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Keiji Okaro

"Are you listening?"

0 · 623 views · located in Nymphaea City

a character in “Tidal Serpent”, originally authored by Quakernuts, as played by RolePlayGateway

Description

Image
Name:
Keiji Okaro

Nicknames:
KoKo - Not exactly a nickname that you would associate to Keiji, and not one that he lets anyone use. It used to be KO until someone, of which he won’t name, got the idea to add another set of letters after it and gave him this adorable nickname. While the people who made it up are no longer around, he keeps it as a reminder of their passing and lets people who have earned his respect use it.

Alias(es):
Warpath - Keiji isn’t one to care about collateral damage. While he doesn’t go out of his way to destroy everything in sight, he often loses focus of the bigger picture and how his power might be hurting other people. As such, whenever he shows up to deal with a problem, nearly complete destruction follows in it’s wake.

Age:
26

Appearance:

Height: 6’0
Weight: 205lbs
Hair Color: Dirty Blonde
Eye Color: Left eye is green, right eye is amber.

Description:
At first glance, Keiji isn’t the most intimidating person that you would ever see. He tends to wear baggy clothes that often hide his physique and abilities, a loose hoodie and jeans adorning his figure to mask just what he’s capable of. Underneath what could only be called discount clothing is a body chiseled by years of unrelenting training and battles. Any skin that isn’t covered in some sort of scar, be it a burn or a blade, it calloused to the point of feeling like sandpaper. The only portion of him that could be considered untouched is the back of his neck, where his guild mark is located.

His face has also been miraculously left relatively untouched from whatever horrors he inflicts on his own body, although there are still spots farther back than the hood will allow you to see where cuts, burns, and large bruises have left their mark. Underneath everything, Keiji is not an easy sight to look at, at least not right now. Stories upon stories of wounds upon his person have left him with an air of unrelenting confidence that he projects to anyone within range.

To sum things up, underneath the baggy apparel, Keiji is a toned mass of heavily scarred muscle.

Clothing:
Typically wears baggy clothing, mainly to cover up his body as much as he can. The one notable exception are his shoes, which always seem to be of the highest caliber of craftsmanship. When it gets too hot for his normal clothing, you can find him in some kind of tight fitting t-shirt and loose shorts, which reveal a small portion of his ruined skin.

Location and Color of Guild Mark:
Back of the neck
Gold





Magic Type:
Force Application Magic

Magic Spells:
Force Sigil - Creates sigils anywhere, including in mid-air that can range in size and power. These Sigils apply force in many different ways, and can act as solid objects. It is not uncommon to see Keiji using them as flying discus to hurl at enemies, but their main application is to push or pull someone in a certain direction with the amount of force governed by Keiji. This can range from a simple shove to a full blown punt into the sky or through a mountain.

Body Aegis - A bit of a misnomer in terms of the name representing what the spell does. Keiji can envelope his body in a type of shielding that is useful only to himself, as it uses his own magical energy to block attacks both physical and magical in nature. This shield can also morph into a more standard magical shield as well but he sacrifices his own personal protection in doing so.

Crushing Blows - Keiji can manipulate his force shield to output power instead of absorb or deflect it, causing his strikes to be nothing short of devastating. Due to the nature of the shield/attack of this, Body Aegis and Crushing Blows can be interchanged on the fly as needed so long as Keiji can keep up with the pace of the combat. This ability does have the potential to backfire however, if a decent amount of energy is shot at him at the moment he attempts to utilize this power. It would overload his aura/shield/ability and cause an explosion that would hurt all parties in the area.

Eclipse Cannon - By far Keiji’s most powerful attack, Keiji summons a sigil in front of him that accumulates magical energy over a few moments. Once it’s charged, it unleashes in a blast that is destructive as it is potent. His alias owes a lot to this one attack alone.


Wizard Ranking:
S




Personality:
Keiji is a complicated creature to say the least. He’s someone who has done a lot of living for his relatively young age, and can often times come across as the crotchety old man sitting on his porch yelling at kids to get off his lawn. In truth, you could say that Keiji is both constantly tired yet unrelentingly driven. It’s almost as if there’s two sides conflicting within him, one asking him to stop and rest and the other yelling at him to keep going no matter the odds. He struggles with this inner argument on a daily basis, but seems to get by just fine otherwise.

Keiji isn’t an easy person to talk to, and not because he’s a jerk or anything of the sort. Keiji simply doesn’t like to bother with meaningless conversation, if it doesn’t achieve a purpose it has no reason to exist to him. When someone has an actual reason to talk to him, they’ll find him a patient and attentive person. That’s where the easy part ends in regards of getting him to listen to you though, as his solution to nearly every problem is to beat it into submission. If you come to him with a problem, be sure that you want it solved through violence because Keiji isn’t going to try any other way.

While Keiji doesn’t come across as a caring or sensitive person, he worries in his own way. He won’t help someone climb a cliff for example, but he’ll force them to do it themselves so that they grow, learn, and become more powerful. Ultimately, he wants to see each person flourish in their own right, not because someone stronger helped them get to the spot they are today. This isn’t to say he won’t help when the situation warrants it, but if he steps in, it’s because he believes that the threat will either cripple or kill the person involved.

Ultimately he’s very protective of his guild even if he doesn’t show an outward affection towards those with it’s mark. He can be cold and distant at times, but livens up just a little when someone has earned his respect through their achievements and hard work. While his destructive nature would point towards a hothead or irrational being, it rather comes from pushing himself to new heights each and every single time he fights.

Hobbies:
KickBoxing - Exactly what you think. Keiji is an spokesperson of everything you do adding to your person

Blacksmithing - While many would consider this a profession, Keiji has learned tips and tricks through the years to help fix weapons of those around him. This hobby was learned mostly as a way to help those guild mates with weapons without directly stepping into a fight.

Habits:

Cracking Knuckles - While most would associate this to a threat or some form of intimidation, Keiji mainly does it when he’s bored. He can crack all of his knuckles seemingly at any point in time, although there is speculation that that is because he’s broken his hands a few times.

Humming - When concentrating on something that doesn’t require his entire attention, Keiji will often start humming a tune of some sort, ranging from sad and somber to upbeat and motivational.

Tapping - A sign of impatience, and Keiji is no different. While some people will tap with a rhythmic tune, Keiji’s tapping is simple and monotone, indicating that he’s about to lose his cool and do something that could result in a crater.

Fears:

Claustrophobia - Simply put, Keiji has an intense fear of enclosed spaces which often masks itself as anger. In these environments, Keiji will become quite aggravated and it will take little to set him off and cause the entire area around them to either come crashing down on them or explode it upwards towards the sky.

Passing Out - Any time that Keiji loses consciousness and wakes up (Aside from sleeping), there is a brief period where a freakout can and will occur. If someone is nearby to reassure him that he’s safe or at least in good company, he can calm himself down quite easily. However, there is at least one incident in which he uprooted a good chunk of forest because of a panic attack.

Being Helpless - This is an all encompassing fear that can happen with any multitude of factors. This fear will manifest in some sort of seething anger that results in something being destroyed. This can either be something tangible such as a building or forest, or himself through intense training that can last for days, even weeks.

Strengths:

Unrelenting - Keiji’s power comes directly from his drive and determination. A personal strength of his that doesn’t allow him to stop even when his body refuses to cooperate. While normally quiet, Keiji will display a ferocity towards his goal that would scare the darkest of wizards

Magic Reserves - As simple as it seems, Keiji seems to have a nigh inexhaustible supply of magic at his disposal. Whether this is through training or the subtle application of his chosen school of magic is a mystery to most, even Keiji himself who never seems to feel the strain of magic drain unless the battle drags on for a very lengthy amount of time.

Mass Destruction - Keiji earned his Alias of Warpath for a very good reason. Everywhere he goes, carnage is sure to follow. His power allows him unprecedented control over everything Force, and while this can sometimes mimic gravity, let me assure you it’s not the same thing. Instead, Keiji has honed his ability, his sigils, and even his physical self to withstand and output such vast amounts of power that he is more than capable of flattening a building with a single attack.

Weaknesses:

Relentless - In contrast to his previous strength, Keiji will often push himself far beyond what he’s capable without hesitation. While in some cases it can be listed as a positive attribute, on more than one occasion it has left him over extended in a fight. Most of his scars and wounds have come from his inability to take a step back and evaluate the situation with a strategic mind.

Physical Limitation - While his magic is extremely powerful, Force Application Magic is very strenuous on a person’s being. While Keiji has learned to limit this effect, and somewhat live with it, if he ever stops training or allows himself to fall back into anything less than peak performance body wise, the effects would be immediate. His attacks would most likely shatter his body as much as his enemies, a dark realization that Keiji has learned to live with that he will not be able to use this school of magic forever.

Collateral Damage - While a good portion of this can be chalked up to Keiji just being reckless with his attacks, Force Application Magic doesn’t allow for itself to be used in subtle measures much, or at least, not in the form that allow much of the landscape to remain intact. While it’s true that there is a way for Keiji to do less damage to the environment, much of his attacks don’t have that option.




Family:
Mindi Okaro- Mother - Unknown
Karo Okaro - Father - Unknown
Maskin Togue - Adopted Father - Unknown


History:
If Keiji were to tell you of his earliest memory, he would say it was of him in a basket, staring up at the sky as a beautiful woman carried him through what could probably be called a market. A soft giggle and a pair of gleaming green eyes would look down at him and smile...right before some old ugly hag stuck her head in and squeezed his cheeks, causing him to cry.

That’s his earliest memory, the next one wasn’t as sunshine and roses. At a young age, Keiji found himself living with a man by the name of Maskin Togue, a supposed friend of the family, but to be fair, Keiji couldn’t even remember how he had wound up with this recluse in the woods. Maskinwasn’t even that old, by the time Keiji was ten, Maskinwas only approaching his fortieth year. Yet he was the only adult figure that was in Keiji’s life, for better or worse. Together, they lived a fair ways from society but not isolated from it. Maskin often stated that he enjoyed the peace and quiet more often than he enjoyed the hustle and bustle of everyday life. They would take regular forays into town, walking through the market and enjoying the street shows that would often entrance Keiji in his younger years. For all intents and purposes, Maskin was his father, even though Maskin made sure to let Keiji know as soon as he was old enough to understand what that meant.

When Keiji asked Maskin further about his parents, Maskin did his best to explain what had happened, at least to the best of his knowledge. Both of his parents were powerful wizards, capable of great things, at least according to Maskin. He had met them in their travels, and had actually fought once before with Maskin barely escaping with his life. He regaled Keiji with tales of how they met up afterwards and had a good laugh about things when everything had calmed down, and how he came to befriend them. Without his knowledge, they had apparently sired a child...Keiji. He had no idea Keiji even existed until a group of guards from the nearby town walked up to his door in the woods, holding a baby in their arms and stating his name and where he came from. Apparently Keiji’s parents had all but disappeared...either dead or missing, and had left a will for their child to be raised by Maskin in their absence.

Maskin would often tell Keiji how many different ways he tried to search for them, as much as he could with a baby around, only to come up empty handed. Keiji didn’t like this answer, and when he was old enough, started making inquiries himself. When he was but a child, already fiercely independent and wanting answers more than anything, Keiji wound up on the wrong side of a conversation with a few bullies twice his size and aggression. He managed to make his way back home that day with cuts, bruises, and severely impacted self esteem issues. Maskin had watched him practically crawl all the way to the door, opening it only to reveal that he had watched the entire exchange.

In a fit of anger, Keiji demanded to know why he didn’t step in, to which Maskin replied that Keiji wasn’t dead. He had faced a new threat and lived to tell the tale, a work of experience and knowledge that could be worked into his abilities. Maskin then leaned down, looked over Keiji and nodded. It was time for Keiji’s inherent magical power to come to fruition. Maskin patched Keiji up and put him to rest, all the while he prepared the most grueling training that Keiji would do in his life.

Maskin made a point that not all people were born with inherent magical power, some had to use magical items to compensate, but considering who his parents were he had no doubt that there was something in there. Maskin put Keiji through exercises that would be looked upon now as inhumane, punishing this child to the point of laying in a pool of his own sweat and crying as Maskin screamed at him to continue. Nothing in this world was naturally ours, if we wanted something you had to work to take it. For years this continued, Keiji’s magical power remaining hidden to the point of Maskin having already moved on from that aspect. Without Keiji’s knowledge, Maskin had given up on trying to draw out his magical power and instead switched to an entirely physical regiment that honed Keiji’s body into a human weapon. He was at his physical peak, scars both mental and physical aside.

Keiji wasn’t the brightest person around, and in this instance his immense patience for the exercises worked against him as it took years for him to finally question Maskin as to what the point of everything was. When Maskin finally revealed that he no longer believed Keiji had magical potential, and instead had simply been training him for other things...Keiji was furious. All the pent up aggression from the years spent on practically nothing exploded as he launched a flurry of attacks at Maskin, who dodged and blocked them with ease. Maskin’s Mirror Magic, which allowed him to reflect attacks back upon the attacker meant that Keiji was hurting himself more than he was hurting Maskin.

Even as Maskin insisted he stop, witnessing the effects of Keiji’s attacks on his own body, Keiji refused to let up. His ferocity ending in a primal roar before his arm coerced with magical energy and unleashed a blast so powerful that both parties were sent flying and a good chunk of the forest nearly flattened. When Keiji regained consciousness, he found himself back in the cabin with a very wounded Maskin looking over his wounds. His adopted father was covered in bandages and looked like he had been through Hell. It was one of the few times that Maskin actually smiled, stating he was wrong and that it was now time to progress to the next stage.

The next years, while equally grueling, were blissful to Keiji. He lost himself in his training and the odd job or two that he and Maskin would undertake. His power grew to unprecedented levels, causing Maskin on more than one occasion to take an involuntary step back. Keiji revelled in that tiny victory over his mentor, until finally when he was 18, Maskin came to him with a job.

Normally they undertook jobs together, or at the very least, Maskin came to watch how the job was handled. It was this time that Maskin told him that he was ready to do this one himself, to which Keiji took it without hesitation. He was always ready to push himself farther than anyone ever could, and this was just another step in the right direction. With a packed bag full of the necessities and a quick wave to Maskin, Keiji left for his mission.

The job was pretty standard, a fair amount of fighting and problem solving, but Keiji excelled in everything mainly because he destroyed whatever was in front of him. Regardless of the outcome, it was the return trip home that crushed Keiji’s will. When he got back to the cabin, he found that it had been torched to the ground along with a good portion of the forest. People from the nearby town were there trying to collect the pieces and figure things out, and they recognized Keiji immediately. They informed him that the fire seemed to start instantly and without warning. When they had gotten out here, the blaze had threatened to overtake the entire forest. While they managed to douse the fire, there was no sign of Maskin.

Keiji spent nearly a week combing over every inch of that area, trying to find anything that would lead him to where Maskin had gone and who had done this. He ended up empty handed, and soon enough, without any money. He was forced to take a job to get some more funds to continue his search. This would mark his start of total independence as he took more and more jobs, spending less and less time trying to figure out what happened to Maskin and instead simply trying to get by. He thought about joining a wizard’s guild, but was so out of the loop regarding which one to join he had no idea which one would be worthy of his attention.

It wasn’t until a job took him into direct conflict with members of Tidal Serpent that he had his first real taste of their ability. It was an unfortunate four on one scenario...unfortunate for the Tidal Serpent members anyways. Both Keiji and the group wanted and needed the payout, and instead of working together were forced to fight for the goal. It was one of the longest battles of Keiji’s life, and at the end of the day he was finally defeated but not before quite literally flattening the entire battlefield and nearly killing three of them. One of them came to him, understanding that it was simple circumstance that brought them to fight each other, and wrote the address of the Tidal Serpent guild on a piece of paper before shoving it in his pocket with a quick hint to look them up.

Keiji, with nothing left to lose, finally did look up the guild. With very little fanfare, he was inducted into their ranks and soon after was promoted to the rank of S via the competition. He’s been with the guild for a few years now, performing jobs and in the odd case, helping the classes below him through his own methods. He’s not necessarily looked up to, but he is respected simply for the power he brings in representation of the Tidal Serpent Guild.

Relations



◑ = Neutral || ☺ = Friends || ☺☺☺ = Best Friends || ☠ = Enemies/Rivals || ღ = Crush/Attracted to || ♥ = Romantic Interest/Dating




|| Delores De La Fuente ||
◑ / ☠
"A fellow guild member worthy of her S ranking...although her methods are somewhat debatable."

