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Slick

"Take a minute to observe, and you can see endless possibilities."

0 · 912 views · located in Nymphaea City

a character in “Tidal Serpent”, as played by Tanman

Description

Image
Name:
Percival Ranvier

Nicknames:
Percy
{An abbreviation of his first name, primarily used by his family as a cute moniker.}
Sleaze
{Those who find Slick to be distasteful usually end up using this to describe him derogatorily. Primarily used by females in the guild who dislike his ‘charms’.}

Alias(es):
Slick
{ The alias that Percival has used for years; only his closest confidents and those from his past know his real name. Perhaps sounding a little narcissistic, the name’s origins actually come from his magic; though most take it to relate to his personality now more than anything else.}

Age:
31

Appearance:
A young looking man, with somewhat messy, curly brown hair. Blue eyes hide behind dark black sunglasses, ever searching and analysing detail. With light skin, a baby-face despite his age, a slim but muscular form and an array of formal suits to compliment his figure, he's got a roguish charm to him.

Clothing:
Slick is rarely seen in anything but a variety of formal suits, typically in black, but sometimes when he’s feeling special he might wear something slightly different. Without the suit jacket, he’ll typically have neat, button up shirts.

Location and Color of Guild Mark:
Top left of his back, on his shoulder blade.
Oil Slick Black





Magic Type:
Holder Magic – Slick Items

Magical Tools:
Slick Shades
Slick’s Sunglasses are his first magical item, and serve a variety of purposes. Primarily, they allow him to use his Analysis Eyes spell, a sight based magic, though they also have the added benefit of nullifying illusion based magic, other sight based magic, and generally being super durable. The lenses are also capable of reflecting a variety of types of energy based magic. They also allow for Gale-Force reading to boot.
Slick Shoes
Slick’s fancy shoes aren’t just for show either, as they enhance the wearer’s speed and grace, allowing ease of movement and the ability to slide or hover seemingly without effort. Being a magical item, they are also extremely durable, and allow for some high impact and damaging kicks, even capable of striking so fast they tear up the air and anything unfortunate enough to be grazed by them. They’re also waterproof and comfy to wear.
Slick Knives
Not nearly as slick as his other magic items, Slick keeps a myriad of magical throwing daggers up his sleeve for some much needed ranged weaponary. In a pinch, he can wield them decently well as regular daggers, but at that point he’d normally rather rely on a boot to the face. The daggers themselves are magically attuned to Slick, able to be summoned to his hand in a flash, so they're never out of reach.

Magic Spells:
Analysis Eyes
The user is capable of rapidly assessing probabilities, physics and minute details within their line of sight. This can allow the user a limited sense of foresight through detecting muscle movements, air shifts etc., as well as potentially identify weak points or other openings. It would also not be uncommon for a user to be capable of deflecting or ricocheting an object to create unique trajectories. Analysis eyes is also incredibly adept at identifying patterns in both behaviour and other mediums, making it useful for general analysis of visual information. This information is usually used in conjunction with his light, hit and run style of fighting to remain untouchable, and capitalise on openings.
Slick Slide
This spell is almost always active, creating a small unnoticeable flow of air around Slick’s feet, allowing him to glide around as if on skates, simply leaning or focusing on a direction allowing him to move at varying speeds. This also allows him to cross uneven surfaces, water, glide up walls, and leap incredible distances. Though he cannot ‘fly’ with this magic, he is capable of hovering to some extent, and so could cross a large horizontal distance while descending very slowly, as well as avoid any painful long falls.
Slick Kicks
This spell allows Slick to push his physical capabilities up, firing off a flurry of ‘slashing’ kicks to tear into his opponents or pound them into submission. Depending on the focus and intent, this can cut through stone or steel, particularly in combination with Analysis Eyes' capability of spotting weak points in objects. Even without making contact, a small burst of winds will also rend the area around where he kicks, which can sometimes be more lethal than taking a direct hit. This aerial burst is visible to the naked eye through rushing green wind magic, and has a split second delay after the kick itself. With particular intent, Slick can also send an 'air wave' at his opponent, or use a well timed air burst as a defensive barrier from energy or other attacks.

Wizard Ranking:
A




Personality:
When one meets Slick, it’s hard to say how he’ll be taken. To some, he seems charming, roguish and polite. To others, he can come off sleazy, sneaky, and deplorable. In any case, to women, he usually attempts to charm and flatter, a habit he hasn’t managed to shake in years. A mix of gentlemanly and vain, but even in situations where his reception is cold he tends to play it cool. Males on the other hand, Slick tends to relax a bit more, either making somewhat offensive remarks under the guise of backhand compliments or masked through intellect; or generally being slightly chummy depending on how close his relationship is. Still, he tends to act just a little snide and superior. He does tend to have a soft spot for kids, but that’s something he’d rarely show in public.

Behind the silky smooth confidence, flirtations and cool exterior, Slick has a tendency to overthink things. Being able to observe minute details and all manner of information can lead to him wanting to know all the facts before acting; particularly when no obvious best choice comes to light. It’s easy for him to believe that through his observations and skills anything can be solved, but when that’s not the case he can become hung up on doing so, stubbornly looking for the right course of action or something he may have missed. Still, he’s gotten his act down pat over the years. You can’t go around calling yourself Slick without acting the part, so even if something is troubling him, best to play it off calmly and keep up the persona.

Hobbies:
Accounting/Budgeting
Slick actually helps out with the bookkeeping and funds management at Tidal Serpant, moonlighting as an accountant.
Artistry
Slick is actually a decent artist, and quite enjoys appreciating and creating art. He isn't fond of damaging anything beautiful, or anyone who would do so.

Habits:
Slick tends to play with things in his hand, be that his knife, a coin, card, whatever suits his fancy at the time.

Though he sees himself as a bit of a player, Slick isn’t good with the idea of commitment, nor genuine affection, and as such, can be shaken by someone getting a bit too close to him.

Most of the time, Slick tends to sit back and observe, picking up on patterns in people or merely admiring their uniqueness. He’s good at picking his moments to become involved.

