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This article, Mistress and the Hound, is property of Illuminate Void.

This article, Mistress and the Hound, is property of Njalm2.

This article, Mistress and the Hound, is property of Chrono Nexus.

SynopsisEdit

Following the events of Inquisition of the Pacifist, Dorothy and her army has retreated into the shadows, quietly watching the aftermath of their attack. Rutilus and Flamen return from their own encounters, providing details on new possible enemies, before they are reassigned to continue their investigations. Michael Valoel Armstrong arrives on the scene at the playground, sniffing out devils and confronts one of Rutilus Barghests. A blinding chase ensuses, followed by a climactic battle at the construction site. Ishida Ryuichi makes his appearance, jumping into action and aiding the German exorcist. Forced into an untimely retreat, they prepare for this unknown evil that has now plagued Karakura Town.

Type: Heavy Combat, Light Adventure

CharactersEdit

Rutilus looked out across Karakura town from one of the tall cliffs at the towns outskirts. He was waiting patiently for the small pack of Barghest he had dispatched to return to him with information on his Mistress' current whereabouts, she had been somewhat sketchy after her run in with the Shinigami some time ago. Then again, she had always been cautious, sometimes even borderline paranoid.

The Barghests returned shortly, approaching from the nearby shadows, glowing red eyes directed at him; they had seemingly found her. Rutilus nodded before he commanded them to lead him to her, he had to tell her about what the Barghests had found out shortly after his Mistress little game with the Shinigami.

Once they arrived at her hideout the first thing he saw was the small and frail shape of Aurora Vespera her red eyes seemingly gazing right into his soul, at least they would have if he had one. But still, it was surprisingly unnerving. The girl nodded slowly before she made notice of him to follow her, and began leading them towards their mistress..

Aurora had immediately took notice when Rutilus returned. Out of all of the Diabolus he was perhaps the strangest, if not the kindest towards her. It was...good, in a way. Her mind, thought back to the children caught in Dorothy's game, and although she felt some remorse, it was quickly crushed. It was unfortunate they were caught up in her mistresses schemes, but it had to be done. As Rutilus approached her she nodded in acknowledgement turned around and lead him inside.

Dorothy had a rather twisted sense of irony, choosing an old, religious temple devoted to keeping evil spirits at bay as her hideout. Of course with the application of barriers, sealing, and illusions, the template was properly warded, alarmed and most of well, fortified. Aurora and Rutilus found Dorothy lazily stretched out on her...throne, a sort of makeshift altar transfigured as a throne fit for a king. She was sipping a glass filled with a red liquid....judging by its scent, it was likely blood...human at that.

"Ahh Rutilus! You've returned, did your cute hounds find anything of interest?" she asked.

Rutilus signaled for one of the biggest of the Barghests whom had accompanied him, it walked over and lied down before his feet, before he spoke, his voice stern: "The Barghests have noticed that there's more than Shinigami in this town, there seems to be some odd form of Spiritually Aware humans as well, particularily a young boy that I noticed a while back in one my earlier bargains"

Rutilus folded his hands across his chest as he walked back and forth "There was also this odd man that presumably brought down one of the imps that played the main part in your games. He seemingly lacks Spiritual Power, the Barghests were at least unable to sense anything from him. I think I'll attempt to make contact with him at a later date, I think it'd be wise of us t-" Rutilus is interrupted by the sound of the massive doors to the temple being forcibly slammed open; revealing a blue-haired man wearing a characteristic purple coat, which was long enough to run just past his knees.

The newcomer walked quickly up to Dorothy as he kicked one of the Barghests to the side violently, eliciting a yelp from the beast: As well as angry growls from Rutilus and its brothers, the Blue-haired man began to speak almost immediately, not letting Rutilus finish his sentence at all "Mistress, I've come to inform you of some troubling creatures that I encountered - they define themselves as Pagan Gods and have proven themselves VERY, with extra emphasis on "Very" , annoying." the newcomer tapped his foot indignantly for some moments, before continuing.

"I happened to get abit rough with one of theirs, you see.. and then I was assaulted by an effeminate vanity-salad of fanatic justice! Now, this guy was especially annoying, he asked me to leave but then he quickly decided to follow me instead; he stopped me several times and all the while openly exclaiming how he were a "God" and how horrible I was and bla-bla-bla" The newcomer, whom the other Diabolus present would instantly recognize as Flamen seemingly continued to mutter several not-so-decent phrases and oaths of which only a single line was identifiable, namely "How I miss Hell".

Rutilus grinned wickedly at him before he continued "Mistress, I'm going to, as I previously stated look more closely into this newcomer, he seemed knowledgeable enough about us to be a pain on a later occasion. While I'm up at it, I'll check out that Shinigami whom ye played with earlier" Rutilus folded his hands across his bare chest as he awaited his Mistress response.

Dorothy seems oddly amused by the two of you, but considers the information carefully for a second before responding. She points a finger lazily at Rutilus as she says, "Very well then Rutilus, continue with your investigation, but keep me informed of any new...developments. While you're at, dig a little onto any notable spiritually aware humans you find. If they can be corrupted then that is certainly a boon for us. Though make sure you stay out of trouble...unless of course you're the one making it! Then by all means."

Her gaze lingers for a moment, those sinister red slitted eyes peering beneath that mop of blonde hair. Its quite unnerving. Like staring into the abyss, and hoping one isn't swallowed whole by the attempt.

"Now, Flamen, you mentioned...Pagan Gods?" She said questioningly. "How odd, if you can, look into this." Flamen's face fell at that, though Dorothy seemed to enjoy his suffering, if only for a little. "You don't have to look for them, just get me some information, something we can use against them. But thats your secondary objective, your primary is helping Aurora with the surveillance. I don't want her alone in case she has to meet with any other Shinigami. Oh and as always, take note of any corruptible mortals. Now shoo, you have work to do to." To emphasis this point, she shoos the three away, as she sips her drink.

