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Vivian Lacerta

Just try and stop me

0 · 147 views · located in The Prince's Palace

a character in “Heaven Help You”, as played by ianna_334

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A real woman is whatever the hell she wants to be.


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#055201├┤#009874
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Pride Demon
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Theme Song├┤Zakuro/Varied

Look, when the girl you’ve been hitting on all night dares you to sneak upstairs and bring her a memento, you don’t throw away days’ worth of work over a concept like “Restricted Entry”


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The question isn’t who is going to let me – it’s who is going to stop me.



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┤Full Name├
Vivian Lacerta

┤Nicknames├
Viv, Vivi

┤Gender├
Female

┤Sexuality├
Sapphic leaning bisexual

┤Height├
5’7”

┤Hair Colour├
Black/Dark Brown and Blonde, it changes

┤Eye Colour├
Blue
┤Shift├
Wolf




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I was not made to be subtle.


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┤Appearance├

NO, ignore the picture on the left. Viv doesn’t look like that, at all.

Okay, it has some things right. She’s a tall woman, slender, with enough muscle to hold her own in a fight. She’s got great legs, is somewhat pale, and has a pretty great physique. But the rest of it? Nope. No. Completely inaccurate. That picture is how she looks when blackmailed into attending a royal gala by a thoroughly pissed off pride demon mother.

Normally, it’s more like this: Viv has blue eyes. They don’t tend to sparkle or glimmer or invite warmly or any of that kind of thing. They’re just there, cool and blue, contributing to one hell of a resting bitch face. She’s often wished they were a warmer colour, something that would make her look more inviting and less intimidating. On the other hand, being intimidating is kind of awesome. So there’s pros and cons.

Those soft black waves? Yeah, nope. Viv’s hair is pin-straight and swishy. She likes it down most of the time, a ponytail the rest, and occasionally a braid if it really needs to stay out of the way. After this week, she is never doing a single fancy hairstyle ever again. It’s a pain in the ass and takes hours. On the other hand, if someone were to do it for her…Viv actually rather likes her hair. Considering how much maintenance long hair is, that’s got to be why she’s never cut it. But she loves to have it played with, and she loves the fuss other girls make when her hair is just ‘so long!’. She switches between black and blond regularly, and often tells her stylists to go wild. It’s made her a favourite in the salons she frequents, and she’s rarely disappointed with the results.

Viv’s go-to style is jeans and tshirts. She’s perfectly capable of dressing up (or down ;3) as needed, but that’s what she’s comfortable in. She likes plain shirts in colours like red and orange, but she’s got a soft spot for funny graphics and silly slogans. Viv most often accessorizes with a black leather jacket and matching gloves. It’s practical – bike and all – but it also looks badass. Boots and sneakers are her go-to footwear, but honestly, she won’t say no to a strappy heel. She’s already tall, and there’s something fun about being head and shoulders above the crowd. Viv’s other signature accessory is onyx earrings. She’s actually got a full set, courtesy of her father, but the earrings are the only things she wears on a daily basis.

When she does dress up, Viv goes all out. She looks damn good in a suit, and has a way of making a formal gown intimidating. It does stroke her ego, the stares when people see her in a dress and realize she can do both. What Viv can’t do, though, is casual feminine styles. She looks fine in them, honestly, but something about it just feels…off. Like she’s pretending to be someone she’s not.


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If I was meant to be controlled, I would have come with a remote.



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┤Personality├
CompetitiveAmorousProtectiveDefiantPassionate

If you ask Viv, she would say she doesn’t act very much like a pride demon. In many respects, this is very true. She cares very little for Hell’s social games, and though she acknowledges that schmoozing is a useful skill, she has little to no patience for it. But to say she isn’t proud would be entirely wrong. Viv’s pride is channeled into her competitive nature – she loves to win and she loves even more to win big. She’s a focused and skillful fighter, used to going up against opponents much larger than her. When she sees a big, muscle-y guy, part of her always just wants to…deck him. Just to see if she could win the fight.

Nowadays, she often uses those fighting skills to protect others. Viv’s always been fascinated by knights and heroes, and the idea of saving a princess (no one show her Utena. Just…don’t). On earth, there’s not many princesses to save, but there are plenty of girls in bad situations and plenty of shitty guys to punch out. It’s genuinely fun for her, and as a demon, she has a hidden advantage if things get really bad.

Beneath the aggression, though, is a young woman who isn’t entirely sure how to deal with her own femininity, or her sexuality, for that matter. Viv’s so easily distracted by other girls, their gentle voices, the curves of their bodies, and the softness of their skin. Her friends tease her about the way she often drifts off mid sentence, her eyes fixed on someone passing by. Her parents’ courtship was slow and soft and sweet, and that’s what Viv is seeking for herself. But when she gets so tongue tied and flustered, it feels like her only other option is to flirt outrageously. She definitely can’t take it when her own tactics are used on her.


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Be that girl.


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┤Likes├
┤Girls├─They’re so soft and pretty and gentle and sweet. Viv could listen to a girl talk all day.
┤Fighting├─Viv loves the adrenaline of a good fight where you have to keep on your toes.
┤Motorcycles├─Bikes are awesome and badass. Viv has two, one for the underworld and one on earth.

┤Hobbies├
┤White-knighting├─Viv will head up to earth, cruise around on her bike, and punch guys she catches creeping on girls. No better way to spend a weekend.
┤Hair├─Viv loves getting her hair done. On earth and in hell, whether it’s bleaching or a cut, she’ll give her stylist free rein.
┤Shopping├─She has fun making outfits and trying things on.

┤Dislikes├
┤Creeps├─See Hobby 1. Viv can punch a bitch, but not all women can.
┤Losing├─Specifically to her brother. He can fuck right off, thinking he’s awesome because he’s fucking tall as fuck.
┤Girly Shit├─Okay, not exactly. It’s more about having to act like a ‘proper lady’. The shit itself, dresses and nail polish and makeup? All fine.

┤Fears├
┤Being Trapped├─Just…metaphorically. A role and life she doesn’t and would never want is her greatest fear.
┤Sexism├─Viv wants nothing more than to prove she’s as good as any guy, and the idea that she might not succeed terrifies her.
┤Her mother being right├─She’s never let her forget


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Life is tough, my darling, but so are you.


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┤History├

Vivian’s mother is a pride demon and her father a wrath, and all in all, they’re a pretty happy little family. For a wrath demon, her father is remarkably calm (if not thoroughly terrifying when he’s justified in his anger), and her mother is the one who organizes their social lives and their promotions.

And then there’s the bane of her existence, her older brother, Mal. There’s nothing actually wrong with Mal, to be clear. A wrath demon like their father, he’s stupid, but his heart is in the right place. He gets angry easily, but he can be talked into or out of most anything. Viv’s seeming resentment is nothing more than good old sibling rivalry.

Viv is three years younger than Mal, and growing up, she was heavily influenced by him. She wore his old clothes because he grew so fast. She played with his blocks and cars and swords because she liked them and didn’t seem fond of dolls anyway. When their father took Mal out to fight or wrestle or patrol their massive territory, he took Viv too. They spent hours tussling in the dirt, practising the moves that their father showed them. It’s almost questionable if Viv realized there was a difference between boys and girls until puberty hit and her mother swooped in to try to address some of Vivian’s rougher edges.

Up until that point, Viv and Mal had done everything together. However, Mal did not have to take lessons on acting like a proper lady, and in hindsight, his disdain and mocking might explain Vivian’s attitudes.

Viv is not happy with her role in Hell’s society – she lacks the drives of many pride demons to be the best and the greatest. Not to say that she isn’t a proud being, but she’s not proud in the ‘right’ way, the way expected of her. Somewhere along the line, she learned that Earth was a great escape. On Earth, she’s free of expectations and of consequences. Her parents have noticed this and are subtly grooming her to take over the Earthen operations of LQM – Lacerta Quality Gemstones. Right now, she has yet to notice.

Most recently, she dropped by to see her parents and was promptly strong-armed into attending a royal gala. Her parents could only attend two nights, and Mal was mysteriously indisposed. She’s been given an elaborate wardrobe and plenty of gorgeous jewelry to use to make a statement. Say what you will about the girl, but she’s good at flattery, and her work has already significantly boosted commissions.



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So begins...

Vivian Lacerta's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Valramir Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Eris Leblanc
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

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【Go figure. The one time I want to be social and I get put in a bedroom. Not fair.】
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Ah, the gala. Contrary to the belief of most demons, Valramir enjoyed going to parties. There was lots of food to eat, amazing beds to sleep in, and people to sleep with. You got to laze about, play games, and trick demons out of trinkets. If that wasn't good enough, it was always fun to see how many excitable demons he managed to put to sleep. One of his favorite feats thus far was putting a demon to sleep while he was dancing. Poor guy dropped on his partner in the middle of the dance floor. Alcohol of course made the effects of his power that much easier to spread out. And in a way, he'd help the guy out; his partners took him upstairs to a bedroom. One point for Sloth!

And everyone came to these things. He got to catch up with demons he rarely saw. Like Ino. He hadn’t seen much of the man lately and they'd only really had one real conversation at a different party. He did see him flaunting his hot stuff though so he must be doing well. And Cyr had been fun to really meet here; they'd traded some bits and bobbles, including an intricate and shiny cross necklace. And flirted around each other. Cyr was handsome. Alas they hadn't yet found themselves in a bedroom alone, but Valramir still had time to influence him if something else didn't catch their attention first. He'd even met up with Vivian again and she was as fiery as he remembered from their previous brief interactions.

Valramir started off at the gala as he normally did. He wore his best outfit, planning to wow everyone with his own allure. He got his looks from his mother after all, and she'd been a beautiful and fierce Wrath demon. He spent the days dealing cards and winning trinkets, enjoying the food and drink Bez indulged in with him, and having fun. That was why they were all there. He'd spent the first night with Bez sleeping and enjoying her physical company. Eventually the two drifted off in different directions over the next couple of days to explore their own indulgences and fancies.

By the third day, Valramir was showing more and more of his slothy tendencies. His original snazzy outfit suddenly gave way to simple clothing; ruffled and disheveled. He always did prefer comfort over tight clothing. Tonight, he simply wore nice pants and a half open red shirt to show off his silver skull choker and the cross he’d gotten from Cyr. He sat at the bar just enjoying the music, too lazy to get up and dance or do much of anything now. Anyone that strayed too close found themselves taking naps nearby or being lulled into a relaxed state doing absolutely nothing and wasting their time.


”Another drink pleeassee," he looked to the bar keep and shook his empty glass. As usual, he was adored with a plethora of shiny things, from necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings, and hell, even a tongue and belly ring he was currently showing off and for good reason! He'd just won it off a drunk greed demon. He turned his eyes to roam over the others at the gala, wondering what Bez and Eris were getting up to and who would be fun to mess with next.

Then, nearby, a demon dressed in a nicely pressed, crisp white button up paired with onyx trousers and a jet-black tie, and dark lapel overcoat to complement the outfit came strolling forward. He had just arrived from his room as evening set and had been making his own rounds. Nothing had really caught his fancy yet, though. Quite a disappointment, to be sure. With his hands tucked neatly into the pockets of his overcoat, the greed demon strolled languidly, boots tapping softly against the marble floor as he walked. He glanced around slowly, partially uninterested in what was going on around him. Myut’s temporary focus was filled on the idea of grabbing a little pick-me-up from the bar. Perhaps imbibing a bit would help to liven things up. As his pearlescent greens swept across the bar and his larger figure neared, he suddenly found something impossibly intriguing. Oh, now that….
“Gods, what a vision.” He purred in a low tone, finding himself standing right in front of Valramir, looking down at him with a tantalizing little smirk. Well, sort of at him. His eyes were focused on his chest, or rather, the rather unique looking and quite shiny cross hanging there from a chain around his pale neck. Myut leaned forward, almost trapping the other with the stance of his legs. But with his lithe form, Mew was sure that this other individual could slip away if he so desired. Myut wouldn't be very willing to let that happen, though. “Do excuse me, but…” He trailed off carefully, eyes slowly tracing their way up to meet the bright red orbs belonging to the demon now in front of him.
Val's leaned back against the bar to investigate the man’s face and get some space. His elbows pressed on the tabletop and effectively put chest into the man's view and stretching out his body, not realizing the demon was staring at the cross. My, he was cute. He tipped an imaginary hat.
"Well, good evening yourself, handsome. What can I do for you?" he purred, his wings extending slightly to look more like a cape behind him than wings.
Myut gave a slight nod at Val’s response, pleased that he was willing to confer with him. With a reservedly greedy look to his eye, Meu lifted a hand slowly, sliding the back of his fingers against the cloth of Val’s shirt as he scooped the pendant into his palm to admire its weight. It was ever-so-slightly warm from the body heat this other demon was giving off, and Myu relished in the feeling.
“This is certainly quite the appropriate trinket.” The darker-skinned demon chuckled, turning it over in his hand and tracing his gaze along the intricate metalwork. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it before.” He clenched his hand ever so lightly, the smooth corners of the silver piece pressing into his skin pleasantly. Myut leveled his eyes back to meet Valramir’s gaze, a sure smile on his face. “I’m quite interested. What would you like for it?”

Val's innocent smile gently pulled into a grin, his crimson eyes narrowing as he looked the demon up and down. He was enjoying the eye candy and the forward approach. Ah, he wanted the cross. It had been a popular item with people. How funny, considering it was the symbol of their enemy. "hmmm well," he mused, thinking, sticking his tongue out to play with the shiny tongue ring. "Watcha got to offer me?"

Myut couldn’t help but be distracted by the sudden appearance of another shiny little decal, pursed between the lips of the demon he was now doing business with. “Depends on what you’re interested in.” Meu responded, tempted almost to appreciate what lay between the other’s lips as well. He would just satisfy himself with looking for a moment longer, though. “Something to replace such a centerpiece maybe. I also have a few nice pieces on me.”
Val debated as he watched the demon. "I like sapphires. You have a necklace with pretty sapphires on it?"
Myut clicked his tongue lightly as he shook his head. “Unfortunately, not on me, no. Though perhaps?” He procured a brilliant little blue gemmed broach in the shape of a jay’s feather, startlingly dark and vibrant in its color. “Would this suffice?”

Val's eyes widened and he took it from Myut's hand. It was very sparkly. He liked it. He pressed it to his lips debating a moment before, "Okay!" He pinned the broach to his rumpled collar before reaching up to pull off the cross. He dangled it in front of Myut. "I like you. What's your name? I am Valramir."
Myut’s eyes honed in with a sharp focus on the dangling chain that Val held out to him. A smooth look of cheer highlighted his attractive facial features, and he gladly took the offered accessory, relishing the feel of possession suddenly filling his being. “Mm, name’s Myut.” He grinned at the other demon, slipping the cross necklace into a pocket somewhere. His gaze suddenly flittered off to the bartender, and he lifted a finger to grab their attention. “A neat rum sour, please.” He spoke up, watching rather pleased while they hurriedly prepared the drink. Meu leaned around the shorter demon to grab the proffered glass, tipping it fondly to the other. “See you around.” The green-eyed demon took a sip as he turned and walked off, seeming terribly satisfied with the interaction.
Valramir watched at Myut walked away. He looked his backside just as much as he liked the front. He toyed with his tongue ring again. Mmm he had to convince him or Cyr to join him in a round or two before they all left tomorrow. But before that, he wondered what other michief he could cause. His eyes glanced to the side at a few guards that walked by. Oh. Now there was an idea.He wondered how many of the prince's guards he could influence.
So, the sloth demon went to 'work'. He wandered through the halls, smiling at everyone, moving closer to the guards in the main hall, just sitting close by. He didn't interact them as he sipped his drink. As a sloth, his aura didn’t need much to go off. It was subtle at first, but soon, the guards were blinking wildly to keep themselves awake. One started to slide to the side before jolting himself awake. They grumbled something he couldn’t hear and Valramir stretched, feeling a bit of his own influence since he was sitting still. When the guards realized where the source of their sudden drowsiness was coming from, they glared and rested their hands on their weapons in warning. Valramir just laughed with an innocent smile on his lips that was anything but.

He moved deeper into the halls then, sneaking through the darkened areas obviously not intended for the party. Ah, there were two guards there, in front of another door, probably leading up to a private wing of some sort. He moved closer with a wave.
“Why, hello, fellas,” he called, his power started subtly once more, intending to lower their guard, wrap them in his aura before they realized what ensnared them. “What are you doing?” he asked. The guards did not answer him and crossed their arms. " “Aw, don’t be so cross,” he said then, spinning the web around them tighter. “Just passing by. I was heading towards my room, but I got lost. But you both look sooooo bored… and tired. Perhaps a chat will help perk you up? Or maybe a game of cards?” he asked and pulled out a deck of cards from his pocket. One of them was already wavering. The other just shifted his feet. “A quick one, I promise.” He sat down in front of the weaker guard and started dealing a poker came. “Come, sit down with me.” The demon hesitated only a moment before he did sit down and the two began their game, chatting about nothing. All the while, Valramir lay his influence on them both. By the end of the game, he’d convinced the second guard to leave his post since he and his pal were already there, watching over things.

His card pall was yawning. Valramir grinned, his eyes narrowing. He leaned forward to whisper in his ear then.
“That was fun. And it is late. Why don’t we… sleep he intoned, snapping his trap shut on the weak guard. In moments, he watched demon’s hazy eyes droop until he was out like a light. Valramir waved a hand in his face, but the guard didn’t even flinch. He held back his laugh as best he could before he got up carefully and packed up his deck of cards before slipping away, not really interested in what the guards were guarding. When he finally got bored of the game, he'd had put two more guards into a lazy funk and had gone to their barracks where guards were already getting ready for bed or relaxing in each other’s company since they were off duty and immediately put them to sleep. He couldn't wait to tell Bez. Point 2 and 3 for Sloth.

In the morning, Valramir stretched himself out on the bed, a grin still playing on his face. He lay in the bed for a long while, wanting to get up but feeling too lazy to do so. Eventually his excitement overcame his nature and he pulled on black sweatpants and one of his wrinkled large black shirts that hung off his shoulder. His hair remained a wild mess around his face, and he left the room, looking for his favorite demon.
"Beeeezzzyyyyyyy," he sang as he searched for her in the halls. He did eventually find her in the grand hall and his smile brightened. He headed towards her, waving, but two guards intercepted him. Each one grabbed an arm in one stride and started to pull Valramir backwards away from the gala.

Valramir looked up at the two guards a bit surprised as he back peddled trying to stay up as he was walked backwards and tripped over himself. He recognized the two quickly enough as the first guard he’d put to sleep and the other who he’d made walk away. Oh dear. Was he in trouble? It had been all in good fun! And he didn’t get to tell Bezzy!
"Okay guys, come on, this is a big misunderstanding. Why don't we just take a moment to relax?" he cooed, letting his aura spread out to the two guards to defuse any anger. The guards shook him then. "Stop that," one of them growled. Valramir pouted at them. He did not like being shaken. "Maannnnn, this is not fair! Mistreatment!" he complained and suddenly went completely limp, startling both guards as he dropped to the ground much like a child throwing a tantrum and refusing to move. Since his aura was still stretching outward, the guards didn’t hurt Valramir, but they did give exasperated sighs at his childish antics.

The two guards adjusted their grip on the sloth demon and literally started to drag him across the floor. Valramir stared up at the ceiling, not moving to hinder or help the guards. And then then he was tossed into a room very ungraciously.
"Meanies!" he cried and sat up then to find the guards were gone; as was the door. He blinked confused before he looked around himself. Where the hell was he? There were other rooms but he didn't see any doors for them. He was not feeling inclined to enter the rooms. What if it was a trap?

"Er... hello? Anyone else here?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Valramir Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Amos
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【Is this going to take long? This better not take long, I have a very important date to keep.】
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【Main hall --> Rooms]】
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【#009874】
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Despite her occasionally obvious displeasure at having to be here, Vivian wasn’t having the worst time ever at the Prince’s gala. That didn’t mean she wanted to be here, still.

She had dropped by to visit her parents and brother after a long romp on earth, only to be greeted with hugs, kisses, and a threat to her precious motorcycles if she dared leave until after the gala. She’d tried to sneak out, only to find her mother knew her far too well. The older demon, so similar to Vivian, had been standing casually by her bike, a funnel of sand poised over the gas tank.

Viv had taken her seriously after that.

For some reason, Malarick was indisposed. Viv hadn’t been able to piece together the full story, but it seemed to involve a claimed incubus, a reenactment of the trials of Hercules, a cart full of cabbages, cheese in a can, some particularly fragrant fruits, and literal lovesickness. What all of this meant was that Viv was responsible for representing the family, since Mal couldn’t attend.

Hair dye had also been involved.

Vivian’s job was simple. Stick near her parents while they made social rounds, smiling and preening and showing off the extravagant jewelry she wore. Take notes of how her mother manipulated other women into feeling they needed custom jewels for the next gala they attended. Split off and practice her own technique of flirtation and flattery, toned up and down as needed for the audience.

Return to their rooms, rinse, repeat.

4 days of stunning gowns that made her look ‘like a lady’. 4 days of teasing her hair into unnatural styles with heat and gels. 2 days of listening to everything her mother told her. And now, 2 days of glorious freedom as her mother and father left early to check on Mal.

Not complete freedom, of course. Her mother knew her, and Viv’s luggage contained nothing but dresses and dress appropriate accessories and undergarments. Even her nightwear had been swapped out for a filmy white empire waist (it was actually pretty cute though, though it did make Viv want to run through the halls with a candle, making ghost noises for the aesthetic). The other bags had their jewelry samples, from raw rocks the size of a wrath demon’s fists to delicate golden chains set with the tiniest of diamonds. She knew what she could trade, what she could give away, and what she was to sell or keep. How she spent the rest of the day was up to her.

The third night though, she was rather dreamy, prone to wistful sighs and longing looks. She’d met…the most wonderful girl that day. So cute and soft, with vivid red hair, they’d talked a little, and talking had become flirting, and they’d even kissed…

It was as she was dreamily reminiscing about their brief interlude, imagining their date tonight, that the guards came for her. They were rather rude, trying to grab her from behind, but the pride demon was well aware of her surroundings even now, whipping around, her arms already up in fists to defend herself.


”Excuse me!” she hissed, batting away one of the reaching hands. The flowing fabric of the blue dress would probably hinder her, but she bet she could get up and over the low railing. Down in the gardens, she’d be able to run to a more public place… though how would her mother put it?

”I am a lady and I won’t be treated like this! Have either of you idiotic buffoons considered using your words?!” she snapped, in a tone that would make Marie Lacerta very proud.

The guards didn’t seem to appreciate her choice of words, though, exchanging stormy looks, until one of them cleared his throat and stepped up.


”Miss…” he began, rather hesitantly. “We need to ask you to come with us. You were…” his partner was giving him a withering look, which made him stumble over his words. “You were in a restricted area several nights ago. That needs to be discussed.”

Viv relaxed a little, though she still eyed the guards carefully. That? That was just a silly misunderstanding. Still, she kept channeling her mother for her reply. “See? Was that really so hard?” she asked, arching an eyebrow. “Of course I’ll come along, clear this up- no!” she jerked away from the grumpier guard. “Stop trying to touch me, I can walk by myself!”

Grumpy guard didn’t seem happy about it, but he let her walk between them. Viv’s stomach was in knots, but she kept her face blank. It was just a misunderstanding. She’d explain honestly what happened – it was just a dare, taken to impress a cute girl, come on – and then they’d let her go. She’d make her date and everything would be just fine.

As they walked though, she caught sight of the girl, her girl, looking small and pale and nervous, and, in hindsight, seeing her escorted by two guards might be a bit worrying. She gave her a friendly smile and a wink, lifting her head a little higher, showing that everything was okay. The effect was ruined a little when she had to smack the grump’s hand away from her, and when she got out of this, she was going to find him and crush his hand beneath her heels…at least he didn’t try anything, only acerbically waving her forward when they reached a room.

With a delicate sniff, she stepped forward, and nearly toppled over the edge of a thick, plush carpet. She stumbled back, but instead of door or guard, her back met with wall. Now a bit panicked, she took in the situation. There was Val, a sloth they’d considered contracting for Mal. And Myut – her father didn’t like him, complaining about his unpredictable tastes. Off to the side, a demon her mother had pointed out at some point, together with a very large demon she’d never seen before before.

And behind her, when she turned…just wall, and no door to be found.


”What…” Her voice trembled a bit and she paused, doing her best to get it under control, show no fear.”What the hell is going on?”

Her hand went to her wrist, where she was wearing the ring she’d been given on a chain. If she missed their date, she could use that as an excuse to talk to her again and explain. It would be okay.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Valramir Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Amos Character Portrait: Abadeer Tyrano Character Portrait: Eris Leblanc
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#, as written by slcam
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【How did this go from a dream to a nightmare...】
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【The Gala (Yes, all of it) → The Secret Time Out Room】
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【#CD5c5c】
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To say Bezabelle was having the time of her life would be an understatement. After all, this was not just another party. It was the Prince's yearly gala, and arguably the event with the most rampant overindulgence possible. With great power came many perks, and this was a strong example of that. It was well worth the strings Bez had to pull to be here. She had her most flashy formal outfits with her. From cocktail dresses to full out formal wear, she was using the event to display her very best.

Since she was staying at the gala all four days, Bezzie had been talking full advantage of every available indulgence, not to mention taking full advantage of the other demons at the party. She encouraged and participated in overindulgence at every turn. Unlike many demons, she felt little need to stick to a certain social circle. Bez simply joined whatever activity caught her attention. She found that as long as she acted as though she belonged, most warmed to her presence quickly enough. She moved from room to room as whim dictated, sometimes with enough frequency that others commented that Bezabelle seemed to be everywhere at once.

She was pleased to realize that she was spending nearly as much time with acquaintances and friends as with strangers. In the political games of Hell, it mattered who you knew, and even more, how much they were willing to do for you; and Bezabelle knew many, many demons, at least on some level. This also meant that she had plenty of demons to spend time with in all sorts of enjoyable pastimes. She spent each day moving nonstop, making sure that she took part in everything. Her nights stretched later, her mornings getting progressively shorter as the gala progressed. She had a lot to sleep off, after all.

Bez made sure to dedicate time to those at the gala she was closest with as well. With Ino, that meant giving him a push toward what was sure to be delightful drama. With Val, simply enjoying what the banquets and bars had to offer, though there were other delightful pleasures as well. With Myut, a trade of information and favors as well as some quality time. Her most surprising meeting was with Viv, a being she had only met on earth and had assumed was human. Bez thoroughly enjoyed progressing her relationship with the adorably shy, evasive demon. With Eris, she brought the small wrath demon a gift, then helped to start a verbal argument that she knew Eris would get a kick out of. And with Cyr on the fourth morning, a deep conversation aided by far too much alcohol.

She swayed off, unsteady and happily tipsy, from the great hall, leaving Cyr with the promise of snacks when she returned. Her first distraction was an invitation from someone she had met the day before, as she asked Bez to join for a few rounds of a card game. A while later, a smile on her face, Bez moved on toward food. She was interrupted again by the sight of a familiar sloth demon. He'd been very unhappily spending time with a shrill envy woman a couple days before. They seemed to be a long term couple. When the man slipped away, having had more than enough of the bickering, Bez had taken the opportunity to speak with him; and even more enjoyable, to show him the sort of affection he'd been missing. She hadn't seen the envy demon since, but now on the last day of the gala, the sloth demon approached her with thanks. He really was oddly sweet, for a demon. She answered with a kiss on his cheek and an,
"Of course! And I'm sure there will be a time in the future when I'll need a favor, too." She found herself glad that she had chosen to wear her slinkiest, shiniest outfit that day. The sloth demon could not keep his eyes off of her, and she loved feeling like a temptation.

Finally, having gotten a nice abundance of food to share with the poor, very sloshed Cyr, Bez moved back toward the great hall. Though she'd left him half-comatose with his head already resting on the table, he was nowhere to be found by the time she returned. Bez figured he must have gotten tired of waiting in such an uncomfortable position.
Oh well. She scanned the great hall, but saw no one she was especially familiar with. And the Prince was still there, with his group of followers. Bez moved on. To her surprise, there was still no one she was especially familiar with. She settled in with a group that looked potentially hungry and shared in food and gossip.

After breakfast, including a bit more to drink, Bez wandered a bit, finding herself back in the main hall. It was where most of the activities started, before demons drifted off to other activities in other parts of the palace. Bez was also hoping that Cyr would possibly show up again. She couldn't figure out why his leaving bothered her, but it did. In the end, it was likely her fault anyway for getting distracted on her snack run.

Bez found herself near the back corner of the room. She joined a group of demons where a loud discussion was quickly turning into full on drama. Of course, she couldn't resist making well-timed comments that only exacerbated the issue at hand. She simply couldn't resist playing Devil's advocate.

"Beeeezzzyyyyyyy."

Bez turned to see Val near the entrance. He looked excited. Before he could make much headway into the room, guards entered as well. They spotted someone, hurrying into the great hall. Bez went cold as the guards zeroed in on Val, grabbing him and pulling him away. She took a couple steps forward, but… what could she do? What was happening? If she even tried to stop it…. Hesitation froze her in place. Bezabelle did nothing, and Val was gone. What?