Keiji views Delores with something of a respectful if somewhat wary glance. While he fully believes that her talents, experience and general power have given her the right to bear the title of S rank, he constantly finds himself either underestimating her smoke-based abilities or her moral upbringing. When people hear about the devastation wrought by Keiji's attacks, they think he is morally repressed but they would be wrong. Keiji is simply impulsive and prefers to fight things out rather than sit down and think things through. Here is where the conflict comes into play as Delores is a thinking fighter, preferring to use logic to find a solution. While this has its benefits, Keiji finds that it often leaves little room for matters of the heart. Taking the right path might not be the logical one, and as such Keiji and Delores have butted heads on more than one occasion. Keiji respects Delores, of that there is no doubt, but he is not cowed by her in the slightest and will often voice his displeasure towards her. Keiji is not an angry individual, and as such these debates often end in more of an irritated sigh or exasperated exhale with little progress to show for it. End of the day, they have different ideas on how to solve problems, which leaves Keiji in a position that frustrates him. She is a guild member, to be protected and fought along side, but also someone who is different than him on a fundamental level and whose ideas must be challenged.

|| Rin Hitomi ||
◑ / ☺
"I've done the solo route, and it wasn't an easy path to walk. I can see myself in her, and that scares me."

Rin is someone that Keiji often finds himself figuring out creative solutions in order to help her in situations that don't require a violent outcome. Withdrawn, quiet and sometimes cold, Keiji finds himself shivering inwardly at the amount he can see himself in her. It frightens Keiji down to his soul, a very real look at what he could have become if he had continued the way he was, completely isolated yet surrounded by people at the same time. An adoptive brotherly outlook towards her was created over his vision of her, a protective mentality that she needs to be more open and receiving of those around her. In this sense, Keiji often does things slightly out of character for her benefit, although nothing that could be considered 'blatantly trying to help'. When she tries to be alone or separate herself from the guild, he intentionally 'unintentionally' bumps into her to remind her that there are others around her. He offers to spar with several of the members and makes sure to say it loudly enough for her to hear, and sometimes he orchestrates odd little get togethers where she's forced into a social situation. Like trying to pull a turtle out of it's shell by placing enticing chocolate just outside, he plans to bring her into the fold little by little until he stops seeing himself in her. It will be best for the both of them.

|| Bardulf Sherwood ||
◑ / ☺
"A good kid, a little shy but working his way forward."

Bardulf is someone that Keiji doesn't really feel the inclination to bother much in any form or fashion. To take this as an insult would be inaccurate, as it means that Keiji sees him as someone who's adjusted and well on his way towards success without any prompting from Keiji. A mixture of things culminate in this feeling, including his relative ease with his guild mates and combat ability. While Keiji can't say that he knows Bardulf personally, only ever having talked to him a few times in the period he's been with Tidal Serpent, Keiji likes him well enough to leave him alone. He's a bearer of their mark, which means that Keiji will never stop looking out for him, but most of the time he feels like his attention is better spent on someone who might require his special form of help better.

|| Percy ||
◑ / ☺ / ☠
"His tongue is faster than his brain, an often fatal thing if you ask me."

Percy, one of the very few people who can quickly start grating on Keiji's nerves depending on the day. While Keiji would never stoop as low as to outright attack Percy, there is the odd time when one of his sigils might come flying out of nowhere to knock the man's ego down a peg or two. His constant jabs and overconfident swagger, especially around women, hits a nerve with Keiji that he's embarrassed to acknowledge. Despite Keiji's personal opinion of the man, he has to admit that he is a good personality to have around the guild. He brings a sort of liveliness that often creates a welcoming and exciting atmosphere around the guild. Boisterous expressions and witty commentary set a great precedent to newcomers even if some of those are a little off putting towards the ladies of the guild. Keiji does his best to not let his own personal aggravation with the man interrupt what is beneficial addition to the guild, although he does allow small acts of vengeance through when he feels it necessary. End of the day though, Keiji would never do anything that would force Percy to fail or otherwise be injured irreversibly. It should be noted that at least on one occasion, it was Keiji himself who stopped Percy from becoming S class, whether Percy views that as a slight or a challenge is yet to be determined.

|| Cheneres Se-anhur IV ||
◑ / ☺
"A great personality to have around when he's happy, along with being a good personal reminder of my own failings."

Cheneres' adds an air of excitement and energy to the guild hall, usually through his loud boasting or otherwise booming persona. While Keiji can't say that he necessarily enjoys the man's rather...overbearing electric mentality, he does view him as someone who makes people feel welcome to Tidal Serpent often through a hearty laugh and an adventurous tale. When Cheneres switches to being a pain rather than a benefit, Keiji takes a personal interest to make sure he doesn't overstep his bounds or start throwing a tantrum. At times, he has come close to collapsing a sigil prison on the man, wanting to squeeze him until he got the message that his antics are not appreciated if they're going to upset the rest of the guild. Luckily that hasn't been a problem so far, but Keiji is vigilant and always aware. Outside of the guild, Keiji often takes a personal interest in the man, going as far as to follow him on a couple of jobs from a safe distance although never letting on that he was present or interfering. He feels like Cheneres sometimes takes jobs that are outside his skill range, and while Keiji is all about self improvement through increasing odds, he feels like Cheneres takes risks that aren't beneficial to anyone. Also, Cheneres mimics Keiji's collateral damage mentality, and often uses Cheneres as a harsh reminder as to what he himself does, even if he often forgets the moment he isn't witnessing it.

||Artemie Scheherazade||
◑ / ☺
"A fragile girl with more than her fair share of self-worth issues. She needs to learn to stand on her own two feet."

Artemie is another mage in the guild that Keiji finds himself trying to help through his own weird ways. He spends time in the library, hovers around her from time to time if only to be a presence. In his mind, she needs to learn to accept herself for who she is and move forward, only then will she truly understand the power that she possesses. Her book worried Keiji at first, prompting him to actually start the conversation for once to warn her of the implications of using his particular suite of abilities. Luckily his fears were unfounded as her abilities became clearer to him, and once he understood he found that her power could easily be increased if only she tried harder to overcome her own shortcomings. As such, much like Rin, Keiji treats Artemie like a younger sister. Someone to be protected and coached, but never held back. He has a feeling that he intimidates her, although that's the general feel he gets from most of the other guild members as well so that's nothing different. End of the day, he's there to ensure she succeeds, just like everyone else in the guild.

||Pommel Grade||
◑ / ☠
"An undeserved chip on her shoulder and an attitude to match"
While Keiji has nothing against Pommel, nor has he felt like he has slighted her in any particular way, he often gets the impression that she doesn't like him or want him around. Whenever they are pulled into contact with each other, an air of disdain and annoyance can be felt from the young girl that Keiji doesn't feel is warranted. He does his best to not let his irritation at this behavior show, but if she were any other person in the Guild Keiji would have already 'rectified' her way of talking to him. He believes in the system, the ranks, and ultimately a show of respect for those who deserve it. Keiji has done more than enough to earn his S rank, at least in his mind, and doesn't feel like he deserves her condescension, nor does he feel like she has any room to be the one doing it. Ultimately, she is part of the guild and that puts her under the protective umbrella that Keiji has placed over the entire roster of the hall, but that doesn't mean that he's going to withstand such an attitude towards his person for longer than he has to.

So begins...

Keiji Okaro's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Cheneres Se-anhur IV Character Portrait: Dolores De La Fuente Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Pommel Grade Character Portrait: Oceana Malaerion
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

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Keiji stood with the other S-class wizards behind Guild Master Castien as he performed the announcements following the S-class trials. Keiji’s arms were folded in front of him, his eyes peering over the crowd with an unintentionally intense gaze that often fooled people into believing he was a much darker individual than he actually was. His body was clothed from head to toe, his hood up to cover the scars and burns that marred the back half of his head but allowing his facial features to still show through. His eyes fell upon Dolores, standing there proud as the newest member of the strongest wizards the guild had to offer, and he felt himself wondering how she had gotten there. He had not had the pleasure or regret of meeting her in combat for these trials, Instead it had been Slick who had run into Keiji. He peered around slightly, finding the man in the crowd and wondering if he hated Keiji for stopping him from reaching the top this time around. They had their differences, but it wasn’t his intention to stunt Slick’s growth into a powerful wizard, only to make sure he deserved to belong with them.

Returning his attention back to Dolores and the proceedings, Keiji once again started flickering through memories of her magic usage, and still couldn’t comprehend how someone with such a utility power could get as far as she did. Ultimately, that part didn’t matter as she was standing here now, meaning she did everything she needed to to win. For that, respect was given even if understanding wasn’t. Castien continued with the announcement that Oceana would be taking over Guild Master, and Keiji couldn’t help but feel some sense of trepidation. She was young, and in his eyes, inexperienced and lacking in powerful capabilities. Her leadership would need to be put to the test, and he hoped with all his being that she didn’t crumble under the pressure. This was a feeling that was only amplified when she ran over and embraced Dolores in a rather childish display of affection. Keiji didn’t let any emotion show through his face, even though his own internal groaning flooded his ears. Ultimately the guild needed to remain unified, so he would help her where necessary but he would still be keeping a close eye on her.

Then came the whammy that she was restricting job usage for the week, something that earned an arc of the eyebrow from Keiji as he realized that those who relied on those listings to get by would have a hard time for the next week. Once again, he didn’t agree with it but he said nothing. Now was not the time to speak up and say things that he might later regret. Still, he would have to scrimp for the next seven days, and that was going to be it’s own kind of hell as he realized his diet would consist of rice, rice and even more rice. With the announcements done and everyone starting to disband to do their own thing, Keiji left the stage. He had several things to do, hopefully before his lack of funds started to kick in.



A thrum of power reverberated through the clearing much like a small localized earthquake. Trees shook leaves from their branches, pebbles bounced along the ground, and small creatures darted in every direction to get away from the seemingly invisible force. A closer inspection would lead people to see the air waving, much like heat rising from the ground. A glance downwards would reveal a golden sigil, intricate in design and large in size emanating from a singular point. In the middle stood Keiji, his clothes flapping slightly to an unseen wind, his eyes shut as concentration broadcast from his person. While nothing seemed to be visibly happening, an investigative look at Keiji would reveal that he was sweating. It looked like he was holding a great weight above him, straining to maintain his composure against the pressure he was inflicting upon himself. This continued for a few minutes, before the sigil on the ground disappeared slowly and Keiji opened his eyes to view the grass around him. It was flattened, much like a crop circle in a field, and a quick survey showed him that no animals had wandered into his field during his training; his continued acclimatization to the forces that he controlled.

He released a breath that he hadn’t been aware he had been holding, the stress of not being able to go out on jobs starting to affect his normally calm demeanor as he had found himself being irritated by smaller and smaller things. The other day he had accidentally crushed a cup in his hand for literally no reason at all. His power needed an outlet, and even his training wasn’t doing enough to satisfy him, and he couldn’t necessarily go all out on his training here either, not without leveling a good section of the surrounding landscape. He rolled his shoulders, flapping his white muscle shirt slightly to get a bit of heat off of his chest. Black shorts that came down to just below his kneecaps adorned his legs, revealing his heavily scarred skin. Remnants of battles won and lost, accidents, training trophies and hard won achievements one and and all. Nearly every inch of him was covered in something that even the most war torn general would have been shocked at, but for him this was the norm.

With his preliminary training out of the way, he walked over to a tree which had obviously seen better days. Its bark had been broken off in several places, with indents like someone had taken a hammer to it evident on it’s trunk. Keiji took another breath, adopting his standard combat stance and proceeding to attack the tree with all the force he could muster, that is, all he could muster without the use of his magic. He had deadened his nerves to allow such training to be viable and to assist in battle, a skeptical training technique that could lead to long term health problems...at least that what the healers had told him between staring at his marred features.

This continued for a few hours and ended when the sun started to rise on the horizon. His ‘stop and pay attention to the guild’ alarm. With little ceremony, rubbing his knuckles and palms as he moved, he gathered the rest of his clothes and carried them back to the guild hall.



By the time he had arrived at the front door to the building, he had donned the rest of his clothing, pulling the hood up over his head to hide the remainder of his wounds from the others. Today the job ban would be lifted and he could get back to work, bring in some money and get back to a regular schedule. Hopefully the others would be in the same mindset, and hopefully people would be putting out s-ranked quests for him to take care of. As he entered the door, he was greeted with Oceana stepping onto the bar and asking for everyone’s attention. Someone in the back had enough sense to say the statement in a more authoritative voice, to which the guild master giggled and made Keiji groan inwardly once more. She didn’t carry herself with the mentality of a leader or master, something that had been made evident the days following her induction. Once again though, just because he didn’t agree with her leadership style, or even that she was the right choice for the spot, didn’t mean he would do anything to bring light to that fact. Keiji walked in, doing his best to not draw attention from others even if his magical ‘signature’ if you will was enough to warrant a couple of glances. He took a seat a couple of tables away from her, awaiting the news that she was about to spew.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Oceana Malaerion
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Bardulf was in his own corner of the guild hall writing in a small book, pausing now and then to check if he needed to proofread what he had written, edit it, then continue on. It was a fine morning in Nymphaea in his opinion. The sun was bright, and everyone seemed to be in good spirit. He didn't mind the obscurity of Tidal Serpent. In many ways, he was just like his Uncle Cain, who had retired from the life of a wizard after in his own words, 'a career ending' injury. He had since opened up a restaurant in the city. But unlike Cain, who was known to be jolly and social whenever he was around members of Tidal Serpent, Bardulf or Bard if one preferred was a bit more socially awkward.

Also, both, when it came to traveling, were solitary. Hence why Bardulf is often called 'Fenrir the Wolf' or simply 'Wolf'. But it didn't bother him. Not one bit. He had some friends and loved Tidal Serpent like a surrogate family.

Regardless, Bard was writing in the book he had, because he was trying to make a rough draft of a novel this day. He didn't know the full plot yet, but he knew he wanted it to be based on one of his Uncle's jobs. He'd have to ask him later.

"Can I have everyone's attention please?" came the voice of Oceana.

Oh yes. Barely a week and the new Guildmaster, Oceana had an announcement, but he at least used the suspended week to visit with his Uncle and Sister. Sighing, Bardulf put his things away. He then turned to look up towards her, and for a brief moment, his eyes saw across the room, in her own corner, Rin. He couldn't help but notice how she looked when the Guildmaster called for attention.

"So eager, and so cute... wait where'd that come from?!" Bard suppressed his thoughts and resulting blush before turning back to look towards the Guildmaster, to listen for her announcement. The thoughts raced on the possibilities. "Is it a special job? Is it another new member? Is Melinda coming back? What is it?"

He didn't know what the Guildmaster had planned. But he was sure it was important. But sometimes the suspense of announcements killed him, figuratively speaking of course. Though he could've sworn, after hearing her giggle after another man gave the statement again, he heard a groan come from one of the S Class members. He tried not to mind the annoyance from it, but definitely shuddered as Keji's magical energy was felt as he walked to a seat.

But it would be nice for Jobs to come rolling in after this small respite. He wanted to get back to work, at least when an interesting job pulled up that he wanted.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Oceana Malaerion
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#, as written by Tanman
Slick
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Another year, another failure. This was his third? Fourth consecutive loss during the S-Class trials? It was getting embarrassing at this point. Nursing his wounds as he sat at the far side of the room, most knew better than to hang around Slick at this point. Honestly, he was never too fun to be around immediately following the trials after his now predictable loss. In fact, a few of the guild members were splitting the pot of their bets on how far he’d have gotten this year. At this point, Slick was basically a long-shot every time, though one year he’d surely pay out big, right? He was happy for Dolores, but… Well, he couldn’t help but feel he’d been robbed. How long had she been here? Beginners luck maybe.

Raising his drink in toast before taking another swig, he continued to watch the celebrations in mild bitterness, but went through the motions of clapping and cheering for their new champion. Despite his sour mood, he couldn’t help but smile as the focus shifted to that of their new guild master, Oceana. Having seen her grow up from her adolescence, it seemed that she was finally moving up in the world and taking some responsibility. Of course, she had practically no experience running a guild, and still had a lot to learn about life, but that’s what she had the whole guild was for. He’d help her however he could, and no doubt all of the friends and family she’d made would stand strong by her side.

Of course, the announcement that they’d be suspending all guild activity was a surprise one; but no doubt there’d be some exceptions if important things came up. He couldn’t entirely complain, and unlike a lot of the less organised members, Slick had plenty budgeted for if he had some time off. Still, a whole week was a bit much. Well, perhaps it was an opportunity to do some more research into his guild mates. After all, he’d need to have a plan for the next S-Class trial. Setting down his mug and sitting up, Slick left the festivities early. He was good at keeping his emotions in check, but it was hard to remain positive in the face of such failure. Even he needed time to himself every now and again.



