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Assassin's Pledge: Devastation

Assassin's Pledge: Devastation

The Red-Eyed Demon is back, and more dangerous than ever. But can even he and a brave group of followers prevail against two warring Assassin organizations bent on enforcing their will upon the continent of Cre' Est?

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Topics: action, adventure, assassin, death, destruction, devastation, gore, original, red-eyed demon, romance, and tragedy (Add Tags »)
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Introduction

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Welcome one and all to a story over a decade in the making!



Assassin's Pledge takes place in a fictional world not unlike our own. The setting of this RP is late-medieval fantasy where the recently invented flintlock pistol and rifle are the pinnacle of weapon's technology. Magic is not a thing in this RP. Sorry. But there are minor supernatural elements at play, but they're mostly environmental and not meant for being a significant part of the experience.

There are five Nations which call the continent of Cre' Est "home", and I will detail them below:

* Cre' Est - The Mother Nation, first founded, and named after the continent upon which she was founded. She occupies the center of the continent on the Western side of the Cre' Itian Mountain Range which splits the continent into two halves. She has the highest population and most stable economy of all five nations and is culturally very diverse. Cre' Est's government is a Monarchy, run by a Royal Family bearing the same last name as the nation and continent.

* Shaharan - The Desert Nation to the East of the Cre' Itian Mountain Range occupying the Northeastern hemisphere of the continent. The people who live here are tough and hardy, typically sporting darker skin tones and generally speaking are part of a more militant culture. It is a dictatorship run currently by a strict yet relatively non-oppressive man who's last name is the same as the nation.

* Triveila - Nation of Water on the Northwestern sector of the continent. She harvests the bounty of the sea and commands a respectable trade industry focused on pearls, coral, and other undersea commodities. Her people are generally peaceful and laid back and live life day by day as they watch the waves on the shoreline. The government is run on a Monarchy with a ruling family sharing the nation's name.

* Gweynura - Gweynura is the Nation of Trees located to the East below Shaharan. She is the lumber capital of the continent and also boasts the most beautiful landscapes anywhere to be seen. If you see a painting of a gorgeous landscape, chances are it's from Gweynura. The government is a Monarchy run currently by a widowed Queen who shares the last name of her nation thanks to her husband. Her son is soon to come of age and ascend the throne in his father's absence.

* Veilbrand - The Nation of Stone situated South of the Mother Nation in the Cre' Itian Mountain Range. She is the precious metal and precious gem capital of the continent and you will never find a better blacksmith than those who live here. They are also some of the finest weapon smiths. Veilbrand is run by a rather greedy dictator at present, though there are rumors of a rebellion on the rise.


Now that you are familiar with the five nations, it's time to learn about the story of the RP!



The RP takes place after the events of my previous two Assassin's Pledge RP's.

The Red-Eyed Demon, known simply as "Shadow" to the world of Assassins, is the most powerful and feared Assassin in the world. His body harbors the spirit of a Demon summoned from the Nether Realm by his mother and the cult she was attached to which greatly enhances his physical abilities far beyond the scope of normal humans.

He belongs to an Assassin organization called Te'i Sai. Due to the Red-Eyed Demon's success and how dangerous he is thanks to the Demon's spirit, Te'i Sai attempted to create a serum which duplicated the effects of the Demon's presence. They succeeded, and thanks to the serum their operatives are also much stronger, faster, more agile, and have higher reaction times than normal people.

However Te'i Sai made one mistake... They killed the Red-Eyed Demon's first and only friend. Her name was Iris Di' Nelma, and she was a beautiful and kind hearted young woman. When the Demon was temporarily banished for breaking Te'i Sai's first Commandment, "Never take the life of an innocent", she found and befriended him. She taught him things which were deliberately kept hidden from him such as the meaning of empathy and what it meant to care for someone else. She helped open his eyes to the fact that he'd lived his entire life as a puppet never making his own decisions, and thus when she was killed by Te'i Sai for her interference the Red-Eyed Demon secretly vowed vengeance and rebelled against the organization.

He killed the Grandmaster of Te'i Sai and his Second, leaving nobody in a position to take over. With the organization in chaos the Red-Eyed Demon led a small group of sympathizers to war on the organization. They had begun making headway after destroying the Mountain Fortress located in Roda Valley (a valley in the Cre' Itian Mountain Range's heart) as well as several other major Te'i Sai base locations throughout the continent, but their efforts were in vain.

... Another Assassin organizations called Roda Ah K'mht came from overseas and began laying claim to the continent. They seized control of the ruined Mountain Fortress and found the recipe for the serum used to enhance Te'i Sai's operatives. Now distributing it among their own ranks they seek to destroy both Te'i Sai and the Red-Eyed Demon and take control of the continent.

And thus we have our story...


Characters



With the Red-Eyed Demon being the sole exception as the focus of the RP's plot and story, all Player-Controlled Characters in this RP must obey these simple rules:

1) They may not be from Te'i Sai or Roda Ah K'mht, nor may they have ever had family or other relations with either organization.

2) They may not have acquired the serum which enhances their abilities.

3) They may not have any "superpower"-like traits or abilities. They're normal people.

And that's it! Keeping these three simple rules in mind you can make whatever kind of character you want from any kind of background including members of one of the five nation's ruling families.

For those wondering why I made the three above rules, it's because the point of the RP is to put everyone's characters into what feels at first like a helpless situation. The fact that Te'i Sai, Roda Ah K'mht, and the Red-Eyed Demon are all basically super human Assassins who can kill them at any moment of their choosing is what will drive the RP forward. The Red-Eyed Demon is going to meet and join forces with all Player-Controlled Characters who will find a reason to want both Te'i Sai and Roda Ah K'mht to disappear.

And about the serum... There's a reason you don't get to start with it. Spoiler alert, you get the serum later from the Red-Eyed Demon himself so you'll get to take on Te'i Sai and Roda Ah K'mht on even ground after the RP gets underway.

That's about all for now! If you have any questions feel free to send me a private message or ask away in the "General Discussion" thread!

See you soon!

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[b]Name:[/b]
[b]Picture:[/b] (anime preferred)

[b]Description:[/b] (Please describe your character in one paragraph)

[b]Age:[/b] (21 is the youngest allowed)
[b]Sex:[/b] (obvious)
[b]Height:[/b]
[b]Weight:[/b]
[b]Voice Type:[/b] (If you're confused, ask)
[b]Body Type:[/b] (Endomorph, Ectomorph, Mesomorph)

[b]Theme:[/b] (If they have a music theme, put it here ;D )

[b]Personality:[/b] (Write their personality in one paragraph with seven sentences)

[b]Biography:[/b] (Write their bio in three paragraphs, each with seven sentences)

Rules

1) No God-Modding, Metagaming, or Power Playing.

