B3 — 66. The First Imposter

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Happy Easter!!  Well >.> very late, Easter considering the time zones for some.


1: Rachel Park (our Lunar Hare!)

Recap: In short, Rachel and the group met something she termed ‘The Nightmare’ because it certainly was one, and it wanted to eat them with its disgusting tentacle tongue mouths.  Rachel barely was able to hold aggro for the others to recover, keeping distance.

Eventually, with Sevlaria getting pushed back as their tank, they were able to slow him down enough for Scarlet to land enough of a blow to sink her fangs into the creature, draining it of blood.

Snap … they literally almost died to this thing … what’s next?

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The pervasive silence swiftly retook Rachel’s notice as they left the room; with the nightmarish creature taken down, they had a clear path to Ohan, but he had changed directions, causing her to reevaluate their current course.

Her three companions talked with one another about their last encounter while her head and ears moved to identify the small vibrations that could be heard throughout the environment.  The black wooden triangle-shaped walls were a strange material, and the light between them was just as mysterious with their sound reflecting properties.

Rachel walked over to a section, studying the glowing blue symbol within its center.

It’s easier to follow the sounds moving and breathing things make, but that’s only effective within a distinct range … the echoing doesn’t help, either.  The creature was in the right place … there’s just so little noise, and every so often, something scatters the sounds and forces me to map out the labyrinth again.  How can a place be so silent?  If we come up against a statue or trap … I can’t let my guard down.

She stared at her fingers, pressed against the utterly still pieces of wood; not even a single ripple could be sensed within the object, unlike the shock waves she could feel from the first room.

Her head shifted to the right, eyes narrowing as the sound scattered again, and her fears were confirmed; areas were opening up and closing.  It didn’t often happen, which was why it took a while to prove, but she was positive now.

Selvaria’s double had moved beyond her earshot, or the pathway had been closed off; she couldn’t be sure because there was no longer sound in that direction.  Cahira’s double was making her way toward them in a roundabout way while Ohan had sat down in an open room.  He wasn’t saying anything.

Scarlet’s bright expression turned toward her, tinted yellow-blue eyes alive with power; ever since she’d drained the nightmare of its life-blood, the Vespertine Reaper had been jittery, as if on a high.  There wasn’t anything dangerous about her transformation unless you counted the gibberish she spouted with Selvaria about anime, manga, and light novels.  Japanese things that didn’t really interest her outside of a life-threatening situation, much less trapped inside a killer maze.

“… Rachel!  Oh, is there another creature in our way?  Is it big or small?  I was thinking about this one show…”

“No, no,” she sighed, scratching the back of her neck while giving the girl a forced smile, “nothing like that … the maze is just changing.”

“Oh?  Oh, no!  That’s not good!  The string theory I had probably isn’t good, then unless it doesn’t change if something is there; we should try and test that out … but wait, how would we know when it was going to change … do you know?”

Cahira had been more or less ignoring her, but Selvaria seemed too nice for that.

The leviathan had lost a considerable amount of her womanly figure after the previous battle, and her damaged scales had fallen off as they walked; she’d asked about nearby water, but Rachel hadn’t found anything of the kind.

Selvaria hummed softly, folding her arms under her partially plated chest.  “Umm … what about the others?  If it’s changing, can you still hear them?”

“I still hear Ohan,” Rachel replied, evading the question, “and no, Scarlet, I don’t know when they’ll change.  Give me a minute to think,” she said, turning her side to them while glaring at the wall.

Rachel’s biggest concern at the moment was her own strength; her Lunar Pool may be at 100.5%, yet that didn’t count for her physical fatigue.  The high-speed change put a stitch in her side that wasn’t noticeable during the stress of the fight, and her muscles were moderately sore from use.

She eyed her three companions from the corner of her wide-field of vision; Scarlet was on another subject with Selvaria, hardly able to keep up as Cahira passively enjoyed the show while occasionally glancing around at the triangles with a curious grin.

There was the possibility one of them would make a move before she reached Ohan, but that could be said about any instance since the start of their journey into the maze.  Either the labyrinth or the imposters were waiting for some kind of trigger, and she didn’t know if confirming one of their questions would be that spark.

