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Rui Yorugen

"What burns bright, burns out."

0 · 1,022 views · located in Quies

a character in “Far From Home: REBOOT”, as played by Layla

Description

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Kokoronashi by Hanatan





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Full Name:
Akarui Yorugen

Nickname:
Rui | Though few utter her name now, those who do call her this, the half of her name meaning 'Tears.'
Akari | Once, her family called her this, the half of her name meaning 'Light.'
The Princess of Tears and Light | Her unofficial title prior to her exile, derived from the meaning of her name, being 'Tears of Light.'
Fallen Princess | Or so her Kingdom refers to her in hushed whispers.
The Little Mermaid | Many tales have been written about her, though this is by far the most popular.
Otohime | The beautiful daughter of the God of the Sea, and oddly the name that is evoked by those who pray to her for reasons she cannot comprehend.
Others | Having innumerable fake identities has given her a platitude of names, from Sara the Baker to Lady Sybil the Fortune Teller.

Age:
Appears to be 13-16

Gender:
Female

Brief Physical Description:
Rui tucked the long strands of burgundy red behind her ear as she lifted her gaze towards the clouds. The sky echoed the aquamarine hue of her eyes, which were large and doe-like and rimmed with thick lashes that caressed her cheeks when she blinked. A dainty nose sat upturned above the cupid's dip of her full lips, mirroring the small point of her chin. Her wrist was narrow like her neck, bony like the collarbones that slit across her shoulders and warned of malnutrition. Her hair cascaded along the length of her petite 4'11" frame, brushing the swell of her hips.

The only distinctive markings that stained her flawlessly pale skin were the three freckles that formed a small triangle on the inside of her left wrist.






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Personality:
Loyal | Gullible | Mercurial | Neurotic

Crrrrkkkk.

She clutched the young pup closer to her chest as her head whipped towards the sound, but saw only the flutter of homeless leaves gaping in the wind. Her eyes attempted to trick her into a wayward tranquility but she would not succumb to them. Rui was certain she'd heard a noise. Certain as certain a girl could be. They were here to tear the furry friend she'd come to call Toro from her arms. They would hurt him as they had before, bleeding what was left of his wheezing breath from his lungs. No, she wasn't paranoid. Others were simply too reckless.

Rui darted around the corner of the grungy alleyway and stumbled straight into a solid chest. A yelp leapt from between her lips as she fell to her haunches, curling into herself to protect both Toro and herself from the man's prying eyes.

"Are you alright?" he asked, and from his voice she knew he was young.

"I'm fine," she replied. No, she scalded her voice. No, no no! I'm not fine! I'm terrified, I'm hungry, I'm hurt, but the thoughts would not come out. She was trapped in her own body, her thoughts clawing at her scalp, moaning, pleading for release. Listen to me! See me!

The young man bent his tall frame to offer her his outstretched hand. He tugged her to his feet and she dared raise her gaze to meet his. Suddenly, her fear melted into a puddle at her feet and a warmth blazed within her. She could feel every particle of his skin against her palm as his touch seeped into her bones. He was kind. So very, very kind. She would repay him. She would do anything for him. She would follow him to Hell and through.

"William!" he exclaimed.

She would save him as he had her. They would be friends, perhaps even more.

"There you've been," he crooned, reaching his arms towards her. "Michelle's been worried sick."

Toro was jerked from her arms. Her eyes widened as she grappled for the dog, his tongue rolling between his jaws. Toro blinked his one working eye up at the young man.

"Thank you so much for finding him," the man said. "I'll take him home now."

No! "Of course," she replied. Stupid, stupid mouth. Please don't take him from me. He's all I have. She wondered if he saw the panic in her eyes and the shivers overwhelming her hands but knew, of course, he didn't. Nobody ever did, she wasn't sure they could. She reached towards the boy who was to be her friend and the puppy who was hers, but he'd already turned her back to her. Stop, she wanted to say. Please.

Abruptly, the desperation fell into fury, dowsed by lava that burned her throat and stained her sight red. How dare he take Toro away from her without even an ounce of thought spared for her? How dare her friend betray her? How dare Toro not turn to blink one eye in farewell? Traitors. They were all traitors, and they would pay.






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History:
As many stories do, Akarui Yorugen's began once upon a time, in a land far, far away, in a kingdom called Atorantisu, but you might know it better - as Atlantis.

Atlantis was a kingdom filled with wielders of water magic, fishermen and sailors, being surrounded by the azure sea. King Toriton ruled the Kingdom alongside the beloved Queen Atena. Together they had thirteen children, all of whom were male except for the youngest, a dainty red-haired girl born prematurely, who looked more elfin than mer. They named her Akarui, meaning 'Tears of Light,' for this was no simple girl. She had the power to weep oceans, and when she mourned, the sky wept with her. She was revered by the kingdom, as never would the oceans or rivers run dry so long as Princess Akarui lived, and never would the sea creatures flee so long as her songs beckoned them near.

So the Tears wept and the Light sang and like shoes that forced its wearer to dance eternally, so Akarui was trapped in her song and in her eyes, destined to weep and sing for Atlantis to thrive. She did not play as the other children did, nor string pearls the mermaids did so religiously, but Akarui did not mind. She did not mind at all, she would say aloud to the shells of her hollow room every dawn and dusk. She did not mind at all.

Regardless of her self-deception, her two oldest brothers minded very much. They were the heirs to the throne, yet little, premature Rui was the one who received all the praise and attention, whose shell was littered by gifts and tokens from the citizens everyday. Oh, how they wished she would scream a song and weep blood one day. Their disdain manifested in petty pranks at first. They would swap the seaweed in her soup for live ocean slugs, pay the village boys to frighten her in the night and trip her path, silly games that annoyed her but were ultimately tolerable. After all, she had her Raiden.

Rai and Rui were the best of friends, he being the son of one of a duke and her betrothed. When they first met, he did not caress her hair or probe her flesh for a blessing as so many others did. Instead, he rubbed the slimy remnants of a sea anemone on her palms when they shook hands. She fell instantly and irrevocably, in love. He would often defend her against the kids who mocked her small frame and quiet nature and undo whatever horrors her brothers had inflicted on her this time. Rai promised Rui she would never be lonely.

But the dead do not keep their promises. as the Princess of Tears and Light would soon know. For as all stories must go, her happiness would not prevail.

The two eldests had become restless with distraught. There was talk of Little Akarui ascending the throne. After all, should not the most powerful of the King and Queen's offspring rule the Great Atlantis? Thus in the dark whispers of elusive taverns and black market dealings, they devised their sister's demise.

Though it was the paid mercenaries and magicians who subdued her magic, it was her brothers who brought their swords to slice her lifeblood free of her throat. But as the swords descended, their aim met not the soft croon of young flesh, but the screech of another sword. Rai had braced himself before her, arms trembling against the swords pressed against him, eyes bright with fury and strain.

"Run," he'd yelled. "Run!"

But how does one flee from the boy you love?

If the source of affection is annihilated, of course.

It had been quick, at least. The sword plunged straight through Raiden's heart, and emerged from her gaping soul.

