/simu/ - Simulacrum

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>Date: September 24th, 2017
>Location: N/A
>Time: 12:00 PM [Relative to Sanctuary City]


>A voice calls out, as the tired form of Shirai kneels on the ground. One hand on his sword's pommel grip, he gives an exhausted groan as he replies in English.

"I cannot. Too much energy…."

>In that moment, however, a blast of bright red light then seemingly strikes Shirai from above - only for him to barely dodge out of the way in time. Gripping his sword tightly, Shirai's eyes then begin to act - rapidly scanning the environment.

{"Where is he?!?!"}

>Suddenly, another flurry of red lights appear - beams of energy raining down on him from seemingly nowhere.

"You have to learn to mind your surroundings - especially when your eyes fail you."

>As Shirai attempts to run from the assault of energy beams - he successfully dodges most of them, before getting hit in the back by one of the final beams.


>As the energy beam connects with his back, Shirai feels a pinge of pain in his body as he falls to the ground. Weakened, he then slowly raises his head up - only to see two figures standing before him.

"Not bad. You've gotten faster since the last time."

>Shirai then looks up, seeing the forms of Mosaic and Paladin standing before him.

"But not fast enough. Again."


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File: 1717274176775-1.jpeg (4.57 MB, 2480x3507, Mosaic - 21.jpeg)

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>Exhausted, Shirai then slowly rises to his feet. The supernatural energies that empower him, slowly begin to repair parts of his body. All the while, Shirai feels a brief surge of pain in his abdomen. Reflexively placing his hand to press on his abdomen, Shirai winces in pain.

"Argh. Damnit!"

>Silence passes for a moment, before Paladin responds, having already determined the issue.

"Muscle fatigue, in combination with light abrasions - clearly from the plasma beams."

>Looking back at Mosaic for a moment, Paladin then says:

"You were right, though I'm still not sure how you knew he'd be here."

>Mosaic places his hands in his coat's pockets, before he responds.

"Ryozo is the solitary type - much like you and me. It wasn't too hard to find him in…"

>Looking up at the purplish-hue sky of the area that they're currently in, Mosaic finishes his statement:

"….Another dimension."

>Looking back at Shirai, Mosaic then says:

"There's somewhere we can take you to help with this, Ryozo. It's been a while since Jack and I have used the place - but it'll accelerate your progress."

>Paladin looks directly at Mosaic and speaks with an astonished tone to his voice:

"Wait. You're not serious are you? Can he handle that?"

>Mosaic nods in response.

"Of course. If we could handle the pressure of the pocket dimension, then so can he."

>Shirai then looks between both Mosaic and Paladin with an incredulous look in his eyes.

"What are you both referring to? Is this some mystical training ground?"

"Something of the sort."

>Mosaic says, as he begins walking past Shirai, all the while gesturing with one of his hands for Shirai and Paladin to walk with him.


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>Location: Boundary of Aeternia
>Time: Indeterminate

>A shimmering figure of white light quickly moves across the seemingly infinite expanse that is Aeternia's dimension. Moving swiftly, the figure then comes to a halt, as it's confronted by a figure in black.

"So, you're thinking that you're hot shit, huh?"

>The figure, a seemingly identical reflection of Faust, makes a mocking gesture with his hand towards Shirai.

"Go on then ninja. I'm waiting."

>Narrowing his eyes, Shirai then immediately throws one of his swords towards Faust - seemingly taking the bait. However, as Faust stops the sword in mid-air with telekinesis, he barely notices Shirai's disappearance.

"Oh? We're playing tricks now eh? Fine by me."

>Charing up with magical power and energy, Faust then discharges it in an instant, igniting the air of the expanse of Aeternia around him. As he does so, he begins laughing hysterically to himself as he says:

"Wonder how much I should cook you? Medium rare, or well done?"


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>As the fires continue to rage on across the infinite expanse of the battlefield, the explosive pressure of the attack leads to a series of continual self-combustion strikes.

"Oh? Did I overdo it? I wonder if I charred you to bits. Hah. Lucky me…."

>Kneeling down to look at some seemingly burning charred bits on the floor, Faust takes out a hand and picks up some of the ashes. Rubbing them between his gloves, he then smiles underneath his mask.

