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Echo-Una Acacia Amalric de Oceania

If only one person could protect everyone...

0 · 356 views · located in Gaea Minor

a character in “Drifting to the Edge of Nowhere”, as played by LazuliMetempsychosis

Description

Echo-Una Acacia Amalric de Oceania
Nickname(s): Echo Thrussell, Echo
[left]Image

Puzzle Theme Orchestrated: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIKJuHJmPDI

Role: Princesses best friend
Gender: Female
Nickname(s): N/A
Age: (15-20) 16
Race: Mermaid

Appearance: Although she is athletic, Echo does not seem muscular. She seems thin and frail. She is also an albino(Albino mermaids have lavender eyes as opposed to red or blue in this). Echo’s powder colored hair tumbles to the ground and drags as she walks. She is also extremely tall. Her long limbs lend to her graceful appearance and movement.
Echo’s face is somewhat thin, but not to the point of boney. She has large eyes and about an average sized nose. Her lips are not too full, but not leaning on the thin side either.

Preferred Clothing: If underwater, something she can move and swim in. If above water, If above water, something a bit more fancy, but also something she can move in.

Height: 5’9”
Weight: 136
Hair Color: Powder
Eye Color: Lavender

Personality:
Quiet, reserved and keeping herself at a distance, Echo is a woman who is resolute in herself and views, yet hides behind a veil of a false smile. To herself, she keeps in much; never letting out the truth about the pain she feels deep within her heart, she does not wish to place the burden of her struggles upon the shoulders of another. Though she is sure of her views, Echo is timid woman; she doesn’t speak up often despite having her own input on a matter for fear of ridicule. Everything she thinks and feels, all the negative things in her head and soul stay hidden far inside, behind that fragile little smile of hers. That mask is something that she keeps up on her at all times to protect not only those she loves, but herself as well.

There is a fear to her, a certain level of fright about what people might think if they knew how she really felt on the inside. Echo believes people would see her as selfish, or as a freak because she feels so alone in her heart, so very isolated from the rest of the world. Everyone always viewed her as being born lucky, beautiful, smart, gifted with many wondrous abilities, she was envied by the mermaids around her for her blessings. The blessings Echo received from birth, soon turned into a curse that would forever alter her heart and mind, as it would cause her to tread down a path of torment. Her natural gifts caused people to avoid her, to be angry that she bore such skills, they were jealous of the mermaid, and intimidated by her. This, in turned caused Echo to have no friends, to be on her own.

Despite this though, Echo is a kind soul, she has a good heart and a good sense about her. She is a gentle spirit who found herself becoming firm in her own ways as the years passed on. The link Echo bears to the world, the one thing that give her purpose, is the bond she shares with Knell. The friendship between the two mermaids has given Echo the drive to go onward in life, to not give up. Her kindness, the gentleness that persists within her soul is something that spawned of this bond between the two. The friendship gave Echo a purpose, and to herself she swore an oath at a young age.

She vowed upon a pledge to protect people, and that has been something that has defined her since the oath was completed upon her heart. Echo lives by this, and regardless of her fears, of the shyness that refuses to relinquish its grasp upon her, she stands strong when the time comes and defends those she feels she must. Whether this comes down to her using words or force, she goes through with what she must. Uncertainty does exist within her, doubts about herself and such, even when she is carrying out her self-imposed duties.

In line with the natural gifts Echo bears, she is also a highly intelligent woman. Through her shyness, she comes off as being quiet and has taught herself to instead observe people, their actions and their behaviors rather than actually interact with them. This has lead her into being an expert at reading others, and also, she carries about her a certain level of knowledge gained from the many texts she has read in her downtime. Because she does little in the way of socialization, she has found herself reading a lot, and thanks to this, she is very gifted when it comes down to what is in her head.

As for the torment she feels in her heart, the loneliness, Echo has learned how to disguise her true feelings with a rather convincing façade. The pain eats away at her, Knell is the one person Echo is certain cares about her, and she fears that if the Princess was aware of the fact she was suffering so much on the inside that she might lose her. The two girls share a sisterly bond, connected together closely. Because they bear similar emotional circumstances, they connected in an instant, and now, Echo treats Knell like a sister; getting after her if she feels like the Princess has been acting spoiled, or not behaving in a proper manner.

Quirks: When she is nervous, Echo will bring all her hair to the opposite side and brush through it with her hands and repeat the process over and over until she is not nervous anymore. She also tends to hum to herself when she gets tired or bored. And although Echo is a great singer (even for a mermaid) she is very shy about people hearing her singing voice.

Likes: Long hair, wrestling, fish, music, art, Ocean sports, swimming
Dislikes: Herself, her name, people being rude, people in pain
Hobbies: Training, singing, reading and hanging out with Knell

Phobia(s): Fire, gravity(she’s used to living where you can’t fall, because you drift or swim and when she’s above water, she feels so heavy and falling is so new to her.)


Weapon: Daggers and her fists. She’s not as good with daggers as her fists, so she mainly relies on them to get the job done. She can kick as good as she can punch, but she kicks less, because of her fear of gravity.

Fighting Style: She combines magic with physical combat, which has been passed down through her family for generations. She’s mainly a fist fighter, because she’s not very good at using her dagger. She’s pretty fast and strong, but her defense is a bit on the weak side.

Abilities: Echo surrounds her fists and daggers with a vortex of water. She also blocks with trails of thick, powerful water as opposed to using her daggers or forearms to protect herself, as in her human form she has no armor.

Personal History:
Echo is the daughter of a servant and a drunkard. He father chose her name, because he viewed her as a pale image of what her brothers were, yet more of the same… Her mother didn’t think too much of it, because she thought it was a beautiful name, fit for her daughter. Echo hates her name though. She knows what her father meant and it makes her feel very sad about herself.

Though she loves her children very much, Echo’s mother is never around. She is the high servant of the king and is always very busy. She has to make up enough money to make up for the money that her husband is not making so that everyone can eat. Housing is free, as they live in the servants’ quarters of the castle. Echo thinks her mom resents her so much that she would rather work than look at her daughter’s face. In reality, her mother would nurture her if she could.

Since she was only a pale reflection of her brothers, Echo always tried to be the best at everything. She was an excellent singer, even for a mermaid. She was very athletic and she was also very smart. However hard she worked and no matter how good she got, her family never saw her any different than before. She was a shadow. And her peers began to hate her. They became jealous because they felt she had too much and she was far too lucky. None of them knew that behind her smile was pain and sadness beyond what most of them had experienced.

The only person in the world who did not seem to hate her was Knell… And no one could even know that they were friends, for it was forbidden that a royal and a servant become friends. One of Echo’s goals was to become a royal guard so that she and Knell could spend more time together and not have to hide as much. Echo also wanted to protect the one person in the world who did not hate her.

The one who really brings her family down is her father. He hates her and doesn’t like the second born son, but he loves the eldest. The eldest son and the father would each beat Echo and her other brother, taking turns from day to day who they would beat. Her father would beat her mother when she was home too, but her mother did not believe he’d ever abuse their children.

Not knowing where else to turn, Echo asked her grandmother what to do. In response, her grandmother taught her the family fighting style so that Echo could stand up for herself as well as her little brother when her dad would beat them. Before Echo could finish learning, her grandmother passed away.

Scared and unsure, Echo could not stand up to her father yet and his abuse only continued to get worse. Her eldest brother always beat the second oldest and her father would beat her.

Sick of the abuse and seeing her brother get beat up too, she made an oath to always protect those who needed it. To follow through with that oath, she began training and exercising. She started participating in deep sea sports and eventually she became strong enough to overpower her eldest brother and her father. Both of them ignored her from then on, but far from what she’d expected her other brother ignored her too. He just couldn’t believe that a GIRL had showed him off by beating two people he could never hope to overcome and from then on, he hated his sister too. Not long after, both brothers were married and left the household.

So begins...

Echo-Una Acacia Amalric de Oceania's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Crane Ichabod Character Portrait: Knell-Lia Maris Poseidon de Oceania Character Portrait: Echo-Una Acacia Amalric de Oceania Character Portrait: Clavis
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#, as written by xKyrie
Shaking the bag of coins in one of his hands, Clavis started whistling. Still wearing his flamboyant costume and uniquely designed hat, he trudged his way along the crowd. He had just been in the center plaza, playing different songs. He was doing his usual routine of performing for the crowd when some people started tossing him coins and giving him money for his performance. It wasn't really his intention to ask for money in exchange for his music but if they had been offering to give him some, who was he to refuse?