Even with the Red-Eyed Demon's enhanced abilities, he is still human and will have limits. Your characters as well will all still have limits even after the Red-Eyed Demon gives them the serum.

I will be very strict about this. It's one strike and you're out for any of them.

2) Be realistic.

This RP is medieval-fantasy, but it's still bound by the laws of nature and the laws of physics. There are no superpowers like flight, nor is there any magic. So please be as realistic as you can.

3) Respect your fellow role-players.

We are all here to enjoy an experience, so please do not insult or make trouble for each other in the threads. If you start to have a problem with someone, bring it to my attention and I will sort it out.

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Character Portrait: Red-Eyed Demon "..."
Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna "I wish for this world to suffer no longer."
Character Portrait: Regene "Jeanne" Rhamnus "A little excitement never hurts anyone! Their pockets, on the other hand..."
Character Portrait: Marcel Starr "Sometimes I wonder whether trouble finds me, or it's a disease I'm spreading."
Character Portrait: Quinn Xe' Duzelle "We are made who we are by the history of our blood."
Character Portrait: Marcus Keller "Of course I've done good deeds. I volunteered to help carry a nobleman's heavy wallet for him."
Character Portrait: Miriam Gale "Are you not entertained?!"
Character Portrait: Era
Era played by KumoriRyuu
"I am the TRUE Red-Eyed Demon!"
Character Portrait: Sieghardt Val Lohengrin "Honor is a coward's excuse."

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Events

Soon™.

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Setting

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Character Portrait: Quinn Xe' Duzelle Character Portrait: Miriam Gale
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"No," Quinn agreed flatly, "You don't. Shouting and breaking things is what you do," she grunted as she sawed at her food and stabbed her fork through a mushroom. She took a mouthful that she chewed aggressively then picked up her coffee, glaring at Miriam over the top of her mug. As she set the cup back down, she leaned on one elbow, resting her forehead against her fingers with a deep inhale.

Quinn knew the regrets of a destructive temper well. If she took that serum, what would...

"Miriam," she murmured, lifting her head up from her hand, "Since taking that serum, how have you felt?" She flippantly waved her hand. "I don't want to hear about your strength, or speed," she dismissed, "I want to know whether you feel that... you have changed."

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Character Portrait: Quinn Xe' Duzelle Character Portrait: Miriam Gale
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Miriam leaned back in her chair and crossed her arms over her chest. "You want to know If I've changed mentally don't you? Well No I haven't...I've always been this crazy..." she said sarcastically.

Miriam sighed. "What I've been though...What I've done... Mistakes I have made... that is what has made me what I am. I thought the serum would make me stronger... Physically it has... In everything else I'm still the same...

Miriam paused and looked at Quinn. "and before you ask... No I'm not going to tell you my life story.."

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna
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Having snuck past the watchmen and everyone in the base, Linde made her way through the mining tunnels connecting the base to the outside world. She had to hold her stomach, as the stitching was shaking loose because of the pace she was moving at. She knew she should slow down, since there was no reason to be going this fast. But she was already this close to turning around... She couldn't.

She'd done enough damage already.

Almost six hours passed as she power walked through the mines, using what she remembered of her time coming this way to try and find her way back. She got lost once or twice, but was able to find her way back by seeing little scratch marks on the walls where Sieg's armor had scraped the walls or someone's pack or weapon scratched against them in the confined space. Finally, she made it to the outside world.

She looked down, and the wrapping around her stomach was now stained red with seeping blood from her wound.

"... Damn." She whispered.

She walked over to the first tree she saw and sat down against its trunk. As she did so, she loosened the bindings around her stomach so she could see the wound.

It was relatively clean, but the stitching had come loose as she'd thought which allowed blood to seep out. If she didn't clean it again, it would become infected before long.

She set her pack down and reached in to find that she had just enough thread left for one last stitch job. As well, she had little left of her special salve, but even the little she had left would be just enough to seal this wound for good. She carefully snipped the stitching with a small pair of scissors she kept with her, and placed them back in the pack as she applied a new anti-septic lather and then sealed her wound with her salve. That done, stitches would not be necessary. But she stitched herself anyway as an added measure of security. She was going to continue moving at the pace she had before, so she needed all the insurance she could get against the wound opening again.

Until her body recovered properly from the battle with Ven, she would not heal like she used to. Baby steps.

With her wound cleaned, sealed, and re-bound, she closed her eyes to rest.

... Hours passed.

Linde's dreams were haunted with the memories of what she'd said and done since joining this group. But none haunted her so much as threatening the boy with torture for information.

All her life she'd loved children. Even as a child, she felt like a mother figure to her friends and neighborhood children. Each year that passed only reinforced this feeling and desire to be a mother when she grew up. Images of all the faces of children she'd met in her life began encircling her in the darkness of her dreams, all giving her a stern scowl and speaking as one about how horrible she was to threaten the life of one so young. She tried to defend herself, but she knew deep down there were no excuses.

The faces disappeared and were replaced by a single large image of the Red-Eyed Demon glaring down at her. He didn't need to say anything. She knew what that glare meant. Even he was disappointed at her for taking the idea of "do whatever it takes" to another level. He'd done many things in his life, but torturing a child was not one of them... Yes. The Red-Eyed Demon never tortured a child in his life. He'd killed them, but the deaths had been instantaneous and they were all children of corrupt nobles or major criminals. Torture was never an option.

Linde had taken things to a new low, and as she gazed at the Demon in her dreams she sat down to cry.

... And she woke up.

She felt her face and it was drenched with tears. She looked down and her shirt was drenched with tears all the way down to the naval. If she wasn't certain that she deserved what she was doing to herself by wiping her memory and forcing herself to forget the wonderful people she'd met and how much she cared about them, she was now.

To Linde, wiping her memory was a punishment. Not an escape. The others undoubtedly saw her as a coward who found a way out. A deserter who couldn't handle the pressure. But that's not what was on Linde's mind.

To Linde, she no longer deserved the right or privilege to be among them. She didn't deserve the good memories she'd created with them. She did deserve the pain of the bad memories, but that pain and those memories paled in comparison to how much the positive memories meant to her. Wiping them from her mind forever was the worst punishment she could give herself.