Trust was utterly void in a circumstance such as this, yet they had helped her with the nightmare; she wouldn’t be alive had they not stepped in.  There had to be an identifying marker to distinguish who was real or fake, but she hadn’t been able to discover it.

Scarlet’s shirt was ripped off, and her PJs were missing part of a leg; Selvaria’s clothes had been ruined by the exchange, and now she only had sandals to her name.  Not a single thing stuck out to her that they weren’t who they said they were.  In fact, Scarlet’s behavior is precisely what she expected it to be had she taken a stimulant drug.

Slowly, the possibility that they were all real had started to creep into her strained brain; the maze could have just split them for all she knew, and they were both the same person.

A low grown rumbled in her throat as she rubbed her ears with agitation.

“Hmm … somethin’ wrong, love?”  Cahira asked, walking over with the others.

“It changed again, didn’t it?!”  Scarlet sighed in exasperation.  “Can’t it just give us a break for once?”

“… No, let’s just keep going,” Rachel mumbled, continuing down the hall.  “We need to go up to reach him.”

“Up?”  Selvaria asked.

Scarlet was bouncing on her toes.  “Oh, oh!  It’s the gravity thing!  Do you think we can walk on the … look, look, we can!”

Rachel was a little taken aback as she turned to see Scarlet hanging horizontally on the wall, jumping up and down as if gravity had changed for her.

“This is so much fun!  Oh, the ceiling?”  She asked, running up to get to the point.  “Yo!”  Her eyes widened as if she’d discovered the answer to the meaning of life.  “Yo … what if you are all upside down, and … and I’m on the floor!  Wow…”

“I suppose ya could be,” Cahira chuckled, preparing herself for a big jump.  “What if … aye, even works if ya skip a step, huh?”  She mused, flipping in the air to land next to Scarlet … feels kind of strange, ta be honest.”

Rachel sighed, motioning for them to follow her; Selvaria and Cahira took both walls as Scarlet moved across the ceiling with the Vespertine Reaper’s prompts.

Maybe she’s just dealing with stress differently…

Eventually testing it out herself, she discovered the feeling wasn’t the same as when she was running around the room with the nightmare.  It could have been because they were moving too swiftly that it couldn’t react fast enough, or it might have changed since their battle.  The phenomena had happened before, she had to remind herself, but for it to swap their gravitational direction depending on their position was odd, and it only happened when their feet touched the surface of a triangle.

Time was somewhat challenging to keep track of, and Rachel could see losing track of the concept if locked in a prison such as this for an extended period.  The thought made her second guess her original view of infiltrating a vault.

A prison … my thoughts were stuck on a vault because of the Quest, but … what if this is actually a penitentiary, and we’re breaking into it.  The first trial was getting here, which was through a dangerous sea and sky.  The second trial was a cursed island that kept you locked inside your head.  This third is navigating a maze to reach … what?

They came upon a fork; a passageway to Rachel’s left had no noise within, which meant she didn’t know what was beyond that point; if they continued straight, they’d come to a small dead-end with a soft humming sound within.  She wanted to check it out, but discovering everyone took priority.

“Cahira?”  Rachel asked, transferring to the ceiling to join Scarlet and move onto the new hallway.

“Mmh?”  The Pirate Queen brushed back her crimson hair with a smile while transferring walls.

“Do you know what the quest is about?”

The redhead’s lips tilted a little as she cupped her chin, thinking about the question.

Scarlet’s eyes lit up again.  “Oh, yeah!  That would be really helpful, right?  Does it tell you?  I bet you just gotta ask, like … uh … hey, what are we supposed to do?  Does that help?  Or, or … what’s our objective?”

Selvaria studied Cahira with her as the woman thought.

“I mean … it be basic stuff, ta be speakin’.  Navigate the maze … uh … hold-up … we got an option at the end.  Slimy System … be buryin’ the details in a ton o’ questions.”

Rachel hummed, folding her arms as her tail and ears twitched with irritation.  Although, the other legends hadn’t probed The System like they had the first few days.  It would probably take some getting used to how vague the seeds of power and information could be.

“Oh, was it my advice?  The part about … oh, what is it?”  Scarlet asked, still on her blood high.

