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Ephron : Torn World

Ephron

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a part of Ephron : Torn World, by XMatthewxHitomiX.

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XMatthewxHitomiX holds sovereignty over Ephron, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

235 readers have been here.

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Ephron

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Ephron is a part of Ephron : Torn World.

9 Characters Here

Helena Hitsuya [0] Queen of the Demonworld
Baphomet Hitsuya [0] "Blood is Power."
Aerial Mitsuga [0] "Sometimes I wonder if you've all been too influenced by your father..."
Erika Mitsuga [0] "The Upperworld is easily superior to the Underworld. I wish I was allowed to plan an invasion!"
Sesaro Hitsuya [0] "There's never going to be compromise between the two worlds. The only way they'll ever be united is by the sword."
Kurenai Hitsuya [0] "You should listen to me! Everything could change...if only you'd listen."
Selene Mitsuga [0] The headstrong Princess of the Upperworld.
Yashie Mitsuga [0] "When I'm King, I'll eradicate Underworld and bring back peace and prosperity!"
Jeremy Hitsuya [0] Crown Prince of the Demon World

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Jeremy quietly pushed open his bedroom door to the dark, cold and dreary hallway. He looked both ways to make sure that no one was awake and wandering the hallways. When he saw no one, he pushed the door open further and silently slipped out, running through the hallways of the castle quickly and quietly. He pulled the hood of his cloak, over his head as he rushed across the castle's bridge. He ran through the towns quietly, avoiding people who might recognize him. He ran up a large mountain, stopping before reaching the top of it as his ruby flashed, causing him to become invisible, so that the guards wouldn't be able to see him. He then continued to the gate between the two worlds and looked through to see lights zig-zagging through the trees. His ruby flashed slightly as his clothes changed to those of pesants - his usual disguise.
He peeked through the gate, seeing the Upperworld guards to look around the area around the gate, before rushing through the gate quickly and disappearing into the trees. After a few minutes, he slowed to a walk and quietly wandered the woods of the Upperworld. He looked around quietly and didn't see anyone around and his ruby flashed once more, letting him become visible again. He then wandered around the forest, finding a small river and sat down next to it quietly, watching the fish swim.

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"Ninety four...ninety five....ninety six..."

As usual, Sesaro was by no means asleep. The sixteen year old prince of the Underworld was rarely able to sleep (there was a name for the condition that Sesaro would use if he bothered to learn it) anyway, so during the hours of the night, he occupied himself instead with other pursuits.

"Ninety seven...ninety eight...ninety nine..."

The prince's long, well-built body was stretched out on the floor of his room, his back flat as a board, his arms, displaying the rippling muscles that adorned them, holding his body aloft. His hands formed a diamond-like shape on the marble floor, and his body lowered and lifted from the ground with each count, with a grunt of physical exertion between each number. Small beads of sweat dotted his arms and forehead despite the cool air around him, and as he reached the last number he held the upwards position for a moment.

"...one hundred."

Sesaro pushed himself off the ground and into a standing position, breathing heavily for a few seconds before muttering, "Bah..." Of course, he couldn't be satisfied with that number. Anybody knew Prince Sesaro Hitsuya was never satisfied with anything when it came to his exercises. Had he one day by some stroke of fortuitous strength been struck with the ability to do a thousand diamond push-ups, quite surely significantly more than anything he or anyone else could have achieved, Sesaro would be, if anything, utterly infuriated that he was unable to top it the next day.

On another note, however, all things considered, Sesaro did roughly the same things at night, unable to sleep, as he did during the day: not much. His daily routine consisted of (occasionally) waking up, eating, exercising, reading, exercising, eating, reading, getting into an argument with Jeremy, attempting to attack him, either pummelling him or being held down while Sesaro yells insults at him...then exercising, reading, eating, reading, and then (occasionally) going to sleep. Sometimes he'd also go up and see what masterpieces Kurenai had created lately, stand there wondering how in the Underworld anyone was capable of it. But for the most part, that was his daily routine, and it didn't vary much. He really didn't have anything in the way of friends (and if asked would immediately retort he needs none), and as far as his family, he couldn't stand to be in Jeremy's presence for more than a few seconds without getting the prompt desire to pummel him, and Jeremy certainly wasn't best buddies with Sesaro in turn. And as for Kurenai...well, she was one of about two or three people Sesaro actually enjoyed being with, but deep down Sesaro suspected she didn't really enjoy being near him either. Maybe it was just him being his usually cynical, pessimistic self. But more than sometimes he felt that she preferred he stayed away, maybe even disliked him...

