- Job Info:
- Job Title: The Ghost In The Hunt
Player Requirements: At least 2 C ranks or 1 B rank
Job Requirements: 3,500 words solo or 7,000 words as a group.
Job Location: Any City/Town
Job Description: Within a town somewhere? There is an organization that specializes in dealing with spirits, malicious or otherwise, but they mostly deal with ridding the world of malicious spirits. Once a soul is captured, they are fed into a machine that drains their very existence to convert it into power to support the functions of the company and a small part of the town around them.
The goal of this mission is simple, release any remaining evil souls they have captured and take out the machine causing part of the town to go into a blackout.
Weak: Spiritual Cages
These cages are scattered all over the place and act very strangely, merely touching one seems to make one feel incredibly weak as they are made to subdue souls. Taking only one rank of damage to break the tricky part is you can't touch them to break them as otherwise you get affected by the weakening effect which leaves you vulnerable to capture.
Normal: Released Spirits
While some of the released spirits may very well fight on your side? Other's were not malicious and are very frightened by the situation thus will lash out at anything. Most of them take 5 hits to defeat, largely just throwing spirit orbs that deal C rank magic damage.
Strong: Ghost Hunters
Operating the place they won't take kindly to you barging in, attacking to deal B rank damage with each hit magical or melee they have 10 hits worth of hp.
Boss: Spiritual Drain Machine
The final goal of this job, the machine that turns souls to power. While it doesn't have an 'hp bar' like other opponents? It is much harder to defeat as those of B rank and beneath will find they can't get too close without being unable to move due to the soul-draining effect of it. So gonna have to get creative.
Reward: 40,000 Jewels.
The dark had long since risen and was reaching its peak. Clouds, both those high in the sky and those close to the ground, ruled the night and imprisoned the dark to the ground below, holding the moonlight at bay and causing a night of absolute pitch. Roads were lit with torches, some magical and some not, though the fog reduced their visibility. Between them, darkness ruled on this rarest of nights. Particularly, the road in which a young man found himself late one night was dark enough that one could not see their hand before their face. It was only by purview of a small electronic device that there was the faintest glimmer of light. The young man in the blue hoodie squinted against the dim light, for even a matchstick can contrast heavily when given the chance. He peered at the electronic device as though it held the answers to the riddle of their location, occasionally wiping the droplets of the fog from the screen in order to get a better view. He had stopped walking roughly three minutes ago, and his right foot was tapping in frustration, a rebellion against the lack of movement.
“Why can’t you just admit that you’re lost?” Said a voice coming directly from the young man, as though emanating from the back of his head. It was high pitched and some might say cute, though it carried a weight to it as well. Still, it was still obvious that it came from a smaller set of vocal cords. “You’re sitting here staring at a clearly outdated map that doesn’t match the roads we’re on. It’s like. Super late. And all the inns are gonna be full up by the time we get find one.” The voice came from a small, green mammal that was now poking its head from the hood of the young man’s jacket.
“I’m not lost,” The young man said stubbornly. He twisted his clearly outdated map upside down, then turned it at an angle, trying with increasing desperation to line it up with the road he was on. “I’m taking us through a shortcut.” He shut the device and slid it back into the middle pocket, a horizontal sleeve of sorts that seemed to be infinite when to came to storage. “Alright? We follow this road and it’ll lead to a city. A village. Something.” He begun to walk through the blackness.
“How could you possibly know that?” The smaller creature said. “Roads lead to lots of things. Piers. Caves. Bears. Income tax offices.” He counted off on his tiny little fingers as he spoke. “And it’s not like you can see what’s happening. Can’t even see the roadway. What if you go off the trail and we fall down a cliff to our doom and we’re never seen again and rats eat our bones and then one day someone comes by, looks at our remains and just says 'That sucks'.”
“That would suck,” The young man, Tsubasa, agreed. He carried the name Tsubasa with pride, named for his grandfather and his grandfather before him. A legacy of angel feathers. “Good thing that’s not going to happen to us. We’re gonna do…” His voice lowered as something caught his attention, “… not that. Do you see that?”
The little creature, Ahab, a flying squirrel with an unnatural shade of green coloring its fur, scurried up Tsubasa’s head to get a look at the intended item, “It’s another torch. That’s good though it means we’re going in the right direction.” Why he was named Ahab was a mystery even to himself. The little rodent had been found by Tsubasa years ago, or had arguably found Tsubasa, and the two had been (seemingly reluctantly) inseparable ever since.
