SMTxJOJO: THE BLACKSTAR

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    Mensagem  eld em 5/2/2017, 20:33

    SMTxJOJO: THE BLACKSTAR 8BWhCe6

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    SMTxJOJO: THE BLACKSTAR Empty Re: SMTxJOJO: THE BLACKSTAR

    Mensagem  eld em 22/2/2017, 11:13

    New Town
     
    (Pursuing My True Self)

    The train shook continuously as it sped through the rails. The paint was starting to come off in some places, the lights flickered and the orange covers on the seats seemed to be very old, with various scratches and bits off, leaving the yellow filling inside visible. It was an old train, one that had been relegated to only make the less crowded trips, just like that one, the last train between S-City and Moriohcho.

    A young man, Daisuke Ichijou, sat in one of the seats, with blue headphones over his ears, the music he was hearing loud enough to bew heard on the almost empty train cart.
    He was tall youth, of an athletic build, with dark hair that fell on his forehead in small bangs, and was spiked on top of his head. His dark eyes had a slight green tint to them as they kept staring vacantly through the window in front of him, where barely anything could be seen amongst the darkness surrounding the train tracks.

    A small jingle was heard in the train cart and a male pre-recorded voice came from the speakers:

    "Next Stop: Moriohcho Station. End of the Line".

    Upon hearing the message, loud enough to be heard above the music being blasted onto his ears, Daisuke lowered his headphones, hanging them from his neck, getting up from his seat at the same time and picking up his dark-grey travel bag, walking closer to the door.

    The train stopped, with its typical suddenness and the doors opened, letting the passengers out into the station that was more spacious than Daisuke remembered, but as empty as one would expect from the late hour. It still was a relatively well kept station however, as although tourism to the small town was very little, it wasn't uncommon for people to come visit their relatives, and its hospital was well known in the region.

    He walked out of the building, lifting his bag with his right hand to descend the staircases on the outside and into the town and into the central plaza, with a large roundabout in the middle, where a statue of a local folk hero, surrounded by lush grass and flower pots, with a few benches sprinkled in.

    The last time he had been to the town had been years ago, when he was still very much a child and had come with his parents to visit his maternal grandmothers and his aunt. While his grandparents had eventually moved to the city, however, his aunt, a nurse at the hospital, had decided to stay.

    "Hey, Dai-chan!"

    Daisuke smiled upon recognizing the voice, finding its owner walking up to him from the right: A medium height woman in her mid-thirties, wearing hospital scrubs with a dark-blue wool jacket over them, with auburn hair, and a very characteristic gentle, caring smile on her face. It had been years since he had last saw her, but that was unmistakably his aunt Saeko.
    His aunt walked up to him and gave him a strong hug, letting go of him after a few moments and looking at him from top to bottom:

    "Look at you so tall!" she laughed, giving him a pat on the arm, "Hope you're ready to help me out at home".

    "Whatever you want, aunt Saeko", he smiled, "Thanks for letting me stay in your house this year".

    "Of course, you're family", Saeko looked at the watch on her left wrist, before starting to walk away, "Now come on, it's really late and you have classes tomorrow, besides, it's freezing here".

    Daisuke nodded in agreement, following his aunt through the town, walking around the roundabout and through a couple of large streets with houses around them. He only had a very vague idea of how the town was organized, but he did remember that the streets were wide and there really weren't many cars around, and so far, his memory wasn't betraying him.

    "This place must be really quiet", Daisuke said, looking around, "Ain't much going around I suppose"

    "Oh, you'd be wrong, Dai-chan", his aunt made a wry smile, "There has been quite a situation as of late, with the shopkeepers all banding together against the big shopping centre in town".
    "A shopping centre?" the youth asked, surprised.

    "Yup, 'LuckyLand' quite a big one too", Saeko gave a small nod, "It's actually owned by people from the town, but the rest of the towns people say they are running them out of business. Still I hear it's where all of the kids your age hang out at, maybe it would do you good to check it out tomorrow".

    Daisuke gave a small nod, before stopping, seeing in front of him the house where he would stay the year: it was a traditional looking house, with the floors and a small garden inside a low stone wall where the mailbox with the name "Hirose" was placed.

    Saeko took her keys from the pocket of her jacket and opened the door, leading Daisuke into the foyer and then to a cosy living room, with a low table, a dark couch, some pillows on the ground, and a medium sized television. A wind chime was placed next to the glass panels to the outside. His maternal grandparents', and now his aunt's, house was exactly how he remembered it.

    "You can take your mum's room upstairs, I already cleaned it up for you", Saeko gave him another of her friendly smiles, "I'm glad someone else can stay here, it's not rare for me to sleep in the hospital in night shifts".

    "Thank you, aunt Saeko", Daisuke took a small bow of appreciation, "I'll take my stuff upstairs then".

    "Hang on", she asked, and her smile wasn't there anymore, "I won't do it right now, you're tired and you have classes, but, tomorrow I want you to tell me the truth".

    The truth. He knew what she meant, the reason why Daisuke Ichijou, promising heir to the Ichijou Fruit Parlour successful business had been sent to spend a year in the small and old fashioned Morioh with his aunt.

    "I will", Daisuke nodded, "I promise".

    A kind, understanding smile came back to his young aunt's face, and she wished him good night before going back into the living room, while Daisuke dragged his travel bag with him, up the stairs and through the hallway, finding the door of his mother's old room and stepping into the small bedroom.

    The room that had belonged to his mother, and now his, was small and yet, welcoming, with light coloured walls, a redwood wardrobe and desk, a mostly empty shelf, with only a few books, a small television on top of a stand covered in green cloth, and a large and comfortable bed, whose covers where the same tone of green as the cloth under the TV and as the window dressings.

    He started to unpack, taking special attention to leave his new uniform on the chair, to be worn on the next day. He then switched clothes, changing into the grey slacks and black long-sleeved shirt of the pyjamas, pulling the covers back to go to sleep when he remembered that he had forgotten to charge his phone.

    He walked back to his worn clothes, searching for the phone on the right side pocket of his jeans, taking it out and looking at the black screen.

    "No battery", he mumbled to himself after he pressed the unlocking button with no success, "Right... Time to charge you up".

    He took the charger of the desk drawer where he had just stored it, and took it near the bed, to plug it into the outlet, but just as he was about to connect it to his phone, something unexpected happened, as the sound of buzzing came off from the speaker, and the screen was filled with static.

    "Huh? It's broken?" Daisuke furrowed his brow.

    As he was cursing his bad luck, he looked back into the phone and he saw something even stranger: It wasn't just normal static, there appeared to be a humanoid silhouette in the middle of it. And just as soon as he noticed it, it vanished and the phone went black again.

    "What the hell?" he looked into his phone with a puzzled expression, "It's completely mad, I really need to fix it".

    Daisuke looked at the black screen for a few more seconds, before plugging the charger into the phone, and, as soon as it did, his phone vibrated and a picture of an empty battery was shown, with a "0% charging" message underneath.

    What was going on with his phone? It seemed to work well while he was om the train and now, after turning it on while charging, it also seemed to be perfectly normal.

    It's just my imagination, he thought, I'm tired, I should go to sleep. He laid back down on the comfortable bed and, after turning around a few times, eventually fell asleep. Deep in his mind, however, the strange vision had stayed and it took over his dreams.


    Última edição por Kuroo em 10/5/2017, 14:51, editado 2 vez(es)


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    SMTxJOJO: THE BLACKSTAR Empty Re: SMTxJOJO: THE BLACKSTAR

    Mensagem  eld em 26/2/2017, 19:29

    Budoga Oka High School:


    (New Days)


    The sun was partly hidden behind the clouds when Daisuke left the house on the next morning. His aunt Saeko had an early shift at the hospital, so she was already out of the house when he woke up, but had left him a written note along with the keys to the house.

    The school uniform he was wearing was constituted of a white button shirt, a black blazer jacket, with the school's logo on the left, and black pants with a dark grey plaid pattern. While technically the uniform was meant to be used with the shirt tucked in, the jacket closed and a black tie, apparently, the dress code was not completely enforced, so the students had some freedom in how they chose to wear their uniform, reason why he decided to keep his jacket open and the shirt untucked.

    As he walked back past the main plaza, going up towards the top of the hill, where the school was located, Daisuke took his phone from his pocket, unlocking it, and sliding his finger around it for a bit, noticing that nothing seemed to be wrong with it, in fact, it seemed to be completely normal. What the hell was that last night? He thought to himself once again, before placing it back in his pocket and picking up the pace.

    The gates to Budoga Oka High School were wide open, a lot of students were pouring through them to the rather expansive courtyard before the three stories tall building, with a large clock on a small tower up front. Despite the fact that Moriohcho was a relatively small town, its High School was definitely impressive.

    As he went past the main doors, he remembered that he was meant to go to the faculty office, so that he could learn about his class and time table. There was a map handily placed at the entrance, so he had an easy time finding his way through the western corridor on the first floor and the room he was looking for.

    Upon entering it, he could see several filing cabinets lining the walls, and quite a few desks with teachers sitting at them. One of the sitting staff members, a lean man with greying short hair, a goatee and round rimmed glasses, looked at him:

    "Good morning, you are Daisuke Ichijou-san, correct?" the man asked, adjusting his glasses, and later pointing at the chair in front of him, "Please take a seat".

    Daisuke followed the man's instructions, laying his school bag next to the chair and sitting in front of the man that was now searching for something amidst the papers on his desk. Daisuke could read the man's name in the small nameplate on his desk: "Shinra Kujiragi".

    "You transferred here from Kaijo Academy from S-City, correct?"

    "Yes, I spent my first year there", Daisuke nodded, "I will probably move back there after this year too".

    "Very well, we've been informed of that. Aha, here it is", the man took a paper sheet from the pile, "You are on class 2-A. Mr. Sakakibara is your homeroom teacher".

    Daisuke took the paper from Mr. Kujiragi, seeing the timetable printed on it, where his class, and teachers were also written.

    "You should hurry along, now", Kujiragi looked at his watch, "Class should be about to start and Mr. Sakakibara doesn't like to wait. Good luck, Ichijou-san".


    (Specialist)

    He thanked the teacher, picking his bag back up and leaving the room, climbing the staircase up towards the second floor, where he found Classroom 2-A easily, however, it seemed that his new classmates were already inside when he arrived and opened the door.

    "And that's... Huh? Who are you?"

    The teacher had stopped his speech as soon as he heard the door slide, as he stared at Daisuke. He was a short man, wearing a very ill-fitting green suit, that didn't do much to hide the man's pronounced gut, or his extremely thick neck. The sunken eyes behind the glasses barely hid his annoyance.

    "Oh yes, you're the transfer student, ain'tcha?" the man Daisuke assumed to be Mr. Sakakibara continued, "Just what I needed, another "city boy". Do me a favour and write your name and introduce yourself to your classmates".

    Instantly Daisuke felt an intense dislike for that man and his vague and unfounded accusations and judgements, but he had to obey either way, so he did what was asked of him, writing his name in large kanji in the blackboard.

    "Daijou Ichijou, huh?" Sakakibara said with contempt.

    "Daisuke Ichijou", he corrected him in a neutral tone.

    "Whatever, I don't give a crap, city boy", he grinded his teeth, "Go find a seat before I get mad, you idiot".

    Daisuke gave his new homeroom teacher a sideways glance, almost tempting him to do something, but he walked towards the end of the class, sitting in an empty desk by the window.
    "Ichijou-kun".

    He turned his head to look at the girl sitting to his right, who had orange shoulder length hair kept in place with black hairpins, amber coloured eyes and a heart-shaped faced with a small perky nose. She wore the female uniform, similar to the male version but with a skirt instead of pants, but with an orange hoodie under the blazer and short white socks instead of the thigh high black ones.

    "Don't worry about Sakakibaka, ok?" the girl told him in a low voice, "He's a jerk to everybody, most people just ignore him".

    "I can see why", Daisuke whispered, taking another glance at the teacher who he was just finishing wiping the name from the blackboard, "Thanks".

    "You're welcome. I'm Riko Kida", the girl gave him a friendly smile, "If you need something, I'll try to help".

    "Hey! You back there! Shut the hell up!" Sakakibara shouted.

    Daisuke smiled defiantly, but he and Riko didn't say nothing more, listening to the lecture. Sakakibara barely even mentioned the subject he was teaching, Japanese literature, instead focusing on forcing his distorted world view onto his students. From the looks of his classmates around him, Daisuke could tell that this wasn't a rare occurrence.

    When class finally ended, an audible sigh of relief could be heard around the room. A boy sitting in front of Riko and diagonally to Daisuke immediately stood up and turned around, sitting on his desk. He had blond-dyed hair, large brown eyes, an earring in his right ear, and was wearing a yellow t-shirt with black designs instead of the white button shirt of the uniform.

    "One of these days, Sakakibaka is going to blow up from all that anger", the boy said with an exasperated expression, "Hope it's soon".

    "Don't count on that", Riko sighed, "At least be grateful he found a new target".

    "Oh yeah!" the blonde boy looked at Daisuke, "Sorry, mate. I transferred here last year, and he spent the entire year calling me 'city boy' and all that crap. Guess it's your turn now".
    "You're from S-City too?" Daisuke asked.

    "Yup, name's Tatsuya Mikado", the boy gave a large smile, pointing to himself with his thumb, "My dad got a nice job offer here, so me and my mum came with him. This place kinda sucks huh?"

    "You are the one who sucks, Bakatsuya", Riko protested, leaning forward, "This place is great! It's pretty, it's got a lot to do..."

    "Maybe for you who spent her whole life here in the boonies!", Tatsuya crossed his arms, "You agree with me, right Ichijou?"

    "I don't know, I've only been here a handful of times before", Daisuke admitted, shrugging his shoulders, "But I don't think it's that bad".

    "Well, I have an idea", Riko said, "How about we take you on a tour of the town when class ends? You get to know the town, and Tatsu gets to eat his words".
    "Ah, sure, why not?" Daisuke said with a nod.


    (Like a Dream Come True)

    The three of them left the school at the same time, the afternoon sun still hidden, with even more clouds in the sky. Riko suggested that they should start with the Shopping district, as it was where most people liked to spend their time, and the other two agreed, following her.
    As they were walking towards the district, he got to know more about his new classmates. Riko had lived her whole life in Moriohcho, and was a huge fan of horror movies, while Tatsuya, on the other hand, couldn't stand "scary stuff", and was more into just playing sports, and he had been chosen as the captain of the school's volleyball club.

    "Oh yeah, Daisuke-kun", Riko said, "Why did you move here? Will you stay here?"

    "Nah, I'm just going to spend this year here and then I'll go back", he answered, "My parents wanted me to, hum, spend a year away from home".

    "Huh, why?" Tatsuya raised an eyebrow, before adding with a sly smile, "Are you some kind of criminal?"

    Yes, he thought.

    "Leave him alone, you idiot", Riko intervened punching his arm, "Anyways... Daisuke-kun, we're here".

    They had reached a long and wide street that went down along the hill and whose sides were filled with a large variety of shops, some smaller, some larger, but almost all of them had a very unique charm and style.

    As they walked down, Riko, and sometimes Tatsuya, would remark on a certain store as they passed by: The diner with the delicious ramen, the peculiar antique store, the restaurant opened by an Italian immigrant, the book store managed by a kind old man and so on.

    "My parents own that one", Riko said, pointing to a textile shop called 'Kida Fabrics', "We actually get a lot of costumers in the town".

    "Don't you guys have a problem with the shopping centre?" Daisuke asked, looking at the store.

    "Oh, LuckyLand? Kinda..." Riko shrugged her shoulders, "Most people prefer their "All in one place" shtick, but we do have a lot of faithful costumers, so we're not that bothered".

    "In case you wanted more evidence where at the world's end, a shopping centre is a problem here", Tatsuya mocked, "Hey, I'm kinda hungry, wanna grab a bite to eat?"

    "Sure, but I'm kinda short on money, so no fancy food allowed", Riko said with an ashamed look.

    "Spent it all on your lame manga again?" the blond boy asked with a wry smile.

    "It's alright, we can eat anywhere, I'm not picky", Daisuke said with a reassuring smile.

    "Thanks!" Riko nodded cheerfully, before turning back to Tatsuya, "You should be more like him, you know?"

    Tatsuya made an exaggerated expression of annoyance before taking the other two with him deeper into the district and into the largest and most recent building: LuckyLand. Riko gave Tatsuya a semi-annoyed looked, but eventually did ignore it, probably as the shopping centre did have cheaper priced food.

    On the roof of the large building there were several food stores, with tables scattered about with a large parasol in each. They each got burgers, sitting at one of the tables. To Daisuke's surprise, it was quite a tasty burger, one of the best he had eaten in a while.

    "Oh yeah, I remembered something", Riko said when Tatsuya had picked up his phone after eating, "Tatsu, you heard about the Dead Phone Watch Rumour?"

    Daisuke, whose attention had veered off, instantly refocused on the conversation.