If that had been true--he would never have let on about it, but he would have...regretted it.

Feh. Why am I wasting time reflecting on this now? he mused to himself, irately striding towards the bookcase and, after a moment of searching, he tugged a book from within the tightly packed rows of texts. Tonight was shaping up to be yet another boring, endless, sleepless night--it was well past midnight and he wasn't feeling so much as the slightest sign of weariness or tire.

Instead, he was feeling a rather all-encompassing irritation at his inability to get any form of sleep. He spent what felt like hours earlier in the night lying there wishing sleep would overcome him, but in the end all he felt overcoming him was complete and utter boredom. In the end he simply doomed himself to another night of reading and waiting for...well not the hours of day, per se, since no sunlight forced its way through the black clouds Baphomet kept suspended in the sky, but for the hours when maybe he could find something else to do.

Seated upright against the frame of his bed, the book laid open before him, Sesaro made a snapping motion with the fingers of his right hand, and a tiny flame burst into the air above his hand. He held the light over the text, illuminating the tiny words as he began to read.

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#, as written by Yashie
Yashie was locked in combat with three Demon Worlders. His generals were also engaged in battle alongside him, on some fiery battlefield. His face was adorned by a grin, a grin of warlust. He as in his element, his Kamas flashing as he swung, ducked, dodged and struck. Again and again he struck, with the speed and deadliness of a cobra. Flash! He had removed the arm of a Demonworld Soldier. Flash! He had taken the head off the neck of another. All the while, the grin never faded, as he soaked the ground with Demon blood. A collective yell went through the ranks of his soldiers.

Yashie's Demon counterpart, the Crown Prince of the Demon-World, Dmitri Hitsuya, had just appeared even though he hadn't been there a second previously. Yashie charged forward, roaring in wrath ... and then ...
He sat up bolt upright in his bed and threw the covers back. He shook his head and groggily got off the bed, squinting at the sunlight streaming into his room. A servant had apparently opened the window. Rubbing his eyes, he quickly slipped out of his bedclothes and slipped into the robes that had been laid out for him, also by his servants. He then headed out of his room, and down the hall to greet the rest of his family.

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“No, that isn’t right…”

Impatiently, slender hands brushed strands of raven black hair back. Sparkling brown eyes frowned, a smudge of blue paint across a pink cheek. Kurenai Hitsuya viewed her painting with a faint look of disappointment in her eyes. She stepped away to look at it in a different angle, but the frown only deepened, her eyebrows furrowed. Chewing her pale bottom lip thoughtfully, she glanced to her window. It was ajar, a breeze causing the drape there to blow restlessly. It billowed back and forth. She didn’t need to approach the window to know that darkness shrouded the world from her view. It was late, but she’d woken after a dream and simply had to put it on canvas. She watched the window for a few moments and then as though inspiration had returned to her, Kurenai resumed her painting. Her features softened again as she focused on her artwork. Her strokes were smooth and delicate, but every one as perfect as the last, falling exactly where she wished them to. She dipped her paintbrush in her paints, mixing colours and throwing them together on the canvas.

After a few moments of hard work, she stepped back and her face broke into a bright smile. It was completed. The scene was beautiful and Kurenai knew why. It was the Upperworld that she’d dreamt of last night. It had been happening more and more frequently as of late. She was beginning to worry that it was something to do with her foresight. The scene featured a grassy meadow, grasses tall and swaying the breeze. It was framed by green trees, hanging low and a stream that twinkled and seemed to move on the canvas. And there, in the centre was the silhouette of a girl. Kurenai knew it was herself and she hadn’t painted it as an act of vanity, she just knew she’d been there in that meadow within the dream. Only one thing spoilt the painting. And that was the shadow underneath the trees. In her dreams, it haunted her step, watching her every move as she wandered around the Upperworld. But what did all of this mean? Kurenai honestly didn’t know. She only experienced the dreams; she never saw the meaning behind then. Nor what happened when she reached the edge of the meadow and disappeared into the trees, that was when she woke. One day she hoped to see beyond just that meadow, whether it was in her dreams or in real life.

Knock. Knock. Knock.

The tapping at the door startled Kurenai. Quickly she placed her palette of paints upon the table and snatched up the canvas. Turning it so it faced the other way on the easel, she was careful not to smudge any of the paints.
“Come in,” Her voice was like velvet as she wrapped her paint splattered dressing gown around herself. Daintily she perched on the edge of her bed, as the door swung open. It was only her maid and Kurenai released a breath she did not realise she had been holding. The maid looked startled that the Princess should still be awake at this hour, but the girl smiled at her brightly. “Mary, what brings you here at such a late hour?” She asked, getting to her feet once more and casting a wary glance at her easel. The maid would not be able to see the canvas from where she stood, but it still worried Kurenai. No-one could know about her dreams of the Upperworld, nor her paintings of them. Her father would certainly have them destroyed and banish her from painting ever again.