She might've screamed - such details escaped her as power gushed from the wound her brothers had inflicted when they ripped her love from her chest and like a broken dam, her magic drowned the kingdom under the sea. Her brothers were left injured, but intact, and the kingdom withstood the rage of their Fallen Princess, as it had thrived against the countless enemies of nature and humanity before. All that changed was that now the sea levels rose and the Kingdom was submerged in water - but no matter, the water wielders had always been able to breathe as fish did. The Princess, however, was not so lucky.

The King would not hear her excuses, though the Queen wept. But not for her. Never for her. They wept for their eldest son's blindness. "You did this," Queen Atena had accused. "You." When Akarui revealed that it was her brothers who had attacked her first and who had killed her dearest friend, she was called a liar. "How dare you?" the King had boomed. "First you murder Raiden Tsuito, your betrothed, and now you dare place blame on my sons? You dare lie before the Court of Atlantis?"

And for the crime of deception, she was cursed to speak only lies.

"You are no daughter of mine," King Toriton spat.

And for the crime of being Akarui Yorugen, she was banished from Atlantis, and all the seas that be and would ever be.

Perhaps you expected a happily ever after. Alas, happy endings do not belong to villains, and this Princess of Tears and Light would ultimately succumb to darkness. So let this be the moral of our story: what burns bright, burns out.

So begins...

Rui Yorugen's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mary C. Adler Character Portrait: Rui Yorugen Character Portrait: Cerin Mistral Character Portrait: Arin Desmond Character Portrait: Francine Davis Character Portrait: Ellis Flinch
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#, as written by Layla
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i. The Princess of Tears and Light




Lies were the indelible remains of naked corpses burrowed beneath the skin, its shame crawling like blood into a stream, forcing oxygen into the brain. Forcing the thoughts to chitter chatter, chitter chatter, chitter chattering and chipping away at your sanity. And God, whatever Gods there may be in this realm or the next, Rui had none left.

Listen, she wanted to scream. Listen not with your ears, but with your heart. But how could you teach the born-blind to see red? How could she be any less a liar than a tornado could a force of destruction? Thus she scratched her pen into her small, weathered notebook. It was a flimsy thing, and the only thing besides her blood-stained dress she'd had on her when she was exiled from her home with acidic words and a wave that welded the untruth into her bones. The bitter pain of the curse was a familiar companion, chip-chipping at her bones. She hoped she would turn into ash soon.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, she scribbled into her book. The gold crown feathered into rust. Her left fist moved frantically over the black pages as she raced to the beginning. Lies are the indelible remains of naked... Words sat atop words napping upon words and she thought, I should get a new book, she thought, but the coherent phrase slipped from her grasp like a disobedient eel. She scolded it, and returned her thoughts to the chaos that beckoned her from the pages of her notebook.

A sudden noise from somewhere far, far away wrenched her from her reverie none too gently. She leapt half a metre off the ground before jumping to her feet, knocking over the stack of boxes she'd recently vacated in the process. Rui wrapped her arms protectively around her journal as her eyes darted so fiercely from side to side, up and down that she had to clasp her palms over them to keep her eyeballs from fleeing.

The voice traveled like little footprints over Rui's skin, tickling and tinkling. She released a nervous giggle. "Oh! It's the Dreamers! Look at them!" She jumped before hunching her shoulders as if trying to paint herself into a smaller target. Dreams? Where were the dreams? Her thoughts floated out the door despite herself, guided by a childish curiosity. Rui raced to follow. Would the dreams be colourful, she wondered. Would they leap over her head and nudge her back, tripping her forwards into the unknown?

"There you are!" A familiar hand wrapped around Rui's flimsy wrist like a crab's claw the moment she stepped out of the storage room. "We've been looking everywhere for you. Where have you been? What were you doing?"

"The gardens. I was burying a body," she replied as she was dragged down the steps two at a time. She was busy tripping over her short legs when a laugh burst from the plump doctor. Rui frowned. "What? I'm serious."

Sybil snorted in response and Rui allowed herself a small smile. She didn't mind Sybil, who merely scattered her lies in the wind with a bout of humoured exhalations. More than not minding, Rui thought she might've been halfway in love. The doctor was the only person who'd ever treated her compassionately, as if she were a person and not some halfway gone tool to be hammered against stubborn nails. They always wanted something and then some. She felt the pick axe in her flesh, clawing at what remained of her until soon, there would be nothing left but a bloodstain on the floor from where she stood, and that, even, she was certain they would take eventually.

"Found her!" Sybil chest puffed with pride as she slapped Rui on the back, causing her to stumble forward. Dreams, Rui hoped, did not shove as fiercely as Sybil did.

"You're late," the receptionist barked. Rui imagined a dog snapping at her heels.

Rui tripped into a standstill and resisted the urge to curl into herself in an attempt to shrink her 4'11" frame by another good inch or two. She had an audience. Instead, she straightened her spine, lifted her head, and summoned her most apologetic smile.

"This is one of our healers," Eleanor explained finally, after giving Rui a long, hard glare. "She'll be accompanying you for now in case anything... Goes amiss," she said slowly.

Rui's fingers whitened against the desk as her entire body tensed. The breaths of so many bodies pressed around her rustled her grip on her facade. Rui missed neglecting their existence. Her index finger twitched against the wood, scratching subtly at invisible words, thoughts that flitted down her spine like jolts of electricity. Look up, look up, look up, she thought. Her head dropped lower in response, her eyes focusing on a speck of dirt on the desk. Out of place, her mind screeched. She scrubbed it away with the corner of her sleeve and jerked herself upright, jolting her head towards the rest of the room before her mind had the chance to tell it otherwise. Her azure eyes acknowledged every individual before her, but her mind pushed them aside before they had the chance to take hold.

Rui finally nodded at a pair of emerald green eyes inches from her face, and screamed. The edge of the table stabbed into her hip as she threw herself backwards, nearly tripping over a gorgeous, leggy blonde before her back smacked into a wall. The slippery floor gave beneath her feet and she slammed into the ground, knocking her head against the corner of the desk in her descent.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mary C. Adler Character Portrait: Rui Yorugen Character Portrait: Cerin Mistral Character Portrait: Arin Desmond Character Portrait: Francine Davis Character Portrait: Kuroha Shindou Character Portrait: Ellis Flinch Character Portrait: Abraham Mantilla
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A wanderer. A word that had become all too familiar for Abraham. After losing his parents, he's had to fend for himself; using his talents to help others. Of course, Abraham didn't mind. In fact, he managed to find a tiny studio apartment in Sheepish City's Medical District. He has become a part time worker at the Hospital, which pays for his Studio. He's never home though. Abraham is constantly traveling between places in Quies. During the day he's usually at Tall Twelve Towers. At night however he comes back to Quies as that's when the city really blooms. He doesn't mind the constant travel, he enjoys the solace.

Heading back from a client job he was hired for at Tall Twelve Towers, it's almost sun down and he needs to hurry back to Quies for today was that day. The day that the Dreamers are to be released. The whole town is soon to arrive at the hospital, so he needs to hurry.

