Behind the gilded masks lay creatures of true deceit. The ball continues.
Scene setting : The Masquerade Ball of Greed.
Co-written with Krystal, Zetta, Moo, Dessy, Temp and Nhal.
Krystal: Maya found herself separated from Allister, and from under her mask, her blue eyes showed a little panic. Before long, though, she exhaled quickly, collecting herself. “I’ll just have to find him, that’s all…” She began making her way through the crowd, occasionally brushing against other ball-goers, all dressed to the nines. The quality and art of the gowns were astounding, and the expertise that went into making each suit was something to wonder about. As she made her way through the crowd, as luck would have it, she bumped into a man wearing an elaborate cloak and a full-faced mask. She looked up at him to apologize, but as they met eyes, she stopped, examining the eyes staring back at hers. “…William…?” she asked, her voice as soft as ever.
Allister was looking around for Maya, but not as dedicated as Maya was looking for him. He was enjoying the party while keeping an eye out for his friend. From under his mask, his blue eyes scanned the room, taking in the grandeur of the place. The architecture… The gowns, suits, artwork, music… This was truly an amazing spectacle. Then he saw her, the woman at the top of the stairs, dressed in a lovely blood red gown. Lydia…? He suddenly felt a little nervous. If she saw him, or Maya, things might go badly for them. He had to find Maya and warn her. Lydia was the only one who knew them, and the only one who could give them away. He started to push through the crowds, making sure to stay polite, looking for Maya.
Dessy: Once they had started dancing, Mariela was focusing on the steps. She was quite a skilled dancer, her father always dancing with her when she was little and teaching her different dances. Then as she got older and started going to parties, her mother taught her a few dances her father didn’t know. She turned her head to see Lydia talking to some man. “Who’s Lydia talking to?” she asked, looking back at Scar with a curious expression on her face. Dancing with Scar, she had realized he seemed to be a natural at dancing. She wasn’t sure if he was taught, or if it just sorta came to him. At Scar’s compliment, Mariela gave a smile. “Thank you, Scar. My parents taught me a lot of different dances when I was little.” she spoke softly.
Nhal: Giving a slow tired nod, Sloth yawned quietly as he observed the new arrival. “I see… So she’s the one who wound up killing off Greed.” Watching the woman walk down the stairs he tilted his head towards Kirsikka slowly, lowering his voice to a whisper. “Our Lord says that we must be wary… He feels very suspicious of this one… Please keep yourself out of the way.” he slowly moved and drifted his way around the room, moving towards Lydia and company. “Ahh so this is the woman that took the place of my brother?… I must say, such a task is no easy feat. Under normal circumstances that is…” his shadowy figure stood tall, nodding his head towards her respectfully. “I am Belphegor… It is a pleasure to meet you my dear.”
“Technically speaking,” Kirsikka remarked under her breath. Her eyes lifted, gazing at him from the side while he spoke word of caution. Her head barely gave a hint of her nodding. “Aren’t I always?” The corner of her lips gave way to a smirk before she began moving slowly in the other direction. The doors to the rest of the castle weren’t too far; just a cut through the dance floor and she was capable to go where she pleased, given any guards didn’t give her trouble. Her eyes danced over the guests while she traveled through them, landing briefly on Belphegor while he introduced himself to none other than the princess of greed. She barely paid mind to those surrounding the two. Eventually in taking hands with a few guests, she was spun about the room, keeping her eyes toward the doors. It wasn’t until Kirsikka was led to the edge of the dance floor that she disappeared completely. A light blue frost swept through the crack of the door, leaving some ice to shape itself to the frame. If guards took notice of the difference and attempted to open them, they would find the doors stuck for several minutes. Enough to buy her time to roam the halls without notice.
Gabriel’s eyes remained holding Lydia’s gaze while the two conversed. The corner of her lips twitched with some amusement. As easy as it was to ignore the compliment, Gabriel did take some form of enlightenment in the woman’s humor. “An amazing gift for a woman… If he wasn’t turning over in his grave over mine, he would at yours.” Everyone knew Mammon had no taste for women on a throne; the very reason he had stomped to Wrath with a half assed army. The kingdom was no gift; it was taken. None other than a demon of ambition would set her sights on such a grand opportunity. It was questionable what the woman would want next. Gabriel’s smile remained as Lydia giggled, flitting her fan. Oh, the materialistic souls of Hell were quite the bore.