A week down, and Slick was back to his normal, jovial if infuriating self. Sitting down at the bar in his usual spot at one end, he watched Oceana make her way to stand proudly on the bench, proclaiming that she had another announcement now that the job ban was being lifted. Probably another half-baked scheme of hers. Hiding his smirk behind his glass as he took a swig, he listened as one of the rowdier guild members helped draw attention and silence the group. Shaking the ice in his glass a little, he gestured up towards their diminutive guild master. “’Ey, Get on with it Shaun. I think you’ve kept the people waiting long enough.” Slick set his glass down as he spun on his seat to lean his back against it, looking up to her. Shaun was a boyish nickname that he often used to tease the ‘Tidebreaker’. Even with her new status as guild master, he had no intention of showing her any more respect than usual.

No doubt there’d be a rush to grab the newest jobs from the board once it opened up, but he wasn’t exactly in a huge hurry. He was a versatile and capable individual, so it was unlikely there wouldn't be something suitable to his talents, and if not there was plenty more work he could do in the library. After all, he wasn’t going to fail again at the next trial. He needed a plan prepared to deal with Keiji and Dolly should he encounter them once more to prove himself. So long as he could handle them and any newcomers to the guild, he was certain he’d succeed this time. Still, that was years away now. Best to try and keep himself at least somewhat sharp by staying on the job.

Briefly, Slick’s eyes scanned about the guild hall, which was now pretty packed since there was the formal announcement coming. No one particularly noticeable caught his eye. I mean, there was Keiji, but Slick had no intention of making pleasantries with him. Maybe at some point he’d try to get him inebriated to ascertain some more of his weaknesses, but he felt he had a long way to go before he could stand next to him as an equal adversary. Bard was also somewhat nearby him, and although good for a laugh, he wasn’t exactly what Slick was looking for socialising with. Still, with the aid of his magic he could perceive the slightest of blushes across his face, and easily managed to trace the man’s gaze. Settling his eys on Rin, one of the more voluptuous ladies of the guild, Slick smirked. He could see exactly what Bard was appreciating. He’d have to pull him up on that at some point.

Turning his attention back to Oceana, Slick patiently awaited her proclamation. Though he couldn’t imagine it was anything too important.


Pommel Grade
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“Yes! There! Perfect!” Clapping her hands together in celebration, Pommel briefly gave a soft yelp and windmilled her arms before suddenly grabbing hold of the ladder railings to support herself, giving a sigh of relief. Despite dangerously leaning across the stage from her precarious point up high, she’d done it! The last banner was draped across the top of the stage, adorned with the simple words of ‘Congratulations’, a collection of hydrangea and delphinium flowers flanking the setup to complete the picture. As much as she so wished she could have seen the S-Class trials herself, it wasn’t like Tidal Serpent kept her around just to spectate. She wasn’t a wizard, but she had plenty of jobs to do to earn her keep. First and foremost for the day was decorating the hall.

Scrambling down the ladder and dragging it back off to the supply closet, Pommel proceeded to scurry about the hall, tossing streamers up over the rafters as she simultaneously began blowing up balloons. A soft ding from the kitchen drew her focus next to reveal some of the food she was preparing for the festivities was almost done, the chef-in-the-making hurrying over to turn the meats and reset the timer again. Moving about the various tables, she got to work placing down the various party poppers, along with a small collection of sweets in a bowl at each of the main seating areas. Back at the bar, she proceeded to take a quick inventory of the alcohol and other lighter drinks, making sure there was more than enough to account for a rowdy night of celebration. Slick had helped her budget for the event, and she was going to make sure that the promotion went off with a bang! Grinning to herself as she took a step back to survey her work, the whole thing was running on schedule, and in tip top shape. She’d run around like a madwoman cleaning all day, but it was going to be well worth it, because the guild hall was practically shining! Yup, this was perfect! Everyone would certainly appreciate all the hard work and effort she put in to-

With a loud crash, the guild hall doors were kicked open to the sounds of cheering and celebration. Pommel spun just in time to be jostled and bowled over by the hooting and excitable crowd, being pushed this way and that in a dizzying stumble before she finally found herself back over by the bar. Grumbling and shouting her complaints at her rude guild mates, Pommel blew out a raspberry in annoyance. Geez! Stupid jerks! Already, all her hard work was going ignored and unappreciated as they scoffed on the lollies, knocked over decorations and were generally a rowdy group of uncivilised ruffians. Huffing as she puffed out her cheeks, Pommel ‘hmmphed’ to herself as she stuck her nose in the air, stomping her way behind the bar counter and got to work serving up the drinks. Hana was already hard at work serving the customers, but she still managed to give Pommel a warm smile as she moved up to the counter.

When the guildmaster finally called for attention, Pommel gave an exhausted sigh of relief, collapsing down onto the bar and catching her breath. Events like this were always hard work, and dealing with so many drunkards was certainly taxing. That said, she’d spent so much time getting to work that she’d barely registered who it was that was receiving the promotion. She knew Slick and a few of the others that participated, but none of them really caught her interest. They weren’t like Mel, the greatest wizard in the entire kingdom. She didn’t care which of them dumb guys got the promotion. Whoever it was, they couldn’t hold a candle to Tidal Serpent’s one and only Chiyoko!

"With the trials finished we have our newest S-Class Wizard, Dolores De La Fuente.” Looking up from her position at the bar, Pommel blinked. It was… Well, she didn’t really know who it was. Dolores. It was her! Well, ‘a’ her! Another guild heroine had hit S-Class! Slowly, a grin spread even further on Pommel’s face. ‘Slick’ lost again! Haha! What a loser! Snickering to herself, Pommel marvelled the new wizard from the sidelines. She seemed really cool and collected. Wow, she was awesome! Not ‘Melinda’ awesome, but a whole breed of awesome above all the other stinky guys in the guild! With a sigh of adoration, Pommel leaned on her elbows and cupped her face, swinging her legs and watching the show. “And with her, a new guild master ascends into power. Let us welcome them both into their new positions!"

Quickly joining in the uproarious cheer, Pommel whistled loudly and hollered out chants of encouragement. That’s right, her big sister, queen of the Tidal Serpent guild! Gosh, all the female wizards in Tidal Serpent were so tough and amazing! It was a wonder they even bothered keeping dorks like Chen or Slick around. Maybe when she inevitably rose up as one of Tidal Serpent’s great wizard’s she’d be elected new guild master and would get a chance to clean up all the dumb wizards that they kept around. Wildly daydreaming of her throne and princess dress she’d wear on her guild master coronation, Pommel missed the announcement Oceana made regarding the suspension of the job board. Even though she didn’t work as a Wizard, it probably would’ve been good for her to know and prepare for. As it stood, she had no idea how busy the bar was going to be in the next week.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Oceana Malaerion
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#, as written by Feyblue
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Dɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✦ #AA00FF || Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ #0E00A8











































As the excitement of the S-Class Trials had finally begun to wind down, a week of relative quiet had set in.
No matter, The young wizard mused, raising her eyes from the pages of her book to peer out the large picture window at the corner of the guild's tavern, squinting slightly to see through the glare that played upon the sheet of glass. Indeed, such things hardly concerned one Artemie Scheherazade. As a relative nobody, there was little chance of her ever taking the S-Class examination, and even less of a chance for her to actually pass it. She could talk a good line about how she'd claim the position one day, and go even further beyond it, too. But, when faced with the prospect of actually having to prove her worth against seasoned wizards the likes of Slick, or, heaven forbid, the new appointee, Ms. Dolores... Artemie shuddered at the thought. No, it was much better to simply work at the library and occupy herself in absentmindedly dreaming of such things than to actually attempt them.

She shut her book, glancing back over to the diner area, where a few other wizards were still loitering around. There hadn't been many people actually doing anything since requests had been suspended, so for the most part, those with nothing better to do simply came here to chat with old comrades and make plans for their next missions. For her own part... well, honestly, not even Artemie was sure why she had chosen that particular day and that particular time to wile away the hours reading in the lobby. Maybe it was the warmth of the light in her little nook by the front window, or the open view of the street as she watched the colorful people of Nymphaea pass by. Or maybe, she'd been hoping to snag one of the easy jobs on the board the moment requests opened back up again, so that she could keep up a steady income.

Regardless, she just so happened to be there, thinking of nothing in particular, and, in fact, nearly drifting off to sleep when suddenly, the voice of the new guild master caught her attention. It seemed like she had some kind of announcement to make, which meant that requests would probably be opened for work. And yet, it seemed also like she had something more to say. So, curious, Artemie slipped her book back into her sleeve, where she mumbled a command for it to be contained. A few runes in the lace frills of her gown flashed for a moment, and the book disappeared into the folds of the cloth seamlessly, as if it hadn't even existed in the first place. Standing up, she tiptoed a little bit closer to the bar, leaning sideways against a support pillar and peering out from behind it so as not to draw too much attention to herself. There, she waited, curious to see what exactly Oceana would have to say.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Cheneres Se-anhur IV Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Oceana Malaerion
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Cheneres

Though Chen is not usually seen idle, his purposely apparent indignant emotion ran rampant. S-Class Trials were a time of celebration, although his inability to participate gave him a face of scorn. Due to how careless he was during a mission, he sustained multiple injuries. Although the people he forcefully dragged along remained unharmed, he broke all 4 of his limbs and more. However, he completed the mission, he had quite a bit of time to count the reward on his hospital bed.

His perfectly chiseled abs were covered by grimy bandages. He's able to walk and move his limbs again, but he still was nursing the many cuts and bruises. His face was covered with dust and his hair disheveled. He usually was a man harboring great pride for his body, but he was too busy crying himself to sleep. Instead of sitting in the middle of such a grand occasion. He was in a minuscule corner in the southeast part of the room. Cheneres the Exile, reduced to a hermit.

Despite it all, he was happy for the new S-Class. A wondrous maiden does deserve recognition. Cheneres himself isn't familiar with her. Even Cheneres, the man who rushes into danger, is vigilant when approaching someone such as Dolores. He much rather fight monsters of vigor than be on the opposite end of a woman's fury.

Alas, he took another sip of his drink. He was drinking vodka in the morning, maybe to ease the pain of not being able to participate or just because he's Cheneres the Exile, he drinks whenever he wants. He soon fell into a deep slumber, unable to applaud and commend Dolores. It's a somber day if Cheneres is not rushing to a woman's side. Between his gloomy episodes and his whining, he'll recover somehow. It would've been quite important to know that the guild master had suspended Jobs for everyone to recover, but he'll manage. If blowing all your cash on booze and couch surfing fits the definition.


It was a harsh 7 days. Cheneres couldn't find another tavern that would serve him ale for free, so he turned to street performances to pay for his necessities. Though, due to his ineptitude when it comes to musical talent. It would make more sense if they paid him to stop his performance instead of to compliment it. Don't tell him I said that though.

Bright and early, he pushed open the guild hall doors gloriously. In case it was obvious that he has arrived, Cheneres makes it a point to make sure people are aware. With his usual announcement, "Cheneres the Exile makes an entrance! ♫" He declared. This habit is usually met by groans of annoyance by his guild members, heavy or hushed. Him going so early could be to bother less people, but it's most likely to get drunk faster.

He ordered from the counter quickly and went to converse with the people of the guild. Giving a hearty hello to his mates and a little bit extra for the ladies (Flex on 'em). It was a busy and boisterous morning, because Cheneres made it so.

It seems the little girl of a guild master had an announcement for the populace. He always found it unorthodox for there to be such a young girl running a former dark guild. She rivals him in energy and can even come off as a bit overbearing, and that's coming from Cheneres. He always thought she should eat more, grow into a voluptuous woman, but that's a personal preference. Those are just thoughts, they were never particularly close and he finds himself straying away from her path. Nonetheless, he respects her magic prowess. He is rather adept at feeling people's strength, though he often rushes in anyways despite knowing he'll lose.

But it seems the little GM had a big announcement. He walked over to the counter and took his drink, he then went to the back of the huddle as he is one of the taller members of the guild. He took a few sips and waited impatiently. If a dainty little lass like her is a guild master, Cheneres is a rocket scientist.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Cheneres Se-anhur IV Character Portrait: Dolores De La Fuente Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Pommel Grade Character Portrait: Oceana Malaerion Character Portrait: Jin Takeshi
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Everyone in the guild seemed to be a bit tense in the week following the S-class competition. Jin didn't hold it against them though. Some of these wizards really needed the income from jobs to support their families, and even a week without work was enough to drain what funds they had left. Initially, he had argued with Oceana on the whole concept of a "rest week," but she had somehow managed to convince him that it was for the best. She argued that the competing wizards were liable to try and prove their rank (likely bitterness from losing the opportunity to advance) by taking difficult missions despite their injuries. Oceana, fully well knowing that Jin was a stickler for safety, had used his own priorities against him. For all the trouble and complaints however, he had to admit that the week off had given him ample time to relax and work on his knitting. His mother's new gloves testified to his productivity.

Finally, the day came that the week-long rest period would end. With it, would come an announcement that held the potential to stir a few tempers. Oceana had pitched the plan to Jin earlier in the week, and he had to admit that it was a pretty good one. With a few discussions, the pair had managed to sort out the details and minimize the possibility for complaint. Still, he could tell that there would be disagreements. That was his job to deal with though. Oceana made the plans and Jin enforced them- that had always been the way it was.

He had been in the kitchen tossing bits of lunchmeat to his cat Shiba when Oceana hopped up onto the bar counter. When he heard her squeaky attempt at an announcement, he casually stepped out into the main guild area, leaning up against one of the tables that scattered the room. The chatter wasn't dying down though. He sighed, silently praying that Oceana would at least try to be bear the authority of her position.

"Your guildmaster has an announcement. Pipe down." His voice rung through the hall and conversations began to die down. People knew better than to make him repeat himself. When silence had at last settled over the guild, Jin's eyes drifted up to meet Oceana's. While she had in fact granted Dolores S-class status the previous week, this would be the first act that was truly hers. It was her idea from start to finish and while Jin would support it, it was her job to stand by it. Steady like the tide, as his father would always say. Even though they'd grown up together, moments like this made him wonder how she was feeling. Was she nervous? Excited? His dark eyes remained focused on hers, willing her to speak with the power she had done well to earn.

The setting changes from Nymphaea City to Guild Hall

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Cheneres Se-anhur IV Character Portrait: Dolores De La Fuente Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Oceana Malaerion Character Portrait: Jin Takeshi
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Oceana waited for silence and watched a few more people enter the guild hall, most of them quickly noticing something was going on. As she waited, she took notice of Slick at the bar when he spoke out, using that dreaded nickname he called her. "Ey, Get on with it Shaun. I think you’ve kept the people waiting long enough." Narrowing her eyes at Slick, Oceana made a mental note to get back at him for it later, before rolling her eyes and focusing on the task at hand. This idea had been long in the making, though she had never been able to convince her father to go through with it. Scanning the room again to make sure all the necessary people, including Jin who made the final shout for silence, were present.

With everyone's attention on her, and the importance of this announcement Oceana looked to Jin for reassurance before turning to the rest of the guild. Letting her normal giddy smile and playful demeanor drop Oceana looked around the guild, her entire demeanor suddenly extremely serious.
"As you all know, I am very young to be the Guild Master. In fact, I am the youngest Guild Master Tidal Serpent has ever had. I know a lot of you believe me not ready and while I understand I sorely disagree. We have
spent too long in the shadows merely because four centuries ago our name belonged to a Dark Guild."


Oceana looked around the guild hall, passion burning bright in her eyes. Everyone knew that since she was a child she had been discontent with Tidal Serpent's image but only her grandmother, father, and Jin had know exactly how much. Continuing on, she let herself finally show that passion to her guildmates.
"That time is over. I am done watching the members of this guild be ignored and despised because of the guild's past. From this moment on Tidal Serpent is stepping out of the shadow and into the light. I want every single member of this guild to be as appreciated by others as I appreciate them, even if I have to spend the rest of my life pushing for that dream to be true."

Oceana paused and took a deep breath to calm herself before continuing on. "During the last three years, while I have worked with my father running this guild and spent time getting to know you all better, I have come up with a plan. I have decided that 8 members of Tidal Serpent will join together to be a team. This team will be the future of the guild and as such I hope each and every one of those people takes this extremely seriously." Oceana paused as a hushed murmur went through the guild hall. It was extremely rare for a guild master to put a team together, especially without talking to the supposed members beforehand. Once the guild was relatively silent again Oceana continued. "The people chosen for this team, are; Dolores De La Fuente, Keiji Okaro, Melinda Ekundayo, Slick, Cheneres, Bardulf Sherwood, Artemie Scheherazade, and Rin Hitomi." At Melinda's name any remaining chatter in the guild hall stopped, more than a few people shocked. As Oceana said the last name she let her gaze fall directly on Rin, knowing that she would probably be the one most likely to protest. Her eyes still on Rin, Oceana smiled and then finally looked away. "That is all. The ban on accepting jobs is now over. Be safe!" With that she hopped of the bar and took a seat next to her grandmother.







