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Fantasy The Great Games of Nye

Brynwyr Protheroe

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Mentions: Lost Echo Lost Echo ZackStop ZackStop @Jet

Both Albions watched Spivey reveal one side of their visor, showing the sharpened Leatherback’s mouth, as promised. Rhys did approach to get a closer look but was pulled backwards as he listened to the tumble of bodies.

Brynwyr had watched the man glide and fall right into Esther. Keeping Rhys behind her, she pulled out her sword and moved to involve herself, though, the man helped Esther to her feet, speaking in a language she couldn’t easily comprehend. It was only when she got a closer look at the man, face caked with muck and wearing attire certainly not native to any of their homes, that he helped Esther to her feet.

“Who are you?!” A stupid question to ask, really, because who else would he be? He was a native to this land that they encroached upon. There was no time for such a question to be answered, as he commanded the one common word that evoked a sense of urgency into all; run. But from what?

That was one question that was answered as at least a dozen men arrived, also obviously native to these lands, with bloodthirsty and savage cries. Just their bloody luck, and all as the man ran on, expecting them to follow behind.

As Esther merged, Brynwyr did not hesitate to do the same. Her hair thickened into a great white main, her body and limbs swelling to take on Cleonard’s strength. Her cheeks and nose grew larger, and her jaw widened with fangs that could easily rip through flesh. Her hands easily adjusted to the claws that emerged from them. She had done it enough times now to take on the changes quickly and without fuss.

Brynwyr, however, looked at Esther with narrowed eyes, confused at her bid for peace and negotiation. They could not even speak their language, for all they knew! Were their merged forms simply an act of intimidation?

Spivey, however, had other ideas, and God forbid, took a road that Brynwyr felt much more inclined to trek. The light of the flames burst along the group of men, two dropping as nothing more than charred husks of who they were. They had no other choice than to defend themselves.

“Well, definitely no chance of reconciliation now, as if that was on the cards in the first instance!” Brynwyr responded, readying herself to fight.

Rhys shifted too, his body overcome with scales and a tail, and his pupils matching that of his familiar Petrie. Before the men even started to advance upon them, he burrowed his way underground, starting to make tracks and following the lone footsteps of some of the men flanking to catch them off guard. He burrowed and emerged from the ground as the earth rose and split apart to hit them with the ensuing force from below their feet.

Brynwyr caught the native who merged with the bird swoop overhead, releasing the torrent of lightning, fire, almost what seemed to be every type of magic that had been classified. ‘How the hell can someone manage all the elements like that?’ It was not a question for now, but one that had caught her off-guard. Though she had been hit with some of the torrent as she moved and each stung in its own unique way, she realised having all of them didn’t pack the same punch as focusing on one element alone.

With this knowledge, Brynwyr leapt forward to those advancing from the front, her claws tingling with an electrical current, and took a long swipe at the bodies in front of her, hoping to catch them in her attack.
Faraji Aguta
Mentions: Goliath Goliath Jet Jet

Amid the threat that stood in front of them, Faraji watched Goliath pull out his spear, and stand partly in front of him. While he was flattered by a handsome, daring man shielding him from certain doom, he knew Goliath even had misgivings about this situation, following his mutterings. But he was calm, and he reminded Faraji to stay calm. He tried to breathe, albeit, in a controlled manner that he hadn’t when he questioned all these rhymes and riddles.

It became harder, and the room seemed to close in on him more with the witch’s words and the shadows of her arms loomed all around them. He too had resorted to unsheathing his weapon, a simple bo staff, should worst come to worst. He wanted the idea of a person being turned into broth and soup confined to the pages of a book, not stuck in his reality.

“I’d prefer to keep my lips unsealed and my limbs off strings, thank you very much!” He agreed with Adrian that this nonsense had to be put to bed.

Though, Faraji couldn’t help but put his hands over his ears at the cacophony of sounds around them, the screams of words and cracking of wood, and the shattering of cutlery and clattering of wooden teeth. Those dark eyes landed upon him, a warning, an order, that should they fail, all would be lost. “Everything?” He muttered. He couldn’t get his head straight with how it spun with all these words and all the questions he had. He wasn’t sure what to ask or answer any more with what yarn was constantly being spun.

And what more could Faraji do than listen to this demon’s next commands? He tried to engage with its words, though he didn’t fully understand them. “The Labyrinthian…where is that? Or is that another riddle we must solve ourselves, despite how urgent you sound?” He could not help sounding bitter in his question. They had all been dragged into some weird, horrid cultist shit, and by the looks of things, they were already stuck within a labyrinth of sorts.

“So, we just have to find this person then,” Faraji laughed a little, out of nervousness, disbelief, he was not so sure. “That’s fine. We’re already looking for someone anyway, aren’t we?” He looked to the others with a shrug, a smile that threatened to break with every passing second. “What’s another man to add to the list! He sounds so charming and hospitable. Just don’t accept gifts and treat everything he says as a lie! And by the looks of those hundreds and thousands of eyes outside this house, the only way we can go is forward, isn’t it?”

Faraji did not look back at the thing that plagued their presence. It felt wrong to bear its eyes upon it, and no less after the commands it gave them.

The witch really needed to advertise the Labyrinthian with a more friendly verse. Come to the Labyrinthian! You’ll come here, and you’ll never ever (want) to leave!
Euclaire let out a chuckle at the idea of adopting the child. She couldn’t even read all too well. How was she about to teach a child to write? Jokes aside… No matter what Tess or Baryn did, the child remained unresponsive. Could they be in a state of shock? Euclaire was just about to wave a hand in the girl’s face when the sturdy tiger beneath her suddenly began to flicker in and out of existence.

Unexpecting the drop, she took a tumble and fell flat on the ground, hands barely having enough reaction time to keep herself from falling flat on her face. Furrowing her brows she frowned as a sense of vulnerability washed over her. She struggled to maintain her link with Gugu, the centipede's traits flickered in and out like a candle. Very quickly panic set in when she realized that she sat up and struggled to even summon flames. Even trying to force them out with a snap of her fingers proved futile.

“It’s like we’re being jammed!”

With her team crying out and her connection with her element flickering in and out of existence, the panicked redhead did the first thing that came to mind. She grabbed the Kusarigama at her waist and swung the metal weight at the end of the chain towards the only anomaly in their vicinity; the child. Their skull specifically.

