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Bardulf Sherwood

"Heya, need a hand?" (Relations WIP)

0 · 675 views · located in Nymphaea City

a character in “Tidal Serpent”, as played by Firewind

Description

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Name:
Bardulf Sherwood

Nicknames:
Bard
Shortened First Name, friends and Family call him this

Wolf
Part of the literal translation of his First Name, His Teacher called him this, only responds to that name to others on rare occasions.


Alias(es):
Fenrir the Wolf
{The common people of Fiore, as well as The Council, call him this given his relentless nature, as well as hinting his lonely lifestyle.}

Age:
21

Appearance:
A tall sturdy young man, at about 5"7, he would be called what most people would say, plain or pleasant features. He was not handsome, but he certainly is not ugly. He wears his platinum blonde hair at shoulder length, with calculating piercing blue eyes that some would mistake for the sky, or sapphires in his eyes.

Clothing:
what is seen on the picture is usually his travel/casual clothing. When he's on the job or a battle starts, he requips into the swordsman's armor (See Magic Tools for details.)

Location and Color of Guild Mark:
Chest (over his heart)
Teal





Magic Type:
Requip: The Swordsman

Magical Tools:
Swordsman's Armor- As his Requip Magic Specialization only allows swords, he had to have a spare requip space for an adaptive armor to handle the same effects of whatever sword he has summoned.

Various Swords- his tools of the trade, Requip the swordsman allows him to summon swords, each with their own effect on him. (See Magic Spells for some Examples of his arsenal)

Magic Spells:

Requip: Mystic Sword Beltharion
Summons his default sword which he often uses during long fights, as it enables an increase in speed and strength.

Requip: Flame Greatsword Ifrit
Bard summons a sword of in the flame element, his armor "Cracks" as it takes on a molten earth look. Allows him to use medium range fireballs. Downsides are he must avoid water at all times.

Requip: Chain Sword Gleipnir
Chains Wrap around his body as he calls upon a sword attached to a long chain that enables a means of distracting his foes, a quick getaway device, as well as pinning an opponent to the ground.

(There are other swords in his arsenal, but they will show up as the story goes on)

Wizard Ranking:
A




Personality:
Bardulf is one of the more friendlier people in Tidal Serpent, being that he loves to talk with anyone in the guild. He tried to be open to people he considers a friend, despite some personal weaknesses that impede his social skills. When on the job he's relentless in getting it done, incredibly stubborn to the end. He'd give his all to help other people if he wished it. Around women though, he is incredibly shy, and blushes a bit when someone he considers beautiful talks to him. He also loves to write, so whenever one sees him at the guild, he has a blank book and a pen.

Hobbies:
Writing
In his spare time he writes in his logbook to keep track of what has happened in his life, as well as try his hand in fiction.

Music
Inherited from his teacher, along with Beltharion, he has an affection for music, either listening to music or playing some of his favorite songs on an instrument.


Habits:

1. He has a habit of talking to or about Beltharion as if it's alive.

2. He holds his chin whenever he's in deep thought.

3, not a habit but a quirk is whenever he's anxious his right arm quivers slightly.

Fears:

1. Failure in a mission- He won't give up until the job is done, because he's afraid he'd let the guild down.

2. Losing his sister.

3. Ophidiophobia- The Fear of Snakes, after he was nearly tossed into a pit of Cobras one mission, he has been wary of snakes ever since, jumping onto a table in fright if one is near him.

Strengths:
1. Skilled Swordsman- Cain, his Master has taught him well.

2. Average Strategist- he always has a backup plan if something goes awry, even if it means running away for a moment.

3. Kind Hearted- he can't just sit by if there's trouble going on during a job, even if it's to ease someone's pain.

Weaknesses:

Long Range- if someone is shooting a spell or projectile from afar, Bard would be in trouble. Especially since his Requip only allows Swords and no defensive weapons.

Being Outsmarted- It's a rarity but if he gets outsmarted, it leaves him confused for a time.

Social Disability- Bard often has a hard time talking to people properly, he can't read the social cues, doesn't look directly at someone, etc.




Family:
Benjamin Sherwood - Father - Deceased
Liza Sherwood - Mother - Deceased (Presumed)
Robyn Sherwood - Sister - Alive
Cain Azura - Mentor/Uncle - Alive

History:
Bardulf was born to a small modest family in Nymphaea, where Tidal Serpent's Guild Hall dwells. Three years later, his sister Robyn was born as well. However, within the next two years, tragedy began to strike. His father was called away to help with several shipments, and died in a freak accident by falling barrels, leaving his Mother as the sole provider. She vowed to try and support her children the best she can. He could still remember her hugs, and small assurances that everything will be alright. But he could tell that she was afraid of losing her custody, as a Barmaid's wages could only do so much,

Help came in the most unlikely of places in Bard's opinion. It came in the form of a Wizard of Tidal Serpent, Cain Azura. Cain was his mother's younger brother by 2 years, he developed quite the reputation as a wandering wizard, and a Swordsman doing several jobs at a time to make sure his sister's ends were met. He often boasted he was one of the greatest that ever lived. One day, when Bard was 8, tragedy struck again as Liza Sherwood, on her way back home from a trip to Hargeon, disappeared. Whilst Robyn held tight to the hope that she would one day return, Bard's heart hardened for a time, believing to this day, his mother died.

Cain stepped into Bard's life again, this time as a Legal Guardian. He pulled off several extra jobs in one year to get enough jewels to cover any expenses of raising them, setting up a trust fund for the two children. One year after Liza's disappearance, Cain was getting ready to go to the Guild Hall when it occurred to him. Eventually, his Nephew and niece would need to have a decent job of their own, and Bard began to manifest some magic. So he took Bard to Tidal Serpent, and made him a deal. If he wanted to try his hand being a wizard, his uncle would teach him the ropes, but only if he joined Tidal Serpent. Bardulf agreed, and thus began his time at Tidal Serpent.

Bard would train regularly with Cain for the next several years, learning the same type of Requip his uncle had, going on several missions with him. On one mission, Bardulf had to grow up at only 17 when Cain broke his leg in two places. Bardulf had to use not only the swords he gathered, but His Uncle's favorite weapon as well. For this, he became an A class wizard, as well as inherit Requip: The Swordsman fully. Cain's leg healed, but he was forced to walk with a cane for the rest of his life (Pardon the pun.) So Cain Azura retired as a wizard and opened up a small restaurant, using the proceeds to care for Robyn, who went to work at the same place as well. Feeling detached from the fact his uncle and sister didn't need his help to live comfortably, he continued on his path as a wizard, visiting every now and then. He had more then just his Uncle and Sister as a family anyway.

Tidal Serpent was also his family, and he wouldn't turn his back on them.



Bonus Facts:

1. Bardulf and Cain have similar head pieces, which seems to identify each other as not only blood relation, but Teacher and Student.

2. He lives in an apartment building across the street from the guild hall.

3. He has a Miniature Dachshund named Dio.

FC:

Nier

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◑ = Neutral || ☺ = Friends || ☺☺☺ = Best Friends || ☠ = Enemies/Rivals || ღ = Crush/Attracted to || ♥ = Romantic Interest/Dating




|| Slick ||
☺/◑
"Him? I bet he cheats at chess...."
He doesn't really mind Slick, often playing chess with him and talking about his writings. Though he always seems to lose every game, which irks him to no end. As a Wizard, he gives him credit where it's due. Sometimes however he feels tempted to bring Dio to see what the dog would do to him.

|| Keiji ||

"He's S-Class, don't know much else. His powers are cool.."
He keeps his distance from most of the S-classes to avoid possibly long winded speeches, but seems to hold Keiji's powers in some form of respect, it being unique amongst other things.

|| Dolores ||

"She's a bit of a toughie, but she's a well respected member."
He rarely communicates with the S Class, feeling slightly inferior to them. But "Dolly" as Slick calls her, his Uncle advised him to tread lightly on that front, and treat with respect. She is a powerful Dragon Slayer, and as S class outranks and outmatched him by leagues. For that he gives her respect, and more importantly space. He doesn't know too much on her, given his nature as a lone wizard.

|| Rin ||

"Rin? Well, she's okay for new girl." *blushes* "She's not looking at me is she?!"
Poor Bard gained a small crush on the Celestial Wizard the moment he saw her when she joined the guild. He wants to get to know her more and hope it evolves into something more. He feels that he and her have something in common, yet she's keeping herself tight lipped about it. One thing is for certain. She's a part of Tidal Serpent, and whether or not he makes his feelings known, he'd protect her if she needs it.

||Cheneres||
☺/☠
"Cheneres? He's friendly, social...he's also a skirt chaser and everything I'm not!!"
Bard has a mixed bag of feelings for the Sand God Slayer. He admires his friendliness and usually banters with him, despite his shortcomings or attempt to just work out of the conversation. On the other hand, he is extremely jealous of his ability to openly talk and flirt with girls, which sets the socially awkward Bard to often times declare him a Rival if he should have the eyes for a girl the Swordsman might see as pretty as well.

So begins...

Bardulf Sherwood's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dolores De La Fuente Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Cheneres Se-anhur IV Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Pommel Grade Character Portrait: Oceana Malaerion

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Keiji stood with the other S-class wizards behind Guild Master Castien as he performed the announcements following the S-class trials. Keiji’s arms were folded in front of him, his eyes peering over the crowd with an unintentionally intense gaze that often fooled people into believing he was a much darker individual than he actually was. His body was clothed from head to toe, his hood up to cover the scars and burns that marred the back half of his head but allowing his facial features to still show through. His eyes fell upon Dolores, standing there proud as the newest member of the strongest wizards the guild had to offer, and he felt himself wondering how she had gotten there. He had not had the pleasure or regret of meeting her in combat for these trials, Instead it had been Slick who had run into Keiji. He peered around slightly, finding the man in the crowd and wondering if he hated Keiji for stopping him from reaching the top this time around. They had their differences, but it wasn’t his intention to stunt Slick’s growth into a powerful wizard, only to make sure he deserved to belong with them.

Returning his attention back to Dolores and the proceedings, Keiji once again started flickering through memories of her magic usage, and still couldn’t comprehend how someone with such a utility power could get as far as she did. Ultimately, that part didn’t matter as she was standing here now, meaning she did everything she needed to to win. For that, respect was given even if understanding wasn’t. Castien continued with the announcement that Oceana would be taking over Guild Master, and Keiji couldn’t help but feel some sense of trepidation. She was young, and in his eyes, inexperienced and lacking in powerful capabilities. Her leadership would need to be put to the test, and he hoped with all his being that she didn’t crumble under the pressure. This was a feeling that was only amplified when she ran over and embraced Dolores in a rather childish display of affection. Keiji didn’t let any emotion show through his face, even though his own internal groaning flooded his ears. Ultimately the guild needed to remain unified, so he would help her where necessary but he would still be keeping a close eye on her.

Then came the whammy that she was restricting job usage for the week, something that earned an arc of the eyebrow from Keiji as he realized that those who relied on those listings to get by would have a hard time for the next week. Once again, he didn’t agree with it but he said nothing. Now was not the time to speak up and say things that he might later regret. Still, he would have to scrimp for the next seven days, and that was going to be it’s own kind of hell as he realized his diet would consist of rice, rice and even more rice. With the announcements done and everyone starting to disband to do their own thing, Keiji left the stage. He had several things to do, hopefully before his lack of funds started to kick in.



