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The Castle.

It was a large, stone structure that rose up overnight between the great trees of a forest. It’s eerie structure was composed largely of rounded towers with pointed grooves and small, square windows covered with tinted glass. While it was certainly tall, it’s location was clearly deliberate as not even the tallest spire rose above the trees. Vines and other greenery clung to the cold, dark bricks and slowly climbed up the steep walls, worming their way in between the gaps to reach higher towards the sky. The castle was perfectly hidden among the foliage and, even had it not been, it was so far removed from any path that those who entered through it’s large, brown door had to know what it’s purpose was and had a reason for being there. But, if they did not, they would not live long enough to find the answer.

The inside of the castle was always occupied, filled with twisted creatures that resembled humans in body only. Some possessed horns or antlers from a variety of animals, others possessed feathery hair and noses that pointed like the beak of a bird. Fur could almost always be seen poking out from under the clothing they wore and those that did not possess it certainly had some indication that they were not entirely normal. At any time, somewhere from five to fifteen of the creatures could be found, maintaining the inside of the castle. They were Beasts but instead of killing humans and Apostles, they served the Baron by ensuring the castle was clean and orderly. While the outside appeared as if the building was abandoned, the inside was kept warm and comfortable by these Beasts. Torches lined the wall to supply a bright, warm light to the halls. Between the lights, paintings and tapestries hung to give the castle a more homely appearance. The bedrooms were completely different, each designed to cater to the specific needs of those who would reside within. A large library held many texts, from religious texts to stories to books on history. One of the largest rooms held a long, thin table lined with chairs. It was here that the Disciples met and it was here that the deaths of countless individuals were plotted.

It was in the castle that Miles sat, on the edge of the bed in the room designated as his. As a Disciple, he had been called to the castle along with other Disciples by the voice in their minds. The Baron. They all had matters to discuss, likely related to the Apostles. As the Lord created more and more, greater numbers of Beasts were killed and their army size was rapidly decreasing. They had to do something about the aggravating servants of the other god before their own existences were compromised. While the Baron reassured them neither Apostle not false god knew of their existence, it was unlikely that would continue for too long, especially if the Baron was defeated. And if their god fell, would they fall with him?

Pressing a hand over his heart, the corners of Miles’s mouth shifted down into a tight-lipped scowl. There was no use thinking like that. The Baron would win and they would see it through. He had carefully picked them all as his Disciples and he watched over them all. He was their god and he would soon become the only god of the Earth.

Rising to his feet from the edge of the bed, Miles pushed open the heavy, wooden door that led out of his room. He had arrived early after the call had been sent out for them to meet because he had been closer to the castle. However, it was probably about time some of the others would arrive. Conversations with his fellow Disciples always turned out interesting. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a box of cigarettes and idly lit one off of one of the torches on the wall before walking through the stone corridors towards the room with the large table. He could get some of the Beasts to make him food while he waited. As a Disciple, he was almost always hungry as the power inside of him demanded copious amounts of energy. Even if his fellows did show up, he would probably end up eating anyway.



Quinn spent much of her type at the Fortress at the gym. For almost Apostles, the Fortress served as a permanent residence. It was easier and safer for them to stay there as calls could quickly reach them about Beasts and they lived close together to protect one another. It made more sense and allowed them to bond as well. Many Apostles worked in teams as a result, letting them more easily take down larger and more dangerous Beasts. Fewer Apostles died regularly and it was just much safer on the whole. It also made them feel closer. Many Apostles left behind their families to fight for the Lord so it made sense if they felt lonely. Living in the Fortress together helped them find a new family among their fellow servants of the Lord of the Living.

But, that didn’t change the fact Apostles constantly threw themselves into dangerous situations. Fighting Beasts was no easy manner and many Apostles fighting for their first time choked up and found themselves unable to kill the creatures. It got only slightly easier with time as the Baron seemed to constantly find more and more ways to unnerve the Apostles. At first, the Beasts resembled just that: animals. But over time, they became more and more human and even began speaking. It was hard taking down something that spoke to you in a sugary sweet voice and looked like an innocent person. For her, it was even more difficult. Her weapons required her getting up close and personal with Beasts. Her weapons didn’t kill as easily as swords or other equipment. Instead, she had to dive in close and beat them down multiple times until they finally stopped moving and her fists were stained red.

Grinding her teeth, Quinn slammed her left fist into the heavy, cylindrical bag, sending it flying off of the ropes that held it up. It slammed into the ground a distance away and rolled for a short distance before coming to rest. Sighing, she let her arms drop to her sides as the metal knuckles she was holding vanished back into a white mist that quickly dissolved over her skin. Moving forward, she approached the punching back and knelt down in front of it, examining the frayed rope. She’d have to get a replacement for it so she could hang the bag back up again. The regular people working at the Fortress would get mad at her again if she left her messes laying about.


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"My child, are you ill of temper?" a kindly, old voice spoke from the back of the gym. Those who heard the voice knew it immediately.

An old man, carrying a pipe in one hand with the trails of smoke still lifting from it and a book in the other, entered the gym quietly after that, his long, brown robes sliding along the ground gently.

"And you know that it's frowned upon to use your weapon so nonchalantly, young Quinn... It's a gift for battle, not for destroying bags of sand." he chuckled, putting the pipe in his mouth so he could pat her shoulder. "But I admire your current skill. However, if something is troubling you, you may always tell me. I am always here to listen, as I always have been."

He took a puff upon the pipe a few times, making sure the smoke wouldn't get in her face. He then removed it from his mouth to blow a smoke ring, sighing.

"You know, they tell me I'll meet the Baron soon if I continue to use these things." he said, holding the pipe up. "And I believe they're right. But they're so calming. Ah, perhaps I should work on using them far less than I do. What do you think, Quinn?"

He gave her a slight glance with a pair of eyes that spoke of years they had seen and yet also an optimism for the years to come.




"Dear Laedel, glorious god of life, I bow to you now and kneel to ask for your blessing in coming conflicts. May you lay your gentle hand of protection upon myself and my beloved, as well as our child, in the days to come. May you see fit to protect not only us, but those who follow you so devoutly. I ask of you to continue to bring life to this world as you always have, in your divine grace. I swear my fealty to you, Laedel, that I will continue to raise my blade in your name until I have not the strength to bear it any longer.

I thank you for deeming me an Apostle, yet I know of the consequences of this gift. I will bear them with pride in the days to come. Your mark upon my hand shows your love for me and all those who follow you. We shall not allow that love to be in vain. We shall strive to regain the lands the Baron has taken and strike down any Beasts he rises against us. We shall make you proud, Laedel."

The man kneeling upon the ground, his chain armor more for show than actual protection, was currently heavy in prayer. He resembled a Templar from the old Crusades, and before this statue of a divinity, it was only natural.

"Continue to observe me in the days to come, Laedel. Continue to watch over us as these battles grow ever more prominent. Please...."

"Worry not, my child. I shall, now and forevermore."

The man's head lifted in confusion. But no mouth had spoken those words. No person was near him to have said that. And the voice was so beautiful, so sweet, so wise. It was the voice of a goddess. He bowed his head once more, a tear rolling down his cheek. That voice had been so glorious to hear. A god whom actually replied, to show that his prayers were not unanswered. He began to shake uncontrollably as he knelt upon the floor, his body showing the full emotion he was currently feeling.

"Child, why do you cry? Are you wounded?" the voice asked, almost as though caressing his face with hands of white and blessed kindness.

"No... I am not wounded, my goddess Laedel.... I am merely understanding how fortunate I am to be your servant, as all who follow you."

"You are not my servant, for servants have no will. You are my children." the voice replied in the depths of his mind, comforting as the hand of a mother. "I love you all as your creator. And I suffer sending you to fight when I wish you safe."

"Worry not, Laedel.... We shall return safely, I shall be sure of it. Your children shall fight for you... And we will come back alive, and we will continue to live, in your name."

"That is all I could ask for, my child." the voice said, and then was silent. The man would no longer harken to hear her words. And that was fine. She was a goddess of few words, but the words she spoke held such power...

It reminded him who he served. He stood back to his full height, sword bared. Though most Apostles deigned not to carry their weapons around for long, Rylain could create an image of it. It could not wound, nor could it strike, but it would show that he was proud to be an Apostle, and it was a taunt to those who served the God of Death. He did not care if they saw his blade and knew him for what he was.

"Face me." it seemed to say, to anyone who laid eyes upon it. "And I will summon its true form, and I will bear down upon you with the strength of a thousand men."

He placed a hand upon his stomach, sighing. He was hungry, again. It seemed that almost hourly, or every other hour, his stomach would rebel and desire more to feed it. It was one of the only consequences of accepting the gift of the Lady... Laedel. But it was one he carried with pride.

"Praying again, Rylain?" came another female voice, less omnipotent, but no less important to him.

Rylain turned, the image of his blade hanging by his side in its gold and silver shape. His chain mail made a slight noise as he moved, the only sound in this church he and others had constructed in prayer to Laedel. But the sermons of the day had ended. Now, it was a quiet, but holy place. Here, children were born, rather than in a hospital, for the Lady assisted in births. Their son had been born here, the son Rylain had had with the woman who stood in the doorway.

"Akane? I did not expect you back so soon." Rylain admitted, placing the blade in its holder on his back. "Did you journey yield fruit?"

"Somewhat." she muttered, rubbing a hand on the end of one of the pews. "But the Beasts of late have been quiet, and haven't assaulted in quite a while. It worries me. When this battle began, they were war-hungry and aggressive. Now, they have held back for a time, and we don't know why."

"Perhaps they finally realized they have no hope of victory?" Rylain grinned, stepping towards her.

