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Endless Descent to Supremacy

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Sangios
He Who Was Born With the First Troll and Shall Perish With the Last
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Age : 25 Registration date : 2011-08-16 Number of posts : 100 Location :
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PostSubject: Endless Descent to Supremacy   Thu 30 Apr 2015, 05:26

"We may be a small group, but our passion is as great as our numbers are low. We may face many hardships, the odds may be heavily stacked against us, we may make countless enemies, but so long as we believe in one another, ourselves, and our honest pursuit of the Martial Arts, we will always find victory. Together, let us fall into the endless pits of strife, ever aiming for the next lowest edge to grab hold of."


Prize of the Cosmic Trials of Supreme Martial Arts: Limited-time access to the Imperial Regalia of Japan.

Kusanagi no Tsurugi- A mythological blade which symbolizes the Virtue of Valor. Bestows upon its wielder the power to cut through any enemy. In the hands of a particularly valorous individual, this blade can rend even immaterial concepts and entities, thus holding the power to potentially rend reality.
It holds no power, should its potential wielder be a coward or weak.


Yata no Kagami- A mystical mirror which symbolizes the Virtue of Wisdom. Bestows upon its wielder the ability to reveal the truth behind falsehoods, discern facts even with no trail to them, and instill great knowledge upon others. In the hands of a particular wise individual, this mirror can be used to alter the dispositions of entire worlds, including Gods and Celestials, to bring pure enlightenment to masses, or even to remove intelligence, as well as bind objects, individuals and concepts.
It holds no power, should its potential wielder be a fool or narrowminded.


Yasakani no Magatama- A majestic jewel which symbolizes the Virtue of Benevolence. Bestows upon its wielder the right to create miracles. In the hands of a particularly benevolent individual, this jewel can undo tragedies, grant peerless bounty, bring about utopia, and even rewrite set rules of the Universe.
It holds no power, should its potential wielder be malevolent or impure.



When time began to flow, there were three natural domains of reality, perfectly separated. The Human Realm, the Earth, where all lower life forms could be found, namely Humans and animals. Above it was the Sage Realm, home to various mythical creatures, spirits and monsters, once known collectively as Demons. Beyond that was the Heavenly Realm, the most powerful Realm populated by the Gods of the varied Pantheons, set up according to hierarchy. And even further past it all rested a solitary existence, the Supreme God, the being who alone could be called Buddha, Tathagata. It was by his will that order was imposed, that all were restricted to their stations, destined to never mingle. In his eyes, this was the way the world should be, with all leading life in their own separate corners of the world. To ensure that none could rise above their set stations, he imposed a condition known as The Taboo upon All of Creation, which limited the powers and potentials of all that held the naturally chaotic spark of life.

Caught between the Human Realm and the Heavenly Realm, the Demons wanted more. They wished for more. They had resources beyond measure, but lacked the innovation of the Humans, or the luxury and bounty of the Gods. The being who led the Heavenly Realm, the second to Buddha himself, the Jade Emperor. He watched over all, while his master's gaze was ever fixed upon his controlled world. He alone felt frustration with the complacency of the Gods, who wanted for nothing. Felt boredom at the lack of the fresh and new. That is, until he one day noticed something. An odd, subtle distortion, a beacon of sorts, which beckoned forth from the Realm of the Savages. His curiosity piqued, he employed his unique Wisdom to obscure his actions from the Supreme God, following the disturbance to its source in the Sage Realm. It was there, that he first met the being who would ultimately be cursed to suffer more than any other.

Upon arrival, the Jade Emperor was greeted by a couple, a strange couple, the likes of which he'd never seen. Two Dragons, one which embodied the very chaos so restrained by The Taboo, and the other which symbolized the order in place, more thoroughly than even any of the Gods. Yamata no Orochi, a Hydra, a Dragon Serpent with eight heads and eight tails. Alongside him, his mate, Almaria-Ryu. The two were shocked to come face to face with the God, as they never truly believed any would answer their call. The Jade Emperor made no attempt to hide his curiosity toward the two, commending their boldness in daring to make contact with him. The two announced that, since they first touched, they could feel that there was something off about the state of reality as they knew it. The Jade Emperor, knowing exactly what made them feel that way, proceeded to share with them the secrets of The Taboo. How all beneath the Gods were restricted from embracing their true selves, destined to live as Buddha deemed, never growing beyond their stations. The Jade Emperor expected outlash, and he was pleasantly shocked to see that the couple had quickly understood and accepted his admission. Instead of cursing the Gods for looking down upon all others as they had, the two mused on how they might go about overcoming the imposed condition of Buddha's will. Until then, he had never considered such a thing possible, not just rejecting The Taboo, but outright breaking it as the two discussed. He decided to test the resolve of the two, again going against the wishes of his master to send Orochi and Almaria to the Human Realm, where they would live amidst its citizens for a single century, while stripped of their power as Demons.

After a hundred years had passed, the Jade Emperor visited the Human Realm himself, finding a shocking situation. Where he had expected the Dragons to rebuke the Humans for their many flaws, their greed, ambitions and pettiness, he instead found them living alongside them in coexistence. Knowledge of abundant resources of the Sage Realm, brought by the two, had been merged with the innovative creativity of the weakest beings, resulting in an explosive leap in technology and quality of life. Orochi and Almaria, who had both gained Human forms upon being cast down, welcomed the Jade Emperor with open arms, as their old friend. They showed him everything they had accomplished and built alongside the Humans, how the collision of their cultures had resulted in a wondrous society beyond his expectations. How they'd passed on their knowledge of power and, with the Humans, created a new concept known as Martial Arts, which even without power in its rawest form, granted even the weak Humans the ability to grow stronger than they should have, while developing discipline in a number of ways. Overwhelmed by the new discoveries, the Jade Emperor permitted the Dragons to use his name of Okhwang.

Almaria explained how they'd shared with the Humans, what Okhwang had once shared with them. The hierarchy of the Gods set by The Taboo, which determined that they would forever be restricted. Orochi proclaimed the resolve of the Humans, who had pledged to stand alongside he and his beloved, as they strove to overturn the rules of the world. The most promising men and women who had offered their support, served as the representatives of humanity, known as the 32 Dragon Commanders, vowed to do anything for the sake of that goal. Impressed by the strength of their character, Okhwang agreed to become the patron of the group, secretly facilitating the alliance of the Human and Sage Realms, along with the denizens of each, allowing them to mingle and grow together, unbeknownst to Buddha. This resulted in all the Demons attaining Human forms and setting down the path of Martial Arts in their own ways.

By the time the alliance was prepared, the Jade Emperor had been called back to the Heavenly Realm, where he secretly brought back Orochi, Almaria and their allies. During a Summit of the Gods, the Demon-Human Army revealed themselves, announcing their intent to break The Taboo. The Gods drowned in laughter, amused by the hubris of the savages beneath them. Their laughter turned to rage, when Orochi challenged and defeated the Japanese God of Storms, Susanoo. The Gods unleashed their overwhelming might upon the inferior beings, forcing them into submission until Orochi, Almaria and their fellow Demons finally returned to their true forms to repel them. It was then that Buddha himself descended from his throne atop the Universe, striking them all down with invincible force. Serving as a shield against Tathagata himself, Orochi and Almaria covered the retreat of their allies. Pained by the events, Okhwang managed to grant them a cruel mercy by sending them to the Underworld, where the Gods couldn't reach them. His heart ached, as though it was the only place he could send them to without fear of the Gods following, he knew that it was ultimately a death sentence. As the Gods spat at their foes commending their leader on his handling of them, and Tathagata returned to his throne, the Jade Emperor mourned the loss of the only beings he had ever known emotion for.