The violet-haired man stared appreciatively at the sky above. The sun had already been setting and he can't be more than happier. Whistling a happy tune, he looked around him and smiled at the people passing by. He even dared to mock salute at some of them. He was grinning non-stop, genuinely happy with the nightfall while walking through the town. Seeing a corner before him, he tightened his hold on the string of the makeshift bag, where he kept his lute and other necessary things, still keeping on his lively gait, before turning around.

The sky was turning darker and as he looked around, he quietly studied his environment, stopping his whistling. He knew that far on the western side of the town there was a wide dense forest. He had heard different versions of stories from the young maidens that he talked beforehand. They told him that no one dares to enter it past suppertime. They had said that those who enter it are not seen coming back. Those people are never to be seen again. For what reason they actually don't know. Seeing their expressions, he was quite sure that the lovely young maidens were trying to intimidate him. Since he actually had have some invitations for a place to stay for the night and mostly declined them all. He charmingly told them that he's interested in seeing the said enigmatic and terrifying forest. Despite their warnings and mouthwatering options for him, he just smiled and winked goodbye. He had been unrelenting on his decision and because of that they only gave him a teary hug and loads of supplies before he left.

Staring at the sky one more time, he smiled again. His mind was already conjuring up new tunes for some songs that he will play on the forest that night. No one knew it, but he never sleeps during nightfall. He liked the ambiance of the evening. Despite his cheerful nature, there was something during the darkened skies that amazes him more than the clear bright mornings. If he would choose between the night and day, he will undoubtedly choose the former.

He was still in his own happy bliss when a sudden ruckus took his attention. In his peripheral vision, he saw a girl with teal-colored hair tripping over her own two feet. He thought, judging the girl's demeanor, that she would start crying inadvertently later on. He was surprised when she was then approached later on by tall armor wearing man. Obviously a knight, he stretched out an arm, aiming to help her stand up. Not long after though, another blue-haired girl who was taller than the one who tripped, approached them. Not without tumbling on the ground herself, she then proceeded to the other girl and promptly scolded her.

He gazed thoughtfully at the fallen girl, there was something interesting about her. With his own curious nature overcoming his drive to make way into the forest, he decided to approach them. He first stopped by on one corner and lightly set down the tightly wrapped bundle and the pack where his lute was. Untying the knot, he took out the lute and promptly placed his pack and the bundle on his back. Plucking the strings of the lute, he then proceeded to play out on one of lively music that he knew. Entertainer, it is one of his masterpieces. Surely a song like this will be the perfect song to play in this scenario. He shut his eyes off for a moment as if trying to feel the song and opened them looking directly at the first girl who tripped and caused a commotion. Smiling encouragingly, he gestured to the outstretched hand of the knight and continued playing.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Crane Ichabod Character Portrait: Knell-Lia Maris Poseidon de Oceania Character Portrait: Echo-Una Acacia Amalric de Oceania Character Portrait: Clavis
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She found herself swallowed up by an old covering of some sort, an assortment of scraps having tumbled to the ground with her as she had reach out in some effort to keep her body from giving way to gravity’s evil clutches. A couple of weeks on land, and with legs, and she still was not at all used to the whole process of walking. . . . It seemed almost barbaric to her, people have to move themselves forward with such an amount of effort—being bound to one surface without the assistance of stairs or a ladder. In the water, one could just move their tail, and they could go up or down, or anyway they so chose, moving was so much easier in the oceans. . . . Having to get around on legs, well, that was a chore, and it took such an amount of time and energy that it was very easy to become drained and exhausted.

Her body wasn’t made for such wear! After all, she was a princess—working to build up stamina and energy was not exactly something that she had been made to do, or been made to work on.

Gravity was such a burden. And a cruel thing too, how it seemed to relish causing her embarrassment and pain. . . . Of course, she would just have to go and be separated from Echo, and then manage to tumble over herself right after getting out of the paths of everyone whom was finishing their daily rounds and chores. . . . And to top it all off, she would also cause a plethora of things to come falling down with her. As if her situation weren’t bad enough, Fate seemed to love just toying about with her, didn’t it? First, assassins try to kill her before her sixteenth birthday, she kept getting lost, and now she was just falling left and right. Why oh why, could she not just be given a brief reprieve?

’Would you stop trying to blame things that don’t exist for all the bad stuff that keeps happening to you?’ Canaan started up as Knell herself began to move herself up, propping her upper half upon her forearms in order to get her face off the cold, stone pavement, an involuntary groan slipping from the girl’s lips as she did so.

’Oh hush up would you? You’re not the one who keeps falling over her own two feet, getting herself lost, and who almost got slain by unknown people.’ the girl retorted, hearing her brother laugh in response.

Knell simply sighed, choosing not to respond to him as he kept himself quiet again, thinking of who knew what in his half of her head. She didn’t really enjoy that—the fact that she and her brother shared her body, that he always knew what she was thinking, but she could never know what he was thinking. . . . Now, that was just not fair. Canaan was free to taunt and tease her all he wanted, but she couldn’t ever get any dirt on him. Not that it really mattered anyway, the boy often was never in control of her body, and the only times that happened, she herself went off into a deep, dreamless sleep from which she couldn’t ever remember anything he had done under her name. But it wasn’t as if her brother were a bad person, no, he was just a mere jokester, as he had been their whole life.

With but a quiet sigh, Knell moved one of her arms back, clutched onto the worn and old covering which still lay atop her legs, and she threw it back, and off her. Even if there was no one to blame but herself for this irksome clumsiness, Knell still found herself irritated by it all. It happened too much, and the fact that it was still happening was enough to really get at her better senses. . . . . sure, even if Echo herself took a few tumbles, the girl was so graceful looking, her movements so fluid, so lithe. Knell however; her movements were nothing short of grating, awkward and clunky. Her human legs did nothing for her—she was so very short compared to the majority of people, and Echo, Echo was so tall, she was gorgeous, standing elevated and strong.

It took a lot for Knell to feign a veil of strength herself, to appear as if she were haughty. She was raised with pride, to be proud of her heritage, her bloodline, and even if she did feel as if her mermaid lineage were superior to that of humans and all land dwellers . . . her as a person was not so much. Compared to those around her, and to Echo, Knell felt as if she were nothing special, like she did not belong. And it was that façade of hers that kept Echo from knowing—Knell didn’t want her friend to worry more than she already did. As a clueless, curious and accident-prone princess in hiding, there was enough her friend had to be concerned with.

’C’mon and get to your feet now Knell, even if walking is a chore for you, you still need to get up and to find Echo before it gets too late—you two should get back to the Inn . . . and to the Mercenary before dark.’ Canaan’s voice at the mentioning of the hired help Knell had sought out the previous day was undeniably hesitant.

’The Mercenary? Oh, I had forgotten of him.’ Knell thought, a light look of surprise happening across her face, tinted orange by the setting sun. The day before . . . Knell had taken it upon herself to hire an escort for herself and Echo, a rather obscure fellow with a reputation, one of strength, and success in his duties. From all Knell had heard, he seemed fit to be one whom would guard and protect the life of two mermaids, even if one was a princess by birth. And so, even with her brother not entirely for it, and without informing Echo until the deed was carried out, Knell had gone and paid the man upfront, a rather large sum of money by any standards for his protection, and to keep him from inquiring more information about her situation.

Knell had simply told the man that she and her friend required an escort who could provide protection as they travelled. . . .

Nothing more, nothing less. And it seemed to have been enough. However, as soon as the lot of them had arrived into town, Knell had set off on her own, Echo in tow, to explore. Even if she felt that the life of land dwellers was slightly barbaric compared to that of Merfolk, the happenings of simple day-to-day life interested Knell, she had never been allowed to see it in her own kingdom. In that time though, the teal-haired girl had managed to go and get sidetracked while her dear friend had continued onward without her, causing their separation.

