Work Header

The Eternal Darkness

Work Text:

The lights have gone off at Seisho’s dorms, though not by choice, but by force.

An expasterated Junna sighed at her surroundings. She was working on her homework when the lights went off. This isn’t usually a thing that happens in the Seisho dorms, but sometimes your dorm mates just want to make garlic bread, and they plugged in too many toasters.

Junna knew exactly who to blame for this. She immediately headed towards the kitchen and there they were. Hikari and Maya standing before a smoking toaster…five actually.

“Kagura-san. Tendou-san,” she addressed both of them. “Please explain the toasters.”

“It’s for garlic bread,” Hikari turned around.

“Indeed it was,” Maya added. “That is, until somehow the toaster started smoking, and now here we are.”

The scent of burnt garlic caught Junna’s attention even further. “Did you…did you just put garlic butter on the bread before toasting them?”

“You’re not supposed to do that?” Hikari tilted her head.

“Oh my god,” the class rep held her head in her hands. “That’s not how you—whatever. What’s done is done. Now we have to check the circuit breaker, flip the switches, and get the lights back on…”

“I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Nana reported just as she entered the kitchen. “I checked the breakers, and it looks like the breaker’s locker is locked! I don’t think any of us have the key…”

Junna groaned. “It’s starting to get dark, too. Do you know who has the key?”

“Probably the teacher,” Nana tapped her chin. “Until she comes back, we’ll probably have to stay in the dark…”

While Junna was distracted, Hikari was beginning to sneak away with the garlic bread and the smoking toaster.

“We’re not done with you yet,” Junna immediately noticed this. She may not have good eyesight without her glasses, but with them she never misses a thing. “Kagura-san. Put down the toaster. Let’s talk.”

Hikari raised her hands in surrender, putting down the toaster.

“Good. I’m not upset,” Junna tried her calmest voice. “Things like these happen. It’s fine.”

“I admit, it was my idea at first. Please do not give Kagura-san too much trouble,” Maya spoke out. “I’m willing to replace the toaster if it ever comes to that…”

“Woah! Look! The lights are really out!” Just before either of them could say anything further, Karen entered the scene. “Did something happen?”

“Yes, Karen. It sure did happen,” Hikari replied.

“It won’t come on until the teacher gets back, so you might want to make yourself comfortable!” said Nana. “I’m going to take a nap myself. It’s been a while since I did that…”

“Ah, take care, Nana,” Junna waved at Nana as she left to nap in their shared room.

“It’s dark out here…but what if we have some lights? That should help!” Karen suggested.

“Oh! That’d be nice, Karen,” Junna lit up. “Can you get some lights for us, Karen?”

“Alright!” Karen chimed, heading off to her room. “I got just the thing~”

“Ah,” Junna smiled. She didn’t expect Karen to be prepared for this kind of event, but she’ll take it.

Her jaws dropped once she saw the kind of lights Karen brought over. Glowsticks. Hikari seemed interested. Maya let out an endearing chuckle.

“These are—”

“Glowsticks!” Karen blurted out, waving them around. She handed one to a highly stunned Junna, and one to the grinning Maya.

“Karen, give me one too,” says Hikari, extending a hand over. Karen gave her one!

“Karen, this does light things up but I’m not sure if it’s—” Junna was about to raise some objections, but Hikari interrupted her.

“Who cares, it’s glowsticks,” said Hikari, waving the lightsticks around.

Junna shrugged. Oh well, maybe something like this once in a while isn’t bad.

“So, a little glowstick party for us…” Junna pondered. “That doesn’t sound bad.”

“I invited some friends over too!” Karen added. “They’re gonna be here any time soon!”

“You WHAT–”

Just before Junna could finish her sentence, two suspicious looking figures leapt in through an open window!

The first suspicious figure made herself obvious with her pink hair and her signature strand poking out. “Ichie here~”

The second suspicious figure, too, immediately identified herself. “Arururururu~”

“Oh. Guests from other schools,” Maya waved at them as they made themselves known. “Welcome.”

“Good to see you again,” Hikari added.

“Oh my god. Karen you can’t just randomly invite people over,” If your mental image of Junna right now is an image of her facepalming, then you have the right mental image. “Sorry, this is no party. Please go back.”

“There isn’t one * yet* is more accurate!” said Aruru, raising her bag of chips and gummies. “We brought snacks!”

