2014-04-17 - The Great Cave Offensive 2014

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Title: The Great Cave Offensive 2014

This may be winter vacation, but Infinity's infamous school library is still open!

One particular section of Library Island is known for an odd quirk: every New Year, on the dot, its thick doors all close and lock themselves. As these things tend to go, the only way to open them is to complete trials, evade traps and solve puzzles. Once opened, the doors remain that way for the remainder of the year, providing handy shortcuts to would-be explorers.

A tradition within the Library Island Exploration Club is to let the year's newcomers prove their mettle by fulfilling this important task. Since the trials change every year upon the reset, who knows what they'll end up facing?


Lucy Iwai (also GM), Lingshen Chao, Fuu Hououji, Haruna Saotome, Maron Kusakabe, Mamoru Chiba, Kinzo Hiroyuki


Library Island, Infinity Institute

OOC - IC Date:

1 January 2014 - 4/17/14

<Pose Tracker> Lucy Iwai [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oL5QKNDT8g

A chain of mine carts barrels through the corridors of Library Island's basement levels, plunging into the cavernous depths at an entirely unsafe speed. A pack of students hold on for dear life as their ride performs a loop-de-loop, then flies over a wide chasm after the tracks break off, miraculously landing back onto another set. But then, wait, aren't those tracks headed straight into a lava pit?!

That's right! We're starting this in media res. Still, a flashback might be in order.

Lucy Iwai, all smiles, has been waiting for club members at the entrance to Library Island's restricted area. Their friends, as they often are, are also welcome on such expeditions so long as someone can vouch for them. She is proudly wearing a cap with "GUIDE" written on it in english, as well as carrying a tiny, flashy orange flag and a small book, which upon closer inspection is titled "Library Island for Newbies", with a drawing of Yue Ayase peeking out of the cover's corner. She has a sports bag slung over her shoulder, and a length of rope over another.

"Since this is an expedition for newcomers only, I've been given the important task of making sure the group stays together, and everyone returns in one piece. As you might have been told, we'll be exploring an area dubbed the 'New Year's Doors', the configuration of which changes every year. While it traditionally isn't very dangerous," cough cough, "by Library Island standards," cough cough, "we'll effectively be exploring uncharted terrain, so please be ready for anything. I've been provided with a guide written based on past expeditions in that area, so I'll be consulting it in case it gives us some insights. Now, if you'll follow me..."

The trip down is uneventful, and as usual the old-fashioned library surroundings start to take on the appearance of a place Indiana Jones would be adventuring in as the group goes down the stairs. Then, Lucy stops in front of some railroad tracks, upon which are... mine carts. "Ah, wonderful! The guide says we can take them as a shortcut to the New Year's Doors area. Please get in, everyone!"

And now, fast-forwarding back to the present...

Lucy coughs and dusts herself off as she pushes her personal minecart, which lays overturned, on its side. A pool of bubbling lava lies bubbling not very far, but luckily no one is /in/ it. "I'm not sure what just happened, but that certainly was an exciting escape from certain doom," she remarks. "Is everyone all right?" Once it seems clear that no one is seriously injured, she waves her little flag so people know where to rally.

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Shaking dust and debris off his head, Mamoru-- thrown clear of his cart and having rolled to a skidding halt perilously close to a well of lava-- picks himself up and dusts himself off, then delicately takes his glasses off. He takes a moment to compose himself under the guise of putting them back in their case, and their case in his jacket pocket, then wanders toward where Lucy's waving her flag. He adjusts the straps of his backpack meticulously.

Like an offensively tall cat, he clearly meant to do that.

He keeps his voice low. "There aren't any books in the lava, are there?" he asks their fearless leader with a certain amount of worry.

<Pose Tracker> Haruna Saotome [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Haruna Saotome was a bit late to the meeting, which meant that Lucy got to give the intro totally fine! She's not really much of an introduction or class-rep type, anyway. She ran up with a pack full of stuff and supplies and a hard hat just in case.

"Ahh - upperclassmen!" was her main contribution. "Hiroyuki, and --? Well, I hope we'll all have a good time on this important library duty!"


Haruna's legs are sticking up in the air, stuck momentarily behind a rock. However, she is largely unharmed - though when she rights herself, she asks aloud with a momentary pout, "Did anyone see where my glasses went?" A lock of green hair falls into her line of sight, as she feels around the immediate area.

Mamoru has a good question, so she answers. "Oh, no, this is an access area! They wouldn't keep the books HERE - think of it as a naturally occuring boiler!"

<Pose Tracker> Kinzo Hiroyuki [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Kinzo Hiroyuki had come along! Look, he's technically a newcomer, the last trip was less of a tour and more of a 'get lost and be rescued by an old pirate guy'. So he's new, really! Besides, there might be more down here waiting to be discovered. AND THIS, he came along. And there are Minecarts.

Recognition Inhbition makes you think the most insane things are good ideas sometimes, maybe?


Kinzo is looking at the world upside down as Lucy waves a flag. He rubs his head as he leans against the side of a wall of the cave-like, lava filled room. "That was... a thing." he says flatly as he tilts himself to the right, and right sides himself as he pushes himself up. and glasses up his face to the bridge of his nose. Also. where did these glasses come from? He--he doesn't wear glasses.

"Oh..uh. I think. These are them..." he says.

He sighs and walks over to Haruna to hand them after taking them off his face. He then looks over to Lucy who is waving the Rally Flag.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

"Next time," remarks Fuu as she peeks out of her minecart, "remind me to put the elastic on my glasses *before* we board the minecarts ..."

Fortunately, her glasses didn't have the chance to fall off and break, or go flying into the lava - or fall/fly off of her face anywhere else along the way. She also remembered her last trip into the deeper stacks, and came at least *that* well-prepared: her own backpack holds two flashlights (one fairly small and convenient, one heavy enough to do 2d6 melee damage in a pinch), some nylon rope, four folding grappling hooks, two or three bagels from Starbooks, a first-aid kit, and a canteen of water. She also borrowed a quiver from the archery range, so presumably she's got a bow of some kind tucked away. And she even has some room to put actual books in, if she spots anything that she feels the need to borrow.

"Are you all right, Haruna-san?" she asks Haruna, watching out for stray glasses as she approaches to help her sempai-in-Library-Exploration back to her feet. "Here ..." She digs in a pocket, and offers one of those elastic bands that hook over the earpieces to hold a pair of glasses in place. - And good, Kinzo found Haruna's glasses, all the better.

"Is anyone hurt?" she asks, looking around and counting heads ... and other visible parts.

<Pose Tracker> Maron Kusakabe [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Maron Kusakabe is only a newcomer as far as anyone except Lucy knows. It may not be coincidence that she also came more or less prepared, and this also came in the same form: a rope, tightly tied around her waist. On closer inspection, it's actually a particularly long jump rope, with a crudely fashioned grappling hook dangling from one end. It looks like it may have been made out of wire hangers. A creative effort, if nothing else.