*****


Arriving before sundown, Abraham was relieved that the towns people weren't out and about yet. Walking into the Hospital, Abraham went to go check into the front desk where Eleanor was typing frantically. "Hey Eleanor! Got anything for me today?" Abraham asked he as he was watching. Without a warning, Eleanor pulled out this note from one of the Hospital head advisers. Flinching, he took the note reluctantly and walked away. As he walked away, he say a boy coming in from the other set of doors on the opposite side of then lobby. Is that Elis? What's he up to this time? He wondered as he continued through a hallway.

Reaching the door he was after, he knocked. After a few moments, he heard a soft but stern voice from the other side to come in. Reluctantly, Abraham peered through the door, not really expecting what was going to happen next. The note he received from Eleanor was rather cryptic. Miss daisy, the woman in charge spoke with Abraham for a while. Telling him he was assigned a new client. Or rather three new clients. He was to watch over the three Dreamers, and to be their protector to make sure they aren't killed by anything, and to make sure they don't die. Not really sure how to react to the news, Abraham sat quiet. Speechless.

Abraham was then handed to books. They were books filled with healing and alchemy spells. They are to enhance his knowledge even more. Abraham knew a lot of the physical side of healing, which took no magic at all. But he's being told that the Dreamers, id hurt, magic works the absolute best with them. A new challenge for Abraham. A topic area he never knew he'd be exploring. Not soon any way. With that, Miss Daisy had nothing else to say, and Abraham was dismissed. Walking out the door, Abraham was now standing in one of the adjacent lobbies that connect to the main lobby. "IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING?!" He said loudly. Not caring who'd be staring at him. Besides, that all he could muster to say as the shock was still hitting him. Hard. Of course, he had no time to react. He soon heard gasps and voices carry on from the main lobby.

Abraham reluctantly walked towards the archway to peer into the main lobby. Standing there, across from him in the elevator, where the three Dreamers. holy crap! He thought as he stared. It has begun, and Abraham had no idea what was in stored for him from now on. His life changes now, and is to revolve around the three Dreamers.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mary C. Adler Character Portrait: Rui Yorugen Character Portrait: Cerin Mistral Character Portrait: Arin Desmond Character Portrait: Francine Davis Character Portrait: Ellis Flinch Character Portrait: Abraham Mantilla
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ImageIt has been a month ever since Francine ended up in this place. Out of nowhere she was forced to leave her previous life and be in a completely new world. The last thing on Earth she remembered was... nothing... Francine's memories of her seventeen years on Earth were a thick fog. She remembered her mother, father and six siblings. She didn't forget her dear friends either. All of them must be worried sick, as it has been a month ever since she left the Earth.

As her fate changed drastically, she lost her old life, but gained a title. Francine was known as one of the Dreamers. Why were they called like that? Probably they were dreaming of going back home? Despite everything, Francine knew she shouldn't dwell on nostalgia for home. She knew she had to be patient. At least she wasn't the only dreamer. There was a boy who seemed distant, yet strong. There was a girl who felt like a younger sister to Fran for some reason. She could feel the love for them, yet her memories of their moments together were pitch black.

"Hello, blonde girl!" Fran waved back to Arin with smile on her face. She looked at a blonde boy, a short red-haired girl who turned into a major victim of slapstick and a blue-haired boy that explictly showed his excitement to see the Dreamers.

Francine quickly ran to Rui.
"Hey, little girl! Are you okay?" she asked in a soft voice.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mary C. Adler Character Portrait: Rui Yorugen Character Portrait: Cerin Mistral Character Portrait: Arin Desmond Character Portrait: Francine Davis Character Portrait: Kuroha Shindou Character Portrait: Ellis Flinch Character Portrait: Abraham Mantilla
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...

Where am I?

What is this place?

Alas, it seems my new story is beginning unpleasantly.





Cerin was cold, lost, and wet. Only the latter was a problem, however. He seemed to be sitting by a pool with his feet dangling in the crystal waters. Casual to the stray observer. He quickly pulled them out, slipping on the socks and tall, black boots. Had he been here before? No, he'd surely recognize the landscape.

How was he here anyway? Going through the Dreamhub wasn’t usually a problem. However, the new world had appeared…

Was Fate itself against me this time?

It mattered not at this time. He had landed in this new place unconscious and confused- weaknesses for others to exploit. However, as he stood stiffly, he saw no one around. His piercing, brooding eyes searched the darkened forest. Nothing living was anywhere near. Thankfully. He let out an anguished cry.

His only companion dead and his empire collapsed. Then, just to top it off, he was launched into a complete rebirth. Into this land, beautiful as if out of a storybook. He stepped out of the dip where he'd been resting and walked across soft grass. The ground of the forest was littered with sky-blue petals. Was Fate mocking, taunting him?

He begins to walk, a few pebbles setting his direction. He takes inventory- what else could he possibly have? Cerin's soft touch grazes a silky white bandanna around his neck. Good. He reaches to his hip almost instinctively as he hears a rustle in the brush. A snowy white blade rests there, its power radiating even in the sheath. He doesn't draw it, and no other sounds are to be heard.

After an immeasurable amount of walking, he finally comes across a large city. The sun is setting and the city seems to be coming to life. It's quite pretty, actually, like the forest. He begins to explore, but is quickly becoming weary. Is something here sapping his strength? It wouldn't seem so, as he is a Shadow Walker in a nocturnal city.

Walking to what seems is the center of the city, he sits on a nearby bench. His strength is slowly ebbing away. Cerin is frightened, he's tired, and wants nothing to do with this odd world. He wishes to have his childhood back. Innocence... and her.

Cerin feels the last of his energy flicker out of existence like a flame pinched between fingers.




He's awakened gently and led into a lift by some odd people. Cerin is thoroughly tired of being lost and confused here. He's led into a room with clothing similar to his own, and he dresses quickly. He's fully awake now, and the entirety of his grief is back. His eyes hold a sad but fierce gaze as he looks into a mirror.

After he dresses in a dark outfit like he used to wear, from what he remembers, he is led out to lift-like machine. Inside, he remains gravely quiet, studying his new "partners'.

One girl is tall and slim, the figure of a spoiled childhood. Her long red locks hang down as she gazes around at her companions as well, scarlet eyes taking in everything warmly but cautiously. The second is dark-haired, like him, but there the similarities stop. She has dark eyes, light, fair skin, and a mature figure. She seems calm in the face of all this.

How did they get here? Was it possible they weren't strangers to the Dreamhub? What dimension could they be from?

He emerges from the lift to see a crowd. How many people cared about strangers to their world?

A couple of faces stick out of the crowd- A young, blue-haired man, a tall blonde, a girl with pink hair and thick red glasses. Suddenly, he sees a girl he knows is familiar. Who is she?

She's beautiful, a small, dainty beauty. Her hair is a soft red; her eyes, an aquamarine mirror. Who is she? He knows she is from his past; the past he can't remember.