“And music!” Ichie added, raising her bluetooth speaker.

“And this tabletop manual I found in the common room!” Karen raised a manual for a tabletop game system.

“Ah,” Junna immediately looked away. “I…bought that a bit ago.”

“EEEEH?!” Karen let out a surprised cry.

“Why are you surprised,” Hikari flatly stated as if she knew all along. “Ju—Hoshimi-san’s a nerd. Of course she has this kind of thing laying around.”

“You can call me whatever you want, I don’t care, as long as you don’t call me a nerd!”

“Ah, I have heard of something like that before,” Maya said. “It is…a role playing game, is it not? You would create a character, and you would assume their role. In a way, it is like the stage…”

“Hmm…hey Junjun, you’ve been thinking about running a game for a while, haven’t you? And we don’t have anything better to do other than to wait for the lights to come on so…can you run a quick game for us?”

Junna looked around the room. There were five people here. Karen, Hikari, Maya, Ichie, and Aruru. This is kind of the perfect party size of the starter campaign she’s been planning…

“Oh, absolutely,” Junna grinned. “Let’s get you all seated first, then we can start making your characters…”

After a bit, Junna had the five party members seated at the dining table, with the manual in front of her. Somehow, it has come down to this, huh.

“Let’s go over your characters once more,” said Junna.

“Alright then,” Maya replied. She cleared her throat once, before getting into character. 

“Salutations, fellow adventurers. I am known as Sir Cygnus, a knight from the Order of the Swan. I have been ordered to capture the dark enchantress known as The Night Owl, who intended to bring eternal night time for an eternal moon…and she must be stopped at all costs.”

“Ooh ooh! I wanna go next!” Ichie raised her hand enthusiastically. “Hi there! I am…Quaver! A traveling bard! I have no idea about this eternal moon thing but I’m sticking around anyway because these guys are my only audience group that doesn’t immediately dismiss me!”

“That’s sad,” Junna shook her head. “Next?”

“Okay, okay. Me! I’m, like, super excited for this!” Karen raised her hand! “I’m the magician called…I don’t have a name for her yet but she’s also a fortune teller who decided to go ‘screw the fate’ and try to overturn fate itself and stop The Night Owl!”

“Didn’t you write her name in your sheet,” Hikari pointed out, to which Karen read it. “Kuroma…Kuroma…Chroma! Yes, that’s what I named her.”

“And I’m Seeker! Local Ranger. I’m good with guns and crossbows and stuff like that!” Aruru introduced her character. “As much as I like the night, the day is also important to wildlife. So I must not let eternal night happen!”

“Okay, that leaves you,” said Junna, gesturing to Hikari. “Who are you playing as?”

“…” Hikari stared back. She raised a knife. “Bloodhound’s the name.”

“O…kay?” Junna pushed her glasses. “What do they do?”

“Kill,” said Hikari, staring back at Junna. 

Oh no. Kagura is going to become that kind of player, isn’t she? Junna stared back at her. “Kagura-san, I should let you know that not all problems can be solved with murder.”

“Then what? Heavy persuasion? Threats of violence? Blackmail? Bloodhound can do all that for you,” said Hikari, stabbing the knife onto the table. Dramatic! “For the right price. Gold, or blood.”

“…you’re paying for table repairs, by the way,” Junna replied without missing a beat. “Anyhow. Sir Cygnus the Knight, Quaver the Bard, Chroma the Magician, Seeker the Ranger, and Bloodhound the Rogue. You all meet at a tavern called The Six Bears Inn, when a strange man with a giraffe mask barged in and cried something along the lines of the end being near.”

“…why must we include him in our game again?” Hikari groaned. “Anyways. Bloodhound stabs him.”

“…” Junna blinked. What else did she expect? “Roll.”

Hikari did so, and lo and behold. The die showed the number 4. Not a good start.

“You slip, the knife falls off your hand, and the giraffe-man looks at you pathetically before continuing his rambles. Everyone in the pub is not taking you seriously, they are all mocking you.”

“Alright, as Sir Cygnus is concerned for the public’s safety, he will restrain Bloodhound to stop them from stabbing anyone else in the tavern,” says Maya, turning to Hikari. “I demand that you stop for a moment.”

