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Mercenary on the Winds

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  1. Marina seemed to take the accidental collision in stride at least. Lucille breathed an internal sigh of relief, this wouldn't be something to pile on to her less-than-stellar outing. She returned the smile at Marina's request, "I think we certainly can. Although, I--" Lucille stopped when she heard the shopkeeper speak up again, directing the pair towards the back shelf. "Oh, uh, thank you." Lucille replied to her with a sheepish wave. The three colors that she mentioned made her choice simple, but she needed to see the covers first. Assumptions had only gotten her in trouble as of recent. "Far shelf on the back, hmm? So that would beeeee... over here?" She gestured for the taller, but younger girl to follow as she moved towards the back. Sure enough, exactly as the arachnea said, were a series of covers in the three colors. She ignored the other two colors; black would achieve the opposite effect of what she needed the cover to do, and blue, while it was a fetching blue, it didn't match her current outfit nor did she think blue fit her very well. Buying multiple covers was also out of the question. White was simply the only option both in function and aesthetic. Just as long as there's one that fits... Relaxing just a little, she turned to look at Marina, "So, what are you looking for, Marina? Stuff for the wastes, or something else?" Lucille looked her over, "I'm guessing the former; traveling the wastes in what you're wearing now would be... very uncomfortable. Not that traveling through the wastes could ever be comfortable if everything about them is true." It was something to talk about that didn't involve other issues, so long as Marina didn't appear to be having a problem with her asking about it. Or talking to her in general. There was always that to worry about. She took a sidelong glance at Seilan, himself meandering through the shop. No, no, focus on Marina, and the cover. She quickly turned back to the covers, waiting for Marina response and hoping that one of the white covers would suit her.
  2. Early May, 1218 PAF A quaint, summer breeze blew through the port town of Salna. One of the smaller ports that dotted the coast of Glacies, and certainly one of the quieter ones. Or rather, it tended to be so. Recently, Salna had been quite lively, but in ways that the residents hardly appreciated. Hardship was something that Glacians simply accepted as a fact of life. Salna was no exception; only being a town and stable due to their favorable location, but that favorable location turned into a curse as Islexian pirates sailed into port, and began to make a mess of things. Islexian pirates were hardly anything new, but Salna was so small that the people never thought that they would land there. It had always been thought of as something that happened at larger ports, where the pirates would try to intercept goods, and give the residents hell. Salna was hardly a place that saw large shipments, and was hardly lucrative, but they came all the same. What the people of Salna failed to understand was that hatred need not be logical, and the Islexians detested Glacies. More accurately, they hated what Glacies had done; both their refusal to join them against the Lufirians twenty-six years ago, and their subsequent alliance with the Lufirians. Any chance to get back at the Glacian “traitors” was worth it to some. The port militia was ill trained and prepared to deal with the pirates, and was easily overrun. The Glacian military, still in its infancy, was unable to respond in any meaningful time. Glacies had always been able to afford to be lax, due to its natural barrier of the sea. Unfortunately for them, times were changing; the Islexians were slowly gaining better mastery of the seas, and were becoming bolder. They were targeting merchant ships at a much greater frequency, and success rate. Without a proper military, Glacies had to fall back on one of the few things it always could rely upon, its mercenaries. Even before Glacies had become the magical haven it was nowadays, it was its mercenaries that gave the country its start. It would be those very same mercenaries that would come to Salna’s aid. They called upon a mercenary outfit from one of the nearby towns, a group called the Iron Tigers. Fairly well known for their stellar track record in dealing with Islexian pirates, they were the immediate choice. Salna’s faith in the group was well founded. The encounter was short and quick; the pirates were dislodged from their foothold, routed and then handed over to the Salna militia. While it was clear what would happen to the pirates, the point was moot to the mercenaries. They’d come to protect the town, and to collect their pay. The lives of the pirates who saw Glacians as less than people were no longer their concern, especially because the pirates saw the Iron Tigers as even less than normal Glacians. The Iron Tigers were also known for another reason; being one of the few successful mercenary outfits that employed humans, Lufirians, monsters and the Clouded, or those of mixed heritage. The Islexians saw the Lufirians, monsters and the Clouded as affronts to nature that needed to be eradicated. Pure, unadulterated hatred, a hatred that was shared with much of the continent, if more tempered in other cases. To be anything other than human was to be marked for death in the eyes of the Islexians. But that was neither here nor there, the Iron Tigers were mercenaries, nothing more, nothing less. With the job finished, they were informed that their payment would arrive at their base, once everything in Salna had been set straight again. Their commander was informed of both the sudden increase in Islexian activity, and the sharp decrease in any shipments from their chief trading partner, Lufiria. With all they could do exhausted, the Iron Tigers set out for their home base in a small town not too far from the capital, Halkeginia. They returned late at night, deciding to leave their formal debrief until the following morning and would use that day as R&R. But not a single one of the Tigers would have ever expected that this quaint mission would be their last before being handed a request that would change all of their lives.
  3. I don't post on this site aside from an RP, but seeing this post kinda compels me to. I've really enjoyed LM and all of the time I've had with it. I do share some of the same gripes with it like 17x being a bit of a slap in the face if you don't know how you're going about it, and stuff like some of the sprites being not too great, but the game around it has been enjoyable enough that it's currently the only romhack I've played more than once, and the only romhack that I've cared enough to play that doesn't feature an swappable avatar so I can use OC sprites and stuff. I've played exclusively on Maddening, and in light of that, I've never felt like the enemies were too bulky. Even watching a friend play on hard, the enemies never feel too out of reach to kill with good play. For what this hack offers with the efforts of one person, it's really incredible, as someone who eventually wants to do his own, but is too afraid to get on that bike because of what's happening here. I hope you can find that spark to finish up your content, but if not, I personally think LM will stand the test of the time as it is. Thanks for making such a good game.
