. Metabee

    Everybody has a Secret

    It was night time and the sky was cloudy accompanied with a slight wind. The street lamps brightened up the roads and provided good visibility. He eyes scanned each and every nook and cranny which was an easier task to do from a roof which was where he was now, though it did not let him see through buildings so there were still many dead angles. Arthur was patient as he knew it had to be around here somewhere. A for more moments passed and he spotted a big tail crossing through one of the paths,’I have a visual,’ he said to Liz who was beside him. This was his first mission as a member of Duality and a Fullbringer. A Hollow was often sighted roaming this area and so Arthur was sent to kill it along with Liz,’Let’s get closer,’ she said. They used Bringer Light to move from one roof to another until they had a clear line of sight to the Hollow. It seemed to be some kind of chimera straight of a fantasy book; it had a long scorpion tail that was raised above it’s body, wings which resembled that of a bat, its hind legs resembled that of a horse while the front legs were more akin to a bear and his head was of a lioness covered by a Hollow mask. They looked to each other to concoct a strategy,’The tail will be troublesome. I’ll engage it and while I have its attention you come from behind and cut of the tail. I’ll use that to remove a wing and then it won’t be able to escape.’ He nodded in approval as it seemed the best course of action. Liz activated her Fullbring as a cyan reiryoku covered her body and formed a sort of purply and black body suit covering her from toe to nose. It seemed quite solid and he wouldn’t be surprised if there were hidden gadgets in it,’I’m off.’ Arthur nodded,’Go get them, Batwoman.’ She jumped down and the Hollow turned as it heard a thud on the ground. She was a close combat fighter, so she closed the distance in an instant and landed a kick to its face. The enraged hollow roared and swiped at her with its right paw which Liz dodged by going under it and then delivering another kick to its joint. Arthur waited as they exchanged a few more attacks and started moving to get behind the Hollow and activated his Fullbring as the Myriad Manifestations Umbrella appeared in his right hand. He jumped from the roof, using Bringer Light to boost his speed, and unsheathed the sword from the umbrella before swinging when the distance was close enough. It was a clean cut as blood exploded like a fountain and the tail fell to the ground. In that instant he also caught a whiff of a foul smell,’Someone didn’t wipe properly.’ The Hollow roared in pain an immediately turned backwards to see who the new assailant was, and Liz used that moment of distraction to grab its right wing with both of her hands and pulled. A moment later he heard a ripping sound as the wing came off followed by blood. The chimera raised both its paws and slammed them into the ground to make some distance. He repositioned himself next to Liz as they made their next move. She went left and he went right. She quickly got to the Hollow’s right front leg and jumped up to deliver a falling kick to its shoulder causing it to dislocate judging by the sound. Meanwhile, Arthur approached the left leg and swung twice with his sword follow by a spin to avoid the incoming paw. At the same time, he sheathed the sword back into the umbrella and slammed it into its face as a hollow sound accompanied by a crack rang out. They backed away and looked for its next actions. The chimera wasn’t very pleased with the crack in its forehead as it decided to do a biting attack first,’Get ready to attack its head,’ he warned Liz. He saw the big teeth coming at him and he thrust the umbrella into its jaw and pushed the runner causing it to open up into the shield form. Naturally the full size of the umbrella couldn’t fit in the chimera’s jaw causing it to get stuck, which prevented the Hollow from closing it. Arthur pushed even more causing the lower jaw to become dislocated. In this time Liz went to its side jumped on its torso and locked her fists together and smashed into the crack on the forehead. The Hollow released its grip on the umbrella and raised its head in pain while revealing its neck. He changed the umbrella into the spear form and stabbed into the centre of the neck as the Hollow halted all movement, but it wasn’t dead yet. Arthur put his left hand on the spear for a two-handed grip and pushed to the right as its neck was cut open in a straight line with a gush of blood. The chimera fell to the ground and started disappearing as it was killed by the attack. Liz came down from the Hollow to stand in front of him and her mask opened up to reveal her mouth,’That was a risky move.’ He knew that there were safer ways to dodge the attack but by doing that it gave them a moment of opportunity. He nodded,’I know, but it paid off. Besides, I trust you with my life.’ She let out a sigh,’I just don’t want you to take needless risks. The smallest mistake can lead to death and I don’t want you to die.’ Arthur raised his hands in defeat,’Alright, I’m sorry.’ Liz eyed him for a few more moments and then said,’Good job though.’ Everything was fine as they came out unscathed, but she was simply concerned about him which he appreciated. They started heading back to make their report and went home afterwards. Since then he went on three more missions which were similar in nature. He went out to kill a stray Hollow with different members of Duality and came back safely, though it did not go smoothly every time and he did get wounded in the process but thankfully it wasn’t anything lethal. They told him that it was rare for stronger Hollows to appear since they were more intelligent and didn’t want to be hunted down but Arthur felt content with the weaker Hollows for now as he needed to build up his experience and decision making. Word Count: 1,107 Total Word Count: 1,107
  11. Metabee

    A Normal Life No More

    Soon after the training was done Arthur was getting ready to go home, but before that happened Layla came to see him,’How about we have a chat? Come, let’s go for a walk.’ He replied with a ’Sure,’ and they left the headquarters and the area. It seemed like she was heading to the park though he didn’t mind as he had time,’How do you feel after your training?’ He nodded to himself,’I’ve learned so much from all of them. I guess I’m still me but I also see things from a different perspective now. Maybe I feel like I matured a bit, you could say? Probably a bit too late for that.’ She chuckled,’Well, it is never too late to learn and to improve, but I think you finished maturing some time ago. You are just discovering more about yourself.’ Arthur could agree with that as there were many examples of people changing their views as they learned more things,’And you, what do you think about me?’ Layla smiled,’I’ve heard good things from everybody. I find it quite impressive that somebody with 0 knowledge was able to get this far in just a month. I don’t know whether you have good lineage or is it simply talent. Doesn’t matter though. All your hard work is done by you.’ While he didn’t really get to interact with her much, as she was the leader he did want to make a good impression of her but it never did feel like she was testing him,’Have I exceeded your expectations then?’ She shook her head though,’Expectations? No, nothing like that. I didn’t have any to begin with. Not from any single one of you. Some want to be the strongest organisation, others want the best reputation and there are many other menial reasons. In truth, I don’t have an interest in any of that. I just wanted to make a place for Fullbringers who were struggling. I only want all of you to come back safe and sound to me after every mission. No matter your performance I won’t be disappointed. Just do your best, not to disappoint yourself.’ Her words were very true. Duality didn’t feel like an organisation who was only interested in profit that it would attain through the ruin of others. It was like Liz said. That all of them made this ‘home’ what it is now. They arrived in the park and she took in a deep breath and exhaled,’It’s nice to be in nature after spending whole days in buildings. Though seeing as we are still in the middle of the town perhaps nature isn’t the right word. Still, I like coming here. Feels refreshing don’t you think?’ Arthur looked around but wasn’t really sure,’I don’t really come here often, especially not in winter. It does provide a nice break from all the hustle of the town though, I’ll give you that.’ They started walking around the perimeter of the park and sat down on a bench about halfway through. There were very few people about since it was dark, cold and the usual allure of the park was not here but as they were Fullbringers he didn’t feel in danger or uncomfortable. He did spend most of his time in buildings so he was more of an inside person but could still appreciate this. Layla faced him and spoke,’What do you think about Duality? About the members?’ Arthur thought about all the time he spent with the others. Liz was a florist by career although that was not her degree. Due to high competition, she decided to simply do what she liked hence why she was working there. She was kind and easy to get along with perhaps because she wasn’t afraid to show some more masculine traits in her behaviour. Sometimes, Liz also brought some extra food that she cooked for him and it was a bit different than what he was used to but so much better than any microwaved food that he would usually have. Oliver was definitely more the nerdy type. After finishing his degree, he started teaching high school kids which explained why he was such a good teacher when he was showing Arthur reiryoku stuff. Whenever you