no_dont_go: (no...)
no_dont_go ([personal profile] no_dont_go) wrote in [community profile] damned_institute2013-09-19 04:56 pm
Entry tags:

Night 72: Basement, The Sphinx's Chamber

[from here]

This room was much smaller than the one they had visited the night before. It also was not so bright, but there was one thing that stood out--a giant creature that very well could be a Shadow had it worn a mask of the higher arcana. As it was, Aigis felt her breath leave her in a quick gasp. Could they really fight such a beast after having already fought off the enemy from before?

She could call on Athena but... no, after all she had done that night, she feared she could not rely on her Persona again. She was much too fatigued.

What were they going to do?
sixth_attack: (Let the battle begin)

[personal profile] sixth_attack 2013-09-20 10:10 pm (UTC)(link)
Sechs wearily grinned to himself as he followed Aigis through the next door, elated by his first success in first aid (at least that was what he thought...) and Aigis' warm gratitude. They may have suffered a bloody round of pummeling earlier, but Sechs was beginning to feel some of his confidence return. He felt just about ready to face anything Landel had next to throw at them--

--That was, until he got a good look at the room they had just entered.

As though made to outdo the elaborate grand ballroom, this new place appeared to be a sacred temple chamber of overwhelming riches and stature! The gold was an extreme contrast to the dark hallways Sechs and Aigis had just been staggering through; such unforeseen brightness and warmth burned his eyes for a moment, causing him to blink furiously. The room was dry and stifling as well, another set of elements Sechs had not expected to feel when so deep underground. This couldn't have been the way to that subterranean lake Sora mentioned. Maybe they should turn back --

And then he saw it.

A creature of majestic form and prowess was seated before them on a pedestal that looked more than enough for the highest of royalty. Even the golden beast itself had an illustrious visage to it, but the eyes were the crowning jewel to its features. Its piercing eyes blazed with sharp intellect, enough to leave Sechs feeling as though his entire being was being scanned through by its unnerving gaze.

It seemed far too intelligent and stately to be just the average monster that mindlessly hunted and killed, but seeing those deadly claws and the unmistakable contours of powerful muscles beneath its bronze hide told Sechs that it wasn't there just to look pretty. A sudden shiver, mixed with both trepidation and excitement, rattled throughout the Replica's entire body. Was this to be another fight they needed to win?

Sechs' felt his bare hand twinge, as though reminding him that he still wasn't in the best shape for combat. He flexed his bruised hand, finding his fingers were still too stiff for his usual double bladed stance. Despite this, Sechs reached for his axe and shifted his footing, ready to spring into motion at the slightest sign of danger. He glanced at Aigis, realizing that she was disadvantaged as he was. She didn't seem to know what to do either...

No one moved. Surprisingly, the creature hadn't attacked yet. Nor was it chastising the two androids for not being in their rooms. Sechs had a hunch that the beast was no ordinary enemy. He even wondered if it could be a potential ally. If the basement was its only residence, perhaps the creature would know precious secrets which he and Aigis were searching for? By then the silence of the temple was getting too heavy for Sechs' battle-charged nerves. Someone had to make the first move now and he preferred that it was him rather than the intimidating creature before them.

"Alright, how 'bout we get ourselves acquainted here a little bit, huh?" he addressed the creature with a roguish toss of his head. "Are you here to fight or are you here for something else? I'm up for either one of those options!"
damned_monsters: (sphinx)

[personal profile] damned_monsters 2013-09-24 04:24 am (UTC)(link)
The moment that the doors swung open, the sphinx was prepared for a certain pair of intrepid patients to walk through. Gabriel had promised he would come back with something to keep him entertained during these long days and nights, and yet it wasn't him or Skulduggery who stepped across the threshold.

Instead, he faced two strangers, and the sphinx remained silent and still, waiting to see what they would do. He supposed he couldn't blame them for going on the defensive immediately, considering the fact that everything else in this place would attack them without a second's warning.

But that was not the case here.

He did break out into a low, rumbling laugh, showing off all of his fangs in the process, as soon as he watched the injured humans make a bold attempt to get battle ready.

"Eager, are you? I wouldn't jump to fight so soon. You might be better off taking on a challenge of the mind..." Unless these two would break a record and be the one group that chose to fight, instead of solve.
sixth_attack: (Smirk)

[personal profile] sixth_attack 2013-10-03 11:44 pm (UTC)(link)
[REAL sorry for how late this is! orz]

The creature's booming laugh sent Sechs' nerves bristling with combative vehemence, visibly impressed by the sharpness of those exposed fangs. Sechs' wary composure relaxed into a more confident stance, responding to the beast's formidable jaws with a toothy grin of his own. Despite the danger of fighting such a proud beast with the injuries they had, Sechs was relieved to see that his hunch about the four-legged stranger had been right; this wasn't just another one of Landel's mindless monsters, this was an opponent with brains and a new challenge Sechs could not resist.