The only things that had changed from when they last used their powers until now were two things. One, she ate a strange fruit she didn’t even know the name of. However, considering the other two (who had not had a single bite) were struggling with the same thing, it couldn’t be that.

The second, was the strange child that had been watching them. If Euclaire was right, taking out the child should fix everything. If she was wrong… at least it was one less thing to think about in their current predicament.

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Ilana.pngRemaining merged day in and day out for extended periods of time was not ideal, however it did mean that all the perks of merging applied nearly 24/7. The enhanced senses can keep one sharp in the presence of sleep deprivation.

Ilana turned her head towards the sound of an airship coming in. She watched as it landed back where they too arrived and waited for something to happen, bad or worse, absent mindedly forgetting the others were still around there somewhere. The slits in her irises narrowed as the thought crossed her mind if these new comers could pose a threat to them. The three of them mast have been, at the very least, seasoned enough to hold their own in combat. Still, there was the sinking feeling that they could be in danger.

Soon even the match made in heaven, Bracken and Dalton, took notice of what was happening, the latter taking a more 'direct' approach to what appeared to be an unassuming elderly man. She looked down and took note of his hands that crackled with small arcs of electricity, but not before he bluntly delegating the mystery woman to her. She was the he best choice in the situation with Bracken's lackluster social skills, even compared to Ilana's, but it was clearly dumped on her because Dalton didn't want to deal with a battered woman. He would much rather intimidate an old man. Regardless, Ilana took on the responsibility while the other two went ahead to enter the scene.

"Hey, come with me." Ilana spoke with a softer tone than previously shown. It was only now in the midst of just this one terribly battered victim that she felt it was safe to let down her wall, even if it was only for a brief moment. She couldn't maintaining that thorny exterior she had shown to the others now, doing so would only make the woman less receptive.

"Let me help you." She was unsure what language she spoke but Ilana just hoped she could understand the tenderness in her voice. Ilana reached out and gently scooped her fingers underneath the mysterious woman's arm to get her onto her feet. Ilana could feel how weak she was as soon as they stood but was able to walk her to the group without incident. By that point it seemed whatever hostility there was had dispersed like wind. Still, Ilana eyed Isaac carefully.

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Elriel noticed his heart skip slightly listening to Ada say that they also wanted more alone time with him. Between the teasing and the kind words, he felt like his head was spinning. The mission had come at a bad time for them. But the worst part, by far, was that he’d be stuck trying to act like they were just friends unless they wanted to sneak around. No more holding hands and definitely no moving things further. He had spent his entire life waiting to see Adamaris again .. but another couple months with him this close, and not being able to do anything, was going to hurt.

Some members of their team he was less worried about judging them .. or that they’d think it somehow made them useless. Mavior and Ace would probably be open-minded if he were to guess. Whereas Zak was a wild card. And then Ivan .. he didn’t even want to imagine what the religious man would say if he found out, the thought of his sermon making him shiver. A non-straight couple wasn’t uncommon to see in Valencia, but he was a long way from home, and it was best not to take any chances.

Elriel was snapped out of his own thoughts feeling the thumb move against the back of his hand, getting a little shy. So he turned his head away to hide the dusty pink color that rose to his cheeks. As they made their way through the mostly dark city, they eventually stumbled upon a tavern not all that different in construction than the long hall had been — with wood beams and metal adornments. The food smelt delicious though, wafting from a large brick chimney that rose out of the top of the building.

Elriel held the heavy wooden door open for Ada before they walked to the bar top that only had a few open seats left. The restaurant was clearly only for locals, which was no surprise between the awful weather and the front gate guard's terrible attitude. Of course, they stuck out, but that didn’t matter. Gold was gold at the end of the day. And the noble had lots of it. “Hmm. I’ll take one bowl of the beef stew and a beer to start.” He spoke to the bartender before turning to Adamaris. “And of course whatever they want as well.

Once they were done with ordering he’d speak again, his voice soft to avoid any eavesdropping. “It doesn’t feel too bad inside. They certainly know how to construct these buildings so that they insulate well. Which comes with passed down skills and knowledge I suppose,” He spoke looking over at the large fireplace that had seating around it as well. “If I was to guess the carpenter was probably born from a long lineage of carpenters. The seamstress from seamstresses. And so on. There’s less choice in professions in these little towns.

Anyway .. tell me more about your time living in the Eastern United Kingdoms with your mentor. What was the weather like? The people and traditions? The food? That’s one of the few major countries I haven’t had the opportunity to visit yet though it is on my bucket list,” he spoke, before his smile suddenly disappeared. Elriel knew he shouldn’t ask the question that just popped into his mind but he couldn’t help it from coming out. “Do you .. plan to return there when this is all over? Or will you come back to Valencia with me?” Elriel whispered.

Emphoa Emphoa
hair (3) (1).png"Oh, uh right!" Ren responded as Damian tried to reassure him. The man was just explaining the nature of this whole ordeal. With the blood trail they were following there was bound to be danger, and with that thought, Ren became at ease once more. The boy listened to him as he went on about his selling of knowledge as if it were any other product in the shop, but at a price? What was that price exactly? A question Ren was ready to open him mouth and ask, but just then there was an almost clattering thump, the sound of a body falling flat with their limbs following close behind. Ren turned quickly to the sound, as did Phalanx as his eyes grew.

"Welcome Narzas," the man said, somehow knowing exactly who she was the moment she appeared much like how he knew Ren right off the bat. Somewhat ominous, he thought. More than that though, it was astonishing that she had fallen limp upon appearing similarly to how the boy had. That feeling overtook his suspicion of the man's supposed lack of omniscience at the sight of Narzas laying weakly on the floor.

"What?!" Ren blurted before dropping his bag and running over to her. He and Phalanx then stood above her, but neither knew what to do. "Hey-! Are you-" Ren couldn't form a full sentence but knelt down beside the woman. They still had their differences, sure, but her complexion was worrying. "Are you alright?"

While Ren was concerned, the opposite could be said about Damian who was a bit too calm about a woman collapsing on his floor, but he did at least offer them some tea. "Uhh." Ren blinked as he looked over at the man with tea, then back at the Assassin lady.

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What the fuck is wrong with you!?” Horror filled Esther as the merc casually tried to light people on fire. Succeeding with two blackened husks. “There have been studies showing gestures are universal! Like they understand you’re a fucking asshole!

