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Thread: Original Sin (IC)

  1. #141
    Imperial Princess Satehi's Avatar
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    Theola August
    Inferno
    Morning


    The answer bothered Theola.

    That was not because it was unexpected. In a way, it was relatively normal- the circumstances concerning Nameless’s name were clearly… unusual. If Theola were to hazard a guess as to how it came about, then the only answer she could give would be a demon contract. Whether or not that was the truth, she had no idea- but it was not surprising that someone like Nameless was not allowed to wander freely. Her response was only a confirmation of this.

    No, what bothered her was something else entirely.

    “Forced into servitude… in that case, you have my sympathies, miss Nameless.”

    The concept was not something foreign to Theola in the slightest, given her past. In that sense, perhaps empathy as opposed to sympathy would be more appropriate?

    “But the way you word that makes it almost sound- I apologize, if I’m making big assumptions again, like you would rather not be working for the force at all.”

    She continued, her tone casual- the last thing she wanted to do was make her next question sound like an interrogation. After all, it was no business of Theola the police officer whether or not Nameless was working for the city of her own volition, so long as she continued to do so. No, her next question was of more… personal interest.

    “Of course, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I am sure there are a number of members on the force who, if given the opportunity, would much rather be doing other things. But your response makes me wonder- not as an officer mind, but as a person…”

    “Have you ever given any thoughts about being free? Doing what you want instead of what others want from you?”

  2. #142
    Asher Bharrant
    Inferno
    Morning

    "Wait, Sen... You want me to ensure Mattias doesn't meet the local ice queen, don't you?"
    The tension that had been relaxing in the room suddenly became taut again.

    "Ahaha, were things so easy. Relax, that's not what I wanted to request of you," Sen laughed while eyeing Mattias's reaction. She seemed satisfied with the result as she continued. "Don't worry, even I can be reasonable when it suits me; it's not something quite that impossible."

    "Is this about that stunt that the Sin of Pride pulled? Is there something at play here that I should know?"
    Sen whistled in appreciation.

    "Pretty sharp of you. My hunch of you seemed right on the money. That's pretty much it. There is definitely something at play here, but as to if you should know it... well I can't exactly answer that. Because frankly, I want to know it too. He's acting oddly, even more so than his usual mysterious self. You know he even called a meeting for the faction leaders and tried forcing the issue? Frankly speaking, that's pretty insane."

    "I was the only person he didn't invite to the meeting. Even if I'm not particularly interested in this organization, it was still a bit sad. And to be honest, not even I can ignore the stunt he pulled yesterday. I'm thankful that Sen took the time to contact me beforehand and let me know about it."

    "That's right. And that's why I figure it's probably better to cover some bases. Juluis is a pretty indirect person, the exact type of actions I'm not good at handling. With that being said, do you mind making yourself at home for a bit Mattias? I'm going to take your new friend Asher out a bit, treat him to something nice. A reward for accepting this task. Maybe you can chat for a bit with that girl over that, I believe she was one of Julius's and actually took part in the attack yesterday."

    Sen unilaterally seemed to make several decisions at once, as she grabbed Asher's arm and half dragged him out.

    As the two exited the room, the burned man turned towards Pike. "Oh? Were you now? Perhaps you could tell me about it..."

    ...

    As Sen dragged Asher along the streets, she began talking again.

    "I wasn't kidding about what I said earlier by the way. Even if I wanted you to, I think stopping Mattias from fighting against Mary should they meet is probably impossible. Furthermore, you couldn't know this but that was his one 'condition for joining the Seven Sins. That there would be no interference with his grudge. That's why it's not a good idea to talk about making so they don't meet. Because I think it can pretty much be said without exaggeration that his one purpose in life is taking down Mary."




    Theola August
    Inferno
    Morning


    “Forced into servitude… in that case, you have my sympathies, miss Nameless.”
    "Thanks. Even if they don't really help, I appreciate the sentiment." She grinned.

    “But the way you word that makes it almost sound- I apologize, if I’m making big assumptions again, like you would rather not be working for the force at all.”
    "It's not issue, feel free to be as blunt as you like, to assume whatever you want. Strictly speaking, I'm not exactly a part of the force so much as working for the city of Eden, but well it doesn't really make a difference either way."

    “Of course, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I am sure there are a number of members on the force who, if given the opportunity, would much rather be doing other things. But your response makes me wonder- not as an officer mind, but as a person… Have you ever given any thoughts about being free? Doing what you want instead of what others want from you?”
    "Now that's a bit of an odd question to ask someone in my position. I think if you asked a person currently in bondage if they would prefer to be free, around 99% would answer 'yes'. But then again, it isn't really up to them is it? If they had the ability, they wouldn't be trapped in the first place. That's something that only the captor can grant. But to directly answer your question, yes. I hate being restrained like this, having my 'wings' clipped, being trapped under a dreary, sunless sky. But that's how it is. There's also the difference between 'small' freedom and 'grand' freedom'. After all, there's not much point in throwing off your shackles if you're still trapped in the jail cell."

    Nameless finished off the last portion of the meal she ordered as she glanced at her watch.

    "Hmmm, time passed quicker than I thought it would. There's probably about time for one more question before we need to get on our way. Or has your curiosity been completely satisfied?"
    <Satehi> I, satehi, thought of tentacles first for entirely inappropriate, disgusting, lewd and perverted reasons

    Honk





  3. #143
    Asher Bharrant
    Inferno
    Morning

    Quickly Sen dragged Asher out of his own house, and the girl left behind could hardly be in a worse situation.

    Being used by Julius, broken by Asher, terrified by Sen and who knows what effect Mattias will have on her. One would almost feel pity for her.

    Almost.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sen
    "That's why it's not a good idea to talk about making so they don't meet. Because I think it can pretty much be said without exaggeration that his one purpose in life is taking down Mary."
    "Hey if it were up to me I'd never want to be between those two again. I'm aware what those two can do when they go at each other."

    Still being dragged through the streets, Asher replied to the girl that took him along.

    "But if Julius is involved there's a chance that Lust and the Witch can "accidentally" bump into each other. You said it yourself, Julius didn't invite Mattias over, which suggests he didn't want him there for a reason..."

    Yes, it certainly seems strange to lack one of the Sins in a meeting that should involve them all. Unless it's by design of course. Then what is the most likely reason one could have to not have a man like Mattias close by?

    Fear.

    For a man like Julius possessing high flying ambitions, the burning sun is quite a threatening existence after all.

