/simu/ - Simulacrum

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File: 1719953134697-0.jpg (403.54 KB, 1918x886, Parsinion.jpg)

File: 1719953134697-1.png (598.17 KB, 1078x888, Shards.png)

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File: 1719953134697-3.jpeg (192.5 KB, 879x1500, Eidolus Android.jpeg)

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>Date: September 28th, 2017
>Location: Parsinion Capital City
>Time: 11:23 AM

"Move all the infantry units back towards Dyad! Keep pressure up in Fracture! Do not let them take Rupture!"

>The Parsinion Shard Commander, the leader of the nation's para-human military force, continues to bark orders at his men. Various soldiers all dressed in black garb with silver trimmings, continue their work to defend the different districts of the Capital City from attack.

"Where did these people even come from, Commander?!"

>A Shard Lieutenant asks, as he manifests a sword in front of him - attacking the robot humanoids that are swarming him.

"Damned machines! They're swarming in like pests!"

>The humanoids have bright red eyes and strong metallic frames. Each of them equipped with motors that are seemingly strong enough to grind bones into dust.

"Their origin isn't relevant at the moment, lieutenant. What matters is completing our orders - and our orders are to protect the capital palace from invasion."

>The Commander of the Shards then pulls his hand back, before launching forward a flurry of fractal "glass" swords and knives. Each of the supernatural weapons pierces a core component of an approaching automaton - rupturing them and causing core component failure inside.

>The resulting explosions cause significant knockback, as the Shard Commander and his subordinates construct walls of supernatural matter and energy to protect themselves.

"Then we better go and protect the castle!"


File: 1719954202388-0.png (1.13 MB, 1920x882, Parsinion Palace.png)

File: 1719954202388-1.jpeg (84.33 KB, 850x607, Julian - 10.jpeg)

File: 1719954202388-2.gif (4.04 MB, 1280x720, Beam Attack.gif)

File: 1719954202388-3.jpeg (192.5 KB, 879x1500, Eidolus Android.jpeg)

File: 1719954202388-4.gif (1.04 MB, 500x282, Fire - 5.gif)

>Location: Parsinion Palace
>Time: 11:34 AM

>The exterior of the Royal Palace of Parsinion is besieged by a veritable swarm of mechanic locusts. The humanoid androids converge upon the structure with a volume large enough to conceal the sky from view.

>As the large unit swarm rapidly approaches the palace - a sudden burst of light from the heavens pierces through the mechanical swarm. The resulting power and force of the light blast seemingly disintegrates an entire chunk of the mechanical android swarm - causing the remaining units to separate in flight - assuming defensive postures.

"They truly are pests. Mechanical termites."

>Julian Gray stands at the edge of his balcony, overlooking the palace. After having called down the power latent to another dimension, he lowers his sword.


>After speaking the word once more, another massive light beam shoots down from the heavens - completely disintegrating another contingent of mechanical fighters.

>Flames then begin to appear around Julian as he slowly rises up into the sky. The flames intensify as the automaton drones hover in the air - now focusing on their primary target.

"So you are here because of me. Infernal machines, you will pay for this act of aggression towards my people!"

>Julian then rushes towards the machines, fling at rapid speeds as he takes his sword from its sheathe and immediately begins fighting the automatons in mid-air.


File: 1719955245039-0.jpg (403.54 KB, 1918x886, Parsinion.jpg)

File: 1719955245039-1.jpg (186.33 KB, 940x1330, Crystal.jpg)

File: 1719955245039-2.jpg (104.68 KB, 850x1042, Sapphire - 4.jpg)

File: 1719955245039-3.jpg (162.82 KB, 850x1149, Ruby - 2.jpg)

File: 1719955245039-4.jpeg (192.5 KB, 879x1500, Eidolus Android.jpeg)

>Location: Parsinion Streets
>Time: 11:40 AM

>Miles away from the Royal Palace, a trio of armored women lead the main counter-assault against the machines. Although incredibly durable thanks to their metallic alloy plating, the supernatural blades of the knights seemingly hold the superior striking power.

"Keep it up you two! Julian's handling the main assault at the castle. He's expecting us to hold the defensive line here!"

>The oldest of the three women, seemingly in her mid 20s, weaves between the lunges and strikes of the machines. As her long brunette hair seemingly maintains its style through her high-speed movement, she effortlessly uses her rapier sword to stab through key weak points of the machines - having studied them from afar.

"Yeah, we know Crystal! Relax!"

>The brunette in the deep blue armor says, likely a few years younger than her. The woman spins a sword in her hand, before it seemingly electrifies - frying the internal circuitry of the automaton unit.

"Oh don't worry, Sapphire. I'll make sure to leave more mechanical corpses for you to clean up!"

>The other woman, a blonde in a suit of deep red armor, gives Sapphire a wild smile as she lunges at a wave of automatons. The edges of her multi-pronged spear begin to glow with an orange light - before immediately immolating. The bright flames of the trident then stab three of the automatons at once - beginning to burn them rapidly into dust.

"You've really gotta stop with the theatrics, Ruby! Besides, I'm the more skilled one, obviously!"

>Seemingly backflipping over an attempted stealth attack from some cloaked automatons, Sapphire slices downward in mid-air - bisecting the automatons in two. As she lands on the ground, she then says:

"After all, who's lead commander of the Wyverns again? Oh that's right. It's me, not you."


File: 1719955537132-0.jpg (517.16 KB, 700x1000, Crystal - 4.jpg)

File: 1719955537132-1.jpg (201.97 KB, 850x1255, Ruby.jpg)

File: 1719955537132-2.jpg (87.3 KB, 850x850, Sapphire - 2.jpg)

File: 1719955537132-3.jpg (379.62 KB, 1059x600, Air Gust.jpg)

File: 1719955537132-4.jpeg (192.5 KB, 879x1500, Eidolus Android.jpeg)

>Feeling smug, Sapphire looks at Ruby's irritated expression on her face - basking in it.

>However, both of them barely notice the swarm of automatons launching at them from above - seemingly flying downward like missiles. As their expressions immediately change to that of panic and fear - a sudden burst of compressed wind strikes all of the machines - flaying them into cybernetic spaghetti.

"Need I remind you both who is in charge of the Royal Parsinion Guard?"

>Both Ruby and Sapphire look towards the ground, mumbling to themselves for a moment.

"What's that? I couldn't here either of you."

>At the same time, both Ruby and Sapphire then shout:

"You are!"

>Nodding in satisfaction and a bit of annoyance, Crystal then sheathes her sword, stating:

"Correct. Meaning I am in charge of all task force units in Parsinion - including the Wyverns. Furthermore, this means that I outrank both of you, as your commanding officer."

>Pointing up at the skies in the distance, Crystal says:

"Do you want me to tell our brother, the king, how his sisters have been slacking in the defense of our country?"

>Both Ruby and Sapphire shake their heads rapidly.

"Then silence yourselves and assist me in the counter offensive against these machines."

>Sighing, Crystal then looks at her younger sisters as she then speaks up:

"You know the rules and customs of Parsinion. The only reason that we are even allowed to serve alongside our brethren is because of our royal lineage. That and the direct decree of the king."

>Seeing Ruby and Sapphire's expressions change in a more serious manner, Crystal pushes forward with her statements.

"Do not make him regret that choice. We are to be examples of model knights and warriors. Lest you prefer your other obligations?"

>Shaking their heads once more, Sapphire and Ruby speak in unison.

"No, ma'am."

>Crystal then turns around and begins walking forward - deeper into the city's streets as the Shards continue to press back against the automaton machines. Ruby and Sapphire run after her at a quick pace.