’Yes . . . I should be on my way to track Echo down, and to return to him.’ she thought, turning her head to the side slightly, as she remained on the ground. Those befittingly aqua colored eyes of her happened out to the side, to look at those who stared at the sight that was her, the girl’s face flushed a light rouge when she realized how much of a crowd had gathered to stare at her. And, just as Knell was about to get herself to her feet in her embarrassment, she stopped moving as she noted the reactions in the crowd, stunned expressions, and looks of fear—them parting to the sides. Loud footsteps, the clanking of metal accompanying that. . . . They were heavy footfalls, intimidating, and as the crowd thinned from his pathway, Knell was able to finally see what was stunning the humans so, and boy, was it ever a sight she’d not go and soon forget.

A rather looming figure approached, completely held in a dark suit of armor, he carried an air to him, one that bespoke of some sort of . . . uncertainty, a form that struck a feeling of anxiety into the heart. Seeing this . . . blackened knight approach her Knell’s suddenly rather small form tensed up, muscles tight as if ready to spring up, and flee. Though he was silent, Knell could feel the vestiges of control in her body being surrendered to Canaan as he were ready to usurp it from her and to get them both away. He was frightening—and why was he coming for her? When he stopped before her, and suddenly stooped down with his hand extended out to her, Knell moved back just a touch before he spoke.

”Do you need help, miss?” the voiced echoed forth from the covered face, youthful and seemingly too young for his size. The gap between his appearance and the sound of the voice coming from inside startled Knell, and Canaan. The grasp that terror had upon her, the wonderment of him appearing before her faded, as she could only question that rift.
The young mermaid hesitated, and did not take the man’s hand before a rather familiar figure happened to . . . drop down next to her before suddenly springing back to her feet. The long hair, a soft, almost not color—it was Echo! Knell, once more startled, looked up at her friend with her eyes wide. Well, that solved one matter. . . . ’She’s going to lecture me, I just know it.’

As if right on cue, and after a slightly self conscious moment, Echo turned and looked down at her, expression stern. “Knell, where have you been?” The girl’s tone caused Knell to flinch, “You shouldn’t run off like that! It’s dangerous.” Echo chided her. At that moment, the two girls could seem more as a mother-daughter duo than friends. Knell, frowned as her face went red, being reprimanded in front of so many people. . . . “Plus, we don’t know anything about this place. You could have gotten seriously hurt.” Echo had leaned down low, speaking in a voice soft enough for only her to hear, the terseness was released from Echo’s vocalization at that, leaving only an edge of concern, and true worry.

’See, now you’ve gone and made the poor girl worry about you—I told you to be more careful.’

Knell choose to not respond to Canaan’s annoying ‘I told you so’ moment, if she did, he’d only go on and on. . . . Being chided by Echo was enough for her.

Before she could even respond though, yet another event transpired that kept the young mermaid silent for a moment—the sound of a lulling lute being strummed hit Knell’s ears, causing her to turn her gaze toward its source. A rather handsome young man was there, playing a piece of music that nearly brought out the natural musical senses Knell had as a mermaid, it made her want to sing. When he looked at her, and smiled, Knell drew her gaze away in embarrassment . . . and promptly reminded herself that such things were not what she needed to be concerned about right now. He was a stranger with a pretty face—a human, a commoner, she was a mermaid, a princess. He was not worthy of her. . . .

The bard gestured to the knight and the hand he held out for her to take, ’Oh, just take the man’s help would you? Even if you find the lute player good looking, it isn’t like he’s going to get anywhere with you. It can’t hurt just going along with things for a bit Knell.’ Knell heard Canaan lazily say to her, sounding almost annoyed.

Knell went and flickered her eyes back over to Echo before she turned her gaze back to the rather daunting knight before her, and pondered for a moment, feeling as if accepting his help was . . . below her. The idea of taking assistance from a land dweller was really something that Knell didn’t like the thought of, but, still. ’I don’t know Canaan. . . .’

’Just go along with things, or else I’ll do it.’

A look of displeasure spread across Knell’s face at her brother’s threat, and she breathed out harshly before she hesitantly moved a hand from the ground, and set it in the one offered to her. Quietly she adjusted position, getting to her knees. After this passed . . . she and Echo needed to return to the Mercenary.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Crane Ichabod Character Portrait: Knell-Lia Maris Poseidon de Oceania Character Portrait: Echo-Una Acacia Amalric de Oceania Character Portrait: Clavis
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#, as written by Wake
The knight gave only brief look toward the second girl as she fell next to the first. Similar to the first, she had features that were out of place among the locals. That and her sense of balance seemed no better. Her entrance and sudden chiding of the first girl would have seemed comical to the viewer.

But he retracted his attention away from the interruption, waiting for the first girl, Knell from what he briefly heard the others chattering, to respond. She made a brief look of displeasure, whether it was at him, her acquaintance, or the irritating bard that had snuck up behind him he couldn't tell. But she accepted his hand any way and he steadly pulled her to her feet.

Once she was standing again he made a quick look behind him to the crowd that had gathered. A brief cold wind blew through the street. The people quickly began to go back to their original business, some shivering briefly from an unusual coldness that touched them when the wind blew.

"The two of you are not from around here, I take it." He said, returning his attention to the girl. "If I may ask, are the two of you travelers? And if so why do you walk alone in these parts? This region is not safe after dark for the lonesome traveler."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Angelique Silver Character Portrait: Crane Ichabod Character Portrait: Knell-Lia Maris Poseidon de Oceania Character Portrait: Echo-Una Acacia Amalric de Oceania Character Portrait: Clavis
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#, as written by xKyrie
Once he ended his performance with the music trailing until it faded into nothing, the violet-haired bard waited a few moments for some of the applause to gradually die down before he walked towards where the beautiful tumbling ladies are.

Tumbling ladies- that is what he nicknamed for them, seeing them falling one after another as if they were not used with the pull of gravity. Such wonderful looking tumbling ladies they are though. For Clavis who had seen a lot the world has to offer, the way they looked are truly ephemeral and new. Aside from their beautiful faces there is something in their aura that charms and lures people around. Even someone like him who met a lot of girls can see how different they looked from an ordinary human-town girl.

After hastening his movements and keeping his lute back on his pack since he had every intention of talking to them before they leave. He did saw the teal-haired girl looking somewhat displeased for a moment before she had accepted the knight's help. They looked as if they were in a hurry and he suppose that they needed to return home.

Night had fallen after all and for human towns like this, people try to retire as early as they can.

He moved towards them and removed his now yellow-colored feathered hat from its position on his head. Today his hat is yellow almost golden in color adorned with a big black feather on one side. Seeing that he never had the same hat for more than a day, it would not be unusual for him to sport a different one from yesterday. He actually didn't know how to sew but if he can't come across a shop into the town to have something that can replace it, he'd make it a point to modify his own hat if he must. There is something in variety that makes him want to change this particular attire daily.

"If I may ask, are the two of you travelers? And if so why do you walk alone in these parts? This region is not safe after dark for the lonesome traveler." He heard the knight ask upon reaching them and impulsively decided to cut in. He charmingly bowed low as what is customary for a gentleman and smiled pleasantly.

"Good evening", he started noting the darkened color of the sky beforehand. With a wide smile plastered in his face he added, "sir knight and lovely ladies." At the end of his sentence he gestured to the girls and bowed again. He approached the first one who tripped and took her hand, softly kissing the air above it. "I hope you are well, did your fall hurt you?" The violet-haired man inquired her, gently dropping her hand and looking at her with eyes full of concern.

When his eyes turned to the taller girl beside, he also reached for her hand and repeated his actions before, "You too, sweet lady, I hope that the fall didn't hurt you." Addressing them both he then added in a loud inquiring voice and his eyes twinkling, "What are your name, my fair ladies? Sir knight here is correct when he said that you mustn't walk without escort during this time of the night!"

Suddenly a new tall girl arrived, tripping like the first ones did and lightly commented on the shorter girl's hair. He stared at her and noticed her long red hair tied in a pony tail and bright orange eyes. Noting her beautiful face which undeniably has a different light from the two girls, but still a lovely sight to see. The knight once again offered his hand for her to take. Clavis bowed one more time tucking his hat in front of his chest. "Good evening too, mademoiselle. This is-" He stopped himself at what he was about to say when he shockingly saw the first batch of tears fall from her face. Panicked, he swiftly worn his hat over his head and raised both of his hands in alarm, "My lady?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Angelique Silver Character Portrait: Crane Ichabod Character Portrait: Knell-Lia Maris Poseidon de Oceania Character Portrait: Echo-Una Acacia Amalric de Oceania Character Portrait: Clavis
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Angel's orange eyes darted all around her, why was she being stared at? Was it because of her sandles that were killing her? Or was it because of her tripping over her own two feets? She had been walking for days without rest and she had grown tired and close from fainting. "A-Ah... Thank you..." Angel mumbled, standing up with the help of the strange knight. She then ended up slightly panicked at the strange bard who was possibly going to flirt with her.

