Immune – 1

Continuation of the new series, Immune.  

Collaboration with Jsmn.

 

Jsmn:

 

After calling him as if it’s the only name in the world besides hers, finally he appeared in her sight. She was aching, in pain, in fear and the cold. “WHAT?!” he was pissed, anyone would know with his tone but what can she do? She’s freaking scared. “I-I…”
“OH MY GOD!” she slowly looked to where he was looking and as she saw what is lying beneath her, her heart almost skipped a beat. Feeling the sticky blood still warm in her hands. Her hand started trembling… she doesn’t remember anything but she knows in the depths of her consciousness, it’s the first time that she saw a dead body. Hiccups started before her tears fall, “M-M..M.-” she mumbled with partial hiccups and trembling voice. She won’t scream, that won’t do a thing but more danger.

 

 

Razor:

 

Instinct to protect even in the event of being in serious pain moved Michael to try and pull Claire away from the terrible face. As he pulled her back, he could see the slick of fresh blood that was now coating Claire in a sticky mess. This would only add to the horror of the situation. The poor girl may have been brave and ballsy up to this point, but even he was afraid of what they had landed on. “I know…I know. Shhh..shh…come on.” She couldn’t get his name out, just the repeated M’s again. But it was the smattering of tears that showed that this was just too much for her to take in. Perhaps leaving that room wasn’t such a good idea after all.

Michael’s own body was now shaking. Most likely a mix of pain and shock, but he tried his best to soothe the girl’s mind as he continued to drag her to the other wall, as far from the body as he could get her. His right shoulder was now lopsided from his left, and while he wanted nothing more than to bang his shoulder back into place, he instead tried to comfort Claire.

“It’s…just a dead body. Can’t bite you.”

 

 

Jsmn:

 

 

She’s too much in shock, that she doesn’t mind that Michael dragged her out of there. Away from that terror. She braced herself, calming the thumping heart inside her chest but the tears won’t stop. She clenched her fists on her now surely stained with blood light dress. That’s the first time she noticed why she was cold, with this light dress, anyone would freeze in this place.

“It’s…just a dead body. Can’t bite you.” She knew what he meant and knew he was right. She looked at him, sniffing. “I’m cold…” she answered, rubbing her hands together. Now she knows, he’s not a bad guy actually he’s being considerate, even when she’s nothing but rude.

 

 

Razor:

 

The bite had gone out of Claire’s voice. She like he was genuinely scared of the position that they both found themselves in. As reality started to set in, that they were now in a dark hallway with what was a dead body, and no real lighting or sign of anyone else, Michael’s mind started to come to a very dramatic conclusion of where they were and what had happened. Piecing together the fact that they had been in a barricaded room, isolated from the outside – then something had happened to warrant them being put there. Though by whom and why, remained a mystery. Both of them had wounds and injuries that aside from his now dislocated shoulder, could not be explained, or even remembered. All they knew was their own names…their first names. But was that really who they were?

Why was a dead body outside the door to the darkened room? How long had it been there? And most importantly, who locked them away?

Hearing Claire say she was cold, Michael tried to pull her closer to him. Thinking that maybe his own body heat might help warm her just enough to help her, but at the same time, he knew that they couldn’t stay in this place. They needed to get out. They needed a plan.

 

 

Jsmn:

 

 

She flinched a little when Michael held her. Now having him closer, she could smell him. Aside from sweat, there is something more like a medicine. She know somewhere inside her, how medicine and chemical smell like. There is something with their smell, that makes her want to puke. She gently pushed him away “You don’t need to go that far. But thanks anyway…” She wiped the strands of her hair and tears off her face. Now looking at Michael, “Did you fell into something earlier? or knocked over? Like a liquid medicine or something like that?” She asked with inquiring eyes

 

 

Razor:

 

Michael’s attempt to help keep Claire warm only had her react as though he was trying something on. Like…that was the last thing on his mind right now. He rolled his eyes as she pushed herself away from him, and let out a sigh. Still feeling pain in nearly every part of his body. It was his shoulder that was really doing him harm though. Until it was popped back in his socket, he was enduring pain on the scale of 11/10. With her now off him to a degree, Michael pushed himself up awkwardly to standing, and then looked at either wall, to see which looked like it could take the force of his weight, when he tried to slam his shoulder back in. While he was sizing up a run, Claire had to ask something that was so out there, that it had him stop and think for a moment.

“Did you fell into something earlier? or knocked over? Like a liquid medicine or something like that?”

“I ran into the door, holding you. The only thing I can see that I might have rolled in was the blood of the dead guy.” Maybe his sense of smell was a bit out of whack, or he was too busy trying to deal with the pain he was in. Shaking his head, he went back to focusing on the wall. The thought of hitting it in the charge was making him nervous and he couldn’t deal with Claire’s questions on top of everything. With a loud roar, he charged the wall, and you could hear the sickening crunch then pop as his shoulder was slammed back into place. The pain….he couldn’t begin to explain, but there was a sweet relief that his shoulder was back where it should be. Leaning with perspiration running off his forehead, he wheezed as the strike took a lot out of him.

Placing an opened palm on the wall, he pushed himself away from the wall, leaving behind a purplish streak of a hand print. Was this the medicine that she inquired about?

 

 

Jsmn:

 

 

“I ran into the door, holding you. The only thing I can see that I might have rolled in was the blood of the dead guy.”
“No..think care-” before she could finish her sentence, Michael started running like a wild dog, towards what she lately known to be a wall just after the collision. After hearing like a crack sound, she pushed herself up. Running towards him, grabbing his arm (unfortunately the one which was just brought back together) “Are you out of your mind?!” She exclaimed almost biting her tongue. “What are you doing! What if you lost conscious here? That can’t happen..” she stopped before she could say her next words. That she would be scared without his active presence.

 

 

Razor:

 

 

“Are you out of your mind?!”

“ACK! LET GO OF MY ARM!”

Claire had to grab a hold of Michael’s arm, the one that was attached to the shoulder he just rammed back into its socket. His voice was shrill, as he tried to get her to let go. He knew what he was doing, trying to put it back in place, and he thought that her reaction was way over the top. Siting that the last thing she needed was for him to lose consciousness. Michael stared at her, wide eyed. Surely she understood that he couldn’t walk around with his arm hanging by a thread.

“I was fixing myself. This isn’t the first time I’ve popped it.”

A look washed over Michael’s face, as he said something that you would class as a memory. How he knew that, and nothing else made him feel uncomfortable. You could see the confusion in his eyes, as he tried to make sense of it all. Wiping his hand down the side of his shirt, he then looked left and right, trying to determine which way to go. They simply couldn’t stay here. Michael knew that there had to be a way to get out of this strange building and to find help.

 

 

Jsmn:

 

 

“ACK! LET GO OF MY ARM!”
She quickly let go, quite surprised with his reaction. She looked away, when he stared at her. “I was fixing myself. This isn’t the first time I’ve popped it.” She didn’t know, how would she know. He do things just as he wanted to, and there he hurt himself by doing so, and now she’s at fault for actually caring? “You should have asked for my help. I know I can do that…At least the pain won’t be that so painful..” she muttered. When she looked back at him, she saw the purplish stains on his clothes. “Stop…don’t move…”she said with her hand halfway to the slightly scattered stains on his clothes.

 

Razor:

 

Claire probably found Michael’s way of dealing with his own problems a bit much. For example, he tried to help her for the most part from the time that they woke up in the darkened room, but she gave him so much lip that his good intentions were being stomped on. He wasn’t a bad guy, quite the opposite. Just as much in the dark as she was about everything that had happened to them before they woke up. His overreaction to her touching his arm was like a knee jerk reaction, and not meant to upset her. He listened to her apologize, if you could call it that and then she must have seen something that caught her attention. Like a total derailment from the issue with his arm.

Claire moved her hand towards his shirt, and when Michael looked down, he then noticed the purplish stain that was on his shirt. It was the exact place where he wiped his hand. This caused him to raise his hand, and then it became clear that he must have placed his hand in some sort of liquid that was not blood at all. It didn’t smell like blood, or have the same coloring.

“What the hell is this?”

He turned over his wrist to see if it was on the back of his hand as well.

“You know how I thought that this…might be some sort of hospital?” Michael started. “I think it is. Or was.”

Michael then saw a colored number sign on the wall. It was a green three. So this must be the third floor. Michael then put his soiled hand up to Claire’s face.

“What does it smell like to you?”

 

Jsmn:

 

“What the hell is this?”
That’s what she wanted to know too. It obviously doesn’t seem like blood, is it what she smelled before? Medicine? What type of medicine would that be? She thought still looking at the stains.
“You know how I thought that this…might be some sort of hospital?”
“I think it is. Or was.”
Now, with the circumstances maybe he’s right and it’s stupid of her to made fun of his theory before. Still, her attention on the stains on his clothes. Then she snapped, as he put his hand almost inches away from her face.
“What does it smell like to you?”
“God! You don’t really listen! I just told you not to move and you kept on moving…” She exclaimed, now she sounds like a mother who kept on nagging her son about not being obedient. “What do you think of me some animal?” She murmured, almost pouting. “Now, I’ll hold your hand, Okay? Try not to make me kick you if you try that reaction earlier again with me…” She said, “Understood?” she asked.

 

 

Razor:

 

Michael’s face fell when Claire sounded off at him….again. It was just like when they had been in the darkened room at the beginning of this nightmare. By offering up his hand for her to smell, he was doing so to see if she could give him a clue as to what it was he had on it. But she yelled at him, her voice like that of a nagging mother to her son. It really wasn’t very nice. In fact, Michael cringed and his shoulders lowered just a touch. She begged the question that he considered her to be some kind of animal. That was the furthest idea from his mind. “No.” He answered, looking a bit upset that she’d even suggest it. She told him point blank that she was holding his hand from here on out. Michael wasn’t a kid, but he was starting to feel like one. Should he just give in and let her take charge? For now at least, he’d concede defeat.

“Yes Ma’am”

 

Jsmn:

 

She sighed, and gently held his hand. “What if it’s poison? you have too many open wounds…and you just carelessly scattered the liquid on your hand like this” She said carefully leaned her head towards his hand. “I just met you moments ago, but you’re all I have for now, I don’t want you dying stupidly like that” She added, then started sniffing. She stopped for a moment, surprised that she clearly remembers that smell. From before, she’s not sure but knew that scent was familiar and now that she could smell it clearly, she’ knows for sure what that liquid was. “Dermabond.” she said. “It’s dermabond…” she chuckled foolishly being over cautious over nothing serious.

 

Razor:

 

“It’s derma what?”

Michael had no idea what dermabond was. But from the reaction that Claire was experiencing, it wasn’t the dangerous substance that she thought it could have been at first. The young male continued to look puzzled, but he wasn’t about to raise his hand again, since Claire was liable to go off the deep end.

“So I can’t die from it. That’s reassuring, I guess.” Michael was starting to think that the dermabond was the last thing that they really needed to worry about. He exhaled loudly, before looking down at her once again. When she mentioned that while she didn’t know him well, he was really all she had as there was no sign of anything or anyone living in the building they were in.

 

Jsmn:

 

“It’s derma what?”
“So I can’t die from it. That’s reassuring, I guess.”
“Yes you can’t. It’s Dermabond, a kind of wound closing medicine. I think you need to really, scatter that on your arms. I see some wounds there…” She said. “You see…I think I’m starting to regain a bit of my memory. I really know that scent, as in knew it. Maybe I’m a doctor’s daughter or a pharmacist’s? or maybe I was dead sick just before this happened and been in the hospital?…and was left here to die…” she said, embracing the idea that they are in a hospital building. She suddenly started to get a little depressed. She doesn’t know if she likes to even remember what she had forgotten, maybe this thing happening was her way out of her maybe sympathetic life. “Well…at least they left you too with me…I’m not completely alone” she said with a faint smile.

 

 

Razor:

 

“I knew that.” Michael made a face like he was trying to cover up the fact that he didn’t really know what dermabond was. But by the sounds of it, this purplish gunk was actually helpful. Looking at his arms now, he could see that there were cut like abrasions, and he started to slap his wet hand up and down his arm, before smacking his hands together and then rubbing it into the other arm (which was still sore). Claire might have said not to let go of her hand, but considering that he was actually wearing something helpful to him, he might as well put it to good use. As he went about his self medicating, Claire spoke about how she felt that due to knowing the smell and recognizing the ointment then maybe she was getting a little bit of her memory back. But that is the funny thing about memories. Some things like certain smells, or tastes can invoke reactions that may give you only a puzzle piece of the full picture. And when you look at just that one piece out of say…a thousand, you really can’t see what it what it all is.

As much as he didn’t want to burst her bubble, at her thoughts about their current situation, but he was starting to wonder about the whole being left here with a purpose. Like why were they left in a locked room? And how long had they been there? Were they left there to die?

Claire’s only consolation was the fact that she was not alone. The problem was she didn’t know anything about Michael, just as he didn’t even know himself. What was to say he was a good guy? What if…their memories were erased on purpose?

“Instead of guessing who you might be, or why you are here with me; perhaps we should go look and work out exactly where we are first. You may not like what you find.” Michael was trying to be realistic about where they stood.

 

Jsmn:

 

“Instead of guessing who you might be, or why you are here with me; perhaps we should go look and work out exactly where we are first. You may not like what you find.”
She knows that. Guessing won’t help, but it makes her feel less lost and scared trying to figure out…guessing who and what kind of person she is. Even if it would turn out to be wrong, it’s better than nothing. “I know that…” she answered, now feeling like she was being stupid. She worked her way to what she can tell is a window, but tried not to stray away from Michael. She thought for a moment staring, if the windows are painted, or covered somehow. She wiped it with her hand, but she still can’t see anything through the window. “What the-” she muttered and try wiping it again. “Michael come here..” she called him. “It’s the same, it’s dark outside. If it’s night there should be at least a street light out there, but I can’t see a thing.” she added.

 

 

Razor:

 

It was almost like, they would answer each other in defense. Not being totally honest to save face perhaps, or to stop from feeling stupid. They hadn’t really gotten off to the best of starts, and it was plain that some of the behaviors that each exhibited rubbed off on the other. But if they were to find out what happened, and who they really were, then they were going to have to work together, and put all differences aside. Michael was trying to roll his shoulder and get his muscles working properly, as Claire wandered over to what was a window. This was probably the furtherest distance they had been apart so far, and of course what she discovered was that the world beyond the window was pitch black. No house lights, no car lights, no street lights. Ambling over, Michael peered through the window, scrunching up his face as he tried to make out shapes in the dark. It was as though there was a massive power black out. The kind when there is a serious storm, or simple government power shedding. But given the lack of people…or signs of life, Michael was starting to get a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach. Drawing back from the window he said.

“I don’t like the look of this.”

He turned to face her, his face turning pale. “What if….there is no one else out there?”

 

 

Tales from the Crow’s nest.

Tales from the Crow’s Nest – A Pirate’s Story.

~Tick Toc Tick Toc Tick Toc goes the Clock~

It was hard to imagine that the turning of that simple hour glass had caused a major upset that was spreading like tentacles right across the realms. The Witches knew, The Dark One knew. It was like everything was topsy turvy and those that were allies were turning on each other and those that were enemies, were forming new alliances. War, the battle cries were being heard in places that few imagined and there were those that worked the fringes to profit from the dramas unfolding. How funny, that in some Kingdoms, they made love…in others they sought war. Would there ever be peace now?

A rolling fog crossed the lands that reached the outer grounds of Gluttony with the sound of a ship’s bell ringing in the mist. The creaking of well worn wood and the shouts coming from the deck by the hardy crew suggested that something was coming as weird as that sounded. Was it even possible for a ship to sail upon the air’s current? The fluttering of sails and the strange whistle pierced the air, right as a body was flung from one of the windows of the castle Gluttony. It landed with a bump along the blackened grasses and stayed still, while above the sound of chain being released meant that something was coming from above. A massive anchor landed with a terrible thud into the earth as scores of pirates were lowered on ropes to scan the area below. The meanest looking band of men that one could ever lay eyes upon, and one had gone ahead – taking out his time piece and then a compass in the other hand. The compass pointed directly at the girl that had been thrown from the castle.

“Cap’n! She be ‘ere!” He bellowed, looking back as the sound of heavy foot falls suggested a large man was coming. Indeed, it was none other than Captain Moon, and he stared down at the girl with a scowl on his weathered face.

“They be throwin’ away the wenches?” He asked with a curious expression, giving her side a little kick with his boot. The Captain wasn’t much into pleasantries. The Captain shrugged, and then looked up to the castle from which she had been thrown. “Sounds like a real party, lads.” There was no mistaking the sound of a battle royale of sorts going on inside the castle proper. At one point, they heard a woman scream out like a war cry “Hissatsu!”

The crew all looked at each other wondering if they should enter the fray. The first mate scratched his cheek, and then stared down at the girl thoughtfully. There was no real reason that they needed to risk the ship and the crew by entering the fight, but….if they took the girl.

“Cap’n….she’s not just any wench.” The First mate pointed out a symbol on her clothing and the Captain crouched down for a better look. “Hmmmm….interesting. Jarvis, get her back on board. She might be useful after all.’

“Aye..aye, Cap’n.” The first mate whistled for a few of the crew to pick the fallen girl up and carry her back to the lowered ropes, to carry her back on board the floating ship.

Captain Moon stood with his hands on his hips a moment, seeing all the dead guards scattered in the grounds. Normally he did enjoy a good fight, but by the sounds of things it was one that he wasn’t about to put everything on the line for. With a deep chuckled, he turned on his heel and went to rise up to his ship by using the ship’s anchor to lift him back off the ground. With all back on board, the ship disappeared back through the fog that had brought it there in the first place.

https://g0.gstatic.com/android/market/com.custom.lwp.FlyingPirates/ss-320-0-3 

 

 

 

Fushi Yuugi : The Wish of Sealing.

Fushigi Yuugi: The Wish of Sealing

The Priestess’ of the Gods…. Their pure-hearts brought forth benevolent wishes that blessed both worlds. Over the years, many have been called to the Universe of the Four Gods to restore it to balance and prevent chaos from entering the modern world. However, the power used to render those wishes into realities have weakened the Four Gods, and their Universe threatens to unravel itself into the modern world.

Therefore it had been decided by Suzaku, Seiryu, Byakko and Genbu, that their Universe would be sealed away indefinitely to prevent such a disaster. Despite that, not all is as it seems. An even greater power lurks to upset the balance and plunge both worlds into eternal chaos.

Book 1
Chapter 1
Verse 1

The Journey’s Outset

Location: Art Institute of Asia
Date: April 1st 2020
” Your first step is crucial. Ensure that it is in the right direction.”
– Shao lang Da, wandering monk

University Campus of The Art Institute of Asia. Renown for its pursuit in the arts of acting and literature as well as contemporary classic and digital artistry, it was a vibrant and active place, full of young students aspiring towards their dreams. It was also the ‘home’ of two individuals with a unique destiny. Although they may not have known each other for very long, they were about to be sent into the journey of a lifetime.​

Mei:
MEI-LIN SUNG

“What? What are you all looking at? OH! Do I have something in my teeth? Is my underskirt showing? Alright, let’s just get this over with. No, I am not seasick. Yes, I’ve always been green. No, I didn’t eat grass as a child…”

Mei-Lin Sung considered herself the model when it came to the future of theater. Not in a selfish or mean sort of way, though at times the nineteen year-old female could be a bit conceited and full of herself, but she envisioned herself as an exemplary actress and singer in the institute. She only considered one other person equal to herself, and that was a new friend she made almost six months back here on Campus, Koi Miazaki. Both achieved lead roles in the musical Wicked, with Koi playing Glinda the Good and Mei-Lin playing Elphaba, the misunderstood Wicked Witch of the West in this retelling of The Wizard of Oz. Finally, she hit the role of a lifetime, the chance she always longed for and through hard work combined with her fierce determination was hers at last.

Location: The Art Institute of Asia, on the way to the final dress rehearsal
Mood: Super Focused and excited~!
With: No one right now, though where is Koi?
Clothes: Black knee-length dress with dark stockings
and ankle-length black boots.

The native of Beijing was reading her lines out loud currently for the dress rehearsal tonight, making sure every word was perfect and on point. Thanks to the windy Autumn day, however, she nearly lost her script and her long black hair that was usually in pigtails (which she decided to leave down today) kept getting in her eyes and mouth, and she had to keep moving it out of the way of her reading with a small growl of irritation. She finally made it to the building and headed inside, making sure she had all of the script pages together in one folder. Satisfied knowing all was accounted for, she peeked in to the theater from the double doors leading into the auditorium, giving a small huff at not seeing her friend and fellow lead inside, “For goodness sake, where the Heck is Koi?!” She muttered to herself under her breath, clearly not amused as her dark blue eyes narrowed a bit in frustration, “The dress rehearsal is going to start in ten minutes!”

Koi:
Koi Miazaki

^v^v ^v^v ^v^v ^v^v ^v^v^
Location: Auditorium
What am I doing? Inviting the cast to eat pizza
^v^v ^v^v ^v^v ^v^v ^v^v^​

Tak tak tak…
The sounds of high heels was heard in the midst of the busy streets outside the academy. Humming of a very perky tune was heard along with it.

“Popular” – the steps had stopped and the face of its owner quickly turned to the window of a closed store reflecting her face, winking, and singing – “You’re gonna be popular!” She continued to skip her way to her destination, still singing with matching facial expressions and hand gestures, “I’ll show you the proper ploys when you talk to boys. Little ways to flirt and flounce. Ooh! I’ll show you what shoes to where, how to fix your hair. Everything that really counts to be popular…”

Despite her easy-go-lucky attitude, Koi really only had 10 minutes left till the final dress rehearsal starts. It was very important to be on time of course, but the girl was having a hard time to act like a perky, sossy blonde lady that she just had to act like Galinda while she was on the way. On stage, she can act it out perfectly, the actress just had to get in character before she starts playing it seriously, and hence, the practice while walking.

Almost 5 minutes till the rehearsal starts, the girl ran into a small pizza stand by the gates of the school. She stared at it for sometime, brushing her beige hair on top of her right ear to the back as she thought, We might not get to eat till late night today. Hmmm… Without further hesitation and thinking that she still had time, she went ahead and bought 3 enormous boxes of pizza, each with a variety of flavours.

Ten minutes after the rehearsal have started, after everyone had already settled in and ready to start with the practice, a familiar voice echoed. “Hey! Sorry I’m late. I got pizza though. We might as well eat before we start”, the girl smiled at everyone as she casually entered the room. From the way she just entered, it was obvious that one of the lead roles weren’t always on time. Her happy gaze then landed on Mei-Lin, a friend she enjoyed spending time with, even if they only see each other in practices. “Right, Mei-chan?”, she asked for her approval as she raised her boxes of pizza as if enticing the black-haired girl.

Mei:
MEI-LIN SUNG

Mei-Lin was sitting in one of the seats, arms crossed and ready to get in her Elphaba costume while growing impatient with Koi. Finally her fellow lead and friend showed up, but before Mei-Lin could scold her for being late, she caught sight of pizza, much to the delight of the cast and crew. Even the director suddenly seemed to be in a good mood, and Mei-Lin’s look softened when Koi addressed her. She couldn’t help but smile a little, giving a soft sigh as she rose to join her companion.”Well, at least you still got here on time, Koi-chan. But you had me really worried! Luckily, it’s our last rehearsal before the show tomorrow night, so let’s do our best, okay?” Her smile widened a bit, “Come on, let’s get to our dressing rooms, we can eat there!”

Location: The Art Institute of Asia, from the auditorium to the dressing room
Mood: Relieved to see Koi-chan and excited for the last rehearsal!
With: Koi-chan~
Clothes: Black knee-length dress with dark stockings
and ankle-length black boots.

She along with the cast went to get ready, going to the dressing room she shared with Koi. When she opened the door, she threw her bag down on the sofa and sighed, “Oh, boy, I can’t wait until tomorrow night, Koi-chan! We’re both going to be amazing, I know it!” She sat at her mirror, her costume for Elphaba already hanging up, “I’ll have to transform into a green witch soon, but first I need to get into costume. You’re lucky, Koi-chan, you get to wear much less makeup than I do!” She giggled, then looked to her friend, “Oh! I need to make a quick stop after our dress rehearsal, I have to go to the school bookstore to get a book for improvisation class. Luckily, they’re open late tonight. Wanna join me?” She then gasped as an idea hit her, “We should get ice cream afterwards to celebrate our victory, too! It’s a little early, I know, but I know we’ve got this!” She grinned from ear to ear at her friend.

Shin:
Monk Gensho

Date: September 2
Location: Koukan Empire, Touran Capital City.

The Emperor of Koukan issued a decree several month back in an effort to locate and assemble the warriors of Genbu should any be found already. A special search force lead by the Minister of War had located two in this short time. One was already an older young man who trained in the isolated mountain area, the other a young boy in the service of the underground world. But they were all that were located for the time being.

Once every lunar cycle, they would gather in the capital City of Touran to discuss the status of the search and the roles they would play as Celestial Warriors of the Priestess of Genbu. One such meeting had taken place and ended. The Minister of War expressed his frustration towards them for not being able to find the other warriors, even though it was him that was tasked with this assignment. The two were exiting one of the many halls of the great palace.

” Namame, please wait.” Gensho asked formally approaching his fellow celestial warrior. ” Please take this. “ the young monk offered him a gift, a crystal orb.” The Priestess may come before the other warriors are assembled. We need to stay in touch. “ he figured. He went on to explain the use of the crystal orb, how it was able to communicate with another crystal orb Gensho had in his possession. ” Try not to lose it.” he jested, seeing if he could get anything other than stares and nods from his fellow celestial warrior.

Koi:
Koi Miazaki

^v^v ^v^v ^v^v ^v^v ^v^v^
Location: Dressing Room
What am I doing? Talking to Mei-chan/Rehearsing
^v^v ^v^v ^v^v ^v^v ^v^v^​

A little anxious that her friend would reject the pizza and just scold her for being late (again), Koi stood their waiting for a response as Mei-lin stared at her. Even if she kind of knew that the girl would be patient with her and just let them eat the delightful food in the box, Koi was also aware that tonight was very important because this is the last rehearsal before they show what they’ve got to thousands of audience tomorrow at the big night. Alas, her hunch was correct and Koi was invited to eat pizza in the dressing room. “Sure! We’ll definitely do our best. We’ll work better with pizza in our tummies”, she joked while undoing the strings holding the three boxes together. “Here you go. Eat up. We’ve got a lot of work to do today”, she told the crew with a smile as she opened two boxes for them to eat. “Coming!”, she said in response to her co-lead, taking the last box of pizza with her to the dressing room.

In the dressing area, she set the box she held on top of the table and invited Mei-chan and the other crew with them to eat. “Oh yeah. I can’t wait. Though I’m a little bit scared though. Galinda’s character is… well it’s kinda me… but so not me”, she answered in response, feeling a bit nervous about how well they, especially she, will perform tomorrow even if they have already perfected the performance during the past rehearsals. Her nervousness was wiped out when her friend joked about the make up which made her chuckle. “Yeah! Poor you, your Elphaba look takes forever to get done.”, she ate a bit on a huge slice of pizza almost as if she was slurping the cheese. “I just have to wear perky dresses and different types of wigs, and a little bit of makeup. And voila! I’m Galinda-fied”, she said as she tossed her hair as if she was already in character.

Her friend then mentioned about going to the bookstore and getting ice cream after the rehearsals which she agreed on. After all, they need a girl time relaxation after all their hard work. “Sure! I’ll go with you. We might as well go to the bookstore first before getting an ice cream since we have to rest our voice a bit after singing. You might sound like a real wicked witch if we ate ice cream first”, she said as she laughed while her make up was being put on, making it hard for her Galinda look to get done. “I wanna grab that new Super Sundae people keep talking about at the new store.”, she said as she closed her eyes while reminiscing what that dessert looked like in a poster she saw. Her dreamland of Sundaes stopped though once she was asked to put her dashing blue dress on for the first scene which seemed to call her mind back to take the final rehearsal seriously. Thankfully, she loved musicals so much that her determination to put on a good show tomorrow won throughout the whole rehearsal and the thought of the sundae has not returned for a while.

