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Cain Azura

"I am going to become the Greatest there ever lived!"

0 · 610 views · located in Nirath

a character in “Shattered Soul”, as played by Firewind

Description

Cain Azura








GENERAL INFORMATION

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Gender
Male

Race
Human

Nickname(s)/Alias(es)
Redmane- Nickname for his Hair

The Red Dragon-Mercenary Name

Age
21

Dominant Hand
Right Handed


Face Claim
Adlet: Rokka No Yuusha

Role
The Mercenary



APPEARANCE

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Height
5"9

Weight
125 Ilbs

Build
Muscular

Hair Color
Red

Eye Color
Amber

Scars/Tattoos/Piercings
He has a small scar on the palm of his right hand from a knife cut.

Description
Standing at 5"9 inches tall, he tries to look as strong and intimidating as possible. Cain's long red hair falls past his shoulders and down to the base of his spine. He likes to boast and brag about his manly physique. His amber eyes hold a spark of fiery eagerness that hungers to prove himself to the world that he can be just as strong as the infamous Black Knights.

Preferred Clothing
He normally wears a black cloak over white clothing, and he wears a small harness for the sheath of his sword to sit on, along with several bags of money or small food supplies for him to survive on his own for about 5 months or more without any work.



Abilities


Skills

Blacksmithing- Taught by a Hermit in his village, he quickly picked up the trade to make a promising career, if he wished.

Swordsmanship- He is no Black Knight, but he can hold his own in a fight.

Horseback Riding- He was the fastest rider in his village.

Strengths

Silver Tongue- When outnumbered, he usually tries to talk his way out of a messy situation, but it usually costs I'm either some of his rations or hard earned coins.

Warrior's Temacity- He does not give up so easily. Knock him back down he gets right back up again for another round or two.

Weaknesses

Arrogance- He has a bit of a bad habit of oftentimes bragging a bit too much in the middle of a fight. Which usually makes him open to a swift punch to the face.

Berserker- If hard pressed in a fight he lets himself go and fights even more fiercely to win, this does endanger himself and any allies nearby.

Anxieties- He has a slight issue with his anxiety that flares up when he's either very uncomfortable or frustrated.




MENTALITY

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Oddities
Cracking knuckles- He does it when he's warming up for a fight or is acting like an arrogant bastard.

Talking to his sword- He talks to his sword, which he affectionately names Beltharion, when he knows he's alone. He talks to it like its a growing boy. He doesn't talk to any of his other weapons in this manner..

Amber Glare-A nickname for one of his infamous glares when he's really really pissed off.

Likes
Blacksmithing- It's a useful skill, and it also helps him repair and maintain his weaponry.

Horses- Since he rides them, he has an appreciation for the four legged creatures. "Horses are people too Baka!"

Traveling- After two years of being a mercenary, Cain has grown to like traveling it requires.

Women- Put someone very pretty in the room and he melts almost immediately and is unable to focus for a little while.

Dislikes

Hypocrites- People who don't practice what they preach receives his left hook if he catches them.

Racists- Anyone mistreating the other for being different makes him bitter to his stomach.

Hobbies

Forging- "When I'm not fighting I'm thinking about the next big thing!"

Training- He tries to keep up his training he'd almost do it in his sleep if he isn't doing anything!

Phobia(s)

Snakes- Who isn't afraid of the leg less scaly monsters?!

Darkness- If he's in a room with no light he'll slowly reduce himself to a scared anxious mess.

Sexuality
Heterosexual

Personality
When one meets Cain, expect a friendly smile, a warm smile, a welcome handshake, and a loyal friend almost instantly. He's caring, charismatic, if somewhat slightly silly at random times. His friendly tones are often seen when he's fighting, because he'd become a totally different person entirely. He loves to joke around and make someone laugh when he isn't fighting, or arguing with anyone nearby.

He fights like he's running out of time, as if he's trying to go the extra mile to save a friend, and if a friend is in trouble, he'd do it in a heartbeat. He loves to help people, and is willing to always. But this eagerness makes him jump into the fray without thinking. And put him near a woman and you'll get a very shy and crazy mess.





BACKGROUND

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Family
Oberon Azura (49)- Father

Lucille Azura (née Valeera) (48)-Mother

Kumatetsu (59)- Teacher and Mentor

Personal History
Na'ari Azura was born to a well known Village of craftsmen and forgers in the kingdom, but despite this slight prestige, his origins are nevertheless humble. He was an only child, "Blessed by a Dragon" or born with red hair and Amber eyes. As a youth he found it hard to make friends because he couldn't understand certain things and was distinctly quiet. The other children made fun of him for this and simply drove him to a workshop and forge belonging to a Hermit Beastman named Kumatetsu. His soon to be master, a kind and understanding man who forged weapons during the Ten Year Blood War, allowed Cain to stay with him, he taught him metallurgy, and the art of the blacksmith. He then showed his greatest treasure to him, several large slabs of black rock that he claimed "fell from the sky." Cain could tell some of it was metallic and wondered, if done right, it could be forged into beautiful works of art.

When he was Eight, he asked his Master if he could learn how to use a real sword. He obliged in teaching him how to fight, but told him to one day forge his own sword and fight. It was then he learned how to fight with a blade, as well as defend himself. He also picked up horseback riding and became adept at it, going on to be the best in his village.

Eventually, he grew into his teens and fell in love with a beautiful girl from his village. Long did he want to be with her, and often dreamed of life with her as his wife. Then, everything changed when a raiding band of mercenaries attacked his home. He helped quell the attack by driving them off with the other defenders of the village, but the girl he fell for was killed. She died in his arms.

Infuriated at himself for being unable to protect someone he cared for, Cain opted to leave his village. So he decided to do just that. But before he did, his master and himself forged a blade he could wield to become a powerful mercenary, and gain his fame in his own right. So at Nineteen Cain Azura left home, going on to become a famous (or infamous to his enemies) Mercenary swordsman called the "Red Dragon." He has been this way for two years.




OTHER


Thoughts on other

Love interest
To Be Determined

So begins...

Cain Azura's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nero Dalmascer Lucifer Character Portrait: Lucia Mirakel Character Portrait: Verdandi Saga Yngiv Character Portrait: Aleenia Anariel Taldren Character Portrait: Cain Azura

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Cain Azura
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A black horse walked it's way into the town, with its red haired passenger looking around the busy streets. "Huh, am I late for a party?" he mumbled as he pulled a pouch from his belt and pulled out a few pieces of dried meat and began eating it. "I hate when that happens..." he whines to no one in particular as he continued riding, taking in the sights and sounds of the place. It had been awhile since he was in a town, and it was always a real treat to go into one because then he'd spend his hard earned money from his work as a Mercenary! It was who he was, because he was the Red Dragon: Cain Azura! The self proclaimed Greatest Mercenary, and someday all will know of him. But for right now he was content to being anonymous so he could have some breathing room.

Cain looked at the local blacksmith shops and frowned and scoffed at the shops for being so amateurish. That was when he saw a scene before him that made him pull his horse to a stop. Several humans surrounding an elf, despicable to his eyes. Frowning deeply he slowly gripped the handle of his sword, his amber eyes turning fiery in his glare as he saw one of the scumbags pull out a knife. He was about to go charging in Beltharion drawn, when another young man looking about his age quickly broke up the potential fight before he could even give the order to his horse to charge. Cain's mouth dropped open in shock. He could hardly believe it!

"How do you like that!? There goes my chance for a quick fight! I was all pumped for it!" Cain thought as he let go of his sword. "Next time you will have your time in the sun Beltharion." He patted the hilt of the aforementioned blade as he looked towards a gathering crowd.

"What in the name of my Hometown of Valsir is going on here?" he muttered to himself as he turned an ear to listen to the general announcement, which was introducing the new Black Knight captain.

At this Cain slowly smirked. What he wouldn't give to fight at least one of the famous Black Knights and either earn their respect, or get an invite to join them. Shaking off his reverie he set himself down off his horse to give it a rest. He looked around hoping to find a nicely priced inn, he kept back from the crowd and waited for it to disperse. He scratched his head and watched hoping not to draw attention to himself as he yawned, quite loudly. "Man being on the road for too long sure puts bags under these Amber eyes eh Bel?" he said to his sword as he once more patted it's pommel like it was a child.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nero Dalmascer Lucifer Character Portrait: Lucia Mirakel Character Portrait: Verdandi Saga Yngiv Character Portrait: Aleenia Anariel Taldren Character Portrait: Cain Azura

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With a graceful sigh, realizing she jumped to the wrong conclusion, Lucia Mirakel forges her path once more.


As the man explained himself, Lucia nodded, she was still ready to take measures to protect the little wolf-girl, but she seemed to release the topic a little, though the man now named Nero almost learned a lesson on telling a woman to calm down, and how bad of an idea that was. Yet, she giggled a little at his explanation, as he started to divulge into his past, before giving an all to obvious cough. He was amusing to her, as though he seemed to be a warrior, the man was admittedly amusing and was admittedly funny to her. As she was about to lecture some more, she heard another voice, a smaller and more nervous one,

"I'm very sorry! I wasn’t attending to my path and didn’t see you; I mean… I didn’t intend to walk into you!”

Lucia paused herself, realizing what she had done, [i]Oh cher, I seem to have made a mistake. And looked like an absolute fool in the process.
she had thought, placing two fingers on her temple with a sigh of annoyance, "My apologies, Monsiuer, I've jumped to the wrong conclusion and made myself look like a fool." her words were sincere, "Though I would recommend that both of you keep an eye for where you are going, less we have this bout again." with a light smile she tilted her head slightly to the left, though her bleeding heart soon took notice as the man made a comment about his lack of money, swiftly she reached for her bag, having a fair amount from those whom literally forced her to take the money for her services, she lightly smiled taking out about twenty gold coins, "Here. You could use these more than I could ever. I cannot have these go to waste on me." Though soon he walked aside, she looked to see what he was doing.

A crowd had built up, and surrounding an elf, some shouting and hollering, others just standing doing nothing she shook her head, placing her hand on her forehead and sighed speaking under her breath, "Oh mon Dieu..." It was apparent that the day for Lucia was going very much south. Though a few words cut off Lucia's thoughts as they began,

"Come one come all and meet one of the legendary knights who helped bring an end to the elven king the brother in arms with the late Captain Lucifer! Please pay your respects to the new Captain of the Black Knights the man of legendary strength and formidable endurance! Put your hands together for Johnathan!"

Hearing that the Black Knights had come drew Lucia's face into an almost cringe as she noticed the man now named Nero approach the crowd and go towards where the knights were, while the girl she knew as Saga had fled somewhere else, it confused Lucia as she began towards the other crowd, the one Nero had dispersed, where an elvish woman stood, offering a kind smile, she spoke,

"Are you okay, madame? I noticed the group of people near you, so I thought I should ensure that you weren't hurt.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nero Dalmascer Lucifer Character Portrait: Lucia Mirakel Character Portrait: Aleenia Anariel Taldren Character Portrait: Cain Azura

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Aleenia glared at the two humans who stood against her. Prepared to fight she steadied her staff with her right hand, it was a wizard's staff and had become very precious to her as a source for her to focus her magic into. It made it easier for her to control the magic that swept throughout her body. Prepared to call water to her aid, Aleenia stepped forward to defend herself when suddenly a young man entered the fray.

He was rather tall in height much like Aleenia herself, however, he towered somewhat higher than her. Amidst his shaggy brown hair white fought its way through creating a striking comparison. Once more, he appeared to be human.
"Um excuse me but doesn't look like she wants trouble, however, it seems to me like you two want to start something that you might regret later," he spoke disarming the man holding the knife with ease. Aleenia raised an eyebrow at this young man's skill, but she kept her staff firmly in place. She did not know this man's intentions yet and he seemed an opponent with actual knowledge in combat unlike the two fools in front of her.

"B-But she's an elf the enemy of all humans." One of the fools commented making Aleenia frown again.

"No, we only perceive that because our two races have been at each other's throats for so many years. I may not know personally how it happened but someone told me that the Knights' original intention was to stop the war before it started. They just didn't take into account the greedy ambitions of merchants and nobles who was bound to make a fortune off the war. Not to mention how cynical the previous elven king was in his fantasies." The man spoke with confidence.

Aleenia hesitated, but she dropped her staff at his words.

It was the first time she had heard someone speak of the war in such a calm manner. It was also the first time she had heard of the ideology that the Knight's original intention had been to prevent the war. It was new information to her, and it intrigued her deeply. Unfortunately, she did agree with his statement regarding her king during the war. He had been a selfish man afraid of change. She was grateful for their new ruler.

"Now then if we're done here I have something I need to attend too north of here. But if you really want to start something I'd be willing to take this elf's place and show you what it really was the Black Knights fought for and believe me unless you want to lose an arm or a leg I'd back down now." The young man smirked at the two fools, Aleenia smiled as they squirmed under his threat but then dropped it again.

Why had they taken her threat so lightly compared to this guys? Wait... Aleenia pulled her hand to her chin as she rubbed it in thought.

Maybe she wasn't scary enough?

Suddenly a loud announcement disrupted her thought process.

"Come one, come all and meet one of the legendary knights who helped bring an end to the elven king the brother in arms with the late Captain Lucifer! - Please pay your respects to the new Captain of the Black Knights the man of legendary strength and formidable endurance! Put your hands together for Johnathan!"

A heavy sound of cheering filled the street as people began to run for joy towards the parade that entered the town.

”He may be helping you, for now, Elf... But I would advise you don't go anywhere alone tonight” One of the fools glared at Aleenia as he hugged his now injured wrist picking his knife up off the floor.

Aleenia rolled her eyes at him “Whatever you say fool. I would advise that you grow a brain” she said sarcastically at the man as he spat on the floor of her feet before shuffling away.

“Maybe I should show my magic a little to deter some of these folk?” Aleenia wondered out loud as suddenly a gentle voice approached her.

“Are you okay, madame? I noticed the group of people near you, so I thought I should ensure that you weren't hurt.” A young woman spoke

Aleenia blinked at her a little surprised. She was fairly short, much shorter than Aleenia, her hair stretched down to her thighs a thick dark brown like the eyes that kindly smiled towards her. She wore white garments which fitted well against her pale skin. Admittedly this girl had a mysterious beauty about her, but what surprised Aleenia the most was the magic she sensed within her.

Aleenia wondered if this girl could sense her own ?

Not many people could sense magic without being trained as a Wizard, she wondered what sort of magic this girl held.

“I'm actually rather unhurt, unlike the fool who started this mess” Aleenia glared at the merchant for a moment as he returned to his stall. Only his pride was damaged, the other fool who had been physically hurt by the young man had already wondered away into the crowd.

Returning to the young woman before her Aleenia smiled “It is very kind of you to ask of my health though young miss. I am appreciative of your kind words” Aleenia nodded to her respectfully as a horse neighed nearby. “It is not often that I meet other magic wielders” Aleenia popped the question curious to her reply.

Had she figured out Aleenia could use magic or not then?

“My name is Aleenia Anariel Taladren” Aleenia introduced herself as she brought her staff before her. Raising it straight out in front of her Aleenia willed some of the magic to the staff and on command it began to hover. Sitting upon her staff Aleenia smiled to the woman before her. “I have also come to be known as 'The blue witch' by some”

Some children gawked as Aleenia flew up higher into the air.

It felt good to feel the wind against her skin again.