Fears:
His past catching up with him
Relationship commitment
Some of his old… ‘Acquaintances’
Ghosts


Strengths:
Logic Chess
Thanks to his magic and personality, Slick is particularly talented in perception and analysis, as well as in coming up with strategies and battle plans on the fly to capitalise on the information he takes in.

Getting a ‘yes’ without a question
When Slick turns up the charisma, he can be quite convincing, and quick witted enough to draw information from otherwise hostile situations. From his history as well as his time as a conman, Slick is also particularly well versed in the ways of a noble, and gentlemen. To round it off, he is an extraordinary actor - from keeping a straight face in poker, to feigning intense injury, Slick can create fantastic and convincing performances to aid in infiltration, as well as a few dirty tactics.

Canned Heat
Slick is quick. Real fast. Able to move with great speed and grace, he is the proverbial butterfly that stings like a bee. The aid of his magic also helps him move silently, which can be quite the boon in stealthy operations.


Weaknesses:
Raw Strength
Slick is fast, but poor in a direct confrontation. His strategy in combat revolves around hit and run tactics, parries and dodges. If forced to block an assault directly with a daggers, he would be hard pressed to hold his ground.

Women
Just as Slick is after the ladies, the right kind of women can just as easily play him.

Holder Magic
As most of Slick’s power is through holder magic, taking or preventing him access to his weapons and magical objects severely limits his capabilities.

Analysis Eyes Drawbacks
This magic works only with perceptual clues, therefore, auditory or other warnings are not registered nearly as quickly as visual information. Similarly, this ability only works within his line of sight, and does nothing if not purposefully focused on, so surprise strikes can be effective. Though Slick may be able to predict or analyse movement, it is also quite possible that there is no appropriate way to dodge an assault, or, against physically adept opponents, his body cannot keep up with his attacker, even if he may see their attack coming.




Family:
Gunther Ranvier - Father - Alive
Telliter Ranvier - Mother – Alive
Erikson Ranvier – Younger Brother – Alive

History:
Percival Ranvier, better known as Slick to everyone he’s met, is just that. It’s hard to meet a guy with more smooth moves than this man. At least, that’s how he portrays himself. In truth, Slick’s past isn’t actually so silky smooth. Son of a noble gone off the rails, Slick was a con-man, hustler, and all around shady dealer. For an extended period of time, Slick found himself in service to a dark guild, performing his own fair share of dark deeds. Now, he seeks redemption, or something close to it, living an “honest” wizard’s life among Tidal Serpent, while still rebelling against the intentions of his parents. Still, some old habits are hard to shake, and the past has a habit of catching up with people…

The son of Gunther and Telliter Ranvier, Percival was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Raised in nobility, he was a solid student, respectable child, and although somewhat rebellious, an ideal heir to the Ranvier fortune. Politics, etiquette, economics and the many skills of his family's merchant trade were taught to him, and Percival excelled. It seemed there was little the gifted boy couldn't do, though that only lead to a growing arrogance and overconfidence that was off putting to those around him. By chance, his bragging at a dinner between the merchant guilds caught the attention of a young girl by the name of Beatrix. That day, she challenged him. "If you're so great, why don't you fly? What's wrong, didn't you say you could do anything?" She smirked, her smile growing as Percy adamantly proclaimed that no man or woman could fly of their own volition. Then, with a simple movement, Beatrix began to hover off the ground, flying over to him and displaying her magical prowess. For all his teachings and experience, Slick had never actually been introduced to magic. It was an eye opener, and perhaps the most humiliating experience he'd ever had.

From that day, Percy was determined to excel at magic. Though his parents didn't approve (even explicitly discouraging him), he didn't particularly care, sneaking out whenever he could, sourcing whatever information he could, and even poking his head into local guilds to observe. It wasn't long after that he was noticed as a regular to the guild hall of Marionette Strings, not only by the guild members, but by young Beatrix too; the daughter of the guild master. Better known as Trixie around the guild, she took a personal interest in the arrival of the boy around her age and his desperation to learn magic. After much debate, she eventually relented. She would help him learn magic - but only if her earned it.

Years passed, and the adolescents continued their regular meetings in secret, training and learning to be Wizards together. It was simple stuff mostly, magic anyone could learn, especially since Trixie herself was no teacher. As they grew older and into their teenage years, Percy began to become more involved in Trixie's other activities, as well as that of the guild. The reasons why his parents had so discouraged him became apparent soon enough, as Percy learned that Marionette Strings was not a wholesome guild. Thievery, blackmail, extortion - anything to make money, and using their wizard powers for less than noble deeds. Still, the temptation for power, as well as a blossoming attraction had him firmly in its grasp, and so, Percival began assisting Trixie in her jobs. It was simple things at first: Petty theft and vandalism. Soon enough however, he found himself assisting in transporting black market goods, selling out information on other members on the merchant guild for ransacking, whatever it took to earn the favour of Trixie, the guild, and her father. Impressed with how far he'd come, Trixie asked her father for a gift. Something that would help Percy truly become a guild wizard.

After 'Slick' gained his magical items, things changed. Trixie began to truly train him in combat and magical arts, and the two began to spend even more time together. By this point, Percy's association with the dark guild and lack of respect for the family had gathered attention. When his parents saw fit to try and marry him off and send him away to handle business in a city far from home, he made his choice. Moving into the guild with Trixie, the two continued their close relationship and shady dealings, but now they were living together it became much clearer that the two held feelings for each other. As their skill and notoriety in the guild rose, so too did the challenges and jobs that they faced, each becoming more dangerous and deadly than the last. Neither was poor or want for money, so it dawned on them that there was no need to risk themselves on a daily basis for the guild. After all, they had each other now, as well as the skill to fight off anyone who disagreed with them. They'd simply tell the Guild Master they were quitting, and retire to a peaceful life together.