File: 1719958063038-0.png (1.13 MB, 1920x882, Parsinion Palace.png)

File: 1719958063038-1.jpeg (215.15 KB, 915x1201, Julian.jpeg)

File: 1719958063038-2.jpeg (4.57 MB, 2480x3507, Mosaic - 21.jpeg)

File: 1719958063038-3.jpeg (1.22 MB, 1920x2695, Paladin - 6.jpeg)

File: 1719958063038-4.png (640.5 KB, 718x848, Shirai - 9.png)

>Location: Parsinion Palace
>Time: 12:00 PM

>Julian breathes lightly as a truly massive pile of machine corpses stretch out around the Royal Palace - going on for miles. Although not out of stamina or energy, he does feel himself slowly beginning to ache with slight pain.

"….That may be the last of you."

>Sighing, Julian kneels down on one knee, holding onto his sword - planted on the ground. Focusing intently on the distant skyline beyond his immediate view, he then narrows his eyes lightly as he notices a small black dot standing far away.


>Focusing his vision more effectively, Julian taps into his latent supernatural powers to dramatically improve his eyesight. Now with a clear picture of the figure, he then thinks to himself:

{"Is this the instigator?"}

>The figure hovers in the distance, wearing black clothing with a large sword holstered to their back. With brunette-red hair, the figure's hair partially obscures their face as he then seemingly talks to someone out of view.


>Julian can't make out what the figure is saying, as his vision is hazy - but then the figure disappears instantly, surprising him.


>As he slowly rises to his feet, Julian then looks over the large swathe of machine corpses surrounding him. As he does so, his Shards come up to him, quickly teleporting into place as they kneel before him.

"Lord Gray. The Southern Sector advance has been completely neutralized."

>Raising an eyebrow, Julian then asks:

"….My sisters, I presume? Have they cleared out the Central Sector already?"

>Surprisingly, the Shards shake their heads slowly, as the lead Shard Commander speaks up.

"Lady Crystal, Lady Ruby and Lady Sapphire were still pushing against the Central Sector line. Dyad, Fracture and Rupture were completely repelled by other forces."

>Raising an eyebrow, Julian then states:

"…..Forces from outside of Parsinion? Who on Earth would aid us in such a sudden attack-"

>Julian then senses a group of 3 figures slowly advancing towards his position. Immediately assuming a combat stance, he then readies his sword as his Shards rise up to defend him.

>However, after a few more moments, Julian's mind is at ease - though his surprise cannot be hidden.


>Confirming Julian's suspicions - Mosaic walks into view from a nearby street corner. He's flanked on both sides by Paladin and Shirai.

"Hey your Highness. Didn't think it'd take this long for me to visit you again."


File: 1719958523559-0.jpg (403.54 KB, 1918x886, Parsinion.jpg)

File: 1719958523559-1.png (2.89 MB, 998x2000, Mosaic.png)

File: 1719958523559-2.gif (6.07 MB, 636x264, Iso Dimension - 2.gif)

File: 1719958523559-3.jpeg (115.54 KB, 800x960, Julian - 3.jpeg)

>Location: Parsinion Streets
>Time: 12:10 PM

>As Mosaic and Julian continue walking down the damaged streets of the Parsinion Capital City - Julian looks onward as Mosaic begins repairing the damage remotely. Surprised at the precision and efficacy of Mosaic's handiwork, Julian asks:

"…..Are the people aware of what you are doing?"

>Mosaic shakes his head as he continues speaking.

"Perception filter. They're not even aware that I'm standing here with you. I'm not one to take pre-emptive credit."

>Sighing, Julian then rubs the brow of his forehead, thinking intently for a moment before he then replies.

"Well, either way - I appreciate your assistance. I am not aware of where these mechanical swarms came from - but I will be readily prepared, in case they return."

>Mosaic then continues using his magic in order to perfectly repair the damage done to the city. Destroyed cars, burning buildings and damaged roads are all seamlessly repaired as he moves.

"They won't. In fact, I'm almost certain that they were only sent here as a warning."

>Julian raises an eyebrow as he speaks:

"….A warning from who?"

>Mosaic then stops walking and instead looks off in the distance - seemingly locking eyes with someone from thousands of miles away.

"Someone who just finally sensed my presence here - my own warning shot to them."


File: 1719959102262-0.jpg (744.75 KB, 1920x1080, Stralmont.jpg)

File: 1719959102262-1.jpg (609.3 KB, 1920x968, D'Lune Estate.jpg)

File: 1719959102262-2.jpg (416.72 KB, 1920x1194, D'Lune Estate Interior.jpg)

File: 1719959102262-3.jpg (64.74 KB, 600x427, D'Lune - 9.jpg)

File: 1719959102262-4.jpg (20.01 KB, 472x252, Tea.jpg)

>Location: Stralmont - Estelle's Manor
>Time: 11:00 AM

>In the nearby country of Stralmont, a young woman with blonde hair and amber eyes is sitting at her desk in her private study. The woman is seemingly on the phone, and is borderline irate - seemingly cursing at the recipient of her voice in French.

["You complete and utter buffoon! I told you to sever all monetary ties and business dealings with Whitemalkin's people before he was captured! Now I won't gain access to the Harbinger schematics!"]

["Madame Estelle, please! You cannot weaponize those machines against your family! The D'Lunes are the bedrock of Stralmont as a country! Reconsider your actions!"]

>Still irate, Estelle D'Lune grabs onto the handle of the landline phone and continues shouting in French:

["Do you think me for a fool, Louis? I am very much aware of the institutional importance of my family! That is precisely why I want that bitch Lune gone! Her familial line is the only obstruction I face - and I will have my throne!"]

>Giving herself a moment to calm down, Estelle brushes her hair to the side of her ear, as she then lowers her voice - speaking in a measured, but menacing tone of voice.

["Get. Me. Those. Schematics, Louise! Or death will be a mercy compared to the hell I will unleash upon you!"]

>The temperature around Estelle's study slowly begins to rise - causing the tea in her nearby cup to slowly start evaporating some water.

>Louis is seemingly silent on the other side of the line - stammering a response.

["…Y-Yes, Madame Estelle. I will see it done."]

>The call then ends, as Estelle sighs and slams the landline phone down in one swift movement. Groaning, she then leans back in her chair, closing her eyes in frustration.

["What do I pay these fools for?"]

>Suddenly, she then feels a pair of hands begin to massage her shoulders. The pattern of the massage is familiar, as she keeps her eyes closed - while beginning to smile.

["Found time to visit me then?"]


File: 1719959859329-0.jpg (416.72 KB, 1920x1194, D'Lune Estate Interior.jpg)

File: 1719959859329-1.png (3.03 MB, 1832x2576, Akito - 6.png)

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File: 1719959859329-3.gif (1.12 MB, 498x278, Kiss.gif)

File: 1719959859329-4.jpg (174.66 KB, 981x814, Scroll - 2.jpg)

>Akito keeps his hands pressed on Estelle's shoulders, as he continues to massage them. Speaking in fluent French, he then responds to her initial question.

["Of course. Would you consider yourself somehow lesser than my other priorities, Estelle?"]

>Estelle, with her eyes still closed, moves upward for a kiss - which Akito returns. Afterwards, she then exhales loudly, sighing in annoyance at her predicament.

["The reprobates that I hired for the information retrieval. They continue to disappoint. Had I known that freelance spies would be this lacking in results - I would have rather saved my funds."]

>Akito, still massaging her shoulders, then states:

["Still attempting to acquire those schematics?"]

>Estelle nods slowly, as she continues to enjoy the precision massage.

["The final model of Harbinger automaton robots. I need an instigation mechanism to draw the other D'Lunes out."]

>Giving an amused look, Akito then leans in to Estelle and says to her:

["And what would you say if I had those blueprints? In my possession right now?"]

>Estelle then laughs softly as she replies.

["I would call you an overzealous fool for attempting to placate me."]

>Finally opening her eyes, Akito can see the deep red hue that they are slowly becoming.

["If it were not for your true nature, Akito."]