wanted to have a debate or a long chat, he was the go-to person as he was knowledgeable about many things. He always learned something new when talking to Oliver though if he was ever going to use that knowledge was another matter. Jack was a true car enthusiast which explained the whole mechanic business. He never went to university and chose an apprenticeship and started from there by saving up. He was a more reserved person and wasn’t really one to make small talk. Unless you ask him about cars. Then he doesn’t stop. Ever. Many times, Arthur felt like shooting himself as he was told about the various car parts and their history as he didn’t share the same passion. Though it was admirable how far he has come through sheer hard work. With William it was a bit harder to get along with due to the age gap, so they weren’t really his circle to hang out with. He was a banker which explained his stiffness at times but most times he was a cool guy to hang around with. He was devilishly good at pool and Arthur hasn’t won against him even once, so he parted with a small sum of money. He could also hold his alcohol well which Arthur wanted to test but ended up passing out and sleeping in the headquarters. Lastly, there was Layla. She was an accountant so sometimes she brought all the invoices to her office and did it there. She felt like a good leader and he was never scared to approach her or ask her something. Just like he experienced now, she was also quite open. Arthur felt like she was a bit of a motherly figure that was keeping all of this together. Then again, probably any kind woman would make a better mother than he had. Arthur nodded and smiled,’I can’t complain. Everybody has their own unique personality and quirks and yet we are all here fighting for a similar thing. I understand now what you told me about Duality. We really are just normal people. I’m glad that it was you that found me and let me join and not anyone else. Thank you.’ Layla smiled,’You’re very welcome. Now you are part of this group so let’s make sure that it never changes, huh?’ He nodded. They way it was now was fine, but surely in the future they will have more members and more personalities. However, it was important that at the core they would be the same. A Fullbringer organisation brought together with cherishing bonds. Word Count: 1,139 Total Word Count: 4,124 Thread Complete
  12. Metabee

    A Normal Life No More

    The last week’s training would be taking place in the bigger training room which he didn’t mind. Honestly, he didn’t really care about the place as it was the content that interested him more. Where else could he learn all this stuff? He was eager to unravel all the mysteries of reiryoku and whatever else was there but knew that he couldn’t be hasty. Just like the first time he tried to make a reiryoku ball it would probably blow up on him and he didn’t want to risk it. Upon entering the room, Arthur saw that not only was William there but also Liz though he greeted them both as normal,’Both of you are training me?’ William smiled,’No, just me. Dear Liz is here to pick you up after I’m done with you.’ He couldn’t deny that he could easily be beaten by any of them, but he wouldn’t go down without a fight,’Alright, what are you going to beat me in?’ William raised his chin,’We’ll fight obviously. Those three have taught you the theory but you are still severely lacking in combat experience. You can use everything you know against me, except for any lethal attacks and the same goes for me. Liz will heal any of your wounds so as long as you don’t die from bleeding we can keep going.’ Although his tone might seem a bit mocking, Arthur didn’t take any offense as he knew that it was all in good sport. Besides, he did enjoy a bit of trash talk himself. It was true that he learned a lot, but like he told Oliver it wasn’t a real environment as it was all safe and calm. The fact that Arthur can use all the skills against a stronger opponent will let him see how they will react and begin on making some improvements. They started without further delay as they summoned their Fullbrings. William’s was a scythe though he didn’t feel like a grim reaper or anything, but Arthur knew that he probably wasn’t any less skilled. He immediately changed the umbrella into spear form and using Bringer Light quickly closed the distance between them with a dash. The sound of metal was ringing as William followed him hit for hit as their weapons clashed, their hands and legs never stopped moving. Arthur brought the umbrella back to his left side, with his right hand he unsheathed the sword and delivered 3 fast attacks while with his left hands he launched another two with the spear tip. Even against two weapons William did not buckle as he successfully and masterfully blocked each attack by moving his scythe. He sheathed the sword and slid under him before launched himself at his back