That's where it begins and ends though, unless you count the pink and white striped tracksuit she's wearing. Not her usual fare, but it seemed appropriate for the occasion. Her introduction consisted of simply, "Hi, I'm Maron Kusakabe! Leave the acrobatics to me!" Better to make it clear right off where your strengths lies, she's much more confident in her abilities in that area than solving puzzles or anything like that. Who knows what they'll be getting into here.

A mine cart was certainly a thing she wasn't expecting to be getting into already. And she sure seemed to be enjoying it, considering her screams were more the kind you hear from someone enjoying a roller coaster than from someone who's actually scared. That is, until close to the end, when there was a more startled yelp, and then nothing. Maron's mine cart arrived with the others, but not Maron herself.

She's not missing for long enough to be worrisome however, jogging up to the others from a bit further back. She has dirt all over her track suit, but doesn't look any worse for wear otherwise. She wasn't kidding about the acrobatics; before she knew it her reflexes kicked in and she abandoned ship prematurely. She shouts while still on approach, "Heeeeey! Everyone okay?" And then, seeing as they seem to be, "Phew, okay, that was dangerous." Even so, she sounds disappointed as a quick survey seems to indicate, "No more track... so we can't go any further this way?"

<Pose Tracker> Lucy Iwai [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

"I don't think so," Lucy answers to Mamoru's question pensively, then Haruna provides an answer. It seems to make sense to her, and it's not like Lucy knows for sure, so that works. Maron sounds worried, but Lucy gathers the guidebook she'd been entrusted with, and holds it up triumphantly like a Zelda treasure. "We shouldn't be far from the doors' area." She flips, finds the page she was looking for, and uses it to guide the team away from the lava zone, and towards...

"Ah, here we are!" Lucy announces, stopping the group in front of an enormous set of thick double doors carved in stone. On the front is chiseled a large inscription in English, which hopefully one of the group members will be able to translate. "ONLY THREE HEARTS, PUSHING AS ONE, CAN OPEN THESE DOORS."

Less conspicuous is the set of three hand prints set at about eye level in the middle of the two doors. All three are identical, but have different inscriptions above them, also in English.

The first, on the left:

"Only the pure of heart can push this door open."

The second, in the middle:

"Only the kinda-sorta pure of heart can push this door open."

The third, on the right:

"Only the most definitely impure of heart can push this door open."

Lucy is flipping through the guidebook for some pointers on this particular puzzle, and seems to be finding nothing of interest so far, but the instructions do seem rather self-explanatory. Perhaps some of our intrepid adventurers can take matters into their own... hands.

<Pose Tracker> Kinzo Hiroyuki [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Kinzo Hiroyuki looks over to Lucy, and Mamoru as he asks 'Is there books in the Lava'. Sure there are, reach in a check! He almost wants to say! Instead, he looks over to Lucy, and hrms... He follows along as he looks at the door. Only Three hearts...

He reads all the inscriptions, in English-- (Which he has a pretty good grasp on, but not entirely. You need to know it for his line of future work.). He frowns a little and looks down at his hand.

"Well...I think we...kinda...try." he says. He goes ahead and places his hand into the 'Definitly of an Impure Heart' slot and sees if others will join him.

Why'd he pick THAT one anyways?

<Pose Tracker> Haruna Saotome [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

"Just my dignity," Haruna says happily. She accepts Fuu's glasses - but passes them back with an "Aaa, Hiroyuki, thank youuu!" She pauses to wipe some volcanic ash off them and slide them onto her nose, beaming as she does.

"Oooh, this place is really scenic," she then says. A small digital camera comes out of her pack's strap pocket, taking a couple of images. This will probably appear in the backdrop of one of Paru's next works, one way or another.

Now that her vision is restored, she looks at Kinzo, cast in the warm glow of liquid hot /magma/.

Then towards Mamoru.

Back to Kinzo.

Back to Mamoru.

She strokes her chin in thought.

... :3

Of course, then the nature of the doors are revealed. "Oh!" she says, marching up behind Kinzo, saying as she does, "I think these detect blood pressure or something." With an audible 'fujoshi' she slaps her palm up against that aperture.

To Kinzo, she then says, "So who's the guy from Ohtori?" in a highly conspiratorial voice. "Is he a friend of yours...? Are you close...?"

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Given her penchant for computers (and for RPGs), Fuu's grasp of English is pretty solid . "That's ... an interesting set of qualifications, isn't it ..."

She lays her hand on the door for the 'kinda-sorta pure of heart'. She might qualify for the purest side, but apparently she has doubts about herself.

(Then again, given some of the games she's taken an interest in ...)

<Pose Tracker> Maron Kusakabe [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

"Geh, a puzzle." Maron already starts to complain before learning what it's already about. But upon closer inspection, it seems simple enough. This one explains itself.

She takes the time to examine the text on each door, going from left to right. She's pretty good at English, taking an interest in it following her parents' interest in western culture. Though it started as just one of the many ways she tried to appeal to them, she's found it came in surprisingly handy at the most unexpected times. This right here sure qualifies as one of those times.

Having read that, she doesn't bother hiding her visible surprise when Kinzo volunteers for the impure slot, and is even followed in the act by Haruna. How bold, she was pretty sure nobody was going to go for that one without some pushing. "...I guess I won't need to ask if there are any perverts in the house then," she muses, not even in a lowered voice or anything.

For her part, she heads right back over to the door on the far left, pushing her hand against there. No question or hesitation. She's been lectured about her supposed purity of heart so often that she's mentally going, 'okay door, why don't you prove it then'.

<Pose Tracker> Lingshen Chao [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Chao Lingshen, GIRL OF THE ROBOTS, is not actually in the Library Exploration Club, but SCIENTIFIC CURIOSITY WILL NOT BE SILENCED!! Which is why she is hanging out with these guys in her Infinity Institute Middle School uniform, with a labcoat slung over top. She has giant steampunk science goggles and what appears to be a PKE meter in one hand. It is making an occasional bloop.

Or she was, until nonsense. Now, she is busy banging her meter like a naughty tricorder. "I'm OK!" she volunteers, throwing a hand up, and then rising to her feet to look around. She squints through the volcanic light at the doors, ambling up. She pulls her goggles up to get a better view. She opens her mouth, and says, "Paru, you should try--" She looks over, where Haruna has decisively taken action, and says, "Yes, perfect."

She pointedly does not test her own heart's purity, because she read Dragonball once and doesn't want to particularly find out if the universe thinks she's actually just evil.

