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Trials and Travels (Semi-lit)

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Lucius

 

I guess I do owe you more stories later then.

 

Then the bakery door slammed open suddenly and he had to resist the urge to simply disappear. At least he was pretty sure he was not the only surprised person in the shop... Then though came a very good reason for him to be nervous as Yuaki jumped from her seat in glee with a piece of loaf in her head that ended its course in front of the Rainbow child herself. Who was accompanied with a white haired man who had his symbol in the middle of his forehead. He was from Aero and had golden eyes. Could he be the guy he hear was to be the new chef of Aero? In any case he had to look natural. Not having much to say or do he simply observed as they spoke to each others and was a bit happy when Isa's attention was brought upon the bread rather than him. It even seemed to make her happier as she complimented Isis on his work. His own piece of bread was nearly finished too.

 

Unsure about his next course of action he remained silent looking at the group of what could very well turn out to be his enemies. It was too late to regret his choice now though since leaving the place would be highly suspicious. In any case he was inside a building. If he needed to escape it would not be too hard thanks to the walls.

 

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~Sola~

 

Aketsu couldn't help but grin as Isa giggled at his dramatic entrance. With his initial burst of energy gone, he watched with slight amusement as Yuaki greeted Isa and offered her bread. He wondered if anything ever bothered Yuaki; it never seemed to. He had never seen her cry, or even seen her frustrated. She wasn't always bubbly, but wasn't ever sad or angry either.

Aketsu accompanied Isa in and looked around the bakery with a certain fondness. He heard Banney whistling in the back, and the scent of another delicious loaf hung in the air. He blinked as Yuaki shoved bread at Isa in a friendly way, and gladly took the piece Isa handed him. It was quite good, as always.

 

Yuaki smiled as Isa accepted the bread, then she popped another chunk into her own mouth. She nodded enthusiastically when Isa complemented Isis. Then she remembered Lucius, and she quickly swallowed a bite so she could introduce him; Aketsu was staring at him, although not rudely. It looked like Aketsu was about to begin the introductions but Yuaki felt it was her responsibility, so she quickly cut in.

 

"This," she said with a final swallow, "Is Lucius, my traveling buddy from back in the day before I came to Sola." Lucius looked way too tense, like he just wanted to disappear. Yuaki grinned. He probably didn't expect to see Isa come through the door anymore than I did. "You'll have to forgive him, he's a bit shocked to meet you so soon! He's thinking of working in the palace with me doing blacksmith work. Lucius, this is Princess Isa of Sola and Lord Aketsu the seventh of New Aero."

 

Aketsu nodded. "A pleasure to meet a friend of Yuaki," he said with a small smile. His expression gave nothing away, but he did glance at Isa to gauge what she was thinking.