“May I offer you some cake as a thank you for your kindness?” Aleenia smiled to the woman before turned her glare towards the merchant. He fell off his chair in shock as she flew over to him shaking as he witnessed her magic.

“I'll purchase your cakes please sir” Aleenia looked at him expectantly.

”Y-yes o-f c-course f-f-orgive me I did not know you were a witch” the man stuttered.

“It should not matter. But thank you for the cakes” she cocked her head at him before flying over to the girl and offered her one of the precious cakes.

“They smell delicious don't they?” she mused. “I must also find the young man who 'came to my rescue' and offer him some as well. It is rare to find kindness in this world” her voice sighed at the last remark.

That's when Aleenia noticed the distinct sound of hooves nearby. Looking ahead she saw the horse clop along the cobbles of the street and a red haired man climb off before scratching his head making a loud yawn.

Aleenia giggled at his audacity, some humans she had met had advised her yawning in public without covering you mouth could sometimes be considered rude. Maybe the rule did not apply to all human cultures?

"Man being on the road for too long sure puts bags under these Amber eyes eh Bel?” The man mumbled seemingly to his horse Aleenia deducted. There wasn't anyone else around?

Turning to the young woman Aleenia lowered her flight height a little to be level with her. “I wish to show some kindness of my own. These cakes are very precious to me, but perhaps, by sharing them, I could improve the hatred for my race” she openly spoke her thoughts to this young unafraid to speak her mind.

Moving away on her staff, flying at what would be considered walking speed, Aleenia flew towards the strange man a short distance away. She wondered if the young woman would follow? Red hair colouring was unusual in this part of the world.

Turning on her staff to be upside down, as per Aleenia's odd habit, she flew up a little higher to reach the height of the horse and swept up to the horses face. “Bel? Is that the name of your horse?” Aleenia suddenly spoke to the young red head patting the horse's muzzle. Her robe fell around her ankles as she hung upside down but it did not faze Aleenia as she always wore shorts, her blue hair dangling towards the ground.

“He's beautiful if that's so” she smiled. “Here, would you like a cake? You seem tired, maybe this will lift your spirits” she smiled holding out a slice of ginger cake whilst eating some herself.

This young man's red hair fell against his back down to his spine. She couldn't quite tell without standing beside him but he seemed to be of similar height to Aleenia, his eyes were a dazzling shade of amber much like his hair. Though she couldn't see his build very much due to the black cloak that hung over his clothes.

It was then more cheering began to erupt from the crowds as the Black Knights began to near them. Aleenia turned to see the crowd build up so much it was near impossible to reach the Knights, guards formed a line holding off the crowd as the civilians tried to get closer.

“I really don't understand the hype of the Black Knights” Aleenia sighed settling her staff the right way round so she was no longer upside down. “I understand their place in our history, but are they not just ordinary people like you and I?” she questioned leaning back on her staff. She tried to dismiss them, to think of something else. As much as she had pushed past her hatred for humans, a small simmer of pain resided within her regarding the Black Knights.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nero Dalmascer Lucifer Character Portrait: Lucia Mirakel Character Portrait: Aleenia Anariel Taldren Character Portrait: Cain Azura

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Cain Azura
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His mind drifted of as he moved to pat his horse on the neck he sighed to resume his search for a decent inn which made him unaware of a pair of eyes watching him. As Cain walked with his four legged companion someone slowly drifted up beside him and hovered near him, more specifically in front of his horse. Cain snapped out of his reverie when the horse stopped in front of the anomaly.

"Bel? Is that the name of your horse?" Oh Fel, someone overheard him say Beltharion's name out loud. If he said no he'd be questioned as to what exactly did he mean. He had to think up an answer quick for the stranger and fast. Wait, but who was he talking to? He looked carefully at the person to discover it was the elven woman he saw earlier, when the other guy literally stole his thunder! But now he was able to have a closer look at her... legs?! She was floating upside down on a floating staff, he trailed down the well toned legs she had as he tried to locate find her face in her upside down position. Was she a Sorceress? Now his curiosity has been perked.

"Uhh, Yes. Well, it's his shortened name. His full name is a mouthful." He said as he finally discovered her face which was framed by long blue hair, framing a rather gorgeous face and a curvaceous figure. Cain slightly turned pink around his cheeks and almost lost track of the conversation.

"He is beautiful if so." She said as she smiled. Cain had to force his blush to vanish so that she didn't think he was some pervert, though a light dusting of pink was still there as she extended an offer to him. A slice of cake. "Here, would you like a cake? You seem tired, maybe this will lift your spirits." she herself was eating a slice as Cain extended his hand and took what she offered.

"Thank you kind Miss. I've only eaten dried meat which can only get me so far." he said smiling a small sincere smile. Throughout his life he learned to appreciate kindness from all forms of people. His Mentor, Kumatetsu, was a Beastman after all. He ate his Cake silently whilst observing the Elven woman as she was clearly observing him.

He was about to speak again until he heard cheering again for the New Black Knight Captain and sighed mentally at the interruption as he finished his piece of cake as he continued to observe the woman in front of him. "I really don't understand the hype of the Black Knights." He heard the blue haired female say. He raised his eyebrow at her and continued to listen to her. "I understand their place in our history, but are they not just ordinary people like you and I?" she turned right side up as she said this, and Cain took in her full figure, and found her quite lovely.

"Well Miss, sometimes when some ordinary people do great things, others elevate them to larger heights for it. Makes others desire to either be better men which is what I want to be, or self righteous bigots with no self esteem or honor, like the two jerks who pulled a knife out to attack a seemingly defenseless Elven Woman. Men like that make me sick." His Amber orbs seemed to flare up in slight anger before he breathed calmly.

"But I digress. I haven't even introduced myself Miss. My name is Cain Azura, friends call me Cain or Redmane. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance." He placed a hand over his heart and bowed forward as he made his introduction.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lucia Mirakel Character Portrait: Aleenia Anariel Taldren Character Portrait: Cain Azura

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A kind smile, shared to the sole Elf mage, Aleenia. Yet an inquiry about her magic wipes said smile aside, giving a more perplexed look across Lucia's face.

Lucia bowed her head with a light smile, to give a light response to the appreciation. Though, the woman continued, and a select sentence perplexed Lucia,

“It is not often that I meet other magic wielders”

With a slight tilt of her had she looked to the elf, she was tall, with an athletic looking build, all with blue hair and eyes, it was notable that she was very much pretty, matched with fitting clothes that expressed her features quite well, even if it was a tad bit.... Revealing. Though a distinction flowed by her, though she hadn't the foggiest of ideas as to what it was, as it felt like a rush of pure energy of some sort had hit her much like a wave crashing into the rocks, it was an immense rush that Lucia tried to lock onto, to find the reason of what this is.

Soon enough Lucia was snapped out of her little daze, with a simple remark of her name, Aleenia an interesting name indeed, but that was expected from an elf, as they've often had interesting names and alike. For a brief second, brown eyes met blue eyes, as Aleenia soon rested herself on a floating staff there was a reply from Lucia, gently placing her fingers on her own chest and bowing her head a little, A trait she picked up on from the others in the Monastery, "I'm Lucia. Lucia Mirakel. A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Lady Aleenia."

With the introductions out of the way, Aileena offered cake, and by offered, it was first asked, and then just given to her, before Lucia could manage to get a response out. Now holding a cake, Lucia swiftly followed Aleenia as she approached a red-haired man. With a look to the elf and a smile, she nodded to what Aleenia wanted to do, Rid the world of the hatred between Human and Elves. With a light hum, she walked with Aleenia, "Then I shall join you, as I seek to do the same." with sincere words, and a light smile.

As Lucia approached, she could hear the man speak, but couldn't exactly make out what the man was saying, but that had not mattered as much, as she understood he was addressing his horse. Though she held back a slight laugh as she saw Aleenia pet the horse upside down. This woman was definitely a strange person, yet, Lucia turned her gaze to the man once more, he looked maybe a little taller than Aleenia and looked thin, not to say he was starving, but he seemed thinner than most of the men she's seen that are generally of his height. Brushing the thought aside, Lucia could note that the man looked very strong for his thin frame, he seemed to turn a light pink as he and Aleenia interacted. Silently she approached hearing about the Black Knights, though hearing that the men whom were around Aleenia were armed seemed to have struck a chord in Lucia, as she spoke under her breath from a well of emotions that built just hearing that,

"Inacceptable, imbéciles." Upon mumbling said words, she shook her head, as an attempt to wipe the two from her head as she turned to Aleenia and the man named Cain, bouncing off of both what Aleenia had asked, "To me, the Black Knights are normal, just like anyone else. But, they have the burden of their reputation as a Black Knight to carry. Along with those whom use their name in an attempt to give them some sort of righteousness for actions. I think most would be rather pleasant to talk to. Or at least would hope so..."

"But. Who knows?"


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nero Dalmascer Lucifer Character Portrait: Lucia Mirakel Character Portrait: Aleenia Anariel Taldren Character Portrait: Cain Azura

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Aleenia floated on her staff leaning back on her hands as they wrapped around the wood watching the parade as the knights began to draw near to them.

Turning to the red head she listened to his thoughts on the knights ”"Well Miss, sometimes when some ordinary people do great things, others elevate them to larger heights for it. Makes others desire to either be better men which is what I want to be, or self-righteous bigots with no self-esteem or honor, like the two jerks who pulled a knife out to attack a seemingly defenceless Elven Woman. Men like that make me sick." his facial expression faltered for a moment as anger appeared to flash through his eyes before they settled again.

Aleenia raised an eyebrow in curiosity. To see such an emotion over the safety of a stranger was new to her.

"But I digress. I haven't even introduced myself, Miss. My name is Cain Azura, friends call me Cain or Redmane. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance." The redhead introduced himself rather charmingly as he placed a hand over his heart bowing formally to her.

Aleenia smiled radiantly as he did so, a little taken back but his gentlemanly conduct impressed her. This man showed honour if not pride and confidence within himself to do so. Little few knew how to be polite in these recessive times since the war. It reminded her a little of her village and the formalities she often received from her fellow elves. A small sense of homesick struck her for a moment before Aleenia lowered her staff and stepped lightly onto the ground again. Her staff flew around her before landed softly in her left hand.

“My name is Aleenia Anariel Taldren” she moved her right arm over her stomach and bowed in return bending her right leg slightly behind her left as she did so in Elven tradition. “It is a pleasure to make your acquittance Cain Azura” she lifted her head moving her gaze to Lucia as she did so.

The young woman mumbled shaking her head as she inturn faced them.

"To me, the Black Knights are normal, just like anyone else. But, they have the burden of their reputation as a Black Knight to carry. Along with those who use their name in an attempt to give them some sort of righteousness for actions. I think most would be rather pleasant to talk to. Or at least would hope so..." she paused for a moment before ending her thoughts. "But. Who knows?"

Aleenia straightened her pose as Lucia had spoken. “You both speak wise words I must say. Your thoughts have intrigued me and given me much to think upon.” Aleenia cocked her head to the side as she contemplated their ideals. Her expression then softened as her voice lost some of its joyfulness.

“I believe every living thing is equal and no one person deserves more responsibility than another. Is it not the job and burden of all within a village to ensure its prosperous growth?” she spoke as an example “It is fundamental to survival to want to improve ourselves despite our influences, when we lose the desire to improve is when I feel nothing but pity for that soul..” she moved her gaze towards the crowd thinking of the men who had attacked her not long ago. “It is a weakness for survival to rely upon the strength of a select few, to truly grow, we must do so individually. We must trust in ourselves and one another equally rather than a select few” she half smiled looking back to the two.

“At least that has always been my philosophy. Thus I place my trust in others to have confidence in themselves. So, to elevate the knights for surviving is something I can not agree with, as their existence causes many to lose their will to improve as they feel guarded under their protection. But I do understand the encouragement their existence provides to those who wish to grow as individuals. It is as they say, always good to have a role model” Aleenia spoke with a gaze and tone rare for her to voice, she spoke of one of the things she felt close with causing her casual manner to fade for a moment.

“ahh” she suddenly sighed as an area in the crowd began to grow louder. “but alas! I have no idea what these knights are actually like!" she smiled her manner lightened again as she pushed back her thoughts. “I would like to think they are as they appear, and gentlemen much like you Cain Azura” she winked at him. “A girl can only hope can't we Lucia Mirakel” she joked with the younger woman.

It was then that the crowd which had been growing louder became overpowered with the sound of metal clashing against one another. “Hmm?” Aleenia turned towards the distraction holding a hand above her eyes in a useless attempt to get a better visual.
“Isn't that the fellow who swatted away those two thugs earlier?” she asked Cain and Lucia not too sure herself at the distance they were at. “He seems to have got stuck in a bit of a pickle” Aleenia mused.

It was then that the fighting died down as one of the Black Knights interrupted. “Well I'll be, it seems he's acquainted with the knights” Aleenia dropped her hand to rest it on her hip. “Maybe we should say hello and meet one of these 'famous' knights for ourselves?” she questioned hopping back onto her staff as it hovered into the air. She threw them a cheeky smile as she did so. “After you” she waved her hand in the knight's direction with some mischief within her gaze.

“We should see for ourselves if they hold up to their reputations”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nero Dalmascer Lucifer Character Portrait: Lucia Mirakel Character Portrait: Aleenia Anariel Taldren Character Portrait: Cain Azura

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Cain Azura
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Cain watched the elf introduce herself as Aleenia, returning his gesture with her own bow, making the mercenary smile a soft smile. He then heard a voice next to him and looked to his right and discovered a much shorter young woman. He simply shrugged when she finished her statement before cracking his neck. "Yeah well, someday people will look up to whatever hapless bunch of heroes gets glory the next time around. Believe me, it'll happen." he affirmed with a nod of his head.

It was then Aleenia made talked abouther views on how people should be, and also how she felt about the fame of the Black Knights, and Cain could visibly understand her stance on some of it. The Black Knights were indeed the winners, but it just made any hate for her kind linger. The redhead nodded at her words as he could tell what she spoke was somewhat personal, unless he asked, he wouldn't tell how personal. Aleenia snapped out of the small reverie and started talking cheerfully again.

"Intriguing, she recovered that quick." He thought before the Elven Sorceress asked aloud if the Knights would be as much of a gentleman as he was, before winking at him. Wait, she winked at him?! Okay, the pink blush returned to his face as he cleared his throat, "Y-you flatter me Aleenia Taladriel." He stuttered out as he turned his attention to the show off who saved the blue haired elf who caused the blush on his face from the two goons.

Boy was he in for a show, he made the escort to the new Captain of the Black Knights looks like a cakewalk. He was now intrigued as to who this guy was, and scratched his head thoughtfully as the captain approached the individual.

"Huh, so he knows the new captain. I'm curious now too." The young mercenary stated as he then heard Aleenia make a suggestion to say hello to them with a mischievous look in her eyes as she grinned and said his most favorite phrase. He slowly gave a large smirk of his own, his Amber eyes practically glowing with mischief of its own.

