2014-06-21 - It Doesn't Matter Who Gets The Credit

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Title: It Doesn't Matter Who Gets The Credit

In the Dark Kingdom, court is not yet in session. Petitioners seeking an audience with Beryl or the Shitennou must wait. Fate Testarossa is good at waiting. Westar is not.


Fate Testarossa, Westar


Dark Kingdom

OOC - IC Date:

1 February 2014 - 6/21/14

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [None] has posed.

Giant Demonic Figurehead.

It looked a great deal like an Earthen anglerfish, but in a way it was almost hypnotic. Fate wondered if itself was magical, or if it was simply a statue. She wasn't bold enough to even think of trying to scan Queen Beryl's throne and find out the answer. Her court was still not in session, leaving the chamber of umbral stonework empty save for herself and a few scattered youma deep in conversation. She looked entirely out of place here, a diminutive girl with blonde twintails, armored in her barrier jacket, and holding Bardiche upright, with his butt against the ground, the cloak upon her shoulders entirely still in the stagnant air. His golden 'eye' upon the polearm head gleamed intermittently, showing his true vigilance as he watched the other youma in the room.

Entirely silent, she stood there waiting for court to come into session, as she didn't dare leave the Dark Kingdom without fulfilling her mother's orders first. It just was not, going, to happen.


She might be here for a while.

<Pose Tracker> Westar [None] has posed.

This is a curious place for the one known as Westar. Mint-green hair, white cape, black and gold outfit - Labyrinth's executive is in his combat-ready state for this trip, as Soular and Eas instructed him to be. Officially, he is in the Dark Kingdom on business - to speak with some of the other generals, and discuss exchanging information on their shared enemies. This doubles as a chance to introduce himself as an emissary of Mobius-sama. However, Beryl's court being what it is, there could be some waiting involved.

In short, this could be a waste of time, and Labyrinth is sending the one whose time is least valuable. This would chafe more, but Westar is finding the trip interesting so far. The Dark Kingdom is similar to Labyrinth in some ways, and different in others - most notably, seeing youma actually socializing. That happened on Earth, too, to larger degree - perhaps this is merely closer to Mobius-sama's perfection than the world of humans?

A hard gaze takes in those groups, the strange statues - seriously, did the sculptor not understand what a straight line was - and finally, the blond-haired girl observing one statue. Not likely to be one of those opposing Dark Fall, or she wouldn't go unattacked - so, perhaps one of Beryl's generals? Maybe this is a chance to get this mission out of the way, and report success to Eas and Soular!

Heavy boots fall upon the ground - Westar is not even trying to be stealthy in his approach. He looms, towering over the person before him, and his voice is strong when he speaks. "I am Westar, executive of Labyrinth. Who might you be?"

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [None] has posed.

As Westar approaches, he might get the sense that his approach is being watched. A violet eye appears within the golden orb upon Bardiche, focusing on him. He pings, wordlessly, alerting the girl as she turns upon her own booted feet to face him. He is an imposing figure, isn't he? Fate doesn't appear to have any reaction whatsoever, her expression is calm, and carefully controlled, but her eyes as always are scarlet orbs, filled with morose yearning for.. what?

As he speaks, the edges of her gaze harden. She intones neutrally, "Another servant of Lord Mobius, like the silver-haired man. Did you just happen to 'drop by' to pay your respects to Beryl Sama like he did?" It's obvious that she wasn't used to honorifics, the way she seperates that out, but she speaks near flawless Japanese otherwise. "I am Fate Testarossa, of the Garden of Time."

<Pose Tracker> Westar [None] has posed.

The gaze of Westar turns to that golden orb, staring it down for a moment. Intelligent weapon, perhaps - related to that talking sword, or completely different? Noteworthy, but a weapon is little without its wielder. In spite of her youth, this girl would not be here if she did not have some power - so he will take her seriously. Golden eyes meet yearning scarlet ones, judging that hardening gaze.

Westar's expression of neutrality breaks, and incredulity is plain. "Soular was already here?! Then why would he send me-" Right. Serious mission. Westar clears his throat, and starts again. "Garden of Time...then you're not one of this Queen Beryl's generals. Che, where am I supposed to find them, I just need to make formal introductions or whatever..."

