By the hands of the Gods, you have been plucked from your time and from your world, dropped into the box.
Only the box is a world of its own.
We are a mass crossover based on the concept of Pandora's Box. Characters from nearly any fandom can be played here. Because of the endless character possibilities, we are canon only here at Pandora. Take a peek at our rules and plot information before starting your new life in Pandora.
The temple was a den of mystery and gods knew that Diluc has always enjoyed a good mystery. Perhaps in another life, he should have been a detective, but then, some what have argued that to be a part of things he did in the dark of the night even now. There was a certain amount of investigation that came with the workings of a vigilante, however unscrupulous some, namely those his actions would never come to benefit, considers those methods to be. The events of that night at the ARMOUR base came to mind, but Diluc preferred not to think of that night at all, which oddly had little to do with the part Goro had played in it all. Gradually, he's coming to terms with the fact that there is a side to Goro that he doesn't fully understand and, however many questions he may have, the fact remains that he hasn't been scared away. There's a level of intrigue there that, gods forbid, suggests something Diluc struggles to put into words.
Perhaps he likes the dark a bit more than he's ever been willing to let on.
But the death. The murder. The bodies that he pictures in that ARMOUR corridor, some getting up and going home to their loved ones and others never moving again. Perhaps it had been necessary at the time, some would argue. Akechi would argue. And yet it had been neither the plan nor the intention.
The mysteries of the temple were easier to focus on, though, and so he poured his attention into that as well as the real reason they were here.
"I thought this might be the perfect place to show you what I have up my sleeve," he tells Akechi as he takes the first steps into the main room, crimson eyes wide as they rise toward the tall ceiling high above them. "I've been here four or five times already and never run into a soul, but I suspect the temple itself has some manner of power over such things. It doesn't seem like coincidence. The point is ... it's quiet. Otherwise empty in all technicality." A faint smile lingers at the corners of his lips as he turns to look toward his companion.
The overall architecture reminds him of something he'd find in a palace. something that has as much jurisdiction against intruders as its master. Akechi wonders if it has one, and whether they're unwelcome to it.
but diluc's right. they don't come across a single soul, not even an animal. then again, what would want to be holed up in a place where lightning currents crackle up and down the wall?
"It appears so. No one's around to hear a thing if things got a little violent." he raises his clawed fingers, wiggling them in indication as he sneers behind the ebony mask. The hand lowers back down. "Perhaps I'll get in some practice, too. Practice I can't get in the Metaverse. But that'll be later; now, how did you want to do this?"
For starters, the chamber they're in is so spacious it could pass for a playing field, so they don't have to worry about having their movements hindered or their powers limited. And while there are large lightning spark floating about, they're much higher in the atmosphere and barely breaking from position. A disembodied light illuminates purple-hued walls. Occasionally, a blurry grey mist will even cover them. None of this indicates a down-to-earth design, so they should expect the physics to more or less follow that logic.
There's something about this place that leaves Diluc feeling simultaneously intimidated and awed. And understandably cautious, of course, as he observes the lightning sparks overhead. He knows all too well what happens when pyro and electro come into close contact with one another, and while Akechi is right in his observation that this place would make a perfect training ground in its spaciousness and isolation, Diluc doesn't want anything to hurt this young man he's grown so fond of. And yet, from all he knows, all he has seen, all he has experienced of Goro Akechi - even the ease in which he mentions things getting violent. No, Diluc's gut is already telling him that such a thing is far from Akechi's worries.
Besides, what are they here for if not to bare witness to tools born of darkness and violence?
Remaining by Akechi's side, Diluc's gaze slips toward him. Crow, as he called himself when donning the obsidian mask that could still send shivers down Diluc's spine. The winekeeper himself is far less cautious, not even donning the little bird mask that he'd worn and lost in the Metaverse that fateful night he and Akechi had run into one another. Just a hood to shadow his face until the moment he is more than certain that they are alone. A risk that some might classify as a sense of overwhelming confidence for what he had come to learn of this place. Having long since let the hood fall from his red mane, Diluc lifts his gloved left hand, turning it just enough to catch light on the red orb that sits atop the back of his hand. A simple look and it can easily be mistaken for his Vision, and yet that orb still hangs from his waist.
"Do you remember when I hurt my foot?" he asks him, gaze lingering on the orb and its swirling crimson almost with admiration. "In part, it was a memory I was after, but it serves more purpose than just that."
What's more fascinating than the stone is the way diluc is fixated on it, as if he's abandoned his body to enter a world deep within. Is this the product of his deeply sentimental connection to the person long gone or is it a different ghost altogether? Something tells Crow its secondary 'purpose' will shed more light on that.
"Hence our being here," he nods, watching the stone refract light like deep well water. "Have you had...sufficient practice with it?"
"Three years' worth," he admits, finally tearing his gaze away from the orb and looking back to Akechi. There's a hesitation there, a brief uncertainty flashing across his face, as though he were reminding himself of the years he had spent continuing to wield the very same weapon that took his father's life from the world. Diluc suddenly continues as though feeling the need to defend actions that Akechi knows nothing at all about. "Not because I wanted to--" He stops himself. Whether or not he'd had access to his Vision at the time, it didn't matter. He had still chosen to wield it.
