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"Are you sure Evron's okay after what happened earlier?" Aphrodite asked while sat firmly in a pillowy soft chair. Both she and Dante were currently in his room, sat facing away from the mirror in his massive bathroom. The latter was busy doing Aphrodite's long, silver hair for tomorrow.
"Oooh, he'll be fine, cookie, don't worry." Dante casually responded whilst snipping away at any loose ends. "I'm sure he'll be upset about having to cook ALL of us breakfast for the next week, but he'll get over it. Plus, you and I both know what happened the last time I let Evron win, and he found out about it."
Aphrodite nodded, and they both shuddered. "I knooow, that hole is still there, too. I thought you were going to fix that?"
"I'll fix it tomorrow, I promise."
Aphrodite smiled, "Good boy. You know, things have been kind of weird around the kingdom lately, what with Lily and Lotus showing up and all."
Dante nodded, combing a few strands of Aphrodite's hair. "Yeah... You know, I still can't seem to figure her out, and I'm usually pretty good with that stuff. With Lily though? I dunno, something about her just keeps slipping away from me."
"Mhm. Do you trust her?"
"I'm getting there." Dante said.
"That story she told us, the part about the trafficking of human girls... It felt like I could feel her pain when she was describing it; I felt like she was really starting to open up, you know?" Aphrodite noted.
"Mm." Dante agreed. "I just wish she wasn't so stubborn all the time, and she calls us the young ones?"
"Give her time, she'll eventually come around. I finally did, remember?"
Dante smiled, "I remember you specifically asking for a cupcake."
"And you guys had no idea what a cupcake was, back then." Aphrodite snickered.
"Hey, we didn't know you could even put a cake inside of a cup! We literally thought that was the greatest invention ever."
Aphrodite continued to giggle, twisting a bit of her hair with her index finger. "You been missing Orochi lately?" She asked.
"Ugh, everyday, hun." Dante affirmed, shaking his head. "Ever since Aunt Beatrice took him with her across the quadrant for his yearly checkup, it's been hard not having him around. I miss going into the mountains to see him every morning."
"Awww, I know, bugbug, I miss him too. But hey, look on the bright side: at least he'll be back in a few weeks, right?" Aphrodite reassured.
"Yeaaah, you're right. But in the meantime, at least I've got you to give all my kisses to!" Dante exclaimed as he attacked Aphrodite's neck and cheeks with a barrage of kisses.
The Olympian goddess screamed and laughed with delight, pleading for Dante to stop. Eventually, he did and got back to work on her hair, as Aphrodite continued to laugh, her cheeks now rosy red in color. "You almost done back there?" She asked.
"Almooost got it..." Dante trailed off as he put the finishing touches on. "Aaaand, done! You look absolutely stunning, dawling!" He exclaimed and spun Aphrodite around to face the mirror.
Her eyes lit up as she saw Dante's work. Her hair was just as bouncy and split end free as ever, and with the just right amount of curls to boot. "That looks AMAZING, hun! Looks like all of those years of doing Daeva's hair payed off, huh?"
"I would hope so, or else my hairstylist career is done for!" Dante laughed.
Aphrodite burst out laughing and rose from her seat, motioning for Dante to take her place. "Alright, your turn!"
"So since you're that fast and all, can you do stuff like travel back in time, or reverse time even?" Lotus asked, sitting cross legged on Daeva's bed across from her.
Daeva smiled and shook her head. "I... Don't think that's how time works, sweetie. Time always moves forward, no matter how fast you go."
Lotus furrowed her brow, "So what does hyperspeed do then? What does it feel like?"
"It's... It's like... Gosh, I really don't how to explain this..." Daeva sputtered. "It's like I'm moving normally, while everything else is standing completely still."
"Like you hit a pause button on a TV?"
"Exactly. I'm moving so fast at the time, that it takes awhile for everything else to catch up, almost like time froze for a little bit." Daeva said, pursing her lips. "So really, in a way, time doesn't always move forward, at least at hyperspeed."
Lotus nodded, stroking her cheek. "Can you show me what it feels like?" She asked excitedly, her eyes lighting up.
