55 Re: Characterization
"The old self is dying, and the new world struggles to be born; now is the time of monsters."
━━━━━━━━┓ ✠ ┏━━━━━━━━
We have no idea what a Herrscher is really capable of doing, including me who is supposed to be one. But now, it's clear to us, the reason that sets them apart from the crowd...their power to vanquish.
Deus Ex. Hermes. Midas. Cheshire. Athena. Zeus. Lacrimosa. These are but few of the deities that I know so far and I'm not even sure what Armada some of them really are in, but what I'm sure though, is that they are not to be taken for granted.
From our first night outside the city gates, we already have had quite a dilemma, especially, for the members of the Mirage Armada who were summoned in the ugly part of this realm to make the warfare seem fairer for us who are outnumbered, which I think is not the case. I think the Magistrates just want to decrease the sentient count, not for us, but for their convenience. Not to mention that the other affiliate already has their first battle experience while here we are, whom danger is not allowed to target...for the time being.
Conclusion. First day. First hour. Countless lives were lost. All for the reason of maintaining equilibrium. May they rest in peace. I wonder what happened to those left alive in that thunder explosion? And Celes... She did not just suddenly betray her moral did she?
By the time that the stormy and bleak clouds which are backdrops of the old man's 'Hand of Zeus' began to drift away, it was morning. Our first sunrise in NÆthervale. It showcased an even more surreal visage. The sun's heat was not that potent. Unknown flowers are dancing on the verdant grounds and on it, dewdrops are present.
There are these cute and harmless-looking slimes just how anime depicts it to be, looking all gooey and slithery, although they have sharp teeth. Wolf-like creatures with long horns are also parading on the plains, birds with long colorful tails appearing in many forms are flying on the sky and heck, dragons are also there but in a much higher altitude. In a closeby mountain, you could see a giant cyclops' head poking out and, if not of Amadea's assurance that we are safe, for now...everyone could have had ran away already.
Shiro, whose sleepiness departed from her, began to enjoy the view as well, with those few others who have allocated time to express the wonder, unable to recover from their very first glimpse.
It's final. NÆthervale is a world, identical to earth although it's a bit surreal and filled with both creeping and flying creatures that I don't know exist, and if they did exist, I never knew that I get to see one for myself. Truth be told, I expected it to be the same as how hell is always depicted, but I'm quite surprised that this is one habitable world with a fair share of beauty, which we are seeing and vileness, which the other team experienced on the attack of the maniacal-eaters, or whatever it is that they're really called.
We were then dismissed by Amadea Mozart saying that we should pray for the deceased and then undergo 'Re: Characterization' after, simply just by saying the ludicrous word. While I have the hindsight of what it is, those mundane hunches can be proven null in this supernatural sphere at any given time, it's safe to say that I don't even know what that really means. Not until Amadea explained...
"Re: Characterization is a process that all of you must undergo."
"Even the other group?" asked one from the listening crowd.
"Yes. But that goes on without saying that yours will be earlier. They will undergo their own Re: Characterization the moment they finish fending off themselves from the danger that still awaits. "
"So basically, they are still in a pinch as we speak?", asked another with a sorrowful facade.
"Yes, and their numbers would be decreased by a landslide. There's no doubt." the Anima answered, as other's face turned from joyful explorers to bashful pilgrims.
"When all of you are ready, just say 'Re: Characterization'. And please do note, that I don't recommend you being lenient in this one. It's an important primary asset of the game. The moment when you will feel drastic changes on your being." Amadea, as though dodging any more questions in accordance with the other side, began to be direct to the point.
"So what is this anyway?" A girl with street-punk and spikey hair with a bat in her hand inquired with a freezing tone.
"It's where you become subjects of Ethereal Paradigm. Don't worry, as you enchant this word a platform will suddenly appear in your field of vision, a platform whose content that you alone are allowed to see, given that you will not change the privacy selection."
What? Now, it's seemingly becoming more of a game... Please don't.
"And from there, I'll give you a tutorial tour... Oh and one thing, the quicker you finish, the quicker the Mirage Armada would be freed from their current venture. That's the instruction I was given."