“I demand that you die. I stab Sir Cygnus while he’s holding onto me,” Hikari responded, rolling. “A 16.”

Maya rolled in response. “14…does this mean Kagura-san gets to stab me?”

Junna groaned. Off to a great start, this game was. “Yes, Bloodhound stabs Cygnus. You take some damage. That’s one wound. In this system, five wounds mean you’re down.”

“Dead?!” Karen sounded very worried.

“No, just down. But if you take anything while you’re down, that’s when you might die,” Junna clarified. “Anyways, now that Bloodhound has made themself a threat and actually stabbed a knight, the people in the bar start running away, save for the giraffe-faced man.”

“Sir Cygnus’ grip weakens and he lets go of Bloodhound, he has to tend to his own wounds…” says Maya, looking a bit grim. “You have done it now. To bring harm to a Knight of Orders…that is a high crime. I can have you arrested on the spot.”

“Try me,” Hikari glared back. “I’m going to stab one of the people leaving.”

“Okay, that’s enough stabbing! I’m going to step in here! Chroma grabs her wand and casts an Uncontrollable Laughter spell at Bloodhound to distract them from stabbing literally everyone!” Karen announced, rolling her die. “17! Pretty good!”

Hikari rolled defensively. “…13.”

“The spell successfully gets Bloodhound to laugh out loud! They drop the knife,” Junna says.

“He has a point!” Karen slammed a hand onto the table. She didn’t have a knife to stab into the table, so this will have to do. “I have seen the future for myself. And I sure don’t want an eternal night to happen! We must put a stop to the mad sorceress, once and for all!”

“Funny you should say that…” Maya grinned. “I, Sir Cygnus, was sent to capture the mad sorceress. It seems we have our interests aligned.”

“Did someone say eternal night time?!” Aruru chimed in. Finally, she found a spot to put herself in! “I am here to deal with exactly that. This will throw the order of nature into disarray! As one with nature, I can’t let that happen!”

“Oh, yet another one joins our cause,” Maya smiled and nodded. “Welcome aboard.”

“Where are you guys going!!!” Ichie hopped in as well. “I want to come too! I have no idea where you’re going, but this beats being alone!”

“Who are you again, and why should we take you with us?” Maya turned to ask Ichie.

“I’m Quaver! I’m a bard, every traveling party needs a bard!” Ichie introduced herself. “I’ll prove to you how important I am to you!”

Then Ichie turned to Junna. “Then I play them a song I improvised on the spot, with my guitar. How well am I doing?”

“Make a roll for that,” Junna gestured to the dice, to which Ichie did.

“An 8…” Ichie blinked. “Oh well, it’s fair I’m not perfecting this on the first try!”

“It was a mediocre song,” Junna described. “Not too shabby, but nothing too interesting either. Oh, Bloodhound can stop laughing now, by the way.”

“Chroma starts dancing to the music! A song’s a song,” Karen said.

“Wow! Seeker joins in too!” Aruru announced.

“…fufu…it seems that you have your ways to influence people. Fine, you can come along,” said Maya, smiling at Ichie. Then she turns to Hikari. “Now, how do we deal with this…stabby person?”

“Bloodhound stares back at Sir Cygnus. They’re waiting for the chance to stab him again,” Hikari described. “They’re tired from all that laughing though, they’re lying on the ground.”

“I feel like I can’t leave them alone. If I do leave them alone there is a high chance that they will end up stabbing someone else again,” said Maya as Cygnus, regarding Bloodhound.

“Will I get to stab this sorceress or enchantress called The Night Owl if I choose to come along?” Hikari asked.

“I intended for a peaceful resolution, but if push comes to shove, you might,” Maya answered. “…you may be onto something. What is your name?”

“Bloodhound,” Hikari said. “They call me Bloodhound.”

“…I know this name,” Maya suddenly looked grim. “So you are the feared enforcer of the Whitebear Clan. I’d have arrested you on the spot if we were under normal circumstances…”

“…but now is not normal,” Hikari finished the sentence for Maya, standing up. “You know you need my help getting into the tower without being seen.”

“…you read my thoughts exactly,” Maya smiled and nodded. She, too, stood up for dramatic effect “So? What says you?”

“We are normally enemies. But I understand The Night Owl cannot succeed,” said Hikari. “The Night Owl must be dealt with before she can be any more dangerous. Whitebear Clan has a bounty on her head already, anyhow. I’m in.”