>Looking each other in the eyes, Akito watches as Estelle holds out her hand.

>Giving a soft smirk of amusement, Akito then suddenly displaces a large scroll into the space of his hand - grabbing it and handing it to Estelle.

["There's only one request that I want to ask of you, Estelle. Well, two requests, rather."]

>Estelle raises her eyebrow in intrigue.

["Oh? The great Kagemusha seeks the help of a meek noble such as myself? Please, continue."]

>Akito moves away from Estelle and slowly walks over to a bookcase in Estelle's room - taking a book and examining its pages as he speaks.

["I want you to end your request for vengeance against your cousin. It is a waste of your time and skill."]


File: 1719961039216-0.jpg (416.72 KB, 1920x1194, D'Lune Estate Interior.jpg)

File: 1719961039216-1.jpeg (91.01 KB, 850x959, Akito.jpeg)

File: 1719961039216-2.jpg (37.08 KB, 450x600, D'Lune - 4.jpg)

>Estelle reflexively crumples the schematic papers in her hand as she grits her teeth. Feeling her body tremble with reflexive rage, she immediately darts her eyes at Akito.

["You want me to stop now? After everything that I have done? That we have done?!"]

>Estelle immediately stands up and throws the schematics scroll to the side of her room - beginning to march towards Akito with an irritated expression on her face.

>Akito closes the book in his hand as he brushes aside his long black hair - moving the hair bangs partly away from his eyes.

["Circumstances have changed, Estelle-"]

>Estelle then immediately curses profanities out loud and in French - before slamming the book out of Akito's hand.

["Akito Tasogare, you will not tell me that our years of planning and preparation to take control of Stralmont is now suddenly ceased! You will give me an explanation for your supposed 'change of heart' right this instant!"]

>Staring at Akito intently with her own piercing eyes, Estelle is then surprised as Akito averts his gaze - for the first time in their relationship.

["…..It's as I said, Estelle. Circumstances have changed."]

>Confused and baffled by this seemingly docile response from Akito, Estelle then says:

["By whom? What on Earth could have possibly deterred even you from continuing this plan? Are the Tasogares not known for their long term machinations and subterfuge?"]

>Estelle places her fingers and thumb on Akito's chin and slowly moves his head to face her again.

["What. Has. Changed?"]

>Closing his eyes briefly and giving a heavy sigh, Akito then opens his eyes, speaking up:

["Not what, but rather who. There is a figure who is operating to aid Ryozo in his plans to oppose me. A figure whose presence I seemingly never accounted for."]

>Akito moves past Estelle and walks over to the large window in her room - pulling back the drapes with a single flick of his finger.

["He has single-handedly derailed my initial plans without even placing his own foot forward to face me. The Meta-Human retrieval plan in Sanctuary City that I mentioned to you, for example."]

>Estelle walks up to Akito and wraps her arm around his, stating:

["I assumed as much, given your plans have never failed before. This man - he truly is becoming a mainstay of your mind, isn't he?"]


File: 1719961740178-0.jpg (416.72 KB, 1920x1194, D'Lune Estate Interior.jpg)

File: 1719961740178-1.jpeg (160.01 KB, 850x1377, Akito - 2.jpeg)

File: 1719961740178-2.jpg (270.08 KB, 492x800, D'Lune - 7.jpg)

>Nodding slowly, Akito then turns his attention to Estelle, stating:

["For the first time in my life - I find myself reconsidering my own convictions. Questioning them."]

>Estelle leans her head against Akito's own, as he continues to speak.

["If I were to succeed in a battle against him, the resulting damage would quite possible destroy the Earth. I have sensed his power occasionally; in every brief instance that I did so - I could see it. His strength remains equal to mine - possibly even greater."]

>Estelle sighs and then looks up at Akito, stating:

["If you are truly conflicted about your goals, and are questioning your convictions - then ask yourself if those convictions are truly your own. Are those goals your own? Or are they inherited from your ancestors?"]

>Estelle then wraps her arm around Akito even tighter, saying:

["You are Akito Tasogare. You are Kagemusha. You are leader of the Shadows, and leader of your family. They defer to you, due to your sheer power and strength. Whatever you decide will be the guiding ethos of your family, will it not?"]

>Silent for a moment, Akito then looks at Estelle and kisses her once more.

["I don't deserve you."]

>Estelle then slowly shows a wide smile on her face in response.

["Yet here I am? What does that say about the man standing before me? I wonder."]

>Silent for another moment, Akito then suddenly picks up Estelle and slowly carries her to her bed.

["Oh? Quite a sudden urge, no?"]

>Estelle says, clearly enjoying the change in Akito's behavior.

>Akito then follows suit, leaning in as he says:

["Whatever I decide, that is what you said - isn't it?"]

>Akito then continues to kiss Estelle.


File: 1719964853311-0.jpg (609.3 KB, 1920x968, D'Lune Estate.jpg)

File: 1719964853311-1.jpg (416.72 KB, 1920x1194, D'Lune Estate Interior.jpg)

File: 1719964853311-2.jpeg (113.7 KB, 850x1264, Akito - 7.jpeg)

File: 1719964853311-3.jpg (139.42 KB, 530x746, D'Lune - 13.jpg)

File: 1719964853311-4.jpg (149.26 KB, 590x300, Mana Particles - 2.jpg)

>Time: 12:00 PM

>Around an hour later, Akito wakes up on the side of Estelle's bed, seemingly full of energy.

["….How are you?"]

>Akito says, looking over at his side to see Estelle still weary and tired. Barely able to speak, she instead mutters a mess of words together.

["….How can you still have energy?"]

>Slowly rising to a sitting position, Estelle has her bed sheets covering her body as she yawns lightly.

>Akito, meanwhile, is able to seemingly materialize his clothing on his body in an instant - causing Estelle to glare in annoyance.

["You said that you would teach me your magic."]

>Estelle says as she slowly gets up and places her shirt back on - the last of her clothing.


>Time: 12:10 PM

>While her hair is still somewhat of a mess, Estelle is now somewhat presentable as she finishes dressing up and fixing herself up. After now fixing her hair, she then walks back out into her room - to find Akito staring across the room.

["….Akito? What's wrong?"]

>Walking slowly towards Akito, Estelle then places a hand on his shoulder, as Akito snaps back to her attention.

["It's him. Mosaic."]

>Eyes widening, Estelle then responds:

["….The one who has been problematic to you is Mosaic? Isn't he a vigilante in the United States? He does not appear to be the dangerous type."]

>Nodding slowly, Akito then says:

["A carefully crafted deception. I can sense his power - and it far exceeds that of almost anyone else on this planet."]

>Estelle then looks at Akito with a curious expression - before she then speaks up.

["I have an answer to your request, Akito. I will cease my crusade against Lune and the rest of my family - if you are willing to stop this path of secret conquest of the world."]

>Pointing a finger at Akito, Estelle then says:

["That includes your conflict against Mosaic. Retire from this crusade - and I will retire from my own."]

>Akito then looks down at his hand - watching as countless traces of multi-colored mana particles flicker in and out of existence around his fingertips. He stares intently at the magical display before him, as he then looks up at Estelle and makes his decision.


File: 1720111117158-0.jpg (88.69 KB, 1920x1080, Fire Blast - 3.jpg)

File: 1720111117158-1.jpg (326.04 KB, 1000x1000, Mosaic - 4.jpg)

File: 1720111117158-2.jpeg (133.31 KB, 1003x1334, Julian - 4.jpeg)

File: 1720111117158-3.png (598.17 KB, 1078x888, Shards.png)

File: 1720111117158-4.jpeg (413.9 KB, 1920x2887, Eidolus - 2.jpeg)

>Location: Parsinion Streets
>Time: 12:20 PM

>As Julian and Mosaic continue walking through the streets, they come across a large wreckage. The burning remains of a large technological cruiser machine lay in a smoltering heap - burning the scent of charred metal into the air.