“… We can choose to kill the fella at the end … or bring ‘em along … doesn’t say much ‘bout the fella other than that scrap.”

“Oh!  Do we get to know more about him?”  Scarlet inquired, now doing laps, walking around the walls, prompted by her hyperactive charge.

“Can’t say, lass,” Cahira sighed.  “Maybe once we get ta ‘im.”

Rachel nodded.  “So … a rescue escort mission … or an assassination mission.”

Selvaria piped up.  “I like rescue missions.”

“Ugh…”  Scarlet’s lips fell with a weak chuckle.  “Yeah … not a fan of the whole escort the stupid AI missions myself … they always get stuck on a log or something.”

“It shouldn’t be like that, though, right?”  Selvaria asked, turning to Cahira with a questioning look.

“Uh … why ya askin’ me?”  She giggled.  “Aye, but that would be hilarious!  We gotta go!  One moment, mi missy … I needz ta tie mi shoe.  There’s a monster behind us, ya dumb arse!  Hehe…”

“Funny until you need to start it over again … or the fifth time,” Scarlet stated with exasperation.  “I’d just shadow teleport him down each hallway … get it over with quick.”

Selvaria’s pure blue eyes shifted to the left doubtfully.  “Uh … what if that breaks him from the targeted path … ya know, and he just runs back to the start?”

Scarlet’s previously bright features turned to stone.  “We kill him!”

Cahira nodded with a small smirk.  “It’s an option.”

“Uh … what if he’s untargetable?  I mean, that’s what happens to monsters when you bring them outside their attack zone,” Selvaria offered again.

“Oof … let the monsters kill him … no, no, gah!”  Scarlet scratched the top of her head manically, messing up her hair a bit.  “That wouldn’t work!  If we accept the escort quest, then we can’t let him die, or we fail … what would happen if we fail?”  She asked, turning to Cahira.

Rachel followed her gaze.  She’d been a little annoyed by the stupid game-logic being thrown around, but this was a valid question.

“Aye, why ya always lookin’ ta me?”  Cahira asked with a weak shrug and a small smile.  “I’m here for adventure; I got no clue ‘about what happens when things fly south.  We just gotta make sure the fella be tip-top if we decide to do the extra bits.  Loots greater for the escort … aye, but the trouble could be a breaker.  Wha’da’ya be thinkin’?”

The crew next turned to her; Scarlet was obviously against bringing the guy out, which could be her past gaming experience talking.  Yet, Rachel couldn’t say that was it; her overactive mind kept looking for reasons they could be imposters.  If this was a prison, of course, the warden would probably want the prisoner dead instead of free.

A Warden … suddenly Ohan’s theory is making more sense.

Releasing a long sigh, Rachel shook her head.  “We’ll figure it out eventually … keep asking questions, Cahira; see if you can narrow things down further for us.”

“I’m on it!”  Cahira saluted with a bright smile.  “I gotta say, this is one heck of a quest, though, eh?”

It took them at least thirty minutes to get to Ohan; he was at least two miles away, but with all the shifts and disruptions, it was hard for her to accurately gauge distances at that range.  Rachel followed the Samurai’s clothes’ small movements as he glanced left and right, seemingly tracking something that Rachel couldn’t hear.

She silenced the noisy girls as they drew closer along the triangle-plated hallways with the various alien symbols for light, and upon her prompts, they proceeded with caution.

Peeking around the corner, Rachel spotted a very similar room as the one they’d fought the nightmare in; the designs in the center of the pieces of black wood that made up the room were noticeably different, but other than that, it was identical.

Ohan was in the middle of the empty space, cross-legged with his back to them.

“What’s he doing?”  Scarlet asked, vampiric eyes scanning the area.  “I don’t see anything.  Is he sleeping … he’s not breathing that … no, meditating!  That’s it; he must be meditating!”  She excitedly whispered.

They all jumped as the hallway branch to the left of them closed; unlike the first room they were in, there were no big falling and rising triangles.  The three-sided blocks soundlessly folded over to shut off the entire section in large chunks, and Rachel lost track of a rapid breathing creature a mile away.