“I believe you don’t,” Gabriel agreed with her eyes narrowing in the slightest. While she was one to obtain what she wanted through force, Lydia had no problem manipulating those around her. And slowly, Gabriel attempted to do the same…Draven proved to be a failure, but she assured herself that next time, the djinn would be hers. Even if it meant cutting off his legs so he couldn’t run; so long as his hands were in tact, she could have what she wanted from the boy. Though, that was something to think about at another time. The sharp inhale from the princess caused Gabriel’s attention to right itself. Trouble must have been stirring, not an hour into the eve. It caused the woman to smirk, watching Lydia soften her expression once more. “A second gift from Greed,” she mused. “The generosity here is astounding.” It was enough to make any person wary. Her crimson hues stared at the male accompanying Lydia as the princess leaned toward her ear. “What would the demon of ambition have planned for me?” The closeness might put Cecil on edge; her gaze slid over to him, a small and pleasant smile placed perfectly on her lips while her eyes seemed to give away the truer feelings she possessed at this moment. To deal with Lydia now would save her a great deal of annoyance in the future, surely. And such a beautiful face could make her throne room feel a little more homey. Mammon could certainly use the company in his grave…
The woman’s thoughts were put on hold as a new presence made himself known, speaking to Lydia alone. Belphegor…Gabriel hadn’t expected the likes of him to show up at this party. Even Asmodeus was more likely to show his face than this lazy brute. He wasted no time in presenting himself, causing a bit of amusement to pass over Gabriel’s face. Under normal circumstances. This was pleasant; Lydia might not have been as smooth as she originally thought. Mammon was simply an idiot… Something easily noted as he had blindly set himself up for his undoing. All that was required was the extra push. And Gabriel’s money was placed on Lydia having something to do with that.
Astarte’s attention had been caught by the boys’ conversation about a man that Eren apparently owed a match to. The same one who had injured him before he’d run into the couple, more than likely. The two had a better understanding of each other than she did, in a sense. Being boys who happened to love fighting all the same. Still, her reminder of behaving themselves wasn’t ignored. She was pleased, even in hearing Blitz’ simple yeah, yeah. The hellcat smiled. If something happened, she wouldn’t blame the pair…and hopefully Eva wouldn’t so much as question the event. The woman did hold herself high, and paid little regard to anything happening outside the Anarchy Division, much less if she was getting time to herself or not. The woman deserved a break anyway…being here was a simple pleasure for the three. Handing out cards was no task; they could socialize and present the Anarchy Division as hard working, dedicated civilians of Hell. Taking up a job or two if it was offered wouldn’t hurt any less either. Considering this, her words had little weight to them; the boys would end up finding entertainment where they would with no disdain from the hellcat.
Entering the room, she hadn’t been completely aware of her surroundings. Though Blitz’ shoulder brushing against hers brought the woman’s attention to him easily. Astarte couldn’t help but let out a surprised whoa of sorts, coming out light and girly. Her arm found its way around the back of her lover’s neck, the other hanging loose while their lips locked together. It caused a rise in her heart rate, blinking before she closed her eyes in his embrace. There was no regard for the place he chose to do this; she would never argue with his romanticism, as she looked forward to it constantly, and would return it wherever possible. Disappointingly enough, the moment ended too soon and she found herself having to lift upright before she fell to her rear. Thank you, cat reflexes… Mask on, mask off. You’re my girl. The reminder was a little thrilling, actually, as it caused Astarte to grin. The woman did not need any reminding… No single person could ever hope to obtain the place in her heart that Blitz had, no matter the efforts they put forth. She would remind him of this when the time presented itself. But for the time being, she was here on business. She reminded herself of that as she looked down at the deck of cards in her hand. The hellcat had been left with thirty-five…Eren was the guilty party of taking her last five, as if turning the entire ordeal into a competition.
With the three dispersing into the room, it was made rather apparent that it was exactly the thing on the Phoenix’s mind. Astarte couldn’t withhold her chuckle as she watched a breeze of air pass through toward Blitz’ section of the ballroom. She shook her head, smiling while she began greeting a group of men and women. None were worth more than a glance as she handed them cards and began to talk about the jobs Anarchy Division accepted. No job was too dirty; prices were easy in regards to the sums the nobles held in their own pockets, even as they spoke to her now. The hellcat moved from one group to another, until her eye caught a rather peculiar looking gentleman. He looked sick, or maybe drunk. He swayed as she offered her hand, before looking rather concerned. His eyes drooped, and he fell to the floor with a thud. She stepped back immediately, raising her arms as though she didn’t touch the man at all. It wasn’t so obvious the ball wouldn’t run smoothly that night; but there were other party crashers in the room. Astarte’s gaze moved along nearby men and women, lowering her arms slowly. Some rushed toward the man, chatter beginning, as well as some panic.
