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Heaven Help You

The Prince's Palace


a part of Heaven Help You, by pieluver.


pieluver holds sovereignty over The Prince's Palace, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

459 readers have been here.


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The Prince's Palace is a part of Heaven Help You.

10 Characters Here

Myut [33] "You want it, I got it. ...It's mine though... you can't have it."
Ino Cense [32] Do be jealous - it's my domain
Bezabelle [31] What do I want? Well, more, of course!
Cyris Herron [31] "Sometimes, things just don't work out."
Vivian Lacerta [29] Just try and stop me
Eris Leblanc [28] "I AM NOT FUCKING CUTE!!!"
Valramir [28] I want to.. eh, tomorrow.
Amos [12] The Guard
Abadeer Tyrano [9] The Prince
Margot Quinn [0] INACTIVE

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Amos
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【”This has to be an overreaction”】
【Main Room】

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…


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 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, 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: Myut Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Valramir Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Abadeer Tyrano Character Portrait: Amos Character Portrait: Eris Leblanc
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#, as written by slcam
【"The game is harder when you don't know the stakes…"】
【Her bed → Viv's arms→ scolding Amos】

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.
" 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: Myut Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Amos Character Portrait: Eris Leblanc
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【"The difference between a regular attack and a sneak attack is that sneak attacks mean you have to use your inside battle cry."】
【Leaping at a guard】

Eris continued her prowl around the room, checking the windows, peering into the other rooms, looking for a shred of a hope of a chance that there might be some way to get out of this place short of taking a sledgehammer to the wall and busting out. Which honestly would be ideal, but she didn’t have a sledgehammer, and it didn’t seem likely that one would be provided for her demolishing pleasure. Shame.

The prowl, and it’s plodding, barefooted agitation,came to an abrupt end as movement in her peripherals caused Eris to swivel her head around, eyes fixing on the man who just materialized out of the wall. A guard. She glanced around at the others, who were also looking in his direction. They could take this puny guy, even with his sword. Eris gritted her teeth, coiling as the man began to speak.

To her surprise, however, the others merely crossed the room to sit down placidly. Where was their sense of justice? Of freedom? Of the ability of seven people to effectively gang up on one man and beat him to a pulp until he relents and releases them from their prison? Eris growled low in her throat but conceded, sitting in the back corner. Soon after, the tall woman emerged with a Bez-filled burrito of blankets. They sat in front of her, and then the guard began to speak again.

The anger that boiled up within her was somewhat counterbalanced by Val’s presence nearby, but it still burned white-hot in her chest. Arson! She’d fucking show them arson! The big white-haired one had similar objections to his accusation. Eris decided she liked that guy. He wasn’t afraid to stand up to those stupid guards who didn’t know their head from their asses. Especially this one, who seemed to think it was just perfectly fine to trap a bunch of demons together and put them against one another. She’d known the Prince was a scumbag before, but this proved it. Who did something like this?

After the guard finished his spiel and retreated, everyone scattered off into different rooms, which frustrated Eris even more. They could take this guy! Why weren’t they all on the same page? Thankfully, at least Bez stuck around. Unfortunately, so did Val, and she could feel him blurring her thoughts together just enough that she couldn’t quite focus in on what she wanted to do next. Nonetheless, watching Bez back the fool into a corner, both verbally and physically, amused her. This was what they often did together. Bez would set the target off kilter, and then she would sweep their feet out from under them. It was a fun game.

At some point, Eris felt the sloth’s presence diminish, then vanish entirely. Which seemed to have an effect on the guard as well, because his answers grew more and more defensive and agitated. The way he was speaking to Bez bothered her. He didn’t have the right. His smug, mocking tone, and the way he kept telling them to go away made her coil further. Finally, the frustration grew high enough that Eris couldn’t bear it anymore. The breaking free, the releasing of all that pent up energy was pleasurable enough on its own--that sensation of weightlessness as she leapt up onto the table, the sound her bare feet made as she dashed across the wooden surface, the slight give the guard’s body had as she first collided with him, before his spine seemed to realize what weight had suddenly landed on him and caused him to stumble backwards to keep his balance.

She managed to get a few good hits in before he flung her off. No bites, unfortunately. She rolled when she hit the floor, returning to her feet after a few seconds. She was used to being flung, thrown, batted, and tossed by larger demons. They often weren’t ready for the second strike. Bez’s hand landed on her before she could straighten fully.

Before she could so much as move shrug off the hand, however, it was as if a hand emerged from the stone, grabbing the guard by the collar of his uniform and yanking him backwards through the suddenly apparent door. Said door disappeared again without even a mark on the wall. Eris growled. “
I’m fine,” she said after a long moment, finally straightening now that the guard was out of sight.

Eris stood for a few moments after Bez let go of her, staring at that wall. But no one else came through the fight. Disappointing. She sighed and turned, unsure what to do with all the energy burbling inside her, anxiously seeking a way out. She wanted to punch someone. As she turned towards the fireplace again, Ino appeared, announcing a bathtub. A bathtub???? Why did they need a bathtub?

Nonetheless, Eris made a beeline for it, checking all the doors in the hall and investigating every inch of the new room for potential escape or potential weapons. Disappointed and sweaty she emerged not long after, having no luck in her search. So instead she went to work on the window by the fireplace, trying with every ounce of her strength to open the sash.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Valramir 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.】
【Main room >spa>bedroom>mainroom】

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: Myut Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Valramir Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Amos Character Portrait: Eris Leblanc
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【"Once you've been chosen, you can't leave."】

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


【Her Room → The Bath】






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,

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.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Eris Leblanc
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【Living Dangerously】

When the large demon showed up in the baths, Eris pretended not to notice him, continuing to check the windows, but she did make a hastier than usual exit. She had no desire to see any of her fellow prisoners naked. Not that this guy seemed to care. Right, he was a lust demon. Of course.

Back in the main room, she scanned the area, looking for something useful to do. Of course, she’d already tried her own window, but perhaps one of these windows, just one, would come open if she used enough force on it. So she clambered up onto the sill and balanced there, bent in half, with her fingers wedged under the sash. If she could just get the right angle, perhaps she could use herself as a counterweight and crack the damn thing open.

I already tried that,” a voice sounded from behind her. ”It’s stuck tight, you might have more luck trying to punch the glass, but he’s definitely thought of that already.

Startled, Eris nearly fell backwards, but managed to compose herself just enough to straighten and hop back down again. A low growl of frustration sounded in her throat as she straightened, stretching her back until a series of pops rattled up her spine. “
I don’t want to break my fist.” She replied, “I need that fist for things.

She stretched a bit more, glaring up at the large painting above the mantel. That damn prince and his smug face.