 

~~~~~~~

 

~Mythyr~

 

Mythyr jumped as suddenly the large shadowy doors swung open. His jaw dropped slightly when he saw the man who must be Prince Jahanshah (no one else dressed like that) and... who was that person next to him? It took Mythyr the time that he could have used in bowing to Jahanshah to realize that he was looking at Aamina. It had been quite a while since he had seen her, and last he had seen she had been very... well, small and scary. She was still scary, but looked shockingly different in her dress.

 

As for Jahanshah... well, Mythyr was disappointed. Jahanshah was both taller and more refined than Mythyr had thought, though the young lord was still shorter than Mythyr by a good few inches. Mythyr stopped himself from staring at either Aamina or Jahanshah and instead he grinned at Julian. "Well," he whispered, "that's Prince Jahanshah there." The Prince was busy talking to the couple Mythyr had spoken with earlier. Apparently he knew them well. "And that there is Aamina. I don't know her very well, but... hmm, if I remember correctly she's either the Prince's bodyguard, girlfriend or adopted sister."

 

As Aamina and V stepped into the light, Mythyr smiled and saluted Aamina casually. "Hey Aamina! Remember me? You've sure grown a lot since I last saw you! I mean... ah, taller! You're much, much taller... but--not weirdly tall, I mean normally tall..." Mythyr's voice faded as he realized he was losing this conversation. "This--this is Julian," he quickly added, shifting slightly behind the taller man.

 

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"Aoi! You made it! You haven't changed at all," Aoi smiled. He always said that. Not that Aoi minded. It was good that he didn't look different. That way he always seemed himself. However, it had been a year since the group members had parted ways, and Aoi had to admit, the kid was finally starting to look a man. He looked a lot stronger, and a lot older than he did a year ago. He wasn't a large lump of metal anymore; his skin was more tan and he had a lot more regal air about him.

 

"Lady Promise, so good to see you again. You'll be joining us, yes?"

 

Ha! He called her a lady. Which, she was anything but. Yes, Promise was with him, and so she was coming. After they had separated she had stuck with him for a whole year. Not that he really mattered. They had fun, the two of them, travelling around Element. On a side note, Aoi was really glad that they didn't end up going to Pyra. Promise had said that she wanted to see the large, stone architecture, but Aoi had somehow managed to get them to travel the other way. There was not way he was going back to his hometown. Not today, not ever. The fact that his face was probably still on wanted posters didn't help it either. Aside from that, though, he enjoyed discovering new places, as well as- well, new feelings. Pausing for a moment, surprised at himself, Aoi quickly decided that he didn't think such a thing and pushed it aside. It wasn't like him to let emotions get the better of him, especially towards a woman. However, it did seem a lot better. He couldn't really think of not having her by his side at this point; it was almost like they were inseparable. They fit with one another so well; he had someone to flirt with, and she did so right back, which made him laugh. He had opened up to her quite a bit as well. He had realized that he trusted her, if that was a way to put it, and instead of scaring him, it was reassuring, somehow.

 

Travellers don't make many connections. It's been a while since I've felt this way.

 

Aoi shook all that away. It was.. how could he put it? A little embarrassing. If he thought any further, he just had the feeling he wouldn't look at her the same way again. So he let it rest, and focused on Jahan.

 

"It's great to see you too, kid!" He slung his arm around Jahan's shoulder. "And I wouldn't quite say the same to you, you stranger." He grinned.

 

"What have you been up to?"

 

----

 

Gear let out a sigh. This girl just wasn't getting it. She was supposed to get him. Onto the horse. How hard is that? What a stupid girl.

 

His eyes flew open, and he went into a fit of coughs. "I- need a doctor" He gasped, then curled up, shivering as he did so.

 

Get it already.

Edited by lachrymation

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((sorry that I didn't get it earlier sad.gif; she's just very cautious of strangers))

 

Aisling

 

Ash nodded, and very cautiously and slowly, she picked him up and put him onto Aerth. After she had him steady on Aerth's back, she started to gallop towards Natura. She still kept a careful eye on the boy in case he tried anything and attacked her.

 

She didn't really trust him but would get him to the next town. She was going there anyway to spend the night before she would arrive in Sola so it worked out in a way.

 

After a few more hours or so and when it started to get a bit darker, she arrived in Natura and slowed Aerth down to a slow trot as she looked everywhere in the town for a doctor that she could take the boy to. Once she found what looked to be an office for one, she got off of Aerth's back, kept the boy steady on the former's back as she walked towards the building, and then carefully carried the boy into it. She let the doctor there know that the boy needed some attention and then left to go find an inn to stay in for the night.

Edited by Dragonpelt

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Noe

 

The whole lip biting thing was making her nervous. Not just because she knew that her husband was hiding something from her again, but because Noe was deathly worried that he would wear a hole in his lip before long! For some reason, she was far more impatient with him when he did this than she normally was. As of late, she could feel her personality changing slightly from the normally calm and gentle Noe to a very abrupt, but still Noe, Noe if that made any sense at all.

 

“You’re pregnant.”

 

Well, hmm…..

 

Noe at first was shocked to hear him say it and thought that he was joking. She had worried for some time that it was going to be difficult for her to conceive children especially since they didn’t have any young ones during the first part of their marriage as many newlyweds had. But when he went into further detail on how MANY there were, her heart rate began to pick up but her feet were quickly off the floor. Kai was not going to tell that one.

 

Due to her training as a politician/ambassador, her face remained in one emotion; surprise. However, other emotions started to bubble up as Kai kept speaking. He was apologizing for not telling her sooner then said something about having a plan which only confused her. A plan for what? And of course he loved her! He married her didn’t he?

 

It was then that she turned to him as she listened, her eyes intent on his, taking in every word and weighing it. He spoke about getting Aketsu and Isa in on something where they could be the true Guardians of Peace. They could go to Cumulus to set up a place where there would be neutrality and people could flock to for peace instead of war.

 

Oh, but Kai didn’t stop there. At first Noe had been agreeing with him, enjoying every single word that he said for it rang true with what they all wanted. But when he said that he didn’t want to see her fight another needless war, nor would he let her fight, a snarl escaped the normally pleasant Noe. She could feel her heart beat racing now and she wanted to go outside and turn to a Griffin so that she could show him just what she was.

 

It now took great effort to control her words and emotions.

 

“Kai.” She paused and took a deep breath, her eyes starting to seem as though they were swirling like a storm. It didn’t help that the sun was starting to disappear outside of their home.

 

“I agree with you on a few points. We do need to find a place that is peaceful where we can start another faction in this race that is focused on bringing sense to both sides of the war that is bound to happen. Cumulus is too close. The Three Sisters Islands have deep magic that would prevent any further protection of ourselves and the Hideout is the only place where we would be able to find enough people wanting to have peace in this land.”

 

Another breath and the wind started to pick up.

 

“I respect your decision as well as your authority as my husband. Don’t ever say that you are too weak to change anything. You can always make a difference and you know this. As for myself, I will fight when the time comes for it. Peace is something that is earned and to be fought for and you know this. We are not all monks that can just turn around and be at peace. Our world has had no training in this Kaimaru.”

 

Another breath and rain started to patter on the window with small sounds of thunder.

 

“And don’t ever call any battle needless. Every battle serves a purpose and the battle that we fought, I it was needless, our brethren died in vain. The battle showed us all the true strength of Zillah and her followers. There is a use for every battle whether we see it or not.”

 

Noe stood up from the bed, her heart rate slowing down but the small storm didn’t. “I can’t…” Noe clenched her fists at her sides, her back towards Kai as she thought of how to phrase what she wanted to say. “I can’t NOT fight for a world of peace for our children. If we don’t, then how will the world be? If we are only diplomats on the walls of a city and do nothing, they will not see us for who we are. They will not see that we too have been through hell and back. I understand my position as a Griffin. The Girffins of old were also great warriors, you know this. Why? They always protected their loved ones and fought for what was right. No one knows why they disappeared or where they disappeared to, but they weren’t exactly killed off.”

 

Noe released the tension in her shoulders as she turned to Kai. The ultimatum that he had given her was not one that she was going to agree with. “I still think that we need to talk to Isa and Aketsu. And that should be done soon. We can talk further as we walk.” She said as warmly as she could even though her frustration was rather large.

 

She dressed herself in the clothing that marked her as an ambassador much as Isa’s clothes marked her as royalty. Noe placed her own particular circlet on her head and made sure that the pin on her breast was fixated. She grabbed a piece of metal that had been shaped and molded into a piece of artwork that held her hair firmly in place. A cleaning of her face and she was ready to go.

“And make sure that you put on real clothes.” She said as she walked out of the room.

 

How dare Kai just assume that she would go along with something like that. Yes, she was normally a very passive person, but when it came to things that she love and held dear, she would rather get in there and scrap it out than just wait for everything to be done. Besides! She and Kai were some of the more influential people in Cumulus and of course starting a “peaceful rebellion” of sorts was going to be very key if they wanted the war to cease. But actually stationing themselves there? That was a suicide mission. She knew for a fact that Zillah knew of her existence. So, go to the closest city to her and promote peace? A death wish!

She knew that the idea was a very good one and maybe Aketsu and Isa would agree. They were the most influential people, she just didn’t know what they would decide.

 

She stood out in the wind and rain since it never phased her as she thought about the man that raised as his own daughter while her biological father watched from the backgrounds.

 

It would mean betraying him.

 

For Isa it wasn’t going to be that difficult, her father was already making her mad. Of course, Noe had her own issues with him, but she knew that she owed the man her current life. Without him, she wouldn’t have been able to go to the academy or meet Kai. Without him many things would not have happened. Without him…

Noe sighed, her arms automatically hugging around her and her babes. Now that she thought about it, her stomach had grown slightly over the past few weeks alone which shocked her. What was a mother to do when the ones that you love were both against you in a way? How could she get that through to Kai?

 

Noe twirled a piece of her hair as she did when thinking and she couldn’t believe that she had walked out on Kai like that. She was sure that he was surprised…maybe she should…no. Kai had to , just HAD to understand this. Couldn’t he understand? Besides! How could he expect her to react positively when he hadn't told her the one thing that she had worried about consistently? How, how cuold he?

 

As Noe thought of this, she made the storm calm, then cease. A light wind picked up, blowing her dry very quickly meaning that she was probably bottling things up as she often did.

 

Marcus

 

“V-vacation?” Marcus repeated and looked at his fiancée curiously. How could she think of a vacation when everything was so incredibly critical at the moment. Zillah had exactly won for Sola was starting to form troops and attacking their people even more fervently than they had before. Why would she ask about such a thing at such a critical time?

 

“Sky,” he sat down beside her knowing that she was probably thinking about the wedding. “Right now…you know all that is going on. A vacation isn’t exactly feasible and you know that.” His voice was tender and loving even if a bit of shock at the question did seep through.

 

“We need to be with the group wherever they go as is our responsibility.” He took a deep breath. “Don’t take this the wrong why, but why would you ask if we could go on a vacation?”

 

Isa

 

At first Isa was taken aback. Yuaki had spoken to her about many a person, but not Lucius. Well, some things just slip the mind and she had to allow for that even for the best of the best in her servants and friends. Isa looked at Lucius, her face suddenly rather stoic as she analyzed Lucius. For some reason, she couldn’t get rid of this gut feeling as she looked at him, but then again, travelling buddies sometimes were the best of characters as she well knew in her own travelling days when she had escaped from her father repeatedly to travel underneath the name Taikisha.

 

However, Lucius seemed to be in place in the corner of the building, shadows around him. Isa stayed neutral a moment longer as she studied something about Lucius using a vision that no one else but her could see. His colors were the same, just slightly dimmer. Maybe he had a Shadow Elementian in his past…she hoped for his sake.

 

Isa smiled at Lucius in a rather royal manner as she nodded her head at him. “Yes, any friend of Yuaki’s is definitely a friend of mine. I hope that we can soon find a position for you in the castle as they are something to be proud of and difficult to obtain.” She said using a tone that was one that she had to when acting as the Princess, and not Isa.

 

Aamina and V

 

Her stony visage stayed the same as Viara spoke beside her about all those that were there. Aamina, in the same manner spoke to her about all that had gone on with the Queen. Viara was the only Shade that could be spared since the others were still out in the world on missions; Viara was the first one back. She had actually been the escort for several city officials from the various cities around Element. That was the one thing that Aamina enjoyed about V, not Viara. She was tactful, swift, and good at her job. Of course, she did enjoy watching Viara fight for the joy in her eyes was rather humorous. The guards that she often trained with complained that Viara was far too innocent to be that blood-thirsty.

 

When V had finished telling her what was going on in the courtyard and Aamina finished with explaining what was going to happen, she noted that V was starting to furrow her brow.

 

Her headache’s must be coming back. She thought to herself before noticing someone speaking in front of her.

 

Ah. The Tri-Elementian.

 

He was stumbling over his words like a buffoon. This would have made her smile as a little girl, but now it only made her face that much stonier. She honestly wanted him to spit out the same words that the Queen had told her one day. “Oh my, you’ve grown into a woman finally.”

 

Like she wanted to? That meant that she had to be both a woman in society as well as guardian, councilor and whatever else the prince may need of her. Ugh. Being a woman sucked.

 

“I do remember you. The Tri-Elementian who trained with the Shades. A place where you should have stayed.” Which was the furthest compliment that anyone could get out of her with her derisive tones filled with anger. When he introduced Julian, she turned her dark brown eyes to him, looking him up and down. He was taller than Mythyr and constructed differently. A small tap of her foot and she could see his bone structure through the ground and noticed that his skin was marred in one area. Interesting.

 

“Julian.” The name seemed familiar and when V nudged her elbow, she extended her hand in greeting to the man. “Aamina Fhilanter.” Not many had forgotten the name of her family. They had been the largest gem providers for much of the continent for quite some time. Now that it was gone, people held their gems and creations with their family signet as heirlooms. “Guardian to his Highness, Prince Jahanshah.”

 

V watched Aamina closely, noticing that the girl did seem slightly shaken, but only she would truly notice that for the girl was much like herself. Hmm. She looked at Julian waiting for his response to Aamina but decided to embarrass the girl just a bit. “She was hand chosen by the queen to be his guardi-“ there she paused as her head began to ache more than her stomach had earlier that day.

 

“V?” Aamina questioned then cursed under her breath as V’s headache grew. “Poison testing again. Damn.” Instead of using stone to catch V as she passed out, since she now knew that that really did hurt (that and she didn’t know how to soften the earth), she caught her with her body, holding the woman with the rigidity and strength of an Earth Elementian. She looked at Julian since Mythyr was standing behind him. “Well? I need you to carry her.” She growled. The worst part? She would probably wake up as Viara. Oh joy.

 

Luckily though, they were behind Jahan so maybe he wouldn’t catch it and they could just disappear into the halls….hopefully.

 

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Skylar

 

Sky just nodded in reply to his question that was a repeat of what she wanted and just listened to everything that he said, knowing that he was right but it didn't change her want for a vacation. She still had her attention be on Aodh and Artemis even though he used a tender and loving voice. She then heard his other statement and question and had to think for a minute of what she should say in reply to the question.

 

"I just thought it would be a good time to just get away from all the chaos and have a quiet and somewhat, if at all slight, of a fun time just with us," she said in reply a few minutes later quietly. "I know that we can get somewhat of the same effect when we're at our house here in the mountains but it's not the same. Plus it's been awhile since we've last had one."

 

She also didn't want to start worrying again if the war continued. She got up and went to the other side of the gazebo and just looked at the horizon and the clouds with their shapes that were formed due to her imagination. He's right how could I be so selfish to be wanting a vacation when this should be a time of victory for us, she thought furiously to herself as she crossed her arms over her chest. She didn't realize it at first but tears were starting to fall down her cheeks and she was shaking a bit. She was upset with herself for wanting something that was impossible to have at the moment and she didn't want Marc to see her upset because then he'd probably think that it had been something that he said to make her be that way; she didn't want him to think that.

Edited by SkySong278

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Promise

 

