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Kenji Umeki

"......."

0 · 706 views · located in Camdiere

a character in “The Mercenaries' Princess”, as played by Meow Meow

Description



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||FULL NAME||
Kenji Umeki

||AGE||
24

||RACE||
Human

||SEXUAL PREFERENCE||
Homosexual

||EQUIPMENT||
Kenji's favored weapon is his katana. He's had it since he was a little boy and he's held it dearly since that day. It was given the name Oboro, meaning cursed sword. No, it's not really cursed. Kenji actually came up with a concoction in his free time that's highly poisonous. He coats his katana in it most nights after use. One poke with this liquid and in an instant the opponents body will be very weakened and to the point where the muscles stop working, leading to paralysis. It takes a little while, but it also counts the heart. Basically after an hour or so the heart will stop and lead to death. So there's really no escaping death after battling Kenji, not like he'll let his opponent escape in the first place. But of course there are flaws to everything. Sometimes he'll forget to coat his sword or he'll run out of poison. Also if his opponent is very large and burly then the poison wont take affect for a while longer. He also carries a small dagger to make quiet secret kills. Of course he carries his trusty poison, the one he has yet to name. Then lastly he keeps a thin wire on hand to make quiet and also clean kills. He'll pop up behind an opponent, wrap the wire around their neck and squeeze the life out of them. Then he won't have to deal with the dreaded blood.




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||HEIGHT||
6'1

||WEIGHT||
163

||BODY TYPE||
Slim and Muscular

||SKIN COLOR||
Pale

||HAIR COLOR||
Shiny Black

||HAIR LENGTH||
It travels to his mid back but he ties it up in a pony tail, its tradition.

||EYE COLOR||
This is where it gets interesting. After contaminating his eyes with some chemical, his eye color varies. It can be from a sweet baby blue, to bloodshot red, and even a dull grey.

||SCARS||
Kenji believes in pureness, he does what ever he can to avoid ever lasting scars, he's still clear to this day.

||CLOTHING||
To this day, Kenji has continued to wear the same style of clothing from his childhood. And that would be a kimono and wooden sandals. That's all. He's super simple. Some times it's blue with white trim and sometimes its black with white, he randomly alters the colors. Some say he has several kimonos with him, others say that he dies his clothes. Also he ties his hair up with a black or white ribbon, which ever ones not in his hair, is tied to his wrist. They are both held dearly to him.



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||STRENGTHS||
☯ Stealth ~ People never see or hear Kenji coming. Somehow he has gotten the sound of his footsteps to be nonexistent. And he can hide in the shadows better than anyone he's ever met. It's almost as if he's a ghost.

☯ Agility ~ Kenji also has unbelievable speed and movement. He can dodge in attack with swift quick movements to the point that the opponent wont even know what happened. Not only that but his attacks are just the same, most people wont even know what happened. He also can run very fast, that's why most opponents don't escape his clutches.

☯ Alchemy ~ Over the time, Kenji has grown quite skilled in the art of potion and poison making. He knows every berry, herb, and root out there. It's quite impressive, his knowledge. He's never read a single book either, he's found out all these things by mere experimentation.

☯ Organization and Cleanliness ~ Kenji is a bit impulsive. He enjoys perfectness and pureness. Symmetry as well. When he attacks an opponent with his katana, he'll make nice clean cuts. Severing areas that don't release as much blood, just to keep his clothes and battle field clean. Also if he has a room or work space, everything will be orderly and straight.

||WEAKNESSES||
☢ Range ~ Kenji has a great disadvantage at range. He likes to battle up close and personal, therefore he has zero ranged weapons.

☢ Breakdowns ~ Kenji at times can have breakdowns in the middle of battle. If he damages his clothes or doesn't make a perfect cut, he will go nuts, but only on the inside. On the outside it'd almost be like he shuts down and just refuses to move.

☢ Strength ~ He isn't the strongest guy out there. He usually has to work very hard to get his slices perfect. Plus if he has to fight against a big guy or gal then he might have a bit of trouble. He really only has his sneak skills to rely on if hes facing someone like that.

||PERSONALITY||
Kenji is a complicated fellow. It's almost as if he's emotionless. His facial expressions never change, he doesn't think before he kills, hes never loved, basically he does nothing that involves emotion. Its as if that part of his brain just doesn't function. He's basically an empty shell. Not only that but he's very quiet. He barely makes a peep. Not like he has anyone to speak with in the first place, but still. Some could say hes just very calm, not letting anything phase him. There's no happiness, but there isn't anger, he doesn't give compliments, but he doesn't insult either. People who have met him without taking harm say that there must be something in his past that has made him this way.

Although, within all this emptiness, Kenji knows he can feel a little something, deep deep deep within himself. Almost like all of his feelings are barely scratching at his insides, trying to reach the surface for air. But there's a barrier in the way. A large wall blocking them from being acknowledged. For some reason he just can't break the wall down himself. He's tried everything. He hopes that eventually after killing enough people he will feel the feeling known as guilt or maybe even sadness.

With all of his emotions out of the way, he's had a lot of time to educate himself. Experimenting with nature, and more nature... He doesn't really know what else to experiment with in his conditions. Most of the time he just turns solids into liquids, mixes them together, and sees what happens. He's made explosions, vomit inducing concoctions, and even his all famous paralysis poison. Plus he's gotten to observe much of natures different physical and chemical properties. It's as if hes one with nature.

Other than these things, there's not much else to Kenji. He's just a simple empty husk.



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Kenji has quite a traumatic history. Really the cause of his lack of emotions. At first he had a simple life. Living with a mother and father and his much older brother. He was actually content, eating, playing, and laughing. Although they weren't the richest family. They lived in the bad area of a giant town he doesn't know the name of. Probably a memory he has forgotten. One day when Kenji was about five, some low life bandits invaded his home. They were in search for any kind of money they could find. Kenji's mother was holding him and his brother and father were barricading them from danger. Which ended being pointless. While the bandits were raiding the house Kenji's brother and father came up with a plan to sneak up on the three bandits. His mother pleaded for them not to but they tried their hearts out, with good intentions nonetheless. Unfortunately they were both murdered, stabbed by the filthy bandits rusty daggers. Blood was everywhere. Kenji cried and cried, the bandits still pushing forward. Eventually they found nothing worth their time except the loose change on the dead family members so as a compromise they decided to take the mom.

Kenji was left in the house in a mixture of his father and brothers blood, too innocent to know what was happening, but old enough to know that what happened was the worst thing that could be. After a day of crying for mommy and daddy, a family friend of the Umeki's walked in on the horror scene after hearing poor Kenji as he walked by the house. The friend was horrified, not as scarred as Kenji though. After that Kenji lived with this friend known as Daisuke. And he was never the same. It was hard for Daisuke to get him to eat, and Kenji would always pretend to sleep, but he never could. Eventually after seven years of torturous nightmares and feeling nothing but emptiness, Kenji left. Saying nothing to Daisuke, leaving him worried.

Kenji lived his life traveling from different towns and sleeping in the streets, maybe a room in another persons house if he was lucky. It wasn't a reasonable life but Kenji could care less. He was just searching for what his life could be and way to be able to feel again. When he turned thirteen he began to steal, in the hopes that he might be able to feel some kind of excitement. Sadly enough, that was a failure. He felt absolutely nothing. Then one day he spotted a katana in the blacksmiths of some little village. He knew it was something he wanted, so he waltzed in and stole it off the counter when the blacksmith was distracted hammering some metal. Unfortunately the blacksmith caught him, but to Kenji's surprise, the man let him keep it as long as he promised to never steal again and to never return to the village. The now teen boy nodded and ran off to his next destination.

For the rest of his teen years, he spent his time foraging in the wild. Living with nature, experimenting with it. He also trained a lot with fighting skills and with his katana. Eventually he became a professional with these things and he decided to search for his feelings in a darker way. Once he was nineteen, he came across the mighty kingdom of Dunn. He decided to join the army and train his skills further. He never followed the rules or the dress code, but they accepted him because his skills were beyond they've ever seen for a young human. This is when he started killing actual people, trying to drag out that feeling of pain and guilt, which failed once again. But he's kept on, with nothing better to do, and the hope that if he kills enough he will eventually feel something. To this day he is fighting in this army, even in the battle to find the mysterious princess, Sakura....



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So begins...

Kenji Umeki's Story

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Character Portrait: Shyc Regaile Character Portrait: Kenji Umeki
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Kenji had been walking all day, following an army full of idiots to do whatever their quest may be. He despised the people of Dunn, but he went with the army anyways for some shits and giggles. If Kenji was going to spend his time doing something, it might as well be something hes good at, killing. All he knew about today's mission was that their objective was to kidnap some princess or something silly like that. Kenji pieced everything together after hearing that. Princess in scary forest = bodyguards. Eventually Kenji went off the trail to examine what looked to be a dead animal, it was quite large, a difficult kill in short. What made it interesting was that there wasn't any blood, so that means it had to have died by natural causes. It looked young in age, so eventually Kenji deducted that it had to have been a plant's doing. He searched around the bushes to find a berry he had never seen before. It was a bright orange with light blue flowers, and just typical stick branches holding them up. He slid his dagger out of his sleeve and cut off a sample of the strange foliage, storing it in the pocket of his blue and white kimono.

After returning to the trail, he realized he had lost his companions. They were probably far off too, but that didn't stop Kenji. He tried following the faint footsteps that resided in the slightly damp dirt, and thankfully was successful of navigating his way. He enjoyed this particular forest. It was full of blooming flowers and interesting species. Although that was only in his eyes, others would see terrifying beasts and frightening carnivorous plant life. But the same fear that most humans feel didn't come to him. It was as if everything was normal.

Eventually the easily distracted man found his way back to the group. He actually walked onto a horrifying scene. There was a strong scent coming from the gooey red substance now coating the trail. The bloody stench didn't seem to bother Kenji but he did acknowledge it. What is this? Is there an opponent worthy of my time? There must be several. Half of the army is lying on the ground. This will be quite the treat. Even his thoughts were lacking emotion. Not a speck of excitement or worry, he was just completely neutral. It was quite disturbing considering the circumstances.

After calmly strolling past several bloodied bodies, Kenji heard a voice.

"Who's next?"

Finally live people came into view, the uneducated Dunn buffoons were crowding around something or someone that Kenji was unable to see. They were clearly all terrified, quaking in their boots. Kenji would've laughed and grinned at the idiots if he had such capabilities. They were all slowly backing away from the center of the circle, probably the source of all the death surrounding the dark forest. Kenji decided to push his way through the crowd which gave way easily. It was almost as if they were just as scared of Kenji, moving respectfully out of his way to reveal his opponent.

Kenji laid his eyes upon the man that stood in front of him. He was soaked and dripping in blood, a psychotic smile plastered on the his face. It was hard to tell what the young man truly looked like due to the fact that the same gooey redness on the floor caked his clothes, face, and hair. He also had two equally bloodied blades to the side of him. Kenji usually took a more sneaky approach when it came to fighting, but Kenji had to come face to face with an opponent with such skill. With his right arm, he reached behind his back and gripped the hilt of Oboro. He slowly pulled the sharp katana out of its sheath returned it calmly to his side, ready to strike at any moment. He could see the faint red tint that resided on the blade out of the corner of his eye, his most useful concoction. Then in his mind he replied.

I'm next.

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Character Portrait: Shyc Regaile Character Portrait: Kenji Umeki
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#, as written by Siryn
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Thanks very much to Meow for helping out with this collab :D It was loads of fun!! ^.^

He no sooner called out the words of 'who's next' and they all but bolted away from him. Having seen their companions decimated within seconds, it was no wonder none wanted to stay. Shyc's smirk slowly fell down into a frown as he glowered at those that turned and ran. The frown didn't last long though as some unfortunate soul decided that he would try his luck against the daemon.

Smiling once again, he flipped his swords around, the wrists of each hand rolling to complete the movement. Silver fire burst along the length of each blade as he tilted his head off to the side, blood soaked hair falling to one side as he did so, "You?" he asked, breathing the word briefly before leaning forward a bit. He liked the look this one had, almost void of any emotion. A solid being stood before him. Perhaps this person would give him more than the others had.

Shyc lunged forward, moving rather quickly to cover the distance between them. Both swords were held down until the last second and Shyc raised both weapons quickly to knock the single sword from the man's grip.

Kenji acknowledged the crazed man's smile. Cocky bastard. Kenji thought to himself as he watched his opponent flip his swords. He watched intently as the blades burst into shiny silver flames. It was something he had never seen before. Well this makes it interesting... Kenji tried to plan what he was to do in this battle, he had to make sure that he keep away from the flames as he wasn't sure what damage they could inflict.

"You? The mysterious man questioned.

Kenji faintly nodded, his expression remaining the same. He was always calm and collected during a battle. Suddenly his opponent made the first move. Kenji remained put as the man and his swords came barreling towards him. Then out of nowhere their swords came into contact. Oboro stood strong against the unknown swords that had attacked. Don't think it'll be that easy. Kenji used his strength to push the two swords away and then he returned with a swing towards the mans left side.

Both his weapons flew upwards as the man tossed him backwards. Failing to disarm him, Shyc's grin turned into a snarl as he grit his teeth. Turning the blade on his left, he just barely caught the strike. Now holding his weapon backwards to deflect the incoming slash, he turned his body sideways to help alleviate the pressure there that both swords invoked as he pushed against the other.

"My my, someone who might pose as a challenge," Shyc grinned again, "Now then, why don't you show me you're serious?"

Pulling back, he did a complete circle, pivoting on his foot and slashing outwards with his blade aimed towards the man's right side.

Kenji furrowed his brow as his blade came to a halt. That rarely happened unless his blade was tearing through flesh. He made eye contact with his opponent, trying to search for his weakness. Then the man made yet another comment, and mid battle, something Kenji despised.

"My my, someone who might pose as a challenge. Now then, why don't you show me you're serious?" Kenji would do anything he could to wipe the grin off the blood soaked face that was before him.

In a matter of seconds his opponent's blade came racing towards Kenji's right. He quickly gripped Oboro with two hands and swung downwards on the opposing blade, enough to stop it but not enough to hold it down. Then as instinct he jumped backwards keeping away from the skilled swordsman. I need to surprise him, otherwise this will just keep happening. Kenji was at a loss, this was the first time he was up against a worthy opponent. Then he remembered he had a trick up his sleeve. He dropped his left arm to his side and in doing so his dagger slowly slid down his wrist and landed in his hand. Thankfully the sleeves of his kimono were long enough to conceal the movement.

Shyc watched as his target moved backwards swiftly. His sword had been caught, dropped down from it's original course and then hit nothing as the daemon tried to readjust and still hit the man that he'd now deemed as a highly worthy being. It had been so long since someone could stand against him to this degree. Shyc was almost shivering in excitement. Both eyes were dilated with the ecstasy that was coursing through him via the fight.

The daemon was so lost in his excitement that he failed to notice the important details of the fight. He was getting carried away. Shyc wanted to see more of what this man could do, how long would he last, would Shyc manage to inflict a wound on him? Or would it simply be a dance of clanging steel forever. He wanted to know, he had to find out. So many decades of blood lust and wanting something to be worth his time... finally it had come.

"Don't run," he cooed, "We've just gotten started," when he finished those words he lunged forward again, one blade held just to the side of him while the other was down again, the tip barely dragging against the soft soil of the swampy forest floor. The moment he was close, he lifted the one that dragged on the ground to snap the blade from his opponents hand while the other made ready to cut through him.

"Don't run. We've just gotten started."

Kenji barely had time to process the man's words before he went for another attack. As he was running towards him, Kenji noticed that he positioned each one of his blades on either side of him. He's trying to corner me. Kenji barely had time to think before he reacted. He planted his feet firm in the soft ground and prepared himself to take the blow. I've got you now.

Kenji tightly gripped Oboro and swung his right arm across his body to block the blade targeting his left side, and while doing this he crossed his left arm to his right side, dagger in hand, and aimed upwards towards the arm swinging his opponents other blade. Kenji's right arm almost buckled as his blade came into contact with his enemies, but all he was focusing on was the same red tint that covered his small silver dagger, the one that was about to stab his opponents arm.