Hey... “ she said, sizing the purple demon up. She didn’t usually hang around Envies, they were stupid and annoying, but this one could be useful for now. Anyway, she needed as many allies as she could get. “Help me get the painting down, yeah? We don’t need that bastard staring down at us all the time.

The purple demon seemed to consider her suggestion, looking back and forth between her and the glowering figure above them. He brought up a valid point. They were both short. And even when he stretched up on his tip-toes, he was hardly effective at doing more than rattling the thing a little. This would require more effort than that. A true reconnaissance mission.

Help me get up there,” she ordered, rolling her pant legs up above her knees and climbing back onto the window sill. She balanced on one foot, straining to reach the painting with her finger tips. Just like the Envy, she could only barely get the painting to bump against the wall. It was very well secured. But she was not so easily swayed.

How strong are you?” she asked, eyeing Ino’s shoulder. If she could use him to step up onto the mantle, perhaps she could pull it down from there? It was only a thin ledge, but she’d done more with less before.

Ino knelt, lacing his fingers together. She’d just wanted to use him as a bridge and step across him to the mantel, but this worked too, right? And he was lucky she was too focused to pay more attention to his comment about her balance. “
I can handle myself,” she said gruffly, hopping down and planting a foot onto his clasped hands. As he lifted her up, she gripped the mantel with her fingers, then reached out and grasped a corner of the painting. Once they were high enough, she tried to climb up onto the mantel, slowly shifting her balance from his hands to her other foot. The only trouble was that the mantle wasn’t wide enough for her to fully shift her weight, and the painting was not stable enough to hold her up either, as if Abadeer himself was trying to swat her off the precipice.

Nonetheless, Eris pressed forward, slowly lifting her foot from Ino’s grasp and promptly tumbling backwards with a loud squeal, one hand still holding the painting in a death grip, somewhat suspending her over the ground, both feet not quite on the mantle’s top. Lucky for her, Ino’s instinct was to grab her back with both hands, holding her up. His placement, however, was less than...less than ideal. Though she was too busy worrying about not landing on her head to yell about the hand on her ass quite yet. Instead, she just clung to the painting in a one-handed death grip while her other arm flailed wildly, unable to find a solid surface to save herself with.

A sound from across the room quickly dragged her attention away from her predicament, however. Despite the odd angle, she managed to turn her head to look at the new arrival to the party as he leaned awkwardly against the wall.

You, come over here and help, tall boy. We’re trying to get this stupid painting off the wall.” She didn’t care what he had to say, or what Ino thought either. She just wanted to finish their mission. And it was lucky indeed that he’d shown up, because Ino’s elbows were starting to tremble, causing her to pitch and jiggle perilously above him. She gripped the painting tighter. Perhaps, if the greed demon didn’t move fast enough, it would still save her. Or maybe at least she could break it?

Thankfully, he did gingerly take over the brunt of her weight in quick order. Per his suggestion to release the painting, she slowly peeled one finger away at a time, reluctant to give up her only stable mooring. The larger demon shifted her in his grip, then just stood there for a moment, holding her like someone else’s toddler. She was about to tell him to either put her down or lift her up when he lowered her again. Right. From her previous vantage point she’d forgotten just how tall he was. Perhaps almost the perfect height.

He seemed to understand what she wanted, because without prompting, he lifted her up again, under the arms this time. Not the most comfortable grip, considering the length of his fingers and the shallow depth of her ribcage, but it was what needed to be done to get rid of the damn picture. She stretched out and managed to get a hand on either side of the portrait, but with her legs dangling free, she couldn’t get enough leverage to push up and unhook the massive piece off the wall. She squirmed hard, trying to hook a knee up onto the mantel ledge, and tenuously pushed herself up, managing to free the painting.

After a single moment, and a loud victory woop, Eris realized that she had miscalculated. The painting was, of course, almost as tall as she was. And while strong, her arms couldn’t handle the rotational force of gravity, and her yell of joy quickly turned into a different sort of shout as the painting of the prince tilted towards her uncontrollably.

eris curled up protectively, grimacing as Myut’s fingers dug into the soft meat above her hips. She tried to push it up as the larger demon shifted down, shielding her with his shoulder. Not that she needed protection. It was good to know that he was willing to put himself between her and danger, though. Good to know indeed.

Surprisingly, the painting stopped falling abruptly, balanced up on her fingers above their heads. Ino had caught the other side? She unfolded her legs, smiling widely. Perhaps these two weren’t as incompetent as she’d thought. Myut set her down, taking over holding the painting, and she darted off immediately. Time for phase two of the plan.

In short order she returned from her room, a messy satchel of paint and brushes in her arms. It was time for some good old fashioned defacement of property. The two boys were still by the fireplace, hand in hand, Ino still perched on the couch. Eris rolled her eyes. Weirdos.

Come on, stop making moon-eyes at each other,” she called out, thunking her bag onto the table and crossed back over to haul the large painting up with a loud grunt. She unsteadily carried it over to the table, where the canvas was once again unceremoniously dumped. She hummed gleefully to herself as she spread out her supplies. If there was anything that could make this day better, it would be a little bit of art therapy, right?

Myut seemed eager to help, but Ino was a little more trepidatious. Eris scoffed, amused, at Ino’s unsure words. “
Why not? He’s the one who locked us all in here with it, you can’t give a dog a bone and expect no chewing~

She spread out her supplies before settling down in one of the chairs selecting a brush and squirting out a few globes of different coloured paint on the corner of the canvass. What started out as some moderately amusing defacements to the prince’s visage, however, quickly became full on finger painting with very little encouragement from the others. Now this? This was art.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Eris Leblanc
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【Don’t do it…don’t do it…whoops】
【Regretting his life choices】

Ino had enjoyed telling Vivian about her mother. He wasn’t surprised that Marie hadn’t eagerly shared her early life with her children, but it was easier for him to talk about it. Neither of them had really been happy, and they’d thought themselves to be enemies, but in reality, they were the closest thing the other had to a true friend.

That kind of thing tended to stay with you, even if they hadn’t talked much in the years since.

At some point as they spoke, Eris had drifted over, not to join them, but to try to get the window open. Ino didn’t pay her much mind until Vivian stood up, stretching and murmuring about maybe going to find Bez. She headed for the bedrooms, though Ino had seen Bezabelle slipping towards the bath…ah well. They’d reunite eventually.

Ino tried to settle in the couch, but without distractions, he couldn’t seem to relax under the Prince’s eyes. He wondered if the portrait was a spying wouldn’t surprise him. They had to have a way of supervising the ‘dangerous demons’ here.

