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Trials and Travels (Semi-lit)

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"And, ah.. A-after that, weee... Weent... Oh, we went to Electra." Aoi chuckled. Her nervousness amused him. "What's that? Got a little crush on our prince?" He joked, then glanced back at Jahan. Of course that wouldn't be true... He knew that it was simply just a small slip up, though. She didn't know Jahan: if she did, she would have known that the prince didn't really care if people called him by his nickname. Furthermore, if Aoi wasn't sure, he would have even thought that he would rather people call him something other than, "my Lord."

 

Something about her facial expression started to irk Aoi; he started to feel a little annoyed at her stammering and her blushing. "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."

 

He didn't expect her to direct the conversation at him, and that question hit him completely unprepared.

 

He then, with a shock, realized that he had been glaring at Jahan. What- why? He shook the gaze away and quickly focused on the person who he was replying. He still had an air of distraction about him as he replied. "Well.. uh...yeah."

 

---------

“You’re not serious...”

Naomi felt her heart skip a beat. Oh. Did she not want to see Renzo? What was he doing there anyways? Was he sent back to them to bring them to the group? Celeste was alright to move, but she wasn't in the best state of mind, she had noticed.

 

She thought Celeste liked everyone in the group. I guess not...

 

But what could she do? She invited Renzo to advance to their room already; she couldn't just tell him he couldn't go in. Sighing, she slid down onto a chair. Celeste would just have to bear with it. She didn't quite see whatever was wrong with Renzo, though. He seemed like a nice.. polite man. Well maybe that was because she only saw him once, and that time he didn't say anything to her.

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~Sola~

 

Yuaki blinked in surprise when Noe and Kai came through the door. They both had an odd look to them, like they had some awkward secret they planned to share, or like they had talked each other into singing a silly song right there and then but neither was willing to start. Yuaki then immediatelyglanced at Lucius. All in all, this was rather funny to her, but she figured he didn't quite see it the same. She caught his eye and shrugged, shaking her head slightly before quickly turning back to the door.

 

Aketsu listened with interest to Lucius' story, ignoring the door initially when it opened until he realized that Kai and Noe were standing there. What a coincidence, he thought with a smile. He stood to greet them and noticed some sort of subtle communication between Isa and Noe but didn't bother trying to decipher it. Ladies in general tended to be good at that sort of thing, and Aketsu was always lost as to what they spoke about without words.

 

"It would be nice to catch up the missed time with a friend.” I almost wish I had known you all that while ago. It would have been nice to have a friend there. And in a way, just knowing Lucius now sort of filled in those gaps for Yuaki, as though she really had known him all that time. She smirked at the thought. She hadn't been all that different three years ago, but she had been full of insecurities with no idea who she was supposed to really be. Now she knew, and couldn't wait to show the world. But that was another story for another time. Maybe she'd tell Lucius someday.

 

"Yeah," Yuaki said quietly. Then louder, "But! First, you have to meet my other friends. Hi Kai, hi Noe! Kai and Noe are Guardians as well, and they're married now. Guys, this is Lucius. Old traveling buddy." She turned to Lucius and lowered her voice, though not as to hide her words from others. "Kai is an earth elementian and Noe is weather. Kinda funny how that works." She shrugged, wondering if any of their children would be dual-elementians. It would be funny, but really wasn't an interesting subject to think about for more than a few seconds. Yuaki wasn't very fond of little kids, although she had only told Isa this and promised Isa that any rainbow babies would definitely be the exception to the rule. She figured she could spare some time to smile at Kai and Noe's kids too. If they ever had any. She didn't expect them to any time soon, with the war and all.

 

"Any friend of the Princesses is a friend of mine."

 

Yuaki raised her eyebrows at the statement and grinned at Isa's reply. Noe and Yuaki had little in common, with only their servanthood causing Yuaki to even know Noe's name. But Yuaki had always felt that Noe was much less a servant and much more a princess by the way she was treated; she had been 'adopted' by the king and it had turned out she was good ol' Ayame's offspring anyway, and surely he had known all along. So, the servant thing? Just a setup, from Yuaki's point of view.

 

"So what is it that you have to tell us. You two look like you are about to burst." Yuaki couldn't help but smile mischievously. The two really did look like they had some huge secret to spill, and a thousand thoughts ran through Yuaki's head. None of them involved Noe being with child.~

 

Aketsu flinched slightly when Isa and Noe got talking. Sometimes they ended up going head to head. Thankfully that happened a lot less these days, but a year ago it had been rather intense. Knowing that Isa and Noe knew each other quite well, Aketsu usually didn't get involved in such conversations unless there was a time-limit involved or Isa had been having a really, really bad day. He wanted what was best for her, and venting on Noe was not always best. Now Aketsu waited patiently for Noe and Kai to say what they had to say; obviously by the way they had come, they weren't just there to chit-chat and have bread. Kai would have spoken up by now and greeted the room, especially the newcomer Lucius.

 

`~~~

 

~Jahanshah~

 

Jahan grinned sheepishly when Aoi complemented him on his uniform. Jahan still occasionally had the urge to run around wearing nothing but metal, but it was childish and he was far past being a child. He listened eagerly to his friend, awaiting stories of travel and adventure. What route had they taken? How long had it taken them? Had they really traveled together the whole time? Jahanshah figured he'd get sick of being around the same person for so long... then he remembered that Aamina and him were basically in the same situation, although Aamina wasn't much like Promise. Or was she? Jahan didn't know Promise too well. Aoi redirected the question at Promise, and Jahan looked expectantly at her.

 

Metallum? Oh, if only I'd gone home for a while. I could have shown them everything there! I'm sure the picky gardeners wouldn't let them see the special volcanic garden. Jahan frowned when Promise mentioned his parents. It wasn't so much that she mentioned them, more that she called them his parents. He did consider them such, but he was more used to hearing their formal names. His distraction with the term made him a bit slow to respond to Promise's changing his title.

 

He laughed lightly and waved off her mistake. It wasn't a mistake! If Aoi considered Promise a friend, then Jahan felt the same way; she owed him nothing. He did admire her politeness, although he was a little embarrassed that she was so embarrassed. She said something about Electra, but Jahan's own thoughts had been too loud for him to hear her. Not that it mattered; of all the Shadow Alliance cities, he had the most distaste for Electra and he wasn't even sure why. The culture there was so different from Metallum, it bothered him.

 

Jahan snapped back to the present in time to hear her mention Frigid. "It's nice there," he mentioned with a thoughtful nod. Nice, but there's almost no metal anywhere except on the defensive line. It's amazing they even manage to keep up with current technology, the way they isolate themselves... iceolate... haha. Bland humor, straight from your Prince of Whisper.

 

Jahan was rather shocked when Aoi teased Promise about having a crush on him. He shifted slightly, giving Aoi a friendly glare as he prepared a smart-remark. To his surprise, Aoi returned it... not so friendly. Jahan blinked once and turned his attention to Promise, forgetting what he had been planning to say. Did something happen...? He had a strange feeling that this was one of those times he was missing the mark, looking in the wrong direction, shooting the crow instead of the sparrow. Oh well. He shrugged it off and smiled politely at Promise.

 

"I actually really appreciate you putting up with me for so long."

 

"Well.. uh...yeah."

 

Jahan got a mischievous grin. "Really, Aoi? You sound like you don't enjoy spending time with her, with that mumbled answer. Is that why you suggested she has a crush on me? Trying to get rid of her?" He rolled his eyes and waved it off with a smirk. "Forgive me if I'm embarrassing you Promise, I know you and Aoi must get along well. Despite not being required to have a loyalty, you've personally chosen to help the Queen bring peace to the world and for that I am ever grateful. Are either of you hungry? There's been a change in plans, but we still have at least an hour or two to spare."

Edited by LadyNatasha

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Julian

 

Julian looked down at the girl in his arms. No, she didn’t look well. Not at all. Her frame was wasted, and she seemed underweight for her stature. Sucking in his bottom lip in worry, he quickly hurried after Aamina, stepping along smoothly to refrain from bouncing V. Hitching her higher, he rolled her towards him, letting her head loll against his shoulder. She felt frail, and he couldn’t help handle her like a delicate glass doll.

 

“Mythyr? You coming?”

 

Casting a glance back, he paused a moment to wait for Mythyr. His friend was lagging behind a bit, but soon caught up. They all walked together for a while, getting glances from passing strangers. He met their eyes once or twice, brow furrowed and jaw taut.

