Lord Joyde The Madman: Heylo, everybody! How're you all doing?
Well, alrighty then.
I posted a second story on RR yesterday but it would seem that nobody is approving newcomers...
Also the lag on this site is unbearable...
Anyways, here comes the next chapter of EUPHORIA! I sincerely hope that you enjoy, let us begin!
Don't mind me guys and girls! I'm just a line break...
Mere minutes afterwards... - Zatara Mansion - Leonardo's Point Of View...
*knock knock knock* Three separate sounds echoed from the door up the stairs which lead to the only way out of my room.
Three separate knocks, each resounding as a form of signal, each telling me of the level of urgency. I sincerely wonder what fits as a three-star urgency in the middle of the night.
"Aria, be ready for anything. We may need to fight people soon." An uneasy feeling gripped me, something which does not happen very often.
|Yes, father! Systems are operating at maximum capacity! :D|
"Yomi, be on guard. I don't necessarily want to reveal your presence for no reason but can I count on your help if I need it?" An imaginary nod is my answer as she replies."Sure thing... but there is very little I can do in this form. I can unleash my KI and, even if that alone may be enough for most situations, temporarily give you a part of my body but that's about all I can do right now."
"Good enough." And with that, I walk up the stairs, having made sure that all of my gear and equipment was in place alongside the Gourmet Mask.
With uncharacteristic hesitation, I opened the door and walked outside to be met with a rather comical scene. On the one side, a mass of heavily-armed and heavily armored mafioso's and on the other a bunch of shady-looking characters with medieval weaponry, such as scythes, swords, stakes and.. wait, stakes?
I cracked my neck as I decidedly broke the thick atmosphere and said."Anyone want to explain what the hell is going on here?"
"Sir! These freak-shits decided to break into the building a couple minutes ago, managed to do it without making a fucking sound too! We mustered our forces as quickly as we could and forced them to come out of the shadows, been standing here eyeing each other ever since." A large black-skinned man going only by the codename Tyrone, answers me with respect clear in his tone.
Nodding at him, I turn my head around toward the only one among the Vampire Hunters that is carrying a scythe, because logic dictates that must be their boss... or boss lady, now that I inspected her more closely."Well? Anything you want to add on?"
"I have nothing so say to you, inhuman wretch!" She exclaims with pure hatred filling her voice.
Blinking at her in surprise as an older man in the back lines twitched uncomfortably, I let out a laugh."Inhuman wretch? Well, I do suppose I am a bit more than merely human, but what exactly did I do in order to warrant such an exquisite response?"
She blinks right back at me, her shoulders somehow relaxing at my question."That is not important right now... If you want to live, slice your wrist and bleed so that we all may see it!"
I blinked at her again. Yomi, what is she hoping to prove?"The color of ones blood dictates ones humanity, for only humans bleed crimson... and some half-breeds but that's incredibly rare."
I then smiled at the Vampire Huntress and quirked an amused eyebrow at her."As you wish."
And with that, much to the surprise and confusion of my family, I promptly slit my wrist and watched as crimson blood poured forth. Soon after, before anyone else could react, one of the vampire hunters leaped toward me and grabbed my bleeding arm."Remarkable! To have so much dark energy inside of your soul and yet not even beginning to feel the grip of death! Never before has there been such a specime-oh, what is this? You seem to be regenerating?"
The wound on my hand heals easily enough as I turn my head around."They're called nanomachines, friend."
And then tell my mafia to leave with a wave of my hand."Are you sure boss? They seem like the really creepy types." Tyrone said with some worry, the poor guy."Its fine Ty, I think I know why they're here... and yes, it has to do with my latest contract."
With that said, understanding gleamed on all of their faces and they lowered their weaponry, hunter and mafioso alike. I turned my head back around."Though, you guys could most certainly have come inside in a more... civil, manner."
The woman from before then gave me a surprising bow of respect."Please, forgive us for our earlier insolence. The blame is all mine, for anyone who managed to kill a member of the vampires royal family, no matter how young she was, is worthy of our respect."
That was a member of a vampire royal family?"Why do you think I was so adamant about not leaving the soul behind?"