Shyc felt the blades collide, the vibration ran up his arm to his shoulder. His enemy had done something that he wasn't expecting and didn't have time to adjust for. His grin turned into a frown again, his eyes watching as the smaller dagger shot to his unprotected arm. Too close to get his other sword up, Shyc twisted his body to attempt to get out of the way. He failed in doing so, too slow in realizing that the man had another weapon to begin with and his forward momentum having an opposite effect on what he wanted to do.

The blade cut deep into the soft tissue of the muscle just outside his shoulder. Hissing in pain, he shoved his body forward, tumbling to the ground. Shyc could care less if the man followed him to the ground or not. He was more worried about the feeling that was coursing through him. Glowering at the ground, he pushed himself upwards, stumbling onto his feet and gave an icy stare at the man.

"You, you've done something," he hissed between clenched teeth. He could feel a strange numbness flooding his body rather quickly, too quickly for comfort. Narrowing his gaze, he ground his teeth, "This won't be the last time we meet. Next time I'll put my blade through you."

The daemon closed his eyes and started a soft incantation to himself. When he finished, it seemed the blood drained from Shyc's face, paling his skin more than it already was. His eyes fluttered open to reveal their normal brilliant green color and the fangs were gone from his teeth. Taking a deep breath he seemed to regain himself... at least, until he looked around. A gasp filled his lungs and he looked down at the blades in his hands. Both covered in thick crimson liquid as was his entire frame.

The young thief began to shake, his breathing erratic as he released the weapons, stumbling backwards until he hit a tree and slowly slid down it to sit on the moist ground. He looked terrified.

Kenji watched his opponent struggle as the unprepared man realized Kenji had gotten the upper hand on him. He could feel his dagger tear through his enemies flesh, and he knew, he had won. Kenji was pleased to hear the man in pain, so much that he almost cracked a smile. He wasn't really expecting the force that made him fall on his ass though. His opponent was strong, he had to give him that.

Luckily his enemy had pushed himself to the ground as well, so Kenji couldn't feel too embarrassed, well if he did feel anything. Kenji then watched as the man stood up and glowered at him.

"You, you've done something." Kenji could see by the mans expression that the poison was taking effect. "This won't be the last time we meet. Next time I'll put my blade through you."

Kenji was confused as he watched the man whisper to himself, he was also questioning the last thing he said to him. What was it supposed to mean? Then as the man before him started to change, he began to understand. Kenji had heard of things like this. He must have been possessed by something.

As the real person started to gain consciousness, he lost it. If Kenji had a heart, he would almost feel bad for him, but instead he just stood up, unfazed by the whole situation. He sheathed Oboro and walked over to a nearby plant to rub the blood that covered his dagger off. I'll wash you later. He then returned it under his left sleeve and crossed his arms as he awaited for the young man to die of heart failure.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shyc Regaile Character Portrait: Sakura Dieriean Character Portrait: Razeluxe Character Portrait: Nahvariik Character Portrait: Kenji Umeki
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Razeluxe







Razeluxe was relieved that Sakura only really appeared to be exhausted. She did not appear to be in any mortal danger, so at the very least, he could tend to other matters without worrying about her dying without medical attention. The young-ish warrior sight as he gripped his blade properly in his hand before giving a glance over towards the unconscious form of the assailant. Perhaps he'd be yet another person for them to interrogate. So many people already wanted the princess, and he'd only just heard of her existence a short while ago. Something was certainly up.

He did not have enough time to muse on the subject. Whatever happened to Shyc was obviously worrying the rest of the group, two of which had seemingly disappeared, perhaps fighting alongside the young man. Shyc appeared berserk in a way, but not simply that. There was a cocky look about him that did not seem like his usual self. From where he was, away from his proximity, Razeluxe could not see any of his features aside. Whatever was happening, he was certain to make a mistake sometime, and even though his fights with the numerous soldiers was apparently going his way, Raze could not leave the young man alone.

Besides, Sakura asked him to assist.

"And where has those other two disappear off to now?"

"They're capable on their own. I suggest we worry about the young one." the elf then retrieved his shield and started off towards the battlefield to help the berserk young man out, simply nodding to Sakura before he did so.

By the time he drew nearer to the conflict, he'd already had to step over the carnage that was left behind in Shyc's wake. Shyc was certainly no fool when it came to swordplay and the like, but this much death was certainly not something he was capable of, as far as Razeluxe had known. However, this did not cause the leader of the mercenaries to faulter - nothing would. He had the sole job of making sure to scold this young fool for recklessly charging into battle.... and surviving fatal wounds. It would probably be another subject to bring up once this battle had subsided.

*CLANG*

Raze's shield came up to block the blow sent towards him immediately, and he followed through with a simple thrust to the attacker's chest, killing him almost instantly. This was around the time that the new challenger had appeared to face Shyc, who was intimidating the rest of the men with his pure bloodlust and thirst for death. Despite this, the men showed no signs of fear towards Razeluxe, and decided to turn their attention to him, perhaps assuming that this new guy could fend for himself in the face of a butcher of sorts.

Damnit, I need to get to him!

Compared to yesterday, this was nothing. Some of these men were exhausted from the skirmish just before with Shyc and their blows were laughable at best. Some attackers would find themselves gutted after a well-timed parry, the others would simply be unable to react to a quick slash amongst their throats. Either way, they proved to be nothing but a means to slow down Razeluxe's advance as he desperately tried to forge onwards to his ally. However, it was enough. By the time Razeluxe reached Shyc, the blood covering him was not just his foe's.

"This won't be the last time we meet. Next time I'll put my blade through you."

Those were Shyc's last words before he stumbled back against a tree, his expression contrasting greatly to what his was prior. However, Razeluxe noted that this seemed much more like Shyc than whatever he was doing earlier did. Was he under the influence of something, perhaps? That did not matter at the time. What did was that his foe still stood and he did not. The man whom had challenged Shyc did not seem mortally wounded, if at all. His expression was calm, cold; the expression of an assassin who had killed many times before.

That worried him.

The man was not showing any signs of triumph, like you might expect from the typical canon fodder. He did not cheer nor shout about his supposed victory either. All Raze saw was a blank slate, a man doing his job and nothing else. People like that were some of the biggest threats. He had yet to have taken Shyc's life, and out here, Raze doubted that a good match would lead to him sparing his foe - people just weren't that generous. It left very few conclusions for the elf to make as to why he hadn't plunged his blade through the weakened Shyc.

If he really is poisoned, we need help quick.

He went under this assumption due to the aforementioned reason above, and was hoping to whatever deity really existed that he was wrong. Raze could deal with physical damage that was non-fatal easy. And he did have a slight knowledge about some healing magics to ease pain, but poison was something he was certainly not familiar with. Perhaps Willow could tend to him, but with no way to know how long it'd take for this poison to do its job, he wasn't really comfortable waiting. Then again, there was not much he could do in the situation. Besides, the men who had yet to have been slain by Raze, Shyc, or Nahv (who was probably having his way with some canon-fodder booty right about now) were starting to crowd him, perhaps gaining confidence now that one of them had been downed. As they drew nearer to the terrified Shyc, Razeluxe stepped in front of the weakened Shyc.

"All right, that's enough. Ugly people stand aside. Anyone who wishes to keep their lives should retreat now, before it's too late." Razeluxe declared with his sword and shield at the ready. What people might mistake as a false confidence was the entirety of his tone. "You can all leave with your lives or perish here. Your choice."

Though he would not neglect to assess his surroundings (particularly now that he had the full attention of plenty of armed men), his glare was focused towards the man who had defeated Shyc, as if his threats were directed towards him instead of the entire group. Even if this man was not the on-site leader of these troops, he could probably be their voice regardless. Not a single one of these men aside from him could have matched blades with one of Raze's mercenaries. It was fairly likely Raze or Shyc had already executed who was supposed to be their commander. A part of Razeluxe wanted to cross blades with this man, the childish, competitive part. But if that were avoidable in these circumstances, it was preferable. If Shyc was really poisoned, then he might not have too long left to live.

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Character Portrait: Shyc Regaile Character Portrait: Razeluxe Character Portrait: Kenji Umeki
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Kenji's eyes widened ever so slightly. For some odd reason the young man he had thought he defeated, wasn't dying. It really didn't look like he felt any pain at all. He wasn't clasping his wound, his chest or even any other body parts that should be losing feeling at the moment. Where's the blood? From the glance Kenji caught of the boy's wound, it should be gushing blood, but it was as if nothing happened. His clothes remained unstained. Kenji decided to go examine the man, due to the fact that he seemed completely harmless as of now. As he began to take his first step, another man appeared. More specifically, an elf. He seemed to be protecting the young man slumped up against the tree as Kenji and the Dunn army advanced.

"All right, that's enough. Anyone who wishes to keep their lives should retreat now, before it's too late. You can all leave with your lives or perish here. Your choice."

Kenji wanted to laugh at the absurdity. But laughing wasn't one of his capabilities. This one is as cocky as the last. He must be working with my past opponent. Perhaps protecting the "princess" as well. Kenji analyzed the situation in his mind. He then decided to ignore the elven warrior and focused his attention back on the man who should be dying. He returned to his original objective, examining the wound he left. He took a few more steps forward, and as he did so, the Dunn dummies backed off once again. Kenji kept his hands away from Oboro, so he could come off as innocent and friendly. If the elf decided to make a move he could swiftly grab his deadly katana, but if not, he could also use his dagger once again.

It wasn't that Kenji didn't believe the elf could cause problems, or be strong enough to give a good fight, he just was to distracted by his previous opponent. He had never met someone who could just withstand his poisonous concoction, it was basically impossible, and he hadn't found a cure for it either. So what had happened? He knew there was some logical explanation, so he needed to find out. His knowledge and fighting skills are really all he has.

The setting changes from camdiere to Kingdom of Duun

Setting

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Character Portrait: Shyc Regaile Character Portrait: Sakura Dieriean Character Portrait: Razeluxe Character Portrait: Nahvariik Character Portrait: Kenji Umeki
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#, as written by Siryn
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"And where has those other two disappear off to now?"

"They're capable on their own. I suggest we worry about the young one."


Glancing out to the fight between the trees, Sakura noted that Dinan and Willow were indeed missing from their original spots. Perhaps the fighting had taken them to a different part of the forest area around them? Anything was possible, she was sure. But as Raze had suggested, they were fine on their own. Even Sakura knew that by the way they'd all carried themselves the past three days. She could tell they were all very strong in their own ways. Raze gave her a short nod before he turned and rushed off to help the young thief.

Sakura's body finally seemed to relax as Raze left to assist Shyc in the fight. She watched him as he fought to get to the boy's side. Pulling her bottom lip into her mouth, she nibbled on it nervously as she watched. After a moment, she lost sight of first Shyc, then Raze. Her heart lurched, but she quickly calmed herself. She'd definitely had enough negative emotions for one day. It was draining her of her strength and she was sure to need more of that later when they started the journey back to Iverien. Sakura was fairly sure they would start that journey sometime that day seeing as it was still early morning.

Pushing herself upwards, she got to her feet as the sounds of steel clashing against each other slowly faded away. The echos remained, but new sounds of fighting didn't start up. She swayed a bit on her feet, but managed to stay standing for the most part. Sakura, ignoring that she was probably going to get scolded, went after Raze. Following the path he'd gone and where she'd last seen him, she weaved through the trees until she stumbled upon both him and Shyc as well as someone else that she'd never seen before.

Behind this newcomer, were more men, but they were edging away before turning around completely and running. They'd obviously lost the will to fight and by the way it looked, Raze was in no mood for messing around. Sakura swallowed dryly. She'd never seen him like that before, and it was slightly terrifying. That was when she laid eyes on the young thief. Sakura gasped, loudly, and ran to him. He was covered head to foot in blood that she thought was his own.

"Shyc! Oh... Gods, are you alright? What happened, where are -"

She didn't get within two feet of him when he flinched and shoved himself away from her. His breathing was shallow and quick, his green gaze horror filled as he snapped at her, "Don't!"

Sakura stopped, and her legs gave out from underneath her. Dropping down to her knees wearily, she lifted one hand to press against her temple briefly before looking back up to Shyc who was slightly worried, but still scared. The princess couldn't comprehend what it was that made him snap at her like that, almost as if he was afraid of something. Why would he be so scared? It couldn't be her, could it? No. That was silly.

"Shyc... what's wrong?"

He shook his head, brows curling upwards as his gaze filled with tears slightly, "I...I'm so sorry," he muttered the last part. He grit his teeth, his head turning off to the side and his stained hair falling forward to cover his eyes from her view. She slid forward on hands and knees, an eyebrow coming down in confusion. She didn't understand his demeanor at all. This wasn't really like him, not at all.

The young mercenaries voice called out to Raze a moment later, "Don't... don't hurt him, Raze. I - That has never happened before. No one has ever brought me back before."

"'Brought you back?'" Sakura repeated softly. She shifted her gaze to Raze, then to the new comer in robes, and finally back to Shyc. The boy was trembling as he clenched his fist, head still turned from all of them.

"... Sorry... sorry I didn't tell you," he muttered again.

"Shyc. There's nothing to be sorry about," Sakura said softly, smiling at him as she edged closer to him again. He didn't move, that or maybe he didn't notice that she'd gotten close to him, "It's fine now. You're fine, we all are. Now we can head back to Iverien. Okay?"

He didn't answer, nor did he make any gesture that he had heard or was going to move. Sakura's gaze widened a bit as she watched him almost desperately. She turned to Raze. She didn't say anything, but only shook her head a bit. The princess was at a loss. She couldn't think of anything and whatever was tormenting Shyc... he wasn't about to say it outright. At least not without some coaxing and that she wasn't very good at.

The setting changes from kingdom-of-duun to Camdiere

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Character Portrait: Shyc Regaile Character Portrait: Sakura Dieriean Character Portrait: Razeluxe Character Portrait: Kenji Umeki
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Razeluxe







About three things Raze was absolutely positive: First, this man was testing him. Second, there was a part of him–and he didn’t know how dominant that part might be–that was taunting Raze. And third, Razeluxe was unconditionally and irrevocably chagrined at Sakura's appearance into the fray.

But Twilight references aside....

The young elf could not tell you which was worse at the moment: the man ignoring his warning and stepping forth, or the princess these men were likely after stepping into the scene and likely drawing their attention. Had this been a moment where he could afford to remove his attention from his foes, then he'd certainly have gone off on Sakura right then and there, however, this was not the case and doing so would probably give this man enough time to decapitate or otherwise end the elf's life.

Razeluxe raised his voice at the man this time. "Do not take another step." he warned.

He wasn't sure what this man was thinking. Raze was unaware he gave off a friendly air when he had his sword drawn and his stance locked. Unlike the two behind him who were having a nice little chat, Razeluxe was very unapproachable in this situation, or so he'd like to think. There wasn't much more he could do to declare his intentions, he heavily implied he'd kill anyone who tried something, and he could certainly follow up on that as long as they were still in the midst of the trees.

"Don't... don't hurt him, Raze. I - That has never happened before. No one has ever brought me back before."

As he held his ground, Shyc's voice came from behind him, pleading to spare the man. Whatever 'brought me back' meant, it certainly wasn't worth letting his guard down against someone who had just tried to murder him, regardless of what he accomplished. That was simply foolish. Scarily so. But it sounded like Shyc was actually aware of what happened, so when things settled down, Raze could get some answers out of him. Deciding to save that later and keeping his eyes on the man, Raze sighed before answering with his irritation betrayed by his tone.

"Whether or not we fight is up to him. He's been given a choice already." this statement was of course directed towards the man just as much as Shyc, at least the volume with which it was said suggested as much. He wondered if Shyc realized that these men were't here to play with them. Raze wasn't one to kill people unless he had to, so asking him not to harm someone did not make much sense. If the man attacked then Raze would retaliate, simple as that. Otherwise, he's free to retreat and live another day, just like his men. It wasn't that Razeluxe felt he was the strongest person in the world and this man would be hard-pressed to match him, it was just that with two people he needed to protect, he'd never faulter or fail.

Besides...

Razeluxe wasn't alone. Even if Shyc and Sakura weren't able to fight now, and the others had disappeared, he still had Nahv and the residents of the forest to make up for it.

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Character Portrait: Shyc Regaile Character Portrait: Sakura Dieriean Character Portrait: Razeluxe Character Portrait: Kenji Umeki
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"Do not take another step."