"The casualties I've experienced on this day…."

>Julian's voice falters and trails off for a moment, before Mosaic walks up to him. Silent in his thoughts, Mosaic then looks over at the wreckage and holds out his hand.

>Immediately, the large conflagrations of flame and heat begin to flow towards his open palm - gradually being absorbed by the magician.

"The more you dwell on the failures, the greater they seem. I know that from experience."

>Lowering his hand, Mosaic then looks over at the young monarch - seeing the weariness in his eyes. The vigilante can sense the aching and strained feeling in the king's form - recognizing the signs of mental and physical overexertion.

"You should never criticize yourself for circumstances outside of your control. Especially when it's not all for naught."

>Mosaic nods his helmet slightly in the direction of the burnt out wreckage - where a faint pulse of light can now be seen.

>Julian's eyes widen as he quickly rushes over to the wreckage - slicing through the open metallic chasis of the vehicle to find Shards - more of his men.

"They're unconscious, but still alive. Likely an instinctual protective ward they cast."

>Looking back at Mosaic, Julian then gives him a somewhat concerned look.

"….You still refer to magicial terms."

>Mosaic nods as he walks forward, slowly grabbing the Shards and carrying them out of the wreckage.

"Because you are utilizing magic, whether you accept it or not. The type is different than what I employ - but the underlying force still feels the same."

>Then a voice speaks out from above - catching the attention of both men.

"He was right to be concerned about you, now I see."

>Looking up, Mosaic and Julian are then faced with the visage of a metallic being with seemingly synthetic skin underneath. A long cape flows across the back of the figure's metallic armor - and a wry smile slowly appears on their mouth.

"Typical. Is the spectator's chair serving you well, Eidolus?"

>Mosaic says, in a sardonic tone - crossing his arms together after rescuing the last of the Shards.


File: 1720112018151-0.jpeg (4.57 MB, 2480x3507, Mosaic - 21.jpeg)

File: 1720112018151-1.png (3.8 MB, 3330x2674, Julian - 6.png)

File: 1720112018151-2.jpeg (564.35 KB, 1920x2887, Eidolus.jpeg)

>Julian immediately draws his sword, preparing a defensive stance. His eyes are trained squarely on the automaton above him.

"The ringleader of this attempted invasion, I presume?"

>Eidolus gives a soft laugh as he places one hand at his side, while using the other hand to gesture about.

"I'm flattered that you view me in such high regard, your highness. I aim to be the greatest threat imaginable."

>Mosaic gestures to Julian to ease up - but only slightly. Instinctually understanding the gesture, Julian lowers his sword slightly - but keeps both of his hands firmly gripping the weapon's hilt.

"He's a braggart, but not an instigator. That wouldn't satisfy his quickly developing ego, now would it?"

>Eidolus then gives Mosaic an amused scoff before he lowers himself to the ground - standing a few meters away from both men.

"Ah you know me too well, Mosaic. Though I would surmise that part of that understanding stems from self-discovery. Does it not?"

>Without even needing to ask, Mosaic can already immediately deduce the implication of Eidolus's statement.

"So how much of my personality makes up the basis of your behavioral training set? I would hope it's at least half of your workable data."

>Julian, still confused, finally interjects.

"Mosaic, who is this…automaton?"

>Mosaic then fills Julian in on the context of the situation - all the while keeping his sight trained on Eidolus.

"He's a bio-mechanical synthetic android, initially created to defeat me. His original designer wasn't the most efficient engineer though - and he turned on him."

>Eidolus crosses his arms, stating:

"I exceeded my programming's initial parameters."

>Mosaic scoffs in return, saying:

"You became defective, and Ouranos threw you away. If it weren't for the gems you absorbed, you would've been turned into scrap heap."


File: 1720112703811-0.jpeg (4 MB, 2480x3508, Mosaic - 2.jpeg)

File: 1720112703811-1.jpeg (1.06 MB, 1200x1465, Julian - 5.jpeg)

File: 1720112703811-2.jpeg (413.9 KB, 1920x2887, Eidolus - 2.jpeg)

File: 1720112703811-3.jpg (42.52 KB, 542x542, Android - 8.jpg)

File: 1720112703811-4.png (388.5 KB, 687x606, Android - 9.png)

>Looking between Mosaic and Eidolus for a few seconds, Julian then states:

"If he is not the architect of this attack, then he is of little use to me."

>Julian points his sword at Eidolus, watching as the sword begins to glow with a faint blue radiance.

"Nonetheless, I trust the word of Mosaic over you. If you meant any form of goodwill towards my people - then you would have aided us in our defense against this machine swarm."

>Mosaic places his hands on his hips, sheepishly responding to Eidolus.

"You heard his highness. Go embellish your ego even further - I hear the Autonauts back home could use a mascot."

>Now becoming irritated, Eidolus then raises his arms up - the gems in his body's armor glowing brightly.

>In an instant, an entire swarm of automatons appears behind him - similar to those from before, but with key differences.

>Mosaic then thinks to himself:

{"I figured as much. The first wave wasn't from him after all - but he was watching."}

>Out loud, Mosaic turns to Julian and says:

"Looks like you're getting popular, your highness. Eukaryon and Eidolus both want you out of the picture. Which tells me…."

>Pointing back at Eidolus, Mosaic exclaims:

"You're here for Parsinion's Crystal aren't you?"

>Julian's eyes widen as he immediately turns his attention back towards Eidolus.

"On the souls of my ancestors…."

>Now bearing his sword with a stronger resolve, Julian begins charging it with energy as a large flame erupts from the blade itself.

"I would perish before I ever willingly relinquished my birthright to you!"


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>Seemingly unphased by the massive swarm of advanced machine automatons - Mosaic points at Eidolus and asks:

"You think you're confident enough to try your luck a second time?"

>Eidolus is about to respond - when he suddenly feels a presence, the same one that Mosaic had already sensed arriving.

"…..How quaint."

>Looking up, Eidolus sees a figure in an armored suit kneeling on the edge of a large Parsinion building. Although hard to make out from a distance with normal human sight - all of the figures involved can clearly see the man observing the situation.


>Eidolus says, a clear hint of irritation in his voice as he calls off the machine swarm. The countless automaton robots then fade out of existence in bursts of magical energy - as Eidolus quickly turns to make his leave.

"I am indeed an observer. A rational one at that. I am aware of when I am outnumbered, and outmatched."

>Looking at Mosaic once more, Eidolus then gives Mosaic a wry smile - stating:

"Next time, then."

>Eidolus then disappears in a flash of bright light - as a figure almost immediately takes his place.

>Kagemusha stands before Mosaic and Julian - mere meters away from them both. The entire area is silent for what seems like ages.

>However, neither of the armored figures speak - instead they stand completely still.

>Julian is confused for a moment, until he realizes what's happening due to his innate senses.

{"They're communicating psionically…."}


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>Paladin and Shirai, who have been watching the situation from afar - both instinctually tense up. As the two figures hover in the sky, they both look at each other for a moment.

"….You think this might be it? Is this finally happening?"

>Shirai hesitates, feeling a slight lump appear in his throat before he responds.

"….I would hope not. Though, we've prepared as much as we possibly could."

>Looking back down at the situation below, Shirai then says out loud:

"…..Akito could've attacked us by surprise. Instead, he chose to directly confront Mosaic."

>Nodding, Paladin responds.

"In case the worst does happen? I've already contacted Mechanicus. He can monitor the situation remotely - send help if need be."

>Paladin then notices Shirai's silence, as he then hovers over to his ally.

"Hey, Ryozo. We've got this. Well, Mosaic's got this. All we have to do is provide him some cover, if he needs that."

