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"Even if you beg for mercy, I won't listen!"

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"Now, it's showtime!"

This article Diving Down, is the sole property of Per and as such, no user may edit this article without explicit permission from the aforementioned creator. If you wish to use this article in any way, please ask me first.
Suihakkei arc (水發勁 Liberation of Water arc)

Diver

Times were as peaceful as usual in the Akatsuki guild. From the sky above, which was painted in azure, birds soared through the atmosphere of Guild Haven. It really was amazing; despite all the crazy adventures they'd been through, Akatsuki was closer than ever; and craziness did bring people together.

Deftly slamming her fist against the alarm clock, which read "11:00 AM" on her bedside table in an attempt to halt its incessant beeping, Gaikou slowly stumbled to her feet. Straightening her salmon-pink kimono with elegant azure rose patterns adorned upon it, which was left a mess from the events which happened last night with a certain orange-haired fool, she prepared for another humdrum day wherein nothing of note happens. Or at least that was what she wanted to happen- Iris persisted in making everything abnormal for her.

The aforementioned orange=haired fool was already downstairs, as the guild bar filled up early in the morning. He looked vaguely exhausted, but a lack of sleep was to blame for that. Yawning, he actually ordered a drink from the bar.

Olivia was surprised. "You? Drinking?"

"It happens when you're tired." He replied, simply.

Iris was wandering around the bottom floor, scatter-brained as ever. She seemed exhausted as hell, though her usual zest definitely didn't let this shine forth. "...Why don't you ever make that hazelnut smoothie for me, ehhhhh Olivia?" The tone of her words seemed as nutty as she usually was.

Olivia giggled and she went about getting the drinks. "You two are both exhausted. Did you have fun or something last night?" She chuckled knowingly.

Jason made a minor flinch. "You could say that, but Iris wasn't involved. Why she's not being hyperactive is beyond me."

Iris chimed, "Gaikou and Jason, sitting in a tree, F-U-C-" She cut herself off. "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanyway, I was certainly lucky last night...but a certain albino wasn't~"

Olivia slid the drunks over towards the two, and Jason downed his in about a second and looked around. "It's actually a decent sight to see the guild so populated, even those who aren't members, that is to say, almost all of them, it's a decent sight."

Iris's expression contorted into that of a ':3'. "Indeedly~! It's so nice to have friends around- otherwise we'd all be lonely. Heck, I think our insanity drew us all together, don't you think~?" she whispered in a small voice, "That and Jason's sexiness~"

Jason chose to ignore this, but she was right. There was something about being surrounded by people you liked that made life so much more enjoyable. He slid off the bar stool, deciding to go find their guild's resident recluse and get her to come down and mingle. With those thoughts, he walked up to the second floor, figuring she couldn't have woken up any earlier than about 5 minutes ago.

This day was one of those rare days where Gaikou fell out of her usual schedule of waking up at the crack of dawn as to achieve a healthy start to the day, and as such, was still highly exhausted from the night before. Dark bags were under her eyes, which were half-open, and she could barely keep stable footing, using the wall as a grip. Suddenly, she bumped into Jason, smacking into his chest. "Wha...? Dammit..." She grumbled as she took two steps back, growling at him. "...The hell do you think you're doing?"

"Don't growl at me, I think we're past that now." Jason replied airily, and he got a close look at her face. "You're exhausted I take it? It's not like you to just walk right into someone."

Gaikou clutched her head and muttered, "....I am NOT a morning person." Evidently by her usual behavour, she wasn't a day or night person either. "Tch, sorry. It's not nice to smack face-first into somebody's...." she looked straight at his chest, drooling slightly before going back on-topic. "...Chest."

"You're not a day or night person either, Gaikou." Jason reminded her, knowing both by experience. "Either way, you're part of the guild. Why not come down and join us?"

Gaikou glanced away, annoyed as usual. "...Tch, fine. But don't expect me to join in your hugs and cuddles and puppy petting..." She was as short-tempered as ever.

Jason felt like pointing out they'd done that last night, but joking wasn't in his nature, and she'd probably push him down a few flights. "Good. Come on, you'll open up quickly."