  4. Lucille absentmindedly continued to look through the tunics. What exactly was she to do anyway? She sighed as her thoughts continued to drift in every which direction; snapping at Thesephine, anything to do with Seilan, and conversations she'd yet to have--she hadn't forgotten about talking with Nessraya again--this clothing trip wasn't having the effect she wanted. She'd missed Marina's greeting, and instead bumped into her, "Oh! Oh, uh... sorry about that. I wasn't paying much attention. O-of course, I don't mind." A thought crossed Lucille's mind at that moment; Marina was a reasonable girl, and she doubted that she would mind listening, but at the same time, Lucille was unsure of how much Marina would be able to help aside from listening. No need to bother the leader of this outfit with something so trivial. Lucille looked back at the tunics, hoping to avoid revealing the spreading red on her face, and Marina had stopped Lucille in front of a tunic that matched her Christmas green skirt. All of the tunics prior to this one had been remarkably soft, a benefit to Lucille in particular, so this one should be no exception. Picking it up, It looked to be in about her size as well. "Huh... What incredible luck." Finding a tunic had gone far faster than she'd expected, but that still left a skirt, and an actual cover to find. She'd deal with the skirt last, since that would have been the most difficult, and limited part for her. "Hey, um... Marina, do you perhaps know where covers, and such are in here? I'm... going to need one for the wastes, I'm not good with the heat." Maybe talking with Marina about this would keep her mind off the other things.
  5. "Haha... Not surprised." Lucille sighed, she hadn't the time or the money for custom tights, but this was the common outcome. Ever since she'd physically matured, finding tights or, Ilrios forbid, pants, was incredibly difficult. Lucille was small, and fairly athletically built aside from her very generous hips and all that came with that. She'd shocked more than a handful of people who'd believed her a child by doing nothing more than placing her hands on her hips. Whatever she may have lacked up top, her bottom more than made up for, or so she'd been told a number of times. It was at that moment that she realized that her request and the seamstress's response might call attention to herself, and that Seilan was standing behind her for once. She started to flush as she thought that she probably, no, definitely, definitely wouldn't have minded if Seilan had noticed. But suddenly out of nowhere, literally nowhere, a horned man appeared from behind the uniquely clothed girl resting his arms on her head. He, too, was oddly dressed; his clothing was more in line with the girl's than anyone else's. He was horned, but unlike the horned monsters that she'd seen up until this point, he seemed almost entirely human otherwise. Equally as important, he addressed Gabriela as 'dear'. So, either he addressed everyone as such, or he and Gabriela were quite close. But that was enough of that, he was turned away from them for a reason, so it made no sense to involve herself. That... would be nice... She looked over her shoulder at Seilan, not entirely willing to turn all the way around and reveal the blush forming on her face, as well as, well. "I, I'm going to look at the tunics, and well," She led her head bob a little, "Skirts. Don't really have the money, or time for custom tights." That I'll probably wear out in like a month, anyway. Lucille also remembered that she needed to retain some of her gold because she still need to thank Seilan, twice really. Both for helping with the tent when she passed out after the Mixoco battle, and then for... letting her fall asleep in his arms. His soft, warm, strong... Tunics. Go look at the Tunics for the moment. Lucille moved over to the Tunics quickly, looking for one that matched her aesthetic. She sighed internally, more and more she was realizing that she really did enjoy being with Seilan but, she couldn't quite overcome the worries that came along with that. If it happened to her parents, and to so many others, even if Seilan was a fairly competent mage, despite what he said of himself, it could and likely would happen to him too.
  6. Lucille quickly parked Villkiss off to the side. She saw the Demon King and her confidant do an about face as it appeared they were about to enter the establishment. Lucille couldn't help but feel that their, well, no, her little outburst had something to do with that. She sighed and shook her head a little, before heading inside. With as quiet as the city had been, she had expected the clothing store to be no differ-- Wait, the place was actually bustling. It appeared that they weren't the only people who had the same idea, Marina and a human that Lucille didn't recognize were inside perusing. The other girl was dressed... oddly, it was a very unique sort of style and one that Lucille couldn't place, only that it didn't appear to be Vaian, nor Coteonese. But those thoughts would have to wait as the two monsters in the building were more... pressing. Lucille never had a problem with spiders, though, that was because they tended to be much smaller than she was. The arachnea behind the counter waving at them was, a lot larger than any spider she'd ever seen. Ooooooookay... She'd felt her body tense, and felt like turning around, but the white wings of Gabriela were tempering her anxiety. The pair had at least gotten an to an understanding, but Lucille still wasn't much of a fan of her reasoning for her antagonism. Perhaps if they spoke more, things would be fine, but that was neither here nor there at the moment. Lucille still felt like she had something to prove, so, she was going to. She waved back to the arachnea, and took a deep breath to sort out her words, and hopefully mask the trembling that she already felt in her throat, "Hi," Lucille's voice was a little high, but no sign of the trembling, "Um... You wouldn't happen to, to have any covers or something for traveling through the wastes, w-would you? And, uh, well... m-maybe, a tunic and/or skirt and tights in my size?" That somehow went better than Lucille expected, she'd drawn her gloved arm behind her, but at least she hadn't shrank behind Seilan, or fled.