Westar folds his arms as he grumbles. Formality may not be his strong suit.

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [None] has posed.

There's startlement there, in her eyes. It's at the sharp contrast between the calculated and sometimes petty cruelty of Soular with the man that stood before her. She's silent for a while, Bardiche apparently judges Westar back, silently, before his eye wandered to other, nearby Youma. Did that mean that he had judged him not to be a threat? Unlikely, because he was powerful. Perhaps instead he thought of him as less likely to be aggressive against his mistress instead. What she utters next takes on only the faintest hint of sadness, "It would stand to reason that he does not think well of you. I don't think he thinks well of many people besides his master."

Fate finally replies to his other question, "I am not. I'm the daughter of Precia Testarossa, who built the Garden of Time. I imagine the Shitennou are elsewhere currently, on missions of their own. It is likely that they return to the court once it is called into session. If you'd like to catch them, then you'll probably have to wait here."

She doesn't actually say whether she thinks of this as a pleasant prospect or not.. because, well, she doesn't yet know what to think of the man.

<Pose Tracker> Westar [None] has posed.

Westar's eyes harden at the girl's take on Soular - but then he looks away. "Che. He probably decided waiting around here wasn't worth his time, so he's making me do it while Eas has all the fun." He turns, walking a few paces to the left, getting a better view of the status they stand beneath, before finally turning back to this Fate girl.

"That's helpful. I'm guessing you're stuck waiting around too, then?" He looks around, but the courtroom is clear. Not even a loose rock to use as a makeshift weight to lift, youma are terrible conversationalists, this is going to rapidly get boring. "Well, you're not one of the- Shitennou, right? - but maybe you can help me anyway. Are you an errand girl, or do you actually go out on missions?"

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [None] has posed.

Fate watches him as he trails back and forth, he's obviously a restless sort, while Fate by nature was extremely patient. There was a lot she could endure, and waiting around while the man spoke to her hadn't been really unpleasant so far. As he turns back to her, she asks with no hint of judgement, "Does he do this sort of thing to you often?"

She dips her head forward, her twin tails bobbing as she does so. "Yes." The comment errand girl, brings an 'mmph' out of her mouth, as if the word itself was painful to her, but her next statement held no sharp edges to it as if she were angry at him for the implication. "I go out on missions for my mother, to retrieve Lost Logia. They've all landed around a place known as Tokyo. Why do you ask?"

<Pose Tracker> Westar [None] has posed.

Westar is someone who needs to be in motion. A very kinetic person. So he paces every so often, trying to get a feel for this not-Labyrinth place. "Soular is - well, if you've met him, you can guess. Good at tactics, but..." Sometimes, it's like Soular is just trying to mock him. But maybe that's his way of giving advice? Rather than dwell on that any further, Westar turns back to Fate to consider his official mission.

No offense was intended by his statement - it was just an earnest question. Either she's just someone to be sent on errands, or she's competent but sent on errands like he is - and so Westar grins. There's a hint of savagery to it, but he seems genuinely pleased to have found a kindred spirit. "Right - so, you're just stuck on a mission to wait here. My mission is to exchange information on those in Tokyo who oppose Dark Fall - if we know our enemies, we can prepare to fight them better!"

Westar folds his arms - the grin's faded to a simple satisfied expression. Fate isn't one of the Shitennou, but someone who does missions has to have faced opposition, right?

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [None] has posed.

Fate on the other hand, when she's not in battle, is quite static and patient, only her eyes follow Westar around as he paces. "He manipulates people with cold, calculating efficiency. I imagine that is an admirable trait in your master's goal of creating sorrow and misery." There's nothing to indicate whether she thinks that is a positive or a negative, but if anything, Fate is perhaps the least manipulative person out there. Everything she needs, she takes by force, not even bothering to learn details by which to entrap people, or to manipulate them. She still doesn't even know her rival's name.