A thrum of power reverberated through the clearing much like a small localized earthquake. Trees shook leaves from their branches, pebbles bounced along the ground, and small creatures darted in every direction to get away from the seemingly invisible force. A closer inspection would lead people to see the air waving, much like heat rising from the ground. A glance downwards would reveal a golden sigil, intricate in design and large in size emanating from a singular point. In the middle stood Keiji, his clothes flapping slightly to an unseen wind, his eyes shut as concentration broadcast from his person. While nothing seemed to be visibly happening, an investigative look at Keiji would reveal that he was sweating. It looked like he was holding a great weight above him, straining to maintain his composure against the pressure he was inflicting upon himself. This continued for a few minutes, before the sigil on the ground disappeared slowly and Keiji opened his eyes to view the grass around him. It was flattened, much like a crop circle in a field, and a quick survey showed him that no animals had wandered into his field during his training; his continued acclimatization to the forces that he controlled.

He released a breath that he hadn’t been aware he had been holding, the stress of not being able to go out on jobs starting to affect his normally calm demeanor as he had found himself being irritated by smaller and smaller things. The other day he had accidentally crushed a cup in his hand for literally no reason at all. His power needed an outlet, and even his training wasn’t doing enough to satisfy him, and he couldn’t necessarily go all out on his training here either, not without leveling a good section of the surrounding landscape. He rolled his shoulders, flapping his white muscle shirt slightly to get a bit of heat off of his chest. Black shorts that came down to just below his kneecaps adorned his legs, revealing his heavily scarred skin. Remnants of battles won and lost, accidents, training trophies and hard won achievements one and and all. Nearly every inch of him was covered in something that even the most war torn general would have been shocked at, but for him this was the norm.

With his preliminary training out of the way, he walked over to a tree which had obviously seen better days. Its bark had been broken off in several places, with indents like someone had taken a hammer to it evident on it’s trunk. Keiji took another breath, adopting his standard combat stance and proceeding to attack the tree with all the force he could muster, that is, all he could muster without the use of his magic. He had deadened his nerves to allow such training to be viable and to assist in battle, a skeptical training technique that could lead to long term health problems...at least that what the healers had told him between staring at his marred features.

This continued for a few hours and ended when the sun started to rise on the horizon. His ‘stop and pay attention to the guild’ alarm. With little ceremony, rubbing his knuckles and palms as he moved, he gathered the rest of his clothes and carried them back to the guild hall.



By the time he had arrived at the front door to the building, he had donned the rest of his clothing, pulling the hood up over his head to hide the remainder of his wounds from the others. Today the job ban would be lifted and he could get back to work, bring in some money and get back to a regular schedule. Hopefully the others would be in the same mindset, and hopefully people would be putting out s-ranked quests for him to take care of. As he entered the door, he was greeted with Oceana stepping onto the bar and asking for everyone’s attention. Someone in the back had enough sense to say the statement in a more authoritative voice, to which the guild master giggled and made Keiji groan inwardly once more. She didn’t carry herself with the mentality of a leader or master, something that had been made evident the days following her induction. Once again though, just because he didn’t agree with her leadership style, or even that she was the right choice for the spot, didn’t mean he would do anything to bring light to that fact. Keiji walked in, doing his best to not draw attention from others even if his magical ‘signature’ if you will was enough to warrant a couple of glances. He took a seat a couple of tables away from her, awaiting the news that she was about to spew.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Oceana Malaerion

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Bardulf was in his own corner of the guild hall writing in a small book, pausing now and then to check if he needed to proofread what he had written, edit it, then continue on. It was a fine morning in Nymphaea in his opinion. The sun was bright, and everyone seemed to be in good spirit. He didn't mind the obscurity of Tidal Serpent. In many ways, he was just like his Uncle Cain, who had retired from the life of a wizard after in his own words, 'a career ending' injury. He had since opened up a restaurant in the city. But unlike Cain, who was known to be jolly and social whenever he was around members of Tidal Serpent, Bardulf or Bard if one preferred was a bit more socially awkward.

Also, both, when it came to traveling, were solitary. Hence why Bardulf is often called 'Fenrir the Wolf' or simply 'Wolf'. But it didn't bother him. Not one bit. He had some friends and loved Tidal Serpent like a surrogate family.

Regardless, Bard was writing in the book he had, because he was trying to make a rough draft of a novel this day. He didn't know the full plot yet, but he knew he wanted it to be based on one of his Uncle's jobs. He'd have to ask him later.

"Can I have everyone's attention please?" came the voice of Oceana.

Oh yes. Barely a week and the new Guildmaster, Oceana had an announcement, but he at least used the suspended week to visit with his Uncle and Sister. Sighing, Bardulf put his things away. He then turned to look up towards her, and for a brief moment, his eyes saw across the room, in her own corner, Rin. He couldn't help but notice how she looked when the Guildmaster called for attention.

"So eager, and so cute... wait where'd that come from?!" Bard suppressed his thoughts and resulting blush before turning back to look towards the Guildmaster, to listen for her announcement. The thoughts raced on the possibilities. "Is it a special job? Is it another new member? Is Melinda coming back? What is it?"

He didn't know what the Guildmaster had planned. But he was sure it was important. But sometimes the suspense of announcements killed him, figuratively speaking of course. Though he could've sworn, after hearing her giggle after another man gave the statement again, he heard a groan come from one of the S Class members. He tried not to mind the annoyance from it, but definitely shuddered as Keji's magical energy was felt as he walked to a seat.

But it would be nice for Jobs to come rolling in after this small respite. He wanted to get back to work, at least when an interesting job pulled up that he wanted.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Oceana Malaerion

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#, as written by Tanman
Slick
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Another year, another failure. This was his third? Fourth consecutive loss during the S-Class trials? It was getting embarrassing at this point. Nursing his wounds as he sat at the far side of the room, most knew better than to hang around Slick at this point. Honestly, he was never too fun to be around immediately following the trials after his now predictable loss. In fact, a few of the guild members were splitting the pot of their bets on how far he’d have gotten this year. At this point, Slick was basically a long-shot every time, though one year he’d surely pay out big, right? He was happy for Dolores, but… Well, he couldn’t help but feel he’d been robbed. How long had she been here? Beginners luck maybe.

Raising his drink in toast before taking another swig, he continued to watch the celebrations in mild bitterness, but went through the motions of clapping and cheering for their new champion. Despite his sour mood, he couldn’t help but smile as the focus shifted to that of their new guild master, Oceana. Having seen her grow up from her adolescence, it seemed that she was finally moving up in the world and taking some responsibility. Of course, she had practically no experience running a guild, and still had a lot to learn about life, but that’s what she had the whole guild was for. He’d help her however he could, and no doubt all of the friends and family she’d made would stand strong by her side.

Of course, the announcement that they’d be suspending all guild activity was a surprise one; but no doubt there’d be some exceptions if important things came up. He couldn’t entirely complain, and unlike a lot of the less organised members, Slick had plenty budgeted for if he had some time off. Still, a whole week was a bit much. Well, perhaps it was an opportunity to do some more research into his guild mates. After all, he’d need to have a plan for the next S-Class trial. Setting down his mug and sitting up, Slick left the festivities early. He was good at keeping his emotions in check, but it was hard to remain positive in the face of such failure. Even he needed time to himself every now and again.



A week down, and Slick was back to his normal, jovial if infuriating self. Sitting down at the bar in his usual spot at one end, he watched Oceana make her way to stand proudly on the bench, proclaiming that she had another announcement now that the job ban was being lifted. Probably another half-baked scheme of hers. Hiding his smirk behind his glass as he took a swig, he listened as one of the rowdier guild members helped draw attention and silence the group. Shaking the ice in his glass a little, he gestured up towards their diminutive guild master. “’Ey, Get on with it Shaun. I think you’ve kept the people waiting long enough.” Slick set his glass down as he spun on his seat to lean his back against it, looking up to her. Shaun was a boyish nickname that he often used to tease the ‘Tidebreaker’. Even with her new status as guild master, he had no intention of showing her any more respect than usual.

No doubt there’d be a rush to grab the newest jobs from the board once it opened up, but he wasn’t exactly in a huge hurry. He was a versatile and capable individual, so it was unlikely there wouldn't be something suitable to his talents, and if not there was plenty more work he could do in the library. After all, he wasn’t going to fail again at the next trial. He needed a plan prepared to deal with Keiji and Dolly should he encounter them once more to prove himself. So long as he could handle them and any newcomers to the guild, he was certain he’d succeed this time. Still, that was years away now. Best to try and keep himself at least somewhat sharp by staying on the job.

Briefly, Slick’s eyes scanned about the guild hall, which was now pretty packed since there was the formal announcement coming. No one particularly noticeable caught his eye. I mean, there was Keiji, but Slick had no intention of making pleasantries with him. Maybe at some point he’d try to get him inebriated to ascertain some more of his weaknesses, but he felt he had a long way to go before he could stand next to him as an equal adversary. Bard was also somewhat nearby him, and although good for a laugh, he wasn’t exactly what Slick was looking for socialising with. Still, with the aid of his magic he could perceive the slightest of blushes across his face, and easily managed to trace the man’s gaze. Settling his eys on Rin, one of the more voluptuous ladies of the guild, Slick smirked. He could see exactly what Bard was appreciating. He’d have to pull him up on that at some point.

Turning his attention back to Oceana, Slick patiently awaited her proclamation. Though he couldn’t imagine it was anything too important.


Pommel Grade
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“Yes! There! Perfect!” Clapping her hands together in celebration, Pommel briefly gave a soft yelp and windmilled her arms before suddenly grabbing hold of the ladder railings to support herself, giving a sigh of relief. Despite dangerously leaning across the stage from her precarious point up high, she’d done it! The last banner was draped across the top of the stage, adorned with the simple words of ‘Congratulations’, a collection of hydrangea and delphinium flowers flanking the setup to complete the picture. As much as she so wished she could have seen the S-Class trials herself, it wasn’t like Tidal Serpent kept her around just to spectate. She wasn’t a wizard, but she had plenty of jobs to do to earn her keep. First and foremost for the day was decorating the hall.

Scrambling down the ladder and dragging it back off to the supply closet, Pommel proceeded to scurry about the hall, tossing streamers up over the rafters as she simultaneously began blowing up balloons. A soft ding from the kitchen drew her focus next to reveal some of the food she was preparing for the festivities was almost done, the chef-in-the-making hurrying over to turn the meats and reset the timer again. Moving about the various tables, she got to work placing down the various party poppers, along with a small collection of sweets in a bowl at each of the main seating areas. Back at the bar, she proceeded to take a quick inventory of the alcohol and other lighter drinks, making sure there was more than enough to account for a rowdy night of celebration. Slick had helped her budget for the event, and she was going to make sure that the promotion went off with a bang! Grinning to herself as she took a step back to survey her work, the whole thing was running on schedule, and in tip top shape. She’d run around like a madwoman cleaning all day, but it was going to be well worth it, because the guild hall was practically shining! Yup, this was perfect! Everyone would certainly appreciate all the hard work and effort she put in to-

With a loud crash, the guild hall doors were kicked open to the sounds of cheering and celebration. Pommel spun just in time to be jostled and bowled over by the hooting and excitable crowd, being pushed this way and that in a dizzying stumble before she finally found herself back over by the bar. Grumbling and shouting her complaints at her rude guild mates, Pommel blew out a raspberry in annoyance. Geez! Stupid jerks! Already, all her hard work was going ignored and unappreciated as they scoffed on the lollies, knocked over decorations and were generally a rowdy group of uncivilised ruffians. Huffing as she puffed out her cheeks, Pommel ‘hmmphed’ to herself as she stuck her nose in the air, stomping her way behind the bar counter and got to work serving up the drinks. Hana was already hard at work serving the customers, but she still managed to give Pommel a warm smile as she moved up to the counter.