for a stab attack, but this was intercepted by his scythe even though he didn’t turn around. The older man then stomped on the floor with his right foot as a pillar of earth appeared out of no where and hit Arthur in the stomach as well as launching him high into the air. He changed the umbrella into rifle form, aimed it behind him and fired as the recoil brought him closer to William and he used Bringer Light on the air to propel himself towards his opponent, changing into spear form once again and delivering a vertical attack power by his momentum. William blocked the attack but due to the moment had to sidestep and let Arthur continue along his path. As soon as his feet reached the ground, the scythe was sent after his right side. Arthur expected a quick attack, so he used Bringer Light to dash some distance away to William’s left. Unsheathing the sword, he remembered what Oliver taught him. Swing your arm or leg in an arc and release your reiryoku. He did exactly that but using his sword gave him an extra bit of range. Golden reiryoku emerged from tip of the sword and a wave was shot towards William,’Shibuki!’ This time his opponent used Bringer Light to dodge the wave by flickering and then closed the distance as their weapons began clashing. Cuts started accumulating throughout his body as his blood dripped to the floor and his white shirt had more and more rips and red stains. No matter what strategy he used, William was able to bring it to his advantage as he outsmarted him and deceived him through his actions. When he could no longer fight Liz sat beside him and started tending to his wounds one by one through the means of a green light from her hands. In the meantime, she complimented him on his fighting skills and improvements since she trained him. He happily accepted them and continued his training when all his wounds were healed while she saw him off with a,’Do your best!’ William taught him a valuable lesson,’Your opponents will deceive you through feints. Looking at the position of your opponent’s hands or weapon can be unreliable as it can be changed last seconds and the counter your prepared will be useless. If you want to predict your opponent’s intentions it is best to look at their feet as they are the hardest to mask. Of course, this applies to human opponents but Hollows themselves are quite skilled in the art of deception. You need to be able to read your opponent no matter who they are.’ They continued fighting and he lost round after round, though it wasn’t like he expected to win against him on the first day. Every day they did nothing but fight. Arthur wasn’t able to take the initiative or wound William until he was able to somewhat read him. Sometimes when he was on the offensive and it felt like he had the initiative, he was still following William’s pace rather than setting his own which was something he learned to be cautious of. All of this proved to be a very valuable experience as even though it was only a week, it made him feel like he’s fought for much longer. Though that was more his adrenaline talking as this was only one opponent, so he was simply used to his fighting style. This meant that he couldn’t ever get complacent and let down his guard. Arthur also wasn’t as scared of getting hurt anymore either. He accepted that pain was a part of fighting and he couldn’t cower from it and had to keep fighting despite his wounds. With this his month-long training was over. While he didn’t feel completely ready as there was no such thing, but he felt that he was as prepared as possibly could be. He didn’t forget his reason for fighting. He was doing this for Alice, and he will have to tackle the challenges thrown at him to protect her. Learned Shibuki: 1,138/650 Word Count: 1,138 Total Word Count: 2,985
  13. Metabee

    A Normal Life No More

    The third week of training would once again take place in the smaller training room. Even though it was referred to as smaller it still had plenty of space as it was slightly smaller than the smallest sports hall. He was told that’s where most of the one on one practice happened while the bigger training room was more for group activities. Arthur and Jack met up and got started without further delays,’This session will actually be more independent learning, you could say. I can’t really teach you how to use your own Fullbring, but I can help you in improving your technique and how to use your abilities in various ways.’ He nodded as that was what he fully expected. Each Fullbring was unique, but there probably wasn’t infinite types so there would always be similarities somewhere. Besides, he was fine with figuring it out by himself and he wouldn’t scorn any guidance given to him as Jack said, he limited his scope sometimes. Arthur began by summoning his Fullbring and Jack spoke,’So, from the limited combat experience you do have what have you managed to work out so far?’ He answered,’It’s called Myriad Manifestations Umbrella and the name comes from the fact that it can change shapes. Here, I’ll show you,’ and then demonstrated by turning the umbrella into the three forms he had discovered so far: spear, shield and gun. Jack nodded,’I see, that must be your unique ability. Each Fullbring possesses one unique ability, for example stuff like elemental control, displacement and whatever have you. I haven’t seen a Fullbring that changes shapes before so that is definitely yours.’ Arthur shared the same view because if it wasn’t able to change forms then it would simply be a useless umbrella,’So, where do we start?’ Jack looked over the umbrella,’It seems quite complex with all the forms it has so before we try anything new how about we address any weaknesses you found?’ It didn’t take him much thought to know what that is,’In gun form my aim is atrocious. I will probably miss unless I’m really close which defeats the point of having a gun in the first place.’ Jack nodded in approval,’Yes, that’s definitely a key weakness. Let’s do some target practice then.’ He got out three training dummies made from hay and set them out with equal space between them using a tape measure and once that was done, he used the same tape measure to make the firing line which was about 10 metres from the dummies. Arthur changed the umbrella into gun form and fired away. At first, he was firing only at the middle one and once his aim improved Jack gave him an exercise to alternate between the three dummies. To add to this, Arthur wasn’t the one choosing the dummy as Jack would call out left, right or middle and he would shoot. This increased his awareness of surroundings as he had to pay attention to all three dummies which in turn decreased his accuracy as his hand kept moving. However, it would be the same in battle as he would have to keep moving so neither his breath or hand would be fully steady. He did this for a good two hours before the firing line was moved back a further 5 metres. It didn’t seem like much the difference was apparent when aiming a gun as he had to make the necessary adjustments. They continued with the exercise and kept increasing the distance of the firing line. The result of this was that Arthur knew that for now he wasn’t able to hit anything above 30 metres while his accuracy was considerably lower above 20 metres. While this was far from bad, it was said that a compound bow had an effective range between 27 and 54 metres so currently his gun was less effective than a bow but considering a combat situation 20 metres was actually a big distance so it would still give him an advantage. This took them a whole day as it was an important aspect, but it was still not finished as the next day the continued with the same thing but even harder. This time he once again started at the 10 metre firing line but Jack made keep running up and down the line and fire at the same time which took much more energy and focus. In terms energy, he found that his stamina has improved greatly recently so he didn’t actually tire out as fast and as for the focus, he just had to get the hang of the adjustment to make as timing also played a role now. Arthur also included jumping in this part of the section which gave him an idea on how to use the recoil to his advantage. They kept increasing the distance just like last time and near the end of the day, he figured out one of his abilities for the gun form. To begin with, it didn’t fire real bullets and instead it was small reiryoku bullets. He discovered that if he was to hold the trigger for longer, more of his reiryoku would be put into the attack, making it stronger to the point that it was now a beam rather than a bullet. As this had a wider area of effect, he didn’t need to worry as much about precise aim which would be helpful at the farther distances. With that, they decided to conclude their practice on the gun form and started on the spear from the next day. There were a few key points regarding fighting with the spear: first was the range as it had the biggest physical range out of all his forms so far, second was the movement as he needed be able to transition through the attack easily by repositioning his hands and legs. This is where he learned how to twirl a spear in his hand which made him excited as he always wanted to learn how to do that. Next, was the fact that spears were mostly made for stabbing but if he swung it horizontally the tip of the spear could cut his opponents body very similar to how a sword would, something that he had already demonstrated in his fight with the wyvern. Lastly, was when to use a two-handed grip as opposed to single handed. The spear was easy enough to use with only one hand and like Liz taught him, it gave him more utility as he could use Gafu with his left hand. However, by using a two-handed grip his attacks had more power behind them and it