What neither of them had expected was the wrath Trixie's father, the guild master, could bring down. To him, it was a betrayal on the highest level. His daughter and the boy he'd taken in planning to elope and abandon their home. In the resulting chaos as Trixie and Slick fled for their lives, Trixie met her end at the hands of her father, while Slick managed to slip away silently into the night. Devastated and lost, Slick had basically lost everything in his life. Wandering without purpose or meaning, he stumbled across Tidal Serpent through chance, drinking away his troubles. There, he initially joined as a way of finding himself protection for the bounties on his head; but as time wore on, he began to see what a 'True' Guild was all about. Building friendships, helping others and doing more than just serving his own needs. He grew to like that in his years at Tidal Serpent, and although still striving to be the best wizard he can, he's content knowing that for now, it feels like he once again has somewhere he belongs. He only wished he still had Trixie to share it with.




Extra:
No one in the guild is aware of Slick’s real name or past.
As far as everyone knows, Slick is in his mid-twenties, an elaborate lie he has generated.
Rarely is he seen wearing anything other than formal wear and suits.
Slick's Colour of operation is #5B5B5B
Fairy Tail Music Representation: Ice Guy
FC:
Jinpei Matsuda - Detective Conan




Relationships:




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



|| Dolores De La Fuente ||
◑☠ღ
"Dolly girl? Well, if I had to describe her in one word, I'd say she's smokin'"
Slick probably sees Dolores as a challenging individual. She's got the look of a lovely lass, surprisingly formal and probably a bit too uptight for some jovial flirtation, but never the less an attractive and interesting person - not to mention as one of the new members she's naturally drawing some looks. Chances are, he probably infuriates her though. Whether it be calling her Dolly or even 'Doll', chatting to her about her heritage, or just overall making her uncomfortable with his friendly advances, Slick knows his wiling ways are lost on her, but enjoys teasing DeeDee all the same. That said, he never can turn down a lady, and probably has been roughed up enough times in her 'offers' to spar to know not to upset her too much. Possibly also responsible for beating him out of the S-Class promotion six months ago.



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



|| Rin Hitomi ||
◑ღ
"I've heard of Celestial Wizard's, but I didn't know they had such heavenly bodies."
The young hotty with a body, Rin is flavour of the month for Slick. With a sleek physique and cool demeanour, Slick likely tries to flirt or chat with the newest addition to the guild with mixed success. Though her facade is hard, Slick's magic hints that there's more to it than that, though he still respects her cold exterior to some extent. Other than a mild hunch, Slick doesn't know much about her; but being new, female and attractive, he's more than happy to hang around her presence. Beats Dolly slappin' him again. Also, if no one wants the responsibility of recognising Rin or having met the 'Celestial Wizard', Slick's happy to not realise her identity immediately due to being distracted by Rin's other, more prominent features.



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



|| Bardulf Sherwood ||

"Sherwood ain't too bright, but dim bulbs are more pleasant to be around."
Bardulf is likely a good companion to Slick. The two can sorta-chat and be merry, even through Bard's awkwardness and also have some common ground as Slick loves creative arts and would happily listen to and read over Bard's works. Still, Bard would likely remain the butt of a number of his jokes, whether that be the fact his nickname implies he plays instruments, his inability with women, his lack of social etiquette, or any time Slick can outsmart him. In fact, being a thinker (Or lover) more than a fighter, Slick would probably enjoy chess and the sort with Bard if he was into that sort of thing, even if his own magic is technically cheating on some level. How Bard would feel about constantly losing chess, occasionally being belittled, but also some genuine camaraderie is anyone's guess.



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



|| Cheneres Se-anhur IV ||
☺☠
"Chen is like his magic. By which I mean, a coarse and abrasive material."
Chen is like a big dumb target to Slick. In fact, it's basically a game to see how much Slick can insult him without the big guy noticing. Still, they have a love of women in common, and other than to rattle Bard, there's no one else Slick would go to in order to discuss the finer points of the female wizards in the guild. In fact, Chen can make an ideal wingman, from the point of view that should his muscly macho moves not take a girl's fancy, Slick might just slip in and 'save' them from the big guy. Though he can be annoying, at least he's predictable, which works to Slick's advantage. Slick might join him for drinks on the odd occasion, but is smart enough to know when to stop. Also to leave before the man passes out or the bill arrives.



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



|| Keiji Okaro ||

"A force to be reckoned with, but no matter how hard he pushes me, I'll push back just as hard."
Keiji would fall into the category of being someone to strive towards. He's tougher than Slick, and another wizard that prevented him from reaching the big-time S class. Unlike the lovely Dolores though, being another guy probably leads to a little bit of rivalry. Jealous might be an appropriate word, but Slick is normally bigger than that, so he wouldn't let it affect him too much. Still, Slick's failure to move on from A class in the entirety of his stay at Tidal Serpent is a bit of a sore spot... Regardless, there's not much common ground, and Keiji tends to keep to himself, so there's little reason for them to associate much. Keiji seems to have a beef with Slick too, but he doesn't really let that get to him. His attempts to make a fool of him rarely work out anyway.



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



|| Artemie Scheherazade ||
☺ღ
"Perhaps I'm reading into things too much, but I think she likes me."
As far as people that Artemie actually speaks to, Slick is one of the few that has a reason to constantly associate with her -Other than his typical reasons for speaking with any ladies. As Slick handles the accounts and finances of the guild, he's frequently in the library to both work away at the books, as well as needing to refer to and add in more to the financial records. As such, Artemie makes a helpful and lovely assistant to his non-magical jobs, though her mannerisms and peculiarities can cause some friction, especially with Slick's habit of flickering between teasing her one moment and flattering her with compliments the next. Though she's easy to take advantage of, Slick's learned through seeing the girl almost literally work herself to death that he needs to be mindful and moderate his requests of her, and does tend to be somewhat gentlemanly towards her as a result. Either way, he finds Artemie an entertaining individual, be that her inability to take a joke, her literal interpretations, or the diligence she shows in her work. That said, he's not entirely sure what she thinks of him, as she often seems to avoid the topic due to her excess embarrassment.



