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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.

532 readers have been here.


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

10 Characters Here

Myut [38] "You want it, I got it. ...It's mine though... you can't have it."
Bezabelle [36] What do I want? Well, more, of course!
Ino Cense [36] Do be jealous - it's my domain
Cyris Herron [36] "Sometimes, things just don't work out."
Vivian Lacerta [33] Just try and stop me
Eris Leblanc [32] "I AM NOT FUCKING CUTE!!!"
Valramir [32] I want to.. eh, tomorrow.
Amos [13] The Guard
Abadeer Tyrano [11] The Prince
Margot Quinn [0] INACTIVE

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Abadeer Tyrano Character Portrait: Amos
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【"I've been caught, it seems. Doing what? I'm not sure."】
【Main Hall→Cyr's Room】

The galas The Prince threw were a special sort. Any wealthy enough demon could open their home for an evening, throw a gala to show off their territory, but no one else had a whole castle for the specific purpose of putting on absurdly opulent parties, hazy with manic indolence and luxury. Demons from all over put aside everything and anything else to make an appearance, whether for a day, or the full four-day duration of the gala. Cyr had been obligated to go, along with his parents from the time he’d finally come into his powers. This year, however, had been different. His parents had sent him on his own, with a necklace and a promise.

This would be his last gala as an independent demon. So, in true fashion, Cyr made it his goal to enjoy it to its fullest. What else could he do? Who knew who his new contractor would be? He couldn’t even think of them as a potential mate, it had to be a business deal. Why else would someone agree to such terms without even meeting him? They’d probably coop him up inside all the time and ignore him.

But it was so easy to put those nagging thoughts and worries aside here. Instead, he lingered late hours in the various dancing halls--those with live performers, those with music that filtered from somewhere in the high ceilings, obscured by the dim, musky lighting. He even popped by the small hall where loud human music seemed to be constantly blaring. Those demons who preferred human artists were their own...brand, but to each their own. It certainly reminded Cyr of late nights and early mornings, and the impossible way the earthen sky seemed to reach into infinity.

The golden hours of the night were Cyr’s favorite, when the heat of the day dwindled. The blood moon still bathed the landscape in a strange, maroon sheen, glowing dimly through the slender gothic windows. During the day, demons lay lazily, grazing on the plentiful food strewn about, napping and making small talk, playing pretend with The Prince’s opulent toys. When the sun set, they seemed to come to life--a frenzy of skin and voice, wild movement and a sheen of sweat gleaming here and there under the dim artificial lights. Cyr couldn’t deny the draw of bodies on every side, the thrill of dancing with strangers who didn’t care who was who, only hungered for the nearness of another.

Today was the last day, however. One more night, and then, in the morning, they would all go home, strung out on four wild nights of sin and ecstasy. While his body was aching for sleep, he knew he should make the most of this time--he couldn’t let a drop slip by. He’d spent some time out in the sprawling gardens, enjoying the cool spray of a large fountain while watching a half-dressed couple dart out of the bushes and back towards the guest quarters.

He’d worn his nicest clothes today, however, and he was obligated to show them off, even if he’d already shed the black suit jacket with the family’s crest, a hawk with a snake in its talons, and rolled up his sleeves to his elbows, the thread count on his shirtsleeves was nothing to sneeze at. Near midmorning, he wandered back inside, towards the main hall. The Prince, in a rare appearance, was making conversation among the guests. Cyr watched him quietly as he found himself a comfortable table to settle down at, a glass of pale pink wine in hand. The Prince was truly an intimidating figure, a strong face, a powerful jaw, the hint of grey at his temple. He towered over almost everyone at the gala, and his biceps looked like he could snap a neck with just one massive hand. Cyr sighed wistfully, watching him cutting a path through the small crowd that now surrounded him.

An old friend, however, distracted him from his admiration, her young face shining up at him. Bezabelle was always good for a chat, friendly and cheerful. She never seemed to want anything from him, but hanging out with her was always a good time. Indeed, somehow, every time he finished his wine, another one was in his hand. As the conversation turned towards the future, he was in no place to refuse another glass, and then another. Perhaps the sweet, effervescent wine would soothe the ache in his chest.

The drunken haze that settled down on him led Cyr to lay his face down on the cool table, wondering when and where Bez had wandered off to. He couldn’t remember how long ago they’d been talking. What time was it now? He wasn’t usually one to get drunk, but it was so hard to stop drinking once he started when the wine seemed to flow from his palm into his mouth.

Sudden hands on his arms were only enough to sober him partially. “
Hey, no need to be rough,” he snapped, jerking his head off and trying to shrug off the two large demons that had just grabbed him by either bicep. Royal Guards? Was he being kicked out? But he hadn’t done anything wrong at all?

Hey, what’s the problem?” he slurred, trying to jerk his arms out of the guards’ grip. “Let me go!” Perhaps he could have taken them if he wasn’t drunk off his heels. As it was, he could barely keep up as the pair frog marched him out of the main hall. He tried to reach out with allure to make them let go, but that only earned him a sharp grunt and a thick hand twisting his arm higher up behind him, causing him to hiss with pain.

After a long walk to an increasingly deserted wing of the castle, Cyr was unceremoniously shoved through a door. When he turned to confront his manhandlers, however, there was only a flat wall in front of him and a headache blooming in his brain. What in the Hell? What was their problem?

Cyr glanced around. There were several openings into other rooms, and as he stepped closer to one of them, he saw his own suitcases and bags sitting beside the bed. Was he being relocated? Had he done something to anger the Prince enough to be put in the time-out corner? Cyr scowled. Tonight was supposed to be his last night of fun, would he be spending it locked up here?

He cursed softly, shrugging out of his suspenders and stripping off his shirt before falling face first onto the neatly made bed. This majorly sucked.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Amos
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【”You know, for a few days, I actually thought things were going well】
【Main Hall→Ino’s old room→The new rooms】

After getting kicked out of his boyfriend’s place, Ino had, for lack of a better word, moped. He’d spent days in bed, staring at the ceiling, his eyes drifting back and forth as he tried to process what had happened. Slowly, food had run out and he’d stopped bothering to replenish it. The one time he’d tried, he’d picked up truffle and vinegar for a dish he’d promised to make, then threw out all the groceries in a fit of pique. The only thing he still bothered with was coffee, and even then...some mornings it all ended up down the drain when he caught himself pouring two cups instead of one.

After weeks of this, he’d slowly started moving again, his energy fixed on one goal and one goal only. He still had his ticket to the Prince’s Gala, and he was damn well going to be there.

He’d almost considered not going, true. But it had been his envy that dragged him out of the funk.

He would be there. The one who had stolen his lover and upended all of his plans. And Ino would get back at him if it was the last thing he did.

So he’d forced himself up and into action. He’d gone shopping with the very best tailors, for a series of stunning outfits. He’d contracted with a prodigious human, giving up the chance at a soul for an outfit unlike anything anyone had ever seen, granting him success in return. Anyone who saw one of his designs would be seized with fierce envy until they owned one just like it.

Technically, it wasn’t against the treaty. He’d go so far as to say that he’d helped that human.

He’d worn that outfit on the first night, the ones by demon designers after it. He had more outfits than he needed, but he’d found excuses to change and show them off, one after the other. He’d spent the last days in a haze of indulgences, showing that he was bright, vivacious, undamaged by hurts.

He’d spent the time circling around his enemy, seeking his chance for revenge.

It was around lunch on the final day, and he was dressed simpler than usual. The plain white shirt was billowing and gauzy, slipping off his shoulders and held together with ties down the sleeves, before cinching in at the waist. His pants folded around his supple legs, showing off all of his figure. A red sash at his waist brought it all together, as did the ruby at his throat and the roses stitched on his heeled boots. It was a lovely, casual sort of outfit, but as evening fell, these festivities would demand...more.

When he arrived at his room, though, there was a guard there, one who unabashedly checked him out before clearing his throat.

“Mr. Cense. Ah... Ino. The Prince sends his regards and has arranged a special room for your final night.”

Ino’s heart jumped into his throat, and he had to swallow hard before he had himself under control.

“That’s...truly generous,” he murmured, casting his eyes down. “Will you show me the way?”

It was...very surprising, but there were plenty of ways in which it made sense. They headed for a more isolated part of the castle, and Ino tried to draw things together. The Prince likely wanted to talk, but all things considered, it wasn’t surprising that he’d want this meeting to be private. There was likely a note there, with further instructions. If he was right…

His heart was fluttering like a bird’s, and he didn’t notice anything amiss when the guard bowed, waving him forward into the room. It was fairly lavish, like everything here was. A low table, wood threaded with gold, was set between two couches, upholstered with soft black leather. Across from them was a huge fireplace with shining golden grates, currently swept clean. On the mantle was a massive portrait of the Prince and his bride, standing together comfortably, looking for all the world like old friends.

Ino snickered when he saw it, quickly turning away.

“Humble, isn’t he?” he asked the guard, looking over his shoulder but...there was no guard. For that matter, there was no door either. Ino flew at the wall, slamming his fist against it, then stumbled back, shaking his hand.

“Ow…” he whined, glaring at the wall as though it had hit him, and not the other way around.

His chest felt tight, but he backed up, looking around the room. There...there had to be an explanation. He needed to explore.

There were 8 openings set into the walls. Only one had a door, so that was where he went first. Predictably, it was locked. Maybe there was a key somewhere? He needed to check the other rooms. He started to the left. Each room had a huge bed, soft, with pillars that sent a pang through his heart. Empty wardrobes with elegant scrollwork, with shelves and racks waiting to be filled. A desk and a chair tucked into the corner. Though there was no door into the room, there was a door in the room, and beyond it, Ino found a half-bath, with a sink and toilet. He turned it on, the water smelled clean and fresh.

Three doors down, he found his suitcases, neatly stacked. Nothing was missing, as far as he could tell, though he was no greed demon. Nothing useful either, though he did pop a flower into his mouth, chewing on it for clarity of mind. Nothing wavered, so he wasn’t in a hallucination. That was something at least.

In another room, he finally found something interesting. Another demon sprawled facedown on the bed. He was huge and full of muscle, and Ino hesitated by the door.

“Hello?” he murmured. He got no response, and cautiously, the envy demon moved closer. He was laying so still…

Carefully, he pressed his fingers just under his jaw, seeking for a pulse. If there was a dead demon in here, he would have to hide immediately. He seriously hoped it wasn’t the case.

As soon as he touched him, though, the larger demon stirred, and Ino sagged with relief.
“Hey,” he said, a bit louder. “Hey, wake up.”

The other demon made a confused sound, rolling over and peering at Ino with stunning golden eyes. With that came the heavy scent of alcohol, and his body...his body was so gorgeous that Ino’s entire train of thought came screeching to a halt.

“What do you want?”, the other demon mumbled.

“Are you...okay?” Ino asked, the voice (utterly lovely in his ears) shaking him out of his reverie.

The other ran a hand through his hair.
“I’m fine.”, he muttered and then looked down. “Where’s my shirt? How did I get here?”

Though he was loathe to cover up the gorgeous view, Ino figured that if they were about to attempt an escape, they should both be fully dressed. He looked around the room, crouched, and soon found the shirt. It smelled sweetly of wine, and Ino felt his lips slip into a pout as he offered it back. He bet that this guy smelled amazing. Maybe it was something they could explore together later.

The man sat up slowly and then groaned, placing his hand on his head with a muttered curse.
“The hell happened to my head?” he asked.

“You’re hungover as fuck,” Ino answered immediately. “Lie down. Wait here. I’ll be right back.”

He whisked back to ‘his’ room, digging in the biggest suitcase until he found it. The little satchel looked like a teabag, and into it, he scooped several powders. He’d brought each in abundance, all to create his secret recipe. A hangover cure anyone could use. At home, he kept them all mixed, but he didn’t want anyone here finding this secret. Once filled, he tied it off and brought it back to the other demon. He checked the door in this room, which unsurprisingly led to another half bath, and he soaked the satchel with warm water from the sink. He waited, then squeezed the bag, draining it of excess, and waited more until he caught the faint scent of peaches. It was ready.

The gorgeous demon was asleep again, not that Ino was surprised. He clambered onto the bed, straddling his body. He felt so good between his thighs...No, focus Ino. Not the time. Once in position, he held the little bag to his perfect lips, letting the fluid drip onto them, careful not to pour too much on his face. The magic would kick in immediately, draining excess alcohol and curing hangover symptoms in minutes.

In the meantime, Ino could sit and enjoy his position.

What if this handsome demon woke up and thanked him? What if they escaped together and then just...stayed together? What if he was so grateful that he’d do anything to pay Ino back?

Although, judging by the look in his eyes and the confused
“What are you doing on my chest?” he got, he doubted that would be the case.

Ino shivered, full body, when those strong arms took his hips, his mouth falling a little open as the larger demon so easily moved him away before sitting up. An intense surge of lust seized him because holy shit…

“Thank you for the...whatever that was,” the other was saying, buttoning his shirt, and Ino swallowed hard, hoping his voice wouldn’t come out as a squeak.

“Hangover cure,” he chirped. “You’re welcome. Oh,” he offered him the little bag. “Suck on it, it’ll help more.”

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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【Go figure. The one time I want to be social and I get put in a bedroom. Not fair.】
【Main Hall>restricted area >Rooms】

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Valramir
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#, as written by Skwidge
【”While I didn’t want the party to end, this isn’t exactly what I meant.”】
【Partay -> Somewhere in the Deep Red Yonder -> Straight to Jail】

Myut had been having quite the delicious time over the past four days of fancy. Of course he had been in attendance – this was a very rare occurrence indeed, for the Prince of Hell himself to host festivities at his residence. It far outshone any other demons’ attempts to host a party, so Myut wouldn’t miss it for the world; well, maybe that wasn’t true. The world did have so many superb things in it, after all, and he wanted all those. Still, the greed demon had been impossibly eager to garner his invitation to this event – there would be no bigger and no better time nor place to increase his collection, and in so many ways to boot. Objects, information, gossip, secrets, all so tantalizing and just on the cusp of his fingertips. But there was one very specific reason that he was attending this gala. So no, he wouldn’t dare miss it. There was too much riding on it.

