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No title.
(2013-05-06 - 2013-05-06)
No description.
Shiki Misaki "No, really, I can think of a great book you could read, it's called 'How to Make Friends and Influence People'."

Shiki says this with complete sincerity, as usual. Wait, no, no she doesn't.


"Your reply will be, 'no, a cookbook.' See? So predictable."
Priel Aylin Priel just brought a hand to her mouth and yawned. At this point, she wasn't even entertaining Shiki's jabbing. "And yet, I knew you'd say that too. So boring." There must have been some point where it had stopped being funny and crossed over into the point where she simply did not care anymore.

She shrugged then and rolled her eyes. Sho was right. She didn't need these people. Nor did she need to pretend to tolerate them. Why was she trying anyhow? ...Oh right, Ivo put in a good word for her to be standing here. And also their HQ was convenient. Convenient enough to deal with it anyway.
Lenn Lenn sighs. So much hostility, here. She looks between Shiki and Priel, wondering if there's something she can do...
That Jerk Neku Speaking of hostilty!

Neku Sakuraba hasn't had the really fun, whimsical time that everybody else in the worlds seems to have been having. Amnesiac, alone, and hounded by Reaper and Noise and Heartless alike, one could say that Sakuraba's time has been less than /pleasant/...but at the same time, it's exactly what Neku always wanted, right? To be alone. To shut out the whole universe with his headphones. To live defining where his world ends - with him.

But he's not *happy*. He's not *satisfied*. He's not...okay. Something is missing from his perfect little world...and it's peace and quiet. The Reapers and the Heartless and the Noise are distractions, problems, things that keep intruding on his little bubble of reality and telling him that, No, You Can't Just Listen To Music Forever, You Have To Go Out And Fight. Thankfully, most of the things that have been sent at him have been.../weak/, at best. They've been shallow creatures unable to really get to him or harm him - Neku's skill with his Psychs was improving every day, as he racked up experience like it was going out of style in Shibuya.

But then there was Sho Minamimoto.

Sho was a thorn in his side from the day they met. Sho has continued to be a thorn in his side - powerful enough to put Neku on his toes, cunning enough to keep Neku second-guessing him, and skilled enough to keep hunting Neku down wherever he was. This time, however, Neku had turned the tables on Sho; this time, Neku came to /him/.

Or...well, so Neku'd thought. But the aftermath said differently. As Neku arrives on scene, he takes a quick glance around - and immediately spies Shiki.

The host of feelings that come sweeping up - of memories half-remembered, of thoughts half-thought, of ideas half-formed - come screaming through his head and his heart, and Neku winces, his neutral face shifting into a scowl as his hands slide into his pockets.

"...Minamimoto's gone?"

No 'hi Shiki, how are you'; no 'hello, partner, are you alright?'

Then again...anything else would've been so wildly out-of-character for Neku...right?
Shiki Misaki "Well, you know, you don't have to hang out with us. You could go find a waterfall to watch too," Shiki says, shrugging. "The atmosphere around here's pretty relaxing. Or you could go look for an Adamantoise! You could probably beat one yourself."

She's not even being sarcastic this time. She shrugs and puts herself back in her previous relaxing position.

"Mmm. Waterfall."

Waterfall /and Neku/.

Gasssssp "/Neku/!"

TShiki leaps up, recoils, clutches her hands together, stares at him, grabs.

"Ahhhhh there you are I haven't seen you in months where have you been are you OK where did you go how did you get here?"


"Yeah, he's gone."
Priel Aylin Apparently having run out of that precious resource known as patience, Priel just rolled her eyes again from where she sat, watching the waterfall boredly. Oh look there was some spikey haired lad approaching and asking about that rather entertaining fellow that had blindsided the group some time earlier!

...Wait a second. Why'd he know about that?

Let's take a moment to have the gears turn in her mind. Shiki is alive. But she used to be dead. She was playing some sort of game that involved dead people. Sho was one of those who killed dead people. Apparently these dead people have partners if Shiki's constant insistence for pacts was any indication. "...Ohhhhh, this must be your boyfriend that you ditched for Reize, isn't he?"