  7. Lucille nodded at Seilan's agreement, "Okay," She took a deep breath, she decided that she'd try to put the incident out of mind for now, and at least use this time wisely. It wouldn't do to be gloomy the whole time, especially because she was getting to spend some time with Seilan. "I think I saw something that resembled a clothing place when we were flying. It's not far at all from here, so we don't have to fly to it, walking should be fine." Lucille gave his hand one more squeeze before releasing it, as much as she would have liked to, they were barely more than friends and, Thesephine's little joke made Lucille a bit wary about the pair being a bit closer. Unsure what anyone else would make of it. Either way, she exited the wagon stop, as they discovered it actually was, and grabbed Villkiss's reins after giving the pegasus a gentle rub. "Okay, I thiiiiink it was this way." She began leading Seilan, and her winged horse around the corner of the establishment. Lucille hoped that aside from the necessary cover that she needed, that perhaps they would have something interesting. She loved her usual outfit, but she had very, very little in regards to a change of clothes as a consequence of her recruitment. But more important than all of that, Lucille hoped that if she did find something that it would even fit her. She did tend to have a bit of difficulty with clothing due to her lopsided proportions... Lucille and Seilan move to 3, 8 and enter the clothing shop!
  8. As clarity started to return, now that Lucille had exhausted her words, she started to realize just how upset she'd been just now, and still kind of was. Making the joke about her was one thing, and she still would have been fairly upset. But about both her and Seilan, that was a bit too much for Lucille to abide by, especially with what he'd given to even be here. Neither of those things really mattered as much as realizing that she'd been that upset with Thesephine who probably could snap her in two, and was her only chance for her to ever see her family again. Lucille didn't like how the fairy chimed in, but she was also completely correct. Oh god. What did I just do? What did I just... Please no, please don't... Thesephine's smile faded, and Lucille had no choice but to brace for the worst. But the Demon King remained perfectly calm, almost eerily so, given their first meeting and then, she apologized for the jab. Lucille sort of noticed that it wasn't just Thesephine fulfilling her role as Demon King. It felt more like that Thesephine knew what it was like; knew why the jab had made Lucille so upset. She felt Seilan's hand on her shoulder, and he carried on the conversation where the Demon King had left it. Lucille was suddenly afraid to open her mouth. Thesephine had remained calm this time, but who knew if saying anything more would step over that line. It was only after the Demon King had just about disappeared that Lucille managed a barely audible, "I'm sorry." Lucille had been transfixed on the door that Thesephine had left through, so Seilan turning his attention and words to her caught her by surprise, "Oh... No, it, it was a joke. I knew it was and still..." Her anger had since dissipated into disappointment, and embarrassment. She had been saved, again, only by Thesephine's good graces. Mad at her herself for almost throwing away her only chance to help her family, or anyone really. "I'll, I'll be alright in a bit... ." Lucille squeezed Seilan's hand, and sighed. At the very least, she could rely on Seilan a little. "Did, did you have somewhere you still needed to go? It would probably be better to make use of our time wisely. The... only thing I can think of that I might need are clothes since these aren't the best to travel here, much less the wastes." Lucille really just wanted to do anything but think about what had just transpired. She knew she'd be doing that enough tonight anyway.
  9. Lucille thought a moment, for magic at least she was covered, she had her natural magic and plenty of tomes to still make use of when she didn't exactly want to burn herself out. Magic without a tome was much more exhausting. The only thing she could really think she might have needed was clothing; it was already pretty hot here, and the wastes were supposedly even worse. She was never one for the heat, and wearing an outfit that clung to her nicely wouldn't be good once she started sweating, for a number of a reasons. At least a cover or something should suffice. But Lucille's thoughts were interrupted by her... She called herself king, so was she to refer to her as her or his majesty? Either way, the king appeared with a fairy even smaller than she was. They quickly moved past, and spoke to the person at the desk, whom Lucille had completely missed when she looked around. Overhearing, the king had mentioned wagons. Lucille turned to Seilan, "Didn't you say this was an inn? Unless I'm missing something, wagons usually aren't something a hotel would concern themselves with." That line of questioning was quickly cut off when her-- the king returned to the pair and inquired as to why they were here. "Aha, W-we kind of thought this was an inn at first." Deep breaths, remain calm. She's not going to kill you anymore. "W-w-we spoke with a mercenary not too long ago that was here. Right, right, before you walked in actuall--" Lucille visibly stiffened as Thesephine's gentle prod hit her ears. Lucille realized that it was a light hearted joke, she knew it was, but that didn't stop it from lighting her, admittedly, very short fuse. She took a deep breath, trying not to have her magic flare, "...I, know that was meant to be a joke, your highness. But, please don't joke about that. Not when my family is still at stake." Her stutter had completely vanished, replaced by a calm, but unmistakably not amused tone. "I already said I would do everything I could to help. I promised. But where exactly am I supposed to skip town to, anyway? Yours is the first outfit of monsters who hasn't wanted to kill me on sight, and with Hwein under control of Coteon, going there with just Seilan and I, is just asking us to get killed. So, what? Do I go back to Coteon?" Lucille paused, there had been a couple words in her next sentence that almost certainly would have gotten her in trouble, if her current ones already hadn't. "...There's nowhere else for me to go. Not to mention that I wouldn't take Seilan with me if I was going to run. I'm not going to take him away from his home, or his mission. He's worked so hard to secure this." Her mood had almost completely soured, she knew Thesephine meant nothing by it, or at least her first impression of her hoped she didn't.