"Sorry. I'm just a bit home sick." Angel aplogized, then shifting her attention to the knight. "Her hair reminds me of the ocean, where I once lived..." Angel explained little, but it was still enough for them to understand. "I'm Angelique Silver, part of the Silver clan far from this region." Angel stated, giving a slight bow as she introduced herself. "But anyhow, I do think the faerie are also at work. I've tripped far to many times these past few days. Yesterday I got up to about 20 falls. Not the brightest of days." Angel confessed, pride still managing to glow in her eyes. Her clan's tattoo showing on her thigh, "I was hopeing today would be better, though it seems it won't be much different..."

Angel twisted around, worried eyes on the way she came from. She had upset a few people back in the last town, but would they dare continue chasing her? Her hair was slowly twisting out of it's holder, coming undone quickly as she turned back to the knight an the bard. "Thank you both for your concern, I should be taking my leave at this point. I have a lot of things I need to do before tomorrow's dawn." Angel explained, giveing another small bow in gradatude and jogging away with a small wave.

Of course though, the people from the town over came into view and followed Angel slightly, giving a slight glare at those behide them, mainly the knight though. Angel escaped into a local store, hiding only to change into a black haired maiden, her demon form. Being a half-demon, turning into a demon was considerably a major perk. Walking out of the shop, she looked around to see the people who followed her were confused and cussing like sailors. That could only make the raven haired girl laugh, enjoying the sight of the confused trouble makers. They glared at her like expected but she didn't care, they had no idea it was her.

"She's inside boys." Angel simply stated with a shrug, relizeling her hair was out of it's pony tail. Of course, she had to jog back to the knight, bard, and two other girls and reach down and pick up the band that kept her hair in it's pony tail. "I'll give this back to Angel." Angel said, a smile tugging on her lips. She wanted to see if she could confessed them with her demon form, to see how they'd react. "Those people have been chasing us for days, hopeflly we could lose them today." Angel mumbled to herself, loud enough for those near by to hear.

"Would someone kindly show me to the Inn?" Angel asked politely, tucking a strand of her black hair behide her ear with a tugging smile.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Angelique Silver Character Portrait: Crane Ichabod Character Portrait: Knell-Lia Maris Poseidon de Oceania Character Portrait: Echo-Una Acacia Amalric de Oceania Character Portrait: Clavis
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As Knell had been assisted back to her feet, she made quick work to go about brushing her front off of any dirt that may’ve gone and gathered upon it from the cold ground, a faint blush was still upon her features. The bard had gone and gotten her flustered with that smile of his, and the fact that she had to accept help from a land dweller due to one of Canaan’s threat did not make for a very happy mermaid princess. First, she was embarrassed and secondly she was reduced to having to take aid from another—neither of which Knell was fond of. Inside her head, Knell could hear her brother snickering away at her predicament and jumbled thoughts regarding the matters.

A shiver travelled up the mermaid’s spine as a strange sort of breeze blustered on through the town, though she did not allow her discomfort to show . . . weakness was not something she needed to display. Even if it were to remain a secret to all, she was a mermaid, and Merfolk were suppose to be strong, intelligent and above the land dwellers. They were not suppose to suffer embarrassment, nor be reduced to the state she was in now.

"The two of you are not from around here, I take it." Knell allowed her aqua colored eyes to flicker up as the rather menacing knight began to speak. He was referring to herself, and to Echo . . . yes, it was rather apparent by looking at their hair coloring that they were not of local origins. "If I may ask, are the two of you travelers? And if so why do you walk alone in these parts? This region is not safe after dark for the lonesome traveler." The voice from the man echoed from the metal helmet, giving it an oddly hollow effect. In a way, it was an unnerving feature that didn’t sit very well with Knell. Regarding his question, Knell felt it wasn’t his business to know. Even if he was chivalrous enough to assist her in getting back to her feet, the knight was still a stranger, and the matter regarding her and Echo travelling was their business.

Though Knell herself truly did not enjoy wandering about on land like this, always falling and tripping, gravity giving her Hell, having to worry in the back of her mind about those who tried to assassinate her weeks before. . . . Even if she wanted to go back into the water in order to hide—the business she and Echo were attending to was theirs and only theirs. ’Would you stop it with the arrogant thought pattern Knell? Here, you’re not a princess; all you are is a simple person, a commoner.’

’Canaan, I can’t let myself seem weak to Echo, she has enough to be concerned with right now, doesn’t she?’

’Oh, and acting like you’re a priss helps you look strong of heart?’

Knell sighed to herself at Canaan’s comment. Well, it wasn’t like her brother was wrong about that . . . but still, how she choose to act was her choice, wasn’t it? Knell’s own mindless task was interrupted when one of her hands was suddenly snatched up and away from brushing off her skirt. At the sudden gesture, Knell wrenched her eyes up and looked at the one who had dared to be so forward as to grab her hand. It was the bard again, the fact the man was now holding onto her hand caused the teal haired girl’s face to go redder, blending in well with the orange tint cast upon the world by the bleeding sun. The crowd of people who had stopped to witness her little fall were scattering further and further apart as the violet-haired man seemed to kiss the air above her hand before he allowed it to return to its owner.

His eyes were laced with concern, "I hope you are well, did your fall hurt you?" he inquired.

Knell pulled her hand up from her own side, the one the bard had air kissed, and gently held it to her chest as she drew her gaze to the side, and away from him and the knight. ’Geez, he’s really getting to you isn’t he Knell?’
You tell me Canaan, you are inside of my skull and are aware of every little thing about me—physical, emotional or mental, so you already know.’ Knell replied to her brother, a rather bashful expression upon her young face.
’Want me to take care of the problem for you sis?’ he offered, a rather anxious tone in his voice.

To this Knell gave a small shake of her head, no, even if this strange bard was making her flustered, she didn’t want Canaan to step in and drive him off. She didn’t need to go and do that, it would only rouse questions about her, and then she and Echo would have to leave the town that much sooner. In addition, she had to think about the fact that she had hired the Mercenary—even if she had paid him enough to not ask questions, she didn’t want him to also begin questioning her. The last thing needed right now, was for Knell and Echo to draw too much attention to themselves.
Her thoughts jumbled at the moment, Knell was detached from the world until she heard, "Ya know, your hairs pretty cool."

The sudden compliment startled the mermaid back into reality due to how close the person saying it was to her. The voice was female, and fairly soft, it was kind. A slight gasp working from her lungs, Knell clutched onto her hand tighter and instinctively took a step back. There was a new face here, a girl who was not much shorter than Echo was—but looked entirely different, long red hair with eyes to match. Face flushed with embarrassment still, Knell turned her aqua gaze to her best friend, to Echo, and edged toward the girl. First the knight, then the bard and now . . . a rail of a girl who wore rather revealing clothing.

’Canaan, have I gone and turned into some sort of magnet for the weird. . . ?‘

’You’ve always been sort of a magnet Knell, I just didn’t know you’d be causing these sorts of characters to gravitate toward you.’

Knell blinked and observed the actions and listened to the words exchanged by the three people who had spontaneously interacted with her out of the blue. The knight mused over whether fae were at work for causing all three of the girls to trip as they had, the redheaded girl began to cry as the bard began to attempt a line upon her before being startled by the tears she shed.

The girl responded to the words before thanking the bard for his concern, and heading off, Knell watched the odd girl go, never quite having seen someone such as her before. Knell blinked, and remained clasping onto the hand the bard had taken hold of before as the tint in her cheeks began to fade. The mermaid opened her lips as a breeze stirred up again, and blew through her long hair, “I am not sure . . . but I do believe I remember reading about people like her in the past, her style of clothing—I believe the terms used to refer to them were shinobi and more commonly, ‘ninja.’”

’And that information is helpful to you how now?’

