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Assassin's Pledge: Awakening

Cre' Est

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a part of Assassin's Pledge: Awakening, by KumoriRyuu.

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KumoriRyuu holds sovereignty over Cre' Est, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Cre' Est

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Cre' Est is a part of Assassin's Pledge: Awakening.

7 Characters Here

Korriban "Aetrius" Borral [480] "They took everything that I had, and I will have my revenge."
Linde Xe' Almna [452] "Kyero is the Red-Eyed Demon, but he's also a human being."
Lonán Arzura [430] “By this sword I live, by this sword I will restore my family name.”
Kyero [239] "My purpose in life is my own to find. Nobody will tell me where I belong or what I can become!"
Josephine Dezantro [127] "I pray there is a purpose for me in this world."
Kieran Borral [103] "She's done everything she could to get me back, and I will make sure all of their efforts weren't for nothing."
Okumi Chrysanth [91] "... ...! ..."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Linde observed Aetrius in silence as she gave her response to her promise. She smiled when Aetrius said "Okay," but as soon as she started going into everything else Linde's heart sank. She wasn't sure if Aetrius understood the quote Linde gave her, and worse, it seemed she had found a way to justify and welcome these injuries. And that made Linde very, very sad.

Her face had sunk along with her heart, but when Aetrius apologized at the end a small smile crept onto her lips.

Linde remained perfectly still for a long time, just looking at her friend...

"Aetrius... I am not sure you understood what I was asking you earlier." She whispered.

She calmly walked forward towards Aetrius, and then sat down on her knees in front of her. She reached out and took Aetrius' hands in her own, setting them on Aetrius' lap. However, despite the gentleness of her gesture, her eyes became a bit more stern.

"I don't care about money. I don't care about whether or not you've done this before. And I don't care if you've taken crossbow bolts and lived."

Her hands squeezed Aetrius' hands a little bit tighter.

"What I do care about, Aetrius, is your well being. You're a warrior. Anyone can see that. You've lived through countless battles. You've received innumerable injuries. And you've overcome challenges I've yet to see or comprehend. But still... You are only human."

She gently lifted Aetrius' hands and turned them so they were palms to the ceiling, and set them on Aetrius' lap. She then placed her hands in Aetrius', palms down so her fingers were resting on Aetrius' wrists.

"All of what you have accomplished is wonderful, but at the same time they are part of your past. Part of what made you who you are up until this moment."

She slid her hands up, slowly and tenderly wrapping her fingers around Aetrius' wrists.

"Aetrius, you have become very dear to me in these last couple weeks. Even small wounds like these," she said while gently caressing Aetrius' arms and tracing the cuts and bruises with her fingertips, "can add up over time and cause irreparable damage to your body. All of these scars tell of your exploits, but they are also a build up of damaged muscles and flesh. The more scars you receive, the more easily you will be injured in the future because your skin and muscles can't cope with the continued degradation."

She stood up and leaned forward, bringing her hands up to rest on both of Aetrius' cheeks.

"As your doctor, and as your friend, please promise me you'll take better care of yourself and exercise more caution. Even the best doctors in the world can't fix an excess build up of scar tissue. If you keep disregarding your safety like this... One day you'll receive a wound I cannot mend... And if that day comes..."

Linde started tearing up, the first of several falling down her cheeks as her lower lip trembled and she lurched forward to embrace Aetrius. And in doing so, she smashed her chest into Aetrius', squishing her D Cup breasts against the poor bounty hunter's torso.

"I don't even want to think of the possibility of that day coming! I don't ever want to live to see the day you receive an injury I can't help you heal from! You or anyone else!" She cried, sobbing against Aetrius.

Linde became incoherent. She cried and gripped onto Aetrius for dear life. She sobbed and gasped for breath, trying desperately to speak through it. But it came out as a garbled mess of slurred words and sobs.