Esther was weakened. Hadn’t they just discussed this? She was in no condition to fight a dozen hardened warriors. Especially as they were made up of different elementalists. She waved a hand, redirecting the earth bullets as she took to the skies.

She might have been tired, but it was a mental fatigue, with concentration her body still moved as she wished. Thankfully, as she had to dodge streaks of lightning. The other elements she could redirect, but she kept her movements economical, using as little air as possible. Once she was in the clear--Brynwyr having taken the attention of the other merged flyer--she drew her bow and took aim, shooting mundane arrows into the crowd of men. They were lucky she didn't just flee. But Brynwyr seemed worth it.

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The praise shouldn’t have meant anything. It was an obvious suggestion, but something small, practically smothered inside of her started to bloom when both the spies labeled her idea as good. It held steady against the winds of anticipation as she focused on the white spider, seeing its movement more than itself. Then it crumpled as Narzas started to pale. Oh no. This wasn’t as simple as Kallos taking a flight. The distance was too much. When she was a child, she’d comforted those with familiars while the adults gradually separated them further and further, punishing them when they merged for relief. They grew sick, as bad as any toxin spewed on the island. But Narzas just had to merge to bring her spider back. She’d be okay.

By the time the spy was leaning against the pillar, Anya no longer trusted her to pull back when it got too much, “Stop it! Summon her back!” She reached out to grab at the woman, but she disappeared, fading for a moment so that Anya had thought she’d merged. But heartbeats passed, and she remained gone. “Shit.

It was a sentiment every seemed to agree on. She glanced over at the checkered lady, wondering if she’d planned this somehow. She’d been in the factory first, had she laid the clue? But why pick them off like this instead of just killing them outright? She did seem like the type to play with her food.

Placing her hand against the pillar, she leaned her weight on it. There was another yellow brick, but she didn’t mention it this time. Retrieving her brick from the bag tied to her waist, she tossed it up and down a bit. She had nothing to lose at this point. She wrapped her arms around the column, holding the brick in one hand. Then tossed the brick gently aiming for the other.

Except, like Narzas and Ren, it disappeared.1 Turning to look at the others, she shrugged. “I guess we can see what half a body does? If we stay merged it won’t cause soul sickness…probably.” With that she merged with Kallos, her upper body features more prominent, in exchange for not growing legs. Glancing at Johan, she clicked her beak, before speaking. “Here goes?” Grabbing at the pillar, she leaned around it, sticking her head in the invisible portal thingy. Technical terms.

Or well, she tried? Sticking a hand out, she waved it in what seemed like open air to her. “Did it close?” She was worried, stepping to the side of the pillar, then leaning over again. She turned to look at Johan, “What do you think, should we try walking around again?

  1. The brick, being a brick, felt nothing as it flew into the new realm. Not even remorse as it hit Narzas.
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Her sister had always been powerful. But to take on two centurions? Even if she wasn’t alone, it seemed impossible. You see, Gailene had been fed the propaganda of Nye like anyone else. She might have been them as intruders onto Xysma, but she saw them as invincible ones. One might have been luck, but to kill two of them…

Why?” She stepped forward again, “You had to have known it’d bring scrutiny to Xysma. Why kill them?” Why were the centurions even there. Gailene wasn’t high enough up the ladder to have known they’d come to the island in the first place. But if the villagers knew they’d successfully killed two cents, then no wonder they felt confident enough to pull off a riot.

She let Charlie take over the questions; obviously she knew what she was doing. Or she was better at faking it than Gailene felt. She asked the important question, was Irina working with the riots or just using them. She didn’t question her distaste for centurions. She felt no one liked them. Her loyalty was to her family, first, last and always…except now Irina had broken away. She knew she should shun her, for betraying Xysma like this, but maybe she was doing it to help the family somehow. Irina had always been passionate, but Gailene had always agreed with her thoughts. Surely she couldn’t be too lost.

Zulan always wanted to parley. It was good that Charlie had insisted on bringing something more to the table than, no violence, but she wondered what they could offer the same. Irina was smart, she probably knew all of the secrets Gailene held. Maybe they could offer to “investigate” but find nothing. It’d be hard to convince the real centurion, but this group would probably agree.

Jet Jet ManofManyRoles ManofManyRoles EldridSmith EldridSmith rozukitsune rozukitsune
Narzas.jpgNarzas felt better almost immediately upon hitting the shop floor. The incredible feeling of distance, the icy cold grip upon her soul ebbed away as quickly as it had enveloped her as her familiar skittered back up her arm and reasserted its place upon her earlobe. She heard her name and glanced up at the stranger she'd vaguely seen through her spider's eyes. She frowned up at him as she slowly gathered herself from the floor and gratefully took Ren's offered hand. "Yeah, I think so." She replied to the youth, though her stomach was still untwisting itself from the journey. She made it to her knees when a brick suddenly came flying in from out of nowhere and thumped against her backside. Thankfully, Anya hadn't thrown it all that hard doing her little science experiment. The assassin grunted in annoyance and decided to move before more objects made their way across the strange portal that had brought them here.

As she finished rising, she glanced backwards at the place she assumed she had to have come through... but saw nothing but a normal shop all around herself. Interesting. What kind of magic was this?

Her eyes flicked to Ren, studying his calm expression, and for that reason alone she didn't immediately pull her knives on the man who seemed to know her name and uttered it like one might do for a friend or acquaintance - even though she was positive she'd never seen this guy before in her life. She eyed Damian warily and shook her head to his offer of tea. "Forgive me my manners, you seem to know my name but I don't know yours." She said tightly as she shifted her position in the room and looked around at the bits and baubles everywhere - more checking for hidden assassins than anything else.

"I am not in the habit of accepting anything from people I don't know." She added, agitated. "As for your offer... What is it you think I - or any of the others: want? Who are you? What is this place? Did you kill all the people in that building?"

She asked her questions regardless of whether or not Ren had already done so, mostly because she had zero idea what kind of conversation had already been happening before she'd stumbled across the portal. If Damian was smart though, he'd probably tell her to wait so he didn't have to repeat himself.

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Yua Smith

While Yua had been making her way for the door, Isaac proved he was capable of moving at a pace that would be considered for someone his age. Indeed, before Yua could offer a second thought or notion to him playing diplomat as well as vanguard, he merged with his familiar and had disembarked first and foremost. From the doorway Yua came to a halt, ever watchful eyes glued to the interaction between Isaac and these...other figures. It looked like a trio, so this couldn't be too bad. Such thoughts were quickly erased as another came from the forest nearby, a man crackling with electricity as he marched forward. There was nothing but malice in how he held himself, as if he begged for a reason to kill Isaac on the spot. She could feel her heart sink for but a moment...so much for a peaceful first contact then?