Myut was largely business-minded in attending this event, considering he didn’t particularly seek or like being amidst crowds of anything. To be sure, the absolute throngs of demons that moved through the castle over the course of the party were a bit overwhelming, but Meu tuned most of them out into the background, keeping to himself on the outskirts or against walls and just observing. Waiting for just the right thing to spur him into interaction. Otherwise, the demon partook of food, drink, atmosphere, and luxury at almost all other times. He also did quite a bit of eavesdropping, picking up so many delicious little tidbits here and there. The greed demon was living it up, and he looked fantastic while doing it too.

Myut had chosen a handful of carefully tailored outfits for his four day stay, both for public and private use. He was getting plenty of wear out of them as well, though nothing so indulgent as changing it up multiple times throughout the day. That was a bit too much work for him. Honestly, when he returned to his room, he ended up staying there for quite a while, and he caught himself a few times finding it difficult to rouse from his reading. These sessions with his books were mainly during the day when the other demons were also more dormant. Evenings were when the fun really began in earnest. This wasn’t to say that Myut didn’t make his daytime routes – he got to explore the grounds a little better during this time, too. A little more quiet, a little less chaotic. He enjoyed his time here in many ways, and gods were the gardens splendid.

Vast and sprawling, there were so many different sections carefully divided and maintained, covering the vast stretches of Abadeer’s domain. But Myut’s interest lay solely in the sections that hosted the vibrant green earth colors. Meu took especially splendent time to walk through such courtyards; most of his second day was all about getting lost out in the yard, so to say. And other places. Against the very odds of nature, Myut did not feel any sense of tainted possessiveness, though to be sure he was very jealous of the Prince’s collection of flora. Instead, he simply enjoyed his walks among them, and it gave him an appreciation and numb longing for those plants waiting for him back at home. Those were the best. His favorite here was likely the grand hedges that were mindfully scaped and polished, bordering the paths in the gardens.

Myut’s first day had been particularly eventful. He had run into someone he hadn’t been expecting – though he shouldn’t have been surprised. The evening had just fallen and Myut had been resting against a wall, carefully watching the people and their things pass noisily by. He had been enjoying a particularly fragrant and sweet variant of champagne while eyeing a particular pocket watch a few people away when there had been movement that caught his eye. This motion had made him stiffen momentarily, but he had soon reasoned that it would be good to start mingling and get to eye things a little more closely.

A familiar short little demon with fiery orange hair graced his line of sight; he hadn’t expected to see Bezabelle, though with this party being one of the most self-aggrandizing, regal, and over-the-top events to date, of course the little glut had been stalking about. She had greeted him with a warm, excited, and sweet tone, exclaiming over having run into him here. Added with a playful tease, Bez had proclaimed that he had not yet indulged himself nearly enough.

In response, he had tipped his glass to her, showing – or rather defending himself – that he was indeed partaking. His glass had been getting rather empty though. After a playful inclination over the sad situation, Bez and he had made their way over to the bar, with Bez having taken the lead by grabbing his arm and guiding him that way. Myut had garnered the attention of the female bartender, and, after a short exchange, ended up ordering for the two of them. Myut had been enjoying watching the bar demon fluidly move to fulfill their orders when Bezabelle spoke a certain set of magic words that had his attention entirely on her. She kept him waiting though until their drinks were ready and the little demon had led them over to a loveseat in the corner.

That hadn’t been the end of the waiting for Myut, though. She had dodged about in regards to what she had to share with him, and it had driven him absolutely mad. By the time she had finally hinted towards her intentions, the request for an exchange of services had already been made. After a roundabout of suggestions, Meu had landed on two satisfactory bits of information that he had then shared with the gluttony demon. Bez had been very pleased with the result, but she had caught him off-guard in the way she had displayed said delight. He hadn’t complained at all, certainly, but his interest had been unwaveringly absorbed by what she had promised to tell him, rather than what her lips had just done.

What she had shared with him on that first night had confirmed his prior suspicions as to why he was really here in the first place. He had finished up their little interaction after hearing this bit of juicy information from her, as he honestly couldn’t focus on her for any longer because of it, and had stood up rather abruptly, leaving a little Bez to tumble from his lap into strong, waiting arms. From there she had been a bit unceremoniously plopped back onto that loveseat, and Myut had said his adieus, quickly leaving his unfinished drink at the bar before disappearing down one of the halls.

Following his engagement with Bezabelle, Myut had gotten down to business for the rest of his evening day one. That had consisted of hunting down certain servants and discussing certain matters with a vague demon or two. It was all about getting information and biding his time.

Day two, as previously mentioned, consisted of quite a bit of exploring. Namely in places he probably shouldn’t have been in. All in the admirable pursuit of knowledge, though! Indeed, most of day two he spent all by his lonesome, creeping around the castle and its outer grounds. Mew had been surprised that he hadn’t run into any trouble or peeking eyes, in fact. Despite getting all of this time to himself, he didn’t end up finding what he had been looking for. It wasn’t entirely frustrating, he had seemed to be on the right track, just… not in the right place yet. As desperate as he was to get this thing pinned down, Myut was still being extremely cautious, and at this point in time he had decided to take a break to return to the lavish festivities and blend in some more.

Evening three had Myut doing a bit of business on the side here and there, the most notable being with a somewhat disheveled-looking white-haired demon. First impressions on the guy? Uhh, Myut hadn’t really been paying enough attention to tell you. Instead, the entirety of his focus had been resting solely on the silver cross that lay low against the other’s chest. It had glimmered in the shine of the evening lights and had immediately garnered the greedy demon’s eyes. That had really been the only reason why he had come over in the first place. It wasn’t unpleasant though, this other demon had such bright red eyes, and Myut had felt an off-hand sort of flattery from the other checking him out with such interest, but luckily that didn’t prove to be a hindrance when it came down to that little necklace Meu wanted so badly.

The interaction had been short and sweet, and all it had costed him was an, admittedly, gorgeous little trinket he had brought with him for this very reason. The thought of his new acquisition easily softened that blow, and Meu hadn’t been so sorry to see it go. The weight of it in his pocket was tantalizing even now.

The greed demon took a long, soft sip of the limed-up rum he held easily in his hand as he walked down a sparse, darker hallway. There was a reserved and terribly pleased little smile resting confidently against his lips as his fingertips brushed against the now-warming metal in his pocket. Even Myut hadn’t been entirely sure why he was so wickedly taken with the piece, but there was just something about it. He didn’t get to dwell for long though, as suddenly there was a little demon servant scurrying over from some side door, a serving platter pressed against her chest and her eyes looking somewhat shifty; it wasn’t the appearance of the demon itself that had him prying his thoughts away from the necklace, he wouldn’t have wasted too much thought after her since he was in a moment of reverie, but the little servant demon had been looking for him.

“Psst,” he heard the wavering voice of the smaller female as she looked up at him before stepping into another room, further away from any prying eyes or ears. Ah! The work he had put in was finally starting to pay off. A wicked little smirk now replaced the prior look on his face, eyes intensely sharp and focused on the doorway the lass had just moved through. The clear, circular glass he had been holding was abandoned on the windowsill, barely unfinished.

It was just as poorly lighted in the room they now found themselves alone in. Myut tilted his head, an eager look to his face, but he politely held himself back. The servant before him looked a little uncertain, but Myut made quick means to amend this.
”I was beginning to seriously wonder if anyone was actually going to be able to guide me in the right direction. Fret not, I’m well prepared for this sort of thing.” Meu opened the left side of his black overcoat, and all traces of unease disappeared from the serving girl’s face.

”Now, tell me what it is you’re looking for.” The greed demon smiled benevolently, and another short round of business began.

Myut whistled happily to himself – not too loudly, of course, – both hands shoved into his pockets as he now found himself walking with a purpose and distinct goal in mind. It was growing rather late, but all the better for him. Less eyes to be looking around. He could hear the faint and distant giggles of a few stragglers – cavorting demons disappearing behind closed doors – but soon this too faded into silence as he grew further and further away from the residential wings. Myut placed a hand down on the rather fancy railing of a staircase, twirling himself around it till he was facing the first step. He winced slightly as he heard a squeak from his boots, but after a cursory looksee, found that he had not alerted any guards. Or anyone period, for that matter.

That made things quite a bit easier for him, at least. At the next floor, Myut paused to ensure he was still going the right way according to what the servant had told him. He had been a little lighter for it, but he felt good about the upcoming results. The demon turned this way and that, and after a winding corridor, his olive green eyes settled upon the door that was his prey. This should be the place – moment of truth. Meu’s careful hand rested on the doorknob to the room, and he held his breath as he turned the knob.

This… seemed to be the place? It was a rather small, out-of-the-way room scantily furnished and looking somewhat worse for wear judging by that big cobweb up in the corner there. There were two small rows of two bookcases settled shortly in the center of the room, with a table or two and a chair in the corner. There was a bit of uninteresting shelving against the eastern wall, but that wasn’t what Myut was here for. He had been a bit surprised that he hadn’t run into a single guard – was anyone even guarding the place right now? Not that he should be complaining. It was good fortune for him.

He had might as well get started; fortunately there weren’t a lot of places to look, but the books he would need to go through weren’t anything to scoff at either. Myut settled down on the floor cross-legged, not really minding if his nice trousers got a little dirty from it. They would just need a little pat down afterwards if it became an issue. His mind was already enamored with the task at hand so little else mattered right now. He grabbed a few books from the bottom shelf of the first of the four bookcases, pulling out a pair of large circular glasses from god knows where. And with that, he quietly began mulling through hundreds of pages of old text.

Myut didn’t know how long he had been in here, but if the impressive piles of books and notes were any indicator, quite a few hours had passed. He hadn’t had any luck so far, and Myut sat back on his hands, balancing a pencil between his upper lip and nose, deep in thought. He blinked and suddenly let out a frustrated sigh, glancing around him. It was then that he noticed just how long he had been here. A pang of concern bolted through his body, but… he hadn’t found it yet. And the servant had reassured him there would be something helpful in this room.
As if they couldn’t have been any vaguer, Meu thought ruefully to himself. He had to be close by now, there were so many books strewn about, there couldn’t be many left. Just a little more…. The demon walked around the corner of the short bookcase – or was he just tall – and pulled another book from the top shelf. This one was a dark, dull mauve color with a leather-bound cover and a tattering spine. Once more he plopped onto the ground and flipped over the small bundle, eyes scanning rapidly through the text there.

…Something about the Hinterdemons in the ancient Nandatha province in the underbelly of Hell, blah blah blah, an old medicinal recipe using Scatherwart originating near the same place, Ca ritual powers and a history of- wait, that was-! Suddenly the door slammed open on its hinges, startling Meu quite badly, and ooooh…. It seemed like he was getting paid back in double force with the guards now, making up for the utter lack of them - was it last night now? Damn! He knew he shouldn’t have pushed his luck lingering around for so long. How had they known though?

“Wait guys I think this is a misunderstanding,” They apprehended him before he could say anything else, dragging him towards the door while he was still clutching the book in his hands. Okay, so this definitely wasn’t a misunderstanding. He wasn’t supposed to be here – that was for certain, but come on, what was the big deal? The two guards with a grapple hold on his body wrenched the book from his hands and placed it gently down (the Prince’s property, after all) on a table they passed by on the way out. Myut threw one last forlorn, longing glance back at the item as the third and fourth guard closed the door and stood at attention in front of it. Five and six followed behind as the first two manhandled him down the corridor to a different set of stairs. Well, it was actually kind of funny because only one of the guards was really tall enough to be doing this to Myut, who stood at 5’ 11’, the other guard was kind of just awkwardly holding his upper arm with his own outstretched one. That didn’t mean the shorter one was lacking in any strength or ire, though.

Myut didn’t bother to say anything else, because clearly these guys weren’t going to be listening to him. The two backing demons branched off, seemingly having something better to do now, and his originals continued marching him all about the place. Luckily he didn’t really see any other demons around as that would have been somewhat embarrassing. Well… apparently that wasn’t quite true. As they rounded a corner, Mew spotted two servants standing against the wall looking rather smug and rather familiar. So it seems it wouldn’t have mattered how long he was in that room for, he would have been tattled on regardless. His mood was rather soured, but at least that made him feel a wee bit better. It hadn’t been his fuck-up. At least not directly. Myut sent them a backwards glare as the trio passed them, but the servants didn’t seem too terribly bothered by it what with the guards and all.

Myut resigned himself to blankness for the short rest of their journey. It seemed like they were in a more abandoned wing of the castle, much like where he had come from, though that had been in the upper floors. The greed demon patiently waited for them to arrive at their destination, a very particular, special door of a very particular, special color. Brown. It was just brown. Like every other door. The two roughly pushed him forward through that door without a word, and Myut took a couple of stumbling steps forward to try to catch himself, but before he could, his feet bumped into something that sent him toppling to the ground.
”Shit.” He groaned, swiftly tilting his head to see what he had tripped over.

Or rather whom.