Min:
Assasin Namame~~~~~~~
Location : Touran, Koukan Empire
With… : Celestial Warrior Gensho
~~~~~~~​
They told him he was was needed for a special purpose. A whim? A request out of pure curiosity? No, no. It was something else. Something else entirely. His eyes had travelled to the character carved in his left collarbone as his master had told him to undress his upper garments. The character that he had all this time hidden from the sight of those around him was now all that mattered. “I had suspected that this day would come.” His master had murmured under his breath. He had been the only one not aware of his fate. But why had master kept the existence of the character hidden from everyone? It was something he had never the courage to ask him. Just like many other doubts that lingered within him.

Time passed, his mission had been given and his fate had been delivered. He didn’t really know what to think of it. To the eyes of all, he was nothing but a child who had been dragged into a scenario he could never understand. Namame certainly looked the part. He would follow the orders of the minister and the emperor without questioning, as he always did with his master. But beyond that, not much else. It was if as he was indifferent to all of this. Could that be it? He wasn’t sure of it himself…

Namame exited the council meeting in a calm pace, with his quiet steps barely heard across the hallway. A habit he would never part from. Once again, disappointment filled each man who had attended said meeting, as the search of the Priestess of Genbu had still yet to bear fruit. Waste of time, it was all that the young assassin thought of it, why ask to come if there is nothing to report? Of course, he would never voice such words to the council. Silence was all that he delivered, only nodding and shaking his head with a gaze devoid of any clear emotions.

Anyhow, he should not make his master wait. Quickening his pace, Namame headed towards the gates of the palace when he heard an abrupt call, making him stop on his tracks to tilt his head. The sight of the fellow Celestial Guardian made him slowly face him properly. Despite not at all sharing a close relationship with him, the meetings had made it clear for Namame that there was no need to be cautious around him like he was with most that surrounded him. The way he acted around the older male was the sole proof of it. He silently took the orb in his hands, eyeing it with curiosity as Gensho explained its properties. Before he knew it, the assassin was consumed by what one could only describe as awe, reflected clearly through his golden orbs, as he observed it, having never seen such an item in his entire life. It was if his inner child had taken over him, showing what was beyond his aloof and cold persona. He was only brought back to reality as the nest reached his ears, realizing how shamefully childish he must have looked. “…Understood.” He avoided the eyes of the white-haired man as he opened his mouth for once. “…Be careful…I will.” As expected his speech was just as incoherent as always, only further embarrassing him. Bowing somewhat clumsily, the boy bid farewell to Gensho and thanked him in silence, proceeding to make his way once again outside.​

Mei:
MEI-LIN SUNG

“Don’t worry, Koi-chan, you’re going to be amazing tomorrow night. We both will be, and the way you play Galinda is so adorable!” Mei-Lin cooed over her friend, then laughed, “Yea, I better get my costume on then head over to makeup.” She paused, then grabbed a slice of pizza to eat, “After I eat this, of course!” She laughed and went to get changed, “Neat! The bookstore is very close by, so we can pop in and out then get the ice cream. Hm, you have a point, Koi-chan, if I wanna sound more authentic, I should eat ice cream before the performance!” She laughed and dressed into her Elphaba costume, heading over to makeup. “See you on stage, Koi-chan, we’ll talk more after rehearsal, and I wanna try that new Sundae tonight as well!” She giggled then ran over to makeup.

Location: The Art Institute of Asia; Dressing room, then bookstore
Mood: Pumped up and ready to go!
With: Koi-chan~
Clothes: In Elphaba costume for rehearsal, then
back to black and white dress, black stockings and black ankle-
length boots.

After dress rehearsal ended and Mei-Lin was free of all that green makeup, she changed back into her clothes and this time put her hair up in two long pigtails that reached down to her waist. She waited for Koi-chan to change as well, then led her to the book store an hour before it closed. “That was an amazing rehearsal tonight, Koi-chan! You did an amazing job-we both did, really!” She clapped her hands in delight, “You and me, we make a great team, huh?” She beamed happily and walked into the book store, going down the aisles to find what she was looking for. Suddenly she stopped, as a book seemingly out of place was on one of the shelves. “Huh?” She tilted her head, then reached for the book and puled it out, looking at the front of it, “Hey, Koi-chan…have you seen this book here before? Maybe it’s new?” She looked at the symbol and the words on the front: “Universe of…The Four Gods? What kind of play is this?” She looked to Koi-chan in confusion, “And it looks very old, too.” Curiosity getting the better of her, she opened it to the first page. “What’s it about, anyway?”

Koi:
Koi Miazaki

^v^v ^v^v ^v^v ^v^v ^v^v^
Location: In a busy town
What am I doing? Looking for Mei-chan while wondering where I am
^v^v ^v^v ^v^v ^v^v ^v^v^​

It was already late night when the final rehearsal ended. Koi felt very accomplished with the performance they put on today. It was perfect! The girl felt very alive even though her body was very tired after all the hard work they did. However, it was her and Mei-lin’s girl relaxation hour and Koi would not let their exhausted state hinder their plan to go to the bookstore and indulge themselves in the taste of the new sundae. She decided to take a bath to feel fresh again. She just loves the that feeling, the feeling of being fresh, a feeling like you just had quality relaxation by the beach side. She then wore her favorite set of clothing that made her look cute and breezy: an egg colored dress with pretty laces. Her whole shoulders are shown, and the skirt ran down just before her knees. In addition, she also wore her floral semi-high heel, sandal-like footwear. And to finish it all, her bronze bracelet her mother gave her as a gift. It was true that her personality was not flirty like Galinda, but her outfit was not your ordinary type as well. Koi just loves anything that looked bubbly. On the way to the bookstore, she and her friend talked about how great they were together. “Mhm! If we work in tandem. There’s no fight we cannot win. Just…you…and…I… Defying Gravity!, she sang her way in response before she chuckled with her mouth smiling as wide as they can.

As the two of the friends headed towards the bookstore, Koi immediately went to the manga section to check the titles out before Mei-lin called her attention. Seeing that her stage partner held a very curious book, she repeated the title herself as if the name of the book itself was luring her. “Universe of the Four Gods? I wonder what it’s about…, she held the other side of the book near her as her friend flipped to the first page.

“And thus, the girl of legend opened the door to another world.”, she read an excerpt and turned her face towards Mei-lin as if to check her friend’s reaction. She continued reading, “The story itself is an incantation and whomever reads it gains the main character’s power to have their wishes granted. This is because once they turn the first page, the story will become real and begin… What the shocks now?”, she asked her friend in a funny tone looking at Mei-lin once again before the book overpowered both of them with a light so powerful, everything turned dark.

Unconscious for some time, Koi slowly opened her eyes, blinking for a couple of times, before fully seeing her current state. “Mmm… Wh-what happened?”, she uttered to herself before fully gaining her consciousness back. Surprised to see that she was not inside the bookstore anymore, she found herself under an old bridge, beside the river. It was night and all she could hear besides the running water was the sound of people nearby, as if she was near a marketplace. “Mei-chan???, she immediately stood up and searched for her friend in a slight panic. Despite not having an idea where she was, and how strange the place looked like compared to the city she lived in, she walked around in search of her friend, feeling slightly scared as to what might have happened to them. “Mei-chaaaaaaannnn????”, she shouted as she looked for her company in the midst of a busy city which seemed to look like ancient China. Her outfit and the way she looked seemed completely different from the provincial clothing other people had and she can’t help but notice people staring at her. It made Koi feel uncomfortable which led her to decrease her pace as she looked around for her friend. She stopped in the middle of the road where people ran to and fro, she turned her gaze around searching for a familiar face and hints as to where she might be.

Quirky:
Imperial Librarian Kailai Wen (Tomo)

Location: Kutou’s Palace Library, Shunrou Capital City

What am I Doing? Reading the Universe of the Four Gods, while contemplating the situation at Kutou’s palace, and ultimately deciding to reveal my identity as Tomo.

Seated in a small corner of the royal library, so as to not be disturbed by the many people visiting the Imperial Palace, Kailai once again re-read Seiryuu’s version of the ‘Universe of the Gods’. Passed down from generation to generation through Kutou’s royal line, the scroll had been preserved in the Palace’s library for centuries. It was a national relic, only accessible by members of the royal family…or Kutou’s Imperial Librarian. As a child Kailai had always been curious about the scroll—partly because of its historical significance and partly because of his own identity as Tomo, one of the Seven Celestial warriors destined to protect the priestess of Seiryuu. It was an identity Kailai had hoped to take to his grave. Or, at least, that had been the plan.

Kailai sighed and rested his face against a table, his brown locks falling over his eyes. Ever since finding out about the Emperor of Hokkan’s “secret” search for the Warriors of Genbu, His Imperial Highness—Kutou’s Emperor—had become anxious. Not wanting to be outdone, the Emperor issued a decree that had the entire Kutou Empire hunting for the Celestial Warriors of Seiryuu. A huge reward was offered for anyone who found a Seiryuu Warrior or offered clues concerning the whereabouts of one. Hundreds of civilians came to the Palace daily claiming to have “seen” a Seiryuu Warrior. Several had even drawn symbols on themselves pretending to be one! It was madness.

Next they’ll claim to have spoken with the Priestess of Seiryuu, Kailai thought in an irritable manner.

The Imperial Librarian had no desire to reveal himself as Tomo. It would mean the end of his peaceful days where all he had to worry about was running the the royal library and educating the youngest Prince of the Kutou Empire. Unlike his peers in court, Kailai disliked war and he was under no illusion that the Celestial Warriors of Seiryuu would be used as anything more than tools to increase the country’s military strength.

But if it’ll end this chaos it might be worth it. Kailai closed his eyes. His identity would be found out eventually with so many people searching for the Seiryuu Warriors. Rather than wait for someone to claim the reward for discovering his secret, it was better for him to reveal himself to the Emperor.

I can’t hide in the library forever. Besides, if His Majesty found out that I’ve been hiding right under his nose the entire time, having my peace disturbed would be the least of my worries.

Kailai’s thoughts were interrupted by the cry of a grey falcon as it swooped through the open window.
Straightening up, Kailai grinned and held his arm out his arm to the predatory bird. “Senru! Finished your usual hunt in the forest, have you?”

Senru landed on Kailai’s forearm, letting out a sound off affirmation.

“Did you meet with that human friend of yours?” Kailai tilted his head as his listened to Senru’s response. “I see. So he’s left the forest.”

Kailai paused. He found it strange that a human lived in the forest just outside of the capital city, but Senru seemed to like him and that was all that mattered. Animals were good judges of character. “Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll see him again.”

Kailai lifted his arm as Senru spread her wings, flying out the window and back into the sky. Senru wasn’t a tamed bird. She was wild and free, going wherever she wanted. Sometimes Kailai wished he could be the same. After listening to Senru, he had made his decision. He would see the emperor.

Shin:
Monk Gensho

Date: September 2
Location: Koukan Empire, Touran Capital City.

The young man was taken aback by the sudden answer of his fellow celestial warrior. He was certain that talking was not one of Namame’s strong suits, but was never sure if he could speak at all. Those first words he uttered were enough to make a wide eyed expression on a person who has traveled far and wide over his years as a monk. Although surprised, it was in a good way, as expressed by the smile the young man had for his comrade. The curious young boy suddenly left after observing his gift. Gensho turned as he walked by. ” Well then, see you again soon Nama….)” He quickly stopped in mid sentence. Something was different.

Due to his training with the monks on Mt. Kokureishin, Gensho was able to enhance his perception of Ki and Mana. Being a celestial warrior helped much to hasten this result. Drastic changes of such forces only occurs during significant events, such as wars or natural disasters. However what he was feeling at present was something else. Finally he hurriedly removed the glove on his left hand. The ‘Emptiness’ Symbol, the symbol that distinguished him as a Warrior of Genbu, started pulsating. He understood the significance of this event. The priestess has descended unto the World of the Four Gods.

” Namame!” he yelled. Gensho turned around. Surely his comrade would have sensed the same thing. They needed to find the priestess quickly. From his studies he could discern the priestess’ appearance has always been random never occurring in the same place, almost like a safeguard to the process. Fortunately, Gensho’s skills could eliminate a long search. Closing his eyes, the young man lifted his left arm, using it to feel where she might be. The priestess would have overflowing mana which Gensho would be able to pick out in a densely populated area such as Touran. ” There! Namame, the priestess is in the Grand Market District. We must find her.”

Mei:
MEI-LIN SUNG

Mei-Lin’s eyebrows raised upward in confusion as soon as Koi read the first line, giving her friend a quizzical stare. “Um, alright…” She fell silent as Koi read the rest of the words, then Mei-Lin gave a laugh, “This sounds like one of those ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ stories! Why don’t we take this home and–whoa!” Mei-Lin exclaimed in surprise as a bright light surrounded herself and Koi, and she shut her eyes tightly, teeth gritting, “What on Earth is this?!” She then saw nothing but darkness, and once the light vanished, both girls were gone.

Location: The Art Institute of Asia’s bookstore; Unknown town?!
Mood: Confused, afraid and alone
With: Was with Koi-chan, but now she’s gone!
Clothes: Black and white dress, black stockings and black ankle-
length boots. Hair is in pigtails tied by black ribbons and reaches down to lower back.

Mei-Lin blinked her blue eyes open slowly, noticing it was still night. She saw the moon clearly up ahead, and she gave a groan of pain as she sat up and rubbed her head with a frown, “Ow, what the Heck?!” She rose shakily to her feet, then looked ahead to see a city in the distance, behind her the tree line leading into a forest. She turned around to face it, then turned again to face a great city-it looked like something out of a History book she’d read in school years ago. She leaned against a tree, her heart racing in her chest as fear seized her heart. “Where…am I? Wait!” She gasped and spun around, “Koi-chan?! Koi-chan, are you nearby?! Where are you?!” She called out desperately to her friend, panicking as the worst thoughts gave her dread. Was she dead? Were they both dead?! What was this place? What was that light?She fell to her knees and started crying and hugged herself in a vain attempt to keep herself from shaking with fright. The cold night air was adding to the chills in her skin, and it further served her distress.

“K-Koi…Koi-chan…I…I wanna go home!” She shut her eyes and continued to sob, almost hyperventilating as she tried to figure out logically what this was, but her racing mind could not stand still. If this wasn’t a dream…but it couldn’t be a reality! Right?

Suspicious:
Pastless Wanderer Ashitare

Location: On a dusty path towards Shunrou Capital City

What am I Doing? Slowly walking down the path contemplating his decision.

The dusty hard ground was all Ashitare could see as he looks down at the unfamiliar man made path. He looked back he could still the forest, his home, on the horizon. The lush green trees hiding the secret bamboo forest within. Animals all wound filling the forest with life and curious sounds. The thought of the forest gave him comfort. He could turn back now and return his familiar home. However, he turned around and shook his head. ‘No, I’m going to find her.’ Taking a deep breath he took one step forward and continued along his lonesome path.

He looked up at the cold night sky, curious as to how it comforted him. He liked the cold of the night and the illuminating glow of the moon lighting his way to the city. It wasn’t far, but for his first journey it felt like it was miles away hidden across valleys of grass. Behind him he could hear the creek of a wagon slowly gaining behind him. He turned around to see a small wagon filled with sacks of rice being pulled by a old ox and manned by an even older man. He looked at the old man and began to move to the edge of the path to let him pass.

The ox noticed the man and grunted, the old man man looked up as the ox made a grunt. Seeing the odd looking man with multicolored hair and fine clothing he stopped his wagon and spoke up. “sir are you alright?” Ashitare looked at the man surprised, he didn’t expect for the old man to call out. He gave a kind smile and nodded, “yes sir, I’m fine, I’m just headed to the city.” The old man looked Ashitare up and down, seeing as he didn’t have any weapons he ruled out bandit. The old man always believed in doing the right thing first, so he spoke up. “The roads are dangerous at night, if you’d like you may ride in the back of the wagon.”

Ashitare was more than surprised, “oh! Well thank you sir, this is so very kind of you.” He made his way to the back of the wagon, before getting on he looked at the city. The houses all seem to merge together only small golden light from the square doors and windows separated the large unity of blackness. The moon glistened on the ornamented rooftops. Aspirate gave a soft whisper, like a prayer only the wind could hear “soon I will find you.” Getting in the back he sat on the edge as the wagon began to move once more.

After Some Time

Getting closer to the town Ashitare was wide awake looking at the scenery that passed him by. He turned his head up to the stars that glistened across the clear sky like a second road above him. He felt something familiar, as if her could ride that road in the sky. But why? Why did he feel this way? His answers lie in a past long forgotten. Ashitare has accepted his amnesia, realizing that his previous amnesia plus the sudden feeling of lost time was a sign that things may only get worse if he tries to pry into the past. There was a slight pain ovet his heart, he didn’t know what it was. How strange, I’ve never felt this before. His introspection was cut off as the old man spoke up. “Now what is this girl doing? How many people are out walking at such a late hour?”

Ashitare turned his body and looked over the grain sacks to see a girl clinging to a tree shouting loudly near them. “Sir, can you please stop the cart?” The old man grunted but pulled the reins of the ox back. Ashitare hopped off the cart and slowly walked over to the strange shouting girl. From the distance he could only make out her small figure, however closer she could see her odd clothing. She wore a strange dress and accessories that he had never seen. It was strange, he has never seen anyone other than Rima and yet he knew this was not normal attire.

He could see her tears and pulled out a handkerchief from his sleeve. Cautiously he approached the girl, “excuse me miss?” He raised his hand up palm open to show he meant no harm. With the other he extended her the handkerchief, “here.” He looked at the girl feeling sorry for her, “are you alright? Did you get separated from your group?”

Min:
Assassin Namame~~~~~~~
Location : Grand Market Discrict of Touran
With… : Celestial Warrior Gensho
Priestess Koi Miazaki
~~~~~~~​
Embarrassing, embarrassing, embarrassing. One could call him a one-track mind for attitudes such as this. But, much like an animal, Namame had always been someone that let his instincts command him entirely. One at a time. Sometimes out of impulse, sometimes out of reason. He was but a peculiar boy, one might say. He shook his head energetically, trying to drive off the conflicting emotion still lingering within him. He had let his guard down, showing himself to be a naive child instead of a strong Celestial Warrior. Shameful. Disgraceful. Ridiculous. A familiar voice reached his ears once again, making the young man turn back in a swift movement to find a rather taken back Gensho. Before he could question him in any fashion, he felt it.

The symbol, the mysterious character carved into his skin which he had all this life…It was if as it had gained life. Pulsating over and over again, even covered by his clothes, he could feel it. It did not know what it meant, a few weeks back he had not even know of its origins. But one thing was clear for him.

He had to run.

He had to escape the palace.

He had to fight his way through if he had to.

He had to find her.

Gensho yelled but he could not listen to him no more. His senses were blocked completely. He DoD not think, he did not hesitate for a second there. Namame grabbed the monk by his wrist, dragging him out of the castle in complete silence. That’s right…there were more like him. He was not alone.

…But how could he know it was her? Gensho most likely knew how to identify her. But Namame? His expression faltered for a moment, as he felt at loss. His feet would lead him forward, his eyes wandering furtively through the crowd. Where was she? Where was she? They had to find her, they had to…!

It all stopped. Time, space, sound, everything seemed to cease completely. There was only him, Gensho…and her. A young woman of bizarre vests, long flowing hair.

Yes…it was her.

His arm slowly reached for his left shoulder, tugging the fabric that hid away the warmth that graced his answer. The character of his Celestial Symbol, Wall, glowed intensely in his skin in bright green. But his gaze never once wavered away from her.

“…The Priestess of Genbu…”

Quirky:
Imperial Librarian Kailai Wen (Tomo)

Location: Shunrou Capital City

What am I Doing? Taking the scenic route home.

It was a beautiful creature–with scales that shone more brilliantly than any sapphire on earth. Enclosed in an aura of azure, it weaved its large, elongated body through the night sky the same way a snake might weave through the grass—fluidly and powerfully. However, to compare such a majestic creature to a mere snake was inappropriate. It was akin to comparing a lion to an ant. A mountain to a molehill! As if hearing the thoughts of its observer, the creature turned around…and opened its mouth.

Kailai jolted awake, his breaths coming out in harsh pants and his heart thumping loudly in his ears. Taking a couple of moments to re-orient himself, Kailai looked around confusedly. He was still in the library.

Did I fall asleep while reading?

Kailai’s gaze landed on the ‘Universe of the Four Gods’ scroll, which lay unraveled on the table in front of him. Unable to help himself, Kailai let out a chuckle. It had been a while since he had fallen asleep from reading. Not only that, he’d dreamt about the guardian deity of Kutou trying to EAT him.

“If my brothers find out about this, they’ll never let me hear the end of it,” Kailai muttered in an amused manner. Then he frowned, reaching for the back of neck where he could feel a warm, pulsating sensation.

Strange…my mark has never reacted like that before.

Shrugging his shoulders , Kailai cracked his neck, got to his feet, and glanced out the window. It was too late to visit the emperor. He’d have to come back to the Palace tomorrow and reveal his identity then. Carefully rolling up the ‘Universe of the Four Gods’, Kailai placed the scroll back in its usual position on one of the shelves before exiting the library. Nodding his thanks to the guards outside, Kailai left the palace and made his way back to the Wen Family compound.

Before telling his Highness that I’m Tomo, I suppose I should first break the news to my family…

Kailai paused. Then, slowly, the Imperial Librarian started walking in a different direction.

Ah. There’s really no need to hurry. My family’s not going anywhere. I think I’ll take the scenic route home–enjoy a nice stroll before the big revelation.

Mei:
MEI-LIN SUNG

Mei-Lin felt as if she were trapped in her own mind, the fear refusing to let her go. Koi was missing, she was in a strange land that seemed familiar but was all too foreign, and she was alone. Mei-Lin hated to be alone, she always surrounded herself with people for that very reason. It wasn’t until a soft male voice released her from her thoughts that she finally looked up, still on her knees in the soft grass. Her dark blue eyes widened a bit as she stared up at one of the most intriguing and strange sights she ever laid eyes on: did this man really have black and white hair? He looked like something out of a fairy tale to her.

Location: The Art Institute of Asia’s bookstore; Unknown town?!
Mood: Confused, afraid and alone
With: Was with Koi-chan, but now she’s gone!
Clothes: Black and white dress, black stockings and black ankle-
length boots. Hair is in pigtails tied by black ribbons and reaches down to lower back.

At first she couldn’t really understand him-the dialect was different, but it was still Chinese. Ancient Chinese, it sounded like, she remembered from school. But as he spoke something strange began to happen-when she couldn’t quite understand what he was saying at first, she immediately began to comprehend his words, as if he were speaking her dialect of Chinese! What was going on here?! Since when could she understand an Ancient tongue? She gratefully took his handkerchief to wipe her tears away, giving him a soft yet sad smile, “Th-thank you, sir. Um, well, it’s kind of a strange story, but I’ve lost my friend. One moment she was with me, we were reading this book, and the next minute I woke up here outside this forest, and now she’s gone. I..I can’t find her anywhere, and I’m very worried.” She looked into the man’s eyes now, “Who are you? Thank you for coming to help me.” She smiled softly.

Suspicious:
Pastless Wanderer Ashitare

Location: Near Shunrou Capital City
Mood: Empathic
What am I Doing? Trying to comfort a oddly dressed girl.

The girl looked at him confused at first, as if she couldn’t understand him. He was worried that she may be deaf or blinded. However, poking into her blue eyes he could tell she could see him clearly. With such wide eyes she looked like a gentle innocent doe. Her hair and attire were so strange, she seemed so out of place in this world. Ashitare could empathize with her, waking up lost with no idea where you are. He listened to her tale not really understanding her situation. Maybe she was kidnapped or lost her memory as I have. Still unsure what happened to her, he knew he wouldn’t leave her alone in such a dangerous place. The old man said there were bandits roaming the woods. It would be troubling if they got a hold of this young girl, bandits were not the most gracious of people.

“It was no trouble at all miss, I am Ashitare, a traveler. Your predicament is troubling to say the least. I can see why you are worried, but wandering around here at night is dangerous. There are bandits in these forests who attack at night. I am headded into Shunrou Capital City.” He gave her a warn smile to reassure her that he meant no harm. “It would be dishonorable of me to leave you here. Would you like a ride into town? I was lucky enough to meet a man who was kind enough to give me a ride. I am certain he would extend his kindness to you.” He stepped to the side to show her the ox pulled wagon waiting on the path. With a bashful smile he added, “I know it is not luxurious by any means, but it is the quickest way into the city.”

Shin:
Monk Gensho

Date: September 2
Location: Koukan Empire, Touran Capital City.
Group: Gensho, Namame, Koi

At a moments notice, the young boy took his comrade by the arm and dragged him along as he hurriedly tried to search for the priestess. Gensho knew that when they came close to her they may be able to recognize who it was due to some mystical bond they and the priestess were supposed to share. Half way through the run Gensho broke off the grip of his companion in order to make sure they were not being followed by anyone else. The young monk was certain that they were not the only ones that were able to sense the presence of such great mana. He wondered what they should do once the priestess is found. The other warriors were not assembled, and he did not trust the Minister of War with such a discovery. Having the priestess’ arrival made known in the empire would garner grave consequences for the people.

He watched Namame stop dead in his tracks. Gensho started to locate her, as the intensity of the presence seemed to overwhelm him. He wondered if this was what it felt like being close to the priestess. As his young fellow warrior whispered, the priestess of Genbu was before them. ” ….and the otherworldly girl would be the salvation of our peoples…..” he said reciting an old text from the ancient writings of his monastery. He wondered whether she knew there was a symbol on her forehead that started to glow. Gensho saw his left hand, the light shining brightly even through the cloth of his glove. ” It is her….”

She was in a panic, searching and calling out for someone named Mei apparently. Such actions would no doubt draw the attention of the populace and especially the Special Task Force of the Empire. With a howl of the wind, Gensho seemed to vanish from beside Namame and reappear just behind the Priestess. ” Forgive me.”he said while striking the priestess out cold with his staff. He caught her with his free arm. He had a moment to observe the glow of the Symbol before it dissipated.” Namame, quickly this way.” he said quietly carrying the priestess into an alley. Gensho knocked over a pot spilling its contents of water over the ground before them. He pulled a sutra shard and placed it on the water. It began to glow and the water which reflected them, became a gateway showing them another location.” Please, Quickly.” he told Namame this time it was him who was doing the dragging. They were brought into a small temple in the town near Hanun River.

Koi:
Koi Miazaki

^v^v ^v^v ^v^v ^v^v ^v^v^
Location: Temple in the town near Hanun River
What am I doing? Trying to break free, and strangling Gensho
^v^v ^v^v ^v^v ^v^v ^v^v^​

Koi had a glimpse of a tall white haired man and a petite, young boy before something hard hit her and she felt unconscious. Unprepared for what happened, she got carried away by those strangers with her mouth widely open due to all those shaking while both warriors were trying to escape from the crowd as quickly as they can. The girl was woken up when an insect almost similar to a butterfly landed between her upper lip and nose. It was so close to walking inside her mouth that upon impulse, her right hand shooed the insect away.

Mmm…, she made such sounds as if she can still remember the hit that knocked her out. Opening her eyes slowly, she saw the face of the stranger she saw standing a while ago, she felt the big, manly arms that held her, and she also felt that her feet were dangling in mid-air. Fully waking up from unconsciousness, the girl’s eyes widened and she looked around in a panic as to what was going on. “Huh???”, she shouted in a very surprised tone as her body shook, her heart beat fast, and her face turned red, looking at the stranger who held her. “Huhhhhhh????!!!”, she exclaimed in a louder tone as she looked at her surroundings, where she saw the boy, the trees, the dark sky, the temple, and realized that she was alone with the two males.

