Guardians of the Divine

Audience Room

a part of Guardians of the Divine, by ઽ૮૨α.

This is a place within the temple that is reserved for the King and other high officials that wish to have an audience with the Guardians and Divines.

ઽ૮૨α holds sovereignty over Audience Room, giving them the ability to make limited changes.
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Setting

The audience room is located within the Guardian's temple. This is an area where the King will come when he wishes to speak to the Guardians, without having them come to his palace. He is the only one allowed to sit on the throne. If other officials come with him they will either be standing or seated next to the throne.

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Audience Room

This is a place within the temple that is reserved for the King and other high officials that wish to have an audience with the Guardians and Divines.

Minimap

Audience Room is a part of Guardian Temple.


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adonis Character Portrait: Adelaide Greywater Character Portrait: Junichi Takahashi Character Portrait: Ki Character Portrait: Ofelia Character Portrait: Galaya Rinson Character Portrait: Lyssa Character Portrait: Valerys Astraryen

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Eden is a Holy Land that has ruled in peace and prosperity for generations. As other countries have come and gone Eden withstood the test of time. The poorest of Eden’s citizens are living comfortably, without much struggle. Their land blooms beautifully and their crops are plentiful no matter the season. No droughts, no natural disasters, nothing that can cause Eden to suffer has happened since its birth. How can such a country be so wealthy? Everyone knows it is because of the inhabitants that live in Eden, Beasts. Mightier than any human, creatures of unnatural abilities and beauty. No country dares to fight against Eden knowing that such monsters are its enemies. Beasts have been apart of Eden’s history since the beginning, slaves only to that country and kept close so that no other land can get their hands on them. The Beasts of Eden have become a common name when referring to the monsters. Eden uses them for everything: soldiers, slaves, servants, workers, pets. Beasts have been integrated into that society. But everyone wonders how Eden could control such powerful creatures. And those countries who have lived long enough have answered all the same, Divines. Divines, the gods of Eden. Deities of unimaginable powers that not even the Beasts could withstand. The Beasts worship and adore them, willing to be enslaved by humans just so their sovereigns can be kept safe. Though presented as mere trophies, other countries know if they ever seriously went to war with Eden the Divines would be there to defend it. Eden is untouchable if the Divines are their protectors. And Eden knew this.

How do you keep these god-like deities in check? Guardians. Eden’s most praised citizens, who have sacrificed part of their lives to seal the Divines powers and keep them chained to Eden. But such power comes with a price, and so, the Guardian must be replaced every ten years. It is now the start of the 75th generation of Guardians. A generation that will go down in history as, the Last Guardians.

Winter is now starting to turn into Spring and gentle warm breezes are passing through Eden. The 75th Guardians have just finished fixing up their rooms in their new Temple. They have been called to an audience with the King, Priestess, and some other officials who wish to witness their first interaction with the Divines in the audience room. Since acquiring their roles this is the first time the Guardians have gotten to personally met their Divines. Now with the audience seated and the Guardians patiently waiting in the center of the room, it is time for the Divines, guided by Beast servants, to arrive.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adelaide Greywater Character Portrait: Junichi Takahashi Character Portrait: Galaya Rinson Character Portrait: Valerys Astraryen

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Dialogue- #8A2BE2 ~ Thoughts- #337147


Galaya, by all appearances, looked to be as calm as a cucumber. She was standing in the middle of an audience chamber with numerous amount of eyes looking at her and the other Guardians and was wearing her guardian robes, along with one of the new outfits she had made for her. Apparently her current wardrobe she possessed wasn't even close enough to wear to these types of affairs. That did not surprise Laya though. She had been prepped for this ever since she made the decision to apply for a Guardian role. The head mistress of her former orphanage made sure of that. Laya was relieved when she found out she could still dress in her 'regular wear' when inside of her new home for the next 10 years. She wasn't used to dressing up like a noble, so even with all the training, she still felt out of her element here. So even though she looked poised right now, inside she wanted to run back to her quarters, away from all of the eyes of the audience. She wanted to meet the Divine under her care and get it done and over with.

Looking toward the direction where the Divines were about to appear, she could also feel a different set of nerves rising. And it was fear. Oh she wasn't afraid of Beasts and Divines because of their nature. She was half beast herself after all. She was terrified that one of them would figure out she was half beast. She was happy that no one has suspected she wasn't all human, yet. She did hear stories of what happened to hybrids. They generally had very short lifespans. So she had be very careful to hide her Mermaid traits. It was a blessing that she looked human. While she had never seen a Mermaid in person, she had seen pictures of them and in human form, the females tended to be very curvy with light colored skin with scales and green and blue coloring. Laya only produced scales if she was in water for a long time. It always killed a part of her to stop swimming. She could honestly do it all day since she loved it so much. Right now though she wasn't even thinking about swimming. She was focusing on how to hide her mer side from these Divines. Her instincts told her though that it would be hard to hide that part of her.

These thoughts led her to thinking of why she signed up to be a Guardian in the first place. After researching as much as she could, which wasn't as much as she hoped, Galaya learned enough to know that all four Divines were smart, especially the two oldest. So there was some relief there that Laya had been assigned to the youngest for her training.

~Laya, why ARE you here?~ she asked herself.

The truth was she didn't know. When she first heard the announcement, her instincts kicked into high gear and told her to do this. Her mind questioned her sanity of the decision every step of the way. She was actually surprised she did end up being selected as a guardian, only because she had never attempted anything like this. All of her teachers and especially the headmistress of her orphanage were very proud of her though. While Galaya definitely didn't sign up for this for the money, she was happy to have the chance to donate some of her funds back to the Orphanage that was her home. She knew this job was going to be very demanding though. When she first met the Guardian she was replacing, the person did look like they had the weight of the world on them and the moment she felt that same 'weight', she could remember seeing relief in the former Guardian's eyes. The pain the 'curse' she initially felt was something she never felt before, but thankfully she managed to hide that pain for the rest of the ceremony and once she was allowed back to her quarters, she slept for a good twelve hours because she had been exhausted and writhing in pain by that point. Three weeks later she had gotten accustom to hiding the inner pain she felt. She just hoped her beast side would make it a bit more bearable.

Standing next to the other Guardians, she couldn't help but glance over to see how they were doing. She already met all of them and it still felt surreal to know she was standing next to one noble and one royal. When she first met Princess Adelaide, she was honestly shocked for she never met a single noble, much less a royal. Oh she had recognized her immediately though for she had seen pictures of the royal family. She found herself to be on her best behavior when around her because she intimidated her for sure. Lord Valerys wasn't as intimidating, but he still unnerved her a bit because she learned he was a noble too. Junichi was the only one she felt somewhat comfortable around since he was basically a commoner like her. However, she did find out his older brother was one of the previous Guardians. Still for the three weeks there, she mostly kept to herself and wanted to learn as much as possible about her new home. Her new quarters shocked her for it was much larger then her room back at the orphanage. She didn't have extravagant taste so her quarters reflected her more simpler tastes. Favorite part of her room though were the large windows. She hated feeling 'caged in', so the windows helped feel more at home.