"I doubt that. They don't have brains to understand it. All they understand are the Baron's wishes." Akane shrugged as Rylain embraced her, kissing her lightly.

"Perhaps, but what if his wishes are to finally give up?" Rylain asked, the two leaving the church together.

"Again, I doubt that as well. No... I think he has something new up his sleeve."

"You mean his bones."

Akane laughed slightly.

"You know what I mean."

As the two emerged from the church, they were immediately assaulted by a group of children, who had come from the room near the church where the schools and classes were held.

"Ah! So Brother Forth let you go early today?" Rylain put his hands on his hips as the children surrounded them. "I don't believe that for a moment."

"He did! He did!" one of the children piped up, an older boy, but still a child like the rest. "He let us out two hours ago!"

"Two hours?" Akane crossed her arms, pondering. "That's an oddity for him."

"Indeed. I think you all are lying to us poor adults." Rylain shook his head in mock disappointment. "What will we do about you?"

"Mommy, you're back!"

Akane turned quickly to look down at her feet where a young boy was grabbing her pant leg. She immediately bent down and picked him up to hold him in her arms.

"Haruki, you're getting too heavy to be carried..." Akane lied. Rylain scoffed.

"Oh don't even say something like that, my love. You could carry me if you tried." Rylain grinned.

"Could I? In that armor?" Akane asked, head cocked slightly.

"Ok, maybe not with the armor."

"Where did you go off to, Mommy?" Haruki asked, concerned. "Did you fight anything?!"

"Not much, actually. No stories today, sadly. They were quite silent." she replied, the crowd of children parting as she stepped through them with Haruki in her arms. Rylain followed after patting a few of them on the head pleasantly.

"Were they scared of you?" Haruki asked.

"Probably. Your mother is a frightening person." Rylain shuddered mockingly.

Akane smirked at him and then turned back to Haruki, shrugging slightly.

"I have no idea why they were so quiet today, Haru. But I do know that you need to be reading books for your classes. You'll be five before we know it, and you'll have to be taken in for schooling."

"Awwwwwww...." Haruki whined.

"Hey, don't whine about it. Your teacher is Brother Forth. He's a much better professor than my teachers when I was taught." Rylain grimaced.

"Really, Daddy?" Haru asked.

"Oh yes. My old teachers were more childish than the class was, and far less intelligent." he smiled. "So rest assured that you'll enjoy it. Besides, your friends have been in classes for a while. You'll be able to see them more often."

"But..." Haruki began.

"No buts. You're going to classes." Akane said, putting him back down and patting him lightly. "Now get back to our room and read. When I get back there, I expect you to have a book open, and I will ask you to read it, understood?"

"Yes, Mommy..." Haru sighed, running off to head back to their room.

"I swear, he takes after you." Akane crossed her arms.

"Me?!" Rylain held out his arms in mock disbelief. "Surely you jest."

"No. I'm fairly certain you both are more similar than you think." Akane said with a light, pleasant look. "In any case, what are your plans for the rest of the day?"

"None, fortunately. If the scouting doesn't report any problems, then I'm free." Rylain responded. "Why?"

"I'm hungry, for obvious reasons, so I think we should eat together for the first time in weeks." Akane said, grabbing his hand. "Do you think they have anything prepared?"

"Probably." Rylain replied nonchalantly. "But I don't doubt most of it is gone by now. It's almost the end of the first lunch hour."

"Then we had better hurry, correct?" Akane said, already beginning to pull him along in the direction of the lunch hall.

"Very!" Rylain called back, the two beginning to dash along the hallways of the castle.

It almost seemed like there would be nothing wrong at all, for a time to come.

And it was sad to understand that the situation beyond the walls of the castle was only going to get worse...





Agonizing pain.

The feeling of his flesh being seared as he lay dying, the fluids from the jars above him pouring over him. He remembered the girl staring at his body in horror, her eyes wide, her throat bloody from where he had...

From where he... had....



He sat up suddenly. He remembered now. He should be dead. But he wasn't, and he knew why. He was sitting within one of the rooms of the Baron's dread castle for his ... beloved followers. But he wasn't like the rest of them. He wasn't willing. He didn't want to be here.

They treated him as a brother. He hated them all. He despised them. He wished they would all leave him be and let him die. Each time he tried to end his life, the Baron stopped him, forcing him to kneel and obey, and punishing him for his defiance.

So he had to continue to suffer here, forever, until this was all over, or until he finally fell in battle...

But he doubted it would be so easy with his other half being as powerful as it was. He looked down at his hands.

That green flesh.... He remembered it. It had been him. Like something out of a comic book, he could become that disgusting abomination... That dangerous creature...

He sat upon his bed in quiet thought. He didn't want to leave his room. He just wanted to rest here forever, just let himself drift away. He didn't want to be conscious.

"Aww... do you really think you're allowed to sleep when I have called you for something so important?"

The voice of a thousand, damned souls pierced the quiet veil of his room. Though no one else could hear it, it sounded loud and intimidating. It felt like the room should be shaking.

But he was not afraid... not anymore. He had not the will to show fear to this creature.

"You will remain on standby until I have decided what to do with you, Geralt. You will sit here like the obedient soldier you are, and you will remain... awake."

"As you wish..." Geralt said, depressed and broken.

"Good.... See to it that you do." the Baron replied, and then was silent. As he usually was, the Baron was blunt, but commanding. But to Geralt, he was also irritating, and an ass. But Geralt would never say that out loud. At least his thoughts seemed to be safe from the Baron.

He stood to his full height and looked over at the book he had started writing on the desk. For some reason, he had felt like writing down what happened, day by day, in this work of non-fiction, almost like a diary. He hoped that one day... she... would read it..



But would she really want to read his work, after what he had done? He sighed, then sat down in front of it and picked up a pencil.

Who cared anymore, anyway..?




Also, during the beginning of this, I played


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((Esko wants to listen to themes....but realizes he has no earbuds >.<))



The look of her beloved brother dying, the maniac expression on his face when he slashed her throat. It burned in the back of her mind like a fierce bonfire, as clear as if it happened yesterday. The only family she ever had, the kind soul that once was her only support...



The young adult scribbled her feelings all over the floor of her room. With a piece of charcoal, she let her emotions take control and make pieces of art that could never be called comforting. It was the only way she could ever communicate with the other Apostles, the only way to let out the dark winds inside of her heart and mind. The messy line on her throat was a reminder of her loss, and it stored every last bit of pain she ever had.


By now the other Apostles knew of her impaired speech. After all, she had been here for quite a bit now. Getting up, Ellis wiped her floor and walked towards the gym. She needed to keep in shape for killing Beasts, after all. Sure, working out was not her favorite activity, but she had to do it anyway. Working out also helped to keep her mind off her brother, who she knew was utterly dead. Nobody could have survived that.


When she walked in the gym, she found Quinn murdering sandbags, an old man who was too familiar, and a few other Apostles. She waved hello go all of them and prepared to work out.

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Quinn fumbled as she was suddenly called out, the rope nearly sliding from her grip like a snake. But her fingers caught ahold of it again and she held it tightly in her palms as she turned her head to look over her shoulder at the aging man. Of course, she knew who it was who owned the gentle voice that spoke out to her but she couldn’t help but verify it was in fact him. The Baron was twisted in his ways and it was unsurprising that many of his Beasts had unusual abilities. One such she fought early on as an Apostle had been a master mimic and had nearly succeeded in drawing her away to a trap. She had caught herself in time but it was too late for her companion at the time. It was only natural now that she verified who each person was when they spoke out to her.

“I won’t get better if I don’t use them,” Quinn replied as she stood up, turning to face the aging man. The rope holding the sand bag was held tightly in her left hand but she didn’t move to fetch a new one or otherwise attempt to hang the bag back up. Brother Forth was a very respected individual and carrying on fighting in front of him would be highly disrespectful. But she was also clearly a young woman of little words and instead of elaborating on her practice, her eyes focused on the pipe the Brother was holding. He was older at this point and while everyone liked to believe he could still take out some Beasts if he was given the opportunity, there was no question of his mortality. There was no question of anyone’s mortality when they resided in the Fortress. They could die in the next hour or the next three years. “I would enjoy yourself,” She replied honestly, shifting her weight to one foot so she was resting more comfortably instead of standing so stiff. “Anything to stay calm during this time is a gift, not a boon. I’m sure the Lord won’t let the Baron take you so soon. She still has work for all of us here.”




Miles sat down at the table with a sigh, slumping back into the plush chair. As he lifted his feet to rest on the white table cloth, a sudden shudder passed through his body. His neck suddenly felt cold and an unknown forced pressed lightly on the skin there like an invisible pair of hands had come to rest on his neck.

”Miles, Miles, Miles,” A voice in his ear whispered and the Disciple immediately rolled his eyes to one side. The Baron certainly was an unusual fellow and seemed to enjoy taunting them all in a different way. Even Disciples, who he insisted were more important to him than others, he seemed to love scaring. But after the seemingly hundredth time that the god greeted him like a ghost, he was starting to get irritated. ”I’ve told you before smoking irritates the Beasts.” The Disciple only tilted his head to the side and let his eyes drift towards the floor as he took another long drag from the cigarette between his teeth.

From what he heard, the gods spoke to everyone differently. Some heard different screams, some heard whispers and others heard the voice of family members. Many couldn’t even hear their words and instead heard the screeching of an animal in place of any kind of words. But if there were two things he knew it was that both gods never spoke to the same person and that to him, the Baron sounded more like a father than anything else. It was strange considering his family had died before he could reasonably remember them but even his tone seemed chiding yet…loving, perhaps? It was impossible to know for sure what the Baron was thinking but from his end, it seemed clear that the Baron liked his Disciples like children or at least like pets. Why else would he go through such efforts to keep them hidden and safe? It was certainly better than the Lord. His meetings with Apostles always gave him the impression the Lord rarely spoke to them after giving them powers and, yet, referred to Apostles as “her children” despite this fact. If that was the case, she was an awful mother for letting him and the Beasts murder so many of her so-called children. At least the Baron kept all of his Disciples safe.