Shrugging at apparently nobody, I spoke."Its fine. We, well I, managed to subdue the situation without needless blood being spilled, which is something I don't normally do by the way... now then, shall we take a seat? Perhaps I could interest you in some tea?"
Now, its their time to promptly repeat what the actual fuck inside of their heads. Hah, the looks on their faces tell me all I needed to know. Vampire Hunters or not, they're just people in the end. The still-quite-rudely-nameless woman then waved her escort away, the only other hunters remaining behind being the cringing elder and the obvious researcher of their group.
Sitting down at my kitchen table, I promptly wait for them all to do the same before asking the million dollar question."So then? Who are you? And, perhaps more importantly, why are you here?"
The woman then nods grimly and speaks."I suppose I should introduce myself... I am Palmira, no surname, Master Hunter of The Shivering Cross Order of Vampire Hunters."
"Pilgrim, eh? Or was it The City Of Palms? Hmm... either way, that is a very unique name." I blurted out before I could stop myself as the woman nodded in embarrassment and lowered her head. Poor girl, she probably never really thought what her name really meant, even if its origin is indeed Italian.
"I am Abel Laban, the chief researcher for our order. I... do not usually follow my comrades during missions, but this was an opportunity I simply could not let slip." The white-haired man in a lab-coat says with some interest.
The cringing old man in the corner simply cringes again."I am here to act merely as an observer. You needn't know my name."
The other two make an O sigh with their mouths as they realize that they probably shouldn't have given me their names and I let out a chuckle."Well, alrighty then. I suppose all of you know my name. Now then, onto the next question... why are you here?"
"We are here to investigate your existence, young one. We had investigated you before and, even with all the human lives you've taken, we could not do anything about it for we are forbidden from interacting with the normal world." The elder spoke with an arrogant tone, anger and fury in his voice.
I simply beamed him a smile."Good! I'll immediately add on that I do not actually eat those I kill, thank you very much."
Abel then turns his head to look at Palmira with an I told you so kind of look before the elder continues."Regardless, the amount of lives you've taken cannot be easily forgiven, Gourmet."
"And you want me to make what happened on my last contract a normal part of my job, all in an effort to redeem myself... too bad I'm going to continue killing humans, even if greater prey is available." They all shook where they sat, all experiencing fear from a being they most likely never encountered before.
With a harrumph, the elder says."You do not realize your current situation, brat. If I wanted too, if any of us here wanted to, we could very easily end your miserable, inhuman existence."
Ah, there it is. I promptly smiled at the elder before signaling Yomi to pop her aura for a moment."Are you sure about that, I wonder?"
He quirks an arrogant eyebrow at me before the entirety of the world loses its coloration for a moment, the researcher guy slams his head onto the table as he loses consciousness, Palmira stiffens entirely unmoving and the elder stand up on shaking legs, his hands on the table just barely keeping him from falling to the ground. My oh my Yomi, if your presence is this powerful, how come I can't feel it nearly as badly as these guys?
"Well for one, we fucked and I like you, two, you've already killed half the amount of people I have which naturally makes it only 50% effective... and three, you are a revenant, KI is part of your nature." She promptly explains with an imaginary shrug.
Aw shucks, I like you too, baby.
With that, the worlds coloring returns, Abel is still unconscious, Palmira is still shaking but the elder manages to recover. I guess he is pretty strong, despite his age."W-w-w-what was t-that?!" He exclaims with some effort as I stand up and walk over to him.
Grabbing his chin with a hand, I spoke whilst looking directly into the xenophobe's arrogant eyes."There are things in this world which your fragile mind can scarcely imagine, elder. I think now is the time for you to give me whatever contract you have... before I decide to slaughter all of you and feed your fresh corpses to my tiger."
"H-h-h-he d-d-does n-not h-have t-them! H-here!" Palmira hands me the papers and I beam at her a full smile.
Turning around, I yelled out loudly."Tyrone! Please, make yourself useful and show our... dear guests out."
The man quickly runs over to me before bowing."Yes, boss!"