Thinking that she was ambushed and kidnapped, which seems to be that way, she shouted angrily at Gensho. “Are you trying to kidnap me????!!!”, she slapped Gensho on his right cheek. The slap was so hard and sounded so crispy that it made her hand slightly red. “Who are you people???!! You’re the stalkers I saw a while ago and I know you guys knocked me off!!!”, she kept shouting at them as her body strived to escape from Gensho’s arms. Her voice disturbed the silence of the temple and echoed throughout the whole place. Still trying to release herself, Koi grabbed Gensho’s scarf hard with both of her hands, pulled, and shook it violently, almost as if strangling him to disturb the stranger. “Let me gooo!!!!”

Mei:
MEI-LIN SUNG

“Ashitare? That’s an interesting name. My name is Mei-Lin Sung. You can call me Mei, if you want.” She gave the traveler a small smile, but her face fell when the male mentioned bandits roamed these woods. She gave an audible gulp as a look of worry crossed her features, “B-bandits?!” She looked around, seeing if there were any of them around. Luckily, it was only herself, Ashitare and an old man on a wagon being pulled by an Ox. “Shunrou Capital City? Oh! You mean that city over there?” She pointed to it, then looked back up at him with a smile, “I would love a ride into town, if the kind driver of the wagon permits it.” She bowed to the man at the wagon now, “May I please join you, sir?” She asked very formally and politely.

Location: The Art Institute of Asia’s bookstore; Unknown town?!
Mood: Confused, afraid and alone
With: Was with Koi-chan, but now she’s gone!
Clothes: Black and white dress, black stockings and black ankle-
length boots. Hair is in pigtails tied by black ribbons and reaches down to lower back.

She rose to her full height then and looked up into Ashitare’s eyes. Feeling her cheeks warm a little she gulped again and glanced down at the grass. “Thank you very much, Ashitare, you’re very kind to me. By the way, where exactly am I right now? I’ve never been here at all before in my life, at least I can’t recall.” She looked back up at him once more,”Oh! I’m afraid I don’t have much money or any home to go to, what should I do once I get to the city? Is there someone that can help me with those things there?” She felt more like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz than her title role of Elphaba, being in a strange land and all. All she was missing was a basket, a puppy and a cute blue dress. But in that story, at least it was a dream…maybe. “I also need to find my friend, hopefully she’s in the city as well, she must be worried sick about me too! I really hope she’s doing okay…”

anime:
Jun had been traveling for about a week now. She was looking for a new town to stay in. To be honest she had lost track of where she was which was a little irritating. The Prince hadn’t caught up with her yet which was good. While walking she noticed some people and a wagon!! “Yes! I can hitch ride!” She started running over their towards then yelling out Excuse me! Excuse me!” She the moment she made it closer she noticed a girl with strange clothing. “Um……what are you wearing?” She said bluntly then instead of waiting for answer she looked over at the wagon. “Hey mind if I can hitch a ride with you guys? I’ve been walking for days.”
Suspicious:
Pastless Wanderer Ashitare

Location: Near Shunrou Capital City
Mood: Warm
What am I Doing? Conversing with Mei and being surprised by Jun.

Ashitare listened to her as she spoke, Mei? What a interesting name. If she doesn’t know what Shunrou is she must be far away. The old man looked at the Mei and nodded, “of course miss, hop in back. We will be here a hour or less. This old ox isn’t what it he used to be.” Ashitare turned to Mei with a smile, he saw her bashful actions and became self cautious himself. He could feel the heat growing in his cheeks, and was lucky that she asked another question. “You are in Kutou, Shunrou is the capital of Kutou and home to the Imperial family of the Kutou Empire.”

He paused for a moment not realizing that she didn’t have any money. Although, it would make sense if she was kidnapped or lost her memory. He could feel the weight of his own money pouch, which his dear friend gave to her. Contemplating for a moment he decided that he didn’t really need it and would give it to Mei. She was in more need of it than he was. Besides, I can survive on the land, I’d probably prefer it. Nature is where I feel most at home, and staying in the city sounds too strange to me.

He looked at her and was about to speak when another girl came towards them. This one had flaming red hair, and was quite energetic. Surprised by the sudden burst of energy he was taken aback. “Oh, uh, I don’t see why not. Although it is not up to me, but the owner of the cart.” Ashitare turned to the old man yet again waiting on his reply. The old man thought in the back of his head that this boy seems to be a chick magnet, I swear if one more girl arrives, I will believe it. The old man grumbled and nodded, “yes, yes, I don’t see why not, but the young man will have to walk along side the wagon.”

Ashitare spoke up, “I don’t mind sir.” The old man nodded and looked up at the sky, tracking the movements of the stars to predict the time. Ashitare looked at the two women, first looking to Mei, “do not worry miss Mei, I am certain you will find your friend and I will happily assist you in any way possible.” He turned to the woman with the scarlet hair, “and you as well miss. I know not of your story, but I believe strongly in doing good deeds for those who need assistance. In which case, I will do my best to be of assistance.” He stepped to the side, presenting the wagon to the two women. “Well shall we head to the Capital City?”

Ryuko:
~A few months after the decree was announced~

The light sound of water flowing from the stream, the cheerful chirps of the birds, the bright and clear sky, and the feeling of the fresh morning breeze, a young man sitting by a creek savors the peaceful moment. Overwhelmed by the beautiful scenery, he quickly picks up his brush and replicate the view in a piece of Chinese calligraphy paper. After a few minutes, he firmly grips his drawing tool, slightly grinds his teeth, his brows begun to furrow, and his eyes is brimming with frustration.

“A decree… huh…” He said to himself while looking up the sky. Then he carefully pulls down the clothing wrapped around his arm where the symbol is located, and touches his wrist with his fingers, and releases a deep sigh.

The thought of being a Celestial warrior was never appealing to him. To him, the world they live in is already peaceful. Summoning the gods would only cause chaos and corruption; and the maiden should just return to where she came from, away from danger. This might also be beneficial in all sides.

His eyes widened when the symbol suddenly appeared in luminous green, brighter than it ever reacted before and instantly disappeared, then a weird sensation crawling through his body immediately follows.

“What was that?!” He uttered, and chuckled “Maybe I should lay off troubling myself about this nonsense eh? Passaro?” Showing a gentle smile while stroking the neck of his hawk with his pointer finger after it landed on his right shoulder.

“Midou! Midou!” shouted an old woman from behind running towards him.

He turned his head towards the direction of the call.

“Midou!” *huff* *huff* “Your uncle! He…”

The old lady (which Midou calls ‘Aunt’ though he was the grandmother of his late ex-girlfriend) and the black haired boy rushed back to the village only knowing that his uncle was already suffering a terrible disease. The herb that could temporarily help his uncle is heard to be available only at the City of Shunrou. The Capital City is quite far traveling from the North to the East but the young lad is very determined.

“Have a safe journey, my son. Please don’t worry about us. I will take good care of uncle ’till your return” his aunt said before embracing him good bye.

After gathering the sfuff he needs, he immediately travels to the location.

The journey lasted for several days and nights before he finally arrives at night fall to the woods wherein the City is visible from afar.

While walking, a soft voice with a tone of despair sparks his curiosity. Quietly following the sound, the ninja come across a maiden dressed in an unknown clothing crying behind a tree.

Passaro flew all the way to a branch just on top of the mysterious lady.

“This isn’t my business…and girls being emotional like that will just be a pain for us” trying to whisper to the bird as if it understands. He raised up his right heel to start walking, but he can’t seem to ignore the fact that the lady is different. Every time he tries to continue, he can’t keep his crimson red eyes away from the cute girl thinking if she might be the reason his symbol reacted, until a tall man with a weird taste for hair due approaches the young woman. Still fascinated by her appearance, he swiftly snucked up the tree peeking at a short distance and eavesdropping on their conversation.

As the third person appears asking to hitch a ride to the city. Midou, having a keen sense, noticed a huge wild beast lurking behind the large bushes and creeping towards the strange maiden.

Passaro flew and made one huge noise.

“Duck!”

Throwing his long-dark coloured claws tied up with chains, it swiftly brushed behind the long haired girl’s hair. Just before the beast could land a touch, he follows to the wagon with an amazing speed piercing the animal in its torso. The end of the right sharped-clawed weapon could be seen dripping with blood outside the left rib, and same with the other side.

While his arms are still raising up the beast in the dark blue sky, he slightly tilted his head down, and his eyes focused again to the lady, as if there are no other people around.

“Are you hurt?”

“It must’ve picked up a strange scent…” he says as he removes the corpse from one hand to the other. Then he went closely face-to-face with the girl hoping for another celestial sign. “so you became an interesting prey.”

Mei:
MEI-LIN SUNG

Mei-Lin smiled and bowed to the man on the cart once more, “Thank you very much, kind sir!” She headed to the back of the wagon and stopped before as she got on it, looking at Ashitare in confusion, “Kutou Empire? And Shunrou is the Capitol?” She racked her brain, trying to recall her History courses in school…wait, did he say ‘Empire?’ Empires in China had not existed since the early nineteen-hundreds! That meant that she…somehow traveled back in time?! Was the book she and Koi read some sort of time portal?! But that meant time traveling was possible, and thus far humanity had yet to discover such a thing! She nodded to the male, “I see. Well, this is certainly my first time being in an Empire, that’s for sure! This’ll be a fun adventure!” She was about to hop on the cart when another voice-a female one-startled her.

Location: Apparently The Kutou Empire
Mood: Still confused, but less afraid and alone
With: Ahsitare and a female stranger
Clothes: Black and white dress, black stockings and black ankle-
length boots. Hair is in pigtails tied by black ribbons and reaches down to lower back.

Mei-Lin turned to look at the woman with a surprised look on her face, but instantly she admired the way she looked, was she a female warrior of sorts? Because that would be pretty awesome. She was caught off-guard by the question about her dress for a second, “Er, this is-” She was cut off when the female asked for a ride as well, and the man allowed it provided Ashitare walked alongside, to which the traveler agreed. Mei-Lin grinned brightly to him, “You’re such a gentleman, Ashitare, thank you! You’re amazing, and so very helpful!” She hopped onto the wagon and waited for the woman to get on, looking to her now as well, “This is called a dress, it’s like…robes, but you have more freedom of movement. I’m Mei-Lin, by the way, What’s your name-huh?!”

She felt a sudden burning on her forehead, and she touched at it when it began to throb, little knowing that a symbol of some sort was appearing there, and pulsing thanks to the presence of both Ashitare and the female stranger. “Wh-what the Heck is going in?!” She whispered frantically, trying to rub at her forehead in an attempt to get rid of it but to no avail, then covered it as she sat down in the cart in fear, not wanting attention on herself for once in her life-but the fear of garnering negative attention was imminent.

