/simu/ - Simulacrum

Password (For file deletion.)

File: 1684371067991-0.jpg (36.49 KB, 600x338, Archeon (Earth-0) - 2.jpg)

File: 1684371067991-1.jpg (200.5 KB, 1650x928, Archeon (Earth-0) CEO Offi….jpg)

File: 1684371067991-2.jpg (55.27 KB, 564x810, Aiden - 20.jpg)

File: 1684371067991-3.jpeg (153.28 KB, 850x1413, Alt!Stella - 3.jpeg)

File: 1684371067991-4.jpg (9.39 KB, 425x425, Manila Folders.jpg)

 No.1727[Last 50 Posts]

>Date: April 28th, 2017
>Location: Sanctuary City - Archeon Complex
>Time: 8:00 AM

>As Aiden continues looking over his papers, doing his usual examination of company reports, he hears a knock on the door.

"Come in."

>Looking up, he sees as his secretary, Stella, walks into the room. Jubilant and full of energy, Stella quickly walks over to Aiden, carrying a set of folders in her hands.

"….And here's your schedule for the next week!"

>Stella says, cheerfully as she places the large stack of folders on Aiden's desk.

"You're very busy, Thaumaturge!"

>Closing her eyes and giving Aiden a warm smile, Stella radiates a positive energy from her body.

"…..Thank you."

>As Aiden looks on at the stack of papers, he speaks in a somewhat resigned tone of voice. Sighing, he then looks at the papers as he picks up one of the folders. Opening it, he then says:

"…..Is this an update on the bio-electricity conversion circuitry?"

>Nodding, Stella says:

"I'm not sure what any of that means, but that's what the subject says, yes. It's directly from the Biotechnology Division."

>Giving an understanding look, Aiden then closes the folder shut with one hand as he looks over at Stella again.


>Finding his gaze fixating on her chest for a few seconds, Aiden watches as Stella then scoffs and lightly smacks him on the cheek.

>Wincing, Aiden then sighs as he says:

"Deserved that. Sorry."


File: 1684371434940-0.jpg (200.5 KB, 1650x928, Archeon (Earth-0) CEO Offi….jpg)

File: 1684371434940-1.jpg (601.38 KB, 654x875, Aiden - 13.jpg)

File: 1684371434940-2.jpeg (235.13 KB, 1164x2048, Alt!Stella - 2.jpeg)

>Silent for another moment, Aiden then looks at Stella as he then says:

"….How are you holding up so far, Stella? The job feeling like a good fit?"

>Nodding happily, Stella then gives Aiden another warm smile as she states:

"Yes, Thaumaturge. It's a very simple position, and I enjoy it! It isn't too complex or stressful either!"

>Looking satisfied with the response, Aiden then stands up and replies"

"In that case, could you help me with something? It involves management. We're still hashing out the details of a large deal with another corporation, and we're going to have a lot of intermediaries involved with the deal. So I'll want you to serve as a liaison between us and them."

>Raising her eyebrow for a moment, Stella then narrows her eyes at Aiden as she says:

"….So you want me to be a spokesperson of sorts, yes?"

>Aiden nods slowly.

"In a manner of speaking. We just need to establish that we're on good terms with them. That's all."

>Nodding herself, Stella then looks away from Aiden for a moment - seemingly in a daze as she stares at the nearby chair.

>Aiden is silent himself, waiting for her to respond.

>More silence fills the air as Stella then looks down - her hair partially covering her eyes.

"….Thaumaturge. Are you certain that I am not worthy of your attention?"

>She then suddenly says.


File: 1684371944059-0.jpg (200.5 KB, 1650x928, Archeon (Earth-0) CEO Offi….jpg)

File: 1684371944059-1.jpg (59.28 KB, 408x600, Aiden - 12.jpg)

File: 1684371944059-2.jpeg (314.44 KB, 1242x2048, Alt!Stella.jpeg)

File: 1684371944059-3.gif (1.12 MB, 498x278, Kiss.gif)

>Surprised, Aiden then looks at Stella more intently as he replies:

"No. That's not true whatsoever. I'm just….I can't really be what you're expecting me to be."

>Stella then looks back up at Aiden quickly, a sour expression on her face as she walks right up to him. Standing right before him, only a few centimeters away from his face - she then says:

"…..I won't accept that for an answer! For someone as good natured as you, I must fall short. That is the only reasonable explanation!"

>Aiden politely moves Stella away from his face with his arms - gently moving her backwards by holding onto her shoulders. After she's gained a distance of around a foot, Aiden then responds by stating:

"I'm not that great of a person - at least going by my past actions. I've made mistakes. A lot of them. I'm not sure if I'm the kind of man you want me to be - because I'm still not certain if that person exists within me."

>Looking disappointed, Stella then turns away, her face contorting into one of anguish and frustration.


>Aiden then moves to hug Stella tightly, saying:

"But I am better than I used to be. It's not you, Stella. I'm just…."

>Narrowing her eyes, Stella then states:

"….It's that Hiyuki woman, isn't it?"

>Aiden's face then flushes red as he then moves back from the hug. Scratching his chin, he then mutters to himself:

"Well. I mean…..She's……..It's not……Really it's complicated."

>Sighing in resignation towards Aiden's feelings, Stella then shakes her head, stating:

"…..You cannot help yourself it seems, Thaumaturge. Being honest about your true feelings. That is commendable, and respectable."

>Silent for another moment, Stella then says:

"….Very well then. I will respect your decision. However, if Miss Hiyuki rejects your feelings - as I believe she will…."

>Stella then leans forward and gives Aiden a kiss on the mouth - surprising him.

"Then you will have nowhere left to hide~."

>Stella then gives Aiden a wink as Aiden's face turns red - with him now looking away in embarrassment.

"…..I wouldn't be too certain in that prediction."

>Aiden says, still looking embarrassed as he steps to the side to give himself some distance in the office.


File: 1684374001831.jpg (200.5 KB, 1650x928, Office - 4.jpg)

>A few moments later someone begins knocking on the office door. A voice calls through it.

"Hello? Can I come in?"


File: 1684374268554-0.jpg (200.5 KB, 1650x928, Archeon (Earth-0) CEO Offi….jpg)

File: 1684374268554-1.jpg (42.41 KB, 600x520, Aiden - 5.jpg)

File: 1684374268554-2.png (1.02 MB, 1066x1911, Alt!Stella - 5.png)

>Looking at Stella for a moment, Aiden then keeps his distance as he turns to the figure.

"Yes, you can come in."

>Quickly dusting off his shirt and jacket for any signs of dust - Aiden then notices as Stella does the same, maintaining her composure as she coughs into her own fist lightly.

>Aiden and Stella then wait for the door to open as Stella quietly says to Aiden:

"…..I was not expecting anyone on your schedule, Thaumaturge. You aren't planned to see anyone until next week."

>Nodding, Aiden then states:

"…..I have an idea of who it might be, though I'm not sure why they're here at this exact time."

>The pair then continue waiting for the door to open.


File: 1684374676720.png (1.21 MB, 864x1080, Stephanie - 418.png)

>The door opens up, and Stephanie steps through. She closes the door behind her.

"Sorry for the unexpected visit. I figured you wouldn't mind since you also have a habit of popping up at places without warning."

>Stephanie turns to face Stella. She holds out her hand.

"Hello. I'm Stephanie. You must be Stella."

>Stephanie watches Stella, studying her while she waits for her to react.


File: 1684375088092-0.jpg (200.5 KB, 1650x928, Archeon (Earth-0) CEO Offi….jpg)

File: 1684375088092-1.jpg (68.57 KB, 633x1200, Aiden.jpg)

File: 1684375088092-2.jpeg (153.28 KB, 850x1413, Alt!Stella - 3.jpeg)

>Aiden's face immediately reacts, forming a slight expression of irritation upon seeing Stephanie's face. Turning away, he looks off to the side, still somewhat irritated.


>While Aiden is silent, Stella is suddenly excited. With a cheer, she then quickly rushes towards Stephanie and hugs her tightly.

"Miss Sorceress Supreme! It's you! Oh thank the Gods it's you!"

>Still hugging Stephanie tightly, Stella then begins speaking at a rapid pace.

"Oh Gods I can sense your energy! Your mana signature it's tremendous! Even greater than the Thaumaturge!"

>Looking back at Aiden excitedly, Stella then notices his irritated expression. A frown now suddenly forming on her face as she says:

"Thaumaturge? What is the matter? Are you not delighted by the Sorceress Supreme's presence?"

>Aiden is silent as he crosses his arms. Closing his eyes and exhaling, Aiden then says something to himself in a barely audible volume.

"…..Just let it go, Aiden. Let it go and move on instead."

>Out loud with a more audible tone of voice, Aiden then replies to Stella, stating:

"….I'm fine."

>Looking at Stephanie, Aiden then continues speaking:

"If this is about the capital assistance agreement from Wiseman Faults, I already told the Associate Investment Officers that I'd speak directly to Isaac instead."


File: 1684375776529.jpg (181.84 KB, 894x894, Stephanie - 93.jpg)

>Stephanie gently begins to pry Stella's arms away from her body.

"You can just call me Stephanie, okay?"

>She looks towards Aiden, not paying much attention to his dour mood.

"I'm not here for that. Wiseman Faults is Isaac's hobby, not mine."

>Stephanie adjusts her glasses for a moment.

"Since you and Isaac have been hanging out so much lately, I decided to get myself an apprentice as well. And I've come to ask you if you would be willing to participate in a mock fight with her."

>She turns and looks at Stella.

"I've also decided to offer Stella an apprenticeship as well. Nothing super formal. But since she's around I'd like to get to know her as well."


File: 1684377118127-0.jpg (38.49 KB, 564x503, Aiden - 19.jpg)

File: 1684377118127-1.jpg (144.62 KB, 942x652, Phone - 3.jpg)

File: 1684377118127-2.jpeg (314.44 KB, 1242x2048, Alt!Stella.jpeg)

>Before Aiden can speak, Stella immediately begins nodding quickly at Stephanie's request.

"Yes! Yes! Yes! I would love such an opportunity from you Sorceress Supreme- I mean Stephanie!"

>As Stella can barely contain her excitement, Aiden then looks at Stephanie for a moment. He then says:

"…..I'll do it. Though I'm not sure why Isaac didn't tell me about this earlier. This couldn't have been a spur of the moment decision on your part."

>Seeing Stella's look of anticipation, Aiden then sighs as he states:

"…..But since Stella is so into the idea, I suppose I shouldn't bother asking for specifics. I'll take part in your experiment. When is it?"

>Aiden says, taking out his phone for a moment to check the time before he puts it back in his jacket.


File: 1684377564069.jpg (201.49 KB, 400x448, Stephanie - 68.jpg)

"Isaac knows. But I decided to be the one to talk to you about it."

>She watches as Aiden puts his phone back.

"There's no scheduled time or anything at the moment. So it won't be for a bit. Not until my apprentice finishes settling in first."

>She looks towards Stella.

"In the mean time, I'd like to see what Stella can do first."

>She looks at Aiden again.

"You're free to join if you want to. But it's not required. I just want to get a feel for where Stella is at."


File: 1684378307744-0.jpg (68.57 KB, 633x1200, Aiden.jpg)

File: 1684378307744-1.jpeg (235.13 KB, 1164x2048, Alt!Stella - 2.jpeg)

>Aiden looks at Stella for a moment, before he then says:

"…..I'll go. I'd want to see how capable she is myself."

>Eyes beaming, Stella then nods at Aiden before stating:

"I won't let you down, Thaumaturge! I promise!"

>Turning her attention back to Stephanie, Stella then says:

"Well then, Stephanie. I'm ready to begin my assessment of magical skill!"

>Stella lightly punches her fist into her open palm - anticipating a new challenge to overcome.

>Aiden then says to Stella:

"You can do it. You're an expert in Thaumaturgy magic - so you should be more than capable of handling whatever tests that Stephanie throws at you, Stella."

>Aiden pats Stella on the back, as he sees her face turn red. As she blushes, she quickly holds her hands up in embarrassment, stating:

"O-Of course, Thaumaturge! I will not fail you! I swear that I will not do that!"


File: 1684440808821-0.jpg (732.87 KB, 1020x1447, Stephanie - 4.jpg)

File: 1684440808821-1.jpg (200.5 KB, 1650x928, Office - 4.jpg)

>Stephanie thinks for a moment, putting her finger to her chin.


>Her eyes move towards Stella.

"Stella. You primarily use Thaumaturgy, right? How do you plan on performing without access to any souls? Have you discovered an alternative?"


File: 1684441477401-0.jpg (601.38 KB, 654x875, Aiden - 13.jpg)

File: 1684441477401-1.jpeg (252.66 KB, 1184x2048, Stella.jpeg)

File: 1684441477401-2.jpeg (344.84 KB, 1920x1536, Artifact - 2.jpeg)

File: 1684441477401-3.jpeg (327.53 KB, 850x1356, Magicka - 5.jpeg)

>Stella blinks for a moment, before she claps her hands together.

"Oh, wonderful question Stephanie!"

>As she then rummages through the pouch on her waist, Stella seemingly pulls impossibly large objects out of the pouch - surprising Aiden somewhat.

"What the…."

>Stella continues pulling out small trinkets, large mechanical objects and seemingly sentient energy constructs out of her pouch.

"When my father, Lucien, learned of the declining spirit essence situated inside of Thaumia - we had to develop an alternative solution."

>Feeling inside of the pouch, Stella's eyes light up as she finally pulls the object that she's looking for out of the pouch. Holding it up in her hand, Aiden can see a bright blue light radiating from the object. A seemingly spherical mechanical object with a magitek aesthetic.

"The Tabula - an artifact designed to emulate the base components of a human soul. It took centuries to refine, so many years of research."

>Stella's face darkens as she then remembers the full extent of the work done.

"……So many lives - experimented on. The Djinn were a byproduct of that research into artificial souls."

>Still holding the artifact in front of her as it hovers into the air - Stella then snaps her fingers - as it reshapes itself into a mystical staff. At the same time, a bright light emanates from Stella as her appearance changes.

"There. I should be ready now."

>Now wearing her signature blue robes with pink accents, Stella stands with her staff firmly grasped in her hand. As she does so, she nods at her staff, stating:

"The Tabula is also my Staff. It functions as an artificial signal booster for my Thaumaturgic Magic. Although I am not at the level of the Thaumaturge…."

>Stella says, motioning to Aiden with her staff as she continues:

"Nonetheless, I am capable of a variety of esoteric magics - within reason of course. The rest of the magic I cast is done through mana, which I absorb from the environment. Although…."

>Blinking as she looks quizzically around the office, she then states:

"…..I have noticed a substantial decrease in mana concentrations on Earth - what has happened to the planet over the past two thousand years?"


File: 1684442187994-0.png (632.3 KB, 866x566, Aiden - 28.png)

File: 1684442187994-1.jpeg (162.15 KB, 850x1453, Magicka.jpeg)

File: 1684442187994-2.jpg (149.26 KB, 590x300, Mana Particles - 2.jpg)

File: 1684442187994-3.jpg (148.36 KB, 1244x700, Thaumia.jpg)

>Aiden looks at Stella for a moment, quizzically.

"….I forgot to tell you. Magicians just….stopped being prominent in society over the past millennia or two. I don't know the specifics obviously, but I would imagine that Stephanie knows. Either way, you should probably also tell her your name. The whole name, I mean."

>Nodding, Stella then turns her attention back towards Stephanie, as she firmly plants her staff on the ground - creating a light wave of magical force.

