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Kyero

"My purpose in life is my own to find. Nobody will tell me where I belong or what I can become!"

0 · 699 views · located in Cre' Est

a character in “Assassin's Pledge: Awakening”, as played by KumoriRyuu

Description

Image





Name: Kyero
Age: 22
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 210 lbs
Voice Example: 0:38

Basic Personality: Kyero is a very disoriented and easily agitated person. Because of his upbringing, being essentially brainwashed and tortured into the perfect assassin, he knows very little to nothing of normal life and struggles to maintain a semblance of normalcy as he tries to find a purpose in this world. He is, despite his lack of "normal" education, very smart and highly perceptive as well as a human lie-detector. He does not forgive and forget, nor does he negotiate. He's a steadfast and powerfully determined person who will stop at nothing to achieve his goals. He is also, despite his still learning why, fiercely loyal to those who accompany him and will fight to the death to protect them as his only human connections in this world.

Basic Background: Kyero was born to a mother who was part of a cult worshipping the Lord of the Nether Realm. A Demonic spirit was summoned via a ritual and occupied his body despite the ritual being interrupted towards the end. The Demon was unable to fully manifest, but its power remains in the form of a pair of glowing red eyes, enhanced senses, reflexes, and the ability to sense the living energy of others within a ten meter radius. Kyero was tortured into the perfect killer, and brainwashed into thinking that all there was in life were his orders to kill whoever the Grandmaster pointed him to. He was a living weapon, to put it simply. But after discovering freedom of thought, Kyero rebelled against Te'i Sai and killed the Grandmaster and those who sought to fulfill the Grandmaster's designs for the continent of Cre' Est. Today, Kyero wanders the land hoping to find a new purpose in life.

So begins...

Kyero's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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As Aetrius announced her intention to leave and began to don her gear, Linde was on her feet almost immediately.

"No, Aetrius. This isn't the time for rash decisions."

Kyero rose to his feet as well.

"I agree." He said as he moved to the door.

"Leave finding Okumi to me."

"No. I will go look for her."

"Aetrius, please. The Demon inside Kyero's body protects him from mental fatigue which means he doesn't need sleep like we do. As well his basic senses are enhanced in darkness whereas yours are hampered. As well as you move in the shadows and as soft as your footsteps are, Kyero has literally been trained for this since infancy. There isn't a person alive who can find someone faster or move more stealthily through the shadows of our world than Kyero... Not even you."

Linde walked over and gently took her hand, hoping she'd see reason and let Kyero do what he literally was born to do.

"Please, Aetrius. Stay with me. With us. Stay and rest. We need you at your best to look for Kieran tomorrow. Kyero will find Okumi and bring her back to us before long. I promise."

She glanced towards the door.

"... Did you even notice his departure?"

If Aetrius looked towards the door, Kyero would be long gone. The door was creaky, the hinges not having been oiled in some time. It creaked every time it opened... Except when Kyero left moments ago. The door was wide open, and there hadn't been a single sound indicating his departure. No footsteps, no creaking door, no floorboards creaking under his weight... Nothing. He was just gone. And all of Aetrius' senses had missed it.

Linde slowly brought Aetrius' hand up and kissed it.

"Please trust in Kyero to find Okumi, Aetrius. You are not here alone, and you don't have to do everything yourself. We are all here to help you find Kieran. And we all have things we can do to accomplish our collected goals... Stay."

Linde's grip on Aetrius' hand tightened slightly once again, and she brought it up to rub it against her cheek with a slight blush in her cheeks.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Aetrius' eyes narrowed at the comments that were exchanged about her being less stealthy and skilled than Kyero. In all honestly it did piss her off a bit, even though she knew they were right. She was in no shape to go search for someone, nevermind a small shrine maiden at such a late hour. She sighed and reluctantly stayed, looking back as Linde gently grabbed her hand and kissed it causing a small blush to spread across her face.

Aetrius sighed and nodded, "Fine...I'll stay, Linde..." she said softly as Linde brushed her own cheek with Aetrius' hand. A small smile creapt across her face. She then remembered Lolan was in the room and cleared her throat, "I-I think it's best if I took a quick bath and then headed to bed....It is late after all...and, frankly...I stink." she said with a slight and awkward chuckle, as indeed it was true, she did smell as she still had some blood on her, as well as it would be a good way for her to calm down as well as basic human hygiene. She excused herself, gathered some clean clothes and left for the bathhouse that was conjoined with the inn.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Lonán was all for trying to go out and find Okumi, But the night was coming on and even though his meditation was still interrupted, he was going to eat his jerky and calling out and going to bed and he was about to voice that while Kyero voiced his going alone and Linde pointing out reasons why it was best. Lonan’s eyes widened when he looked at the door, his eyes widened at the fact that yes, the door did not even announce Kyero’s reason.

”By Heresta...” He murmured out before shaking his head. He watched as Linde kissed Aetrius’ hands and the latter finally relenting to stay, nodding to himself as he went back to his room, thoughts once more on that Barmaid that for the moment captivated him, he’ll most likely be more prepared for her charm the next day. He opened the door, and indeed, it creaked announcing his departure. This made the young Saharan chuckle as he left for his room.

The young man walked into his room, and ate his jerky, and lied down his head and waited for sleep to take him, the smell of incense relaxing him regardless of not meditating. He had a lot of things to do tomorrow. It was going to be a long two weeks for him that was for certain. ”Here’s hoping it doesn’t affect my sanity.” He thought as he closed his eyes and finally slept.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Kyero stole through the night, moving in the shadows as if part of their world. Not a sound was heard. No footsteps. No equipment jostling. Nothing. Just a dark mass moving through the night.

Kyero perched atop the inn, glancing down into the street for even the faintest sign of Okumi's passing. And his sharp eyes spied the faint glint of a lock of silver/white hair in the cobblestone streets illuminated by the moon. In a matter of seconds Kyero was on the ground and picked it up. He glanced at the inn, and then to this spot.

She came this way. But for what reason?

