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  1. #1
    Active User FreuFreu's Avatar
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    Aura Kingdom: Infinity (Collab Remake)

    Gaia, the source of all creation. When the universe came to be, the ominous Goddess three worlds; a world of light, The Aura kingdom. A world of darkness, Pandemonium. And a world of life, the middle Earth, Terra. Angels hailed from the world of Aura kingdom embodying all that is good and following harmony and order. Demons roam the barren world of Pandemonium where chaos and savagery are the only law. The two sides had always constantly fought one another, vying for control of the universe, a war that fought even older than time and the expense of many of Gaia's creations, Gods and heroes, to the chagrin and frustration of their great mother. It wasn't until the birth of the middle world, the world were all living things, the two sides seems to find a compromise. However to keep the world in balance, Gaia created the chains of time, and with it, any being of the other two worlds who dare to weave its fate shall pay a heavy price--the price of mortality. And so only a brave few, dare traverse its plane.

    To help keep the world in check, Gaia created the cube, as an extension of her power and laid it hidden within Azuria. At first, the elves used its power to and became as the first known Envoy users. They grew well, prospered for a time, until they attempted to tempt fate. Now only traces of their ruin remain with barely anybody ever knew of their existence. It was the Cube develop a kind of sentience. Tempting fate, yet once again, for a reason unknown, the cube once more bestowed its power on the new numerous of kin--humans.

    Unlike the elves, humans were more diverse and less predictable. They built their civilizations more to suit themselves, thru willpower and struggles, thru machinery and magic and eventually became most dominant species on Azuria. They were still an immature and young as a race however, but the cube of Gaia has chosen them, for better, or for worse. The most famous and strongest of these envoys was Reinhardt, the Brave but even the strongest have their fallen times. Sometimes, it's not even strength alone and sometimes ...strength comes in different shapes and sizes. It mostly comes down to perspective to see where one truly stands.

    Another yet Envoy, unique to another realm, like a mirror to our own, begins his story...

    ---

    "Argh, no..." came the voice of a youth between heavy breaths, "The tower must not fall... I can not fall!".

    He said staggering to get up from his knees, slowly and aching, gripping the shaft of his scythe to push himself up. The midnight coat he wore was soaked and caked with blood and mud. The wind blowing thru his unkempt raven black hair. Lightning and the blue trim of his coat the only outlying his figure, standing a top of the ruins of a castle in the stormy night.

    "Hah! Still standing Solo God?" the black demon mocked him as he hovered down, gusts whipping at the youth's face as his tail swayed. He looked down onto him with crossed muscular arms. Speaking with breaths of flame, he smiled as he said, "Good! Come embrace your destiny!"

    A barrage of white shadow bolts came as his answer. The demon reared the flaps of his enormous bat wings and blew back the bullets. Ast had moments to summon his bone shield before his own astray rain of attack hammered him down. The barrage however did they trick; unaware to the demon he summoned frozen tomb. The demon's wings caught in the jutted ice. He followed quickly a devil incarnate spell, unleashing spiritual energy upon him. The demon cried in pain...but soon subsided to mocking laughter.

    He curled into a ball, then, broke the ice like glass as he stretched his wings wide. Ice shards flung everywhere. Ast responded with a flametoss to clear away. Hiss sounds and plums of white smoke were left as the shards melted away. The demon leaned back as the weapon came for him but in uncanny precision, caught it properly by the shaft. Ast couldn't believe his eyes; his undoubted scythe, still sizzling and burning, trying to defy its perverse owner, was in the grasp of his enemy, yet the pain hardly phased the demon.

    On the contrary, rather made him more excited; the grin showing his fangs clear.

    With reckless trashing, the demon cleaved and toiled the surrounding about them using his own scythe. Ast was buried alive by dirt, rocks, bricks flung onto him. The demon flew over, roosting above the top of the heaping pile the hapless necromancer was now under. "Buried into a tomb by your scythe, how ironic!"

    The demon smiled and laughed. However, a feint light started to emanate from the crevices of the debris. His expression melted as the light surrounded him and the entirety of the battlefield. An explosion ruptured, louder than even the roar of thunder. Ast emerged from the middle of the crater, heaving heavily after his breaksword release. To his dismay however, the demon hovered high in the skies, unscathed.

    "Try as you might little runt, you can not defeat me!"

    As frustrating and repulsed he was by those words, they stung true as truth. The chill of the rain sinking deeper into his residing guilt. Ast looked to his surrounding; the ruins, once the home of his former guild of Starlight Wings, now no more than a ravaged playground by this monstrosity. The guild banner, ruined and torn, barely recognizable in the smudge of mud and blood yet all that remains. The pained, horrific and mutilated faces of his guildmates...

    To add more insult, even the templar could not stop him, this demon that has come to lay claim much of his world and everything he loved. Whether it was a sense of justice or revenge, he did not know anymore, or even cared. To Astron, last remnant of his guild, envoy and now only hero standing between this monster and total annihilation, he needed to end this, or other worlds will fall to the same fate.

    But first, he needed to get his scythe back.

    Ast went towards the dilapidated rooftops of the houses, going higher and higher by leaps and bounds. The demon saw this attempt and went to cut him off; he smashed down the highest towering structure that could reach him just as the necromancer made mid jump. To his big surprise, Astron went towards him instead as he swooped down. On his back, he somersaulted for an Earth break, hard on his spine. The demon's grip pried loose. Scythe went flying array. He followed a quick dragon slash and cut off one of his wings. As the two free fell, Astron dove for his scythe and hacked its blade on a brick tower of a castle wall, slowing his descent. The demon landed hard on the debris below. Astron was not done yet. He summoned his own lesser demons and swarmed the black monster thru the engulfing dust.

    "Now to finish you." he spoke in stern gaze.

    Raising his hands, the rain suddenly stopped and as he parted his arms away, the clouds heeded as well, revealing the starry night sky.

    He calls down Astraia.

    Invincible beams of light to pierce the black demon coming from all directions from the hailing heavens. Astron channel every ounce of his energy to this spell, seething rage his only driving force.

    The demon, sensing the inevitable, swiped for all his devils, and then crushing their skulls in his muscular palms. For their sacrifice, he summons a portal beneath him to escape.

    "No!" Ast cried out, rushing to stop him. As the demon turned, he swiped his tail and snatched Astron off guard by his ankle, dragging him to the portal. He then brought the boy to his muscular chest and wrapped him a tight crushing bear hug. "If I must perish, you will come with me!"

    Ast's screams echoed through the chambered depths of the portal and was all the escaped as the two spiraled down to another world until the it was closed.
    Last edited by FreuFreu; 02-19-2018 at 01:53 PM.

  2. #2
    Active User Astarotte's Avatar
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    cool fraufrau <3

  3. #3
    Active User FreuFreu's Avatar
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    ---

    Morning day on Crescent Hill, 5:38am

    The sun is barely up, yet the clacking of shoes can be heard on the streets. A skyblue haired maiden hurriedly moves about the streets, ruby red eyes darting across stalls. To her vain, none of them are open yet but she caught glimpse of the local chef packing away her goods. Freu couldn't help but feel arriving at a bad time but she had to ask, or breakfast is going to be made by her husband; the though of him serving burnt cereal on her sick day still made her stomach churn.

