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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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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Linde nodded and followed Aetrius as she walked away. Linde hadn't seen the snatch of the jewelry, so she was no wiser to it than anyone else. She wasn't that adept at spotting pickpockets.

As they walked, Linde happened to spy a Master and Slave a short distance away. She tapped Aetrius' arm and looked in the direction of the pair, and she jerked her head towards them indicating she wanted to go see them.

Leading Aetrius, Linde walked her over to a building corner to stand idly faking a conversation as they watched the pair go shopping.

"Leila, purchase the fruit for tonight's meal and return to me immediately darling." Said the Noblewoman Master to her Slave.

"Yes, milady."

'Milady.' So that was the appropriate response to her Master? Linde thought.

A few minutes later the woman was talking to one of her peers, and they began talking about Leila.

"She's a darling, for sure. She's so obedient it's almost endearing."

"Ah, so she is an obedient one then."

"Oh yes. Completely. I dress my servants appropriately for their behavior."

"Heh. Some do not do so, my dear. I know my neighbor dresses all of his slaves in full dress regardless of their obedience. He doesn't seem to care to show the skin of the obedient ones as is custom."

So obedience equals less clothing... She thought.

She turned to Aetrius and nodded, walking away with her to a more secluded spot to summarize what they'd seen and done.

"So, from what we just saw I have concluded that obedient slaves tend to show more skin. So if I am an obedient slave to you as my master, we'll need to find me an appropriately revealing outfit." She said quietly as if it was nothing.

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Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura
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Lonán had wandered through the District, discretely observing the same things the girls observed upon the noble’s way of speaking. He observed their fashion and their accents, which when he knew he mentally noted for later practice back at the Inn to try and get it down, then also made a note to figure out if he could somehow throw something together with his circus clothing, and if not, would ask Aetrius or Linde about how or if they could swipe an outfit for him to go to the auction.

However, he found something else out about the noblemen by looking at the windows of more high end taverns found in the district. He knew that each individual nobleman behaved more haughtily to those he felt lesser then him. But he was shocked to discover that even amongst their own peers one would be met with a cold shoulder for whatever reason, his height or his age. Almost as if they grouped up by that exact thing to form smaller groups!

”And I have to act like that? I’ll be lucky to even act like I’m looking down on someone like these folk do!” He thought. ”Maybe if I imagined them anyone less then my height my father I’ll be fine. I wonder how my ‘dear’ friends are doing.”

Dear. What a word to call a significant other. He recalled his grandmother addressing the Old Wolf in that manner. “Be a Dear and stop hammering so loudly.” Or “Thank you Dear, for spooking your grandson with that story.” Was the most prevalent sentences he could remember. Lonán chuckled to himself as he began to his way back to the Pony, provided no Nobles mistook him for one of their their own servants.

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Aetrius silently nodded as Linde gestured to an obvious master and slave a few feet away, and followed suit to their direction and stood and acted as if she was having an in depth conversation with Linde, while in reality if anyone else was watching or listening, not a word was actually said. Aetrius was one to know how to fake many things, conversations was one of them, she had picked up on their conversation and understood what it was that Linde wanted. Eventually when they had heard enough, Linde had pulled Aetrius into a more secluded part of the district and spoke, causing Aetrius' face to turn a light pink.

You....You want to what? H-how r-revealing are we talking about?" She asked as a stutter came forth from her mouth.

She could feel the blush slowly creep across her face more and more as several different ways went through her mind.

At Aetrius' question, Linde looked over her shoulder to the slave girl who was just now coming back to her master.

She wore an... "outfit?" If it could be called that?

Linde blushed slightly at the sight of it, but if that's what she needed to wear...

"I think that's how revealing it needs to be."

Aetrius listened to what Linde said, and peeked back over to the aforementioned slave, and felt her face drain of all of its color. The thought of Linde having to dress like that sent a mix of emotions through Aetrius, mainly worry and fear, and also curiosity. But more so of the two former feelings. She shook her head of all the thoughts that she had and felt her blush worsen by the second.

"I-I....Uhm uh...D-don't think you need to be that revealing, d-don't you think?" She stammered out as she could tell she must have been as red as Lolan's hair.

And it caused her to feel even more embarrassed, which caused her to blush even more.

Linde looked at Aetrius with a light blush in her cheeks.

"The more obedient the slave, the more revealing the clothing. I don't really know how to act defiant or anything like that, so it's best I play to my strengths and be obedient. Wearing appropriate clothing is a necessity if we're going to pull this off."

She turned to face Aetrius.

"I um... I can just... Walk behind you most of the time if it helps at all. It's... Going to be embarrassing, kind of. Also, my scar..." She said, holding her chest.

Aetrius nodded a bit at what she said, it was true. By now Aetrius understood the odd customs were slaves here in Veilbrand, and sadly and reluctantly knew she'd have to go along with it. She sighed heavily and rubbed her neck.

"Yeah...I understand that....Just, don't want anyone staring at you, ya know..? I...I don't like the idea of that....But, like you said, for us to pull this off, I'm sure we'll think of something..." She said softly, and gently lifted Linde's chin when she held her chest after bringing up her scar again to Aetrius.

"We'll think of something, okay? No need to feel ashamed, right? Like you've always told me, after all." She said kindly, and then chuckled softly at the end as she gave Linde a reassuring smile.

Linde smiled in return to Aetrius' smile as her chin was lifted. She gave Aetrius a nod.

"I suppose I can fashion something up to hide my scar, if need be. Maybe just cut a tunic top to expose more of the belly and more shoulders... Do you think that would work better?"


Aetrius gently placed her hand on Linde's shoulder and gently squeezed, "We have plenty of time to think of something, okay? And if need be...I can play the part of the slave...I have experience in that field...More than enough...."

Her voice dipped again and she sighed, turning a bit to the side she looked and then nodded.

"We should be heading back soon, think we've gotten enough information for now. What do you think?" She asked softly as she looked back at Linde.

Linde kept her smile for Aetrius and nodded.

"Mm... You're right. Let's head back. We have the whole day to plan our next move."

Aetrius gave Linde a nod in return and turned on her heel and slowly made their way back to the inn. About an hour passed when they finally arrived back at the inn, and made their way back to the room. She tossed her boots into the corner after removing them and loosened her shirt as it was rather tight. She gave a light knock on the wall that led to Lolan's room, and would await for either a responsive knock on the wall or the door, whichever way Lolan would end up communicating with them. She looked back where Linde was and gave her a small smile when they made eye contact and looked back at the door, waiting for a possible response from their friend, hoping he made it back safely and without trouble.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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It was a long trek home, but after simply using the same route he used to get to the Noble District, Lonán had made his way back to the Prancing Pony and gave Hawk a nice one minute visit before heading into the Inn. For the next few minutes he had he spent it practicing his accent, trying to tweak it to make it sound as natural as he could possibly can, when there was a knock on his wall. It had to be the girls, back from their own recon. He sighed in relief and stood up and decided to knock on their door, just to signal them he was indeed back. ”Just in case they wanted to have an update or a report on my findings, but it’s possibly the same thing as I have so it could wait till tomorrow morning’s meeting. he thought.

