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    Club looked at Grave with a simple expression and simple smile. "Hm? Kay!"

    Valencia and Roy looked at Club with awe. "Wow..." Valencia said. "So Club is basically... Chosen times 2, or something? She's using both her power and his that she absorbs."

    Club struck a power pose. "Club is Super Chosen 2! Even further beyond!" she declared, as if powering up or just showing off her power in general.

    Envy looked at Club like she had something very outlandish. "... That sounds dumb, don't call it that."

    Club turned with that. "Nope. Super Chosen 2 Club tired. Super Chosen 2 Club going back to bed!" she said, strutting since everything looked fine.

    Envy would go as well, before Grave would get a pinch on the back of his neck by her, while she stood behind him, giving him a stern scowl. "Fool of a brother. Don't ever go outside with so little protection again. Understood?" she demanded, sounding very strict before she left without hearing his answer.

    Roy and Valencia stood shakily. "Bed sounds good... Sorry Grave, but this walk must end earlier than expected." Roy declared.
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      "No, you're right here. I hadn't expected this place to be worse than the wilderness." Grave sighed. So even in civilized places, mamono were ultimately still acting like monsters at times, huh? "...I really fail at understanding how this place works, huh?" He muttered to himself before following after the others. "Do you need help walking? I've recovered some strength, so I might be able to help." He offered to Roy and Valencia.

      Man, this was a total mess. Maybe if he hadn't made so many tactical errors, it'd have gone better. Part of him wanted to actually get back at the cloth monsters. Right now, however, he needed rest. Rest, see Ryu, then work on getting stronger ASAP. And if he got an opportunity to get some revenge later on, he'd make sure the fight would be as unfair as possible. In his favor, of course.
      You have the right to remain stupid, everything that you say can and will be ignored.

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        Roy and Valencia shook their head, refusing his help. "What about you?" Valencia inquired. "Roy can see it too, your soul looks tapped. Are YOU gonna need help?" she inquired.

        After that, Grave was free to go to his room with Club and Envy to go to bed, with the two of them wordlessly snuggling up on either side of him. Club on the left, Envy on the right, as if they had some kind of unspoken agreement.
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          "I can walk, at least." Grave sighed. With the group making their way back to the inn, he simply made his way to bed after bidding everyone good night and flopped down, tired. This was a mess, all things considered. He lucked out after making a number of mistakes, but at least he knew what these mistakes were and what not to do next time. Hopefully. At least Ziah and Club didn't seem to be up for fighting over him. Were they beginning to get along? Or perhaps they simply decided to share him regardless of their animosity? Oh well. It wasn't a problem, so he'd not question it. For now, sleep was more important.
          You have the right to remain stupid, everything that you say can and will be ignored.

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            A night's rest came to him... And when he awoke, he was greeted with the smell of fish and rice. Standing over him was Atea, holding a platter of food which she lowered onto his waist. The fish was grilled and the rice looked to have been steamed. If such were his tastes, it'd smell delicious. If nothing else, it was full of protein. Though given where he might be from, these kinds of dishes were unusual for breakfast. "Good morning, boy. I went through the trouble of waking you early and preparing breakfast. I expect you to be humble and thankful. Hu-hu-hu~" She chuckled. "Eat. You will present yourself healthy before Ryu. Understand? Your mother will be coming as well. Be sure to think deeply about what you want to say to her."

            It seemed that the night was chaotic. Somehow, Club and Envy rolled around so much in their sleep that they were now hugging each other, likely thinking they were hugging Grave.
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              If there was one thing Grave had learned on the road, it was not to pass up a meal. Even now, with his prospects of eating regularly being far better than they used to be, he still felt that not eating before what would inevitably be a rough day would suck. And while fish wasn't his favorite food, he'd not complain about a free meal. The young man ate quickly, making sure not to bother the two sleeping girls. He'd rather get away from the scene before that powder keg erupted. However, bringing up his mother did make him pause for a moment.