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

At some point during the terrifyingly exciting ride into the depths, probably at the start, some introductions have to have been made -- but either Mamoru was unlucky in his timing, or he doesn't believe in making sure he is on an any-name basis with people with whom he intends to travel bravely into treacherous territory in pursuit of awesome and/or books. That was then, though.

This is now.

Now is when every single time he stops focusing on any specific thing, or figures no one's looking at him, the absurdly tall black-haired upperclassman's got a totally preoccupied smile going on. Of course, the second there's something to look at, seriousface drops in again-- like when Lucy's bringing their attention to the doors. A quick scan of the English, and he reaches up to rub the back of his neck, looking dubious.

He is, naturally, completely oblivious to any sizing up Haruna's doing. He does hear her question as he gamely walks up, then holds off as the green-haired girl puts her hand on the print he was about to try. "Chiba Mamoru," he says cheerfully. "I don't know any of you! Hi."

<Pose Tracker> Lucy Iwai [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

"I'm Lucy Iwai," Lucy answers to Mamoru, the only member of this particular group she had yet to interact with in the past. Or perhaps not? It takes a sense, but she squints, and... Ah, right! He's the weird person Usagi described as 'just a guy' once.

Kinzo's unhesitant hand touches the outline on the door, and perhaps to his surprise, it answers with a jolt of electricity. It's painful, but so long as he doesn't force it, it's not enough to actually injure him. Haruna steps up, slaps her hand there, and... the panel lights up.

The ones Maron and Fuu touch do the same as well, no electricity for them, luckily. This also means Mamoru doesn't have to risk getting shocked if the door decides that he's not as impure of heart as he thinks he is!

"Ah, I just found something! It says here that they encountered the heart purity test, and there's a note that says their heart purity detector must 'absolutely, most definitely be busted'." She looks up, unsure whether that assessment is accurate or not.

The doors swing open, and the next room comes into view. It seems rather bare, an empty room with a stone floor and torches on its walls. At the other end is a set of doors much like the one the group just went through. There are no inscriptions or indentations this time, just a large keyhole.

Lucy steps forward, eye in her book. "I don't see anything that seems relevant... I suppose the key must be hidden somewh" click "aaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAH"

While Lucy spoke, her foot landed on a depressed stone tile, and a moment later the floor gave way beneath her. The orange flag and the guidebook now lie discarded on the floor while Lucy's hands grab the edge of a pit. Beneath her, dozens of snakes hiss. "I-I'm all right!" She'll need a hand getting back up, however.

Upon a quick inspection, it appears the room is full of such pit traps. It's easy enough to avoid them once you know what to look for, but some are better-concealed than others, and even a thorough search of the room reveals no key. Perhaps it lies in one of those pits...

<Pose Tracker> Kinzo Hiroyuki [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Kinzo Hiroyuki glances at Haruna as he blinks. "Close....?" he looks over to Mamoru, and head tilts as he looks back to Haruna and smiles. "I know him, but we've only met in short passings. Mostly during the winter trip. I think his name is Mamoru....", after all. He might not entirely get any other undertone Haruna is insituating. Maybe he's not as impure as heart as he let's on!?

Kinzo has other things on his mind of course. More really, why he's actually impure of heart. But that's a different place and another time. He's hoping secretly this DOESN'T work.

Then Maron makes the pervert comment! His eyes go wide. "H--hey! I'm not---!" he huffs and just blushes fiercely. This was SO a bad idea, just...don't snap back, just... keep your mouth shut. 'I'm not a pervert' he still mutters to himself.

His hand gets jolted away. He ahs!?

"Okay.." he says with a deep breath, that oddly reeks of relif of some sort. But it's busted? Then maybe he won't really ever know?

He follows with Lucy...then stops when Lucy triggers a trap. "Ah.. Lucy!" he says.

He's not fast enough to save her. Maybe someone more dashing can do that.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

"There are many reasons why somebody's heart might not be 'pure' other than perversion, you know," Fuu points out good-naturedly to Maron. But more importantly, the door opens, so they must have matched up well enough. Apart from Kinzo, anyway.

The torches in the next room mean that she doesn't have to start fishing for a flashlight; she takes a look around - horizontally, downwards, and upwards as well ... and the hints of pit traps are noted as well. "Goodness. I thought the books in this area were meant to be accessible?" she asks, wryly and somewhat rhetorically. But she's being careful where she steps, nonetheless.

At least until Lucy shrieks and falls into a trap. "Lucy-san!!" exclaims Fuu, turning to bolt towards the snake pit Lucy's dangling above ...



*flail* *fall* *fwump* *meow! meow, meow ...*

Fuu's voice floats up from the hole she just disappeared into, over the sounds of adorable massed mewing. "At least it's not a very deep pit ... no snakes here, just kittens ... I hope I didn't hurt any of them?"

<Pose Tracker> Kinzo Hiroyuki [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Kinzo Hiroyuki glances at Haruna as he blinks. "Close....?" he looks over to Mamoru, and head tilts as he looks back to Haruna and smiles. "I know him, but we've only met in short passings. Mostly during the winter trip. I think his name is Mamoru....", after all. He might not entirely get any other undertone Haruna is insituating. Maybe he's not as impure as heart as he let's on!?

Kinzo has other things on his mind of course. More really, why he's actually impure of heart. But that's a different place and another time. He's hoping secretly this DOESN'T work.

Then Maron makes the pervert comment! His eyes go wide. "H--hey! I'm not---!" he huffs and just blushes fiercely. This was SO a bad idea, just...don't snap back, just... keep your mouth shut. 'I'm not a pervert' he still mutters to himself.

His hand gets jolted away. He ahs!?

"Okay.." he says with a deep breath, that oddly reeks of relif of some sort. But it's busted? Then maybe he won't really ever know?

He follows with Lucy...then stops when Lucy triggers a trap. "Ah.. Lucy!" he says.

He's not fast enough to save her.--- or avoid the pit trap he just trigged trying to get around.

He doesn't succeed in grabbing in the edge and lands with a 'Ommph.'

He opens his eyes. He eyes a bunch of Golden Blocks in the pit with him. "Huh---T--treasure?" he says a little dumbfounded.

"There's...uh. Gold. In this pit." he says matter of factly.

Or so he thinks.

<Pose Tracker> Haruna Saotome [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Haruna gives Maron a gnomic look, lenses hidden by her glasses. One lip quirks up.

"Waaaa, how embarrassing, the door confirmed it!" Haruna says, eyes sparkling, hands going to her cheeks after they open up. And then a handsome man is talking to her. She turns her head to look over her shoulder, eyes still sparkling. "Ah! Chiba-san."