 

"V has to go through a lot of testing for her job. 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."

 

He listened to Mythyr, then frowned, pondering what kind of ‘testing’ she was being put through. Could she die? Was she being starved, poisoned, what? How could they do that to their own members?

 

“Why would they do that?” He voiced his thoughts before he could think about it, then immediately clamped his mouth shut. He wasn’t really in a position to question their methods of training.

 

Aamina paused, and he stepped in behind her, looking from side to side. As Mythyr join then, the ground beneath them shifted. His balance was almost lost, and, in a sudden strike of panic, he tightened his grip on the girl in his arms. It took a moment to realize that the group was rising, in a perfectly controlled manner.

 

“Hmm.”

 

Julian lowered his eyes to face V, raising his eyebrows. “Oh, you’re awake. You all right?”

 

“Hey there. Aren’t you handsome!”

 

A stuttering cough. That definitely wasn’t the response he had expected from the V, “E-excuse me?”

 

“No wonder V didn’t let me come out. She wouldn’t want me to meet you because you are definitely quite the stud!”

 

A confused and decidedly alarmed expression took over his face. She wasn’t talking like V, she hardly even sounded like V. What happened? He looked to the Earth Elementian for help. “Aamina..?”

 

She took the conversation from him, handling the girl with a more firm manner than she had before. They bantered for a short while, and Aamina ended up sending V into unconsciousness again. He furrowed his brow, holding his questions for later, when they reached her room. Was this normal..? Did she have some sort of alter ego? She was called Viara, then V, then Viara again. And she referred to her title, V, as a different person. Shaking his head, he tried to focus on following Aamina as she started forwards again.

 

When they got to the room, the door was opened to reveal a tall, intimidating figure. The dark eyes immediately shot over to Julian, who stood rigid, his own golden flecked eyes wide with surprise and slight fright. He didn’t look very pleased with him... He thought he heard Aamina vouching for him, but he wasn’t sure. As soon as J’far was gone, he hurriedly stepped inside, avoiding the door slamming against his heels.

 

“Place her on the bed.”

 

Gently stepping over to the aforementioned bed, he brushed aside the curtains, resting V onto the duvet. Pulling his arms from under her, he backed up and straightening, brushing his hands over his shirt. “So.... She... is it V or Viara?”

Edited by Silver_Voices

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Luna

 

Luna wasn't one to complain too often, but Blaise's pace was making her wish she was a little more outspoken. She was usually fine with running, but, oddly enough, speed-walking was something she struggled with. The rhythm of her cane quickened as she tried to keep up with the other Space Elementian. Unfortunately, Blaise seemed well aware of her disability in a less-than-pitying way. Although he never slowed, Luna did appreciate his pause in steps so that she could catch up.

 

By now she was definitely sensing another Elementian about. It felt an awful lot like Tractus, but it had been a long time since she had felt his presence. She glanced around the garden trying to see if she could spot the peculiar white-haired boy, but he was nowhere to be found. It was silly of her to do such a thing in the first place, considering now she could definitely sense his direction and it was definitely nowhere near the garden. She looked up towards the sky with a confused look. Where could he be?…

 

Suddenly a form landed on the path ahead of them. Luna let out a tiny yelp of surprise and faltered for a step, but she managed to regain enough of her composure to stand beside Blaise and face Tractus for the first time in a year.

 

It appeared that Blaise already knew who Tractus was. His voice was calm and certain, like he was the one introducing her instead of the other way around. She nodded in response to his half-question anyway before mumbling a soft, "H-hello, Tractus." She wasn't entirely sure what to do about either one of the Space Elementians now. Blaise seemed dismissive about her right now, like he had better things to deal with than a dim girl like her. Luna was already trying to get a read on Tractus's mind, but all she could get was that he was waiting. He was calm and patient…and possibly curious? These two would have plenty to talk about without her. Or not. Blaise's mood had been slowly drifting towards the more disgruntled side in the past few minutes, and Luna couldn't tell whether or not it was her fault. She remained still as she looked between the pair. What will they think of each other?

 

((I'll edit in Renzo later.))

Edited by BlueApollo

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Blaise

 

Blaise let out a quiet ‘hmm’, slowly rounding Tractus to get a better feel for him. On the surface, he could sense the calm, quiet exterior, the same impression coming from his appearance, suggesting a cool head and a level mindset. But beneath all that, Blaise could easily feel the inner turmoil. Tractus was like a duck that swam around in the fish pond by his house. Floating around smoothly on top, paddling so desperately to keep afloat beneath. It was like a bubbling stew of questions and troubles, Blaise wouldn't want to sort through it even if he had the time. It was a rather complicated mess, and primarily emotional. Blaise tended to distance himself from his deeper feelings; sentiment was never an advantage. He was forced to come to terms with this cold fact at a very young age. A lesson learned the hard way is a lesson not soon forgotten. Still, he had to thank his renegade brother for informing him of this so early on. It had shaped him into who he was now. Friendless, and alone. Alone was what he had. Alone protected him.

 

Unlike this Tractus here, he had come to terms with this fact. The yearning for a companion to his lonely soul was coming from deep within the young Space Elementian, which was slightly irritating, in the least. It was his centre: there was no getting rid of it. The first disappointment of many, he theorized. Well, he never claimed to be an optimist. The idea itself of optimism always confused him. He doubted the usefulness of always assuming the best of a situation, since it hardly ever ended up being the case. But apparently people enjoyed being disappointed? Shaking his head as he completed a circuit around Tractus, he again reminded himself that he needn't try to understand the minds of the ordinary people.

 

"So, Tractus." Blaise crossed his arms, settling them into a comfortable position as he huffed out a breath. "I've heard a lot about you. One of the few Space Elementians of our generation? Pity you never got yourself educated. I could have taught you... so much." He gave a slight pause, narrowing his eyes. It's true, Blaise had heard of the so called "Ice Figure." Blaise was sent off to the Acadamy at age seven, the year he heard of another stray Space Elementian, wandering the streets somewhere. He waited for them to turn up at the school, but they never showed. Shame, though. He much preferred the company of Space Elementians when he could help it. But back to the child in question, that child had to be Tractus. That kind of power was hard to hide, and he sensed it in this teenage boy.

 

"Trained by yourself, then did you? Quite a feat, if you actually accomplished anything. Which I assume you did, because you were integrated into the group of young stereotypical heroes. So, will you show me what you can do?

Edited by Silver_Voices

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Tractus~

 

Tractus regarded the prowling, emotionless man before him. It seemed that he was disgusted by the sight of someone like Tractus, but Tractus was used to this kind of treatment. Not much hurt Tractus, not anymore. He was going to begin to speak to the man when Luna spoke:

 

"H-hello, Tractus."

 

Tractus arched his eyebrows as he turned towards Luna. The color around her was becoming muted: a dull grey. Tractus was not sure what to think of this; was she anxious about something? She wasn't ever sure where to place the next foot when she walked, but this was different. It was as if she were genuinely concerned for him. He considered that for a moment and made his decision. He allowed a small smile to creep up his lips. "Good evening, Miss Luna. I am glad to see you are better than most. It's been too long." He thought about embracing her for a moment before facing the newcomer again, but thought better of it. Turning back towards the newcomer, he began to face the onslaught. As the man spoke, Tractus thought he began to see tints of red around this person, but he could not be sure as the sun was setting directly behind him.

 

"Trained by yourself, then, did you? Quite a feat, if you actually accomplished anything. Which I assume you did, because you were integrated into the group of young stereotypical heros. So, will you show me what you can do?"

 

Tractus looked at the man again under a new light. He was doubtful of his progress himself, but he didn't need to have someone else tell him that. He didn't need to get worked up, though, so he kept his anger downwards, and was attempting to stay calm. "I believe that I have done enough to prove myself over the past year." No I haven't. I didn't ever fight with tht rest of them on that day. I just ran and hid. I'm not worthy to be here. "If you wish to come along, you may follow me through this tunnel. I'm not quite sure how it works, but I believe I can take the two of you through as well, as you both share the cosmic power that I do." Tractus let his mind free and he felt a suction from his back. The tunnel was open. "Come, Luna," He held out his hand to her. "I will take us to an empty place where this man can get his fill of the entertainment he seeks." The suction was becoming more powerful now, and he was not sure how long he could continue to stand there...