"I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship Aleenia. Come along Belzedar." As he said this he walked towards the man in question, the now named Horse to cover for him talking to Beltharion following close behind. "Let's see what they're made of. Yo! Fella who made those soldiers look like jokes! Nice moves, where did you learn them? Cause you have a lot of guts to do all that! Makes a guy like me a bit impressed!" As he said this his smirk turned to a toothy grin, his eyes glinting with mischief. "So where did you learn all that?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nero Dalmascer Lucifer Character Portrait: Lucia Mirakel Character Portrait: Verdandi Saga Yngiv Character Portrait: Aleenia Anariel Taldren Character Portrait: Cain Azura

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Nero Dalmascer Lucifer



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Rubbing his shoulder Nero looked around 'I think I may have stirred up some unwanted interest.' he thought to himself looking at Johnathan who just shrugged. "Let's see what they're made of. Yo! Fella who made those soldiers look like jokes! Nice moves, where did you learn them? Cause you have a lot of guts to do all that! Makes a guy like me a bit impressed!" He heard some one shout.

Looking in the direction from where the new voice resonated Nero saw a red haired young man possibly the same age as himself before noticing the elf and priestess he had met earlier. "Looks like your making some friends." Johnathan said leaning closer to Nero's ear. "Hardly I only met two of them today the elf there was in a bit of trouble with a couple of racist men and a growing mob of people who looked like they wanted to see blood a few minutes ago and I was getting lectured over an accident by the priestess there. But that guy I haven't met before." he replied elbowing John in the ribs. "So where did you learn all that?" the red head called out again

"I would prefer we talk about that some where less crowded maybe while we walk!" Nero called out to the red haired male before motioning for John and the two next to the guy to follow before moving down the main street towards the book store.

"Before I do though I would like to apologize ma'am I sort of with held information from you." He said bowing his haid to Lucia. "Truth is I don't really like using my full name because of who my father was. My real name is actually Nero Dalmascer Lucifer and I'm sure basically every one knows the name Lucifer by now since my father... Is the late captain of the Black Knights." he said before averting his gaze in the direction he was going.

"Any way to answer your question my father is the one who taught me how to wield a sword." Nero said giving a brief glimpse towards the tall red head and tapping his sword that was resting on his hip. "And this part is going to be hard to believe. But before I actually received his training my dad had me build up my physical strength warning me that unless I had the strength to master his techniques then the training would end up tearing me apart." Nero added moving around people when they would come close enough to touch him.

After a while Nero finally reached the book store "Shoot I forgot about my escorts. They're going to throw a fit about my leaving their sight." John said in sudden realization and waving goodbye to Nero. "Once I'm done with hunting that demon we can catch up I'll even reserve a table at the pub for you and your new friends Nero." He added waving goodbye to everyone else. "That's Uncle John for you always trying make friends no matter where he goes. Well I'm going to head inside" Nero sighed rubbing his eyes before walking through the door to the store.



After entering the book shop Nero noticed hints of a conversation going on some where further in. 'Guess the bookkeeper is doing business but where is the assistant shouldn't they be manning the shop while the owner does business?' he thought making his way towards the voices.

"I didn't steal it if that’s what you were insinuating.” Hearing who he could only guess was Saga voice Nero finally found his way to the location of where the conversation was. Moving as silently as he could Nero stepped up behind Saga looking at the maps laid out on the table. 'That's quite the attention to detail she's got though I'm concerned about the corrupted places located on these maps no one should go near those places unless properly protected from the danger that comes with those territories.' he thought clearing his throat to make himself known to the bookkeeper.

"Sorry to interrupt but I'm here to purchase a few books but no one seems to be minding the front." Nero said giving the maps another look over with a glint of curiosity in his eyes. Looking up at Nero the bookkeeper apologized before giving a quick order to the assistant to make sure Nero get's all he needs. "I do apologize again we don't get all that many customers so leaving some one in the front slipped my mind." The bookkeeper said going back to trying to haggle down the maps Saga seemed to be selling. 'Don't try to be cheap old man especially when you want to buy those maps.' Nero thought following the assistant away from the two.

Skimming through each shelf Nero was able to whittle down and pick out the books he seemed set on buying. "Ah sir it would be appreciated that you pay for the books before reading them." Looking back to the assistant Nero carefully shut the book. "Sorry it's sort of a ritual I've developed over the years. I have to skim through a book I'm about to buy to see if there's any noticeable damage that would need to be repaired." Walking up to the counter Nero fished out several silver pieces of coin and three gold pieces handing the currency onto the counter.

Watching Nero set the money down the assistant began shifting her gaze from Nero to the books before scooping the coins into her palm and putting them in a cleverly hidden coin purse. At this point Nero was able to get a good look at her carmine eyes 'Those eyes are really red.' he though readying himself to leave putting his newly purchased books into his bag.

"Is there something on my face you seemed to be really set on looking at me." The assistant said tapping Nero on his elbow causing him to shift rather uncomfortably on his feet. "It's just that you have some unnaturally red eyes miss uh." Nero started realizing he didn't get her name. "Oh my name is Alisa. And what is it about my eyes that fascinated you so?" Alisa asked resting her chin in her hands. " Well honestly if I didn't know better I'd say you were a demon since through out my entire time traveling they're the only sentient beings I've heard of that have eyes as red as that." Nero stated with a nervous chuckle though Alisa seemed to be less then pleased with this statement instead she stood up her hands curled into fists.

Moving towards Nero ready to punch him in the jaw the wooden floor creaked behind Alisa's advance and for a brief second Nero could have sworn he saw a reptilian like tail. 'So she is a demon. I think I better make my way out before she decides to try to do something. Maybe I should tell Uncle John about this find' he thought slowly moving back towards the door. "Going some where your sword wielding tokir perhaps I should rip your tongue out right now so you can't tell any one about me." shuffling his feet Nero attempted to run out the door only to end up being caught. "Tut tut tut and here I thought we were getting along so very well too bad you had to ruin such a beautiful thing." she said lifting him by his throat this action caused Nero to reflexively attempt to break free.

"Sorry but I don't think you would have fooled people long enough to achieve what you were aiming to do." Nero said through the strangle the demon had him in. "I guess that's true but now I'm going to need a new face in order to pull off my original plan." she said thoughtfully tightening her grip on Nero's neck.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nero Dalmascer Lucifer Character Portrait: Lucia Mirakel Character Portrait: Verdandi Saga Yngiv Character Portrait: Aleenia Anariel Taldren Character Portrait: Cain Azura

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After meeting with the Black Knight once more, things have calmed, and the Priestess, Lucia goes about her day once more. Unknowing the danger that lurks nearby...

With another bow of respect to the knight named Nero, Lucia smiled looking to the others she was with, taking a small step to the side and with a smile, "My apologies, Lady Aleenia, Sir Nero, but I have other maters to attend to and am running short on time to get said matters done." With a slight curtsy Lucia turned on her heels and began down the street, which was still packed when it came to traffic.

Pushing past people where she can, Lucia ended up at yet another home, about as soon as Lucia had gotten to the stairs leading inside, the door swung open to reveal a hearty man whom greeted the girl with a large grin, which underneath showed deep concern. Entering the home, Lucia set her gloves aside, looking at the woman whom was laying on the bed near the table. It was noticeable that the woman was hurt. Her husband had come late the previous night to get some sort of aid, of course, Lucia was handing other matters and couldn't go, but did give an ointment that, upon further investigation, at least slowed any signs of infection. With a calmed breath, Lucia placed her hands over the grizzly wound that stretched down her back. It was an accident in town, but that had not mattered. With a glow of Lucia's hands, the wound slowly closed and healed. Easing the pain was a light voice merely humming a song. Within a minute the wound was healed without a single trace of it's existence. After a little bit, Lucia exited once more, having left the cake for the family. Unaware of the danger lurking near.

Oh! That's right! Sister Elysa wanted me to get her book before I went home! As that thought crossed Lucia's mind as she turned to the book shop. Entering it felt rather ominous, though as she looked to books, and eventually picking one up, she ran into... Something.

T'was a woman, whom looked infuriated, and seemed to be looking around for something, or someone, it didn't matter at the moment. As the woman turned, Lucia immediately noticed something that struck everything out of normal. She saw Nero on the ground, with what appeared to be red marks from being chocked, the next thing, turned Lucia's stomach into a knot and sent adrenaline pushing into her body, Crimson eyes.

Without even the closest amount of hesitation, Lucia took up the simple book, as it was the only thing in her hand. As she looked to the demon, eyes now sharp with unwavering courage, she took a swing with said book, with one of her spells charged into it. Since the little priestess had caught the demon by surprise, it didn't have the reaction to fully dodge the attack, and with a light thump, the book hit, but what followed next was a loud and resounding CRACK! Sounding like lightning had struck nearby, and from the sheer power of the smiting blow was enough to send the demon to a bookcase. As the pathway cleared, Lucia quickly hopped to Nero and checking for anything outside of the simple red marks from the chokhold,

"Sir Nero, are you alright?!" As Lucia looked around, a quick glance noticed, the Demon got back up....

"You little bitch.... I'll kill you!" The demon's words were directed simply at Lucia, as it'd appear she's the only one whom attacked the abomination. Yet, Lucia stood, stepping to where she'd be the shield to Nero,

"Sir Nero, I ask you seek out the Sanctum of Temari, find Sister Seriya, tell her to send Seraphs, that there's a demon here, and Sister Lucia is currently fighting it. Can i trust you in that?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nero Dalmascer Lucifer Character Portrait: Lucia Mirakel Character Portrait: Verdandi Saga Yngiv Character Portrait: Aleenia Anariel Taldren Character Portrait: Cain Azura

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Cain Azura
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"Alright! Give us a moment! Belzedar, come!" Cain said as he motioned for the two women plus his horse to follow him to meet up with the man. He managed to squeeze through, and get in to the conversation as he introduced himself. "Lucifer? My mentor, Blacksmith Kumatetsu spoke highly of the late Captain of the Black Knights." before he could say anything more the other girl stated she had errands to run as she left in a hurry.

He turned to Aleenia and shrugged as he continued to follow Nero, his horse following close behind as well as the elf woman. He truly did indeed feel like he wanted to get to know the Elven sorceress a bit more, as well as the individual he was following, Nero Lucifer. He also wanted to be a buffer against any more bigots against her. "I see, well I was trained by a blacksmith who wanted to be left alone. But it's great to get to know a fellow warrior. Cain Azura, call me Redmane or Cain, but should you need a mercenary, simply call me the Red Dragon." as he said this Nero went into a bookstore. Cain turned to leave but he looked at Aleenia and then the bookstore.

"Do you want to see if they have any good books?" he asked as He opened the door to walk in. "Belzedar Stay." He stated to the Horse as he walked in. He then tried to browse for a book he thought Aleenia would like before hearing a small commotion as he paused and went to investigate. His amber eyes widened at what he saw. A woman with red eyes attacking Nero. He watched as a young Beastgirl attack the Person with a book and listened. He realized how it talked it was something other then human. He watched the unnamed wolf girl run for cover as he saw another book flying at the creature. Then a crack of lightning resulted from the light blow as Cain turned to see who it was.

The nun. She came to help Nero, as the Demon glared at the two. She was steadfast, almost willing to be like the young man's shield. He had an inkling of recognition. A reminder of the past, where this moment reminded him of an attack, of Dark Shadow, and the loss of-.

"No. Swords must be drawn. Not shields, breathe Cain, for you are born Blessed by Dragons. This is the moment. I have to not hesitate. This is why I became who I am." he walked calmly behind the demon, pulling his cloak off and gripping the large blade resting on his hip. "Hey! You're pretty unintelligent to be insulted by mere book throwers!"

The demon turned towards Cain, glowering at him. "You dare?! And what shall you do if I try to hurt them? Hm?" as the demon spoke the red head drew his sword.

"Miss, get Nero to his feet, when he gets his senses back I hope he knows how to properly kill this thing."

"You, kill me? You can no possibly hope to kill me! I will feast on your bone-AGH!" The demon was interrupted by Cain rushing at the demon and slicing the demon in the side, causing at most a decent scratch. "How dare you?! I shall feast on your soul you wretched human!" Cain only smirked as he raised his sword again to the demon, slowly getting into a ready stance. His eyes seemed to hold a fire of its own as he spoke again.

"You can try creature of shadows. But my soul was devoured by the Dragons that blessed me. I am Cain Azura. And this is my Blade. Prepare to meet its bite."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nero Dalmascer Lucifer Character Portrait: Lucia Mirakel Character Portrait: Verdandi Saga Yngiv Character Portrait: Aleenia Anariel Taldren Character Portrait: Cain Azura

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"I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship Aleenia. Come along Belzedar." Cain commented in reply to Aleenia's suggestion his grin showing the same mischief she had. With glee, Aleenia moved forward on her staff as they weaved through the crowd towards the man who had come to her rescue before. She still did not know his name.

"Let's see what they're made of. Yo! Fella who made those soldiers look like jokes! Nice moves, where did you learn them? Cause you have a lot of guts to do all that! Makes a guy like me a bit impressed! - So where did you learn all that?" Cain hollered towards the man piking Aleenia's own interest.

She mused hovering nearby the two as they spoke. It seemed this man was named Nero from his introduction to the woman Lucia.

However when he spoke of his last name...

Lucifer...

Aleenia's felt her stomach twist. He was leading the Black Knights when her... when she lost her parents. Her skin tingled, it felt as though she had just stepped into frozen water as cold flooded throughout her body. This man. He was connected to their death.

No.

He was more like her in retrospect, his appearance told her he would have only been a child during the war, much like she was. He was trapped under the consequential actions his father took like she was for those her people took. Before she was old enough to know what happened.

She must not place anger towards this man, it was not his actions that caused her such pain.

Quietening as she tried to compose herself Aleenia followed as they began to walk, Lucia was first to break Aleenia's mental block as she announced her departure.

"My apologies, Lady Aleenia, Sir Nero, but I have other matters to attend to and am running short on time to get said matters done." She spoke before curtsying. Aleenia hesitantly smiled to the young woman wondering if she should do the same. Her emotions were unstable right now. “Of course Miss Lucia, please take care” Aleenia bowed her head as she was on her staff, causing her to be unable to bow correctly in Elven tradition.

Following only Cain and Nero now Aleenia hung back a little her hands tightening on her staff as she fought away the emotions that were rising within her. Trying to reason with herself.
As they reached a bookstore Nero left and walked inside. A small breath released from Aleenia, looking up she saw Cain turning towards her.

"Do you want to see if they have any good books?" he asked before commanding his horse to stay.

Aleenia hesitated, Nero had gone into there, she was what she would consider unstable at this moment, but books... oh how she loved books, and what if they had something rare? It was against her nature to deny herself a bookstore. No matter who may lay inside.

“I suppose I would. I hope they don't only sell knock off's” she tried to smile dropping down for her staff as Cain entered ahead of her.

Standing alone outside Aleenia looked up towards the sky, “get a hold of yourself woman” she sighed closing her eyes. “forget the past” she spoke to herself quietly before a sudden shriek burst from inside the walls of the bookshop. It followed by a loud crash and if Aleenia didn't know any better she would say it was the sound of many books falling from their shelf. As though something with force had collided into them.

Raising her staff to her side Aleenia felt her blood warming again.

Something was afoot.

With haste, she ripped open the door to find what could utterly only be described as a mess.

Oh, those poor books!

She felt pain for the heaps of books scattered on the floor as she took in the catastrophe before her. Nero's neck was red, the marks that coated it thicker than a normal human's hand could create. Miss Lucia stood over him her will of iron to protect the man clear as day. Admiration for the woman's bravery instilled in Aleenia as she saw her.

A beastkin girl Aleenia did not recognise was ducking for cover her ears alert and listening to the situation at hand.