  10. Lucille and Seilan Visit the Inn Arms splayed over a table in the inn was a very, very tired-looking succubus, seemingly with all of her belongings right next to her, gun on her back, and in a position to be looking out toward the town gate. But right now, she was doing nothing of the sort. “Seven days of absolutely nothing… At this rate, they’ll be in Hwein before I can even leave…” A heavy sigh left her. She barely had the energy left to keep working for her food, and to make matters worse, she could feel her urges flaring up badly. No, she had to stop that from happening. But as time passed, she had fewer and fewer options left open to her… and then, she could hear a pegasus touch down outside, making her lift her head toward the door to see what the unusual ruckus was about. The flight was short and simple, barely a couple moments before Villkiss touched down in front of the Inn that Seilan had wanted to check out. She turned and looked at her passenger with a smile, “How was it? I know it wasn’t much, but, it doesn’t really take much to get an idea.” Regardless of his answer, it had been rather enjoyable for her. Though, the flight had put some thoughts in her head. She’d taken the alias and hair color so as to not stand out, but Villkiss brought with it some challenges. Pegasi were very rare on the continent, and practically only Coteon employed them for the most part. So that plus clearly being human would definitely draw attention. But unless it became a problem, she wouldn’t pay it too much mind. She was more interested in spending time with Seilan. “Shall we go inside?” A bit hesitant to leave Villkiss on her own for a moment, but Villkiss was a smart girl, and Lucille wouldn’t let anyone get far if they tried anything. Brief as though it was, the flight was a brand new experience nonetheless. Seeing the town from the sky, even only momentarily, put things in a different perspective. It felt in one moment as if he understood that Border was in a sense large, with as many people there as there were; and yet, it felt small at the same time. He dismounted Villkiss, a bit awkwardly. “Being in the sky, up above everything, is quite the feeling. I enjoyed that, I think.” He nodded in response to her other question, walking to the inn and pushing its door open. As he stepped across the threshold, he became distinctly aware of a... pressure, of sorts. He glanced at Lucille to see if she’d noticed the same, but more noticeable than the pressure was the exhausted-looking figure slumped over one of the inn’s tables. With nothing else looking out of place for an inn, it seemed likely she was the source of the magical sensation. He turned to Lucille with a quiet whisper. “As far as ‘anything of interest’ goes, she seems as good a place as any to start.” Good, he’d enjoyed the flight. There was a little bit to get used to, but if he continued, he would be fine. But upon walking inside the Inn, Lucille felt something… well, she didn’t really know how to explain it, other than something was definitely happening here, and that it was magical in origin. She turned, and caught the glance from Seilan, clearly he had noticed it too. Then Seilan whispered to her about the figure that was leaning on one of the tables who, on a further glance, seemed to be looking up at them. “...It certainly can’t hurt.” Lucille kind of faded behind Seilan, concerned or not about the exhausted person, she still wasn’t the best around this, and if they were the origin of whatever this pressure was, what exactly was the reason behind it. A deep breath, “Umm… Hello? Are you the only person here, and… are you alright?” Lucille felt a bit silly the moment the question left her mouth. Admittedly, she hadn’t looked very hard for anyone else; she was a little too focused on whatever this feeling was. The question was already out there. Really nothing she could do about it now but navigate the response. Two humans, great. Well, both actually great and not so much, but she’d find out soon enough whether the latter was true. Humans did mean there was a much higher chance of them being headed in the right direction… although the awkward moment of staring they had wasn’t particularly promising to start with. “Let’s go in order… No, but people don’t like to hang around me too much, and yes… kind of. Just… really tired.” The succubus gathered herself a bit, enough to bring her arms together and rest her head on them with a sigh, tail lazily hanging off the side of the seat. “I’ve been looking for a way back home to Hwein for a week now… but not a single damn wagon or convoy wants to take a succubus in that direction, not when things are like they are.” Just recalling how boring and occasionally infuriating the past days had been put her usual scowl back on her face. “Home, to Hwein? If you’re traveling alone besides shared wagon trips, I’m not certain that’s exactly the best idea, given the current state of things. Even if you are armed.” Had she been human, he likely wouldn’t have said as much, but the occupation looked rather unkindly on monsters in particular. Average merchants could hardly be blamed for not wanting to carry someone who was essentially an enemy of the (current) state into its borders. He crossed his arms. Still, she could hardly be any friend of Coteon’s. “That was... rude, sorry. Let me try that again. I’m Seilan, and this is...” - he paused for a moment - “...Angelise. We do happen to be with a group heading for Hwein, though personally I can’t say whether we might be able to take you with us. I don’t exactly have the authority to make that decision; though I might be able to put in a good word for you, depending.” Something in his mind was hinting that she might be of help. “Armed succubus from Hwein” in particular was ringing distant bells, bells he suspected ought to be a fair few stones’ throws closer, but he couldn’t quite place her… Things started to fall into place, slowly. The woman was trying to find her way back into Hwein. Seilan’s objection was about what she might have said, if she had the moxie to have spoken up before him. A monster riding back into Hwein with merchants while Coteon was in charge was effectively putting a kill order on them. Seilan explained that they were going to Hwein, but Lucille's current focus was on the woman’s tail, and what she had just offhandedly said. Her understanding of succubi was extremely limited since her formal introduction to them had been just a week ago. But the odd pressure really was starting to mildly annoy Lucille, “This may seem… odd, but do you know what this… I don’t really know how to explain it other than its magic, sort of like,” Lucille bobbed her head back and forth as she thought for an example, “Kind of like a haze. We’ve been feeling it ever since we walked in here. It’s… kinda… offputting actually.” Lucille looked at Seilan and kind of gathered that he was thinking about something now. That was about the expected rebuttal. After all, she’d heard it all along the week from everyone she’d managed to ask, and one she personally knew to be true. “I came here from Hwein about a month ago... you think I don’t know