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



|| Oceana Malaerion ||
☺☺☺☠
"The only girl that makes me seasick instead of lovesick."
Oceana and Slick’s relationship is an interesting one. Unlike most ladies in the guild, Slick doesn’t seem to openly flirt or make any advances towards her. In fact, he sometimes acts as a moderating force on her excess enthusiasm, reminding her of the positions and responsibilities of being a Guild Master. Still, he’s known her since her adolescence, and although he can act as a sibling to her, he mostly just provides encouragement and assistance from the sidelines. Still, through the years they’ve grown to have a friendly relationship, and despite occasionally grating on each other’s nerves, there are few other people that he’d trust with his personal secrets. Since Slick has no need to romance Oceana, whenever he’s not needing to assist or mentor the girl he instead tends to play harmless pranks and tease her; a habit from their younger years. He says it’ll help her build character.


Image

So begins...

Slick'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
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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: 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: 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?”

The setting changes from Nymphaea City to Guild Hall

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Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Dolores De La Fuente Character Portrait: Oceana Malaerion
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Oceana's plan seemed, at first glance, to be a fairly simple and reasonable one.
After all, it made perfect sense that, as the new guild master, she would want to do something to prove her worth to the rest of the guild, so that they'd come to trust in her judgement as their new leader and director. Improving the guild's standing, thus granting prestige to all of the guild's wizards and giving them more better paying job opportunities, would be the perfect way to do that.

Even as she carried on with her plan, Artemie couldn't find fault with it. Many major guilds had a team of elites upon whom they relied for accomplishing their most important missions - usually bands of a few chosen S-Class mages, with the occasional rising star tagging along for the sake of gaining experience. These were the sorts of wizards who made the covers of Sorcerer Weekly, or the kind of people whose exploits were immortalized in tall tales and stories, to be retold long after they themselves had retired or died. In any case, forming such a team for Tidal Serpent seemed like a logical step if she was planning on taking more dangerous, higher-profile work in order to increase the guild's reputation. And, for the most part, Artemie even agreed with her choices of wizards. The guild's S-class mages had all proven themselves reliable, time and time again, and even those lower-ranked mages she'd selected were all hardened professionals and elites, like Mr. Slick or Miss Rin.

So then why was it...? Artemie's fingers found themselves poking and prodding at the hem of her voluminous sleeves as she fretted over the words she'd just heard. Why was it that, of all people, Oceana had thought it would be a good idea to choose her for such a team?

Well, actually, she had a fairly good idea of why it was. Her magic was practically ideal for filling a support role, and come to think of it, she didn't think anybody else who had been listed for the team was proficient in healing magic. As one of the few magicians in the guild with such a useful form of magic, it was only natural Oceana would think of her for such a role. And yet, didn't the guild master realize that there was a serious problem with this?
After all, Artemie thought, all too aware of the biggest problem with her placement. I have absolutely no front line mission experience whatsoever! My only jobs have been simple magical item maintenance and appraisal, or basic medical work! In what way am I qualified to support a team of elites? And, given how versatile their own abilities are, how useful would my magic even be to them anyway?

She sighed heavily, slumping her head in defeat. It didn't matter, anyway. No matter how many objections she might mentally raise, it wasn't like she'd have the courage to voice them to the guild master. Artemie Scheherazade was many things, but she wasn't somebody who refused to do what she was told. It might be a bit troublesome for the others, but she'd just do what she could not to weigh them down until Oceana realized how unfit she was for the position and replaced her with somebody better suited to the role. Until then, she supposed all there was to do was try to make herself useful however she could.

Besides, although some of the other appointees didn't seem to be taking it very well at all, there were plenty of good things to look forward to in this arrangement. As of yet, her income had been severely limited due to her own incompetence preventing her from taking many well-paying jobs. But, as a member of a team like this, she'd be working with dependable front-liners on work of the utmost importance. Although she hardly expected to be paid the same as the elites she'd be assisting, even a cut from those kinds of big missions would be far better than her current salary. And it wasn't like she'd be working with unfamiliar people, either! She was already used to being Mr. Slick's assistant, and talked with Mr. Bardulf on a fairly regular basis, too. Although the former of the two could be a little hard to understand sometimes, she was still confident that they were good people, and that she could get along with them. But, better yet, there was somebody else on the team, too - somebody for whose sake she definitely couldn't afford to pass up this opportunity. After all, if Mr. Cheneres was going to be there... she found the strangest sort of smile crossing her face, and couldn't think for the life of her what had prompted it. Regardless, this was her only option, so she'd just make the most of it! If she could just be useful to them, then that was more than enough.

Just then, a familiar voice snapped her back to reality.
“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.” Artemie shuffled out from behind the pillar, nodding compliantly.

"So it would seem," She returned, clearing her throat and trying her very hardest to sound very upright and official - she was going to be working as a professional now, so she really couldn't excuse herself for even the slightest lapse in decorum. Looking to Slick, he didn't seem to be fazed by this at all. He was just as proper and polite as ever. So this was the dignity of a true elite... Lacking a pen and paper with which to take physical notes of his performance, she settled for doing so mentally. Standing at attention - or at least, as close to attention as she could manage - she gave an entirely too enthusiastic bow, nearly losing her hat in the process. Awkwardly trying to stuff the eccentric headpiece back into place, she tried to avoid eye contact with the rather intimidating figure to whom Slick was also speaking. Was Dolores glaring at her? It was always so hard to tell. If she was, why? Had she done something to make her mad? Or maybe she just didn't approve of such a novice joining the team... Maybe she'd have to work a lot harder than she thought to prove she could be useful, after all...

Seeming to notice her nervousness, Slick gave her a reassuring grin.
“And don’t worry Art," He added. "If Dolly here is too uptight to watch out for you, I’ve got your back.” That much was good at least. Artemie lowered her head once more, trying to avoid nearly losing her hat once again.