    "Ah, Ann! Good morning, why are you closing shop? Are you moving away?"

    The blonde merchant turned to glance her way. "Oh morning Freu! Well yes, I am." Noticing one of her favorite customer's desperate expression, she can't help but laugh, still remembering the time they had to order take out when she was sick. "But don't worry, I'm not gone for good, am just moving off to Navea for the cook off event."

    "An event?" Freu's worry now replaced with curiosity.

    "Haven't you heard?" added Linda, the nearby armor merchant, "The finest chefs of Azuria will be coming to premiere their skills and food. It's going to be such a feat! I'm heading over to get some of my raw materials converted to be kitchen utensils by Analisa."

    Freu turned to Ann, "Are you going to participate in the contest too?"

    "Haha, heaven's no!" Ann shook her head, "I''m not that good, am going over there to sell my food, perhaps maybe as a retail supplier for the event. But here..." She then produced from her sack a packaged meal of flower biscuits wrapped in a neat transparent plastic and tied with a red ribbon. "I know your kids love my flower biscuits so this is the least I can do for your breakfast worries Freu! No need to pay me."

    Well so much for a fresh hot meal, witha surrendering sigh, Freu took the wrapped biscuits on hand.

    "Why not join the contest Freu?" came Nana, the village chief's wife.

    "Oh, good morning Mrs. Nana!"All the girls greeted in unison as she approached by.

    "Morning as well ladies, Freu I know you be a good chef, at least in Lunarin everyone knows that! How about giving it a try in the contest?"

    "Well...." Freu bit her lip, she averted her eyes trying to look back. She had done alot of practice, more so because her husband can't cook properly and had to learn everything from the ground up. It was either that or even worse stomachaches in the future, possibly burning the house down. However, she was never sure if this was really her potential, or perhaps Gaia's 'gift' had given more unforeseen benefits she hasn't realized. An envoy mixed with mere mortals didn't seemed like a fair chance for everyone. "... I'll just be too busy with housework anyway to enjoy."

    "Then why not take the children?" Nana further suggested, "I'm sure it's better than cooped up in the house. The event will have alot of foods to try, at least you won't have to bother cooking for dinner at the end of the day!"

    "Yeah and the prize is a mansion and lot, plenty of room for your rambunctious kids to run around instead of that crummy tight cottage."

    Linda's words serve to hurt more than tempt though; they're tempting, but still...if they only the truth. Freu just wanted to be appreciated by her family as a good honest, mother, instead of of being a great chef. One day, she will earn enough to buy something as good as a mansion...maybe even hire a servant or two just so she doesn't lose her nerve looking after her family.

    "Well thanks but I really must go, the kids are going to be starved. Maybe I'll give it a thought." Freu hurried away, not wanting to stay long on everyone's penetrating glances.

    ~~~

    Walking across the meadows and fields of Crescent Hill, she chanced upon a notice sign. Apparently, there's a party of envoys clearing the surrounding area of some monsters. Freu imagined herself what would've been life would be if she didn't joined the templars and instead went by as an envoy. Would Reinhardt seen her in a different light? Maybe she could've been his protege. Despite what he has become now, she still felt being on his side would've been a lot better than...that man. On other hand...

    Looking all these meadows in field, she would've never met her as well. That assassin from Silent Ice Hill.

    She could still hear her words. "I have no regrets."

    "But what about me? What am I supposed to do? Is this really enough?"

    Freu breathed a sigh.

    "Enough of what?"

    Freu came to a startle, but she recognized this voice.

    "Oh, hi there my little pony," she said to Alessa. "Sorry, I was just thinking about the past."

    "Well you usually just talk to me when alone, but I guess you still have unfinished business?"

    Freu paused for a moment, then shook her head, "...that part of my life is over."

    "Then you're simply unsatisfied." Alessa came closer and moved her head to Freu's free hand, nudging for her for a pat. "However you go about it, you need to find some sense of closure or it's going to be harder for you to see the 'now', let alone the 'later'."

    Freu smiled as she motioned her hand to brush Alessa's mane "Maybe you're right my little pony," she then placed a bag of her grocers on her horn, "so let's focus on today! Like helping me carry my grocers!"

    "Hey! I told you my holy skewer isn't for things like this!" Alessa flushed. "Good Gaia, I'll never be able to evolve at this rate!" She's still struggling to keep up with Serif, Merilee and Grimm, who's probably evolved now. "I could be a mighty steed by now!"

    "But I like you this way my little pony," Freu giggled teasing her. She ran across the fields, with Alessa out to poke her with that remark. As they went on the road, they stopped.

    A dirtied man appeared lying on the road. Upon closer inspection, he seemed to have been injured and worn out. Alessa set aside the grocers and trotted closure to the lain body. Freu followed suit.

    "My gosh, is he alright? He looks beaten up." Alessa looked upon him head to toe. She could smell hints of blood and cuts and bruises evident on his face. Freu also looked closure, brushing aside his messy raven black hair. Upon doing so, the man is actually a young boy, probably around his teens. She then pressed her ear on his chest--a hearbeat. Freu then listened over to his face and moved her cheek checking for his breaths and then finally checked his pulse.

    "Well, he's alive, but barely. Judging from these injuries, it looks like he's been to a serious fight." Although she's aware there are monsters in the region, Freu can't imagine any of them here could do so much damage to this poor soul; something far worse hurt him.

    "Hey look!" Alessa trotted over upwards on the forested hill. Looking up, Freu could see a lengthy skid mark leading down to the young boy. There were also traces of broken and snapped trees leading to a clear view of the sky. Was this boy fell...or even thrown?! Whatever did this must have the strength of giants or dragons, he's lucky enough to be even still alive. However, Alessa nudged her pulling her hand with her mouth. Her attention then averted to two pieces of metal. As she was walked closer to see, they are actually two weapons--a scythe and a greatsword. Their designs look peculiar , on is made of crystals that of the crystalline scythe, the other is a far less beauty and more sinister and draconic design which she can only surmise as Ghodroon's Greatsword. Both weapons however can only be wielded by none other than...

    "He's an envoy." Of course, no normal human being could've survived such an onslaught of power. Though for Freu, it terrified her what otherworldly creature has this strength to beat down such a heroic and divine being. Still, even the heroes have a time to bleed...and a time heal.

    "Alessa could you help me?" she motioned the pony to her side.

    Aleesa cmae over, she glanced over to the fallen envoy. "He is big for my size, but I'll do my best pull him."

    "No...actually I need to help with something else..." Freu then placed all her grocers tied to her horn.

    "....this is really undignified!" the small eidolon protested.