Contrary to Okhwang's beliefs, the Demon-Human Army overcame the trials of the Underworld together, emerging within the Human Realm on their own power. Shocked, he went to meet them and hear their story. The Underworld was indeed dangerous, but Orochi had Almaria sever his longest tail upon encountering the flames of the netherworld, the two using their powers to forge it into a blade with power beyond anything the Jade Emperor had ever seen, leading him to dub it the Ame no Murakumo Tsurugi. Back and stronger than ever, the army sought new ways to challenge the Heavenly Realm. Okhwang revealed to his friends, that their leaders were most despised by the Gods now, that they wouldn't think clearly if the two surfaced again. Orochi decided he would use himself as bait to lure the Gods down to the Human Realm, where he would slay them on the edge of his blade.

Although many objected, Orochi put his plan into effect, confident in the power he held. Unable to rightly stop him, Okhwang stood watch with his friends as the Gods descended to strike the target which the Hydra had placed upon himself. After a fierce battle, Orochi stood victorious over the corpses of a number of mighty Gods. This enraged the Buddha, who entered the Human Realm for the first time and aimed to finish him. Shielding her husband with her body, Almaria was driven to the brink of death, sparking the rest to pick a fight with the Supreme God. Orochi grieved, fearing for the demise of his wife, whom Okhwang attempted to save with his Wisdom. This invoked the fury of Tathagata, who struck down the army and aimed for the Jade Emperor. It was then that Orochi, empowered his grief and frustration, overcame his limits to run the Ame no Murakumo through the heart of Buddha himself. Tathagata was shocked, as his own blood flowed for the first time. He attempted to repel his archnemesis, but the Jade Emperor, Almaria and all of their allies supported Orochi as he forged on to cut down the Supreme God, breaking The Taboo as the last of his lifeblood drained from the Universe. The Gods, unable to believe what had happened, stood to avenge their Buddha. As they attacked, they were stopped in their tracks in the same moment, when Orochi's bloodlust flooded through all of creation, marking the first time where the Gods would be frozen by fear.

Turning to his dying wife, Orochi shed tears of flowing lava for his beloved. The Humans and Demons, in their pain, unleashed the latent abilities in their blood. The Demons became elevated to stand on the same level as the Gods, while the Humans unlocked the power which would later come to be known as the Dragon Gates. Almaria assured her beloved that all would be well, that they had met their goal after so long, and that he would be okay if everyone remained with him. She beckoned him to look upon the achievements he'd made that day, in their friends. Okhwang lamented that his Wisdom couldn't save his friend from a blow dealt by the Supreme God, but that was also the moment that the first Healer was born. The most beautiful of the Dragon Commanders embraced Almaria, invoking a magnificent power from her palms which closed her wounds, even when none of the Gods could. Upon saving the Dragon, the woman, Hotaru Kiirina, began to fade away with her unimaginable feat. At the request of Almaria, Okhwang used his Wisdom to bind the lives of Almaria and Kiirina together, thus marking the first union between a Human and their superiors. It was then that Buddha's soul broke down and entered the body of Orochi, elevating him to the position of the second Buddha, the new Supreme God. The former Supreme God's corpse transformed into a blade, much like the one which had ended his life. The Gods had no choice but to bow down to his will, then.

In the coming years, there were a great number of changes with the world, as Orochi was instructed by Okhwang on how to fulfill his duty as the Supreme God. The Gods themselves were docile, unable to act against Orochi's desires any longer. Meanwhile, the Human Realm and Sage Realm grew closer than ever, growing rapidly in every way. Martial Arts became widespread throughout all the Realms, as many Gods began to mingle with those whom they once looked down on with condescension. With The Taboo broken, and all boundaries lowered for the first time, the chaos of life sprang forth in a beautiful manner within all Realms. However, along with this came new conflicts between all sides, and untold bloodshed with it. The Dragon Commanders, the personal force of the Celestial Serpent, aimed to teach and spread peace and coexistence, however it seemed to be an unending struggle. Okhwang mused that, perhaps, this was why The Taboo was set in the first place, to minimize the damage wrought by life. Almaria believed that peaceful coexistence was a true possibility, which spurred Orochi to continue holding faith in everyone. But across numerous centuries, though peace would shine through so brilliantly, the flames of war could never be extinguished. Frustrated, Orochi looked into new alternatives on his own, later rejecting the counsel of his wife and his best friend, as he chose his solution. The Celestial Hydra refused to reinstate The Taboo which so many had been sacrificed to break, but he couldn't stand the thought of wars driving all Realms to extinction, the greatest fear of the first Buddha. Instead, he made the bold decision to take upon himself, all the evils and malice of the world, planning to wield his two blades to cut them out of himself and destroy them once all evils were gathered. Almaria pleaded with him not to go through with it, that his decision was unlikely to pan out as he believed it would, but even with her and Okhwang's words, Orochi followed through. The Hydra took upon himself every evil of the Universe, putting an end to war...for a time.

Orochi, in his quest for a peaceful world, failed to understand the truth behind the limitless chaos of life left unordered. War was gone only temporarily, returning later on. Orochi continued to take evil upon himself, over and over, never resting. And each time, more evil surfaced. Kiirina was the one to inform Almaria and Okhwang that all beings in the Universe, likely generated the concept of evil on their own, even without wishing to. They all attempted to stop Orochi from taking more malice, but he had already gone beyond where they could reach him. The second Supreme God snapped under the infinite weight of evils, becoming the very incarnation of terror and nightmares. His once virtuous persona was replaced with that of a being vile beyond measure, his corrupt body giving rise to countless monstrosities which plagued all the Realms. Almaria sobbed, all of creation being drenched by her tears as she blamed herself, stating that she should have forced her husband to allow her to carry half of the weight he'd taken upon himself. Their leader now a wicked villain, the former disciples of the Hydra had no choice but to stand against his new tyranny before everything was brought to an end.

Under the reluctant leadership of Kiirina, the Celestial Vanguards were born to stand against Orochi. With the blessings of Almaria, the Gods and Demons, now referred to as Celestials, banded together alongside the Vanguards. The battle fought was long and hard, even with the power of the Jade Emperor supporting them. After waging a centuries long campaign, they approached the final battle after innumerable harrowing trials, which tested their resolve, bonds and strength. In the end, the one to make the ultimate sacrifice was Almaria. Kiirina had secretly intended to use the Blade of Tathagata to cut the malice out of Orochi and take it upon herself, then having her friends kill her. Okhwang was the one who supported this, but Almaria found out and forced him to support her plan instead. Almaria couldn't allow Kiirina to die, not when she was the reason that she could be with her beloved for so long. In the final moments of the last battle, Almaria took the Blade of Tathagata from Kiirina and stabbed herself alongside Orochi. Cutting the evil from her husband as Okhwang held back Kiirina as her best friend made the sacrifice she wished to make, releasing the Hydra from his pain and returning the malice to whence it came.

As Orochi came back to his senses, he shuddered upon finding the condition of his beloved. Kiirina poured everything she had into healing the Dragon, but it was to no avail, as the combination of the evil and her affliction by the Blade of Tathagata was too much for even the greatest healer to fix. Almaria admitted that she couldn't allow her best friend, the woman she owed everything to, to lose her life. In her final moments, she wished to leave the world and her husband with miracles. To that end, with the aid of Okhwang and Kiirina, Almaria and Orochi united their bloodlines to create a proper family of their own. Thus, was born a Clan that united the chaos of Orochi and the order of Almaria in a single vessel. She prophesied that, one day, maybe lifetimes in the future, a child would be born, one who would carry out the will of herself and her husband. Dubbing this child of prophecy the Divine Emperor, she stated that he would be the one who could right the many wrongs of the world. Orochi tearfully supported her final wish, promising to guide that child when the time would come. The Humans, Celestials and Gods all wept for their Empress, who with her dying breaths, manipulated the bond forged between herself and Kiirina, to serve as her Guardian Spirit forever. Thus, the concept of the Spirit was truly born, and the greatest Healer also became the first true Martial Artist, praised as the Immortal Empress. Okhwang was the first to notice that Almaria's final action changed the relationship between Humans and those beyond them, establishing the Spirit System which would later have all Humans born with Spirits of varying status and power correspondent to their talent and nature. At the same time, Almaria-Ryu faded away forever, leaving the dying Empress to be known as the Holy Dragon, who became the cornerstone of Heaven.