what kind of shitstorm I’m willingly trying to get myself into?” A discontented, slow wag of her tail was all the movement that would elicit, though. And the lady of the two would confirm that they were being affected by her usual issue more like monsters typically would, rather than humans. “...I don’t know how to explain it either. All I know is that, well, if either of you was your average human, you’d probably be trying to hit on me right about now. See why people don’t like hanging around me?” She briefly raised her hands in a half-shrug. Either way, they’d introduced themselves, so it was only courteous to do the same. “Seilan, and Angelie… Too long. You’re Ange now.” If only she wasn’t as tired and brainfogged as she was. “My name’s Nashwa. Mercenary of some thirty plus years, from Zahual.” Lucille’s eyes narrowed a tad as the woman, now identified as Nashwa, immediately shortened Angelise to Ange without even asking. Normally, that would have bugged her a lot more, but on virtue of it being an alias, her annoyance was tempered somewhat. “...Normally, you’d ask to shorten someone’s name.” Lucille responded with a pout on her face, and then she sighed, “But I’m not going to fuss about it. But more importantly… this haze is coming from you?” She had explained it somewhat, at Lucille’s guess, they were protected since the both of them were proficient with magic. But it was what it supposedly did that had Lucille a little concerned. “...Succubus… and magic… I guess I should have put that together a little faster… So if it’s your magic… You could turn it off, right?” That also probably explained a bit why people might not be willing to take her across. But some thoughts were probably best left unsaid. “Nashwa... wait, really?” A couple things clicked into place in his mind upon hearing the name. Now the gun made sense. Although... “From what I’ve heard... aren’t you supposed to have more armor? As in, a lot more armor?” The stories he’d heard of her were fairly consistent - one particularly creative one had described her as something along the lines of “a magical gunfighter in a roach’s shell’ - though he figured he’d keep that one in particular to himself. Her reputation as a mercenary alone was plenty of incentive to put a good word in to their leaders for her to join their convoy, though there were certainly some oddities to sort out first. And, well... if what she was saying about her issue was true, it might make things rather awkward for their group... though if monsters typically only experienced as much as he currently was, perhaps it wasn’t a problem for their group in particular. Lucille had asked a question before he’d properly thought through one of his own, however, so he left that particular line of inquiry to her. “Would’ve had it a heck of a lot easier for the past 40 years if I knew how.” It had only been recently that she’d even figured out it could be turned off somehow, and not that succubi were normally like her. But without anyone to teach her how, she wasn’t going to solve that problem quickly, unfortunately. “Seems like someone’s heard of me before… yeah, why do you think I want to go back to Hwein anyway?” Being recognized made her perk up a little, pulling herself up to sitting straight. Nashwa always liked her exploits making her known, and in this case, she could use that as an in to get with the group they were traveling with. “That week ago, some rat bastards stole almost all of my gear, and according to the guards, they were heading to Hwein… so I’m looking to get back what’s mine. Even if it wasn’t damn expensive to begin with, that shield’s also one of a kind.” Arms now properly crossed as she explained, the succubus hoped that would be enough to convince them to at least point toward someone who did have the authority to onboard her. “So you can’t… Hmm…” At worst, it would be an annoyance to constantly have to deal with this. There was so much Lucille didn’t understand; how it would work on them if they’d expended a lot of magic, how different it was for monsters, whether monsters with lower magical tolerance were more strongly affected, etc, etc. But Seilan now recognized the mercenary --apparently someone well known in Hweinese mercenary circles-- and she sat up at being recognized. “...So you’re after your usual equipment…” She then had a thought, Nessraya was both a succubus and powerful mage, there was a chance that she could maybe shed more light on Nashwa’s interesting problem. She turned to Seilan, “Hey, even in the event that we can’t bring her along, I wonder if Nessraya could assist with her other problem.” “So it was stolen... I see. Well, as far as reasons for heading to Hwein go, that would be fairly compelling...” He turned to Lucille. “That’s a good idea. The general handles herself well enough, so she might have an idea or two about how to help. We’ll probably end up speaking to her anyway if we do want to bring her along.” He looked back at Nashwa, nodding. “Well, I should explain the situation, then. We’re currently traveling with a fair number of Vaians looking to drive out the occupying forces in Hwein. With your reputation I’d be surprised if they didn’t jump at the chance to have you along. Of course, you’ll likely be asked to fight as part of the group; though, I imagine that’ll be no issue for someone in our line of work.” Nashwa just listened for a moment, though a couple very important details quickly made themselves apparent. She wasn’t quite so dull at the moment as to miss something as big as that. These two were with General Nessraya? There’d been almost nothing to do besides listening to talk about current events in the time she’d spent working and looking for travel, so of course she would know about what had been going on in Vaia recently. “...Let me get the facts straight. You’re saying you’re with the general of the Vaian military? That’d make you… that group.” That complicated things a little, even if Seilan was there to pull a recommendation for her. With that sort of association, there was no way she could ever just peace out after forcible repossession of her stolen goods, meaning she’d be stuck with them until Coteon was ousted from Hwein, or face the danger she’d run away from but twinfold, if not worse. Then again, this was the only shot the succubus had, and she wasn’t about to admit defeat to a bunch of lowly larcenists. “Sure hope ‘Darkbolt’ Nashwa is a name that people beyond Hweinese mercenaries know… Take me to war if you have to. I’ve wanted to punt Coteon out of my home anyway, and if I get my stuff back in the course of that, all the better.” She couldn’t manage much of a determined look, but it was the best she had right now. That seemed to be that. Should be simple enough to introduce her to the General, and let her deal with things. Admittedly the sooner she could get away from this haze, the better, Lucille thought. Though, so far, they had agreed on something, “Well, hopefully, we’re going to do just that. Hwein, and the rest of Vaia, aren’t Coteon’s playthings.” She overlooked the ‘Darkbolt’ name, she had no clue who she was and Nashwa seemed relatively pleased that Seilan