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Trials and Travels (Semi-lit)

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Tractus~

 

"You don't look like the kind of person who would want to get themselves dirty. As for why I am alone. It is because I work best alone. If you no respect for the dead then don't bother trying to help. Actually don't help at all."

 

Eirikr must not like me... "Why is that? I don't see why I can't help. It's my duty - I was absent in battle, and I must help these dead pass. Can't you see that?" Tractus then proceeded to pick up a shovel and start to bury the rest. "It's because I respect the dead that I wish to help them cross. Do you think I'm some sort of snob?" Please, Eirikr. I don't want us to be enemies - I used to be alone like you. I need friends. Please? Tractus thought that this mental connection might emphasize his belief.

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"It's possible," Said Eirikr as he worked on the small memorial in the middle of the valley. "I never had much use for friends. I've been on the road for a long time. I no longer have true friends, just acquaintances."

 

Finished with the general shape of the memorial Eirikr began to work on the details of the helmet and sword hilt. As he worked Eirikr thought about how to shake the kid off. Friends held him back, and acted like a noisier second conscience. "Look, I'm glad you respect the dead. But I don't need friends. Not while I'm a traveler. Maybe after this war, but most likely not. I can't be friends with anyone right now. I can't afford to let emotions get in my way. I may have to turn against you to defend Terra."

 

Eirikr added the last strokes to the design work of the memorial. He began to carve in a message on the helmet. He listened to the night and, to a lesser extent, Tractus.

Edited by Nasa13

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Luna

 

"Yes, I can ask them about him. What exactly do you want to know? They're pretty scattered, so I have to ask a specific question."

 

Luna tried to think up a specific question as Isis began conversing with the plants in the area. She let the thoughts in his mind trickle into the back of hers. It was strange; instead of just one voice there was a gaggle of many voices together, but the most tangible of them was Isis. They rest seemed to be talking in a different language. Luna assumed that they were the voices of the plants and left it at that; there was no way she was going to be able to directly communicate with them without the help of Isis, so instead she returned to thinking of a solid question. Finally one formulated in her head.

 

"Ask them....Ask them if they saw a man plummet from the sky and get taken away against his will. I'm sure there wasn't anyone else out there like that," she said. She mentally crossed her fingers as she awaited an answer. Hopefully they would know something so that she wouldn't feel too terrible about not being able to do anything. She could already hear the others preparing a rescue mission, and as desperately as she wanted to go, there was no way she was going to be going anywhere with her injuries.

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Isis nodded and closed his eyes again.

 

By any chance, did any of you notice a man plummet from the sky and get taken away against his will?

 

Oh, we did, we did! There was a Wind Elementian, just barely alive! They took him away.

 

Isis' eyes blinked open. "They saw him. They say he was just barely alive, but he was taken."

 

He let out a sigh, then looked up at her. "You want to go, don't you? You want to go help them get Loren back." He let a small smile rest on his lips. "I don't know about you... But I've gone on a few trips I haven't supposed to go on." He lifted an eyebrow. "If you want to go... Then I say go."

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Kai glanced between Noe and Aketsu, what she said made sense... then again, if it was discovered that she was with the light alliance, she'd be in grave danger, not something he was willing to risk.

 

On the other hand if she could indeed use her new-found form to get them into the city, that would save him the trouble of having to come up with a story, and if she could carry Loren out, that would save him a lot of time and trouble. On the other hand, what if they were discovered, even her father hadn't been able to out-fly the shadow creatures. Then again... they could use Kai's original plan to sneak Loren out of the city, and then use Noe's plan to get him to safety quickly. That may eliminate both problems...

 

He frowned, his arm... that no longer existed, was in pain, phantom pain, and it bothered him incessantly. He tried to ignore it. There wasn't enough time! Not enough time to think everything through, the situation demanded immediate action, and Kai didn't have the luxury of a well thought out plan.

 

He sighed... at least it wasn't likely any of them would recognize Noe, not in her current form. And he could change his appearance at will, even replace his arm, which he planned on doing as soon as he had the strength to maintain it.

 

"Alright, I will take Noe and bring Loren back, but let's leave the raft here, tie it down, its best if it goes undiscovered, and we know where the city is, finding Loren won't be hard, there are only so many places wounded POWs are taken." Kai nodded to Noe, "Eat, you'll need your strength to fly us there, I'll explain the rest of the plan on the way."

 

He turned back to Aketsu, "Get everyone else patched up and ready to go by the end of tomorrow, we'll meet you one day's journey ahead of here on the path we had already planned on taking. Look for us, on the evening of the second day, Noe will arrive first and I'll be shortly behind her. Try not to engage the enemy until we return."

 

Kai waited for a reply from the both of them. He would need to eat, then, if Noe could carry him, they'd be off, if not, he'd use the earth to help him run as she flew, hopefully he could keep up.

 

That also left the other question. Should he go as an Earth Elementarian, a neutral party, or as a lightning elementarian? He'd ask Noe on the way, he could cover his mark and either of his eyes with sand, making it look like an eye-patch, perhaps it would be safer to arrive as a lightning elementrian, and then no one would suspect his plan of escape through the ground....

