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    Lost And Confounded Again

    Diana Winchester
    Diana Winchester

    Alt Account- Mythical- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Rich- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- Player 
    Lineage : Divine Huntress
    Position : None
    Posts : 949
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 222,122

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Silent Reaper
    Second Magic: Lunar Guardian
    Third Magic:

    Lost And Confounded Again Empty Lost And Confounded Again

    Post by Diana Winchester 25th November 2020, 11:40 pm

    Job Details:

    Job Title: 100 Year Free-form
    Rank: 100 Year
    Job Location: Anywhere
    Solo Word Count: 11,000 words
    Group Word Count: 22,000 words
    Additional Requirements: N/A
    Job Description: Whatever the player chooses
    Enemies: Whatever the player chooses
    Reward: 150,000 jewels OR a custom Artifact weapon/armor/item - Must specify which when handing in the job

    Job Sign-Up: Page 37, Post Number 923


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Diana Winchester
    Diana Winchester

    Alt Account- Mythical- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Rich- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- Player 
    Lineage : Divine Huntress
    Position : None
    Posts : 949
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 222,122

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Silent Reaper
    Second Magic: Lunar Guardian
    Third Magic:

    Lost And Confounded Again Empty Re: Lost And Confounded Again

    Post by Diana Winchester 26th November 2020, 1:25 am

    -At the entrance to Sakuramori Forest, mid-morning-

    Wearing her navy blue long-sleeved t-shirt with navy blue cargo pants and black boots plus backpack of supplies and Saint Sinner Valentine slung on her right shoulder, Diana also carried her Glowstick in her left side cargo pocket in case she needed some extra light or to signal someone and also carried her SHG-IV Smart Glasses to better pick Amanda out from the surroundings. Today Diana was in Sakuramori Forest on behalf of Meredith Smith of Magnolia Town, who had reported that her sister had gotten lost in Sakuramori Forest on the way to Hosenka. Amanda was going to pay a visit to a friend who lived in Hosenka when she somehow went into the forest and got lost in a place infamous for wild animals and spirit activity.

    Diana was not sure how Amanda had gotten lost in there. Did she really think that the path to Hosenka lay in the woods? All she had to do was ride the railroad straight to Hosenka and the young woman would have been there hours ago with no muss and no fuss. Oh well. Diana was getting paid good money for this mission, so she would go find Amanda Smith... again.

    Diana had never been to Sakuramori Forest before, so this would be her first time going into this area. She was also not sure what kind of "spirit activity" the forest was home to, but she was not terribly concerned because she had an assault rifle with different types of ammunition for different types of enemy and two types of magic, both of which could easily harm the supernatural. In between those three weapons Diana was sure to have something that would harm the spirits if they made aggressive moves towards her or threatened Amanda.

    Standing outside the entrance to Sakuramori Forest, Diana took a deep breath. She was not sure how exactly Amanda got lost enough to end up here, but with the tales of spirit activity and people who got lost here tending to stay lost, the huntress knew that the blonde with the abysmal sense of direction would be in deep trouble if someone did not come to her aid. This place sounded like one of the more dangerous places to get lost in. It could rank up there with Haunted Castle, Lycan Woods, Sombras Manor, Silent Cemetery, and other places in the Cursed Lands that were more infamous than Sakuramori Forest.

    After taking another deep breath to mentally prepare herself for what might lurk inside and putting on her SHG-IV Smart Glasses, Diana entered the forest to begin her search for Amanda Smith. Diana could only hope that the young woman was still alive when she was finally found.

    -Inside Sakuramori Forest-

    As Diana walked through the forest she found it to be a beautiful and peaceful place with an abundance of plant life. The trees stood tall and mighty with thick green canopies that would have hampered any aerial search that Diana sent Ami on. There were also quite a few vines hanging from some of the tree branches which could have tangled the winged android up and might have even necessitated a rescue from Diana, who was not a very good climber. Diana had worried about whether leaving Ami behind was a good idea or not, but after seeing the vines dangling from some of the tree branches, the huntress knew that she had made the right decision in leaving Ami behind for this mission.

    Not knowing what else to do, Diana followed a clear path that led deeper into the forest and kept an eye out for trouble and her ears open for any unusual sounds. She did not know what kind of spirits she was dealing with and what exactly they could do. So far Diana had not seen anyone or anything, but the huntress knew from experience that just because she did not see something right away did not mean that it was not there. She had almost died because she did not spot the black-clad paramilitary group who had ambushed her outside Silent Cemetery until they were already aiming their weapons at her. By then it was too late to do anything but wait for the inevitable and hope that they did not hit any vital organs.

    Diana survived thanks to the intervention of Selene, but until that lunar goddess had intervented Diana stood a very real chance of dying from numerous bullet wounds... if she had not been eaten by zombies first. The huntress was too weak from her wounds to defend herself and an enemy that was normally beneath notice was a very real threat. Thanks to Selene Diana had survived and was healed so that she could become a Lunar Guardian, but she had been indelibly marked by her near-death experience.

    The huntress shoved that thought aside and focused on finding Amanda before the latter got herself even more lost than she already was. Considering that her first meeting with the young woman was in Mysterious Canyon after she had gotten lost on the way to Clover Town, it was entirely possible that Amanda had gotten herself lost even deeper in Sakuramori Forest trying to find her way out. Diana quickened her pace as she paid attention to her surroundings and watched for trouble while moving deeper into the forest.

    [Post Word Count: 900]
    [Total Word Count: 900/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Diana Winchester
    Diana Winchester

    Alt Account- Mythical- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Rich- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- Player 
    Lineage : Divine Huntress
    Position : None
    Posts : 949
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 222,122

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Silent Reaper
    Second Magic: Lunar Guardian
    Third Magic:

    Lost And Confounded Again Empty Re: Lost And Confounded Again

    Post by Diana Winchester 26th November 2020, 2:48 pm

    -Deeper in Sakuramori Forest, thirty minutes later-

    Diana had walked deeper into the forest in her search for Amanda Smith and found herself hearing odd music that sounded like someone playing a flute. Diana paused in place to try and determine where it was coming from. It was coming from all around her... it came from the bushes, it came from behind the trees, and it came from the tree canopies. Diana was not sure what was going on here, but she was not liking it. The music was coming from everywhere at once instead of being confined to a particular location where the person playing the flute could be hiding.

    Diana looked around the area in hopes that her Smart Glasses would pick up something, anything that could explain where the flute music was coming from. She saw nothing except a flicker on the Smart Glasses that raised a target marker. Diana looked forward again and saw nothing but a dark afterimage and a pair of glowing red eyes staring at her as the afterimage disappeared. She raised Saint Sinner Valentine to meet the threat, but there was no threat to be dealt with, only empty forest.

    The huntress stood in place for a minute or two and looked for the source of the afterimage. It was nowhere to be found. Maybe Diana was just seeing things. Since the threat was no longer here, Diana decided to keep moving and go deeper into the forest. Maybe she was just seeing things and there was no threat to herself or to Amanda.

    -Deeper in the forest, thirty minutes later-

    It had been roughly an hour since Diana had entered Sakuramori Forest and she was nowhere close to finding Amanda. However, she had spotted the black afterimage from earlier leaving behind glowing red eyes before vanishing at least three times since the first sighting. If that had appeared just once Diana would have chalked it up to the power of suggestion; since she was walking in a forest infamous for spirit activity she would have thought she was just seeing things. However, it had appeared multiple times over the past few minutes. The huntress was convinced that the sightings were no coincidence... they were a warning.