“My my…appears that despite our differences, we appear to have a common enemy,” Maya clicked her tongue. “I suppose we must call truce for the time being.”

“…it’s better that way,” Hikari nodded. “Promise me you won’t arrest me on the spot once this is over, and I promise to not stab you once this is over. Deal?”

“Deal. I offer a handshake to Bloodhound. I hope you honor your side as well,” said Maya, offering a hand to Hikari in real life.

“…sure…” said Hikari, shaking Maya’s hand. “Now, where is this Night Owl? And when do I get to stab her?”

“You never learn, do you…” Maya groaned, shaking her head. “Yes, we would need to head for the woods…but first we need to address the giraffe-headed friend over there.”

Junna put on a giraffe mask for this. Where did she get that? “The end is nearing…and The Night Owl will consume the day!”

“Junjun, where did you get—” Karen was taken aback at first, but she shook her head. Getting into the role of Chroma. “Fear not, my giraffe friend. We will deal with this together!”

“You misunderstood me. I am here to announce a new beginning, where The Night rules, so you must submit yourself to The Night Owl before all is lost!”

“He’s talking too much. I stab him,” said Hikari, rolling dice again. A 20. Perfect.

Junna grunted a bit under her mask, but what else did she expect? Oh well, she kind of planned this to be a tutorial combat from the start, anyhow. She rolled for the giraffe man, and well, would you look at that. A 3.

“You stab the giraffe man,” Junna sighed, taking her mask off for a bit. “He takes one wound. Now he is aggravated!”

Junna put the mask back on and got into the role. There was going to be a fight here, no matter what. Time to get in the role. “HERETICS! YOU WILL BURN WITH THE REST!”

Bloodhound retracted their knife from the giraffe man’s torso and stepped back, taking a combat stance. “Not bad…you don’t go down in one stab like the rest. This should be challenging.”

“I thought stabbing time was over! Why are you letting them stab everyone, do something, Sir Cygnus!” Chroma was disturbed, but she armed herself anyways. So did Seeker, who started loading her revolvers.

“We seem to have run into a disciple of The Night Owl. This makes matters a whole lot more convenient, don’t you think?” Sir Cygnus smiled at the Whitebear Clan enforcer, drawing his sword. “We can make him lead us to The Night Owl directly.”

“Holy shit, you guys! Why are you already trying to beat up a guy?” Quaver placed a hand on her forehead. “I thought you said you wanted to go for a peaceful resolution?”

“Hey, ask the stabby guys over there, not me! I’m just going along with the flow,” said Chroma, twirling her magic staff. “Besides—if this was what he came here to do in the first place, we’d end up having to fight him one way or another!”

Chroma finished off her spell with a magic missile at the giraffe man! He took the blow, his body thrown against the wall! Sir Cygnus quickly followed up with swinging the sword at the giraffe man, but the giraffe man blocked the blade with his bare hands.

He was wearing gauntlets. And he was fighting back!

“NOW BURN!” The giraffe man extended his hand towards Cygnus and fired a fireball to his direction, but Sir Cygnus quickly deflected the fireball back towards him, setting his cloak on fire!

Now’s the chance for Bloodhound! Instead of normally stabbing him, they decided to throw a knife in his direction instead, but they missed.

At first Quaver was looking on in horror as everyone started throwing everything they had at the giraffe man, even Seeker was emptying her revolvers! Eventually, though, she decided enough was enough and started playing an attention-catching solo at the combatants!

“HEYYYYYYY~!” Quaver suddenly shouted! She only expected everyone to turn towards her, but instead of just that, a strong gust of wind blew into the giraffe man, knocking him against the wall and rendering him unconscious!

“…huh…! I didn’t know you could do that…” Chroma looked on with interest.

“You called upon the powers of the wind. Intriguing,” Sir Cygnus commented. “Thanks to you, the threat has been subdued.”

“Can I stab him,” Bloodhound raised a knife.

“Not yet. We must extract information from him…” Sir Cygnus shook his head.

“So Quaver realized just then she had potential to perform minor magic with her song,” Ichie narrated. “She now realizes that she could really be useful! She asks that you guys take her along with you.”

“Well, Quaver, you have certainly proven yourself to be of use. You certainly are not a burden. Welcome,” said Maya.