"Hahaha. I guess you really were all talk. Much like the rest of- ACK!"

>Faust suddenly stops speaking, abruptly coughing as he looks down and sees a sword sticking out of his throat.

>A voice from behind him then speaks up in Japanese, clearly annoyed.

["You speak too much, buffoon."]

>Faust immediately turns around, attempting to backhand the figure - only for his hand to be cut clean off at blinding speeds.

"Bitch! I'm gonna break your fucking skill in for that!"

>Faust, seemingly able to speak, begins to shout in anger as he lunges for Shirai - blasting him with a series of supernatural flames from his hands.

["I cannot believe that he would lose to someone as undisciplined and unremarkable as you."]

>Shirai then begins weaving through the magical flame attacks, sidestepping Faust and effectively dodging around him.

["Untrained, unfocused and undisciplined. You are pathetic. A waste of air."]

>Shirai then deflects a magical flame blast sent from Faust's mask - seemingly absorbing the attack as his eyes begin to glow red. A pulse of energy starts emanating from Shirai's eyes while he does so, seemingly pressing back against the fires of the attack.

"Keep talking dipshit! It'll make it all the more satisfying once I rip you apart!"

>Shirai's eyes then begin to mutate further, now manifesting red sclera and black markings. While doing so, his energy output begins increasing rapidly, further creating a disparity in power between himself and his opponent.


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>Shirai then rushes down his opponent, weaving through Faust's fire-imbued strikes as he slides behind his opponent, kneeing him in the shin before sweep kicking him onto the ground.

"Fuck! Piece of shit!"

>Getting further aggravated, Faust then teleports up into the air, attempting to grab Shirai with telekinesis. As he does so, he binds and constricts his movements, lifting him up further and further into the air - until he's at eye level with him. Pressing further with strength and force to his telekinesis, Faust then holds out his hand and further binds Shirai, stating:

"Wannabe ninja, swords and all. Any last words?"

>As Faust squeezes his hand into a fist, he exerts far more pressure on Shirai with his telekinesis. While doing so, Shirai can feel his bones begin to break as he resists the urge to scream in pain. Steeling his resolve, he then looks Faust in the eyes - as they morph once more.

["You are not the first enemy that I have confronted in this place. You will not be the last opponent that I face in my life."]

>Pressure begins to build within Shirai's body, as he looks up at Faust - seeing the surprise in his opponent's eyes.

["You are simply another obstacle that obstructs my path."]

>The pressure continues to grow rapidly, at an exponential rate - before Shirai gives one final glance at his opponent - his eyes now completely focused on him.

["And like any obstacle, you can be removed - through sheer force of will, and determination!"]

>Shirai then screams with newfound power and strength - his eyes fully changing as he generates enough force to push against the telekinetic bind of his opponent. The resulting telekinetic display of power sends Faust flying for miles.

>All the while, Shirai lands on the ground, his body instinctively using his supernatural energies to rapidly heal his flesh and mend his bones.

["So this is what Grayson meant. The more I stay here, the more I fight. The stronger I become."]

>Looking at the almost translucent floor by his feet, Shirai can see a glimpse of his own eyes - now transformed. They have an almost transparent appearance, with ripples appearing across their surface.

>Placing a gloved hand to the eyes, he then thinks to himself:

["These eyes. They remind me of his….."]


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>Faust makes his way back to the fight in an instant - only to find himself met by dozens of Shirai clones. Each of the clones, operating independently of their creator, begin to attack Faust with a degree of coordination that he didn't expect in the fight.

"More tricks, ninja? Or do you need a way out of the fight? Scared?!"

>Faust begins taking down various clones of Shirai, all the while still taunting him.

"You still haven't figured it out yet? I'm your superior. You're not beating me in a fight-"

>Before Faust can finish his sentence, he's bombarded by a series of glowing energy spheres - each the size of a small car. The energy spheres surround him from all directions - and are all held by the palms of Shirai's individual clones.

["As I said. Untrained, unfocused and undisciplined."]

>As the sheer pressure of the supernatural energy spheres begin to rip Faust apart on a molecular level - his screams begin to echo through the area. Then, the large energy spheres coalesce into a large energy explosion - rupturing the area around Shirai as Faust is completely destroyed.

