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Joe slid his hand under his pillow, tightly grasping at the gun he had hidden under there.  Then, he looked up, only to see strange orbs floating around the room.  They looked scary, but they weren't doing anything right now.  There was a noise, a snake like noise, coupled with the sound of talking.  It forced his head to snap back towards the door.  Either there was some sort of snake monster in his house, or two guys came in with a snake.  Unfortunately, the first one was more likely.  There was no point in calling out to them now, they knew where he was. 

Sweat trickled down his forehead, his heart began pounding.  As he reached for the doorknob, he saw sweet collecting on his forearm.  With a single turn of his wrist and the quick pull of his arm, the door crept open.  And just like that, he saw it, a snake flying at his face at amazing speeds.  "OH FU-"

He tried to aim the gun at the snake, but he was too slow.  The snake would reach its mark, just as he pointed the gun at its face.  The loud crack of a bullet being fired echoed through the apartment building.

"I see." She shifted a few things on her desk. "But what convinced you to enter your field? You're still rather young. I doubt this was the only path open to you. Didn't you have any other dreams? Ideas of what you'd be doing?"



"Spells of a Hermetic magus might have different trapping than a Siberian shaman's, but often they can achieve the same effect. A matter of your prefered style, really. Though some schools of magic do display their peculiarities." She explained to the butler. As long as she didn't reveal her full nature, it wasn't a breach of the Litany. And she really appreciated she could talk to someone about it, even if through veiled statements. "I think there might be practices that are hard to replicate with the Hermetic paradigm. Though if one cuts corners, it's possible, possibly at a cost of decreased effectiveness. But honestly I'm not here to offer occult services to your employer. I'm actually here for a mundane purpose."


"Ah yes, you might carve a wood figure with whatever blade you have on hand, but it will not as thorough as if you had a set of precise tools." Butler coughed into his hand as he finished speaking, reminding himself to not steer the conversation off too much. "If your abilities are worthwhile, you'll come to a fruitful arrangement for all parts I'm sure. And, personally? Politeness is important, but straightforward intent in equal exchanges even more so."

In time with the blue haired girl's shout something crashed down next to her. Earth and dust shot into the air from the force of the impact. When the dust cloud settled a shape could be seen. It appeared to be a man, shrouded in never ending darkness. As if that wasn't enough, his own aura was dwarfed by that of his sword, which cast a darkness so intense it could swallow darkness itself.

"And have me miss out on such a fine spectacle?" His voice exhoed across the park despite them being outside, anyone listening to it could only hope to feel unimaginable dread.

"I think not." His voice somehow gained an even more threatening quality to it. "Continue on ladies lest you wish to incur my wrath."


 "Slither, slither!" He whispered loudly into Blackmore's ear as his own twitched. It was moving through and around the house. Only slightly inconvenienced by the orbs.

Its body, composed of countless black strands, simply broke apart and reformed through the gaps between the obstacles. And then it was rushing towards the prey and with a burst of speed he launched himself off of at it. In fact, he hit it so hard it broke in two!

So while he wrestled with half of it he shouted, "Squish the other hal-" And then there were tendrils in his mouth.

He bit down and started slurping it up because mhh this was kind of delicious.

"Indeed, the ground would be a far better place for a walk", Rider replied, before leaping off the building and landing skilfully on the ground below.

The moment her foot connected, bloody thorns punched holes in her body.  Every nerve running through her body screamed, causing her body to coil backwards in agony.  As her body recovered, she stared wide eyed at the woman's side.  There was no damage.  Based on the way she took the hit, she likely had regenerative powers around Shinobu's level.

The woman's eyes were intense, not unlike her own when she was in war god mode.  The bloodthirsty type that demanded blood.  To a normal person, it would have frozen them in place, but to her, it simply caused her body to generate more heat.  The stakes of battle were set, if this continued, she would have to go all out in order to carve out a victory.

In time with the attack raining down from above, Medaka shouted, "ENOUGH!"  The shot struck the ground.  "I do not wish to fight over a picture!  You are very suspicious, but we can talk."
Sakura and Shirou

To Sakura's shock, the girl rejected her affection, instead beginning to tremble before screaming to be left alone, the ground shattering under some unknown force and sending pieces flying. Sakura felt small bits of concrete hit her body, reinforcing herself to reduce the damage but nevertheless bloodied as she jumped backwards, confused by the girl's actions.