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Renzo

 

A ruckus was really getting started in the lobby of the inn. Renzo could clearly hear all the noise from his casual hiding spot in the shade of the tree. He waited and waited until he saw someone slightly familiar exit the building. So, Celeste wasn't trying to escape the building? What a shame. He would have enjoyed seeing her run in fear of all the guards that were swarming about.

 

Naomi seemed to recognize him well enough. Renzo pulled his hood over his head a little more to hide his features. Light hair in Cumulus wasn't so bad, but if anyone saw his sharp blue eyes they would certainly be suspicious. This would have been a very serious problem, especially since Naomi had decided that it was a perfectly good idea to bring him back inside the building. Is she daft? he thought as he watched her turn around and start walking towards the inn. The inn is complete madness and she thinks I can just waltz back in without attracting any atten- oh.

 

Renzo was hesitant to follow Naomi, but there was one thing he had forgotten about: the stairs in the back. Of course. Maybe she's not so daft after all. Renzo hastened behind her as his heartbeat began to speed up in excitement. Finally he was going to see that incredibly interesting girl again. What would she do this time? Slice his arm with an icicle? Freeze his ears? A tiny shiver ran down his spine as he remembered the last time he had seen her. Frozen hands were out of the question this time. There was no way he was going to let her get away with that.

 

Renzo stood in the doorway just as Celeste was standing up. The girl seemed disgruntled and more than a little annoyed. Something seemed….off about her, though. Renzo couldn't quite put his finger on it, but she seemed different. The spark that usually flamed behind her eyes seemed duller. It took Renzo by surprise, and for a moment his face was shadowed with concern. It all faded as quickly as it had come, and a rather sinister grin broke across his face.

 

"Lovely Celeste, how nice it is to see you again." Renzo lightly jumped into the air, but before he could fall back down, he activated his flight ability. He floated in the doorway and leaned back as if he was stretched out on a reclining chair. "You look different. Did you get a haircut? Lose weight maybe? Honestly, I'm dying to know how Jahaha-whateverhisnameis's pet has been doing without her master. It's a matter of curiosity, really. Your drama never ceases to entertain me. It's like a badly-written opera that never seems to end. Now please, indulge me." He looked at Celeste expectantly. Now what will she have in store for me this time?

 

 

Luna

 

Luna wasn’t too sure, but it seemed like Tractus was slightly surprised by her presence. Well, not as surprised as she was. She was still trying to understand the mechanics of his entrance. He had just appeared out of nowhere. She couldn’t even comprehend how he was able to bend space and time like that. Well, he is self-taught she thought as she looked between Tractus and Blaise. They made an interesting contrast. Their attire was equally strange, one masked and one clad in white (the opposite of the color most associated with Space Elementians) , but their upbringing rivaled any differences in their rather unique appearance. To Luna, it looked like they were silently sizing each other up.

 

Realizing that Tractus had officially greeted her, she gave a slight nod of her head in a quick reply before it became awkward. It sounded as if Blaise was challenging Tractus. His words seemed blunt and dry, like he was only interested in seeing the minimum skill required to get into that “group of young stereotypical heroes”. Wait. I got in. Oh. Luna quickly corrected her thoughts, if only to prevent herself from once again feeling inadequate in the presence of others like herself. That’s right. Blaise is only interested in how far self-education can take a Space Elementian. Once that was sorted out in her head, Luna began to feel a slight wind tugging at the end of her skirt. It grew stronger and stronger, like something was sucking her in. For a moment she was confused and more than a little frightened. What is that? Just beyond Tractus, she could see a strange tunnel in the air. She took a step back, not sure if she wanted to go into whatever that tunnel was. Tractus was holding out his hand to her, though, waiting for her to follow him to wherever that tunnel went.

 

”Ah...O-okay,” she managed to say. She took one look back at Blaise to make sure he was coming, too, then she took Tractus’s hand and stepped beside him. The suction grew stronger, and she closed her eyes tightly. Please don’t screw this up, Tractus she thought.

Edited by BlueApollo

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Promise

 

Flushed beyond rational reason, Promise ignored Aoi’s comment. It wasn’t even credible, she didn’t know the Prince at all. She hardly knew how to address him. Should she act familiar with him, because she was familiar with Aoi? Or should she remain respectful until they became acquainted? Who knew. She was just guessing here. It was nerve wracking at the least; she had no idea how relaxed he was, even though she spent maybe a day with him in his company. Even if she had gathered any information from their brief meeting, he had definitely changed since then. He wasn’t a boy anymore, so she couldn’t act like he was anymore.

 

Aoi’s response deflated what little confidence she had left, her brow folding in on itself. Jahan’s bantering didn’t help any either. She turned her face away and brushed a hand over her face, as in an attempted to brush the colour from her cheeks. They were an obvious pink, as her pale complexion allowed for no disguises. She hated the automatic rush of blood to the face. It made her thoughts clearly known, and she wasn’t one to wear her feeling on her sleeve. Aoi seldom coaxed a blush from her, with all his teasing and playful flirting. She wished she didn’t, she wasn’t usually so unreserved or unguarded. It hadn’t bothered her before.... But there were other people around, people she knew, and people he knew. She wasn’t sure how that mattered, but.. somehow it just did.

 

Before she realized it, Jahan was addressing her, apologizing for... something, and asking if she would like something to eat. She responded slowly, still getting over her stammer.

 

“Ah... I’m not particularly hungry.. but I could eat, if we...” Quickly, she turned to her orange-headed friend. “Aoi? You hungry?”

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The moment Promise turned away after Jahan's reply, Aoi immediately knew he had said something wrong. Thinking back on his murmured reply, he realized he pulled up a wall which made him seem intentionally standoffish. He hadn't meant it like that. His thoughts were preoccupied with... other things. Other things? Like what? Maybe he had just spaced out. Shaking his head, he sighed and focused. It wasn't like him not to pay attention. He wasn't supposed to make mistakes like that.

 

He caught a glimpse of her face as it was half turned away; her eyebrows were furrowed and cheeks a bright pink. It was easy to tell when she was flustered, as her pale skin made the pink even brighter as she blushed. He hadn't seen it very often; however, since his flirting was often brushed aside jokingly and never taken literally. Of course, it wasn't hard for him to get blushes from any girl. He didn't expect her to be any different, and knew that beyond her tough look she was as interested in him as any other girl. It didn't take much to fall for him, and that he knew for a fact.

 

“Ah... I’m not particularly hungry.. but I could eat, if we... Aoi? You hungry?”

 

Stammering. How cute. He smiled inwardly, pleased with himself. It took a lot to get to this moment. He wasn't sure why it made him laugh, but she did. No, he wasn't hungry, but she was just so cute. He decided to play with her a bit more before letting up the fun. Aoi pulled Promise towards him unexpectedly, leaning over her shoulder and pretending to take a bite out of her neck. He then licked his lips and smirked out of habit, keeping his hands on her hips. "You'll be enough for lunch."

 

He knew he was changing the way he acted towards her drastically. For the past year, they had travelled together, and for that, he had thought that they had become quite close. It occurred to him, however, that he hadn't actually been the most stable of personalities. One day he was sweet - others: reserved, calm, or jumpy, energetic, the list went on... Was I being too temperamental? No, that wasn't it. Something like that wouldn't show up now, even after all that happened to him. It didn't even feel like that. No.. it was something else. It was almost as if... he didn't know how to act around her. But that didn't make sense. More often than not, his personality was set on whatever would make the person he was acting towards have a high regard for him.

 

Towards Jahan he acted like a big brother. That was eaten up pretty well. The boy looked lonely, and he knew that if he had showed up there with fun and treat him normally, he would look up to him. And it worked, and they became fast friends. Even though it was an unlikely relationship, their friendship was merely the result of an incredibly planned encounter. And to the others in the group, he didn't put them off and cooperated with all of them, joking around and showing his fun side. That worked fine. So why couldn't he get past this girl's exterior any way other than to simply embarrass her to death?

 

I should stick with something. If I keep this up, she'll definitely get suspicious.

 

((heheee aren't you proud of me, gist? I made it a lot longer))

Edited by lachrymation

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Aamina and Viara-V

 

Aamina watched Mythyr, wondering why his heart rate was so high . She had learned that J’far was protective and had also learned how to ignore his intimidating presence. It was much like the queen, but in another parental manner that she had forgotten, almost like an uncle? She turned away from him, facing the window just as he started to walk that way.