He kinda looked familiar, to be honest. Crumply and white-haired, and- hey, wasn’t that brooch-.
“Vaaal..ra-something?” He spoke a little uncertainly, not quite sure if he remembered correctly. He had only paid attention to the other’s name in passing. Well they did make quite the pretty little heap. Speaking of which; Myut scrambled to get off the poor lad, easily regaining his footing before clasping a strong hand around the other’s bicep to pull him up to his feet. However, about halfway through doing so, maybe just long enough for Val to get a knee placed, Myut suddenly froze and his head shot to the side where the fully empty rooms were. All other thoughts were forgotten as his hand suddenly released whatever hold he had on the sloth demon and he strode with quick, purposeful steps past the first two rooms on the left. He didn’t even notice the other two demons therein that initial leftern room, and somehow instinctually knew to choose the third. His stuff. Where the hell was his stuff? There had been a bag or two in front of the other rooms. Suffice it to say he imagined, since Valramir was also here, that the guards had rounded up their stuff. Why, though, Myut couldn’t say. But there would be absolute hell to pay if his things weren’t there.

The demon’s eyes landed on the queen-sized bed. There lay a few bags and some of his clothes, which he recognized immediately. It wasn’t safe yet, though. He strode up to the bed, shrugged off his overcoat, and unzipped one bag promptly, to which he started muttering quiet profanities to himself as he sifted through his things.
”Agh!” a look of utter frustration and distaste harshened his attractive features as he clicked his tongue loudly, crossing his arms and stamping his foot as he turned to the side. There was already something missing. And he hadn’t even gotten to the other bags yet.

No doubt whatever prying hands had searched through his belongings beforehand had discovered something they just couldn’t do without. Shit, he would have to deal with that later though, he realized, as he remembered the poor sloth demon he had left hanging, or rather falling, at the door. Or not-door? There was no entrance in the wall when Myut reappeared from his room. No doors to the rooms either, he registered. Myut angrily loosened the black tie at his throat and slid his fingers down the first few buttons of his shirt in order to get better air for the sudden onslaught of frustration he was encountering due to the situation.

”Are you alright?” He spoke loudly enough for Valramir to hear, looking ever so slightly abashed about having dropped him. But hey, we were talking about his stuff here.

The red-eyed demon looked up at him from his position still on the floor, but confirmed he was alright with a
"I am fine, better now," and a grin as he eyed Myut’s loosened shirt. "But what are you doing here?"

Myut blinked, not actually quite sure how to answer that. Mew mulled it over in the couple of seconds it took him to return to Val’s side, scooping the smaller demon up off the floor in apology.
”Not quite sure.” He finally answered, easily pulling Val into the secure crook of his sturdy arms. He figured he should probably deposit him somewhere a little nicer, but quickly found the other latched rather tightly onto him as he tried to set him onto the couch. Myut squinted momentarily, not entirely sure what to do here now. ”Uh,” He began, glancing up at the painting on the mantel of Abadeer and his partner. Ah, that probably had something to do with this situation. They were in his house, after all.

"Why don't you just relax next to me? We obviously can't go anywhere." Meu’s attention tilted back down to look at Valramir who was currently looking quite comfortable cuddled up in Myut’s arms with his own tightly wrapped around the olive-eyed demon’s broader chest. ”Only if it means you’ll get on the couch.” He grinned with a charming, reserved smile, hoping to disentangle himself from the arms that were Val and get some sort of distance between the two of them.

Val simply fluttered his pretty red eyes back up at him.
”Well of course I'll be on the couch if you lay down with me."

”Er, no, I mean-“ Myut tried to grab Val’s wrists in order to pry him off after dropping his arms from supporting him, but man, he had a grip. Myut wasn’t going to lie and say he didn’t feel uncomfortable so out in the open with some stranger clinging to him. He was still flustered from having no idea what was going on. Dropping his pleasantries since polite requests did not seem to work, the greed demon spoke in a sharp, deep, and commanding tone, ”Valramir.” His pronunciation was rich and concise, leaving no doubt that all his focus was now on the other white-haired demon.

Val’s eyes widened for a moment as he couldn’t help the shudder that came with the way the other said his name. He’d never had anyone put that much emphasis on his name before – the intensity in his eyes. It was obvious Myut wasn’t playing games and it was a little sad. Valramir sighed but let Myut break out of his hold this time.

Myut let the other drop onto the couch cushions with his own little sigh of relief, running a hand through his own white fluffy locks. To show he held no ill will, Myut only took a little sidestep to lean back against the arm of the couch, remaining near and folding his arms together.
”So what do you think this is?” He glanced down to make eye contact with the sloth as he spoke much more gently now, trying to use the softer tone to cushion the potential sting from his last words.

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
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【Is this going to take long? This better not take long, I have a very important date to keep.】
【Main hall --> Rooms]】

Despite her occasionally obvious displeasure at having to be here, Vivian wasn’t having the worst time ever at the Prince’s gala. That didn’t mean she wanted to be here, still.

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

Viv had taken her seriously after that.

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

Hair dye had also been involved.

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

Return to their rooms, rinse, repeat.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Valramir Character Portrait: Eris Leblanc
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【"Go die you useless guards."】
【Guest Rooms→Main Hall→Time Out Corner】

Eris had been having a grand old time at the gala, as per usual. Solomon, on the other hand, her sloth demon for the week, was not. Mostly because Eris insisted on dragging him all over. The first few days of their stay, she’d spent some time with her mother, which meant she was on her best behavior. A rousing conversation with Bez on the third day, however, had led to a long string of fights with various demons they both knew. At first it had been entertaining, laughing at the demons who sputtered the moment they were confronted by a small mouse of a girl who seemed to needle their flaws with pinpoint accuracy. Solomon trailed further and further behind her as she chased after one demon or another, getting distracted as soon as her gaze landed on someone more interesting than her current target.

There was a particular demon, an Envy, who had gained her ire several years ago, by interrupting her heated debate with a Pride (she couldn’t remember what it had started out about, but it finished off with a flourished diatribe about how the largeness of his head didn’t suit his shoulder, and how he should really do something about it.) The Pride, however, had interrupted her to call her a crummy little girl who should keep her mouth shut. Then he tried to kick her. Kick her! How dare he! So naturally she’d stabbed him in the side with the knife she kept strapped to her thigh. The fight had ended with three (3) stab wounds, one (1) missing patch of hair, one (1) black eye, several bruises, and two (2) broken fingers between them. She’d have gotten a good bite in too if his shitty little girlfriend hadn’t pulled her off him, sending her sliding away across the floor like one would cast a curling stone.

So when she saw the little rat, with his moist brown eyes and his simpering pink-tinged nose, she couldn’t help but make a bee-line to antagonize him further, as was her tradition whenever he dared breathe the same air she did. Eris marched over, the flapper-slit in her honey-gold dress flaring as her gait went from dainty girl to excited predator. The hair-pin her mother had insisted she wear today would double excellently as a surprise stabbing instrument, since the guards, who knew her well at this point, made it a routine to confiscate all her weapons before letting her into The Prince’s castle. She only had one left now, and she wanted to keep that one as a backup, just in case she needed a surprise.

When the sniveling pile of flesh which called itself a man fixed his eyes upon her, she savored the cycle of expressions that flashed across his face. Anger, frustration, fear, calculation. As she crossed the floor, he slowly lowered his wine glass, leaning towards the fine-boned lust demon beside him with utmost care, as if keeping still would prevent her from seeing him. She wiggled her fingers in a cute little wave, baring her teeth in a ferretous grin.

Before she could near, he rose, beau in arm, and retreated, leaving behind the snacks he’d been enjoying with his mistress’s company, including the wine. Eris approached the table, scanning for his pallid little toad face. Yes, he was still watching her between the other demons thronging and dancing, about twenty feet away. Hesitance in his eyes. He didn’t want to fight--to be made a fool of--but it was obvious he didn’t know what to do. Eris felt her grin creep further under her eyes as she settled down in his still warm seat. Her pale yellow slippers didn’t make the satisfying thunk that boots would on the table as she made herself comfortable, sipping from his still half full glass, her hazel gaze laser focused on the demon’s now dismayed expression. Her tongue flicked out momentarily to catch a stray bead of wine as it raced towards the corner of her mouth.

Don’t run off like that,"A voice from her left drew her attention away from her prey. Solomon, looking disheveled and grumpy, stood with his arms crossed. “I’m supposed to be baby-sitting you, you’re supposed to behave.

Eris’s grin quickly dropped into a cold scowl. “
I am not a baby, and I don’t need sitting,” she snapped. Solomon’s eyes widened slightly as she stood, though she was still a full head shorter than he, but his aura of sleepiness had little effect on the anger suddenly reaching a boiling point under her skin. She could feel his aura heighten, and she swayed slightly as it washed through her head, turning her thoughts to static, but quickly the teeth which gnashed perpetually within her mind had chewed it to dust. “If you think you’d like to talk to me like that,” she snapped, grabbing the back of the chair to step up onto it so she could loom over the sloth demon, “let me rearrange that mouth of yours for you.

Solomon’s eyes narrowed slightly. “
I don’t have time for this,” he growled back, lifting a hand. “Do whatever you want. I don’t need your money that bad.

Eris scoffed low in her throat, watching the demon slouch off. Typical sloth demon. There were only a few of them she could tolerate. They were always so bossy… Better to be free of his annoying presence.

I’ll be taking this back, if you don’t mind.” Eris whipped around, still standing on the chair, just in time to see that sorry excuse for a demon grab the chair out from under her, causing her to tumble to the ground, landing hard on her rear.

Bastard,” she snarled, clambering gingerly back to her feet despite the new twinge in her spine. The other demon held the chair out between them, as if she was a particularly small lion to be tamed. “I’…” she tried to threaten, but being so suddenly unseated had interrupted her thoughts, and nothing adequately scary and clever came to mind.

Try anything and Missy will call the guards on you,” the demon snapped, looking smug.

Eris evaluated this for a moment. If she was going to do something to him, it’d be best to wait until there was less time until the end of the gala, in case she was kicked out. And anyway, right now there was a rather large chair between them, and she was fresh out of threats. Maybe it would be better to lie in wait to get a better revenge a little later.

Watch your back, rat,” she snapped, whirling around and marching off, ignoring the other demons who stared at her, bewildered or amused.

She stewed the rest of the evening, and deep into the next day, before formulating the best idea she’d ever had. She could get away with it too, as long as it didn’t seem like she was targeting him. A quick sneak into his room (the registry was always too easy to steal, and it had every demon and their room number listed right on it) while he was gone would be enough. She stepped over the piles of clothes on the floor, striding across the room to the wide window that looked out on the courtyard. Obviously he knew someone who knew someone, since he had a nice room instead of one of the closets most demons stayed in for these four days. And he was too much of a fool to add an extra lock or two to his door when he was gone. So she lit his drapes on fire. They burned so nicely. Who knew what else would be in flame by the time he got back~

Thus began a happy little spree of chaos, as she darted down the hall, finding unlocked rooms and picking what locks she could to set more furnishing alight, picking particularly opulent rooms. Even if she didn’t know the demons who resided here, she probably hated them, and that was good enough.

Unfortunately for her, however, the good thing didn’t last long, and soon enough, she noticed a shadow dogging her down the hall. The shadow became another, and then a guard standing at the far end of the hall. A brave attempt to jump through the window of the next room she burst into was met with firm hands grabbing her arms.

Bastards!” she screamed, writhing wildly. “Put me down! I haven’t done anything wrong!” They did not put her down. One had each arm, and one was holding firmly to her left leg. It didn’t dissuade her from fighting, though, aiming for noses with her one free foot. By the time they carried her out into the main hall, she had half twisted herself around, and managed to sink her teeth into the guard holding her right arm. He cried out, and she managed to twist herself out of his grip, fumbling quickly with her now free hand to grab the knife at her thigh. The gentleman to her left got a blade deep in his bicep as she tried to squirm out of his grip.

Unfortunately for her, at this moment the final guard had decided to grab her other ankle as well, and she swung back, bumping the back of her head against the guard’s shins. Before she could swing her blade at him, she earned herself a good kick in the back of the head, leaving her dazed enough for the bitten guard to grab her knife hand and squeeze her wrist until she couldn’t keep her grip any longer. She snarled as the blade clattered to the ground.

I’ll kill your mother,” she howled at no one in particular as the bitten guard put her in a careful headlock. “I’ll use her hamstrings to strangle you!

Any further threats or insults, however, were halted by her newfound inability to take a full breath. She was carried, still struggling weakly, through the halls. “
Have fun in there, squirmy little bitch,” the guard still holding her ankles growled as he opened the door and tossed her inside. She skidded across the carpeted floor before flopping on her back next to the leg of a table, panting hard, blind to her surroundings except for the door. Immediately, she was back on her feet, dizzily darting for it, but was gone?

Mid-rage, Eris hesitated, shoulders slumping slightly as she looked around, her expression slowly blossoming into something puzzled. Where in hell was she?

Thankfully, her eyes quickly settled on a familiar face, belonging to a body stretched luxuriously across a couch. She took a few wobbling steps towards the familiar sloth demon. “
Valamir?” she asked slowly, ignoring every other demon in the place, though she cast a quick glare at the tall one leaned beside him, daring him to try anything. “What are you doing here?” Eris unsteadily sat down on the ground next to his sofa. If Val was here, well, things couldn’t be that bad. Ignoring all the other strangers currently in the room, of course.

He smiled back at her. "
I am not sure exactly why we're getting thrown in here," he said lazily. "I thought I was being taken to dear old Princey since I put his guards under my influence," he chuckled. "It was a lot of fun. Reminds me when I brought Devin down a peg for you. What are you doing here? Where is your slothy?"

Eris pouted. “
He was useless, he went off to sulk yesterday,” she said. “I was just minding my own business when some stupid guards chased me down and attacked me.” Despite the strangeness of the situation, the lack of immediate aggressors and the presence of a sloth demon that she could actually tolerate was calming her down somewhat.

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
【How did this go from a dream to a nightmare...】
【The Gala (Yes, all of it) → The Secret Time Out Room】

To say Bezabelle was having the time of her life would be an understatement. After all, this was not just another party. It was the Prince's yearly gala, and arguably the event with the most rampant overindulgence possible. With great power came many perks, and this was a strong example of that. It was well worth the strings Bez had to pull to be here. She had her most flashy formal outfits with her. From cocktail dresses to full out formal wear, she was using the event to display her very best.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

She stopped in her tracks.