Promise gave a little nod and smile, then allowed her brow to furrow as Mythyr dashed off again. Tugging on Aoi’s arm, she raised an eyebrow at him. “What was that about, do you think?” Stealing another glance, she noted his other companions standing by the gate. The girl... she looked out of place. Her golden hair stood out among the dark haired folk that occupied the city. Was she reporting in to the Queen also? Taking a closer look at Mythyr and the unnamed man, she realized they looked somewhat like Elementians, or even brothers. As she opened her mouth to relate her theory to Aoi, the gates swung open, managing to get a startled jump out of her.

 

Jahanashah stood there, tall and regal, causing her eyes to widen and expel a stunned breath. He had truly become one with his role as Prince during the past year. His hair, pitch black in colour, laid against his back as he held his head high, and he had grown taller. The last time they had met, he had to look up at her, but now she was definitely the shorter of the two. His eyes held authority, and the look of a young man, rather than a boy. He greeted Aoi first, smile bright. Then he turned to her.

 

"Lady Promise, so good to see you again. You'll be joining us, yes?"

 

“You as well, Lord Jahanashah.” She lowered her head in a respectful nod, then looked back up with a grin. “Of course, I will. Wouldn’t miss it.”

 

Aoi slipped away from her, letting her arm to drop and swing before she folded her hands together behind her back. He threw an arm around him, effervescent as ever. No, he hadn’t changed at all. Even when she first met the pair, they were together as unlikely friends. And now, a year later, they were still just as close, and just as unlikely. It made her wonder how it had begun. How did they meet, and what was it about each other that brought them together to be such strong friends?

 

Making a note to ask Aoi about the history between himself and the Prince, she offered a tight smile as she tipped back and forth on her heels and the balls of her feet. She felt... Somewhat brushed aside. She should have expected him to be this way, after all, he hadn’t seen his friend for a long time, while she had been with him since they first met. But she couldn’t help the minute amount of jealousy that bubbled to the surface. When his attention shifted, so did her attitude. She had gone from contented to slightly agitated and uncomfortable in a moment. Grinding her teeth together, she twisted her fingers together as she shifted her weight and scuffed the ground with the toe of her shoe, waiting to hear the response to Aoi’s question.

 

 

 

Julian

 

“Well, I guess you-” Julian's reply was interrupted by the gate swinging open, revealing two people, a man and woman, standing in the entrance. He could tell they were important, by the way they dressed, how they held themselves, even from the way they stood. The male looked considerably younger than himself, but then, who here wasn't? The female seemed about the same age, if not a few years older, and he gave a small frown as he observe the pair. Weren't kids given a childhood anymore? Yes, they had to be ready to fill a specific role, but they looked like kids who had been forced into adulthood to his eyes.

 

"Well, that's Prince Jahanshah there."

 

Julian looked over at Mythyr, eyebrows raised in surprise. He was the Prince? That explained his appearance, but... He was nothing like the person he had expected the Prince to be. Well, that wasn't entirely true. He knew he would be young, but he thought he'd look..... Well... Different. Older, maybe. The maturity of his face didn't seem to fit his tender years.

 

The Prince, after a small acknowledgement of V, looked him over. Julian felt the gaze and quickly averted his own, looking instead to the young lady accompanying him. Then, just as suddenly, Jahanashah turned away and quickly become engaged in a conversation with two other people off to the side. V stepped forward and exchanged some words with the woman, and he again glanced to Mythyr for her identity.

 

"And that there is Aamina. I don't know her very well, but... hmm, if I remember correctly she's either the Prince's bodyguard, girlfriend or adopted sister."

 

Aamina. He recognized the name, if only a little. He knew it from somewhere, he just... Couldn't put his finger on it. V soon returned, Aamina by her side. Mythyr was quick to greet her, but just as quick to faulter with his words and shy away, half using Julian's body as a sort of human shield after giving a weak introduction. Seemingly unaffected, Aamina replied to Mythyr's question before turning towards him. She looked him over from head to toe before holding out her hand, prompted by V.

 

“Julian. Aamina Fhilanter.”

 

With a polite nod, he took her hand and shook it firmly. "Pleasure to meet you, Aamina." Of course, Aamina Fhilanter. Most people around knew about her family. V piped up, ready to add in an interesting fact about her status, but her words were silenced, making Julian cast a concerned glance in her direction.

 

Suddenly, she started to tumble. Julian lurched towards her to support her falling form, but Aamina caught her first, causing him to pause his forward motion.

 

“Well? I need you to carry her.”

 

His eyes widening slightly, he had to make sure he was the one being addressed, looking to Aamina and making eye contact. "Oh, yes, of course." Shifting his bag to rest between his shoulder blades, he bent over to lift V. He pulled her arm to rest over his shoulders, then straightened, cradling her small frame against his chest in his arms, relieving Aamina of the weight.

 

"Is she all right...?"

Edited by Silver_Voices

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Kai remained on the bed as Noe spoke, listening to what she said, and more importantly, how she said it. She was upset with him, angry even. There hadn't been a time yet when he could recall her being truly angry or hurt by him. Then again, he knew in his heart that he should have told her right away, that they should have worked through it together from the beginning... But he'd wimped out. He'd let her down. He knew in his heart that no matter how busy she was, no matter how little time they had together, she would have wanted to know right away. They had spoken about having children a lot in the beginning of their marriage, but as time passed, it had been one of Noe's secret fears that they wouldn't be able to.

 

His face remained passive as she spoke, it wouldn't do to add his own emotion to what Noe was already dealing with. Besides, it would take him a little while to sort through them after it was over. Her emotions on the other hand were as obvious as the weather, which had taken a sudden turn for the worse. Then she was done, and she walked out without another word. Kai sat on the bed, pondering, and heard the front door close. She had left. Neither of them had ever walked out on the other and it stunned him for a moment before the rational side of his mind kicked in. She had given him her own ultimatum, and she'd left, even though he knew she was only just outside.

 

Kai lay back on the bed, pulling the sand off his face and away from his eyes with the flick of his wrist. It wouldn't do to get wet sand on the bed... He wasn't angry with her, he wasn't sure he'd ever be capable of that, he hoped not. No, he was angry with himself. He'd betrayed her trust in a way, and hurt her. Over and over he watched her stare up at him in surprise, but it had been the pain behind her eyes that had killed a small part of him. He'd never meant to hurt her, but he knew he had been selfish and waited until he thought he could solve the problem before he let her know about it. And he realized then that he'd done something else that had hurt her even more that she probably didn't even realize yet.

 

Kai swallowed and stood, dressing quickly in his own ambassador getup and donning the appropriate trappings that went along with it. He rushed out of the house, letting the door swing closed behind him. He rushed up to Noe and embraced her, knowing that she wasn't in the mood to be hugged but he held her in his strength nonetheless. He needed her to hear him now, and he needed to be close.

 

"Noe, listen to me, please." Kai took a breath, "I was wrong. I was wrong to not tell you right away. I was selfish, I wanted to have a solution before I told you. And that was most wrong of me, please... forgive me for even thinking of our children... as a problem that needed solving." Kai released her from his grip, if she wanted to leave now, she could. He couldn't meet her eyes as he continued.

 

"The day I found out, was the happiest moment of my life. I knew how much you wanted to have a family, and I've always known you were scared that we wouldn't be able to... I should have told you then. But I was afraid, afraid I was wrong, afraid because I didn't know what to do, so I did nothing." He cleared his throat to keep from choking, "I betrayed you. Part of being your husband means that I don't keep secrets, that we work things through together, that we never leave the other for anything... I failed at that, and broke your trust, and caused you to walk away from me."

 

Kai took a step back and continued, "and I added one failure to another, I asked... I tried to force you not to fight, to turn away from a part of yourself, a part of all of us, that first carried us into battle before, and continues to give us the strength and determination to continue to fight for the peace we seek." Kai shook his head, "but again, I'm afraid, afraid of losing you. And in trying to hold onto you I've lost you already."

 

Kai raised his head and met Noe's eyes for the first time, "All our time together I've tried to be the strong one, to give you stability and someone to rely on. But now I need you, and I know I don't deserve you, or to be forgiven so easily." Kai blinked tears out of his eyes. They came in part from sadness, but mostly from shame, shame that was obvious on his face. "You are right, and I was too weak to let you be right. Forgive me for suggesting something so contrary to who you are, for asking you to do something you couldn't agree with in your heart."

 

Kai took a deep breath, "I love you Noe. I always have and I always will. I won't ever leave you, in war, in peace, wherever our battles take us. You are as much a part of me as my own body, and until now I've tried to be perfect in all things. But I should have been more honest, with you, with myself. The terrible truth is that I would rather you were safe, and let the whole world fall into darkness, than see harm done to you. That is how I feel, how I've always felt. But now I'm the one who has done the harm, I can't make you live that way, it would kill you as surely as the coming battles may. Help me Noe." It was a rare thing for Kai to ask her for help, it was nearly almost him who offered help to her. "Help me love you and overcome my fear, I will follow you, I will stand beside you, but I need you just as much as you need me. Even if I'm sometimes too proud to admit it." He paused, "please don't go."

 

There, it had been said. Now he only waited to find out if he could heal the gap he had created between them, and if she would trust him as she had before.

Edited by Rakashua

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Marcus

He didn’t think that things were so stressful as of late. In fact, their time had been very peaceful. Every day they would train, he would go to work for the queen as well as make money for he and Sky. They would come home, eat together as well as spend time together and repeat. When she was finished speaking he couldn’t help but look at her back in a strange way because the girl that he had once understood, was seeming to change right before him.

 

“Sky,” he stood up, his boots making that small thud sound as he walked over to her. Once there, he hugged her around her waist, resting his head on her shoulder. With a deep breath, he sighed and kissed her neck. “don’t be so mad at yourself okay?” he stated. “I know that we haven’t really had time for ourselves per-say. Right now though, we are supposed to be meeting with Jahan and the others. Who knows, maybe we’ll be able to take a vacation depending on the timing of things, or maybe we’ll have to go with them again. And then, once we are victorious, we will be able to take the longest vacation in the world.” He said with a smile.

 

 

Aamina

 

When Julian bent down to pick V up, Aamina could feel herself want to draw away. Despite her strength even as an Earth Elementian, she was still too weak to be able to carry V all the way down the hall to the location where she would lift them through the halls directly to V’s room. She couldn’t help but smirk at the surprise that Julian offered when she told him to come take V from her. Mythyr was probably too shocked, that or he was rather used to the treatment that Shades were given. They were, of course, the most prestigious assassins and guards to the queen. They were there when no one could see them and most often were either pure shadow elementians, or those hand chosen by the queen such as Mythyr and Viara.

 

Aamina was at first reluctant in her choice of who to give Viara to, but she reminded herself firmly that Mythyr was one of the best judges in character. Whenever they had lie tests, he was always able to get them right. That was just the type of guy that he was. However, when he got them right, he always ended up going on this bunny trail of how he had come to the conclusion. Thanks to him though, many of the Shades were able to make themselves far more convincing when they were among strangers.

 

Julian grabbed V from her with far more ease than she would have placed with him which was rather…strange. He didn’t seem to have the build that she had expected. One of the wiry folk she guessed, but the more she analyzed him, the more that she realized that he actually was strong. That, and Viara was REALLY light. Starved almost.

 

Aamina looked at her friend closely before she turned to go down the hallway with Julian. She was starved. Seeing that of course made the young elementian very angry. One could mess with her all they wanted, but to mess with those that she deemed friend or Lord, Jahan and Viara, well, that wasn’t exactly smart.

 

“Do you think she looks alright?” she responded to Julian with a question. With a sigh, she lead the way down the hallway ignoring the stares from other people. What Aamina failed to notice was the handsome features that Julian possessed.

 

“Mythyr? You coming?” she asked him. Depending on how she woke up, Mythyr was always able to distract her. And boy would Viara, or V, need distracting.

 

Aamina, once she was sure that all who were coming were there, raised a small circle in the floor up through the three floors of the castle to the level that Viara’s room was on. It was a long process, however it was a far shorter time than going up the stairs. During the time that they were going up the shaft, Viara began to shift.

 

“Hmm.” Viara was happy to finally be free from staying in that stoic attitude. How droll! When she opened her dark golden eyes, she looked up into another pair of golden eyes, but they were contrasted with jet black hair and an angular, almost exotic face that she ahd never truly seen before. She blinked a few times and then smiled sweetly up at him. Her head was fuzzy and her body felt incredibly weak.

 

“Hey there. Aren’t you handsome! No wonder V didn’t let me come out. She wouldn’t want me to meet you because you are definitely quite the stud!” She giggled cutely and curled closer to Julian while batting her long eyelashes.

This is the one thing that V hated the most. Viara was someone that could screw everything up, or win a war. When Viara decided to act the fool, or as Viara called it, act like a girl and not a hard hearted ice queen, V was torn apart because the real her was a mix of Viara and herself, not just V. If V were ever able to get rid of the mental block that she had, she would be able to manage herself far better than she did.

 

“Why are you holding me? I’m okay.” Another brilliantly attractive smile.

 

“Viara, shut the hell up before I make you.” Aamina didn’t even look at the girl and the brightness in Viara’s eyes dwindled.

 

“Oh look, poopy party is here too. Hiya poopy party! Why so poopy today? I wanted to come out and play and say hello to everyone. But V wouldn’t let me.” Viara frowned as she let her head hang over Julian’s arm so that she could see Aamina. “You look funny.” She glanced to the side and since Mythyr was there (Or not can edit it out!) she let out a happy squeal. “Hiiiii! I know you! Mythyr!”

 

“As do you. Now please, pass out again before I make you.” Aamina threatened.

 

“Awwww, cummon!” Viara pouted, upside down of course, at Aamina.

 

“No.” Aamina turned to look at the girl, and without any further ceremony, quickly knocked her out. “Glad that’s over.” She mumbled before they arrived at the third floor.

 

Aamina continued to lead the way to Viara’s room which was actually a very luxurious room, obviously decorated by Viara and not V. There, she opened the door where she was met face to face with J’far. He looked somewhat concerned that his pupil was being carried by a foreign man. “Chosen by the queen. Trusted by Mythyr. Enough stated.” Aamina looked up at the man not flinching at his dark gaze. He was the first to turn away and allow them entrance.

 

“Why do you bring them to her chambers?” J’far asked.

 

Aamina turned to him, her visage unchanged from its stony appearance. “I do not need to ask your permission Captain of the Shades. Besides, it is your training that you yourself have not completed that has caused this.” Aamina waited for him to realize that he was pushing Viara to the point of breaking more than she already had then turned away from him. “You may leave.”

 

Emotions flitted across J’far’s face. It was easy to see that he and Aamina didn’t get along, not many people got along with her, and he didn’t respect her in the least bit. “As you wish.” He replied as his duties told him. “Please let me know of the status of her care.” With that, J’far brushed by whoever was at the door, leaving them in V’s room, the door slamming shut.

 

“Place her on the bed.” Aamina motioned to the plush bed with gossamer curtains that flowed in the breeze that came through her balcony window.

 

Noe

 

"Noe, listen to me, please."

 

Obviously, Noe didn’t want to listen to Kai, she wanted to walk away, to leave, but he was holding on to her with a great amount of strength. She could hear his heartbeat in her ear and his breath tickled his ear as he began to speak again.

He told her that he was wrong not to tell her again and that he was selfish. This they could agree upon. The thing that she couldn’t believe was that he thought of their children as a problem! There was no problem! The only issues was that this world was so far behind in advancing towards peace, that her children would be born at a time of warring. It broke her heart. When he released her, Noe felt, well, naked and not the good way. She felt exposed and like a part of her was missing. But she stayed there, not moving, her breath steady as she listened to him…

 

He stated that when he heard those three heart beats for the firs time, it was the happiest moment of his life. He related that he understood how much she had been afraid of not being able to conceive but he also knew how much she wanted a family. She didn’t know which hurt the most. The fact that didn’t know what to do, or the fact that he didn’t do anything. And he did betray her! It had hurt too, and it was still stinging. He wasn’t meant to keep things from her as she wasn’t to keep things from him. It’s just not the way it worked.

 

Without realizing it, Noe brushed away the tears that had accumulated on her cheeks, neck and collar bone area. He had broken her trust and it made her upset, sad, and scared. He wasn’t one to keep things from her, and not for so long either…well, other than the house but that was different.

 

A small sob escaped Noe as Kai continued. He wasn’t failing! Why did he have to think that he was failing? This was new ground to the both of them. She turned to face him, not wanting to miss his expressions even though his voice was evidence enough that he was upset. He regretted trying to force her into something that was against them, against them both. But the last statement….he hadn’t lost her!

 