“I…I j-just came to en-ensure the fires w-w-were out m’lady,” Mary stumbled over her words, as she kept her head bowed low, mousy brown hair tied back in a bun, with strands framing her gentle face. Every word she faltered on caused her cheeks to go a deeper red. She was new the castle and still found it humbling to be in the presence of the Hitsuya family. And even though the middle child was more than welcoming when it came to her new maid, Mary still stuttered and struggled to speak in her presence. “A-Are you p-painting?”

The question threw Kurenai. Mary usually just got on with her work without a single word to her. She gave a small nod, a soft smile upon her lips as she once again glanced at her canvas. It pleased her that the maid was interested in her work, but it worried her as well. Suppose she asked to see the painting…What would she do then? She couldn’t hide them forever.

“Your p-paintings are t-truly wonderful.” Her voice had grown stronger and she looked up at Kurenai and actually smiled. It was a pretty smile and the plain young girl looked beautiful for a moment, before it faded. “I should g-get on.” She gave a bow, before turning to the fire to stoke it. Kurenai let out a sigh of relief, wrapping her dressing gown tighter around herself. Her fingers absent-mindedly played with the ruby around her neck. It had been hers since birth and never once had it left her neck. She slept with it on, washed with it on. It was hers and not another soul could touch it. She would never allow another soul to touch it. It sparkled a blood red at the base of her throat, as though threatening those who looked upon it. Both of her brother’s possessed one, her mother and father too. Kurenai had heard stories of how in the Upperworld they had beautiful Sapphires instead of Rubies. She had never laid eyes upon a Sapphire before.

“I think I may go for a walk in the castle,” She announced to Mary, slipping some shoes on before heading to the door. “And Mary,” She stopped in the doorframe and smiled at the maid. “You are dismissed for the evening. Please take the day off tomorrow. You work too hard.” With that, she was gone, leaving the maid staring after her in complete wonder at how a child born in a world of darkness could be so kind and caring.

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#, as written by Rhyme
The garden was a total mess. If it was a different garden it would be okay. But this is the garden. The different colored flowers were lined up along the path, specially planted to resemble a rainbow, two different arcs paralleling each other, on opposite sides of the path. It usually was beautiful, but the symmetry was all wrong. And that made Erika angry. She scrutinized the garden as she walked the stone path, hands angrily on her narrow hips, scowling. She calculated it to be perfect, for hours, getting it exact. Sadly, something definitely went awry with her last replanting. Erika continued hunting for the mistake. Her personal maid, Eva, was watching from the castle moat, with a worried expression on her face. Erika had been searching for hours, occasionally rearranging a few flowers, cutting a few others with her silver dagger.

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet. Yes, that's all correct. Everything appears to be in order. Why does something seem off?

Prowling like a jaguar on its prey, a short girl with a bird-like disposition, dressed in loose grey robes, and her mind was itching at her. Her perfect order, her wondrous garden, spoilt by an almost indistinguishable blemish. It was hard to see Erika clearly a few hours ago, but the sun was now rising, and the Prince Yashie was most likely awake by now. Very possibly, her brother was already blaming things on Jeremy Hatsuya, the heir for the Underworld. If she asked him what was wrong, Yashie would likely say the Hitsuyas did it. Somehow, they must be blamed. Erika's father would have the same response. Alaric and Yashie, so similar in many ways. United in their hatred of the Underworld, and united in their ability to rule.

I counted thirty four bees in total. They might have done something. Most likely not. Keep searching.

Aerial? What would she say if Erika asked for her assistance? The kind Queen of the Upperworld, perhaps too kind for anyone's good. she was safety, and stability, and all either loved her already, or should love her when they meet her. If not, Erika could easily and methodologically ruin their lives. She remembered that man, who lived on a poor farm that had been raided by bandits. He blamed it on the Mitsugas, and so Erika had planned his downfall.

**

Seven months ago

Haruki. Dressed in poor, peasant rags, dirty and torn. His breath was foul and his face, wretched. He had come to the castle, presumably to complain that he had been raided again, by the local band of bandits. He spoke with King Alaric, and they conferred quietly with each other. All Erika could hear of this was that Haruki claimed the royal family was on the ball. Erika didn't understand what he meant, but it sounded threatening. On the ball? If the castle is a ball, who owns it? The bandits? Does he? Erika struggled with comprehension for two days. Eventually, she decided that it must have been a threat.