“The torches in the hallway give off smoke too,” He replied as he removed the cigarette from his mouth. Immediately, the chill around his neck vanished, along with the sensation something was touching his neck. Releasing a puff of smoke, he sunk a bit further into the large chair and mused over his own thoughts for a few moments. “If they are getting antsy, I can take them for a walk,” He added helpfully. It had been forever since he had been out and gotten to rough up some Apostles. If he let the Beasts out for a walk, he could use the attention they drew to take down a few more of those ignorant Apostles of the Lord.

”See to it that you do,” The voice replied before it vanished entirely as the Baron’s focus shifted away from him. Immediately, a smile formed on the Disciple’s face as he shoved the cigarette back between his teeth and stood up from his seat. Fantastic. The castle was getting stuffy anyway, he could do with a bit of exercise. Killing a few things would only make his walk more interested.

”Beasts,” He instructed, closing his eyes and willing two of the beasts he had seen on his way down to hear him and obey. They were two of the less human variety and would provide good bait for the Apostles. ”We are going out. The Baron has decided you need some exercise. Meet me at the door.” He was almost certain one of his brothers was also in the castle but if it was who he believed it to be, he probably wouldn’t be interested in joining him for a walk. Geralt always was an odd one. Humming to himself, he walked back towards his room to fetch his coat. Even if the walk would end with blood, it didn't mean he had to dress like a bum. Those days were behind him.

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Geralt was busy writing in his journal when he felt a cold chill in the air. He brushed it away, only for it to return, like a pair of cold hands on his shoulder.

"Did you know that your dear comrade Miles is taking a proactive approach?... He's taking out the Beasts for a walk..." the Baron whispered, the cacophony of voices echoing in all directions.

"How nice. I hope he gets lost." Geralt said softly, continuing to write as though nothing was happening. Then, he felt a great, dark intent.

Suddenly, he felt a pain as though a blade was shoved into his back slightly, and his entire upper body was forced to slam onto the table. He felt a pressure like a hand was placed on the back of his head with a great amount of might.

"You know, I was thinking that it might be nice for you to assist him, considering that the question of your loyalty is still in the air..." the Baron sighed. "After all, you would never turn upon me, correct? Oh right... You don't have that privilege..."

Geralt felt the pressure release from his back and his skull. He sat up, coughing. He had almost been starved of air, his lungs compressed painfully against the table so that he couldn't take a single breath.

"You know for a fact I don't wish to serve you. Just kill me already and be done with it, dammit." Geralt choked.

"But that would be too simple. You spent far too long defying me, attempting to give your species a gift that they did not deserve. I could have turned you into a beast, but that would mean your conscience would be... nonexistent, and then where would the fun in that be?" the Baron replied, chiding. "No... I think that you should go with Miles and have a bit of fun... And in return, I may tell you more about your sister, things you may have forgotten..."

"Things you forced me to forget, you censorkip.gif***." Geralt said, turning to face a nonexistent entity. But he was gone now. He grimaced, standing to his full height. He grabbed his nearby vest and put it on, frowning.

"Fine then.. I'll play your damn game." he muttered, heading to the door.




Soon, he was approaching Miles and the Beasts by the front door, his face obviously displeased. It was apparent he was unwilling to be here. He put his gloves on to hide his mark, frowning with disapproval.

"Apparently you're one of the Baron's favorites." Geralt commented nonchalantly, but it was obvious it was meant to be an insult of sorts.





"I do hope so." Leonard replied, bowing slightly. "But then again, it is not her decision to make if I go on to the next life... Still, she is definitely a protector for us all... and we love her dearly for it."

He then pointed to the sandbag, shrugging.

"As for training with your weapon, you may wish to ask one of the other Apostles rather than simply battling with a sandbag. Not to condone needless use of Laedel's gifts, but perhaps it would be a good learning experience if you were to fight something which fought back?"

He took another drag of his pipe, sighing with contentment.

"In any case, before I head back to my study to conduct more translations upon this recent text, I was going to head to the cafeteria for a nice lunch. Although, I do wonder if it's already all been eaten." he commented, laughing lightly. "I don't doubt after that amount of power usage, you're a bit hungry."

"Are you heading to lunch too?"

Rylain waved as he approached, his other hand held tightly in Akane's.

"Oh. Yes, Rylain. I was planning on it. I thought for sure you'd have already gone, however. And good day to you, Miss Akane." Leonard said, bowing to her slightly. "I trust the scouting went well?"

"Nothing to report, but I did note that you let the children out early today." Akane said, smirking. "Something amiss?"

"Admittedly, I've been very absorbed in this book lately." Leonard said, chuckling. "It's a newer text I discovered very recently. One of the Apostles found it after I received a revelation from Laedel, two nights ago."

"I see. Anything interesting yet?" Rylain cocked an eyebrow.

"In fact, yes. It seems to be a text fully devoted to research and poems concerning Laedel herself. Nothing so far on the Baron."

"Is that so?" Akane said, intrigued. "What a strange text. Most of them concern them both, right?"

"Indeed. In any case, enough about that. I suggest we all eat together, and then... Akane..."

"Hmm?" Akane said.

"Would you mind sparring with Quinn?"

Akane turned to look at the young girl, appraising her slightly.

"I don't suppose I'd mind much, no." Akane shrugged. "But that means Rylain will have to watch Haruki for a bit."

"Fine by me." Rylain nodded.

"Well Quinn, is that a fine plan to you?" Leonard asked, turning slightly to face the young girl.

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Tugging a white glove onto his hand, Miles gripped the cigarette tightly between his teeth. Standing nearby were two Beasts, clearly antsy and ready to run free. One Beast, which was probably only five feet tall, was clearly more animalistic than others. It wore no shoes to speak of and it’s feet twisted into talons covered in grey feathers. While it did wear a shirt, blackened fur poked out underneath it. Instead of arms, it possessed a large pair of paws that had to belong to some kind of cat, only they were much larger than any house cat. It’s face was human but it was completely bald and one of it’s eyes looked as though it belonged to a goat instead of a human. A blue tongue ran over sharpened teeth as it bounced slightly, ready to move.

The second Beast was much more human than the first but it’s head was bright orange and looked exactly like a pumpkin. It was one of the Baron’s more humorous attempts at creating Beasts as the creature looked almost like a human wearing a pumpkin on it’s head. But a large pair of wings betrayed the look and as it flapped it’s brown, feathery wings, clearly just as antsy as the first. While Miles seemed to be taking his sweet time moving, they wanted to go.

Closing his eyes, Miles a faint smile formed on Miles’s face as Geralt approached the door, clearly getting himself ready to go as well. Clearly, he had been coerced into it as Geralt was not exactly the type to go for walks. He enjoyed them himself but Miles couldn’t recall the last time Geralt had killed an Apostle. Usually, that job fell to him as he was the most willing to end lives of the Disciples. “Well, the competition isn’t trying very hard,” He replied idly, lifting his hands to his mouth to remove the cigarette for a brief moment so he could exhale a puff of smoke. His green eyes turned to stare at his brother, the corners of his mouth twisted down into a slight frown. “I don’t understand you at all,” He admitted, looking over the other man. Geralt was so unusual. Why was it that he insisted on such behavior? It was treacherous and the Baron clearly didn't approve.

“Either way, we need to go. These two aren’t going to walk themselves.” He jerked his thumb towards the two Beasts as they fidgeted uncomfortably nearby. It was hard to restrain themselves for so long and now that it was nearly time to go, they wanted to go.

His heart pounded in his chest as he lifted his foot up and stepped down on thin air, lifting himself up to stand several inches above the ground. His power didn’t drain him too much unless he overexerted himself immensely. Just walking on air was fine and made it much easier to get from place to place. It was a good thing most Beasts could fly because he certainly didn’t want to have to carry them. He’d probably already end up having to hold Geralt’s hand. “Are you ready?”



Quinn looked down at the sandbag as the Father mentioned it, her eyes narrowing slightly. While it was true working with other Apostles was a better way to train, other Apostles tended to mind their own business. They trained, certainly, but many did it with their long-standing partners. As someone who was bounced from group to group and often acted as a third wheel in groups of two, she didn’t have someone she could go ask to train with. She defaulted to punching bags because they were always available and couldn’t refuse to work with her.

Looking up as Rylain and Akane approached, Quinn shifted backwards slightly. Those two were rather famous among Apostles, being both powerful and living long enough to have a kid. It was difficult for Apostles to have children and most didn’t like to think about it because their life expectancies could be short or long. But some choose to do so and Rylain and Akane were notable for both that and their battle prowess. She had never worked with either of them before and, honestly, she was glad to. It was hard to feel like she could stand up to them when she had lost her original partner so early on and couldn’t even hold a new one.

When the conversation suddenly turned back to her, Quinn nearly choked. Akane? Spar with her? More like she’d get her ass handed back to her on a silver platter, frozen with a side of potatoes. “I don’t think that is necessary,” She replied, her eyes briefly glancing to the Father. “I just finished up with a bag and I haven’t eaten yet today. I wouldn’t fare very well against you anyway." Their skill levels, at least in her opinion, were completely different. Besides, what would she do against a sword? Her close-combat worked well enough with Beasts but she had a much shorter range than Akane did. She'd be skewered before she had time to blink.

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(( I am so angry right now.