He looked down the street ahead, scanning the buildings and signs to see if anything would have caught the shrine maiden's interest, but he couldn't see anything.

She wouldn't have come here for shopping or food. She must have had another motive for leaving the safety of the inn. But what?

Kyero returned to the rooftops and continued to check the streets, finding another strand of her hair about a block and a half down. But this time, it was not the only thing he found. There were a few small bits of fabric too. Worn out fabric, but when Kyero smelled the fabric he took in a familiar scent and had to clear his nose. He felt the tiniest bit light-headed when he took in that scent. And he knew exactly what it meant.

Khilthruum Powder. A potent powdered sedative. Must have been inside the bag the fabric came from. So she was knocked out here... Where did they take her? He thought.

Kyero looked up towards the street and examined the ground very, very carefully. He knelt down in a near full squat, slowly inching along taking in every individual bit of cobblestone checking for any signs of a struggle or of dragging a victim, etc. But for the moment, he couldn't find anything. But there was one small clue as to the direction the men who took her had gone... A matching boot print from the dirt near where Okumi was taken leading into the shadier part of town.

Kyero's eyes flashed, and he followed the bootprint's direction into the darkness.

The hunt was on... And before long he would find his prey.

-- Meanwhile --

Back at the inn, Linde nodded as Lonan left. Once he was out the door, she jogged over to Aetrius and clasped her hand before she could make it to the bath room. She lifted it to her mouth to kiss it once more, blushing and smiling all the while.

"I didn't smell anything when you held me earlier, just so you know. And I'm glad you're going to stay and rest. Thank you."

She leaned up and kissed Aetrius' cheek before backing away bashfully and going to the kitchen area to wash her hands and start cleaning dishes from their meal.

-- Back in the City --

... Time ticked by, and Kyero stalked through the city like a ghost in the night.

Finally, after following several clues and hints as to where they might have gone, the trail went cold. Kyero looked around and saw what part of town he was in, and he knew there were more than enough people here who would have seen something. He just needed to find the right people to talk to.

He descended to the streets, and began to slink through the shadows until he found several people gathered around a crude fire pit beneath a bridge which crossed over the canal. They were talking about slaves. Where to buy them. Who the best traders were to buy them from. What to look for in the best slaves. And how to spot the most experienced slaves for their pleasure.

Jackpot.

Kyero snuck in close and waited for just the right moment... Three of them turned their heads one way, leaving the fourth vulnerable. Kyero grabbed his shirt, covered his mouth, and pulled him into the shadows before the others returned their gaze. Kyero dragged him quickly and quietly deeper and deeper into the darkness of the alleyways nearby before throwing him against the wall and squatting down over him letting the light in his eyes flash and churn right in front of the man. His voice was caught in his throat, and he couldn't scream for help. All he could do was stare.

In a lower, more ominous voice than usual...

"You speak of slaves. Tell me what you've seen today."

"I-I-I don't know wh-what you're t-t-talking about!"

Kyero's dagger flew through the air and slammed into the wall next to his head.

"... What have you seen today?"

The man stammered a few more times, and Kyero had had enough. He removed the dagger from the wall and slammed it through the meat of the man's thigh. Due to the blade's length, it cut straight through from one side to the other and into the cobblestone ground beneath them. The man screamed in agony, his cries echoing through the alleyways. But there would be no way to pinpoint or find him now.

"Last chance."

Kyero twisted the dagger a little, and the man finally seemed to find his voice.

"O-okay! We saw... GAAGH!!!... We saw several slaves today. Fine ones at that! Th-... They were... Being transported via horse carriage to a local Trademaster."

"Tell me what you saw of them."

"They were fine. Fine! Some of the most beautiful I've seen! Fresh. Unsoiled, even!"

"I am losing my patience..."

The dagger was twisted once again.

"Th-there- AAGHH!!!... There was a local girl. A commoner! Probably taken just today! Older and hand-me-down clothing! But beautiful in the face and body. Another was a noblewoman. Not from here. Taken from somewhere else! Maybe Triveila or something like that!"

"What else?"

"S-some kind of exotic beauty. Not from here. She had short white hair and had been wearing some kind of face mask. Another girl was the daughter of a Tailor who works here in the city. I know the man as a business associate. And then there was-"

Kyero's dagger was pulled free of his leg, but his hand shot out and choked the man to cut him off mid-sentence.

"Where is this Trademaster?"

He loosened his grip just enough for the man to speak.

"H-he's just... Ack... He's... A little ways North of here. Further into the city. Red roof. Gray sign that says 'Passion's Paradise.' Can't miss it."

"If you're lying to me..."

Kyero's dagger came up to the man's throat, slicing through a single layer of skin.

"I will end your miserable life faster than your mind can even recognize your body has died... Am I clear?"

The man nodded furiously, and Kyero let him go and was gone.

Now hot on Okumi's trail, and headed for this Trademaster, Kyero would soon have her back!

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Lonán slept through the night, and as the new day began to come around, he squinted and shivered as his waking nightmare began in earnest.

——

A younger Lonán was playing in the desert dunes of Saharan near his home. He smiled a big smile as he drew in the sand. He saw the desert sand begin to kick up and ruin his small artwork as he turned. What seemed to be a sandstorm quickly revealed it to be a snake, glaring down at him. It then grinned and gave a wicked chuckle.

“Little Lonán, Little Bird, Little hatchling. All alone... ready for the feast.” It hissed as it reared up to strike, even as Lonán ran, evolving into his older, disciplined warrior self as he went. Images of his failings, his friendships lost, his father’s dishonor ruining his chances of being in the Military whirled by, serving as stalling the warrior as the sand gripped at him.

”No! No!” he shouted as he then looked up to see a woman, looking down at him.

“This is why I rejected you as a suitor, my ‘friend’. No matter what happens, there’d Always be something in the way. Rot in hell Lonán Arzura.” The woman said as she turned and walked silently away, disappearing in the sands.

”Wait! Wait! Come back!” He pleaded and turned to see the Serpent striking at him.