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Noe looked at Kai for a moment noticing him glance at his arm. With a slight twitch she could tell that he was in pain and hated the fact that she was the cause of all of this. "Kai, I'm sorry." she stated before turning away and to the forest. There, she tried to find a way to access the deep, earthen magic that possessed the soul of a griffin. At first she couldn't see it, but once she had reached deep enough and pressed her hand against the tattoo on her neck, she felt magic surge through her and the voice of her father pressed into her mind.

 

Noe, don't act as though you are unused to luxury when you arrive in Cumulus. These people haven't seen a griffin in ages and it will be something that they love. They will do anything for you without question for as far as I can see. But there are forces in cumulus that are hindering my sight. Be careful little one.

Noe felt a tear roll down her cheek before she gently removed her clothes and placed them on the ground beside her. It took her another moment until she felt her shoulders start to itch and a striking amount of pain gripped her mind until it disappeared into complete euphoria. A change when there wasn't impetus or emotional reason was almost addicting because of the euphoria that came for a moment or two. It took a few moments for her body to change completely, but once it had, her energy seemed to double and it took her a moment to figure it out. The gems, and feathers in her feathers seemed to glow and the world around her took on new life.

 

Unison

 

That's what it was! She had more energy because she was able to absorb the energy around her like her father had. the only problem, was that when he shifted back, she noticed that he was starving. She would have to bring supplies with them to make sure that she was safe from starvation. The more energy that she spent and absorbed, the more she didn't have in her human form is what she thought would be the equation. She wouldn't tell Kai otherwise he would worry too much, but she quickly caught a few rabbits and some snakes and gobbled them down quickly to make sure that she was full.

 

She stepped out of the forest, her clothes in her beak. It was truly a regal sight to see even though she was much smaller than her father. She was still large enough to carry Kai and Loren if she needed to, but she would be sore after the next few days and would probably have to stay in her griffin form until she was able to regain her human strength.

 

Noe quickly walked between the tents making sure to keep her wings tucked tightly against her before she arrived at her tent. Once there, she placed the extra clothes on her bed roll then walked to where Kai was and picked up the packs in her front right claw. "I'm ready when you are."

 

her body tilted slightly to show that she was able to carry Kai. Her left wing raised so that he could crawl under it to the place on her back where he would be able to settle without falling and still be evenly placed on her body so she wouldn't be off center.

Kinda how she looks ( http://browse.deviantart.com/?qh=&section=...griffon#/drg1a1 and http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=black%20gr...fset=72#/dva6gx )

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Promise tread heavily into the city of Cumulus, glad to have finally reached the city. Her feet hurt from the lengthy journey and she could hardly hold her head up from the exhaustion. It had been a long time since she had seen city lights. Three days exactly; it was a long ways to walk from Electra to Cumulus. But traveling was what she did best, it seemed. She was a traveler.

 

The first thing she thought of was finding a place to eat and rest. She had almost run out of food this time, not realizing how far away Electra was from the city she was presently in. She quickly found her way to the closest inn and wandered around until she found the dining room. While the workers weren’t looking, Promise bagged some food and booked it out of the kitchen, hurrying for the back of the building, hoping to find some peace a quiet. It was too loud inside.

 

She halted as she saw the back was already occupied by a young boy, a young woman with green hair, and a young man with orange hair. She took a backwards step, not sure what to do…

Edited by Silver_Voices

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Kai stood still for a moment, coming to terms with the phantom pain. He turned to Noe as she spoke, and even on her griffin features, he could read another kind of pain, the pain of guilt. But he let her go, and didn't reply, instead he turned back to the camp and quickly began to eat his share. He had finished a few minutes later and noted that Noe was returned and ready to go.

 

"Yeah... I'm ready... just... give me a moment." He grunted, lying on the ground for a moment. When he stood up, the ground rose up to meet him, forming an arm of stone onto his shoulder. The stone shifted, covered with sand, and changed color until it matched his other arm. His forehead shifted as well, covering his earth elemtarian marking and revealing the lightning one. At the same time, sand formed over part of his face, covering his left eye, the earthen colored one, and turned black, like an eye-patch.

 

"I'm ready, let's go. But I warn you," he said as he climbed on. "If you're going to appologize for something that clearly isn't your fault... the whole way there my dear... I'm going to fall asleep and fall off, then it really will be your fault." He managed a weak smile and ruffled Noe's neck feathers.

 

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Noe made a slight churring sound in her throat as Kai ruffled her feathers, but she did seem unsettled about what he said. It was her fault, but did her understand or even know that? Before she took off, she turned to his new, earthen, arm and sniffed at it for a second to serve her curiosity. It was strange how this earth still smelled just as he did when he walked near her, but she knew that it wasn't really a part of HIM.

 

She walked away from the camp and looked back at the others noting that Isa gave them a half-hearted salute. Her size was half that of her fathers, but the gale from her powerful wings would still be enough to make the tents shift and the trees creak. Her muscles bunched underneath her feathers as she settled into a low crouch. She had only taken off once, but, if she planned things right, the takeoff wouldn't be too bad for Kai.