She felt a chill go through her as her mind raced through the possibilities. It wasn’t unheard of for demons to go missing, especially if they had caught the ire of a powerful demon. Sometimes it wasn’t necessarily that. There could be no known reason at all. But surely, that wouldn’t happen to Val, would it? It had to be something small. Maybe even a misunderstanding. She would just see him later on and get the hilarious details, right? But something felt off.

Bezabelle began looking on a hunch, pacing from room to room. She put on a smile for any who called out to her, but otherwise ignored a myriad of temptations. It was out of character, and normally would have driven her nuts, but for now she did not care. She had no idea what exactly she was looking for. Just a very familiar face, someone who was more than an acquaintance, to make sure she was overreacting?

Then she saw Viv. Being escorted. By palace guards.

She stopped in her tracks.

No. Nonono. Not good.

Was this really just a coincidence? Could two people from her immediate social circle just happen to get taken away by guards?

She no longer thought so.

Though Viv gave a small wave and flashed a confident expression, Bez only turned pale. As soon as she was out of sight, Bez left in the opposite direction, now near frantic. There were at least a handful of people that she desperately wanted to find. Perhaps just for reassurance, or maybe to warn them that something was happening. But now, she could find none of them. Not Cyr, nor Ino, nor Myut. Finally, she did find Eris. But only because a crowd was gathering. Eris was being taken away by guards, fighting with everything she had. Why? Her sloth demon was nowhere in sight. Bez could smell smoke, now, just a faint whiff in the air. No, this was too much. Three demons had been taken away by the guards. Three of her friends. There was no way that everyone she was close to at the party was disappearing by coincidence.

Whether the guards would come after her next or not, Bezabelle had a horrible feeling about the situation. Something was very wrong. It would do her no good to stick around. The rooms near the palace entrance were surprisingly crowded. Bez started feeling like she was in a dream where she couldn't run, couldn't get any closer to her goal. She was getting dizzy, and realized she was only breathing in short pants.Then everyone started turning to look at her. This had to be a nightmare. She had to wake up. But now there was a demon man in front of her, barring her way, stopping her progress with a single strong hand on her shoulder.

"I think you'd better stop. They're looking for you, aren't they."

Bez swallowed hard and looked behind her. Despite the distraction Eris had caused, guards were in the room now, shouting that Bezabelle should stop, and gaining now that she had been stopped. She tried to put all the authority she could muster into her tone, but it came out strained and frightened.

"No, no. You don't understand. I just want to leave!" More hands were on her now, pulling her back. The guards! Her pleading turned to shrieks. "No, let me go. Just let go. Please! I'll leave."

"Ms. Bezabelle, it will be much better for you if you just cooperate."

They already had her to the next room. Curious faces watched the spectacle, but none moved to help her. She slipped into using her abilities, and her voice and manner morphed to that of a little girl as she started pleading again.

"Help me! They aren't really guards. Please help!" Bez sobbed in the voice of a child.

There was a demon who took a hesitant step forward, indecisive until a guard stared her down. She backed off, but Bezabelle didn't give up her attempts or her futile resistance. She used her abilities to the fullest, trying to persuade someone, anyone, to step in and help her.

Finally, the guard on her right decided she was causing enough ruckus.
"Shut up. You're just making more trouble for yourself." He clapped a hand over her mouth, cutting off the pleading. Instinctually, she bit his hand before her brain caught up to say that was not a wise idea.

She just caught the movement of his hand rearing back before a blow landed, then a second. A flash of intense pain sent stars spinning behind her eyes, making her knees weak.
"Enough. She's not to be harmed." A gag was forced between her teeth, though she was stunned enough that more yelling was far from her thoughts.

She was still too dazed to keep her feet on her own when she was suddenly thrust forward. She found herself on the floor. But she wasn't alone. Familiar faces looked back at her. Her brain wasn't catching up. They were here. They were all here.

What the hell was happening?

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Valramir Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Eris Leblanc
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【"Beautiful people are good for the imagination, bad for the heart."】
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【Cyr's Room→Armchair】
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【#5A8D88】
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Cyr held onto the sachet the little demon had shoved in his face, sucking on the corner of it, feeling confused. He did feel better now, but he could also feel the heavy aura of lust emanating from the little demon. He remembered talking to Bez...and now he was here. If this demon had led him back to wherever this was, maybe it wasn’t the best to just accept whatever he gave him. It had cleared his mind, though. So he just shot the other a wary look as he eased himself off the bed, doing up another button on his now rumpled shirt. He tossed the damp little bag onto the nightstand by the bed, not caring that it would probably stain the surface. It wasn’t his nightstand, after all.

Just then, he heard a commotion from outside. Quickly, he strode to the door...well, it was supposed to be a door--the hinges were there but the door itself was missing. Outside, there was a crumpled figure on the floor. Valamir? What was he doing on the floor here? The little demon came up behind him, and he put a cautious arm out to prevent him from going out into the main room, watching the blank wall as it gave way to a door again, propelling yet another demon inside before vanishing again. Said demon took a few unsteady steps and then immediately tripped over Val, going down as well.

Cyr couldn’t help but stare. How had he never seen this demon before? His face, in profile, looking down at the sloth still sprawled across the floor, was strong, a firm jaw, juxtaposed the soft white almost-curls at the back of his neck. This demon (probably envy or pride, judging by how much he glittered when he moved) was neatly somewhere between pretty and handsome.

Before Cyr could make a decision, whether to continue to hide, or to gather up his courage to talk to him, the other demon had frozen, Val half suspended between his hand and the floor, and then darted away suddenly. Cyr looked around, poking his head out into the hall to see the demon dart into the room two-down from his. Cyr’s eyes swept the room again. Was there someone else there that had caused this demon to bolt? Val was still languidly flopped over on the floor, and Cyr couldn’t tell whether being unceremoniously dropped had bothered him much at all.

Cyr quickly withdrew his head when the other demon reappeared, wearing slightly less. Without the overcoat, the lines of his figure were more apparent. Cyr unconsciously let go of Ino, holding on to the door frame instead. This demon was fit. the deep V of his shirt showed off his defined collarbones and the faint darkness to imply the definition of his pecs. And he easily lifted the sloth demon up into his arms. Cyr couldn't help but stare at his ass. It wasn't his fault, it, along with his thighs down to his knees, were covered in a grey dust, highlighted like the favorite line in a book. Cyr was busy watching him cross the room when the door opened again, producing yet another demon.

This young woman was rather tall, her flowing blue dress framing the firm lines of her biceps, and as she stumbled and turned, a creamy flash of a defined thigh.

He was going to meet his death here, wasn’t he?

His eyes flicked back to the two white-haired demons, who were now partially on the couch that faced the large fireplace. He could hear Val’s familiar lazy drawl, and the low, strong voice of the stranger. As the other demon straightened, running fingers through his fluffy hair, Cyr heard the door fling open again, narrowly missing the elegant woman, who was standing uncertainty just to the far side. Her exact opposite flew through, landing hard and sliding several feet on the carpeted floor. The girl popped right up and stumbled unsteadily towards the couch. Cyr glanced down at the little demon he’d woken up under, wondering if this was all a hallucination. Maybe he was still drunk? Or this demon had given him some kind of crazy human drug.

Before he could say anything, another demon fell forward into the room. Bez! She looked dazed as the door disappeared behind her. Before Cyr could take two steps towards her, however, the tall woman darted forward and knelt beside her, casting a sharp warning glare up at Cyr.

Okay. He was going to let her make sure that Bez was alright, then. No need to make a bad first impression. He held his hands up, offering a disarming smile before turning towards where the other demons were congregating on the other side of the room. He could feel the little demon following him like a shadow, but when he glanced back to make sure he was alright, he only saw the other’s back as he darted into the room next to his with a hasty murmur.

Perhaps he should see what was going on with the two white haired demons and the small one whom he could no longer see past the couch.Val was a sleepy sort, but he seemed to usually know what was going on. He could hear the small girl’s voice as he approached, something about being attacked.

But really, despite the strangeness of the situation, he couldn’t help himself. Perhaps he hadn’t entirely returned to sobriety, though he could still taste the flowers in his mouth from that strange brew the small demon had made for him. He lightly laid a hand on the tall white-haired demon’s shoulder, close to the joining of his neck (his traps really were quite firm) with his thumb aligned against the soft indent between sections of his spine. “
You’ve got dust all over the seat of your pants,” he murmured by his ear, before letting him go, brushing by him to sit down in one of the armchairs, cocking one leg up on the arm comfortably, though his heart was pounding wildly. The little girl growled at him as he passed, but he hardly looked at her.

He studied Val for a moment before his eyes flicked back to the stranger. For all of Val’s lanky, heavy-lidded prettiness, this other demon was the opposite. Val was easy to flirt with. Bez was too. Fun and playful back-and-forths. But here, he could feel a tinge of nervousness gnawing at his mind. It wasn’t fair that when he wanted most to be liked, this shyness had to burble up and ruin his confidence. He looked back to Val.

Do any of you know what’s going on?” he asked, glancing between them, earning another glare from the little one. “Or how long we’re going to be stuck in this time-out corner?

There wasn’t really another explanation for it. The guards gathering up a bunch of demons, shoving them unceremoniously into a room together. Someone, or all of them, were in trouble for some reason. The only trouble was, Cyr couldn’t remember exactly what he’d done wrong. But if they were going to be here for a while, he didn't see why he couldn't get comfortable. Though his parents would certainly lose their minds in the morning when he didn't return. Not that he cared much. Bez had made a good point--one of the last things he remembered from earlier today--that he should enjoy the time he had left to himself.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Valramir Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Eris Leblanc
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【"So, this is cozy. Who wants to play some icebreakers?"】
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【Cyr’s Room → Bez’s side → The gathering】
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Ino trailed after the unknown demon, all the way until the other barred the door with his arm. Ino could have easily ducked under, but he chose to stay, holding onto his arm lightly and popping up on his toes, leaning forward the slightest bit.

He watched with interest as more people were added to the room. Valramir had appeared at some point, seeming content to just sprawl on the ground where he’d fallen. In moments, though, he was joined by another, a tall, handsome demon who promptly tripped over the sloth, tried to help him up, dropped him, and ran off. Ino giggled, just a bit, leaning forward to see better.

This was a bad idea, as when the handsome demon re-emerged, his tall companion moved his arm, causing Ino to stumble on his heels. Curiously, the envy looked up, and oh, he knew that face. His companion was smitten already.

Apparently, he had a type.

Shame.

Ino looked back into the room in time to see a familiar woman stumble in. If Marie was here, things were definitely interesting. But when she spoke, the voice was all wrong, and he blinked, trying to reorient himself. Marie had married, and she had two children. Then this must be Vivian. And a quick glance up at the tall demon when he felt some tension confirmed that he liked her too. Interesting…

The next entrant flew in, and Ino started, especially when she seemed to absorb the impact, popping up to dart back to the wall, wobbling a bit both then and when she went to join Val and the other demon on the couch. Before he could say anything to the big demon about wanting to get medicine, though, the door opened once more, and Bezabelle fell into the room.

She looked awful, dazed and scuffed, as though she’d been in a fight. As soon as the tall demon moved forward, Ino followed, turning as soon as he could to reenter his own room, going back to his main bag. He hadn’t brought too much with him, but luckily, headaches and hangovers went hand in hand. He took another of the dried flowers and a pinch of a beigey-yellow powder, holding them both in the palm of his hand as he approached Bez.

The black-haired woman was helping Bez up, murmuring gently to her, but her blue eyes sharpened into a cold glare when he approached.


”Vivian,” he said casually, looking into her eyes. She was the spitting image of her mother, except for that blue,”you look just like your mother. I want to help Bez. See?” he extended his hand, flat, showing them both the dried flower and the little bit of powder, rolling the flower in it before offering his hand to Bez again.

Bez composed herself, though she was leaning a bit on the other woman.
"Ino! I didn't see them take you. What happened? What is that?" She reached out to take the bud with no hesitation, and though Vivian still looked wary, she didn’t protest.

”Flower for clarity of thought, and headache cure. You were looking a bit dazed. Just chew on it.” Ino instructed, looking over her sympathetically. Her gorgeous dress was wrecked, but it didn’t look irreparable to him…

”It wasn’t anywhere near as dramatic,” he continued, realizing she’d asked something else. ”The guards told me the Prince had prepared a special room and I…didn’t question it.” he paused a bit before the admission, swallowing, his eyes shifting to the side. He hadn’t questioned it at all, really. He’d wanted to think it was something good so badly…

He didn’t look back at Bez, though she was looking at him sympathetically. He didn’t want to think about it – not here, not now, not ever, really, but especially not in front of all these demons.


”We should get going,” he said suddenly, tilting his head over towards the gathering on the couch. ”Let’s see if anyone knows anything.”

Ino turned, but headed into his room first, picking up another flower, applying powders for headache and nausea onto it before heading over to the group. He paused by the short demon, offering her the flower flat on his palm. ”Here,” he said softly. ”This’ll help your headache. You had a bit of a rough landing.”

The short demon just glared at him, however, and after a few moments, Ino backed away, taking the hint gracefully. He gave Val a little shrug, then turned again, scanning the available seats. He decided to rejoin his tall friend, hopping up easily to sit on the back of the chair, his legs swinging off to the side.

”I have no idea,” his voice was blunt and frank. ”I was led in here, big guy was the only other one here there. The rooms have a toilet and a sink in them. The door over there was locked when I tried. Anyone want this?” again he offered the flower ”Clear thoughts and helps headache and nausea, if anyone’s having issues. Oh, and my name's Ino. Let's all get to know each other~” he grinned, his cheery tone and his deadpan expression clashing to let everyone know how he felt.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Valramir Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Eris Leblanc
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【Is this a following? I have a following. ~】
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【Main room】
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【#4169E1】
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One after another, demons were being thrust into the hidden room. What was this really? Something didn't smell right. He knew every single demon in this room. Well, not all of them well, but he and knew them, and a couple of them were very good friends of his. This couldn't be about the guards; why would all these other demons be here if it were just that? He hadn't interacted With Eris, or Ino, Viv, Cyr, and Bez, that night. It wasn't lost on him that each of them were a different sin. What did the prince want from all of them? And if this wasn't about the guards he'd mess with, why the hell was even here? He was a sloth demon and wouldn't be too inclined to do any sort of work if that was on the prince's mind. How long would they all be trapped here?

When demons stopped falling out of the wall like goffers in the ground, Valramir casually began to inspect everyone here, calculating their interactions. Only Bez and Eris knew that beneath his slothy displays, Valramir was calculating and plotting, and he wasn't going to share any insight. Well maybe with Bez and Eris if it seemed there was some fun to be had. He did love stirring up trouble with the two of them and Eris was fun to stir up and then relax. Oh, he hadn't told them yet about what he'd been up to with the guards! he'd been snatched up before he could! He should probably keep it to himself though, considering the others in the room and the strange situation they were in. And he was getting distracted. Valramir looked to Ino then.

The demon looked sexy and dolled up, for what he had no clue. He was following Cyr who he hadn't interact much with beyond trading some bits and bobbles like the cross. Damn he looked good too. Cyr was too busy watching Myut and then Eris to really notice Ino glued to him like a puppy. Ino was also passing around a concoction of his trying to be friendly. Or was he trying to get close and maybe get info and politic with the demons here? Viv seemed far more interested in Bezzy which was certainly a very new interaction. Since when was Bezzy lovey lovey with Viv? They must have met somewhere at the gala and started a fun little relationship. He was going to have to ask her for some juicy details.

Eris was Eris. He wondered what trouble she'd gotten up to without her slothy who he had despised as well. Sloths weren't exactly competitive but Valramir had a 'I'm better than you' complex and didn't get along well with most other sloths. Besides, that particular one had a mouth on him. He was kind of glad he wasn't tossed in here as well. He was sure Eris would have ripped his entrails out at one point. And then there was Myut, the other white haired demon he'd just spoken too not too long ago. He couldn't help the little pout that stole across his lips. He thought Myut was handsome and flirty. He was a little upset Myut had forgotten his name and was now sort of keeping him arms length apart. He had been plenty interested earlier, though looking back it had probably been the necklace all along. Still, what was wrong with a little extra fun on the side? Oh well. Maybe eventually he'd warm up some more.

Valramir blinked a couple of times as he took stock in the fact that suddenly, everyone in the room had gravitated towards him on the couch. He hadn't extended his aura to everyone and had a small circle of it around himself since he hadn't been trying to influence anyone. He couldn't help a light chuckle from escaping as he smiled. It wasn't often he was the center of attention. He kind of liked this. He felt like a lordling with all his pretty pets around him. Valramir might not have done it otherwise, but everyone was a bit anxious. He could practically feel the tension, a snake coiled to strike. If everyone remained high strung, they'd end up in some sort of fight. It would be best if they all remained calm. So, Valramir extended his power to blanket everyone like a soothing balm of tranquility. Especially towards Eris who was the most volatile of the group. He didn't make any attempts to hide it or be subtle this time. He was sure most would welcome the numbing.


And Ino was trying to get everyone to introduce themselves. It couldn't hurt, though he already knew them all. "Y'all know me already. I am Valramir Thazgan. You can call me Val. Demon of Sloth obviously. And to answer everyone's question, I have no clue why we are all here. Considering the bedrooms, suffice it to stay we'll be here for a while. I did note there are no doors to the rooms. Which means no privacy."he grinned. That was the other curious thing. He didn't much care. He had nothing to hide; but what did the prince want? If he wanted favors, why would there be no doors? Why would they all be crammed in here like sardines?

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Valramir Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Eris Leblanc
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#, as written by Skwidge
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【”This is utter chaos. Wait, what do you mean no privacy??”】
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【The Couch】
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【#97A33C】
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As Myut was just finishing his gentle query aimed at Valramir, there was some more chaos back at the ‘doorway’. The greed demon’s head shot back to see what was happening, and he turned just in time to see a black-haired beauty stumbling back against the wall. The fact that this door was disappearing was actually very unsettling, now that Meu actually stopped to really think about it. He hadn’t seen anything like it before, or at least not applied in this manner, but he figured it had to be some sort of variant in spatial manipulation. How someone could so fluidly and quickly change the wall was impressive and no doubt that someone would have to be Abadeer since this was his domain.

Mew didn’t get the time to ponder it for too long, because some feral little fireball was suddenly tossed in as well, sent screeching across the carpet a little ways. She was panting like some wild animal, eyes dazed and unfocused and her movements uncoordinated. Myut cocked an uncomfortable eyebrow, and to his dismay, she was suddenly honed in on his location and scrabbling over like a dog on a scent trail. Thank goodness she was going for Valramir, much to Myut’s relief.

However, as she passed by Myut’s taller form she angled her head way back to look up at him and gave him a nasty little glare. What had he done wrong? He squinted ever so slightly with a gentle frown, but didn’t say or react otherwise, not really wanting to have to engage with her; suffice it to say it was a response to the hostile glare and definitely not because that was his reaction to his first impression of her. Rabid little thing. No doubt a wrath.

The absolutely miniscule little demon ignored him as she let herself fall to the floor in a little heap at Valramir’s feet next to the couch. She was giving off more and more mangey hound essence the longer he watched her. Meu quickly averted his eyes and shifted over a bit, wanting to give the little demon plenty of space so as not to offend her further lest he become the immediate target of her ire. He did not spare her another glance and tuned out of the little conversation she was having with Valramir, whom she seemed to know quite well.

Luckily, in a sense, another commotion at the door filled his focus. How many people were going to come through there? Gods, he hoped not any more. But the demon who came next through the entryway to fall roughly on her knees was none other than Bez. A startled look filled Myut’s face as he took in her roughened appearance. Bound and gagged, pretty little dress in tatters, neat hair all messed up, and were those the formings of a bruise or two on her face?

Anger filled the demon’s veins with this realization, and he made to take a step forward to shield his small friend and aid her in her time of need but was stopped in the next instance as he took in the look of the black-haired woman from before. She had already swooped in and knelt carefully beside Bezabelle to undo her gags, and the icy glare she was sporting was not very inviting. She made it very clear that she had Bez and would fight tooth and nail if anyone got too close, and Myut wasn’t trying to start any fights, especially at the expense of a poor Bez in the room. While he was sure that normally she would be utterly delighted, the serious situation they were in didn’t really pave the way for such a response.

At the same time, another short male demon appeared from somewhere – not through the front door this time – and did manage to wiggle his way through the blue-eyed female’s built-up walls, bending to offer Bez something. Meu couldn’t hear or determine what that was, but Bez seemed excited to see the unfamiliar form, and if Bez wasn’t in any immediate danger, Myut knew she could easily handle herself. From the corner of his eye he vaguely registered another large figure emerging from that same first room on the left. When had he and the medicine demon gotten there? Admittedly, Myut hadn’t really given a good look at the tallest, since from what Myut could tell from that scant initial glance was that the other person’s body language wasn’t aggressive and that was all that mattered to him. Myut turned back to look at Valramir who made a noise as he adjusted himself on the couch and responded to the small angry one.

Taking his eyes off that last demon proved to be an error; Meu had been expecting the larger individual to also congregate simply over to the little gathering of furniture and people. However, it seemed the other had a stop to make first. Distracted with Valrien and his little shark-toothed friend, Myut did not register this demon suddenly approaching from behind and entering his space.

Mew didn’t even realize he was there until after he had touched him. At the sudden gentle pressure on his back, Myut startled by promptly straightening his slouched posture. He tried to turn his head to see what was going on, but before he could get anywhere, he was frozen in his tracks when, without missing a beat, the stranger murmured softly at his ear, warm breath sending a sharp shudder down his spine. The other demon smelled of wine and whiskey and a soft floral scent Myut couldn’t place. He almost totally missed the actual words that were spoken, so caught off-guard by the unexpected presence. The processing happened a few milliseconds later when Myut realized the other had been commenting on the dust still left on the seat of his pants and down. But with the larger demon pressing against him so suddenly to move by, Myut seemed to already forget again what they were just talking about.

His eyes immediately affixed themselves to the form that passed by, curious to see just who it was that had been so terribly near. He was met with quite the pleasant sight. Well, from what he could see from the back. Very tall, muscular, and with a darker skin tone. Very well built. His shirt was pretty rumpled and overall he looked a little disarranged, but it wasn’t necessarily a bad look. It was clear he had been enjoying the alcohol that had been flowing for the past four days, and who could blame him? The man settled into one of the empty armchairs, propping one leg up on the armrest, already looking elsewhere.

Myut blinked a few times, then suddenly remembered what the other had said. Taking a short moment to pat himself down to disturb any really apparent dust still lingering on his trousers, Myut cleared his throat quietly, taking a full seat on the arm of the couch and looking back to see how Bez was faring. It seemed that she had gotten back up to her feet, and she and her femme partner were speaking to each other in low tones. With the reappearance of the demon with a purple streak in his jet-black hair from the middle room, Meu quickly slid his orbs over to watch as he too approached the quickly growing group on the furniture.

This little demon was petite, and very pretty. His frame was small, but there was no mistaking the confidence in his steps and in the way he held himself. He knew he was gorgeous, and in that fetching and gentry way most nobles presented themselves, he was very eye-catching. Myut could certainly appreciate that, especially since the other also seemed to have so carefully chosen his attire and was looking particularly sharp. His appearance compared very differently to the large demon currently sitting on the armchair, which purple-streak clambered elegantly atop to take his perch. Meu’s gaze returned below to get a better impression of the largest demon in the room, this time at a better angle. He deeply appreciated what he saw from the front too. Luckily, the other was looking elsewhere while Myut gave him a momentary appraisal.

This demon’s hair was a bit messy as of now and he still looked a little hungover, but his locks were black as the night and contrasted nicely with his olive skin. He was so well built and everything about him was wickedly attractive. Despite wanting to look for a little longer, Myut detached his gaze and glanced off to the side where some new movement caught his eye. Bez and her companion were walking over hand in hand, and Meu couldn’t help but notice the matching set of rings that adorned each’s hand. He was glad to see that Bez seemed to be doing much better.

Purple-streak was speaking then, informing the group of the little exploration he had done and offering his medicinal materials to help lessen any headaches and settle some nerves. Myut was very tempted but didn’t feel comfortable taking a step forward in the midst of the social circle. The little demon finished by introducing himself with a cheery tone but contrasting expression, and Myut couldn’t help but grin, a small chuckle rumbling through his throat. That about summed up his mood as well – sarcastic and displeased. The encouragement from Ino to introduce themselves wasn’t entirely unwelcome, and Myut didn’t mind so much as to give his name but being stuck so closely with these people was not a very attractive prospect to him. It made him uncomfortable. Especially the little brown-haired one.

Once Ino finished, Valramir then spoke up, doing little to ease their suspicions as he had no answers about this strange situation either. As to the unease they all felt, however, Val did quite a good job by using his slothenly powers to give them all a soothed mind. It was much appreciated, as Myut was steadily feeling more and more cornered and cooped up with so many other demons so close to him, all seeking to interact actively with each other. This was pretty new for him, and Mew didn’t know a single person here besides Bez; he had only briefly and vaguely met Valramir just last night, and he certainly didn’t know anything about the sloth demon besides the fact that he was a sloth demon.

Val officially introduced himself to everyone and then shared his own insights on the situation; he had a good point about the bedrooms indicating time, which did not bode well for them. When Valramir addressed the lack of doors and any privacy practically whatsoever, Myut blanched. That was far, far, far from ideal. Myut hadn’t ever really liked extended company, save for maybe Bez on the rare occasion. And who knew how many days they might be trapped here. An evening was fine, but any more than that…. The fact he wouldn’t really have anywhere to go to hide away had him antsy despite the pressure of Sloth. He was less inclined toward introductions now, just wanting to board himself up as best he could in his room, but it would be good to at least know the names of the people he was stuck here with, he supposed.

Perhaps the only reason he really remained was because there was nowhere else to go. He certainly wasn’t enjoying the aggressive atmospheres coming from the tiny demon and Bez’s lady friend. Overall Myut just felt uncomfortable and didn’t particularly want to attract everyone’s attention to himself all at once with an introduction. He’d need to get it over with sooner or later though, so the faster the better. With a gentle cough to let others know he was going next, Myut spoke up.

”First name’s Myut, last name none of you would have heard of anyway, so I won’t bother sharing it,” He shrugged lightly before looking up at the portrait staring down at all of them.

”I think we can safely say we’ve done something to get on the Prince’s bad side.”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Valramir Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Eris Leblanc
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【"Why are there so many goddamn tall demons here???"】
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【Val's side】
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【#aa5f77】
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Eris laid her head against the cushion with a deep frown, ignoring the commotion coming from the front of the room. Beyond the gentle muddle of the sloth demon's aura, she could feel her own exhaustion creeping in. After so many nights of aggressive luxury, hardly sleeping, playing too hard, her energy was starting to grate the rind. She hated being in a new place, around a bunch of strangers. They were all fish in a barrel here. No where to run if things got hairy. It was awful and she hated it. Val was the only one here she could trust, and that didn't necessarily mean he'd do anything productive if worst came to worst with all these other characters. If anything, she'd have to go out of her way to save his ass.

And then another tall demon joined them, brushing past the white haired one like they knew each other. Of course. All those tall dumb boy types knew each other, didn't they. Annoying. She growled at the dark haired one as he strolled past as if he owned the place. He might be over a head taller than her, and far more muscular, but she could certainly still take him in a fight if she had to. He wouldn't even see her coming. The dark haired on made an airy comment, and Eris shifted her gaze in time to see a much smaller demon with a purple streak in his hair holding a flower at her. Her eyes narrowed. What sort of shitty poison was that?

The purple demon seemed to realize his mistake, because he backed off, perching like an oversized bird on the back of the tall demon's armchair. Yeah, that was right. He was soft and small. He knew he wouldn't stand a chance with those gentle, decorated hands and big mouth. She scowled. 'Let's all get to know each other?' What a waste of breath. None of the others seemed to agree, though, Val was the first to speak up. She twisted around to look up at him again. No...doors? That was a recipe for disaster.

She felt Val's heightened aura wash over her like a cool waterfall, but she shook her head. She didn't need her mind muffled right now. She needed to think about how she was going to deal with this little jail-cell of a room. Her eyes swept the room, and she startled slightly to notice two more figures. A tall woman and...Bezabelle? What was Bez doing here? And her dress was so tattered up--those nasty guards had probably roughed her up too.

She scoffed at the white haired demon's statement. Myut was his name. "
I don't think it's just a punishment," she growled. "He's a pride demon," she spat, "isn't this how they get their kicks. He just wants to see us go nuts all cooped up together, doesn't he." She shifted, still watching Bez and the much taller woman beside her. She couldn't tell whether she liked that other demon or not. On the one hand, Bez seemed to like her. On the other...she was a stranger. And she looked far too posh to be anyone tolerable. And anyway, while Bez seemed to take company with anyone interesting, Eris was not so patient. She had standards.

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Eris." She added after a long beat. She didn't have anything to hide on that front, but her name, like always, was an afterthought.