    "Hey, I have to carry him, and his two other weapons, each taller than me! And I can't do it with one hand alone! Besides, he is injured, in fact you have the easier job between the two of us so why are you complaining?!"

    "FIIIIINE~!" Alessa neighed. "I just hope the other Eidolons aren't going to see me like this!"

    ~~~
    Last edited by FreuFreu; 03-08-2018 at 07:33 PM.

  4. #4
    Active User FreuFreu's Avatar
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    Upon arriving home, Freu was greeted back the welcoming arms of her family. Her husband Alexus rummaging through the canned goods on the shelves, until he heard the children's outbursts calling her beloved's name.

    "Welcome home mom...is that lunch?"

    "Haha, very funny Mathew," she would ruffle the adventurous little boy's brown hair if she didn't had them full right now.

    Freu made her way to the table, carefully dodging the children with her legs so they don't snag or even overwhelm her whilst they were reaching for the poor envoy young man, while Alessa set aside the grocers near the kitchen cabinets.

    "So what you boys been up to?"

    "Were gonna have toast pork..." spoke out a sardonic Isaac.

    Toast pork? Her thoughts disturbed, as the words ringed her like a drum. The pork chops were meant to be barbecued for lunch at least not....ugh, toaster. She couldn't had been more relieved getting home. Poor young
    David went to a priest because of 'Mr. Crunchy' scrambled eggs. Guess she'll need to thank Ann later. She put down amd unwrapped the flower biscuits for everyone. Ann made them extra large than usual, thankfully. After setting aside the large weapons on her back, Freu went on to the ice box to prepare for actual full-time meals until her husband patted her on the shoulder. She turned around to see him motioned to the young man on their table.

    "Honey why did you brought a young man in the house?" He then had a silly idea, "Am I still yours right?"

    That poked her a chuckle. She reassured him with a kiss on the lips then pinched his cheeks as she playfully smiled then resumed where she left off. "I just found him in the woods, he's badly hurt so I couldn't just leave him lying there."

    "Well alright I can understand that, but he would probably better off if I carry him to my bed instead of leaving him on the table."

    He then heaved the strange young man onto his back and carried him off upstairs to the second floor.

    "Oh please do that, I've got many things to do today." Freu said as she sorted out the vegetables while waiting for the pan to heat up.

    "Ish he's gonnah-"

    Freu interrupted, "David, don't talk with your mouth full."

    "Sorreh," he gulped down, "Is he gonna be staying with us mom?"

    "No sweetie, I'll let the templars sort it out." Freu said as she started chopping the vegetables then dipped them into the pan, making a smoking hiss.

    "Yeah the templars are the coolest!" David started to swing around, pretending to have a sword, "I'm gonna be like them, and gonna go slay evil shadow assassins!"

    "They sure are, for soldiers very busy to bother small folk like us..." Isaac said, watching Mathew with droopy eyes and with much enthusiasm as a road kill. He offered whats left of his cookie to Alessa which she promptly had no qualms scarfing the rest down, she loved them too.

    "U-Uhm...did he do anything bad?" her third youngest son asked, with concerned innocent blue eyes.

    "Oh no dear, we shouldn't judge someone by their appearances," she said as she placed the pork chops on the pan, making the proper way to cook the meal, her eyes then motioned to Mathew, "especially not 'evil' assassins."

    "Aww, but they make great bad guys for the templar!" Mathew said, "Especially that Jack fellow, ow!" He accidentally bit his own finger, not realizing he was already done with the flower biscuit in his hand.

    The stories about Jack. She could only sigh, not that she was particularly resentful or feared the infamous man though she had enough fair rumors of the man's exploits through bard tales odd enough for a profession that supposedly keeps itself discrete. Though purge training had kept her from following baseless accusations and misinformation, she can't help having such a person near her family. More so for herself than anyone, the memories looking back to her old campaign whilst she was still with the templars in the purger division made her remember about one such assassins, female, but nonetheless, her life changed ever since. Now she has to go back and see her former 'allies'. Well the old man Lazarus was now retired and not taking aprt of the front lines but, was it really for the better or had they just turned loose a ravenous dog? And this envoy they had might turn up suspicious.

    Still, for Freu, better having it as someone else's problem than getting snared into this assassin-templar prejudice nonsense. It might be the only thing that would keep the church in power now if they're done with the new Reinhardt war. If any of those Crescent villagers or the whole world knew who she actually was, could just stir up a new can of worms. Being a former purger was already bad, and later on being an envoy...

    However, as she glanced over the petite Alessa, who was very ambitious about her sense of justice and exacting it on a yet to be discovered future adversary, for how long she was going to keep her as a kid's pet? Maybe forever? Not that she mind her little pony being this cute anyway. Interesting thing about Eidolons was they also represented a kind of ego...so was Alessa her still back-then young ambitious self when she was a teenager? Why did she just appeared now after that horrible tragedy at Silent Ice Hill? What was the Allmother Gaia implying?

    Well she'll worry about these later. Perhaps another time tomorrow. "Kids, pork chops are done, but don't eat them yet. This is your lunch!"

    She strictly told them, they felt a bit uneasy though...mostly because of the hefty amount of vegetables that Freu knew they needed to eat more of. They wouldn't mind if...

    "And please no take out! I already told your dad!"

    of which they all whined in unison. Well, they're not exactly kings and queens of the land so they'll just have to put up what Freu serves. At least David gets it.

    ~~~

    Navea Capital, Shopping district 8:21am

    Now that home business is taken care of, it was time for Freu to take on real business...the fun business! Also known aptly named as shopping!

    If her husband wasn't so darn poverish that would've been the case.

    While she was walking around the Navean stalls, moving, dodging and even muscling over carefully other shoppers and shopkeepers all around the overwhelmingly busy streets of Navea, her thoughts also juggled about what to buy. Ann's and Nana's words kept coming back to her. Maybe she could invite the children to the contest? There was said to be a superb buffet after the contest, prepared by the chef contestants themselves--this could save her time spending for dinner, in fact she could free herself from this conundrum of going about here and actually buy herself a tasty snack in one of the cafes, she had been looking forward to having one of those soda pops for awhile now.

    ...on the other hand, she glanced to military barracks of the templars. There were still other matters to take care of.

    ~~~

    Navea Capital, Templar's Office of Citizen Affairs 8:50am

    "But I swore upon Gaia, he's right there in my house! If you could just send of couple of your men to investigate and take him away I'd really appreciate it!"

    "Ma'am" the officer looked at her across the desk, his back on his office chair, leaning away from her as if to make a condescending glance, "you filed a missing persons complaint, we can not simply rush things. We need at least 3 days to declare a person missing. If by 3 days, no one has claimed this person which you speak off having these described features, then we can declare him missing. All we kindly ask is your patience."

    Freu reeled back on her own chair, feeling disgusted. In her own days, if people went missing, they would've launched either an inquisition or a search and rescue in a matter of minutes. Well, they were in a middle of a war at that time but still...nowadays, they have to pile paperwork and a due a process? She tried to press on, for higher authority perhaps.

