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TehUltimateMage

X-DREAMERS [IC - BASE]

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< STATUS: Stable; Excited >

< LOCATION: 1st Floor Hallway >

< AGENTS: Theo >

< OTHER PARTICIPANTS: N/A >

 

With the meeting adjourned, Arch stood up from his seat. He turned towards the purple horse—Twilight was her name—and nodded in her direction.
“It was a pleasure,” he said politely. Arch gave a passing glance to the agents he had returned with before quickly exiting the room. Once he was out of earshot of the other agents, he sighed and leaned against a wall. Arch didn’t have to bother looking behind him to know that Theo was following him like his shadow so he was by no means surprised when he saw the man standing mere feet away from him. It was comforting to see his husband there, His presence alone was enough to bring a small smile to his face. The smile did not last. Arch turned his head in an attempt to hide some of the insecurity that was surely showing on his face.

 

“To think there were entire worlds outside of Lua’s influence,” Arch mused. He folded his arms across his chest, eyebrows furrowed as he frowned. “I would be remiss to ignore my duty as humanity’s servant even if I am in another reality.” Arch visibly deflated, his shoulders slumping. “I spent lifetimes learning the best way to help humans, but I have no idea if any of that applies here or whatever world we have to go to.”

 

Arch uncrossed his arms. He carded his fingers through his hair with pursed lips. The mission in the other world had gone fairly well but “fairly well” wasn’t good enough. He had to be nothing less than perfection if he was going to be the heavenly tool he was supposed to be. Arch thought of the agents, how they chatted amongst one another as they waited for the meeting to start. Seeing the human agents smile and laugh both delighted and worried Arch. If he could not keep those smiles on their faces then he was failing his one purpose in life. Thinking back he recalled two of the agents giggling as they spoke about a book they both had read from the—

 

Arch perked up. His wings gave a small happy flutter as he pushed himself off the wall. He turned to his husband ecstatic.
“Theo, did you overhear any of the other agents talk?” Arch asked. “Before the meeting started I overheard some of the agents discuss a library on the third floor. I am unsure if anything there will teach me about the humans residing here, the world we were just in, or any other.” Arch wrung his hands, anxious at the idea that he wouldn’t be able to fulfill his holy duty. “But!” Arch perked up and smiled. “At the very least there should be something there about the organization we just joined or about the worlds we’re supposed to investigate. If we’re going to be stuck here for an undetermined amount of time, it’d be best to get better acquainted with the situation.” Privately, Arch wished the children, or at least one of them, would join him and Theo on their book hunting adventure, but Arch knew that they were both currently emotionally compromised. He would not fault either of them if they needed time alone to contemplate their feelings.

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b66ab1c5efcb9f5adfe252bf9169f6c7.png [ theo ; -- add. 0 for: a. ]

-- status.

legios ; dormant ]

grey ; knight of loyalty

--

 

Following Arch is almost reflexive, as the meeting comes to an end; without thinking much of it, Theo pushes himself away from the table, still glowering, and easily falls a step behind Arch's quickening pace as the gathered group slowly dissipates. Uncaring for the actions of his new 'teammates', Theo gazes over too many faces he doesn't care to recognise before he realises that Arch was coming to a stop.

 

The angel sighed, and immediately Theo felt a spike of anxiety shoot up -- was his husband still mad? Theo did not doubt Arch's adoration towards him, but admittedly the knight has his ... moments. Considering the numerous events that had happened -- none of which was his fault exclusively, really -- in such a small amount of time, Theo would not be entirely surprised if Arch was still mulling things over. 

 

However, it seems his anxieties are unfounded. Arch's words are more self-critical than accusatory, and Theo frowns. He dislikes when the other man is like this -- when he places such high expectations on himself as a servant of Lua's greatness, and cannot see the good he has already done. There is nothing more brilliant in Theo's eyes than Arch's gentle smile and his peaceful mannerisms, and even now he can still see the other man's kindness in interacting with the village children, fighting in sync with Aselica's every movement. How could a man so wondrous ever doubt his own efforts?

 

"I don't think they're all human," Theo replies, musing to himself as he crosses his arms and feels the glide of his armour slide across his clothing as he does so. "But regardless of who, what, or when, I have no doubt you'd be able to work something out. Adaption takes time, Arch, and you're doing better than all the other idiots here." 

 

His eyes follow the movement of Arch's hand upwards as he shifts his hair, his eyes suddenly darkened with intrusive thoughts. The knight bites the edge of his mouth impatiently, wanting to help but not knowing how -- he couldn't exactly hit Arch's inner demons, could he?

 

To his surprise, Arch suddenly turns around, face excited, and Theo takes a step back to avoid colliding with his husband's wings as Arch gives a happy flutter -- how adorable -- and spins around, talking about -- a library?

 

"I don't listen to anyone here," he says, too surprised to really gather his thoughts, but he quickly composes himself. "The third floor?"

 

Looking around, he wonders how best to get there -- there would be stairs, he hoped, but if Arch wanted to go to the library he would make sure Arch got to the library in record time, even if that meant exploding a hole in the roof all the way up to the third floor. Before he can begin to plan his plan of attack, Theo turns his attention back to Arch who was still talking.

 

"We could research a bit," he agrees, upon hearing the other's intentions. Getting to know this organization -- and subsequently, their motivations and weaknesses -- would be helpful in his future endeavors. And if anyone decided to mock him again, but little details.

 

Then, he unfolds his arms, and accompanying the downward slide of his hands is a spark of red lightning as Legios forms, fully ready for battle. Staring up at the ceiling, Theo grips the twin spears in his hands. "Should we go?" 

 

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  ♫ Name // Lara Croft  ♫

♫ Players // Stan, whoever the heck else is in the dining hall at this point  ♫

♫ Support //Cicero, whoever the heck else is in the dining hall at this point ♫

♫ Status // Heart pounding, annoyed at Kelsier being Kelsier ♫

 

~~Chez moi ou chez toi?~~

 

Lara grumbled as she left the table. SHE. JUST. BOUGHT. THAT. TABLE. That was a really nice table. Lara was going to have to stupid-proof the next one that she was going to buy. Perhaps next time someone broke or damaged the table THEY would be in charge of replacing it. That new lot was going to be more than just a little bit of mischief, was it not? Lara took a deep breath and looked at the knife, which was buried in the table, as well as the damage Theo caused. It wasn't worth making them replace it now, not when they were new and had no money to do so. But damn, maybe she'd take the table home and use it for firewood. Or for firewood here. Was there a fireplace on base? .....Maybe there were some salvageable parts for a gym. Lara sighed in defeat. She supposed it was time for a new one anyway, this one was getting just a tad too small for the ever-growing organization. But she'd have to get it custom-made.... maybe there was someone in the multiverse who wouldn't ask any questions. Somewhere. 

 

Turning her attention from the table, which ruined her mood to look at, she noticed her braid was much looser than usual. She cursed under her breath as she looked for her hair tie. It was there, but it was very loosely looped around her rebellious locks. She slipped it off and readjusted it, not pleased at how flustered she was. What was wrong with her today? Why was she so distracted by every little thing? It was bad enough that she almost stopped paying attention staring at Stan's jawline. Well.... She really wanted to stare at all of him. But for the purposes of the meeting, she really needed to focus. So she tried her best to look at Twilight throughout the meeting, turning her attention to whoever was speaking. When it was Stan, though, she looked down at the table. She wondered if he knew something was up with her... they knew each other well enough, didn't they? Yet this was new even for her. Not even with her exes did she feel so.... stupid with love. She swore she was acting as if her IQ were docked by at least 100 points. This. Was. Not. Normal. Not even when she seemed so guilty in her report. WHAT was wrong with her...?

 

She looked back at Stan, who was staring at Kelsier. Well... it at least looked like he was. Look. I know Kelsier is attractive and all, but please. We have things to talk about. She stood back for a second, pondering how to get his attention off of Kelsier. It would be as simple as tapping him on the shoulder. Well, wasn't it that simple...? ...No. Nothing was ever that simple. Not when it came to Stanley Westley Gulliver. Still, Lara gently placed a hand on his good shoulder and moved to his side. 

 

"Oi," she whispered, "Whenever you're ready to go talk, let me know.

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Mika and Mage- I have a confession...

 

 Players // Lara Croft, Stanley Gulliver

 Other players // None 

 Support // None 

 

Stan glanced to the side towards the woman, concerned. Holy crap, Lara was pissed off at the treatment of that dining table, even though, inevitably, the gang never was known to treat their furniture well. That’s what magic repair skills were for. Bless Xander and Twilight.

 

Still, it seemed like from the meeting that there was still more work to be done at Luthadel. He didn’t know if he would be asked to man the rest of the mission, and he hoped not, now that they managed to bring back a local expert who seemed agreeable enough. That man with the scars… How did he end up getting so many? It looked like he had stuck his arms through a pile of knives.

 

Stan jumped a little when Lara placed a hand on his shoulder, snapping him out of his thoughts. He let her question hang for a few seconds, then finally stood up.  “I’m ready, let’s go. We can go to my room.

 

Her heart was going about a mile a minute, how she was able to breathe was a feat in itself. “Right,” she replied, “off we go…” Lara wondered if he could tell how scared she was that she’d lose him… even with Audrey’s effort in finding a decent outfit, that didn’t guarantee Stan wouldn’t bolt out of there and leave her alone and hurt. Even so, she supposed it was best to get the rejection out of the way so she could not feel this bloody confused anymore. Her right hand began fiddling with the bottom of her braid, the nerves getting to her like it did every. Single. Time. She took a deep breath and glanced to Stan, who seemed ready to get this over with as well. She sighed. “I…. wanted to start off by apologizing for my actions during the mission. I understand I was rash, and my mind was all over the place, but that added to your stress and that wasn’t alright at all.” The nails of her left hand dug into her palm, and she winced. Maybe she dug her nails in a little too deep. “But, er…. that’s not all.” She glanced at Stan, unsure what to say.

 

But, erm….. maybe I should wait until we get there, I’d hate to have someone eavesdropping.” Lara cleared her throat. With that, she piped down, waiting for his answer. If he even had one, there was a strong chance of that not being the case. Even so, her heart felt heavier than normal. Each beat felt more like a thud. It didn’t hurt, but it bothered her more than anything else going on right now. She sighed and scratched the back of her head. Man…. maybe I should just retreat into my mind. I wonder how long I can keep that up until Stan asks what the devil I want… Lara bit the inside of her cheek. What was Stan going to say to her?