Daeva shook her head, snickering. "Nooooo, your body wouldn't be able to handle it, and I actually like having you around."
Lotus poked her bottom lip out, "Uuugh, fine. Well, can you at least show me what hyperspeed looks like?"
"Already did." Daeva responded, now suddenly over at the room sized window.
Lotus jumped and whipped around, her pink eyes widened in surprise. "What the- How long have you been over there?!"
"I dunno, for about five minutes?"
"Then... Who the hell was I talking to all this time?"
Daeva giggled, "That's what called an afterimage: they're like little memories of me temporarily frozen in time."
Lotus shuddered, "That's freaky." She jeered and laid back on the plushy bed. She stared up at the large, painted portrait of their mother, whom was smiling warmly down at her. Lotus couldn't help but return the expression. "Those memories you saw of me, earlier tonight..."
Daeva lowered her head. "I'm sorry, Lotus, I shouldn't have done that."
"No, I'm glad you did."
Daeva blinked over at her, confused. "You are?"
The girl nodded, "We've both seen each other's pasts, and all of the crap we've been put through. That just makes us feel a lot more... Connected, somehow."
"Yeah, we may not be sisters by blood or anything, but..."
"That doesn't mean that we aren't." Lotus finished.
Daeva smiled, "Yeah." She glided over to the bed and plopped down beside the girl, wrapping an arm around her shoulder. "You make sure you come and visit us as much as you can, okay?"
Lotus met her eyes, seeing the love within them. "I will, I promise."
Daeva nodded, "Good, I'm gonna hold you to that." She said and peered up at the portrait. "I'm gonna hold you to it."
Evron rested against the balcony railing outside of his room. He scanned his eyes across the entire landscape, making note of all the different vegetation, streams, waterfalls, etc. The vibrancy of the colors still apparent, even in the darkness of night. His red eyes glowed gently in the blackness, reflecting off the moonlight shining from above. Evron rubbed his jaw from where Dante connected one after the other, feeling the hairline fractures sealing back up as he massaged his jaw. He sighed heavily.
"How long have you been there?" Evron asked.
There, behind him, was Thresher, standing like a statue and watching him intently. "I lost track of time. I'm honestly surprised it took you so long to realize it."
"Oh, I knew you were there the entire time; I just wanted to give you some sense of satisfaction, is all."
Thresher crossed her arms, "I'm sure you did, Evron. I'm sure you did."
Evron rolled his eyes, not even turning around to acknowledge her. "How the hell did you get in here anyway?"
"Oh, you know... Just some mystical bullshit. Normal stuff." Thresher answered and walked over to him.
Evron couldn't help but laugh at that. "Mystical bullshit." He parroted.
Thresher chuckled some herself. After allowing for it to get quiet again, Thresher finally turned to Evron, resting a knuckle on her cheek. "Why do you fight Dante, when you know you can't win?"
Evron gazed at her, that taunting shark mask of hers starting to annoy him. He turned away. "That, is none of your business."
"Come on, Evron, I don't bite."
"That's not what that mask of yours is suggesting."
Thresher huffed, "Okay, you guys have got to start trusting me a little. Newsflash: I'm. On. Your. SIDE."
Evron didn't bother looking at her. "And you're also unpredictable." He retorted, now staring at her. "How're we supposed to fully trust someone, when we don't even know what they're gonna do next?"
Thresher turned away, mumbling incoherent phrases.
"Get pissy all you want, but you know it's the truth. And if you knew us as well as you say you do, then you'd know good and well why we take stuff like trust, VERY seriously."
Thresher remained silent, now as still as a statue. The only movements were of her fingers curling back and forth. "I could show you things, Evron, things that I've never shown anyone else." She murmured, shaking her head. Thresher turned to face him. "Things that would guarantee me your complete trust."
"Then do it."
Thresher recoiled a bit, caught off guard. "What?"
Evron stared intently at her. "Show me. Show me these things that would, 'make me trust you'. Go on, do it, show me! What's with all the damn secrecy? If you're REALLY our ally, and want us to trust you THAT much, then why do you keep hiding every damn thing about you, huh?!
Thresher was shell shocked by Evron's sudden outburst. "I..."