>While the energy and debris from the explosion rain down from above, Shirai then mutters to himself.

["A word of advice, buffoon. Mind your surroundings."]

>Despite the confrontation, Shirai still gives a slight bow, with his fist pressed against the palm of his other hand - a show of respect for the fight.

>Standing back up, he then looks back at the palms of his hands, surprised by his newfound demonstration of strength.

["I was never able to do that before. A single ripple clone was incredibly taxing on my body. But now? Dozens in an instant."]

>Pressing his hand to the base of his cheek, right below his eye - Shirai then thinks once more:

["What has happened to me? Is this metamorphosis the result of my training here?"]


File: 1717277686488-0.jpeg (211.38 KB, 1920x1080, Boundary of Aeternia.jpeg)

File: 1717277686488-1.jpeg (4 MB, 2480x3508, Mosaic - 2.jpeg)

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>Falling silent once more, Shirai then watches as the ashes of Faust's body scatter into the wind. A few more seconds pass by, before a pair of voices can be heard once more.

"That was a trip down memory lane that I'd rather not experience again."

"Sorry about that, but I needed to know if his progress was legitimate, and not a fluke."

>Mosaic and Paladin appear seemingly out of nowhere, with no ripple in space-time to inform Shirai of their appearance. As both figures start walking towards him, Shirai then speaks in English.

"You mean to tell me that this was your friend?"

>Shirai says in disbelief, as Mosaic looks at Paladin. Sighing, Paladin then responds

"…Not all of us are proud of our past actions, Ryozo."

>Closing his eyes, Shirai then speaks up:

"I did not mean any disrespect, Blackburn. Nor am I one to speak. What is the saying your people use? 'Don't throw stones in glass houses'? I understand the point, in any regard,"

>Nodding, Paladin then crosses his arms and looks over at Mosaic, his own questions on his mind.

"He's been here for a few days now, Aiden. Are you sure he can handle this?"

>Mosaic keeps his hands in his coat pockets as he replies, addressing Paladin's concerns.

"The Boundary of Aeternia exists in a space between dimensions. Because of this area's properties, living beings seemingly don't age here. This is despite the fact that the passage of time still occurs. I'll admit that I could be wrong though. Either way, my only concern now is whether or not Ryozo's Chakra abilities have evolved."

>Now assuming a thinking stance, Mosaic then continues.

"However, given the magical effects that Ryozo is starting to manifest?"

>Mosaic then nods in Shirai's direction - noting his new supernatural eyes.

"I'd say that we're making good progress."

>Shirai takes a moment to look at his eyes once more in the reflection of the ground, before he then states:

"I am aware that even with my progression in strength - I will not be capable of defeating Akito."

>Mosaic then responds in kind.

"No, but you'll make the difference between 'dying on sight' and 'giving him significant pressure' - with the results of your training right here."


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>Shirai then looks back up at both figures, raising a hand to point a finger at Paladin.

"Your abilities, Blackburn. They are magic in nature, are they not?"

>Paladin nods slowly, inquiring:

"Why do you ask?"

>Shirai then turns his attention to Mosaic, responding:

"Because Grayson appears to have a strong familiarity with them."

>Paladin then looks at Mosaic, who looks back at him. In that moment, Shirai then understands.

"He was capable of even that?"

"Yeah. More or less."

>Shirai then turns back to Mosaic, a dumbfounded look on his face.

"Yet you believe that I may be able to reach Blackburn and his level of power? How?"

>Mosaic makes a snapping gesture with his fingers, causing the area to become saturated with mana particles and magical energy in an instant.

"The same way you reached your current status - through prolonged training. We need you at your absolute peak of power - realizing your potential, if you're going to help us stop Akito."

>Shirai contemplates the offer for a moment, before he then speaks up:

"If that is the case - then you should be made fully aware of Akito's abilities - as well as our shared family history."

>Confused, Paladin then questions Ryozo on his statement.

"I'm sorry, what? 'Shared family history'? You two are related?"

>Surprised by Paladin's confusion, Shirai then states in a confident manner.