"Er, right. Thank you very much. I am... not exactly proficient at working in groups like this, so I suppose I'll be in your care again. Still, if there's anything I can help with, I'll do whatever I can." That was the easy part. But, up until now, she'd avoided so much as looking at Dolores, let alone speaking to her. If Artemie was going to be serving under her, then she'd have to find some way to cope with the terrifying woman other than just running and hiding. Which meant... She really wasn't looking forward to this.

To her credit, she at least tried to look at Dolores eye-to-eye, but the older mage's intense glare sent her own gaze spiraling ever-so-swiftly down to contemplate her own feet instead. Still, she had to speak up, and so speak she did. Her voice was soft, stilted, and practically mechanical as she spouted off a laundry list of useful tidbits in no particular order, trying to get her introduction out of the way as quickly as possible.


"Umm, I don't think we've spoken much up until now, so do pardon me for not introducing myself, Miss Dolores! My name is... erm... Artemie Scheherazade. I work in the library here - or I did, I suppose, prior to this reassignment. Anyway, I'm a scholar of Ethernano and its applications, a dabbler in multiple types of magic, and a practitioner of rune magic myself. I specialize in support and healing, so presumably I'll be serving as your backup. I hope I'll be of use to you!"

She bowed again. Her hat fell to the floor, and she stooped to pick it up, taking a moment to very pointedly turn away and dust it off quite painstakingly, before taking a little bit longer to make sure it was replaced atop her head exactly right. If anyone had asked her, of course she wasn't blushing - she wasn't a child. But, despite whatever assertions she might have made, there was a certain red hue in her cheeks, and she certainly wasn't willing to meet either of their gazes after that little performance.

She really did have a long way to go if she was going to live up to the reputation of an elite... Still, this was a start... wasn't it?

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Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Dolores De La Fuente
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Whether it had been better to laugh or cry, Dolores held no illusions that Oceana had done very few a kindness with this team. Let alone whoever was in it (and she could think of a few, including herself), and they didn’t even have anything to say about it either. ‘Ever the ambitious one, aren’t you?’ She gave the young guild master a knowing smile, and lowered her head back to scan through the crowd of wizards; picking off the people who she’d be working with.

Certain habits had given her very few reasons to work with the other Tidal Serpent wizards, but most of them seemed like a capable bunch. The likes of Cheneres and Keiji, while grating on the nerves, were a welcome addition to the group. Strong mages in their own right, though Dolores had certain bones to pick with her fellow S-class wizard. And she had certain doubts they’d get along quietly.

Likewise, Cheneres was a directionless force. Freakish big and freakish strong, not unlike a bull he’d need taming if she was to get anything useful out of him. As for the rest? Well, Dolores couldn’t outright judge, but when a slick individual came creeping up to her side she’d remembered her second objection…

“Slick.” She replied, offering the man a frosty glare to his smile. Few words could describe Dolores’s mistrust of a man so eager to talk and make friends. It all seemed a little too polished, the way he walked, the way he spoke. His smile, oh gods the bloody smile!

It was rather unfortunate that she had to be stuck with him, of all people. Keiji might top her blacklist, but at least he was honest and upfront. But this one? Yeah, a gut feeling might be a gut feeling, but she’d rather act on caution. His little jest and nudge only gave way for a low growl.

She might have to play ball for the team, but that didn’t mean she’d have to play nice with this one. The less she spoke with Slick, the better. And then she turned her attention to the meek little girl, who took it upon herself to mumble an introduction that, quite frankly, left little impression than ‘I don’t need your life’s story.’. Or maybe she’d still had a scowl from Slick. Either way, Dolores was quick to raise a single eyebrow, letting silence linger before nodding and offering her own introduction.

“Dolores. Just Dolores, thanks.” Miss made her feel a little too old, frankly. “I’ll imagine you’ll prove more useful than that one over there.” She made a subtle nod towards Slick. Whether it was kindness or genuine praise, Dolores said it all the same. Healing magic was a useful thing, though.

The setting changes from Guild Hall to Nymphaea City

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."

The setting changes from Nymphaea City to Guild Hall

Setting

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Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Cheneres Se-anhur IV Character Portrait: Dolores De La Fuente Character Portrait: Oceana Malaerion Character Portrait: Freya Malaerion
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Slick smiled and let Artemie and Dolores go through their initial introductions. It was unsurprising that they hadn’t really met, given their personalities. It was like comparing fire and ice. Hmm, no, that didn’t exactly do the two justice. Sweet and sour? Roses and Violets? Alas, this was no time for such poetry. He could work on a proper analogy at a later time. Though he felt the need to give the librarian of the guild a show of faith in her abilities after her less than confident address of Dolores, the sharp words of the assassin proved her tongue could be just as fatal as her blades. Still, Slick took that sort of thing in stride. He knew enough about these sorts of patterns to already see how this was going.

“Heh, darn straight Dolly. With you around and Artemie on support, I won’t even have to lift a finger on these missions.” Smirking a bit, Slick played off the challenge to his capabilities as a compliment to the two in his company. It was the gentlemanly thing to do rather than lay claim to his own skill. Besides, Art looked like she needed the boost of encouragement, and he was confident enough in his own abilities that no words of insult could convince him otherwise. Winking at the two, Slick continued his ‘rallying’ speech. “Trust me, this is all going to work out great. So, while we’re in the spirit of comradery, I’ll take you ladies out to dinner. My treat, but maybe if I impress I’ll get a little something in return." Ever flirtatious, some could consider it a form of flattery. Chances were that it wouldn’t be taken that way by his present company however.

It was at that point that the chanting of Cheneres began to fill the guild hall, Slick giving a soft sigh and placing a palm to his forehead. That man truly was a piece of work. Yep, Slick had done right by sussing out the more pleasant teammates to converse with. Even within the eight person group, he was certain that there’d be some smaller cliques. Ideally, he’d end up on the one with the ladies, and without Chen. Of course, knowing that buffoon he’d probably barge in on their activities regardless of any societal norms. With a soft thumb in the man’s direction, Slick leaned in closer to the women, unnecessarily placing a hand near his mouth to ‘whisper’ in their direction.