No. Nonono. Not good.

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

She no longer thought so.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What the hell was happening?

Characters Present

Character Portrait: 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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【"Beautiful people are good for the imagination, bad for the heart."】
【Cyr's Room→Armchair】

Cyr held onto the sachet the little demon had shoved in his face, sucking on the corner of it, feeling confused. He did feel better now, but he could also feel the heavy aura of lust emanating from the little demon. He remembered talking to Bez...and now he was here. If this demon had led him back to wherever this was, maybe it wasn’t the best to just accept whatever he gave him. It had cleared his mind, though. So he just shot the other a wary look as he eased himself off the bed, doing up another button on his now rumpled shirt. He tossed the damp little bag onto the nightstand by the bed, not caring that it would probably stain the surface. It wasn’t his nightstand, after all.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Characters Present

Character Portrait: 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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【"So, this is cozy. Who wants to play some icebreakers?"】
【Cyr’s Room → Bez’s side → The gathering】

Ino trailed after the unknown demon, all the way until the other barred the door with his arm. Ino could have easily ducked under, but he chose to stay, holding onto his arm lightly and popping up on his toes, leaning forward the slightest bit.

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

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

Apparently, he had a type.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Characters Present

Character Portrait: 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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【Is this a following? I have a following. ~】
【Main room】

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

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

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

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

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

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

Characters Present

Character Portrait: 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
【”This is utter chaos. Wait, what do you mean no privacy??”】
【The Couch】

As Myut was just finishing his gentle query aimed at Valramir, there was some more chaos back at the ‘doorway’. The greed demon’s head shot back to see what was happening, and he turned just in time to see a black-haired beauty stumbling back against the wall. The fact that this door was disappearing was actually very unsettling, now that Meu actually stopped to really think about it. He hadn’t seen anything like it before, or at least not applied in this manner, but he figured it had to be some sort of variant in spatial manipulation. How someone could so fluidly and quickly change the wall was impressive and no doubt that someone would have to be Abadeer since this was his domain.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Characters Present

Character Portrait: 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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【"Why are there so many goddamn tall demons here???"】
【Val's side】

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Characters Present

Character Portrait: 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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【”Is it selfish to say I’m glad you’re here?”】
【Bez’s side → The group】

Viv was mostly just glad that whoever opened the door after her didn’t open it in the same place as last time, or she’d have had a petite girl thrown right into her. She was utterly adorable, small and bright in her outfit, but Viv didn’t examine her long before someone new was brought in.

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

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

”Bez! What happened to you?”

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

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

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

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

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

Unaware of her thoughts, the male demon was speaking.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The small girl scowled though.

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

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

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

Characters Present

Character Portrait: 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: Eris Leblanc
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#, as written by slcam
【"I always put on a brave face when I was the most terrified, the most trapped and out of control."】


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






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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Characters Present

Character Portrait: 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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【What a night to be out and about~】
【Main Hall→His Room→Main Hall】

The little purple demon crawled up onto the back of his chair, which didn’t really please Cyr, but he said nothing. An argument broke out between the little demon and the tall woman, but it quickly simmered into quietness. Bez hopped up, cheerfulness taut on her face, and wandered into her room. It was as if a bubble had burst, and the gravity that had gathered them all here suddenly set them loose. The tall woman, Vivian, trailed after her. The white haired one, Myut, also got up and returned to his room. Cyr’s eyes flicked back to him, watching him leave. Myut. An interesting name. The small purple demon, Ino, also climbed down from the back of the chair and returned to his room. The angry little demon, Eris, seemed content to stay put, however, shooting another glare his way.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Was there no winning?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Characters Present

Character Portrait: 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: Eris Leblanc
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【You know, I don’t know if I want to settle in…】
【Main Hall, His Room, there and back, finally sat between his and Myut’s rooms】

As the others began to leave the gathering, Ino hopped down easily, his heels clicking against the ground. He headed back for his room, trailing his hand over the back of the chair the large demon – who still had no name – sat in. Inside, he began to fold and arrange his clothing in the wardrobe provided, but over time, something made him stop. Did he really want to settle in here? Get comfortable? Something about that thought made him uneasy. He still did some rearranging, moving his herbs all into one bag, tucking his treasures in the bottom of another, covered in worn clothes. He still had a few clean and mostly clean outfits left, which was a relief. He considered removing his boots, but left them on for now.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Even if it was a lie.

Even if he’d wanted to stay.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Characters Present

Character Portrait: 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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【Snuggles ~】
【Couch > Eris's room > everywhere > couch】

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"This is why you're my favorite."

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

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

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

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

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

"Just 'cuz I was bored."

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

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

"Who's drapes?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Oh? Did you find anything you missed?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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#, as written by Skwidge
【"Might I catch a bit of a break, yeah?"】
【Time Out → Hiding in His Room → Emerging From the Darkness】

When Bez stood with a cheerful look to her face, the words dripping from her lips quite the opposite, and made her way into her room, a small feeling of relief blossomed in Myut’s chest. That meant that he could also appropriately leave the small gathering surrounding Val on the couch without seeming rude. It seemed that everyone else felt the same way as Bez’s movement appeared to be the catalyst that broke the dam. Myut was probably among the first to return to the semi-safety of his room, and whatever everyone else did he could not care less.

The tallest demon among them hadn’t said his name, and Meu couldn’t help but wonder the reason why. He himself had not been particularly inclined to share, but he still had. He would have to ask later, he supposed. But for now, he had to go through the rest of his stuff and ensure everything still remaining was accounted for. Remembering that something was already missing irked him into a particularly sour mood, and a hard look was plastered to his face as he meticulously picked through his bags sitting on the bed. Only a few moments passed before Mew decided to continue this further in the depths of his room. He settled onto the desk against the wall, properly angled away from the door. His greed side didn’t like the idea of prying curiosities impertinently eyeing up his things without permission.

It took quite a while to go through everything with how slow and meticulous Myut was being, carefully examining each individual item with a trained eye, comparing each thing to what was on his mental list. By the time Myut had finished, he discovered two more objects missing. The guards had been very liberal with his things. A severe look that did not belong on his pretty features burned intensely on his face, fists clenched and teeth grinding under the pressure of his jaw. The second he got his hands on the dirty guards responsible….

It was an absolute insult, one of the highest offenses one could make against a greed demon. Losing these things set him off in a different way. A sharp ache reverbed somewhere deep within him. The fact that some plebian had purloined such precious things from him without anything in return… a dull but persistent gnawing grew slowly in intensity while Myut did his best to drown it out. It never worked, of course. He found his fingers trembling against the hard wood of the desk – when had they gotten there? A piercing pang knocked against his skull, causing his hand to shoot up in order to apply a counter pressure.

Suddenly, Myut remembered something. Dropping his attention from the desk and ignoring the creeping void of his sin the best he could, Meu came to stand by the side of the bed opposite the door, hands rummaging about on the sheets. Where had he put it again? Ah! His suit jacket. Fingers fumbled about in the pockets until they slid against cool smooth metal. He retrieved the object from the cloth confines and observed it carefully against his palm. The little necklace he had traded for earlier that day- well, it had been a while by now, hadn’t it? Nonetheless, clasping the little object and feeling the reassuring shape and feel of it seemed to soothe the irritation a smidgen; Meu didn’t know why, but it did. It was probably just the greed side feeling satiated where before it had felt emptiness.

In any case, the headache seemed to subside and Meu eased back enough to where the only thing remaining was the basic anger of his things being stolen. That he could work with. Depositing the cross back into a pocket (this time his trousers’) Mew stretched his arms out, linking his hands together and popping his knuckles. Exercising would be the perfect way to take his mind off things and work out his frustrations. He should probably clear off the bed first, that way it wouldn’t prove too distracting.

Once he had finished putting away his clothes, Myut stole away to the small respite that was the bathroom and its actual door. At least Abadeer had the decency to give them that much. It was rather cramped, though, so the greed demon had no desire to spend much time at all in there even if it had provided a barrier to the outside. Meu changed out of the wrinkled and dirtied suit he had been in, swapping out his fancy attire for a pair of rather plain charcoal grey sweats that were somewhat loose fitting and of a cotton-like blend. He matched it with a sleeveless, high-neckline black shirt that clung to his torso jealously, fitting just right in all the proper places.

Myut reemerged, taking a sidelong glance at the gaping hole that was the ‘door’ to his room. Tapping his left bicep idly with his right hand and pursing his lips a bit, the green-eyed demon sighed. He turned away from the doorway to stare at the opposite wall. It would be a little easier to focus this way if he were staring at plaster rather than the open unknown that lay past his door. People walking. Talking. Gawking. He almost shuddered.

He was still too pissed about his stuff, though, so it was time to get down and dirty. Mew would go down a list of the usual exercises he did, starting with squats and probably ending somewhere with arm and core strength implementations.

Meu had been busy exercising for quite a while now, and was currently doing pushups at the foot of his bed. Just as where he had started, he could not help but still be positioned enough to the side that he would be within view of the door. There just wasn’t that much room to spare. He was still turned facing the far wall so he could better keep his count. At least there was a window to stare up at. His breathing was rhythmic and exerted as he pushed himself up and down off the floor, swapping between one hand to the other and interchanging to both at other times. His form was impeccable, straight as an arrow and carefully aligned so he could yield the best tension results from his muscles.

At some point Bez had realized that she had not seen Myut in some time; She'd been busy, of course, flitting from room to room, conversation to conversation, but she still made note. But with how ill at ease Myut had been when they had all gathered for a brief chat, there was no way she wouldn't check in. So that was what she was doing now.

When she came to his room, he was already in the middle of exercising. Bez watched for some time. She was enjoying the exhibition and felt no need to make her presence known just yet, content to simply lean against the wall. She had changed out of her ruined gala gown, now wearing a black shirt with pearl buttons and a brown belt across the middle. The shirt belonged to Cyr, of course, which meant it reached well past her mid-thigh.

Myut had been minding his own business and counting reps. He had felt the mounting suspicion that he was being watched, though. So, finishing his set, the greed demon turned to look at the door and was startled quite badly to see Bez leaning there. He hadn't actually expected anyone to be there. Good thing he had paused, or he may have been so caught off guard that he would have crumpled in the middle of an exercise.

It was just Bez though, which provided some small relief. Still, though.
"Uhh, how long have you been standing there?" He took in her cute oversized appearance, sporting some shirt he had never seen before and, judging by the size, one that clearly did not belong to her.

Bez had been able to tell the moment that Mew started to suspect she was there, as the tension in his well-defined muscles changed ever so slightly. It had taken him several reps before he turned, though. Bez couldn't help the giggle that slipped out when he jumped.
"Oh, not quite long enough. You can keep going," she flirted, motioning her okay for him to continue with a wink.

At this, Myut let his jaw slack open a bit as he gave an amused laugh of disbelief to how bold Bez was.
"Alright then..." He grinned to himself before turning back to stare at the wall as he started a new set.

"You're alright, Bez?" He spoke in a soft but serious tone. "I saw what they did to you." He grunted, a bit of anger threading through his words.

"I mean, I know you're you. You can handle anything. But sincerely, how is this affecting you?"

"I appreciate the concern, I do. But it was honestly my own fault for fighting back. Should have known better. As for the rest, it's... unsettling. I wonder why they are taking so long to tell us what's going on." She talked low enough that it wouldn't carry easily in the main room, partially watching, partially just letting her eyes wander. She didn't let the neutrally cheerful look slip from her face, however, in case Myut turned around sooner rather than later.

Unsettling was an excellent word for the situation, and Myut could not help but agree over how long they – whomever that was - were letting the little group stew in mystery. It was wildly unprofessional, if you asked him. Perhaps Eris was right and Abadeer was just delighting in messing with all of them, pulling them together for his amusement and that there was no real reason behind them being all gathered. But Mew doubted that, especially after learning they had all gotten up to something or other.

"I was surprised to see you of all people suddenly chucked into the room. I can't help but wonder what sort of mischief you got up to Bez~." He pumped himself up and down on the floor, elbows bending silently as he pushed his own weight.

Bezzie laughed, strolling over to the bed and plopping down on it. Now, Mew would be able to turn and look at her, if he so chose. And of course, she had an even nicer angle of his full form.

"Oh? Wouldn't you like to know~? Well, here's a secret," Bez crossed her arms, set her chin down, and pouted fiercely, "I don't know either."

She traced a finger on the bed, wrinkling the sheets in a formless pattern. "I'm hoping the information I brought you wasn't what got you in deep? Did you get to find out what it was about?"

Meu could hear her padding deeper into his room, ascending atop his mattress and taking a dainty seat thereon. He tilted his head so he could look at her from the corner of his eye. He was glad that she seemed to be, for the most part, managing just fine.

He gave a wry chuckle at her severe pouting face. That was interesting, though: she couldn't think of anything in particular to pinpoint what had gotten her in trouble. That was not the case for Myut.

At her next question the greed demon couldn't help but laugh.
"You could say that." Myut answered for both questions. He didn't seem particularly bothered by this fact, though. He flashed Bez a reassuring grin before elaborating.

"Yeah, it had to do with some content I was already looking into before you gave me that little tidbit, so certainly don't feel bad. It just egged me on all the more to get to the bottom of things. Unfortunately, that led to some dark corridors and dusty shelves," Myut was also sure to speak in softer tones, not particularly endeared to the idea of anyone eavesdropping. "I ended up in the same kind of trouble as your Vivian demon." Meu smirked teasingly up at the little gluttony over how buddy-buddy she had been with the gorgeous demon. She certainly was having her fill.

"Well, that's two among us going where we weren't supposed to be. What, the gala didn't provide enough to keep you occupied," she teased.