She heard the steady step...step...step of Felix as he came up behind her and leaving the post at the control panel behind himself. Fortunately, it proved that neither Felix nor herself would have to intervene. While the other man seemed to active search for a reason to cause violence, at least based off what she could hear from here, Isaac was not giving him one. The grandfatherly figure proved that age had not mired the mind or made it any less sharp...no lightning bolt was fired nor was there any blows exchanged. "I believe mister Isaac may have put any problems to bed...for now at least. I think-" Yua's train of thought was quickly derailed as Isaac called for her and the expertise she had. For a moment she was tossed off kilter, which expertise exactly? Surely he didn't need to know fiscal planning or how to budget a start-up company. Most certainly not in need of tips on how to play the piano, nor plant any plants...wait. Plants. Medical plants. Medicine. Gods of her mother homeland, he meant the reason she came this way to begin with! They needed a doctor. The stress of the day was little, if any, excuse for such errant train of thought. "Coming, Mister Isaac," she shouted back. Without a second thought she dismounted from the ship in a light run to close the distance, the steady step step step of the well dressed butler behind her.

Whatever the group may have expected for a doctor, Yua certainly did not look the part. A blonde that looked like she might blow in the wind, no more than 5'4, that was smart dressed in khaki hiking pants and a button up embroidered with 'K.T' on the collar to match, she looked rightfully out of place, looking like she'd embarked for a hike rather than a journey to the west. Then again, not that Dalton's group was any better dressed. Her familiar, a Gila monster, remained perched on her shoulder, and the sun overhead caused faint glints and glimmers as the light caught the prosthetic of gold and ivory. And of course behind her ever present was Felix, looking like a butler from a storybook...well, save for the basket hilted rapiar at his hip. Just who the hell was this little travelling circus, as she and Felix most certainly did not match the appearance of Isaac! Honestly, none of them looked remotely threatening, and the blade at Felix's hip certainly looked more of a status piece than actual weapon.

She made her way up to Isaac without breaking a sweat or even running short of breath, eyes glancing towards Dalton, and then the rest.
"Someone needed help?" It was a polite question, and it was accompanied by no greeting of her full name. The younger faces of the crowd seemed fine...as did the gentleman who looked more fitting from Isaac's part of the globe than other places. Finally she took notice of two more figures...a woman, merged with her familiar from the looks of things...and then-. Yua's heart plummeted as she saw the battered woman, the prospective person in need of her 'expertise'. The untrained or the uneducated may panic at such a sight, or the prospect of helping such a person...fortunately, Yua was neither. Indeed, a certain sense of calm and clarity crossed her mind as she sorted through all of her options. First and foremost the woman should not be upright, and would need to be laid down. Yua said something quickly in her mother's tongue of the United eastern Kingdoms, a quickly muttered "How bad is it?". She of course didn't expect an answer, and it was more so a question to herself. "I can help, but I'll need her laid flat as quickly as possible, and somewhere I can look her over. Here," with a single smooth motion she backpedaled a single step, foot stamping on the ground. As soon as the heel of her boot hit the earth, there was a quick groan of tera firma at her side a flat table of stone jutted upright from the earth beside her.
"Please, help me lay her down. It's not a stretcher, but it's better than letting her keep walking. I'll move wherever there's a good spot right now for me to look her over," she offered to Ilana. Yua's voice was calm, but firm, not showing a hint of doubt or a quaver of uncertainty...not like it would have any many other stressful situations. She stepped over to the other side of the woman, and as long as Ilana didn't give her a hard time about it she laid the woman down. "Can anyone tell me what happened to her, or do we not know?"
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Ava Marco
Interaction: Jet Jet Lost Echo Lost Echo ZackStop ZackStop
Calling Ava dumb wasn't exactly the right word to use here but she was... certainly stumped confused and just flat out unsure of what the fuck was going on going back to her old analogy of this being a story, right so Something was making familiar I'll trying to investigate while one of their number had gone missing, frankly she wasn't sure what sorta magic was doing that hopeful it wasn't the same shit as in the arena but that was the only thing she could really think of? "Well shit what the fuck Do we do now are we sure even getting too close won't have our souls sucked out or something?" Ava commented with an irritated huff. She'd watch as anya messed with the portal throwing something through before trying to enter it only to find that nope it wasn't open anymore maybe it err got closed by however opened it after getting hit by a brick or something she'd certainly do the same. "I mean it can't hurt to give it a shot maybe it will turn on again unless we've broken whatever kept it open?"

There was something anticlimactic about what she was seeing; instead of killers with no emotions in their square, empty heads, these were normal human beings. The kind she usually protected. It was a more complicated mess than she expected.

"Oh come now." Irina glanced at Renee. "My tongue is sharp but not sharp enough to kill you. There's much to decide before you can wallow in self loathing, so dust yourself off will you? I promise your safety as long as you play nice."

Her gaze moved to Charlie as she mentioned Escarra over and over. Her mouth curled up as she laughed at the accusation. "Escarra? Hardly an accomplice. The man is a mindless ideologue firing up beggars and barkeeps. He's of little concern to me. I have much bigger plans than tearing down bricks."

"Nor is my concern with centurions per-say." Her eyes sharpened as she remembered the men she killed. They were beasts who preyed on the weak and innocent. They came for business and pleasure but in vile twisted ways, taking advantage of poor girls needing cash. Treating them like dirt and abusing them. That was just the beginning though. They extorted and stole and pushed people around, and killed prisoners for organs.

They were scum of the lowest, most vile kind.

"The centurions died because they deserved death. Their crimes place them among the most vile filth ever spawned. They were reported dozens of times to the local authorities, but here in the heart of the justice system, justice is the last thing you'll find."

"We are the only recourse. The ones who watch the untouchable watchmen, a silent hand bringing balance where it's needed." Her gaze went from person to person meeting their eyes each time, carefully gaging each one. They were more valuable than they could possibly understand, people who could get closer than anyone in her ranks. They could make the mission much, much easier if they helped.

"On the contrary," she said to Zulan. "You could be of great value to my order, but I have no worry for my men. We've signed up for early graves at one point or another, what difference does the day make?" Her lips curled up at the corners. Those in her profession were much like grenades, a short fuse with an explosive end. There was no concern for living.