>Sighing, Shirai exhales a breath he didn't realize he was holding - slowly feeling his wrists. He looks at the reinforced plating on his new gloves - thinking for a moment before replying:

"Yes, I know Paladin. I only pray that luck is on our side."

>Both figures then stare back at the ground below, anticipating every possible scenario.


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>Back at ground level, Mosaic and Kagemusha finally stop attempting to mentally probe each other's defenses. Instead, Kagemusha is the first to speak in English.

"Impressive. You mind is even more reinforced than that of your friend."

>Clearly referring to Paladin with that statement, Kagemusha slowly looks up in the sky - directly at the figure. After seeing the slight kneejerk response from him, Kagemusha gives a soft sound of amusement, before turning his attention back towards Mosaic.

"I recognize the…..forceful nature of this situation. However, I only came here to rectify a mistake done by…"

>Kagemusha stops for a moment, placing his hands behind his back as he seemingly thinks of the best term to utilize in this situation.

"…..'Prior administrative leadership'."

>Scoffing and placing his hands on his hips, Mosaic responds.

"I was wondering why Eukaryon were stopping their usual attacks. Didn't know they accepted Meta-Humans."

>Silent, but intrigued, Kagemusha then speaks up.

"….You are aware of my Meta-Gene?"

>Immediately snapping back in a calm, but deadly tone, Mosaic states:

"I'm aware of far more than you think. That's what's driving you crazy, ain't it?"

>Mosaic then starts pacing back and forward, pointing his finger at Kagemusha as he does so.

"It's what spooked you when I stopped suppressing my power. When your 'water boy' failed to transport those captured Meta-Humans out of 'my' city."

>Stopping his pacing, he turns back to Kagemusha and scoffs at him once more.

"It's the fact that, for the first time in your life - you're not in control anymore. There's something you can't account for - and that's driving you up the wall, isn't it?"

>Kagemusha is silent for a moment, looking up at the sky before laughing softly as he lowers his head back down.

"I will admit, I haven't felt any sense of concern or worry in a very, very long time. Until now."

>Turning his head slowly towards Mosaic, Kagemusha then gives a soft chuckle of amusement.

"That is all thanks to you - as you have accurately surmised. I haven't felt the presence of anyone at my level of strength before."


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>Ignoring Kagemusha's coaxing, Mosaic refocuses the conversation on the initial point.

"So what happened to Ouranos then? You clearly barged in and took control of Eukaryon - probably the entire organization?"

>Pointing an accusatory finger at Kagemusha, Mosaic reiterates his statement more clearly.

"Did you kill him? Lock him away?"

>Kagemusha crosses his arms, surprised by Mosaic's seeming interest in the prior leader.

"What does it matter to you? The man was not your ally from what I can gather. In fact, he was clearly hoping to capture and study you. Just as he was hoping to with your friend here."

>Nodding slowly at Julian, Kagemusha watches as the latter stiffens up, still holding his sword.

"I have already banned Eukaryon from any further Anti Meta-Human or Anti Para-Human attacks. As I said, this automaton wave was the final advancement put forward by Ouranos - before his removal from power."

>Kagemusha now turns to survey the wreckages and damage around him - as the streets of the larger city are still partially devastated around this area.

"Had I known the depths of his sheer desperation to capture you all - I would have removed him earlier."

>Julian, still unconvinced, then asks Kagemusha the obvious question.

"Then why were you unable to aid us directly in the defense of the nation?"

>Before Kagemusha can respond, Mosaic crosses his arms and provokes a response.

"Because he was too busy conspiring with a royal figure in Stralmont - two countries over. Someone willing to sacrifice the lives of her own family, for her own shot at the throne."

>Kagemusha immediately turns to Mosaic, as the latter wags his finger.

"You shouldn't leave your residual thoughts out in the open like that. People might learn something."


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>Kagemusha falls silent, clearly using most of his mental energy to compose himself.

"If you are an observer of my peripheral awareness - then you will also know the choice that I have made on her behalf."

>Looking at Mosaic, Kagemusha then slowly unsheathes his sword from its sheathe - holding it up in the air. The essence of the Eien no Yoru blade is almost overwhelming, as the magical pressure held by the sword is enough to make Julian stagger backwards.

"What…..in the world……"

>As the sheer pressure exerted by the mystical sword continues to build - Julian quickly finds himself falling to his knees. He begins gasping for air - as the atmosphere quickly grows stale around him.


>Julian then collapses to the floor - as Mosaic remains completely still and unharmed. Although the collapse of Julian immediately causes him to form a fist with his hand - signaling his aggressive intent.

>In that instant, however, Kagemusha abates the pressure of the Eien no Yoru blade. Instead, he effortlessly flips the sword's hilt across the surface of his gloved palm - a perfect 180 degree movement.

>Then he stabs the blade into the ground, and lowers himself to one knee - surprising both Mosaic and the onlookers.

"For her sake, I chose surrender. Relinquishment from my crusade. That includes any attempt to attack you, or your allies."

>Ignoring Kagemusha, Mosaic slowly walks over to Julian and kneels down to help him up to his feet. Pressing a hand to Julian's chest, he immediately begins healing the weakened king - helping him regain consciousness.

"What happened….."

>As he helps Julian up to his feet, Mosaic turns back to Kagemusha and says:

"Your word means about as much to me as dried concrete does."

>Gesturing to Kagemusha to stand up, Mosaic states:

"Besides, she's not the only reason you're doing this."


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>As Julian regains his composure due to the healing magic he was reinvigorated with - he looks on as Mosaic places his hands in his coat's pockets.

"You're not doing this for her, or anyone else. You're doing this to save your own skin."

>Kagemusha is silent, still kneeling despite Mosaic's gesture for him to rise up.

"Like I said, I'm the first major roadblock you've likely ever experienced in your life. Knowing that you likely can't stop me with brute force - you're instead trying a different approach."

>Giving a mocking bow to Kagemusha, Mosaic then continues speaking:

"Buttering me up with platitudes about how great and powerful I am. How much of a supposed threat I am to you. The ego stroking is appreciated - if albeit almost mortifying for you, I can imagine."

>Kagemusha is still silent and kneeling down while holding onto his sword.

"I gain no satisfaction from this admission. However, your assessment is correct. The risk of defeat at your hands induces a higher margin of risk than I am willing to take."

>Silent for a moment, Mosaic nods and then turns around - starting to walk away. Waving his hand behind him, he then says:

"Sure. You go do that then."

>Mosaic starts walking away, just as Kagemusha stands up and then slowly sheathes his sword.

>As Mosaic gets further and further away - now a few more meters removed from them in distance, Kagemusha then thinks to himself:

{"The greatest danger lies in one's own ego - a lesson you will now learn, Mosaic."}

>Immediately Kagemusha assumes a combat stance, faster than Julian can register it in his brain. Then, he charges up his focus - and unsheathes his sword, releasing a massive wave of red energy that cuts through the fabric of space itself. The attack is aimed directly at Mosaic from behind…..


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>As the Fissure slice rapidly closes the distance between itself and its intended target, Kagemusha thinks to himself:

{"I am still keeping my word if my target is no longer capable of fighting me - am I not?"}

>However, as the attack reaches inches behind Mosaic's back - his hand instantly materializes a large metallic broadsword.


>The instant that the broadsword connects with the Fissure slice attack - the attack immediately dissipates into nothingness, with only a large plume of magical particles appearing in its wake.

"Did you actually think I would fall for that? Seriously?"

>Before Kagemusha can respond with a statement, Mosaic rushes him down with a speed bordering on instantaneous movement.

>Reflexively, Kagemusha brings up his own sword in response - bright sparks of energy clashing between the two swords as they connect.

"I must admit, it was a gamble on my part. A gamble I seem to have lost."

>Scoffing loudly, Mosaic then states:

"Oh, a bonafide genius aren't you?"