    The image appeared at a crossroads in the forest, but this time the image coalesced into a tangible form, that of a dark-haired woman wearing black clothing with red oriental gauntlets on her hands and boasting red eyes that bored into Diana's green eyes. Diana stopped in place as the woman approached the blonde while sporting a menacing look.

    "Leave now while you still can. This forest isn't for the weak." The woman said menacingly. Diana was not intimidated and stood her ground.

    "That is not for you to decide." Diana replied to the mystery woman. Diana sensed her magic signature and determined it was equal to an S-Rank mage. The mystery woman was a definite threat, but she was no Wizard Saint or God/Goddess of Ishgar.

    Instead of giving a response the woman simply vanished and left Diana standing there trying to figure out what exactly it was she had seen. Diana was certain that she had seen a woman standing just a meter away from her, but there was no sign of her to be found. There was not even a single footprint on the grass. Diana was not sure what to do, so she moved on and went deeper into the forest.

    -One hour later-

    Diana had been walking through the forest but had not seen any sign of Amanda or the black-haired woman from earlier. The huntress had not seen a single afterimage of her since their encounter half an hour ago. Maybe it was all in Diana's mind. Maybe she was just seeing things because of the power of suggestion.

    She had stopped to take a brief break when she heard female screaming from the bushes to the left of her and saw a flash of blonde hair rush towards the right in a big hurry before disappearing into more bushes. Diana blinked. Had she just seen Amanda run by?

    Diana wordlessly began to run after the flash of blonde hair and hoped that she could catch up with it before it disappeared again. She ran through the bushes in pursuit of the blonde she believed to be Amanda.

    -In the bushes-

    Diana slung Saint Sinner Valentine across her body and hurried after the young woman, who had long blonde hair in twintails and a blue shirt with white shorts. She chased the young woman for about 75 meters before the young woman tripped on an exposed tree root and fell on her face, dropping a map when she fell. Diana quickly closed the distance and found the person lying on their left side and holding their face with both hands.

    "Amanda Smith, is that you?" Diana asked calmly. The person removed their left hand from their face, exposing a single blue eye that looked at the blonde.

    "Y-yeah. Why?" Amanda asked Diana.

    "Your older sister Meredith sent me to find you. She said that you had gotten lost on the road to Hosenka." Diana replied. Amanda's face burned with embarrassment.

    "Yeah, I got lost again. I could have sworn that I got off at the right train station. This is so embarrassing." Amanda said to Diana. Amanda's face had a bit of grass and dirt on it from where she had fallen, but otherwise the blonde with an abysmal sense of direction seemed to be in good shape. Amanda quickly wiped her face off and picked up her map.

    "Would you like me to guide you to Hosenka or would you like to go home to Magnolia Town?" Diana asked Amanda.

    "I'd like to go to Hosenka, please. We'll get on the train and this time I'll stay on it until we get to Hosenka!" Amanda requested and vowed that this time she would not get off the train at the wrong station.

    "Very well then. Follow me and I will guide you to Sakuramori." Diana said to Amanda. Amanda nodded and followed Diana as the latter walked towards what the latter remembered as the way out of Sakuramori Forest. At least she thought she was going out of Sakuramori Forest.

    [Post Word Count: 1,052]
    [Total Word Count: 1,952/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Diana Winchester
    Diana Winchester

    Alt Account- Mythical- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Rich- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- Player 
    Lineage : Divine Huntress
    Position : None
    Posts : 949
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 222,122

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Silent Reaper
    Second Magic: Lunar Guardian
    Third Magic:

    Lost And Confounded Again Empty Re: Lost And Confounded Again

    Post by Diana Winchester 26th November 2020, 8:28 pm

    -Inside Sakuramori Forest, one hour later-

    Diana and Amanda were making good time in getting out of the forest and had not yet seen that woman from earlier. Diana was not even sure if she was real, but the dark-haired woman's magic signature was real enough. Maybe the huntress had encountered a kitsune or something... kitsunes were fox spirits famous for adopting female forms and tricking people with elaborate illusions that were indistinguishable from reality. Diana had thought that they were native to Midi, but she was no expert in folklore. Maybe one or two had migrated to the Sakuramori area for one reason or another.

    "Hey Diana, did you see some strange lady in black clothing wearing red gauntlets that look like the ones Midi's samurai wear?" Amanda asked Diana out of the blue. Diana nodded.

    "Yes. Why?" Diana asked.

    "I saw her too and I wanted to be sure that I wasn't the only one who did. I was running from her earlier because I was walking along the path and all of a sudden she came out of nowhere and swung this big red sword about a foot behind me. I didn't know if she was after me or not, so I screamed and ran away." Amanda explained how she had known about the mystery woman. Diana did not know that the woman had a sword, only that she dressed in black and wore red gauntlets. As if the mystery person were a devil of mythology that could be summoned by the mention of its name the afterimage appeared and the woman appeared in front of Diana. Amanda screamed and hid behind the huntress.

    "Sakuramori Forest isn't for the weak." The woman repeated her warning from earlier.

    "I found the missing person I was looking for and am on my way out." Diana informed the stranger. The woman nodded.

    "Yes, you should leave with her while you can. You see, we're far from the only ones in this forest." The woman informed Diana. Before Diana could react the woman raised her left hand into the air and a red dome of magic emanated from her body. The area glowed red for a few moments and Diana saw white outlines in the air that began to take physical form. They were floating blue flames that had somehow remained hidden until they had been revealed!

    "Now do you see why I say what I did?" The woman asked.

    "Yes. Now I do." Diana conceded. She was unaware that there were floating blue fires in the forest until the woman had revealed them. She had read that they were a type of spirit, but their name eluded the huntress. The blue flames continued to dance in the air as Diana and Amanda looked at them in surprise.

    "These spirits are not to be taken lightly. Sometimes they're just simple tricksters looking to play pranks on humans. Others are more malevolent and want to hurt intruders. A malevolent spirit was following your companion and I banished it with my sword. Unfortunately, she thought I was attacking her and ran away from me before I could explain myself." The black-haired woman said to them and explained why she had "attacked" Amanda earlier. Diana looked at the woman with her truth-detecting ability and saw that the stranger was telling the truth. She was no outlaw, but someone else. What she was remained a mystery for the time being.

    "While I cannot say that I blame Amanda from running from you, I appreciate what you did for her." Diana said to the stranger. The stranger gave a small smile.

    "I can see spirits that others can't see. I can also reveal them to others who don't have my gift, but many people tell me that they'd rather not see them." The woman replied. Diana nodded. She too had seen a lot of things that most people would rather not see.

    The blue flames began to move up and down in what looked like agitation. The woman noticed this and walked past Diana and Amanda.

    "Follow me. I believe that we're beginning to overstay our welcome in this forest." The woman warned them. Diana looked at Amanda and the other blonde nodded at the huntress. Diana turned to face the stranger and nodded.

    "Very well then. Lead the way." Diana said, ceding the right of leadership to the stranger. The black-haired woman led the two blondes towards the exit at a brisk walk while the spirits were still somewhat accommodating towards the trio. Diana did not know that spirits could manifest in daytime... maybe they could because of the abundant magic that permeated the forest.