"I would love nothing more than a peaceful end to this meeting, but before I cease my loathsome grandstanding, I must ask your comrades one thing." Her gaze turned to the rest of them. "Are you very good dogs desperate to please your masters, or do you seek a better world? The question may seem loaded but I assure you, the two couldn't be more opposed."

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Johan watched in horror as Narzas slipped into the portal, vanishing in the same supernatural way. His jaw tensed as he looked around the wall in vain, and once again there was nothing. He didn't know what was happening but at this point, with both Narzas and Ren in a void of nothingness, he wasn't in the mood for experiments.

"No I don't think so," he said to Anya. "I'm—

He stepped forward unsure what to do; hesitant as he grasped the wall. "I can't leave them alone, Ren was bad enough and now Narzas."

He looked back at the mountainous woman behind him. "I think it's all or nothing, your whole body has to breach the threshold. I guess this'll be my last experiment." He took another step and suddenly found himself in the store. The warmth was the first thing that hit him. The scent of furnished wood and candles hit his nose; tea was brewing and shelves loomed overhead.

His disorientation lasted a small, fleeting moment before he found purpose. To find Narzas and Ren, swiveling around until he saw them on the floor.

"You're alive!" He ran over and barged into Narzas, giving her the tightest hug in history. "I thought you were dead!"

"And you!" He hooked his arm around Ren's shoulder. "I need to tie a rope from my waist to yours, like fucking mountain climbers."

He released Ren after crushing his shoulder for good measure, before steeling his eyes and heart. He stood and looked back at the man who terrorized his group. There was no kindness in his words. "Talk, now."

"Another arrival!" Damian poured a cup of tea. "The mighty centurion with immaculate timing! I was about to answer her questions when you appeared. All the wheres and whens and whys and hows, so many synonyms for confusion."

Johan scowled at the man. "Talk."

"Yes of course my lord." He sipped his tea and wandered through the room; his steps were completely silent. "You really must try this tea, warms the heart like a hearth in winter."

Johan blankly stared in response.

"Ah yes where was I?" Damian smiled before addressing Narzas. "To answer your most pointed of questions, none were killed with these inadequate hands."

He raised his palms with a smile. "But I know who's responsible. I know they killed those men to cover their tracks. To hide who poisoned your informant. I know you'll do anything to succeed with your freedoms on the line, so I'm offering a simple exchange. You bring me what I want, and you'll learn exactly what you need."

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Nihal let out a snort. "Quit paradoxical, isn't it?" He was recognized for lost potential, and yet he wouldn't have been considered as having potential if he hadn't taken his own life in the first place.

He watched the small exchange between Vixie and Dante. It seemed the man wanted to try to patch things up. Although it could be argued that someone so young and innocent shouldn't have been in a place like this anyway. The motivation in Dante's eyes seemed genuine though. He could possibly be just that skilled as an actor though.

"I heard before the time of books, bards were the historians," the singer commented. "They would pass down knowledge to their apprentices through song. Once they memorized the songs, the apprentice would take over for spreading the word." He couldn't help but let out a chuckle imagining someone like him as a scholarly source. "Maybe I can make my next visit worth your while then. I'll write songs about what the scientists are working on currently and come share them."

He couldn't help but let out a chuckle at Dante's response as to why he couldn't simply call him by his name. "I guess only I'll have the honor.

"I will,"
he assured, and he meant it too. Who knew how easily beautiful eyes and a charming smile could melt away someone's doubts. It would have been a disaster if the tabloids found out he was going here, but he was free now. As long as every other worker was a volunteer like Dante, perhaps it wouldn't be the worst place for a trip.

"I've got a few ideas myself," he responded to the blond when he mentioned his ideal getaway, "but I want it to be where you want to go and what you want to see."

He followed along as the man led them to the door, making sure Vixie was close by. "Thank you once again for your time," he said, giving Dante a warm smile. As he turned to go, he blinked as he felt an arm around his waist. He looked over to Vixie with a confused look for a moment before it also settled into a patient smile. It was a common feeling he had seen within his fans. She was sweet. He simply put an arm around her shoulders and brought her to his side in an embrace for a moment before starting to walk forward. Now where had Bean gone?

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Tessia screamed as the weapon cut through the air, even now she wouldn't let this happen. With her powers it would've been a simple matter, make a wall to protect the kid from harm, then smack Euclair in the head. But today she wasn't so lucky. The most she could do was three drops of useless water, splashing Euclair as she carved into the girl.

The kid was nimble though, she leaned back taking the blow in stride, leaving a bloody line on her face. She tumbled to the ground and clawed at her cheek, blood poured down her chin as she released a wretched scream. Her voice cut into Euclairs head like a knife. Tessia felt the same and covered her ears with all her strength, falling to her knees as the sound scorched her mind. Her vision was starry as she looked up in a haze. The sound of footsteps faintly reached her ears; then a shadow loomed over her shoulder.

Tessia looked over and there she saw them, men covered in blue paint and swirling tattoos. They wore armor made from bones, carved rocks and shells. Their heads were adorned with bright red feathers. Their eyes glowed like coals burning in the darkness, ominous and imposing. The menace of trained killers. They carried rope in their strong calloused hands, it was damp and course as they tied her hands behind her back.


"Baryn!" Tessia looked around but none could help her. They endured the same fate. "What is she—

Her head lowered to her chest. Her heart was even heavier and sunk to her stomach, and for the first time in a hundred missions, she felt terrible fear. The fear of the unknown. The fear of monsters living in human skin, stealing magic like a parasite.

"You were right Euclair."

"I should've helped," she groaned as she was pulled to her feet, blood trickled from her wound and she was sluggish and cold. Her eyes glossed over as the others were bound alongside her, spears poked their backs and the men said guttural words. It was all happening too fast to understand, a flurry of warriors led by a tall man.

"Kota kai malee, ostek!" He approached the kid and kneeled down, covering her cut in green paste. He cradled her head and brushed through her hair, pressing his nose on her forehead. "Ostek, malee."

He clapped her shoulder before scowling at the group. "Oss!" He shouted and his men sprang into action, pushing the group forward with their spears. Tessia could only whimper as she tried to keep the pace, because what she was meant to do, her mission and protecting her people, was now further away then ever. In every way she was a failure.

Her only hope was getting redemption, but having the chance was no sure thing.

