Bad Bargains

5:51 PM Jaito
When the last bell rings, it's a blissful kind of noise for Shousei Yamazaki. FREED- "Po! Roast 'em!"<@Jaito> There's a familiar voice…one most other people are taking the other direction from down the hall. There appears to be some sort of commotion.
5:52 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
…A game battle? Shousei decides that investigation, at least briefly, would be prudent, in case someone /else/ is going to get hurt.
5:54 PM Jaito
Two tall girls are currently crowding a third…and a fourth stands with her back to the hall, gesturing as the tall girls glare back. "You…." one begins. "…are a dead woman," the other finishes.
5:54 PM
"Neko!" one shouts! "Mata!" shouts the other!
5:54 PM
Pretty much nothing seems to happen, but the tiny girl skitters back a step with panic written across her shoulders.
5:55 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
5:55 PM
…I'm not going to get context without goggles, am I. Oh well. He steps back to someplace at least relatively out of the way and rummages in his bag for them.
5:56 PM Jaito
The last girl is huddled in the corner, crying and huddling something invisible….which coalesces into a Jack Frost, tattered and slashed half to pieces.
5:56 PM
The girl Shousei ran into before is standing side-by-side with a tiny red fairy in Chinese garb, staring down two…well…bondage kittens.
5:57 PM
Behind them, their human mistresses are dressed…similarly under AR, nothing but glossy black PVC and the silhouette effect of unknown players.
5:57 PM
This is hardly school-appropriate.
5:57 PM
Stupid parental controls!
5:57 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
Hmm. Poor thing. He's going to wait to see what's going on before presuming, but crying girl plus creepy means he has a pretty good idea who he sympathizes with.
5:57 PM
That bit is also entering his mind, yes.
5:58 PM Jaito
Wearing a matching qigong, the girl has a giant fan over her shoulder and stands her ground. "Hua Po…if they so much as MOVE, roast them both…"
5:59 PM
The girls grin. "Maybe you don't understand…this girl didn't pay her membership fees. This doesn't concern you…you're just a freshman."
6:02 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
…Oh, this is going to be fun. Shousei- well, Veils at the moment, he should start thinking like it- Veils smiles, sliding through the halls and towards the wall behind the two idiots with bondage kittens, positioning himself to take advantage of the situation and their rather narrow scope of interest at the moment.
6:03 PM Jaito has set topic: Room aspect: MY FULL ATTENTION
6:03 PM Jaito
(Stealth! Gain +2 for revealing an aspect)
6:04 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
6:05 PM Jaito
No one notices Murakami…of course, who would?
6:05 PM
"Maybe you didn't understand! In the name of justice - Po, MARAGI!" she girl shouts!
6:09 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
If she can get through this herself, he'll consider asking her if she wants to play through some more of this Faerie War thing.
6:10 PM
Or whatever quest she's on. He's not 100% sure whether that's a metaplot or not. Or if that's even the right word. Anyway, this is kind of fun to watch.
6:11 PM Jaito
ATTACK: 4! …ATTACK: 1….vs.
6:11 PM
DEFENSE: 0!….DEFENSE: 2. ONE HIT! SPIN!!!!! POWER: 3 vs. RESIST: 0 - uh oh!
6:11 PM
One of the Nekomata goes up in a blast of black and red smoke. The other nimbly dodges and spouts knives like claws in anger.
6:11 PM
"NEKO!!!" one of the girls slumps to her knees. The other bares her teeth. "You…just moved up on our list. Mata, kill the fey."
6:12 PM
ATTACK: 1 vs. DEFENSE: -1 - HIT! POWER: 2 vs. RESIST: 0 - 4 stress!
6:13 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
Ouch. That looks like it hurt.
6:13 PM Jaito
Hua Po: [ ] [X], SLASHED
6:13 PM
The fey is barely still hovering. "…oooh! Why can't you guys just leave her alone! She just wants to play for fun!"
6:13 PM
Mata's owner laughs deep in her belly. "Whaddya mean? This IS fun."
6:16 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
A somewhat uncharacteristic grin spreads across Shousei's face from the shadows. "Taking advantage of people is fun? Two against one? You can at least take a risk and pick on someone who isn't a freshman, can't you?"