A polite bow and a sunny smile. "It's a pleasure to meet you! So you met Hiroyuki in Hokkaido...? Anyway, anyway! I'm being so rude, welcome to our club!" She steps forwards, folding her hands behind her back as if this area is completely normal to her. "Watch your step, though. Anyway, this is the security system for the library here...! We inherited it here at Infinity Institute, and as you can see a lot of the collectors were really sort of suspicious. Lucy-san's found some of these notes already - our goal here is to make sure these doors stay open, because the locks were triggered by the [Ripple] created by the ringing of the temple bells across Tokyo, this morning!"

She pauses to look up at Mamoru. "Did you spend New Year's eve with anyone~?"

She gets back to explaining. "Of course, with the failure of the student movement, we've been left to our own devices to maintain access. As members of the library exploration club, we map, chart, and find the ways so that information can flow freely. And it's pretty good exercise, too!"

As Lucy falls into a pit, as does Kinzo, she says aloud with mild chiding, "I told you to watch out...!"

"Hey, Chao," she says, "I have some cord in the top of my pack, can you dig it out? I don't want to have to unfasten it and put it back on, I've gotten it just the way I like it."

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"I guess, a bit-- at the radio show! Ah, thank you! N-new Year's eve?" the Ohtori eleventh-grader responds to Haruna, attention grabbed. At the end, he looks roughly like a deer in headlights, and blushes fiercely.

That's probably an answer.

But then--! It's sudden enough that no one's fast enough to prevent Lucy's fall, but the second she's in motion, Mamoru lunges past the others to try--

--and thank God she caught herself on the edge. He half-crouches, half-kneels at the side of the pit to grab first one of her wrists (oh god someone else is falling in now; he glances back in wide-eyed alarm for a second, but she's calling out she's okay) and then the other. "Okay," he says, his voice slightly strained as he hauls her upward, "come on up, Iwai-san--"

It really shouldn't take long. He's stronger than his thin frame looks. As he's letting go her hands, he takes a half-step back, thinking he's still on the stable tile, and is abruptly teetering on the brink of another pit.

Eyes really wide now, he calls out sharply, "No one move! Let's concentrate on getting people out before we try and figure out the puzzle, ne?" One glance over the edge of the pit he almost fell into, and Mamoru's face is suddenly also as white as a sheet. "Cord. Yes. Lots. Um. This tile's not going anywhere, at least. I think the two of us can anchor..."

<Pose Tracker> Lingshen Chao [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

"Lingshen Chao," Chao reports cheerfully as Mamoru reopens introductions. Wow, he's pretty happy, she thinks dully. Maybe he had meat buns! Meat buns make everyone super happy. This is immutable cosmic law. She knows that, because she's a scientist.

She glances the Ohtori student over, considering for a second. "Hope you like running!" she says, because she's slightly evil. But:

Not as evil as Haruna. "It was pretty obvious, Paru!" Chao chirps helpfully. She takes her steps slowly, because she is not able to fly without transforming and that would be a little awkward with Haruna "Gossip Demon" Saotome around.

She is, however, still in range to help as she's beckoned by the Queen of Evil. She says, "Oh, sure," and steps up behind Haruna to retrieve that rope. WILL THIS PROVE HER UNDOING??

<Pose Tracker> Maron Kusakabe [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Strangely, Maron has a sour look on her face when the door opens for her, crossing her arms at the event. Like she's actually annoyed at having the purity of her heart validated. Hearing Lucy's comment on the matter makes her nod her head in agreement. "Yeah, probably busted." What a weirdo.

This prompts her to turn to and point at Kinzo as well in regards to his result, concluding, "Which means you're not off the hook, mister. I'm keeping an eye on you!" She might be joking. She might not be. It's hard to tell. Either way, she's still standing firm on the subject when responding to Fuu, "Maybe, but it's the most obvious reason to volunteer." Haruna's reaction doesn't help to change that perception any.

Whatever the case may be, it's all quickly forgotten after Lucy suddenly goes down a pit. "Ah?! Lucy-san!" She moves as if she was going to run over, but hesitates just long enough to watch Fuu fall down another one. Then Kinzo goes down another, and Maron just stands rooted in spot, silently panicking. She's totally used to dealing with traps very similar to this, giving her enough awareness to stop before she rushed straight into one herself, but... other people are not so fortunate. And she's... honestly afraid to move, considering just how many traps there seem to be.

Mamoru is consequently faster than her in getting to Lucy, which makes her feel pretty bad about herself. Running headlong into danger and coming out without a scratch is what she does all the time, why couldn't she do it now? Shaking her head, she takes a few hops across safe spots - now that she knows what to look for - then unties the jump rope from her waist to lower it down into a different pit, in order to help out another unfortunate individual. The ground was soft enough for her home-made grappling hook to appear to have fastened itself well enough so that she'll have to expend no additional effort herself.

It's Kinzo, because of course the guy she was accusing of being a pervert just now would fall down the pit closest to her. She has no comment on this situation, just silently waiting for him to climb up.

<Pose Tracker> Lucy Iwai [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Chaos erupts as Fuu and Kinzo rush to pull Lucy out, but Mamoru actually manages to do so... inadvertently triggering another trap in the process. Lucy, too, is stronger than she looks, and blushing slightly as she climbs out of the snake pit, and now the two are standing on a narrow ledge, between a pit of snakes and another pit that appears bottomless, but from where they're standing, they can see a "TRAP UNDER REPAIRS" sign dangling inside. /Huh/.

Mamoru's plan makes sense. Rope tied around her waist, she's very, very careful to look where she's going as she tiptoes towards Fuu's pit, since Maron seems to have Kinzo's rescue well in hand. Interestingly, when Maron looks in, Kinzo's pit seems /empty/, which is quite odd because from his point of view, there are in fact piles and piles of incan gold! Oh, and a golden key, too. Is this the one they were looking for?

Then Lucy reaches Fuu's pit. This one isn't terribly deep, so all it takes is an offered hand. "Aaaah! You really got the best pit, I'm jealous," she looks, starry-eyed, at the many, many kittens. "I wonder who feeds these," she muses. Obviously someone has to be, after all.

<Pose Tracker> Lingshen Chao [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Chao, ever the efficient worker, says, "There we go!" with a big smile, pulls Haruna's cord free, and then moves her foot about three inches to the left.




What Chao actually says is not to be transliterated for such innocent eyes, but rest assured it was both Chinese and rude as she vanishes into the depths with, a short time later, a big SPLOOSH.

"I'm OK! I can swwwww THAT IS A CROCODILE"

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Fuu has gotten back to her feet by the time Lucy reaches hers for the rescue. Rather than simply accepting the hand up, though, Fuu first unslings her backpack and hands it up, "Just put that nearby on stable flooring? No point in you trying to lift me *and* the backpack's weight ..."

Once her backpack is safely placed, Fuu accepts another offered hand. And immediately sets about getting some rope out of her backpack, because it might be needed at this rate. "I imagine there are rats or something that the kittens' mothers feed them with," she points out. "Or something of the sort."