I spent almost forty minutes on a very well written post that basically said that Leonard had asked for Quinn to join Akane and Rylain's group, Rylain and Akane walked off after complimenting Quinn on her motivation, and then Geralt was asking Miles about his reasons for joining the Baron and saying that he wanted to walk rather than fly.

I hate to ask this, but please don't make me retype all of that. It was so good, and I don't remember any of it.

I promise you that this is true. But I don't know why my computer did it. And I'm so frustrated.

I may edit this with a post later to make up for it. ))


EDIT: Here's the rewrite, as best as I can remember it... ))


Leonard gave Quinn a knowing look as to why she may be reluctant, but kept his opinions to himself. Instead, he smiled lightly.

"I'm surprised you're so against training with your new group members." he said slyly. "After all, you'll be working with them in the future, if the notice goes through. I spoke with the higher-ups about it, considering the unfortunate death of your previous partner, and they agreed that your weapon compliments Rylain and Akane's very well. Of course, I didn't mean to overstep any boundaries, so if you don't desire such a grouping, then I shall speak to them immediately. But I think it would be good for you to learn from them and fight alongside them, after seeing how motivated you are to grow stronger."

He gestured to the sandbag which was now being carted away by a non-Apostle worker.

Rylain stepped forward, hand outstretched, smiling.

"I don't mind that idea at all, Miss Quinn. After all, you seem really eager to fight out in the field. And considering your motivation to train and grow, I think you'd be a great fighting partner. And gravity? That sounds like an amazing power! I'd love to see it!"

He then, whether she shook his hand or not, stepped backward after patting her on the shoulder. He then looked at Akane expectantly.

"I don't mind much, considering your current talent, but I would like to face you to determine your fighting style." she cocked an eyebrow, arms crossed. "After all, teamwork is better when you know the strengths and weaknesses of your close allies. If you're worried about it because my blade impedes your ability to get close enough to me, then I will spar with you bare-handed. It's not about my victory, it's about how well you fight, and what you can fix. Otherwise, we'd be going in practically blind. However, I am not against you becoming part of our group at all."

"This is all well and good, but perhaps this would be better discussed over a meal?" Leonard suggested.

Rylain perked up, then nodded. He grabbed Akane's hand gently.

"We'll meet you there then, Miss Quinn. But if you don't hurry, everything may be gone by the time you get there." he grinned, walking off with Akane following behind.




As they left, Leonard turned back to Quinn, then bowed slightly.

"I hope you accept, and don't worry about the sandbag. It's the least we can do, since you're putting your life on the line for us, right?" he asked, then began to head off in the direction the previous pair had left in.




Geralt stretched his shoulders a bit, sighing.

"I'd rather walk than fly, if that's alright by you." he said, ignoring Miles' previous comments. "Though I would like to know why you're so eager to follow this god's demands. He brings us back to life just to fight for him, with so much pain..."

He looked down at his hands, displeased.

"I feel it, and remember it, my death. And yet now I'm forced to take lives for him, when I don't even want to do it. Why do you do it so willingly?" he asked, confused.

Edited by Thaelasan

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((Do you want me to just respond like you had the post there and it didn't delete? I can do that if you want.))

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(( Please do. I know it's unprofessional, and it was a really good post. God I need to rewrite it. I'll be doing that while you're writing yours, if you do.

Rylain holds out his hand to shake Quinn's. And I explain more why Leonard decided (after the death of Quinn's former partner) that she should join Akane and Rylain's squad/group.

I'll be doing that in the meantime.


EDIT: I rewrote it, and it's NOWHERE near as good as the original.

I hope this never happens again to me... God please...))

Edited by Thaelasan

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“Suit yourself,” Miles replied with a shrug of his shoulders as he stepped forward, carrying on walking above the ground. If they were taking the Beasts for a walk, it was a good idea to hit a town farther away from the Castle. They didn’t want to risk revealing it’s location so they had to be careful about their traveling and where they struck. Terrorizing towns at random and not favoring one helped keep Apostles from discovering their stronghold. Not that they would probably think Beasts, with their complete lack of intelligence, would ever be able to live together. They’d probably eat one another if the Disciples weren’t around and the Baron wasn’t watching. Of course, the good news was that there was a train that cut through nearby. They could hop on the top and let it carry them to a farther location without having to walk too far.

“You’re getting a bit nosy today, aren’t you?” Miles asked with a smirk as the two Beasts glided overhead, the one with the large wings holding the other in the air. Miles himself didn’t need to fly over the forest, he simply phased right through the trees when they rose up in front of his path. His power was very nifty like that. Even his cigarette was able to pass through the plants without any difficulty. “But I didn’t join the Baron. It was never my choice in the first place. I was chosen and I accepted the hand I was dealt.” He moved his hands into his pockets, hastening his stride slightly so they would arrive faster. “I suppose I didn’t have anything to return to. Humans didn’t spare a second glance at me and I starved for both attention and food. He saved me from that life and gave me a new one. If it means killing off a few Apostles who serve a goddess who didn’t so much as bat an eye at me when I was crying out for help, I would be more than willing to obey. At least the Baron cares about us.” At least the Baron cared about him.

Shaking his head, Miles composed himself again. He didn’t like talking about his past and here he was ranting about it. It was behind him. He started fresh and could leave that poor boy in the gutter where he died. Keeping his eyes trained forward, he scowled and lapsed into silence, taking the cigarette butt out of his mouth and crushing it between his fingers before letting it fall to the ground.




Group members? Quinn turned completely to Leonard, left speechless again by his actions. She had anticipated playing third wheel to a variety of groups for a much longer period of time until they dumped her with some newbie. She never anticipated for a second that Brother Forth would suggest pairing her up with Rylain and Akane or that the higher-ups would even agree to it. They were known for being hard to work with but Brother Forth had his ways and was clearly demonstrating that again now. Apostle or not, he held powers she would never really understand.

“Thank you,” She breathed, taking the hand Rylain held out and shaking it. Coming from him, that was truly a complement. She looked up to both him and Akane and the fact that he had actually complimented her abilities was like a dream. Her power was nothing to scoff at, of course, but she saw the flaws. She was still working out problems with using it on the battle field when she had to constantly affect both herself and others with her abilities. Complements were not usually found in the Fortress as the focus tended to be on killing Beasts, not pride. Actually hearing that someone thought she would be a great partner made her heart burst with pride.

After the death of her previous partner, it was never something she could tell herself. What kind of great partner would let her teammate die?

“I’ll meet you there,” She replied with a wave as the two walked off. As soon as they were far enough away, her attention shifted back to Leonard. Quickly jogging to catch up to him, she fell in line along side him so she could talk. He wasn’t getting away so easily after dropping that wonderful bomb on her. “I really don’t know what to tell you,” She admitted, letting him take a slight lead in going to the cafeteria. “Just… thank you. This really means so much to me. I haven’t been a part of a group-not really anyway-in so long. I don’t even know what to do or what to say to them."


((Don't worry about it! It happens to me all the time and it's really frustrating, especially when you spend more time on a post..))

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"Yeah, so next time could you leave your shooting after I'm not in the immediate area?" Miteki asked as he and his friend walked towards the gym.


"Look, I don't think I'm that bad at archery to shoot you- I think I got a bow for a reason." Talia answered. Miteki sighed, as he opened the doors to the gym.


"Ok, whatever, just make sure you don't kill me. Getting shot at by my best friend isn't exactly the most fun thing to go about doing. In my opinion. Is there a way to get this smaller?" Miteki examined his right hand and changed the subject.


"What about you go ahead and ask the Lord?"


"I don't think she'll bother. Hi guys!" He waved at Quinn who was taking down sandbags, and to the old man who he never quite got his name, as well as Ellis, who didn't seem to be in a good mood. Talia nodded to everyone quickly, finding greeting them a little too- inconvenient. She walked over to an archery range and examined one of the bows, comparing it to her now materialized bow that she held in her other hand. Placing back the bow from the archery range, she exhaled as she drew back the string-


The projectile made a hole straight in the bullseye of the target.


"Nice one! Please keep that up next time when you're trying to shoot someone when I'm next to them." Miteki said.

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Leonard slowed down enough for Quinn to catch up to him, after hearing the sound of her footsteps behind him.

"Ah, are you still worried?" he asked, beaming. "Don't be. You made a mistake, as we all do, but you didn't give up afterward. You could have regretted it or been depressed, but you continued to fight on, and you survived. That's how war is, unfortunately, and men and women die for a cause. But you accepted it, and you moved on. As for why I chose the two of them..."

He pondered a moment, lost in thought.

"I suppose it's because I believe you should be more than compatible. I believe firmly that by fighting alongside them, you will learn from experience, and become a great soldier of Laedel. That's what I believe."

He then patted her shoulder comfortingly. It was reminiscent of an old grandfather, kind, and with a great amount of pride for the recipient.

"As for what to say to them, don't worry about that. You'll get along fine. I have faith in you. And I understand that it's always strange to meet new people, especially in these circumstances. But the first thing you should establish - and they'll be more than happy to oblige, I'm sure - is trust. You'll be fighting with them from here on out, so be sure to understand what they appreciate, and what they don't enjoy. To them, you are a friend, or even a sister in arms. Don't worry about the small things. Just enjoy the experience, in these dark times, and live as best you can."

He took another breath of the pipe. The air smelled, but not poorly, of tobacco. Rather, it was comforting, and he took great care to avoid putting smoke in Quinn's face.

"Laedel may not speak to us much, young Quinn. She may choose to work from beyond, supporting us when needed, and giving us what we require to survive in this battle, and in everyday life. We are as seeds to a great field, and she gives us the water to sustain life, the food that nourishes us, and the love that a gardener gives to her garden. She speaks to us, when she feels we need it, and no more than that, so that we take not advantage of her connection to us. Unlike the Baron, she knows to act as a god, and not as a mortal, but also to act as a mother, from beyond."