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"Whew!" Spivey could smell the overwhelming aroma of smoke and burning flesh but became a tad bit disappointed when only two of about a dozen savage men were caught in the blaze. They quickly looked through the group as they began to disperse, loud shouts came from their angry faces perhaps as some intimidation factor but maybe a mix of fear as well. Only the sick and twisted got a good thrill out of this. The merc was seeing it all almost in slow-mo as that jittery sensation came in along with their racing heart; it was pure adrenaline. Spivey tightened their grip around the cannon as to not be over whelmed by the shakes and in preparation for retaliation, but there was one thing that felt more important that that at the time.

"Studies have shown something something I don't give a shit!" Spivey had the gall to lower their weapon and turn to the woman mid combat, just to argue. Perhaps this was partially from the alcohol they had been consuming, but it felt important at the time. "You wanna talk universal?" They proceeded as lightning thrashed through the air and other elements flying. "Pretty sure a bunch of god damn cannibals yelling at the top of their lungs is universal for 'we're gonna fucking kill you!'"

Just then, a couple of stone smacked into the side of Spivey's face and body, drawing their attention back to the fight. "Shit! Ow! Mother fucker." They nearly fell over being so blind sighted. They had so much more to say on the matter too, but as a group of the native people came running towards them, spears in hand, Spivey was dragged back into the zone.

Puffs of air began to escape through the slits in their footwear, large metal boots reaching the knees that had a particular gliding function. Small hissings sounds grew stronger as the men approached, when suddenly Spivey launched themselves like a rocket as their boots propelled them forward. What looked to be a motion so sudden that it could tear Spivey's leg off was a burst of compressed air, sending a powered right kick of metal against a human skull. It was brutally but graceful as it allowed Spivey to spin through the air after their assault and stick a landing with ease.

Back on solid ground, Spivey swung that cannon like a bat at whoever was in distance. Now in close range, they let out another billowing flame only this time around around their feet in an arcing motion to not miss their mark or worse hit their 'allies.' The merc let out a war cry of their own at the savages, only with the deep distorted crackle on top. Close range or long range, Spivey was ready to throw down with these war painted baboons.

Lost Echo Lost Echo Arcanist Arcanist Jet Jet
Adamaris relished in the small of warm food- the architecture so unfamiliar and yet almost had a homely sense to it. Their eyes lightly twinkling as they dipped their head to Elriel- chuckling lightly to themselves as he held the door open for them and they took care to step inside. It was certain more inviting and much warmer in here than the harsh weather that was waiting for them just outside of these doors. It was... different, their eyes trailed back onto the white haired man alongside them, and they couldn't help but feel so much more at ease with him right there at their side. A small puff leaving their lips as they took a seat beside him.

"I'll have the same- but just a water, please." They insisted quietly, offering a polite smile to the tender before their eyes settled back onto their old friend. Resting their head onto their hands as they couldn't help but admire him for a few moments. Realizing just how long it had been since they had been able to see each other. They let him speak first, their head tilted ever so slightly before they let out a quiet chuckle. "It would make sense, wouldn't it? They would need to know how to preserve themselves in this kind of weather- it is certainly much better inside of here rather than outside." They sighed at the thought, and they knew that what was awaiting them was... so much worse than this little town had.

But they hummed out a little as he mulled over the lineage's of individuals who would have been able to bring something like this to life- what sort of culture this place had. "... I would imagine it'd work that way, just as your family passes down their own knowledge, right?" They stated quietly, gentle eyes settled back onto Elriel as they searched his expression. "... It's nice to be able to have this, I'm sure the nights ahead will not be friendly to us." They admitted, pursing their lips together at the thought, before their eyes flitted back up once more when he spoke again.

They couldn't help but let out another light chuckle- tucking some of their hair back as they considered their answer carefully. "The weather can be unpredictable, there." They finally admitted as their eyes settled back onto Elriel. "I didn't care much for exploring much outside of being with my mentor- We... lived quietly, it was peaceful for a long time. He taught me well." They paused, their expression almost distant before he focused back on his friend. "I think you would like it there, perhaps we could very well travel together- I could show you the town I lived in, experience it all first hand."

They chuckled at the thought, but it wasn't until Elriel mentioned what they would do after all of this- that they perked up. Eyes so gentle as they looked into Elriel's own... they reached out a hand, gently taking his friend's hand into their own once more, and giving it a light squeeze. "... I would like to go with you, if you will have me. I don't want to be apart, not... again."

Goliath Goliath
𝓜𝓪𝓿𝓲𝓸𝓻 '𝓜𝓪𝓿𝓮𝓻𝓲𝓬𝓴' 𝓑𝓸𝓸𝓴𝓮𝓻
Mavior paused at the statement of Zak going back in time to kill his ancestor just to see what would happen. Like an aged door with rusted hinges one could almost hear the creeeeek of Mav's neck as he looked towards Zak with those soulless goggles. And then...no remark was found as he turned his gaze back towards the logbook in his hands. Either Mavior didn't have a 'witty' response to that statement, or he realized just how much bait was put on the hook and was ignoring it. However, it was the voice of Arnheid that stirred him back to life as his gaze snapped to her much quicker than it had to Zak as he spoke. "You have my thanks," he stated politely. Even as he accepted the rope, he coiled it up and slipped it into the satchel at his hip. There was a pause once again before he spoke, voice calm and even as it ever was. "You have already done much for us, ma'am. But, if you are still willing to be of aid...I would request a bow and a quiver of whatever bolt or arrow you can spare. The journey will be long, and I have no doubt danger will be an ever present threat. If said danger should be living, I would prefer to dispatch it at a distance rather than close..."