He then continued that he needed her. She knew that he knew he had made a mistake and she knew that this was a point and time where they were both scared of what the future could bring. To her, he was the strongest man in the world. He was her rock, no pun intended. She looked at him, listened to him finish what he was saying, and then she removed one of her hands from where she had crossed them and wiped away the tears on his cheeks, ignoring those that poured down her own cheeks. With her other hand, she wiped his other cheek and stared up at him ( a long way up considering their height difference ). For quite some time she was quiet, staring into his eyes, noting that some of the sand that was normally on his face was gone.

“Kaimaru.” She whispered and kept holding his face in her hands.

 

“You did do wrong by giving me an ultimatum that went against what I am. Knowing that I have three of your children inside of me, growing, their heartbeats…inside of me, makes me happier then you can know. You alone know how much I feared that I wouldn’t be able to give you children. How much it made me think that you would hate me. I did, and still do feel betrayed because you knew that.”

She didn’t release his face as she continued.

 

“As to our children being thought of as a problem, I can see where your mind would go that way. You are my protector and the protector of these children. As is one of your many roles as my husband. But that doesn’t mean that you leave me to not protect them. We work as a team doing this and to be honest, I’m afraid because I have no idea how this works with a griffin. At all. I’m afraid that our children will never see peace. I’m afraid of the mistakes that we will make and I’m afraid that I will do something wrong.”

 

“Kai, for a lack of a better word, you infuriated me. Thinking that I would just sit and be quiet when you knew that my way is to be quiet yes, but to operate at all times towards the result that I want.” She brushed his cheeks softly as she brought his head down so that they could rest their foreheads against one another’s. “I don’t deserve you either Kai. But here we are, husband and wife. We have to work through this fear and help one another learn. You already know that I am yours forever Kai and as to helping you, how about we learn together? I can teach you how to love the people of this city, and I can teach you, help you love me. Although, you seem to have already succeeded at that.” She started to smile and giggle at the pun that she had made. Their children were within her, growing and becoming full-fledged beings.

 

Noe pulled her forehead away from Kai’s and smiled up at him. “I don’t think that you need my help learning how to love me Kai. But I think that we both still have plenty to learn about one another and how to operate together. You proud, unbending Earth Elementian.” She said tenderly as she hugged him close to her. “We’ll overcome this fear together, Okay?” she said as she pulled back from the hug.

 

It was hard to stay angry at the man that you dearly loved and when you both were wrong…just as she was wrong for walking out on him instead of working through it first.

 

“Now, where am I to go other than to tell everyone who has been worrying and wondering about us?” she said with a giggle. “But…well….” To be honest, it was kind of embarrassing to tell people that you were finally pregnant. Just a taaaad….. “How about you tell them?” she said with a sheepish grin.

Edited by LoveLost

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Lucius

 

He could not say he was very comfortable with the situation. Who would in his shoes? He was in the middle of a nice little bakery, with some bread loaves on the table in front of him. One of which he wanted to claim just in case it was his last meal, in this town anyway. Now the bad part of this nice little set up was that two rather well known Guardians had entered this place, one of them being nothing short than the legendary Rainbow child. Both of them well known people were currently staring at him enough to make him feel uncomfortable. As much as he wanted to feel at home as Yuaki suggested… He was feeling like he was being judged on the spot and he was waiting for the sentence. He could not help, but have a faint smile thinking about a lame joke. I choose the guillotine your honor. Who knew maybe if he really did get caught and he was able to choose his death sentence he’d be able to have that one. Who didn't want a quick painless death?

 

In any case he was not trapped yet and Yuaki was currently on his side. She was that way to colored girl’s friend and was vouching for him. It had to count for something. When both finally smiled and greeted him he felt a good part of that pressure go away. What remained was simply a cultural problem that he hoped would not surface any time soon.

 

He stood to greet them, feeling that staying in his chair might look rude to them. “A pleasure and honor to meet you two as well.” He slightly bowed, unsure on how to actually do it. “As for the position I am glad to hear that I can obtain one. I shall do my best to fulfill the task given as best I can.

 

He remained on his feet, wondering if he was allowed to sit back. He didn't really see why not, but one never knew. He looked at Yuaki hoping she had an answer for him. She knew how to act with them after all no? Since he had been... 'accepted' he didn't feel the need to stuff another bread in his stomach. He did't have that much appetite, especially now that he was in those two's presence.

 

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For a long minute Kai just held her there, just so glad to be able to hold her, to be forgiven. He knew that things weren't simply magically better between them, but now they would work at it together, new ground, new life lessons, together, as it should have been from the start. He let the breeze blow around them , scattering a few of Noe's molted feathers into the air in a mini tornado.

 

"I love you, I'll do my best." He smiled back, kissing her forehead, "and sometimes a proud, unbending, Earth elementarian is exactly what's needed for an emotional, explosive, Weather elementarian mmm?" He teased her. It was true, they both knew their faults, and both fell partially into the stereotypes of their people.

 

Kai gave her a reassuring hug, "I'm sure you'll be a wonderful mother, and apparently you already have names for them..." Kai chuckled, "Are we going to be telling everyone that? Cause they will ask how we happen to know the genders... if we even do."

 

Then an idea occurred to him. "Actually... maybe we should tell them that you laid eggs... and therefore have to stay at home to "sit" on them. I'm pretty sure that would get you out of every political requirement for a month... Then I could have you all to myself." Kai shook his head, "right, working on the loving others bit." He whispered in her ear, "but it would be funny to tell then that you laid eggs."

 

He chuckled to himself, "I can't imagine you... having to sit on eggs... for days or months at a time, griffin form or no." He smiled, sighing to himself as he held her. This was where he belonged, like this, problems or not, good times or bad, sickness or health, that had been the terms, the oath, and he was more than happy to fulfill it. How foolish it all seemed now, knowing her as well as he did. How could he have convinced himself that this had been a good idea... He shook his head, pride, ego, selfishness, fear. Those things that he had trained for so long to ignore as a monk, how had they all come back so quickly? But he remembered, Noe had given him an explanation. If he wanted to be emotional, to respond to her emotions and his, he had to be open to all emotions, not just the few that he wanted to feel, that's how it worked, all or nothing. His ability to deal with them was simply stunted, he'd never been trained to deal with emotion in a positive way or as something that might add to balance instead of take away from it.

 

"I'm sorry I let my emotions get the best of me, I wasn't thinking clearly, I don't know how I ever convinced myself that this was best for you, for us." He sighed, "I don't like keeping secrets from you, I don't want to. It feels like an invisible gap between us, something that can't be bridged so long as the secret exists." He relaxed his hug on her, "I just wish I did have the answer to everything, but there's so much that we've never experienced, no chance to learn ahead of time..." Kai swallowed, "I have no idea how to be a father Noe... But if I could learn to love you, and you could learn to teach me love and love me back... I know we can both be wonderful parents. I have no doubt that you will be one amazing mother!"

 

Kai smiled down at her, watching the light of the sun reflect off her grey eyes. Even in her diplomatic garb she was stunning, breathtaking, at least to him. "So, who are we... who am I" he rolled his eyes in jest, "going to be telling first? Shall we find Isa and Aketsu? I know that... women..." Kai made a confused face, "go all giggly and... weird... when you tell them these things..." Kai took on a serious look and stared directly into Noe's eyes. "You know I would have loved you even if you had been unable to give me children." He held her gaze for a moment longer, "I always knew you would be a great mother, whether they were our kids, or ones that we adopted. You have such a big heart, even if it's occasionally covered in prickly feathers..." He grinned, "where to first?"

Edited by Rakashua

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As soon as the doctor left the room, Gear swung out of bed and ran to the window. Ha! As if he needed any attention. Quite the opposite, in fact. Especially with what he was about to do. Pulling the window open, he glanced out and down. He was on the third level - it was quite a long way down; however, there was a very convenient tree planted just a metre away from the building. Now that wasn't a problem. The problem was the amount of guards lurking around the streets. He knew that they were on guard against people who could be associated with the Shadow Alliance, and because of the chaos in Cumulus, they were on the extra lookout. Which was a problem, considering they would be attentive of all the people that pass through, especially at night. He wasn't part of the Shadow Alliance, but that didn't mean that he was one that they shouldn't look for. Pulling his hood over his face, he jumped out of the window and swiftly caught the branches of the tree. Then, using his weight, he dropped down to the ground with a silent thud.

 

Okay.. now.. where to?

 

His target's house, of course.

 

The person that his client wanted him to dispose of was a wealthy and quite influential man in Natura. He had the largest hoouse on the east side of the town, and so it wasn't quite a chore to go looking for it. Still hiding in the shadows of the house, he took the picture his client had given him from the inside of his pocket and brought it up just a little closer to his face. Gerald Lorden. He was quite a fat man, with quite a large moustache. Just your typical wealthy aristocrat with too much money to spare. Slipping it back into his coat, keeping the face of the target in mind, he stole away to the dark alleys. The dark cloak he wore did well to conceal his sharp features for him to blend in the dark, and even if he did get caught, he could easily take them down with just one draw of his bow.

 

The house wasn't too far away, and it was far easier to run through the alleyways that take the long way around on the main path. It was better for avoiding the soldiers anyway; he knew they'd be too scared to even try wandering 'round the thick darkness at night.

 

As late as it was, Gear could hear faint sounds of laughter and music outside of the house as he neared it. What convenience! Now I don't have to break in. There were a lot of people gathered around the patio in front of the large yard behind the house. It seemed that they were having some sort of celebration. Well, they wouldn't be celebrating for long.

 

Gear flexed his legs and jumped into the yard. This was the opposite side of the house; therefore he wasn't in such a dangerous position. However, he still needed to be careful. Just as he turned the corner, he bumped into a servant who was rounding at just about the same time. Even before he could get a chance to cry out or realize what was going on, Gear had punched him in the stomach and cracked his skull on the side of the house. Sighing with disgust, he undressed the fallen man and slipped on the uniform.

 

Picking up the tray, he walked slowly inside the house. The inside of the house was quite chaotic. Servants were flitting around everywhere, pushing carts, carrying drinks, clothes, getting more preparations for the party. No one gave him a second glance; he blended in just right with the other servants.

 

After finishing some more of his preparations in the house, he made his way swiftly to the backyard. Slipping in and out of guests, he kept his eyes peeled for the host of the party and the owner of the house. When the target was locked, he hurried to catch up to him. Just when the man turned around, he made sure to be right in the way of his path. "Care for a drink, sir?" The man took one look at him and reached for one of the drinks. "As well, may I put in that the lady of the house wants to see you inside for just one second?" He added inconspicuously. "She is waiting near the side shed." He didn't know she had actually been tied up in her room by a mysterious cloaked stranger, and was absolutely nowhere near the location he had in putted.

 

Gerald gulped down his drink quickly upon hearing that and gave him a look of fright. "I wonder what she needs this time. I'd better hurry." He placed the glass on the tray and hurried into the house. Gear followed, quickly, but subtly. Once he reached the kitchen, he slammed the tray on the table and slipped out the back door. It was set up. Once he reached the side of the yard, he glanced around. The coast was clear. Reaching behind his back and producing his bow, he flicked off one of his metal cuffs and shaped it into a thin, sharp, long arrow.

 

He only needed to aim once to get that arrow straight through the heart. The man didn't even know what hit him. My job here is done, he told himself, and then made his way swiftly back to the tree near the fence.

 

((I don't know how to write assassinations. Okay. If he had shot the man straight from the tree, then people could easily figure out where it came from. He needed to be discreet. /not so self convincing))

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Skylar

 

Sky quickly wiped away her tears when she heard Marcus coming over to her. She had herself composed just in time to feel his arms around her waist as well as his head resting on her shoulder and the kiss that he placed on her neck. "Okay," she said in reply to his question about her not being so mad at herself before hearing everything else that he said.

 

"Okay and if we have to follow them again then I'll start having nightmares again out of worry," she said in reply to his statements about having to go meet Jahan and the others as well as maybe having to follow them again as well as the possibility of a vacation before that. "I'd like that," she said in reply to his last statement about taking the longest vacation in the world while laying her head back against his chest.

 

"I must be the luckiest girl in the world to be engaged to someone like you," she said before tilting her head back slightly to plant a light kiss against his lips and then having her attention be on the horizon and clouds once again afterward. After a few more minutes of just looking at the clouds and the horizon she said, "Let's go meet with the others." After she said that she got out of his arms and then headed over towards where the horses were grazing.

 

Aisling

 

After Ash had found an inn to stay in for the night, she found the local stables, put Aerth in one of them for a small price, and then she headed back to the inn to get a room. Once she had paid for it and had put her stuff in there, a messenger came with an invitation to someone's home that she wasn't familiar with. Or at least she thought that she wasn't familiar with him.

 

She took the invite from the messenger guy with a nod of thanks and then rummaged through her bag for a nice enough dress that she could wear to the party. After getting dressed into her dress, she put on some sandals that went with it, and then headed off to the house with the directions that were in the invitation.

 

Upon arriving, she handed her invitation to the guy at the door and then went inside. She got some food after locating the host of the party, finding out shortly afterward that he was her uncle and her biological mom's brother. She was very happy to have met someone else in her biological family since she had thought that it was just her mom and dad.

 

After she met him she walked around a bit while eating her food, noticing afterward a servant that went up to her newly found uncle but was too far away to have heard what the former said to the latter. It must have been something serious because of the way that her uncle moved to go to his new destination so she followed some distance behind him so that she wasn't noticed and with curiosity. Once she followed him to his new location, she was in time to see him get shot with an arrow and looked around to see if she could spot the person responsible for his death.

 

She spotted a dark shape fleeing from the spot that she suspected that it had been in earlier and towards a tree near a fence. She followed after him as quickly as she could in sandals before taking them off so that she could go faster but she kept them in hand instead of putting them down. Once she caught up to the shadow she said between breaths, "You killed my uncle, you murderer. I'm going to go tell the authorities." She then ran from him and from the house and went in search of the cities' police.

Edited by Dragonpelt

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~Jahanshah~

 

Jahanshah grinned as Aoi returned the greeting. When his friend slung his arm around him, Jahanshah was glad to realize that Aoi no longer had to rest his arm on Jahanshah's head; his shoulders were now high enough to work instead. At Aoi's compliment Jahanshah shrugged. "Guess that's what a little sunlight will do," he said with a smirk. He was glad to hear that Promise would be going with; she was very resourceful and must have been a decent person for Aoi to travel with her for so long.

 

"What have you been up to?"

 

Oh, there was so much he had been up to--far too much to tell, but Jahanshah figured it wasn't half as exciting as Aoi's life anyway. Forgetting all regal social norms, he turned to face his friend directly. "Well, I've been traveling from land to land talking about the war and executing small diplomatic missions while also directing the training of some of the younger Elementians in the city and encouraging all Shadow-Alliance Elementians to avoid any cities of 'Light' due to the high persecution going on there. Last year my parents had another child, so now I have an infant brother named Vladaar but I barely know him right now. I learned how to use magnetics; that's really fun, and I guess you can tell that our Queen Zillah preferred I wear royal garb sometimes instead of metal. Besides that, not much has been going on." He paused for a moment, then nodded.

 

"What have you and Promise been up to? Surely you've had a much more exciting life since we last parted?" He looked from Aoi to Promise, okay with either of them answering but more expecting Aoi to. He sensed V and the others moving, but he figured Aamina had it under control. Daedureth made a strange and barely audible noise, but it wasn't a noise of concern... at least, Jahanshah was fairly certain it wasn't. So he didn't bother turning his attention away from Aoi and Promise.

 