 

At the moment, Stan hated that he could read all the signs she was sending, from her tense body language to the extra attention to her appearance, from the fleeting eye contact to the flustered look on her cheeks. She had something to say to him, and it was going to be more than just a simple apology like she let off. They were friends before. Close. Or was it a ruse for her to get close to him? But nowadays she acted like so many other women before her — the motions were so familiar, and that comparison chilled him to the bone. He was convinced that he was different now, and it almost felt like someone else’s memories were injected into his brain and made them impossible to banish. And yet… he was afraid to become that person again who would leave a trail of broken hearts in his wake.

 

He had tried putting this moment off, to not see her or look at her for too long, and it looked like she had the same avoidant idea — but as the minutes passed the tension grew thick in the air and the longer he ignored it the darker the storm brewed. He knew that it never paid to put things off, but…

 

Upon reaching the foot of the stairway leading to the rooms, he stopped. He let Lara take a few steps up herself while he waited below, hesitating to follow her further. He ran an anxious hand through his hair, other hand clicking on the railing.  “Don’t… Don’t worry about me, you’re safe, and that’s all that matters.

 

Stan knew what he wanted, but he didn’t know if he wanted to let himself get what he wanted. All he really addressed was her apology. There was more to it, and now that they were face to face the pauses felt frustratingly long. All they were doing was more evasive smalltalk.

 

He let a pained breath huff out of his nose, and, closing his eyes, let his cursed instincts take over. He crossed the two steps between them and, wordlessly, pulled her close to him and pressed his lips to hers.

 

What he wanted… was for her to be happy. If he was right and she was in love, it could spark joy just for a moment; if he was wrong, she would push him away and never have the chance to be hurt by him.

 

When he broke the kiss, he smiled. Part of him wondered how genuine his reactions were, but for now, all he could do was to make her moment magical. “Nobody can eavesdrop if we don’t end up saying anything,” he whispered.

 

Her eyes were probably wider than they’d ever been. A part of her was still scared, scared that this wouldn’t last as long as she wanted it to. But at this point… it didn’t matter, did it? She took one of her hands off his face and rested it on his shoulder. Her other hand caressed his face, noting that he probably needed a shave. “Mon Dieu,” she whispered, “you’re…. you’re not just trying to get something from me, are you?” She chuckled, her face growing quite warm. Was it her? No, her shirt left enough exposed so that she wasn’t sweating. But what of him? It didn’t seem so, but perhaps she didn’t need to know. ….or did she? She moved her arms so that they wrapped around his waist- noting here that he was a little squishy. Yes, she liked it. “I suppose you picked up on it rather quick… and I’m not sure whether or not I want to kiss or kill you.” Her voice had reduced to a light purr. Another chuckle escaped her throat. She let out the rest of her air and took in another breath. “But now that it’s been heavily implied- yes, I’m afraid I’ve…. fallen in love with you,” she said in a whisper, “and I’m not entirely sure what I’m to do about it.” She rested her head on his shoulder, allowing herself to relax, just the smallest bit.

 

Still, she had to wonder. Was he just toying with her? He had been a serial flirt, that she knew. She didn’t want to let her guard down that much, but just enough that she could enjoy this. Lara wanted to cherish the moment, even if it wasn’t going to last very long. After all, here he was, in her arms, clearly aware that there was something between the two of them that they both previously refused to admit. Thus she gave him a brief squeeze, trying to process if this was even real. It had to have been. Just the slightest piece of her, perhaps the same part of her that was overthinking it, was disappointed that she hadn’t had the chance to say it. She was ready to woman the **** up, but perhaps this was for the better. Her arms relaxed around his waist yet again. Lara allowed herself to calm down, nothing was going to hurt her— not right now. Part of her had a feeling things would be different, and she had hoped so. She’d been hurt one too many times. Perhaps Stan knew it, from the very brief mention of her past relationships, but ah. Those didn’t matter as much, did they. Only painful life lessons, that’s all they were meant to be.

 

Perhaps, then, she could allow herself to love Stan as much as she wanted to. She removed her chin from his shoulder and parted his lips with her own, this time soft, gentle, and deliberate. She felt him sigh into the kiss, and she felt her own eyelids flutter just a bit. Lara parted from it, and took a step back. She looked up at him, this time with a soft expression. “I have to say, you have a very interesting habit of surprising me. I…. quite like it.

 

"You could both kiss me and kill me, but I don't think you'd be into kissing corpses even though you do raid tombs," he quipped once she gave him a chance to reply. This time, she surprised him with her own kiss, taking the initiative and muffling his lips just as he was about to speak. "Surprises are the best. Keep everyone on their toes...."

 

He shook his head. "But I don't think anyone else would be surprised by this. We basically bicker like a married couple anyway, and I was wondering when this'll all boil over... And I was hoping it wouldn't have exploded during the mission like it did."

 

Yes. That was mostly his own fault for not addressing it sooner. She wouldn't have been too stubborn to come along, in that case, nor risked her life to impress him. And while he wanted to say that he wouldn't have cared if she were gone, the truth was, he didn't want to see anyone else close to him be taken away so suddenly. Why were the people he always got the closest to the people who always insisted on putting themselves in danger?

 

He paused, then took a few more steps up to the second floor. He looked back toward Lara, beckoning her to follow him up, reassuring her that he wanted to continue even though he didn't want to linger in the halls. "I.." he stammered, finding it hard to meet her eyes directly,." I really like you too. I've liked you ever since you were plucky enough to leave your world and tag along with us."

 

She nodded, snorted and rolled her eyes when Stan had said they bickered like a married couple- he wasn’t wrong, not in the slightest. “Yeah, but I guess I sort of like that. I can tell you that it’s not something I’ve had the chance to do before.” Her smile softened and the corners of her lips dropped a millimeter. “Ah….. yes, that…. really came to a head back there, didn’t it. Not that I regret anything, except maybe yelling at you over something so… petty. It was petty.

 

She noticed Stan take a few steps and immediately took a few of her own. “Ah! Right, where were we heading…. your room? Right, your room. My room’s a bit of a mess anyway, um…. I made a friend, and she decided to root through my closet to find me something to wear after my shower. Not something I’d wear to a mission recap, but she has good taste.” Her smile returned, and she noticed she was feeling a bit more confident than before. Had this all been simply because she was too worried about what Stan would say? Had to have been, she had been both feeling and acting unusual recently.

 

But that confidence left as soon as he made his little confession. Her face flushed again, and her body instinctually moved closer to him as they walked. He seemed to radiate warmth, which she didn’t mind quite one bit. Lara leaned in and pressed one gentle peck on the cheek, giving him a warm smile as they continued down the hall towards his room. She went back to fiddling with her braid, rather flustered that he admitted he liked her. “I…” She blinked. “I may have liked you for the same amount of time, might even have been part of why I came along in the first place, but…. Er…. It was maybe a few weeks ago when I realized it was deeper than that.

 

"I'm sure I've told you in the past how my dashing good looks used to strike women straight in their hearts -- and it's good to hear that I've still got it, if it caused you to follow me to the ends of the multiverse." Stan grinned, fully expecting her to elbow him in retaliation. He could still feel the spot where her lips had bumped into his cheek. The skin there prickled, eager to be touched again. "I'm glad you're making new friends with some of the newcomers. Place is going to get real lively real soon."

 

He reached out his hand -- his human hand, with fingers that could still feel -- and found hers. He entwined them together, noticing the unexpected smoothness of her palm. "I assume this was what you wanted to talk about in my room, but since you've already been out with it..." He thoughtfully ran his thumb in circles, rubbing against the underside of her hand, "I reckon it's a good excuse to hide from prying eyes for a bit."

 

Stan smiled. "Shall we?"

 

Yeah,” she said with a grin, “especially considering I’d been mostly keeping to myself, this’ll be a change. And I have someone I can practice my French with, always a plus.” She snorted. Evonna did seem like someone she would be friends with, for sure. Soon, he took her hand, and she went quiet again. So many firsts between these two, it was actually quite nice.


His hand was rough, but not dry, thank God. She had wondered for some time how they’d feel underneath those gloves that made her overheat. Strangely, even her hands seemed a little small in comparison. “Right, yes, it’d be nice to get away from nosy fellow agents for a bit. You know how I like to get away and decompress after missions like that,” she mused. “Although,” she said whilst noting her cheeks hurt a little from smiling like an idiot, “it’ll be nice relaxing with you for a change.” Lara gave his hand a squeeze, lifting his hand to meet her lips. “Let’s go.

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Posted (edited)

latest?cb=20141130035308

Kelsier - Dining Hall

[Post-meeting] - [and negotiations]

 

Now that the meeting was over, people were beginning to leave. That was a good thing. Made it less formal. Kelsier gave the dagger a nudge with the back of his hand, but it was wedged into the wood real good. He didn’t think anyone could rip it out unless they themselves had pewter-strength. Only one person, really, was upset by the scarring of the tabletop, and Kelsier saw no harm in adding some extra marks to an already well worn surface. Frustratingly, his stabbing would have been a lot more dramatic, if it weren't for that other young man and his explosive powers getting to stab the table first.

 

The building they were in was majestic, but still sparsely decorated -- almost as if they had taken over the keep without actually owning it. He could support that. But regardless of the situation and intent of this group, they had powers beyond even Mistborn, and maybe even beyond the Lord Ruler. Could he get a piece of that? Kelsier had refrained from using any of his emotional allomancy all meeting to see how it would play out, but so far it seemed that everyone was alright with him. 


I figure you’re some sort of hero back in your world, Kelsier?” The small purple horse had rounded the table and trotted up near him. It was so small only a child would be able to ride on its back. And moreso than all the other things that it could do, it was beyond strange to see a horse talk, now that he saw it up close.

 

Something like that,” the Survivor replied. “Heroes are only from stories, and even then, we don’t know if they’re telling the truth.” He pressed his lips together and pushed the corners up in a cheeky, closed-mouth smile. “But I do want to make a difference for the better.

 

"Don't we all..." The pony climbed a chair and sat down. She didn't really say anything right away, as if she were searching for some difficult words to avoid making real promises.