Min:
Assassin Namame~~~~~~~
Location : Temple of Hanun River
With… : Celestial Warrior Gensho
Priestess Koi Miazaki
~~~~~~~​
Namame was abruptly pulled away from his state of shock…but could it really be called that? He was not so sure of it himself. Simply consumed by the sight before his own eyes…or maybe by the fact that this woman was now his and Gensho to give their life for? No, no, that could not be it. That was unthinkable, ridiculous. To show weakness was something he could have never afford to do. Never. But there he was, standing still, his eyes fixed on the bizarre-looking girl in panic. It was…almost pitiful to look at her. But at the same time, it was a sight that he could not avert his eyes from. Such was his fate from now on. To protect this female of unknown origins, to devote his life to her. That much was clear to him. The Gods sure worked in strange ways… But before he could approach her or even so much as making any movement…

His eyes blinked as his body jolted ever so slightly, breaking apart his cold façade for brief seconds. He had seen him, he had heard him, he had felt him leave his side. But the moment Gensho send the young woman into a deep sleep, Namame’s body reacted on its own impulses. He approached the two of them. He didn’t what he was doing, what were his intentions. But it was not something good, not good at all. Danger? No, he could not sense it. Nothing made sense, it was all nothing but a blur to him. Only when the voice he knew well reached his ears that he gained full control over himself again. It all happened in a rush. All was mechanical once again. No out of impulse, not out of his….emotions?….And then, there they were, in an unfamiliar place, no trace of a soul, only the sound of Nature.

Namame felt his shoulders flop ever so slightly down, his chest relaxing at long last. Had he been holding it in for all this time?…His eyes wandered through his surroundings. His feet lead him forward, the temple’s sight now growing closer and closer. Even though he was no entity of abundant knowledge, he could feel it within himself. A great power protected this place. Closing his eyes, he took a deep breath, any last remains of wariness leaving his body. They were safe, no danger, no threats. That was what he thought. But such foolish thoughts are not to be taken. Such was evidenced as the voice of a very, very distressed Priestess disturbed the peace. Namame slowly turned to find himself staring at the pair with an expression devoid of any distinct emotions. He kept his distance, however, showing a certain reluctance in even approaching the two… But why…?​


Shin:
Monk Gensho

Date: September 2
Location: Koukan Empire, Temple near Hanun River
Group: Gensho, Namame, Koi

Gensho was surprised when the Priestess had awoken after being transported to their current location. He did not find her demeanor or attitude surprising considering her extraordinary situation, however it did not stop him from thinking how ungraceful it seemed, not to mention quite illogical. If he were in her position threatening the person who captured her would be far from what he would do much less slap the person. It would be in their best interest that he not lose his demeanor and patience because of her presumptuous actions. ” Calm down.” he said firmly, using little effort to pull apart her grip from him. He let her go with a small push away and put a little distance between them. The young man sighed with a displeasing countenance as if to say he expected more from the Priestess meant to bring Salvation to the people.

He looked at Namame who stared at them with the same neutral expression. Gensho was certain he would be of no aid in this instance, for talking was not his specialty. Perhaps the choice of location was not correct. The young Monk chose a temple because it had a significance as a place holy, clean and free from malice. He had hoped this would offer some relief to the young girl. ” This one is named Gensho, this is my comrade Namame. “ he said in answer to her question. ” No harm will come upon you…you have my apologizes for taking you here without warning, but it was important to move out of the city. Are you aware of where you are? Or what has happened to you?” he asked the girl. Explaining what happened to her will help her to calm down is what Gensho believed. The young monk then laid his staff down and sat on the thick floor rug. He motioned for Namame to do the same. He hoped this would further ease her mind as a person who is seated cannot do much in terms of harming a person who is standing.

anime:
Jun looked watched the guy and the old man in the cart. When gave the ok she smiled. “Awesome.” She next to the girl and noticed her rambling about something. Oh right the clothes apparently it was dress. The girl then introduced herself as Mei-Lin. Jun leaned back and relaxed herself. Her mannerisms at that moment seemed tomboyish. “It’s Jun just Jun.” Sometimes people try to ask for a last name. She never really did think of one so she just tell them plain and simple just Jun. She glanced over at Mei and noticed her franticly trying to cover head. Jun raised and eyebrow and said, “Hey are you alri-” She stopped when she suddenly felt her back burning. “The hell??” She mumbled to herself as she toughed her back swearing quietly to herself. She then took a quick glance at the girl. “I wonder…….” She then decide to just forget about it she already had enough trouble as it is. She didn’t need any strange things happening. She then looked ahead trying to ignore the throbbing on her back.
Supicious:
Pastless Wanderer Ashitare

Location: Near Shunrou Capital City
Mood: Warm
What am I Doing? Conversing with Mei and being surprised by Jun.

Ashitare could feel the heat growing across his face, form her complement. He was not used to such complements, having not heard one ever since Rima stop coming by. He gave a polite bow to the girl to show her his gratitude. “Thank you miss Mei.” He watched as the two women conversed between each other, standing behind them. He didn’t mind walking, besides for him to not give his seat away would be rude. Both women seemed to have worked hard and all he had done was step out of his home for the first time. Or was it? I wish I could remember. What happened to me? How did I loose so much of my memory? He shook his head trying to get the question out of his head. He knew that if he just sat and wondered, all it would do was leave him with a headache.

Trying to avoid is introspection he tuned into the girls conversation. So this odd attire she in is a variation of a dress. He then turned to the girl who’s name was Jun, how interesting, she also has no surname. He thought that maybe this was common, come to think of it Rima didn’t have a surname either. He snapped out from his train of thought when a strange symbol appeared on Mei’s head. Going over to see what happened, he felt a strong pain over his heart. He winced in pain as his character burned on his chest.

Swallowing the pain, he stood back up and looked at the two women. “Are you two alright?” Seeing as the pain subsided from Jun he turned his attention to Mei. He leaned into her face and looked at the symbol. Raising his hand he hesitated for a moment, “pardon me miss Mei.” He gently moved some of her hair around to get a better look at it. “Odd, it must be some kind of magical marking. You shouldn’t worry about it.” He gave her a kind smile, before standing up and taking a step back. He looked over to Jun, “are you alright miss Jun?”

Mei:
MEI-LIN SUNG

Mei-Lin looked to Jun in concern, seeing that she too was in pain as she was, and then Ashitare had that look about him as well. What the Heck was going on here, and why?! Was Mei herself the cause of all this, because of she was, she wanted no part in making others suffer. She looked up into Ashitare’s eyes and felt her cheeks darken again, scolding herself inwardly for that weird feeling every time she looked into those eyes. Now was not the time to admire this guy, however handsome he was! But when he felt his hand move her bangs out of the way to take a look at whatever was on her forehead, her heart stopped. She felt her breath hitch, then gave Ashitare an odd look, “Magical marking? You mean…gah?!” She rubbed at her forehead again, hissing as it burned her a little, “There’s something on my forehead?!”

Location: Apparently The Kutou Empire
Mood: Scared and concerned
With: Ahsitare and Jun
Clothes: Black and white dress, black stockings and black ankle-
length boots. Hair is in pigtails tied by black ribbons and reaches down to lower back.

Ah, if only she had her mirror on her! Then she would have seen what exactly Ashitare was talking about. She then looked at both Jun and Ashitare, “But…you both looked like you were in pain just now. Are you both alright?”She looked back and forth between them, biting her lower lip in worry. She then gave Jun an awkward smile, “By the way, you have a really pretty name, Jun! You can call me Mei!” She smiled a little, trying to make light of this weird scenario, then sighed, “I’m sorry all this strange stuff is happening, is there maybe someone that can help all three of us in the capitol?” She asked Ashitare. Goodness, she hoped so, if only to get whatever weird marking was on her forehead off-she couldn’t be on stage with that thing glowing all night! Then again, a thought occurred to her: would she be able to go home? And where the heck was poor Koi-chan?!

Anime:
Jun didn’t respond when Ashitare first asked if they were alright. She was trying to ignore it. Then finally it stopped she sighed in relief then she looked over at her when she heard her say Magical Marking. ” A marking huh?” She wondered if any mark had appeared on her back. She looked at Ashitare and answered him. “Yeah mines was on my back.” She was trying to figure just what the heck was going on. She smiled at Mei then said, “And I wouldn’t worry about it to much…who knows maybe this means I have powers that can help kick but better then before.” Yeah right she wished. Then something hit her. “Wait a min did you say the capital?!” How did she not realize where the heck she was heading. She was trying to het away from the capital. Then again maybe would recognize her. She did cut her hair and she has been gone for while. Plus this would be a good time to check out everything to see what’s going on. Plus she felt like if she justran away now it would make her feel like a coward. So instead she decided she would go but make sure to keep identity hidden.
Quirky:
Imperial Librarian Kailai Wen (Tomo)

Location: Shunrou Capital City Gates, Kutou Empire.

What am I Doing? Going to meet Senru’s forest friend.

The city of Shunrou was quiet save for the occasional song of crickets and frogs. To many normal people, the night portrayed a sense of tranquility, stillness, and inactivity. However, to Kailai, it was as busy as any afternoon in the marketplace. Kailai could hear it all—the hooting of owls as they greeted one another, the chattering of crickets as they discussed the whereabouts of food, and the calling of a male frog as it searched for a lover. It was all very distracting, but—at the same time—reassuring.

Arms folded in his sleeves, Kailai strolled through the empty streets, enjoying the night breeze that brushed against his hair. He passed a bulletin board with several wanted posters. Most of the posters depicted bandits that seemed to have made their homes in the woods outside of the city. However, there was one portrait that caught Kailai’s attention. It was a crudely drawn sketch of a beast of some sort. Kailai frowned, leaning over to read the description.

A vicious, wild creature known to prey upon humans. Travellers beware. Any brave warrior that kills the beast and brings proof of its death to the palace will receive 100 gold by order of the Emperor. @Ryuko Seiko

Kailai sighed. Logically, he knew such an order was necessary to protect the citizens of the city. Not all animals were friendly and quite a few in the forest preyed upon humans. However, as someone who could speak to animals, Kailai couldn’t help but feel saddened. It was misunderstandings like these and lack of communication that led to animosity—both in humans and animals. Ever since the mysterious death of the previous emperor and the disappearance of Princess Akemi—which essentially ended the royal Konishi line—the Kutou Empire had grown more militaristic under the leadership of the new emperor. It had allowed the country to grow more prosperous and the citizen’s lives to improve drastically, but at the cost of increased warfare.

Hence the search for the Celestial Warriors.

Kailai was diverted from his thoughts when he heard Senru call out to him. Glancing up, the Imperial Librarian caught sight of the falcon circling his head. He chuckled.

“Well, aren’t you exited? Find your forest friend, did you?” Kailai tilted his head. “He’s coming here?” Kailai nodded, an amused smile on his face. “Sure, I’d love to meet him. Lead the way.”

Kailai watched as Senru took to the skies. It had been a while since he’d seen Senru so lively. Brushing a stray lock of hair behind his ear, the Imperial Librarian followed Senru…but at a more leisurely pace.


Half an hour later…​

When Kailai arrived at the city gates there seemed to be some sort of commotion. Armored guards surrounded a small ox-drawn wagon.

“Who are you guys? What are you doing arriving at Imperial Capital so late at night? State your purpose.”

“Look at her clothes!” One of the city guards pointed at the pigtailed-girl riding in the back. “She must be foreigner! And she’s covering something!”

Another guard reached forward to yank the foreigner’s hand from her forehead. “What are you hiding? We won’t allow suspicious people into the city—,”

Koi:
Koi Miazaki

^v^v ^v^v ^v^v ^v^v ^v^v^
Location: Temple in the town near Hanun River
What am I doing? Talking to Namame and Gensho
^v^v ^v^v ^v^v ^v^v ^v^v^​

The strange man and the boy were obviously displeased seeing her shake violently and eventually almost strangling one of them. She was pushed a little by the man who held her putting a distance between them, almost tripping her as her feet walked backwards. Luckily, though her balance was slightly a little wiggly at first, she managed to stand firm with her feet apart trying to stop them from taking another step. Her arms were both at her front close to her body, as if they were on guard for any attack she might receive. Koi looked at both men who indeed looks so strange. One of them was a little boy who just stared at her stoicly. He looked cute and innocent but him being involved in this “kidnapping” puzzled her a lot. She then looked at the tall man with white hair who held her not long ago. She was much more afraid of him even if the stranger’s face didn’t look like he was a bad guy. Both of them looked educated and they didn’t look like the usual gangsters with the gangster kind of face. The sight of the temple and the aura of the environment did calm her quite a bit, but it didn’t remove her fear and confusion for what was happening back then. Not to mention, her friend was still missing and a lot of strange experiences happened in less than an hour.

The taller man then introduced himself and the boy as Gensho and Namame. She listened very attentively to the next sentences his mouth uttered. Gensho apologized and assured Koi that no harm will be done to her. He then asked her the same questions she was asking herself. Calmer than before, the girl couldn’t care if they were good or bad people now. She had no one to turn to and the experiences she had today was just overwhelming. Like a broken fosset, tears in her eyes seemed to come out of nowhere and dripped all over her cheeks. Her mouth contracted as if they want to wiggle, and her chest tightened up. Unconsciously, the maiden was already crying. “N-no… I’m sorry”, she apologized and answered in a shaky voice while wipping her cheeks and eyes with a handkerchief from her shoulder bag. The girl felt ashamed of crying in front of complete strangers. “I’m not from here. This place looks like ancient China., she described as she looked around not intending to mock the place. “I don’t know what’s happening. I w-was with my friend, and we went to a bookstore. And then we read this book titled Universe of the Four Gods. And then a light flashed at us and the next thing I knew was I was under the bridge near a town and my friend was missing”, she narrated in an unorganized manner as she stared at an empty space in between Namame and Gensho, trying to recall what happened.“Have you seen her?”, she asked them looking directly to their eyes, trying to ask for help. Sensing that the men will help her in some way and that they were there for her for some kind of reason she is yet to understand, she asked a question, “Why…Why did you get me? Who are you?” , asking the same question again, now with a different meaning.

Shin:
Monk Gensho

Date: September 2
Location: Koukan Empire, Temple near Hanun River
Group: Gensho, Namame, Koi

The young monk watched as the girl from the other world has been set by grief and started to cry. He could only listen to her explain what happened as anything he did may be perceived by her as inappropriate. At that time, he considered how she was at first angry and confused, which quickly was followed by sadness and worry. He looked over at Namame. ” Perhaps we should have some dinner prepared for us. ” he suggested as he noticed the shadows were lengthening through the halls of the temple. Gensho would stay behind with the priestess to explain a few things to her. ” Namame will get food ready for us…. It was not of our doing to have you brought here to us young lady.” he began. “ The ‘book’ you had in your possession, possess’ great magic. Strong enough it is to have brought you here to our world. If this one is not mistaken, there is a way for you to return home.”

Gensho thought further on what she mentioned. The priestess said she was with a friend. Although she was not seen to be with her when the two celestial warriors came to her, he did believe in the possibility her friend was also meant to be in this world… as another priestess. Such a revelation concerned him about the future, but it would do no good to mention that to her now, as it was only a mere guess. ” If your friend was not with you perhaps she did not come with you. But if she has, she will be safe. That is something that can be assured.” he added. Gensho got up to unlock the doors of the temple. ” You have yet to share your name.” he said.

Suspicious:
Pastless Wanderer Ashitare

Location: Near Shunrou Capital City
Mood: Calm to Angered
What am I Doing? Conversing with Mei and Jun, when some guards barged in.

Ashitare wasn’t too worried about the marking, he thought it was only natural to have one. For as long as he remember the symbol on his chest was there. It is supposedly a symbol meaning Ashitare, at least that is what Rima told him. He smiled at Mei as she tried to rub it away. As she inquired on his won well being he gave her a soft smile, “I am fine Miss Mei, and you should not worry about the symbol, it will fade. Rubbing it will only make your forehead red.” He looked between the two girls as they conversed about the capital. He thought back to a falcon who seemed to come from the capital. His owner must be very wealthy to have such a prized creature. It is possible that he may be able to help them. I don’t know much of Jun’s predicament, but if a nobleman would be willing to help, he be much more useful than I. Turning to the two girls he spoke up, “I may know someone in the city who may help you two. It is a slim chance, but I see no harm in asking.”

Before the girls could even answer the cart began to jerk forward. “Sorry the old ox does what he wants sometimes.” As the cart slowly headed closer towards the capital city Asitare followed behind. When they were at the capital gates the cart came to a sudden halt as a group of guards came up to them. From their brutish mannerisms and voice Ashitare knew that this would be trouble. He hadn’t been around men in years, but somehow remembered the stern tone and aggressive nature, he didn’t like it one bit.

Ashitare spoke to the men, “we a simply weary travelers. Hey!” He walked over to the man who grabbed Mei’s arm and grabbed the man’s hand tight with his left hand and put his right on the man’s chest pushing him back. “Let go of her,” he said in a intimidating tone, he clenched down o the guard’s wrist causing him to wince a little. Ashitare held on tightly until the guard let go and stepped back. With a huff he looked at the guards “is this really how you treat travelers?”

The old man was shocked by the sudden action. He just hoped that he wouldn’t be imprisoned for this, he had a family to provide for and tend to. He stayed quiet hoping that the guards would burn out of steam and let them pass with a warning. Keeping his head down someone caught his eye, he looked up. His face grew pale when he realized that it was a imperial lord. He turned to Ashitare, “hush boy do not cause a scene.”

Mei:
MEI-LIN SUNG

Mei-Lin looked to Jun, “You have one as well?” She then looked to Ashitare, “And you?” She had to admit, it felt good not being the odd man out in that respect, as she was the oddball of everyone by her ‘strange clothes.’ Did she really go back in time somehow?! She gave them both a smile,”I’m glad you guys are alright, I know we just met but I care about anyone who treats me with kindness.” She looked to Jun, “You already look like someone who can kick lots of butt, Jun! I really admire you for being a strong and independent woman!” She looked to Ashitare with hope in her eyes, “There is someone who can help us there?! Great! I wonder if he’s a wizard of some sort that can take me home!” She thought of the Wizard of Oz, and considering this was all too real, it wasn’t a far fetched idea. When the cart began to move she gasped in surprise, but then smiled to her new companions. “Yep, seems like we’re headed that way, Jun, but if Ashitare is right there is someone there to help us both!” She said with the utmost confidence.

Location: Apparently The Kutou Empire; now the capital gate
Mood: Scared and concerned
With: Ahsitare and Jun; there are guards at the gate with some Lord
Clothes: Black and white dress, black stockings and black ankle-
length boots. Hair is in pigtails tied by black ribbons and reaches down to lower back.

When they got to the gates, however, Mei’s hopes were dashed. Already the guards were hostile, apparently they did not like foreigners in their city-and she was the one that had to stand out the most. She stood up,”W-wait a second, I just came to ask for help–ahh!” She screamed as a guard grabbed her arm, and as Ashitare came to her rescue, the symbol on her forehead glowed brighter than before, and in the skies the sound of lightning began to crackle-and it was a clear day. She glared at the men, her heart racing in fear as she tried to stand her ground. “Look, we mean no one any harm, alright?! I need to see someone that can help me in the city, so please, let us pass?” She said with urgency but with a strong firm tone as well. Her look softened as her dark blue eyes rested on Ashitare, “Thank you, again, for saving me, Ashitare.” She then looked to the skies, “Um…did anyone one else hear thunder earlier…?”

Jack:
Hak
Date; September 2
Location; Koukan Empire, West Side Touran

————————

It had been several months since a Decree by the Emperor to find the Warriors of Genbu came out. Well, that was fine and all but one person in particular didn’t really care.

Hak. He is a Celestial warrior of Genbu, supposed to answer the calls of the Empire. To discuss a duty he was well informed of from a early age. Quite frankly, He eluded the Search force sent by the War Minister almost hilariously. He had more or else actually tailed them back to Touran fairly recently. As such, he had two choices that day; Go the the Palace or go to the Tavern. He elected to go for a drink, the plan would be to go to the Palace later to make himself known.

Several days passed since and he had completely forgotten about the summons.

Come to the present day, Hak woke up in a room. he remembered that he had almost got caught by the Search Force and forced himself to hide in the more dangerous parts of Touran; the West side. Even though many tired the attack him or swindle him, he usually beat them back either with words or literally beating the crap out of them in frustration. Yesterday he had helped some women get away from a group of thugs who more or less wanted them for devious things. It eventually became known that a man in west side helped people out. He kept his identity a secret, especially since those in the Palace know what he looks like.
And it was like that, he was staying at a place above a tavern in the west side close to one of the exits for a quick getaway. But that wasn’t why he woke up, he had a strange feeling on his chest. Literally. He pulled back his shirt and saw his mark pulsating. “What the heck?” The first thing he thought was that if he was still drunk. But he didn’t feel like crap.. He knew what this meant, and he moved quickly. Grabbing his sword he left his other weapon behind.

Quickly heading towards where he felt to go, he hurried quickly. Eventually finding himself in the Grand Market District. he looked around as the pulsating got more apparent. Turning a few corners, he eventually came across an unusual site.
The girl was wearing strange clothes, calling out for someones name. ‘Oy oy, not very discreet?’ Suddenly, two man were near her, thinking that he should remember who they were, one of them, a Monk, suddenly moved behind her and knocked her out. ‘Oh crap..’ Hak moved quickly, but they moved quicker. As he got closer they left through the ground, Hak instantly knew he used magic. Before he could jump in to follow, the portal closed and became a normal puddle of water. The Pulsing was still there, but wasn’t as strong. Where did they go? Hak stood there… then started to have a headache. “Ah… Hangover…” He suddenly heaved and threw up.

After that, he decided the best course of action was to remain in Touran for the time being. ‘The Priestess is here, which means those two were most likely the other Celestial warriors.. Did they take her to the Minister?’ He was sitting in a bar, strangely not drinking as much. But he figured, he may as well wait for them. He knew the girl’s face. While thinking about this he took a big gulp of his drink. “Still sucks compared to the villages…”

Helral:
Mitsuhide

Location: Seiryuu Court
Activity: Visiting library after work.​

Mitsuhide was finally done with his work in the treasury. Afterwards he decided to visit the library. Still dressed in his court outfit he slowly walked towards the library. The outfit isn’t as restricting as it seems to be, although he is forced to take short steps. For anyone who doesn’t know him, he seems unarmed. All he’s carrying about is his fan.

Arriving at the library he walks through it, in search of more books about signs and symbols. On passing he notices Kailai, the thought ‘now there’s an odd sight, a sleeping head librarian.’ passes through his mind as his eyes fall upon the scroll. Not wanting to disturb him he moved on towards the books and starts browsing the titles. Several titles pass his eyes, Family symbols, Military companies. Mitsuhide sighs, he has already read and committed all of these to memory, but none matched the symbol on his shoulder.

While browsing he suddenly senses the symbol on his shoulder growing warm. Quickly looking around he sees nobody nearby, and lets out a sigh of relieve. ‘Why would it do that now, after being silent for so many years…. Maybe Kailai could help me finding information about it.’, he thinks as he decides to reveal his mark for the first time to someone else. After deciding this he goes back to where he saw Kailai, but he isn’t there anymore. “Just my luck”, he mumbles as he moves off to search the library for Kailai.

While searching for Kailai he meets up with another librarian, keeping that librarian in his sight Mitsuhide wonders whether or not he knows where Kailai went. Taking his time Mitsuhide finally decides to ask the librarian where he can find Kailai. “Excuse, do you know where the Kailai, the head librarian is?”. ‘I saw him leave the library some time ago. Is there anything else I can help you with?‘, Mitsuhide sighs as he hears the librarians response. “Well, I guess I’ll go back and browse through some more symbols. Can you get me a book containing rare symbols or markings?”. The librarian nods and moves off. Moving to a nearby table Mitsuhide awaits the librarians return.

While waiting he thinks about how he should approach Kailai when he sees him again. His thoughts get interrupted as the librarian returns with a book containing legends, ‘I’ve read this once, and there are some symbols mentioned here.‘ To prove this the librarian places the book open in front of Mitsuhide on a page containing a drawing of a person with a marking. Sadly the marking is ineligible. “Thank you”, Mitsuhide says as the librarian moves away to continue what he was doing.

anime:
Jun looked over at Ashitare and was about to speak when suddenly the cart jerked. She then settled back into her seat and looked at Mei. “Yeah trust me there isn’t a single person in that capital that can help me.” She smiled a laughed a little to herself. “Besides I don’t need any help I’ve been ok so far on my own.” As they reached the gates to the city the cart stopped. then a group of guards headed towards them. “Crap….” Jun thought for moment maybe they wouldn’t recognize her. She decided not to hide her face and see if the guards knew her face. The guards seem hostel, no surprise there. Suddenly one of the guards grabbed Mei. Jun was about to help but Asjhitare ended up taken care of it. But wow did that girl’s symbol glow bright. Jun wondered who the heck this person really was. Jun looked over at Mei, “Nice looks you can stand up for yourself. And yeah I didn’t hear thunder….I think that was you.” As she was talking to Mei one of the guards walked up to her. “Hey! Haven’t I seen you before?” Jun cussed in her head then turned around. “Um nope never been here in my life.” The guard stared her. “You sure cause you really look like Prin-” The guard fell to the ground in mid sentence. Jun had punched him and got knocked out. She then cracked her knuckles. “Can’t believe that guard was so easy to knock out.” She might had made thing s little worse but she didn’t care she would take them all on if needed be.
Quirky:
Imperial Librarian Kailai Wen (Tomo)

Location: Shunrou Capital City Gates, Kutou Empire.

What am I Doing? Breaking up a fight.

Kailai frowned, wondering why the city guards had stopped the small cart from entering Shunrou. It appeared to be a normal-looking wagon driven by an elderly man. Surely an old man and a small group of travelers didn’t require so many guards. There were even a couple of girls riding in the back—granted one of them was oddly dressed. Kailai frowned, trying to recall if there was a country that wore such unique black and white attires. However, before he got a chance to ponder his inquiry, things took a turn towards violence.

“What’s going o—,” Kailai stepped forward only to stop, his jaw dropping slightly at what he saw. A blue light emitted from the pig-tailed girl’s forehead where the character for Seiryuu appeared. He could feel his own celestial mark beating in response.

She can’t be—

“Sorceress!” One guard glanced warily at the sky.

Another guard supported his knocked-out comrade while the rest of the soldiers took an aggressive stance. “Enemies—possibly rebels! They’re trying to infiltrate the city!”

“Someone sound the alarms!”

“STOP!” Kailai shouted in the most authoritative voice he could muster. It was only a pale imitation of his father deep commanding tone, but it managed to interrupt the chaos nonetheless. All the guards turned towards him. Some had relief on their faces…at least until they heard Kailai’s following order. “Everyone put down your weapons this instant.”

“B-but Lord Wen! They—,”

Senru screeched and swooped down, landing on one of the travelers’ shoulders—the pale one with black and white hair.

So this is Senru’s forest friend.

“—are my guests,” Kailai finished, watching his best friend peck affectionately at the handsome stranger’s ear. He ignored the incredulous looks he received and approached the group of travelers in a friendly manner. His eyes flickered to the pig-tailed girl wearing a strange dress.

I can’t be sure if I’m right about her—at least until I double-check the scroll—but if I am, she may very well be Kutou’s savior.

Placing his right fist in his left palm, he greeted them. “I apologize for the rude welcome. My name is Kailai Wen, scion of the Wen family and third son of General Bakryuu.” Kailai paused, a sardonic smile forming on his lips. “But you can also call me Tomo. It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance.”

Min:
Assassin Namame
~~~~~~~
Location : Temple of Hanun River
With… : Celestial Warrior Gensho
Priestess Koi Miazaki
~~~~~~~​
Namame was now but a figure lurking in the shadows watching over the monk and the priestess with what appeared to be little to no interest. A separate entity, as if a barrier stood between him and them, as the bizarre female seemed to settle down and show willingness to abide to Gensho’s attempts to lead this to a civilized conversation. Lost in his own thoughts, the boy’s attention was brought back to them as his name was spoken in the distance. What was it? Why had they spoken his name? Was something wrong? Was it something important?

His doubts were cleared in the moment the white haired male motioned him to come forth and join them. Reluctance would be a euphemism in order to describe what he felt towards this action. Was it really necessary for him to do so? He was most likely of no use in this situation. But if he refused…? Sighing, the young assassin allowed his feet to lead him towards the man and the woman, sitting down by Gensho’s side in absolute silence. The moment Koi joined them in a soon-to-be circle, however, did not go uncertain from his part. His immediate reaction was of a subtle jolt, followed by an attempt to keep a certain distance from her.

Koi seemed to break down little by little, her voice trembling as she spoke, something that he could not find help but feel most…uncomfortable just by beholding the sight of her baring herself before them like that. Perhaps because he felt no empathy towards his stranger whom he was supposed to protect. He couldn’t even remember the last time he had cried, much less knowing of what to do in a scenario like this. He would simply glance her from the corner of his eye, his body stiff, tense. What could this be, this narrowing feeling inside him? Annoyance? Confusion? Frustration? The moment their eyes met shunned any chances of this action to go any further, making Namame violently reject her gaze and thus, refusing to answer her question. It was not as if he knew any better anyhow…

He could not be more grateful for Gensho’s intervention as the latter turned to face him. A wise decision too, as expected of someone like him. The night was coming. They should not be careless, even in such an isolated place. He nodded his head and quietly left his…companions? Could he really call them that as of now? He was not sure, not sure at all. But no matter, he had a task to do. He could might as well get started instead of wasting his time thinking about trivial things. He found himself left to his solitude in an unknown area, surrounded by plant life. But for some reason, that did not inflict him with any signs of wariness or hostility in the least. Animals and plants had always been something he felt rather comfortable to be around. As if he was amongst his own. Such would most likely not come off as a surprise for those who knew him…

Now, what was there to do…? Food, food…well, a river was nearby. Perhaps some fish could be caught there. Berries and other fruits could also work too. Eh, it was strange…even after so long living in the estate, the thought of hunting and whatnot would come to him quite naturally. Well, habits die hard, as his master would say whenever he would reach for his missing arm, touching nothing but air with his gentle smile that never wavered. Namame did not waste any time. Soon after, he would raise three fishes in a…victorious fashion, if you could call it that. He could do this much, it was really nothing to be so proud of…how childish. But then, something assaulted him in that exact instant. Did Priestesses eat fish? Or rather, did people eat fish in her world? “….Hm….” His confidence faltered as he confronted this issue. Gensho surely expected him to get food for all the three of them…

Agh, why was he so concerned about this? The woman was in this world now, she had to grow used to their mores eventually, did she not? But even his argument would not stop his feet from heading further into the forest. He should find something else for her to eat in here…but what? His eyes darted from trees to grass, his ears careful to not miss any sign of a presence nearby. And thus, it paid off. Caws in the distance would faintly reach him, bringing a sense of relief to him. Perhaps a bird would do the trick.

But the moment he arrived at the place emanating these sounds, Namame felt as if his heart sank. He stood speechless, staring at the sight before him wide-eyed, holding his breath for what to seem an eternity. The bird was small, fragile just by its looks alone. It cried out in despair, cries of help, fear, pain. The crow was merciless, its craving for the small creature growing more and more, it kept attacking it. Again. Again. Again.

Until the blade of death was carved in its breast, blood dripping down its black form. With one last caw, it succumbed to numbness. Again. Again. Again. Blood spilled, staining his face, his clothes. But he didn’t stop. He did not stop until it stopped breathing completely. Until its warm vanished completely. It took him a while to move again, his hand trembling ever so slightly before he let go of the corpse. His eyes followed the trail of scarlet where a dying baby bird fought to keep breathing. The young man simply picked it up as gently as he could, as if cradling the creature in his hands. And like that he stood, impassible, incapable of doing anything.

No hope was left for the weak.