After Class MeetingEdit

Michael Valoel Armstrong pulls up to the quiet, empty school. The police investigation ended earlier that morning, having been unable to find any definitive clues as to the cause of the playground's destruction. He gets off of his ancient, busted-looking motorcycle, and steps onto the grounds. The security guard tries to hault him, but stops cold as the full height of the 7-foot figure comes into view. Without looking at the guard, Michael mutters, "Detective" in a thick, nearly indiscernable german accent and brushes past the confused man.

Once past the gate, the hairs on the back of Armstrong's neck rise. Although the playground is located in the back of the school, he can already feel it: vast quantities of reiatsu have suffused the area. Among it is the familiar stench of evil... but there is also something else. Something pure.

He has to watch his step as he makes his way across the playground. A toppled tree is blocking the path, and the tangled remains of a swingset lie thirty feet from their original location in a shape reminscent of a pretzel.

"Vat in ze hell happened heya?"

One of the police officers present hurries over to Michael as he begin to explain a dozen of ridicolous theories, such as bombing, terrorism and the likes; none of which sound plausible, all that he knows is that the bombing took place at night, because there was noone whom heard the spectacle.

A few scientists are also present, though they are equally clueless: The Spiritual Power that Michael would undouptedly feel would be especially strong along the north wing of the Pre-school where it seems that it had the day before, more or less exploded in power for a single moment.

Over there though, an odd sight awaits him, a large dog seems to search around the rubble, sniffing for the very traces that Michael follows. Most oddly of all, is the fact that Michael doesn't realize that it is a Spiritual being before he takes a few more steps; naturally the other people aren't able to see it, and along with the realization that it is indeed a Spiritual being; comes the foul putrid stench of evil, mingled with the scent of dryed blood. This is most definately not a good-natured spirit.

The dog raises its head to look at you, its eyes glow dimly red - and something drips from its jaws, something red. Its intense stare seem oddly discomforting, as Michael would slowly find himself ambushed by latent fears, this however is over soon as Michael, trough many years of demon hunting would undouptedly have learned how to handle such situations.

The dog looks at him once more, clearly awaiting his move.

Reflexively, Armstrong reaches underneath his coat for his trusted revolvers... but stops short of pulling them out. Too many people here... all they'll see is me shooting a gun... Eh, screw the consequences, it's a demon. He whips out law and justice with practiced speed and precision, but by the time he brings the revolvers to bear on the hound, it has already vanished in a haze of darkness. Michael only barely glimpses its retreating form as it moves rapidly around the shadowy corner of the school and towards the street. It's at this point that he becomes acutely aware that every person in the vicinity is staring at him, and it's now blatantly obvious he is not a member of their investigation. Oh crap. Michael makes a break for it, and manages to get all the way back to the school's entrance before the police officers behind him are able to compose themselves and give chase. The security guard attempts to stop the stocky German, and gets closelined for his effort. Michael revs up his motorcycle, and spots the rapidly phazing hellhound farther up the street. The chase is on.

The ChaseEdit

The supernatural beast moves with uncanny speed, and is easily able to keep pace with Michael's motorcycle. In spite of his efforts, its ability to phase through shadows makes it an absurdly hard target to track. And if that wasn't difficult enough, he also has to contend with dodging and weaving through the traffic as he accelerates to deadly speeds, not to mention the squad of police cars in pursuit behind him. He does manage to draw a bead on the Barghest, however, and fires a volley of reiryoku-enhanced silver bullets at it, while his other hand controls the bike.

The Barghest barely manages to arrive at the foot of one of the shadows that cloak the railroad, it is gone before the bullet makes contact. Meanwhile, the police call for backup to stop what they deem to be a crazy madman shooting in all directions seemingly at random.

The shadows around the parade seems to spring to life as two more Barghest appears at either side, waiting for an opening to strike; as the police begin to shout at the bulky man that he is to stop the motorcycle: However, this is an order that Michael cannot follow, because of the fact that the minute he does that, the Barghests would be over him in but a moment, and the bloodbath would emerge for full.

Three more Barghest stealthily approach from behind the motorcycle while Michael is preoccupied shooting at their brother: The one closest to Michael makes a quick leap for him; aiming to grab ahold of his thick neck no doupt.

As the leading Barghest vanishes from sight, Michael notices motion in his peripheral vision and in his side mirrors. His instincts kick in, and he goes into a defensive 360° drift and sweeps the surrounding Barghests off their feet. The leaping hellhound manages to sink its teeth into his shoulder, drawing blood. After righting the motorcycle, he pulls the snarling creature off of him by its neck and thrusts it into a nearby set of trailer tires.

At this point the police unholster their guns and prepare to fire; meanwhile, several more of the Barghest seems to mysteriously vanish, as another creature appears. It is roughly twice the size as the normal Barghests and it is black, with maroon marks and patterns upon its paws, back, ears and the tip of its tail; the Spiritual Power it releases is several times the strength of the normal Barghest; Michael only manages to get a short glance of it before it vanishes.

The police have ceased shouting and take aim for Michaels motorcycle. They fire one round each, aiming to halt the vehicles movements completely and allowing them to apprehend the driver in question: One of the Police officers seem to shout into some sort of transmitter, the word "Helicopter" being heard trough the noise.

Of course it couldn't be easy, Michael thinks with a wry grin. He swerves sharply and passes underneath the trailer and across to the far right lane, positioning the truck between him and the squad cars that follow. This proves to be too much for his motorcycle's tires, and they become entirely stripped. Flecks of burning metal and sparks cascade around the rims as they beat against the concrete, but he continues accelerating across the Karakura town bridge. Up ahead, he spots an unwelcome sight; a large number of armed police officers have erected a barricade, and have blocked the other exits. Hovering above them is a chopper, ready to give chase if he manages to squeeze by. There's my escape vehicle. He grins again, the livid smile parting his square face.