“Hey, it’s gotta be better than hanging with ‘Team Cheneres’.” Pausing a moment as he watched old Freya start to reel Chen in, Slick decided that there was no time like the present for socialising with fine people such as these. “I’ll meet you ladies outside the guild hall in 10. I know a nice little spot where we can all meet up and get to know each other while sampling the finest food in Nymphaea.” Hopping off the bar, Slick hadn’t really asked a question, nor given them an opportunity to refuse. He had a talent for that. Instead, he gave a two fingered wave over his shoulder. “Consider it a date then.” Scurrying off before they had a chance to refuse, at the very least, Slick knew that Art wouldn’t let him down on his gracious invitation. For now however, he’d have a quick word with Oceana before meeting them out front.

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Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Cheneres Se-anhur IV Character Portrait: Dolores De La Fuente
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Artemie blinked in surprise at Dolores' words, and then shook her head vigorously from side to side.
"I'm deeply sorry, but I can't promise that I'll be able to live up to that standard," She said hastily, excusing herself as best she could. Try though she might, she was nowhere near Slick's level, and if Dolores expected that much of her... "I'm still somewhat inexperienced, and-" She got no further than this, for in the next instant, Mr. Slick rejoined all-too-eagerly, cheerfully observing how easy it would be with Artemie's help. While she appreciated the show of confidence, her heart sank in an instant when she realized exactly what sort of impressions this would give Dolores - and how hard, if not outright impossible, it would be to live up to them. She felt a chill run up her spine. If this terrifying woman expected her to perform on the level of an S-Class Wizard like herself, and she couldn't do it... Dolores would definitely kill her! She'd kill her for sure!

She tried to be subtle, swiping her hand back and forth within her sleeve, desperately miming at Mr. Slick to stop as best she could without drawing Dolores' attention. Unfortunately, he didn't seem to notice - somebody as nice as him would definitely have stopped if he had noticed, right? - since he kept on with his little victory speech, talking about how everything would work out just fine. Artemie sighed, her head slumping in defeat. Her position had already been precarious enough, but the more he talked, the more she realized how completely out of her league she was.


"I'll... do my best, Mr. Slick. Just- ...Ehem. Nevermind." She trailed off into silence, accepting her fate. For his part, the dapper wizard kept on going, seeming not to have noticed at all the effects of what he'd said. As matters stood, it looked like he wanted to take the two of them out to dinner. It was quite generous of him, especially since he made it sound like quite a big deal. The finest food in Nymphaea? That had to be pretty expensive... And he said he was going to treat them? But she'd already be causing enough trouble for him by making him look out for her on this newly formed team. She couldn't accept such a generous offer. Not when she hadn't done anything to-

...Wait a minute, she had the sudden feeling that she'd just skipped over something very important. What was that about team-

Another resounding shout of "Team Cheneres!" pierced the air, and Artemie stifled a gasp, spinning around all of a sudden, all-too-focused on the commotion she'd previously been trying to ignore. Right, if he'd been present for the announcement, then it stood to reason that he'd still be here! She needed to make a good impression now that she'd be working directly under him, and the first step to that would be to approach him directly and humbly offer her service.

...Unfortunately, as it happened, it seemed like now would be the worst possible time for such an act, since Cheneres - shirtless as usual, no less - was poised atop one of the tables in the center of the hall, surrounded by cheering guild wizards and one very angry former guild master. Artemie winced on his behalf. Old Mrs. Freya was even scarier than Dolores when she was mad. Regardless, it wasn't like somebody like her could just stroll up in front of everyone, least of all in a situation like this... She'd just have to wait until later. She sighed, and then remembered that she'd been in the middle of a conversation.


"Oh! Umm..." She silently cursed herself for getting so easily distracted, and tried to recall what had been going on before she'd been sidetracked. Oh. Right. Mr. Slick had wanted to treat her to dinner... While a nice meal for once sounded great, she couldn't possibly impose on him like that. Not without some means of paying him back. Unfortunately, by the time she realized this, he was already halfway out the door. She opened her mouth to call after him, but just like that, it was already too late.

"Eh....?" She wondered aloud, completely unsure of how she should respond in a situation like this. On the one hand, it would be unthinkable to ask Mr. Slick to pay for something that she couldn't afford for herself, but he'd already said that he expected to see her there. He'd be waiting for her, so wouldn't it be the height of rudeness not to show up? And, what was more, wouldn't it be just as rude to arrive only to refuse his offer? Which meant... she had no choice but to go...? She hung her head. Slick had already done so much for her, and now this? How could she ever pay him back? It seemed like no matter how hard she tried, she always ended up further indebted to him, and whenever she asked him what he wanted her to do in exchange, he'd always pass it off with some sly remark or another that she didn't understand. Maybe she was missing something obvious? That had to be it! There must have been some obvious thing he wanted her to do, something she could help him with, and she just hadn't noticed! He might have even asked her once or twice, and she'd misunderstood him. She tried her hardest to think what it could be... She'd kept tabs on all the files he had requested for the guild's accounts, and had even gone to the trouble of personally fixing some of the guild's broken tools and furniture herself to save money when the budget had nearly gone into the red in the month prior. Surely, she hadn't missed some aspect of her job, had she? But if not that, then what was it...? As usual, she had no idea...

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Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Dolores De La Fuente
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‘Inexperienced, and anxious.’

Is what Dolores had wanted to say, but it all seemed rather moot at this point. First impressions, though? Well, it had left a lot to be desired and when the little bookworm came to a stammering halt in expectance of Slick’s little peptalk, Dolores had to try hard not to give a lingering stare and scare the poor girl. Because for all intents, she tried to be interested, but now she’d much rather stick with the loudmouthed exile for want of something less dreadful to kill the remainder of the day. And when the smoothest wizard in all of Tidal Serpent had finally decided to leave well enough alone, Dolores figured it as good a time as any to avoid having to deal with the shy little girl on her own.

“Good luck with Slick, although I’d suggest declining his offer.” She managed to blurt out, though on second glance the girl seemed to be much too busy fidgeting with her inner struggles.