The young elf had warned Kenji yet another time, but he wouldn't listen. Although it was as if he did when he stopped in his tracks after seeing yet another stranger, female this time, appear onto the scene. She looked worried for the young man Kenji had recently defeated. He couldn't really comprehend what was going on between them but he had decided what the woman must be. There's the last piece to the puzzle, she's the princess. Not like he cared. He wasn't going to return her to the Dunn kingdom. The only reason he tagged along was to continue in search of some sort of feeling, whether it be excitement or fear, just anything.

The princess and his opponent continued to have a conversation that Kenji didn't care to listen to. Instead he focused his eyes on the elf threatening his life. His eyes scanned the warrior's being, searching for his end game. Trying to understand why he would risk his life to save a silly little girl, what kept him ticking. It was something Kenji was awful at, discovering people's intent. He couldn't relate, so how was he to deduct how they feel?

"Don't... don't hurt him, Raze. I - That has never happened before. No one has ever brought me back before."

So the elf's name is Raze? What a curious name. Kenji couldn't help but over hear the name of his defeated opponent too, Shyc. At least now he could put a name to a face. Kenji had turned his head at Shyc's words. He didn't understand why the man was trying to spare his enemy, it just didn't seem logical. He then decided to take this opportunity to ignore the elf once again and resume his investigation.

With a few quick strides Kenji reached Shyc, grabbing him by the collar of his blood soaked shirt and pushing him against the tree he had slumped against earlier. He then grabbed the mans left arm and lifted it up so he could examine the spot the wound should be. Kenji blinked and then stared intimidatingly up at the shocked boy, looking for answers. The wound had completely disappeared. As if it never existed. All that remained was the torn bloody sleeve where the dagger came into contact. What is this? This doesn't make sense. Did the thing possessing him save his life? Kenji analyzed the possibilities in his mind as he awaited the truth from the boy he pinned against the tree.

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Character Portrait: Shyc Regaile Character Portrait: Sakura Dieriean Character Portrait: Razeluxe Character Portrait: Nahvariik Character Portrait: Kenji Umeki
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Shyc hardly moved as he felt hands grasp the collar of his shirt and haul him up to his feet. He didn't put up a fight, nor did he really stand on his own either. It probably made it hard to hold him up, but he really didn't care. At first, Shyc thought that it was Raze who had picked him up, but when he hit the tree, and his arm was lifted up and inspected, he realized that this was not the case. Raze wouldn't have known where he'd been injured just a moment before. The boy was covered in blood head to foot and to know a specific place of a wound would be impossible.

Unless you were the one who gave the wound.

Shyc turned his head slightly and looked into the gaze of the man who'd stopped the daemon part of him from running rampant and destroying everything he held closely. Had he not stepped in to the fight, Shyc most certainly would have killed his 'family'. Shyc reached up with one hand slowly and gripped the other's arm that held him up against the tree. He could feel his own trembling as he wrapped his fingers around the forearm that was still as stone.

"You want to know," Shyc said softly, his voice shaking slightly. The burn of tears hadn't gone away and as he blinked slowly, a small stream of the salty liquid streaked down the side of his dirt and blood stained face. A short laugh and a very small smile followed as his grip tightened a bit on the arm.

"I'm not human."

A small gasp filled the air as Sakura's voice followed after his. He didn't look over to her, too caught up in his own darkened thoughts. Lifting his head up, he rested it against the tree though his bright green eyes still watched the man holding him. Overhead, what little of the sky that could be seen had turned dark and a crack of thunder followed soon after. The breeze turned icy, carrying the smell of heavy rains.

"Shyc..." Sakura breathed. She was probably far too shocked to think of anything else. Shyc didn't blame her. He wasn't going to blame any of them really. He shouldn't have stayed as long as he had with them. Hell, he shouldn't have even joined up with the group to begin with. Shyc knew that he was dangerous to those around him.

"Why don't you finish it? You probably could, couldn't you? Whatever was on your blade stopped him, that means you could stop both of us. Doesn't it? Maybe you can end this nightmare of mine," as he spoke he shifted his gaze to Raze, more tears gathering and falling. He couldn't stop, and his babbling was sure to do the trick, wasn't it. Make them fear me, make them hate me, make them wish I wasn't here, it's worked in the past. Should work again... right? He was trying to convince himself, but it wasn't working very well.

"Living in fear every day that I might turn on them for no reason at all. Something happens and I lose control. It's so easy to lose control sometimes. It's so hard to keep it a secret and I just can't keep doing this anymore. Please, would you end it?"

"Shyc! No one's blaming you for anything. It's alright if it was a secret. I've kept a secret from you all as well." Sakura said, trying to calm him, but instead doing the opposite.

"I'm part Daemon!!" he screamed, "Doesn't that tell you anything! I'm a monster! I'm a killer! Murderer! I've massacred thousands of people! And I enjoyed it! This is nothing close to your secrets that you keep. I could kill you, all of you and I wouldn't care. That's what I am. Don't you understand?"

"But... you're crying... That means you do care, Shyc," she said, the sadness in her voice very clear.

He ground his teeth, but didn't say anything else. The only thing he could hope for is the man in front of him to do as he'd asked. Shyc wouldn't fight back, or hinder him in anyway. Even so, as he thought about welcoming a dark and lonely death, his gaze shot over to Raze. Maybe... maybe I'll get lucky.

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It hadn't been long for the half-elf and the princess to dash off towards the continuing battle that Shyc was occupied with, leaving the drakaani alone with the Shade. "Oh, come on! How come I have to be the one to babysit this girly man?" Nahvariik called out towards the two, however his words had landed on deaf ears as the words blended away from the clashing of steel.

Looking down at the unconscious fellow, he knew that he couldn't just beat the man with his arm again, even though that was quite fun, since he was self-cleaning and/or magical. Nahvariik also knew that he just couldn't leave him there because of the chance of the Shade running off back to wherever he came from if he regained his responsiveness to the surrounding area.

But the crazy dragon-man had an idea. Why not bring him along?

However, Nahavriik wasn't up for the idea of carrying the man on a shoulder, or dragging him around. Oh, that would be unlike him...

With a sly smile escapping from his maw, and as crafty as he could be, he made his actions like a surgeon. A barbaric sort of surgeon. With a pull here and a twist there, Nahvariik had accomplished something that no sane man would ever stumble across in their minds.

But Nahvariik was no sane man, for he was not a regular, humpty dumpty, run-of-the-mill human man. He was a Man, a Dragon-Man...

The Shade was now in the form of a backpack, his legs and arms "surgically" broken and knotted up to make straps for Nahvariik to wear him as such, the pansy wizard's head facing away from the drakaani's neck.

---

After having his little fun-time with the shade, Nahvariik had entered the edge of the battlefield, his breastplate and swords not on his body, and observed Shyc standing, somehow unhurt from his injuries. Nahvariik had watched him get a sword go through him, so why was he not dead? However, instead of Duun soldiers that he had anticipated, there was only one other fighter on the field, a man with such cold demeanor that held around him like a wet towel.

It was only seconds later that Shyc had fell to this one man's blade, and Raze and the girl were forming a defensive position next to their comrade, and Raze had already skipped the pleasantries and spitting out death threats, though they didn't do much since the stranger had the balls to walk past Raze and pull the young roguish man to his feet.

They were mostly too busy arguing among themselves to notice Nahvariik approaching them, and as an attempt of good measure to make sure they know of his presence, the drakaani reached towards the lowest branch of the nearest tree, and snapping it from the main trunk with an explosive crack once his hands closed around one that he liked.

With a strong bellow, his voice deepened with seriousness, Nahvariik called out towards them, officially announcing his arrival. "You, whoever you are, take a step away from the idiot. If you don't identify yourself, or you even think about hurting him, I will personally shove this branch so far up your ass that you might as well call yourself Johnny Appleseed. Raze, if you even think about trying to attack him before I get answers, then you might be the one who gets manhandled," before pausing in his statement for a second or two. "You have two options. One, you provide answers and we be civilized folk, or Two, you get a stick rammed up your ass. Your choice, stranger."

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Character Portrait: Shyc Regaile Character Portrait: Sakura Dieriean Character Portrait: Razeluxe Character Portrait: Nahvariik Character Portrait: Kenji Umeki
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Kenji's gaze shifted to the eyes of the man before him as he felt his shaky fingers grip his forearm. He clenched his teeth slightly as he was confused as to what was happening. He never touched his victims, other than with his sword. The warmth of another human was alien to him at this point. He pushed a little harder on Shyc, hoping to make him stop, but he soon lessened his grip as the young mans eyes glossed over. He's crying.

"You want to know?" Kenji stared intently into his eyes as the man's grip tightened.

"I'm not human."

Kenji ignored the princess and kept his gaze on Shyc. Originally he guessed that it was just a possession, but then he realized that what ever took him over must be a permanent part of him. But this didn't surprise nor scare Kenji. He remained holding the man against the tree.

"Why don't you finish it? You probably could, couldn't you? Whatever was on your blade stopped him, that means you could stop both of us. Doesn't it? Maybe you can end this nightmare of mine."

This was new. Very new indeed. All his opponents begged him to spare them, never kill them. But today was apparently a day for many new things. He averted his eyes to the soft ground below him, lowering the man ever so slightly. He knew deep down he couldn't kill the man before him. If he did, the Raze character would massacre him, but that was Kenji's excuse. Truly, he felt a slight ache in his heart. An ache known as guilt. An emotion Kenji didn't even notice because it was so foreign to him. The next few words went through one ear and out the next until he heard yelling.

"I'm part Daemon!! Doesn't that tell you anything! I'm a monster! I'm a killer! Murderer! I've massacred thousands of people! And I enjoyed it! This is nothing close to your secrets that you keep. I could kill you, all of you and I wouldn't care. That's what I am. Don't you understand?"

The man got quite emotional, it was a bit hard to keep him still against the slippery dark bark. It was quite funny actually, how opposite yet similar Kenji and Shyc were. Both were emotionless killing machines. Empty shells killing for the hope of obtaining some emotion, whether it be guilt or pleasure. The only difference was that that was really Kenji, while for Shyc, it was just an unwanted being residing within his soul.

Then all of a sudden a giant lizard walked onto the scene. Another new view for Kenji, especially the contorted human that fastened itself to the scaly mans back. Not only was this creature surprising, but he was very "threatening" as well. Kenji stared at the being as he waved around a branch, telling him that he better back off unless he wanted to be anally assaulted. His eyes then returned to the man he had pinned against the tree. There was no use for him any more, all Kenji really wanted to do was sleep. His brain couldn't handle much more. On top of that the elf was eyeing him with dangerous motives. Kenji could tell that Raze was ready to murder him. Being rude and very assertive.

He then let go of the poor daemon boy, gently, letting him stand, and gave him one more last look. Then he turned around and began walking away. Without a word, rudely once again, avoiding the lizard with the stick and the elf with murder in his eyes.

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Razeluxe and Shyc Regaile





Shyc felt the heavy arm remove itself, lowering him slightly back on his feet though he was still up against the tree. The cold air bit at his skin that wasn't covered by his clothes, it also seemed to freeze the stains that covered him head to foot. He breathed out heavily, watching in an almost shocked face as the man just walked away. Shyc ground his teeth slightly, but then realized that now he had someone else to deal with.

Raze.

And he hadn't looked at all happy about the situation. Not to mention the cold, deadly, glare he'd received not but a few moments ago. The memory sent a shiver down his spine. He almost couldn't bare to look at the elf, so he stood stock still, with his gaze on the dark forest floor.

Despite his rude exit from the 'stage', the man's leave was quite welcome to the half-breed, who, although a bit agitated at the man, was not particularly fond of the idea of having the rest of those men behind them get the guts to engage again. With the strongest warrior of theirs backing off, it wasn't surprising the man-pack was terrifying the other men, who pretended like the Shade wasn't familiar to them and only gave scared glances at it's backpack form. Razeluxe had to admit that when it came to intimidation, Nahv was second to none.

But he had a more important target to fixate his attention on. One that, despite the time and trust Razeluxe himself had placed on the young man, did not do the same. Shyc was casting his glance downwards in shame, and this only upset the leader of their group furthermore. He took two quick steps to close the distance between himself and Shyc, and immediately gave the man a light slap. It probably wasn't the most pleasant feeling, what with Raze's reliance on his arms in fights, but it certainly didn't knock the young man out.

"A Daemon?! Part Daemon?! And why the hell haven't you told us about this, Shyc?!" his words were about as cold as his glare, and if anyone had seen Raze this upset before, it had definitely been quite a while. Needless to say, he wasn't particularly happy at the moment.

Shock pulsed through his frame as the hand landed across his cheek, tossing his head off to the side a bit. With eyes wide and his breath hitched in his throat, he couldn't quite comprehend what had happened. Then Raze's voice came, following after the slap across the theifs face. It wasn't until the elf had yelled at him that the boy finally met his angry gaze.

"I... I'm sorry, Raze," he looked away again but shook his head and tried not to avoid eye contact as best he could, "I didn't- I wasn't sure. It wasn't really something that I could just say to you. It's not like it would have ever come up in conversation. I... suppose I was afraid," he muttered the last part.

"What'd you think was going to happen if you told us?" Razeluxe questioned, but gave no room to answer. "Have I not appeared as though I'm trustworthy or accepting?" the soldier sighed dramatically and clentched both of his fists.

"Do you take me for someone who can discriminate, Shyc?"

Slowly he shook his head. His chest was tight, guilt holding tightly to his lungs and making it hard to breathe, "No," he answered to all of the questions given, shaking his head at the same time, "No. You're not someone to do that, I know that. I couldn't help it though."

He took a deep breath, "What can I do? Will you forgive me, for not telling you?"

Razeluxe took a moment to glance over Shyc. Although that task was very difficult considering the boy was covered in about 3 people's worth of blood, from head to toe. However, with his expert eye (and probably moreso because the boy didn't seem to act injured), he deduced that the boy wasn't in life-threatening danger. When he was sure of this, he breathed a sigh of relief.

"You don't need to ask me to forgive you, you need to apologize to all of these others who were concerned when you had a blade thrust through your stomach." he replied with the edge of his tone dulling considerably. He then added, "But if you do something like that again, I'll have to mimic Nahv here and wear you as a backpack for a couple of days."

He probably wasn't kidding about that either.

"Now hurry up and cheer up. You're supposed to be the happy-go-lucky one of the bunch, but all I've seen lately is anger or depression." Finally, the half-elf placed his hand on Shyc's head and ruffled his hair as a show that he wasn't going to keep a grudge over this.

His face turned red as he listened to Raze explain how he was supposed to make it up to the others. Shyc had forgotten that he'd taken a sword through his body, the start of this whole thing. Bitting his lip he flicked his gaze over to Sakura who was still on her knees watching them with an interested expression on her face. Yeah, that's sure to put people on edge he thought to himself.

Then the threat came and he glanced over to Nahv who had somehow managed to get the Shade on his back. Shyc's face paled then and he stuttered a bit, "R-Raze..." A hand fell on his head right after, playing with his hair and he jumped just a bit, one eye closing. Finally he smiled, a small laugh coming from him.

"Alright, I will."

Sakura smiled at him from where she sat, "You don't have to apologize to me. You're alright now," she said and Shyc nodded slightly. That left the others to deal with. Would Nahv even need an apology? He didn't seem like one to really worry about others, but Shyc supposed he would anyway.

"What now? Duun's King kinda did start a fight with us," he muttered softly, glancing around the forest.

Sakura stood then, moving to where they were talking, "We head back to Iverien," her gaze shifted over to Raze where it stayed as she talked, "My mother will want to see me."

"M-mother?!" Shyc replied, his voice sharp. Is this what I missed earlier?

"Yes, sorry Shyc. I'm Princess Sakura Dieriean. And the best course of action right now is to return to Iverien where I can talk to my mother," she offered a small smile.

Shyc sighed, running a hand through his dirty hair, "And I thought I was trouble..."


End Quest Four: Ill Tidings





Start Quest Five: Return to Iverien


Three days later: Kindom of Iverien

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The closer they'd gotten to Iverien, the quieter Sakura became. She knew what was waiting for her there and though Raze had assured her that he would fight for her, she already knew the outcome. There was no getting out of being locked away again, there just wasn't. No matter how much he fought or anyone else fought, it would only make things worse. Her smiles and laughter faded away completely as they entered the forest that was just outside of the city. Sakura trudged along with them, her eyes focused on the ground before her and before she knew it, they'd passed through the city gates.