More bothered than he’d like to let on, Ino stood, heading over to where the little wrath demon was trying to open the window.

”I already tried that,” he told her, all while already helping from the other end. ”It’s stuck tight, you might have more luck trying to punch the glass, but he’s definitely thought of that already.”

“I don’t want to break my fist.” She replied, “I need that fist for things.”

She stretched a bit more, glaring up at the large painting above the mantel before turning her attention onto him.

“Hey... “ she said suddenly, and Ino got the feeling that he was being sized up for something. He bristled a little, wondering what she was thinking. “Help me get the painting down.” she said, to his surprise. “We don’t need that bastard staring down at us all the time.”

”Hmm?” Ino looked at the wrath demon, at the painting, registered it was a bad idea, and agreed anyway, partially from the sheer surprise. “Might be a bit of a problem, we’re both short.” he then stretched up, his fingertips barely gripping the bottom of the frame.

For all his effort, the painting bumped softly against the wall, causing the envy to pout.

”See? Told ya.”

”Help me get up there,” Eris replied immediately, rolling her pant legs up above her knees and climbing back onto the window sill. She tried to get at the painting, but like Ino, she could only get it to bump gently against the wall. That wasn’t enough to deter her, though, because already she was once again eyeing Ino up.

“How strong are you?” she asked, and Ino at first took a step back, before then deciding that he had nothing better to do.

”Sure,” Ino wasn’t exactly a weightlifter, but Eris didn’t look too heavy. He knelt down, bracing his elbows against his knee, and laced his fingers together to provide a platform for the wrath to use to climb up. ”How good is your balance, though?”

“I can handle myself,” was the only reply he got as Eris scrambled up, trying to climb onto the mantle. She was agile, he had to give her that. The first attempt was a failure, the painting secured too well, and Eris still too short with only some of Ino's height. Evidently, she realized that for herself, because her next move was to use the painting as a counterweight to pull herself, standing, onto the thin ledge that made up the fireplace. Ino had been worried about whatever held the painting snapping, sending her tumbling down. Instead, Eris lost her balance and pitched backward.

The Envy acted immediately when Eris fell, less out of concern for her and more out of a desire to not be squished by the falling wrath demon. Eris might be small, but Ino was quite petite himself. His hands flew up instinctively, one catching her back and the other somewhat lower down.

He grimaced as he realized where exactly he was touching her. He doubted she would like that, and honestly, it wasn’t a nice enough ass that he was having fun.

He looked up at Eris, scowled, and promptly looked away, only to realize that they’d been caught by Myut. His cheek burned then, and he barely stopped himself from flexing his fingers in discomfort. He desperately didn’t want Eris to pay attention to his hands, after all. He gave the Greed demon a look, trying to convey both ‘this isn’t what it looks like’ and ‘please help’ in a single glance.

Honestly, he’d find Myut’s petrified expression hilarious on any other day. Eris then demanded that the Greed come and help them, and he figured he better back her up.

“We’re fine, but” he said, straining a bit at the task of mostly holding up a similarly sized demon in the air. His arms were beginning to tremble. If Myut took over his position, well...the sooner the better. “I can’t hold her much longer.”

Luckily, Myut hurried over and took over the lifting logistics. Envy gave Greed a grateful look, stepping to the side and letting the Greed handle things. With Ino as short as he was, having Myut do this made a lot more sense.

Instead, he took the time to check out the white haired demon, the way his muscles moved as he easily lifted Eris towards her goal. If he could lift Eris like that, he could certainly handle Ino, and the thought induced a full body shiver. He was mostly distracted, admiring the other male’s body, with Eris as a peripheral as she went through the motions of getting the painting down, much easier than before.

His musing, however, was cut short by the painting's sudden fall. Ino quickly stepped out of the way, and then, somewhat guiltily, hurried back to see if he couldn't catch the falling top edge of the frame, Eris keeping it from falling outright. He scrambled onto the couch just in time, raising his arms just as the painting crashed down.

As Ino took the impact, Myut was twisting, protecting Eris with his body – which, why? – but nonetheless, Ino supposed he was glad neither of those two had been hurt. He was also glad when Myut helped him hold up the painting, which was somewhat heavier than he’d expected, especially when he had to brace it to stop the other side from falling further once Eris was gone.

“Shit, thanks. That was close.”

Ino gave Myut another grateful look, this time paired with a small smile. Tentatively, he let go of the painting, and seeing that Myut had it under control, lowered his arms to rub at his forearms, which had not liked the shock of the heavy wooden frame slamming into his palms.

"Thank you," he said softly, kind of enjoying being almost at eye level with the taller demon. "Ah,I chipped a nail…" he then murmured, almost to himself, frowning at the uneven angle and new gap in his polish.

“Damn. Hang on.”

Ino glanced up, surprised that Myut had heard him. Before he could even ascertain if the Greed was being serious, let along tell him that it wasn’t a big deal, Myut had already taken his hand, his finger specifically, into his own. Myut had big hands, and they radiated warmth. With a small gesture, he pulled a file out of the air and set about fixing Ino’s nail.

Ino stood still, trying to process what was happening.

”There” Myut pursed his lips to blow upon the finger, and Ino’s eyes flicked to them immediately. He briefly checked his nail – now oval shaped and perfect – before refocusing on the Greed demon’s face..

"I, ah…" Ino looked mostly confused, though a blush was quickly growing on his cheeks as well. "... thank you?"

He was bewildered by Myut’s actions, why he'd even care about Ino's nail, where the file had even come from.

Simultaneously, he was entranced by the gentle hold of his hand, the part of his lips, the pride in his bright, green eyes which so carefully roamed his face…

"It… it's good. Thank you."

Ino left his hand in Myut’s, balancing carefully on the sofa, his trance only broken when Eris reappeared, laden with paints.

This promoted a small, confused sound from the Envy, who then reluctantly tugged his hand back.

Eris rolled her eyes at him and told them to stop flirting, which made him want to protest, because he hadn’t been flirting, not really, but then again, Myut’s attention had been terribly nice and he wouldn’t mind having it more.

It was only once Myut stopped staring at him that Ino finally remembered how to breathe and move normally. Were all Greed demons so intense? Or just Myut? Whatever it was, the petite Envy hadn't minded Myut’s careful attention at all. He knew he was worthy of admiration.

He scrambled off the couch and joined Eris at the table, looking at the painting, then at the painting supplies.

" can't mean to…" he said carefully, wary of pissing off the wrath. It'd be a very bad idea to show spite against the Prince, considering that they were here for suspected treason.

On the other hand...his fingers twitched towards the brushes.
He was very upset, he was standing beside a wrath, and honestly… he'd never been known for his impulse control.