When the guildmaster finally called for attention, Pommel gave an exhausted sigh of relief, collapsing down onto the bar and catching her breath. Events like this were always hard work, and dealing with so many drunkards was certainly taxing. That said, she’d spent so much time getting to work that she’d barely registered who it was that was receiving the promotion. She knew Slick and a few of the others that participated, but none of them really caught her interest. They weren’t like Mel, the greatest wizard in the entire kingdom. She didn’t care which of them dumb guys got the promotion. Whoever it was, they couldn’t hold a candle to Tidal Serpent’s one and only Chiyoko!

"With the trials finished we have our newest S-Class Wizard, Dolores De La Fuente.” Looking up from her position at the bar, Pommel blinked. It was… Well, she didn’t really know who it was. Dolores. It was her! Well, ‘a’ her! Another guild heroine had hit S-Class! Slowly, a grin spread even further on Pommel’s face. ‘Slick’ lost again! Haha! What a loser! Snickering to herself, Pommel marvelled the new wizard from the sidelines. She seemed really cool and collected. Wow, she was awesome! Not ‘Melinda’ awesome, but a whole breed of awesome above all the other stinky guys in the guild! With a sigh of adoration, Pommel leaned on her elbows and cupped her face, swinging her legs and watching the show. “And with her, a new guild master ascends into power. Let us welcome them both into their new positions!"

Quickly joining in the uproarious cheer, Pommel whistled loudly and hollered out chants of encouragement. That’s right, her big sister, queen of the Tidal Serpent guild! Gosh, all the female wizards in Tidal Serpent were so tough and amazing! It was a wonder they even bothered keeping dorks like Chen or Slick around. Maybe when she inevitably rose up as one of Tidal Serpent’s great wizard’s she’d be elected new guild master and would get a chance to clean up all the dumb wizards that they kept around. Wildly daydreaming of her throne and princess dress she’d wear on her guild master coronation, Pommel missed the announcement Oceana made regarding the suspension of the job board. Even though she didn’t work as a Wizard, it probably would’ve been good for her to know and prepare for. As it stood, she had no idea how busy the bar was going to be in the next week.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Oceana Malaerion

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#, as written by Feyblue
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Dɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✦ #AA00FF || Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ #0E00A8











































As the excitement of the S-Class Trials had finally begun to wind down, a week of relative quiet had set in.
No matter, The young wizard mused, raising her eyes from the pages of her book to peer out the large picture window at the corner of the guild's tavern, squinting slightly to see through the glare that played upon the sheet of glass. Indeed, such things hardly concerned one Artemie Scheherazade. As a relative nobody, there was little chance of her ever taking the S-Class examination, and even less of a chance for her to actually pass it. She could talk a good line about how she'd claim the position one day, and go even further beyond it, too. But, when faced with the prospect of actually having to prove her worth against seasoned wizards the likes of Slick, or, heaven forbid, the new appointee, Ms. Dolores... Artemie shuddered at the thought. No, it was much better to simply work at the library and occupy herself in absentmindedly dreaming of such things than to actually attempt them.

She shut her book, glancing back over to the diner area, where a few other wizards were still loitering around. There hadn't been many people actually doing anything since requests had been suspended, so for the most part, those with nothing better to do simply came here to chat with old comrades and make plans for their next missions. For her own part... well, honestly, not even Artemie was sure why she had chosen that particular day and that particular time to wile away the hours reading in the lobby. Maybe it was the warmth of the light in her little nook by the front window, or the open view of the street as she watched the colorful people of Nymphaea pass by. Or maybe, she'd been hoping to snag one of the easy jobs on the board the moment requests opened back up again, so that she could keep up a steady income.

Regardless, she just so happened to be there, thinking of nothing in particular, and, in fact, nearly drifting off to sleep when suddenly, the voice of the new guild master caught her attention. It seemed like she had some kind of announcement to make, which meant that requests would probably be opened for work. And yet, it seemed also like she had something more to say. So, curious, Artemie slipped her book back into her sleeve, where she mumbled a command for it to be contained. A few runes in the lace frills of her gown flashed for a moment, and the book disappeared into the folds of the cloth seamlessly, as if it hadn't even existed in the first place. Standing up, she tiptoed a little bit closer to the bar, leaning sideways against a support pillar and peering out from behind it so as not to draw too much attention to herself. There, she waited, curious to see what exactly Oceana would have to say.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Cheneres Se-anhur IV Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Oceana Malaerion

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Cheneres

Though Chen is not usually seen idle, his purposely apparent indignant emotion ran rampant. S-Class Trials were a time of celebration, although his inability to participate gave him a face of scorn. Due to how careless he was during a mission, he sustained multiple injuries. Although the people he forcefully dragged along remained unharmed, he broke all 4 of his limbs and more. However, he completed the mission, he had quite a bit of time to count the reward on his hospital bed.

His perfectly chiseled abs were covered by grimy bandages. He's able to walk and move his limbs again, but he still was nursing the many cuts and bruises. His face was covered with dust and his hair disheveled. He usually was a man harboring great pride for his body, but he was too busy crying himself to sleep. Instead of sitting in the middle of such a grand occasion. He was in a minuscule corner in the southeast part of the room. Cheneres the Exile, reduced to a hermit.

Despite it all, he was happy for the new S-Class. A wondrous maiden does deserve recognition. Cheneres himself isn't familiar with her. Even Cheneres, the man who rushes into danger, is vigilant when approaching someone such as Dolores. He much rather fight monsters of vigor than be on the opposite end of a woman's fury.

Alas, he took another sip of his drink. He was drinking vodka in the morning, maybe to ease the pain of not being able to participate or just because he's Cheneres the Exile, he drinks whenever he wants. He soon fell into a deep slumber, unable to applaud and commend Dolores. It's a somber day if Cheneres is not rushing to a woman's side. Between his gloomy episodes and his whining, he'll recover somehow. It would've been quite important to know that the guild master had suspended Jobs for everyone to recover, but he'll manage. If blowing all your cash on booze and couch surfing fits the definition.


It was a harsh 7 days. Cheneres couldn't find another tavern that would serve him ale for free, so he turned to street performances to pay for his necessities. Though, due to his ineptitude when it comes to musical talent. It would make more sense if they paid him to stop his performance instead of to compliment it. Don't tell him I said that though.

Bright and early, he pushed open the guild hall doors gloriously. In case it was obvious that he has arrived, Cheneres makes it a point to make sure people are aware. With his usual announcement, "Cheneres the Exile makes an entrance! ♫" He declared. This habit is usually met by groans of annoyance by his guild members, heavy or hushed. Him going so early could be to bother less people, but it's most likely to get drunk faster.

He ordered from the counter quickly and went to converse with the people of the guild. Giving a hearty hello to his mates and a little bit extra for the ladies (Flex on 'em). It was a busy and boisterous morning, because Cheneres made it so.

It seems the little girl of a guild master had an announcement for the populace. He always found it unorthodox for there to be such a young girl running a former dark guild. She rivals him in energy and can even come off as a bit overbearing, and that's coming from Cheneres. He always thought she should eat more, grow into a voluptuous woman, but that's a personal preference. Those are just thoughts, they were never particularly close and he finds himself straying away from her path. Nonetheless, he respects her magic prowess. He is rather adept at feeling people's strength, though he often rushes in anyways despite knowing he'll lose.

But it seems the little GM had a big announcement. He walked over to the counter and took his drink, he then went to the back of the huddle as he is one of the taller members of the guild. He took a few sips and waited impatiently. If a dainty little lass like her is a guild master, Cheneres is a rocket scientist.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dolores De La Fuente Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Cheneres Se-anhur IV Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Pommel Grade Character Portrait: Oceana Malaerion Character Portrait: Jin Takeshi

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Everyone in the guild seemed to be a bit tense in the week following the S-class competition. Jin didn't hold it against them though. Some of these wizards really needed the income from jobs to support their families, and even a week without work was enough to drain what funds they had left. Initially, he had argued with Oceana on the whole concept of a "rest week," but she had somehow managed to convince him that it was for the best. She argued that the competing wizards were liable to try and prove their rank (likely bitterness from losing the opportunity to advance) by taking difficult missions despite their injuries. Oceana, fully well knowing that Jin was a stickler for safety, had used his own priorities against him. For all the trouble and complaints however, he had to admit that the week off had given him ample time to relax and work on his knitting. His mother's new gloves testified to his productivity.

Finally, the day came that the week-long rest period would end. With it, would come an announcement that held the potential to stir a few tempers. Oceana had pitched the plan to Jin earlier in the week, and he had to admit that it was a pretty good one. With a few discussions, the pair had managed to sort out the details and minimize the possibility for complaint. Still, he could tell that there would be disagreements. That was his job to deal with though. Oceana made the plans and Jin enforced them- that had always been the way it was.

He had been in the kitchen tossing bits of lunchmeat to his cat Shiba when Oceana hopped up onto the bar counter. When he heard her squeaky attempt at an announcement, he casually stepped out into the main guild area, leaning up against one of the tables that scattered the room. The chatter wasn't dying down though. He sighed, silently praying that Oceana would at least try to be bear the authority of her position.

"Your guildmaster has an announcement. Pipe down." His voice rung through the hall and conversations began to die down. People knew better than to make him repeat himself. When silence had at last settled over the guild, Jin's eyes drifted up to meet Oceana's. While she had in fact granted Dolores S-class status the previous week, this would be the first act that was truly hers. It was her idea from start to finish and while Jin would support it, it was her job to stand by it. Steady like the tide, as his father would always say. Even though they'd grown up together, moments like this made him wonder how she was feeling. Was she nervous? Excited? His dark eyes remained focused on hers, willing her to speak with the power she had done well to earn.

The setting changes from nymphaea-city to Guild Hall

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dolores De La Fuente Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Cheneres Se-anhur IV Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Oceana Malaerion Character Portrait: Jin Takeshi

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Oceana waited for silence and watched a few more people enter the guild hall, most of them quickly noticing something was going on. As she waited, she took notice of Slick at the bar when he spoke out, using that dreaded nickname he called her. "Ey, Get on with it Shaun. I think you’ve kept the people waiting long enough." Narrowing her eyes at Slick, Oceana made a mental note to get back at him for it later, before rolling her eyes and focusing on the task at hand. This idea had been long in the making, though she had never been able to convince her father to go through with it. Scanning the room again to make sure all the necessary people, including Jin who made the final shout for silence, were present.

With everyone's attention on her, and the importance of this announcement Oceana looked to Jin for reassurance before turning to the rest of the guild. Letting her normal giddy smile and playful demeanor drop Oceana looked around the guild, her entire demeanor suddenly extremely serious.
"As you all know, I am very young to be the Guild Master. In fact, I am the youngest Guild Master Tidal Serpent has ever had. I know a lot of you believe me not ready and while I understand I sorely disagree. We have
spent too long in the shadows merely because four centuries ago our name belonged to a Dark Guild."