——

”Beatrix!” Lonán shouted as he rolled across the floor, hitting his head against the wall. Which in turn caused his sword, sheathed, to fall and hit his head. Lonán gripped his head with a groan, wanting nothing more to do with the morning as he looked to the deer pelt.

”Right... the pelt selling to get the money to start my info searching.” He said to himself as he got up with a groan, nursing his head with a rub. Better not tell Linde about the head bonks. Though he was sure she heard the first Bonk. He hoped Kyero had a better time looking about town last night.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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-- Night One --

A red roof, and a gray sign which read 'Passion's Paradise'. This was it. The location of the Trade Master who sold the women they abducted on the streets as sex slaves to any willing and able to pay. He glared at the sign with a hard scowl, his nose scrunching in a snarl as he thought about the very notion.

Backing away a few steps, he disappeared into the night.

-- Inside Passion's Paradise --

The Trade Master sat in his chambers with two of his own personal sex slaves. Gorgeous women from Gweynura. One with long blonde hair, the other with short black hair. They were stark naked, and being made to perform lewd acts with one another for his viewing pleasure as he sipped at a glass of wine. He observed their blushing faces and sweat covered bodies with glee before standing up from his chair.

"Time for some fun, ladies."

The girls looked at him with suppressed disgust, trying to feign enjoyment and lust for his presence and participation. If they behaved and acted like they wanted him, they would not get hurt... Usually.

But suddenly, the man was yanked backwards by a hand over his mouth, and a dagger shot through his chest spurting blood out in front of the girls on the carpet floor. They screamed in horror as they beheld only Kyero's glowing red eyes hidden behind the man's shoulder with his bangs hiding the rest of his face. The women fled the room. And once they were gone, Kyero leaned forward, whispering into his ear.

"Your men acquired a girl with silvery white hair today and a face mask... Where is she?"

As Kyero spoke, his voice came with a dual-voice effect. His normal voice, and a lower, darker, demonic voice. His eyes were shining brightly such that the man didn't need to see him to see the red reflecting off his clothes and the wall in front of him. The blade through his chest had narrowly missed all vital organs and arteries, caving its way through a chest cavity to cause intense pain and discomfort, but not death. Not unless Kyero did something more. But that was not his goal... Not yet.

"I d-don't know... What you're talking about."

Kyero's grip on his shoulder tightened, and the blade twisted slightly in his chest.

"I will not ask a second time... Where is the girl?"

"Rrgh... Go fuck yourself, Demon."

Kyero closed his eyes, and twisted the blade once more before pulling it free. He then slammed it down through the man's hand, splitting it between the middle and ring fingers halfway through the palm. Once again, he narrowly missed the radial artery, but the pain caused by the wound was excruciating.

"That was your final warning. If you try my patience again..." He put the tip of his dagger to the man's groin.

"I'm going to castrate you."

The man was in agony, but remarkably tough. He did not fold.

"Fuck you... Demon."

Kyero closed his eyes, and turned his head to see someone watching through the doorway. Based on what Kyero could gather, it was the man's wife. Despite having sex slaves, he was a married man with children... How much did he care about them?

Kyero let the man go and bolted to the woman, yanking her into the room and putting the dagger to her back.

"You don't care for damage to your body, but how about someone else's?" He asked.

The woman froze, and the Trade Master looked on with what was obviously both horror and surprise.

"What are you going to do?"

Kyero scowled.

"That depends on you."

He began pressing his blade forward into her body, and she shrieked in agony as it was pushed deeper and deeper into her flesh.

"Another inch and I'm spilling her stomach... Where is the girl?"

"... You're bluffing!"

Kyero pressed the blade further, stopping just before he reached her stomach wall.

"A millimeter to go."

The man was sweating.

"Y-you're bluffing! You may be the Red-Eyed Demon, but you wouldn't kill an innocent woman!"

"Oh?"

Kyero's blade was pushed in further, breaking the wall of her stomach and spilling her stomach acid and contents inside her body. She shrieked even louder in horrific pain as Kyero slowly twisted the blade in her back.

"She can still be saved, Trade Master. But I am running out of patience. Tell me now where that girl is or I'm going to cut her in half!"

"Okay! OKAY! OKAY!! Just get that dagger out of her back!! PLEASE!!"

Kyero pulled the dagger free, pushing the woman into his arms as he laid her on her stomach and applied pressure to the wound.

"Now tell me... The girl."

"She was taken to the Devil's Dealership in the underground portion of the city! It's to the North! The entrance is beneath the North Barracks where Egruus stations his men during war time! It's empty right now! Now call a doctor!"

Kyero glared at the man coldly.

"... Your wife's condition is not my problem. If you want a doctor, find someone else to help her."

"YOU CAN'T LEAVE HER LIKE THIS!!"

Too late... Kyero was gone.

-- Day Two --

The next morning, as the sun was just barely rising, Kyero beheld the barracks spoken of by the Trade Master.

If Okumi was here, he would find her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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Aetrius chuckled after Linde began to get dressed, keeping her eyes from looking as Linde dressed herself. She had manners, and even morals if one could believe it. No matter how gray there may have been. Once Linde had finished dressing, and apologized profusely, Aetrius chuckled softly and shook her head. "I-it's alright, just...wasn't expecting that to happen is all. Kind of just a start..." she chuckled again and sat down, only to hear Lolan in the hallway yelling to open the door and let him in and that he was sorry.

Aetrius groaned and stood up and somberly walked over to the door, unlocking it and flinging it open and pulled Lolan into the room and slammed the door. "Knock the first time, next time. Or I won't be so nice, got it?" she growled and grabbed one of the other plates and put it on the table across from her. She calmed herself down and sighed, taking her place back at the table on the left side of Linde, meaning that there was one place left to the left of Aetrius for Kyero or Okumi. Whatever one of them showed up first.