 

As she gathered all of her strength, she tightened all of her muscles into a massive coil then sprung lithely into the air. By the time that she was at the peak of her jump, she released her wings from her sides and flapped down, her shoulders muscles bulging at the effort. It felt wondrous to be strong and she could easily bet that this was the joy that her father felt in flying. For her, it brought her closer to the sky and closer to her element, therefore, her joy was felt in being part of what she created.

 

As her wings beat out a steady rhythm, she decided to try something that her father had done. At one point and time, she had read that all magical beings could create a mental link, but she thought that that was just superstition. She reached out her mind and could feel Kai's there although she doubted that he would let her in right away.

 

So instead of pushing her way through, she started talking. She told him how she thought that it was her fault for his injury and her fault for Loren's fall. But it wasn't really said in words. Instead, her thoughts were more images and emotions that she gave to him and hopefully he would understand if he let his mind be open to her.

 

She also gave him the impression that his choice of element was a good one. Not all elements were aligned with their specific alliance, and he cold easily pass as one of the many traders that appeared in Cumulus. Her images then changed back to Loren and Kai's mutilated arm and the remorse that she felt for even creating the storm.

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After a few more minutes of looking around her room, Sky got bored and decided to go over to Marc's room to see what he was doing. Another reason that she was going over there was to share with him what her worries about their upcoming mission were as well as the nightmares that she had had the night before. She knew that he would be worried about hearing her worried thoughts and would try to explain to her that she needn't be worried but that wouldn't change the fact that she was. When she got to his room she said after knocking lightly on the door-frame, "Hey." She then walked in and sat down on his bed before resting her head against his shoulder before adding, "The reason that I had those nightmares last night was because I was worried about what would happen during our mission. I know I shouldn't be worried but I just can't shake the feeling that something bad is going to happen even though there's probably a good chance that nothing will."

Edited by SkySong278

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((apologies for the time this took))

 

~Yuaki~

 

Yuaki's mind was buzzing with thoughts. What an interesting conversation, and with an interesting person too. She had a hard time reading Eirikr, though she supposed he'd be no trouble to her so long as she didn't bother him or the things he cared about. It was hard to tell what he cared about too, though she was fairly certain he cared first for Terra and second for anything else. It made her think of what she cared about, and she found her cares surprisingly empty and... well, one couldn't say 'vain' in this case, but rather strange. She shoved the thoughts aside, as she preferred not to think of herself so much. Washing dishes was quick and easy; the soup had been licked out of almost all of them due to how hungry everyone had been. After taking her time cleaning the dishes out, Yuaki took out her whip and lightly twirled it through the air. She thought of giving it some experimental slashes on a tree, but ever since seeing Isis 'move' the trees she hadn't quite been able to bring herself to even hit a tree. As though she was worried they'd tell on her... and in fact she was. She had been very careful now as though always being watched. She didn't like the feeling, but she was used to it.

 

Yuaki returned to camp to find Kai, Aketsu and some others quite busy in conversation. Tractus and Eirikr were nowhere in sight. Yuaki was about to walk over to join the others in conversation when she suddenly noticed that one of the tents had her name carved on the front. None of them had earlier, and she curiously approached it. She peeked in and felt a bit sheepish as she realized that Eirikr had carved the name on the front. She had a tent all to herself, according to him. That was nice and somehow made her feel quite dignified, although she had absolutely nothing against sharing a tent with Isa. Still, personal recognition was something she hadn't gotten in a while and she felt greedy for liking it. Then something else caught her attention; in the middle of the tent was a neatly carved slab of stone. She turned it over and was half-surprised to see a message written on it.

Yuaki,

Please don't tell anyone that I plan to leave early again. The bodies will be buried tonight, the rest will be in their graves just needing the dirt on them. I will leave markers for you to place with the unburied. The rest will be marked. I will meet the group at Cumulus when you reach it. There is a farm on the way. I will arrange with the farmer to set aside some supplies for you, if I can. Please keep this a secret.

~ Eirikr

 

Yuaki read it several times and her heart sped up just a bit in alarmed surprise... then she smiled. An unusual man indeed. She had hardly known that he had left early the previous day, except for all of Aketsu's blaming and bad mood (an ambush didn't help with that, but still). She read the stone one more time. Then she glanced out of her stone tent to make sure no one was looking, turned her back to the door, and used shadows to shatter the stone slab. No need to leave evidence, she decided. And oh did it ever feel good to use shadows again. Her shadows seemed to be groaning and hissing at her, reprimanding her for her lack of attention to them. She loved how alive the shadows were. They used to be her only friends, before she had come to Sola. She put the bits and pieces of the stone on the ground and used shadows to push them underground.

 

"Alright, Eirikr," she said with a small smile. "You're gonna trust me with this secret, then I'll keep it. I wonder if I could trust you with a secret?"