    "May I at least see the bishop?"

    Once again the officer leaned back, even putting up his boots on his desk as if he literally owned the place.

    "Ma'am," he paused with a yawn then fidgeted his fingers,"the bishop is currently attending urgent matters and can not be bothered with minor details from citizens. I'm sorry." came his reply...like so many others she had overheard from the other officers with their own citizens attending to. Oh if this man knew who she was and what rank she would be, he would be quaking his boots instead of putting it on his desk and begged Andre for the nearest frontline for redemption. Still, she would rather not pull rank, or she would be no better than that bane of a templar officer. Lazarus maybe retired now but he still loved to shove his weight around nonetheless. At this point, Freu didn't press any further.

    "Fine," was her only frustrated reply. She would bet her case would be filed one of many piles of folders and would actually be answered if the officer actually bothered to check on it when he had the spare time...in about two weeks.

    ~~~
    Last edited by FreuFreu; 06-20-2018 at 07:39 AM.

  5. #5
    Active User FreuFreu's Avatar
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    Analisa's Forge Workshop 9:11am

    Freu couldn't be bothered to wait an entire hour in that cramped bureau, she still had other affairs to attend to, the 'missing' person issue will have to wait. Her husband happens to take upon the vow of poverty...so she has to be also the moneymaker of her family as well. That being said, he was still a good and loyal man, at least for her...her parents would've preferred someone more noble or at least rich. Still, it worried her to no end what could be happening at her home right now; three rumbustious kids and a father who doesn't know how to act as one, and a plus, is hardly what she could call supervised. And those thoughts swirled and pushed her onward to getting down to Analisa's forge through the crowds.

    "Hey Ana!" Freu huffed, catching onto her breath, "Am I late?"

    "Oh, no worries, plenty of work to go around!" The blacksmith said as she picked out a hot armor from it's pried open mold and set it aside to cool on open air for awhile. She then moved on quickly to another alongside and then drown it in the water, making an audible hissing steam.

    Freu wasted no time, getting on her on leather apron as well and joined the ranks like Karn. Despite the upturn of events, this was still routine to her; boiling molten lava, sorting ores and refine materials, listing requests, precise forging especially from envoys and high-ranking templars. Although not easily tired and barely sweating, Freu huffs and breaths, just to make sure she fits in with the rest; one of the perks (or disadvantages in her case) is having a near boundless amount of stamina. Still, it's not an immunity to mishaps.

    "Oh, Jill!"

    "Hmm?" The little twin-tailed blonde girl was trying to sort burning hot coals evenly using a fire poker, unaware that a furnace pot was boiling over to the brim. Jill turned her attention but the pot was about to tip over.

    Freu caught it in time before it spilled. She released the built up steam then resumed in place with turning down the valves to lower the heat.

    "Phew," she wiped her forehead, "are you alright Jill?" she turned to her, concerned. Jill was still much wide-eyed in surprised but she was for a different reason.

    "Y-You...you.."

    Freu furrowed her brows. She checked to make sure she wasn't burned or injured at all but her next words were going to worry her more.

    "You, caught it with your bareha--!"

    Jill was cut off by Freu, shushing her a finger.

    "Hey Freu, are you busy?" a familiar voice. She turned around to meet the bespectacled bluenette templar. "Oh, Hi Miss Victoria, what can we get you today?"

    Vic giggled, shaking her head, "No am not here as a customer, am here about regarding the case you issued just recently."

    "Oh? Templars actually responding to civil cases during a war within less than an hour? That's a first."

    Vic giggled again but her smile faded away as her glance turned to more serious, "actually I overheard at the bureau, it's more serious than you might think. Can we go somewhere private first?"

    There was hint of unease and tension in her voice despite the rather casual and friendly charm. Freu nodded and went to consent with Analisa before heading out to some place at the back, inside one of the coal and refine materials storage warehouses. After checking no one was around and the doors shut--a habit usually Freu does as a guardian but unusually Victoria took initiative instead--Victoria further details the overall situation.

    "Freu there has been a case of missing persons lately during the past few months."

    "Well that's understandable," Freu huffed, shaking her head, "much as the people of Navea do not realize it, the templars are undermanned during the campaigns at Vulture Vale and Blizzard Berg's ongoing campaigns, at this rate it would be even longer than the Occultist Crusade Wars."

    The thought of longer wars made the templar massage her temples. She could still feel the nerve-wrecking field commands and tactics she and Alex had to endure on Merilee in Blizzard Berg, it was a first for her to be in the heat of battle as opposed to be after it, she hardly remembered how actually cold it was.

    "I know, I know, but listen, your case is kind of unique in that you're saying the victim is actually alive? at your house?" She asked, hoping. Vic can't help but feel like drawing straws here among other cases.

    Freu's ruby eyes brightened up. "Yes, are you actually going to look into it yourself?"

    "No."

    She was instantly showered down with grieving frustration. Freu leaned her back against a stack of crates, Vic however followed up a suggestion.

    "But...I could suggest a....third party to help resolve your case sooner."

    "You mean," Freu tapped her cheek, "like a private investigator of sorts?"

    "Umm...yes something along those lines." Vic had to be careful with choice of words. As much as Freu is a friend and she would love to help her out, she has to remind herself that she was also a former Purger. The current Purger division is smaller than it was but remained a strong presence in Navea as a kind of military police. If Freu wanted, she could probably investigate this case herself but she doesn't want to go back that kind of life, much as it both pained and joyed Victoria; Freu was the only known Purger she ever sympathized with during the Occultist Crusade Wars although she was never announced properly what would've been her new promotion actually was since Freu never attended and retired. Records state she was 'dishonorably discharged' but a few of them, including Andre knew better or at least felt something was off.

    Likewise, Freu was feeling rather a strong sense of skepticism; she could feel Vicky is hiding something behind that pleasantries and kindred face. The only other person who had such gall to put up such facade was her former superior, and it sure didn't help she had observed Vicky was doing all sorts of unusual habits pointing towards her as a culprit. A back stab wouldn't even be surprising to her at this point. Still, she doesn't need this kind of paranoia, and there's at least always one crowbar within arm's reach if it comes to that. She paced around the room for awhile, footprints of boots marked everywhere on the coal dust before coming to a question.

    "Can you at least promise me you'll take him off my hands?" She looked towards Vic, with a hint of irritation.

    Vic could feel the penetrating stare of inquisition; something that's, whether out of habit or training, common with all Purger ranks and often the reason of constant tension between the templar caste. Although she was sure Freu probably didn't do it on purpose, the instance of such feelings always bring her back, probably designed so by Lazarus.

    "Y-Yes of course, it would kind of work better this way."

    "Then that's good enough," Freu wasted no time and walked out of the door, just in time to see an excited Jill telling her confused mom a story of sorts, of which she could only assume she is the main character.

    "I've got enough problems."
    Last edited by FreuFreu; 04-19-2018 at 06:46 PM.