"Speaking of, anyone know where Okumi and Kyero are? I didn't hear or see anything from them since last night...Perhaps after breakfast we go and look around town for them? Then look for some more information about the slave trade that I have no doubt that Kieran got herself into? While you two are doing that, I will sell the items I looted off of Shatal and his men last night. It won't bring back what we had to spend on here, but it's a start..." she said as she started to finally eat the food that was on her plate, it wasn't entirely terrible, but could use some salt and other spices, not saying it was bland, but that it needed some more flavors. She also hoped that they wouldn't ask why Kieran's rescue was of such importance to her, but she had a feeling that eventually she would have to explain the situation to them, hopefully not as she knew that if they knew Kieran was her sister, it could mess up the mission entirely since they'd know that the mission was more urgent than they might have originally thought.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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After a few minutes of their shared tender and sweet moment, Aetrius managed to talk Linde to going back to the inn, to simply talk to Kyero and Lolan about what they had managed to find. They made small talk on the way back to the inn, and eventually they made it back. Aetrius walked up to the door and unlocked it with their key and let Linde in first, then closed the door after she entered. She removed her cloak and lit the fire and made sure to keep it stoked until it was a rather large flame, and prepared some hot water for tea and blankets, as the room was rather cold. Eventually she knocked on Lolan's wall, signalling him to join them for their planned meeting after they all got back to the inn.

Whether Kyero was back or not, she wasn't sure. But she knocked on his end of the room's wall, giving him the signal if he had returned already. If not, he would eventually come back. She sat down at the table next to Linde, and placed two small cups of freshly made tea, and nodded as a gesture to drink, a faint smile and blush spread across her face as she looked at Linde, but then shyly looked away. "S-so...A-about earlier..." she asked awkwardly as she rubbed the back of her neck shyly as she tried to bring up what had happened, but if Linde didn't want to talk about if it was too embarrassing, or if was even simply a fleating moment, she wanted to just make sure, so she possibly wouldn't get her hopes up for nothing, yet again.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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After returning and sitting down for tea, Aetrius began to ask about what happened between them earlier. Linde's cheeks flushed slightly, and she put her tea in her lap. With one hand, she reached up and cupped Aetrius' cheek, giving it a stroke with her thumb. The smile she gave Aetrius was warm and obviously passionate. There would be no mistaking the look in her eyes.

She used her thumb to gently brush Aetrius' lips, and then brought that same thumb to her mouth and kissed it, giving Aetrius a wink followed by a cute chuckle.

"What happened earlier... I think was meant to be." She said softly.

She put her hand on Aetrius'.

"We can discuss it more tonight before we go to sleep."

It was then that Lonan was invited in, and he sat down and immediately started on asking about sharing all they'd learned today.

"Yes, an auction. Kyero would know more about these auctions than I do. I've only heard of them in passing, and never in deeper discussion before. Perhaps we should-"

The knock password came at the door, and Linde opened it allowing Kyero to enter. His eyes were somber and his face equally so as he walked in and took a seat next to Lonan.

"Kyero? Is everything all right?"

Kyero shook his head.

"Okumi's trail went cold at the Passion's Paradise Trade Master establishment. No signs, and nobody would talk... Nobody."

His hands clenched on his knees.

"Short of killing them all, I tried every technique I know to get something out of them. But nothing... I have to give them all credit for their devotion to what they do."

Linde was incredibly sad to hear this and dipped her head slightly.

"Okumi... Please be safe out there." She whispered.

Kyero looked up.

"I heard you talking about Kieran and an auction as I approached the door. I presume you wish to know what I know about them?"

Linde looked up and gave him a nod.

"Unfortunately, I don't know a whole lot. I only know that they take place at locations designated by the Slave Master of the city the auction takes place in. And as far as I was able to find, the Slave Master's identity in this city remains uniden-"

Kyero's eyes widened slightly, and a bead of sweat dripped from his temple.

"What is it Kyero?"

Kyero's face lost a bit of its color.

"Remember the ex-Te'i Sai member I mentioned?... I believe it's him."

Linde gasped.

"It makes sense. He spoke of his business enduring even if he was gone. And if he's a Slave Master, so long as he's set his business up the right way it will function without him. That, and he was unafraid to lose what became now ex-business partners. A Slave Master has no 'partners,' they have puppets. And puppets are always expendable."

"If it is him, how do you propose we go about finding out about his auction?"

Kyero clenched his fists on his knees.

"... Lonan. How well can you play the part of a slave-owning Noble?" He asked.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Lonán listened to Linde as she explained Kyero might know a bit more. Fate seemed kind as Kyero entered to tell them first, bad news. Okumi, their companion has disappeared, not a sign to be found of her. In the back of his mind he said a prayer to Heresta to aid her survival. Then came the discussion on how to help Kieran by finding the Auction.

Lonán took in the info about the Auction carefully, and how these kinds was run by the slave master of the City. The Identity of the one in Valoc seemed to elude Kyero until his face suddenly turned pale, then explained how the 8 gold bounty, who was an ex member of the Te’i Sai and the slave master might be one and the same. Lonán looked at Kyero. ”You’re absolutely certain it could be him?” he asked, as He explained his reasoning.

In a tactitian’s standpoint, it made sense. If there were multiple heads of a business, cutting off one head would serve no purpose. However, that still left the question of finding out about the Auction, or where it might take place next. Until Kyero posed to him a question that made him raise an eyebrow, putting a hand on his chin as he pondered for a minute or two as he thought about it.

”Working Security at the Carnival deprived me from performing, but I do recall making kids laugh with mimicking certain types of voices..” He thought. He nodded to himself and looked at the others.

”I can fake a noble’s way of speaking, even change my accent if you want me to. The only hole in my disguise is that if an actual Saharan Noble is there and catches sight of my Clan Mark, it’d fall apart quick. I’ll do my best otherwise. What’d you have in mind Kyero?” He asked, agreeing to his part in the process of the now potential plan.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Aetrius' face flushed slightly when Linde yet again placed her hand on Aetrius' face, and then it flushed even more when she gently brushed her lips with her finger, and then kissed said finger itself. She felt her heart race and her face slowly grow warmer, Linde was an immense tease and flirt and it wasn't healthy for the young bounty hunter. She silently nodded as Linde said they could discuss the topic before everyone went to sleep, she understood that and remained silent. When she heard the door open she had offered to get it first, but Linde said she's go, so Aetrius remained seated at the table.