At Westar's pleased grin, she begins to suspect that perhaps he might be manipulating her, except.. that he seems entirely guileless, the contrast between Westar and the other one that he named.. Soular, continues to puzzle her. Perhaps Westar was secretly some brilliant mastermind? The thought disturbs her even as she lifts her gaze to meet his eyes. "What sort of information would you like to know? I'm most familiar with the mages of Tokyo, particularly those of the Midchildan school, but I wouldn't mind trading information."

<Pose Tracker> Westar [None] has posed.

Westar is active. Patience is certainly not his strong suit, nor is subtlety. Fate's statement he considers a moment, before finally nodding. "Mobius-sama prizes efficiency, true - and Soular is efficient in all his tasks." Westar, on the other hand, was always the enthusiastic one. And the direct one. He paces again, because patience and subtletly are not among his strengths.

Finally, the large man stops pacing, and meets Fate's gaze directly. "So far, my monsters have only encountered Pretty Cure - as a rule, warriors who fight physically with some purifying magic. Some have elemental abilities, though. I did encounter one fighter who had a talking sword, though - is that one of these 'Midchildan' mages, or some other kind?" A serious expression turns to a smirk. "Once I've finished meeting with the Shitennou, I plan to send out a Nakewameke, and see who shows up to oppose it."

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [None] has posed.

"Does Lord Mobius prize you?" The question leaves her lips before she even thinks it over. It has a child's naivete to it, and an almost heartbreaking sense of hopeful longing for affirmation. Of course her mother prizes her, but she never shows it, because she's just so busy. And even though she knows that she loves her, she wants to hear it so badly. Again, and again, and again. She wants to see her smile. So perhaps, in the thought of this master which they all valued and praised so highly, she's receiving that vicariously through Westar, just that continued hope.

She still moves on quickly enough, speaking almost analytically. "I can't tell you much about purifying magic or the Pretty Cure. I don't wield the power of darkness, thus I'm not vulnerable to it's effects. How does creating Nakewameke work? Perhaps what you could do, is find a means to shield them from purifying magic with powerful barriers and defensive magic. Another possibility...." Fate considers this for a while, "...is a diversion. Midchildan barriers phase out people who do not have supernatural awareness into a dimension partially out of synch. You could have someone draw the Pretty Cure there against someone less vulnerable to their magic, have the barrier erected, then create sorrow and misery without interference."

Why is she telling him this? She certainly doesn't like the idea of causing sorrow and misery to people. However for some reason, she can't explain, she empathizes with Westar, as if she almost wanted him to succeed, no matter what the goal might be. "As for the talking sword, possibly. Bardiche, please introduce yourself." Text flashes across the golden orb, as Bardiche suavely intones, <YES SIR. GREETINGS.> Fate continues speaking, "If the sword spoke like that, then it was almost certainly a Midchildan intelligent device."

<Pose Tracker> Westar [None] has posed.

Does Mobius-sama prize Westar? Westar's response gets as much thought as the question did. "Of course! I am an executive of Labyrinth, honoured among its citizens to act in his name." He could be replaced. His life, like that of any citizen of Labyrinth, is entirely for Mobius-sama. Is he someone in a position to be envied? Of course - being specially chosen among thousands - even millions of citizens to be the one known as Westar is an honour.

But there are tactics to discuss - and Westar finds himself listening earnestly to Fate's suggestion, nodding in agreement at her suggestions. It really is different, being given advice without being told he's a fool. "Hmm. I like that idea - but I want to figure out how much opposition there is, first. The Nakewameke are servants we can create from anything. So first, loud monsters to attract the heroes, so I can figure out how they fight."

His pleased expression turns savage. "And then, we can close the trap. Draw the Pretty Cure, and anyone else with similar abilities, into that barrier - and pit them against warriors who know how they fight." He nods. "That's a great idea, Testarossa!"

And then the halberd talks to him. Mobius-sama's goals include fairy kingdoms, so this is not all that surprising. Westar gives the intelligent device a nod. "Nice meeting you, Bardiche! And yeah, the girl never introduced herself, but her sword talked a lot like that."

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [None] has posed.