That confirms it … but what is the trigger?  Wouldn’t it be more beneficial to the maze to block our path to Ohan … unless he’s an imposter … or that could be its goal to further diminish our trust in him.

Preparing herself, Rachel exited cover and made her way to Ohan, motioning for the others to stay hidden; she hoped they’d be on-guard of one another with that signal.  She didn’t say anything while curling the Legendkin.  His eyes were closed, and every so often, he’d shift his gaze to the right or left.

Did a creature do this to him … or is it self-induced?

Standing in front of the handsome man, she caught the three women eyeing her over fifty-yards away, behind the hallway wall.  “Ohan…”

He didn’t respond.

“Ohan?  Can you hear me…”

Ohan’s chest expanded while taking a sharp breath, and he opened his eyes.  “… Ah, Rachel … I figured one of you would find me.”  He closed his eyes again, taking in and puffing out slow puffs of air.

“Are you … using a skill?”  Rachel asked, still a bit confused by his calm actions; his counterpart was a raging bull, looking for something to gore.

“… In a manner of speaking.  I’m trying to follow the course of energy within this space … it’s surprisingly difficult because of how dense it is … but slowly … I’m following the ebb and flow.  There is a change with every new triangle you walk over … it ripples through the pieces next to it, which causes a chain reaction that goes far beyond what I can sense.”

The thought hadn’t been void from her mind; their movements were causing an effect, but the part that confused her was why she couldn’t sense it.  Vibrations were reflected on the surface, which was why the scattered soundwaves were challenging to pinpoint, but nothing passed between the triangle pattern from what she could determine.

It couldn’t be spiritual, or Scarlet would sense it in her Reaper’s Guise State.  It wasn’t a physical form, or it would cause a vibration she could hear.  “What type of energy?”

“A primal one…”

That meant nothing to her.  “Excuse me?”

“It’s pulled from nature … it goes into the walls and then is crafted into something else … we’re a part of a massive system that is in constant motion, and it dances to our actions … anything that stands inside can cause an effect.”

Scarlet, Cahira, and Selvaria cautiously moved to join them.

“Uh, hey, Ohan,” Scarlet started in a tone that was both excited and nervous while hiding behind Cahira, “we had a big fight with this crazy horror creature and almost died; what are you up to?”

“You’re all doing well?”

“… Not Scarlet’s shirt,” Selvaria mumbled, glancing to the side at the girl as she hid behind Cahira.

“Ah, I got the idea,” Cahira snapped her fingers with a wicked snicker.  “Oye, Ohan, ya should give yer shirt to ol’ Scarlet.  The girl’s a panic without one!”

“As most girls would be,” Scarlet mumbled, her cheeks darkening.  “It’s the stupid nightmare’s fault … no, the harpies and bats!  Stupid monsters … I should bring more clothes when … oh, uh … thanks!”

Her face turned beet red as Ohan wordlessly removed his shirt, revealing his hairless, obsidian skin; his naked back, chest, and abs were undoubtedly well endowed.

Cahira snatched it out of the air, lifting it up to smell it while turning to give Scarlet a wink.  “Might want to save that for later!”  She whispered.

“Eh?”  Scarlet reluctantly took the shirt, lips tight as she stared down at the article.  “W-What do you mean?”  She hissed so the Samurai couldn’t hear.

“Oh, c’mon, lass,” Cahira giggled, just loud enough where only Rachel could have heard the awkward exchange.  “Girls’ got their needs, too.”

Scarlet seemed utterly conflicted; Rachel knew it was difficult getting those kinds of thoughts out of her head from past experience.

“Have you ever just … taken it right after the ol’ workout and just held it up to your face ta nuzzle it?  Mmh … when they’ve got it … they’ve got it!”

“Cahira!”  Scarlet moaned.

Her hyperactive-blood-infused brain probably already on fire from the woman’s teasing remarks as she gripped the shirt front.  Rachel had no doubt she really wanted to experiment with the redhead’s comments, but she was far too shy with the man in the same room.

Selvaria seemed somewhat torn with what to do, and it almost looked like she was mentally picturing Cahira’s words with her expression as she mumbled.  “I didn’t know you two were into sniffing guys’ shirt scents…”

“It’s not like that!”  Scarlet screamed in a panic.