At the centre of the room was Cain, his sword was drawn, and he was facing a new face, a woman, no, not a woman. Those features, the red eyes instantly struck Aleenia as the hatred for Cain and the others seeped into her expression. Her form was unnatural, a reptilian tail flowing behind her. No matter how hard she tried Aleenia could not gauge any magical power from it, as though it was blocked from her.

A demon.

Aleenia had only read about them in her books. She had hoped to never have the pleasure of meeting one.

”You can try creature of shadows. But my soul was devoured by the Dragons that blessed me. I am Cain Azura. And this is my Blade. Prepare to meet its bite." Cain confidently met the demon's gaze.

As he finished speaking the Demon roared in rage, she pulled back her hand as talons grew from her fingers and aimed it down towards Cain.

“Sharrar Oblisk!” Aleenia raised her staff in front of her with a shout as she commanded water to her bidding.

On command water suddenly began to pour out of her staff at an alarming rate as it quickly split into three directions.

Swifty water flashed before the beast-kin girl, Cain and in front of Lucia who was in-turn protecting Nero. It formed a wall in front of them moving at an incredible speed around itself to create a protective barrier.

It formed just in time in front of Cain as the demon swung her hand. Her hand collided into Aleenia's water barrier protecting Cain as the water reverberating the demons attack. The demon shrieked yet again, clutching her hand as her talon had snapped off against the waters speed.

Sweat trickled down Aleenia's cheek as she mentally tried to keep focused. She normally only used a barrier around herself, she had never raised three at a time before. It was straining on her.

The demon turned her hate filled eyes towards Aleenia, glancing at the others she seemed to snarl her teeth as she visibly began to shake from anger.

Aleenia prayed the demon would give up, she could not hold up this barrier much longer. But she couldn't risk others getting hurt.

“Oh I'm sorry, did I interrupt?” Aleenia smirked fake confidently to the Demon. Maybe she could taunt it away from here?

“why don't you pick on someone your own size” she grinned raising her right hand Aleenia clicked her fingers. “Oblisk!” she commanded again but this time water balls popped out of the barrier making them smaller but no less powerful. Three water balls spun in the air around the demon circling it.

“Elfling..” The demon hummed as she watched the water balls spin around her. “How sad for you, protecting humans. Have you really fallen this low?” She spitefully spoke her eyes never leaving the sight of the water balls.

“I suppose that depends on opinion.” Aleenia frowned clicking with her right again. Suddenly one of the water balls sprang at the demon its velocity and speed striking the demon with the same force as an overpowered hammer.

The demon raised its arm to block the attack but moaned at the pain.

“Dirty Elfling. You should burn for your insolence!” The demon streaked as it changed its stance and began to leap towards Aleenia.

“tch-” Aleenia made a sound as she raised her staff commanding the remaining two water balls to smash into the demon. They did, but the demon kept moving bearing the pain as it headed straight towards her.

There was no time to raise another barrier in front of herself, she was already struggling to keep up the three protecting the others. There wasn't much else Aleenia could do if she wanted to keep the others protected.

Quickly Aleenia pulled her staff in time to bash into the demon. The demon clutched the wood of her staff as Aleenia tried to push the demon away. It was now a struggle of strength as they both clutched the staff, it was the only thing standing between them.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nero Dalmascer Lucifer Character Portrait: Lucia Mirakel Character Portrait: Verdandi Saga Yngiv Character Portrait: Aleenia Anariel Taldren Character Portrait: Cain Azura

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Nero Dalmascer Lucifer



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Shortly after being promptly discarded by the demon Nero now began gasping for air trying his best to fill his lungs. With his head now spinning from the impact against the floor to the point he could barely hear the jumbled voices that followed. 'I can't be dead it hurts too much for that some one must have saved me but who.' He thought trying to shake himself out of the daze.

In an attempt to find his footing Nero could feel a whit hot burning in his throat forcing him to fall onto his knees coughing grasping at the spot the demon had grabbed him. After a rough couple of seconds Nero began to breath heavily before he noticed his right eye had already filled with blood. "This is the last thing I need today." he mumbled to himself shutting his eye to prevent others from seeing the after math of him coming into contact with that demon.

Slowly standing back up Nero looked around noticing a thin layer of what he could assume was a magical water barrier. 'Who did this?' Looking around for the one who evoked the barrier until he heard the demon speak "Elfling.." Upon this realization Nero noticed that he hadn't noticed that Cain, Lucia, and the elf had joined the fray. “How sad for you, protecting humans. Have you really fallen this low?”

"I suppose that depends on opinion.” The elf responded which seemed to just agitate the demon more.

Keeping his eye closed Nero began moving towards the demon as it began trying to pry the staff away from the elf though knowing first hand just how strong the demon was he knew it was just a matter of seconds before it would over power the elf. "For some one who was working here you are quite dumb." He said placing his right hand on the demon's arm hoping he would be strong enough to pry the demon away from the elf. Though it only seemed to irritate it as though it was being attacked by mosquitoes despite being fully clothed.

With his still free left hand Nero reached for his sword, and without breaking eye contact or even removing his hand he was able to free his own sword. Though the chance to use it on the demon didn't seem to come. Because just about as quickly as it began the demon let go of the staff and began trying to shake free of Nero's grip. "You damned ɳurakot let go of me that burns!" it howled bringing the prehensile tail up to strike Nero in through the chest only to be met with the small water barrier that the elf conjured.

Seeing the tail darting at him Nero reflexively bringing up his guard his sword between his heart and the tail while his right arm acted as leverage to allow him to push back. Before he realized that the water barrier had protected him. "Crap that was a feint. Quick don't let it get away!" he called out. But it was too late the demon cradling the arm Nero had managed to grab moved with nimble feet and a grace that didn't quite match it's current figure before leaping out of and shattering the window prompting the young warrior to attempt to mount a chase. "It's out in the open Uncle John's not going to like this..." Nero said with a growl losing the demon after it disappeared into a shadowy alley.

Afraid that it might be planning for him to follow it into the dark alley Nero decided to head back to the book store only quickly stopping at a water barrel 'I need to get the blood out of my eye before I thank every one.' he thought cupping water into his hands and splashing it into his face while letting the excess splash back into the barrel before removing his hands and leaning to the side. "So I guess the rumors were true Demons are being of corruption much like monsters though they are much more intelligent." he said to himself watching the water that dripped from his face become red as his eye began to rinse out.



Rubbing his still sore throat upon arriving back at the store Nero noticed a crowd began forming he also noticed Johnathan standing in the center of said crowd. "Another thing I don't need." Nero sighed moving between men and women before reaching Johnathan while at the same time giving the middle finger to his escorts. "Care to explain what happened here Nero?" John said grabbing Nero by the collar and dragging him to the broken window. "Well I ran into that demon you were hunting if that's what your asking... Things like a chameleon it told me it was going to need a new face to complete it's original plan." Nero said straightening out after looking at the glass before stepping through the broken window.

On the inside Nero saw just how bad the damage was book shelves toppled and books scattered every where. 'Just how hard did that demon throw me?' he thought to himself before waving everyone who kept the demon off of him over. "I feel like I should apologize for getting all of you mixed up in this..." He started before Johnathan intervened "However I must ask all of you to come with me. That includes you Nero since your just as much of a suspect as these four here." Though genuinely confused Nero simply nodded and followed Johnathan back outside knowing that to the citizens this looked like a robbery or something.

"So much for me leaving today." Nero sighed as the town guard came and along with the escorts surrounded and guided the group towards a small camp just outside the northern exit of town before they were dismissed allowing for some freedom of movement. "Sorry if having you escorted was a bit much but it's a precaution. You stirred up quite a scene back there. It sort of made some people worried about you being here and other just seem agitated." He pointed out before continuing "And honestly I don't blame them since it's not every day you see a young man trash a store like that and chase some one to an alley way. And to add on top of that the red mark on your neck from where I can only assume is from when you were choked by the demon and that set's you up to be quite the suspicious character." The Black Knight captain said taking a deep breath from having to say so much in less time then he would have liked.

With the mention of the fading red mark on his neck caused Nero to bring his hand to rest on his throat. "Though I wish it was just a formality I am going to have to ask you and this "group" of yours what happened in that store." John stated emphasizing group with air quotes.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nero Dalmascer Lucifer Character Portrait: Lucia Mirakel Character Portrait: Verdandi Saga Yngiv Character Portrait: Aleenia Anariel Taldren Character Portrait: Cain Azura

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Fortune favored Verdandi today for just as the demon turned its fangs on the helpless beastkin, another book intervened (far more effectively one might add). Had the young woman paused to find the source of the electrified book, she might have discovered her savior to be the same young priestess who had made an attempt to save her just earlier that day (though it was discovered that rescuing was unneeded).

As it were, Verdandi had no such plan to pause in her retreat. Actually, reversely, her retreat was accelerated by the lightning’s thundering echo. Despite being somewhat aware there was no storm raging outside, the beastgirl couldn’t halt the subsequent fear of thunder and lightning from drowning her every sense.

Within moments her instincts sieged full control of the reigns and Verdandi was fleeing with a new sort of vigor – a far more manic vigor – while her ears flipped to full attention and her tail dove aggressively between her legs. Unintentionally and as a result of her inattention and speed, she collided with a bookshelf effectively knocking dozens of books out of their place, each one finding revenge against her before falling to the floor – though the danger was not necessarily only to be found in the books nor the demon, but rather the bookcase that wobbled precariously back and forth.

There was a moment when it seemed that the piece of furniture would regain balance, but –

“… he knows how to properly kill this thing."

"You, kill me? You can not possibly hope to kill me! I will feast on your bone-AGH!" The demon, in the midst of dodging a sword attack from an unknown red headed aggressor, kicked up a book, which collided unluckily with that very same shelf.

That was the final nail in the supposed coffin as it were and it along with every book in it came toppling over. Poor Verdandi, an unfortunate girl in this moment, was pelted with even more books – likely resulting in her fair share of bruises, a black eye, a headache, a slight gash on her left temple, and more paper cuts than she likely had ever had in her life – before the much larger, more deadly object came bearing down on her. With nowhere to flee, she crumpled to the floor and balled herself up, trying desperately to survive unscathed, though even in her feral state she knew the chances of this as of the moment were slim at best.

“Sharrar Oblisk!”

And yet, though she heard the crash, she felt no pain. For a second or two, Verdandi remained unmoving. Perhaps, she was slightly worried that if she did indeed move, she’d feel the pain she was certain she should be feeling and it was only thanks to shock she hadn’t yet felt it. Why ruin a good thing? However, voices – though somewhat unfriendly – encouraged her to open her eyes and take in her surroundings.

When she did she was stunned to find herself encased in a spinning liquid cocoon. Initially, her visceral fear sent shocks through her body due to being unfamiliar with such magic as well as being enclosed in what seemed to be a cage of water. However as she adjusted further to her surroundings her intellect began reasoning with her instincts. Especially as a conversation between an elfish woman and demon of sorts tickled her ears and clarified the situation.

“Elfling…How sad for you, protecting humans. Have you really fallen this low?”

“I suppose that depends on opinion.”

Protecting. Now that she had heard it – the word made sense. Verdandi wasn’t drowning and it seemed to her the water had indeed guarded her from further injury – though she certainly wasn’t without her scrapes and bruises at this point.

Well, protected or not – Verdandi was still fairly certain that she wasn’t in a position she wished to remain in. Nearby the battle with the tainted creature continued to rage and she knew she wanted no further part in it.

"You damned ɳurakot let go of me that burns!" Though no sooner had she began crawling towards distant cover she heard the demon cry out in pain and that pain, strangely enough, ricocheted to her right hand where the ever present sting of contamination grew in strength and extent and brought her movements to a screeching halt.

Verdandi’s hand burned too. And though this wasn’t something new to her – often in times of stress, injury, or weakness, the corruption that infested her hand would spread ever so slightly – it still hurt, and Verdandi could never handle pain well.

Somewhere in the distance she heard the voice of the brave man, “… don't let it get away!" Focusing on that voice, the one that belonged to someone with so much strength and courage it could even momentarily inspire similar conduct in one as weak and cowardly as herself, Verdandi slowly regained her composure.

It was with great effort that she managed to stifle her many grievances and rise again to her feet. She was surrounded by an impressive collection of disarray (and she also noted that, by this point, her cocoon of water had dispersed). Around her was splintered wood and books – some open, some closed, some torn, and some mostly fine. Her ears twitched and her tail held still in an effort to help her maintain balance while she began a methodical journey through the turmoil. Carefully she tried to step around the fallen merchandise and sharp and pointy debris. By the time she had found her way back to where the center of the action had been occurring before the demon fled, Nero had return and with him was a collection of what looked to be knights. "I feel like I should apologize for getting all of you mixed up in this..."

"However I must ask all of you to come with me. That includes you Nero since you’re just as much of a suspect as these four here."

Verdandi’s immediate response was lacking in clarity, since her understanding of the situation was also lacking in clarity, “Huh? Suspects?” The beastgirl frowned, why was anyone here being treated like suspects when they were the ones who were attacked? Moreover, why should she have to go anywhere with any of these people?

Nonetheless, it took only a single glance at the armed soldiers that were noticeably surrounding her and the others to know she didn’t really have any say in this matter. Her ears fell to her head compliantly but contrariwise she still shot a nasty glare at the man who seemed to be in charge and then another – less nasty but still irate – scowl at Nero, who she was half wishing she had just left to fate. After all, being marched through the town like a common criminal reminded her a little too much of her days as a slave, moreover, it was highly unpleasant and seemingly unnecessary. Verdandi, at least, wasn’t even armed! Eventually, they were led into a camp that, to the beastkin looked militarized – they seemed to be preparing for combat with someone or something. Perhaps, a demon? She wasn’t given much opportunity to ask one of her captors, however, as they dispersed almost as quickly as they had originally appeared, leaving her standing awkwardly in the middle of the site with the other four arrestees and the man who seemed to be in charge.

"…I don't blame them since it's not every day you see a young man trash a store like that and chase some one to an alley way. And to add on top of that the red mark on your neck from where I can only assume is from when you were choked by the demon and that set's you up to be quite the suspicious character." By this point in the conversation, Verdandi had had enough with this man and the logic of the crowd as well as being held accountable to this logic that she found so flawed.

Nonetheless, as she couldn’t quite work up the courage to speak her opinion loudly, she instead chose to whisper it just under her breath, “Doesn’t common sense dictate, that the person with the choke marks is more likely to be the victim rather than the victimizer?” Moreover, no one actually saw who trashed the store – and it certainly wasn’t her, so why accuse them and then drag them away before questioning anyone else who might have been presen, such as the bookkeeper? And while she knew it wasn’t the fault of this man who had been tasked with questioning them that the people perceived them poorly, she still felt annoyed that they did at all and subsequently felt like taking it out on him by giving him nasty looks from beneath her hood.

"Though I wish it was just a formality I am going to have to ask you and this "group" of yours what happened in that store."

For the first time, Verdandi realized that this group consisted of two other people she was as of yet, unfamiliar with. Taking a moment to really look at the two new people, she instantly recognized one as the elf who had saved her and who she recognized as being a part of an earlier commotion – she was having a very hectic day it seemed. The other was someone she didn’t recall having ever seen. He was a tall man with amber eyes, like her own though a few shades lighter and with less of a red-brown hue, and bright red long hair. Admittedly, when she saw him her first instinct was to recoil since he carried a weapon, but in the end she held her ground – figuring if he did feel so inclined as to hoist it in violence, the knights present in the encampment would be quick to smother his uprising.