<Pose Tracker> Kinzo Hiroyuki [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Kinzo Hiroyuki is kind of trying to pick up one of the ignots. He can't. This seems kinda odd. Maybe it's just slipping. He however, eyes the key---that one he can pick up, a SOLID GOLD KEY! (it's made out of pig iron to everyone else no doubt.).

Kinzo accepts the help of some sort of glowing angleic being being, holding down a shiny golden rope of hope. He follows it up and blinks...

"Thanks...angel girl...I don't know." he merely says as he thwips the key around. "Lucy.. I have the key." he says. Also, Kinzo is tripping on Hallcogenic gas for the rest of the adventure.

This most certainly go badly at all.

<Pose Tracker> Haruna Saotome [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Haruna stands totally still. As Chao opens the pack she can see the nylon cord and a couple spare carabiner clips, alongside a shrink-wrapped pack of strawberry pocky and the kind of BL comic anthology you really shouldn't be able to get in middle school.

As Chao gets out and around, she takes a couple of pictures, even sidling over to take a picture of Kinzo as he emerges from the pit, twirling his key. She doesn't ask for permission.

Then, worried, "Chao-saaaan, can you get on top of the crocodile? It can't bite you if you're on top of it!"

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Edging around the two pits, then much faster as Chao falls into hers, Mamoru's blue eyes are a little wild. "Jeez, it's like the Library's trying to kill us or something! You weren't kidding about paranoia, Saotome-san--"

His gaze flicks over to Fuu, and he gestures rapidly for her rope, then jumps somewhat improbably lightly over the corner of Kinzo's pit to get to where she is. "Or at least stay behind it!" he adds to Haruna's suggestion, hurriedly looping the rope around his arm a couple of times before dropping flat on the floor to lower it down to the girl with the crocodile. "Better yet, grab on, I've got you--!"

Once she's got steady hold of the rope, he starts hauling her up hand over hand. "Do you guys deal with this every time? They better be really, really good books!"

<Pose Tracker> Maron Kusakabe [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

That sure is odd. That key seems to be real, but Maron distinctly heard Kinzo claim there was gold in that pit. Must be fool's gold, only visible to fools! Jokes along those lines might have been made, if Kinzo hadn't just referred to her as 'angel girl'. THAT caused her eyes to go wide. She sure is a girl with an angel for a companion, but there's only one person who knows about that, to her knowledge. What the heck does this guy know?!

Perplexed, Maron wonders out loud, "Wh-- what did you call me?" Everything else around her is suddenly forgotten about, failing to notice various people getting into or out of pits. This is a potential personal disaster, eclipsing everything else.

It probably says something that she hasn't yet even taken notice of Kinzo's... condition. Whether that something is that Maron is merely extrordinarily concerned about this seemingly random remark, or that she also doesn't even notice any difference between the way Kinzo's acting now and the way he acted previously, well. That's up to the observer.

<Pose Tracker> Lingshen Chao [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

"It's a wild animal, not a rock, Paru!" Chao calls back, very slightly perturbed, and then adds, "Alright, you, try my ELECTRO-GLOVE!"

There's a bright light that sparks down in the pit, and then Chao yelps "I FORGOT ABOUT SCIENCE" in the tone of the distinctly electrocuted. "Gggh, then...H? Xing Qu?n!"

This time it's less of a ZAP and more of a THUD, and then a few more thuds, and then a crocodile roughly the size of a car goes sailing out of the pit and lands upside-down on the ground.

Then Mamoru feels a tug on the rope. "OK! All clear! He should be docile now, I have chastised him."

The crocodile has helpless little swirly eyes.

<Pose Tracker> Lucy Iwai [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waMXTrx4SGw

"Yup," Lucy answers to Mamoru's question, possibly in unison with a few others, while the giant crocodile lands a foot away from her with a resounding thud. "That's half of the fun, though." She can't really testify to the quality of the books. She's not much of a reading type.

The key Kinzo found (even though it's not actually made of gold) fits into the lock, and the doors swing open. Onwards!

The next room is peppered with waist-high outcroppings of brick wall, and the door behind them has a simple inscription on it, again in English, but simple enough for most to immediately understand: BREAK THE TARGETS!

There are, indeed, targets, ten of them in all, some set against the wall and door in front, others moving in erratic trajectories through the air. Our adventurers will soon find that the targets are very fragile, and will break as they enter contact with just about any projectile. Luckily there are more than a few rocks littered about, but it's certainly possible to get a little more... creative.

This would all be fun and carnival games, if it weren't for the clicking sound that comes shortly after the last person has made their way into the room, and the small holes that open in the wall. There's a whistling sound as an arrow comes flying of a hole, then another, and another... They are all quite sharp, but luckily, their pattern is predicatble, and there are plenty of places to take cover! Still, the eagle-eyed team members will want to act fast before they're all turned into swiss cheese.

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Fuu tosses her spare rope to Mamoru, "Here! Please don't drop it, I only brought the one .."

And while Lingshen-san is being rescued from a crocodile pit - or should that be, while the crocodile is being rescued from what is now a Chao pit? - Fuu takes the time to look around the room some more ... particularly at the key Kinzo found.

She looks very closely at that, in fact.

And then everybody is safely out, and it's on to the next room ... which seems very much up Fuu's alley. (No pun intended.) She quickly sets her backpack down, pulling out the bow (collapsible) and quiver ... and has the good luck to be crouched when an arrow whistles past about three inches above her head and THOCKs into the wall behind her.

"... that could have been painful, not to mention dangerous," she remarks casually as she nocks an arrow of her own, sighting along its shaft, and letting her first arrow fly.

Twelve arrows - now eleven. Ten targets, possibly down to nine when her first arrow hits. Hopefully the others can deal with a few of the targets. "I don't suppose anybody else brought throwing or shooting weapons along?" she asks as she nocks her next arrow, drawing back for her next shot ...

<Pose Tracker> Haruna Saotome [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Haruna applauds for Chao! Science, after all, is important.

The electronic shutter of her camera answers Fuu. See? She's SHOOTING! She answers Mamoru, "Oh, it's super important - entire academic careers could depend on us, and what we make available right now!"

<Pose Tracker> Kinzo Hiroyuki [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Kinzo Hiroyuki says wide eyed, maybe a little excitedly. "You're like, an angel, right? I mean, you have wings and... a golden rope..." He says, motioning to the complete normal plain jump rope, also, she does not have wings and a golden rope. "How do...you guys get the Halo anyways?" he asks, motioning to his head. Maron also doesn't have a halo.

He walks into the next room with the group and blinks a bit, eyeing targets. Targets that kinda look like giant, snickering bats.

Now people are fighting bats!? A--ah!

Regardless. He picks up a rock and thinks really hard...

Now quite a thin blade made of amber, but...