And of course that's the first thing that comes out of her mouth. Priel rests an elbow in her lap and her chin in her open palm, idly staring at Neku. "......" And then she asked. "So, tell me Shiki. If you're alive now, does that mean that he is too? Partner and all~?"
Lenn Lenn nods, "You probably COULD. And I'd even pay you for anything you find I could use for jewelry." She then blinks at Neku. "Wait, you're that partner Shiki had before she joined us, aren't you?"
That Jerk Neku Shiki grabs his hand, and Neku is immediately assaulted with two very big realizations, backed up by Priel's helpful(ly bitchy) commentary. First: there's no counter on Shiki's hand, the blood-carved clock of her life that remains firmly sliced into Neku's. Second: that Shiki is just fine, despite all his predictions that she'd get herself killed on the second day.

Lenn asks if Neku is 'that partner'; Priel calls Neku Shiki's boyfriend. Immediately, Neku throws his hand to the side, knocking it out of Shiki's grasp. "So what? I ditched her. I don't need a weak partner holding me back."

Neku's hand slides back into his pocket, hiding the Countdown (it's been dropping fast) from Shiki and the others hurriedly. The fact that Shiki is alive has him angrier than before - subtly so, though, not a noticeable twist or anything but a slight slump of the shoulders and a slight lean to his spine. She was weak. She was indecisive; she stumbled around having fun with her friends. How did she come back to life and he didn't?

She kept her memories. She got her life back.

It wasn't fair.

Neku turns away from the group, exhaling. "Congratulations," he observes flatly. He doesn't need to tell Shiki that he's not alive, and he doesn't need to tell the others - the presence of the Counter was proof of that, and Shiki would surely pick up on it the moment she grabbed his hand.

"Which way did he go?"
Lenn Lenn frowns. That clock on his hand looks omin- And then he badmouths Shiki. "Look here, buster. Shiki Misaki is many things. Creative, a tiny bit vain, and pretty enough I get jealous. But weak is Not One Of Them! If you're not smart enough to have figured that out yet, she's probably the only reason you got by back then." The normally gentle elf... is PISSED.
Shiki Misaki Oh, for a brief, wonderful moment Shiki forgot you were here, Priel.

That rather nice moment where Neku is here and hey, maybe we could catch up on life, and maybe he was feeling like a nicer person through the magic of travelling the world is interrupted in classic fashion. Shiki turns around to make a witty repartee!

"Agh pfuh blah blat!"

Waving her finger at Priel, too. OK, that didn't go well!

"Yes, Lenn! This is Neku, who is a friend of mine! Indeed, he sure is a friend. A very good friend!"

Hand behind head, a ha ha ha ha we're not involved and I'm not a stalker either.

"Sometimes he says silly things!"

Oh, and then something awkward comes up, when Priel mentions 'that thing'.

There's a brief moment of uncertain tension, involving everyone looking at one another awkwardly.

Shiki finishes it looking at Neku. Then, proving that although Shiki Misaki is many things, quick on the uptake is not one of them. "/Did/ you? I mean, it would be cool... if you... did...?"

Oh my gosh this is so awkward. It gets more awkward when Lenn speaks up! And Shiki actually flinches and tries to cover her mouth mid-way through the spiel. "A ha ha, we're all kind of tired and stressed out, we were walking to get here for days! How do you like Daguerreo, anyway? It's pretty peaceful! Full of smart people! Sho's not here, though. I'm not sure where he went! But hey you must be tired after getting here too, right? Why don't we take a load off and go get some dinner?"

"(I'm a bit vain?)"
Priel Aylin "...Well. That was totally a witty comeback. I'm at a loss for words." Priel spoke sarcastically, rolling her eyes at Shiki's response. Neku's observation of her character earns a chuckle from the redhead, who looks away briefly to laugh to herself. And then the addition of Lenn coming to Shiki's defense just made her laughing worse.

"You guys are hilarious! Really...!" A couple more moments to laugh it out and then she sighed, calming down a little. "As for that guy you're looking for, wonderboy, he's gone. Disappeared. Without a trace. Poof." With each word spoken Priel made scattering gestures with a hand as if that would help illustrate her point. "Basically, you're not going to find him."


Oh wait, she knew. Not that she'd be saying anything. Whoops! Par for the course then!
That Jerk Neku Neku could care less about Lenn. He could care less that someone he's never met - let alone one of Shiki's friends - is ranting at him about how strong Shiki is. The introverted Player doesn't even turn around to face her.