Whatever those were…

Wasn’t like to be her problem, anyway. Neither was Slick’s invitation. Being the social butterfly had never been a strong suit of hers, and so Dolores figured she’d politely decline.

With naught else to do, Dolores made her way to the job board out of sheer habit. Her days as a lone mercenary would come to an end soon, and somewhere deep down she secretly hoped a job was out that’d excuse her from having to drag along a bunch of ambitious little nitwits.

She sighed. Joy, oh joy…

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Slick Character Portrait: Dolores De La Fuente Character Portrait: Oceana Malaerion Character Portrait: Freya Malaerion
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Slick
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‘Convenient timing’ Slick thought to himself as he saw Oceana coming back downstairs, saving him the effort of finding another way to grab her attention. As she made her way over to sit with Grams, Slick himself silently slid into place beside her, not saying anything for the moment as he simply watched the direction she did, observing where she was looking in an attempt to catch a glimpse into her thoughts. Quiet as he was, it would take her a moment or two to notice he was there, but she’d be used to this sort of ‘prank’ by him by now, so her reaction wasn’t nearly as entertaining as when he did this sort of thing to other guild members. Instead, he decided to take charge, launching into conversation immediately and skipping most of the small talk pleasantries. He didn’t feel the need for them with Oceana.

“So, you sure about all this Shauna? I mean, if this doesn’t work out, the guild might end up in a worse spot then it is currently.” Looking over to the bartender, Slick snapped his fingers, calling for his usual drink. Shauna was his more affectionate nickname for the guildmaster, and unlike the masculine variant, was truly meant endearingly. Whether he was buttering her up or just making conversation… Well, that was up for debate. Pivoting back around to look to Oceana, Slick shrugged a little and continued. “A little notice wouldn’t have killed us either – I can understand why you wouldn’t tell someone like Chen, but you know I can keep a secret. Not only that, but there’ll be funding and other aspects to this job for me to work out with you. It’s almost like you don’t want me having an evening social life.” Winking at Oceana, Slick took his drink as it arrived, swirling it in his hand before taking a sip, giving Oceana a chance to share some of her own thoughts.

Oceana had noticed Slick immediately but had been too caught up in her own thoughts to acknowledge him. Staring at Chen, who was standing on a table leading a group chant Oceana mentally groaned, wondering if her choice of the team's members was a mistake. The thought was only harboured for a second before being expelled from her brain and Oceana looked over at Slick, hoping he would prove an entertaining distraction. It wasn't much surprise that Slick just so happened to want to speak of the one thing she didn't at the moment but of course, that was Slick. Resigning herself to her fate Oceana gave Slick a knowing smile. "Yes but if I had told you all about the team I would have had you al constantly bugging me about changing my mind. Anyways the guild isn't paying to support the team."

Slick raised an eyebrow from behind his drink, before moving to set it down. “Oh? So are we expected to pay our own way until we earn enough for a group fund huh? Well, I suppose that’s typical of your style of planning.” With his free hand, Slick picked up a nearby straw from a container, twirling it in his hand. Oceana scowled jokingly and playfully flicked Slick on the forehead, albeit as hard as she could, stopping his fidgeting. "For your information, the team is fully funded by Melinda. Ever since she started taking S-Rank jobs she's been giving all the money she doesn't spend on travel expenses and gifts to the Guild. My family has been putting half of it aside for her the entire time and she found out. That's actually how this idea started. She made a joke about being able to fund a super-team and I took that and ran with it." Slick eyed the wry smile Oceana had, matching it with his own. Well, that explained a fair bit. Mel was generous to a fault.

“I won’t ask you to change your mind on this. I’ve learned my lesson on that front. “ Tapping the straw against the bench a few times, he turned to point it slightly at Oceana. “But I still want information on the logistics of this. Did you have a job in mind for us? Or am I going to have to start sourcing information for a Double-S Rank request?” Oceana was glad to hear that Slick wasn't going to argue with her about the team, or at least not about disbanding it. When he brought up the job Oceana lit up like a Christmas tree, completely back to her old self. "Actually, Jin already put aside a number of jobs. You guys have 5 jobs that you can do in whatever order you see fit. Two are S-Class, two Double S-Class, and one Ten Year Job. That one I think should be last though, once the team has a bit of experience working together."

Blinking a bit in surprise, Slick ran his hand through his hair to the back of his neck, scratching it. Well that was unexpected that she was a bit more organised. Still, that was quite the grand ambition she had. Ten year job, huh? That was an awkward thought to think about. Still, nice to see they could start small and work their way up. “You told Jin? Oh, I see how it is. You can’t tell me but you can have him do the legwork.” Slick mocked that he’d taken offence to her actions, though he made it clear he was joking around. Folding his arms behind his head, he continued. “Still, all of us on one S-Rank job with Mel? Are you sure me and the other aces are even needed at that point? I doubt we’ll contribute much.” Oceana smirked as she watched Slick. "This is just as much about helping the team members grow as it is to help Tidal Serpent's Image. I chose the wizards for the team carefully. And don't worry, I doubt Keiji will let any of you slack off."

“Heh, yeah, him. He’s a character…” Slick trailed off, looking elsewhere. “Well, if you’re settled on this, I’ll back it. When’s Mel back so we can formally get started?” He inquired, swigging down the rest of his drink before pushing off the bar as he listened to her answer. Oceana looked confused for a moment before quickly understanding. "Oh, you’re starting without her. She will join up with the group once she gets back from her current job." Slick nodded in acknowledgement. Well, that didn’t matter so much at this point. Bringing Melinda along to an ordinary S-Class job would certainly be overkill.