He paused for a moment, then chuckled.

"Ah, dear me, going off on a tangent which matters not in this moment. What I mean to say is that things happen for a reason, and sometimes I believe they need a gentle push. So, I helped you to join them because I think it's for the best. But if you are still worried, you may always pray, and perhaps Laedel will confirm what I already believe, and you will be sure."

He shrugged.

"Or, perhaps, she'll say it was a terrible idea and I'm a fool for thinking it." he laughed, his robes moving with the motion as he stepped. "But I like to think I'm pretty good at having ideas, don't you?"

He gave her a small look and then turned back forward, continuing on.

"This life is too short to worry about the small things." he said. "Far... far too short."

He put the pipe back in his mouth, sighing.

"Far.... far... far... too short." he repeated.




Soon, they had come upon the cafeteria, which was a pretty underestimating term for the place.

Great tables were lined up for both Apostles and those who served them. Some Apostles had taken to having human Squires, harkening back to the Feudal era. It was believed that those who became Squires could become Apostles one day, but whether that was true or not remained to be seen. Still, it was fairly certain that it would help when Laedel decided to choose another group of humans to imbue with power.

The place was more of a dining hall than anything else. Other people, dressed like Brother Forth, were busy moving things about. He nodded at a few of them, pleased at their work. As he was one of the leaders of their group, his word was held in high esteem, and he liked to think he handled and supervised the lower Brothers fairly well.

"There's a table with four chairs!" Rylain called, disrupting Leonard's train of thought. Akane turned to where he pointed, intrigued.

"I'll go order us some food then, and see what's left. You all get to know each other. I'll join you in a moment." Leonard stated, beginning to head in the direction of the head waiter's podium. To an outsider, this place would be a massive restaurant.

And it was for good reason. As Apostles were treated with great prestige, no expense was spared to see that they were taken care of.

Rylain held Akane's chair out for her as she sat down, and then he held out a seat for Quinn across from them before he himself sat down.




Geralt paused as he listened to Miles. The train they were riding on reminded him too much of when he was alive, and he tried to ignore it. So, he listened intently to the man's voice, and began to grow interested in the man's past. But he waved away that thought immediately.

There was no chance the man would tell him more than that. Miles knew Geralt didn't like the Baron, and Miles like the Baron. They wouldn't get along like that.

Instead, Geralt looked out from the top of the train, sighing. One of his hands was gripping it firmly to keep from flying off on the off chance it bumped. He didn't know why he thought that it would happen, but something kept prodding him...

"I can't say I feel the same." he frowned. "I didn't die of natural causes. I died when the Baron-"

Before he could speak, he felt a weight across his back, and he knew that the Baron would rather he didn't say something like that. So, he stopped talking, and just stared into the distance.

"Forget I said anything." he said after a moment. "I'm sorry to hear about your past."

Edited by Thaelasan

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A mistake. Was that all it was? No, that wasn’t right. It was the life of her ally, her team mate and partner. It was the life of someone she was supposed to be looking out for. She was supposed to have her back and she had failed in that duty. Even if she didn’t talk about it, it didn’t mean she was over it. Quinn doubted she ever would move on from that.

But that didn’t mean she couldn’t try again and try to do better. She could try again with a new team and show she had learned from her errors and she could be trusted again.

“You are right, Brother Forth,” Quinn replied with a smile as he patted her shoulder. Praying to the Lord always helped her feel better and her faith would guide her to see this through. She fought for her god and if she ever had a doubt, all she had to do was reaffirm her faith. She believed in the Lord and she would see this through to the end or to her end. That was how it was meant to be.

Following him closely, she moved into the cafeteria. Rylain and Akane were already there and had quickly located a table that would fit them all. Crossing over to the table, she nodded in thanks to Rylain and slipped into the chair. Now came the hard part. Rylain and Akane were already very close not only as team mates but as partners outside of that. In the temporary teams she joined in with, she made little attempt to bond with the others because she knew there wouldn’t be any long term work between them all. But here, she was actually joining a team. It was very likely these two would be her new teammates. So the real issue now was what was she supposed to say to them? They had already been introduced but that left them at the awkward phase between introductions and actual friendship. Did she talk about work? Or did she try to reach out towards other things? Apostles didn’t have much life outside of Apostles so trying for idle conversation was awkward. Brother Forth had said get to know one another like it was a simple thing but she was at a loss for how to start that process.

“It’s been quiet recently,” She finally said. It was the only thing she could think to say. Beast activity was lower than normal and deaths among humans were lower than ever. It was strange, really, especially when the Lord was quiet on the matter.





Miles crossed his legs as he sat on the top of the train. Unlike Geralt, he didn’t have much to worry about, even if he did fall off. He could easily catch himself and it was almost impossible for him to hurt himself. But Geralt’s words caught his attention and he frowned slightly as he looked at his brother. “Die?” He asked with a frown. He had been curious as information on the Baron tended to be incorrect and misinterpreted constantly. When he had first been turned, he asked all kinds of questions about the Baron himself and what he had become. So Geralt’s words immediately caught his attention. “I didn’t die. I almost did but the Baron stopped the Beast that had attacked me and rescued me. I don’t think Disciples can be made from dead humans. Wouldn’t those just be Beasts instead?” He looked at the two Beasts clinging to the train behind them for clarification but, being rather stupid and more focused on their blood lust, they probably didn’t know themselves. It wasn’t very helpful, really, but that was expected. They were the deceased brought to a place where they never should have ventured again. Their minds had to be scrambled over that.

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Rylain looked delighted at the young girl, seemingly unabashed by the sudden joining. Rather than awkward, he may have seemed overly pleased.

"Yes, it has. And fortunately so!" he replied. He knew very well that the young woman was probably confused, and nervous about meeting them so up close. He believed it would be best to reassure her, and allow her out of her shell gradually. But that meant he needed to ask questions about her, since she seemed unwilling to take the lead here, and Akane wasn't one to lead a conversation either.

"So how long have you been an Apostle, Quinn?" Rylain began, deciding that was the safest question. He knew her age, roughly, and had seen her around, but he knew not how long exactly she had actually been around. It made him slightly sad that he didn't know more about her. He liked to think he knew a lot about the people around him.




Geralt paused, then corrected himself.

"No, I meant... well it felt like I died, you know? It felt... like I should have died. I should be dead, is what I mean.... It... just feels like I DID die, but I guess I don't know what dying really.... feels like anyway."

He was struggling to find a response, and failing miserably.

"I don't know if I'd rather I had just become a Beast. Don't you feel odd, being alive again, when you were so close to death? I was... very close."

He felt he could say that, without revealing too much about the details. He was sure the Baron didn't want him to inform Miles that sometimes he would force the matter if a person wasn't as close to death as he would like. Miles apparently had been a special case.

No wonder he treated the Baron like a hero rather than a villain. But to Geralt, the Baron was a damned annoyance.

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Miles considered it for a few moments then lifted his arms up in a relaxed shrug. It was clear to him now that he would never understand Geralt at all. Not only did he not throw his hand in with the Baron after the Baron saved his life, but now he was talking about the fact they should have died and somehow been happier with that. “No,” Miles replied bluntly as he looked at his brother again. After a moment, he carefully removed one of his gloves and lifted his hand up to show Geralt the mark there. “We are no longer normal, Geralt,” He explained. “We aren’t like other people. I don’t even know if we could be considered people any longer. So why are you still caught up on something that can’t ever exist again? You didn’t die and I doubt the Baron will let you die. So accept your role and have fun with it. I play human all the time and it’s great fun. I could take you to some great parties if it would make you a little less dreary.”




Yes, it was fortunate that the activity was low. But it also felt weird. They had been fighting the way for years and it didn’t feel like they had made any major strikes against the Baron. The fact Beast activity had fallen quiet felt unusual, like the Baron was toying with them. So were there fewer Beasts because there truly were not as many or was is something more sinister?

“Well, I first received this mark nearly seven years ago,” Quinn replied, looking down at the white star on her hand. Compared to her skin, it stuck out quite plainly and was pure white like snow. She was fortunate it was so noticeable when some paler Apostles had to try harder to see their blessing. “But I only was able to summon my weapons six years ago. I wasn’t able to completely form them early on and they always evaporated before turning solid. Additionally, I wasn’t sent out on patrols until I was fifteen because the higher ups were concerned I wouldn’t make it very far. I am not certain myself which one of those numbers is more accurate of me being an Apostle. But what about you?"

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"Roughly the same amount of time, actually, since this whole thing began. Even though I was no more than thirteen, I pledged my loyalty to the Lady and waited eagerly for the day I could serve her. I already knew Akane at the time, and she supported the decision. I mean, I was young. Maybe I had made a mistake.

But over time, I discovered I hadn't made a mistake. I had made the right decision. So we spent years training, after receiving our blessings. I had always been fascinated with the heroes of the medieval era, so I guess my gift reflected that, and Akane's reflected her own culture and desires. But we both were given swords, and I thought that meant something."

He smiled fondly in memory, clasping Akane's hand in his own.

"So we sparred. We fought. We went out against the wishes of the higher ups, and we got in trouble. But we won. And we survived. And then we continued to survive. That's how it worked. And I have never regretted a moment."

He looked at his own hand with determination.

"The day that Laedel takes this gift from me is the day I will feel as though I have fulfilled my mission in life. Until that day comes, I will fight proudly alongside my wife, and alongside anyone else who shows great desire to fight in Laedel's name."

Akane nodded in agreement, then looked at Quinn with another appraising gaze.

"Yes. I was quite young when I pledged fealty to the Lady. And as he said, we have never regretted a moment of it. To send these Beasts back to their graves and return them to peace is all that can be asked for. They do not deserve this fate."