For some reason, waves of relief just move through her body, as if Fate's blood had momentarily chilled, then started to warm and flow again. She'd received the affirmation she needed, of course her mother would do the same to her one day! She'd never even doubted that! Thanks Westar, you were so helpful without even knowing it! "The other one, Soular, mentioned you came from another world that is quite advanced. Where is it?" She asks inquisitively, as she hadn't heard of many worlds which were as advanced as Midchilda, and definitely none which were ruled by a Mobius or a Labyrinth!

Whatever Fate might be, she's definitely not insulting, and even if so far the 'brilliant mastermind' theory is getting slowly disproven in her mind, she still doesn't think ill of Westar's intelligence. "Opposition can typically be fierce, that's why my familiar Arf often uses barriers to help support me so that I can control the battlefield. I'm usually more than a match for any one of the Magical Girls, but in full force I can be overwhelmed. It also allows me to make full use of my aerial advantages." Fate looks at him strangely as he reports his variant on the barrier plan, but she says nothing yet to contradict him, after all knowing your enemy's weaknesses is important. "You still didn't tell me how your Nakewameke fight. How are they created? How much control do you have over them and their abilities?"

His politeness to Bardiche does take her a little off guard. Bardiche seems pleased too, as he immediately responds, <LIKEWISE WESTAR.> Not many people treated intelligent devices as better than 'powerful tools' despite their degree of sentience. "I believe I've fought her, and defeated her before. She's an aerial close combat mage, but lacks experience. There are others who are more dangerous but haven't yet mastered flight spells. A girl named Magical Cheeseburger Propane Chan, and another who is a TSAB agent, which is interdimensional law enforcement. Then there is this frustrating girl who is an aerial ranged mage. Be careful around her, she is inexperienced but very powerful. None of them have purifying magic which they can bring to bear against your Nakewameke, as far as I am aware."

<Pose Tracker> Westar [None] has posed.

Where is Labyrinth? Westar's good cheer dims, and confusion is plain on his face. "Uh...Soular usually handles the portal, so I'm not sure I can answer that well. I think, by your terms, Labyrinth is its own realm - a more developed city than this Tokyo place, where Mobius-sama decides everything." Confusion has turned to awkward pride.

This Fate Testarossa is helpful, thought and enough of a strategist to be a good ally. "I know what you mean - it's easy enough to fight one or two of the Pretty Cure, but they and their allies have a nasty habit of teaming up. Honestly, if we just worked together against them..." Westar shakes his head. "My Nakewameke - what they are and can do is partly what they're made from, and partly my decision. They follow my orders, but act on their own beyond that - but I usually stay close, to give advice and to watch the fight." A brief flash of that grin - battle is a joy to be had.

If the halberd can talk, it's worth talking to. After all, Westar's monsters talk - somewhat - and he talks to them. "Close combat specialist, that's the one. She has a few ranged attacks, but she prefers to be up close - kind of like the Pretty Cures she was working with. I'll watch out for those three, though - thanks for the tip." He thinks for a moment - fair's fair. "As for the Pretty Cure - I've fought three, and Eas has encountered a few more. Cures White and Black we were warned about when we arrived, others would be able to tell you more. Cure Peach tends to go with physical brawling first, her main ranged attack is one of those purifying effects. And Cures Beauty and Peace are elementalists - the former making swords out of ice, the latter just using lightning on its own. Generally, keep your distance if you can."

And then Westar outright grins. "There, that's information on three enemies apiece. Hopefully that might help you on your next mission!"

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [None] has posed.

Portals rather than teleportation magic. Fate notes that. She also notes not to pry too deeply with Soular on the nature of this magic. Still.. if their civilization were sufficiently advanced, perhaps her mother might like to know about it? They may soon to be to the point of becoming so advanced that they might collapse and destroy themselves. Sufficiently powerful artifacts might become new Lost Logia..

On the next point, she inquires, with a note of sorrow, "Do your allies not like working with you?" Fate can understand stubborn pride, when it comes to working on her own but.. she still had Arf, and Arf had her. The two were partners in battle. Bardiche she counted as a partner as well.. when she remembers to. "Why don't you just work together? Is there something about your magic that doesn't allow it?" She also notes that Westar must really enjoy battle. Fate actually took pride in being good with magic in a fight, less so actually harming people.. but if they got in her way? She could hardly be responsible for the consequences, right?