She couldn't believe they'd hurt Bez. Sure they'd gotten up to some mischief together, but how could anyone have traced that back to her? Eris knew she'd put a target on her own back...but what if she'd ignited ire against one of her very few friends as well? That just wouldn't do. The guards would suffer for abusing her! But what could they do? She didn't trust this group of demons enough to make plans with them. Certainly, though, it would be easy enough to just rush the guards next time they tried to step through the door. But not if there was a traitor among them.

Eris was loath to play a circus animal in whatever sick game this was, but she hated the thought of playing into some stupid turncoat game even more. Something was off, and she needed to be careful until she figured out what exactly it was. She'd done things before, maiming, property destruction, ect, but she'd never elicited such a response. Not even a warning! Or a request to leave the premises. How rude was that? Absurd. Truly. These people had no class, locking the lot of them up in here.

But maybe...maybe it would be better to plan later. Bez'd have good advice. She always did. And they could break out on their own and leave these other schmucks to whatever carnival the Prince decided to host. Maybe they'd take Val with them. Though Eris was pretty sure he'd enjoy watching the chaos unfold. He usually seemed to enjoy his voyeurism of catastrophe.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Valramir Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Eris Leblanc
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【”Is it selfish to say I’m glad you’re here?”】
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【Bez’s side → The group】
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【#009874】
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Viv was mostly just glad that whoever opened the door after her didn’t open it in the same place as last time, or she’d have had a petite girl thrown right into her. She was utterly adorable, small and bright in her outfit, but Viv didn’t examine her long before someone new was brought in.

It took two seconds to recognize her, and then she panicked.

Viv hurried over to Bez, helping her up, glaring at the tallest demon who approached while her hands fluttered.


”Bez! What happened to you?”

As she spoke, Bez seemed to steady, reaching back to untie the knot and free her mouth. “I'm okay, I'm okay. I just... I panicked and fought back. I should have known better." she said, and Viv looked at her sympathetically. Her dress was torn up and scuffed, and she certainly looked like she’d been in a fight. She was reaching out to cup her cheek when another demon approached them.

Viv found herself glaring again, but she was pretty surprised when he addressed her directly.
”Vivian…you look just like your mother. I want to help Bez. See?”

He had a dried flower bud in his palm, which he rolled in a pale powder. Viv eyed that suspiciously too, but Bezabelle didn’t seem to have a problem with it. In fact, she seemed to know him.

"Ino! I didn't see them take you. What happened? What is that?" Bezzie asked, already reaching out to take it.

Viv decided to just keep close and keep watch as the other instructed. If he could help Bezzie, it would be great, and if this was a trick, she could almost certainly throw him across the room.

Unaware of her thoughts, the male demon was speaking.


”–near as dramatic. The guards told me the Prince had prepared a special room and I…didn’t question it.”

Viv rolled her eyes at the fucking obvious line. Sure, the Prince just so happened to single out this one demon to shower with special treatment.

When he said they should go, though, she nodded a bit, because that, at least, was a good idea. While the short male veered off somewhere else, she took Bezabelle’s hand, leading her over gently, carefully sitting her into the other armchair. After a moment, she took a spot at the side, standing guard over her girlfriend.

She didn’t say anything for a while, just taking in the information the other demons were providing. It was nice to have an ID in the little black-haired demon – he was Ino Cense, and he’d been forced into competition with her mother by their parents. Her mother seemed to remember him fondly – well, as fondly as one could remember a childhood rival. ”We’d both been forced into it” she would say.

Vivian only spoke up after Eris introduced herself, after spouting a theory about the Prince’s pride demon status being why this was happening. As a pride, she had quite a bit to say about that.


”I disagree” her voice was strong but calm, the effect of the sloth demon’s powerful influence. ”I asked the guards – they said I was here because…ah…” suddenly, this was awkward. ”I was in a restricted area on like…the first night? Which was a misunderstanding. I’m sure we’ll be let out soon.” she paused for a moment. ”Ah…Vivian Lacerta. Call me Viv.” she lay her hand on Bez’s shoulder when she was done.

The small girl scowled though.

"Oh yeah, you don't look roughed up at all, so you'd think that. I bet you didn't get thrown or beat up, huh?” She pointed right at Bez. “That's what those guards think of us. They aren't letting us out of here."

Viv winced, because it was a very good point, and one she should have remembered herself. Fucking pride demon group pride thing… She squeezed Bez’s shoulder in apology for that.

”Point.” She said, keeping her voice steady, content to let the brief argument end there.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Valramir Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Abadeer Tyrano Character Portrait: Eris Leblanc
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#, as written by slcam
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【"I always put on a brave face when I was the most terrified, the most trapped and out of control."】

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【The Secret Time Out Room- Main sitting area-->Bez's room】

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【#CD5c5c】

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Bezabelle could not decide if it was more reassuring to see all their faces, or if she would have felt better in a room full of strangers. Then Vivian strode over, helping Bez to her feet. She was able to compose herself enough to remember that the gag was still stuffed in her mouth, secured with some scrap of cloth tied at the back of her head. She yanked it away, wincing as she pulled hair, and dropped it to the floor.

Viv asked after how she was and what had happened, and Bez answered with a quick,
"I'm okay, I'm okay. I just... I panicked and fought back. I should have known better."

Viv seemed so serious, so protective, that Bezzie couldn't help but feel better. At least emotionally. The more that the adrenaline and shock wore off, the more sore and bruised she felt from the struggling. The worst was her head.The guards had been rough on her, not tolerating her panic with any real kindness that she could recall.

Ino approached, some kind of powder and a flower in hand.

"Ino! I didn't see them take you. What happened? What is that?"

Bez was already reaching for it, taking it as soon as he offered without reservation. She mostly just wanted to make sure that she was supposed to eat it as is. When he indicated how to take it, as well as what it was for, she dumped the contents into her mouth, following the instruction. It seemed to coat her mouth in a way that was not exactly pleasant but not disgusting either. She would need a clear head, now, to figure things out. She thanked him, looking around the room again, and listened to his interaction with Viv.

Between Vivian’s concern and Ino’s remedy, she was able to compose herself. The panic was repressed to the lowest roar she could manage. As was typical when she felt out of her depth, or when she needed to be able to react in specific ways, she took on a persona, imitation of at least one being. Sometimes it was an imitation of several. It felt like wearing a thick coat, smothering her natural reactions in favor of what she had observed in someone else. She made sure not to imitate any of the six demons in the room. It would be odd if they realized their own mannerisms were being parroted right back at them. Though it was a small use of her abilities, she had been using them rather heavy-handedly in her attempts to escape the guard only moments earlier. Right now, it could only be a very temporary crutch until she got some solid rest. Though whether rest was likely was another question entirely.

At Ino's explanation and his careful words about the Prince, Bez could not help the flash of sympathy. She had heard the rumors, of course. The Prince choosing a new lover. The Prince discarding his new lover for another. And Ino’s disappearance during the same period. On his return, he'd mentioned a failed relationship, though never with whom. As with then, Bez said nothing about what she knew now. It was obvious Ino wasn't ready. She repressed the urge to ask if he wanted to eat. Or, better yet, drink. That could and should wait for later.

On Ino’s suggestion, she moved toward the others. She doubted anyone knew what was happening, but the discussion may still have some interesting information. On impulse, Bez reached for Viv’s hand. She noticed a familiar ring hanging off a bracelet on her wrist, and she smiled up at her.

“Thank you. For checking on me, that is.”

She watched Viv’s face for only a moment longer, then her attention was drawn to the conversation. Bez could only wonder how much of this would be more echoes of uncertainty from six mouths.

Vivian led her over to one of the two armchairs as they approached. Though Vivian seemed to want her to get comfortable, Bez perched lightly at the edge. Her demeanor had completely changed from the panicked girl thrown into the room only moments before. Now she appeared completely calm and collected, her lips quirked with a bit of good humor.

Cyr seemed uncertain, ill at ease for good reason though trying for calm. She'd seen that expression before, just this morning. Ino tried to offer herbs though no one else took him up on it. Bez was already appreciating his expertise, the pounding in her head receding. She chuckled at his sarcastic comment. It made it seem like they were just here to play some bizarre icebreaker game. Val, of course, looked at ease. Maybe even a little pleased with himself? She could feel his aura now, light enough to ease tension rather than muddle. Bez would have preferred to do without- it reminded her of the already growing weariness lurking under the surface of her powers- but she said nothing. Hopefully it would help the others. Myut assumed they all had gotten in some kind of trouble to get put here, and Bez wondered what he had done. He looked jittery, uncomfortable. Eris, on the other hand, blamed the Prince, though Bez had a good idea exactly what Eris may have done. As usual, it involved fire and fighting, and not necessarily in that order. Bez was surprised, though, when Viv admitted to having sneaked in somewhere she wasn't supposed to be. Eris objected, using Bez as an example, but Bezzie just gave her and Viv a small reassuring smile.

Bez reached up to grab Viv's hand as it rested on her shoulder, squeezing back. She considered a moment before responding, her tone light, but confident.
"Maybe we all managed to do something to get singled out, and maybe not." She gave Viv an apologetic glance as she continued, "But I think Eris is right. We're here because Someone wants to fuck with us." She gave a tight-lipped smile, then glanced meaningfully at the massive portrait staring down at the group. Then, she got up, wandering toward the rooms. There were seven, so one had to be hers. "Let's see if they bothered to bring my stuff," she laughed. Bez would rather not look like she felt.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Valramir Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Eris Leblanc
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【What a night to be out and about~】
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【Main Hall→His Room→Main Hall】
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【#5A8D88】
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The little purple demon crawled up onto the back of his chair, which didn’t really please Cyr, but he said nothing. An argument broke out between the little demon and the tall woman, but it quickly simmered into quietness. Bez hopped up, cheerfulness taut on her face, and wandered into her room. It was as if a bubble had burst, and the gravity that had gathered them all here suddenly set them loose. The tall woman, Vivian, trailed after her. The white haired one, Myut, also got up and returned to his room. Cyr’s eyes flicked back to him, watching him leave. Myut. An interesting name. The small purple demon, Ino, also climbed down from the back of the chair and returned to his room. The angry little demon, Eris, seemed content to stay put, however, shooting another glare his way.

Cyr sighed, leaning back in his chair now that someone else wasn’t occupying it. His eyes swept over the room. He was the only one who hadn’t said his name. Not that it bothered him much. Perhaps it would be fun to be a little mysterious.~ Cyr felt his mind begin to wander. Now was not the time, but he really couldn’t help himself. How would it go? Leaning against the wall, letting himself loom just a little over the other. Watching his throat bob prettily. The tip of his tongue, perhaps, poked out just slightly, as if hesitating to wet his lips. Asking his name in that low voice~ Or perhaps the woman? She’d take the lead. Her hand would ghost over his bicep, catch his wrist, force him to turn towards her. She’d push his shoulder and demand it. She did have such a pretty mouth… Even the little purple demon~ who knew what he’d do? Hook a finger through a belt-loop and look up at him? Settle a dainty hand on his lower chest and beg for it with those large eyes?

Cyr shook his head. They were in a serious situation. Now wasn’t the time to be thinking about romantic interludes and playful flirtations. Even though he was missing the last night of the gala. The one that was always the best--the rowdiest, the drunkest, the most handsy night. And he was here, sitting on a chair, instead of drunkenly getting himself ready for another night of debauchery before he was debachelored. Cyr sighed, but his sudden moodiness was interrupted by Bezabelle’s voice. Asking him for a shirt.

What,” he called out teasingly as he crossed the room to his door. Hers was across from his, next to where the door had opened up and spat everyone out. He didn’t like the thought of her being so close to the front, but he knew she could handle herself. She was strong and smart, even though he couldn’t help but think of her as small and delicate and important to protect. Cyr dug through his suitcase, which had been haphazardly filled--probably by the guards--trying to find a clean shirt for her. He’d packed enough for two weeks, since he seemed to go through shirts here like wine. He tossed all his already worn or stained shirts into a pile in the corner, and spread out the three he still had that were clean, not including two t-shirts from earth he’d packed just in case. So he brought Bez a black button down with a long line of small ivory buttons, and also a paint-splattered navy t-shirt with a stylized cityscape sprawled across it, sharp, jagged words stamped across the chest in English. ‘Crunchy Steven.’ He wasn’t sure exactly what that meant to the humans, but he liked to snag those shirts with strange sayings whenever he could on Earth. Whichever one she didn’t pick, he tossed back onto his bed. They were both large enough that they’d probably come down to her knees. It was a charming look.

When he returned to his room to drop off the other shirt, he took a few minutes to sort the rest of his things into the wardrobe. If the guards had thought to bring them their things, certainly they were going to be here for more than a night. Best to not let his things get too wrinkled.

It didn’t bother him, the open door, as he slipped off his rumpled shirt and dropped his pants, changing into a loose pair of flannels. For politeness’s sake, he pulled on an undershirt--a tight white tank-top. No need to run around the main room without a shirt. The little purple demon’s head would probably explode. He also grabbed one of the books he’d brought with him. There was little downtime at the gala’s, but this year, he’d decided perhaps it would be wise to fill any quiet moments with distractions. And these books had been his favorite when he was younger. Pilfered from Earth or gifts from humans he’d encountered there.

Cyr curled up comfortably in his armchair again, one leg under him and one leg hooked over the arm of the chair. He read for a while, fingers tracing the worn, annotated pages of the novel. Other demons flitted in and out. The little angry one, Eris, vanished into her own room, and the banging that followed attracted Bez and Val. Cyr glanced up, watching a sheet fall over the doorway. Perhaps a clever idea. The conversation within became muffled. He shook his head. Seemed like Bez knew the little angry girl too?

Exertion sounds from the other side of the room then caught his attention. His eyes quickly took stock of who was still out, and he slowly rose with a catlike grace that contradicted his size. Seemed like it was coming from Myut’s room? Cyr crossed to sit at the large table that took up the middle of the floor, catching a momentary glance of the white haired demon working out on his own in his room. Well, that would help explain why he was so fit, wouldn’t it. Cyr settled down in the chair, occasionally letting himself get distracted from his book. Before long, however, the tall woman approached him, distracting him properly.

She proposed an arm wrestling competition. Cyr smirked up at her. She was quite pretty. She had to be a pride demon, though judging by the tilt of her head and the set of her jaw. Cyr agreed. Her cocksure attitude was just as attractive as the slender but solid curve of her hip. So they arm-wrestled. He gave it a good fight, but he wanted to see what she’d look like if she won, so he slowly gave way to her. But she saw through that, apparently, and whacked his arm, demanding they go again. The second time, he could feel her giving it her all, but he remained firm until she slaked slightly, then pushed her hand down. She frowned and glared at him.

Was there no winning?

When she stalked off, Ino approached, stealing her seat. He smiled slightly wanly. What did the little demon want? Just to talk about exercising. Apparently he liked to run, but he was impressed by Cyr’s weight lifting. Cyr let his gaze wander over Ino’s shoulder, where he could still occasionally see Myut moving around, but then it snapped back to the smaller demon’s face, and he smiled. He could still feel all that energy wavering off the other, but it seemed he was trying to remain polite this time. Cyr relaxed slightly. In return, he let himself become a little flirtier, playfully responding, letting his gaze linger over the smaller demon’s fine-boned features. He really was quite pretty.

After Ino seemed sated by their discussion, he bid his leave, though he lingered nearby. Cyr went back to his book. He was almost finished with it when another distraction appeared in the doorway to Myut’s room.

Cyr felt his mouth go slightly dry as he watched the white haired demon wipe his face with the bottom of his shirt, showing off his abs, which gleamed lightly with sweat. He couldn’t help the soft sigh that escaped his chest. Damn. He could feel his heart twist in his chest. Why did it always betray him in situations like this?

Not too long after, he couldn’t help but trail behind when Myut wandered over to stare at the fire, tea-cup in hand. After some sleuthing, he discovered that the lack of hot water had the white-haired demon down. So he took it upon himself to knock on Eris’s wall and ask her to heat the water. Which she did, after some snappish complaining. The soft, dreamy look the greed demon gave him, the steam from his freshly heated tea wreathing his face, made Cyr’s heart twinge. He wanted to see that face more. How was it that someone could be so fit, but still have such a pretty face?

Their eyes met for a moment, but then Cyr jumped slightly as Myut made an anguished sound. There were no books on the bookshelf. None at all. Before he could really remember that all the books he’d brought were fantasy romance, with damsels in distress, mythical creatures, and strong men with big swords to save them. Some of them were from earth, and others from hell, but they’d all been well worn and well loved over the years. They were like comfort food to him now, he couldn’t help it. Some of them still sported scribbled writings in the margins that pined for that sort of romance. ...maybe he should have pruned those ones out before he brought his whole little satchel over to Myut so he could take any if he desired.

Thankfully, his bashfulness over his books was quickly distracted by watching Myut’s long, slender yet firm hands caress one of his books. He almost missed the demon’s thanks, the claim that he owed him now. Cyr shook his head with a faint smile. “
Really, I’m not keeping score,” he murmured. And if he was, he’d probably owe Myut, considering how he couldn’t help but steal glances of him whenever he was nearby…speaking of which, his eyes traced Myut’s back as he strode away, back into his room. Cyr returned to his own room as well, managing to hide his grin until he was putting his satchel back into his suitcase. He covered his face with his hand, feeling giddy. It went so well! He hadn’t realized how fast his heart was beating until just now, when happiness overwhelmed him. Everything else could be terrible, but he had this for now, and that was enough.

He needed to figure out what else this demon liked so he could bring him more gifts.

Cyr returned to the sofa, now that it had been vacated. It seemed some of the others were retiring properly to their rooms, perhaps, to sleep, and it felt too strange to be peering directly into someone else’s bedroom. Without permission, at least. Cyr felt himself nodding after a while, hardly able to focus on the words on the page. The fire had died to embers, and the only light in the room were the half-dimmed ones above. Once he’d finished, he looked around, as if emerging from a deep sleep, to realize that he was alone in the main room. Everyone else had gone to their rooms. Perhaps to bed. He should as well. Cyr shuffled off to curl up, enjoying a fitful sleep, full of uncomfortable dreams of half-whispered, unintelligible words. He woke to the same half-dark he’d fallen asleep to.

When he lumbered out of his room to check on the others, see if anyone else was awake or in trouble, he spotted Bez’s head backlit against the sputtering remnants of the fire and the soft moon-lit glow from the windows. He joined her on the couch with soft words. He could tell she was worried, even if she kept a cheerful attitude up. He understood that. So they just chatted quietly about nothing and everything. Her new beau. Everything that had happened since the last time they talked. As it turned out, she knew everyone here. But yet, he couldn’t convince her to tell him more about the white haired demon. He’d just have to figure it out on his own. Tragic. After some more quiet conversation, he left her again, with a last reminder that he was always there to support her if she needed it, as she had done for him in the past. He couldn’t tell if she smiled in the dark.

After another restless sleep, Cyr woke and tried to fix his hair in the bathroom. Which was made far more difficult by the fact that he had no mirror, and the sink was far too small to stick his head into. Eventually, he came out, hair wet, still wearing the tank top and soft pants he had been the night before. Today seemed like a comfort over beauty kind of day, after all. Some of the others were already out, and he offered them smiles as he crossed the room to look out one of the windows, into the pretty little garden beyond.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Valramir Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Abadeer Tyrano Character Portrait: Eris Leblanc
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【You know, I don’t know if I want to settle in…】
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【Main Hall, His Room, there and back, finally sat between his and Myut’s rooms】
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【#6D0F8A】
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As the others began to leave the gathering, Ino hopped down easily, his heels clicking against the ground. He headed back for his room, trailing his hand over the back of the chair the large demon – who still had no name – sat in. Inside, he began to fold and arrange his clothing in the wardrobe provided, but over time, something made him stop. Did he really want to settle in here? Get comfortable? Something about that thought made him uneasy. He still did some rearranging, moving his herbs all into one bag, tucking his treasures in the bottom of another, covered in worn clothes. He still had a few clean and mostly clean outfits left, which was a relief. He considered removing his boots, but left them on for now.

Trying to do more unpacking than that still made his stomach twist, and he found himself chased into the main room instead, watching as the tall demon crossed to bring Bezzie a shirt. His eyes trailed him, but he shook that off. He didn’t have a chance.

Instead, he explored the main room, starting with the locked door in the corner. He tried the handle again, poking at the hinges, tentatively testing if it was illusion, or easily breakable. He then drifted to the windows, surreptitiously trying to pop a pane out, seeking out drafts, weak spots (he found none). Eventually, he just drifted around the rest of the room. He flopped over on the couch, examined the fireplace, avoided the large painting, and was just considering hopping up on the table when a loud banging startled him upright, his arm hairs standing on end. He looked around – the wrath, Eris, was adding a sheet over her door.

Bez and Val headed over, and Ino started in that direction, but hesitated. The little wrath didn’t seem to like him, and Ino was somewhat afraid of wrath demons in general. Maybe it’d be better not to engage. Instead, he sought and found another distraction.

Tall demon and Vivian were wrestling, and the tall man was fucking it up. Ino snickered when he made the grave mistake of letting her win, and his eyes sparkled with mirth when Vivian just got more upset when she subsequently lost. The tall demon looked lost himself though, and as the woman stalked away, Ino took her place.


“It’s not your fault, you know. She’s mostly definitely Pride. The tend to be like that, I doubt she’s actually mad.”

Cyr – he finally learned his name in the conversation that followed – turned out to be fun and easy to talk to. Ino hadn’t quite know what to talk about with him at first, but he’d gotten a nice chat on the topic of working out. He still thought the tall man was one of the most gorgeous demons he’d ever seen, but he could respect that Cyr wasn’t interested.

Or was he? As he’d talked, he’d gotten some distinctly flirty tones coming from the other man. But at the same time, he knew what’d seen in his eyes earlier that day. It was…confusing, to say the least.

After that, he’d just ended up lounging in the main room. He’d taken a seat by one of the windows, staring at the garden, trying to imagine the festivities they were all missing. No one came to let them out, and he sighed a bit, imagining the faint strains of music. In these wide open rooms, he couldn’t even read…

Something a little exciting finally happened when Myut emerged from his room. Ino hadn’t taken much notice of the man earlier, but now…wow. He was also tall, and very strong. His white hair looked soft and curled elegantly, and he had a face as finely shaped as Ino’s own. His bigger structure, though, made him unable to do delicate, and Ino sorted through words as he watched him. Whimsical? No…Exotic. Maybe even outright Regal?

While he was staring though, Cyr had already gotten up, approached, and learned that the handsome demon wanted tea. Tea sounded like a good idea, actually…Ino stood and headed into his rooms. He had ingredients for a lovely tea with him, though he still had to compose it. He gathered some flowers, a few of the leaves, some mint for better flavour, and then he had to dig around for another bag because he’d left the one with Cyr. He’d hurried through it, but by the time he emerged, Myut had already gotten hot water from somewhere, and Cyr was talking to him, and Ino felt oddly awkward butting in between them. With a little sigh, he put the tea away. He could drink it some other time.

Of course, while he was distracted, he missed something else. Myut’s cry had him hurrying to the door, and the watched as the white-haired demon despaired at the lack of books. Cyr came to the rescue before Ino could even consider giving up his secret. The tallest was looking at Myut like a puppy waiting for a treat. It was oddly endearing, and the petite demon just leaned against the doorway to his room, watching them.

As night fell, the fireplace spontaneously ignited at some point, and that’s where Ino ended up. He sat close enough that the heat hurt, but at least this close, he couldn’t see the portrait hanging above the mantle. He stared into the hypnotic flames, letting his mind wander for a long time.

Eventually, he decided it was time to give up and sleep. He murmured a goodbye to Cyr, though the other didn’t seem to notice him. Inside, he was faced with a new problem – washing. Ino refused to sleep without it, but there wasn’t much in the little rooms. Still, he made it work. He stripped down, finally kicking off his heels and instantly becoming several inches shorter. He took a bit of cloth and, dipping it into the cold water, carefully wiped his skin down. It still wasn’t much, and it wasn’t pleasant, but he eventually emerged, now in soft shorts and a lacy tank top. Shivering, he padded over and got into the bed.

The mattress was soft and the quilts thick and warm, but despite that, Ino couldn’t sleep. He was too stressed, too keyed up, the dark maw of the door gaping at him right across from his bed. He lay still for hours, trying to coax sleep to come. He counted jackalopes and ran through social networks and in the end, stared at the ceiling before eventually giving up. He went to his case, digging out the hefty history tome he hadn’t been able to leave behind. He could read a chapter or two, calm his racing thoughts…

When he stepped out, though, he saw that he wasn’t the only one awake. He lay the book on his nightstand, promising to put it away later, before going to see who it was.

It was Bezabelle, but somehow, friendly banter turned into breaking his own heart. He’d just made a joke, and somehow…somehow Bezabelle had known.

Talking about it hadn’t helped like he’d hoped, though. Recounting how he’d felt safe and content only to have it torn from him had only renewed the deep ache he still felt. And all the while, the subject of their conversation had stared down at them, and Ino glared into his eyes when he declared he’d never loved Abadeer.

Because that was all he had left for defense, at this point, his words and his actions after he’d let the prince see all he was and still been thrown away.

Even if it was a lie.

Even if he’d wanted to stay.

He’d left her quickly, before he broke down into full on tears. She hadn’t followed him, and Ino appreciated that. He wasn’t ready to share this grief with anyone, just yet.

Sleep eluded him though, and so he lay quietly, breathing steadily as he listened to Bez and Cyr speak. Apparently, they knew each other better than he’d first thought… Neither spoke loud enough for him to really hear their conversation, but their soft murmurs were something to focus on. Something better than the thoughts in his head. Eventually, exhaustion claimed him, and he finally fell asleep.

Morning felt a little better, even after restless dreams full of mocking laughter. Ino woke early and headed to the bathroom for another miserable wash. Afterwards, he picked his clothes for the day, unsure if he hoped someone would look into his room, or if he hoped that no one would. He settled on slim black pants and a dark shirt hemmed in red that softly covered his palms. Fixing his hair and makeup took longer, especially when the mirror he knew he’d brought with him turned out to be gone. Eventually, he’d given up and set a glamour instead, checking his power reserves and finding them healthy.

Then he’d emerged, somewhat hoping he’d find coffee.

He did not, but he found Val, snoozing away on the sofa. He shook his head, wondering when the sloth had ended up there. He flipped off the portrait before padding back, his feet still bare and quiet against the ground. After pacing a bit, he sat down on the ground between his and Myut’s room, taking a few deep breathes before folding in half at the waist. He might not be able to run, but he could stretch at least, and keep his body limber.

Slowly, he focused on his breathing and lost himself in the familiar routine. With his eyes shut, some of the remaining ache in his chest faded away. Impressive flexibility gave way to outright acrobatics, as the envy stood up on his arms, moving his legs into different contortions before bringing them straight up, then down, arching his whole back. By the time he entered the last part of his routine, his feet finding the floor again, he opened his eyes, feeling much calmer, and ready to face the day.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Valramir Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Eris Leblanc
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【Snuggles ~】
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【Couch > Eris's room > everywhere > couch】
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【#4169E1】
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Valramir glanced at everyone that introduced themselves and his eyes lingered on Cyr. He didn't actually introduce himself. Interesting. He wondered why. He'd seemed pretty open the couple of days they did chat and trade trinkets. Valramir wondered briefly if the demon was hiding something or wanted to remain anonymous for a reason. He doubted that would last very long though. They were in pretty tight quarters after all. They were all bound to get into each others space at some point. At least he had his aura to try and keep anger a bit more manageable so people didn't try to kill each other. The drama was fun, but he didn't want to get stuck in here with a group of dead demons. And he knew them on some level. Well except Cyr, Viv, and Meu who he hadn't much interacted with over the years.

And in the midst of his mind wondering, he realized he was no longer the center that made the dragons orbit. They'd all gone off into their own little corners. He gave a little pout. He'd liked having everyone sitting around him. His eyes wandered over those that opted to remain in the main room doing their own activities. The arm wrestling match between Viv and Cyr was fun for a moment as was poor Ino's attempts at trying to get close to Cyr and then to Meu. It was kind of strange. Ino had always displayed a certain confidence at other parties. True he still dazzled and was very beautiful and manicured, but there was something... missing. Valramir couldn't quite put his finger on it but he didn't seem the same. True, he wasn't friends with Ino, but they'd talked at various parties before but then he'd gone missing for a while. He hadn't heard any news about the demon and now here he was. Something must have happened during his absence.

He might have gone to him and asked, but then something else caught his attention. Eris and Bezzy had gone into Eris's room and she was starting to make a racket. He tilted his head to the side before he stretched and slowly got to his feet. He ran a hand through his hair before he sauntered over to Eris's room as well, his too big sweater already drooping off his shoulder. As one would expect, he was the most disheveled and underdressed demon among the lot, not that he cared too much. Besides the disheveled look could be sexy too.

Valramir stepped through the door and nearly got hit with a piece of... plaster? He glanced up and saw Eris was busy hammering away at the ceiling just above her door, the nightstand beneath her wobbling a little as she balanced herself. More dust particles and pieces started to fall on him and he quickly moved giving a little cry of
"Ahhh, Erriiisss,". Valramir hurried out of the way then and flopped down on the bed beside where Bezzy was sitting. "The hell you doing? I am pretty sure we can't burrow our way out of the room."