Eris just scoffed at Ino’s unsure words.
“Why not? He’s the one who locked us all in here with it, you can’t give a dog a bone and expect no chewing~”

She spread out her supplies before beginning to paint, and honestly…honestly she made a very good point.

Throwing caution to the wind, Ino perched up on the table, selecting a thin brush and a deep red paint. In short order, Abadeer had a curly mustache and a pointed goatee, like an old cartoon villain, as well as some poorly done triangles resembling classic devil horns.

Ino giggled happily as he continued, swapping out for a bigger brush and two shades of green, beginning to paint a snake curled around Abadeer’s shoulders.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Valramir Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Eris Leblanc
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#, as written by Skwidge
【”We really need to start getting down to business here.”】
【Main Room → Bath → Eris' World】

It certainly seemed as though quite the kerfuffle had occurred while Myut was preoccupied in Viv’s room. Eris looked as though she were seething, her hair all amuck and her knees looking as though she had picked up a couple more scrapes and bangs. No doubt with her fiery personality she had confronted their friendly neighborhood guard. It looked like Bez had been a part of it too, which did not come as a surprise. She was always causing all sorts of mischief. She did look a little frazzled, but Meu could not tell how genuine that was. Whether it was concern for Eris perhaps, or mayhaps instead as a response to the wrath’s horrendous behavior? Because of the guard? Something had happened, that was for sure.

Before Meu could decide whether to go over and investigate, Viv scuttered off towards them, seeking to come to the aid of her small girlfriend and comfort and pamper her. Myut could not help but smirk a little, pleased by the show of affection. He was certain Bezabelle would be lapping it up, and the idea of her basking in glory made him feel wryly content too. The greed didn’t find much interest aside from that, as, after all, he had missed all the fun and things were already settling down. It might be a good idea to ask Bez about what had happened later, as he was quite curious. It was then that Ino caught his attention, announcing a bath at the end of the locked hallway.

Myut perked up upon hearing this, suddenly keenly interested in the door around the corner. He had to reel it in, though, as no doubt the proclamation had turned the eager ears of the others as well. He wouldn’t be able to enjoy the new room for quite some time, but it was a nice prospect nonetheless, especially after last night’s cold spit bath.

Luckily, he had something in mind to occupy his time with, as he needed to have a word with Valramir over some prior late-night shenanigans. Not quite sure where the other white-haired demon was currently, he decided the best course of action was to linger about the doorway to the other’s room. And, speak of the devil, soon there he was, emerging from the door that had previously been off-limits. The ensuing conversation was not one Myut had really planned for, however. True to his nature, Val spun his words coyly and it was not long before he was clinging to Meu’s body again.

It was decidedly difficult to focus on the topic at hand with Val running circles around him, using deflective vocabulary and distracting flashes of skin and jewelry. To his credit, Meu did catch on quickly and put a swift stop to such nonsense.
”Don’t try to wriggle your way out of explaining what you were doing in my things last night.” He reigned things back in to a manageable level, cornering Val and forcing him to take things seriously. The other demon was quick to give up the game, whining at Myut about being a tease. Not before he wrapped his arms around Myut’s neck and leaned the two of them back against the wall, though. But he sobered up quickly and responded thoughtfully to the greed’s initial question. "I was curious. I wanted to see what kind of horde you had collected."

The answer was semi-surprising, given the fact that Vir didn’t need to go sneaking about to satiate that curiosity. He could have just asked, and Myut voiced as much. Valramir was terribly sneaky and mischievous, so it was no surprise that he had taken a darker means to get his fill of the greed’s proffered collection. However, the more sinister complication of their overall situation was not lost to Mew; he had an inkling that the sloth had been trying to dig up some dirt. After all, that would have been Myut’s first instinct as well. Perhaps not so actionable for the group’s current state of affairs, seeing as they were all stuck together too closely to do any effective hunting. Props for trying, though. Honestly, Val had almost gotten away with it. Myut was half bluffing on his accusation – he honestly couldn’t remember one hundred percent if Val had truly been rifling through his things the prior night. He had just had a strong hunch to go from and some scattered maybe-memories.

In any case, the greed demon had gotten the answers he was seeking, and he was done playing with his little sloth here. He needed to ensure that the boy truly hadn’t taken anything from his stash, and to do so would require him to return to his room now. That worked fine for him, though, as he didn’t imagine humoring the other devil to their room would be very productive, if the way he was still gripping onto Meu when he straightened had anything to say about it. Myut wasn’t especially appreciative of the wetness a post-bath Val was transferring over onto his nice dry clothes, but the sloth demon was pretty like this, so he’d get a pass.

In any case, Meu had had enough interaction with this individual, and figured lingering further would be dangerous. He worked at the man’s fingers, signaling for the other to release his grip. The other obliged, albeit a bit grudgingly, and promised a good time any time only a door away.
Likely, Myut scoffed dryly to himself, having zero intention to humor the smaller male – he preferred his own company to that of others. While he was busy thinking about this, however, it seemed that Valramir took advantage of his distracted state and suddenly tilted up to press his lips against the greed’s in a swiftly stolen kiss, instantaneously darting away with a laugh and almost losing his towel in the process.

Myut was momentarily stunned, though that had not kept his arm from instinctually reaching out to try to catch the sneaky devil to reprimand him. He had missed, of course. But that was probably for the best.
”Naughty indeed.” He mumbled, pressing his touch against his gently-assaulted lips with a slightly humored smirk. Now that that was over, though, the greed demon needed to go investigate his hoard.

”Had fun in the bath?” Before he could take too many steps, however, Mew was stopped by a familiar voice that was rich in timbre and easy on the ears. A look of confusion filled his features, however, at the question. ”Bath?” Myut asked with a bit of uncertainty, arching an eyebrow as he tried to figure out what Cyris meant by bath. Oh. His wet shirt. If only it had been the baths. Mew didn’t get to say anything further in response, however, as Cyr was already walking past without a glance back. It was almost disappointing, but it didn’t really matter, as he had more pressing things to attend to. He needed to go look at his things now.

Entering his doorway with broad, confident steps, Myut ambled his way over to the table that was sporting his temporary gala collection. Viv was right, though. He should go about putting these things away a little better. He figured he’d get started now, since he would be going through each item one at a time anyway. Truly, though, the greed was beginning to get tired of going over his possessions again and again like this. And that was really saying something, seeing as reveling over assets was the highlight of any similar sin’s day. It just kept bringing back the fact that he had been stolen from, and so blatantly as well.