    -One hour later, outside Sakuramori Forest-

    "We made it. It seems that we caught the spirits in a good mood because they let us go without pursuing us." The black-haired woman told Diana and Amanda.

    "I'm just glad to be out of that forest! I kept hearing flute music but I didn't see anyone with a flute! It was really creepy!" Amanda exclaimed. Diana heard the flute music play a few notes before it faded away. Amanda and the stranger had heard it too because they reacted to it. Amanda shrieked while the stranger remained calm.

    "THERE IT IS AGAIN!" Amanda exclaimed. Diana looked towards the woods to see if she could spot the flute player but did not see anyone.

    "There's nothing to worry about, young lady. You should be glad that flute music's the worst thing that happened to us. If the spirits really didn't like us we would have had a rough time of it." The black-haired woman remarked. Diana looked towards the woman and asked a question.

    "What is your name?" Diana asked her.

    "My name's Konoe. Konoe Takamachi. Or Takamachi Konoe. Either order works for me." The black-haired woman finally introduced herself to the two blondes.

    "I am Diana Winchester." Diana introduced herself in return.

    "And I'm Amanda Smith." Amanda introduced herself to Konoe.

    "All right then. Now that we all know each other's names, let's go to Sakuramori. I've had enough of this forest for one day." Konoe said to them. Diana and Amanda nodded. Konoe then began to lead them towards Sakuramori so that they could get on the road to Hosenka while there was still plenty of daylight.

    Konoe Takamachi:
    Lost And Confounded Again 0558b182fb8c0d4e2702fa930abc9629fc50ab1f

    [Post Word Count: 1,056]
    [Total Word Count: 3,008/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Diana Winchester
    Diana Winchester

    Alt Account- Mythical- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Rich- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- Player 
    Lineage : Divine Huntress
    Position : None
    Posts : 949
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 222,122

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Silent Reaper
    Second Magic: Lunar Guardian
    Third Magic:

    Lost And Confounded Again Empty Re: Lost And Confounded Again

    Post by Diana Winchester 27th November 2020, 11:46 pm

    -Outside of Sakuramori, thirty minutes later-

    After a lengthy and uneventful walk to the town the trio were greeted with the sight of a fairly large town that was dominated by beautiful oriental architecture and dotted with numerous cherry blossom trees in full bloom. The architecture reminded Diana of Shirotsume and Hosenka, other towns in Fiore that were also renowned for oriental architecture. Maybe it was all coincidental or maybe it was intentional... either way Diana liked the look. The white buildings and pink cherry blossom trees made for a beautiful contrast that gave the town a certain

    "We made it to Sakuramori!" Amanda exclaimed in happiness. Konoe looked at the blonde with twintails and then turned to Diana for an answer.

    "Amanda was lost for quite some time in the forest. She is undoubtedly glad to be out of it." Diana explained to the black-haired young woman. Konoe smiled a little.

    "I see. I too am glad that we got of the forest before the spirits got angry and decided to punish us." Konoe replied. She then turned back to the town and motioned towards it with her left hand.

    "I'm ready to go into town when you two are. I hope that we can catch the train because it's a long walk to Hosenka. Believe me, I've made the walk. It's really slow going." Konoe said to the two blondes. Diana did not ask how the young woman knew that, but presumably it came from personal experience. Amanda looked at Diana and Diana looked at Konoe.

    "I believe that we are ready." Diana replied. Together the trio walked into Sakuramori in order to go to the train station and board the train to Hosenka. Maybe they would be in luck and they could catch the next train to "Spa Town" without undue difficulty.

    -Inside Sakuramori-

    The trio walked down a clean cobblestone road flanked by cherry blossom trees in full bloom, which added a beautiful touch to the otherwise plain cobblestone road. They walked through the town without anyone giving them a second glance despite Diana carrying Saint Sinner Valentine slung on her right shoulder. She had made sure to put the safety on and switched the rounds in the magazine from lethal munitions to less-than-lethal munitions, but she still expected wary glances or for the authorities to scold the huntress, but apparently the townspeople were so used to mages and adventurers openly carrying weapons that they did not give the huntress a second glance. Still, Diana would go to a local store and buy a rifle bag or case in which to carry Saint Sinner Valentine so that she did not get into trouble and be declared persona non grata in Sakuramori.

    "Konoe, would you happen to know the location of a weapons shop in Sakuramori?" Diana asked the black-haired young woman who was their traveling companion. Konoe nodded.

    "Yeah, there's a gun shop here. I haven't been in it myself because I don't need a gun, but I know where it is. C'mon, I'll show you." Konoe replied and began to guide Diana and Amanda towards the gun shop. Diana hoped that her traveling companions would not be terribly inconvenienced by this detour.

    -Outside Sakuramori Sportsman, thirty minutes later-

    Diana emerged from the gun shop called Sakuramori Sportsman carrying Saint Sinner Valentine in a hard black rifle case with internal padding by the handle in her right hand. She had left the shop 30,000 Jewels lighter but had gained a bit of knowledge concerning how the townspeople reacted to weapons.

    As she had learned from the shop's owner, Diana having a weapon was not a problem. Having a weapon that was openly carried was also not a problem. The townspeople were used to mages and adventurers passing through while bearing all manner of weapons. However, it was common courtesy to put any weapons in sheaths, scabbards, or weapons cases while riding the train.

    The real problem was finding a good rifle case because while the shop sold hunting rifles, shotguns, and other civilian firearms in addition to more traditional weapons like bows and crossbows, they did not have very many rifle cases that could accommodate an assault rifle. After a lengthy search of the stockroom and a fee of 30,000 Jewels for the case Diana was now the proud owner of a hard black rifle case that was certain to pass inspection at the railroad station should an inspection be carried out. She felt like she had been overcharged for the case, but she did not have much room to complain. The huntress had needed one and needed one in a hurry, so she would just have to grin and bear it. Still, Sakuramori Sportsman had a respectable array of hunting weapons available, including a magic firearm or two that had caught her interest.

    Diana would have to return to the shop when time was not an issue. However, at the moment it was, so any shopping would have to wait. She walked over to her traveling companions and apologized to them for the inconvenience that the unexpected detour had imposed upon them.

    "I apologize for the wait. The owner had to find the right case for my weapon and it took awhile." Diana apologized to Amanda and Konoe for the wait. Diana did not mention how she felt like she had been overcharged for the case. Neither of them seemed to hold the detour to Sakuramori Sportsman against her.

    "Welcome back, Diana!" Amanda greeted the huntress.

    "It's no problem, Diana. I'm just glad that you could find what you needed on such short notice." Konoe said to the huntress. Diana noticed that the black-haired young woman was a lot friendlier now than she was back in Sakuramori Forest. Diana wondered why that was but was not inclined to rock the boat by asking. She would let the matter drop and focus instead on the matter of them getting to the train station in a timely fashion.

    "We should get to the train station now. Perhaps we will be able to get there in time for the next train to Hosenka." Diana said to her companions. Both of them nodded.

    "I'll take us there. Follow me." Konoe said to the two blondes. Diana and Amanda wordlessly fell in behind Konoe as she began to walk briskly towards the train station.