 

Julian had done as he was told which surprised her considering that he just had a rude, and probably embarrassing awakening to the person that was V. The one thing that V had told her was that if anyone were to ever witness the change that happened, they were to know a bit about what happened to her and of course, Julian looked as though he were starting to freak out. She couldn’t help but scoff at the thought of a metal elementian freaking out. For some reason, it entertained her. Honestly, she should just let him freak out much like other people had done in her time. Let them wonder, be curious and afraid of what was going on.

 

Aamina stopped herself. Having to watch her history earlier that day was unsettling the balance that she had strived for so long to create. The balance between wanting to see people hurt and wanting to keep people from having to go through what she had gone through.

 

She looked at Julian and smirked, “She’s not dirty.” He was wiping his hands off on his shirt. Probably more nervous than she could tell since she wasn’t that good at reading heart rates through the ground.

 

Aamina looked blank as she listened to Julian’s question.

 

“So.... She... is it V or Viara?”

 

“While she is unconscious, she is the precious line between V and Viara.” She looked at Mythyr wondering if he would shed some light on the subject, but maybe he didn’t know that much. Maybe he knew a bit more than Aamina because she was only to tell that which V had told her to tell.

 

“V is both Viara and V. Her inner being is V and the outer being is Viara. Or sometimes it is the reverse.” she turned away to face Mythyr who was outside seemingly not enjoying what was going on. But then again, who would?

 

Aamina kept her deadpan look as she turned back around to walk over to the bed. She sat down on the edge and stared at the woman that was so much like herself, but farther gone than she was. “Viara is a defensive mechanism. When V is put through so many tests that harm her, the precious balance that she has fought to obtain is broken down piece by piece. Her training makes it so that she can survive all poisons, lose massive amounts of blood without passing out, as well as fix her own broken bones and keep moving.” As she spoke about the training, her words became strained and angry. She knew that J’far was listening in on what she was saying.

 

“The reason that they train like this, is to make a force that is difficult to harm or kill to protect the queen.” Aamina’s face only changed once when she went through the ways that Viara was trained and that change was into an angry snarl.

 

“Why’d you have to be so rough in knocking me out?” V asked as she started to wake up.

 

“I don’t think you would have wanted Viara to go on about how ‘handsome’ Julian is.” Aamina allowed a small smile to come through a gentle flush appeared along V’s pale cheekbones..

 

“Never mind then. Thanks.” She said with a weak, angry smile.

 

Aamina grabbed the waters that Mythyr had made for them and gave hers to V. “Here, drink it slowly.” Her voice was commanding and not tender as one would think.

 

V took the glass and sipped at it, relishing in the untainted taste that it had. Her eyes looked strained due to the light, but it would get better over a few minutes. She looked around the room and noticed Mythyr at the window, Julian beside the bed. “How much?”

 

“None. You haven’t told me much.” Aamina was still a little offended over that. She looked between Mythyr and Julian knowing that Viara was probably going to speak about her impairment and history to the point that she had spoken about it with Aamina. Luckily for her, her history had been developed into a powerful weapon making it so that any reference to her history wasn’t something that would weaken, but rather strengthen her. She was helping Aamina to do that as well.

 

“Welp, since you had to meet her, might as well hear about it. Besides, there are a few hours to kill before the meeting.” She sipped at the water again and held her hand out in front of her eyes, pulling the light away from them to help with her headache. “Better.” She mumbled. A deep breath and another sip of the clean water, V looked at Julian, her dark golden eyes searching his own, not finding anything worth distrust.

 

“My real name is actually Viara. I was raised as any other normal girl. Ran a hotel with my parents and seven siblings. Best hotel in the area. My parents were able to send me to the Light Academy where I learned quite a bit about my ability. The soldiers came, attacked because we housed refugees, and I sent them on their way to the hideout. The soldiers captured me and for a year I was tortured as they tried to get the names of the people that we held in our home and they also wanted to find the path that my family went on. Torture like that can crack a little girl.” She snickered. “Little did they know that I would escape and torch many of those guards and find my way to Whisper. I started training late with the Shades at the age of 13. However, they caught me up to the training that was needed and here I am, training to be Master Assassin, destined to take J’far’s place.” She smirked and looked at Julian. “The reason that there is both Viara and I is due to the situations. I separated into two people and the me that I was as a little girl became the way that I laughed in their faces and defeated their torture. The me now, is the one that they grew to fear and the one that they saw as they took their last, scorched breath.” A dark look crossed her face as she giggled slightly. “The looks on their faces…” she sighed and grinned at Aamina who only tilted her head and smiled in understanding.

 

“There it is. A simple, understated reason why there’s two me’s. Now, when training occurs, watch out for Viara to suddenly appear. She’s worse than I am in fighting.”

 

“Worse as in she has no self-control.”

 

“Yeaaaah.” V grimaced. “So, let that form your idea of me.” She said with a dark giggle as she stood up off of her bed, stumbling into Julian. “Sorry.” She was going to walk over to her bathroom but decided that maybe sitting was a better idea.

 

“What is it?” Aamina asked, her brow furrowed in anger.

 

“The Queen’s Poison.” V grinned and winked at Aamina who’s scowl seemed to get darker.

 

“That damned poison has killed others before.” Aamina was growing tired of hearing J’far’s heartbeat at the door and with a sudden spin, she dropped her glass onto a raised pylon and sent an earthen ripple that avoided Julian and Viara to the door. A satisfied smile crossed her lips when a thud was heard across the hall.

 

V chuckled as she did her best to straighten up but, well, that wasn’t really working.

 

 

Marcus

 

He looked at his fiancée, studying her in the light of the sun. She was quite the doll and he loved her more than anything. They each had their issues. His unneeded attachment to the queen as a money source, his need to be a part of that group to make sure that everything stayed well for his beloved. Their cabin was quite nice, in the middle of the mountainous region along the coastline, but close enough to the forest so that they were only a small ride away from the kingdom. He had to work for the queen to keep that. It was their deal.

 

He looked back at the sky and just stared, wondering if he should continue with his ideas, or if Sky wasn’t exactly in the mood to continue. Instead, he placed his hand over hers, let his head go back, closed his eyes and took a deep breath.

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Skylar

 

Sky looked at the sky as well when she noticed him do the same after she felt his attention on her. She smiled a little bit when she felt his hand over hers and kept the smile on her face as she heard him take a deep breath. She did the same but it was just to take in the nice mountain air.

 

After a few minutes of silence passed between them she asked, "What are your ideas for what we can do in order to be fashionably late to the meeting with Jahan and company?" She hoped that he was still in the mood to talk about that.

 

She knew that she had her issues and he had his but that didn't make her love him less than she did now. She loved him with all of her heart and then some but sometimes she didn't know how to tell him how she felt for him because what she felt for him couldn't be described in words. So instead she would show him through her actions just how much she loved him.

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Kai glanced at Noe with a smile, he could feel her heart beating faster than normal, indeed Isa's evaluation was correct in more ways than one. Still, Noe opted to give him the duty of 'bursting' the bubble and sharing the good news. Kai hesitated, what was he supposed to do? Stand on a chair and announce to the whole room that Noe was pregnant? Telling Isa and Aketsu was pretty much equivalent to doing just that, word would spread. But Kai was fine with that, it wasn't anything he was ashamed of. It was no secret to their close friends that they wanted but had been unable to have children thus far. So that brought up a second question, how?

 

Kai blinked a few times in succession and in that the time it took to do so, a number of different possibilities presented themselves to him.

 

'Hey Isa, Aketsu, guess who's pregnant?'

Too informal.

'Princess Isa, I am proud to announce the coming arrival of three...'

Way too formal.

'Speaking of things about to burst...'

Nope, awkward.

'Noe's pregnant!'

Maybe simple was best...

 

Unfortunately Kai's mind hadn't quite sent its vote in to his lips before he started speaking.

 

"We're pregnant!" Kai exclaimed with a smile. He didn't shout, but he didn't hide his voice from the newcomer or the others in the room either. "Well... I mean, Noe is pregnant, with triplets, and..." Kai reached down and raised up a chunk of the stone floor, filling in the gap as a series of controlled electrical discharged (in combination with his earth element) cut the stone into three replicas of the children Kai and Noe had seen in their dreams. The lightning even added color to the stone through burning it, making the sculptures look very life-like. On each child's forehead was engraved their names, Naru, Kiara, O’ehmar.