 

~~~~

~Jahanshah~

 

"Why not?" Jahanshah shrugged in response. True; why wouldn't a perfectly capable warrior and explorer be paid for his skills? And it seemed Aoi didn't want to explain any further, so Jahanshah left it at that. He wasn't great at reading people, but he knew well enough not to pry at others. "It's fun, all the same." Jahanshah smirked and was about to tell Aoi the story of his meeting with the Queen when suddenly Aoi's expression changed. Jahan frowned curiously. "One minute, kid..." Although Jahan didn't prefer the title, he didn't take it as an insult with Aoi.

 

Jahanshah was very surprised when Aoi reached into the shadows and pulled a girl into the light. She was very young, perhaps only Jahan's age. "Hm... looks like I caught a little kitten listening in..." Jahanshah was alarmed. He had just spoken about their plans with Cumulus... was the girl a spy? How much did she know? "Let's see... What should we do with her? She could be associated with the Light Alliance." Jahanshah's look hardened and his eyes narrowed. Daedureth sent a surge of shadows up his arm, but he ignored the sword's longing for blood; the thought hadn't even crossed his mind until the sword brought it up. "We'll bring her to Betzalel. He has some... 'special' abilities when it comes to knowing if people are lying or not." He stood, still facing the girl. "How much did you hear?" The question was a common one, but even if she didn't tell the truth maybe her expressions would give it away. Then there came the task of finding Betzalel...

 

...just then a new set of footsteps made Daedureth again seek blood and Jahanshah spun around to see a new intruder in the shadows. A woman, pale and surprised, a little younger than Aoi. But she had just arrived, so she hadn't heard anything. It took Jahan a moment to remember he was just a 'kid' in everyone's sight here, and he was very glad he hadn't drawn his sword or used metal when the first intruder had arrived. He spoke to Aoi; "Brother, she doesn't look well. Please take care of her." He was referring to the first intruder, the girl with green hair. He hoped Aoi would take the hint and bring her to Betzalel... well, he knew Aoi would, but he hoped Aoi would also play along. No need to make the local populace think they were kidnapping children. Then Jahan turned to face the newcomer. "Can I help you?" His eyes were judging and expressive, but his appearance was passive. His sword was no longer complaining to him. He could be mistaken for a stableboy or even just a common peasant right then.

 

~~~~~~

~Aketsu~

 

“You are welcome great Prince.” Aketsu's eyes twitched in response to the title, as he wasn't quite used to it nor had he expected Z'fan to call him by it. He listened to her wisdom and nodded solemnly... yet he couldn't help but feel a surge of relief when she told him Isa was alright. She didn't look very alright. But finally Isa herself smiled and Aketsu returned the smile.

 

“I’m great…compared to others.” "Yes," Aketsu said absently as he followed her look to Noe and Kai. But his eyes didn't linger on them long and instead returned to Isa. “How are you doing Aketsu?" As Isa reassured him that she wasn't going to die, his smile brightened a little. "I'm fine. I... could have handled things better, but we have discovered that Loren is alive and Noe and Kai are preparing to set out and find him. We believe he's in Cumulus. We will be setting out tomorrow and following them towards the city... after we bury the dead. That will be more difficult without Kai, but at least Eirikr can help." He paused a moment in thought. He had meant to speak with Eirikr about not allowing the enemy to surrender, as it seemed like a very dark thing to do... but he had finally decided to let it drop. After all, Eirikr had probably saved their lives, though he had killed many men by not allowing surrender that might have occurred. But the shadow surrenderers couldn't be trusted anyway.

 

"For now, everyone should concentrate on recovering. I'll spread the word about Loren and then everyone should get some rest." He glanced at Kai. He had no doubt that the older man would do his best... but would it be enough? He and Noe had only had about seven hours rest since the battle, and the sun was setting. He shoved the thoughts aside and returned his attention to Isa. He leaned forward and kissed her on the forehead, still holding her hand. "I will go tell Luna and Isis now." At least then Luna wouldn't feel so bad. He hadn't wanted to interrupt their conversation, but now was the time. He begin to turn to go, but waited for any words from Isa or questions. Just then Kai approached and outlined the plan.

 

"Get everyone else patched up and ready to go by the end of tomorrow, we'll meet you one day's journey ahead of here on the path we had already planned on taking. Look for us, on the evening of the second day, Noe will arrive first and I'll be shortly behind her. Try not to engage the enemy until we return."

 

Aketsu nodded. "Be careful." A rather dumb and thank-you-commander-obvious statement, but Aketsu had nothing else to say. Minutes later Noe emerged in her glorious griffon form. Aketsu nodded once to her, then began moving about the camp to see who was accounted for and who was not.

Edited by LadyNatasha

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"We'll bring her to Betzalel. He has some... 'special' abilities when it comes to knowing if people are lying or not." Naomi shrunk back, frightened. What were they going to do to her? "How much did you hear?" The boy asked her, and Naomi wasn't sure how to reply. He looked normal, but there was obviously a strange air that he held. She knew now that they were part of the Shadow Alliance. Then she remembered. Her mother was still inside; did she know that their hotel was sheltering a group that were infiltrating the city? Just in case they may intend to harm spies, she pulled her sleeve down to hide the mark of a plant that adorned the top part of her arm, just beneath the shoulder.

