With their midweek evaluations, everyone got to hear how the moderators viewed their characters and learned how closely they related to a true hero. Many were called on their bloodlust, others were called on their passive nature. Sergio began to hear that he was a violent man that few could trust from everyone. Despite this constant switch between “friendly face and murder machine”, Sergio was called by the moderators as their honorary Yeshuah who would carry the authority of the Yeshuah until the time when he received the memories of the Chosen One. The heroes were given the day off and teleported to the Drass Aristocracy where they would be given free entrance to a world-renowned carnival.
Jacob Cromwell sought Sergio Leone to speak to him on finding a more peaceful solution to things and Sergio believed that he had been raised incorrectly and sought Jacob’s council. [Hikaryu Savarem then found Jacob to speak to him on unquestioningly serving his country, something that the soulless Hikaryu admired in Jacob. Shen Lightbringer found Sergio to ask about Joy Stovelli. Since his transfer, Joy had been spending time with Shen and enjoyed his company, even talking to Sergio about him many times. However, Shen noticed that Joy remained constantly closed off, something that Sergio said that he knew all to well. Shen apologized for not fighting alongside Sergio’s side, telling the Drassian that his father demanded it of him and he had no intentions of following his footsteps. The two found common ground and made peace with each other before Sergio gave Shen his permission to court Joy.
The festivities were cut short by the arrival of The United Church of Sempaurora, led by Danner Smythe who shot at Joy Stovelli. Even though she was unprepared, Joy managed to deflect it with her bracer, a family heirloom. Smythe claimed that he knew that Joy was the Yeshuah and that she was bulletproof, something Joy had displayed many times before, especially most recently in her fight against Inugami Yoshi. He began to ask for her aid in the world, to which she refused before he could completely make his request. In the ensuing fight, Danner and Dawn Trueshine faced off against the potential Yeshuahs and found themselves being overpowered.
Dawn called upon the power of the “God of Sempaurora” and a being that called itself Phaeleg descended to fight alongside the clerics. Feeling lost with this revelation, Jacob lost all divine abilities and the False God began to destroy the party, sending Shen flying with a single attack and greatly damaging Sergio. Another god appeared, offering his aid to the party, an old samurai with a sword called Retsu Kaji. With his help, the heroes managed to escape and find Joy and Shen where they were being hunted by the clerics.
Danner Smythe spoke from the middle of a firing line to Joy, who stood before Shen shielding him from the guns. He told Joy that although she was immune to danger from projectiles, her boyfriend was not. If she wanted to protect Shen, she would have to serve the church. Joy again refused and the firing line attacked. In her final moments, Joy pulled off her bracer and placed it on Shen’s arm, giving him the projectile resistance in exchange for her own safety. Shen felt her being ripped from his arms as the bullets tore through her body. Despite the death of his girlfriend, Shen felt revitalized and rose in the chaos, channeling eldrich power through his rapier. He began to slaughter the church members alongside the heroes with a newfound power – one that was easily recognized as the Yeshuah’s.
In the aftermath, Shen called the potentials together to discuss these new events. He asked Koh to aid him in bringing these people back to the arena. When he made the request, Koh noticed that he was deep in concentration, writing a long stream of notes in the same runes that Koh used for his premonitions.
At the arena, Shen gave his speech: “As many of you are no doubt aware, I have gained a little power since…well since last night. Its an awakening of something that was already there. Also, I think I’ve taken something from Danner Smythe and Dawn Trueshine. My new abilities aren’t fully known to me yet. I want to let you know, I am not a God. I am still the same guy. I just have an ancient power within me. I understand if this makes you uncomfortable.”
“I have come to realize something. Death is a terrible thing and it has taken away someone truly precious. I always believed that Joy . . . was the one. Our Hero. The Legendary Yeshuah. She’s been dead less than four hours and everyone has covered it up and forgotten her. All I have of her is this bracer and you guys have tried to burn it with her clothing and possessions. Doesn’t this seem wrong to you?”
“Everyone here is immensely powerful. The chosen of your village. I believe that we were brought together to change things. I believe that if we all band together as it seems we are meant to…we can destroy death. Joy was precious to me. To the world. We need her back. These powers have come with another bonus. A collective memory. I can remember anything from the previous Yeshuah’s lives: People, ancient cities, wars. The most interesting thing I have recalled is an old myth.
_p=. Saw I this morn, the man whom all belove
Beset by dream his fear did clutch his heart
Othin’s proud son, here peirced by reed and slain
To Breidablik entombed eretil we cry
The Earth doth weep to break death’s sleep and I
Beside you wait at Baldr’s Gate where we
Shall live in health and peace for ever more._
“The point is simply this. Death has a loophole. We have a way to bring her back. I intend to do everything I can to help her. I hope that I have your full support on this.”
Sergio reacted with fury, demanding that Shen give up his quest, which was a dishonor to Joy’s memory. Kohkanest begged Shen to slow down and consider things more. Lee agreed, but only if he could speak to his monastery. Jacques thought the entire thing was amusing and readily agreed. Jacob decided to ask the King, Blaine Crucoy who asked him to keep an eye on the “Yeshuah”. Shen realized that the heroes were not ready to commit and offered them more time. He agreed not to take any actions until the party had all joined his side.