 

"And that's what they look like!" It was only after he had created the statues that it occurred to him how weird it probably seemed to Isa and anyone else paying attention. But in the land of the earth elementarians, sculpting likenesses of your children while still in the womb was actually quite common. Albeit Kai had sculpted them at like age two or three, but now it was done, and he was so happy that the logical side of his brain (complaining about the weirdness of his action) was hardly more than a whisper.

 

Kai hugged Noe and gave her a peck on the cheek before stepping to the side, towards Aketsu, to dodge the impending huggleglomp he expected from Isa. Women tended to do that when they were talking about emotional things...

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Aisling

 

The next morning Ash woke up, got dressed in the next day's clothes, closed her bag, brought it downstairs with her, ate the breakfast that the innkeeper made, paid for it after she was done eating, and then headed towards the stables. Once there, she greeted Aerth, put her bag on her back, and then had her trot out of the stables and towards the city’s exit. After she got there, she galloped towards Sola.

 

She had heard that the city of Sola was a pretty place as well as filled with a lot of nice people; she just hoped that what she had heard was true. Maybe once she got there, she could find someone, if possible, to take off the metal bracelet tracker thing that the assassin had given to her after having killed her uncle.

 

She didn't know for certain if she would find such a person there to take it off for her but it was worth a try. It made her feel like she was under arrest or something and she didn't like that feeling at all. She also didn't like that she was being tracked so that's why she wanted to get it removed as soon as possible.

Edited by SkySong278

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Celeste~

 

Celeste's mind whirled with disbelief; she thought that Renzo had just run away like she had. She would have never expected for him to come all the way back here and find her. She didn't know what to do with herself, so she just bobbed in place. He couldn't find out about what had happened to her. Endless teasing would follow, possibly accompanied by a report to her Lord. She sighed and looked at Naomi with a bit of hurt in her eyes. She thought that her nurse would be able to take care of her, not just abandon her in the woods... She thought for a moment about that, though. She needed to learn how to deal with people she didn't like. That was an important skill, and what if her Lord required skills from her that were related to diplomacy? She shuddered as the thought processed. Hopefully he or Aamina could handle that. Aamina... The geomancer seemed to have an ardent dislike for Celeste, and she could not figure out why. What had she done to people to make them dislike her? She simply could not understand.

 

At that point, Renzo had walked into the doorstep. Celeste felt his eyes rake over her, and if she wasn't mistaken, a flash of concern washed over his face. It seemed to disappear instantaneously, however. He jumped into the air and began to hover, reclining as if he were in his own home. Disgusting.

 

"Lovely Celeste, how nice it is to see you again. You look different. Did you get a haircut? Lose weight maybe? Honestly, I'm dying to know how Jahaha-whateverhisnameis's pet has been doing without her master. It's a matter of curiosity, really. Your drama never ceases to entertain me. It's like a badly-written opera that never seems to end. Now please, indulge me."

 

Celeste looked at Renzo with disdain and anger, and she began to rise. She flayed her hand out to bring that vase's water to her fingertips, but it wouldn't come. Her emotions stopped, and she flopped back down on the bed, immensely tired. "Please, Renzo. I do not have time for your antics. I need to get back to my Lord. Just leave me be." The truth was that she just wanted to break down and cry, right there. But he couldn't see that, so she resigned herself to looking back down, the spice leaving her eyes. What was the use? She couldn't even fight... Lord Jahanshah would be most disappointed...

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Gear looked around while he walked down the cracked road in the middle of the city of Whisper. It was evident that there was no sunlight that touched the bases of the buildings, which was probably the reason why there was little vegetation. He had never been to Whisper, not even for a commission, but he knew about the darkness that engulfed most of the city area. He hardly ever had time to stroll down the streets like a proper person; alleys and darkness was his preferred method of travel, but this city was so shadowed it was as if it was all one big alleyway. The castle was just a few more blocks away, and so Gear decided to take his time to get there. He wasn't at his job at the moment, because he was on a 'very important date'. That didn't mean he couldn't take his sweet time getting there, even if his 'date' was royalty.

 

He had an audience with the Queen.

 

In the back of his mind, Gear still could not believe that the Queen would request his services. The Shadow Alliance really is getting desperate, he mused, that they would resort to means such as hiring assassins. It flattered him, really. Just went to show how skilled he really was, that the Queen would ask him to help her out.Not that it flared his pride too much. He still wasn't sure what exactly she called him there to do. It might not have been related to his job whatsoever.

 

The gates to the castle were gigantic. How flashy, Gear laughed in his mind. What taste. The guards standing by didn't seem to notice him slip past them. Were they asleep? Not that it mattered. He just had to get by unnoticed, and that was a lot easier for him that people would think. There was a group of people standing in the courtyard. Three people, a boy, a young man and a girl. Not that he was interested in their conversation. What he was to do right now was to get past them without the annoying shout outs of "Who goes there?". If he got caught, it didn't matter, however, if they knew who he was they might not have let him go so easily.

 

Gear got past, slipping by the scale of the wall. He used the shadow of the castle to his advantage. He always woe dark colours to slip by bystanders who would be really annoying if they were to catch him.

 

Gear knew the plans to the building, and so he navigated the corridors easily. He non-nonchalantly coaxed them from the city's official library's employee on hand. That girl really didn't have a clue what he was doing. Stealing them was as easy as pie. She did just turn around and he was gone. Considering the girl's demeanour, however, he wondered if she still didn't realize that they were actually gone and that he was nowhere to be found.

 

He stopped at the door to the Queen's room, hesitating before he pushed the doors open. A random thought occurred to his mind. They said the Queen was beautiful. Very beautiful, in fact. How old is she? he wondered. What a thought! Suddenly he laughed at himself for his shrewdness and brushed the thought aside. A joke..

 

Gear tried the doorknob, then swung the two doors open. He wasn't surprised to see the room empty. It wouldn't be for long, however. He knew she was going to come.. eventually. He just had to wait.

 

((Sorry for the bad post, gotta sleep))

Edited by lachrymation

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Marcus grinned at his fiancée and quickly pecked her on the cheek before standing up. “Come ooooon” He said with a smile. It was always fun for him to surprise her and lately, he’d been having some nights where he would disappear. They both loved the forest, well, he not so much being a fire elementian and all, but! He had always thought that maybe a home in the forest would be nice. Neither of them needed much and it would be nice to have a home in the more mountainous regions and to also have a home closer to the castle if one of them had business to do but not enough time to travel.

 

He called it the hiatus house. Marcus had spent long hours cutting the wood just so and searing the ends properly. He walked with Skylar thorough the brush until they came to a freshly cleared path. There were hoofprints on the path and their horses could be heard in the distance. With a smile, they broke through the last clearing to see a nice cabin with nothing special other than the beauty of simplicity.

“We have an hour or so.” He said as he walked into the house with Skylar. There was no attic since the ceiling was open to allow the rising of heat. The rafters were polished just like the floors. There were the simple amenities and a bed that was larger than their home in the mountains. In a one room cabin, the atmosphere was slightly more cozy, but the look was simpler, easier to deal with when having to come in and come out over short periods of time.

 

Isa and Noe – The Sisters

Isa looked at Kai like he was crazy. There was no way that he and Noe were pregnant because that just couldn’t be possible could it? Noe, well, not many knew, but Noe had had an accident when she was in her early teen years that nearly ruined her development. She had no memory of the accident, but Isa did; it had been her fault.

 

She just stared at them until Kai brought up the images of their children. All three were either feathered, had feathers, or were getting feathers. Feathery little brats. Isa smirked at her comment before stepping in front of Noe, still shocked at the news.

 

Noe

Well this was strange. Isa was quiet for once instead of her bawdy, overzealous self that would give poor Noe headaches. Her eyes were whirling that rainbow color as she stared down at Noe’s stomach then back into Noe’s eyes. There was something strange about Isa as she turned to where Kai had pulled up the lifelike images of their children. A hologram of the three appeared at a mere twitch of Isa’s finger.

 

“eeeeyup. Feathery little brats.” Isa smiled at her sister warmly. Even though she practically hated Noe at times, vice versa as well, she still loved her. They had been through wars together, shared secrets with one another, even shared a father. Their connection was definitely a solid one thanks to all that they had been through. Meaning, Isa’s hatred could be stoved down for a moment to congratulate her sister as well as her brother in law.