    "I'm sure I'm not the only one that realizes that the best way of distracting my newest friend is by manipulating Mary, so I need to keep that in mind. I don't know these people, but Julius doesn't sound like the type to honor conditions or grudges. But since you're telling me this, I'll refrain from discussing her anywhere near Mattias."

    "I prefer living uncooked anyway."

    The pair continued to walk and talk, some strange looks were given to them right before the people realized just who that girl dragging Asher was.

    She had quite the effect on people after all.

    "...So uhm, Sen. Where are you taking me? This isn't just to take me away from Mattias is it?"

  4. #144
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    Theola August
    Inferno
    Morning


    “… At the risk of sounding like a broken record, you have my sympathies, Miss Nameless.”

    Saying anything more than that, Theola felt, would have been distasteful- talk was cheap, after all. In her opinion, it would be nothing more than a shallow gesture. Seeing as Nameless had deigned to answer her question with undiluted honesty, it would be unbecoming to respond with nothing more than simple platitudes- but there was little else she could offer the woman, and so she held her silence.

    In a way, Nameless was correct- her response was perfectly natural, as to be forced into servitude naturally implied a degree of unwillingness. As for why Theola had asked such a seemingly obvious question…

    …it was because the predicament reminded herself of how she used to be.

    Of course, that was all in her past. The reason behind her question had been mostly out of curiosity rather than a sense of compassion for what one might view as an individual under similar circumstances.

    “But I’m not quite satisfied yet. If there is only one more question I can ask, then...”

    Pondering over what to choose her final question, Theola finally decided to go straight for the question that bugged her the most. Nameless had been very honest up until now- there was no harm in asking, and nothing to lose.

    “… is there a reason you chose to do this little game with me? I am just a regular member of the force- I can’t see why you would be interested in my answers in particular.”

  5. #145
    Asher Bharrant
    Inferno
    Morning

    Quickly Sen dragged Asher out of his own house, and the girl left behind could hardly be in a worse situation.

    Being used by Julius, broken by Asher, terrified by Sen and who knows what effect Mattias will have on her. One would almost feel pity for her.

    Almost.



    "Hey if it were up to me I'd never want to be between those two again. I'm aware what those two can do when they go at each other."
    "Oh? Is that true?" Sen raised an eyebrow at his words. "Frankly speaking, just being in the general vicinity and getting out intact when those two go at it is a good feat."

    "But if Julius is involved there's a chance that Lust and the Witch can "accidentally" bump into each other. You said it yourself, Julius didn't invite Mattias over, which suggests he didn't want him there for a reason..."
    "Hmm... That isn't really something I considered. Or rather, not even Julius is insane enough to deliberately set off a powder keg like that... at least that's what I would have assumed prior to his recent attack. I do think that he probably just wanted to use force to make the various factions act the way he wanted to, and force isn't something that would work against Mattias. Like trying to fistfight a wildfire, you know? However that would also mean as beneficial as Mattias might be, he could also end up being a complication for Julius... Hmmm..."

    "I'm sure I'm not the only one that realizes that the best way of distracting my newest friend is by manipulating Mary, so I need to keep that in mind. I don't know these people, but Julius doesn't sound like the type to honor conditions or grudges. But since you're telling me this, I'll refrain from discussing her anywhere near Mattias."
    "I never said this, but those two are actually rather similar in certain ways. Trying to manipulate Mary is just as risky and dangerous as attempting it with Mattias. If Julius is willing to go that far... there has to be a reason he's taking such risks. Assuming of course he does that."

    "I prefer living uncooked anyway."
    Sen laughed.

    "And that's the reason I never said that. Honestly, don't worry that much. He's actually more of a passive person, barring his one trigger. Even if you push a few buttons, you'll probably still be safe enough.

    "...So uhm, Sen. Where are you taking me? This isn't just to take me away from Mattias is it?"
    "What? Of course the primary reason was to get you away from Mattias. This isn't exactly the kind of conversation we could have in his presence after all. Beyond annoying him, it would be really awkward. In other words, it'd be a pain. This way makes things much simpler."

    It really did appear that Sen pulled Asher out on this walk for such a simple, straightforward reason.

    "With that being said, you should probably be compensated for having such a troublesome task dumped on you. Here, catch."

    Sen casually reached into her pocked and tossed a brown cloth bag at Asher. Asher was taken slightly aback at the fact that it was heavier than it seemed.

    "That's probably about... a few weeks worth of the average salary in this parts. Consider it an advance. And now let's go get some food."

    Once again, without even waiting for Asher to respond, she marched off, with full expectation that Asher would follow.

    Asher Bharrant
    Inferno
    Afternoon


    Sen ended up leading him to a place he had never been before, but it seemed like she was quite the regular. The staff politely led them to a private room, filled with lavish and gaudy decorations, far away from the common area. Asher's eyes widened a bit at the prices, but then again with his recent infusion of funds, money probably wouldn't be a problem. Sen quickly listed some dishes to a nearby staff, then leaned back in her chair and kicked her legs onto the table as Asher read through the menu.

    "Food here's pretty good. Eating is one of the pleasures in life after all. Order whatever you want, it's my treat."

    She seemed to be in a pretty good mood. A wary thought crossed Asher's mind.

    Considering the job he (was sort of forcibly) hired for, this could very well end up being his last meal.




    Theola August
    Inferno
    Morning

    “But I’m not quite satisfied yet. If there is only one more question I can ask, then...”


    “… is there a reason you chose to do this little game with me? I am just a regular member of the force- I can’t see why you would be interested in my answers in particular.”


    Nameless laughed at Theola's final question.

    "Is that it? That's the simplest question yet. First of all, there's no need for you to be so modest, captain. You're a hero who helped escort Leona to safety. You even managed to subdue an assassin that had been sent after her, and not just any ordinary assassin. A devil contractor at that."

    Nameless pointed towards Theola.

    "That doesn't exactly seem like regular member of the force material to me. Sounds like someone special worth getting to know."

    She brought her hands up and formed a rectangle with her fingers, as if she was taking a picture of Theola.

    "Besides that, I wanted to see what the person I heard so much about was like. I didn't actually expect the captain I ran into to be 'The Theola August'."

    "Your boss had a lot to say about you when she heard I was heading down. Or I suppose she's your former boss now. Right, I was supposed to pass on a message for you."