"Then would you prefer 'backstabber'?" Neku asks, his voice colder than the waterfall. "...that's fine. That's what life is. It's a series of people stabbing each other in the back. That's how you stay alive."

"I don't need a partner I can't trust. And since I can't trust anyone, I don't need any partners."

Neku shrugs. The music in his headphones gets a little bit louder, the modern hip-hop pushing against the world a little harder as Shiki speaks up. Again, that rush of hazy feeling and fragmented memory comes running through Neku's chest, and he reaches up, putting his hand against it. Why couldn't he remember anything? No, more importantly, why did he keep getting teased with these little fragmented shards of his life, the flashes of days that must've gone by but now are nothing more than ghosts?

Neku throws his hand out to the side. "If he's gone, then tell me where he went. I don't have time to waste with a backstabbing partner and her cliche friend, and I don't have time to waste hearing about how wrong you think I am."

Literally. The clock on his hand is almost *frighteningly* low. A little less than a day left.

"So just hurry up and tell me where Minamimoto went, or get out of my way, unless you want to get hurt."
Lenn Lenn looks to Shiki, and whispers to the former Player. "(You don't rub it in, but a little. I am, too. But someone pretty as you is almost expected to have a tiny bit... You just don't throw it around. That's a good thing.)" She then looks at Neku, and whispers. "(What's that clock?)"
Shiki Misaki Lenn is /probably/ saying something. Shiki is having a little difficulty processing it, because Neku is still scaring her and things aren't any better than they were and now she's hurt and confused again and all the colour has drained out of her face.

"Baglumh," she ekes out.

"Bnh- N-neku, I don't, I don't understand what's going on any better than you do... honest... he, he just showed up and he was being all crazy again, and I don't know what he's talking about, and I don't know when it happened or how, how it happened, or..."

Looking at Neku's clock shuts her up again and she just sort of turns off to her left, clutching her knuckles together and making a worried, whiny noise.
Priel Aylin "Ahhh, the sound of misery. Lovely." Priel idly comments, looking over her nails meanwhile. No wait, those were clearly talons. Whoops! "It's been a pretty long time since I heard that. Ahhhhh...I missed it~" In which Priel gleefully continues to not help.

....Okay, maybe she'd help a /little/. If only because Neku running off on his own and getting vaporized would be an absolutely hilarious headline. Oh, she could see it now. 'IDIOT BOY OBLITERATED IN FUTILE STRUGGLE AGAINST IMMORTAL ENTITIES'. Oh god it was brilliant.

"...Say, you know what Reapers are, yes? Use your tiny brain for a second." ...And that was about all the help she was going to give.
Shiki Misaki Shiki is just kind of standing there, tiny voice.

"i don't know, i hadn't seen him since traverse town and he just popped out of nowhere a couple months later and then he was gone again, i can't even remember /how/ he disappeared, but oh my gosh that clock's so low and he'll die if he doesn't do what he has to before it runs out oh my goooosh what're we gonna do lenn?"

fret fret
Hades There is a voice from off stage.

"She's right, you know," Hades says leaning against the wall, looking...indifferent.

"It is SUCH a wonderful sound. Your misery.." Looking to Shiki, "...And your despiration." Hades says towards Neku.

"Though, your callousness is JUST amazing. Sho was right, you WOULD make a wonderful Reaper." He says towards Priel.

"But enough with the pleasantries..." he says, looking towards Neku. "You're almost out of time...and I would hate for my star of this season of The Reaper's game to vanish before it even began!"

Priel and Hades are a tag-team of terror in this particular match; Shiki's cheering on the sidelines, but Neku's all on his own. The Player Pin in Neku's pocket is almost biting into his fingers - he was seriously considering just using it to read Priel's mind /right now/, but, well, with Hades' appearance...he'd probably know.

Both Shiki *and* Hades remind Neku of exactly what the stakes are in this game, and he closes his eyes, tightening his grip on the pin. What did he have to lose? Neku throws out his mind to Scan - sure enough, Shiki's immune (Player Pin), Priel's thinking somethi-

Neku suddenly doubles over in pain, falling to his knees as agony races from his Player Pin to his skull and back down to his toes. For a brief, horrifying instant, Neku understands what it means to be Hades, and immediately shoves the thought as far out of his mind as he conceivably can before it does any more damage. Not that it really needs to, obviously; he's already in intense and miserable pain.