They were such wonderful people, no matter how flawed.

Miriam, Marcus, Jeanne, Sieg, Marcel, and... Quinn.

She repeated their names on a loop in her head and remembered each individual for what they brought to her life. She would never forgive herself for letting them go, but she had no choice. She didn't deserve them. So the choice was made.

Linde stood from the tree and grabbed her pack, trudging home across the countryside on semi-unsteady feet stumbling every so often before reaching the border of Cre' Est and Veilbrand three days later. Crossing into her homeland felt like a homecoming already, but it was a short-lived feeling. Another three days of walking saw the capitol city come into view at last, and she knew she finally made it home. She had finally recovered by this point, but it didn't feel like she had. There was a pit in her stomach as she beheld her city, and an aching in her heart as she entered an hour or two later to walk the streets she knew so well.

She beheld her Apothecary and Clinic not long after and walked inside, much to the joy of Cheyanne, her receptionist. The girl threw herself into Linde's arms with tears and a smile, welcoming her back vigorously while rubbing her face into Linde's chest. Linde chuckled and gave the girl a hug before going to her quarters.

... Once there, she sat down in front of the mirror and looked at herself.

She looked awful.

Her ponytail was dirty and unkempt compared to how it usually was. Her clothing ragged, dusty, and covered in stains. The bloody bandages had been done away with, but there were a few drops still on her shirt where Ven's hand had penetrated through to her flesh. Her pack was worn down and all but falling apart, so she knew getting a new one was in order.

Linde pulled out a parchment and pen, and wrote herself a reminder of what she was here for.

Linde, this is your reminder.

The last month and a half you have been away from the clinic, doing something important though you took it all for granted. You met and fought beside many amazing people, and defeated Master Assassin Ven of Te'i Sai in single combat. Hence the hole in your shirt on your left side where his hand penetrated your body to grab your insides. He nearly tore them out, but your new friends saved your life.

... You do not deserve them.

I will not tell you why. You don't need to know. The reason is one best forgotten, hence why this letter exists. Because there is something else you do need to remember. And that is the fact that you have lost something dear to you: Your identity.

Your time with Shadow has robbed you of what is most dear to you, and it's time for you to find it again. You will not remember the new friends you met, but they are aware of this. You've told them so in a farewell letter not unlike this one you've left yourself.

You must find your identity. You must regain the humanity you've lost by spending so much time with Shadow. And you must fight hard to never again lose sight of who you are or what you represent.

You lost sight of it once... Don't let it happen again.

Sincerely,

Linde Xe' Almna


Linde set the letter on the table, and looked in the mirror.

She placed her left thumb, left index finger, right thumb, right index finger, and right middle finger on very specific points around her skull and took a deep breath.

"... Goodbye, everyone." She whispered, one last tear escaping her eye.

She pressed down firmly, causing intense pain and flashes of color in her eyes as if lights were being shone into them. She let out a yelp of pain and, after a few seconds, let go of her skull and collapsed forward against the table. Breathing heavily, she pushed herself up and looked in the mirror...

Linde was startled by her appearance, looking down at herself and noticing the letter. Slowly, she picked it up to read it, and set it down once finished with a few tears rolling down her cheeks.

... It worked.

She didn't remember the letter. She didn't remember the people mentioned. The friends she'd lost. Whatever she'd done to warrant this decision. But she recognized her own handwriting, and she knew this was something she chose of her own accord.

She turned around away from the mirror and sighed.

And so, Linde refreshed herself and got back to work in her clinic as if she'd never left... As if she'd never met Miriam, Quinn, Jeanne, Marcus, Marcel, or Sieg.

She was a new woman now. One who knew she'd lost something. And one determined to regain what she lost in due time.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Quinn Xe' Duzelle Character Portrait: Miriam Gale
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Not for the first time since meeting him, Quinn found herself severely doubting the demon's judgement. That thought played in her head, the same one that surfaced in her mind, at the lake...

What did the demon see in her?

Marcel had explained to her, back in Cre' Est, how the serum enhanced personality traits. He had been quite adamant about that word, "enhanced". Whenever Quinn interjected "changed" or "warped", he had insisted that the serum only made you the person you were, but... more of it.

The world did not need more Miriam. But thanks to a lapse in judgement from a demon, here she was. Quinn's ally, whose blades served her as much as they served to satisfy the raging tempest within this woman.

"Good," she replied sharply to her, "Nor will I ever tell you mine. Your coffee is getting cold."

The women went back to eating in silence.

When Quinn finished her plate, she set her cutlery down and looked to Miriam.

"It's true, things are always hard," she said, "And as you continue this path with us, they will only become more difficult. So I need to know, Miriam, will you hold yourself together?" Her eyes flashed with a harsh, steely glint. "I will not waste my time on lecturing you. I can tolerate a broken chair. What I will not tolerate are your outbursts compromising this revolution. Should that day come, Miriam, you will receive no lecture. You will be deemed unfit for the field, serum or none."

Her hands clasped before her, gaze unflinching from Miriam's. "You do not have to talk. If you can take control of this quietly, then good. But if you need somebody," she took in a deep breath, "It is my duty to you to listen."

She stood.

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Character Portrait: Regene "Jeanne" Rhamnus Character Portrait: Marcel Starr Character Portrait: Sieghardt Val Lohengrin
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Sieg remained still as stone as Quinn exposited more of Linde’s message, but behind his helmet, his burrows furrowed. The jargon she shared would be familiar to the rest of the team, but not to a newcomer like himself. While Quinn and Miriam departed, the black knight clanked towards Marcel, casting the swordsman in his shadow. Sieg stopped, tilting his head at the despondent look on his face. He looked so… lost. Like a man neutered, or a wildcat declawed. But, with Quinn taking off to assist Miriam, the swordsman seemed the most viable choice to explain things.

”You.”

Sieg pointed a large, steel-clad finger down towards him. ”...There are holes in my knowledge.”

A pause.

”Serum. True Demon.”

Another pause, as Sieg struggled to remember that term Linde used… what was it..?

”...Rata-Tou-Gusta.”

He glanced to the side, highly skeptical that he said that right. Either way, he folded his arms and shrugged. ”Would you mind filling me in, swordsman?”




Jeanne remained in her seat for a while longer, staring into her hands and quietly mourning Linde’s departure. It was so sudden, so quick… it was as if the healer had actually died from her wounds. And even though she knew it was not the case, the redhead couldn’t help but cringe at the thought.

