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Nanako Dojima | Sojourn BOT 5/17/2023 8:47 PM
Amidst the swirling chaos of Phlegethon, the assembled party is able to lay their eyes upon a vast building, surrounded by an enormous gate. From a distance, it looks like a mansion, but as you get closer, it becomes apparent that something is off. Only once at the gate would you be able to tell that this mansion was made entirely of porcelain, the light of the blood red moon gleaming against its glossy surface. The gate seems to have been previously locked, however, the enormous padlock that had kept it shut has been forcibly removed, laying a few feet away. Despite its size, the gate swings open with little effort, almost gliding along on its hinges. Immediately inside the gate is an immense hedge maze, twisting and turning through the grounds. The audible footsteps of the shadows that guard it can be heard through the foliage, giving an eerie sense of being surrounded in an otherwise silent space. The shadows here all take the form of cracked, broken down, and worn out dolls. None of their faces contain any features, and their clothes are in tatters, though they seem to be dressed in attire that resembles members of the clergy, nuns and priests.
ᴛᴏʜʀᴜ ᴀᴅᴀᴄʜɪ BOT 5/17/2023 9:35 PM
What the fuck was this shit…? While he hadn’t exactly gone directly into Nana-chan’s dungeon the first time around, what he’d seen from Yu-kun hadn’t exactly entailed sickening doll houses, and certainly not nightmare-inducing shadows in a shitty looking labyrinth. Last thing he needed in life was getting cornered and forced to talk about these hellish dolls’ lord and savior before they tried to chop his head off. “Sheesh, this ain’t creepy at all…” A light, awkward chuckle escaped him as he bent down to check out the lock, holding it up with a grimace. Izanagi-no-Okami’s doing, for sure. That blade could cut through metal like it was butter with enough power put into it—Power that he really didn’t have if he wanted to make it through this whole place. “Keep your eyes peeled for shit like this for a path forward. Shows where exactly King’s been goin’.” After making sure the rest of the group got a good glance at the sort of damage that had been done, he tossed the broken lock back aside and stood up, glancing around to see if he could get any sort of idea of a potential path. No luck, of course. When was luck ever on their side in shit lately? Then again, seemed like the foliage might've been thin enough to go through directly, instead of dealing with this whole stupid ordeal. “Hey, ya think we could chop this shit down?” The question was largely directed to Makoto-kun. Wasn’t like he was exactly willing to test it out himself, but, really, Yu-kun was probably strong enough to at least make it into the castle before faltering. Taking the easiest route to avoid getting jumpscared with a bible seemed like by far the best option if they wanted to get through it all quick. (edited)
𝗠𝗮𝗸𝗼𝘁𝗼 𝗬𝘂𝗸𝗶 | 𝗠𝗶𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗼 BOT 5/18/2023 7:07 AM
For what little he really knew about Nanako-san, Makoto still couldn't say he expected the interior of her psyche to look quite like this. Yet at the same time, it made sense; everyone had something to hide behind some facet of their personality. So, it made sense that a mansion of porcelain guarded by eerie-looking doll priests wouldn't have matched up with someone with such a go-getter type personality on the surface. Then again, maybe Adachi-san and Yu would likely know better. Except... judging by his reaction, even the former of the two seemed put off when Makoto got a good look at the way his brows creased at the scene before them. There was no question that Yu had already tore his way through the front gate, going by the state of the lock Adachi had just tossed aside. Going full tilt right away, huh... Not that Makoto expected anything different from Yu, given the situation. He wouldn't have been surprised if that wasn't even close to the extent of the damage Yu had left in his wake, and although it could leave an easy trail... Makoto just hoped his junior was simply trapped and hiding out, rather than trapped and unconscious at the mercy of whatever types of Shadows lurked within the mansion. Now was certainly not the time to hypothesize, though. They'd find out sooner or later. Preferably sooner... At Adachi's question, the leader hummed lowly as he stepped up towards the entrance. "If it were that easy, King would've done it already."
7:07 AM
Clearly, Yu wouldn't have even entertained the idea of walking through a maze. There was a solid chance he'd already tried what Adachi suggested before the rest of the group entered, only for the hedges to regenerate themselves. Palaces were tedious like that; if there was some sort of puzzle in place, there was rarely a way to bypass it. The will of the ruler always demanded their trials to be passed in the way they'd intended. Shortcuts hardly ever worked, and in Makoto's eyes there wasn't much point in wasting energy on trying. However... there was a way to make their passage through said maze at least a little easier. "Aster," Makoto spoke without diverting his gaze from the path ahead. "Think you can plot out a route for us?"
Rise Kujikawa | Star✨ BOT 5/19/2023 3:21 AM
Rise’s heart sank into her stomach as she looked over the landscape, the realization that this was Nanako’s inner psyche dawning on her. She started to feel a bit sick as she looked over the ruined dolls on her radar, wondering exactly what it all meant-- the porcelain mansion, the labyrinth… was Nanako hiding something deep in her heart…? Rise had tried to be the cool older sister, always asking about Nanako’s personal life when they were alone together, and didn’t pick up anything that could have been so horrible to spawn a palace. Then again, Nanako had expressed feeling a bit suffocated by all of them… she wanted to spread her wings, and everyone, especially her big bro, wanted to cage her to keep her safe. Rise wasn’t the smartest, or the fastest, but she definitely picked up on the emotions of her loved ones quickly. Could anyone blame them, though? Even Rise couldn’t be mad at Yosuke and Yu’s urgency to get in here… with Nanako’s death ten years prior, at the hands of the shadow world even, no one wanted to repeat that horrifying experience. With that thought hanging around in her mind, Rise was on edge. She almost told Adachi to shut it, just annoyed by his voice, but decided to ignore him instead. Getting angry wouldn’t help… “Just a moment, Bard, let me assess everything…” Rise looked over the discarded lock, to the ground leading within. Because she knew Yu so well, she could see his trail laid out in bright pink footprints, nodding affirmatively. She also noticed another set of prints-- and what looked to be blood? She frowns. “There was someone else here besides King, but after a fight, it looks like it was just him…” She gasped in realization, “Did he attack Prince!?” She moves to look more closely at his footprints leading in-- trails of blood and one set of footprints. The footprints were closer together… “I think he carried Prince in… but it looks like one or both of them got wounded. I have his tracks, he went to the right!”
3:22 AM
As they start to move, Rise turns to her friends, worry on her features. This was just getting worse and worse… first Nanako, and then those two bone heads… “Hey guys, are you holding up okay…? This is a lot to take in…”
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