"I am Stellara Aeterna Bray - daughter of Lucien Noxis Bray - the Thaumian High Mage."

>Giving Stephanie a warm smile though, Stella then continues speaking:

"Though most referred to me by my title - Magicka. The Witch of the Wayfinders."

>Still holding onto her staff, Stella continues speaking:

"I was in charge of Thaumaturgic Conversion Research within Thaumia - a senior level position involving mana catabolism and anabolism spell creation."

>Aiden interjects as he crosses his arms:

"In other words, her job was to turn one type of magical energy into another, using Thaumaturgic magic."

>Nodding, Stella then continues; waving her wand to project the world of Thaumia in place of the office:

"However, by the time our society had started its degradation, the lack of available souls to utilize for the mana conversion forced an acceleration of the Tabula project. Harnessing psionic energy and latent subconscious thoughts to construct façsimiles of souls - Tabulae. Each Tabula reflects the inner soul of its user - and serves as a method of partially circumventing the soul requirements for Thaumaturgic Magic."

>Aiden then responds to Stella as he looks at Stephanie, stating:

"So in other words - the Tabula are artificial psionic constructs that the Thaumians made; and they made them to substitute for real souls, after sacrificing most of their society to sustain their Thaumaturgic creations. This was the only option they had left - and now it's the most effective way of weaponizing Thaumaturgic magic if you aren't a Sorcerer Supreme."

>Stella then turns towards Aiden with an amused expression on her face:

"Quite right, Thaumaturge - outside of the Thaumaturgy Ring you possess, of course. You've shown great use of it so far."

>Aiden then coughs into his hand and looks away, somewhat embarrassed.

"Right. Moving on."


File: 1684443299741-0.jpg (200.5 KB, 1650x928, Office - 4.jpg)

File: 1684443299741-1.png (196.02 KB, 400x432, Stephanie - 220.png)

File: 1684443299741-2.jpg (149.26 KB, 590x300, Mana Particles.JPG)

File: 1684443299741-3.jpeg (53.23 KB, 640x828, Steph768.jpeg)

File: 1684443299741-4.jpg (164.09 KB, 1300x800, Arena.jpg)

"Well good for you two."

>A ring of particles appear over Stephanie's head and quickly swipe past her body, changing her appearance to her uniform.

"Magic isn't just about combat."

>Her eyes lock on Stella's staff.

"But it's a quick and easy way to gauge how good you are at thinking quickly on your feet."

>She looks at Aiden.

"The actual test will be combat focused as well. So consider this practice for the upcoming test."

>Again, Stephanie looks at Stella. She leans to the side, placing a hand on her hip in a relaxed manner. The environment begins to shift around the trio, transforming quickly into a large stone platform hovering in the air in a mountainous region in the middle of nowhere.

"Well, technically this is a part of the Axiom I just transported us to. So welcome, Stella."

>After allowing Stella a moment to process the location change, Stephanie says:

"Okay. Show me what you can do. I want to see you perform as many different kinds of Magic as possible. Even if you stick to Thaumaturgy, keep it interesting."

>Stephanie gives Stella a friendly smile, and waits.


File: 1684443788457-0.jpeg (497 KB, 595x842, Magicka - 4.jpeg)

File: 1684443788457-1.jpg (88.69 KB, 1920x1080, Fire Blast - 3.jpg)

File: 1684443788457-2.gif (1.52 MB, 500x290, Water.gif)

File: 1684443788457-3.gif (1.96 MB, 500x281, Electricity.gif)

File: 1684443788457-4.jpg (379.62 KB, 1059x600, Air Gust.jpg)

>Stunned for a moment as Stella begins processing the rapid shift in area, she then recollects herself as she states:

"Yes, of course Stephanie!"

>Taking in the view of the large stone edifice surrounding her, Stella then closes her eyes briefly for a moment - before opening them.


>She then says, in a slightly distorted tone of voice - clearly invoking Thaumaturgic Magic. As a series of bright white particles begin rapidly spinning around her staff - she then flicks the staff around her fingers before pointing it outwards.

>A large plume of fire - around the size of a building, then bursts out from the edge of Stella's staff. Without wasting a breath, she then continues speaking.

"Aquae! Ventus! Terrae! Tenebrae! Fulmenis!"

>Immediately, equally large plumes of water, compressed wind, materialized rock sediments, seeming darkness and lightning all manifest from Stella's Tabula staff.

>As the elements all take their place beside the fire conflagration, Stella then spins her staff rapidly in both of her hands, preparing for her final cast.


File: 1684444642335-0.jpeg (204.79 KB, 900x1357, Magicka - 3.jpeg)

File: 1684444642335-1.gif (943.47 KB, 320x320, Energy - 2.gif)

File: 1684444642335-2.jpg (42.41 KB, 600x520, Aiden - 5.jpg)

File: 1684444642335-3.jpg (443.3 KB, 1920x1280, Cloudy Sky.jpg)

File: 1684444642335-4.jpeg (631.83 KB, 980x804, Imperius - 2.jpeg)

as she then speaks a final incantation:

"Arcanum, oro te! manifesta potentia populi mei. Ipsam vitam producite!"

>Slamming her staff into the ground, Stella focuses as massive surges of white mana begin pouring from her staff - rising high into the skies above. As the clouds part, and the sky appears to brighten in light - Stella's eyes begin glowing white themselves as she continues focusing.


>As she continues straining against the force of the veritable geyser of magical power flowing out of her staff, Aiden looks on in interest. Still watching her, he notices a familiarity to her mana, as he then realizes in a thought:

{"The Ring of Magicka….Wait….Magicka. It was named after her! Which means…"}

>As Aiden's eyes widen in surprise - he looks up at the skies above, watching as a large ripple in space-time appears. A massive portal, stretching across the skies above. As the portal continues to remain open, Aiden watches as a large figure lowers itself down from the portal - and into view.

>Looking on, stunned, he then says:

{"Is that a Thaumaturgic being? The energy that I'm sensing from it…Impressive."}

>Looking upward, Aiden then examines the figure more carefully. The being is a humanoid figure - at least the size of a skyscraper. As they land on the ground - the force of their landing causes entire chunks of the stone and marble structures to be undone. Bracing himself easily against the resulting air pressure - Aiden looks on in surprise, with his hair briefly whipping in front of his face the whole time.

>Panting lightly, Stella then slowly stands up, still holding the staff in her hand. As she does so, she feels her body growing somewhat weak as she looks up at the figure.

"I-Imperius….It is I, your master…."

>Now falling onto one knee, she continues panting more heavily now. Still, she finds the strength to speak.

"God of Battle and Warfare, I beseech thee. Lend me your aid in this demonstration……of….my power!"

>Stella manages to shout - now looking up directly into the striking eyes of the figure.

>Aiden takes another good look at the figure, intrigued. The figure is armored, with white plating and gold trimmings. A bright red cape flows behind their armor - while they hold a sword-like weapon and a large shield in their hands.


File: 1684445294524-0.jpeg (162.15 KB, 850x1453, Magicka.jpeg)

File: 1684445294524-1.jpg (38.49 KB, 564x503, Aiden - 19.jpg)

File: 1684445294524-2.jpg (113.62 KB, 640x640, Red Light Circle.jpg)

File: 1684445294524-3.png (2.89 MB, 998x2000, Mosaic.png)

File: 1684445294524-4.jpeg (126.4 KB, 850x1416, Imperius - 4.jpeg)

>A bright black and red energy ring forms around Aiden's body - as he displaces his Mosaic armored robes over his body. As he does so, he then walks up to Magicka - now placing a hand on her shoulder.

"……….No. I can do this….Thaumaturge. I should not need to rely….on your…..aid….."

>Regaining her composure, Stella then slowly puts both hands on her staff - as she struggles to pull herself up. As she does so - she then stares up directly into the armored helmet of the figure before her.

>Imperius, the Thaumian God of War - then stares back at Magicka, stating:

"…..Magicka. After eons, you seek me again. The strength required to summon me places a heavy strain on your body."

>Giving a distorted chuckle with a supernatural cadence, the figure then slowly rises to his feet - towering over the skies above.

"To what do I owe the occasion? Your summoning is the mark of a grave situation unfolding, in most circumstance."

>Now regaining more of her power, Magicka then says to the Thaumian God:

"Imperius! I seek only your presence as proof of my power and my strength of will! The Sorceress Supreme has tested me, and I will not allow her to find my capabilities wanting!"

>Imperius slowly turns his head to face Crepido - immediately sensing her power. With an approving sound, he then slowly kneels before Crepido, stating:

"Sorceress Supreme. I trust that my presence will serve as signifier enough of the young woman's sheer skill and magical prowess. She is Magicka of the Thaumian Order, the last of her people."

>Imperius looks solemn for a moment, before training his eyes back on Crepido as he continues to speak:

"While her father, Lucien, will stand trial for his affronts to our order - she remains our most steadfast and loyal servant."

>Now gesturing a giant armored arm towards Magicka, the Thaumian God concludes by stating:

"Please, consider her devotion to the arcane arts in your final decision."

>Mosaic then looks down at Magicka and pats her on the head - in the space between her hair and her magic hood as he says:

"Good job, Stella. You're a master magician, as far as I can tell."

>Magicka feels her face turn red at Mosaic's praise, causing her to look away in embarrassment.

"Y-Yes well…erm….t-thank you, Thaumaturge. Your words pierce my heart, far deeper than any sword."

>Magicka then smiles as she stares off into the distance - her face still burning red with embarrassment on her mind.


File: 1684446465812-0.png (319.23 KB, 488x557, Steph680.png)

File: 1684446465812-1.gif (1.69 MB, 320x240, TK - 6.gif)

>Without a word Stephanie suddenly thrusts her hand forward - sending forth a wave of force, knocking Mosaic back an away from Stella. Stephanie looks at him.

"I appreciate that you're supportive of Stella. But it's not your turn."

>Her eyes then train on Imperius.

"The fact that you consider her worthy enough to answer her summons is commendable. But."

>An inky pool begins to form underneath Stella's staff. Suddenly a tentacle-like mass snaps forward, entangling itself around Stella's staff. It pulls hard, intent on taking her staff from her.

"Stella's summoning spell is too slow, and inefficient. It takes up too much energy and attention. Now she's been caught off guard, and has little energy to defend herself."

>Before anything else can be done, the wave of force again rockets forward - this time blowing away Imperius and sending him flying through a portal leading back to his home. As the portal closes she looks towards Stella.

"You need to focus yourself on streamlining and better controlling your Mana. You let too much go to waste. And in a life or death situation, that extra bit of Mana you conserved could save you."


File: 1684447202521-0.jpeg (327.53 KB, 850x1356, Magicka - 5.jpeg)

File: 1684447202521-1.jpg (149.26 KB, 590x300, Mana Particles - 2.jpg)

File: 1684447202521-2.gif (851.27 KB, 400x225, Magic - 3.gif)

File: 1684447202521-3.jpeg (4.57 MB, 2480x3507, Mosaic - 21.jpeg)

>Finding herself bound by the large black mass, Magicka winces as she continues struggling against the binds. As she does so, she closes her eyes and looks inward for a moment.


>More silence passes by, with the tendril masses still trying to separate the staff from her.


>Opening her eyes again, Magicka's eyes are fully pink, glowing with a pink light. As she begins concentrating magical power around her body - she then discharges it - melting the black ink binds and seemingly transmuting them into dust.

>Hand outstretched - Magicka watches as her staff flies towards her, stating:

"….A good sorceress always keeps her ace well concealed."

>Looking at the Tabula Staff, Magicka then explains:

"Thaumaturgic Magic is cast from the Tabula, remember? I have no need to pour my own latent magical power into Thaumaturgic spells. The Tabula centralizes and mediates the connection between the Thaumaturgy and the anchor - myself."

>Spinning her staff in her hand and across her palm, Stella then grabs onto it with both hands - pointing it outward as she takes a combat stance against Crepido.

"Do not underestimate me."

>Off to the side, Mosaic crosses his arms, unable to hide a small sense of pride in his body language. Under his breath, he says:

"….You show her. Let's see what you can do."


File: 1684519083123.jpeg (44.3 KB, 450x646, Steph765.jpeg)

>Stephanie stops paying attention to Stella for a moment, sensing something.

"Oh. Looks like we're being watched."

>She looks back at Stella.

"My other apprentice has decided she wants to watch. So I guess this can be a learning experience for you both."

>She clears her throat and puts on a more stern looking expression.

"Now. What you said is all well and good, Stella. But your spell was still slow to cast, and left you open to attack while you recuperated from it."

>What's left of the inky substance remaining on the floor near Stella seems to quickly slither across the stone at lightning speed, pooling under Crepido's feet before disappearing.

"Had I wanted, I could of easily taken off your head there. You should always set up a method of defending yourself before casting a big spell like that."

>She places her hands on her hips.

"And as for Tabula? I'm not trying to overly criticize you, but you could still direct it's energies more efficiently."

>She begins pacing back and forth, getting more into her role as a teacher.

"This is the weakness of using energy to perform Magic. You have to be constantly aware of how much you can use, and how you use it. Wasting even the smallest amount can be the difference between life and death."

>She stops and turns to face Stella.

"The Tabula grants you great amounts of energy without having to expend your own. But it's still good practice to avoid wastefulness."

>Crepido gives Stella a few moments to absorb the information, before smiling warmly.

"…But. This is something that lots of magicians struggle with. Myself as well, when I was starting out. Have Aiden ask Isaac. I could throw around massive amounts of energy all I wanted, but I was bad at avoiding waste."


File: 1684519674921-0.jpeg (497 KB, 595x842, Magicka - 4.jpeg)

File: 1684519674921-1.png (2.89 MB, 998x2000, Mosaic.png)

>Stella looks down at the small mass of black ink that quickly rushes back towards Crepido's foot. Eyes widening at the motion, she then thinks internally:

{"Ugh, she's right. I didn't even cast a passive barrier. Stupid!"}

>Out loud, Magicka sighs and relents - lowering her staff and holding it in one hand as she shakes her head.

"No, I understand. I was careless and somewhat reckless as well. I think I was so eager to prove myself to you - but…"

>Looking up at Crepido for a moment, Magicka just waves her hand in front of her body, in a very expressive manner.

"You're the Sorceress Supreme! The most powerful Witch on the planet! No, in the entire cosmos! I could barely compare to you, even with all of the training in the world….."

>Magicka places her free hand on her opposite arm, holding on tightly as she looks away. Pursing her lips together into a frown, she starts to pout slightly as she simmers in her thoughts.

{"I've been around for millennia - though it feels like it's been eons; yet I'm still nothing compared to her. How did she become so strong? The sheer mana density that I can sense from her. It's like the Thaumaturge's……..It's astonishing!"}

>Mosaic looks on, arms still crossed as he then says to Magicka:

"I can probably guess what you're thinking - and you're not a failure. We all have our shortcomings - but that doesn't make us worthless in any way."

>He speaks resolutely, while still keeping his distance as not to cause a scene with Crepido.


File: 1684520903757.jpg (69.18 KB, 894x894, Steph533.jpg)

"To be frank, Stella. The teachers you had while decent, were stubborn and stuck in their ways. They were already convinced they knew best, and taught you to do the same as them."

>Stephanie moves closer to Stella.

"Don't beat yourself up. What I am doesn't matter. And honestly… the only reason you're comparing yourself to me is because of the Magic. Outside of that I'm… not really someone who you should aspire to be like."

>Crepido looks pained for a few moments, clearly thinking about something. After this period of silence she suddenly claps her hands together, quickly forcing a change in topic.