knew who she was. Better to coast on his understanding. But on second thought there was something that still had to be dealt with, “That said.... You don’t look like you’re in any condition to do anything else but… sleep, honestly.” “That’s settled, then. If you’d rather, ah... keep resting here, I suppose we could ask the general to come here.” She seemed less than entirely enthused at the idea of joining their group, but if she’d agreed, then she’d agreed. And personally, he shared her want to drive Coteon out of Hwein, so he wasn’t about to complain about having additional help to do it. ‘Darkbolt’, though... well, he’d heard that nickname here or there, among the others. Though it hadn’t exactly been the one of choice. Now, if that was what she wanted to be called, that was another matter entirely. “Well, I’ll leave that decision to you. Shall we go for now, then, Lucille?” Although Nashwa didn’t give off the best of impressions how she was now, instead of silently accepting what they’d thought best for her, she stood up and slung the rest of her things on her back. ...A bit lethargically, but she did. “...Ngh. What, you think I can’t handle myself? I can find the general to bother on my own, not like finding someone like that would be hard…” The succubus rolled her shoulders a little and stretched her arms, wings unfurling ever so slightly from doing so, but quickly tucking them compact. “This… isn’t that kind of tired, anyway. I need action, not sleep.” While it made sense to her, her phrasing would be far too easy to misinterpret by just about anyone acquainted with a… more normal succubus. Lucille couldn’t do anything but tilt her head as Nashwa reacted with annoyance as they were going to find Nessraya and direct her here. “Um… this doesn’t really have anything to do with handling yourself. I guess it wouldn’t be too hard for you to find her, but… it’s really not a big deal.” Lucille guessed that it was something to do with pride more than anything. Lucille’s eyes narrowed as she started putting two and two together, perhaps incorrectly, “...What exactly do you mean by ‘action’. I… want to assume that you mean fighting, but...” Her very, very limited understanding from what Coteon had spouted, it was very, very possible that she meant ‘action’ in the other way. She sighed, “Well… if you’re adamant about it, I suppose it’s not up to us anymore then.” Lucille turned away from the mercenary, “Did you have anywhere in mind, Seilan?” She wasn’t particularly a fan of how prickly the mercenary was now. She seemed oddly dismissive of their attempts of assistance. “Hrm. Is that so. Well, that as it is, Lucille, I think the general should be able to handle any issues she’s having just fine.” It was a bit of a surprise that Lucille didn’t know what exactly Nashwa had meant, but given her upbringing... that aside, he wasn’t going to be the one to explain in detail. It would be rather... awkward. “We could pick up some supplies if there’s anything you need. If not, perhaps one of the other inns in town might be a good place to visit.” He was aware of an arena in town, though he figured Lucille really wouldn’t be the type to take part in such an activity, skipping that as a suggestion. “I’m sure you’ll get along just fine with the general, Nashwa. We’ll be taking our leave for now, I think.” The succubus scowled a bit more at ‘Ange’’s wondering out loud. “What do you mean? Of course I’m talking about fighting… The heck else would a mercenary be looking forward to in their job?” Oh well, whatever. Whether they were thinking weird things about her now was besides the point, they’d decided to leave and go their own paths anyway, and the two were making plans on where to go next. “Hope so. If we’re going to be part of the same group, we’ll end up seeing each other later anyway,” she said back and went on ahead by herself, albeit with a fairly slow gait. ”...Er, right. Of course.” Had he assumed incorrectly, somewhere...? If it was battle she was looking for, she could simply have gone to the arena. If it wasn’t, well... like he’d said earlier, Nessraya would figure something out. Either way, it wasn’t anything they’d have to worry about. Their energies would probably be better spent exploring the town, rather than... pondering her needs.
  11. Lucille giggled at Seilan's near slip, "Mhm, that's definitely going to take some getting used to." It was so very freeing to not need to be so uptight, and she was a little more than happy that Seilan took her up on that offer. "Alright then, let me help you on and... uh..." It was at this moment that Lucille remembered Seilan wasn't a child. All of her passenger flying had generally been with a smaller child, so they'd sat in front of her since she could see over them and get her arms around them. Seilan probably had nearly a foot on her, and she would have her face smushed into Seilan's back trying to get her arms around. So he would have to sit behind her, which meant the only thing he would have to hang onto mid flight, if it was needed, was her. "Huh... I just realized that I've never flown where someone would be sitting behind me rather than in front." Lucille said with a tilt of her head. "It won't be a problem or anything, just a bit odd for a moment or two." Or twelve. She moved as far forward in the saddle as she could, and helped Seilan onto Villkiss. "There shouldn't be too much reason for you to hang on for this flight, but if you do, just, um, hang onto me. Try not to squeeze, alright?" Fortunately, her confidence in her riding was enough to mask her embarrassment. Though, admittedly, she wouldn't have minded the squeeze if it happened. "Just tell me when you're ready and we'll go... an Inn you said, right?" Lucille rescues Seilan and flies off to the inn at 4, 6!
  12. Lucille took a deep breath. The days leading up to this had been eventful to say the least. She was still tensing and untensing her arm. It was still surreal, but that was something she'd get used to. A new town on the other hand, was something she was sure she'd never get used to. While still in Vaian territory, there shouldn't have been anything wrong with using her regular name, but once in Hwein, she'd have to use an alias. So starting now would be for the best, she already had the hair. She quickly looked around searching for that distinguishing green robe. Ah, there he was, fortunately, she didn't have to look hard. "Oh, Seilan! Over here!" She was quite a bit more comfortable talking with Seilan now. A lot more. He would have a much, much better idea of what to do, and she much prefer to be with someone than alone. And Seilan was by far her preferred choice. "Umm... Would you like to fly with me and Villkiss? I... really don't know what I'm going to do here, and... I'm not sure I should be by myself... so... Villkiss can get us wherever you need to go." Lucille's head popped up, "Oh, also... Another reason why is... remember when you I was... recruited and you guys mentioned an alias? I was hoping you could help me get used to it. It shouldn't matter too much here... but I want to be ready for Hwein. So... I'll be going by Angelise, alright?"