 

Aoi smiled and tipped his head. "Of course." The young woman that had come out of the shadows seemed to be no threat, and it seemed that she didn't hear a word they had said, but it was better to keep inconspicuous for the time being. He grabbed the girl's arm, not forcefully, but he was hitting a pressure point that made it hard for her to struggle. Pulling her slowly back inside, he glanced saw the girl glance back at Jahan. She's probably wondering why a kid is associated with the Shadow Alliance, he thought to himself. She seemed too terrified to speak, and Aoi felt a wave of amusement. He pulled her close and whispered fiercely in her ear, "Y'know, if you really are a spy from the Light Alliance..." He threatened, mostly to scare her out of her wits. He could feel the girl's arm tense. Leaning back, partially satisfied with the result, he continued to pull her down the hallway.

 

Naomi was trembling. The man was wordlessly pulling her down the hallway. She could only see the back of his head, his long, orange hair, and then wondered out loud, "Shadow Alliance... What would you be here for?" The man stopped. "Wha'dya say?" He murmured, his voice still threatening, and he turned to look at her. "Ah, nothing." Naomi's voice shrunk, and she turned away, lagging behind, and out of her fright didn't say anything else.

 

The girl's voice is too soft; I can't understand what she's saying, Aoi thought in annoyance, then stopped as they came to the end of the hallway, switching his thoughts. Where would Betzalel be? Judging by his personality, there was no way that he'd be lounging around in his hotel room, so Aoi chose the first near door that he could find. It lead to a place that seemed like a bar... or at least, but that didn't matter since he found Betzalel sitting at a table. "Hm? Where'd he go?" Aoi asked, referring to Creos, then slide into a seat beside him, and pulled the girl up as well. When he didn't answer, Aoi shrugged, then motioned towards the girl. "I caught this girl listening in on our conversation, and so the kid sent me to clear things up a bit... I understand you can tell if someone is truthful or not. She hasn't told us anything about her, but it's not to early now, is it?"

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Tractus~

 

"It's possible. I never had much use for friends. I've been on the road for a long time. I no longer have true friends, just acquaintances. Look, I'm glad you respect the dead. But I don't need friends. Not while I'm a traveler. Maybe after this war, but most likely not. I can't be friends with anyone right now. I can't afford to let emotions get in my way. I may have to turn against you to defend Terra."

 

Tractus thought about that for a moment. That WAS true... Friends can deprive one of many things, especially one's personal freedom. He kept monotonously covering bodies while he thought. Eirikr wasn't just a normal person - a traveler wouldn't think like that - travelers usually come and go in packs. Much like animals... However, it is because of this that they survive for so long. What about Eirikr? He is an anomaly... He stopped for a moment to catch his breath. "I understand. You are correct - I was much like you when I first traveled to the Academy. Before then, I was a hermit who lived alone for much of his young life. Then I discovered that there were people who might be able to understand me - not like the cruel civilians of Univerium. No. These people were nice, and I wasn't afraid to be near them. But if I start to blindly trust them, I might end up hurting myself. That, obviously, isn't what I want. I came here because of Luna - she somehow reached out to me. I can't explain it; it was like a force pulling me here. In all honesty, I wish to go back to my hometown. I am not useful on a battlefield... I'd just get in someone's way, I just... I just..." Tractus dropped his shovel, and looked up into the moonlight. He was soon mesmerized, and he fell into a sort of meditative trance. He had an affinity with the moon - it was his favorite celestial object. It always calmed him to see it and bathe in its light. However, he loses his sense of self when he is in mooonlight - he becomes someone not himself. He turned toward Eirikr, seeming to be glowing with the bright moonlight behind him. "Certainly you of all people don't think that way, do you, Eirikr? It would just break my heart if you are like all the others..."

 

((I'll explain in the OOC.))

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"Certainly you of all people don't think that way, do you, Eirikr? It would just break my heart if you are like all the others..."

 

Strange... Eirikr had never seen a person change personality so quickly. It reminded him of the old legends from the mountains. Legends of transformations by moonlight. Though his, Tractus, situation seemed similar to his, Eirikr.

 

"I am not a cruel person, just cold. Training and travel have made me what I am, as it does to all. I am unfettered of the training of the Academy. Perhaps it was you who forced the people of Univerium away."

 

Eirikr returned to his work, all he needed was to carve the words on it. Upon the memorial Eirikr repeated his earlier work from the sword:

Here in this valley

Lie the many dead

May they return to their cities

Be they not judged by their leaders

But by the lives they lead

 

Standing up, Eirikr brushed off his clothes. Speaking to Tractus made him long to hear the songs from Terra. He summoned stones at the head of each unmarked grave and willed the respective names of the fallen to carve themselves on each.

 

"Well good-bye Tractus. I'm afraid I can't stay much longer. I'll see you some other time." As Eirikr turned away he sketched Tractus a small salute.

Edited by Nasa13

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Luna

 

"I don't know about you... But I've gone on a few trips I haven't supposed to go on. If you want to go... Then I say go."

 

Luna's initial thought was no way. She could hardly stand, let alone go on a mission to find Loren. "Wasn't supposed to isn't the same as can't!" she snapped half-heartedly. Her hands curled into indignant fists in her lap. Her frustration was beginning to boil over until an idea popped into her head. She didn't have to physically go. Her features softened as she breathed a sigh. It might be possible for her to at least tag along.

