A Demon's Answer to the Heavens (Prudence;Termite)


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Metal cried as she was tossed and became a star. "YAAAAAaaa-" until her voice was heard no more after a firm splash into the water below.

Meanwhile, Alvin mostly didn't seem to mind the direction things were going. Prudence leaving meant the cat man could go on doing his thing, but he seemed to meet with a problem. "Wait, don't you want to take your slimes with you?" he inquired, trying to move and ending up falling over due to how they were piling on him. "Wah~!" the slimes cried out happily as they piled on him in a dog pile, having fun crawling all over him. "Fair enough." Alvin said, laying on his side with his arm as a pillow and seemingly accepting his fate with grace as the slimes play fighted with each other while holding Alvin hostage.

And then Prudence departed. To where? Who knew. Only she knew that.
 

Termite

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If anyone bothered to search the Temple for the twins they simply wouldn't be found. Neither hide nor hair of them could be seen after they'd left Alvin to face his fate beneath the pile of adorable slimes smothering their new favorite uncle, and the only sign anyone would catch would be a the barest glimpse of Prudence climbing higher within the temple while leading around a rather mousy looking human in simple robes.

It was only once one would looking outside that at least the human of the split souls would be found. The girl she'd been leading was following dutifully, but as they wandered and neared any of the demons taking refuge on Undine's roof that girl would start growing anxious and nervous, using the far more lovely looking Prudence as a shield to hide behind in case any of the scary monsters came forward to engage them. Prudence herself remained elegant and aloof, simply taking a stroll to enjoy the sun, and that elegance remained even if any of the more enterprising demons thought they could sneak over and sample the fidgety, frightened little thing trying to hide behind the more confident woman. And why not? If anyone was far too forward for her liking than all she needed to do was give them a little shove, a push of magic that would send an assailant reeling before the two humans continued on their way.

After making a small circuit of the island the pair would head back down, and once they were fully concealed and standing in far friendlier territory the mousy human would suddenly lean back and let out a long held sigh of relief. "Ugh, I never knew cowering around like that could be so hard on the back..." The simple robe she wore was peeled off, and a moment later a pair of wings suddenly burst into the air and stretched before Pru's horns popped back out and settled right where they always should have been. "But at least we know this thing works now." From the robe Baphomet's holy symbol was pulled free, and after taking a moment to collect everything into an easily carried pack the demon's sister couldn't help but nod her head in agreement.

"So, how are you feeling? What's the energy drain like?" And that was the main point of their little test run. They did need to learn how well the thing worked, and that little trial with the demons up top would let them know if anyone outside could tell if the disguised Pru was anything more than the meek, unassuming girl she pretended to be. If all went well then they'd both feel prepared for their little excursion into land of light and certain death. They'd still need to worry about calling too much attention to themselves and inviting the angels to take a more probing look at them, but with the human Prudence running as a distraction for the far less assuming demon that should let them get past any scrutiny unscathed. The only other worry was how quickly Baphomet's toy would actually drain Pru, and as the demon took a moment to look within they'd learn how much time they'd have to either abort their mission or find a quiet place to somehow recharge.
 

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Making their disguised trek, Prudence would find glares from all the female demons abound, and confused stares from the sample few men that lurked there. But overall they didn't seem to enterprise an attempt at their persons. Allowing Prudence to walk through uncontested even though they might have been a bit confused as to their presence and disguise in their estranged encampment.

Once the trip was over, the demonic Pru would find that the energy drain was only felt during the initial disguise. One that doubled as a visual and coating to disguise demonic nature. Even her form might as well been a complete copy of the human twin's. Magically speaking. After the transformation disguise, the drain was nonexistent, or so she'd feel. Meaning that some other parameter would run out of time far before her energy ever did.
 

Termite

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So, the drain was simple enough, but there was some other trick to it. Something that would make the disguise fail before the demon's reserves would. Perhaps this device had some kind of internal battery. It could function as long as it was charged, and that charge would persist without taxing the bearer's reserves, but once that charge was finally used it would need another or completely fail. So, how long would that charge last? It lasted throughout their little trip up top, but that wasn't also wasn't exactly testing its limits. It was probably why Pru took the device once more and activated it, the disguise falling into place and leaving her the mirror image of her sister.

But... Could they change that disguise? When they infiltrated Heaven they didn't want to be identical. In truth they wanted the human Prudence to keep the altered appearance they shared once their shared souls had been converted into a demon, but the demonic Pru wanted to revert. She wanted slightly stringy body Prudence had before her transformation. She wanted the less full hair. The more narrow eyes, the slightly unbalanced ears, all the flaws and blemishes that had marked Prudence as nothing more than a slightly above average human. Could this device emulate that? Maybe if she concentrated on that image it would recreate it. And if it couldn't maybe there was someway to simply turn that feature off. Pru herself could shift her body to return to the older Prudence, and if the disguise wasn't needed then maybe Baphomet's device would be able to hold its charge a little longer.