At least Val had been telling the truth. This only proved to ease his agitation a smidgen, though, and he found himself once again rummaging through his things in search of the little necklace he had traded from Valramir. It proved to be a quick search, since he had already hidden away most of his things just moments before, and soon remembered that the treasure was hanging out in the pocket of yesterday’s sweatpants. Myut emerged moments later from the bathroom, sliding his fingers around the chain as he pulled it over his head and set it against his neck. It was quite curious that it seemed to soothe him so consistently every time. He hooked a finger into his collar and pulled his shirt out a bit to deposit the silver cross safely beneath the cloth. It rested comfortably between his pecs.

Without skipping a beat, Mew walked over to the chair next to his table, pulled it out, and plopped down into it facing the window to the right. His legs were in a wide stance as he crossed his hands in front of his mouth and rested his elbows on his knees thoughtfully. Now was as good a time as any to have a legitimate sit down and sort through the information he had. He wanted to think long and hard about everyone’s presence. Abadeer wasn’t stupid, and Myut surmised that the guards likely knew some things about them after some digging. Well, if they were worth their salt that is, which he honestly wasn’t quite sure of, seeing as they left all the heavy lifting to the seven of them even though they were all suspects.

There would be plenty to go off at least for Bez. Her presence made the least amount of sense here, so perhaps there was more to it. Truly, Meu could imagine no other reason for her to be included in this mess other than sheer negligence. But those damn guards, honestly. She, like the rest of them, had been accused of attempted murder, and Myut knew enough about his small companion to know that it most certainly would not have been by her own hand even if she did have something to do with it. Which he greatly doubted. Besides, Meu adored Bezabelle, and, being his only close companion, he would fight tooth and nail for her regardless of whether she was guilty or not. He could care less and would be more than happy to get her out of this pickle, so long as he wasn’t incriminated instead.

Then, perhaps she had been included in the hopes that, knowing everyone, she might be able to dig up some otherwise closely guarded information? Meu couldn’t imagine her to behave prettily for Abadeer’s forces, though, especially when he thought back on that altercation with the guard just before. She’d be more interested in garnering juicy tidbits for herself, not so much to share them. He couldn’t imagine that she’d be in cahoots, but it was better to be safe and on the wary side in considering all possibilities. Mew would certainly make sure to sit down with her as soon as possible to reassure her of his loyalty on this matter. It shouldn’t be too difficult for the two of them to work through this. They’d be scot-free in no time flat. Especially since they had so many options to choose from.

Speaking of that guard, though…. He would need to make plans for the mousey blonde. Especially if Myut wanted to ensure his things would return to his care, which honestly was his first and foremost priority. It was time to get serious. He was on a time crunch, after all, and it would do to make some preparations going forward. Rising from his seat, the white-haired demon wandered over to the window in his room, gazing out at the bleakly colored hellscape. It should be a rather simple and straightforward process, to get the viridescent-eyed demon on his side. He seemed like a simple kind of guy, after all.

Since Myut was limited in his movements to just this little area, he needed a new set of arms and legs to take care of the search for his things outside of these four walls. He had no qualms about doing whatever he needed to get his stuff back, and if that meant getting buddy-buddy with the new guard, so be it. Meu actually looked forward to it. After all, the guard hadn’t exactly been welcomed in with open arms, so the greed demon mused that a friendly face would be all he needed to invite the boy into his corner and put him to work. He also couldn’t help but be remarkably intrigued by the individual himself. He wanted to know what made him tick. Where he stood in the hierarchy, how much he knew, what he could lever against the other no-show guards. Sir blondie would be an invaluable piece, indeed.

Hopefully that guard would be their permanent chaperone – Meu made it a point to ensure that the younger demon felt comfortable and safe with him, lest he ask to be replaced with some other run-of-the-mill sentry. Then the greed would have to start all over again, and they honestly didn’t have the time for that. Multiple plans started formulating in his mind, and Myut leaned back against the window’s wall to continue to devise. He took a moment, however, to peek outside into the central main room to reassess the current status of people.

It seemed that most everyone was gathered outside, and upon realizing this, Myut suddenly remembered their ‘reward’. That had him excited. He figured to check the bath and hope whomever was missing was in their rooms rather than the baths. That made more sense to him, at least, since it would be better to check the room hosting the bath rather than snooping around the door to people’s rooms to see if they were there. They’d undoubtedly have questions as to why he was poking around, especially after having done his best to avoid before. From what he could see, there had been only one or two people unaccounted for in the main room, though, so he was betting on the bath being empty.

It seemed he had lost that bet, though, for as he turned the handle to the bath door and took a step in, he spotted Cyris and Bezabelle in the pool.
Damn, Myut voiced, unable but to click his tongue in disappointment. He had really been holding against hope that the others were all preoccupied with something else and that he could catch some peace and quiet and privacy. But speaking of privacy….

Cyr and Bez were cuddled up so intimately at the pool that Myut suddenly stiffened upon the realization. Well, this was rather awkward. Hoping that they hadn’t heard him come in or voice a curse at his poor luck, Mew tried very hard to backtrack out of the room before either made a move.

Similar luck persisted, though, and a somewhat slumbery voice called out to him.
”Well, hello,” It stopped Meu dead in his tracks and he hesitantly turned back to look at Cyr who in turn was looking at him. ”Come for a dip?” The taller male asked while standing and stretching, returning his head to a forward position so he could receive the full effect of a good stretch. His back was turned to Myut. A rather gorgeous back, he might add.

The greed demon politely shifted his gaze away from Cyr, lest he be caught staring at the curvature of the other’s back and the impressive muscle he sported there. That would be improper, what with Bez there and the two of them so unguarded without any clothing. Not that the two seemed to mind, of course.

”Oh, what a shame to be interrupted.” Speaking of Bezabelle, his gaze trailed down to her as she shifted in the pool, putting her arms around Cyr’s shoulders and pressing against him. She made sure to look right at Myut while doing so, too, and the suggestive trailing of her finger down what he assumed to be Cyr’s chest - it was a little difficult to see at this angle, but he got the gist - had him lost between both a dull feeling of bristling and stiffening when she added the last bit of her comment to boot in a seductive tone - “And right in the middle, too. Tch.” This only served to feed into Meu’s misconstrued suspicions and cause Bez’s desired effect.

An eyebrow twitched and his jaw squared lightly, eyes clawing away from the sight of the two to stare at the wall instead, a distasteful look displaying itself rather plainly on his face. His posture was rigid and clearly ill-at-ease, a light blush softening the effect as he battled too with secondhand embarrassment. He spoke in answer to Cyris while staring at the lines in the wall,
“That was the intention, but…” He steadied himself and glanced back, trailing off to leave the rest verbally unspoken.