The guards there were either stupid or not paying attention for they didn't notice her. Then again, not many guards or people knew about her existence to begin with. Her mother had made sure of that. The only thing that would give her away was the mark on her forehead which was currently covered by her long tresses of black, silky hair. Sakura hardly lifted her gaze at all as they passed through the streets. She didn't do anything really, until they entered the palace courtyard.

Then chaos erupted.

"Princess!" A shout rang out across the yard and the double doors flew open as her Mother came striding out in haste a few minutes afterwards. Looking up, she saw the rage on the Queen's pale features as her gaze landed on Raze and the others behind him. Sakura could feel the tension, could feel the order before it was even issued and she whirled around to face Raze as her Mother's sharp voice snapped out.

"Seize them!"

Guards rushed forward and took hold of Nahv, Raze and Shyc. All three were dropped down to their knees, arms held up by two men on either side. Sakura rushed forward to the Queen.

"Mother! Let them go, they didn-"

A hard slap crossed her face, knocking her down to the cobblestones and out of the way of the woman who was dressed in vibrant golds and greens. A coppery taste filled her mouth as she could feel her skin had been split open by the rings that were on her Mother's fingers. Stunned as well as shocked, Sakura couldn't move for a moment. Her breath wheezed in and out of her lungs as she struggled to comprehend how she'd ended up on the ground like that.

"My lady, there's another in the cart!" a guards voice shouted out.

"Bring them as well," she growled back as she reached over to one of the guards and drew their sword from the sheath on their hip.

The ringing steel brought Sakura to her senses. Turning over she saw the Queen hovering right over Raze with the blade pointed down at him. Sakura's heart lurched to her throat, making it hard to breathe. She hardly made out her Mother's words as she scrambled to her feet.

"You have guts to return here with my daughter in tow you filthy mercenary! What do you take me for, an idiot? I hired you to do your job without question, not threaten me by abducting my one and only daughter!"

Sakura moved quickly, rushing over to them as her Mother's arm drew the sword back in preparation to plunge the steel down into the elf's chest, "You should be hanged for this, be grateful I'm giving you a quick death, half-elf," the Queen hissed.

Shyc screamed, pulling against those that held him down but he couldn't get free and Sakura feared that she wouldn't make it. The princess lunged forward, her arms wrapping around Raze's neck as she came to a crashing halt on top of him, her voice screaming at her Mother.

"Don't!"

Cold steel halted against the back of her shoulder, tearing through the cloth and scratching the surface of her skin as the Queen pulled back so as not to run through her daughter.

"Move, Sakura, her Mother's voice was hard as stone.

"No," Sakura shifted, turning herself around so that she faced her mother but she still stayed in front of Raze, one hand on his leg the other griping his side as she knelt there in front of him. She was shaking but she wasn't going to move, no matter what. She bit her lip as she faced the woman who seemed to seethe even more from her defiance.

"Move!"

"They saved me!" Sakura shouted back, putting as much force into her voice as she could.

The Queen looked shocked, "Saved you? From what?"

"From the King of Duun... he... His men were after me. They..." turning, Sakura glanced back at Raze hoping that he would go along with what she was about to do, "They abducted me and brought me to Duun. Then, these mercenaries saved me from the King. If it weren't for them... I..."

The sound of steel hitting cobble stones rang through the air as the Queen stumbled backwards in shock. A single guard came up behind her to keep her steady on her feet. Sakura watched her Mother quietly as well as fearfully. Finally the woman seemed to regain her senses. Reaching up she ran her hands through her dark hair and sighed heavily. Looking over to the one that the guards dragged from the cart, Sakura eyed the Shade who was still unconscious, no doubt from having been turned into a sort of pack by Nahv.

"H-He was with Duun, he was the one who abducted me and tried to take me to the King," Sakura knew her lies may not be too solid, but there was some truth to the words.

The Queen eyed the unconscious Shade before jerking her head to the palace, "Lock him up, question him later," the woman settled her gaze on her daughter who was still gripping Raze tightly, "Take her to her bedroom, don't leave that room no matter what. She's not to come out for anything!"

Sakura sucked in a sharp breath as she could feel her nerves sky rocketing. A slight pain was beginning to fill her chest again and she winced slightly, "Mother... please I don't-" she stopped herself as the guards shifted. They released the mercenaries and two of them now hovered around her. One reached down to grip her upper arm gently but firmly.

"Don't argue. You'll hurt yourself. Go on now, we have some things to discuss," Sakura's Mother turned her attention to Raze as the princess was taken towards the castle.

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Character Portrait: Shyc Regaile Character Portrait: Razeluxe Character Portrait: Kenji Umeki
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After leaving the Mercenary group to their crazy antics, Kenji found himself a cozy little tree to spend his time. The thick leaves of the dark tree branched out far and made a perfect makeshift roof, and on top of that, it created a certain darkness that Kenji enjoyed. He sat his weapons down at the base of the towering plant and observed his surroundings. Most of it was just more beautiful trees, but behind his new little base, a little stream wormed its way through the dark land. He could only faintly hear the obnoxious adults at their camp, so he was sure he was distanced far enough to not be caught.

He slowly sat down on one of the large roots sprouting from his new home and pulled out the plant he had harvested a while ago. He had never gotten around to checking it out, so now he took his free time full of waiting to observe and understand it. He struggled as thoughts of Shyc continued to cloud his mind, tormenting him. The plant in his hands did nothing to distract him, and that was a problem. Eventually though, the many nights without sleep caught up to Kenji and he dozed off, leaned up against the trunk of the tree.




The Next Day




Suddenly his ear twitched and his eyes instantly opened. Damn... How could I fall asleep? He looked to his left side to see something incredible, the very man who now haunted his dreams, all alone. It seemed that he was walking towards the stream, without anyone else near him. Kenji remained still so he could maintain the element of surprise, and as he did so, he watched every move the young man before him made. Thankfully Shyc didn't seem to notice, so Kenji was all good to go. He quietly stood up and grabbed his weapons, not so they could be used, but so they could be offered.

The shirtless young mercenary seemed to be bathing his upper body in the stream, clearly to show off his gorgeous abs. Kenji walked up to him without a sound gripping his weapons tightly. Note that at this point, Kenji hasn't discovered his sexuality, so the shirtlessness of the man he was now approaching didn't faze him in the slightest, even though it should make him blush and giggle like a little school girl. Any who, as Kenji came up right behind Shyc he stopped and suddenly got down on both of his knees. (Calm down your perverted minds now.) He then shut his eyes and bowed his head to the ground as he rose his weapons above his head with both hands. For the first time Kenji was willingly offering his protection and sacraficing his boldness and dignity.

He was soaking wet, his hair dripping in icy cold water, rivers of it running down his back and sides as he lightly rubbed at his skin with both hands. He hadn't been aware of his surroundings at all. It was the forest outside of Iverien, so he didn't think he needed to be all too alert. The boy seriously needed to start thinking twice on those assumptions though.

As he dipped back down to run more water through his blonde locks, he noted something dropping down beside him. Startled, unsure of what was going on, he jumped. The person sitting behind him was a familiar face, and they were offering something to him. The immediate reaction, though, was far from graceful or anything like that. Shyc, thinking that this particular man was attacking him, lost his composure completely.

Having already been leaning forward over the stream, he gave a sharp cry of surprise and promptly fell forward into the water. It wasn't deep, perhaps two feet or so of water, but it was rather cold and the stream was just long enough for his entire body to be soaked. Turning over so that he wasn't drowning, he looked back to the man who had managed to change him back from his daemon form several days ago.

Sputtering slightly, Shyc was unsure as to what this person was doing as he was still sitting there, offering up his weapons, "Uh... um... what?"

Everything went completely opposite than what Kenji was excpecting. He assumed that Shyc would accept his weapons and automatically invite him to join the group, but clearly that was a very unreasonable excpectation. The sudden girly scream that came from the mercenary caused Kenji to abruptly raise his head and open his eyes. Kenji's lips slightly parted as the clumsy man fell forward into the stream soiling the rest of his clothes. He silently placed his weapons on the soft ground and awkwardly stared at the questioning Shyc.

Kenji then, ELEGANTLY, stood up, with his weapons remaining on the ground, and reached down to offer the soaking man some help up.

Shyc watched in shock. The other stood up and reached out for him. Wait... hadn't he tried to kill him a few days ago? Then again, he hadn't done it and from what Shyc could remember -which wasn't much because he tried not to remember- he hadn't looked like he really wanted to when he held Shyc against the tree back then.

With an eyebrow lifted, he slowly reached out and took the hand that was offered to help him up out of the water. Shyc stood up and stared at the man before him for a long while, speechless. Then he realized he was without a shirt. His eyes grew wide, his face turning brilliantly red as he gasped slightly.

"Uh!! Oh, s-sorry..." he desperately looked around for the clean shirt he'd brought, but to no avail could he find it. Why am I acting like this though?! he chided himself. Taking a breath he seemed to steady himself slightly, though he was still red, "Um... why are you here?"

Kenji had no problem lifting up Shyc, he was surprisingly light, at least to him. He then stared back at the man as a very uncomfortable silence settled between them. It seemed as though his face turned to a cherry as he seemed to have remembered something or other. Kenji hadn't understood whatsoever, as he had never witnessed something before in his life. What's happening? Is he sick? He must have a fever... Remedies for a fever jumped through his head as he tried to think of something he could do to help. Then the embarassed fellow spoke.

'Sorry'? Why is he apologizing? Does he have to puke? Does he smell? What am I missing? Kenji was utterly confused and just sort of stood there, completely still, as he pondered the possibilities. It seemed he had ignored his offer to join the group, which was dissappointing. He ignored the fact that a few words could make all this better, as he came up with another way to silently show his newfound dedication to Shyc.

Kenji bent down and grabbed his weapons once again. He gripped them with both hands and then shoved them towards Shyc's drool worthy chest. He then returned to a straight posture, backed up slightly, and gave a beautiful obedient bow. Yes this is perfect. He has to get the message now.

The weapons hit his chest and he automatically reached up to hold them so that they didn't fall when the man released them. Stunned was an understatement.

Shyc stared at him in disbelief as he proceeded to take a step back and bowed to him. The silence stretched. The young theif tilted his head off to the side, "Hu?"

Glancing down to the weapons, he then looked back up to the man who had bowed to him, "You... giving me weapons..." he pondered outloud, "Wait... wait... I have weapons.. wait no, that's not right either. Um... there's got to be... what does this mean," he was seriously struggling with the meaning, "Wait... you haven't said anything. You can't talk? You don't talk... Oh man. Okay. You want... to..." he stared down at the weapons for a long while as he proceeded to mumble to himself.

Finally it clicked, "Eh!?! You want to join us, maybe.. wait why would you give me your weapons? Are you... sure? I mean... I don't mind, after all you did save me kind of. But... Raze... I don't know. Don't you think you should be offering these to him? Not me?" as per usual, Shyc talked quickly and usually in a string of sentences and ideas. He'd forgotten he was shirtless right then and even forgot that he was still standing in the stream.

"What's your name anyway? Because I honestly don't know what to call you, or how to talk to you properly. And... especially if you want to come with us, I mean I'm going to have to explain this to Raze somehow and I can't just call you... uh... 'you' or 'that person'. Kind of odd right?" He took a breath, finally realizing he'd rambled, yet again.

Kenji returned from his bow and shook his head at all of Shyc's rambling questions until he brought up the question of joining. Then and there he nodded and continued to listen. He didn't really think about the evil elf, Raze, or whatever. He then knew he should've approached him instead, but he felt that Shyc was a better option, especially since they shared such an emotional moment together. Then the moment Kenji was unprepared for, arose. The man had asked for his name, and Kenji had no idea what to do. He couldn't really show his name, he had to use the magical power known as speech.

Kenji couldn't remember the last time he used his vocal cords. One should assume that its dusty and filled with cobwebs, because that's how rarely he speaks. He looked straight into Shyc's eyes and uttered his name.

"Kenji." His voice was deep, husky if you will. A tad raspy due to the fact that he hadn't spoken in years. But it was a voice that would make anime fangirls melt. After the forced word left his mouth, he looked to his right, almost as if he was ashamed.

A sound. A sound filled the space between them after Shyc finally shut up. It was a soft sound, almost inaudible, but Shyc's hearing was rather sharp (when he was paying attention). The weapons slipped in his grip as he was startled by the noise. His heart jumped to his throat. Wow... was his only thought. Once again his face grew red hot as he stared at the man before him.

He quickly adjusted so as not to drop the weapons that had been handed to him. Clenching them tightly, he took a deep breath, "Kenji," he repeated lightly. Amazing name... and voice... Oh god! He took in a sharp breath "Uh! Um.. I'm Shyc. It's... nice to meet... you. Kenji."

Glancing down at the weapons in his grip, he sputtered, flustered at the sitaution. Finally he noticed the rushing water beneath his feet. Quickly, he stepped up onto the bank to stand next to Kenji. Once out of the water, Shyc realized just how tall the other was. He had long hair tied back from his face, and dark eyes. Dropping his gaze he found himself eyeing the other rather... slowly.

Ah! Okay... concentrate, "U-uh... Should we... head back? Wait! Wait... my shirt... God... and your weapons... could you imagine the look on Raze's face if he saw this?" he quickly turned a full circle in search of his simple white tunic, still holding Kenji's weapons.

Kenji watched as Shyc turned red again. He doesn't look too good... The cold water probably is worsening his fever. He should put his shirt back on. He observed the man as he seemed to look a little on edge, and he nodded at his welcoming reply. Kenji thought that his name came out a lot better from Shyc, his voice seemed to make it right. He eyed the red-faced man as he stepped out of the water and noticed that there was a great height difference between the two of them. Kenji watched Shyc's eyes as they seemed to be looking the tall man up and down. Obviously undressing the man with his longing eyes.

Kenji nodded once again as Shyc suggested they head back. Although he seemed a bit worried about the situation at hand, which made sense due to the fact that the man's shirt was missing from the scene. Kenji looked around, but couldn't find a trace of the thing until he glanced down and saw the white fabric under his foot. He pulled the shirt out from under him to unfortunately find a muddy footprint of his sandal smack in the middle of it. Unfazed by the situation he handed over the shirt without an apology and didn't offer to hold his weapons. But this wasn't because of his rudeness, instead he figured the short-tempered elf would be extra uncomfortable if he waltzed into camp flaunting his weapons.

Shyc stopped fumbling around when Kenji offered the lost shirt. With a sigh, he took it resigning to the fact that he would have to wash it. Shifting the weapons around he was thankful that he hadn't brought his otherwise it would have been awkward to carry around his and Kenji's. With that, he tossed the shirt over his shoulder and looked back to the camp.

"Well... here goes nothing. I hope he doesn't freak out..." with that, Shyc lead the way back into the camp site. Figuring it to be better to announce his approach he called out to Raze to hopefully ease the coming process, "Raze! Uh... there's someone here. He want's to come with us -I think-" Shyc muttered the last part as he came around the corner and entered the area where the fire was and surely where Raze was to be cooking.

"His name is Kenji, and... um... well, he's the one who had saved me from my daemon half last time..." Please don't go rage mode on him, Shyc thought desperately.

Kenji followed and then stood silently as Shyc explained his story to the scary elf. He then nodded and bowed, hoping to earn Raze's acceptance.

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Character Portrait: Shyc Regaile Character Portrait: Razeluxe Character Portrait: Kenji Umeki
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Razeluxe







There's a reason why people are required to eat if they want to survive. For each action one might take, energy is used up and returned to the world in one way or another. There is nothing you can do to halt this process, for even the simple act of existing expends your energy. The way to replenish said energy is by devouring things and absorbing the nutrients. If one were to look at it on paper, there is no reason for a person to be picky about what they eat so long as it provides thing with everything they need to continue surviving. But people in general are.... odd. Razeluxe was no exception.

Today Razeluxe would be cooking some beans for breakfast. He particularly enjoyed such things. One could say that his favorite food was beans, and if there ever were any in stock, they'd be sure to have some. While Razeluxe was masticating away, he could not help but ponder a certain philosophical dilemma.

-- Do beans have emotions?

Some people claim cacti may sense human emotions. What, then, of the bean? They don't scream when you boil them, but perhaps some among them know how to use their 'bean'. Plants may be aware of the world in some unknowable way.