Either way the twins would test that symbol a little further, but that was it. Heaven wasn't going to wait for them to be prepared, so they needed to be ready as soon as possible. That meant returning to Undine and Claire and retrieving their little surprise for Heaven's Gate, and following that they would need to collect Alvin and ask him how he wanted to go about fooling the angels into letting them enter. That man was an excellent conman, and he would be a gift from Persephone herself as they all tried to sneak their way past the guards. Heck, they might even want to defer to him completely for this operation. If he was going to act as a budding Hero then they could be his acolytes, and all he would need to do was order them to report to Naznia for whatever reason he could think of to give them a legitimate reason to approach the angel's lab.
 

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A bit of testing revealed simple results. First, the trinket was good only for one thing: To Mask Presence. Any other feature she tried to wring from it was without purchase. It didn't change her features, it didn't dissuade threads from prodding. All it did was make it so the (magical) naked eye would see her as a normal creature, without any of the succubus going on within. Second, the drain was such that she could recharge it any time she wished, with the catch being that recharging it had a bad habit of showing the inner workings of the soul recharging it. So a demon recharging her disguise in public would make every eye looking turn hostile. It didn't seem to be any more complicated than that. The amount of time it would last for is seemingly a long time indeed. The energy within didn't even seem hardly lost during the trip. The initial coating to suppress her demonic self took some power, but the time to hold it left no observable impression. It helped restore Prudence's faith in the longevity of the tool. Indeed, it seemed made to use for possibly even year long facades. It helped to even open her eyes a bit on how demons were able to get just about anywhere in life. Human life, that is.

Then, she returned to the palace of worship within Undine's Temple. Unlike before there were no girls of fluidity outside the large doors. This time, the doors were open to behold the great power flowing from within. A dwarfing feeling coming from the Water Spirit's energy controlling the waters all around them. Stepping inside, the marble tiles and tall walls made the twins steps echo through the extravagant building. Deep into the palace, they saw Undine standing in the center of a round pool, led into by steps in coliseum fashion. She stood tall, with her hands on either side of her and eyes closed in focus as streams of water like snakes made of the ocean rose from the body of water around her and went up and over to rest back into the water from whence it came. It repeated this process, the water rising and orbiting her as each seemed to carry more than visual spectacle. With words she could never hope to understand, in a tone she couldn't hear, all Prudence would be able to tell is that the water of the planet was whispering to her. Information from around the world was being delivered into her hands. The strain on her mind, despite her godlike nature, was evident on her expression. It seemed that any great power came with it's price.
 

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With her testing complete and a more thorough understanding of the disguise Prudence watched as Pru went about shifting herself into her desired form. The unholy perfection that marked all of Hell's creatures faded, each of the demon's features shifting just enough to bring some discord to the harmony she held earlier. It wasn't much, anyone looking could tell that Pru and Prudence were still sisters, but with the imperfections rising it made it appear that the human was the lucky one to get all the looks while the disguised demon suffered in her shadow.

With the mundane demon following the beauteous human the pair approached Undine's temple, and there they found the doors wide open and welcoming. It beckoned them forward, and as they entered they were practically drawn to the central chamber where the elemental wove her works. Streams of water cascaded all around them, a number defying gravity as they coursed through the air and pooled around the woman before returning to the natural flow of the currents all around them, and with each drop that passed Prudence felt the slight echo of something else. It was a faint call, so quiet that she had to concentrate to even catch the slightest hint, and all she caught were hushed whispers in a language so foreign to her that she couldn't hope to contemplate let alone understand them. But they understood what they saw. This was Undine gathering knowledge. She was using the very essence of the element she embodied to gather bits and pieces of information from around the world, and despite the concentration evident on the woman's face this power was beyond them. Undine was definitely not someone to be trifled with.

So the pair waited. Undine was quite literally caught in her own world, and with the effort she was making to understand everything she saw it felt rude to interrupt her. Besides, she could probably already tell they were there, so there was no need to call attention to themselves. It was only once they were acknowledged that they'd offer their helloes, and once they did they'd get straight down to business. "We're making our final preparations for our little infiltration, and we wanted to see this piece of sabotage you had planned for Heaven's gate." Whatever weaving created it could probably be hidden by Pru's disguise, but there were other things to consider. Could this bomb be planted and escape notice? Could it be remotely detonated by Prudence as they escaped? What kind of damage would it cause, and could they be caught in its aftermath before they could get clear? It was a lot to worry about, and they needed to understand it before they go waltzing into nearly certain death.
 

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Undine would open her eyes, just as fluid as the rest of her body yet clearly defined and glowing with visual emphasis, as the flow of water around her slowed to a gentle gravity defying river around her. The waters awaiting their information to give to the goddess of water.

(Music Used: Water Temple)​

"I've spent a long time gathering the memories of the water from around the world, beyond that of even this remote island. Though, it's called island by nature of everyone. As I, who sees the scope of the world, would find it to be a small continent... It's been a long time since I listened to the water. In all my years, I often ignore the world, forgetting that even ten years can behold a human lifetime of development.