    "The what rumour?" Tatsuya mumbled between bites.

    "Are you talking about phones turning on with no battery?" Daisuke asked.

    "Yeah, you heard about it, Daisuke-kun?" Riko looked surprised.

    "Wait, the hell are you two talking about?" Tatsuya looked confused at both of them.

    "It's this weird rumour going around", Riko began to explain, "They say that if you have your phone turned off during a foggy night, it will turn on by itself, even with no battery".

    "What?" Tatsuya chuckled unconvinced, "You really have been watching way too many freaky movies. That's so dumb".

    "It's true".

    Upon Daisuke's sentence, both of his new friends stared at him.

    "When I got here last night, my battery ran out", Daisuke continued, "When I was going to charge it, it suddenly started to show static, and there seemed to be some sort of silhouette in the middle".

    "Oh my God!" Riko had her mouth open in shock, "So the rumour was true!"

    "Oh don't be ridiculous, he's just pranking you", Tatsuya said.

    "I'm not", Daisuke insisted, "It's true, I saw something".

    "A ghost?" Tatsuya asked in a mocking tone.

    "I don't know what I saw for sure" he admitted, "But there was something there".

    "Hey, tonight is going to be foggy, right?" Riko asked cautiously, "We should all turn off our phones and see if something comes up".

    "Fine..." Tatsuya sighed, "I still think you two are making this shit up, but I'll play along".
    Having all agreed on trying it and with the sun coming down on the horizon, they each went their separate ways, to their respective homes.


    Última edição por Kuroo em 10/5/2017, 14:57, editado 1 vez(es)


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    SMTxJOJO: THE BLACKSTAR Empty Re: SMTxJOJO: THE BLACKSTAR

    Mensagem  eld em 1/3/2017, 15:30

    Who I Was and Who I Am


    (Beneath the Mask - rain)


    The sun had already set when finally Saeko returned to her home, visibly exhausted from another day at the hospital, however, she put up a tired smile when she saw her nephew sitting at the table, waiting for her.

    "Hope you like takeaway food", Saeko said, lowering the bags she had hurriedly gotten, and placing them on the table, "I'm a decent cook, but when I have this shift I just go for the fast option".

    "It's alright, I don't mind", Daisuke smiled, trying to comfort his aunt, "Work went well?"

    "Yes, actually, old Mrs. Tamaki finally was cleared, she had gotten hurt when she tripped, but now she's back home, so I'm happy" Saeko waited a bit to chew her food before asking, "And you? How's school?"

    "Yeah, I think so. School's bigger than I thought", Daisuke ate some more, "Not a fan of our homeroom teacher, though".

    "Let me guess... You got Mr. Sakakibara?" Upon Daisuke's nod, Saeko sighed, "I still don't know how they let him continue teaching. He's such an unlikable man".

    "Already hated me before I walked in", Daisuke shrugged, "Guess he doesn't take kindly to city folk".

    "Just make sure to not get into trouble, and he won't bother you too much", she ate some more before continuing, "Did you make some friends?"

    "I guess so. I talked with this guy, Tatsuya Mikado, and this girl, Riko Kida", he said, "They seem like nice people".

    "Mikado-kun is also from the city right? I remember someone with that last name moving here last year, they seem like nice people. Riko-chan I actually had already met, I've went to their shop a few times before. Seems you found good friends to hang around with", a large pause followed her last comment, "I hope you didn't forget your promise".

    He hadn't. He was there for a reason, he was there because he had made wrong choices. He knew that his parents had kept the reason under wraps, even going as far as to not to tell the aunt who would care for him that year, however, for as much shame and guilt that he felt, he also felt that he had to come to terms with it to improve himself.

    "Ever since a year ago, I was a part of the Ghosts, a street gang", Daisuke finally said, the words hurting him as they left his mouth, "I joined through some friends from school. I was bored out of my life, and I couldn't just sit quietly so I... I joined them".

    Why aren't you saying something?, he thought looking at his aunt's face. She no longer looked tired, in fact, she seemed to be hanging on his every word, but sat silently, waiting for him to continue.

    "We were in fights a lot. I was good at it. At fighting", he continued after an uncomfortable silence, "I'm pretty sure mum and dad knew about it, I did come home with bruises from time to time, but they either ignored it, or didn't know what to tell me, and I also didn't know what to tell them, so we were in this awkward silence".

    Why was he fighting? He had thought about it a lot. Was he doing it just for the adrenaline and the rush of blood that came from punching someone? Was he doing it as a misguided attempt to get people's attention, a call for his absent minded parents to show them that their son was more than just the little heir they wanted? He didn't really know. Frankly, he kind of didn't want to know.

    "It was just some dumb fights between some stupid kids, nothing else", he looked down to his empty dirty plate, "Until one day, when a few policemen came to stop us and we all ran away. I didn't want anything to happen... but one of the policeman, he followed after me and, as we went past a road, he was hit by a car", Daisuke clenched his fists in anger and guilt, "He survived, in fact, it seems he can make a full recovery, but he was lucky. He could've died and it would've been my fault".

    The memories were coming back to him, the image of the car hitting officer Kunizuka, and sending him flying into the air, before he came violently back to the ground. He had tried to go to the hospital, tried to go see him, but his parents hadn't let him.

    "So that's why you're here... to stay away from home and from your gang friends", his aunt finally talked, her expression seemingly tired again.

    "A few of the other kids that were caught ratted me out. They said I was a part of the gang and had been involved in that incident, but the police didn't really have much evidence besides their testimony, which they considered unreliable, and I guess they didn't want to mess with the Ichijou estate with such weak evidence. Still, my parents decided to send me here to keep me away, to lay low and rethink my life", he crossed his arms, avoiding direct eye contact, "But I'm sure officer Kunizuka knew who I was. I went back to help him, even with the hood, he could see my face, I'm sure. But he didn't report me, and... I don't know why he didn't.".

    "You said it was an accident and you went back to help him, didn't you?", Saeko asked, looking up thinking, before staring back at his nephew's eyes, "Perhaps he saw that you were just a lost kid, and wanted to give you a second chance".

    "But why would he? I'm a screw-up", he bit his lip, frustrated, "This isn't punishment. They thought that keeping me in this small town would teach me something, but what? I should pay for what I did".

    "Dai-chan", Saeko raised her right hand placing gently it on his shoulder, "What's done is done. What you're feeling, that remorse and guilt, is already a pretty hefty punishment. Maybe you're right, maybe you should've been sent to jail, but you weren't", she gave him a small smile, "You have to get back up and redeem yourself by being the best person you can be. The Daisuke I see in front of me now isn't an arrogant criminal, he's a boy trying to regain his footing. You'll make it back".

    Daisuke smiled weakly. He wasn't sure if those feelings of guilt would ever fade, if he would stop having that nagging sensation that whenever he was having fun, that he should be instead trapped in a prison paying for his misdeeds. But his aunt seemed to believe in him and maybe she was right, maybe the Daisuke Ichijou from Morioh could be a good person and make up for what the Daisuke Ichijou from S-City had done.

    "Thanks", he said.

    Saeko ruffled his hair in a maternally way before starting to lift the plates and clean the dishes, just as Daisuke felt a rumble in his pocket and he took out his phone to see a text from Tatsuya, with whom he had exchanged phone numbers earlier:

    "Hey dont forget about our dumb bet turn that phone off k? Wink "


    He had almost forgotten about it, but now his curiosity was spiked again. What had he seen last night? Was Riko's rumour really true, or was he just imagining things? Whatever it was, he was going to find out.

    "Hey, I'm kinda tired, you mind if I go up?", he asked, getting up from his chair.

    "Sure, no problem, I'll go sleep in a bit too", Saeko smiled to him again, "Good night, sleep well".

    He nodded in response, making his way back up towards his room, exchanging his uniform for his pyjamas and walking up to the window, noticing the fog on the other side. For the weird phenomenon to happen, it seemed that it had to be foggy, so if it was real, it had to happen that day.

    Looking at his phone, he still had some battery left. The rumour went that the phone had to be switched off, not necessarily out of battery like it had been the night before, so he decided to turn it off, seeing the screen blacken as the power went out.

    He stared at his phone for a few minutes, but there didn't seemed to be anything happening. Maybe it wasn't just 'at night', but there had to be a specific time for it. He didn't recall the time when he had seen his phone light up the day prior, but he did remember that it was later than the time it was currently, so he laid his phone down by his side on the desk as he picked a book and decided to skim through it to help pass the time, since, despite it being only the first day of classes, Sakakibara had already assigned them books to study.

    Sleep was almost getting the better off him when he went back to his bed and picked the phone back up, once again with the screen pitch black, until all of a sudden, the screen flickered on once more, the same static as before and Daisuke felt the hairs on the back of his neck tense up. From the corner of his eye he could see that it was midnight.

    He studied the static in the screen once more, and once again he could discern the silhouette, but this time, it wasn't nearly as distorted as before, in fact, he could distinguish some vague features: It seemed to be a you woman, with long braided reddish hair and wearing what appeared to be some sort of uniform, maybe Budoga Oka's.

    Just as soon as it he saw it, however, it went away and the phone was back to being completely black, as the clock on the table read "00:01".

    It's real, he thought, Whatever the hell this is, I didn't imagine it.

    He turned his phone back on, and as soon as he did, he immediately got a call:

    "Holy crap! You saw that!?" Tatsuya's voice rang loudly on the other side, loud enough to make Daisuke have to hold the phone away from his ear, "Some weird shit was going down there!"

    "I told you", answered Daisuke, "I thought I was just imagining things, but if you saw it too, then there's really something there".

    "Yeah… Hey, what did you see? You saw a girl too, right?"

    "I think so", Daisuke nodded to himself, "Braided hair and a Budoga uniform".

    "Yup, same thing I saw", Tatsuya's excitement was almost palpable, "Hang on, I gotta call Riko. We'll talk about this tomorrow, alright?"

    Daisuke agreed to continue the conversation later and they both said their goodbyes, before Tatsuya ended the call, certainly eager to have the same discussion with Riko, while Daisuke kept looking at the unlocked phone for a long while thinking: What the hell did all of that mean?


    Última edição por Kuroo em 10/5/2017, 15:00, editado 1 vez(es)


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    Mensagem  eld em 12/3/2017, 16:05

    The Nature of the Unknown


    (Specialist~)

    Daisuke could barely focus on anything that his teachers were saying the next day, and he had the distinct impression that the same was also true for both Tatsuya and Riko, who also seemed absent minded.

    They had decided that they would get together as soon as class ended to discuss what they had seen, as, it seemed, Riko also had been able to get the strange phenomenon to happen on her phone.

    “Hey, city rat!”

    Daisuke instantly knew who Mr. Sakakibara meant, even before he stopped looking at the window and looked at the red face of his rage-filled teacher:

    “You didn’t hear anything of what I just said, did you?”

    I did, sir”, Daisuke lied with the most neutral expression he could.

    Don’t lie to me,  you sack o’ crap”, Sakakibara’s salient neck vein looked ready to burst, “If you really were paying attention, then you will have no problem telling me who purposefully used wrong kanji in his writings, will you?”

    Sakakibara gave him a smug smile, correctly guessing that he had not paid attention to his tedious lecture. Daisuke looked towards Riko, but she shook her head, as did Tatsuya, both of them, obviously also paying no mind to the lecture.

    “Kuukai”, he heard someone whisper.

    “It was Kuukai”, Daisuke repeated, taking any help he could get, looking at his textbook and finding the name, completing his answer, “A famous monk from the Heian-era”.

    “Indeed, Kuukai, also known as Kobo-Daishi, seems you’re not as braindead as you seem” Sakakibara’s distaste and annoyance were at their peak.

    Daisuke looked around to thank whomever had helped, and he concluded it had to be the dark haired girl in front of him, who still kept looking forward. He made a mental note to thank her after class.

    The bell rung a while later, signalling the end of classes, as everyone began to get off their seats and walk towards the door, once more, the relief at the postponing of Sakakibara’s reign of terror for another day was obvious in the students expressions.

    “Hey”, Daisuke called to the girl who had been sitting in front, “Thank you”.

    The girl turned around and he could see that she had long black hair, with bangs over her forehead despite the twisted headband she wore. She had a pale and cute face, with large dark-bluish eyes, with two small beauty marks under her left eye. She wore a blue wool cardigan underneath her school jacket, the plaid uniform skirt and long black socks, up to her thighs.

    “Yeah, good thing you helped him out, Yamaguchi-san”, Tatsuya butted in with a large grin, “Daisuke here was lost”.

    “So were you”, he replied with a somewhat annoyed tone.

    “I really don’t like how Mr. Sakakakibara treats you, it’s really unfair and mean”, the girl said, in a low voice, looking at Daisuke, “But you shouldn’t need my help. Please pay attention, ok?”

    “Yeah, no problem”, Daisuke gave her a friendly smile, “Thanks again”.

    The girl smiled back at him and nodded, picking her bag and leaving the room, leaving only Daisuke, Tatsuya and Riko near the window, waiting a bit before starting to walk together out of the classroom, walking together through the hallway.

    “Man, I really like Yamaguchi-san, she’s such a sweetheart”, Tatsuya said crossing his arms and sighing.

    “Leave her alone, you creep”, Riko complained adjusting her bag to her shoulder, “She already has enough on her plate without you bugging her”.

    “Oh come on, I didn’t say anything wrong”, Tatsuya put his hands on his pockets, “Stop being jealous”.

    “Me? Jealous?” Riko’s voice rose in an instant, her face flaring up, “Now you listen here, Tatsuya Mikado!”

    “Hey guys, aren’t you forgetting something?” intervened Daisuke, holding Riko’s shoulder, “The Dead Phone Watch?”

    (Reasoning~)

    The two of them stopped dead in their tracks, as their brains rewired back to the previous night.

    “Damn, you’re right”, Tatsuya admitted, taking his right hand to his forehead, “Let’s go to the Roof, no one will hear us there”.

    Upon the other two’s agreement, they began to climb the stairs, going past the seniors’ third floor and up into the school’s roof, surrounded by a chain linked fence, and with a few benches around, which, thankfully, were empty.

    “So… What did you guys see?” asked Riko, sitting in one of the benches.

    “Static at first”, Tatsuya answered, “And then a silhouette. It looked like a girl”.
    “Same here”, Daisuke nodded.

    “Yeah, I saw the same thing too”, the girl said, before concluding, “So we all saw it, but what does it mean?”

    “Hell if I know”, Tatsuya shrugged, “Weren’t you the one that brought up the rumour in the first place? Where did you heard it?”

    “Huh… I can’t remember”, Riko scratched her head in thought, “I remember hearing it, but I don’t know where I heard it”.

    “Well great”, the blond started tapping his feet impatiently, “We don’t really know anything then”.
    “There is something…” Daisuke said, remembering a detail, “When I saw it last time, the silhouette was a lot fuzzier. I couldn’t tell anything besides a vague human shape”.

    “Oh, but this time we could tell it was a girl in a uniform!” Riko recalled.

    “I couldn’t see her face all that well, but she had braided reddish hair”, Tatsuya added, “You think if it’s foggy tonight, we’ll get to see her face?”

    “I think so”, Daisuke said, “Maybe then we’ll see what’s going on”.

    Having agreed to continue their experiment, the trio left the roof, starting to make their way down the school’s floors. They were exiting the school courtyard when Daisuke heard someone call his name, and he found a tall girl wearing the complete uniform, who had light brown hair to her shoulders, held with a red bow, and bangs over her face, just above her brown eyes. In Daisuke’s opinion, she was quite good looking.

    “You are Daisuke Ichijou, the transfer student, right?” she asked.

    “Yeah, that’s me”, Daisuke replied.

    “I am Satsuki Toriumi, the Student Council President”, she said, placing her right hand on her chest, “I should’ve talked to you yesterday, but had other duties. Here”, Toriumi opened her school bag and took out a pamphlet, “You have information about clubs there, and also about the Student council. If you need anything, we’re in the second floor, so pay us a visit, ok?”

    “Sure, thank you, senpai”, he thanked her taking the pamphlet and storing it in his own bag, “I’ll look into”.

    “Hope you enjoy the school, Ichijou-kun”, Toriumi gave him a welcoming smile, before turning around, “Have a good day”.

    Daisuke nodded, reattributing the wishes of a good day, watching Toriumi go back towards her group, where one of the girls immediately caught his attention: she wore the uniform and had reddish braided hair, exactly like what he had seen the last night.

    “Hey, did you see that girl?”, Daisuke asked the other two.

    “Of course I did, she’s hot! I wish the student council president was Toriumi-senpai when I came here last year”, Tatsuya complained, “I had this really strict guy almost shouting at me”.
    “Not her!”, Daisuke shook his head, “the other one”.

    Tatsuya and Riko both leaned forward trying to see whomever Daisuke was pointing too, a surprised expression showing up in both of their faces.

    “Oh! You think it’s her?”, Riko asked, “It did look a bit like her”.