"…..Yes? Have I not mentioned this prior? Akito and I are cousins. His mother's original surname name was Narukami - Sakura Narukami. She was the younger sister of my father, Hayato Narukami."

>Mosaic then puts two and two together as he leans back for a moment, looking at the infinite expanse of sky above him.

"Oh that explains so much about you. Especially the magical energy that I can sense within you."

>Shirai then looks confused himself at this revelation.

"Magic? What do you mean, Aiden?"

>Noting the first time that Ryozo called him by his first name, Mosaic then gives an amused scoff behind his helmet, as he looks back at Shirai - beginning to explain his statement.

"It means your dad didn't give you the whole story. So let's compare notes."


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>Location: Prism Base
>Time: 5:00 PM [Relative to SC]

>Inside of the mountain base that Mosaic previously constructed, Mosaic stands at the central command deck. Looking over the aggregated information and material, he then recounts what Shirai told him prior.

"Alright then, so to ensure that I'm understanding this correctly. Akito Tasogare is the son of Sakurai Narukami - who is your aunt. She passed away only a few years after Akito's younger sister was born."

>Shirai nods as he then says:

"Asami, yes."

>Mosaic nods as he then continues speaking:

"The death of your aunt Sakura was the final straw. Her passing then drove a wedge between the Tasogare and Narukami families, leading to strained relationship that you have now."

>Shirai sighs as he falls into contemplative thought for a moment. He then mutters a reply.

"Father never forgave Hiruzen for her passing - though I suspect that he had nothing to do with it."

>Paladin then speaks up in response.

"Hiruzen Tasogare? Akito's father?"

>Shirai nods as he continues speaking.

"Yes. All I remember is that the first time I met Akito, after his mother's death - his eyes were different. They were shining with a radiant blue light. It was almost ethereal, the aura I felt from him."

>Mosaic looks at Paladin for a moment, as they both nod.

"I assume Hecate and Athena's abilities led you to the same conclusion just now."

>Paladin nods in response.

"Unfortunately, yes - given the terrible circumstances. I believe she made a pact."

>Eyes widening, Shirai immediately looks at Paladin, demanding a response.

"Sakura-san did what?"


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>Looking carefully at Shirai, Paladin considers his words very carefully.

"….From what you've told us about the history of the Tasogare family, and what they are capable of."

>Mosaic then interjects.

"Specifically, the Sacrificial Pacts that they can engage with."

>Nodding, Paladin then continues speaking.

"Yes, primarily those pacts. We believe that Akito's mother may have made a pact that cost her the rest of her life - all to give her son the ability to sustain the 'dark spirit' you spoke of. The spirit that guides the Tasogare family."

>Shirai looks grimly at his hands, balling them into fists in anger.


>Nodding, Mosaic then says:

"…..Now I understand why you took the name, Shirai. It was never about me, was it?"

>Shaking his head, Shirai then states:

"I was preparing to confront Akito on my own - reason with him. Help to pull him back from the darkness that had consumed his mind. But then I witnessed your affront to my family's legacy."

>Shirai says, with a clearly apologetic tone in his voice, as he continues speaking.

"….It was only in hindsight, that I was made aware of the gravity of my actions. Of my mistakes. I am truly sorry, Aiden."

>Mosaic nods and holds a hand out briefly, stating:

"What's done is done. It's in the past, Ryozo. Don't worry about it."

>Getting back to his explanation, Shirai then says:

"Granted, I believe confronting you first, may have been a blessing in disguise. Had I attacked Ryozo with the same fury that I had initially shown you - I may have been killed on the spot. Akito's abilities are….."

>Shivering reflexively, Shirai then speaks up once more.

"I know that I am stronger now, than when I last confronted him. But his Fissure ability. It is…..hellish."

>Paladin places a hand on his right shoulder, massaging it slightly as he states:

"I should know. I got hit by it firsthand. Definitely far stronger than I expected."

>Mosaic then looks back at Shirai, asking:

"Kagemusha's Fissure ability. The slash he performs with either his hand or his katana. It bypasses durability outright by cutting the fabric of space itself, correct?"


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>Shirai nods in response - staring at the table before them.

"An ability with no known defense. The ultimate killing strike. None are safe from its sheer strength, Aiden."