Zetta: Even with his back turned he had caught ear of his surroundings, listening closely to both ladies near him as they continued to mingle. Cecil was doing his duty as one usually close to Her, Lady Wrath. Running his blue ocular orbs quickly atop the masses here at the Greed Kingdom’s castle. Hoping to identify one of them as a danger to the rest, just to be able to go back to his love and tell her of his findings so that maybe he could leave her- if she wanted, with a good impression. The most odd thing he found was a cloaked man, completing his outfit with a mask covering his entire face, unaware of where he was prior Cecil only looked his way because he was the first to bump into someone in this whole thing. Sure enough right after he did so he blended right back into the crowding, his watcher losing sight of him thereafter. While idle he would turn around briefly in time to witness the other Lady moving toward Gabriel, already alert he was just about to take a step in their direction, thinking this could be the chance he wanted. But he was getting a look as well, the same killing intent he fell for back at the other castle, the gaze of infinite anger-in-madness came toward him. Only due to familiarity was he able to confidently look back, for the sake of acknowledgement there was a split-second that the two of Wrath looked eye to eye. Immediately after Cecil’s eyes met the ground beneath her, so as not to anger her, but let her know that he took note.
Now left option-less, the lone guard of wrath turned hunk of a date brought his eyes back to the gathering. He finished his observation of the room in eleven seconds flat. “Hmm. Maybe nothing is going to happen to Lady Gabriel after all..” He would have to struggle to actually witness every single presence in the room but he did in fact feel comfortable with the visual sweeping. At least now the blame would not come to him if he were to not notice anything more peculiar in the future of the grand ball. “I guess I sho-” Stopping himself dead in-tow, however just before the man turned around he quickly noticed a grouping of three individuals entering the place. For such a party they all looked casually dressed with just a bit of preparation involved for their gathering here. All except the man behind what appeared to be a couple, that one was right after them and so it was made obvious to him that he wanted to show his ability to present himself. The man before him was unpredictable, swiftly taking his mate to their own world and then simply dropping her off where she was. That was incredibly unprecedented, moves like that should be prohibited as any number of things could have happened with the accordance of such a close kiss. Weary eyes would never catch a move like that much less note it as a dangerous aspect. But neither of them were in the immediate vicinity of the royal guard, or his prominent Lady Wrath. So it was unnecessary to acknowledge them further, though for the sake of peeking his interest he followed the female of the three to watch what she would do after such a dramatic display of affection..
Unsurprisingly, she was quick into her own pacing, for this he shifted his gaze back along the crowd. His eyes widened when he finally took note of the dangerous presence he was ever-aware about. The woman he’d been eyeing was just a few inches away too, until she was directly upon him, and in that moment he collapsed! He certainly looked pale before, and this was where Cecil’s mind became active; Considering the worst cases here. Going along with the subtle approaching rearing themselves in this ball, it was most likely that he was not sick, but poisoned. A feature that he would not have acknowledged before as everyone was dancing actively, one person bumping into another would mean nothing in a crowd. Now the gaze of the guard would go back onto the woman, or where she had been, because after a minute of his note-taking she was gone. Now he was looking for that one in that full-mask, cloaked down to his boots. Now that one could truly be taken as a suspect, but before he could search for him or anyone else who had brushed that man he would return himself to Gabriel. Still in the midst of accompanying the other Lady, yet another person made himself known. To this though, Cecil would make his way to his love. Gabriel appeared idle to him for the moment and this was his chance to relay. “Gab…” Cutting her name into a sort of alias would make it seem like they held endearment, he was told to be normal after all, and while he debated on the true meaning of this he figured that as her date he was permitted to such boldness. This was almost surely the only time he would have the pleasure. “there’s a growing panic on the floor, you think I should check it out?” He never spoke like this to her before, being casual almost felt alien to him, but he was ‘normal’ at one point of his life and so acting as such was slightly befitting.