Under such a hypothesis, then even vegetarians would be monstrous mass-murderers. Brandishing their cruel, shining silverware, they gruesomely flay innocent carrots, chop their bodies into sections, and then consume them to the core.

....that's probably enough for breakfast.

Razeluxe had just finished up preparing some beans to eat when he heard the tell-tale signs of Shyc's return to the campsite. By this time, neither Sakura or the elemental had seem to have awoke (though Raze speculated that the elemental hadn't even gone to sleep, but was still meditating) and it was simply just Dane and Shyc alone for now. Perhaps they could speak more about his condition. He was still worried, after all, considering that Shyc went berserk and did not seem to want to cease the bloodshed back then. Hopefully he could learn exactly how to prevent that side of Shyc from surfacing again, as not only was it unpleasant, but it brought pain to Shyc's very heart when it did. So, as Shyc called out to him, he made sure to set his utensils down and stood up, turning to face the young boy.

Shyc was not returning alone.

"His name is Kenji, and... um... well, he's the one who had saved me from my daemon half last time..." Shyc stated as they stood, Shyc himself obviously nervous about Razeluxe reaction to the sight. He had good reason to be. There was no doubt about it Razeluxe wasn't exactly thinking friendly thoughts about this man beside him.

More like he tried to kill you and that was just a side-effect of you surviving the attempt.

Though he likely attempted such as a measure of showing respect, the bow the young man performed seemed to have the opposite effect. Raze's eyes narrowed and he shot glares at both of them. Shyc for being a fool and stumbling into an enemy when he left camp for the second time now, and this 'Kenji' guy simply because he wasn't going to trust someone who they had fought just days ago immediately.

"I do desperately hope you slipped and knocked your skull upon the floor at one point during your departure from the camp, Shyc." Dane began, not the least bit pleased with this situation at all, and so much was apparent from his tone. "Because I'd have to honestly question your sanity if this is not the case. You do realize this man attempted to murder you but a few nights ago, correct? He is very fortunate that Sakura isn't awake at the moment, or I would likely draw my sword right now."

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Character Portrait: Shyc Regaile Character Portrait: Razeluxe Character Portrait: Kenji Umeki
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"I do desperately hope you slipped and knocked your skull upon the floor at one point during your departure from the camp, Shyc.Because I'd have to honestly question your sanity if this is not the case. You do realize this man attempted to murder you but a few nights ago, correct? He is very fortunate that Sakura isn't awake at the moment, or I would likely draw my sword right now."

Shyc flinched, he'd been expecting something to what had just occured. Raze was not happy. He felt his face flushing as he faced the man whom he respected. Glancing over to Kenji, he wasn't sure what to do really, "Uh... I-I know, Raze. But if he really had been determined, he would have killed me when he had me against that tree, but he didn't. I don't know how to explain this, but..." he sighed. Stepping forward he produced the weapons that Kenji had given him, "He gave these to me. You can hold onto them if you wish, Raze. I know that at the moment I probably don't have the right to ask, but... would you trust me?"

Despite Shyc's expression swapping from nervours to, well, pretty nervous, Razeluxe's own face hadn't shifted from the glare he was giving out. Listening to Shyc, he thought the excuse laughable at best, but this was no laughing matter to begin with so he hadn't thought about chuckling. Instead, he crossed his arms and spoke.

"The problem is not me trusting you, Shyc. It's me trusting him."

That being said, Razeluxe did not hesitate to retrieve the man's weapons. Not that he had any reason to trust that he wasn't keeping something hidden on his person. Probably a joint. Anyway, why did this man even want to join them in the first place? Suspicious was probably the perfect word to use when describing this man. "What's his intent for joining us?"

Shyc glanced over to Kenji as Raze took the weapons. A frown pulled his lips as he regarded the man and the given question, "He doesn't really speak... well... anyway," Shyc dismissed the earlier event of Kenji simply speaking his name, "I suppose you could try asking him, I doubt he'll say anything though." He motioned to Kenji for him to answer the question hoping that things didn't get anymore tense than they already were.

Kenji felt a bit uncomfortable having Oboro handed over so easily. Oboro was all he truly had, and he never let go of the sword. He wasn't at all surprised that the evil elf rejected his offering. It was clearly the logical thing to do, especially in his situation. He knew his intent, but he wasn't quite comfortable speaking in the presence of so many others. He looked over to Shyc and stared at him intenly. Once again Kenji muttered a single word, "You." He continued to gaze at Shyc, wondering what his reaction might be.

It was definitely the truth. He had thought it over and over again and the only reason he wanted to give his life to protect a princess was so he could be around Shyc. He is kind of a creepy obsession of his, so to say. Not because Kenji is a pedophile, but because he can't get over the fact that this very man made him feel for the first time in many years.

"He doesn't speak?..." Raze couldn't help but let a sigh out of his mouth. This situation wasn't getting much better at all. Regardless of the fact Shyc seemingly forgave the man for attempting to put an end to his life, Razeluxe wasn't so kind... or was it naive? Either way, this man certainly shouldn't expect to get buddy-buddy with Raze anytime soon. Going from a crossed-arm stance to running his hands through his hair in a mixture of confusion and frustration, the young elf continud, "So?" he looked expectingly at Kenji.

Then Kenji said something... strange. 'You'. Without clarification. That was kind of odd. No, it was really odd. There was nothing else added to his single word, so what did that mean? Did he want to finish the job? That seemed very unlikely, since there was absolutely no reason to ask Raze's permission to join them just to try to kill Shyc. Did he want to violate poor Shyc? What a cruel person! And somehow, he got the feeling this guy had been striking through some of his posts. THAT MONSTER. HE WOULD NEVER TOUCH THE YOUNG MAN.

"It's not something I can really even accept by myself." Razeluxe briefly recalled Willow's intervention last time, when they had first met his ship, I mean, Sakura. Razeluxe wasn't for this man joining them, but since he honestly considered Sakura a part of this family, perhaps even more (not really. She has to work at that nerd), he ought to at least get her opinion on this guy. He felt she would realize the danger it posed to not only Shyc, but them. She'd seen what he did too, didn't she? Hopefully she'd be sane. Or holding a bag of strawberries. Or both. That'd be cool too. "We should consult with Sakura when she wakes."

"I wonder, why it is that when I finally find you, it looks as if there is no remorse, no regret, no guilt around you Dane."

Shyc starteled, whirling around to the voice, his hands instinctively dropped down to where his swords were normally, but gripped only air. His heart jumped to his throat, "What?" Shyc asked in return, he didn't like the tone of the man's voice as he moved slowly into the camp, his sword drawn. The young theif was completely confused, not to mention unarmed as this man was slowly advancing with his weapons drawn.

As he grew closer, Shyc noted that he had the ears of an elf, his hair was light in color, a little longer than Razes with cold dark eyes. He wore black from head to foot, a heavy looking bow on his back with a quiver filled with black arrows, their fletchings all black as well. Like Shyc, he weilded two swords matching in length and design.

The young theif moved, having located his weapons near his tent. Kicking up a sword to his hand, he unsheathed it and turned only to meet cold steel right under his throat, the other pressed lightly against his chest. How... Shyc was stunned at how quickly the elf had moved. It reminded him of Raze's speed and agility, something he couldn't quite match.

"Drop it," the elf growled, "I'm here for someone else, not you. If you value life, human, you'll step aside."

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Character Portrait: Shyc Regaile Character Portrait: Sakura Dieriean Character Portrait: Razeluxe Character Portrait: Fotiá Character Portrait: Kenji Umeki
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#, as written by Igari

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The fire elemental had found a small amount of peace during the night, the camp was surprisingly homely for her and she was able to adapt to her environment well. The night passed by without much activity--though she had fought off the strong desire to fly away from the camp. She didn't want to go exploring yet--not until she got the hang of this "band of mercenaries" and knew she could safely part company from the princess for a few hours or so. The fire beneath her had died out around the time the sun rose. Her body resumed its' more human appearance, caramel skin coating the inky blackness, her hair faded to long, brown curls.

It was the sound that snapped her consciousness back into her body. Fotiá opened her eyes, glancing around the camp as she became more coherent to the physical realm. Hm, a few heads were missing. The princess was still sleeping several feet away but the elf leader had vanished, as had the wide-eyed one. And the lizard was also gone. She was touched more by the disappearance of the lizard. She had wanted to pet him. And hopefully not light him on fire. That happened sometimes when she was excited about something.

Where were they? The elemental got up slowly, dusting herself off and half-wondering if it would be appropriate to don clothes again. An inconvenience and an act that would definitely slow her down--but apparently, socialization with these flesh creatures required some form of... "decency". With a heavy sigh, she bent over, picking her clothes up and re-arranging them on to her body. With her cutlasses comfortably hanging from her sides, she debated if she should wake the princess. Hmmmm. The sounds resembled the clash of metal, perhaps a battle was taking place? Wait.

The queen had given her very specific orders to ensure Sakura's safety. And logic told her that the sounds of battle and missing mercenaries meant a fight was most definitely happening and perhaps the antagonizers were after the princess. Well, they wouldn't be getting the upperhand this round. Fotiá leaned over, carefully reaching underneath the princess' slender form and pulling the woman up on to her back. She adjusted Sakura's weight, making sure to keep one hand free so that she could keep her one of her cutlasses at the ready.

With Plume in hand and the princess balanced on her back, the elemental walked through the camp, the sounds getting progressively louder. It took a few minutes but as she reached another clearing, she spied the elf leader, embroiled in battle with another being. Was that... another elf? What were they doing fighting their own kind? The two men clashed weapons and even the elemental felt a small amount of interest in the battle. It seemed as though they were evenly matched.

A quick glance to her right showed her where the wide-eyed one had wandered off to... but there was a strange man standing next to him. What. What was with all these bizarre appearances. This wasn't even mentioned in the job description. These material beings were so erratic. How on earth did they all survive, crammed into living spaces and squabbling over land? Her annoyance was very clear on her face. Was this even worth getting involved with? Her task was only to protect the princess, not bother with all the other side... business.

... But the princess did seem fond of the elven leader. And she... supposed that if the leader was hurt, then the princess would be sad and that would slow down their journey. Because if there was something she had learned pretty fast, it was that women could cry for hours and hours, shedding those disgusting water particles from their eyes and potentially flooding rooms. And that was absolutely revolting. She didn't want to deal with any more water than she had to. That came with the risk of her human form... best not to think about something that wasn't happening presently.

She readied her blade, projecting her voice to reach the others. "I'm not sure what form of extended play date this is, but it'd be wonderful if you could finish this up quickly so that we could continue on our way. Also," The elemental wasn't pulling any punches and narrowed her eyes into slits, gesturing towards the other stranger. "Is he a joining us or are we doing the stabbing thing? You material creatures take life in order to get rid of obstacles, right?" At least, that was what the mages had taught her. And killing never took long anyway. And the less distractions that there were, the faster they could depart from the campsite.

Yes. She could stab the stranger, the leader could stab the man he was fighting. The fungus would overtake the soon-to-be deceased bodies, and then they would be that much closer to getting to Truell. Riveting.

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Character Portrait: Shyc Regaile Character Portrait: Sakura Dieriean Character Portrait: Razeluxe Character Portrait: Fotiá Character Portrait: Kenji Umeki
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She felt warm hands around her body, but she didn't think to open her eyes and see what was going on. Things were so peaceful and quiet, she probably could have slept for quite a while longer. Sakura gave a soft moan as she was slowly moved around from her resting place. She hardly thought about it as she was put upon someones back, her head lulling against the other persons. Silky hair that smelt like campfire brushed her nose.

She was still lost in her dream as she mumbled slightly. The group of mercenaries was surrounding her and she was enjoying every bit of it as they ate next to the fire. Her heart was settled finally, no stress or anxiety filled her. She was happy. Truly happy.

That was until she heard a loud sound. The ring of steel filled the air, cutting sharply into her peaceful dreaming. Slowly, drowsily, she opened her eyes and found herself up on the back of the woman whom her mother had ordered to protect her. Her mind wasn't quite working properly so she couldn't figure out how she'd gotten there in the first place. Sakura yawned lightly, until her gaze fell on the chaos before her.

Instantly her heart leapt into a race and she gasped in a sharp breath, "Raze!" her cry for him might have startled the woman holding her, but she didn't care.

Squirming out of the woman's grasp she dropped down to her feet and took off running towards him, careless to her own safety as the other elf's gaze locked on her. He was dark, a threat to someone she cared about and she could see the blood lightly coating Raze's face and arm. He's wounded! she thought frantically as she ran. Her thoughts were only of getting to him before anything more happened.

Shyc, however, quickly stepped in and grabbed her around the waist, keeping her from getting to his side. She struggled against the young man fiercely, "Shyc! Let go! Let me help him! Raze!"

"No! You can't! You'll get hurt or worse! You just can't!" Shyc said to her, trying to still her from struggling so much.

The other elf's gaze gave her a cold chill that spread across her entire frame. Slowly he turned back to Raze, his dark eyes narrowing to mere slits. It looked as if he meant to kill Razeluxe and this scared Sakura. Her heart pounded hard with the terror that flooded her and she dropped, feeling the sudden well of pain in her chest.

"Sakura!" Shyc's alarmed voice cried out to her as she suddenly went limp in his grasp.

"Shyc..." reaching out she gripped his arm tightly, tears in her eyes as she fought off the growing pain, "Help him, please. That man mean's to kill him! Don't let that happen, please!" she cried, once again cursing herself for how useless she really was.


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Shyc watched in awe as the two elves fought furiously. Both dealt blows to one another that weren't crippling, but had it been any other person certainly would have ended the fight. His heart was pounding hard in his chest as the young thief watched the fight unfold. The full blooded elf was certainly enraged about something, whatever that was Shyc wasn't sure he really wanted to know. Eitherway, though, he was threatening someone that the half daemon cared for. It didn't matter what the past was like, he knew Raze as he was now and he wasn't about to let anyone else kill the man, to take him away from Shyc who looked up to Raze so much.

Then the inevitable happened. The woman who had lit herself on fire the night before came into the picture. With her, she was carrying a slowly waking Sakura. His heart plunged to the depths of his soul as he watched the young woman wake up.

"I'm not sure what form of extended play date this is, but it'd be wonderful if you could finish this up quickly so that we could continue on our way. Also, is he a joining us or are we doing the stabbing thing? You material creatures take life in order to get rid of obstacles, right?"

"No! We're not killing him!" Shyc immediately answered, stepping up near Kenji so that Fotiá knew exactly who he was talking about. Pointing his finger towards the elf whom Raze had called 'Iriyn' he shouted, "But him we can kill."

Then Sakura's voice filled the air as she realized what was happening. His eyes grew wide as she freed herself from the woman's grasp and sprinted towards Raze in fear. The young thief moved, faster than she was, he all but tackled her to keep her from interrupting the fight that was going to start again soon. Shyc could feel the tension growing as well as feel the murderous gaze as it settled on Sakura and himself. He could almost read the thoughts in the full blooded elf's gaze as he watched the young woman.

Sakura pleaded to him then after dropping and giving him a heart attack. Is this the illness? She looks like she's in pain! he thought frantically, his face loosing it's color as he stared down at her. Even with her body as it was, she could only worry about someone else. He nodded to her, "I will," he reassured her.

Turning, he looked around the area for Raze's shield. Though he'd been fighting well enough without it, Shyc knew that Raze would be far better if he had it. When he spotted it, he sprinted for it, leaving Sakura to her fire guardian -or so he hoped-.

Iriyn's voice filled the air as Shyc made his way to the shield, "You know, I'm glad that you did not fall so easily, Dane. I would have been severely disappointed if I'd killed you so quickly. This makes things so much more worthy, don't you think?

The elf paused for a moment, his gaze growing darker once again and his laugh falling into a deep scowl, "For some, exile was enough. But for me, it wasn't. You took away everything, Razeluxe. Do you remember? My sister, my family, the clan was destroyed because of you! Do you remember her, Dane! Do you remember my sister? She was only a child, she used to cling to you and call you 'brother'! Do you think that being exiled is enough for such an atrocity as that!?"