“Ahab, it’s moving. Torches don’t usually move." Tsubasa said, picking up his pace. Despite the fact that he tended to walk like he was late for an important business meeting, he had slowed down to the pace of an average person on this evening, since even someone with his level of patience knew better than to rush off through absolute darkness into the unknown. Each step had been careful and quiet, as this trail was unknown and potentially dangerous. But he followed the torchlight, which seemed to dance and waver through the thick fog, staying just within sight as though taunting the two of them to catch up to it.
Tsubasa was up for a challenge, but thankfully wasn’t overly stupid, and so he picked up the pace a little bit, while ensuring that his steps were safe and secure. For what seemed like several minutes he followed the bobbing and weaving will-o-wisp through the darkness, until it suddenly seemed to drop like a stone. His movements inched to a stop almost immediately, despite the difference in distance between the two of them. Now he lit a small spark of fire on his hand. This power had always been within him, but these sparks were not meant to continue, but rather be a flash in the pan of sorts. To keep the flames up was a draining process on him, thus not advisable for long distances.
Now, however, he saw that the little light had dropped down a cliff suddenly, but the flames did him no good beyond that point. A brightly lit city could be seen at the base of the cliff, piercing through the fog in such a way that Tsubasa wondered how he hadn’t seen it for miles away. Looking behind him, there was only the sheer darkness, as though the light did not bleed through it. Perhaps that was why. “Well, there’s the city,” He said, “We got there eventually,” He pulled out his hoverboard and set it down.
“Wait,” Ahab said, placing a little hand on Tsubasa’s cheek. He stood on the young man’s shoulder and was also looking down at the city, “A weird glowing light leads you to a strange city in the middle of nowhere that’s lit up like a fireworks show and we’re just gonna go down to the city and see what’s up?”
“… Yeah,” Tsubasa said simply, jumping down onto the hoverboard and riding it down. As long as the board had some solid object upon which to repel, it was mostly capable of floating upon any surface. Tsubasa had never bothered to figure out how the hell it worked, it just did. Through trial and error he had figured out what it worked on, but not the specific mechanisms by which it was powered or how it repelled off of surfaces. As he curved off of the edge of the cliff, shifting his balance to cling to the ground below, he got a full look at the a trees that separated him and the city. Barely a forest, more of a thick copse, it was easy to see that despite the hour, this city seemed to be completely alive.
As he continued forward, he noticed amongst the shadows of the trees was the same light that had guided him here. It seemed to be, if possible, gripping the tree despite not having any arms. It was as though the little spirit was being sucked towards the city, and the tree was acting as the only barrier between the two. Still, whatever was pulling at it was doing so with such force that it seemed to be breaking the little spirit’s grip. “Help.” The spirit said. Its voice sounded ethereal, as one would expect, as though it didn’t travel by sound waves but straight from soul to soul. “Help me.”
“What’s happening?” In one quick motion, Tsubasa turned off the hoverboard and slid it back into its resting state on his back, before climbing up to the tree to grab at the little spirit, “Are you getting sucked into a vacuum cleaner?”
“It’s the Soul Engine.” The little spirit said, “It called to me. I couldn’t help it. It’s like I was possessed. I came here and now it’s… It’s going to take me!! It takes all souls that it can reach.” As Tsubasa seemed to reach it, it was losing its grip, “Please, it’s… I’ve heard rumors. It’s in the chapel of the city square. It’s where they’re doing their dark rituals. They convert souls to energy! They’re building a weapon!” As it said so, it could no longer resist the pull of the aforementioned engine and was ripped, chunks of bark and all, from its defensive spot. Tsubasa jumped from the tree to grab the soul out of the air, missing by just enough and grabbing a chunk of the falling bark instead. He fell into a roll on the ground, popped back up like overcooked toast, and took off running after the spirit. Again his hoverboard fell before him, granting him an increased access to the speed that he needed.
“Tsubasa I really think you should think about this!” Ahab said, falling backwards tail over ears into the hood of Tsubasa’s hoodie, “You don’t know anything about this Soul Engine, the city, the guys running this, or literally anything that is happening here!” He struggled to right himself, and peeked out only enough to see where they were going.
“Somebody asked us for help, Ahab,” Tsubasa said as though that was the answer to all of the questions that had been posed.
“Right,” Ahab responded. The two of them had that in common, at the very least.
Tsubasa ran through he copse of trees and the clearing afterwards, squinting at the uncertainty and general blinding brightness of the city. It almost seemed to have every light lit in the city just because it could. As he reached the city itself, he slid to a stop and replaced his favored accessory, sliding behind a nearby building and looking around. Something, almost immediately, felt wrong. He started to feel tired. Very tired. Looking behind him, on the side of the building hung a small cage, as one would house a bird. It was covered in strange runes and, rather than providing housing to an avian ally, held a small, withered version of the same type of spirit that Tsubasa and Ahab had tried to save.