Once Kyero and Lolan joined them, they were all together again, except for Okumi. Which automatically made Aetrius' face turn paper white, the fact that even Kyero couldn't find her worried her greatly. What if Okumi was indeed now in with Kieran? She could get useful information, and gather intel and would help having someone on the inside, but Aetrius knew it was a possibly deadly game Okumi now found herself in. If she managed to talk to the wrong person, she would easily either be killed, or alert the leaders that people were searching for Kieran and would put up major lockdown features on the auction, making it even harder to gain entry. But when Kyero spoke up about him thinking that the auction ,leader could as well be a former Te'i Sai member, her hands clenched into fists. If it was true, which it made sense for it to, would complicate things to the extreme. It would cause the auction to already have incredibly high security, as well as patrols to make sure no one messes with the auction or causes a stir.

Aetrius looked up at Kyero's question for Lolan. She understood his question and thought for a moment. Just like the man said, if they could afford Kieran, easy money and they could get out of there no problem. But with it being lead by someone more than likely a former Te'i Sai member, it made things look ugly all too quick for her. "If it is true...We will have to be even more careful with our rescue plan...We'd need to be on high enough alert to make sure no one notices that we're a group, or that we're not who we'll feign on being...If they were to catch on, it'd be game over for us and we'd more than likely get us all killed in the process...Lolan and I can act very easily..." she sighed and looked down again yet in thought.

"Us both having time spent in the circus will help with certain aspects of the mission. But whether or not what Lolan's part was, I'm sure he can fake it enough for be a noble...We would just need to get the make up and layout of where the auction will be held..All exits, advantage points, weak points in the structure itself, etc...If we can bring down that auction...whether literally or not, I think we'll have more than a successful mission...And, if we do destroy the place, good. All of the slaves deserve to be freed...And if it means sacrificing a bit more to do so, so be it. I won't stand by and be useless if I can help others get the taste of freedom..Just because I was a slave of a different kind doesn't mean anything in this factor. Once a slave, you're always a slave..." her voice dipped at the end, it was holding a tone of anger and a bit of sadness as well, her right hand forming a fist as it laid under the table in her lap.

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Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Linde and Kyero listened carefully to Lonan and Aetrius as they exchanged ideas and words of advice and caution. Kyero seemed satisfied with the idea of them playing the part of nobles to get past security. He knew he could help there, as well, though it would take time and could cut things close for the two-week deadline.

Linde, however, was keyed in on Aetrius. When her voice dipped she could see the tension in Aetrius' body. Linde carefully slid her hand under the table to Aetrius' nearest hand to her, and cupped it around her hand softly. She used her thumb to stroke the back of Aetrius' hand, giving her a soft, reassuring smile.

Kyero, meanwhile, had some things to say.

"An auction like this will be held in some sort of underground structure, I'm almost certain. I was directed by someone I interrogated to find Okumi to a literally underground portion of the city here in Valoc. I have few doubts the auction house will be somewhere in there which means there are no rooftops to observe from or high vantage points to acquire. Everything is carved into the mountains, like Dwarvish cities in fantasy tales. This means that their security will also be, as Aetrius said, rather tight... And I have no way of getting past them." He said rather glumly.

He took a breath.

"However, even if I can't get past security, I can still make myself useful in other ways. I can help get you in, and acquire noble clothing for you. I am no longer part of Te'i Sai, but I still have both money and weapon stockpiles littered throughout the continent from my years of operation as their top assassin. My nearest stockpile of gold is approximately four days out, four days back, for a total of an eight day journey. It's going to be cutting things close, and I don't like forcing you to wait until the last few days of this venture to receive something you so desperately need like money. But the stockpile has at least ten thousand gold in it, gathered from bandit dens and sunken wrecks on the coastline from ancient pirate vessels. If I can even gather two or three hundred gold, you should be set to win the auction. Not many nobles, particularly from around here, will part with that much money just for the pleasure of one woman's company, no matter how 'good' her reputation makes her sound."

Linde nodded, still holding Aetrius' hand under the table.

"It's a solid plan, Kyero, but I see an issue with it."

Kyero looked at her.

"You said yourself that not many nobles carry that much money. But if we carry that much to win, it's bound to raise a lot of eyebrows. So I think it might be best for us not to win, but to play the game. Perhaps only retrieve sixty or seventy gold. Enough to compete, but not enough to win. Whoever does win will need to retrieve Kieran and then return home which is where you come in. You said you can't come with us, but you can wait at the entrance to the underground portion of the city. And when he arrives with Kieran, you can relieve him of her company as quietly as possible. If you kill him, you'll raise an alarm and the rest of the slaves still up for auction may well never see the light of day again. Does that make sense?"

Kyero looked down, deep in thought. The gears in his mind were turning at a hundred miles an hour as he contemplated her response. And finally, he looked back at her.

"Mm. Very well. I will gather approximately seventy gold to use at auction for Kieran. And I will wait at the entrance for her and her new 'Master.' Once they arrive, I will knock him out and take Kieran away. But I can't bring her here. Or anywhere inside the city. It will be too dangerous since many around here seem to know her face or reputation. I will take her to the Main Gates at the Southwestern end of the city, and await your arrival there."

Linde nodded with a smile.

She looked to Lonan, and then to Aetrius.

"Does this sound okay to you both? Kyero will spend the next eight or so days gathering noble clothing and gold for your disguises, and in the meantime you two can observe the nobility of this city and practice their bearing, posture, and speaking patterns. I'm sure you know what nobles sound like from some places, but those here in Veilbrand are a special breed of pompous. You'll need to learn to talk just like them if you're going to pull this off. And that will take a few days on its own."

Kyero kept his gaze on Linde.

"What will your part be in all this, Linde?"

Linde looked at Kyero, and then to Aetrius with a somewhat saddened smile.