Why is she doing this? Sakura thought, utterly confused but unwilling to leave a young, vulnerable girl having a super-powered temper tantrum alone.

Shirou, meanwhile, had noticed an odd shimmering and distortion in the air and, reflexively, had summoned up his twin swords, ready to defend himself if necessary. But, it appeared that the girl was just having a tantrum, so he quickly de-summoned the swords, dodging the flying debris as best as he could as he wondered what was going on. At the same time, he noticed a brown, furry blur that he assumed was Moko heading away at a great pace, clearly very frightened by what he'd seen.

Shirou and Sakura, too, felt frightened, but they refused to leave. The girl simply reminded Shirou too much of Illya for him to abandon her when she was so vulnerable. Even the temper tantrum was Illya-like.

The two of them pondered the situation as they tried their best to avoid harm from the flying debris with only limited success, wondering what had caused the sudden change in behaviour. She had been so friendly with them, then suddenly she'd just run away and, seemingly, wanted nothing to do with them.

What is wrong? All Shirou did was suggest she get her parents..., Sakura thought, suddenly realising the problem and then kicking herself for not noticing it sooner.

"Oh, I see...", she said, softly.

After all, Sakura had been abandoned by her parents and mistreated by those who had adopted her. She, too, had once hated the world and her former family. Even to this day she bore resentment towards her absent elder sister. Illya, too, had been seemingly abandoned and mistreated, and had reacted in the same way.

The signs were clear to see now she looked. The girl was just like she had been once, feeling like nothing could ever go right and pushing away those who tried to help, likely for their own good. Her powers, too, were surely something that unscrupulous people would take advantage of, just like Sakura's own magic had been appropriated by Zouken for his own ends.

Turning around, she could see a look of confusion on Shirou's face as he wondered what she meant.

"Senpai, she's lost her parents, that's why she was upset. And I don't think she's very well-treated by whoever adopted her. It's just like me and Illya", she said, a tear forming in her eye.

Then, without hesitation, she approached the girl again, ignoring any pain to wrap her in a hug.

"Please, we want to help you", she said, a tear in her eye.

Shirou, meanwhile, bowed apologetically.

"I..I'm sorry", he said, genuinely distraught. "I didn't realise...."
H̷͟͡e̷҉͏͏̧ń̡́͢r̸̡̨͜y̷̷͟͟ ̢͟͟͞͡B̴̧͡a̛҉͠͞r̴̴̀͘͞ţ̴̨͏͟h͜͞ó̵̧́͡ẃ̡̧͟

For a fleeting moment, easy to miss to human eyes, all expression seemed to halt in the detective's face. It was not as if he went pale or he appeared suddenly stricken by something, but rather as if a construct of immesurably fine detail and nearly invisible pieces had come to a complete halt and forgotten to move, even his sweat seeming to freeze on his creased forehead.

Henry suppressed a tired groan, pinching the bridge of his nose before he raised his hands in placating resilience.

"You're certainly right there. But if we're supposed to keep people safe, then we need to look preemptively for what might bring them harm. Does that sound weird to you? Maybe the police should just stick to the letter of their obligations, but -", he cut himself short, looking away before reorienting his gaze between the two women. "I wasn't accusing anyone of wanting to do wrong, though. Just pointing out, when you put things like that, it's strange to not have known about it. You're making it sound weirder, actually."

He tapped his arm with his hand, shifting his weight on the chair to straighten his back before continuing. "I have no proof to my claims. That's what I'm looking for. Because I've seen similar chains of coincidences end in serious things, just as I've seen them disappear without anything to show for it. Back home."

Taking a deep breath, Henry got up, smoothing down his ruffled coat. "You can say you're only getting my word to go on though, and that's not exactly wrong," he scoffed, invoking an earlier argument from his own mouth. "But if it'll avoid victims, it's a precedent worth digging into."

Henry held his papers securely under his arm, looking back with thinly concealed dissatisfaction and a strained lack of frown. "Regardless, if there's nothing else you can tell me, I should take my leave."

Mitsuba was out of range of the spikes. She kept her calm while floating in the air, almost dispassionately observing the events that unfolded below. She already planned her next move. She would aim another shot at this crazed monster but use her Embed this time to make her suffer similar damage from a secondary source. If her attack connected, this perhaps throw the monster out of balance and create an opportunity for her ally.
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