“Run,” The spirit warned, whispering like a thirsty wanderer felled by the desert. “Run from here.”
“Not gonna do that,” Tsubasa said, stepping away from the cage. He began to feel his vitality, very slowly, returning. “I’m gonna get you out of here,” He said, looking over the cage. There was a door to it, but it seemed to be magically locked. He looked at the chain that connected it to the pole off of which it hung from the wall. “Yeah that’ll work.” He glared at the pole as though it had, suddenly and earnestly, made comments about Tsubasa’s mother. The result was a near invisible force of energy that smashed into the side of the wall, sheering off the pole and causing the cage to drop to the ground and shatter. The soul rose up out of the wreckage and was immediately hurled towards the wall, pulled by the force of the Soul Engine. Unlike the previous spirit, it was halted entirely by the wall. “Just stay there,” Tsubasa said. “We’ll take care of the thing and you’ll be free.”
It was then that he felt what he should have been paying attention to for the last few minutes. The city was filled with those that could use magic. Closing his eyes and focusing, he could count them out. There were not enough to fill the entire city, but they could definitely give him a run for his money if he decided to rush them all at once. Of course, that was his own arrogance talking. In truth, they would atomize him. Taking a deep breath, he focused on centering himself and raising his own level of focus and reaction time, just as he had been taught by Shyrrik, the mage that had taught him about the benefits of calm and focus. Just to his right were two patrolling mages that seemed to be at about his level of strength. He calculated a plan of attack, picturing exactly how it would work in his mind, and jumped out to execute it.
It is an old saying that everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. For Tsubasa, it did not need to be a punch. As he rounded the wall to face his adversaries, it seemed as though they also had awareness that he was there, and therefore caught him off guard with a buffet of sand magic, causing him to stumble back and almost lose his balance.
“Not cool,” Tsubasa said, “Let’s see if your sand can put out my fire! Urazaki’s cinders!” He stuck out his left hand, thumb over index finger, and snapped three consecutive times, shifting his wrist each time as thought marking the target with the sound. It wasn’t an instant later before the target’s clothes ignited with flames that caused him to burn. He looked at the other mage and gave him the same glare as before, causing him to stumble backwards, using the same type of force that caused the wall to be destroyed.
Pushing himself forward on the waves of the magic, Tsubasa rushed forward like a boy possessed and put his hands together, index fingers outward and pushing his fingers outward, “Nature’s revenge! Sarya’s vines!” As though following the movement of his fingers, two thin vines sprouted out of the ground, catching the second mage mid-shove and causing him to trip to the ground. Staring down at the mage, Tsubasa’s eyes lit with sheer darkness and he asked, in a tone that seemed to echo itself even as it was being spoken. “What are you afraid of?” He caught the eyes of the trapped mage and seemed to transfer the darkness to his eyes, causing him to freeze in place as he saw something that no one but he would ever know.
By focusing on the second mage, unfortunately, and leaving the first to burn, his attention had been taken by the one trapped in his own nightmare, to the one that, not surprisingly, had indeed used sand to put out his flaming clothes. He didn’t call out the name of the technique, but a large claw of sand rose up and smashed down on Tsubasa, crushing him into the ground. “Ow, dicks!” The young man called, worming his way out of the grasp before it compressed him beyond recognition. He reached behind him to make sure Ahab was unharmed, confirming the safety of the little squirrel before rolling to his feet. “Fire won’t do it huh?” He spun around and gathered a ball of lightning in his hand, “Let’s try something a little more shocking.”
The mage advanced on him while he was gathering energy from the spell, raising his hand to summon another wave of sand from the ground. “Don’t worry, this one’ll give you some time to think. Thaola’s Chain Lightning!!” A veritable blast of electricity sprouted from the young man’s grasp straight at the first mage then, traveling through him, straight into the second, encasing the two opposing wizards in chains of static electricity as Tsubasa threw himself backwards to create distance between them. This seemed to be enough for the second wizard, who fell to the ground without any more resistance. The first, however, who seemed to be much more powerful, refused to go down.
“It’s fine, you need a little something extra,” Tsubasa murmured. He took a deep breath and held out both hands as he had the first time, in the snapping position. “Let’s see what you can do about this. Wynna, lend me your clarity. Urazaki’s Sparks!” Both hands mirroring each other and creating something like a diamond shape together, he caused another wave of sparks across the stronger wizard’s body, this time they continued to blaze across his body. With the constant burning, Tsubasa created another glaring blast that sent him crumpling to the ground, still burning.