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Rin watched Oceana with fascination as she made her speech. Ever since Rin had been on her own she had been hiding, or at least, that was the best way to describe it. When she was still in Wolf Spirit she had been away on jobs as often as possibly and even when she was in Azalea she would only go to the guild hall to take a new job. Once she had left the guild it had been even worse, her only interactions with people outside of her jobs being a simple greeting or a chat with an innkeeper. Even now, having joined a new guild, Rin was still almost completely isolated. All this considered, Rin couldn't help be impressed by the girl that was 6 years her junior and yet able to be the center of attention confidently.

Despite Rin's mental praise when she heard her name she froze, staring back at the guild master with surprise and anger. In her mind, she heard one of her spirits telling her to calm down but she payed so little attention she couldn't even tell which one it was. Rin wanted to speak out in protest. She wanted to refuse right then and there. But, with most of the guild in the room she didn't want any more attention on her than what already was. Fuming, Rin quickly stood and stalked out of the guild hall, slamming the large doors shut behind her. As she walked away, heading towards the exit of the compound, she could hear the moment when the echoing sound of the slamming doors faded back to silence and suddenly the sound of people talking replaced it.

The setting changes from Guild Hall to Nymphaea City

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Oceana Malaerion
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Keiji sat at the table, his arms crossed and leaning on the wooden surface as all of his attention was focused on their new master. One by one people started to calm down, followed by several other cries for attention from some of the guild mates around the hall. Keiji peered around, witnessing as people eventually got the message until it was quiet enough to hear a pin drop. Oceana took a breath and started her announcement. Initially it seemed like it would be something that was akin to a motivational speech, intended to give the members of Tidal Serpent a bit of a morale boost with the opening of the jobs again. This way they would want to go and perform duties for the people of Fiore, get the Tidal Serpent name out there, and generally provide a decent image of their guild. It wasn’t a bad idea...had that been the intention.

Instead as she continued, Keiji found himself leaning forward, his eyes narrowing slightly at the mention of some sort of plan. What kind of plan could undo years of tarnishing marks upon their history? He doubted anything would make them as loved as some of the other big guilds out there like Fairy Tail or Blue Pegasus. With the mention of a team, Keiji had a sudden sick feeling in his gut. 8 people were listed, and among the first said was Keiji’s name. As he listened to the names, he realized that there were more than a few people on their who wouldn’t do well in groups, himself included. What was her plan? Exposure through inner conflict? Accomplishment via adversity? As she finished her speech, Keiji saw Rin stand up and storm out the door. A tempered reaction if he ever witnessed one, but even he had to admit this was unusual. Keiji took a look around as the stunned silence finally started to fill with voices of differing opinions. Keiji himself stood from his position and made his way to Oceana, stopping just beside her. “Master Malaerion, ma’am.” Keiji stated in greeting to Oceana and her grandmother. Keiji looked down at Oceana, his face stoic as always, preferring the professional approach when it came to those in a position higher than himself. “May I have a word Master?”

Oceana paused from her task of seemingly trying to get something from her grandmother to blink once and look up at the S class wizard before responding with a smile. “Of course. Do we need to go upstairs?” She asked earnestly, to which Keiji responded by taking a quick glance around the room at the many ears that could overhear the conversation. While he wasn’t one to think this particular talk would cause concern, he just generally hated being eavesdropped on.

“Probably best if we do.” Keiji stated, turning around and leading the two of them up the stairs to the balcony that overlooked the main hall. From here, they could talk relatively freely without being overheard while Keiji could also keep a lookout for anyone who might barge in on their conversation. Once they were settled, Keiji glancing over the guild mates once more, he went with his usual very blunt approach to things. “This is a mistake.” He stated in an even tone, no anger or annoyance in the words but more along the lines of someone who’s trying to point out a fact. “You’re putting your faith in a team filled with loner characters, myself included. What’s your end goal?”

Oceana looked down over the guild hall, leaning on the banister slightly as she seemed to contemplate an answer. Eventually she turned to Keiji, her eyes serious and all mirth washed from her features. “I have carefully chosen each member of this team, a lot of them specifically because of the distance they keep from the rest of the guild. This is just as much for them as it is for the guild. Some of them need this, whether they know it or not.”

“Some of them are more concerned with the fact that their powers could very easily injure those they’re supposed to be working alongside.” Keiji stated, implying but not outright stating that he was the object of that concern. It wasn’t the fact that he couldn’t control his powers, it had more to do with his tunnel vision that he had had trouble getting rid of during combat. While he would love to say that he couldn’t be held responsible for what happened when the fists and magic started flying, he knew that was a lie. Still, it was a major character flaw that, at an inopportune moment, could end up with people he cared about getting injured or killed.

“This isn’t negotiable.” Oceana stated, seemingly blowing past that statement. She either understood and didn’t care, or simply thought it was a wasted concern. “I hope that you can look past your own preferences and manage to connect with the team.” She seemed to soften slightly, giving a half smile before sliding past Keiji towards the stairs. He looked after as she went. Keiji opened his mouth to say something, to argue further, but nothing came out. All of his arguments past that were self indulgent, a way to shrug off the responsibility of worrying about other team members. While he did that a bit here at the guild, on the job he focused on the mission at hand. In truth, he didn’t want anyone slowing him down, but he couldn’t exactly say that without coming across as a truly despicable person.

Keiji leaned on the banister, his eyes downcast as he thought about his fate. While it wasn’t the worst thing that could happen, it was still something that he wasn’t happy about in the slightest. Still, he had to present an image to the guild, one of uniformity and cohesion. Even if he didn’t like it, and at his core was opposed to the idea, he would never openly state that for the rest of the guild to hear unless it put their lives in danger. For now, he would have to put up a front and try to get the team to work together.

That meant finding Rin, and making sure she wouldn’t go do something foolish.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Cheneres Se-anhur IV Character Portrait: Dolores De La Fuente Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Pommel Grade Character Portrait: Oceana Malaerion
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#, as written by Tanman
Pommel Grade
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“Stupid week with stupid people doing stupid stupid…” Pommel grumbled to herself as she strode between the tables, platters loaded up on her arms up to her shoulders, drinks under her arms in a comical but impressive display of balance and waitressing skill. In practiced and precise movements, she unloaded the meals and drinks to the various patrons of the guild, smiling at those she liked and showing something akin to annoyance to those she didn’t. She’d had it had it HAD IT with the guild wizards by now. GO! Shoo! Do some jobs, get out of here! You’re making the place stink and wearing grooves into the leather! She hadn’t smelled of this much alcohol or done this much work since… Since well ever! And it SUCKED! Why oh why would Oceana do something like this? Had she done something bad? Was this a punishment for Pommel to have to be this busy for a whole week?

Petulant as ever, Pommel pouted and persevered in her work, forever trying to prove herself and be recognised for her good deeds, but for the most part going unnoticed. Cheery bright and friendly as she could be, most of those who offended her (Which pretty much only consisted of the male guild members) knew to stick clear of her when she was this grouchy, but at the same time, it was typically them who were responsible for grabbing her attention by ordering food or drinks. Ugh, why couldn’t someone cool that she actually cared about just request her assistance? Maybe the new S-Class wizard wanting a fancy wine? Oceana bringing her a new dress to try on? Just someone she could find a reasonable excuse to hang out with and chat rather than having to be an errand girl for all these lazy deadbeats!

Exhausted and at her limit, Pommel pulled out a nearby seat and leaned on the pillar by the job board, taking a long sigh as she rested. It was about time she took a break, and with Oceana making her entrance for her announcement, it looked like she’d be getting her chance. Sitting up to listen intently to the declaration, Pommel internally and externally beamed at seeing Oceana take charge. That was just like a powerful wizard like her to take point and lead like this. Oceana was a woman with vision for the future. No doubt she had some cool, amazing strategy to propel Tidal Serpent to the top of the popularity polls in Sorcerer’s Weekly! Leaning in, Pommel waited with baited breath…

“…I have decided that 8 members of Tidal Serpent will join together to be a team…” Looking up from her spot, Pommel briefly thought she saw Oceana make eye contact with her. Her heart skipped a beat. W-was this it?! Was she being selected to become an important wizard that would shape the very future of Tidal Serpent?! Oh, she knew Oceana believed in her and her abilities, but this was going to be a bit sudden! Being placed on a team with her and Melinda and all the other best warriors that Tidal Serpent had, no doubt she’d get the opportunity to learn and really start being a valued member of the guild! Oh, Oceana was so wonderful thinking of her like that! This was it, her moment to shine! All the hard work was paying off! She’d begin as the junior member of the team, but in moments she would rise to be the star member! Maybe she’d even get her own article in Sorcerer’s Weekly? She could see the headlines now: ‘Young Prodigy Wizard takes the magic world by storm!’

"The people chosen for this team, are; Dolores De La Fuente, Keiji Okaro, Melinda Ekundayo, Slick, Cheneres, Bardulf Sherwood, Artemie Scheherazade, and Rin Hitomi." Pommel listened, nodding all the while. Ugh, Slick. And that loud idiot Chen. Well, there had to be SOME rookies besides herself that would…- Wait. Pommel paused, playing back the team in her mind. Then, she hung her head in shame. Of course she wasn’t part of the team… What had she even been thinking? She wasn’t even a qualified wizard! Oooohhhh…. She’d really gotten her hopes up that she’d get the chance to join and work with her idols. Man, this stunk! Melinda was already always away, but now that Dolores was on a team with her, along with two other powerful female wizards, they’d probably be gone even more often. Sighing, she leaned back on her seat against the wall.

"That is all. The ban on accepting jobs is now over. Be safe!" Following that announcement, Pommel was caught in a stampede for the second time in a week as eager wizards hurried to the job board for the best opportunities.


Slick
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Reaching for his drink, Slick slowly took a light sip as he listened to their new guildmaster’s heartfelt declaration. He was always impressed with the passion and dedication that Oceana showed for the guild, and had no doubt some of that rubbed off on everyone else. Sure, it was his home and family too, but he could never quite show the drive or spirit that she did. There was just something inspiring about the honesty and pride she showed whenever Tidal Serpent came up. The guild was her life, and she’d take no disrespect for it from anyone. In fact, it was probably that aspect of her nature that lead to her becoming the new guild master, regardless of her heritage. Naïve and inexperienced as she may be, Slick couldn’t think of anyone else that was more fitting or deserving of the title.

That said… Well, her plan just seemed absurd. Even Slick had to scoff at the idea of a wizard team going off and doing who knows what to get the guild’s name out there. But hey, it was Oceana’s pet project. He’d help her plan and budget for it, along with its probable failure. It’d be a good lesson like that which would teach her that turning things around wasn’t as simple as just bringing people together to work as a team. Eight people was a lot of resources, and it just didn’t seem efficient unless she planned on them doing some truly incredible work. Still, it’d be interesting to keep track of from the sidelines. Watching Oceana continue to explain over the rim of his glass, Slick listened with intrigue as she listed off the cast of her new show. The S-Classes - Yeah, no surprises there if she intended for them to do something huge. Then came the kicker. Slick nearly spat his drink across the room as his name was listed, but not only that, Chen, Bard and that mousy girl from the library. He wasn’t going to complain about being put on a team with women, but it all seemed a bit ridiculous – He’d worked solo for years now.

Setting his drink down on the bar and looking up to Oceana, he tried to meet her eyes and get some sort of response out of her for this joke. She couldn't be serious. When he met her gaze however, it wasn’t the kind or joking expression he was hoping for. Instead, there was naught but a mischievous smile, and under the noisy mass discussion going around the guild, Slick made out the syllables she wordlessly spoke under her breath at him. She wasn’t messing with him. Well, she was and she wasn’t. He was actually a part of this team, but she was most certainly doing it to rattle him. Ugh, she knew just how to get under his skin sometimes. Was this a response to calling her by that moniker in front of everyone? Adjusting the glasses that had slipped from his face, he watched Rin, the eighth member of the team storm off. Clearly she wasn’t happy about this either. Amusingly, Bard seemed to be taking more initiative then Slick had anticipated the shy lad had in him by chasing after her. Ah well, best of luck to him. He was a good fellow, hopefully it’d work out.

Turning back to Oceana, Slick tried to raise his concerns over the din of people heading to the job’s board, but was silenced by a few hearty slaps on the back as some of his fellow guildmates wished him ‘luck’ with Oceana’s pet project, laughing at his predicament all the while. It was during this that Keiji took the opportunity to request a meeting with the guildmaster, obviously having his own qualms with the setup. Heh, if Oceana had her mind set on this, it was unlikely she’d call it off. Change it slightly, maybe, but that was a long shot, even for a charmer like him. Still, it’d do Keiji to learn some humility and ‘lose’ to Oceana. It wasn’t like Slick was still bitter about the promo tournament at this point, but he was amused to see the tempered fellow losing something.

Letting Keiji have his talk with her upstairs, Slick would have his own private chat with her later about the whole thing. She hadn’t really given them any details of what she expected of the team, other than them taking it seriously. Did she have a job in mind? Or were they just going to be an overkill squadron doing some odd S-Rank jobs? Even if she’d intended for it to be a big surprise, he wished she’d given him some prior notice so he could do some planning and work out the logistics of it all. Depending on what they were doing, Wizards like him and Chen might be made redundant in the face of the job they were assigned. Well, no sense dwelling on it for now or worrying about it. He was Slick after all. He couldn’t let something like this phase him too much. Time to roll with it.

With Oceana, Keiji, Rin and Bard all occupied, Melinda nowhere in sight, and Chen being Chen; Slick briefly scanned the crowd for any sign for the remaining lovely two team members that he’d been assigned to. With the aid of his magic, it only took a split-second to identify Dolores in the crowd, along with Artemie poised behind a pillar for support and possibly protection from everyone. Both were lovely in their own way, and conveniently enough, were only across the bar and a stone’s throw away from each other. Pushing off the bar, Slick slid his way over towards the two, seamlessly moving into place beside Dolore’s, but facing the pillar Artemie found herself behind. Snapping his fingers in her direction, he flashed a smile.

“Well ladies, looks like you’re gonna be stuck with me until our ever-wise guild master says otherwise. I mean, we’re gonna have to make the most of this, so we may as well get to know each other more intimately than we already do, yeah? Boss’s orders that we get along and all that.” Cocking his head in Dolore’s direction to see if she was paying attention as well, he turned his attention back to Artemie for the moment, lifting his glasses with a wink. “And don’t worry Art, if Dolly here is too uptight to watch out for you, I’ve got your back.” Thumbing at his chest, Slick nudged the smoke dragon slayer in the side. “Ain’t that right Dolly?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Cheneres Se-anhur IV Character Portrait: Dolores De La Fuente Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Pommel Grade Character Portrait: Oceana Malaerion Character Portrait: Jin Takeshi Character Portrait: Freya Malaerion
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For what it was worth, Jin thought Oceana's announcement had gone over very well with the guild. Of course there was the ordeal with Rin rushing out, and the slight possibility that Dolores was about to murder one of her new teammates, but in a guild full of powerful wizards this was the best reception one could hope for. From his point of view amidst the madness, Jin was positive about the implications of a new elite team. Tidal Serpent needed to redefine its image in Fiore, and this was the start. That being said, Jin couldn't help but feel a bit anxious when he saw Keiji approach Oceana. The man was exactly not known for his collaborative spirit. He watched as the pair proceeded upstairs and out of his direct line of sight, fighting the urge to eavesdrop.

No, Oceana could handle this on her own. He recited this mantra on repeat in his mind, trying to push out the image of the goofy child he had helped to raise. She was qualified for this position, and was more than capable of justifying her stance without him. If anything, Jin would only overstep his bounds and make the situation worse. So he remained on the main floor of the guild hall, at the same rickety table he had observed the announcement from. Damage control, that would be his objective now. That involved getting a drunk Cheneres off of the table before Freya murdered him.

Jin had to give the man a certain amount of credit. Somehow, in his intoxication, he had managed to start a guild-wide chant. Thankfully, nobody had thrown chairs or drinks yet, but Tidal Serpent's track record meant that Jin wasn't willing to wait for it to happen. He made his way over to the wizard, who seemed to be having the time of his life amidst the cheering. Folding his arms, Jin peered up at the man.

"Time to get down Prince. You don't need Freya to give you bruises to go with your nasty hangover tomorrow morning." Even though the man definitely had experience holding his liquor, he certainly was NOT capable of dealing with the guild's resident Wizard Saint.




"That's my girl!" Her first announcement as guildmaster and Oceana was already throwing the Tidal Serpent off its feet. Just like her grandma used to!