But Neku is nothing if not willful (ha ha haaaa). He pulls himself to his feet a moment later, wobbling, and then starts walking. "...fine. I'll find him myself. He'll show up. He can't not."
Priel Aylin the fact that Hade was just /there/ did not surprise Priel. Immortal beings tended to be like that. ...She'd know. Call it personal experience. The subject of being a reaper earned a shrug from her and she just shook her head. "So I've been told. It's a pretty tempting deal though..." Pause as she rests her chin in her palm again, watching Neku and Shiki posture where they stood. "...And it does sound rather entertaining."

Of course, Priel had absolutely no idea that her mind was on the verge of being read. Instead, all she managed to take from the situation was the sight of Neku simply doubling over in pain for a moment. "...Oh? What's this? Giving up on life?" Another pause, and then she corrected herself. "Or well, giving up on getting your life back would be more accurate I guess~!"

But no, spikey haired lad #78437287 rose back up to his feet, reaffirming the fact that he'd have to find Sho on his own after all. Priel just smiled and fluttered a hand after the boy mockingly. "Have fun~"
Shiki Misaki "Neku-!"

Shiki is really, extremely worried all of a sudden, not least of which because she recognises that a man whose head is on fire probably does not work in a library. This doesn't mean she can't rush over to catch-ish Neku when he doubles over, and try to help him up, even though he'll probably just brush her off.

And he does, and he walks away. Shiki pauses for a moment, instinctively wanting to shy close to Lenn and Lily, but just as equally wanting to go after him-- and cognizant of what both options mean.

"Wait-- don't go by yourself--"
Hades Hades looks amused at Neku.

"Not smart kid, not even remotely smart. I'd make myself immune to such little things, but it's so much more fun when mortal's kill themselves in th process.

Hades laughs, "BUT...I like you, you've remind me of someone, not that his name matters right now, but you've got something I want to keep in this game." Hades says to Neku, suddenly appearing next to him with a puff of brimestone. His arm over Neku's shoulder, "I can grant you the one thing you need most right now..." he says, making an hourglass appear. "Time."

"It's your choice, but I'd hate to see such a promising young person go so soon to the game...especially with something as important as you have on the line." Hades smiles.

"Think about it.." He says, and is suddenly back next to Priel, "You on the other'd be a crowd favorite. Cruel, self interested, people would LOVE to hate you..." he grins at her, "So...I'd make you right to the Harrier Reaper ranks...get RIGHT into the spotlight, RIGHT into the meat of the matter...the ability to delete players if they cross crush hopes and dreams, power to remove anyone you don't like...without actually having to lift a finger to do it." he says, and hands her a scroll. "Sign the contract, get the power, or don't. Reguardless, I think you have a future ahead of you...with me or with some of" he says, and vanishes, appearing before each one again.

"...Oh right, you." he says to Shiki. "Well, enjoy the fruits of others hard work and look pretty happy with yourself."
Shiki Misaki "I have absolutely no idea what's happening any more!" Shiki says, really pretty paralysed by... everything. Where's that helpful white-haired girl when we need her?


Oh, there she is.

The woman with white hair over one eye, and the blue spaghetti-strap dress reappears, walking down the corridoor. She sniffs the air. "No smoking in the library. Hey, hothead with the brimstone. You have anything to do with the flaming blue wolves and foxes that one of the scholars said were on the east side of the island?"
That Jerk Neku Don't go by himself? A little late for that right, Shiki? Neku's thoughts are as acid as his voice. Angry, disjointed thoughts. He's been fine by himself all this time, after all. Why would anything need to change? Even the Game's new rules hadn't been able to kill him. All that was killing him was Sho Minamimoto's cowardice. Running and hiding wasn't how this Game was played. It was a blood sport.

Priel says something, and Neku bites off a retort. Her words were barbed, after all; her tongue was sharp, and she apparently was favored by Hades, who was /also/ apparently the new head of the Games. Neku probably got a mail about that on his phone. He also probably hadn't cared enough to read it when he saw it wasn't a Mission.

Hades makes his offer, and Neku actually pauses in mid-step. He tilts his head over his shoulder, like he's actually considering it. More time would make his life a hell of a lot easier. He could find Minamimoto, rip him limb from limb...