Blitz was hot on rich tail, making his way beside many who were already paired into groups of dancers he was etching himself into the memories of many as he effortlessly broke several romantic moments with his entrance. Beholding a reduced number of about 25 cards he had been making rounds of these people, being asked time and time again about what exactly the mercenary clique did. “What!?” Asked rhetorically, obviously, he did not allow a moment to fully past as he wanted his respondents to not say anything after him- but be given the impression that he only questioned them for not already knowing because the business was so widely known. “Anarchy Division only does everything!” He commonly followed up with, finding himself bearing a smile with his progress. This only serving to encourage a smile in the other party with a heart-felt response of pleasantry. A few times he was pushed towards a full explanation by surprises responses of actual interest, nobles were too oblivious he felt, the diversity was invisible unless one was to metaphorically dissect these people. Luckily for him, he was here on topics of expansion, once he had someone sold enough to take his card he could bid for a hasty retreat and be off on his merry way. The man was downing his total the best way he could after catching that dark breeze from Eren, something he was able to easily perceive once he had come in contact with it. For he could see different energies from an individual almost in separate coloring than others, just another trick learned from his former closeness with real forces of life.
The demigod was looking for more prominent people, as always if he could make to it a root of nobles, he would have his name in for the references needed to bring Anarchy Division some real money. He began searching in higher places for someone to come to, looking better taking care of than a simplistic dress or a button-down shirt. But class that he used to be accustomed to, before his time in the mansion where he had the ability to act however he wanted. For that he was sure that looking in escalated areas was a smarter tactic.. And then it hit him.. Why not simultaneously attract everyone.. This idea was birthed upon finding the chandelier above the mid-section of the building, since there was less noise up there he would easily manage to project his voice to descend on those below. Promoting his group even further and easily ridding of Eren’s competition. Making such a move could result in a bad look for Anarchy Division, if everyone saw him flying while a dance was going on, but just as he thought this a bunch of people began making way to one side of the room. Some side-event probably, his enhanced senses picked on exactly what had been happening though. Someone fell out in the middle of party. This made for an opportune moment to get high and then onto the chandelier. He began flying upward, using this ability to make himself weightlessly ascend in the wake of panic.
Temp: William had definitely not expected Maya or Allister to actually approach him in this place, considering what he was doing was supposed to be covert. Any kind of attention that could be put towards him was a bad thing, and apparently Maya didn’t quite understand that. His head turned to look around him to see if anyone noticed what she had said, thankfully everyone was too busy with the poison victim.“Maya…dangerous…leave…” William had no time to talk, as there would likely be a bit of a security increase now. He placed a hand on Maya’s shoulder and held it there for a moment, then simply walked past her and faded into the crowd. Hopefully she and Allister would make it through this unscathed and wouldn’t do anything reckless.
For now what was important was keeping up on his assassinations, as well as lowering any probability of him being the likely suspect. In order to do this he would have to make it look like someone else was going about murdering people, and make sure that other people saw it. There was never a lack of useful poisons in the world, thanks to this he knew just what to do. Once again he walked towards his targets, which there were two of. As soon as he was close to one of them he patted him on the back and simultaneously stabbed him with another poisoned needle. This poison was a peculiar one that sent it’s victim into a frenzy of anger after a short duration. William made his way away from the two and into another crowd, making his way towards the opposite side of the room. After ten minutes or so the poisoned man suddenly flipped out and started attacking the man in front of him, taking a dagger from his coat and stabbing him repeatedly. If guards didn’t take care of the man then the poison would, though it would take several hours. Hopefully that little distraction and set up would clear him from any curious eyes.
~The Chamber of the Spider~
While the classical music filled the castle halls, deep within the bowels of the castle there was a chamber that was not too far from the old gnome’s blacksmith shop. This part of the castle was hardly used, and in no way was as grand or elegant as the upper floors. The stone flooring that lead to the chamber was dust ridden and there were cobwebs hanging from the upper crevices that ran along the ceiling. There were few torches and only some were lit. From high above where the band was playing a waltz for the regal guests, the sound below was almost like a low bass thudding. No merriment or pleasure gained from the sound. Shadows in this dark corridor seemed to stretch on further than what would be considered natural. But little did those that attended the ball, realize that the very thing that led Mammon to his death was kept in the dark chamber. Standing atop a small podium that was round in shape and approximately 30 inches was the Beserker armor. Surrounding the armor was twelve stone statues. Each holding a long sword tight within their grasp. The statues appeared worn and covered in a thick layer of dust. Again…there were spiders webs in all corners of the room and at the back a larger web again. A light Chittering sound is heard, but then there is silence. The Beserker’s armor still bares the scrapes and scratches from battle, but all blood has been absorbed.