 

"Sorry about that," Luna said softly. "I think I figured it out, though. I can just tag along in someone else's mind. They probably won't even know I'm there, but it's going to take a lot of focus. I don't know how far my range will go, but it's worth something to at least try." She slowly began to stand up, using her cane to steady her legs as she found her balance. She leaned to the left, keeping her injured leg off the ground and her right arm limp so that she would not aggravate her shoulder wound. Looking around, she found a good place for her to stay focused and started making her way over to it.

 

"Oh, and thanks. I think I feel a little better now," she said as she glanced over her shoulder at Isis. Within a few moments she was sitting beside a tree. Her eyes closed and she began to reach out with her mind, trying to figure out who was going to find Loren. She shuffled through their thoughts quickly, like skimming through the pages of a couple of books, but it was like the ink was fading from the pages. Her breathing quickened as she tried to push herself to hold on, but she couldn't. She couldn't get herself inside anyone's minds, and they all fluttered away as she returned her consciousness to her own self. Her heart sank as she realized that all she could do was wait like a useless piece of dirt. She opened her eyes and stared down at her hands. Her grip was tight on her cane, trembling like it had when Aketsu had found her in the forest earlier that day. She had been useless then, too. Suddenly Isis's words seemed like empty air. She couldn't even do this simple task, and now she had hurt herself enough to leave her incapacitated for awhile. Suddenly she found that she was blaming herself for the loss of Loren. She could have saved him. If she had been stronger...If she had done this or that or just not been Luna, then maybe she could have done it.

 

That's it! Luna's frustration boiled over. She tossed her cane aside and leaned against the tree with her arms crossed over her chest. Closing her eyes again, she forced herself to try to fall asleep. At least she was able to do that without any trouble.

 

 

 

Edited by BlueApollo

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Tractus~

 

"I am not a cruel person, just cold. Training and travel have made me what I am, as it does to all. I am unfettered of the training of the Academy. Perhaps it was you who forced the people of Univerium away." He paused to do something that Tractus couldn't see. "Well good-bye Tractus. I'm afraid I can't stay much longer. I'll see you some other time." Tractus saw Eirikr sketch him a salute, and then he left. Tractus shook his head and sat down. Maybe he did force the people away... He wasn't exactly social... No. That wasn't it at all! He gathered up his belongings, and tried to picture Luna in his head. He thought: Luna. I'm heading to Cumulus to scope the territory, see what's there. I don't want this to be known - keep this safe? Please? I'm trusting you, Luna. With that, he set off towards Cumulus with moonlight at his heels.

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Isis nodded and smiled at Luna left his shelter. She was a nice girl, but didn't seem to understand her strength. Maybe one day... She'll reach her potential. Isis lost himself in thought, and the glowing plants slowly lost their luster. He pulled a layer of leaves over his body to keep himself warm, then felt a teardrop sliding down his cheek. He closed his eyes, trying to block out the world. A childish act, but he just wanted to be alone. His tears flowed and he wept himself silently to sleep.

 

Promise observed the boy in front of her. She knew him from somewhere... She just... couldn't tell where from. Squinting, she took a step closer. "Your voice... It sounds familiar..." She tried to go back in her memory and match the sound of his voice with another, but she couldn't pin-point a match. Surely she would have been able to recognize his face if she had seen him before. "No, I'm afraid you can't help me..." She turned away, then halted. "Wait..." Looking over her shoulder, she tried to remember one more time. "Have we... met before? Somewhere else?"

Edited by Silver_Voices

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~Jahanshah~

 

Now she was staring at him, and Jahan once again felt the strangeness of being exposed to the open air. He really didn't like not having metal covering his face. Jahan stared right back though, as he was used to people staring at him. "Your voice... It sounds familiar..." Now this was strange, and immediately Jahan put on a clueless look... but inside, his mind was reeling to recognize the person in front of him. If she recognized him by his voice, certainly she couldn't be an enemy... unless she had him mistaken for someone else...

 

"No, I'm afraid you can't help me..." Jahan sighed in relief quietly and begin to turn to go. "Wait..." and with that single word he suddenly remembered who he was talking to. She had visited the courts of Metallum many times, if only because Jahan's mother liked her style. Her name... it was some word, some common and fairly good word... "Have we... met before? Somewhere else?" Promise. With the memory of the name came many other memories. She was fairly trusted in Metallum and loyal to the Queen. Could she be useful? What was she doing in the city? If she recognized him, Jahan knew the plans could be ruined if she wasn't on his side. Now he wished he hadn't allowed the childishness to enter his voice.

 

"You're Promise, aren't you?" He said it more as a fact than a question, never taking his curious eyes off hers. "Nice to see you again. What are you doing in Cumulus?" For a moment he forgot that she didn't quite know who he was and was still guessing, and by the time he remembered he decided to simply wait and see how she answered. Promise... yes, she knew how to fight, he was fairly certain of that. So maybe she could be useful...