What, are you afraid? Have you been lying this entire time? What is it?! If you've got all the answers, then please, for Yakzuza's sake, SHOW ME THEN!!!" Evron roared, his red eyes not glowing brightly.
Thresher was completely silent; she didn't know what to say, nor how to go about saying anything even if she did. At that moment, she just felt... Small.
Evron took his eyes off of her, them having dimmed back down to normal now. "I thought so." He grumbled. "Now who's the young one?"
Thresher locked up, staring at him in surprise.
"Yeah, that's right." Evron looked at her. "I know."
Thresher couldn't move, she was completely frozen in place and couldn't move. She just stood there, shaking. She didn't know why. Was she stricken with shock? Why was she shaking? What was it?! A knock on the balcony door caused her to jump, and look to see who it was. It was Dante, all geared up in his ninja armor, sans his helmet.
"Sorry to interrupt, but Evron, we've just got a mission." Dante stated.
Evron raised an eyebrow, "At this hour?"
"Evil never sleeps, bro. Gear up, we're leaving in ten."
Evron watched as Dante marched out of the room, and turned to see Thresher still standing where she was. The ninja's expression was a blank one; he was over it for tonight. "Guess I'll catch you in the morning then, Lily." He said dryly.
Thresher gazed at him, the glowing yellow eyes of her shark mask brightening, as if the real ones behind them had widened.
"Make sure you lock the door when you leave, not that that'll do anything, right?" Evron muttered sarcastically, before walking out of the room, and leaving Thresher out on the balcony, alone in the night.
"What's this about?" Evron asked as the three of them made their way towards the front entrance of the kingdom.
"Government overthrow. A nation was apparently seized and taken under control by a group of radicals, zealots, and terrorists."
"A complete seizure? This has to be more than just a small group." Daeva pointed out.
"An organization then." Evron confirmed.
"Mhm, which means we need to get there before there's nothing left to save." Dante said.
"Who are we helping, exactly? Daeva asked.
Dante was silent.
Evron and Daeva looked across at one another, and then at Dante.
"That bad, huh?" Daeva inquired.
"That would be an understatement, sis. We're helping the Ash Samurai clan." Dante muttered.
Evron groaned, "Oh nooooo, not those assholes! Those guys are the worst! They don't know how to handle their own crap without us, they're pathetically weak, and yet have the biggest, most self absorbed egos that I've ever seen!"
"Sounds like someone I know." Dante taunted.
"Hey! I may be arrogant, but at least I can handle my own poop, okay!"
"Ugh, didn't they also vandalize a side of the kingdom too, at one point?" Daeva said.
"Yeah, they drew things that I'm not even gonna mention." Evron shuddered.
"Look, I know they're complete jerks, but they asked us for help, and it sounded like they were serious this time. We at least need to go and check it out." Dante jeered. "And if we get there, and they're stringing us along, then we'll leave, and never help those idiots again. Deal?"
Daeva and Evron both gave a single nod, still groaning on the inside, however. As the ninjas neared the entrance, Lotus suddenly rounded the corner, sprinting after them. Daeva turned just in time to catch her, before she ran into them.
"Hey cloudy hair, what are you doing outta bed?" Daeva asked.
Lotus looked at all of them. "Can I go with you guys? Pleaaase???" She pleaded.
Daeva giggled and shook her head. "No, sweetie, not this time."
"Oh come ooon, Daeva, whyyy?"
"Because..." Daeva paused, turning to look at her brothers, whom both gave her a reassuring nod. She turned back to Lotus, and sighed. "Because, I don't want you to see what we do, okay?"
Lotus stared at her through disappointed eyes. "But, it's not like I'm going to think any different of you guys. I promise."
"I know, sweetie, but..."
"We just don't want to risk you getting hurt, is all." Dante assisted, kneeling down to her level. "I know how tough you are, hun, but some of the things we do... They're just not for young girls to see."
"Yeah, Daeva was the same way, you know. She kinda still is, if I'm gonna be hon-" Evron was thrown off from Daeva elbowing him in the gut.
"The point, sweetie, is that we want to keep you far, FAR away from the ugly things that go on in the multiverse. Things that we deal with on a daily basis, just so you're safe, okay?" Daeva said gently.