Lonán exited his room, and walked to their door and hesitated for a moment or two. ”Wait a minute. They’re an item now, how do I know they’re not doing anything?!” He thought to himself, before shaking his head. Surely if they’re following Saharan customs in courtships they wouldn’t be at that stage yet! That’d be crazy. Shaking off that feeling of awkwardness in his mind he raises his hand and gave a light, yet somewhat noisy knock on the door given he hit the door with a knuckle. He then waited where he was at, hoping for either a reply, or no reply so he could either decide whether updating them today or tomorrow would be the best idea.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Linde heard the knock and allowed Lonan to enter. Upon his entry, she gave him a smile and walked back to sit down. Lonan took his seat, and Linde decided to get things started.

"So, what we found out today..." She began, taking out her notes and putting her journal on the table with the page she wrote in turned for Lonan to read.

"We found out that there are several key traits of the behavior of nobles, and I jotted them down for you. No doubt you saw many of the same things, but still the extra confirmation will be good for all of our confidence."

She looked slightly away.

"When it comes to slaves... It seems the less clothed they are, the more obedient they are." She muttered.

"We have plenty of time until the auction. 11 days total still... But I have to admit that the idea of wearing as little clothing as I saw the slave girl today wearing has me a bit... Self conscious." She said with a light chuckle, and a bit of pink in her cheeks as she glanced to Aetrius.

"Still. I'm a terrible actor, so it's best I not play the part of a noblewoman." What did you find, Lonan?

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Aetrius sat silently and listened as Linde spoke and nodded, "If Kyero doesn't come back soon enough with the clothing we'll need, I can easily procure us clothing for the parts, it won't be too hard, especially considering I took this as proof." Aetrius said as she took the necklace from her pocket and placed it on the table.

"This can be either used for money or for gaining clothing, whatever you think it will be the better use of. I know of a store I can probably bargain for a higher price. Just let me know what you'd rather it be aimed towards, and I'll do so." she said as she folded her hands in front of her on the table and looked at the others, waiting for their opinion on what she had brought up

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Lonán went inside their room and listened to Linde’s update with a nod and looked at the notes. Then his eyes nearly bulged out when he heard what clothing the slaves had to wear. ”Well, that’s interesting to know. I learned that the noblemen look down on anything and anyone lesser then they. If you’re shorter or younger then said noble man in the same circle, you’re given a cold shoulder. So in laymen’s terms, they’re arseholes to everyone lower then them, especially to each other. I’ve probably got a way to get myself in the mindset of that.” he explained, giving at least his feelings on how the Noblemen behaved.

Then Aetrius brought up the matter of clothing and how to procure them if Kyero hadn’t returned. Lonán nodded at her explanation, but all thoughts ceased when she procured a necklace from her pocket. ”Well, that’s a horse of a different color.” Lonán breathed out. ”If we can get something out of it, we’ll get something out of it. But let’s not worry about naming a price and just focus on some fancy clothes for the time being. Either that or finding out the actual Auctions’ location.”

Both had equal importance, as it was alright that they were dressed for their roles, but Lonán knew that sooner or later they had to find out where it was taking place.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Linde looked slightly wide-eyed at the necklace.

"When did you-... How did you get that?" She asked.

But it didn't seem to matter. She had it, and that's what mattered. Linde wasn't one for thievery, but desperate times called for desperate measures. The noble who lost it today would very likely be able to get it back or earn the money to replace it before long.

In the meantime, Linde nodded to Lonan's suggestion.

"Mm. I believe another day of studying the nobility is in order. We got some of the basics, but there are bound to be further intricacies we haven't seen yet. The clothing can wait for another day."

She stood up and walked to the door.

"Would anyone like to go downstairs for dinner? The sun's going down so now would be the best time to eat, don't you think?"

Setting

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Aetrius grinned at Linde's inquiry of how she got the necklace she had showed, "I borrowed it from a noble, all too easily. But that's neither here nor there, Linde." she gave a chuckle and sly grin as she looked at Linde. She knew she shouldn't have taken it, but they were in desperation for money and supplies, and she'd do what she could do.

She too stood up as Linde mentioned food and joined her at the door. "Food sounds great, actually. I could go for a meal about now, actually. As for Lolan, studying as much as we can is indeed a good idea, and we'll keep it up. Learn as much as we can and practice just as much, for this to go flawlessly, we'll need as much practice and information to use as we can get. For now, we can eat and gain some well deserved relaxation. Then we can move on from there." she gave the two a nod and began to slowly walk out of the room's door to downstairs for search of food.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Lonán took in what the others suggested and gave a very brisk nod. ”Alright. I’ll see what I can do about further studies. Might take me a day or two to learn about other things we may have missed.” he said, scratching the side of his face a bit. He leaned in his chair and then realized by the way he was sitting, he had just the thing to study Nobles on tomorrow. ”Like posture.” he added quickly.

At the invitation to dinner Lonán smiled. ”Dinner sounds excellent. I’ll join you.” He said. He then got up and began to follow everyone out the door, happy at the prospect of having food in his gullet to steady his nerves and to steel himself for the days of study ahead. He wanted it to go smoothly but at the back of his mind he knew only one simple phrase his father, Heresta damn him, always said. “Where is the fun in that? Better to roll the dice and see where luck always stands.”

He was a bastard of a father, but he had a point. Only Heresta knew what tomorrow could truly bring. He’ll have to be ready for it, whatever it may be. For now, supper awaited.

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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As the group found its way to the inn's main dining room, they found a rather pleasant surprise waiting for them. A rare, rare sight indeed... A traveling string, percussion, and harp (replacing piano) ensemble just small enough to fit in the space, but large enough to fill the inn and the surrounding streets with the beautiful sounds of music they produced.

At the moment only the string section was playing, and it was a very soft, slow moving meandering series of melodies for ambiance which made even this sometimes unwelcoming inn seem very homely and comfortable.

Together the group sat down at a table near a window and ordered an evening meal. They made small talk for a time, and Linde continued to look over at the orchestra with a smile which spoke of memories past. Eventually, as they all began to finish their meal together the conversation took a slightly darker turn as it was brought up how dangerous what they were doing was. The mood was beginning to sour with everyone expressing concerns about numerous things from Linde's course as a slave to the fact that what they were doing was going to bring them into contact with a former Te'i Sai member.

Finally, Linde's heart could stand it no longer. The draw of the orchestra. The souring mood among their trio... She stood up and walked to the orchestra, gently tapping the shoulder of the section master (lead violin player) and whispered to him about something. He nodded with a smile from ear to ear and turned to the others in the ensemble giving them instructions as to what they were going to play.

Linde took a position on a small stage platform only about eight inches tall for singers, and clasped her hands in front of her stomach.