  6. #6
    Active User FreuFreu's Avatar
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    First there was pain, like electricity coursing through not only his body but even his mind and very soul. A world of swirling lights and colors. He could still remember through all that he struggled to loose from the demon's death grip. He wasn't sure he succeeded, or survived. Then, he felt his body free falling, though he sensed there was nothing pulling him down, no gravity? Perhaps he was floating. He could vaguely remember, colors, fluid motions of what appear to be something liquid, oily, sparks of electric energy, absence of light, cold, disembodied voices.

    Was this the fabled, trans-dimension between dimensions?

    He had only heard of it from Merlin's detailed accounts and to some extent, Chronos' archives.

    I have to get back, was his urgent thoughts.

    Before he could do so, he felt another force pulling again, unseen. The colors soon faded, everything blurred to white.

    Then, came light blue and white colors. The bite of air friction. Ast soon realized he was falling from the sky. He tried to balance himself but felt nothing could move, if as if he was encased in ice. He could do nothing but simply fall.

    ...Pain again, this time a bit more coherent. Smell of dirt and flowers, ambient sounds of rustling trees and birds. He can feel the injuries around his body. Ast hoped nothing was broken. Exhausted as he was, he urged himself to get up.

    ...Nothing.

    So he laid there until he could get some rest, or simply die, whichever comes first. Ast didn't mind either, wherever he was, he had done the best he could to save his world though he wasn't sure if he succeeded. The demon was pulled or rather escaped to other worlds so his should be safe, for now. Still, even if he could go back, was there really anything worth coming back to? Ast didn't want to think, he soon simply closed his eyes. For a moment, he thought he caught the glimpse of his mother.

    ~~~

    Rommel's Residence 11:31am

    Ast at first, was drowned in blurry white. He felt his body toss and turning and being lifted up. When he could finally move, he opened them. There, all around him,he saw a dresser, storage trunk, bright windows viewing the green meadow countryside, small pictures of a family, lamp on a nightstand, his dirtied midnight coat hung on a chair--the makings of a home abode. Judging the size and shape of the interior, he was in a cottage. Ast found himself lying on top of a bed, though it seems much larger for his size. Pain was still there, but subsided. He could feel and saw bandages wrapped around where his wounds would be, including one around his temple. Trying toget up, a throbbing headache greeted him. He surmised it must've been a strong concussion of some kind that hit his head as he could barely remember anything.

    "Oh hey, you finally woke up!" came a masculine voice. Ast turned to who addressed him, and saw a man dressed in an undershirt and shorts. He was masculine, though bit lanky, had tussled dark green hair and tanned skin. "Careful not to get up too fast though, you're still healing, I'll just set this aside next to you." The man said as he set down the tray of fresh bread toast and butter and a glass of eggnog on the nearby nightstand by the bed.

    "W-Wha? Where am I?" Ast tried to speak but he sounded low and his head was spinning. He blinked several times trying to focus.

    "Hmm, I guess you're starved." The man then picked up the glass of eggnog, "Well here, maybe this will help, it doesn't have alcohol."

    There was no mistaking, he was indeed hungry and thirsty, in what felt like days without eating. The protesting rumble of his stomach didn't waste much time taking his offer and downing it all instantly from the glass. After drinking Ast savored the sweetness of nutmeg from his lips down to the breath in his mouth. "This is very good."

    The man nodded, "my wife made that, she recommended it to help the calcium with your bones. Have some whole wheat bread too to help."

    "Thanks." Ast replied, taking also a slice of the bread.

    "Well now that you're alright, I suppose it's alright to ask this. Who are you and where did you come from?"

    "I'm...Ast--" He paused for a moment, jogging his memory as he takes a munch from the bread, swallowing before continuing, "Astron...I can't remember much else."

    The man stroked his chin, "Hmm...Amnesia huh? Well my wife did mention you looked like you got hit pretty hard on the head. Don't try to force it much, maybe it'll come back to you easier this way."

    Ast agreed to that advice, he supposed it was his turn to ask then, "How did I end up here?"

    "My wife found you on the way home, she took you and I let you rest in my room." The man then offered his hand, "My name's Alexus."

    "A pleasure," Ast shook his hand in kind with a smile.

    "By the way, you have some pretty exotic belongings...weapons actually, and not just any kind of weapons either." He peered closer to Ast, "By chance you're not a...an Envoy are you?"

    Fortunately it's one of the things Ast was able to remember clear as day, "I actually am."

    "Oh that's interes--" Alexus was interrupted by the sudden hurried steps on the stairs.

    "Dad! Dad! Dad! There's some guy in a coat says he's here for stranger!"

    "Oh? Well, I guess the templars were pretty responsive this time or something. Well Mister Ast seems like will get you home soon, wherever that is, or at least provide some accommodation. It'was a pleasure having your company though it was short."

    However, while Alexus was very pleased, Ast felt something off. He felt an unusually strong magic energy, something familiar, far too familiar...something melancholic. He could even feel like all his wounds would open again as his tingling sense kept ebbing him more and more to the side of caution. Just before Alexus went fr the stairs with his son, he felt a quick snag on his wrist.

    "Wait! Don't answer that door....Where are my weapons?"

    Alex was quite perturbed by Ast's sudden urgency in his voice. He could sense hostility, but not just from Ast either. Come to think, it's rather unusually fast that someone was able to learn about Ast living here and even if they were the templar, it rather felt kind of impulsive of their sudden appearance at their door. In fact Alexus didn't even recall any mention of the templars at their door at all! A bounty hunter? an assassin maybe?

    Whoever was behind the front door, Alexus felt he and children were in collateral danger. As for Ast...
    Last edited by FreuFreu; 04-25-2018 at 02:15 PM.

  7. #7
    Active User FreuFreu's Avatar
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    "Are you going to fight?" Alexus asked him, though his tone was more serious and concerning than jovial unlike their first time

    Ast met those same eyes with a reply of his own. "Yes...but not here. If it's just after me, then I should draw it out."

    Alexus can respect that. Whoever this envoy truly is, he at least meant well for him and the children, He nodded in compliance and respected his decision. So much so, he much more.

    "Then allow me to give you a boost." Alexus said. Ast was a bit surprised, he wasn't sure how this man would be capable of fending for his children much as he respect his willingness to do so. Sure he could be strong but muscles alone aren't going to be enough to match the powerful being within a doorstep away. Not unless he would die--something Ast wanted to avoid happen in the first place. Alexus though, started to draw quick hand gestures. As far as Ast could make out it looke dlike something similar to those of Ninja envoys but the energy or chii he sensed seemed opposite. Before he knew it, Alexus delivered a series of surgical two-finger thrusts into certain joins around his body, ending with a powerful palm thrust into his abdomen. In an instant, his bandages ripped off and shed from this arms, torso and temple but whats even more amazing was wounds on his torso--there were none!

    "This effect is only temporary as you weren't properly rested," Alexus warned him, "but it should be enough to do what you need must."