Oceana looked around the guild hall, passion burning bright in her eyes. Everyone knew that since she was a child she had been discontent with Tidal Serpent's image but only her grandmother, father, and Jin had know exactly how much. Continuing on, she let herself finally show that passion to her guildmates.
"That time is over. I am done watching the members of this guild be ignored and despised because of the guild's past. From this moment on Tidal Serpent is stepping out of the shadow and into the light. I want every single member of this guild to be as appreciated by others as I appreciate them, even if I have to spend the rest of my life pushing for that dream to be true."

Oceana paused and took a deep breath to calm herself before continuing on. "During the last three years, while I have worked with my father running this guild and spent time getting to know you all better, I have come up with a plan. I have decided that 8 members of Tidal Serpent will join together to be a team. This team will be the future of the guild and as such I hope each and every one of those people takes this extremely seriously." Oceana paused as a hushed murmur went through the guild hall. It was extremely rare for a guild master to put a team together, especially without talking to the supposed members beforehand. Once the guild was relatively silent again Oceana continued. "The people chosen for this team, are; Dolores De La Fuente, Keiji Okaro, Melinda Ekundayo, Slick, Cheneres, Bardulf Sherwood, Artemie Scheherazade, and Rin Hitomi." At Melinda's name any remaining chatter in the guild hall stopped, more than a few people shocked. As Oceana said the last name she let her gaze fall directly on Rin, knowing that she would probably be the one most likely to protest. Her eyes still on Rin, Oceana smiled and then finally looked away. "That is all. The ban on accepting jobs is now over. Be safe!" With that she hopped of the bar and took a seat next to her grandmother.







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Rin watched Oceana with fascination as she made her speech. Ever since Rin had been on her own she had been hiding, or at least, that was the best way to describe it. When she was still in Wolf Spirit she had been away on jobs as often as possibly and even when she was in Azalea she would only go to the guild hall to take a new job. Once she had left the guild it had been even worse, her only interactions with people outside of her jobs being a simple greeting or a chat with an innkeeper. Even now, having joined a new guild, Rin was still almost completely isolated. All this considered, Rin couldn't help be impressed by the girl that was 6 years her junior and yet able to be the center of attention confidently.

Despite Rin's mental praise when she heard her name she froze, staring back at the guild master with surprise and anger. In her mind, she heard one of her spirits telling her to calm down but she payed so little attention she couldn't even tell which one it was. Rin wanted to speak out in protest. She wanted to refuse right then and there. But, with most of the guild in the room she didn't want any more attention on her than what already was. Fuming, Rin quickly stood and stalked out of the guild hall, slamming the large doors shut behind her. As she walked away, heading towards the exit of the compound, she could hear the moment when the echoing sound of the slamming doors faded back to silence and suddenly the sound of people talking replaced it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Oceana Malaerion

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Bardulf listened to the announcement and nodded. Until the team assignment actually was announced. His warm smile about trying to ensure the Guild's reputation came out from the shadows of the past solo quickly shattered the moment his name came up on the team roster. He then began to pale even further then he ever felt possible when Melinda's name came up. "Melinda?! Is she coming back soon then? Does she even know?!" he thought. However, he reviewed the other names called before his, and had an inkling of a feeling Melinda was possibly going to be team leader, as she was the most senior member of that he knew of. Which meant she'd most likely come back.

Then he heard Rin's name being called last, before the ban was lifted. The silence was still evident over Melinda's name, until he heard the door slamming as The Swordsman Magic user jumped from the sudden noise and looked at the door before looking around to see who left in a huff. Not Keiji, he was walking to talk to Oceana, possibly about her idea of a team. He looked across the hall and noticed Rin wasn't in her corner.

His Mind told him to stay and try to communicate with his new teammates, especially Slick or Artemie. However, his gut told him to go after Rin, to try and talk to her and see what was bugging her. Besides, he could us the exercise, especially if that meant also racing into the city and visiting his Uncle Cain and his younger sister at the former's restaurant to tell him the new development. So he sprung to his feet with a cry of, "Be right back, folks!" and exited the guild hall quickly as he'd most likely follow the latter of his plans more as Rin would probably brush him off.

He looked around and saw Rin walking to the exit of the compound. He walked a bit swiftly, hoping to match her pace. "Hey newbie. Not in a social mood today?" he asked. "I mean, I'm sure you're a bit nervous about the whole team thing. You aren't the only one. I'm a bit terrified of being in the same team as Melinda."

He shivered at the thought of Melinda and her snake companion. Sure he loved the former like a surrogate mother, or older sister, but the latter would always make him jump onto a table, or at least walk a brisk four feet away to speak to Melinda, unless she had gifts. "I'm Bardulf, by the way. Friends and family call me Bard." he raised his hand as he walked to wait for a handshake from Rin. Mentally he began blushing like a maniac.

"If you screw up this first impression I won't forgive myself!" he thought.

The setting changes from guild-hall to Nymphaea City

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dolores De La Fuente Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Cheneres Se-anhur IV Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Pommel Grade Character Portrait: Oceana Malaerion

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#, as written by Tanman
Pommel Grade
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“Stupid week with stupid people doing stupid stupid…” Pommel grumbled to herself as she strode between the tables, platters loaded up on her arms up to her shoulders, drinks under her arms in a comical but impressive display of balance and waitressing skill. In practiced and precise movements, she unloaded the meals and drinks to the various patrons of the guild, smiling at those she liked and showing something akin to annoyance to those she didn’t. She’d had it had it HAD IT with the guild wizards by now. GO! Shoo! Do some jobs, get out of here! You’re making the place stink and wearing grooves into the leather! She hadn’t smelled of this much alcohol or done this much work since… Since well ever! And it SUCKED! Why oh why would Oceana do something like this? Had she done something bad? Was this a punishment for Pommel to have to be this busy for a whole week?

Petulant as ever, Pommel pouted and persevered in her work, forever trying to prove herself and be recognised for her good deeds, but for the most part going unnoticed. Cheery bright and friendly as she could be, most of those who offended her (Which pretty much only consisted of the male guild members) knew to stick clear of her when she was this grouchy, but at the same time, it was typically them who were responsible for grabbing her attention by ordering food or drinks. Ugh, why couldn’t someone cool that she actually cared about just request her assistance? Maybe the new S-Class wizard wanting a fancy wine? Oceana bringing her a new dress to try on? Just someone she could find a reasonable excuse to hang out with and chat rather than having to be an errand girl for all these lazy deadbeats!

Exhausted and at her limit, Pommel pulled out a nearby seat and leaned on the pillar by the job board, taking a long sigh as she rested. It was about time she took a break, and with Oceana making her entrance for her announcement, it looked like she’d be getting her chance. Sitting up to listen intently to the declaration, Pommel internally and externally beamed at seeing Oceana take charge. That was just like a powerful wizard like her to take point and lead like this. Oceana was a woman with vision for the future. No doubt she had some cool, amazing strategy to propel Tidal Serpent to the top of the popularity polls in Sorcerer’s Weekly! Leaning in, Pommel waited with baited breath…

“…I have decided that 8 members of Tidal Serpent will join together to be a team…” Looking up from her spot, Pommel briefly thought she saw Oceana make eye contact with her. Her heart skipped a beat. W-was this it?! Was she being selected to become an important wizard that would shape the very future of Tidal Serpent?! Oh, she knew Oceana believed in her and her abilities, but this was going to be a bit sudden! Being placed on a team with her and Melinda and all the other best warriors that Tidal Serpent had, no doubt she’d get the opportunity to learn and really start being a valued member of the guild! Oh, Oceana was so wonderful thinking of her like that! This was it, her moment to shine! All the hard work was paying off! She’d begin as the junior member of the team, but in moments she would rise to be the star member! Maybe she’d even get her own article in Sorcerer’s Weekly? She could see the headlines now: ‘Young Prodigy Wizard takes the magic world by storm!’

"The people chosen for this team, are; Dolores De La Fuente, Keiji Okaro, Melinda Ekundayo, Slick, Cheneres, Bardulf Sherwood, Artemie Scheherazade, and Rin Hitomi." Pommel listened, nodding all the while. Ugh, Slick. And that loud idiot Chen. Well, there had to be SOME rookies besides herself that would…- Wait. Pommel paused, playing back the team in her mind. Then, she hung her head in shame. Of course she wasn’t part of the team… What had she even been thinking? She wasn’t even a qualified wizard! Oooohhhh…. She’d really gotten her hopes up that she’d get the chance to join and work with her idols. Man, this stunk! Melinda was already always away, but now that Dolores was on a team with her, along with two other powerful female wizards, they’d probably be gone even more often. Sighing, she leaned back on her seat against the wall.

"That is all. The ban on accepting jobs is now over. Be safe!" Following that announcement, Pommel was caught in a stampede for the second time in a week as eager wizards hurried to the job board for the best opportunities.


Slick
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Reaching for his drink, Slick slowly took a light sip as he listened to their new guildmaster’s heartfelt declaration. He was always impressed with the passion and dedication that Oceana showed for the guild, and had no doubt some of that rubbed off on everyone else. Sure, it was his home and family too, but he could never quite show the drive or spirit that she did. There was just something inspiring about the honesty and pride she showed whenever Tidal Serpent came up. The guild was her life, and she’d take no disrespect for it from anyone. In fact, it was probably that aspect of her nature that lead to her becoming the new guild master, regardless of her heritage. Naïve and inexperienced as she may be, Slick couldn’t think of anyone else that was more fitting or deserving of the title.

That said… Well, her plan just seemed absurd. Even Slick had to scoff at the idea of a wizard team going off and doing who knows what to get the guild’s name out there. But hey, it was Oceana’s pet project. He’d help her plan and budget for it, along with its probable failure. It’d be a good lesson like that which would teach her that turning things around wasn’t as simple as just bringing people together to work as a team. Eight people was a lot of resources, and it just didn’t seem efficient unless she planned on them doing some truly incredible work. Still, it’d be interesting to keep track of from the sidelines. Watching Oceana continue to explain over the rim of his glass, Slick listened with intrigue as she listed off the cast of her new show. The S-Classes - Yeah, no surprises there if she intended for them to do something huge. Then came the kicker. Slick nearly spat his drink across the room as his name was listed, but not only that, Chen, Bard and that mousy girl from the library. He wasn’t going to complain about being put on a team with women, but it all seemed a bit ridiculous – He’d worked solo for years now.

Setting his drink down on the bar and looking up to Oceana, he tried to meet her eyes and get some sort of response out of her for this joke. She couldn't be serious. When he met her gaze however, it wasn’t the kind or joking expression he was hoping for. Instead, there was naught but a mischievous smile, and under the noisy mass discussion going around the guild, Slick made out the syllables she wordlessly spoke under her breath at him. She wasn’t messing with him. Well, she was and she wasn’t. He was actually a part of this team, but she was most certainly doing it to rattle him. Ugh, she knew just how to get under his skin sometimes. Was this a response to calling her by that moniker in front of everyone? Adjusting the glasses that had slipped from his face, he watched Rin, the eighth member of the team storm off. Clearly she wasn’t happy about this either. Amusingly, Bard seemed to be taking more initiative then Slick had anticipated the shy lad had in him by chasing after her. Ah well, best of luck to him. He was a good fellow, hopefully it’d work out.