  13. Verah's seeming desperation after she realized what the group was, and their aim was charming. She couldn't help but crack a smile as Jade seemed to poke at her. It was odd to feel some level of comfort in the presence of monsters and with everything that had happened and was going to happen. She certainly felt out of place, but, maybe for the first time in nearly three years, she felt safe... mostly. There was still the threat of seeing Naomi's demise in her impending slumber, but staving sleep off was quickly becoming impossible. Villkiss's back was suddenly remarkably soft and warm, and the conversation had taken a direction that didn't really involve her. Admittedly, falling asleep was her best option; she had no idea where she was supposed to go to figure out where she was supposed to go to sleep. Trying to find someone to ask wasn't a particularly palatable option either; far too many people that she didn't know still and interrupting the conversation in front of her would have been rude. Plus, falling asleep right now in the company of Seilan and Jade would save her the trouble of admitting that she really didn't want to be alone. When things finished up, they'd probably just leave her be, but hopefully the current presence of the group would ward off the menacing thoughts for just long enough to get some reasonable sleep. She gave one more look to the group before she closed her eyes, and didn't reopen them.
  14. It was good to know that Jade was just as off put by the new arrival, even if it was for slightly different reasons. Seilan on the other hand, seemed to be more than fine with her sudden appearance. It made sense for him to be much more comfortable around monsters; Hwein was where both cultures convalesced, often harmoniously. So he also probably had a handle on scrying as well. Lucille listened as best she could to Verah's explanation. "Pretty angry would be an understatement..." Lucille replied with her eyes narrowed. Lucille really didn't like the idea of someone being able to peek into her affairs without her say so, but she would know when it was happening, and it seemed like Verah had some self preservation skills. Still, not a good start to the conversation. But Verah's continued explanation of how she came to be here lessened the tension that Lucille felt. "So... you were captured because you tried to stop Ithraxl's goons from attacking a human?" From Verah's explanation, it sounded like there hadn't been much of a consideration for her own well being in this scenario. It wasn't every day that a monster was going to put their life on the line for a human, but well, this group would probably have proven otherwise. So she seemed a little more trustworthy than her opening statement made it seem. But only just. Lucille considered asking about the woman's affinity but the conversation was taking more out of her than she thought it would. Lucille leaned back against Villkiss's back. "Well... I think Jade or Seilan can better explain what's happening... I," Another yawn, "Sorry... I just joined. So I don't have the details other than we'll be heading to Hwein." She eventually mumbled out. That admission made Lucille feel a little more out of place amongst the group. Thinking about Hwein, Lucille realized that going by her real name would be... problematic. Coteon was fairly prominent in the region to her understanding, and the Altair Family name was still well known in Coteon. The main Altair Family was still fairly buddy-buddy with the church despite their decline. Using her name while traveling with a Vaian outfit--even discounting the issue with her immediate family--could be a whole mess of problems that she really didn't want to subject anyone to. She'd need an alias for the future.
  15. The Zombie practically appeared out of nowhere to correct her. Revealing that it was another human by the name of Agni who received the information first, and the others only learned through happenstance. She looked over at the girl once again, to see a human now hovering about the girl. Was he the person to whom the zombie was referring? More than likely considering what girl's night had been like. Unfortunately for Lucille, the Zombie's spiel didn't stop there; instead latching on to Seilan's musings about how personal things had been. The mini lecture served as little more than a grim reminder of Lucille's uncertain future. A future in which she could end up in the same state as the lizard girl. Then almost as soon as the zombie began she quickly apologized for the speech. "Oh, uh... It's alright... and if it wasn't for you, Lavinia and the... siren, I definitely wouldn't have made it out of that battle, so please don't apologize for that." But the zombie had shifted targets once again to Seilan mentioning a name that seemed to give him pause. But before Lucille, or anyone really could say anything more, another monster appeared from behind the zombie. It was one that she didn't recognize, something that would happen often, but the monster was... peculiar. While the exhaustion clearly wasn't helping matters, Lucille couldn't quite tell exactly what they were. Other than that she was blue, remarkably bubbly for what had just transpired, that the zombie's name was Jade, that her name was Verah, and that she had been scrying. That last one put Lucille a bit on edge. Lucille's gloved arm was already out of sight as her gaze remained fixed on the newcomer, "Verah... is it? Well, um... my name is L-Lucille."
  16. It seemed like the fighting indoors had escalated beyond a point that anyone expected. Lucille had barely interacted with General Nessraya, but even her presence gave off a similar feeling to her mother. Lucille knew how capable her mother was, so for Nessraya to match that meant that she was exceptionally strong. For her to have collapsed at the end of it all... and then there was the mention of a dragon. There appeared to be so much that they didn't know... Lucille sighed as Seilan revealed that he didn't know anything about the girl's link with the rebellion's leader, "It... seems like it wasn't open knowledge. I'm not surprised that they wouldn't have told us... we are humans, after all." The jab felt cheap with how accepting Lavinia, General Nessraya, and the Demon King had been, not to mention others like the Zombie and even the Siren in a roundabout way. The information was likely on a need to know basis, and knowing it, clearly, wouldn't have changed what they needed to do. Enough people seemed to know, and they fought him anyway. It was a battle that had been set in motion long before that moment, and nothing was going to stop it. Lucille flinched as Seilan's musings turned to her. Lucille slid her gloved arm off of her lap, "Uh... I... may have lost my temper with the Siren from before. She... insinuated somethings and I lost it with her. Not to mention that... also happened around the time where Naomi showed up." There was a long pause as she tried to gather her words, "I'm just feeling overwhelmed with all of this. I've... never really been good when it comes to fighting, so being a part of such an important fight as my first... it's a lot for me." Leaving out the brush with Bolganone, and Naomi's death felt... off. She'd become so accustomed to leaving out parts and pieces of her tales that she didn't even need to think about it. It had been necessary to protect herself, so why now? Why now would leaving something out feel so foreign to her?