>Shirai looks up at Mosaic, remarking:

"Even you."

>Mosaic nods in response, hands in his coat pockets once more as he states:

"Well then. I'll just have to go and fix that."

>Shirai and Paladin both look confused as Shirai speaks up.

"Fix that? How? The attack is immutable, barely detectable and virtually unstoppable. How could anyone combat that? Even you cannot avoid bisection if space itself is cut in half!"

>Mosaic then looks at Shirai as he then asks another question, as his counter to Shirai's question.

"I'll answer that question with another question. How does Akito maneuver in both combat and with traversal?"

>Shirai then responds with the predicted statement.

"His Expanse ability. I already told you this, no?"

>Mosaic continues speaking, starting to walk off as Shirai and Paladin both walk after him.

"And the source of both Expanse and Fissure is what, exactly?"

>Shirai responds with a succinct and clear answer.

"His magical power - oh."

>The realization then hits both Shirai and Paladin, as they recognize what Mosaic is referring to. Mosaic then speaks:

"That's right. Given the cause of any phenomena - the effect can be predicted, or even negated. That's exactly what I intend to do."


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>Location: The Axiom - Nexus of Magic
>Time: Indeterminate

"So, can you find an artifact that'll help me with this?"

>Mosaic says, hands in his coat pockets as Doctor thinks to himself for a moment. His thoughts fall back on his prior training, before becoming Sorcerer Supreme.

"Artifacts that induce structural effects on magical energy? A very specific request, Aiden."

>Sighing, Mosaic then looks around the Axiom's interior living area as he states:

"It is, but you're the Sorcerer Supreme. I'd be more surprised if such an artifact didn't exist."

>Giving a soft smile behind his mask, Doctor then instantaneously manifests a large axe-hammer hybrid weapon. The glowing and shimmering metallic weapon seemingly hums with a faint strength. Somewhat confused by the weapon's sudden appearance, Mosaic examines it carefully.

"….I can sense something from it. Though it's not magical in nature."

>Nodding, Doctor then holds up the weapon with one hand, effortlessly doing so.

"Ennoia. The Axiomatic Axe. It's a conceptual weapon."

>Casually spinning the weapon with his fingers, Doctor then says:

"It can casually sever and fuse abstract ideas. Hence the hammer and axe iconography. Fusion and Fission."

>Looking at the weapon carefully, Mosaic then states:

"I can feel the power of the weapon from here. But is it alright for me to have this, Isaac? It's incredibly powerful. That much is clear from its aura."

>Giving an amused scoff, Doctor then nods as he then hands Ennoia to Mosaic, stating:

"Of course, Aiden. In any case, the artifact was useful during my training. Although it's a mere trinket to me now - you may still find some use with it. Craft your ideal counter to Kagemusha's abilities with it."

>Nodding, Mosaic reaches his hand out as Ennoia quickly flies into his hands. He can feel a light glow of power, as the artifact recognizes him as its new master and wielder.


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>Location: The Axiom - Arcane Armory

>As Mosaic continues browsing the armory's unique stash of artifacts, he stands beside Doctor, who observes his research with keen interest.

"Yes, the Binding of Baa'l is available for you to use. If you want to use those it reinforce your magical power - it'll be an adequate choice."

>Mosaic then hovers up the golden magical artifact - placing it into a small bag of holding in his hand.

"Those are all the artifacts I need then. Thanks, Isaac."

>Nodding, Doctor then says:

"I haven't used any of these in years. I was thinking about recycling them into magical matter in all honesty. So I'm glad that a lot of these will get a second lease on life."

>Placing a hand on Mosaic's shoulder pad, Doctor then says:

"Use them wisely, Aiden. Consider what else you need, and create a weapon that'll help you defeat Kagemusha. It might even help with Eidolus as well."

>Nodding, Mosaic then responds.

"Thanks, Isaac. I will. I can promise you that."

>Mosaic then disappears in an instant, as Doctorus walks away - out of the armory.


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>Location: Prime TTC
>Time: Indeterminate

"So you need some more technology? Stasis field generators? Quantum block transfer circuits? Energy compensators?"