Refocusing her attention on the interrogation, however, Verdandi found herself being the one to speak up first on hers and the others behalf, “I was the first one to arrive at the bookshop – I was selling some maps. He-” she motioned shortly to Nero, “arrived shortly after and was attacked by the young woman who had been assisting in the shop. My only involvement thereafter was throwing a book at the assistant’s head after I had arrived at the scene and found him, Nero, being choked by her. Everyone else here arrived on scene after that.”

Crossing her arms, Verdandi’s ears and tail twitched nervously. She had shared what she felt she needed to, but perhaps she’d shared too much or too little? Nonetheless, she was an informant and a scout – she wasn’t really in the habit of giving out key information without monetary incentive.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nero Dalmascer Lucifer Character Portrait: Lucia Mirakel Character Portrait: Verdandi Saga Yngiv Character Portrait: Aleenia Anariel Taldren Character Portrait: Cain Azura

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Cain Azura
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Cain readied to block the incoming blow when a bubble of water encircled him, and he noticed the others present having the same things, except the one who cast it. "Aleenia?" Cain asked nearly dumbfounded. This moment of awe at her magic was short lived however as the demon battled her. He saw the struggle she was having and Cain tried to move to help her. He didn't want to feel useless.

"I won't let another person die in front of me..." He thought as his Amber eyes flared into a glare, but before anything happened, Nero leapt and attacked the demon and proceeded to fight with it. Cain once more felt dissatisfied as he sighed. But the next thing he knew Nero was shouting for help to prevent its escape only to be a second too late. "Dammit!" Cain swore angrily as the bubble disappeared, and Nero once more approached him, and the group. "Sorry? The blighter got awa-Wait suspects?! No you don't understand There was a demon here! I knicked-"

He was interrupted by guards grabbing his arms and lifting him as he yelled and raved and ranted, Belzedar followed behind as everyone followed the group to the camp as the Captain of the black knights asked what happened. "Oho, so we're a group now? Not much of a bunch but I guess it's better then being called a gang, or a pack of ruffians Captain."

Cain had to take a deep breath to try and keep calm, (and not voice an obvious pet peeve,) before continuing "Like what the Beastgirl said, she tossed a book, The nun tossed an electrically charged book. I came in, managed to nick the creature of shadows, and well, your Nephew probably told the rest. Now tell your men to get their stinking paws off my sword!!" he finished glaring at the soldiers who confiscated his blade, nay his Baby!! He had to rescue his beloved blade from those wicked soldiers!!!

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nero Dalmascer Lucifer Character Portrait: Lucia Mirakel Character Portrait: Verdandi Saga Yngiv Character Portrait: Aleenia Anariel Taldren Character Portrait: Cain Azura

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Upon defending the man named Nero, another challenge strikes the young priestess, as the Captain of the Black Knights inquires on their whereabouts...

As Lucia readied herself for the demon to attack her, she noticed the man from earlier, whom she and Aleenia were talking to earlier, had come to aid in the struggle, she tried to cry out to ward him off, but the intensity on her nerves chocked her words at the throat. Though the man's attacks did do something, it wasn't a whole lot, 'We definitely need Seraphs here and fast...' she thought whilst watching the mayhem get even more increased as a veil of water surrounded the small group from Aleenia, and she watched Aleenia's struggle become that more dangerous. She was beginning to rush over when she saw someone else.

'What in the heavens!?' she thought as Nero handled the matter, well, mostly, in the sense that it wailed out in pain before feinting away. By this point Lucia had come over to assess Aleenia's injuries, she seemed a bit flustered, having never been the type to get involved in fights like this, it was a rather frightening notion she had in her. As she knelt besides Aleenia she spoke sounding a little more panicked, "A-Are you okay, Lady Aleenia?" she yelped not even noticing Nero had chased the cursed thing. Notably, she gritted her teeth, the combat opened the wound on her back, while it wasn't lethal, it was painful for sure. With a series of harsh breaths, she noticed Nero had come back, with honest words, though three others had joined, The Black Knights...


"I feel like I should apologize for getting all of you mixed up in this..."

Swiftly though, Nero was interrupted by the man she presumed was the leader of the three Black Knights, his words were blunt and sincere, for some reason that shuttered Lucia, though his words put things plainly,


"However I must ask all of you to come with me. That includes you Nero since your just as much of a suspect as these four here."

As those words sunk in, Lucia got more unnerved, as one would, especially when escorts surrounded them. This was more of a scene and was treated like a robbery to the civilians, as she walked by she could hear a small commotion, as Lucia was prominent in the town, though she did see a few run off, and she took a breath, "Oh chers dieux.... Mother Yeliss and Father Ilkthan are going to kill me...." she muttered under her breath, covering her face a little, placing three of her fingers over her eyebrow. Though she was a little offset as to armed guards were marching several unarmed people out. It wasn't likely for them to do any harm, but none the less.

Finally they stopped at a small camp where the guards had been dismissed. It was nice feeling the freedom of movement she could get, though the Black Knight commander spoke again... And finished with this question;


"Though I wish it was just a formality I am going to have to ask you and this "group" of yours what happened in that store."

Lucia bobbed her head at the notion of the five of them being a group, as there were worse ways to refer to them, but that was placed aside, as Sage had spoke first, followed after by the other man whom explained what he saw, Lucia nodded with a breath, before speaking,

"From what I saw, I noticed there was a demon standing over Sir Nero, whom was supposedly injured on the ground. I took initiative and at the least sent it aside to protect him. That's where this gentleman here and Lady Aleenia had come in, both taking their swings and aids. After that, Sir Nero had gotten up as the monster and Lady Aleenia had a battle of strength for the staff it'd seem. After that, it attacked Sir Nero before fleeing. I've no idea where it is now." Lucia took a breath again, and slowly showed an emblem from her cloak, and presented it forward of her as it glistened lightly in the light around them, "Sir, I would like to inform you of this, I am Lucia Mirakel of the Sanctum of Temari. Unfortunately, I am sure the news of a demon in the city has reached at least one of my sisters, and in which case I am to immediately return, even if, as far as they know 'tis a mere rumour, they want everyone back under the protection of the Goddess. My apologies, but if you seek to continue this investigation with me involved, I am sure we can accommodate anyone and everyone."

With that, Lucia slowly began to turn away, as she prepared to walk to the Monastery in the distant horizon.


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nero Dalmascer Lucifer Character Portrait: Lucia Mirakel Character Portrait: Verdandi Saga Yngiv Character Portrait: Aleenia Anariel Taldren Character Portrait: Cain Azura

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The demon leered over Aleenia as they struggled for control of the staff. It was her precious weapon, the conduit for her magic, she would never let it go without a fight. But it was the only thing protecting her from this demon at the moment.

"For someone who was working here you are quite dumb." Nero's voice approached them, his hand on the demon's arm.

"You damned ɳurakot let go of me that burns!" The demon whirled its attention to Nero releasing Aleenia's staff suddenly, causing her to fall backwards from the surprise as she had been pulling rather hard. Unable to keep her balance Aleenia fell to the floor gripping her staff firmly. The water barriers flickered for a moment as she struggled to keep her concentration.

"Crap that was a feint. Quick don't let it get away!” Nero called too late. The demon cradled its arm protectively before leaping out of the window behind Aleenia. Glass shattered around them, on impulse Aleenia dropped the water barriers around the others and re-directed what magic mana remained in her body around herself as shards flung over her. The barrier was weak but it held before fading away, the water rushing back into the head of Aleenia's staff.

“ugh” she moaned leaning her back on the wall behind her, her head at the foot of the broken window. “well... that was.. new” she contemplated the young man Nero having chased after the demon.

The silence seemed to fall over the store as they took in what had happened. Looking up Aleenia met the gaze of Lady Lucia Miraket, her eyes showed worry, if not kindness.

"A-Are you okay, Lady Aleenia?" Lucia's voice gave away her panic before her face scrunched up a little followed by a series of harsh breaths.

Aleenia drew herself to smile pulling the cloak of her robe over her right ankle, “Nothing that will not heal with time” she moved to push herself to her feet. Silently Aleenia twitched for a moment as she did so, searing pain shot up through her as she put pressure on her right leg. She could feel it, the shard of glass which had fallen before she could raise her water barrier in time. It had lodged itself quite neatly into the muscle of her calf.

“Thank you for your thoughtfulness” Aleenia grinned as she held out her staff and quickly jumped upon it removing her weight from her legs.

The pain eased somewhat.

It was then that the young man 'Nero' returned. Aleenia narrowed her eyes towards him as he was followed by Black Knights.

First, a demon, now the knights join this man. Is he a catalyst for ill omens? Aleenia thought to herself.

"I feel like I should apologize for getting all of you mixed up in this..." Nero began before being interrupted by the Knight who had been the parades star headline. - "However, I must ask all of you to come with me. That includes you Nero since your just as much of a suspect as these four here." This knight asked them but his tone and eye contact made it obvious it wasn't a request.

Aleenia frowned but made no distinction to retaliate. She was definitely not fond of the idea of being near a Black Knight, but she must hold her tongue in moments like this.

“Huh? Suspects?” the voice of the beast girl made an appearance to Aleenia's ears for the first time. It was gentle If not irritated at the 'request'. Aleenia shared her irritation.

"Sorry? The blighter got awa-Wait suspects?! No, you don't understand There was a demon here! I knicked-" Cain began to protest admirably but as expected the Black Knights guards were not in the mood to listen, they hastily grabbed Cain by his arms dragging him out of the store as he continued to protest.

Upon making no move herself a guard approached Aleenia her hand tightening on her staff as she watched Cain forcibly escorted. Aleenia shot the deadliest glare she had in her arsenal towards the Knight causing him to hesitate in his footsteps.

“Don't touch me. - I will co-operate” she spoke coldly before moving forward floating on her staff.

Ushered with the others Aleenia quietly floating through the growing crowd. They were being treated like common criminals, she sighed heavily looking up to the sky. “What more lies in wait for me today?” she spoke out loud to no one in particular as they walked.




Camp -

Shuffling Aleenia looked interested in her finger nails as they were settled at a small camp just outside the northern exit of town. She quietly held back as the others gave their view of the events that had taken place in the bookstore. They were a group now according to this captain.

A small smirk tugged on Aleenia's lips as Lucia stood and began to make her leave.

“As Miss Lucia and the others have explained Sir 'Knight'” Aleenia emphasised the word, Knight. “I entered the store having heard the noise of the fighting between herself, Sir Nero and ...” she paused realising she still did not know the beastskin's name “and the young lady here” she gestured towards the beastkin instead. “Sir Cain was fighting with the demon – It was a demon by the way if you had any doubts – and I used my ability to create protection water shields to prevent further injury to them. However, that resulted in myself becoming the demons focus, as I struggled with its incredible strength over my staff Nero -” Aleenia paused again as she glanced towards Nero.

She hadn't missed it. The comment the demon had made, the action he had taken. It circled In her mind like a whirlwind, she had been trying to remember, remember anything she may have read for what she had witnessed, but nothing came to mind. She did not have the knowledge.

His touch had 'burned' the demon.

Should she mention it?

“Nero intervened and the Demon took flight. From there-” Aleenia shrugged “I can not say. - All I do know is that whilst you are holding up five people for defending themselves against a demon it is roaming the city no doubt attacking someone unable to protect themselves. So, like Miss Lucia here, if you seek to continue this investigation I believe you should first do something about the threat in the city. I personally do not intend to allow innocent people come to harm” Aleenia straightened her back as she sat on her staff.

She should deal with the shard of glass in her calf soon.

“As the 'Blue Witch' I do have a reputation to hold and this is currently a waste of my time”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nero Dalmascer Lucifer Character Portrait: Lucia Mirakel Character Portrait: Verdandi Saga Yngiv Character Portrait: Aleenia Anariel Taldren Character Portrait: Cain Azura

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Nero Dalmascer Lucifer



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Listening to each comment individually Johnathan placed his chin into his hand giving a quick glance to the ready to depart Lucia. "As glad as I am that the Sanctum of Temari got word of this I'm afraid I can't let you go on your own." he said before cutting of her path and gesturing to a crudely put together chair that looked like it was meant for basic comfort and nothing else. "At least not until we have some one to escort you back to the monastery. " he added before giving a quick glance to his escorts then continuing his thought.

"Because of the scene you guys caused earlier the demon is most likely waiting to attack each of you the moment it catches sight that you are alone so basically until I know the danger is gone I'm not any one go any where alone." He said finishing his comment to Lucia before turning his attention to his escorts and giving them an order to return the mercenary's sword to him. "As much as I would have liked to say that he is my nephew young man sadly we've no familial relations he only calls me uncle because I was his.... I am his dead father's oldest friend." Johnathan said in response to Cain's comment about his possible relations.

It was about that point Nero moved away crouching in the shade of a large tent. "I guess he still hasn't gotten over what happened that day. Even if some one mentions anything related to it will cause him to get all depressed." Johnathan said with a sigh before looking to Aleenia.

Lost in thought Nero hadn't heard a word of what was being said 'Looks like my original plan is out the window.' he thought letting out a sigh as he looked up. "Until I help stop this demon from causing more harm I'm going to have to put my trip on hold." He said shaking his head. 'Why am I sounding upset about that? People are dying here and now, and I'm worried about something that was destroyed ten years ago.' Nero thought to himself slapping himself afew times almost leaving a hand shaped bruise on his face by the time he finished.

"I know that miss. But at this point there is nothing I can do about it until it openly reveals itself to us or unless we're able to catch it in the act of killing. Other wise we won't be able to find it, and going through the entire town trying to find some one with some blood red eyes will only take longer." Johnathan stated rubbing his eyes out of exhaustion. "Yeah I'm going to call that right now I was able to get a good look at what this demon looks like so unless it was able to find an unsuspecting target and change into their skin within the span of a half hour to an hour then I think we might still have a chance to catch it before any one else can die." Nero said as he moved to stand next to Johnathan sounding confident about what he was saying.


"It's only a chance there's no guarantee I'm right, but it's better then nothing so don't read too deep into it." Nero said rolling his arm allowing the joints to crack and pop. "But with this "Chameleon's" current action as of now it hasn't acted recklessly." he added adjusting his collar in an attempt to hide the slowly fading red mark on his neck before continuing. "Rather it's smart smarter then the monsters I've ran into before this demon is able to choose people carefully before striking. Though it will attack if some one does guess that it's a demon right off the fence."

"So I take it you came up with some kind of plan to deal with this Chameleon while you were over there sitting next to my ten is that right Nero?" Johnathan asked to which Nero just shook his head. "No... well not a plan really that would mean I had time to study this thing and I'm fairly certain we don't have that time. So no not actually a real plan it's just a briskly thought up way to lure it out which I'll adjust when things happen." He replied crossing his arms. "John is right this Chameleon demon has seen each of us and will most likely start targeting us each individually." Nero said leaning against a near by tree.

"Now I know for a fact that if touched you will begin to become corrupted. So I'm not going to simply throw you guys at it, but I don't intend to kill it either..." He stated bracing himself for the arguments that were about to follow. 'It's stupid to suggest but if I'm right I could change things.' Nero thought to himself when Johnathan put his opinion forward. "You do know what your asking right not killing that thing will only count in more deaths further down the line! And what if your end up being the one it kills next hmm what happens then?" in response to Johnathan's statement Nero simply cocked his head to one side and smiled. "We'll cross that bridge when we get there. But hear me out for once will you." He said unfolding his arms and letting his left hand fall to his side while he brought up his right.