 

“Good job Kai.” Isa said with a brazen smile making Noe flush a deep red. “Took you two long enough to conceive now I have to deal with them, right Noe? I bet you were going to make Aketsu and I godparents huh…..” Isa shook her head but the cheeky grin on her face spoke of a happiness for them that she would one day hope to have with Aketsu….if he ever got around to proposing. “Congrats.” She said then hugged her sister tightly.

 

Zillah

Aaaaaahhhhhh. A bath was definitely something that was quite refreshing. It had already been an eventful day with the revealing of Aamina’s character to the rather dense Jahanshah. The poor fellow would soon find either bloodshed as Aamina tore the heart from Celeste’s chest (Zillah didn’t envy poor Celeste. Her life had been quite difficult as well.), or he would find that one day, Aamina would no longer be there. They were both quite young, but easily molded into what the queen was hoping for. Jahan had the last word.

 

“Bet-“ she stopped herself before uttering the rest of his name. Betzalel had been gone for more than a year now… He had, at one time, been her constant companion and they had had many times where they loved one another. The terms that they had left on weren’t exactly the best unfortunately. It seemed as though he was afraid of some invisible force. Something that actually frightened HIM, of all people was something that frightened her. Uneeded fear however.

 

She stepped out of the bath, the shadows whispering to her all that was there, all that existed. Her pupils were where they needed to be, her children talking, and the world was good. Shadow was ruling. Her slender body was pale against the shadows that wrapped around her, removing the water, leaving her long, silken black hair in smooth waves behind her. With a chuckle, she used shadows to move an ornate obsidian circlet to her head that would hold her hair back from her face. The dress that she wore was a full length, lace dress with a cut on the outside of each leg that hit five inches below each hip. The slip underneath the dress was a deep blood red that matched the fire-filled gem in the circlet that she wore. The katana that she wore at her side, a sibling of Jahan’s sword known as Azaezel, fit in with the outfit as well.

 

On her feet, instead of wearing her normal black boots, she instead opted for a more feminine boot. She had a meeting today which meant that she, of course, had to look like a queen instead of the warrior queen that she truly was. People must first meet the face, then the woman.

 

One last look in the mirror and a swirl of shadows was all she needed.

 

“It took you long enough.” She whispered in Gear’s ear as she appeared behind him without a single sound.

 

“A man should always be early to his meeting whether it be with a queen, or with another, human being.” Zillah disappeared then appeared further into her room.

“I will say that your show of hiding was rather exemplary for one not employed in my service.” Her bright red eyes scanned Gear over a few times, obviously sizing him up. “Hmph.” She turned to look towards the table where a meal was set just as she had requested.

 

“However, you fail to remember that as the queen of the Shadow Alliance, I do possess certain, qualities.” She said as she disappeared from Gear’s view. “Shadows are my playthings, my friends. Please do not insult me ever again by trying to hide.” Her tone became acidic during her threat, but her face turned kind as she motioned for Gear to be seated.

 

“Laiel Ashden. Born to an abusive family that abandoned you to an abusive home. Hmmm, no doubt developing you into who you are today. The Black Gear. Your name is heard around these parts especially since you are a Metal Elementian not employed in my service. How about you tell me about yourself.” She said crossing her right leg over the left and leaning back in her chair.

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Skylar

 

Sky pecked him back on the cheek before also standing up but a few minutes after he did. She then followed him through the brush of the woods, wondering where it was that they were going. She had slept both soundly and peacefully the last couple of nights and had no idea that he had disappeared.

 

Once they broke through the brush after a few more long minutes or so and they came upon another cabin but in the woods and closer to the castle, she looked at it with wonder and awe in her eyes. "When did you build this?" she asked once she had her voice back and before they walked into it.

 

She looked around at the open ceiling and the polished floors and rafters as well as the one room that was there. She saw that the bed was a bit larger than their other home but didn't mind. While she looked at all the stuff in the cabin while walking around she was quiet but then when she went back over to where she had left Marc she said as she wrapped her arms around his neck with a happy smile on her face, "It's beautiful. I love it."

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Lucius

 

And he really had to get out of this bakery now. The newcomers, named Kai and Noe, were very close it seemed to the princess and the woman was clearly pregnant. With what looked like feathered human babies from the image the father was showing. It was quite disturbing... The mother was probably that Griffin he had heard about. How was that even possible?! One laid eggs the other gave live birth... where in the world would they be compatible?! Not much use trying to figure it out there it was if the picture was true... Soon to be born freaks of nature.

 

He looked at the table, now devoid of bread, and then glanced at Yuaki who was busy being with the others. There was also Isis, but he was overly busy being silent and he was not too fond of small talks, especially not when the people who would probably want to execute him were being all fluffy to a troubling and, for him, disgusting point about freaks. Quite frankly he was wondering if it really was a good idea to stay. He had a golden occasion that was for sure, but... still. He wanted to know how they lived and how they wanted things to become and see if it was better for him to work for them or for Zillah. Personally both side could just die off and he'd be just as happy though.

 

He stood from his chair silently then made his way towards the door just as silently. For him that was a reflex, he didn't have to put any thoughts into it. He was going to wait outside until his new partner, Yuaki, decided to rejoin him. The room was filled with Guardians and he felt completely out of place and very uncomfortable, which the place being small made unbearable to him. He put back his hood before going outside in the daylight and subtly adjusted the shadow to be able to withstand the bright sunlight.

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Gear clenched his jaw. His surroundings, although nothing physical had changed, seemed to suddenly radiate with a silent and shadowed atmosphere. Had the queen come in without his sensing it? If she did, she was an expert at making no sound as she walked. Just like a shadow.

 

A whisper from directly behind him that sent his a cold chill run down his spine confirmed Zillah's presence. “It took you long enough.” Without turning, Gear could tell she had disappeared. He couldn't sense her presence behind his body anymore, but that meant that she was just going to reappear at a place where he could see her.

 

One look at her and his breath was stolen away. Before him was a tall, dark woman with sharp, beautiful features. Her black hair smoothed down the back of the long, lace dress she was wearing, with flashes of blood-red on her accessories and weapon.

 

“I will say that your show of hiding was rather exemplary for one not employed in my service.” Gear smirked. Slipping about was his nature; he wasn't a warrior, just an assassin. It was necessary for him to be able to get by and out unnoticed. Before he could say anything, however, Zillah continued.

 

“However, you fail to remember that as the queen of the Shadow Alliance, I do possess certain qualities. Shadows are my playthings, my friends. Please do not insult me ever again by trying to hide.”

 

That certainly wouldn't be possible. He had always used the shadows to conceal himself; if he didn't do such a thing then he wouldn't be able to execute his job properly. "Forgive me, Your Majesty," His tone started off quite mockingly, but slid easily into an apologetic bearing. "But I simply am not trying to insult you by using the shadows. I respect them, and they let me slip away easily enough. Would you not say that was a more... mutual relationship?"

 

The queen motioned to the chair for him to sit. He refused, and stayed standing.

 

“Laiel Ashden. Born to an abusive family that abandoned you to an abusive home. Hmmm, no doubt developing you into who you are today. The Black Gear. Your name is heard around these parts especially since you are a Metal Elementian not employed in my service. How about you tell me about yourself.”

 

Gear startled, surprised how much she knew about him, including his real name. Laiel... The name to him his parents had given haunted him. Both families didn't treat him well; 'Laiel' was almost just a pet that they had acquired that they decided to abuse often. How much else did she know... He had locked everything of his past away; not forgetting, simply brushing aside. He didn't look on it with pity to himself; he was angry that he didn't do anything to prevent it and stop it with his own hands. Being a child he was weak.. and nothing like his current demeanour. He had decided not to let anyone take advantage of him ever again, and so the Black Gear was born. He wasn't going anywhere back there.

 

"There is nothing to say about myself, other than the fact that I'm not particularly into sharing secrets. Instead of informing you on what you don't need to know, how about you tell me what information you have already acquired about me with the many sources you have?"

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Queen Zillah was very surprised at the mocking tone that Gear had put up. However she was very much so pleased when he turned his tone to one of respect and admiration. THAT was what she was used to, but the fact was, he realized that he was in the presence of royalty. Not that that really mattered to her, it was just something that her mother had instilled into her at a young age. Don’t let anyone treat you as a normal person.