Could she be what he is searching for?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mary C. Adler Character Portrait: Rui Yorugen Character Portrait: Cerin Mistral Character Portrait: Arin Desmond Character Portrait: Francine Davis Character Portrait: Ellis Flinch Character Portrait: Abraham Mantilla
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#, as written by Layla
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ii. Fiction




Rui lay there gasping like a fish out of water for a few aching moments, pain pushing through her skull to stroke the wrinkles of her cerebrum. The ceiling spun. Suddenly, her spine arched as the oxygen that had been knocked out of her flooded her lungs and she greedily devoured short bursts of air. A pair of obsidian eyes swam into focus, wide and concerned.

"Hey, little girl! Are you okay?" the girl asked, her long hair tickling the apple of Rui's left cheek as she bent over her. Rui scrambled backwards until her back hit the wall. These people were devoid of the concept of personal space. Frightened blue-green orbs lurched around the room as Rui saw, really saw, the present inhabitants of the medical building. The boy who'd frightened her with his proximity stood a ways away - but not away enough - his gold hair curling over eyes the colour of tranquil meadows and wild forests. A fake moustache graced his upper lip, a jarringly different shade to his real hair. She wondered if he was mad.

Rui hoped he was.

He looked like a Prince, and she found herself gazing behind him in search of his white horse. He didn't have one. Perhaps he had a pegasus instead. That's right, his airborne steed must be waiting just outside, ready to leap into the clouds with a small red-haired girl on its back. And the dashing young prince whisked the peasant girl away, Rui stitched into the folds of her ebony skirt with an imaginary thread. He plucked a strand of molten gold hair from his majestic head, and curled the strand around Rui the Peasant Girl's ring finger. The thin lock solidified into a thick band. "Marry me," he whispered. "And I will protect you for ever and a day." He tilted his head, seeming to reconsider this. "Or perhaps just a day. It really relies upon which rabbit hole the fox flees."

The Prince seemed to glimmer and Rui furrowed her little brows, worried his beauty might blind her. As she pulled her gaze to the other fair-haired creature, Rui wondered if the blind were lonely in their world of darkness. The slim blond she'd stumbled over was no kinder on the eyes. Her hair flowed like woven light down her back and framed a face that made angels look hideous. Not that Rui had ever seen angels, being about as psychic as a riverbed pebble. She wished the woman would turn so Rui could confirm if she had wings attached to her spine. How many wars had been fought for this beauty? Rui estimated 14.

Near her was another gorgeous being. Was today the day for meeting eligible bachelors and bachelorettes? Porcelain skin was stretched over an elegant frame and a slim nose sat beneath warm mahogany eyes set in mathematically superior dimensions, but something was off. Her hair was on fire! Yet there was no lingering scent of smoke in the air. None at all. How strange. Rui realised with a start then, that her hair was on fire, too. She scrambled for her head, finding it just above her shoulders and ran her fingers through the silky strands. She pressed a lock to her nose but sniffed only notes of gardenias, with vanilla accents. She sighed in relief. Her hair was more of a violet-red with auburn and plum accents, than the fire brick red of the girl before her. Rui would not combust, so long as she avoided direct contact with flammables.

Lastly, her eyes met...

"Raiden," she gasped, fumbling to her feet. She took 1-2-3.5 steps forward before her heart.

Stopped.

And she breathed suffocation, lungs deflating 1-2-3-4-5-militeres-and-6,000,000-miles; bones melding into steel; eyes prickling with tears at this cruel, cruel lie that stood before her. Of course not. Of course it couldn't be her Raiden. Her brave, stupid Raiden who'd died and left her alone. Liar, she hissed at his ghost. Liar.

Because, you see, lies have a way of burrowing beneath the skin, failing to dislodge their corpses from your bones. Lies, have a way of whispering sweet nothings into your ear, so that you may never be free from expectation. That was the worse part, perhaps.

Still, he stood still, staring at her as if he'd found and lost her all at once. He had Raiden's eyes, though they were not the same colour. It was that they shared the same intensity in their gazes, as if they could see through her skin, her dishonesty, and dagger her soul. Rui considered dislodging her heart from the cavern of her chest to place it in his hands, but she couldn't. She didn't know where her own heart had gone either.

"She's better at healing than she is at human interaction," the receptionist said drily. Rui pulled her gaze away from Raiden's impostor and blinked at her shoes.

"I'm fine," Rui answered the dark haired girl's earlier question, the lie bitter on her tongue. No, I'm not fine, she wanted to say instead. My chest is an empty red cavern and I have corpses in my bones.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Mary C. Adler Character Portrait: Rui Yorugen Character Portrait: Cerin Mistral Character Portrait: Arin Desmond Character Portrait: Francine Davis Character Portrait: Reshiro Viraka Character Portrait: Ellis Flinch Character Portrait: Abraham Mantilla
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#, as written by Lyx
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How long had it been since that day? Since the day of the ambush, where he had been left for dead with a slit belly and spilled guts? How was it fair that his magic had healed his otherwise fatal wound, and Tai, Reggie, Allesa, and all the others were dead or taken captive? The guilt of living when his friends, his comrades, were bereft of life or freedom weighed down on Reshiro, causing him to question whether he wanted go onward.

Yet always he trudged on. He couldn't stop. He was the last of the emissaries from Pellidar. His nation needed him to complete his mission. Whether he wanted to or not he had no choice. He had to continue onward to save his land and his people.

Despite his noble intentions, he was hopelessly lost and had no idea where he was going. He had found a road the other day and walked alongside it. He hadn't passed by any other travelers to ask even where the road went. At least he had food and water. When the Ingladians had ambushed they hadn't taken the supplies that the Kathalan Regiment had been carrying with them, leaving Reshiro with plenty of food and water to take. By the time he had regained consciousness after his injuries, several days after the ambush, some of the food had spoiled, but most of it was fine. It was hardy travel food, not prone to mold. A few bugs crawled around in the hardtack but Reshiro was expecting that.

Now his food was beginning to run out. He needed to find a town soon and restock and find out where he could go to get allies for Pellidar. He could hunt, but a sword was not ideal for that. He knew how to make traps and snares, but he would have to wait, possibly for days, for those to yield anything. He didn't have days to spend away from his mission. No, his best bet was to follow the road until he found a town and buy supplies there. The Ingladians hadn't taken any money when they had ambushed, either, so Reshiro had taken a large sum from the purses of his fallen comrades.

There! Was that a town in the distance? Yes! Reshiro broke into a run. Even if it was a small town someone should be able to direct him somewhere he could find aid. Perhaps he could buy a horse at the town as well. It would likely take up most of his money, but it would be worth the faster travel.

After an hour or two of running Reshiro reached the town only to find it bare and deserted. Where was everyone? He wandered around, trying to find someone to talk to and get information. He didn't have any luck, so he entered one building that wasn't locked at random. Inside were a bunch of people. Some looked confused, some appeared to be guarding those who looked confused, and others seemed to be spectators. Reshiro nearly backed out of the building because of the strangeness, but he remembered his point for coming. He had finally found some people, so he had to take advantage of it.