"I... Will be either Lonan's or Aetrius' personal slave, in attendance to carry their belongings and do any other tasks they demand of me for the sake of our performance. I imagine many of the others will have their own slaves as well, correct?"

Kyero nodded slowly, clearly unhappy with the choice.

"A very, very dangerous gambit Linde. Are you sure you wish to go through with that guise?"

Linde nodded quietly in return, her grip on Aetrius' hand tightening ever so slightly.

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Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Aetrius was busily lost in thought as Kyero spoke, it would make sense. A literal underground city under Valoc made sense. She remained silent and held Linde's hand tightly all the while, shaking a little bit of nerves as well as anger at the whole situation. After Kyero spoke, Linde spoke up when she was asked what her part was going to be, after giving her two sense in. After she gave the proposition of her being one of their slaves for the mission, her grip tightened and she looked up at the others as she spoke and shook her head.

"No. Linde....I don't think it'd be a good idea for you to get involved, you can't. The only one who should be getting involved is me. Kieran is my sister and it's my responsibility to get her back, and I will. Kyero, you can keep your eyes on her, but I must be the one who gets her. Her safety and well being is my job, and it must be me to get her, understand?" she asked with a bit of spite in her voice as she looked at Kyero. Normally she'd agree to everything, but when it came to Kieran, she was reluctant to leave it to anyone else but her. She gently let go of Linde's hand and stood up, putting her cloak on she looked at the others, "I...I have some business to attend to anyway. Whether you like it or not, Kieran is mine to rescue, not anyone else's. As for who's slave she will be playing..." she felt her face turn a light pink as she looked away.

"As much as I trust Lolan, she'll be mine. It will make the part more believable if she's mine. Until then, Kyero you can continue with your first plans, but leave getting her to me. Any objections?" she asked as she crossed her arms before leaving the room. She knew what she had to do, and she needed to get more money, and she had two bounties on her hands still, and she was aimed to get them done, as her anger was slightly starting to rise.

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Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Kyero observed Aetrius' response and closed his eyes with a brief, sharp nod. He understood her desire to be the one to save and handle her sister. Still, he did think it a bit foolish. But he wasn't going to say anything. The sooner he departed, the sooner he could come back.

"I will leave immediately for my stockpile and return within eight days time. If I'm not back by then, presume something went wrong and proceed without me. I would advise finding a way to acquire nobility clothing and money on your own as a failsafe. But I don't foresee any issues on my end."

He opened his eyes, looking at Aetrius as he stood up and started to approach the door.

"Whatever business it is you have, keep each other safe. You're no good to your sister if you're dead from working yourself too hard. Having a plan is but a fraction of the battle. The rest is how you maintain yourself for the final and most crucial moment."

And with that, Kyero departed.

Linde stood up as well, walking over to Aetrius and putting a hand on her shoulder.

"I understand, Aetrius. I will play the role of your slave for this mission. When you have time, I'll need you to teach me how to play the part and how to dress. But... That can wait. Whatever you're going to do out there, be safe. Okay?" She asked quietly.

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Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Lonán listened to the plan as it formulated and everyone’s roles as it progressed. So he had to act more like a Noble of Veilbrand more then Saharan. Probably meant he had to try and find places where some nobles like to visit in the city, whether a nicer tavern or otherwise. He nodded at the means of acquiring at least some gold to use for the auction as well.

All Lonán had to do was make sure he himself was prepared for his part. Aetrius however felt concerned for Linde’s role and wanted to not let her, or anyone get more involved if they had to. She wanted to be the one to retrieve Kieran. He couldn’t truly understand why she had to bear the burden. He knew he couldn’t. He didn’t have any siblings. It was just him, his parents and grandparents on his father’s side.

Heaving a sigh, he stood up as Kyero made his exit. ”I need to meditate and think of a backup plan for my role. I’ll have to figure out a way to listen in on the local nobles to learn some more Posh words, in case I have none in my repertoire I can use from Saharan.” He said with a nod. ”If anyone needs me during the eight days of preparation I’ll be in my room in the morning and evening, as I will be out in between for the listening and studying part. Other then that, ”

He flashed them a small grin and a two fingered salute at the girls as he left their room to the comforts of his room, where he’d light his incense and finally shake off the stresses of the day.

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Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Aetrius nodded as Kyero gave her his advice on the matter, she could tell he was holding his opinions to himself, but she appreciated the well wishes, "I'll keep them safe, I promise." she gave a slight smile, and watched as he left. She looked at Linde as she placed a hand on her shoulder, and prepared to have to argue with her about going out, but to her surprise Linde had only wished her to be safe, she gave a nod and gently cupped her cheeks, and kissed Linde on the forehead gently. "I promise, I'll be safe.." she gave Linde one more gentle squeeze to her hand left, taking her swords on the way out.

She easily became one with the shadows yet again, and once she was on a rooftop, she looked at one of the bounties she had been given:

"Samual Vatlis, murderer and rapist, wanted dead or alive, 35 silver"

She sighed and looked at the portrait, memorizing his features and face, "Shame...Shame I'll have to kill you too." she muttered and stood up, walking along the end of the rooftop and hopped down. Landing with grace and stealth she ran along the lower rooftop and kept going to the East side of the city, where he was presumably located. Once she came upon his supposed hideout, she sat down on the rooftop hidden in the shadows and waited for him to show up. Two hours slowly ticked on by when finally a large, well buit figure loomed through the streets below, whistling to himself. It was no merry tune, bu rather drab and depressing sounding. She slowly stood to her feet and watched the figure make his way, as he passed under a street light she saw it was indeed the man in question. "Like a fly lands into a web, so you've fallen into my trap..." she chuckled, and dropped down, landing softly and kept at a distance as she followed him from behind.