The woman's brow quirked a the request, but it wasn't something she'd reject. Wordlessly she collected a recurve bow, as while the lad was tall enough to utilize a longbow she did not have one she'd be willing to part with, and handed it off to him. Along with it, she offered a quiver of arrows with the fabric top securely fixed over them so they did not fall out. "I wish you luck with such a tool. The winds are harsh, and they spite any archer foolish enough to challenge them." Mavior took quick stock of the tools he'd been given before the quiver of arrows went over his back and the bow slung just so. "You have my thanks, once again. And if that should be the case...I shall not openly challenge the winds, but shall follow where they blow." Mavior had not packed a bow and arrows to the games, though he could use them well. He never had any intention to be lethal during the games, where some might have been...and by their very nature, it was a bit difficult to be non lethal with a tool flying at you at hundreds of feet per second. Here though...lethality may be a necessity. "I think that is all I would request, save for any rations you would be willing to let us take...as well as the cloaks, which we are willing to purchase from you rather than take advantage of good will."
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Charlie Redding
Charlie's attention drifted from Irina to Renee, and some part of herself felt a bit bad to see her like that. It was a part of herself she had spent her entire life trying to strangle, choke, beat, stab, burn, and carve out of herself...alas, like the rest of herself, that part was just too damned pissed to die at any given time no matter what she did. So...she did feel bad to see this person in a tough spot like this. Renee was typically the kind of gal she came to blows to help or help get even not the sort she led into a mousetrap. She could play emotional support 'craggie later, this was a game of potential life or death they were dealing with at the moment. "Oi, stand tall lass. Yer not dead yet, aye? Remember promises and all that. Gimme a chance to keep and earn em, yeah?" It may have been a flailing attempt at comfort, but it was all she could offer. They had a deal. She'd keep the girl safe, and Charlie would get a chance to learn how to be 'social' and 'courteous' or whateverthefuck that entailed. Her attention went towards Irena finally, a white brow quirking at the laugh. That was a genuine laugh...and in spite of herself, Charlie was sporting a grin now. And that grin grew more...genuine then as Irena spoke. Now that was talk she could get along with. Not politics nor shaking your hand while stabbing you in the back kinda talk. It was plain and simple...the Cents were shit people shocker, she was sure, so she did what needed to be done. Charlie could sing that song all day long, she was fond of it.

"Speakin' my kinda language, lass. Sometimes people need their jaw broken or their neck snapped. Damn shame half the time their the one's orderin' the jaw breakin' and neck snappin' for folks who ain't earned it." Charlie listened to Irena's conversation towards Zulan patiently for a moment. She was one of the first to offer a reply, as usual, and as usual it was in Charlie's typical form. Lacking grace or any form of 'politeness' possible...blunt like a sledge and twice as deadly as one flying at mach speed. "Sure it ain't gonna surprise ya' to know we didn't know shite 'bout the Cents beside to look into em'. And since ya don't give a shit about the blowhard who decided to try ta get us intah a brawl, we're on fair 'nuff footing so far. Dunno if I'm what ya'd call an altruist, but I ain't opposed to cracking the skull of somebody who's earned it if that's tha question." Charlie didn't bother to justify her cause of action, nor did she feel the need to defend it. Though it was undoubtably a bit odd, after all...who'd ever heard of a Craggie who gave a shit about anyone but themselves? And beyond that, she doubted Irena would give a damn about whatever rag-tag 'detective' group she worked with, or would she know the name of it...and honestly, all the better for her. Not like she'd have the luck of having a Cherubim in this cesspit she could play QnA with, so it wasn't worth bringing up. "We can talk shop, lass, sounds fair 'nuff to me." This was a fine turn of events she couldn't help but think. They didn't know anyone's name save for Irena's, and far as she knew she didn't know their names. Well, she got called knuckles, and if that nickname stuck she'd probably be laughing her ass off all day each time she was called it. Something was going on though, and she'd be damned if she wasn't going to get more information out of this. Something smelled foul since she stepped into Nye, and she was pretty sure it wasn't the horse shit from the slums. Then again...maybe she was just a jaded bitch.

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There were fathers in the vicious warband, but unfortunately for three of them, someone else would raise their kids. They were scoured by claws and cannons and one of the many arrows, crumpling over as blood sprayed from their veins, a macabre shower turning the leaves red. The crunch of bone and sinew filled the forest, a wounded man groaned on the ground. The leader of the warband said something in a strange tongue, guttural and harsh, completely alien to the group.


The warriors retreated and blended with the forest. Their paint changed to match the dense trees. They watched from the shadows and if one looked close enough, they would see light shining from eyes in the darkness, almost like stars in a cloudy sky. They never remained in one place though, vanishing like fireflies in the night.

They spoke among themselves and then, as quickly as they came, the men vanished without a sound, leaving only a few corpses and arrows.

"Beatings!" Huracan waved and ran over. His face was still covered in mud. "I thanks you! You help me escape life. You come from—

He pointed up instead of saying the word. "They soon more come, hunting ones who fall in fire. The forest—

He grumbled with frustration. Their language tasted like shit on his tongue, not that he even knew the words. "Forest not saved good for... Kuauakpa takatl."

He wildly gestured with his hands. "Not saved for milk drinkers. You come now!"

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Bricks don’t usually affect sourcery.” Anya protested feebly. She didn’t think Johan’s supposition made sense, after all Narzas’s body hadn’t crossed through, it’d disappeared on this side. But at least he didn’t say it was broken. Likely because he didn’t want it to be either, even if it was for different reasons.

She didn’t have time to speak before the spy followed after his lover, disappearing much like Ren did. Glancing over at Ava (and avoiding looking at the checkered lady) she shrugged, “I guess the only way is through, huh?” She didn’t want to be without Johan’s protection, in the blonde’s grasp. She reached out, offering her hand. Regardless of whether the woman took it, she lead the way around the pillar, disappearing from Ava's view and possible grasp.

Kallos, left behind to watch their frenemy, gave a guttural cry before disappearing a few seconds after.

It was just one step, then another in a new room. Immediately, before she even registered the second step, she gasped, clutching her chest. She’d wondered what the pain of those separated children was like, but never had joined, the experiment having ended before she turned twelves. She quickly merged, the pain disappearing instantly. Wings burst from her back, knocking some knickknack off the shelf behind her. Her face distorted, turning aquiline as she finished the guttural cry of Kallos.

It took a moment of concentration, only the knowledge of Ava probably coming through forcing her to move. With her wings tucked against her back, she shifted around the cluster of hugging people, her eyes adjusting to the darkened room. She wondered if the large woman would even fit, let alone the blonde. It was a shop, she looked down at the knickknacks she’d knocked off, but figured she’d wait to pick them up: it was better they crushed than her.

Looking at her group, she kept most of her attention on the unknown man. “So, this isn’t what I expected. Where are we?

Huntertabbysandshark3 Huntertabbysandshark3
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Goliath watched as Adrian threatened the witch once again, wondering how many more of those they actually had before it snapped. He, personally, was uncertain if he believed that killing the host or destroying the alter would be the answer to their problems. But he was also far from an expert in spirits.