A sigh happening from her lips at Canaan’s words, Knell turned her gaze back to the bard and to the knight, before she allowed her hands to return to her sides. She stared at the two men with a passive expression upon her features as she mused over what it was she ought to do now—her physical state had been inquired about, as well as why it was she and Echo were upon their own. Canaan had more or less told her not to act like a priss with them, it didn’t make her seem strong. . . . Just arrogant. The knight had aided her, and the bard had been courteous. In response to this, Knell delicately clutched at her skirt with her fingers, and lifted it up slightly as she gave the two men a polite curtsy—a custom she had read about before leaving home. It was proper manners for a girl to give such a gesture when showing respect or otherwise.

She bowed her head slightly down, and quickly returned to her normal stance before clutching her hands at her front. “I wish to thank the both of you for the kindness shown to myself and my friend, it’s not often you find such politeness in others, especially when those others are strangers. My name is Knell-Li . . . Blackburn, and my dear friend here,” Knell paused to gesture to Echo with one of her hands, “is Echo Thrussell.”

’Careful there Knell, you about slipped and gave your real name. Wouldn’t want to go and spoil your secret so soon, would you?’ Canaan chided her.

“The two of us are indeed travellers, but our reasons for doing so are simply that we wish to see the world. And we are not alone, we have hired ourselves an escort to guide and protect us.” She added on, lying through her teeth about the first bit.

It was at this time a strange girl with ink black hair appeared before them all, stooping over to pick something off the ground. There was something familiar about her. . . . "I'll give this back to Angel." she said, smiling. Knell stared at her while Canaan stirred, indicating that something was off about her. Though her lips moved again, the teal-haired mermaid was unable to perceive what it was she had said before she raised her voice up again to ask a question, "Would someone kindly show me to the Inn?"

Well now, Knell and Echo needed to return to the Inn anyway, the Mercenary. ’Mm, perfect timing, eh Knell? This gives you a palpable excuse to get away from these men.’

’So it does, but you felt something was off about her, didn’t you? Should I even volunteer if you. . . ?’

’She seems strangely familiar is all; I don’t think it’s much to be concerned with.’

With Canaan’s confirmation, Knell gave the stranger a smile, and nodded her head before stepping out into the now cleared out streets, and looking back to the girl. “If I may be so bold, I can accompany you to the Inn, my friend and I need to return there anyway.” Again, Knell gave a curtsy to the men from before, “Again, thank you two for your kindness, but Echo and myself need to be on our way. We shall be in town for the next two days or so, if you feel compelled, you may look us up at the Inn.” With that, Knell turned on her heel and began a steady walk to the Inn—truthfully, the building was not that far away so the walk only took a minute or two reach before Knell idly headed inside, heading back to greet the Mercenary of her return.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Angelique Silver Character Portrait: Crane Ichabod Character Portrait: Knell-Lia Maris Poseidon de Oceania Character Portrait: Echo-Una Acacia Amalric de Oceania Character Portrait: Clavis
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#, as written by xKyrie
The violet-haired man almost let out a triumphant smirk when he saw the teal-haired girl getting flustered once after he 'kissed' her hand. He instead settled for an indulging smile, his eyes twinkling merrily towards her. She looks lovely getting flustered, Clavis thought his smile widening, noticing her bashful expression.

When he was standing far away before, playing his lute out of the blue in order to divert the crowd's attention to him instead of hers and the other tumbling girl, he wasn't able to fully appreciate her beauty. He knew that she looked beautiful and ephemeral from afar but now that he stood in front of her face to face, he can testify that her beauty is not of this world. She is truly breathtaking. There is certain innocence but unbidden pride shining from her eyes and very soul. Someone like Clavis, who lives to appreciate the charms of women species can greatly deduce that she's not a girl of normal status.

He then heard her gratefully thanking him and the knight, awhile after. He can't help but rub his hand into the back of his neck, feeling the uncharacteristic shyness settle into his being. "It is nothing," he replied smiling widely and that was when the red-haired girl entered and tripped in front of them. He had really lost his composure and was thoroughly thankful when the knight had more sense than he did to help up the fallen girl. After crying out loud in public and stating her name he noticed odd things from the red-haired girl. Her eyes notably darted to her surroundings first before it met with his directly and the next thing he knew was her looking panicked. For what, he had no clue.

Clavis almost bowed himself when he saw her bowing after she introduced herself. He was about to speak up and introduce in return when she twisted around seemingly searching for something around the crowd. She bowed in gratitude to them once again before walking away and immediately leaving them.

Not long after her disappearance though, a black-haired girl appeared, getting a hair tie from the ground and stated with a smile tugging in her lips, "I'll give this back to Angel." He observed this one quietly, roving his eyes all over her not in a lecherous manner but one who is wholly focusing attention. From her notable features, undoubtedly another one of those beautiful inhumane faces as what he could see-she's clearly not of pure human descent, to her unusual eyes, she looked eerily familiar.

He stared at her coyly. Looking at her directly, eye to eye and he then neared 'Angel's companion'. Raising a hand to her hair, looking like he was reaching to touch it but instead settling for tracing the shape of her long straight hair freely 'flowing' with the evening air.

"Black looks lovelier on you my lady."

He spoke out loud, a flirtatious smile pasted in his face.

Before the girls left, he bowed low, taking off his hat and tucking it in front of his chest. Knell as what he had heard her refer to herself not moments ago, informed the other girl about accompanying her for the directions of the inn.

"It is certainly a pleasure meeting you mademoiselles. I am Clavis by the way, a simple travelling bard." He cast the three of them coy smiles, placing his hat promptly back on the top of his head.

"And my lady, I might take you on that offer. I want to see you soon," He added looking straight at the teal-haired enigmatic girl. Clavis ended his speech with another bow before he went to the opposite direction, back to his original destination. When he passed by the knight, he gave him an acknowledging nod and waved farewell, "Goodbye, Sir Knight".

--
As he was walking towards the edge of the town, he contemplated the earlier scenario. There is something with Knell Blackburn that lures Clavis to her. He had been quite surprising himself with his impulsiveness to learn more about her. Certainly, it was normal for him to become interested to every girl that he meets; it is one of his life's greatest goals after all! To talk to all the beautiful women of Gaea Minor, be it of human species or not, but still he's not this intrigued. Recalling her shyness yet contradictory pride, he wondered who she really was. She seemed someone of nobility but he can't be sure since she didn't seem to be part of the royal lineage for the ones next in throne.

It was during moments like this that Clavis liked to have the ability to remove the cursed earring from his ears and listen to all the thoughts of every living thing around him. While it may cause him a major headache, sorting out every thoughts he comes across, it will still favorably help him to learn more about the mysterious personality of Knell, the tumbling teal-haired girl with eyes the astounding color of blue oceans.

When he reached the darkened forest, with the moon now totally taking control of the night sky, Clavis settled into the innermost part and settled on the very first tree stump that he came across. He slowly and carefully dropped all his baggage, leaning everything into a tall tree nearby. He opened his makeshift pack, something made out of cloth one that a gypsy gave to him on the last town that he visited and took out his lute. He strummed it once, letting the music trail off in the quiet forest.

Playing Entertainer once again, he let the music envelop the whole area just strumming the lute to his heart's content.

He had already finished playing two pieces when he found himself staring contemplatively at nothing in particular. Knell-li, he recalled her stating, stopping herself abruptly in the middle of her speech as if hiding something else. He didn't know how he thought of it, but there is something in her that makes Clavis think that she had not been fully truthful with them.

He gently laid his lute aside and searched his pockets for the familiar coin bag. It wasn't in his expectation to earn money through his music but performing in front of an open crowd seemed to be the easiest way to earn these coins. Shaking it once, twice and thrice as if deciding it's value by hearing the sound, Clavis felt his lips curving into a smile.

I think it's time I take you up on that offer, Margaret. He recalled the brunette girl, with her pouty lips and fluttering eyes. She was one of those girls who had readily offered him beforehand, a room in their inn. He did decline before since he didn't see the use of getting a room and not sleeping in it. But once he recalled the place where Knell and her companions disappeared, he finally decided.

He might have to postpone his nightly playing, he figured not regretting it one bit but still feeling some disappointment in it. He had made it a point to play during the night time. Ever since he started his journey for life, not once did he fail to play the whole night away being accompanied with his lute and masterpieces. This would be the first time in months that he will, apparently.