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"You're Promise, aren't you?" Promise took a backwards step when he spoke her name. So, they had met before! That, or he recognized her some other way. Hopefully the wanted posters hanging around Frigid hadn't spread to other cities. That would only make traveling more difficult. "Nice to see you again. What are you doing in Cumulus?" No, it was a friendly greeting. Thank goodness. "I'm just traveling. I stopped here, I didn't see any harm..." Sudden realization made her gasp and drop to her knees. "My Lord Jahanshah!" She shivered with trepidation and spoke with a quiver in her voice. "I don't mean any disrespect, but why are you in Cumulus? I was hesitant to come here myself. But I'm left without a decision, I ran out of rations..." Edited by Silver_Voices

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"I caught this girl listening in on our conversation, and so the kid sent me to clear things up a bit... I understand you can tell if someone is truthful or not. She hasn't told us anything about her, but it's not to early now, is it?" Naomi ducked behind, not looking at either of the men. She could feel her heart beating and she didn't dare look into the other man's eyes or face, fearing what he might see, or do. She started thinking, quickly, not knowing what to do. Should she run or stay? The man her kidnapper had brought her to looked scary; too intimidating to be passive or nice, in any case. In a split second, she made her mind up and wrenched her arm out of the orange-haired man's grasp softly, pinching his hand, then ran quickly away from the two. She could hear him shout in surprise but strangely, he didn't chase after her. She made it into the hallway, where, not sure where to turn, made up her mind to go up the stairs.

 

There was a small room at the top, where she closed the door in on herself, then dropped down to catch her breath and analyse the situation. The men downstairs were part of the Shadow Alliance; and they were at Cumulus for some unknown reason. She couldn't shake off the feeling that they were there for much more than travelling, though, since the younger kid talked about some plan. But what were they planning to do? Naomi secretly hoped that it wasn't something destructive, because then she'd be able to find out what they do and what the meaning behind the Shadow Alliance truly was. She didn't believe that it was to create havoc; her father believed that they were just looking for justice. It was hard, because the Light Alliance immediately thought of the Shadow as evil people, but in fact, she believed, they didn't look harmful... Well, except for maybe the man at the bar. But the other man and the boy certainly didn't.

 

She sighed and slid down the doorway. The situation was dire. Maybe she could escape out the window or something...

 

------------------------------------------------------------

 

Aoi flinched when the girl pinched his hand suddenly, then dropped it, but before he realized what was going on she had raced out of the room and into the hallway. He let out a yell, mainly out of surprise, then sighed. She was still in the hotel. But was there a chance that she'd run out and tell other people that the Shadow Alliance were in the city? And he didn't know how much of their plan she had exactly heard. Deciding not the take the risk, he left the room. Before the left he apologized to Betzalel and excuse himself. Although he didn't seem it, Aoi had a strange urge to be polite and cautious around him, but not because he thought that he'd do something to him if he acted rude. It was just a feeling.

 

He ran up the stairs, but found the door locked. The first thing he thought about was to knock the door down, but then he realized that he didn't want to scare her away even more. The best way was to make her trust them, wasn't it? But she had already seemed petrified towards him, so he guessed that it wouldn't do any good for he himself to try and get her to stay calm. Walking down the stairs, he decided to get Jahan to help him.

 

((Ahh tired, so post is bad. But I wanted to do something...))

Edited by lachrymation

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Aamina made a sound that was something akin to a laugh but not entirely. The fact that someone like Celeste was even near Jahanshah was something that was odd. Why would the Queen allow that? The woman was rather odd in some of her decisions and she couldn't even see where Celeste had power except for in her ice control. her emotions weree everywhere and her thoughts weren't even coherent according to Aamina. But then again, she pretty much hated everyone equally and without reason. Didn't that make her unreasonable?

 

In her opinion it didn't because at one point or another, everyone hurt you. Therefore, why not just distance yourself before they could?

 

Aamina walked forward as she spoke, expecting Renzo to walk with her so that he wouldn't be blamed for Celeste's overreactiveness.

 

"From her footsteps, she went in the direction of the....of the palace." Aamina stopped walking and did her best to contain the frustration that she felt, but it came out slightly as she hit the stone wall beside her, causing it to crack. "If she steals something, it won't help anything."

 

Aamina stopped herself from becoming frustrated any further and touched the gem that seemed to always be around a cord, but looked to be piercing her at all times. Where it was from, only she and the Queen actually knew.

 

since they were still behind the building it was safe and Aamina closed her eyes as she thought hard on an appearance that would acceptable for her to walk to the palace in and not be suspicious in her standing. Her figure wavered for a moment, giving a slight glimpse of blond streaks in her hair then it solidified. She had grown by at least a foot making her 5'6. Her hair was no longer down, but instead tied up in a classic bun with bangs encircling her face. She looked ten years older than her meager 12 years. The young girl had matured early anyways, but now she looked like a woman worth being a noble and a woman of the Queen's guardians.

 

Her clothing looked different as well. Instead of traveling clothes, she now wore a dress that was fit for a noble. The jet black dress hugged her body with a slits along both legs that started around mid-thigh. About her waist was a large silver/violet hued sash that tied with a large bow in the back and trailed down along the dress. In her hair were adornments made of silver with violet gems and on her wrists and neck were items made of the same material but with an inner glow which suggested the craftsmanship of Marcus.