    "Miss Skye gives her regards, and wants you to know that she has her utmost faith in you. Or rather, of course she would, otherwise she wouldn't have recommended you succeed her. Hahaha"

    It was a bit uncertain as to whether that laugh was part of the message, or something that Nameless added herself, but that wasn't the part that took Theola by surprise. It was the fact that her former captain seemed to know Nameless. But she wasn't given much time to press further, as Nameless stood up.

    "Okay, it's time to go."

    Theola August
    Inferno
    Afternoon


    It took a bit longer than expected to make it over to headquarters from the diner. It seemed like the meeting had just about wrapped up as the two of them made their way in.

    The chief caught sight of her and raised his voice in a mixture of annoyance, anger, and disappointment.

    "Theola! You're late! Where were you, you missed the entire-"

    "My apologies, but Theola was with me. The responsibility is with me." Nameless smoothly interrupted him.

    "...and who are you supposed to be?" The chief said, eyeing Nameless with suspicion.

    Just then, Loki exited the door behind the chief. "Are you finally here, miss Theo-"

    The moment she saw who Theola was standing next to, she froze, and her eyes widened.

    "You" It was a single word, spoken sharply with a tinge of animosity. It was a glimpse into another side of Loki that Theola had never seen before.

    "Hi, Leona. Glad to see you're doing well." In contrast, Nameless spoke to the councilwoman rather cheerfully.

    "I see. I was wondering about the strike force showing up, considering I never requested it. So them showing up was your doing. Or maybe you just took advantage of it to come down to Inferno."

    "Your tone is pretty hurtful you know," replied Nameless with no indication that she was feeling hurt. "I was only doing my job. Besides, things worked out in the end, didn't it? Thanks to the strike force being deployed, we were able to greatly reduce the amount of damage and casualties. Isn't that a good thing."

    "You might be right there," Loki conceded. "Still..."

    She glared at Nameless as she thought to herself for a few moments.

    "While this is unexpected, I might just require your assistance after all. Head over to my residence and await me there. This is an order. Do you understand?"

    Nameless bowed. "My job is to provide assistance to the council after all. I hear you and obey."

    She stood up and turned to Theola. "It was nice meeting you. Maybe we'll even meet again someday." With those parting words, she turned around, and left the building.

    The moment Nameless was out of sight, Loki visibly relaxed, as if a giant tension had vanished from her body.

    "Who was that and what just happened?" The chief asked Loki, confused.

    "It's probably not a good idea to discuss this out here. Let us go back to the meeting room. You're coming with us as well, Theola. Considering what happened, there are some things that will probably need to be clarified. From both sides."

    Loki spoke, pointing at Theola.
    <Satehi> I, satehi, thought of tentacles first for entirely inappropriate, disgusting, lewd and perverted reasons

    Honk





  6. #146
    Asher Bharrant
    Inferno
    Afternoon

    Without any further thought on her mind, Sen gracefully entered an establishment that looked more than a little luxurious. Internally Asher wanted to object, but he quickly gave up on that notion. The Sin of Wrath was welcomed warmly, hinting that her appearance here is hardly a rarity. She and Asher were lead to a private room where the staff members gave them each a menu and waited patiently on their customers orders.

    Thinking to himself that he shouldn't spend his newfound income needlessly, Asher's eyes widened upon reviewing the prices for the dishes. Prices like these were a bit beyond what a boy of humble beginnings like him could afford to spent on food, at least for a lunch...

    Luckily Sen resolved that slight problem without even noticing it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sen
    "Food here's pretty good. Eating is one of the pleasures in life after all. Order whatever you want, it's my treat."
    Still, it wouldn't be right do to have her spend more than whats needed, even if she's offering so generously.

    But the pricing wasn't the only issue present on these menus. Dishes with names that Asher had never seen before were displayed on fine print, leaving him unsure what he should pick.

    It certainly sounded fancy, but

    Items such as: Hors d'oeuvres, Scallop Sashimi, Charcuterie, Spanakopita, Galette, Croque Monsieur.

    They certainly sounded fancy, and quickly Asher wished he could remember the dishes Sen had rapidly said mere moments ago.

    Then again, this may well be his first and last fancy meal, perhaps it would be fine to take a risk and pick a random dish.

    "One of the pleasure in life huh. Do you have anything in particular here that you'd recommend? I wouldn't want to miss out on something special after all."

    Asking what Mattias is like, or asking what Sen's other pleasures in life, those questions would have to wait. For now Asher simply wants to enjoy a good and uncomplicated lunch.

    That can't be too much to ask, right?

  7. #147
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    Theola August
    Inferno
    Morning

    Theola gave only a curt nod in response to Nameless’s farewell. While she was indeed grateful for the generous amount of information the woman had provided her, it seemed that both of them would be busy for some time to come. And as she said, it was always possible that they would meet again.

    Perhaps sooner, rather than later, given the governor’s reaction.

    Turning back to address the Chief and the governor, she spoke.

    “As you command. But first, if I may say a few words in my defense… I met her yesterday during the attack, and she met with me this morning to discuss some business. I assumed that she was here under one of your orders, but it would appear I was mistaken…”

    It was rather curious. Theola was originally under the impression that the governor herself (or perhaps, the chief) had called for the special forces as an extra security measure, but... either Nameless was much freer than Theola had imagined, or someone else from the council had sent her.

    A subject that would hopefully clear itself up very soon.

    “As for who she is… I believe the governor is much more informed than I am, no?”

  8. #148
    Asher Bharrant
    Inferno
    Afternoon

    "One of the pleasure in life huh. Do you have anything in particular here that you'd recommend? I wouldn't want to miss out on something special after all."
    "In that case, I'll just take care of the orders for the both of us then. It'll be faster that way too."

    Sen motioned a waiter over and quickly rattled off several dishes, who bowed and left. Soon enough, their table was filled with several dishes, all of which smelled delicious.

    "Feel free to try anything you want," Sen spoke. And without further ado, she took her own advice and started pulling several dishes over and putting the food onto her plate.

    As for Asher, there wasn't much to do but to begin his own meal as well. It really was quite the luxurious environment, the sounds of lively conversation outside the private room providing an almost comforting, casual backdrop. It was almost enough to forget the context of all the things that been happening.

    "I'm sure you have some questions," Sen spoke up suddenly. "I said earlier, the primary reason was to get away from Mattias since holding the conversation there would just be awkward. Since this is a pretty important role, it'd probably be more effective if you had any questions answered beforehand. It would certainly increase your life expectancy."

    That's right. This was the position that Asher found himself in. Still, it wasn't a bad idea. Despite the numerous rumors and infamy that surrounded his 'client', they were all focused on the same thing. Therefore, this was a good idea to learn information beyond the grasp of the general public.