Standing up from the ground and brushing the dirt and leaves off his pants, he gathered his things and trudged the path to the direction of the inn. They may be asleep at this time around, but Clavis figured what else a better way to learn more about Knell than be near her and her companion? A planned meeting may just help him know about her more.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Angelique Silver Character Portrait: Crane Ichabod Character Portrait: Knell-Lia Maris Poseidon de Oceania Character Portrait: Echo-Una Acacia Amalric de Oceania Character Portrait: Clavis
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#, as written by Wake
The knight refrained from commenting when the 'ninja' left and returned with a different hair color. The change was what cemented his suspicions as too what she was. The Bard apparently figured it out as well, but apparently didn't have the same sense to hold his tongue about the issue.

Though the both of them were curious, they were not his original focus. He kept his attention on the blue haired girl as she spoke.

“I wish to thank the both of you for the kindness shown to myself and my friend, it’s not often you find such politeness in others, especially when those others are strangers. My name is Knell-Li . . . Blackburn, and my dear friend here, is Echo Thrussell.” She said with a brief curtsy. The action caused the knight shifted slightly as she spoke, but said nothing. “The two of us are indeed travelers, but our reasons for doing so are simply that we wish to see the world. And we are not alone, we have hired ourselves an escort to guide and protect us.” There was another minor twitch of his finger, but again he held his tongue. When the ninja spoke, asking about the location of the inn, Knell offered to show her the way.

“Again, thank you two for your kindness, but Echo and myself need to be on our way. We shall be in town for the next two days or so, if you feel compelled, you may look us up at the Inn.” She said before turning to leave. The knight merely gave a short bow to her as she went. He mostly ignored the bard until the violet haired man addressed him directly.

"Goodbye, Sir Knight". The knight glanced briefly at the bard like he was just acknowledging his existence, only to dismiss him again when said bard left before he could respond.

The knight walked away from the spot without another word. Though his mind was already working. The girl, Knell, wasn't very good at lying. There were certain mannerisms she had that didn't sit with that of an ordinary traveler. That, and both her... presence and the number of "Unique" individuals that had suddenly been drawn to her suggested a something drawing this meeting to happen.

A brief glance behind him and he could the small glow of light fluttering away. A firefly most would guess it to be, but he knew better. His hand shot out and closed around the little speck of light as it passed. He held it gently, not wishing to crush it in his hand by accident, and slowly brought his closed gauntlet near his helm before slowly releasing his clutched fingers.

Resting in the palm of his metal palm was a little glowing sprite. Her wings were long and slender, shaped like that of a dragonfly's. Her eyes were entirely black, and shone like wet stones in fire light. She was also pouting at him, like a spoiled child that had just been caught in the act of some mischief, which was technically accurate description of of what had happened. The glow she emitted changed from a sandy green to an orange tinted gold, indicating annoyance but still feeling playful.

"Ah, what did you have to go and do that for," She hissed, she voice small and squeaky yet somehow clear despite the size difference. "I was having fun! Do you know how rare it is to find that many people that easy to play with? Why they practically fall flat on their own. Oh the much fun I would have had with those the tree." She started to giggle to herself, lost in her dreams of the petty games she would play upon the unsuspecting three.

"As 'interesting' as your little games sound, I must confess my intrigue as to why you chose to play them upon the girls? Especially with three of the strange courts nearby."

"Four, actually." The knight paused, the sprite took it as an unspoken question. "You miscounted the bard, did the difference of hair color not go noticed by you? Or were you too busy trying to be the 'chivalrous and caring knight' to the girl and the little daemon spawn at the time?" She made a mocking gesture as her tone became joking. The knights hand started to close back around her again. "Alright I was joking, lighten up!" She hissed, and he reopened his hand again. She made muttering's of a typical lack of humor on his part before continuing. "And you wrong on two parts, the daemon spawn and the bard aren't part of the either evening or mourning courts. Their from too far away to be members of any of our forest domains."

"Yet you still acted despite the chance of discovery?" The inquired. "That seems like quite the foolish thing to do, even for one as simple minded as you."

Her response was to yell at him. "Hey! I was just doing as I was told! Don't call me simple minded or I might be putting warts on your feet." She huffed and crossed her arms, turning away from him in another pout, her glow changing to a darker shade of orange.

"So someone did task you to do this?"

She winced and turned back to him. "You tricked me into saying that didn't you." The sprite eyed him irritatedly. "I'm supposed to be the trickster, remember?"

"Would you have told me if I simply asked?" She turned away from him again in yet another pout. "Of course I'd never tell a big dummy bucket head like you!" She shouted.

"And so the deception was needed." He said firmly. Stretching his arm back out he released the sprite. "Go now, play your games elsewhere. I have my own business"" to attend to in town now." She flew out of his hand pausing to stick her tongue out him and shout "I'll pay you back for that, bucket head! A trick for a trick, mark my words!" before flying off. He would have cringed at that if he could. Members of the fey rarely went back on promises of revenge like that. He could probably expect some mud getting splashed on him or, or step in horse droppings, or something else equally petty in the next few days.

But more importantly a Fae was behind the 'random tripping' that befell all three women. One that was asked to make this meeting happen between the five involved.

Was this what the voice of the cold Autumn wind meant?

His conversation went uninterrupted because the people walking by him somehow seemed to not notice him and the sprite. A stark contrast to earlier when the crowds avoided him like he was diseased. That changed when he moved again, his presence somehow notice able again as the people once more avoided getting in his way.

He returned to his horse, the creature had drawn a small group to admire it. It's coat seeming to shine like silver under the thin moonlight. While the knight tended to make people weary of his presence the horse tended to make others drawn to its.

A mistake on others parts though, as one could argue that the beast was more dangerous then him.

The small group of three that surrounded the horse dispersed when they noticed him returning. He motioned for the creature to follow him. "Come, you can eat later. We have to find our own lodgings for the night." The horse snorted, displeased but compliant, and they both set off to find a stable.

They had meant to only pass through town on their way, but now it would appear that he was going to have reason too stay for the next few nights after all.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Angelique Silver Character Portrait: Crane Ichabod Character Portrait: Knell-Lia Maris Poseidon de Oceania Character Portrait: Echo-Una Acacia Amalric de Oceania Character Portrait: Clavis Character Portrait: Cáel 'Art' Artachshatra
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"Have you made your decision, Agent Mercury?"

Art had been leaning on a railing at the time, a railing that curved in a semi-circle around the outer edge of marble stone that lay beneath his feet. It was a terrace, and he was looking out from it, his eye cast outwards towards the beach that lay on the eastern border of the town he was in. It was late then, the dusk of the night slowly fading and night truly being cast into darkness. The voice came from behind him, and he offered no acknowledgment at first, his gaze still remaining on the far beach. He didn't need to look anyway, he knew he the voice belonged to. It was Agent Sol, his superior. His only superior, at that. And a person very close to him.

"Agent Mercury, I implore you. Have you made your decision?"

He could hear Sol approaching behind him, footsteps getting closer. Before Sol got to far, Art held up his right hand in a gesture that signaled Sol to stop. "I have." His voice was steeled, hiding whatever emotions he could from Sol.

"And? What have you dec-"

"Love. I choose love." He had cut Sol off, his words laced with an unintentional harshness. The hand he had placed on the rail tightened, his knuckles beginning to turn white. He lowered his gaze to the lit city below him. He thought it was beautiful.

"I have made you very well aware of the consequences of that choice, Agent Mercury. So I will ask you again; Have you made your decision?"

Art turned his gaze up to the moon, taking a deep inhale of the night air. He stared for a moment before turning around to face Sol and nodding, beginning to walk past Sol, bumping their shoulders in the process. He took a few more steps forward before turning his head back, his uncovered eye looking at Sol.

"Yes."

†††


It had been nearly a year now that had passed since he had made up his mind, choosing love and ultimately sacrificing his position in the Celestial Freelancers. Not that it mattered much, because his love was sacrificed as a consequence, and he was cast out. Since then, Art had been offering up his services for a fee, as a mercenary. He didn't ask questions, he just did what he was told if he was payed enough coin.