Erika dressed in dark rags. She had incapacitated Haurki's wife and eight year old daughter, and tied them up. After that, she pulled them onto a wagon, and wheeled it over to the meeting spot. Last night, Erika sent a message to the bandit leader that she had a deal to strike with him, as long as he came unarmed. Sure enough, at midnight, the rugged bandit leader arrived. His eyes feasted on her for a few moments, but he saw her knife. He then looked at Erika's two captives.

"What deal you got, Princess?"

"I'm not a princess." Erika replied, with an uneasy calm. "I am a peasant girl. I live in filth, plough disgusting wheat and grass and dress in poor clothing."

The man winked, amused. The girl had a definite haughty nature that permeated her paper-thin disguise. Of course, the dagger's hilt was beautifully crafted and jeweled.

"That's an awfully expensive blade, your Highness."

"I am a terrible criminal. This is stolen from the Royal coffers." Erika explained. "It's beautiful. The blade is silver, specially crafted by Mr.Uzuki. The hilt is bronze smelt, with sapphires attached with intense heat. The carvings and symbols represent-"

"What sort of deal?" He asked, and Erika faintly smiled, revealing the amusement she felt. Her personal punishment of Haruki. She was ruining his life, but he deserved it, no doubt. He insulted the Royal family, and thus, is a spy for the Hitsuyas. A terrible person. Subhuman. So Erika had no qualms or reasons to cause harm to the hapless farmer. He most definitely deserved this.

"Fifty gold pieces. Each." Erika told him. "They will work as slaves to whatever bidding you desire."

"Deal."

The two figures, standing at the crossroads, they shook hands, and Erika handed over the wagon to the bandit leader. A few hours later, Erika had entered Haruki's home, and cut herself deep with his spear. Erika then ran home, and told her father that Haruki had abducted her, cut her, and tried to sell her to the Underworld. Haruki was immediately sentenced to the prisons.

**

Present Time

Erika grinned at the memory. It had been fun, and her arm healed perfectly, leaving no trace of the cut. Then she saw the problem, someone had walked in her garden, the footprint resembling that of a bear. Erika carefully straightened the flowers that were bent, uprooted the ones that were dead, and told Eva to escort her into the castle. She headed towards Selene's room, but missed and saw her brother. Erika casually told him hello, hoping that no one noticed she had spent the last night outside.

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#, as written by echored
Outside on one of the few high-tower balconies one would find Queen Helena leaning against the cool cream stone. Her bright green eyes, rare in their luster and color, rested calmly on the grounds of the castle. It was night, though determining the time of day was mostly a game of assumption. The main hints that it was night was the fact that one, the skies were were darker without a smidgeon of natural light, as well the land grew quite silent during this time. Below, Helena could see the serene canals that gently caressed the banks of their castle walls and corridors. Hanging lanterns scattered throughout the masonry provided the necessary lighting needed to move about. Beyond the royal grounds, Helena was able to see the rest of the Underworld due to the height of this tower. The darkness didn’t effect her vision, for living most of her life in the Underworld made many of the inhabitants nocturnal and their sight sharp. Woods that met the horizon were barren with occasional brown leaves clenching to thin branches with what little life they could muster up. Fog blanketed the land and one could almost see the cold air that hung stationary in these fields of darkness and mystery. There was poetic beauty to it all. More beauty than any green grass could compare to, at least in Helena’s opinion.

The power gem of the Hitsuya’s, a deep crimson ruby, gently kissed the pale forehead of the Queen. It was held in place by her precious golden chain that, when fully extended, was 3 feet in length. It allowed for a variety of different hairstyles-- and with the length of her hair that came past her hips-- she needed a sturdy chain to work with. Because it was sleeping hours, Helena’s hair was braided loosely down her back, the long gold chain locking in each curve of her braid until excess chain hung freely behind her. She was dressed in a simple black silk nightgown with red and gold embroidered slippers. The balcony Helena was present on in particular was the one right off her private suite in the castle. Inside was a nearly bare room. The walls were grey slate stone all around, as well as the ceiling and the floor. The center of the room composed of the only furniture. There was a hanging chandelier composed of 12 candles, always lit. Below, a scarlet velvet fainting couch accompanied by a worn golden rug, circular in shape, that provided some much needed warmth to the room. Besides those things and the balcony itself, the room was quite desolate. Even so, it was a room that Helena often found the most comfort in, away from any distraction of normal royal business. The King let her be in this room, happy to provide Helena a place of solace. Reflecting on it, the King quite possibly has never set foot in this room, and she preferred it that way. Her children, on the other hand, had found this an ideal place to come if wanting their mother’s attention. When the three were adolescents, it wasn’t uncommon to hear their tiny footsteps pattering up the tower stairs to find her resting on her couch, or out on her balcony. Now that the three were older, they didn’t visit her as much in here, and yet the door was always open just enough to where any could come in and feel welcome if need be.