She stared into her coffee, the liquid having cooled enough to allow the steam to part and for the chocolate surface to reflect her own mournful face. Jeanne shook her head, so rapid that her braid tails swung left to right. Damnit, Jeanne! she chided herself in mind. One of her braids slapped against her forehead before it flailed to rest. Linde wouldn’t want you to be lost like this!”

The jester looked to the ceiling, puffed her cheeks, and gave a single vigorous nod. ”I can’t stew like this. I must be productive!” her thoughts leaking out in whispers. Jeanne brought the mug to her lips, and downed the rest of her drink in a single gulp. She hopped to her feet and skipped towards the exit, both fists pumped in front of her chest. She had promised the twin smiths to start early today. And she intend to keep that promise.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Regene "Jeanne" Rhamnus Character Portrait: Marcel Starr Character Portrait: Quinn Xe' Duzelle Character Portrait: Marcus Keller Character Portrait: Miriam Gale Character Portrait: Sieghardt Val Lohengrin
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In the depths of the Veilbrand's underworld, a hidden weapon's depot of the revolution which sat undisturbed beneath the Earth's surface. Thirty feet underground, the Veilbrand patrols and forces of Egruus were none the wiser to its existence. It allowed the revolution to transport weapons and ammunition and store them without fear of discovery.

Within sat four seasoned smugglers and ten well-trained and hardened veterans of war from the time of Egruus' ascension to power.

"Tor, do you think we'll get any new shipment notifications today?" Asked one war vet.

"No, Brine, I don't. We are not likely to see a shipment request for a few more days at least." Tor replied.

"It gets kinda boring down here, ya know?" Brine asked.

"Yes, it does. But for the honor of our brethren and the Maiden of Revolution, this is our job. Do it, and do it well. And when Egruus falls, your life will become far more interesting." Tor replied.

"I suppose... But do you think she can do it?" Brine asked.

"... Excuse me?" Tor asked.

"Do you think she can do it? The Maiden, I mean. Can she oust Egruus from power?" Brine asked.

"I've been wondering the same." Came the voice of one of the smugglers.

"You too Ian?" Tor asked.

"I mean, I am happy she's here, Tor. Don't get me wrong. But she's just one woman. What can she really accomplish in all this against a monster like Egruus?" Ian asked.

"You are not men of faith, so I don't expect you to understand. You abandoned the Gods long ago, but trust me they will see the Maiden through. Egruus will fall." Tor said forcefully.

The others all quieted down with doubting looks on their faces, but sat down and continued their chatting and board games until a strange darkness began creeping into the room.

"What is this?" Ian asked.

"I haven't the faintest." Tor replied.

"You mean the 'foggiest'?" Brine joked.

"Brine, I'm going to punch your balls off if you make a joke like that again." Tor growled.

Brine gulped and quieted down, and they all stood up and drew their weapons as the darkness seeped in further and started... flickering. Almost as if it was alive. Little wisps of darkness, like leaping shadows, whipped and arced across the room blowing out candles one by one. Within seconds, the only light source left was the candles lighting the chandelier, which were already weak and burning out from a lack of proper maintenance. Candle replacement wasn't exactly high on the priority list of late.

"Everyone stay together... I don't like this." Tor said.

The veterans grouped together in a circle around the smugglers and held their weapons at the ready. The darkness overtook the room, bringing visibility down to only a few feet. Perhaps even only arms length. It was hard to tell.

Ian reached for the darkness, and the color drained from his face.

"... It's cold... Like ice." He said, withdrawing his hand which now had little icicle particles on the fabric of his gloves and jacket sleeve.

"Nobody touch it." Tor said.

"A wise choice." Came a low, menacing, female voice with a soft echo attached to it.

"Who said that?!" Tor demanded, rising his weapon.

"You already know... Don't you?" Came the voice.

As the voice faded, a pair of gleaming red eyes appeared from out of the haze.

"Wh-wh-wh-what the bloody fuckin' Hell is that?!" Brine stammered.

The eyes narrowed.

"You know... Don't you?" The voice asked.

The eyes opened a bit wider and flashed brightly, momentarily illuminating the room... All save the darkness around the eyes which was still black as night as if all that light had been swallowed by the darkness.

"... You want us to believe you are the Red-Eyed Demon. But you are not him. I've seen him before. The Demon is a man. You... You're just a pretender!" Tor stated forcefully.

The eyes narrowed, and then widened once again and the pupils dilated, becoming smaller allowing more of the red to show. Clearly, whoever they belonged to was now very, very angry.

"You dare claim I am false?!" The voice yelled, now double-toned as if another was speaking alongside with a much lower, more guttural voice.

A wave of darkness overcame them and all save Ian and Tor were instantly swallowed by the black mist. Screams and horrible sounds could be heard as those eyes remained fixed on Tor, and within moments the mist faded save around the one with the red eyes... And the room had now been painted red as blood with nary so much as a single trace of any of their bodies to be seen anywhere.

"You..." The eyes said, looking right at Tor.

"The Demon that you saw was the pretender... I am the true Red-Eyed Demon. And for questioning my status and legacy... Burn."

The eyes flashed, and a piercing light blinded Tor and Ian for a moment as the candles in the chandelier suddenly erupted with flames which rapidly burned through the ropes tying it to the ceiling causing it to fall directly onto Tor. He was then engulfed in flames and flailed violently on the ground still slashing and trying to kill whoever or whatever it was who'd dropped the burning chandelier on him. But in his desperation and agony, he also cleaved Ian's left leg mid-way up the shin sending him sprawling to the ground in agony.

Tor died a few moments later from the burns, leaving Ian now as the sole survivor.

The black mist began dissipating, and finally it revealed the figure those two menacing eyes belonged to.

A beautiful woman with raven black hair, lightly sun-kissed skin, dressed in all black leather from head to toe. A tight v-cut tunic showing ample but tasteful cleavage. Black sash around the waist. Black skin-tight leather pants. Black boots stopping a few inches under the knee. Black gloves. And a black hair band to keep her bangs out of her face.

She took a few steps forward and knelt down in front of Ian, who was in a cold sweat and now paralyzed with fear.

The woman smiled at him.

"Oh, don't worry... I won't kill you. No... I want you to live." She said, cupping his chin in her index finger and thumb, lifting his face up to hers.

"Sniff... You smell... Delectable." She said with a shiver.