With the death of his wife, Orochi resolved to make amends for his mistakes, and to ensure the fruition of the prophecy she left behind. He relinquished the Ame no Murakumo, renaming it to the Kusanagi no Tsurugi and setting it as one of the Imperial Regalia. He entrusted the Blade of Tathagata to his best friend, Okhwang. He cast off his physical shell, his body breaking down into a cosmic dust which granted all with life increased potential, and the power to make their own futures. He allowed his soul to disintegrate, using it to empower the abilities of his many followers. He left his children with golden eyes, which carried the final traces of his mind and his collective knowledge, leaving them with the knowledge of how to make miracles in a world where there would no longer be a Buddha for others to be bound by; also adding to the prophecy, that he would become the Guardian Spirit of the Divine Emperor. While Okhwang and Kiirina vowed to preside over the Human Realm in honor of their respective best friends, Izanagi and Izanami vowed to guide the Heavenly Realm, and the Celestials chose Nine Kings to govern the Celestial World.

Changing his name, Okhwang became known as The King, founding a religious group known as Nox, which would forever worship and uphold the virtues of Orochi and Almaria. Under The King, the Jade Emperor, would serve Bishops, then Priests, and finally Followers.
The Celestial Vanguards and the Immortal Empress were immortalized as the world's heroes, and Hotaru Kiirina founded the Hotaru Family, while her allies founded their own. The former 32 Dragon Commanders became known as the Phoenix Families, who would stand atop the Martial Arts World with their primary seat in Japan.
The Phoenix Families were disappointed when Kiirina refused to become the Head, leaving it to their good friends of Hiatzu and Takayanagi, who would become the two strongest and most famous families.
The King, the Immortal Empress and their allies established the current Human Realm to live for the two who sacrificed themselves for them.

Of course, this was not the end. As was discovered, malice was eternal, it would always find a way. And so, the concept of tournaments were brought forth. In order to settle disputes, no longer would wars be waged legally. In conflict between families and even entire nations, representatives would be chosen to compete in tournaments for the right to earn the final say in said conflict. Martial Arts would govern the world, and in turn, hopefully prevent needless bloodshed from plaguing the Realms once again. The children of the Celestial Serpent and the Holy Dragon, the **** Clan. Becoming the first Sorcerers of the world, they aided the Immortal Empress and The King in safeguarding the world their ancestors left to them, which was when the event nicknamed the Grand Tourney came about, a direct battle between Gods, Celestials and Humans, fought for any number of reasons, but mostly to prevent the flooding of malice and evil from ever again taking hold.

The **** Clan was taught much by Kiirina and The King, producing many notable Sorcerers and passing on their arts to other families around the Realms. However, Izanagi bore envy in his heart, for the movements which had been inspired by those beyond him, without his contribution. He grew fearful of Humans, notably the ones born of the bloodline of chaos and order united; the prospect of the Divine Emperor in particular. This uncertainty plagued him for a long time, until boiling over during a Summit Solstice of the Heavenly Realm, Celestial Realm and Human Realm. When two unknown Humans came forth to openly challenge he and the Gods. He felt a pit in his stomach with their appearance, and it was questioned why and how the two could be there without authorization. His rage when the two cast Izanami into the Underworld, caused him to curse them in a most brutal and horrific fashion. When he was done with the two, cursing them for all time, he turned to the Humans, accusing them of bringing forth enemies who threatened the status quo they'd all worked so hard to create. The one to answer the accusation was **** Kyoshiro, the then leader of the **** Clan, a brilliant Martial Artist and Sorcerer who had made innumerable strides as a genius unparalleled in all the Realms. Kiirina and The King were shocked, trying to stop him from taking the blame when it clearly wasn't his fault. Kyoshiro told them not to protect him, that he should be made to answer for his foolishness. The true culprit, who'd been too frightened to speak up, was torn up inside as their good friend took the heat for them, instead of outing them. Izanagi cast Kyoshiro and his people from the Heavenly Realm in anger, ending the Summit on the most negative note to date and since, declaring that divine punishment would be cast upon them for their part in Izanami's fate.

With help from The King and the Immortal Empress, Izanagi entered the Underworld to find his wife. Upon returning, he was struck with unfathomable horror and fear, much to the shock of his two close friends. He stated that his wife was dead, and ordered The King to seal the Underworld. He was plagued by nightmares for an entire year, over his time in the Underworld, which ultimately led him to the worst mistake of his life. As he could do nothing more to hurt those who took Izanami from him, he took out his anger on the ones who allegedly allowed Izanami's fall to take place. With an Imperial Mandate made with the authority of the Imperial Regalia, Izanagi committed the gravest sin imaginable, forcing the armies of Gods and Celestials to march upon the Human Realm against their will. With vicious, savage efficiency, the Gods and Celestials waged war upon the **** Clan. The Phoenix Families and Nox instantly rushed to their aid, but Kyoshiro prevented them from getting involved with a majestic barrier. Informing them that he couldn't let this be the trigger which destroyed everything that they'd all worked toward with their ancestors, he promised he'd settle things on his own. On that day, although the actual events are a mystery, the children of the Celestial Serpent and the Holy Dragon were erased from all of creation.

Izanagi showed no remorse after the fact, even as those he forced wept, their hearts broken for the part they'd played in the unspeakably tragic massacre. He quickly saw that everyone would turn against him, and wielded the Regalia once again, this time severing and altering the memories of all. He and his children rewrote the truth of history itself, labeling Yamata no Orochi as the greatest blight to ever exist, that ones with the Spirits of Tiamat and Bahamut were scourges beneath his banner, and that his wicked spawn would have their name vanquished from the annals of time and reality itself. To prevent anyone from coming after him, he implanted the falsehood that the Phoenix Families were threatened by the **** Clan's potential terror as descendants of Orochi, leading a slaughter against them with the help of the entire Human Realm. In this way, Almaria-Ryu was truly forgotten, by all but a handful of exceptions. With history warped to the way it is now, Izanagi suffered under the weight of what he'd done. He planned to commit suicide in secret, but instead used the Regalia one final time, forfeiting all his Heavenly Virtue to alter his own memories to match that of his fabrication. As such, the world goes on...oblivious to the truth of the suffering inflicted upon them by the hands of the Heavenly Realm's leader.

The exceptions...Kiirina, Okhwang and a few others...were forced to live on, unable to do anything about the atrocities which only they remembered.

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Last edited by Sangios on Tue 26 Jun 2018, 08:00; edited 5 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Endless Descent to Supremacy   Sun 13 May 2018, 04:38

It is said that thousand years or so a Summit Solstice of the gods is preformed, were there heavenly mantle passes to new flesh made divine. During one such Solstice Izanami was said to have died giving birth to Kagutsuchi the incarnation of Fire. This however is a lie that was created by Izanagi to keep the truth from the universe. The truth being Twin mortals invaded the Summit Solstice and challenged the Gods. The divine beings laughed at them but accepted their challenge and which ended with Izanami’s being sealed in the same host and banished to the underworld. Izanagi was filled with such rage that he threw them into ritual pools for the Solstice. Their souls bounced from each other with so much force that their bodies denigrated into the pools turning one pure black with his soul glowing white in the center of the deepest end. And the other pool pristinely white with his dark soul absorbing light in the center of the deepest end. Izanagi then pulled their souls from the pool cursing them with all his might as he cast them to the earth. Declaring “You shall never feel the absolution of the Heavens nor the Damning loss of the underworld! I curse thy spirits to walk forever eternal, to walk each dawn anew and to collapse upon themselves each Dusk!”. He then took then went to the Loom of life and tore their threads from its weave erasing everything about them even their names. “Should your souls ever fade a Calamity shall rise in your ashes” he whispered across the wind”.