The Queen felt the most comfortable in the silence of the night. She never was one of much words, seeing it unnecessary to have conversations of fluff, or if nothing would get accomplished at the end of speaking. Her family members were some of the only few that had the luxury of hearing her voice and advice, that and some of her personal maids. All in all, Helena was a mystery to the common folk, and her intentions were to keep it so. It wasn’t that she was reclusive and disliked others, because that technically wasn’t so. She was kinder than one might think the wife of Baphomet was supposed to be like... it was the fact that Helena’s exterior was what many would think the wife of Baphomet would be like: emotionless, chiseled features with almost soulless pools of green eyes. Those that had seen the Queen in public might have guessed her as a statue if she didn’t move. A crack in her composer would be nearly impossible to manage. It was all about keeping the presentation and expectancies of what a Queen’s role should be. Being of royalty, her presence had to stand out above the rest, just as her unique beauty. As youthful as she looks, no one would ever believe she was indeed 47-years-old. Appearance was power. She expected the same out of her children as well. Most of the time they behaved during lessons, but of course none of them were perfect. Whether they were too kind or too high-strung, the middle ground was absent in her children. It made her job slightly more challenging, and at times required an iron fist of rule. This said, Helena has accepted their quirks for they are her beloved children.

It was at this moment that she noticed a hooded figure run across the castle bridge that connected one part of the grounds to the other as a canal divided the two. Helena tilted her head, some loose strands of hair falling out of the braid. Her hands firmly gripped the edge of the balcony, eyes narrowing on the swift figure below. It took here a few mere seconds to realize who it was. ”Jeremy” she thought to herself, her heart beating at a cool, steady pace. Her brows didn’t raise nor did her body show any signs of worry. As said, this was who she was-- rarely anything stirred a reaction out of her except in the course of battle and war. Her first son Jeremy was indeed a free spirit, much to the dismay of the King. A short sigh escaped the red lips of Helena as she watched him exit the castle and into the neighboring towns. Knowing this particular son, he was the type to break the rules and push the limits. That it was Helena wasn’t going to bother telling the King. Jeremy would be back before the morning came, and if he wasn’t, then Jeremy would have to be prepared for the consequences. And of course, Jeremy was now going to receive a brief scolding from herself as soon as he returned. In private of course, there was no need to make a big deal out of it. He was lucky she was so low key. Very, very lucky.

Helena continued to stay perched on her balcony now, more awake knowing her son was doing something he shouldn’t out there. She would wait here until he returned. Sleep was never an important factor, for she never felt fatigue.

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Jeremy stood up quietly, deciding that he better get some exploring in as he only had a few hours left to be in the Upperworld before he had to return to the Demonworld. He wandered in between the trees, hiding every now and then when he saw or heard an animal or Upperworlder pass by - which was rare. He wandered through the trees until he found a small road he could walk on. It was small and lined with trees and flowers. The ruts were cut deep into the ground, showing that this road was well used. Jeremy walked out onto the worn road after looking in both directions to make sure no one was there to see him and report him to the Royal Family.

Jeremy quietly sauntered down the road, happy with the fact that it was so peaceful and quiet in the Upperworld. He silently wished to himself that he would've been born into an Upperworld family rather than his Demonworld family. He stopped short as he saw some small white flowers and he immediately thought of Kurenai. He walked over to the edge of the road and knelt down, carefully picking a few of the flowers to take back to Kurenai. Kurenai would really like it up here. Too bad that it's too dangerous to bring her up here with me, otherwise I would bring her up with me one of these times, he thought to himself as he quietly stood up and continued down the road.

Two passing elves, one of which was in good standing with the Royal Family of the Upperworld, stopped shortly seeing a young male wearing rather formal clothing for not being a member of the Royal Family or a noble. The elf hide behind a nearby tree and watched him quietly. When he moved his hand to pick the flowers, the elf noticed a ruby on a leather bracelet around his wrist. His eyes widened and he turned to his fellow elf. He whispered quietly to the other elf before turning back to the young male and following him quietly as he started to move again.