"But I need you alive so you can report to the Maiden of Revolution. Tell her what has transpired here, and that the true Red-Eyed Demon shall soon pay her a... Personal visit. Can you do that for me?" She asked sweetly, with an innocent expression.

Ian nodded, not daring to refuse her.

"Good boy. For that, you deserve a reward." She said sweetly.

Era slowly leaned forward, lifting his chin slightly, and kissed him.

Ian was startled. A... Terrifying and beautiful woman was kissing him. And not just regular kissing. She was kissing him with passion. She gently moaned as her lips pressed themselves firmly to his, slowly and subtly turning her head for the best angle as she pushed her tongue into his mouth. Despite his pain and fear of her, he found himself enjoying the kiss. He closed his eyes and reveled in it. And all too soon, it was over.

She broke the kiss and fluttered her eyelashes at him as she leaned back.

"I hope you enjoyed that, my darling." She said.

......... Within Ian's eyes flashed a subtle crimson glow, and his pupils dilated becoming minutely larger than they were before.

"Yes, my lady." He whispered.

The woman smiled.

"Good boy. Now, do patch yourself up and report to the Maiden won't you? I have another task for you to complete when you are finished." She cooed.

"At once, my lady!" He said with enthusiasm.

Ian quickly sat up, bound his leg, cauterized it with the still burning chandelier, put out the flames on his pant leg, and bandaged himself as best he could before forcing his way to his feet using one of the other men's swords as a makeshift crutch to help him walk. He left the room, and the woman inside simply smiled after him.

"Mere mortals make for such... Entertaining subjects." She said.

She then started to softly chuckle, but that chuckling soon turned into full blown laughter which echoed through the now empty room and building before the woman disappeared into the black mist which seemed to reappear as if on command.

... Meanwhile, back at the Revolution's base, Quinn and the others were still hard at work sorting things out amongst themselves.

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Character Portrait: Quinn Xe' Duzelle Character Portrait: Miriam Gale
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Miriam finished her meal as Quinn spoke. When Quinn stopped Miriam let out something like a mix of a snort and a huff. "I don't need your or anyone else's help. I can take care of myself..."

Miriam took a step forward and glared coldy right into Quinn's eyes... "So back the fuck off You do your job, I'll do mine but stop fucking pushing me. I'm the only person here now that can dance with the Te'is..." she backed away and turned her back to Quinn. "Only a fool turns away their best fighter when death is on the line... And I don't think you are a fool..."

With that Miriam started towards the the hallway.

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Quinn did not flinch from Miriam's blood-chilling glare. She simple returned it then put her hands on the table, leaning over it, and watched Miriam walk.

"... You won't be our best fighter, soon," she spoke up, then hardened her resolve as Miriam's head turned back to her. She shut her and eyes and sucked in a deep breath, before she sternly locked gazes, "I am doing my job, Miriam," she said solemnly, “Once Drake and Taira arrive, they could relieve you. But I am not about to give that order. You pledged to me, that for as long as I have use of you, you are mine to command. I, and this nation, do have use of you, Miriam. I'm putting my trust in your strength. Prove that you can control it.”

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Miriam tensed up at Quinn's words her fists clinching as she turned around on the spot "A Pledge I could easily take back.." Miriam growled.

Miriam didn't mean it but anger had got to her. So angry that she had not noticed the small worn paper that had fallen from her armor as she had turned around. She looked down at the small worn painting of two teenage girls on a beach. One had long brown hair and was wearing a dirty but fancy outfit. The other had short hair dyed blue and wore much simpler clothing. Both girls where happy and smiling. At the bottom of the painting was the words "Me with my 'Blue'tiful Tempest"

Miriam froze for too long. Long enough for Quinn to easily see the small painting. Miriam quickly snatched up the painting, tucking it in her armor.

Miriam seemed a different person as she spoke... "I.... I didn't mean to say that.... I'm Sorry...I have...i have to go..." She said before darting off...

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Character Portrait: Regene "Jeanne" Rhamnus Character Portrait: Marcel Starr Character Portrait: Quinn Xe' Duzelle Character Portrait: Marcus Keller Character Portrait: Miriam Gale Character Portrait: Sieghardt Val Lohengrin
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Quinn watched Miriam hurry out of the inn. Confusion was written plainly over her face. She was relieved that the talk she had been dreading was over and went relatively well, but for a moment, the barbarian had seemed... calm. And it wasn’t her cold, harshly-phrased words that quelled her. She had help, from... someone.

That painting...

What was with this nagging nostalgia?

Quinn tried to shake the unwelcome familiarity she was feeling, letting out a huff. She'd said all she had to, and now, she needed Luca.




“Hmm?” Marcel hummed distractedly, glancing up at the figure that had just shrouded him in darkness. The black knight appeared menacing, blocking the light out like that, his hulking silhouette framed in flickering orange. Marcel cracked his neck, then his knuckles, in preparation for the eloquently spoken, in-depth and insightful exposition he was about to grace the newcomer with...

“Right, I’ll fill you. Serum? Magic potion. Gives you super strength. Nobody knows what the big guy puts in it, but they keep drinking it anyway. Also,” he pointed to the shattered chair, “Makes you more... eh, intense. True Demon? Sorry to tell you, but the demon you wanna fight isn’t really the demon. You don’t want to throw down with the real one. It took out, what, six thousand people in the body of a five-year-old? ... That sounds wrong. Don’t quote me on that. Point is, lots of bodies. Tiny hands.

Fake Demon’s gonna become True Demon in less than a month from now, that’s Rola-El Lucia. If he doesn’t shack up in some mountains before Lucy – er, the True Demon takes over, we all die. And half the population, probably, but Quinn’s got a couple darts, so I think we’re good.”


Having finished his casually-delivered recap, Marcel looked over to the knight, his hands behind his head as he leaned back on his chair. He gave him a pleasant, sympathetic smile with a quirked brow.

“You got all that?”

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Character Portrait: Regene "Jeanne" Rhamnus Character Portrait: Marcel Starr Character Portrait: Quinn Xe' Duzelle Character Portrait: Marcus Keller Character Portrait: Miriam Gale Character Portrait: Sieghardt Val Lohengrin
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Sieg kept a stone-straight face as he took in all of Marcel’s exposition. It was a lot to absorb in such a short period. He stared straight at the swordsman and raised one brow, asking with complete earnestness,”You… have a knack for words. You dabble in poetry?”