Lotus crossed her arms, narrowed her eyes, and stared at the three ninjas for what seemed like ages. Finally, she desisted, and sighed. "Fiiine, I'll stay here in your fancy kingdom." She groaned. "But you guys had better be back soon."
"Don't worry, kid, doing things quick is our specialty." Evron boasted.
"We'll be back before you know it, promise." Dante reassured.
Daeva gave Lotus a wink, and a tight hug. "Now, you go and get some sleep, yeah? We'll see you soon."
The girl smiled, turned, and headed back to Daeva's room, allowing the three of them to sigh in relief.
"Thanks guys." Daeva said appreciatively.
"Hey, what are brothers for, right?" Dante said. "Now then, are you guys ready to do this?"
A single nod from the other two ninjas was enough confirmation for Dante. He pointed a splayed hand to the floor as green particles of energy swirled within his palm. Dante proceeded to open a rotating vortex right within the polished flooring, and waited for Daeva and Evron to jump in first. He fit his helmet snugly over his head, and fell backwards into the portal. Seconds later, the swirling conglomeration of energy gently dissipated into beautiful, green orbs of light, and the ninjas were gone.
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Looking around the battle-worn terrain with a stern smile on his face, Frieza looked down in his hand to his new prize, a new shard of the crystal he had been so keen on finding. With his smug stare focused on the new shard, Frieza ordered his forces to return to the ship in which they landed. Several minutes had passed after this order was issued, and the force returned to the vehicle in its entirety.
"Isn't it pretty? The aura contained within this shard?" All I need now is one more piece, and eternal life will finally be mine!" Frieza mused to himself.
In a almost eager manner, Frieza ordered the ship to take off; its next destination nearly a fitting one: Earth. Within moments, the ship's engines roared to life, and lifted the enormous machine off the ground, and towards the planet which had the missing piece in store.
The vessel exited the outer reaches of Proxima Centuari b's atmosphere when Frieza ordered the ship to stall. Confused at this command, the pilots did so, wondering what the tyrant was planning on doing. With a grin on his face, Frieza opened the glass dome-shaped window which shielded his observatory, and exited the room on his hover chair, entering the vacuum of space. Moving behind the ship to face the planet which they were leaving, Frieza had no intent on sparing the celestial being.
Raising his right arm into the air with his index finger outward, the sadistic being began to laugh in a manner consistent with the times that a being tried to talk down to him, or he was about to do something unforgiving. This moment proved to be of the latter. A small light appeared at the tip of his raised finger, and soon it rapidly expanded to a yellow-orange, sun-like sphere the size of a football field. Drawing his arm back, Frieza said aloud "A little going away gift for your trouble!" before throwing the attack directly into the planet. The brilliant sphere bore onto the planet and rapidly tunneled to its center. The process lasted for mere seconds, and the planet was soon engulfed by an explosion larger than itself.
Looking on in glee, the ruthless being yelled, "Well Well!! Now that, is beautiful!! See?! Look Dodoria, Zarbon, look at the fireworks!! Aren't they splendid?!?!"
After spending a moment to relish the planet's total destruction, Frieza returned to his vessel, now in a noticeably less tense mood.
"Such a liberating feeling! Continue onward to our destination. I have no time to spare." he ordered. With that the ship started to move once again, its next stop Earth.
Of course, such a display of power won't go unnoticed by those who can sense all...
LSD Jellyfish wrote:WOW WHAT HONOL. SO KOOR, VERY JOUZU KAWAII SOU DESU NE. AHHHH OKII CHINKO DESU KA. MMMMM CHICHI, WATSHI NO MANKO NI CHINKO O IKYUUUUUUUU
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The ninjas arrived at their designated location in record time. When they stepped forth from the exiting portal, they found themselves in the middle of a massive hallway. The floors were made out of ceramic and polished steel, and the walls out of finely cut brick with hand engraved lettering etched into them. Twin, serpentine dragons snaked across the floor, the vibrant reds and oranges of their scales shimmering in the moonlight. This must have been the main castle, evident by all of the massive portraits hanging from the walls, and the towering stone statues placed neatly in each corner. It would have been quite a beautiful place to spend time in, if it wasn't for mostly everything in the castle having been smashed to pieces, or torn apart in some way. The pictures were all shredded to bits, the statues cracked and splintered, glass littered the ground in every which way from the blown out windows above, and the flooring looked as if it had been pounded mercilessly by artillery fire.