The second elf nodded as the other elf whispered to him and then ran silently through the trees quickly to the castle. He wove through the trees quietly and reached the castle shortly. He ran in and asked to see the Crown Prince immediately. A young servant nodded and quickly led the elf to Prince Yashie. The elf bowed and introduced himself quickly before reporting what his fellow elf had told him to report about the young male that they had encountered. When he finished he waited quietly for the Prince's response and commands.

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#, as written by Yashie
Yashie - Mitsuga Castle, Upperworld
A short while past dawn


Yashie yawned, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. It was not often that he had nightmares but when he did he invariably had them well before dawn. He shrugged and got up, mumbling about how the lack of sleep might give him a headache later in the day. He snapped his fingers and a servant appeared immediately at his side so immediately as to seem that she appeared out of thin air. Presumably, the servant had been standing in one of the recesses in the walls of Yashie's room. He nodded curtly to her and she bowed and backed off a few paces, turned and walked to a corner of the room. Yashie stretched and threw the covers back, rising into a sitting position and accepting the goblet of warm blood which the servant offered him. He downed the blood and stumbled sleepily in the direction of the bathroom which was built attached into his room. "Is the water heated?" he demanded of his servant and she nodded vigorously before returning to wherever she had been hidden at his dismissing wave.Yashie stepped into the bath and soaked in the warm water for a while, letting his body relax. After a while, he rose and dried himself and began pulling on his clothes, humming a merry tune under his breath. He then left his chambers to the room directly next to his, which housed most of his weapons, armor, clothing and other miscellany.

The messenger was shown directly to Yashie's chambers, but found that he had just missed the prince. Hurrying down after Yashie, the messenger had come on him just as he was belting on his weapons. Quickly the message was given, and the messenger was sent away, richer than when he had come. Yashie quickly gave orders to a handmaiden passing, giving her instructions to be given to his general, and a hand of his best soldiers, the least of these instructions being that a tail be pinned, figuratively, on the Elven messenger. The messenger had given Yashie reason to believe that the DemonWorlder who had just infiltrated the upper world was a person of no meager importance; Yashie had recognized the reference to a power gem, a Ruby. The elf was being kept under surveillance so that retribution may follow if the information was wrong (One does not get the Crown Prince's hopes up first thing in the morning just to smash them.) and further reward if the information led to something productive, like the capture and preferably the slaying of aforementioned DemonWorlder.

Positively thrumming with excitement, Yashie proceeded to pull on his armor, something which was not part of his daily toiletries if he was intending to stay in the Castle. He was met at the beginning of the hall by a soldier who claimed to have been sent by his General. Yashie nodded in acknowledgement and asked "Is the first Hand ready, boy?", 'boy' being the word he usually used to address soldiers and people of a rank lesser than him. Maybe it was because of the fact that people tended to condescend (not to his face, of course) since he was very young. The soldier replied in the affirmative. "Good then. Tell the general to move out, and take positions. I shall join them presently." The soldier bowed and darted off.

Filled with a nervous energy, Yashie turned and started moving towards the entrance. He ran into Erika on a corridor. He smiled inspite of himself and patted her head, greeting her. "Hello, little sister. If you run into father, could you tell him I may not be available in court today? I have business of a ... ah, sensitive nature to attend to. Oh, and as a personal favor, stay indoors today please? Thank you! I shall see you soon, then, I must be off". And with that, he charged down to the palace courtyard to rendezvous with his men.

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Selene had quiet a restless sleep and was not in a very happy mood for it as she stumbled out of her bed. Where in the world is Su-Ji? She is usually here when i wake. she thought to herself in a somewhat grumpy manner. She decided that Su-Ji must have had her own important business to attend and was fine with that. She had never been as harsh with the servants as the rest of her family could sometimes be. She wondered if her family might have forgotten that servants were people as well. She supposed she took most of her traits from her mother as she and Aerial often shared the same viewpoints. She pushed morbid thoughts of her sometimes aggressive family out of her mind and went to dress and make herself presentable for the day.

She wasn't one to dress in robes of pink and wear excessive makeup, she found it much to girly and had no suitor to look that nice for anyway. It's not that many suitors had not come for her hand, but that none had the qualities she looked for in a companion. Normally, her father would have to choose a suitor for her, but Selene insisted that it be her own decision and in the end he reluctantly relented to her demands.

After staring at her wardrobe for all of five seconds she grabbed a robe with a pale green hue. IT would bring out her eyes very nicely. It did not take her long to wash up and dress and by the time she exited the washroom, Su-Ji had returned. "Su-Ji, I was worried about you. Where were you?" Selene asked in somewhat of a worried tone. Su-Ji averted her eyes from Selene and blushed "I was talking with someone from the kitchens." Selene had a suspicion that it was Markal, the new servant from the kitchens that Su-Ji had kept glancing at all of yesterday. Selene decided she would tease her later for it, but know wanted to get the day afoot. Su-Ji interrupted Selene's inner musings by telling her about something peculiar she had seen earlier.