    [Post Word Count: 1,064]
    [Total Word Count: 4,072/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Diana Winchester
    Diana Winchester

    Alt Account- Mythical- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Rich- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- Player 
    Lineage : Divine Huntress
    Position : None
    Posts : 949
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 222,122

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Silent Reaper
    Second Magic: Lunar Guardian
    Third Magic:

    Lost And Confounded Again Empty Re: Lost And Confounded Again

    Post by Diana Winchester 28th November 2020, 11:57 pm

    -On the train to Hosenka, one hour and fifteen minutes later-

    Diana sat beside Amanda in a seat on the train to Hosenka. Facing them was Konoe, who sat in the seat across from Diana with her arms folded over her chest. In the floor beside Amanda and the window was the rifle case that contained Saint Sinner Valentine, Diana's prized weapon that had gotten her through many an adventure. It had barely been given a second glance by the station personnel and they waved her through without any fuss once Diana had declared what was in the case. All they asked was that she not take Saint Sinner Valentine out on the train unless the train came under bandit attack, which was a remote possibility since the road between Sakuramori and Hosenka was a peaceful one.

    "I'm glad that we paid for a private seating area." Konoe said to Amanda and Diana.

    "As am I." Diana replied calmly. She, Amanda, and Konoe had each bought a ticket on a first-class car so that they did not have to put up with crying, screaming children who were in the coach class car in abundance. The tickets were about 20,000 Jewels per person, but they were well worth the cost because the first-class cars were much quieter and much more comfortable. There was only soft ambient music playing and there was room enough for all three young women plus the rifle case without anyone getting cramped. The atmosphere was a relaxed one... in fact it was so relaxed that Amanda had fallen asleep in the seat beside Diana with the map she carried covering her face.

    Diana let Amanda sleep. The blonde with twintails was not very likely to go anywhere unless she was a sleepwalker. Meredith had not warned Diana about that, so she believed that Amanda only got lost when she was awake.

    "You came all the way out to Sakuramori Forest just to rescue that young woman, right?" Konoe asked Diana, pointing towards the sleeping blonde with her left hand. Diana nodded.

    "Yes, Konoe. I was hired to rescue her from Sakuramori Forest by her older sister." Diana replied in the affirmative. Konoe seemed somewhat impressed.

    "It's a good thing that you came along when you did, Diana. She doesn't seem to have a very good sense of direction. She was running in the wrong direction to get out of the woods. If you hadn't stopped her she would have gone even deeper into the forest to the part where the truly dangerous spirits dwell." Konoe said about Amanda. Diana kept a straight face as she tried to make sense of what she had been told.

    "While that is true, I would also say that your sudden appearance made her panic." Diana replied. Konoe seemed a little embarrassed by that.

    "Yeah, that's true. Not many people can stay calm when someone with a sword is rushing at them. But I had to act quickly because a spirit who was up to no good was sneaking up behind her." Konoe defended her actions. Diana had read Konoe's body language earlier and had learned that she was telling the truth then. Konoe was telling the truth now, so Diana had no trouble believing the black-haired young woman.

    "Still, I must thank you for guiding us out of Sakuramori Forest. I must admit that I had lost the way out and might not have been able to get out with Amanda without your help. Thank you for that." Diana thanked Konoe for guiding them out of the forest while the spirits were still somewhat tolerant of their presence. Konoe casually waved her left hand at Diana in a "think nothing of it" way.

    "It was nothing. I've visited Sakuramori Forest quite a few times in the past, so I know my way around the place. I can also see the spirits, so I know when I've overstayed my welcome and it's time to leave before they get angry." Konoe explained how she knew her way around the forest.

    "Today was my very first visit to Sakuramori Forest, so I had no idea what to expect." Diana admitted to Konoe.

    "Sakuramori Forest's a dangerous place for people who know where they're going. It's an especially dangerous place for people who don't know where they're going." Konoe said to Diana. The huntress had gotten that impression when she had found Amanda in a state of panic. if the forest was a cause for concern for an experienced mage like Diana, a person with a poor sense of direction and the awareness that they were lost would be in a bad emotional state. Konoe's "attack" had caused Amanda to panic and run blindly away from her rescuer until she tripped over an exposed tree root and fell face first on the ground.

    "I do not plan to go in there again for awhile." Diana said to Konoe. Konoe nodded.

    "That would be a good idea. If you get lost again I might not be there to save you a second time." Konoe agreed that avoiding Sakuramori Forest for awhile was a good idea. While Diana and Konoe talked Amanda slept, remaining blissfully unaware of what was going on around her. The two would wake Amanda up when they reached Hosenka.

    "So, Diana, where are you from?" Konoe asked Diana. Diana did not care much for small talk, but she owed Konoe for guiding her and Amanda out of the forest, so she would humor the black-haired young woman.

    "I am from Bellum." Diana replied. Konoe nodded and spoke next.

    "Me, I'm originally from Midi. I moved to Fiore a few years ago to be a freelance mage because I heard there's a lot of opportunity for freelance mages. I live in Hosenka right now, but one day when I've earned a lot of Jewels and I'm tired of traveling I'm gonna move back to Midi to be with my family. Then I'll find a guy to marry and live a quiet life with, maybe even have a child or two with him." Konoe explained where she was from and why she had moved to Fiore. Konoe was a freelance mage like Diana claimed to be and her motive was to work as a freelance mage and earn money to move back home, possibly even retire to a quiet life with a husband and children. part of Diana envied Konoe for having a long-term plan like that. Diana had no long-term plan for her life, only to live day to day and hope that she could one day leave her double life behind.

    [Post Word Count: 1,108]
    [Total Word Count: 5,180/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Diana Winchester
    Diana Winchester

    Alt Account- Mythical- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Rich- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- Player 
    Lineage : Divine Huntress
    Position : None
    Posts : 949
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 222,122

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Silent Reaper
    Second Magic: Lunar Guardian
    Third Magic:

    Lost And Confounded Again Empty Re: Lost And Confounded Again

    Post by Diana Winchester 29th November 2020, 9:59 pm

    -Hosenka train station, two hours later-

    Walking off of the train with the rifle case containing Saint Sinner Valentine firmly clutched in her right hand, Diana walked to the right of Amanda and Konoe as they maneuvered their way through the thick crowd that was congregating outside the train. The train station was packed, but Konoe was maneuvering through it with the speed and grace that came with being a native of the town. Meanwhile Amanda and Diana were struggling to keep up because a rifle case was not something that could easily be maneuvered through a crowd without hitting someone. Diana narrowly managed to avoid doing that, but it was tough going. There were quite a few elderly people in the crowd and their slow walking combined with the dense crowd made navigation a challenge.

    Eventually Diana and Amanda managed to maneuver through the crowd without hitting anyone and found Konoe, who was waiting for them at the much less crowded train station exit. Her red armor and black clothing and hair made her stand out in the sea of casual outfits like t-shirts and shorts and kimonos. Diana and Amanda reached her and Konoe guided them away from the train station and into Hosenka itself.

    -Hosenka, twenty-five minutes later-

    "Amanda, where is your friend in Hosenka?" Diana asked the directionally challenged blonde, who was studying the map she had carried with her through Sakuramori Forest and on the train. Konoe was on Amanda's left and Diana was on Amanda's right.

    "She's at one of the spas. I can't remember which one it is, though." Amanda answered. Konoe turned to the blonde with twintails.

    "Do you remember anything special about it? A sign? An appearance?" Konoe asked Amanda, trying to narrow down which spa Amanda's friend was in. The town was full of them, after all. It was even colloquially known as "Spa Town" for the sheer number of spas that dotted the town.