    Theola August
    Inferno
    Afternoon

    Once the three of them had entered the meeting room, Theola began giving her explanation.

    “As you command. But first, if I may say a few words in my defense… I met her yesterday during the attack, and she met with me this morning to discuss some business. I assumed that she was here under one of your orders, but it would appear I was mistaken…”
    "I see... in that case it's rather understandable." Loki sighed. "That strike force can only be mobilized via an order from the Council, so it was a reasonable assumption to make."

    "Then from the sounds of it, that particular order didn't come from you? I thought it was because you put in a request to provide us backup," the chief asked in a surprised tone.

    "No, I was just as surprised when they showed up... although I have a pretty good idea on who gave the order now. I guess it all worked out in our favor, but I can't exactly be happy about this kind of interference." Loki spoke in an annoyed tone of voice.

    And onto the second point...

    “As for who she is… I believe the governor is much more informed than I am, no?”
    Theola and the chief's eyes turned towards Loki.

    "What I can tell you is... that person is... without a doubt, the single greatest threat to Eden."

    "What? Someone like her is...? But isn't she working for the city?" The chief asked in surprise.

    Of course it was strange. After all, Nameless was a member of the strike force working for the city. In other words, they should all be on the same side. Or so it seemed.

    Theola thought back to the conversation the two shared earlier that day.

    "That's right. All by herself." Loki sighed deeply before continuing. "If it were up to me, she would have been locked far away, executed, or dealt with in some manner. But I was overruled. Instead, the decision was made to see if it was possible to harness her for the good of the city. 'Exceptions can always be made for extraordinarily unique cases.'"

    Loki's eyes sharpened as she was remembered a particularly frustrating memory.

    "Like trying control a force of nature. Even if that outsider is beyond extraordinary, dealing with her is like playing with fire, and I have no intention of getting myself burned. It's best to keep interactions with her at a minimum in my opinion."

    Loki looked over at Theola.

    "You've caught the attention of an extremely dangerous person. It would be in your best interest to keep all this in mind."




    Stray Dog
    Inferno
    Afternoon

    Currently, Stray Dog found himself sitting inside a cafe. Things had certainly been rather up and down for him recently.

    He had fought in an underground arena and made a fair amount of money for himself. He had also gotten caught up in the recent attack and even got into a battle with one of the attackers. That battle... couldn't really be called a win. But on the other hand, it's not as if he lost.

    After all, he was still alive. And as long as you survive, you haven't lost.

    Still, not everything needed to be a fight to the death.

    Currently, Stray Dog was having lunch with what he could only think of as a somewhat shady man he met after his match yesterday. He extended an invitation to grab food the next day and discuss certain matters that would be in both of their interests. And it wasn't as if Stray Dog had much to lose from listening.

    The shady man began making his pitch. Even though Stray Dog couldn't actually hear him, he was adept enough to read his lips to understand what the man was saying.

    "I have to say, your skills are extremely impressive. Far too good for that level of fight. So I'll get right to the point. How about we form a partnership?"

    He grinned.

    "I have some connections and knowledge, and I'll be able to get you onto a much more fitting stage for someone of your caliber. How does that sound?"
    <Satehi> I, satehi, thought of tentacles first for entirely inappropriate, disgusting, lewd and perverted reasons

    Honk





  9. #149
    Asher Bharrant
    Inferno
    Afternoon

    "Thank you, Sen. Don't mind if I do."

    Beginning on a few of the dishes that are in front of him, Asher quickly realised that not only was the smell of the food wonderfully appetizing, the taste and texture were beyond something he ever ate before. It truly was a taste of wealth. And for a boy raised with so little, it was almost enough to distract him from the situation he was faced with.

    Almost.

    "I do have a few questions, the most pressing of them being, well, why me?"

    The background chatter and luxurious decor almost seemed to dull a bit as Asher's eyes fixated on the fearsome girl in front of him.

    "You rather famously have quite the fanbase, surely among them you'd have more trustworthy members than someone you only just met."

    It's true, Sen the Sin of Wrath is notorious for having a group of followers so loyal that they're called fanatical. Followers that, if Sen so desires, are sure to leave behind a trail of destruction given the opportunity.

    "But rather than ask one of them, you asked me. It's rather curious... unless of course what you're looking for is someone that isn't associated with the Sins. A wild card that could mix up whatever plot Julius has, perhaps?"

    Asher has given his word he'll do this, even if it means protecting one of the people that ripped up his former life. However if this leads to the realization of his dream in the future, it's a task worth completing. And in order to best accomplish that, he needs to know his role in all this. Any information is better than nothing.

    "You and Mattias mentioned a meeting before, one where he was deliberately not invited to, what exactly happened in there that made you seek me out?"

  10. #150
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    Theola August
    Inferno
    Afternoon

    “… I’ll keep that in mind.”

    The governor’s response had been… very unexpected, to say the least.

    It seemed that Nameless was not thought very highly of by her superiors… or at least, one in particular. Perhaps the other council members had different opinions of her, but at least the governor wanted nothing to do with her- surprising, given that Nameless’s own thoughts about her position had been similar.

    Curious.

    As for what the governor’s warnings actually entailed… Theola did not really feel in any danger from Nameless. It was true, that the woman remained somewhat of an enigma to her, but it did not seem as though Nameless had any particular ill intentions towards her- a passing curiosity, as far as she could tell. Since it was at the moment beyond her power to control, Nameless was working for the city, and so their interests were technically aligned at the moment.

    In fact, if her suspicions were true, then there was nothing for her to be worried about in particular.

    Of course, she would still keep it in mind, since the governor’s reaction had been so strong on this matter, but if anything, the reaction only made her more curious about Nameless’s circumstances.

    “I understand this may be sensitive information, but between my own conversation with her earlier and your own thoughts on the matter, I can’t help but think…”

    The inexplicable circumstances regarding her name, her lack of freedom, her alleged abilities that warranted such high value, and the governor’s attitude towards her… as far as Theola knew, there was only really one thing that could explain all of it nicely.

    “… is she a devil contractor, by any chance?”

  11. #151
    Asher Bharrant
    Inferno
    Afternoon

    Sen took a pause from her eating to respond to Asher's inquiries.

    "I do have a few questions, the most pressing of them being, well, why me?"

    "You rather famously have quite the fanbase, surely among them you'd have more trustworthy members than someone you only just met."