"Making a door. Otherwise there'd be no point in setting traps, right?"

"So, you're going to put something to hang over the door? How do the holes figure in?" Bezzy asked then.

"I'll make a deep enough hole and shove a sheet in there to hang over the door."

"And the traps? What are you thinking for those?"

"And a trap for who, the guards? That will go well, Valramir interjected. They were all stuck here so setting up traps for each other only seemed like it would make things worse. "I don't think anyone would cross you," he added as he stretched and pulled her pillow closer to snuggle into it.

Eris sucked in her cheek. "I haven't decided between putting something to trip on, or just sharp things on the floor. I don't want random demons in my room." she retorted then. The three demons remained quite for a moment and Eris continued to dig at the ceiling.

Suddenly, Bez jumped up with a grin.
"Oh, I have an idea." She rushed out of the room and he and Eris shared a confused look. Bez returned shortly with a handful of safety pins which she offered up to Eris. Eris's eyes seemed to flash with excitement.

"This is why you're my favorite."

Valramir smiled then. Bezzy was always so helpful and indulgent of them. Of course that was her nature, but still. When Eris began to finish up her make-shift door, Valramir sat up with an excited grin. He forgot he hadn't told Eris and Bezzy about his adventures from before they all got dragged off into this corner. Now was the perfect opportunity to brag. For a sloth demon, he was damn proud.

"Bezzyyyyyyyyy, Erissss, I forgot to tell you what I did yesterday! Bezzy, you'd be so proud," he grinned and moved over to hug her around her waist and rest his head against her. He was also rather clingy to those around him and sloths didn't easily let go as Meu found earlier.

"Oh? That sounds like trouble! Tell me everything!"

"I tooootttallly effed up the guards. It reminded me of how I brought down Izrah a peg for you, Eris." he chuckled. He immediately launched into the details of his romp through the castle, putting guards to sleep and making them shirk their duties.

Bezzy smirked as she started to play with the strands of Valramir's hair.
"Any particular reason why?"She asked him then. Valramir shrugged and closed his eyes, enjoying how her fingers felt.

"Just 'cuz I was bored."

Bezzy laughed at the answer. "Only you could come to the Prince's gala and be bored."

"That sounds like fun. I might have set some drapes on fire... but I got caught." Eris pouted as she too came to sit on the bed beside Val and Bezzy. Bez wrinkled her nose at the information.

"Who's drapes?"

"Remember that guy from earlier? His. And A couple other dumbasses who didn't lock their doors."

Bezzy looked concerned then. "Not that poor Envy that you were arguing with when I left to find a snack?"

"Noooo. The weaselly pride demon. He knocked me off a chair."

"How rude of him. He deserved it then. Valramir tsked, slowly getting more and more sleepy though he tried to keep his own eyes open. He was far too comfortable in Bezzy's lap and Eris's bed.

"Ah, that bastard." Bezzy raised her chin in a smirk. "Well, it is too bad you got caught."

"How'd you end up here? They really did a number on you. When we get out, point out which ones did it," Eris growled and socked her palm with her fist. "I bit one of mine, and stabbed another. I'll teach yours a lesson too."

Valramir managed a small nod, barely catching the conversation. "What they did to you.... horrible. Totally... undeserving," he mumbled. And then everything went dark for Valramir.

When he woke next, Valramir found Bez had left. He was still in Eris's room but Eris was now curled up against him and fitfully asleep. He smiled softly. She looked so sweet when she was asleep. He looked over at the door and saw she had finished making her door and there was no sound coming from the main hall. Was it night time? Must be. Everyone would be sleeping then. Perfect. He felt rather rested now and since everyone was knocked out, he could begin his own investigation about their new 'home'.

Valramir very slowly extracted himself from Eris's arms as not to wake her. Once out of the bed, he started to look through Eris's things. He wouldn't take anything and she should be used to him looking through her stuff by now as he'd done it on more than one occasion. He saw some of the odd trinkets she'd stolen from other demons. They were pretty, but nothing important. He carefully and quietly exited her room so he didn't step on the things she'd set up to stop other prying demons. And it seemed he was right; it was night time. Excellent. And it looked like Viv's room was next. He entered her room then and took a quick glance around. Empty.

Hmm. He moved quickly start going through drawers and found she had everything neatly put away. It felt eerily empty even with things set nicely in their places. He could find nothing of interest. Boring. He shook his head and left the room and glanced at the next door. Bezzy's room. He didn't glance inside. He assumed Viv and Bezzy would be sleeping and he didn't want to interrupt anything if they were up to something. Bezzy would open drawers for him anyway if he asked. So he turned away to the next room across the main area. Cyr.

He crept over and took a peak in. Sleeping. Good. He entered the room and began to rifle through his things. He found a few nice little trinkets as expected and one thing in particular that grabbed his attention. A necklace. There was power in it. It wasn't a simple sparkly. He very carefully caressed the air around it so he wouldn't move it or touch it. He didn't know what the necklace did, but he knew it was dangerous. He glanced at Cyr then. What was he doing with an item like this? Who was it for? Who'd given it to him? Was this a reason why he had been ambivalent about introducing himself? He'd have to watch Cyr more closely.

Curiosity sated for now, he closed the drawer and backed out of the room. Ino's room next on the list. He smiled softly as he looked over the sleeping demon. Even in bed he wore a cute outfit. It was riding up on his body and certainly made the pride demon a sexy little thing. If he didn't fear waking him, he would have caressed him idly, but as it was, he had other things on his mind. Upon closer rifling of things, mostly clothes, he saw a book Ino was reading but nothing much else telling. There was no evidence about why Ino had changed or about his absence from the galas. Valramir wasn't sure what he'd been expecting, but he'd hoped for something he could use.

Last on his list was Meu. He grinned a little. He was sure he had a lot of fun and curious things. The best for last it seemed. He eagerly entered the room then and opened up a drawer to start looking at some of his delectable collections of stuff. He certainly did have a lot of pretty shiny things, and they were all different; no one was the same.

With Val's careful footsteps, Myut did not stir as the white-haired demon snuck into his room. However, Meu's sharp hearing did not fail to pick up on the nearby rustling of his things being moved, and that had him groggily opening his eyes and propping himself up on his forearms to try to see what was going on.

Pupils narrowed sharply as his eyes adjusted to the light level, and a low, sleepy growl rumbled in his chest.
"What do you think you're doing." Meu threatened, though it wasn't quite that intimidating considering the demon was still partially grogged down from being just awoken. Val tensed at the words. He couldn't help the involuntary shiver the deep voice gave him. Myut certainly had such devilishly good tone of voice and made Val think of ways to hear more of it directed at him, whispered into his ear.

Totally not what he should be thinking after being caught red handed looking through the man's treasured items. Or was it? He got up slowly as if he had every right to be in the room and had done nothing wrong at all. He offered a smile as he moved closer. Myut cocked an uncertain eyebrow as he watched Val looking ever so confident and at home here in his room. Mew wasn't quite sure how he felt about that. A little aggressive, a little uncertain, and mostly confused in his still sleepy state.
"Heeeyy, mostly wondering if you wanted a bit of company. You look lonely," he cooed, and knelt on the corner of the bed.

The soft, melodic voice that came from the Sloth demon was rather pleasant to hear, but Myut did his best not to be swayed by it. Why was this demon in his room in the middle of the night? It set Meu on edge. A befuddled and disbelieving look filled the greed demon's face as Valramir tried to play it off as just wanting to check in on him, see if he wanted some company. Hell no, of course he didn't. Wasn't Valramir just rifling through his things? He was trying to remember correctly.

Myut pulled his legs up closer to his body in defense as he felt weight at the end of his bed, a clear sign that the red-eyed demon was inviting himself into his bed. Meu might still have been partially asleep, but warning bells were going off with the uninvited proximity of another demon.


"No," His voice was deep and muddled by sleep. "I'd prefer if you left immediately."

Val pouted. He really wasn't making much headway with Myut, was he? It didn't seem like Myut liked him at all. He had only flirted with him to get the necklace. Other than that, Meu had been very cold to him.

"So mean," he said then. He managed to reach over and squeeze a retracting leg but his advance was not accepted.

Well, he wasn't going to keep pushing though he'd thought they'd at least get a little fun with each other. Myut was much stronger than him and he didn't want to test him too much. They were going to be here a while. Oh well. He sighed softly and pulled his hand away and started for the door, slowly. He glanced back at Myut on the bed. Why did he have to be so sexy?


"Night Meu Meu" he sang, sending a blast of 'sleep' vibes. Maybe he'd forget the interruption or think it a dream. Valramir watched as the demon's eyes began to unfocused until he was out like a light again. With a nod he exited the room. It looked like his own room was left. He hadn't been in it yet. He didn't have anything of value beside some odd bits of jewelry and he was too lazy to unpack his things. He had other things to do. Much like Ino had done earlier that day, he started to test the walls, looking for weaknesses or some kind of spying mechanism. They had to be in this room for a reason which meant the prince or someone hired by the prince was watching them, looking for something. But what was the prince looking for?

"Val?" Val froze when he heard the voice. He thought everyone was asleep and he hadn't seen anyone in the room. He apparently wasn't going very good sneak. He looked over and relaxed when he saw it was just Bez on the couch.

"Oh, morning, Bezzy. What are you doing over here?" He walked over to the couch and knelt beside his friend. Bez rubbed at her eyes a bit, trying to decide if she'd actually fallen asleep. Judging by how easily she had stirred when she heard Val moving, probably nothing more than a light doze.

"Woke up a bit ago. Couldn't really get back to sleep, so I came out here." She looked exhausted. "What are you doing?"

"Just wandering, investigating things now that everyone is asleep. It is easier to miss things when there is people about," he explained.

"Oh? Did you find anything you missed?"

He debated a moment before he moved over Bez to slide between her and the back of the couch. It ended up with his sweatshirt pinned beneath them, pulling it more off his shoulder and chest but he didn't try to untangle himself. He simply slid his arm out of the trapping and pulled her against his chest to snuggle up with her. He rested his his head on hers and let his aura extend over her.

"Hmmm. Oh, nothing much really. No escape routes or dirty secrets and notes. Just the mundane," he answered. He yawned, his own aura pulling him towards sleep. "Just hold me and I'll help you get back to sleep, Bezzy. And you like Viv, mmm?"

"Mmmhmm. She's nice. Really sweet, and protective. Better watch out." Bez giggled, eyes already drifting toward shut, though not quite there.

"Oh, watch out, huh? What am I watching out for? She gonna steal my Bezzy away from my cuddle time? Can't have that."

"Mmm, you're right. That's not likely." She straightened just a bit, turning to glance at him. "How are you? Holding up okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. Not used to having quite so much people around in close quarters but I'll be good. I don't think Myut likes me to much," he pouted. "But otherwise I'm good. You?" He asked and caressed her bruise gently. The sensation was not painful at all, but neither was it pleasant across the tender skin.

"Well, other than the bruise you're poking at, I'm alright. Not happy about being stuck in here for who knows how long. What makes you think Myut doesn't like you?"

"Welllll he doesn't flirt with me anymore. He's been very cold to me when I've tried to be forward."

Bez laughed. "Sorry, I'm not trying to be mean." She shifted position, snuggling closer. "I think you're getting too used to me, my dear Val. Myut is a greed demon, first and foremost. And an introverted one at that."

"Hmmmm. I suppose." He yawned again and nuzzled her again. "Well, nighty night Bezzy."

Bez thought she made some noise of acknowledgement, but she was already drifting off. Val was far too comfortable even or her restless mind to resist.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Valramir Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Eris Leblanc
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【"We need to make a plan, we need to make it happen, and we need to leave these other schmucks behind."】
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【Baby Jail → Her Room → Window Sulking】
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Eris lingered at Val’s side for a time, watching the other demons leave. She was pleased that the tall woman demon had conceded to her argument, but less than pleased to see Bez flit off. Perhaps they could talk later about such things as escapes and revenges. Eris laid her head down on the cushion near Val’s head. Now that most everyone else had left, it was easy to let herself drift into her mind, drowsily considering her options. First thing, of course, would be to establish some privacy. If she was going to plan an escape, she couldn’t let those other demons catch wind of it and get in the way. Or worse, rat her out. But how. Certainly the stupid prince wouldn’t give them any building materials, or anything large enough to cover the door without inhibiting movement. Perhaps she could break down that bookcase? No...the others would notice that too easily.

There was a bed in the room, perhaps she could use one of the sheets to cover up for now, until she could find a better method. Yes...she could make some holes to anchor the sheet in. Put some traps on the other side in case someone decided to bother her while she was trying to sleep. Excellent idea.

With that, Eris hopped to her feet with a sudden surge of energy, darting off to her room to start making plans. It didn’t take long to strip the bed and find the densest sheet. Then all she needed to do was drag her nightstand closer and balance atop it, one socked foot on tiptoe, the other extended out behind her for balance, like a very angry, very destructive little ballerina. Before she could get to work hammering the spiked heel of a shoe into the wall, Bez appeared. Eris’s face split into a large smile. Perhaps Bez had the right idea? And soon enough, as she started working away at the wall, smashing her shoe into the same spot over and over until it punched through, dragging out dust and plaster with it after every strike, Valramir appeared as well, and she inadvertently sprinkled his snow white hair with off-white plaster. Whoops. He looked up at her, and right into the continuing rain of dust, before protesting and flopping over on her bed.

Perfect. The whole gang was here. She didn’t even snap when Val asked what she was doing.

"
Making a door. Otherwise there'd be no point in setting traps, right?" she replied simply. It was true. What good were traps when one could just look down and see them? So focused on her task at hand, moving on to the next hole, about six inches right of the last, which required her to hang on to the door frame with the pads of her fingers while dashing the wall with her other shoe-equipped hand,she hardly paid mind to the interrogation that followed.

She did glow slightly when Val mentioned that it wasn’t likely anyone would bother her. So she had made it known well enough that she shouldn’t be messed with. As it should be.

She was almost done making the holes, but before she could hop down to grab her sheet, Bez jumped up and darted out of the room. Eris glanced over at the bed, where Val was still reclining, but he didn’t seem to have an answer either. That was, until Bez returned with a handful of safety pins. Eris felt excitement burble up in her chest, and the expression she shot the gluttony demon was electric with excitement and adoration.


"
This is why you're my favorite," she said, climbing back onto her perch to drape the sheet across the doorway, using her hair-pin to wedge it as far into her self-made holes as possible, and then using the safety pins to secure it in place. And then Violà, they had a nice barrier between themselves and all those other annoying demons. After climbing down and making sure the sheet was perfectly secured, Eris hid the rest of the safety pins in the drawer of her nightstand, idly listening to Val detail his devious exploits. He was always so clever. Especially when he’d helped her get all that territory. Which was, of course, why they’d have to bring him along when they escaped. It would simply be wrong to leave him behind.

Eris proudly shared her own exploits flopping over on the bed beside Val with a grin. They chatted idly about how they’d ended up there as Val drifted off between them.

Bez laughed when she promised to teach those guards who’d hurt her a lesson. “
You know what,” she said, “I don’t even really know. I just saw you guys getting grabbed, and Viv too, and then...” Eris frowned slightly as Bez shrugged. “Let’s just say I’m not a fan of any of it.

Eris shook her head with a growl. “
It’s just wrong,” she said, her gaze wandering to the wall. “He has no right to keep us all locked up in here. It’s not fair.” She let out a hissing breath. “I bet he’s watching us now. I bet he thinks it’s funny.” She felt her energy spiking again, rage burning hot against her gut and in the back of her throat. She could just spit fire, thinking about it. So she busied herself some more, chatting to Bez as she unpacked her things, pulling out all of her sharp hair pins and shoving her clothes into the bottom of the armoire. She still had plenty of clean things, being that her Mother knew her penchant for making a sorry mess of herself after a fight, and they always came prepared for at least four or five stocking-tearing, silk-burning brawls. Somehow, Bez didn’t seem as uneasy about all the strangers as she did. Well, Bez had always been a bit of a socialite, hadn’t she.

Despite her desire to talk about a potential escape plan, Eris decided to leave it for the next day. She needed more time to scope things out before she dragged her friends into this. And looking at Bez closer...she’d really taken it on the chin, but that didn’t make the bruises any easier to deal with. So she let Bez out before she finished her trap. Val was snoozing on her bed, so she decided to leave him there as she carefully removed her painting supplies and laid them out on the little desk. Then she pushed her suitcase over to the doorway, planting it right in the middle. Then she scattered her sharp jewelry over the floor like chicken feed. If anyone tried to sneak in with the light off, they would trip over her suitcase and fall right onto all those sharp pieces. Perfect.

Eris stood at her window for a few minutes, staring out at the early evening sky, which glowed red and ominous. The windows wouldn’t even budge, as if they’d been made as part and parcel with the wall, and had never been meant to open from the start, despite the latches and lips that decorated them. Outside, she could see a few wandering hedges and beyond that, the vista of the valley that sprawled around Abadeer’s palace. Who cared? She’d always hated trying to paint landscapes anyway. They weren’t fun. She liked single object paintings, with one focal point and a plain background. Like Val, who was sprawled comfortably across her stripped bed, completely asleep. One of the nice things about Val was that he hardly moved when he was deeply asleep, and that made him the perfect subject to paint. So Eris took out her brushes and set up her little folding easel and got to work, clumsily outlining Val’s soft shape, the fluffy shock of white hair, his loose sweater, the way his hands curled up in his sleep. While the end result was difficult to parse, to say the least, she was still proud of it. She knew who it was supposed to be, and that was what mattered. Who cared what anyone else thought?

Eris was halfway through a second piece, one of that stupid weasily demon who’d knocked her off her chair, from memory of course, when there was a knock at her door. Or...the wall beside her door. Was it Bez? Eris brushed her hair back from her face again, which left yet another streak of colour across her cheek, and carefully pulled back the sheet slightly to peek through. It was one of the big male demons. Behind him, she could see another one of the big ones. She narrowed her eyes at them.

Apparently they wanted her to heat tea for them. What was she, a butler? She curled her lip to snap at them, but the big one kept talking with that simpering smile on his face. ”
Don’t patronize me,” she finally snapped. He was just saying she was the strongest because he wanted something from her. But to be fair...she was the strongest, and perhaps it would be wise to make that point to these two large demons, who probably thought they could win in a fight against her. It would be wise to make sure they knew enough to keep their distance. So she took the cup, resting her knee on his suitcase as she focused a slow, steady heat from her hands, until the tea was steaming. She handed it back to the large demon, and then stared at the two for a few moments as they turned away, her eyes narrowing again. The big one had given the cup to his friend, but no thanks for her. They were just mooning stupidly over each other.

Eris scoffed and withdrew her head, glancing over at Val again. He’d slept through the whole exchange. Eris smiled fondly. So reliable, Val was. Perhaps she should sleep as well. It took a few minutes of digging through the ball of clothing at the bottom of her armoire to decide what to wear. A loose shift with an empire waist, white cotton with stupid pink ribbon on it. Her mother had insisted that she looked charming in it. Not that she could tell now, since there wasn’t a damn mirror in this place! Even in the bathroom. With the door to her room obscured, and no sense of modesty, she left her bathroom door slightly open as she carefully inspected herself for wounds. She splashed a bit of water on herself, gently nursing the scratches and bruises she’d acquired throughout the day and rubbin off the paint from her face and fingers, before dressing. She pulled the covers back onto the bed, tucking Val in, and then curling up in his arms comfortably. As much as she didn’t enjoy being touched, she did like feeling the closeness of another’s heat, feeling their heartbeat, their warm breath. It made her feel more alive.

It didn’t take long for her to drift into a restless sleep. When she woke, light streamed in from the windows, and Val’s depression in the bed was long gone. She sat up, rubbing her eyes, her hair a cloud around her head from the way she’d tossed and turned. Eris took a while to choose her most functional set of clothes, a pair of leggings and a long tunic that she always brought with her, even when it wasn’t appropriate to wear it. Here, it seemed apt in case she needed to run. She didn’t however, have an apt pair of shoes, so she remained barefoot, gingerly stepping over her trap and through her sheeted entrance, back into the main room, looking like she’d just emerged from the woods after several weeks of lone wilderness survival, the bruises she’d sustained the day before already turning yellow, her hair a bird’s nest, and an agitated gleam in her eye. She avoided the others, instead investigating the windows and the fireplace, which was in full flame again, but to no avail. Even the fireplace’s chimney was grated, and it was far too high up to reach up into and jimmy loose. Damn. They’d need to get creative to get out.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Valramir Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Eris Leblanc
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【”My parents will never let me live this down…”】
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【Main Room → Her Room → Rinse → Repeat】
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【#009874】
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Still bristling from having to back down in front of the wrath demon, as soon as Bez left Viv did too, catching up to her girlfriend just as she got into her room. [color=#009874] “What are you doing?”
she asked, then proceeded to put together the pieces herself.

Torn Dress. Bedroom. Luggage.


“You probably want privacy, hah…”

“Not necessarily,” Bez looked over her shoulder with sparkling eyes. "And besides, we don't have much privacy anyway, even if and when we did want it."

Viv nodded a bit, considering the open door. These rooms were wide open, easy to see into. She didn’t really like the idea.

Meanwhile, Bez was digging through her trunk, sounding annoyed. Viv stepped over to help, and soon saw the problem. Everything – quite literally, it seemed – was dirty, rumpled, stained, or any combination of the three.

Bez clearly indulged to her heart’s content at the gala. Viv noted, blushing deeply and passing off the small lacy scraps of fabric she’d found, trying not to think about what it was and how it might look.
“Ohhh, I have nothing to wear." Bez was saying, and Viv set about solving the problem.

“Maybe you can ask one of the others? Some of the tall ones might have extra.” She’d have offered her own outfits, she was tall enough for it, but her mother had made sure her suitcase contained nothing but gowns, knowing her daughter far too well. Viv picked up one of the dresses, examining it, scratching at a stain with her nail. “I think I can get these stains out. Ino said we had sinks.”

"Thanks, but I don't know if it's worth the bother. Unless we're going to have some kind of formal dinner party at some point. But really, thank you for the offer." Bez answered, still looking at her bags. "What really pisses me off is how they jammed everything in my bag like trash." As she spoke, she pulled out a small box, then tugged the night stand over so she could hide it on top of the wardrobe. Viv watched the process curiously, turning pink when Bez once more gave her her attention.

"Just a warning, Eris has light fingers, especially when it comes to anything shiny. Better to have it out of the way. Though, if I can reach it, she can." Bez huffed a sigh, grabbing a brush to work on the knots in her hair.

Viv watched, her fingers itching to go and take over. She’d been worried, she wanted to ay something, and eventually, the dam broke. The tall demon walked over, wrapping the shorter woman in her arms and holding her tight.


“Oh,” Bez tensed momentarily, then relaxed against Viv, absently patting her back. "Are you doing alright? This is kind of a lot, isn't it?" she sounded like she was trying to comfort Viv.

Viv’s arms trembled but she stayed composed, still just holding her.
"Shouldn't I be telling you that? You’re the one who got beat up, my poor Bezzie," she rocked them a little, back and forth. "I hope you're not hurting too much…"

"Mmm mmm. Not much at all. My own fault really. If I hadn't resisted, I'm sure I would have been able to walk in nicely like everyone else seems to have."

Viv didn’t seem to like that. "When I find out who did this to you, I'll clock them in the face. Serves them right"

Bez gave a low chuckle. "I appreciate the sentiment. I do, but I probably couldn't even point them out for you."

Viv nuzzled her neck. “Are you sure you’re okay?”

"The situation is ridiculous, but I'll be okay." Viv nuzzled her neck and Bez could no longer resist. She pulled away just enough to kiss Vivian, a deep kiss that left Viv breathless and left them both smiling. "And in any case, you're here with me."

Viv was flushed and red when they broke apart, but she had eagerly participated in the kissing. "I'll keep you safe from now on," she promised, adjusting her arms to be more comfortable.

"Don't forget to take care of yourself too, alright?" Bez said, brushing a bit of hair back behind Viv's ear.

“Okay, I will.” Viv leaned in, resting her forehead against Bezabelle’s. “I’ll keep both of us safe.”

Bez finally relaxed, staying close and warm in Viv’s arms. She even seemed reluctant to pull away, which made Viv very happy.

"Well, I think it's time I took your advice and got out of these torn clothes." She lowered her voice and added, "But it is a shame that there's no door."

"I can guard," Viv offered immediately. "Or we can use the bathroom door, or the wardrobe..." If there had been a hint, she had completely missed it.

"Oh? The wardrobe? I didn't peg you as being that adventurous, my dear Viv,” Bez’s voice was now distinctly flirty.

Viv blinked a few times.
“No, like…use the doors to block the view?” she explained, eyebrows arched, the light pink on her face showing that she was starting to catch on.

"Well, I was thinking about blocking a view alright, but more like--," Bez pulled Viv close, whispering dirty things in her ear until the pride demon was bright red.

“The…the doors…the sound…” she protested weakly.

Bez looked pleased with herself.
"It would be worth it. You'd be worth it." She caught Viv's eyes for a moment, then sighed, "but, I suppose I can wait." She winked, pulling away again.

Viv was able to compose herself once Bez drew away.
“I…I’ll keep that in mind…”

Because it wasn’t that she wasn’t interested…but it was intimidating, almost scary.

Bez smiled but shook her head,
"Just keep in mind that we're together, now, even if it is here."

"Yeah..." Viv smiled a bit, then went to Bez and kissed her warmly.

After that kiss, even Bez was starting to look a bit affected. She cupped Viv’s cheek gently, then headed for the door, calling out to Cyr.

Viv’s eyes followed, wistful, and she gave a dazed smile before she wandered into the neighbouring room. It was hers indeed, and her mind full of the redhead, she began to unpack, deftly setting aside the cases of jewelry, laying out the long ballgowns. At least these were mostly clean. She could wear a few of them again.

For the time being, she put away her intimates and accessories, all the while looking for creative places to stash the jewels to keep them from Eris’s wandering hands. Once the many cases were hidden, she finally emerged, finding a place to sit. From her vantage point, she had a good view of both Myut and the tall demon, and she watched them for a while, thinking.

Growing up with an older, bigger brother had left Viv with a strange impulse - the impulse to beat up any tall buff guy she came across. Well…not beat them up, but challenge them, at least. Test her strength against theirs.

It got to the point where she buzzed with it, Pride’s compulsion taking her over, and she crossed to the tall demon, asking (more demanding) that she arm wrestle with her.

The asshole let her win.

Then he had the gall to win for real, smiling all the while.

Viv stormed off, most certainly not pouting, but once she was in her room, she cooled off fast. She’d have to apologize for that.

Later, though.

Instead, she got the jewelry back out, having the sneaking suspicion some of it would be gone. With each piece she found missing, tension wound tighter…how many were gone? She wondered if there was a Greed among them who could help. She’d have to ask Bezabelle, who was flitting from room to room. Viv let her girlfriend have her space.

Slowly, with her free time, Viv found herself re-hiding the jewelry, hanging up the gowns carefully. After that, she just hung around, demon-watching, exchanging a few words with the others here and there.

In the evening though, she didn’t fancy the idea of sleeping alone, instead going to see if Bez wanted company. She did, but the thing she wore – so pretty and showy and barely there – almost made Viv spin on her heel. Her own nightgown was filmy white but not translucent. Tied in a modest empire waist, the fabric drifted and flowed on the slightest breeze.

Viv wanted nothing more than to run around pretending to be a ghost in the human world with it, a desire she expressed to Bez.

Slowly, they settled down. Viv found a place to put her hands that wasn’t too intimate, and it felt like in moments, she was asleep. It had been a long day and she needed her rest.

She slept deeply through the night, missing Bez leaving and all the conversations that followed. Come morning, she barely woke at first when Bez got back into bed. As morning went on, she slowly woke up, content to lay in bed with her girlfriend, enjoying the peace, enjoying the quiet. It was with great reluctance that she got up, heading into her own room to brush her long hair and change into a new dress – red this time, for power and confidence.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Valramir Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Abadeer Tyrano Character Portrait: Eris Leblanc
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#, as written by slcam
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【"Tonight, I can't find the off switch.】
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【The Secret Time Out Room】
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Bezzie went to freshen up, hoping it would stop some of the pitying looks. Vivian followed soon after, apparently not realizing Bezzie's intentions until it became obvious Bez was getting ready to change. Bez discovered she had little that was still wearable. Everything was stained from various activities during the gala, especially since most of Bezzie's activities had involved too much drink. Even worse, whomever had put her clothes in her bag stuffed them in like so much garbage. It was all horribly compressed and wrinkled. Viv recommended borrowing a shirt from one of the taller guys, but it was a while before Bez followed her suggestion. Even with the limited privacy, Bez couldn't resist taking advantage of being alone with Viv.

After some time, Bez pulled herself away before more happened, not wanting to make Viv too uncomfortable, and called out to Cyr,
"Hey, Cyr? Can I borrow one of your shirts?" She winked at Viv, then went to grab the offered shirt, picking a black one with nice buttons and thanking him.