~~~~~

 

Yuaki/Aketsu

 

Yuaki watched as Isa judged Lucius. She respected Isa's judgments in all ways; Isa was incredibly gifted when it came to seeing someone's heart. It was as though she could stare right through their skin and into their minds. Did that have to do with her Light Element? Maybe, although Yuaki knew for certain that Isa wasn't always right. Still, if Lucius really did have bad intentions, Yuaki figured Isa would catch it. But if he really was just a traveler and really was just curious about Sola... well, Yuaki really did want to talk to a Shadow Elementian.

 

“Yes, any friend of Yuaki’s is definitely a friend of mine. I hope that we can soon find a position for you in the castle as they are something to be proud of and difficult to obtain.” Yuaki nodded; her first position of a janitor had taken her two months to confirm and she had been watched closely for the first few weeks, but now she was certain she could get Lucius a position if he really desired one. Yuaki's influence had grown considerably, although she never used it unless she felt she had to. She didn't see herself as 'The Rainbow Princess' Honorary Friend' and never used Isa's power for greed. Even she knew how stupid that would be, and how bad it could make Isa look.

 

Aketsu smiled politely at the man. It seemed Yuaki hadn't bothered to tell him how to greet royalty, but it seemed she hadn't expected Isa and Aketsu to come bounding into Banney's Bakery in the first place. Aketsu decided perhaps it would be most polite to ease the man's discomfort; he looked like he was about ready to be stoned. But formalities were overrated, especially after such a long meeting as the one Aketsu (and Isa for that matter) had come from. Aketsu had rather been hoping they'd have the bakery to themselves, but he knew that Isa was always happy to see Yuaki so he was quite content.

 

“As for the position I am glad to hear that I can obtain one. I shall do my best to fulfill the task given as best I can.” Aketsu nodded; the man looked like he could work. Aketsu looked at Isa again. She had a certain look in her eye, but she didn't seem extremely alarmed. Not that he expected her to; Yuaki seemed to know a lot of people and seemed a fine judge of character. Aketsu wanted to make a point to get to know his love's best friend better someday, but she was always here and there and he was always busy.

 

Aketsu decided to break the tension then. He picked up the other broken loaf and broke off pieces for him and Isa. "Well," he said with a smile, "I think we have time to sit and chat a while." Yuaki smiled. "Good." She noticed then that Lucius was looking for a hint. "So Lucius," she said, "you should tell Isa and Aketsu how you got to come to Sola in the first place. This is his first time here," she told Isa.