Present Day

The time for the next Summit Solstice has come and Izanagi knows that the mortals have deviated from the days of undying loyalty. So they must be distracted for their own good of course. As the gold strewn ivory gates open in the sky he steps out the light of dawn erupts to life behind him. His massive figure casting a shadow over the land as he looks down on all of his creation with a smile. “Rejoice my children for the time has come once more for the Grand Tourney to be held. For this Tourney the champions shall have the honor of holding the Imperial Regalia. What secrets will it reveal to you my child, *he pauses for dramatic effect as he smiles wider*. And for this most special of Tourneys a festival shall be held in the honor of our champions. Where we shall all break our bread as one Gods,Celestials, and Men, and what better way to celebrate this unifying moment. Than to have a performance by a member of each of the Phoenix families! So if the heart of a warrior beat in thy breast then rise up and conquer all that Stand before you!” He whispers, the words echoing across the planet until all of creation has heard his decree. He takes one last glance over the realm of mortals his eyes fixing on a single location. Ushige the city of Decay, his smile fades into a grimace as he watches the infernal blight festering there. His eyes glowering in rage for a second before he returns to the Celestial realm. Leaving behind a glowing timer in the sky that starts to count down towards the date of the Tourney’s start.

It had been 60 years since the last tourney, the easiest thing to compare it to would be the rise of pirates after Gol D. Roger in the Onepiece manga. All looked in the direction of the new leader of the Hiatzu, only to find that he had left on a pilgrimage in search of the last living masters of the Bao-ken style. His wife Ouka being the one to enter them into the tourney, which leads to people far and wide flocking to the manor in hopes of joining his team.

Three days prior to the announcement to the Grand Tourney

Tseng sits at a table beside Meryl as he checks he work for any errors his face is playfully placid making her fidget anxiously. He narrows his gaze for a second, she goes pale and panic and sees he has gone too far. So he cracks a smile and says “Everything’s perfect Meryl what are you worried about?” She falls to a laying position letting out a deep breath as she wipes her face in frustration. “It’s supposed to be about historical figures, but I didn’t write about those dusty old farts.” She says as Tseng gives her that big brother look, “Meryl” he says softly as she sits up aggressively. “What do the old lords have on our big brothers, those phoenix lords are glorified seat warmers. Dji and Dai have done way more and never get any credit for it”, she shouts her voice carrying through the halls. And before Tseng can react a wizened old voice says “She speaks the truth you know Little Tseng”. Tseng spins around into a kneel greeting the voice “Apologizes Madam Gao I wasn’t aware of your arrival”, The old woman chuckles as Meryl runs over to her glomping her softly as she squeals “Granny Gao”. The old woman hugs her with a smile as she says “Oh my little Meryl how you have grown into a such a ray of sunshine, your family must be so proud”.

Meryl looks up at Gao a little teary eyed as she says “They still haven’t come home, I miss them so much even Tseng misses them. Can’t you make them come home Granny Gao everyone listens to you even Mama!” Madam Gao’s eyes soften as she strokes Meryl’s hair as she replies “if I could make the journey you know I would my child”. Tseng walks over and pats Meryl on the shoulder and says “we’ll continue this later Meryl. Right now I need to take Granny Gao to her room ok.” Meryl nods grabbing her assignment before leaving the room, the second she leaves Madam Gao smiles and says “Such a sweet child”.

Tseng nods before looking her in the eye and asking politely “What brings you here Madam Gao I know it’s quite the journey from the mountains”. She waves the concern off to say “I come here for you Lord Tseng to advise you that is”. Tseng frowns and says “Tseng is just fine Madam Gao, and what could you have seen to make you travel down here alone?” Her face is solemn as she places her hand on his shoulder. Saying “I foresee a series of battles ahead that will eventually end in failure unless you are reunited with your twin brothers. But from it a great Calamity shall be born wrought of one man’s pride.” Her eyes grow glossy as she looks away possibly with more to say but unable to speak the words. Tseng stands there in silence absorbing the information and letting it sink in.

In the silence Madam Gao thinks to herself [Shiro my love forgive me for what I have set in motion. I no longer blame your brother for what happened to you both and though I know what comes next means that I will lose you forever. He must pay for his actions, as must I after one last night with you].

Ushigie

Ushigie the city of Decay, at one time it was a jewel to behold but time and politics took its toll upon it. Just being its vicinity felt strange to Tseng, it was like the very air and earth was trying to pull him apart but he continued to push on. Upon reaching the crumbling city gates he was greeted by two young kunoichis of the Mugen Tenshin that kneeled at the sight of him. “Lord Tseng” they chimed in unison as Tseng motioned for them to stand.

“Are my brothers still here?” Tseng asks wearily taking in the crumbling walls and narrow ghetto streets as he spoke.

The senior apprentice nodded and said “yes milord Tseng, they were just yesterday playing soccer with some of the children. They also brought down a large elk for the community to share it was truly a grand gesture”.

Tseng clicked his tongue in slight annoyance, “Thank you”, “Juniper” she chimes before he can ask. He smiles and continues. “Thank you Juniper, but there is no need for the Lord nonsense, after all, we are just people in the end”. Her cheeks start to glow red as she stammers “But”, Tseng raises an eyebrow as she quickly skips the word and says “Tseng”. “Return home my Mugen Tenshin, I need to do the rest on my own”. The two bow and vanish in a swirl of petals.

The second Tseng makes his way through the gate to the city he can feel eyes all focusing on him: and from his peripherals he sees the beady eyes of the inhabitants staring at him in awe. Tseng realizes he is likely the only prince or lord to have entered the city in a thousand years. Sadly, that is not why he is here and so he starts doing his Ki tracing following the path displayed before him. The streets are so narrow and the ground so uneven and covered in rubble that he actually has to take the effort to avoid tripping.

As he continues forward he sees several children kicking around a soldier’s helmet in a caved-in house on his left. Tseng wonders if these were the same kids that his brothers played with, sadly he doesn’t have the time to ask and so he continues on. The further he goes in the more people seem to be enthralled by his presence some of them even starting to celebrate and sing. Such strange folk Tseng thinks to himself, as he weaves through another intersection. Tseng stops when he hears several soft footsteps behind him, he turns to see to whom do they belong and is surprised to see. Mice, house cats and feral cats, dogs, wolves, an assortment of lizards, Monkeys and even to feral tigers. Following him like he is Moses leading them to the ark.

Tseng almost laughs in response when he hears a tink, tink, tink, he quickly turns to his left to see the kids playing soccer again. Realizing what’s going on he closes his eyes deciding to change tactics as he lets the worlds energy flow over him becoming submerged in it all. His body begins to feel the sensation of floating just below the water’s surface, where the light of day can still warm your face. While in this state he could feel motion through the energy and where it was coming from. A trick Daichi and Djinn had taught him. The energy was rough and choppy from two strong forces pulling and pushing it around which could only be two individuals. Tseng makes sure to take the extra second to pinpoint their location, which turns out to be the skyscraper at the center of the whole city.

His eyes snap open as he parkours up the inside of the caved house all the way to the roof and starts running across the curved roofs to the center. It takes him only a few minutes to reach the center of the skyscraper. He crawls inside through one of the windows finding himself on the stairs inside, so he follows them all the way to the top. His heart is pounding but not with something as silly as emotion no a deep instinctual yearning. As he reaches the summit he finds his pace slowing as he walks out onto the rooftop to see the twins sleeping out in the center.

Tseng stops for just a second staring at them, surprised they look the same as they did before they had left.

“Getting slow in your old age little brother, I expected your arrival much sooner” bellows Djinn without even opening his eyes.

“Perhaps he is getting too complacent without us there to compete with him Dji” chimes Daichi with a smile.

“What do you expect when you’re in bumfuck nowhere” chastises Tseng with a smirk forming as he speaks.

“I suppose we should call you Lord Tseng now” Djinn replies.

“Only if you want me to punch you in the throat” Tseng fires back.

“But Lord Little brother sounds so weird when you say it”, Daichi replies snarkily as the two sit up finally.