“The giraffe man is down for the count. What do you want to do next?” Junna asked, removing the giraffe mask from her face, to the relief of her players.

“I’ll start rummaging through his body to see if there are things that lead us to The Night Owl,” said Maya. “What do I find?”

“Oh, you found a pouch of gold coins, a chocolate bar, and a letter,” said Junna.

“Good. I take and eat the chocolate bar. Nom,” Hikari said.

“It was a good chocolate bar. Caramel and nougat,” Junna explained.

“Thanks,” said Hikari. “Bloodhound goes back to their corner, knowing that they’re not allowed to stab the downed giraffe man.”

“…thanks,” Junna sighed. “Insightful as ever.”

“Chroma is now plenty interested in the bard! So Quaver, you do magic…” Karen looked up and down Ichie.

“I didn’t know I could do that either! How did I…doesn’t matter! If this means I’m a lot more useful to you, then so be it!”

“I take the letter from the unconscious giraffe man,” said Maya. “Let’s see what it says.”

“Oh, how convenient. The letter is the instruction for the giraffe man to spread the word about the coming eternal night, and that after he is done, he should return to the wizard tower in the forest,” explained Junna. “Veeery convenient. We’re running a short campaign after all.”

“We have our new target,” said Maya, putting the letter in her pockets. “I'll drop our friend here at the nearest guard outpost, then we will be heading out to the forest. Seeker, since you are a ranger, do you know anything about any towers in the forest on the outskirts?”

“I don’t think I do, must be a recent thing…” Aruru cupped her chin. “But if we’re heading into the general area of the woodlands, I can give you a hand in that.”

“Perfect. Then, let us meet this Night Owl, shall we,” said Maya. “We must bring a stop to this madness before it can go any further.”

After dropping the giraffe man at the nearest guard outpost, Sir Cygnus came to the outer woods, where the rest of the party were waiting, now with one less giraffe head man and one extra sack of supplies.

“Sorry, that took a while. At the very least, I have gotten some traveling supplies while I got here. We must be prepared for anything and everything.”

He dropped the supply bag onto the ground and showed the contents. “There’s lamp oil, ropes, bombs, rations, torches…everything you need is in here.”

“Silver bullets?” Seeker asked. Sir Cygnus nodded, and handed Seeker those bullets.

“Healing potions?” Chroma asked. Sir Cygnus nodded, and handed Chroma a bottle with a red liquid in it.

“Souls of the innocent?” Bloodhound asked.

“That is not a forest traveling supply, Bloodhound,” Sir Cygnus shook his head and clicked his tongue.

“Guitar strings?” Quaver asked.

“No, none of that either,” Sir Cygnus shook her head. “Do you not have spares of your own?”

“Nope! I didn’t expect I’d be hunting enchantresses with my guitar and the magic songs I didn’t know I have tonight, so…yeah!”

“Fair is fair,” Sir Cygnus shrugged. “Oh well. I suppose we will have to make do with our current supplies. Is everyone ready?”

“Ready as can be! You’re going down, Night Owl!” Chroma shook the magic staff in her hand.

“I am,” Bloodhound raised their knife. “To kill.”

“Ahahaha…” Quaver looked further into the thick of the woods. “This place looks kind of scary though, are you sure you’ll be the one doing the killing? There’d be tigers and lions and bears…”

“They’re friends!” Seeker reassured. “Those animals are friends!”

“Bears are cute,” Bloodhound glanced back at Quaver.

“I mean they are but I hear they are super powerful and—”

“We’ll be fine. Let’s go. Time waits for no one,” said Cygnus, already heading into the woods.

“You head further into the forest. Seeker, since you are the one doing navigation and leading the party, make a roll,” said Junna. “Your survivalist skill gives you an extra 1d6 for this roll.”

Aruru makes the necessary roll! “A 20 and a 6…26!”

Blink. That was a perfect roll.

“What?! How did you—” Junna wiped her glasses in disbelief.

“I never thought I’d be subjected to Ootsuki-san’s luck today, but here we are. Well done,” Maya grinned.

“Okay, well, uh…you found the tower. That was faster than I thought…” Junna pondered. “…wait, there are some people guarding the tower. There were two of them, one with a bear mask, and one with a tiger mask. They haven't noticed you yet. You hide in the nearby bushes, waiting for the golden opportunity…”

“Wait! Two guys?” Ichie looked like she had an idea. “Hey Junna-chan, does my performer skill cover ventriloquism?”