"When I was coming back from the kitchens, I passed your brother's corridor. The door to his weaponry room was ajar and I couldn't help but overhear what sounded like an elf speaking rather frantically about a stranger in the village. He said that the stranger wore a ruby on his wrist. I thought it odd because rubies are known to be the Demonworld's Royal Family Jewel. Do you not think that is strange? What would a member of the Demonworld's Royal Family be doing here?" Su-Ji exclaimed.

Selene was lost in her thoughts. Perhaps the Demonworlder can tell me more about the Demonworld. I must meet him. But if Yashie has been informed of it, then he'll imprison him without a second thought, or worse he'll kill him. I've got to reach him before Yashie does! She grabbed Su-Ji's hand and ran for the door. "Come on, we've got to get him before Yashie does." she said as she dragged Su-Ji along. She and Su-Ji walked brisquely down the corridors to the stables, not wanting to draw attention to themselves. They passed her sister and Selene gave her smile and said a quick "Good Morning" and walked on without waiting for a reply.

They reached the stables and Selene called for the stable-master. Upon his arrival she asked him for a horse for she and Su-Ji. When questioned about their destination Selene said that they just wished to go out for a morning ride. The stable-master brought them the horses. Selene had to help Su-Ji onto hers because she was not the best of riders and then mounted her own. The set off for the town where the Demonworlder was spotted which was located relatively close to the castle.

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Kurenai swept gracefully through the darkened corridors, her black hair flowing behind her, glimmering in the little light that there was. She lingered every now and then to glance out of one of the many windows and at a larger one, she halted to stare over the land. The sky was still inky black, but now streaks of pale pink and gentle blue could be seen on the horizon. Noises of waking animals and the people could be heard. Movement across the land. Dawn was coming. This was her favourite time of the day, it always had been. The breathtaking colours and the bustling of the villages, but also the peace that was within the castle. The young Princess wrapped her silky dressing gown around herself more tightly, the topaz blue contrasting with the ruby red that nestled against the pale, soft skin of her neck. Her fingers stroked it absent-mindedly. Often she did this when she was deep in thought. Now, her thoughts wandered to the Kingdom and what would happen with the two different worlds that she believe should be united as one. Not that her father would ever listen to her thoughts. She was female after all and not in-line for his throne.

Turning, Kurenai continued on her way. She let her feet carry her, without putting much thought into it. These corridors were well known by the young woman who had walked them since she was a child and it was often that she had walked them. Before she realised even when where she was heading, she stood on one of the many balconies. These were perfect to overlook the land and this one in particular allowed you to see the passage to the portal. Consumed in her own thoughts, Kurenai did not realise there was another on the balcony. The young Princess barely noticed the pulsating light blue aura that belonged to her mother. And it wasn't until she pushed her mind outwards, looking for anyone who might be close to the portal that she noticed the unbearably close presence of another. Physically, she flinched away from the feeling of her mind touching another's so rapidly. Whipping around, her hand reached for the dagger that she always kept on her intricately beautiful belt. But as soon as her eyes fell upon the figure that was her mother, she instantly relaxed, her face turning from a dangerous scowl to a pretty and easy-going smile.

"Mother!" She exclaimed, clutching at her chest slightly. "You frightened me. I did not expect anyone to be out here at this time." Brushing the hair from her eyes, she watched her mother carefully. There was still a smudge of blue across her cheek. Kurenai could sense her mother's aura better than other people. It was blue now, which indicated that she was relaxed and neutral, but there was a hint of yellow. Worry. What could possibly be worrying her so? Her body or face showed no signs of it and only her aura showed it the tiniest amount. Kurenai did not dare probe her thoughts. Although her gem gave her the power to, she did not like to do so. It was rude to invade one's thoughts. Slowly, she joined her mother on the edge of the balcony. The view from here was hauntingly beautiful and still to this day it took her breath away. Sure, it was dark and dangerous, but there was a neglected beauty about the Underworld.

"What brings you out here at this late hour?" Her voice was soft, like velvet. Kurenai had always preferred her mother to her father and she enjoyed her company. They shared similar views about the Upperworld, unlike her father. If she was to show her work to anyone, then it would be her mother, or Jeremy. But for now, it remained a secret, residing in her room where no-one was likely to find it...