Taking a swig from her tankard, Freya let out a bellowing laugh that seemed too large from a woman of her stature. Her girl was a sturdy one, that was for sure. She hadn't even blinked when that looker Keiji asked to speak with her in private. Oh, what Freya wouldn't give to have a "private" conversation with a delicious specimen like that! The thought of it brought her back to her old adventuring days. She turned in her stool, looking over the guild hall with a sense of pride. First-class, that's what the Tidal Serpent was. Soon enough, the world would know it too.

In the corner of the room, a few of the newest team members were gathered. Freya watched with interest as Slick sauntered over to the spot where Artemie and Dolores were lounging about. That grin he wore told her all she needed to know. The man was shameless in his mischief- he almost reminded Freya of a younger version of herself. Maybe that'd be enough to get the new S-class wizard to crack a smile. The woman was far too uptight for her own good. As for Artemie, there wasn't much to say. Maybe going on missions with higher-level wizards would make the girl get some confidence.

Out of the corner of her eye, Freya noticed a sole figure stumbling about. All was good until she noticed it pulling itself up onto on of the tables. Her vision began to go red. The hall and all of its trappings were a testament to the guild's illustrious history. Although some furniture had been replaced (accidents were to be expected), Freya expected members to have more sense than to risk destroying even more when she could see them. What they did when she wasn't around was none of her business. But what happened right in front of her? THAT was enough to warrant a reaction.

"Cheneres!" She shouted across the hall. A bit of the chanting died down as guild members felt a chilling sense of fear creep down their spines. "Get your lovely drunk ass off that table before I get up and do it for you."

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Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro
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Rin had almost reached the large arch marking the guild property line when she heard someone call out to her from behind. "Hey newbie. Not in a social mood today?" Rin's steps faltered for a moment but she quickly caught herself and looked away from the blonde man. She could still hear her spirits in the back of her mind, whom had been yelling at her since she stormed out, but she blocked them out so she could focus more on her surroundings. Speeding up a bit she hoped the other wizard would get the hint and leave her be.

"I mean, I'm sure you're a bit nervous about the whole team thing. You aren't the only one. I'm a bit terrified of being in the same team as Melinda." Rin looked back at him, slightly exasperated. Obviously he had taken her silence as a cue to keep talking. Stopping Rin sighed and let the man finish his chit-chat. "I'm Bardulf, by the way. Friends and family call me Bard." As he stepped in front of her and held out his hand Rin let out another sigh before forcing a smile and grasping his hand in hers. "It's nice to meet you Bardulf. I'm Rin Hitomi." Rin made sure not to call the wizard by Bard, wanting to make sure he realized they were in no way friends. As she gave his hand a firm shake she suddenly paused and looked over her shoulder to see Keiji exiting the guild hall and look around before seeing Rin and Bardulf and starting towards them. Quickly letting go of the blonde's hand Rin stepped to the side. "Sorry but it seems I have to go. Have a nice day." Though her fake smile was still in place, her voice had a hollow quality to it that revealed the celestial wizards current mood.

Stepping away, Rin quickly walked past Bardulf and passed under the arch. Glancing back once more Rin quickly made the decision to not go straight home, instead heading towards the market district. While she had nothing against the S-Class Wizard, she knew it would be far easier for him to feel her repressed magic power and he also had a look that seemed to shout 'I really don't want to do this but I don't have a choice' so she assumed he had reluctantly agreed to the team in which case she had no interest talking with him.

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Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro
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Keiji Okaro

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With the talk not having gone as planned and Keiji having resigned himself to his position, he made his way towards the doors of the guild hall with the intent of finding the most likely retreating Rin in order to have a quick talk with her. He wasn’t looking forward to it, but he felt like her resistance to the team was very visibly displayed, and he had to ensure that when the time came, she would take the order in stride. Keiji didn’t want to have the talk, and if he believed someone else could have done it, he might have asked them. Still, he felt a somewhat connection to her, if only in her methodology and personality. He had been with the guild far longer than her, and while they had never had long conversations or worked together before, he could relate at the very least. Keiji reached the doors and pushed them open with miniscule effort, to be greeted with the early morning sun.

Keiji squinted at first, his eyes adjusting to the light and peering around for his quarry. There, off to the side and leading away from the Guild grounds, Rin was actually talking to Bardulf by the looks of it. An A class wizard, requip magic if Keiji remembered correctly. Rin seemed to glance behind her, and upon seeing Keiji...or maybe something else but that was the most likely case, Rin took off towards the town. Had she stayed talking with Bardulf, Keiji might have let her be. It would have been an indication that she was at least willing to entertain the thought of dealing with others. Her reaction led Keiji to believe that wasn’t the case however, and despite his misgivings about the entire situation, took off in a brisk stride after her. He did pause for a moment to look over at the Swordsman. “Bardulf.” Keiji stated, giving a nod. “I'm looking forward to seeing what you’re capable of.” A small little line that would hopefully propel Bardulf into giving everything he had into the jobs to come. For now, he had a bit tougher of a target to deal with as he quickened his pace once more to chase after the fleeing Celestial Mage.

As the younger wizard lead Keiji into the marketplace, he knew what was going to happen. With her smaller stature, she would try to lose Keiji through the early morning crowds and traders. Even as he thought this, people of all shapes and sizes started to filter into the streets, people hocking wares and the early risers all smiling as they planned out their purchases for the rest of the day. Keiji narrowed his eyes, but wasn’t within range to start yelling her name above the increasing noise of the city. He politely moved people out of his way, his patience overcoming the natural instinct to clear a path in front of him through overwhelming force. He gave a quick sigh as she flowed through the people as if they weren’t there, while the bulkier Keiji was constantly jostled around like he was a pinball. Eventually he got into a rhythm though, and could see that his longer strides were starting to gain ground on the young mage.

She glanced over her shoulders, obviously catching sight of the easily distinguishable Keiji. She must have deemed her current tactic to not be working, because she quickly darted to the side and entered an alley. Keiji gave a bit of a sigh, hoping that it would dead end and he could have this increasingly painful conversation with the woman so that he could head back to the guild hall and hopefully figure out a way to make the rest of this transition easier on himself. For now, his focus was on making sure Rin understood her situation at the unspoken behest of the Guild Master herself.

Upon entering the alley, Keiji was greeted by a screeching fiery bird flying directly over his head. Instinctively he ducked as his body glowed a golden sheen, his body aegis naturally coming into effect as an almost automatic defense to danger. He looked up, narrowing his eyes through the skies as the bird flew around in circles, obviously watching with the intention of either distracting or stopping him. It was adorable, in its own way, tiny yet annoying as it cooed almost tauntingly towards him. Unfortunately, it had already lost the element of surprise and Keiji doubted it could do anything to actually harm him. Interesting that she would loose her spirits to stall me though, really dedicating yourself to the lone wolf thing huh? Keiji thought to himself as he walked forward. The bird flew in every so often to try and intimidate him, but even the few times it nicked him its talons glanced harmlessly off his body aegis. Keiji exited the alley, peering in a few different directions and was able to pick Rin’s head out of the crowd.

He made to turn towards her, when the Phoenix came down to eye level, glowing brightly as its form changed into that of the typical Phoenix of lore. Bright wings of flickering fire licked at the air around it as it cried out in what could only be a call to battle. This bird, nearly Keiji’s size, puffed out its wings and let loose with an assortment of fire. Ball after ball of flame launched forward, impacting on Keiji with an almost admirable accuracy as they all seemed to hit their mark. Before the smoke had even settled, a bright gold sigil appeared behind the bird and propelled it forward with such force that it was sent into an uncontrollable spin. Despite this, or maybe because it was planned, Keiji’s hand reached out from the smoke and grasped the Phoenix’s neck with an almost audible crunch. The Phoenix started to panic, striking at Keiji with it’s claws as he stepped out from the smoking hole that was the target area, golden wisps of air flowing around him like a light fabric being blown about by the wind. Keiji glared at the spirit, his gaze a very clear threat of someone who was doing his best to not do what he always did...which was solve this problem in the most violent manner possible.

”Go home spirit.” Keiji stated through clenched teeth, this entire situation getting way too close to actual battle for his composure to remain solid. The bird squawked slightly before Keiji’s grip tightened and it went limp in his hand. He didn’t kill it, did he? No, he didn’t think he had the power to kill celestial spirits...or at least he had never tried. The bird’s flames slowly died and the entire body quickly turned to ash afterwards, which were then carried off by the breeze. Keiji watched them float on, his body aegis dissipating as he did so. Well turning to ash was never a good omen as far as he was concerned, but he didn’t really have the time nor care to worry about such a thing right now. Once the moment had passed, he glanced around once more and was dismayed to learn that Rin had fled the scene. Keiji narrowed his eyes over the crowd, had she not stayed to see if her bird could stop him? No, it was meant as a distraction, she would have left long ago. While Keiji hadn’t wanted to resort to more...upfront tactics, he felt the time for subtlety was over. A gold sigil formed beneath him as more than a few people continued to stare. With a great gust of air and the cracking of the foundation beneath him, Keiji shot into the air like a bullet.

A few moments later, at the apex of his jump, another sigil appeared that acted as solid ground, allowing him to stand above the city to look down upon the inhabitants. He had lost Rin in the time it had taken him to deal with the Rat, so he started peering through the crowds but initially thought that it would be impossible to find her. Luck happened to be on his side though, for that was the only reason he managed to catch a glimpse of her as she broke through a crowd briefly before entering another one. Keiji launched himself at her again, landing just far enough away from people to avoid civilian injury, but hard enough to crack the concrete upon his landing. Honestly, he really did need to learn how to figure out his ‘gentle touch’ approach.

Upon seeing him land, Rin stumbled backwards slightly, and looked ready to bolt in the other direction. A quick flick of his wrist, and the woman was surrounded by Force Sigils that prevented her from leaving, but otherwise did nothing. Keiji straightened his hoodie, bending down and wiping a bit of dust and dirt from his jeans. ”Your actions so far are not making me confident in your ability to be trusted.” Keiji stated in a very calm but demanding manner as he finished cleaning his clothes. With that done, he walked closer, not invading her personal space but making it clear that he wasn’t to be ignored. ”We’re going to have a talk...about the potential problems you might have working as a team.” A very hypocritical statement coming from Keiji, but hopefully he would learn something about what it was to work with others closely through this interaction.

The setting changes from Nymphaea City to Guild Hall

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Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro
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Bard smiled a small bit when she smiled, not caring if it was slightly forced, she probably wasn't the social type. She then shook his hand and introduced herself as Rin. "Whew, least I didn't totally botch it up. However, she doesn't seem to want to be friends yet." he thought as Rin suddenly excused herself from the conversation and left.

"Okay, nice meeting you! I guess I'll see you later? Maybe?" He supposed he couldn't hear her but it didn't matter, because then he was interrupted from his train of thought by Keiji. "Oh! Hello there, Keiji, I mean, Hi Mr. Okaro, ahem."

The S Class Wizard gave him a slightly encouraging message about showing him what he could do on future Jobs as he nodded vigorously. "Y-Yes sir! I won't disappoint!" he replied to the departing Keiji. Sighing he retreated into his own mental state of mind as he simply walked towards the park in the compound, more specifically towards the fountain, where he'll sit for a while and contemplate on the announcement.

"It was nice that I broke the ice with Miss Hitomi, or Rin... however she wants to be called next time I see her. Hopefully she'll ease up and be a little social. Those eyes though, they make me think of rubies." He thought before shaking his head. "Wait a minute, wasn't I going to visit my family at the Restaurant? Oh well, I'll call Uncle Cain and Little Sis later. They'll be thrilled to know I'm on a team that's for sure. Here's hoping I don't mess up."

Reaching his destination he sat down on near the fountain and pulled out his book and began writing in it again, continuing where he left off. He'd find his journal and update it later on how this day marks the beginning of something fantastic.

The setting changes from Guild Hall to Nymphaea City

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Oceana Malaerion
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While Rin's tactic of getting lost in a crowd wasn't very original had hoped it would work anyways. They are the oldest tricks in the book because they work right? Well, probably for anyone but her, or at least it seemed that way.

When she still hadn't managed to lose him in the crowd Rin got a little annoyed. It was obvious she didn't want to talk to him and following her was just plain rude. She would have ended up back at the guildhall within a day or two anyways, could he not wait? Seeing an alleyway to her left Rin considered for a moment, confronting the S-Class Wizard but doubted she would be able to do much against him after the initial surprise.

Making a decision, Rin suddenly darted into the alley once there was an open path to it and as soon as she was out of view of the other wizard she pulled out a silver gatekey, speeding up a bit more as she did. ”Open, Gate of the Fire-Bird! Phoenix.” With a flash of silver light the bird spirit appeared and zipped after Rin, cooing in response to her request for a distraction before rising above the alley as she exited the other end.



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Keiji Okaro
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A solid minute or two passed once Rin had blended back into the market crowds and for a moment she let herself relax but then she felt the closure of her spirit's gate quickly followed by Keiji landing behind her with a loud crack. At this point, she didn't even attempt to run and looked at him blandly from inside his force sigils. With his comments about trust and the 'talk' they needed to have Rin rolled her eyes but not before looking at the crowd around them warily. "Yeah I get it. You're persistent. Honesty, this could have waited a day or two." As more people started to turn their attention to Rin and Keiji, someone recognizing him, Rin let out a huff and swore under her breath. "Yeah yeah, okay. We can talk. Just... Not here." Though Keiji obviously had the power in this situation he thankfully agreed, his magic disappearing as hi gave a silent nod and waved for her to lead the way.

""You know, of all the members of this disaster group Guild Master Oceana has created I really thought it would end up being Cheneres stalking me and causing a scene." Keiji's response was quick, though his tone never lost the patience it almost always held. "Out of everyone to use their powers to attack me, I too thought it would be Cheneres...I stand corrected." Rin scoffed at his use of the word attack, "It only counts as an attack if there's an actual chance of you getting hurt. I'm a B-Class Celestial wizard with a bunch of silver keys. The most damage I could do with your magic type is a surprise attack and there's no way that one attack wouldn't be powerful enough to even bruise you if it came from a silver spirit."

"So then my real question, if that's your thought process, is why did you try that at all if you knew it would stop me? But we're getting off topic. To be honest, all I wanted to do was to talk to you to make sure you knew the score and the ramifications of this team for all of us." Keiji said in reply, his voice never leaving that even tone that he tended to use. He stared ahead, his eyes locked on to some imaginary target.
Rin raised an eyebrow at his word choice, 'Score? Really?', but then shook her head and looked away. "While I respect Guild Master Oceana and most of her decisions I will not be a part of this team. It's too dangerous..." Rin wasn't looking at Keiji as she said this, instead, she looked at the sky as she absentmindedly touched the small tattoo on her cheek.

"Dangerous for whom?" Keiji asked, looking over at her slightly with an inquisitive look on his face. "Regardless of your answer, personal feelings are not to be taken into account with this decision. It's meant to increase the standing of Tidal Serpent, not necessarily our own rankings. I would wager that most of the people now on this team aren't necessarily happy about this situation..." Keiji stated, cracking his knuckles with just his thumb as a way to get past his own irritation on the manner. "Myself included." Keiji said this with such a casual phrasing that to blink would be to miss the undertone that he himself didn't want anything to do with any of these people regarding a team makeup. "But even so, I will perform as our Master has decreed because at the end of the day, I'm working to make sure that Tidal Serpent and those under her care are progressing forward and achieving new goals every day." Keiji gave a bit of a sigh. "I know I sound like a propaganda spewing machine, but that's not my intention. My hope is to convince you peacefully to accept the situation, my fear is that you'll try to fight me on it, and my reality is that you'll probably begrudgingly agree with me in order to get this conversation to end then fail to live up to your end of the bargain and by extension, your potential."

Rin was quite surprised that, in the middle of trying to convince her to play along, Keiji openly admitted to not wanting any part of being on the team. Watching him intently now Rin pursed her lips at his comment about 'progressing forward'. When he called himself a propaganda spewing machine Rin could help but laugh. But she quickly sobered up when he continued on. Suddenly stepping in front of him and coming to a stop, Rin glared at Keiji, giving him a hard poke to the chest. "Of all the things I would do to get out of this I would Never break my word. I am a Celestial Wizard. My promises are kept, end of discussion." Rin was completely serious as she spoke, obviously offended that he would imply otherwise.

Keiji slowly looked down at the finger, raising an eyebrow as he did so as to imply 'Really?'. When he looked back up and was greeted with a scowling Rin, his expression seemed to get the slightest bit lighter, the hint of a smile seeming to be broadcast from him even if his mouth didn't form the shape. "So is that to say that you promise to play along for the time being?" Keiji asked, his tone inquisitive but his word choice almost accusatory.