Sieg folded his arms. A magic potion, eh? Normally, he would dismiss such a thing as fanciful nonsense, had his own eyes not bore witness to the proof. Miriam, Linde, and that Te’i Sai veteran, they all fought with prowess far beyond human capability, nay, comprehension. And even with all that, they were still not as strong as the Demon. He could scarcely imagine what the True Demon would be like.

”...”

It was not a question anymore. His ‘dream’ was pure folly. Like an ant fighting against the flood, he would only drown, lost and forgotten. And yet… he could think of no other option, than to proceed, to face his own demise. After that fateful night in Black Mountain… It was only right.

Sieg’s shoulders shook. A bitter, mirthless laugh snuck through his visor, and he muttered under his breath, ”...Valerica was right. I am stubborn.”

But first, he had an oath to keep. Assisting this Maiden and her revolution would be a welcome, if temporary, reprieve.

The knight looked to Marcel for a few seconds, then raised his voice again, ”Hmm, well, thank you.” He cocked his head to the side, and pointed behind with his thumb. ”I’m going to the training area. You could join me.” His gaze wandered to the sleek blade sheathed at the swordsman’s hip. ”I promised Lady Duzelle. No duels. But, I wouldn’t be opposed to watching your technique.”




In the wake of reading the letter - followed by answering whatever questions the other group members had - Quinn soon left the room after Miriam. Marcus decided to hang around for a little while, until he saw Jeanne get up and leave. He immediately departed and made to follow her. She appeared to be heading for the encampment’s smithy. The thief called out to her to slow down, and once he had caught up he was able to relieve himself of something that had been weighing on his mind ever since their unexpected reunion…

“Jeanne… the last time we spoke, you said you wanted to leave. To put as much distance between you and Te'i Sai as you could. And now after all that, here you are, back with the same crowd Te'i Sai are chasing. Why?”

Jeanne stopped in her tracks as she heard someone call her name. As she turned around and saw Marcus, the redhead relaxed her shoulders and smiled, her eyes like upturned arrows as they closed.

Her smile turned bittersweet as Marcus bore his question, her gaze casted downwards in hesitance. She considered her words for a moment, then parted her lips. ”Um, you may find it hard to believe, Marcus, but…”

She casted a glance the other way. ”Truth is, I-I missed you. All of you. Quinn, Linde, Marcel, Miriam, yourself...” The jester spun around, continuing her walk as she talked. ”Back in the day, My papa and I, we lived days away from the nearest town. Didn’t want to pollute the hamlet with ash and soot, you see, so I… didn’t grow up with friends. ”

Jeanne looked straight onwards. ”...And later, when I had to join the circus, well. I knew mentors. Tricksters. Stalkers. Slavers. But nobody I could really trust.”

Another pause.

”I wasn’t used to that kind of connection. I was scared. “

She snuck a glance from the corner of her eye.

”But those weeks in the forest. Alone and cold, with nobody to shield you from the rain, nobody to laugh, and cheer, and cry with… It was scarier than any Te’i Sai assassin could be. It felt so… meaningless. So empty.

While her beryl gaze reflected light from the torches, her mind flashed back towards.. Fire. Tongues of flame, dancing to the wind, risen sky high to devour tents of red and white. ”... Before I knew you, I...”

Jeanne stopped in her tracks. Her eyes went wide as saucers, as if coming to a sudden realization. She hung her head, her smile completely taken over by a frown. ”...I… never had anyone I could call a ‘friend’.”

A pause.

The redhead slowly turned towards Marcus. A slight pink dyed her cheeks.”I-I didn’t mean to presume, we made a good team, but… we… we are friends, right..? Pardenaire...?” Jeanne stared straight into the thief’s eyes, her brows furrowed, her eyelids relaxed, and her gaze shrunk. She did not wish to manipulate him, consciously or otherwise. Her green eyes merely pleaded an honest answer, no matter how unpleasant it may be.

A silence hung in the air between the two of them, lasting for several moments before the thief’s gaze softened. He could relate to Jeanne’s speech, albeit for reasons different to her own. Throughout his life, Marcus had been hard pressed to find people who he could trust, and the few he did were more looked up to than on equal grounds. He had never directly worked with anyone for long, either. Both of these things changed when he met Jeanne, who soon became more than just an extra pair of hands for a few difficult jobs. Hell, it didn’t take long for him to miss her when they split up…

Marcus gave his pardenaire a smile and a nod. “Whatever happens from here on out, let’s try and stick together, alright?”

Jeanne’s eyes took in a new light as she stared at Marcus. For he was… he was smiling! Warmth swelled within her bosom, and the jester lunged forward, wrapping her arms around her partner’s lanky form. ”Oh, Marcus~!” A few seconds passed. Jeanne remained still as a rock, savoring the warmth, her eyes closed with a content smile.

”...You know, that coat really makes you seem taller.” The jester released her embrace, and nodded. ”It’s a good look.”




The base was already bustling with life as Jeanne and Marcus traversed through the main area. Passing by the training area, they could see Sieg’s mountainous form, greatsword in hand and training dummies all around him. He was bare from the waist up, revealing a form that seemed almost chiseled out of rock, hard with muscles and marred with a myriad of scars, most having faded into the deep tan of his skin. His arched brows were practically as thick as his fingers, a jet-black color despite the blonde locks which jut from the top of his head, and arched in a way to maintain his intense gaze.

Marcel stood not too far from the knight, his arms folded and his back rested against a decapitated dummy, a heap of straw having formed underneath. Jeanne's eyes lit open and wide, and she stood on her tippy toes to wave from her elbow, her smile as clear as daylight even at a distance. When the swordsman returned her wave with a wink, the jester's cheeks were dyed pink, and, overtaken by a most welcome heat inside her head, she swayed and swooned, the back of her hand rested against her forehead as she babbled, "Mon cher, tu es vraiment beau..."

The knight swung and spun the weapon with both arms with such speed and precision that the the blade was like a feather in the wind. Small cuts, up and down, transitioning into thrusts from an oxen stance. The blade was hoisted above his head and pointed straight, like a bull charging with its horns. With his stance widened and knees bent, Sieg swung his blade in front of his waist, and performed circular slashing motions while spinning in place, his sword twirling like a windmill’s blade. It was a series of simple drills, yet vital to maintain the union of his hands, his eyes, and his mind. In battle, one wrong move had the hefty price of death, and a warrior of many seasons such as Sieg knew this far too well.