Rachel’s primary focus was on Ohan; her lips fell into a frown as his brow furrowed.

“Something wrong?”  She whispered.

Scarlet was now running away from Cahira on the ceiling as she asked if they could both fit inside the large shirt; the woman really did have no shame, which reminded Rachel of Maëlle.  She apparently was trying to corner the Vespertine Reaper to tackle her.

Ohan’s closed eyes shifted left, following the path Cahira and Scarlet had gone.  “A massive amount of energy is gathering from … no, Cahira stop moving … something’s unlocking…”

Rachel’s muscles readied to move as Cahira slowed to a stop, looking up at them from her angle with a confused expression.  “Hmm?  What be happenin’ … aye … what’s that?”

The warning came after Rachel noticed black energy rise out of the plates’ blue lights, and both exits sealed.

A trap … but who was it?

She jumped straight to the ceiling, but with a closed-in space, it was pointless.  Scarlet’s voice became panicked.  “I … I can’t use my teleport … no, my blood still works.”

Darting left and right to avoid the darkening smoke, Rachel watched the substance swallow Selvaria; she released a burst of concentrated water from her mouth at it, but it merely absorbed the liquid.

Ohan was still in the same spot, letting the darkness surround him.  “It’s not lethal…”  He said in a serious tone.  “Whatever it is…”

His swift words were cut off as it swallowed him, and Cahira vanished just after materializing her pistols; the smoke was swiftly filling the entire area.

It’s not lethal…

Rachel hopped to the clearest spaces; the fog wasn’t predicting her movements but simply following where she’d last left off.  Scarlet teleported to her next target through her blood, looking panicked.

“I … I can’t use my Reaper Tree … all I can use is Scarlet’s Tree … not even the Twilight Branch.”

Rachel tried to activate Rapid Mental Acceleration to find it blocked, as well.  “Only our Passives work … no Actives or Reactive.  Can you teleport us back through the…”

She couldn’t finish her question as the shadows sprung up around Scarlet and her so fast that even she couldn’t react without her accelerated mind.

A black void encompassed Rachel as gravity lost its meaning; the effect caused a strange reaction in her body.  She couldn’t move.  Without warning, she was lying on the floor, staring up at the black triangle plates.

Blinking, Rachel’s ears twitched with agitation as she scanned her new environment; she’d been teleported away again.  She swallowed the lump in her throat, slowly rising to her side; she didn’t sense any different, but now she stood in a ten by ten box.

I’m trapped … a puzzle?

Taking a calming breath to ease her racing heart, she stood up, flexing her fingers; the world slowed as Rapid Mental Acceleration activated.

Our skills aren’t locked anymore.

It was the first time she’d come across something that could cut her off from her abilities; of course, The System generated this entire copy dimension, which meant it had the power, but it was still chilling that her skills could be compromised.  The event also told her something else.

Scarlet was real … The System can’t actually copy Twilight’s powers or restrict them, and Scarlet was using active abilities, which would have been cut off.  It’s not 100%, but she was probably the real one.

Her vision narrowed while scanning her prison.

Ohan and Cahira, though … Cahira appeared to activate it at first glance … she was running up the path, and Ohan stated there is a transfer of primal energy between them.  He called out Cahira, but if anyone was acting out of the ordinary … Ohan was.

He didn’t mention the hatred for the place … it was entirely about the energy itself.  I suppose that could be connected, but it was the most unusual part of the entire exchange.  Then again … Cahira clumsily activating a trap seems entirely in her character … it would add to her adventure.

Ohan’s calm demeanor may have been perfectly reasonable to me before he went on a tree murder spree … now, there’s something off about that.

Rising to her feet, Rachel did a quick check of herself; legs, chest, stomach, butt, tail, ears, arms, and all her little parts … everything appeared in order.  She pulled around her hair; it had dried, and surprisingly, looked reasonably clean after all the recent scuffles she’d been through.

Tossing her locks back, she moved on to her clothes; her shorts had taken a bit of damage with parts melted from her electrifying time in the sky with the Storm Reavers, but other than a few small rips in her sports bra that weren’t too bad, everything was fine.  She was built to not be hit, which meant the damage she showed was far less than Scarlet.