The section master stood and turned to the crowd, which was now beginning to grow from people looking through the windows and seeing such an angel on the stage preparing to sing.

"We are pleased to announce the debut performance for this ensemble of a piece we've desired to play but never could due to no requests... Until now. 'Lost in Thoughts, All Alone,' a staple of Cre' Itian culture and a song of hope in the darkness, sung by miss Linde Xe' Almna!" He announced.

Linde smiled with a slight flush in her cheeks as a few patrons clapped while others looked on curiously, having never heard the piece before.

The ensemble prepared themselves, and the string section began to play Lost in Thoughts, All Alone, followed by the harp (replacing the piano) playing an arpeggio to begin the piece proper with Linde beginning to sing one given her cue.

The performance, by the time it was finished, had once again gathered a crowd as Linde seemed to do wherever she went. An angelic beauty from Cre' Est singing a staple of her culture drew a crowd that made the entire inn's dining area a shoulder-to-shoulder standing room only event. Over one hundred people crammed into the room to hear Linde's performance.

And when it came to a conclusion Linde gave a bow to thunderous applause and cheers before giving a gesture to the ensemble which stood behind her and bowed once again in unison with her.

Linde stepped off the platform and walked through the crowd back to her table, sitting down with the others as the room began to slowly clear of those who came to watch the performance.

"... I hope you enjoyed the performance," she said quietly, blushing rather thoroughly as her hands tucked between her legs and her shoulders curled forward, a classic posture of mild embarrassment.

"I've never sung it publicly before, but I thought it would help relieve the tension. We have much to do and a dangerous road ahead, but... I believe we will all be fine as long as we stay together." She said with a smile.

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Aetrius was enjoying the dinner they were sharing and the conversations that were brought up, laughter and smiles all around, even from her. But as time had gone on, conversation turned to their mission, quickly turning the mood sour and awkward. Aetrius hoped to think of something to lighten and lessen the souring mood, but before she could properly think of something, Linde stood up and walked to the band that was playing, she observed silently as Linde was obviously requesting a song. But what surprised her next is that Linde got up on the small platform to perform the song, apparently. She didn't know that Linde could sing, but she would now, and she waited with baited breath to see how it would go.

She watched silently as Linde sang an unfamiliar song, and couldn't help but smile all the while with a small blush to her face. She listened and couldn't help but smile and sway as she closed her eyes and listened. Eventually the song ended, and Linde returned, Aetrius clapped until Linde sat down, "Well done, Linde. Well done, indeed. Glad to see you're one for music as well. I'd offer, but uh...Not exactly one to sing in public....heh..." she rubbed the back of her neck and smiled shyly with an embarrassed blush spread across her face.

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Lonán was eating his meal when his heart indeed grew heavy over the mission. The merriment seemed to stagnate and turn awkward. He felt tempted to tell one of the stories his mother learned from Grandmother Sigrun who learned them herself was a young warrior traveling around the continent with a group of warriors dubbed the ‘Lionesses of Heresta’. Trouble was... which tale could he tell that sounded more hilarious?

Then Linde stood up and approached the band. Lonán observed her as she then stood up on the platform as the band announced a song from Cre’est. Then she sang, and the beauty, sadness, and the hope behind the song softly rocked his anxieties to sleep, leaving Lonán to revel in its melody in silence. His mind replayed the more happier memories of his childhood, from the few friends he used to play with, the training with the Old Wolf, etc. Any regrets in those memories, any doubts, they were being drowned out by Linde’s song.

When it was over, he almost didn’t want it to. He looked at Aetrius and then at Linde, and gave a small smile. ”You’ve got a good one Aetrius. I’m almost jealous, but Heresta will guide me to the Mate meant for me. In time. It happened that way to the Old Wolf after all.” He thought as Linde came back as he joined in the applause.

”Well Done, Well Done. An extraordinary performance. As for what you said Aetrius, I’d do the same thing without hesitation. I know a few songs, and picked up songs from traveling with the Carnival of Shifting Sands.” he offered with a grin, leaning back on his chair with said grin, feeling like his normal self again.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Linde smiled as the others clapped and congratulated her on a fine performance, and she remained quiet and bashful about it for the remainder of the evening.

After they'd shot the breeze to relieve the tension for a short time longer, they all went back to their rooms to rest. Lonan back to his, Linde and Aetri back to theirs. And, as with the previous night, Linde cuddled into Aetri's arms, falling asleep with her head on her shoulder within minutes.

The next morning came all too quickly for the trio. Lonan would return to his studying of nobility while Linde and Aetri would continue studying the behaviors of nobles and slaves which meant another trip to the Noble District.

And on this day, Linde and Aetrius managed to observe several things which they'd either missed or not been fortunate enough to be shown last time including the following:

The nobility speak only to commoners in the event there is business to discuss. They do not speak to those of a "lower" social class than them. Lower nobility is fine, though there is condescension involved. But never to commoners unless they have some kind of business.

Secondly was that noble women in particular wore a decent amount of makeup when going out in public. If they knew they weren't going to leave their home for the day, or for more than one brief outing, they would wear very little makeup. But for extended trips into the city, heavy makeup was used including cheek blush, lip stick, powder on the face, and sometimes even face paints for family insignias or other cultural symbols.

Thirdly, they only saw two slaves today. But both slaves demonstrated a very particular action which was reflected by the one from yesterday as well... They walked with their eyes down watching their Master's feet, following directly behind them. And always at a distance of at least two paces (roughly 8 feet).

The day passed very quickly for the pair. They took a couple breaks here and there for meals and drinks, and overall caught two more things about slaves before the day was done.

One, slaves never spoke unless given permission by the Master or unless directly answering to the Master's request or orders. Two, Slaves never made eye contact with whoever they spoke to. It seemed like taboo for them to look anyone in the eye.

And that was their day. They returned to the inn in the evening and sat down to prepare for dinner, but first they needed to wait and see how Lonan's day went.

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Lonán’s activity the next day was studying more nuances of Noble behavior. He decided to also check out how much money the Nobles trade around. So these were his objectives in mind, making his way through town wearing his servant guise and into the Noble’s district, where he watched the daily routines of the noblemen and women. And by Heresta the things he discovered!

For one, any new thing seemed to be displayed like a peacock strutting through the path showing off his feathers. The mock cleaning of a new trinket, the showing off a new tattoo by the brush of their hair ‘casually’ if on the forehead, or the new dress or robes. It made the Saharan feel like he was living inside his Father’s dreams. ”On the plus side, if I wanted to show off a tiny bit of my tattoo I could. Now to observe their money transactions.” He thought making his way towards the bank.

Lonán was walking towards the steps of a bank near the market when he heard two commoners talking. As he approached he learned indirectly that often at maximum, Nobles spend the equivalent of 5 gold a day. Lonán furrowed his brow, wondering if these men were somehow cheated from the way they spoke.