That was…what he had learned that day.

“End his pain, Wei Lun.”

A gentle, kind voice, hands upon his shoulder. Cold, so cold.

“He’s in pain. Do you want to see your friend in pain?”

Cold hands. Such cold hands over his. Now, a head, a small head.

“There is no hope left for him, child.”

No, no, no. Tears stream down his face. His head shakes again and again.

“…It’s…”

He can’t hear it. He can’t…

“It’s an order, Wei Lun.”

And then, all its darkness from him. He is blinded, stolen away, he disappeared.

The neck is broken. The body falls on the ground. Breathing ceases.

It’s cold.

It’s so, so cold.

Namame screams.

The night had came and so he returned. Carrying the three fishes, fruits, berries…a decent seems to be in store for the trio. And his clothes are scarlet here and there, as well as his cheeks. Ah, he had forgotten those spots. But at least his hands are clean. He won’t spoil the meal. “Gensho.” He calls the older Celestial, gesturing the food towards him, as if awaiting for his approval or disapproval.​

Razor:
Warrior Toyu
Location :
Yangzhou bathhouse, Shunrou Capital City
What am I doing? : Enjoying the hospitality of the Famous Public Bathhouse, after a rigorous training session.

One of the few pleasures that Toyu enjoyed was to head to the Yangzhou bathhouse, rather than go back to the barracks with the other officers. He was never really one for mixing it with his fellows, though he let them think that they were worthy of his attention. A military man that lived and breathed his life of service to the Emperor. Few could fault him upon the training fields, and he had proved his worth many a time in active service. Some say he had no heart, others whispered about his fallen father. None dared speak it to his face however. Not if they valued their life. So when he turned in the direction of the city commercial district, there were none that batted an eyelid, nor asked after him. It was just how it was.

Approaching the bathhouse, that was modestly signed from the outside – Toyu let out a contented sigh. His body ached after the rigorous training, and he could really use this time to reflect and simply enjoy the pleasures that the bathhouse attendants offered. One young girl was already waiting at the door. Her black hair pulled back into a neat bun, and she bowed low as Toyu approached.

“Welcome again, Boss.”

“Mmm.” The girl was lucky to even illicit a reaction or sound from him at all. His face showed no emotion as he passed her, and she quickly hurried on in, ringing a small brass bell to alert the other attendants that they had a very distinguished client. Whilst Toyu was not a “Boss” per say, that was the term used by the attendants to all the notable clients. Being one of the Emperor’s own, he wore the colorful cape, that draped over his shoulders and covered half of his chest. His weapons strapped to his belt, which he would remove along with the rest of his kit, once he had entered the inner sanctum. Within the bathhouse, the lighting was dim and the air filled with the scent of exotic burning oils that helped to relax the clients and make them feel right at home. Here was a place, where he could be treated like the Emperor himself and it was something that Toyu truly didn’t mind.

Lead out into a larger room, where there were other half naked males already being seen to by their attendants. Waiters that held their clothing on long poles, that kept their valuables and clothing on a pile at the very top. At least three metres from the ground. This was to ensure the safety of their belongings – another notable service.

Being led to a seat, Toyu started to remove his armor shoulder guards, and then his sword belt which he handed to two separate waiters. The weight of his armor was such it was a little bit too heavy for the poles. Toyu could feel the eyes of a few other men, possibly politicians or wealthy merchants gazing at his well toned physique. It was not uncommon to be considered attractive, even to men. Toyu acted as though it didn’t phase him, making a bit of a show of removing his clothes, and kicking off his boots. As he went to sit, a pretty attendant came in and offered him a cup of green tea – part and parcel of the services. It was to help the Warrior relax, and Toyu accepted the cup without word. The young girl hovered for a moment, as though something had caught her eye. Being that Toyu was now shirtless it wasn’t uncommon for the girls to stare. But what she was staring at, was something that even he didn’t expect. He could feel the slight twinge sensation. For a moment he thought that she might have spilled tea on him, but on looking down he see the burning symbol that was now glowing on his chest. The warrior’s eyes narrowed as he set down his cup on the side of the wooden bench, and then ran the tip of his finger over the symbol.

“it’s never burnt like this before” Toyu thought to himself. Glancing up, he could see the girl was ogling it now almost like she was mesmerized by the glowing mark. When she saw that the warrior was now staring directly at her, as though he could incinerate her just with his gaze, the young girl caught herself and snapped back to reality. She squeaked that the warrior would need his hot towel, while his clothing was raised on the pole. But with what was happening to him, he knew that the time for lazing in the steaming waters would have to wait.

Was this the sign? Was this the moment he had been waiting for in what felt like forever?

Growling angrily, he snatched back his clothing and hastily started to dress himself again. Toyu needed to find the answers as to why his mark had come to life. He had almost finished fixing on his cape, when he heard the sounds of raised voices that were coming from a short distance away.

“Enemies—possibly rebels! They’re trying to infiltrate the city!”

“Someone sound the alarms!”

Hearing the commotion, Toyu tied off his belt and with his boots put on a little haphazardly, the statuesque warrior thundered back outside, only to see some sort of altercation occurring near the city gates. A wagon – nothing really out of the ordinary there, but as Toyu drew closer he heard the sound of the Imperial Librarian’s voice. It was unmistakable, and he said loudly – “I apologize for the rude welcome. My name is Kailai Wen, scion of the Wen family and third son of General Bakryuu.”

A name dropper. It was one of the things that Toyu simply refused to do. No point dragging up the wretched history of his family, when Toyu had been able to carve out a name for himself. Stopping just a few feet away from the gathered group, the blonde haired warrior folded his arms, as the guards appeared to take the Imperial Librarian at his word. But it was the next part that caught Toyu off guard.

“But you can also call me Tomo. It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance.”

Toyu’s blue eyes narrowed on hearing this and even more so when he saw the young girl with the pig tails in the strange clothing. She certainly didn’t look local at all. The warrior took another two steps and saw the flash of what was a blue symbol that had glowed from her forehead. Surely he was mistaken. Could this….child be….the one? Seeing an opportunity to make himself known, Toyu strolled up, with his arms being dropped to his sides till he came to one of the guards who had yelled so shrilly about the ….enemy invaders. Snatching up one from the scruff of the back of his neck, he lifted him high enough so that his feet dangled precariously underneath him.

“These….don’t look like murderous rebels to me.” Toyu’s fingers dug hard into the back of the scared guard’s neck as Toyu then gave a sly smile towards ‘Tomo.” “Ah Lord Wen. How nice to see that you have taken to manning the gates, instead of dusting the tomes in the Imperial Library. All this…excitement must be invigorating for you, hmm?” Toyu let the guard fall suddenly and without warning so he landed in a crumpled heap. As the guard tried to crawl away, Toyu made sure to stomp on his hand as he approached the young girl with pigtails, who may well have found all this a little intimidating.

“Let me guess, you’re….a Princess travelling in disguise?” Toyu blatantly ignored the others that were her travelling companions, as he had already found this girl to be more than interesting.

 

The Whisper of Death.

The Whisper of Death


(Inspired by The Heirs and Who are you? School 2015)


Kryss University is a school for the rich. The heirs of famous, popular businesses, the children of the politicians, the children of popular, worldwide artists and the children of some mafias attends here. They are beautiful and handsome, and rich. You may think they are perfect and lives a very comfortable life, but you are wrong. Every student in this university have a deep secret that would destroy their reputation– their lives, once discovered. Everything have flaws; nothing, no one is indeed perfect, whether you are rich or poor, beautiful or ugly.

A new school year has started again. Each student is excited to start the new year, have fun and make new memories. Everything that happened last year was buried and forgotten or left as a memory that would stick to them. But not everyone have forgotten.

Collaboration Role playing series – New.

They may look innocent; they may live a comfortable life; they may be kind. But no one is perfect; no one could have a perfect life. These students are one example. Be careful who you are dealing with.

 

 

 

Ob:

The bus halted in front of a huge, tall building. “Okay guys,” their adviser said through a megaphone. Everyone silenced. “We have arrived on the hotel we are staying for 4 days. Each one of you will have your own room. As you get off, we’ll give you guys the hotel cards.” the students hollered, some of them pumping their fist on the air. Calista remained quiet on her seat and listened as the adviser talked again. “Now, the first row will get up and get off then the next and next.” the first row get up and get off. Calista sat on the 2nd row, so after the 1st row of students get off, she stood up and followed the girl in front of her. As she get off, a man gave her her galaxy colored suitcase and a hotel card. Written across from it in bold, medium sized letters was 423. Calista walked past them and pulled her shades down to her eyes. The 3pm sun blared below them, merciless.

Calista sighed in relief as she entered the hotel. The cold, comfortable air from the air conditioner welcomed her. The hotel’s lobby was amazing, of course, it’s a 5 star hotel. It was huge, like a grand ballroom. It has two, huge gold chandeliers, an indoor fountain in the center that produced the different colors of the rainbow, a couple of very artistic paintings hung on the wall and red couches with gold laces. There is also a mini fish pond on the corner of the room. The students who first got off crowded in the center of the hotel, apparently waiting for the next announcement. Calista joined them and stood meters away from them. She silently listened to them while her eyes rested on the hotel’s glass door that keeps producing another student. The students near her were talking about how they’ll spend their first night. She also wondered how she will spend her first night– it will probably depend on the activities.

 

Kay:

 

Fortune exited the bus, excited for her new adventure in life. Leaving behind her family in New York was a difficult decision to make, pushing for a more independent lifestyle than any woman in her family before her. A smile spread across her face as the group of students entered the hotel, receiving their key cards on the way. 426. She enclosed her hand around the piece of plastic and brought it up to her lips, kissing her hand and wishing for good luck – something her father had always done before a job.

The hotel was extremely extravagant, covered in gold and wonder. As Fortune passed a painting of the Virgin Mary, she stopped and made the sign of the cross over her torso. Pulling her suitcase behind her, she walked around the lobby and examined its beauty. She was used to the dingy shops and apartments of New York. Her father may have been a mafia boss, but he refused to leave the neighborhood for a better home. So they remained where they had since Fortune was a baby, and her father still worked at a pizza place.

 

Luc:

 

Lucius walked into the hotel with just two small suitcases. He had always traveled the world but hated carrying much, so he traveled light. All the students were looking at the fish, the furniture, the paintings on the wall or their phone. Lucius, however, was looking at the high ceiling. It had an almost perfect duplication of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel on it. He had seen and studied the real one, so he could see the mistakes, but it was amazingly well done. He opened his jacket and got out the phone his father had given to him: It was no good for more than calling and taking photos, but it was amazing at the latter. It was the best camera phone out there, and Lucius carried it everywhere. The Niagara Falls, Mount Rushmore, The Great Pyramids, it was all on his phone.

 

TML:

 

Alexis jumps out of the bus. She’s excited to see what’s in store for her. And she, like most of her peers, hoped that this trip will be an unforgettable experience.
Alexis walked inside the hotel, impressed by it’s architectural design. She carries her luggage with her. Alexis checked her hotel card over and over again, to memorize her room number. 421, it’s easy to memorize but she can’t help but to look at it over and over again.

 

SA:

 

Celeste sat on the bus, she slowly slid her finger across the window. Her ring finger was covered dust from the old window. The bus came to a halt, she exited the bus and put her hood on her sweatshirt down to get a better look at the tall building. To her horror, dozens of her classmates faces lit up and started going to her. Oh God….. Even at this school they know who I am. Her parents were extremely famous celebrities, she would attend red carpet events, has been interviewed by the news, even her birth was a huge anouncement to the media. Celeste absolutely hates getting so much attention, she’d rather study, play videogames, participate in sports, and be a normal teenager. She wished her parents could just let her go to a normal school, whatever.

 

Ob:

 

Once the students were in one place, their adviser stood in front of them with his megaphones. “Okay, 12th grade. Proceed to your rooms and come back here at..” He stopped and checked his wristwatch, “7:30 pm sharp. We’ll all be having our dinners together. Make sure to wear your grandest outfit for the night!” He announced. The crowd burst into giggles and chats, mostly coming from the girls. “Now, we’ll let 20 students first go inside the elevator then the next batch and the next.” The hotel staff guided the students near the elevator. It was huge and made of glass where you can see through it.

Calista pasted herself on the wall, her suit case standing in her sneakers’ edge. She let the other students pass by her. She doesn’t mind of being last, she’ll arrive there anyway. And, she’ll also have a time to appreciate the room. It was so beautiful she wondered why her father hadn’t made negotiations to buy this hotel. Or was it theirs? Her parents never really pushed her to be part of their business, especially that she’s not the heir. Though,Moshe sometimes spectate business meetings when she’s bored and attend formal dinners and parties.

 

SA:

 

She briskly walks past her classmates who recognized her and stepped into the grande hotel and stared in awe. She walked silently around the lobby to pass time until she would hear further announcement. The lobby was glorious, gorgeous ceiling paintings, fountains with detailed sculptures, and paintings thats eyes watch you no matter what angle she happened to be at. Her long sundress caught on a mounted doorstopper she begun to trip over her dress before she caught herself. A few heads turned around because she made this big tapping noise when she caught herself. Great, now people know where I am she thought.
“Your Celeste, right?” A stout girl said excitedly.
Celeste goes here?” Her taller friend exclaims.
A small crowd of students surround her, asking her many questions about her parents. Celeste’s face flushes red underneath her heavy makeup.
Students start to fill up the elevator, she joins in too. She spots a girl with blondish hair, maybe it’s Calista, Celeste has heard of before throuh the other students.
Maybe I should make friends with her, she seems nice, right? Ok, act normal and friendly. You got this….

 

TMI:

 

Alexis noticed how people went crazy over somebody. One of her schoolmate, Celeste or something else that start with C. A famour actress maybe, Alexis don’t really follow gossip and news about celebrity. She’s her father daughter, after all. All she read about is about politics and international news.
Rather than grouping around her, people… Make some distance with her. Well, indeed that occasionally men wearing black suit would follow her arouns but not this time (or at least as long as she know).

Alexis make into the elevator, eager to see the hotel hallway and room design.

 

SA:

 

Maybe another day? There is too many people here right now, if I talk to one person then they’ll all expect me to talk everyone. For now I’ll just answer any non-personal questions until I get to my room. Man, this has been the longest minute ever.
The elevator slowly rises up to the different floors, Celeste liked to see the numbers indicating the floor level change, there was something peaceful about that. While answering some questions and being introduced to some of the more popular students on the elevator her eyes darted around examining each of the students. She saw this girl give a curious look towards her for a second, the girl was with a few other classmates, she noticed that about 1/6 of the students in the elevator didn’t know who her parents were and boy, was she glad. She held on to the metallic hand rail, her hand felt the elevator halt and the doors slowly opened to reveal a hallway.

 

Ob:

 

Calista noticed Celeste looking at her, everyone knows her. However, Calista pretended she didn’t see her. When the time came for the last batch to go inside the elevator, Calista moved and joined the other students. She was the last one to enter the elevator, thus, she stood near the glass door. The elevator ascended; Calista waited patiently. Each time the elevator passes a floor, the lobby always have different design. It was elegant, unique and gorgeous; it was full of chandeliers, gold, silver, white, red and black. The elevator pinged and halted in the 7th floor. The glass door spread open and Calista stepped out. She looked in awe as she stood on the floor’s lobby. The center had some Greek goddess statue fountain, around it are beds of daises and roses.

Calista headed straight and started to search for her room, 423. The first two doors that stood across from each other were 400 and 401– she have a long way to go. As she started to walk on the marbled floor, the hallway was full with laughter and it made her assured and comfortable. She turned right, then turned left and finally found her door. She scanned the hotel key on the sensor on the door knob. The light became green and produced a ping sound, Calista twisted the knob and opened her room’s door. She stick out a hand and searched the wall for the switch. But she immediately drew back her hand as she felt something cold touch or rather, graze, the back of her palm. She knew it was not an object, she was certain, since it was soft yet cold, very cold that it sent chills on her spine. Nervously, she stick her hand again and tapped the wall for the switch, after a second, she found it and the room’s lights turned on.

 

 

Fort:

 

Fortune learned that her victim’s name was Lucius. She apologized again and again, but he kept reassuring her that it was okay. They talked about the amazing art on the ceiling, and he asked her if she had ever been to the Sistine Chapel. Fortune blushed and looked at her feet.

“To be honest, I’ve never been outside of Brooklyn until I got accepted into this school.”

After their conversation, Fortune made her way to her room. Upon opening the door, she was in awe. The whole room was the size of her apartment back in Brooklyn. After the door shut behind her, she let out an excited screech. Running towards the bed, she jumped on it and landed on her back. She ran her fingers over the soft fabric of the comforter and breathed in the clean scent. She was really gonna love this.

 

SA:

 

She dragged her suitcases through the hallway. ” Need any help?” Asked the same stout girl she talked to in the lobby. ” No thanks, I’m fine.” Celeste responded, walking to her presidential suite. She unlocked the door using a room card, a small green light lit up and she heard the door’s locks making a clicking noise. Her suite was fairly large; it had a small kitchenette, living room, wide balcony, a master bedroom, a HUGE bathroom, and walk in closet. This must be the presidential suite. Celeste rolled her eyes, she honestly rather have a smaller room since it makes no sense for one person to require so much space and luxury. She has tried to tell her parents that she feels wierd about getting so much stuff and special rooms, her parents would always say in excuse that the extra space was for her “friends”. Celeste actually doesn’t have any friends, although sometimes she has to interact with other children of celebrities and politicians to get good press.

 

Ob:

 

(Time skip to 7pm, 30 minutes before the party)

Calista stood in front of the bathroom’s wide mirror, she wore her bathrobe and her blonde hair was wrapped in a towel. A small case of make-up was wide open in the counter and a bunch of rollers sat beside it. She started applying make-up: foundation, black-eyeliner, mascara, light red eyeshadow, a small blush-on and a scarlet red lipstick. She also put on a dark forest green contacts. After she was done with her make-up, she unwrapped her hair. Using the blower, she let it dry first and then wore the rollers.

While waiting for the rollers to do its work, she stepped out of the bathroom. She picked up her outfit from the bed which was full of other clothes. The dress she picked was black, fitting, short and sexy. It has a turtleneck that is see-through until her collarbone, the sleeves were until her wrist and they are also see-through. The chest part of the dress until its end is the only part that is not see-through. Calista stepped out of her bathrobe and wore the dress. It hugged her slender body and emphasized her S line shape. The dress ended meters above her knees. She then paired it with a black boot heels that ended on her ankles, It has a ribbon on the side where small diamonds traced its outline. Its heels were long, thin and sharp. Calista then proceeded to the accessories. She wore a pair of ruby dangling earrings, and a diamond ring which she inserted in her middle finger. The stone of the ring was small and is in a heart shape.

After a couple of minutes, Calista went back to the bathroom and removed the rollers, her blonde hair was wavy and soft. She let the other side of her blonde hair fall into her shoulder while she left the other side resting on her back. She stepped out of the bathroom and grabbed her purse in the bed. It was plain silver and is made of silk. She stuffed in her phone, her wallet, a handkerchief, her foundation, lipstick, a small perfume and her breath spray– a lady always bring breath sprays.

Calista closed her purse and looked up at the clock, 7:27 pm. Calista went to the door and removed the room keycard to its home, making every light in the room turn off. She stepped out of the room, locked the door and put her keycard on her purse.

 

Razor:

 

Earlier on the bus….

Jon had been the last to make his way down the bus from the back. This common mode of transportation was something of a disgraceful way to have to pull up at the hotel where the students would be spending the next four days. With his eyes shaded behind dark ray ban glasses, Jon sneered at the bus driver, who had been waiting patiently for the straggler to leave. Approaching the driver, Jon noted something familiar about him. He was an older male, about sixties and with a large bald patch that was covered by the world’s worst comb over. The driver reminded him of one of his father’s chauffeurs over the years. Badly dressed and portly, reeking of cigarette smoke. Clearly, the driver was dying to have a break so that he could enjoy a few with some whiskey. Jon reached into his jacket pocket and tossed the driver a fifty dollar bill, patting the man on the shoulder in a condescending way. “Thanks for keeping it running…” Not bothering to wait for a reply, Jon jumped down the last step onto the pavement, and headed inside the hotel, where a porter was waiting. Giovanni’s father had taken the liberty of arranging for his son’s luggage to arrive ahead of the group, and of course it meant that Jon didn’t have to lift a finger. The porter snapped his heels together on seeing the young well dressed man enter. This had to be Master Bianchi. He handed Jon his room key and then gestured to where the lifts were. Already he was well behind the others, but thankfully the porter knew the room that Giovanni was staying in, as well as the night’s activities. The porter handed Jon a slip of paper. Taking it, Jon took off his sunglasses and carefully folded them, placing them in his pocket as he waited for the lift. Reading it, Jon’s right eyebrow raised slightly.

“Party at 7.30pm? Really? So on top of having to ride in the bus with these clowns, I now have to socialize with them as well?” Jon didn’t even look at the porter, to seek his answer. The doors to the lift opened, and he strode in. Huffing as he did so. In truth, he would be much happier to spend the night watching the sports channel, than having to dress up in a tux and put on airs and graces that he clearly didn’t have. The lift went up to the fourth floor, where it opened out and the porter pointed to the right. “Room 419, Sir.” Jon swaggered down the hall, finally coming to a stop outside his appointed room. Swiping the card, the green light indicator came on, and Jon pushed the door open, with the porter following in with his luggage. The room was quite spacious and well appointed. All the mod cons that you would appreciate in such an establishment. While Jon went to go look out the balcony window, the porter stacked Jon’s bags, before coughing to signal that he wished to be tipped. Well, he had done his job and deserved something. Taking out a rolled up wad of notes, he then placed a ten dollar note in the porter’s outstretched hand, which he took gracefully. “If you need anything else, Sir?” He paused, half expecting something, but Jon simply waved him away dismissively. If he wanted anything, it would be the TV guide and the room service menu. Once the porter left the room, Jon checked his watch for the time. Enough for a nap, and then shower and change. Jon flopped backwards, landing on the bed – staring at the ceiling.

Time skip – 6.59pm

Giovanni emerged from the bathroom with a towel around his waist, his hair still wet from the hot shower. His Italian designer suit was hanging on the door, and he had a pair of shoes that had been polished and ready, along with his smalls and crisp white shirt. One thing about Jon was that when he went out, he always looked good. Even if he really would rather laze about the hotel, or sneak down to the bar. Amazing what he could get away with with his father’s connections. Dressing himself reasonably quickly, he was soon fixing his tie, when he flashed a glance at the time. Fixing on his jacket, he slid on his Rolex watch, and then placed his wallet on the inside pocket of his jacket. The key card was on the edge of his night stand, and that was the last thing he had to bring. One last look in the mirror, and he gave a light shrug of the shoulders. It was now 7.28pm. Great…he was going to be fashionably late. Stepping out the door of his suite, he emerged in the corridor close to the same time as a blonde haired girl that was done up to the nines. Pocketing the key card to the room, he showed her a half smile.

“You with the school?” He may well have not recognized her from those on the bus, but if she was a student, she sure scrubbed up well. “Need an escort?” Jon offered his arm anyways.

The Witches Circle – Power and Corruption : PD

 

Fu:

 

Witches Circle

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Oridin Lexington : ” A show ? If what happened a second ago was a opener for this………. I’m not so sure I am ready for this . ”

– The Young Apprentice said in a slowly decreasing tone to the man speaking to him , he was anxious at the words being said and furthermost he didn’t have the vaguest of understanding of what was going on . It all seemed a bit too fast for him , like being thrown into the middle of a tv series and having not seen the previous episodes before then . He didn’t know what to expect when expecting , and he didn’t have a word in edge wise because of this being his first appearance around all these people. When he saw newcomers come , all he could do was greet them before returning to silence ; he was here as a guest of sorts too so he wouldn’t try to stand out too much . All he had done would’ve been give a greeting a soft wave with his hand . –

Oridin Lexington : ” H-Hello.”

– Hearing the names of people he’s never met and the talks of Kingdoms had Oridin confused. He didn’t know much about the land outside of this particular region , and hearing about it had him stunned at the concept. Hopefully the Apprentice would get to hear more , but of course he would at least hope to make up some sense of it . –

 

Dessy:

 

The Witches Circle.

 

Once Mariela had walked into the Witches Circle, she turned to face everyone else, standing with Scar still by her side and the other three behind her. Her blue eyes moved between each person, narrowing slightly as she decided whether they could be trusted or not. Although, her face couldn’t be seen – not whenever the hood was up. She stayed silent, eyes shifting between each person, but they moved to look at Lavinia when she began speaking, her voice cool, yet holding no emotion.
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“Welcome, Mariela and family.”

Mariela simply gave a nod of her head, watching Lavinia as she began walking in her direction. The little witch was suspicious – very much so. She wasn’t quite sure how much these people could be trusted. She looked at the male who spoke a hello, giving a nod. She looked down when Lavinia held out her hand, but simply looked back up at her. “I have.”she said in response to having taken over Greed. Her head turned towards the gasp that could be heard from the crowd.“She killed Lydia?” she spoke, and Mariela tilted her head. “I killed Lydia, yes.” she said, her head snapping to the one who spoke next, who seemed to be clapping. She narrowed her eyes, before turning to look back at Lavinia.

Feeling the squeeze of Scar’s hand, Mariela lifted her hand and put it on top of his in reassurance. “You’re surprised by this?” she then asked about the apparent shock at the death of Lydia – by her hands. She then silenced the one’s behind her, and once again Mariela moved her eyes around the circle. “Watch over me?” Mariela asked with a raised eyebrow – but once again this couldn’t be seen. She looked up when Lavinia walked towards her, Lavinia being quite taller than the small witch.

“I know of the curse of Greed – I was there when both past rulers fell, but only one was by my hands.” Mariela spoke. “I promise I’m not under the curse of Greed, nor will I ever be.” she spoke. One so young and so seemingly innocent, held firmness, delicacy and courage in her voice when she spoke. With everything she’s already been through, nothing fazed her anymore.

“An elder?” Mariela asked, eyebrows raising as Lavinia spoke. “Why do you want me to become an elder?” she questioned. “And what makes you think I want to become an elder?” she asked afterwards. But at the mention of her family, Mariela turned around to look at the three people behind her. She gave a nod of reassurance, before turning back around. “These are my brothers, Sam and Sean, and my good friend, Tessa.” she said, removing her hand off of Scar’s hand to gesture behind her as she introduced each of them.

“I do not know if you are aware, child but there has been a disturbance caused by the turning of the time piece. May I ask you, has anything out of the ordinary….or simply put – strange occurred since the death of Lydia?”

Lavinia asked, and Mariela glanced towards Scar. Immediately, her mind went to Alice and the mirror. “I know nothing about this “turning of the time piece”. she said, looking up at Lavinia again. “But… yes. A few strange things have happened.” she said simply, not saying anything more.

Razorbackwriter:
The Witches Circle

“I know all about it.” This was the time for the Dark one to step forward from where he had been standing as a witness to his historic meeting between Lavinia and the new Princess of Greed – Mariela. Lavinia lowered her hand slowly from the intended handshake, as the young Princess witch was wary of meeting the Queen of all Witches of Drye. Lavinia was not at all happy about what the Dark one had done, even though the turning of the time piece was the direct result of the Prince of Gluttony’s actions at the Hell’s Kitchen.

“Are you even aware of what goes on beyond the walls of Greed, Princess?”Shamus was pushing his luck to get involved at this point, but it was probably a good thing, since the Elders themselves needed to be informed of just why time was being played with. The Queen of Witches glanced back to see the slimy Dark one approach with a serious look about him. “A simple game of chess, dearie. That was the start of it. You….and your fellow rulers of Hell are on that board, but one decided that he sought more power than he should have.” The Dark one was now speaking of the Prince of Gluttony, the one that had just been banished from the Witches circle by Lavinia who had channeled the power of the Elders themselves.

Now everyone was listening intently. Even Lavinia herself. Hell had brought itself to the Witches Circle, due to that same time piece and while the Dark one did not control it, he knew the reasons for its turning and the dire consequences of that fact.

“Explain…Shamus.” Lavinia had taken her attention off Mariela for now, and even Marguerite was paying heed, as this affected her as well.

“We all saw who was here.” Shamus started, and this was when Esme – the apprentice and niece to the Queen of Witches chose her moment to speak.

“The Prince of Gluttony. He held a woman’s body….and…” The memory of what he had done, absorbing her into his own before they had shared a bizarre kiss still fresh in her mind. “That was no ordinary woman, child. That…was the Princess of Wrath.” Now, if Mariela was paying attention, this news that the Prince of Gluttony had attacked a fellow royal would be more than just shocking. “Turns out he is more power hungry than even I could have ever imagined.”

Scar couldn’t hold back any longer. The stark realization that his own beloved Princess could be in danger a very real fact. Mariela had released his hand after introducing her family to the Elders and the Queen. If Gluttony was going after the other royals, what was to stop him from coming after the Kingdom of Greed.

“Did he kill the Princess of Wrath?” Scar had to know.

“Looks like…he ate her. As to whether she was dead, the cat might know.” He meant by this, that Katrina, the servant of the Princess of Wrath was linked to her. But as many looked around, Kat was no where to be seen.

“And what has that got to do with the time piece.” Esme asked, knowing that only the right questions would get the right answers. She didn’t like getting herself involved in matters that were above her role as an apprentice, but it she felt she had to say something.

“Possibly the only way to save all of Hell from complete destruction, even if it does corrupt and cause chaos in its wake. The Prince wears the right hand of doom, a very dangerous piece that is a key…to the ultimate power. Now, I don’t normally hand that sort of thing over without a price, which was….a heart.” The Heart of Pride. Lavinia could see where this was going, and she looked to be getting angry once more. Katrina had not mentioned much at all about the Princess of Wrath, but now with the Prince of Gluttony gone with the absorbed body of the Princess, Kat must have gone off after them. Least that was the idea forming.

“Whose heart must he take?” Scar again now wanting answers. Was it Mariela’s? Was this why the Queen of Witches summoned her to become an elder and unite to save her heart from Gluttony? The Dark one tapped his nose and let out a chuckle.

“You don’t want me to spoil the show, now do you?” Oh how wicked he was being. The only one that had heard whose heart was to be needed, was Katrina, who had now left the circle and was currently out of the game. “Besides…Lavinia here has offered you a chance at protection. She just banished the Prince herself. Could you possibly do something like that when the time comes?”

He took another step closer and leered.

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“Can you?” Shamus took out a wand and waved it, before winking at Tessa. “What would you do, dearie? Put the family first or save yourself?”

~RB~

Guess who is coming to dinner – Part Five – The Greed Kingdom : PD

Guess who is coming to dinner – Part Five – The Greed Kingdom : PD

 

Dessy:  They all seemed to come to an agreement that Tessa and her brothers were indeed going home. That was good – Mariela didn’t have to force them. It made things easier. Sean and Sam chatted, and when Mariela looked to Tessa, she noticed Alice was being nosy and asking a bunch of questions. She eventually turned back to her brothers, joining in their covnersation, as well as Tessa whenever she could get a word in. Otherwise, whenever Alice stopped talking.

She never noticed Scar staring, but she had eventually pulled her hand away from his when the food came so she could eat. She ate the food placed in front of them, talking and occassionally laughing, smiling the entire time. It was nice to talk with them again after so long. Really nice, in fact.