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Flipping around to view the whole box, she tried crossing over to the wall; her gravity changed.  Rachel did a few more tests, but after five minutes, the barrier to her right opened up, revealing a large hallway.


She didn’t exit.

The sounds that met her ears were entirely new; she hadn’t been to this part of the maze, nor heard any of the noises, except for one voice.

Cahira … she’s in a cage with some kind of guard dog in front of her.  This has to be the one that activated the trap … I need to figure out if it was on purpose, but how do I get rid of the beast?

An idea formed in Rachel’s mind as she exited the room, and she began playing with the large blocks surrounding the opening to her ten-meter by ten transportation cell.  It took ten minutes to find the change; a small red line appeared within the symbols if they linked together.

Within that time, she could hear Cahira start singing an old pirate’s song while taking shots at the snarling wolf from her cage; she seemed entirely at ease with the situation, amused, in fact, since she could simply whittle the creature down.

 Every time Rachel hit a block that wasn’t connected to the set, the red faded; she had to go twelve meters worth of linked blocks before something happened.  A smile lit Rachel’s lips as the opening to her cell closed, and walking in reverse, opened it again.  It was like a terribly complicated door handle.

She had to wonder if the trap Cahira or Ohan had activated was just a simple transportation device; then again, Cahira had ended up in a cage, but … that could have been by her own design, in the end.

With her plan in motion, she decided to give it a shot; there wasn’t another option unless she wanted to wait for Cahira to eventually kill the dog, but judging by her level of fire-power, mixed with the insane level advantage the creatures in this place had, she wasn’t holding her breath.

Air whipped past her as she jogged to Cahira and the beast; once she got her first look at the mechanical beast, unsurprisingly unaffected by the woman’s pistols, she realized it was more of an armored unit than the evasive terror the abomination they’d fought before.  However, the damage to the glowing blue rods caging the singing woman told Rachel its strength shouldn’t be underestimated.

“Rachel!”  Cahira’s cheerful.  “Love, you’re such a…”

Her words slowly died as the mechanical beast flipped around, releasing a savage roar that she had yet to hear.  Rachel was forced to activate Emotional Detachment again as a wave of dread rolled through her entire being, threatening to make her trip.

The mechanical beast was like a mix between a jackal and wolverine, hosting metallic-like wings and a draconic head filled with two rows of five-inch fangs.  It reared up on its muscular hind legs to leap forward, jagged appendages on its back fanning out in what she assumed was an intimidation effect before beginning their chase.

It was at least four meters high, and despite its massive girth, she couldn’t feel any shockwaves through the ground, but the pressure of its passing whipping the air into a frenzy was more than enough to give Rachel an understanding of what a simple body slam would do if it managed to get her between it and a wall.

She dashed back to the room she’d awoken in and waited inside for it to follow.  A lump dropped down her throat as she listened to its approach.  The disturbing thing about the metallic beast was that it didn’t sound like a machine; it moved and acted like a hound of flesh and blood, but visually, it was far from the case.

The beast was quick and might have caught her off-guard had she not been above 100% of her Lunar Pool, and with the energies of the Flush Moon enhancing her skills by a grade, she was easily capable of evading it and had time to spare.

It didn’t change course after she’d left its sight, tracking her in some unknown way, and after a few minutes, it finally made it to her trap.

Just to be sure, she sprinted out at full speed once it entered; the creature snapped its jaws while flicking its tail, trying to predict her trajectory, but it was far too slow, mirroring the pattern she’d discovered, the blocks began to cage the metallic beast.

Skidding to a stop a bit away from the closing plates, her throat felt dry.  The draconic dog smashed into the swiftly sealing box with its head, but the triangle walls didn’t budge; the force implied was more than a little frightening, and some of the radiating fear the creature emitted slid past her box, making her quiver for a moment.  Yet, the walls held, folding plates sliding over one another to seal the powerful creature in.

Breathing a sigh of relief, she waited a moment to be sure the thing couldn’t merely open the door back up.  She had no doubt it was releasing the same terrifying sounds inside, but the fear had faded with the closed opening.