Then he takes one look at them before saying."Geez boss, what did ya do to the old guy? Its like hes about to piss himself."
"I guess I just have that effect on people." Shrugging at my disinterested reply, he then promptly escorts them out of the mansion.
One Hour Later... - Rome - Leonardo's Point Of View...
As I stared down at the busy nighttime alley below, a sudden though woke me up from my random spree of rooftop jumping."Hey Yomi, I seem to remember you saying that my immunity went away when I entered EUPHORIA with you? Any idea why that is?"
Several uncharacteristic shrugs followed behind my question."Well, I don't really know, truth be told. Its like you've become an entirely different person... like the explanation you gave that one NPC about Destined Ones getting new bodies even if they carry their own souls might actually be real."
"So there is a chance that EUPHORIA isn't a game, but an actual real world out there somewhere?" I asked her with some disbelief.
She replied with an equal amount of confusion."Well, yes and no. I believe that it is actually a magically created plane of existence... but that would require a tremendous amount of magic to create, not to mention how magic of that scale could be felt by any self respecting magus on earth, human or otherwise... and yet, I feel nothing of the sort."
"What if the earth itself created it?" I randomly blurt out in a moment of what seemed to be immense genius."That... could work? But the earth hasn't done anything since... well, a shitload of time ago."
I blinked."Wait, the earth is actually alive and capable of such things?... why am I not surprised."
"Where do you think all the so-called natural mana comes fro-... wait, you actually made that assumption without having any prerequisite knowledge, didn't you?" She pointed out with an imaginary blank stare and I simply nodded in turn.
"Okay, that's it. Fucking find the nearest comfortable place and sit the fuck down because I'm SO teaching you magic." Well fucking finally, I'd say.
Suddenly, I stopped dead in my tracks as I was about to leap down from the rooftops."Dude... Yomi... if the Earth really did make EUPHORIA... Then uh, doesn't that make me her sons best friend?"
She blinked at me before realizing what I meant."Well, technically we are all children of the earth but... yeah, that would make Harold her son."
"Okay, this has officially become one of the best days of my life. I learned that my favorite game is made by the planet I live on, you decided to teach me magic, I got myself a sentient AI for a daughter and my best friend is potentially way more than he seems." I proudly proclaimed with quite the bit of excitement.
|Uh, mom... somethings wrong with dad! Unknown hormones are like, EVERYWHERE X_X|
"I think he's actually happy." Was Yomi's straightforward and disbelieving reply as I promptly ignored the both of them and found a nice place to sit down in a nearby park where nobody could really see me.
"Okay, I think this is a good enough spot... so what do I do now, Sensei?" My almost childish excitement seemed to be radiating off me as Yomi did a double take."You.. you are the first human, nay person, whom I've ever met that could just... change their entire fucking nature in a single moment. Y'know, if this is an actual ability you have, then our previous theory might not be correct and you just get so damn into it that you actually BECOME Rhean."
"Oh who cares about that right now! Teach me some cool spells so I can go kill stuff in very creative ways, preferably blood magic." Yomi blinked in surprise at my reply and then spoke with a bloodthirsty smile."Now that, I can get behind. It just so happens that blood magic is one of my favorite schools out there... but first, you're gonna need to start with the basics."
She then takes in a deep breath and a strange image of her being dressed in a sexy teacher outfit with a long-ass ruler in hand appears in my head... kinda distracting, really."Hmm, where do we start? First, I suppose we should activate your mana flow."
A deep pain strikes me around my heart for a moment and I am forced to close my eyes before re-opening them to find that my auspex activated by itself... however, this time, it seems like its range has increased from what was around fifty meters to nearly two hundred."ARGH!" I grunted out in pain as I experienced sensory overload for a second before shutting it down."Interesting... your auspex activated as soon as your mana circulatory system became unclogged."
An eye-enhancing power activated as soon as my magic did?... wait a minute, is this chaos telling me that there was something I needed to see?
Shaking my head out of my stupor and standing up, I activated my auspex again, controlled this time."Huh, is something wrong, Leo?"