Finally, after a few minutes, Linde managed to calm herself down and her sobs turned into soft gasps for breath with a few sniffles mixed in. However, her hold on Aetrius did not waver. She subtly nudged her head towards Aetrius, her ear brushing Aetrius' neck.

"That day... Is my ultimate nightmare." She whispered.

A minute later Linde finally let go of Aetrius and stood up straight. She took in a few deep breaths, sniffling the last one and wiping her eyes. And... Smiled.

"Forgive me... I don't mean to get so emotional about this. But it..." Her lip trembled once again, but she fought it back and prevented more tears... But just barely.

"It really is my worst nightmare to see someone I know and care about in a state from which I can't help them heal. The more you let these small injuries build up, to say nothing of the larger ones..."

Linde took a single step back, her face slipping back into one of helpless fear of the hypothetical situation playing in her head.

"... The more likely my nightmare is to come to life." She said quietly.

Slowly, she covered her mouth with one hand and sobbed once more, fighting back more tears.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Aetrius silently sat there as Linde began to speak, and couldn't help when a small blush overtook her face when Linde placed her hand in her's. It was a subtle gesture, and a tender moment she was bound to always keep in her mind. She remained silent as Linde spoke, taking in all she said. And when Linde began to tear up, her heart hurt. Not just metaphorically, but it literally made her heart hurt to see Linde cry, and because of her. She caused Linde to not only tear up, but to literally tackle Aetrius in a fervent hug. Her face turned a bright pink as she felt Linde practically sit on her lap and hold Aetrius close, their bodies touching far too much, causing her face to turn a shade of maroon. But this wasn't the time for her to become a flustered mess. No, Linde needed someone to comfort her, as Linde in a way confessed how she felt. But only as a dear friend, and Aetrius needed to be to fill that role for her in that moment.

Aetrius slowly rose to her feet as Linde began to cry again, sobbing and apologizing for being so sentimental, and openly showed she cared whether Aetrius would die or not. If things came to that. Aetrius sighed, and outstretched her hand, gently grasping Linde's forearm, and gently pulled her back into a hug, holding her head close to her chest as she held Linde close to her. Her heart was beating heavily, not from making such close contact with Linde, but because she felt terrible for causing Linde to break down into a fit of sadness and endless sobbing. Her grasp around Linde only tightened more as she thought of several occasions as to where things could go wrong, either her or someone else getting hurt, as well as Linde herself. And that is what did it.

The thought of losing Linde. She had already lost Kieran, in a sense. Believing her to be dead for three years, and it terrified her to think she'd never see her again. But here she was in Veilbrand, and she was going to be able to see her again. But she was not going to let the same thing happen to Linde. Not ever, if she could stop it. Even if it meant her dying to protect her now friends, but she kept that thought to herself, Linde was already too overwhelmed, and she didn't need that added to it.

She looked down as she was holding Linde. She found herself gently placing a kiss on the top of Linde's head and pausing. Her heart beating faster as she did so. She cared too much for Linde, and whether or not that could be her downfall, she didn't care. If she was going to turn Linde away by how protective she would be from here on out, so be it. But she was not going to let her own nightmare become a living one. She had already lost enough, and she was done losing. She looked down at Linde who she was holding closely and spoke in a soft and caring tone, with a small tint of a loving tone, the latter being a rare thing from Aetrius.

"Linde...I promise..." she started saying, gently caressing the other woman's head as she spoke, "I'll be more careful...Just know I'll do what I have to keep you safe...I won't have what happened to Kieran happen to you...Not going to let someone else I love be taken from me again..."

She put an emphasis on 'you', and didn't care if Linde was picking up on the hints she just gave, or whether she meant what she had just said, she wasn't exactly sure. But she was intent on keeping her word. No matter the cause, she'd keep Linde and the others safe.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Linde wasn't expecting Aetrius to hug her back, let alone so tenderly. It warmed her skin and her heart, and she melted into the hug resting her head against Aetrius' shoulder. And then, Aetrius kissed her head. She felt her face flush, and Aetrius spoke so softly. Like a whisper.