Gaikou grumbled at these words- though she complied, trudging down the stairs after him. Even so, she wasn't too happy- though she never was.

As she reached the last floor, she noticed a certain Exialia Halphas resting on a seat. Gaikou stammered, "....How do you keep showing up out of nowhere!?" Her thoughts read, "One of these days, I'm gonna nail her feet to the ground."

Iris's ears twitched. "Soooo~ What are you here for?"

Exialia calmly began to explain. "For you, Iris. There's a lot you don't know; especially about your origins."

Iris looked down. "I'm not sure if I want to hear this..."

"You." Jason cast Exialia an aside glance, wondering why she would waltz up into his guild. "I remember you...Exialia, wasn't it?"

Exialia snarked, "No, it's Mirajane. Of course it's me. I know, I know. I show up out of nowhere every time. At least I don't smash your doors down every time I make an entrance."

Jason sat down, grunting like an elderly gentleman. "Fair point." He nodded his head. "Olivia, the lady seems to be staying to tell Iris something, pour her a drink?"

"Of course." Olivia nodded, looking at Exialia. "What would you like?"

Exialia rolled her eyes. "Not really thirsty, in all honesty. Cides, I don't want your poison."

"Oi, woman!" Jonas called from across the room. "Get a feel for the setting, eh? You're in a bar, grab a drink!"

"He has a point." Jason shrugged. "It's rude to come into a place like this and disregard the offer of a drink."

Exialia clicked her tongue in exasperation. "...Fine, fine. Gimme a scotch. But I warn you- I am a violent drunk."

Iris remarked, "She's so similar to Gaikou instead of Viv~"

Olivia passed the drink to her, and started to serve tables. "So...you have information for Iris?" Jason looked at Exialia hard. "This should be interesting. Iris, let her tell you, I'm curious."

Iris was still rather unsure. "...Alright, then...."

Exialia began to explain. "You were created for the purpose of defeating Vritra."

Iris's eyes widened. She remembered...Vivian was the hormculus of Vritra. That meant..."You mean..."

Exialia looked away. "...Correct. Your kind was crafted by the Magic Council for the sole purpose of killing the homunculus of Vritra if it managed to escape their clutches. Meaning...if Vivian goes berserk again...you'll be forced to kill her."

"There will be no need for that." Jason's eyes narrowed. "Iris won't need to cover her hands in Vivian's blood. I believe myself to be more than capable of restraining Vivian, "berserk" or otherwise." His tone was steely, and it carried more authority than one would expect, but having been Guild Master for a few months, it's expected.

Exialia tapped on the table rather unimpressed. "I hope so. Otherwise I'd hunt you both down and hurt you reeaaaaaal bad." Exialia, despite her mature air, really was protective of Vivian; and that was an understatement.

"Is that all?" Jason asked her, about to stand up.

Exialia nodded. "Oh, that and..." she pulled a mission request from her cleavage and gave it to Jason. "...This."

Jason took the envelop from her. It had a large E emblazoned on it. He frowned. "You're acquainted with Mr. E I take it?"

Exialia nodded. "How did you find that out so quickly? My my, you're such a smart monkey. Of course I am. He and I have similar goals and all..."

Jason ignored the jibe, and peeled off the 'E' seal, removing the letter, written on parchment. Was he running out of paper, or just bored? His eyes skimmed over the letter, as he tried to ignore Iris' frantic "WHAT IS IT, WHAT IS IT, WHAT IS IT!?" as she tried to read over his shoulder. Jason looked up at Exialia. "And the payment for a mission like this?"

Exialia growled, "It's to slay an ice demon in a different continent; it's been harrassing a certain tribe for a while- the problem is they can't fight it due to unspecified reasons. And yes, the payment is hefty."

"That seems like enough incentive." Jason replied, tucking the envelope into his kosode. "Give Mr. E my regards next time you see him...though he'll undoubtedly find us."

Exialia nodded, remarking something along the lines of "We're everywhere. You won't realize it, but when the time's right, I'll appear when you least expect it" and vanished once again. Truly, she was an inexplicible person, that Exialia Halphas.

Jason frowned, absentmindedly placing a hand on Iris' head. "Well everyone, we're heading to the Land of Isvan."

END

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