As her thoughts continued to move on and on, her gaze returned back to the front of her as she patiently waited for the Divines.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adelaide Greywater Character Portrait: Junichi Takahashi Character Portrait: Galaya Rinson Character Portrait: Valerys Astraryen

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#, as written by Tanman
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”What a farce…” Jun thought to himself silently, shifting his posture for what felt like the hundredth time. This was the part of the job that they hadn’t informed him of. Lots of standing around listening to other people talk in circles. Of course, he’d expected to be caught in political meetings and to have to rub shoulders with the elite now he was considered an equal; but even he couldn’t believe the amount of pointless posturing they’d done. It’d been three weeks now of dealing with overly affectionate nobles attempting to gain his favour, and not once had he even had the chance to speak with his Divine. He could understand the need to exchange pleasantries with his fellow Guardians, but this was all a bit excessive.

Relaxing his stance a bit, Jun glanced down the line of Guardians. He wondered if they were as irritated as he was at being made to parade around as some sort of trophy. An ironic thought, given what their jobs were. First in line was Adelaide - Lady Greywater - She was standing in place like it was second nature to her. Probably was, given her heritage. Although they all had the chance to mingle, Jun wasn’t the most sociable young fellow and so he hadn’t spoken with any of them at length. Just enough to get a basic feel for who they were. Intuition told him the rest of the story, and in this case, it was telling him that the Princess wasn’t one to be trifled with. Or maybe that was just the intimidation that a royal presented? After all, she looked soft. Sure, she was probably smarter than Jun and had this etiquette stuff down pat, but when push came to shove, he was confident he could handle her if they had to clash wits or blades. She was probably another sheltered and pampered child like those other women the nobles kept introducing him to in a bid to attract his fancy. It was disgraceful really. They lacked the drive to be their own person, so he’d never accept a fake like that.

Turning his attention away from Adelaide, next Jun focussed on Valerys. After all, it wasn’t exactly exciting standing around, so it made sense to entertain himself by mulling over his thoughts and observing his companions. Descendent of the Priestess from long ago, Jun couldn’t imagine what sort of upbringing that would be like. Still, in the brief time that he’d met the man, Junichi found him to be annoying. It was hard to tell if it was his demeanour or what, but something about the way he always seemed to be scrutinizing Jun irked him. Still, despite any misgivings Junichi may have had about the man, he’d have to learn to live with him given that they’d be spending the next 10 years together. All of them would. Hopefully it wouldn’t be too much of a bother, and maybe Jun was just being testy given his uncomfortability with the situation.

Finally, Jun’s eyes fell on to Galaya, a little lady who seemed to have as modest an upbringing as him. Well, if you ignored a certain someone’s presence in his life. Regardless, she seemed the most out of place in the room. Even if he was adjusting his posture, Junichi held a confident stance, even before the many eyes of the audience. Valerys and Adelaide were equally as poised, but somehow, Galaya seemed small and uncertain, perhaps shy at such a large gathering. Maybe it was just his imagination though, or an attempt to protect his ego that someone else looked more out of place than he did. Regardless, it was nice to have someone who wasn’t a noble around. He’d had enough of the pleasantries and would happily go for a more candid conversation about something that actually mattered. For now though, there was no escape. Hopefully this would be the last thing before he could start leading his own life as the 75th Guardian.

Inwardly sighing, Jun’s mind continued to wander, his eyes drifting over the crowd of onlookers. All stupid, gawking faces obsessed with power and politics, ever searching for the next move that would help keep their status. He didn’t exactly care what they thought, but at the same time, he had to prove himself. That’s why…

“…!” For a moment, Junichi’s composure broke, but soon enough, he returned to a stern façade, narrowing his eyes and focusing on the far door where the divines would make their entrance. So, he was still here? Couldn’t even let him handle this by himself? “Tch…” Jun’s noise of irritation was slight, but may have been heard by the two closest to him. Reiji… Just what was he thinking? In the 10 years it had been since he became Guardian, Junichi felt like he didn’t understand him at all. Even now, after having gotten to spend some time with him due to the ceremony, Jun’s frustration with his sibling failed to fade. The ritual was just to transfer the curse that was all. At least, that’s what Junichi had thought. And yet, in that split moment where his brother had whispered to him, there was more than just a name.

“I’ll be counting on you.” The words and memory flashed through Jun’s mind, and he found himself unintentionally tensing his body. Just what exactly did he mean by that? Another way to exert his superiority over him? As if he was doing it for him of all people! Reiji could count on Junichi all he wanted, but he’d surpass his expectations. He was the Guardian now, not him. Jun would find his own way forward, not the path his brother laid out for him. The next time he was in front of all these nobles like this, he wouldn’t just be the 74th Guardian’s Brother. They’d all know his name.

Staring down the door to the audience chamber, a faint smirk crossed Jun’s face as he awaited her. All he needed now was his divine. That would be the start of his change, and the beginning of his story.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adelaide Greywater Character Portrait: Junichi Takahashi Character Portrait: Galaya Rinson Character Portrait: Valerys Astraryen

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"Though wisdom is a house built; and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge shall every room be filled with precious and pleasantries."

- Proverbs 24:3

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Valerys
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Descendant of the Priestess


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xxxxx"When old man Talar introduced you to me six years ago, all I saw was a sissy boy who couldn't even pick up a stick." A tall, white-haired man wearing a long, cyan coat with several medallions on the left side of his chest and a long, silver rapier donned on the side of his waist smiled to Valerys. As he patted his shoulder, one could see a sense of pride clearly visible on his face. "Now look at you... It's incredible how fast time flies, hmm?"

"This was nothing, really, Uncle. It puts me at ease to see that you are here, too." He nodded back to his uncle -- Sir Vaharys Kargaryen, once a Guardian himself two cycles prior and now a High Commander within the ranks of the Eden Imperial Army. "The lessons you've taught me, I promise that I'll put them to good use."

"Don't mention it, Val." Vaharys moved to put his hand on his nephew's shoulder. "From now on, you will see for yourself whether or not what I've told you before is true. You've always learned well enough, so I needn't explain to you anymore. Listen to me, there is still a great deal of things ahead of you to be bestowed upon you. Just be ready when they come, like you've always been. It's a completely different world from this moment on."

"I understand, Uncle. That's why I'm here, isn't it?" Valerys nodded to his uncle before he continued. "Though, it's not like we're not going to see each other much. In fact, I imagine it'll be the opposite, so I hope you will still have my back."

His uncle laughed. "You know I don't have time to sit here and babysit you like before, so don't count on that much. You're a man of your own league now, give yourself more credit and lose the naivety. Show 'em what the blessing of our family is worth." Vaharys smiled, and Valerys nodded back at his uncle's word of encouragement in appreciation. He knew what was awaiting him was not going to be like anything he'd ever faced before. He was there for a reason, and no obstacles were going to keep him down until all of his ends were met.

It all felt like every moment, ever since he was born, had lead to this instance. As if Fate was finally allowing him to achieve what he had been looking for his whole life. He remembered back to when he got a chance to stand there watching the meeting between the Divines and their then newest Guardians for the first time. It was when he realized that this is the best -- and arguably the only -- way for him to finally reach the truth. The zenith of all that was wise in the whole wide world.