By the time she returned to her room, Viv had wandered off. Bez striped, tossing the ruined gown into a corner, then cleaned up as well as she could from the small sink, shivering at the cold water. Feeling a bit more refreshed, she changed into the black shirt, belting it with a long, thin brown belt. Some of the more obvious bruises got a bit of concealer, and she lightly freshened up her makeup using her small pocket mirror, but stayed light with her attempts. The harder she tried, the more obvious it would look.

Bezabelle took her time before going back to the main room. Perhaps it would be better to hang her clothes up? Hopefully some of the worst wrinkles would straighten out on their own. When she returned to the main room, Cyr was reading and Ino was snooping here and there, checking doors, windows, objects. Bez watched him, engaged in small talk if someone else started it, but mostly just waited in her own thoughts. Then Eris popped up, disappearing into her room. The banging noises started up not long after, and Bez figured she should go check out whatever Eris was constructing. It was sure to be interesting.

Val joined, and they heard Eris's plan for a makeshift door cover, then chatted a while. Bez popped out to grab some pins to assist Eris with attaching the blanket, then stayed for a while longer.

She spent a bit of time in the main room, sitting near the fireplace. Ino and Cyr were talking at the table. Both were acting so in character she had to roll her eyes. The flirting was obvious, but she wasn't sure about how serious either party was. Still, it gave a pleasant background as she wandered to the window trying to figure out where in the castle they might be.

Once she gave up, the conversation between the two winding down after some bragging by Cyr and some flattery from Ino, Bez found herself wandering to Myut's room. She had not seen Myut in some time. She'd been busy, of course, flitting from room to room, conversation to conversation, but she still made note. And with how ill at ease Myut had been when they had all gathered for their first brief chat as a group, there was no way she wouldn't check in. When she came to his room, he was already in the middle of exercising. Bez watched for some time. She was enjoying the exhibition, and felt no need to make her presence known just yet, content to simply lean against the wall.

It took him a few reps to notice her, he started, and she encouraged him to continue, selfishly of course. Bezzie couldn't help but enjoy watching how his muscles moved. They talked for some time, catching up on what had happened since they met at the gala, checking on each other's well-being. Bez ended up sprawled across the other's bed as he continued with his exercise. Then, a small exchange. Information she had guessed at based on observation and prior knowledge in exchange for a kiss that definitely left the taller demon hungering for more. With that contingency set up, Bez departed.

The rest of the evening, Bez ended up doing little more than moving from one somewhat comfortable spot to another. She chatted, mostly with Viv, about topics that were as benign as possible. She watched the other demons discreetly. Bez could not help but ruminate over what she would do with each, if only their resources weren't so sparse. She began to wonder how she had managed to end up in a room with so many demons who prefered to sit and read. So much better than attending the last night of the gala.

Of course, she also avoided thinking about why circumstances were what they were. No, this was fine. Surely they wouldn't just be here indefinitely. To avoid going stir crazy, Bez departed for her room. She wiped the back of her neck with cold water. It was only minutes before she returned to the main room. Solitude was only going to grate on her nerves.

When Myut's tea situation began, Bez had just emerged. She watched with interest, trying to figure out what the greed demon was doing and why he looked so disgruntled. Before she could decide, Cyr set down his reading and approached Meu. It took Bez only a moment to reach her conclusions about the situation. Her eyes narrowed momentarily. Just as I thought. Still, she sighed, shrugged, and resumed a pleasant expression, perching on one of the arm chairs and watching the two interact. She giggled at the interaction with Eris and Cyr, tried to look as though she wasn't watching Meu's eager delight, and got up as Meu disappeared back into his room with his new acquisitions. Maybe Cyr would get that book back. Maybe.

Slowly, everything started winding down. Each of them began settling into their rooms for the night. Bez did the same, pleased when Viv asked to stay with her. She inwardly cursed the lack of a door. Having no privacy would very likely keep things gratingly chaste between them, which, on contemplation, was probably why Viv felt comfortable enough to ask Bez about staying. Bezzie wasn't going to let her off completely, of course, but the situation was what it was.

She washed up, changed into an outfit that was definitely more lingerie than sleepwear, laughed at Viv’s joke about wanting to run around the human world pretending to be a ghost, then offered Viv the pick of which side of the bed she wanted. It wasn't long before they settled in snugly.

Then Bez woke, tensed, breathless, and confused. It took her several moments to remember where they were, who was with her, and why they were there. She still felt the scream that had escaped her lips as she woke from the nightmare. From the way Viv was sleeping soundly, Bez assumed she hadn't actually made a noise. It was all just a dream. Just a dream. Right. She contemplated getting up, but didn't want to wake Viv. She couldn't handle questions right now. She simply stayed still as was possible, trying to get her breathing to slow, her heart to stop racing. It was a long time before her lungs stopped heaving and screaming for more air so she could flee.

By the time she felt back to normal again, she was wide awake. Bezabelle spent what felt like ages trying to get her brain to settle, to close her eyes and drift off. Eventually, the urge to toss and turn was getting hard to ignore as anxious thoughts dominated her mind. Bez was going to wake poor Viv if she stayed. She got out of bed, pulling Cyr's black shirt back on but leaving the belt where it lay. The ivory buttons caught the moonlight as she fastened them. She repressed a sigh, moving out to sit on the couch and watch the fire. Hopefully the mindless activity would occupy at least some of her mental space, and keep the pure unease at bay. She was exhausted from the day, which only made the lack of sleep more frustrating.

Bez had been sitting in the main room for some time with no luck. Maybe if she stole a blanket from somewhere, she'd be cozy enough to fall asleep? It was unlikely. She didn't bother to stir, simply staring into the fire and willing her mind to go blank.

A voice, unexpected in the quiet room, called her name. Bez started, looking back to see Ino coming around the couch. She put on a cheerful face with effort, only managing to hide the pure exhaustion on her face by using her abilities to imitate a good mood with perfection. Still, Ino was close enough when he called, it's possible he would have seen something of her previous expression even with the flickering of the fire.

She covered by answering his question about how she was as he sat. Her voice was low as well, but still chipper, as she made up an excuse. They joked a while, then the conversation turned serious. Ino opened up a bit more about what had happened while he was gone. He was definitely hurt, grieving, and there was not much Bez could do for him. Eventually, he got up to return to bed.

Bez was alone again, her thoughts swirling in a new direction but no more restful. And the fire still flickered. And Bez still avoided looking up at the massive portrait, at the figure staring down at her.

Bez was not sure how long it had been since Ino went back to bed. She had tried closing her eyes, but her brain wouldn't turn off even enough for a doze. She was miserably tired. This time, she heard someone else coming. She was able to slip back into a cheery persona before Cyr came around to join her. He had found a new, obnoxious pet name for her and she made her displeasure known.

"Bez-bug? What am I? A five-year old? I'm fine booger-butt, how are you?"

They chatted about Viv, thoughts about the situation, Cyr's interest in Myut. All more light and teasing than the previous conversation though more serious things still hovered below the surface. When he asked for insights on Mew, Bez found herself sidestepping, insisting he sink or swim on his own. Sometimes, he frustrated her, though she couldn't pinpoint why. She hid it, mostly, and the conversation shifted back to her, to his willingness to help. It was sweet, and she answered appreciatively, and Cyr too headed back to bed.

Now she had more to contemplate, but exhaustion truly was taking hold. Her thoughts weren't coherent. Bezabelle felt as though she had only just closed her eyes, though she couldn't recall any dreams this time. Something was bothering her, and it took a moment to understand what it was. Someone was moving around in the room, slowly and quietly. Bez opened her eyes to see that the front room was brighter. It was past daybreak. She popped her head up to peek over the back of the couch, until she could identify the snooping figure. Oh.

"Val?"

He seemed to be the only one stirring at this point. Bez rubbed at her eyes as he approached, trying to decide if she'd actually fallen asleep. Judging by how easily she had stirred when she heard Val moving, probably nothing more than a light doze. He asked about why she was out on the couch.

"Woke up a bit ago," she lied. "Couldn't really get back to sleep, so I came out here." She didn't bother trying to hide the exhaustion on her face now, as she had been all night, and all evening before that. She'd already been caught for one. For two, she was too exhausted even to try. It must have been evident. Soon, he had slid behind her so she could lean comfortably against him. This time, his aura was welcome, soothing after Bez's restless night. They talked for some time before both drifted off.

Once again, Bez woke with a start not long after, but this time everything felt so muted, muffled by Val's aura. He still seemed perfectly comfortable, but Bez was getting a crick in her neck from how she'd fallen asleep. Besides, her bed wasn't empty either, and that held at least some possibility as well. She stumbled back to her room, the sleepiness thankfully sticking with her. After shedding the shirt and clumsily hanging it back up, she slid back under the sheets, taking full advantage of Viv's warmth. This time, nightmares didn't interrupt Bez's sleep.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Valramir Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Amos Character Portrait: Eris Leblanc
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【So ends the prologue. In the morning, a new area will unlock, behind the door in the corner. Inside, down a long hallway with a soft burgundy carpet, several doors. At the end of this hall stands a single white door, already slightly ajar. Within, the sound of water rushing and, as you approach, warm, humid air stretches out towards you. THE BATHS occupy a large room with a vast, inset pool occupying most of the space. In the back, a rock formation stands, pouring water down into the pool. On the near wall is two sets of shelves, one burgeoning with soft white towels, and the other with a variety of soaps, oils, and fragrant tinctures.】
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【"How did this become my job??"】
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【Into the lion's den】
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【#739AC5】
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Amos stood before the blank wall with a long sigh. Somehow, he didn’t feel quite so secure about this situation as he had the previous morning, when they’d uncovered the plot and laid it triumphantly at the Prince’s feet. Now, somehow, he’d been bid to babysit this strange menagerie of demons, and he wasn’t sure how exactly this was going to play out. Each of them seemed dangerous in their own right, and he was glad, at least, that he wouldn’t be made to stay in there with the lot of them for too long. He’d just read out what he’d been given, and then make a hasty exit. They’d likely turn on each other immediately.

The guard who stood by the ‘door’ laid a hand on the stones, causing the door to form. It wouldn’t appear on the other side until he pushed it open, which he promptly did, but then, as it swung closed again, it vanished. Amos hesitated as several pairs of eyes immediately turned towards him. He wasn’t sure if anyone was monitoring the situation, but he realized then that no one had told him what to do when he wanted to get out of this place. Which seemed like...something of an issue all of a sudden.

Amos cleared his throat, scanning the room. Several of the demons were milling about the main room, in different states of dress and wakefulness. Amos’s eyes landed on one in particular, who had dragged the potted plant from its corner and was inspecting it closely. Bizarre. Amos blinked once, dragging his attention back to the matter at hand.

Er...could everyone gather over here?” he called out, his voice not sounding quite as confident as he’d intended it to. Once they’d all gathered around the table, which took some time, considering some of them needed to be woken up, he cleared his throat again, pulling out his papers and taking on the tone of someone reading verbatim.

I apologize for the inconvenience you all have faced in being relocated to this area. I’m sure this has been a confusing time for you all.” He read, occasionally glancing up at the faces upturned towards him. “While we do not take pleasure in removing you all from the festivities, a difficult matter has come to hand. An assassination plot was uncovered yesterday morning against the Prince, and due to the circumstances surrounding each of you, we have identified you as a possible suspect.” Amos paused to sigh and flip to the next page.

Due to the continued investigation, we have gathered you all here to determine amongst yourselves who the traitor or traitors are. Those of you found to be not guilty will be handsomely rewarded for your patience and your service.” Amos shifted on his feet, resting his off hand on the hilt of the sword at his side. “In seven days' time, you will appear before the Prince to make this determination.

Amos flipped the page again. “
I will now read off the accusations against each suspect: Mr. Ino Cense,” he said, looking over at the dark haired demon. “Envy. Found possessing a vial of restricted poison.” His eyes jumped to the taller white haired demon. “Mr. Myut Chenzyra.
Greed. Found bribing staff and in a restricted area.
” Then he looked towards the large dark haired one. “Cyris Herron. Lust. Found possessing an extremely cursed item.

Amos shifted on his feet again. He could feel anger and stress building up around him. Hopefully they would hang onto it until he left. His eyes moved towards the tallest of the women. “
Vivian Lacerta. Pride. Found in a restricted area.” His eyes flicked to the small, mousy girl. “Eris Leblanc. Wrath. Arson.” Then he looked at the other small girl with the brightly coloured hair. “Bezabelle None-Listed. Gluttony. Found consorting with other suspicious individuals.” he blinked once at her, and then turned his attention to the final demon, the smaller white haired one. “Valamir Thazgan. Sloth. Found sabotaging guards.

Amos folded his papers up and slid them back in his pocket, looking around at the group. “
I will be back from time to time as needed. For your convenience, and as a reward for good behaviour,” his eyes flicked quickly to the small mousy demon, who had already begun to destroy her room, “amenities will be provided.” He pointed towards the corner of the room, where the door was inset, out of sight. As he pointed, the door audibly unlocked. Amos looked deeply surprised that he’d done that with a single gesture, as he hadn’t meant to. Or thought that was something he was able to do.

Well…” he said slowly, taking a slow step backwards towards the wall where the door usually was. “If there are no questions, I will just...take my leave now. Thank you for your cooperation on this matter.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Valramir Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Amos
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【The real curse is the one we contracted on the way, I guess】
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【His room】
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Cyr stood by the window beside the fireplace, looking out at the greenery, though when Myut emerged, he sent a few curious looks over his shoulder, watching the other drag a chair over to the potted plant in the corner peer at it. He liked plants, apparently? Cyr filed that away for later. He also watched Val, who was curled up with his shirt half-off, sleep peacefully. How had he managed that? His gaze also wandered over the little one--Ino--who had just finished stretching. Even though everyone just seemed to be milling about, minding their own business, he couldn’t help but feel that there was some tension settled in the room. Today was the end of the gala, everyone was leaving--the aftermath of the revelry was likely strewn everywhere now, quiet and forlorn. But he was still stuck here. His family was waiting for him...the demon he’d never met before…

Cyr half turned to go find that necklace. Now, instead of just wondering what that would be like, he had the joy of wondering when he was going to get out of this place. Morning had well and truly passed, now they were moving towards noon, judging by the sun. There were no clocks in this place either, though, so it was hard to tell. It hadn’t stopped Val, though, at least. As Cyr took his first step back towards his room, a door formed in the wall. He froze for a second. Perhaps if he’d been prepared, he could have dived for it, but it was as if the moment the man stepped through, it vanished. Perhaps it was the nearby wrath demon, whose head had lifted like a hunting dog spotting a mark, but Cyr felt a sudden urge to rush over and bash the man against the wall until he let them all out.

The feeling subsided quickly once the man cleared his throat and asked them all to gather around, however. Cyr frowned just a little. He didn’t like that it was a guard, an armed guard at that, in here talking to him. It didn’t bode well. Cyr glanced back down at the sloth demon, who didn’t seem particularly bothered by the entry of a new demon. He sighed softly.

Come on,” he said softly, sliding a hand under Val and lifting him up enough to pull his shirt back down. Then he scooped him up in both arms, as one would a baby or a princess. "...Cy?" the sloth demon asked blearily, snaking his arms around his neck. "My, I feel like I just got married and you're carrying me across the threshold," the sloth demon added playfully.

Cyr chuckled softly. "
Were you having nice dreams?" He teased back before nodding towards the guard. "We're being summoned, by the way."

Cyr carried him over to the table. He could feel the momentary tightening of Val's arms around his neck. He wondered if he'd have to pry the sloth off himself, but then Val let go, allowing Cyr to deposit him on the far side of Myut, disentangle himself, and then sitting down on Myut’s other side, between him and the guard, who seemed to be passively watching them gather. He glanced over to see what Myut’s thoughts on the matter were, but quickly looked away.

Cyr heaved another soft sigh, leaning his elbow on the table to prop up his head as the guard spoke up again. He let the drone of the guard’s voice wash over him, not really paying attention until he heard the word ‘assassination.’ No, no, this couldn’t be happening. He hadn’t done a damn thing since he’d been here...his heart continued to sink as he listened to the guard list off names. Some protested, like Myut, who seemed offended at the idea of bribing someone, but others, like himself, remained deathly silent. A cursed item? What on earth would he do with a cursed item? He would be the last person who’d want to attack the Prince…

Cyr rubbed his face with disbelief. Had someone been trying to curse him? Or frame him? Someone in this room--at least one someone--was ruthless, or stupid. Either way, they were dangerous. He didn’t know what to believe. The little purple one, an envy demon, had poison, the wrath demon was committing arson, even Val had been up to something suspicious…But the most dangerous thing of all was that he didn’t know which one of his things was cursed? What if he accidentally cursed himself. Cyr looked around helplessly for a moment, ignoring the guard’s continued droning. Wait...Myut would know, right? He was a greed demon, he had to be able to tell when something was cursed or it wasn’t, right?

Myut,” he said in a low voice, pushing his chair back. “Having something cursed with my stuff is news to me. Can you help me figure out what it is?

The white haired demon had said his name at the same time, and Cyr felt his face flush slightly. He’d seen his own worry mirrored in the other’s face, the same concerned distrust. But Cyr was fairly confident that this demon was innocent. He was a greed demon. Sneaking into places they didn’t belong was kind of their thing. He watched the others face shift slightly, inscrutably, but he felt his shoulders relax when Myut gave him a firm affirmation. He slowly pulled himself out of his chair, eliciting a confused look from the guard. “
I’ll owe you one for this,” he said, warmly turning his eyes to the white haired demon again.

Along with Bez, he seemed the least suspicious in the group. So Cyr had no problem walking past the guard, towards his room, glancing back to make sure Myut was following. “
I didn’t even bring that much with me, so I guess it won’t be a long search,” he said, “but I’ve never seen a cursed item before, I wouldn’t know where to begin looking.

Think nothing of it.” Myut replied, and Cyr felt a soft smile flit across his face. “It shouldn’t be too hard, especially if there’s not a lot to go through.” he added, and Cyr nodded.

He had to admit that he felt a little weird inviting someone into his room. Someone like Myut. Ignoring the fact that they were basically strangers, and this wasn’t his actual room, just a place to sit and be judged by his peers for a week before they decided who to execute. But for now, he could pretend like he was just inviting a very handsome demon into his room. The sheen of pink that had haloed his ears died down a little, however, as the gorgeous tall demon--pride--from yesterday approached. Bez’s girlfriend. Bez had excellent taste.

The pink, however, returned as Myut shifted, as if to protect him from Vivian. No, he shouldn’t read too much into it. Myut likely just felt wary around the other demon, considering what they’d all just learned. It was unlikely that Myut was already protective of him, or perhaps jealous of a potential interloper. Those were just indulgent thoughts.

Cyr shifted slightly to acknowledge her, dragged his gaze up to her face as her jaw bulged slightly. An apology came out, and Cyr felt his eyebrows lift.

"
Do you, ah… want any help?" Cyr gazed at her as her eyes flicked between the two. "I've seen some runework before." What was her interest? Cyr couldn’t help a flash of distrust from flicking through him. A part of him had liked the idea of just inviting Myut in, but he knew better. This was more important than school-boy fantasies. And if Myut thought she might be helpful, who would he be to decline?

It wouldn’t hurt to have another set of experienced eyes. I’ll know what’s cursed, but I can’t promise I’ll know what kind of curse it could be,” Myut mused.

Don’t worry, I was just trying to be gentlemanly,” he replied to her apology first, slightly teasingly. “Lust demon, you know how it is.” He winked.

She let out an awkward little laugh. "
I guess, yeah." No wonder Bez was hanging around her. Despite her stature and the way she held herself, she seemed...almost shy. It was cute.

Let’s go,” he said, beckoning both of them into his room. While it wasn’t immaculate--he’d left the bed unmade, and some of his things were strewn about his desk--he’d kept the room looking fairly decent. Well, it looked fairly decent until he dumped most of his stuff out onto the bed. Small decorations and jewelry, some little trinkets to trade, the necklace his betrothed had given him, and a few other pretties. For good measure he put his pilfered alcohol onto the bed as well. If it wasn’t cursed, it might make a good reward.

He did not, however, dump his books out onto the bed. He’d owned them for years. There was absolutely no way they were cursed, right? Or his clothing. It had to be something in this sprawl. Maybe something he’d traded for during the gala? Though he’d mostly been giving gifts, little things to people he didn’t think he’d see again…

Those worries seemed so far away now...

Cyr shifted with discomfort as the pair poured over his things, wondering what they would find. At least both of them seemed to be taking the matter of the cursed object seriously. He felt a faint frown ghost across his face when he saw the white haired demon suddenly pluck his betrothal necklace from the clutter, holding it like a dead fish, a firm word on his lips. Cyr’s heart dropped, a cold tension suddenly closing up his throat.

That...that can’t be it,” he said with a disquieted laugh, face pale and still. “My...my….my parents gave me that, it’s for…well it’s supposed to be for me, not for…anyone else?

Internally confusion and anger flashed through him. Was his betrothed trying to kill him or something? He didn’t want to make it known here, not when there was this potential for something nice..a little hold out before whatever fate awaited him beyond, but this...this unsettled him more than anything else. He’d have to tell Bez. Maybe she’d have some insight.

Viv grabbed a set of hair pins, asking if she could use them. Cyr nodded slightly with confusion. She used one to pin back her hair, and its twin to manipulate the necklace, alongside a ruby cross necklace.

His betrothal necklace was quite pretty, a length of black velvet with a small chain and some eyelets to clasp it in the back. In the front, a silver mockingbird was embossed on the fabric, and in it’s claw it held a flower--or rather a tiny bracketed sapphire. The Pride demon flipped it over, squinting down at it. He had no idea what she was looking at, however, because from his angle the whole thing was black.

This rune here,” she said, “basically means...unbreakable. It’s normally used to strengthen, but it’s linked with this ‘unless’ modifier, and I can’t read the rest but that’s normally used to make a piece of jewelry only one person can take off. Even if someone else is wearing it, only the owner can ‘break’ it.” she explained before leaning back over.

Cyr could only stare as she peered harder at the necklace. “
Okay, so, this one here is in the transformation family of runes. That’s all I know, they trigger transformations. I think there’s a specific one for animal, and there’s a thing you need for reversibility and- wait -I think that might be...mutate?” she blinked a few times. “Like...80% sure that one means mutate. Which is the ‘curse’ version of transform, like, it’s harder to undo and can last longer…

Myut stood beside her, head angled similarly. As she pointed out the markings, the white haired demon gave a low, thoughtful hum. “
Mutate would need quite the collection of instructions…

I bet that that’s this mess over here…” Viv poked the cluster with the hairpin.

"
Curses like these have been notoriously used in the past as a nasty means of control and modification. For suppression of an individual, especially if it’s an animal transformation. In fact, in the third generation of demons-“ Myut stopped abruptly, however, with a sheepish cough. “Uh, nowadays I’ve heard of them being used as lesser afflictions against two demons who might be in a spat, but, with the runes that Viv has pointed out….

The two were just talking amongst themselves now. Cyr was hardly listening, his thoughts racing painfully. What did this mean? It didn’t seem like they knew what exactly the necklace did… but whatever it was, it didn’t sound good. He swallowed hard, hardly noticing at first when both of the other demons were suddenly staring at him.

Cyr blinked almost owlishly between them as Myut spoke directly at him. “
Don’t put this on. Ever.” Cyr felt his shoulder deflate slightly. What on earth...he was glad they’d found it. Maybe...maybe getting stuck in this place was a good thing? Who knew what would have happened if he’d gone home with that demon...or if his parents really were out to get him. He couldn’t understand why, though…

He didn’t pay attention to Vivian’s playful test of the necklace. He just grabbed his bag and swept everything else into it, before grabbing the necklace gingerly and dropping it in the bottom of his armoire so he could keep an eye on it. As he turned his back on the other two, he tried to regain his composure. He was safe for now, at least. He hadn’t done anything wrong. Maybe this way he could get out of the betrothal? Well, either way, he should enjoy himself now, instead of moping around, right?

Cyr put on a smile as he turned, trying to chase away the grim pallor that had briefly stolen his face. Everything was ok. "
Thanks guys," he said, putting on a cheerful tone. "I'll do my best to never wear it, then. Good thing i had you two to let me know..." Everything was fine. He wasn't hurt. Everything was ok.

Nonetheless, as they all moved towards his door, back out into the main room, he hesitated by his doorway, feeling that worry surge through him again. What had he done to deserve all this?

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Valramir Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Amos Character Portrait: Eris Leblanc
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#, as written by Skwidge
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【Preposterous. Just Fantastic.】
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【Table → Cyr’s Room → Viv’s Room】
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At the sound of an actual door closing, Myut’s focus immediately snapped up from his plant to hone strikingly in on the unfamiliar figure now standing where their front door was supposed to be. Had been just milliseconds ago. Myut drank in the protector’s appearance slowly, taking his time in analyzing and sizing up this individual. Mousy blonde hair, tall and slender in build, and clad in the armor of the Prince’s guards. It seemed that the big man himself had finally deigned to send in someone to hopefully tell them what was going on. Meu leaned back in his chair, crossing his arms as a keenly interested look filled his features. His eyes did not leave this guard’s form.

That is, until Cyris took the seat next to him, settling in ‘twixt his view of the sentry. That had broken the white-haired demon’s harsh and scrutinizing gaze. He regarded the dark-skinned man affably, brow smoothing and eyes growing gentle once more. Now that he was looking around, it seemed that Val had joined them too. Myut’s eyes narrowed and he leaned a bit with that same uncertain but investigative aura. Now that he was reminded the sloth demon existed, his memory of the prior night had been jogged - he needed to have a word with the man. But that would have to wait; whatever this little gathering happened to be was of far more cruciality.

Plus, Viv was carrying Bez over to the table as well and the little demon’s state of dress was quite interesting. Meu couldn’t help but be reminded how delightfully adorable and attractive the gluttony was. Should he be able to catch the little one’s gaze, he’d share an affectionate smile with her. It looked like she had been able to manage some sleep last night, which was a relief to Myu. In any case, she had likely had a good time in the late hours, if Viv adoringly transporting her was of any inclination.

Once Ino and Eris had joined the fray, taking their respective seats with swift decision, the guard then began to speak. He had a smooth voice, and Meu could not help but lean forward a bit and tilt his head to get a better look at his eyes. They were a sharp viridescent color, somewhere between emerald and spring green. They seemed a hint nervous, though. The sentiment was only strengthened by the way this watchman was speaking – uncertain, awkward, somewhat uncomfortable. Once he railroaded himself into what sounded like a prepared speech, though, – hinted by the literal papers he pulled out and began to read from - that initial hesitation left. He sounded a little miffed now, in fact. Meu gave a small grin at that; he could sympathize.

Any relaxed feelings that the greed demon had been steeping in were discarded as soon as the guard mentioned the word ‘assassination’. It only got worse as in the next breath it was revealed that they had all been apprehended as suspects for it. That would explain the rough treatment yesterday. A harsh look tainted Mew’s facial features, form now of a more rigid bearing as he clenched a fist. Damn, it was suddenly a very unfortunate circumstancing that the item he had been innocently looking after had been anything but when considered in this finally revealed context against Abadeer.

It would be absolute hogwash should the fact that the sort of item that he had been so houndedly after, for the simple means of historical collecting, been discovered. He would arguably be the most incriminated among all of them, simply for the stark fact of the wording. Meu was fairly certain that he hadn’t revealed anything behind the purpose of the ancient weapon, but it was a bit hard to recall now. He had simply been looking for an old artifact. Yes, he wouldn’t have been foolish enough to reveal anything especially sketchy or informative in regard to a claim to kill the current king.

When Amos revealed that it would be a jury of peers, Meu could barely contain the roil of irritation from making itself visible. After all this treatment, did the guards honestly expect them to do their dirty work? Obviously they would have no choice, but how absolutely laughable. Well, at least if Myut would have to put in some work, it wouldn’t be for nothing, which was excellent since he would have refused to do it without something in return. They only had one week. What the hell had everyone gotten mixed up in? At least it seemed they had been correct in assuming they were all in trouble. But this kind of trouble…. Was this guard even speaking the truth? Were they just pinning it conveniently on a group of troublemakers, or was someone in their midst really an assassin? Guess they’d find out.

The voice of the guard clad in armor bearing Abadeer’s colors spoke out clearly and concisely then, beginning to list each demon, their race of sin, and their transgressions. Ino’s was the first to be tacked up. Poison? That shook Meu up a bit, but he was honestly still highly suspicious of this whole situation. There was still something about it. Ino had seemed so small and kind; many of them seemed that way. The greed demon didn’t get to dwell on it for very long though, as the guard continued on without much pause for them and Myut was next.

When the guard announced to the room Myut’s accusation as him having ‘bribed’ the guards, of all things, Mew could not help the look of sour indignation now that very clearly filled his face. The greed spoke up to immediately correct such a defamation of character,
“Bribed?” He scoffed, setting his hand against the table with a loud thunk, “These were fair trades and your guards know it. If you don’t even know this much, then perhaps you should be looking a little more closely to home for traitors rather than a group of your esteemed party guests. Especially since your fellow men-at-arms have been rather deliberate with our things. Or did they not tell you about that either? I don’t give shit away for free.”