 

~~~~

 

~Mythyr~

 

“I do remember you. The Tri-Elementian who trained with the Shades. A place where you should have stayed.”

 

Mythyr removed himself slightly from behind Julian and smiled brightly at Aamina. He would have loved to remain a Shade, especially since he dedicated his soul to the Shadow Alliance, but there were two things about being a Shade that just didn't work for him. The very fact that he was invited he considered a great honor, but one he had forced himself to turn down. His reasoning behind that was quite simple as well, although he had only explained once to V why and hadn't told anyone else. Now he was sort of treated as an honorary Shade; in other words, the Shades actually sometimes would greet him, include him in their tests and training, or ask him to bring unimportant reports here and there if they were busy. But he knew that they were always watching; since he knew about their existence and knew what they could do, they had to watch him.

 

Mythyr watched as Aamina greeted Julian. He was a bit surprised to hear her full name but then remembered that their meeting was quite formal... although a glance at the Prince made Mythyr wonder how formal it was supposed to be. The Prince was treating the 'just passing through' traveler like an older brother. The lady Promise didn't look too happy about that.

 

Mythyr looked back in time to see Aamina catch Viara, who had blacked out. He was surprised for a moment, but then his surprise faded as he recognized what had happened; it was the poison again. He felt a bit sick as he remembered his own testing with that. Why do they keep doing that to her? V always seemed to have trouble discerning the poisoned food from regular. It was her one and only weakness, and Mythyr sometimes bleakly worried he'd come to Whisper one day and find a grave with her name on it.

 

“Well? I need you to carry her.”

 

Mythyr gave Julian an encouraging nod--it was better if Julian carried her for now. He felt a bit guilty that V was still going through this. Now that he looked more closely at her, he realized that she didn't look good at all. Her earlier smiles and poise had made her look bright and healthy, but her cheeks were thin and her skin slightly pale. Julian had no trouble picking her up, which made Mythyr feel even worse. She wasn't well, not at all. He glanced over his shoulder to see the Prince was still busy. Good, it would be bad if he was to judge this event, he decided.

 

Mythyr followed Aamina and Julian down the hallway, tagging behind them. It had been a while since he had been in the Palace of Whisper, and knowing that V was in good hands he allowed himself to look around a little. Just as dark, looming, mysterious, beautiful, ominous and powerful as ever; the palace was ancient. That reminded him of another story of how every Queen of Whisper who had ever died within the palace never actually died but had their essence bound with the Throne of Whisper. This was a much more widely debated claim than the Lover Doors, because very few people ever saw the Throne.

 

“Mythyr? You coming?”

 

Mythyr had been staring off into the distance again. He nodded and caught up quickly. Mythyr for once looked rather grimly serious as they walked down the halls and got stares from various people. His red eyes gave him the look of someone who had just killed someone accidentally but wasn't very guilty about it. He imagined the Shades were watching right now, and he wondered just how much poison they had dared put about her this time. How long has she been throwing up what she eats? He turned to Julian. "V has to go through a lot of testing for her job," he said quietly. "Some of these tests are more dangerous than others. She's constantly pushed to her limits in various ways. We're going to her room now."

 

Up up and up they went, and V began to awake. Mythyr was glad, but didn't know how she would feel... “Hey there. Aren’t you handsome! No wonder V didn’t let me come out. She wouldn’t want me to meet you because you are definitely quite the stud!” Mythyr's jaw dropped slightly. It was rare that he ever saw Viara's other side because usually he was doing very serious training with her. He still didn't grasp the concept of having two selves, and so Viara continued to confuse him. He glanced off as Viara spoke to Aamina. She must really be out of it, he thought with a frown. "I hope the poison didn't do any permanent damage," he mumbled. It wouldn't be fair, to let that happen to V. She had worked hard to be where she was.

 

“Hiiiii! I know you! Mythyr!” Mythyr smiled weakly at Viara, but didn't respond and let Aamina handle it. The girls were friends, so he knew Aamina wouldn't do anything rash. Er, he hoped. His hopes were rather shaken when Aamina neatly and cleanly knocked out poor Viara again. Mythyr didn't complain but only gave Julian a reassuring look. This is perfectly normal, just doesn't happen very often. Nothing to worry about, really.

 

They reached Viara's chambers and were met face to face with J'far. Mythyr automatically gave him the traditional Shades greeting, although J'far was busy sizing up Aamina. This just became rather awkward, Mythyr realized. If J'far wasn't happy with Julian being brought this far, bad things could happen. If for any reason he saw Julian as a threat... well, Mythyr wasn't sure he could live with the man's blood on his hands. But Julian wasn't a threat, Mythyr knew he was a good person, so he didn't doubt J'far's ability to judge him. He did move aside as J'far passed by, then he slipped into the door.

 

He immediately got one of his waterskins and found the glasses that V used for water. His hands shook and his heart pounded as he uncapped the waterskin and began pouring it, but he didn't falter. He poured two glasses of water; one he left cool, and the other one he heated gently with fire until it steamed slightly. The water from the waterskin was automatically purified. The special skins were his final gift from Old Man Botto--the man still had Mythyr guessing as to what kind of animal the skins were from, although Mythyr guessed it was some sort of mythical creature. That would explain how the water was always pure, how it soaked into the skin but not out, and why Botto always looked guilty when he mentioned them. Or maybe they were just specially made.

 

Mythyr avoided looking at the glasses of water as he carefully carried them over to the counter next to V's bed. He set them down and backed up, suddenly not feeling well. He walked over to the windows and took a deep breath, grateful that they were open.

~~~

Edited by LadyNatasha

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Renzo

 

Renzo knew he had pledged himself to the Shadow Alliance, but the past year had been nothing but ventures into self-satisfaction. Of course, some of his little tricks had been for the benefit of those with the Shadows. He had to admit that playing with those sweet little Light Alliance dimwits was much more pleasurable than almost any he had come across in the realm of the Shadows. Their cries for justice had been music to his ears as he played with their silly souls to his heart's content. The memory of all of his escapades over the past year brought a smile to his face as he quietly took in the rather dull people around him. Time had brought him back to Cumulus, the very place he had vacated his very short term with the more organized section of the Shadow Alliance. Apparently that pesky Lord Jahaha-whatever-his-name-was had overlooked his past transgressions and lack of loyalty in favor of inviting him to join the Shadows again. Was he really that desperate to bring a rogue Lightning Elementian to his inner circle, or did he seriously believe that he could control Renzo Hallensen, the most wanted man in Electra?

 

A few crackles of electricity flickered at Renzo's fingertips. He was excited and impatient. A little surprise had fallen into his lap when he had decided to spend some time in Cumulus before joining up with Jahaha-whatever: Celeste was here. The adorable, fiery girl had been absolutely unforgettable. Of course, it was kind of difficult for Renzo to forget the girl who had frozen his hands the year before. Still, the look on her face every time he made any impertinent remarks had been one of his absolute favorites. Her glaring eyes, her scowling lips, her knit eyebrows…Oh it was all just so perfect! How he loved the frustration of a girl who was too stupid to know when to give up and ignore him. She was the ultimate toy, and she was in exactly the same inn as the year before.

 

Renzo had been subtle, though. He had already had a few close calls with capture and arrest on the way to Cumulus, and finding yet another way to break out of jail again just seemed like a boring waste of time. He couldn't draw attention to himself here, so he had to remain quiet until he could find the perfect opportunity to draw Celeste out. As far as he knew, she was currently in one of the rooms upstairs. All he had to do was make enough of a ruckus down here to force her to leave the building and run right into his clutches. He remained in his quiet little corner of the lobby, observing the random people that milled about mindlessly until he saw his opportunity: a guard had walked in with a few moochers in tow. They were all probably looking for a drink, but they all looked like perfect targets to Renzo. Making like he was headed towards the stairs, he walked behind the last person to enter the building and gently tapped his shoulder. A jolt of electricity zapped the young man and knocked him unconscious. He fell to the floor with a thud, and as everyone turned to the victim, Renzo made his escape outside. He glanced behind him and, just as he expected, the guard had run off to grab reinforcements. A grin spread across his face; it wouldn't be long before this place was teeming with wild activity. Pulling his hood over his head, he strode away from the building then lingered beneath the shadow of a nearby tree.

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Noe rolled her eyes at Kai’s first comment about her being an emotional Weather Elementian. It was something that was far too true for her to deny it. She had to giggle though when he started talking about how they already knew the genders as well as the names. “we aren’t too sure though as to what they are going to be. All we know is that once they are born, there will be three sets of feet along with our own that will pitter patter on our floors.” She smiled and wondered just how long it would be for her gestation. It could be another few weeks, considering that birds have short gestation periods. Or would she go more towards the human side? Either way, they would be taking their children with them wherever they went. Wait….but if Kai said that he had heard the heartbeats about three weeks back, that meant she was almost a month in to her gestation. If her molting was happening so awkwardly and her food intake was also increasing, maybe she was close…..

 

Maybe, just maybe, the babes did sudden growth spurts like she did!

 

“I don’t want to sit on eggs….and maybe we should though just to see their reactions.” She said joking with him for a moment then listening to what he was saying again. He was criticizing himself and for the second time that day, she wanted to slap him and not in the playful, oh aren’t you cute, way.

 

“Stop criticizing yourself! For heaven’s sake, I had a grandmother for a mother and was practically raised by the servants. I mean…I guess….I know that we will have to work through learning how to be parents because the only example I have is not exactly completed.” She said with a shrug. “I do agree that we will make the best parent team out there Kai, I do!” she said with a giggle as she looked up at the handsome man that was before her. He actually put clothes on! Not that she minded when he didn’t have them on, it was just nice to know that he understood that sand was not clothing. Besides, knowing that he didn’t have clothes on during the first few months of their marriage had definitely caused her to blush and be embarrassed a few times.

 

Noe was going to smirk and comment that Isa would probably make crude comments about her finally having kids and would harass her about being a mother and a noble and a Guardian and the list would go on and on. But Kai became serious all of the sudden. He just had to make that comment that she knew in her mind, but her heart was still taking some convincing of. “I know.” She said as she looked down at the ground. It had been a fear of her since she was younger although she could never remember why.

 

“I think we should go see Isa and Aketsu first. Even though I don’t exactly like her, I know that she is my adoptive sister and she should know. Aaaand if she is down at the bakery, then we could also tell Yuaki and Isis. Then we would have to tell Aslano, and of course the servants.” She said with a smile.

 

Marcus

Oooh it really made him mad when she did that. She had signed up for this and she knew what she was getting herself in to! He didn’t stay mad long though because it seemed that she understood what she had ben doing and was now going to deal with it which was great! He didn’t want to lord anything over her so he kissed her back and before she could walk away further, he walked up behind her and grabbed her around her waist, swinging her around with a deep laugh. He made it so that when they fell on to the grass, she was atop his chest. “I don’t want to go meet with them just yet. Besides, the meeting is at high noon. We can afford to be fashionably late.”

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Kai grinned and took Noe's hand, leading her back towards the city. They would walk above ground and enjoy the day, unless Noe intended to fly of course. Kai sometimes envied how she could enjoy such a day in the sky, free from the ground. On the other hand, he and the ground were on pretty good terms most of the time, except during the rainy seasons when everything was mud... then they simply didn't speak to one another except to say slosh slosh eww.

 

"I know you two aren't buddy buddy, but I'm glad you get along better than you used to." He grinned, "I still remember the first day I arrived, the two of you were fighting..." Kai grinned sheepishly, "and then I insulted the king... to his face... without realizing it." Kai shrugged, "I'm glad he was so understanding." Kai glanced over at Noe, "you must of thought I was a complete fool... I know Aketsu did... when he was assigned to assist me... and found out that I usually didn't wear clothing." Kai chuckled.

 

It had been a long time since then, so many things had happened. Neither of them were who they used to be. They had faced death together, and so many changes. They'd buried friends, become diplomats, learned that Noe could fly, met her father, if only briefly, made love, and now they would be raising children. If there was one certainty in Kai's mind, it was that they could do it. Overcoming difficulties and changes was the story of their lives in the last year and a half. They had grown older and closer to one another and to the others. Isa and Noe were not best friends, but they were at least friendly. Kai had grown to be a good friend of Aketsu's, even though the two of them were so different. It was a relationship partly of happenstance (they just happened to be together a lot because Noe and Isa were involved in the same things), and partly of necessity (the two of them had to get along in order to keep the peace between Noe and Isa). And then there was king Anslano himself who had been so kind to both of them, especially with the death of Noe's true father.

 

The day was getting longer as the city grew closer, it was probably two in the afternoon by the time they reached the walls. Upon the battlements and before the gates guards stood vigilant, a constant reminder that the atmosphere of peace in the city was partly false hopes. War was coming, whether they liked it or not and seemingly whether they opposed it politically or not or chose to participate, war was still coming. Kai waved at the gate guards and shook his head when a dozen of them moved to open the gate for him.