In the past seventy-five cycles, there had always been at least one member from his family and its three branches among the ranks of the Guardians. Even then, there were but very rare instances where something truly odd had happened, so there was no real foundation for Valerys to think that this time was going to be any different. He was certain that he wasn't going to have any regrets.

"High Commander, Lord Valerys." A servant walked up, bowing as he approached. "Please excuse me, but the Divines will be here soon and His Majesty is requesting every piece in its proper place, please kindly return to your positions."

The both of them nodded as he took his leave just as promptly as he had arrived.

"Well, it's time. You nervous?"

"I suppose that I would be lying if I said that I wasn't."

"It's time to man up, kiddo. Go and face your destiny, or however they say it in those you books you used to read. I'll see you around -- soon, and you'd better be in your top shape by then." Vaharys patted his shoulder before he returned to his post at the Priestess' side, while Valerys moved to his own at the center of the audience room, joining his fellow Guardians.

His thoughts wandered back to the day of the Induction Ceremony -- which was a very long and asphyxiating day, filled with seemingly endless rituals, all of which seemed rather pointless from Valerys' point of view. Judging from the looks of his colleagues who are standing in tandem with him back then, it occurred to him that he was not the only one feeling that way. Of course, he had memorized every facet of every detail of the Ceremony, but to have read about it and to actually experience it were two completely different things. The praying and the fasting weren't so bad, but it had truly been a bore having to read all the scrolls about the history of Eden again, scrolls he had already committed to heart by the age of five. Not that he had let it show, he actually cared about his image more than other people may have thought.

After moving into the Temple, he had soon expected that there was going to be a summon like this but was pretty willing to comply to any orders there were. It was simply how he had been taught to live. For Valerys, any place where he could elude the presence of his cynical grandfather was the place to be. Not to mention that -- as with any other new environments he was placed into -- there was a great deal that he had learned. Yet for him, it was more of a warm up than anything.

If what Valerys had anticipated became reality, then this would soon be the moment where his journey to uncovering true wisdom disembarked.

As he calmly awaited for the arrival of the Divines, he glanced around the audience room looking for something worth observing. There was nothing of great significance as he eventually reverted his gaze back to his fellow Guardians. For the three weeks prior, he had tried to get acquainted with them -- some of them more willing than others -- and came to the conclusion that it would be interesting to work with them indeed.

Standing to the left of him was Her Royal Highness, the third child of the royal family -- Princess Adelaide Greywater. Prior to her bestowal of the title they certainly had known each other before, for consultations with the Royal family were always in order for the Astraryens, but he had never had a chance to have a full conversation with her before the past three weeks. As expected from someone of royal blood, her skills in diplomacy and impressive knowledge about politics were admirable. They had also tested each other out with the sword, which really opened Valerys' eyes about how differing the image of a Princess could really be. Adelaide would certainly be an asset he would be looking out to in the future.

On his right side was Junichi, a man who also had a family member that was a former Guardian, much like Valerys himself. He couldn't help but notice that people seemed to consider him an extension of his brother, seeing as servants and officials kept regarding him as the '74th Guardian's brother' and similar things of that nature. If he was to make assumptions, he would guess that this was the reason why the man decided to put his name on the roster. A determination to overcome one's shadow and the diligence necessary to achieve said goal. Such were the traits he found in Junichi that were truly respectable. However, his rather rash and abrasive manner would be a problem if they were to work together in the future.

The last of the four was Galaya, the quiet and unassuming girl. She certainly did not look like a person one would expect to look like when they pictured a Guardian. The fact that she made it here was the proof of her strength, however, and Valerys wished that she would open herself up more because she seemed rather wary of him anytime he tried to approach her. Probably due to the fact that the gap of status was still present. Valerys honestly found Galaya's frugality a breath of fresh air among all the extravagances he was surrounded with since the bestowal, and noticed that she was a lot more observant than her timid demeanor would suggest.

Setting his gaze back to the large doors at the end of the room, Valerys unconsciously touched the left side of his chest where the symbol of his Divine was lying. Whether for better or worse, his instincts told him that everything he had ever known would never be the same again the moment those doors were sprung open.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adonis Character Portrait: Ofelia Character Portrait: Lyssa Character Portrait: Quinn

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#, as written by Maestro
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Dialogue #715DC0Thoughts #376928

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"He was one of those creatures who are just simmering there all the time with a silly sort of wickedness. Miserable devils who have no business living at all."---Joseph Conrad.


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Seventy-four times. That was how many times they had been forced to endure the same trivial and mundane pageantry. There had been seventy-four Guardians, and Lyssa/Lycaon would, if they had not already, outlive them all. And once the next cycle had ended, it would repeat… a chain of events that seemed to have no end in sight. The seventy-fifth would be no different. Just as insignificant and fickle as the last, or the next for the matter.

Lycaon drug his feet as he walked, lacking any enthusiasm for what would surely be a dull political affair. His arms hanging by his sides, he was flanked by two beasts, one to each side of him. The one to his right was named Roxa. She was rather small, a creature with the horned head of a wolf, and the strong legs of a dragon. With dark-purple hair and blue scaly-legs, she was an odd sight, walking quietly behind her master, her wings wrapped around her and tail bobbing behind her as she remained ever close to Lycaon. To his left was Falkor, a creature that had a looming presence. A hellhound, he had midnight-black fur and paws that were large enough to crush a man's skull. With snarling canines and a vicious demeanor, his frigid blue eyes scanned the area, wary of any potential threats to Lycaon. While Falkor and Roxa could not have been more different, the one thing they did have in common was an undying devotion towards Lyssa and Lycaon. Being that their form was that of Cerberus, who once stood guard at the Gates of Hell, it was not unusual to see that most of the Beasts who surrounded them were of a canine variety.

“Cheer up, Lycaon!” A sprightful voice could be heard - but only in the recesses of Lycaon’s own mind. “Why would I do a dreadful thing like that?” Lycaon could be heard mumbling under his breath to himself, his eyes glancing at his siblings suspiciously as if he were afraid of drawing attention to himself. “Well, aren’t you a little chippy? Would love to be there, but you have always had a ‘thing’ for humans. Personally, they disgust me. Frail bodies and weak minds… the only pleasant thing about their lives is how meaningless and short they are.” Lycaon scoffed, “Yes. Because you are so high and mighty. Maybe if you had any balls…” His words were cut short as Lyssa interrupted him. “Now, now. No need to get testy. You know how I adore making a proper entrance. Someone must keep these pathetic Guardians on their toes because if I do not, who will? Not like we can expect anything out of you. Sometimes I wonder if I should have been the one born with balls.”