 

Kelsier didn't give her the chance to say them. “Duke?” he called. That young man was still in the room, talking to his friend. “Could you talk a little more about your abilities? I like your flair for the dramatic, but you really didn’t explain anything back at the meeting.

Edited by TehUltimateMage

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9afec5aed2aa9588b093521063f110d7.png [ duke ; -- add. n/a ; for. k ]

-- status.

 vylcan ; secondary ]

by your sword -- shield me from judgement!

--

 

Duke perks up when an unfamiliar voice calls his name; unaccustomed to being required anywhere immediately after briefings, the blond looks around momentarily confused. Scanning the room, he sees that mostly everyone has disappeared already -- to where? He wasn't aware there was a rush to be anywhere, but perhaps he'd missed the latter half of discussion. He'd zoned out somewhere along the line, between calming Theo down and wrapping up the mission, only attentive to Kelsier and his description of the perils in his world.

 

He'd straightened in his chest immediately when the older man had given him credit, puffing his chest out like a pleased bird as he stared around at the table, wanting everyone to relish in this moment. Still basking in the joy of his earlier success, the blond immediately stands up and almost trips over the leg of his askew chair in his eagerness to discuss more with the older blond man. A revolutionary -- with the power of a time-changing dagger and ideas of freedom and rebellion. It is exactly the type of thing he knows, the kinds of people he has spent his life growing up around, and he snaps to attention.

 

"Of course," he immediately says, and then laughs, a little sheepish at having been caught in his act. "Only because everything else has already been explained," he mutters defensively, half to himself and half hoping Kelsier will hear so it could justify his actions. Almost with the demeanor of a scolded child, he clears his throat and shuffles his feet, preparing to explain.

 

"My abilities?" he repeats, momentarily stopping to think -- it is strange for anyone to ask specifically about him, and while he's not unaccustomed to new systems of magic, he has never put much thought into explaining his own. What was there to say?

 

"It's a bit complicated," he says. "If we ever reach my homeland, I'm sure it'll be better explained, but ..." He pauses. "I don't know the exact story, honestly. Ac -- my brother, before he died, passed Vylcan down to me. There are figures that populate our world, left over from centuries ago; some say it was when humanity was better, or when there were no humans at all." He pauses again, thinking to himself. 

 

"I don't really bother with any of that. Vylcan's a friend, and I've always considered him so. Having him around ... it's a lot better than being alone, most of the time." A breath. "They're called fairies, and we -- the nobility in my world, at least -- make contracts with these beings, in exchange for power and guidance. It's a pretty age-old tradition; I heard in the Empire it's actually a sign of honour? If the fairy rejects you, apparently the child is passed over in succession, or something like that. I'm not a noble, though. Just some guy that can make shields, though I owe that to Vylcan too. They have specialized powers -- Vylcan's defensive, Orion's illusory, Lorelei brings the oceans ..."

 

A-be, Vylcan says, as a slight reminder.

 

"Right, right, I almost forgot," Duke says, nodding internally, before he notices Kelsier's expression. "Oh -- they talk to us too, inside here." He taps the side of his head, grinning as he does so. "Quite fun if you're in a meeting and bored. Ru and Ren -- those are the Empire's -- are fire, I think? Not sure." A casual shrug, before the lighthearted expression on his features vanishes near-instantly and is replaced by a grimace. "And Victoria --"

 

"This is my birthright, Duke -- and I intend to claim it."  He makes a movement away, heels clicking against the unstable ground. 

 

"At the cost of your life?"  He grabs the edge of a scarlet cloak, staring at the reflection of the mountains on the iced-over river. Between his fingers, he feels -- soft fur, velvet, his warmth. 

 

He pulls away, eyes flashing -- jerking his arm from his fingers with a determination that burns in light eyes. 

 

"With my life."

 

Vylcan's presence in his mind is strangely muted, as if faraway.

 

Duke shakes his head, the smile rising once more. "Victoria's not important," he says. "She's gone." 

 

Darling, my darling.

 

"But there's other types of magic too," Duke says. "Magic exists in the world around us, and there are all different types -- my sister, for example, specializes in written incantations. There are rumours of dark magic too, but --" He cuts off again, pausing.

 

Are you sure you can do this? 

 

"I have to," he hisses, suddenly serious, before he remembers his place and looks at Kelsier, shaking his head to make nothing of what just happened. 

 

"But it exists," he says. "They follow another god, under a certain name ..." 

 

"Just a lowly thief," he says, eyes bright and posture relaxed. "I happened to be in the right place at the right time."

 

"I'm not a particularly paranoid man, but I won't speak her name here. That alone would be enough to ... draw her attention." 

 

He pulls the knife away, breath hitching in his throat. "What -- what are you doing?"

 

His eyes are burning, blazing, near-alive in the darkness of the room. 

 

"I want her out." 

 

"And there is one," he says. "One person that the Goddess blesses, and leads to greatness."

 

Her smile is soft, her posture composed, against the railing. 

 

"I was hoping I'd find you here."

 

"Looking for a little fun?"

 

She scoffs, her elegant posture broken by her sudden childish charm. "Not from you."

 

"And why not?"
 

"I'm engaged, High Commander."

 

"Ah," he says, waving a finger. "But not married."

 

"So quick-witted. Do you talk like that in bed, Commander?" 

 

"Won't you find out?"

 

"Or," she says, deviously smiling, "I could simply ask Lord Moselle."

 

Laughter echoes from the room behind them, and Duke scrambles against the balcony. "Wait -- Ley -- you can't --"

 

"Don't play mind games with me, Duke, you'll lose always. Caspian!"

 

"Wait -- Leyaline!" 

 

"She's quite lovely," he says, and although it is a compliment the expression on his features is one of sorrow.

 

When they find him, it is chaos. 

 

"Ley," he says, hands grabbing onto the edge of his sleeve. "Ley."

 

The expression in his eyes -- it is the same one he knows all too well. 

 

How did they get here? Two men, unrelated to the vast expanse of their universe, and yet suffering the same fate -- 

 

It is hard, to love someone who was never entirely intended to be human. 

 

He holds Aunin and watches the sun rise in the horizon. 

 

As the light appears, so does the cave's maw; an abyss of darkness suddenly swallowed up by nature.

 

Elias' footsteps are loud, his stride confident, and he holds in his hand a blood-stained cloth. It is the perfect image -- he remembers this exact scene from his childhood.

 

"Justice prevails," he declares, and his smile is wide. 

 

He echoes the sentiment, staring at the closing earth. 

 

He thinks --

 

That's enough, Duke, Vylcan says, and his voice is filled with an unusual ... something. 

 

He smiles, polite but forced, still reeling from suddenly remembering things better left unsaid. Taking a deep breath, he speaks once more: "I hope that's enough?" 

Edited by Homulilly

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< STATUS: Stable; Unsure >

< LOCATION: 3rd Floor Library >

< AGENTS: Theo >

< OTHER PARTICIPANTS: N/A >

 

“I don’t think they’re all human.”

It is said in passing, more a thought Theo was keeping to himself rather than an attempt to convince Arch to not help XDRS. Still, it is enough to make Arch giggle so loud that he tries to muffle it with the back of his hand. Arch is unsure if his glee is simply from the high of helping humans or if the telltale sign of dark humor is what set him off.

 

“No,” Arch says, lowering his hand to reveal a small smile.”I suppose they’re not. Still, the chance to help one human is more than good enough for me.” Theo’s dumbfounded look was no surprise to Arch considering Theo had a hard time listening to anyone that wasn’t Arch or Jane. Nevertheless, it was amusing, and perhaps a bit concerning, to see how quickly Theo’s expression grew serious after hearing Arch’s request.

 

Arch gently grabbed Theo’s chin and diverted his gaze down from the ceiling. “We can take the stairs,” he said. To pacify Theo, Arch pressed a quick kiss to his nose, “Come on then.” Arch pulled back smiling. He motioned for Theo to follow before turning around to search for the stairwell.

 

It took him no less than 5 minutes to locate the library. He had persuaded one of the small, star-like creatures wandering the halls to help him locate it. The star—a luma it had called itself—was ecstatic to show Arch and Theo the library.  

 

“Speak to one of the other lumas organizing books if you need more help,” the luma said as Arch took his first step into the library. He glanced behind him to see the luma wave at him enthusiastically. “I got to go now. Bye-bye!” The luma flew off down the hallway, leaving Arch and Theo to themselves. Arch, seeing no reason to further address the non-human star, turned towards the library, his eyes raking over the shelves holding books with covers of every color. Logically speaking, they had to be organized in some fashion or another, but Arch wasn’t sure where to look first. Thinking back on it now, it might have been best if Arch brought one of the senior agents with him to help locate which books he was looking for.

 

“So,” Arch said, turning to look at Theo. “Any idea where we should start?”

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Sorey - 3rd Floor Library

[nerding out with the full gang] - [holds up arch: "is this a seraph?"]

 

"They have a copy of the Celestial Record? No way...!"

 

Sorey put a finger on the spine of a book. He pulled the leatherbound volume out from a shelf with many other similarly wide books in the one of many aisles simply marked History and Mythology, examining the leatherbound cover with its corners protected by metal brackets. This copy wasn't as worn down as his own, as if it were -- disappointingly -- only read once or twice. Mikleo had a similar volume in his hand, flipping through it silently and thoughtfully, his eyebrows furrowed from intense focus. Sorey peered over his friend to see what he was reading, noting that he could understand the symbols forming the writing, but oddly enough, he consciously knew that it was in a language that he could not comprehend normally.

 

"2500 years ago," it read, "the people of Unova were united through the power of two heroes, twin brothers from the Kingdom of the Vale, using the power of an ancient mythical dragon. However, as the years passed, both brothers began to disagree, and this tore the dragon apart -- one, who followed the truth, and the other, who would stand by ideals."

 

He heard the door to the library creak open. Sorey froze, then peeked out from the shelves to see two figures come in. Both were young men, likely only a couple years older than him, though the blond one seemed to be wearing radiant wings on his back. He thought he could sense something akin to malevolence, but not quite, in the angry-looking one, though he was nearly baffled by the purity emitted from the one that looked like an angel.

 

Sorey ducked back into his row, out of sight and undercover. Edna woke up from the nap she was pretending to take, first opening a lazy eye and then finally sitting up. All of the Shepherd's friends were out for some fresh air, although the small blond-haired girl decided that she wanted no part in looking at human-penned books all day like the others.