"Anyway! We now know you have some areas you need work at. That's good. We know what to focus on before the big test."

>Stephanie gives more of a half-hearted smile at Stella, as she realizes something.

"Although, your use of Thaumaturgy probably won't go over well with my other apprentice. And if I'm being honest, I'm personally not a fan either. I know you can't just switch your area of expertise on a dime, but now that you have access to the Axiom I would personally prefer if you explored other forms of Magic."


File: 1684521753014-0.jpeg (204.79 KB, 900x1357, Magicka - 3.jpeg)

File: 1684521753014-1.png (2.31 MB, 1024x1300, Mosaic - 23.png)

File: 1684521753014-2.jpg (102.34 KB, 1280x720, Doctor - 24.jpg)

>Holding her staff upright, Magicka simmers in her own thoughts for a moment, before she closes her eyes.

"You are asking me to unlearn two thousand years' worth of natural and artificial techniques and procedures. To excise the entirety of my civilization's magical knowledge. Millennia of carefully curated study and built-on methodical practices."

>Giving a deep sigh, Magicka then opens her eyes and relents, mentally. A feeling of resignation and sorrow fills her face as she looks off to the side.

"…..Though I will admit, Thaumaturgy is a taboo in a comparative light - it still has its uses. The Tabula is a refined substitute for my soul - and the heights that Thaumaturgic Magic can reach - are frankly mindbending."

>Now looking back at Crepido specifically, she then says:

"However, I will abide by your request, Stephanie. There is no honor in stubbornness, so I will regain my expertise in the other disciplines."

>After a moment, Magicka then says:

"Will that suffice?"

>Mosaic still remains standing in the back of the area. Arms still crossed and pressed against his coat, he waits for Crepido to respond to Magicka's question. All the while, he also thinks to himself:

{"So that's the presence I swore I was sensing. I wonder who this 'apprentice' of Stephanie's is? I should probably see if I can talk to Isaac while they're discussing…"}

>As Mosaic moves to uncross his arms - he then suddenly feels a light tap on his left shoulder pad. Slowly turning his attention to face the figure, he then says:

"I can still barely detect you."

>Doctor nods in amusement behind his mask - the only indication of said amusement being the tone of voice found in his reply:

"You're getting better though. That's all that matters."


File: 1684522696260.jpg (65.06 KB, 1200x630, Raven.jpg)

>A black raven flies down from one of the pillars in the arena, gliding over to Stephanie, perching itself on Stephanie's shoulder.

>After lifting a wing up and cleaning it, the raven then starts talking.

"Idiot. . . big idiot. . ."

>The raven turns its head to look at Stephanie, addressing her.

"She exhausts herself with her opening move, she insists that somehow her people achieved the impossible and were capable of artificially replicating souls, and she acts like a deer in front of a charging horse when attacked. . ."

>The raven turns its head to look at Stella.

"When you said you were taking on someone besides me, I expected. . . more. It's almost offensive how much of a gap there is, Stephanie. Then again, what else could be expected from a Thaumian?"


File: 1684523219904-0.png (1.18 MB, 982x1780, Magicka - 2.png)

File: 1684523219904-1.jpg (109.79 KB, 500x496, Mosaic - 10.jpg)

File: 1684523219904-2.jpg (249.02 KB, 800x450, Doctor - 7.jpg)

>Magicka glares at the raven, her eyes displaying a mixture of anger and sheer disgust at the statements. After a long moment, she then says:

"I don't have to explain myself to you - whatever you are."

>At the same time, Mosaic stares at the raven for a moment, before he then says:

"Oh, they're one of those. That's her new apprentice?"

>Looking over at Doctor, Mosaic watches as Doctor sighs and walks towards the raven. Looking up at them for a moment, he then says:

"We don't judge people by their first impressions, Ceridwen. If you do not respect your colleagues, I will vacate you from the Axiom myself."

>Mosaic then walks up to Magicka and places a hand on her shoulder, stating:

"Ignore her. People show the content of their character without provocation - I know from experience."


File: 1684523805491.jpg (65.06 KB, 1200x630, Raven.jpg)

"Colleague? I've never heard the word, Stephanie's partner."

>The raven turns its head.

"I love the typical Thaumian response though."

>The raven throws its wings up, being careful not to hit Stephanie's head.

"I don't have to explain myself to you, lesser creature, I know Thaumaturgy! It's almost like what you would read in a children's book. . ."

>The raven folds its wings back in, "laughing" in a way that sounds like typical bird chatter.

"I watched the entire exercise. That was enough to get a measure of her, and that. . . disgusting staff that she claims contains 'artificial souls'. . ."

"Souls can't be replicated or copied, there's no facsimile of them, Thaumian, their energy only comes from them. . ."

>The bird looks at Stephanie.

"Isn't that right, Stephanie?"


File: 1684524241742-0.jpg (151.69 KB, 736x1086, Mosaic - 24.jpg)

File: 1684524241742-1.png (94.28 KB, 720x720, Magister - 54.png)

File: 1684524241742-2.jpg (31.38 KB, 300x407, Doctor - 20.jpg)

>Mosaic narrows his eyes behind his helmet as he begins to move forward.

>Instinctively, he feels another hand on his shoulder as he turns around - seeing another familiar face.

"You? What are you doing here?"

>Magister removes his hand and places it back underneath his cloak as he looks onward at the altercation in front of them.

"Witnessing Crepido's judgment in apprentice selecting."

>Turning his attention towards Crepido, Magister then states:

"Initially I was convinced by my colleague here to observe the assessment. Now here I stand - skeptical of your candidate selection."

>Doctor walks up to Magister, trying to be cordial as he speaks.

"Hello, Magister, I figured you would've sat this one out. Rest assured this isn't-"

>Magister holds out his gloved hand at Doctor, still staring at Crepido.

"Think very carefully about whether or not Prydwen is an optimal student."


File: 1684524900200.jpg (183.39 KB, 850x955, Steph358.jpg)

>Stephanie sighs, and then holds out her hand, indicating for everyone to stop.

"That's enough."

>She looks at Magister.

"I am perfectly capable of choosing my own students. I don't need you to stand there and criticize my choices."

>She then takes the bird and very gently gets it to move down her shoulder and onto a place on her arm where she can see it.

"And Ceri, apologize to Stella. While you're allowed to have your own opinions, you shouldn't be rude to her. If you have anything to critique, do it in a more polite manner."

>She looks back at the group, still allowing the bird to remain perched on her.

"I wasn't going to have the test take place today. But I have a feeling everyone here wants to go ahead with it. So go take your position Aiden. You'll be fighting Ceri first. Stella needs a break to rest and think about what she needs to improve on."


File: 1684525385505-0.png (2.89 MB, 998x2000, Mosaic.png)

File: 1684525385505-1.jpeg (497 KB, 595x842, Magicka - 4.jpeg)

File: 1684525385505-2.jpg (31.38 KB, 300x407, Doctor - 20.jpg)

>Magicka still stares at the raven with a malevolence, unseen until that moment. As she feels her body pulsating with anger, she then feels Mosaic's hand placed on her shoulder once more.

"As I said, ignore her. I know her type, and I temporarily lost my arm to someone just as 'wholesome' as her."

>Looking somewhat stunned at Mosaic's statement, she then says:

"Then why are you so calm?"

>Still staring at the raven, Mosaic says:

"Because the only thing that sets a bully straight is an ass kicking. That's what I needed."

>Still stunned, Stella slowly nods and begins hovering away - towards Doctor and Magister.

>Mosaic then crosses his arms again as he looks back at Crepido. Staring at her through the lenses of his helmet visor, he then says:

"Are you sure you want me to do that? You're the judge of magical power, so you can see how much is in either of us."

>Turning towards Doctor, he then continues:

"And you know what I can do. A lot more than any of them."

>Mosaic says, making a gesture with his hand to wave around the entire area besides himself and Doctor.

>Doctor sighs and says:

"It's not my decision to make, Aiden."


File: 1684525558200.jpg (227.84 KB, 1280x967, Steph619.jpg)

>Stephanie holds out her arm, giving the bird room to fly off it.

"While I can't say for certain who will win, I think Ceri here will be more capable than you expect."


File: 1684526061089-0.jpg (65.06 KB, 1200x630, Raven.jpg)

File: 1684526061089-1.gif (3.06 MB, 320x146, fIr48f.gif)

File: 1684526061089-2.jpg (375.59 KB, 1000x1758, 50b4716626cec1faa6c0085ca7….jpg)

"Sorry, Thaumian."

>The raven jumps away from Stephanie's arm, transforming into Ceri in midair, who lands on the ground.

>Adjusting her hair slightly, Ceri doesn't look at Aiden as she thinks for a second.

"Oh yes, my staff. Can't just rely on Carnwennan and there's not much point in using Caledfwych. . ."

>Ceri reaches out and a wooden staff appears from nowhere, flying into Ceridwen's hand.

"Much better. . ."

>Ceri turns around to face Mosaic.

"Oh, and mysterious newcomer, I've proven myself, the confidence doesn't come from nowhere. It's just that my ancestor's kind are free spirits."

>Ceri takes a casual walk around to her own position, then looks at Stephanie briefly.

"Any rules we have to abide by?"


File: 1684526453299.jpeg (4.57 MB, 2480x3507, Mosaic - 21.jpeg)

>Mosaic assumes a thinking position with his fingers tapping the side of his helmet.

"I dunno. You give me the impression that you're an asshole. Especially to people you don't even know. All because of where they're from."

>Crossing his arms again, Mosaic remains completely still - his voice now deadpan serious.

"As far as I can tell, you're just another smug asshole who can't help but laud their supposed superiority over others. It's like looking into a mirror, unfortunately."

>Pointing at the staff for a moment, Mosaic then says:

"Hey nice staff. Did you get that before or after you became a prick? The timeline's important."

>He says, in a clearly sarcastic and mocking tone of voice.


File: 1684526481528.jpg (52.01 KB, 600x844, Steph685.jpg)

"Just try not to kill each other, or anyone watching. Otherwise you're free to do what you want until I decide you've done enough."

>Stephanie crosses her arms and waits.


File: 1684526703148.jpg (775.37 KB, 849x1200, 92791781_p0_master1200.jpg)

"I wasn't talking to you, I was talking to the guy who tried to tell Stephanie that she made the wrong decision."

>Ceri shrugs.

"Easy mistake to make though, I was facing your direction at the time."

>Ceri reaches into her bag and takes some stones out, checking the runes on them and then throwing them in a triangle around her.

"Simple enough rules then, guess it's on your mark then."


File: 1684527074991-0.jpg (218.04 KB, 565x800, Mosaic - 5.jpg)

File: 1684527074991-1.gif (2.12 MB, 498x280, Fire - 4.gif)

File: 1684527074991-2.jpg (86.62 KB, 590x332, Mana - 3.jpg)

>Mosaic nods slowly before he then says:

"Oh I know. Felt everyone should hear my controversial opinion of you first."

>Rubbing his hands together, Mosaic then makes a series of flashy hand gestures - as orange light begins to trail from his fingertips.

"Gimme a moment….."

>Mosaic continues generating more and more orange light and flames from his fingertips, until he condenses the energy into a ball with both hands. As he does so, he then says:

"Here goes nothing!"

>Mosaic then stretches out his hands, in a familiar stance - both hands outstretched in order to create…..


>A very small orange fireball that lightly floats from himself towards Ceri - at a rate of around an inch every second.

>Coughing into his fist despite wearing a helmet, Mosaic then says:

"Oh, sorry. I must've used the training spell. It's the one that you use against novices."

>Waving at Ceridwen, Mosaic then says:

"You're more than welcome to show me how it's done though, oh great sorceress!"

>He then takes an uncharacteristically dramatic bow.


File: 1684527504624.jpg (88.26 KB, 813x846, a9d053f0beb2c0d484dd4f4cbc….jpg)


>Ceri steps out of her triangle of stones.

"This is the part where I attack you and overextend myself and then you beat me in one move, humiliating me, right? Or is it the part where you continue to just use the weakest stuff you have to mock me? Second one isn't really the ego hit you think it is, I'm afraid. . ."

>Ceri looks over her shoulder at Stephanie for a second.

"That 'Freud' man had some interesting ideas, Stephanie, do you have anything else like his work in the library?"

>Ceri walks up to the fireball and leans in, looking at it.

"You'll have to educate me on the concept of 'training spells' though, you see, I didn't have such a formal education. . ."

>Ceri reaches out to the fireball, reaching out to it with her finger, which she wraps it around.

"It's quite well made though, all credit to you."

>Ceri casually flicks the fireball back at Mosaic at a much greater pace.

"Certainly not one made without knowledge."


File: 1684528032438-0.jpeg (4.57 MB, 2480x3507, Mosaic - 21.jpeg)

File: 1684528032438-1.jpg (927.22 KB, 2048x2048, Sun.jpg)

>Mosaic catches the fireball with his hand and looks at it as he raises it up to his helmet.

"I genuinely don't know what Stephanie sees in you, honestly."

>Casually lobbing the fireball into the air above him - Mosaic points at it as it suddenly expands in size - becoming a massive sphere that stretches across the sky.

>While holding the miniature Sun above his head, he then continues:

"Everything really is a game to you. I really should just wipe you across the floor and call it a day."

>Silent for another moment, Mosaic snaps his fingers again as the literal Sun then suddenly disappears.

"Good thing I'm not like you anymore."

>Turning to Crepido, Mosaic says:

"There's no real point to this. Just take Stella under your wing if you want to."

>Looking back at Ceridwen, Mosaic then glares at her from behind his helmet.

"As for you? At least try to contain the magic prejudice. If not? We'll see how long Stephanie keeps you here."

>Giving a casual gesture with his hands, he then continues:

"Or not. Be my guest and continue talking down to the 'inferior Thaumian'. I'm sure the three Sorcerers Supreme watching this right now would love that."


File: 1684528626679-0.gif (1.22 MB, 498x280, one-punch-man-saitama.gif)

File: 1684528626680-1.jpg (525.37 KB, 849x1200, 92857610_p0_master1200.jpg)

>Ceri watches the display with the sun, unphased.

"Do it then."

>Ceri extends her hand out to Mosaic.

"If you should just wipe the floor with me, then do it."

>Ceri shrugs, walking back to her initial spot.

"Stephanie asked you to provide a test for me, which you failed to do. Ultimately, I don't care about that, I don't live or die by having the respect of someone I don't know, but it shows a lack of respect for her that you wouldn't even try it."

>Ceri reaches her spot again, turning back to face Mosaic again.

"But that's just my view on the matter."


File: 1684528787423.png (3.1 MB, 1179x1597, Steph294.png)

>Stephanie looks away for a moment, looking a bit awkward.

"Um… right."

>Stephanie looks at Aiden and Ceri.

"Look. You guys don't have to like each other. But the point of this isn't to prove who's the best. It's to help Ceri, and more importantly to you Aiden - Stella. Please, do me a favor and take this seriously."


File: 1684529104805-0.png (2.89 MB, 998x2000, Mosaic.png)

>Mosaic scoffs lightly as he then says:

"I'd love to give a demonstration to someone who's good natured, Raven. Unfortunately, you don't really fit the bill."

>Pointing his thumb in a sideways motion at Magicka at a distance, he continues:

"Stella just basically renounced everything that the Thaumians taught her - because Stephanie suggested it was a better option. She recognized her inefficiencies, and acknowledged them."