Turning back to Oceana, Slick tried to raise his concerns over the din of people heading to the job’s board, but was silenced by a few hearty slaps on the back as some of his fellow guildmates wished him ‘luck’ with Oceana’s pet project, laughing at his predicament all the while. It was during this that Keiji took the opportunity to request a meeting with the guildmaster, obviously having his own qualms with the setup. Heh, if Oceana had her mind set on this, it was unlikely she’d call it off. Change it slightly, maybe, but that was a long shot, even for a charmer like him. Still, it’d do Keiji to learn some humility and ‘lose’ to Oceana. It wasn’t like Slick was still bitter about the promo tournament at this point, but he was amused to see the tempered fellow losing something.

Letting Keiji have his talk with her upstairs, Slick would have his own private chat with her later about the whole thing. She hadn’t really given them any details of what she expected of the team, other than them taking it seriously. Did she have a job in mind? Or were they just going to be an overkill squadron doing some odd S-Rank jobs? Even if she’d intended for it to be a big surprise, he wished she’d given him some prior notice so he could do some planning and work out the logistics of it all. Depending on what they were doing, Wizards like him and Chen might be made redundant in the face of the job they were assigned. Well, no sense dwelling on it for now or worrying about it. He was Slick after all. He couldn’t let something like this phase him too much. Time to roll with it.

With Oceana, Keiji, Rin and Bard all occupied, Melinda nowhere in sight, and Chen being Chen; Slick briefly scanned the crowd for any sign for the remaining lovely two team members that he’d been assigned to. With the aid of his magic, it only took a split-second to identify Dolores in the crowd, along with Artemie poised behind a pillar for support and possibly protection from everyone. Both were lovely in their own way, and conveniently enough, were only across the bar and a stone’s throw away from each other. Pushing off the bar, Slick slid his way over towards the two, seamlessly moving into place beside Dolore’s, but facing the pillar Artemie found herself behind. Snapping his fingers in her direction, he flashed a smile.

“Well ladies, looks like you’re gonna be stuck with me until our ever-wise guild master says otherwise. I mean, we’re gonna have to make the most of this, so we may as well get to know each other more intimately than we already do, yeah? Boss’s orders that we get along and all that.” Cocking his head in Dolore’s direction to see if she was paying attention as well, he turned his attention back to Artemie for the moment, lifting his glasses with a wink. “And don’t worry Art, if Dolly here is too uptight to watch out for you, I’ve got your back.” Thumbing at his chest, Slick nudged the smoke dragon slayer in the side. “Ain’t that right Dolly?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro

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Rin had almost reached the large arch marking the guild property line when she heard someone call out to her from behind. "Hey newbie. Not in a social mood today?" Rin's steps faltered for a moment but she quickly caught herself and looked away from the blonde man. She could still hear her spirits in the back of her mind, whom had been yelling at her since she stormed out, but she blocked them out so she could focus more on her surroundings. Speeding up a bit she hoped the other wizard would get the hint and leave her be.

"I mean, I'm sure you're a bit nervous about the whole team thing. You aren't the only one. I'm a bit terrified of being in the same team as Melinda." Rin looked back at him, slightly exasperated. Obviously he had taken her silence as a cue to keep talking. Stopping Rin sighed and let the man finish his chit-chat. "I'm Bardulf, by the way. Friends and family call me Bard." As he stepped in front of her and held out his hand Rin let out another sigh before forcing a smile and grasping his hand in hers. "It's nice to meet you Bardulf. I'm Rin Hitomi." Rin made sure not to call the wizard by Bard, wanting to make sure he realized they were in no way friends. As she gave his hand a firm shake she suddenly paused and looked over her shoulder to see Keiji exiting the guild hall and look around before seeing Rin and Bardulf and starting towards them. Quickly letting go of the blonde's hand Rin stepped to the side. "Sorry but it seems I have to go. Have a nice day." Though her fake smile was still in place, her voice had a hollow quality to it that revealed the celestial wizards current mood.

Stepping away, Rin quickly walked past Bardulf and passed under the arch. Glancing back once more Rin quickly made the decision to not go straight home, instead heading towards the market district. While she had nothing against the S-Class Wizard, she knew it would be far easier for him to feel her repressed magic power and he also had a look that seemed to shout 'I really don't want to do this but I don't have a choice' so she assumed he had reluctantly agreed to the team in which case she had no interest talking with him.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro

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Keiji Okaro

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With the talk not having gone as planned and Keiji having resigned himself to his position, he made his way towards the doors of the guild hall with the intent of finding the most likely retreating Rin in order to have a quick talk with her. He wasn’t looking forward to it, but he felt like her resistance to the team was very visibly displayed, and he had to ensure that when the time came, she would take the order in stride. Keiji didn’t want to have the talk, and if he believed someone else could have done it, he might have asked them. Still, he felt a somewhat connection to her, if only in her methodology and personality. He had been with the guild far longer than her, and while they had never had long conversations or worked together before, he could relate at the very least. Keiji reached the doors and pushed them open with miniscule effort, to be greeted with the early morning sun.

Keiji squinted at first, his eyes adjusting to the light and peering around for his quarry. There, off to the side and leading away from the Guild grounds, Rin was actually talking to Bardulf by the looks of it. An A class wizard, requip magic if Keiji remembered correctly. Rin seemed to glance behind her, and upon seeing Keiji...or maybe something else but that was the most likely case, Rin took off towards the town. Had she stayed talking with Bardulf, Keiji might have let her be. It would have been an indication that she was at least willing to entertain the thought of dealing with others. Her reaction led Keiji to believe that wasn’t the case however, and despite his misgivings about the entire situation, took off in a brisk stride after her. He did pause for a moment to look over at the Swordsman. “Bardulf.” Keiji stated, giving a nod. “I'm looking forward to seeing what you’re capable of.” A small little line that would hopefully propel Bardulf into giving everything he had into the jobs to come. For now, he had a bit tougher of a target to deal with as he quickened his pace once more to chase after the fleeing Celestial Mage.

As the younger wizard lead Keiji into the marketplace, he knew what was going to happen. With her smaller stature, she would try to lose Keiji through the early morning crowds and traders. Even as he thought this, people of all shapes and sizes started to filter into the streets, people hocking wares and the early risers all smiling as they planned out their purchases for the rest of the day. Keiji narrowed his eyes, but wasn’t within range to start yelling her name above the increasing noise of the city. He politely moved people out of his way, his patience overcoming the natural instinct to clear a path in front of him through overwhelming force. He gave a quick sigh as she flowed through the people as if they weren’t there, while the bulkier Keiji was constantly jostled around like he was a pinball. Eventually he got into a rhythm though, and could see that his longer strides were starting to gain ground on the young mage.

She glanced over her shoulders, obviously catching sight of the easily distinguishable Keiji. She must have deemed her current tactic to not be working, because she quickly darted to the side and entered an alley. Keiji gave a bit of a sigh, hoping that it would dead end and he could have this increasingly painful conversation with the woman so that he could head back to the guild hall and hopefully figure out a way to make the rest of this transition easier on himself. For now, his focus was on making sure Rin understood her situation at the unspoken behest of the Guild Master herself.

Upon entering the alley, Keiji was greeted by a screeching fiery bird flying directly over his head. Instinctively he ducked as his body glowed a golden sheen, his body aegis naturally coming into effect as an almost automatic defense to danger. He looked up, narrowing his eyes through the skies as the bird flew around in circles, obviously watching with the intention of either distracting or stopping him. It was adorable, in its own way, tiny yet annoying as it cooed almost tauntingly towards him. Unfortunately, it had already lost the element of surprise and Keiji doubted it could do anything to actually harm him. Interesting that she would loose her spirits to stall me though, really dedicating yourself to the lone wolf thing huh? Keiji thought to himself as he walked forward. The bird flew in every so often to try and intimidate him, but even the few times it nicked him its talons glanced harmlessly off his body aegis. Keiji exited the alley, peering in a few different directions and was able to pick Rin’s head out of the crowd.

He made to turn towards her, when the Phoenix came down to eye level, glowing brightly as its form changed into that of the typical Phoenix of lore. Bright wings of flickering fire licked at the air around it as it cried out in what could only be a call to battle. This bird, nearly Keiji’s size, puffed out its wings and let loose with an assortment of fire. Ball after ball of flame launched forward, impacting on Keiji with an almost admirable accuracy as they all seemed to hit their mark. Before the smoke had even settled, a bright gold sigil appeared behind the bird and propelled it forward with such force that it was sent into an uncontrollable spin. Despite this, or maybe because it was planned, Keiji’s hand reached out from the smoke and grasped the Phoenix’s neck with an almost audible crunch. The Phoenix started to panic, striking at Keiji with it’s claws as he stepped out from the smoking hole that was the target area, golden wisps of air flowing around him like a light fabric being blown about by the wind. Keiji glared at the spirit, his gaze a very clear threat of someone who was doing his best to not do what he always did...which was solve this problem in the most violent manner possible.

”Go home spirit.” Keiji stated through clenched teeth, this entire situation getting way too close to actual battle for his composure to remain solid. The bird squawked slightly before Keiji’s grip tightened and it went limp in his hand. He didn’t kill it, did he? No, he didn’t think he had the power to kill celestial spirits...or at least he had never tried. The bird’s flames slowly died and the entire body quickly turned to ash afterwards, which were then carried off by the breeze. Keiji watched them float on, his body aegis dissipating as he did so. Well turning to ash was never a good omen as far as he was concerned, but he didn’t really have the time nor care to worry about such a thing right now. Once the moment had passed, he glanced around once more and was dismayed to learn that Rin had fled the scene. Keiji narrowed his eyes over the crowd, had she not stayed to see if her bird could stop him? No, it was meant as a distraction, she would have left long ago. While Keiji hadn’t wanted to resort to more...upfront tactics, he felt the time for subtlety was over. A gold sigil formed beneath him as more than a few people continued to stare. With a great gust of air and the cracking of the foundation beneath him, Keiji shot into the air like a bullet.

A few moments later, at the apex of his jump, another sigil appeared that acted as solid ground, allowing him to stand above the city to look down upon the inhabitants. He had lost Rin in the time it had taken him to deal with the Rat, so he started peering through the crowds but initially thought that it would be impossible to find her. Luck happened to be on his side though, for that was the only reason he managed to catch a glimpse of her as she broke through a crowd briefly before entering another one. Keiji launched himself at her again, landing just far enough away from people to avoid civilian injury, but hard enough to crack the concrete upon his landing. Honestly, he really did need to learn how to figure out his ‘gentle touch’ approach.

Upon seeing him land, Rin stumbled backwards slightly, and looked ready to bolt in the other direction. A quick flick of his wrist, and the woman was surrounded by Force Sigils that prevented her from leaving, but otherwise did nothing. Keiji straightened his hoodie, bending down and wiping a bit of dust and dirt from his jeans. ”Your actions so far are not making me confident in your ability to be trusted.” Keiji stated in a very calm but demanding manner as he finished cleaning his clothes. With that done, he walked closer, not invading her personal space but making it clear that he wasn’t to be ignored. ”We’re going to have a talk...about the potential problems you might have working as a team.” A very hypocritical statement coming from Keiji, but hopefully he would learn something about what it was to work with others closely through this interaction.

The setting changes from nymphaea-city to Guild Hall

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro

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Bard smiled a small bit when she smiled, not caring if it was slightly forced, she probably wasn't the social type. She then shook his hand and introduced herself as Rin. "Whew, least I didn't totally botch it up. However, she doesn't seem to want to be friends yet." he thought as Rin suddenly excused herself from the conversation and left.