    Ast nodded in compliance. The two hurried downstairs. Alexus turned to the storage compartment underneath the stairs, bringing out Ast's weapons. The two other children, David and Isaac, raced to their father from the front door. David was mostly sobbing in tears, whilst Isaac pleaded to do something. It didn't took long for Ast and Alex to figure the panic of the children; the whole cottage--it's wooden walls, windows, furniture, even the sink, were glowing hot with cracks resembling like molten lava. This was clearly a demonic chant out to trap him inside. The demon outside must've sensed him gaining renewed vigor quickly and decided to drop the charade and go straight for the kill. The raven-haired envoy knew what was coming next; he could survive this attack easily with his weapons but to spread that protection for an entire party?

    Ast tried to think, getting out wasn't an option especially since the door knobs and handles are too hot to even grab and windows already melted shut. Besides whoever is outside will likely snipe him AND Alexus and his children once they get out before the explosion. A magic barrier was their only option.

    And then...he felt it. There was something else under the storage. A divine power reacting to the evil energy. Wasting no time, Ast rummaged thru the mess of boxes and crate. Alexus asked what he was up to, but looking all around the fright eyes of his children, he also dove into search, pouring as much old junk and antiques out.

    "Aha! This! This templar armor!" Ast said holding onto the object. Alexus recognized that armor easily enough with the shapely female torso, It had the solid engraving of the Order of Sword and Scales insignia. Purger Insignia.

    Oh no, Alexus' wife isn't going to be happy about this. Freu wanted it as a keepsake or at least keep it for emergency. Well...this counts as an emergency though he'd imagine it more for quick huge golds at the nearest pawnshop, not getting blown up by their house. Alexus didn't protest though, not much of a choice really.

    "Everyone huddle together around me!" Ast said as he began to draw the enchantment power from the old templar armor, bathing them in alabaster light.

    ...

    The explosion of the house could be heard throughout the hills of the crescent region, even as far as Navea.

    Not far, a demonic figure shed his tarnished trench coat and hat. Fumes escaped his nostrils as he grunted.

    We cannot miss this opportunity came the voice from the demons head that sounded like a professional and educated man. Finish it fast!

    "Yes boss!" he replied, charging towards the remains of the house.

  8. #8
    Active User DscrystalEyes's Avatar
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    Victoria could not shake Anya from following her. She told her half the truth, that she’s going out to a bar to have a short drink. She is, but it’s just that she’s not going to a bar like some depressed single office lady, she’s there to meet with someone. Someone that most likely would not usually be on speaking terms with Templars. Regardless, it matters quite little. Anya might not be the most understanding of the Templars, Alex would be that, but she has enough restraints.

    As for Anya, the young lady was not completely unaware. She knows her friend is not just some beautiful office lady. Victoria is the Templar Officer in charge of the Intelligence Division, and while the bluenette is nothing short of a blessing, being beautiful, smart, hardworking and kind, the division she’s leading and the choices she has to make in it is not ideal. Although she doesn’t show it, Victoria gets easily worked up over the decisions she made, the girl has a heart of gold when it comes to life. It made Anya feel obligated as her friend to help, to support and protect Victoria. It makes for an interesting dynamic at work, one that no one can really complain.

    “It just going to look really sad for a young girl to go to a bar alone, Vicky.”-Anya teased.

    “Annie, please.”-Victoria let out a short giggle-“I’m not interested in finding a date right now. I’m not even that lonely.”

    “We’re in the middle of a war effort, that’s true. Still, I might go out of line here, but you don’t tend to go to bars. In fact I usually have to drag you. Something interesting planned out?”

    “Nothing of the sort.”-Victoria smiled back, but the smile was thin and barely wide enough to be called one.-“I was thinking about Freu’s request earlier. While it is true that we can’t help her for a few days, perhaps others are much more willing to. For a reasonable fee the matter can be taken off our hands completely.”

    “And…what of these ‘others’ you are thinking of? Private investigators? Most of them are more money swindler than actually investigating.”

    “Well, I have faith in this one. He’s been working well so far.”

    “Got a reputation?”

    “Not one that is well publicized.”

    Anya should have known.

    Victoria is the most aware and dare she say it, familiar with the more unsavory aspect of the shady underground society among the Templars. Her particular division is often involved in those muddied businesses like unethical mercenary, informant and espionage. Yet even she couldn’t prod deep enough to see the full extent of criminal operations.

    “You sure this person is…”

    “He’s capable. Let’s just hope I can even meet him there.”-Victoria cut her friend off, knowing full well the worries that Anya conveyed.-“Just…please don’t threaten him.”

    “I get it, I get it. I’ll try to be ignorant. He’s not exactly fond of us Templars, yes?”

    “Well…it’s more that we Templars aren’t fond of him? Anyway, just don’t do anything too drastic.”

    “Afraid you’ll lose contact?”

    Victoria nodded timidly, whispering something under her breath.

    “? What is it?”-Anya caught her mouth moving.

    “Nothing. You must think of me badly, a Templar that does not punish evil-doers.”-Victoria half-joked.

    “Nothing of the sort Vicky. You made decisions to protect the innocents, and has the integrity that few of us can match. Don’t joke about it.”-The redhead replied almost immediately. Victoria, always trying to talk herself down. If she weren’t in Intelligence perhaps she wouldn’t think so low of herself.

    Curse her intelligence and hardworking personality that landed her into this position.

    “Mn…”-Vic showed a melancholic smile as she stopped.-“We’re here.”

    “Welcome to The Cellar, ladies. How may I interests you today?”-The bartender politely greeted as the two Templar knights entered.

    “Quite a cozy establishment you’ve got here.”-Anya complimented as she looks around. Unlike most bars which were loud and rowdy, this bar was quiet, it was out of the way, and it was classic to the letter. This is not a place meant for hooking up, this was the type of establishment people go to for peace and quiet, to lay off the stress in life with fancy drink and heartfelt conversations.

    “Thank you very much, Miss. It’s definitely far from the best in many aspect, but the customers are very much satisfied, and that is my job.”

    “Chris. I’m not feeling fancy, but how about an Everluce mix?”-Victoria smiled as she sat down before the bar counter and ordered.

    “Right away. And what would you like, Miss Anya?”

    “Let’s start off with a glass of White Wolf.”-Anya didn’t really care the bartender guessed her name. Victoria seems to know him, and the High ranking Templars are quite public in their appearance afterall.

    “Yes, of course.”-The bartender began preparing the drink, the quiet bar disturbed ever so peacefully with the sound of drinks being elegantly mixed.

    “Is business going well for you? I’m surprised I haven’t learn about this establishment before. Seem so…classic.”-Anya decided to strike a conversation.

    “It is the idea that I upheld down to the letter when I created this bar. Bars were meant to be obscured, a hideout. Nowadays those traits don’t work well for business, but I still manages. Most clients are unsavory, but as long as they keep their manners, they are welcomed.”

    That and the fact that her bluenette friend is here with the intention of hiring a private investigator gives Anya a pretty good idea of what kinds of people that comes to this bar. It’s not perfectly clear yet, but it’s like a neutral zone. No conflict allowed.