    "Not really. There are so many spas that I forgot its name. It was Daim... Daimler...? No, Daimyo Spa. That was it." Amanda recalled hesitantly. Diana blinked when she heard that name. Daimyo Spa was the spa she had visited with Kasumi nearly two years ago. Diana had always wondered how Kasumi was doing since the last time they had met, but she had never heard back from the spa heiress.

    "Daimyo Spa? I've been there a couple of times myself. It's super expensive, but everything there's worth the price of admission. They've got massage tables, sauna rooms, anything you could want from a spa." Konoe told the two blondes. Diana knew that from her visit to the spa, but Amanda had no idea about the amenities that it offered. Amanda's eyes lit up.

    "I can't wait to go there!" Amanda declared. Konoe motioned to the two blondes.

    "C'mon. I'll show you the way!" Konoe said to them. They wordlessly followed the black-haired young woman to Daimyo Spa to find Amanda's friend. Maybe the blonde with twintails would manage to avoid getting lost in the spa now that Konoe and Diana were with her. Or maybe not... the spa was in a big building, after all.

    -Outside Daimyo Spa, ten minutes later-

    Diana stood outside of Daimyo Spa with her two companions and saw that the outside of the building looked exactly the same as it had over a year ago. Fortunately the line was much shorter this visit... there were only five people in front of them and none of them were on their iLacs. Today just might be Diana's lucky day.

    "Looks like there's a few people ahead of us. I don't mind waiting." Konoe announced.

    "It's not too many. Normally the line's about twenty people long and that's on slow days. On really busy days it can reach fifty-plus easily. I can wait too." Amanda said confidently.

    "So can I." Diana replied calmly. The huntress was in no big hurry to get into the spa. She had remembered her visit with Kasumi being one of the happier days of her life and she was not sure if Kasumi was around anymore.

    The trio waited their turn to get into Daimyo Spa without a single complaint about the wait to get to the front door, which was only fifteen minutes. Compared to the last time she had been here a fifteen-minute wait was a blazing fast speed. Once the five people ahead of them were inside it was about three more minutes before the trio were admitted into the spa. All three of them walked into the spa and were whisked into another world.

    -Inside Daimyo Spa-

    Diana entered Daimyo Spa to find it almost exactly like it was when she had first came here almost two years ago. The decor was a soft white with gray marble tile floors, brown wooden benches sitting against the wall, and soft white walls with traditional ink paintings of scenery like mountains and the ocean to break up the monotony. There were also lists of spa services dotting the lobby walls. However, in the middle of the wall behind the reception desk were two pictures, those of a man and woman. It must have been a small memorial to Kasumi's parents.

    Diana scanned the wall for a picture of Kasumi but she did not see one. Hopefully her former client was still alive. She watched Amanda and Konoe walk up to the reception desk and speak to a black-haired young woman wearing a white uniform... it was possible that she was the very same employee who had waited on her and Kasumi. She watched the pair chat with the employee and pay for a spa day while she found herself hoping that she would see Kasumi walking down the lobby towards her.

    Diana was not sure whether to join her companions in the spa or call it a day and go home. Once Amanda found her friend her job was technically over. Her job had been to find and rescue Amanda from Sakuramori Forest and nothing more, but the blonde with twintails had wanted to go to Hosenka after all, so Diana had went with her to make sure that she did not get lost a second time. Since Amanda had gotten to Hosenka safely Diana could leave any time she was ready.

    In addition to memories of the past, Diana was also not sure how the staff would handle having to keep up with a rifle case that contained an assault rifle. She was not sure if the spa was able or willing to keep up with something as dangerous as that. While Amanda and Konoe received their locker keys Diana hung back and tried to decide whether she would stay and join her companions for a spa day or just leave and go home.

    [Post Word Count: 1,140]
    [Total Word Count: 6,320/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Diana Winchester
    Diana Winchester

    Alt Account- Mythical- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Rich- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- Player 
    Lineage : Divine Huntress
    Position : None
    Posts : 949
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 222,122

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Silent Reaper
    Second Magic: Lunar Guardian
    Third Magic:

    Lost And Confounded Again Empty Re: Lost And Confounded Again

    Post by Diana Winchester 30th November 2020, 12:08 am

    Diana hung back and was trying to make her decision when Amanda and Konoe spotted her standing near the back of the lobby. Konoe approached her while Amanda stayed back.

    "Hey Diana, why don't you join us for a spa day?" Konoe asked the huntress. Diana really did not want to answer that question, but she had no choice but to answer.

    "I am not sure if the spa is able or willing to keep up with my rifle. I paid hundreds of thousands of Jewels for it and I am loathe to part with it." Diana replied in a half-truth. While it was true that she did not want to lose Saint Sinner Valentine to a thief, it was not true that losing her rifle was the only consideration she had for not wanting to stay here. She did not want to face memories of happier days by staying here.

    "The spa's taking care of my sword. My sword's a special one that's worth half a million Jewels, so I don't see why they can't take care of your rifle." Konoe said to Diana, not fully understanding why the huntress did not want to stay at the spa. Diana was growing increasingly uncomfortable with staying here, but it felt like she might not have much choice but to stay. Amanda was looking at her with bright blue eyes and watching the huntress closely.

    Diana did not feel like she belonged here with either young woman. She felt like duty was the only thing keeping her here, not happiness at getting a spa day and not feeling like a slacker or friendship with Amanda and Konoe. She had a duty to Amanda until the blonde with twintails met her friend. Once her friend arrived Diana would be on her way.

    "I suppose that I can stay until Amanda finds her friend." Diana said to Konoe. Diana walked to the reception desk, paid for a spa day, and had the staff place her prized rifle in the weapons storage area along with Konoe's sword. She rejoined her companions and together the trio headed for the locker rooms to change out of their clothing and into the white cloth robes that customers wore around the spa.

    -Inside Sauna Room 26, ten minutes later-

    Diana sat in the spa room with Amanda and Konoe as the room began to heat up and steam began to fill the room and obscure her vision to an uncomfortable degree. Diana sat facing the door so that anyone entering the room would be spotted almost instantly. She appreciated having her back to a solid wall. Aside from making it virtually impossible to be attacked from behind, it also prevented Amanda and Konoe from seeing the scars on her back. How she got them was a really uncomfortable question that she did not want to answer.

    "I like the sauna room. It's so peaceful and relaxing!" Amanda said, her voice floating somewhere out there in the white fog that was filling the room.

    "Me too." Konoe chimed in somewhere near the left side of the room. Every once in awhile Diana could see the flash of Konoe's red eyes, but otherwise it was hard to see the black-haired young woman in the fog.

    Diana kept quiet and Amanda and Konoe talk about the spa and how much they liked Daimyo Spa. Since she did not have anything meaningful to add to the conversation, the huntress was content to let them talk without her interrupting them. She thought back to her time in this sauna room with Kasumi, Hitomi, Asuna, and Haruna. She missed the good old days back when she had plenty of chances to walk away from her "other" career instead of plunging deeper into the shadows.

    Now it was too late to back out.