    "But rather than ask one of them, you asked me. It's rather curious... unless of course what you're looking for is someone that isn't associated with the Sins. A wild card that could mix up whatever plot Julius has, perhaps?"
    "Well, it seems you more less figured it out yourself. That's right. In short, you can call it the strength of a 'coincidence'. You happened to just join my group just as this major incident happened. In other words, other than a very handful of people, nobody will be aware of your affiliation."

    She stabbed at her food a bit, and then sighed.

    "A wild card is a good way to put it. Or perhaps insurance might be better?"

    "You and Mattias mentioned a meeting before, one where he was deliberately not invited to, what exactly happened in there that made you seek me out?"
    "He basically tried to strong arm the other factions into following him into his little war. Of course, such a method only works when you're able to muster more strength than the side you're trying to force at the moment."

    Sen frowned.

    "I'll be honest. This bothers me. Julius isn't one to be trusted, but he can reliably counted on to act in his own self interests. He's a snake who tends to take the underhanded and certain path. But his recent actions... the direct attack and trying to strong arm his own 'allies'... There's something off. Just trying to force his will on the other faction leaders in that manner is an extremely high risk venture. To begin with, even if you succeed, you'll create resentment. I'm not sure what sort of secret information he's obtained, but my instincts are saying that he's either desperate, or this is something that is very personal."

    Asher shivered slightly at Sen's unusually solemn tone.






    Theola August
    Inferno
    Afternoon


    “I understand this may be sensitive information, but between my own conversation with her earlier and your own thoughts on the matter, I can’t help but think… is she a devil contractor, by any chance?”


    Both Loki and the chief widened their eyes in surprise. However, Loki quickly regained her composure.

    "That is an extremely sensitive topic. Still, I can see how my warnings may have led you to that assumption so I'll respond. After all, a devil contract would be the highest crime, and possibly grant someone all kinds of extraordinary and dangerous abilities. That would certainly line everything up."

    She closed her eyes before shaking her head.

    "If only she were simply a devil contractor. Then the situation wouldn't nearly be so complicated. If anything, she's the opposite. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say it's the reverse? I'll be blunt. This is something that I don't completely understand myself. The only thing I got was that her existence could be considered miraculous. Or rather, it's an impossibility."

    Loki frowned.

    "But to be honest, this is all extremely classified information. But on that topic..."

    Her eyes narrowed.

    "I wasn't planning on prying, but I can't exactly ignore this. Just what did the two of you discuss?"
    <Satehi> I, satehi, thought of tentacles first for entirely inappropriate, disgusting, lewd and perverted reasons

    Honk





  12. #152
    Asher Bharrant
    Inferno
    Afternoon


    Quote Originally Posted by Sen View Post
    I'm not sure what sort of secret information he's obtained, but my instincts are saying that he's either desperate, or this is something that is very personal."
    "Or both." Asher pointed out as he continued the luxurious meal in front of him.

    Sen's tone hinted at the gravity of Julius' actions. In a world like this, it wouldn't be unlikely for one of the leaders to simply cut off the head of the snake. The fact that Julius' head remains implies that he truly does possess more strength than the other Sins.

    ...Well, save for one perhaps.

    "So Julius is taking over the Sins, and you want me to make sure that nothing happens to Mattias? Do you really think he's going to try and attack Mattias? Wouldn't it just be easier to group up with the other Sins and force Julius' reasoning out of him?"

    The food was beyond what Asher ever had before, yet the topic of conversation spoiled the otherwise delightful experience. There were too many unknowns to really get a clear picture of the situation. No doubt each Sin had their own personalities and desires, as well as histories that could make cooperation difficult.

    Instead, Asher refocused on his newfound job as a bodyguard. With a pondering look in his eyes, the Devil Contractor continued.

    "I can't imagine the Night Parade being happy about the stunt that was pulled either. I'll keep an eye out for Pride's plans, but should I expect trouble from their side as well?"

    Of course this topic too had its fair share of unknown factors.

    "...Where does Mattias even like to go anyway?"
    Last edited by Zurvan; May 20th, 2020 at 07:27 AM.

  13. #153
    Asher Bharrant
    Inferno
    Afternoon




    "Or both."
    "Or both," Sen nodded, agreeing with Asher's suggestion.

    Asher pointed out as he continued the luxurious meal in front of him.

    "So Julius is taking over the Sins, and you want me to make sure that nothing happens to Mattias? Do you really think he's going to try and attack Mattias? Wouldn't it just be easier to group up with the other Sins and force Julius' reasoning out of him?"
    "I really don't know. That's why this is insurance. If it was under normal circumstances, it'd be impossible to even consider. Without a doubt, he could be considered the strongest asset that our 'side' possesses. However, he is just as uncontrollable as he is powerful. Well, you probably have a gist of it already, but he's not the kind of person that's easy to order around. You could even call him unreliable in that sense, since there is only one thing that is guaranteed when it comes to him."

    Sen sighed.

    "That goes for the other sins as well. Hell, I'm self aware enough to realize that that tag applies to me probably more than almost anyone else. The fact that I'm taking out of character decisions like this just goes to show how peculiar this entire thing is. As far as forcing the truth out of Julius, that's easier said than done. He's as slippery as a snake and just as cold blooded. And the fact of the matter is, as much as I don't care to admit it, his 'faction' is probably the strongest, as far as measurable go. Well, it's to be expected since he's the single leader who's most interested in 'power'. The rest of us are mostly content to pursue our own goals, but he's been quietly preparing for this war for a long time coming it seems. Not to say we'd or even I'd lose, but starting a civil war in the midst of the crackdown would probably spell defeat for everyone. Which is something I'm sure that bastard was counting on."

    "I can't imagine the Night Parade being happy about the stunt that was pulled either. I'll keep an eye out for Pride's plans, but should I expect trouble from their side as well?"
    "Haha, you guessed right. In a way, they're in the exact same situation as us. Julius really did somehow managed to drag the entire underworld into this little war with Eden. They're not happy, but they also realized they can expend the strength to deal with Julius in the present, not with the government knocking at their doorstep. So I don't expect much trouble from most of them..."

    There was no need to elaborate on what had remained unsaid. The counter asset that the Night Parade possessed, just as infamous, strong, and uncontrollable as Mattias. The thought sent another chill down Asher's spine.

    "...Where does Mattias even like to go anyway?"
    "Hmmm, as far as I can tell, most of the time he just wanders the town aimlessly, like a ghost almost. You almost wouldn't expect it of the most dangerous person in Inferno. But I guess it's sort of like dynamite in that sense. As long as the fuse is unlit, it's harmless."