    “If Daisuke’s theory is right, then we’ll know for sure tonight” Tatsuya concluded.
     




    Night had come, and once again, a thick fog had set into the town of Morioh. Daisuke had ended up asking his aunt if it was normal for the town to be that foggy, to which Saeko had answered saying that, being in a mountainous region, Morioh did have a lot of foggy days, but that year was undoubtedly the foggiest she could remember.

    Seeing as how the rumour about the Dead Phone Watch required it to be a foggy night, Daisuke had begun to wonder if there was some sort of supernatural phenomenon happening. He couldn’t fully believe it, but it sure was a lot of strange things happening at the same time.
    When it was just a few minutes to midnight, he turned his phone off, walking with it to the window, checking that it was foggy, and then returning to his bed.

    (Who's There?)

    As expected, the dark screen was lit up again with static, but this time it went away much faster, not revealing a silhouette but a clear look at the girl they had seen that afternoon. They were right! It was her. But something seemed off, her eyes shone in a dark gold colour.
    “Hey there!” the girl spoke with a strange smile, “What’s this? Finally I get the attention? Finally I get to be heard?”

    The girl twirled around, as the static around her started to give way to what seemed to be a theatre stage:

    “Pay attention everyone! It’s the Mayoi Yumeno show! And I’ll show all of you just what I’m all about!”


    Before the girl could do whatever it was she was planning, however, the static overtook her again, and the phone went back to being black.

    Hastily, Daisuke turned it back on, a thousand questions burning in his mind. He was about to call Tatsuya, when he himself called him:

    “What the hell is going on!?” he shouted as soon as Daisuke accepted the call, “I don’t even know how to describe it... She was in a stage? The Yumeno Show? What is up with that?”
    “Didn’t she seem off to you?”, Daisuke asked, as soon as Tatsuya gave him a chance.

    “Everything was off”, he could hear Tatsuya sigh, “But you have a point, her eyes looked really different and that smile was really creepy”.

    “I have no idea what this all means, but we have to talk with Yumeno-senpai tomorrow”, Daisuke said.

    “I agree. Well, I’ll call Riko, see ya tomorrow”.

    They ended the call and Daisuke threw his phone back to his bedside table, laying on the bed, at the same time feeling tired and yet incapable of sleeping with Yumeno’s strange message echoing in his head. It was if, at the same time, they were getting closer to an answer and yet, the answer they were getting was just making them more confused. His sleep was an uneasy one.


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    Mensagem  eld em 14/3/2017, 22:11

    A Voice Someone Calls

    (Want to be Close)

    Heavy rain was falling on Morioh the next morning, forcing Daisuke to take a black umbrella with him on his way back to the school. Looking distractedly at the rain, he wondered if that meant if there wasn’t going to get foggy later that night, and what that might mean for the Dead Phone Watch.

    “Hey! Daisuke-kun!”

    Daisuke looked behind him to see Riko sprinting towards him, with her school bag over her head, passing to get under his umbrella:

    “Sorry, my umbrella broke…” she explained, breathing a little heavy from the run, “You don’t mind if I go with you?”

    “Nah, no problem”, he said, getting the umbrella between both of them and walking forward again, “You saw the Watch?”

    “Of course! That was seriously messed up”, Riko looked seriously ahead, “Do you think this is some kind of weird prank?”

    “No”, he said, “Something was wrong with Yumeno-senpai”.

    “Tatsuya said we should talk to her”, she remembered, “I think he’s right. If someone knows what’s going on, it’s her”.

    They finally reached the school and went together up the stairs towards their homeroom, finding Tatsuya looking around anxiously, briskly walking towards them as soon as he saw them:

    “Hey, something’s wrong?” Riko asked in a concerned tone, “Looks like you saw a ghost or something”.

    “Yumeno-senpai is missing”, Tatsuya said, looking from one to the other, anxious for an answer.

    (Who's there?)

    “What!?” the other two said in unison, trading with each other surprised looks.

    “Apparently her mum says she didn’t come home yesterday, and people have been looking for her since last night”, Tatsuya continued, “Guys, this shit, whatever it is, it’s fucking real”.

    “Wait, hang on!” Riko asked, raising her hands, “Maybe she just got lost or something”.

    “No, it has to do with that”, Daisuke theorized, “Last night we finally were able to see a clear picture, it even spoke. And she goes missing on the same day? There’s something there”.

    “Daisuke’s right, it can’t be a coincidence”, Tatsuya nodded in agreement, before crossing his arms in an uneasy stance, “But… what do we do? We saw her in some kind of stage, but… what even was that? If we go to the police they’ll just ignore us, they’ll think we’re crazy”.

    “That’s because it is crazy!” Riko said, almost shouting, “Would you believe it if you hadn’t seen it?”

    “Of course not!” Tatsuya bit his lip, “Damn it… There’s nothing we can do. We just have to try to watch it again tonight and see if something shows up”.

    The rain continued to fall harder and harder still as the day slowly went by. If the day before they had been anxious, but mostly curious to learn about the secret of the Dead Phone Watch, that day there was actual fear in their thoughts. What had happened to Yumeno? Had she gone to the strange looking stage that was behind her in the video? She didn’t look normal, it was if someone was possessing her or something of the sort.

    “Hey Riko”, Tatsuya called, when they were preparing to leave the school that afternoon, “Something has been bothering me… Who told you about the Dead Phone Watch?”

    “Huh?” Riko looked at her friend confused, “Who told me?”

    “Yeah… See, Daisuke saw it by chance, when his phone died, but you were the one that brought it up”, Tatsuya lifted his right index finger while he was talking, “It’s just… I want to know who started spreading the rumour in the first place”.

    “Oh! Yeah, that makes sense”, Riko crossed her arms, lowering her head, deep in thought, “I… Don’t know. I have absolutely no idea”.

    “You don’t remember?” Daisuke insisted.

    “No...” Riko shook her head, “It’s like I don’t even remember someone telling me, I just knew I had tell you guys about it”.

    “Oh man, this is getting worse and worse”, Tatsuya scratched his head nervously, “Strange and unexplainable transmissions to turned off phones, disappearing girls and now we don’t even know where it came from? Damn it!”





    They were in low spirits leaving the school, the rain that continued to pour only worsening their collective moods, so much so that they each went directly back to their houses.
    When Daiuske opened the door back into his temporary house, he found his aunt sitting at the couch in front of the lit television, turning her head when she heard him shutting the door behind him:

    “You’re home early, Dai-chan”, his aunt gave him a friendly smile, “You didn’t go out with your friends today?”

    “Nah, we’d get soaked wherever we went with this rain”, he fell into the couch tired, “Didn’t know you had the day off”.

    “I do get those from time to time”, Saeko smiled getting up from the couch, “Since I’m here, might as well cook something this time”.

    Daisuke thanked her, letting himself sink deeper into the couch, enjoying the momentary reprieve, despite his mind still constantly replaying what he had saw in his phone that night.
    The jingle for the local newscast on TV caught his attention and he looked back at the screen, leaning forward when he saw the two newscasters, a clean shaven man and a woman with a bowl cut.

    “Good night, Moriohcho, this is the evening news” the male anchor said, “Tonight, we start with the disappearance of a young student in our town”.

    As soon as he heard that phrase, Daisuke felt his body tense up.

    “Eighteen year old, Mayoi Yumeno, a third year at Budoga Oka High School disappeared yesterday after being last seen leaving her school the last afternoon”.

    Daisuke took his phone from his pocket, immediately sending a text to Tatsuya and Riko to warn them about the newscast, and he immeditaly got a reply from Riko, just as footage of Yumeno-senpai’s mother being interviewed was shown, as she expressed concern, saying that her daughter had never done anything of the sort before.

    “We have to find her” the text came from Tatsuya when the report ended.

    “We will” Daisuke replied.

    When, after diner, he went back up and turned his phone off to await the Dead Phone Watch, he looked through his window, seeing the rain continue to fall mercilessly. He didn’t know how him, Tatsuya and Riko could do anything if they knew nothing, but he hoped that they would get an answer soon.

    His alarm clock made a noise when it became midnight, and Daisuke immediately stepped through his room to find his phone, but there was nothing on there. It was as black as it had been since he turned it off.

    “Damn it…” he gritted his teeth.

    He started to touch the screen, trying to make something happen while he still had time, despite the screen showing no sign of registering his attempts. After he confirmed the impossibility he turned the phone back on and called Tatsuya, who confirmed that he also hadn’t seen anything. As did Riko, after he called her after.

    Cursing his luck in his mind, he laid back down on his bed, but his feeling that something bad was about to happen was only getting worse.




    Rain had stopped the next morning, despite it raining like it was a storm during the night, when Daisuke walked out of the house the next day, besides some clouds, the sky was clear, like it hadn’t rained at all. Further contributing to his theory that the town’s weather was under some sort of supernatural phenomenon.

    He looked at his phone to check the clock when he noticed something off about it. There seemed to be a new app installed on it, a red square with a black star over it.

    “What is this?”

    Before he could press it, a scream cut through the air and he felt the hairs on the back of his neck stand up as a dark chill went through his spine. Almost not thinking, he ran towards where he heard the scream, finding a small crowd already there all looking to the same place, above their heads.

    When Daiuske looked, he felt something tug at his heart strings: Up on power cables there was a girl tangled in them, her body and uniform was blackened by burns, but he could still distinguish her face, and her cold, dead eyes. The eyes of Mayoi Yumeno.


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    Mensagem  eld em 18/3/2017, 23:14

    The One With No Name


    The image lingered on his head, Yumeno's expressionless face staring blankly forward, unblinking. Every time he himself blinked, he saw it again. He told Tatsuya and Riko as soon as he saw them, and got to see on their faces the same look of confusion and terror he had seen on the small crowd that had gathered around the grim spectacle.

    The school's principal, Mr. Yoshida, called for an urgent meeting with his students and staff members, filling out the school's large auditorium with the dreaded news that Mayoi Yumeno, their colleague that had suddenly gone missing, had been found dead, although, he did spare the congregation with details of the strange and unusual crime scene.

    "God damn it..." Tatsuya whispered through gritted teeth, "We could've done something".

    "No, we couldn't", Riko replied, with her hands closed on top of her legs, with evident frustration, "We didn't know what was happening. We still don't know".

    When the announcement ended and students were free to leave the auditorium, Daisuke could see Toriumi consoling another third year girl, with a saddened expression, clearly holding back tears, but keeping a strong façade to help out her friend. He felt a deep respect for her then, as she was placing her own grieving for after she could care for her fellow students, after all, such was her duty as Student Council President.

    Daisuke was already making his way back home in the presence of his friends when his mind was filled with a terrifying possibility: What if this death was not an isolated incident, but just the first of many more. What if the killer, if there was one, wasn't yet satisfied? The prospect of another death shook him deeply, but also made him reinforce his desire to find the truth behind the Dead Phone Watch.

    It was a supernatural phenomenon that was certain. If the strange messages displayed on their phones wasn't proof enough, the crime scene was equally puzzling. No simple killer would go to the trouble of climbing the post and throw Yumeno's body on the cables.

    Just then, as he was walking next to where he had heard the screams of the horrified crowd, and after he had already got separated from his classmates, he remembered about the app that had suddenly appeared on his phone and he immediately took it out of his pocket and, once again, there it was, in the corner of the screen: a red square with a black star over it.

    It had to be connected to the Watch. He didn't know how, but he was certain: Whatever that was, it was somehow linked to the messages and to Yumeno's death. He hesitated briefly, thinking about what would happen if he pressed on it, before letting his curiosity get the better of him, and lowering his finger into the screen.

    His phone started to vibrate, the screen going black, and red letters appearing on it:

    (Studio Backlot)

    "s5sHad00W wWw0rlDD"

    The letters than disappeared again and a bright red light came of the screen, way brighter than Daisuke would ever think possible of his phone, forcing him to look away and shield his eyes, being momentarily blinded.

    When his eyes finally adapted to the light however, he wasn't on the street again. He was now in some sort of dark road, completely surrounded by a very thick and asphyxiating blood red fog that made it hard to see even a few meters ahead. The lamp posts by the walls cast a flickering bright red light.

    "Where the hell am I!?" he thought alarmed, looking around for some sort of clue, but finding nothing but fog. He raised his phone back, looking at it, but the screen was black again. He desperately tried to turn the button on its side to turn it on, but it was if it was completely dead.

    "Hey!" he called out without thinking, "Anybody out there!?"

    He heard something rustling in front of him, something shambling around over the ground, but he could only see it after it took a few more steps forward. It was not one, but three humanoid looking creatures, who walked in a hunched manner, their long arms almost scrapping against the pavement. Their skin was almost pitch black, but red and white kanji, numbers and alphabetical letters crawled through it, like it was some sort of strange screen. Their faces were hidden behind reddish expressionless mask that had eye holes behind which a golden light could be seen.

    "B-back off!" Daisuke took a step backwards, raising his arms in a defensive posture, "What the hell are you!?"

    One of the creatures took off from the group, taking a longer step forward before, suddenly, springing into the air, raising its arms to attempt to hit Daisuke, who jumped backwards, narrowly avoiding the creature, who got fell to the ground before springing back up and, together with its brethren, started to sprint towards him.

    Daisuke turned around, starting to run as fast as he could, feeling the fear creeping over him. Where was he? Was he in the same place where Yumeno had been before her death? Were those creatures the things that killed her?

    As much as he ran, he couldn't seem to get distance between himself and the monsters, despite their short legs, they were now running like quadrupeds, closing down on him. He managed to see an opening in the wall and slid quickly into an adjacent street, trying to lose his pursuers but they were determined to catch him.

    He finally ran into a dead end, a narrow street with a tall wall that he could not even hope to climb. Upon seeing that they had him cornered, the creatures slowed down, getting back into their back legs, and proceeding to walk to him once more.

    Daisuke was panicking. He could fight humans, he knew how they moved, he knew how and when to attack and when to dodge, but those creatures, they were not human. Even then, seeing that he was truly cornered, he raised his arms in a defensive stance once more, determined to at the very least, if he was going to be killed, he would die fighting.

    But, for some reason, the monsters stopped, staring at him with their golden eyes. Daisuke almost thought they were waiting for him to make the first move, but then he heard steps behind the monsters, not the shuffle that they made, but actual human steps and, from the fog, a human figure appeared, one that the monster made way for.

    (Borderline of Madness)
    Daisuke felt his jaw drop, for the person he was seeing in front of him was himself. It didn't wear the uniform of Budoga Oka, but instead, a striped prison uniform, with chains around his bare ankles and wrists, and his eyes shone with the same gold glow that the other monsters did, but everything else, the height, the hair, the face, it was exactly like him.

    "Who… Who are you?" the question left Daisuke's lips before he could even think.

    "Do you not recognize yourself?" a sharp smile appeared on the doppelganger's face, "I'm you. Daisuke Ichijou".

    "No, I'm me", the phrase sounded almost childish, but the shock didn't let him think.

    "True, I am much more than you. I am the version of you that is real", the doppelganger laughed, "You may pretend to be ashamed, to be so damn sorry about what you did. But I'm not. You're not. You revel in the crimes you committed".

    "That's wrong!"

    "Is it? Did you ever truly come to an answer about why it is you joined the gang? Why you fought?" the chains rattled as the other Daisuke paced around, "You always say that you 'don't know' why, but that's not true, is it? You loved it. You loved when the other thugs were beaten and bloody on the floor and they were looking up at you. 'Cuz that proved you were better. That proved you were stronger! And you bloody liked it! You fucking loved to be strong!"

    No, that was not true. It couldn't be. He hated it. He hated fighting. He only ever did it because he was bored and he was good at it. And he was wrong to do it, he could never take pride in something like that. Could he?

    "Shut up, you're lying!" he finally shouted, "You're nothing but a fucking liar!"

    "A liar? I could never lie to myself. I was strong. I am strong. I fought because it made me feel like I was the ruler of the world. I wasn't just the nice little heir, I was me for the first time since I was born. Cuz I was stronger than anybody. Cuz people finally knew that I was tough, cuz they weren't worth shit next to me. I am you, Daisuke! Just admit it already!"

    "No!" Daisuke shook his head, "You're not me!"

    Hearing those words, it was if something in his doppelganger snapped, as a dark blue and purple aura appeared around him, and from within him, as his eyes shone even brighter, and a creepy distorted smile appeared on its face.

    "I am your Shadow. I am your true self".

    (I'll Face Myself ~Battle)

    The body of the other Daisuke was completely shrouded in the fog and the dark energy and it began to change, it grew, becoming a monster, but unlike the other three creatures.

    When the dark aura subsided, what was standing in front of Daisuke was a tall but hunched humanoid creature, looking somewhat like a robotic knight, with a long and ripped dark-blue cape behind it, its body still covered in bits of the prison uniform, the chains on its wrists floating in the air. The head looked like a robotic version of Daisuke's own face, underneath a crown made of glass.