 

"Is he a seraph?" Sorey whispered to everyone, motioning to the winged one with his head.

 

"In the most archaic, technical sense of the word, yes, he is a seraphim angel," Lailah answered.

 

Sorey nodded, seeming to take the information at face value.  "Right. Seraphs come in all shapes and sizes. So, it shouldn't be hard to talk to him and see if he's holding any blessings? I mean, he does look kind of powerful."

 

"Yeah, he looks like a wind seraph, with those wings," Edna egged him on. "You should recruit him. Make a sublord. We need a windy boy."

 

Mikleo slapped a hand to his own face. He watched the self-satisfied smile on Lailah's lips -- that gleeful expression that appeared whenever she landed a well-received pun, except in this case, they were all part of a much larger joke. And Edna was as insufferable as ever, with her monotone voice and her little hidden smirk. It was obvious that the winged being wasn't exactly like one of their kind, but, he had to concede, that perhaps that fact was not as obvious to the common human senses. 

 

"Oh, but we need a vessel to put him in," Edna continued. "That book will do. Meebo, would you so kindly pass it over? Provided it's not raunchy material, but what would a baby like you do with that stuff on hand?"

 

Mikleo's face turned beet-red at the comment, and he shoved the book of Unovan lore into Edna's hands. Sorey was looking around the corner of the shelf again, but this time he stepped out and gave the angel seraphim and his friend a wave. He ignored the squabbling trio behind him. "Hey!"

 

Sorey didn't think too far on what he would do after getting the angel's attention. But it was a start.

Edited by TehUltimateMage

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Jowan 

Allies: Duke, Kelsier
Location: Dining Hall

 

Jowan’s head is still buzzing with thoughts of teaching Duke magic by the time the meeting ends. Not that he’d been ignoring what was happening; all the information had been important, and he would have been a fool to not listen. It’s just that none of it seems quite as important as their plans, even though logically saving a world should matter far more. He’s never been good at prioritizing information. 

 

He turns to listen with interest to Duke’s explanation. It’s sort of like the magic discussion they’d promised that they’d have, and he doesn’t want to miss any of it. 

 

As it turns out, it’s a good thing that he decided to pay attention. Duke hasn’t gotten any better at explaining things; his explanations are meandering and easily derailed, and he keeps saying things that don’t make sense without context. It takes him a while to even get to what Vylcan is. It’s probably even more confusing for Kelsier, who’s known Duke for an even shorter time than Jowan has. 

 

He doesn’t mind so much as he might have. Duke’s voice is nice to listen to, even if he’d make a terrible lecturer. Jowan smiles a little at the thought. 

Then things go wrong. Duke wipes away the grimace as though it’s easy, hiding it behind that omnipresent smile. He doesn’t get far before he’s hissing at himself, and Jowan -- 

 

-- he can’t help but flinch a little at that. It’s different, he knows, but Duke talking to himself is a disturbing reminder that he’s technically possessed. It’s completely different. Duke’s flesh is undistorted, hasn’t been twisted and warped and then torn and left in a bloodied heap by a templar’s sword. Duke isn’t acting cruel or speaking with a voice that doesn’t match his body. 

 

He feels sick. 

 

He tries to push thoughts of Conner out of his mind. They aren’t helpful, relevant, or pleasant, and Duke still has a pained, far-off expression on his face. Jowan doesn’t miss that Duke still hasn’t actually explained what he can do with his powers. As much as he spoke, he hadn’t actually said anything to answer the question. Still, he hopes that Kelsier has the sense to not try to pull anything more out of him. “Are you alright?” he asks, voice soft, trying to get over his own memories to help Duke. 
 

Status: Minor Injuries

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Kelsier - Dining Hall

[duke's storytime] - [smiling] - [flashbacks to darker times]

 

Duke didn't explain anything at all. Again.

 

Though despite his desire to learn more, Kelsier relented. If anything was to go by, the younger man was simply bad with words or chaining thoughts together -- but his actions spoke volumes. He collected hints through the jumble, however: that Duke's powers came from his world and were fueled by fairies, not metals. That Duke was bonded to Vylcan, who spoke to him and granted him the ability to make shields and perform defensive maneuvers, which was likely what stopped that inquisitor from tailing him.  A hidden anger churned within Kelsier when he mentioned that the magic was again confined to the nobility -- were they in power because they had power? or was power simply granted to those with influence? -- but the young man did stress that he was an exception to the rule. 

 

Thinking about it made his scars itch again. 

 

"Now you listen," Gemmel said. The old man was filthy. Hair unkempt, beard ragged, crouched like a mad dog with a killer streak in its eyes. Right now, his voice was lowered to a whisper. "Listen for once. I'm here to teach you how to fight. Not how to talk. You already do that." His voice grew in a gradual crescendo. "We didn't come here so you could saunter in playing nobleman, like you did in the old days. I won't let you talk through this. You're Mistborn. You fight."

 

Kelsier scoffed. "I'll use whatever tool I have to."

 

"You'll fight! Do you want to be weak again, let them take you again?"

 

Kelsier didn't answer. He shouldn't have told Gemmel anything. Never spoken of his concerns. That was a mistake, and the old man saw fit to tear at his scars at every opportunity.

 

"You want vengance on them, don't you?" Gemmel continued prodding. "You want to kill, don't you, for what they did to you and yours? For taking her from you? Well, boy?"

 

"Yes." Kelsier forced himself to smile.

 

"Yes," Kelsier repeated. "I'll have vengeance, Gemmel. I'll have it my way."

 

Despite the strong feelings boiling under the surface, Kelsier gave a thoughtful smile and an understanding nod. Duke was distant and had begun muttering non sequiturs to himself much as the mad old Gemmel had. And that got Kelsier thinking... Maybe Gemmel wasn't that much of a lunatic after all. Maybe he was just talking to a voice in his head. 

 

Either that or the possibility that Duke too, was simply not right in the head. 

 

"Thank you, that was helpful," Kelsier said, once Duke asked if he had offered enough information. Kelsier wanted to know more, but he concluded that the fastest way to learn of Duke's capabilities was to just test them himself. He had the feeling that it was nothing like any kind of Allomancy he knew, fairies and all. "Maybe we could go outside for a demonstration? Maybe even go head to head. With the open space, you could show me the extent of your shields, and I will show you what a Mistborn from my world is capable of." He smirked, then nodded to the nervous man beside Duke. "You too, Jowan. Come along. I hear you contributed too, so maybe you could explain and exhibit your abilities as well.

 

Rising with a flourish and finally throwing his head back to gulp his cooling tea, he used the opportunity to tuck away a few metal spoons into his coat while no one else was paying attention. No one here had allomancy, he figured, so it wouldn't hurt to have some objects he could throw. "I assume I can leave the dagger in your care for now, Twilight? It's quite stuck, but it should still work."

Edited by TehUltimateMage

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b66ab1c5efcb9f5adfe252bf9169f6c7.png [ theo ; -- add. 0 for: a. ]

-- status.

legios ; dormant ]

grey ; knight of loyalty

--

 

Theo calms immediately when Arch touches him; his husband's fingers are gentle as he slides his gaze down, smiling softly. Blinking, the knight takes a second to compose himself as he registers the sight of the angel before him -- secure and unchanging, a constant in this quickly adapting new world they have embraced.

 

He retracts his spears, confidently led by the sound and pace of Arch's voice, and he smiles briefly, his eyes fluttering closed, as Arch leans in and gives him a gentle peck on the nose. When the angel pulls away Theo leans in instinctively, as if trying to capture the feeling of Arch's fingers on his skin once more. However, he catches himself a second later, and snaps to attention, easily following Arch up the stairs to the third level with his ears slightly tinted red, smiling to himself at the angel's obvious show of affection. 

 

Once the strange, star-like creature had lead them to the library, Arch dismissed it rather quickly. Trailing his eyes to the movement of the creature as it disappears, Theo wonders briefly: what exactly are the servants of this world? Could they be creations, like the ones that Annette and Christa so marvelously came up with, or were they something else entirely?

 

He once was not a man for the supernatural, but time -- and a certain encounter with a demon -- has taught him otherwise. Still, the star-creatures do not seem like demons per se, and so Theo regards it with more curiosity than he does hostility. 

 

 Curiosity that is quickly interrupted by a shout. Before he can tell Arch to explore to his heart's content, the peaceful space between them is interrupted by an unfamiliar voice. Snapping his head in the direction of the noise, Theo catches sight of an unfamiliar face: a boy younger than them it seemed, with rather ordinary brown hair and cheerful eyes. Easily suspicious, Theo squints at the boy -- he seems to be alone, and who hangs out alone in a library of all places? -- and is silent, his quiet hostility an obvious play at making the other speak first. 

 

 

 

9afec5aed2aa9588b093521063f110d7.png [ duke ; -- add. 0 ; for. k. j. ]

-- status.

 vylcan ; secondary ]

by your sword -- shield me from judgement!

--

 

Duke blinks in response to Kelsier's words, his previous sadness forgotten in the reassurance that he had done a good job in explaining his abilities. That -- was a surprise. Seldom is he praised for anything even remotely intelligent, not that it bothers him per se; it is simply not his strong suit. Had he really managed to do so well?

 

And with no follow up questions, too! He immediately nods when the other suggests a demonstration -- after all, he is much more confident showing off his abilities than he is explaining them, and it would be nice to get some fresh air to clear his thoughts. He falters slightly, the recollections of what had just happened holding him back, but a quick shake of the head wipes any bad thoughts from his mind and allows him to move onwards. That is, of course -- how he deals.

 

"Of course," Duke agrees immediately, a hand on the table tapping out his excitement. "I would be happy to engage -- in anything. I'd like to see your abilities too, Kelsier." Brimming with excitement at the possibility of seeing what the other man -- what a legend! -- could do, Duke's attention is momentarily caught as the older man drowns his tea in one swift gulp and turns to Twilight, saying something. Kelsier stands up and Duke makes a move to follow, delighted, but as he moves he hears Jowan's low, soft voice.

 

It makes him pause -- not because the question is intrusive, but only because he has never been asked that.

 

Well -- he is alright, isn't he? He has conveyed the sufficient information, and is communicating just fine with Kelsier now.

 

Why would Jowan ask that?

 

He turns around to stare at the other man, blinking owlishly; perhaps allowing the silence to stretch on for a second too long.