That was all she would say on the matter. As she finished, Brother Forth returned and took his seat by Quinn, getting comfortable fairly quickly.

"We're in luck. There was some food left over." he said, preparing his napkin on his neck. "It will be here shortly."

"Thank you, Leonard." Rylain and Akane seemed to almost say at once.

"I'm absolutely starving." Rylain added, pleased. "And Quinn, don't feel like you have to say anything to us if you don't want to. There's no pressure. Let's just enjoy lunch together, right?"




Geralt actually laughed for once at Miles' offer.

"A party? During all of this?" he gestured outward, and then at the two Beasts. "And as we are? I think that's a bit extreme."

He finished laughing as he spoke, then returned back to silence, pensive.

"I mean, I don't deserve that sort of entertainment." he muttered, to himself mostly.

The train ride continued like that for quite some time. Geralt was going to give up on asking Miles anything for now. There was no point. It was certain that the man would continue to praise the Baron no matter what he said.

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“What?” Miles asked, looking clearly confused at Geralt’s response. He went to human parties all the time. It was fun to take a break from murdering Apostles and as long as they kept their religion to themselves, the upper class could be pretty fun. It was actually funny how, despite the fact they were in the midst of a war, some humans refused to acknowledge it and continued rolling around in their wealth. The Baron’s influence made is easy to show up and blend in. He received invitations to the elite parties quite often, though some had taken to requesting he host parties as well. “You could use some touching up here and there but it might take your mind off of things.” Shrugging his shoulders slightly, he turned his focus to the two Beasts. With all of the humans in the train underneath them, they had started to grow more and more fidgety, clearly wishing to go and play.

“No,” Miles said warningly as if he was talking to a dog, pointing at the both of them. “We don’t attack trains. This is the fastest way to get places right now and I don’t want them to cancel these trains. We’l be there soon enough.”





Oh, right. They probably would not hold these powers forever. It was difficult to think about not being able to materialize a weapon at will, especially after so long of learning how to use it and growing comfortable with it. But if the war ended, they wouldn’t need their powers anymore. The Lord would probably take her powers back as soon as the Baron was defeated and the Beasts no longer walked the world. But what would they do then? Could the Baron truly be defeated? He was a god, certainly.

Could a god die like they could?

“Yes, thank you Brother Forth,” Quinn added as Leonard returned and took a seat. Of all the teams, Rylain and Akane were certainly more active in terms of duties. Did that mean she would finally be returned to active duty and fight Beasts head on instead of just scouting the area around the Fortress and picking off the few that appeared? She was itching to get back in the field. Whenever she manifested her weapons, it was like they were telling her she had to go fight Beasts. Staying inside and doing what felt like nothing was hard.

“Don’t worry about me,” She replied with a smile and a small wave of her hand towards Rylain. “I just can’t wait to actually work with you two. I’ve heard so much about you both.” It was like talking to celebrities. She would get over it but the whole situation felt surreal. Of course she had seen Rylain and Akane before but speaking to them was a different matter. Apostles tended to stick together in small groups and work within their own teams. It made it easier for fighting and if someone died. There wasn’t as much heart break if someone you didn’t know died.

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"All good things, I hope." Rylain joked slightly. "After all,, I like to think we make a good impression rather than a poor one."

Akane smirked.

"Well, sometimes you can be a bit overbearing." she commented.

"Pfft." Rylain waved his hand dismissively. "I don't know what you're talking about."

"Do you really not?" Akane asked, head in one of her hands, bemused.

"Not at all. I like to think I'm pretty restrained." Rylain replied.

She continued to stare at him for a long moment.

"Ok so maybe I can be a bit excessive." Rylain admitted after a moment.

"A bit."

"Quite a bit." Rylain stated, sighing.

"Thank you for being honest." Akane patted his back with her free hand, then turned back to Quinn.

"Just remember that we are relying on you as well, so don't let your excitement ruin your skill, if you can help it." she said, half as a joke, half as a serious comment. "Always treat battle with a firm eye."

"Wise words." Leonard commented, taking another breath of the pipe.

"You're smoking at the table?" Akane asked.

"Oh, fine." Leonard sighed, tapping out the rest of it into a small ashtray nearby. "I suppose you're right."

"Thank you. You know I worry for your health." Akane added.

"Unnecessary. I know I'm ruining my body." Leonard chuckled. "But I thank you for your concern."

"Where's the food?" Rylain interrupted, already bearing a fork and knife eagerly.

"It will be here shortly." Leonard assured.

Rylain frowned impatiently. It was obvious he was very eager to eat whatever was being offered today specifically.




Geralt shrugged off Miles' comments, as he was busy staring out into the distance and trying to forget what they were about to do. But when Miles looked at the Beasts, Geralt's mind became concerned.

Every time he saw the things, they grew more and more twisted. Abominations of flesh and bone, they no longer resembled the animals or humans they once were. In fact, he was no longer sure which they HAD been originally. All he could think about was the fact that they had only one thought - to kill. To take lives. They were no longer able to think of anything else.

If he wasn't a Disciple... and they were this close to him....

How did the Apostles do it? He couldn't face these things with a clear head. He could think of them enjoying stripping him to the bone, devouring him like nothing at all, and then continuing on their path of devastation without pause.

That was their meaning. Their directive. Their only purpose. The Baron had formed living war machines with only one thought in their rotted minds - murder.

Geralt gripped his chest slightly with his free hand, out of instinct, as he thought of the thousands of innocent lives these beasts wanted to take. Men. Women. Children... It probably wouldn't even take them many bites to devour an infant...

He shrugged away the thought, trying hard not to look any further into that box of horrors. He kept wanting to think this was a nightmare, but it couldn't be. His mind wasn't good enough to produce these horrors by itself.

One of the Beasts seemed to look at him knowingly, and then cackled somehow, giving him a small grin. He looked away, turning back to the outside. But he could still feel its beady eyes on the back of his skull.

"Are we almost there?" he asked, still turned away.

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Miles shook his head slightly and probed his pockets, eventually pulling out a box of cigarettes. Rolling the box over in his hands, he frowned slightly. He had lit his last cigarette with a torch and had left his lighter in his room back at the Castle. While it was probably a good thing in the long run, it would be a while before he returned to the Castle. The Beasts he had brought were useless for this kind of thing and as far as he knew, Geralt didn’t smoke. Sighing loudly, he shoved the box back into the pocket of his pants, letting himself lean backwards slightly.

“We’ll be there soon,” He replied, looking forward. The train was starting to slow down slightly to go around a turn but it wasn’t the stop of the train Miles was interested in. No, there was another town a short distance from them that the train didn’t run through. If they jumped off soon, it would be only a short walk before they arrived and he could send the Beasts ahead to have some fun.

“Actually, we need to jump off,” Miles added as he stood up, brushing off his clothes. The Beasts quickly jumped up, practically snapping at his heels as they got ready to follow his lead. But Miles ignored them, whistling softly as he walked slowly over to the edge of the train. Had he left that part out? Well, Geralt hadn’t asked where they were going so it probably wasn’t important to tell him that in the first place. Besides, it wasn’t like the train was going that fast or that they would even hurt themselves jumping off of a train.

As the train slowed down as much as it would to round the bend, he stepped off, letting his feet stop short on the air. The Beasts leapt off after him but hit the ground instead, rolling slightly but springing back up and regrouping near the tracks. “You two go ahead,” Miles ordered, pointing out towards the town they were headed to. “Go cause some trouble. We’ll be there shortly,” Without waiting, the two quickly set off, sprinting in the direction he had pointed as quickly as they could.


No sooner than Leonard had said that, two men approached the table, each one carrying two plates in their hands. Eager herself to eat after using her weapon, Quinn quickly placed a napkin in her lap as a plate was set down in front of each of them. What was served depended largely on the day and the time as each person received the same food. There were times when requests could be sent to the kitchen and custom meals could be ordered but it was usually easier if everyone had the same food. The good news was the food was always good so as long as you weren’t picky, it was a good setup. Most Apostles didn’t have time to think about what they wanted to eat anyway.

Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo was the dish today, along with a salad on the side. While it was a heavier dish, Quinn beamed and quickly picked up her fork to eat. As an Apostle, she had to eat much more than normal humans so heavier dishes tended to go over well. They filled her up much faster and helped her not feel hungry when she was working around the Fortress.

“I wouldn’t,” She replied, looking at Akane as she twirled the noodles with her fork. “Battle is much different.” People were lucky if she was ever able to relax outside of the fortress. She spent most of the time trying to make sure everyone was accounted for and not dead so even when Beasts were not visible, she was still on edge. It wasn't the healthiest thing in the world but it was the only way she could leave the fortress.

Sticking the fork in her mouth, she chewed her food and focused on eating. Rylain was much more cheerful than Akane but at least Akane got straight to the point. She wasn't sure which one she appreciated more but only time would tell.

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It is said that there are not many so pious in their belief as Rylain Almont. Having been a follower of the Lady for longer than most, he has said that he's been spoken to on numerous occasions, and says that her voice sounds of a symphony of beauty.

His belief seems to stir others to action, including his own wife, and those who were once reluctant to follow Laedel. It seems that he has within him the very essence of Laedel's teachings, and truly aspires to end this war in her name, regardless of the outcome.

There are many Apostles who have admitted that they feel slightly in awe of the self-proclaimed Templar of the Lady, considering his zealous nature in his actions. But I worry for his state of mind.

If he continues down this path of unwavering faith, he will rely fully on the Lady herself, and less upon himself. And if that happens, anything could set him off, and ruin his stature and his honor.

I hope that he begins to realize that is not only the Lady, but his own strength which has brought him to this point.


- Brother Forth, A Study of the Apostles.