“It does, why?” Junna asked. “Wait a second…I think I know what you want to do. Make the roll. You get the d6 since it’s part of your skill.”

“Sweet! Thanks,” Ichie said. Making that roll…an 18 and a 5, for a total of 23. Nice!

An evil grin flashed on Ichie’s face.

“Okay, so this is how it’s going to go…”

“Hey! Hey you! You stink!” The guard with a bear mask spoke. It was hard to see if he actually said it under his mask, but it sure sounded like him.

“What did you say about me?!” The other guard, a tiger-masked guard, was enraged. “I told you I took a bath this time! I swear!”

“You stink, you have flies all over you, and you smell like you haven’t bathed for months! Go take a bath, stinky!” The bear guard continued insulting his comrade.

“Stop that already! You’re being annoying! I’ll seriously hit you!” The tiger-masked guard raised his fist.

“Try me, you foul-smelling, flies-attracting, odor-gathering son of a bitch!”

This sent the tiger-headed guard into a rage! He immediately dropped his weapon and charged at the bear-headed guard, beating him up!

“WHAT THE FUCK—” The bear guard who, after all, didn’t say all those things, was caught off-guard (heh) and started defending himself.

Quaver giggled to herself from behind the bush quietly. “Okay, now that those guys are super distracted, we can go ahead and enter the tower!”

“Interesting…” Bloodhound cupped their chin. “This will be useful. Thanks.”

“The path forward is open. Let us head in,” said Sir Cygnus, drawing his sword. He began heading towards the tower’s entrance. “Cover my behind as I enter. Let us find this Night Owl once and for all…”

“You enter the tower, and inside awaits your old nemesis: the stairs,” narrated Junna. “It looks like whatever you’re waiting for, it’s waiting for you on the top of the tower.”

“What? We’re about to reach the end?” Karen seemed a bit surprised.

“We’re playing a short campaign after all, so I think this length should be fine,” Junna answered. “Anyhow…”

“Time for the truth. Let’s head to the top of the tower and face down this Night Owl once and for all…” Maya said.

“Good. I can stab her,” Hikari added.

“Er…peaceful resolution?” Ichie tried to remind the party of their initial intentions.

“Getting two guards to beat each other up isn’t that peaceful is it,” Hikari commented. “It was good though. Genius move.”

“Let’s bring back balance to nature, as it was intended,” Aruru took a deep breath. “Let’s go!”

“Chroma is going to cast levitation on herself and bypass all the steps up. She’s floating towards the top of the tower!” said Karen. “See you at the top, everyone!”

“Wait, come back down here! Don’t cheat! Walk with us, damn it!” Ichie jokingly waved her fist at Karen.

“Pff…” Junna tried to hold in her laughter.

“I guess we’ll have to walk the normal way then,” said Maya. “Let us commence forth.”

“You reach the top of the tower. There, the Night Owl awaits before you,” said Junna, putting on an owl mask. Where did she keep getting these masks? “Good luck.”

The owl-headed sorceress stood before the party. “You have found me, have you not? You know my intentions to bring the eternal moon, eternal nighttime to this world. Stop me not, for this is the only way forward.”

“Night Owl. We have a warrant of arrest for you. You will come with us,” Sir Cygnus stepped forward, unrolling a scroll in front of the owl-headed magician.

“Pff, your rules do not interest me. The ritual will continue, no matter wha–” Just before she could finish her sentence, the rogue Bloodhound rushed in for a quick stab! A bold move, but a foolish one. Bloodhound was quickly blasted away by a shadow orb, sending them off the tower!

“Bloodhound!” Chroma reached down the tower for Bloodhound, and also got shot down from the tower by a shadow orb for her troubles. Never turn your back on your enemies, folks.

“I’m afraid I now must resort to lethal force,” Sir Cygnus drew his sword. “Now face me, vile sorceress. A duel to the death!”

“Yes, but it will end in yours!” The Night Owl immediately casted thunderbolt, electrifying the knight’s sword, immediately frying him and causing him to fall to one knee!

“Urgh…” the knight grumbled and groaned.

“What did you think when you made your entire outfit and your sword out of metal? I reckon you feel really stupid right now,” the socrceress began gloating. “Turn away and leave now, while you still have the chance.”