    Sen thought for a few moments more before continuing.

    "Well, I say aimlessly because that's what it looks like to me, but he might actually be gravitating towards significant places from his past. I think he might have said something that leaned that way long ago? Sometimes though, he definitely has a destination in mind, although I've never followed him or asked where he was going. Maybe he's just wandering in search of his enemy."

    Silence descended as Sen finished her speculation. Asher thought to himself as he processed her words and tried to think.

    He shivered again and then froze. His eyes widened. All of a sudden, his brain went into overdrive as he quickly began processing the background details he had been filtering out before.

    Other than the two of them, it was silent. Even the muted conversations outside their room in the main restaurant seemingly had vanished.

    And then there was the trigger. In front of him, he watched his breath condense in the air. He hadn't been shivering because of the information, he was shivering because the temperature had been gradually draining away.

    Adding all this together, a very dangerous conclusion could be reached.
    <Satehi> I, satehi, thought of tentacles first for entirely inappropriate, disgusting, lewd and perverted reasons

    Honk





  14. #154
    Asher Bharrant
    Inferno
    Afternoon

    --Ice cold terror. Fear that freezes one into place.

    That's the feeling that comes along with that revelation. The frightening conclusion that dawns on Asher as he realizes who the the person closing in on the pair is.

    Not only did he meet the Sin of Wrath and Sin of Lust face to face, now the fated rival of Mattias was here as well to show off.

    Is it a coincidence, fate pulling the strings to bring out not one but both parties responsible for altering Asher's life so drastically? The frozen sensation that the fear brings shifts ever so slightly to blood that boils, eager to strike out against this cruel witch.

    --But not yet, if the Witch of Ice and Frost wanted she likely would have attacked by now, rather than alert others of her presence like this. For now, Asher decided, it would be best to see what this new arrival wants.

    "We've got company it seems."

    He quickly whispers to Sen, giving her a knowing look. She likely realized it too, the identity of person that made her presence felt.

    "If you wanted us gone I wouldn't still be speaking like this, so...

    Since his commitment of the ultimate sin, Asher has endured situations that would pin a man frozen in his boots. But the Devil Contractor is no longer just a man, he acquired a mind of steel more enduring than any normal human could muster. Thus he can endure this frightful dread, waiting to see the intentions of the ice queen.

    However, unlike with Mattias, if Mary ends up as hostile Asher won't need to play nice.

    For now, the man rises from his seat, slowing walking over to stand guard over where Sen was seated, and calls out to the next hurdle that stands in the way of his dream.

    "...what brings you here, Mary Allis?"

    Information regarding Asher shouldn't have spread so quickly, but it's possible Mary overheard their conversation. The top priority for now would be to ensure both Asher and Sen make it out safely, the frost witch and her fiery nemesis will receive their dues eventually. Of course, in the event that a fight does start...

    ...Asher won't back down, gladly doling out pain to anyone that stands in his way.

  15. #155
    Imperial Princess Satehi's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
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    Canada
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    Theola August
    Inferno
    Afternoon

    It would seem that Theola had said something that she shouldn’t have. Not that she regretted it by any means- the information that the governor had offered in response was very well worth it, in her opinion. It was clear that Nameless was a much more important figure than she had originally expected- an existence that was even more special than a devil contractor.

    As to what exactly that meant, it would have to wait.

    Her speculation had aroused the interest of the governor. How Theola chose to answer her question was a problem that had to be decided carefully, given the topic that it had just replaced.

    And that was exactly why Theola chose to answer very casually.

    “Not much. We met yesterday after I subdued the assassin, and she was curious about me.”

    She did not know specifically what had aroused the governor’s interest in this- her natural assumption would be something related to devil contracts, but it could very well be something entirely unrelated and instead connected to the enigmatic Nameless.

    Nameless, who was also, willing or not, a subordinate of the city. If she was pressed, then Theola saw no reason for the woman to hide the contents of their conversation- better to come out with the truth rather than make up a lie that could be uncovered.

    “Said she was familiar with my former superior. We asked each other a couple questions about our lives, although I can’t say I know that much about Nameless even now.”

    And it wasn’t like the truth was particularly incriminating, anyways. It really was mostly harmless conversation from Theola’s perspective.

    “She seemed like a weird individual, and rather reluctant to serve. Together with your comments just now, I thought that she must have some special talents in order to have the position that she does, and I suppose I was not too far off the mark…?”

  16. #156
    Asher Bharrant
    Inferno
    Afternoon

    The slowly lowering temperature suddenly plummeted. The floor and walls instantly began to ice over. And in the silence, footsteps approached their room.

    "We've got company it seems."
    Sen nodded with a sudden serious expression on her face.

    "This is rather unexpected. Fate's strings really do twist in strange ways sometimes."

    "If you wanted us gone I wouldn't still be speaking like this, so...
    Sens eyes widened slightly at Asher's tone.

    "Calm down. It's a bit impossible to escape at this point in time. But follow my lead and don't do anything foolish, and everything should work out fine."

    The two of them could feel the frozen hostility filling the room as the presence got closer and closer.

    Sen whispered, with the faintest trace of pity in her voice, "The two of them really are far too similar..."

    Asher stood up and moved over as if to guard Sen as Mary entered the room.

    "...what brings you here, Mary Allis?"
    "...huh?"

    The frostbitten woman seemed surprised at the people inside the room.

    "I was told my enemy would be here?"

    It was a statement phrased as a question, but already the bloodlust was draining.

    It was almost like a balloon that had a hole poked into it and began visibly deflating. A very definite clash with the environment they were in just a few moments ago.

    Still, the power that emitted from this witch was impossible to mistake. A terrifying aura that Asher had only felt once before.

    Just how was it possible for a human heart to be so cold?

    But looking at Mary, Asher began to understand. Her eyes reminded him of a corpse. Despite being alive, in a very real sense she was already dead. Nothing at all moved her. Nothing was even real to her. Her entire existence bent towards a singular point.

    'They really are far too alike,' Asher thought to himself as he recalled his meeting with Mattias earlier today and Sen's words. An aimless ghost chained by the past...

    It was a pitiful existence. But perhaps that was the secret behind their unrivaled power. Still, to have sacrificed so much...

    Asher too, began to understand Sen's other words. As long as you didn't light the fuse, for all their explosive strength, they were harmless.