And as it were, Art had just been taken upon for his services, but a young lady and her companion. And went as any other of his deals went. He was asked to protect, and he was given money. Upon receiving the money, he offered up only a singular nod and became their armed escort. No questions asked, from either side. Upon listening to them talk, he discovered their names. Echo and Knell. And so, right before they had arrived into town, he had offered them his.

"You can address me as Art."

Those were the first and only words he had said to them so far, and as soon as they hit town, the two girls wondered off whilst Art went off to find the Inn. That doesn't, of course, mean he simply left them alone. It hadn't taken him much more than a few mere minutes before he had acquired lodging and was following them from a distance again, assuring they stayed out of trouble and harm's way.

He was going to approach them, too, but the two girls split up and one was soon eating dirt in the middle of a crowd. Art would have moved in to help her himself had it not been for the large armored man that approached instead. Art remained cautious at that, placing his right hand on the hilt of the sword that lay on his right hip. The other five were on his back, two being placed over three. He was at an unrecognizable distance at this point, merely laying in wait for something to threaten them. Which, of course, never happened. And as soon as the small band of people were together, they were apart again.

As they disbanded, Art himself weaved through crowds and ended up back at the Inn before his employers. But only barely, for he was not even returned there for a mere minute before one of the girls walked in and nearly ran right into him. Art easily prevented it by moving his hands up to place them on the girl's shoulders and root her in place, disabling her from walking forward any further. When he noted she was stable, he dropped his hands to his side once more and gave her a look. It was the one who had payed him, Knell.

"You're a fool, stumbling all over the place. You pay me to protect you, but I implore that you be more careful. I can't exactly protect you if you're drawing attention to yourself, which you also seem to have done already." His voice was slightly hushed, and his eye turned upwards to rest upon Echo, and then one of the girls from the group behind her. His hands found Knell's shoulders once more and he pivoted on his heel, seemingly turning her with him and moving her out of earshot from the group, voice dropping to a whisper. "Not to mention, you've brought somebody with you. You're too trusting. That'll be your downfall. I'll do my part in protecting you, your friend, and even those you bring into the group. But you must do your part in making sure I don't have to protect you. Got it? I'm just a precautionary measure."

He released his hands once more and frowned, realizing that he either just scared the girl, or made her angry. Either way, he steeled himself for whatever reaction she was about to offer up in retaliation, hand finding it's way back to the hilt of his sword, and his gaze finding it's way to the black-haired girl that followed in behind the two girls he had been payed to protect.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Angelique Silver Character Portrait: Knell-Lia Maris Poseidon de Oceania Character Portrait: Echo-Una Acacia Amalric de Oceania Character Portrait: Cáel 'Art' Artachshatra
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Knell’s face reddened at the lecture given to her by the hired Mercenary. So what if she were clumsy? There was no reason for him to go and dare lecture her when she had hiredhim. Had he forgotten so easily that were the case? Yes, she had nearly walked right into him upon entering into the Inn, but if one were standing right in the way of the entrance, it was bound to happen. It was his own fault for just loitering there like a slug, not hers for merely walking as she was suppose to. Why was he so irksome compared to the land dwellers she had exchanged words with shortly before?

Yes, he had a reputation for being a powerful ally and a dependable guide, but as far as Knell was concerned, the man was overstepping his bounds now by daring to treat her as if she were a child. . . . The mermaid allowed her head to tilt downward, her bangs hiding her aqua eyes as she began to idly chew on her lower lip while trying to keep her composure maintained.

’I can’t believe him, the nerve of this man. . . .’

’You know that when you hired him yesterday that he might go and say such things to you—don’t you remember me warning you about his type?’

’Canaan, you spoke about his ‘type’ as if I were looking to have him court me, of course I didn’t pay any heed to your ridiculous words.’

Didn’t she get enough lecturing from everyone back home, from her parents, from the servants and from her sisters when the lot of them were still around? Echo chided her as well, but Knell was perfectly content with her words since she legitimately showed concern for her wellbeing, and since her words were not solely about upholding the status of her family or her nation. This Mercenary now was merely saying what he said to her in order to save himself some trouble and his own job—how would it look to the world if he had gone and failed a simple escorting assignment?

To top it off, he had forced her away from Echo and the girl who claimed to be that ninja’s companion from earlier. He had forced her away. She had not been given a choice to follow after him, no, she had been made to come along.
With her fists tightening at her sides, clenching and unclenching in the materials of her skirt and apron, Knell breathed in and out slowly, trying to quell her madly beating heart. No, she could not become angered right now. Such a careless act would only cause Echo to become upset, and it would cause problems for herself as well. Inside her mind Canaan stirred about, feeling his sister’s resentment, and her lividness. He understood that she was not happy to be treated like a child by someone who was not exactly much older than she was.

Perhaps she was indeed a princess who knew little of the world beyond the last few weeks, but she still had that pride of hers, the pride of a mermaid, of a princess. Land dwellers of all sorts were below that, they were nothing compared to the vastly superior Merfolk. Even if Knell as a person was not at all worth much, her bloodline was still more important than that of a common human’s, at least one who acted as if he understood the whole workings of the world.

’Heh, do you feel like going off on the man for chiding you Knell? If you do, then just let him have it.’

’No . . . no, I-I cannot, even if his attitude has indeed irked me, going on a tangent would only cause more trouble than it would do to solve anything.’ Knell replied, letting a shaky breath out from her lungs. With her decision on how to react to him made, the teal-haired girl raised her still red face back up, a hint of a pout upon her features. “I do not agree with your words Mercenary, my choices are mine alone, you were hired to guide and to protect myself and my friend during our travels—from monsters and things of that nature. The girl I have brought along with me is no such thing, and she is no threat.” She told him her voice stern, also refusing to use his name. “Even if she is not a friend or companion, she has done nothing to try to harm me, so I ask you to now just do your job without lecturing me.”

With this, Knell turned on her heel and set her hands upon the front of her skirt, lifting it up a bit to make the walking easier. The innards of the town’s Inn were simple, the lobby was very quaint. A fireplace, stairs leading to the upper floor, and there was a small area with a couch and chairs for one to rest on. ’Mm, good job keeping your cool sis.’

’Why can he not be as kind as the Knight from earlier? Or even the Bard . . . even if he was a flirtatious thing.’

’Would you rather the man be trying to charm you left and right now Knell?’ To this, her face reddened and her heart skipped a beat in her chest from embarrassment.

’No! Of course not Canaan, but it would be nice if the Mercenary were a bit more . . . I am not sure, humble?’

Wandering on over to an open couch, Knell set herself down upon and breathed out quietly as she set a hand over her heart, her face still a shade of red. Knell remained quiet as she allowed her body to sink into the worn out cushions, and simply relaxed as she thought back over earlier, the Knight and the Bard. The latter’s lute playing had been . . . something else, perhaps the most lovely thing Knell had the pleasure of hearing since she and Echo had escaped to the surface weeks ago. He had been so skilled in his playing, it seemed almost unnatural, and it was entrancing enough to nearly make her sing like the mermaid she was.

He had been so handsome too, he had even gone on to compliment her despite wearing simple peasant clothing and bearing the repulsive form of land dweller. What little beauty she did possess, it was only evident when she bore her tail once more, unlike her sisters, she was not truly a lovely thing to see, just . . . ordinary, perhaps she had a bit of beauty in her, but it was nothing compared to her sisters.

Her sisters, even if they had been cruel to her as children, Knell was certain that even they would be utterly gorgeous even with legs. Ciel, Sunil, Tiamat, Alya, Bellatrix, and Xanthe were the pride of Oceania—all six of them were strikingly beautiful in their own ways, and each had undeniable charms that made them just irresistible. And it seemed that she as the seventh daughter had been left with nothing, her sisters had taken everything her parents had to offer in terms of beauty and talents. Everything she had as Knell were simple scraps. Her loveliness was nonexistent, even as a mermaid with her tail, she was still nothing special to gaze upon compared to her sisters, and to Echo as well. Why, even as a human, Echo was a lovely woman as she always was.

Contrasted to the six of her sisters, Knell knew that she was nothing in the eyes of her mother and father, to Llyr and Maris. She was just something they gave life to, even if they didn’t want to—no, she remembered as children what her sisters said about her. They’d called her a witch and said she’d sucked the life right out of her brother, right out of Canaan whose soul rested within her now.