Yeah. Myut decided he definitely did not like seeing the two of them together like that. Cyr had wrapped an arm around Bez’s waist, encouraging her touch and playfully scolding her actions.
“Oh, don’t tease.” The lust demon was totally at ease, which was in stark contrast to how the greed was feeling. Meu felt like he was intruding and was a little shellshocked at this being Bez and Cyr specifically. Normally he would have no problem with Bez being intimate and flirty with anyone, but with Cyr it… felt different for some reason. What was this feeling? It made him clench and unclench his fingers with vague irritability.

In similarly past situations, Myut would be one to keep to his own business and not linger around demons who were engaged with each other. Sure, he had experience with multiple partners at one time, but those had been detailed as trade for goods or services. Enjoyable, but detached. This here didn’t have anything to do with business. It felt far too personal and affectionate, and that wasn’t something Myut could understand. It felt weird. This was weird. And it was weird that it was weird. He didn’t like it, and he couldn’t pinpoint exactly why he didn’t like it either. It was kind of frustrating, to be honest.

“The water’s warm~” Cyris hummed out to him, breaking him from his musings. “You’re welcome to join us, you know.” Myut had been invited to partake in lounging in the waters with them. Uhh, he was pretty sure Bez had a differing opinion to Cyr about him joining, if her body language and words had been any hint, jealously guarding Cyr like that. That was a little odd in and of itself, too, since Bez was all about overindulging. The more the merrier, right? Not in this case, though, apparently. That served to irk the male further, and Myut was about to excuse himself there and then when Cyr added a last little tidbit of information.

“I’m sure Bez doesn’t mind her nap being interrupted too badly, hm?”

Bez had simply been napping with him? That one word made his emotions do a complete one-eighty, the roiling in his mind and stomach instantly settling. And now that that annoying feeling was gone, he could focus much better. His form eased visibly, not fully, but somewhat. Now it was just the fact that they were completely bare - Meu definitely wouldn’t feel comfortable getting undressed in front of them to join in the pool, and something told him they would indeed watch, the both of them. He was stressed enough as is with walking in on them; being under their scrutiny while he bathed did not sound appealing.

Besides, who knew if it would remain just napping, what with how close the two of them were. Bez clinging to him like that and Cyr looking completely unbothered by the whole thing. Honestly, maybe they wouldn’t even pay him any mind and just get to it. That would be even more awkward.

”Of course I mind,” Bezabelle scoffed, only serving to further confirm her distaste at the idea of Myut being their third wheel.”You think I’d just be okay with our little… nap being interrupted?” She chuckled meaningfully during the pause in her sentence. The way she inferred that nap was code for something else had the green-eyed demon questioning things all over again. He hadn’t seen Cyr be insincere yet, though, and he had not received similar signals from the lust demon. So perhaps Bez was just messing with him. In any case, whether she was joking or not, it was clear that she was serious about one thing, and that was she wanted Cyr to herself. Very clearly.

Cyr seemed to be indifferent and didn’t appear to care whether Meu stayed or not, which also kind of annoyed the greed. Very well. Let Bez have her fun with him. Far be it from him to get in Cyris’ way. Mew wanted to bathe alone anyway, and this was exactly why. He wasn’t about to play third wheel to anyone, whether that be two friends or two lovers.

“Mm, no thanks. You’ll find I don’t share well.” He answered Cyr with a somewhat suggestive smirk, not paying Bezabelle any more mind. With that, he turned and walked right out the door.

It clicked closed behind him, and as Myut leaned back against it, he let out a deeply disgruntled sigh. Running a hand through his fluffy hair, he pushed his bangs back with exasperated disappointment. Man, now his clothes were even more soaked from the damp humidity, and he had nothing to show for it.

Myut trudged back through the hallway toward the door of the main room, jiggling the knob lightly as he fled from that unbidden altercation. Putting it behind him, though, and after another sigh, he swung the door open. His eyes shifted up from staring at the floor to take in the new surroundings. He suddenly cut his sigh off halfway through, instead sucking in his cheeks a bit and holding his breath to prevent a gasp from coming out. He hadn’t been expecting to see Eris. It was unnerving to see Eris, regardless of the situation. He quickly withdrew around the doorway, back pressed against the wall of the hall, heart thumping loudly against his chest.

Myut took a second to try to regain his composure before peeking around the open door again. Oh, it seemed that Ino was also there too. The envy was suddenly kneeling before Eris, and a look of very uncertain horror filled Mew’s face. What was that wrath making him do?? Why was he taking a knee to her? Had she threatened him into subservience? Was she going to force the same onto the rest of them??

No. The shorter male was providing her a lift platform, it seemed, as she put a terribly small foot into his equally dainty hand. A breath of relief rushed past Mew’s lips as he held a steadying hand to his heart. Okay, so Eris was just up to some more weird crazy nonsense. Who knew what they were doing; it didn’t really matter to Myut as, more importantly, the two seemed preoccupied with whatever that was and would thus not notice him slipping by. Hopefully.

Meu reemerged from his peeking point at the doorway, eyes glued unwaveringly to Eris’ form to ensure that she would not suddenly turn and attack while he carefully maneuvered past the doorframe and against the left wall. He intended to sneak past by way of behind that nearby armchair. His back was once again pressed against plaster, intending to make himself as flat as possible so as to make himself as small as possible. By presenting his width laterally instead of horizontally, he could minimize the amount of visual space he would occupy so as not to draw as much attention to himself. The greed then began his quiet shuffle against the wall, keeping an eye on the other two the whole time.

Slide. Slide. What was it that they were even trying to do? Shuffle. Slide. Eris was clearly intent on getting on top of the fireplace, but the why of it had Myut perplexed. What was the goal here? Had she finally had enough of being so close to the ground? That might would have brought a wry little grin to his face, had it not been for the fact that Eris would then be looming above them at a vantage point, gazing down at them like some beady-eyed vile vulture complete with a scrunched neck. Meu blinked in disgust, getting back to work on sliding his way to freedom. Shuffle. Shuffle. It did look pretty ridiculous, what with the two of them trying so hard to overcome being vertically challenged. Eris was desperately scrabbling and scraping at the mantle with her nails like some sort of psychotic raccoon.

Slide. Slide. Slide. It seemed like she was going for the corner of the painting now, perhaps in quest of an anchor point to pull herself up and away from Ino. But alas, there was just no room for her to find any footing. And the painting was not sturdy enough to support her weight when she grabbed for it. Shuffle. Eris lost her balance and lurched backwards, falling from the mantle. Ino threw his hands up to try to shield himself and instead caught spine in one hand and ass in the other.