Perhaps the content of his outburst had been a bit on the nose, and it was certainly true that Myut was not free of any blame, but he’d move Heaven and Hell itself if it had to do with any negatively impacting misinformation regarding how he handled his business. After having finished defending his honor, Myut sat back in his chair, crossing his arms once more and looking a bit disgruntled. At least he had been correct in that his accusations had been largely vague. He listened to Amos ramble off the rest of the accusations in utter silence, but he could not help but feel surprised at the revelation of all.

Myut was quite a bit caught off guard with how inaccurately he had mapped out his fellow demons’ sins. He had known Bez and Val’s already, and there was no mistaking Eris for anything other than a wrath, but the remaining demons he had gotten mixed up. He had surmised that Ino had to be a pride demon with how carefully he took care of his looks and how he held himself. For Vivian, he had thought she was envy considering how protective she was of Bezabelle. And Cyris… that came as the biggest upset. Totally out of left field. Myut would have never pegged him as a lust demon after having read the things scribbled in his books.

Now, obviously, he didn’t know anything about any one of them sans Bez, but he had thought he was a better guesser. Granted, he had only had half a day with them, and besides that had avoided them all for the most part to boot. Nevertheless, that meant there was one of each sin present. Abadeer was certainly covering all his bases. But with the hundreds of demons who had attended the gala, Meu was surprised to see that no one else had gotten into some sort of mischief or other. Plebians. Or was it just nicely convenient?

Vivian’s crime, as she had previously revealed to them yesterday, had also been of being somewhere she should not have. Like Myut’s own wrongdoing, the greed demon could not help but feel offended for the both of them. She had said it had been a misunderstanding, which was exactly how it was for Meu too.

Bez was hardly even worth mentioning among the schemes listed. It was as if the guards were grasping at straws. She had been around suspicious individuals during the gala? She had been around everyone during the gala. They may as well have arrested everyone for attending.

Eris had committed arson. How positively dreadful. But she was a wrath demon; it was not that surprising, especially when you considered you were pulling demons from every corner in Hell, so there was no doubt there would be some conflicts. Arson as a means to kill Abadeer, though? It sounded clumsy, and while wraths could be particularly unintelligent at times, they were damn clever. Besides, if she had aimed more directly for Abadeer, the other six of them wouldn’t be sitting here. Meu could not imagine that the little mud eel would simply set something alight and hope it made it to Abadeer in time. But who was he to say? He didn’t know where, what, or whom she had set on fire. In fact, all of the misdemeanors were quite vague.

Valrien sabotaging guards, though. That also sounded pretty bad, but knowing what little he did of the sloth demon, he didn’t imagine the demon had it in him to put forth so much effort for some bigger grand plan. Who knew, though. Meu couldn’t say anything for any of them, really.

But having heard that Cyr had a cursed item, however, had a few mixed feelings battling about in his chest. One, while this situation was indeed dire, Myut could not help but instinctively feel extremely interested to see just what it was that Cyris had with him. But, contrasting to that, he two, was conflicting against feelings of uncertainty and wariness as was properly due the group’s circumstances. Yet still furthermore three, Meu was also feeling something almost akin to a different type of concern.

He didn’t know Cyr very well, and with the fact that the guard said he had something so dangerous with him, Myut wasn’t entirely sure how to place his feelings. He had seen how gentle the other had thus far been, and it had felt sincere. Was Cyr just playing them, though? Mew nibbled his lower lip in thought for a moment or two while his arms were crossed. It did not take long for one of these feelings to win out over the others, however, and Myut turned to look at Cyr with a levelled expression. It had been concern.


“Cy-Ut.” He had begun, only to be surprised to find the other demon already looking at him and doing the same in calling his name too. The end result was a weird amalgamation of their two names being spoken over each other, but Meu grew quiet so Cyris could speak first. He was clearly very bothered. That became even more clear once he explained.

So, Cyr had not known he had something cursed in with his things? The quasi-concern that Mew had been feeling only grew a little more complicated. The greed demon felt a little bit antsy and restless now too. He gave the dark-haired man a firm nod in answer, however, when he asked for help,
“Of course." Cyris had already won Myut’s favor, so it was no surprise that his response had been automatic to come to his aid.

Cyr looked deeply relieved at his assent. As the darker demon rose from his seat, Myut registered that it had interrupted the guard still speaking at the head of the table. But Meu did not pay him any mind. Watching the other’s face relax because of what he had said made Myut inadvertently grin, feeling pleased that he could be of service for him. As such, Mew did not hesitate to join him, abandoning his chair and focusing sharply on the other’s broad back, ignoring the rest of the gathered masses.

After the few steps that they had thus managed, Myut found himself surprised again when Cyr warmly turned back to him, saying that he’d owe him. Another automatic response slipped out from Meu’s lips before he could stop it.
“Think nothing of it.”

Mew’s voice had come out soft and pleasant, returning the cozy sentiment the other had shown him in tone. The greed’s voice was then interrupted by a small little cough, clearing his throat almost awkwardly. Had he, a sinful greed, actually just said that? Cyr did not owe him anything in return? Myut did not feel the need for trade? No, it… it was certainly in return for letting Meu borrow his books. Even though Cyr had assured him he had thought nothing of sharing. That must be why Myut did not feel his usual tendencies surfacing. …But he had wanted to help Cyr, and in that desire he had not spared a single thought towards asking for something in return, as he normally would have with anyone else.

The green-eyed male suddenly looked elsewhere while giving a nod to indicate that Cyr should continue leading the way, trying his best to sort those feelings. From the corner of his eye, he caught Cyr turning back to look at him once more, and Meu’s attention returned back to him, eyes lifting to meet his and showing the other demon that he was attentive and curious about what he had to say next.

Cyr spoke of his small gathering of possessions, and Meu responded by giving a relaxed shrug of his shoulders,
“It shouldn’t be too hard, especially if there’s not a lot to go through.” He reassured the other, hoping to ease any discomfort the lust demon might be experiencing. He didn’t like the idea of Cyr being troubled.

Before they entered the room, however, Vivian, the tall and gorgeous pride demon, stopped the two with a single word.

”Cyris.”

Meu shifted a bit in order to position himself almost protectively in front of Cyr – to block Viv from getting too close. He didn’t like the idea of anyone else getting too near; he didn’t trust the others. But it seemed that Viv had simply wanted to apologize for something or other that had occurred yesterday, and furthermore it wasn’t Myut’s place to be trying to step in on Cyr’s behalf. And besides, the well-built man could probably take care of himself just fine. Another awkward half cough slipped from Myut’s throat as he repositioned himself so that Cyris would have a clear view of the demon addressing him. Meu tried to play off his physical response nonchalantly, turning to occupy himself with looking into Cyr’s room as the other two spoke.

When Viv offered her assistance in looking for the cursed item, though, Myut stiffened ever so slightly. His back was still turned to the other two demons as his eyes narrowed, gaze staring into the depths of Cyris’ room. Her joining them sounded less than ideal. Why was she offering? The greed could not help but be suspicious. But these were Cyr’s things, and Cyr’s call. Myut turned around with a neutral expression, eyes interestedly focused on the female’s form. He broke the gaze to tilt his head up towards the lust demon, indicating that he would be comfortable with whatever was chosen.
“It wouldn’t hurt to have another set of experienced eyes. I’ll know what’s cursed, but I can’t promise I’ll know what kind of curse it could be.”

A bit to his slight disappointment, Cyris beckoned for the two of them to enter his room. Meu took a better look at things now that the whole of the room was revealed to him. He glanced around while Cyr grabbed his bags to dump his possessions onto the bed. When he had, Myut felt a little sad not to see the man’s books among them. Meu didn’t dwell on this, though, as he had not sensed anything off about them last night when Cyr had brought them to him.

Viv was the first to step up to the bed, but the greed raked his eyes over the other items strewn across the sheets. He leaned forward to run his fingers along a trinket or two, but he did so with swift decision, barely taking in too much about any one item. If it didn’t give off any sort of feeling, Myut wasn’t interested in it. Normally he’d be very interested to take his time to peruse through each one carefully, but he had a job to do and that took precedence. Viv seemed keen on the jewelry, which made sense considering that was her family background. He took a moment or two to pick up anything she passed over, but thus far nothing was jumping out at him.

He had gone through the few non-adornment items in no time flat, so Meu also turned his attention to the collection of jewelry that Viv was going through. He was polite to not intrude on her personal space as she stood beside him, but he also did not waste time in waiting for her to go through certain things first. So, when his hand brushed over the particular necklace sitting off by itself, he immediately froze.
“This.” He spoke with absolute certainty, delicately grabbing the item by its back clasp and pulling it forward so that he and Viv could inspect it more closely.

The tall woman leaned over the necklace, seeming to follow suit in carefully handling the item. She had borrowed two hairpins, securing her hair out of the way with the first before using the second and another piece of jewelry to use as instruments to flip the choker over. Myut was curious when he saw her tilt very particularly. Myut angled his head similarly to how Vivian was doing with hers, and then he saw it. Kind of. She certainly had a keen eye - it was difficult for him to pick out the black-on-black markings, especially in this lighting. As she physically singled them out, however, Meu could also follow along to an extent.

She informed them of the various runes present, and when she pointed out a supposed mutation inscription, the white-haired demon gave a low, thoughtful hum.
“Mutate would need quite the collection of instructions…”

“I bet that that’s this mess over here…” Viv jabbed towards a spattering of nigh-invisible thread with her hairpin. Myut gave a soft ‘oh’ as he then nodded his agreement. Myut elaborated a little bit further on what Vivian had picked out.

“Curses like these have been notoriously used in the past as a nasty means of control and modification. For suppression of an individual, especially if it’s an animal transformation. In fact, in the third generation of demons-“ Meu had begun eagerly, but then thought better of it and quickly cut himself off with a light cough. He didn’t imagine the two wanted any sort of history lesson right now. “Uh, nowadays I’ve heard of them being used as lesser afflictions against two demons who might be in a spat, but, with the runes that Viv has pointed out….” It definitely reminded him more of the sinister intentions closer to creation and Hell’s early conflicts. This was certainly no small thing to scoff at.

However, when the female pride had spoken up to ask if Cyr was okay, Myut’s gaze immediately shot up to regard the taller demon. That was right, Cyr had not known about this being in with his things. And he said it had been a familial bestowing? Myut didn’t necessarily get along with his parents either, but this….
“Don’t put this on. Ever.”

With a nod Vivian had displayed strong agreement. “Although it should be okay to handle, just don’t close the clasps - that’s what activates ‘unbreakable’ and maybe the rest of the runes too. This gem is too small to be a power source.” she said confidently, then looked between the other two demons.

“Avenge me!” she said with an attempted playful tone before pressing her finger on the necklace. As Myut knew would, nothing happened, but Viv seemed especially relieved with the loud sigh that followed. “Yeah, it’s fine like this. Inert.”

Myut had appreciated Viv’s attempt to lighten up the mood, though, and flashed her a stupid grin to show that he approved of the jest. Cyr, however, had not seemed to even notice it. The lust demon simply swiped everything excluding the cursed object back into his bag. He dumped that into a bottom drawer, and the noise of him shutting it sounded loud to Meu’s ears. The greed frowned softly now while Cyr was still turned away from them. Beholding Cyris’ back had only lasted a few moments though, for soon the tall demon turned back around with a smile that didn’t seem to quite reach his eyes, Myut noticed.

Cyr expressed his gratitude to the two of them, assuring them that he would do his damnedest not to let it encircle his throat. Meu was grateful for that, but he heard the way that Cyris trailed off at the end of his sentence. It bothered Myut greatly. As Viv moved to exit the room, the white-haired demon hesitated a bit, staying almost in line with Cyr while they neared closer to the doorway, but still in front. He shifted from one foot to the other for a moment, not quite sure what to do. It didn’t feel quite right to just leave like this, Cyr may have sounded cheery, but he was clearly bothered. Myut did not know if it was appropriate or polite for him to try to check on him, though.

Mew allowed his instinct to take hold in the end as he heard the footfalls of the other silence as he hesitated near the door. Meu redirected his intention from leaving to turning back around and stopping a very short distance from Cyr. Only half a step separated them. They were still a small ways away from the door, so they wouldn’t be in direct view of the outer room. Gently, Meu lilted his body to the right a bit so he could hide the lifting of his arm, just in case someone were to be sneaking a look into the bedroom.

Myut softly folded his fingers over his own tanned palm and used the flat of his pinky to mellowly bump against Cyr’s left pec. Mew had been going for a reassuring touch, tilting his chin up ever so slightly to gaze into the face of the other.
“We’ll figure it out.” He gave a faint, closed-eye smile as he withdrew his hand, hoping to god he didn’t just make things more uncomfortable for Cyr by committing some sort of social faux pas. Myut was typically good at that sort of stuff, but this was sort of new territory for him.

Cyr had turned slightly in response to Myut moving closer, intending to watch him pass. Surprise seemed to ghost his face as he instead found Meu lingering at his side. With his gentle touch and reassuring words, Meu was terribly pleased to find Cyr’s lips parting slightly as the lust met the greed’s pale green eyes. A look of bemusement settled in the corners of Cyris’ mouth before they curved up into a small, almost timid smile.


“Thank you,” he murmured softly, gaze still trapped by Myut’s slim yet sturdy face. ”I...I appreciate your help,” he reached up and gently laid a hand on the Greed demon’s elbow for a moment.

This returned smile had Meu pursing his lips ever so slightly, not quite sure how to react to it. Furthermore, the thanks and the reciprocated touch had his cheeks flushing awkwardly. He gave a swift nodnod as he sheepishly used his free hand to run his fingers through his fluffy hair, hesitating to break the connection on the other occupied arm. With a soft cough and a pause to look into Cyr’s deep and rich golds, hand still mid-hair, Mew let his gaze buckle and seek out something else.
“A-anyway.” He gave a clipped nod of his head and decided to retreat.

He paused momentarily at the threshold, though, and gave a soft,
“Anytime,” before stepping out and trying very damn hard to ignore the weird and painful thumping in his chest. That had indeed been a little nerve-wracking, so it was no wonder his heart was hammering a bit. He could have messed that up real bad, and then where would his social image be? He’d have to trade in his business cufflinks.

As Meu turned and took a step past the demon's door, however, he found Viv waiting there for him. He stepped aside from the opening of the door in case Cy needed to get by.
"Yes?"

"What did you think of that? A little crazy, isn't it?" Viv spoke quietly, also stepping away from the door. “Yeah, crazy is a good word for it.” Myut frowned, doing his best to resist the urge to turn back and check on Cyr again already, even though he had literally just done so. It worried him. Especially since the black-haired demon had had no clue about the cursed item to begin with, and who even knows how long he had had it with him.

”I'm glad we found it. Well, you. But I wanted to ask if you had any way to tell if something is missing from someone else's collection?" It was indeed lucky that the two of them had found it and been able to warn Cyris. As she spoke, Viv was slowly moving towards the entrance to her own room.

“Ah, I certainly couldn’t have figured out those runes, and knowing is half the battle.” The greed demon unabashedly praised her in soft tones, listening as she asked him about other missing items and commented on maybe getting more into runic studies. Myut knew he hadn’t been the only one those guards had been skimming off the top from! He was eager to follow after her in the direction of her room, as he assumed entering it with him was her desire, and spoke up to answer while they walked. The greed was back, and Myut wanted to go through more stuff. It was simply a bonus if it also helped Vivian out.

“If you can give me a general description of what you’ve originally brought with you, I would be able to cross check swiftly with what’s physically there. I’d need quantity or count, but if you want help dividing things up to check for yourself, I can also do that in a markedly fast and efficient manner.”

Viv explained that, along with her parents, she had brought loads of things to the gala to show off to potential buyers. She then requested he stand in the way of the door, to which he obliged. Myut stood obediently at the door while curiously watching Viv move about. He didn’t really know what she was doing at first, but as she flitted about the room, producing more and more boxes of jewelry, it was beginning to click. She had hid her things. That was a good idea. Valramir, he was reminded once more, had been snooping the prior evening. And now the greed demon was being informed that Eris had a similar tendency.

At this revelation, Myut bristled like an angry, bushy cat. No touchy his things. Especially wrath demons named Eris. He would be properly putting away his things as soon as he returned to his room. Whenever that may be. It could be a long day, honestly.

Vivian just kept bringing more and more boxes over, almost eliciting a jaw-drop from Myut. How had she brought this much to the gala? How had the guards brought this much to here? He was very, very impressed. The pride demon spoke up then, chatting while she hauled things from here to there,
“I guess I don’t really think it was you, I was caught in a place I ‘wasn’t supposed to be’ and it was a complete misunderstanding. So I think they might be prone to overreacting. A little. Compared to some of the others. Anyway.”

Myut nodded, leaning just a bit on the doorframe. “Same,” He grinned lightly at her, genuinely at ease being in her presence. Plus goodies! He wasn’t about to say anything that might get him kicked out now.

Once she indicated it was safe for him to join her at the bed, Mew strode forward to eagerly drink up what was laid out before him. Yes, there was a lot. Viv unveiled the first box, and the greed leaned avariciously forward, knuckles resting near the edge of the mattress. What he saw there turned his orbs covetous, and he traced a delicate finger over the handsome craftsmanship. Viv enlightened him about the sorts of other ornaments she had brought, pulling out a box which held a matching coronet to the set. Very gorgeous. So captivating. Meu’s fingers twitched and he hummed thoughtfully, eyes set like a laser on the piece.

Vivian then reminded him what he was here for, and he dragged his eyes away to politely meet her gaze while she spoke to him.
“Absolutely. Show me where to start.”

“Okay, so there’s a few pieces in this category. There’s this set here, also a cuff with a jeweled phoenix on it. There’s a mosaic locket with really tiny gems, there’s a music box…” Meu listened attentively while Viv listed off the last few they were looking for - ten in all. “Let’s look for those 9 first, since they’re the most important. Then I’ll tell you about the rest. Or would you rather know now?”

Myut carefully tallied the items she was listing for their first category, standing at his full height now and putting a finger up to his chin in thought. “We can work on them in chunks; it’ll be more manageable that way.” The white haired demon began to take the tops off of boxes and containers to begin the search. Occasionally he would peer back at the pretty showpiece Vivian had originally shown him.

The two of them searched around diligently, and Mew smiled brightly at Vivian’s pretty face when she so triumphantly produced one of the items they were searching for. He himself had pulled a folded-over piece of parchment from a box and had opened it to reveal the locket that was supposed to be part of the show category. He set it aside next to the box holding the full body set, making a nice little section for their current category.


“Ah, I know!”

Viv went over to her wardrobe and returned with a sheaf of papers, sorting through them.

“Here’s what they look like, this might help.” Myut accepted the offered stack. So it seemed that she had even brought the concept art with her. That proved very fortuitous for the two of them in this case. Meu began fingering through the pages. The first page was for a brilliant pair of earrings, while the next few detailed the music box, to which he stopped suddenly when he beheld it. He set the others aside, clutching at the remaining pieces of paper and bringing them closer to get a better look.

The way the metal had been worked seemed as though someone touched by divinity had molded it. This he liked. Very, very much. A few pages behind it seemed to be a piece of parchment with the sheet music for the melody it was supposed to play. While no expert on the subject, Myut enjoyed enough fine art and classic history to have picked up on how to read scores. His eyes hopped from note to note, initially silent but soon trying to hum one or two and then the rest of them to hear what the sound should be.

At the noise of papers being rustled voraciously, Viv turned to see what was going on, and smiled when she found Myut poring over the last page.
“You know how to read that?” She asked. “It kinda goes like this-,” Meu looked up when he heard Viv join him in song, giving a pleasant grin and letting her take over. When she finished the little ditty, to which Meu was enrapturedly listening to, regardless of how well her performance was, he gave a very quiet whistle. “Beautiful,” He nodded, regarding the images once more before starting to hunt with a vigor.

Unfortunately, even after swiftly zooming through the rest of the boxes, he didn’t seem to be finding it.
“Well, Viv, I think we’ve got some bad news.”

Viv frowned knowingly, telling him to break it to her anyway.

“The music box is most definitely gone.” His tone turned a little gravelly and grumpy; he had wanted to behold the beautiful thing with his own touch and see the real deal. More than that his sin itched like some annoying bug bite that would not go away. Mew thrummed his fingers against his thigh with a look of irritation. There was nothing that could be done though; if it wasn’t there, it wasn’t there. “Could I keep these?” The greed asked, referring to the papers he still held in one hand. That would be the only way to satiate the pestering void at this point.

“I also didn’t see the earrings you mentioned, either.”

Meu looked up as Viv took a deep, frustrated breath at having lost such precious things already. However, Myut was both pleased and heavily relieved to hear her then say that he could keep his precious little images. He would take these as payment for helping her out with sorting this stuff. In regards to her informing that she may temporarily take them back should her family need to recreate the piece, Myut answered with an, “Of course.”

“Better than that. If we ever find the music box, it’s yours.”

Her tone was definitely sore as she added ruefully that he could keep the box if they could find it.
“Hell yeah,” he muttered under his breath, clenching his fist triumphantly for a moment before nodding with a regal regard. He could empathize with her change in attitude. He had been livid when he found his own things gone. In fact, just thinking about how precious and unique the few pieces that had been stolen had him clenching his fists for another reason. He ground his teeth lightly. “Let’s go through the other categories.” He spoke with a renewed vigor, organizing the last few items they had found before getting started on the next round.

“It is infuriating, isn’t it?” Vivian responded to Myut’s anger. “We better be compensated for the losses when we get out. Did some of your things get taken too?”

“Wickedly vexing,” Myut agreed. “Oh yes,” He answered in regard to her questioning whether he had lost things too, “I shudder to think of the tainted little paws that grazed my precious things.” He growled out while sorting through another box. “Irreplaceable. I don’t want compensation, I want an arm and maybe a leg from whomever did it.” He made sure to keep his breathing even and his fists gentle, lest he crush in his anger the lid he was propping open. “And then I would hit them with the filthy thing.”

“Anyway,”
He mumbled, taking certain pieces of jewelry out to set aside, now creating two more lists depicted by Vivian’s next descriptions of the remaining categories. He would make swift work of clustering and organizing what he thought went where based on the information he had to go off.

“Go get’em,” She encouraged lightly with a somewhat amused tone. Myut simply smirked in response.

“You like to fight, Myu? I love a good spar. Might be nice to get some of that anger out too.”

Meu paused while poking at one side of a piece of jewelry and then the other, trying to get it positioned just right as it sat in its little group. “Ah, you’ll actually find me to be rather shit at fighting.” He laughed. “I get it up here,” He tapped on his temple, “But I don’t have the proper training here,” He gestured to the rest of his body. “I can handle myself, but I don’t think I’d hold up proper against someone like you who actually has skilled experience. If it’ll make you feel better to beat my ass though~,” He chimed cheerfully, giving her two thumbs up.

Myut preferred to avoid altercations wherever possible, normally finding that he could talk or haggle his way out of a bad situation. That wasn’t to say he hadn’t run into the occasional bear or disgruntled demon, though.


“Ah, I see; I’ll take a raincheck, then. You think Cyr knows how to fight?” She asked cheerfully as she joined him at his side once more, finishing up a little bit of final organizing here and there before looking over everything scrutinizingly. Meu shrugged honestly with a grin, “I don’t have the slightest clue if Cyr would be a good sparring partner.”

“I owe you one,” She said softly, beginning to replace the jewelry into its many cases.“Is there anything I can do for you?”

He was delightfully surprised when he heard her say that she owed him one. He was a little confused at first, since he had already taken the music box papers, but hey, if she was offering~.

Myut gazed pointedly at the original box she had opened - the one with the body set - eyes glimmering hopefully.

Viv followed his eyes over to the very first box, and her eyebrows arched in surprise.
“That won’t fit,” She said bluntly. “I mean, ah...do you have a petite partner back home?”

“And?” He asked cheekily without missing a beat. She tried being polite in considering another reason why he might want it, but no, he had wanted it for himself. It was shiny and gorgeous, after all. He laughed benignly. “No; I suppose you’re right-” He paused suddenly, “I wonder if Ino would fit in it?” He mused offhandedly. Myut had originally almost been tempted to respond with a joking ‘well we won’t know unless we try, right?’ but he would never risk damaging something so precious. With such meticulous and skilled craftsmanship, he wouldn’t be able to have anything resized either. That would be too much of a headache, even if he could find a crafter as skilled as the Lacerta family.

“Ino?” Viv thought about the envy for a bit. “Almost definitely, if his arms are slim enough for the bracelets. This is designed for incubi though, though the more common kind. The petite ones.”

Myut nodded with a sort of breathed laugh at Viv’s comment on the size of normal lust demons. Cyr was seriously such an oddball. Myut nodded down at his music box papers, though. “This is more than enough.”

“When we’re out of here, I’ll see if I can convince the craftsman to make you a set like that, okay? No guarantees, but I’ll check. Would you also mind blocking the door again so I can hide these?”

He blinked at her offer to try to convince the original creator of the set to make a duplicate in his size. He gave a big, shimmering grin at that. “I’ll be sure to pay nicely for it. And certainly.” He resumed his duty as door sentry, watching Viv put her things back away, and secretly taking some notes on her exceptional hiding places.

Once her stuff was all hidden, she joined Myut at the door.
“Let’s go,” She spoke with a smile. Meu ducked his head in agreement, giving a nonchalant grin as he turned out of the doorway and back into the fray side by side with Viv.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Amos
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【”This has to be an overreaction”】
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Vivian had just emerged from her room after changing, smoothing down the red silk, when the announcement was made. After a moment to consider it (she didn't recognise the guard, which was good for him), she turned again, heading through the doorway to Bez’s room.


Her girlfriend was still asleep, and Viv looked at her tenderly before leaning in and pressing her lips to her forehead.


"Wakey wakey~ We're being called," she murmured, sitting down beside her.

Bezabelle was deeply asleep, lips parted slightly, though they twitched up into a smile when Viv kissed her forehead. Her eyes didn't flutter at all, too determined to stay asleep. Viv's second attempt seemed to wake her a bit more, though Bez only grumbled a bit, her eyes still tightly shut.


"Calling? Who's calling?"

Viv looked even more fond, gently stroking Bezabelle’s hair. "I don't know. Some blond guard. He's asked that everyone go sit at the table. I think we should be there."

"Hmm?" Bezzie's eyes flickered open for a few sleepy blinks but she didn't sound particularly convinced yet. She just turned onto her side for snuggles, putting her head into Viv’s lap, closing her eyes again. Rather than speaking, her voice was closer to a whine. "Or we could just be here?" She curled a bit tighter around Viv, then fully relaxed back toward slumber.

Viv's heart was melting - Bez was just far too cute.
"Come on, sweetheart." She murmured, trying to lift up the smaller woman. "We should hear what he's got to say."

She carefully propped Bez into a sitting position against her body, using one of the sheets to keep her skimpy nightwear covered away from the door. That was for her eyes only.

Once forced to sit, Bez seemed to wake up a bit more again. She laid her head on Viv's shoulder, snuggling into the taller woman. "Seems like you're more stubborn than me. Mkay, where is he? Do we have to go now?"

“Yup, right now~” Viv nuzzled Bezabelle’s hair. “Do you want me to carry you, sweetheart? I can carry you. You won’t have to lift a finger. Just let me cover you up a bit, okay?” The pride demon took the sheet, wrapping it over Bezabelle’s shoulders. “Or do you want to get dressed? We can definitely take the time for that.”

"But if I get dressed, it'll be harder to go back to sleep again." Bez put her arms around Viv's shoulders. "Let's just go."

Viv turned a little pink but stood, carefully wrapping Bez up in the sheet and then a blanket for good measure. No one else was going to get an eyeful of her girlfriend's underthings if she could help it. Once Bezabelle was nice and cozy, Viv lifted her fairly easily, carrying her into the main room. She sat at the table, keeping the Gluttony in her lap so she could nuzzle her hair.

Viv’s arms tightened protectively around Bez as the accusations were read out. She was mad too - she could have explained being in that room if they’d just asked, and Bez had ‘associated with suspicious people’? That was a load of bullshit, especially with how they’d treated the gluttony. But some of the others really did sound suspicious and…

And…

Any other thoughts Vivian might have had on the matter vanished as her girlfriend stood up, shaking off the sheets. Her eyes immediately swept down, locking on Bez’s butt as she strode forward.

It looked so...beautiful. So soft and curved, like an upside-down heart, wrapped invitingly in enticing lingerie and surely Bez would let her touch-

Viv had to shake her head to force herself to focus, barely catching the gist of what Bezabelle had said in the meantime. She stood up too, placing the sheets on the chair and striding forward, bowing over Bez and wrapping her arms around her.


“Do you need me here with you, sweetheart?” she murmured, low in the smaller woman’s ear, before slowly lifting her head to pin Amos with the iciest of cold glares for daring to look at her girl.

Bez shook her head and murmured back,
"Do you happen to know anything about cursed items? I think Cyr needs help."