"Okay, nice meeting you! I guess I'll see you later? Maybe?" He supposed he couldn't hear her but it didn't matter, because then he was interrupted from his train of thought by Keiji. "Oh! Hello there, Keiji, I mean, Hi Mr. Okaro, ahem."

The S Class Wizard gave him a slightly encouraging message about showing him what he could do on future Jobs as he nodded vigorously. "Y-Yes sir! I won't disappoint!" he replied to the departing Keiji. Sighing he retreated into his own mental state of mind as he simply walked towards the park in the compound, more specifically towards the fountain, where he'll sit for a while and contemplate on the announcement.

"It was nice that I broke the ice with Miss Hitomi, or Rin... however she wants to be called next time I see her. Hopefully she'll ease up and be a little social. Those eyes though, they make me think of rubies." He thought before shaking his head. "Wait a minute, wasn't I going to visit my family at the Restaurant? Oh well, I'll call Uncle Cain and Little Sis later. They'll be thrilled to know I'm on a team that's for sure. Here's hoping I don't mess up."

Reaching his destination he sat down on near the fountain and pulled out his book and began writing in it again, continuing where he left off. He'd find his journal and update it later on how this day marks the beginning of something fantastic.

The setting changes from guild-hall to Nymphaea City

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade

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It's been two days, Bard was wondering when the team would be sent underway on a mission. At one point during the period, he did ask Oceana what his role on the team was, but he was met with cryptic words. At this he thought one thing. "She's as bad as Robyn as far as telling me what I want to know."

As he thought this, barking rang in his ears as he sat up from his bed. "Dio... shut up. I'm coming you devil of a dog." He got dress and then walked out to his living room. He looked at the the one year old dachshund waiting for him. Dio wagged his tail expectingly. Bard sighed and pulled out a small treat and tossed it to him. The dog snapped it up gladly before running to a dog door that lead to a porch that was magically designed to house him in case his Master was away. That didn't stop the dog from pooping somewhere indoors when Bard was away however.

Sighing he walked off after bidding a small wave toward the dog door, heading towards the guild hall for his usual business. When he arrived at the guild hall he saw who had arrived so far and gave a small wave. He looked at Slick and nodded towards him. That was his usual greeting to his sometimes friend. They would usually play chess together sometime. However this time Bard had another query in mind. "What's the news of today Slick?". He sat down at a table nearest to them and waited for any signs of the rest of the team.

He couldn't wait to get started, and maybe give a good first impression as a team player. He swallowed nervously st the thought of it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Cheneres Se-anhur IV Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Pommel Grade Character Portrait: Oceana Malaerion

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Keiji Okaro
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Keiji wandered through the courtyard that was the Tidal Serpent’s official grounds, passing his gaze over wizards of all kinds as he moved through the area, subconsciously judging their battle capabilities without any means to stop himself. Oceana had called their group together for their first mission, according to the paper airplane that had magically flown into Keiji’s window at his dorm. The S class wizard could feel his independence slipping away ever so slightly as he realized that he wouldn’t be able to pick the cream of the crop from the S ranked jobs anymore for fear of potentially putting his team at risk. A slight grinding of the teeth was all the reminder he needed that he should push such thoughts out of his mind. In the end, this was for the guild, and he would suffer whatever indignities they would force upon him.

It was still early, and he doubted the others would be there already, but Keiji preferred to be more than punctual when dealing with matters that concerned the guild master. So Keiji approached the guild hall and placed his hand on the door. The moment he stepped inside, there was a loud thud followed by muffled cries of several partially censored curses. Keiji peered inside, his eyes finally resting on what appeared to be a very drunk and passed out Cheneres currently laying on top of Pommel. A spirited girl to say the least, but even with all that passion that she sometimes directed into what could be called unnecessary aggression, she couldn’t appear to move Chenere’s bulk. Keiji took this as his cue to stroll inside, passing a few people who looked ready to move and help, but upon seeing Keiji stride with purpose towards the A class drunkard, sat back down. The man was anything but small, but with a little effort, Keiji was able to lift the man off of the small barkeep and onto his shoulder in a sort of fireman’s carry. This earned an exasperated sigh from Pommel as she slowly stood from her prone position.

“Well it’s about time someone took that dumb drunk doofus off me! Honestly, why do I always get stuck having to everything around here? I-” When she finally reached her standing position and dusted herself off slightly, her eyes finally drifted upwards in the middle of her rant to stop her words cold as she faced off against Keiji. His expression was neutral as always, cocking an eyebrow slightly as he stared down at her.

“If this is a problem for you, I could give you strength training.” Keiji offered, although inwardly he wondered just how often she had drunk wizards falling on top of her, and made a mental note to do something to prevent such an occurrence from becoming the norm. Pommel’s cheeks seemed to flush slightly as she stared at Keiji more out of shock than anything else before breaking eye contact, taking a deep breath and swallowing slightly.

“The problem is that dingus...not me.” She muttered under her breath, although she didn’t seem too sure of herself. Confidence was something a wizard needed to have, and while she had made progress over the years, Keiji could see that she still needed a fair bit of work. “Just get out of here already!” She barked at Keiji, turning around and storming off in a huff as she disappeared into the kitchen. Keiji stood there for a moment, confused as to whether he had done something wrong before turning around and seeing the eyes currently on him and the unconscious Cheneres over his shoulder. Upon his movement, the rest of the Serpent wizards went back to whatever they were doing, pretending as if they hadn’t been staring at the slight exchange. Keiji ignored it, not like it mattered much to him anyways. Instead he carried Cheneres out of the hall and straight across the grounds until he came upon the fountain in the middle of their property, a mighty serpent spewing water as a symbol of their guild.

With all the tact of a bull in a china shop, Keiji threw Cheneres into the fountain with a mighty heft, sending a small wave of water cascading into the air and drenching a couple of nearby wizards as they hurried to get themselves out of the blast zone. Keiji stood there for a moment, arms crossed as nothing happened for a few seconds. Either it took this long for Cheneres to wake up, or maybe he was simply waiting for the dramatic timing to be perfect as bubbles slowly appeared on the surface and finally Cheneres burst from the very shallow depths with a bellow that echoed throughout the ground. His eyes darted back and forth, his teeth bared as he beckoned a challenge. “Who dares wake the mighty Cheneres!” The Sand God wizard bellowed, his eyes finally coming upon Keiji who couldn’t have looked more unimpressed if he actually tried. Upon seeing the S class wizard, Cheneres seemed to mellow for a second, barely taking a moment to register the potential implications of Keiji being the one to wake him before giving a simple “Oh.” in response before slumping over the side of the fountain and somehow promptly falling back asleep. Keiji stared at the man for a second before pinching the bridge of his nose and tapping it slightly. This was not a good sign in the slightest as Keiji walked over and grabbed the man by the scruff of his neck. Chenere’s bulk required a slight use of Keiji’s magic in order to heft him with one hand, a soft golden glow appearing over Keiji’s right arm to signify the usage of such as he pulled him out of the fountain and onto the ground. Keiji peered at him on the ground, considering leaving him there and miss the meeting, maybe even the job, but couldn’t bring himself to do it. He had been asked...or more bluntly put, told that he should do his best to ensure the team’s success.

With very little grace, Keiji hefted the man once more, now dripping wet and being carried by a man who had very little patience for such a thing. With a determined walk that could only be attributed to getting the wet sack of a drunk off of his shoulder, Keiji made his way back into the Guild Hall. Naturally the sight brought with it a few stares as Keiji made his way towards the area where everyone seemed to be gathering. With a less than ceremonial movement, Keiji dumped Cheneres into a chair with enough force to wake the wizard once more as his twitching head seemed to indicate. It seemed like Slick and Bardulf were already present along with Oceana standing there doing her best to look...masterly? Keiji calmly pulled out a chair among the others and sat down. There, he seemed content to simply start cracking his knuckles as he waited for everyone else to show and for the briefing to start.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dolores De La Fuente Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Cheneres Se-anhur IV Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Pommel Grade Character Portrait: Oceana Malaerion Character Portrait: Jin Takeshi

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Slick
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“So… She’s a work colleague?” The black haired girl asked, pulling the platter to her chest after she placed Slick’s coffee in front of him. She was young, somewhere in her early twenties, hair in a ponytail and somewhat pretty, with nice blue eyes. She was the only person that worked at this small establishment. At least, ever since her father became ill. The modest café known as the Treat Chest, was tucked away in the city, and it was where Slick had taken Artemie a few days ago. Nori was a hard worker, but despite that, her business had been failing for some time. She just didn’t know how to run things on her own, despite having worked under her old man. I guess she could consider herself lucky that she’d had the idea to hire an accountant to help sort her businesses finances. Ever since then, Slick had slowly been working to help promote the place and bring it back onto its feet. Apparently he planned to take a cut of the profits later, but for now, he was helping finance its operation.

Sipping of the blend, Slick nodded slowly, savouring the taste before decided to speak. “Yeah. I’ve known Artemie for some time now. She’s… Odd, but loyal to a fault. No matter what she or others think, she’s incredibly strong. She’s a good friend.” Smiling to Nori, it seemed it was infectious as she returned it with one of her own. “Oh, good. I mean uh, good that you’ve got such reliable friends.” Laughing off her silly comment, Nori continued to stand by the table to chat with him. It wasn’t like there was any other customers, despite Slick’s attempts to generate interest in the place. “I’m pretty lucky like that. Give it time Nori, you’re friendly and likable. Keep it up and you’ll generate a rapport with your customers.”

“You really think so?” Nori seemed a bit taken aback, pleasantly surprised by his comments. Slick simply nodded again as he sipped the rest of his coffee, setting the empty cup back down. “Of course. I’m always sincere in my compliments Nori.” Sitting up, Slick placed a hand to her shoulder, giving her a wink before heading for the door. “I don’t know how long I’ll be gone for work, but I’ve set out a spending and business plan for you. Give it a read, and hopefully you’ll be able to pull people in by the time I come back.” Waving to her, Nori returned the gesture with her own. “Thank you Slick. I’ll be waiting for you with a fresh coffee when you return.”


Slick wasn’t the first to arrive at the meeting place in the guild hall. Already there were a few people waiting. Oceana and Jin were a given, and Artemie was always pretty prompt, so it wasn’t entirely surprising as he took a seat. Even Pommel was there, and seemed to be working as their private caterer. Sliding into a seat and taking a small handful of nuts from the table, Slick casually snacked on them while waiting for the rest of the group. Jin had asked for him to gather the rest of the team for today, but he’d also asked Keiji, so the big S-Man could probably handle that. Besides, the team was mostly reliable, and despite knowing where Rin and Dolores spent their free time, he wasn’t so foolhardy as to go and drag them here. He’d told them the time and place. That was enough as far as he was concerned. They seemed reasonable enough to at least turn up for this meeting.

Slick contemplated chatting with Artemie once more, but before he could, he felt the presence of another to his side, scanning his peripheral vision to see Bard approaching, meeting his nod with one of his own. "What's the news of today Slick?" Was the question as he approached, Slick giving a faint shrug and a smile. “Nothing as of yet. Shaun is being as cryptic as ever with how we’re going to start this, so it seems we’ll have to wait for everyone to turn up first before we start.” Leaning back in his seat, Slick eyed Bard for a second more before deciding to have some fun with him. “You wouldn’t have happened to have seen Rin, would you? She seemed even more hesitant to show up then Dolly girl.”