6:20 PM Jaito
Mata's mistress whirls. "Who the hell are you?! Come out!"
6:23 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
Heh. "You're not too wrong, though. This /does/ seem fun… what was that word again? Persona. That was it." Presumably the sudden blazing light of Oberon will deny Veils the benefit of stealth. This will probably become irrelevant very quickly, as there are some very sharp pointy bits heading at the nekomata.
6:27 PM Jaito
6:27 PM
ATTACK: 2, ATTACK: 0 vs. DEFENSE: -0-!!!!! HITS!
6:27 PM
POWER: 2, 2 vs. RESIST: 0, 0 - 6 stress! - uh oh!
6:28 PM
The other Nekomata goes up in bloody smoke as Oberon does a pair of elegant overhead slashes.
6:28 PM
"!!!" shows up over Mata's mistress. "…you're not worth it, ninja boy…but we'll be watching. And we're NEVER alone!" Unless stopped, the two big girls are going to bolt.
6:28 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
Ahh, yes. That was indeed the word…
6:29 PM
"Have fun. Neither am I."
6:29 PM Jaito
"Yeah, and you're both FAT!" the tiny girl shouts after them, going to cradle her Hua Po.
6:29 PM
The scared girl in the corner finally starts to sob.
6:33 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
Sheesh. "Good afternoon. I hear the nurse has healing available- but then you already know that."
6:37 PM Jaito
"I…I didn't need your help!" she shouts.
6:37 PM
The scared girl takes the chance to run away, while Shousei finds himself with 5 feet of angry directed athim.
6:37 PM
*at him
6:39 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
He nods. "I noticed, but people like that /really/ irritate me… is there a way I can make it up to you for the, what d'you call it, kill stealing?" Small smile.
6:40 PM Jaito
She blinks, totally surprised. "Y-you believ- I MEAN, SURE! You have to buy me dinner, like a proper gentleman."
6:45 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
Hey, she came very close to handling it. He's not going to call her bluff. "I suppose I can do that."
6:46 PM Jaito
She grins…then blinks. And then goes beet red in the face.
6:46 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
6:48 PM
Maybe he should clarify. Or change the subject. "So who were those girls, anyway?"
6:48 PM Jaito
"I'm…m-m-MEI MEI!…Mei Mei HAN! I mean, in real life. Look for…look for…LU BUMEI online." Her face comes into color and focus, revealing a much cuter than stern expression. "I'll be waiting!"
6:48 PM
She starts to run.
6:48 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
"…" What
6:49 PM
…Shousei is going to take the opportunity to take off his goggles and figure out wtf.
6:50 PM
In precisely those terms.
6:50 PM Jaito
Odd music starts to play.
6:50 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
…Wait, where's that coming from?
6:52 PM Jaito
6:52 PM
…across the glint of his glasses, he can actually see a CARD floating in the air.
6:52 PM
(Got any Lore?)
6:53 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
(One whole point.)
6:55 PM Jaito
(Roll it!)
6:56 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
6:57 PM Jaito
That…er, looks like a tarot card. There's a 1 on it. Eyes and hands, calling or summoning a flame. Weird.
6:58 PM
And just like that, it vanishes in a poof of sparkles.
6:58 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
Shousei crosses his arms for a moment and resolves to hit Wikipedia when he gets home.
7:00 PM
A thing which it is probably time to do.
7:01 PM Jaito
"You know, you can't save them all. Not alone." Leaning against the wall is one of the boys from before - one of the Captain's allies.
7:03 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
He slips his goggles into his bag. "You seem very eager to ascribe either active malevolence or stunning virtue to any number of actions."
7:04 PM
"Sometimes people just want to play a damned game and not make a world-shattering event of it. Have you considered that?"
7:04 PM Jaito
The boy lowers his own, nicer spectacles down the bridge of his nose - low-power mode, it seems. "Of course. People, however, are pretty much bastards. Have you considered that? That just for things to be normal, somebody's gotta hold the line?"
7:07 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
Shousei doesn't say anything for several seconds. He doesn't like what the boy is implying, and he's suspicious as to why he's being spoken to, but… he sighs. "What precisely are you proposing?"