I turned my head around and then looked behind me only to finally notice a strange, red-eyed man looking right at me from what was probably a hundred meters away. His soul is crimson and black so he isn't a vampire but... I don't think he's a friend."Yomi, there's a dude looking right at me around a hundred meters on my six. His soul color is crimson and black."
"Oh my... it would appear that you've walked into a werewolf's territory." A werewolf, in the middle of a capital city?
Huh, humanity must be losing worse than I thought. I promptly turned around to fully face the wolf in question and said."I can see you, wolf. What do you want?"
The red-eyed man then shakes in surprise before regaining his calm and walking over to me to reveal that its actually a teenager around the age of seventeen."What I want is simple, I want you to piss right out of my territory, freak!"
Now now, what exactly is it that I've done to warrant all these arrogant brats shit-talking me?"It must be your lovable aura, Leonardo."
What the fuck ever. Yomi, can you take the form of an axe? I'm interested in how the soul of a werewolf tastes!"Sure thing. Open up your left hand."
My greed and hunger is apparently written all over my face as the youngling trembles slightly before he transforms, the sound of tearing skin and creaking bone erupting all around. Within moments, an incredibly intricate white, or rather, discolored axe forms in my hand and I charge right at him.
"Now you're gonna face the true fury of a wer-WHA?! DUDE THATS NOT FAIR!" He exclaims during his transformation, only barely managing to nimbly dodge my strike as it finishes.
Not giving him a verbal reply, I pull Eliot out of its pocket sheath and stab him into his left eye."AAAAAARGH! You'll pay for that you human fucker!"
He quickly recovers and strikes me down, my body slamming across the earth below with a resounding thud. Rather than scream out from the pain as my broken back is nearly instantly repaired, I find myself... softly rejoicing."That's what you get fo... what the fuck, you're... smiling?"
The teenage wolf says with a shocked tone as he takes a few steps back, blackened tendrils made out of nanomachines erupting from my backside before retreating back into my body, signaling that the final repairs were done.
Aria, set brain limiter on my entire body to 80%.
With that command issued, I felt my muscles condense together, my bones tremble and my tendons scream out... but the sheer rush and excitement of my current situation overwrote all of that with terrifying ease.
There was now an worthy opponent for me, in real life. The very reason I first started playing EUPHORIA was to find such capable fighters, for I felt that I was always too strong for mere humans... now, lets see just how strong or weak I really am.
Standing up from the ground, the shaking wolf reels and backs away in fear and horror."W-what? I f-felt your f-f-fucking b-back b-break! H-how are y-y-you s-standing?!" Poor sod, he's probably never seen a human do such a thing.
Wordlessly, I charge him again as he hastily rips Eliot out of his eye and throws it at me in an effort to slow me down, but only managing to arm me with it. Within moments, I am upon him again, this time predicting the way he would dodge and spinning around as I reach within striking distance, the axe in my left hand slicing through his stomach as he leaps to the right."AUUUUUUURGH!"
The boy screams out in pain, one of his clawed hands clutching his stomach as his soul quickly begins to shift, my auspex revealing his panic, his fear to me. He hesitates for a moment, taking a long look at the black blood on his claw, his blood that is.
Long enough for me to charge at him again as I switch the axe and dagger in my hands, raising my right hand high into the air as I slam it down while aiming for his head and plunging the dagger into his upper left chest, right above where the human heart would be. The pain caused by the dagger rockets him back to reality, making him move his head away from the axe in time, causing it to dig through his shoulder as I quickly let go of the dagger.
He bites back another scream and shakes me off of himself as he tears the dagger out of his flesh again, allowing his regeneration to kick in as he desperately holds his separated shoulder closer in an effort to reconnect it. Then, as soon as the shoulder is connected even if only by a small margin, he drops on all fours and starts to run.
To his credit, he managed to nearly make it out to the pavement of one of the parks many roads before I pulled him back into the bushes, one of my hands grabbing the backside of his head, the wolfs mane proving to be move than enough of weak point to force him down onto the ground.
He opened his eyes one last time, just in time to see the joyful moment when my axe split open his skull.