was easier to change forms since he kept both hands on the umbrella in that situation. That took him a full day to get a hang of, but that was covered the physical combat with the spear so from the next session he started to try to find out this form’s abilities. One of them was the ability to summon 4 reiryoku spears that he could move around with his mind. Arthur quite liked this ability as it had a lot of utility and could easily be implemented into ordinary combat. So, he spent that whole session figuring out what the best way to attack and defend were as he effectively had 5 spears at his disposal which gave him quite a few options. The other one, he found out the next day and it was the sole purpose of the spear: to throw it. If he imbued it with a large amount of reiryoku before throwing it, the impact was quite destructive. Luckily, since the walls were bulletproof, they were also able to withstand his reiryoku attacks. He didn’t dedicate a whole session to this ability as it was quite straight forward, so they moved on to the shield form. This form was the least impressive as it didn’t have anything to it, it was just a simple shield made to take attacks. It did have a clear weakness though which was its size, but Arthur wasn’t planning to constantly cower behind his shield. This also made him a bit glad as this was already the 5th day and so he only had two days left to master any other form that the umbrella has. Which is why he spent the rest of that day to find what those forms are. He carefully inspected every centimetre of the umbrella and found it. The area below the trigger had a few small locks on it and he found the switch even lower. When he pushed the switch, a sword fell to the ground as a result of him holding the umbrella vertically. It turns out that the whole area below the trigger was actually a hilt and the blade was sheathed into the umbrella itself. Though as their time ran out for that day, he sheathed it and called it a day. Fighting with a sword was quite simply and for the most part he only had to get used to the new range as he practiced the movement of hand enough with the spear. He decided that the iaido style would be the most appropriate for the sword. While mastering all forms was crucial, he knew he would constantly be swapping between forms and so iaido was perfect as he would unsheathe the sword, slash, sheathe and then change forms for the next attack. He spent half the session doing this and then moved on to the abilities. They didn’t have much time left so he put more importance into the abilities. The main ability was to create boundaries with varying effects which he found useful, but he felt like it would be most effective in team fights as it could be used to turn the tide of battle. The other ability was linked to boundary as it used its energy to deliver an explosion attack. To finish off, for the last half hour or so he simply practiced swapping between the forms to make sure that he could do it fast and with ease. With that, he had a good knowledge of all his forms and abilities that the umbrella currently had. Oliver was right as he felt that by learning these abilities, he was also learning more about himself, it was quite peculiar. This would be his fighting style that would stay with him for the rest of his days, but it was still the beginning and he would definitely improve it throughout the years. Only one week of training remained,’So, William is going to be my last teacher. What is he going to teach me?’ Jack shrugged to the question,’His training is never fixed. He always does what the person needs the most so you will find out tomorrow after you have a chat I guess.’ Arthur crossed his arms,’I see. Well, it has to be important since he’s left to last.’ While he was curious to find out, he would only have to wait until the next day came. Word Count: 1,847 Total Word Count: 1,847
  14. Metabee

    A Normal Life No More

    Arthur kept training his Gafu for the next few days as he practiced it and learned more techniques that he can use in combat. He spent time with Oliver or Liz in his spare time in the headquarters and occasionally practiced by himself as well. When he told Liz of the progress he made and the things he can do now she seemed to be genuinely happy and proud of him. While they were just friends, she was the first one he got to know properly so they had a kind of special bond, a bit like imprinting. On the second to last day Oliver wanted to teach him something new,’Apart from Gafu there is also another essential technique that you must know. First, some background information. We Fullbringers are able to manipulate souls to our advantage. I know what you are thinking so I have to explain. While there are abilities that are directly able to affect an opponent’s being those are very rare and not something you will usually come across. What we actually mean is manipulating the souls of objects. Even though they are not living, every single thing has a ‘soul’ in it and we use it to enhance our abilities, for example by manipulating the soul of the ground you can make yourself jump higher or the air to make your attacks faster. This ability is called Bringer Light.’ He demonstrated this by moving at a very fast speed as his body flickered before he flashed to a new location. Arthur noticed that a green light appeared at his feet every time he did so and that must be where the name Bringer Light came from. Oliver continued,’Being able to use this ability means that you are beginning to master your Fullbring. While you may not yet know how to fully use your weapon, we are still teaching you the ways of a Fullbringer so I trust that you too will be able to use this.’ Arthur nodded,’Alright, I’m ready. What do I do?’ Since he already knew Gafu energy manipulation shouldn’t be a problem for him, but he was pretty sure he hasn’t done any soul manipulating stuff before. Oliver answered,’It’s similar to sensing the reiryoku or a reiatsu of a person with the exception that you are sensing the soul of inanimate objects. Once you are able to do that, then you will have to draw it out a bit like you did with the reiryoku and use it to enhance your abilities.’ It didn’t sound too complicate from his explanation, so he tried it at once. He could sense the reiatsu of people, the reiryoku in the atmosphere but if he focused even harder there was something more. He couldn’t quite distinguish its location though but now that he was told it came from objects it became clearer as it wasn’t a single source but many sources that he was sensing. He went even deeper and indeed he felt a sort of life force coming from the ground, the walls and many other things. Arthur wanted to try with the ground first, so he started pulling the soul to his feet and then jumped, but he only reached a normal height. From what he observed when Oliver did it, it looked to be more of a burst of energy while what he did now was to absorb it into his body. He tried it a few more times and managed to figure out the gimmick of it. Just before the soul was absorbed into his body, he released it as a burst of green light that he originally saw though he still couldn’t control it quite well as he lost balance every time he used it. This was another issue as he still wasn’t used to the limits of his strength. By human definitions, using his full strength a single punch could prove lethal to a normal human and at his full speed he would probably have no problems with keeping up with cars. However, he hasn’t actually discovered those limits as he didn’t have such a necessity. After he used his Fullbring for the first time, Arthur had a problem with his balance because of a sort of cognitive dissonance where his body was capable of so much more than he thought was possible. This was a good time to address that to a certain extent, so he kept practicing and used not only the ground but other objects to try everything out. It took him the whole of the next day to get good at it as well and not overwhelm him. Oliver spoke,’And with that, it’s about it from me. For now, this is all I can teach you. Jack will be your next teacher and you will be focusing on learning how to use your Fullbring. Now that you understand the concept of reiryoku and how to manipulate it you should be able to use your Fullbring’s abilities. These abilities will stay with you for the rest of your life and will by far be your greatest asset and strength so it will probably be the most important of these 4 weeks.’ Arthur nodded and it made sense why decided to teach him things in his order. He needed to know the basic principles of normal fighting to know how to defend himself and keep himself in control. He had to know how reiryoku works to be able to use his Fullbring and just about everything else. While their Fullbrings were the core of it all, it was not all that there was to it and so every aspect was important. He was still determined to improved and ready for whatever was next. Learned Bringer Light Word Count: 955 Total Word Count: 3,850
  15. Metabee

    A Normal Life No More