“You're joining in on this two Dai,” Tseng asks slightly annoyed as Daichi shrugs.
“So we‘re not allowed to show our support of you being appointed the next leader of the Hiatzu family because you don’t like being called Lord.” Barks Djinn more aggressively then he had wanted to. Regardless the two opened their eyes to look at him with neither’s eyes focusing on him as if the two were blind.

Tseng stands there silently unable to think of something to say at this moment. As he looks his brothers over. Noticing that Djinn has four Black Magatama on the ridge of his right ear, and a three on his left ear ridge with the missing one being glaringly obvious. Daichi on the other hand had four white Magatama on each ear ridge.

“Enough of this Dji he isn’t here for congratulations or to have a brotherly squabble we are best known for,” Says Daichi smoothing everything over.

“Your right as always Dai, he wants us to fight beside him in the tourney like we always talked about as kids before we even knew how to throw a proper punch” grunted Djinn

“So will the last remaining Bao-ken masters join me in this endeavor,” asks Tseng.

“But it’s not our promise that has you so interested in winning the tourney is it Tseng” Daichi quips nonchalantly.

“No it’s not” says Tseng solemnly. Thoughts of regret flowing into his mind.

The twins go silent as they get to their feet, dusting off the rubble that clings to them. “Always wasting your time on crumbling old relics like us”, Djinn asks rather coldly.

“Oh I’m sorry, Djinn, some people actually give a shit about your sorry ass!” snaps Tseng quite annoyed at this point.

“Full name drop Djinn you’re in trouble no bro” chuckles Daichi, getting him a narrow eyes from Tseng

“And how long do you think that will last when we aren’t the people you know and love? Got an answer for that oh mighty Tse”, Djinn asks devoid of any emotion making his comment even colder.

Tseng’s eye twitches showing he is fully fed up with the self-dissing, his fists snaps straight for Djinn’s face. Only for him to flicker out of the way at the last possible second, and it is in this moment that Tseng feels the pincer grab. Tseng counters by stepping into Djinn using his pincered arm to palm him back with the momentum. He is caught off guard by the feedback shockwave as Djinn slides back a step or two. It was like striking a 40’ titanium wall, his hand was still singing as he took his stance ready to continue.

In the blink of an eye Djinn is swinging for his face, only to blur before contact before switching to the abdomen. Tseng deflects it just in time only to get caught by a palm to the ribs knocking Tseng back a step. Unfazed Tseng looks into his brother’s eyes and sees the fire burning within them and can’t help but smile. With a crack of his neck Tseng’s aura erupts from his person filling the air with a force similar to gravity.

Tseng and Djinn move in at the same time, Tseng leading with his right and Djinn with his left perfectly countering the other. After this testing blow, Tseng goes into a simple combo most of which Djinn counters with the Tai-chi water stance. The blow Tseng connects with is a spinning back kick to the abdomen. Knocking Djinn back a few steps only to get a side kick to the knee and an elbow to the collarbone. Taking him to a kneel, he instantly retaliates with a forearm strike to Tseng’s thigh tagging him causing him to drop down. Into a forearm to the jaw sending him to the ground.

Tseng effortlessly reverses the tag and rolls to his feet only to find Djinn in his face, the two were so close their right legs were entwined. Stopping both in their tracks as they stared into each other’s eyes waiting for the other to strike when. Tseng’s eyes go wide as he dodges to the side narrowly missing a spear that had been aimed at him. Djinn, however, moves in its path wrapping his fingers around the blade as his left elbow snaps the shaft. And in a blink of an eye, he is on the attacker like a berserker stabbing them in the gut. As he lifts them in the air running forward, and it is in this rage that his spirit is unleashed with such force that the ground collapses beneath him. Sending him and the assailant hurtling down the layers of the Skyscraper.

“Djinn!” shouts Tseng as he runs over to the whole staring down the shaft trying to locate his brother.

Daichi lets out a sigh as he looks at Tseng and says “Damn, you and Meryl have always been his greatest weakness. We better go get him, preferably before he brings the whole building down desecrating the body”.

Tseng stood up and before following Daichi and asks “They had the same Ki signature as you and Djinn”.

“Did you think Fisk stopped project Geedo with us? No, we were just the precursors to his true goal” replied Daichi with a chuckle.

In a Top secret facility in Tokyo

A wiry man with brown hair is smashed into a wall as Vandal Savage Snarls in aggravation. “I thought I was clear the last time we spoke Alistair but allow me to reiterate. Tseng is off-limits, I have spent centuries waiting for this moment. And your feeble mind is starting to become a liability”. States Vandal coldly

“You promised the end of the Phoenix families, yet he we are no closer to the fall of those monsters” spits Alistair only to get slapped to the ground.

“All that you desire will be done when Lord Tseng takes us to the Summit were I will absorb the essence of the gods. Then our new world will be born and only then now go back to the hole you belong”. Shouts Vandal


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PostSubject: Re: Endless Descent to Supremacy   Tue 26 Jun 2018, 00:12

"Following his defeat at the hands of the God of Storms, Susanoo, Yamata no Orochi's severed tail gave way to Kusanagi no Tsurugi, also known as Ame no Murakumo Tsurugi. This was done in defense of Kushinada-hime, whom was set to be offered as a sacrifice to the serpent. In the aftermath of this conflict, with the serpent's demise, the blade was named one of the Imperial Regalia of Japan." Stated the voice of a man.

A child, the recipient of this story, nodded. "Yes, that's the tale which everyone hears. There's more to it than that, isn't there?"

"Indeed...far more. In fact, the story the world circulates is a lie. A simple story, agreed upon to veil the drastically darker, infinitely more complicated truth. A truth which coincides with our own downfall, as well as your future." The man responded calmly, his eyes upon the child with raven black hair. "I understand that this truth is what you most desire to hear. In order to tell you of your present and future, we must share with you our history as it truly unfolded. To explain to you our history, the truth behind the **** Clan, we must share with you the truth of the natural world order, and how things came to be the way they are. Once you begin, know that you will no longer be able to turn back. If you wish to hear...to learn the truth, then you must be sure of your desire. To be perfectly honest, your life will be far easier if you live without accepting this burden. After all, this truth...will reveal to you the unfathomable depths of cruelty and savagery, with which we were eradicated and erased from the Universe. Knowing this, will you still accept such a burden? Even if doing so, will subject you, not to your own desires, but our endless and timeless grudge?"

The raven-haired boy's golden eyes glew as he nodded once more, not so much as a trace of doubt in his countenance. "It isn't just that I want to know, but that I must know. I have always felt pain, every time I've heard the stories passed down around the world, never understanding why. Even if it isolates me, even if it may break my will, I have to know what really happened. Who I really am. I'm more than prepared to bear the burden of truth, no matter how horrible and heavy it may be. There's no way that I can make a decision, otherwise. I owe it to myself, and to him. He and I made a promise, after all."

"You are...strong, child. We see in you a brilliance, a strength the likes of which has been seen only once before, within the heart of the one you made that promise with." The man paused for a time. "Listen, and listen well, child. This is a story which predates the current state of the world, which traces back to the dawn of time. When the Heavenly Realm, the Sage Realm and the Human Realm were in uniform balance. When the chaos of life was sternly stifled. This is a tale of how the Sage Realm came to be known as the Celestial Realm, when its King and Queen...your ancestors, did what had to be done, regardless of the costs."



Four days before the decree of the Grand Tourney.

Within the extravagant villa of the Hotaru Family. Out on a garden terrace overlooking a large valley filled with life.

Hotaru Kiirina's legs were crossed as she sat at a table with some old friends, sipping on tea. She closed her eyes as she elegantly and slowly partook of the concoction.

"It's ceaselessly hot to watch you do anything, Kii~" Remarked a spirited voice, belonging to Aelita Zemanova, one of the Celestial Vanguards, titled the Trueshot Marksman due to her sublime skill and accuracy in projectile-based Martial Arts.


