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21
Alicia

"I knew a very terrible monster, once. It could not acknowledge anything but itself. All other things were to be preyed upon." When she looked upon the lake her eyes seemed to look beyond. "It drank of lives like water."

"But it was cruel in its own way, for it did not kill. The beast stripped men of every protection both material and mental before adding them to its body. From this contact it tasted of the whole of the lives. Every emotion, sensation, and thought from birth to their fate trapped within its form. It did not care whether it felt ecstasy or torment; it was merely hungry for more of these experiences. And those trapped within its form could never die."

Then she looked at him, certainty in her eyes. "It did not kill, but it stole lives all the same. Countless lives. It hollowed out its victims to serve as vessels of emotion. Death would have been a mercy. Do you think such a beast could be redeemed? One that could not even understand humans as anything more than food and playthings."
22
Ito

The ninja shrugged. "I.... knew one." He managed to muster, though he looked conflicted. "Why?"
23
Alicia

A somber look haunted her eyes as she stared out at the lake. "The heart is a lovely and terrible beast. It wants for many things, and some things it should not have. Tell me, Ito, what do you know of monsters?"
24
Ito Kizumi

The ninja looked down as well, his eyes carrying the same fatigue her gaze showed. "...do you think even the worst person can change? That everyone can be a good person, if they just try?" He asked her hesitantly, only to look up at the sky with a hopeful look. He smiled.

"That sounds nice. I wish I had that kind of faith. But I know I won't go to heaven, that's a fact. My hands are too dirty with my own blood, there is no good deed that can undo all the lives I've taken. But you're right, there are things even I can teach you. Sorry, I was being arrogant. I just don't want you to get hurt."

He looked at her, and his eyes looked sad. She didn't need to touch him to tell that he cared for her. "No matter what, choose your heart above all else. Don't become like me. Please."
25
Marcus

Shit!

"If your as good with a whip as you are with a bike, we already know the answer," he shouted, his body making the full stop.  Using the woman's abilities while he still could, he leaped off the bike, sailing out of the traffic and onto a nearby sidewalk.  He turned his head to see if he could spot the woman.  Her form was nothing but a spec in his vision.

He let out a groan of defeat.  "Damn it, lost again," he said, rubbing the back of his shoulder.  "Welp, better find a hospital."

And with that, he began walking away, on toward whatever came next.
26
Sakura

Sakura glared angrily at the two of them, trying desperately not to shout angry abuse at them or break down in tears. How dare they mock her suffering? They had no idea what she'd been through.

"No, it is not funny", she replied, clearly angry and upset. "You have no idea of what happened to me, and yet you mock me as if it was some minor, harmless incident."

Then she turned to the girl.

"That ribbon is the only thing I have left to remind me of my sister, and of the times before I went through the magical 'training' that left my hair like this. Please return it, it is extremely important to me", she said, calming herself a little.
27
Alicia

A sigh escaped from her. Then she stared out at the waters with very, very tired eyes. "And why not? Are your sins so grievous that they outweigh the rest of mankind? Your selfishness so grand that the oceans of men clinging to that which they must release are nothing in comparison? The good in your life is not so meager that the worst of sinners stand above you. I have much I can learn."
28
Rider

Rider smiled once more at his comment, enjoying his flirting even as she continued to throw him around and race ahead towards the finish line. She smiled again, this time more sadistically, as he crashed into a car and almost hit a truck. It was obvious that her plan was working. Even if he managed to stay on the bike, there was no way he could launch his own attacks whilst he was being thrown around in that way.

In response to his second comment, Rider also chuckled. Perhaps this was something they should explore later. Before she could make a comment to that end, though, she felt a strong tug on the chain. Looking back, she could see that he was obviously attempting to stop himself. At first, she pulled back, dragging him along a little but, as he began to dig in, she soon realised that, eventually, even her strength would not be enough to continue to drag him along. So, as soon as she felt the tug become too great, she simply let go of the chain, leaving him trailing uselessly behind her.

"Well, apparently I'm better at using chains. Maybe later we can see who is better with the whip...", she said as she sped off into the distance, a slight hint of lust combined with a strong tone of amusement in her voice.
29
Iro Kizumi

Ito looked surprised. He didn't think she'd feel so strongly about this. Her words rejected everything he said, and everything he believed. But despite that he couldn't help but smile and laugh, glancing away at the sky kindly, if not embarrassed.

"You're a real piece of work, you know that?" He talked to himself, though it wasn't clear which of them he was referring to. Instead, his eyes narrowed and his expression turned serious. "Don't be stupid. I'll admit, you're right, but even then... you shouldn't use me as an example. Nothing good will come out of it."
30
Orianna

Her eyes did not so much as wide as the environment changed. Orianna closely examined the fight, analyzing every moment she could. "I comprehend, Master. This role in combat is known to me. My durability and strength made such a choice for most humans simple."





Alicia

A frown graced her features. Some sort of deep dissatisfaction in his words that marred her features. "You are mistaken. There are no conflicts which you are forced to fight alone. You might isolate yourself to battle them, but that is not nearly the same thing."

"And your other point, it is outright foolishness. The human experience is built off of using the lives of others as a comparison. To know how others have lived and learn from them. The choices of others are a mirror through which you can examine yourself. How could you ever choose anything but the path set before you without the lives of others as a comparison!"
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