 

“Very well stated Gear. Very well.” The queen said with a smile on her lips.

When he didn’t sit down, of course Zillah didn’t like the rebellion of the action, however she allowed him his space for a moment before sweeping her hand. He wouldn’t have noticed the shadow behind him that engulfed him, placed him on the chair and held him there like the stickiest sap in the world.

 

“To say no is not exactly a wise idea with me.” She said with an almost sadistic chuckle. It was true. She enjoyed making people do what she wanted to. The one thing she would not make anyone do, was join her. That had to be a choice, a decision made on their own terms.

 

“Now, to begin with you…” she said with a snap of her fingers. Much like she did with Aamina, she pulled a shadow that held a mirror that reflected Gear’s life before him. His murderous ways for simple money or self-gratification. The hundreds of people that he had manipulated to trust him, left in the mud, cold and hungry. Just as alone as he was. Every person she flashed before him, had lost someone because of his actions. Some of the people that he had killed were in the way of evil people. For those people she showed him their lives and what they had done to cause the anger of a willing buyer of Gear’s talents.

 

She went on and on, showing him to himself. “This is what I see about you. But then, I also see this.” She said and the mirror flashed brightly, but then revealed a little, two or three year old boy, sitting on the front steps of a foster home, crying for his mother and father.

 

“I see a child that has grown into a man, learning to trust no one and instead, treating others as he was treated. A young man with an attitude as a defensive mechanism instead of it being truly himself. Much like myself to be honest.” She added pensively as she turned to him to see his reaction. It was probably nothing to him, however there were those that would see themselves and turn into animals. She was sure since he was practiced at hiding his emotions, that nothing would happen. Still….

 

“What say you to this Black Gear? Or more so, Black Death? Better yet, Black Murderer?” She said making sure that he was released from the shadows. If he chose to become angry, the queen could handle herself even though no one truly understood that she had, at one time, been quite the warrior. Still, there were those that could best her.

 

Will add Marcus later

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Blaise

 

Blaise stood unimpressed. A simple wormhole giving the illusion of teleportation. It couldn’t be too difficult to master, if he took the time to pick it apart. How far could this elementian travel with one step? Surely not as far as he might initially guess. He’d have to continue contact with this one to question him about this specific ability and work out how to enhance it. With a sigh, he relented and took a step forward, ready to follow along with whatever plan this man had. The wind pulled him inwards, but he held himself steady until Tractus went through. He raised a hand to his mask as the irresistible gravitation threatened to rip it from his face. He hoped he was in for a duel of some sort. While he wasn’t thrilled with the idea of causing harm to a useful instrument, he could do with some way to relieve the stress of the force building up inside himself.

 

The hand offered to Luna was rather unexpected, but not by him. The response was hesitant, slow, and doubtful, but held enough trust in him to follow along with his prodding. Or that might simply be her social anxiety and inability to say no. Though the thought to bring Luna along at all was interesting. Their relationship was likely complex, as most relationships with Luna usually are. Romantic interest, perhaps? Unrequited love, maybe, as suggested by the tension between the two. Sentiment. Always the small things that tripped up everyone else.

 

 

 

Julian

 

"Dirty?" Julian forrowed his brow in slight confusion, before his face lit up with realization of his hand motions. His nervous habit, where his hands shook slightly and felt clammy. Lowering his eyes, he shoved his hands into his pockets to avoid soiling any more of the finery he was surrounded in. "Oh, no, sorry... I wasn't... I mean, she isn't dirty at all." He shrugged, then pulled his hands out again, not sure what to do with them. "I'm the one who is dirty. One would expect to be covered in dust and dirt after walking most of the way here..." Aamina seemed indifferent to his statement and question, but extended the graciousness to answer.

 

As she explained V's situation, she seemed to become more passionate about the subject. Aamina no doubt cared about the girl, despite how roughly she might treat her. She obviously just wants what is best for her companion. Julian's brow furrowed, feeling more and more sympathy towards the pair as she went on.

 

“The reason that they train like this, is to make a force that is difficult to harm or kill to protect the queen.”

 

"That must be hard..." he murmured. "On both of you. I'm sorry you're put through so much-"

 

“Why’d you have to be so rough in knocking me out?”

 

“I don’t think you would have wanted Viara to go on about how ‘handsome’ Julian is.”

 

Aamina softened as V began to stir, but not too much, as if she were keeping a wall up. Swallowing a lump, he managed a quiet, "Welcome back." The greeting went unheard as the two girls exchanged a few words before V turned towards Mythyr and himself, seemingly ready to fully explain the situation to them both.

 

“Welp, since you had to meet her, might as well hear about it. Besides, there are a few hours to kill before the meeting.”

 

As she began, Julian listened intently. V-... or rather, Viara, had been put through so much at such a young age, yet still, there was a side of her that seemed so happy and carefree. How could a part of her have been so untouched by the cruelty she must have been forced to endure? He also noticed that their stories had several parallels... Raised within the Light Alliance, tortured, for no fault of her own, then ran... Ran until she reached safety. Until she reached the Shadow Alliance. But for her, safety seemed relative in the palace. Training was dangerous, and would probably kill him if he attempted to do what this girl was doing. Maybe he just wasn’t cut out to be a Shade, ever.

 

He kept quiet for a while, processing and nodding slowly. “All right... Well, thank you for explaining. It-”

 

V stood, wavered, then stumbled towards him, bumping him slightly off balance. He quickly shot an arm out, steadying the girl. “Don’t worry about it,” he replied to her muttered apology. Slowly helping her back down to sit, he took a seat next to him, ready to help if asked. She didn’t seem to be able to even support herself in an upwards position, let alone standing.

 

“Do... you need anything? Walking somewhere, maybe?”

 

Edited by Silver_Voices

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Gear was about to step forward when a shadow reached at him from behind and pulled him down onto the chair that the queen had offered him from the start. He bent his knees to stand up; however, the medium between him and the chair stuck to him like glue.

 

A voice interrupted his struggle with the sappy shadow: “To say no is not exactly a wise idea with me.” Gear should have seen this coming. The queen was obviously a woman who got what she wanted. Well, let her have her fun, he thought. I'll be playing the cards soon enough.

 

“Now, to begin with you…” Gear stiffened, at that very second unsure. Her tone had changed: it was mellow - almost sadistic, and he could detect the twisted humour in her voice. Just what exactly was about to occur? He watched as she pulled out a mirror within the shadows and brought it out before him. He could see himself there, pathetic, totally playing into her hands as she held him captive on the chair he was forced to sit down in.

 

At the snap of her fingers, he suddenly found himself whirled into a pool of confusion. Images flashed before his eyes - images that weren't all too pleasant. He could recognize a few of the faces: people he were commissioned to slaughter, their family and friends. As unsettling as it was having his past revealed to him, he couldn't feel anything change within him. Was that what the queen wanted to do? Change how he acted, how he felt towards the ones he had left broken and betrayed? Well it wasn't working. His heart had already hardened at all the problems that he had caused others. As much as he didn't enjoy being reminded of all the things that had gone wrong, he couldn't care less. This only affirmed one fact - that his heart truly was made of stone.

 

Gear's expression refused to change. There was no catalyst to affect it greatly, and even if it did put him off, he wouldn't show it to his face. It was imperative that he show no weakness, especially to the queen.

 

The queen continued, not looking at his face to see whether or not he was affected as he thought she had wished. With a snap of her fingers, she said calmly, “This is what I see about you. But then, I also see this.”

 

Then something popped up amidst the images. It was a little boy sitting on the front steps of this house crying to himself. He recognized the boy right away.

 

It was him.

 

Why would she make that appear in front of his eyes? He swallowed hard. Facing the people he had sacrificed in such a carefree manner had little to no effect on him - however, it was a much different and harder thing to face himself. He could see that even though the little boy's face was shadowed in despair, it held a childlike purity to it, unblemished and not darkened by the deep desires inside. And that scared him. To see himself like this - use to be like this.

 

“I see a child that has grown into a man, learning to trust no one and instead, treating others as he was treated. A young man with an attitude as a defensive mechanism instead of it being truly himself. Much like myself to be honest. What say you to this, Black Gear? Or more so, Black Death? Better yet, Black Murderer?”