“Let’s not worry about it now. It’s just how it is... if you go into the bank you’ll see their true colors. Cheaters in a gambling den.” One of them said. Lonán raised his eyebrow at hearing this. If banking in Valoc was like gambling he wanted to see how the game actually worked, and how they cheat. If there was one valuable thing he learned from his father, “You’re only cheating if you get caught. Anyone who doesn’t notice they are being cheated deserves to be a sucker.”

Those were wise words from an inept gambler. So with that in mind, he began to walk into the bank to observe by sitting at one of the benches provided there. There, he watched with a more intrigued eye due to what the commoners said. He watched a Nobleman approach one of the Bankers.

“Good day sir. Lovely morning isn’t it?” He greeted almost cordially, But Lonán could sense the tone wasn’t warm, more business oriented. Another example of Nobles looking down on people in this country.

“Yes sir, it is. What’s today’s agenda?” The banker asked. “A deposit of withdrawal?”

“A deposit, and I’d like to see your safekeeping options, if you please.” The Nobleman said, as the teller nodded and Lonán watching from his spot observed two sacks of what he assumed was money being placed at the counter, and the Banker inviting him to the safe room. ”Safekeeping options? More like I want to see where you’re keeping my money and assuring it’s safe.” Lonán thought, starting to understand that there was also some wordplay involved. He watched the Nobleman come out with the banker, giving the man a coin, which the banker pocketed as the man left.

The banker huffed and patted his pants, and pulled out the coin and paled before throwing it to the ground. it rolled to Lonán, revealing itself to be a copper coin. It was then Lonán now had proof that Nobles were indeed like cheaters at gambling houses. Thinking he saw enough he was about to leave when a Noblewoman approached another banker and asked for a withdrawal of 20 gold, before adding “Lovely morning isn’t it?”, Lonán finally decided to look out the window and realized it was well in the midday afternoon.

”The double talk about seeing the safe, the man giving the banker a copper coin before leaving (in place of a gold coin for a bribe which he must’ve switched with without the banker knowing.), and now the deposits and the withdrawals in this bank and others might very well be against the law’s standard. Banking is not a game I want to play.” Lonán concluded, and walked out of the bank. He had to go back and tell the Ladies what he learned with his own two eyes something he considered horrible.

So he departed for the Pony, to tell Linde and Aetrius his findings. In fact, when he did arrive, he would knock on their door, out of breath from being more worn out from seeing so much then by the walking.

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Aetrius had awoken early that day and yet again went into the Noble District with Linde to further study for their roles at the auction, further studying language, mannerisms, speech patterns, terms, and relations to others. She studied as much as she could and basically became a sponge, taking in all she could. Once they had learned all that they thought were enough, they had returned to the inn and retired to the tavern.

Aetrius sat down, exhausted both mentally and physically. They made small talk for the next hour or so until Lolan had returned, and once he did they gave him a breather and ordered food, and once was all said and done with, they made some small talk after eating, and then decided to share what they had found out that day, or at least what they learned in terms of their roles. "So, Lolan. What did you find out today? For us it was the same as before, sadly..." her voice held some gloom and disappointment.

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Lonán stretched his legs after his meal and small talk, feeling all the more ready to turn in when Aetrius asked if he found out something new today. He gave a big sigh and cracked his neck. ”Well then you wouldn’t believe what I found out today then.” He said, ”First things first, The Nobles love to strut and flaunt anything new or ‘dazzling’. New jewelry, new clothes or dresses, even new tattoos are given some sort of flair in showing off. But that pales in what I’ve learned about both spending and banking routines.”

He had to mentally brace himself for what he had to say next. Taking a deep breath he pinched the bridge of his nose. ”Nobles spend at most 5 gold a day on average, but are known to fleece the merchants. When you see them in a bank in action, it’s like a more cleaner refined gambling den. I don’t know how much you can put in or take out of the banks legally, But they have some sort of code, which you might want to write down girls. The first code is ‘I’d like to see your safekeeping options’. This one is more to make the bankers take the Nobleman or woman to the actual safe. As for the other code I picked up, it’s ‘Lovely Morning isn’t it?’. It sounds ridiculous but it signals two things. The transaction amount, be it deposit or withdrawal is illegal. The reason why that is is the second thing. I saw the banker be given a coin after the transaction was complete. A bribe. But the bribed banker was also fleeced. He was given A copper coin. The amount deposited seemed enough to clear my fa-ahem... My friend’s gambling debt.” Lonán Mentally slapped himself after correcting himself. They were here to help out Aetrius’ family, not his so no need to bring up his own problems.

Besides, did he truly want to forgive his father at this moment? ”Not now, not for a long while. When I’m ready.”

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Linde nodded her head, noting Lonan cutting himself off and correcting himself mid-sentence... But that was his business. If he didn't want to tell them something then that was fine. Linde had her secrets too. Aetri also picked up on it, but chose not to speak. Heresta knew she was still hiding secrets. Who was she to talk about Lonan correcting himself?

That evening concluded peacefully enough with Lonan returning to his room and Linde and Aetri continued small talk. The pair of them took some time to share some information about themselves. Aetri told Linde a little more of her history as a Bounty Hunter, the kinds of people she went after, where some of her wounds came from, etc. Linde shared a bit about her youth which was rather revealing as to why she was such a good doctor. Alongside the fact that she started very young under her mother who was a fine doctor in her own right, she was a highly experimental and outgoing girl who spoke to the local doctor and went out into the woods to find wounded animals to practice her skills on. She saved birds, squirrels, stray dogs and cats, even a boar one time. By the time she was only twelve she was officially her mother's assistant in the family clinic and was trusted with stitching small wounds, combining herbs for salves, and providing physical therapy advice for muscle strains and other such injuries. By fifteen, she was fully recognized by the capitol city of Cre' Est's board of doctoral judges to be qualified as a doctor herself. The youngest in Cre' Est's history, and all because of sheer work ethic and dutifulness to her studies.

After sharing this brief bout of information with one another, the girls went to bed. Once more, as was now becoming the norm for them, Linde cuddled up in Aetrius' arms resting her head on her shoulder. It was now her favorite spot to be, and Aetrius was becoming accustomed to Linde's preference for contact and cuddling though there was still a little bit of adjusting to be made. However, with arms wrapped protectively around her new love, Aetrius quickly fell asleep with a smile on her face following a kiss to Linde's forehead.


Day 5

Today, Linde and Aetrius sought to learn more about the private dynamic between Masters and Slaves. They spent the morning with Aetrius teaching Linde about how it was in Shaharan, sharing stories of her own time in servitude to her Masters. They were not pleasant memories, and they brought both pain and anger to Aetrius' heart. However, with Linde holding her hands and smiling sweetly, it quickly dissipated her anger and allowed her to continue.

Aetrius took Linde back to the Noble District where they found a Noble and their Slave and tailed them back to their estate. Using Aetrius' stealth, they managed to infiltrate the estate and carefully maneuvered through the rooms before finding a hiding spot in the Master's own master bedroom. Hiding in one of the larger closets, Linde holding one of Aetrius' hands for comfort as this was an all-new experience for her, they huddled together and peeked through the grating in the sliding door to see how the Master lived and behaved with their slaves.