Lycaon tensed up, his fists clenching into a ball. “They are not all bad!” His outburst would no doubt catch the attention of others, but he seemed to shrug such concerns away as he continued walking – as if nothing had happened. “Besides, with seventy-four Guardians, there were bound to be a few bad apples.” Lyssa’s laughing seemed to almost echo in every corner of his mind. “Hah! A few? That is the understatement of the year. I should know. I have been counting a miserable 759 of them. I swear, sometimes I think you take for granted everything I have had to do to keep US safe.” Lyssa had done many things over the last seven centuries to protect them; ungodly things done out of necessity. It was a cruel world, and Lyssa of all people made no mistake in accepting that they were anything but prisoners. Their purpose, their very existence, was one of eternal servitude to the powers who ruled over Eden. She had no other recourse but to play along… at least for now…

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adonis Character Portrait: Junichi Takahashi Character Portrait: Ofelia Character Portrait: Galaya Rinson Character Portrait: Lyssa Character Portrait: Valerys Astraryen Character Portrait: Quinn

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xxxxxx

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And it's your dream to be the king of all creation
As far as I'm concerned you've hung your shadow on the wall
And though your fingers never really pulled the trigger
Your hands are just as guilty,
You're the one who bought the blood


DIALOGUE #800000THOUGHTS #6d6d6d
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xxxxxAdelaide had been keeping a close eye on her father since they arrived in the audience room. She had taken only a moment to survey her surroundings- Addie had been in dozens of similar throne rooms, and the luxury was familiar to her like it wasn't to many of her peers. She looked to the King for approval- she had been a Guardian for three weeks now, a feat neither of his other children had accomplished. However, the man hadn't given her a sideways glance since they'd been led in like sheep to be watched and discussed by the nobles and priests. Addie was used to these affairs; she had an endless tolerance for small talk and fancy dresses. Her mind, on the other hand, was whirling with thoughts of the Divines. She'd been going through the motions for almost a month now, but still hadn't gotten a glimpse of her partner, the first Divine.

As much training as she'd done, and even though she'd been picked as one of the final four Guardians, Adelaide still felt unprepared. From an outside view, she and the Priestess's boy probably looked the most at home here- but the princess hated being out of control. She had a few castle servants posted around the grounds keeping an eye on things, and one or two officials who owed her a favor in case something went terribly wrong, but it wasn't enough to soothe her nerves entirely. She shifted her weight slightly, feeling the stiffness of a hidden knife pressing against her calf.

Addie didn't dare break her poise, but surveyed her companions with a stoic air. The other three Guardians were an eclectic mix of people. To her right was Lord Valerys, part of the massive and convoluted bloodline stemming from the Priestess. The Guardians hadn't gotten much unsupervised time together, but Adelaide saw a kindred spirit in the boy. Both had been raised with high expectations, in close proximity to royalty and power. The two had been familiar with each other long before they had entered Guardian training, in fact, since the church and state were so closely tied. He was intelligent and observant, and a worthy opponent in battle- someone who truly deserved the title of Guardian.

The other two, Addie was less sure about. Junichi and Galaya were both commoners, giving them little esteem from the start. However, the princess knew better than to underestimate a street rat- they were fierce, and clever gamblers. Neither struck her as outright poor, though. Galaya had been an orphan, and Junichi the younger brother of one of the previous Guardians. Both were much more reluctant to interact with her, and the blonde seemed outright intimidated. From the brief interactions she'd had with Junichi, he'd seemed to have something to prove- a chip on his shoulder that kept him driven and dedicated. She respected that, sure, but he was also abrasive and reclusive. Addie hoped that he wouldn't cause any trouble for the rest of them with his stubbornness and need to prove himself. She could understand having a desire to be validated, but there was a right way to go about it- and Junichi was going the absolute wrong way.

Galaya, on the other hand, was a mystery. She was small and fragile, and looked completely out of place among royals and priests. Adelaide hadn't been able to figure out what reason the girl had for pursuing a Guardian role- she lacked the bold charisma or strategic cunning that the other three shared. Galaya seemed to simply want to be there. The girl was sweet enough, and there was something refreshing about her- like a salty ocean breeze among crowded city fumes. Adelaide almost found herself drawn to protect the girl- even though being a Guardian meant that she could take care of herself, in whatever manner it happened to be.

Adelaide's attention returned to the king as all of the officials filed into place. Was it finally time? Dozens of sets of eyes turned to the ornate doors, and the tension in the room thickened. This was what they had been waiting for, all this time. They'd read scrolls, taken tests, undergone rituals, all for this moment.

But did anyone truly feel ready?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lyssa Character Portrait: Quinn

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"The LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life"

Imagequinn (qi) \\ divine 3 \\ horned serpent
Imagedialogue:#8E0000x thoughts:#B266B2





All she wanted to do was return to her pillow-infested bedroom.

Back then, Quinn was numb to this fated ritual. Every 10 years, she was forced into a single day dedicated to frivolous ceremonies and formalities. Honors of the highest caliber given to her captors as she fit into her well-formed role as trophy. To say she was sick was an understatement, she was used to tight leashes, but some creeper breathing down her neck was highly unnecessary.

Though..she wouldn't mind if said creepy was named Reiji.

All divines were obligated to attend the ceremony, but it was the first in a long-time that Quinn was looking forward to it. Not so much because of the induction itself, but because of a certain someone's presence. Dashing Reiji would've been present for the transfer..though Quinn was not fond of how quickly their time together came to a close. Their days together seemed like they could never end, something Quinn never thought she would say about her guardian. Coupled with the fact that Quinn couldn't tell the difference between 10 years and 10 months truly places Reiji in her good graces. He was undoubtedly her best guardian to this date..and he looked amazing with his hair slicked back like that.

She was awakened from her drooling daze by a nudge on the shoulder. The 2 red-collared beasts that were accompanying her pointed to the corridor she was supposed to turn into.

Quinn was usually more on top of things such as this. From birth, she had been forced into this play, given a role she doesn't want to perform and lines she doesn't want to read. Despite this, Quinn follows orders without question. For the ensured safety of her friends, and the promised freedom of her family.

She glanced at the grotesquely muscular guards. One possessed the head of a lion, clenching tightly on a 10 foot long halberd. The other was noticeably shorter, but had the head of a snapping crocodile. They've been her..retainers for as long as she could remember, but she possessed no attachment to them. Getting close to another group of beasts would surely end poorly and she knew without doubt that the queen had enlisted them to not only guard her, but to guard against her as well.

Quinn tugged on her constricting dress. Like a prey struggling for life against a fierce python, Quinn always felt that she was in eternal combat with the clothing the royals expect her to wear. She'd rather wear much less, or nothing at all, despite the implications of being unladylike. Although, she felt like a porcelain doll, maybe Reiji would appreciate the change in wardrobe?

As she made her way to the entrance, she caught glimpse of her younger sibling. Despite her meager advantage in age, Quinn felt the need to rub it in their faces. All she wanted to do was hug them, or Ofi..but she had to exercise some form of etiquette. Disregarding that thought instantaneously, Quinn snuck up and nibbled on their ear to get their attention.

"You ready?"

Only a few more hours of straightening her back, then she can go back to her pillow fort.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adonis Character Portrait: Ofelia Character Portrait: Lyssa Character Portrait: Quinn

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#, as written by Kilgannon
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There exists a limit to the force even the most powerful may apply without destroying themselves. Judging this limit is the true artistry of government. Misuse of power is the fatal sin. The law cannot be a tool of vengeance, never a hostage, nor a fortification against the martyrs it has created. You cannot threaten any individual and escape the consequences.