As he speaks on each of them, Fate thinks on each of them. "I'll need more information on White and Black. For Cure Peach I would attempt to use ranged attacks at first to wear her down and believe I'm incapable of fighting well at close range to draw her in close then flank her with my manueverability and speed, dismantling her from her blind spot."

That is exactly what Linith taught her, at least, on how to deal with such foes. "Cure Beauty I would do much the same. If her ice is ionized enough then I would take advantage of its conductivity. And Cure Peace?" There's a long, almost pregnant pause, before she states softly, "I'm not worried about Cure Peace." While she's not immune to lightning, she has a certain.. affinity to it, that she thinks would give her a distinct advantage.

<Pose Tracker> Westar [None] has posed.

Where technical questions are concerned, the right Labyrinth member to ask is 'not Westar'. As for his allies... "They're more effective than I am." Abruptly, Westar takes a seat at the statue's base. "Somehow they figured out something I didn't, and neither of them ever want to explain - just go off and do their own thing. Even though I told them that we're outnumbered, they'd rather just go it alone. Prove to Mobius-sama who the most effective one is, maybe." He turns to Fate, then to Bardiche directly. "I mean, if the mission gets done, it doesn't matter who gets the credit. You understand, right, Bardiche?"

Westar considers the opposition that Fate has warned him about. "A lot of the enemy seem to have more power than skill, and count on that to carry the day. I can handle any who try close combat - my Nakewameke tend to pack a powerful punch, and Cure Peach at least is easy to bait into a charge." He grins, briefly, and considers. "Ranged combatants...I should make sure that my Nakewameke have some way to close the distance in a hurry. While testing the enemy's abilities is all well and good, victory is always better."

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [None] has posed.

As Westar sits down, Fate turns to face him again completely. Even seated, he still comes above the diminutive younger girl's waist, so while she looks down at him to continue the conversation, she doesn't have to look far. Bardiche replies first, <YES SIR. SOMETIMES PEOPLE FORGET THAT.>

Fate however, contradicts Bardiche only a little, as she looks sidelong at her polearm. "It is understandable that people would want the credit Bardiche." Fate replies in a voice that's soft, but resolute. She wanted the credit after all for the Jewel Seeds from her mother! But.. it wasn't like anyone was competing for her mother's favor besides her anyhow. "However, credit can be shared, as you both say. I understand why they would want to do that, to prove their strength. I'm strong after all, but I understand my limits. I'm recruiting help for my own aims after all just because the opposition is so fierce. Is there nothing you can do to convince them on the wisdom of working with you?"

Fate actually crouches down a little, to his eye level, balancing Bardiche still in his upright position. "Here's a question for you. Does it take magical power to keep your Nakewameke under control? You make it sound like you're commanding them from afar, but can you not enter the fray at an ideal moment to support them? Or an alternative is to bait the Pretty Cure into charging 'you', for your Nakewameke to flank them. Power is one thing, but when balanced by skill and tactics.. you can bring yourself to the next level." Perhaps Fate doesn't yet understand how she fights on a level far above most mages, from her strong desire to make her mother smile, as she still believes her superior skill, experience, and tactics will always allow her to win out over her rival.

<Pose Tracker> Westar [None] has posed.

Bardiche and Fate both have Westar's back on this one. Is this what 'teamwork' feels like? There really are benefits to working with Dark Fall, aren't there? "If they want the credit, they can have it - I just want some way to do my part, besides being made to stay back and be quiet." The mention of Fate's aims sparks something, though - and impulsively, Westar turns from Bardiche to Fate. "So what kind of help are you looking for? Maybe I can help."

Oh hey, she's at eye level. He blinks awkwardly, and considers the question. "It's complicated - there's the whole Misery Energy gathering, which I do have to focus on. But that's a good idea - staying hands off is more Soular's thing, anyway." Discontent turns back to consideration - group tactics with his monster might be doable. Even if he's focused on the Data Diamond, he might be able to lend a hand here and there... Westar nods. "I'll keep that in mind! Though maybe I should try being subtle, and save that as a surprise for our enemies."