 

Kai gave Noe a kiss and let her hand go, placing his hands one on each of the massive doors. Kai bent double and the sand crawled up his legs and made a thin layer from his back to his shoulders and ending at his fingertips. Kai gave one hard shove and the massive gates swung open enough for the two of them to enter before stopping. A couple of the guards smiled and clapped. Kai bowed and waved as the two of them entered.

 

Ever since news of the battle and the experience they had all become celebrities amongst the soldiers, especially Kai and Aketsu. On top of that Kai had helped out immensely in the construction of the new barracks now nestled into the North Wall. He was showing off, but only for Noe, at least in his mind. The rest had just been to give the guards and easier time of things. Asking the big gate opened for only two seemed a bit rude, even if that's what they were being paid to do here. Kai had never been much of a people person... but ever since the battle and seeing all of the soldiers who had died, enemy soldiers true, but men who saw fit to serve their leaders and give their lives... ever since then Kai's respect for such people had grown immensely. He commonly volunteered to help with anything the army asked for whenever Noe was away and it wouldn't be taking time from her. Mostly they wanted stonework, or mending repairs done to the older buildings. ]

 

Kai turned around and shut the gates behind them and took Noe's hand with a smile, "Aketsu tells me it's polite to get the door for a fair maiden." He explained, his voice suddenly taking on the serious and deeper intonation of Aketsu's when he was explaining things. While Kai's own voice was very sing-song, he was very good at mimicking the voices of others and even bird calls. A few moments later the two of them were arriving at the bakery. Inside Kai immediately spotted Isa, her hair gave her away wherever she went. Aketsu was also there with her, as was Yuaki, a girl who, though nice, always seemed to fidget around him, ever since he'd explained how he could feel people's heartbeats and draw their skeletons as long as they were standing near him on something made of solid stone. And then there was another man there as well, one Kai was not familiar with. His stance and positioning said he was nervous, as did his heartbeat, but he looked like he was with Yuaki, and if the two of them had just happened to bump into the princess of Sola... well that would make any newcomer nervous. And a new comer he must be, the way he was reacting to Isa and even the way he held himself.

 

You could tell a lot about a person by the way they walked, by how they stood. If they were nobility or poor, farmers or people who lived in the close quarters of the city, confident or afraid, seeking escape or seeking shelter, angry or sad... Kai was much better with body-language than he was with spoken language. Fortunately Noe was working with him on that. All he got from the new person, however, was that he wasn't from around here, and he was in good shape. Kai stopped there, because apparently it was rude to size people up without meeting them first, at least that's what Noe said. In light of this, he decided to let her make the first move for the two of them.

Edited by Rakashua

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Tractus~

 

Tractus stood atop the castle's highest spire, looking at the setting sun. As he watched it slowly fall, he clenched his hand. Things had happened in the past year that he wasn't sure how to handle. After the small skirmish at Cumulus, he had distanced himself from his former teammates. teammates did not know how to communicate clearly with other people, as he had been without them for so long. He looked down into his palm. The ring he had given Promise... Where was it now? Did she still keep the token of him? Or had she thrown it away? Something inside him lurched as he was brought back to those memories. That sweet, dark hair. Those cunning eyes. And the delicious sense of kinship. He thought he had seen that in Luna, but she had been put off of him. He could still sense her presence if he concentrated hard enough. It was a bright pink, but it was always toned down, as if a damper were put on it. Tractus could not sense the inner workings of a person's mind as others of hos nature could, but he could sense their aura, and their inner emotions. Nor that he necessarily wanted to see them... they were just there. He thought back to Luna. If he remembered right she had been injured in that last fight, while no harm had come to him. He hadn't even tried to assist the poor soldiers in that last battle. A larger part of him felt ashamed at that, and had wanted to go back into the hole from whence he came. Something in Sola was keeping him here, here, though, and he could not, for the life of him, figure out what it was. His reverie was broken when he felt it again. The detached, colorless passion that radiated through him. A more powerful being. The link Luna was also with it, wherever she was. He pivoted and listened. Click. Click. Click. Luna's cane. He looked towards the sound and saw what looked like Luna and another man leading her. They were coming towards the castle... Without delay, he closed his eyes and let himself fall. The warm afternoon air rushed past him as he reveled in the acceleration of freefall. He felt his mind open, and with a disconcerting snap, he was pulled through a small tunnel. Every inch of him was being squeezed uncomfortably. The world was whizzing by him as he turned upright. Envisioning the front gate, he felt the hole open beneath the tunnel floor, and he gently fell out, softly landing on the ground in front of the gate. He opened his eyes to watch the pair coming towards him. He saw Luna leaning on her cane for support, and he gazed at the new person. He was instantly barraged with a wall of emotion, but without color. Tractus unflinchingly looked into the face covered with half a mask as he waited for him to make the first move.

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Skylar

 

Sky let out a surprised sound when she was suddenly grabbed around her waist before it turned into a gleeful laugh as she was spun around by Marc and while she also heard his deep laugh. She then heard everything that he said after they had fallen onto the grass with her on top of him and she nodded before saying in reply with her eyes sparkling a bit, "You're a bad boy for wanting to be late to a meeting. Usually you want to be on time to things like that."

 

"What would we be doing in order to make us fashionably late to the meeting?" she asked curiously a few minutes after her earlier statements that had been in reply to what he had said about the time of when the meeting with Jahan and the others was. As she waited for him to reply to everything that she had said, she thought back to a few minutes earlier and what all she had said in reply to Marc's surprised response to her wanting a vacation.

 

She figured that he had been a bit mad when he had heard her say the statement about her having nightmares again out of worry if they had to follow after Jahan and the others again, knowing that she knew what she had signed up for and what she was getting into. She sighed a bit and let her smile fade a bit as she said softly out of the blue, "Sorry." She knew that he was probably going to ask what she was sorry for so she waited for him to do that as well as reply to everything that she said before that.

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Lucius

 

The rainbow child was smiling and that other guy too. Guess he passed the first test then, somehow. He took that chance to return to his seat and wonder about what he should come up as a story as to why he’s now in Sola. Quite frankly he had come here just because he was curious and maybe a bit crazy.

 

Yeah it is my first time here. Quite a place I have to say.

 

It looked nice even if the people didn’t really like a person like him. It was not written shadow all over his face thanks to him hiding his eye color, but the pitch black hair was still not necessarily well liked. He wondered what would happen here and now if they saw his red eyes. The next image it gave him didn’t really put him at ease though. What would it feel like to be nuked with light? He was about to continue with the story of why he was now here, when more people entered the place. The new people, like the first ones spotted him quite fast and seemed to know the others making Lucius believe they too were more guardians. He’d have to tell Yuaki after this to not invite him to any guardian hot spots ever again before he settled in. Was she trying to have him die of stress? Well… she looked as surprised as he did to see them actually get in here so she was probably not expecting them and he got free food.

 

The man that entered looked at him closely and once more Lucius felt like he was being observed under a lens or something. Getting slightly annoyed, but not wanting to anger the others he answered the question he was asked.

 

I’m a traveler and in all my travels I had yet to see Sola. It didn’t seem like a good idea when the battles raged, but since it is peaceful now I thought about visiting it and perhaps pass more than a few days here while I’m at it. I met Yuaki who offered to help me settle in so I’m thinking about staying for a much more extended period of time. If I am allowed to. It would be nice to catch up the missed time with a friend.

 

He looked at Yuaki. She was the so called travelling friend so it was only natural the he should want to pass some time with her and discuss about their time. He’d have to admit he was very curious about Sola and how she could live here without any knowing she was also a Shadow… The blue hair probably worked wonders for her there…

 

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Isa

Sat down with Aketsu and Yauki at the table where Lucius was. It was easy to see that he hadn’t dealt with royalty much which was an entirely different process than dealing with a council, or Lord and Lady. There were many different…okay, she had to stop there because otherwise she would start going over what she had to do in her mind.

She was going to listen to what Lucius was saying, however the doors opened, revealing Noe and Kai. She had been wondering where they disappeared off too. Right now, Noe was smiling sheepishly and was even blushing slightly. Great, husband wife, lovey dovey crap. Blah. Isa glared at Noe who hid behind Kai slightly until she noticed the new comer. Noe and Isa, although not blood related, were alike in a few ways and one of them was their sense of people. Noe looked at Isa with a slight curiosity in her eyes but with a slight tilt of her head, Noe got the hint and stood in front of Kai making sure that he didn’t tap his foot.

Isa nodded to Noe in thanks as she walked over to the two of them, or more so, they walked over to them…that is, Aketsu and Isa.

 

Noe

When Kai had brought up how she and Noe had been a year ago, she couldn’t help but smirk. Most of their lives they had been at each other’s throats. Noe had never really liked the princess and Isa had never truly liked her either. So, when they had clashed at training, isa forever made it her duty to beat Noe up whenever she could. Of course, when Noe’s story was found out and she was adopted into their family, isa had a very hard time dealing with the change. Noe was grateful for what the king had done for her, but he had also made it so that they were to work together to be the complete package. It was annoying.

 

As they walked along, she couldn’t help but think that their relationship had changed enough to the point where she wanted to tell Isa about her children first….how strange.

 

When Kai opened the door, Noe couldn’t help but giggle at the show. He had helped the city so much and had also been a great aide in the construction of New Aero over in the fields away from the castle. The cities were far enough apart to allow the expansion of New Aero, but close enough so that should one town ever need something, they were only a few hours ride at a good gallop.

 

She walked beside him until they reached Banney’s and when they entered, she came upon a strange sight. There in front of her was a new man she had yet to meet and he was giving her this strange vibe that she wasn’t exactly liking at the moment. Instead of saying anything, she instead looked at Isa wondering what she was supposed to do. Was this man a friend or foe? Al of this she asked with a simple twirk of her eyebrow, asking the princess what she was to do. When Isa tilted her head to the side, Noe looked at Lucius and smiled then looked back at Aketsu and Isa. she couldn't help though, the hair was just throwing her off. Even if her own hair was a dark, jet black, there was a difference between black and shadow black. Oh well. Some people, like her husband, had ancestors that caused them to look the way they do. Her husband had bright white hair as well as a white eye marking him as a lightning elementian, but the other eye was gold and his element was earth (the one that he used the most that is.).

 

Noe quickly gained the name of the newcomer and in her own, timidly kind way, she greeted him with a curtsey. "Any friend of the Princesses is a friend of mine."

 

Isa looked at Noe and rolled her eyes. "Well duh. They should be considering." Isa gigglesnorted when she noticed Noe's irritation.

 

"So what is it that you have to tell us. You two look like you are about to burst. " Isa commented rudely.

 

 

 

Marcus

Marcus smiled up at his beautiful Sky and winked. “Oh there are plenty of things that I could come up with.” He said and then rolled so that he was above her, his weight on his arms as he looked down at her. She was apologizing for her earlier behavior and he knew it. “Don’t be. You have your ways of dealing with things and we all have to learn to deal with the ways that we deal.” He said with a warm smile as he kissed her softly on her lips. “Now, are you agreeable to being fashionably late? We still have time to kill and the sun is starting to warm up.” He said plopping beside her, relishing in the fiery warmth of the sun.