The officers open fire on him as he speeds forward. Miraculously, their shots miss him, as he ramps off of an inclined trailer bed nearby and over the wall of squad cars. As he passes underneath the helicoptor, he grabs onto its underside and the momentum of the motorcycle carries the battered bike away. It lands some distance down the road and explodes.

Michael laments the loss of his trusted bike for a moment, until the nose of a double barrel shotgun slips out of the open compartment of the chopper and is pointed at his face. With his free hand, he grabs the muzzle and pulls. The police officer inside is hurled out of the chopper and into the bay below. Armstrong pulls himself into the interior. One look at the giant's frowning face and the .45 colt being levelled at him is all the motivation the pilot needs. They speed away across the bay, leaving the police force behind.

"Keep your eyes ahead, herr pilot." When the pilot tries to sneak a glance at Michael, the german fires off a warning shot past the officer's head and into the windshield. He doesn't look back again. As the helicoptor arrives near the opposite side of the bay, Michael quietly slips out of the chopper and falls into the waters below. As he drags his body out of the water and into the light of high noon, he spots a good hiding place some distance up the beach. An abandoned construction site, probably the skeleton of a resort condominium, lies ahead.

He pulls himself out of the water and strips off his drenched leather jacket and white undershirt. His rippling muscles practically sparkle in the light as he rushes toward the construction zone.

Man Versus BeastEdit

Michael had not been wrong in his deduction, at the Construction Site it was practically swarming with Barghest, oddly enough though they didn't attack. But it had to be well over a dozen - Michael could only assume that if he attacked one, the others would retaliate - He realized that he'd be hard pressed to defeat them under the circumstances.

At the middle of the construction site sat an especially large Barghest; Michael would instantly recognize it as being the creature from before, once he approaches it quickly changes into the shape of a young man, with maroon eyes and hair. However, naked, so much for the menancing first impression.

The man mumbles something along the lines of "Uhm, could you please put on hold for a moment" before walking behind some large iron bars, not even bothering to cover himself up as he goes, shortly afterwards he returns, still wearing very little; only a pair of red slacks, and leaving the rest bare.

"So, you're the one who's been shooting at my pack, be glad you didn't hit anyone, or I could've become slightly grumpy." The man seems to sniff in the air for some moments, as he seems to compare the scent the Barghest have picked up to that of Michael "Hmm.. a dish of slight peppermint, the penetrating odor of sweat, a generous amount of high-quality German Cologne. Yes, there's no mistake about it, you were one of those whom saved the children in my Mistress's little game" the man folds his arms across his bare chest as he regards Michael curiously.

Michael cracks his neck and knuckles as Rutilus speaks and dresses, and withdraws a small leather bag from his satchel. After undoing its drawstring, he scoops out handfulls of a white, chalk-like substance and smears them across his moist body. The rays of light passing through the steel I-beams surrounding the area catch and reflect the particles on him, and the motes of dust around him likewise shimmer in the sun. The sparkling juggernaut then slips a pair of massive, lion-headed motif gauntlets onto his forearms as he responds, "Vat of it? Just anothar stinking demon to kill... like othars befowe. And many othars to follow. And speaking of stinking..." He inhales through his sizeable nostrils for emphasis as his frowning eyes beat into Rutilus, "...how many muts do I have to take to the pound today?"

The seven foot three inch tall musclebound warrior assumes an offensive posture with unusual grace for his size. His stance resembles some type of cross between a boxer and a wrestler, resting the majority of his weight on his bent back leg and keeping his chest and face low, with his guantleted arms raised and extended forward above his chest. His gaze stares unfaulteringly at Rutilus, and the Daemon can practically feel the rage welling up from this peculiar mortal.

Rutilus appraises the man for a moment, before he reaches his hand up infront of him, before muttering calmly "Sanguis Ungues" as his nails suddenly extend into ten blood-red long claw-like protrusions, they're undouptedly coated with his Spiritual Energy, and thus they're likely incredibly sharp. He doesn't attack quite yet though, with a lazy motion he rolls his shoulders in preparation.

He tightens his slacks (It'd no doupt be incredibly embarassing if they fell off during the fight, no?) before he finally assumes an agressive stance; what happens next would undouptedly be abit blurry to Michael, as in the first moment he's assuming a stance, and in the very next he "Materializes" right in front of him midways in a leap; the red claws moving towards Michaels throat in a cross-like manner aiming to instantly decapacitate him.

Michael's assumptions weren't wrong. Like the lesser barghests under his command, Rutilus's speed is exceptional... but nothing can move that fast and turn on a dime. As the wrestler had anticipated, Rutilus is engaging in a direct, frontal attack, but even that expectation did not prepare Michael for the difference of their respective speeds. In a milisecond, Rutilus has already closed the distance between them in a single leap. Michael's has no opportunity to calculate a response, or even completely comprehend what is happening. Operating on instinct, the conditioning of his twenty years of training, and the plan he has already committed to, Michael falls forward, uncoiling his back leg to propel his massive body towards the speeding diabolus. He keeps his head low along with the rest of his body, and brings his left cestus into a guard, while his right arm pushes out from his center of gravity and up, propelled forward by his uncoiling back leg straining against the concrete below him. The full mass of his body, the weight of the cestus, and his magically-augmented and enhanced strength come to bear in a single attack at Rutilus as the diabolus flies through the air towards Michael. Rutilus's blood-red claws would no doubt have killed the human, but they do not quite hit their mark. It comes down to the reach of their arms. Michael's arms are simply longer, and so his attack impacts Rutilus before the arc of Rutilus's clawed hands can reach his vital point.