Another woman smiled calmly, leaning back in her seat. She was Kushinada Mikumo, another of the Celestial Vanguards, titled the Bewitching Hand due to her gravity defying, magic-like Martial Arts. "Yes, the Immortal Empress is on an entirely different level from us."


The next woman ran a hand through her hair, nodding in agreement. "She's always so alluring~" She was Elena Strauss of the Celestial Vanguards, titled the Golden Flash due to her extreme speed and precision with a rapier.


The last of the women giggled as the Empress's cheeks turned red, "Kiirina's always been my favorite of you Humans~" She was Ajimu Najimi, a mysterious Goddess from the Heavenly Realm, who was extremely skilled in Sorcery.


Clearing her throat as she set her cup down, Kiirina opened her eyes to look at them. "We're not here for you to embarrass me!"

"Sure, but we take pleasure in it anyway." Aelita pointed out with a wink.

"You still can't handle compliments, even after all these years." Mikumo remarked, crossing her arms. "You never change, Kiirina."

Elena laughed a bit, speaking up. "Before Queen Kiirina gets upset... Lady Najimi?"

Najimi giggled in amusement, pulling her knees to her chest as Kii sighed. "Right, right~ Well, I have it on good authority that Izanagi's planning to announce the Grand Tourney four days from now~ Of course, I've already shared this with Kii."

Taking a calm breath, Kiirina nodded as the other three women grew serious. "This one...won't be like the last."

"No, because this time, the Imperial Regalia are the prize." Najimi admitted, motioning to them.

Kii lifted a hand to her chin as her close friends reacted in surprise, "They'll probably be granted to the winner during the Summit Solstice at the end, after all's said and done."

"Izanagi's been preparing for something special," Najimi pointed out. "From what I can tell, he intends to host a wonderful festival this time."

Aelita nodded along, "I see, and surely, all will be looking to our adorable Prince Tseng."

"It's only natural, that Yami will spare no effort to participate." Mikumo commented coolly. "Even should my disciple come up against Tseng-sama, there will be no special consideration. In fact, Saiga and Shizuha may request Linali-sama to return and lead our representatives."

Elena looked to her, "Yes, most likely. Of course, I don't imagine that either would force her if she decides she wants to be on Tseng's team. As for The Syndicate, I'm sure we'll have a rather vigorous argument on who represents us."

Taking a breath, Kiirina spoke next. "It'll likely be the same for the Phoenix Families. Many refuse to support Yuan and Mitsuomi's decision to share power with Tseng. For that matter, many are afraid of what he'll do with his current power over the Hiatzu Clan and the Mugen Tenshin."

"Do you think there's anything to fear from that handsome Demon~?" Najimi inquired with a playful smile. "After all, the man who won your heart couldn't possibly be dangerous, could he~?"

Clearing her throat as the women smiled at her, Kii turned red again. "Tseng...will not allow anyone to stop him from participating. Even if he had to do so alone, he would enter and win at all costs. Especially when he hears what the prize will be..."

"Is there something that he wants so desperately?" The other ladies tilted their heads.

Kii nodded slowly, the image of a certain pair of twin brothers coming to mind. "When he's fighting for the sake of others...for the sake of the people he loves. Tseng is unstoppable. And that...is what scares me. I'm afraid that he'll...go to a place I can no longer reach him, should things go wrong."

She shut her eyes, pulling her hands to her chest. {Tell me, Alma...what should I do? To ensure that Tseng doesn't end up the same way that both of you did...}


Three days before the announcement, following the arrival of Gao.

Within the ancestral manor of the Hiatzu Clan, in the heart of their vast, beautiful lands.

Within the grand shrine of the manor, were two beings of unfathomable wisdom.

"I never tire of this wonderful place~" Admitted The King of Nox, taking a deep breath. "These ancient bones of mine ache with nostalgia, whenever I'm here~ Oro and Alma truly loved this land with all their heart~"


"Yes, I can't quite imagine anyone who wouldn't feel that way~" Hiatzu Dalia quipped, lifting the sleeve of her kimono over her mouth to hide a mischievous smile. "I do wish that I could have met Orochi-sama and Almaria-sama in person~"

"Huhuhuhu..." The King took another breath between his chuckle. "They would have adored you, Untouchable Queen~ By the way, I couldn't help but to notice an old face."

Dalia lowered her hand, her smile shrinking somewhat. "Yes, Gao is likely here to insist upon my baby going out of his way to find my twins."

"I see, you don't sound too pleased about this?" The King raised an eyebrow. "Could it be that you've reservations about that child traveling to a place like Ushigie?"

Tilting her head, Dalia's smile grew sharper at the corners. "So you have also been keeping an eye on those boys, have you?"

"Naturally, it is part of my sworn duty to observe them in some form." The King admitted calmly. "I'm sure you're well aware why."

Closing her eyes, Dalia lowered her head slightly. "Of course, you must feel rather guilty over being unable to prevent their actions so long ago. I could see your anguish through it all...the boundless regret you feel, over allowing that tragedy to take place."

She touched her lower lip thoughtfully, a bitter smile taking hold. "I love all of my children, but Tseng is...special. Although, I'm sure you feel that just as strongly as I do?"

"Yes..." The King confirmed with a soft tone, shifting aside, his old red eyes accurately fixed upon the exact location of the current Hiatzu Leader. "Tell me, Dalia-chan, does he or does he not know the truth? Of who he is. Of what he is. The fate thrust upon him by the Karmic Cycle of the Universe."

Dalia's smile grew even more bitter, as she looked aside to the same spot, her Dragon's Eyes ensuring she could see her son, or anything else, at any time she desired. "I am unsure. I myself am...scared to speak the words aloud. I would like to tell Ken everything, but I can't bring myself to. Tseng...is mysterious...even to me, he's such a strange, unpredictable child, odd as that may sound... His are the only dreams...his mind is the only veil through which I cannot see. Or perhaps, I...don't actually want to see what goes through his mind."

"Hm..." The King looked up at her, smiling softly. "It isn't odd, Dalia-chan. Be you a God, a Celestial, or a Human, affection is a very difficult emotion to handle. A double-edged sword, unlike any other, which is so often more likely to cut you than the recipient of said affection."

Her eyes widening slightly, Dalia lowered her head. "I apologize for my inconsideration, Kami-sama, I know it well. That you have lived with this pain and uncertainty for far, far longer than I... Tseng's birth...it was certainly..."

The King remained smiling as he extended a hand to settle her, "That child's birth was a miracle, Dalia-chan, for both you and I. Regardless of my own feelings toward him, there is no need to show consideration to this old man. You are his mother, after all~ Nobody worries more, than a mother~"

Blushing slightly, Dalia touched her left cheek as she raised her head. "There's little point in attempting to hide the truth before your Wisdom, Kami-sama. It's as you say...Tseng was- is...a miracle above all others. Until I held him in my arms that day, I hadn't...truly grasped how painful it could be to love someone. Especially one whose future is so...unclear. I wish that I could aid him, beyond my role as the Observer...but every time that I've tried to help him, I...have always made things worse. After I nearly lost Ken, Kasumi and Hayate that day, I've been so scared to get involved with him. It's...terrifyingly painful, being blind to that which most concerns you... I truly don't know how others can do it."

"I understand that sentiment, Dalia-chan. More than you could ever comprehend~" The King admitted, reaching out to set a hand upon her shoulder. "But you are extraordinary. Hold on to that fear, never forget it, and never give up. I'm confident that you, of all people, will make great use of it. After all, of all the Observers to date, none have been even half as spectacular as you~"

"You honor me, Okhwang-sensei~" Dalia smiled warmly at him.

"Huhuhuhu~ It's quite nice to hear you call me that again, Dalia-chan~" The King remarked. "You and your sister were the brightest pupils I have ever had the pleasure to raise~"

He chuckled heartily, his eyes drifting outside, to the field grace by the youngest Hiatzu, as well as the two Natsume Princesses living with them. "Meryl-chan would be beside herself, if she could see with her own eyes, how much they've grown~"

"Yes, she would~" Agreed Dalia, wiping a tear from her eyes. "Would you like to speak with Tseng? Or will you wait until tomorrow?"