The Master entered the room about twenty minutes later and sat on the bed before calling for one of their Slaves.

"Margaret! Come to me!" He called.

A short young blonde entered the room wearing little but a cloth bra around her chest and a pair of panties. Clearly a very, very obedient slave which made both women blush and Linde's hand tightened around Aetrius'.

"Come." He repeated.

Margaret approached and dropped to her knees in front of him.

It was too dangerous to take notes on parchment, so she had to take notes in her mind about how the girl presented herself and sat on her knees with her back straight, head bowed, eyes on the floor, and hands folded in her lap.

"My dear. I'd like you to remove my boots."

She did as ordered without a word or facial expression change. Just... Did it. Like a doll.

"Excellent. Now, remove my socks."

Again, without protest or a facial change, she did as ordered.

"Good. Put them away, dear."

She stood, picked up the socks and boots, and put them away before returning to her seat.

"... Thank you. That will be all for now my dear. You may go now. Please fetch Handel for me."

She stood and bowed, keeping her eyes down, and left the room. A moment later another female slave entered the room. A brunette with long flowing hair not unlike Linde's. And... She was... Without clothing. Both Linde and Aetrius blushed heavily in the closet and tightened their grip on one another, arms slowly wrapping around each other's waists.

"Handel... Come to me." He ordered.

Handel approached and stood before him with her arms at her sides, presenting herself for him.

"... Come. Bend over the bed, my dear." He said, loosening the sash around his waist.

Handel did as ordered, and both Linde and Aetrius looked to one another and embraced quietly as they listened to the Master have his way with Handel. When it was over some six minutes later, Handel was allowed to leave the room as the Master replaced his clothing. He left the room, and both Linde and Aetrius felt they'd seen what they needed to see and departed through a window to the streets outside.

The pair returned to the marketplace to sit and eat, though neither had much of an appetite at this point. They'd just seen both a Slave, and a Sex Slave at work for this "Noble," and they were both disgusted. Handel had been silent through the experience, but the pain in her face that they could see when they stole a glance was obvious. There had been no foreplay. No preparation. He just... Took her.

They sat in silence for a time, nibbling tiny bites of their food, but finally managed to speak up and go over the details they saw. The obedience. The quiet obedience. No speaking. Eyes down. The proper body posture, presenting themselves for him. Complete and total submission... As was all too familiar to Aetri. She didn't like it at all. The idea of Linde behaving as a slave even if it was to save Kieran made her sick. If Linde ever became someone's slave, she'd turn the world upside down to rescue her from that life. And she'd rip her "Master's" head from his shoulders by hand and put it on a spike in the central square as a trophy.

After eating and spending the rest of the day together to take the edge off of what they'd seen, walking around the city and taking in some more peaceful sights and sitting together in beautiful locales to rest, they returned to the inn. As was usual, they knocked on Lonan's door to invite him in to speak about what he had seen and done this day.

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Lonán was hard at work studying any behavior from the Nobles that he might have missed. However the main objective was to double check his discoveries and make sure it was truly acceptable behavior. He had checked the bank, going to another to be extra certain the code was the same all around. He was now in the middle of confirming the ‘groups’ noblemen formed. He watched some of the men converse and joke around in a pub, even mocking some of their smaller peers.

He got himself to a corner, watching them as they did this. About half an hour came by when he felt mostly satisfied he confirmed this behavior as he began to leave.

“I hear Kieran will be auctioned soon, shame. She’ll be a high price fetcher for certain.” Said a Nobleman, making Lonán pause as he leaned to listen.

“Is she obedient?” Asks another, causing the first to laugh.

“That’s just it, good sir! She’s obedient when she wants to be! Otherwise she’ll find a way to be her natural Saharan self and disobey! Kieran will be the highlight of that auction! I tell you this much! Well I must be off.” With that the Noble began to leave whilst Lonán Eyed him as he went. Once he knew for sure he left the door, he waited a moment, and began to trail after him. He wanted some more answers out of him, and he was sure to get it. However, it may/may not make him run a bit late, which could worry Linde and Aetrius. But he hoped it’d be a worthy endeavor, making Aetrius and Linde glad for it, probably.

So he followed the man, through the district, towards a house which he assumed belonged to him, making a mental note on where it was as the man talked to a friend waiting for him there, saying something about ‘business.’ Lonán kept his distance and mingled with a small crowd. Then the man turned and continued on his way towards another part of town. As he followed him he noticed the cleanliness of the Noble district transferring to a more darker outlook. ”Heading to the underground are we? I’d have to modify my disguise a bit, or catch him now and pull him to an alleyway immediately for interrogating him. If I fail now a chance like this might not come again! Strike while the iron is still hot!” He thought, weighing his options as he still followed the Nobleman, preparing himself to grab him at any moment.

Lonán finally couldn’t wait another moment, and if he slipped from the Saharan’s grasp now, Aetrius would never forgive him for letting the info slip past him. He walked briskly and grabbed at the man’s shoulder, and pulled him into an alleyway. He also made sure the man was facing away from him. “Alright, Talk fast and you might survive without a hair on your head harmed. I have some questions, and you’re going to answer them, understood?”

The noble squirmed in Lonan's grip until he was forced into the alley and told he might survive. He barely registered anything beyond that. The thought of him not surviving sent a chill through his blood, and he went limp in Lonan's arms and passed out.

“Oh for the love of...” Lonán muttered and looked around for an abandoned building, and upon finding one, carried/dragged the man into it. He set the man on a chair and shut all the windows and doors. Then he went to work on hiding his face. Pulling out a black scarf he got from the mountain village he wrapped it around the lower half of his face. Then he pulled out a candle and set it on a barrel.

Then his attention returned to the man as he took some discarded rope from the floor and bound his hands. Then he slapped the man on the forehead. “Wake up.”

SMACK

The man shook his head and awoke with a start, seeing the man before him with a black scarf covering his face.

"Wh-who... Who are you!? Do you have any idea who I am?!"

Lonán glowered at the man, the candlelight making his eyes appear like two flaming orbs of topaz as he set his jaw. “You’re a man who has information I want. You tell me it, and I will leave and this never happened, do you understand?” He asked, as he pulled out the skinning dagger from its sheathe. “I don’t want to use this. And I’m sure you don’t. So it’s in your best interest to cooperate.”

The man eyed the dagger warily and gulped down a lump in his throat. However, he glared back at Lonan with as much ferocity as he could muster.

"Y-you don't intimidate me, scum. I have no business with you, and whatever you think I have you want, you are mistaken. Now untie me this instant and I'll be on my way!"

Lonán’s glare widened, as he took a sharp inhale. He closed his eyes during it, as if taking in some sort of momentary silence. Then he exhaled, emitting a low growl as he grabbed the man by the throat and the knife inches from his face. “Consider this your only warning. Now tell me what I want to know if you wish to not have this causing you pain. Pain unimaginable, pain of the likes of which you do not wish to have upon you.” He said, ending his statement with a growl every time. “Now answer my question pretty boy. How do you know about this ‘Auction Highlight’ Kieran?”