 

"Yes," he finally says, almost forcedly, and it sounds --  unnatural, considering his usual speech. Duke isn't sure -- he still has not decided if he is shocked simply because of the question being proposed, or if he is truly stunned on some deeper level of consciousness. Regardless of the issue, the blond catches himself a second later, fumbling over his thoughts and tumbling through his uncertainty, and smiles -- it is sincere, but almost awkward considering the context and the situation that has just trespassed between the two of them.

 

"I --" he begins, intending to give Jowan a half-truth -- that, or simply what he believes, even if it should not be true -- but stops abruptly. The other man -- he deserves more than that, doesn't he?

 

"Thanks," he says instead, entirely arbitrary and a little misleading. "I just ... remembered something. Weird how some things remind you of the past, huh?"

 

A pause.

 

"It's unfortunate, but I'm not going to discount what I have now because of it." As he speaks, Duke gets up from the chair; sweeping his cloak behind him and drawing himself to his full height. 

 

"Should we go?" 

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Jowan 

Allies: Duke, Kelsier
Location: Dining Hall

 

Kelsier, fortunately, doesn’t press Duke for more information. He doesn’t agree with Kelsier about Duke’s explanation being helpful, but well, Duke looks happy to hear that. 

 

A demonstration? He’s a little nervous about that, to be frank, but he supposes that there’s nothing wrong with agreeing. It should be fun, and it’d be good to get a better look at Duke’s powers (even if the maze incident had gotten him far too acquainted with them already). Kelsier’s still a little intimidating, but he knows that he should get over that. “Yeah, okay, I’ll come. I might not um, be very impressive, though. Neria -- er, my friend -- she was always better -- I mean I’ve never been very good at this stuff,” he finishes, fumbling. It’s the truth. Aside from blood magic, which he’s still loath to reveal, he’s always been weak at magic. He doesn’t understand how Neria had always been so patient with him and hadn’t just left him behind. 

 

Duke’s words do little to convince Jowan that Duke is okay, but they do make him feel as though he’s perhaps crossed some sort of line. Duke sounds so surprised and so uneager to share. Then again, Jowan knows what it’s like to have unpleasant memories. They’re not something that he’d like to share at the moment either. Still, it’s hard not to take it personally, and an uneasy sense of guilt settles in his chest. “Yeah, let’s go.” 

 

Status: Minor Injuries

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Kelsier - Dining Hall > Outside the Castle

[flowers and fresh air] - [nostalgia] - [training lessons]

 

Back outside, with the green grass -- green! And it was everywhere! Kelsier figured that no other person from his world, skaa or noble, would've found the sight as delightful as he did. It appeared incredibly alien and almost hurt his eyes, though he welcomed the pain. Despite his instinct to save his reserves, he burned tin to saturate his senses, taking in the sights and the tactile feelings. The smell of flowers and dirt, and the quiet rustle of the plants, too many to count. Deep down in his soul there was a sort of sense that this is how things were supposed to be -- if not for that tyrant ruler and the calamity he had brought. 

 

Kelsier slowed his pace when he approached the edge of a shallow pond, where the grass gave way to dirt, and dirt gave way to riverside gravel. The water was amazingly clear -- he could see the rocky bottom where a few small fish swam. A few rocks were large enough to rise from the knee-high surface, their flat tops becoming islands to stand on within the pond.

 

"Nobody believes green grass even exists, on my world," Kelsier mused, distant. He was talking to the two young men who followed him out and caught up to where he stopped, but he didn't say much else, and his tone of voice implied that his thoughts were wholly elsewhere.

 

"See, look, it's shaped like this."  Mare reached for the pencil in his hand, and he let the woman take it. "Look at the picture. The petals are more teardrop shaped."

 

She began to draw the bell-shaped thing, her eyes darting between her own page and one stolen from a book, on which was printed a plant that looked nothing like the small leaves found throughout the empire. She brought the damn picture everywhere, tucked safely in a breast pocket. While at first it amused Kelsier how serious she was about pre-Ascension myths about green grass and crystaline water, he had to admit that her interests had rubbed off on him just a little. 

 

"If I were suddenly in this world with clear skies and fields of flowers," she said, "I'd keep burning my tin so I wouldn't miss a second of it."

 

The comment made Kelsier smile. "It's almost unfair how allomancers get to feel the world so much differently. If you were suddenly in that world, what you'll need to do is turn your head and tell me all about what you'll feel through those senses of yours."

 

Kelsier turned. Duke and Jowan were here. "This looks like a good spot. The water will give us some drama." He smirked, and raised his arms as if presenting the world to them. "If you're thinking of helping me with my world, you should know what you are against. My world's magic is called Allomancy. It's magic that draws powers from specific metals we have to eat. It too, is mostly a gift granted to those of noble blood, but like I mentioned earlier, it can show up in half-breeds like me."

 

He burned steel. Blue lines appeared in his vision, like an overlay pointing towards all nearby sources of metal -- the buttons and clasps on Duke's clothing, mostly. Kelsier shook the tension out of his hands and in the same movement, produced one of the spoons he had swiped from the dining hall. He lobbed the spoon at Duke, giving the utensil a little push so that it would arc and be easier to catch. "Hold that. Two of the most obvious Allomantic powers are those fueled using iron and steel. I'll show you what they're all about in a second."

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9afec5aed2aa9588b093521063f110d7.png [ duke ; -- add. n/a ; for. k. j. ]

-- status.

 vylcan ; secondary ]

by your sword -- shield me from judgement!

--

 

They go outside, and near instantly Kelsier's attention is caught by ... something.

 

Duke isn't quite sure what; the scene before them is ordinary after so long spent living at X-Dreamers headquarters, but the blond stands back and allows the older man to live in the moment. He stops in line with the other's footsteps and just barely catches his murmured sentence, but Duke finds himself unsure how to respond.

 

It is clear that the allies they find in the multiverse undoubtedly come from different worlds, but even after returning from Kelsier's homeworld Duke finds it hard to believe a place like that exists. Somewhere where the skies are forever dulled and the land covered by a thick layer of ash -- it was hard to imagine in contrast to the large mountains and wide rivers he knows from his home. 

 

He surveys the area once more, thinking to himself as he does so; there is a slight pause as they wait for Kelsier to lead, and the time is enough to allow his mind to wander. 

 

Even now, he is still not used to the beauty of Illysion.

 

The fields are lush and blooming, mountains lined with forests rising up into the blue skies above. He stands at the front of a balcony, taking a glance of the scenery at large. The royal palace is situated in the middle of a clearing immediately followed by a large forest for hunting and horseriding. He stares over the tops of the trees now, humming to himself before his gaze falls away from the lush greenery and to the man by his side. 

 

Caspian Moselle is, as always, immaculate. He rests now, a hand placed still on the marble railing before them, eyes focused to some faraway point in the distance, and Duke wonders what the other man could possibly be thinking about -- what thoughts he is entertaining. Seldom does he get any insight into the inner workings of Caspian's mind, as much as he'd like to know; to understand what bothers the other man. 

 

His bodice is white silk, delicate blue cloth clasped by a thin silver belt. His hair, pulled back in the Esteau fashion, intertwined with delicate white pearls and a light silver circlet that curls through his locks, thin, shapely antlers branching upwards. The sunlight illuminates the brush of his long eyelashes against his cheeks as Caspian blinks, light blue eyes sliding over to meet his own as he catches Duke looking at him. The edge of his diamond earrings dip with the movement of his head, white crystals sliding across his collarbones as he tilts his head slightly and smiles, a curious expression on his features. 

 

"What is it?"

 

Duke wants to tell him -- everything. Both of the thoughts rising in his throat that take his breath away and make his heart pound against his chest, echo loudly in his ears, and of the things that keep him up at night, staring as he counts the patterns of light illuminated on the walls and entertaining his anxieties. 

 

But he dips his head. There are some things better not voiced on such a lovely clear day, and it is not as if is in any particular rush. As far as he is concerned -- they have eternity to live out the rest of their lives, once the war has been resolved. It cannot touch them here -- not with the high mountains and vast forests, a land unmarred by the darkness of the world so long as Ley's faith remains absolute. 

 

"Just thinking," he says, with a devilish smile as he shifts closer. "We should start a fish farm."

 

Caspian blinks at him, clearly surprised, before he laughs; a laugh that breaks his serene expression and makes him all too human, filling Duke's chest with an unreadable emotion as he sighs and rests his head on his shoulder, delicate. "Please elaborate."

 

"Well, the land here is so nice, and all you'd really need is a river ..."

 

Kelsier's action draws him from his thoughts and he immediately snaps to attention, not wanting to miss a moment of the other man's speech. Right -- he was here now, in the present, and the company of those by his side was not something he wanted to miss. After all -- it is not forever. 

 

Allomancy. Duke catches the spoon easily, surprised when it all but slips into his fingers, and stares at the utensil. Giving Kelsier a doubtful look, he holds the spoon out before him.

 

"You ... eat this?"

 

He has heard about other forms of magic, but the idea that one would have to actually chew down on a spoon -- that was strange. Without hesitation he would carry out any orders the older man had, but Duke stares at the spoon with an almost suspicious glance, hoping he really does not have to eat this. 

 

"The world has some strange magic," Duke says, half-laughing to himself. "I thought I'd seen it all, but here you are, eating metal." 

 

He gives Jowan a look, almost as if to say 'can you believe this' with his eyes, and stares at Kelsier for further instructions. 

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Jowan 

Allies: Duke, Kelsier
Location: Outside

 

He tries to imagine living that barren, ash-coated world without even the knowledge of grass existing and it’s somehow both easy and difficult. He can’t remember anything from before the Circle but his parents’ accusations of demon child and pain, and the apprentices hadn’t been allowed outside for years. Until his escape his existence had been windows too high to see out of, mazes of bookshelves, and Templars breathing down his neck. One could hear the wind whistling through the windows or catch a whiff of lake-scented air if they were lucky, but all of it was so unobtainable. Tantalizing, almost within reach, but not quite there. 

 

At least there hadn’t been any ash. 

 

Duke gives him a look and Jowan blinks back. “You have a dead man in your head,” he says, nearly deadpan enough to hide the unease he feels about the concept after what happened in the dining hall. Maybe enough jokes would be able to wipe it away completely; he doesn’t want to be scared around Duke. 