    "Become one with your Shadow!"

    Large claws made of glass appeared on the fingers of the creature, who lunged forward to kill him, when something pushed it back, like an invisible wall, forcing it to claw the ground to decelerate but still smashing the other three monsters behind him, making them explode in a dark puff of smoke.

    It was then the Daisuke noticed what had stopped the attack. A relatively small dog with mostly black fur, if not for a white snout and tan legs was standing just in front of him. It had an orange kerchief around its neck and its eyes had a gold shine when it turned its head to look at him, before turning back to the monster.

    "You ain't gonna kill this kid, Shadow".

    The dog spoke. Daisuke didn't know if he should be shocked by that with all of the crazy things going on in the last few minutes that were trying to kill him, but he still couldn't help but look incredulous to the mutt who had turned around to look at him with its bright golden eyes.

    "I can hold him off, but only for a moment", the dog spoke again, its voice sounded boyish "You have to accept your Shadow".

    "Accept it…?"

    "I will become stronger!" the monster that used to look like Daisuke roared, "No one in this whole damn world can look down on me!"

    The monster opened his arms wide, and in his hands, new shards of glass appearing, becoming even larger claws.

    "That thing is you!" the dog said, taking a leap forward, taking a defensive stance, lowered into the ground, "You have to admit, in your heart, that those are your hidden feelings!"

    "But they're n—"

    "Go to hell!"

    The monster leaped forward again and slashed through the air with its claws, attempting to slice Daisuke, but the canine jumped vertically, getting in the way of the strike, and deflecting it once again, falling on the ground at the same time as the monster, but this time, visually weakened and shaking.

    "Whatever the hell you felt! You can become better!" the dog screamed, evidently in pain, "You can only redeem yourself if you understand why you were wrong!"

    Those words resonated in him. Why did he feel so guilty after all? If he kept trying to tell himself that he had fought without knowing why, he was just really trying to get sympathy, like he was lost. No, he wasn't lost. The doppelganger's words, they had cut through him, they were truth. He fought because he wanted to be strong. Because he didn't like people to just assume he had been gifted with luck, because he wanted to prove that he was capable, and that no one could look down on him.

    He was wrong. He had tried to earn respect and admiration for the wrong reasons and in the wrong way. In his attempt to become strong, he had become weak. And he could only truly become a good person, if he fully accepted his faults.

    "Get out of my way!"

    The doppelganger lunged again, but the dog stumbled, it couldn't jump again, it was too weak. Daisuke didn't know how, but he was suddenly in front of it, with his arms wide open:

    "Stop right now!"

    As soon as his voice echoed through the street, it was if the creature's momentum radically dropped, as it fell right in front of him, staring him down.

    (I'll Face Myself ~another version)

    "You are right… I did it because I wanted to be strong. Because I wanted people to respect me. In the end, when I screwed up, I tried to act like I wasn't fighting for myself", he looked at his own feet, "Like somehow, someone else was to blame. But I was wrong. As much as I hate to admit it, you are me. I have to admit it, if I don't, I'll never really get my redemption."

    The creature's face, before, a twisted mockery of his own, shifted itself, in a sort of smile. It straightened itself, the claws disappearing as its arms rested beside him.

    A bluish-white warm light started to envelop it, and when it ceased, it had changed forms again. It was now looking a lot more humanoid, with a long dark-blue coat with gold accents, a red scarf underneath the face hidden behind a knight's helmet with three horns and the Roman number "XIII" underneath its left shining blue eye, the cuffs were still on its wrists, but the chains were much smaller and weren't attached to anything, floating around.

    "I am thou, thou art I", it said with a voice that sounds like a deeper version of Daisuke's, "I am Lazarus, the mask of Death, I am your sword and your shield".

    As soon as it pronounced its last word, it was enveloped in the blue light again, and the body disappeared, becoming only little light particles that flew into Daisuke, before disappearing, leaving a warm sensation in his chest.

    Daisuke stumbled momentarily, feeling suddenly tired, but then he remembered the dog, and turned around to look at it. The small canine was standing on his four legs once again, looking at him with what seemed like pride.

    "You really are strong", what looked like a smile appeared on the mutt's face as it, much more expressive than a regular dog from the real world, "To be able to face up against your Shadow like that… You are very brave, Nameless".

    "Why are you calling me that? I have a name", he said, "I'm Daisuke Ichijou… Who are you?"

    "Hum… You guess you do need a name to call me…" the dog lifted its front paw under his head, like it was stroking its chin, "You can call me Garm. Come with me, I'll explain everything"


    Última edição por Kuroo em 10/5/2017, 19:03, editado 2 vez(es)


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    SMTxJOJO: THE BLACKSTAR Empty Re: SMTxJOJO: THE BLACKSTAR

    Mensagem  eld em 21/3/2017, 23:31

    Awaken Magician


    (Studio Backlot)


    Garm led him to what apparently was a safer place, what seemed to be the inside of an old building, where, even inside, it was completely filled with the same dark red fog, that was starting to make Daisuke's head hurt.

    "Oh yes, I forgot you humans aren't used to the Fog", Garm said, in a jovial tone, "Here".
    The dog raised his right paw and a bright light appeared on it, before becoming a pair of black rimmed glasses. Daisuke kneeled in front of Garm, taking the glasses in his hands, placing them on his face and, immediately it was like there was no fog around him and he could see clearly into the old looking house. He could now see he was in what appeared to be a large room filled with the same ominous red glow that was all around that place, as well as various broken pieces of furniture.

    "You like the colour?" Garm asked cheerfully, "I like to make stuff like that when I'm bored. If you want I can make you another pair".

    "No, these are fine, thanks", Daisuke answered, while experimenting raising and lowering the glasses to see how the fog seemed to vanish, "Listen, I'm really confused about this place. Where are we?"

    "Well… This world is where only I and the Shadows live", Garm began walking around the room, seemingly without any specific aim, "Those creatures that were chasing you".

    "What about that thing that looked like me, and that turned into the monster… That was a Shadow too?"

    "Yes, but a bit different. Shadows are born from humans repressed emotions and memories. When you entered this world, your Shadow became so strong that it took your form and tried to kill you", Garm looked seriously at him, "When you, in your heart, accepted your darker half, the Shadow disappeared and in its place, you got the power to defeat other Shadows: a Stand".

    "Lazarus", Daisuke said and Garm nodded. He sat down, feeling tired from how much he had ran before, "Oh yeah, what was that thing about calling me 'Nameless'?"

    "Oh. We'll that is your arcana" Garm answered in a tone that was so matter of fact that confused Daisuke even more, "Stand users like you are specifically aligned with one of the twenty-two major arcana. Yours is the thirteenth. In some decks, it has no name. In others, it's called Death".

    "Wait so I'm 'Death'…?" he raised an eyebrow. It felt like he was having a fever dream, "What does that even mean?"

    "Don't think about it for now, just know you have a very strong and special power".

    "Ah… Ok then", just then something came back to his mind, "Hey… Did a girl called Mayoi Yumeno enter this place?"

    "Not like you", Garm shook his head, "You entered here by yourself. The girl was forced here. I couldn't find her, but I knew someone threw her here. Her Shadow got to her first".

    "Someone pushed her here?"

    "Didn't I just tell you that? Yes. To be honest, I thought maybe you were that person. I felt two presences that day, and when I felt yours, I thought you were the killer coming back to check his work. When I found you, though, I knew you had just wandered here by accident".

    Daisuke nodded consistently while hearing the dog talk. In the back of his mind, he couldn't stop thinking about how weird that might look. He kept thinking he was having some crazy hallucinations, but he had pinched his arm several times, and he felt the pain every time. It was real, all of it.

    With that settled, he finally had some answers. Yumeno's death was caused by a supernatural phenomenon, but only because someone had directly intervened. While her Shadow was the one who dealt the killing blow, whomever had locked her in that world was the real culprit, the real killer.

    "I'll find him", Daisuke said.

    "I'll be thankful if you do", Garm smiled, "The Shadows have been restless ever since he has shown up here. I fear for my safety. You could see that if you weren't so quick to accept your Shadow, I would have been killed".

    "I'll help out anyway I can", he promised, "I didn't really know senpai, but if I really want to redeem myself, I can't let a killer go on the loose to do as he pleases".

    Garm nodded in agreement but, just then, his ears rose and he sprung onto his paws:
    "There's someone else here"

    "Someone else? The killer?" Daisuke asked, getting up at the same time.

    "Follow me!"

    As soon as he said it, Garm sprinted out of the house, forcing Daisuke to run after him, running as fast as he could, trying his best to keep up with the canine. Leaving the house, he could finally get to see what was around him with the pair of glasses that Garm had gifted him letting him see past the fog: he was in a town with approximately the same layout as Morioh, but the houses all looked old and dark, ominous red light came from the streets, while the air was heavy and harder to breathe, like they were a lot higher in the mountains than the normal town.

    "Shadows!"


    (Reach Out To The Truth)


    Garm's sudden cry of warning caught him off guard, almost making him trip when he saw the small group of creatures that were now ahead of him, three of them, almost identical to the three that had chased him before.

    "Nameless, unleash your power!" Garm said, jumping back next to him, "Your Stand can smash past these weaklings".

    Daisuke nodded, holding his hand up to his face and closing his eyes, breathing in, feeling power creeping over him. He opened his eyes once again and was filled by a bluish fire-like aura:

    "Lazarus!"


    SMTxJOJO: THE BLACKSTAR Rd58cPx


    From within him, the knight-looking ghost appeared, in its right hand conjuring a sword made of bright glass that slashed through the right most Shadow, obliterating it like it wasn't even there.

    "Yeah! Here we go!" Garm cheered excitedly, "Looking cool, Nameless!"

    "Ohryaaa!" the deep voice of the Stand roared as it glided backwards to dodge an attack and dealt a fierce blow with his sword, so violent it broke into several smaller shards.

    The remaining Shadow took several steps behind it, although the mask hid its face, it was certainly terrified, yet it still lunged forward when it saw the sword had been broken.

    The shards of glass flew together back into Lazarus's hand, taking the shape of a spear that pierced through the last Shadow, making it explode in a large puff of dark smoke and, what seemed to be, electrical sparks.

    "Watch out!"

    Daisuke turned around quickly to see a fourth Shadow that he had not seen before jump out from the darkness trying to attack him from behind by leaping at him.

    "Go down!" he said as Lazarus's spear flew right past his head, hitting the Shadow squarely on the chest, pinning it to a wall before collectively bursting into dark smoke and shards of glass.
    Daisuke felt like somewhat of a dork by doing it, but he couldn't resist to use his hand to adjust his glasses, like some sort of manga hero, once Lazarus returned to him.

    "You really are a natural at this, huh?" Garm jumped to his shoulder, almost making him fall with the sudden weight, "I actually kind of think you can catch the killer now".

    "The killer!" He had forgotten why they were running in the first place, "The presence you felt, is it still here?"

    Garm nodded, jumping back onto the ground and running ahead once more, going two streets over, as they left the more recognisable town centre and into what seemed to be a destroyed and ruinous version of the Shopping District.

    "There!"

    Daisuke looked ahead and he saw someone running away, being chased by two flying spherical creatures, with the same strange pitch black skin overlaid with flashing characters and a mask over a large mouth with sharp teeth.

    It wasn't the different species of Shadow that surprised him, however but the person running away from them: Tatsuya.

    "Lazarus!"

    Daisuke ran opposite of Tatsuya, his stand leaving his body and slashing the first of the monsters, very nearly dodging the second one, who was much faster than the grounded Shadows.

    The Shadow rolled away from a second and third strike, its agility matching Lazarus's own speed before finally, Daisuke faking out an attack before make Lazarus spin, hitting his fleeing opponent and slashing past it.

    "What the hell was that!?"

    Daisuke turned to see Tatsuya walking up to him:

    "What were those things? And who... Wait, Daisuke!?"

    "You entered the world of the Shadows, you are on the other side" Garm explained, walking up to Daisuke's side.

    "Did…Did that dog just talk to me!?" the blond boy laughed nervously "Dude, I don't remember taking any drugs, but this is one far out dream".

    "A dream? I'm not that stupid".


    (Borderline of Madness)


    A voice that sounded like Tatsuya's, if not deeper and raspier, came from the end of the street from where another young man walked, identical to Tatsuya, but for the golden eyes that marked him as a Shadow. Unlike the prison uniform that Daisuke's Shadow had worn, however, Shadow Tatsuya wore what Daisuke assumed to be Budoga Oka's volleyball team uniform, with fur trimmed cape over it, and a golden crown on his head.

    "What the hell!? Why do you look like me!?" Tatsuya's fear and confusion were evident in his voice.

    "Because I am you, you idiot", Shadow Tatsuya made a large wolf-like smile, "The lord of this damn dump of a town. The only one with some sort of brain around here. Everyone should be acknowledging me."

    "What are you saying?" Tatsuya gritted his teeth, "That's not true, I don't think like that! You're just a lousy fake!"

    "Tatsuya, you have to accept it", Daisuke called out, grabbing his friend's shoulder, "If you don't—"

    "Oh! There he is, Lord Ichijou! Even here trying to steal my thunder!" Tatsuya's Shadow moved its arms, adjusting the cape, "As soon as people started to understand how better I, an educated man from the Big City, am, here comes this edgy looking asshole and suddenly he's the centre of attention and all he wants to do is upstage me!"

    "Shut the hell up!" Tatsuya replied, but he seemed to have lost all reasoning.

    "Saving Yumeno and catching her killer? Fuck that, I just want people to look up to me like I'm the bravest hero!" the Shadow chuckled, "I want love, fame and fortune, and I won't let anyone steal them from me!"

    "Damn it, shut up! You're a dirty liar!" Tatsuya gave a step forward, "You're not me!"


    (I'll Face Myself - Battle)


    Like what had happened before with Daisuke's own Shadow, the complete refusal triggered a dark aura to surround the doppelganger, as its laugh became more and more robotic and twisted, as it mutated into its new form: It became a large humanoid, in a white suit filled with zippers and peculiar gold shining rings on its robotic looking arms and legs. A red cape floated behind it, and its face was obscured by what seemed to be an astronaut's helmet, with the visor filled by a wall of nonsensical text like what appeared on smaller Shadow's bodies.

    "Let's play then, shall we?" Shadow Tatsuya chuckled in a distorted voice, flailing its arms around in an unnatural way.

    "Stay back!" Daisuke shouted, stepping in front of his friend that had frozen in fear.

    With a scream, Tatsuya's Shadow opened its arms wide and dark and purple energy appeared on its hands, joining them together to produce an even wider ball of energy that kept expanding, and producing what seemed to be a violent gravitational pole, throwing Daisuke off the floor making him float in the air, getting sucked in.

    "Lazarus!" he cried out, summoning his stand that hardened its glass claws, striking the ground to try and stop the momentum.

    "Nameless, watch out!"

    He looked back where he had been to see Tatsuya and Garm desperately trying to hang on before also being sent flying towards him. Tatsuya's Shadow gravitational surge was pulling them all together towards it.

    "Get over here already!" the Shadow laughed maniacally.

    "Fine! You want it, you got it!"

    Lazarus let go, shifting around to be in front of Tatsuya, sending its glass claws as glass shards towards the Shadow catching it by surprise, making it just barely stop its gravity altering attack, having it side step.

    Sensing an opportunity, Daisuke managed to steady himself, taking a single step on the ground before leaping into an attack, Lazarus conjuring a glass sword, hitting the Shadow's robotic arms, making a deep cut into them as it tried to block.

    He tried to make a follow up attack but taking a step back, the Shadow made the reverse movement from before, generating another dark purple ball of energy, but this one, with the opposite effect, sending a powerful shockwave that sent Daisuke and the others behind him, flying backwards, rolling through the ground.

    "Damn it…" Daisuke cursed trying to get back up, touching his left arm where he imagined bruises were. He looked back at Tatsuya, laying on the ground looking defeated, "Get up! What are you doing laying down there? Are you just going to give up!?"

    "What do you want me to do!?" Tatsuya struggled to push himself up unto his feet, "I'm not strong like you!"

    "Yes you are!" Daisuke summoned Lazarus again, making his Stand create a new salvo of glass claws, in case the Shadow tried to pull him in again, "You just have to accept your flaws! Until you can respect yourself, you won't get others to respect you!"

    "Stop trying to make yourself look cool, you bastard!" the Shadow screamed closing in, rearing one if its arms back, prepping an attack, "After I kill you, I'll finally be number one!"

    Lazarus created a glass spear, trying to outrange his opponent, throwing it forward, forcing the Shadow to send his gravity blast early to deflect it, allowing Daisuke to get close, jumping forward, his stand ahead of him, right arm extended, gripping into his opponent's neck and violently slamming it down.

    Daisuke pressed his advantage immediately, summoning one more glass sword, and preparing to go for the kill. It would be like a regular Shadow.

    "Wait!"