He tosses it at one of the giant bats! (targets)

"What's with the bats?" he asks offside. What bats!?

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Why do electrocuted crocodiles make Mamoru think of Sailor Moon?

Because right now everything makes him think of Sailor Moon, right! Jaw snapping shut, the tall youth decides to just not-- say anything else. For a while. Because Chao Lingshen just zapped a crocodile (and herself whoops) and then threw it out of the pit. There's really nothing he can say. He gives Haruna a faintly overwhelmed little smile, then follows Lucy again, this time even more cautiously.

Targets. Rocks on the floor. 'Break the targets'. He's already bending to pick up a couple of rocks-- even as Fuu's getting her arrows-- he hears the click and freezes. Cautiously, he looks up. There are holes opening up on the wall. And now they're shooting at the group of intrepid students; he gets the angles very slightly off for a second, and an arrow whizzes nervewrackingly close to his head, going right through his hair before burying itself in the wall. It's almost karma.

"Rocks. There are lots of rocks," he answers Fuu shortly, winging one at a target, and then another, whilst dodging artfully. Not quite artfully enough to avoid getting grazed a couple of times, but artfully enough to avoid serious injury. "And I think Hiroyuki-san is hallucinating."

<Pose Tracker> Maron Kusakabe [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

When Kinzo begins to actually describe Maron as an angel herself, that's less worrisome. Even though by all rights it should be considered more worrisome, since this means something is seriously wrong here. Maron just blinks in confusion, as the conversation rapidly starts making less and less sense. "I... um, are you feeling okay? Did you head your head or something?" All that seemed to have happened was falling into an empty pit... still not quite put two and two together.

Unable to keep from feeling concerned, she doesn't stray too far from Kinzo, paying more attention to him than the targets in the next room. And soon enough, with a "Watch out!", pushing him over, trying to get him behind a large rock and out of the way of the arrow traps, before taking cover behind the same herself.

Finally exasperated, she looks up at the obvious-not-bats, loudly wondering, "Do /those/ things seriously look like bats to you?" Grabbing an arrow that glanced off the rock from the floor, she presents it to Kinzo, continuing, "And I suppose I'm holding a butterfly in my hand now, right?" Who knew this guy would end up being this much of a handful? She'd almost have preferred if he'd really been just a pervert, she not sure what would have been easier to deal with.

More out of frustration than anything else, she zeroes in on one of the 'bats', and throws her 'butterfly' in its direction. Automatically, she starts to yell, "CH--" only to realize wait, not Jeanne, and awkwardly correcting herself, "...Chioptera!" It's amazing what random facts about bats you'll suddenly remember in the heat of the moment.

<Pose Tracker> Kinzo Hiroyuki [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Kinzo Hiroyuki makes a face at Maron and seems confused. "Why, are you secretly an angel? It's okay if it's a secret, I can keep secrets." he insists in a low whispering tone. The Mamoru mentions that he's hallucinating and he looks over to Mamoru, and makes a face.

"Hisae when did you get down here!?" he says at Mamoru. He ahs! "Oh, right, library..." he suddenly says. "Did you get lost in the books earlier or something?" he smiles dumbly at Mamoru. "I'm all ready for the party later. I got you something special~" he smiles. That kind smile. You know the one. Complete with trailing heart. <3. This most certainly will not get incredibly awkward later. Not. at. all.

Not even. A little bit.

He sort of gets grazed by an arrow. "Ah---what's with.. these bees." he asks concernedly.

<Pose Tracker> Lingshen Chao [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Chao, seeing Mamoru's confusion, helpfully asides, "Chinese kenpo is a very powerful art, when you train hard in it! It would take at /least/ two monster crocodiles to take me down that way." She nods, firmly.

And then.... ...break the targets!? Chao rummages around in her pockets, but they are wet and everything's broken because Chao zapped herself and everything on her.

The click, however, makes her turn halfway around, eyes widening. "Trap?" she mutters aloud, and then jerks her head aside from an oncoming arrow. "We haven't even gotten to the stacks yet, though!"

<Pose Tracker> Lucy Iwai [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.
<SoundTracker> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYmm5afaVb4

Fuu's expertly-aimed arrows find their mark, one after another, and so do the rest's slung stones and slung-back arrows. The team makes short work of the targets, each of which shatters with a satisfying breaking glass sound. Once all of them are destroyed, the holes in the wall close down, the rain of arrows stops, and the doors open.

Up next is a smaller room, which luckily doesn't contain the Fighting Polygon Team or anything. Instead, in the middle of it is a strange stone apparatus. A rectangular platform is surrounded by a set of guardrails, and on one side of the rectangle is propped up an enormous stone slab, on which is inscribed a hieroglyph-like series of arrows. On the floor, in the rectangle, are two sets of nine stone tiles, with arrows inscribed on them pointing outwards.

"Ah! I've found something," Lucy pipes up, pointing at a crude drawing in her guidebook that is still recognizable as the large object in front of them. "'The ancient aztec predecessor to DDR,'" she reads out loud, "'it was used to test the synchronicity between two people, as well as their all-important groove quotient. Those deemed worthy would be granted passage into holy sites, while those deemed uncool would be used as human sacrifices.'"

She pauses. "This is credited to a 'Takashi Yamazaki'. Does anyone know them?" She looks around. "I don't recall someone called that being a member of the club."

Either way, it seems two people must stand on the platforms in order to activate it. The moment people step onto the (supposedly) ancient DDR platforms, the room comes alive with multicolored lights projected from ceiling spotlights that somehow fit the "ancient temple" aesthetic but still actually work. There is no actual music, save for the distant-sounding sound of drums providing a beat. The arrow hieroglyphs light up at regular intervals, and the challenge begins! But the question is, which duo(s) will be stepping up to it?

<Pose Tracker> Maron Kusakabe [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Maron is so no longer going into the whole angel thing. In that respect, it was a good thing to learn Kinzo must've hit his head, that means this probably won't be a concern. Last thing she should do is say anything that might reinforce her having anything to do with angels. Besides, the traps were too much of a distraction anyway, she soon forgets about the topic. She can only hope that he will not remember either.

Luckily (?) Kinzo proceeds to go on about... something else instead. Maron looks from Kinzo to Mamoru, going back and forth between the two a few times. Whether she believes that message was delivered to the proper recipient or not, in the end she can only sigh and draw one conclusion, shrugging as she does so: "A pervert, after all."

When the room is cleared and the next room is revealed, Maron spends some time looking around in wonder. It sure all looks old and interesting, but what does it mean? After Lucy explains, she's quick to pipe up, "Not it!" Embarassed about her dancing, or about the synchronisation aspect? She'll never tell.

What she'll do instead is direct attention away from her by pointing the finger at other people, "I propose the guys team up for this. Let's see if they have chemistry." That mischievous grin directed at Mamoru says it all, she's perfectly aware that Kinzo was not talking to him. But she wants to see where this goes anyway. Because it's funny. What other reason do you need?