And then, as everyone heard that, even without seeking affirmation, they hastily spoke the word, without second thoughts that they would be helping their own enemies. I'm quite surprised though. Their wanton desire to help, even after becoming nemesis has still yet to change. Maybe they have someone important over there or maybe, seeing countless lives being taken away in a spur of the night was too much for them to not realize its value? Well, whatever the reason may be, I can't be left out now or else, I'll stand out.
Shiro found herself amused at playing with the spineless slimes and as the background is tainted by the continuous showcasing of the aesthetic sunrise...
"Re: Characterization," I exclaimed as instructed, but in a way, that I'll be the only one to hear... and suddenly as if our eyes are modified for this purpose, some gray-colored 'high-tech' user interface began to appear in front of us, audio and video-oriented. Nice, but... Cliche.
\u003cEthereal Paradigm Initializing\u003e
Name: Jaiden Axcel Cendrillon
Crusade Pass: Herrscher
Killed Participants: 0
Killed Herrschers: 0
Re: Characterization Database
Sentient Contender Count: 11, 732 negative
Herrscher Count: 333/333 alive
Hell. I should have had expected that the cliche whether I want it or not, would find its way all the way to here. Well, as long as it does not display HP, MP, and STA, it's enough, I guess...
And yet, what's wrong with my affiliation? Seriously? Did someone find out that I faked joining here?... Shouldn't be the case, but I for one, can't neglect the existing probability. I should ask Lacrimosa about this later. Well, I could just ask Amadea, but no, not in this dense scenario... Maybe I, alone have this problem and if I ask now, it would only cause suspense to rise. I don't want that.
Amadea Mozart then continued her extrapolation.
"As you can see, this is your 'Persona Interface' PI for short. In here, your personal information has been displayed. You have three Segments there as you can see... 1) Profile, 2) Re: Characterization Database, 3) General Information. And it's not only you who have this interface, but everyone who has sparks of stellarly sufficient intelligence in this realm."
Stellarly sufficient? Hmm... That makes me wonder on what basis do they judge that upon.
"Under the profile segment, you could see your name, your affiliation, and your Crusade Pass. As you can see, the affiliation there writes what Armada you chose, and in the crusade pass, you could see what type of participant are you, whether if you're a Herrscher or a Contender, which is, of course, pertaining to those who have signed no contract with a deity. You also have there, two 'Kill Counts', which I don't need to explain... Under the Re: Characterization Segment, we will discuss that lastly"
"The third and last segment which is the 'General Information' showcases statistical data that all of you share which is, of course, updated daily. There you could see the Sentient Contender Count, or the SCC and the Herrscher count which pertains to how many Herrschers are left. For now, all of the Herrschers are alive and well, but as for the contenders, they're not doing fine." So, the deity briefly exclaimed, leaving no rooms for plausible questions.
Everyone's face wore gloom for a bit as they saw the drastic change in numbers. From 300 thousand to now 11 thousand. And it's still decreasing. Everyone, seeing that, is able to feel the ardent rush and self-inflicted pressure to do the Re: Characterization Process and finish it as early as they can.
"So, what is this Re: Characterization? Just tell us!"
"As I have already said. This is where you become subject to the Ethereal Paradigm. This is where you will voluntarily foist changes to yourselves for your own survival in a realm filled with what you are widely acquainted as 'Magic', 'Alchemy' and whatsoever. Okay, now, as everyone is eager to do it, please do listen and do my instructions carefully"
"FIrst. Click on the 'Re: Characterization Database. You could see those question marks, don't you?"
Everyone, then hastily clicked as they took heed of the instructions...and so did I.
Re: Characterization Complete
Paradigm Name: Requiem Aranea
Definition: Control anything that is dark, black, or bleak whether through imagination or physical contact
Paradigm Shift: Dark By Default
Limit: Once per three days
Consequence: -100 day lifespan
Usage Violation: -1-year lifespan
What the hell is this? Where are the question marks? Everything's filled! First, my affiliation is all that '!^#%#\u0026@%#$@\u0026' and now, there's this thing called 'Requiem Aranea' in the list with this minus lifespan-thingy.
As I wondered why my Persona Interface's content very much differed from everyone's, I continued to bombard myself with questions while everyone was like...
"Yes, we now see the question marks, what should we do next?"
I'm left out... Yet still, I need to continue fake-clicking if I don't want to raise eyebrows.