              "Honestly... I'd rather speak with her in private, if that turns out to be possible." Grave sighed, thinking back to his last conversation with his mother. "I've been doing some thinking and I've realized that while I've no idea what I'm doing, she's most likely nowhere near as cold and calculating as she might wish to appear to be about this whole thing." He mused. "That being said? I'll already consider it a success if the situation doesn't deteriorate further. If some improvement happens, I'll consider it good fortune." He sighed again. Given the topic he feared he'd have to breach, an explosive argument was likely inevitable.
              You have the right to remain stupid, everything that you say can and will be ignored.

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                She rose a brow at his request, before outright brandishing the glowing blue ball her soul was contained in. "Sure, knock yourself out." She said, before tossing it in a most volatile way. Forcing Grave to catch it else her soul would be released. The blue ball became red for a moment, as if in furious anger. "Just hold it in your hands and mommy dearest will know how to share her words with you~" she cooed, before turning and leaving the room.

                Already in his hands (or broken on the floor), his mother would reach her threads out and speak to him telepathically. "First thing I'm going to do once free, is kill that old hag." her voice boomed with hostility. "What do you want, child? I see you have bred the goblin. Good. The spawn will most likely be one of her own however, so you will need to do it many more times. Thankfully they breed quickly, so you will have countless children with her in little time."
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                  "OI!" Grave scrambled to catch the ball, barely making it in time before it hit something and broke. As it turned red, he feared for a moment it might try to burn him or something, but thankfully nothing of the sort happened. It was pretty obvious that his mother was pissed, though, which wouldn't make the discussion any easier. He was a little suprised that Atea would simply let him talk to her like this here. In the end, he assumed she couldn't speak while inside the ball - a misconception on his part.

                  "I suppose this is the part where I'd ask you not to do anything crazy, but... She did kind of ask for it." Grave sighed. He had to admit, that last move on Atea's part kinda pissed him off too. "Anyway..." He paused. What should he say now? His mother was focusing on his recent actions - or rather, the result of these actions - but frankly? While the thought of having to deal with so many children at once did make him shiver, he had no intention of pursuing that topic. There were more important things to discuss.

                  "Right. I suppose since we're here already, we might as well make use of this time." Cynder began, sitting down comfortably with the orb in his hands, staring down at it. "Look, I haven't forgotten how the last time went and I'll understand if you're not happy about that. We both did some really dumb things, and I am sorry for how thoughtless I've been." He admitted. "I've never really cared to speak with you, or even ask about your name. Which is really shitty of me." The half-blood grimaced sheepishly. "And since I am going to go see Ryu about getting you out of this trinket here, I figured we need a proper talk."

                  Grave's features shifted into a serious expression. "Barring isolated instances, you haven't really spoken much to me about how you feel, and while you've had a look at my feelings, I haven't been frank with you either. And since I intend to take things seriously and stop being such a useless moron, I want to have a little heart to heart." He stated firmly. "So let's start with a question. I'm doing this for you because I'm hoping we might be able to build some kind of proper family, despite the shitty start. You, me and Ziah. The question is, is this something you want?" He asked, staring at the orb. "Is this a wish we share? Or are the things we want from each other completely different?"
                  You have the right to remain stupid, everything that you say can and will be ignored.

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                    "Both?! I wonder where you get the idea of believing that I have done anything wrong. Though, this is far better than that insubordinate attitude you've always had since returning. At least admitting you yourself were wrong is a step in the correct direction. Moron, I think you called it. Yes, that suits your actions lately. But, this medium disgusts me, using mere threads instead of tried and true words. If I am going to reveal my name to you, then I shall do so with my true form at birth, so that the name you speak will carry the weight of my figure."

                    "Are you prepared to see my true form, boy? I certainly hope so, since I'm going to drag your soul into this awful prison with me. Prepare yourself. Or don't." she declared nonchalantly, before Grave felt the threads dig into his very core, and pull... In an instant, he felt like his body was emptied of himself, like leaving a shell behind, as his mother effortlessly dragged him inside with her...