Leonard waited for the rest of them to begin eating before he started himself. Soon, however, after a few bites, he spoke up again.

"I'm not worried at all about how she'll battle or how the three of you will do. I'm certain you'll do fine. I've never been worried that you won't return."

"It feels good to hear you say that, Brother Forth." Rylain nodded his head in appreciation. "But we could always become unlucky in one instant..."

He went silent with the thought, trying hard to ignore it. Every Apostle knew that serving Laedel was a dangerous venture, but an honorable one. It was a path with a great risk of death. Many were not willing to walk it.

He began to eat again, as though to forget what he had left unsaid. It was better not to spoil lunch with such thoughts.

Instead, Akane smiled.

"Do not fret, Quinn. We'll make it very difficult for them to kill us in the first place. They will not end us so easily, if they do at all. Rest assured of that."

She began to eat again as well. Leonard nodded in approval as they quickly finished off the tray with little to no talking following that small conversation. Finally, they placed their plates aside and prepared to leave, Rylain bowing slightly to Quinn.

"If you would care to join us, I think it would be a good idea to talk a walk around the fortress to think. Sound good?" Rylain asked.

Leonard, in the meantime, excused himself with another slight bow.

"I must return to my writings sooner or later, and I believe it's better if you all are left alone to grow accustomed to each other. I hope to hear good news of your exploits in the days to come!" he smiled, then stepped off to leave the dining hall on his way back to his study.




Geralt paused, confused.

"Wait, jump-?" he began, but Miles had already leapt from the moving train, leaving the man to make a very quick decision.

Hurriedly, he jumped from the train...

...and slammed because of the velocity into a tree, rolled downward, and painfully landed short of Miles. He groaned, his entire body rebelling from the impact. The amount of cursing he wanted to do was exponential. Here they were, in the middle of a forest, where the bend had slowed the train enough for MISTER Miles to make the decision to jump off, and leave the burly Geralt to suffer for it.

He took a few moments to try and make sense of what was up or down before finally pushing himself from the ground, his back aching from the impact. He almost fell over again as he finally shook his head and cleared his mind of the dizziness and shock.

"There are many... many things I wish to say to you right now, Miles..." he began angrily, one hand on the side of his head where blood was beginning to leak from his skull. "And none of them are good. So I'm just going to... forget that that happened..."

He winced as he rubbed his back and head to ease the pain as best he could. It didn't matter if their bodies were more resilient - unless he was in his berserking form, he was almost as sensitive as a normal human. But for Miles' sake, he had stopped himself from transforming. Otherwise, someone could have seen, and he would have wasted valuable energy regardless.

"Where are we even going?" he finally asked, watching the Beasts leap off in excitement. He was slightly happy to see them go.

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The ends of his mouth curled up in a grin as Geralt showed a complete lack of grace of any kind. He wasn’t worried about the well being of his brother but, even if he was, that kind of injury wouldn’t cause any lasting damage. Their bodies were much more durable now so unless an attack was given by something containing the essence of either god, their bodies would heal. But it was still hilarious to see how awkward Geralt could truly be. “No need to be snappish,” He replied with a grin as he walked across the air above Geralt’s head. He hadn’t jumped off the train really, he had just stepped off and used his powers to remain hovering in the air. Clearly, he was mocking Geralt but it was nothing new for them. Miles mocked most people he met unless he was trying to leave a good impression. That was usually only at parties that he loved attending so much.

But he let his power fade anyway and he dropped to the ground, his feet gently coming to rest as he shrugged his shoulders slightly. “We are headed to a lovely village just past this forest. The Beasts will cause a fuss so by the time we arrive, Apostles should already be on their way.” Of course, he didn’t care about the two Beasts he had sent ahead so if the Apostles killed them, he didn’t mind. Beasts were just pawns so sacrificing a few of them was worth it if he was able to get his hands on some Apostles. They liked to stay hidden and only poke their heads up when they had to. Using the Beasts as bait worked to lure them out long enough for him to kill a few.

“If you don’t want to kill them, I won’t force you. But at least stay out of my way when I go to work. We can’t have any Apostles getting away or we will be the ones hunted.” Smiling, he started walking away from the tracks, rocking his head from side to side slightly as he moved.




Quinn ate her food in silence after the conversation turned rather sour. Talking about deaths was normal but brought up a bad air. Even when Apostles didn’t die, regular humans were killed constantly by Beasts. Apostle deaths tended to be lower because they could more better defend themselves but regular people were not as fortunate. Even when Apostles didn’t die, somebody did.

Who knew if that person would end up as a Beast either?

A small, barely noticeable shudder passed through her body as she finished off her food and pushed it aside as she stood up as well. Looking up at Rylain, she bowed back towards him, moving just slightly so that her intention was understood but it was not too over the top. “I would love to,” She replied then waved to Brother Forth as he left the three of them alone. Walking around the Fortress was more eventful than it sounded as it was easy to get lost in the massive place. It would have been better named the Maze simply due to the fact it was hard to navigate. She wasn’t sure anyone had completely mapped it out and most Apostles stuck to more crowded areas so they did not find themselves alone in an unfamiliar area.

Suddenly, a very out of breath Squire ran through the dinning area, bee-lining immediately towards the three of them. Panting, he held out a folded up piece of paper to Rylain before quickly rising up in a salute.

“There have been reports of an attack, sir,” The Squire quickly said. “A village not far from here has sent out a distress call. Two Beasts attacked a church already. Three are already dead. The higher ups have requested your team deal with the problem before it became too out of hand.” Inside of the paper the Squire was holding was a copy of the report he had just given, along with directions on where to go. Instructions and missions were often given that way, both through the words of a messenger and through written instruction. It helped to keep things clear and fast and eliminate groups getting lost or not knowing what their objective was.


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((You see a load of awesome posts, and then this


Is the Beast thing just for those three Apostle guys? If not I can just edit))


Talia aimed and let go of the string for the second time, as the projectile flew from the bow sending a few puffs of ember around the now missing-a-center targets. She exhaled. Then inhaled. She pulled the string again-


"Can we go eat now?" Miteki asked as he slashed a wooden figure twice, chopping it in half horizontally sending the top half flying with a slightly burnt end.


"Let's see... Sure." Talia dropped her hands to her sides and watched as the bow disappeared from her hand surrounded by a small cloud of white mist.


"Thank you. I'm starving." The two knives he was holding disappeared in the same manner. "I wonder what they have in the restaurant. It better be something good." He looked around. "We sure made quite a big mess. I guess I could try and clean up after lunch or something."


"Yes, please do before they start raging at you again."


"Eh, sure." They both walked off for lunch. They didn't come far when they saw a Squire running for them, a hand outstretched holding a paper.


"Attack-Village-Help" He stood there, panting seemingly attempting to make a salute.


"Woah dude, catch your breath first." Miteki said. The Squire decided to try that, and he stood there panting for a few more seconds.


"Attack on a village, sir, three already dead." He held out the slightly crumpled paper. Miteki took it.




"No problem, sir."


"Crap, I wanted to eat."



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I couldn't help but link it here. Such a good song for all Apostles, and Laedel/the Lady herself. ))


Rylain took the paper quickly, checking to ensure the validity of the statement.

"These are the seals of the Prophet and the Imperator. This is definitely something drastic... Did you send anyone else?"

"I think they said they called another pair... Talia... and... Mitek.... Miteki? I don't know their names very well."

"That many squads? This has to be something dire." Rylain said, his voice stern, his once jovial emphasis replaced by a voice which did not waiver. "Akane."

"Already prepared." she replied quickly, standing by his side almost the instant he said her name. The two of them turned back to Quinn, faces completely different from the ones they had had only moments before.

"It is time, Miss Quinn." Rylain said, crumpling the paper and placing it within a satchel on his side. "Shall we ride there?"

"No. We can drive, you know." Akane suggested, but Rylain gave her a small, whimsical glance.

"I prefer horses." he grinned.

She frowned.

He continued to grin.

She sighed.

"Fine. Horses then." she waved her hand in surrender. "But I'm riding yours. I'm not in the mood to direct one."

"That's absolutely fantastic!" Rylain's mood shifted quickly. To an observer, it was maddening how quickly they were able to transition from serious tones to jovial ones, but it seemed to lessen the tension in the air.

It was obvious why - joking and playing around relieved the anxiety. It made the situation more approachable. If they went in, nervous and serious, they would not be as prepared as they would if they approached it as just another battle to be won, rather than the last battle of their lives.

"Do you have a horse, Quinn?" Rylain asked, as they began to leave the dining hall, as quickly as possible.




"You're right... I'd rather not-" Geralt began, but his voice halted.

"He would LOVE to join you, Miles... After all, that's what he came out here for... Right?" the Baron whispered to them both.

"....Right..." Geralt said reluctantly, placing a hand on his arm. He knew what that meant. Whether he wanted it or not, he was going to go berserk here. He was going to be... that abomination. As far as he knew, Miles had never seen it before.

Actually, he realized that Miles had no idea what his power was, and that was the only advantage he had over the cocky follower of the Baron. If he showed it, ... he no longer had the element of surprise.. His chances of turning on Miles were reduced to nothing.

Miles wasn't an idiot. If he knew what your power was, you were doomed. He was too strategic. Of course, Geralt had thought about betraying the cocky ass from the first time he'd met him, shortly after being forced into the Baron's legion, but all he had on Miles was that Miles had never seen his transformation.

But now...

"Damn you..." Geralt whispered to the Baron, as quietly as possible. The Baron knew what he was doing. He had planned this. The perfect situation for Geralt to show Miles what he could do, so that Miles could use him however he wanted.. And Geralt had no say in it at all.

But the Baron was silent once again. He didn't have to speak. His intentions were clear.