She stopped talking whenever the raven landed in front of her, before laughing at Scar’s comment. The others didn’t notice the raven. She reached over, gently pulling the letter from the raven and watched it fly off. She then opened it, her eyes scanning the letter.

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“Scar, what time is it?” She then asked, her eyes still scanning the letter. “I – as well as you and the others – have to be at the Witch Circle at eight. Apparently it’s very important, and someone by the name Lavinia Ramoska summoned me. Apparently, she has always been… watching me?” she said, confusion on her face as she turned and handed the letter to Scar for him to read. Alice was going to stay here, under very careful watch by the guards. Mariela knew that much. Now, Mariela just needed to know what time it currently was, and where the Witch’s Circle was located.

 

Razorbackwriter:  

Kingdom of Greed – Castle

After flailing his arms at the raven that had now flown away, Scar looked back at the Princess, who was reading the contents of the note that had been delivered by the cheeky raven. The Princess inquired as to what the time was currently. Looking back at the large grandfather clock in the hall, Scar said. “After three, why?” Naturally he was curious as to why it was so important to know what time it was. It had everything to do with the letter she was holding. Only it wasn’t a letter. More like an invitation or summons.

According to the letter, Mariela as well as her family and Scar have been asked to join the Witches Circle at eight o’clock. The Witches circle? Why was it that Scar had not heard of this before? Not even when Lydia was in charge of things, did he know of the other witches in the realms. He assumed, and wrongly that Mariela was the only one.

The more she read, the more worried that Scar became. Some mysterious Elder witch called Lavinia Ramoska had written the invitation, and to add to the mystery of it all, the letter claimed that she had been watching the Princess for some time. The whole thing sounded really creepy.

“You can’t be serious and actually want to go and see some witchy tart that has a fetish for watching young girls do you?” Yes, Scar was totally out of sorts with the idea. He looked at Tessa and Scar along with Sean for back up.

“You three gotta admit that this sounds fishy. Any of you know this…..Lavinia person?” He was looking for support as the last thing he wanted was to see Mariela put in harms way.

Scar could see the confusion and conflict written all over Mariela’s face and he wanted to put her mind at ease. But just as he was putting his case forward, a map appeared magically on the back of the letter – pinpointing the exact location of the Witches Circle. That alone made Scar’s skin crawl.

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“Oh my god….is she watching us right now?” Scar looked around and then even popped his head under the table.

“Stop watching us, you pervy cow!”

 

~RB~

 

Dessy:  “After three. So we still have time then.” Mariela said, looking at Scar. Scar seemed worried, which would make sense. After everything else that’s happened, it made sense to be worried about this sudden invitation out of nowhere.

“You can’t be serious and actually want to go and see some witchy tart that has a fetish for watching young girls do you?”

Scar spoke, and Mariela turned to him. “Scar! I think you’re blowing this out of proportion.” she spoke. “Nope. Never heard of her.” Tessa spoke, looking over to Sam and Sean, and the boys shook their heads. Mariela thought about it before shrugging. “I think it’s worth a shot.” she said, looking at Scar. “Everything will be fine.”

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When she handed Scar the letter, she saw the map appear. She gently took it back from Scar, flipping it over and looking at the map. “We’re going.” Mariela said with a nod. “Finish up here, then we can all go back to our rooms to get ready. We have quite a few hours, so we can also get our guest…” she looked at Alice. “… settled in.” she spoke, before looking at the others. “Sound good?” she said, and the trio across from her nodded.

She then reached over and hit Scar on the shoulder. “Stop it!’ Mariela scolded. “I don’t think she’s watchng us. And if she is, let’s not call her name’s. We don’t know this person or how well we can trust her.”

 

Razorbackwriter:  

Kingdom of Greed – Castle

It wasn’t surprising that Scar had trust issues when it came to strange magical women. He didn’t know this Lavinia from a piece of toast, and yet they were being invited to some Witches Circle. The invitation itself bore magic as it showed the way with a map that appeared on the back after Mariela had wondered where it was. That alone suggested that the sender had a great deal of magical know how. The new Princess believed that Scar was blowing the whole thing out of proportion, and was sure that everything would be fine. Where this sudden certainty came from, the alp didn’t know but he wasn’t fully in agreeance with the young witch on this. Scar huffed a little, whilst pushing himself back in his chair. Mariela deciding that they were going and would leave after getting ready. There was the matter of settling in the guest as well. Knowing full well what Alice was like, Scar jumped up after be scolded by Mariela for calling the unknown witch names.

“I’ll take Alice upstairs and deal with her while you all get ready for this…..circle thing.” He didn’t have a pleasant look on his face, but you could see he was determined to get the young Alice out of the way. For now at least.

The young girl in blue was eating a muffin when she was yanked from the chair she sat in and dragged out of the room at speed by the wily alp. She protested that he was being a bit rough, but it fell on deaf ears till they were well out of ear shot. Alice turned and stomped her foot indignantly at the treatment she received.

“What ever is the matter, Hatter? I barely had something to eat. No cup of tea or treat”

Alice was speaking and rhyming her words with a nasty scowl on her face. It was well known that the young girl had a temper, especially when it came to food, and not getting enough of it.

“I think the Princess is making a HUGE mistake. I don’t trust witches.”

“But….she’s a witch.”

“Yes…but she is not like that. She’s a good witch. What is to say that this lot in that circle aren’t a bunch of child eating old crones? Hmm? Hell bent on gobbling up the life essence of someone….like you for example.” He gestured with his gloved hands at Alice in such a way that even Alice got a fright. “Oooo then I don’t want to go!” It was enough to frighten the poor girl, who could see Scar’s point. Scar patted her shoulder and started to lead her up to a guest room. “Right, then you stay here and don’t get into mischief. No shenanigans. No going where you don’t belong.” He reinforced. Stopping at the door of one of the available guest rooms, he opened it and allowed her inside. “Don’t leave here till we get back, okay?”

‘Yes, Hatter. I get to play Princess trapped in a tower for a day!” Alice wanted to turn this into a game, and kissed the Alp on the cheek before going inside. “Don’t forget to rescue me!”

Scar closed the door as the young girl giggled and talked to herself. That was Alice out of the way for now. But he had more pressing matters, like taking the Princess to these witches. Why did it feel like he was about to hand his love over to the Witches on a silver platter?

“Oh I have a bad feeling about this.”

The Alp then marched off to get ready.

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~RB~

 

Dessy:  It was silent as they headed back to Greed castle – with good reason, most likely. Mariela wasn’t sure what was to happen now after the events at the Witches Circle. Considering she just threatened everyone there, as well as the other kingdoms, it probably wasn’t a good thing. But Mariela was prepared for anything they intend to throw her way. She turned her head to look behind her, seeing Tessa and her brothers following behind. She gave a smile, before turning to look at Scar.

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“Well. Looks like I have made a few enemies…” She spoke, clenching her teeth together and making a bit of a face.“Threatening them probably wasn’t such a great idea. Might have been a mistake, actually.” she said, coming to this realization. “But I guess all royals have to have a few enemies, right?” she then said with a shrug. She gave another smile, before looking forward as they climbed up the steps to the Greed castle, giving a nod to the guards.

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She walked into the castle, the door shutting behind them as she turned to look at everyone else. “Now, I suppose the first thing we should do is check on Alice.” she said, moving her hands up to untie the cloak from her neck. “I don’t know the girl, and being how she came from the mysterious place behind the mirror, I don’t much how much she can be trusted.” she said, now taking the cloak and draping it over her arm. “I know she’s a friend of yours, Scar, and you know more about her then I do. I just… don’t quite know what to think of her yet.” she said, looking at Scar.

She then turned her head to look at Tessa and her brothers. “Second thing is to get you three home.” she said, moving her eyes between the three. “You three have been here long enough, and I don’t want you guys to still be here should anything major happen. So we need to figure out a way to get you three home.” she then said, looking back at Scar. He should have a way, right? She certainly hoped so… “Now. Let’s go find Alice. And hope she didn’t get into any trouble…”she said, turning back around to start walking forward again.

 

New chapter begins next –  The Witches Circle.

 

 

 

 

Guess who is coming for dinner? : The Greed Kingdom – PD.

 

Mariela and Scar are back with a whole new adventure, as they settle back in with the young Witch now the new Princess of Greed.  But…if they thought their troubles were over….they were mistaken.  Here is part one of “Guess who is coming for dinner?”

 

Dessy:   “Honestly, I think it’s helped all of us to be able to see you again.” Tessa spoke, the boys nodding in agreement. “You seem to be doing well here. And now you’re the Princess of Greed.” Sean spoke, giving his sister a smile and Mariela smiled back.”Everyone here seems to like you. Then again, you were always well liked with others. That’s what Tessa told us, anyways.” Sam said, looking to Tessa, and she nodded her head. “Scar most certainly likes you.” she said with a grin, and Mariela laughed and shook her head.

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“Everyone here has liked me more than Lydia.” Mariela spoke, giving a shrug. “I’m just likable, I guess. It was the same thing whenever we were in school.” she then spoke, looking between each of them. “As for Scar, he was originally summoned to help Lydia. But he took a liking to me instead, and Lydia didn’t seem to like that very much.” she spoke again. “How did you need up being involved with Lydia in the first place?” Sam asked, and Mariela took a deep breath.That is something I’ll explain to you later. It’s a long story.”

She turned to look at Scar when he spoke, looking back at the trio. “You guys hungry?” and when the trio nodded, she gave them a smile, before looking back over at Scar. “Yes. Lunch sounds nice.” she spoke. She then linked arms with Tessa in a friend fashion, before motioning for her brothers to follow and then heading over to Scar, before following him to the dining room.

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Razorbackwriter:    

Kingdom of Greed – Castle

Scar beamed as the Princess was in a good mood, and enjoying the company of her family. It meant that he wasn’t about to go spoiling her good time by mentioning that there might be a big spider loose in the castle. Scar just kept smiling…all cheesy and it looked kinda ridiculous. If only they could see the sweat bead running down his cheek as he kept looking out of the corner of his eye for the slightest movement on the walls. He didn’t know yet if the spider was gone or hiding in the shadows. Anything was possible in this castle.

“Lunch…lunch lunch lunch. Well, this is Greed so…we do a wicked buffet.” Said with all the showmanship of a circus ring leader, and he did a fancy shoe shuffle as he gestured the group towards the expansive dining hall, but then got a wicked idea.

“You know, we do have a large clothing store room, if you wanted to change before you ate. You know, make this festive. I mean, it’s not every day that you get to have lunch with a dead sister, now is it?” That might have come out a little odd, since in their world she was dead to them, but only alive here in this existence. A butler came up alongside Scar and then whispered in his ear, causing Scar to nod and then shoo him away again.

“They are just setting the tables and the buffet table….the desert cart will be ready in just a few. Plenty of time to get dressed up.” Was this some sort of ploy, to buy Scar more time in the hunt for the spider? If it was, he was doing a damn good job of trying to keep them from looking down at the entrance to the lower dungeons, where a team of pest inspectors were taking down super sized poison backpacks….they looked like a strange group of ghost busters. Special camo suits and goggles. If Mariela and her family noticed, Scar would say.

“Cockroaches. We had a little infestation down in the bowels. They can survive anything, so I am told. That’s why I brought in the experts. So big…you could throw a saddle on them.” Again, Scar beamed and then clapped his hands.

“Chop chop…go find something to wear and I will meet you all in the dining hall. This is going to be a meal to remember, heh.”

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Scar then scampered off, muttering to himself. They may well find his behavior odd, but then again…that was just Scar.

When the group had found the appropriate clothing that was more suited to a dinner party, and ventured into the grand dining hall, what would meet their eyes was the most sumptuous feast imaginable. More food than you could ever hope to eat in a life time. The smells, and the colour…it was the very best of Greed’s Chefs creations, and there was even a ice sculpture in the center of the long food buffet. It was mouth watering and eye popping. Staff lined the walls, ready to help people to their places, and everything was polished and gleaming.

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~RB~

 

Dessy:  Mariela nodded in agreement to Scar, smiling at the trio. “Scar’s right. Our buffets are always the best.” she said. The trio raised eyebrows at Scar’s fancy shoe shuffle thing, looking to Mariela. She just laughed and shrugged. “You’ll get used to it.” she said, giving a smile. Scar suggested about changing, and Mariela took this time to look down at what she was wearing – which was still covered in blood, as well as her hands. “That actually might be a good idea…” she said, turning to nod at the trio.

“Alright, that sounds like a plan.” she nodded again. But then her gaze fell over the entrance to the dungeons, seeing a bunch of pest inspectors. “What’s going on?” she asked, her gaze turning to look at Scar as she spoke.

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“Cockroaches. We had a little infestation down in the bowels. They can survive anything, so I am told. That’s why I brought in the experts. So big…you could throw a saddle on them.”

This caused Mariela to purse her lips. “Hm…” she said, as if not quite believing Scar. “Well, then. Make sure it gets taken care of.” she spoke. She’d go along with it, at least for now. She watched Scar scamper off, her eyes narrowing a bit, before she turned around to face the trio. “Follow me.” she said, before turning and beginning to walk to the clothing store-room.

When they walked into the room, Mariela held her arm out and gestured. “Sam, Sean – there’s plenty of suits and tuxes to choose from.” she said. When the boys walked off, she grabbed Tessa’s arm and pulled over to a section with dresses. “As for us, there are thousands of dresses to choose from.” she said, giving a smile. “First things first: I kind of need to get washed up. So, I’ll be right back.” she said, and with that she walked off to probably take a shower or something and clean the… uh… blood off of her.

 

Razorbackwriter:  

Kingdom of Greed – Castle

Scar clapped his hands to see that everything was just peachy in the dining hall. Food was all being set out, it was going to be a lunch to remember. At the same time however, he had crews searching the castle for what they believed to a big spider lurking. One they suspected had stolen Beserker. As Scar watched a chef wheel in the desert trolley, Suda came up and tapped the Alp on the back. It gave him one hell of a fright.

“GAH!” he practically jumped out of his skin, and put his hand to his heart. Scar thought it might be the evil spider demon sneaking up on him. The dwarf frowned and shook his head as though irritated. ‘It’s only me. Look, we haven’t found a damn thing. Nothing but a large web that was in the far corner of the workshop. I’m not exactly the best housekeeper down there, and I’d say that she…yes she has been down there a while.” This was food for thought. How long had it been down there? Had it been watching Beserker since the armor returned from Wrath? No one in their right mind would dare let it trick them to wearing it, especially after the fall of Mammon.

“So a spider was down there. That we know for sure. Hmm, maybe she cleared off with the armor during the ball.”This was the logical conclusion, there was enough drama and killing to hide someone trying to steal something. Suda shrugged. All he knew was that Beserker was gone.

“Are you going to tell Mariela?” That was the dwarf’s next question.

“And upset her? No no no no.” She was getting ready for lunch, and was taking a while. “I might go see how she is faring. You keep up the patrols until we have something concrete.”

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Suda saluted then waddled off, as Scar took to the stairs in search of Mariela. Her brothers and friend Tessa were already getting changed, and hearing the sound of water running, Scar wandered into Mariela’s bathroom………..

“OH GOD!…I SWEAR…I DIDN’T SEE A THING!”

But did he?

 

~RB~

 

Dessy:  The brothers were in a different room changing into suits, and Tessa was in another room putting on the dress of her choice. This only left Mariela in her bathroom, washing up. She couldn’t exactly go to lunch covered up in blood, now could she? That wouldn’t exactly look good on her.

She threw her hair up in a clip, stepping in the shower and closing the curtain as she stood under the water. The bathroom door was closed, and you would think that and the sound of running water would stop people from walking in… obviously not. The water turned red as the blood washed off of her, and Mariela made sure there wasn’t an ounce left. After awhile, she shut off the water, then examined her arms to make sure it was all off. At this point, she heard the door open, and she narrowed her eyes as she wondered who it was.

She reached her hand out to grab a white robe, slipping it on before stepping out and holding it closed. Once again, you’d think water running and the door being closed would be signs to stay out… apparently to Scar, that was an invitation to enter. She heard Scar’s voice, and finished tying off the robe as she turned to look at him, raising an eyebrow.

She finished tying the robe, turning around to face Scar. “There’s a thing called knocking, Scar. You should learn how to use it.” she spoke, before she ended up smiling anyway. At the current moment, she was practically glowing. Her hair was still held up with a clip, but water still stuck to her skin as she now crossed her arms. “Is there a problem?” she then asked.

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Razorbackwriter:  

Kingdom of Greed – Castle

Scar stood there, holding his hand up to cover his eyes. Unaware that Mariela had pulled on a robe before he waltzed into the steam filled bathroom. He really should have knocked first, but Scar wasn’t exactly up to speed with social graces. Once a demon, always a demon. Bringing his hand down slowly, when Mariela told him he should learn to knock, Scar appeared sheepish. Twisting his right foot, with his hands held behind his back. His cheeks went a little pink. Maybe he secretly wished he had seen something. Either way, to see her smiling again was worth the trouble he caused. As Scar stood there, he realized that this was the first chance that they had to be alone since he ran with her into the Maze. Though this was not the setting he had in mind to speak to her privately, there was a form of intimacy in a sense. Bringing his hands out from behind him, you could see Scar’s face becoming a bit more serious. She questioned if there was a problem, holding her self in a stance that was a little more formal. Scar shrugged his shoulders, trying to throw off what had been sent him scurrying about the castle like a mad man.

“Just…bugs.” he answered, a little roll of the eyes as though it was nothing important. Something else had entered his mind, and he now wanted to say what he had been thinking.

“You know….I thought I was done down there.” Speaking of the maze and being trapped – headless on the other side of the mirror. “Usually when its off with your head, it’s permanent.” The broken mirror had meant that he had no way of coming back, but thanks to the young witch – now Princess of Greed, he survived and was standing before her now. Scar was truly thankful.

“I don’t know the words to say…or how to show you how grateful I am for what you did for me.” Scar’s eyes showed that he was feeling a great deal of emotions. Emotions that he never knew he had in him. By nature, he was the demon of nightmares and in no way a romantic. Least he didn’t think so.

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“I can see why your family love you so much.” Now he was staring at her, speaking the truth. He had seen how the boys were back in the hat about when she had died saving them. She was truly a beautiful soul…inside and out. The Kingdom of Greed was lucky to have her as their new head. Changes were going to come, and he hoped…no he prayed to be at her side when she took on the role officially.

He closed the distance between them and raised his right hand to cup her cheek gently.

“I’m indebted to you. And I want you to know, that I would do anything for you, Mariela. I’d die for you.”

It was true. Scar was in love with the girl. He could shout it from the rooftops, if he had the courage – but he wanted her to say that she loved him. For all the crazy things he had done in the past, he felt that he may not be worthy of what would be the greatest prize…..her love.

 

~RB~

 

 

 

Kingdom of Alteria : Tourist District (2) – Shattered Dimensions.

 

Razorbackwriter:  

Kingdom of Alteria : Tourist District

“We shall.”

With the speed of her movement to wind her arm around Grant’s elbow and bring herself closer to him, Kasumi managed to again take the young man by surprise. He couldn’t help but stare down at her as she moved in so close. This must have been a cultural thing, for you don’t normally take the arm of a stranger. Grant certainly wasn’t used to it. But, he quickly regained his composure and began to escort the kitsune through the busy crowds towards one of the conventions restaurants, called “The Jolly Jumbuck.” A funny name but it was based on an old poem and had a large picture of a sheep that was baaing, illuminated in neon. It was an all you could eat restaurant, though that did have a fine print clause that you didn’t eat so much that you exploded.

Going up to the front counter, Grant asked for a table for two. The young pimply faced young man wearing the paper hat and cheerful smile handed Grant a tray with two plates, cutlery and two cups. “Go down to table 12 and we shall bring you out the complimentary break sticks.”

Thanking the young man, Grant tried to carry the tray, with Kasumi still threaded on his arm. Naturally, many of the customers were watching the pair come in, a few were whispering – much of it was about how cute Kasumi was. One young boy was egging to pull her tail. Children…

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Finding their table, they were seated close to where the long buffet bar was. A virtually smorgasbord of delights with hot and cold dishes, salads, all kinds of roasts, soups, pastas and of course a massive desert buffet with a ice cream vending machine. The variety of scents and smells were enough to make you salivate, and already there was something of a line up by the hungry patrons.

Pulling out a chair for Kasumi, after setting down his plate, Grant asked.

“Would you like me to get you a drink, while you go fill up a plate?’

~RB~

 

Kiri:  

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Kasumi was actually entirely used to doing this, she had even done it with her brother… ahem. Father. Kasumi had to shake that subject out of her head, considering it was a slightly taboo… subject. She had done this with her father of course, but with her brother having gone missing long ago, she never talked about him. Nor did the rest of the family. Her only family left was him, if he was even alive. But anyway, not the point here. Typically, this wouldn’t be completely customary, in fact it was a bit different than what most would’ve done. Normally, in a country like the one Kasumi’s family hailed from, this might have been slightly rude to a stranger, however new places require amendments. Hence why Kasumi had a tendency to . . . do this. Once they had entered the restaurant, Kasumi almost immediately began to feel overwhelmed. She grew up for a hundred years as a fox for crying out loud, and even then her family was more traditional in the end. Her ears continued to flick, honestly avoiding saying anything about the whispers she easily picked up as though she was whispering with them. She didn’t see the young boy who was wanting to pull her tail, and if she had she would’ve pulled her tail out of his reach in an instant. Luckily they got seated soon though, which made things a lot better.

Kasumi looked at Grant with a smile, nodding at his question quietly. Normally she’d do it on her own, but it wasn’t polite to refuse a request from a gentleman.

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“Thank you, mister Taylor. I will take you up on that.”

Perhaps she seemed fairly out of place talking the way she did, but that was how she was raised. It was a bit abnormal, but her family had come from an older era than most. Feudal Japan wasn’t the kindest back then, and it was strict on rules as much as it was pride and honor. Two things Kasumi took seriously. She didn’t take long to really get everything together, going after the things she knew she could stomach, which meant a lot of meatier products. She did have a canine’s internal system after-all, corn and things like that didn’t agree as much. Even with a more human body, it didn’t always agree. Depended on what it was. Once she’d gotten to the table again, she sat and waited on Grant, letting him return before she started. Politely, and patiently. She’d embarrassed him enough for one day.

 

Razorbackwriter:  

Kingdom of Alteria : Tourist District

There were so many different types of food to try in this amazing little buffet restaurant. Grant had taken the liberty of getting Kasumi a drink from the beverage bar, and brought it back over to their table. It was as he was setting down the glasses, that there was a god awful blast of light, much like lightning smashing into the earth right outside the restaurant. It was enough to rattle the very panes of glass within the window frames and brought about attention from waitresses and patrons alike.

“Woah!” the young man was shocked by the sudden blast of light and even put his hand up to shield his eyes. What on earth could have caused such a thing? Taking a peek past one of the waitresses, he saw the arrival of a very large being decked head to toe in armor. Exquisitely made and so shiny. Wow, this convention went all out with who they invited. The pyrotechnics were amazing. Yes, Grant thought this was part of some Hollywood like show to give the convention goers a thrill. Had Grant known who it REALLY was, well, he never would have believed it.

“That must have taken a month of Sunday’s to make. Wow, I wonder if he works with the costume department at Burkett Studios?” So many questions and Grant couldn’t help but continue to marvel the armored man, as he entered the restaurant. The patrons parted like the red sea to let the man through where he was followed to his table by another man. Both had weapons on. Holy cow! Grant was a little awe struck by the whole thing. He had completely forgotten about Kasumi.

“Sorry I got so carried away. So, fancy some soup…or maybe you might want to take your pick of the salad bar?” He was not entirely sure what Kitsunes ate.

~RB~

 

Fu:  Rooftop Nearby

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-The male once more appeared , this time above a rooftop while gazing off into the distance . His mind and his posture had showed that he was here on a mission , not a simple traveler yet he did look like one . The male pointed his head upwards at the sky towards the white sphere ; Celestia as if being before God’s very presence. He kept his gaze up towards the sphere while his hands weaved in a pendulum-like pattern.-

” With my eyes I percieve the potential in your irregularity , with my brain I can imagine the possibilities , with my hands I will sculpt the path for you to take , with my heart I shall give birth to this new deceit . Come forth , Abyssmal Core

– A large rumbling sound could be heard by all and all shaken from the tremors , regardless of distance within Alteria . A Dungeon appeared within the walls , but only Grant could sense this place directly and get there without any trouble. As if a link was established. The dungeon was located in the fields between the palace and the rest of the city , but it was shrouded in a dark mist. –

? ? ? ” Come………. Come find me……….. It is your destiny to make me yours. ”

– The Purple haired male would smirk and walk away before uttering out a phrase once more before leaving the area .-

”And with that , the stage is set. The world is your stage , so get out there.”

Second Dungeon : ” Abyssmal Core ” Unlocked

Beneath the silk.

 

Continuing on from “The Cards Never Lie”, Nick is now requested to have dinner with the Fortune Teller as payment for her services.  But is he to be the main course?  Read on and see.

Scene setting – Nick’s chambers

Written with SA.

 

RB:  -They say the eyes are the windows to our soul.  But with the Fortune teller’s eyes being masked by the black bandanna and her in her own words being told that she was without sight, it was hard to read what the woman was thinking as she lifted the last card.  The card for the reader only; not the Vampire.  For a moment, the woman sat motionless.  If she could stare at the card, she would.  In her mind’s eye she was.  Nick was oblivious to what the importance of this last card was, but for a woman who had been all too eager to explain each card in turn, her body language projected that this card was not one that she wished to divulge about.  The silence between the two became almost deafening.   Nick’s brow creased and he tilted his head slightly as though being on the edge of his seat for what she was about to say.  Then…it happened.  The woman simply snapped out of whatever hold the card had over her and she resumed speaking as though nothing had happened.  Changes occurred to the table however.  The black symbol that had been crafted from what must have been her own blood simply faded away, the timber looking as though it had before.  Nick was unaware of the importance of what this meant.  She had withdrawn the pact.  Again, she reminded Nick that the cards never lie.  “So you keep saying, Ma’am.”  Now, it was time for the price.  Nick had willingly agreed to pay the price that the woman asked, and so he waited in readiness for her word.  He would of course oblige her.  He was a man of honour, regardless of what others thought of him.  His word was his bond.  “Dinner..”  Did he hear her correctly?  “Dinner?” he repeated what she had said, questioningly.  It was unexpected, to say the least.  Pausing for a moment, Nick nodded.  “I can’t imagine what a woman of your standing would have a taste for, but if the price is dinner, than that is what you shall have.”  Nick pushed himself up and swung his leg off the chair, turning it around so that he may place it back normally.  –

~RB~

 

SA:   It was as if it never happened, the entire Reading she previously performed, as each trace of it vanished: The timber regained its natural carvings in the wood, with no trace of black lines from the little droplet of blood as even her palm seemed to be missing the scar created only minutes ago. The cards turned back to being blank as she one-handedly shuffled them once more, in quite the bored manner, the Reader herself taking a more casual stature upon her seating, leaning back in her chair. Though the deck was back to normal, whatever she used as vision kept darting to one card only, each time it popped up from the deck in its shuffle. “You can keep that.” She pointed lightly to the card that was still on his side of the table. Strength, the card which assumingly represented him. “It’s yours. Keep it, even if just as a reminder of this encounter. Or just as a reflection – This card is your mirror, after all.” As she explained, her attention darted once more to her own card, one which she did not reveal to others, before eventually placing it back with the rest. His confusion only brought a bit of her own, snow white brow quirking lightly. “What? I told you my price is something idealistic… There is a lot more you can gain from a dinner invitation than a simple material prize. What did you think it was? Souls?” To that, she couldn’t help but grin – a Cheshire-like spread grin across alabaster features which only created such a heavy contrast, between the delicate features of the femme and the brutality of the sardonic grin. Souls were… a different story for her.

 

RB:  -Nick wasn’t expecting to be given the card that she had dealt him.  The first card in fact; the one of strength.  The vampire reached across and prized it off the desk with a flick of his fingers – holding it and turning it to see that the imagery was still there.  Nick graciously nodded and placed the card safely into his jacket pocket, patting the flap down to seal it in.  “Thank you…uhm, I don’t believe I caught your name, Miss.”  Nick felt that since he had agreed to her terms of payment, that it would be fitting if he knew just how to address her.  Nick had showed intrigue in his expression, rather than some sort of amusement.  He did tend to take things seriously, when it came to payment of a deal.  Nick rested his hands on the back of the chair in which he sat, his fingers strumming the wood almost as though he was placing his fingers on the keyboard of a piano.  Sharp black fingernails, if one was to notice.  Hearing the fortune teller say that there was more to be gained from a simple dinner invitation than an item of value or net worth.  The mention of souls had Nick actually scoff.  Was that a little premature on his part?  Probably.  But with her Cheshire cat like grin, he began to wonder if she was being half serious.  Glancing about, Nick then said. “I don’t think the kitchens in the castle would be operating at this hour.  Did you have a certain place in mind?”  Nick was not actually knowledgeable of the area, and perhaps the Fortune teller had her own secret place to dine. –

 

~RB~

 

 

SA:   “Sophia” She muttered that one single word out, with her own uncertainty, as if it was unclear to her whether or not it was her name. The creature did not remember her real name, amnesia taking its toll upon the femme’s former life as most of it stood under the sigil of memory loss, a perpetual fog dwelling in the depths of her mind. She’d only remember her given name, the one ~he~ gave her, the moment she was reborn, although still unsure if she should consider it a Rebirth. “My name is Sophia.” It had to be repeated, for her own sake, really, to make sure she, herself, grasped it entirely. “I don’t believe I got yours, either.” – Not that she’d really care for one, usually names only overly complicated her doings and yet, he got this far as to gain a Dinner invitation from the Blind Fortune Teller to which, in her mind amounted for the worth of knowing his name. Eventually, she’d rise from her seat making sure there was no fickle of dust on her attire, walking only to circle the table (and him) like the little Predator she was, always playing. She reached up, placing her hands on the back of ~his~ chair, leaning her body in to hover her head just merely an inch from his shoulder. “I have a place… Wear something nice.” In a teasing tone, she whispered out before each trace of ~her~ as well as her doings simply vanished in thin air, like it all would’ve been characteristically to a simple dream. Or, a nightmare, depending how he’d see it.

 