    Diana felt like she did not belong here. She should be out in the field trying to find redemption by rescuing someone from a hazardous situation, not be sitting in a spa room listening to idle chatter. While she had helped rescue Amanda from Sakuramori Forest, that rescue was nowhere near as dangerous as the two rescues she had performed in a single day for Mister Burke. That day she had gone to both Fat Monsterland and Forgotten Deserts and rescued everyone she could from the crashed aircraft before returning to Mister Burke to report her success and collect her pay. That was a high point in Diana's legitimate career, one that was not likely to be matched any day soon.

    "Hey Diana, how are you liking Daimyo Spa so far?" Konoe asked Diana.

    "I like it a lot. I like the atmosphere and I definitely like the amenities." Diana replied truthfully. She did not need to lie about liking the spa and its services.

    "Me too!" Amanda chimed in. She seemed to be pretty happy here. Diana wondered where her friend was and who she was.

    "Amanda, who is the friend you are supposed to be meeting?" Diana asked Amanda both out of idle curiosity and to make small talk with her fellow blonde.

    "She's a young woman named Kasumi. She owns this spa." Amanda answered. Diana was glad that the steam was concealing her face because her jaw dropped briefly. She did not know whether the young heiress was alive or not, but from the way that Amanda had talked Kasumi was alive.

    "Have you met her, Diana?" Amanda asked a second question right on the heels of the statement she had just made. Diana remained silent for a moment. She was not sure how to answer that, but then the huntress decided to go for honesty so that if they encountered Kasumi in the spa she would not have awkward explaining to do once Amand and Kasumi met.

    "I met her once before almost two years ago. I spent a spa day with her." Diana answered truthfully. Neither Amanda nor Konoe needed to know the circumstances of the meeting with the heiress, only that they had met.

    "That's great, Diana! What did you think of her?" Amanda asked.

    "I thought that Kasumi was a gracious hostess." Diana answered truthfully. The dark-haired young woman was a gracious hostess who had made sure that Diana had had a good visit to the spa. Kasumi had even introduced the huntress to a few of her friends and those friends accepted the huntress as one of their own. Diana recalled that day with a measure of fondness and hoped that one day after she left her life in the shadows for good that she could spend a day with an acquaintance or two and be genuinely happy in their company.

    Diana had long since tired of faking happiness and wanted to feel genuine happiness again some day, but that would have to wait until Diana settled accounts with Mr. Gorman and The Shadow Collective. Once they were no longer a threat Diana would be free to leave the shadows for good and she could be happy again. Or at least she hoped that she could.

    [Post Word Count: 1,182]
    [Total Word Count: 7,502/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Diana Winchester
    Diana Winchester

    Alt Account- Mythical- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Rich- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- Player 
    Lineage : Divine Huntress
    Position : None
    Posts : 949
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 222,122

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Silent Reaper
    Second Magic: Lunar Guardian
    Third Magic:

    Lost And Confounded Again Empty Re: Lost And Confounded Again

    Post by Diana Winchester 30th November 2020, 9:33 am

    -Inside Daimyo Spa, the locker room, six hours later-

    The trio had waited for Amanda to meet up with Kasumi, but they had learned from a staff member that Kasumi had an emergency meeting to attend. Diana was mildly disappointed by that, but at least she had learned that the spa heiress was alive. There was always hope of them meeting again as long as both of them were alive. Once her enemies had been dealt with the huntress could be around Kasumi without fear of the past coming back to haunt her.

    Now they were in the locker room after having changed out of their robes and back into their everyday clothing. Today's spa day had been an entertaining diversion, but Diana needed to get back home and find another job to do so that she could keep the money rolling in. She also needed to get Amanda back home to Magnolia Town so that she could let Meredith know that she was OK.

    "I'd better go get my sword." Konoe said, taking her locker key into her left hand.

    "I had better get my rifle case." Diana chimed in.

    "I'll wait for you guys at the exit!" Amanda chimed in. Diana looked at her with a quizzical expression and the other blonde blushed.

    "Don't worry, I won't get lost!" Amanda assured Diana. Diana saw from her body language that Amanda was telling the truth, but the huntress was unsure as to whether Amanda would stay put long enough for the former to retrieve her rifle case or not. The huntress decided to put some faith in Amanda and let her stay near the door.

    "Very well then. Just be sure to stay near the door." Diana said to Amanda. It sounded like she did not have much faith in the other blonde's ability to stay put, but the huntress did not want Amanda to get lost yet again. It had taken hours and the help of Konoe to get her to safety and Diana did not want to lose her in Hosenka.

    "OK!" Amanda promised. The trio left the locker room, Konoe and Diana to reclaim their weapons and Amanda to wait for them near the exit. Hopefully the staff had kept up with their weapons and had not misplaced them.

    -Outside Daimyo Spa, five minutes later-

    The spa staff had kept up with the weapons and were able to return them to their owners without incident. Konoe had her sword back and Diana had her rifle case back. Diana had made certain to open the case before she left the spa; once she saw Saint Sinner Valentine sitting within it she knew that the staff had taken good care of the weapon. Now they were going to walk Konoe to her home before Diana and Amanda rode the train back to Magnolia Town.

    "Before we go, does everyone have everything they came with?" Konoe asked the two blondes. Amanda waved her folded map at the black-haired young woman.

    "I've got my map! Even though I don't know why I carry it..." Amanda said, adding a self-deprecating remark at the end of her response.

    "I have my rifle case and my backpack with Smart Glasses." Diana said, listing the three pieces of gear she had brought with her. Konoe nodded.

    "I have my sword, so we're ready to go. I live not too far from here, so it should take us about twenty to twenty-five minutes of walking time to get there." Konoe said to her companions. She then began walking with the two blondes following closely behind her.

    -Konoe's neighborhood, twenty-five minutes later-

    Konoe's house was in a middle-of-the-road neighborhood in Hosenka. While her neighborhood was not the most prosperous, neither was it a slum. It was an average neighborhood full of average houses in a traditional oriental style just like Sakuramori and Shirotsume. Diana walked and looked at the houses while Amanda studied her map and Konoe made a beeline for her home with her gaze fixed straight ahead.

    Eventually Konoe stopped in front of a house with a door that slid to one side. Konoe opened the door and Diana saw a white "beckoning cat" statue sitting inside the living room.

    "Well, here we are. 2040 Hiei Drive. My little slice of Hosenka." Konoe said to the two blondes, who looked at her. She looked at them as if expecting them to enter her home with her. Diana was not sure what to say, but Amanda spoke up.

    "It's been fun, Konoe, but we'd better get back to Magnolia Town. My sister's probably worried about me. Since I accidentally left my iLac at home, I'd better let her know that I'm OK before she gets really worried!" Amanda said to the black-haired young woman who had been their rescuer and guide through both Sakuramori Forest and Hosenka. Konoe gave a small smile.

    "All right then. See you later, Amanda!" Konoe bade the map-carrying blonde farewell. Konoe's red eyes turned to Diana.

    "See you later, Diana!" Konoe bade the huntress farewell. Diana nodded.

    "See you later, Konoe." Diana bade Konoe farewell. Diana heard the door shut behind them as she and Amanda began retracing their steps to Hosenka Train Station. Konoe had been a good companion to her... the huntress hoped that they would meet again one day when Diana had dealt with her enemies once and for all.

    -On board the train to Magnolia Town, forty minutes later-

    The train station was packed with tourists just like it had been when the pair had first arrived here hours ago. After a considerable wait of twenty-five minutes the pair had managed to purchase tickets to the first-class section of the train so that they did not have to share space with crying and screaming children and their inattentive parents who were much more concerned with what was on their iLacs than with the condition of their children. They had gotten another private seating area with plenty of legroom and plenty of space for the two blondes to sit where they wanted and how they wanted.