Enjoying Bard’s reaction to his question, Slick looked to the doors at the loud sound, and watched with some mild amusement as Keiji brought Chen in to join them too, the man drenched and looking more than a bit out of it. Glancing back up to Keiji, Slick gave a small salute. “’Sup Keiji? I see you brought Chen along. Don’t suppose you saw Dolly or Rin on your way here?” Smirking slightly, Slick drew some joy in overworking the fellow, as well as poking fun at any inadequacies he did have. He wasn’t jealous. Never.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Cheneres Se-anhur IV Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Pommel Grade Character Portrait: Oceana Malaerion Character Portrait: Jin Takeshi

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Pommel Grade
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”Ugh, this isn’t what I had in mind…” Pommel muttered to herself as she descended the stairs to speak with the others. Though Oceana had been nice in having her help pick the mission and discuss the team, now she was running errands as a messenger girl. Worst of all was the first task she’d been assigned, one of the last things she wanted to do. Making her way over to the group, she noticed that she seemed to have drawn some of their attention, probably because they knew she was helping Oceana. That didn’t bother her so much. In fact, she enjoyed being the focus. The problem was…

”Keiji.” Speaking his name, she spoke curtly. As he looked up to her, she looked to the side, arms folded. Was she mad or something? ”Sis-Er, the Guild Master wants to speak with you upstairs.” She clarified, trying to sound a bit more formal. Pivoting on her heel and taking long strides back towards the stairs, she called over her shoulder as she made her way back up. ”Follow me please.”

Keiji didn’t bother questioning the sudden request to see Oceana in private, chances are she needed to run through some of the finer details of the mission before they actually embarked on it. Although he was perplexed as to what Pommel’s issue with him was, considering her stance and cold demeanor towards him seemed to indicate that he had slighted her in some way. Once again, he reminded himself to figure out the problem and solve it, but for the moment he had to focus on the task at hand.

Quickly climbing the stairs, Pommel lead him to Oceana who stood with Jin seemingly in conversation about something. “Oceana.” There was no trace of good nature in the name, only an unexplained urgency. “The people in town have been talking a lot recently. It seems like ‘they’ve’ resurfaced.” He was purposely vague, but he was sure the guildmaster would understand exactly what he meant. Jin stopped upon seeing Keiji causing to Ocean to turn and look as well. Jin didn’t bother with any sort of greeting, he was more focused on getting to the task at hand.

“Is there an issue with the job?” Keiji asked, holding his hands behind his back like he was standing at attention.

Oceana pursed her lips for a moment before sighing and turning back to Jin. “Thank you for telling me. We can talk about the other thing after I send the new team out.

“Sure thing boss.” Jin’s words were brief and straightforward, but a shadow of some foreign emotion crossed his face. “I don’t suggest we wait too long to address this issue- but we’ll discuss this later.”

Jin tried his best to force a smile at his friend, with little success. He was too damn tired and stressed. Without another word, he turned. He came face to face with Keiji, but figured that the man needed no words of encouragement in order to perform his job efficiently. He didn’t operate like the others- at least Jin didn’t think he did. Still, he figured it was appropriate that he at least acknowledge the wizard as he left. Offering Keiji a curt nod, he pushed his way out of the office and left the two to discuss whatever needed to be discussed.

As the door shut behind Jin, Oceana smiled at Keiji and Pommel, motioning for them to come over to her desk as she rounded it and sat as she addressed Keiji’s question. “No, there is no issue with the job per say. Dolores has been called away for an urgent issue which she had previous experience with. That being said she obviously is not going to be joining you for this job and likely will return after the rest of you.” Oceana paused to shuffle through the papers she and Pommel had been going through before pulling one out and handing it to Keiji. “This is the job you are taking. Miss Pommel and myself have already arranged your transportation and we called ahead to reserve rooms for you at the local inn. You leave at 3pm.

Moving up towards Keiji slightly, Pommel fished around her pocket a moment before pulling out an envelope, waving it in front of Keiji. “It’s in my name, but this has the tickets for the ride and the jewel to pay at the inn, so don’t lose it, got it?” Stopping her hand motions, she gave Keiji a moment to take the envelope. “And don’t make any trouble either, I don’t want to be blacklisted in case I need to take any trips out that way.” Pommel added with a huff, turning away. She seemed kind of irritable about the whole thing. Maybe finding out about the absence of Dolores had put her in a worse mood…

”Noted.” Keiji stated as he took the envelope out of Pommel’s hand. He took that one and slid it into one of his pockets, not bothering to check the contents inside. He took the paper handed to him from Oceana instead and started reading. His eyes quickly went side to side like a typewriter, doing his best to memorize the contents before he folded it up and placed it in his pocket as well. Keiji seemed to pause for a second, taking a moment to collect his thoughts on the job at hand. ”Without Dolores, that makes me the only S-ranking member of this team.” Keiji stated, looking up at Oceana. He didn’t want to put down any of the other’s abilities, but this was an S-ranked job, and with a lot of potential for combat it would seem. In fact, it was practically guaranteed that they would have to fight at some point. ”I won’t be able to look out for everyone.” It was simple math, there were too many people on his team for him to possible protect everyone at once should worse come to worse, and he wanted Oceana to understand that. This might be an opportunity for everyone to prove themselves, but it was also a risk for people to get seriously injured or killed.

Oceana smiled at Keiji and rolled her eyes. “Keiji your team, including yourself, has 8 members in it. Even with Dolores and Melinda absent I am absolutely sure that you have plenty of manpower. Besides, we both know that Slick has the magical ability of an S-Class wizard. He just hasn’t won the trials yet. And not to mention Cheneres being with you. I mean, I know he acts like a drunken fool at the guild hall but he usually sobers up and takes his jobs seriously.” Oceana nodded and then went about starting to clean up the mess on her desk. ”I have no doubt in your team’s abilities to take care of themselves. Well, for the most part.” Oceana chuckled and then smiled at Pommel. “Thank you for your help with the preparations Pommy. If you’d like to go back downstairs to finish the parting gift you were preparing for the team you can. I just need to organize this. Oh! And if either of you see Jin can you send him back in here? Thanks!” Without waiting for an answer from either wizard Oceana picked up a pile of papers and turned away to put them in their proper places, verbally and physically dismissing the two.

“Not a problem sis!” Grinning happily with a cock of her head, Pommel moved out and downstairs with Keiji, the smile not leaving her face until they were out of sight and earshot of Oceana. With the door closed behind them, her face immediately did a 180 as it turned stern, the small girl doing her best to stand tall and intimidating. Even on tippy toes, it wasn’t very successful, but she wasn’t about to back down now. “Oceana’s really counting on this, Keiji, so don’t screw it up. I know it’s going to be hard without Dolores leading the charge, but just, try to be as good as she would’ve been okay? If you ruin this, I’ll make sure you regret it, understand?” Getting up in Keiji’s face as Pommel continued to frown in Keiji’s direction, it seemed the little wizard didn’t have nearly as much faith as Oceana, especially with one of her favourite wizards out of the picture. Still, there was something charming about the gusto used in threatening the S-Class wizard.

”When I get back, we’re going to solve this problem that you seem to have with me.” Keiji stated in a firm tone, although it wasn’t quite a challenging one yet. If she were any other wizard in the guild, Keiji would have already nipped this in the bud preferably with a strong worded argument...or his other chosen method of fixing issues. He had no idea what he had done to piss her off, so the first step was to figure that out. That was something for another day though, for now he brushed past her. If she wasn’t going to treat him with the respect his position deserved, he felt no need to do the same. With the paper for the job in hand, he made his way in front of the team...his team? He doubted anyone would let him get away with calling it his team if only for pride and reputation sake. Before he could say anything, the door to the guild hall opened up and Rin appeared more than a few minutes late for the meeting. She took her time getting to her seat, although there was something off about her...was that paint on her face? What had she been doing? Regardless, Keiji was just glad that she had kept her promise and showed up. With the interruption out of the way, Keiji started the mini brief. ”Listen up.” Keiji stated, waiting a couple of moments to make sure everyone was paying attention to him.

”First, let me start by saying Dolores won’t be joining us for this job. Her responsibilities have pulled her elsewhere.” Keiji took a moment to read through the parchment again, wanting to make sure he didn’t miss anything important. ”The job is as follows: A Dark Guild running under the moniker of Laguna Fury has taken over a village and has threatened death on anyone attempting to leave. They’ve started terrorizing the populace, looting, stealing, basically everything that you would associate to these people. The objective is simple...get in there, remove them from the town.” Keiji flipped the page over, just to make sure that there wasn’t any more information that he was missing before folding it up and returning it to his pocket. ”It shouldn’t need to be said, but I’ll state it anyways. Seeing as this made its way to the S-ranked job board, we can safely assume that they have a few wizards of incredible skill to warrant needing our attention. Implying that just because there’s a number of us going on this mission doesn’t mean it will be easy.”

Keiji looked around to the others for a moment, seeing if they fully understood what he meant or if they believed he was simply putting on airs for them. He was more concerned with Rin and Cheneres out of the bunch, not necessarily because their skills were lacking, but because, like himself, they were not team players. ”We leave at 3pm, have everything you need ready by then and meet at the train station. Any questions?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Cheneres Se-anhur IV Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Pommel Grade

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Something about painting and changing her clothing before going to meeting (has paint on face)
Make comment about how the stuff they talk about could have been sent on magical paper airplane
Don't remember rest x-x sowwy

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Cheneres Se-anhur IV Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Pommel Grade

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Bardulf watched everyone trickle in slowly as the team assembled. He nodded at Slick's statement as he mused and muddled over what could be said. "This job, it could make or break whatever Oceana has planned for the guild. Well whatever it might be I'm with them to the end. This is my guild. My family." he thought as the team assembled together. He chuckled at Cheneres' entrance and stopped when poor Pommel nearly got flattened by the inebriated Sand Wizard. He noted the absence of Dolores and Rin. He half wondered what's taking either of them so long, and decided to treat himself to a cup of coffee. It would keep him awake for the train ride (if there was to be one).

He watched Keiji approach the assembled group and prepared to speak when Rin came into the guild with... paint on her face? Either that was some kind of war paint or someone enjoyed painting. He wouldn't dare tell her either of those statements out loud. No need to pry in her spare time activities.

Bard then heard Keiji's call of attention and straightened his back in his seat as he sipped his coffee. He listened carefully and nodded at Dolores' reasons for not joining this mission at this time. It was a shame but that meant he had the full attention of Keiji to worry about. He swallowed the swig of coffee in his mouth nervously and with tact.

"Oh crud. I hope I don't screw up in front of him, heck screwing up is bad for the whole guild. Gah, already went over this Brain!" He thought worriedly. But then the job itself was announced by Keiji and he listened carefully. A dark guild called Laguna Fury took over a village, and is doing everything in its power to terrorize it. Bard clenched his jaw as his own imagination visualized what Laguna Fury was doing. Monstrous was first word in his mind. The horrible fact they looting, stealing was not in his mind, the unspoken evils were what put monstrous in his head. Kidnapping above all, as he recalled the disappearance of his own mother, never to be heard from again, though he fervently hid any assumptions for his sister's sake.

"How...how dare they?!"

Crack!