Linde couldn't help but smile.

When she said she wasn't going to let someone else she loved be taken, Linde did not need a translator to understand what Aetrius just said.

Linde's hands, resting on Aetrius' lower back, gently moved in a small circle as her head came back and she looked Aetrius in the eyes.

She still had tear stains on her cheeks, but that smile she gave Aetrius... That calm, endearing smile...

"Thank you, Aetrius." She whispered.

Linde leaned forward, and planted a light kiss on Aetirus' cheek, and moved forward back into a hug. She didn't want to leave Aetrius' protective arms just yet.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Aetrius couldn't help but blush slightly as Linde looked back up at her and smiled at Aetrius. Something even about her smile made Aetrius....happy? Whatever it was, it had an affect on her and she didn't mind it. She just continued to hold Linde closely, and smiled again when Linde thanked her, and her face turned a light pink when Linde kissed her cheek.

"O-of course, Linde...I may be a Bounty Hunter and an ass..But...surprising as it may be, I can and do care for people...Just hard at showing it..." he tone was rather a serious one, and held a bit of kindness and naivety in it. She hugged Linde once more tightly, and then eventually let her arms come undone from around Linde, eventually falling down by her sides. She sighed and awkwardly rubbed the back of her neck.

"W-well, it's late...and you'll need sleep, it can be another late morning...we'll be here a while. I'll let you get to sleep. I'll keep watch tonight, and keep an ear out for when Okumi returns." she gave a nod, and picked up one of her swords and flintlocks, as well as the stool and placed it in the back corner of the room and sat down, taking her post as guard for the night. She put one leg over the other and placed the sword over her leg as she kept a straightened position. But as she sat there, there was a slight audible rumble in her stomach. It had been a while since she last ate, she thought.

She reluctantly stood back up and walked over to her supplies that were near the center wall of the room, and crouched as she shifted through one of her supply bags. It had two canteens of water, some bread, and dried meat. More than enough for one person. Aetrius looked up at Linde, "Wouldn't doubt if you're hungry, but....There's more than enough here for two people...If you don't want to partake in what would be considered a Bounty Hunter's dinner, I would understand." she said with a slight chuckle as she looked at the small set of food that was before her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Lonán walked through the streets and found himself back at the Prancing Pony. Before he did anything else, he went to the stables to check on Hawk and vent some of the slight frustration at being flirted at by a beautiful barmaid. Hawk took most of it, then blew a huff. Chuckling to himself he quietly made his way into the Inn and off to his room as quiet as he can. He thought he heard Aetrius speaking to Linde, but he decided not to invade on their conversation and do what he intended to do.

Meditate and let the rest of the frustration of being flirted by a stranger out of his system. He closed his room door when he entered and took off his shirt and reached into a pack as ater stoking his fireplace. He’d have some dried meat for his dinner after meditation. Pulling out two sticks of a distinct smell, almost a flowery honeyed scent, he lit the ends of them and set them on a small tray. He then stood up straight and stretched his arms upwards together then pulled them apart, then slowly took a cross legged sitting position, his right hand curling into a fist whilst his left peacefully rested on the closed hand.

”Heresta, In this battle to attain calmness, aid me.” He thought, as he began to breathe the scent deeply in, and slowly exhale. This meditation was made to last for another hour. When it was done, his plan consisted of eating his dinner, then resting his head and wait for the next day, assuming nothing came to interrupt him.

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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Linde smiled for Aetrius as she very sweetly offered her a piece of dinner, but before Linde could respond a knock came at the door. Linde wiped her tears and approached, asking after who was there. And through the door came Kyero's very distinct voice asking Linde to open it. She did so, and Kyero entered the room and removed his cloak.