Geralt HAD no choices. He had turned upon the Baron once, and, now, like a disobedient child, he was being punished.

But Miles had his back turned to him now. He'd only been half listening. Geralt could do it. Right now. They were away from the castle. Miles was alone. He could... he could... He could kill him.. and he could get away... And who cared what happened after that? The Baron might finally kill him! Finally, it would all be over! If he just...

He stepped forward behind Miles, his body tense, his face pale. If he could just do it, right now... He could do it... He had to do it... He could take this man's life, this abomination. He wasn't a man. He was a servant of a dark god, and he'd already almost died once. He was just finishing the job. That's right. Geralt was just doing what fate did not. That's all this would be.

He got closer behind him, his hands fully extended. Miles was still turned from him, blissfully ignorant, unaware. Geralt knew it would take a lot to kill him. Strangling wouldn't be enough. He'd have to break bones. Destroy him. Rip the essence from him. Remove his heart. But he could do it. Only those blessed by gods could kill those blessed by gods. He had the power.

That Baron. He had foolishly put them together. He had sent them, alone, from the castle, and put them in this situation. And he was giving him this moment. Was he testing him? Was the Baron seeing if he had the strength to take a life? If he would prove himself a murderer, and cast away his humanity for good?

But the Baron was already forcing him to do that. One way or another, he'd have to kill someone. Apostle or Disciple. He'd have to take a life. He'd have to - willingly or unwillingly - kill a living being. Like the Beasts did. Like the Disciples were going to do. He wasn't human anymore.

Geralt wasn't human. He wasn't human. He wasn't human. Him killing a man was natural. He. Wasn't. Human.

He could do it, right? It was easy. Miles was still so fragile. He'd exposed himself.

Geralt remembered, anatomically, the weakest parts of a body. Where things broke. Where they fit together. He had been in medical science for years. He knew. He knew. And he could use this. He could kill him.

He could kill Miles and he could be free. That's all he had to do.

He could almost feel the Baron chuckling in the back of his mind. He was winning. The Baron would win. If he killed Miles, he would prove he could no longer be saved.

And did that matter? He was damned from the start. He'd been damned the moment the Baron had laid his corrupted hands upon his dying body. He'd been damned the moment his chest had been torn open and his heart had been clutched in the hands of that... of that...

He was not human. He was not human. But he felt the moral ties of humanity. He had a conscience.

He wasn't a beast. He wasn't a beast.


He berserked, jumping at Miles, his spikes emerging from his flesh, his eyes turning black, his muscles enlarging. He would tackle him. He would break him from behind.

He could do it. He could kill this man. He could be free.

And if Miles killed him, he'd be dead. He'd be dead, finally. And he'd be free.

Either way... how could he lose?

And why... why wasn't the Baron stopping him?

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Compared to humans, the bodies of Disciples were strong. Even without using their abilities, they could move faster, run father and lift greater amounts. Additionally, while slower than that of a Beast, they could heal themselves from wounds not inflicted by those blessed by the gods. However, this was usually not a skill Miles required. Why would he ever need to heal if he rarely found himself injured in the first place? His plans were laughably simple and yet, Apostles always fell for the same routine.

First, a Beast appeared to draw them out. By activating their weapons, they lost the protective barrier that surrounded their bodies in the Lord’s blessing. While they fought the Beast, he used his ability to get behind them. After that, it was all over. His ability allowed him to pass his hand through the Apostle’s neck without breaking the skin and then crush their throat from the inside. By the time they realized what had happened, they were already unable to breathe and the Beast, if still alive, was able to feed on the deceased. Because Apostles did not know about Disciples, they rarely were able to anticipate his actions. He didn't get dirty and there was little mess. The Beasts became more and more notorious for growing stronger while he was able to relax and do what he wanted without risk of being attacked himself. He never had to heal because he was never injured.

But that changed when he suddenly found himself knocked over from behind by a massive weight, his body slamming hard into the dirt. His chest heaved as the air was forced out of his body and, on instinct alone, his ability activated and he sank into the dirt below. His chest and back ached in a completely unfamiliar way as, several feet below the surface of the Earth, Miles curled in on himself.

"Looks like Geralt snapped" A sad voice whispered in his ear as Miles sat in the dark, surrounded entirely by dirt. He wouldn't be able to stay hidden forever. An unfortunate thing with his ability was that he still needed to breathe once in a while. Remaining inside objects for too long could cause him to suffocate. But more importantly, Geralt had been the one to attack him? Why? And for what purpose?

Wrapping his arms around his chest, he tried to focus as his body began to demand air. He didn't know a thing about Geralt's abilities. If his brother had gone wild, he didn't know what to expect. What was he supposed to do now? Geralt had the upper hand, something Miles wasn't at all used to. How was he supposed to fight him?

Unable to hold himself underground any longer, Miles shot out of the ground like a bullet, hoping to get himself high enough in the air that he could look down at Geralt. If he got some distance between them, he could at least assess the situation. He couldn't use his abilities as well against the Baron's forces but he had to try.




"I have a horse," Quinn replied with a nod. Even if she had been off active duty for a while, she still had a horse to get her places. But others often took hers out in her place, especially new Apostles who lacked their own steeds. Moreover, sometimes she didn't use her horse for transportation at all. Cars tended to be more popular since they didn't get spooked.

"Where do we have to go?" She asked, peering over Rylain's shoulder to look at the paper he had. They would have to get there as quickly as possible to help the people and kill the Beasts. If it was two, they would have to be very careful. While Beasts tended not to have the intelligence to work together, more firepower was dangerous. That was probably why they were sending in another squad along with theirs.

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Miles was confused! He had the upper hand! He'd done it! He had done it! He could do this!

Geralt's mind was heavy with anxiety and adrenaline was flowing in his veins. Even though he - himself - believed he wasn't entirely human anymore, he felt it. The sense of madness. The claws of insanity that probed the depths of his mind and compelled him to complete the act he had began. The feeling of how wrong all of this was, and yet, how right it was at the same time.

But Miles was below the ground, now. Geralt knew very well what Miles' power was. Unlike most, he paid attention. He hadn't seen Miles fight - since they'd never been sent out together before - but he'd seen him train. The disgusting things he probably did to Apostles to kill them without giving them a chance to fight back, the sly, cruel-hearted means he used to end lives like they were the lives of insects. This man was a treacherous scum, a mark upon this world that needed to be cleansed. Geralt was doing the right thing!

But he was still at a disadvantage. Geralt's power relied on being able to hit his target, and if Miles foresaw the attack, he could phase. Geralt's only advantage here would be spent soon enough if Miles realized that. The moment Miles figured out that Geralt couldn't touch him was the moment that Geralt would die.

But did that matter? This battle wasn't about victory, to Geralt. This battle was about using Miles to end his own existence, or to kill this human monster, and have the Baron kill him for his act of defiance. To him, this made perfect, logical sense.

He was snorting now, his form overtaking his body. His face was contorted into a grimace. He'd forgotten the pain of this form. It was unbearable agony. Spikes, causing his own acidic blood to flow from his back, shoved themselves from his backside. Every time he transformed, they did it anew, and his blood hurt him as well, though less than others who weren't him.

Now he was waiting. He was waiting for Miles to come back out. He couldn't give the man a chance to figure out anything about him. Not here...

But Miles was smart. He propelled himself out of the Earth at a high speed, phased, making it impossible for Geralt to stop him. Dammit! He was going to see! Geralt didn't know the censorkip.gif*** could fly THAT well!

Wait... no. He didn't have to see his power.... Miles was facing the opposite way still! He'd gone into the ground facing that direction! Geralt had a chance!

He dashed behind a tree, quickly, trying hard to make ground between himself and Miles. All Miles knew was that he'd been hit! He had no idea what Geralt looked like! For all he knew, Geralt had a very strong punch or something. He could still win this!

All that Miles knew was that Geralt had a strong impact. Unless the Baron had told him...

He had to hope he hadn't. He used the green of his body to try and hide in the leaves of the trees as camouflage. At least, Miles' flight wouldn't be as effective now.

He'd have to land, most likely. Geralt just had to hope it would work.




Rylain shrugged.

"It's a village not far from here, a settlement built following the beginning of the war. We'll make it in roughly ten minutes, on horseback, since we wouldn't have to follow the roads." Rylain assured. He headed to the door, Akane in tow behind him, her hand already ready to form her sword.




Within a few minutes, they were out at the stables, where Rylain stepped forward to unlatch a fully-white horse from its bonds.

"This is Salutem, yes, the very horse which I rode upon in my first conflict when we erected the fortress so long ago, after taking this land from the Beasts that infested it. Some say the Lady herself blessed him, and I cannot help but agree. He's seen so much conflict, yet has never been scratched..."

He patted the horse's neck affectionately.

"Call me old-fashioned, but considering my weapon, I felt it was only right for me to ride horses into battle. People like heroes, heroes from old stories that rose up against conflict and tried their best to cull the evil, and succeeded." he said, turning to Quinn. "People need legends. Songs to sing. People to speak of. I wish to be one of those people, alongside Akane, and I wish to inspire Laedel's forces and rally our cause. That's why I lift my sword. Not just to defend, but also to spread a message. That the Baron will not take this land as long as I draw breath."

He helped Akane onto the back of the horse and then joined her, taking the reins himself before looking down at Quinn with a smile.

"You think I'm a fool for such romanticism, I bet? You'd rather have fancy, new armor or a tank?" he chuckled. "Don't worry about being honest with me. I know I'm a young fool, and I have much to learn. We all do."

"And I am here to help you learn." Akane said, leaning forward, to hug him upon the horse's back.

Together, the two began to set off, to leave Quinn to follow in their hoofsteps.

Edited by Thaelasan

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