As they walked through the streets of Valoc, he walked down a constantly winding path, with many turns and dead ends. Eventually he walked into a rather large ally way, Aetrius quirked her eyesbrows, and unsheathed her swords, dragging them as the ends scrapped against the stone cut streets as she slowly walked her way to him. She slowly made her presence known as he turned around to see her, slight surprise was on his face, but one that Aetrius wasn't prepared for, "Well, welcome here, lost pigeon. Didn't anyone ever tell you to never fallow strangers into a dark allyway?" he mused

Aetrius scoft at him and grinned, "Didn't anyone tell you to never-" she was stopped as out of nowhere something hard and fast slammed into the right side of her cheek, sending he reeling backwards, and spitting blood onto the ground, "Ah...D-didn't anyone ever tell you not to hit a girl?!" she growled as she lept forwards in an offensive strike, he dodged and then swept his arm under her, picking her up off her feet and pinned her against the stone wall as he closelined her to it. She grunted and struggled to get him off of her.

"But pigeon, why must you struggle? There is nothing to fear." he said with a sadistic tone to his voice. Aetrius growled, "Fuck...You!" she spat at his directly, blood and saliva covering his eyes, temporarily blinding him. In the event, he had dropped her, causing her to be able to trip him and gather herself. "Ya know...It's people like you that I really, really, really hate." she growled and spun her swords defensively. Samual stood up and wiped off the blood from his eyes, "And what I hate? Is little bitches like you that don't just lie down!" he growled and charged at her, she managed to dodge out of the way and tripped him again. She let him get back to his feet, she was growing angry and too over confident in her work, and just as Linde had advised, it would soon to be her downfall.

"What? Angry that someone could easily kick your ass, nevermind it being a female-" her ankle was clutched and swpt from under her, landing on the ground on her back she gasped for breath. Samual pushed her down and easily held her hands down, Aetrius tried kicking him between the legs, but he managed to straddle her so that his hips were passed her knees and below where her upper half was.

She struggled to get him off, he grinned down and attempted to go for his belt. That was her play, she stopped struggling and acted
as though she gave up hope, "That's a good girl...This won't take too-AGH!!!" he then screamed as Aetrius managed to headbutt his forehead, and then push his backwards. As he reeled, she charged him and slammed him into the wall. It was a struggle for life or death, and Aetrius wasn't about to just let herself die, not like this. She slammed him against the wall three times, and then punched him in the gut and the groin. He fell to the ground and held his waist. Aetrius chuckled and grabbed him by the back of the head and slammed it into her knee in an upper cut motion. Blood squirted from his nose as it made contact, she grinned and tossed him away, and grabbed her dagger, she loomed over him and spoke, "G-give...give me one reason to not kill you right where you are..." she panted softly.

He looked up at her as blood gushed from his badly broken nose, "Because...I'm going to kill you first, slut." he grabbed her ankle yet again, and brought her close to his face, she groaned and attempted to get free. He headbutted her, and as her head reeled he punched her square in the jaw, once, then twice, then thrice. She weaikly looked at him, and spat in his face yet again. "Fuck..." she groaned as he picked her up and pinned her to the wall, placing her knife to her cheek and gently carved into it, she screamed out in agony as a piercing hot pain shot through her face. He grinned and dropped her and began to walk away.

"Go home, girl. I let you live today, but if I see you again...I will kill you, only after having a bit of fun..." he mused and strolled away, hands in his pockets and whistled.

Aetrius rolled onto her back and looked up at the sky through pain and tears, her body begining to ache. "I...I'm gonna kill him..." she croaked, and slowly rose to her feet. Wiping the blood from her now broken nose and cut up face, she sighed and slowly made her way out of the ally as she limped back to the inn. After an hour, she slowly had made it to the inn and up the stairs, she weakily made her way to the room's door and weakly knocked for Linde, hoping she would open it soon. She knew she was going to probably be even in more trouble once Linde saw what she had come back looking like, but she didn't care. She needed help, and didn't care if Linde was going to be upset.

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Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Linde listened quietly to Aetrius, and as she finished speaking she wiped the newer tears away with the back of her hand and smiled.

"I already found what I was looking for." She replied softly.

Linde leaned forward and wrapped her arms around Aetri's neck, kissing her cheek along the way and resting the side of her head to Aetri's.

"... I found you, my love." She whispered.

And with that Linde pushed with her feet against the ground to nudge Aetri off balance and cause her to fall onto her back on the bed with Linde laying on top of her. She held fast to Aetri's neck and would not move, content to remain here until the feelings had passed... Which was not likely to happen for some time.

Meanwhile.

As Lonan stood outside the door waiting for his chance to go back inside, a familiar figure ascended the stairs nearby. He wore the brown cloak, had all black clothing, and the tiniest hint of a red glow beneath the hood in the dim lighting.

It was Kyero.

And on his back was a massive backpack filled with supplies.

"Lonan." He said simply.

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Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Lonán had his drink and made his way up the stairs and waited. When he heard someone ascending the stairs, he turned to look and he almost did a double take to truly see who it was. He recognized him all too well.

”Kyero.” He breathed in relief. ”You’re Back. I hope your journey went smoothly. We found out a lot of things while you were gone.”

He looked at the door. ”Aetrius and Linde are having a... private discussion. I’m not sure if we’re allowed to go in yet.” he explained as he rubbed the back of his neck trying to at least explain what was going on at the present time. ”The plan for today was look over what we do know now and how to plan it all from here. Once we’re back inside we can get you up to speed. It’s good to see you friend.”

He was now currently debating on telling Kyero that Linde and Aetrius have begun seeing each other in a romantic light and are going through their first actual fight. Heresta help him if he decided to do that, or break the news that his target was actually not the Slave Master.

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Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Kyero listened to Lonan explain what was going on with Linde and Aetri inside having a moment, but after traveling all this way and going through what he had to in order to get all this stuff... He was done waiting.

"Hmph."

He pushed the door open without waiting for a knock which surprised Linde causing her to jump a little, but she still didn't leave Aetri's arms or try sitting up with her. She did, however, glance over her shoulder to see Kyero enter the room. And at that, she offered him a small smile.

"May I presume then that your mission was a success?" She asked, eyeing the backpack he wore.

Kyero nodded.

He set the pack down as Linde finally pushed herself up off of Aetri and sat on the edge of the bed, helping Aetri sit up as well before wrapping her arms around Aetri's waist and leaning against her for comfort.