    "It appears you have been misinformed Mary. I would appreciate it if you relaxed. You have startled my newest member."

    "Ah? Oh. Yes. My apologies." The power Asher felt seemed to have vanished entirely. Slowly, he could feel the temperature begin to return to normal. "I seem to have been mistaken and troubled you."

    "Won't you take a seat? This is actually a rather good opportunity. That goes for the both of you." Sen motioned towards Asher as well.

    Mary walked over and took an empty seat at the table before she tilted her head as she looked towards Asher in confusion.

    "Right, you asked me a question. I came here hoping to kill off my nemesis once and for all, but that doesn't seem to be my fate for today after all. You seem to know who I am already, but manners indicate I should introduce myself anyway. Greetings, I am Mary Allis. How do you do? I am... technically your enemy. Or is it competitor? I think? Or am I? I'm not sure what the official situation is right now between our two organizations."




    Theola August
    Inferno
    Afternoon

    “Not much. We met yesterday after I subdued the assassin, and she was curious about me.

    Said she was familiar with my former superior. We asked each other a couple questions about our lives, although I can’t say I know that much about Nameless even now.
    "That would be Captain Skye, wouldn't it?" The Chief spoke up in response.

    "That's right. I didn't realize she was your former captain though," Loki spoke with some mild surprise. "She has done very well for herself, and moved up through the ranks very quickly. In fact, recently she was even selected to be promoted out of the Eden special force and into- well, that doesn't matter so much right now. However, let's just say she is an extremely talented individual who will go very far."

    Loki seemed to have caught herself and redirected her words.

    “She seemed like a weird individual, and rather reluctant to serve. Together with your comments just now, I thought that she must have some special talents in order to have the position that she does, and I suppose I was not too far off the mark…?”
    Loki sighed.

    "More or less, your words are direct hits. I was probably worried for nothing, but honestly, that person's very existence is a huge source of stress for me. Compounded with the current situation... never mind. Let's just leave things as they are. This has already been a huge detour as it is. The war against the gangs takes priority. Let's get back to the main discussion."

    The chief took out several folders and began laying out the documents on the table.

    "To begin, let's summarize the enemy forces. There are essentially two major organizations that make up the majority of Inferno's organized crime. These are 'The Seven Sins' and 'The Night Parade'. There are also a variety of smaller, more specialized groups hidden in the shadows willing to lend their services if the price is right. The assassin you defeated was actually from one of these groups, contracted out by the Seven Sins. To be more specific, the 'Pride' faction. Which brings me to this."

    He moved several documents to the middle of the table where they took center stage.

    Loki's eyes narrowed. When she spoke, her voice was cold, ruthless and without mercy.

    "Our number one priority target should be this man. The head of said faction, Julius, and likely mastermind behind the attack. Dead or alive, he needs to go down."
    <Satehi> I, satehi, thought of tentacles first for entirely inappropriate, disgusting, lewd and perverted reasons

    Honk





  17. #157
    Asher Bharrant
    Inferno
    Afternoon

    Quote Originally Posted by Sen
    "Won't you take a seat? This is actually a rather good opportunity. That goes for the both of you."
    "If you say so."

    Luckily it appears a fight won't happen after all. Without putting up any resistance, Asher returns to his seat. Along with the temperature returning to normal, the tangible bloodlust of the devil contractors fades away rather quickly.

    Seeing those two however --the Sin of Lust and the Witch of Ice and Frost-- uncovered the reason behind their strength.

    While Asher gifted his body to the Devil of Warfare, becoming a weapon capable of realizing his dream... those two seem to have given up their entire existence for the sake of revenge.

    It speaks volumes to their singular devotion to vengeance, or perhaps to the wounds left behind by the other. Rumors say that they each took away each other's significant other. Perhaps this is simply the natural, human conclusion that arrives when the person you've dedicated your life to is taken from you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mary
    "Right, you asked me a question. I came here hoping to kill off my nemesis once and for all, but that doesn't seem to be my fate for today after all. You seem to know who I am already, but manners indicate I should introduce myself anyway. Greetings, I am Mary Allis. How do you do? I am... technically your enemy. Or is it competitor? I think? Or am I? I'm not sure what the official situation is right now between our two organizations."
    "Asher Bharrant, and yes things have become rather murky between the organizations. I hope it won't cause any issues for now, given the situation I'd like to avoid making more enemies."

    Asher twisted truths and lies as natural as he breathed. While it's true that he doesn't want to make more enemies, in his mind both Mattias and Mary were already something akin to enemies. There had been the strong impulse to force his iron fist through the Witch's skull, but he had suppressed it as soon as he realized there wouldn't be a fight.

    Her arrival here isn't that surprising, Asher himself had expected her to appear before, albeit somewhat later in the future and in a much less fortunate moment. It would be best to make sure this girl doesn't learn of Asher's bodyguard job, especially the identity of who he would be body-guarding.

    ...Or perhaps, this presented a chance to cross of two blights upon the world?

    ---A dark thought to have.

    For now, Asher would trust in Sen and follow her lead, but not before asking a question he suspected he knew the ultimate answer of already.

    "Forgive me for asking but, who was it that misinformed you so?"

  18. #158
    Asher Bharrant
    Inferno
    Afternoon



    "If you say so."


    As Asher returned to his seat, he mused to himself on perhaps discovering the reasoning behind their strength. Compared to him who had given up his body for the sake of his dream, these two had traded away their entire existence away, in order to simply fulfill a singular purpose.

    "Asher Bharrant, and yes things have become rather murky between the organizations. I hope it won't cause any issues for now, given the situation I'd like to avoid making more enemies."
    Asher spoke calmly as he mixed both truth and lies into his words. A part of him thought about putting his fist through Mary's skull, preemptively eliminating a future threat but he suppressed that thought for now. There was no need to be the one to initiate violence when things seem to be calming down.

    "I agree. That is a reasonable sentiment to have after all."

    Mary nodded politely as she spoke in a manner that didn't suit her reputation.

    "I believe that officially, the current status is a truce, for the first and probably last time. And it'll last until the crackdown has finished, one way or another."

    "Forgive me for asking but, who was it that misinformed you so?"
    Asher had his suspicions, but he couldn't help but ask.

    "Hmmm? Ah it was-" before Mary could finish her sentence, all of a sudden the very walls to their room exploded. Numerous hooded figures wielding bladed weapons poured in through the new entrances and rushed at the table.