7:08 PM Jaito
"An opportunity - for you to fight for justice. Not as a full member of the Prisma Dei, but you could stand with us as a knight errant - do the occasional patrol, the occasional test, and receive items, hints, and other support from your vassalage."
7:08 PM
"Don't answer now - think about it."
7:08 PM
With that, he bows. "Oh, and I'm BORIS REDRUM online. You can message me once you think it over."
7:09 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
The idea of vassalage irritates him as well, but he really can't deny the logic of it.
7:09 PM
"…One question, then. Do /you/ know who those girls were?"
7:10 PM
"As in, who they were affiliated with."
7:14 PM Jaito
"There's a tribe of fashion plates…well, they think so, anyway. They're not really active players - casuals and outfit collectors, but I hear they're not nice to other girls, specifically." He shrugs. "They browbeat people into accepting duels, so it's technically not even unwilling."
7:15 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
"What were they saying about a mambership fee, then, I wonder…"
7:18 PM Jaito
He shrugs. "I can choose to find enlightenment, joy, or to understand women. I only get one choice. See you around, Veils!" With a tossed peace sign, off he goes.
7:18 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
How the hell do /they/ keep knowing who /I/ am without- oh right, that video, and they know who I am out of game.
7:19 PM
One of these days, he'll get Wen back for that.
7:29 PM Jaito
(Doing anything else for now?)
7:30 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
(can't think of anything at the moment. I kind of want to tag someone else.)
7:31 PM Jaito
(Tag someone else?)
7:32 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
(play with another PC.)
7:33 PM
(Shousei is more fun with other people. :3)
7:34 PM Jaito
…huh. There's a window nearby. And outside, it looks like a gang of black coats just crossed the athletic field.
7:34 PM
…is that MICHAEL with them?
7:34 PM
Meanwhile, there's a croak of "Come in, water's fine!" from inside. Maybe the Prince's jaw isn't in good shape again yet. Proof not to mess with Night…Wen…any of the crazies, really.
7:34 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
…Seriously? Wen let him get kidnapped?
7:35 PM
…On the one hand, he wants to go home *eventually*. On the other hand… egh.
7:36 PM
Even if this is nothing, he's really curious… Shousei slips outside and slips into hiding once more.
7:36 PM Jaito
7:36 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
7:38 PM Jaito
You go unnoticed for now. (Unless Michael would like a roll?)
7:39 PM Michael_Lin
7:40 PM Jaito
You go unnoticed for now. Clearly.
7:40 PM Michael_Lin
just keeps following the three of them.
7:41 PM Jaito
They lead him to a crate, in front of the honest-to-goodness teacher's desk their blonde Prince is sitting on. "Nikaia…thanks for coming. Please, get comfortable."
7:42 PM Michael_Lin
just perches gingerly on the crate. Pretty clearly /not/ comfortable here.
7:45 PM Jaito
"So…how are you?" His voice is still a little muffled, but his eyes are smiling over the mask.
7:49 PM Michael_Lin
"I-I." just shakes his head. He doesn't especially want to be here, at all.
7:50 PM Jaito
"Have the Prissies been givin' you any trouble?"
7:50 PM Michael_Lin
shakes his head.
7:52 PM Jaito
"Good…good. Look…I know we're kinda scary, but you know that's on purpose, right? So people won't screw with us. Won't screw with /you/. Unlike that ogre, Wen, we look out for each other. We got strong to help make people strong. Do you want to be strong, Michael?"
7:52 PM Michael_Lin
"I-I j-just w-want t-to b-be l-left a-alone."
7:53 PM Jaito
"And what do you do when that becomes impossible? When no one WANTS to leave you alone?" He tilts his head, eyes a little wider than necessary. "How alone have you been lately?"
7:54 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
Maybe if people like you stopped /poking/ people, Shousei thinks.
7:57 PM Michael_Lin
"T-then I-I'll f-find b-better w-ways t-to d-disappear." and like a ghost, that part of him that tried to kill Shousei whispers, why is it you who should just disappear?
7:58 PM Jaito
"Why is it YOU who should disappear?" He leans forward, at the literal edge of his seat. "Do you think everyone else is better than you?"