>Mosaic walks into the lab area of the large trans-dimensional TTC interior. As he does so, he takes out his bag of holding and lays out all of artifacts from his bag of holding.

"All of the above, Sam. I'm building a magitek weapon. I've got the artifacts. Now all I need are the technological components."

>After a few minutes, Samael returns to the room with a series of elaborate technological devices and machines. Placing them on the table beside the magical artifacts, Samael then looks at Mosaic, asking him the obvious question.

"…..So how are you going to put all of these together? Thulcandran technology isn't exactly designed to interface with supernatural energies - especially those belonging to magic."

>Mosaic nods at Samael, while making a pulling motion with his hand - seemingly grabbing at something invisible and pulling it out into existence. In that single arm movement, Mosaic materializes Ennoia.

"Is that a weapon?"

>Samael says, with a confused look on his face. Mosaic turns to him and nods, stating:

"In a manner of speaking, yes. It's a conceptual artifact. Neither magic, nor technology. It can separate almost anything into multiple parts….."

>Turning back to face the artifacts and the technology in front of him, Mosaic spins Ennoia's metallic shaft on his palm as he speaks.

"…..But it can also fuse almost anything together."

>In a single swift motion, Mosaic then slams Ennoia down on the assorted magical and technological objects - causing a ripple in reality itself to appear.


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>After a few moments, Mosaic then looks over the results of his handiwork. The Axiomatic Axe has successfully merged all of the assorted objects into a large, metallic and technological broadsword.

"There we go."

>Holding Ennoia in his left hand, Mosaic looks over the large, seemingly technological broadsword laying there on the table.

>Surprised, Samael walks up to the sword, attempting to pick it up. However, he cannot lift it even a centimeter above the table.

"What the?"

>Mosaic then walks up to the table and effortlessly picks up the sword with his right hand.

"Just as I thought. A soul bind."

>Looking at Mosaic with confusion, Samael then asks the pertinent question.

"A soul bind? I don't understand…."

>Observing the newly created sword in his right hand, Mosaic then elaborates.

"When Isaac transferred ownership of Ennoia to me, it binded itself to my soul. Just as the Thaumaturgy Ring did. This means that my soul is connected to the stability and strength of the artifact."

>Looking at the sword once more, Mosaic then says:

"I would imagine that anything fused together by Ennoia has the same effect. The new fused object is connected to my soul."

>Samael then responds, immediately understanding the concerns presented.

"That means creating more potential points of weakness for you. If any of those artifacts are destroyed then…"

>Nodding, Mosaic says:

"My soul goes too. Though I'm not entirely sure what that means for my body - it's worth the risk."

>Mosaic then takes one final glance at the sword, before stating:

"If I'm going to stop Kagemusha, then I can't leave anything to chance."


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File: 1717283462523-2.jpg (50.01 KB, 894x894, Ennoia - 2.jpg)

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File: 1717283462523-4.jpg (1.34 MB, 1402x1540, Original!Samael - 3.jpg)

>Mosaic then holds up the newly created magitek sword - watching as glowing circuits of magical energy course through its large metallic frame.

>Feeling the power of the newly created sword in his right hand, Mosaic looks at it, then looks back at Ennoia in his left hand.

>After a moment, he then looks back at the newly created sword in his hand, as Samael asks him:

"Do you have a name for it? The sword, that is."

>Mosaic nods slowly while still looking at the sword in his hand.


>Nodding, Samael then says:

"A nod to the 'Eternal Flame' then. Inspired, given your name, Aiden."

>Giving a soft scoff of amusement, Mosaic then replies by stating:

"Well, I'll need something powerful if I want to win this upcoming fight against Kagemusha - without forfeiting my life in the process. As my father always says…."

>Spinning the sword's pommel across the palm of his gloved hand, Mosaic then catches the sword and grips the pommel once more - resting the sword on his shoulder as he holds Ennoia with his other hand.

"…..It never hurts to be prepared."


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File: 1717284207856-1.jpeg (4.57 MB, 2480x3507, Mosaic - 21.jpeg)

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File: 1717284207856-3.jpeg (191.46 KB, 1920x1087, Durandal.jpeg)

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>Location: Prism Base
>Time: 10:00 PM

>Shirai is meditating in place at the bottom of the hangar bay area of the Prism Base. Paladin is off to the side, looking through the data manifests being sent to him by Rafael - as he continues operating on the computers in the base's network.