Iriyn's words were piercing as he screamed them. Right after, he lunged at Raze once again, his weapons ready for another round. Shyc reached the shield and grasped it, rolling over it as he'd dived for it. Coming back up to his feet he watched as the other elf closed the distance between them so quickly. Shyc's heart was pounding hard as he moved to get closer in order to give Raze his shield.

"Perhaps I can repay you in a different way," Iriyn's gaze shifted from Raze to Sakura still on the ground. Swiftly moving from the half elf, he made for her who gasped and watched in fear.

Shyc yelled then prepared the shield as he was closer to Raze than to her, "Raze!" he shouted then threw the heavy piece of metal hoping that the elf would get it in time.

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Character Portrait: Shyc Regaile Character Portrait: Sakura Dieriean Character Portrait: Razeluxe Character Portrait: Fotiá Character Portrait: Kenji Umeki
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Yay for dramatic pictures ;3 It's foreshadowing things <3


"We should consult with Sakura when she wakes." Kenji thought to himself, I believe that's the princess, sounds reasonable I suppose. Then Kenji's ears twitched as he heard a slight sound behind him. His hearing never seemed to fail him.

"I wonder, why it is that when I finally find you, it looks as if there is no remorse, no regret, no guilt around you Dane."

Kenji looked over to the frazzled Shyc, then followed him and turned to meet eyes with the threatening voice behind him. Great, another elf. The man's pointed ears and dark eyes gave away his species. Kenji grew confused at the statement the mysterious man made. Who was Dane? Perhaps the elf lost his way and confused someone for being a person he was clearly attempting to kill, due to the fact his weapons were drawn. Although the man's eyes were definitely focused on Raze with a certain look that seemed to be lust for vengeance.

Shyc made some sudden movements towards his weapons that were greeted by the enemy holding him up by knife point. When this turn of events occurred, Kenji had some abnormal reactions. As soon as the elf's blade came into contact with Shyc's throat, Kenji stepped forward almost as if he was worried that his new lovely man was being threatened. Unfortunately he stopped as he knew he was defenseless and also the sad truth that if he stepped closer, the new actually scary elf would most likely end Shyc right then and there.

"...Iriyn...?" Raze clarified that him and this newcomer had past relations, and now there was a name to the face. Then after a quick exchange of words and poor Shyc being man-handled, the two elves erupted into battle. Kenji watched closely at their techniques and took them into consideration for future battles between him and another. He decided not to intervene as he understood the emotional concept of vengeance very well. Nothing would get in Iriyn's way so why try? Plus he was sort of disarmed at the moment, his weapons being too close to the battle that he would most likely be stopped in the process of venturing to Oboro. Quite some blood was being spilled between the two fighters, they were clearly evenly matched.

Unsurprisingly, the new woman and the princess approached the scene, most likely due to the disturbing clashing steel sounds. The princess seemed to remain in slumber as she was carried from the tents in the camp site. Kenji figured this would be no good as they all seemed to have emotional connections with each other. Well, for sure the princess and Raze as they seemed to have inappropriately rough housed earlier, from what Kenji was seeing... Once again, another threat was delivered to Kenji as the green eyed woman approached. His eyes moved to Shyc as he awaited his response, and to his surprise it seemed as though he was trying to protect Kenji, stepping in front of him and all. All of a sudden Kenji felt a little ache in his chest, like his heart... wait for it...skipped a beat. (*Cue the aww sound effect*)

Kenji distracted by this odd new sensation, didn't acknowledge the princess' awaking, leading her to cause another unneeded commotion. Thankfully enough, Shyc grabbed her just in time before she committed suicide, running into a battle unarmed like that. Kenji glanced over to the princess as she seemed to be weakened and now on the floor unguarded as Shyc finally decided to intervene. Then as he ran towards Raze's shield the Iriyn guy seemed to see an opportunity.

"Perhaps I can repay you in a different way." Kenji's eyes suddenly darted to the elf as he began running towards Sakura. Time seemed to slow down as he decided what he could do. I can't let her die. They'll never let me into the group then... I have to do something drastic. No weapons. All I have is my body. Okay. Without another thought Kenji started barreling towards the elf and his swords and at the last second he extended his arms and side tackled the man right as he was about to reach the helpless princess. They both came tumbling down to the ground, the two blades marking Kenji's body with several slashes.

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Character Portrait: Shyc Regaile Character Portrait: Sakura Dieriean Character Portrait: Razeluxe Character Portrait: Fotiá Character Portrait: Kenji Umeki
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Razeluxe







Although the typical situation would have had Razeluxe sharing the elemental's desire to head to Truell as soon as was physically possible, the battle before him was not only a difficult one, but a personal one as well. One might call it a 'blast from the past', but it was really more like a nightmare; anything to do with that village could only resurface undesireable memorie. Dane never let his eyes wander from Iriyn.

Before the two elves could reengage on each other, more voices began appearing to have joined the scene. One particularly disinterested voice belonged to the very girl that had been suspected of being an elemental being. And, just shortly after she had finished speaking, the panicked voice of a young princess caught his ear. Iriyn glanced over towards her, and then back at Razeluxe with a glare that betrayed the other elf's intentions were he to succeed in defeating Raze. Then again, the rest of the camp was here in that case, so he might have felt safer had it not been for the fact this elf wouldn't just find a way past numbers. The clan was resourceful, which is why Raze had made it out of so many different situations before, but.... well, now that might come back to bite him in the ass.

No, he simply just needed to beat Iriyn here and now, then there'd be no worries. As long as he didn't die....

"For some, exile was enough. But for me, it wasn't. You took away everything, Razeluxe. Do you remember?"

For as long as he had been 'Razeluxe', people knew he was not prone to emotional outbursts, angst, or sorrow. Well, so it had seemed. He was no devoid of emotion as it would appear, and those closest to him could tell he was quite the tsundere, never really wanting to seem like a good person. Small acts of kindness weren't unfamiliar to him, and he typically tried to factor in everyone's opinion on things when events had to become democratic. That being said, he would always try to downplay what he had done with his usual blank expression. "I don't care much for potatoes, so take mine" even though he happened to be very fond of them. "Go ahead, I can simply use my fire magic to warm myself up. The blanket's yours." Since his abilities were limited to empowering something with an element, they did not work that way, and he wouldn't mind spending a cold night or two if it helped anyone, hiding signs of a cold the next day. He was stubborn that way, and there were also times when he was sad, angry, or even happy, but he went out of his way to hide all signs of this if it were possible.

Because showing anything but regret was forbidden to him. Yet lately, things had been changing. He remembered spending time with their newest member, even smiling on occasion. He also nearly had a heart attack when he learned who Sakura was, simply because he was that worried Shyc and the others might be harmed. He wasn't doing a great job of remembering what he had done as of late, and that's why Iriyn's words managed to strike up a pressure in his chest: the guilt only one such as he could have.

"...My sister, my family, the clan was destroyed because of you! Do you remember her, Dane! Do you remember my sister? She was only a child, she used to cling to you and call you 'brother'! Do you think that being exiled is enough for such an atrocity as that!?"

The pain of regret pulsed through his bodies and showed up on his expression only briefly. "... of course I remember her." he worded softly, obviously recalling the young girl as he did so. It wouldn't be crazy to say that of all his tragic memories, this one was the most painful to recall.

Dane was nearly drained of his will to fight, but nontheless, he slowly brought up his sword to defend himself from Iriyn, who was charging straight at him. Unfortunately, this proved to be meaningless, as the other elf muttered something and switched his target to someone else: Sakura. Raze's eyes immediately widened upon the realization, and the elf followed in quick pursuit. As he so desperately to reach the young princess, he hard his name, followed by a heave, and was just barely able to grab his trusty shield from the air. Now, all he had to do was save Sakura!..... but Iriyn was much too fast. With the head start he had, he wouldn't be interrupted by Raze before he could complete a lethal slash on her. Knowing this, Dane still rushed to try something, anything, but it was going to be too late.

Helpless, Raze watched as the other elf brought his sword up to swing down upon the girl.

...

...

...

But there was no death cry. No, in its stead was the sound of tumbling, swords clanking on the groudn, and groans. Someone had manage to reach him in time and intercepted him. That person was non other than the man who had injured Shyc but days ago. The act confused Raze, and likely irritated his elf brethren, but that did not hold him up. After ensuring the young princess was no longer harmed, the young hybrid followed up Kenji by jumping to the scene with his sword at the ready, pointing the tip to the neck of the elf Kenji had just knocked down. "Shyc, get over here." he ordered, nodding his head towards Kenji, who seemed to be injured a bit. Having his attention focused on Iriyn at that moment, Raze couldn't tell if they were serious or not, all he knew is that he had to keep this man from trying anything else.

"Iriyn...." Raze sighed, a pained expression taking form before he continued. "So in your pursuit of vengeance, you've become no better than the one you wish to kill?" Since his target was Raze, it meant he was speaking very ill of himself, and he did so so naturally you wouldn't even know that unless you were paying attention earlier. One could say that Razeluxe's least favorite person on the planet was himself.

"You're done for now. Give up and leave. Even you should be aware you can't take on an army by yourself."

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Character Portrait: Shyc Regaile Character Portrait: Sakura Dieriean Character Portrait: Razeluxe Character Portrait: Fotiá Character Portrait: Kenji Umeki
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#, as written by Siryn
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Her voice gasped loudly in her throat as she watched the elf turn and streak towards her. With her heart hammering hard in her chest, the world around her seemed to swirl in nauseating circle. The elf in all black moved so quickly, yet to her it seemed that it took him forever to get to her. She watched Raze turn to chase after him but he seemingly couldn't gain any distance on the other. Fear gripped her tightly and she couldn't move. Again... I'm in the way again... she thought saddly.

Her gaze softened as she watched him, growing a bit distressed that she couldn't do anything about what was going to happen to her. Iriyn's shadow fell over her as he raised his blades. She was the only one to hear the man's words, "Forgive me, but I've no choice. He should suffer as I have." His cold gaze was dark, a look that she'd never thought any mortal being possible to have. Slowly she shook her head.

The sword came down upon her and her eyes closed. Several seconds passed by before she dared to peer out to see what was happening. She then heard the grunt of someone hitting something and the sound of two bodies hitting the ground. Looking to where the sound came from, she watched as the new comer had suddenly tackled Iriyn, keeping him from harming her. Her breath released, sucking in and out of her lungs rapidly. Every limb shook as she knelt there, watching wide eyed as Raze finally made it to her.

She watched as Raze ordered Shyc to his side, which the young thief immediately did. Her fingers clutched the area over her heart as she sat there, trying to remember to breathe. Her eyes watched Raze carefully, taking in everything during that moment. He seemed pained. Something was wrong. Not only that but he was injured too, even if it was light injuries, she couldn't help but hate the fact that he was bleeding.

"Raze..." Sakura's voice was shaking slightly as she watched him hold the blade right up against Iriyn's throat.

"Iriyn.... So in your pursuit of vengeance, you've become no better than the one you wish to kill?"

W-what? What does that mean? she thought frantically. Sakura tried to stand, but found her legs didn't have the strength to do so just yet. She leaned forward, her fingers curling in the dirt.

Iriyn laughed lightly, "Don't put me on your own level, Dane. You've no one else to blame but yourself for why I'm doing what I'm doing now. Perhaps I've struck a nerve? Do you actually care for these people around you? Or are you going to lead them to destruction just like you led those men to destroy us?" Iriyn scoffed as he lay there, panting just slightly from the fight and having been knocked to the ground so suddenly.

"You're done for now. Give up and leave. Even you should be aware you can't take on an army by yourself."

"Then you don't know what you're going to be up against when we meet again, Dane. You call this an 'army'? These are children compared to us. You and I both know we could kill them easily," he leaned forward, the tip of Raze's blade just barely pricking his throat, "You're life is mine, Razeluxe. Just remember that," Iriyn back up a bit before he stood, the sword following him as he stood.

Slowly he backed away from Raze. Within minutes he faded into the forest just as silently as he'd appeared. Sakura moved a bit. Her legs were shaking, but she managed to stumbled up to her feet. In a few quick strides she was at Raze's side. Her fingers gripped his wrist tightly, but not enough to hurt him, "Raze... You're... injured," she was originally going to say that he was 'hurt' but decided not to as it implied far too much. Reaching up she gently wiped at the blood that was on the side of his face.

"I can clean the wounds for you," she said as she took a step back to try to direct him back to the camp.


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Shyc watched with bated breath as the shield flew through the air and finally as Raze caught it deftly, just as he knew the elf would. The half elf took off so quickly that even Shyc was astonished. Still, the full blooded elf was far faster and had a head start. The young thief cursed himself. Maybe if he hadn't yelled at Raze to catch his shield he could have caught Iriyn.

Shyc took off running as well, though he wasn't quite as fast as the fleet footed elves were. His heart lurched in his throat as he saw something else happen though. Kenji launched himself at Iriyn and took the elf down before he could cut through Sakura. They tumbled, a mass of limbs and extremely sharp blades. In a matter of seconds it seemed that the fight that could have prolonged for Gods knew how long, was over as Raze stood over his adversary.

"Shyc, get over here." Raze yelled for him and the half daemon obliged without a second thought. Kneeling down next to Kenji, he rolled the tall man over and frowned a bit as he examined the lashes he'd taken when he'd tumbled with Iriyn. Pulling him up, cradled by one arm and his leg, he shook his head a bit.

"Idiot... what were you thinking?" Shyc muttered, though he figured if it had been him, he probably would have done the same.

He looked up to watch the display between Raze and Iriyn. The other, darker, elf seemed intent on killing Raze, something that stirred a cold darkness in Shyc's chest. He tried to ignore the comments being made, turning away even and closing his eyes to keep himself calm. The stirring of the beast were almost too much, but he fought it back. This was no time to be letting that take over.

Finally Iriyn disappeared. Shyc let out a breath of relief as he sat there. Bowing his head over Kenji's chest, he finally looked up to Raze. His brilliant green gaze held many questions but he pushed them aside. It wasn't his place to go asking his esteemed leader a thousand questions to what had just happened. If Shyc had just met Raze he wouldn't have known better, but he could tell there was something wrong. He wasn't sure what it was his leader was displaying on his face... sadness? Regret? Hatred even? Raze had always been a hard individual to read, but Shyc was having an even harder time now.

With a soft sigh, he allowed Sakura's gentle nature to take over that particular subject. Maybe if they got lucky, Raze would open up to her. Though Shyc was starting to think the hard headed elf needed a push -albeit a large one maybe- to see what was standing right in front of him. Looking back to Kenji he sighed again.

"Alright, come on. Got to clean your wounds. At least they're not too deep..." he said as he pulled aside one piece of cloth that had been torn opened cleanly to look at the cut. Shifting around, he pulled Kenji to his feet.

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Character Portrait: Shyc Regaile Character Portrait: Sakura Dieriean Character Portrait: Razeluxe Character Portrait: Fotiá Character Portrait: Kenji Umeki
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#, as written by Igari

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The elemental was none-too-amused when the princess slid off of her back, taking a stance in front of her and gesturing to the enemy elf. What was that silly human girl thinking? It was foolish to run into the middle of danger like that and the queen certainly wouldn't approve of such ridiculous behavior. If this was an indication of the way it was going to be every time the mercenary leader was in danger, then she'd have to work up sufficient amounts of patience for the task. It was bad enough that they could be attacked at any moment due to the... peculiar gift of the princess. It was made worse when the girl just threw herself into the fray without a second thought.

Before Fotiá could intervene, however, the stranger stepped in front of the princess, offering his own body as a shield. The woman narrowed her eyes, factoring in the fact that she had not been informed of this additional party. What was this man doing? What purpose did he have for defending the princess? And, furthermore, why did he seek to defend her charge? She was a fully competent guardian and she did not require assistance from any outside forces. She gritted her teeth together but restrained herself, for it did not seem as if there would be any more danger imposing itself onto Sakura. The elf seemed to be content with his threat and after growling a few words to the leader, he shrunk back into the darkness, leaving the group alone in the clearing.

Her head was already aching and the morning hadn't even passed yet. It was with this tiny realization that she quickly glanced up at the sky to double-check the sun's position. She felt a bit of relief, it was still too early and noon was probably an hour or so away. Plenty of time to re-group and then seek shelter for a few hours. She had yet to explain this circumstance to the group at hand but felt little desire to do so. The elemental did not seek comprehension of her being--she only had a job to do. A job that this... stranger had interfered with.