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

"Predecessor ... to DDR ..."

Fuu would have recovered what arrows she could on the way out of the shooting gallery, and once they've been secured in the quiver, she folds the collapsible bow back up. "I haven't really played DDR much - mostly I watch others, and I haven't done that well ..."

Still, curiosity leads her to set her backpack down and step up onto the 'stage' for a closer look at the slab of arrowglyphs ...

And if that's enough to start the 'game,' she begins doing her best to step on the correct arrows in time with them lighting up.

Tactical memo: she really has NOT played DDR before, and ... it shows.

<Pose Tracker> Haruna Saotome [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

"If there's hallucinogenic material, it really isn't a good sign," Haruna muses aloud. "Maybe it was a mixture of LSD, mixed with DMSO. Chao!! Do you think this area was used - to make [Illegal Drugs]?!?"

And as if on cue, they are presented with a new challenge:


Pursing her lips, Paru puts a finger on her slightly dimply cheek. She looks at Chao then, raising one eyebrow - and then unfastens her pack. This takes a little while - it's a serious hiker's pack - but she echoes Maron's suggestion. "Oooo, me tooo~ Hiroyuki, Chiba, you have to give it a chance!"

<Pose Tracker> Lucy Iwai [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

As Fuu makes her way to the dance pad, Lucy looks around and sees no one else is volunteering, so she joins her as well. After all, they're classmates, library island club members /and/ friends, they should have a good sync, right?

And good sync they have indeed, since they're both TERRIBLE at this. In Lucy's case, she has practice, but one of her problem is putting entirely too much force into her steps, to the point where it might start to worry people that she could break the apparatus. She doesn't, at least, but her movements are sluggish and uncoordinated.

The dance ends, and a booming voice echoes from up high, delivering its verdict.


Never mind lava, electricity or arrows. A voice from heaven just called them uncool!! That's much worse! At least the human sacrifice thing doesn't seem to apply here.

"Who goes next?" Lucy asks, looking downcast.

<Pose Tracker> Kinzo Hiroyuki [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Kinzo Hiroyuki makes a face at Maron. "You're an angel! You should KNOW I'm not a pervert! I've never treated Hisae than anything less than a Gentleman. You know because her mother hasn't killed me yet." he insists. He looks over to Hisae and smiles. "Isn't that right, Hisae?" he asks to Mamoru, who is not at all Hisae.

He ponders. "A--Ah! I'm not very good at dancing!" he says. "But I'll do it if Hisae does it with me." he insists confidently!.....

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

"I was afraid of that," Fuu says wryly as she gets back off of the 'stage'. "At least there's no punishment beyond an ancient ... Aztec ..."

She trails off. "I wasn't aware that the ancient Aztecs spoke Japanese."

<Pose Tracker> Haruna Saotome [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

"Well, Jesus did," Haruna interjects.

<Pose Tracker> Maron Kusakabe [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Watching Lucy and Fuu, Maron is... almost sorry she decided to skip out on this. That was kind of painful. She hasn't played DDR in her life, but she's /got/ to have been better than that. At least she has a good sense of rhythm.

Of course, her actual words are more supportive: "D-don't take it so hard, what does that voice know? /I/ thought you were cool." It's kind of scary how easy she can tell straight-faced lies with a genuine smile.

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"Wh--" starts Mamoru, blinking at Kinzo, then ... staring at Kinzo. For just a moment. The arrows have stopped, so it's a good moment to do so. "Maybe the pit he fell in was under a hallucinogenic spell. Or spores. Lots of spores," he suggests, finally tearing his eyes away and stepping firmly ahead. Open doors! Maybe the next room will make the other guy stop... seeing things...

He looks suitably nonplussed at Lucy's explanation. "Ancient Aztec DDR in Tokyo," he states flatly. "I--" He shoots Maron a dirty look, then extends a hand to Haruna. "You're terrible. Jesus spoke Aramaic. Let's dance. I'm sure Hiroyuki-san will survive the broken heart. I'm not sure he'd survive the embarrassment."

<Pose Tracker> Lingshen Chao [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Chao idly pulls a little whizmo out of her pocket, which emits a nice warmth. This appears to serve no purpose but to limit her soakedness to within Regular Animation Error limitations. "It'd be one hell of a lab space," Chao muses of Haruna's query. "But people use these shortcuts all the time, it'd be a pretty rotten place to hide something, right?"

She hears the explanation, and then glances at Haruna for a second, and then a little smirk hits her face. "That zap broke my electromagnetic groove amplifier," she says, lackadaisically. "Guess I should've shielded it better!" She shrugs off her soggy lab coat and then switches off her auto-dryer. "So we'll have to do this natural style, Paru! Think you're up for it?"

<Pose Tracker> Haruna Saotome [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Haruna is already putting on a pair of slide on slippers she kept in her pack, her clumpy hiking boots set to the wayside. When she's called terrible, she claps her hands to her cheeks, eyes sparkling again...!

Then, to Chao, she advises, "The hallucinating are super suggestible." Off goes her jacket, revealing a shirt declaring her allegiance to Jamiroquai. "If you act like Musumi he'll probably fall for it. I think... that means you have to act like... you're in the next year!"

Adjusting her glasses, she skips ahead merrily, getting up on the dance floor. "Then, Chiba, even if you're renouncing his love..." One hand slams into the air, Saturday Night Fever style. "Let's go!!"

Haruna has no shame. This is to her favor.

Her rhythm... is OK!!

Much like Yomu, she's stretchy and flexible, and for the exact same reason!!

However, she is not in very good shape. She's looking decidedly wobbly and sweaty before too long, even if a crazed look in her eyes implies she may have to be stopped before she dances her feet all the way off. "Hoo! Waah--~!!"

<Pose Tracker> Kinzo Hiroyuki [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Kinzo Hiroyuki eyes go wide. "Wha!?" he asks, all in despair, complete with those anime 'dark sadness lines' across his face as it's held down. -,-;;.

"Ah--how could you say such a thing!" he says again looking up. Yeah he's completely dejected right now. Also.

He's going to need to apologize to Mamoru, later for this..

If he won't run away from the next room he walks into ever again.

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

Chiba can't help laughing at Haruna's reaction to being called terrible; all of a sudden he's grinning again. Because...

...well, because Usagi calls him terrible, and he thoroughly enjoys the accusation, too.


Taking the spot opposite Haruna on the squares, Mamoru thoroughly ignores Kinzo's deep despairing darkness of degenerative dejectedness and, in sync with Haruna's disco pose, does a passable sentai pose!