>Now getting more irritated, he continues speaking:

"She didn't dig her heels in with some conceited sense of bravado - nor did she assume that just because what she learned was all that she knew, that it somehow had to be the truth either."

>With a tone of disgust and venom in his voice, Mosaic then says:

"That makes her far more of a sorceress than you ever will be."

>Not looking at Crepido, Mosaic then responds to her, stating:

"One condition. If I win, then Raven over here has to apologize to Stella. Sincerely this time."

>Still staring at Ceri, Mosaic feels a bit of his older self starting to break though:

"I really wonder what kind of mother you had, if you turned out to be this bad of a person."


File: 1684529500754.jpg (913.47 KB, 1200x1600, Steph285.jpg)

"Aiden that's enough."

>Stephanie puts her face in her palm, letting out a sigh.

"Both of you. Enough with the insults. Enough with the arguing. This is not a verbal fight. You're supposed to be using your Magic to spar."

>She removes her hand from her face.

"Start. And actually try. Now."


File: 1684529733818.jpg (827.33 KB, 900x1030, ffb9292ba9779b147a6ac0f0a3….jpg)

>As Stephanie talks, Ceri reaches into her bag, taking out several stones and throwing them in the direction of Aiden's face, the runes on them lighting up as they explode right before it.

"Fine. . . but I'm taking those rings if you lose."

>Ceri spreads her arms out, leaving herself open.

"So, come on then, wipe the floor with me."


File: 1684530095228-0.jpg (575.93 KB, 1300x751, Mosaic - 25.jpg)

File: 1684530095228-1.jpg (438.31 KB, 1080x599, Space Time Sphere.jpg)

File: 1684530095228-2.jpeg (304.28 KB, 1920x1200, Space-Time.jpeg)

File: 1684530095228-3.png (40.7 KB, 750x450, Lightning Bolt.png)

File: 1684530095228-4.gif (2.01 MB, 500x288, Electricity - 2.gif)

>Raising his hand he then says:

"Oh so now you want the Thaumian trinket? Hilarious."

>Mosaic then snaps his fingers - generating a series of large transparent spheres. The spheres are around the size of large cars - and have a bluish-whitish tint to them. As the spheres begin moving towards Ceri from different directions - Mosaic keeps a distance.

"Irony really isn't dead then."

>Now taking a cross legged position in mid-air, Mosaic watches as the half-dozen spheres continue moving rapidly in Ceri's direction. The spheres are seemingly erroring the concrete floor of the area in a perfect cut - giving a hint about their function.

>He then fires a series of magical bolts from his hands - each large enough to encompass a bus in diameter and length. The bolts of concentrated magical energy arc and crackle across the sky - connecting with each other and separating at random patterns as they converge on the stones' locations.


File: 1684530404070.jpg (444.47 KB, 1890x2668, fvmp4003eyf81.jpg)

>As the spheres and bolts approach her, Ceri simply sighs and extends her staff forward.

>The various objects then begin unravelling and rapidly heading into the tip of the staff, where they disappear.

"Go on then, wipe the floor with me."


File: 1684531160661-0.jpg (151.69 KB, 736x1086, Mosaic - 24.jpg)

File: 1684531160661-1.jpg (125.24 KB, 900x541, Dimensional Nexus.jpg)

File: 1684531160661-2.gif (5.02 MB, 480x270, Dimension Shattering.gif)

File: 1684531160661-3.gif (1.96 MB, 500x222, Iso Dimension.gif)

File: 1684531160661-4.jpeg (304.28 KB, 1920x1200, Space-Time.jpeg)

>Silent, Mosaic then holds out his hand and begins making a crushing motion with it - slowly.

"I'm really starting to dislike you."

>Mosaic then begins slowly pulling at the fabric of reality itself. He can feel magical energy supercharging through his body as he does so. As the energy flares up from within, he then looks at Ceridwen as he continues pulling.

>Suddenly, shards of reality itself begin to shatter and break from the space around Ceridwen as Mosaic continues piling on more and more force. The space around Ceridwen begins to compress at a rapid rate - getting smaller and smaller as a vacuum effect begins to manifest.

>As Mosaic piles on more and more energy and force into the reaction - he begins violently ripping apart the space-time continuum, willingly subjecting Ceridwen to an artificial black hole phenomenon; the density of space-time around that region beginning to grow at an exponential rate.

"If you want me to keep going, I can."

>Mosaic then begins walking towards Ceridwen with his hand outstretched.

"If you want me to blow this entire dimension apart and compress it around you? That's fine with me as well. How good are you at holding the weight of an entire space-time continuum again, Raven?"

>Holding up his other hand to the sky - Mosaic doesn't watch as the sky entirely rips apart - with large masses of pure vantablack beginning to flow in - and rapidly converge around Ceridwen's position.

"I can blow this whole actuality to kingdom come and back. As many times as I need to, and with as much force as I need to."

>Mosaic then closes his open hand into a fist - signaling the rapid destabilization of the entire dimensional pocket held within the Axiom. A violent shaking begins to rupture across all of space-time, seemingly stretching on for an infinite space. As it does so, more and more pockets of space-time begin to shatter like glass and fall apart, as the pure vantablack of nothingness begins to seep through - rapidly increasing the gravitational pressure of the area.


File: 1684531609604.jpg (332.65 KB, 1200x1200, 93691490_p0_master1200.jpg)

>Apparently unaffected by the compression, Ceri slowly brings her staff down, carefully drawing a circle around herself, which stabilises a small section around her, the area gently pushing against the compression enough to stop it enclosing further.

>Letting out a small sigh, Ceri nods to herself.

"I didn't know if that was enough energy, but it was, useful. . ."

>Finished with her actions, Ceri looks at Aiden again.

"Go on then, wipe the floor with me."


File: 1684532069592-0.jpg (151.69 KB, 736x1086, Mosaic - 24.jpg)

File: 1684532069592-1.jpeg (304.28 KB, 1920x1200, Space-Time.jpeg)

File: 1684532069592-2.gif (150.77 KB, 320x180, Fire Blast.gif)

File: 1684532069592-3.jpg (125.24 KB, 900x541, Dimensional Nexus.jpg)

File: 1684532069592-4.jpg (32.06 KB, 852x480, Glowing Red Sphere.jpg)

>Staring at Ceri, Mosaic then makes another motion with his hand - inverting space-time around her - shunting her out of her protective circle and right in front of him.

"If you insist."

>Mosaic then grabs Ceri's arm with his superhuman strength and begins heating her body up with thermal energy. The air around them begins getting warmer rapidly as the floor begins to burn - smoke filling the air.

"You're an annoying little bird."

>Mosaic then continues piling on more heat - as the dimension continues to destabilize rapidly. Holding out his free hand - he then begins rapidly converging the entirety of the spatial mass that's been destabilized so far - into an infinitesimally dense black hole. The miniature black hole, the size of a marble, is surrounded by a crackling red energy in Mosaic's hand as he says:

"I'm not sure what a stellar mass does to a human being, especially at this density."

>Staring at Ceri with a resolute expression behind his helmet, Mosaic then states:

"Want to volunteer?"

>He says, aiming the impossibly dense object directly in front of Ceri.


File: 1684532599251.jpg (699.93 KB, 850x850, sample_9dfa520581a2c63437c….jpg)

>Ceri simply looks up at the helmet of Mosaic, not blinking, the heat apparently not even travelling into her body.

"I'm not a human, not fully."

>Ceri moves her free hand to the black hole, enclosing her hand around it, then opening it again with the object gone.

"And thank you for the energy."

>Moving her hand down to her dagger, Ceri slice her arm, cutting it cleanly just below where Mosaic is holding it, and kicks herself away, using the time to take something out of her bag and press it against the stump, a new arm growing to replace the original.

>Standing back up straight, Ceri extends her newly formed arm out to Mosaic, curling her fingers slightly.

"So go on then, wipe the floor with me."


File: 1684533050977-0.jpeg (4 MB, 2480x3508, Mosaic - 2.jpeg)

File: 1684533050977-1.gif (1.71 MB, 500x245, IT - 5.gif)

File: 1684533050977-2.gif (1.99 MB, 500x280, Punch - 2.gif)

File: 1684533050977-3.jpg (299.16 KB, 1920x1200, Bright Light - 2.jpg)

File: 1684533050977-4.gif (1.95 MB, 500x270, Kick - 2.gif)

>Blinking, Mosaic then says:

"….So you mean I'm not fully human anymore?"

>Looking around his body, he then states:

"I don't feel any different. But if I am a lot like you, let's test that."

>Mosaic disappears in a blink of an eye and reappears instantly behind Ceri - faster than she can move.

>He then slams her into the ground, in a supine position - his hand resting on her chest.

>Noticing the collapsing dimension above him, Mosaic curses lightly and whispers an incantation.

>The incantation is barely audible - but a bright white light flashes from his fingertips, growing rapidly in size as it rapidly envelops the space-time around them, including the skies above.

>After a few moments, the dimension is stabilized - with new space-time woven into the holes and patches.

>Looking down at Ceridwen still pinned underneath his superhuman strength with his palm and fingers, he says:

"And since you keep asking."

>Mosaic then slams Ceridwen forward with superhuman speed - causing her to careen across the floor as she scrapes against it rapidly. Standing up, he then says:

"I wiped the flood with you."


File: 1684533250082.jpg (827.33 KB, 900x1030, ffb9292ba9779b147a6ac0f0a3….jpg)

>Ceri stands up, unphased by the physical attacks.

"I'm waiting, wipe the floor with me."


File: 1684533814033-0.jpg (151.69 KB, 736x1086, Mosaic - 24.jpg)

File: 1684533814033-1.jpg (31.3 KB, 1024x768, Red Light.jpg)

File: 1684533814033-2.jpg (149.26 KB, 590x300, Mana Particles - 2.jpg)

File: 1684533814033-3.jpg (450.23 KB, 1920x1080, Power Imprimatur - 2.jpg)

>Mosaic then appears instantly before Ceridwen once more, now making another gesture. As he does so, bright red energy flares around her body - as Mosaic reaches towards her, and seemingly pulls at something surrounding her.

"Defensive wards - and I'm taking that energy back."

>Mosaic then "rips apart" the passive energy barrier surrounding Ceri - at least temporarily, as he grabs her again. Now he begins siphoning energy from her as he feels a familiar red aura surrounding him - the same aura he had against Faust.

>After a few seconds, Mosaic feels supercharged as he grabs Ceri by her robe and tosses her to the side. An insignia appears above his helmet briefly as he does so - not paying attention to it.

>Looking down at his hands, he then says:

"I'll drain all the energy out of you if that's what it takes. To the point where you can't even move. If you want to try it on me? Be my guest."

>Mosaic leaves himself open for Ceri to try the same approach on.

"But I'm warning you - don't complain if you get a full stomach."


File: 1684534482888-0.jpg (375.59 KB, 1000x1758, 50b4716626cec1faa6c0085ca7….jpg)

File: 1684534482888-1.gif (6.44 MB, 640x360, Burning_alive-2.gif)

>Closing her eyes for a second, Ceri takes out her dagger and rushes forward, stabbing Mosaic in the side, the blade somehow ignoring all of the defences that typically stop attacks.

"I don't particularly need to, I will stop your flow there though."

>Ceri pulls the dagger out, wiping some blood from it and licking it, sheathing the blade and snapping her fingers to restore her previous wards, stopping the flow from before.

"You were right though, our power was incredibly mismatched. Your second move would have beaten me if you did it first. . ."

>Ceri's eyes turn black.

"But your first move gave me enough energy to go out of my comfort zone, so thank you for that, you ensured I had defences for that move."

>Ceri turns her back on Aiden, looking around for the observers.

"Stephanie, I think this is sufficient experience on fighting an opponent with more power than me, it doesn't matter who wins or loses here, right? So. . ."

>Ceridwen points her hand at Mosaic, a blast of energy coming from it.

"Have your energy back, if you want it. But I'm not going to bother continuing fighting after this move."


File: 1684534994293-0.jpeg (4 MB, 2480x3508, Mosaic - 2.jpeg)

File: 1684534994293-1.jpg (102.34 KB, 1280x720, Doctor - 24.jpg)

File: 1684534994293-2.png (94.28 KB, 720x720, Magister - 54.png)

File: 1684534994293-3.gif (988 KB, 500x281, Aura - 3.gif)

File: 1684534994293-4.gif (962.06 KB, 500x281, Aura - 2.gif)

>Mosaic smacks the energy blast away with one hand - staring at Ceridwen as he does so.

"I don't need any energy from you."

>Instinctively, Mosaic charges up a bright red blast in his hand - aiming it directly at Ceridwen.

>However, he then dissipates the blast - causing the radiance to die down rapidly. Still silent, he then turns towards Crepido and says:

"…..Get what you wanted, boss?"

>He says, clearly in a foul mood as his red aura refuses to dissipate. Instead, the aura continues flaring up - becoming blindingly bright red in color and lumonisity.

>Magister immediately moves forward towards Mosaic, shouting:

"Calm down Aiden! You need to control your-"

>Doctor puts a hand on Magister's shoulder, stating:

"Let me."

>Walking towards Mosaic, calmly, Doctor holds his hands up, saying:

"Come on Aiden. It's fine. You lost a bout - but not because of your raw power. As she admitted, you're stronger than her."

>Mosaic stares directly at Doctor - who remains unfazed by his aura.

"Give me one reason to not vaporize her right now."


File: 1684535548179-0.jpg (31.38 KB, 300x407, Doctor - 20.jpg)

File: 1684535548179-1.jpeg (4.57 MB, 2480x3507, Mosaic - 21.jpeg)

File: 1684535548179-2.gif (988 KB, 500x281, Aura - 3.gif)

File: 1684535548179-3.gif (1.19 MB, 500x281, Power Form - 2.gif)

File: 1684535548179-4.jpg (23.46 KB, 630x630, Power Imprimatur - 3.jpg)

>Doctor sighs as he then places a hand on his hip - still unaffected by Mosaic's aura. He then says out loud:

"Because she's not worth it. You also didn't use wards and counter wards until the very end of the match. You were seeing red again, I could tell."

>The aura still refuses to dissipate - instead it flares up even further - now starting to radiate towards the skies above. The force generated by Mosaic's aura begins shattering the ground and rupturing the air at an accelerating rate. As the force of the air pressure begins to increase exponentially - Doctor remains standing in front of Mosaic with his arms crossed.

"…Aiden! You need to control yourself! Your anger is getting the better of you again, and it's starting to manifest!"

>Still staring at the woman behind Doctor with literal red vision, Mosaic barely controls himself enough to not raise a hand up. Instead, he slowly begins turning towards Crepido - as the symbol from before slowly begins to manifest behind him - in a larger size.


>Mosaic stares at Crepido for a few more seconds - his aura getting brighter and more destructive……


>Before it finally dissipates - immediately. The air pressure stops. The destruction stops. The rupturing of reality around him stops, and Doctor begins repairing it slowly.

"…..Waste of fucking time."

>Mosaic then crosses his arms and looks away from Crepido.


File: 1684536065254.jpg (55.08 KB, 400x500, Steph614.jpg)

>Stephanie lets out a sigh.

"Ceri, you did good."

>She then turns to Aiden and steps closer to him.

"Aiden, you did good as well. And I know you're upset but take this as a learning experience for yourself. Now you know that enemies can be tricky, and it's good to try and use methods other than just physical force all the time."

>Finally, Stephanie turns to face Stella.

"And Stella. I apologize for Ceri's earlier behavior. If you want to continue studying under me, I can make sure you and her don't cross paths. If you would rather avoid me, then you can ask Isaac over there if you still feel the desire to study here."