"Yeah, tell us!" Sechs echoed after Aigis. Lowering his axe slightly, Sechs kept a keen eye on the creature. If victory by blade wasn't possible, perhaps triumph could be attained another way...
damned_monsters: (sphinx)

[personal profile] damned_monsters 2013-10-06 03:33 am (UTC)(link)
If nothing else, this was routine. It meant that the sphinx didn't have to put all that much thought into this dreary task he was carrying out.

In fact, he actually looked bored as he made a noncommittal gesture with one paw and glanced to the side, beginning his explanation in that deep yet monotone voice.

"You have the opportunity to answer a riddle. I'll present you with the question and then give you five minutes to come up with an answer. If you present the correct answer in time, you get a prize. If not, you get the chance to see my fangs up close and personal."

That about answered that, and so he returned his gaze to them, waiting for their (all-too-predictable) response.
sixth_attack: (Wuh?!)

[personal profile] sixth_attack 2013-10-07 02:09 am (UTC)(link)
A riddle?! Was that what the creature's challenge was? Sechs felt his heart drop and his head spin, not so much from disappointment but more from sudden overwhelming dread. He lowered his axe and clutched his hand into his hair, just barely repressing the anxiety from showing on his face. He couldn't deal with this sort of challenge!

Sechs was an expert at fighting, not non-combative puzzles! He didn't have the patience for that kind of stuff! He was just starting to learn strategy in battle. Hell, back when he was still fighting in the Z.O.T tournament, he just barely figured out the Great Whophan's illusion in the nick of time, even when all the hints were staring him in the face! He was just too... well...

The drug in Sechs' spine let out a nasty chortle. "Too dumb?" it taunted from the back of the Replica's mind.

Before Sechs could respond to the beast or the drug, Aigis was already taking the situation in stride and accepting the challenge. "A-Aigis..?" Stammering, Sechs nervously glanced between the creature and his ally, shocked that she was taking such a risky chance. "I... I dunno..."

Yet before such trepidation could spiral into outright panic, Sechs remembered that Aigis had always been the brains of the group. Cool logic was always her way of handling things. If he couldn't answer the riddle, he could at least be sure that Aigis would be able to stand in for him and help. Either that, or they were just delaying the inevitable battle with the impressive beast before them.

He took in a deep breath. "Alright..." He turned to face the creature. "Let's hear the riddle then."
damned_monsters: (sphinx)

[personal profile] damned_monsters 2013-10-08 02:51 pm (UTC)(link)
These were two of the most apprehensive participants that the sphinx had encountered thus far. For a moment, it almost seemed like they were going to deny the challenge and try their luck somewhere else.

But they eventually agreed, and for a split second he entertained the thought that maybe this would be the time that he could sink his teeth into something...

That had never happened, though. Why even consider it?

And so the sphinx nodded, pausing for a good few seconds if only to add to the anticipation. But when that time had passed, he recited the following words:

"People speak through me, yet I do not make a sound.
People can sell me, yet I have many clones.
I can bring you laughter between breakfast and tea,
Yet I can also break your heart easily.
I cover the earth like trees of old,
Whose leaves can blind and yet enfold."


The last syllable rang through the air for a moment before the sphinx added, "You have five minutes." Then he closed his eyes and went still.
sixth_attack: (Stressed)

[personal profile] sixth_attack 2013-10-09 04:19 am (UTC)(link)
Dumbfounded, Sechs' eyes grew bigger with each inexplicable line the creature recited. When their opponent finally finished and fell silent, Sechs' jaw had completely fallen open. "Wuh?! The HELL is that supposed to mean--"

Feeling someone tug at his unraveled sleeve silenced his outburst, perhaps for the better considering that the beast waiting before them would have preferred to devour them with his awesome fangs than tolerate Sechs' loud snarling. Looking down, Sechs was taken aback to find Aigis holding onto him for support. (How did she keep sneaking in so close without him noticing anyways?) Seeing the strained expression on her face worried Sechs even more. Just how tough was this riddle? He answered her request with a resolute nod and reached a hand out to grasp upon Aigis' shoulder. Even if he couldn't answer the riddle himself, he knew he could still play a part in solving it, even if that meant just being there for Aigis and helping her brainstorm. They were a team now, after all.

As Aigis pondered out loud, Sechs listened intently and nodded, cranking the gears in his own head as he scavenged for ideas. "Nonverbal communication... Like radio waves?" he suggested, thinking of how some long-distance communication worked back in his homeworld. But shook his head after that thought. "Wait, radios make sounds though, so that's not right..."

The mentioning of clones bothered him somewhat. "Clones... Replicas..." he muttered, bringing his gaze down in thought. Again, his mind returned to the Scrapyard. "Mass produced communication... Like TVs? Phones? Computers?" he shrugged helplessly. "Shows on TV can make people laugh or cry but there's still the whole 'no sound' thing..."