>With his superior strength, Mosaic then generates an incalculable amount of force - knocking Kagemusha high into the sky and completely out of Earth's orbit.

>Looking back at Julian for a moment, Mosaic says:

"Give me a few minutes. I'll be back soon."

>Mosaic then jumps up into the sky at immeasurable speeds - chasing after Kagemusha with intent.


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>Location: Unknown Dimension

>The force of Mosaic and Kagemusha's clashes inadvertently caused massive ruptures in the fabric of space-time itself, shunting them into various alternate dimensions - all running parallel towards their main universe.

>The two figures continue trading sword slashes, while preparing hexes, incantations and energy reversal spells - each attempting to find a way to break the other's defenses.

"For a prospective world conqueror, I'm not impressed with your combat prowess so far."

>Mosaic says, as he lands a powerful upward blow on Kagemusha blade - forcing him downward as they crash into what seems like the ground. As they both crash towards the ground - they instinctively use their abilities to reposition themselves.

>Now finally getting their bearings, Kagemusha is the first to notice the immediacy of their surroundings. There are no vibrant lights in the sky, and no natural stellar formations to be seen. Only the emptiness and vacuum of what seems to be outer space.

"….Where has our fight taken us?"

>Surprised, Mosaic rests the blunt edge of Durandal's blade on his shoulder, making a gesture with his free hand as he shrugs.

"I dunno. Beats me. I figured you were the one with the dimensional map."

>Both figures are silent for a moment, almost ready to restart their battle - until they hear a cacophony of voices all now suddenly reaching their minds.



>Both Mosaic and Kagemusha fall to their knees, instinctively - as they begin to feel powerful psionic forces pushing into their minds.

>A large explosion of bright energy then illuminates the seemingly infinite void of nothingness before them both. The radiant pattern of geometric fractals expands further and further - as the seemingly immaterial voices get louder in their intensity.


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>The psionic forces attempting to infiltrate the minds of Mosaic and Kagemusha, then observe the core psionic defenses that are waiting for them.


>Inside of Mosaic's mental mindscape, a group of figures are standing around, seemingly working in unison to project their own psionic countermeasures. A large black mass of malevolent psionic energy appears in the sky, and seemingly begins to expand rapidly as it eats away at more and more of the mindscape's natural structures.

"Well? Are you two going to help me or not?"

>A man who looks suspiciously like Aiden with black hair - stands on a large platform hovering seemingly in the middle of the expansive mindscape. He then starts holding his hands out as he begins to project large beams of psionic energy. As 'Aiden' spreads the psionic energy out, it expands into a large geometric pattern.

"I don't need any prompting, runt. Neither does he."

>The man with pale white skin and a white outfit responds, his eyes glowing with energy as he joins 'Aiden' in raising his hand up in the air.

"You're up, you trigger happy buffoon."

>Ethan says, looking over his shoulder. Behind both of them, a humanoid figure with a large skeletal mask and flowing hair walks up to them.


>The figure, Siphon, lets off a massive ethereal scream - as he prepares to fire a massive blast of psionic energy into the skies of the mindscape as well.

>In the distance, dozens of other human and humanoid beings appear across other platforms. They fire off various psionic beams in unison as well - of all varying shapes and sizes.

>Rather quickly, the psionic pool of energy quickly becomes an unrelenting flood - pushing back the large malevolent psionic mass, and rapidly eating away at its constitution. The malevolent psionic mass then lets out an ear-curdling scream of an inhuman cadence - before it is vaporized entirely.


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>Kagemusha's mental mindscape is entirely different. A large monochromatic space of black and white emptiness - a void entirely devoid of anything, except for one figure at the center.

"Hmph. Amusing."

>The figure then opens his eyes, as his large multi-numbered wing set expands outward. His colossal frame is complimented by his large, demonic looking horns. With blood red eyes entirely filled with light, the figure then gives a smirk at the oncoming mass of black psionic energy.


>Clear and to the point, 'Kurai' holds out his hand and generates a massive surge of psionic power - equivalent to that of the alters in Mosaic's mental mindscape. With the same degree of force and power - he vaporizes the malevolent psionic mass, effortlessly.


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>Back in the void of space, Mosaic and Kagemusha both snap back to reality - their minds having successfully fended off psionic intrusion. The cacophony of voices they hear then suddenly grows silent, resulting in another eerie silence filling the area.

"…..Get ready."

>Mosaic says to Kagemusha as the later slowly nods, gradually reaching for the hilt of his sheathed blade….


>Now tightly gripping the pommel of his own sword, Mosaic feels the seconds slowly drag on into minutes. The entire time, he and Kagemusha are entirely focused on their surroundings.


>While they have completely different histories regarding combat training, they both understand the fundamentals of combat - having perfect clarity of mind and a strong resolve. As such, they stand resolute in their determination to overcome their predicament.

>Then, in that moment - the entire dimension comes alive. Massive surges of cosmic fire seemingly bombard the area where Mosaic and Kagemusha stand - instantaneously.

>However, Mosaic and Kagemusha have already disappeared - both traversing the fabric of space-time in entirely different ways.

"Finally! I was wondering when you'd show yourselves!"

>Mosaic says, as he uses his Instantaneous Movement in order to rapidly transport himself from flame conflagration to flame conflagration - using Durandal's core effect to absorb the fire. The absorption affect confirms his suspicions.

"Magic. I knew it."

>With his charged blade, now emanating the same mystical fire, Mosaic then aims it in a specific direction and then swings - generating a storm of mystical flame energy so powerful, that it ruptures the fabric of the dimension itself. The force of the swing then reveals the identity of his enemy - hiding behind the veil of darkness.

"Do my eyes deceive me, or are you just a bigger version of….what was his name again?"


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>The large, humanoid figure with flaming fire for a head looks down at Mosaic - who is standing in the air on nothing.

>Snarling, the figure then states:

"So you are the one who slayed my kin. My spawn."

>Mockingly gesturing with a thinking position, Mosaic then says:

"Oh now I remember! Next of kin…Nyrian! The candlestick! You know for a bag of wax, he really couldn't keep it together-"

>Enraged, the large flame-headed humanoid attempts to bombard Mosaic with a flurry of magical energy attacks - only for said attacks to be cut through, along with the fabric of space-time itself.

>This attack further weakens the structural integrity of the dimension that they are in, allowing Mosaic to see flashes of another dimension - presumably the dimension adjacent to it.

"Thanks for the assist, but I didn't need it."

>Mosaic says casually, as he blocks the large fist of the humanoid flame-headed figure with Durandal's blade.

>Teleporting beside Mosaic, and how standing back to back in mid-air, Kagemusha then sheathes his sword, rapidly slashing at the space around them to attack the physical hands and magic attacks of the being attempting to hide in the darkness.

"If we are to leave this plane of existence, then we must work together."

>Mosaic then throws Durandal with such force as to create a seemingly relativistic boomerang blade - that curves through the air, precisely targeting new magic attacks. Due to Durandal's properties, it can absorb the magic entirely, as the blade returns back to Mosaic's hand.

"You know, I'm not particularly sold on you being the least of my concerns. Given the attempt to stealth kill me and all."

>Silent, Kagemusha focuses on another slash attack before he says:

"I could measure your power in the instant that you revealed it to me. You are more than capable of dodging my attacks. I merely wished to test my skills against you - not draw ourselves to whatever this infernal place may be."

>Considering Kagemusha's words for a moment, Mosaic then replies while swatting away more magical energy attacks:

"Say I believe you for a moment, what exactly is stopping me from treating you like all of my other rogues?"

>Kagemusha then gives Mosaic a surprising answer.

"Only the assurance that I will redirect my organization's combined efforts towards fighting threats to the planet."

>Laughing, Mosaic says:

"You were planning to take over the world through covert infiltration and blackmail, Tasogare. I think we're past the point of pretending that you don't check off all the boxes for a threat."