    He looked behind him, seeing Tatsuya walk beside him, visibly still shaken from the fall, but his expression seemed to be cleared of doubts and filled with what seemed pity, as he looked to the Shadow version of himself.


    (I'll Face Myself)

    "You really messed with my head, you know that?" Tatsuya gave a weak smile, "Saying all that shit, I just wasn't ready to hear someone expose me like that. It's true. I am like that. I am just this super egocentric asshat", he turned his head to look at Daisuke, "Even when you were helping me, I still couldn't admit how envious I was of you. Hell of anybody. I just want people to think I'm a hero".

    He held his hand out towards the monster:

    "As much as I hate to admit it: you're me".

    A warm blue-white light appeared around the Shadow, dimming slowly revealing its true form, a Stand: It was leaner than it had been originally, but it had a much more mechanical appearance. It kept he same shining gold rings on its arms and legs. The head looked almost human, with copper eyes on a dark grey face and golden short hair, held with an orange cloth that wrapped around to its neck and lower face, while yellow earphones were placed over. Various star shapes were placed around its body, and on its chest, it seemed to have a core with constant energy buzzing.

    "I am thou, thou art I", the Stand said, "I am Starsailor, the mask of the Magician. I am your sword and your shield".


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    SMTxJOJO: THE BLACKSTAR Empty Re: SMTxJOJO: THE BLACKSTAR

    Mensagem  eld em 10/5/2017, 18:36

    A Bond Reforged

    (Sunset Bridge)


    They had moved to a small alley that ended in a brick wall, away from the main streets where the chances of running into Shadows was that much higher.

    Even if his new glasses made it seem like the fog was much less dense then it really was, its physically and mentally draining effects were still felt, as he was starting to feel nauseous as well as extremely tired, and the same was not only true but also multiplied for Tatsuya, that had awakened to his Stand just a few minutes before and didn't have the protective glasses he had.

    One question after the other, Tatsuya asked them about where they were, about what were the monsters that had attacked them, what was the doppelganger that talked like he knew his deepest and darkest thoughts and why had it turned into a monster and later, once he had accepted it as part of him, it had returned back to him. Daisuke found himself talking about Stands and Shadows as if he knew about them for years when in reality he had only known for a few hours more than his friend and was essentially repeating what Garm had told him before.

    Eventually, Tatsuya ended up remembering about what had driven them to that world in the first place: the mysterious disappearance and killing of Mayoi Yumeno, and Garm took it upon himself to explain him what happened when someone was killed by their own Shadow and, also, how he had felt more than one presence when Yumeno had become trapped in that place.

    "So whoever threw her in is the one responsible for her death", Tatsuya concluded, "To think a murderer is hiding in such a small town... It's insane…"

    "We don't know anything about the killer, but I'm sure he won't quit after just one victim. No, I'm sure he will kill again unless we stop him", Daisuke said grimly, "With Stands we can fight Shadows. If he throws someone else, I'll save them'.

    "You won't do it alone", Tatsuya smiled, an honest smile, but a tired one as well, "I'm scared as shit, but I can't let a bastard like that keep doing what he wants. I have Starsailor now, I can't let this power go to waste. I'm with you".

    "Well, guess you are now an official part of the team then", Garm was now holding a pair of glasses on his paw, the same shape as Daisuke's, but with yellow rims, "Welcome to the team, Magician".

    "Wow, there's codenames too?" Tatsuya laughed sheepishly, grabbing the glasses and placing them on his face, "Hot damn! It's like the fog doesn't exist anymore. I was wondering why you were wearing glasses, Daisuke. Thanks, doggo".

    "That's Garm to you!" the dog held his head in a proud manner.

    "Hey Garm, one thing", Daisuke interrupted, "How do we leave?"

    "Oh", he opened his mouth like he had not even thought about it, "You should be able the leave the same way you came here".

    Daisuke took his phone from his pocket once more, seeing the screen black as it had been since he had entered that place. He looked at Tatsuya and he too seemed to have his phone in the same situation.

    "Wait, hang on", Garm leapt back into Daisuke's shoulder with swiftness but still almost throwing him to the ground, before he valiantly held his footing " Lemme touch the screens real quick".

    Daisuke did as told, rising his phone up to his left shoulder where Garm put his paw forward, touching it and making a spark spread through it, making a red clock appear on the screen, as well as the same red square with a black star in the middle.

    Garm jumped from Daisuke's shoulder to Tatsuya's catching the blond boy by surprise, knocking him to the ground before he could touch the screen of the other phone, having the same effect as it did on Daisuke's.

    "You can come back the same way as you entered this time", he said, distractedly scratching his side with his hind leg "Just make sure when you do, you two are together or you may end up far away from each other".

    "We'll be back", Daisuke promised.

    Garm nodded, and Tatsuya exchanged a quick look with Daisuke before they each pressed the square on their phones, making a white light come from the screen as it had before, bright enough to make them cover their eyes. When the light subsided, the fog covered red ruins of the town were gone and they were back in Morioh, precisely in an alleyway between Owson, a convenience store, and a block of houses. Daisuke was unsure of how long they had been gone until he looked at his phone and saw they had been away for only a few hours, yet the sky was already completely dark and the street lights were lit.

    "Either I had the weirdest dream ever, or that was real" Tatsuya said after a brief moment of silence when the two of them walked back onto the main shopping district, "I mean… I didn't dream it right?"

    "You weren't wearing those glasses before", Daisuke responded as he took his own pair of black rimmed glasses that Garm has gifted him, noticing that they didn't get dirty even if he touched the lenses and placing them on the pocket of his jacket.

    "Oh yeah, you're right", Tatsuya took his own glasses off, looking at his phone after it, "The app is still here. So that means if we press it we can go back to see Garm again", Tatsuya stored his phone away, looking at the ground in thought for a few moments before looking up at Daisuke once more, "We'll catch the bastard".

    Daisuke nodded, sticking his hand forward to shake hands with Tatsuya, as if to make their new partnership official. They said goodbye for the day then, remembering how late it was and how their families might be starting to be worried about them, going in different directions.
    The door was locked when Daisuke got home, Saeko still hadn't come off her shift. He smiled, thanking his good luck, if she knew how late he was, she might have assumed he had been out on town fighting or doing something illegal.

    As soon as he reached his room, he let himself fall on top of his bed, dead tired, falling asleep almost immediately.


    (Heartbeat, Heartbreak)

    When the alarm had rung the next morning he almost threw his phone at the wall, yet still he woke up, realizing with annoyance that despite his long sleep, he still felt tired. He briefly wondered if he had dreamt the entirety of the previous day, but he could see some bruises on his body from the fights, and the pair of glasses that strange dog had gifted him were still on the pocket of his uniform.

    The sky was cloudy when he was walking along back to the school after leaving the house, making him wonder if the fog would appear at night, prompting another Dead Watch.
    He arrived at school, finding Riko by the door to the classroom talking with the black-haired girl that had helped him during the other lesson, with no sign of Tatsuya who, Daisuke assumed, would probably be as tired as he was.

    "Mornin', Daisuke" Riko said in a cheerful tone when she saw him, "You alright? You look beat".

    "Couldn't really get much sleep tonight" he answered, scratching the back of his head.

    "Well, you should really be careful", Yamaguchi said with what seemed to be a concerned tone, "Not getting enough sleep can really be harmful for your health".

    "Geez, Yukino, you don't need to exaggerate", Riko gave a small chuckle, "I'm sure he's fine".
    "Hey, mornin'".

    Tatsuya arrived just then, raising his right hand to try and hide a large yawn. Looking at him, it was obvious he was also extremely tired.

    "You too?" Riko shook her head, "Where you two out last night or something?"

    "Huh? Us two?" Tatsuya gave a quick glimpse to Daisuke by his side, "Oh. Nah, I was up studying, dunno about him".

    "I'm surprised to hear that, Mikado-kun", Yamaguchi said, her tone made her sound a lot more honest than her words, "You normally don't have very good grades, so I didn't expect you to study that hard".

    "Huh?" Tatsuya gave her an annoyed look, "I'm trying my best alright, Yamaguchi-san? Not everybody can have your luck and be born rich and smart, kay?"

    Yamaguchi seemed to be bothered by the comment, like she wasn't trying to provoke or be mean to him, being caught off guard by the other boy's annoyance. Riko diffused the potential situation just in time for class, but as Daisuke took his seat beside Riko, he glanced casually at the dark-haired girl: She seemed to be polite and smart, and yet, there was some awkwardness to her speech, like she was trying to be more reserved than she would've liked.
    When the end of class bell rang and they left the classroom, Tatsuya immediately approached him, telling Riko they would be going to the bathroom, leaving her with Yamaguchi, while the two boys, walked in the opposite direction:

    "I suppose you really didn't need me to come with you to the bathroom", Daisuke said, looking over his shoulder.

    "Of course not, I wanna talk about yesterday" Tatsuya looked nervously around him, "So… I didn't imagine any of that right? I wasn't tripping or something, right? The Shadows, the dog, our Stands, the whole thing: it's real, yeah?"

    "Yeah", Daisuke nodded, pulling his glasses from his pocket, showing them to his friend.

    "Great, I have mine here too", the blond took his hand to his pocket to show his own pair of yellow-rimmed glasses, "So… When are we going back there?"

    "We shouldn't just keep going there every day, that's too dangerous. You're seeing how tired we are after going there once", Daisuke took out his phone, looking at the mysterious app that took them to the Shadow World, "It should be foggy tonight. We should check to see if there's anything on the Watch. If there is, tomorrow we'll go report to Garm".

    "Mmkay, seems fine by me", Tatsuya beamed, "But man, we can be real lifesavers! Actual superheroes! You looked so cool fighting those things, I really need to start training, I'm sure Starsailor can whoop some major ass too".

    "Hey, captain!"

    A boy came up to the two of them suddenly. He was shorter than Tatsuya, with really short dark hair and was wearing the school's PE uniform, a dark-blue tracksuit with white stripes on the shoulders.

    "Matsuda, hey", Tatsuya greeted the underclassman, before introducing him, "Daisuke, this is Kozume Matsuda, he's our first year libero" he then placed his hand on his taller friend's shoulder, "This is Daisuke Ichijou, he'll be our new middle blocker."

    "I'm gonna be what now?" Daisuke raised an eyebrow.

    "Come on, partner", Tatsuya gave him a friendly pat on the back, "With how tall you are, you'll block stuff without even trying. We're going to nationals, baby!".

    "Hum… about that, Mikado-senpai" Matsuda looked down, avoiding Tatsuya's inquisitive gaze, "Coach Fukunaba isn't coming back this year".

    (Tension)

    "What!?" Tatsuya's sudden shout caught a few passerby by surprise, making some of them visibly jump, "What do you mean 'Coach isn't coming back'?"

    "He didn't give us PE today, seems he injured his back and won't be able to teach for a while, so we'll get a substitute", Matsuda had taken a step back, "The volleyball team advisor is Mr. Sakakibara now".

    "Sakakibara!?" if the last question had been loud, this one had caught even Daisuke by surprise, "He doesn't know shit about volleyball! Hell, he probably won't even let us play in the regional tournament! This is bullshit!"

    "Shut your trap, Mikado".

    The unpleasant voice and tone was unmistakable, Sakakibara walked up to the three of them on the corridor, as a small crowd had started to gather around them, trying to figure out where the shouting was coming from.

    "So what about your damn club? You never made it to nationals before, why should we keep spending our money on your lazy asses", Sakakibara's smile carried poison, "Maybe you should actually spend your time studying every once in a while".

    "You bastard!" Tatsuya was fuming, taking a step forward before Daisuke and Matsuda both hurried to grab him, and keep him from doing anything.

    "Insulting and trying to intimidate a teacher, eh? Well, I hope you enjoy detention. You're also banned from club activities and I'm removing your place as captain".

    Tatsuya managed to shake off Matsuda, but Daisuke held him harder, stopping him from just going and punching the teacher in the face. He wanted to let his friend go, hell, he himself would punch Sakakibara if he could, but that would turn an already terrible situation in a disastrous one.

    "I see you city boys keep together, how nice", Sakakibara grunted, seemingly disappointed they had not attacked him and given him a pretence for expelling them, "You better behave now, Mikado, or I'll make sure you're expelled".

    Sakakibara turned his back on them, walking back to where he was, dispersing the crowd of onlookers as he did, among them, Daisuke could see Riko who instantly walked towards them:

    "That bastard…" Tatsuya repeated under his breath, shaking with rage, wrangling to free himself from Daisuke, who let him go.

    "Hey… You ok?" Riko asked, when he seemed to have calmed down a bit.

    "I'm fine", the lie was obvious, but none of them pointed it out, letting him take a deep breath and turn towards Matsuda, "Well, I'll leave it to you guys. Mayuzumi is probably gonna do fine as captain, if he's the one that asshole picks".

    "Even without a coach, we'll try our best to gather money to play the prelims", Matsuda gave him a confident nod, "We'll win it for you, captain".

    Tatsuya gave his underclassman a thankful smile, wishing him luck and watching him go back through the hallway. Tatsuya scratched his head, looking at the floor before looking at both Daisuke and Riko:

    "Well, we have a class now, right?"

    Daisuke and Riko traded a concerned look, but they said nothing, deciding to give their friend space to let him breathe and sort out his thoughts.


    (Beneath the Mask)

    The fog had set in when Daisuke had returned home, oddly enough, feeling less tired than he had been that morning. Saeko had actually cooked dinner instead of bringing take out, as she had managed to leave work early. Despite her admission that she was a "decent cook", Daisuke actually felt his aunt's food was far better than the one made by some professional chefs.

    "How's the food?" Saeko asked, smiling as she saw how eagerly he ate.

    "Great", he replied, "You're a great cook, aunt Saeko".

    "Haha, I'm not all that", she started to lift the dirty plates as they both finished eating, "If you want, I can teach you. Girls like it when a boy can cook, you know?"

    Daisuke agreed on the offer but his attention was shifted elsewhere when he felt his phone rumble on his pocket:

    "Its foggy. The dpw is gonna be one 2nite. ill call you after k?"


    He quickly wrote a reply to Tatsuya's text agreeing to it, even though he didn't need a reminder. He was well aware of the Watch. He couldn't decide if he wanted someone to appear or not however. If someone did, it meant the Killer was at it again, however, it also meant that he had kept to his MO and, as such, they may have a chance at stopping him.
    Although after diner he had opened his books to study, he couldn't truly focus, continuously looking at the clock to see how much time was left before midnight. He had received a text from Riko worrying about Tatsuya and his ban from club activities, saying he wasn't replying to her texts, for which Daisuke assumed he had already turned his phone off to await the Watch. Daisuke replied telling her that he probably just had no battery and still hadn't noticed and that he should be fine. After she replied to him one last time, wishing him good night, he turned his phone off and took it with him to bed, as the final minutes to midnight passed.

    As the clock on his desk showed "00:00" the strange static appeared on the screen, slowly becoming clearer and making a silhouette appear on it. It appeared to be a woman again and, just like last time, she wore Budoga's uniform, but while her face wasn't visible, her long black hair was. Just as he was realising he had seen her before, the screen went back to black and the transmission ended.

    He hurried to turn his phone on again, his mind racing, a call from Tatsuya arriving almost immediately.

    "Dude! That's Yukino!" Tatsuya said through the line, "I'm like ninety-nine percent sure that's Yamaguchi".


    "Yeah, it definitely looked familiar", he agreed, nodding to himself.

    "Oh man, this is bad... Was she taken already!?"


    "No, she wasn't", he replied, confident in his answer, "Yumeno-senpai only disappeared when we could see and hear her clearly. Yamaguchi is probably still safe".

    "Hum... We need to talk to her tomorrow. And then we go and talk with the doggo".


    Agreeing on a plan. They ended their conversation. Yukino Yamaguchi was the killer's next target, but they wouldn't let him harm her. They'd stop him.


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    SMTxJOJO: THE BLACKSTAR Empty Re: SMTxJOJO: THE BLACKSTAR

    Mensagem  eld em 10/5/2017, 18:50

    Storming Strength



    (Reasoning 5)

    When they went to class the next day, Yamaguchi was still there, as if the Watch didn't seem to have had any effect on her, at least, not yet. Even if they hadn't talked to Yumeno, she also didn't seem to have anything wrong with her when they had seen her the day before she disappeared.

    He noticed that Tatsuya was also sneaking quick glances at Yamaguchi from time to time, but either she simply didn't notice them or just wasn't bothered by them. Once class ended, Tatsuya made sure to take Riko away with him, trying to get her out of the way so Daisuke could try and talk to Yamaguchi. They had decided that they wouldn't tell Riko about the other world, at least, not for now. Even if she also knew about the Watch and had seen it, they didn't want to put her in danger needlessly.

    "Hey, Yamaguchi-san", Daisuke called her when she started to move to the door, "Can I talk to you for a sec?"

    "Huh? Me?" the girl seemed flustered, like it was rare for people to approach her, "Why?"
    "I just want to ask you something, it's quick, don't worry".