I stood up from my semi-kneeling position and grinned. My bloodthirst and hunger for a good fight had finally been sated, in the real world!
Of course, my immediate thoughts afterwards focused mainly on how to find more of such delicious opponents. The wolf this time was strong enough to shatter my backside in a single blow, even if it was just a stupid kid... which makes me wonder just how strong an elder would actually be."Ha... ha... ha... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAH!" My maddening laughter tore through the night as I donned my Gourmet Mask and watched in interest as the wolf transformed back into a human boy, his split face carrying a wonderful look of absolute terror.
Activating my auspex on pure instinct, I noticed several strange figures watching me from the sidelines.
A man in a governmental suit, an Italian agent who seemed to share my ecstasy as he watched me kill the wolf. I saw his mouth move and I forced, strained my ears as best I could to hear what he was saying."... sir, I believe I may have just found the perfect candidate for PI."
PI?... Project Inhumanity? Wasn't that shut down because the moral code of the UN was too much for those involved?
Interesting..."HehehehehehhahaeheahaHAHAHAHAH!" I began laughing madly again, my auspex revealing that the area was actually surprisingly devoid of life.
Speaking of lifelessness, a colorless soul of immense proportions is currently sitting on a bench a couple meters in front of me... how the hell did I not notice this old dude?"You needn't worry your little head about that, youngster... I must say, this was quite the show."
And soon, he appeared to reform back into reality, standing an imposing two meters tall in front of me. Ah, he was invisible, that's why I didn't notice him. I raised my head up, the first thing I noticed were the glistening fangs protruding from his mouth...
An elder vampire approached me right after I killed my first werewolf... this better be what I think it is."Oh my, quite the deductive skill you have there, youngster... and, in short, yes. I am here to recruit you."
"You were going to kill me, weren't you?" I point out with a smile as my ecstasy seemed to cool for a moment and the old man nods sagely."I have indeed... after all, you have slain one of my newest daughters.. but..."
"After watching me kill this guy, you decided that you might have a use for me, Mr Vampire King." I say with a smile as I walk out onto the street, as the Shōkyaku-shobun-shimasu melted back into my flesh and I put Eliot back into his pocket sheath, where he belonged.
The elder vampire merely chuckled."Oh, dear me, no. I am no such thing as a vampire king, merely a noble of decently high ranking."
A nod was his answer as he sat next to me with curiosity written all over his frame. Hook, line... and sinker."So then, what is it that you want me to do, sir?"
He blinked in surprise."Respectful, even to one whose original desire was your death... truly, you are a revenant like no other."
Then he sighed as we both turned our heads around to see two strange men dressed in black, slowly dragging the corpse of the wolf away into some form of magic portal."Ah, you have never seen these people before, have you?"
"No, I haven't, but if I had to guess, they're the reason humanity is mostly ignorant of you guys existence." I said as I watched the two disappear into seemingly thin air.
The elder vampire nodded at my assumption, thus confirming it."Indeed. Those men you just saw belong to an organization called HI, short for Human Ignorance as I am lead to believe."
"How fitting..." I muttered in quite a bit of distaste in my tone as I turned back toward the elder."So? What do you want me to do?"
"Straight to the point, eh? Well, I do like that about you youngsters, makes for a refreshing side dish after all the political bull us elders go through daily... anyways, what I want is simple. Do not kill anymore vampires from my coven." He spoke the last part with power resounding through his voice.
"My father has plans for this country's government. I can't rightly tell him to fuck off whenever he orders me to kill a politician or any other high-level figurehead." I shrug and spill the truth as the elder's eyes grow wide from my proclamation."... Interesting... I used no small amount of power to enrich those words and yet, you appear to be mostly unaffected... strange."
He then shakes his head."No matter... I do no believe that you said that as a form of challenge but in hopes of an accord, yes?"
I nodded toward him."My family may be human, but we are also a Mafia family which basically puts us on the same side as yours."
"The darkness of humanity, eh? Well, you do have a point... what do you propose?" He asks me with a quirked eyebrow and I closed my eyes in thought."How about... you give me a list of your agents/children and I give you the names of those who belong to my family Mafia? This is to make sure we keep out of each others hair... or reach another accord if the situation demands it."