And he chooses to do so now, and the lengths he had gone to simply to acquire it at all were obvious to them both.
"That isn't true. Nevertheless, it's been a long time. Doubtless, I'm rusty." Pausing, a knowing smile finds its way to the corners of Diluc's lips as he watches a crow who has already expressed his itch for violence. "I don't suppose you'd like to help me."
He'd been wondering about how he was going to bring up the idea of them fighting, because it is fine and he isn't stupid or weak enough to get himself killed, it would be an insult to even insinuate that -- but it turns out Diluc has more or less the same idea. like a crack travels across a glass pane, akechi's smile is sharp and wide. "of course. thought you'd never ask."
He moves back until they both have ample space. As he does, a black serrated sword appears in his grip. The blade seems to emit a black misty trail with every motion.
"Whenever you're ready," crow chimes, peering at him from the slit of his mask, sort of like a bird, "and no holding back, okay? This is as much a treat for me as I'm sure it is for you."
Instantly, the energy between them, the electricity between them, seems to shoot up as Goro's eagerness to get started makes itself known. In so many ways, that look on his face should be unsettling, but Diluc has long since learned that this is a facet of Goro Akechi that he never would have seen coming on that island all that time ago. There had been a hint of it, perhaps, as he steeled himself against Yuri, as the smile froze there on his lips just before Diluc had dragged him away.
But this. This beast, this predator, practically begging for the fight. A terror. An exhilaration.
Diluc's expression is more controlled as he mirrors Akechi's actions, moving backward to give them enough space, but his brows perk up at the sight of the misty blade that appears in his hands. "Always something new with you, isn't there?" he remarks, a faint smirk tugging at the corners of his lips as the Delusion on his left hand activates, deep violet flames appearing and circling his wrist. Lifting his hand, he pulls it back and thrusts the right forward, the flames solidifying to form the very same dangerous barbed chains of his past, sent zipping through the space between them, target locked onto the serrated blade itself while another length hurtles toward Akechi.
Once Diluc confirms his readiness, there is no hesitation on Crow's part; sword held out, he charges forward. that's when he sees the two chain-like protrusions coming toward him at breakneck speed, and instead of stopping or swerving, he springs in the air and slashes away the first chain to reach him, barely slashes on the other. the blade reverberates into his bones.
His landing is a little rougher than expected, but he continues cutting the distance. this is wonderful. that was probably just a taste of what Diluc is capable of. he can only imagine how he is at full power.
"What are the chances of me getting close without you landing a single hit?" crow cackles.
There's quite a lot that he doesn't expect, but first and foremost perhaps is Goro's immediate ferocity as he springs into the air. The first chain never hits its mark as his opponent slashes it away and as the second receives the same fate, Diluc is the one hesitating, crimson eyes widening a fraction as surprise flashes across his features. Quickly, Crow is closing the distance and Diluc springs into action, himself, and while he doesn't retreat by any means, he summons up more chains, hurtling them this time between the pair from either direction. It's almost a wall, rapidly moving in either direction until the chains begin to twist inward, closing in on the slim obsidian-clad figure with the intention of binding him then and there.
two chains, he could handle, but a literal snakepit of them is practically overkill. each one seems to have a mind of its own as it breaks Akechi's pace and binds a limb, and they accumulate until he's effectively bound in place, his sword just a useless prop in his grip.
"Now THIS is more like it! Come forth, Hereward!"
an obsidian aura envelops his body as his mask dissolve in a bright blue flame, out of which manifests a large black-clad archetype. Suspended above Akechi like an apparition, Hereward summons a massive energy sword that comes hurdling down on Diluc. It results in a massive pink shockwave.
Up until that very moment, Diluc had seen Goro Akechi as just a man. An extraordinarily charming, talented, determined, terrifying, and ... frankly, incredible man. But a man nonetheless, and yet that isn't right either. He may have no Vision or Delusion to speak of, but he has access to another plane of reality entirely. Diluc can associate him with the Metaverse all he like, but it still feels like simply a point of access and not a place or being directly connected with him.
But this - this terrifying majesty that rises before him ...
Diluc's eyes widen a fraction more and he halts in his steps in the same way he would have shouted at somebody in one of Goro's damn horror movies not to. But here he stands, stunned with surprise and with sheer awe. But the fight is still on and Diluc has to think as his crimson eyes dart from the massive beast called Hereward to Akechi himself. Can he even hope to harm it? Is it there to act as a distraction while Goro pounces? Can it really even do any damage?