He sat down on the floor, cross legged, and folded his arms as Linde sat nearby, watching him. Aetrius knocked on Lonan's wall, and Lonan made his way over. Once everyone was present, save Okumi... Kyero informed them of what he had found out.

"My target was located, but there is a complication... He was once part of Te'i Sai."

Linde gasped, covering her mouth.

"Given his bearing, speed, and efficiency in dispatching those who came to confront him about business, I can only conclude he was once a Master Assassin among Te'i Sai's ranks. He even used the same kind of smoke bombs I use. But the thing is... Only I have ever made this particular kind of bomb. For him to have duplicated it, he must have received the same training I did."

He looked to the others, around the circle.

"His bounty is eight gold, which would last us for a good long time. But if I am to kill him and fulfill the bounty, I'll need help. He's at least six feet, eight inches in height and has almost forty pounds of muscle on me. As skilled as I am, his age and experience will prove a challenge even for me. I learned the hard way years ago not to underestimate anyone, for any reason. And I know that I'll need all of you to help me bring him down."

He blinked, and looked around the group.

"Where is the shrine maiden?"

"Oh... She was with me earlier. But when Aetrius came home she left to give us time to talk. But... I haven't seen her since."

She turned to Lonan.

"Did you see her on the way in?"

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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Lonán was interrupted of his meditation, and so when he arrived at the meeting, he was well indeed without his shirt as he sat down and listened to Kyero’s hunt. Nodding every now and again. At the thought of eight gold definitely put the thought in his head that it might help him sift more information at the Gambling den. He nodded once more to affirm he’d help Kyero.

”Might have to squeeze in time between asking around but a share of that gold will go a long way.” He thought to himself. His thoughts were interrupted when Kyero asked a potential new worry. Their silent Shrine Maiden was noticeably missing. His eyes briefly widened at the thought of her absence. As Linde explained the last time she had seen Okumi Lonán wondered what she asked.

He tried to think of the right words to say, as his worry began to slightly bubble over, he found himself stammering. ”N-No, I don’t think so, I didn’t see her outside the Inn or anywhere on my route back here from finding promising gossip places... fuck This is not good.” whilst he may be jumping to conclusions, he however jumped to them out of concern and if his fears, that currently now pushed his encounter with Rose aside, were realized, they needed to find and rescue two people now.

Heresta’s Teeth. This became a whole new level of chaos.

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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Before Linde heard the knock, Aetrius' attuned ears could hear his foot steps before Linde did. She knew who it was and relaxed upon hearing the knock. She stood up as he entered and knocked on the wall, signaling Lolan to join them. Once they were all together, aside from Okumi she sat back down on the stool. She crossed her arms and thought as Kyero mentioned Okumi not being with them, or even back yet.

"Fuck....Stupid kid..." she softly muttered under her breath as she looked around, shaking her head. Aetrius looked at the others and sighed, she stood up and spoke, "My best guess at this point? She probably did something stupid and now I have to go look for her..." she sighed and picked up the blood covered cloak and put it back on, putting her belt on that had her swords attached. She looked at the others and sighed, "I'll go and try looking, if I can't find her....I'll be back in an hour...Anyone want to come with?" she asked. Aetrius knew that probably none of them would want to join her, as they were probably tired and would need sleep. She looked at Linde and tried to give her a small smile, but it was so ever faint. She knew she'd have to do something Linde wouldn't like, and would accept the punishment for it later.

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!

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Before Aetrius had left the room for the bathhouse, she was stopped by Linde who yet again grabbed her hand and kissed the top of it. Explaining that Aetrius didn't smell all that badly, and thanked her for not leaving like she could have. Before she could even say anything Linde had gently kissed her cheek and backed away and left for the kitchen. Which left Aetrius dumb founded, her mouth slightly ajar and a light blush across her face. Aetrius shook her head and blinked, bringing herself out of her stuper. She grabbed her things again and left for about an hour.