And then the drums are going, and the Ohtori guy keeps half an eye on what she's doing and the rest of his sudden intense focus on where the arrows are pointing. One misstep--

--but then he's got it, and instead of precisely following the directives, he's somehow managing to precisely match Haruna. Including any mistakes she may make. It's only where his feet go, though; he doesn't seem to be approaching it as a groove, but as a trigonometry exam. Whether or not this works is anybody's guess.

<Pose Tracker> Lingshen Chao [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Chao isn't totally sure what Haruna's on about by the end of that, so maybe she's the one hallucinating. "That /is/ true," she decides, at least on the first part. She stands bac while Mamoru and Haruna go at it, and then pads back over to where she left her labcoat, and pulls out A) A screwdriver (?), and B) A Widget.

She sits there tinkering with a brick-sized piece of metal she apparently just sort of /had/ in her pocket the entire time, and only looks up when the match is done. She looks over at Kinzo, who is apparently sulking, and then shrugs. "Alright! A scientist is never unprepared! Go: GROOVE ROBO!!"

She hurls the brick at the second pad once it's cleared, and it unfurls into a robot spider. With dancing shoes. After a few stretches of her own, Chao bounds onto the pads as well!

Chao has like zero practical dance skill, but she has a lot of physical strength, endurance, and agility, which can make up for a lot. Rhythm: Acceptable.

Groove robo's groove rating: INCALCULABLE.

<Pose Tracker> Lucy Iwai [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Haruna and Mamoru's dance ends. Though they made some mistakes, at least they were the /same/ mistakes, and it's clear that they did much better than Fuu and Lucy did. There's a tense moment of silence, and then the voice booms again:


And then... Nothing in particular happens. It's all very anticlimactic, but also a bit alarming: With whatever is judging these dances so demanding, does that mean no one here has the combination of skill and synchronicity required to succeed here?

But then, enter Chao and her backup plan. Some might call it cheating, but with Maron sitting it out and Kinzo lost in a spiral of despair, it's pretty much the last resort the group has. GROOVY ROBO!! is deployed, and the two dance like they've never danced before. The score is calculated, and...


The sound of roaring applause resounds through the room, coming from seemingly nowhere in particular, though at the very least Lucy is also clapping. When Chao and the robot step down, the lights go dark, and the double doors open with a rumbling sound.

As they step through, the group is showered with... confetti? Lucy peers into the guidebook once more. "Confetti means we've reached the end. Good job, everyone! The doors we unlocked will remain open all year, and this should shave a few hours off the upperclassmen's expeditions into the deeper areas." Or possibly the current group's own, even.

Behind the doors is not another room, but instead a spectacular vista of what must be an entire wing of the library, with bookcases stacked up hundred of feet high to form what looks like a strange, miniature city, with skyscrapers, an elevated train and even a small park area. There's still so much to explore!

The group's guide stops to marvel at the view, wide-eyed, then looks into her guide book. "Hm. We can't go back the way we came," since most of the carts fell into lava and all, "but we've got two quick options to get back up to the surface. They both seem safe enough, so we can split up there." She walks on the narrow path (which is actually the top of more bookcases) through the route she's been given, then stops in a wider area.

"The first," she points out, "is to climb this ladder." I-It's really, REALLY long. No matter how high one cranes their neck, past a certain point it vanishes into the darkness. At the very least it should be very straightforward, and it appears to have areas one can rest at.

"The second is... more mine carts!" Lucy chirps excitedly, already sitting in the front cart. Those who are going with her, either because they prefer that option or don't want to bother with the ladder, should jump in fast, because it's already starting to roll forward...!

<Pose Tracker> Fuu Hououji [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

A spectacularly bleak look crosses Fuu's face at the mention of mine carts as an option to return to the surface.

"I ... believe I'll be availing myself of the ladder option; it hasn't gotten that late yet," she says, smiling and sweatdropping. "Let me know how it was at the other end, though, if any of you wait around for the year to catch up ..."

<Pose Tracker> Kinzo Hiroyuki [Infinity Institute (11)] has posed.

Kinzo Hiroyuki walks out into the beautiful vista of the library in awwwwwweeee.....



He looks around. "Where'd the angel girl go..." he pauses. "and Hisae....." he pauses again.

He seems ultimately confused.

"....My head hurts. What the hell happend?" he asks, apparently, back to normal now as he looks at the group, scratching his head a bit, as he blinks.

<Pose Tracker> Mamoru Chiba [Ohtori Academy (11)] has posed.

"..." goes Mamoru, staring in wide-eyed silence at the heartbreakingly gorgeous view spread out before him. He actually goes so far as to put a hand to his chest, breath catching.

He doesn't move as Lucy begins to walk; he doesn't move as she explains the routes out. "I'm taking option three," the black-haired eleventh-grader says reverently. His voice slows and trails off for the rest of it. "Ladder later. Maybe tomorrow... or next week... I think I put some snack bars in my pack..."

And then-- then-- he climbs down the shelves and wanders off into the stacks, possibly never to be seen again. Hopefully Sailor Moon doesn't get in trouble.

<Pose Tracker> Maron Kusakabe [Juuban Public School (10)] has posed.

Maron has only the most innocent of smiles for Mamoru. She didn't do anything, nothing at all. Behind that smile, she's already plotting his downfall the next opportunity she gets. Ruin her fun, will you? One day, revenge will be hers!

Providing her childish streak can overcome her selective memory, anyway. She seems to have already completely forgotten about poor Kinzo, leaving him to his despair while she watched the others dance. Of which she'll probably only end up remembering the robot, because seriously, that really was something else.

There isn't much time for her to really admire the view, because as for the way out... oh you /know/ Maron's gonna pick the mine carts again. With a quick sprint, she makes it to the cart right behind Lucy. A grand conclusion to a satisfying adventure, or as she puts it, "This is the best reward ever!"

<Pose Tracker> Lingshen Chao [Infinity Institute (8)] has posed.

Chao pads over, with the careful breath of a trained martial artist, to collect her lab coat and the handful of parts she apparently discarded while hastily repurposing GROOVE ROBO. She starts putting things back in pockets, even as she smiles broadly at her own success. She does not collect Groove Robo. Its groove will shine the light in their darkest hour.

She looks around as they walk through the exposed library/dungeon, marveling. "Just...beautiful," she sighs. "So much knowledge in here! Can you imagine?" She looks over as Mamoru and possibly also Fuu are overtaken by the siren's song of KNOWLEDGE, and then glances at Haruna. "I think that means we need a rescue party for them later. I think..." She considers. Man. She's /right here/. She could...she could sneak in. And learn almost anything. She could...

"Ow!" Chao yelps, and looks down at the unblinking red optics of Groove Robo, staring at her with unholy intent.

"... ...oh no," she breathes. "Its groove power...it was too much!!"

Chao is subsequently chased to the mine carts by a two-foot-tall dancing spider robot.