    Amanda had taken off her shoes and was laying across the left seat while Diana sat in the right seat with her arms folded across her chest. After this busy day she could not wait to get back home and sleep for awhile before getting up to find another job to do. All of the spending she had done today was eating into her money and she needed to build it back up. However, the purchases had paid for themselves in one way or another.

    The rifle case had paid for itself by keeping the attention of the authorities away from her and keeping people from panicking because Saint Sinner Valentine was concealed from view and was thus not a threat. The first class tickets paid for themselves because the blondes were able to travel in comfort. The spa day ticket had paid for itself because Diana had made an acquaintance of Konoe, an acquaintance who could one day become a friend.

    While those purchases were expensive, they had helped Diana in one way or another, so they had all paid for themselves. However, not all of her problems could be solved with money. Her inability to truly connect to others was one of those problems money could not make disappear.

    [Post Word Count: 1,230]
    [Total Word Count: 8,732/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Diana Winchester
    Diana Winchester

    Alt Account- Mythical- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Rich- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- Player 
    Lineage : Divine Huntress
    Position : None
    Posts : 949
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 222,122

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Silent Reaper
    Second Magic: Lunar Guardian
    Third Magic:

    Lost And Confounded Again Empty Re: Lost And Confounded Again

    Post by Diana Winchester 30th November 2020, 3:26 pm

    -On the train to Magnolia Town, thirty minutes later-

    The train had started on its way to Magnolia Town thirty minutes ago, but it was going to be at least a three-hour ride before they reached the town. Amanda was already asleep again with her map covering her face, leaving Diana nothing to do but to sit and watch her traveling companion sleep until they reached their destination. Diana then remembered that she had brought her iLac with her. Maybe she could browse the Lacrimanet while on the train. Diana reached into the backpack on the floor beside her rifle case and fished out her iLac, which was sitting in its own specially reinforced pocket to keep it from getting damaged by the other things she was carrying inside the backpack like food and her Smart Glasses.

    Diana pulled out the multimedia device and began going through the menus until she found the Lacrimanet icon. She tapped it with her right index finger and within seconds the Lacrimanet browser came up. Unfortunately it could not access the Lacrimanet because she did not have the password for the train's wifi. Diana was afraid that if she left the car to go ask any of the staff for the password Amanda might get up and sleepwalk, so the huntress was stuck with her iLac and nothing to do.

    Diana frowned. Without the Lacrimanet password her shiny new hi-tech wonder gadget was nothing but a fancy paperweight. She did not have anyone's iLac number, so she could not even call someone up for idle chatting to pass the time. Besides, even if she did have someone's number, what was she going to talk to them about and who would she talk to?

    Diana did not have Aliarey Cassidy's number yet, so calling her fellow blonde was not an option. She did not have Mister Burke's number either. Nor did she have Catherine Corvinus' number.

    Her parents and family were all dead, so they were not even a last-resort option. However, she would not want to talk to her mother Elizabeth even if the woman were still alive. Far too many negative things had happened between them for mother and daughter to ever truly get along. They had pretended to be a loving family in public, but the Winchesters were far from the happiest family in Bellum.

    For one thing, Melody was Elizabeth's favorite daughter. Everything revolved around what Melody wanted. If Melody wanted a new piano or a new dress, all she had to do was ask for it and Elizabeth would turn over heaven and earth to fulfill her favorite daughter's demand. If Lucia or another Winchester daughter asked for something their mother's willingness to fulfill their request depended on her mood. If Lucia asked for something Elizabeth would try very hard, though not as hard as she would for Melody.

    If Diana asked for something she would be lucky if a firm "NO" was the only response she got. Elizabeth was not shy about slapping as a form of discipline. Diana had learned that the hard way when she had gotten a B on a difficult midterm test in school: she recalled her mother getting very angry and slapping her so hard that Diana spun in place and fell to the floor. It did not matter that Diana had scored better than over half of the class and even the smart students had struggled to get more than an 85: the only thing her mother cared about was the fact that Diana had not gotten an A.

    She also remembered the time she had asked Melody if she could borrow a dress that the second-oldest Winchester daughter was not wearing because it no longer fit. Melody's response was to scream at her and call her a thief, an act which attracted the attention of their mother. Elizabeth stormed in to "keep the peace" and ended up pulling Diana out of Melody's room by her left wrist before delivering a slap in the hallway that was so strong that Diana lay on the floor for a good minute after being hit. That put an end to Diana asking to borrow anything from Melody ever again, which was exactly what Melody had intended.

    Diana frowned at those memories. Both her mother and second-oldest sister were domineering harpies who had to get their way at all costs. Lucia, on the other hand, was the only person in the Winchester family who genuinely cared about Diana and her well-being. It was no exaggeration to say that Lucia was Diana's guardian angel as well as the guardian angel of any Winchester not named "George", "Elizabeth", "Melody", or "Lucius."

    Diana was upset that Lucia had died with the rest of her family because Lucia did not deserve to die nor did any of the other Winchester children. As obnoxiously self-centered as she was, not even Melody deserved to die that night. If it was anyone who needed to die it was Diana. She should have died. She should have been the one to drink the poisoned wine and die for the good of the world.

    Instead she had lived. There was no telling how many people who had not deserved death had died on her parents' orders because she was too weak to tell them no. When her parents had died she had been given a gift-wrapped chance to get out of the "business" with no one the wiser, but what did Diana do?

    She had went right back into the shadows, only this time for a higher paycheck.

    Diana had taken a chance to walk away from the "business" and had not just tossed it aside, but had thrown it aside with great force. She had called herself being a businesswoman, but what she had really done was let fear of the unknown and a misguided attempt to find employment take her to a place that she might not be able to leave. Giving in to fear of the unknown in exchange for security might have been the second-biggest mistake of her life aside from manifesting magic in the most unpleasant of ways.

    Her magic had manifested when she was ten years old. Diana was upset about the dress she was being made to wear because it was not purple or a variant of purple. It was a yellow dress and she did not like yellow since it was "Melody's" color and Melody had declared it such in no uncertain terms. Diana had touched a female household servant on the arm during an argument over the dress and her glowing touch had drained the life force from the hapless woman, reducing her to a shriveled husk on the carpet. Diana was horrified, but her parents saw opportunity, the opportunity to have their own personal assassin at their beck and call.

    Diana had let a single moment of weakness control the trajectory of her life and now she was paying the price for her weakness. She would always pay the price for her weakness until she found the courage to leave her old life behind and start anew. That was the only way she could begin to reclaim her life and try to redeem herself for her numerous crimes. However, one question gnawed at Diana.

    Was it too late to try for redemption?