Myut playfully scoffed in response,
"I could ask you the same. After all, you're here too." He flashed her a charming, cheeky grin. "And why didn't you introduce yourself earlier? Don't tell me you already know everyone here~." Honestly that was likely the case, though. Bezabelle got around, so he wouldn’t be surprised in the least.

"There are getting to be fewer and fewer strangers in Hell. I know a good amount of the demons at the gala as a whole, in some capacity or another."

Myut gave a wry whistle at the revelation of the female demon knowing so many. He gave Bezabelle a half glance as he let his weight fall with gravity before pushing against it again. "I don't know how you've done it, Bezzie. I can barely handle three people at one time, let alone a whole party of 'em." Myut turned his gaze down to the floor as he rested his forearms against the carpet, shifting his weight so that he was lifting his lower half and suspending it in the air for a bit in order to work on his core and arm muscles.

"I'm having such~ a great time so far." Meu spoke derivatively and sarcastically, tone otherwise rather quiet as he focused on keeping himself upright.

Bez's brows raised a fraction, surprised as Meu held his entire body weight on his forearms. Impressive!

"Liar~ it's not supposed to be a good time. Otherwise they wouldn't have taken us from the gala. On the bright side, you don't have to deal with a whole gala. Just me and five others. And there's a nice little tidbit I think you're missing."

"That's true." Myut had a bad habit of always looking on the lesser side of things. Just five strangers, rather than a whole castle of them. …Myut would prefer the castle. At least then they wouldn't be bursting at the seams in their little cage.

He stopped, suddenly lowering himself all the way to the floor before getting up fully. He dusted off his hands, closing the gap of a few steps between he and the bed.

As Myut approached, stopping just before where she lay near the foot of the bed, Bezzie rose to a partial sitting position. Her right leg was tucked under the left, and her left leg swung over the edge of the bed to brush Meu's lower thigh. She leaned back to rest her weight on her arms, looking up at him.

"I wonder," she started, once again pulling her favorite tease with Myut, "what would you be willing to give me for the information?"

Meu leaned forward on the bed, resting his knuckles on the mattress with his arms in a wide stance. As he let out an involuntary chuckle at Bez's words, his chin dropped ever so slightly until he was looking down at her leg. He shook his head with a grin. Even in this situation; Bez was always a little businessman. She must have taken after him at some point during their unusual friendship.

"Depends. I don't have a whole lot on me right now, but you're free to look through my trinkets if you'd like." He motioned towards one of the bags laying on the desk, a few items spread out onto the surface of the little table-like structure.

"Unless you're looking for something else~."

When Myut had leaned over her, his arms on either side, Bez took a moment to just enjoy the closeness. She watched his face, his lips as he spoke.

"Oh, I suppose I can take it easy on you for now. Just this."

With how close he was, all she had to do was lean forward. Her kiss was lingering, hungry, and ended too soon. Bez stayed close, her voice low so as not to carry.

"By my estimation, you have at least half the demons here at a disadvantage. You hold the cards, my dear Mew."

Bez almost did him a great disservice by only asking for a little kiss. To some extent he certainly enjoyed their time together, oft uncommon as it tended to be, but, perhaps this was for the best. This wasn’t really the time for this sort of thing. As her soft, delicate lips did their best to ravage his in a few passes, Myut couldn't help but grin, lifting a hand to cup the back of her head so his fingers could slide against the silky but somewhat mussed texture of her currently red hair. He could gladly pay this sort of price with Bezabelle.

There was an ever so gentle pressure behind his palm, making a tiny attempt at encouraging her on, but for the large part his fingers were loose and gentle so she could easily pull back when she had decided to take her 'fill'. It didn't really seem to be enough for either of them, leaving more to be desired, but that was how it was with the gluttony sin. He was far from immune to its effects.

The kiss had almost distracted him out of their current situation and into one reminiscent of somewhere far more comfortable and intimate. Almost. It was good that it was just a short kiss. Myut was admittedly still very uneasy, and as much as he was tempted to feed little Bez a bit, he would not have been comfortable doing so. Besides, if he wasn't careful, he would have to deal with a jealous Vivian. Now that would be uncomfortable.

In any case, Bezabelle had promised him some secrets, and that was what he was most interested in. After all, he wouldn't want to distract Bezzie from letting the cat out of the bag.

However, when she said that he was holding the cards, Myut responded with a half-hearted but playful scoff.
"It certainly doesn't feel that way to me. ...But I will admit that the vote of confidence makes me feel leagues better than I had been doing." Meu chuckled, using the back of his index finger to gingerly trace his touch over the rise of Bezabelle’s cheekbone, an appreciative look taking up residence in his attractive facial features.

Myut then broke any built tension by ruffling her hair, messing it up again with a cheeky grin. A serious tone juxtaposed it as he spoke quietly and sweetly back to her,
"Come and find me any time you're in need, for whatever matter, however small." It was the least he could do for a friend.

Bez leaned into the touch, enjoying both the sensation and the attention. Then, wrinkled her nose as he ruffled her hair like a child's.

She tsked at him before tussling her own hair back from her face with an impatient sweep of her fingers.
"Only if you promise to take advantage of your situation here." She pushed off the bed, turning when she was halfway to the door. Her eyes glimmered with mischief that she didn't feel; a small use of her powers, but she felt it necessary. "After all, you never know how long the game will last."

Her reaction only seemed to delight Meu’s humor more, but the smile dropped from his face as he watched her retreating from his bed, surely off to cause some more trouble. His aura remained congenial, however, feeling somewhat reassured by the mischief he could see gleaming in her eyes. At her final words Myut simply gave a playfully dismissive wave of his hand and a halfhearted shrug. ”I’ll promise to try my best, at least.” That would be the best he could offer on that regard. He gave Bez a final wave as she disappeared out the door, though whether she saw it was of little concern to him.

It had been a nice little break, but Meu wasn’t feeling quite satiated yet. He still had a set or two left and far be it from him to miss out on his full normal routine.

By the time Myut was finally wrapping up, the rooms had descended into darkness. He hadn’t quite registered the passing of time or its extent other than the windows, but it was properly dark now. It didn’t bother him in the least – he had done what he set out to do, regardless of how lost he had become in it.

Myut tilted his head this way and that, relishing in the cracks that followed. He had worked up quite the sweat and luckily had also blown off all that pent-up steam. Physical exertion was definitely something that always helped Mew to get out of his own head, and it had proven especially effective this time around. Prior to exercising, his mind had been a jumble, but now it was feeling just blank. It would be good to continue to fill his time and mind with some more distractions, just to be safe.

Mm… finding something to read sounded particularly appetizing in that moment, but none of the books he had brought with him were really calling out his name. If he remembered correctly, there had been a bookcase by the front door? He hadn’t taken that good of a look beforehand, but it wouldn’t hurt to investigate into the matter further. And what better way to sit down and enjoy a tome than with some tea?

As he pulled one arm in front of him with the other in a stretch, Meu gave a little teary-eyed yawn. His body felt good, but he had been at it for a while. It would be good to sit back and relax. Grabbing a small bag from the desk to his left, the tall white-haired demon took a few steps from where he had been standing. He tossed the bag onto the bed and came to a stop at its side, leaning his lower back against the mattress.

He stood in clear view of the door now, one hand rummaging through the dark pack while the other lazily fell to the flattened line of his stomach, fingers gripping the black cloth of his shirt. He peeled it off his lower abdominals in order to lift it up and absentmindedly wipe his face down. Once he was done, it fell back into place against his torso and the greed demon fully turned to better angle himself before the bed.

It did not take long for Meu to find the little tin hidden within the depths of the sling he was searching, and he swiftly pulled out one of the little bags of cinnamon tea therein. To go with it was a rather intricate and delicate looking Chinese porcelain cup. Disappearing from view of the doorway, Myut found his way into the bathroom again. He was not paying much attention as he let the mug fill from the tap, resting neatly in the sink bowl. A sudden but not unfamiliar discomfort irritated at the skin below one of his pecs, and Myut tried to adjust the now-drying sweaty shirt he wore in attempts to allay the itch.

No matter what he tried though, nothing seemed to do the trick.

A look of severe irritation harshened his features before Myut suddenly ripped the shirt up over his head to toss it harshly against the doorframe of the bathroom. That felt a little better, at least. Far less constricting. Mew loosened his waistband just a bit to match. He would have to figure out a way to clean himself down later now that he was a sweaty mess, but that was a problem to figure out once he returned with a book safely secured in his grasps.

His cup was now full enough, but only as a broad hand wrapped around the cool porcelain did it suddenly occur to him that the material was indeed cool. It was not hot. A slight look of exasperation tugged his lips along with a raggedy sigh – no hot water, of course. How much worse could this get?

There was no way in Hell he was letting the precious little teabag go to waste. That went against his very principles as a greed demon. Perhaps he could see about heating it near the fireplace or something. In any case, it was time to go see about that bookcase. So Myut emerged from the depths of his room, cup of tea water in one hand while the other lay in the pocket of his now lower-hanging sweatpants.

His chest was completely bare and free from the obstructed view of any pesky shirts, and it would not be difficult in the slightest to get an eyeful now that he was under the brighter artificial lights that hung on the wall of the main room. Strong shoulders, built arms, defined pecs, tight abs, and flat stomach were paired with a teasing trace of the deep V that hid below the waist of his sweatpants.

Meu didn’t seem bothered by the change in air temperature as he re-entered the main room from the comparative stuffiness of his own. He moved to the fireplace without thinking it through too much and stood before it, enjoying for a moment the warmth that brushed against his chest. He was running several glances between his cup and the fire, eyes narrowing a bit as he tried to calculate a way in which he might be able to actually produce tea. Nothing was worse than tea that hadn’t actually been steeped, and while Myut would drink it if he had to, he’d try everything he could to avoid vaguely flavored cold water.

It seemed that while he was making his way over to the hearth, he had attracted the attention of another. Cyr watched intently as Myut passed, bringing with him an aura of body heat and exertion. He slowly shut his book and stood, glancing around before strolling over to stand by the demon in front of the fire.
”Unless you have fire-proof gloves,” he said, ”I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”

As Myut gazed into the swirling flames, he gave a low chuckle at Cyr’s comment, suddenly finding the demon standing beside him. Now that it was growing later into the night, the white-haired demon seemed to be a lot more comfortable since there were far fewer people milling about. ”Yeah, I was thinking the same. Was hoping for maybe a set of tongs, but I wouldn’t dare risk the fine china.” Meu’s lips adopted a disappointed little pout, dark brows scrunching as he ran the fingers of his free hand through his hair. He wasn’t quite sure what to do. He looked despondently down at his cup; it was looking like he was going to be out of luck. He should have thought this through a little better, but how was he to know Abadeer would cut off their access to heated liquids?

”Mmm,” Cyr mused, glancing back at the sheet-draped door to their right. ”You could always ask the little wrath demon, perhaps she’d heat it up for you?” he suggested, giving the cup a sympathetic look.

At this suggestion from his olive-skinned companion, Meu stiffened ever so noticeably, fingers tightening around the little handle of the cup. While it was true that wraths did have power over fire… the idea of the rabid little squirrel chomping her fangs at him was certainly not ideal. Myut gave a shudder at the very imagery, hoping to pass the motion off as perhaps being from a cool draft of air.
”Ah…” He trailed off, not quite sure what to say in response so as not to give away his utter distaste for the pocket-sized demon thus far. She had seemed to have calmed down a bit, at least. Or he hadn’t seen or heard from her in a while. Maybe. It could have been that he was tuning any of her noises out.

He hated the idea of interacting with her, though. Especially to ask for a favor. But… was it worth it? Do it for the tea? He looked down at the sad little bag just floating around in his cup of cool water….

Cyr turned his head to study the other demon, a small smile playing amused across his face as he saw Myut’s predicament.
”She is a piece of work, isn’t she,” he said lowly, holding out his hand. ”I’ll ask her for you, if you’d prefer. Then at least you’ll be there to pull her off me if she goes for a stab, huh?”

With this offer, a reaction of surprise took up residence on Myut’s face as he quickly turned to look up at the taller demon. He needed to confirm with his own eyes that he had heard and understood correctly. He had not been expecting the black-haired demon to offer to ask for him. A soft swirl of emotions tumbled around in his chest in that moment. Namely uncertainly. Was this guy being serious? After a quick glance-over, it didn’t seem like this demon was ingenuous in any way, shape, or form – and Meu couldn’t help but like his shape and form. The man had an easygoing and confident little smile to his face, seeming amused himself at the idea of how they would go about heating the tea. But he also seemed to take the wrath demon with a pinch of salt, as proved by his following words.

Cyr’s comment elicited a genuine laugh from Myut.

”You’d do that for me?” Mew gave Cyr an impressed and semi-meaningful, semi-humored look as he handed over the cup. ”Don’t break it.” Myut teased, but there was a bit of a serious thread to his words. Though, somehow, to him that non-threat sounded hollow to his mind. What did that mean? The idea of Cyr breaking his precious cup… actually didn’t bother him that much. That was a bit new. The green-eyed demon was extremely grateful at the idea that Cyr would go ask in his stead, so he supposed that was a sort of trade in itself.

Perhaps his tea would have a chance after all.

”I’ll keep an eye on you.” Meu flashed him a fanged grin, tilting his hand to indicate for the tall demon to lead the way. Myut would hang by.

Cyr grinned.
”Anything for you,” he teased with a wink, cupping both hands to take the china from the other demon. ”I’ll guard it with my life,” he teased back, but he did hold it with care. That wouldn’t go over well, would it. He quickly turned as the white-haired demon grinned at him, swallowing back a wistful sigh. Damn he was hot. But now was not the time.

Tentatively, Cyr tapped on the wall next to the small wrath demon’s door. Or, at least he assumed she was a wrath demon. What else could she be? It took a few attempts at knocking before a small head, her cheek smeared with paint, poked out from behind the sheet.
”What do you want,” she snapped.