She arrived at the inn's bath house. It was rather small, decent, humble and surprisingly clean and up kept compared to the rest of the inn. She was the only one if the room and she was thankful for that, she even locked the door behind her. She stoked the fire next to the medium sized bath that was cut in the stone floor and waited for the room to warm up, when it eventually got warm enough she disrobed and got into the pool. She stretched and took a deep breath as she relaxed in the room temperature water. What exactly was she getting herself into? First she saved the village of Atlum against her better judgement, and got injured in the process, and then went on a rescue mission for her sister who she had believed was dead for the past three years. But now, now she was here in Valoc, Veilbrand and was well on her way of finding Kieran. With small hiccups along the way, like Okumi more than likely getting kidnapped like she assumed. She sighed and looked around the room as she thought on the events that had taken place within the last few weeks.

How did her life go from being a Bounty Hunter with a very notable profile with a rather large bounty on her head with no one to call a friend, to now being in Veilbrand looking for her sister with a group of new found friends and now possibly something more than just a friend. Was that what was going on? Or was Linde just flirting with her even more now that Aetrius had basically told her how she felt about Linde. Maybe Linde was just that way and would only ever be a flirt with her, but had a genuinely caring side. Who knows, maybe Linde was actually being more than just a flirt with her this time around. She sighed and eventually got out of the bath after she head cleaned herself off from the past few days, as well as her last Bounty she had taken in. She had gotten dressed and made her way back to the room. Gently knocking on it in the same way as before, the three knocks in a one two three pattern, and then a pause to repeat it two more times.

Once she was let in, she entered the room and tossed her things back into the corner. She was tired and in need of rest, she then looked back up to remember what they did with the room earlier and gulped. "Uhm...I-I'll sleep on the floor. I'll get some rest then take up guard post for the rest of the night." she said and sat down on the floor, her back against the edge of the bed looking at the door, her sword next to her. She then looked back up to where Linde was and tossed a bag to her, "It isn't much, but it's what I got for my night's work, it isn't much, but it's a start... I'll get more done tomorrow night. First we rest then get to work looking for more information that can be helpful to us. Does that sound good to you?" she asked rather innocently.

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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As Aetrius came back from her bath and put her things away, she spoke of sleeping on the floor which, for Linde, of course, was not acceptable. But where...

Linde's face flushed completely pink, but as she stole a glance at Aetrius who was sitting on the floor and getting ready for bed, she couldn't help but smile slightly.

She walked over to Aetrius after she asked about getting rest and taking watch, and Linde took her hands and helped her stand back up. Still blushing, and looking even more bashful than she did before, Linde chuckled softly.

"I think that's a good idea, but you know... We're both girls, after all... I don't mind if you... Share my bed with me." She said softly.

She looked back up at Aetrius.

"After today's events I think... I could use the comfort of someone I trust sleeping close to me. B-but if that's too embarrassing for you then... I suppose I'll find you an extra blanket and pillow. I'm sure the inn keep has one of each around somewhere." She said with a slight stammer.

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Aetrius looked up when Linde had walked over to her, to only have her hands gently grabbed, to which she understood and stood up slowly. Her face slightly flushed when Linde had suggested staying in the same bed with her, in wasn't exactly aweful for her, but Aetrius did feel a bit uncomfortable with the idea. Surprisingly enough she did have limits and somewhat of morality, allbeit it was rather grayed compared to what others may have thought for her to have. She thought for a moment, but when Linde spoke up again about feeling better to have someone she trusts stay close to her. The thought made her chuckle a little bit, the same person who could take down someone with barely even a flinch felt the need to have Aetrius be close to her? That was a first for her, but she also felt a little....relieved that Linde trusted Aetrius enough to keep her safe.

Aetrius nodded shyly and looked down, trying to snap out of the fact that her face had turned a light shade of pink. She cleared her throat and looked back up at Linde, "O-okay. If that's what makes you more comfortable, I guess I can manage that." she said with a light chuckle, and a small smile creased her lips. It was genuine and innocent, no malevolent nature behind it. It was just that she hadn't had anyone that trusted her that much in a long time, and it made her feel confident enough that someone could rely on her for feeling safe, as surprising as it may have been for her.