A strangled sound of both horror and surprised laughter croaked past Meu’s throat, to which he quickly tried to cover up with the back of his wrist. He froze in realization that he had just outed himself with the noise, and a feeling of impending doom suddenly settled over him. He was paralyzed against the wall, posed like a burglar caught in the act with both arms and legs spread wide against the drywall. Eris would not be happy about falling. Eris would not be happy about Ino catching her. Eris would not be happy that Ino was inadvertently grabbing that butt.But now that Myut had revealed himself, all that anger would suddenly be directed at him instead of Ino. He was screwed.

Nonetheless, in an attempt to recover, Myut, hopefully in the moments before Eris and possibly Ino would turn to look back at him, quickly attempted to drop said exposed pose with an admittedly stiff recovery. He awkwardly leaned back against the wall and crossed his arms gently with a clearing of his throat, as though he had wanted to gain their attention in the first place and that had been the noise he had done it with.
“Err…. Everything alright there?”

As predicted, Eris’ focus shot over to him immediately. He winced internally to prepare himself for the verbal assault, but instead, all he received was a solid
“You,” in response. He didn’t even catch a single moment of Ino’s embarrassment - so demanding was his focus to be on Eris as she spoke to him. Help them? He glanced down then to see Ino throwing him a mixed look of pleading and awkward detachment to the way he was holding Eris like that.

So they had been after the painting. He couldn’t blame them. Having Abadeer stare down at them from high up there, abandoning them to their situation with little care or explanation, Myut honestly had a bone to pick with it too.
”I can’t hold her much longer.” Ino’s voice immediately recaptured his attention back to the issue at hand, and Mew hurriedly strode over to relieve him of the weight of Eris.

This presented a new challenge. How was he supposed to… handle Eris? He wanted very little to do with her in the first place, let alone touch her, and found himself surged with a strong desire that he should be holding Ino instead. Nonetheless, he didn’t want to leave the poor lad hanging, and, after finding himself a little disappointed to find that Eris did not indeed have a scruff like the wild little animal she was, strongly placed his hands under her back in the places Ino’s hands were not. It was easy for him to lift her from the smaller envy demon, but damn was she surprisingly stocky.
“Let go for a sec,” He instructed the wily little she-devil in his arms, who was still death-gripping the corner of the painting.

As soon as she did, he supported the remaining weight that shifted onto him with no problems, bringing Eris close to his chest to even out his center of gravity. So… what was he supposed to do with her now? He wasn’t about to continue cradling her like a small infant or some precious lover, as he figured she probably would not appreciate it, so he carefully placed her back on her feet on the ground without waiting to be told to do so.

“So do you just want me to, uh,” Myut placed his hands under her armpits to lift her high up into the air, but with her limited reach he was not sure if it would be enough. He really didn’t want to grab her anywhere else, though. Worse comes to worse she could use him like a stepping stool. She’d love that.

Myut did his best to behave like a gentleman, even though he had the uncanny feeling of being at the business-end of a skunk. He kept his grip firm but tried to keep his fingers and reach limited close to Eris’ arms while handling her. Some of it couldn’t be helped though, and he didn’t dwell on that bit. Instead, his focus was lasered onto the painting as Eris reached up for it. Her little hands grasped the sides of the portrait and a feeling of excitement flowed through him at the prospect of success on Eris’ behalf. He quickly found, however, that she didn’t have enough physical reach to leverage her body to push it up off whatever mounted it in place. Myut was going to try to lift her higher in the air, either to give her that reach to actively be able to push it up or just to use her as a simple extension tool to grab and stiffly unhook, but Eris moved by herself before he could aid her any further.

It seemed that she was determined to take care of anything she could by her own means, and Meu had to steady his grip better now that she was wiggling ferociously to get her knee up onto the mantle. Once she did, Eris was at the edge of his grip, his hands having slid down her sides to rest closer to her hips during the time she elevated herself further than he could reach with the prior hold. She got that painting, though.

It looked like it was about to get her back, however. Myut startled a little at her victorious exclamation, but stood his ground, trying to get a better look at what was going on and view her triumph, when that noise quickly twisted into something of horror – to which he found to be because of the painting tilting off the wall with the force of gravity. A look of doom twisted Meu’s face as he saw it coming down to fall on both he and Eris.

Man, seriously, nothing ever good came of hanging out with Eris.

Mew’s instincts kicked in instantly and his fingers tightened around the grip of her hips to pull her back into the safety of his form. He did his best to duck down in the same instant and involuntarily turned his shoulder to guard the smaller demon from the falling portrait, even if that meant it would come down all the faster and harder on him should she still be clinging to its sides. The greed winced his eyes closed and braced for impact.

Nothing ended up bonking him, however, and after a second or two he creaked an eye back open to question the universe – of which he knew its properties very well (gravity) - only to find Ino standing there, arms outstretched and having stopped the painting from landing on them. Well, that would explain the phenomenon.

It occurred to him in the next instant that there could be a very good chance that the painting might be heavy for Ino, and, not wanting his rescuer to suffer any sort of inconvenience, Meu totally abandoned Eris to quickly pop back up and get a hand under the painting to ensure that it would not weigh heavily on Ino.
“Shit, thanks. That was close.”

Myut found in swift order that he was now the sole bearer of this painting. He could appreciate its weight fully now, and he glanced over as Ino softly thanked him for relieving him of it. Meu opened his mouth to respond but cut himself off before he could when he heard the envy mumble something else to himself. Being as close to him as he was, he could clearly hear the other’s comment.
”Ah, I chipped a nail….” A soft frown furrowed his brow as he tilted his head down to better look at the hand and inspect what had happened. Indeed it was. The beautifully manicured nail now sported a jagged edge that would undoubtedly manage to get hooked into any sorts of fabric it may come across. Meu knew that inconvenience well enough, not to mention the simple fact that it ruined the aesthetic and the careful care and attention given to the hand.


Myut shifted his own hands till the painting slid into the palm of one rather than both and then dangled it for a moment until he let it fall a short way to the ground with an unceremonious thud. Meu couldn’t care less about it though. He straightened once more to take a gentle hold of Ino’s hand with one of his own, gaze set on the nail. With his other free hand and a gentle,
“Hang on,” Mew’s gaze slid over to his own free fingers, and, after a slide of his thumb over the empty air in his palm and his fingertips, was suddenly holding a thin file.

The greed demon made quick work of evening out what had been damaged, olive-green eyes lasered in on the dainty finger he held, until, upon finishing, he slid his gaze up to meet Ino’s purple hues. At the same time, he parted his lips just a bit to blow a quick breath of air across the top of the nail to rid of any dust made by the action, before flashing him a confident grin. He was clearly pleased with himself.