“Alright. For now I’ve got a meal to get to with a couple of my new teammates.” Slowly striding away from Oceana, he glanced back behind him as he placed his hands into his pockets. “A little ‘get to know you’ event. I’ll try not to disparage the Tidal Serpent name while we work, although, maybe if this goes well you’ll consider letting me bypass these rigged S-Class trials oh wise and powerful guildmasterette.” Giving a faint salute, Slick made his way out to the front of the guild hall to see if Dolores or Artemie turned up. As Oceana watched Slick walk off she scoffed at hime once more, despite the smirk on her face. The news had gone over quite well, far better than she had thought it would anyways. And the guild seemed excited about it, the buzz of conversation in the guild hall seeming a bit louder than usual.

The setting changes from Guild Hall to Nymphaea City

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Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Slick
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#, as written by Feyblue
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Dɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✦ #AA00FF || Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ #0E00A8






















































































Everything after Slick left was kind of a blur.

On the bright side, the rather intimidating Dolores left after giving a few parting words about Slick's offer, but, on the downside, it seemed like everything inside the guild hall was still in roughly the same state of chaos and cacophony. She glanced back over to where Cheneres was still vaguely visible amidst a crowd of hooligan wizards, and sighed. It looked like she wouldn't be able to approach him like this.

With little else to do but wait, she decided she'd get a bit of fresh air, and so departed the guild hall, heading outside. She waited around idly, thinking about how she would address Mr. Slick when he returned. Maybe she should have followed Dolores' advice. After all, she already owed her senior more than she could easily repay for all the help he'd given her in the past year. Accepting his charity in the form of a meal on top of that wouldn't be right.
No, it certainly wouldn't be. She'd have to tell him so when he came, and say that while she was flattered, it wouldn't be right for her to-

"Oh, there you are, Art. I was beginning to get worried you'd abandon me too, but I shoulda known better than that." Artemie turned around to see the very wizard himself stepping out from behind a large column, winking knowingly at her. She opened her mouth, and then realized she had no idea how to say what she wanted to. She couldn't accept this offer, but... But he'd seemed so happy to see her just now, wouldn't it also be incredibly rude to refuse him now...? Before she knew what she was doing, she found herself compromising with his offer rather than refusing it outright. She told him she didn't want to burden him by making him pay for her, he responded that it wouldn't cost much anyway, she added that she still owed him for helping her with her work, he responded that he didn't mind, and that she could repay him with her company. She doubted that, but he knew best, as always, and the next thing she knew, she was sitting across from him in a tiny cafe a few blocks from the guild hall.

She hadn't wanted to trouble him, so she decided not to talk about their pending assignment to work together, even if she wasn't entirely certain about the arrangement herself. So then how exactly had the conversation gotten to exactly that? She was pretty sure that she hadn't intended to say anything of the sort, and yet when he asked her how she felt, she replied honestly.


"Looking at things rationally, I don't know how useful I'll be to all of you. Unlike the rest of you, I have essentially zero field experience, nor am I on the same level as anyone else in this team." She found her head lowering instinctively as Slick looked almost pitifully at her. He must have been thinking the same thing, right? She did her best to reassure him, but what could she say? "That isn't to say that I won't do my best to help when called upon, and I'll certainly try not to get in anyone's way, but I can't promise that my magic will be of much use to the rest of you."

To her surprise, however, when Slick did finally speak up, he didn't sound dissapointed. If anything, he seemed dismissive not of herself, but rather of everything she'd just said to put herself down. "Art, I've known you a while now. If I had to rely on anyone around here to help me out, it would be you. You've been essential to my research, and I have no doubt you'll be a cornerstone of the team. Maybe not the one punching monsters in the face, but certainly helping to keep our ship from sinking." Artemie couldn't help but wonder at his words, even after he escorted her back to the guild hall, and they parted ways for the night. She didn't think she'd been that useful to him, but Slick wasn't the type of person who would lie to her. She was sure of that. And if anyone in the guild knew the specifications of her abilities, it was him. If he thought she could make herself useful as part of the team, he couldn't have been wrong, right? Then, in that case...

...Maybe I really could be of some use here? Could I finally repay the debt I owe to everyone for taking care of me for this past year? It was with these kinds of uncharacteristically hopeful thoughts that she found herself making her way to the designated meeting point. She made sure to arrive a little earlier than expected, since, after all, she'd been the one they'd asked to send out the announcements. She had also taken especial care in preparing herself, making sure her attire was immaculate and her hair was as carefully braided and out of the way as she could get it. She had to look her best, after all, if she was going to appear professional in front of her peers. It was a little daunting, actually. Most of them were older than her, and had a lot more experience under their belts. Although she could try to look the part of a magician all she liked, what if they still looked down on her? But, then again, Mr. Cheneres had always complimented her appearance. If an elite like him thought highly of her, then surely, she could make a good impression, right? Come to think of it, Cheneres was going to be here, too. This time! This time she'd ask properly for his assistance, and offer her own!

Huh? Why am I getting so excited about this just now?

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Character Portrait: Artemie Scheherazade Character Portrait: Bardulf Sherwood Character Portrait: Slick
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It's been two days, Bard was wondering when the team would be sent underway on a mission. At one point during the period, he did ask Oceana what his role on the team was, but he was met with cryptic words. At this he thought one thing. "She's as bad as Robyn as far as telling me what I want to know."

As he thought this, barking rang in his ears as he sat up from his bed. "Dio... shut up. I'm coming you devil of a dog." He got dress and then walked out to his living room. He looked at the the one year old dachshund waiting for him. Dio wagged his tail expectingly. Bard sighed and pulled out a small treat and tossed it to him. The dog snapped it up gladly before running to a dog door that lead to a porch that was magically designed to house him in case his Master was away. That didn't stop the dog from pooping somewhere indoors when Bard was away however.

Sighing he walked off after bidding a small wave toward the dog door, heading towards the guild hall for his usual business. When he arrived at the guild hall he saw who had arrived so far and gave a small wave. He looked at Slick and nodded towards him. That was his usual greeting to his sometimes friend. They would usually play chess together sometime. However this time Bard had another query in mind. "What's the news of today Slick?". He sat down at a table nearest to them and waited for any signs of the rest of the team.

He couldn't wait to get started, and maybe give a good first impression as a team player. He swallowed nervously st the thought of it.

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.

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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?”