“I know a bit about runework. He’s who I wanted to talk to anyway.” Viv said softly, dropping a kiss into Bezabelle’s hair. “Be careful, love. Don’t make the guard too mad.” she stepped back though, feeling that Bez could handle herself. With a last, fond look, she quickly headed across the room.

“Cyris!” she called and headed over, catching the tail end of Cyr's sentence. He was claiming he'd never seen a cursed item… that wasn't actually improbable. It was a rare skill…or a great lie.

"Cyris." She said again, stopping them before they got into the room. The Greed slid between them, and Viv just…looked at him. This was none of his business, she wasn’t planning on hurting the much larger demon.

"I wanted to say…" this was hard, her teeth were gritting a bit, "sorry for being a sore loser yesterday. Pride demon thing. I'm sure you know what it's like." She said casually, folding her arms across her chest. "Do you, ah… want any help?" She looked between the two. "I've seen some runework before." Neither seemed to want her help, really, and Viv was prepared to apologize and slowly back away.

It was the Greed who spoke first again, though he’d changed his mind about her, to her surprise.
“It wouldn’t hurt to have another set of experienced eyes. I’ll know what’s cursed, but I can’t promise I’ll know what kind of curse it could be.”

Now Viv had to hope that she could actually identify the curse, and prove she had some kind of use beyond cockblocking the soft looks they’d been sharing.

“Don’t worry, I was just trying to be gentlemanly,” Cyris replied, his tone slightly teasingly. “Lust demon, you know how it is.” He winked, then turned his gaze back to Myut. “Let’s go,” he said, beckoning both of them into his room.

Viv laughed, a little awkward.
"I guess, yeah."

She hadn't been around many lust demons at all. Nor did she like being teased, but she didn't want to antagonise him right after apologising. So she kept herself in check, despite the difficulty, and followed the two demons into the room, taking in the looks they were giving each other. Somehow, they felt significant.

The room was fairly clean, up until the lust demon began to dump his stuff on the bed, spreading it around. When Cyr spilled his stash on the bed, Vivian's eyebrows rose. She stepped up, first picking up an intricate Ruby Cross, checking it over lightly. She found nothing that could be a rune, and laid it aside, closer to Myut, who might know better. She didn't touch anything that wasn't jewelry, sticking to her realm of expertise only. At her side, the greed worked quickly, making his way through all the non-jewelry items, and quickly picking up the slack on her end.

It was he who found it, pinching a black velvet necklace gingerly between two fingers. Viv didn’t want to touch it either, so she reached for a hairpin to manipulate it. At that moment, her hair tumbled over her shoulder, blocking her view, and she growled in frustration before turning to the lust.


"Could I borrow this?” she asked Cyr, holding up the hairpin she’d picked up.

As soon as he agreed, Viv pinned her hair expertly, then drew a different pin from the pile, using that and the cross to flip the necklace over. When she squinted and angled her head just so, she could see it. Tiny threads, black on black, stitched into the underside of the design. It must have cost a fortune, for such remarkable craftsmanship….

She was no expert, but she’d seen and worked with runes before. The first she recognized was near the clasps.


"this rune here,” she said, “basically means...unbreakable. It’s normally used to strengthen, but it’s linked with this ‘unless’ modifier, and I can’t read the rest but that’s normally used to make a piece of jewelry only one person can take off. Even if someone else is wearing it, only the owner can ‘break’ it.” she explained before leaning back over. There had to be something else… Unbreakable didn’t make a piece ‘extremely cursed’.

She finally found it, near the cluster of the most complex, interwoven runes on the piece.
“Okay, so, this one here is in the transformation family of runes. That’s all I know, they trigger transformations. I think there’s a specific one for animal, and there’s a thing you need for reversibility and- wait – ” she stared more at the rune, at the jagged edges, at the almost menacing slice of edges and how the slant represented brows furrowed in anger. “I think that might be...mutate?” she blinked a few times. “Like...80% sure that one means mutate. Which is the ‘curse’ version of transform, like, it’s harder to undo and can last longer…”

Myut had angled his head similarly to how Vivian was doing. When she pointed out the mutation inscription, the white haired demon gave a low, thoughtful hum. “Mutate would need quite the collection of instructions…”

“I bet that that’s this mess over here…” Viv poked the cluster with the hairpin, then looked up again, seeming to notice that Cyr hadn’t moved the entire time she’d been speaking. “Are you, uh, ok?”

Myut rambled a bit about history before focusing on Cyr. Viv, meanwhile picked up on the implications…if his family had given it to him, with such a complex mutation…someone was definitely trying to keep Cyr out of the way. But why, and how?

She doubted the large demon could answer, he seemed to shocked and caught off guard.


“Don’t put this on. Ever.” Myut was saying, and Viv nodded in agreement.

“Although it should be okay to handle, just don’t close the clasps - that’s what activates ‘unbreakable’ and maybe the rest of the runes too. This gem is too small to be a power source.” she said confidently, then looked between the other two demons. They needed to know for sure that it was safe, and she wanted Cyr to have at least a little reassurance…

“Avenge me!” she said, trying for playful, before pressing her finger against the surface. Nothing happened, and though she’d been pretty sure on that, she still let out a gusty sigh of relief. “Yeah, it’s fine like this. Inert.”

After a bit more conversation, she headed out, but paused beyond his door, remembering she’d wanted to talk to Myut anyway. She paused briefly but turned, catching the very tail end of Myut's gesture. She didn't approach, instead waiting for the Greed demon to come closer when he was done.

"Yes?" the tall white-haired man asked.

"What did you think of that? A little crazy, isn't it?" Viv said quietly, stepping from the door. ”I'm glad we found it. Well, you. But I wanted to ask if you had any way to tell if something is missing from someone else's collection?" As she spoke, she slowly moved towards the entrance to her own room.

“Yeah, crazy is a good word for it. No, I certainly couldn’t have figured out those runes, and knowing is half the battle.” He praised her, and the pride demon drank it up.

”Maybe I’ll get more into them. Though I don’t think I actually have the power to...power them, but it was nice to be able to help.” Her reply was...well, it was an attempt at being humble.

“If you can give me a general description of what you’ve originally brought with you, I would be able to cross check swiftly with what’s physically there. I’d need quantity or count, but if you want help dividing things up to check for yourself, I can also do that in an extremely fast and efficient manner.” Myut said about the sorting.

“I brought a lot with me and my parents did too, and now it’s all with me. Well, was. Wait a bit, can you just stand in the door?” Using Meu to block the entry, she began to retrieve the jewelry from the variety of hiding places she had found. “Sorry about this. By the way-” she paused, looking over at him. “Bez told me that Eris has an eye for shiny things, so you might want to store those high up. As she put it, if she can reach it, Eris can, and I don’t think any of us want to go toe to toe with a wrath. Who committed arson. If we’re trapped in here, it might as well be nice, right?”

Viv was getting chattier as she worked, the boxes really piling up now. “I guess I don’t really think it was you, I was caught in a place I ‘wasn’t supposed to be’ and it was a complete misunderstanding.” she even rolled her eyes, turning around as she spoke, her hands on her hips. “So I think they might be prone to overreacting. A little. Compared to some of the others. Anyway.” She waved him over. “As you can see, there’s a lot. I kind of need help checking in tiers, I suppose? So we brought jewelry to show and jewelry to trade and jewelry to gift.” She reached for one of the largest flat boxes and opened it, showing Myut what was inside.

It was a full body set of jewelry, consisting of a necklace, four bracelets, two anklets, and a belt. The pieces were all interconnected with impossibly fine chains, so tiny that at first glance, they looked to be made of golden thread. Some of the links held tiny gemstones between them, and in a few places, the golden links were made of precious stone instead. Vivian opened another box to display the pretty coronet that went with it.
“This is a display piece, to show what we’re capable of doing. We brought a few in this category and I know them all, but it’s kind of hard to sort. Is that something you can help with?”

Myut definitely appreciated the craftsmanship of the piece, which Viv appreciated in general. “Absolutely. Show me where to start.” He said.

“Okay, so there’s a few pieces in this category. There’s this, it’s a dance set. There’s a cuff with a jeweled phoenix on it. There’s a mosaic locket with really tiny gems, there’s a music box…” Viv listed off the others they were looking for, ten in all. None of them were similar at all, but what they all had in common was exquisite detail and expert craftsmanship. Every piece Vivian named had taken weeks, if not months of painstaking work to create. They were the pride of the family, and for good reason. “Let’s look for those 9 first, since they’re the most important. Then I’ll tell you about the rest. Or would you rather know now?”

“We can work on them in chunks; it’ll be more manageable that way.” The white haired demon began to take the tops off of boxes and containers to begin the search.

Viv was searching diligently too, the company making the tedious task much more pleasant. She let out a pleased sound when she uncovered the cuff bundled in with some necklaces. She carefully freed it from the chains, presenting it triumphantly, the phoenix gleaming brilliantly even in the soft light.
“This one is Da’s favourite.” she said softly, laying it aside. “Ah, I know!”

She went to her wardrobe and returned with a sheaf of papers, sorting through them.

“Here’s what they look like, this might help.” she offered Myut the stack. The first page was for a brilliant pair of earrings, while the next few detailed the music box she had mentioned. The music box had very few gems, compared to the others, but it made up for it with intricate metalwork. The very first page detailed each layer of the design, creating a vivid and detailed image of a young man overlooking the sea from a cliff. The sheet music for the song the box played was attached at the very back. Viv remembered sitting up with her Dad on late nights as he laboured over the paper thin sheets of metal, melting and remelting until each layer was perfect. She’d even helped him find the song, which Myut was now trying to hum.

”You know how to read that?” she asked. She knew how to read music in theory, but she’d rarely ever put it into practise. “It kinda goes like this-” while none of her hums were quite in tune, they were in the general vicinity of it, and the timing was more or less spot on.

“Beautiful,” Myut praised, before returning to their search. It wasn’t long before he spoke again, a sadder tone. “Well, Viv, I think we’ve got some bad news.”

The pride demon had the sinking feeling that she knew what he was going to say. “I think I know, but tell me anyway.”

“The music box is most definitely gone.” His tone turned distinctly grumpy, his fingers tapping, so Viv was surprised by his next words. “Could I keep these?” The greed asked, evidently referring to the papers he still held in one hand. “I also didn’t see the earrings you mentioned, either.”

Viv took a deep breath, seriously frustrated. “Yeah, you can keep the notes, we just might need them at some point to copy the technique, okay?” That seemed fair, but she wasn’t calming down. She was a demon of Pride, and her family had been stolen from. Her family’s hard work had been taken from them without restitution and she was pissed. In that moment she made an impulse decision, but one she instinctively felt her mother would approve of. “Better than that. If we ever find the music box, it’s yours.”

“Of course. Hell yeah,” his enthusiasm for her offer did sooth her spirit. If she understood greed demons at all, if Myut ever saw the music box, he’d raise hell to claim it.

“Let’s go through the other categories.” He was saying, seemingly in better spirits himself.

“It’s infuriating, isn’t it? We better be compensated for the losses when we get out. Did some of your things get taken too?”

She reached for another of the boxes, opening it to reveal several necklaces and pendants, held neatly in place. The necklaces were quite pretty, scrollwork holding vivid gemstones in place, rains of diamonds, and in one case, a lotus-like shape in pink. “The next group was things like this, things for trade. I don’t have notes for these, but they’re pretty, but made to appeal to as many people as possible, you know? I think my Da’s tried to trade you some of these at some point.

“There’s a lot to check, but it’s more empty boxes, empty spaces than specific items here. What’s left besides these are gifts. I think we gave away all the custom gifts, so that’s good. So the last category is going to be simple jewelry, almost like...party favours, I guess? I guess it doesn't matter if they stole those, really, except they stole them.”
she huffed.

Viv would have been scared of the Greed demon’s dark threats, but having grown up with a Wrath brother, she was mostly amused. [color][Color=#009874] “Go get’em.”
she encouraged lightly. Myut was sorting faster than she could, and she was very impressed by his speed and accuracy. Even though it was her jewelry, she almost felt like she’d just get in his way.

“You like to fight, Myu?” she asked him, focusing instead of packing away the jewelry as the Greed expertly sorted them. “I love a good spar. Might be nice to get some of that anger out too.”

And with his muscles and stature, Myut was exactly the kind of guy she lived to fight.

Myut laughed a little
“Ah, you’ll actually find me to be rather shit at fighting. I get it up here,” He tapped on his temple, “But I don’t have the proper training here,” He gestured to the rest of his body. “I can handle myself, but I don’t think I’d hold up proper against someone like you who actually has skilled experience. If it’ll make you feel better to beat my ass though~,” He chimed cheerfully, giving her two thumbs up.

“Ah, I see,” Viv was surprised, a little disappointed, but not upset. “I’ll take a rain cheque, then. You think Cyr knows how to fight?” she asked cheerfully, finishing up the sorting. She wasn’t interested in a fight with an unskilled fighter, that would definitely be too easy for how she was feeling now. Too many of the tradeable pieces were missing, and she really did want to punch something right now, but not Myut. Myut had been nice and helpful.

“I owe you one,” she said softly, beginning to replace the jewelry into its many cases. “Is there anything I can do for you?”

Meu shrugged in response, “I don’t have the slightest clue if Cyr would be a good sparring partner.” He grinned over at her as she joined him at his side once more, and gazed hopefully at the box containing the dance set when she offered him a reward.

Viv followed his eyes, and her eyebrows arched in surprise.


“That won’t fit.” she said bluntly. “I mean, ah...do you have a petite partner back home?” she tried to soften the question.

“And?” He asked cheekily. “No, I suppose you’re right-” He paused. “I wonder if Ino would fit in it? This – ” he indicated the papers, “ is more than enough.”

“Ino?” Viv thought about the Envy for a bit, distracted, wondering if Myut also liked him, considering the implication of this set. Did he want it as a gift for the envy? “Almost definitely, if his arms are slim enough for the bracelets. This is designed for incubi though, though the more common kind. The petite ones.”

In this one interaction, Vivian suddenly understood why her dad found Myut frustrating - she couldn’t make sense of how he perceived value at all. But still…

“When we’re out of here, I’ll see if I can convince the craftsman to make you a set like that, okay? No guarantees, but I’ll check. Would you also mind blocking the door again so I can hide these?”

Myut gave another breathy laugh. “I’ll be sure to pay nicely for it. And certainly.”

Viv smiled back, before attending to the time consuming task of hiding all her boxes away. As she packed, she went through the logistics of recreating this set in a larger size. They’d need more gems, more gold, and Myut could probably make custom requests anyway. She got the feeling that he’d get along well with Mal. Thinking about her brother now made her sigh. She wondered how he was dealing with his situation, if his hair had turned any less cyan. She almost wished he was here too instead of the pissy wrath. He’d have been trying to make friends from the start. Mal’d try to believe the best of everyone here…

Once the jewelry was hidden, Viv joined Myut at the door.
“Let’s go,” she said with a smile.

Meu ducked his head in agreement, giving a nonchalant grin as he turned out of the doorway and back into the fray side by side with Viv.

Viv immediately had to hurry to check on Bezabelle, who had been fighting with the guard, but luckily, he'd targetted the little wrath demon and not her.

She had barely finished when one of the doors swung open and Ino emerged, a fluffy towel around his shoulders, saying something about a bath. Viv glanced around, then sniffed herself discreetly, but she was fine. She’d make use of it tonight, maybe.

Instead, she bid her girlfriend goodbye and headed over to the Envy. He was, based on what the guard said, one of the most dangerous here, but Viv had a little bit of a plan.

That, and she doubted he’d try anything out here.


”Ino, right? You mentioned you knew my mom, and she doesn’t talk much about her past with us, so I was wondering, if you had time, if we could talk a bit?”

The envy certainly seemed surprised by her request but he agreed readily. The two demons soon ended up on the couch, Viv sitting primly, Ino with his legs folded under him.

What he told her made Viv appreciate her parents a lot more.

Marie didn’t like to speak of her childhood, and Ino easily explained why, as well as their connection. Both had been raised by lower level demons, pride and envy respectively, and as their mothers hated each other, they used their children to compete.

It did explain her mother’s eclectic collection of skills, an apparent unending competition. Marie was a born singer (Ino claimed he was better at instruments, though he’d glanced around cagily before saying so), with an innate ability to charm and flatter. She was also good at flower arranging and sharpening weapons. She’d left home as soon as she could manage, and Ino apparently credited her with inspiring him to do the same.

They’d even worked together briefly, and Ino had witnessed the start of her parents’ courtship.

Viv had had an ulterior motive in asking Ino about her mom, but she found herself genuinely enjoying hearing the older demon speak. For a bit, she sat, both absorbing the stories and appreciating more than ever how Marie had let her play and romp until she’d hit her teenage years.


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Valramir Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Amos Character Portrait: Abadeer Tyrano Character Portrait: Eris Leblanc
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#, as written by slcam
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【"The game is harder when you don't know the stakes…"】
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【Her bed → Viv's arms→ scolding Amos】
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Bezabelle was deeply asleep, lips parted slightly. Her breathing was soft and her face peaceful. She snuggled into Viv as the morning went on, stirring restlessly when Viv got up, but it was only moments before she settled again.


"Wakey wakey~ We're being called."

By the time Vivian came back to wake her, Bez was nearly dreaming. Her lips twitched up into a smile when Viv kissed her forehead, but her eyes didn't flutter. Viv's second attempt woke her a bit more, and Bez grumbled a bit as Viv spoke to her, her eyes still closed against the morning light. Bez managed to mumble a faint reply, "Calling? Who's calling?"

"I don't know. Some blond guard. He's asked that everyone go sit at the table. I think we should be there."


"Hmm?" Bezzie's eyes flickered open for a few sleepy blinks. She didn't sound particularly convinced yet. She turned onto her side, curling her legs to snuggle against Viv with her head almost in Viv's lap. Not only was the new position more comfortable, but Vivian's stroking her head was rather soothing. Her eyes fluttered shut again, far too heavy to keep open, and she muttered, almost whining, "Or we could just be here?" She curled a bit tighter around Viv, then fully relaxed back toward slumber.

"Come on, sweetheart. We should hear what he's got to say."

And now Bez was sitting up. Much less comfortable, she had no choice but to wake up. She laid her head on Viv's shoulder, snuggling into the taller woman with a sigh. "Seems like you're more stubborn than me. Mkay, where is he? Do we have to go now?"


“Yup, right now~ Do you want me to carry you, sweetheart? I can carry you. You won’t have to lift a finger. Just let me cover you up a bit, okay? Or do you want to get dressed? We can definitely take the time for that.”


"But if I get dressed, it'll be harder to go back to sleep again." Despite her words, Bez was pretty well awake, but she was not ready to let Viv know it yet. She was thoroughly enjoying Vivian's coddling. Bez put her arms around Viv's shoulders. "Let's just go."


Bez allowed herself to be bundled, enjoying every bit of excessive doting. She was exhausted and unhappy with being awake so soon after she had managed to fall asleep; but, she was also deliciously warm with the extra blanket and was thoroughly enjoying the strong embrace of Vivian's arms as she carried Bez out into the main room. She couldn't help but give a triumphant yet discreet smirk to whoever caught her eye as they moved to the table. Then, Viv sat Bez in her lap, and Bez could feel her still nuzzling her hair. She was honestly surprised. She didn't think Viv was comfortable with that level of public affection. Either way, Bez was not going to protest.

Still, there was the matter at hand. The blond guard looked nervous. When he began to speak, Bez was fairly sure she recognized him as one of the two guards who had brought her here. She could not believe what she was hearing besides. They were here because they were suspects for an assassination attempt against the Prince? And they, the suspects, were supposed to figure out who did it? And it sounded like whether they picked someone or not, the Prince was going to execute at least one of them in seven days.

Bez could feel a cold fury growing in her gut. She couldn't believe this was happening. She didn't even believe that it was as simple as this guard was making it out to be. The question was, what did he really know about it? As soon as Amos had finished his canned speech, Cyr spoke to Myut. He was asking for help with finding the cursed item. Bez caught a glimpse of Myut's expression. She kept her face still. She wasn't sure what to do about that issue just then, but she would have to keep it in mind for later.

Bez slid from Vivian's lap, sheets forgotten as she took a couple slow steps toward the guard, not bothering to hide her anger. Or anything else for that matter. Though she was only wearing a rather scanty set of sleepwear, she stood as confidently as if she were dressed in armor.


"And if we do have more questions?" Bez asked coldly.

Amos paused.
"Well...er...you are free to ask them..."

She listened to Amos's reply with slitted eyes.


“Do you need me here with you, sweetheart?”

There was sudden warmth as arms slid around her shoulders. Vivian murmured her question but Bezzie's glare never left the guard as she considered. Ah, maybe that?

Bez shook her head and murmured back,
"Do you happen to know anything about cursed items? I think Cyr needs help."

“I know a bit about runework. He’s who I wanted to talk to anyway. Be careful, love. Don't make the guard too mad.”

Vivian kissed Bez's hair, then turned to leave. Bez glanced back to watch Viv's retreating form. She couldn't help but sneak a glance toward Cyr and Myut as well. That was a situation she would have to do something about. Hopefully something more permanent, but she would have to figure out how later. She returned her focus to the guard.

"What the hell is going on here? Or are you actually so incompetent that you have to have the suspects finish your investigation for you?"

He frowned and shrugged. "Wasn't my plan. If you haven't done anything wrong, think of it as a nice vacation. The Prince has more important things to deal with right now. You all will sort yourselves out just fine."

"My, more important than an attempt on his life? That is intriguing indeed," Val mused.

"Whose plan was it?"

"The Prince's, I'd hazard to guess." Amos shrugged again. "You all are in here, he can deal with you when he has the time to again."

"And you're only guessing the order is from the Prince? What, as long as the order looks official, you're content with following it? Makes you seem so loyal to the Prince when you're willing to follow whatever orders you get, whether from him or not."

Amos gave her a strange look and crossed his arms. "Well, they come down the chain of command. He could have easily said 'I don't care what you do with them, lock them up or something,' and the head guard made the plan. It's neither my place or yours to argue with them."

"Not my place to argue? Yeah, right. Watch me. You can't tell me this makes any sense to you," she snapped back.

Amos shrugged. "I don't really care, to be honest. He could be much crueler if he pleased. If you've done nothing wrong, you'll get to leave in a week."

"Or you'll execute the wrong person. Half the crimes are vague. Any demon could have done the same."

"Exactly. How sure are you that you got all the suspects? Because if you didn't, the assassination attempt is still on. Are you really just going to sit on your thumbs and wait for the Prince to deal with it? Hide behind your orders that came from who knows where?"

"Everyone else has left already, including the Prince. What we're doing about the investigation is none of your business. You're here, so you'd best worry about yourself."

Val left then, apparently tired of the conversation. Eris, however, stayed. A plot already began turning in Bez's mind, and Bez turned her attention back to the guard.

"Worry about myself? Maybe you aren't as ridiculous as you seem. What's your name?"


"Amos. Why do you need to know."

"Because, Amos, we're going to be here for the next seven days. Would you rather just be known as 'that guard over there'?"
Her eyes narrowed, lips tightening into an unfriendly smile. "You strike me as a pride demon. Am I right?"

Amos frowned. "It's nothing that concerns you."

"Are you ashamed of it or something? What, is your spirit animal a chicken? Oh! I know. A mouse. Amos, a mouse, it's perfect."


Amos frowned more, shifting back closer to the wall. He seemed ready to leave, but the guard on the other side didn't seem to want to let him out. "I hope you're having fun. Go stand somewhere else and complain, would you?"

As Amos retreated, Bez advanced a couple slow steps, her hand on her hip. It was only she and Eris in the room now. Bez couldn't help her impulse to somehow cause trouble. She wanted to know how far she could push the pride demon before he would either snap or run away. Or better yet, she wondered if Eris would beat her to the punch. She could feel the wrath demon getting more irritated now that Val had left. Which temper would snap first?

"Why would I do that? You said I was free to ask you questions. How about this one, if you were going to be fair and thorough in your investigations, there would be more demons locked in here. I could personally point out two or three you missed, whose activities at the gala were far more suspicious than any demon you managed to catch, and yet they are roaming free and we're the ones trapped here. How is that fair?"


Amos shifted closer again to the wall, looking frustrated. "Fair? What are you, a human? It's not your business what the Prince decides or doesn't decide to do. The fact of the matter is that you are here. Deal with it. You're not asking questions, you're just whining."

Meanwhile, Eris was coiling further and further, agitated by the guard.

Bez continued her slow advance, moving forward whenever the aggravating pride demon retreated. She knew he had to be frustrated, but she wasn't going to let him off easy. And he was ignoring Eris. His mistake. Bez could almost feel her preparing to pounce. This was sure to be fun, and maybe Eris would be able to persuade Amos to be a bit less haughty the next time he came into their little prison/vacation suite.


"I think I'm asking good questions, even if you are too high and mighty to answer them properly."


Bez debated whether to reveal that he was one of the two guards to drag her in here the other day. She quickly decided against it. She didn't actually want Eris to try to kill him. That would bring far too much trouble down on their heads.

"If you don't like my whiny questions, why not just leave? Because I have no issue with getting more information for as long as you choose to stay."


"I disagree," Amos said, sounding frustrated."I don't think you've been asking very good questions at all. Just...if you're going to keep complaining, go stand over there or something." He pointed towards the sofa on the other side of the room.

Bezabelle ignored his request to move. Instead, her brows rose in mock surprise.
"Oh? You don't like my questions? Whatever will I do? Well, what would you ask if you were in my situation, O Wise Mr. Mouse?"

"Well, it's..."

As he started responding, Bez saw Eris hop onto the table. Amos was facing Bezabelle and did not seem to catch the movement out of the corner of his eye. Oops, too late Bez thought. Eris sprinted across the table and launched at the guard. Now it was her turn to feel smug and she was going to relish it. Though it would also probably be in her favor to act a little surprised.

"Eris! Cy-" Bez caught herself, reconsidering, then called out, "Vivian, help!"

Amos managed to throw the small wrath demon away from him. Bez hurried to her. She made a small attempt to keep her from charging, placing a hand on Eris's shoulder before she could spring up.

"Eris! Are you okay?"

Eris sprung up anyways. Instead of focusing on the wrath demon, Bez flashed a smug look of her own at Amos, catching his eye just seconds before he retreated out of the door that had finally appeared. It had taken his fellow guards long enough to save the poor fellow. No one else came through the door to help Amos get out safely nor to punish the attack. Interesting.

With that dramatic scene finished, Bez turned her attention back to the room. She was satisfied with herself, but tried to look worried. It was hard enough to pull off that she found herself using her powers to make the imitation believable. Better to seem a little shaken since she was the one who riled Eris. She was not sure how the situation would turn out and did not want to seem suspicious.

At that moment, she heard Ino enter the main room.
“Hello everyone! So they gave us a bathtub, not sure how long it’ll last, if anyone wants to check that out~”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Valramir Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Eris Leblanc
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【I'm... on the dangerous list? Sweet. Mother would be proud of her sloth.】
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【Main room >spa>bedroom>mainroom】
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【#4169E1】
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Valramir had been having a wonderful little nap beside Bezzy on the couch. Certainly, he’d been squished, but he always preferred snuggling when asleep instead of being alone. It didn’t matter who he was snuggling if it was another warm body. And then something was lifting him. Normally he would have slept through, but it was so out of place considering the situation, he blinked up bleary eyes to see Cyr had picked him up like a lover. Unexpected, but completely welcome. Unfortunately, the atmosphere died quickly considering the information Cyr gave him; a guard had come to speak with them. He pouted as he stopped trying to reach up to wrap his arms around the other demon and let him sit him down at the table beside Meu. He offered the demon a smile, wondering what he was thinking. Did Meu remember what happened that night or would he brush it off as a dream? The guard demon was a far more pressing matter however.

Once everyone was gathered, aw, Bezzy was in Vivian's arms, the guard began to speak and let them know why exactly they'd all ben brought into this little cubbyhole in the wall. Valramir's eyes widened slightly before he schooled his features again. An assassination plot against Abadeer? They were all considered suspects? Valramir couldn't help but feel tickled at the thought and he smirked, almost bursting out into laughter right then and there. Him? A suspect in an assassination's attempt? He was a sloth. Since when did sloths do anything that planned out and elaborate? And what could he possibly gain from killing Abadeer? He certainly didn't want to rule hell. That was way too much work and responsibility. He enjoyed his cozy life. His history showed he couldn't hold onto a territory for long.

Then again... he did have a pension of getting back at demons, and scheming. It had taken some time, but once he'd been driven out of his mother's territory by Lovain, he'd worked with Eris to get the territory back. He'd sabotaged all the guards and Lovain’s soldiers so that when Eris came, no one stood against her. Now Eris had her own territory and his mother's vast lands under her belt. Of course, Valramir had the bonus of being back within his old home doing whatever he pleased while Eris dealt with the actual duty of running the household and dealing with other demons vying for control. It was a win-win. Perhaps this had received attention from the prince. Considering recent events in relation to this bit of his past, it wouldn't be surprising if Valramir tried the same thing again for Eris or another demon. His coup had been thought out, planned, and had taken a lot of time since he'd planted seeds in the minds of the guards and soldiers, working them, slowly. It had taken several days… or maybe a couple of weeks; before he'd gotten that many demons under his prolonged influence. It wouldn't have been effective if he had just tried to blast everyone with the aura; some demons had a strong will and could get out of influence easily. No, small seeds to turn the mind were far more effective. Regardless, what he'd done here was nothing compared to that. This had been purely fun. And feeding. He always did need to feed since he expelled so much energy at all times of the day.