    [Post Word Count: 1,226]
    [Total Word Count: 9,958/11,000]


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Diana Winchester
    Diana Winchester

    Alt Account- Mythical- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Rich- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- Player 
    Lineage : Divine Huntress
    Position : None
    Posts : 949
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 222,122

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Silent Reaper
    Second Magic: Lunar Guardian
    Third Magic:

    Lost And Confounded Again Empty Re: Lost And Confounded Again

    Post by Diana Winchester 2nd December 2020, 8:35 am

    -Magnolia Town, three-and-three-quarters hours later-

    After a slight delay in getting off the train brought on by a combination of the sheer number of passengers and the fact that Amanda was something of a heavy sleeper, Amanda and Diana finally walked off the train about three hours and forty-five minutes after they had left Hosenka. It had been a long and boring ride... Diana never did manage to get the Lacrimanet password for the train, so she had put her iLac in her backpack and had watched Amanda sleep for the entire time. Oh well... the huntress and her client had gotten here safely, so boredom was a small price to pay for the payday that was about to happen. Despite her troubled thoughts about her place in this world and the next world, the possibility of making money had managed to pull Diana out of her malaise.

    Clutching the rifle case that contained Saint Sinner Valentine, Diana followed Amanda towards the latter's house. Diana hoped that Amanda would be alert enough to find her own home in her hometown, but considering that Amanda had once gotten lost while looking for Fairy Tail's headquarters, the huntress was cautiously optimistic. Amanda, however, was guiding Diana through the city with confidence and ease.

    "We'll be at my house soon, Diana. It's not too far from here." Amanda said optimistically. Diana remained quiet and let the other blonde guide her. This was Diana's first visit to Magnolia Town, so until she learned her way around she would be forced to defer to Amanda's knowledge. Diana had made it a point to avoid cities under the influence of other guilds, but since she had played it safe until this point she should be able to escort Amanda home to her older sister without trouble. That was one of the benefits of exercising restraint during her shadowy jobs... Diana was free to walk in Fairy Tail's hometown with very little fear of detection because she had not made a spectacle of her work.

    Diana followed Amanda through Magnolia Town and kept an eye out for trouble. It was starting to get dark and just because she did not need to fear much from Fairy Tail did not mean that the blonde was entirely out of danger. The Shadow Collective might show up at any moment to ruin what was otherwise an easy mission by shooting at her or Amanda and causing a scene. Diana did not want a fight right now, but just because she wanted something did not mean that she would get it.

    -Forty-five minutes later, outside Amanda's house-

    After a few wrong turns on Amanda's part the blonde had finally managed to locate her house, which was a home on the nicer side of town. It was a medium-sized house built in a modern architectural style that was common to Magnolia Town. It had a brown wooden door and a brass doorknob. On the doorframe and to the right of the door was mounted a doorbell.

    Amanda fished a key out of the pocket of her shorts and approached the door. She put the key into the lock above the doorknob and turned the key left, unlocking the door. Diana watched as Amanda took the key out and put it back in her pocket, then opened the door.

    "Thanks for getting me here safely, Diana. My sister's probably asleep right now, so if you come in you've gotta be quiet." Amanda said in a soft voice. Diana did not want to visit the Smith residence. She had completed her task, so now the huntress wanted to get out of Magnolia Town and get back home.

    "No thank you, Amanda. I will be on my way." Diana said to Amanda, politely declining the offer to come inside the Smith residence. Diana just wanted to go home and sleep awhile before finding another job to take.

    "Are you sure, Diana?" Amanda asked. Diana nodded.

    "I am sure." Diana replied with confidence.

    "OK then. Maybe one day we'll be able to meet without you having to rescue me because I got lost yet again." Amanda expressed the hope that one day they could meet without the reason being she got lost for a third time. Diana gave a small smile that was mainly intended to assure Amanda instead of express amusement.

    "Perhaps we will." Diana replied calmly. She then turned to walk away from the Smith residence.

    "See you later, Diana!" Amanda bade her farewell. Diana turned around and waved, watching Amanda shut the door. Once Amanda had done that the huntress started walking for the city limits. She had a long road to travel before she reached home. It would be just Diana and her thoughts, but that was nothing new. Diana was used to being alone, but that was for the best for many reasons.

    Diana had serious trouble connecting with anyone and even if she did connect with someone the enemies from her double life could jeopardize them, so to keep others safe she kept them at arm's length.

    Or at least that was what she told herself.

    She had told herself a lot of half-truths and total lies in order to keep going despite every dark deed she had done. She had told herself so many things that it was hard to keep track of it all. What was telling herself one more half-truth if it meant staying alive another day?

    [Post Word Count: 910]
    [Total Word Count: 10,868/11,000]


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    Diana Winchester
    Diana Winchester

    Alt Account- Mythical- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Z-Rank- Y-Rank- X-Rank- H-Rank- S-Rank- A-Rank- EXP Grinder- Jewel Grinder- Unknown Powerhouse- Unknown Legend- Achiever- Expert Achiever- Buddy Buddy- Sticking Around- Halloween Social- Halloween job event participant - Rich- Character Application Approved!- Magic Application Approved!- Complete Your First Job!- Obtain A Lineage!- Join A Faction!- Senior [500]- Novice [250]- Player 
    Lineage : Divine Huntress
    Position : None
    Posts : 949
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 222,122

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Silent Reaper
    Second Magic: Lunar Guardian
    Third Magic:

    Lost And Confounded Again Empty Re: Lost And Confounded Again

    Post by Diana Winchester 2nd December 2020, 9:03 am

    -On the road home-

    Diana had taken Saint Sinner Valentine out of its case and slung it on her right shoulder the moment she had left Magnolia Town city limits because the path ahead was lined with plenty of ambush points that were perfect for bandits... or for The Shadow Collective. Diana kept an eye out for trouble as she walked along the road home. She could not wait to get home and take another job so that she could distract herself from her personal problems, but taking a job as a distraction was a temporary fix. She needed to address the issue and she needed to do it soon.

    However, Diana was reluctant to leave the shadows behind because that was where she was most comfortable. They were where she felt most at home. Another reason was that Diana did not belong around normal people, not after everything she had done.

    Should she make it long enough to retire somewhere besides an unmarked grave in the middle of nowhere, Diana's retirement plan was to buy a home somewhere far away from other people and live the rest of her life as a hermit. It would have been better for the world if she had never been born, but that had long been out of her hands. The second-best thing Diana could do for the world was to stay away from other people so that if her enemies managed to find her the huntress would die alone. Well, not entirely alone. She would not lay down and die for her enemies... a lot of them would be joining her on the other side.

    Diana laughed a little.

    Killing things was what she was best at.

    If it was alive, she could kill it. If it was already dead or not even from this world, she could kill it again with either of her magics that could hurt the supernatural. If it was one thing that the huntress could do very well, it was to hunt and kill things. Perhaps her parents had already picked out her career for her when they had named her Diana. Diana recalled an ancient goddess of the hunt who shared her name... whether the last Winchester daughter being given that name was coincidental or deliberate was unknown, but the name was certainly appropriate for the blonde.

    Oh well.

    Diana walked down the path to home while keeping an eye out for trouble. If any bandits popped out to try and rob her she did not mind adding them to her body count. Bandits were one of the few people she did not mind killing. Eliminating them did the world a favor and they were a source of decent pocket change. Her patroness Selene would likely not hold bandit kills against her... bandits were a type of evil that lurked in the darkness, after all.

    Diana continued her nighttime walk with only her thoughts for company and her thoughts turned to her double life. She was still conflicted about her double life, but she would put the decision off for a bit longer. There was a lot more business that needed to be taken care of before she even considered walking away from the shadows. When she finally mustered up the courage to walk out of the shadows she wanted to never return to that life again.

    [Post Word Count: 562]
    [Total Word Count: 11,428/11,000]



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      Current date/time is 12th April 2021, 7:06 pm