                    The very next thing he'd comprehend, was being in a very bizarre place of nothing but pathways and stairs, an endless maze inside of a strange cavern of crystal rocks jutting out of seemingly nothing. A confusing world of dreams, it appeared. From one such pathway, a figure with a serpentine body swirled up the large pillar that connected two stairways, to reach the top and rest on the flat surface. Her lower half a snake, and her upper half giving an idea why Grave's female half looked so... Full. It wasn't clear who she was until she spoke. "Welcome to this place, my prison. It was similar to yours, but filled with useless thoughts." she declared. As her voice was now clear, and more regal and noble. A voice that clearly spoke above others, a leader and a threat. Indeed, as she mocked his mind, he'd see his mother for the first time, with a look of sadistic enjoyment on her face.


                    She stared at Grave for a while, seemingly taking in the sight of him. "Ah... You grew up well. I knew of it before, but to see it more clearly, it is a wonder. I think like this, we can have that heart-to-heart, don't you agree?" She asked with a smirk. "Now... About your question... I think you might be misunderstanding something. My desire was for my family lineage to rule as they were always destined to. But between your useless male body and that mutant she-creature I birthed, there is no suitable body to take my place. While admirable, your female body is just as well useless. They are nothing compared to a true Echidna. But... I do find it rather cute that you want to come to me and be my son. I'm rather touched that you feel that way towards someone like me. I might be able to return those feelings if you continue to satisfy me. But, I will never be able to love 'her', if you can understand. That creature who has caused me so much grief... I shall refer to her only as Envy. That is who she is now, not my daughter, and good riddance. Just by existing, she caused me so much pain... Ah, right... Names."

                    She held her arms out to Grave, as if to welcome him to her bosom. "I am your mother, Guelimjah. Though that might be difficult for your mortal tongue to pronounce. So, I permit your kind to call me Limb-jah. That shall be fine. As well... I think Zippangu shall be a fine place to revive our species. You shall get me my new body and then we will discuss how to rise once more in power. This is, after all, what you desire, is it not? It will just so happen that... Our 'family' will include a lot of servants as well~" she cooed with wicked intent. "I might even overlook my hatred of Envy if you do well. Then we can enjoy that humble little life you seek. However... My sight goes far beyond your own. Our species will rise again. Our oval eyes will become recognized the world 'round! To that end... Mate, my child. Be taken by as many fertile females as you can. I will handle their loyalty~ The goblin is simply a good start, I expect many more children from you~"
                    Last edited by Mamono Assault Force; 2 weeks ago.
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                      Grave grimaced as he recieved the first part of his mother's response. This was going to be more difficult than he had anticipated. She had no intention of viewing him as an equal, had she? Rather, she seemed dismissive towards anything she percieved lesser than her, including him. This did not bode well for the rest of the conversation. However, before he could ponder his response the young man quickly found himself having to brace as his mother began to work her power, feeling her magic latch onto him before draggin his soul into the orb in his hands. He only hoped he'd be able to get out of this soon enough to not be late for the audience. Or at least get out of this at all.

                      Once he regained his bearings, Grave took a moment to survey the place he found himself in. A world of endless paths and twisting crystals, one a person could lose themselves in entirely. Was it meant to trap people here? Or was this simply a quirk of how it worked? Either way, he'd have little time to ponder that. His attention was quickly drawn to the woman that made herself known, climbing and resting atop a set of stairs as if it were a throne. Perhaps she intended it to be. Given her snake-like lower half, it was quite obvious who he was dealing with. Though witnessing her for the first time, he had to admit that his female half definitely got her figure from the echidna.

                      Watching her speak from the high ground, Grave felt his hopes wither bit by bit as they were confronted with the reality before him. Neither of them cared for what the other wanted. She wished to rule all she could get her hands on. He simply wanted some fulfillment in his life. And while he could get some by staying at her side, her loathing of Ziah and dismissive - at best - attitude towards others clashed hard with his desires, ones he was slow to admit to even to himself. He didn't care for the servitude of others, not the kind of servitude his mother implied. And in the end, he'd just be another servant to her anyway, just a glorified one, any affection towards him depending on his performance. A thought that made him grimace. He wished to become something more, not be treated like someone's tool.