Jeanne ogled the knight from a safe distance, slack-jawed and wide-eyed. It was the first time they had seen him outside of his armor (mostly), and the jester had expected something… different. Instead of a slab of stone like she had pictured, Sieg was more of a bronze statue come to life. With the proper sheen, to boot. Far too burly for her tastes, but not …. Unappealing.

”Oh, uhh, w-we should leave him to it!” the jester stammered, turning away before grabbing Marcus by the hand and bolting straight to the smithy.




To Jeanne, the sound of hammer against steel was a familiar, and welcome, tune. Bonjouuuur~! she exclaimed, waving at the twin smiths, already hard at work, as her face bathed with the orange glow of the forge. She reached for her apron hung upon a nearby rack, and as she put it on, Jeanne looked over to Marcus. Her reconciliation with her partner had left her in such a high, she was almost giddy enough to mask her grief about Linde’s departure. ”You were kind enough to escort me here, pard. Do you want me to check up on your guns?”

The jester took on a grin wide enough to overtake most of her face. ”Liz taught me so much in less than six hours!... It was amazing, actually.”

Having not seen this part of the camp yet, Marcus took his time looking around the smithy. He gave a nod of acknowledgement to the blacksmiths when they inevitably greeted him, before returning his gaze to the weapons on display, quite visibly impressed.

It didn’t take long for him to consider Jeanne’s offer. A couple of seconds spent mulling it over, followed by the thief handing over his firearms. “Well then, let’s see what she taught you. Can’t wait to see what you can do for these.”

Jeanne’s eyes lit up like starlight, and she cupped her cheeks with both hands. ”Pard, you won’t be disappointed! I promise~!”

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Character Portrait: Miranda Wavecrest
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She looked upon me with the eyes of a Lioness ready to strike her prey... And I was helpless before her My heart thumping under my breast as her lips suddenly pressed against mine... A shiver went down my body as her finger traced over my breasts.. She pressed close her hand slipping...

"Ship off the Starboard bow!" come a shout.

"Right as it was getting good... Miranda muttered as she slipped Lost in Shaharan under her pillow.

As she headed towards the door a knocking came. Miranda opened the door to see Antiochus waiting "Capt'n we spotted a ship...Vielbrand colors.. She looks like a slaver..."

Miranda's face turned grim. "Use Chain shot.. break her masts and cripple her... have the crew ready themselves for boarding actions...If there are slaves I don't want to risk them getting killed..."

"Aye, Aye Capt'n! Well ye heard da Capt'n so heave to ye sea rats!"


Meanwhile on the slave ship a young girl with tanned skin, short brown hair and blue-grey eyes huddled alone in a corner of a lightless room. She was dressed in rags and wet with the water and filth that covered the room's floor. The young girl of barely ten whimpered as she heard the roar of cannon fire and the cracking of wood as the shots found their mark. There was the sound of panic and chaos above. The little girl curled up upon herself fear gripped her and she started to cry.

The door to room was busted open and light flooded the room where a dozen slaves cowered. Five men, four women, two young boys, and the lone little girl huddled in the corner.

"kill them!" ordered one of the three men.

"I think Not!" came Miranda's defiant shout as she ran Stinger though one of the men.

Another man was felled by Antiochus' pistol. He moved to draw a second to finish of the one that gave the order but Miranda waved him off.

"This one is Mine."

The man tried to attack Miranda but was much too slow Miranda parried his blade with Stinger pushing it aside as she dashed forward sending the blade of Mira's Kiss into his neck. She pushed the dying man away and he slumped against the wall.

In the corner the little girl had her eyes shut and her hands over her ears. As the other slaves left she sat there.

"It's ok you can come out now" Miranda assured the girl.

"The bad men can't hurt me anymore?" the girl asked timidly.

'You are safe now... My name is Miranda. What is yours?"

"As...I'm Aster"

Miranda smiled "That is a very pretty name"

Aster smiled weakly the first true smile she had had in many years. "I think I'm ready now..." she said standing.

Miranda and Aster made their way off the slave ship and onto The Beautiful Tempest.



Miranda and her crew found clean clothes and quarters for the former slaves as a blast from a special gun sent forth a gel like fire and burned the slave ship sending it to the depths.

As the Beautiful Tempest sailed on Miranda was being watched by Aster's blue-grey eyes.

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Xia took a breath inside her tent, leaning back in her chair at her desk while setting down a cup of tea she'd poured herself earlier.

"Sigh... This mining town is nice, but I need some clearer air." She said quietly.

Xia got up from her chair and walked outside of her tent, and was swiftly greeted by the steadily rising sun of morning. She shielded her eyes as she looked in its general direction, and then turned away from it to stretch her arms out while giving her eyes some time to adjust to the light levels.

Xia went for a stroll, and due to the small village size it was not a long one. So, to prolong it, she did laps around the village several times to drag it out. And by the time her feet started to tire of the laps, she meandered through the village until something caught her eye.

Off to the side, she spied a broken metal gate leading to a rather lush and green area where she could see a few plants through the gaps.

Meandering over to it, she peeked inside the broken gate to find a half-turned barrel which served as a bird bath. Several finches were already bathing, pausing briefly to gaze at her warily before resuming their activities.

"How adorable," she said with a smile.

She really liked small animals, birds especially. They were so tiny and cuddly. She used to raise small birds just like these when she was little, but eventually her parents decided that she was no longer allowed to for the sake of her studies and her noble stature. She was to be prepped to become a proper lady, not a bird wrangler.

She walked past the bird bath to find rows of growing vegetables and medicinal herbs, most of which she recognized thanks to being forced to spend time with Linde in years past. She wandered through, walking carefully over the placed wooden boards which served as something of a walkway, until she came to a more flowered section which was more decorative than the food and medicine sections.

She walked among the flowers gingerly until, out of the corner of her eye, she spied something that made her eyes light up and her heart skip a beat and start fluttering madly in her chest.

"Oh!" She exclaimed.

She dashed over to what had caught her eye, and found it was indeed what she'd been hoping for... A Gwenyuran Orchid.

It was her favorite plant in the world, and it had a special place in her heart since she was a baby. It was incredibly rare, and very fragile for a flower of such size. The flower itself, minus the stalks and bodies of the plant it grew on, was almost eight inches in diameter. But if the growing conditions, sunlight, and even soil were not just right, the orchid would perish in a matter of days.

"I had no idea... You could grow here." She said happily as she used her fingers to gently cup the flower in her palm.