Sakura was quick to attend to Raze, the wide-eyed boy following suit with the other human. Was everyone pairing off? Why did creatures of flesh seek the company of others like this anyway? It was no mystery to her, the blooming of that awful thing called "romance" floating about in the eyes of the boy and the princess. While she did not have much of a tolerance for it, she was quick to spot it. It had also existed on her plane of fire--although those romances tended to be a lot more volatile and passionate due to their fiery nature... no pun intended. (The woman failed to smile at her own joke)

Sighing and figuring it best to get this over with, she walked by the princess first, sliding her hand across the girl's shoulder as an affirmation of being unharmed. She approached the boy and the wounded human, coming to stand in front of the pair. She adjusted Plume in her hand, casually hovering it over the man's throat and narrowing her eyes at him.

"I believe you failed to make your introduction earlier. I'm curious as to your excuse for intersecting with our party." The word "curious" came out colorless and bland. The truth was very simple, of course. Fotiá wasn't the least bit interested in his reasoning or, for that matter, in his existence. However, it would be important for her to verify his reason for staying, she did have people to report to and she didn't want her records to be incomplete. Besides, the sooner she learned of his rationale, the sooner she could leave his direct presence. Too many people confused her and all this lovey-dovey crap was making her feel ill at ease. And feel the strong impulse to fly away somewhere... though that was not a current possibility.

"Define yourself." She prompted further, inching her cutlass just a bit closer to his throat. "Or I'll have no choice but to assume you will be a hindrance to the group."

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Character Portrait: Shyc Regaile Character Portrait: Sakura Dieriean Character Portrait: Razeluxe Character Portrait: Fotiá Character Portrait: Kenji Umeki
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Razeluxe









"..."

Razeluxe remained wholly silent and unmoving as Iriyn backed into the forest, eventually disappearing from view, but certainly not from mind. While his appearance was sudden and brief, the hidden regret that resurfaced in Dane was not. Even after the figure of Iriyn was lost amongst the many many trees of the forest, Dane was still hesitant to even respond to outside stimuli, the painful memory of events long past repeating in his head.

"I can clean the wounds for you," Sakura claimed, backing towards their camp.

"Huh? Oh... sure..."

Not bothering or unable to hide the fact something heavy was weighing on his mind, he replied idly, slowly following the worried princess back to their campsite which wasn't far away. Because they were but a few steps away from the camp, they reached their destination in three paces. Although the mute samurai seemed to be hurt, it certainly did not appear fatal, and Shyc could certainly handle it. There was no doubt that things could have gone much worse had Iriyn had a sturdy head about how he approached things, or so Razeluxe thought. The fact Dane could hold him off without his full potential being realized (having his shield on-hand made things much easier and comfortable for the elf) was a new experience for Raze. It was quite likely Iriyn was somewhat blinded by the desire to avenge the fallen, which would explain this. But worrying about something like that was... pointless.

He had every right to be angered, after all...

"I believe you failed to make your introduction earlier. I'm curious as to your excuse for intersecting with our party." Fotiá spoke, and the dull way in which it came out contradicted her wording. Judging by her actions so far, Raze would assume this elemental did not find much interest in anything. At least, that's what her tone always implied, and with the minimal interaction between Raze and she, he shouldn't really be coming to any conclusions. Then again, at the moment, there were so many internal questions and debates running through the elf that he wasn't paying attention to his surroundings in the slightest. Heck, Sakura could be stripping him of his clothes and taking him for a ride and he probably would not even notice --- he was that deep in thought. But perhaps for the better, the elemental snapped him out of it unintentionally.

"Define yourself. Or I'll have no choice but to assume you will be a hindrance to the group." she threatened, brandishing her odd blade towards Kenji's throat. Things got a bit hypocritical from there.

Razeluxe did not move in any way that would hinder whatever progress Sakura was making with his 'wounds'. He had only cuts and scrapes, nothing serious, or so he figured. It was possible he was still on his adrenaline high and just couldn't feel any real pain because of that. Either way, Sakura did not seem to be panicking more than usual so he figured it wasn't anything that would kill him. The elf made sure to speak a bit loudly and clearly so that his elemental companion could be sure to hear him. He wasn't yelling at all, but simply ensuring he wasn't drowned out by any other noises despite there not being any real reason to do so.

"I would appreciate the chance to thank this man for his help before you go and point a blade at him needl-------"

Mid-speech, a certain memory replayed from his past, causing him to cut himself off.

"I would hope you could give us a reason not to slay you on the spot, young miss. Mercenaries aren't fond of stowaways."

Oh, well this was fairly awkward...

...

...

...

Clearing his throat after a brief moment of silence, Razeluxe continued, albeit a bit timidly at first, "A-anyway, you should listen to him before you point your blade at him." managing to recover at the end, he also added, "It's unlikely someone performing your job of protecting the princess is here to hinder our plans." Such words were merely there to parry any attempts at rebuttal - the fact remains she wasn't the one who protected the princess at the given time, and although the same could be said for Raze - and he'd certainly get around to beating himself up about that once other thoughts were off his mind - she seemed to take a great deal of importance in her task, going off of his eagerness to get to their destination in face of a spontaneous eruption of combat.

"Lets hear him out. We owe him as much."

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Character Portrait: Shyc Regaile Character Portrait: Sakura Dieriean Character Portrait: Razeluxe Character Portrait: Fotiá Character Portrait: Kenji Umeki
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Kenji's eyes were shut tight, unwilling to open as he and the elf hit the ground with a painful thud. It was over. Kenji knew someone would be there to keep Iriyn on the ground, so he rolled off of the man and opened his eyes to stare at the clouds while the grass of the forest tickled his back. He didn't blink and all noise seemed to leave the world. All he could hear was the pounding in his ears as blood stained his kimono. Blood trickled down his cheek from a slight gash, but he felt no pain. He felt more empty than before. The last time any blood had touched his skin was seven years ago. A fatal mistake when he decided to take on an army of twenty worthless men. It wasn't even his own blood, but it still bothered the hell out of him.

Everything had to be clean, had to stay clean. He couldn't bleed or stain his clothes with the blood of others. That was highly unacceptable. Yet what he had just done was his own fault. He had just caused all the painful memories to come back. And for what? The possibility that he may be able to feel again? Was it worth it? No, he was stupid. And now the images of his father's and brother's dead body flooded his mind, the sounds of his shrieking mother as she was dragged away to be handled by grubby bandits. Kenji could never handle the red liquid, it always brought back so many horrible memories.

The clouds above him seemed to lose their white pureness and turned to a dark menacing grey. He couldn't tell if it was just him or if it was actually reality. Sound still hadn't returned, but out of the corner of his eye, he saw Iriyn flee the scene. I'll kill you. You will wish they hadn't let you go. His eyes remained on the sky as threatening thoughts flew through his head. Then all of the sudden he felt warmth and his senses returned to him.

A light redness came to Kenji's cheeks as he realized Shyc had been holding him all this time, but it was really just because he finally felt the pain from his wounds as feeling came back.... Not really. Kenji felt almost comforted as he lie there in the mans arms. A sudden flashback hit him of him as a child lying in his mother's lap. She had told him a story about her father, and how he was a great warrior. Kenji had always wanted to be like his grandfather, and at this point he was almost better than him.

"Alright, come on. Got to clean your wounds. At least they're not too deep..."

Kenji wanted to lie there forever, but Shyc was more realistic and pulled him up. He usually wouldn't take the help, but he would take anything from Shyc... Yes yes yes. Kenji looked down at his body. The one piece of clothing he owned was ruined. Shredded and stained with blood, and who knew when they would reach another market. But Kenji brushed it off and looked over to the other angry newcomer who now seemed to be threatening him. The woman was holding a very decorative cutlass to his throat and the emotionless words spewing out of her mouth seemed to go through one ear and out the other for Kenji. He turned his head and locked eyes with Shyc as Raze seemed to be defending him.

Kenji was pleased that Raze seemed to have warmed up to him now. Saving the princess really was a good decision on his part, not taking the painful thoughts into consideration. At this rate, Kenji would definitely be able to spend more time with the mercenary he was so interested in.

Shyc turned on the woman as she leveled the blade at Kenji. Hadn't he made it clear that they were not going to kill him? Without thinking, he reached out and snatched the blade into his hand and pulled it straight up, away from Kenji's throat. Shyc hadn't felt anger like this in a long time. But it was pulsing, raging through him like a torrent and he couldn't stop it this time.

"I said we're not killing him, or threatening him!" Shyc exploded, his eyes narrowing at her as he moved and put himself directly between Kenji and her weapon, "You want to threaten someone, you can start by trying me," he growled. "So what if he wasn't in your damned orders. You're only supposed to worry about Sakura, so just worry about her and let me worry about Kenji."

He cut himself short though as Raze's words filled the air, calling for her to back off as well and allow Kenji to explain himself to Fotia. Shyc glanced back to Kenji, he frowned a bit as he looked down at the wounds. Small though they were, they still looked like they hurt and Shyc wanted nothing but to clean them to relieve any pain rather than stand there and fight over such a petty thing. If Raze was willing to give the man a chance, then Fotia needn't step in as she had.

Kenji's lips parted slightly at Shyc's sudden anger. He then watched intently as the man lifted the blade with his bare hands. What is he doing? Kenji wondered. Then Shyc started shouting at the woman and Kenji almost wanted to smirk as the lady was being put in her place. Shyc was being such a turn on. He then noticed the man's frown and wondered what was causing his sadness. Kenji couldn't really comprehend the whole situation. Raze's words seemed to be the cue to have Kenji speak for himself. Everyone was looking at him so he figured he had to step out of his box. Especially because he wanted to please Shyc.

His deep voice began, "I feel I would be beneficial to the group. I'm good at fighting and as you just witnessed I'm fast with quick instincts. My name is Kenji Umeki, I've travelled all around Camdiere and fought for almost all the kingdoms. I have no affiliation. My intentions are to work with Shyc and in order to do that I'm willing to protect the princess. Accept me if you wish or else I'll be on my way." With that Kenji gazed back over to Shyc to see what he thought. It had been years since he spoke that much. But it almost felt relieving.

Shyc felt his face flush slightly, be on his way? Is he really going to give in that easily? the half daemon thought worridly. Shyc shook his head slightly, but held his tongue as best he could. Raze would accept him, right? Even if this woman didn't, Raze would. Shyc wasn't sure why he was so worried about it really. Maybe it was because for the first time in all these years, he'd finally found someone who could put him back together should he ever fall into his daemon side again. Turning, he looked not at Fotia, but at Raze instead.

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Character Portrait: Shyc Regaile Character Portrait: Sakura Dieriean Character Portrait: Razeluxe Character Portrait: Fotiá Character Portrait: Kenji Umeki
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thanks Famished!

Sitting with Raze, Sakura concentrated on cleaning the wounds he'd sustained from the fight. The wet cloth gathered up the stray blood as she wiped it across his face. It was silent for a little while, but she was dying with questions. Something was wrong and she wasn't sure if she should ask them or not. Finishing with the small cut across his cheek, she moved to his arm, "Um..." she started, "Your... shirt."

While he himself had gotten on the elemental's case about the blade at Kenji's throat, he had done so much less aggressively than Shyc did for sure. In fact, just the anger behind his motivation for speaking to Fotia had even gotten on Raze's nerves a bit. After all, right now Shyc was speaking to Dane's god, and Dane himself was not really feeling happy about how he spoke to her before. Combined, these two factors caused Razeluxe to, of course, raise his tone, particularly towards Shyc. "Her worry is warranted, Shyc. Your attitude, however, is not. Don't tear out the throat of an ally, it really benefits nobody." Razeluxe was a lot more calm with his words than he felt. He wasn't some zealous, fanatical worshiper of the faith he believed in, but it was still somewhat infuriating. Either way, the leader of the mercenaries kept his cool as usual and that should be that.

Shyc's face went pale as he took the verbal warning from Raze. He often got in trouble, but this time was a bit more than usual, or so the young thief thought anyway. He bit his lip as he felt a blush of shame cross his face and he looked down. Releasing the weapon he turned away and stared down at the ground, but he didn't move either, remaining right in front of Kenji. He offered an apology to Raze though, because he knew he had gone out of line and he didn't like it when his leader was angry with him for any reason, "I'm sorry, Raze," he said and then waited for Kenji to speak, which he did.

"I feel I would be beneficial to the group. I'm good at fighting and as you just witnessed I'm fast with quick instincts. My name is Kenji Umeki, I've traveled all around Camdiere and fought for almost all the kingdoms. I have no affiliation. My intentions are to work with Shyc and in order to do that I'm willing to protect the princess. Accept me if you wish or else I'll be on my way."

If what he said was true, then his 'resume' as it were would suffice. Raze did not care much for Kenji due to his blatant refusal to acknowledge him a few days earlier, but if this man could listen when he needed to, then that should be good enough. And, obviously, saving Sakura earned the man a few points, so that went far enough to win Raze over, albeit hesitantly. "I am willing allow him to join us, so long as he listens and obeys when need be. I don't run an army, but I do lead a group. Some obedience is required eventually." he did want to know exactly what about Shyc had interested him. Shyc did not seem to be the most interesting individual from Raze's point of view, no offense to the boy. He certainly couldn't be said to be the brightest fellow in the bunch, so maybe it had something to do with his other half. Or so Raze deduced. Either way, as long as he didn't threaten anyone and did not cause disruption to the group, Razeluxe did not mind. He'd throw his vote in. But he could only throw his own....

"However, your joining of the group requires everyone's consent. I won't ask Shyc because it's obvious how he feels, and the lady who pointed the blade at your throat is technically newer than yourself to the group. So..." the elf glanced down at Sakura. "What's your opinion on the matter?"

Sakura looked between Raze and the man in question. Honestly, she wasn't sure what she thought. She recalled the night that Shyc had gone rampaging and how he was treated by the very person who wanted to now join them. Her lips pulled into a frown as she sat next to Raze. In light of that, she couldn't forget what he had just done either, the cuts across his skin were glaring proof of that. Even so, she was slightly unsettled, "I don't know, Raze. He did help though, so I guess it would be alright. I will have to learn more about him to really trust him though," she answered, looking back down at Raze, "I don't trust him. He had tried to kill Shyc before. I do, however, believe in giving others a chance."

"Then it seems he may stay." Raze stated, perhaps much to Shyc's elation. "Though if he does anything hostile whatsoever to the wrong party, then I will show no tolerance. I don't think I need to elaborate further on that matter, it's pretty obvious a threat."

Having said as much as he had wanted and his business involving Kenji directly being done, Razeluxe returned his attention to the fragile girl who was treating his wounds. With a small pause, she simply mentioned his shirt and with an even shorter pause, the young elf did not hesitate to reach under each sleeve and remove the fabric from his body, exposing a warrior's physique - a firm and tone body, riddled with many small scars in various places, obviously all from the many conflicts he had been in throughout his long life.

Sakura was slightly shocked at his near immediate response. Her gaze dropped unwillingly down as he removed the shirt. A brilliant blush painted her face and she quickly turned to walk behind him and tend to the cut on his arm, "Raze..." her voice squeaked a bit and she coughed to clear it, "Who was that elf?" she asked softly, trying to give her mind something else to focus on.

Upon hearing the question, Razeluxe tensed up. He was upset that it would be impossible to pass it off as just some random elf - the fight, the fact the elf knew his true name, and the hatred he had for Raze --- no, Dane, had already betrayed as much. If one were listening to the conversation the two elves had, they could likely piece together the basis of what may have happened, or at the very least, the fact that the other elf held a deep grudge against Razeluxe. Sakura didn't seem like an idiot, so Razeluxe could tell this was probably just a meaningless question to pass the time. Or, so it should have been. Remembering the past was just a very difficult thing for Raze to do when it came to his elven brethren. Taking a moment to himself before answering, he replied with, "My brother? No... I really haven't the right to call him that anymore..."

Sakura frowned a bit. The cut wasn't anything serious and so she had cleaned it rather quickly. Sitting back, she ended up staring at the glaring red wound for a while, trying to gather her own thoughts, "That man. He really wanted to kill you. I could... feel it. It scared me, Raze. I thought he was going to win, and... the way you fought.... it was different," she frowned even more as she tried to explain, "He... called you Dane. Why? Why does he want to kill you so badly? You don't deserve anything like that," she leaned forward now, reaching to touch his shoulder and moving just enough so that she could see the side of his face. Her heart was racing again, pounding hard with a flux of emotions that probably weren't good, but she didn't care.