"I know you guys heard what the Chameleon said, how my touch burned it." Nero said looking around then at his hand. "So you that doesn't necessarily mean much apart from being able to hurt it." the captain said cutting Nero off which caused the latter to sigh. "I thought I asked you to listen. Any way yeah it's possible I'm able to hurt them if I get in really close and touch it. Now this normally is a danger in it of itself since simply being touched by the Chameleon is basically a one way ticket into becoming a demon yourself well as long as you survive the encounter long enough to let your tainted blood grow." Nero said taking a rather deep breath while letting his right hand finally fall to rest on his sword. "And you can see where I'm getting to with this." he added looking back at Johnathan.

"It's even possible that with my gift I might be able to actually turn the demon back into a human, elf, or beastman depending on which race it was before turning. Now do you see why I'm not intending to kill it John or do I still need to spell it out?" Nero stated with a glint in his eye that only caused the Knight captain to sigh. "You know you tend to be allot like your father if there's some way you can save as many lives that you can you will do your damnedest to do it no regard for yourself. Fine but if you can't stop this Chameleon demon I'm going to step in and kill it myself." he said throwing up his hands as though he had been defeated.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nero Dalmascer Lucifer Character Portrait: Lucia Mirakel Character Portrait: Verdandi Saga Yngiv Character Portrait: Aleenia Anariel Taldren Character Portrait: Cain Azura

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“…Now tell your men to get their stinking paws off my sword!!” It was hardly appropriate, and Verdandi knew so – she knew so especially well. And she had managed to keep her facial expression perfectly serious for the entirety of the red-head’s tirade, up until, that is, his possessive side bled through. In many ways, the beast-girl could relate well to the man’s instinctive desire to protect his things, since she too was not keen in sharing her own loved items, therefore she probably had not right to find it amusing – and yet, she found herself forcing her hand over her mouth and nose and turning away from the man to hide her gleeful snort.

He was a funny man, she felt. And in many ways she was grateful for his presence since his unintended humor was a great relief from the nerve wracking and frightening situation she had been in since the encounter with the demon.

For the most part she hid well her inappropriate merriment, while the young priestess, Lucia spoke, though if one paid enough attention to her quivering tail and tense ears they’d likely suspect her. Meanwhile, the priestesses words were not lost on the informant, however, they also didn’t hold much information she hadn’t already known or suspected to be the case.

This wasn’t the first time Verdandi had encountered someone belonging to the Sanctum of Temari after all, and in her time wandering she had learned that many priestesses were, in fact, members. Although, admittedly, she had never paid much attention to the beliefs of the Sanctum and she would like one day to, perhaps, learn of them – for future reference.

"As glad as I am that the Sanctum of Temari got word of this I'm afraid I can't let you go on your own." Verdandi’s giddiness was forcibly slapped away by these words. Not because they were directed at her but rather because of what she suspected they implied. "At least not until we have some one to escort you back to the monastery. " Her fears grew with further support from the knight’s, Johnathan’s, words and she turned to again face the man, dread painting her features and blood draining quickly from her face while she waited for her suspicions to flow straight from the horse’s mouth.

"Because of the scene you guys caused earlier the demon is most likely waiting to attack each of you the moment it catches sight that you are alone so basically until I know the danger is gone I'm not any one go any where alone." The beast-girl stiffened obviously. She was ill suited for combat and possessed little ability to defend herself beyond wild clawing at an attacker (though she did admittedly have decent enough claws to do a decent degree of damage when cornered). Therefore, she feared the knowledge that a demon would be preying upon her. Yet, she was also thankful for that knowledge as it gave her the ability to adequately prepare.

“As Miss Lucia and the others have explained Sir 'Knight', I entered the store having heard the noise of the fighting between herself, Sir Nero and...and the young lady here…” Impatient, fretful, and paying little attention now to the conversation – as little was being said that she wasn’t already present to know of – Verdandi found herself searching her surroundings for signs of danger instead of giving her name (as she suspected might have been the polite thing to do).

Her head told her it was silly to fret for the presence of a demon within this military encampment. Yet, her instincts whispered alluringly, it was better safe than sorry.

“As the 'Blue Witch' I do have a reputation to hold and this is currently a waste of my time”

By the time the clearly aggravated ‘Witch’ finished her piece, Verdandi had managed to sight all potential hiding places. "I know that miss. But at this point there is nothing I can do about it until it openly reveals itself to us or unless we're able to catch it in the act of killing. Other wise we won't be able to find it, and going through the entire town trying to find some one with some blood red eyes will only take longer."

It was only after the Knight had made this statement that the self entitled Scout retuned to the conversation. Clenching her fists in irritation, brought on by fear and disbelief, she simply stared at the Knight. He couldn’t do anything about it? He planned to sit around and wait? How utterly…ridiculous.

Even if all he could do was go through town looking for someone with red-eyes, no matter how long that took it was better than doing nothing at all. Moreover, he was a member, no, the leader of the Black Knights. Did he not realize the power he had behind that title? Information was his for the taking because he had the respect and adoration of an entire people group. Every member of this town would likely happily become a member of his information network if he so requested, because he was a hero to their eyes they’d happily become his eyes. And while the demon may be able to hide from their small group, once an entire town was set upon it, hiding would become more difficult – even for chameleon – as well as hunting.

People should be made aware for safety’s sake. Although, as one who doesn’t freely hand out information Verdandi for thinking this might as well be a pot calling the kettle black.

"Now I know for a fact that if touched you will begin to become corrupted. So I'm not going to simply throw you guys at it, but I don't intend to kill it either..." At some point, Nero had left their company to think on his own, though she wasn’t sure precisely when this happened, and now had rejoined them in order to discuss a plan to capture the demon alive. A plan the beast-girl felt to be foolhardy. What could be achieved in doing that? This demon, this monster, was too far-gone to be saved or to cooperate – she winced at her own thoughts, before they turned to her own corrupting right hand and arm and its always numbing ache. Subconsciously, she moved to rub the pain away.

Her ears stood at attention while she listened and her mouth and brow set into a firm and darkening line of worry and – perhaps – some guilt as Nero continued speaking, “…simply being touched by the Chameleon is basically a one way ticket into becoming a demon yourself, well, as long as you survive the encounter long enough to let your tainted blood grow."

Verdandi’s gaze flickered momentarily to her right arm, while her left tightened its grip on the limb. A one-way ticket was it? She shuddered, to think that one day that creature she faced today would be what she would become. She wasn’t sure how long it would take before that point, but she doubted it would be a large expanse of time. Should she ask? If she did, would she be suspect? Did she really want to know?

Does anyone truly wish to know when fate would drop her axe?

She imagined that such knowledge was a heavy burden, one so heavy she couldn’t bear on her own shoulders, so in this case she would feign belief that silence was golden and ignorance was necessary.

"It's even possible that with my gift I might be able to actually turn the demon back into a human, elf, or beastman depending on which race it was before turning. Now do you see why I'm not intending to kill it John or do I still need to spell it out?"

The beast-girl’s ears stood at attention and she faced the warrior in silent shock. He thought to revert the creature back to its original state? Was it truly even possible? She recalled hearing of the burning sensation the man’s skin wrought upon the demon’s, however that alone held little evidence to imply he could revert it back to what it was. Rather, Verdandi questioned if there was anything left for it to return to?

"You know you tend to be allot like your father if there's some way you can save as many lives that you can you will do your damnedest to do it no regard for yourself. Fine but if you can't stop this Chameleon demon I'm going to step in and kill it myself."

He was kind, but wishful. Her ears fell back in despair and her eyebrows furrowed. Did no one else see the err here? Or was her pessimism – her inability to hope for a cure – and cowardly nature shadowing her own views?

“That creature…it isn’t…I can’t believe it can be saved anymore. The creature it once was…it is gone, replaced with something new.” Weakly, she spoke her thoughts quietly and distantly, perhaps not intending them to be heard, “Even if you could drive out the contamination that turned it into a demon, by this point – all that would remain in the after math would be an empty shell. The elf, the human, or the beastkin – whatever it was – it is no longer it has been changed and twisted into some new existence.” Subconsciously, she nervously rubbed her right arm, “You can’t turn back time. And even if you could – having known what it has done…whose to say you wouldn’t have damned that person to a guilty fate worse than death?”

Having finished her quiet and shy monologue, she turned her body ever so slightly away from the plotting group. It just seemed like such a great risk to threaten the lives of others for so slight a chance of saving one life, which might not be saved at all, and she didn’t have the courage to take such a risk. And she knew this about herself and openly grieved that cowardice.

She didn’t pretend to possess courage like Nero’s, compassion like Lucia’s, strength like the Mercenary’s, or confidence like the elf’s. But she also didn’t pretend to be proud of what she lacked. Nonetheless, what she did possess was clarity of mind and stubbornness enough to make her thoughts known (though quietly), even when those thoughts were unpopular. Whether liked or not, someone had to ask such questions, make such points, truly question that these people knew the incredulity of the task they hoped to achieve. Truly question that they were willing to make whatever sacrifice that may prove necessary to achieve it and accept responsibility for whatever the outcome whether poor or happy.

Swallowing her fear and supplanting her stubbornness in the forefront of her mind she looked up from the ground to meet the eyes of those she questioned in hopes of finding answers to her questions, both spoken and unspoken.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nero Dalmascer Lucifer Character Portrait: Lucia Mirakel Character Portrait: Verdandi Saga Yngiv Character Portrait: Aleenia Anariel Taldren Character Portrait: Cain Azura

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Cain Azura
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The guards felt hesitant but reluctantly tossed Cain's Beloved weapon back to him. He had to fight every molecule of his anxiety to not just coo and hug the blade like a poor innocent child. He heard Aleenia talk to the Captain as she floated on her staff and looked at her as she spoke, and nodded in agreement with her statement, before looking in her direction, or more or less, below her direction to see blood drops on the ground.

"She's injured..? I have to help!" he thought worriedly, his anxiety returning with a vengeance before Nero began speaking again, saying he had a plan to take care of the demon. Cain smirked at the thought of round two as he listened to What Nero had to say. He explained what not to do, which was to let the demon touch anyone. His eyes partially widened at Nero's next set of the plan.

He whistled. "If you can do that then I'll give you ten gold coins off the bat." he wagered, easily slipping back to his playful mischievous mood. "It'll probably give the nun a fit though wouldn't you say?" he also added before the Beastgirl began to speak. Whilst Cain did the playful wagering skeptic for this discussion, she seemed to be the pessimist. He drew his sword partially to check for any blemishes, staring into his reflection in thought.

"Guilty fate you say? Empty shell?" he questioned. "What if I said that about every person living on this earth? The Veterans of the Blood war have to live with what they've done. Some taken up being old hermits, while some try to find someway to do what's right. Now me for example...." he trailed off softly staring at his reflection.

His mind envisioned himself as a fifteen year old, holding the corpse of a young woman close to him. He sheathed his blade softly and his right hand shook as his anxious mind started to pierce him with doubts. He heaved a sigh to calm down. "I was a blacksmith's apprentice. But I let someone down, so I'm now a mercenary. So, what I'm saying girl, is to not judge too easily on what a guilty fate is." he said with a sigh before feeling a nudge on his shoulder. "Oh, now what? Now what?! Agh! Belzedar! Get off of me!!! I don't have any sugar for you, boy!" he shouted trying to push his horse off him. Ooh that fiendish horse! Trying to get the drop on his partner when he doesn't have any sugar for him. The nerve!

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nero Dalmascer Lucifer Character Portrait: Lucia Mirakel Character Portrait: Verdandi Saga Yngiv Character Portrait: Aleenia Anariel Taldren Character Portrait: Cain Azura

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As the intrigue continues, the young priestess keeps her wits about her, and comes with a reckless idea that may work. Only time is to tell of the fate of Lucia Mirakel.

A light sigh came from Lucia as she was told she could not return home alone. It was mildly frustrating, as if she doesn't return before too long, a search party of Seraphs will be dispatched, and that would be the last thing she wanted, as that would bring more people into this mess than Lucia was willing to bring in. Though she listened to everyone, and assessed them for any noticeable injuries. While three of which were fine, one immediately struck Lucia's conscience as she saw blood on the grass and ground under Aleenia. It took Lucia mere seconds to make her way to Aleenia, as her words, sounding mildly frantic, were heard swiftly, "Excuse me, Lady Aleenia. You appear to be hurt, and bleeding bad at that. If you do not mind, I'll take care of it now." to be honest, Lucia didn't care if Aleenia had qualms about Lucia healing her. It was something she needed to do before it became infected, even if Aleenia said no, Lucia would handle it anyway. Yet her gaze turned back to Johnathan, having to state where she had to be. As far as she knew, she was forced to stay here.

As this annoyance built, Sir Nero and Johnathan began talking about finding the demon and purifying the thing. But at the idea that they couldn't find it easy. Yet Saga had spoke about Nero's plan, which made sense, as it would likely be an empty vessel from the soul being departed, finally she spoke up, she sounded more amiss a thought as she spoke, blanketing over the annoyance, "Lady Saga has a point. As much as I wish it was not true, the soul is likely lost, and cannot be simply returned by a purified body, as it is not that easy, I would know...." Lucia paused, she hated that she had to say this, but it was the honest truth, "I hate to say this as much as you, Sir Nero.... But we'll have to kill the demon. Putting the soul at ease should be our main priority now. Though to find it, I do have an idea for that." With another breath, Lucia nodded to herself, the plan made sense in her mind, "It's a tactic used by Seraphs to catch demons that are hidden. I'll go out as the bait, the Demon knows I'm likely it's biggest threat, as I did smite it earlier. I'm sure the thing felt that. While I act as the bait, everyone else remains hidden, once the demon takes the bait, and attacks, is where our trap is sprung and we attack from all sides. At the very least we would pin the monster down where we can handle it best. But, 'tis just an idea."

With those words, Lucia stepped by Aleenia once more, ready to treat the wound the best she can.

--Meanwhile....--
Inside the Monastery to Temari, a blue-haired woman sits, anxiously tapping her fingers against the table she sat at,'Lucia has not returned. And a demon's on the lose...? Something is not right.... she thought before rising, her blue gown quickly resting to it's normal state, she turned to another woman, whose hair was covered along with the rest of her head, where all you saw was merely her face, which embraced ruby red eyes and glasses, and spoke, "Mother Yeliss, I shall return shortly. Lucia has not returned, and with a demon on the loose, it worries me that she has not returned."

"Do as you see fit, may Temari's light guide your wings, Seraph Seriya"

As the woman walked outside, her breathing became much more calmed, as her Katana crackled in it's sheath, and soon her boots crackled as a small prayer was spoken under her breath, "O mighty Raijin, whose reign over thunder reigns supreme, guide my strides to my greatest friend Lucia..." ending the small prayer with a light breath and nod, "Let's go." With those words, the Seraph Seriya set out to the town to search for Lucia Mirakel...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Nero Dalmascer Lucifer Character Portrait: Lucia Mirakel Character Portrait: Verdandi Saga Yngiv Character Portrait: Aleenia Anariel Taldren Character Portrait: Cain Azura

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"I know that miss. But at this point there is nothing I can do about it until it openly reveals itself to us or unless we're able to catch it in the act of killing. Other wise we won't be able to find it, and going through the entire town trying to find some one with some blood red eyes will only take longer."