    "Ah... sure, I guess".

    He followed her outside, taking a look to check where Tatsuya and Riko were going while he and Yamaguchi went the opposite direction, the girl stopping and turning towards him next to the door to the Music Room.

    "So…" she didn't seem to like keep eye contact, often avoiding meeting his gaze, "What do you want to ask me?"

    "Huh... Have you seen anything strange lately?" he asked, not sure of what he should say even if he had practiced that conversation in his mind at least half a dozen times.

    "Strange?" she repeated.

    "Yeah, like..." he thought for a bit, trying to think something up on the spot before finally, after a bit of an awkward moment an idea popping into his mind, "Ha… Your parents own LuckyLand, right?"

    "Ah... y-yeah", her reaction was almost one of embarrassment, "Why do you ask? What do you want, Ichijou-kun?"

    "Well, my parents own the Ichijou Fruit Parlour, they send shipments to LuckyLand", he didn't really know if they did, but it wasn't too much of a stretch to assume they did, "They told me someone was allegedly messing with their shipments and they weren't getting to your shop. I just wanted to know if you knew anything".

    "Oh, well ah... I don't really know", she seemed a lot more uncomfortable ever since he had mentioned the shopping centre, "I just focus on my studies, so I don't really know anything about the store... I'm sorry".

    "Nah, it's alright" he lightly shook his head, "Just be on the lookout, ok? After what happened to senpai, we should all be careful, right?"

    Yamaguchi gave him another look that fell somewhere between confused and worried, before they went their separate ways with awkward goodbyes. Daisuke cursed his terrible attempt at a conversation in his mind as he walked outside the school where Tatsuya was waiting for him at the gate.

    "So, how did it go?" the blond asked, taking his hands out of his trouser pockets and stepping away from the wall.

    "Terrible", he said exasperated, "But I guess she hasn't seen anything weird… Besides me, of course. I told her to be careful, though".

    "Sheesh, and here I thought you'd actually do something", he shook his head, "Oh yeah. Riko saw the Watch. She also thinks it's Yukino".

    "You told her anything?"

    "Course not. But I think she suspects we know more than we're letting on" he sighed, "I guess if she just warns Yamaguchi, it probably won't be bad. They're friends, Yukino will trust Riko, I guess".

    "We should get moving then", Daisuke said, "Let's go back to where we were last time, we should be able to find Garm quickly if we go there".

    Tatsuya agreed and they went on their way to the place where they had exited the Shadow World last time, the small alley between the Owson store and the small row of houses. The whole way they walked there, Daisuke was under the impression that they were being followed, but when he looked behind him he never found anything out of the ordinary, and yet that lingering sensation didn't seem to leave him.

    "Ok, we just have to press this app thing right?" Tatsuya asked once they reached the alley.
    "Yeah", Daisuke took his glasses from his pocket, placing them on his face, "Ready".

    Tatsuya nodded, placing his own glasses on his face and making a quick countdown to 3 before he pressed on the app. Just as soon as he had pressed it, Daisuke saw someone move in from behind Tatsuya, but before he could do anything, a strong white light overtook and blinded them.

    When the light stopped, they were back where they had been two days before: a dark and ominously lit alleyway, with the strange and oppressive red fog around them. It was then he saw who had followed them: Looking completely lost and terrified was Riko.

    "Wh-what the hell is this place!?" she asked loudly, making Tatsuya who hadn't yet seen her jump, "What is going on?"

    "How the hell did you get here?" Tatsuya asked, turning around to face her.

    "I don't know!" she shouted, "You two were acting really weird so I followed you. I have no idea what happened!"

    "You shouldn't have followed us!" Tatsuya said back, almost louder than her, "This place is dangerous!"

    "Shut up!" Daisuke intervened, his voice only louder than a whisper, but with the same intensity as if he had shouted, "The Shadows will hear us".

    "The Shadows?" Riko asked even more confused, but controlling her volume better, "What are those?"

    Tatsuya raised his right arm, pointing forward:

    "Those things".

    (Time to Make History)

    As if on command, a small mob of five Shadows rushed to their position, three of them where of the hunched over quadruped variety that had attacked Daisuke when he had first arrived there and the other two of them were the spherical ones with the large mouth that had rushed Tatsuya. Riko had frozen in pace in shock, but the other two stepped in front of her:

    "Laz-!"

    "Wait", Tatsuya grabbed his friends arm, stopping him, "I think I can stop them".

    Daisuke nodded, understanding Tatsuya's intention and let him step in front of him, holding his hand up, a dark blue light appearing around him:

    "Let's go, Starsailor!"

    SMTxJOJO: THE BLACKSTAR OZpkA62

    His stand appeared on call, the orange scarf floating behind its robotic body as it spun in the air with his arms wide open, making dark purple energy orbs appear on its hands, joining into a large orb when the stand pointed its hands forward, sending the sphere ahead stopping it in front of the charging mod:

    "Now!"

    The energy sphere sent out a pulse, catching the five Shadows and pulling them all towards the centre of the sphere with its own gravitational force, making the creatures crash violently into each other.

    "Lazarus!"

    SMTxJOJO: THE BLACKSTAR Rd58cPx

    The knight in the dark coat appeared once again amidst the dark blue aura, forming a large halberd of the sharpest glass in its hands, charging forward with speed and deadly intention.
    "Ravage them!" Daisuke called, clenching his fist.

    Lazarus spun fast around itself, holding its weapon in both hands, dealing a devastating diagonal strike cutting past the Shadows when they were at their closest, eliminating all five in a single strike, leaving only a large puff of smoke and electrical sparks where they once had been.

    "Wooohoo, baby!" Tatsuya cheered, high fiving Daisuke, "That's some top class teamwork right there!"

    "Will you two please explain what the hell is going on!?"

    They both turned around, their Stands disappearing as they did, to look at Riko who looked completely lost. Before they could say anything however, from the end of the street they saw a familiar figure, Garm, who walked towards them:

    "Ah, I could swear I heard your voices", the dog called in a jovial tone, before looking at Riko with a confused expression, "Huh? Who's that?"

    "You're a dog", she said, her mind clearly trying to process all of the crazy things she had seen in the last few minutes, "And you're talking".

    "He's Garm", Tatsuya said pointing to the canine, "And that's our friend Riko Kida, she followed us here".

    "Nice to meet you", Garm said in a cheerful tone.

    "The dog is talking to me", she mumbled, looking to Daisuke and Tatsuya "You two just sent ghosts to fight the monsters. Ok, I'm dreaming. I'm just having a really weird dream".

    Tatsuya and Daisuke traded looks with each other and with Garm, trying to figure out how to explain their situation. Eventually they started to give their best account possible about where they were, about how their Stands worked, what Shadows were and what they had learned about Yumeno's death, and how they had come to check on if Yamaguchi's appearance on the Watch had already had an impact on the other world. Riko kept insisting that she was having a very strange dream, but as time went on, she seemed to gradually have come to accept that it was reality, even if an extremely strange reality.

    "I can't detect anyone else in here", Garm told them after Riko seemed to have somewhat conceded, "But I also don't know about that thing you talked about. The only explanation I can think of is that what you see is your friend's Shadow".

    "Didn't you say our own Shadow only became strong when we came inside this world?" Daisuke inquired.

    "In your case yes, but this one may be different. By the description you told me of the dead girl's appearance on that 'Watch' thing that must have been her Shadow too" Garm looked up to the moon still clearly visible despite the fog, "You could only see her talk and 'act' when she was already trapped here".

    "So... Yukino is still safe?" Riko still seemed confused but apparently was catching up, "If her Watch becomes like Yumeno-senpai it means she's inside?"

    "I believe so", Garm nodded, "Her Shadow won't attack her immediately even when she comes here. A Shadow will try to make her reach her true self, it won't kill her unless it rains in your world".

    "Wait, it won't attack until it rains?" Tatsuya repeated.

    "Yes. When it rains in your world, it means that the fog in this world disappears and Shadows become a lot more aggressive", Garm continued, "The other girl must have been taken hostage by her Shadow, but only killed her when it rained".

    "But our Shadows attacked as soon as we saw them", Daisuke remembered.

    "That's because you actively refused it. If you hadn't rejected your Shadow outright, it wouldn't have fought you… I think".

    "You think?" Tatsuya raised an eyebrow.

    "Hey, I'm making theories here. I'm not one-hundred percent sure, but I think that's why", Garm shook his head annoyed.

    "Hey, ah… Garm-kun", Riko called, "Can't they just defeat Yukino's Shadow already? I mean… if the Shadow is defeated, than she won't be in danger, right?"

    "That won't work unfortunately", Garm lowered his ears with a sad whimper, like one would hear from a regular dog, "Her Shadow won't disappear until your friend accepts it. Even the Shadows they are fighting aren't dead. They'll be reborn again after a while. And that is especially true about a strong Shadow like that. Even if they are defeated, it will reappear again".

    "Sad, isn't it?"

    (Border of Insanity)

    The group who had been completely focused on their talk hadn't even see the owner of the voice until it spoke. Leaning against the wall was someone that Daisuke had dreaded would appear ever since he had seen Riko had come with them: her Shadow.

    It was quite a shock to see her. While Daisuke and Tatsuya's Shadow looked the same as them despite the golden eyes and the different clothes, Shadow Riko looked a lot different, with long straight hair, wearing a frilly expensive looking dressed with feathers decorating it, and her bright golden eyes were surrounded in bright orange eye shadow. Her painted lips curled in a mocking smile.

    "That's… Riko's Shadow?" Tatsuya mumbled more to himself than to the others, "She looks so different".

    "You like how I look, Tatsu-chan?" the Shadow's grin widened, "I wish I could look like this all the time, shame I'm so damn lazy. Maybe boys would start looking at me instead".

    "What!?" Riko took a step forward, completely disregard what she had just learnt about Shadows, "That's not true! I don't care about that stuff!"

    "Oh but you do care", the Shadow began playing with a strand of her hair, "You may act like all you care about is manga, horror movies and wrestling, but that isn't true. In your heart, you hate that people just assume you don't care about how you look. That you are just like 'one of the boys' only because you're not as pretty as the other girls".

    "Stop lying!" Riko was visibly shaking, "I don't care about it! I don't!"

    "Riko, don't listen to her", Daisuke closed in on his friend, grabbing her arm, "Don't let her taunt you".

    "Oooh, Daisuke-kun!" Riko's Shadow rubbed her arms in a mocking tone, "Please hold me, Daisuke-kun! If Tatsu-chan doesn't look at me, at least you do! If only I was pretty like that whore Yukino, than maybe I could have some fun!"

    "Shut up! Shut the hell up!" Riko stomped her foot into the ground, "All that stuff you're saying is a lie! You're not me!"

    (I'll Face Myself - Battle)

    The Shadow gave her one final devilish grin before being engulfed in the dark blue flame that prompted its transformation, sending a shockwave of power that very nearly sent the whole group flying. As the fire slowly burned down, the true appearance of the Shadow manifested itself as what seemed to be a bird-like creature, with long orange wings and powerful talons, its head vaguely humanoid but with a large curved beak.

    "Watch out, it's really powerful!" Garm called out, "Be careful!"

    "Wh-What have I…?" Riko had fallen on her backside, looking terrified at the monster.

    "Stand back!" Tatsuya shouted, taking a step to get ahead of her, "You better get yourself together, we won't beat it without you!"

    The Shadow flapped its long wings sending a powerful gust of wind, trying to throw the group into the air. Daisuke called out for his Stand, Lazarus stepping in front of the group creating a large glass wall that blocked the windblast before crashing by itself, reforming as a spear that the Stand flung towards the Shadow, but the orange bird-creature took a quick flight still getting scraped by the spear on the side by the attack, sending a pained cry, but still managing to mostly dodge it and prepare a counter, beating it's wings sending wind blades aimed at the two boys, forcing to jump away to dodge.

    "Killing you all would be so un-ladylike, it'd be a shame" the Shadow mocked, "But I must put pesky insects like you in their place!"

    "Starsailor!" Tatsuya called out, "Bring it down!"

    His stand appeared again ahead of him once again creating a gravity sphere that he threw under Shadow Riko, sending a pulse trying to pull her in, but its speed allowed it to put enough distance to not be affected, countering with another powerful blast of wind aimed Tatsuya.

    "Magician, look out!"

    Garm jumped in front of Tatsuya blocking the gust like it had blocked Shadow Daisuke's attack before. Like what had happened before, the dog's strength seemed to have been severely sapped by the move and he stumbled down.

    "Hey, it's not time for a nap, now!" Tatsuya called out, kneeling to look at the dog, checking his condition before looking back, "Riko!"

    She looked at him with the same confused and terrified expression she had since the Shadow transformed.

    "You can't run from yourself!" Tatsuya said, looking straight at her, "I know how it feels, I hated to see my dark thoughts taunt me like that, but you're much more than that!"

    "Get ready to die, Tatsu-chan!"

    The Shadow was right in front of them, its wings violently moving back, preparing another powerful attack. There was no time for any of them to dodge, they would get swallowed by the wind blast.

    "Don't even think about it!"

    Daisuke had bided his time, circling around the area, letting the Shadow be baited by Tatsuya and Riko so he could prepare his strike. He jumped from behind, far higher than he ever could had it not been for his Stands power.

    His scream had been enough to stop the attack by the Shadow, making it spin around to face him just as Lazarus was lunging forward with the same glass halberd he had used before:

    "End this, Lazarus!"

    SMTxJOJO: THE BLACKSTAR Rd58cPx

    The attack connected making a very large gash that expanded from the front to the back of the creature, dark smoke flying away from it as the Shadow cried in pain falling to the ground with a loud sound and a powerful impact, right in front of the other three. Daisuke fell slightly behind, putting his arm forward to stop his momentum. The Shadow started to begin fuming, slimming down back to its previous form, the dress-wearing Riko that laid on the ground.
    "Great save, partner", Tatsuya said, giving him a thumbs up while falling back tired.

    (I'll Face Myself)

    Riko got up then, her expression was no longer one of fear, but what seemed to be pity as she silently walked up to her fallen Shadow, none of the others spoke a word as Riko crouched in front of her Shadow that was trying to push herself back up. Riko put her hand in front, towards her own Shadow:

    "Come on, get up", Riko smiled once the Shadow took her hand, "What you said… I try to avoid thinking about it but I can't help it. I don't like when people tell me I should try to be more girly, but I get jealous when I see how people look at Yukino and other girls like her compared to me…I'm kind of a loser, but… That's who I am. You're not all that I am… But you are a part of me".

    The Shadow smiled, this time a kind smile exactly like Riko's, before the dark blue shine took over her form as it transformed again, this time assuming its true form, a Stand. It looked a lot more human than the Shadow, with a feminine figure with bare light blue skin on its belly and arms that ended in golden claws, golden and orange feathers covered her bird like legs, her chest and shoulders, as well as decorated her short red hair. A dark blue mask covered the white shining eyes, and long powerful wings on her back.

    "I am thou. Thou art I. I am Santigold, the mask of Strength. I am your sword and your shield".

    With her words, the Stand disappeared into Riko, who took her hands to her chest, certainly feeling the warmth that the others had felt when their Stands had awakened. Riko looked up to the others, and she saw them smile at her, she gave a small chuckle:

    "Am I one of you now?"

    Garm who had returned to his feet walked up to her, raising his paw and like what had happened with the other two, a small ball of light appear on his paw and from that light, a pair of orange-rimmed glasses appeared:

    "I'm glad I started to work on some extra pairs. Welcome aboard, Strength".


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    SMTxJOJO: THE BLACKSTAR Empty Re: SMTxJOJO: THE BLACKSTAR

    Mensagem  eld em 10/5/2017, 18:58

    Connect to Rectangles

    (Sunset Bridge)

    The diner was small, with very little light besides small lamps on the tables, but something about it, be it the simplistic and antiquated decoration or how huddled together the tables and seats were, gave it a very unique and cosy feeling. Most of the patrons were adults varying between middle aged and older, however there were a few Budoga Oka students in there as well.

    The group had lost track of time when they were in the other world, and had found themselves surprised when they had returned to find out it was still a few hours till dinner. With tiredness and hunger setting in however, they had decided to go and eat something together before going back to their respective homes and upon Riko's suggestion, they had picked the diner, sitting at the table by the door, trying to get some space so no one would hear them.

    "I never felt so tired in my life," Riko said after eating for a bit, leaning back against her chair, "So that's why you guys looked so beat the other day".

    "Yeah, it feels like that world saps your energy," Tatsuya shared, leaning forward, "But I don't feel as tired as last time. I guess you get used to it?"

    "Yeah, I feel the same way," Daisuke commented, "As we get more accustomed to the fog and to our Stands, we'll be fine".

    "Oh yeah, so I can use my Stand now, right?" A large smile appeared on Riko's face, "You guys looked so cool when you were fighting! I wanna do stuff like that too".