 

It’d be strange if Kelsier did just bite done on a spoon, but either way, consuming metal sounds normal compared to not being alone in one’s head. “Lyrium’s a type of metal,” he says before catching himself doing the same thing that Duke did and not explaining properly. Maybe he was a little harsh before; it’s surprisingly difficult to remember how commonplace things in Thedas aren’t normal in Duke or Kelsier’s worlds. “I don’t have to drink them, but potions made of lyrium recover ma- let me use more magic at once.” 

 

Stranger than the metal eating is the reminder that magic (or Allomancy, whatever Kelsier wanted to call it) is something that nobles have, like Tevinter. Is it a rule of the multiverse that mages being in power leads to corruption? It’s hard not to accept the Chantry’s words about it. 

 

But the gathered acolytes turned from him,
For there was nothing but ambition
Where hearts once beat within them.
And ninety-nine knives gleamed in the firelight
As the sacrifices began

 

“You wouldn’t have to worry much about nobles with magic where I’m from,” he says, voice quiet and serious. 
 

Status: Minor Injuries

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Kelsier - Outside the Castle

[kelsier's private lesson] - [every action has a reaction]

 

Duke stared at the spoon quizzically, as if it were the key to his abilities. Kelsier laughed. "We don't actually swallow the metal whole. Specialized people prepare vials of flakes suspended in alcohol with the proper ratio and purity, and we drink it. If the alloy is made incorrectly, using the metals could make an allomancer sick."

 

Activating iron, he used his power to yank on the spoon. He raised a hand to catch it, but Duke's grip on it was tight -- the young man lurched forward along the line of force, pulled by his arm. Kelsier's boots scraped against the gravel as he slid forward from the pull's reaction, until the other man, Jowan, added his weight to the system by anchoring Duke. 

 

Kelsier stumbled.

 

Flaring pewter out of reflex, he recovered his balance, stopping his face mere millimeters from colliding with Duke's. He was close enough to see every one of the young man's pores with incredible sharpness -- partly because his senses were still augmented -- and smell a faint hint of tree nuts through the musk of adrenaline. Those blue eyes, irises formed from stringy flesh shaped like wisps of mist and pupils opening a void into eternity, were as vivid a color as the star-sprinkled sky above them.

 

"Iron and steel." His lips were close, too close. "They pull and push, respectively, on any source of metal."

 

He flared his steel and shoved the boy away, pushing against his buttons and belt clasp. Kelsier's feet slid backwards from the counter-reaction until his boots were in the water. He didn't seem to care. "What can you infer from seeing it, feeling it?"

Edited by TehUltimateMage

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9afec5aed2aa9588b093521063f110d7.png [ duke ; -- add. n/a ; for. k. j. ]

-- status.

 vylcan ; secondary ]

by your sword -- shield me from judgement!

--

Duke stares at Jowan for a second, blinking in response to the other man's words, before he breaks out in a grin. "I do," he says in response, cheerily, and entirely missing the point -- for him, it is a simple fact of the world and nothing beyond that. 

 

It is strange though -- that metal seems to work in Jowan's world in a similar fashion. Was this commonplace of many of the world's multiverses? It is strange to imagine, especially when he is used to metal being of no such importance apart from that of a decoration. The part about nobility -- that was interesting. A world where magic was not in the hands of those in power? Strange, and it makes Duke only wonder more about the worlds his companions come from. What different structures, histories, systems they must hold -- and the complexities that come with them. If he could, he would like to explore them all one day -- maybe. Better sooner than later, as he has learnt.

 

It's a relief to hear that Kelsier doesn't actually swallow the spoon whole, and Duke makes an exaggerated sigh and looks up, smiling. "Glad --"

 

Whatever he is about to say is cut off abruptly by the sudden pull of an unknown force yanking him forward, and in his panic he grips the spoon in his grasp harder, thoughts jumbled and mind confused. It happens so fast -- he feels Jowan's hands on his arm just as he is pulled forward, and then Kelsier's clothes are visible in a flurry of brown and -- 

 

Everything comes to a standstill as Duke collects himself -- he digs his heels into the ground, feeling gravel slip underneath his feet, and barely manages to catch himself from falling entirely. In relief he blinks and gathers his thoughts, only to look up and directly into Kelsier's eyes, their faces so close that he can feel the other man's breath easily on his lips.

 

Duke sucks in a breath, unsure -- there is doubt hanging in the air between them, time paused in the seconds slowly trickling between their joined gazes, ocean-blue on dark aqua. It seems like forever -- neither of them bridging this distance between their shared atmosphere, but close enough that he can see the line of Kelsier's eyelashes along his pupils, blinking steadily in tune with his pounding heartbeat threatening to shatter Duke's eardrums. 

 

Kelsier speaks, but Duke cannot hear; he feels the exhale of the other's breath -- warm, steady -- on his mouth, a whispered piece of information gently passed between their closing distance, and the blond parts his lips, blood roaring in his ears, before --

 

He is pushed back and he goes willingly, in a state of shock as his brain completely wipes of any thought possible. The pressure on his chest -- some kind of unseen push -- is immense compared to his frayed senses, and he reaches out in an attempt to steady himself as his brain tries to catch up to his pounding heart. The only thing he succeeds in grabbing onto is Jowan's arm, the other man still holding onto him, and so Duke feels his heels click against the gravel, giving way as he slips backwards, and drags Jowan down with him until his back meets the grass.

 

"It's strong," is the only thing he can think of saying, almost in a daze as he realises he is now flat on the ground, Jowan very close to him. It would be easy right now to reach down -- link his arms around the other's neck and bring him down, pull him close --

 

But that would be intruding on the other man's personal space, he's almost sure, and there are certain lines he is unsure how to cross -- uncertain if he wants to, and if the other man would be receptive. Instead, he gives a light chuckle.

 

"Hi," he says instead. "Sorry, I ... slipped."

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< STATUS: Stable; Excited >

< LOCATION:  3rd Floor Library >

< AGENTS: Theo | Sorey >

< OTHER PARTICIPANTS: Mikleo | Lailah | Edna >

 

"Hey!"

 

Arch jolted at the voice, his wings fluttering in startlement. It had occurred to him that there would be other lumas residing inside the library, but none of them had spoken so loudly or in a tone as deep as the strange voice. Arch’s head turned towards the sound of the voice. He caught sight a young gentleman with wild, russet hair. A young gentleman that was very obviously human. To say Arch was delighted would be an understatement.

 

“Oh! Forgive me, where are my manners?” Arch said with a grin. Seemingly oblivious to the scowl on his husband’s face, Arch strolled over to where the human was. As he approached the human, Arch caught sight of three other individuals squatting on the other side of the bookshelf. Despite their humanoid forms, Arch could feel the otherworldly magics emitting from their being. They were clearly non-human, unworthy of his attention. He gave them a cursory glance, acknowledging their existence for as long as he deemed suitable before looking back at the human.

 

“You may call me Arch,” the angel continued. He placed a hand on his chest before dipping down into a half bow. When he lifted his head again, his smile remained. “I was unaware that there was anyone else in the library besides the lumas.” Arch straightened himself, wings automatically repositioning themselves. “I didn’t see you at the meeting downstairs. Are you perhaps new here?” Arch's eyebrows knitted in concern at the thought of the human wandering around the halls aimlessly without a clue as to where he was. Any thoughts Arch had of looking through the library were completely overtaken by a burning desire to help the human directly in front of him. There wasn't a point in researching how to help humans when there was a human in need right in front of him.

Edited by Doctortear

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Cure Scarlet, Princess of Crimson Flames
<Status: Stable>
<Form: Pretty Cure>
<Location: Dining Hall -> 3rd Floor Library>
<Agents: Arch | Theo | Sorey>

 

~

 

With the meeting concluded, Cure Scarlet was determined to learn all she could about this mysterious group, this "X-DREAMERS." Maybe, just maybe, they could help her reclaim the Hope Kingdom from Dyspear. It'd be a long shot...

 

But she'd have to learn of all the various worlds in the multiverse first, so it wouldn't be too farfetched to assume that this place had a library in which she could do so. By knowing about these worlds, she believed that she could possibly be better prepared to react to however each world's inhabitants behaved, and that she would be more well-versed in how each world worked compared to her own.

 

Of course, just because Princess Twilight Sparkle wasn't malevolent didn't mean there weren't members of the organization who didn't harbor ill intent. Some of those at the meeting had definitely proven to potentially be harmful not just to her, but to the whole organization and possibly to themselves. But she'd learn about them more after doing her research on the worlds themselves.

 

She politely bid Hibiki farewell before seeking out the library...

 

~~

 

Those star creatures - those "lumas" - were quite helpful. Twilight sure knew how to run the place. That was good - it meant the title of Princess was more than just a title. She knew how to rule - perhaps Twilight didn't quite realize it yet, but Scarlet could see a lot of herself in the equine princess. Needless to say, the lumas were helpful in locating the library. It was on the third floor, apparently...

 

So to the third floor she went, going up several flights of stairs and passing by more lumas. The second floor had a large multitude of rooms - she made a mental note to see about claiming one as her own later.

 

Still, Scarlet was not prepared for what was on the other side of the door to the library once she reached it. Upon entering the library, three more people entered her line of sight.

 

"O-Oh! Well, this is a surprise..." Scarlet looked around. She recognized the angel and the angry-looking human from the meeting - she found that faces were very hard to forget. "...if I'm not mistaken, you two are Arch and Theo, yes? I recognize you both from the meeting, and I daresay that might be the most memorable meeting I've ever been to - and I've been to plenty."

 

She then looks at the brown-haired human. "...but I don't think I saw you alongside them. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Cure Scarlet, Princess of the Hope Kingdom, but just Scarlet will work... and my true name is Towa Akagi, before you ask." She politely curtsies in front of him. "...and what, pray tell, is your name? I can't just call you 'you' all the time."

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Jowan 

Allies: Duke, Kelsier
Location: Outside

a flame ignited in my fragile heart

 

There’s a blur of movement and suddenly Duke is pitching forward and away from him. He doesn’t think, only grabs forward to stop Duke from falling, but Duke’s momentum is more than he expected. He’s dragged forward along with Duke and ends up practically hanging on his arm to stay upright. Kelsier explains what iron and steel are used for, and then Jowan shrieks and they’re falling -- 

 

-- he’s sprawled over Duke, their faces only a few inches apart. Seconds are measured in thudding heartbeats, both his own and Duke’s. A faint dusting of pink covers his cheekbones, interrupted by the dark splotch of his intricate tattoo. His hair fans out behind him in glittering sun-kissed waves, and Jowan is struck by the urge to card his fingers through the soft locks. He lets his eyes meet Duke’s blue ones, bright in both color and expression, and travel down to his lips -- 

 

“Hi. Sorry, I ... slipped."