8:00 PM Michael_Lin
freezes. And that, and his silence, says everything: yes. (because they broke you into it. everyone else.)
8:00 PM Jaito
There's a long, heavy silence…and then the prince just starts LAUGHING.
8:01 PM Michael_Lin
just shrinks back. Laughing like that has just never meant good things for him.
8:01 PM Jaito
"Okay, okay, okay…so you think you're worthless. In that case, can I have you?"
8:02 PM
He grins with his eyes again. "I'm sure I can think of a few uses for a quiet, pretty genius."
8:03 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
…Shousei seriously considers stabbing this man with a pretend sword.
8:08 PM Michael_Lin
For a moment, the world goes glass - (oh yes, little princes always have their dolls to throw away when they're done, broken little toys with nothing left, just like how everyone's always thrown you away, for all his pretty words he's no different)-and then the glass breaks, and Michael is left staring at him-
8:09 PM
because worthless things have no use except to be thrown away, no matter what this man says.
8:11 PM Jaito
"Why not? I'll take care of you, make sure no one hurts you as long as you obey? Everybody wins!" He shrugs, leaning back. "So?"
8:11 PM Shousei_Yamazaki

8:12 PM
You know what? Ambushes are amazing things. He is just going to have to /write this down/.
8:12 PM Michael_Lin
His mother's words still echo in his head - one day, someone will see you and want something from you-
8:17 PM Jaito
"One-time offer…time's running out~"
8:17 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
Amazing, amazing things. And you know the best part about ambushes? They don't see them coming. They never see them coming. Even if someone has left an entire cart of baseballs on top of the bleachers, and it could just topple over at any moment, a violation of safety regulations waiting to happen.
8:17 PM
He really hopes this doesn't hit Michael, but it's going to be /hilarious/.
8:18 PM Michael_Lin
Shousei (who Michael has no idea is there) can probably see the line of his back, his body language change. Still utterly tense but it's a different kind of tense, just…utterly yielding. Obedient.
8:18 PM Jaito
(Roll Investigation or something to establish whether or not there's any on hand?)
8:21 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
(4, I think)
8:21 PM Jaito
Oh, look…baseballs
8:21 PM
(Athletics to drop them. Going for just the Prince? Hard to really get everyone spread out.)
8:22 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
Browbeating and borderline sexual harassment. I can't issue demerits, so you're going to have to settle for this.
8:22 PM
(Yep. Juuust him.)
8:22 PM
8:22 PM Jaito
"Is that a yes?", he asks?
8:23 PM
And then about a hundred baseballs fall on his head.
8:24 PM Michael_Lin
8:24 PM Jaito
He falls off the desk, face badly BRUISED, as he stumbles to the floor. The rest of them are up like a shot, but remain completely silent.
8:24 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
Because fuck you, that's why.
8:25 PM Jaito
The Prince holds up a hand. "NO. Stay right the hell here, boys."
8:26 PM
They tense, but slowly return to their seats. He doesn't even look around, just stands up. "See? You're never alone, Michael…apparently." He grits his teeth. "And it's never. Gonna. End. If you stay so worthless. AM I WRONG?!" He calls out.
8:27 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
That's pretty blatanty a call-out. Shousei knows that well enough, and you know, there's a gang of thugs down there. On the other hand, they've got someone cornered and he's about to… what the hell is he even about to do? Does Shousei have the sense to run?
8:28 PM Michael_Lin
No, there's a way to end it. To disappear forever - (and why should /you?/ you have a right to exist as much as anyone else does) and who is the prince even calling out?
8:30 PM Jaito
He leans in close to Michael and practically hisses. "If you really think so little of yourself, I can unlock the roof." The way it comes out of his mouth, it's almost kind through the choked-back anger. "Otherwise…I've got a present for you?"
8:30 PM
Lips to Michael's ear, his eyes track around. Waiting for company.
8:38 PM Michael_Lin
If he really, truly wanted to, he could jump off the roof at home, or go down to the harbor. But instead, his lashes slide close, even as glass hazes over - (i promise you /thorns/) that part of him that speaks with his own voice, Nikaia- (i promise you blood and thorns, little prince) whispers inside his head, (be obedient), his mother's voice tracks it, louder far louder, and he simply nods.