Kyero sat down in his chair, waving Lonan into the room.

"So... What did I miss?" He asked nonchalantly.

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Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Aetrius was happy to now be cuddling with Linde comfortably and innocently, only for the room's door to be thrown open and for none other than Kyero to step in. Aetrius felt her face flush red as she made eyecontact with Kyero as Linde was still on her, and thankfully she was relieved when Linde finally got off from her and sat next to her and asked Kyero how his mission had gone. She quickly sat up and tried to act as casual as she could, and hoping Kyero didn't notice them when he first came in, but knowing her luck he did, and she'd probably have to explain what happened to Kyero sooner than she had originally planned.

"Ahem, hey Kyero. How'd you mission go?" she asked casually as she sat with her legs crossed and began to calm down and become not as flustered as she currently was.

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Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Kyero looked at Linde and Aetri, and then glanced at Lonan as he walked into the room.

"The mission was a success on my end. A total of about eighty five Gold has been acquired, in a small chest in the backpack. And I found a stash of noblemen's clothing for Lonan and Aetrius to choose from to fit the occasion. There's also some jewelry in there too to help complete the facade."

He crossed his arms.

"How has it gone for you all? What have you found out? Did you find out if the Te'i Sai agent was the Slave Master?" He asked.

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Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Lonán, after awhile walked into the room to regroup with everyone. Now they could truly begin their discussion over the past few days as well as formulating at long Last, the Plan. At Kyero’s asking how things went he said plainly;

”Crazy and swimmingly.” He took a breath before continuing. ”We found out where the Auction is taken place and the past and present people who has Kieran. Yesterday, I discovered something else Kyero. You probably won’t be happy to hear this, but Kieran’s current Master, a woman known as Mariah, is the Slave Master. I approached her as an up and coming merchant as well as addressing Aetrius as a noble interested in attending. We don’t know what the Te’i Sai agent is doing because of it.”

He hesitated for a moment looking at Aetrius remembering what just transpired only hours ago. ”Hopefully the Jewelry can make up for...thirty five gold pieces we lack? Mariah estimated Kieran as a main event last item to be sold for one hundred and fifteen gold tops. If we can’t afford that or anything higher we will need to plan how to get her accordingly should we get outbid.”

Lonán wasn’t sure how well the Red Eyed Demon would take the news that his target didn’t coincide with the Slave Master. ”I’m sure that means he’ll just want to take him out now more then ever before this man becomes a threat somehow.”

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Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Kyero nodded in understanding.

"I'm surprised to learn that about him, but at the same time... I guess it makes sense that he's not who I thought he was." He said.

He leaned forward in thought.

"Hmm... So you need thirty more gold, thereabouts, to equal the projected price for Kieran."

He set his elbow on the table.

"I think it's best that we fell short of the estimated price to purchase her, to be honest. Because if a newcomer just swoops in and steals the greatest Slave in Valoc that's bound to raise some eyebrows. And if so, you're likely to be stopped and interrogated by Mariah, and potentially others. It's safer to come in and make a good impression, fight for the prize, but walk away empty handed. That way when the winner leaves I can capture them at the entrance. If there's no reason to use any emergency exits, such as a brawl or some kind of man hunt for you breaking out, then the winner will likely leave through the Lion's Head Inn to make everything seem official and normal. I can apprehend them when they gain some distance from the Inn afterwards. Let everything seem like it's okay."

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Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Aetrius felt her eyebrow twitch at the notion of not going for the killing blow at the auction, but to stand by and just try to make a good impression and gain more intel, and not to raise eyebrows if they were to win the top prize. She internally groaned and wanted to argue with Kyero, and tell how she wanted to go about things, but the more she thought she realized she couldn't, that she'd have to go about it Kyero's way, until it proved itself to not be fruitful anyway. She nodded silently, "Alright. That will be the plan...Until all goes to shit if it does, and we'll need a failsafe plan. What then do you propose, Kyero?" she said with a somewhat sarcastic tone.

She stood up and crossed her arms casually, "If your, peaceful way about going about things doesn't work, what then? Do we just let her slip through our fingers after all of this, or do we just go for the killing blow and flee Veilbrand after we get her. We can't always rely on peaceful ways to do things. Diplomacy isn't always what people abide by, you should know that first hand considering who you are." she said a bit harshly as she took a sip of her drink and leaned against the wall.

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Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Kyero didn't much care for Aetri's tone, evidenced by his narrowing eyes and the subtle increase in the intensity of the glow emanating from them. Linde had to grab Aetri's arm and give her a gentle tug back as she shook her head. A warning not to push her luck with Kyero.

Meanwhile, Kyero stood up and walked forward stopping right in front of Aetri glaring down at her.

"This isn't diplomacy. It's espionage. We're gathering information and preparing to act on it. If you don't win the auction and everything works out, then we'll get Kieran back by the end of the auction night. If things don't go so well, it will not be because of you. It will be because of someone else being upset at losing the auction."

He backed down and sat in his chair again, but he was still glaring at Aetri.

"If something goes wrong and it's not because of you, then you are in the best position possible to analyze the situation at hand and act accordingly. All focus is on whoever's causing the problems. And when things go wrong in situations like this it creates a tunnel-vision effect for those most directly affected... Such as Mariah, as she's in charge of it all. If things go wrong it's on her head and her reputation. You can bet she'll be fighting to fix the issue as soon as possible. And if she does, that's where her focus will be."

He took a breath.

"In the meantime, while she's focusing on the issue, you can focus on Kieran. Worse comes to worse you have Linde's nerve strikes. She can knock Kieran out and you can carry her to safety in all the confusion. If anyone comes after you, give her Kieran and the two of you can handle the enemies who come after you if you take some items along that I brought back for you. Particularly these."

Kyero reached into his backpack and pulled out a small bag, tossing it to Aetri.

"Smoke bombs. But special ones. They generate a gas that triggers both coughing fits and burns the eyes of anyone caught within it. A near perfect escape tool But there's only three of them. So use them wisely." He said.

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