 

The spell breaks and Jowan is reminded of where he is. With a high-pitched noise that may have been an apology he pushes himself off of Duke and into a standing position, fingers running through his still-damp hair to try to mask his embarrassment. His face and ears burn, and he knows that it’s too much to hope that it won’t be noticed. He clasps his hands together to stop their fidgeting and says, looking at Kelsier’s shoes because that’s as far away from Duke as possible, “That sounds useful. What other types of metal are there?” Perhaps if Kelsier keeps talking he’ll be able to succeed in ignoring what just happened and how much of a fool he made of himself.  
 

Status: Ready to Disappear into the Earth

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9afec5aed2aa9588b093521063f110d7.png [ duke ; -- add. n/a ; for. k. j. ]

-- status.

 vylcan ; secondary ]

by your sword -- shield me from judgement!

--

 

Jowan's sudden reaction brings him back to the present as well, and for a second Duke worries he might have been too forward -- after all, one usually does not take kindly to suddenly being grabbed and upturned. However, it seems his worry was for nothing; Jowan pushes himself up almost instantly and clasps his hands together, his eyes looking everywhere but at Duke as the blond slowly gathers himself as well. Staring at the two men before them, Duke takes a little bit to inspect the scene; how strange they would seem to anyone passing by!

 

Kelsier is calm and collected, standing in the water as if nothing has happened; even water in the older man's shoes does not seem to bother him at all. Duke admires the calm passivity by which he has allowed the scene before him to carry out, and wonders -- exactly how could the other man be all-knowing, so calm and collected, even in the face of events such as what had just transpired?
 

He makes an internal note to ask Kelsier later, perhaps either for strategies on how to collect himself -- his ears are still bright red, he's sure -- or maybe what the scene had looked like from a distance. Was Jowan okay with being pulled? Or -- was he overthinking it?

 

Certainly not overthinking some things, the blond decides, as he slides gaze over to Jowan and the other man shifts immediately away from his eyes, his face a bright red. Oh?

 

The sight brings a dusting of pale pink onto Duke's features as well, flushing his neck and cheeks, and the blond clears his throat, gathering himself up to his full height and dusting off his clothes. His shoulderblades are slightly sore from where he had hit the ground,  but thankfully the surrounding area is grass and not cement. He will heal, after a good night's rest. 

 

"Right," he says in response to Jowan's words, feeling slightly awkward. Pulling on the edge of his collar, he attempts to -- gather himself together?

 

When was the last time he had felt this way, unable to control his thoughts and flushing at every thought?
 

He knows, and the answer is quite clear in his mind, but he does not wish to acknowledge it -- only because there is always the uncertainty that the other man may not feel the same. 

 

But he does not have forever to carry out a live spent with who he desires -- and he has learnt that painfully. With that thought, he makes up his mind. 

 

"Good question," he says, looking at the other curiously, wanting Jowan to meet his eyes -- hoping he has not been too forward in his advances. He smiles, hoping to convey some of what he is thinking across to the other man, and waits for Kelsier's response. 

 

 

b66ab1c5efcb9f5adfe252bf9169f6c7.png [ theo ; -- add. m. e. l.  for: a. s. t. ]

-- status.

legios ; dormant ]

grey ; knight of loyalty

--

 

Ah, of course. His husband has a certain ... affection for humans, and it does not come as a surprise to Theo when Arch near immediately drops all his defenses in order to interact with the unfamiliar brown-haired boy. Theo tenses instantly as Arch moves towards the boy, but forces himself to relax -- it seems he is alone, and he does not appear to pose much danger.

 

Regardless, he certainly wishes Arch would be more careful when engaging in conversations like this. He remembers bandits and other unsavoury people, taking advantage of the angel's blindness in his love for all humans, regardless of who they were or what they did. Just as he is resigning himself to a life spent mulling in the library and glaring the brown-haired boy away from stepping too close to Arch, a new voice breaks into the air.

 

He turns, surprised; the speaker is undoubtedly one of royalty, from her tone to her manner, and it twitches old, long-forgotten muscles he didn't know he still retained. Abilities to act knightly despite his inner feelings, engage with any member of the nobility for his Lady's sake. 

 

Cure Scarlet? A strange name, but he isn't one to press for more details when she is a princess. That ... outranks his lady, actually. 

 

So he stands up, drawing himself to his full height, and places a hand in the centre of his chest, balled into a fist as a sign of greeting. "Theo Phil Greyum. Forgive my earlier action, but it was well-justified. I don't take kindly to being made a fool of." 

 

He pauses then, turning his attention as well to the brown-haired boy -- who might he be? 

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Sorey - 3rd Floor Library

[new people!] - [seraphs behind shelves]

 

Sorey was no stranger to princesses. In fact, princesses were regular people just like everyone else, even if they had a few more responsibilities compared to the average person.

 

"I've barely seen anyone around lately, so this is a surprise... I'm Sorey! Just Sorey. Nice to meet you, Scarlet, Arch, and Theo!" He introduced himself, smiling and giving a little wave to the other three with his gloved hand. 

 

The angel looked like the total opposite of his scowling companion. He was smiling as if he saw something wonderful. Sorey looked behind him, wondering what he was looking at, before realizing that Arch was looking at him. A little embarrassed, he ran a hand through his hair and chuckled to himself. Seraph or no, it was a little awkward that the being was bowing to him. "What meeting? I wasn't at the meeting downstairs, but you're right, I'm new to this place."

 

"I've just been, ah, looking around the library to see what kind of books they have. It looks like a pretty extensive collection, judging by all the different kinds of literature on the shelves spanning an incredibly broad range of topics. Where are we, anyway?" he asked. "I don't think anybody actually told us that yet..." He pressed his lips together, but his smile was still present in the twinkle in his eyes and the upturned corners of his lips.

 

HIdden among the rows of books, Lailah shushed the other two seraphim so she could hear Sorey's conversation better. "It doesn't look like any of them can see us," she whispered, "and if they can, they're not really reacting. But it's really hard to tell."