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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 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.

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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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-- 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.

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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The next morning the morning sun had begun to make its way into the room's window, barely though as a cloak had been hung up infront of the window to help light not be so harsh in the mornings, as well as extra privacy as their room faced the main streets. Aetrius slowly stirred away, her eyes fluttering open as she groaned slowly sitting up. another restless night... she thought. It was full of endless nightmares, always the same, never wavering. The events played in her mind were of her past, starting from when she was a child while in a field picking flowers for her mother, innocent but no one knew of the darkness that loomed over the innocent and small child, that would one day become the very monster of her nightmares. Next of the flash backs was the feelings of anger and resentment she held in her heart, it burned as that of fire burning from her hands that would one day be the deadliest weapon of all. Once innocent hands that would hold flowers, would one day wield weapons and be the end of multiple lives. Her anger and hatred for most people started at a young age, due to her being a child born out of wedlock, and that being an automatic sin among the Saharan people, making her an automatic outcast among the culture and people who held to tradition. Often leaving her alone and by herself, when Kieran wasn't home.

Next was the event was one that turned her life to hell, it was the day her part of Saharan had been attacked, leaving her and Kieran orphaned, as both of her parents were slaughtered in the onslaught that had ensued. Leaving the two half sisters alone and on the streets. And then there were the days where she would visit their graves, usually by herself as Kieran was usually too busy with work and school to join Aetrius, or at that time, Korriban. Often leaving her to her own devices and loneliness. Also on that same day where their parents were murdered, so were several friends of hers, including her good friend Julian. Aetrius had to watch from the sidelines as her good friend was beheaded, and that was when she had lost her faith in most of people. As an innocent child was killed, she had to watch as no one was willing to help. It slowly brought her trust in people to its knees. And if things weren't bad enough for her, with the death of her parents and friends, she was then taken as a slave as well as Kieran.

They were taken to a far off smaller city in the south. Where her life had gone from worse, to even worse. If she hadn't done all the chores she was given, she would be beaten and whipped, even if she had done everything, she was still punished. Their master was a drunk, angry, violent man and would take his anger out on them whenever he could. Aetrius would usually be the one that received punishment, as she always shielded Kieran from his wrath as well as the punishment she deserved, accepting to take the pain on her own. She grew to resent slavers, and her display on the slave trader when they entered Valoc was evident of that. The scene in her mind changed quickly as it went from her years as a slave and being separated from Kieran, she was in the circus. Currently doing one of her famous acts, first being on the high ropes, then balance acts would follow up, soon arriving to where she would ride Bree in a display of human and animal coordination as well as her natural skill on horseback. But it was the day where she broke free from the circus, taking Bree with her as she ran from the hell hole. While yes it was a better life than being a slave, they way they treated the actors and animals made Aetrius sick. The last bit, was what everything would culminate into. The day she became what most people would later fear.

Something that she never thought possible, a high profile, skilled, and all around hated and sought after killer. The bounty on her head was even bigger than her ego as what her profession held, and she accepted it. Her life was a whirlwind of events, good and bad, mostly on the latter.

But she slowly looked around the room, where she was currently. Taking in that it was another day, she sighed softly. But froze as she heard breathing from the right side of her, slowly she turned to see Linde sleeping blissfully. Her face flushed a light pink as she slowly remembered what had happened. Nothing of that nature happened, they simply went to sleep. Aetrius was on one side of the bed, and Linde had fallen asleep on the other. They had talked a little, small talk things of no importance. But as the night had progressed, Linde had fallen asleep, and so did Aetrius, but only when she woke up to the feeling of immense warmth against her. She had opened her eyes and noticed that an arm and leg had found themselves wrapped around her, which had caused her to stiffen up and blush immensely, not being able to move at all. From fear of accidentally waking up Linde, to having been frozen from the fact she was being cuddled by Linde. She shook her head as she sat up, it was an accident, nothing more. Linde wouldn't purposely cuddle her, would she? Of course not, at least not in that sense, as they didn't even officially begin to court yet, if Linde would even want to, which Aetrius doubted. She got out of bed and stretched, dressing in her the rest of the outfit she had on before she went to bed, it was only missing the cloak and boots, as well as leather armor bits.