    Sen had already reacted, leaping up from her seat and throwing a chair at one of the assailants so hard it carried him and a few of the others behind him right back out of the room. Several others were charging at Ashers, weapons already being swung-

    -in a rather shallow arc. Asher wasn't sure if they were being cautious or defensive, but it was an easily avoidable strike.

    "These guys, more or less." Mary finished, undisturbed as she remained in her seat. It did not seem like any of the intruders cared about her, instead focusing on Sen and Asher.

    Sen laughed as she easily fended off her assailants.

    "I see. I recognize these outfits. The infamous Black Talons themselves. Be on your guard Asher. They're basically an underworld mercenary group known for accomplishing any mission so long as their price gets paid."

    "It would have certainly saved us a lot of effort if you two had actually fought, but I guess we'll have to take care of this bounty the hard way." One of the assailants spoke, but Asher couldn't tell which it was. Besides, he had his own very immediate problems to deal with.

    Spoiler:


    ???
    Black Talon
    <Satehi> I, satehi, thought of tentacles first for entirely inappropriate, disgusting, lewd and perverted reasons

    Honk





  19. #159
    Asher Bharrant
    Inferno
    Afternoon

    There is almost never a need to strike first, not when issues can be resolved through diplomacy and reasoning.
    That is the kind of man Asher is.

    The situation with Mary seemed to calm down, so he suppressed the violent ideas that spawned in his mind. Asher is a man that does not wish to lose, not as long as his dream is unfulfilled.

    However, when violence is used against Asher, he will return it without mercy. Once the man falls to his violent ways, with enemies that would stand in the way of his dream presenting themselves, his mind and body shift to one of strife and conflict. His body had become a weapon for war, and with it he shall win any battle.

    Only when the fight is over does Asher return to his more peaceful senses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sen
    "I see. I recognize these outfits. The infamous Black Talons themselves. Be on your guard Asher. They're basically an underworld mercenary group known for accomplishing any mission so long as their price gets paid."
    "You are, all of you, V̸̪̠͖̗̞̇̃̒̽͠e̸ŗ̷̧̛̻̘͗̂̎m̸̝̹̊̀͠î̴̤̱̥͋͜ņ̷̠̗̫̉̍̉͌͑ ̡..."

    ---Pain.

    A sharp pain tears through the Black Talon members, as words of poison are poured directly into their minds. The mere utterance of the word 'vermin' is filled with a supernatural power that makes a mockery of its recipients.

    Of course, words alone wouldn't be enough to end a conflict. These people were paid to fulfill a contract, if something like this would be enough to take them out they wouldn't have gotten their reputation. The pain that manifests itself only serves for a brief window of opportunity.

    --Yet, one thing is certain.

    "As long as the price is paid. H̷͓̱͓̀͒̆̇ͅẳ̸̪̟̳̑̈́̂͝h̴̛̉̽̽ą̴̛̜͙͎͋̾h̷̢̧̘̜̗͐͒͛͝a̷̽ ̗̰̥̱͊̂̕ͅ! Oh yes, a price will be paid."

    --This bounty will not be collected so easily.

    I'll need Sen to play along with this, yet I can only hope she gets the message. Let's hope her memory is better than her temper.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sen, earlier this morning. View Post
    "No need to be so stiff. Life will go easier if you can stay relaxed."
    "I would like you to bodyguard someone for a while. Well, I say bodyguard, but he can mostly take care of himself. You just have to keep an eye on him, and keep him out of trouble. "
    "Sen, I've already accepted to be
    Mattias'
    your
    bodyguard so don't be so stiff.
    This plan
    Life
    will go easier if you can stay relaxed."

    Hopefully Sen will realize that Asher means for her to not jump into a frenzy. With Asher's state of mind still tuned to the Talon members, he can easily defend himself for now. The issue is in the numbers of the Black Talon but, perhaps with a small nudge this situation can be shifted into a new power dynamic.

    "Mary."

    Using the Witch to freeze away the newcomers.

    "If you really were hoping to kill your nemesis today, you're in luck. He might not be here right now, but I can lead you to him right away, if you want to make a deal."

    Either of Sen's reactions would help to cement Asher's ploy. Her anger would imply that Asher indeed knows where Mattias could be found, while her remaining calm could be played off Dealing with the Witch afterwards will be far more challenging than simply taking on these Black Talon mercenaries, but now that Asher's mind has succumbed to violence...

    "Freeze these failures. Then I'll tell you what you want to hear."

    ...she is an enemy once again.

  20. #160
    Asher Bharrant
    Inferno
    Afternoon

    "You are, all of you, V̸̪̠͖̗̞̇̃̒̽͠e̸ŗ̷̧̛̻̘͗̂̎m̸̝̹̊̀͠î̴̤̱̥͋͜ņ̷̠̗̫̉̍̉͌͑ ̡..."

    "As long as the price is paid. H̷͓̱͓̀͒̆̇ͅẳ̸̪̟̳̑̈́̂͝h̴̛̉̽̽ą̴̛̜͙͎͋̾h̷̢̧̘̜̗͐͒͛͝a̷̽ ̗̰̥̱͊̂̕ͅ! Oh yes, a price will be paid."

    "Sen, I've already accepted to be
    Mattias'
    your
    bodyguard so don't be so stiff.
    This plan
    Life
    will go easier if you can stay relaxed."

    "Mary."

    "If you really were hoping to kill your nemesis today, you're in luck. He might not be here right now, but I can lead you to him right away, if you want to make a deal."

    "Freeze these failures. Then I'll tell you what you want to hear."
    Asher's words contained a poisoned barb, reaching all the current combatants in the room. Words that could incite conflict and strife and turn organized battles into free for all bloodbaths.

    However...

    "Ha! Feeble lies to try to draw some assistance? Without any proof or reputation, you have no coin to your argument, boy."

    An instant counter by one of the black talons. Perhaps even the leader.

    Still, it was rather odd. He could sense that his words had some effect. And yet, outwardly there did not seem to be much change in any of the fighters.

    "Well, it was worth a shot, I suppose. Don't take too much offense to those words." Sen spoke in a rather noncommittal voice. It did not seem like she was planning on collaborating with Asher's ploy.

    More easily avoidable attacks were thrown at Asher, which he dodged. Something truly was odd. His power had failed for some reason. And more to the point, were these really the strikes of an elite group?

    It was almost like they were only pretending to attack. Like they were putting on a show.
    <Satehi> I, satehi, thought of tentacles first for entirely inappropriate, disgusting, lewd and perverted reasons

    Honk





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