The knight sighed heavily before continuing to discuss the demon with Nero. As Nero spoke, Aleenia listened intently.

This man, just what was he?

"I know you guys heard what the Chameleon said, how my touch burned it."

Aleenia stiffened on her staff, so he was aware of what happened? It wasn't a fluke after all. Nero continued to converse regarding his 'gift' and Aleenia couldn't help but stare at him intently.

Her brain shot fireworks throughout her system,

His touch could burn a demon? She had never read about such a thing in all of her travels, he was anomaly to her, an unprecedented occurrence in this age.

Did he truly have the power to return the lost soul of a demon?

“That creature…it isn’t…I can’t believe it can be saved anymore. The creature it once was…it is gone, replaced with something new. - Even if you could drive out the contamination that turned it into a demon, by this point – all that would remain in the after math would be an empty shell. The elf, the human, or the beastkin – whatever it was – it is no longer it has been changed and twisted into some new existence. - You can’t turn back time. And even if you could – having known what it has done…whose to say you wouldn’t have damned that person to a guilty fate worse than death?”

Aleenia's doubts were voiced by the beastkin girl, her voice showed her nervousness, her anxiety to the question she did not know the answer too. She spoke a hesitant truth, there was no way to know of what would become of the soul lost to the corruption of a demon's heart. Throughout time and the literature she had read none had been spoken off as savable, a soul was always lost once taken by corruption. Lost to where though? That answer she had never found.

However, before she could delve further into her thoughts another voice spoke up catching her attention.

"Guilty fate you say? Empty shell?" Cain questioned. "What if I said that about every person living on this earth? The Veterans of the Blood war have to live with what they've done. Some taken up being old hermits, while some try to find someway to do what's right. Now me for example...." he trailed off softly as he sheathed his blade.

As Aleenia listened to his argument she noticed his right hand shake ever so slightly before taking a heavy sigh to continue "I was a blacksmith's apprentice. But I let someone down, so I'm now a mercenary. So, what I'm saying girl, is to not judge too easily on what a guilty fate is." Cain finished before his horse interrupted "Oh, now what? Now what?! Agh! Belzedar! Get off of me!!! I don't have any sugar for you, boy!"

Aleenia didn't fight the smile that arose from her lips as he tried to fight off his sugar fiend. Cain had chosen to look at the possibility of what could be, his positive, no, courage to hope for more gave him a different outlook. If it was possible to return a soul, who were they to say that soul would be banished to a fate worse than death? There was no history recorded to go on.

Both had shown courage to speak, she could see it in their body language, they were both afraid, afraid of something that was their own. Something that was close to their hearts. This subject, it was not one to take lightly. Aleenia's own thoughts drifted to her village, she wondered, what would she think differently if the demon was someone she once loved?

"Excuse me, Lady Aleenia. You appear to be hurt, and bleeding bad at that. If you do not mind, I'll take care of it now."

Aleenia jumped slightly as Lucia's gentle touch suddenly moved towards her calf.

"Ah, Miss Lucia, really, there is no need!" Aleenia spoke quickly hasty at this girls rush to her aid. She was surprised more than hesitant. "It's not that bad, truly, please do not waste your magic on me. My wound will heal with time" She flashed a smile towards the girl. "Your kindness really does out do your loveliness" she mused as Lucia spoke to the group.

Lucia agreed with the beastkin girl, whom she had called Lady Saga, Aleenia noted the name. However, as she explained her plan to be bait Aleenia frowned.

Allowing Lucia to continue to heal her wound, as it was clear the young woman would not have it any other way, Aleenia paused pulling her hand up to her chin resting it there as she tapped her good foot in mid-air sat upon her staff. She contemplated the information that had been provided to her, the conflict of opinions towards the demon.

It was then that her eyes shot towards Nero, stern, and foreboding.

Rushing forward on her staff Aleenia brought herself up close to the boy so that their noses were almost touching. She stared into his eyes trying to read something, anything.

Suddenly she brought up her hands and clasped them around his face. "Hmm" her lips half upturned in pondering. "I've decided!" she exclaimed after a long pause releasing her hands in exclamation "I'm going to take a chance on you - Nero" her voice was smooth and filled with intense conviction. This boy, he was the son of a man she had never wished to cross paths with. But this 'gift' if he truly could bring back a lost soul, perhaps he could lead her to a past history that she did not yet know of, one that could lead her closer towards her goal of bringing peace to the races. She would put away her grievance for now.

"In all my years of research, I have never found a trace or whisper of a possibility that a corrupted soul can be saved from its torment. You intrigue me Sir Nero, and I have thought through the options. It is easy to think that the soul is lost" Aleenia looked towards Miss Saga and Miss Lucia "But if there is even a chance of saving a lost soul, is it not the best opportunity for the soul to be given a choice to survive? We can not know what the soul has endured, what they have gone through or the pain they have felt, but what we must do, is have faith that they can be found." She paused before glancing towards Cain, a soft smile rose her expression calming. "All living things in this life suffer in one way or another, it is how we choose to move forward that defines us. If the corrupted soul can be found, no matter how pained it may be, we must give that soul a chance to choose for his or herself how they wish to move forward."

Aleenia looked down towards the hidden burn that scarred her right thigh. "We all make choices that we regret, to live with those regrets, and not be able to redeem them, that is a cruel fate"

Moving towards Miss Saga Aleenia dipped her staff to float at her height "Sometimes, to hold faith, is to have courage to hope. However, it is obvious, to say the least that to deal with this demon, is going to be a grave risk to lives. Baiting yourself Miss Lucia, is honorable of you, but I am not comfortable with such a sacrifice. We struggled to deal with the demon before, even with all of us present, our opponent is formidable. If Nero's touch can truly save the corrupted soul, what we need to do, is immobilise it somehow so that Nero can make contact long enough to see if his 'gift' is genuine." Aleenia tapped her forfinger on her staff as she wondered the best way to do that.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nero Dalmascer Lucifer Character Portrait: Lucia Mirakel Character Portrait: Verdandi Saga Yngiv Character Portrait: Aleenia Anariel Taldren Character Portrait: Cain Azura

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Nero Dalmascer Lucifer



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As Aleenia coasted up to him Nero could feel himself tense up when she put her hands on his face seeming as though she were in deep in some kind of thought. ”Uh what are you doing?” He asked letting his gaze flick from Johnathan to the elf. "I've decided!" she said as she released his face causing the young man to take a step back. ”That’s great! But what have you decided on?” He asked regaining his composure.

"I'm going to take a chance on you - Nero" At that point his jaw just dropped surprised originally he thought they would think he was just talking hot air. ”I… uh… well… thank you for a moment I thought everyone would just say I’m crazy for even making the suggestion I mean it’s nothing new yeah but it still stings whenever I hear it.” he said with an exasperated sigh before looking out towards the town before shooting a short glance back at the rag tag group of people he was about to work with.

”I can understand your skepticism I can but I honestly think that it might be possible to save someone who has been turned by the ever growing corruption.” At that point Nero seemed to be having a bit on an internal conflict. ’This gift of mine can work on monsters, but that’s the most I know about it. So what if it really can’t work on a demon is there really no hope to save them?’ he thought to himself clenching his fist as he lightly shook his head. ’No I can’t think that way.’

”Now if we’re in agreement or if you’re willing to take a chance with my ‘gift’ then meet me at the town’s entrance within the hour. No later than that any later and there is a possibility that more lives will be lost.” He said pushing past the guards though used a bit more strength than intended causing the two to fall onto their backs and roll around like a turtle struggling to get back up.

Holding the pommel of his sword Nero looked up towards the clouds before noticing that it was well past noon. ”Yep guess my trip home will have to wait another day. Sorry hope you guys can forgive me for delaying it.” he said to himself letting out a heavy sigh tapping his foot as he let his mind wander.

As he was lost in thought Nero barely noticed a small patch of shadow ’what the hell is going on there?’ moving slowly Nero began making his way towards the shadow although he noticed as he got closer the shadow it seemed to be alive. ”Is that shadow breathing?” he said out loud to himself reaching out to see if it was really alive or not. But the moment his hand hovered over just above the strange shadow it began to zip away.

”Wait! Just what the hell is that thing?” He called out chasing after it not realizing how it was moving luring Nero away from Johnathan’s base camp and rather quickly. ’Damn this thing is fast I don’t think I can keep up with it at the speed I’m going at.’ he thought to himself slowly picking up his pace into a jog only to notice that the living shadow began to speed up itself forcing the young man to begin dashing after it.

Chasing the shadow through the town Nero didn’t even notice the stares that were locked onto him with his attention directly on the quickly moving shadow. Part way through the town Nero worried that his muscles would start to fail him until he reach a dimly lit alley. ”So that’s your game is it get me away from everyone else so I wouldn’t be as big a threat? Well sorry to disappoint.” he said stepping into the alley slowly following the pulsating shadow deeper and deeper until Nero could barely see a thing in the dim nearly pitch black lighting.

”Now that you got me alone why don’t you show yourself instead of hiding in the shadows the entire time!” Nero called out folding his arms while leaning on a nearby wall as his muscles screamed at him for a rest. ”Who said I’m hiding your just not looking hard enough.” A voice rang out catching Nero off guard. ’The hell how does a demon have my voice? No it’s not my voice it sounds much deeper in tone than what I’m able to achieve’ he thought looking around trying to catch any glimpse of who spoke making wide sweeps with his gaze from left to right. ”Okay very funny now stop joking around and show yourself and stop using my voice.”

”I’m standing right behind you.” The voice stated tapping Nero on the shoulder causing him to jump. ”Whoa ho-ho. How the hell did you? There was a wall there how could you even?” Nero stammered trying to find the right words as he looked back to see who touched him as it emerged straight from the wall that was behind him. Though what Nero saw was even more of a surprise then meeting Johnathan after ten years.
”You you’re not the chameleon are you? You have my face even though I’m standing right here. And how were you able to do that? My back was against a wall.” Nero stated regaining his composure. Half expecting the Chameleon Nero found himself looking at a near perfect look alike. Though there were some glaring differences such as the pure white hair the deep crimson eyes that looked like they could pierce Nero if he let his guard down.

”About time you took notice of me after all I’ve been listening to you in the shadows for the last half hour.” The look alike stated with a grin. ”You fully intend to try to turn the demon back to who it was before. Now you see we have a bit of an impasse you see my master needs that Chameleon to plant a seed of corruption within this town and cause some chaos.”
”Oh? And here I was hoping we could be friends after all it’s not every day you meet a demon who looks like you.” Nero said sarcastically. ”I don’t just look like you. I mean who would have thought that one could create a demon out of blood from someone with an ability like yours, well apart from my master that is.” the demon said gritting his teeth when Nero said that and as he was fading into the shadow. ”He also gave me a name to oppose yours and I wouldn’t forget it if I were you… The name my master gave me is…” As the demon disappeared his voice became distant.

”...Weiss so your telling me that you’re who I would have ended up being if I weren’t immune to corruption.” Nero said walking back to the campsite. ”So what does this mean for me?” he asked himself slowly walking past some store clerks trying to pull in some new customers. ”I hope I’m not the only one with something like that because that’s more then just a little unsettling.” After the camp came into sight Nero gave a quick glance back placing a firm grip on the hilt of his sword as an uneasy feeling washed over him. ’And what does he mean by his master surely there isn’t someone out there causing this for their own amusement.’ He thought leaning against the closest lamp post sitting at the entrance to the city.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nero Dalmascer Lucifer Character Portrait: Lucia Mirakel Character Portrait: Verdandi Saga Yngiv Character Portrait: Aleenia Anariel Taldren Character Portrait: Cain Azura

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The person to respond first to Verdandi’s expressed concerns was – much to her surprise – the mercenary. And his response almost seemed to be of the scolding variety. "I was a blacksmith's apprentice. But I let someone down, so I'm now a mercenary. So, what I'm saying girl, is to not judge too easily on what a guilty fate is."

The beastgirl’s ears flipped back in submissive thought. Verdandi didn’t judge such a fate as easily as he seemed to believe, however, she knew precisely how such guilt would feel. It would be a type of guilt she couldn’t truly relate any other’s with, not with the warriors’ that fought in the wars nor the mercenary’s who lectured her now. Those warriors carried the guilt of fighting and killing for their beliefs – the mercenary carried the guilt of failure. However, the guilt of the demon was the guilt of having purposely done horrible and unforgivable things to another living thing without any reason beyond bloodlust. And all while not intending to. It was the guilt of knowing eventually you’d turn into something terrible and not doing anything to stop yourself. The guilt of being too cowardly to take the necessary steps to protect the people around you from the monster you knew you’d become. This was a guilt she knew well, because it was the guilt she combatted every day. So no – Verdandi didn’t judge this fate as easily as he believed her to.

She held her arm, but he couldn’t know that.

"Lady Saga has a point.” Verdandi’s attention turned towards her name and the priestess who spoke it – perhaps both relieved and surprised that someone heard and understood her concerns, “As much as I wish it was not true, the soul is likely lost, and cannot be simply returned by a purified body, as it is not that easy, I would know...." Curiosity clearly ate at the beastkin’s attention as she cocked her head – how exactly would she know? How much interaction had this priestess actually had with trying to ‘purify’ demons? In all her years of reconnaissance this was the first time she’d heard of anyone trying to nor believing he was capable of purifying contamination of any kind – especially a fully tainted demon. And with all her years searching for any kind of cure, she wondered if she had missed something – and how she had managed to do so if indeed she had.

As far as she knew, not even a priestess’s healing ability could drive away contamination once it had festered in the body. And she was certainly qualified to say so – as priestess’s in the past had attempted it on her own arm to no avail. Rather, she found the presence of magic of any kind only served to aggravate the tainting energy.

“While I act as the bait, everyone else remains hidden, once the demon takes the bait, and attacks, is where our trap is sprung and we attack from all sides.” It seemed that during her inner musings, the conversation had taken a turn for the worst. Now it seemed that the one person who had at least partially agreed with her also had plans to rope the entire party into a demon hunt. Using herself as bait no less. To this notion, Verdandi could only furrow her brows, take a step back and shake her head.

Insanity abounds.

”Uh what are you doing?” That was almost the same question Verdandi wanted to ask – although hers differed by instead questioning the group’s thinking as opposed to their actions.

"I've decided!" Startled out of her already flabbergasted reverie. Verdandi turned towards the elvish witch, who if she were remembering correctly was named Aleenia, at her rather unexpected outburst.

”That’s great! But what have you decided on?” Yet another question that mirrored Verdandi’s own.

"I'm going to take a chance on you - Nero" The beastgirl visible blanched at the realization that yet another member of this motley group wanted to go along with this off kilter plan to hunt down a demon – a demon that had already proven to be beyond this group’s ability to handle.

She couldn’t understand the thinking behind this decision. The witch had seemed so shrewd earlier. What thought processes could possibly have led to such a decision? Verdandi herself couldn’t come up with an answer. Fortunately, it seemed the elf would willingly provide one. “It is easy to think that the soul is lost - But if there is even a chance of saving a lost soul, is it not the best opportunity for the soul to be given a choice to survive? We can not know what the soul has endured, what they have gone through or the pain they have felt, but what we must do, is have faith that they can be found."

Verdandi chewed her lips, and her tail and ears wilted. How? How could these people be so strong? How could they hold faith in such a fanciful ideal? Weren’t they scared of having that faith crushed? Weren’t they scared of growing too tired to keep any faith at all? It was easier to have faith in the easy things. There was less to worry over. Less to fear.