The man's thin veil of bravery fell away when grabbed and hauled in like a sack of potatoes and the dagger put just inches from his face. And as Lonan growled his threats and demanded information on Kieran, he started trembling.

"Wh-wh-why would you be interested in that one? What business is she of yours?"

“That’s not your concern. Only that it’s my business to know.” Lonán growled, starting to run out of patience. “Tell me what I want, and I will leave and we will both be on our way that much faster. I’m running out of patience, and you don’t want to see what happens when I run out of patience.” At the emphasis of this, he stabs the wooden chair inches away from the man’s groin.

“How, do you know about her?” He said, with an almost deadly calm now, as if he was starting to grow tired of being nice.

The man swallowed another lump in his throat and his face grew a few shades paler as the dagger was slammed into the chair by his groin.

"... I... I have an associate who spoke of her. That's all! Now let me go!"

“And the name of the Associate?” Lonán asked, becoming even more calmer as his eyes glowered into the man’s.

The man was starting to sweat, and he gulped down yet another lump in his throat.

"I... I cannot tell you. He owes me a debt. If you do anything to him and he finds out it was because I gave his name he'll-"

Lonán finally pulled out the knife and gave a small cut on his hand. “Nothing will happen to him, but you on the other hand will not be able to collect the debt if my next cut goes deeper into your hand. His name and you can still get out of this. Intact without becoming a cripple, or otherwise.”

The man shrieked as the blade was dragged across his hand drawing blood which dripped to the floor. Gathering himself after the ordeal, he panted heavily trying to block the pain as he looked at Lonan.

"O-Ourros Hendon. His name is Ourros Hendon. He's interested in buying Kieran at the auction as the most sought after slave in the land. He's prepared to part with as many as 140 Gold to acquire her. Now please let me go! I swear on my life I won't speak of this to anyone!"

“You swear it?” Lonán asked. “On your own life. Do you swear on your honor as well, if you have any?”

"I swear! I swear! Now let me go!!"

Lonán glowered at the man, he was saying it out of fear, and not of honesty. “Very well. I’ll let you go. Go to the Wolves of the Underground who love a fine, fat cowardly Noble.” He said, punching him with the intent to knock him out. “They’re sure to come and determine your fate. I don’t kill cowards. But I’m sure they do.” He then put out the candle, sheathing the knife and pulling off the scarf to pocket it. Then he left the building, sure that there was an occupant in that building that was far less friendly as he was to the Noble, and didn’t want to share the same fate as he began his way back to the Pony.

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Day 6

Linde awoke that morning is something of a strange mood. She was happy to wake in her new lover's arms. But she was also sad about what she was going to put her through.

... Aetrius had been a slave before. She knew this life. And now Linde was going to make her return to it. Even if it was Linde acting the part, Aetrius would no doubt be reliving horrible memories the entire time.

When Aetrius awoke, Linde smiled at her and cupped her face while sitting up on her elbow to look down into her eyes.

”Aetrius... Today we put what we've learned into practice, and I realize this is likely going to force you to relive experiences you wish you could forget.” She began softly.

She leaned in and gave Aetrius a soft kiss on the lips, then backed up a little to look at her again with a blush in her cheeks.

"Please don't forget that I'm here for you. I may be acting in a role you once occupied, but remember this is all just a guise to rescue Kieran.”

She leaned in again, forehead to forehead with Aetrius.

"I'll never allow anyone to make a real slave of me, just as I'll never allow anyone to make you return to that life... So please, don't let anything we do distract you. Push the memories back, and give this your all... For Kieran.” She whispered.

She laid back down, cuddling up forcefully against Aetrius with a solid grip around her stomach.

As Aetrius slowly awoken the next morning, the last thing she expected was the be almost immediately bombarded with the current day's plans by Linde. She listened silently and remained still all the while Linde spoke to her, memories came flooding back into her head until Linde had gently cupped her face, placing a gentle kiss to her lips, causing her to blink and come back to reality. She slowly and silently nodded and remained silent as she listened further, once Linde had finished speaking, Aetrius gently cuddled up to her as Linde curled up in her arms.

Aetrius took a deep breath and closed to her eyes, memories of all too painful experiences and times came back, causing a small tear to fall. She cleared her throat and spoke.

“I get it, Linde...Whatever we have to do, we'll do it. For her...I'll play the part of something I hate....My years in the circus and the acting I had to do will come into play for this....Hopefully I won't mess this up...We can't afford to..” Her voice dulled a little bit at the end, her grip around Linde becoming a bit firmer.

Linde cuddled Aetrius in return, snuggling up against her before they finally agreed it was time to rise. They ate breakfast together, and the moment had arrived...

From out of the back behind the dressing wall stepped Linde. Her foot was the first thing that became visible wearing not but a small sandal which was made of a solid fabric instead of the wood that most others used. Her bare leg followed. The softly sun-kissed skin, clear and devoid of any markings or scars shining in the sunlight that cascaded through the window. If this wasn't a sign of a bewitching beauty to follow, nothing could be considered such.

Next thing that became visible were her hips and stomach. The garments she wore were little more than glorified underwear with a veil-like covering along the back which fell just past her knees. Up top was essentially a white cloth bra tied in the back by a small string... But it was tied tightly.

Lastly, Linde stepped out and became wholly visible to Aetrius. The scar on her chest was approximately 80% visible, but it did little to detract from her glorious curves and soft, flat musculature. Her hair was let down without the tie she usually kept near the end, flowing out around and behind her like a waterfall.

She put her hands together in front of her groin, blushing thoroughly, and looked to the side.

"H-how do I look, M-M-Master?” She asked quietly.

After they had spent a few more minutes of rest, they had agreed to get up and proceed to their plans. Aetrius nodded as Linde had excused herself to get dressed, and Aetrius did the same, getting into the same outfit she had been in the days previous, she sat down and was polishing her sword in the meantime as Linde was preparing herself for the role she would going to play, the servant. Aetrius was taken from her current sight which was the sword in her hand, to looking up as Linde spoke, she couldn't believe what was in front of her. Her mouth went ajar, her face flushed a bright red and the weapon she was holding fell from her hands and clattered to the floor.

She looked away as embarrassment overcame her, a blush spreading across her face. Eventually she looked back at Linde and slowly stood to her feet, covering Linde with her cloak and gently holding it to keep it closed.

“U-uhm...Uh...I-I don't think you n-need to be th-that dedicated to your r-role, Linde…” she stuttered out as she had to look away as her blush only became worse the more she spoke.

Linde, whose face was fully flushed, was grateful to have Aetrius' cloak wrapped around herself. Even if modesty wasn't an issue when she was being a doctor, having trained herself for that environment, the embarrassment of such immodesty when not in the medical room was... Almost maddening.