Feeling all the more confounded, Sechs couldn't help but tilt his head in unison with Aigis. "You got me on the trees part..." he grumbled, "I've rarely seen more than two real trees together before I ended up here... Where I'm from, everything is just a wasteland, no leaves to cover anything, only scrap metal and junk!" He gave another shrug, his brain already worn out from all that pondering. "Anyways, trees aren't a big deal there, most stuff is made of plastic or metal..."
sixth_attack: (Distressed)

[personal profile] sixth_attack 2013-10-11 09:25 pm (UTC)(link)
As much as all these deductions were giving Sechs a gnawing headache, he managed to keep up the pace with his ally, if not barely. It was like fighting together as a team, but in a battle lacking any physical destruction. Their combat technique was of words and memories, movements which were passed between each other and strengthened by their knowledge. Yet despite all the linguistic ammo Sechs could muster, he was quickly feeling like the weakest player in their endeavor. He could already feel that creature's fangs digging into his flesh...

"Shit...!" Sechs hissed through clenched teeth. "I dunno..."

How could a tree blind someone? Could their leaves fall off and get stuck on someone's face? No... That was stupid.

Yet that thought did remind him of one dreary memory of his life back at the Scrapyard. He recalled wandering down the muddy streets of the factory city, barely sheltered beneath ragged robes from a miserable storm. The wind was sending rain and loose junk tumbling down the streets before something big came right for Sechs' face...

"Blind and enfold... Wait..." Sechs snapped his head up from his pained pondering. "The only thing I can think of for that was when I got caught in a bad storm and this stupid newspaper flew right into my face!" If it hadn't been for the seriousness of the situation, Sechs would have chuckled at that memory. "That sure enfolded and blinded me for a bit! It's not really a leaf from a tree though... Right?"

Crap. That must have been the dumbest thing Sechs had thought of so far. They were screwed...!
sixth_attack: (Noble)

[personal profile] sixth_attack 2013-10-12 05:39 am (UTC)(link)
Sechs smiled weakly. At least Aigis found his memory more funny than uselessly stupid. But it still didn't change the fact that the riddle remained unsolved...

...Or did it?

"Wuh?!" Sechs jumped, blinking confusedly at Aigis' sudden revelation. "What? What did I say--?"

Yet all Sechs could do was watch as Aigis appeared to enter a mental state akin to a super computer's rapid processing of inexplicable code. Witnessing his ally's renewed resoluteness boosted Sechs' failing confidence. His weak smile slowly grew stronger. Was this it? Was his memory of that windswept newspaper the key to their final strike against the riddle?

Once Aigis reached her final answer, Sechs nodded and followed suit, turning to face the waiting beast with his axe propped back upon his shoulder. "I'm sure you have it. I trust ya," he replied. "Go ahead and answer it!"
damned_monsters: (sphinx)

[personal profile] damned_monsters 2013-10-15 02:51 pm (UTC)(link)
Still as the sphinx might have been during their entire reasoning process, that didn't mean he wasn't listening to everything that was going on. The two of them reached the answer in a somewhat unorthodox way, but nonetheless, they'd done it.

Which was why he really shouldn't have gotten his hopes up in the first place.

He came alive again, tail whipping around behind him as his eyes opened.

"Correct," his voice rumbled out. Rather than offering any kind of congratulations, he reached behind him with one paw and then procured a miniature, ornamental shield, which he set in front of him and then nudged toward the pair.

"This is the coliseum shield. You'll need its mate -- a sword found on the other side of the basement -- before you can truly get anywhere."
sixth_attack: (Excited)

[personal profile] sixth_attack 2013-10-17 06:07 am (UTC)(link)
As Aigis announced their answer into the silence, Sechs felt his heart thunder against his ribcage in breathless anticipation, filling his eardrums with a surging pulse of adrenaline-filled blood throughout his veins. Despite his confidence in Aigis' logic, Sechs felt his uninjured hand instinctively grip tighter into the handle of his axe, his eyes narrowing for the best limb to strike at in case the creature suddenly attacked. Each second that passed without an answer from the beast felt like an eon. "C'mon already!" Sechs anxiously thought to himself, clenching his teeth from agonizing impatience. If they were wrong, then let this fight begin now--!!

Correct.

Sechs twitched at the sound of that single word. For a second he felt suspended in a state of disbelief and overwhelming relief. As though the room had suddenly regained breathable air once more, Sechs released a big sigh and relaxed his muscles, allowing his axe to swing back down from his shoulder to hang by his side.

"YEAH!" Sechs cried, pumping his injured fist in the air, too ecstatic to care about the pain his victorious cheering caused. Barely able to contain his excitement, Sechs then wrapped his arm around Aigis' shoulders and gave her an affectionate (albeit a tad rough) squeeze. "You got it, Aigis!" he exclaimed, "I knew you had it!"

What the creature presented next was only more encouraging. It was the shield to go with the sword they found the night before! Its shape clearly resembled the imprint on the central door back in the grand ballroom. They finally had the second key they needed!

Releasing Aigis and propping his axe against the stone wall, Sechs stepped forward and picked up the prize shield. "Next time we meet, instead of a challenge of the mind, let's have a challenge of blade and tooth!" he said to the beast with a wave of his finger. "It'll be more ready for a good tussle then!"

Stepping back with the artifact in his hand, Sechs appraised the intricate workmanship of the shield in the flickering temple lights. He found the shield to be just as impressive as the sword, but he fought off the temptation to keep it. Instead he turned and handed it to Aigis. "Here, this is yours," he said with an amiable smirk, "You earned it way more than me."