 

~~~

 

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Kelsier - Outside the Castle

[kelsier's private lesson] - [can you believe this]

 

Kelsier blinked.

 

The only conclusion that Duke had drawn was that steelpushes were... strong. How had these two boys managed to hold their own against an inquisitor? Airheaded and naive, without a shred of awareness. Seeing them tangled, practically frolicking in the grass, Kelsier began to wonder if Duke's claims to an inquisitor were a complete fabrication from beginning to end. But... how did he come out relatively unscathed after the Survivor had seen him intercept the creature?

 

He did not comment on their mutual blushing. His eyes darted instead to the landscape beyond. Much of the planet remained uncharted to him, though the curvature of the horizon astounded him. It seemed like the terrain was too mild, too soft, with its gently rolling hills and soft bunny-mounds. The circumstances were different at that time Duke fought the inquisitor. The stakes were higher in Luthadel. But unfortunately, here there were no cliffs on this planet to fling Duke off of and activate his survival instinct -- though the roof of the castle might do if he needed to put the young man under high stress.

 

For now, though, the keener of the two young men wanted to stay on task. Kelsier obliged.

 

"The next two metals -- out of eight in total -- are Tin and Pewter, and they affect the person using them. You can't feel their effects, but know that Tin increases all your senses. With it I can faintly hear your racing heartbeat and see the sweat on your brow. People using Tin are called Tineyes, and they are exceptionally good at spotting danger or sniffing out hidden threats." Exceptionally useful, though not nearly as dangerous. Once a tineye is caught, that was the end of them. The Lord Ruler... how did he find out? Dammit...!

 

"Pewter increases strength and stamina," he continued without skipping a beat, chasing away thoughts of Mare. "With Pewter, those Thugs have immense physical power and can shrug off broken bones -- though once they run out of reserves, all their pain and exhaustion hits them at once."

 

He crossed his arms, stepping out of the pool, and nodded. "Steel, Iron, Tin, and Pewter," Kelsier reiterated, because these young men weren't exactly the brightest of the bunch -- and for half a moment he wondered why he even bothered to explain all this to them. He was giving the crash course so they could be better informed strategically, but it didn't seem that any of them really fought strategically at all. "Pushing, pulling, senses, and strength. Those are likely the main powers the inquisitor had used. They're... exceptionally strong in those areas, though it's a mystery how they heal themselves so quickly, even with pewter..."

 

"The other metals don't matter right now," he finished. Kelsier was convinced that the lesson would stick better if it were more physical... and truthfully, he was eager to see Duke's abilities in action before the explanations became boring. "They relate to manipulating emotions and sensing magic, but they're not important in a one on one fight. We can save those for later."

Edited by TehUltimateMage

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♫ Name // Lara Croft  ♫

♫ Players // Stan ♫

♫ Support // lol what support ♫

♫ Status // Much happier, actually♫

 

~~Never been better, but… I actually have been better.~~

 

Lara had taken a seat on Stan’s bed whilst Stan made his way into the bathroom. She sighed, looking down at the ground. It was, in fact, a good kiss- best she’d ever had. It had left her breathless, euphoric, and she felt she had fallen just a little deeper in love. But… was she allowed to let herself fall so hard for him? Sure, she loved him dearly. Sure, he seemed like he suffered his own heartbreak, and perhaps he had his own doubts. She would doubt so many things had she been in a relationship with herself. Part of her wondered if she could tell him about what happened the last time she fell too hard. Another part of her wondered if she would ever be able to trust again. Much of her was uncertain what he even saw in her, but it shouldn’t have mattered. He saw something in her that she really didn’t see, that was the only thing that reassured her.

 

….Or did it? Her thoughts wandered as she heard the water turn on. Yes, she and Stan kissed. Yes, they both admitted feelings for each other. But were they in a relationship as a result? This was something she would have to pursue further. Lara sighed and began twiddling her thumbs. He never said he loved her in the way she loved him, no…. He “really liked” her. That almost worried her. She remembered the last time she fell in too deep, and it damn well near destroyed her. But perhaps that time was a dark one for several reasons, and she didn’t know what was the worst part of that entire swamp of hell.

 

A swamp, indeed. That was the perfect analogy for it. So many things had surrounded her legs- thigh deep, so that the more she tried to trudge through the messier it was, the harder it was to get out of there. Sometimes she thought she never really got out of it to begin with- but rather the mud had become more shallow. Perhaps it was about knee deep. Lara wondered, then, if she would ever be able to truly get out of that cursed swamp.  

 

Lara’s mind wandered further, until it started going to a place she regretted revisiting.

 

Henry, I don’t understand why you won’t talk to me. You know it’s been rough, I’m genuinely sorry I haven’t had time to see you… Errol’s been very firm that I not inherit the estate, it’s been…. Busy.

 

Henry didn’t bother looking at her. She could see in the corner of his emerald eyes that he was upset, pensive. Lara had no idea why he was suddenly so quiet, usually it was the other way around. At least, that was how it was as of late. What was wrong?

 

Love, I said I’m sorry---

 

Stop calling me that,” Henry snapped at her. Lara grew silent. It was then that her heart fell right into her stomach, the acid splashing back up into her throat. She had a very, very bad feeling about that.

 

H-Henry, what---

 

“I said to stop calling me ‘love’. We don’t even know what that stupid word means. ‘Love’, she says, as if in ten years we’ll even be in love. As if nothing was wrong.”

 

“Henry, what the devil are you saying? Please, just tell me what’s wrong!”

 

“All of it, that’s what’s wrong here.” Henry put a hand through his deep chocolate locks, clearly not knowing what to say to her. But Lara knew what was coming at that point. So it was only a matter of time before he was going to say it. And when it did…. “All this drama- all of this crap that I never even asked for. This legal battle, this expectation that I’m going to for some reason marry you, all of it! Lara, I don’t understand any of it, we’re only seventeen! And you’ve brought up the idea of marriage in the future, are you that idealistic? Lara. I…. Do you even know what you want? What I want?” Lara was silent. Sure, she had mentioned marriage in teasing, but a part of her had hoped that they would, someday, get married. She had loved him, had she not? Did he not love her? What were all these vile words he was saying to her?

 

Indeed, it was nothing short of cruel. Her father had joined her mother in the afterlife. Her own uncle was trying to take the estate out from under her. Her best friend was in another country. She was totally alone if Henry was leaving.

 

“I’m tired of it,” Henry growled, “I’m sick and tired of all of your drama! I don’t want any part of it anymore! I….” Lara noticed his facial expression drop from a snarl to one of guilt. There was the Henry she knew- the shy, meek one. The one she had fallen in love with at first. The one with the faint French accent that could never go away, her favorite voice to listen to. The one who, when he looked at her, looked at her as if nobody else in the world existed. The one who liked books and archaeology like she. The one with whom she would share all of her stories, all of her secrets-- had it all been in vain? Had it been a mistake…? “I’m sorry, Lara… I… I just can’t do this anymore.” His eyes were sad, but certain. He had thought about this for some time, and he was done. It was the worst time for him to be done, but he was done. There was no convincing him otherwise.

 

Lara’s heart broke within two months of the last time it did so. 17 May, 1994, was a day she would never, ever forget. But it wasn’t a date she would keep in the back of her mind- not like the day they told her Father was never to return, and certainly not like Mother’s death. No. But it was certainly a day that would leave a dull ache in her heart.

 

...Then get out.” Lara’s voice had become frigid, steely, and unwilling to let Henry know just how she truly felt. No, he couldn’t see how hurt she was. “Get the hell out of this manor, and don’t bother contacting me again.” Lara turned away, feeling the tears well up in her eyes. She knew that if she looked at him for any longer, she would do one of three things- burst into tears, send a foot up his arse, or send Amanda on him. She and Amanda had each other’s backs ever since they met when Lara visited the States two years ago, and she knew that Amanda would not be kind to Henry if she caught wind of this.

 

Henry walked out, and Lara knew for a fact that he didn’t look back. She hoped and prayed that she wouldn’t, either.

 

Lara had revisited that day numerous times, wondering where she went wrong. Henry Lefevre…. A name she wanted to forget, but alas she never could. It had killed her when she heard Duke say his full name for the first time, but she knew they had no relation. And when she thought of that, she thanked every deity on her world, and perhaps every deity beyond her world as well. For had they been related, even remotely, she didn’t think she could bear to be around Duke for a little while. As long as she didn’t continue to make that connection, though, she was alright. She was lucky that Henry wasn’t her deepest wound. Far from it, really.

 

She pinched the bridge of her nose, knowing that the more she thought of it the more likely tears would come. And she didn’t want to worry Stan, did she? No, no, it was too late. Lara buried her face in her hands, and she felt the all-too familiar feeling of her shoulders beginning to shake. Her breaths became shorter, and her heart began to ache once more. Not just because of Henry, he didn’t have that effect on her anymore. But Amanda, her parents, the family she was forced to abandon because it was her fault- her bloody fault- that Amelia DeMornay Croft was dead, and them seeing her brought back rather upsetting memories…. It was an avalanche, and when she tried to come back for air, more came. She worried, would it be her fault if she lost Stan? Would it be her fault if he walked out on her? All of her worries, her insecurities, they came out at once. She was scared, sure, but she had been hurt too many times.

 

Damn, Lara thought to herself, I go from the happiest woman on the planet to wanting to disappear…. What the devil happened to me?

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Jowan 

Allies: Duke, Kelsier
Location: Outside

 

Jowan manages to work up the courage to look up at Kelsier’s face to better focus on his words. Kelsier doesn’t seem to have noticed or cared about their embarrassing fall, and instead glances across the field with sharp, careful eyes. Despite their different eye colors, Kelsier’s gaze reminds him of Neria’s, and he can almost imagine him with her ice-chip blue. Neither of them seemed to miss anything, but where she had been comforting and understanding Kelsier makes him feel as though he is being scrutinized for weaknesses. It’s disconcerting. 

 

“You can't feel their effects, but know that Tin increases all your senses. With it I can faintly hear your racing heartbeat and see the sweat on your brow.”

 

Ah. That would do it. For a moment he tries to force his heartbeat to slow down, but then he remembers that that’s not something that he can control. Stupid useless body.

 

He’s disappointed by Kelsier’s refusal to explain the other types of Allomancy and almost speaks out in protest, but Kelsier did say later, not never. As much as he hated being locked out from any information about magic, it sounded more as if Kelsier wanted to explain the first four metals further rather than hide information about the other four. Instead, he focuses on internalizing the information. Lacking parchment to write on, the fingers of his right hand trail across his left arm to trace the vague shapes of letters as Kelsier speaks. Consumption Steel push Iron pull Tin eyes Pewter strength. The movements are calming and help him focus, pushing thoughts of Duke and the fall out of his head. 

 

When Kelsier finishes, he speaks. “The Inquisitor… it had spikes of metal through its eyes. Did tin let it see us anyway?” He hadn’t been able to tell in the rush of the fight. It had seemed impossible for something with no eyes to see, but the Inquisitor hadn’t seemed hindered. 

 

The presence of the spikes didn’t make any sense to him -- it had been intimidating, but that didn’t seem like a good enough reason to hinder oneself. Allomancy was tied to metals, so it only made sense for the spikes to be related, but he didn’t understand how. The equivalent of driving lyrium into a person’s body would only cause poisoning (and be absurdly expensive), and Kelsier had said that metals had to be consumed to be used. Maybe the spikes were related to focusing allomancy, like a lyrium-infused staff, or defense, like enchanted jewelry? Cutting off the speculation, he asks. “What were those for, anyway?” 

 

Eager to understand as much as he can, he thinks back to what Kelsier had said about running out of reserves. The Inquisitor hadn’t seemed to slow down at all during the fight, but the fight had been so short that Jowan doubts that his mana would have been strained if he’d been using it. His magic had its own time limit and the Inquisitor had been powerful, so he doubts that he would have a chance of outlasting one, but it wouldn’t hurt to know. “You mentioned running out of metal… how long does that take?” 
 

Status: Learning!!

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Kelsier - Outside the Castle

[kelsier's private lesson] - [at least this one isn't dumb]

 

Kelsier grinned. Duke's companion, Jowan, appeared to be the smart and curious one, who actually bothered to ask questions. One of them was straightforward and answerable, so he tackled that one first. "How long does it take to run out? Depends on the metal and how hard you draw on it. Nothing stops you from eating a whole lot of shavings to stock up, but if they stay in your body for too long you risk getting poisoned. A vial or two of metals can last me the better part of a night if I don't burn them strongly, and I burn away the excess before I sleep."

 

His other question was about inquisitors -- the topic being brought up likely because Kelsier just mentioned those creatures himself. Unfortunately, despite having a bad habit of poking the hornets, Kelsier didn't know much about the inquisitors themselves other than the fact that they were abnormally strong allomancers and performed messy executions. "Inquisitors are a real mystery. Only person who probably knows how they work is the Lord Ruler himself. They have some form of sight even if they don't have eyes, but I don't think it's tin. Blinded tineyes can't restore their sight." The survivor pointed a finger to his eyes before he continued, "It's possible though, that the inquisitors might be sensing metal to help them orientate -- when I burn steel or iron passively, I see lines that point towards any metal that I can push or pull. Hard to say, though, since they can obviously see me even when I'm not wearing anything metallic. "

 

Jowan's interest in these creatures was clear. Kelsier himself thought about them a lot as well, trying to find the optimal way to destroy them. He could only flee them -- head to head in a one on one battle, he would have a hard time winning unscathed. That's why, in his master plan, the idea was to lure them out of Luthadel first. "The Lord Ruler is said to have created all the inquisitors, so maybe he hammered in those spikes himself." He shrugged. "They each have a dozen more spikes down their backs, and I don't think it's just for show. Maybe it ties them back to the Lord Ruler or something."

 

Kelsier stopped for a moment, if only to put emphasis on the next statement. "A sure way to kill one is to pull out the spike at the back of its neck. Taking out the other spikes don't seem to have nearly as much of a dramatic effect."

 

"Jowan." He addressed the dark haired man directly this time, seeking answers from someone who had an easier time explaining things than someone who gestured wildly and spoke vaguely. "What really happened when you two faced the inquisitor?"

Edited by TehUltimateMage

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