“You have definitely caught the attention of the other guards and people, Tsubasa,” Ahab whispered, “Whatever you’re gonna do here, do it quickly.”
“Right.” Tsubasa’s hoverboard was already out and he raced towards the church, predictably located in the city square. Keeping quiet, and moving through the city with speed and precision that took a considerable amount of energy to sustain, Tsubasa darted his way from hidden place to hidden place throughout the city, keeping the church within sight, and staying out of the eyesight of the other guards. It wasn’t too terribly long before he found himself at a window on the side of the church, pulling it open and hefting himself through. He dropped into a crouch behind a pew, and found that no one had seen him. He slipped slightly, causing the pew to slide. It was unusually metal, and created a screeching sound that caused Tsubasa to look around and check if anyone had heard it. No one seemed to move.
In fact, there didn’t seem to be anyone in here. In the center of the chapel was a giant metal device that looked something like a mix between a furnace and a bell. Through windows at the top of the church, a bevy of spirits could be seen being sucked towards the device, and falling into an odd rotation around it like planets falling into orbit around a star.
They would be sucked in if Tsubasa did nothing, but something about the construction of the device told him that it couldn’t just be lit on fire or zapped. Not to mention, the young man was getting tired. Speed he had for light years, but endurance was a property he had yet to learn. As such, rushing through the city had caused him to forgo some of the excess energy he had, and bring him down like a sugar crash. Quickly looking around the room, he devised a plan. An impulsive, rash and potentially foolish one, but a plan nonetheless.
He stood up and ran towards the machine, rolling underneath the waves of souls and getting close to the device itself. It made him tired. Overly so. He had no time for that now. He threw his hands up and said, “I know this isn’t what you’re supposed to do, but Wynna’s Shield, do me a solid here!!” He threw his hands up like pushing an invisible wall, and a black sphere of energy appeared in front of here. It began to pull in things at a distance, specifically the metal pews, sliding towards the Soul Engine with a deafening screech that would surely call attention. No time for that, Tsubasa rolled to the other side of the Soul Engine and repeated the process, his magic energy nearly completely drained. The pews were pulled towards the soul engine, creating something of a makeshift barricade around the device. Once he was certain that they surrounded the front of the device entirely, he jumped over them and got of the way. In his hands, he began to charge a lightning spell, “With all the lightning I can muster... Thaola’s…” His hands swirled around themselves and the force of the electricity became nearly too much for him to contain.
Called by the screeching, an elderly man hobbled in from another room, his speed seemingly hindered by his age and a crippled leg. He assessed the situation and said, “Boy, wait! You know not what you do!!” He hurried towards Tsubasa.
Fearing this elderly man would try to stop him from destroying this wicked machine, Tsubasa continued to charge the spell and released it towards the pews, “Lightning BARRAGE!!” The electricity shot forward, and rather than continue in a straight line, expanded like a supernova, It created something of a cage around the Soul Engine, which alone wouldn’t have been enough to do anything to it. However, with the pews all around it, the electricity continued to travel through the engine and multiplied the energy well beyond what Tsubasa himself was capable of.
The Engine began to turn red, whatever mechanical parts of it sparking out on their own, and smoke billowing from somewhere within. Rather than a massive explosion, it seemed to spark and sputter to death. Almost compressing in on itself as though someone had let the air out of it.
Tsubasa, having drained too much of his energy, fell to the ground with blood droplets falling from his nose. He held up his hand to stem it and watched as the souls were freed from their prison, those that had not been burned flying away in wild freedom. The young mage realized that as they regained their freedom, the room began to feel cold. He looked around and saw many of the spirits, previously clear or bright white, were turning darkish shades of black or red as they fled.
“You young fool!” The old man stated as he finally reached Tsubasa, “The Soul Engine was designed to burn souls of those who had committed the gravest of sins but refused to travel to the next world.”
Tsubasa’s eyes widened. His voice dropped and became hollow, “But… you’re building a weapon.” He remembered what the spirit had said before it was sucked away.
“Yes. A weapon against evil. This city was to act as a charging station to unleash the Soul Engine upon all that would do wrong. We had even used our strongest spells to hide this place in fog and darkness while we worked! Now they are free to do horrible things upon Fiore and beyond. You’re either as dark hearted as they are, or foolish as the day is long.”
Tsubasa ignored him, watching the souls flee into the night. The fog had lifted, and he could clearly see the spirits flying away. What had he done?