File: 1684536239688.jpg (332.65 KB, 1200x1200, 93691490_p0_master1200.jpg)

>Ceri sighs, scratching the back of her head.

"For what it's worth, sorry. . . Stella."

>Ceri seems to struggle to say Stella's name.

"But my opinion on Thaumaturgy isn't changing."


File: 1684536406245-0.png (2.89 MB, 998x2000, Mosaic.png)

File: 1684536406245-1.jpeg (162.15 KB, 850x1453, Magicka.jpeg)

>Mosaic scoffs and looks at Crepido for a moment. Looking at her up and down, he then curses himself as he turns red behind his helmet.

"….If you insist, Sorceress Supreme."

>Magicka looks at Ceridwen for a moment, staring daggers at her. Gripping her staff tightly, she then says to Stephanie:

"…..Teach me everything that you possibly can - and that I'm allowed to learn. I lost my brother, my mother and my father."

>Gritting her teeth, she angrily grabs the staff even more so.

"I lost everyone I ever knew and cared for. So I refuse to let her define who I am!"

>Looking Crepido dead in the eyes with righteous fury in her own eyes - Magicka then shouts:

"Teach me everything!."

>Then looking away, she says:

"But I don't want to see her face again. At least until I'm skilled enough to retaliate to her sheer disrespect of my family."

>Mosaic then looks at Crepido for a moment and states:

"…..I'll admit, I almost lost it there. You know what happened to me just now? With the Aura and everything I mean."

>His arms are crossed as he waits for Crepido to reply.

>Surprised, Stella turns to Ceri and says, quietly:

"…..I already renounced the Thaumian ways, and you heard me. I accept your apology - but why do you hate me so much?"

>Magicka begins tearing up, her face contorting into one of anger and frustration as she shouts.


>Magicka then starts bawling - putting her hands to her face as she fails to control her emotions.

>Silent, Mosaic then walks over to her and wraps his arm around her - leaning her in tightly. As he does so, he looks down at her - before looking up at Ceri.


>Despite the circumstances, Mosaic doesn't display visible anger - more disgust and disbelief.


File: 1684537135507.png (395.42 KB, 609x921, Steph671.png)

>Once Mosaic has finished Stephanie also leans over to give Stella a hug, patting her on the back as she does so. After a few moments she pulls away.

"Listen everyone."

>Stephanie takes a step back next to Ceri, and puts her hand on her shoulder.

"I know you're all angry at Ceri. And what she said was uncalled for. But please, don't hold it against her. Ceri has been isolated her entire life, and only just recently stepped foot outside of her family's home for the first time. She hasn't learned to be… tactful, yet."

>She removes her hand from Ceri's shoulder.

"And while just saying sorry isn't enough to right a wrong, she did end up apologizing anyway. Despite winning."

>Stephanie looks at Stella once more.

"Stella. You still don't have to be around Ceri if you don't want to. But please don't hold this against her. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone."


File: 1684537702189-0.jpeg (4.57 MB, 2480x3507, Mosaic - 21.jpeg)

File: 1684537702189-1.png (1.18 MB, 982x1780, Magicka - 2.png)

>Mosaic moves his head from side to side ever so slightly before he speaks.

"I'll admit. I was focused more on making a statement than actually doing any teaching. Ceri just rubbed me the wrong way, and I'm not going to lie."

>He then points at her with his arm still at his side.

"I'm still sour on her - but I get it."

>Magicka stops crying slowly as she wipes tears from her eyes.

"…..I just want to be left alone with the Thaumaturge when this is all done."

>Mosaic looks at Magicka for a moment, surprised. Magicka continues speaking:

"……But I forgive her. I hate her for what she said. Because it hurts. But I still forgive her nonetheless."

>Magicka then looks at her Tabula staff in her hand. Staring at it - the last remnant of her life as a Thaumian.


>She then slams it into the ground - shattering the crystal and destroying it. After a few more seconds, she then says:

"…..I'm not a Thaumian anymore. I'm just a sorceress."

>Magicka then hugs Mosaic tightly - squeezing him with all of her strength as tears begin streaming down her face again.

"….And I don't want you to go, Aiden. Please…..Don't leave me……Not yet……"

>Silent, Mosaic then says:

"….That's the first time you've said….."

>Magicka nods, stating:

"As I said….I'm not a Thaumian anymore."

>Mosaic then hugs Magicka back again - as he turns to look at Stephanie, saying:

"….I'll stick with Isaac for my training. Stella says she'll stick with you - so I'm putting her care in your hands."


File: 1684538040623.jpg (419.56 KB, 1280x1280, Steph340.jpg)

>Stephanie holds her hand out, causing the shattered and broken staff to start moving in reverse - repairing itself before flying into her hand. She walks towards Stella, and holds it out for her to take.

"Stella. I never said you had to abandon your culture and everything you know. Even if you've decided you no longer are going to practice Thaumaturgy, that doesn't mean you have to turn into a different person. You are and always will be a Thaumian."

>She looks at Mosaic.

"And Aiden."

>Stephanie pauses and lets out a pained sigh.

"I'm not going to enforce it. It's up to you. But you did accept a bet with Ceri for your ring."

>Stephanie looks pained at mentioning this, having only mentioned it because she knew Ceri would've brought it up anyway.


File: 1684538447763-0.jpg (151.69 KB, 736x1086, Mosaic - 24.jpg)

File: 1684538447763-1.jpg (52.74 KB, 377x566, Magister - 53.jpg)

>Mosaic looks at Crepido for a moment before saying:

"What this? You'd have to ask the Oreo over there. He's the one who enchanted it for me."

>Mosaic nods at Magister, who scoffs and states:

"After all the effort I took to craft it for you? The very idea is insulting."

>Turning towards Ceri, he then says:

"Ceridwen Prydwen. If you wish to have a Thaumaturgic artifact equivalent in power to that of the Thaumaturgy Ring, then say as much. After your display of skill against my counterpart, I will grant you such an artifact - in the shape and function of your choice."

>Arms still crossed behind his cloak, he then reaffirms his statement:

"….However I am Sorcerer Supreme, as much as your new master is Sorceress Supreme now. That ring was constructed solely for Aiden - and is connected to his very soul. If you desire such an artifact, I will construct it for you - at this very moment if you prefer."

>Magister's cloak then flutters in the wind as he concludes by saying:

"If even that will not suffice, name a suggestion and I will grant it - within reason, girl."


File: 1684538562047.png (493.7 KB, 900x1190, Steph282.png)

>Stephanie lets out a shrug.

"Well, you heard him Ceri. Ask for what you want."


File: 1684538806732.jpg (332.65 KB, 1200x1200, 93691490_p0_master1200.jpg)

>Ceri looks at Magister for a moment, then sighs.

"Forget it, I don't want to deal with people who treat me like that. . ."

>Ceri turns around, flicking her cloak over her shoulders.

"I'll be in the library, Stephanie, reading."

>Ceri walks away, disappearing after a moment as she reaches one of the boundaries of the arena.


File: 1684539392696-0.jpg (285.36 KB, 551x561, Magister - 56.jpg)

File: 1684539392696-1.jpg (39.28 KB, 435x600, Aiden (Earth-1) - 18.jpg)

File: 1684539392696-2.png (2.89 MB, 998x2000, Mosaic.png)

File: 1684539392696-3.jpeg (162.15 KB, 850x1453, Magicka.jpeg)

>Watching as the girl leaves, Magister rubs his eyelids with his gloved hands, stating:

"Obstinate - the lot of you."

>Turning towards Mosaic, Magister then says:

"You. Control your anger, before you manifest more of our shared…..essence."

>Confused, Mosaic says:

"Shared essence? What are you talking about?"

>Magister rolls his eyes behind his vantablack spectacles - stating:

"You will learn the meaning of that soon enough. Regardless, control yourself. Your emotional outbursts are emblematic of your still unchanged mindset. As Crepido informed you - brute force is unbecoming of a sorcerer. I expect better from myself - so do not disappoint me again."

>Muttering, Mosaic crosses his arms as he says:

"….Fine. Whatever."

>Turning his attention towards Magicka, he then takes off his sunglasses and remotely lowers his cloak - revealing his full face.

"Stella Aeterna Bray. Do not be dissuaded by mere statements or epithets. You have survived this long on your own strength of will. Refrain from a defeated mindset in the future. I sense great potential in you, sorceress. Do not squander it."

>Magicka looks up at Magister - now finally seeing the resemblance to Mosaic as she does so. Smiling, she then says:

"Yes sir. I promise."


>Turning back towards Crepido and Doctor, Magister then states:

"If you are still confident in your recruits - then understand that this very moment is the most formative moment of their developmental paths."

>His spectacles are still in his gloved hand as he speaks to both of his fellow Sorcerers Supreme.


File: 1684539684458.jpg (63.38 KB, 620x1024, Steph702.jpg)

>Letting out what feels like her millionth sigh for the day, Stephanie slumps her shoulders. She watches as Ceri disappears.

"What a day…"

>She closes her eyes and breathes in deeply, trying to relax herself. Suddenly she straightens up - turning around. Stephanie can now be seen with a visibly upset face. Her eyes stare daggers at Mosaic in particular.


>Stephanie marches towards him.

"You were right to be upset by Ceri's comments. But you do not get to treat her with contempt like that."

>She now stands in front of Aiden, jabbing her index finger into his chest.

"And you do not get to threaten to murder her. Do you understand me? I've held my tongue for too long, out of respect for Isaac - and even Orion. But if you don't get your anger in check and keep treating my people poorly? You won't like the outcome."

>Stephanie slowly pulls her finger away from Mosaic's chest.

"I'll let it slide this time. But if I hear about another outburst like this? You. Are. Done."

>She then suddenly turns to face Magister.

"And you. I've heard that you have some bad habits yourself. I would recommend you fix those. Otherwise the other me might not be pleased."

>She stares him down for a few moments, before finally relaxing again.

"You all can stay if you want. I'm sure Isaac will appreciate talking to you. I'm going to go find something to relax with."

>She turns to look at Stella one last time.

"We'll talk about training another time. Okay?"

>Stephanie then turns and walks away, disappearing much like Ceri did earlier.


File: 1684540311367-0.jpg (234.77 KB, 600x600, Magister - 52.jpg)

File: 1684540311367-1.jpg (249.02 KB, 800x450, Doctor - 7.jpg)

File: 1684540311367-2.jpg (109.79 KB, 500x496, Mosaic - 10.jpg)

>Scoffing, Magister then places his spectacles back on his face, stating:

"Just as charming as ever."

>Doctor looks at Magister, somewhat annoyed as he says:

"This entire situation got out of hand, again. Ugh."

>Thinking for a moment, Doctor then looks at Aiden and states:

"We should probably start by working on that. She's very blunt, but Stephanie's correct. You still do have a lot of anger in you Aiden. I know it's not easy to just remove that - but we're going to have to work on that."

>Sighing, Mosaic shakes his head as he states:

"It doesn't matter what I do. People end up disliking me anyways. No matter where I go, or what I get myself into. The outcome's the exact same."

>Confused, Doctor then looks at Mosaic more carefully as he says:

"Aiden what are you saying?"

>Mosaic then says:

"I'm saying I need to leave - this whole place. At least for now."

>Magister then looks at Doctor for a moment, before saying:

"If you won't do it, then I will."

>Shaking his head, Doctor then sighs.

"If you insist. I'll get him."

>Doctor then disappears for a moment, as Magister turns to stand before Mosaic.


File: 1684540718585-0.png (94.28 KB, 720x720, Magister - 54.png)

File: 1684540718585-1.jpg (218.04 KB, 565x800, Mosaic - 5.jpg)

File: 1684540718585-2.jpeg (497 KB, 595x842, Magicka - 4.jpeg)

File: 1684540718585-3.jpg (102.34 KB, 1280x720, Doctor - 24.jpg)

File: 1684540718585-4.jpeg (142.96 KB, 850x1123, Paladin.jpeg)

>Mosaic remains confused as he looks at Magister, questioning him:

"…..What are you doing? Where's Isaac going?"

>Magister reveals one hand from underneath his cloak as he then says:

"Getting the one person who can relate to you in this moment - and giving you an assignment that you can both handle together."

>Silent for a moment, Mosaic then groans loudly as he states:

"….Are you kidding me? Him? Seriously. After all of this?! You're bringing him?"

>Magister nods, slowly, stating:

"Of course. This all started because of your decision to use him to set an example. Look where that got you. And me, to a lesser extent."

>Magicka looks at Mosaic for a moment, saying:

"What is he talking about, Aiden?"

>Sighing once more, Mosaic then explains:

"Isaac's going to get the last skeleton in my closet…."

>Doctor then reappears through a portal - with a figure still waiting to move through it.

"….In the hopes that I finally dust them off."

>A figure in bright white armor then slowly walks through the portal - dusting himself off. After looking around, he then sees Mosaic standing before him and says:

"….Hey. It's been a while, right? Ha ha….."

>Paladin rubs the back of his neck as Mosaic crosses his arms again.

"………..Hello, Jack."


File: 1684541228264-0.jpg (326.04 KB, 1000x1000, Mosaic - 4.jpg)

File: 1684541228264-1.jpg (102.34 KB, 1280x720, Doctor - 24.jpg)

File: 1684541228264-2.jpeg (204.79 KB, 900x1357, Magicka - 3.jpeg)

File: 1684541228264-3.jpeg (57.32 KB, 618x800, Paladin - 2.jpeg)

>Paladin looks around, before stating:

"The Sorcerer Supreme filled me in on what happened. No specifics - just the basics, and…."

>Looking away, he then says:

"….I'm sorry, Aiden. I know I'm the last person you'd want to see but-"

>Aiden holds up his hand, telling Paladin to stop speaking.

"It's fine. I've burned all my bridges anyways."

>Looking over at Magicka, Mosaic then interlocks her fingers into his, as he says:

"….Except one."

>Now looking back at Paladin, he then continues:

"Besides, you're only in this situation because of me - like everyone else."

>Releasing his hand from Magicka's own, he then turns to Doctor and says:

"So what rehab job did you want us to do?"

>Doctor gives a sheepish shrug as he says:

"Well I don't know if you'd want it or-"

"What's the job?"

"…..Just cleaning out some spirits in a nearby dimension. Pacify them - without killing them."

>Paladin nods and makes a gesture with his hands in response.

"Seems simple enough. Aiden and I can do that."

>Nodding in response, Doctor says:

"Good. I'll go find Stephanie and Ceri. Talk to them-"

>Mosaic holds out his hand - waving it towards Doctor.

"No. I made my bed, so I lay in it. Part of being an adult is taking responsibility right?"

>Sighing, Doctor says:

"I suppose so, yes. If that's what you believe is best."


File: 1684541746180-0.jpeg (4 MB, 2480x3508, Mosaic - 2.jpeg)

File: 1684541746180-1.jpeg (162.15 KB, 850x1453, Magicka.jpeg)

File: 1684541746180-2.jpg (421.03 KB, 1280x1717, Doctor - 5.jpg)

File: 1684541746180-3.png (94.28 KB, 720x720, Magister - 54.png)

File: 1684541746180-4.jpeg (70.4 KB, 591x1240, Paladin - 4.jpeg)

>Looking at Magicka for a moment, Mosaic places his hands on her shoulders and says:

"…..I'll be gone for a bit, Stella. Just finish up what you were doing - and tell everyone that I called for an early end of the work day. If anybody asks, tell them to take it up with me."

>Magicka nods slowly and then smiles.