However...

She gently pushed the cloak away, took a deep breath, and let it out on a sigh through her nose.

"No... It's... I-it's better this way. The more obedient I am, the less I must speak. I noticed that from the few slaves we saw. Those with more clothing spoke more frequently. A-and I don't know if I could act well enough to convince such trained eyes that I am a slave.”

She spread her shoulders proudly, put her feet together, and sat down on her knees with her hands in her lap. She looked down at the floor, which was oddly comforting... Maybe that's how the slaves coped with this embarrassment? But still, she assumed her role right away by going silent and averting her gaze save at the floor or her new Master's feet.

Aetrius remained silent as Linde spoke and refused to remain less clothed than Aetrius thought. She sighed softly and squatted down and gently lifted Linde's chin with the soft part of her finger tips as she spoke.

“Fine....But that is only when out in public or when we're certain we're in sight. Other than that, you're your normal self, and not this....Not this damned role that you feel you need to play, understand..?” She asked softly, a bit of sadness and even a small bit of anger and resentment were evident in her voice as she spoke to Linde.

But her most telling feature were her eyes, which seemed to give off a sense of sadness in them.

Linde looked up as her chin was lifted, and Aetrius' words helped lift her heavy heart. She offered Aetrius a small smile. And as she closed her eyes she used her hand to lift Aetrius' hand a little and kissed her fingertips.

"As you wish, my love.” She whispered, her blush growing slightly.

Aetrius nodded and smiled at her words, and gently kissed her forehead, and rose to her feet. She took a deep breath and exhaled slowly, trying to clear her mind and attempt at getting rid of her current anxiety at what was to play out for them in town.

“Alright...Let's go, Linde....Stay close, and if something were to happen....Something of dangerous or deadly consequence, and I tell you to run, you run, got it? Now...Let's be on our way…” She said softly and slowly exited their room for the day.

Linde heard the words, but she did not reply. She merely nodded. Inside, she knew she could not agree to her terms. If something dangerous happened and put Aetrius in danger, Linde was not going to flee. She was going to protect Aetrius whatever the cost just as Aetrius would for her.

Still, it was time to put their studies to work. Linde rose to her feet and followed Aetrius out the door. And once they started going downstairs to the lobby she looked at Aetrius' feet and bowed her head, clasping her hands in front of her groin. She kept a distance of two paces behind Aetrius, and followed like a shadow.

As they entered the lobby, the patrons seeing the noblewoman and her... Slave?!?!

Mouths dropped. Blushes adorned everyone's faces. Men and woman alike couldn't take their eyes off of the scantily clad Linde as she trailed behind her Master. But as she looked at the floor and Aetrius' feet, she didn't see them staring, or, oogling... In the case of the less moral patrons. They exited quickly to the world beyond the inn and sauntered around town. Linde trailing her noble Master as Aetrius made small talk with other Nobles and observed the intricacies of the culture by talking down to shorter noblewomen and noblemen alike, given that she was quite tall. She also observed other intricacies such as the never speaking to commoners unless there was business to be done. She faked business with a commoner by entering an establishment in search of wares, but ultimately didn't buy anything.

Finally, the real test arrived... Another noble with their slave.

Aetrius made small talk with him, the man taking notice of Linde's 'obedience' by the lack of clothing save a bra and underwear with a veil on the back. He complimented Aetrius on her obedience, saying he almost wished his slave was as obedient. But he also noted she didn't have the curves that Linde did to pull off the look. Still, Aetrius was lucky to have Linde be so obedient with a view like that. Aetrius fought back the urge to knock him out, and decided to accept an offer to leave and chat with the noble while Linde and the other slave sat outside to wait for their master to return.

And during that time... Linde was addressed by the other slave as a 'fake,' having seen through the guise. Linde was shocked, but then again this was a real slave. And through a conversation Linde learned that real slaves can spot a fake a mile away. But this slave also was a very moral young woman, and she appreciated Linde's desire to save another of their kind. So she gave her some advice, and some information. Linde was heavy hearted and rather frightened of the consequences of this course of action... But it truly would be best. Not only could she get valuable information about being a slave and learn to live as the slaves do to blend in without being spotted, but she could also potentially find more information about Kieran.

It was a win-win situation... So long as she was never caught.

When Aetrius came back Linde accompanied her back to the inn. And the moment they were inside Linde dashed to the changing wall and returned to her normal clothing before coming back and waiting with Aetrius for Lonan to return so they could start their meeting.

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Lonán made it to the Pony later in the evening, and knocked on The door to the Girls’ room. When he was let in, he tiredly sat on a chair and rubbed his face in his hands. ”You wouldn’t believe what I just found out ladies.” He muttered as he looked up with tired eyes. He felt hesitant to say anything but he knew that Aetrius would’ve made him spill his guts anyway, possibly similar to how he did it to his ‘informant’.

”I found a lead about Kieran Aetrius. During my reconnaissance of confirming what I’ve told you I overheard a noble talking about her. I followed him then promptly escorted him to a more, private place of discussion.” He explained, ”After asking about what he knew, he heard about her being in the auction from a man who owed the coward money. It took some convincing to make him talk but he gave me a name I think we should look into. Ourros Hendon. Possibly a nobleman of some kind who knew Kieran, maybe even her whereabouts right now. However I’m not sure if that’s how he knows her or not. But I’m willing to find out for you guys if you wish?”

He looked at both Linde and Aetrius, and looked at Aetrius with a slight worry in his mind as he hoped she took the news well. Otherwise, he’d have to do what he said and go find this Ourros Hendon before he did anything else for the remainder of the time they had left before Kyero’s return.

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Aetrius and Linde waited at the inn for Lolan to return, they had dressed into more comfortable and modest clothing and made small talk until they heard a knock on the door. Aetrius gestured for her to remain sitting and got up and walked over to the door and unlocked it and opened it to see Lolan, who tiredly sat down in one of the chairs and shared with them what he had learned. At the very mention of Kieran, she stood straight up to her feet and walked over to him and listened to the remainder of what he had to say. When he finally finished, she placed her hand on her chin and paced back and forth for two solid minutes, her steps were deliberate and heavy, a sense of urgency and anger could be seen in the way she walked.

Eventually she spoke up as she remained her pacing, "We need to find this bastard and interrogate him for what he knows, Lolan. Tomorrow, bright and early we'll find him somehow and and make him speak, no matter what we have to do to make him sequel like a pig. If I have to castrate him just to make him speak up, I will do it with my bare hands. He's all we really have to go on and if we can get him to say what we want, we'll have leeway. And I know what you're thinking, he'll pick up on it and tell someone that we're looking for her. I have my ways of making sure people stay quite, and trust me...We'll be fine." she said as she finally finished pacing, and pinched the arch of her nose and sat down on the edge of the bed. A headache began to make itself known and she'd need a drink or two.