RB: -The fortune teller gave up her name, though for some reason she felt the need to say it twice.  “Sophia…the perfect name for you, it seems.”  Nick knew that the Greek meaning of the name was Wisdom.  The vampire was now ready to formally introduce himself.  “Savage, Nick Savage.”  His name rolled off the tongue, and as he said it, he did a little bow from the waist.  So now they were on a first name basis, and about to embark on a dinner date of sorts.  Though he was unsure of just when or where that would take place.  The woman rounded the table after standing, only to come around behind him.  His head followed her movement till he watched her place her hands on the back of the chair that he had been sitting in.  She had a place all worked out, but she stipulated that he had to wear something nice.  “I think I have something that would fit the bill, Sophia.”  There, he actually used her name.  But as he was about to turn and face her, the woman simply vanished into thin air.  Nick froze and then glanced about him, searching the room for her.  She was gone.  “Right…guess she didn’t need to use the door.”  The vampire shrugged his shoulders lightly, and straightened his stance, before leaving the Queen’s royal court room.  He had a chamber that was down in the bowels of the castle where few dared enter.  Striding down the long hallway, he stopped and pressed his hand to the door to open it, before waltzing in – the door closing behind him by itself  ~What to wear?~ the vampire asked of himself in his mind.  Going to a large chest that was covered in dust and cobwebs, he kicked it open and started to rummage through the clothing he had acquired over the centuries.  He went with something nostalgic.  A Black suit with black shirt, matching tie and scarf.  He already had boots, so why change those.  When he had dressed into the suit for dinner, used his fingers to rake his hair back.  It fell forward again, rebelling against his attempts for it to be what would be called neat.  Now, all he had to do was wait….-

~RB~

 

SA:  And there, there was Darkness. A perpetual state of darkness, where nothing else but it lingered, like somebody instantly flicking the switch over to let all the lights turn off as illusions took the place of everything surrounding him – Molded the earth itself to their own will as if warping his surroundings. A force that was namely otherwordly, one that could almost be able to cast shadows where there were none, but Darkness. And from the Void, everything created itself, like a Big Bang, in which illusions eventually settled into material grasp, tangible once more for the man and yet so, so very intangible. It would’ve been hard to distinguish illusion from reality at this point, a point where there were both existing at the same time and yet, none at all. One could almost call it a dream, a place where nothing was at it seemed to be and yet it created a visage of nature, the miasma of sweet red roses lingering in the air, a place surrounded by water. The Reader’s special hiding spot actually looked like something pulled out from a gothic fairytale, the romantic touch lingering softly around his surroundings; a small breeze carried the echoing words which escaped the woman, soon finding her place behind him, waiting until he’d turn back. “Welcome.” And when he’d turn? He’d be welcomed with a completely new sight, a new glance of the woman he previously encountered. There was white. A contrast between what she wore when they met and what she had on now – A long white dress, fitted to envelop her curves beautifully and to let the prominent bones even stick out a little. She was no beauty by society standards – A tall woman, almost grotesquely anorexic in built, as those snow white tresses were pulled back in a simple bun, away from alabaster features. Skin stark white pale, completing the visage, letting a reverse snake necklace dangle at her back, to complete the look. There was a simple detail, still present. The mask, always hiding her optics from vision of others, as if protecting them from view. There was no smile, but a simple small smirk, awaiting his turn.

 

RB:  You could never say that the following turn of events were expected.  One moment, Nick was standing alone in his chambers – messing about with his wayward hair, the next he was in a place that could be best described as a gothic romantic setting.  Water that was the colour of the night sky, sparkling with the reflection of the stars.  The hint of crushed rose petals – their scent enveloping him as the breezed picked up and made the leaves at his feet dance all about him.  He would need to smack himself twice to see if he was actually awake or not.  So fanciful, that it had to be a dream surely.  For a minute, he believed it was caused by a bad blood batch.  Nick reached for his sleeve cuffs and gave them both a pull slowly, as though he couldn’t simply stand still.  Was he uncomfortable about how this visage came to be?  All he knew was that he didn’t cause it.  Also, this is the last place he could ever dream up in his imagination.  No, this had a woman’s touch.  And that woman welcomed him with just one word.  Nick turned around to find that his hostess had also arrived, or she had been waiting for him.  Dressed in all white, which matched her long tresses, she was a vision to behold.  The dress doing well to embrace her figure – hugging so close that bone were clearly visible.  Her face was adorned with the black bandanna, just as it had been before.  It was more than just a fashion accessory, for he had never seen her without it.  Nick stepped off to walk towards her, only stopping just shy so that he may bow politely.  Forever the gentleman; regardless of the circumstances.  “Sophia.”  Nick straightened to full height, before adding.  “You look radiant this eve.  White is your colour.” –

 

~RB~

 

 

SA:  She bowed, in return. It was elegant, one hand reaching for her dress to lift it up by the hem only to gracefully bend at the waist, following his. It was then, when she bowed, that a glimpse of blue could be caught beneath the black mask, as it slipped just half an inch along her face before a gloved limb came up to fix it back in place, making sure the accident would not happen again. It was almost paranoia, which guided those long, slender digits to the mask, as one could even take her to be surprised, almost angry at the little slip. “Quite the Silver tongue, you are…” She remarked, up to his flattery of her, a grin playing on her lips, those scarlet red petals curling upwards gently. “I am sorry for kidnapping you on such a short notice… I believed you would’ve been done preparing by the time I was..” It would’ve taken him by surprise, then, when she soon turned around, her back coming to face him as the Mandalla tattoo was placed between her shoulder blades, at the top of her back. The ironic symbolization of the Flower of Life. “Could you help me, please…?” She murmured out as both her hands held onto the ends of her mask, which seemed to be unknotted, asking his help to tie it back over her optics. A test of trust – For he could choose to remove it altogether and leave her without it… or choose to help her tie it back. When he’d approach, he’d take in her scent, even more than their previous encounter. An almost intoxicant sweet scent, so very hypnotic, used to mask what lied beyond it. And when he’d touch her? The flesh on flesh contact would’ve been met with cold, like touching dry ice in the middle of winter, despite that alabaster skin being feather soft, velvet to the touch, and the color of marble glowing in the moonlight-

 

RB:  In a world far away from this one and in another time, there was a man known as Nick Savage.  He was always known to be a gentleman, well before he fell to the charms of a woman that saw to end his human existence.  But one thing about him, he never changed the way in which he would treat a woman.  That was very much a part of his makeup, something that you simply could not erase.  Though there would be those that tried his patience, he managed to contain any negative feelings deep down were none could see.  Sophia had his full attention now, and this was when she had a minor mishap with the black bandanna that covered her eyes.  The fabric slipped just slightly, but it was enough to reveal what was the very hint of blue.  Naturally, Nick tried not to show an abject curiosity, but he was more concerned about her by the way her hand was quick to move to put the fabric back to shield her eyes.  The Vampire then beamed when Sophia called him a silver tongue for his compliment about her beauty.  “You should know by now that I speak from the heart.” If there was one thing about her, he admired the way she recovered and held her own.  It was admirable in his eyes.  A chuckle escaped his lips when she apologized for kidnapping him.  “Oh I wouldn’t call it kidnapping, Sophia.  You can’t really say that if it was consensual. “  He wanted to be her guest, actually.  It had given him something to look forward too.  “Not every day I get to bring out the old tux.”  He pulled on the lapels of his coat in a haughty gesture.  His head tipping side to side, with his hair flopping about.  It really was unruly at the worst of times.  You could say it gave him a roguish air.  When Sophia turned and asked if he could help her with the bandanna ties that had become unknotted, Nick stepped up and then reached out to take the ends as they were offered. Indeed it was loose, probably from when she made her bow.  Delicately, with hands moving like he was conducting surgery, he carefully retied the fabric ties into a firm bow, that could still be pulled apart with some effort.  It was however standing this close to her, that he was able to drink in her scent.  Alluring as it was unusual.  Nick could even say it was intoxicating.  His fingers strayed to her hair, and as he lowered his hands, he couldn’t help but let the tips brush gently over her locks, before finally letting his arms fall to his sides.  He whispered in a coarse voice – almost in husky.  “That won’t come off again anytime soon, Sophia.”

 

~RB~

 

 

SA: “You seem to enjoy saying my name now.” It was almost a mockery, a teasing whisper which escaped her lips as she turned around only to let his hands wander and touch the mask which held one of the secrets she kept most greatly hidden. It even brought a small flinch of her form, one nobody could actually predict from a woman like her, when they gripped both ends of the mask, allowing her own paranoia to seep in – In all honesty, she felt like running away, deep within; A weak spot of the woman, one of the many she rarely displayed. Lips parted to allow a small gasp to slither between them as they half opened, almost anticipating the moment he’d grip the mask off her optics – Because if you were confronted with a mystery, your first instinct would be trying to uncover it, no? And yet, it came as a surprise to feel the mask even tightening more against her scalp, secured over her optics as it should have been in the first place. He spoke from the heart… It was the reason why he was still here, indubitably so. Sophia’s outcome for the Readings was only suggested by the three questions she asked, ever changing for each customer, allowing them to make the final decision over their… Fate, one would call it. Destiny. Or maybe Chance. Whatever it was, those three questions brought him here, still breathing. When his fingers trailed through those snow-white tresses, gently caressing some stray hairs which escaped the neatly secured bun on the top of her head, her mind flooded with memories long forgotten – Blind people see beyond sight, their senses deeply provoked to their full potential, bringing a true synesthesia over this being, despite no longer having a living breath: The simple touch brought a wave of memories through her mind, ambushing her like waves crashing against rocks on the shore, nevertheless without considering that his wandering digits reached a sensitive spot on her body – A weak spot, one so powerful that it brought another gasp from her, this time more audible, like a faint echo carried by the wind: The nape of her neck. She didn’t turn to face him, yet – She only allowed her head to slowly rotate along her neck, offering a gaze beyond that black mask his way. “Thank you.”

 

RB:  When you are standing before a woman who is as much a mystery as is what lays beneath the black bandanna, you tend to forget yourself.  This is what happened to Nick as he tightened the binding of her bandanna and reassuring her that it would not come undone again.  He did however let his fingers stray far longer than what was considered polite, but in doing so, Sophia reacted in a way that was unexpected.  He was sure he heard it – that audible gasp.  When was the last time a man had been so close to her and allowed the opportunity to touch her?  Nick’s face showed a mixture of concern, and also a hint of satisfaction that he could even make a woman sound that way.  It had been so long.  He blinked away the thought from his mind when he captured sight of her head turning – just enough that he could see her cheek.  She thanked him.  The vampire’s eyes lowered till he saw the nape of her neck.  As though sculptured by the very gods themselves.  Delicate…and beautifully curved till it met her shoulder.  Nick’s lips parted just slightly, and then remembering himself he closed it again and took a step back to allow her space to turn to face him.  “It was nothing, Sophia.”  There it was again.  He had repeated her name.  “Your name does so easily roll off the tongue.”  Perhaps she would believe that this was all in his plans, to be gracious to a fault – but he knew no other way.  “Should we have a stroll before dinner?  Or would you rather gaze at the stars afterwards?” –

~RB~

 

SA:   “Whatever you prefer.” A blunt statement rolled along her own tongue now, coming as a response to his question, before fully turning to face him. Face to face, as that mask hugged and entrapped her mystery optics fully in black, allowing it to create such a contrast between it and the alabaster skin of those delicate, feminine features. Plump red lips plucking upwards at their corners to offer a small smirk, as if teasing, provoking him to make a decision. She held her ground – After all, if Nick would’ve realized it by now, he was on her territory, a territory created by her own powers, engulfed into a perpetual illusion of being, the mere existence of this place trapped in a lock of dimension. Reality, he never left his chambers and yet he could feel everything – Each small breeze through his raven colored strands, each rose petal falling on his shoulders, each scent carried by the wind, the miasma of the roses mixed with her intoxicant sweet scent, only to intensify the hypnosis. “I’ve invited you to Dinner, no? It’s your choice how you wish to start off… The night is ours.” She punctuated those last 4 words, so beautifully that her words would’ve created a hypnotic trance on their own, almost inquired of seduction. Soon, her body twisted around to walk by his side only to pass him by with a single small signal, letting the tips of her gloved digits slowly caress over the back of his hand as she turned, walking within the ruins of this room, passing the scarlet curtains. As she walked, she almost seemed to be floating, if not for the barely audible clicking of her heels against the concrete floor, her hips swaying in their own little dance with each step she took as her shoulder blades rolled slightly in her motion. He could see it, now – Her spine, somewhat protruding as each vertebra danced along the middle of her back, curving her shape into a flexible S-shape, rolling each time she turned her body to look back and see him – Hopefully following.

 

RB:  Interesting as to the tone of her voice, for it did not match that beautifully yet disarming smile.  Face to face, he was again caught off guard by the way that the mask only accentuated the subtle alabaster sheen of her skin.  No other woman had skin like it, and the fact her lips were so full, so ripe as though they had been stung.  Nick wondered what they would feel like if he were to nip at them – tug that bottom lip enough till he could release it and let it spring back.  Oh she was a wicked one.  The hint of that smile; only drawing him in further into what must be her web.  Though he himself was a hunter of sorts, he had no doubt in his mind that she was an even greater predator.  But who wants to live in the shadows and hide from the delights of what it was like to dance on the edge of sanity.  Nick had no idea that this was all being projected by Sophia, controlled.  From the very air, the rose petals, and the gentle curtains that swayed softly to the breeze that now lifted his own locks and teased them like invisible fingers.  When Sophia finally answered his question, he hung on her every word.  She had invited him to dinner, and it was now his choice as to how they may start this night off.  ~The night is ours.~  Indeed it was.  Nick exhaled a simple breath and watched as she turned to lead him away to another part of the floor that was concealed by sheer red curtains.  As she passed he felt the touch of her fingers dance across the back of his hand.  It was fleeting, but enough to get his attention to move along after her.  But not before he watched her walk.  It was not walking.  She was gliding, though the sounds of her shoes did reach his ears.  Nick started to follow, rolling his own shoulders back and walking with purpose – boldness in his stride and he was quick to catch her up.  He was hungry….very hungry, but he wanted something more than just a meal.  “As we have all night, I would like to ask you for a dance first.”  This might have seemed out of the ordinary, but Nick was from another time.  He held out his hand as though he wished to lead her out to an open space on the balcony.-

~RB~

 

SA:   A Predator. It was probably the most suitable word for her and yet she was after so much more. Spirits were vengeful on their own and her vengeance ran deep within – Boiled deep inside of her, so intense that it would make blood rush through her veins with the power of a tornado, twisting and twirling the depths of her soul until there was nothing left to bend, but the Void. There mere mention of Void, Darkness which enveloped her being over time, clouding whatever reason left and only letting the burning, searing desire of Vengeance seep in like a savage beast rattling its chains, wanting freedom. There were many names for what she was, many mentions of her: The Doll, the Rusalka, the Black Widow, the Siren, all of them correct and all of them wrong – She was more than met the eye, despite being Blind, in the first place. The Monster, disguised into the shape of primordial Sin. She didn’t have to turn to feel him following her and yet the invitation to a dance only made her body gently roll to offer a gaze over her shoulder, a small, seductive grin playing on her lips as she stepped forward to the other side of the room, on the balcony. And there, the beauty of this room actually came to stand tall: The Moonlight, shining over them, offering her alabaster skin a certain radiant glow. Her body leaned against the concrete balcony, bending gently at the waist just a little to let her arms support against the hard surface.

 

 

RB:  There were no words spoken, not a yes or a no.  Instead, Sophia merely glanced back at him over her shoulder as she continued out towards the balcony.  Nick nodded with a hidden smile as he continued on after her, his hands now stuffing into his coat pockets, his shoulders hunching slightly.  Almost like stalking her.  Chasing beauty to the moon and back.  As he made his way upward, only then did the moon’s rays truly illuminate Sophia’s skin.  It was like she was herself a star.  Bright and glowing in wake of the moon.  The waters that were below shimmered in the offered light, and this only added to the magic of the setting that she had created.  Nick was still lost as to what Sophia truly was, but it really didn’t matter to him.  She had invited him to dinner, and though they had yet to feast on sweet morsels, he had already been privy to touch her tresses, granted permission to even tie her bandanna and smell her glorious scent.  Was he now the fly caught in her gossamer threads?  Maybe.  But in a dance, it is the man that always leads.   Nick approached her and with the roll of his wrist, he reached for her, encircling his right arm around her waist, in order to draw her body away from the balcony and up against him.  His left hand moving to capture her left hand –interlocking his fingers within hers.  “Shall we?”  He asked, gazing down at the face that was now tattooed into his mind…-

~RB~

 

SA: The tug on her form was a pleasant surprise, but a surprise, nonetheless, even for her seemingly lost in her own territory, gazing up at the moonlight. Soon, she found her back gently pressed against his chest, dragged away from the cold concrete only to have one of her hands gripped into his, the petite white limb ever so perfectly cradled by his larger one, almost completing each other. Her body turned so elegantly, reaching to face him one more while her right hand moved upwards. Tips of her soft, feather-like fingers trailed and caressed along his arm, before it locked around her waist, feeling his palm settling at her middle back, right where her spine curved so beautifully into that S-shape. Such a perfect fit to welcome his hand in that small little gap of her slender physique. Her digits kept trailing along his arm, from his wrist up to his elbow and his upper arm only to then slowly trace the line of his shoulder blade, dancing digits on their own before settling gracefully on his shoulder. A dance they will start, as the music began to play seemingly out of nowhere only anticipating for his first step, as their bodies barely brushed against each other once in awhile, making brief contact. Her, the woman in white, so cold to the touch that her skin could freeze anything it came in contact with, absorbing the heat from her surroundings, and him, the gentleman, ever so elegantly about to guide her in his dance. It was his turn, to play the Predator. It was his turn, to lead the stage as she positioned herself just right to easily be manoeuvred by him.

 

RB:  Sophia gave no resistance towards the vampire’s attempt to bring her into hold.  In fact, he could tell that she had danced before.  His fingers curled around to lock in place with hers, and he marvelled in the fact her hand was so much smaller than his own.  Delicate.  His right hand now firmly placed to the base of her back, and he stood very much proud  – like a peacock.  His chin rising as the music began on the very first step taken.  A waltz.  A traditional dance that had been taught to him by his mother.  Sophia was so incredibly light, that when the young Vampire spun her around in the dance, it was practically effortless.  Her dress was sweeping the floor as they moved in perfect precision and in harmony with the music.  Nick did feel however, the chill of coldness from the touch of his hands upon her, and though this sent a shiver through him, he carried on as though it didn’t bother him at all.  They glided around the stone floor of the balcony, the backdrop now a blur in behind them as Nick kept up the pace.  Only when the dance was coming to its end, did Nick look down at his dancing partner.  The music slowing to a point, where Nick dipped Sophia back.  In this hold he was hovering over her, and she was in the vulnerable position.  On her back foot, you could say.  Nick brought her up very slowly, and held her still as the music faded to nothing, and the night’s own chorus began again.  The vampire’s breathing had quickened, and his eyes had changed to a very deep red.

 

~RB~

 

.

SA:   She did dance before, although the memory was mostly a blur, just like the vast majority of her former life, only being able to grasp some fickle visions of it. She did remember dancing, under the moonlight like she was now – And what a beautiful dance they carried, right now, one she allowed him to lead. Each step of hers was carefully calculated, though, even if he indeed was leading, her movements were only meant to entrance, engrasp her partner into a constant hypnosis. Her scent carried by the wind with each twirl and spin, the hem of her dress so gently swaying against the concrete as they moved with each other in perfect unison, harmony. There was a point, where she did something on her own, only to let him know it was still her territory to begin with – Removing her form from his grasp, she only came to spin, moving her body into a pirouette as her slender physique twirled in the air, like the start of a tornado, only to let her scent be carried by a sudden breeze, his way. She came back, soon after. In a way that was so sensual, erotic and yet only meant to entice and provoke him even further. She back into his grasp, in reverse, letting her back bump against his chest as her arms reached up, coiled around his neck into a nice soft grip, running fingers through the raven strands only to look up at him, parting her lips in anticipation until he’d twirl her back to face him. As the dance was ending, she allowed herself to move and lower down as he carried her, keeping her inches hovering above the ground as one of her legs came to arch upwards, loop around one of his, for apparent support. Moments passed like that – just a few moments which seemed like an eternity, staring into each other. Not into their eyes, but into each other, until he brought her up. She noticed his panting. The change of chromatics in his hues, which only brought her body to press against his, chest on chest as one hand curled to trail fingertips along that dress shirt of his. Not saying a word, letting the silence fall over them, as the only audible sound was the wind rustling through the rose bushes.

 

RB:  Sophia knew how to dance, and well.  In fact she mastered it in such a way, that before he knew what was happening, he found her spinning back so that she would come to be with her back to his chest, and her arm like that of a serpent – winding its way up his neck to only tussle with his wayward locks.  His head motioned to move to the side, allowing her fingers better access.  Oh he liked this.  Though up till now he led the dance, Sophia had changed the pace and he was now finding himself moving to suit her.  The ending would have her coil her leg around him as he supported her frame and back.  This closeness only served to want more.  It was why his breathing quickened, as the predator within him was now fully awake.  The eyes were the tell tale sign, that she had stirred much more in him, and she had done it almost effortlessly.  Only when the dance was truly at its end, did the pair stand so close that their chests were touching.  Nick’s head bowed down, just inches from the top of hers.  Sophia didn’t speak.  She didn’t have too.  The vampire could feel it…deep down.  The lure was slowly dragging him in.  Whether she meant to do it; or not.  For the first time in a long time, he was lost for words.  Muted by her beauty.  The time for being a silver tongue was passed.  He could write her a thousand sonatas and yet it would not be enough.  She could see through false platitudes.  All he had to offer her…was his smile.  A genuine one.

~RB~

 

SA:  The dance was all it took – A dance where both body and spirit would come together, lacing with each other to create it, to create this perfect unison between them. A perfect collision of thought and feeling, giving emotion where there was none. And when it came to a halt, all that was left was the silence, as they stood there, facing each other. Her hand, still trailing along his chest as hers pressed against his, feeling how it heaved with every quickened breath he took, while, oddly enough, hers did not – For her, there was no breath to take, but only the cold marble pressed against his own flesh, yet delicate and soft, velvet to the touch. Eventually, her arm went around his neck again, as she leaned in – Tall, yet not as tall as him, having to lift her frame up for their cheeks to meet and the very tip of her lips to brush against his earlobe, to create a small whispered breath. “Take off my mask.” She said that, without departing from him, even resting her head so gently onto his shoulder, to the side, as her arms looped around his form, in a true serpent’s grip, waiting for him to undo his own bindings on the black fabric.

 

RB:  There was no heat to Nick’s frame, but there was one thing to be said.  Sophia was far colder than he was.  As though she had taken all the heat out of her surroundings and chilled it within her form.  Nick didn’t know what to do next.  He just stood there, until that moment her hand began to move and press to his chest.  He glanced downward and was almost about to bring his hand up to cover it, when she draped an arm around his neck and leaned in enough to have her head come to his shoulder – cheek to cheek.  The gentle yet seductive whisper of her voice that met his ear.  She wanted him to remove her mask.  Now, Nick had seen the way her hand had moved so quick to move the bandanna back in place when it became loose earlier.  She was bothered by it and she had asked him to tighten it again – which he did.  Now, she wanted him to take it off.   At first Nick’s brow creased as he tried to digest what she had asked.  But something inside him, pushed him forwards.  If this was what she wanted, then so be it.  Regardless of what lay beneath.  She had hidden it from view for a reason.  That to which he did not know.  Almost as though in a trance, he reached up behind her head, and felt for the loose tie that if pulled, would bring the bandanna undone.  The vampire closed his eyes, and pulled the tie slowly till the fabric loosened enough to fall free from her face.  All the while, he was caught in her hold.  If this was all part of her plan for ‘dinner’ then there would be no escape.

 

~RB~

 

 

 

SA:  It felt like an eternity. The moment when her arms were around his form, tugging at the back of his coat as if tightly gripping onto it, to hold onto him for what was to come. The moment when his fingers gently slipped the bandana off her features, only to keep it settled in his hand as the fabric touched his digits – Soft, yet oddly constricting, like the mask itself was a living creature. An eternity, which only amounted for less than a couple of minutes, until she was bare, stripped of her mask and yet she didn’t move. As if hesitantly moving from his shoulder to face him once more, eyes closed, as lids slowly began to part, like awoken from a deep sleep. And there it was – Her eyes. The abnormal optics she hid so much, the optics which were not staring up into his crimsons. And they were brilliant. Bright azure, such an odd chromatic. Deep, like the vast waters which surrounded them and yet, the anomaly was that they lacked pupils, giving them such a full, strikingly blue shade, like crystal glass. She didn’t blink – He’d find that soon. Her eyes never blinked as though they weren’t normal eyes to begin with. The eyes of a Blind woman, so strikingly, brilliant blue now stared up at him.

 

 

RB : What was Nick expecting to be behind the black bandanna?  He had earlier seen the odd sliver of blue, but nothing could prepare him for what she was about to reveal.  Nick felt the fabric give way and slide down.  He never let go of the end of the tie, but slowly drew it back so now her eyes and that part of her face would become exposed to the night…and him.  He even held his breath as he felt her beginning to move back from him and this was when he saw what was Sophia’s true beauty.  Hidden away from all, Sophia had just revealed the most brilliant azure eyes he had ever seen.  These were striking, a shade of blue that was more dazzling than sapphires.  The vampire simply couldn’t look away.  “Sophia…” her name whispered as though he feared others might hear.  Not that there was anyone else there.  Nick reached up to cradle her cheek with his right hand, as though he didn’t want her to move.  Why had she been hiding her eyes from the world?  He could see that she didn’t blink and that the optics didn’t move.  Sophia was blind, but she could see him.  She could see inside of him.  “You’re beautiful.”

~RB~

 

 

 

 

The Cards Never Lie.

 

Within the darkened halls of a Castle far off in the lands of Blood Rose, a Vampire walks – but little does he know that a woman seeks him out.  To find the answers to his past…his present and his future.

Co-written with SA.

 

RB:   

-It was in the wee hours that most of the Castle’s inhabitants were asleep.  This was Savage’s time to wander the hallowed halls on his night watch.  The Queen had stayed up late to attend to urgent business from one of her lesser allies, and so with the rabble having taken their leave, the Knight had the halls to himself once again.  The echoed sound of his footfalls would alert any that happened to enter the castle grounds that not all slumbered.  Eyes of silver narrowed at the slightest sound.  It was of course just the low whistle of the wind through the tower windows.  The odd clanking of metal chains that hung from the walls within the Queen’s chamber.  This was of course music to the ears of Nick.  Pressing his crimson stained lips together, he hummed to himself, as he walked along with a pronounced swagger.  Shoulders hunched forward, since he was conscious of his tall stature and how it appeared to others.  Onyx locks hung down over his eyes – his head bowed and his gloved hands shoved deep into his trench coat pockets.  Turning the corner, his shadow cast along the wall; almost like he was being followed by a ghoul of malice.  Taking his right hand from his pocket, he placed it up towards the weathered oak door to the Queen’s inner sanctum and let himself in.  Banners of the Blood rose ancestry hung from the walls, along with portraits of the former heads of state.  Soulless eyes staring down at the Knight as he passed under them – without care.  Reaching the middle of the floor, the Vampire tilted his head back and inhaled sharply.  The scent of dead roses still lingered within the air.-

~RB

 

SA:

What else could be said, about the creature that walked in the Halls of the most unlikely? She looked female, but most certainly was not one. More akin to a Monster. There was a presence to her. She wore a dark silk coat over her leather dress, the edges frayed, twisting as if alive. The lower half of her face could be seen, pale skin of alabaster, with dark red set lips. Such a heavy contrast between what was worn and what wasn’t. The coat was adorned with a silver chain, black pearls hung from it. As she entered, each sense held a tell. The sight of her, towering over others, despite an average height. The smell of burning incense, floating in thin air around her. The sound of her obsidian beads clanking together in her movement. Even the feel of her near. The air turned cold as she passed. The astute would notice certain aspects of the woman. Each movement lacked the mouth feel that was reality. When she moved, it was a smooth motion, perfectly done with its intention. And as she stood, or sat, it was completely motionless. The astute noticed she held no sway. Nothing that so attributed to the universal fact, that all are bound by Entropy. The way of Order into chaos, which invariably leads to the involuntary motion of cells fading away to death, only to be reborn, ad nauseam, until nothing but chaos is left. This was her, lacking in that fact. Chest did not rise nor fall. Each white strand of hair had its place, even found her lacking a shadow. There was a feeling of wrongness, however sleight. That which couldn’t possibly be, was. Subtle as it was, many would choose, instinctively or not, to ignore it. This was the Fortune Teller, the Blind Reader. “Fortunes told, for Females bold. Males apply, for a different side. The price is set, as can be. Three questions answered, truthfully.” She spoke in a deep rumbling of a voice, yet with a feminine accent, delicate and suave through a sardonic smile, pearly whites. The only polite way to bare fangs in company and as she spoke, her hand trailed long digits along a silver case in which lied a deck of cards. “Good evening~.”

 

RB:  

The slight sound of the crack of bone, caused by the turning of Nick’s head could be heard by those with sensitive hearing.  This was in response to the sudden arrival of another within the grounds.  The Knight glanced upward towards the time piece – a clock of some five hundred years, and he knew it was too early for dignitaries to grace the castle with their presence.  Turning on the ball of his right foot, yet remaining stony faced, Nick faced the entrance to which a woman appeared.  His brow creased slightly on the sight of her.  Remarkable, would be a word to use to describe her.  But the first thing he was aware of was the scent of burning incense.  Like the kind you found in quaint shops within the Asian markets.  In fact, Nick could not remember the last time he had smelt such a thing, though it brought about a hazy recollection of a woman he once knew.  The woman spoke in rhyme, and it piqued Nick’s interest.  From what was said, he assumed, be it wrong or right that she was a Fortune teller by trade.  Her voice could be described as being rich, yet with a dark quality.  This added to her allure, especially when she smiled.  ~Mmmmm~  The sporting of her elongated fangs, that pressed against her plump lips.  Naturally, it awakened the Knight deep within, and he withdrew his gloved hands slowly from the depths of his pockets.  Eyes like quicksilver traced their way down to the deck of cards that she held in her hands.  A reader of fortunes and dreams.  What price would he pay to hear her wisdom this eve?  The vampire made a curt bow, as he felt that formality was first and foremost of importance when meeting someone new.  “Salutations, my Lady.   Is it not a little late to be out on one’s own?”

~RB~

 

SA:

She could be the easiest categorized as a puzzle, the pieces of it scrambled all over the ground as none of the pieces had any connection to each other – They didn’t fit, no matter how much one would try to assemble the puzzle. A black mask placed upon her upper facial features, hiding them from sight as if guarding them away from outside view – Her greatest, darkest secret which laid beneath that mask. The appearance of this ‘woman’ lacking beauty defined by society’s standards, the appearance of a rather anorexic build and an impressive height, making her almost like a walking skeleton, if not for the delicate curves, though very slight contoured. Alabaster skin, porcelain pale, with no blemish on them but a single scar at the middle of her chest, hidden by her dress and a Mandalla tattoo, on her upper back: The Flower of Life. How ironic, for a being who was closer to Death, than to being alive. She made no sense, at all. Her movements, robotic, performed like a true machine, lacking sway and yet feminine at the same time, as if trying her best to enhance and intensify the façade of being an actual living girl. One would almost feel obligated to pity a Blind woman and yet there was something different about this one. A mixture, a synesthesia in all its beautiful meanings, from the scent of incense burning seemingly from her own body, to the coldness which now surrounded the room, most to all of the surrounding’s heat absorbed only to emanate back the cold air. From the mechanical movements of her form to the delicate features to create this beautiful façade to don upon. To his bow, she returned with one of her own, figure bending at the waist like a true machine would, snow-white tresses cascading down over her features, until she rose back up. “You see, I am a Seeker. Many would call me a Stargazer – A Seeker of Knowledge. I travel this realm in search for new discoveries, new ways to push the boundaries which hold life’s limitations. I seek Art, but what is beyond that written on a papyrus or painted on a blank canvas; I seek the Art of being.” She paused. A long pause, as if to take an inhalation of breath, though there was none – There was no breath to take. A hand placed upwards again as index finger pointed, towards her own face. “I wouldn’t feel so threatened. After all, I am Blind.”

 