"Go make up for your mistakes then, Aiden."

>Magicka gives the side of his helmet a kiss as she then turns towards Doctor.

"Alright. I'll escort you out of here."

>Turning towards Mosaic, Doctor then elaborates:

"Jack has the specifics, and he's already been briefed."

>Magister looks at Mosaic and Paladin, exclaiming:

"I'll supervise you both - see if you really can work together as a team."

>Doctor then leaves with Magicka - as Magister escorts Paladin and Mosaic through another portal…..


File: 1684542157264-0.jpg (737.68 KB, 2560x1600, Sanctum - 7.jpg)

File: 1684542157264-1.png (2.89 MB, 998x2000, Mosaic.png)

File: 1684542157264-2.jpg (88.34 KB, 785x1017, Aiden - 34.jpg)

>Time: Roughly 2 Hours Later.
>Location: The Axiom - Nexus of Magic

>Inside of a large living space - situated in the Axiom's general quarters, Mosaic slowly walks into the area from a nearby door. As he does so, he walks around slowly - moving past flying scrolls and carpets, and moving towards a figure sitting in the center of the room.

>As he approaches the figure, he then removes his helmet - shaking his head and letting his naturally black hair flow cleanly. His bright blue eyes are accentuated with small red outlines - signifying his growing connection to his true self - unbeknownst to him.

>Now looking down at the woman sitting before him, Aiden closes his eyes as he then opens them as he begins to speak:

"….I'm sorry for my actions, and my transgressions. I don't have any excuses, and I don't deserve any pity. I'm also starting to realize that I just….."

>Aiden stops speaking for a moment, looking away. He then speaks, as he still looks on - aimlessly at a bookshelf in the distance.

"…..I'm just angry at myself. I feel like a failure. I know I shouldn't think that way - but it's been there in the back of my head ever since I was a kid. I just felt….worthless without something to fight."

>Looking back at the woman sitting before him, he then says:

"….So I am sorry, Stephanie. As much as I didn't want to admit it - I was just afraid of not being seen as strong."


File: 1684543620965-0.jpg (737.68 KB, 2560x1600, Sanctum (2).jpg)

File: 1684543620965-1.png (361.51 KB, 400x513, Stephanie - 110.png)

>Stephanie sits comfortably on a couch, reading something while she sips on what appears to be hot chocolate. She continues to look at her reading material, rather than Aiden.

"You know, Aiden. I should throw you out of here for having the audacity to even speak to me right now."

>She takes another sip of her drink, before placing it down on the table next to the arm of the couch. The page of the book turns itself.

"You think just apologizing will make it better? You threatened to kill a child Aiden. Because she upset Stella. That is… not good."

>Finally her eyes turn up to look at Aiden. She stares daggers into him.

"And you know what else? You belittle and insult my brother. Constantly. You come into my home and threaten my apprentice. And while your counterpart is the one who spoke up about it, I know you also doubted my judgement. Why? Is it because I'm a woman? Do I just seem incompetent? What is it about me that you all find so… weak?"


File: 1684543661726.jpg (45.74 KB, 564x564, Stephanie - 30.jpg)

>Stephanie suddenly closes her book, and places it on the table next to her drink. She stands up from her seat, eyes still locked onto Aiden. She gives him some time to think about her words, before suddenly starting to speak again.

"And above all that. Want to know what annoys me the absolute most? You have a god damn inflated ego. Even when you're trying to be nice, you can't help but add little jabs here, and passive agressive comments there. I'm frankly surprised Orion hasn't laid his hands on you yet. Hell, I almost wanted to do it."

>She continues to glare at Aiden, now crossing her arms. Her tone lowers, and she speaks more quietly.

"Why should I accept your apology? So you've always had a problem. Big deal. Not all of us have had the luxury of being angry for anger's sake."

"So tell me. Why should I accept your apology? What gives you the right to be forgiven? Are you going to do something about it? Or are these all just empty words?"


File: 1684544188863-0.jpg (52.6 KB, 556x638, Aiden - 38.jpg)

>Aiden looks Stephanie directly in the eyes and says:

"…..Because the last thing I want to do before I off myself is at least do something good for a change."

>He's then silent for another moment as he says:

"Getting angry and getting defensive - even after everything you've said, defeats the point."

>Holding his hands out, he then continues:

"So kill me. Just destroy me and get it over with. Have Orion beat me to death. I don't care anymore. I've never been able to do the right thing - and I've never been able to live up to everyone's expectations of me."

>Aiden then looks at Stephanie, tearing up as he speaks.

"Sure, Phoebe will hate you and Orion if you do it - but I'll have deserved it too."

>Still not looking away, he then says:

"…..So just kill me. Or do something that gets rid of me once and for all. I'm done."


File: 1684545623780.jpg (118.6 KB, 440x586, Stephanie - 118.jpg)

>Without a word Stephanie points her finger at Aiden. A blue light begins to rapidly emanate from her finger tip - generating enough heat to melt just about anything it makes contact with.

>The light then leaves her finger tip, flying towards Aiden…

>Only to stop just in front of him, fading away as quickly as it appeared.

"I've killed enough people in my life Aiden. I'm not going to add another to the count if I don't have to."

>The floor shifts as a seat suddenly is moved right behind him. He's then pulled into sitting in it by an invisible force.

"Get that bullshit out of your head and stop trying to take the easy way out. You messed up. Do something about it."

>Stephanie sits down opposite to Aiden, and extends her palms to where he can see.

"You think these hands are clean? You think I've not done anything horrible with them? Wrong."


File: 1684545697128-0.png (190.07 KB, 500x689, Stephanie - 193.png)

File: 1684545697128-1.png (341.37 KB, 472x600, image_2023-05-19_212133919.png)

>She clenches her fists, and then opens them back up - showing her palms suddenly covered in smears of blood.

"When I lived under the foot of my biological father, he forced us to do horrendous things. Nearly every day. We'd get stuck in a lab for hours on end, starving while he pricked and prodded us, and then made us perform all these tests, sometimes even making us fight each other."

>She looks down at her palms.

"And when we weren't doing that? He'd send us out on missions. Steal this. Destroy that. Kill this person. We had no choice. We couldn't see a way out. And because of it, my hands are stained with the blood of several people. Some innocent. Some not."

>She clenches her fists again, now slowly becoming more visibly emotional.

"And then our mom came back. She came back and got us out of there. But he found us. Killed her. And dragged us back kicking and screaming."

>She goes silent for a moment, wiping her eyes with a conjured tissue.

"It still weighs on me almost every moment of every day. I constantly wonder why I even deserve to be here. To even… be allowed to lick the dirtiest floors of the Axiom. Let alone be it's master."

>She goes silent, closing her eyes. More tears form, and then get wiped away. After a few moments of silence, Stephanie begins to speak again.


File: 1684545742880.png (65.89 KB, 475x606, Stephanie - 145.png)

"…I want to see my mother again. It pains me that I can't. All the time I think about just… joining her. But then I think about my brother. And Isaac. And my job."

"And I realize that I don't want to be away from them either. And how I'd only be hurting the world by taking myself out of it. So instead I just try and do better. To make up for what I've done. And to make those I care about proud."

>She goes silent again, looking at the floor. Before Aiden can say anything, she looks at him.

"You want things better, right? I can tell you're serious. So here's my advice. Be. Better. Life is hard, even if you're some Meta-Human that can do seemingly anything. So face it. And stop trying to take the easy way out."

>Stephanie goes silent for the final time, and leans back in her seat - trying to get more comfortable. Now finished, she waits to let Aiden respond.


File: 1684550193535-0.jpg (55.27 KB, 564x810, Aiden - 20.jpg)

>Aiden looks on in complete shock as he learns Stephanie's backstory. Taking a step back, he then says to himself:

"….Orion never told me….."

>Feeling himself tearing up as his empathy begins to manifest, he then says out loud:

"All this time….and he never…..told me……"

>Closing his eyes for a moment, Aiden then regains his composure. Opening his eyes, he then turns towards Stephanie and says:

"……The black hole was a mirage, by the way. It was an energy sphere but…."

>Looking away, he then continues:

"It was the same as the energy blast. I couldn't do it."

>Silent for another moment, Aiden then says to Stephanie:

"…..Stephanie, I feel like I've just been putting myself on the wrong side of the track this whole time. I need to apologize to Ceridwen."

>Now looking back at Stephanie, he then continues speaking:

"Also, I have one request - as insane as that sounds."

>Feeling his face flush red from his emotions, his sense of shame and his ultimate feelings for the woman, he then says:

"…..Can you be my mentor? I know Isaac already is - but……I need help."


File: 1684550391276.jpg (73.67 KB, 464x344, Stephanie - 39.jpg)

>Stephanie stares at Aiden. Her face remains stoic, as she seems to have no reaction at all.

>Calmly, she asks Aiden:

"And why me? What is it you think I can provide that Isaac can't?"


File: 1684550727406.png (632.3 KB, 866x566, Aiden - 28.png)

>Aiden looks at her as his expression shifts slowly. His sorrowful expression is replaced with one of dejection and sadness - but measured sadness.

"Honesty. Isaac is too good of a person compared to me - and he only sees the best in me, along with everyone else."

>Not breaking his gaze, Aiden stares Stephanie down as he speaks:

"I know I'm not going to be as good of a person as him. That path's already gone for me."

>Aiden takes a deep breath, still training his gaze on Stephanie - as he continues.

But that doesn't mean I still can't be the best person that could possibly be. That doesn't mean I can't be better."

>Still staring at Stephanie with newfound conviction in his eyes - Aiden then finishes by stating:

"Or not. You don't have to. I'll do it myself if I have to. But I don't feel pity for myself anymore."

>Aiden then steps back and crosses his arms - though no longer tense nor agitated like before.

"I'm going to be a better person - not for myself, but for Stella."

>He then finally looks away, as his cheeks turn red.


File: 1684551073286.jpg (49.98 KB, 408x687, Stephanie - 283.jpg)

>Stephanie stares at Aiden, her expression remains the same. Several moments of silence pass, before Stephanie finally shifts slightly in her seat.

"Apologize to Ceri. And apologize to Orion. Then and only then will I consider it."

>She continues to stare at Aiden, studying him.

"Do you understand?"


File: 1684551549881-0.jpg (68.57 KB, 633x1200, Aiden.jpg)

File: 1684551549881-1.gif (905.49 KB, 480x360, IT - 4.gif)

>Aiden looks at Stephanie dead in the eye - demonstrating no fear towards her whatsoever.

"Yeah, I do."

>Silent for a moment, he then says:

"I'm not doing this for you either. I meant what I said before. You're the only one who can be fully honest with me. That's it - and that's the only reason why I'm asking you. I don't expect you to like me or even tolerate me. Just be honest with me."

>Crossing his arms, he then states:

"I owe Orion a lot. He's helped me save a lot of people over the past year and a half, and I don't regret taking him in when he needed a place to stay, and a job. Hell, he's one of the best things that ever happened to me."

>Closing his eyes, Aiden then remains quiet for another moment, before opening his eyes.

"So I'm doing this for him. Because I'm his friend, and I'm damned sure going to be there for him."

>He then says one more thing that just crossed his mind:

"I can see why I'm such a pain in the ass though - meeting myself in Magister."

>Putting two fingers up to his head, he then says:

"If you have nothing else to say - I'm going to go see Orion first."

>Aiden then disappears from the Axiom instantaneously.


File: 1684551908142-0.jpg (737.68 KB, 2560x1600, Sanctum - 7.jpg)

File: 1684551908142-1.jpg (285.36 KB, 551x561, Magister - 56.jpg)

File: 1684551908142-2.jpg (39.28 KB, 435x600, Aiden (Earth-1) - 18.jpg)

>Once Aiden leaves instantaneously, a disembodied voice then says:

"I suppose you'll berate me next for my candor."

>Magister then appears - or was seemingly always there. His spectacles are off from his face and held in one of his gloved hands. His piercing blood red eyes stare at Stephanie - as his black and white hair remains perfectly brushed. He presses himself against a wall with one leg crossed - his arms crossed as well.

"I'll admit, I was too hard on you - possibly projecting."

>Still looking at her for a moment, he then says:

"I should probably be the one to teach him though, if I'm being honest. I've already been through this - and he needs to know that there's more to life than just the fight. The proving ground, so to speak."

>Still leaning against the wall - he then maintains his gaze on Stephanie, before stating:

"Isaac never told me the full story about you either. About what you went through."


File: 1684552445582.png (683.44 KB, 515x1185, Stephanie - 128.png)

>Stephanie leans back in her seat, reaching for her mug. She takes a drink of it, before setting it back down.

"Are you surprised? From what I understand I nearly went through similar events in your neck of the woods."

>Her eyes shift to the side, trained directly on Magister.

"So. What are you still doing here? Come to apologize too? Or is it something else you want?"


File: 1684553241979-0.jpg (234.77 KB, 600x600, Magister - 52.jpg)

File: 1684553241979-1.jpg (39.28 KB, 435x600, Aiden (Earth-1) - 18.jpg)

File: 1684553241979-2.jpg (737.68 KB, 2560x1600, Sanctum - 7.jpg)

File: 1684553241979-3.jpg (36.56 KB, 450x450, The Tome of Thoth.jpg)

>Smiling, in a rare show of emotion, Magister then looks down at his spectacles as he begins to clean them.

"Something like that."

>As he cleans the spectacles, he then changes his expression to that of a neutral tone of voice.

"I nearly beat Jack Blackburn to death in my universe - because he did far, far worse things."

>Still cleaning his spectacles, he continues speaking.

"I almost killed him - and there was only one person who stopped me. Who pulled me back from the brink - and told me to let go of my anger."

>Blowing away the remaining specs of dust from his spectacles - he then says:

"It was you."

>Now looking back at Stephanie, Magister then states:

"You were my anchor. The one keeping me held together. I was just another rebellious punk and wannabe tough guy - before I met you."

>Looking up at the ceiling, he then says:

"…..Both of you. Since I met the Stephanie you're more familiar with during the early stages of my training - nearly a decade ago."

>Still staring at the ceiling of the Axiom, Magister continues:

"Lisa can say that she did the "real" work of making me a man - and maybe she did. But I never felt anything with her. I felt nothing for her."

>He takes a moment to pause - staring at the alternate universe counterpart of his wife with a solemn expression, before continuing.

"But I felt everything in the world for you. I stopped getting into fights because of you. I started mending my familial relationships because of you. Hell, I even changed my outlook on life because of you."

>Making a finger pointing gesture to the side of the area, he then further elaborates:

"And he's going through that same inflection point - right now. He's only changing because of the woman he's starting to fall in love with - as well as the other woman who has his heart."

>Magister then kicks himself up from the wall and begins walking over to Stephanie - while still speaking.

"Like a man after my own heart - he's starting to remember what it means to be human. He lost that a long time ago, but now he's starting to find it again."

>As he then takes a seat across the table from Stephanie, he sits down and leans backward himself. While doing so, he then concludes by stating:

"We're not perfect. We make mistakes. Sometimes horrible ones at that. But it's never a question of how many times we're knocked down, isn't it?"

>Putting his spectacles back on, he then finalizes his oration by saying:

"Only a question of how many times we're willing to pick ourselves back up."

>Looking at Stephanie one more time - his gaze piercing through his spectacles with a glare that he can feel.

"I fell in love with you the moment you chose to pull me out of the abyss. I can never repay you enough for that - but that's why I married you."

>Magister then takes out his Tome of Thoth, and begins reading through it casually - as the room falls to silence once again.