But wait. Hades had something Neku wanted. If he was in charge of the games...

"No," Neku says after a long moment of consideration. "Not right now. I'm not desperate enough to rely on anyone else. I got this far on my own. I'll keep going until I know I can't go any further."

Then, he'll probably die. But oh well. That was life, right? Nobody lives forever.
Priel Aylin All of the qualities that Hades described about Priel did not insult her in the slightest. In fact, she smiled in amusement afterward. The contract was taken after and unfurled. "Hmn...yes, it does sound like fun now. Messing with idiots running around on dangled strings~" The perfect way to alleviate her utter boredom with her current state of life in these worlds.

Shard Seekers?

...Well, they were convenient, but Priel horribly doubted that she would ever be seeing her world again, or at least any time soon. A glance was spared towards the utterly lost Shiki for a moment before she rolled her eyes and took the pen, signing her name onto the contract without a single ounce of hesitation.

"There. Anything else you need from me~?"
Shiki Misaki Something goes *pop* in the fusebox connected to Shiki Misaki's brain, unfortunate as it all is. The terrible war between 'the need to follow Neku' and 'the need to stay by her friends' side', compounded by Priel's... infuriating behavior, Hades' sheer presence, the lingering revelation and-- the sudden intense crush of the days of slogging suddenly crush her in the face.

Shiki realises she's a lot more tired than she thought.

And then Priel goes and does /that/.

Suddenly, Shiki has no legs.

Giving up entirely on concious thought, she passes out like a flipped light switch, collapsing at Lenn and Lily's feet.
Hades The Contract goes up in harmless flames, signaling that the contract was made.

Hades smiles, "Excellent. Right now? Nothing...buttt..." A VOOOOSH of power, DARK power...

Race: Reaper.

Class: Reaper.

Pin: Ask Neku OOCly because I am not familar with this.

Abiltiies GET: Summon Noise, Heartless.

Abilty Potential: Get Coorridors. Need to level up your rank with Hades.

"For, nothing." he says, and hey, GET REAPER WINGS.

"Though maybe mess with her. She seems nice and vulnerable." He thumbs at her, and blinks at the appearance of a person. "Wrong guy." he says to her, and watches everything turn up Hades.
Lily This couldn't POSSIBLY be any worse. Lily's been silent for much of this time, just making shocked noises... and giving Hades the absolute MOST DISAPPROVING look in the world while her mind whizzes to try and process what's happening.

But then down goes Shiki, and Lily rushes to catch her - likely with Lenn's help...

And Priel. Oh Priel. The little mage's eyes lock onto Priel as she witnesses what's happening...

"... Why. You. Throwing away everything Ivo did... every bit of trust we've tried to give you, you've thrown it all away. Time after time. And now... now... you want to be like that awful man hunting after Shiki?!"

Temperatures around Lily are STEADILY rising. "What's wrong with everyone... what's wrong with both of you?!" This she yells at Neku and Priel alike while her heart sinks!
That Jerk Neku Shiki goes down; Priel signs the contract; Hades exploits the living Hades out of everybody involved, and Neku gains yet another enemy to keep a watch for - an enemy who's apparently a friend of Shiki's. He was about to say something, or at least do something for Shiki's sake, when Lily suddenly starts shouting at him.

Neku closes his hands around his pin. The ground starts to shake around him as his Pin reacts; he's pissed, now, full-on pissed. They were friends with someone who'd just sign their lives away like that? Neku's getting really angry, and this is almost a battle, so he might even be able to wield his pins now. Heck...the world is different now. Maybe he can use his pins just fine.

He's really tempted to try.

...but no. No, that was a bad idea. He didn't want to have to fight Hades, Priel, the Heartless, and an insane wizard thing, even if he was pretty sure he could take at least two of those things (Hades isn't one of them). The rumbling stops, and Neku loosens his grip on his pin.

"Shut up." Neku snaps.

"Everyone always wants something from me, thinks they're better than me, thinks they know better than I do about what's best for me. I just want to be left alone! Is that so hard to get through your self-righteous skulls? Leave me the hell alone!"