8:38 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
…Shousei takes a step back. He's actually kind of afraid for Michael, but… this isn't his business, and there are so many of them. On the /other/ hand, he knows whose business it is.
8:38 PM
He grabs his bag again and tries to find the private message function on his goggles.
8:39 PM Jaito
"Good. Then you'll need this, my captive angel." He reaches into his coat and comes out with a rather stylish case of gunmetal gray. He kneels, opens it…and inside are a new, delicate part of glasses?….no, AR glasses.
8:39 PM
These must have cost thousands.
8:41 PM
It's an easy function to find, Shousei. Who might you message?
8:41 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
Perhaps those Prisma Dei idiots would be curious enough to investigate if he offered them a favor.
8:42 PM Michael_Lin

8:42 PM Jaito
BORIS REDRUM shows up bright and available on his contacts list, with text, video, and live video options.
8:43 PM
"Say 'Thank you, Cam'." His eyes smile bright. "Then, you may leave."
8:43 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
He pokes the text function for the moment. [I hate to seem hasty, but… you don't happen to still be around school, do you?]
8:43 PM Jaito
[I'm at my club room, sure. What's up?]
8:45 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
[Uhm… there's a group of hooligans who've dragged a kid under the bleachers and seem to be asking him to submit to being their personal slave…]
8:45 PM
[And this is out of game, so I don't really want to try too much by myself. My pride aside. I'll owe you a favor.]
8:46 PM Jaito
[…damn it. Let me call the captain. Don't do anything! Leave this to the good guys.]
8:46 PM
…a moment later….
8:49 PM Michael_Lin
His voice seems to be lost somewhere in his throat: he bows his head for a moment, phantom sensation of long hair falling over his face for a moment, and it's the sensation of being hidden (however unreal it is) that manages to help him find his voice enough to stammer the required thank you, eyes still firmly closed.
8:50 PM Jaito
Very gently, Prince Cam sets the case in Michael's hands and clasps them shut over it. It's about that point several sets of footsteps rush up. "STOP RIGHT THERE!"
8:51 PM
The Prisma Dei, minus the captain, stand there in a line. One of the boys has a baseball bat. "Let him go! Now!"
8:52 PM
Cam stands up, slowly. "No one's here against their will. Right, Michael?"
8:53 PM
He even steps aside, clearing the way.
8:53 PM Michael_Lin
makes the mistake of looking to see who it is.
8:53 PM Michael_Lin
8:53 PM
you know.
8:53 PM
It's really hard to say at this point who he is more afraid of.
8:54 PM
The Black Brigade or Prisma Dei.
8:55 PM Jaito
"You're sick, Bradley. Mr. Lin, please leave. We'll cover you…"
8:55 PM
The Prince laughs. "Oh, Boris…you're such a melodramatic little errand boy, aren't you?"
8:55 PM Michael_Lin
Because there, right there, are those people that cornered him before.
8:55 PM Jaito
"That's CAPTAIN Boris to you…Michael, please go!"
8:55 PM
…huh. That's new.
8:56 PM Michael_Lin
And his expression was blank before and goes even blanker.
8:56 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
So long as he's out of the way, either way.
8:56 PM Michael_Lin
But he is going to go. Away. Away from /all/ of them.
8:57 PM Jaito
After some rather unimpressive glowering back and forth, somewhat because the Devil Prince just refuses to take the other side seriously. "Come on…digital knights threatening real people with a /bat/. Way to go, Lancelot…"
8:58 PM
…they all break up.
8:58 PM
Leaving Michael and Shousei to whatever business they like.
9:00 PM
…and there's that damned music again.
9:00 PM
This time, a card with a IV shows up…huh. Weird. Same number as Oberon.
9:00 PM
The Emperor.
9:01 PM Shousei_Yamazaki
9:01 PM
Shousei is definitely going to have to look up this game mechanic.
9:04 PM Michael_Lin
Michael is…well, after probably finding somewhere else to hide for a bit in /peace/…probably going to have to see if that admin is online. But not using the glasses, he is going to go home and use his laptop to send her a message.