Rutilus is soundly hit as he flies backwards by the sheer impact, blood gushing from his mouth, but yet he's.. smiling? Before the figure seems to be, why, almost be "erased", quickly fading away into nothing: Only for the real Rutilus to appear behind Michael, claws moving in to attempt to mutiliate his back while he's busy with the decoy. "Hm, luckily for me I took precautions here: Or I'd be dead before I could truly get the blood boiling, and that'd be such a waste, eh?" After his attack on Michael, hit or not he'd quickly move backwards a few yards, so as to prevent a counter-attack no doupt.

That speed! Impossible! is all Michael can think as Rutilus's claws carve a deep, bloody X into his back, which will no doubt leave a permanent scar even if he survives the injury. With a cry of pain and a shocked expression, the German swings backwards behind him to fend off the attacker, but Rutilus easily evades him. But Michael's expression shifts from shock to a twisted smile as the blood on his back begins to intermingle with the powdery substance coating his body. The same powdery substance that now coats the claws and fingers of Rutilus Maculosus Lupus... well, what's left of them, anyway. The reflective substance acts like a powerful acid, melting away the flesh and leaving trails of acrid smoke. "Powdawd silvaw." Michael smiles, as the pain of his wound begins setting in. He isn't the only one that has left a mark.

Michael brings up his left gauntlet and aims it at Rutilus. The lion's head jaw opens, revealing a wickidly barbed blade. With a fiery and defeaning explosion, the blade is propelled out of the mouth of the cestus like a cannonball and flies at Rutilus. A length of chain is connecting the blade to the cestus, and begins rapidly retracting after it fires. If the blade hits Rutilus, it will start pulling him toward the heavy wrestler, who will then deliver a follow-up punch with his right cestus. If the blade misses Rutilus, it will instead embed itself in the cement behind him... and Michael will be propelled forward at a high speed, who will then deliver a follow-up punch with his right cestus.

Rutilus opens his mouth in a deaf shriek as he feels the Silvers cold embrace, his body goes completely numb, and he finds that he'd be unable to avoid the blow; So, this is how it ends, huh.. quite pitifully, I might add. However, before the blade reaches Rutilus, it moves around 180'degrees straight towards Michael himself: The two combatants look at it in utter disbelief, before a squeaky voice exclams from a nearby metal heap "Rutilus-samaaa! I've come to save you! And I'll defeat this bully in your place!" The source of these words seems to be a very unattractive little Diabolus: He stands at 4'8 feet, with wrinkly dry skin, and a multitude of warts. Even odder, he seems to wear a frilly apron and a matching maid dress; and in this peculiar get-up he strikes a classical "Nice-Guy" pose which is unquestionably derived from an Anime.

As the blade and the coil draws ever nearer it makes a quick movement to the right, as the blade appears to try to encircle Michael, undouptedly in an effort to attempt to restrict him with his very own chains; furthermore if it is successful the blade would quickly move towards his throat in an attempt to kill him.

"Wha-?! What sorcawy is this?" Michael tries to escape the attack, but is not nimble enough. His left cestus rapidly contracts the encircling chain, drawing it taught and trapping him in the thick links. The barbed blade hones in on his neck, but Michael manages to stop it at the last second by jerking his head down and grabbing the blade in his jaws. Droplets of blood drip out from between his chipped teeth, as his gaze turns to the ludicrously dressed gnome. They are screaming murder, and his face becomes livid with rage as he spits the blade from his mouth. "Rrrrrraaaaauuugghhh!!!" He flexes his muscles... practically his whole body, and bursts the chains entrapping him.

The small gnome quickly moves in front of Rutilus as he readies himself for battle; Three powerful iron poles are taken from the nearby heaps and are suspended in the air in front of him. As the gnome walks closer to the man, he closes his eyes for a moment, before he softly whispers to himself "two minutes" one of the iron poles sweep out towards Michael as a powerful cudgel, the works of Boolg's Psychokinesis giving it a powerful momentum indeed, a direct hit would undouptedly break, or perhaps even crush bones: After the first attack, the second pole would quickly move in an attemp to deliver a powerful horizontal blow to Michael's shoulder, and finally, the third pole would attempt to pierce his torso with an especially powerful thrust: Boolg seems to pant heavily after each attack, clearly driven to his maximum potential.

The ObserverEdit

The first time I felt that massive burst of spiritual energy, I'd been giddy with excitement. Finally a worthy opponent to test myself against. But I knew from experience that blindly rushing into an unknown situation was likely going to get myself killed.

When the police arrived on the scene, they were befuddled by the destruction wrought. They couldnt find any evidence of explosives, shrapnel, or any other debris that could shed some light on what happened that night.

But I knew.

Over the years I found that some reconnaissance was necessary so I had acquired many outfits from all of the major corporations and businesses. Disguising myself as a police officer was a common tactic I employed, as it made infiltration easy, especially for crime scenes like this one. Crafting the badge and ID had been easy too. Afterall if I could reverse engineer modern technology and adapt it for spiritual warfare, I could certainly do something as simple as that right?

Anyways, the playground brought more questions than answers. Whatever fought this Shinigami was certainly not a Hollow, that much I was sure of. But then the strangest thing happened, or rather what happened was pretty damn entertaining.

This...monster of a human, dressed in a trench coat, just plows through the detail, not even flashing a badge, just walks in like he owns the place. Then I notice something, he's got....some, mind you some, spiritual power. Its then I see two little blue horns coming out of the front of his head. I have to scratch my head at that, I hadn't seen that before. At the same time, my spiritual senses start tingling. I look around and notice this....dog...well I wouldnt call it one. See, it looked like it came straight outta hell - a Hell hound. Then this guy pulls out this pair of slick Colt M19111's, just like my own. A man after my own heart.