    "Hang on, newbie, it takes practice to be this good", Tatsuya chuckled, "Still, your Shadow was tough, so I'm guessing your Stand is pretty strong".

    "Yeah…" Riko looked down at her bowl for a few moments, before looking back to the two boys on the other side of the table, "Thanks. I was so embarrassed and afraid that I couldn't do anything. I can only imagine how it was for Yumeno-senpai…"

    "Having someone tell you exactly what you are afraid of to your face is scary", Tatsuya admitted, looking up at the ceiling, "Double that if it's someone that looks exactly like a fucked up version of you. Your vain princess, or my egotistical king…" Tatsuya looked at Daisuke, as if he realized something, "You saw both of our Shadows, what was yours like? I mean, it was only you and Garm right? How did you fight it?"

    He didn't answer immediately, first looking to both of his friends, before lifting his gaze back to the ceiling. Saeko was the only person that knew of his delinquency in Morioh, and he had hoped that it would remain that way. He didn't want rumours to start spreading about him. He trusted Riko and Tatsuya, doubly so since they now were his partners when it came to stopping the murders, but it still bothered him.

    "My Shadow was a violent prisoner", he said after a while, "I was in a gang back in S-City", he paused for a second to see the other two's expressions, seeing the shock on their faces, "That's why I came here, to have a second chance".

    A strange silence took over their table, only the sounds of the other costumers was heard for a few minutes, as Tatsuya and Riko seemed to be processing the information, looking at Daisuke and at each other, while he himself decided he wouldn't say anything more until they asked him.

    "Hum… So you ever killed someone?" Riko asked in the most awkward of ways.

    "Jeez, Riko, what a question…" Tatsuya said under his breath.

    "No. I was in fights a lot, that's mostly it, but I still regret it", he said, "I was an idiot that was just trying to figure out his place. And I think I found it here. I probably should've told you before".

    "No, it's…" Tatsuya paused for a second before continuing, "Whatever you did back in the City, you seem to be a good person".

    "You saved us from our Shadows", Riko recalled with a kind smile, "When you say you regret it, I believe you".

    "Yeah, me too", Tatsuya said, before quipping, "I always wanted to have a criminal best friend".

    Daisuke smiled relieved as their conversation shifted to a less controversial topic. Even if he knew they were still thinking about his past, and probably doubting him in the back of their minds, the fact that they had been in life-or-death situations together seemed to make that almost irrelevant, at least, at the time. Their focus was to save Yukino, and they were going to succeed in doing it.



    He closed the blinds on his window once he confirmed that it was indeed foggy, walking back to his bed and sitting, picking up the phone he had turned off at least an hour ago and casually spinning it with his fingers.

    They had warned Yamaguchi, or at least attempted to, but Daisuke couldn't shake the feeling that, it didn't really matter how much they would warn her, that she would still probably be in huge danger. They hadn't found anything about the killer yet. The only real way of them finding out about him would be through testimony of his victims, but since Yumeno had died, they were out of luck so far.

    (Who's There?)

    His thoughts dispersed as soon as he heard the sound of static coming from his phone and he immediately looked at the screen, as the silhouette appeared once again, this time however, it soon became focused and he could see Yamaguchi, or, as Garm had explained: Her Shadow. She appeared to be in some sort of old looking golden room, with appeared to be hieroglyphs lining the walls. Like what had happened with the other Shadows, it looked different than her normal self, wearing an Egyptian style white dress with golden armlets and other accessories, and a light blue shawl. Her dark hair had gold clasps and a circlet with a snake was on top of her head. Her shining golden eyes stared deep into the viewer's soul.

    "Why do mere mortals look at me? Do you not see that I am your glorious immortal Empress? Kneel!" The Shadow raised her right hand forward in a commanding fashion, "All of this time I was afraid of my duties, but no longer! I shall take my rightful place and rule! To hell with the opinions of filthy commoners! I, your Goddess Yukino Yamaguchi, will obliterate all who resist and take the Lucky Empire to its rightful place!"

    Shadow Yukino gave a small chuckle, covering her mouth with her hand before the transmission was overcome by static and it ended. Daisuke cursed under his breath as he turned the phone back on, finding that on the newly created group chat that they had created messages confirming what he had seen:



    Strength: Guys this is bad. Yukino isn't home!

    Magician: wat!? R u kidding me!?

    Strength: Her mum just called to ask if we knew where she was

    Strength: She says Yukino didnt come home

    Magician: goddamn it! that bastard took her

    Strength: Daisuke, are you there?

    Magician: he probs already turned his phone off

    Strength: Yukino will show up on the watch right?

    He swore again, this time out loud, before he wrote his reply, and his friends were quick to reply.



    Death: Sorry, I had my phone off

    Magician: you saw the watch right?

    Death: Yeah. She seemed like a pharaoh

    Strength: It's got something to do with LuckyLand

    Magician: obvs

    Strength: We have to save her

    Death: It won't rain until next Tuesday. We'll go there tomorrow.

    Magician: k

    Strength: Im worried. But fine. Lets meet tomorrow in the shop district

    Sending his wishes of a goodnight, Daisuke let himself drift into an uneasy sleep filled with the image of Yamaguchi's Shadow.


    (Tokyo Emmergency)

    He woke early the next day despite it being a Sunday and, as such, having no classes. Yet, he was quick to get out of bed and get dressed, not wearing his usual uniform, but instead a pair of jeans, a light grey t-shirt and a black jacket. Despite him wanting to go immediately, they had settled on going after lunch, to not let themselves be impacted by hunger or drowsiness on the other world and, as such, Daisuke waited to have lunch with his aunt.

    "You're going out?" Saeko asked between bites, taking a look at him.

    "Yeah, I'll go for a walk with my friends".

    "Oh. Make sure you have fun then", she wished with a smile.

    I wish I could, he thought to himself. He left just after lunch, walking by himself towards the shopping district, finding both Riko and Tatsuya waiting for him in front of what seemed to be an antique store called "Sakura Antiques". Tatsuya wore dark slacks with a long sleeved black shirt and a yellow hoody jacket over it, while Riko wore a closed teal jacket and jean shorts.

    "'Sup", Tatsuya greeted, "We have some shopping to take care of".

    "Shopping?" Daisuke raised an eyebrow, "Can't it wait?"

    "Actually nope, this is gonna help us out there", Riko smiled, "Come on".

    Daisuke was still sceptical, but he ended up following his friends inside into a shop that was relatively small, but filled to the brim with shelves and exhibitors. An old woman with grey hair in a bun and a kind smile greeted them once Riko reached the counter:

    "Riko-chan, good to see you," she looked at the other two boys quickly, giving a nod to both of them, before looking back to Riko, "What are you and your friends looking for?"

    "You have some weapons for sale, right?" Tatsuya asked upfront, with such lack of tact that Riko elbowed him on his side.

    "Weapons? Why yes, we do have some antique ones," the woman admitted, "But why would you want them?"

    "Ah, see, my friend here came from the City," Riko said, pointing out Daisuke with a nod of her head, "He's a big fan of old Samurai moves like me, and I told him we could get some cool weapons so he can put on his room".

    What the hell are you thinking? He said in his mind looking at Riko, before noticing the old woman was looking at him expectantly:

    "Ah yeah, I love me some Samurais and Ninjas," he was sure that had sounded extremely awkward, but he continued, "If I could get a katana or something, I'd be thankful".

    "Oh, if that's the case, we actually have a few of them. As well as other kinds of weapons. We had a few samurai on our lineage".

    "You have a kusarigama? Those are super cool", Riko asked, almost in a childlike way, "My friend would probably love one of those".

    "I've seen some really cool knives that were used back then too," Tatsuya added, "I'd love to have one of those".

    The woman nodded with a half-smile that seemed to be both one happy to have costumers, and eagers ones at that, but also extremely suspicious. Yet, when she came back from the bottom of the store, she brought with her what they had requested, a dagger-like long knife, a recently cleaned kusarigama as well as a hand-and-half katana sword inside a black scabbard.

    The price was relatively steep, especially since Daisuke wasn't expecting to have to spend that much money all of a sudden, but in the end, they did all buy their respective weapons, with the women giving them covers to hide them until they got home, warning them to "Not pull of a prank".

    "Did you not think of warning me, beforehand?" Daisuke complained as soon as they had put some distance between them and the store, as they were walking towards Owson, garnering some curious looks from people, "Why do we need weapons anyway?"

    "I forgot, sorry," Riko made a forced smile, "But… We don't know how that world works. If Shadows attack us and we can't use our Stands we need something to defend ourselves with, right?"

    "She's right," Tatsuya said with a nod.

    Daisuke sighed, but ended up agreeing. While it was true that weapons could be an important resource when fighting Shadows, he didn't want Saeko to find out her ex-delinquent nephew was going around town buying swords.

    Upon reaching the designated spot, Tatsuya took out his phone, taking a quick glance at the other two, counting down and then pressing the app that greeted them with the white flash that blinded them momentarily before they could see the Shadow World around them once again.

    (Backside of TV)

    "Hi!"

    They had just removed the covers from their new weapons and put on their special glasses when Garm appeared in front of them, with his mouth open and wagging his tail.

    "Oh, you were waiting for us already?" Riko kneeled next to the dog, scratching behind his ear, "Who's a good boy, Garm-chan?"

    "Hey, stop!" Garm shook his head jumping back, "I'm not a dumb dog! I'm a very powerful being!"

    "Mmm you look like a regular ol' pupper to me," Tatsuya quipped, placing his new hunting knife on his shoulder.

    "That's funny, Magician, because you look like a regular ol' idiot," Garm replied with a mocking grin.

    Tatsuya took a step forward challenging Garm to a fight before Daisuke intervened, placing his arm in front of him:

    "You can fight another time, we have things to do," he looked at Garm, "Someone else is here, right?"

    "Yes," Garm nodded, "I'll take you to there".

    Garm started then walking forward, picking up the pace making the other members of the team run after him, Tatsuya slightly lagging behind the other two as they sprinted through the town. Shadows roaming the area didn't seem to give them much thought as they ran however, which Daisuke was unsure of what it meant but he theorized that perhaps they didn't bother to chase prey with a head start.

    "What the hell is that thing!?"

    Daisuke lifted his eyes to the place that Tatsuya had pointed out, just before they had turned in that direction: A large pyramid was placed right in the middle of the district, with a neon sign reading "LuckyLand" over its gate.

    "I don't think this was here last time," Tatsuya said out loud.

    "Your friend's Shadow manipulated the area," Garm explained, "She's probably keeping her inside until it rains".

    "Then we need to go inside!" Riko said.

    "It will be dangerous, though," Garm got in front of them, looking at all three, "There will be strong Shadows inside, besides your friend's".

    "We have no choice," Daisuke concluded, looking at his new sword, "Let's do this".


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    SMTxJOJO: THE BLACKSTAR Empty Re: SMTxJOJO: THE BLACKSTAR

    Mensagem  eld em 15/5/2017, 14:31

    Cut a Path

    (A Lone Prayer)

    Despite its imposing appearance, the door to the strange shopping centre turned pyramid was wide open. The group traded glances with each other, as if to confirm they were all ready before Daisuke stepped through the entrance, the other three trailing behind him.

    He found himself in a very large atrium, with gold coloured walls on which were scribbled what initially appeared to be hieroglyphs, but, upon closer inspection, seemed to just be very strange and stylized drawings of grocery products, while the statues spread around the room all seemed to have a likeness to Yukino, or to a couple that looked like her, which, Riko confirmed, where her parents.

    "Dude this is pretty fucked", Tatsuya said in a low voice, rotating his new dagger in his hand, "How did the Shadow have time to build this?"

    "It wasn't really built", Garm started to explain, "This world is a representation of humanity's darker side. Their hidden desires and thoughts".

    "So… This is how Yukino sees LuckyLand?" Riko asked, looking around her with uncertainty.

    "Who dares walk into my domain?"

    The voice echoed through the atrium, drawing all eyes to the top of the large staircase, where there stood Yukino's Shadow, in her white dress and with her shinning gold jewellery.

    "Yukino!" Riko called out.

    "That's her Shadow," Tatsuya said, taking a combat stance, "Where the hell is Yamaguchi?"

    "The Empress is hidden away in her chambers. You filthy commoners have no place here," the Shadow moved her hand in a threatening fashion, "Leave this place at once, or face the Rage of the Gods!"

    "The hell is up with her?" Tatsuya asked, "Her Shadow seems way more delusional than any of ours".

    "We won't go," Daisuke declared, clenching his sword harder, "We'll take Yamaguchi with us".

    "Then you live me no choice," Shadow Yukino made a twisted smile, before opening her arms, "Soldiers, cleanse my sight of these pests!"

    On the Shadow's call, black and red goo like substance started to seep in from underneath the cracks in the floor, surrounding the group, before it started raising, gaining a corporeal form: tall humanoid like creatures, covered in dirty bandages like mummies, but with golden armlets and what seemed to be old aprons where the name "LuckyLand" was sown. The bandages on their faces came off to show bright golden eyes with no pupils, and large mouths with sharp teeth.

    "Yukino's Shadow is running away!" Riko said, pointing towards the Shadow who was walking away from them.

    "We have bigger problems now!" Tatsuya called out, raising his knife in a protective stance, "We're surrounded".

    One of the mummy-like Shadows lunged forward at Daisuke, who sidestepped it, grabbing his new katana with both hands for a powerful slashing counterattack, cutting clean through the middle of the creature, making it disappear in a puff of smoke, but immediately, another had taken its place in the circle.

    "Riko, use your Stand!" he urged, pointing his sword forward once again, "You can hit them all at the same time, blow them away!"

    Riko gave a nod, dropping the chain of her kusarigama of her left hand, to raise it higher in front of her face, clenching her fist:

    "Come out, Santigold!"

    SMTxJOJO: THE BLACKSTAR USe2qQ0

    Immediately, her harpy like Stand appeared with its light blue shine, as it flew above the cornered group, opening its wings and, with a hawk-like screech, created a storm surrounding them, pushing all of the Shadows away in one fell swoop, pushing them into the walls.

    "Amazing, Strength!" Garm praised jumping in place, "You knocked them all down!"

    "Let's get going!" Daisuke shouted.

    He took the lead, heading towards the stairs, but, just then, more of the liquid Shadows rained from the ceiling, assuming their form just as they touched the steps. As they stopped, some of the Shadows behind them that had been knocked away, where closing up on them too.

    "Tatsuya, cover our backs!" he called.

    "Gotcha!" Tatsuya turned around, spinning his knife and slashing the air in front of him with a confident smile, "Throwdown!"

    SMTxJOJO: THE BLACKSTAR OZpkA62

    Starsailor heeded his master's call, spinning and creating an energy pulse in his hands that sent the climbing Shadows back down, sending them flying, crashing into each other in some cases so hard, that it destroyed them.

    "Cut us a path, Lazarus!"

    SMTxJOJO: THE BLACKSTAR Rd58cPx

    Daisuke's own Stand appeared, summoning a glass sword, cutting past the hordes of Shadows at the top of the stairs, either slicing past them in clean strikes, or sending them tumbling down the side of the staircase with its immense power, allowing the group to press forward, climbing the stairs to reach the upper level.

    A new wave of Shadow Mummies awaited them in front of a closed gate when they reached the top floor.

    "Goddamnit, there's no end to them!" Tatsuya complained before looking over his shoulders, "There's more coming from bellow too!"

    "I can sense your friend past that door", Garm said stepping in front of them, pointing ahead with his snout.

    "Guess we'll have to break through then" Daisuke concluded, "Tatsuya, try and keep the ones from behind us from climbing up, Riko, keep them away from the door. I'll open it".

    The other two nodded in agreement with the plan, Tatsuya running back to the stairs, slashing a lunging Shadow with his knife, spinning to dodge a second one, calling out Starsailor to create a gravity sphere, stronger than the last one, to pull the shadows into it, he himself and his Stand separately fighting off the few that managed to outrun the gravity pulses.

    "I'll handle this form here!" Tatsuya shouted back, "Get that damn thing open, partner!"

    Garm stayed back to help protect Tatsuya, as Daisuke and Riko charged forward together heading towards the door. Riko spun the chain of her kusarigama, sending it forward to knock down a lunging Shadow, giving her time to stop and, putting her hand to her face, call out for her Stand once more.

    "Wind blast, Santi!"

    Santigold flapped her wings once more, generating a powerful wind against the door that pushed the Shadows in front of it into the air, taking them off Daisuke's path as he rushed forward, send Lazarus ahead of him, hitting the middle of the door with full force, creating a small but still large enough gap for the Stand to be able to get his glass-clawed fingers in to try and separate both halves of the door. Even if he was not the one that was actually pulling the door, Daisuke started to feel his energy sapped by the trial, his fingers growing numb, as he tried to keep the Shadows away from his Stand with sword, complimenting Riko's wind based attacks.

    "Guys, this is getting worse and worse!" Tatsuya called out from the other side of the room, amidst tired panting, "They keep coming!"