"We're trying to find everything we can about the Tasogares and their current sightings, Ryozo. Once we find a trail, we'll let you know."

>Nodding while still meditating, Shirai responds by stating:

"I understand, Jack. Thank you."

>Suddenly, Mosaic appears in the hangar bay of the base - holding both Ennoia and Durandal in each hand.

"Hey guys, sorry I was late. I had to do some crafting, as you can see."

>Startled, Shirai immediately rises up from his meditative stance, as he and Paladin both quickly walk over to Mosaic's location.

"I can feel an immense amount of magical power from that sword, Aiden."

>Pointing at Ennoia, Paladin then states:

"I can't sense anything from that…hammer-axe I guess I'll call it?"

>Nodding, Mosaic then looks at Ennoia, saying:

"Oh, Ennoia? It's a long story. But what's important is that the artifact helped me create this."

>As he dematerializes Ennoia, Mosaic holds up Durandal with one hand - pointing it straight at Paladin as he states:

"A magitek artifact with a Primacy effect towards magic."

>Eyes widening, Paladin then says:

"Primacy? You mean, negation?"

>Nodding, Mosaic then looks at Shirai, as he states:

"I essentially made an Anti-Magic sword. To grossly oversimplify how it works, Durandal can change the parameters of any magical effect that it encounters. Since Kagemusha's Fissure ability works by magically severing the fabric of space itself…."

>Understanding Mosaic's logic, Shirai then says:

"….Then it stands to reason that a weapon that negates magical effects would undo the spatial cutting of the Fissure technique! Aiden, this is unbelievable!"

>Feeling a sense of genuine relief in his heart, Shirai feels a heavy burden finally lift off of his shoulders.

"….We can finally counteract his abilities. We have a chance to actually win."

>Mosaic nods as he rests the blade of the broadsword on his right shoulder. Pointing at Shirai, he also says:

"Oh, and I got you another surprise."

>Suddenly, Shirai's body is completely engulfed by a bright series of colorful lights.


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>As the light subsides, Mosaic and Paladin both watch, as an armored figure stands in Shirai's place.

"What the…."

>Looking over him figure, Shirai then feels a new weight on his body - the added weight of the new armor that is covering him. Looking over the ornately decorated armor plating, Shirai realizes what it is.

"…..Samurai armor?"

>Nodding, Mosaic keeps Durandal's blade rested on his right shoulder, as he explains.

"I had a friend of mine create something for you, as a request from me. It's a magical armor, designed to help you further refine and focus your magical abilities."

>Mosaic then nods at the sheathed katana now in Ryozo's hand.

"Also another surprise. The katana's an artifact as well. It's just a means of further increasing your combat prowess."

>Paladin looks at Shirai with his own magical eyes, noting the difference in power that Shirai is now emanating.

"I can see it. There's far greater magical energy flowing from your body now, Ryozo."

>Feeling the power surging through him, Ryozo then closes his hand into a fist, stating:

"There's so much power flowing through me. I feel as though I can barely contain it…..But I must hone my skills further."

>Shirai looks at Mosaic, holding the sheathed katana in one hand, then stating:

"…Thank you, Aiden."

>Mosaic nods once more as he then says:

"You're more than welcome, Ryozo. Besides, I wanted to test the efficacy of my new blade as well. Guess where we're going then?"

>Paladin and Shirai look at each other, and then both groan loudly.

"I knew he was going to do this."

"So did I, yet I remain surprised - for whatever reason."

>Laughing, Mosaic then states:

"Well? The sooner we start training and improving our abilities, the sooner we can confront Kagemusha and stop this once and for all."

>Nodding, Paladin and Shirai both start walking towards the exit of the hangar bay after Mosaic - with all three of them walking towards the exit.

"Besides, I'd hope you'd both be able to give me a fair fight someday. No use sitting around here anyways."

>All three of the men then exit the hangar bay, making their way towards the upper areas of Prism Base to continue their training.

[To Be Continued In - "Resolute"]

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