“It is now your turn,” the owl-masked Junna turned to face Ichie. “You stand before The Night Owl. What is your action?”

“Holy shit!” Ichie blinked. She didn’t expect Bloodhound and Chroma to be taken out in one turn like that. Neither did she expect the thunderbolt actions on Sir Cygnus. “Are Bloodhound and Chroma dead?”

“No, they just fell off the tower,” Junna clarified. “They landed on the bush you were hiding in before entering. They can climb back up on their turns, but it will take their entire turn to return.”

“Good. Then I can try to stab her again,” said Hikari, with a knife in her hand.

“I don’t think it will work again, we need to come up with something else…” Maya shook her head. “Direct confrontation does not seem to go down well with this one…”

“Hey, Aruru-chan,” Ichie turned to Aruru to consult. “How confident are you in your next roll?”

“Still feeling pretty lucky!” Aruru did a little flex. “Why?”

“Your turn in combat comes up next, so I was thinking…” Ichie leaned over to whisper to Aruru.

“Oh? I’m down for it if you are!” Aruru’s face lit up. Ichie nodded, and she turned to her other side to whisper to Karen.

“Oh? This sounds fun. I’m in!” Karen, too, was being brought into the plan.

“Alright! Then I think I’ll do this…”

Quaver strummed once on her guitar, but instead of letting out a gust of wind like the first time to push away her adversary, she focused on Seeker instead.

“Wha—?” Seeker was confused at first, but Quaver just gave her a thumbs up. Maybe she should give attacking Night Owl a shot…


She missed, as the Night Owl dodged to the left, just near the edge of the tower.

“Ah, I didn’t hit,” Seeker looked a bit disappointed, but the Night Owl was just where Quaver needed her to be. Chroma was just levitating from the ground and was within range of the Night Owl! She quickly grabbed onto the Night Owl while she had her back turned, and pulled her right from the tower!

“What are you doing! Unhand me!” The Night Owl was getting flustered!

“Poor choice of words, my friend,” the stunned knight was just getting up from his position. Chroma indeed did “unhand” The Night Owl, letting her fall to the ground!

“Curses! You may have defeated me today, but I will return!” The Night Owl cries out, as she transformed into an owl and flew away, just before her body could touch ground.

As the owl disappeared off into the horizon, the sun was beginning to rise.

“…and now, the ritual of the eternal night has been interrupted…” Junna narrated. As she did this line, the lights of the dorm indeed came back on. “…and the daylight has once more graced the lands.”

“Perfect timing, if I’d say so myself,” Maya commented. “Good job.”

“This wasn’t intentional, but I’ll take it,” Junna seemed pleasantly surprised by the lights coming on too. “That was…quite an adventure.”

“What do we do with the escaped sorceress though?” Karen cupped her chin. “If she gets away, she’ll probably come back to do her ritual again! We must find her!”

“That, Karen, will be saved for another session,” said Junna. “It is quite late now and the lights are now on, so maybe we should call it a night tonight.”

“Thanks,” Hikari said, stashing away her knife. She got up from the table and quickly left for her room. “It was good.”

“Good to have you around too, although you can tone down the knife waving and the murderhoboing,” Junna waved as Hikari returned to her room. “My heart stopped a few times! Also you still need to pay for the table repairs—”

“That was awesome!” Ichie got up and shook both Junna’s hands. “You mentioned a next session, right? So when? Can we do next week?”

“Er…yes, of course, I don’t think I have anything coming up, so…feel free to come?”

“Okay! I’ll come! It’s getting a bit dark so I’m gonna be off now though, bye bye~” Ichie waved as she exited through the way she came in, through the open window. Aruru also did finger guns at Junna, as she, too, leapt out after Ichie.

There was going to be a next session, alright. And the next time, Junna will make sure to prepare a better plot than the quick excuse plot she came up on the spot.

There was also something about how Ichie…played the game too. She did expect Ichie to get the two guards to beat each other up, but manipulating the sorceress’ position in the field so she could be dragged off stable ground?

Maybe there is more to this pink-haired former idol than she let on. The next campaign will have to be a bit more demanding. She wanted to give Ichie a challenge.

Maybe she should consult The Queen of Crows for campaign ideas next time?

The Eternal Darkness: END