Apparently he's spiritually sensitive too, since he noticed the same thing. After that, like one of those western movies he lunges, making a mad sprint after the thing, and closelines, thats right, closelines the cops that try and stop him. He hops on his bike, and what proceeds after is one hell of a chase. I tail after him making liberal use of Hirenkayku, luckily I'm fast enough to keep up.

The man is tough, I'll give him that. The chase was short, but damn was it fun to watch. Not only that but the German, pulled off one hell of an escape, ramping off a trailer bed onto a Helicopter. I nearly crashed, just from the surprise alone. I followed after him, cause at this point, I just gotta know what he's going to do next, this man most undoubtably has my respect. So I stealthily follow the Helicopter on foot, I'd rather not draw attention to myself. But he didnt get very far before leaping off the damn thing into the water below.

I continued trailing him into the construction site, quietly making my way to the upper level where I wait. There in the room was the largest hound I'd ever seen. Reminded me of Houndoom from Pokemon, along with his posse. This one has..I'm not sure what to call it. I think it had spiritual energy, but it was none I'd ever felt before. But it was massive, far greater than my own, enough to give me pause. But this German guy? Doesn't even flinch. He takes an interesting fighting position. Just by looking at his stance, I can tell the guy is skilled. Houndoom as I'm calling him now, transformed into a Human form, says something in....Latin I think. I keep my presence hidden as I watch this battle unfold, and I'm impressed by the German's tactics. He's a brilliant fighter, hell he even anticipated Houndoom's attack.

But DAMN, that dog is fast. I could have sword that was Quick Attack! Got behind the German, and nearly cleaved him in two. But once again pure human ingenuity wins out, as the big guy minimizes the damage and brings his gauntlets up and unleashes a sword and chain?

Adding that to my list of equipment to make.

Hmm silver seems to be a weakness to them? Odd, but something to keep in mind in the future. Houndoom doesnt dodge, or rather appears unable to. Silver really is a weakness if it can freeze a being of his power up like that. Just as the barbed sword was about to finish him off, all of a sudden this...short disgusting...mongrelman interrupts the fight. Well..perhaps its time I introduce myself anyway. There are a lot of unanswered questions, and my instinct tells me these guys have the answer. I concentrate briefly, letting my Geist Knoten flow from my sleeves forming a familiar pair of pistols. I can't help the grin that worms its way onto my face as I descend upon the battlefield.

Devil May CryEdit

Bluish gray eyes sweep and canvas the terrain, as he takes note of a nearby support frame of iron poles, and crates - directly above Houndoom and his mongrel ally. But he doesnt have much time to ponder as the little monster wrenchs three nearby iron poles intent on crushing the German. Leaping down, Ryuichi brought his pistols to bear, one firing a slavo of shots at the ropes connected to the support above the dog, cutting through most of the rope. If his calculations were correct, he'd have about a good...thirty or so seconds before they came crashing down.

At the same time his other hand firing a trio of shots at the iron beams. His first shot smashes into the pole that would have injured the towering behemoth, deflecting it harmlessly to the side as it crashes into ground with a thundering screech. His second and third shots hit the two remaining poles, the first of the two colliding with horizontal beam causing it bend at the point of impact as its thrust into the ground, while his last shot diverts the last pole by a mere foot from hitting Micheal. Twisting midair he lands with all of the palpable fanfare of a meteor. Dual pistols held in his hands, the young teen gazes arorgantly at the spectale before him, a wry grin on his face.

The "Mongrel" mumbles a few words, barely audible as "Three.. two, one!" at the last count he vanishes abruptly, his Spiritual Energy fading completely from Ryuichi's senses for just a moment, before reappearing at a heap of trash some yards away: Quickly, the iron debris sorrounding Ryuichi's feet quickly spring to life as several thin, but long spikes of steel, undouptedly used in order to fasten the buildings; shoot out towards his torso at great speeds, undouptedly kicked to life by Boolg's Psychokinesis.

The ropes connected to the support seems to fall down at "Houndoom" and the "Mongrel" lets out a shriek of despair, before vowing revenge in a spectacular manner, as the iron spikes seem to lose alot of momentum thanks to his lack of concentration: However, the cause of this grief suddenly appears in front of Ryuichi, spinning the whole of his upper body around in an elegant kick, attempting to slam the front of his bare foot straight into the Quincy's side, aiming to send him flying several yards away and very possibly inflicting collaterral damage in the process.

Michael is perplexed at first as to what was deflecting the iron bars, but then spots Ryuichi landing nearby. He's just a kid! "No! You've got to getoutavheya!" He moves next to Ryuichi as the young quincy is firing, and has barely enough time to notice Rutilus's incoming attack... but rather than trying to block or deflect it, Michael interposes himself and lets it strike his chest. An audible popping sound can be heard as 3... no, 4 of his ribs are broken by the impact. The rest of the force of the attack is spread out and absorbed by his massive body. "I am youw enemy." Without pausing, Michael snakes his trunk-like arms around the offending limb (a fresh coating of silver dust is smeared onto parts of Rutilus's foot and leg as a result) and slams Rutilus into an I-beam nearby with enough force to cause the cement supporting it to crack. Dropping the speed daemon, he brings his right gauntlet to bear and prepares to fire... the jaws of the lion-headed cestus open, revealing a second blade.