He turns away from the scene and just walks away. Minamimoto was out there somewhere, and he was going to hunt the Reaper down and beat him to death with his bare hands if he had to. Beat him...more to death. To Erasure.
Shiki Misaki "No fighting in the library," the white-haired woman says to Lily, slight warning. She sighs, and presses her fingertips into her forehead, leaning the same elbow in her other palm. "Mh... I sense a lot of anger in you. You... you are going to need this training too. It'll benefit you."

She leans down to pick Shiki up, with help.

"Let him go. This situation will not get any better in an atmosphere like this. Discipline will be necessary..."

"Ah, at least that's what Master Kumoto would say if he was here, I'm sure."

She looks at Hades and Priel. "Sir, madam, you'll have to show yourselves out. I apologise."
Priel Aylin Priel watched at the contract burned up, and then as Shiki promptly collapsed into a useless heap. Well, that was funny! But inconsequential at the moment. She turned her attention back to Hades juuuuuust in time to be beset by DARK POWER. She can feel it run through her, feeling something fundamentally change. ...Well, the most obvious was that her usual tail seemed to have vanished, replaced by some sort of vague shape resembling the bone of the tail. And her wings, which were usually hidden were now in sight, also of similar vague shape.

"Huh..." Priel mused to herself, angling her tail around to look at it. It was going to be weird not having that be flesh at blood anymore! ...At least not at the moment anyhow. And then there was the matter of the pin in her possession. A reaper pin. Funny design.

"I wonder just what this does..." Shiki used these weirdo pins all the time. How did these work. Just focus? Or maybe- Oh, there it is! A couple Alterna Wolves flicker into sight before Priel and she whistled in appreciation. "Oooooh....! I see. So then..." Whoosh. They were erased like that, and she giggled to herself. "Ehehehe, interesting, interesting!"

Lily's voice cut into her gleeful experimentation then and Priel glanced over to have a look. "...Throwing away? What did I throw away now?" The redhead asked, tilting her head slightly with a mocking smile on her face. "After all, one can't throw away what they never had in the first place, right? Riiiiight~?" Her smile widened into a grin then and she added on. "Please, as if any of you ever thought anything of me to begin with. This is easier. You go your way, and I'll go mine."

That said, Priel nonchalantly rose up to stand, shooing Lily away with a hand. "Anyway, go on. I'm sure you and the others have 'best friends for life-yet also harem mates' things to engage in, yeah~?"

Completely nonplussed about Lily's well known temper, Priel look more than ready to disappear herself.
Hades Hades looks towards the white haired woman.

"You know, I got a first job...right now." Hades says, looking towards the White haired woman with a small grin.

"Burn this place down." Hades says, "The death of your former friends is optional, but the more the merrier in the underworld." he says, and poof.

"Don't worry, I'll see my way out..." his disembodied voice says.
Priel Aylin Priel pauses at the order and brings a hand to her chin in thought. "Hmmmmmn........Sure~"

And with a snap of her fingers, Priel sparks a flame that begins to grow wildly, catching onto some books on a nearby shelf. "If you hurry, you miiiiiight be able to put it out in time~" And then she fluttered a hand cutely before hopping back and outside, her reaper wings taking flight. "Seeya~"

With that, Priel was off, leaving the others to deal with the potentially problematic flames!
Lily So much freaking out. So much noise. So much anger. Yet the library staff woman does the one thing that would possibly calm Lily down before she lashes out with building magical fury at Priel!

"nhh...hrrggh... you--!"

And then Hades gives the worst news possible. Burn this place down?! What. WHAT?!

Worse, Priel goes through with it. Very quickly, Lily tries to calm herself as the flames begin growing. Focus, focus...

The temperature around her instead plummets now as she reaches out with her mind and soul, reaching out towards the blaze--

The temperature goes absolutely FRIGID, sucking all the heat out of the area... which would certainly prevent any fires from burning.

It may take a few moments but the fires will be subdued quickly. "... next time... next time I see her, I'm going to blast her." Lily's trembling hard. Shivery. Shakey.

And on the verge of tears.
Lenn Lenn frowns, and produces a crystal, a very weak ice magic trickling out to work to snuff the flames. "Hmph. Make all the contracts you want. Come after Shiki or any others of us? You signed a death warrant instead. Ask the Dark Elf about me sometime... now that you're buddies..." She narrows her eyes...

This scene contained 34 poses. The players who were present were: Lily, Priel Aylin, Shiki Misaki, That Jerk Neku, Lenn, Hades