"Sorry to interrupt," he began, not sure who to address, "but what is this place? I am a traveler and I need to buy some supplies."

It didn't occur to him what a strange sight he would be. His shirt had a large hole in it from the sword slash that had eviscerated him and was stained with blood. His trousers were likewise splattered with blood. He carried a dirty pack, a large sword, and a shield. His hair was long and uncombed from the days of travel. Dirt covered him since he had found no place to bathe. He had become used to these things because he had had to live with them for weeks by now. So thus when he addressed this group of people he was totally unaware of his odd, perhaps even frightening, appearance.

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Character Portrait: Mary C. Adler Character Portrait: Rui Yorugen Character Portrait: Cerin Mistral Character Portrait: Arin Desmond Character Portrait: Francine Davis Character Portrait: Reshiro Viraka Character Portrait: Ellis Flinch Character Portrait: Abraham Mantilla
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When the girl who was almost a foot smaller then Arin lurched towards her she took a step back out of reflex. Moments later she was gasping and kneeling by her side. 'My goodness! Are you okay sweetie?'

By now the girl was up and gazed at each of them in the room. Her eyes were full of awe in almost each person. 'I'm fine.' She spoke at last but Arin had always been good at telling when people were lying and her radar was so going off. Arin tilted her head in disbelief but said nothing. There was time for that later.

There was an awkward silence for a moment before the door behind them opened. Suprised Arin turned around and her jaw dropped. A boy, barely older then her stood in the door way. He looked hesitantly at them but still asked what this place was.

'Good lord!' Arin voiced at last. 'Are you okay? Are you hurt? Do you need medical attention?' She scurried over to the boy and gently grabbed his arm. 'Come on. You need to sit down.

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Character Portrait: Mary C. Adler Character Portrait: Rui Yorugen Character Portrait: Cerin Mistral Character Portrait: Arin Desmond Character Portrait: Francine Davis Character Portrait: Reshiro Viraka Character Portrait: Ellis Flinch Character Portrait: Abraham Mantilla
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For a while, everyone in the lobby was quiet. You could hear even the slightest movement. Everyone was looking at each other as if not knowing what to expect. Suddenly, a red headed girl went down. Abraham couldn't keep back a slight giggle, as the way she fell was quite comedic.I shouldn't laugh. Oh my I'm awful sometimes. he thought as he held back another chuckle.

The long black haired dreamer asked if the red headed girl was alright. She had replied with an occasional 'I'm fine' but the way she had fallen looked like it hurt. Also, the blonde girl in the room scooted over quickly to assist her. I have a feeling this might be a frequent thing. Abraham sighed as he leaned back on the wall behind him. Slowly sliding down, prompting himself on the ground. It was quiet again. The red head that fell is now on her feet, and no one is talking again. Things seemed to start to get back to normal, but like clockwork, things got weirder. The main lobby doors swung open, revealing a young man around Abraham's age. He looked very tattered. His clothes ripped, dirt all over him, and even the occasional blood stain. The guy didn't seem okay, but he was handing himself as if that was normal. "Sorry to interrupt, but what is this place? I'm a traveler and I need to buy some supplies." Was what the guy said. Not even mentioning his outside appearance. Is this guy nuts? Is he even hurt? He though as he continued to eye him up and down. Suddenly, the blonde girl again hurried to the guy, making a scene again. She asked the guy if he needed medical attention. Lucky for the guy, he's in a hospital. Lucky for him, Abraham was a healer.

This gave Abraham the opportunity to look at the healing book of spells he was handed. However, whether he knew the guy was actually hurt or not was the mystery. Woah, this book is cryptic. I can barely read it. Abraham was trying his hardest, but wasn't heading very far. Abraham looked up again and noticed that the blonde girl was now holding the guy's arm. Nudging him to seek medical attention.Well, I suppose I should make myself useful. Seeing that by the time a doctor gets down here it'll be too long. Standing up, Abraham started towards the seemingly hurt guy. "Hey man. Are you okay?" Abraham asked as he got closer."I can take a look at your wounds if you'd feel comfortable. I'm a healer. I know a thing or two." He smiled, not knowing how he'd react.

The setting changes from Quies to Sheepish

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Character Portrait: Mary C. Adler Character Portrait: Rui Yorugen Character Portrait: Cerin Mistral Character Portrait: Arin Desmond Character Portrait: Francine Davis Character Portrait: Reshiro Viraka Character Portrait: Ellis Flinch Character Portrait: Abraham Mantilla
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Mary had expected that she'd simply be taken out of the building where she'd been kept and moved to a different location, perhaps to be interrogated or at the very least briefed on the workings of the society she'd unexpectedly fallen into. However, event had quickly proven that leaving the building, even under guard, would not be so simple. Upon entering the lobby, she'd found herself surrounded by people of all sorts. There was a strange girl with red-brown hair who had swiftly taken a fall into a desk, and then, as though in a daze, had gawked for a few moments at the rather serious black haired boy who'd been imprisoned along with herself. Mary had been inclined to go and ask if she was okay, but that was around the time that a man had barged in through the front door with a rather large set of weapons slung over his back, casually asking where he was and if he could buy any supplies there. While he certainly seemed out of place, she doubted that he was foreign to the world like herself. More importantly, though, he looked terrifying, given that he was soaked head to toe in blood. She couldn't tell if it was his or somebody else's, but either way, he looked like he'd just come freshly from a battlefield. So there was a war going on in this world too? She almost forgot her place and rushed over to ask if he was alright, but he didn't seem to be harmed, and one of the doctors - at least, she assumed he was a doctor - swiftly came to do just that. She sighed, remaining where she stood, not wanting to throw her guards into a panic by making any sudden moves. She averted her eyes, trying to ignore the blood that had so rattled her, and just hoped the man was unharmed.

Even so, she was getting more and more uneasy with each passing moment. She had no idea what was going on, or where she was being taken. For all she knew, she might be on her way to some kind of freakshow, to be locked up and paraded about before gawking audiences such as the truly massive crowd that had already flooded into the building. She couldn't ask her guards, since they probably wouldn't tell her, but maybe somebody else might know... Glancing around, to her dismay, the only person she saw close enough to speak to was a young boy who, while he might have been her age, seemed to have an astonishingly bushy mustache for someone of his youth. More to the point, though, everybody - even the guards - seemed to be purposefully ignoring and avoiding him, meaning there wasn't anyone between them, and nobody would probably notice if she asked him. Shuffling slightly to the left, she tried not to startle the guards as she moved within speaking distance of the boy. Waving slightly to him to get his attention, she spoke.

"Excuse me, sir? Pardon my rudeness, but do you know what exactly is going on here? Presently, I'm just finding my feet, so I'm a little confused by the situation," She inquired quietly, giving a slightly uneasy smile.