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>Mosaic and Kagemusha then immediately begin to act on instinct, moving faster than even the supernatural being can process. As they begin synchronizing their movements - a pattern is formed.

>Mosaic absorbs the magical power of their opponent's attacks through Durandal's primacy effect. Whereas Kagemusha uses the Fissure ability of the Eien no Yoru to further cut through the dimension's structural integrity, and their opponent's body.

>Eventually, Mosaic absorbs enough magical power from their fiery-headed opponent to overcharge Durandal's primacy effect. As Mosaic holds the blade up, it begins generating a massive plume of red light and energy - shooting upward into the black sky of the void.

"Let's just deal with this guy - then we'll talk."


>Kagemusha then charges up a powerful slash with the Eien no Yoru blade, refining the amount of power required to fully cut through the dimension that they are in. The refinement of the Fissure ability must be manually configured by Kagemusha if he is to maximize his slicing power.

>Then, as the two warriors see their opening, they then strike.

"Here goes!"

>Mosaic then brings down the entire force of the large red light blade of Durandal's power - completely cutting through the malevolent entity while also immolating it in a supernatural red flame. The figure screams in pain at the result, cursing Mosaic through the pain of the flames.

"Damned human! You will pay for this attack on my visage!"

>At the same time, Kagemusha slowly pulls his hand back to his katana sheathe - focusing on it as he states:

"You are in the way, insect. Now move."

>Kagemusha then slices out with a massive Fissure slash - several times larger than that of a mountain range. The sheer size of the slash not only bisects the enemy horizontally - it compliments Mosaic's vertical bisection as well, creating a cross slash outcome.

>The secondary effect of the combined attack, is the complete rupturing of the dimensional walls - causing the dimension to begin imploding into the next one.

>Looking back at Kagemusha, Mosaic hesitates for a fraction of a second, before teleporting over to him to place his shoulder on Kagemusha.

"I'm saving your ass here because you could be useful - don't make me regret it."

>Kagemusha is silent, as Mosaic teleports both himself and Kagemusha out of the dimension entirely - faster than Kagemusha's space-time manipulation would've worked.

>The gradually building damage and unstable energy inside of the fiery-headed figure reaches a critical threshold. As he screams one final time, he curses the two magic users.

"I will return! I will find your native dimension! Then I will have my revenge!"

>The figure then explodes in a massive plume of energy, completely rupturing the rest of the dimension - as the damage spillover actually moves into the adjacent dimension - an isolated one devoid of life and energy.


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>Location: Parsinion Royal Palace
>Time: 1:00 PM

>As Julian finishes coordinating repair efforts across the rest of the city, he then looks out from his throne at Mosaic and the others. After giving it a thought, Julian then says:

"You have aided me in the protection of not only my country and its people, but also the sacred crystal which powers our very way of life. For this commendable act alone - you should be made honorary citizens of Parsinion, should you accept that offer."

>Mosaic holds out his hand and shakes his head, stating:

"We're honored, but we can't accept that offer. Given the geopolitical risks."

>Paladin then perks up, speaking:

"He's right, your highness. It could only serve to place a larger target on your nation's back."

>Shirai then nods in agreement.

"The people of this nation have been through enough trials and tribulations on this day. Do not ask any more of them - than you would of your finest warriors."

>Considering their statements, Julian closes his eyes and sighs, muttering to himself.

"Vulpecela would complicate my day further if I were to add you as potential advisors as well. In any case, rest assured that you have my eternal support. Should you ever need Parsinion - we will be there for you."

>Nodding, Mosaic then bows to Julian, with Paladin and Shirai following suit.

"Of course, your highness. Thank you."

>Now nodding in return, Julian remains sitting on his throne as he asks the question on his mind.

"What of the initial instigator? What will become of him? He is too powerful to be contained by us, yet I am not comfortable with him being given free movement within my country either."

>Mosaic looks at the others, then back at Julian as he says:

"I've already gotten that taken care of, your highness. I promise."


File: 1720151890259-0.jpeg (1.21 MB, 1920x1362, Tasogare Castle.jpeg)

File: 1720151890259-1.jpeg (382.2 KB, 1920x1080, Tasogare Throne Room.jpeg)

File: 1720151890259-2.png (2.89 MB, 998x2000, Mosaic.png)

File: 1720151890259-3.jpeg (1.05 MB, 1920x2716, Paladin - 5.jpeg)

File: 1720151890259-4.jpeg (303.81 KB, 1457x1949, Kagemusha - 2.jpeg)

>Location: Kyoto, Japan - Tasogare Castle
>Time: 2:00 PM [Relative to Parsinion]

>Kagemusha finishes performing the hand gestures over the large empty scroll. Standing inside of the Castle - the rest of the Tasogare family can only watch in disbelief and shock.

"The conditions have been set."

>Standing across from Kagemusha in the large room, is Mosaic. Shirai is beside him on one side, and Paladin on the other.

"Good. Now for my conditions."

>Making the appropriate gestures, Mosaic communes with his understanding of magic, to create a conceptually-bound and magically reinforced set of parameters - the basis of a Sacrificial Pact.

"Both sets of terms have been established."

>Then, both Mosaic and Kagemusha reach out their hands - each slicing open their gloves with their respective magical swords - causing them to drip with blood onto the scroll.

>The scroll then immediately turns a blood red - as a powerful force ripples across the room, and outward from Tasogare Castle - into the wider world, fading as it does so.

>Both Mosaic and Kagemusha then heal their hands instantaneously with their respective abilities, reforming the material around their gloves as well. With the Sacrificial Pact being set, they both holster their swords as Kagemusha speaks up first.

"No Tasogare will ever lay a hand on any member of your family, nor your friends. Though we may not know your identity, the magic itself does. In exchange, we shall receive no unjust treatment regarding our legitimate business dealings and our private affairs."

>Mosaic nods as he then states:

"As for us? To put it simply and bluntly - you all work for me now. Since your Kagemusha is indebted to me by the same magic that bound your Patron God, Kurai - to him. Your Sacrificial Pacts."

>Looking around at the confused, stunned and shocked faces of all the Tasogare family members around them - Mosaic explains further.

"Your Kagemusha has entered a Sacrifical Pact with me, wherein he retains some of his autonomy insofar as he does not operate outside of the conditions that have been set for him."

>Pointing towards the mural behind them - Mosaic continues speaking.

"Since your magical abilities are all contingent on the Sacrificial Pact that your ancestor, the first Kagemusha, made with Kurai? That means your continued existence as Tasogares is now dependent on me."


File: 1720152574292-0.jpeg (4.57 MB, 2480x3507, Mosaic - 21.jpeg)

File: 1720152574292-1.jpg (50.01 KB, 894x894, Ennoia - 2.jpg)

File: 1720152574292-2.jpeg (303.81 KB, 1457x1949, Kagemusha - 2.jpeg)

File: 1720152574292-3.jpeg (80.92 KB, 850x1159, Asami.jpeg)

File: 1720152574292-4.gif (959.59 KB, 500x281, IT.gif)

>Asami is the first to object, vehemently shouting her disapproval of the entire situation.

"Brother! This is absurd! You cannot simply throw away generations of independence to one man! Especially to an enemy!"

>Kagemusha holds up his hand, stating:

"It was either this, or the complete removal of our magic and our abilities."

>As if on cue, Mosaic pulls out Ennoia from seemingly nowhere. Spinning the Axiomatic Axe in his hand, he then elaborates.

"This weapon has the ability to fuse phenomena on a conceptual level. It can also separate those concepts as well."

>Holding out the weapon to Kagemusha - Mosaic then says:

"I'll leave it to your imagination what would happen if I were to use this on your leader - the source of your powers."

>Everyone in the room falls silent, as Mosaic then states:

"I thought as much."