The positive? Adrian did get a few points in Goliath’s book for seemingly snapping to end Faraji’s torment from the cruel words and mental images.

He bit his teeth together as the voices once again began to surround them, watching how the building flexed inward. The jagged teeth of wood and clattering noises while she yelled once more about them living despite being stupid. And hell, maybe they were for splitting up from their centurion in the first place.

Goliath nodded slowly as Adrian said they weren’t here to fight. Also having no desire to be food for a being that probably couldn’t eat or a puppet either. But then the redhead once again went into attacking the spirit, almost chuckling at the headstrong comment.

But you knew this already. That Adrian could be a hothead. I am not sure why you seem so surprised. If you can tell the future then you know how this conversation would go.” He realized.

It was shocking to hear that the world practically hung in the balance of their success. But everything that had occurred in this house was already unbelievable. So who was he not to accept the words being given to him, before he heard Faraji repeat the word everything.

Goliath watched as her aura shifted. More certain, in that moment, that the entity could kill them, than he had been in any other. The power within its eyes was unlike anything he’d ever seen and probably never would again. No. They were in the presence of something much stronger than should be in the living world. An entire army wouldn’t be able to stop the witch, let alone the three of them.

So he listened to the instructions while his knuckles turned white from gripping the spear in his hand. The Labyrinthian — where none had ever returned. People trapped wandering around the winding path, left to go insane or starve. Whichever came first. Goliath had never liked puzzles and certainly not one where his own body was the pawn.

And if they somehow managed to survive that, then they had to find a man covered in white burns who was apparently inside the labyrinth. Wasn’t it possible that the people who entered before them did not return because of him? How many people had she asked to do this exact task before? 5? 20? 100?

When she stated he listened to a monster .. he had to hold back another laugh. It was painfully similar to what stood before him currently. He wondered if it was another all-powerful spirit and she was unable to view herself as also being a monster. But he held his tongue, knowing better than to ask useless questions.

Goliath knew one thing for certain from her riddles and mind games, and that was if they did manage to meet the mysterious man, no matter how good, he couldn’t accept any offerings or deals that were made to him. It was a trap.

Faraji had good questions. But he sounded like he was about to have a psychotic break. “Yes, we are looking for someone already,” he nodded simply, giving a forced smile that the man sounded like a good guy. “To me, forward sounds like the only option now. But how do we get ahold of the others in our group? Maybe it’s best that those two don’t come with us? But Bean certainly won’t come searching for us either.” Goliath sighed wishing he’d actually taken the shrimp now.

He put his spear back on his back, with a sigh. “Like Faraji asked. How do we enter the Labyrinthian? There’s no point in waiting around here.” He spoke before looking to Adrian. “Unless you’re going to try your hand at attacking this thing.

Jet Jet (Adrian) Arcanist Arcanist (Faraji)

"A traditional ballad!" Dante chimed. "With modernization I assume, you don't strike me as a lute player."

He smiled and gave them one last look, sadness lingered like mist in his eyes. "I'm sure there's a travel catalog somewhere in Casablanca — but do know, I have expensive tastes."

He waved before vanishing in the crowded room, lost among the many patrons. His heart ached as he mourned the sudden appearance — and disappearance of a man he found interesting. He prayed Nihall would make good on his many promises, but he wasn't holding his breath. Time changed everything especially promises, the most brittle thing of all.

Meanwhile, Bean lounged on a couch made for a much larger man, swallowed by red leather cushions. "Gio! Gio! Gio!" He repeated the name over and over. "Gio! Gio! Gioooooo!"

"The man with a silver tongue! Giooooo, Giovani, the dolt who thinks I'm dumb!"

"Dumb?" Giovanni leaned forward from a plush loveseat, a young man and woman sat on the arms of his chair. He wore a grey suit with thin white pinstripes, white shoes and a matching undershirt. His gray hair swooped back and his face was sharp and chiseled, attractive but fading with time.

He smiled at the centurion and slowly shook his head. "On the contrary my friend, a keen intellect is required for your brand of psychopathy."

"Pandering now?" Bean snorted. "You want to diddle me next?"

"Le coeur du mal," Giovanni said. "Can we not break bread like civilized men?"

"You know why we can't."

"You must see reason even when it leaves you." Giovanni leaned back and took the hand of his woman, a coy smile crossed his face. "Or you'll miss the immaturity of your feud."

"Old buddy old pal. I'm like the big man upstairs, ain't nothing I don't see."

"Enlighten me then?" Giovanni narrowed his eyes. "What do you see in this very moment?"


"How fortuitous then, what good is Satan without making deals?"

"You talk like him too." Bean snickered before spotting the others nearby, waving at them with a grin. "Finally here eh? Pull up a seat will you, this Goivanni lads a hoot."

He kicked away the ropes surrounding the VIP section, knocking over the stands with a crash.

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Renee was collapsing prompting Zulan to try helping hold her up. He didn't see the point in being sacrificed for nothing, but he didn't look down on her efforts. She just had the wrong perspective.

The sisters debated in the meantime on the point of killing centurions, at this point it didn't matter to him as the dead wouldn't rise again, no need crying over spilled milk. "As much as their deaths affect the political landscape, does the why matter at this point? People die for small misunderstandings and great causes. They're already dead, we can't change it. What matters now is what we do." He finally spoke up, as much as he wanted to debate the philosophy of the situation, he wasn't really that interested in getting caught up in another political power struggle. He felt like he was running through series after series of spider webs even before Nye, as the military wanted to use him for power struggles, Nye wanted to use him, now this group did as well. Unfortunately it didn't seem like he could escape it.

The lady denounces the mad revolutionary, which was well and good at least, and it seemed the centurions deaths were justifiable. He was familiar with the actions she didn't speak, he spent time in the military, he did what he could but one cannot stop an entire army from such actions. What surprised him was he would be helpful to them somehow. "And what value does a deserter and amateur philosopher bring your order exactly? All I carry are blood stained hands and guilty conscience." He inquired, unsure what to think of her initial response. "I certainly seek a better world, but who is to say your version is better when we know nothing of it? Whether the path you tread will end in ruin blinded ideals like the communists of old?" His tone wasn't only questioning her, but also himself, he had a clear path during the games but now everything was muddled like murky water. Clear as mud. He didn't even hear much of what Charlie said other than her agreeing to 'talk shop'. However it was clear that he was at a crossroads, and the road signs didn't help at all.
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