Rin's glare quickly changed to an expression of shock as Keiji used one of the few (in her opinion) redeeming qualities she had to corner her into agreeing. Never having expected the move from the usually neutral wizard Rin let a rare smirk cross her lips.
"Three strikes. Three missions. That's what I'll agree to. You have my word that I will go with you and that my measly silver keys and I will do what we can to help, though it probably won't be much." Rin didn't wait for him to accept or disagree before continuing. "I make no promises as for my demeanor though. I will not be trying to make friends with the team. And this is all on the condition that no one comes to my home. No one, even in the guild, knows where it is and I want to keep it that way. "

"Fine by me." Keiji stated, shrugging his shoulders slightly. "If you can do that, if you can at least try to make the team work, I promise I will never attempt to befriend you." Keiji stated so dryly deserts were jealous of his delivery. Keiji held out a hand to shake, to cement the deal so that if she really were a woman of her word, this was as close to a binding contract as the two of them could get.
Rin was relieved that Keiji agreed with her terms and when he held out a hand to shake she accepted it. After a quick shake, she went to let go but Keiji seemed to not be finished.
"Oh, and one more thing." Keiji stated, leaning down slightly to get to her eye level. "The next time you summon your spirits and sic them on me...I'll consider it a challenge."
For a moment Rin didn't react, the threat not meaning much to her but suddenly, with a telepathic push from one of her spirits, she realized a B-Class Wizard would be scared of such threats and she forced a flinch and an impish grin. "Hehe, okay..." Mentally Rin scowled at herself, the entire reaction seeming false in her own head but she hoped it was a bit more believable to Keiji.

The conversation over, the two wizards both turned and started back the way they came. While at first Rin found it a bit unnerving after a few minutes she quickly got over it, liking the nonobtrusive company.
When the two reached the guild hall Rin noticed Keiji give a silent wave as he went to re-enter the guild compound and Rin found herself absent-mindedly returning the gesture before quickly yanking her hand down, as if she had somehow offended herself. Afterwards she headed straight to her apartment to relax and rest before the obvious chaos her next four jobs were going to be.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Cheneres Se-anhur IV Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Pommel Grade Character Portrait: Oceana Malaerion
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Keiji Okaro
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Keiji wandered through the courtyard that was the Tidal Serpent’s official grounds, passing his gaze over wizards of all kinds as he moved through the area, subconsciously judging their battle capabilities without any means to stop himself. Oceana had called their group together for their first mission, according to the paper airplane that had magically flown into Keiji’s window at his dorm. The S class wizard could feel his independence slipping away ever so slightly as he realized that he wouldn’t be able to pick the cream of the crop from the S ranked jobs anymore for fear of potentially putting his team at risk. A slight grinding of the teeth was all the reminder he needed that he should push such thoughts out of his mind. In the end, this was for the guild, and he would suffer whatever indignities they would force upon him.

It was still early, and he doubted the others would be there already, but Keiji preferred to be more than punctual when dealing with matters that concerned the guild master. So Keiji approached the guild hall and placed his hand on the door. The moment he stepped inside, there was a loud thud followed by muffled cries of several partially censored curses. Keiji peered inside, his eyes finally resting on what appeared to be a very drunk and passed out Cheneres currently laying on top of Pommel. A spirited girl to say the least, but even with all that passion that she sometimes directed into what could be called unnecessary aggression, she couldn’t appear to move Chenere’s bulk. Keiji took this as his cue to stroll inside, passing a few people who looked ready to move and help, but upon seeing Keiji stride with purpose towards the A class drunkard, sat back down. The man was anything but small, but with a little effort, Keiji was able to lift the man off of the small barkeep and onto his shoulder in a sort of fireman’s carry. This earned an exasperated sigh from Pommel as she slowly stood from her prone position.

“Well it’s about time someone took that dumb drunk doofus off me! Honestly, why do I always get stuck having to everything around here? I-” When she finally reached her standing position and dusted herself off slightly, her eyes finally drifted upwards in the middle of her rant to stop her words cold as she faced off against Keiji. His expression was neutral as always, cocking an eyebrow slightly as he stared down at her.

“If this is a problem for you, I could give you strength training.” Keiji offered, although inwardly he wondered just how often she had drunk wizards falling on top of her, and made a mental note to do something to prevent such an occurrence from becoming the norm. Pommel’s cheeks seemed to flush slightly as she stared at Keiji more out of shock than anything else before breaking eye contact, taking a deep breath and swallowing slightly.

“The problem is that dingus...not me.” She muttered under her breath, although she didn’t seem too sure of herself. Confidence was something a wizard needed to have, and while she had made progress over the years, Keiji could see that she still needed a fair bit of work. “Just get out of here already!” She barked at Keiji, turning around and storming off in a huff as she disappeared into the kitchen. Keiji stood there for a moment, confused as to whether he had done something wrong before turning around and seeing the eyes currently on him and the unconscious Cheneres over his shoulder. Upon his movement, the rest of the Serpent wizards went back to whatever they were doing, pretending as if they hadn’t been staring at the slight exchange. Keiji ignored it, not like it mattered much to him anyways. Instead he carried Cheneres out of the hall and straight across the grounds until he came upon the fountain in the middle of their property, a mighty serpent spewing water as a symbol of their guild.

With all the tact of a bull in a china shop, Keiji threw Cheneres into the fountain with a mighty heft, sending a small wave of water cascading into the air and drenching a couple of nearby wizards as they hurried to get themselves out of the blast zone. Keiji stood there for a moment, arms crossed as nothing happened for a few seconds. Either it took this long for Cheneres to wake up, or maybe he was simply waiting for the dramatic timing to be perfect as bubbles slowly appeared on the surface and finally Cheneres burst from the very shallow depths with a bellow that echoed throughout the ground. His eyes darted back and forth, his teeth bared as he beckoned a challenge. “Who dares wake the mighty Cheneres!” The Sand God wizard bellowed, his eyes finally coming upon Keiji who couldn’t have looked more unimpressed if he actually tried. Upon seeing the S class wizard, Cheneres seemed to mellow for a second, barely taking a moment to register the potential implications of Keiji being the one to wake him before giving a simple “Oh.” in response before slumping over the side of the fountain and somehow promptly falling back asleep. Keiji stared at the man for a second before pinching the bridge of his nose and tapping it slightly. This was not a good sign in the slightest as Keiji walked over and grabbed the man by the scruff of his neck. Chenere’s bulk required a slight use of Keiji’s magic in order to heft him with one hand, a soft golden glow appearing over Keiji’s right arm to signify the usage of such as he pulled him out of the fountain and onto the ground. Keiji peered at him on the ground, considering leaving him there and miss the meeting, maybe even the job, but couldn’t bring himself to do it. He had been asked...or more bluntly put, told that he should do his best to ensure the team’s success.

With very little grace, Keiji hefted the man once more, now dripping wet and being carried by a man who had very little patience for such a thing. With a determined walk that could only be attributed to getting the wet sack of a drunk off of his shoulder, Keiji made his way back into the Guild Hall. Naturally the sight brought with it a few stares as Keiji made his way towards the area where everyone seemed to be gathering. With a less than ceremonial movement, Keiji dumped Cheneres into a chair with enough force to wake the wizard once more as his twitching head seemed to indicate. It seemed like Slick and Bardulf were already present along with Oceana standing there doing her best to look...masterly? Keiji calmly pulled out a chair among the others and sat down. There, he seemed content to simply start cracking his knuckles as he waited for everyone else to show and for the briefing to start.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Cheneres Se-anhur IV Character Portrait: Dolores De La Fuente Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Pommel Grade Character Portrait: Oceana Malaerion Character Portrait: Jin Takeshi
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#, as written by Tanman
Slick
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“So… She’s a work colleague?” The black haired girl asked, pulling the platter to her chest after she placed Slick’s coffee in front of him. She was young, somewhere in her early twenties, hair in a ponytail and somewhat pretty, with nice blue eyes. She was the only person that worked at this small establishment. At least, ever since her father became ill. The modest café known as the Treat Chest, was tucked away in the city, and it was where Slick had taken Artemie a few days ago. Nori was a hard worker, but despite that, her business had been failing for some time. She just didn’t know how to run things on her own, despite having worked under her old man. I guess she could consider herself lucky that she’d had the idea to hire an accountant to help sort her businesses finances. Ever since then, Slick had slowly been working to help promote the place and bring it back onto its feet. Apparently he planned to take a cut of the profits later, but for now, he was helping finance its operation.

Sipping of the blend, Slick nodded slowly, savouring the taste before decided to speak. “Yeah. I’ve known Artemie for some time now. She’s… Odd, but loyal to a fault. No matter what she or others think, she’s incredibly strong. She’s a good friend.” Smiling to Nori, it seemed it was infectious as she returned it with one of her own. “Oh, good. I mean uh, good that you’ve got such reliable friends.” Laughing off her silly comment, Nori continued to stand by the table to chat with him. It wasn’t like there was any other customers, despite Slick’s attempts to generate interest in the place. “I’m pretty lucky like that. Give it time Nori, you’re friendly and likable. Keep it up and you’ll generate a rapport with your customers.”

“You really think so?” Nori seemed a bit taken aback, pleasantly surprised by his comments. Slick simply nodded again as he sipped the rest of his coffee, setting the empty cup back down. “Of course. I’m always sincere in my compliments Nori.” Sitting up, Slick placed a hand to her shoulder, giving her a wink before heading for the door. “I don’t know how long I’ll be gone for work, but I’ve set out a spending and business plan for you. Give it a read, and hopefully you’ll be able to pull people in by the time I come back.” Waving to her, Nori returned the gesture with her own. “Thank you Slick. I’ll be waiting for you with a fresh coffee when you return.”


Slick wasn’t the first to arrive at the meeting place in the guild hall. Already there were a few people waiting. Oceana and Jin were a given, and Artemie was always pretty prompt, so it wasn’t entirely surprising as he took a seat. Even Pommel was there, and seemed to be working as their private caterer. Sliding into a seat and taking a small handful of nuts from the table, Slick casually snacked on them while waiting for the rest of the group. Jin had asked for him to gather the rest of the team for today, but he’d also asked Keiji, so the big S-Man could probably handle that. Besides, the team was mostly reliable, and despite knowing where Rin and Dolores spent their free time, he wasn’t so foolhardy as to go and drag them here. He’d told them the time and place. That was enough as far as he was concerned. They seemed reasonable enough to at least turn up for this meeting.

Slick contemplated chatting with Artemie once more, but before he could, he felt the presence of another to his side, scanning his peripheral vision to see Bard approaching, meeting his nod with one of his own. "What's the news of today Slick?" Was the question as he approached, Slick giving a faint shrug and a smile. “Nothing as of yet. Shaun is being as cryptic as ever with how we’re going to start this, so it seems we’ll have to wait for everyone to turn up first before we start.” Leaning back in his seat, Slick eyed Bard for a second more before deciding to have some fun with him. “You wouldn’t have happened to have seen Rin, would you? She seemed even more hesitant to show up then Dolly girl.”

Enjoying Bard’s reaction to his question, Slick looked to the doors at the loud sound, and watched with some mild amusement as Keiji brought Chen in to join them too, the man drenched and looking more than a bit out of it. Glancing back up to Keiji, Slick gave a small salute. “’Sup Keiji? I see you brought Chen along. Don’t suppose you saw Dolly or Rin on your way here?” Smirking slightly, Slick drew some joy in overworking the fellow, as well as poking fun at any inadequacies he did have. He wasn’t jealous. Never.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Cheneres Se-anhur IV Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Pommel Grade Character Portrait: Oceana Malaerion
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Pommel Grade
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Despite the exciting news for the wizards of the guild, Pommel didn’t find her daily life changing too much other than the number of patrons visiting the guild’s bar. It was quieter, but there was the occasional wizard returning from a quick job and able to recount a short tale. Still, it didn’t really fill the new gap of free time that Pommel had. Very quickly, she found herself becoming bored with the lack of activity. The most interesting new member of the guild, Dolores, had barely been seen. To top it off, she couldn’t even imagine what she was up to since, like the rest of the new team, they were waiting for their first mission. So instead, she spent her time reading through magazines and daydreaming about her successful future as Tidal Serpent’s most powerful and renowned wizard.
The start of the third day was like any other. Heading straight for the kitchen, Pommel smiled and waved to Hana as she grabbed her apron and got it on. Immediately she got to work on prepping the percolator, letting the water boil as she moved about the rest of the room prepping ovens, cutting vegetables and generally getting the food ready for the day. She was naturally an early riser given she needed to be at the bar before the rest of the guild, so she was pepper and cheerful as ever as she hummed to herself through the daily routine. At the soft ding from the coffee machine, Pommel made her way over and began the tiny changes for the standard morning brew. A dash of cocoa, milk, some sugar, blended through into a pleasant aroma that warmed the soul. There was a tender care to the preparation of the morning coffee, Pommel bringing the mug out to the bar before sliding it across to the spot. Exactly on cue, the mug was snatched up by none other than the guild master, Oceana; a familiar grunt of appreciation passing her lips as she immediately drank from the scalding hot liquid. As per her usual response, Pommel gave a cheery smile and ‘your welcome’.
Oceana walked down the stairs with a yawn, heading straight towards the bar. Pommel, being the amazingly sweet girl that she was, somehow knew exactly when Oceana would come down from the loft and always had a hot cup of strong coffee waiting for her. Turning, Oceana decided to people watch for a while, a slight smirk gracing her face as she noticed that there wasn't one person within 20 feet of her. Surprisingly enough Oceana was not a morning person. It was probably the one time during the day she really ever lost her temper, one time even causing the loss of a window in the guild hall. As she continued to drink her coffee Oceana's mind drifted as it focused on that memory. Thankfully the breaking of fragile objects was not rare in the guild hall so it was fixed the same day but Oceana had then had to deal with a very pissed Freya for a week...

Pommel moved back into the kitchen to continue the morning preparations, as well as work on her other side project. "I bet they’ll love it! This is just perfect!” Grinning from ear to ear as she stirred the batter for the cake she was planning, Pommel relieved her brilliant scheme to gain the affection of her idols. It was simply genius! A lovingly crafted, personalized travel lunch with delicate treats like cake and biscuits, but also segregated to contain some more hearty meat and rice for a nutritious meal on the potentially, long journey. She had no idea what kind of adventure the group would be on, but that was no reason why they couldn’t have good food! Yes, with this, Dolores, Rin and even Artemie would come to respect and cherish her! Why she’d get them addicted to the delectable taste of her food, and then they’d have to take her along as their main cook!
‘Nothing but the finest! Pommel, you’re incredible! You simply must join our team on our adventures!’ Dolores declared with gusto, tears rolling down her face as she succumbed to the perfection of the taste. Pommel beamed, blushing as she cupped her chin. ‘Oh, my, really? You enjoyed it that much?’ Shaking her head slightly in embarrassment, a gentle hand taking hers drew her attention. ‘It is truly incredible Pommel. With this food, the group will remain strong and motivated. We cannot possibly lose while you attend to us.’ Artemie stated with that cool intellectual voice of hers, Pommel’s mouth going agape from the sincerity of her praise. ‘I too, cannot stay silent. Though I prefer to keep to myself, I must speak as to the quality of your cooking Pommel.’ Rin chipped in, pausing her eating only to give Pommel such praise, reducing the wonder-chef to a batch of contented giggles.
Finally coming clear of her daydream, oblivious to anyone that had listened in to the strange voices and story she’d put on, Pommel set the oven to cook away as she was practically done on the busy parts of making the food. She’d even had enough leftover scraps to throw together something for the dweeb wizards of the team. Keiji, Chen, Slick and Bard could share one. They weren’t as important as the ladies of the A-team. Chipper and whistling to herself, Pommel returned to the bar to investigate how it had been running in her absence. What she saw began to slowly kill her buzz as she noticed Hana attempting to deal with the ever boisterous Chen. That man always smelled of alcohol, sweat, and some other scent that offended every one of her senses. Though that might have just been her. Honestly, she had no idea why Hana tolerated that doofus, so it looked like she’d have to take matters into her own hands. Unlike the older woman, Chen didn’t see any need to flirt with the young and immature Pommel.
Striding around the bar, Pommel steeled herself as she placed her hands on her hips, huffing loudly. “Alright you dumb palooka, you’ve had enough! It’s barely the start of the day! Time for you to leave buster!” Standing as tall as she could, Pommel still had to shout up to the tall man, even while he was seated. It seemed he heard her as he began to turn in her direction, groaning slightly and swaying about. “That’s it, time to… W-wait, hold-“ Pommel began to panic as like a toppling tree, Chen began falling towards her, unconscious. Getting her hands up in front of her and locking her legs, Pommel did her best to try and hold him upright, but it was a futile effort as, with a soft yelp, she found herself pinned down to the floor under the hulking man.
“Ack! Get off me you idiot! Ew! Your breath stinks! Move!” Pommel whined out, calling for assistance, but it seemed the few patrons of the bar found it more entertaining to watch the show.