 

Gear could feel the shadow suddenly loosen its grip on him and he sprung up quickly, freed from his torment. He was suddenly aware that he could feel himself shaking. Shaking... with fury? Fear? Anger? What was it that drove the feeling to kill yet again rise to his fingertips?

 

Clenching his teeth, he took deep, heavy breths. Each word dragged out of him was almost impossible not to call a warning of death. "You damn woman. There is nothing I despise more than being reminded of who I was in the past. I was beyond weak and unable to fend for myself. What do you want? Me to go back to who I was? Being pushed around by every single person who have had the notion that they could control me, to order me about?"

 

His breathing still heavy, Gear looked up at her, directly at her face and square in the eyes. Then it came to him through her clear, unwavering eyes. He had played right into her trap. "So this is how you rile people up..." he muttered.

 

Then something snapped. Laughing spitefully, Gear paced the room, the stopped just a foot away from of her. He could tell she didn't flinch as he spoke lightly into the darkness. "You're a sick, twisted woman, Zillah. It's almost like you enjoy other people's pain."

 

Leaning in closer, his mouth just inches from her face, he whispered darkly: "But that doesn't mean I'm not willing to join you. I could do a lot for you as you could me... "

Edited by lachrymation

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Renzo

 

Celeste couldn't hide what had happened to her, not after the stunt she had just tried to pull. Renzo wasn't oblivious to the movement of her hands, and he definitely couldn't ignore the fact that no water was responding to her call. He should have had at the very least a frozen finger right now, but there was nothing. For a moment he had managed to capture the fire in her eyes, that spark of anger that always sent an exciting shiver down his spine. Now it was gone, replaced by depression and a disappointing resignation. Renzo's eyes narrowed as he leaned forward like a doctor examining a new patient, his feet still floating a few inches above the floor. His favorite toy was broken, and he didn't like broken toys. A small crackling of electricity jumped between his fingers and he considered giving Celeste a good shock. It could help her get her powers back…or it could kill her. With the other people in the building and all the commotion downstairs, it didn't seem like a good plan. Not to mention Jahaha would probably be on his case for hurting his little pet. As much as he disliked the boy, Renzo wasn't in the mood to make another enemy.

 

"Tsk tsk tsk, sweetheart. What a sad, pathetic, boring little creature you've become," Renzo drawled. "But here's some interesting news. I just so happen to be heading Jahaha's way, too. With those lovely powers of yours gone, how is a frail little creature such as yourself going to make it to him without getting hurt…or killed?" He landed lightly on the floor and took a step towards Celeste. "Come now, we've just been reunited after a year of being apart. I know we got off on the wrong foot…or legs…or hands…or whatever it is. You froze a lot of things back then. Anyway, I assume the brutes downstairs will be coming here in a few minutes to investigate whoever knocked out the poor lad by the door. I assure you these guards will not be friendly, and without your powers you will be completely at their mercy. So, with that being said, how about you and I get out of here with all your other silly friends and make our way to Jahaha?" Renzo held out his hand to Celeste and nodded at Naomi to assure her that she was part of the deal. "Who knows, together we may even be able to figure out your whole power situation before we reach the little princeling. He'll never have to know how weak you are right now, and you can go back to making doe-eyes at him like you used to."

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Weakness. That was this man’s particular soft spot was weakness. Poor dear, she couldn’t help but think as he broke out of the shadows, shaking. What she couldn’t tell was if it was from fear or anger. But then again, anger was usually rooted in a fear. Maybe he was afraid of becoming that way again, and thus angry at himself for even thinking that he could go back to that.

 

He began to speak about how she might have wanted him to go back to being the weakling that he had viewed himself to be, however, he began to pace. It looked as though he were a caged animal, but caged by his own thoughts. This man was caged by his desire to be stronger and never return to the weakness that had been there once before. She allowed him to get closer, curious about what he would say.

 

However, as soon as he was inches from her face, she found herself breathing in a deep musk that could only be attributed to a man that was constantly travelling.

 

Interesting. Was her thought as she fought the urge to force him away from her.

 

Zillah cleared her throat, surprised at Gear’s strength of action. Most men, save maybe one or two including Gear, had had the audacity to approach her as such.

“You mistake me.” She said holding his gaze, her tone even. His eyes were even a more intense color than any light or wind Elementian could have. They were the color of pure, unadulterated gold which she had only seen once in her life. Without even thinking about it, she placed her left hand over Gear’s heart.

 

“Understand that we were all once there. I only wish for you to come to terms with the fact that you were not weak, but young.” She looked at the mirror, hoping that he would as well. There, it showed a little girl who was strikingly beautiful. Long black hair that reached down to the ground, pale white skin stretched over athletic muscles and bright red eyes matching pretty red lips.

 

The little girl was shown as she grew into a young woman that looked exactly like Queen Zillah, just more carefree. She didn’t have any issues or anything to worry about. Beside her stood a young man with eyes of the same color as the girls hair, and hair the same color of the girls eyes. They were much like yin and yang, or two parts of one whole.

 

The two standing there looked regal in their garb until they began to fight; unequaled by their competitors, the two fought together. The young girl, even though they tied, would always walk over to the man, hug him and state “Good job brother.”

Wars came and went in flashes until there was a single moment where the man with the red hair was stabbed through his chest. Both had been surrounded by enemies…and Zillah wasn’t strong enough to stop the men from harming her beloved older brother.

 

“We each view ourselves as weak, however you must view it as a moment where you can grow stronger. I only wish to show that which you need to work on to avoid being harmed.” Zillah looked back to Gear, her deep, ruby eyes searching his to find a way that he might understand what it was that she was doing. “My intent is not to rile, even if I do enjoy seeing where people’s weak points are. I am not my mother.”

If anyone knew anything about Shadow history, they knew that Zillah’s mother, Zeema was rather sadistic and enjoyed watching other people be harmed. Zillah was in no way like that. She slipped from underneath Gears body which was hovering over her still. A deep breath raised her shoulders before lowering them.

 

“Weakness, and to imagine that your stony surface can be broken through with the image of a broken child.” She mumbled to herself. Zillah walked over to the balcony after releasing the shadows into the room and pushing them away from her making the room light up to show the taste that the room had. It wasn’t incredibly dark, but reflected the Queen’s temperament.

 

“All people are broken by one thing. All of them have to grow from that one point while constantly remembering what had happened to them.” She motioned to the gorgeous city below them. The shadows filled the streets, but then there was light that would hit the shadows making them shimmer and dance. When that happened, the entire city, from the view from above, looked like a shimmering, obsidian lake. “Shadow’s represent pain but from that pain, comes a beauty that none of us will realize. I have lived many years more than my twenty-three year old body would admit. Don’t let your weakness hold you back. Use it to shoot you forward.” She said and turning to Gear with a smile that told him that she had used that weakness more than once to shoot herself forward.

 

Many people viewed Zillah as a horrible tyrant, which she was at times. Her Assassins were tortured creatures, but they were strong, willful, and loyal to a fault. Her people were ruled with an iron fist and if they came to her with petty things, she normally was very angry with them. However, if they had honest issues, her subjects met the Queen that all had come to respect and love. Zillah loved her people with all of her heart. She felt for those that had issues and if they weren’t in her service, they were to become in her service for their betterment. Sola would destroy them…

 

“I will say, however, it was nice to see some emotion other than unrefined cockiness displayed on your face.” The Queen giggled at her own joke as she looked over the city once more. She looked back at Gear, sitting on the edge of the stone balcony.

 

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Aisling

 

After Ash put Aerth in the stables, she wandered around the city to explore it a bit. She had no idea what all was there and since exploring a new place tended to give her an idea of what was in a new place, she did it a lot. As she wandered around, she saw a bakery and a boy possibly around her age with what looked to be a shadow in front of him to block some of the sunlight.

 

To her that was a bit weird but to other people, she would probably be the weird one because of her weirdly colored hair as well as the two different colored eyes. She mentally shook the thought about the shadow blocking the boy being weird out of her head before going up to him in order to start a small conversation with him.

 

"Hi I'm new here and don't really know where a good place is to get a drink here like a bar or restaurant and was wondering if you could direct me in the direction of one of those two places," she said to him with a small smile not knowing that he might also be new to Sola like her. That was also the only conversation starter that she knew of to say or rather the only one that she could think up at the last minute. She hoped that he wouldn't look at her weirdly and just walk away from her without telling her an answer to what she said.

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