~The Grand Ballroom~
Mariela was right to be curious about just who the Princess of Greed was speaking too. In fact, Lydia had made a beeline right for the handsome looking young man. Scar lifted his head slightly and then narrowed his gaze at the pair. Interesting. He had not come across this man before, but by the looks of his dress, it would appear that he was one of the Princes of Hell. But which one? He had with him a rather large gentleman that stood quite close to the Prince. Scar jutted out his bottom lip and tried to make head or tail of it. Continuing to twirl Mariela around the dance floor, whilst stealing glances, Scar had a question of his own. ”I had no idea that one of Hell’s Princes was gay.” Again he twirled the young witch and leaned over for a better look through the crowd. ”And if he is gay…I think Lydia is wasting a perfectly good flirt. Look at her. Tsk.” To be truthful, Scar had no idea who the gentleman was, but then another approached Lydia and this one was moving rather slowly. Drawing his own conclusion after seeing the chap yawn, then speak to Lydia, Scar said. ”My money is on THAT Prince being Sloth….er, I mean Belphegor.” Giving a light shrug of his shoulders, he continued to dance with Mariela, before looking at her and asking. ”Did you want to hob knob with the likes of those royals?” The Alp was curious to see if Mariela wished to be introduced.
Keeping up appearances was the order of the day for Lydia as the change in her expression from seeing Maya and Allister didn’t go unnoticed. Yes, she tried to speak of more topical subjects, like the breaking of the curse that Mammon had set upon Gabriel on his dying breath. As Gabriel asked what the new Princess of Greed had in store for him, another royal approached and this one was the brother of Mammon. Lydia was about to put on the performance of her life as she turned ever slightly and found herself falling beneath his shadow. Belphegor towered over her and though he could have been cutting in his remarks and introduction he held back and used tact. Lydia lowered her fan slightly and offered what appeared to be a genuine smile. Not the kind where she grit her teeth for she bore no ill will for Belphegor at all. She was wary however. Knowing Gabriel was right there, the Princess of Greed was careful in her reply. ”Delighted to meet Mammon’s kin, and under such circumstances. We here at Greed mourned the passing of your dear Brother. He of course left a legacy which I am sure that we will uphold.” What legacy Lydia meant was to be kept close to her chest. Suddenly, Lydia brightened as she went into full hostess mode. ”Oh how rude of me. Belphegor, may I present….Gabriel, PRINCESS of Wrath.” Oh the cheeky look on her face as she gestured to the stunning male that WAS Gabriel. ”We were just discussing how fast change was occurring. I mean. One minute there was seven Princes of Hell…now there are….are…uhm.” She paused a moment, since Gabriel still looked like a Prince, not a Princess. ”Five…” Lydia couldn’t hold back the giggle. It really was kind of funny when you thought about it. But Lydia’s good humor was about to come to an abrupt end. The black suited companion that had joined her from the stairs had been keeping a watchful eye on those that were dancing and enjoying the sumptuous delights from the buffet tables. Lydia’s companion made a strange sound and then bent his head to whisper in Lydia’s ear. You could see the smile fade from her face instantly as he passed on word that there had been an incident. ”Already?” Lydia exclaimed before rolling her eyes. It was at this moment, she asked the two princes to be excused. ”If you would both excuse me, I must attend to a trifle little matter.” Chatter was already building from some of the guests as they formed a circle around the fallen man. The one that had just been murdered. Picking up her skirts, Lydia rushed over to see just was causing such a ruckus.
Scar had also heard the commotion and stopped in his dance with Mariela. His eyes darted from the scene where a man had fallen, to the swift movement of Lydia and her companion across the floor towards them. It was then another fight broke out in a different part of the room. A man had removed a hidden dagger from within his coat and was stabbing another guest wildly. The ball was turning into chaos, and this was the moment that Scar was afraid of. He seized Mariela’s hand and went to drag her from the dance floor, towards one of the terraces that led to the garden maze. ”No time for questions. I made a promise to you. Come on!”
Lydia spun around at the sound of the new fight that had broken out and this was when she lost all patience. Her wonderful party and all her plans would fall into ruin due to unknown reasons. ”Guards!” She screamed on the top of her voice. As they would file in from various doors and entrances, she pointed out the two men fighting, while a Doctor was seeing to the man on the floor.