File: 1684601345430.png (444.59 KB, 1000x1000, Stephanie - 144.png)

>Stephanie stares at Magister.

"No offense but it sounds like I didn't pull you far enough out. You owe my apprentice an apology as well for acting patronizing towards her."

>Stephanie yet again takes a sip of her drink, before placing it back down. She crosses her legs.

"And your speech was lovely and all, but I don't know why you made it. You think I couldn't figure out what you thought just because you usually avoid me? You married not one. But two of my counterparts. Two."

>She continues to stare at Magister.

"So what is it you want, Aiden? Are you just here to chat, or is it something else?"


File: 1684601960214-0.jpg (285.36 KB, 551x561, Magister - 56.jpg)

File: 1684601960214-1.jpg (36.56 KB, 450x450, The Tome of Thoth.jpg)

>Magister looks at Stephanie from behind his tome as he then says:

"Easy. I'm going to ask you a very simple question."

>Lowering his tome, he then states:

"How much longer are you going to be driven by your anger, and your sense of victimization?"

>Making a slight gesture with his gloved hand, he elaborates:

"It's as you said to Mosaic. Life is hard, and sometimes unforgiving. Showing more anger and hostility towards those who are aware of their flaws, solves nothing."

>After a moment, he then says:

"As for the other versions of you? It was their request, not mine."


File: 1684602391983.png (508.67 KB, 692x765, Stephanie - 305.png)

>Stephanie rests her head against her hand, leaning against the arm of the couch.

"Do I sound like I've been throwing a fit or something? Because all I've done is sit here and give my opinion."

>She continues to stare at Magister, looking somewhat tired.

"If you're worried that I'm going to keep being grumpy, then give me a day. It's not exactly easy to just change your emotions on a dime. And I'm not using a spell to force it."

>She continues to stare at Magister.


File: 1684625432144-0.jpg (234.77 KB, 600x600, Magister - 52.jpg)

File: 1684625432144-1.gif (905.49 KB, 480x360, IT - 4.gif)

>Silent for one more moment, Magister then says:

"I can admit something. I don't know I know this, and I don't know why I feel this - but I don't feel as if I'm the man that I used to be."

>Waving a hand in a self-dismissal gesture, he explains:

"Not in terms of my past. But rather…metaphysically. I feel as though I'm just…..different. Almost as if I used to be better."

>Silent, he then sighs and states:

"….I'm going to go get Aiden. I'll be his teacher, as I doubt either Ceridwen nor Orion are in the mood to see him. Now, if ever."

>Standing up, he then looks at Stephanie once more - his eyes hidden behind his spectacles as he states:

"…..I am sorry for not being a better person. For not being a better man. I speak for both versions of me when I say that. But now I know what he and I have to do."

>Magister then dissipates his tome with a gesture and then disappears instantaneously.


File: 1684625707135-0.jpg (56.49 KB, 1264x632, Dematerialization Zone.jpg)

File: 1684625707135-1.jpg (38.49 KB, 564x503, Aiden - 19.jpg)

File: 1684625707135-2.jpg (285.36 KB, 551x561, Magister - 56.jpg)

>Location: Dematerialization Space
>Time: ???

>In the abstract higher dimensional plane of existence that Mosaic and Magister both use for their Instantaneous Transmission - Aiden stands in the middle of the infinite expanse of space.


>Without a thought, he's prepared to then reappear in the real world - as the Dematerialization Space can interact with the physical 3D space of the universe, intersecting it at any point.

>However, before he can move towards Orion's location, Magister then appears beside him - stating:

"Wait. I'm going to take you on a detour first."

>Surprised by Magister's arrival - but also irritated, he then asks:

"….Where are we going?"

>Magister looks towards a different direction in the infinite expanse, as he states:

"Somewhere you need to see, for perspective."

>The two of them then disappear into nothingness - leaving the zone.


File: 1684625981172-0.png (5.19 MB, 3840x2160, Sanctuary City (Night) - 3.png)

File: 1684625981172-1.jpg (16.63 KB, 277x678, Gradient.jpg)

File: 1684625981172-2.jpg (52.6 KB, 556x638, Aiden - 38.jpg)

File: 1684625981172-3.jpg (285.36 KB, 551x561, Magister - 56.jpg)

>Date: January 20th, 2016
>Location: Sanctuary City - Residential District
>Time: 10:00 PM

>A figure in a dark suit, cape and sophisticated cowl glides through the air. The cold breeze of the air presses against the figure's suit as they glide across air currents. Situated against the backdrop of Sanctuary City, the capital city of Meta-Humanity, bright lights from large metropolitan skyscrapers remain in the distance.

*{"Reports of a psychic Meta-Human. He seems stronger than most."}*

>The figure then lands on a nearby rooftop - gracefully gliding as he comes to a standstill at the edge of a high-rise mansion. Overlooking the neighborhood, he focuses his lenses on a series of force bursts across the street. Recognizing the description of the psychic Meta-Human, he then says to himself:

"Well what do you know? He's exactly what the reports said. Powerful."

>The figure then jumps into the air, extending his cape again as the nanomesh material begins to glide - carrying him forward once again.


>On a nearby rooftop, Aiden and Magister are looking onward - seeing the figure of Mosaic as he glides over to the altercation he's detected. Bewildered, Aiden then says:

"….Did you just…"

>Nodding, Magister then places a hand on Aiden's shoulder, stating:

"I think it's something we both needed to see."

>The two figures then look on - before disappearing.


File: 1684626618694-0.jpg (48.38 KB, 801x475, Sanctuary City (Night) - 4.jpg)

File: 1684626618694-1.png (788.33 KB, 1024x643, Gradient - 5.png)

File: 1684626618694-2.jpg (471.38 KB, 1174x1800, Aiden - 40.jpg)

File: 1684626618694-3.jpg (234.77 KB, 600x600, Magister - 52.jpg)

>Eventually, Aiden and Magister observe Mosaic's first interaction with Orion from a rooftop in the distance. As Mosaic speaks to Orion, Aiden immediately and instinctively remembers the first few words he said to him - saying them in unison with his past counterpart.

"Don't worry. I'm not asking you to trust me, but I do want to help you out. Where that goes from there, is up to you."

>At the same time, Mosaic says to Orion:

"Don't worry. I'm not asking you to trust me, but I do want to help you out. Where that goes from there, is up to you."


>A few minutes after defeating Vulcan, Aiden then overhears the next sentences he said to Orion - hearing them clear as day:

["Come work with me, and I'll get you a better place, a good job where you don't have to do much - and cover to help you improve your powers."]

>On the verge of tears, Aiden then buries his face in his hand - sobbing. After a few moments, Magister then places his hand on his shoulder, stating:

"I don't mean to twist the knife further in - as my universe's version of Orion is my second best friend. I now see the difference. The reason why you have so much more trouble than me."

>As Aiden continues sobbing into his hand, Magister speaks:

"You really were alone from the start. I'm sorry for that, Aiden."

>Eventually, Aiden stops sobbing and wipes away the tears in his eyes. He then looks behind him at Magister and quizzically asks:

"….My Instantaneous Transmission ability can send me through time?"

>Nodding, Magister states:

"What you acquired from Sun was a powerful magical technique. It grants you access to a trans-temporal extra-dimensional plane of existence; similar to the Axiom in terms of interactivity. It's an all encompassing plane that exists outside of conventional time and space."

>Adjusting his position, Magister says:

"You've been using it instinctively to move through space, like Sun has. However, it can also be utilized to move through time - by essentially bypassing the space-time continuum altogether. Someone you may or may not know - may have such an encounter with fate - which reveals this ability to them as well."

>Raising an eyebrow, Aiden asks:

"What do you mean?"

>Shaking his head, Magister replies:

"You'll know the meaning soon enough. Besides, I already told Stephanie this….but I will be the one to train you."


File: 1684627184182-0.jpg (149.37 KB, 1280x533, Sanctuary City (Night) - 2.jpg)

File: 1684627184182-1.jpg (59.28 KB, 408x600, Aiden - 12.jpg)

File: 1684627184182-2.jpg (52.74 KB, 377x566, Magister - 53.jpg)

File: 1684627184182-3.gif (905.49 KB, 480x360, IT - 4.gif)

>Aiden looks genuinely surprised by that statement. He then stammers a response:

"W-What about my apology to Ceridwen? To Orion?"

>Magister shakes his head.

"I am afraid that your first impression towards Ceridwen was not ideal - for obvious reasons. Whatever the circumstances that led to your enraged state - you nearly killed her."

>Aiden looks away in shame as he then says:

"So why even bother with me? I'm not worth it."

>Magister places his hands on Aiden's shoulder as he then snaps back - with actual emotion and determination in his voice:

"Because you are not a failure Aiden! That is not who you are! It does not matter if you burn every single bridge that you have built! It does not matter if you make mistakes that you will live to regret for the rest of your days!"

>Looking his counterpart directly in his eyes, Magister then removes his spectacles so that Aiden can take a look at his Sorcerer Supreme counterpart - staring into his blood red eyes.

"You are who you choose to be. Nothing more, and nothing less. Do you choose to be a self-defeating failure who wants to let the pain of life consume him?"

>Aiden closes his eyes as Magister continues speaking:

"Or do you want to become a hero? Someone who is proud to look in the mirror and see himself every single morning? Someone who, in acknowledgment of his mistakes - still chooses to be better?"

>Opening his eyes, Aiden then states:

"….I am who I choose to be, and I choose to be a better person. I choose to be a person worth being."

>With one final deep breath, Aiden then says to his Sorcerer Supreme counterpart:

"….I choose to be a hero. No more pity. No more self doubts. No more second guessing. I will be better, for everyone's sake - and for my own."

>Smiling, Magister then steps back and then puts his spectacles back on his face. Gesturing to Aiden, he then says:

"Then let's go see your friend Orion. Your conviction has convinced me - you're ready."

>Gesturing to Aiden, Magister watches as Aiden places a hand on his shoulder; at that moment, they both disappear - leaving the scene altogether without a sound.


File: 1684627423144-0.png (295.14 KB, 540x304, Sanctuary City - 2.png)

File: 1684627423144-1.jpg (59.28 KB, 408x600, Aiden - 12.jpg)

File: 1684627423144-2.jpg (234.77 KB, 600x600, Magister - 52.jpg)

File: 1684627423144-3.jpg (44.87 KB, 450x550, Aiden (Earth-1) - 15.jpg)

>Date: April 28th, 2017
>Location: Sanctuary City - Residential District
>Time: 6:00 PM

>Standing in front of the door to Orion's residence, Aiden watches as Mosaic puts his sunglasses away. As he watches - he then witnesses Magister snap his fingers - causing his appearance to change in a bright flash of light.

"What the-"

>As Magister's appearance changes, he now has fully black hair - identical to Aiden's, but with a different hairstyle. His Sorcerer Supreme robes are switched with a fancy black luxury jacket, black pants and black shoes. His piercing blood red eyes remain, as he says:

"So that he understands the situation - and the severity of it too."

>Magister then gestures to Aiden to knock on the door.

"Go on then. Let him know that you're here."

>Aiden then hesitates slightly, before closing his eyes and sighing. Opening his eyes again, he then presses the doorbell - waiting for Orion to answer.


File: 1684629753550.jpg (38.67 KB, 600x705, Orion145.jpg)

>A few moments later the front door opens.


>Orion stops, standing in the doorway. His eyes shift between both Aidens, confused.

"Er… what…? Aiden? Did your brother change his hair…?"


File: 1684630181080-0.jpg (52.6 KB, 556x638, Aiden - 38.jpg)

File: 1684630181080-1.jpg (285.36 KB, 551x561, Magister - 56.jpg)

>Aiden looks at Orion with a sorrowful expression as he then says:

"…I have something that I need to say."


>After 20 minutes explaining the situation and introducing Magister to Orion, Aiden then stops speaking for a moment, before stating:

"There's not much else to say. I'm not happy with who I've been - and that's why I asked Magister to be my teacher. He's been through this in his universe."

>Magister, who has returned to his standard appearance as Sorcerer Supreme, then speaks to Orion, stating:

"Aiden's predicament is obvious. Emotional instability. Self-doubt and self-deprecation. Lack of impulse control. Mood swings. Impaired social relationships."

>Looking at Orion, he then states:

"Aiden has Borderline Personality Disorder. He has all the symptoms, and all he's missing is a complete diagnosis. I'm taking him to our cousin Miranda for that."

>Aiden remains silent as Magister then says:

"I didn't get treatment until I started my Sorcerer Supreme training a decade ago. If there's anything else you have to say, now would be the best time. If not, I'll escort him to Miranda's manor."

>Magister then waits for Orion to speak, as Aiden looks off to the side in his chair, completely silent like before.


File: 1684630566884.png (273.97 KB, 448x418, Orion105.png)

>Orion stares at Magister.

"Yeah… I don't really have anything profound to say. I've always had anger problems but it sounds like Aiden has it worse."

>Orion blinks.

"If your cousin is the right person to go to, then I guess it would be best for you to do that."


File: 1684630694242-0.jpg (14.73 KB, 453x666, Aiden - 21.jpg)

File: 1684630694242-1.jpg (234.77 KB, 600x600, Magister - 52.jpg)

>Nodding, Magister then says to Orion:

"Thank you for being patient with my counterpart, Orion. If it helps, you're my best friend in my universe. As surprising as that sounds."

>Looking at Aiden, he continues speaking:

"Maybe that's the core difference."

>He then nods at Aiden who nods back at him slowly. Still having a solemn expression on his face, he then says:

"…..We'll be off then."

>Aiden and Magister then disappear instantaneously.


File: 1684631221918-0.jpg (309.1 KB, 1763x1101, Grayson Manor.jpg)

File: 1684631221918-1.jpg (87.36 KB, 1260x1008, Manor Office.jpg)

File: 1684631221918-2.jpg (1.2 MB, 1694x1440, Enkrateia - 14.jpg)

File: 1684631221918-3.jpg (471.38 KB, 1174x1800, Aiden - 40.jpg)

File: 1684631221918-4.jpg (285.36 KB, 551x561, Magister - 56.jpg)

>Location: Grayson Manor - Rhode Island
>Time: 7:30 PM

>In Miranda's main therapy room inside of her large manor, she goes over the diagnosis sheet one more time.

"Consistent aggravation patterns. Distorted self-image. Pervasive mood swings. Sense of worthlessness. General insecurity. Comorbiddities with Narcissistic Personality Disorder including grandiosity and inflated sense of self."

>As she looks on at Aiden while sitting in her chair, her eyes narrow - showing genuine concern for her cousin's well being. During that same time, Aiden's eyes give a blank stare back at her - demonstrating no emotion whatsoever.

"…..Other symptoms include suicidal ideation."

>Aiden flashes back to his attempted death sentence request towards Stephanie. He then looks away, pained and hurt as well.


>Sighing, Miranda closes her eyes for a brief moment, then opens them again.

"You have BPD, Aiden. Magister is correct."

>Silent, Magister then looks at Aiden and states:

"I am truly sorry that I didn't catch on earlier. I assumed the circumstances weren't as bad for you, as they were for me. I'm…..I'm sorry, Aiden."

>Magister then hangs his head in shame - a rare demonstration of weakness and emotional vulnerability.

>Miranda then looks at Magister and says:

"It's not your fault, Magister. I've seen the signs from Aiden as well - and the responsibility falls on me for not signaling the alarm earlier."

>Miranda then writes a note on her clipboard paper before standing up. She then walks over to Aiden and removes the paper - handing it to him.