”Oh,” Cyr said, putting on a winsome smile. ”We were wanting to make some tea, but there’s no hot water. Since you’re the strongest one here, we were wondering whether you’d be able to heat it up for us?”

Eris glared at him. ”Don’t patronize me,” she snapped, but then seemed to reconsider. ”I suppose it wouldn’t hurt.” she said after a beat, holding her hands out for the cup. Cyr gingerly passed it to her, and within a few minutes he carefully took the now quite hot cup back, presenting it to Myut proudly. ”Here you go,” he said, setting it down on the table. ”Just for you~.”

Meu had cocked an eyebrow when he saw the angry demon poke her head out, face covered in paint. What had she been up to in there? He blinked a couple of times before changing his gaze back over to Cyr as he spoke with her. Myut didn’t want to attract her attention, after all, and if he was caught staring he was sure to get an earful. Or to lose an ear. Likely the latter. No thanks.

Instead, he occupied himself with gazing over the dark, messy locks of the other demon, tilting his head ever so slightly as he mused silently to himself. It wasn’t long before Cyr was returning, though, and a very, very hopeful look filled Meu’s face, like an excited puppy. He was swift to take a seat at the table, pulling the little cup to his spot and delighting in the fact that steam was now rising from the surface. A very comforting, rich smell of cinnamon filled the air around them, and Myut carefully wrapped his hands around the mug as soon as it was cool enough to do so. He relished in the warmth filling his hands, closing his eyes halfway and giving Cyr a distracted, dreamy smile.

”I owe you.” He purred, eyes fixating on the tea as he lifted the rim of the cup to his lips to blow a few soft breaths of air to aid in cooling the liquid before taking a sip. As soon as he had swallowed, though, those same pearlescent green orbs flickered back up to meet Cyr’s golden gaze. With a self-assured grin, Myut voiced proper appreciation. ”Thanks.” His gaze was already gone in the next instant as he looked over toward where the door was supposed to be, suddenly remembering his original quest. His eyes sought the bookcase.

A look of horrified distaste filled his face as he stared at the bookcase, utterly empty. Mew pushed himself back in his chair, angling his head back in disbelief and frustration as he tilted his elbows up into the air, covering his eyes with his hands and inhaling a sharp breath.
”Are you serious,” the white-haired demon growled.

Cyr sat down, leaving a chair between them, and affectionately watched Myut enjoy his tea. That soft smile… Cyr wanted to see it more. How could he be so fit, but still have such a cute face? Cyr sat on his hands so he would keep them to himself. He was being polite now.
”It’s no problem at all,” he replied, unable to tear his eyes away from the other’s mouth. ”I’m happy to help,” he said, flicking his eyes up just in time to meet the other’s.

Cyr looked away quickly, feeling warmth creeping up from his throat. They quickly flicked back when the other let out an anguished sound.
”What’s wrong?” he asked in a soft voice, holding out a hand to soothe him, though it lingered in the air between them. ”Is there something else I can help you with?”

That,” Myut began, gesturing widely at the bookcase off against the wall, ”Is a crime against humanity and devildom.” The well-muscled demon crossed his arms, still leaning back against his chair with a slim pout. Tilting back forward to the table and resting his chin in his hand, propped up by his elbow, Myut gave a foiled blow of air from a puffed cheek, quickly seeking solace in his tea again. He looked back up at Cyr when the other demon voiced his concern, finding himself surprised once again. This demon offered his help so simply…. What did Cyr want in return?

”I had been hoping to find some new material.” He tilted his head momentarily in the direction of the bookcase to gesture over what he was speaking about. His fingers flexed out of response to that familiar ache for material desire.

”Oh,” Cyr said, glancing over at the bookcase. He hadn’t even noticed it was empty. ”Well, I have a few books if you want to borrow them?” He suggested. ”I don’t usually bring any with me, but I guess I’m lucky that I did this time.” He got up and returned with a small satchel of books. They were all soft-backed, with well-loved pages worn from years of being thumbed through. Cyr flushed a little. ”They’re not really that great, but I like to read them when I’m bored.”

Some were human fiction, and others were demon, but they were all adventure romance stories, involving mystical creatures and suave men with big swords. ”They pass the time alright,” Cyr said, sheepish now.

Myut still looked wickedly appreciative. Man, this demon just kept hitting homeruns on catching Mew off guard. The tall demon had momentarily disappeared to return with a little plethora of written treasures, which Meu eyed with great interest. This guy…. Meu gave a very fulfilled little cat-like grin, pawing through the offered books with a languid though critical eye. Force of habit.

They weren’t exactly his favorite genre of books, that was for sure, but he was desperate, and besides that he found himself… strangely interested in what Cyr read. Myut squinted at this discovery and blinked for a moment before his expression brightened, hand carefully cherishing the tome he had picked out at utter random. These had seen some extensive use, which perhaps spoke of quite a bit of sentimental value. And Myut was all about value.

”Mm, at this rate…” He trailed off for a moment. ”Let me know if I can be of any service,” he promised, allowing his thumb to gently tread through the softened pages as he revered them with the utmost care. He didn’t seem to take note or mind any sort of the embarrassment that came from the other demon – everybody liked what they liked. The fact that he’d share with Meu in his time of need was more than enough to gain the greed demon’s respect and good-will.

”And what can I call my dear hero?” Myut asked, not looking up from the pages he was leafing through.

Cyr couldn’t help but feel a little pleased as the other flipped through the books, looking interested in them, at least. In retrospect, he probably should have pruned out the ones he’d written in when he was younger, but ah well. Now he was too distracted by watching Myut’s hands thumb the pages. They were long and dexterous, but firm… Cyr didn’t tune back in to completely catch what the other was saying.
”Really, don’t worry about it. I’m not keeping score,” he said softly, and as Myut asked after his name, Cyr gave him a warm smile. ”You can call me whatever you like~” he flirted teasingly. ”But my name is Cyr.”

Mew gave a nod of recognition as Cyr finally got to introduce himself. ”Cyr~.” He voiced, liking the way the other’s name rolled off his tongue. ”Well, Cyr, thanks. Truly.” Myut looked up at him, tipping the book he held in his hand at the other dark-skinned demon. And with that, Meu took his little cup of tea in one hand and tucked the book carefully under the other side’s muscled bicep. As he rose, he gave Cyris a final nod before he turned and walked back to the quiet and kind-of privacy of his room.

At hearing his name slip past the lips of the other demon, Cyr couldn’t help but turn a bit pink as he stared up at Meu, managing to catch his gaze once more as he tucked one of his precious novels under an arm and turned to leave. Cyris watched him slowly walk away, tongue poking out to swipe his bottom lip.

Cyr waited until he was back in his own room, tucking his books back into his suitcase, before grinning to himself, overwhelmed at just how well that had gone~. They were stuck in some shitty hallway thanks to the Prince, but at least Myut was there. Cyr couldn’t help but imagine their next encounter. How would it go~ he rubbed his face with a hand, trying to compose himself again. He hadn’t realized how fast his heart had been beating throughout that. It had been a long time since he’d wanted to impress someone that badly.

He’d need to figure out what else this demon liked so he could give him more gifts.

Myut returned to the darkness of his room, terribly happy to have his little cup of tea to enjoy with a new book. To be sure, the content of the book was certainly not his favorite, what with it being fantasy, but it had come from Cyr, so, he would still appreciate it for that reason. It was also new – something that he had never read before. Therefore, it wouldn’t be an absolute waste of time. Not like he had many options here, anyway. Maybe being stuck here with this as his only reading route would give him a new appreciation for the genre. Myut couldn’t spend his time researching or discovering, so this would be as good a time as any to try something new.

Before he could delve into the book though, Meu decided it would be good to wipe himself down and clean off the residual sweat left from his workout. That certainly wouldn’t be very comfortable, especially if he was going to be getting into bed eventually. So the greed demon placed the book and his still-hot cup of tea on the edge of the desk where his other things were and proceeded into the bathroom, which he closed the door behind him. He would be quick about it so as not to waste the precious hot water that Cyr had procured for him.

Meu glanced around for a moment before finding a small towel to use. He turned the faucet on, looking displeased as, oh yes, that was right, there would be no hot or even warm water to do this task with. A grumpy look filled the greed demon’s face, but he resigned himself to his fate, running the towel under the cold water before ringing it out and then smoothing it against his skin. He realized halfway through that he should probably grab a change of clothes again, and he paused to toss the rag in the sink and make a pitstop at the wardrobe outside the bathroom.

He grabbed from there a pair of sleep pants which he had been using the past few nights, so it wasn’t new but it wasn’t dirty either. Myut didn’t bother to select a shirt, figuring that would be a waste of time; it would be easier to dry off without one. Returning to the bathroom and ensuring the door was securely closed, Myut’s deft fingers untied the string that fastened his sweatpants around his waist, letting the clothing drop and stripping himself of any remaining coverings. He retrieved the rag from the sink and resumed his ministrations.

The cold certainly was very unpleasant, so Meu was very ready to return to his hot cup of tea now that he had finished with that task. The warmth of it spreading in his hand made him shudder pleasantly, and he scooped up the book with his other hand, using his foot to hook a chair leg and pull it away from the desk. He took his seat, pulling the book open and beginning.

It didn’t take too long for Myut to discover something very interesting, however. As per usual, the content wasn’t extremely engaging and Myut could only enjoy it to such an extent. But as he smoothly progressed through the first handful of pages, something caught his eye. On the margin of this page here, there was a cluster of words scribbled in neat handwriting.
Oh? Mew’s eyes widened with curiosity as he suddenly straightened from his previously slouched and semi-uninterested position against the back of the chair.

Now, what was this? While Myut couldn’t care less about the romance genre, seeing as he had never experienced romantic inclinations himself, viewing what he could only imagine was Cyr’s fine handwriting making comment to the passages was entirely new and fascinating. Was this how most entities viewed romantic relationships and experienced pining? What sort of demon was Cyr, actually? From the little snips and tidbits he was finding, he supposed maybe envy? Or perhaps was he akin to gluttony, like Bez? No… he seemed far too regal and reserved to fall to the whims of that sin, at least from what Myut had observed thus far. He really just didn’t have any good guesses. Cyr was becoming more and more the riveting puzzle.

In any case, getting to see and experience in a secondhand sort of way the manner in which these emotions affected a person and their point of view gave Myut a renewed appreciation for this genre. Perhaps he would be able to do some research and discovering after all?

Myut sat at the desk for quite some time, glued to the little book in his hands. He wasn’t quite sure how much time had passed, but his back was growing a bit uncomfortable pressing against the chair like he was. Carefully rising from his seat, Meu did his best to try to discipline himself to stop looking at the little pages and actually focus on what he was doing and where he was going. He slid the seat of the chair back under the desk, and gave a big, involuntary stretch as he finally straightened from his crunched-up position. He also didn’t remember when he had finished his tea, but he was glad he hadn’t forgotten about it while being so engrossed in reading Cyr’s notes. It would have been a shame if it went to waste.

It was growing rather late, though, and Mew was admittedly backlogged on needing to catch up on his sleep. Was it nearing almost forty-eight hours since he last dozed? While it wasn’t unheard of for the greed demon to binge on occasion in his library back home, this situation was an entirely different animal. And Myut admittedly liked his sleep. The stress of the day suddenly weighed down on him, and he dragged his feet back to the bed that he was calling home for now. What a sad notion….

Sneaking under the plush covers, Meu gave a mopey look at nothing in particular as he snuggled in. At least their lodgings were decent. Though, Mew couldn’t help but imagine that if Abadeer had worse rooms in his beautiful home, they would certainly be shoved in there. He was honestly surprised they weren’t all just pushed into a closet together. Now that was a horrifying thought. Meu grinned to himself sleepily at the idea, too tired to really engage with the personal space issues that would come with that circumstance. To drowsy-him, it just seemed funny. He glanced up at the ceiling for a moment before letting his head fall to the side and his orbs focus on the outer room that lay beyond the doorway.

It looked like he was set up across from Eris’ room. It didn’t matter how tired he may be, at that realization he prickled quite a bit. At least there was a sheet over her door. Hmm… that was right, he had noticed that earlier when Cyr was asking the little wrath demon about heating tea. Normally he might think of trying to get similarly creative, but honestly he didn’t have anything to pin a covering to the wall with. How Eris managed to do it, he had no clue. Besides that… Myut wiggled poutily in his comfortable sheets; these were his. He wasn’t about to give them up for a makeshift door that he likely couldn’t make last anyway. Perhaps, if he was fortunate enough, it would not be that big of a deal. In any case, he was too tired to think about it anymore.

The little book Cyr had lent him was still clutched gingerly in Myut’s fingers, close to his resting form. He had originally been planning to read just a bit more before heading to bed, but the strength of his drowsiness had caught him off-guard. He didn’t get the chance to put it away before sleep came to claim him.

Several consecutive hours passed before Myut stirred from his dreams. He winced slightly as something rough poked at his upper ribs, blinking sleepily awake with a frown. Shifting his arms enough to prop the sheets away, Meu glanced down to see who the offender was. He blinked again, seeing the small novel that he had been so taken with earlier. He didn’t remember falling asleep with it though? Regardless, this was no way to treat a possession, especially a borrowed one at that. It luckily looked okay, but still Myut cradled it in a hand like an injured bird. He was very fortunate not to have squashed the poor novel while he slept – he couldn’t imagine that would go over well with Cyr. He had been nice enough to entrust Meu with it, so it certainly deserved better than this.