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [None] has posed.

Fate feels a pang in her chest as Westar speaks about doing his part. He doesn't even care about the credit!? How different is that from the average individual in Dark Fall! Surprisingly, Bardiche is the one who answers first. Though it's not any more than what she has already said. <WE ARE SEEKING LOST LOGIA IN TOKYO.> She continues, "What we seek are called Jewel Seeds. They can fulfill the wish of the user. The more one has, the greater the wish that can be fulfilled. I..." There's a pause, and for a moment emotion does show on Fate's expression. It is equal parts sorrow, and naive stubborn resolve, "...I want to grant my mother's wish, whatever it might be."

It takes her a while to recompose her expression after that, her eyes moist, but there are no real tears, not a single one. "Subtlety might work, it's not something I'm personally accustomed to. Whenever a Jewel Seed activates, it's like a beacon. In order for me to win it, I have to be fast, and defeat all obstacles as quickly as possible. There's no time to bait a trap. In your case... you're trying to create sorrow, aren't you?"

Fate thinks on the matter for some time, this is a kind of magic she's not familiar with, and while she's clever, she's still only nine years old, so she can't think of something extremely specific, still.. "You rely a lot on strength, and that's good in battle, but to maximize effectiveness it seems like you need to create as much sorrow before the battle ever occurs. Once a Pretty Cure arrives, then your Nakewameke won't be able to spread as much sorrow and misery any longer, correct? They're occupied with the Pretty Cure. Is there any object that could, for example.. project it's image all over the city? Illusions which terrorize, and will keep the Pretty Cure guessing which one is the right one?" And while Fate doesn't say it, illusions will kind of..at least minimize the number of people from actually getting hurt.

<Pose Tracker> Westar [None] has posed.

If Soular were here, he'd look at that earnest desire to make a wish come true, and find some way to sabotage it. If Eas were here, she'd ignore it because it wasn't relevant to serving Mobius-sama. But this is neither of them - this is Westar. "I see. Well, if you have a way to let me know, I can help distract anyone who's trying to stop you."

There's a few reasons for Westar to make the offer. A chance to see more enemies in action. A chance to get in a fight. Or even just opposing someone trying to claim a jewel seed, and causing misery that way. But in honesty, the reason is as simple as Westar himself - to help someone who's helped him in turn.

Fate's idea is...definitely intriguing. "Decoys, eh? Hmm..." Abruptly, Westar stands up from his seat, punching the air. "That works! Okay, I just need to figure out what to transform - maybe I can do some scouting in Tokyo. Thanks for the idea, Testarossa!" The question remains just what Westar can find in Tokyo to work with, but surely there's going to be something, right?

<Pose Tracker> Fate Testarossa [None] has posed.

He's offering his help... freely. Bardiche again speaks first, appreciative that someone offered to help his mistress. <THANK YOU.> Fate actually stands in dumbfounded shock, that unlike the rest of Dark Fall he wasn't bargaining a favor for a favor. It takes her a while for her lips to move, and when she does, she actually sounds just like an appreciative child. There's even a hint of delight, "I.. thank you so much!" Something in the back of her mind wonders if he's taking advantage of her in some way, but she pushes those thoughts aside, for now.

As Westar stands though, and actually seems like he's about to depart, she inquires, "Didn't you say you were going to wait for the Shitennou?" Suddenly the thought of losing his company for the remainder of her own wait.. seems like a shame.

<Pose Tracker> Westar [None] has posed.

His mission? Westar turns back to Fate and Bardiche, and gives them a serious look. "Well, I've kind of done what I set out to do. Soular told me to come here, find one of the generals, and exchange information on our enemies. Try to make alliances, if possible." He nods to the mage and weapon pair. "I think you're just as good as a general."

And with that line, the executive of Labyrinth turns to depart, cape billowing with each step. Back to Earth, and then to explore Tokyo once more.