Aetrius let Linde continue to sleep as she sleepily walked into the kitchen, and decided to prepare food for them. She still saw no sign of Okumi or the others yet. Until she heard a thump from the other room, it was Lolan's, and she figured he must have fallen out of bed. She chuckled, and looked at what she had to deal with for food. Some meat, bread, potatos, and carrots. She washed the food in the sink and prepared it, as she did so she stoked the fire and prepared a pan. She cooked the vegetables and meat in the pan until they were cooked enough to be eaten properly, without getting anyone sick. She portioned the food onto plates, and took two plates back to the bed. She placed them down on the small table next to the bed and gently shook Linde's shoulder, attempting to alert her that food was ready if she didn't wake up from the smell of food, food that Aetrius hoped would be edible. She was no five star cook, but she did know how to make food that one could live off of, just hoped that other people would like her humble food, even if it wasn't much of a sight.

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Linde moaned and yawned as she stretched her arms above her head and her legs out as far as she could. When she relaxed, her limbs fell down into a heap on the bed and she buried herself under the blanket.

"Five more minutes." She mumbled beneath the covers.

She rolled over and fell out of bed, dragging the sheets with her as she went.

"Mmmm... Oooooww..." She mumbled.

Linde slowly rose to her feet and dropped the sheets, stretching out once more and yawning deeply before rubbing her eyes and greeting Aetrius with a sleepy wave.

"Good morning." She said softly.

She looked like a mess. Her long, thick hair tangled and splayed in all directions. Her face was just as beautiful as ever, but her hair... Yeesh!

Linde lazily stumbled to the bathroom to wash and comb her hair, as well as take a morning bath. When she was finished, she walked into the room with only her towel wrapped around her torso as she finished combing her hair and tied the end with her scrunchie.

"Mmm... Breakfast smells good." She commented.

Her old clothes had been left in the bathroom because she had been too tired to remember leaving them there before her bath, and she walked over and sat down to grab a plate and prepare to enjoy breakfast with Aetrius and Lonan... Wearing nothing but a bath towel.

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Lonán finally managed to get up and nursed his head every now and again, he looked through his sack for clothing and pulled out one of his more stylish clothing from his time providing security for the Carnival of Shifting Sands. He uttered a prayer to Heresta and walked his way towards where he started to smell breakfast, in the girl’s room.

Lonán opened the door, and whether it was sheer luck, or karma thinking his nightmare of Beatrix was in need of more positive recompense, Lonán discovered that out of the two women in the room, Linde was currently the least clad. She was in naught but a towel. His mind became a whirlwind of bashful awkwardness as his face slowly became as scarlet as his hair.

”Uhh, w-well. That’s a surprising sight to see after a nightmare and a conk in the head.” He muttered bashfully, turning his head towards wherever breakfast was as to not seem like some perverted animal. But oh gods, it was very tempting to move to look towards Linde again.

Very very tempting. ”Either claim her now if Aetri hasn’t, go to a house of Lady Favors, or Just find the right woman to court damn it! Lonán thought furiously amidst the early morning feelings of raging desire. Indeed, thoughts weren’t on breakfast anymore it seemed.