    As he was working, Victoria decided to ask.

    “Is he available?”

    “Yes, last time I checked he wasn’t busy, and in the city no less. I can ask for his presence within the hour, if you prefer.”-The bartender nodded understandingly-“What for, may I ask?”

    “Some investigating job regarding missing person.”

    “Understood.”-He presented Victoria her drink and then reached for the White Wolf bottle on the shelf.-“Request accepted and submitted.”-Pouring a lovely glass of iced White Wolf for Anya, the bartender excused himself.-“I’ll contact him now. He’ll be here within the hour.”

    “Thank you very much.”-Victoria smiled as the bartender left the bar counter and headed into the back room.

    The two Templar officers both sipped their drink and relaxed. Even if Victoria is still technically working, it’s nice to have a drink and relax so calmly.

    But, Anya had to get to the matters at hand.

    “That bartender. He’s…an informant, isn’t he?”

    “Of sort, that’s true. I never asked him for raw information, we Templars are too much of a threat for that, but he sets up contracts.”

    “We’re in an Assassin Bureau.”-Anya concluded.

    “…I guess it was hopeful of me to think you wouldn’t realized it.”-Victoria face fell lightly.

    “Vicky…”

    “No, Annie. Don’t. We’re here not to arrest somebody. I guarantee you, no amount of protection is enough to shield us if we disturb the peace of this bureau. Trust me.”

    “We’re hiring Assassins, Vic. They are illegal.”

    “Annie, don’t go all Andre with me right now. They aren’t nice people by a long shot, but they are just mercenaries with specialized skill sets.”

    “That specialized skill set happens to be assassinations, espionage and infiltration.”

    “I know. I know Annie. We have vastly different opinions on them. But we are friends, and I’m advising you. Don’t act on this information. If the Templar Knights storms this establishment, the Assassins will retaliate. And they’ll have the funding and resources of any and all who are against us, barring demons. They are neutral, despite their line of work, so don’t give them a reason, an excuse to attack and possibly humiliate us.”-The glasses wearing Templar voice became cold and clear cut as she explained.-“At least, not more reasons.”
    JackCrystal lv 82 Tachi/Gunslinger

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  9. #9
    Active User DscrystalEyes's Avatar
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    Despite their close friendship, Victoria and Anya has very different views about mercenaries and assassins. Victoria, who has been to the Assassin village with her father on a peace treaty mission when she was a teen, is quite accepting of the Assassins. She still condemns their actions, but value their skills. If the Assassins were to put in Church’s use, the Church will benefit greatly. Of course, hiring Assassins were unethical, but recently Belenus has shown interest in this elusive Order. The notion of uniting all races and people under one flag to fight against the demons’ advances was still as true as ever, and as they all noted, this is not a matter of mere human squabbles, but world and its existence as a whole.

    Anya however, bears an unfortunate impression of the Assassins. She suffered heavy losses against a Shadow Assassin just last year. Last year, when investigating murders in Candeo Marsh, she suspected that this may have been the work of a now notorious Shadow Assassin. Shadow Assassins, she regretted underestimating them, were terrifying. They are the cream of the crop in almost all aspects of combat and stealth, and against Alex’s warning, Anya sent a large amount of force in pursuit of this Assassin through the Candeo woods. What resulted after was a blood massacre; the Shadow Assassin responded to her pursuit in kind, and killed all but one Templar Knight, to send back a message: “It’s not me.” And as the investigation turns out, that it’s true, the Shadow Assassin was not responsible of the murders, if anything, he aided in the destruction of the Werewolf tribe responsible. Still, the loss of men were on Anya’s hand, and it’s understandable that she bears animosity towards the Assassins.
    ‘Even if she was the aggressor, it’s easy to blame him…’-Victoria bitterly thought.

    It’s not like Victoria wanted to defend the Shadow Assassin in this case. She had defended him before, but killing so many just to send a clear message, that’s just reprehensible.

    If anything…this meeting might go sideways really quick. She has to lay down the truth to Anya right now, otherwise the redhead Templar may act in a way that’s sets them back further.

    “Annie.”

    “I…I know. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have…”-Anya was trying, she’s really trying to swallow her hatred. She’s really trying to reconcile with the fact that what transpired was her fault, not the Assassin. That she acted rashly, arrogantly and that cost her the lives of those men. But how could she when it’s so easy to blame it all on the Assassin instead?”

    “No. Look. Stay calm when I tell you this. I didn’t…plan this, just so you know.”

    “Plan…what? What are you talking about?”-Anya was confused.

    “The guy I’m hiring. He’s…he’s the Shadow of Candeo Marsh.”

    “Shadow of Candeo Marsh…?”-Anya wasted a good few seconds for the words to connect in her head-“HIM?!”

    The very person that slaughtered her men, then went to kill and dismantle several bounty hunting guilds that were after him.

    “Anya, calm down! I know. I know!”

    “You…know him?!”

    “…Yes. I know this Shadow Assassin personally.”-Victoria said, helpless against her friend’s rage.-“Jack Crystal. I…knew him since the Assassin village visit.”

    “And you…withheld this information, why?”

    “Because! It’s not so simple! You are both friends to me! Even if he did something cruel and reprehensible, he’s still a friend. Anya. Please calm down.”

    “Misses.”-The bartender has returned without the two noticing.-“Please. Manners.”

    “…”-Anya was still seething with rage, but she calmed herself. She could not act rashly. Acting rashly was what caused the complications with the Assassin last time. And she knows as clear as a bright sunny day that Victoria had her reason to do this. Victoria would never want to betray her trust.

    “I’m sorry Annie. I know. I don’t think keeping it from you was a good idea, I struggled every day thinking how do I explain it to you. But…Jack. He’s not a nice person. But he’s not evil either. He killed those men, and it was wrong, but he had no choice. The moment we decided to go after him, he has to go after us. Same with those bounty hunters. He didn’t seek their demise. They just…picked the wrong bounty.”

    “So…what? He can just do whatever he wants and we can’t stop him?”-Anya almost hissed-“We’re Templars, Vicky. We keep the peace, we punish evil doers, or die trying.”

    “By that statement you could say the Knights that went after him on your command knew exactly what they were doing. Punish evil doers, or die trying. It’s just…it’s the latter that happened. Both sides knew what they are getting into.”

    “I won’t forgive him. I can’t.”

    “I don’t want you to, Annie. I haven’t forgiven him either. There’s many things that I am angry at him too. But… he doesn’t desire to do evil. He just…does what his job require him to do. And if we are the ones holding the reins…he’s quite the capable ally.”

    A long silence went by. Several minutes as the bartender still calmly observed the two Templars.

    “Are you sure of this?”-Anya spoke with a quiet voice.

    “Yes. I trust his judgment. He may be unethical, but he holds to his words.”

    “And I am to trust that when I turn away, he wouldn’t stab me in the back?”