The setting changes from Sheepish to Quies

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Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Mary C. Adler Character Portrait: Rui Yorugen Character Portrait: Cerin Mistral Character Portrait: Arin Desmond Character Portrait: Francine Davis Character Portrait: Reshiro Viraka Character Portrait: Ellis Flinch Character Portrait: Abraham Mantilla
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#, as written by Lyx
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The people didn't respond to Reshiro as he had expected. First of all, they stared at him with dumbfounded expressions. Then a blonde haired girl rushed over to him, asking him if he was all right and telling him to sit. While Reshiro was digesting this a boy with an authoritative air walked over, asking Reshiro if he was okay and saying he could look at his wounds. Then it clicked in Reshiro's mind why the people were freaking out over him. He was still wearing the clothes he had been wearing when the Kathalan Regiment was ambushed. He glanced down at himself, remembering that he looked a mess. He had only passed by small creeks and springs on the way to this town, so he had drank most of the water and used the rest to fill his canteens.

"I-I'm fine," Reshiro stammered, embarrassed that he hadn't thought of finding a well or something to wash off at. "Thank you, but I really am fine."

It was true. He was dirty and would have liked a meal, but he had completely recovered from his injury. At first when he had woken up after the ambush his abdomen had still hurt, but now the pain was gone. Nevertheless, Reshiro wouldn't be surprised if the people didn't believe him. He wouldn't blame them. Yet while their concern was appreciated, it wasn't needed.

He glanced around the room again, hoping that he had dispelled some of their worries. One person, a little, red haired girl with blue eyes, looked familiar, but he wasn't sure where he had seen her before. Another person, who also happened to be a redhead, softly asked a guy with a mustache what was going on. Reshiro smothered a grin upon hearing that. At least he wasn't the only one confused. It seemed like he had intruded on something.

"I'm really sorry to interrupt," he repeated, "But I couldn't find anyone. I just need a place to stay for a little while and rest up."

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Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Mary C. Adler Character Portrait: Rui Yorugen Character Portrait: Cerin Mistral Character Portrait: Arin Desmond Character Portrait: Francine Davis Character Portrait: Reshiro Viraka Character Portrait: Ellis Flinch Character Portrait: Abraham Mantilla
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For a moment ignoring the going ons behind her Arin fluttered around the boy like a mother hen. She looked at him from all sides while another joined them. Arin only paused after hearing he was a sort of Doctor.

Breathing a sigh of relief at both someone with knowledge of medicine present and the boy voicing that he was okay, gazed down at her dress. While checking the newcoming for possible injuries the grime of days of journey rubbed off on her. Her once pure white dress was now speckled with dirt. She stared at it for a few seconds before whipping her hands on the skirt. It didn't meant much to her and Arin could always clean it.

"But I couldn't find anyone. I just need a place to stay for a little while and rest up." Arin looked up with a face that could only be described as pure excitement.

'Oh! That's where I come in!' She turned so all in the room could see her and spread her arms. 'I am Arin Desmond! I've come to offer the Dreamers a place to stay. The poor dears just woke up and I couldn't rest knowing you'd all be out alone.'

Grinning she clapped her hands together and turned her gaze to the newest of the group. 'You need a place to stay? You're welcome as well. My house is large and the only ones who stay there 24/7 is myself, my father and a maid. Other workers come in from time to time but none stay for more then a day or two.' Again she motined to the group. 'Any one of you who has no place to go is welcome with me. After all, the more the merrier!'

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Character Portrait: Rui Yorugen Character Portrait: Artos Ragnall Character Portrait: Reshiro Viraka
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#, as written by Layla
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iii. Akari's Light




Grey bled through the door like a glass silhouette reflecting the values of light seeping through the windows. His low voice reverberated through her bones, nudging old memories awake. Rui was oblivious to the words rumbling past his lips as she stared at him, through him and into the sticky remnants of a past life. How many years had it been since she was exiled from Atlantis? How many more since the knight before her knelt beside his brothers before King Toriton?

The years flailed, trapped in the fog of her mind like flies in a pool of molten caramel. Memories of the shredded individual came in pieces, and then all at once. She saw the glass dome of the throne room stretch above his head, fragmenting the brilliant light that bled through the transparent castle, a structure forged of crystals and gems, and not a single nail. Blood stained his uniform now, but then it had gleamed, pressed and pristine. How she had marvelled at the sword pressed against his side, the strange and beautiful tattoo etched into one eye and the knowing that seemed to roll from his skin in tides. Princess Akarui had yearned to stumble after the knights when they left, but her feet remained frozen beside her father's throne. Like her memories, Rui was an insect ensconced.

A scream tore through the thin veil of tranquility, slicing across the distance like a dagger into Rui's head. Her palms found her ears as she squeezed her eyes shut, begging the voices to grant her silence. A stampede of morbidly curious mortals rushed towards the doors, their bodies playing ball with her own. Rui's small frame was jostled about as she was carried by the wave of nurses, patients and visitors out the door. Panic curled its fingers around her throat, squeezing reason from her lungs.

"What's happening?" she asked her thoughts, but it was the woman beside her who answered.

"Pickpocket got 'imself caught by a nasty one!" the woman said quickly. "Bleedin' everywhere!"

A small crowd had already gathered around the source of the commotion and Rui's body tipped forward as she was pushed to the front of the crooked circle. Needles burst from her palms and knees and she slid across the rough pavement, leaving a trail of blood and skin in her wake. Rui gave the pain a terse nod as she scrambled to her feet, clutching her raw elbows. She glanced over her right shoulder first, silently admonishing her own teasing shadow for tripping her feet.

When Rui turned, she was met with her own reflection gleaming on the smooth polish of the sword's face. Her aquamarine eyes were stretched wide enough for her lashes to brush her brow bone and her lips were parted in surprise. Hair the hue of eggplants in the sun fell in wild strands across her face as her head jerked from the sword's pommel to the blade's wicked point, before lurching towards the trembling figure whose neck was encased in a hard fist. Her wide gaze followed the coiled muscles as far as the elbow before rage dyed her vision red.

She saw her eldest brother, blood curling at the edges of his sword before sinking into Raiden's vacant gaze as her feet brought her forward. Fury electrified her bones as her blood simmered beneath her skin. Lightning pierced the sky overhead, the static lifting a fiery halo around her head. She daggered the towering figure with her stare, venom stinging her throat as they struggled to drag their spindly bodies across her tongue.

Rui's skin barely grazed the large hand that gripped the boy's throat, a sizzle of light glancing across his knuckles from the tips of her fingers, before she jerked back, eyes wide with horror. She parted her lips, let him go ready in her mind even as her lips formed other reluctant syllables. Her lips pressed shut, opened, shut again. How could she twist the truth so it became a lie? How would she stop him?

Naughty girl, the curse hissed, gnawing at the veins linking her eyeballs to her brain. No cheating. Her shoulders curled inwards as she struggled to remain upright even as the monsters wrapped their limbs around back, embedding their claws in her flesh.

"That was just a drill," Rui blurted, her migraine retreating as she exhaled the lie. She nearly sighed with relief as the beasts fell off her back. "We're teaching civilians how to spot thieves and defend themselves against pickpockets."