An unfamiliar voice is heard "No, no Rutilus, this simply won't do.. you're being pummeled around by a mere kid and a gorilla." A young man, seemingly at Rutilus' age appears in front of the other Diabolus whom seems to be too busy groaning in agony so as to notice the newcomer: He leans down, grabs Rutilus by his chin and makes a few movements with his left hand, as Rutilus is surrounded in small, but potent currents of wind, this works in a way so as to repel any small materials that come within range, Silver dust included: The dust is wiped away from Rutilus' legs, and he's then left to recover.

The newcomer then calmly takes a bow for his adversaries, as the small gnome known as Boolg rushes to Rutilus side, beginning to heal him trough some unknown method. "Good evening, I am Flamen Puteulanus, and given that my partner is poorly equipped to handle you, I shall fight both of you in his place, yes" The newcomer then seems to hover up above the air, and with a quick movement of his hand, a barrier is erected around Boolg and Rutilus, Flamen folds his hands across his chest as he mentions calmly "Hiberna" (冬, Latin and Japanese for Winter): Flamen's aura seems to increase explosively in power, as rime begins to form on the nearby heaps of iron, and creating a thin sheet of snow on the ground directly beneath him. The temperature also drops several degrees.

Flamen follows up with this by opening his mouth, as he with a "Blow a Kiss" like motion releases a thick blast of arctic cold from his mouth, the wave going in a perfectly sweeping crescent-like shape across the battle feel, creating husks of ice of varying sizes where it hits; as he directs the blast towards the two humans, no doubt, being hit is dangerous.

Ryuichi had been prepared to block the attack but the hulking German had unexpectedly taken the blow that was for him. Inwardly Ryuichi winced as he heard the mans bones crack from the impact. Heh, I gotta hand it to the old man. Taking a blow like that and still going for the counter. But enough is enough. He's beyond his own element at this point. No sense in letting him get killed. Dashing to the side Ryuichi brandished his pistols, ready to finish off this daemon, when he stopped cold. His spiritual senses going haywire, as it pounded against the walls of his head - DANGER!

He paused, narrowing his eyes, while he observed the newcomer. Nothing about him was even remotely similar to any creature he's dealt with before. Just like the one behind him. Their spiritual power was....kami it was disgusting. So evil, full of hate and malice. Like thousands of insects crawling over his skin, desperating trying to dig through his very bones. But how did he sneak past his own senses? It was like the bastard just materialized. Unknown enemys with unknown powers. Things were not in their favor.

Releasing his own spiritual energy, to act as a buffer, while the man spoke, Ryuichi carefully regarded the man. He took note of the latin spoken once again, but his moment of thought turned to one of surprise when he realized that this one knew magic. Immediately Ryuichi begins casting his own spell while the man speaks. "Feel the wrath of battle and accept this sacred chalice..." And just as he finishes, "...Sacred Bite!" Crossing his arms, a translucent rectangular beam of energy forms in front of him, then hurls itself forward its course set on the this Flamen. As soon as the spell fires, Ryuichi is already on the offensive, firing in rapid succession at every enemy in sight - hundreds of blue streams arc outward in what can only be referred to as....Bullet Hell.

Michael appraises the situation... three powerful demons, and at least a dozen barghests... versus myself and a kid... no, it would be disrespectful to call this gun-toting warrior a child. The skill and power he displays go well beyond my own. Nonetheless, we are vastly outnumbered... Armstrong raises up his Cestuses and pounds a large hole into the ground beside him. "Into ze hole! Come with me if you want to live!" He leaps down the opening, into the basement, and strikes the ground again before he can land, cleaving another breach and falling still further. He lands in the knee-deep filth of the sewer system, and a vile stench begins wafting up from the holes, along with the sound of running water.

Flamen muttered a single syllable as the Quincy released the bullets " Gelu Aer Contego (凍気盾, Latin and Japanese for Chill-Air Shield): The Reishi-Bullets slammed harmlessly into the crackling blue-white energy barrier, and as the smoke cleared, they had vanished: Flamen didn't even bother to follow, it'd be much too bothersome at this point, instead he reached down, and flipped a soundly protesting Rutilus across his shoulder, before he hovered up into the air and set the course for the Abandoned Temple that Dorothy currently saw as her headquarters, the enemy had gained knowledge of their greatest weakness, but perhaps the mistress could find some spells to counter that to a degree.

AftermathEdit

Ryuichi cursed under his breath, for the upteenth time as he and the German were wading through the underground sewer system. Of all of the plans the man had to come up with this had to be the one. Quincy can create spiritual platforms and ride them using Hirenkyaku in areas of spiritual energy. Luckily, he was a prodigy, so doing something like that, in his current environment was childs play. Though that didn't stop the giant from plowing forward until he ran out of breath.

Glancing at his...companion, Ryuichi grudgingly hurried along, digging into his pouch and using the gauze as wrapping to stop the bleeding. Luckily he always carried some basic emergency supplies, and the knowledge to use them. They had to stop for a moment as he administered the injuries, but thankfully the man was surprisingly tough.

He couldn't use his GPS system, they were too far below ground to make any use of it. So he had to rely on his navigational skills to direct them where they needed to go - his fathers hospital. They arrived through a nearby sewer entrance, just a block from the hospital. It had been difficult but they were able to get to the hospital without incident, and secure a room where the German could be treated.

Ryuichi hadn't bothered to ask any questions while they got away. But did address the man in his native language on where he was taking him, and that he would keep his secret safe from the local authorities. But for now, it was time to do what he did best, and that was prepare.

___________________________________________

Michael reclines gently into his cushioned bed, wincing as he does so. In spite of Dr. Ishida Uryu's efforts, the deep gashes in Michael's back are still incredibly sore. Actually, practically his entire body is. Armstrong ticks off the injuries in his mind. Four floating ribs. A wrenched shoulder. Lacerations on my other shoulder, and even deeper ones on my back. I won't be able to sit normally for a while... I chipped my teeth pretty badly, too. I guess I'll need to see a dentist. Oh, and I also twisted my ankle in that fall.