There are no more chosen outside of this angel guarded barrier. They have at long last all arrived here. The crow tengu has completed her objective. I can hear the whispers that her support is on my side, a rare event if any. She too wishes to see history change, and as a chosen yourself, this is very relevant to you. She has instilled the faith in me that I lacked in you. I believe in the her that believes in you. Not just you, but all the forces brought together to make this change in history that the angels repeat. Their system of chaotic control. Though, by doing this, we will open Pandora's box. The queen of purgatory will arise and try to return the balance of good and evil. We will fight a battle we are expected to lose. But by Fate's decree, we will win."

Undine lifted her hand, and a glorious yellow glowing orb about the size of an orange lifted from the waters below, carried by the water current moving like a snake through the air, slowly swirling towards Prudence to land in her bosom. "A portal is a very precise thing. It requires legendary talent and power. It is not a very stable thing, however. Even God herself is not perfect. This ball is merely an entity of pure energy. Tightly woven into what is essentially a bomb of power. There is no finesse with this orb. Crack it, and you will not have long before it explodes into a blast of pure power, upsetting any weaves in the area and turning even angels into dust. Unfortunately, I do not know for certain how long you will have once you crack it. But it is sturdy enough that a light impact will not be enough. WIth your weave, have a single thread puncture the woven glass. The crack will grow like vines across the glass, until the shell will not be able to hold the power within. Like a dam, it's power will rush out and destroy all weaves, including the weaves made to hold the portal open. If you are caught in the blast, you will not only die, but your soul will turn to nothing but shards as well.

"Take great care with this artifact. It holds the power of not only myself, but Ignis and Gnome as well. As usual, Slyph did not communicate with me. But the power of the three great elemental spirits should be enough." She said, as a slight annoyance crossed her voice in the form of a memory within the water giving a faint whisper and thought of a little green girl Prudence recognized from her second last sail, pushing wind around against the water, causing tsunamis and storms. It seemed like Slyph enjoyed bullying Undine. A friendship was not one between these two.
 

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For a while the pair simply sat and listened to Undine. The knowledge they were given was quite surprising, especially the fact that all of Fate's Chosen have now gathered on the Island, but despite the mild shock they showed they did not interrupt. They simply waited, both of them listening and then accepting the orb containing the power of three of the prime elementals, and though the hint of annoyance at Sylph brought a slight smile to their faces they remained gracious and bowed their heads in acceptance of the task Undine just gave them. "We thank you, all three of you, and pray we can put this to its proper use."

That said the human took over looking it over. The construct held an immense power, and though it was resilient she wondered just how. If they were going to hide this thing then Pru we need to contain it within her body, and with the demon unable to truly open herself because of her locked threads they might just have to simply shove the thing down her throat. While Prudence was pondering all this Pru chose to voice a thought the two shared while Undine had been speaking. "We're a little surprised that Cynthia is showing this much faith in us. We think we noticed her watching us while we were freeing the mermaids, and we got the distinct impression she wasn't exactly thrilled with out actions..." Truth be told they still felt guilt over how they treated the Hero, and the sudden appearance of what was effectively an undead kingdom didn't exactly paint the two of them in a better light.
 
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Undine seemed to take interest in the story. "I see, Cynthia was observing you. Do not fret over her, the eyes she has around the world are devoid of emotion. Just cold calculation and information. Cynthia shows faith in you because Fate shows faith in you. To that end, all who own the shards, she has faith in to break the cycle. Even Baphomet, who has dined on former owners of the shards, Cynthia deems somehow fit for Fate's great plan. For all her knowledge, she is yet another disciple of religion. Her movements are made upon the soles of faith. She is just as blind as any fearful mortal, despite knowing so much. She will readily admit this fact. But for all she knows, many make the mistake of assuming she is all-knowing. I happen to know... Just a little more than her when it comes to certain things~" Undine said with a smile, a fact that she seemed rather pleased with.

"To put this into perspective... I can tell, by your new accessory, that you have successfully met Metal thanks to Alvin. And you're no doubt wondering how you shall hide this source of great power. I think you will find the answer more obvious than you would think." Undine lifted a finger, and pointed to the blessed cross and halo on her person, still glowing with a bit of the power she had used. "No angel will question the symbol of their lord glowing so bright. But a strange angel might. One such angel is the one you seek. From what I recall... She liked to lurk in dark, deep places to brood. Crystal Claire has shared all of her knowledge with me, and ancient angels do not change much in a mere one-hundred years. Likely, if you see a staircase going down, there The Scientist lurks."

If Prudence checked, it seemed like the holy symbol was still about the same. It didn't seem like it could hold that much more power than normal. Making what Undine said make no sense in context of volume. However, the ball itself already seemed compressed. The energy within, if it was at the same consistency as the energy of a soul, would be gigantic compared to how it is now. It naturally occurred to Prudence that she might be able to compress it even further, turning it into a tiny ball of death that would fit right into the holy symbol, ready to explode in a violently heretical way, destroying the symbol in the process.