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Character Portrait: Mary C. Adler Character Portrait: Rui Yorugen Character Portrait: Artos Ragnall Character Portrait: Cerin Mistral Character Portrait: Arin Desmond Character Portrait: Francine Davis Character Portrait: Reshiro Viraka Character Portrait: Ellis Flinch Character Portrait: Abraham Mantilla
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"People seem nice here after all..." Francine thought. She was surprised to see a person covered in blood suddenly arrive. And the first reaction for people here was to help him instead of trying to defend themselves from him.

"Here." Fran approached Reshiro and gave him a bread bun she was saving for later. "It's most likely not poisonous."
She smiled at the blond girl who offered a place to stay for the four of them.
"This is very sweet of you." she smiled. "Thank you very much."

A sudden scream reached everyone's ears. A small crowd was forming around an unclear to Francine scene. She ran to see the cause of all the panic. Fran immediately stopped next to Rui. Her irises shrunk at the sight of a seriously injured man in a large puddle of blood and another man, holding a child by the throat and preparing a collision between a blade and the young boy.

"That was just a drill, we're teaching civilians how to spot thieves and defend themselves against pickpockets." this is what the little red haired girl said. What was happening?

"What are you doing with the little child?" Francine's tone changed completely, along with her eyes glaring at the scene and mouth that erased her usual smile.
"Why is that person over there laying and bleeding? Let the boy go."

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Character Portrait: Mary C. Adler Character Portrait: Rui Yorugen Character Portrait: Artos Ragnall Character Portrait: Cerin Mistral Character Portrait: Arin Desmond Character Portrait: Francine Davis Character Portrait: Reshiro Viraka Character Portrait: Ellis Flinch Character Portrait: Abraham Mantilla
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One of the Dreamers thanked her causing Arin to smile. This was what she wanted, for people to be happy.

'No problem. I'm happy to h-' Her words were cut off by a high pitched scream from outside. Eyes wide she pointed to the bloodied boy, 'don't go anywhere,' and left.

Once outside she was met with a horrible sight. A bleeding man sat off to the side while the red head and the nice girl watched on. A tall white haired man held a young boy by the neck. Arin gasped and stumbled forward.

'H-hey! You...um....' She thought back to what the red head had said. The lie to help this poor boy.

'Yes. This was planned. Um, my father helped pay for it. It's just a drill.' And if you knew her father that wasn't far from the truth. He donated money all the time to help better the town though usually at Arin's insisting.

Ideas to save this boy ran haywire in her head and she pointed behind her. 'These girls are in on it to. They would test the citizens awareness of pickpockets. It's uh....a job. They're getting paid er...for it and you just ruined all their hard work.'

She cleared her throat and stood a little taller. 'Now let the boy go and I won't press charges for messing with my father's plans....um... please.'

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Character Portrait: Rui Yorugen Character Portrait: Artos Ragnall Character Portrait: Arin Desmond Character Portrait: Francine Davis Character Portrait: Abraham Mantilla
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For some reason the blond girl went along with the small red head. Maybe they were trying to win some time in an odd and unclear to Francine way. Soon, the blue haired boy asked her to cover him without bringing attention. Unfortunately Francine had already rushed her actions by confronting the man. Yet she stood there, not moving a muscle.

The boy was healing the wounded man. That brought slight relief for Fran - whatever happened next, at least there was a healer.

Fran took a deep breath when Abe asked her if she had any abilities.

"I have no powers, skills, sharp weapons or brains. All I have is brawn." Francine replied, squeezing a bat. The serial wounder probably had everything Fran said she lacked. His strength was likely to be ten times bigger. Yet she realized she couldn't just stand there, doing nothing. There was a whole crowd that would probably help if something went wrong. The blue haired boy would help, which brought Fran comfort.
Out of sudden Fran went inside the Lion's mouth. She ran to the white haired man and with all of her strength she hit the none sharp part of the blade with her bat in an attempt to disarm him. Was it successful?

The setting changes from Quies to Sheepish

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Character Portrait: Rui Yorugen Character Portrait: Artos Ragnall Character Portrait: Arin Desmond Character Portrait: Francine Davis Character Portrait: Abraham Mantilla
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#, as written by Taunbon


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Curiosity, yes, curiosity was what stayed his hand at the appearance of the tiny red haired child as she had approached him and reached up to his hand. If she had been an adult, he would have struck her down for getting in his path as the other man had quickly learned, but she was merely a child, there was little she could do to him, and more then that, children were always odd in their actions and purpose. But it seems he had underestimated the child, his emerald green eyes narrowed the tiny sparks that seemed to dance between his knuckles and her hand. The lightning that seemed to crackle in the background despite the sky being clear, it was an odd mixture, one that to his surprise, no one else besides himself seemed to notice. Were the others simply fools or oblivious? If his brief venture into this cesspit of sheeps and shepherds had taught him anything, it was likely that it was both.

Gripping his blade, he prepared to finish his task pushing the fire haired child out of his mind, for now, until she had done something to surprise him once again. Her words sparked a momentary hesitation in him as his eyes flicked over to her again, did she truly think that such a thing would work? Drills? Was she out of her wits? What kind of falsehood wa... no, perhaps it was the truth for why would someone choose such an obvious falsehood? Artos roamed the child's face, her fierce eyes that almost seemed to be challenging him, daring him to call her bluff, but was it? The people here seemed to have no idea what she was talking about made painfully obvious by a rather dull woman who could not seem to make a connection unless it was put in front of her. He was tempted to inform her that a man bleeding and another with a blade should have been an answer on its own, but he did not, as his mind was consumed by the small child, did she dare try and deceive him with such a bad deception? Or... was it the truth?

Another sheep had come to the pen, this one a blond, his eyes noted, as she seemed to back the child's story up, or try and support the deception. The girls? Was she referring to the oblivious black haired woman with the odd club? That seemed rather unlikely given how clueless she was of what was transpiring, but perhaps she wasn't referring to the girl with the metallic club? The idea that she would 'press' charges was laughable, the corrupt guards in the city would do no such thing if this truly was no deception then they should have done a better job of informing people of what was going on, and he could not allow himself to be held for he had a task to complete, and he would cut down anyone that tried to stop him.

Again?, the dark voice crawled into the back of his mind, I did not recall asking for your input, Artos thought back, his eyes staring at the two before him, the girl and the child.

The order... must be obeyed. Master demands, Artos let his blade lower a fraction of an inch as he realized the creatures meaning, yes, perhaps this wasn't a deception, but he did not have time to waste on the corrupt and ill-trained sheeps pretending to be guards. Yes, he would allow this 'boy' to leave.

Artos closed his eyes for a fraction of a second as he regained control of his mind and locked the beast back within its cage, but his eyes snapped open, and he turned his head to the left, towards the bleeding man to see a boy kneeling next to him, chanting and healing him. His eyes narrowed, they had deceived him. It had been a ruse, a ruse he had almost fallen for. They had been waiting for him to be distracted.