"It's a note for added psychiatric evaluation. Go see your primary care physician. They'll recognize my signature."


File: 1684631767653-0.jpg (87.36 KB, 1260x1008, Manor Office.jpg)

File: 1684631767653-1.jpg (294.52 KB, 737x938, Enkrateia - 24.jpg)

File: 1684631767653-2.png (632.3 KB, 866x566, Aiden - 28.png)

File: 1684631767653-3.png (94.28 KB, 720x720, Magister - 54.png)

>Aiden takes the paper from Miranda, and looks at it for a moment.


>Miranda then speaks to Aiden, saying:

"Given the chronic nature of your condition, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy may not be enough. You might require-"

>Aiden interjects, finishing Miranda's sentence.

"Anti-depressants and SSRIs, in addition to Anticonvulsants - potentially Anxiolytics."

>Surprised, Miranda gives a look of unexpected shock as Aiden looks at her to say:

"I'm a physician. Not licensed yet since I stopped to go run Archeon. But I know what I'm talking about, Miranda."

>Sighing, Miranda then says:

"We can start with the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy then."

>Handing Aiden a notebook and a pen, she then says:

"Let's start then. Psychodynamic principles. Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviors. They all influence each other in a cycle."

>Aiden immediately understands Miranda's point and responds:

"I keep thinking about how stressed I am, and how unfair it feels - that everyone else is happy. Not a care in the world. I constantly think about the grudges I hold towards people."

>Miranda then nods, stating:

"Go on."

>Aiden responds, saying:

"It makes me feel angry obviously. I get angry the more that I think about it - and the thoughts get worse."

>Miranda then says:


>Silent for a moment, Aiden then replies:

"Those feelings of anger spiral out of control and make me either say statements or do actions that lead to harm towards others - usually emotional."

>Nodding, Miranda then says:

"So we attack the thoughts. I'll do mostly external therapy through your own referential ideas and beliefs. If we need to do more work, then I'll use telepathy to guide you."

>Aiden nods in return, as he states:

"…..Thank you, Miranda."

>Miranda then nods and smiles warmly at her cousin, stating:

"That's what family's for, Aiden. Remember that wherever you are."

>Magister looks on, smiling underneath his cloak as he thinks to himself:

{"Gradual steps. There's always progress to be made - one step at a time. A lesson for me as well."}

>Magister then watches as Miranda further coaches Aiden through the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.


File: 1684632322346-0.jpg (36.49 KB, 600x338, Archeon (Earth-0) - 2.jpg)

File: 1684632322346-1.jpg (200.5 KB, 1650x928, Archeon (Earth-0) CEO Offi….jpg)

File: 1684632322346-2.jpg (55.27 KB, 564x810, Aiden - 20.jpg)

File: 1684632322346-3.jpg (81.36 KB, 1200x686, Phoebe - 12.jpg)

File: 1684632322346-4.jpeg (545 KB, 827x1080, Alt!Jonah - 5.jpeg)

>Date: May 1st, 2017
>Location: Sanctuary City - Archeon Complex
>Time: 8:00 AM.

>Aiden continues doing his work at his desk - with a set of bottles now stationed beside him. Looking at them for a moment, Aiden then catches their names:


>As he averts his gaze from the medications, he then watches as the door to his office opens.

>Looking up at the figure entering the room, he then says:

"Phoebe, I didn't call for you to fly over. Did something happen-"

>Before he can even react, Phoebe dashes over to her triplet brother with superhuman speed - and then hugs him tightly at his desk. Papers go flying all over the room as Phoebe then breaks into tears.

"Idiot! Why didn't you tell me?!"

>Looking somewhat ashamed, Aiden then averts his eyes and looks at the wall. Silent, he then states:

"I wasn't in a good place. I'm sorry."

>Still crying, Phoebe then removes herself from her hug and stands back - wiping the tears from her eyes.

"All this time…..I was just…..I was………"

>Phoebe continues crying as Aiden gestures to her - a concerned look on his face.

"It wasn't your fault, Phoebe. I just didn't go looking for help. I should've - a long time ago."

>Aiden then looks down, as he hears another person entering the room. Noticing his triplet brother Jonah arrive, he then says:

"It's alright Jonah, you don't have to-"

>A burst of electricity then appears across the room as Jonah moves to hug his brother just as tightly. Aiden feels the wind get knocked out of his body as Jonah says:

"I should've been there for you as well. I am sorry, Aiden. Truly. I am sorry."

>Silent for a moment, Aiden then gives Jonah a weak smile as he says:

"It wasn't your fault either, Jonah. I just ignored the signs for too long - and it almost cost me."

>Jonah then relinquishes his hug and stands back alongside Phoebe - as they begin talking to Aiden.


File: 1684632625923-0.jpg (200.5 KB, 1650x928, Archeon (Earth-0) CEO Offi….jpg)

File: 1684632625923-1.jpg (471.38 KB, 1174x1800, Aiden - 40.jpg)

File: 1684632625923-2.jpeg (153.28 KB, 850x1413, Stella - 3.jpeg)

File: 1684632625923-3.gif (1.12 MB, 498x278, Kiss.gif)

>Time: 5:00 PM.

>As Aiden finishes up work for the day, he goes to fix the papers on his desk - as he hears another knock on the door.

"Who could that be?"

>Turning around, he then says:

"You can come in. It's fine."

>As the door opens, Aiden is surprised to see Stella walk through the door. As she remotely closes the door behind her with a gesture - she locks it shut, demonstrating her magical telekinesis.

>Silent, Aiden then states:

"Hey Stella. Sorry I've been away for a few days. It's just-"

>Stella then walks forward, grabbing Aiden by his jacket - and pulls him in for a deep kiss.


>Surprised, Aiden watches as Stella then stands back and says:

"I know. Isaac told me everything. Your condition, your situation."

>Aiden looks away, saying:

"Then you know I'm a bit of a mess - as a person that is-"

"I don't care."

>Silent, Aiden then tells Stella:

"…..But….You've seen how I am. How I act. The issues I have. I'm not a great person, like I said to you before-"

>Stella then lightly smacks Aiden on the chin - saying:

"That isn't you talking, Aiden. It's your doubt. Your pain."

>Stunned, Aiden then slowly touches the slap mark on his face - feeling it burning with strength.


File: 1684633062914-0.jpg (200.5 KB, 1650x928, Archeon (Earth-0) CEO Offi….jpg)

File: 1684633062914-1.jpg (38.49 KB, 564x503, Aiden - 19.jpg)

File: 1684633062914-2.jpeg (252.66 KB, 1184x2048, Stella.jpeg)

File: 1684633062914-3.gif (1.12 MB, 498x278, Kiss.gif)

>Slowly reacting, Aiden then turns to Stella and says:

"I'm sorry. I just-"

>Stella lightly smacks him again, now shouting:

"Stop apologizing to me Aiden! You are human! You make mistakes! Just like me and just like everyone else!"

>Stella's eyes tear up slightly as she continues speaking:

"I'm tired of seeing you….hurt yourself so much. You're suffering for no reason, and I can't stand it anymore!"

>Surprised, Aiden doesn't feel the bruise mark on his face anymore, and instead says:

"…You're tired of…..seeing me…..hurt?"

>Stella nods quickly, her tears now falling to the floor.

"I don't care what anyone thinks of you! You have your mistakes, but you're trying! That's all that counts! You're trying to be better!"

>Aiden then looks off to the side, thinking:

"I appreciate the support. I just wish I wasn't such a screwup. I messed up with my family. With my friends. With Hi-"

>Aiden stops himself from saying the last word, as Stella looks at him with determination in her eyes.

"…..Hiyuki isn't here, Aiden! I am! She doesn't care about you! She doesn't know you like I do!"

>Stella places both of her hands on Aiden's cheeks - seeing him tearing up a bit himself.

"And if she did care, it wouldn't take you hitting rock bottom for her to show it. Yet she's not even here, standing in front of you. I am though."

>Aiden doesn't look away from Stella, as she then whispers in a pained, but emotional voice in his ear.

["So why don't you embrace what you do have?"]

>Without another word, Aiden then places his hands on Stella and gives her a deep kiss - for longer than the prior one.


File: 1684633577026-0.jpg (200.5 KB, 1650x928, Archeon (Earth-0) CEO Offi….jpg)

File: 1684633577026-1.jpg (59.28 KB, 408x600, Aiden - 12.jpg)

File: 1684633577026-2.jpeg (107.9 KB, 600x750, Stella - 4.jpeg)

>Aiden then rests his forehead against Stella's for a long moment - his eyes remaining closed.

>Silent, he then says:

"You're putting a lot of faith into me."

>With her eyes closed, Stella gives an amused scoff - retorting:

"You're the first man I met who actually stood up for what was right. You didn't hesitate to help me in my time of need."

>Opening her eyes, Stella then gives Aiden a playful laugh as she smiles, stating:

"Why should I need a reason to put faith in you? You're the only man I care about."

>Feeling himself blush heavily, Aiden then looks away, stating:

"I feel like I'm in a dream. Not sure if this is real."

>As Stella slowly turns Aiden's head back to face him with her finger, she then states:

"It's as real as my heartbeat."

>Stella then takes Aiden's right hand and places it on the left side of her chest - right next to her side. Aiden can then feel her heartbeat as she says:

"You're mine, Aiden. And I won't let anyone else take you from me. They had their chances."

>Seeing Aiden's weary expression, Stella then looks at him carefully, before saying:

"Hmmph. Alright then. A year."

>Tapping Aiden on the bridge of his nose, Stella says:

"If Hiyuki Hoyokazi or any other woman can make a good enough impression on you within a year? I'll call off the relationship."

>Stella then leans in to Aiden, narrowing her eyes with a smug and amused expression on her face.

"If not? We're making it official with rings on the anniversary date of this wager."

>Aiden then feels his face flush red as he says:

"…So are we an item now or…."

>Sighing, Stella flicks him on the nose, stating:

"…..Yes you buffoon. At least until one of the other women in your life can convince me otherwise. I'll give them that courtesy. But like I said a few days ago Aiden."

>Stella leans in and whispers into Aiden's ear.

["I think Hiyuki will disappoint you. She won't be what you expect - and when she does fall short of expectations - then I'll make you mine, forever."]

>Stella then gives Aiden a warm smile - eyes closed as she places her hand to her mouth for a giggle.


File: 1684633947850-0.jpg (200.5 KB, 1650x928, Archeon (Earth-0) CEO Offi….jpg)

File: 1684633947850-1.png (632.3 KB, 866x566, Aiden - 28.png)

File: 1684633947850-2.jpeg (252.66 KB, 1184x2048, Stella.jpeg)

File: 1684633947850-3.jpg (149.26 KB, 590x300, Mana Particles - 2.jpg)

File: 1684633947850-4.png (41.55 KB, 256x256, Capsule - 2.png)

>Opening her eyes, she then turns around and waves to Aiden, stating:

"I'll see you at home later today, honey~."

>Giving him a wink, Stella unlocks the door and leaves the room - leaving Aiden with a realization.

{"She's not talking about the Archeon Complex. She means my actual home back in the Residential District. Oh."}

>Feeling his face blush uncontrollably, Aiden then looks down at his hand intently.


>Reminiscing over his life up to this point, as all of his past memories flow over his head with vivid detail - he then says:

"You are who you choose to be."

>Aiden makes a hand gesture and then levitates the medication containers into the air before him. With another gesture, he casts a magic spell which compartmentalizes them into a single small capsule. Taking the capsule and placing it into his jacket pocket - he then looks at the door before him, with renewed conviction.

"I choose to be better - no matter what."

>Smiling for the first time in days, Aiden then leaves the office - and makes his way to his car outside.


File: 1684634206523-0.jpg (2.01 MB, 2000x955, Archeon (Earth-0) - 3.jpg)

File: 1684634206523-1.jpg (617.27 KB, 666x674, Aiden - 10.jpg)

File: 1684634206523-2.jpeg (314.44 KB, 1242x2048, Stella - 6.jpeg)

File: 1684634206523-3.jpg (110.06 KB, 900x600, Camaro.jpg)

File: 1684634206523-4.jpg (100.45 KB, 1024x680, Camaro Interior.jpg)

>Location: Archeon Complex - Garage
>Time: 5:10 PM

>Aiden finds Stella leaning against his car - waiting for him to arrive. Sighing, he then says:

"We're really serious about this then?"

>Rolling her eyes with an amused expression, Stella then walks over to Aiden and gives him another deep kiss. She then looks at the car Aiden drives, taking note of its black color and red accents, before laughing.

"Phoebe's right. You are compensating for something!"

>Now rolling his eyes in return, Aiden gives a playful scoff before getting inside of the driver's seat. Looking at Stella as she enters the passenger side - he then waits until she's shut the door before he does so as well.

"Wouldn't you need to come back and get all of your belongings before you move in-"

>Silent for a moment, he then realizes:


>Stella winks at Aiden and says:

"Jonah helped me too. They're both very quick at transporting items~."

>Stella says, in a playful tone of voice. Sighing, Aiden smiles at Stella again before saying:

"Fair enough. Let's go home then."

>Aiden starts the car then waits a moment - he then backs up out of the garage parking as he and Stella drive to their home.


File: 1684634922682-0.jpg (578.39 KB, 800x507, Mansion - 5.jpg)

File: 1684634922682-1.jpg (894.1 KB, 4096x2214, Grayson House - Interior.jpg)

File: 1684634922682-2.jpg (54.38 KB, 800x371, Sci Fi Kitchen.jpg)

File: 1684634922682-3.jpg (59.28 KB, 408x600, Aiden - 12.jpg)

File: 1684634922682-4.jpeg (252.66 KB, 1184x2048, Stella.jpeg)

>Location: Sanctuary City - Residential District - Grayson Residence
>Time: 7:00 PM

>Aiden walks into the kitchen to see Stella already cooking a meal. As she uses magic to remotely animate various cooking utensils, pots and pans - she then looks up to see Aiden. Smiling, she says:

"I'm almost done with the steak. What would you prefer?"

>Aiden thinks for a moment, before saying:

"Medium rare please. Thank you."

>Nodding, Stella smiles at Aiden as she then picks up one of the floating salt shakers - seasoning the meat as it finishes cooking.

"I already cancelled your lower priority meetings for the rest of the month. They were all extraneous. Business consultations. Partnership suggestions. The usual."

>Aiden thinks for a moment before Stella says:

"Relax. Your meeting with Queen Hoyokazi herself will come in a few weeks. I didn't touch that one."

>Shaking his head, Aiden says:

"….That doesn't matter. It's just business - nothing actually personal. I'm not really concerned myself."

>Aiden then comes up beside Stella, helping her by chopping some vegetables.

"Oh, and Phoebe's coming over tomorrow to help me shop for more clothes."

>Nodding, Aiden then says:

"Isaac's going to come up with something for you."

>Stella turns her head to face Aiden, interested in details:

"Official papers or magic?"

>Aiden responds:


>Smiling, Stella then gives Aiden a kiss on the cheek before she then whispers in his ear:

["I'll show you my gratitude once it's time to sleep."]

>Now going back to happily humming away as she finishes preparing the steak - Aiden finishes chopping the vegetables as he looks at the skyline beyond their windows for a moment. Feeling happiness and genuine content for the first time in a long while, he then thinks to himself:

{"Happiness. I really feel happy for once. Thanks, everybody. I'll make you proud - I promise."}

>Aiden then continues spending the rest of the night with his girlfriend, without a care in the world.

[The End]

[Return][Go to top] [Catalog] [Post a Reply]
Delete Post [ ]