 

She glanced back with her same, intense eyes at Renzo with a sassy smile on her face. "Come along servant if you do not wish to contract the young Lord's anger." she stated then walked along the streets. She knew how to use the magical item that the Queen had given her for emergencies and to hide her identity. this was definitely an emergency because it was getting dark and Celeste....well, she was being the confusing young woman that Aamina didn't understand.

 

Marcus looked at Skylar as she walked in and had had time to just sit there and look at the ground. He was tired. he didn't like Renzo, he wanted the Light Alliance to be dealt with and didn't necessarily want Skylar there because he was afraid she would get hurt. And along with that, her dreams were bothering her again which wasn't good. He hated it when she had dreams that plagued her. There were times that her dreams came true and others when they didn't, but this one didn't seem to far off. There were hundreds of things that could go wrong, but he didn't let his thoughts show on his face.

 

He put his arm around Skylar's waist and leaned his head on hers. "Don't worry so much Skylar. Things will go as planned and by tomorrow we will have started the rebellion as long as we act tonight. Things will be fine." He kissed her head and sat there with the woman of his dreams.

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Kai held tightly onto Noe's feathers, the idea of thinking of her as having feathers as still something he would need a little time to get used to. Suddenly his mind was filled with images, painfully at first because he'd never experienced it before. But as it continued, he was able to precess it, and realized that Noe was trying to send him a message, and immediately he understood.

 

He leaned forward, running his hand through the feathers on her head and whispering in her ear against the howling wind.

 

"It's not your fault." He said, but knew the words meant little considering all that she had been able to do in showing him pictures and emotions.

 

"I called it down on myself, I knew the risks. And so did he, and I won't watch you beat yourself up about it." Kai sighed to himself, "you followed me orders, Aketsu's orders, all of you did. Loren knew the risks, I knew them, and so did everyone who we lost."

 

Kai paused for a moment before continuing. "When I was younger, only fourteen, raiders attacked the monastery in force. It had been a hard summer, dry, even for the desert. They were after our well water, it wasn't something we guarded, we gave it freely to everyone who came for it, honest folk, small tribes, villages. Sometimes we would make the journeys ourselves, when the villages were desperate Master Wu would send us on caravans to bring water."

 

Kai paused again. "I was in charge of our defenses. We were a peaceful order, but we were prepared to defend ourselves. Three of my friends died. We did everything according to the plan, fought well, defended our home and our brothers, just like we did today. Noe... there are always losses, and you can't blame yourself for them. None of us can. And none of them would want us to be doing that to ourselves. All we can do now is the best we can with what we have left, so that they didn't die for nothing." Kai pulled gently on the feathers on the back of Noe's neck, "so that's the last I want to hear of it, mmm?" He hugged her as best he could. "Let's go find Loren."

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Sky sighed a bit when she heard all that he said before saying in reply, "I try not to but it just happens without my control. Worrying, I mean. I know things will be fine but I just worry sometimes." She then sighed again but this time it was in happiness as she sat there with the man of her dreams that she would soon be with forever until one of them died. She loved being near Marcus because every time she felt down about something, he would always be able to help her feel better and that's one of the things she liked about him. "I love you," she said as she kept her head where it was resting against his shoulder.

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"You're Promise, aren't you?" Aoi walked out of the side door just to hear those words. Promise? Sounded vaguely recognizable. He was quite familiar with recurring faces that he had seen around during his travels, probably people who were wandering around just like him. The newcomer was in the light so that made it much clearer for him to identify, and he did in fact recognize the girl as one who was seen in more than one village.

 

Aoi waited politely until they had finished talking, and then took a step forward and tugged at Jahan's sleeve for a bit. "There's a bit of trouble. The girl's locked herself in some room on the second level; if she finds a way to escape our plan might be endangered." He stepped back and turned to the newcomer. "Fancy seeing you even here," He commented, acknowledging her. He was certain that she had probably seen him around as well, and would have deducted that he was also a traveller.

 

 

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Promise looked up to see bright orange hair. Seeing Aoi again, this time clearer and in the light, brought back memories of towns from long ago and even recently; times that she had seen glimpses of his face, framed by the fiery hair. She stood, straightening herself to her full height. She nodded. "What are the chances, huh?" Squinting at him, she tried to recall his name. "Aoi, right? I've seen you around." She ran her fingers through her long hair. "Your hair is kind of hard to forget." She observed his appearance with a quick glance then turned to Jahan. "Is there something going on?" Her ice blue eyes flashed. "Is Whisper taking action against the exile of our Elements?"

 

Traveling was fun, but she didn't want to spend her whole life running. Besides, isn't this why she trained and work so hard towards her graduation? For a year, she had been on her own. Wouldn't it do her some good to be with other people? It would probably help her start trusting others again. These people didn't seem to want to hurt her. She looked expectantly at Jahan, then back to Aoi. Would they ask her to help? Or turn her away? She waited for their reply, hesitant, but hopeful.

Edited by Silver_Voices

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