And even if she didn’t understand how they could do it and she chose to accept that they could, did they not understand not everyone had enough courage to keep such faith. Did they not understand that someone like her – someone who had escaped from a life of captivity only to end up in a different sort of imprisonment – wasn’t capable of giving anyone any kind of choice.

No.

If Nero's touch can truly save the corrupted soul, what we need to do, is immobilise it somehow so that Nero can make contact long enough to see if his 'gift' is genuine."

No.

”I… uh… well… thank you for a moment I thought everyone would just say I’m crazy for even making the suggestion I mean it’s nothing new yeah but it still stings whenever I hear it.”

No. She did think it was crazy.

”I can understand your skepticism I can but I honestly think that it might be possible to save someone who has been turned by the ever growing corruption.”

No. It wasn’t possible.

”Now if we’re in agreement or if you’re willing to take a chance with my ‘gift’ then meet me at the town’s entrance within the hour. No later than that any later and there is a possibility that more lives will be lost.”

No. She didn’t agree. No. She wasn’t willing. No. She wouldn’t be there. No. No. No. No. No. No. No.

Just NO.

She wasn’t sure when it had happened – if it had been before or after Nero had departed from the group – but Verdandi had backed away from all the talking. She couldn’t listen to it anymore. She didn’t had the courage to even listen or consider such a thing.

Her eyes glanced over the group. Guilt and shame both eating away at her while she came to her decision. She wouldn’t be of any use anyway. So she’d do what she was best at, what she always did when her fears got the best of her as they did so often. She’d run. She’d run wherever her instincts took her, tail tucked between her legs and ears alert for danger. She’d run. Even if running tore her apart with remorse. She wouldn’t look back. Even if looking back hurt less.

She didn’t even say goodbye, she merely slipped away in silence. Perhaps her only useful skill was to sneak from place to place. Besides – Nero had made enough of a commotion in leaving, by knocking two guards over, that her own disappearance came with ease. And once she had escaped the camp she dashed back into town, where plenty of cubbies and crowds could easily hide her from prying eyes of every color.

Perhaps this was for the best, since prying eyes might have spied a suspiciously dissatisfied scowl.



Verdandi deadpanned and her tail and ears twitched in horrified bemusement. She trusted her instincts implicitly. She always had, and yet, in this instant, she wondered what in the world her instincts were trying to tell her. Of all places she could have ended up she certainly hadn’t been expecting to stand in front of a bookstore with a broken glass window and visibly overturned bookshelves.

Really, she imagined this was about the worst place to have returned to – this was previously the den of the demon they’d barely escaped from, moreover she seriously doubted the bookseller wanted anything more to do with her or anyone else that was involved in the destruction of his shop. As such she made the quick decision to turn on her heels and leave the immediate area before she was caught.

However, the exhausted grunting her ears caught echoing from the interior stopped her. The old man had lost his store and his assistant all in one day and now he was probably left to clean up the aftermath all on his own. She heard the sound of scraping wood and shuffling papers, then a long drawn out sigh. A sigh that bore more burden then she thought anyone should bear alone. Verdandi’s head turned again so that her amber eyes could spy the old man through the missing window. He looked to have aged in the short time she had been in the camp. His slumped back quivered with exertion as he picked up books and made fruitless attempts at righting fallen shelves. Ragged hands weakly gripped wares. And a firm scowl had been carved onto his once softer features.

Verdandi’s frightful expression softened. She was many things – most of her characteristics were admittedly not the kind to be sought after. And she didn’t have the ability or courage to fight demons, but she could help an old man put the pieces of his bookstore back together.

She stepped inside, albeit not quietly as glassed crunched beneath her boots – immediately garnering the attention of the old man who snapped to attention. He stiffened when he saw her originally, but once recognition crossed his face he noticeably relaxed, much to Verdandi’s surprise. “Oh. It’s only you. Glad t’ see y’were released so quickly.”

The beastkin blinked, stupefied. “You are?”

The old man resumed his tidying as he spoke in a gruff tone – much different from his previous business manner, “O’ course I am. Beastchild or no, y’don’t deserve to be locked up for nothin’”

Verdandi came up beside him, carefully, “I only thought you may be mad for what happened to your shop,” kneeling down she reached out for a book, “May I?”

The man guffawed, “I’m not one t’let pride keep me from acceptin’ help.” Verdandi quickly began piling books into her arms while the old man spoke. “As fo’ the shop: I ain’t happy ‘bout it. But there’s not uh’ one to blame.”

Verdandi furrowed her brow as she followed the man to a table where they laid their gathered books across its surface. “I’m sorry. I don’t follow your meaning.” Surely, even if he didn’t hold her accountable, he at least found the demon guilty?

“You’re not too bright u’ young’un. Are you?”

Her tail ruffled at the insult, “Excuse me?” Here she was helping to clean up his shop and he was calling her an idiot? “I just don’t understand how no one could be at fault. Wasn’t it the de-”

“Hush beastchild.” Greying eyes met amber in a disquieting, hopeful, and concurrently painful gaze that silenced any further argument from the younger of the two conversers. “Alisa. Her name’s Alisa. An’ I know she’d never do such u’ thing on purpose. She loves books. This hurt her the most, y’know.”

Verdandi looked away before the old man did. He spoke about her as if she were still alive as if she was suffering from the contamination even now. Eventually her gaze turned back to him. Turning back to the huge mess he walked away from her, and from behind she couldn’t help noticing that he looked so forlorn. She followed after him and when he placed his hand again on the fallen bookshelf she gently placed her hand atop his in gesture meant to put pause to yet another fruitless attempt to lift it. “Let me.” The old bookkeeper stared at Verdandi for a moment before nodding and moving aside to allow Verdandi space to work.

The beastgirl took firm hold of the shelf and adjusted her position before heaving the shelf up with a grunt. At first, it seemed she’d fail due to improper leverage but with a quick adjustment in the moment it initially came of the ground, the beastgirl eased it back into its rightful position. “Hey, would’ya look at that. You’re stronger than y’look.”

Verdandi brushed her hands together, “Not really. I’m actually quite average as far as Beastkin go.” She smiled at the old man.

He returned the gesture with a haunted smile of his own, “Y’smile like her. Actually, y’remind me of Alisa in many ways. She’d want u’ be here helpin’ to fix her mess, same s’you.”

Verdandi’s eyes fell again, “Then she’s nothing like me.” Subconsciously, she rubbed her arms as she continued speaking, “I only know to run from my messes.”

The old man had started replacing books on the now corrected shelf, “Again, y’ain’t too bright. Don’t even know y’self.”

Excuse me?” Again, Verdandi ruffled at the old man’s comments concerning her level of intelligence.

“Well, yer here cleanin’ up this mess an’ it ain’t even yours. I think y’don’t know what y’know to do an’ what y’don’t.”

Perhaps she felt defensive, perhaps that earlier guilt she had tried to suppress was again clawing its way to the surface, but she couldn’t remain silent on this matter, “I know what I can’t do. I know what can and can’t be done – I can tell when something is hopeless. And I know when I’m tired and far too weak to have faith in something. I know when to give up. That’s all.”

“Runnin’ ain’t always givin’ up.” Verdandi blinked as the old man spoke, “I’d say it’s u’ type of fightin’. A fight fo’ survival. I’d say if yer runnin’ it’s due to the fight and the hope y’got stored up in ya.” The old man shrugged as he continued, “’sides, ain’t nuthin’ wrong with not doin’ what y’know y’can’t do. Just got u’ find an’ do what y’can.”

“But-”

“An’ as fo’ hopelessness. Ain’t nuthin’ hopless ‘til y’give up hopin’. At least, that’s what Alisa always says ‘bout this shop. The old man sighed again then mumbled, “She’d really regret not helpin’ clean up…”

Verdandi was rarely at a loss for thinking. But she suddenly felt as though this old man had hung her excuses out to dry after using them to beat her with. She couldn’t say she was about to turn a new leaf. She definitely thought what those foolishly brave people were doing was stupid and definitely wouldn’t work, and she had no plans to fight a demon. Heaven knows she’d be more a bane than a boon in a fight, but there was at least something she could do. Wasn’t there? She looked down at her arm, even now she hoped for healing for herself – was it so far a stretch to hope Alisa would get back to being Alisa?

Maybe not.

Verdandi breathed in the air, searching for what she knew was likely present – and she smelt it. Blood – blood with an ever so slight tainted scent. Blood left behind from the mercenary’s scathing blow. She turned on her heels and followed her nose to the source. A bucket with a crimson stained cloth resting inside it. “What are y’doin’?” Making sure to use her right, already contaminated hand the beastgirl reached in to take hold of the cloth, “Hey! Y’shouldn’t touch that! Y’might get sick y’self!”

Paying no mind to the old man’s warning, she firmly grasped the slightly damp cloth and held it to her nose in order to memorize the scent. She didn’t know if this would help, but if the demon still bled or wore bloody clothes, she might be able to track it down. It was all she knew to do at this point. Distracted, she didn’t notice the old man frantically approach her and grab her right hand. Instinct kicked in and for fear of the transferring her own disease to the elderly gentleman she dropped the cloth, shoved him away, and yelped, “Don’t touch my arm! I’m fine!”

The old man, shocked, stared at her before realization dawned. “Yer sick too. Like Alisa is.”

She ignored the old man’s statement and picked up the cloth once more, “I’m borrowing this. I’ll bring it back…with Alisa.”

Without turning to look at the old man, for fear of the fear, pity, or hope she’d see in his eyes she left for the town’s entrance. She only had a short while before the hour was up, even hurrying – she probably would still be late.

But better late than never she supposed.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nero Dalmascer Lucifer Character Portrait: Lucia Mirakel Character Portrait: Verdandi Saga Yngiv Character Portrait: Aleenia Anariel Taldren Character Portrait: Cain Azura

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With a Plan set in place, Lucia Mirakel takes time for her own quiet thoughts and reflections... In search of the willpower to confront the demon with courage.

The plan was set, and Nero had run off to what she presumed to be the town gates, he was going to confront the demon himself. As she thought about her plan, Lucia knelt looking at Aleenia's wound, she took a breath, knowing this injury will hurt. Placing a hand on the shard Lucia looked to the elven woman, "This may hurt some bit, Lady Aleenia." she then began to take the shard from the woman's calf. It was deep into the muscle, but it was not something Lucia's magic could not handle with ease. Once the shard was out, with a small prayer once more, she placed her hands over the wound, a small glow began to encompass both the wound and her hand, t'was a warm glow and the young sister grit her teeth a little as Aleenia's leg closed, while the wound began to open in Lucia's leg, as Aleenia's leg had healed without even so much as a scar, Lucina stood, the wound throbbed as her muscle had quickly showed it's displeasure with being in the situation she was. Yet, the woman knew her body would heal quicker than Aleenia, thus, a light smile was given as her voice was gently heard, "There you go. All healed, Lady Aleenia."

Though, Aleenia's words echoed in her mind, while neither were wrong, there was a slim chance for the soul to be saved, it was more what Aleenia said after, it resided heavily in her mind, 'Can Sir Nero really save this person? Can I even save this person's soul?' she thought. While she was confident in her skills in healing, she understood her capabilities, but even then she had little practice in her Soul Rebirth, as it both deals with the physical side and spiritual side of a person. It heavily relied on the person's will to live, that is, if the person isn't deceased already. At that point, the situation is well out of anyone's hands. Lucia took a harsh breath, that injury was seriously something else, as it especially interrupted her thought, Rude. Yet her dark brown eyes locked to the azure eyes of Aleenia once more, as her thought returned with a fervor, "If the body is still alive, and the person has the will to live, there's a chance I can bring their soul back to them. However, the chance is very slim, and depends on how the Goddess wishes go, but, much like you, Lady Aleenia, I shall take this chance." With a light laugh, Lucia continued her thought, "Even if it means I have to act as the bait to draw the demon out." She was more laughing at her idea from earlier. It was a tactic that had worked in the past, though Aleenia's point stood, the thing overpowered the five of them once, Lucia would stand no chance on her own, though with the five, Lucia knew there was enough hope to bring forth a Miracle once more, after all, there were five on this attempt, the worst case scenario was a seraph team to get involved, for at that point their plan would be doomed to fail.

Without a second thought, Lucia proceeded towards the town's gates, with determination rattling her chest. Those whom resided in the peaceful town were in danger, and Lucia wanted none of that. Even if it meant she threw herself into danger to shield the townspeople. As she approached Nero, her voice was swiftly heard, "Sir Nero, if you can purify the body, and so long as the body isn't deceased, I can raise our odds at bringing the soul back. So I shall join along in-"

"Lucia!"

A familiar voice, stopping Lucia in her tracks, Lucia turned, noticing a woman approaching, Seriya,

"Oh, Seriya! What are you-"

"Looking for you. Haven't you heard? There's a demon about the area. You know Mother Yeliss' policy."

"Yes. I do, as I've encountered the demon before with Sir Nero here. Along with several others, we're trying to at least attempt in purifying it." With those words, the woman both looked at Nero and Lucia, in utter confusion,

"Purify.... A demon...? Sister Lucia what on earth are you thinking? Purifying a demon is impossible." Seriya shook her head, with Lucia looking at the blue-haired woman with determination, though the Seraph laughed a little, her gaze turning especially to Nero, with a contrasting set of eyes to her blue hair, "Well then. If you're to confront a demon, you'll need a Seraph in support. I'll help." She paused, her eyes getting sharper, "But. If your purification process turns out to fail. I won't hesitate to end the demon then and there. Am I clear, Sir Nero?" Her words were swift and sharp, and Lucia looked aside, hating to think that possibility was unacceptable, though, it didn't so much as rattle her. The plan was set, and each piece was ready to follow through with it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Nero Dalmascer Lucifer Character Portrait: Lucia Mirakel Character Portrait: Verdandi Saga Yngiv Character Portrait: Aleenia Anariel Taldren Character Portrait: Cain Azura

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Cain Azura
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Cain pushed Belzedar off and patted his head in a scolding fashion. "Alright relax don't be a worry wart." He stated as he listened to Lucia's statement, as well as Aleenia's. When she talked about how people suffer yet move forward he knew it was aimed for him, and his heart almost stopped.

"She sounds like her." he thought as he nodded to her as he watched Lucia tend to the Elf's wound. Then Nero suggested his current plan as the young man blessed by dragons nodded. "Right. An hour, meet you there! The bet now stands!" he said in a clear tone of not wanting to lose ten gold coins. He then turned to Aleenia with a small smile.

"I thank you again for your words. I believe this seals the deal. You're my friend now! As your friend I'll go where you go and your enemies shall be my enemies!" He declared, "Now then Lady Aleenia, shall we go and see if Nero's plans come to fruition?" He got onto Belzedar as he stated this the horse giving a loud huff as its master climbed on.

"Uhm, would you... Like to ride on him?" regardless of the answer to the question, when he started traveling to the destination he stuck close to his now declared friend. His horse gave him a 'Really?' look.

When Cain had got there he stared dumbfounded at Lucia and another nun who arrived. "Lady Lucia did you invite some of your friends here?" he asked in confusion as he scratched his head confused like. He didn't recall anyone inviting more priestesses to the party when he remembered that Lucia's order would send someone if she was not back. His mouth formed a small 'o' in understanding as Belzedar rolled his eyes.

His master was at often times, a simple minded man.