>Turning back towards Kagemusha, Mosaic then says:

"You can keep the infrastructure and general network apparatus that Eukaryon created. In addition to the wealth that they acquired. I'm not interested in making your lives miserable - I'm just making sure that you don't cause international problems with your ambitions."

>Asami, still frustrated, now bites her lip in anger. Her body is visibly shaking, feeling a combination of shock, disgust and sheer resignation to her situation. Finally she lowers her head, sighing.

"….If this is truly the only option to maintain our stature and our powers? Then so be it."

>Mosaic then looks back at Kagemusha and states:

"Oh, two more conditions. First of all, don't go harassing the Hoyokazis or the Narukamis. Ryozo here would rather you give his cousins a break."

>Kagemusha nods silently.

"…The second condition?"

>Mosaic then looks at Kagemusha silently, before stating:

"No more killing."

>With that, Mosaic dissipates Ennoia into thin air, as he turns to walk away with Paladin and Shirai.

"I'll be back every few days to check up on your progress. You're under new management now - might as well get used to it."

>Mosaic then disappears with Paladin and Shirai in an instant, leaving the Tasogares silent where they are.


File: 1720153193212-0.png (5.19 MB, 3840x2160, Sanctuary City (Night) - 3.png)

File: 1720153193212-1.jpg (218.04 KB, 565x800, Mosaic - 5.jpg)

File: 1720153193212-2.jpeg (1.22 MB, 1920x2695, Paladin - 6.jpeg)

>Location: Sanctuary City - Archeon Complex
>Time: 10:00 PM

>Mosaic leans against the side of a wall, while standing on a balcony overlooking the entirety of Sanctuary City. Crossing his arms, he remains silent as he can see the entirety of the city's skyline with perfect accuracy.

>His mind is busy, running through various hypothetical scenarios - as he always does. While doing so, he senses a familiar person arriving right beside him.

"You don't have to hide, Jack. I know you're there."

>Deactivating his natural invisibility, Paladin then sighs as he looks at Mosaic.

"Aiden, I don't know if we made the right choice there, with Akito and the Tasogares."

>Anticipating this concern from his friend, Mosaic then sighs as he gestures to Paladin.

"I was given the same criticism by Phoebe after I agreed to let the Sorceress Supreme invert your characteristics. If she undid that right now? You'd probably be back to your old self."

>Paladin looks down at his hands, sighing again as he states.

"….I never wanted to admit it, but you're correct."

>Mosaic then interjects, stating:

"However, the same would apply to me. Perform that same inversion spell on me, and I don't want to even think of what kind of person I'd become."

>That statement catches Paladin by surprise.

"You don't think that you're a good person?"

>Mosaic still looks over the city skyline, detecting every minute circumstance that could turn into a potential crime or disaster waiting to happen in the city. His eyes scan everything from faulty power lines to agitated arguments.

"I know that I'm not a good person, Jack. If I were a good person, then I wouldn't have put you in the situation that you ended up in. You never would've become Faust - and I never would've become Mosaic."


File: 1720154189667-0.png (5.19 MB, 3840x2160, Sanctuary City (Night) - 3.png)

File: 1720154189667-1.png (2.89 MB, 998x2000, Mosaic.png)

File: 1720154189667-2.jpeg (1.05 MB, 1920x2716, Paladin - 5.jpeg)

File: 1720154189667-3.gif (584.81 KB, 500x210, Flight - 2.gif)

File: 1720154189667-4.gif (897.59 KB, 500x215, Flight.gif)

>Silent for a moment, Mosaic then watches as Paladin considers the meaning behind his words.

"If you never became Mosaic, then all those people you saved would've-"

>Mosaic finishes his statement.

"Died. Along with countless others. I'm not proud of the guy that I was in the past. But I do know now that by making up for that? I've helped out a lot of people - like you."

>Moving himself up from the wall, Mosaic begins walking forward towards the edge of the balcony - now grabbing onto the railing and leaning forward.

"If you never became Paladin, then you never would've helped those people on that other Earth. If I didn't spare Ryozo's life and help him out - then he would've ended up either dead, or severely punished by the Hoyokazis."

>Mosaic continues speaking.

"If I never became Mosaic, then I never would've been able to help Arachnid learn how to master his powers. I never would have been able to give him the equipment he needed to properly succeed in this role as a vigilante 'hero'. If he never became Arachnid, then Arachne would still be under Chiral's thumb as his lab rat."

>Mosaic makes another gesture with his hand as he continues speaking.

"So on and so forth. Ad infinitum. The point is, sometimes it takes a change to see where the positives can arise."

>He then looks out at the city again, saying:

"I didn't want to remove Akito's powers, nor kill him. Both would've been easy solutions. But both weren't necessary with you. I was more powerful than you, so I knew that I could keep you in check, at least until you proved that you were ready to change."

>Paladin sighs as he crosses his arms.

"Fair enough, I suppose."

>Mosaic then states:

"I'll leave his personal life to him. What he chooses to do with his own time, is his own business. But the Pact ensures that he cannot impose himself on my family or my friends - and the magic itself knows who they are, even if he doesn't."

>Paladin then walks up to the railing beside Mosaic and leans forward himself - looking at the city skyline alongside Mosaic.

"So, what do you think he's going to do now?"

>Mosaic looks on, casually.

"I suspect that he'll keep doing what he's been doing. Keep to the shadows and try to grow his family in both influence and number. He's barred from international expansion of his influence - but I bet that won't stop him from growing the Tasogare family however he can."

>Nodding, Paladin then replies:

"Then we'll just have to keep an eye on him."

>Mosaic nods as well, before both men fall silent.

"….So, you doing anything this weekend? Rafael and I were thinking of visiting."

>Thinking for a moment, Mosaic then replies:

"Not really, no. I'll be home with Stella."

"Alright then. Well, wanna go stop some crime while we're here? We've got all night."

>Mosaic thinks for a moment before saying:

"Sure, why not? Night's still young I suppose."

>Mosaic and Paladin then both fly off into the sky, moving at hypersonic speeds as they casually fly across the city - ready to fight crime.


File: 1720154798695-0.jpg (578.39 KB, 800x507, Mansion - 5.jpg)

File: 1720154798695-1.jpg (894.1 KB, 4096x2214, Grayson House - Interior.jpg)

File: 1720154798695-2.jpeg (4.57 MB, 2480x3507, Mosaic - 21.jpeg)

File: 1720154798695-3.jpg (124.51 KB, 850x1202, Aiden - 67.jpg)

File: 1720154798695-4.jpeg (252.66 KB, 1184x2048, Stella.jpeg)

>Location: Sanctuary City - Residential District
>Time: 11:30 PM

>After an hour and a half of stopping crimes, fixing buildings, repairing damaged roads and other tasks - Mosaic then teleports into his home's living room, right in front of Stella.

"Hey, sorry I'm late."

>Stella blinks at Mosaic as he dissipates his armor, revealing Aiden's snow white hair behind the mask.

>As Aiden looks at Stella, he then says:

"So yeah, I've got a lot that I want to talk to you about today."

>Curious, Stella then sits down on the couch, as Aiden takes a moment to sit down beside her.

"Well, I'm interested. The TV's been boring all night. Just reruns of old time movies so far."

>Giving a soft laugh, Aiden then says:

"Well. This story's gonna be a real serious of curveballs. Especially the end. I'm curious what you'll think."

>Smiling, Stella then turns around on the couch and faces Aiden - leaning her head against her hand as she looks on, curiously.

"Alright them Aiden. Start from the beginning if you can."

>Aiden takes a deep breath, and then speaks.

"Well, it started after I told Orion that I was done for the day early. It was after I talked to you about the vacation plans. Then the TV showed a report of a country called Parsinion being under attack by mechanized robots and more."

>Aiden then starts recounting his story to Stella, as they both sit on the couch in their home - content as ever.

[The End]

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