"Dane...."

It certainly had been more than a few decades since he was last called that. Who had said it last? His dying mother? Someone from the clan? Iriyn? It had been too long to bother remembering. All he knew was that at one point, that had been his name, the one his human father had given him. But he wasn't human anymore, for what creature with any shred of humanity do what he had done? There was none. So, of course, when he was branded with a title most befitting of him, he never did return to calling himself Dane. "... When you take everything from someone, they tend to hold a grudge, Sakura" he looked down at her with cold, nearly dead eyes. Eyes of a beaten, broken man. Though his speech remained unaffected, one could see the torment, sorrow, and regret in these orbs of his, clear as day.

"Your biggest mistake right now, Sakura, is believing I'm half the man I'm made out to be. There's nobody more deserving of meeting their end at his blade than I am, it's just the truth. I think... I've accepted that now. Is that what you meant when you said I fought 'differently'?"

As his gaze fell on her, they were cold, dark and full of feelings that scared her further. Sakura sucked in a sharp breath as she met his eyes. Her own eyes widened at bit as she looked up at him. She didn't know what he meant exactly by taking away everything from someone, perhaps he was saying that he had done such an act, but Sakura shook her head a bit. She wasn't going to believe that for a second. This man, sitting before her, wasn't someone who could do that so easily and with what she was witnessing in his look right then told her that whatever it was that had happened, he wasn't happy, or accepting, or anything of the like towards it.

"Raze!" she nearly shouted his name as he continued afterwards. Lurching to her feet, she came full circle to face him fully, grabbing his shoulders with both hands now she shook her head as she tried not to cry, "You are a good man, and you have shown that to me and Shyc and Willow and Dinan. You cannot say that you're not anything less. You don't deserve to die, no one does! And yes, that's what I meant when I said you fought differently. You wanted to die, didn't you?!" she was shaking now as she spoke rather quickly, her emotions flaring up in a bright wave, "You idiot! What do you think would have happened if you allowed that? Didn't you think about how Shyc would have reacted if that had happened? And what about me? Don't you understand anything, Raze?"

"Mercenaries always die in some way or another." he retorted, "You and Shyc wouldn't spend forever mourning the loss of a soldier, nor should you."

Sakura's face slackened as she watched him. The strength in her legs was threatening to give out. Her head dropped forward, long tendrils of black hair falling over her shoulders and face. With a soft laugh, she closed her eyes that shed tears now, "So... You are telling me not to be sad about someone that I care about, someone that I might even want to be with for a long time. You're telling me that I shouldn't care what happens to him? That if he dies I shouldn't mourn his passing? Are you saying that I should just accept the fact that you don't care?! About anything?" she shoved off his shoulders and turned around.

"..." Dane remained silent as Sakura's emotions began spewing forth like a hurricane. He wasn't so blind as to miss the implications of her words, but that wasn't an excuse for being so dense about the matter earlier. He wouldn't be surprised if he found out the others knew how Sakura felt earlier. That being said... he wasn't someone who could accept such feelings were they thrown at him. He'd lost that chance so very long ago.

"Sakura..."

He placed a hand on her shoulder. "I've accepted the fact that I have done something unforgivable in the past, and that I do deserve to die. And I don't believe you should spend too long grieving over me if that ends up happening. But that does not mean I've any intentions of dying, or I would've just let myself perish earlier. I apologize about what I said, it was a bit insensitive of me, and I won't try to place blame on anything but myself. Yet, do you really think you could even spend a great length of time with me? I've exposed you to danger countless times already..."

Her chest had started hurting again, her fingers curled up over the area as she stood there with her back to him. He called her name and touched her shoulder and she jumped slightly. Turning to face him as he finished talking and apologizing, she looked up at him for a while not saying a word. He had somehow calmed her down, calmed down the raging torrent that usually caused so much pain she couldn't stand properly. She smiled at him, despite the tears, "Of course," she answered brightly, "I want to stay here, I want to stay with you, Raze. The past doesn't matter to me. You are you, and I want just that. I don't care if we find more danger along the way. What I do care about is that I'm with you and no where else. I know you for who you are and I'm in love with that. Everything, that is you, everything."

"... So is that your honest confession?"

Sakura's face lit up once more as she looked at him. Her mind went blank for a moment as she realized that, yes, she had indeed confessed to him. After a moment she finally took a breath, "Yes," she answered, her heart skipping a beat as she answered. Now what?! she thought as a slight tremble started in her hands and limbs.

Perhaps one might be thrown off by his expression after she admitted it. Where one would expect a smile of some sort or tears of joy (though Raze wasn't that kind of person, so probably not from him), Dane had looked a bit more down than he already was. The fact was, was that he still couldn't just be happy with his life. He convinced himself to live for now, but being content with life was another matter entirely. So, while it was possible he might internally return those feelings to Sakura, well, he just could not accept them yet. He still had much things to do.

"I see..." he wasn't sure what he should say. Rejection wasn't something he was accustomed to. It wasn't like she was not beautiful, kind, or his 'type'. It was solely him that was the problem, but the line 'it's not you, it's me' was much too clichéd for him to use, and it didn't make things any less... hurtful. Knowing her, she would think there was something wrong on her end, even if he could somehow word it to accurate describe why he could accept her feelings, which he wasn't exactly able to. "... Your mother would murder me if she heard you say that, you know?" the only thing he could do now was... ignore it. So he tried.

Sakura searched his gaze but he had gone back to being impossible to read. She wasn't sure what to do as he told her about her mother, "My... mother," she muttered the words, "She... I wouldn't let that happen, Raze. I...." she paused, unsure of what to say or even how to think really, "I wont let my mother kill you, or tell me that I cant be with you. Is that.... really what you're worried about?" she asked though other thoughts were starting to come to mind as well.

"I tried to make a joke." he clarified. In all honesty, he wasn't the best at doing that, so maybe it wasn't so funny as he had thought it was when he was thinking it. Well, in any case, he was not attempting to quit his day job any time soon so it should be fine.

"Well, we should get ready to head out. We've got a trip and a cure to get."

Sakura was partially stunned as he walked by her. She wasn't sure how to react to what had just happened. She had poured her heart out to him and in return... nothing. There was a slight pain, and she did wince but she didn't turn to follow him just yet. Sakura stood, trying to figure out what she was feeling and how to deal with it.


Start Quest: Journey to Truell ; Another Mercenary


Sakura had three days to think. Three days of moving with the group. She had been bright and cheerful as much as she could be, but she was otherwise left to her own thoughts. Raze had seemingly brushed aside her confession with no real answer to her and she wasn't sure how she should be feeling. Truell was getting ever closer and the 'cure' that was there was the ending point of her stay with them.

Trudging along the road with them in midday light, she looked up to see the snowy covered mountain as their destination far ahead of them. Holding onto the reigns of the horse that led their cart, she gripped it tightly, wondering what exactly she was going to meet there.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shyc Regaile Character Portrait: Sakura Dieriean Character Portrait: Razeluxe Character Portrait: Fotiá Character Portrait: Kenji Umeki Character Portrait: Amaunet
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Fotiá was caught off-guard when the wide-eyed one, Shyc, made a grab for her weapon. He allowed it to cut into his skin, narrowing his eyes at her as he spoke up in defense of the strange human. What was wrong with him? What was inciting this boy to speak to her in such tones? Was it the power of LOVE? His actions were confusing her and making her perception of him a hesitant one. She never knew what to make out of overly emotional situations and this seemed to be one that she was bound from the start to misunderstand. Because none of it made sense. He seemed willing to pick a fight with her, he had welcome that possibility. And it was an offer she was now fully considering, if only to stop him from behaving so weirdly.

It was the mercenary leader, however, that provided the voice of reason, rising to her defense. "Her worry is warranted, Shyc. Your attitude, however, is not. Don't tear out the throat of an ally, it really benefits nobody." She felt an odd tinge of... something in her chest as he spoke. Maybe this was what was called "relief". While she had been gearing up for battle, it wasn't the ideal result and his interference had stopped the two of them from clashing with one another. Still, she could not say she was overly fond of this Shyc character, or the stranger that spoke moments after him.

What the human Kenji said mattered naught to her, and the subsequent conversation afterwards was of little interest. It was all just white noise to her. What mattered more was the consent that their leader gave to the very idea of traveling together. The princess seemed to share the elemental's hesitance but radiated that thing called... trust towards the leader and voiced her acceptance of the whole issue.

For the first time in awhile, Fotiá was experiencing something she had come to identify as frustration. It was the same feeling she had felt when she had discovered she was stuck in this human body during the day hours. The same feeling she had when she realized that her true body was limited here and her abilities somewhat diminished. This whole thing was just... ridiculous. And, perhaps because she didn't know what else to do, she released the boundaries she placed on herself, just a little.

She had been aiming to only burn the nearby plant. Just to see the familiar and calming flames for a few moments to find some point of peace in this whole ordeal. But she hadn't taken into account that it was nearly noon and releasing her fire, even if it was just a little bit, was a mistake during the day. Her eyes flashed for a brief moment and what should've been a tiny flame ended up bursting a whole entire tree on fire. She blinked, staring at the poor flora as it burned to ash in a few, mere minutes.

... at least this time, she hadn't caused a forest fire.

Fotiá felt guilt bubble up in her stomach, oh well, there went her promise not to light any trees on fire... She glanced back at Shyc and Kenji before turning on her heel, not even bothering to say another word as she walked back towards the trails. The elemental didn't want any more unfortunate outbursts and it was already time to seek sufficient shelter for a few hours before the sun's rays became too intense. She eyed the cart with most of their supplies. Yes, that would do nicely.

She lifted up some of what was covering the equipment, climbing aboard and nestling into a more comfortable position for travel. She would explain this later to the group. She made sure her eyes were visible from underneath the tarp, sending scathing looks at the sun every now and again. At least they would finally be departing for Truell. This whole side diversion had grated on her nerves and while she was sure that she would've felt more neutral towards Shyc and Kenji had the fight not happened and the strange human introduced himself more normally... as it stood, she wanted nothing to do with them for a fair amount of time.

She'd try to communicate with them later. Raze was right, the fighting was a waste of time and they were allies, for better or for worse. All she could hope for was that there would be no more distractions before they arrived at Truell...


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With a playful smile, the woman adjusted some loose strands of her hair while staring at herself in the mirror. Now there was a beautiful woman, why, the most gorgeous of all women in the land. She fluttered her lashes and blew a kiss at her own reflection, warmly gazing at how her cheek bones were the perfect height and how her hetero-chromia was utterly intoxicating to the eyes. There could be none as wonderful as she, not her who was so soft on the eyes. With a bit of regret, she tore her eyes away from her own reflection, stowing the mirror back into her bag. She couldn't be lost in a sea of perfection forever, there was work to be done!

Amaunet had been traveling for several days now, not on foot of course, that would be plain absurd. While she was capable of walking, the exercise did tend to tire her out pretty quickly. Instead, she opted to have her lovely, adorable skeletal children carry her everywhere. Her little minions carried whatever she told them to, whether it be her bag, someone else's purse, or her own weight. Hmm, just a few more days and she would arrive in Truell! She was sure to make a rather generous amount in that city--yes, nobles always did pay a nice amount for such a beautiful woman to give them attention for a few mere minutes.

She was more than aware of what effect her appearance had on others and she used it to her advantage, especially in her dances. And she had prepared an absolutely divine dance for her audience, ah, the thought gave her chills! The only downside was that she didn't have a traveling musician with her so she always had to hire some bard or some sort when she arrived in a new town. She should really work on hiring someone long term... Or just charming them into journeying with her, that could work too.

One of her babies gave a squeal, which caused her to look over her shoulder. "Hmm? What is it, darling? Did you hear something? She gazed down at her creation, which vigorously nodded its' head and gestured to the trail behind them. "What on earth..." She trailed off as she stood up, her golems moving quickly to help her to her feet and let her stand on the trail. She squinted, at first unable to see what all the commotion was about.

However, after a few minutes, she was able to make out some shapes in the distance. Was that... a caravan? She couldn't count off the number of individuals surroudning it but it definitely was a traveling party. Ah, could this be what she had foretold just a few days ago? She had not been sure at the time, for her Eye of Ra had indicated to her that she was due for some company on the trails. This had to be what she had seen in the shifting sands of fortune. And they were headed in what seemed to be the same direction anyway. Perfect!

A traveling party was much safer than going at it alone. Not that she couldn't take care of herself but a beauty such as she was always in danger of being harassed. (She chuckled at a particular memory when a drunkard in a previous town had attempted to hit on her. He had not left with the ability to see, her children had made sure of that) And besides, maybe she could get some money out of them if she offered to preform! Amaunet didn't doubt for one second her ability to persuade others, her looks and charm usually took care of most things.

With a growing smile, she decided her best plan of action would be to set up a campsite nearby. The flames would attract them over towards her, then she could hash out the details. "Darlings, She whispered with a coy look. "I believe we'll be needing some extra firewood for our guests." Her golems all broke out simultaneously in the same eerie looking smile before burrowing into the ground to carry out her orders. Mm, what a lovely day this was shaping up to be~

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Character Portrait: Shyc Regaile Character Portrait: Fotiá Character Portrait: Kenji Umeki Character Portrait: Amaunet
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After he explained himself, he tuned everything out. Voices behind him disappeared and the actions of others went unnoticed. He left his wounds unattended and began for his weapons. Being so carelessly dropped on the floor, Kenji easily snatched them up and secured them in their normal spots on his body. He knew Shyc wanted to tend to the still bleeding gashes scattered on his body, but Kenji wasn't in the mood, if he ever was in one. On top of that, the group seemed to already be preparing to set off to their destination once again. Kenji adjusted his now soiled kimono and craned his neck to the sky again. He usually wasn't interested in many things but for some reason the blue sky above always caught his eye. One wound on the right side of his stomach was quite deep, causing a lot of pain, but Kenji seemed to find peace and ignored it.

Eventually Sakura finished cleaning Raze up and they began their adventure once again. The fire girl hid away in the caravan while the Princess hopped on the horse. Kenji watched Shyc pass by then stood there for a bit, the others trucking on ahead. He then followed, keeping far behind the group, wanting to be alone. I'll find a spring to bathe in next time we stop. I'll clean the wounds myself. He continued to walk slowly and began thinking about Shyc. Kenji couldn't comprehend why he felt different around the mercenary.



Kenji hadn't been keeping track of how much time had passed. All he knew was that they had been walking for quite a long time. He'd been staring at the ground for almost the whole walk, his mind now empty as he had spent every possible minute he could on the stray thoughts bouncing off the walls of his skull. He moved his eyes to the caravan quite a ways ahead of him. It had stopped. The fire woman remained, but the princess and Shyc had disappeared. He picked up the pace a little, almost as if he was worried, but his unemotional face shot down that thought.

After a few minutes, Kenji caught up. Raze and Sakura were off somewhere, but Shyc sat across from some random stranger. Another annoying female. She had different colored eyes, which was quite interesting. But he still ignored her and the camp that she seemed to have offered and shifted his gaze back Shyc. Kenji swiftly walked pass him and spoke a few quiet words. "Thank you. And I'll be back." The thank you was for Shyc's lovely act to defend him from the fire lady, and the I'll be back was his cue that he was off to go find a source of water.

Thankfully he didn't have to go far. A little walk into the forest from the camp and wallah~! A lovely little spring. Pleased with this, Kenji gently rested his weapons on a tree stump and removed his kimono. He examined his wounds and stepped into the surprisingly warm water. For a minute he just let the water do it's job and wash away the blood, but then he dragged his kimono in with him and began scrubbing the stains. It was a pain and it seemed the blood would be there forever, the tears of course would, but the deep red seemed to lessen. He had to get new clothes no matter what, but at least now he didn't have to worry about being to filthy. Once he was satisfied, he set the kimono in the sun to dry then returned to bathing just himself. He felt around his torso to find wounds and found three. Two of them were going to easily heal, but the deeper one on the right side of him needed to be taken care of to avoid infection, Kenji didn't care about the scarring. He flinched a little as his hand glided over the deeper gash. He then though of what he could do as he didn't have the proper materials in the slightest. I'll ask Shyc later.