DIALOGUE #d0726cTHOUGHTS #3feaea
DIALOGUE #559f0fTHOUGHTS #f5bb4a
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The woman who called herself Ofelia, at least in this place, frowned at the pillow on which she had been resting her head. Typically, sleep would come easy to her, as the setting of the sun acted in tandem with her metabolic processes and the earth and her body temperature alike cooled. Though this process of hers - like all acts of nature - was a mechanism of her own design; and when her thoughts rattled around her mind like a caged bird it threw a wrench into its moving parts. To fall asleep was important and she knew this, of course, which only added to her growing frustration in turn.

She had much to ruminate on, her brain slowly chugging away on the thoughts like a cow did cud, and as the moonlight pooled through the many windows of her room she wondered if Adonis was experiencing as much difficulty with his own task. At the thought she let out an audible laugh, a thunderclap compared to the silence that preceded it, and repositioned herself in her bed.

For reasons that needn't be said, she expected that he was having no trouble at all. Instead, she turned her energy once more to calming her thoughts and hoped that sleep would overcome her soon, lest her sibling grow annoyed at her increasing length of absence.

And so, it did.



A sweet sigh escaped Adonis' lips, "Oh. Ofi is thinking about me~"

"What?", the human huffed. Adonis peered down at the dazed man, occupied with other things, he hadn't noticed that the cloth provided for Uryan had slipped off. Opps.

"No wonder you stopped making sounds on the third round." Adonis fastened the cloth back onto Uryan's mouth, though it would do little to help the damage already done, "There we go. Much better~"

Uryan gasped, "...Thanks." He took a second to breathe in the unpolluted air, his mind slowly lifting from the foggy daze. When he started to regain most of his senses, he remembered his question once more. "You were speaking that language again. What did you say?"

Adonis grinned, he was honestly surprised that Uryan was able to hear him in his confused state. He had known the human for a little over five years, and recently he'd begun showing small signs of resistance against the scent of his lotuses. Granted, Adonis made sure to never give off a strong enough smell to harm him. "Divine Aui, you being on top of me - grinning - makes me feel as if you're going to devour me."

"Didn't I already?" Adonis gave him a playful kiss over the cloth and jumped off his body. "Now... To answer your question, Lord Uryan, my words were that you 'felt so good' that 'I'm going to be sad to see you leave'."

Uryan rubbed his beard with one hand while holding the cloth with the other, and eventually he let out a sigh of defeat. "I suppose that is you nicely telling me to leave." Adonis didn't say a word and instead began walking down the stairs towards his lotus pond. His long, green hair gently flowed with each step. "No clothing?" Adonis merely waved at Uryan. The man took that as his final warning to leave. Without further delay, Uryan donned his official clothing as swiftly as he had taken them off and headed toward the exit.

By the time he had reached the door, Adonis was already standing at the steps of his lotus pond, patiently waiting for the human to leave. Uryan had never witnessed the Divine's half beast form, and it would have been a lie to say he wasn't curious. However, he knew better than to risk his life and Uryan looked around the cold exterior of the Divine's room one last time. No matter how many times he came here he couldn't help but notice how beautiful and lonely the large room was, just like its occupant. How sad. With one last glance at Adonis, he left the Divine's room.

Adonis waited until he could no longer sense Uryan's presence before gazing at his pond, which was now displaying an image of Ofelia's dream world. "Well, that certainly took longer than expected. Hopefully, Ofi isn't too upset with me." Adonis proceeded to make haste as he didn't want to keep his sibling waiting any longer.



Time was difficult to track in her world, as it seemed to pass at varying rates depending on nothing at all. An ambient light hung and shifted intensities in the sky, but no source of it could be seen. Ofelia herself stood in an open field, surrounded by knee-high grass and various types of trees - which appeared to flicker between their seasonal states every other moment. Leaves shifted color and wilted, slowly falling to the ground as new leaves burst into being just as suddenly. Typically Adonis manifested himself to her via water, and just as she began to grow impatient she felt the cool touch of a raindrop hit the tip of her nose. The single drop gave way to a downpour around her, though not even the slightest amount of water would touch her again. It too ended as soon as it came, and in its wake had left Ofi surrounded now by a lake, seemingly stranded on the last little island of grass.

Entirely unimpressed, Ofelia crouched down at the water's surface and looked into it as she held her knees.

"Here I thought that I was the one making you wait on me. Really, Adonis, when are you going to quit with your silly little theatrics?" She spoke into the water, but the smile on her face betrayed her chastising tone.

"At least you were kind enough to not get me wet, this time, and I thank you for that."

Green scales glowed in the dark water, as Adonis gazed at the beautiful creature smiling lovingly at him, "Now Ofi, I would never try to get you wet on purpose without telling you." Adonis laughed with genuine glee. With a single whip from his massive tail, Adonis had swum toward the surface of the water. Now face to face with Ofelia he laid his chest on the little grassy plain, while the rest of him gently moved along with the water.

"Hello, my dear Ofelia. I apologize for the wait, but if it makes you feel any better I have only been thinking about you the entire day. I even cut my last session from four rounds to three, simply to see you."

Taking the flattery in stride, Ofelia reached out with a hand to softly caress the side of Adonis' face. "Now, now, there's no need to lie so blatantly to my face, is there?" She gave his earlobe a playful tug. "Let's fast-forward over our usual pleasantries and get right to business, yeah? I know you've been a real good boy for me and must have something juicy, so, go on. Out with it." Giving his cheek a gentle little pat beforehand, Ofi withdrew her hand from his face and her expression hardened.

"What have we found out?"

Adonis slyly smiled, "So~ I learned something that might help that female human of yours. You know how the Duke you've been eyeing was invited by the King to attend the ceremony tomorrow? Well, he almost lost the privilege because of his little marriage candidate's messy mistake. It seems like the trap we laid out for her was too tempting to ignore and she was caught. Now they aren't talking to each other and the Duke is even thinking about annulling the marriage agreement between the two." Adonis twirled his hair playfully, laughing to himself as he imagined the look on the young woman's face when the scent of his lotuses wore off. Sadly, he couldn't be caught so he had a proxy deliver the concoction for him, though it was quite a nasty one. Even still, the human proxy he sent with it would have had a dandy little time with its recipient.

While pondering through his thoughts, Adonis' tail wagged happily - causing large waves to emerge, "Such stupidity, I thought she would have been smarter, but I guess not. Isn't that just delightful?"

Ofelia had returned his smile and had been nodding along as he spoke, though she couldn't help but roll her eyes as Adonis was distracted by his hair-twirling. Sometimes she thought that he derived too much pleasure from her little assignments for him, and other times she wondered if he even really deserved such pleasures to begin with. She eyed his now-active tail warily before responding. "Delightful is just the word I was thinking of, but I've told you time and time again that you should come to expect stupidity from humans more often than smarts. I fear if they were truly intelligent that our defeat wouldn't have resulted in an existence so... tame."

She shuddered for a moment at the thought and pushed herself back up to a standing position, looking down now on Adonis. "You were right, this will be extremely helpful. This is information that our lovely little friend will enjoy, and it brings us one step closer to the fruition of our endeavors. As always, Adonis, you have made me proud of you. You're lucky I respect you enough to resist showing you just how appreciative I am. But that aside, we still have much to discuss. You know what comes tomorrow." She was, of course, referring to the induction ceremony for their now 75th pair of Guardians, though the transferal of their power over the Divines had already happened outside of the public eye.