Oceana's groggy mind continued to drift along as she absentmindedly drank from her mug, only being pulled out of her thoughts when she heard Pommel's voice shouting. Shaking away the memory, Oceana turned, stopping at the sight of Pommel trying to carry a very drunk Cheneres out of the guild hall. In any other state of mind Oceana would have immediately jumped to help the poor girl but as she was, Oceana burst out into a fit of giggles. Cheneres was at least 3 times the size of the poor pink-haired girl which made the fact that she would even attempt to carry him out hilarious but the fact that he had passed out halfway to the door was even funnier.

The struggling continued for a little while, until, finally, Keiji of all people came to her rescue. After her rescue, and once she’d slipped back into the kitchen, Pommel sighed to herself, taking a moment to recollect her thoughts. Why had she reacted like that? It was pretty stupid honestly, it wasn’t like Keiji had done anything wrong… Just… Something about the word training and his expression sent shivers through her body.
At the appearance of Keiji in the Guild Hall Oceana's giggling came to a quick stop and at his offer, Oceana's mind went to the one thing she hadn't thought of. 'If Pommel is barely a third of Cheneres' size how was she able to hold him up at all?' As this flitted through her mind, Oceana watched Keiji carry Cheneres out of the Guild Hall, only speaking once he was out of sight. "Pommel?" She didn't speak very loud but, with it being after 9 and before noon, there weren't many people in the guild hall and her voice carried.

Still huffing to herself and a little on edge, Pommel managed to get herself through the doorway of the kitchen before Oceana's voice called her back. Stopping almost like a guilty child, she slowly turned and held onto the doorframe, peering out from it as she looked towards the guild master. “Yeah Sis..?” Half hiding behind the frame, Pommel continued to use it as a makeshift shield and way to keep at least part of her emotions from showing.
Oceana was at fist confused as to why Pommel was practically hiding behind the door but after a few moments, she came to the realization that it probably had something to do with how she reacted to Keiji. For a moment she paused to decide if she wanted to say anything on that but decided against it. For all she knew that was just their relationship. Keiji and Oceana operated on different schedules before she was Guild Master so it wasn't like she would know.
Her decision made Oceana gave Pommel a half smile and held out her cup. "If you could give me a refill I would be eternally grateful." Oceana figured she might as well get her coffee before trying to get the girl to come away from whatever she was working away at in the kitchen.

“Seconds already..?” Pommel stated aloud in wonder, slowly moving to head over to Oceana and taking her mug. She briefly gave the guild master a quizzical look, her melancholy immediately forgotten as she became distracted with this new situation. “Do you have something important on today?” She finally asked before moving to prepare another serving for Oceana, the process a lot quicker now that the water was already boiled.
Oceana nodded, giving Pommel a full smile as she watched her coffee being made. "As a matter a fact. I have to deal with the group of hooligans I put into a team. They're going to be leaving for their first mission this afternoon."
“Whoa, really? What is it? I bet it’s something really cool! Is Mel going to be there?!” Pommel asked with full excitement, eagerly wanting to learn what was going to be happening to the new team.

Oceana smiled. This is exactly why she wanted Pommel with her during this ordeal. The young girl was full of excitement and could always cheer Oceana up. "Well Mel is still on the mission she took 2 months ago. As for what the rest of the team is going to do I was hoping you could help me choose what mission to send them on. Jin and I have narrowed it down to two of the S-Class jobs we have up. Also, I could really use your help keeping the group in line. You have quite the knack for it."
Pommel could barely contain her excitement at being informed she would be given the privilege of picking what mission the team would be attending to. Nay, she would be coaching them on the upcoming mission! She was going to be the manager of Tidal Serpent’s best and brightest! No wonder she hadn’t been placed on the team formally if she was going to have an administrative role! Eyes sparkling with enthusiasm, and fists clenched tightly in front of her, Pommel could only dimly nod, to begin with before leaning in closer to Oceana. “Yes, yes, of course! You can rely on me Big Sis, I can definitely handle this responsibility!” Stretching a handout and waving it wildly before placing it firmly onto her chest, Pommel certainly was eager and confident in her newly appointed role as Team Chief.

Oceana couldn't help giggling at Pommel and was very glad she agreed to help her. She had yet to see Jin this morning and she really didn't want to deal with the more rowdy members of the team alone. "Wonderful. Now, as soon as that coffee is done we can go over to where they seem to be gathering. I need to have a quick chat with slick before me and you go upstairs to pick out the mission."
Nodding vigorously, Pommel quickly brought over Oceana's second pot before briefly running to inform Hana that she'd be away for a period assisting the guild master. With that done, she hung up her apron and hurried back over to follow beside Oceana.

Coffee in hand, Oceana took a sip with a smile as she waited. Once Pommel had rushed to put her apron away and returned, Oceana started towards the table where Slick and the rest of the team seemed to be gathering. "Slick, me and Pommel are about to go upstairs to do a final look over the mission you are going to be taking. When-" Oceana broke off as a very wet Sand God Slayer was dropped into a chair at the table before Keiji, the person who did the dropping, sat down himself. Completely ignoring the S-Class Wizard, Oceana's eyes narrowed at Cheneres (or more importantly, the wooden chair beneath him) in obvious annoyance.

Slick nodded as Oceana and her little assistant made their approach, ignoring the somewhat flustered Bard for the moment. It was clear that she was about to ask him something, but her attention appeared to be stolen by the arrival of Keiji and Cheneres, allowing Slick to simply slide back into his seat and observe.
Oceana's silence drug on for a few solid minutes as Cheneres was completely oblivious to her it seemed. Eventually, Oceana realized that Cheneres was either completely oblivious or an idiot (probably a bit of both from what she remembered from previous encounters) and so she took a deep sip of her coffee and turned back to Slick. "As I was saying... um..." For a moment Oceana paused and looked a loss for words but suddenly she managed to figure out what she was pondering and spoke up again. "When exactly did you guys set the meeting for?"

“Don’t you worry your pretty little head about it Shauna.” Slick commented smoothly, flashing a smile Oceana’s way. “Everyone should be here soon, and if not we’ve got Keiji to round them up.” Adjusting where he sat to glance over in Keiji’s direction, Slick inquired as to whether he had any idea regarding the whereabouts of Dolores and Rin, playfully ignoring that it was also his responsibility.
Oceana narrowed her eyes at Slick but then decided to let it slide since everyone else was obviously in a good mood and she didn't feel like expending the energy to snap at him. "Fine. Me and Pommel will come down within the next hour to tell you all the details on the job you will be going on." Without waiting for an answer, or checking on Pommel, Oceana headed towards the staircase assuming her morning buddy would follow after.
Raspberrying at Slick, Pommel then turned and trotted off after Oceana, leaving Slick to his conversation with the others.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Cheneres Se-anhur IV Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Pommel Grade Character Portrait: Oceana Malaerion Character Portrait: Jin Takeshi
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Pommel Grade
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”Ugh, this isn’t what I had in mind…” Pommel muttered to herself as she descended the stairs to speak with the others. Though Oceana had been nice in having her help pick the mission and discuss the team, now she was running errands as a messenger girl. Worst of all was the first task she’d been assigned, one of the last things she wanted to do. Making her way over to the group, she noticed that she seemed to have drawn some of their attention, probably because they knew she was helping Oceana. That didn’t bother her so much. In fact, she enjoyed being the focus. The problem was…

”Keiji.” Speaking his name, she spoke curtly. As he looked up to her, she looked to the side, arms folded. Was she mad or something? ”Sis-Er, the Guild Master wants to speak with you upstairs.” She clarified, trying to sound a bit more formal. Pivoting on her heel and taking long strides back towards the stairs, she called over her shoulder as she made her way back up. ”Follow me please.”

Keiji didn’t bother questioning the sudden request to see Oceana in private, chances are she needed to run through some of the finer details of the mission before they actually embarked on it. Although he was perplexed as to what Pommel’s issue with him was, considering her stance and cold demeanor towards him seemed to indicate that he had slighted her in some way. Once again, he reminded himself to figure out the problem and solve it, but for the moment he had to focus on the task at hand.

Quickly climbing the stairs, Pommel lead him to Oceana who stood with Jin seemingly in conversation about something. “Oceana.” There was no trace of good nature in the name, only an unexplained urgency. “The people in town have been talking a lot recently. It seems like ‘they’ve’ resurfaced.” He was purposely vague, but he was sure the guildmaster would understand exactly what he meant. Jin stopped upon seeing Keiji causing to Ocean to turn and look as well. Jin didn’t bother with any sort of greeting, he was more focused on getting to the task at hand.

“Is there an issue with the job?” Keiji asked, holding his hands behind his back like he was standing at attention.

Oceana pursed her lips for a moment before sighing and turning back to Jin. “Thank you for telling me. We can talk about the other thing after I send the new team out.

“Sure thing boss.” Jin’s words were brief and straightforward, but a shadow of some foreign emotion crossed his face. “I don’t suggest we wait too long to address this issue- but we’ll discuss this later.”

Jin tried his best to force a smile at his friend, with little success. He was too damn tired and stressed. Without another word, he turned. He came face to face with Keiji, but figured that the man needed no words of encouragement in order to perform his job efficiently. He didn’t operate like the others- at least Jin didn’t think he did. Still, he figured it was appropriate that he at least acknowledge the wizard as he left. Offering Keiji a curt nod, he pushed his way out of the office and left the two to discuss whatever needed to be discussed.

As the door shut behind Jin, Oceana smiled at Keiji and Pommel, motioning for them to come over to her desk as she rounded it and sat as she addressed Keiji’s question. “No, there is no issue with the job per say. Dolores has been called away for an urgent issue which she had previous experience with. That being said she obviously is not going to be joining you for this job and likely will return after the rest of you.” Oceana paused to shuffle through the papers she and Pommel had been going through before pulling one out and handing it to Keiji. “This is the job you are taking. Miss Pommel and myself have already arranged your transportation and we called ahead to reserve rooms for you at the local inn. You leave at 3pm.

Moving up towards Keiji slightly, Pommel fished around her pocket a moment before pulling out an envelope, waving it in front of Keiji. “It’s in my name, but this has the tickets for the ride and the jewel to pay at the inn, so don’t lose it, got it?” Stopping her hand motions, she gave Keiji a moment to take the envelope. “And don’t make any trouble either, I don’t want to be blacklisted in case I need to take any trips out that way.” Pommel added with a huff, turning away. She seemed kind of irritable about the whole thing. Maybe finding out about the absence of Dolores had put her in a worse mood…

”Noted.” Keiji stated as he took the envelope out of Pommel’s hand. He took that one and slid it into one of his pockets, not bothering to check the contents inside. He took the paper handed to him from Oceana instead and started reading. His eyes quickly went side to side like a typewriter, doing his best to memorize the contents before he folded it up and placed it in his pocket as well. Keiji seemed to pause for a second, taking a moment to collect his thoughts on the job at hand. ”Without Dolores, that makes me the only S-ranking member of this team.” Keiji stated, looking up at Oceana. He didn’t want to put down any of the other’s abilities, but this was an S-ranked job, and with a lot of potential for combat it would seem. In fact, it was practically guaranteed that they would have to fight at some point. ”I won’t be able to look out for everyone.” It was simple math, there were too many people on his team for him to possible protect everyone at once should worse come to worse, and he wanted Oceana to understand that. This might be an opportunity for everyone to prove themselves, but it was also a risk for people to get seriously injured or killed.

Oceana smiled at Keiji and rolled her eyes. “Keiji your team, including yourself, has 8 members in it. Even with Dolores and Melinda absent I am absolutely sure that you have plenty of manpower. Besides, we both know that Slick has the magical ability of an S-Class wizard. He just hasn’t won the trials yet. And not to mention Cheneres being with you. I mean, I know he acts like a drunken fool at the guild hall but he usually sobers up and takes his jobs seriously.” Oceana nodded and then went about starting to clean up the mess on her desk. ”I have no doubt in your team’s abilities to take care of themselves. Well, for the most part.” Oceana chuckled and then smiled at Pommel. “Thank you for your help with the preparations Pommy. If you’d like to go back downstairs to finish the parting gift you were preparing for the team you can. I just need to organize this. Oh! And if either of you see Jin can you send him back in here? Thanks!” Without waiting for an answer from either wizard Oceana picked up a pile of papers and turned away to put them in their proper places, verbally and physically dismissing the two.

“Not a problem sis!” Grinning happily with a cock of her head, Pommel moved out and downstairs with Keiji, the smile not leaving her face until they were out of sight and earshot of Oceana. With the door closed behind them, her face immediately did a 180 as it turned stern, the small girl doing her best to stand tall and intimidating. Even on tippy toes, it wasn’t very successful, but she wasn’t about to back down now. “Oceana’s really counting on this, Keiji, so don’t screw it up. I know it’s going to be hard without Dolores leading the charge, but just, try to be as good as she would’ve been okay? If you ruin this, I’ll make sure you regret it, understand?” Getting up in Keiji’s face as Pommel continued to frown in Keiji’s direction, it seemed the little wizard didn’t have nearly as much faith as Oceana, especially with one of her favourite wizards out of the picture. Still, there was something charming about the gusto used in threatening the S-Class wizard.

”When I get back, we’re going to solve this problem that you seem to have with me.” Keiji stated in a firm tone, although it wasn’t quite a challenging one yet. If she were any other wizard in the guild, Keiji would have already nipped this in the bud preferably with a strong worded argument...or his other chosen method of fixing issues. He had no idea what he had done to piss her off, so the first step was to figure that out. That was something for another day though, for now he brushed past her. If she wasn’t going to treat him with the respect his position deserved, he felt no need to do the same. With the paper for the job in hand, he made his way in front of the team...his team? He doubted anyone would let him get away with calling it his team if only for pride and reputation sake. Before he could say anything, the door to the guild hall opened up and Rin appeared more than a few minutes late for the meeting. She took her time getting to her seat, although there was something off about her...was that paint on her face? What had she been doing? Regardless, Keiji was just glad that she had kept her promise and showed up. With the interruption out of the way, Keiji started the mini brief. ”Listen up.” Keiji stated, waiting a couple of moments to make sure everyone was paying attention to him.

”First, let me start by saying Dolores won’t be joining us for this job. Her responsibilities have pulled her elsewhere.” Keiji took a moment to read through the parchment again, wanting to make sure he didn’t miss anything important. ”The job is as follows: A Dark Guild running under the moniker of Laguna Fury has taken over a village and has threatened death on anyone attempting to leave. They’ve started terrorizing the populace, looting, stealing, basically everything that you would associate to these people. The objective is simple...get in there, remove them from the town.” Keiji flipped the page over, just to make sure that there wasn’t any more information that he was missing before folding it up and returning it to his pocket. ”It shouldn’t need to be said, but I’ll state it anyways. Seeing as this made its way to the S-ranked job board, we can safely assume that they have a few wizards of incredible skill to warrant needing our attention. Implying that just because there’s a number of us going on this mission doesn’t mean it will be easy.”

Keiji looked around to the others for a moment, seeing if they fully understood what he meant or if they believed he was simply putting on airs for them. He was more concerned with Rin and Cheneres out of the bunch, not necessarily because their skills were lacking, but because, like himself, they were not team players. ”We leave at 3pm, have everything you need ready by then and meet at the train station. Any questions?”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Cheneres Se-anhur IV Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Pommel Grade
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Something about painting and changing her clothing before going to meeting (has paint on face)
Make comment about how the stuff they talk about could have been sent on magical paper airplane
Don't remember rest x-x sowwy

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Cheneres Se-anhur IV Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Pommel Grade
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Bardulf watched everyone trickle in slowly as the team assembled. He nodded at Slick's statement as he mused and muddled over what could be said. "This job, it could make or break whatever Oceana has planned for the guild. Well whatever it might be I'm with them to the end. This is my guild. My family." he thought as the team assembled together. He chuckled at Cheneres' entrance and stopped when poor Pommel nearly got flattened by the inebriated Sand Wizard. He noted the absence of Dolores and Rin. He half wondered what's taking either of them so long, and decided to treat himself to a cup of coffee. It would keep him awake for the train ride (if there was to be one).

He watched Keiji approach the assembled group and prepared to speak when Rin came into the guild with... paint on her face? Either that was some kind of war paint or someone enjoyed painting. He wouldn't dare tell her either of those statements out loud. No need to pry in her spare time activities.

Bard then heard Keiji's call of attention and straightened his back in his seat as he sipped his coffee. He listened carefully and nodded at Dolores' reasons for not joining this mission at this time. It was a shame but that meant he had the full attention of Keiji to worry about. He swallowed the swig of coffee in his mouth nervously and with tact.