After a few minutes, he begins to idly examine the room. The clean, white walls are entirely bare of adornments, and in fact the entire facility gives off a very exact, no-nonsense kind of vibe. Michael contemplates if Uryu Ishida chose the decorations; they match his demeanor and bedside manor. Michael feels a bit lonely sitting by himself in this barren room. Ryuichi almost immediately left after introducing himself, seemingly busy on some errand or another, and now Michael has alot of time on his hands. He spends some of it shuffling through the magazines on the table next to him, but gives up shortly after. They are all in japanese, and he'd spend more time trying to decipher them than he would to comprehend their contents. He grabs the remote lying beside him to turn on the television and the absurd, yet entertaining, sounds of Japanese advertisements fill the empty room. A few minutes later, a news report airs, and an attractive young woman begins speaking rapidly about an armed criminal. After a few seconds, Michael recognizes the criminal is him. His mouth is agape in shock as he watches.

"A terrorist is at large in Karakura town! This dangerous fugitive is believed to be responsible for the explosion that occured at a local elementary school last night. Thanks to the dedication of the Karakura town police department, they were able to identify the man the following morning. The criminal asaulted and injured a security guard at the school, and the police attempted to apprehend him. He was able to escape on a motorcycle, and began firing at local traffic as the police chased him. The chase culminated in a blockade on the Karakura town bridge, but the fugitive avoided arrest by holding an officer hostage and hijacking a helicoptor. His current whereabouts are unknown. A construction site at the north end of the bay collapsed shortly afterward, and police have found evidence at the location which may implicate this individual. If you see this man, contact your local police immediately. Now, to our local International Terrorism Expert, Tony Tan-" The television shifts to the image of a smiling, balding scholar, who begins explaining that Michael is a member of some sect of extreme Neo-fascists and is attacking japan as a means of striking out against democratic and western ideals...

Michael falls back against his bed, and groans as he remembers his injury. He slowly brings a hand up to his forehead and shakes it. I can't believe it... I'm on television again! Infamy is just one step away from fame, after all! His mood greatly improved, a smile spreads across Michael Valoel Armstrong's face. "I'm back!"

The door to a car swung open as a tall young man wearing dark shades and a distinctive leather jacket emerged from the vehicle, he had managed to reach the Hospital Ishida shortly after the German Bodybuilder and the young teenager, but he had decisively decided to wait for the right moment. In this particular get-up he would immedeatly pass for a member of the Yakuza or a Biker Gang. The young man made his way into the Hospital, where he quickly made his way towards the counter; asking the nurse there if she had seen a particularily large man being brought to one of the rooms earlier: Given the mans rather unique appearance she was easily able to remember him and directed him to the designated room; she didn't even look up from her paperwork, which was good otherwise she would likely not have been so cooperative. The man arrived in front of the door to the Germans room, as he politely knocked on the door a few times, before stepping inside.

Michael looks at the figure entering, before adopting a shocked expression and pointing at him. "You!..." Michael's face slips back into a more neutral look and his right hand scratches his balding head before continuing, "...who are you?"

The stranger raises a hand to his face as he removes his shades, revealing brilliantly blue eyes, he strokes a hand trough blonde hair as he smiles friendily at Michael, compared to the borderline Yakuza he was just some brief moments ago he's changed completely.

The stranger walks by the bedside as he sits down in a vacant chair, studying Michael for a moment "Hmm.. I had expected someone less.. sincere" he speaks softly, obviously to himself; he seems to ponder for some brief moments as he proceeds to direct his attention back to Michael, his gaze ever the more serious.

"I am Hiroya, and you are the "Terrorist" on television. Which means that we have very little time, with your appearance I think pretty much everyone in the whole hospital would be able to recognize you from TV and we certainly can't have any of that - so for your safety, you'll be staying at my home for a while; I'm a teacher and i'm thus less likely to be suspected of anything negative" - the strange, oddly enthusiastic newcomer seems to beckon Michael after him in a hurried motion.

Michael shakes his head. "Mistar Hiwoya, I am glad of the offar, but I am safar heya. Doctor Uwyu, who owns this place, has told me I am safe heya, and so, I stay. We arrived in this woom by ze sarvice elevataw; no one has seen me. And I am in no state to be moved. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Michael Valoel Armstrong, and I am not a terrorist. I came to Japan to fight evil! But I am finding it strongar than I thought."

Hiroya turned towards Michael, before nodding "Well, I'm quite aware of that, I watched your battle with her underlings, and your valiant effort at the School grounds as well - and if you find those small fry powerful, I'm sad to inform you that their leader is practically worlds apart from those three you encountered" Hiroya walks towards the door. As he reaches into a pocket in his leather-jacket, pulling out a card; which he immedeatly tosses in Michael's direction "My address is written down on that card, come visit me when you get better. After you've found a suitable disguise - I imagine we have some pressing issues"

With these words the other man darts out of the room, closing the door carefully before dissapearing down the staircase.

---

At the end of the staircase leaned against a wall by the exit was a tall young man, his clothes clean and pressed, and his eyes obscured beneath his glasses and that mop of silver-gray hair. He gestures to the man as he approaches, speaking in an questioning tone, "So, mister Shinigami, what can we do for you today?" Ryuichi asked.

Hiroya put the shades back on before replying: "There is nothing to be done, I've finished what I came for, it'd be unnessecary to bother the son of Chairman Ishida with trivialities, and I've been aware that your father knew what I was since the time when he attended a meeting at my pre-school, about, well.. you - sure feels like a long time since you were a toddler" Hiroya smiles somewhat before he walks towards the door, obviously intending to leave.