"These charades we must maintain make me weary, my love. We've long discussed our desire to break this cycle but sometimes I feel like our efforts are in vain, especially when I am reminded that another ten years have passed. For our sake and the sake of the others, we must be at our absolute best tomorrow. Not just to keep appearances, but to ensure that this little romantic plot of ours lands well. I need you to promise me that you'll behave, Adonis, and that you'll keep the others in line as well. I'm not as worried about Quinn as I am that Lyssa will, well, you know. Just don't instigate anything, please." She looked pleadingly at him, but also knowing him well, added one last thing.

"Lie to me if you have to."

Adonis had always loathed the new cycle of Guardians, but this batch would prove to be worse than the others. Especially Adonis'. This Divine had always been able to evade two types of humans, Royals and the Priestess' bloodline, for all the years he had been confined to this accursed country. Now, after all these years, a brat from that foul blood had become his Guardian. Truthfully he wanted to cause mayhem, but as the years had passed, Ofelia had become more alert about their actions. He understood that she truly wished for everything to remain perfectly in place and Adonis was incapable of disappointing her, but only her.

Her last words stabbed at what was left of Adonis' past self and he could only let out a sigh of utter defeat. She knew very well he could never lie to her. That was a feat that Adonis wouldn't even attempt, and yet he couldn't be mad at her words. He understood she held no cruel intentions within them - they were pure, just like she was, and therefore Adonis could only answer those feelings with the same amount of purity despite his feelings toward his new Guardian.

As always his lips formed upwards, but this time his eyes didn't hold any sly intentions or gleeful looks, no, they were simply tired. "I can't promise about the others Ofelia, but I will behave. And if the younger ones get out of control I will use every ounce of my being to stop them." He stared straight into Ofelia's eyes and this time gave her the most genuine smile he could muster, "I swear to you, Ofelia. This will be the last year. No more Guardians, Eden, or this curse. We will end this all."

With a soft sigh, Ofelia raised a hand to wipe away the tears that had begun to well up at the corner of her eyes. "Thank you, Adonis, that will have to be enough." She took a moment to process what he had told her before letting out another, this-time-exaggerated sigh and stretching her arms out above her head. "I grow tired, however, and this subject matter does nothing but wound me. Let's call this meeting done and get some rest for tomorrow. You can stay here and dream with me if you'd like. It's been a while since we last got to do that together."

"Well I would love to, but I believe we should save that for another time. It seems reality is calling on the both of us." Adonis showed Ofelia an image of his room in the water, where a single Beast was patiently waiting for him to resurface, "I'm assuming that your room will be looking the same. So, let's both wake up and prepare ourselves. Bye, my dear Ofi~" Without waiting for a reply, as quickly as he had appeared he was gone. His figure sinking into the dark depths, and then the depths themselves receding away until Ofi was left standing once more in an open field.

Ever annoyed at the rate of actual time, Ofi awoke as well and almost immediately after was greeted by her Beast servant. They exchanged the usual pleasantries and Ofi - having already been through the motions 75 times prior - silently followed behind her servant as she leads her to the grand doors that opened into the audience room. As she approached, Ofelia could see the others waiting there with their servants for her, including Adonis who was peacefully smoking on his pipe while being closely guarded by his two massive centaurs - one being female and the other a male. She flashed him a glance as she passed him to take her appropriate first place in line and then greeted her siblings as a whole.

"Good morning, my lovelies. I hope you're ready - and remember - behave." She turned her head back towards them one last time to cast an accusatory glance at Lyssa and then remained forward facing, anticipating the moment the doors would swing open and they'd be greeted by their ever adoring public eye.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adonis Character Portrait: Adelaide Greywater Character Portrait: Junichi Takahashi Character Portrait: Ofelia Character Portrait: Galaya Rinson Character Portrait: Lyssa Character Portrait: Valerys Astraryen Character Portrait: Quinn

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#, as written by ઽ૮૨α
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The Audience Room vibrated with the low murmuring of the impatient crowd who had come to witness the first interactions between the 75th Guardians and Divines. Each one dawned their own schemes and reasons for attending the event. Yet no one questioned their motives, as was a tradition for important figures of Eden to attend such an event. Out of the people who were awaiting the arrival of the Divines, four were held as most important - Radu Greywater, Ruler of Eden, Priestess Circe, Reiji Takahashi, the 74th Guardian, Vaharys Kargaryen, High Commander of the Army and 73th Guardian, and Duke Ezra Hasofer, Head Commander of the Navy. There were certainly a few others who were in attendance, yet these political figures were the ones who could not simply be ignored. Everyone in the room could feel the pressure from their gazes, especially the servants. In particular, those manning the doors.

They felt the fierce stares, already knowing without words what they were wanting. Where were the Divines? The servants shivered, imagining the punishment that awaited them if the guest had to sit any longer. And like an answer from the heavens, the signal knock rang on the door.

With relief, the servants' voices boomed throughout the hall, "Attention! Announcing the arrival of the Divines!"

Like a rehearsed theatrical play the doors opened, trumpets blew, and drums rolled. The sound erupted throughout the hall causing an ear-deafening echo. Everyone held their breath gazing at the Divines entering the Audience room, their guards respectfully following a few feet behind them. Once again, as if rehearsed, the Divines stopped, a couple of feet away from the Guardians. Followed by a heavy silence swiftly enveloping the room, unlike the previous one, this wasn't one of irritation or impatience but of pure curiosity. All eyes were on the eight individuals on the floor and their next moves.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adonis Character Portrait: Adelaide Greywater Character Portrait: Junichi Takahashi Character Portrait: Ofelia Character Portrait: Galaya Rinson Character Portrait: Lyssa Character Portrait: Valerys Astraryen Character Portrait: Quinn

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#, as written by Kilgannon
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Ofelia did not hesitate, and immediately focused her attention on the King as she drew herself into a bow.

"Your Majesty and his gentle people of the court, you once again grace and honor us with your presence." She spoke with a graceful clarity, a lilt in her voice that she always adopted when publicly appearing.

"We are as eager as you all are to move into yet another cycle of peace and cooperation between humans and Divine, for the betterment of Eden and the prosperity of her peoples." This speech would seem familiar to those fortunate enough to have made it to repeat ceremonies throughout their lifetime, as it had come to be a formality expected of Ofelia. As she continued, her eyes stayed locked with the King's.

"It is thus with great dignity that I, Divine Oeui, formally introduce myself to my new Guardian, so that all may see for themselves the testament of our good intent. Let all those who may witness it on this day go and speak the truth of what they have seen, for those who doubt the foundation of our good Eden are a true poison to the well of its glory." Simultaneously breaking her bow and eye contact with the King, Ofelia moved with a fluidity to position herself directly in front of they who would be her new Guardian; Adelaide Greywater, third child of the King.

Crossing her left forearm against her breast, Ofelia offered Adelaide a bow similar to that which her father had received. Smiling sweetly, Ofi then dropped her arm and instead extended her right towards Adelaide, hoping that she would meet her in the middle with her own and complete the formal greeting in which two parties grabbed each other's forearms and shook.