"I, ah… thank you?" Mew nodded, seemingly unphased by the confusion and uncertainty radiating off the smaller demon. Mew could not help but quickly find himself lost to admiring Ino’s features now that he was so close. Geez, he truly was such a pretty little thing. Like a fine porcelain doll, or a carefully immaculate figurine. Myut was unable to resist appreciating and carefully appraising the envy like he would a precious trinket. Ino smelled really nice too, thanks to the baths the envy had mentioned before.”It… it’s good. Thank you.” Meu already knew it, since he’d been doing his own manicures for quite the length of time, but it was still nice to hear the gratitude in the other’s voice. Obviously, it would not do to just leave the poor devil’s hand in that state, so Meu had taken it upon himself to remedy the issue.

It didn’t appear to bother the greed a wink either that he was still holding onto the other’s hand. It was almost as if he were taking advantage of the fact to keep Ino right where he was so Meu could keep looking. His pleased grin slacked into something a little more comfortable. He liked looking at Ino. He put in a lot of work to look good, and Myut could empathize.

It seemed like the white-haired demon was going to say something then, perhaps a compliment, but was interrupted by the loud noise of Eris returning. He just chuckled off her comment, politely releasing his hold and turning his head to look at her. It seemed she had brought a bag of things, and that instantly sparked Meu’s curiosity. He ambled on over to investigate as she pulled the portrait onto the table with a grunt, and his eyes sparkled with mischief when he saw the supplies she had brought. Hell yeah, this he was definitely into.

Ino seemed a little more hesitant though, for as he left the couch to join them, he voiced his uncertainty. This surprised Myut a little, since he had been under the impression that he was gung-ho about de-mantling the picture with Eris. It made sense though, if he had just been roped into helping the wrath bring it down but had no further intentions to interact with the image. Meu didn’t see what the big deal was, since Abadeer had really brought this onto himself. Eris mirrored the sentiment with her next words.

“Why not? He’s the one who locked us all in here with it, you can’t give a dog a bone and expect no chewing~”

Man, honestly Mew couldn’t have said it better himself. He was surprised that the apt metaphor had come from her lips. Very clever. She set out her supplies and began prepping the area.

It didn’t seem like Ino needed too much convincing to join them then, and soon he was roosted on the face of the table, looming over the painting rather menacingly. Myut approved.

With a grin, the greed walked around to the other side and settled down in criss-cross position on the floor. He watched for a moment or two, thoughtfully ruminating over his artistic options, but once he saw Eris devolve into straight finger painting, Myut could quickly see the appeal and adopted her method. He dipped his digits into the darker colors, spreading them out nice and proper over the careful color gradation of the background. This would be a masterpiece looking to have been curated by a two-year-old when Myut was done with it - he swore it. Stark, single tone color instead of the masterful technique whatever artist had applied beforehand with the mixing of hues and careful brushstrokes. It would be a glorious atrocity. Myut didn’t even feel bad about defacing this otherwise probably valuable item.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Eris Leblanc
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#, as written by ianna_334
【”If anyone asks, I’m blaming the Wrath Demon”】
【Main Room】

While Vivian had truly enjoyed learning more about her mother, once Bezabelle came around, all her attention was stolen away.
“Be back in a while, my dear” said her adorable girlfriend, and Viv looked after her longingly as she walked away. She heard Ino chuckle and quickly looked back at him, but really, he wasn’t that interesting anymore. Bez’s gentle hands, and her soft kisses were…

Distracted, she didn’t really care when Ino stopped talking, seizing her chance to go look for Bez again. Plus, the wrath demon was hanging around, and she wasn’t sure she liked that very much.

Unfortunately, Ino had distracted her from seeing where Bez had gone. She checked the bedrooms, but not finding her there, Vivian ended up in her own room, laying down on the bed with a soft sigh.

It had barely been a day, but boredom was already setting in. She hadn’t brought along anything for personal entertainment, and though she knew some of the other demons had books, Viv wasn’t much of a reader. In her flowing dresses, she couldn’t really work out either – at least, until she truly stopped giving a fuck. Absently, she sat up again and tried to open a portal before her. She knew it was futile, but it still made her heart sink when nothing at all happened.

Portals had been Viv’s escape since she’d been a young girl. They were a deeply innate ability, and as a child, she’d been trained in their use to always get herself home. More determined now, she stood up, running through the steps as though she was a little girl. This time she almost felt something, thought it was to no effect. No portal opened before her.

The demon sat back down on the bed with a deep sigh. It felt wrong to be cut off from a facet of her power, and she’d almost hoped that there’d been an oversight that would allow her to escape. To Viv, portals and Earth had always been about freedom. Did Bezabelle like Earth? They’d met up there, so surely-

It was around this time that she registered the shouting from the main room. Listening closer, she went to the so-called ‘door’, looking out. Ino and Myut stood in the center of the room, holding hands, looking deeply into each others’ eyes. That…was an unexpected development, considering how Myut and Cyr had stared at each other. Maybe Myut was hoping to secure his place through romance? It was risky, but it could work. Not that it was a tactic she’d ever try…

Half-thinking of strategies she could use to ensure her and Bez’s safety, Viv was startled when Eris barrelled out of her room. Shortly, the painting was on the table, paint was spread around it, and the three demons were at work defacing the work of art.

”That’s not a good idea”

The words caught in her throat even as she came closer. Clearly, the trio didn’t care. This was so disrespectful, and under the circumstances, Viv knew she should stop them, but…how?

She was even closer now, and something else was beginning to happen. Viv hadn’t fingerpainted since she was a child, and…now, bored and stressed, she was abruptly missing it, badly.

”Can…can I join?” her voice seemed to surprise her, from the little way she flinched, standing a little straighter.

”Heck yeah,” said Eris, while Myut smiled and nodded, helping her feel more comfortable. Ino looked up with a small smile, apparently deeply invested in what he was doing to the Prince’s face.

With permission secured, she sat down in one of the chairs. Maybe, if she was careful, and didn’t do anything bad, this wouldn’t reflect badly on her. She cast about for inspiration and settled on the Princess’s face.

The Princess was a beautiful woman, her golden hair cascading over her shoulder. Viv stared at it for a while, then at the colours they had. Slowly, then with more gusto, she began to add yellow fingerprints, when decorating around them with colourful fingerprint petals. As she got more into it, she even experimented with different floral designs. It was no masterpiece, but the flowery crown she was constructing for the painted woman was certainly more respectful than the mustache and snake being painted on Abadeer.

She had her own thoughts on that, but she also didn’t feel like questioning the vindictive glee in Ino’s eyes.