Rachel walked to a nearby wall, paying close attention to the symbols around her, and slid down to her butt, holding her knees while bracing herself, unsealing her box of terrifying emotion.  She locked up, allowing the wave to pass through her.

Sweat slicked her skin as she trembled on the ground; the nightmare might have been visually more frightening, but this dog was undoubtedly a higher level.  She doubted any of them could have even hoped to damage it.

Allowing herself to calm down, Rachel slowly made her way back to Cahira anxiously waiting.

“… Rachel … aye, uh, hehe, you’re doin’ alright, right … Rachel, mi lass … I can’t hear the ragin’ beast anymore…”

She’d lost track of Cahira’s voice after engaging with the horrifyingly powerful monster; it would have definitely killed anyone else, but after all the effort her muscles had gone through, she was nearing her limit.

Reaching the end of the hall, she stopped in front of the cage.

Cahira’s eyes filled with tears upon seeing her.  “Oh, mi love!  I … I thought ya might ‘ave actually met the sea’s end … Rachel?”

Rachel’s eyes narrowed.  “You’re Cahira’s imposter.”

“Eh?  What … why am … hmm…”  Cahira’s lips curved softly as she released a weak shrug.  “Hehe … well, I suppose I wasn’t expectin’ ya ta actually live, but ta think it’d be mi bleedin’ hare that would be the one sent ta here … mi Irish luck be failin’ me taday…”

Imposter Cahira stepped forward, sliding her fingers down a few of the railings and hopping back and forth on the tiles, making her chest bounce slightly with the actions.  “What gave mi secret away?  I didn’t know even know until mi head cleared of dis fog, and mi purpose was clear.  Ho, it has been fun!”

A sharp frown was on Rachel’s lips as she watched the woman’s actions.  “Who else are imposters.”

“Mmh,” her teeth flashed as the green bars soundlessly slid back into the blue outlines surrounding the large plates Cahira stood on; the ceiling folded into the sides, breaking apart into smaller sections to sink into the floor until everything looked uniform again.  “Mi mouth be shut because mi mind doesn’t know!  Hehe, so, it would make little sense tryin’ to read mi thoughts or whatever tricks any of the others might have up their sleeves.  Hmm … where do we go from here?”

Rachel stood still as the red-haired imposter put her hands on her hips, grinning at her.  “I got a few tricks up mi sleeve…”

She couldn’t finish the final word before Rachel spun into action, stepping forward in a roundhouse kick, but her foot came to a stop just before taking Cahira’s head off.

Some kind of detonator was in Cahira’s hand.  “Hmm?  Ya stopped … I mean, I suppose I was a little slow, but ye didn’t let a lass finish her…”

Rachel’s eyes were wide.  “I’m … an imposter…”

“Eh?”  Cahira jumped back with a surprised expression.  “Ye … well, I’ll be the devil’s mother,” she cackled, doubling over.  “W-When did it hit, huh?”

Swinging her hips back down, Rachel glared at the floor.  “… The moment I was about to kill you…”

The emotion in Rachel’s chest was ice-cold as she played her part.

If this maze wants to play the imposter game … so can I.

SME’s Request:

I hope you’ve been enjoying the free entertainment!  The internet is divided into different echo-chambers; you have a specific group that only hovers around specific sites/content.  So, by recommending my serials to others, you give it more exposure to different echo-chambers and help it grow.  Ratings are excellent, Trending is terrific, but it only will appeal to a specific echo-chamber.  If you like my content, then please share it in your own unique way.

Thank you!  ^_^7

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5 Chapters ahead in A Tail’s Misfortune.

11 Chapters in The Oscillation.

10 Chapters in Undying Empire.

10 Chapters in the Pokemon Fanfic

All pictures are up for free download on Patreon with the artist I commissioned listed.

Cultivation Novel, 7x chapters per week. Book Mark Now!!

Title: World of Expertsd | Tags: Cultivation, Second Chance
Synopsis: The online game <> entered the whole world. It's a game about territorial construction and war to reconstruct alternate history. Although it's virtual, it'll change the world. Shi Hao, an ordinary freshman, decided to bravely enter <> in order to gain the approval of his beloved goddess's elder brother. He, however, accidentally got a super skill at the beginning because of a strange game-helmet.

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