"Your Grace, it is with great honor that I enter with you into a partnership. I hope that we may work well together in order to ensure the glowing status of our great nation." She spoke directly to Addie, but at a volume loud enough so that all may hear. Only those well acquainted with her would pick up on the subdued sarcasm beneath her words.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adonis Character Portrait: Adelaide Greywater Character Portrait: Junichi Takahashi Character Portrait: Ofelia Character Portrait: Galaya Rinson Character Portrait: Lyssa Character Portrait: Valerys Astraryen Character Portrait: Quinn

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#, as written by Zodia195
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Dialogue- #8A2BE2 ~ Thoughts- #337147


The longer she stood there, the more anxious Galaya got. It must have been obvious that she was starting to fidget a little because she sensed her fellow Guardians looking at her briefly. She would ignore the stares. Instead she remained focused on the doors in front of her. She was so focused that she was a bit startled when the servants announced the arrival of the Divines. She actually gasped a bit when that happened. Luckily it seemed all eyes were now on the doors, which swung open. The noise of the drums made Galaya want to cover her ears, but she didn't. She was already embarrassed by her surprised reaction anyway.

She hoped she looked calm again as she saw the Divines and the beasts servants with them come forward. The moment Galaya laid eyes on them, she felt this instinct desire to bow to them in servitude and homage. However she fought against that desire. She wasn't too surprised by her behavior though since these four were the 'leaders' of the beasts in Eden. Of course technically they weren't in a position to be in charge. They were just as much a trophy and pet as other beasts. Of course she knew the history of how the Divines and Beast came to be servants of humanity. About how the beasts and Divines invaded Eden and how the humans stopped them through trials and sacrifices. Still there was always that small part of Galaya that wondered if that whole story was true. She once heard a line somewhere in how it was always the victors of a battle that wrote history. Being the instinctual person that she was, Galaya didn't question that voice.

For now she wouldn't think about the past, but instead focus on the now. Looking at the four Divines she couldn't believe how beautiful they all looked, even the 2 males. She was about to focus on her Divine partner when one of the females came forward. She looked more regal the the king and queen here and that was saying something. She knew this divine was in a weakened state and even now it felt like the Divine outranked them all.

Galaya listened as the Divine introduced herself as Oeui and addressed the audience. Her speech felt too perfect to Galaya, like it was rehearsed. She wondered if there were hidden meanings behind these words. While Galaya had no experience in interacting with high society, she had heard stories about from Headmistress Rinson, who did have interactions with nobility. After all, most of the money that was funded to the school came from high society.

As Oeui's general greeting ended, she saw the Divine go to Princess Adelaide and greeted her. That had to be the signal for the others to follow suit. Taking deep breath, Laya looked at the other Divines. One was half snake and looked younger then her, but Laya knew these creatures were way older then her. She also looked very uncomfortable in what she was wearing.

~I know how you feel. I'd love to be out of this ornate attire too. Be patient, Laya. You're almost done.~

The first male divine was just as regal and intimidating as the Oeui. She felt something about him, but couldn't put a finger on it. Regardless, she turned her attention to the Divine she was connected to. His hair was a lot lighter then hers, almost white. Galaya knew this one was the youngest due to her having the lowest score out of the Guardians. She was actually relieved because the oldest ones would have a better chance of recognizing her half beast side. Already she wanted to leave.

~Well, no time like the present, let's get this done and over with.~ Galaya thought before walking towards her partner.

She bowed politely before standing up and said cordially, "Greetings, my name is Galaya Rinson. I do hope we can get along. It's nice to finally meet you."

There, she done it. Now she would wait for her Divine partner to introduce himself and hopefully they could leave this hall soon. All the while, she kept being aware of the other Guardians and Divines.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adonis Character Portrait: Ofelia Character Portrait: Galaya Rinson Character Portrait: Lyssa Character Portrait: Quinn

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#, as written by Maestro
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Dialogue #715DC0Thoughts #376928

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"He was one of those creatures who are just simmering there all the time with a silly sort of wickedness. Miserable devils who have no business living at all."---Joseph Conrad.


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Lycaon carried a lot of disdain towards his siblings, a sentiment that may not have always been clear. But his disinterest in their affairs, or even their company for that matter, was always on display beneath his emotionless veneer. There was Quinn, little miss perfect. Lycaon could not help but think she was their favorite. As Quinn came up behind him and tugged on his ear, he did not so much as flinch as he kept walking in the direction towards the audience room – his Beast familiars still in tow along with the rest of the entourage surrounding the other Divines. “Do you insist on doing that?” Lycaon grumbled in his usual monotone, lifeless fashion. He truly felt like his siblings only mission in life was to torment his very existence on account of being the youngest, with Quinn not being the exception to the rule as she felt the incessant need to always subtly remind him of that fact.

Ofelia’s accusatory glance did not go unnoticed either; however, Lycaon knew she was referring more to Lyssa than himself. In some small way, Ofelia was the more practical of the lot, and while he knew little of her scheming, she at least appeared to promote peace with the humans – something Lycaon also wished for. Adonis, on the other hand, could not have been more different. He was an agent of chaos, a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Lycaon could not escape the feeling that something was afoot between him and Lyssa, but unfortunately, Lyssa had closed off parts of herself to him so he could not deduce with any certainty whether there was any truth to it.

Unenthused as he entered the audience hall, he did his best to avoid the gazes of the nobles who surely were monitoring his every move. When Ofelia was done with her usual spiel, a speech they had heard far too many times already, he stood there aimlessly – fidgeting as he toyed with the gold clasp around his left wrist. Lycaon, as usual, had his hair tied back neatly, away from his face, and wore a flowing purple robe with gold trim made of the finest silk that draped along the floor as he walked. A wardrobe fit for royalty. Or... a Divine. As he continued standing there, waiting impatiently for the drab affair to conclude, he caught the eye of his next Guardian to be. A woman who would no doubt be considerably different than his previous Guardian, Mylenna – a woman who surprisingly had a lot in common with Lyssa and Lycaon considering her split personality.

Ten years was a long time to get accustomed to someone, but going on the 75th generation of Guardians, Lycaon was slowly getting used to change. As the calendar flipped by from one year to the next, the change was slowly becoming even more inevitable, with Lycaon losing track of time and accepting the fact that he seemingly had an endless amount of it. Now, instead of Mylenna, there was this clumsy, shy girl standing in front of him. “We are pleased to meet you, Galaya.” Lycaon spoke softly and showed little interest in the girl while failing to give away which of them Galaya was addressing. Although, any Guardian worth their salt should be able to deduce as much on their own. Meanwhile, he could hear Lyssa picking his brain. “WE are PLEASED? Pshh, speak for yourself. I can’t wait to tell her just how PLEASED my happy little ass really is myself…”

Offering a small bow in the direction of Galaya, Lycaon was restrained, a feat that Lyssa was incapable of. However, for the moment, she was seemingly quiet, showing little interest in revealing herself. At least not yet…

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adonis Character Portrait: Adelaide Greywater Character Portrait: Junichi Takahashi Character Portrait: Ofelia Character Portrait: Galaya Rinson Character Portrait: Lyssa Character Portrait: Valerys Astraryen Character Portrait: Quinn

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#, as written by Tanman
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Finally, it was time for things to begin in earnest. Junichi had to resist the urge to take a step forward to meet the Divines halfway as they made their entrance, the four emanating an impressive aura that commanded attention from everyone around. Scanning his eyes over them, from his time studying the beasts, he was quickly able to assess who each of them would belong to. The elder two of the Divines would go towards the upper class of the Guardians, while the younger would be assigned to himself and Galaya, the commoners. It made sense, even if it did annoy him on some level to be left with the ‘inferior’ of the Divines. Still, it wasn’t all bad to be assigned to Ki. After all, this was the beast his brother had been assigned. If anyone would have answers, it would be her or the journal he left behind. With the amount of posturing they’d been doing over the past three weeks, Jun hadn’t had time to consult it at all. Hopefully after tonight that would change, but when the opportunity arose, he’d have to take the time to find out what she knew about Reiji and his actions.