Dante’s eyes glowed dimly as he looked all around. A frown traced across his lips, underneath his mask.
“This is no normal Coup d’état.”
“Yeah, but what Coup d’état is, honestly?” Evron pointed out.
“Fair point, but something else is definitely going on here, something sinister.”
“Guys...” Daeva called out, motioning towards a room she was standing beside. The boys made their way over, and immediately saw what Daeva had been shaken by: a warehouse-sized room, with dozens of bodies littering the ground. The corpses were all twisted, mangled, and mutilated beyond recognition; severed body parts strewn every which way. The stench of rotting flesh was overwhelming, and sticky old blood stained the floor.
“What the hell...” Evron grimaced.
Dante eased his way inside, and knelt down to get a closer look. “This wasn’t just the result of a huge battle. No no, this... This is a massacre.” He muttered with disdain.
“Look at how all of the bodies are positioned; they didn’t just naturally fall this way. This was strategic; someone planned this.” Evron made mention.
Dante rose to his feet. “We need to find whoever did this, and fast.”
“I’m sensing an odd energy source a few rooms over.” Daeva suggested.
“Then that’s where we’re headed. Let’s move.”
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Soaring through the clouds above the South Pacific at mach insanity, Ubel searched high and low for anymore creatures like the one he had just faced an hour ago. For the moment, he didn't seem to be having any kind of luck, but Ubel had never been one to quit just because things grew difficult. There couldn't have been just that one beast, and nothing else. No, the thing looked like it had belonged to a bigger pack, perhaps even a small civilization. Something like that may have seemed preposterous on Earth years ago, but that was before last year happened, and made everything... Different in the multiverse. Wars were known to do that. Now, this Earth, and several others were hot spots for invasive species of monsters, demons, and whatever other horrors were lurking in the stars above. For the most part, this Earth had been cleansed of such ugly intruders, but there were the occasional stragglers... And now this.
"Well well, what do we have here?" A familiar voice suddenly rung out in Ubel's subconscious. He slowed his velocity to a casual cruise, a half grin forming underneath his mask.
"Didn't think I'd hear from you this week, Demmy."
"Come now, you didn't think I'd possibly miss a chance at annoying my favorite ninja, did you?" The now identified voice of Demogorgon mused.
"I just figured you were busy, that's all. I wasn't complaining, trust me." Ubel threw back.
"You're a jackass, Ubel, and just what are you up to, anyhow?"
"Well, I was on my way home, when I saw these two teenagers being chased by some... Thing, an-"
"Thing? What kind of thing?" Demmy rudely interrupted.
"If you let me finish, I'll tell you."
Ubel rolled his eyes. "Anyway, this thing looked to have been trying to make those two its next meal. It was weird looking, like a cross between a reptile and a man."
"It sounds ugly." Demmy jeered.
"Oh, it was absolutely hideous, and surprisingly fast too. I managed to kill it before it could harm anyone, and now I'm on the look for more like it. I dunno, my gut is telling me that there are a lot more where that one came from."
"Hmmm... From that description, it sounds like you came across an iguana sapien."
"There's a name for it?"
"I didn't come up with it; that's just what the humans nicknamed them."
Ubel raised an eyebrow, "Them, huh? So my gut was right."
"Looks like it, big guy. They've got a little hiding spot dug somewhere on the outskirts of Alaska, where they breed and do whatever else monsters do. They don't think anyone knows where they are, but I do." Demmy said proudly.
"So what was one doing this far out?"
"Hell if I know, probably got lost or something. These guys aren't very smart, after all."
"Yeah, so I've witnessed." Ubel murmured.
"In any case, why didn't you just let me handle them? I thought I told you that all matters involving monsters, and any other intruders were left to me."
"Well, you weren't exactly being quick about it, Demmy."