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Jeremy continued to walk down the small road, frowning slightly to himself when he heard a wagon or two coming towards him. He immediately stepped off of the path and hid behind a large tree as the wagons passed. He glanced up at the leaves of the trees above him, the small frown still upon his lips. He climbed up the tree expertly - as though he had done it a million times, which knowing Jeremy was most likely true - and stopped when he saw the sunlight. His eyes widened and he immediately jumped out of the tree and hit the ground. Straightening quickly from his crouched position, he stepped back out onto the road - not caring if people saw him at the moment - and ran back towards the portal between the two worlds.

Reaching the treeline of the forest near the portal, Jeremy skidded to a stop and climbed up a tree. Sitting down on a well-shaded branch, he looked at the sunlight stretch of grass from the treeline and the portal. His frown deepened as he sat in the tree, trying to figure out someway to get back through the portal to the Demonworld. He sighed and leaned against the large trunk of the tree and placed a hand to his head. "How in the world am I going to make it back, I doubt I'm going to be able to stay in the Upperworld an entire day without getting caught by anyone," he said to himself quietly.

"Is the sun really that dangerous to us Demonworlders?" he asked himself quietly. To answer his question, he climbed farther up the tree to where the sunlight was shining through. He sat on a shaded branch and slowly reached his hand up into the sunlit area only to bring his hand immediatly back into the shade. He winced as he looked at the damage done to his hand - the top of his hand was burned as if he had stuck his hand into a fire and kept it there for a minute or two. He jumped down from the tree and hurried to a nearby stream, finding a spot that was in the shade and stuck his hand into the cool water to stop the burning feeling and because he was told that this was what you did when you were burned. He sat there for a few minutes before he stood up and shook the water off of his hand and ripped the bottom of his shirt and wrapped it around his burn and leaned against a tree, running a hand through his hair.

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#, as written by Yashie
Yashie - Mitsuga Castle, Upperworld
Forenoon


Yashie ran out of the courtyard and into the garden, where two hands of his finest warriors had assembled, each hand having twenty warriors; ten spearmen, five swordsmen, three archers and two spellcasters each. His General was there, too, a battle-hardened elf named Wilben Darksbane. He was selected to be Yashie's general by Alaric, his father, who felt that Yashie needed quite an able general since he would possibly be prone to mistakes due to his comparitive lack of experience. So far Yashie hadn't made any such mistakes on the battlefield, but he still had great respect for Wilben who was a great warrior in his own right. "What news, General? Where is the Demonworld Scum?" Yashie demanded. "We have him trapped, Sire. He is close to the portal, but he is in the forest near it, our spies report. He can not leave the forest and move to the portal while it is daylight yet, for the sun's rays are harmful to him."

Yashie chuckled softly and clicked his fingers. "Excellent. Send a spellcaster to the portal as fast as possible to put them on high alert and to bolster them in case the Demonworlder makes a break for it. First hand, You will follow me and we shall use the road to the portal and fan out, moving in from the portal-side. Wilben, take the Second Hand and go through the woods, and come on him from the forest-side, thus trapping him. Dispatch a runner to father, ask for a few troops to be sent by boat down the river, just in case the Demonworlder tries to escape by water, and hurry!" Yashie beckoned to his soldiers and began running down the road to the Portal.

Yashie's soldiers were not strictly part of the army itself. He was allowed to recruit and train men, elves and other beings into a small personal army who answered directly to him, and not to the King. (Although the King did have the final say in matters of dispute.) This meant that Yashie could get things done without having to go through red tape and request men every time and it also meant that his troops were a shade superior to the general army since they were only few. Indeed, sometimes even Alaric used these men as his crack troops in sensitive operations and as such, these soldiers were known throughout the Upperworld for their tenacity, skill and bravery. It was with such troops that Yashie and Wilben hastened to capture the Demonworlder.

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Jeremy's eyes flickered around the area around him as he heard noises. His eyes narrowed slightly as he backed up through the trees, towards the portal, just in case he needed to make a break for it. His eyes continued to look through the trees for any sign of movement. As he backed up through the trees, he didn't quite notice the fallen tree behind him and he tripped over it, falling backwards onto the ground. As he fell, a snapped branch of the tree cut his arm from his elbow down to just under his pinkie. As it did so, it snagged onto his leather bracelet and pulled it off of his wrist. Jeremy felt his energy and strength leave him as his bracelet left his wrist.

Jeremy winced as he hit the ground, and laid there on the ground in a crumpled mess of a ball, his arm laying on the ground bleeding from the cut it just received. Jeremy tried to move, but couldn't summon enough strength or energy to do so. His leather bracelet hung from the snapped branch, taunting Jeremy.

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