 

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"You killed my uncle, you murderer. I'm going to go tell the authorities."

 

Her uncle? Well, well. He had to admit, she did startle him. Thankfully, his cloak hood was hiding his face, so there was no worry about her being able to distinguish him. However, she was just about to get away. And he wasn't going to let her. Just before she could escape, Gear made a grab for her wrist, and once he caught it, he gripped it tightly.

 

"Oh, no, no, no, we can't have that, now can we?"

 

He pulled her towards him and leaned in close. He tightened his grip on her wrist even more, and with a flick of his other hand, he produced a small metal cuff.

 

"Safety precautions, you see. Tell a single soul about what happened here and I will come and find you." he growled. Snapping it onto her wrist, he forced the metal to meld together. It contained a tracking device, and it was made of a special type of metal that was almost impossible to bend. There was no way that she would be able to take it off.

 

"I'm done here. Have a good night," He snarled, then swiftly hopped away into the shadows.

 

He wasn't worried. There wasn't a single person who could successfully track the famous Black Gear down. Even the police had given up searching for him in several cities. Now where was it to?

 

--------

"Well, I've been travelling from land to land talking about the war and executing small diplomatic missions while also directing the training of some of the younger Elementians in the city and encouraging all Shadow-Alliance Elementians to avoid any cities of 'Light' due to the high persecution going on there. Last year my parents had another child, so now I have an infant brother named Vladaar but I barely know him right now. I learned how to use magnetics; that's really fun."

 

Jahan had been working a lot for the past year. It had changed him quite a bit, as well: all the experience probably shaped him to be a lot more like Queen Zillah wanted a prince, he figured. It probably wasn't any different; however, since he knew the Queen loved Jahan more than anything else.

 

"I guess you can tell that our Queen Zillah preferred I wear royal garb sometimes instead of metal. Besides that, not much has been going on."

 

"Oh, that's not a problem. It suits you." It was true. It really did. Aoi was glad that he could recognize his friend, even if he wasn't plated with metal. Jahan was turning into a handsome young man. He had just the feeling that he would be popular with the ladies; however, and laughed a little at his own conclusion.

 

"What have you and Promise been up to? Surely you've had a much more exciting life since we last parted?"

 

"Oh, exciting? That could be a term for it. I'd prefer.. interesting." Aoi smiled. "We have been travelling for a year, after all. There's quite a few places that you can hit in that amount of time." He looked at Promise. She was still standing at quite a distance from them, but she looked rather.. uncomfortable. Was it because of Jahan?

 

"Where did we go to first after Cumulus?" He asked her. He hoped she didn't feel as she looked, and if she could be included in the conversation, she wouldn't feel as bad. He couldn't really tell.

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Blaise

 

Stepping with purpose, Blaise headed out, Luna on his tail. His long strides were undeterred, regardless of Luna’s disability. First and foremost, he sensed this Tractus outside and high above them. He followed his intuition, finding the nearest exit he could and walking into the sunlight. It struck him suddenly, and was brighter than he had expected. Raising a hand to block the rays, he winced and squinted his eyes, turning away slightly. Letting his mask face the sun, he cast a glance backwards with a frustrated sigh. There wasn't much worse than having to hold himself back to make up for another person's shortcomings. Luna was still lagging behind, and the further behind she got, the more he wanted to simply leave her. But that would have defeated the purpose of making her come along in the first place.

 

He waited, adjusting his eyes to the light. Thankfully, this flare was minor, not causing too many afflictions. Just a constant pounding in his head, an irritation of the eye and causing a slight sensitivity to bright lights. All in all, he estimated it would be over in a day or two. Thank goodness... He wouldn't have to starve himself this time. He'll be able to enjoy his food without worrying about throwing it up a few minutes later. Honestly, some people would think that he was a sickly child, ill with some kind of incurable, but non-lethal, disease.

 

His attendant, a boy about his age who was assigned to care for him when he fell victim to the pressure of the star, never said much, but it was clear he was extremely concerned for his health and nourishment while he was unable to eat. For a time, Blaise had gotten a bit worried as well, when his symptoms persisted for eleven days on end. This raised the concern that he might be forced to remain in that state for even longer, effectively starving him. The servant had to force-feed him once, which brought about one of the only times that Blaise had thrown a childish fit, catapulting the meal into the wall without warning. He remembered sulking, wrapped up in his sheets as he laid in bed, listening as the boy cleaned the mess without a word. That was four years ago... But he still remembered it. Now, in the present, he would kill for some good company at the moment. He could only hope that Tractus would be entertaining in some way. Heaven forbid, he be any more boring than Luna and most other people he had found around here.

 

Once Luna had caught up for the most part, he struck off again, stepping a little heavier than before, caused by his increasing pain. It was manageable, though, so he continued steadily. Right then... Outside, but high up. Where co~uld he be? No sooner had he thought this, a strange sort of hole appeared quite a ways before him, then a person slid out of it smoothly. Not to say that Blaise wasn’t surprised, but he didn’t give anyone any reason to believe that he was. He had stark white hair, and a long slender body. He definitely stood out in a crowd, but that never really said much about a person. He slowed his steps so he might meet up the man at the same time as Luna, allowing her a bit of time to catch up. Once he reached him, he looked him up and down, squinting slightly, then turned back to Luna.

 

“Is this him.”

 

The question was stated rather than asked, as he knew already that this was the Space Elementian he had sensed just earlier.

 

 

~~~~~~~

 

Promise

 

"Hmm?" Promise raised her eyebrows in a questioning manner as Aoi aimed a question towards her, drawing her mind back to the present time after is started to wandering for the umpteenth time. "Oh, Metallum! We went to Metallum right off. I've been there a lot already, I know, but hadn't seen as much as I really wanted to. The other times were for some of the more formal meetings with the nobles. Like how I met your parents, Jahan, and.... I-I mean my lord Jahanashah."

 

She colored slightly at her mistake, flustered. She struggled with her words a moment after that, attempting to move the attention along.

 

"And, ah.. A-after that, weee... Weent... Oh, we went to Electra." She raised a hand to her cheek, trying to cover the flush of her skin along with a small semi-nervous laugh. "I was really surprised to see how much they'd progressed since the last time I was there." Her teeth got a hold of her bottom lip, chewing on it in her small breaks between verbal thoughts. "We didn't go to either Frigid or Pyra, which is quite a shame, I would have liked so seen the architecture."

 

Okay, Promise, that's enough. You're just babbling now, and that's more embarrassing than accidentally calling the Prince by his nickname. Come on, this is royalty. Control your worthless self. Giving a little cough, she cleared her throat as she tried to come up with a way to conclude her little blurb, having successfully made a fool of herself again and convinced herself to wrap it up. "Soo... Yeah... It was a lot of fun. And I guess I'd say that we got along pretty well, mm, Aoi? I actually really appreciate you putting up with me for so long."

Edited by Silver_Voices

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Skylar

 

"Like what?" Sky asked curiously in reply to Marc's statement about him coming up with plenty of things that they could do. She then looked up at him after he switched their positions so that she was on the bottom and he was on top of her while she listened to what he said in reply to her apology. She nodded even though she knew that she had been talking about the statement that she had said about having nightmares again out of worry but she let it go without pointing that out.

 

She kissed him back after he kissed her before he sat up and relished the warmth of the sun while she laid on her back in the grass for a little while longer and listened to his question as well as the statement that he said afterward. She stayed silent for a few minutes before sitting up as well and resting her head on his shoulder.

 

"Of course," she said in reply with a small smile to his question. "It means that I get to spend more time with you and have you all to myself for a little bit longer before I have to share you with Jahan and the others." She added this last statement a few mintues after the one that she had said earlier.

 

Aisling

 

Ash turned around when she felt a firm grip on her wrist and saw that her uncle's murderer was there and holding her wrist. She heard what he said before wincing a bit when he tightened his grip on her wrist and then put a metal cuff/bracelet looking thing on it. She heard what he said afterward about what the former was for and just nodded before hearing his last statement and nodded again.

 

After he turned and headed in another direction, or started to head in another direction, she went in the direction that she had been going in earlier before she was stopped and headed towards the inn that she was going to be staying in for the night. She would be leaving early tomorrow morning so that she could get to Sola by mid-morning or afternoon around lunchtime.

 

Once she got to the inn, she went up to her room, closed the door, locked it, got out her night clothes, undressed, got dressed in her night clothes, unmade her bed, got under the covers, turned off the light, and then fell asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow. As she slept she hoped that her uncle's murderer wouldn't follow her to Sola to keep an eye on her in order to make sure that she didn't tell anyone about what she had seen just moments earlier. She then squashed that thought and figured that she was just being a bit paranoid, forgetting all about it as she dreamt of her parents and brother spending time with her before they died.

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Naomi and Celeste~

 

Celeste was confused by the new word that Naomi had brought up. Celeste wasn’t exactly... bright. She sat up and heard a bloodcurdling scream outside. With a whirr, she stood up and rushed towards the window. Just then, the room began to spin. Swooning, she thought she caught a sight of Renzo going into a spot of cover. She sat down onto her knees and placed her hands to her head, giving a small moan. She really didn’t need to do that...

 

Naomi patted Celeste on the head. Poor thing. She couldn’t stand not being able to help, but Celeste really seemed to be in pain. “How about.. going back to bed for a bit? I’ll.. check out what happened outside.”

 

After helping Celeste back into the bed, she left the room slowly, closing the door behind her. There was a lot going on downstairs. As she headed down to the main floor, her father, who had been running to the staircase, caught her. “Something’s going on; I think a man had just been attacked outside! Stay here and out of trouble, ‘kay, love?” Without saying another word, he let go of her and ran to the second level. He was probably getting some kind of medicine or treatment for the man.

 

After leaving through the entrance of the hospital, Naomi tried to ignore the crowd around the doorway and headed away from the ruckus, off to the side of the building. Renzo was there, hood pulled over his face, and leaning against a tree.

 

“W-what are you doing here?” Naomi asked, suddenly feeling very uncomfortable. She still wasn’t used to talking to others, especially not people with such colourful personalities as his. She didn’t know what to expect, and that scared her a little.

 

“U-uh.. come upstairs.” She whisked around, glad not to have to say anything else, and walked around to the opposite side of the building, where there was hardly any people, expecting him to follow in pursuit.

 

When she made it to Celeste’s room, she closed the blinds and went to check on her patient.

 

“Renzo’s coming up...” She told her, and then sat down next to the bed.

 

Celeste bolted up and looked at Naomi in despair. “You’re not serious...” Judging the look in the other girl’s eyes, she inferred that Naomi wasn’t joking. Great. Just what she needed. Celeste wasn’t going to deal with any of his crap this morning. She slowly stood up, and when she was sure she didn’t feel any discomfort, she began towards the door. Celeste would not have Renzo come destroy this place if it was the last thing she did.

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