The King laughed a bit nervously, "I'm not mentally prepared to meet that child today~ He's a very difficult one to handle, after all~"

"Indeed, he is~" Dalia chirped, clearly with great pride over how her son daunted even the Jade Emperor himself. "But you know, Sensei, perhaps you should try to make it clearer tomorrow, what it is that you want from him."

The King studied his student for a good few minutes as she grew silent, "Yes...perhaps a more direct approach would serve me well."


After showing Madam Gao to her usual room, Tseng stepped outside to find the young women of his household together in the flower fields.

"Over here, Nii-nii!" Kairi cheered loudly, waving to him.

"As if he has trouble spotting us, Kairi." Ouka remarked coolly, looking down at her sister.

Meryl looked up at her brother as he approached, "What did you speak to Gao Obaa-chan about, Onii-chan?"

Tseng gently ruffled her hair, a warm smile on his face. "Nothing worth mentioning right now, my dear~"

Leliana watched his face carefully, "She didn't tell you anything strange, did she?"

"Define strange." Linali requested, raising a hand. "Madam Gao is a very peculiar old lady~ That's what makes her cute, though~"

"I agree~" Aya chirped, smiling brightly.

Maya glanced over to the quietest of them, who seemed to be in low spirits. "Tseng, do you mind? She was...thinking about them, again."

"I see..." Tseng took a calm breath, walking a bit away as the other girls watched. He set a hand upon the head of the last girl, smiling when she looked up at him. "Won't you turn that frown upside down, Honoka-chan? For me?"

With an awkward, nervous jolt, Honoka's cheeks reddened. "Tseng, I..." She trailed off as she saw his face contort in a cartoonish manner, unable to stop herself from laughing at the sight.

"Much better, you're most beautiful when you smile~" Tseng commented, chuckling as she turned redder. "Anyway, why don't we play a game before dinner?"

As the girls all reacted positively, chatting about the game they'd play, he looked over his shoulder to the manor. {Madam Gao and the Old Monster, huh? I can't deny that I should finally go bring those idiot brothers of mine home, but...I wonder what he and Mother are discussing. I'm surprised he managed to come here alone, the Bishops are so annoyingly overprotective of him, even though he's probably stronger than all of them combined. Anything to say, Oro-chan?}

His smile strained a bit, as he was answered with silence. {I know, it's difficult to be so close to the past that scarred you, isn't it? And you don't even know if that Old Monster knows the truth about us or not. Could it be that you want to keep it that way?}

"Tag, Onii-chan, you're it~" Meryl sang lyrically, running away after touching him.

"?" Tseng looked after her as all the girls scattered in different directions. "Ugh...playing tag with Lily and Lina is kinda..."

He sighed as the two girls in question turned to blow kisses to him, "Be prepared for a loser's penalty!"


Two days before the announcement.

On the expansive grounds of Toudou Academy, the most prestigious school in Japan. More specifically, in the middle school branch.

Many had gathered on this day, from different parts of the country, and many even from overseas. Naturally, the middle school students were gathered, joined by their high school seniors, as well as their elementary school juniors. All were assembled on that day, for an event hosted by the Tertiary Head of the Phoenix Families and his Household. A social event, where they would instruct the students on a number of subjects and offer their insight on personal matters and growth.

Peeking outside from a window, Tseng's golden eyes quickly scanned the massive crowds before he withdrew. "Hey, do we really have to do this?"

"As I've said the last 10 times you asked, yes~" Rosalie responded with a bright smile. "The other Family Heads wanted you to do something befitting of your station, and this is the best we could muster in the timeframe~"

She raised a finger, "Besides, you know how much effort Aoi-chan and I put into this, don't you? Everyone's here to see you. And it's not like you're nervous, you love being the center of attention, don't you?"

Tseng reached out to touch her cheek gently, "Not nearly as much as I love you, Rosa~"

Her face now bright red, Rosalie shivered at his touch, quickly grabbing his hand. "S-stop that, Tseng...if someone sees us, they'll-"

"Let them talk, I don't care." Tseng interjected without hesitation, pulling her into his lap.

"Well I do." Kiirina cut in as she approached, pulling her disciple away from him. "Stop victimizing her, Tseng! You know she has no resistance to you!"

"Ojou-sama..." Rosalie looked up at her, quickly holding her hand.

Scratching his head, Tseng shrugged. "That's what makes it so fun to attack her. After all, you've started to raise your defense against me recently, and Rosa lets me touch her as much as I want, whenever I want to."

Clearing her throat as she entered the room, Ouka looked at her fiance. "Does she also allow you to touch her wherever and however you want?"

"Maybe~" Tseng whistled, grinning as her eyes darkened.

Kiirina blushed, stroking Rosalie's hair as the girl flailed in embarrassment.

Holding in a sigh, Ouka remained calm while pushing a finger against his forehead. "Kairi and Meryl are very much looking forward to this, Yarai. You wouldn't do anything to disappoint them, would you?"

"Never, obviously." Tseng confirmed sternly, lowering her finger to his lips to kiss it. Rising to his feet, he shifted her hand into his gently. "Are Jer and the others mentally prepared?"

Aoi smiled when he looked at her, nodding. "Yes, everyone's ready~ You may be surprised to see the full turnout, Tseng-sama."

Ouka nodded in agreement, her cheeks pink as she held her man's hand. "There were more than a few unexpected faces today."

"Sounds like fun." Remarked the Hiatzu Prince, while pulling his woman by the hand. "Let's get this started then."

Aoi laughed a bit, "And please try to pay attention to the friends of your little sisters too, not just them~"

"I'll try, but I can't make any promises." Claimed Tseng with a smirk. "I get carried away when I'm with Meryl and Kairi~"

"We're aware~" Kii, Rose, Ouka and Aoi noted.


Behind the scenes of the grand stage that had been set up for the event.

Aya took deep breaths, in and out, to keep herself steady. "This is so nerve-wracking, I never thought I'd have to handle myself in front of so many people..."

"If you want to be Tseng's wife one day, you should get used to being in front of the entire world." Maya suggested, patting her sister on the head.

Jeral's eyes were on the rear of a girl peeking out of the stage, "Doesn't the same go for you, Maya?"

Honoka scratched her cheek nervously, glancing at him as Maya just smiled in response. "Maya-chan doesn't care who she's in front of to begin with..."

"Hey, don't put me on the same level as our Prince." Maya answered, while elbowing Jer in the ribs.

Linali giggled as she took a few steps back, standing up straight. "This is gonna be pretty amusing~ You guys'll be surprised to see exactly who turned up for this thing~"

She wore a bright smile, which seemed to radiate light that lit up the atmosphere. "I can't wait to see how Tseng decides to present himself today~"

Jeral, Aya, Maya and Honoka smiled blankly as they watched her. {Like Tseng, Lina's got zero issues with doing whatever she wants in front of others.}

Tseng approached, his hand intertwined with his fiance's. "You're about as excited as I expected, Lina. That's good, you and I are probably going to be carrying this entire publicity stunt~"

Ouka looked away, her grip of his hand tightening slightly. "You two are uniquely lacking in the awareness of personal space."

"Are we~?" Lina skipped over, leaning in close to her with a seductive smile. "If it were up to me, I'd never give you any space at all, Ouka~"

Aoi laughed a bit as Ouka tried to push Lina away from her, to no avail. "Let's be sure to give this our all~ It's important that the entire world is thoroughly charmed by Tseng-sama today~"

"That shouldn't be an issue, considering how gravitational he is." Maya quipped, while pulling Lina from Ouka to hug her.

Jeral rubbed his side, taking a breath. "Let's get out there, then. I should show my good and cool side for Hiro-nii and Nui today. And winning some hearts wouldn't be a bad bonus, either~"

"Please don't try to hook up with any of our guests~" Kiirina requested, poking his cheek gently.