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Aetrius chuckled as Linde had fallen out of bed, and slowly gathered herself together. She watched as Linde stood up in a sleep drunk state and shuffled off to the bathroom, she understood and waited patiently at the table for her and the others to return. Aetrius was patiently sitting at the table with the plates on the table when it opened up, revealing Linde had returned from her trip to the bathroom. In her shock and surprise she dropped her fork when she saw that Linde was in nothing else but a towel, her eyes widened and her face blushed a bright red. She tried to think of something to say, all she could do was look away. That was until she heard the door start to open.

When Lolan entered the room, she panicked and was only able to do one course of action as her mind raced on how to keep Lolan from looking at a barely clothes Linde. In a series of quick events, she jumped to her feet, grabbed her cloak, jumped over the table, wrapped her cloak around Linde and pushed her onto the bed, and rushed Lolan and pushed him out of the room and into the hallway and locked the door. "Next time, knock!!" she exclaimed as her back was pressed against the door as she struggled to lock it in her panicked state. Once she calmed down, she slowly turned around to face Linde, her face covered with a light pink blush, tip of her ears were even a slight red. "S-sorry, about that, L-linde....Lo-Lolan just shouldn't see you like this...N-no one should." she stammered as she looked away and to the side, not being able to look at the barely dressed Linde.

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Linde yawned as Aetrius was about to serve the food for her, and then Lonan happened to enter the room. Linde tried to greet him, but he seemed very shocked and horrified about something. Aetrius then threw her cloak round Linde's shoulders to cover her and shoved Lonan out the door. Linde blinked a few times and looked down, and saw that she was only wearing her bath towel with Aetrius' cloak.

Linde's face turned blood red and she clutched the cloak around her shoulders to hide herself.

"I-I'm sorry!! I'll get dressed!!" She cried.

Linde dashed to the side and quickly clothed herself, having finally woken up enough to understand the situation she'd put herself and the others in. Once clothed, Linde sat down at the table with a heavy blush in her cheeks, staring at the table looking a little forlorn and very, very embarrassed.

"Please forgive that display of immodesty..." She said quietly.

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Lonán was literally shoved out the door, shaking him from his momentary stupor of shock. He yelped as he was shoved and if one tallied how many times he was hit on the head, he received Bonk number three when he hit the wall of the hallway.

”Mother of Mercy!” He shouted as he heard Linde registering what went on and panicked up a storm. Groaning, Lonán rubbed his head tenderly and walked to the door and did what Aetrius suggested and knocked before trying to open the door, which was locked.

”Seriously?! I knocked liked you ask me too! Let me in Aetrius!” He said at the door. ”I’m sorry for seeing you like that Linde! Can I at least have breakfast? I’m not in the mood to have jerky for breakfast after the freaking nightmare and headaches I’ve got!”

Though the possibility of him having that breakfast may be shrinking, it just meant that for him, he could go and sell his pelt and truly begin his info hunt for Kieran. Then mentally groaned as he knew he had to deal with that flirtatious bar maid again! Curse his Karma!!

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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.

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Linde glanced up nervously to Lonan, her cheeks still flushed.

"I'm sorry about earlier, Lonan." She said quietly.

She shifted her weight in her chair.

"I uh... I am a very slow riser. And I don't... I don't always realize what it is I'm doing until my mind clears." She said softly.

She pulled her plate in close, waiting for Aetrius and Lonan to sit with her before taking her first bite. And it wasn't bad. It could use a few things to liven the flavor, but it was a nice breakfast. And Aetrius made it, which gave Linde a warm feeling in her heart.

Then, Aetrius asked after Kyero and Okumi. After finishing another bite of her food, Linde looked up.

"Kyero is likely still looking for her. Tracking down signs and interrogating anyone who might know what happened to her. This is a massive fortress city, so it may take him a day or two to locate and bring her back. So don't worry too much about them, Aetrius. Kyero will find her."

She sighed.

"As for looking for more information, we definitely should do that. I'll go with Lonan to wherever he was yesterday and help him ask around about Kieran as subtly as we can manage. Hopefully we'll get some good information to go off of."