RB: 

-Nick found himself drawn in by the woman’s charm and candour.  She was so different from the many beauties that had graced these halls in a way that was hard to describe.  Those he had seen before had vitality, and colour to their skins, but he found them shallow and wanting of attention that was never to be gained.  Nick frowned upon such silliness that he had seen and had to endure silently.  This woman was unique and not only intriguing – be it from her scent, but also in the way that she moved.  Call it hypnotic, and in some ways robotic.  A beautiful woman of noble stature who was quite tall, taller than those within the palace walls.   Skin pulled taught over her frame, yet the curves that were shown from the tightness of her bodice and skirt showed she did carry some muscle.  They say that beauty is skin deep, but in the case of this woman, hers was haunting yet refined.  She was…a work of art, and she spoke the words of one that was worldly.  Travelled far, and seen so much.  Yet…that was the catch.  She wore a mask over her eyes, and for reasons that were still unclear, she was by all accounts blind.  A seeker; or a stargazer as she so eloquently put it.  Ever searching the lands to learn more, to drink in what others have to offer and feed her taste for the art of life.  Nick brought his arms up and while his left crossed his chest, he held up his right elbow so he could strum his long fingers along the edge of his chin.  A woman of winter white, pale soft skin that looked to be kissed by the moon’s light.  She did not breathe….her chest did not rise nor fall.  Alive, but not.  Had Nick found her to be a kindred spirit?  She spoke of seeking knowledge within outer realms, but not the kind that are written by scribes, or painted by the masters – but word of mouth.    Lowering his arms without word, Nick took a step towards the woman, regarding her with interest.    “You do not look as though you would be threatened easily, my Lady.  I have no doubt in my mind that you could hold your own.”  This was said with the slight hint of a smile.  He was taken in by her, though he might well wonder why.  “Though, I don’t know if this is the best place to find the kind of art you seek, I know of a tale or two that may interest in you.”

 

~RB~

 

SA: 

They say a certain flame could burn so bright as to steal the heat of its surroundings, giving it the feeling of being no flame at all – but ice. If this was the case, it surely was a characteristic of the woman. The temperature dropped increasingly so, as if her very being there created an upset in the world around her, a state where reality met illusion and tangibility had no grasp on the laws of this earth anymore. An omnipresent feeling of coldness, heat perfectly absorbed by her – She didn’t bring the cold, no – She simply burned so scolding hot for it to emanate from her in waves of cold air, even though her very skin was the touch of ice itself, colliding against flesh, upon contact. That sardonic grin came again to pull up the corners of crimson lips, only to bring a response to the male’s words, a non-verbal communication given by just that simple, yet remarkably complex gesture. And then what? There was no sight for this woman – at least not the certain sight a commoner would be familiar with for she ‘saw’ beyond what others could see and the price for that was her own optics, optics that were kept secret from view. It almost caused a paranoia from her, a tick which soon came into stage as one hand was brought up to scratch along her temples, fixing the mask, keeping it in place. An ordinary tick, performed frequently according to her own paranoia of having the mask somehow slip from her face. Which she could not afford. While he took in her, she took in everything there was about him, like Predators encountering each other on an open field. Each detail, perfectly soon deposited in the depths of her mind, each characteristic of this male simply placed as input, data, stocked like a machine whose sole purpose was to gain…knowledge. As he moved towards her, she moved too, with a step forward and then, one to the side, as if creating a small dance only to soon have them both circle each other. “A tale?” That piqued her interest, slightly and with that, her hand moved to pull and pluck the deck of cards from her silver case, their metal prison, putting it aside to have them in her palm. The back of them, black, with an odd looking sigil cast and painted over the dark backdrop, assumingly the brand of Tarot used – But the front was an oddity. Each card, no matter how many there were, was blank white. “I would love to hear a tale…”

 

RB:

-Walls that had stood the test of time, held within them the stories of the many families that had lived and died.  If only those stone cold walls could speak, they would tell the most amazing of stories, that could captivate the listener into a bright and colourful world that existed long ago.  Over many years, one does acquire a taste for the unusual and macabre.  Nick felt that to tell anything of what had gone on before this woman’s arrival could be the giving away of the secrets to which he had been sworn to keep close to his chest.  However, with all asleep, the Vampire was going to be bold, and tell the tale of the current monarch.  Nick moved his arms back, so as to clasp his hands in behind him, as he straightened his posture.  He did not stare at the girl’s mask, but rather – looked past her to a simple picture that hung upon the wall.  “You would think that a woman of noble birth would want for nothing.  Least that is what some would believe.”  Nick lowered his gaze momentarily, to show a darkening of his irises as he remembered the fateful night.  “Deep divisions within her family had driven her to despair.  War looming, and the constant bickering of children that were old enough to know better drove the Queen to split herself.  One that would feel nothing, the other part of her was to become a simple rose, whose colour changed with that of her mood.”  This may sound fanciful and even farfetched, but truth was often stranger than fiction.  “The children simply did not see the change.  The lack of emotions as the Queen walked among them, while in a special chamber, the petals of the rose were slowly falling.  One by one.”  Nick paused for a moment, before continuing.  “You would expect that the children could see the change…feel no warmth of love from what was once a woman that exuded it so passionately.  They were blind to her sadness, and it was this…recklessness on their part.  The immaturity and selfishness, that was in fact killing her slowly.  Softly.”  The vampire’s voice trailed off….

~RB~

 

SA: 

She listened. It felt like ages since she actually listened to a story that managed to pique her interest and intrigue her, at least, after such a long time when stories were what she lived for, the Seeker – A true Seeker, at heart, yet she had none beating in her chest, despite the pulse that could be heard at a close distance. There was no blood to rush through her veins to create one, but more. A hand came up to make sure the mask was still placed upon her vision, hiding it from sight of others as the story went on. All the while, those wide Cards shuffled in a one-handed almost impossible shuffle given the shape of her petite limb which enwrapped along each card in their dance. As if waiting for something to happen, they obeyed their master, caught in an endless shuffle, anticipating the climax of the story – each card, stark white, with no description at all and yet, there was an aura to them, an energy which only emanated waves of darkness like raging tides crashing against the rocks on the shore. A nearby table was spotted by whatever lied beneath that black bandana as her body soon circled his once more, like a Predator, to make sure its prey would not flee away – and yet, by now, she knew they were both Predators. And the game has begun. With ease, her body shifted to take a seat at the table, as a chair was instantly pulled across from her, with no intervention from the Reader, at all. A chair awaiting him as Cheshire-like grin only came to take its rightful place upon the femme’s alabaster features into a sardonic mockery of sorts as the cards kept shuffling now on the table in front of her. “Poor child…” Was all she could mutter out. Her lack of Empathy made it so she could not resonate with humanly known emotions and yet her intelligence only cast a sense of understanding. She understood emotions, enough to get her way around people in certain socialization situation, despite lacking the skills for them – But she could not resonate in feeling them; Which is why her statement came off rather crude. Mocking, even though it was never her intention.

 

RB:

It was so easy for one to get lost in the telling of a tale.  In a way it revealed a side to Nick that few had ever seen.  While his often cold exterior and being known as a man of few words, he had managed to weave a tale, that was both sad, and romantic even.  Like a fascination with a fairy tale, that may never have a happy ending.  It took the Vampire a moment to compose himself – that was until the woman responded by simply saying “Poor girl..”  It was like a slap in the face, and one that brought Nick around quickly.  Nick had not noticed the appearance of the table that she was now seated at, and it was unusual that something like this would arrive almost unnoticed.  The chair opposite the fortune teller moved outward so that the Vampire might take a seat.  Before making his way towards the table, the Queen does appear.  Nick’s eyes snap open, and he is lost for a moment, till he knows he must show respect.  He had just been telling her story, to the fortune teller, and now she is amongst them.  He changed direction, and came before her so that he may bow politely.  “My Queen.”  Nick notices her take off her mask and that she is wiping something, that he knows right away is blood.  “You have taken ill?”  He is of course, worried for her health.  “My Queen, a teller of fortunes is here.” – He raised his hand to where the girl is sitting at a table with a deck of cards. –

 

SA:

‘Closer…’ She could almost feel him entering her own territory. Her own little game, about to start. She could almost feel how close she was from installing her own grasp as the cards began to shuffle faster now, in an almost hypnotic trance only to drive the man even closer. And closer and closer until he would sit down – But then, the interruption happened, one which only caused the femme to lose focus, stifling a small growl in as the cards fell flat on the table, rearranging themselves back into the deck. “Queen?” She managed to muse out softly, realizing that the odd woman coughing blood was actually the one in the story, slim white brow quirking upward as the male went to greet her in such a respectful matter. She didn’t rise from her seat – but only given a small nod in greeting, those black claws slowly digging into the wood, impatient and displeased by the woman’s verbal approach. “Mi’Lady.” She began, one hand rising up eventually, palm facing them both. “…Reading ones Fortune is far beyond telling ones Future… It’s a far more complex art than just that.. for you see.” Her hand lowered gently, index finger tapping along the now neatly arranged deck. “…The Cards never lie.”

 

RB:

The Queen dismissed Nick’s concern off the bat.  Something she was prone to doing from time to time.  The Knight did not persist to question her further, as she had just fixed a new mask on to replace the one that she had soiled.  The smell of her blood was still faintly wafting in the air, and Nick’s jaw tightened as he showed restraint.  Swallowing hard, he resumed a more regal stance but then remembered that the Fortune teller was waiting.  Silver eyes darted to the table, where the cards were now neatly arranged again in the formation of the deck; her index finger tapping them as she explained that what she did was more than just telling fortunes.  In her words, the cards never lie.  “If you don’t need me, I wish to see what this woman has to say…about my fortune.”  The right hand corner of Nick’s lip twitched, and there was the flash of an elongated fang on display.  He didn’t think that sitting down with the woman, would hurt.  Much.  So, he wandered over and turned the chair around with the quick flick of his wrist, then straddled it, so he could fold his arms across the top.  “Enlighten me.”  He was to the point, and stared at the woman’s bandanna that masked her eyes. –

 

~RB~

 

SA: 

“To Read ones Fortune entails so much more than the Future. The spreads I used, they are based on the questions my clients put. You see, my most common one is using the 3-star fold, in which there is Past, Present and Future as well as one card that represents my client. So, in all honesty, Fortune Telling is an art – The art of truly –Reading- a person in the deepest meaning, down to their core, regardless of their future. It depends on their question.” A hand came up in the air again and this time, her digits folded together, palm facing the strangers a sign that she had more to say. Another faked inhalation, only to primarily carry on the facade of humanity, for her chest did not rise in normal respiration phenomenon. “Fortune Telling is all about helping my client get an answer. The Future is ever changing, indeed, for Fate’s twisted ways change with her ‘current mood’ so to speak, and so I do not read Future, per-se, but the consequences of my client’s answer, which the cards show. Mi’Lady. The Cards never lie.” And they were odd cards, in all honesty. Completely blank, white, null and void of traditional imagery. “Furthermore…” Pause. “I state my price first off depending on gender. Now, I don’t mean to discriminate, of course…You may find this odd, but Fortune Telling has a much higher percentage of Women customers. Simply put… I tailor my advertising to my largest audience. The price point is also much different. As I do not take money, but something far more… idealistic. Men have much different, idealistically, to offer, then a Woman. On top of all that. . . Then there is the fact that most Men do not wish to pay the price for a Reading as refined as my own” She shrugged again. Her head craned to the side. “Let me put it in laymans terms, that you may know. Men do not ‘believe in bullshit psychics’; and the con that they perpetual on their ‘weaker’ Female counterparts.”; She paused, and leaned forward. The grin went from being Sardonic, to being cruel grin. The only polite way of baring ones teeth in Civilized company. “So, that is the first aspect on which I base my price in. As for the other, the price is decided after all Three questions from the Reader were answered. So, of course… Each price is personal. Individually crafted, to match the one who wanted the pact.”

 

RB:

Nick leaned forward whilst using his arms as a way of propping himself on the chair.  Left arm draped across the chair back, with his right fist poised beneath his chin.  The vampire listened intently to what the woman had to say, but also was taking in her mannerisms.  Noting that although she appeared to be taking in breath, her body or chest were not inflating, the way a humans would.  She moved her hands, like a carnie at a state fair.  Digits moving fluidly as though almost dancing, and mesmerizing in a way that was hard to look away from.  It was like she used her hands to do the talking.  Animated, yes that was how she appeared.  The deception of being life like, when in fact she wasn’t.   Nick understood what she was saying, when she was to name a price, that was rated according to the gender of the customer.  From her point of view, Fortune tellers had more women folk as clients.  He could totally get as to why that was.  His reason however was more of curiosity if anything.  That and he had been kind enough to tell the story of the Queen, and now he wished for her to do the same.  Though, he was to pay a price.  But what would that be?  What could he possibly have that she would want?  Silver coins?  No, not material that was for sure.  It was then she showed a change in her facial expression.  This was a woman who was used to get what she wanted.  Nick made up his mind then and there that he was willing to pay that price, since he felt he had nothing to lose.  “Alright.  You have set the deal.  Now, ask away.”  –

 

~RB~

 

SA:

The Queen left. A shame, for she could’ve shot 2 rabbits with a single bullet, at that, yet she didn’t mind as much – Before going for the big prize one must crawl their way step by step, no? Her attention directed itself back to the male who sat down at her table again – The moment he did, the cards began to shuffle once more, in understandment of his statement, which brought out a small chuckle from her. “So impatient… You don’t even want to know the price.” Yet, she knew what he was thinking of being the price, what everyone with a little bit of working grey matter in their brains believe to be the price and yet the reality was much more grim. But, he agreed. And as she spoke, she took her hand. A solitary black claw, that slipped between the pale lines of her palm. From it bubbled dark pitch. A solitary droplet hit the table. It ate away the wood work like acid. It followed a lined path all its own. A circle, with two diagonal lines intersecting it. Her symbol, the one that was present on the back of her cards, as well. “The pact is made.” Her other hand held the deck of large faced cards, oddly blank. “Ask your question.”

 

RB:

The pact was made.  The two now facing off against each other.  Oh her chuckle showed that she did have the upper hand, as the fortune teller had not revealed a price.  “I’ll take my chances and see what the outcome is.”  Nick’s lips thinned as he gazed down at the droplet that had hit the table, and now created a pattern, that was her symbol, like the backs of the cards.  The vampire drummed his long fingers against his chin, before dragging his fingers downward and finally letting go.  He decided then and there he was going to enjoy this.  Now that the Queen had retired, he had a more relaxed posture and knew he didn’t have to snap to attention anytime soon.  “Right then, my question.   Why didn’t Legion kill me when he had the chance?”  Legion was the one that Rose had chosen to test Nick if he wanted to be a part of her guard.  The creature, that even Nick had a hard time figuring out, had used an attack that was designed as a last resort….a kill shot.  Yet the moment that Nick accepted the strike, and what it entailed….ie, death, Legion offered a vial to counter the effect of his virus.  Nick stared at the woman’s face and awaited her answer.

~RB~

 

SA:

The solitary black droplet of what was supposed to be her blood, if she even had any, soon rearranged all the woodwork on the table and shifted each line carved in the hard surface to mold into her own symbol. It was her Pact, the way to let them know that now? Now they’ve stepped in their territory. “I will read you a 3-Star fold. One card will be drawn first, the card which represents you – That card is ~you~ and each card, later on, will revolve around it. The Past. The Present. The Future.” She didn’t ask if he understood. Whether or not he did, she would still enjoy this game, for she felt this was no ordinary man. His question actually brought back her curiosity. . The Reader heard them all: Questions about Fame, Lust, Power, Love, Eternal Youth or whatever-the-fuck Fortune one might state, believing that Fortune Telling was simply based on the good things. It wasn’t. So, for somebody to ask such a question, so different from the rest, was like a breath of fresh air, finally, after years. Centuries? She almost lost track of time. “I really did hope, my dear, that you do not expect my Reading to be one of those cliches where I tell you that ‘You will meet a tall dark stranger and live happily ever after, right? Because it won’t be – The cards never lie; They always speak the truth, even when honesty is cold heartedly… blunt. So, I thank you. For giving me a change.” Despite such mocking words from the Reader, there was curiosity to it, mainly deduced by the fact that smoke started to come from the card, each time she tried placing them down in a shuffle – The deck itself did not like this man present at the table. The tendrils which looped around her feet, those black cannibals of darkness almost roared, displeased towards the Reader herself, revolting against the one across her. “Hush.” – She bluntly grunted, towards her own shadows of those cards, until they obeyed, stopped fighting against the Teller’s will. “The cards do not like you…”

 

RB:

“What’s to like?”  Nick said with a shrug of his shoulders.  Since his arrival in the Kingdom, there have been those that figured that the vampire wanted something other than just to sit in a chair all day and greet those that entered like a mindless twat.  The truth however was something that no one would expect.  As for resorting to the types of questions like…a romanticized ideal of Miss or Mister Perfect, it was enough to make Nick snort loudly in disgust.  “Please, I am not some hapless fail who is seeking the dream come true. “  Now Nick was being honest.  His face displayed that he thought little of the ones who constantly asked him for a date.  But back to the cards.  He didn’t get an answer to his question.  “My first question was asked, I was not expecting the cards to play profiler.”

~RB~

 

SA: 

“Good.” – She mused out in a sort of chuckle, pleased by his response even though there was still irony in the skeptical way of the Reader’s doings. She understood, so far, that he was not ordinary, quite far from it and yet she did not have the certitude that he would live, by the end of this Reading. After all, it’s why she based her price according to gender, first, taking quite the discrimination towards men. A living dead girl with a perpetual amnesia of her former life except that of her killing – by the one she loved. But what was she? One would simply mistake her for a bloodsucker, of sorts, like the man across her and yet she was nothing, not even close to it. Oh no… This woman was something else, as the first hint would’ve been those dark tendrils rummaging under the table to soon take grasp of her own being, coiling, lacing and dancing around the table, as if forming a circle around it. Their Pact, their own moment of intimacy. Like having a romantic dinner, under the moonlight – Although he might prove to be the Dinner at hand. “I will ask you 3 Questions, throughout the Reading… If you choose not to answer one, another will be asked to replace it. If you choose to lie in your answer… well…” The grin was back, cruel now, as if to show that he had no reason to lie, for his own existence laid like under a constant swinging pendulum. “The Cards will know. And after their little fit, I don’t think I have to explain further why that is such a bad, bad idea…” They submitted, in the end. Allowed the creature to place them into an odd formation, with one vertical and three other cards horizontally placed, below the first one. Two digits hovered above the vertical one, as she spoke. “This is the card which represents you. It is the one all the other 3 will revolve around. This card, is you.” And while she spoke, she lifted it and placed it face up. It wasn’t blank anymore, no – But the image of a Lion and a woman, tugging at the creature’s maw, the image of an Infinity symbol shaped halo hovering above her head. “Strength”.

 

RB:

Nick watched with a raised brow when the first card was shown, and this was the card of strength.  It was not exactly what the vampire was expecting to see, but then again he was new to all of this.  Once again he rested his chin upon an upturned fist with his shoulders turning in slightly almost like he was hunched over.  With his height and the angle of the chair, he just found the need to sit with an almost casual air.  He was informed that she was going to ask him three questions, which was not at all what he thought was expected.  He still didn’t get the answer to the question he asked of her and her cards.  There was that sinister grin again.  Like a cat that just ate a plump canary.  He half expected feathers to be poking out the sides of her mouth.   Nick let out a heavy exhale of breathe when he was told not to lie.  The cards already didn’t like him, so what point was there in lying.  “Three questions?  Alright, ask away.”

~RB~

 

SA:

‘Ah, Strength. Quite the misleading card of the Major Arcana. This card continues the lesson of the Chariot, showing that once we have learned to control emotion. This is a Fire card, and therefore detrimental to all the emotions. The only qualities that abound in Strength are courage and patience. Courage, the antithesis of Fear. There is no emotion here, but determination. The Symbology of the Lion…The image of the woman opening the mouth of the lion shows both courage and patience. It’s a card which, first of all, explains the Duality between them both. So Strength is not a card of compassion and love, but a card of quiet yet unstoppable power. Such power radiates from the soul, and for a consciousness aware of this power, there can be no resistance, and no defeat. But with Strength and Power, comes responsibility. One must be aware of it, at all times. One might fall in the pits of their extremes. Interesting.” She slid it against the woodwork, until it reached the other side of the table, to him. “How did you die?” It was her first question, which quite bluntly stated that she ~knew~.

 

RB:

“How did he die?”  At the asking of this question, Nick automatically pushed himself up so that his back was straight and rigid.  His lips twisted and he reached up to scratch his cheek.  All this movement, so sudden off a direct question.  It was one that he could answer of course, but it also fostered memories that he would rather forget.  “A woman..”  Nick said, almost flatly.  “One that to this day has been able to hold part of me in a vice like grip.”  There was now a coolness to his voice, his eyes also reflecting the somber change in mood.  “Course, you already knew that.”  Nick’s eyes narrowed as he stared at the bandanna covering the woman’s eyes.  “Promised immortality….but she left out one small detail.”  At this there was an almost haunting smile playing upon his lips.  “That I’d die at her hands to get it.” Nick scoffed, and then looked away momentarily.  “Next question?”

~RB~

 

SA:

When he got up, she felt like instantly pointing to the circle which now grew closer to him, as if making sure he would not leave. This was a Pact of life, one he could not escape until the Reading was over. Even if he were to step out of the Circle, he wouldn’t have gotten far. A small reminder. It didn’t faze her, when he reacted that way. There was no compassion to this woman, nothing but the cold which soon travelled along the entire room. Oddly so, it felt cold, but it felt like the warmth of the room was instantly absorbed by her. “Refrain yourself, please.” It was such a cruel, crude statement and yet never sounded as dismissive as thought it would – It was honesty, such cold hearted honesty that it seemed like she wasn’t much different from the Cards she shuffled in her deck. “You’ve wandered off.” It was such an odd, vague statement from the Reader, as it all was with her. No beginning nor end in everything which concerned her being, a statement left to the man’s interpretation. She did not continue it in order to state from what he wandered off, but it became visible that the Darkness –knew- at least something of this man. In many ways, they were alike, despite being so different – They both had creatures lingering within with which they have created bonds, they both found Death by the hands of people they assumingly cared for and yet, the Teller was… much more grim. Two digits hovered once more above the next card – One of the horizontal ones. And it shifted it around, to become vertical, before flipping it over. The first oddity of this card was that it was Upside Down. The second oddity, being that the card was The Wheel of Fortune. And on the wheel, the image of the Lion, hanging upside down onto it. Each Card revolved around the First One. “Huh.” She stated. Almost surprised by the outcome, given the fact that a wheel, placed upside down, is still a wheel as it becomes regular once spun around. “How ironic…” A few seconds passed for the Reader to make grasp of the situation itself, before musing out once more. “Your Past is represented by the Wheel. You’ve never had balance in your past. Your Past was a continuous spinning motion of the Wheel. A constant cycle. You’ve been to the highest point of it. But soon found yourself at its lowest. You’ve never found an equilibrium to it, and yet you’ve always stayed constant…” She did not pass the card along. None of the others were, except for the first one. “Second question… Why this Kingdom? What made you swear Loyalty?”

 

RB:

His movements may have seemed abrupt, but it was a mere change in posture, from a more slouched, or hunched over way of sitting, to actually sitting up straight.  He hadn’t left the table and so her comment left him feeling somewhat confused.  He answered the question in his own way and spoke of it as though trying to detach from it.  Or stay impassive.  “If you mean I wasn’t direct enough in my answer, I didn’t feel that I needed to give you the ins and outs of the actual act or deed.  Just…who did it and why.”  Watching the turning of the next card, Nick stared down at it and surprisingly knew exactly what it meant.  The teller’s reaction though actually was comical.  She didn’t expect it, obviously.  Now Nick folded his arms across his chest on the asking of the next question.  “Why did he swear loyalty to this Kingdom?”  Nick paused for a moment, as he remembered when he first entered.  “Honestly?  Because the moment I walked in the door, I was asked to be tested.  That has never happened before.”  The vampire’s bottom lip jutted out momentarily; before he sucked it back in.  “I was taken to an arena and pitted against a man loyal…deeply loyal to the Queen.”  You could see Nick’s fingers drumming his forearm slowly.  “I was injured in an attack that I refused to run away from.  I’m not a coward, and I don’t run.  The Queen insisted healing me…even after I told her no.  Something about her selflessness in helping me made me think.  If she was willing to suffer herself, then she was worthy of my service.  If that makes sense?”

~RB~

 

SA:

She remained stoic to both his answers, choosing not to respond in any way – It wasn’t her place to disrupt his train of thought, as long as she was given truthful answers to her questions. She’d keep the feedback, for the end. Her index and middle finger now hovered upon the middle card. Shifted it into a vertical position before flipping it over, to reveal the image. The image of the Lion and Maiden, standing in front of Seven Cups, each Cup holding something, either a gem, a necklace, or even creatures like snakes and dragons. “This is the Seven of Cups. The Seven of Cups represents your Present. Who and what you are now. The Card symbolizes a Decision, one you must make at a certain point in your present, one you are currently confronting with. Careful, for not all the choices are real – Some are imaginations, hallucinations. Some are represented by your own delusions. Most of the times, the card symbolizes Temptation, when confronted with so many options, that you need to have the will to choose the right one. You’re confronting yourself with the decision. Which cup to pick.”There was one more card left unturned, on the table now. One horizontal card, which held his Future and 2 questions by the reader. “If you had a choice to change your question right now, at this moment, before the card which holds your Future is lifted, would you change it? Or would it still remain the same?” It was a test, to determine the price of her Reading – All three questions were in fact little tests in order to place an individual price for the woman across the table. It was how she worked – Each reading was personal and each price was molded individually to match her clients.

 

RB:

“I see no reason to change it.”  Nick was quite serious in his delivery. “It would remain the same.”  He felt he had nothing to gain from changing it.  The last card that had been turned over, was supposed to be about temptation.  While he could not see as how that related to him within the Kingdom, it was clear that the Fortune teller believed that he was going to have to make a decision and soon.  To choose one of the offered cups.  Nick had nothing to say about the card, other than he had sworn loyalty to the Queen after the fight with Legion, if that counted for anything.  There was one card left to be turned, and this was of his future.  Did he even have one? Did anyone?  “Ask your last question.”

~RB~

 

SA:

Her digits hovered above the last card. Tapped it a couple of times, as if anxiously anticipating herself the outcome of it. It was soon flipped, after being turned to a vertical position. And to her card, the Reader almost gasped. Froze, before a sardonic grin came across pale nude lower features, a Cheshire-like grin to spread lips apart and bare her sharp pearly whites to the imagery of the card: The Lion, on the ground, stabbed with Ten Swords into its body. “My my my…” She began. “…Your Future is represented by the Ten of Swords.” It was such a morbid visage. It would’ve only taken One sword to kill a man and yet this card had Ten. It wasn’t murder – But annihilation. “This is the Card which bares your Future, regarding to the choice you make in your Present. The ultimate manifestation of the Swords, inevitable result. Those who refused to listen to the Ace of Swords shall, in the end, be impaled by the Tenth. Many take this card for its negative implications and yet…” Index finger tapped along the upper part of the card, against the black night background which held, in the corner, one small ball of yellow. “…The Sun is up, against the black sky. Enlightenment. A new beginning. You will learn from your mistakes. Or you will be impaled by them.” After she was done speaking, she leaned in, forward, having both her elbows on the table and her head resting onto her palms, as if directly looking at him, beyond the bandanna. “Did you figure out the answer?” This wasn’t a question for his prize, just curiosity – With all the cards turned, and the first one closest to him as the other 3 rested to her side of the table, she wanted to see if he would figure it out, before stating her price.

 

RB:

The final card.  Such shocking imagery…macabre, yes, but intriguing and enlightening.  Throughout life, it is all trial and error.  It’s the only way we learn.  Growing in fact through the pain of our mistakes.  This card brought everything back full circle to the question he had asked initially, and that was why did Legion spare him with the vial?  “I believe I did find the answer after all.”  It wasn’t the fact that Legion didn’t kill him, but that he accepted the vial, and thus lived another day.  Or an unlife, if you could call it that.  Legion would have never heard the end of it from the Queen, after she had specifically called the match to be no death.  Nick was prepared to fight to whatever conclusion there was.  It just ended so abruptly.  “I chose my fate.  I agreed to fight…then I accepted his offer of help…eventually.”  After he said this there was nothing but silence.

~RB~

 

SA:

There was one card left, where there were none. The woodwork created by the Pact bond by the Reader seemed to boil down, like acid sinking even deeper into the material. It burned. It boiled and sizzled. It let out smoke, like a furious dragon and made ~one~ card jump from the deck, right in the open palm of the Teller, to which her expression changed drastically into a scowl, deeply infuriated. She knew what it was. “…Blood Tarot is the most consuming system. It always ends with a Card for the Reader.” She wouldn’t show it to her client, but she looked at it, herself, despite already knowing it – The card never changed, despite numerous Readings performed. A perpetual state which leaped beyond tangible grasp only to lay neatly into the creature’s hand. The Card of Death, Upside Down. The Creature who could never find Death. It took her awhile to snap out of it – The trance it created, looking at that card for so long as if desperately trying to force it to change – It never did. One card for the Teller and never a good one. That was the way of Blood Tarot, the price she had to pay in return for the Reading. The card to damn her entire existence, her whole ‘life’ condemned by one simple card around which revolved everything. Darkness itself. Her. With a snap, her body stretched and with it, each joint crackled into a loud noise as if trying to shake off the whole Reading. Detach and cut the strings she placed on the woman in front of her. “As I said…” She began, before leaning forward, against the table which was now slowly turning back to normal. The black engraftments of her blood slowly fading away, letting the woodwork come back to what it originally was. Her pact, written off. The cards slowly went back to being full white, blank, except the one which was left in the man’s hand: Strength which represented her client. “The Cards never lie… Now. For my price.” Pause. A single digit was brought up, to rub against her own chin gently before fixing the mask over her vision once again. “Dinner?”