Lifting his upper half from the mattress, Myut turned to stretch and lean toward the nightstand that was settled next to the somewhat large bed. Hooking a finger around the handle to the little drawer inset onto the piece of furniture, he dragged the nook open to safely deposit his newly-acquired – but just borrowing, he reminded himself – treasure. It wouldn’t do to get his sin attached to it, because he had absolutely no clue what Cyr would want for it, nor what would be an appropriate trade for something he was only interested in a part of. Besides, Mew had a good enough memory. Maybe Cyr even had more like this one? He would have to ask to see some more of them, and soon, if the eager speed he figured he’d get through the pages was accurate.

Anyhow, now that Meu was up and it seemed rather quiet in the main room, he figured that he should maybe go look around a little bit. Taking a cautious peek out the door from within the depths of his room, the white-haired demon confirmed that there was no one else out and about. That was relief. He would have hated the idea of being forced into a late-night, or was it early morning now, conversation. If the very dull light coming in from the window was any indicator, it seemed like a new day was begun to dawn. Looked like it was five or six in the morning?
Still too early, the very-recently-awoken Myut thought to himself. He’d probably slink back to bed once he was done.

For now though, he wanted to see what, if anything, their abode might be hiding. Ideally some sort of hint as to what they were doing there, since Myut didn’t have any hopes for a way to get out. After all, even if he did manage to find something, what would he do then? Get caught again, obviously. For better or worse, they were trapped here. Myut could only hope that today someone would bother to tell them what was going on. He couldn’t imagine another day of sitting around, twiddling his thumbs with no clue what to do next, surrounded by all these strangers. He’d rather they just get on with it and kill him if that was going to be the case.

Unfortunately, just as everyone else, Mew didn’t find anything interesting whatsoever. He checked every corner and even eyed up the one door they hadn’t managed to get into yet. He was almost tempted to try to pick it, but it would be far too troublesome, plus he didn’t really have the proper tools to try. Myut was finishing up his fruitless search by where the front door was supposed to be, throwing a sour little look at the empty bookcase again. What was the point of having this piece of furniture here if it didn’t have anything in it? What a waste of space. Abadeer could have put something interesting here, like a statue or something. Or even nothing. It really got on his nerves.

With a sigh, Myut abandoned any further attention to the bookcase, since it obviously didn’t deserve any, and he started making his way back to his room. However, just as he was passing by Ino’s bedroom, something happened to catch his eye which caused him to pause. Ino himself seemed to be asleep, but there on his nightstand, laying all unguarded and massive in its glory, seemed to be a rather large tome of one sort or another. Myut had to stop himself before he suddenly walked right in to investigate. How awkward would that be? And inappropriate. Poor demon was sleeping, after all.

As much as it greatly piqued his curiosity, Meu would have to wait to ask Ino about it in the morning. He didn’t even know what it was, after all. Luckily that also meant that his sin of greed wasn’t absolutely smitten just yet, so Myut could manage to be gentlemanly about it rather than improperly enamored. He’d just have to remember. No problem, right? Meu definitely didn’t have a million other things on his mind already, and certainly he wasn’t starting to fall asleep again after getting only a little bit of rest.

Meu returned to his bedroom and slunk back under the covers. Hopefully he would be able to pick up a couple more hours before everything became chaotic and confusing again.

Myut snoozed away deep under the covers of his bed. It was especially comfortable and he was quite warm due to his own body heat flourishing over the cool of his sheets once more via his bare chest. Meu did not hear when Val entered his room, and it was not until he heard the telltale noises of his things being rifled through that had him groggily opening his eyes and propping himself up to try to see what was going on. He found a naughty also-white-haired demon standing in front of his desk where his things were stashed.

This caused Myut’s pupils to narrow as his eyes adjusted to the light level and his mind processed through what was going on. It had him giving a low, sleepy growl questioning after what Valramir thought he was doing. He could see the silhouette of the other demon stiffen as the audio met his ears. It seemed to do the trick, more or less, as it seemed the offending demon was turning to face him. However, Meu had not been expecting the confident little sashay the red-eyed man did to the end of his bed. Val said some nonsense or other about worrying Mew was lonely, which had him raising an uncertain eyebrow, having him already question if he was remembering correctly what he had literally just seen.

Then little Val had the audacity to hop up onto his bed, crawling forward a little ways like this was his long lost, beloved childhood home and he was going to come in for a good reunion snuggle. Myut may have been half asleep still, but with the weight shifting at the end of the bed, it had little warning bells snapping at him in his mind. He would put a swift end to this, he hoped.

”No.” Meu answered, voice especially deep with the sleep that still clung jealously to him. He made it clear that he didn’t want Valramir hanging around for a moment longer.

It looked like Val was pouting, but it was a little hard to tell at this angle. The sloth demon said something or other about Myut being so terribly unkind. At the same time he reached to grab at Meu’s retracting leg, which almost had the greed giving a warning growl again. It seemed that he had made himself clear, though, as Val retreated off the bed and seemed to be leaving. Mew carefully watched the other with hesitant displeasure, ensuring that Val truly was withdrawing from his domain. The green-eyed demon simply gave a steady and somnolent look back at Val as the other demon turned back for one last glimpse.

"Night Meu meu~" Valramir sang, aiming a wave of drowsy vibes towards him. That singsong voice had caught him a bit off-guard, but Myut was more focused with the fact that Val was indeed leaving. So he didn't mind hearing the silly nickname. Val didn't have to put too much effort into lulling him back to sleep, for as soon as the effects of the Sloth demon's power touched him, Meu already found it very difficult to keep his eyes open any longer. He turned back onto his other side, nestling his head a little deeper into the pillow. His discontent and vague unease swiftly melted into fuzzy dream feelings, and he fell asleep once more.

Myut awoke rather seamlessly, having felt especially rested (thanks to Val). He took a moment or two to stretch in bed before letting his feet hit the rug covering the floor around the bed. It felt like something had happened last night, but he couldn’t quite recall what that was. He then stood, making his way to the little water closet attached to his room. After finishing in there and wiping his face with more cold water on his little rag - yay - he reemerged to come to a stop in front of the wardrobe. Myut pulled the wooden doors open and didn’t think too much about what to wear. Probably something more comfortable over his fancier attire.

Donning a simple navy blue T-shirt with a large grey stitched ‘X’ against the chest pocket and pairing it with casual trousers, Meu swapped out his socks for a fresh new pair. Ah, unfortunately Mew didn’t really feel or see the need to wear shoes, so his little foot stockings would be in full view. Which wouldn’t be a problem for any normal demon, except Myut loved odd socks, delighting in them as his guilty pleasure, hidden behind footwear and pantleg cuffs. In this case, though, he didn’t have anything comfortable to wear over them as he hadn’t brought any slippers of any sort. Eh; no one would probably notice or care anyway.

The greed demon happily slipped on some striped sockies of a crew cut and made his way out the ‘door’. They had bands of hot pink, black, cyan, and lime green colors. A cheery little pleasure, which honestly was very important in these sorts of situations. Speaking of little pleasures, as Meu emerged from his room, he found a surprise to his right.

He hadn’t expected Ino to be set up against the wall between their two doorways, but as soon as Myut had crossed the threshold to his, there he was in all his small, refined glory. With his eyes raising in astonishment, Myut looked rather impressed at how lithe and flexible the little demon seemed to be. His own body certainly couldn’t move in the same ways that Ino’s was.

Mew caught himself watching for a little while as the other skillfully arched his back, contorted his body, stretched his legs, and overall showed off rather impressive ability with his body. The greed demon gave a soft, subtle, and appreciative whistle as Ino finished off his yoga in a bridge position.
”I wish I could get my body to move like that.” He grinned charmingly as he leaned against the door frame.

Ino opened his eyes to find Myut right in front of him, just prior to the tall demon commenting on his flexibility. He blushed a little, carefully lowering himself to the ground and sitting up, resting his hands on his knees.
”I’m sure you could if you practised~” he answered, sweeping his eyes over Meu’s body. ”You look pretty strong already, you just have to work on the stretching part. How’s your balance?” he stood up now, quickly brushing down his pants and tugging on his shirt. It was a little embarrassing to have been caught like that, but Ino hadn’t been sure if his room would have enough room. Plus he had gotten so into it that he hadn’t heard Myut’s footsteps… ”How long were you watching me?” he asked.

Myut tilted his head, bringing a thoughtful hand up to his chin. Ino was probably right, it he worked on stretching, he might be able to limber up a bit. As it stood now, though.
”I’m just sturdy.” Meu chuckled, watching Ino as he brushed down and rearranged his clothing to sit properly against him once more. He certainly did have some nice outfits. ”Besides my basic stretches, I wouldn’t know where to begin.”

As Ino asked after how long he had been standing in his doorway, Myut crossed his arms comfortably while leaning a bit more of his weight into the door. ”Not too terribly long, don’t worry.” He flashed him a reassuring grin; Meu wouldn’t know why the other demon would be particularly self-conscious, considering how gorgeous his lithe body was, but the purple-haired demon’s tone had sounded a bit uncertain.

”Ino, was it?”

”I can show you, if you’re interested,” Ino offered casually. ”Although I’m not much of a teacher. But I know the basics… I was a beginner at one point.” It had all started with a form of dance Ino knew his mother would hate, but the flexibility had transferred over. But Ino hadn’t fallen in love with yoga until he’d taken to sneaking into human classes, where he learned it was more than just stretching and contortions… though that was all a bit too intimate to tell to this virtual stranger.

As Myut reassured him that he hadn’t been eyeballing him for too long, Ino gave a light-hearted response of,
”Ha, good~ I didn’t mean to block the way, but I was hoping it was too early for anyone to need to come this way. And that guy-“ he waved towards Cyr’s door, ”-Was up later than me, so I think he’ll stay sleeping. And yes, I’m Ino. You are… Myut, yes?”

Meu nodded at Ino’s offer to show him the ropes, ”Sure.” Sounded nice enough, especially since it would likely come in handy in the future – overall it would be good for his physical health, so Ino had him on the hook. ”We’ll have to find a time to do it.” They would have plenty of it, he was sure. He didn’t mind the smaller demon, though. Or probably anyone in a more one-on-one setting, to be honest.

Mew blinked his understanding as Ino apologized for taking up the space along the wall, to which the exotic-looking greed demon shook his head.
”You’re not in the way.” He said simply; there was plenty of room to move around the little demon if need be. ”Distracting, though, yes~.” His tone was hinting at playfully suggestive as the white-haired male flashed him a good-natured smirk. ”You must be more hardy than you look; how long have you been in practice?” Ah, and it seemed he had also remembered the other’s name correctly. In turn, Meu gave the affirmative when Ino double checked his moniker.

Ino smiled back.
”Give me a bit to think of some beginner-friendly poses. Are you interested in the controlled breathing and mediation-y kind of stuff too, or just the stretches?” he popped up onto his toes as he spoke. ”We could see if the beds and furniture are movable. Or maybe just host a yoga class for everyone out here. Ha~” he laughed, soft, picturing trying to convince the small angry girl to give yoga a try. He imagined if he uttered the phrase ‘it might calm you down’, he’d end up on fire. He laughed again when Myut called him ‘distracting’.

”My pleasure~,” he teased. ”I do try~.”

He had to think about the answer to Myu’s question regarding how long he had been doing his stretches. ”The yoga is a fairly recent thing, only a few years,” he said easily. If Mew wanted more information, though, he’d have to ask for it.

Myut shrugged, not quite sure if he had a preference for stylistic choices.
”I suppose I’d be interested to try both, but I like the looks of the stretching much better.” That had been an indirect compliment to Ino, who made it look so appealing.

”Moving furniture would be no problem. Don’t know how much help it will be though. There’s quite a bit of it.” Meu himself hadn’t really felt too cramped doing exercises in his own room, but granted that was because his sets didn’t require a lot of space. Or, well, probably because more-so there was no way in Hell he’d feel comfortable doing them out in the open with so many eyes watching. So he wouldn’t complain about a lack of space regardless.

Myut simply nodded at Ino’s response on how long he’d been doing his contortions. Stretching an arm up and over his head, Mew gave a morning yawn as he straightened up off the doorway.
”Well, let me know.” He shrugged before walking off to investigate the small little palm-frond looking tree in the corner of the room.

”Okay, I’ll teach you a bit of both. And also see about the furniture.” Ino told him, leaning back on the door while watching him go. Once Myut had walked off, Ino disappeared back into his room, as without his heels he was even smaller than yesterday, and he didn’t quite like the feeling.


Once Meu neared the small potted plant, he grabbed a chair from the table and dragged it over so he could take a nice comfy seat while he analyzed the greenery. It looked to be an overworld plant, and he hadn’t had the proper time to give to admiring it as of yet.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Bezabelle Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Valramir Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Eris Leblanc
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【"We need to make a plan, we need to make it happen, and we need to leave these other schmucks behind."】
【Baby Jail → Her Room → Window Sulking】

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Characters Present

Character Portrait: 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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【”My parents will never let me live this down…”】
【Main Room → Her Room → Rinse → Repeat】

Still bristling from having to back down in front of the wrath demon, as soon as Bez left Viv did too, catching up to her girlfriend just as she got into her room. [color=#009874] “What are you doing?”
she asked, then proceeded to put together the pieces herself.

Torn Dress. Bedroom. Luggage.

“You probably want privacy, hah…”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The asshole let her win.