"Oh crud. I hope I don't screw up in front of him, heck screwing up is bad for the whole guild. Gah, already went over this Brain!" He thought worriedly. But then the job itself was announced by Keiji and he listened carefully. A dark guild called Laguna Fury took over a village, and is doing everything in its power to terrorize it. Bard clenched his jaw as his own imagination visualized what Laguna Fury was doing. Monstrous was first word in his mind. The horrible fact they looting, stealing was not in his mind, the unspoken evils were what put monstrous in his head. Kidnapping above all, as he recalled the disappearance of his own mother, never to be heard from again, though he fervently hid any assumptions for his sister's sake.

"How...how dare they?!"

Crack!

Bard stopped his rapid thinking and looked at his grip on his coffee cup, finding that it caused a small crack upon it. He quickly eased his grip on the cup and downed the rest of its contents as Keiji asked if there were any questions. Bard heard Rin's outburst about the meeting and sighed. "I have no questions myself, only the statement of seeing you all at 3, as I myself am prepared to go as of now." He stated, getting up and walked for the door. "Afternoon Miss Rin, lovely color you have on you." He added, nodding in her direction trying to keep a straight face as far as her painted face was concerned and began to go about heading for the train station.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Cheneres Se-anhur IV Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro
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#, as written by Feyblue
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Dɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✦ #AA00FF || Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ #0E00A8
























































As the meeting drew on, it grew increasingly apparent to Artemie that she was in over her head.

On the bright side, it was announced that Dolores wouldn't be accompanying them, which took something of a weight off of Artemie's mind. The older woman was terrifying even on the best of days, and the young bookworm had held little doubt that she'd berate her at the slightest prompting.

...But, on the other hand, one of the first things she was told about the quest they'd be taking up was that it was, indeed, an S-Ranked mission, just as she had feared. But, hey, that wasn't all bad, right? At least it meant that the pay would be good, so she finally might have enough money to afford more than just basic daily necessities! Besides, S-Rank just meant that it COULD hypothetically be dangerous, not that it was guaranteed to be, so at least-


”The job is as follows: A Dark Guild running under the moniker of Laguna Fury has taken over a village and has threatened death on anyone attempting to leave. They’ve started terrorizing the populace, looting, stealing, basically everything that you would associate to these people. The objective is simple...get in there, remove them from the town.”

Never mind, that was definitely dangerous! Artemie's eyes went wide, and then slowly dropped to the floor. She'd technically sparred against a couple of mages when she'd been tested for admission to the guild, but still, trying to fight in actual combat with experienced wizards was... Wasn't this a bit too reckless? Was she seriously supposed to... But they were all talking about it like it was just a matter of course! How could she raise any kind of protest without being singled out? She tried to open her mouth to say something, ask what they knew about this guild, figure out anything about the life-or-death battle into which she was being thrown, but she couldn't force the words out. Somewhere, somebody even started complaining about the paper airplanes she'd used to issue summons to the meeting, saying she should have just included the mission with the paper. Well, if she'd KNOWN that they were marching into a deadly battle right off the bat, then she'd have been a lot less enthusiastic to be here! Even Slick, the Wizard she idolized, had basically just given her a pat on the back and told her to go ahead, when she still didn't even know what she was doing... She was trying her best, so why was everyone so-?!

...No, not everyone. There was still one person who... who she could probably, maybe count on. She glanced awkwardly beside her, to where a certain brawny, silver-haired wanderer was sitting. He'd said that he'd help her out, hadn't he? Then... maybe... Would it really be alright for her to just stick with Cheneres? He was a God Slayer, so he was definitely a strong fighter, right? And maybe, she'd be able to be of some kind of use to him out of combat... It wasn't ideal, but it was better than trying to handle things on her own, right?

Turning to Cheneres, Artemie gave a very forced smile, trying to hide how obviously nervous she was.
"S-so, umm... Mr. Cheneres... I don't... really have anything to prepare." This was technically the truth, since she carried all necessary magical tools she possessed on her person at all times, just in case. "What about you?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Cheneres Se-anhur IV Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Pommel Grade
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#, as written by Tanman
Pommel Grade
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“Ugh, this day can’t get much worse. Can’t believe how lame this is…” Mumbling and grumbling to herself some more, Pommel gave a soft ‘Nyeh’ and pulled a silly face behind Keiji’s back as he mildly scolded her. Or at least, raised his disapproval of her actions by promising to bring it up later. Whatever, it wasn’t like she had a big problem with that. To be honest, she was mainly venting her annoyance that Dolores was missing from the meeting, as was Rin. I mean, Artemie was great and all, but she couldn’t carry the whole team on her back. Slick and Chen were almost too much for Dolores to help with. Almost. Well, it didn’t matter now, they were stuck with Keiji as leader. Hopefully it would work out even without Dolores or Mel or anyone truly special on the team.

Following behind Keiji, Pommel stood to the side as he gave the briefing, looking a little tired with it all. At least, she did until she noticed Rin make her way in. Visibly brightening, she mainly focused on the young wizard during the talk, ignoring the actual details of the mission; not that it really mattered to her anyway. Rin herself seemed mildly annoyed at being summoned, and the whole time she’d been giving Keiji a bit of a look. Well that made sense then! Just like her, Rin didn’t think Keiji was that special. Well, it was a relief that someone talented would be looking after the group at the very least. As Keiji made a last comment about packing and questions, Pommel raised her hand, smiling from ear to ear.

“If you need me to take care of any house maintenance or anything I’ll be happy to help Rin! I mean, who knows how long you’ll all be gone…” Pommel clapped her hands together in front of her before leaning them to the side to show her face. Rin, like a few others, didn’t live at the dorms. Naturally, she might have had some potted plants or mail or those sorts of things that needed catering too, and she was just the girl to do it. Blinking a bit, she realised she hadn’t revealed her gift to the group at all. “O-oh! I almost forgot, I’ve prepared food for all of you on the journey, so you don’t have to worry about packing something for that. Just leave it to me!” Flashing a proud smile and a thumb to her chest, Pommel’s day had considerably brightened now that she had a bit more confidence in the group.


Slick
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Slick listened in mild interest to the spiel. Seemed like a pretty standard affair, if not for the danger level of the mission. The wizards of Laguna Fury would have to be quite something to earn that rank. Though he mildly agreed with Rin’s sentiments, it wasn’t like he had much better to do with his time, so it wasn’t that big a deal. It was kind of annoying to be under Keiji’s command, but as he’d said before, he was a reliable man. Packing wouldn’t take too long, especially if little Pommel was handling the food. Ah, hopefully she’d make one of those delicate desserts that he liked…

“I take it since you didn’t give any details about the wizards other than ‘they’re tough’ that we don’t know anything about what they’re actually capable of, right?” Slick asked Keiji, not bothering to raise his hand and simply waiting for an appropriate opening. Giving the man time to respond, he looked to Chen and Artemie making friends, along with Bard and Rin making small talk. Guess he missed the memo on bringing a date. Either that or Dolores caught wind and was already standing him up. Chuckling at the idea, he looked back to Keiji again. Wait, did that mean they were the last duo? A cringe worthy thought…

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Rin Hitomi Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Cheneres Se-anhur IV Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Pommel Grade
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Keiji Okaro




Keiji glanced around as everyone seemed to have their own reaction to the entire thing. Bard cracked his cup with more than a little melodrama at the entire ordeal. Keiji agreed that people like this were of the worst humanity had to offer simply because they didn’t even bother with a challenge, they took from those who couldn’t fight back. No respect was given and he shared Bard’s opinion of them even if he didn’t outwardly show it as much. Naturally Rin complained about the purpose of the meeting, but Keiji had already braced himself knowing she would find something to complain about it even if it wasn’t about the message. Again, he more or less agreed that this kind of information could have been sent in the magical paper airplane that had summoned them, but this was still a good chance to see everyone who would be going to the mission together in one room.

Artemie and Chen didn’t seem to have a reaction to the description, or at the very least kept it to themselves. Something he hadn’t expected of the Sand God Slayer but seemed very much in character with the Holder Mage. Slick was the only one to actually ask a question, which upon hearing it Keiji looked back down at the paper making sure he didn’t miss something. ”There’s no mention of specifics, numbers or talent wise. We’ll just have to go with the assumption that I stated.” Keiji answered Slick as best he could with what little he had. He gave a nod to the man to signify that was all he could tell him, and watched as everyone got up to go pack their things. That was the end of the meeting it would seem, he hadn't dismissed them but at this point he was just glad they had showed up (for the most part). He waited until the rest of his team had left before he himself exited the guild hall, making sure that if anyone was wanting to ask him something in private or perhaps complain to him that he would be around for such a thing. Luckily, or unluckily no one did. So with the briefing done and everyone gone, Keiji made to get his stuff ready as well.

Keiji entered his dorm room, a single 2 room apartment that looked more akin to a hotel than an actual living space. His bed and everything else he needed was in the main area while a door lead to the bathroom where all his maintenance amenities were. What people wouldn’t normally expect from the S class wizard was the fact that there were so many different things in his room, pinned up or shuffled off to the side, meant to be viewed and not touched. Trophies of varying size were pinned to the walls, along with pictures and contracts. There were a couple of teeth the size of someone’s arm held on the wall, along with a couple pictures of Keiji looking stoic while a number of people smiled around him, usually with massive destruction in the background. Aside from his bed, there was a very small kitchen that normally didn’t come standard in the dorm room and instead had been bought by Keiji so he could cook his own food when it came down to it. In a corner were some blacksmithing tools that were well maintained and meticulously placed so as not to create a mess. His bed was made, his room was dusted, and the entire room looked spotless. He enjoyed a clean sleeping area, to him it was a mark of pride to sleep in an area you worked hard to maintain.

He walked inside, opening the closet to reveal an array of cheap clothing that wasn’t the worst one would find anywhere, but it was obvious they were not made of high class materials. On the floor was a rather large backpack, which Keiji grabbed, opening it and slipping in an extra set of clothes. He closed the closet and wandered over to his makeshift kitchen, opening the small icebox and pulling out a prepared lunch for himself. Pommel had stated that she had made something for them all, but first of all Keiji hadn’t been aware of that when he had made this the other day, and he didn’t trust her to not do something to it that would make him regret relying on her cooking skills. He slipped the lunch into his bag as well, closing the ice box and making his way to the bathroom. There he opened the cabinet and pulled out a first aid kit, slipping it into his backpack as well. Those were the bare essentials according to Keiji, but he had more than enough time to think of anything else. For now, he placed the bag next to his door and wandered out. He could still get in a little training before the ride to fight town would take place.




Keiji had arrived at the train station half an hour ahead of schedule for a couple of reasons. The first one being the most obvious, he wanted to be the first one there. A strong showing of leadership, even if no one wanted to look at him that way. The other reason, being less obvious, was that he had nothing better to do. He trained for a couple of hours, double checked all his stuff, and eventually settled on just waiting at the station. He would be the first to admit that he didn’t really have a social life, but it was only during times like these where he really felt its absence. For the time being, he had been sitting at one of the benches along the rails, staring up at the sky and enjoying the last of his alone time for what seemed like the foreseeable future. Train whistles sounded and people boarded different trains going to different places. Keiji glanced backwards at the clock, noticing the time and realizing it was getting close to zero hour. He hadn’t noticed anyone show up yet, or at the very least, they hadn’t approached him, maybe wanting the train to show up first. The more he thought about this, the more he didn’t like it, so instead of wallowing in his own pessimistic attitude, he focused on the task at hand.

It was a dark guild, meaning a fair number of enemy combatants in a village of unknown size just a short distance away from the city they would be spending the night. He had never been one for strategy, preferring the method of going in there and essentially exploding until everyone stayed down, but he couldn’t necessarily rely on that this time around, not with so many of his fellow guild mates surrounding him. He would have to think of something, even as his entire being coiled at the thought of holding back. There was another whistle from a train, and Keiji looked up, recognizing the numbers on the side of the train as their lift. He stood up, grabbing his backpack and stretching. He gave a slight yawn, looking around as the train pulled into the station.

Were the others here?

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Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Pommel Grade
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Slick
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Slick hadn’t taken too long to get ready for the mission. He always tended to travel light and source what he needed on the fly, but given the oppression present in the target town, he’d likely need to bring some basic necessities. As such, he was simply equipped with a travel briefcase containing some water, food, and light reading for the train ride. Striding into the train station shortly before the arrival time, Slick briefly looked around to see if the team had succeeded in the first step of the plan and turned up on time. Settling his eyes on Keiji, he slowly began striding over, giving a short salute wave as he set his case down next to him, checking his watch. “Well this looks promising.” Slick commented with a small smirk, turning to face the train. “I take it whoever doesn’t turn up gets left behind, right?”

Turning back towards Keiji and stretching his neck a bit, Slick used his free hand to give it a rub, sighing. “Well, I suppose I’ll remain optimistic for now that they’ll turn up. Artemie’s reliable at the least. Maybe she’s busy dragging Chen out of bed…” Attempting to make some light-hearted small talk, Slick was willing to give this stuff a chance. He’d never really associated with Keiji, but he’d studied him enough to have some idea of the kind of man he was. Antisocial as he could be, he wasn’t unreasonable. And if he was going to be leading this thing, they’d have to at least break the ice on some level and learn to work together. Dark guilds weren’t a joke. Slick knew he could count on himself to have Keiji’s back if things got rough, and although Slick wasn’t calling the man’s dedication to the guild into question, he’d rather understand the man completely in order to coordinate on the best possible level.

Pommel Grade
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“Ugh… Now he’s there too…” Pommel mumbled from her position behind a trash can at the station. Though she was getting some mildly strange looks from the people on her side of the square bin, for Keiji and Slick, she was mostly hidden. She had no intention of walking up when it was JUST those two. Where was Rin? Where was Artemie?! Where was… Well, Dolores and Mel weren’t going to be there, and she certainly wasn’t waiting on Chen or Bard to arrive. The rest of them were going to be late at this rate, and although there was a bit of time before it departed, if Pommel didn’t head over now she might not even get to speak to them before they got on board!

Sucking up her breath and energy, Pommel sat up from where she was behind the garbage, pulling on her backpack and striding over towards Slick and Keiji. It was time to show some spirit, since that was what she was here for. She was representing all of Tidal Serpent as the team’s manager, and not only that, she was in charge of their send off. Whatever misgivings she had about Slick and Keiji, she had an obligation to show them the dreams and wishes of the guild. “Slick, Keiji!” Pommel greeted the two somewhat forcefully as she took a step forward, a somewhat intense expression on her face. It softened soon enough however, slinging her backpack off her shoulder to flip open the satchel compartment. “I came to see you off on behalf of the guild. Remember, you’re representing all of us out there, but just do your best, and we’ll be proud of you all!” Fumbling about her satchel, Pommel retrieved the wrapped lunches, all neatly tied off in a bow, and seemingly wrapped in a blanket. “This is for all of you, they’re marked and named, so please enjoy.” Handing the knapsack to Slick, Pommel took a step back, nodding in affirmation.

“After you all get on board I’ll be waiting at the end of the line to wave you off, so make sure to look, alright?” Smiling cheerily, Pommel was eager to reveal her final plan for the send-off. Of course, she couldn’t really set it up while they were here, but she hoped they’d appreciate the effort she went to for them. “So um… Where’s Rin? And Artemie?” Pommel decided to ask, having a bit of a look around. She really hoped they’d have walked up around the time she did, but so far, they were nowhere to be seen…

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Keiji Okaro Character Portrait: Pommel Grade
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"Make it make it make it!!!" Bardulf was rushing down the street to the train station scolding himself. He was absorbed in making sure everything was packed accordingly, ensuring Robyn was able to take care of Dio on the way and ensuring he didn't tear the apartment apart, that he almost thought he'd miss the train and everyone would leave without him.

Thus, internally, he was freaking out, worried that he might not make it. However, he eventually made it to the station and got his ticket all squared away.

"Whew! That was close! I was worried about getting here too late or something! Score one for Bardulf Sherwood!" he shouted in celebration. He then walked towards the area where's the train was and spotted at least some of his teammates. He walked over and waved, making note of who's here.

"Slick, Keiji, and.. Pommel? Did Oceana send you to make sure all the team was arriving? Although, I do admit..." Bardulf began scratching the back of his head. "I am kinda cutting it close. I blame my dog for my tardiness." he chuckled nervously at that front.

Though seeing only Slick and Keiji did make him worry about the others up and coming. Especially Rin. He hoped she, along with Artemie and Chen, make it in time. This was a big deal for the guild, for crying out loud! Oceana would be furious if only a fraction of the group showed up for the mission. Even his own uncle would shake his head in disappointment if he wasn't retired from being a Tidal Serpent Wizard.

He mentally sighed in his worry and began to look at the train, to the group as it is, and the clock. "Come on guys, what the heck is taking you?" was all he could think.