Aetrius looked at the two, "I need a drink....We'll be waking up and go looking for Ourros Hendon, and I'll get what I want. I advise you get to bed soon, Lolan. Long day ahead of us tomorrow, mate." she said as she eyed him, then nodded. Looking back at Linde she gave her a semi nervous smile.

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Night 6

... It was time.

Linde wanted so badly to protest what Aetrius was suggesting, but it wasn't her place. Kieran was her sister, and Linde understood the desire and the fire in one's heart when rescuing or protecting someone you love. Particularly those who are blood.

Still... How she wanted to shout at Aetrius right now. The things she wanted to say.

"Interrogation may not be necessary. Loosen his tongue with drink first! If it doesn't work, then go to interrogation! You don't have to go to such extremes! Often it's the smaller things that frighten people the most, not major acts of violence like castration! Even my nerve attacks are, at their core, just for show! Always temporary unless I choose to make them otherwise! The fact that he's all you have to go on makes him valuable! But this plan of yours is like handling a flawless diamond with a war hammer!"

Oh how she wished she could speak. But... She couldn't. If this was her sister she'd probably be thinking just as irrationally and just as violently. Making people talk by force instead of finesse. She couldn't speak. Not about this. Not when she thought about how she would have been reacting in this same circumstance.

She gave Aetrius a soft smile in return as she started leaving, and then looked to Lonan.

"Lonan... I have made a decision as well about my own role in all of this." She said softly, waiting to make sure Aetrius was gone before continuing.

"I met a slave today and she knew right away I was not genuine... She didn't reveal my false identity though. Instead, she told me many things. Chief among them is that there is an underground slave circuit here in Valoc. It's a kind of mass prison or storage facility for slaves whose masters don't know quite what to do with them. Either because they have too many slaves, or because they simply lost interest and want them out of sight and out of mind. And I have decided that, in order to learn to truly be one of them so I am not discovered so easily again, to infiltrate this facility and live amongst them until I feel comfortable that my ability to blend with them is as seamless as possible."

She stood up and walked behind the changing wall, and a few moments later she appeared wearing her outlandishly revealing garb complete with a flushed face. She gave Lonan a sheepish smile as she headed over to the window and opened it, turning around to look at him once more.

"Please do not tell Aetrius where I have gone. If she asks... When she asks... Just tell her I happened to encounter an old friend who offered me advice in my role as a slave, and I have chosen to study with them for the next day or two. And please tell her that I will return soon... When I'm ready." She said softly.

And with that, Linde slipped away into the night and disappeared into the alleyways. She knew from the slave girl where the entrance to this facility was, and she made a beeline for it with every intent of blending with their numbers tonight. Come tomorrow morning, she would be not but another face in this crowd of slaves...

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Lonán was silent as Aetrius began planning for searching for Ourros the next day, with him basically being strong armed into it. ”Y-you could at least try not to maim him! If he can’t talk something like this will never come again till the auction!” He thought furiously, anxiety building inside him as he tried to take deep breaths to calm his nerves. When she left to go for a drink he was stopped by Linde saying she made a decision.

Turning to her as she began explaining what she intended to do sent his thoughts in a whirlwind of the very thing he hated in himself, his own anxiousness and worry. ”B-But Linde, How will you-?” he began to ask only to be stopped short of her going into the changing rooms and putting on the revealing outfit of a slave garb, much to his surprise. His face turned redder then his hair as his question was hung in the air, not to be uttered. Only when Linde was gone did He think out what he was trying to ask her.

”How does she even plan on getting out of that mess?! Oh my Goddess, I shouldn’t have opened my mouth about her... but she was planning on leaving to do this anyway. I’m now afraid for her safety as her friend and the friend of her Love. It’s not even the auction yet and this is where my courage leaves me?” He thought, as he began to walk back to his room, to eat another ration of jerky and meditate. But in this meditation, he’d give out a prayer, a prayer to Heresta to give him the courage needed to get through the next few days, and hope for tomorrow.

Then Lonán prepared his bed and rested his head for sleep. Aetrius was right, it was going to be a long day tomorrow, whatever it be. Yet he was still nervous about talking to Aetrius the next day.

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Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral
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Aetrius had left the room and made her way downstairs and into the tavern, taking a seat up at the bar, the barkeep noticed her presence and made her way over to her as she was cleaning a tankard. "What can I get for ya, sweetheart?" the middle aged woman asked as she made eye contact with Aetrius, "The usual please, love." she asked as she pinched the arc of her nose as her headache worsened. "Bloodcrest Rum, right hun?" she asked as she busily poured the mixed drinks together to make the drink.

Aetrius silently nodded and took the cup as it was handed to her and nodded, giving the woman three copper coins and went to be with her drink alone as the barkeep had other patrons. Aetrius was lost in thought, they'd have a lead in Ourros as long as they had him in their possession. She heeded Lolan's and Linde's advice, but would letting him live after their interrogation be the best? They'd need to keep their faces covered for the most part and their identities a secret, most likely would need to wear scarves or something, she could think of that later. All she cared about now was a drink and getting her mind off that.

"Hey lovely, how're you on this....fine night?" a smooth as silk voice came from her right, she quirked her brow and looked to see a rather attractive and tall woman making her way towards Aetrius. Who only rolled her eyes and looked back away, "Can I help you?" she asked, rather annoy-idly. The woman chuckled and took up the seat next to her, "What? Can't a woman like me just strike up a conversation with a beautiful woman like you?" she asked as she bit her lip and gently caressed Aetrius' right cheek with her finger. Aetrius eyes widened and she looked back at the woman rather angrily and flustered. "W-woah, woah there. I-I'm not here to flirt or hook up with someone. Just here for a drink, alright?" her voice slowly rising in tone.

The white haired woman chuckled and took a sip of her ale as she spoke, "Oh come on, what's a little flirting gonna hurt? It's kist some harmless fun." she enticed. Aetrius' eyebrow twitched with annoyance and even some anger, "I said enough! I'm not here for anything of that sort, now just leave me to my drink, or I will stop being so patient...Please." she said as she gestured to the sword by her side, and finally looked at the woman directly. The white haired woman's eyes widened with shock at the threat and stood up, "Geez. Who knew that trying to pick someone up was so hard...Oh well, could always do better than a stuck up noble anyway..." she said as she walked away. Aetrius' eyes were filled with pure annoyance and anger, she didn't like being flirted with, especially by a local woman like that, she finished her drink and returned to the room swiftly. Once she was inside she undressed except for her pants and shirt, noticing Linde was missing, she shrugged and figured she just went somewhere and collapsed into the bed quickly falling asleep.

The next morning she woke up and looked around, still no Linde...She shrugged and put on her boots and leather vest and brushed her hair and trudged down the stairs. She entered the tavern's dining hall and took their normal spot in the back top left corner, and ordered a simple meal of eggs, bacon, bread, and vegetables, and waited for the others as she slowly ate her meal, whoever she saw first she would talk to. Preferably Lolan, so they could get ahead in their plans, but maybe even Linde, to make sure she was okay and hadn't got into any trouble.