                      "Heart to heart indeed. Seems like you made your stance absolutely clear." Cynder sighed. He felt... Disappointed. One couldn't choose their family. Right now, he could appreciate the bitter joke in that sentence. "Guelimjah... Mother. You speak of many things. Reviving the echidna, gathering servants, power, spreading over the land. But what is it that you actually care about?" He asked. "Not want, not need, not demand, not believe to be yours by right or might. What do you actually care about?" He sighed. "Sure, I want power. Sure, my own greed and desires are part of what pushes me towards that. But I sure as Hell don't intend to view myself as someone so far beyond others as to stop empathizing with them. You, on the other hand, speak like someone who views the world around you as something that exists for your sake alone."
                      You have the right to remain stupid, everything that you say can and will be ignored.

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                        His question took her by surprise. "Hmm... What a fascinating question." she replied at first, before putting her left hand on her hip and her right to cup her chin. "It's true, I believe that this world revolves around the strong and powerful ruling the weak, but a mistake often made is the idea of birthright. I just don't believe in it. If I did, I'd say to rebuild my kingdom for your sake alone, but you don't strike me as remotely able to rule at all. You look far too worthless to rule." she declared. "It's a travesty to yourself and others when you put someone into power purely because of a flimsy moral or connection. But to not want or need? I do believe you mixed your words. If it's something I care about, I obviously want it. Otherwise I wouldn't care. As for what that is..." She acted like she never got asked such a sentimental question. "Most people don't care about the who or what. In my line of experience, they usually just ask... Why." she said with a wicked smirk. "I honestly do not know what I care about. It is a burning inside my very soul. It demands power. More power, and when I get it, I shall get more power. It's that simple. It's why the demons destroyed my clan, out of jealousy for my power. They were afraid of me... And Pride... A relative of sorts to your pathetic sister at this point, that Cardinal Sin is the one who staged the attack because she didn't like me making a fool out of her. I would have been just fine if the Crow didn't intervene." she spat.

                        "After all, I suppose THAT is what I care about. My very own Pride. I want to be honored, respected, feared, and loved. Held in the highest regards of all mortal life. I want to be proud of everything. And that includes you." she declared. "Shame disgusts me, I wish I would never have to feel ashamed of anything. You, Grave, are the beginnings of my desire to come as close as possible to a feeling of perfection. And I think you are clear on what you desire... You want to become a family. It's such a simple wish, that despite all that's happened, and you not deserving any grace from me, I shall grant it... My Son." she declared. "I will also allow that sister of yours to be apart of it, despite how much it urks me. Since I know you... Somehow ended up liking her." She shrugged with a look of confused pity on her face. "Shall we celebrate our first chance at reunion? Come, experience the honor of being able to freely hug me, it's your privilege~" she cooed, holding her arms out in welcome to embrace.
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                          Grave's eyes widened slightly as he listened. His question might have caught his mother by suprise, but in turn she caught him off-guard with her response. The outlook she presented, in the end it was shaped by her desire, a desire she admitted to honestly. It was selfish, perhaps even amoral. But she wouldn't deny that, he suspected. That was his mother: one who sought power so that when she clawed her way to the top, she'd be held in highest esteem. Pride was what drove her, it demanded she stand above everybody else and to that end she'd spare no expense. The question was... Was he in a position to judge her for that?

                          Unlike his mother, the young man cared little for prestige. What he wanted was a family, a place called home, a better life than what he had suffered through so far. A dream he understood poorly, but one he was feebly grasping at nonetheless. How far was he willing to go for it? Not even a week ago he declared his willingness to go through hellish training for the sake of achieving that dream using power. Would his method be any different from hers? And he was not entirely blind to his anger and desire to lash out at those that wronged him. How far would his retribution go were he in a position of power?