"Yeah well, running an entire planet isn't exactly the easiest thing in the world to do, either." The demon sister dryly retorted.
"Soooo... How are my other merry band of nutjobs doing?"
"Fine, as far as I know." Ubel said.
"You mean, you haven't talked to any of them lately?" Demmy pressed.
"There's never a dull moment at home, I know that much. Besides, I'm sure they're just super busy is all."
"Uh huh, excuses excuses, Ubie."
"And what about you, hm? Where's Demiurge these days?" Ubel retorted.
"How the hell should I know? That psycho could literally be anywhere right now." Demmy grumbled.
"Well, I just thought... She is your sister, after all..."
"Just because she's my sister, doesn't mean that I'm her babysitter, Ubel."
"Okay okay, fine. Forget I asked." The ninja surrendered.
There was a brief pause, before Ubel could hear Demogorgon clearing her throat, causing him to wince a bit.
"Annnywaaayyy... How are you and my BFF doing?" She cooed.
"Who, Molly?" Ubel asked, now blushing.
"Who else would I be talking about, ya big doof?"
"Oh, uhhh... We're... We're fine. Why?"
"Just wondering. So, have you guys taken it to the next level yet, ooorrrr..." Demmy teased.
Ubel smirked, "Goodbyeee Demmy."
"Wait, Ubel no, don-"
And the physic link was cut, leaving Ubel to his own devices, floating through the clouds. He chuckled to himself, before picking up speed, and propelling across the sky.
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The Ettrene crystal: thought to have been destroyed by Dante eons ago, not even two years after he first became Lord of the Ninja realm. It’s energy...It was there, and Dante could feel it. He had sensed it faintly before he and his siblings left, but brushed it off to be a rouge source and nothing more. Now, however, something had happened...Something big. Dante could feel the countless lives of an innocent civilization be wiped clean in an instant. He knew the Ettrene crystal was there when whatever had caused such an event, happened. Whether or not it was the culprit, was another question entirely. He didn’t know if Evron nor Daeva had sensed it as well, and he didn’t ask. In Dante’s mind, this was his mess to clean up. The Ettrene crystal was his responsibility, along with the Heart of the multiverse embedded deep within his chest; now, someone or something was in possession of the former. Dante needed to find the powerful object, and fast; he couldn’t waste anymore time. Vyros would have to be dealt with without him.
The ninjas drew closer to the room where the mysterious energy source had resonated from. Now though, it was completely dead; not even a ghost spike. The door leading into it was cracked halfway, revealing pitch blackness on the inside. The ninjas all looked at one another, before drawing their respective weapons. Daeva and Evron got on either side of the cracked door, and Dante took point. Slowly reaching out, and, not even pushing the door with his fingertips, but allowing the small pocket of air seeping off of them to, moved the wooden door inward. Wasting no time, the ninjas zipped inside, weapons at the ready, and checking every potential nook and cranny. What they found, however, was virtually nothing; just a cream colored mat centered in front of a peculiarly headless, stone statue sitting crisscrossed on the floor.
Evron returned Shikoro to its scabbard, and huffed. “Great, a whole lotta nothing so far. Why did the Ash clan need us again?”
“Something’s not right about this, though, about any of it. It almost feels like we’re being led on.” Daeva made mention, resting a hand on her hip. “Someone’s definitely expecting us, whether that’s the Ash clan or someone else, though...”
“Well, screw this. I say we leave the Ash bastards to their own devices; it’s always something suspicious whenever we deal with these guys.” Evron argued, and turned to Dante. “What’s your call, bro?”
Dante remained silent, scanning the tiny room with a detailed eye, trying to locate any hidden clues. A part of him knew Evron was right; the Ash samurai had been sleazy from day one, and they never were appreciative of whatever help the ninjas had given them in the past. It would’ve been so easy to just turn around and leave right now, letting the Ash fend for themselves. But, that wasn’t what Dante, nor his siblings stood for.
“We keep moving.” Dante said, finally breaking the silence, before turning to walk out of the room.
Daeva was close in tow, and Evron begrudgingly followed soon after.
“Let’s just get this over with.” He grumbled.
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