With an audible laugh, the Quincy prince, smirks in response, "You came here looking for the German at our hospital, so you knew where he was, meaning you must have seen our fight and subsequent retreat. Given that you work at the preschool, and the spike of spiritual energy I felt last night...it wasnt hard to put two and two together. You fought another of that group didnt you?" He shifted his position, as the Shinigami seemed impassive as ever, though it was apparent that he was right. He had Hiroya's attention now.

"Why don't we skip the pleasantries...I don't normally say this, but given the circumstances, its inevitable. I'd like to work together. Obviously the German has a better understanding of the enemy than either of us, but he's still only human. We'll need to be ready the next time." Flipping out a business card he hands it to the Shinigami, "If you find any information, give my cell a call. I'm sure you're aware but silver seems act as a weakness. Thats a starting point, in the meantime I'll be checking into the occult and see if I find anything. Don't be a stranger." he said.

Hiroya frowned for a moment, clearly somewhat irritated at being ordered around by a boy seven centuries his junior "I'm going to search for other allies, as you too are but only a human, Quincy or not: I'll let you know when the time is right. Until then, I'll have to leave the town primarily in your hands until then, I trust you two to be more than capable enough" Hiroya reluctantly accepts Ryuichi's buisness card before he quickly moves out of the building, entereing the car he came with before driving out onto the road.

Between a Rock and a Hard PlaceEdit

It was apparent that Dorothy was not happy, and an unhappy Dorothy meant people were going to die. Not necessarily those who brought forth this anger, but nonetheless she was not pleased with the...results. Rutilus being man-handled like that was both shocking and appalling. That there was someone who could identify them, and was aware of their inherent weakness to silver was another. She waited patiently as Rutilus and Flamen entered her chamber, the former looking like his leg had been through a grinder.

"Rutilus. When I said it was okay for you to get into trouble, so as long as you made it. I meant that. Really I did. But if you ever...fight like a whipped puppy again..." Her carefree voice had taken a particular jagged edge, as her slitted red eyes burned furiously with rage. ..."I will personally kill you myself. I don't care if they have silver. If a limb is too much of a liability...cut it off! If its on your skin! Tear it off, but you make damn sure they that suffer!"

Her gaze lingers for a moment, and her anger seems to dissipate. "Regardless, I have another scheme in mind. Something to keep the "heroes" busy. As you know, Doctor Acuzio Nox has infiltrated and taken over a major pharmaceutical distributor within the city. He was experimenting with ways to seal Imps into physical objects, using a modified pentagram. His efforts have been...successful. So.." she says pausing for dramatic effect. "..we're going to load up these trucks with our...special medication. Aurora will be leading this operation, but suffice to say, its going be fun. We'll slip some information to alert the heroes.." she says mockingly. "They should be able to figure the rest out. In the meantime, I want the two of you to continue with your investigations. This time...I want results. Do you understand?"

Flamen grins wickedly at Rutilus "Mistress, he was completely hopeless; I think you should punish him as he's only been a liability til now" Rutilus doesn't seem to care though, as he speaks his voice composed despite his injuries "We got tons of results, Mistress - we learned of their powers, their painfully extensive knowledge of us: I for one am happy to be of assistance; its much better that I found this out now than if we found out through Aurora or yourself" A streak of worry crosses his face, likely in regards to Aurora. "After all, I'm simply the dog meant to allude the enemy away from the more irreplaceable members among us, such as you yourself and Aurora. "

"Tempting Flamen, but incapacitating my soldiers will do more harm than good. And Rutilus." Her eyes bore into your form, clearly annoyed by response. "I don't want good soldiers, I want exceptional ones. If you don't enough self-worth to crush your enemies without resorting to self-sacrifice, then be my guest and get yourself killed in the next mission." her features soften as appears right in front of you, her hand cupping your face gently. "I need you Rutilus. I need you all to be strong. Stronger than you are now...for the battles that are to come. But to do that, we need souls. More souls than you can possibly imagine. That is why we must be cautious. Dying is neither noble, nor does it serve me any purpose. But at the very least....I expect you to fight with everything you. Our survival depends on it....if you truly wish to serve me...as my Hell Hound, you need to live...and to do that...you must grow more powerful." Once again she is sitting on her throne, lazily gazing upon the two of you. "Now, as punishment, Rutilus...I need you to gather....ten souls within the next three days. And three virgins...female...I'm going to make a stew. Any questions?"

Rutilus shakes his head, as he leaves to accomplish his task.


The news at the second day from that time speak of a serie of grotesque murders; mostly of young men, but with one or two females as well, the numbers of victims are estimated at thirteen dead, and there is a report that three adolescent girls vanished tracelessly on their way from Karakura High School, similarily, three of the ones reported dead were also from this school, while the rest of the victims were from Karakura College.

Rutilus sits idly in his apartment as he watches Boolg tiddy around the apartment, cleaning up while preparing food; he had to admit that the Bestia had become quite good at it: Absentmindedly Rutilus reaches up with his hand in order to lick away at blood-stained fingers, upon one of which sat a ring with a prominent black stone.

Rutilus felt wonderful, after he had devoured the souls of those people he had grown greatly in power, and whats more.. he felt, oddly sated, he was prepared to help Aurora fulfill her task, actually, he had decided to help her "Light Warriors" protect the trucks, if he did that he'd undouptedly get the chance to exact revenge upon that human.

He raised up as he looked over at the corner of his home, three young girls were bundled together crudely, bound by chains of Spiritual Energy, ther School uniforms tattered and largely ruined; they were however unconcious. Rutilus walked over to the bundle as he tossed the girls across his shoulder in a quick manner; he masked his presence as he stepped outside, before he quickly moved towards Dorothy's hideout, she had requested a stew - and he, like a true gentlemen had been so kind as to fetch the ingredients.

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