    Their training continued as Oliver spoke,’Learning Gafu is only the first step. It is only a framework, you see. Each level has a number of techniques belonging to it and as you are the novice level you can learn the most basic techniques. Many of them are element-less but as you’ve announced that you wish to use the wind, how about we start with an elemental technique?’ Arthur though about the proposal. By using element-less techniques he probably meant simply using the normal reiryoku in the atmosphere or even his own. He was sure that doing so was probably possible by himself so as was said he’d rather practice using the wind reiryoku to make sure he can use it well enough for combat. He nodded,’Yes, let’s do that.’ Oliver nodded in response,’The technique I will teach you is called Sumitaiho. You gather the elemental reiryoku and fire it off as a ball or beam. Sounds simple enough, right?’ He nodded,’It will give me more ranged options and those are always useful. So I’ve done the first step to gather the wind reiryoku and now I need to apply the shape manipulation like I’ve done with the ball?’ Oliver seemed quite pleased about this,’You’re getting better at this. Yes, that is what you need to do and then simply release the energy as an attack.’ Once again, he started working with the fan on, on the lowest settings, and then gathered the wind energy in his hands as the small tornado formed. The next step was to change its shape into a ball, and he did so as the tornado distorted and first the outline was made and then the inside of the ball which was completely green in colour. So far it seemed easy enough, he thought. He then pushed the ball with his hand, and it floated a short distance before dispersing,’Hmm, because it’s not within hand's reach it loses its form and any power behind it.’ He tried it a few more times and it went better with every try, but it was still lacking something,’I think it’s the pushing motion. Isn’t it supposed to just launch itself like I was using the force on it?’ Oliver chuckled,’Well, if you put it that way, yes. If you use both hands for this how will you attack with your Fullbring? Actually, not using any hands would be for the best as it allows you to launch an attack while giving freedom of both your hands.’ Arthur said,’I see,’ in response. He could clearly see that his understanding was growing as he was now able to make these deductions on his own which he was happy about. Next, he tried making the ball with one hand and found that actually there was little difference between using one hand and two hands which made things much more easier. His next most time-consuming task was to launch the ball without make any movement. He knew he was no Jedi but there had to be some sort of gimmick for it. In the end, it came down to ‘willing’ it as it was another mental process. Even though it wasn’t his own reiryoku, he was able to gather it and manipulate its shape, so he had to expand his horizons and be able to launch it with his mind. His most successful attempts saw him launching the ball a good 10 metres before it lost form with no visible weakening through that distance. Oliver watched over his progress,’Good. Now like I said how about trying to do it without any hands. Think of the area around you body as your domain, it may not be a big distance, but it is still something you can work with. Try making the ball behind your back or next to your shoulder.’ He focused and attempted the task. Unlike with his hands, this time he had to focus on a single point near his body. Like Oliver said, the further away it was the less control he had so he was limited to about a metre or so. The wind reiryoku gathered at that single point behind his back and the green ball formed and was then fired, though this time he had to curve its path so that he wouldn’t hit himself with it. His teacher seemed proud of him,’Good. You’ve made a lot of progress today. I suppose we can finish this here.’ Arthur shook his head though,’No, not yet. We’ve been doing this in an artificial environment, so I want to try it out in a normal one. I won’t have a fan at my feet everywhere I go.’ Oliver was surprised by his suggestion but also happy,’Alright, lets go outside then.’ They went out to the roof of the mechanic store and as it was late there weren’t many people around that would see them. He tried to do the same task and found it was much harder. When there was a breeze or a strong wind it was easy enough as the reiryoku flowed in the same direction, but when the air was still the difficulty level increased. If felt like he was on the hardest difficulty despite only doing the tutorial level, but it was something he had to do. If he didn’t learn the mechanics now, then everything else will be harder. Arthur kept at it for another hour in which he succeeded quite a few times but it was still inconsistent. However, with all the things he learned today he was far from disappointed with himself. At the beginning, he thought that a month would not be enough by far but now that he was seeing the results his views changed. While it was true they couldn’t cover everything, he was learning the ways of Fullbringers step by step. Even though he still didn’t completely see himself as a Fullbringer, it still gave him a feeling of accomplishment. He looked up to the sky in thought,’Are you watching, Scarlett? Are you proud of your brother?’ Unfortunately, he wouldn’t get a response and yet he still smiled. There was still a long way to go. Learned Sumitaiho: 1,027/800 Word Count: 1,027 Total Word Count: 2,895
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