                          Grave chuckled, a crooked half-smile appearing on his face for a moment. His mother was screwed up, but then again so was he. Would it be the right thing to do, reject her and not unleash her on the world? Perhaps. But it was really late to ask that question. And for ultimately, outside of the absolute worst case scenario, whenever he thought about the future he still envisioned her as a part of his family. If nothing else, to Cynder it was proof he did not wish to let go of her. And while he doubted they'd see eye to eye on many things, their interests were the same on certain points. Perhaps this would still work out.

                          "I see. I think I finally get it." Grave replied after a moment of thought, moving up the stairs as he walked towards his parent. "To be honest, I don't feel like I can promise you anything, least of all the fact you'll be completely happy with the things I might do." He admitted with a shrug. "But Hell. I think we can make this work anyway. At the very least, I think our wishes might align quite well. You want to be proud of me, and I want to be able to make a home and family here. A pointless effort if I'm not strong enough to protect them." The half-blood stated, approaching her. "One way or another, I will get there, I'll promise you that much. So... Here's to family, I guess." He chuckled, accepting his mother's invitation to embrace her.
                          You have the right to remain stupid, everything that you say can and will be ignored.

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                            Guelimjah wore a wide smile as Grave embraced her. "That is the first manly thing I've ever heard you say. You? Make a sacrifice? I'm astonished." she admitted, with a slightly mocking tone. "But, you have also damned yourself. I expect you to work hard, child. Mostly with your hips, but if you can work in other ways, that's fine too. I am happy though, you can be a good boy after all~" she cooed, hugging him tighter... As Grave had a chance to secretly enjoy having his mother's breasts rest on his shoulders as his face was buried between them. Her breasts fit the size of a mother, they were thick and large, almost as if they still had lots of milk in them. They were soft and juicy, a pleasant experience, wiggling and bouncing with any movement he made against them.

                            "Alas, it is time for you to return. I assume you've had your words to speak with me about? Return to the physical world, and get me my body!" she declared. Grave felt like he'd been released, able to return to his body if he concentrated.
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                              "Mh." Grave wasn't sure whether he ought to admit it, but Guelimjah's chest was very soft indeed. Softer than he expected, really, and with how closely she embraced him he got a good feel indeed. Still, he could proudly state that he pulled his face away from them to speak with only slight reluctance. "Damned if I do, damned if I don't. There's no way out of this mess for me that doesn't involve going through Hell, one way or another." He stated with a sigh. "At least if I choose my Hell, I'll be able to choose the outcome. At least to some degree." Better to confront what was in front of him than hide. That way, he could shape his future to his liking.

                              Still, he could soon feel that it was indeed his time to go. "Yeah, I think this'll be enough. Wasn't quite as I expected, but far from what I feared. Still, I think it's good we talked like this." Cynder nodded. "See you soon, I guess. Depends on how difficult it'll be to get Ryu to listen to the request. Hopefully she'll be in a good mood." He mused. "Later." Concentrating, Grave willed himself to go back to his body, figuring it wouldn't be that different from changing between his male and female halves. Hopefully Club hasn't woken up and tried something stupid with it. And dragged Ziah in. Which was a possibility, all things considered.
                              You have the right to remain stupid, everything that you say can and will be ignored.

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                                "Remember to be polite, and be very lenient to the demands that she makes. We can deal with whatever horrible ideas she'll have for me after I'm revived. Do NOT disappoint me." she declared, smirking the whole while as Grave withdrew his consciousness... To find himself no longer sitting, but on his back with the ball clutched between his hands on his stomach as the familiar white panties of Envy and the ass they clung to was in his face, rubbing against him while Club's familiar weight was on his crotch. Based on their movements, they were fighting.

                                "Get OFF you overbearing insect!" Envy cursed.

                                "Club want to sleep in Gwave's lap!" said the goblin.

                                "He's clearly doing something! Stop acting like an infant!"

                                "Envy is an en-fant!" Club retorted, her fists met with Envy's hair fists.
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