    “I give you my honor as a Templar Officer of the Intelligence Division, and as a human being that he’ll not harm us as long as the contract is effective.”

    “If I may”-The bartender interjected.-“Jack is…tough to deal with, but despite killing for coin, he holds to his words very well. He has standards, officer. He can still be reasoned with, despite all the titles thrown at him. Not honorable, but reasonable.”

    “…I see.”-Anya groaned as she downed her drink.-“I can’t promise you that I’ll treat him with a smile, but…You make pretty good cocktails, Chris. Wouldn’t want to be banned from your place.”

    “It is a strong incentive for most of my rowdy patrons, yes.”-Chris smiled politely.-“Jack is currently not taking Assassin contracts, meaning he’s not doing illegal work, most likely waiting for the bounty to cool off completely. So a job like this will suit his purpose just fine.”

    “See, Annie? No need to show any animosity.”

    “Yet.”-Anya added.

    “True…”-Victoria still tried to cool her friend’s mind. A few more drinks and maybe Anya will have settled enough to meet him without trying to kill him.

    But, much to her chagrin, the doorknob turned and the sturdy solid oak door opened.

    JackCrystal lv 82 Tachi/Gunslinger

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  10. #10
    Active User DscrystalEyes's Avatar
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    “Vic.”-Jack Crystal greeted as he walked in, acknowledging Victoria’s presence.

    Victoria can’t say she’s used to his presence, despite living with him years ago and meeting him several times over the years. He has matured much from his teens, the youthful, energetic him now shows experience, professional attitude and confidence. He was just over 6 feet tall, although that’s enough to put a full head taller than Vic herself. Jack’s form wasn’t excessively large, but it wasn’t thin as well, and Victoria noticed his form has become more muscular than in his teen. Sometimes her mind would wander to how he is like under the clothes, but she tries her best to stop herself before those thoughts go too deep and impure.

    Refocusing, Vic focused on his face. Still the same face, but much has matured from his teens. The bluenette was quite baffled, Jack and herself has seen each other over the year quite regularly, or at least as regular as a Templar and Assassin meetings goes, but she is still not used to the maturity of his looks. His deep purple eyes are now much sharper, he shows less emotions on his face, usually keep to a neutral expression. His dirty blonde hair is still the same style, Victoria not sure of the name, a little bit like shaggy short but slightly and naturally spiky. He’s wearing a relatively standard and simple attire, a black coat with white shirt and black vest and tie underneath, black tactical fingerless gloves and dark grey pants with black combat boots, taking off the wide brim fedora hat as he strides in slowly.

    “H-Hey.”-Vic awkwardly greeted back.-“Jack, uhm…this is…”

    As Jack eyes focused on the redhead next to the bluenette, his form went still for a moment.

    But if he felt any fears, it dissipated faster than vapor, as he stepped forward anyway.

    “I hope you called me here true to your request.”-It seems he didn’t want to acknowledge Anya’s presence as he sat down next to Vic-“Whiskey, Iced.”

    “Don’t worry. Anya is here to have a drink.”

    “Is that so? Because her hand is on her sword right now.”-The Shadow Assassin pointed out.

    It took Anya all the restraint in the world to not lunge at him.

    “Can you blame her, Jack?”

    “No. I don’t. I’m just advising against it. My advices usually fell on deaf ears anyway.”

    “Do you have an ounce of decency in you? Stop trying to provoke her!”

    “…”-Jack’s expression softened-“Mn. Sorry. I’m not good with explanations nor comforting words, so let’s move past that. What do you need me for?”

    “It’s nothing serious. I was asking for a small favor, really small.”

    “I have some free time. If it doesn’t take too long, I’ll do it.”

    “You are busy?”-Victoria was slightly surprised.

    “I thought you’d understand better than anyone. I’m not always plotting to kill someone, and in that meantime, I still need money to live with.”

    “And you procure this money how?”-Anya joined in.

    “Not a model citizen’s occupation, but I hunt monsters, game, do Mirrabelle quests. Folk pays enough for monsters and completing their odd requests.”

    “You seem willing to indulge us with your means. Not afraid we’ll track you down that way?”

    “It’s your loss if you do.”-Jack shrugged.-“One less adventurer out there killing monsters and saving the innocent.”

    “That’s funny, an Assassin protecting innocent.”-Victoria smiled.

    “It pays enough.”

    “Is it always about the pay to you?”-Anya inquired.

    “And why does that bother you so much? Pay me enough, and I’ll fight for you. If you are so determined about stopping me from doing bad things, hire me yourself. I’ll make it worth your while.”

    “I offered you the chance, Jack. Long ago, remember?”-Victoria felt a pang of hurtful emotion at that.

    “That’s different, Victoria. And you know it.”

    “…I know. You just didn’t have to be so vehement about it. You’d still be your own man.”

    ‘Seems like a touchy subject to them both.’-Anya figured internally.

    But, the fact that Victoria and him even have touchy personal subjects was more surprising than the way they are dealing with it.

    “…You have a job for me, yes? If you wish to talk about this, we can spare some other time.”

    “Y-yes. There’s no point in brooding over what might’ve been. It was…overly optimistic of me to make an offer I could not guarantee myself.”

    “The job?”

    “Yes, the job. A friend of mine, Freudia Rommel, reported that she’d found a strange person with amnesia. The guy does not remember most if not all things personal to him. I was hoping…you could investigate.”

    “Freudia Rommel, you say?”-Jack questioned.

    “Yes, you’ve heard of her?”

    “It’s a name that wasn’t important, but remembered nonetheless. And really? Asking me to track down identity of amnesiac people? Wouldn’t it be better to just wait a few days? Missing posters will come up. Plus, I’d figure you’d come to me on contracts that are more…engaging.”-That’s putting it lightly, Anya thought as she listened. Victoria’s asking him to run a small errand. A Shadow Assassin, running errands to the head of the Intelligence division.

    “Not the best job ever, I agree. But you wanted to lay low right? And the pay isn’t bad. I’ll add a few to it if it motivates you.”

    “…Alright. 150 gold.”

    “Awfully cheap.”-Anya was quite surprised.

    “The same price to disappear. I figured finding someone’s identity back seems to be of equal measure.”-Jack shrugged.

    “Deal.”-Victoria smiled.-“Freu lives in Cresent Hill, you’ll find her house in Lunarin. The guy with lost memory is with her at the moment.”

    “I’ll see to it. Anything else?”

    “No, that will be all.”-Anya finished for Victoria.-“Let’s go, Vic.”

    “I…okay.”-Victoria was a bit surprised, but she understood quickly-“Uhm, sorry Jack, we’ll talk later.”

    “Yeah. I’ll pay for your drinks.”

    “There’s no nee-“

    “You two seem to be in a rush, so I’ll show some courtesy.”-Jack waved them off.

    Victoria was hesitant, but she accepted it regardless as she nodded a goodbye and followed Anya out.
    JackCrystal lv 82 Tachi/Gunslinger

    There's much to talk about. Sit.



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