The speech was grandiose, but thankfully, short and to the point as far as presentations go. Junichi did his best to pay attention, but honestly, his eyes were wholly focussed on his Divine and the area around her, as if he could bore a hole through her skull with his gaze. Briefly, his eyes played over the guards next to her, and despite the apparent greatness of these creatures, he found himself strangely aware of how short she was compared to her towering and imposing servants. For such a powerful being, it was amusing to him how helpless she actually looked, but he’d been informed many times during his training not to underestimate the creatures; particularly the elders of the four. Nodding as his partner for the next 10 years made her way towards him, Junichi decided to formally introduce himself.

“Junichi Takahashi. I’ll be your guardian for the next 10 years.” As he spoke, he couldn’t help but steal a glance towards his brother, who was undoubtedly staring at the two of them. Flicking his eyes back towards Ki, the younger Takahashi brother extended his arm for the shake. “To the future.” He stated simply. The future would determine everything after all. And this would be the start of this future. Jun wasn’t the kind of person to smile much. His mother always told him to try to do so more, but he personally thought it looked unnatural and weird. Somehow though, he made his best attempt, especially in such a public setting. Hopefully no one noticed his discomfort, particularly the small snake woman before him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adonis Character Portrait: Ofelia Character Portrait: Lyssa Character Portrait: Valerys Astraryen Character Portrait: Quinn

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"Though wisdom is a house built; and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge shall every room be filled with precious and pleasantries."

- Proverbs 24:3

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Valerys
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Descendant of the Priestess


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xxxxxAfter a series of glances all over the chamber, Valerys decided to just keep his gaze fixed at the grand doors, calmly awaited for the moments to come. Judging from the bickering of the attendants and the frowns that were starting to become visible on the King's face, it went without saying that heads would probably roll if another minute passed by and the doors remained intact. As much as Valerys found it distasteful for the time being meaninglessly wasted, however, there was no sign of displeasure presented on his face. Either he was a good actor or his patience was just simply remarkable.

Behind the four of them, Valerys could feel that his uncle was also in quite the anticipation as well. After all, it was Vaharys who was standing on this exact same place 20 years ago. Although he didn't care much for praises, Valerys quietly prayed that from then on, he would at least live to the name of his well-respected uncle.

Before Valerys, the Guardian on behalf of the family was Mylenna from the Celnaryen line - another one of his cousins. Her condition was... quite interesting, to say the least. Yet, Valerys had heard on the grapevines that using that very specialty, she had managed to "tame" her Divine - who was quite a handful. She told him she had intended to attend the ceremony today, but the Celnaryens seemed to have some business for her to handle, so Vaharys was the only family that was watching him.

In the meantime, he quietly recalled to the things that he had read about the Divines. The long tradition of being Guardians had brought the clan with much knowledge about them, except the one that was assigned to him.

The Second of the Divines, who went by the pseudonym Aui, or Adonis, as Valerys could then rightfully refer as. The Deceiver. The Accursed Harbinger. The Forsaken Viper. His clan had bestowed many titles upon this Divine and none of them showed the slightest bit of respect. To say that the whole family abhorred him was a bit of an understatement. But of course, how couldn't they? Every leader of the three branches had never seized to relentlessly remind their members about the poisonous words spoken from the mouth of this being to their ancestor centuries ago. And they had even gone all the way to make sure that the representative Guardians of their clan would never have to watch over Adonis.

Until Valerys, due to some miraculous twist by the hands of Fate.

By the time the outcome was settled, it was already too late for Talar to intervene. With the influence of the Astraryens, switching the results shouldn't be a problem. But the hassles and the risk of tarnishing their name were simply not worth it. Hence, they now had no other choice, but to place their only prominent heir to the line of this generation at the mercy of the most deplorable of beings.

For Valerys, though, this was indeed a challenge to overcome. Was he scared? Of course he was. But knowing him, the excitement stemmed from the unveiling of mysteries was bigger. To be able to find out the truths that no-one from family had ever gotten to before? Valerys couldn't possibly come up with any privileges better than that.

"Attention! Announcing the arrival of the Divines!"

And finally, it was time. As deafening sound of trumpets and drums filled every corner of the hall, the doors were sprung open at last. Emerging from behind were the four most "prized treasures" of Eden, gracefully approaching them in tandem. Valerys couldn't help but gulp a bit. This wasn't the first time he got to see a Divine in real life, but to observe them in their entirety in such a close proximity, it was more than he had ever imagined.

They truly befit the title given to them.

The leader of the four - Divine Oeui - stepped forward to make a speech with fluency, as if she had gone through over it countless of times. Valerys' main focus was not on her speech, though, but on the youthful man with long, green flowing hair so smooth that the finest silk seemed pale in comparison and a seemingly innocent smile that can charm the most stoic of hearts. There was this strange charisma emanating from Adonis that Valerys couldn't explain, as if it was telling him to abandon everything he had ever treasured to fall into the sweet embrace of the Divine, and to indulge in nothing but his honey-glazed words.

This man... is terrifyingly dangerous. Valerys cautiously reminded himself. He had to make sure to never stray from his path and focus on the only one goal that mattered, or else it would be very likely that he would be enraptured in the trap laid out by Adonis. That much he can tell from locking gaze with the Divine alone.

As soon as Oeui finished her speech, the expression on Valerys' face turned from that of sternness into a relaxed one, with a gentle smile finding its' way on his lips. "My utmost pleasure to meet you, my exalted Divine. I presume you have already known, but allow me to introduce myself once more. I go by the name Valerys of the Astraryens, and may the coming decade of our partnership be fruitful."

Having been taught about etiquette and manners all his life, making a grandiose introduction was not much of a problem for him, but he knows for sure that humans' niceties are not entirely applicable to that of the Beasts, and the Divines were not any different. And it was by then that an excerpt from the journal passed down to him from the previous Guardians popped up in his mind.

"And, to start out our relationship. May I ask you, why is the letter E important?"

A greeting by a riddle was simply the most anti-climatic thing one could possibly come up. Valerys was well-aware of this, but he hoped that this would at least get both of them off to a good start, and a small test on the wits of arguably the most ancient being in the entire world. He slightly tilted his head in anticipation of the response, with his smile unfazed.