She leaned forward to smell the flower, and it was exactly as she'd remembered.

The last time she'd been able to see or smell this flower was over twelve years ago when she was a little girl, but she still remembered the scent and texture of it.

Xia startled when she heard a little gasp behind her, letting go of the orchid and turning swiftly around with her blade drawn and pointed - in the direction of the Velran Priest. The white robes he wore were turning brown with dirt, a sun hat shielded his pale face and his hair was pulled into two tiny pigtails. His wide grey eyes darted from Xia to her katana, his watering can tipped by his feet. He let out a little laugh.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to startle you, Lady Crescalla," he said, then his eyes sparked with alarm and his cheeks went red. He shed his dirty gardening gloves in a hurry to pull out his pigtails, "I-I'm not used to anyone coming here. With the rebellion, nobody takes the time to... ah, stop and smell the roses. Ehe."

Xia's blade dropped slowly as she recognized the Velran Priest. She sighed, sheathing the blade as her own cheeks turned slightly pink and she looked away.

"I-it's... Nothing. My apologies for drawing my blade against you." She said quietly.

She looked at the orchid again out of the corner of her eye, reluctant to touch it again while the Priest was here.

"Oh, it's fine, really. You would be surprised how much it happens to me," he chimed, "Tensions are always running high here, and I know I'm not the most... noticeable."

He bashfully scratched the back of his neck and glanced away, before peering back up at Xia with a sort of determination.

"You found my Gweynuran Orchid?" he enthused, coming over to kneel before it, lifting its face up gently with one finger, "As pretty as she is temperamental. I, I used to have five, but... ah, well. They demand time and care, and time isn't something I can spare anymore." He smiled at the flower with fondness. "I'm lucky to have just one."

Xia's pink cheeks were stubborn and would not leave, and she felt the heat radiating from her face. But the Priest's interest in the orchid was... striking a chord with her. Her heart rate slowed back to normal, and she brushed a few strands of hair out of her face.

"... You are... It's very rare." She said quietly.

"But... It's beautiful." She added, her flushed cheeks becoming the slightest bit redder.

There were a few moments of silence they shared, just looking at the flower, when he cleared his throat.

"I'm... sorry, your friend left that way," he murmured, then shook his head and pulled down the brim of his sun hat to hide his face as he corrected himself, "If she was your friend. I, um, notice things about... I'm sorry, it's no business of mine."

Xia was enjoying the silence looking at the flower. She glanced to the Priest and a tiny smile appeared on her lips as she watched him observe it with about as much love as she did. But...

He then mentioned Linde, and her smile, tiny as it was, vanished immediately.

Xia glanced downward, her eyes disappearing beneath her bangs.

"She was not my friend..." She said quietly, but with obvious disdain in her voice.

He looked over her way, grey eyes peeking out of his brim and soft with concern.

"Then let's not talk about her," he said simply with a disarming smile, then turned his head back to the orchid. There was something more than fondness in his eyes when he looked upon it, something like... a happy memory. "I... I didn't have the time to ask, in the tents..." His head suddenly whipped around, eyes wide and sparkling as he blurted, "What is it like, traveling with the Maiden of Revolution? Is she nice? How did you meet her??"

Xia was happy he chose not to continue speaking about Linde. She didn't want to have a conversation about that woman right now. Ever since her departure, that was all she heard about.

Instead, she was greeted with a more pleasant sight once again of the Priest staring fondly at the orchid. She couldn't put her finger on it, but he stared at it much the same way she did... Did they share a common experience with it?

Then, he asked about Quinn with a rather odd sparkle in his eyes. But... It reminded her of herself. The Priest obviously had a lot of admiration and respect for Quinn, but didn't seem to know her very well... Not that Xia could talk. She didn't know her that well either, but still she did know how to answer his questions.

"Well," she began, toying with a lock of her hair.

"Traveling with the Maiden was nice, for the most part. The dangers of the revolution and of Te'i Sai made it difficult going, especially when she was kidnapped... I don't believe I've ever been so worried about someone before in my life." She said.

She looked at Kade.

"She is... She is nice when others are nice to her. But she is also stern and authoritative, as you'd expect the leader of the revolution to be." Xia said with a slight smile.

The pink in her cheeks started coming back.

"Umm... I met her through a... Mutual acquaintance." She said.

If the priest's face could go any paler, it just did.

"She was kidnapped?" he echoed, then looked at his knees, "No... No wonder it took so long for her to come home..."

His head suddenly jerked up, "Is your mutual acquaintance the D- " He stopped himself, eyes averted from hers, "S-Sorry, I, um, I know too much for my station. I won't talk further of this. But ... however you did, I'm glad you met her."

He looked back to her with a beaming grin, "When she walked into the mines, with all those people... all of them, so..." His head ducked down, his blush deepening, "I - I just, I had a good feeling. I don't know their reasons or your reasons for coming here, but... I think, you look like you're going to be good for us. I... I guess the good feeling was hope."

Xia's pink cheeks flushed slightly more and she looked away from the Priest.

He's... Very kind. She thought
.
"Thank you, good Priest." She said.

She took a breath to relax herself and some (though not all) of her flush went away.

"May I-... Umm... May I hold the Orchid again, please? I promise it will come to no harm." She asked.

“Of course,” he said cheerily and shuffled away on his knees to give her space, “Your hands look too soft to hurt it.” Pause. “... !!!” He suddenly was waving his hands about frantically, “I meant nothing by that, Lady Crescalla! I’m sure you are as every bit the fighter as you are gentle!”

Satisfied with the hole he thought he had dug himself from, he glanced away with sheepish expression, “And my name is Kade. Kade Dunzt. Though I don’t mind good Priest.”

Xia blinked when he said her hands looked too soft to hurt it. She looked at her palms and fingers, turning them around a few times to examine them. They didn't look as soft as he said, but he quickly turned it and said he meant no offense.

Xia chuckled.

"No offense taken." She replied.

She turned and smiled at Kade.

"Nice to meet you Kade. You may call me 'Xia' if you'd like." She offered.

"It was nice meeting again under less dire circumstances," he agreed, then stood. "I need to return to the High Priestess, but... you may spend as much time in this garden as you wish, Xia."

Xia smiled at Kade and waved to him as he left the garden to return to the High Priestess. She then walked over to the orchid and gently cupped the flower in her hand and smelled it once more before sitting down in front of it and offering a small prayer.

Assassin's Pledge: Devastation: Out Of Character (OOC)

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