A silent nod is my answer."Indeed, having a powerful mafia on our side would indeed make an excellent opportunity for my young to prosper more easily."
"You mean that you want us to create a bunch of safehouses where your clan could come to rest and recover without having to face the threat of Vampire Hunters? Okay, that's doable but, what can you offer in turn?" He places a hand to his chin in thought before replying."Well, for a start, I currently lack any good chores to give out to my youngsters... if, per say, your side could give me a list of potential victims, we may be able to take some heat off your shoulders, Mr Gourmet."
I grimaced for a moment."Ugh, as much as I hate giving away my targets, I suppose the trade off is sufficient. Now, before we seal the deal, let me call my dad here." The elder makes an oh sound before nodding again.
Quickly getting out my spare phone, I promptly push in a quick call to father which he answers within moments."Argh, what is it in the middle of the bloody night?!"
"Pops, I just got a potential new ally for the family... A certain clan of vampires wants to make friends with us and I think you should be here for it."
"... where the hell and what the hell are you doing right now, kid?"
"Oh, I'm currently sitting right next to someone who is quite possibly a thousand year old bad-ass on a bench in Palatine Hill... sending you my coordinates now."
"... Something tells me that I shouldn't be surprised... *deep sigh, I'll be there in 10."
And with that, I turned around to the elder vampire and handed him the list of targets given to me by Palmira."Oh? What might this be?"
"The Shivering Cross paid me a visit tonight and promised me death if I didn't kill the people on the list... mind putting an extra guard or two near my mansion just in case?" The elder looked up and down the list with panic."How do they even know all these locations?! Hells toll, I must have a spy in my midst!"
Then he looked over to me and nodded."Thank you for giving me this, young lad. You've already proven to be a worthy ally... I shall send two of my elder daughters to your Mansion."
"Can they take masquerading as maids?" I ask him and he gives me a toothy grin."Well, they started out as maids in a lords castle... I don't see why such a thing would be a problem for them."
Unable to help myself, I grinned as I extended a hand toward the vampire."Old man, I think that the two of us are going to get along just fine."
He smiles at me and takes my hand before giving it a firm shake."The feeling is mutual, youngster. Oh, and please, call me Istvan."
My entire body suddenly froze as I found myself shaking."Hmmm? Is something wrong, youngster?"
"Around two meters tall... utterly black hair... predatory yellow eyes... long black and red overcoat with a silver colored inside... aha.. hah.. hahah.. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAH!" My maddening laughter echoes high as I leaped up from the bench and slammed a hand to my forehead.
"OH MAN, THIS IS AMAZING!" My exclamation only served to further confuse the elder vampire as he quirked an eyebrow at me in confusion."... May I ask what is it that you find so amusing, young man?"
I look at him with a grin, my own eyes shining gold in the dark of the night as I grab him by the upper ends of his overcoat."Tell me... would your last name, by any chance, actually be J. Helix?"
He blinks at me in surprise before narrowing his eyes at me."And how exactly do you know this information, young man?"
Insanity overcomes me the second I hear his semi-confirmation, making me grab my head with both hands as I throw myself to the floor, quite literally rofling my heart out when suddenly, I just stop and, while still laying sprawled out on the floor, I ask."Tell me, do you have a former wife that goes by the name, Slymae?"
His body is shaking now, former confusion replaced by uncertainty and fear."I... may...?"
"Then tell me one last thing, old man... have you ever heard of the supposed virtual reality game named..."
And I rise, dramatically toning my voice to perfection."... Euphoria?"
Don't mind me guys and girls! I'm just a line break...
And that is it for this chapter of EUPHORIA! I sincerely hope that you enjoyed it!
Not much else to say here... except that this chapter is twice as long as my normal ones...
As its a dead-people oriented holiday today, I need to leave house in order to go visit some graves and pay my respects, dunno when I'll be back, but do check out my other fic while I'm at it. :D
Anyways, read and review! And Good Morning/Day/Night to you all! ADIOS FOR NOW!