’You know you don’t need to go and reflect on the things that make you upset Knell, whatever happened when we were babies, you weren’t the reason my body died.’ Canaan told her.

’Even if I know that’s true Canaan, I don’t understand why they were all so mean to me. Why it was they saw fit to torment me so.’ Knell’s face had become vacant as she mused over the past, over the treatment her sisters’ had chosen to inflict upon her . . . scorching her with hot rocks, locking her in cupboards, pinching her with crab claws. . . . Calling her a monster, saying she was the reason Canaan had died. . . . All of this would only come to stop after Echo had entered her life, the mermaid had given her all to protect Knell from the torment as children.

Knell honestly believed that the only reason she lived now was because of the woman. And quietly as she ruminated, the irritability she felt toward the Mercenary all but faded away as a sort of gentle melancholy overtook her, her mind happened back over the events of earlier. To the kindly, yet physically daunting Knight and to coy, yet pleasant Bard, and to the rather flighty and awkward ninja Angelique. The memory of the Bard’s lute strumming hit Knell again, and the urge to sing bubbled to the surface of her psyche once more . . . really, what could it hurt for her to sing a few lines? It wasn’t as if the dead language of her people was common knowledge—as far as many would be concerned, it would be but simple gibberish. ’If you really feel so compelled to . . . just go ahead and sing some Knell.’

With a distant look shining in those aqua colored eyes of hers, Knell brought her hands up to her chest and intertwined her fingers there as she shut her eyes and allowed her body to relax as she opened her pale lips to let the words flow out to the recollection of the Bard’s music. Even if no one else could hear it, her words flowed along in rhythm to it. . . . ”Was touwaka erra 0x vvi. Melenas yor. Xest mea corpu tes iasien, en morto, hartes yor etealune.”

Because of her shut eyes, Knell failed to noticed that the few other people in the lobby besides herself, her travelling companions and the girl who claimed to be Angel’s travelling companion had gone quiet as she began to sing. The lot of them looked over to the songstress as she allowed her voice to come forth.

”Tek zaam en ciel, knawa ther mea sphiliar yanje pitod yor. Refem ar enne celetille weak en altar pitod eux. . . .” And while just for herself, Knell continued on singing, letting herself be lost in song and to forget the past and the world around her for the time being.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Angelique Silver Character Portrait: Knell-Lia Maris Poseidon de Oceania Character Portrait: Echo-Una Acacia Amalric de Oceania Character Portrait: Cáel 'Art' Artachshatra
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Angel sighed, pouting a bit as it seemed she was found out by the bard. She bid them all a far well as she followed the strange ocean-haired girls to the Inn, only to break away from them and get a room with the last bit of money she had. "Crap..." Angel mumbled, scratching her head only to turn and see Knell and Echo talking with a strange man who seemed to be slightly upset, or at least, as far as she could tell with his tone of voice. She had listined to the part until where he said he was paid to protect them.

"Protect from who...?" Angel asked herself quietly, her black hair covering her left eye as she seemed to lose focus of everything around her, her hair and eyes shifting back into her human form. Realizing this, she tied her hair back into the pony tail, frowning. What a lovely prank it would of been if no one would of found out. She needed a job, mumbling a few curse words under her breath only to shut up once she heard Knell start singing words Angel couldn't understand. Angel waited though for the song to be over before speaking up. "You sing beautifully too Knell." Angel said, a gentle smile on her face.

"Almost unlike those in this world. I imagine a mermaid to sing as beautifully as you do." Angel added, twirling her red hair. "I'm sorry if my changing of colors may confuse you. I'm... 'Special' in a way. Half human, half demon. An outcast to my own race." Angel said with a sigh as she bowed to Knell respectfully. "Now... I asume I should could. I need to found a job so I can keep paying for my room." Angel spoke, her eyes staring into Knell's for a moment before Angel turned and began to head out the door.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Knell-Lia Maris Poseidon de Oceania Character Portrait: Echo-Una Acacia Amalric de Oceania
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Knell ceased her singing as soon as she heard the too beautiful voice of her dearest friend pick up volume. The song she had begun to sing was one that only she and Echo herself would know—the tune carried deeply embedded emotions within it, it was a song of old, the reflection of a nearly forgotten story to the merpeople of Oceania. It was a legend told only by the royal family now, a legend told only in the near dead tongue of the royal family. The language that Knell herself knew, and that she had taught to her dearest friend as a show of the gratitude and trust she held in her. . . . The language being something which had been designed eras ago to express the emotions a person, and to emphasize them over anything else, Knell had felt that teaching such a language to someone she held such feelings toward was the best way possible to express them.

Knell sat there silent after ceasing her own section of the ancient tune, and allowed the barest hints of a smile to creep upon her face, as she watched Echo sing her fragile heart out with that goddesslike voice of hers. Such a voice sounded beyond the realm of mortality, it sounded as if it had to be something granted by the otherworld, by gods or other such things. The voice held within Echo was a captivating one, it was something which nearly stole the better sense of the unprepared right out from underneath them.

It was something of which, Knell envied dearly. Echo was a gorgeous mermaid, beautiful with her lovely tail and even stunning as a human, even with legs, the girl possessed a build which bespoke of a natural grace within her, even if gravity betrayed that sense on land quite often. So, not only was Echo an utterly beautiful mermaid, she held the voice of a goddess within her throat, all mermaids were notoriously talented songstresses by the standards of many . . .but even among them, Echo held a voice unlike any other.

Even her own sisters couldn’t hope to compare, even if they were the pride of Oceania with their beauty and charms, not a single one of the six had any hope of ever outshining Echo in the ways of music. . . . And Knell couldn’t help but feel a tug upon her heart as she listened to the mermaid’s voice, that pang of jealousy. How she yearned for a gift like that to help her stand out against her sisters! She was the seventh daughter of her parents, a child who inherited only the remnants of what was left behind by her sisters after their births. Her beautiful and talented sisters . . . though they had been cruel to her in childhood, Knell wished that she could shine like they. She wished for beauty like theirs, for charms as theirs, something that made her special too.

All she could do was sing, and even that was nothing significant. Her voice was just as most other mermaids, entrancing and beautiful, but just a voice. . . . Knell had heard the compliment granted to her by the ninja, by the one known as Angelique after she seemed to have slipped back into her normal form. And she had heard what she had said about herself as well . . . about being an outcast to her own people. Half human and half demon, though Knell herself wasn’t quite certain what a ‘demon’ was considered to be by land dwellers. There was a definition of it among her own people, but. . . .

’Oh, it doesn’t matter. No matter what she is, Angelique seems a good enough person.’ Knell thought to herself, continuing to watch Echo sing as did many of the other Inn’s patrons.

’Looks like our dear Echo here is having a bit of fun, huh?’ Canaan mused, sounding amused.

’Indeed so Canaan—and I’m happy about that. In Oceania, she and I never got a chance to sing together or to sing within the language we shared because of traditions and law.’

’Yeah, I remember that quite well. . . .’

How could Canaan not have known? He was as much a part of her as . . . she herself was. He and she had been bound together as far back as she could remember, everything she’d ever been through, he knew. That included the times that she’d suffered by the hands of her sisters, and the times she and Echo had been torn apart because of the laws and rules.
’I truly do envy Echo for that voice of hers, and for so many other reasons. She’s truly an amazing mermaid. . . .’
’Indeed she is.’ Canaan agreed, going quite in his half of Knell’s mind. Without making a noise, Knell sighed quietly, and allowed her body to sink into the worn down sofa. She shut her eyes and just let Echo’s voice flow through her body, and she gave into the relaxation the melody was imbued with. The ancient story was a sad one, but the song itself was full of a bittersweet sentiment, one that left you wanting to both tear up and smile . . . yet it was also something which left one wanting to just relax and to enjoy life. That was something Knell had not had a lot of in the last weeks with all that had happened, the near assassination, the fear of losing her life, and adjusting to living on land. . . . All of it was not easy, and everything seemed to be passing by her so very quickly—everything was stressful and scary.

But this simple moment, just listening to the song, it was a simple joy, and a moment to relax. Though Knell knew she had to deal with the Mercenary again shortly, she would just let herself go for now, and be lost to Echo’s envy worthy voice. The people she had met today, they would be just a distant memory to her for the time being, and she would only come out of this trance if she were bothered.