Rosalie looked at Jeral with slight disgust, "It's hardwired into his indecent brain to pursue women like a rabid animal of lust, Ojou-sama. Just try not to embarrass Tseng, you horny beast."

Jeral scratched his head, "I don't know if you're insulting me or complimenting me, and I've got to admit, it's sort of getting me hot and bothered here."

Tseng smirked at him, "Right? Some of Rosa's lines are clearly meant to be offensive, but I find myself getting turned on anyway~"

He quickly spoke again, as Rosalie turned red, and before he could be chided. "Anyway, let's get this show on the road! The most important thing is being able to be lovey dovey with Meryl and Kairi with worldwide coverage~"


As the curtains of the stage were drawn and the cornerstones of the event were unveiled, the massive crowd went wild. The majority of the hype came from the fans of Kiirina, followed by Ouka, Linali and Tseng, the sight of the engaged couple together exciting many.

After a brief introduction, Tseng thanked every last individual for taking the time to attend, his regal behavior inspiring and endearing many, particularly when he openly showed his love to his little sisters.

With the event underway, the Hiatzu Household interacted in a personal manner with all of the middle school students assembled, answering a number of questions, lending them academic aid and offering advice and insight into Martial Arts and how to help them improve. With an emphasis on changing gears, the subjects alternated at a quick yet reasonable pace, resulting in a truly dynamic and engaging experience, both for the students and the guests.

At the halfway point in the late afternoon, the event paused for a large lunch barbeque buffet, catered by the chefs of the Hiatzu Clan, whom were all personally trained by the culinary genius of Tseng and Leliana.

In the pristine, sprawling fields which hosted the buffet, a number of people interacted. VIPs met other VIPs, from around the world and of different Realms, with a healthy dose of Celestials and even some Gods present.

Taking a deep breath as he dropped into a seat, Tseng fanned himself off under an awning. "Man, how troublesome~ Everyone was so eager to shake my hand and talk, it's hard to be this popular~"

Meryl jumped into his lap, giggling as she hugged him. "You were amazing, Onii-chan~ Everyone really loves you~"

Kairi moved to his back, wrapping her arms around his neck. "Yeah, Nii-Nii! Our classmates are totally nuts about you~"

Ouka smiled proudly, running a hand through her hair. "Tseng has been the very model of what a prince should be, if he keeps this up, even his staunchest rivals will have no choice but to accept his position and power."

"Yes, my black-hearted King has been most noble on this day~ A voice chimed from above, as a familiar face peeked out.

Jeral gasped, looking up at her. "Nui, where have you been hiding?! Were you stalking Tseng the entire time!?"

"I prefer to think of it as haunting." Replied Nui, clearly with no intent to actually answer the questions. Pushing up and over the awning with her hands, she gracefully swung down to land at her crush's side, kissing his cheek. "You're even more alluring than usual, my love~"

"I appreciate you saying that, and thanks for bothering to show up~" Tseng put an arm around her waist, kissing her on the lips for a few seconds while making some space for her in his chair.

"Hi Nui-nee, I didn't think that you'd come!" Meryl noted, hugging her.

Nui rubbed her lips, patting the girl on the head. "Where your brother goes, I shall go~"

"Where's my besty?" She asked curiously.

Kairi poked her cheek, "Leliana-nee's overseeing the buffet with Hiyori-nee so Nii-Nii and the others can relax."

"Tseng!" Kiirina called out as she approached. "Look who's here to see you~"

Aelita waved as she walked over with Mikumo, Najimi and Elena. "Hey handsome! It's been a while, hasn't it!"

"Greetings, Prince Tseng." Mikumo bowed her head respectfully.

Elena curtsied politely, "It's a pleasure to see you again, Lord Tseng~"

"You were great out there, Tseng~" Najimi blew a kiss to him.

"Thank you for coming, all of you." Tseng got up as Meryl, Kairi and Nui released him. "It means a lot for three of the Celestial Vanguards and an esteemed Goddess to attend such a simple function."

He took a neat bow, "Moreover, for two leaders of Yami and the Syndicate, respectively, to take time out of their busy schedule."

"Hey, drop the formality!" Aelita exclaimed, pulling his head to her chest. "You're cutest when you're casual!"

Kiirina blushed a bit, pulling Tseng from her. "Stop that, Lita."

Tseng chuckled in amusement, having been unfazed by the previous action. "I'm glad you came, though, it really has been a while."

He smiled at Mikumo and Najimi, turning to Elena. "Ellie-chan, have you finished the games I lent you yet?"

"Ah, mostly!" Elena replied with a bright smile. "Playing the entire Souls Series has been rather fulfilling~ I'm working through Bloodborne whenever I have time, and then I'll move on to Dark Souls 3~"

"That's my girl, I knew you'd like them~" Tseng chirped, patting her on the head.

"You two always act the opposite of the way you should." Aelita remarked with a frown.

"You're just jealous that Tseng is closer to Elle than you." Kii pointed out calmly, as all of them greeted one another properly.

Linali skipped over to the group, time dilating in her perception as she laid eyes on one of her father's colleagues. {Why's she here?!}

Shifting her weight mid-skip, she changed her motion from forward to backward, withdrawing a single step while spinning aside and out of sight.

Everyone who had been in sight of her to see, whistled in awe at her swift and beautiful redirection.

Mikumo sighed lightly, glancing over her shoulder. "I've been tracking your presence since I arrived in Japan, Linali, if you wish to hide from me, you'll have to surpass me in masking your Ki."

"...I knew that~" Claimed Linali as she skipped back out into sight. "I was just testing you of course! What brings you here, Aunt Mikumo~?"

"Relax, I'm not here to drag you back to Yami." Responded Mikumo calmly, smiling as the girl sighed in relief. "We're all here to see our favorite Prince in the Human Realm."

"Oh, I see." Lina nodded a few times, before dancing over to Tseng's side to hold his arm. "What's your business, then~?"

"It's private, Lina, sorry~" Elena smiled a bit at her.

"Oh, bummer." Quipped Lina with a shrug.

"Shall we take a walk then?" Suggested Tseng with a smile. "Come along, Reina."

Nodding, Ouka held his hand. "Yes, of course."

"We'll be back, you guys can go ahead and eat." Tseng noted, waving to the others.

Jeral frowned as he watched Tseng leave with Ouka, Kiirina, Najimi, Elena, Mikumo and Aelita. "I'd love to bury my face in those melons...either Aelita or Mikumo, either one works really."

"You're rather far below their standards, Brother." Nui stated coolly, while taking a burger.

Meryl tilted her head, "I wonder what they're talking about."

"It must be important, for those four to have been with Ojou-sama." Rosalie mused. "We'll find out if it's something that Tseng wants to share."

"That's true," Aoi agreed with a nervous smile. "I was hoping to eat with Tseng-sama, though."

"Yeah, me too..." Aya and Honoka sighed in unison.

Maya chuckled, looking at them. "He'll be back, you've still got time to throw yourselves at him~"


Along a garden path filled with beautiful flowers.

Dalia sat upon a bench with her master, her legs elegantly crossed. "Right about now, Tseng and Ouka should be with those five, hearing about the Grand Tourney and the special prize this time around."

She set her hands atop her knees calmly, "After their discussion, he'll want some time to himself. That will be the most opportune time for you to speak with him."

"Hm...I see, I see. Thank you very much, Dalia-chan~" The King smiled as he remained seated by her.

Off to the side were a few men and women dressed in blue coats with orange, yellow and black patterns, along with white gloves, red pants and brown boots. The tallest of them was a white haired man, a Bishop of Nox with ranking inferior only to The King himself.

"Is Eskalios aware of what you desire?" Dalia inquired, without looking at the man.

"Hm, no he isn't." The King replied calmly, scratching his head. "None of them are, but Eskalios insisted on escorting me as soon as he found out that I intended to attend this event. He's always been rather wary of your son, after all."

Dalia couldn't help but smile, "Yes, he has. Though I suppose it's only natural, when considering how mindful you are of Tseng."
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