That last theory is one he hardly has to test. The massive sword that comes crashing down toward the ground and the pink shockwave with it is all the answer he needs and Diluc dives and rolls out of the way. His gut telling him that his Delusion won't be quite the right tool as the tables continue to turn before his very eyes, the Vision thumping against his thigh comes to life instead, any sign of chains dissipating entirely as he conjures his Broadsword in his hand from nowhere at all. He hardly misses a bit as he races forward, thrusting off of his leg and leaping into the air, his feet aiming to land on the massive sword in his path. He swings, flames erupting around the blade of his own, and--
And he falls. He falls, his feet finding no solid steel to land on as his body hurtles the rest of the way to the ground, but in a last ditch effort to, well ... look at least a little bit cooler in light of the embarrassment he was probably about to feel, Diluc twists his body around and with a shout, a massive phoenix made wholly of flames erupts from the Wolf's Gravestone, its sights set on Hereward. Diluc's left falling still, landing hard on his shoulder.
as quickly as the sword appeared, it disappears. hereward recalls the energy back to its being, neither persona nor human anticipating what diluc would do next. hereward braves the intense heat and gust as the flame in bird form sweeps over him, but as both human and persona are essentially the same, Akechi still takes the brunt of the attack and is swept off his feet.
Luckily, his Metaverse armour gives some degree of protection, so he's only a little singed. What the hell was that half-assed attack, anyway? It had no business being that strong. Imagine if it were used at its full power... Regardless, he's back on his feet a moment later. Hereward went out as soon as he lost his concentration, but he could bring him back up at any time.
He stands over Diluc, smirking. "What, you thought you were the only one with an ace up your sleeve?"
ooc: you chose to play with fire and he's only giving it back :^)
Where he should probably feel like a fool, Diluc feels more invigorated than anything. It isn't that he had doubted Goro's ability by any means, but this is all just as well so much more than he had come here anticipating and he finds himself ... absolutely and thoroughly delighted. Not only is Goro quick in both mind and body - fast, strategic, fearless, and terrifyingly overjoyed to be in the heat of battle - he has a colossus at his fingertips. It's mortifying and exhilarating and incredible.
Staring up at Akechi, arching a brow at the smug look written all over his face, Diluc hardly misses a beat despite the ache in his arm. He swings a leg suddenly, smashing it into Goro's in an attempt to take him down with him, pushing up off of his arm and grasping Goro's sleeve in the process for good measure. Once he has Akechi on his back, Diluc's swinging a leg over him, his claymore manifesting in his hand, already pressed carefully against his opponent's throat.
This time, Diluc is the one smirking down at him, red locks falling over his shoulder. "Are you always this ... noisy?"
He never thought he'd be the one lying flat on the ground with a blade cozied up to his throat, but here he is. Diluc is tricky to take down even without his abilities. That's good...not because Akechi lost, obviously, but because if Diluc had to face his personal challenges in the future (his challenges that Akechi still knows almost nothing about) he needs to be strong. If he had lost, Akechi would have been even more disappointed.
"What's wrong, afraid of a little noise?" Crow retorts, because his disadvantageous position isn't going to stop him from returning some lip. He clinks a claw against the flat surface of the blade as he adds, "if I had been anyone else, those chains would have completely stopped me in my tracks. Now we know a little about the other's abilities. Do you need a refresher, or are we good?"
As flattering as Diluc looks from a normally unflattering angle, Akechi can only take so much humiliation from being pinned down like someone's easy lunch.
Smirk lingering at the corners of his lips, Diluc is very quickly reminded that Goro Akechi is a smug bastard, and yet he's one of the few he can stand to be around. More than just stand, at this point. This remarkable specimen could have read him pure blasphemy for sheer entertainment and Diluc would have eaten it up in its entirety. In that very moment, anybody else would likely have gotten a shove, a roll of the eyes, and perhaps there was a bit of a roll there, but nothing that suggested he wasn't enjoying this little practice of theirs.
"Not enjoying it down there?" he remarks lightly and while he doesn't move a muscle, the blade Akechi is clinking a claw against vanishes into wisps of golden dust that drift off into the air, Diluc's newfound free palms sliding absently down Goro's chest as he pushes himself back up onto his feet.
Briefly, he takes a second to run his fingers through his red locks, brushing strands out of his face before extending a hand to Goro to help him to his feet.
Rolling his eyes, Akechi accepts the hand, because it's his boyfriend, and that is what you do for your boyfriend, even if he's eating up the fact that you lost to him. The armour has dissolved at this point, leaving the jacket and black jeans that Akechi left the house with. He adjusts his own gloves and reaches to fix Diluc's collar as well.
He'd said that he was initially after a memory... From personal experience, Akechi can say that the strongest memories are the most painful ones. He doesn't know in Diluc's case, he's not a psychic, but he does say, soberly, "if you tell me about yours, I'll tell you about mine," not specifying whether he means the memories or the powers themselves.
Putting this out to announce we'll be having a Moon Destruction Album release coming out the day of the big boom, come pick up a physical album at your local record store or download it off starknet...or just steal I ain't a cop.
basically for those who don't wanna click on the spoiler in my previous status, the short version is that I'll be taking a weeklong (possibly longer or shorter) break from posting and I'm really sorry if you're waiting on me