    Daisuke turned back towards the door that was now wide enough so that they could go through:

    "Everyone, get in here!"

    Immediately, all eyes turned towards the door and, immediately afterwards, they all started to run as fast as they could towards the half-open gate that Lazarus kept propping open.

    As soon as Tatsuya, the last one, slid past the door, Daisuke called Lazarus back, letting the door slamming shut on the Shadows that had dared try to squeeze through. On the other side, in a very large dimly lit corridor, all four let themselves fall on the ground, feeling extremely tired.

    "Damn it, I hope I get a discount for life," Tatsuya complained leaning against the wall.

    "Garm-chan, is this how Yukino sees the employees of Luckyland?" Riko questioned, "Just mindless zombies?"

    "I wouldn't say that she does see them like it", Garm said, looking up, thinking, "I guess, it's more like, how her distorted Shadow sees them".

    "Man this shit is way too complicated", complained Tatsuya, "I'll just focus on beating up Shadows".

    Daisuke used his sword to prop himself back up, long forward into the corridor where there didn't seem to be anything for a few meters ahead, besides the golden walls with the same hieroglyph style drawings. He turned to Garm, who was also back on his paws:

    "Yamaguchi is past this corridor, right?"

    "Yes, my nose never fails", Garm answered, "This corridor should lead to the centre of the pyramid. She's there for sure".

    "And her Shadow," Daisuke added grimly, before turning back to look at the other two, "Let's get moving, then".

    "Right after you," said Tatsuya, getting up from the ground.

    "Let's go save, Yukino!" Riko intoned, getting fired back up again.

    Daisuke gave a silent nod and began walking forward, Garm by his side, Tatsuya and Riko following right behind him. The corridor was a straight line with no twists, nor turns, with the only thing unique about it being the flickering light of the torches on the walls. They felt like they had walked for a long time, when it probably had only been a few minutes, but it seemed like they weren't even moving at all until, finally, they reached another door, like the one they had gone through before, this one however, opened at their touch.

    On the other side of the corridor was another very large, but also incredibly empty room. It was decorated the same as the entranced had been, with the same statues and hieroglyphs. However, in this one there was also treasure in large piles all around the room and, in the middle, lying down, seemingly unconscious, was a dark haired girl in Budoga Oka's uniform: Yukino Yamaguchi.


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    SMTxJOJO: THE BLACKSTAR Empty Re: SMTxJOJO: THE BLACKSTAR

    Mensagem  eld em 29/5/2017, 09:59

    Empress of the Desert:

    (Border of Insanity~)

    Upon seeing Yukino laying on the floor, they all rushed to meet her, Riko helping her friend up into a seating position, Yukino leaning against her, as her eyes slowly opened, and she blinked a few times, before looking around, with increasing confusion:

    "Riko? Mikado-kun? Ichijou-kun?"

    "Yamaguchi, are you alright? Are you hurt?" Daisuke asked, kneeling next to the two girls.

    She didn't seem to be hurt, at least, there didn't appear to be any external injuries, and even her uniform didn't appear to be especially tattered or dirty. Looking at her, it was if she had been placed there while she was asleep.

    "No… I just feel a bit lightheaded", she touched her head with her hand, "Where am I?"

    "This is the truth created by your heart".

    Daisuke and Tatsuya got back up on their feet immediately, raising their weapons as they heard the distorted voice that had greeted them at the entrance, and saw that Shadow Yukino had appeared out of thin air at the end of the room, on top of one of the piles of shining gold treasure, casually walking down it, as if it were a staircase.

    Riko helped Yukino regain her feet, as the dark haired girl stared at her Shadow with unbelieving eyes, confusion and fear.

    "You are inside the crown jewel of your empire. The pyramid of LuckyLand", the Shadow's grinned, "It's where you were born and raised, from atop the filthy commoners who insist on defiling your legacy's name, only because they envy you and your lineage. Who cares about the opinions of sheep? They are nothing to your might".

    "No… I don't think that…" Yukino's face was a mixture of hurt and confusion, "I don't…"

    "Do you not?" the Shadow continued to walk towards them, her jewellery's shine shifting with every step, "Are you not tired of the disgusted looks people give you? Not because you ever did them something, but because your parents achieved what they could never? You don't care about those useless idiots. They despise your shop, but in time they will all be subjugated by it. You will take Morioh for yourself, and then no one shall question you again".

    "Yamaguchi-san, that thing is your darker half", Daisuke said, getting himself further in front of her in a protective stance, giving her a quick glance, "You must accept it to defeat her".

    "Poor Yukino can't even decide what she wants for herself, how can she know how she truly feels?" the Shadow gave a small chuckle, crossing her arms, "She wants to shut up everyone who doubts her family, but at the same time, she herself wants out. She doesn't want to stay tied up to her family's business. She wants them to fail as much as the commoners".

    "No!" Yukino had jumped to her feet, almost falling back down if not held by Riko, "That's not true! That's a lie!"

    "You want your family's business to fail so you can finally escape from everything! From this town and their jealousy, from your family's business, from yourself!" the Shadow opened her arms wide, "Look at me: I am you!"

    "No! You're not me!"

    (I'll Face Myself~Battle~)

    Yukino's terrified scream echoed inside the pyramid, and no else dared to speak until it died down, as the Shadow was enveloped in a dark flame, shifting and growing more and more, as the treasure around her was enveloped by the flames of transfiguration, becoming one with the Shadow.

    "Garm, protect Yamaguchi!" Daisuke screamed behind him, as he, Tatsuya and Riko took steps ahead.

    "Got it!" the dog said, stepping into position in front of the girl who had stumbled to the ground, frozen in fear.

    The Shadow completed its transformation then, the fire surrounding it dying down to allow the team to see its new form: A gigantic sphynx had appeared before them, almost completely made of gold that seemed to shift in place, like it had a video glitch. Its head, however, had the top of it emptied out, as if it had been broken, and inside it stood a pitch black humanoid chained to it, with dark smoke coming from its head, like a sort of ethereal hair. Underneath the shadowy woman, the large feral mouth of the sphynx was open, showing sharp golden teeth.

    "I am a Shadow. The true self"

    The chains rattled around the humanoid part of the Shadow as it moved its arms and legs and, as it did, the Sphynx's mouth was opened wider and a stream of scorching fire came from it, aimed at the trio.

    "Protect us, Santigold!"

    Riko's Stand stood in front of them, generating a powerful gust of wind that managed to hold the fire before it reached them, keeping it at bay, but as it did, Riko stumbled to one knee: The power and heat of the flames was too strong, especially for a Riko that was already tired out by the fight at the entrance.

    "Hey, ya big bitch! Come get me!" Shouted Tatsuya.

    The blond stepped around the clash of forces, running around the left side of the sphynx, in an attempt to bait it, successfully grabbing its attention, making it stop targeting Riko and focus its attention on him.

    The Sphynx move its front paws to try and smash him, but Tatsuya managed to slide past the first strike, rolling past the second one. The Sphynx seemed to be incapable of moving its hind legs and move out of the way, but just as Tatsuya deemed himself out of range, the Sphyx's tail moved, trying to crash into him like a giant whip.

    "Oh crap!" Tatsuya cursed loudly, "Starsailor!"

    His Stand appeared then, creating a pulse under Tatsuya, making him jump much farther and faster than he could normally, clearing the sphynx fully, to the other side, where he created another pull, this time pulling him safely down. He celebrated his quick thinking, but immediately regretted as the Shadow had turned around to try and attack him again.

    "Little help here!" Tatsuya cried out.

    "Lazarus!"

    Daisuke jumped in front of his teammate, summoning his Stand to throw a glass spear forward, aimed at the exposed humanoid core, but, immediately, it pulled on its chains again, and the Sphynx moved its paw with impressive speed, making the glass spear get lodged deep into the golden stone palm, however, no damage seemed to be really done, as its liveliness seemed to come exclusively from the woman chained to the head. That seemed to be the true Shadow.

    "Damn it," Daisuke muttered under his breath, before adding louder for Tatsuya to hear: "We have to hit the core, or we won't get anywhere".

    "Die, mortals!"

    The chains rattled once more, and another stream of fire fell upon them, Tatsuya acting even before Daisuke could create a glass wall, summoning another gravity pulse that pulled the two of them back towards the others, dodging the fire successfully, but both of them rolling on the ground. Riko immediately neared them, kneeling down to check on them, but as she did, the Sphynx was reading another flame blast.

    "Riko!" Daisuke called out, getting back up, pointing forward, "Aim for the core! Force her to defend!"

    "Will do, chief!" Riko took steps ahead, nodding, "Wind blades!"

    Santigold flapped its wings, moving its arms forward slashing the air in front of her, and from it two violent gust of wind, sharp as a knife went towards the humanoid core who once again raised one of its paws to blocking the strike, as it had blocked Lazarus' spear moments before.

    "Keep attacking it! It can't get off the ground", Garm called out, behind them, "If you keep forcing it to protect its core, it won't be able to fight back!"

    Riko pulled her arms back, before pushing forward again, her Stand imitating her and calling further a stronger wind blast, forcing the Sphynx to keep her paw up, protecting her weak core.

    They had come upon an advantage. The Sphynx was virtually invincible, no matter how much they tried to hack away at it, but the real Shadow would certainly not be able to effectively tank any hit. If they managed to force the Sphynx to protect it, and then find a way past that defence, they could defeat it.

    "Tatsuya!" Daisuke called, pointing towards the Shadow, "You thing you can force its paw down?"

    "Huh? Oh!" Tatsuya made a large grin, once he realised his partner's plan, "Leave it to me!"

    SMTxJOJO: THE BLACKSTAR OZpkA62
    Tatsuya spun his knife in his hand, slashing the air in front of him to call out his Stand that formed another gravity sphere, this one however, was the largest he had formed yet, having enough time to charge thanks to the constant wind blast that forced their opponent into blocking, and just trying to swing wildly with no actual aim with its left paw.

    With impeccable timing Santigold ceased her attack to allow Startsailor to slide in front of her, sending out the powerful gravity sphere underneath the sphynx's head, the powerful purple energy pulses were so strong that, despite the incredible resiliency, the sphynx's paw was forced to lower, exposing her core.

    "Lazarus!"
    SMTxJOJO: THE BLACKSTAR Rd58cPx

    "Santigold!"

    SMTxJOJO: THE BLACKSTAR USe2qQ0

    With their backs to each other, Daisuke and Riko both pointed their weapons forward, as both of their Stands rushed from them, Santigold sending a powerful gust of wind that mixed itself with Lazarus' sharp glass shards, passing through the gap that Tatsuya's gravity pull had created, hitting the core violently, creating large smoking gashes where the shards slashed past it, the winds strong enough to break the rattling chains as a terrifying scream was heard from it, enough to force the party to cover their ears immediately. It was full of anger and pain, but also strangely sorrowful.

    "That… That scream" Yukino said, getting up almost instantly, not covering her ears.

    (I'll Face Myself ~Another Version~)

    The golden sphynx started to lose its strange shifting glow, as slowly it started to crumble, as its core detached itself from it, falling down from the hollowing, towards the ground.

    "N-No!"

    Yukino, seemingly shaking out of her trance, ran past the group, passing right beside them and towards the crumbling sphynx ignoring the warning calls of her classmates. Yukino held her arms out, catching the darkened and smoking core in her arms, falling back, into the ground with the impact, the shielding the Shadow.

    "Yukino!" Riko called out, rushing to meet her once again, as she had minutes before.

    The Shadow's form had reverted, leaving her darkened smoking form to appear once again as Yukino's Pharaoh-esque doppelgänger. They separated momentarily, Yukino letting her Shadow getting free from her to step back on to her feet and giving her hand forward letting Yukino grab it to pull herself back up as well.

    "Those screams… I didn't get it when I first heard you", Yukino started to say, almost as if oblivious to the others behind her, "I thought you weren't me. But you are. Those screams were of someone scared and alone… And that's what I am".

    Yukino smiled, a scared smile, but very much genuine, perhaps the most genuine smile Daisuke had ever seen her with.

    "Every day, wherever I go, people always treat me different because of LuckyLand. They talk like we're a sort of cancer on this town, because we take away other people's livelihood, but my parents keep telling me that I should be proud of our family's hard work, and that one day, this place will be mine…" She bit her lip, "I felt trapped. I feel trapped. I don't want people to hate me, so I don't want to stay and work at LuckyLand, but I also don't want my parents to think I don't appreciate them or what they do…"

    "Yukino…" Riko mumbled to herself.

    "It's okay", she said, holding both of her Shadows hands, "I realize that I should just do what's right for myself. That I should stop bottling up about my feelings. That I shouldn't feel bad for wanting something different", she raised her and the Shadow's hands, "You were chained, but now you are free. And you are me".

    Her Shadow smiled and nodded, as its body was enveloped in a blue glow, particles shifting within it, as its form changed once more, now to her true form as a Stand. Levitating in front of Yukino was a lean woman with light purple soft skin, wearing a midnight blue and black dress, with light blue feathers along the shoulders and on the sleeves. Incandescent light blue hair fell in two long bangs in front of her ears, but the upper part of her face was covered by a midnight blue witch's hat, with a red juel in front, over three small light blue feathers.

    "I am thou. Thou art I", the Stand called, placing one of its gloves hands on her chest, "I am Arabella, the mask of the Empress. I am your sword and your shield".

    With its words, celebrating their new pact, Arabella transfigured into the blue sparks that flew into her new mistress that placed a hand on her own chest, with a sweet smile.

    "Good job, Yamaguchi!" Tatsuya said, storing his knife on his belt, and putting his hands behind his head with a big smile, "You're one of us now!"

    "Oh! How rude of me, I forgot!" Yukino turned towards them, making an elaborate bow, "Thank you so much!"

    "We're just glad you are alright", Riko said, scratching her head with a dumb smile, being caught by surprise by the sudden bow and thanking.

    (Run, Run, Run!)

    "Ah… guys?"

    The four of them looked towards Garm, who was standing next to the corridor where they had entered from, where the door was wide open.

    "This place was formed from Empress's cognition…" Garm looked around, with what seemed to be nervous anticipation, "Since her cognition changed…"

    Almost on cue, a strong rumbling began inside the pyramid, almost as if an earthquake was taking place. Dust flying in from newly formed cracks inside the room, as a few of the golden bricks shifted in place and began to fall down.

    "This place is going to fall apart!?" Tatsuya screamed loud enough for the echo to be heard above the loud rumble.

    "We need to get out, right now!" Daisuke shouted.

    Immediately, they rushed towards the door, but as they reached it, the tunnel caved down, getting crushed underneath rubble and dust, forcing the group back into the room.

    "What are we gonna do!?" Riko asked in a frantic panic.

    "We have to go shift back here", Daisuke pulled out his phone.

    They all rushed to get near him, and as soon as Daisuke pressed his app, the blinding light came over them, ripping them from the pyramid and into what seemed to be a void, before finally shooting them back out, crashing into the ground.

    (My Homie~)

    The large sound of their crash could be heard far, as well as the groans of pain from the group. When Daisuke opened his eyes again, he was laying on the ground, his head against Riko's legs and his own legs over Tatsuya's head. Yukino had fallen over him and, next to them, Garm was laying down.

    "Everything hurts…" Tatsuya mumbled under his breath, as the team awkwardly separated, and got back on their feet.

    Looking around, they could see that they were in what appeared to be an electronics store, specifically, surrounded by televisions. The sound of their crash into the place had garnered attention, as customers that were passing by, turned to look at them.

    "This is LuckyLand's electronics store", Yukino said, recognizing the place, "We're back…?"

    "We should get away from here, people are staring at us" Garm advised.

    "Hey, is there a dog over here?" a male deep voice came from around a corner, "I heard some barking".

    "Shit", Tatsuya cursed, "Good going, you useless dog".

    "Shut up", Daisuke punched his friend on the arm, before looking back at Riko and Yukino, "Riko, stay with her. We'll get going before we get in trouble".

    Riko nodded next to the confused Yukino, Daisuke crouching down to pick up Garm, holding the dog next to him as he and Tatsuya walked hunched over to not be seen by the guard, as they tried their best to leave the store, trying their hardest to hide weapons and a dog. They got all sorts of weird looks, and even some glances from the security, but they managed to "fast-walk" quickly enough to leave the place, back into the district, where Daisuke finally could let the annoyed Garm go.

    "Warn me next time you grab me!" Garm complained loudly, "Rude!"

    People turned to look at them once again, however the fact that Garm was talking and not actually barking didn't seem to register to them. As he heard Tatsuya and Garm continue their bickering, he wondered if only people that had heard Garm speak in the other world could hear him speak in the real one, or maybe it had to do with the fact they were Stand Masters.

    Daisuke and Tatsuya's phones vibrated at the same time, and as they shared a quick glance with each other, they took their phones out, checking their messages:

    Strength: Yukino is with her parents. she's safe.


    _________________

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