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

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

Later, though.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Characters Present

Character Portrait: 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: Eris Leblanc
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#, as written by slcam
【"Tonight, I can't find the off switch.】
【The Secret Time Out Room】

Bezzie went to freshen up, hoping it would stop some of the pitying looks. Vivian followed soon after, apparently not realizing Bezzie's intentions until it became obvious Bez was getting ready to change. Bez discovered she had little that was still wearable. Everything was stained from various activities during the gala, especially since most of Bezzie's activities had involved too much drink. Even worse, whomever had put her clothes in her bag stuffed them in like so much garbage. It was all horribly compressed and wrinkled. Viv recommended borrowing a shirt from one of the taller guys, but it was a while before Bez followed her suggestion. Even with the limited privacy, Bez couldn't resist taking advantage of being alone with Viv.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Characters Present

Character Portrait: 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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【So ends the prologue. In the morning, a new area will unlock, behind the door in the corner. Inside, down a long hallway with a soft burgundy carpet, several doors. At the end of this hall stands a single white door, already slightly ajar. Within, the sound of water rushing and, as you approach, warm, humid air stretches out towards you. THE BATHS occupy a large room with a vast, inset pool occupying most of the space. In the back, a rock formation stands, pouring water down into the pool. On the near wall is two sets of shelves, one burgeoning with soft white towels, and the other with a variety of soaps, oils, and fragrant tinctures.】
【"How did this become my job??"】
【Into the lion's den】

Amos stood before the blank wall with a long sigh. Somehow, he didn’t feel quite so secure about this situation as he had the previous morning, when they’d uncovered the plot and laid it triumphantly at the Prince’s feet. Now, somehow, he’d been bid to babysit this strange menagerie of demons, and he wasn’t sure how exactly this was going to play out. Each of them seemed dangerous in their own right, and he was glad, at least, that he wouldn’t be made to stay in there with the lot of them for too long. He’d just read out what he’d been given, and then make a hasty exit. They’d likely turn on each other immediately.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Cyris Herron Character Portrait: Valramir Character Portrait: Vivian Lacerta Character Portrait: Amos
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【The real curse is the one we contracted on the way, I guess】
【His room】

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Those worries seemed so far away now...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Myut Character Portrait: Ino Cense Character Portrait: Valramir Character Portrait: Amos
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【Rule Number 1: Don’t take a nap when you’re supposed to be doing damage control.
Rule Number 2: If you do, blame the sloth demon.】
【The Bath Room】

Back in this room, Ino leaned back against the wall with a sigh. He’d been caught stretching, but the resulting interaction had been friendly – pleasant even. Maybe him and Myut could be friends.


He went to his wardrobe, not planning on wasting more time on his outfit. This time he chose a subtle pair of boots, and on his way out, realized he hadn’t put his book away. That was quickly fixed – he moved the large tome into the nightstand drawer. Hopefully, no one had seen it clearly. At the very least, no one had asked.

He emerged into a busier room, noticing now Val napping on one of the couches and Cyr just standing around. Myut was examining the plant closely, and Ino started over there, curious. He wondered if it was real or manifested, and if real, what properties it might have.

He didn’t get to ask though, as quite suddenly, the door reappeared. Ino didn’t even have time to react before the guard stepped through. It was the blond one who’d lured him in the day before, and the Envy’s eyes narrowed as he stalked over, unsure of what he’d say except that it wouldn’t be nice.

The guard spoke before Ino reached him, though, and reluctantly the Envy stopped, sitting at the table. An announcement about why they were here was more important than his wounded pride. He still drummed his fingers impatiently, watching as Cyr carried the sloth over, and Vivian emerged from one of the rooms carrying a sleepy-looking Bez. By the time all seven were present, he started to look distinctly irritated, though that expression smoothed into polite indifference as the guard began to speak.

And then he was identified as a suspect and his composure shattered.

Ino had never been more glad that he’d set a glamour that morning, because it meant his face remained calm and still, his eyebrow arching a bit as he was accused of having poison, before the others had their crimes laid out.

Behind the mask, his emotions ran high – inside his long sleeves, his hands trembled with tension, and his eyes were wide and worried, lips parted in shock, in denial. As the guard stepped back, he looked around carefully, only standing when a few others stood. Luckily, Myut’s outburst had taken some attention off his own accusation.

Because poison sounded pretty damn bad.

As the others began to disperse, heading into rooms or to harass the guard, Ino quietly backed up. His heart was pounding still, and keeping his breaths steady was a struggle. He needed to be alone – a moment to compose himself.

He found his chance in the mysterious door that hadn’t opened yesterday. He had heard the click when the guard pointed at it, and when he tried the handle now, it turned easily in his hand. Completely silent, he slipped inside, closing the door behind him. He found himself in a long hallway, softly carpeted and lined with doors. He tried each one, finding 6 of them locked. He wondered if there being 7 had any significance. The seventh stood ajar though, and when he stepped in he blinked a few times, exhaling into the warm air with a deep sigh.


The large pool stretched almost wall to wall, though there was ample room to walk around the edges without falling in. The air was warm and wet, lightly fragranced with a mix of gentle floral scents. He could see two shelves on the far side, and the rumble of the water falling from the rocks was just loud enough to compete with his racing thoughts.

Ino reached behind him, gently pushing the door closed. He wasn’t sure how long this would be here, or when another might find it, and he wanted to take advantage. There was no lock to ensure his privacy, but at this point, he was just glad for a working door. He headed right for the rack of towels, taking one and spreading it on the still-dry floor. With a nervous glance back, he stripped quickly, folding his clothes into the soft white cloth and laying them aside. He paused only briefly at the other shelf, plucking a purple oil and a random soap from there before quickly descending into the water.

The bath was pleasantly warm and it made Ino shiver pleasantly as he waded in. He uncapped the oil he held – it was indeed lavender, based on the strong fragrance – and dripped it into the bath as he walked, hoping it would help calm him down. Near the center, the water only got deeper, and Ino skirted it rather than be forced to swim. The floor seemed textured, and his feet didn’t slip as he walked, which he was grateful for.

Returning to the edge, the Envy placed the bottle of oil aside before dunking the soap. It was vaguely floral, and Ino scrubbed quickly, washing off the sweat from his exercising with a bit of relief. He dunked his face under, letting the glamour fall, and washed slowly, holding his breath for as long as he was able. He didn’t want to get his hair wet, but he didn’t want to get out yet either. He found that the sides of the pool had a long, smooth ledge, and when he sat on it, the water came to just beneath his shoulders. He knelt on it with some difficulty, dragging his bundle of towelled clothing closer. Once more he sat, tipping his head back against his little pile.

Some of his blind panic had faded, and he knew he needed to think.

He needed to lay out the facts.

Fact 1: The poison. He knew exactly what they were talking about, and looking back now, it had been foolish to bring it. But that entire scheme had been what finally got him out of bed, so he wasn’t sure how much he regretted it. A little now. Probably a lot more later.

Fact 2: He hadn’t been trying to kill the prince. Though their relationship had failed, Ino hadn’t been the one who ended things, and he still felt shamefully fond of the man. His cheeks burned and he sank a bit deeper into the water.

Fact 3: He had one of the worst accusations on him. Not that there weren’t others – Cyr’s cursed object, the wrath demon’s arson, Val tampering with the guards were all good contenders. But poison, along with his undeniable motive, meant that he had to explain himself.

Which led to Fact 4: He couldn’t tell the truth. It wasn’t exactly much better than what he’d been accused of. Poisoning the Prince would have been bad, but trying to poison the Prince's current lover? Equally bad, and in some eyes, likely worse. Though it wasn’t like he’d actually been trying to kill him…

He huffed, crossing his arms, now so low in the steamy water that his breath made bubbles on the surface.

They really had made him sound awful, and he had to wonder if it was on purpose. If Abadeer wanted to get rid of him more permanently – that is to say, for good. And a bottle of poison was pretty damning evidence, when his actual plan had just been to humiliate Emil…

His eyes snapped wide open from their droopy state and he pushed himself back up. Maybe that could be it. His way out.

Heartbird – the poison he’d brought with him – became lethal at a certain level. 30 milligrams, to be precise. But at a third of that, it sped up body systems, amplifying the effects of anything else a demon had ingested. At two thirds, it began to affect the stomach, sending the unfortunate demon running for the bathroom. The reason why it was banned was because at a full dose, it became very easy to overload the heart.

And Ino had double that dose with him.


Could he convince the others he hadn’t meant to use it to its full, toxic potential? He was no killer. He’d fully meant to use only one, maybe two doses on Emil, but admitting that wouldn’t win him any friends. But…what if he claimed he’d wanted to use it on himself? At that low dose, it’d be stupid but possible to take it to amplify the effect of any other drug, or even just get drunk faster.

It made him sound foolish, but demons had been known to do more for less of a good time. It seemed to be the best explanation he had. He could even take some to prove it wasn’t lethal, if he had to.

Yes, this could be a plan that might work.

Or would it?

Ino gave himself a few more minutes to think on it, his arms back on the tile, his head comfortably cushioned. With his worry tamed, the warm bath and sweet lavender swirled around him, taking advantage of his restless night to send him into a small sleep.

“Well, hello there. You’ve been in here a while,”

Ino woke with a start, jerking a bit when he saw Val so close. He hadn’t even heard him come in...that wasn’t safe. On the other hand, he doubted Valramir would hurt him directly. If Val was the assassin, he couldn’t be working alone.

“I must have fallen asleep…” he mumbled, sitting up a bit more, rubbing his eyes. “Surprised you woke me. Isn’t that the opposite of your thing?” he blinked once, twice, and reapplied his glamour in the next moment, fixing up his face. No need to let the sloth see more than he’d already seen.

Valramir chuckled.
“Hmm I suppose. But my curiosity outweighs the love I have of using my presence,” he answered honestly. “You vanished after our pretty guard demons laid out the accusations. Your face hardly betrayed a thing. It made me curious what you were really thinking behind your mask,” he said idly. “We haven’t had the chance to catch up lately.”

“What I was thinking?” Ino laughed softly, swirling his hand through the water. “I was thinking that this is crazy. And if this is a setup. And what exactly they think I have that’s poison.” Lay the groundwork now, act like it didn’t even occur to him that the substance he had could kill. “And then I saw the bath, and I wanted to take advantage since they might take it away, and then I guess I fell asleep. I didn’t sleep well last night,” he admitted. “But what about you? What do you think?”

“What do I think, indeed,” he mused, his eyes watching Ino. Part of the gaze was still lusty as he reached out and pushed some of Ino’s wayward strands away from his face before he rolled onto his back to stare at the ceiling. “I am thinking it is way too muggy in here,” he grinned. “And I think you are stunning, as usual, even more so without clothes,” he said in a cheeky type of tone.

“Flatterer~” Ino said playfully, letting his face pinken obligingly in response to the gentle touch. “And you don’t like the warmth? I think I’m ready to leave.” he admitted, stretching his arms up and over his head. “But what did you do, Val? Make the guards take a little nap?”

Val chuckled at the other demon and sat up. “Yes, I made quite a few of them fall asleep. And I played a card game with them… had them leave their posts,” he answered, a darker glint in his eyes. “It was all in good fun though,” he answered. He got up and turned to offer his hand to Ino. “Why do you have all those herbs in your bag anyway, Innocence?” he asked.

“Naughty, naughty~” Ino sang, his eyes sparkling, laughing at the nickname. No one had called him that in a while, and he found that he liked it. “Though that’s a pretty big hole in the defenses. I’d be grateful it was pointed out.” he cast him a sidelong glance, wanting to see how he’d react to that. “Since it clearly wasn’t very professional of them.”

The petite demon took the offered hand and stood, daintily exiting the water and heading for the rack to take a fresh towel, rubbing himself down before wrapping himself up. “It’s good to have things along in a place like this. Painkiller, nausea, headache, you know the drill. Just being prepared.” he wasn’t ready to share the secret of his hangover cure with anyone just yet.

“I see,” Val was saying. “I suppose that makes sense” Ino could hear the distraction and he knew what caused it. He wasn’t at all surprised when Val cleared his throat and started to speak. “You know… if you’re up to it, my room is always available to you,” he said. “You did mention once we might have a chance to have a bit of fun. Just putting that out there. We never really know how long we have in this small bubble, or what the hell will happen in 7 days when our time is up.”

“For a nap?” Ino very deliberately played innocent. “I might take you up on that.” Val made it impossible to ignore his meaning, though, and Ino had to address it. “Maybe...maybe when we get out of here, okay?” he offered up softly. “I just...don’t know right now.”

It was more vulnerability than he’d wanted to share, but it was true. He knew Val meant well, but he lacked the impulse to have sex just because… “I’m sorry…” he murmured, very softly, and took up his clothes to begin getting dressed.

Val gave a playful little pout at first and leaned against the wall, still watching the demon.
“There is no reason to apologize, Ino. An offer was just an offer. Just know I will always flirt,” he said, and it made Ino feel better, to know that there was nothing Val expected from him.

“But I am always game for sleep,” the Sloth was continuing with a much more innocent smile then. “And cuddles.”

Ino gave Val a softer, more genuine smile in return. “Thank you.” he said. “I really might take you up on those naps. Cuddles included, obviously.”

He then draped a towel over his shoulders, just below where a few strands of hair curled damply against his neck. “Let’s get out of here, it’s not too pleasant when dressed.”

Ino got his boots on and strode back down the hall, pretty sure Val was behind him. “Hello everyone!” he declared, stepping into the main room after throwing the door open, though he caught it so that it didn’t slam the wall. “So they gave us a bathtub, not sure how long it’ll last, if anyone wants to check that out~”

As though he didn’t have a care, he headed for the middle of the room. He’d wait to see if anyone spoke to him before he went around asking questions.

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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#, as written by Skwidge
【Preposterous. Just Fantastic.】
【Table → Cyr’s Room → Viv’s Room】

At the sound of an actual door closing, Myut’s focus immediately snapped up from his plant to hone strikingly in on the unfamiliar figure now standing where their front door was supposed to be. Had been just milliseconds ago. Myut drank in the protector’s appearance slowly, taking his time in analyzing and sizing up this individual. Mousy blonde hair, tall and slender in build, and clad in the armor of the Prince’s guards. It seemed that the big man himself had finally deigned to send in someone to hopefully tell them what was going on. Meu leaned back in his chair, crossing his arms as a keenly interested look filled his features. His eyes did not leave this guard’s form.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Ah, I know!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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