Valramir turned his observations away from himself and looked at the other demons in the room as their sin and actions at the galla were announced one by one. Interesting notes. Ino had poison? What did he have poison for? That was a hefty accusation as well. His eyes narrowed as he watched his face, but the demon had a glamour on his features. He barely noted a change of expression on his pretty face. Smart. Cyr was a lust demon? That was interesting. He would have pegged him as a greed or pride demon. He certainly didn't look like a normal lust demon. And the cursed artifact he'd seen that night came up into question as well. The demon looked genuinely surprised by the information. How had he not known that he had a cursed item? The energy of it was off.

Meu was seen bribing guards and in a restricted area? That was hardly an assassination's plot. He smirked at the indignation Meu displayed at the accusation. He didn't deny being in a restricted area but of course disputed 'bribing'. He didn't doubt they were trades. He hadn't even known Meu before but when he'd come to him, it had been purely about trading one thing for another. He couldn't see him bribing anyone for anything without something hefty in return. Eris had been caught setting things on fire which was hardly new. She'd had a target in mind alright, but it wasn't the prince. If she had been after the prince, she would have come to him no doubt to help her. Eris was a firecracker, but she wasn't stupid. She would have planned things far better than this. And the two of them were as thick as thieves in these sorts of matters since they'd already worked together. Or at least that is what he assumed. She would tell him and include her in her plot.

Bez had simply associated with them all which again, didn't feel like much to go off of. Bez was a social butterfly. She talked to and interacted with everyone at the gala. He didn't doubt she literally talked to every single demon that was here. Why had Abadeer included her in this mess? Vivian being in a restricted area wasn't too alarming, but he didn't know her well enough to make any sort of assumptions just yet. Thus far, the biggest and more narrowly focused accusations were against Ino, Cyr, and himself.

Within his initial thoughts recorded, he was content to sit back and watch how the others interacted with the guard and the accusations. He let his eyes follow Vivian, Meu, and Cyr when Cyr asked for help identifying the cursed object. Hmm. He looked genuinely scared and disturbed at the idea. Who had given him a cursed object? Had the real culprit given it to him in the hopes that he'd pass it to the prince? That seemed sketchy. Maybe Cyr was a good actor? Only time would tell. He turned his gaze back to the others as they began to confront the guard.

Valramir felt Eris and Bez getting angry and used his influence to try and keep things mostly civil. He didn’t think getting into a blood bath would help any of them in the long run. Besides, he wanted to hear what the guard would say. Bez made some good points, and he added a few points of his own. After a moment, Valramir realized that Ino was missing from the gathering. He'd seen him go off into the new room, but he had yet to emerge. What was he up to? Plotting? Curiosity got the better of him and he slowly picked himself up and entered the new bathing chamber. Ugh. Hot and humid. He hated muggy baths. But Ino indeed was there lounging in the bath, looking pretty as ever. The resulting conversation was fun, but not overly informative. Ino was trying to find a way to explain away the poison, but he wasn't sure how convincing he would be in the end. He couldn't really imagine Ino wanting to rule hell but who knew the whim of envy? Maybe it was something else? Still, something didn't sit right. He couldn't really imagine anyone here trying something like this. Was this a set up?

Valramir started to follow Ino out of the bath but then stopped. He was already wet from the humidity of the bath and feeling icky. Might as well bathe. He pulled his clothes off and tossed them into a corner before he got into the warm water and quickly started to wash himself off. He wasn't one for long drawn-out baths so he was done relatively quickly. He grabbed a towel to dry off a little, feeling a bit refreshed in the air now since the water itself had been hotter. He wrapped a towel around his waist and headed for the door, too lazy to pick up the clothes he'd discarded moments before. Water droplets still kissed his skin and dripped occasionally from his mused hair, giving him a disheveled sexy look though it wasn't exactly intentional. His belly ring sparkled with the water, bringing attention to it now that it was visible without an overly large shirt covering it up.

As he came out of the room, however, someone was waiting for him.

Viv had abandoned Myut’s side and was probably for the best. Myut did okay one-on-one with people, but once it was back into the masses, it made him a little less comfortable to be so sociable. He seemed to be slowly warming up to individuals okay, though. Speaking of which, he had a bone to pick with Val. He did not see the little sloth, however, and soon surmised he was behind their mystery door. Ino had said something about a bath - to which Meu was very excited to hear about - but far be it from him to intend to share that space with anyone else at any given time. The more he could do to avoid people, the better. Especially when it came to his privacy. So, he opted to kind of just hang out by the door to the sloth's room, keeping an eye on things here and there while he waited.

When he heard the closed door open and saw Val appear clad only in a towel, Myut pounced before he could think it too far through. Seeing Valramir only reminded him of the anger from last night about the sneaky demon snooping about in his room - Meu swore he had been sticking his nose into his stuff - so he forgot about the implications of approaching the far-too-friendly demon. So, the greed demon strode over to block Val's path, crossing his arms as he stopped in front of the other white-haired male.

Val blinked at Myut, a bit surprised the other demon was in his way. He offered a bright smile and wave.
"Heya," he called even as he started to make his way past him to continue towards his room.

"Oh no you don't," Meu grumbled, grabbing the pale demon's arm with a gentle but very firm grip. He turned him back around and stepped him backwards against the wall. "Not so fast." He leveled at the other in a neutral tone, suddenly squinting his eyes ever so slightly and looking down at the male. Val had had every intention of getting to his room and was a little surprised when Myut suddenly grabbed his arm and pulled him back and up against a wall. He blinked at the other demon. He'd thought Myut had been uninterested in a physical encounter. His aura immediately pulsed outward in a defensive gesture to slow any aggression that me heading his way.

"You and me; last night." Meu spoke accusatorily as though those few words would explain all.
Val broke into a grin. He knew, of course, exactly wat Meu was talking about. He’d hoped he wouldn’t remember it at all, but it seemed that was not the case. He was like a rabid dog after a bone. But, he didn’t like to answer too directly so he would deflect. And by the hairy ass of the lord of hell, Meu made it easy.
"Oh my, Meu," he said, nearly sing-song like, "Have a... steamy dream, did we? Of course I'd be happy to consent in our wakened state. It is kinda hot and kinky against the wall." He reached over to rub the man's chest and playfully tug on his shirt. "You want to relieve me of my towel, or shall I?"
Val certainly managed to curb the irritation that Myut had previously been feeling, which left only one feeling remaining - confusion. Val grinned seductively, talking at him with that sing-song voice he had remembered from last night too. No way was Myut wrong about this, despite Val trying to play it off as some dream. This had been a mistake though. "Wait, what? I-" He dropped Val's arm as he babbled, a bit of redness rising to his cheeks as suddenly the other demon had his hands all over his chest, tugging at the shirt he wore. He couldn't help but stare down at the smaller hands. Hot... and kinky? Meu didn't have any time to process as in the next breath Val was suggesting some rather naughty things regarding his towel. Meu was scared for a moment that the other's hands were already dropping to where the cloth was tied around his waist, so Mew made quick to beat him to it. The greed demon's larger hand immediately dropped to Val's right side where the tie of his towel was. His fingers slid against still-damp, warm skin as he moved to ensure that the knot would stay right where it was, and that Valramir could not try to undo it. "No, I'm-" He semi-stammered, fighting off the heat as he desperately tried to explain himself, that he had no such intentions, but he should have known better, getting mixed up with this particular sloth demon. Myut suddenly cut himself off, regaining his composure as a thought popped into his head. "You sneaky devil," He suddenly accused with a self-assured grin, "Don't try to wriggle your way out of explaining what you were doing in my things last night. Don't think I'd forget so easily."

Valramir's eyes sparkled in mirth and excitement when Myut suddenly grasped his towel. He really had thought Meu was shy and wouldn't want to do anything like this public. But alas, the man back pedaled, even with his warm hand on his hip and dangerously close. Damn, he was as sharp as a whip too. "I had to try and you gave me an opportunity I couldn't pass up," he admitted and wrapped his arms around the greed demon's neck to lean back against the wall and transfer some of his weight to Myut. It was too much fun to tease him and he was damn adorable. "Fiiinneee you tease. Ruined it," he said with a pout and stuck his tongue out at him, revealing the shiny ring there once more. "I was curious. I wanted to see what kind of horde you collected." It was mostly true. He'd wanted to see what everyone had brought and it seemed a good thing too, considering the new accusations. "But relax. I didn't take anything. You're welcome to check my person and my things for your items." he answered.

As Val's hands secured themselves behind his neck and the sloth pulled Meu down so he could lean back against the wall, Meu humored him, allowing himself to be tugged forward. To catch himself and better support the position, the green-eyed demon angled his other hand against the wall, palm resting against the smooth surface as he looked down at Val while he whined about Meu ruining his plans. His other hand was still clutching the man's hip, to which he withdrew with a teasing scratch of his nails against the other's skin. Valramir in the meantime was sticking his tongue out, and the greed's eyes focused together to home in on the familiar piece of metal that adorned it. He was only half-listening to Val there for a moment. But when Valramir explained he had been interested in what he had on him, Myut only gave a light scoff and a small, disbelieving press of his lips.
"All you had to do was ask~," He mumbled, lifting a hand to grasp the sloth's jaw and abruptly turn the other's head a little, as though analyzing his features very interestedly. "Why so naughty?" He smirked at Val. He did not allow his touch there to last long, however, as he suddenly abandoned it to pinch his finger over one of the sloth's earlobes, tugging down on it like he was chastising a child. He hoped it would have the other releasing his grip, at least a little. Regardless, Myut suddenly straightened without too much trouble. "No need," He began; while he was interested to see what Val had in turn, Myut figured it would be a bit too much trouble to deal with him. If he disappeared into the depths of Vir's room, he didn't think Val would let him go anytime soon unless he was physical with him. "I don't think you're hiding anything of mine there," He tilted his chin down to motion towards the towel Val wore, "And I can look through my things to see if anything's missing. If I am, though, you'll be seeing me again shortly."

Val hummed lightly, approving of the attention, even the ear tug. How could he so easily give green lights and flirt like this and then suddenly flee and be skittish? He should just pick one. "I like being naughty" he grinned "And oh so sad that you are trying to get away again after you have me so compromised!" And then Myut straightened himself and pulled Val up with him. He took the opportunity to press against him. "See?"

With Val pressed against him all of a sudden, Myut could feel whatever damp was still left over begin to transfer into his clothes as little pools of quickly-cooling warmth. "Mm. You're wet." He whispered into the other's ear with a coyly suggestive tone, still appreciating the closeness even if the advances weren't necessarily welcome. He didn't like the idea of Val transferring over his wetness onto his nice and dry clothes, but what could he say, Myut appreciated pretty things. Speaking of which, hadn't he seen a belly-button ring as well? He resisted the urge to look straight down, lest it encourage the lusty sloth even further. So instead, he just stared straight ahead at the wall. "Unfortunately, my things call. So." He spoke in a sort of flat manner, leaving no guesses as to how unfortunate 'unfortunate' really was. He lifted his own hands to begin to press against Val's interlocked fingers, intending to work at getting them to release.

Val chuckled against him, enjoying the closeness and the feel of the man. He was sad playtime was over. But in the end, he'd gotten Meu to stop questioning his motives. And he got to tease the sexy demon. He debated whether he should do his famous weight drop like he'd done to the guards and make Meu fall with him, drag him or struggle with an unmoving sloth demon but he'd done that once to Meu and the results hadn't been fun. Besides, he didn't want to scare him away when things were only just starting.
"Booo," he pouted and let him release his hands. "I am right next door if you ever want to play, or just snuggle," [color=2F4F4F] he answered. He took advantage of their closeness then and stole a kiss from Meu's lips before he darted away, his towel nearly falling in the process. He wanted to be out of reach in case the other demon wanted to retaliate. He cackled in his carefree tease and gave Myu a wink before he got into his room.

It seemed he had been a little too lenient with the sloth demon, as while he was prying his hands off, Valramir suddenly swooped in for a little smooch while Myut was preoccupied. His eyes shot wide open with surprise, and his body instinctively reached out a hand to try to grab the form that was quickly dancing away, intending to scold the sly little devil. It was for the best that he only grasped air, though, as Val was already out of reach and calling back out to him about being only a door away to promise a good time.[/color] "Naughty indeed." He mumbled under his breath as he squinted after Valramir's retreating form, running a finger over his lip from the stolen kiss. How brazen. And snuggles? No thanks. He slept better alone. At least that was over and done with. He needed to go confer with his things now though, lest he need to keep his promise and go hunt down the boy again. If Valramir turned out to be lying, Myut would not be so carefree and humoring anymore.

Valramir peeked out of his room to see if Myut was charging after him and saw that the other demon was not following. He chuckled and shook his head. That was quite fun. He finished drying off then and pulled on a nicer, fitted black shirt and pants with silver trimmings. It was wrinkled, but few of his clothes ever were pressed. He was too lazy to put that much effort in clothes. Dressed once more, he returned to the main room to flop down on the couch with a stretch and yawn, curious what the others would do now that they had the accusations hanging over their head.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Valramir Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Amos Character Portrait: Eris Leblanc
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【"Once you've been chosen, you can't leave."】
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【Baths】
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Cyr blinked twice as he was met with the altercation in the main room.His worries slithered to the back of his mind as he watched Bez slowly advancing on the guard. The tilt of her jaw and the cant of her spine told him that she was harassing the poor demon. Behind her, the little angry one was slowly coiling up. He could only vaguely make out what they were saying, but not because their volume was lacking--his brain was still working hard to try and catch up to real life.

Suddenly, the little one vaulted onto the table and raced across, her bare feet slapping against the wood, and she leapt onto the guard, arms akimbo. For a moment, Cyr thought Bez was calling out for him, but no, she was yelling Viv’s name as the guard flung the girl from him. She rolled across the ground before hopping back to her feet. Cyr looked back towards the guard, tensing in case he decided to retaliate, but he was already being pulled backwards through the wall. Cyr blinked and looked around. What in Hell?

He watched as Viv hurried over to check on Bez, and Ino popped into the room to announce that they now had a bathtub. Bez retreated into her room. After a beat, Cyr crossed the room. He had his own worries, sure, but he still wanted to make sure his friend was alright.

Quite the altercation, huh?” he said, leaning on her doorframe.

Hm? Oh,” she replied, her hair dancing around her as she shook her head. "Not as bad as it could have been. After all, even irritating guards have their uses.

Cyr chuckled. "
You sure talked his head in circles. Did you get anything interesting out of it?"

"
Bits and pieces. Not much that was certain." She looked away, out the window.

"
Well...I'm going to go sit in the bath for a while, if you're looking for company, that's where I'll be." He glanced back at her once before heading off. Val darted out from the hall, crossing into his own room. Shortly after, Myut appeared, the front of his shirt damp, sticking to his chest. Cyr raised his eyebrows slightly.

Had fun in the bath?” he teased in a low voice as he passed him, but he didn’t linger to chat. Myut knew about the necklace, and he didn’t really want to face that reality yet. As much as he liked Myut, he didn’t need to go peeling back his own vulnerabilities to him like that. Not right now. Maybe not ever. Since they probably wouldn’t see each other again after all this. Myut would be for fun and playfulness and teasing. No worries. A pleasant distraction. Right?

When he entered the large room, Eris was already in there, flitting from window to window. She ignored him, and he ignored her, slowly undressing, grabbing a towel, and stepping into the warmed water. Bathtub was an understatement. This was a pool. Cyr paddled around the circumference a few times, but there was nowhere that the floor dipped low enough for him to swim properly. He stood under the waterfall for a few minutes, enjoying the tumbling water against his back, before paddling back over to the closest wall. He was about to climb out and investigate the shelves of soaps and tinctures against the wall when Bez arrived, surveying the vast pool.

"
Oh!” She exclaimed, her voice competing with the rushing water. “This is much more than I expected. The guard said it was for good behavior, hmm? I'd bet he's regretting letting me in here, then." Her laugh echoed against the tiles.

Cyr waded over, resting his arms on the edge of the pool. "
I'm hoping they don't decide to take it back and replace it with a kiddie pool or something."

He laughed when she teased him about being too big to even fit in a kiddie pool, and then she casually undressed. Neither of them seemed particularly concerned about her modesty. Cyr pointed out the shelves of soaps, and she grabbed a few before slipping into the water beside him.

She asked about the necklace. Cyr grimaced. Better to get that out of the way early, right? He settled down beside her and sighed.

"
We did," he said, his expression turning solemn. "My...ah....betrothal necklace is apparently carrying a mutation curse?"

She looked sharply at him. "
Mutation? What kind of mutation?"

Cyr shook his head. “
No idea. They said it was pretty serious, though.

She asked if they learned anything else about it and he shrugged, telling her that once he put it on he wouldn’t be able to get it back off. "
So I guess I'm glad this happened? Otherwise I'd probably be in some pretty deep shit right now,” he added with a heavy sigh.

Bez’s voice turned speculative as she asked more questions, about his betrothed, about his parents.

My parents gave me the necklace,” he replied. “They said it was from my betrothed. I don’t even know the demon’s name.” Cyr rubbed his face with a wet hand, plastering his damp hair to his forehead. “Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if there wasn’t any other demon, and they just wanted to get rid of me.

Did you sign any kind of contract?” She asked after a beat. “Or even see it?

That was supposed to be today,” Cyr murmured, looking at his hands. “My parents said they were working it out.

"
Then you're right, and there's no proof either way." They sat in silence, side-by-side, for a while. Bez eventually spoke again, her voice softer against the chuckle of the water. "I don't understand. You were really just going to go through with it? Why, Cyr?" When he glanced at her, she was gazing at him with an inscrutable, pained expression, but she looked away as their eyes met.

"
It's...I...what choice did I have?” He replied, softly studying her profile. “I doubt my parents would be willing to let me lead an untethered life indefinitely."

She didn’t look back in his direction. "
Well, I hope you don't plan to continue giving your parents final say over what you do with your life. Or anyone else, for that matter. You aren't a child."

Cyr frowned, even though she wasn’t looking at him. "
You know I don't have the strength to take my own territory. And I'm not spending the rest of my life up on earth." He looked away, studying the rippling surface of the water again as his voice dropped. "And maybe I was hoping it might work out..." Saying it out loud, to Bez, made him feel a little ashamed. What a fool he was, wasn’t he?

"
Well, I'd trust your judgment more than theirs." He could feel her eyes on him again, and when he turned to look at her again, she grinned. "Sometimes."

He smiled a little and they both relaxed against the tiled wall of the pool. She sank lower into the water and he stretched his arm along the lip behind them. They chatted quietly, speculating about their current predicament as Bez’s petite frame slowly drifted towards his chest. As her chin dipped closer to the water, Cyr shifted to the side, letting her cheek settle against his chest instead. She seemed to hesitate for a moment, before shifting closer as well, her head against his shoulder now.

Cyr rested his cheek on the top of her head, closing his eyes. He could feel her heart and the steady warmth of her body. It comforted him. Bez was a sturdy, stable presence. Though it worried him that she seemed to shoulder so much burden on her own.

Cyr relaxed, timing his breath to hers. Since she was napping on him, it wasn’t like he could go anywhere until she woke up, after all. He would just have to rest until she did.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Abadeer Tyrano
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#, as written by slcam
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【"It's much easier to lose yourself in luxury."】

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【Her Room → The Bath】

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Vivian checked in on Bez and Eris, and Bez assured her that everything was fine now that the guard was gone. When Vivian moved away, Bezabelle retreated to her room. There was no good reason to stay in the main room. She had no interest in answering questions. Not when she had too many of her own.

Bez grabbed Cyr's shirt and put it on, but went over to the window without bothering to button it. She stared at the scenery, her mind far away. The fear was rising again. They were trapped, and one of them would never escape. Her breaths were coming quicker, her thoughts swirling, then--


"That was quite the altercation, huh?"

Her expression flipped as she slammed down control again. She really needed to stop using her abilities so frequently, but…

"Hm? Oh," Bez shook her head and turned toward Cyr. "Not as bad as it could have been. After all, even irritating guards have their uses."

Cyr chuckled. "You sure talked his head in circles. Did you get anything interesting out of it?"

"Bits and pieces. Not much that was certain." She turned her head to look out the window again. The conversation had told her some things, but not what she wanted to know most. That still bothered her enough that she knew she couldn't hide it.

"Well...I'm going to go sit in the bath for a while, if you're looking for company, that's where I'll be."

Bezabelle nodded. He was gone by the time she looked back. Instead of sinking back into her thoughts, she roused herself to get dressed. She went into her bathroom to change out of her sleepwear, not closing the door. She couldn't close the door. She couldn't, it was too claustrophobic. Bezzie hurried through the process, getting ready for the day and out as fast as she could manage. It felt like it took much longer than it actually did, but then it was fine. Now, she just needed time to relax, and a hot bath would be perfect.

Bezzie plastered on a smile and strolled into the main room. Vivian was there speaking with Ino, and as Bez passed, she couldn't resist pausing to plant a kiss on Viv's cheek as she leaned over the back of the couch.


"Be back in a while, my dear." When Viv turned her way, Bez stole another quick kiss, unable to resist the temptation of Vivian's lips. Bezzie gave Ino a wink and a smile, fingers trailing across Viv's shoulder as she left.

And now, it was time for the door. It had been locked yesterday, but now it opened to a hallway. The door at the end was cracked. Bez ignored it, trying the other doors first. She started on the side with three. Each was locked. Disappointing. The other two were the same. Why were they even there if they were just locked?

All for nothing. It annoyed her.

But, Bez thought, at least there's a bath now. As she entered, her mouth fell open in surprise. It was huge and grand. Nothing could have been farther from the tiny, barely functional bathrooms in their rooms. For the first time since she had been dragged in from the gala, Bez remembered that they were still in the Prince's palace. This was luxurious, and she felt herself relaxing into the extravagant surroundings. It already felt so much better than the rest of their bare bones prison suite. Bezabelle had never done well with scarcity, after all.

Her hand still on the doorknob, she let her eyes drift to Cyr, a smile growing on her lips. They were alone. Perfect. She shut the door behind her.


"Oh! This is much more than I expected." She let her eyes drift again, stopping momentarily on the impressive waterfall. "The guard said it was for good behavior, hmm? I'd bet he's regretting letting me in here, then." She laughed, the sound actually genuine. It echoed in the large room. She made her way over to the towels, laying one out to set her clothes on as she stripped out of her clothes. Or, more accurately, out of Cyr's clothes. Cyr joked that the guard may replace the large bath with a kiddie pool as he waded closer.

"I don't think you'd even fit into a kiddie pool."

Cyr laughed. "I do what I can with what I have. There are some really nice smelling bath potions over there too."

Bez looked in the indicated direction, giving off a small exclamation of delight. It didn't take long before she had several potions in hand. Too many for a single bathing session, of course, but she wasn't going to put anything back. Acquisitions in hand she took her time, using all the products she wanted and relaxing into the bath.

When she was content, she asked,
"So, were you able to figure out what the guard was talking about, yourself? Do you really have something cursed?"

His expression went still as he sat beside her."We did, my...ah....betrothal necklace is apparently carrying a mutation curse?"

She stiffened, recalling their earlier conversation about Cyr's new contract. Or, rather, his parents' contract on his behalf. Anger tightened her features. Before she could think about managing her tone, she snapped, "Mutation? What kind of mutation?"

She inwardly winced at how harsh she had sounded, but she didn't feel she could help it.

"No idea. They said it was pretty serious though."

"A mutation..." She worked on getting some kind of control over the cold fury in her gut. It was working, kind of, and Bez was able to exert more control over her voice. "Did they figure anything else out? Like what would trigger it?"

"Apparently when I put it on, I wouldn't be able to take it back off," An uncomfortable pause. Bez stared straight ahead, thoughts whirling as he continued. "So I guess I'm glad this happened? Otherwise I'd probably be in some pretty deep shit right now."

The whole situation made her angry, and Cyr's explanation only made it worse. More serious and less forgivable. Still, it would be better if they could figure it out, determine what kind of situation Cyr may be walking into when he got out of here.

"There's that, at least. It sounds more and more like some sort of control. Something to keep you out of the way or..." Bez shook her head, unsure of how to express her thoughts. "And you don't know who the demon is? Do your parents? And do you have any idea whether your parents knew about the necklace? Did they drop any hints at all?"

"My parents gave me the necklace and said it was from my betrothed. I don't even know the demon's name." His laugh was humorless, harsh. "I wouldn't even be surprised if there was no other demon, and they just wanted to get rid of me."

Bez paused, trying to get a handle on the situation. "Did you sign any kind of contract? Or even see it?"

"That was supposed to be today. My parents said they'd already worked something out."

"Then you're right, and there's no proof either way."

Bez knelt on the underwater ledge by Cyr, staring at the water as though it might have more answers. There was so much about the situation that Cyr just didn't seem to know. The whole of his understanding seemed to be that there was some contract his parents had set up with some demon. Was that really it? And even worse, how had he just accepted that?

Bez managed to keep a neutral expression as she thought. Then it broke.
"I don't understand. You were really just going to go through with it? Why, Cyr?" She looked at him, unable to hide the hurt look. How could he just let this happen? She jerked her head away, breaking eye contact.

"It's...I...what choice did I have? I doubt my parents would be willing to let me lead an untethered life indefinitely."

Bez's tone turned very controlled, but other than a quick glance, she couldn't manage to look at him, "Well, I hope you don't plan to continue giving your parents final say over what you do with your life. Or anyone else, for that matter. You aren't a child."

He gave his excuses, but she barely listened. She didn't want to listen. She took a deep breath, instead. She had once envied him. His situation seemed so much different than hers had been. But now…

Bezzie forced herself to relax again. Thankfully, their surroundings made it easy.


"Well, I'd trust your judgment more than theirs."

She let herself really look at him for the first time since the conversation had started. After all, they were in the baths alone together. Bez's eyes drifted over his form with lust for just a moment before she sighed and looked away. Ideally, she would have preferred to take full advantage of the situation, though she knew Cyr was too pig-headed for that. He'd always rejected her advances, a fact that irked her to no end.

She let her frustration show in just one word,
"Sometimes."

Bez forced herself to move away from the train of thought with a sigh, sinking down to sit in the bath, the water lapping at her chin. "Well, nothing we can do about it in here. Speaking of 'in here,' what do you think about all this?"

"Honestly? I think I'm still passed out drunk at that table where you left me. This is a fever dream or something." He slid an arm around her, and she couldn't help but lean into the touch, wanting more. She could feel his eyes on her as Cyr asked, "How are you holding up?"

Bez snorted a laugh at his question. She looked up at him. "Haven't you already asked that?"

"I did, but I didn't believe your answer."

Bez watched him with a raised eyebrow. He was being so serious, it was almost amusing. Almost. "Better now that I can have a bath. I don't know what else you want to hear from me and I don't think it'll be much different from what anyone else would say. I don't like being trapped in here. And I don't think it's just about the supposed assassination attempt," she answered wryly.

"I agree. Something's going on. You out of all of us are the least suspicious person here. I think this is a front for him to get rid of someone here, no matter what any of the rest of us do."

Bezabelle went cold despite the warmth of the bath. It took her a moment but she covered as if she hadn't paused. "The guard wasn't sure that the orders had come directly from the Prince. The whole 'figure out who did it' idea at least. I don't know how to approach that. Is there even any point in doing what they want us to do?"

Bez watched as he chewed his lip, deep in thought. Her own thoughts were slowing to a crawl already. She didn't function well without sleep. He finally spoke, "What a mess. But no matter what, I'm on your side. I'll protect you."

The warmth was starting to force her to relax, despite everything else. She leaned into Cyr, enjoying the feeling of his body against hers. "But why? Why would you want to?"

"You're important to me. I don't have a lot of friends as good as you. And you're smart. If anyone doesn't deserve to be here, it's you."

Her words were softer now too. "Well, only one of us supposedly deserves to be here, and I know that's not you either. It might not be any of us." She sighed, not completely convinced. Bez had a bad feeling about the whole situation. As much as she hoped it would not turn out as horribly as she thought, she knew that hope was probably foolish.

"Well, maybe we should just enjoy our week-long vacation, then?" Now the playfulness returned to Cyr's voice, though he sounded as tired as she felt.

She'd only just relaxed, but her eyes felt so heavy.
"Oh? No. We won't give in... that easy. Will we?" Her entire head was growing heavier, for some reason. Despite her words, it was becoming so easy just to give in.

"Of course not," he replied.

She straightened as Cyr moved closer, trying to fight off drowsiness, but the appeal of his closeness was too much. She let her head drift back to his shoulder, snuggling closer to make the position comfortable.


"And you won't give in either? Will you?"

Despite sounding slightly more awake, she didn't last long enough to hear his full reply. Or if he made one at all.