Bard stopped his rapid thinking and looked at his grip on his coffee cup, finding that it caused a small crack upon it. He quickly eased his grip on the cup and downed the rest of its contents as Keiji asked if there were any questions. Bard heard Rin's outburst about the meeting and sighed. "I have no questions myself, only the statement of seeing you all at 3, as I myself am prepared to go as of now." He stated, getting up and walked for the door. "Afternoon Miss Rin, lovely color you have on you." He added, nodding in her direction trying to keep a straight face as far as her painted face was concerned and began to go about heading for the train station.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Cheneres Se-anhur IV Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Pommel Grade

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Pommel Grade
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“Ugh, this day can’t get much worse. Can’t believe how lame this is…” Mumbling and grumbling to herself some more, Pommel gave a soft ‘Nyeh’ and pulled a silly face behind Keiji’s back as he mildly scolded her. Or at least, raised his disapproval of her actions by promising to bring it up later. Whatever, it wasn’t like she had a big problem with that. To be honest, she was mainly venting her annoyance that Dolores was missing from the meeting, as was Rin. I mean, Artemie was great and all, but she couldn’t carry the whole team on her back. Slick and Chen were almost too much for Dolores to help with. Almost. Well, it didn’t matter now, they were stuck with Keiji as leader. Hopefully it would work out even without Dolores or Mel or anyone truly special on the team.

Following behind Keiji, Pommel stood to the side as he gave the briefing, looking a little tired with it all. At least, she did until she noticed Rin make her way in. Visibly brightening, she mainly focused on the young wizard during the talk, ignoring the actual details of the mission; not that it really mattered to her anyway. Rin herself seemed mildly annoyed at being summoned, and the whole time she’d been giving Keiji a bit of a look. Well that made sense then! Just like her, Rin didn’t think Keiji was that special. Well, it was a relief that someone talented would be looking after the group at the very least. As Keiji made a last comment about packing and questions, Pommel raised her hand, smiling from ear to ear.

“If you need me to take care of any house maintenance or anything I’ll be happy to help Rin! I mean, who knows how long you’ll all be gone…” Pommel clapped her hands together in front of her before leaning them to the side to show her face. Rin, like a few others, didn’t live at the dorms. Naturally, she might have had some potted plants or mail or those sorts of things that needed catering too, and she was just the girl to do it. Blinking a bit, she realised she hadn’t revealed her gift to the group at all. “O-oh! I almost forgot, I’ve prepared food for all of you on the journey, so you don’t have to worry about packing something for that. Just leave it to me!” Flashing a proud smile and a thumb to her chest, Pommel’s day had considerably brightened now that she had a bit more confidence in the group.


Slick
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Slick listened in mild interest to the spiel. Seemed like a pretty standard affair, if not for the danger level of the mission. The wizards of Laguna Fury would have to be quite something to earn that rank. Though he mildly agreed with Rin’s sentiments, it wasn’t like he had much better to do with his time, so it wasn’t that big a deal. It was kind of annoying to be under Keiji’s command, but as he’d said before, he was a reliable man. Packing wouldn’t take too long, especially if little Pommel was handling the food. Ah, hopefully she’d make one of those delicate desserts that he liked…

“I take it since you didn’t give any details about the wizards other than ‘they’re tough’ that we don’t know anything about what they’re actually capable of, right?” Slick asked Keiji, not bothering to raise his hand and simply waiting for an appropriate opening. Giving the man time to respond, he looked to Chen and Artemie making friends, along with Bard and Rin making small talk. Guess he missed the memo on bringing a date. Either that or Dolores caught wind and was already standing him up. Chuckling at the idea, he looked back to Keiji again. Wait, did that mean they were the last duo? A cringe worthy thought…

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Cheneres Se-anhur IV Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Pommel Grade

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Keiji Okaro




Keiji glanced around as everyone seemed to have their own reaction to the entire thing. Bard cracked his cup with more than a little melodrama at the entire ordeal. Keiji agreed that people like this were of the worst humanity had to offer simply because they didn’t even bother with a challenge, they took from those who couldn’t fight back. No respect was given and he shared Bard’s opinion of them even if he didn’t outwardly show it as much. Naturally Rin complained about the purpose of the meeting, but Keiji had already braced himself knowing she would find something to complain about it even if it wasn’t about the message. Again, he more or less agreed that this kind of information could have been sent in the magical paper airplane that had summoned them, but this was still a good chance to see everyone who would be going to the mission together in one room.

Artemie and Chen didn’t seem to have a reaction to the description, or at the very least kept it to themselves. Something he hadn’t expected of the Sand God Slayer but seemed very much in character with the Holder Mage. Slick was the only one to actually ask a question, which upon hearing it Keiji looked back down at the paper making sure he didn’t miss something. ”There’s no mention of specifics, numbers or talent wise. We’ll just have to go with the assumption that I stated.” Keiji answered Slick as best he could with what little he had. He gave a nod to the man to signify that was all he could tell him, and watched as everyone got up to go pack their things. That was the end of the meeting it would seem, he hadn't dismissed them but at this point he was just glad they had showed up (for the most part). He waited until the rest of his team had left before he himself exited the guild hall, making sure that if anyone was wanting to ask him something in private or perhaps complain to him that he would be around for such a thing. Luckily, or unluckily no one did. So with the briefing done and everyone gone, Keiji made to get his stuff ready as well.

Keiji entered his dorm room, a single 2 room apartment that looked more akin to a hotel than an actual living space. His bed and everything else he needed was in the main area while a door lead to the bathroom where all his maintenance amenities were. What people wouldn’t normally expect from the S class wizard was the fact that there were so many different things in his room, pinned up or shuffled off to the side, meant to be viewed and not touched. Trophies of varying size were pinned to the walls, along with pictures and contracts. There were a couple of teeth the size of someone’s arm held on the wall, along with a couple pictures of Keiji looking stoic while a number of people smiled around him, usually with massive destruction in the background. Aside from his bed, there was a very small kitchen that normally didn’t come standard in the dorm room and instead had been bought by Keiji so he could cook his own food when it came down to it. In a corner were some blacksmithing tools that were well maintained and meticulously placed so as not to create a mess. His bed was made, his room was dusted, and the entire room looked spotless. He enjoyed a clean sleeping area, to him it was a mark of pride to sleep in an area you worked hard to maintain.

He walked inside, opening the closet to reveal an array of cheap clothing that wasn’t the worst one would find anywhere, but it was obvious they were not made of high class materials. On the floor was a rather large backpack, which Keiji grabbed, opening it and slipping in an extra set of clothes. He closed the closet and wandered over to his makeshift kitchen, opening the small icebox and pulling out a prepared lunch for himself. Pommel had stated that she had made something for them all, but first of all Keiji hadn’t been aware of that when he had made this the other day, and he didn’t trust her to not do something to it that would make him regret relying on her cooking skills. He slipped the lunch into his bag as well, closing the ice box and making his way to the bathroom. There he opened the cabinet and pulled out a first aid kit, slipping it into his backpack as well. Those were the bare essentials according to Keiji, but he had more than enough time to think of anything else. For now, he placed the bag next to his door and wandered out. He could still get in a little training before the ride to fight town would take place.




Keiji had arrived at the train station half an hour ahead of schedule for a couple of reasons. The first one being the most obvious, he wanted to be the first one there. A strong showing of leadership, even if no one wanted to look at him that way. The other reason, being less obvious, was that he had nothing better to do. He trained for a couple of hours, double checked all his stuff, and eventually settled on just waiting at the station. He would be the first to admit that he didn’t really have a social life, but it was only during times like these where he really felt its absence. For the time being, he had been sitting at one of the benches along the rails, staring up at the sky and enjoying the last of his alone time for what seemed like the foreseeable future. Train whistles sounded and people boarded different trains going to different places. Keiji glanced backwards at the clock, noticing the time and realizing it was getting close to zero hour. He hadn’t noticed anyone show up yet, or at the very least, they hadn’t approached him, maybe wanting the train to show up first. The more he thought about this, the more he didn’t like it, so instead of wallowing in his own pessimistic attitude, he focused on the task at hand.

It was a dark guild, meaning a fair number of enemy combatants in a village of unknown size just a short distance away from the city they would be spending the night. He had never been one for strategy, preferring the method of going in there and essentially exploding until everyone stayed down, but he couldn’t necessarily rely on that this time around, not with so many of his fellow guild mates surrounding him. He would have to think of something, even as his entire being coiled at the thought of holding back. There was another whistle from a train, and Keiji looked up, recognizing the numbers on the side of the train as their lift. He stood up, grabbing his backpack and stretching. He gave a slight yawn, looking around as the train pulled into the station.

Were the others here?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Pommel Grade

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"Make it make it make it!!!" Bardulf was rushing down the street to the train station scolding himself. He was absorbed in making sure everything was packed accordingly, ensuring Robyn was able to take care of Dio on the way and ensuring he didn't tear the apartment apart, that he almost thought he'd miss the train and everyone would leave without him.

Thus, internally, he was freaking out, worried that he might not make it. However, he eventually made it to the station and got his ticket all squared away.

"Whew! That was close! I was worried about getting here too late or something! Score one for Bardulf Sherwood!" he shouted in celebration. He then walked towards the area where's the train was and spotted at least some of his teammates. He walked over and waved, making note of who's here.

"Slick, Keiji, and.. Pommel? Did Oceana send you to make sure all the team was arriving? Although, I do admit..." Bardulf began scratching the back of his head. "I am kinda cutting it close. I blame my dog for my tardiness." he chuckled nervously at that front.

Though seeing only Slick and Keiji did make him worry about the others up and coming. Especially Rin. He hoped she, along with Artemie and Chen, make it in time. This was a big deal for the guild, for crying out loud! Oceana would be furious if only a fraction of the group showed up for the mission. Even his own uncle would shake his head in disappointment if he wasn't retired from being a Tidal Serpent Wizard.

He mentally sighed in his worry and began to look at the train, to the group as it is, and the clock. "Come on guys, what the heck is taking you?" was all he could think.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Cheneres Se-anhur IV Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Pommel Grade

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Rin rose from her seat as their 'meeting' came to an end, the only question being asked having been Slick's. The whole affair had been pretty much useless except as a way to discover what time their train left. The details of the mission could have been discussed ON the train, though there weren't many details to discuss in the first place. As she started towards the door of the guild hall she heard Bard say her name and looked over only to give the other wizard a confused look. She didn't put much thought into the comment, rolling her eyes and shrugging before veering in a different direction.

Once she had arrived back home she grabbed the few essentials that hadn't already been in her travel bag and headed towards the train station. After the quick walk, she went to the station and checked in before going across the street and finding a nice secluded table at a cafe to sit at and ordered a snack while she waited to see who would arrive 'first'. Spying really usually wasn't something she partook in but curiosity got the best of her and knowing more about her temporary team couldn't hurt.

As she suspected, Keiji was the first to arrive though much to her surprise Slick was the second. She had honestly expected him to show up just in the nick of time as it seemed more his style but rather than try to contemplate the fact she simply shrugged it off, taking a sip from her second cup of tea. Next was Pommel, and though Rin felt bad leaving her to deal with Keiji and Slick alone she decided to hang back a bit longer. As the clock at the train station showed 2:45, Rin signaled over a waitress and paid her bill, almost chuckling at the sight of Bard bolting towards the train station out of the corner of her eye. He was followed shortly after by Artemie and Chen, the two arriving together and at that point Rin picking up her stuff and made her way across the street to the train station. Walking up to the group with about 5 minutes to spare she looked over at Pommel who was the only person she was willing to talk to at the moment. "Hey Pommel, didn't think you were coming with us." Rin kept her tone extremely neutral, readjusting the backpack on her right shoulder.