It was a quick and simply movement as he stepped to the side, pulling the boy with him as if he weighed nothing, and thrusting the blade down and into the leg of the nearly healed man, the blood spluttering forth as the main artery was severed; it was merely a shame the man had already passed out from bloodloss before. The boy that healed him would also suffer for his part deception, but his thoughts were cut off by the sound of running footsteps, turning his head, he barely managed to catch sight of the same clueless woman running at him with that strange club of hers taking a swing at him. With his blade on the other side of him, he would not be able to deflect her, so he used what he had. If the woman wanted to save the thief from his punishment, she would be the one that carried out the sentence. With his left hand still holding onto the boys throat, he lifted him off his feet and into the air... straight into the path of the oncoming metallic club.

The setting changes from Sheepish to Quies

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Character Portrait: Rui Yorugen Character Portrait: Artos Ragnall Character Portrait: Arin Desmond Character Portrait: Francine Davis Character Portrait: Reshiro Viraka Character Portrait: Abraham Mantilla
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#, as written by Lyx
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Reshiro stood, stunned, as the blonde haired girl offered him and others a place to stay at her house. She had no idea who he was and the people had already established he had a frightening appearance, so he was shocked that she had so blithely said that he could come to her house. He would have done nothing to harm her, of course, but she couldn't have known that. Yet the trust was gratifying. Reshiro trusted people easily, and it felt good to be trusted with such ease in return.

To add on to the kindness of these strangers another one of the people, a black haired girl, gave Reshiro a roll. A grin lighting up his face, he thanked her and wolfed it down. Ahh, it was so much better than the hardtack and dried meat he had been living on. His esteem for these people was steadily rising.

Then a scream rent the air. The little girl, the cheery blonde, the blue haired healer, and the roll-giving girl rushed outside one after the other. By the shock on their faces Reshiro judged that this was not normal. He swallowed the last of the roll and went outside after them.

He arrived to a mess. A white haired man stood coldly strangling a boy and a man lay crumpled over on the side, bleeding profusely. Listening to the crowd's chatter brought Reshiro up to date. What kind of sick weirdo was the white haired man? The crime was taken care of! By this point the thief was likely scared enough stop pick pocketing. It wasn't necessary to kill him! There were other forms of punishment that didn't involve taking a life. And the victim who had tried to stop the white haired man!

The movement of the black haired girl swinging her metal club at the white haired man caught his eye. The white haired man lifted the thief's limp body to shield the blow. Without a thought Reshiro dove in front of the club's path. Pain jarred his back, but he ignored it. He had survived far worse.

"Please get back," he said to the club-wielding girl. He backed away from the white haired man and drew his sword from its sheath on his back, but kept it low in what he hoped was a non-threatening position. He didn't want to aggravate this volatile man, but he wanted his sword out so he could defend himself if need be.

"Sir, is it really necessary to kill both the boy and the man?" Reshiro addressed the white haired man. "There are other punishments for a thief, and the man was simply an innocent. Death eliminates the problem within people, but it also eliminates any good that they could do as well. Please reconsider what you are doing."

Even though Reshiro hoped the man would listen to his words, he was prepared to fight if need be. He figured he would be the weaker of the two if it came to a sword fight, but he couldn't back down. When he had been remade by the Mages and the Kanth Stones he had been redesigned to follow a certain set of morals. Even if he wanted to he wouldn't be able to go against them. Perhaps this made him blind to other points of view, but he couldn't think of living without them now since they were so integral to his being. The problem was, would the white haired man recognize the value of those morals?

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Character Portrait: Rui Yorugen Character Portrait: Artos Ragnall Character Portrait: Arin Desmond Character Portrait: Francine Davis Character Portrait: Reshiro Viraka Character Portrait: Abraham Mantilla
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Things began to happen so fast that Arin barely had time to react to the at welding girl rush towards the swordsmen. She let out a shout, but it did nothing. Fearing the worst she clamped her eyes shut, unable to watch.

By the time she drew enough courage to open them the whole scene had changed. The bloddied boy was standing protectively in fount of the raven hair girl, sword drawn. Gasping she lurched forward and grabbed the boys arm that held the sword.

'Don't fight fire with fire...' She whispered to Reshiro before moving in front of him.

Hunched over she gazed at the white haired man. 'S-sir...If it's money you want I can give it. And if it's punishment.....' She took a large intake of air and straightened. 'May I take the boys place? Don't you think a better punishment would be to have him watch someone get hurt in his place? It, um...it'd stay with him his whole life I bet. The...the guilt I mean.'

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rui Yorugen Character Portrait: Artos Ragnall Character Portrait: Arin Desmond Character Portrait: Francine Davis Character Portrait: Reshiro Viraka Character Portrait: Abraham Mantilla
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Cerin was jolted out of his shock to see that everything had changed. He had seen the events unfold in a blur, and was still processing that she was here...

Running over to the scene which had unfolded, he studied the layout. An odd knight-like figure stood over a boy wrapped in healing rings that Cerin recognized... then his mind blanked. Leaving him with naught but the action.

Stepping up next to the blonde and the petite redhead, he listened gravely. Apparently there were conflicting sides- many wanted to help the boy, where others were simply claiming it was a drill. Then, a black haired girl- One of the Dreamers, he remembered- strode up to the man and swung a bat. A boy leapt out of the crowd and intercepted the bat. He heard a sharp crack and hoped that no bones were broken.

Then the blonde next to him walked up to the man and nervously stuttered something, maybe a bribe? Or an offer? He put his hand on the girl's shoulder, the one that reminded him so much of his lost love. Knowing that this was going to be painful, he opened his mouth and uttered something he could regret instantly.

"Do... do I know you? You seem so familiar, and I cant remember anything, but you seem like a huge part of my memory, like some sort of void I cannot fill... Is that weird?"
Very eloquent there, Cerin.
he hissed mentally, hoping that he hadn't driven away a source of his past. A lifeline, it almost seemed- she was the only thing tying him back to life.

He only hoped he hadn't completely creeped her out.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rui Yorugen Character Portrait: Artos Ragnall Character Portrait: Arin Desmond Character Portrait: Francine Davis Character Portrait: Reshiro Viraka Character Portrait: Abraham Mantilla
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Francine quickly stepped back once Reshiro went in front of her. Maybe she worsened the situation. In the process Arin, the one who had offered her home, started risking her own life. Fran had no idea what to do. Maybe she was useless, even worse.

Or was she? The healer asked her for help. It was similar to what she did before - recklessl acting. This time it was for distraction. Francine would cringe at the thought that she could have harmed the little boy because the white haired man was more skilled. Yet, the child was still alive, it didn't have any blade wounds yet. If nobody acted, the little thief would be dead.

"I'll do what I can." Fran whispered to Abraham.

Distraction for the white haired man. How could she pull this off without causing more harm? Abraham would need time to cast the barrier. Artos was fast and skilled. The others trying to stop her could get harmed too. However, Fran trusted Abraham's strategic skills.

Francine quietly went behind Artos, grabbed his wrists and started squeezing them, hoping she would weaken his grip, or at least distract him so she could win some time for the rest. Fran would be at least annoying enough to weaken Artos' focus. She tried to avoid causing needless violence as it could easily backfire. It was all a diversion.