  17. Lucille's eyes slid open as she heard someone talking next to her. No one else had been near her so she assumed that the new-- wait, she remembered the voice. She turned to see Seilan looking at her, and looking rather exhausted himself. "Oh... Seilan." A yawn escaped her lips before she could continue. She shook her head to stave off sleep for a little while longer, "Sorry, I'm... exhausted. More so than usual after a fight. But... I suppose I made it through." Lucille sat up and stretched; she wanted to talk, but she equally wanted to keep the conversation off of her. "You seem ready to pass out yourself... Must of had a lot of healing to do after whatever happened in there. But... I'm glad to see that you're... about as alright as one could be after all of that." A lot of questions began to form in Lucille's head: "Did you know about the link between the young lizard... dragon... something girl, and the leader of the rebellion? What even happened inside that the entire castle was shaking? Is everyone else alright? Where are you from?" Lucille blinked as she thought about the last one. But it would be better to let the conversation take its natural course.
  18. Lucille barely heard any of the Hero's speech as she continued to nod off in between her words. She was completely tapped; not even enough energy to lift herself off of Villkiss's back. But she dreaded actually closing her eyes to rest. She didn't want to see it again. She didn't want to see the point of Naomi's immolation again. She looked down at her gloved arm, and watched open and close. That could have been me. That was almost me... Lucille shook her head; she needed something else to think about, lest her mind run rampant. She looked over and saw the young girl who had been cradling the body of the rebellion's leader. She sat with her ears covered and back turned; no doubt to avoid hearing any of the cheers of the group's victory. Lucille had to stifle the growing desire to check on her. As a human, formerly of Coteon's forces, and an unknown face, Lucille knew that she wouldn't take her intrusion well. No amount of worry would change that, especially if she held the same sort of beliefs as the felled rebellion leader. Even then, it wasn't hard to know that she wasn't going to want to talk to anyone except those closest to her in the first place. Lucille's eyes got heavier and heavier, before finally sliding closed for a moment. She jolted herself awake as she felt herself sliding out of Villkiss's saddle; quickly grabbing the reins to right herself. Hopefully no one was paying attention then... The last thing she wanted was for someone to have to carry her to where ever they were resting for the night. She'd already put too much on everyone. So she sat, and listened as the others around her made conversation, and kept a watchful eye over the despondent girl to the best of her failing ability.
  19. The Zombie's nod was the final confirmation necessary. Even if she hadn't seen it all happen, she was watching family member leave a grieving child behind. Was this... what they were after? The battle was over; they had won, but it didn't feel like it at all. He was the leader of the rebellion, wasn't he? Then why... was she... Lucille's temper started to bubble. Who was he to her? Why was he fighting against Vaia? But she knew that answer. It was just another bitter reminder of the costs of war... a war that Coteon and the Church were responsible for igniting. The Zombie quickly changed the topic to the wellbeing of Villkiss. Had she noticed? "Oh... uh," Did... I introduce Villkiss at some point? Lucille fumbled around a moment trying to recall when the Zombie would have learned Villkiss's name. "She's fine... Fortunately, no one out there was able to hit us. Though that's mostly thanks to you and the Si--" Lucille cut herself off, still bristling at the winged woman for her words. Still, her physical wellbeing was largely tied to her holding the line with the Zombie. So even if it wasn't now, she'd have to thank her too. Thinking about thanking the Siren also brought another thing to Lucille's immediate attention... she was very wobbly. With the fight over, the adrenaline was starting to fade. The exhaustion from casting was fairly standard, but it in tandem with having to keep herself together after Naomi's gruesome end? Lucille's body felt like a heavy stone. But things weren't quite over yet. Having to watch the young girl cry over her father... it was the very thing Lucille wanted to put an end to; the very thing she wanted so desperately to avoid. She leaned forward on Villkiss's back in an effort to conserve what energy she had left. A bit embarrassing to be so out of sorts when she couldn't imagine what happened in here, and what the Zombie and Siren had to go through. She needed to keep it together a little while longer.
  20. Lucille flew her way in, the castle was surprisingly more spacious than she thought it would be. Unfortunately, the surprises wouldn't stop there. The castle had been shaking and the loud roar from before... but the sight in front of her was curious. Was that the leader of this rebellion? General Nessraya was being supported by the Demon King --Thank goodness she was alright after all-- though the General looked awful, hit by something Lucille couldn't even comprehend. What in the world happened here... But... there was a young girl cradling the dying man and... was she crying? Lavinia couldn't bare herself to look at the scene. But Lucille had seen... and felt it all before. It was too familiar, almost eleven years ago she'd been doing the same thing before she was ripped from her home. Lucille felt lightheaded as understanding came to her... "Is... Is he family to her?"
  21. Lavinia moved off before Lucille could say anything, heading off to heal up the Siren who'd taken a beating. Lucille took a deep breath, it was... odd having someone genuinely in her corner, and a monster no less. But it was enough for her; so long as she could cast magic, she'd make sure that she was worthy of that care. She looked down at her gloved right hand and squeezed it tight. She felt nothing in her hand, but she felt the faintest tinge of hope. She took Villkiss's reins, and headed towards the castle, they weren't done yet. Lucille to 6, 26
  22. The moment Lucille landed, the Vampire was over to her. She was a healer, and Lucille probably looked terrible at the moment; certainly felt that way. But... her concern extended far beyond what would be expected of a healer. Lucille flinched at her offer to escort her from the battlefield, "...What? No, no... I, uh, you're needed here, you can't just leave because I'm..." A gulp of air, "I'm... not really alright, but I promised General Nessraya and the Demon King that I'd do what I could. I... can't let people risk their lives, and not do anything about it." Lucille looked at the vampire, and her bright smile. It was so bewildering to see such a beautiful smile on a battlefield, but it helped greatly in calming her frayed nerves. "I... know that I needed to do that. Naomi would have killed someone if I didn't... It was difficult but she wasn't... the reason why I lost it. It was the spell... Bolganone, f-fire in general really, but that spell in particular..." Lucille pulled her gloved arm in tight, "It's... not something I want to talk about here. But I should have been clear from the beginning, I have a very bad experience with fire. B-but I-I can't let that bring other people down. I'm still... alright enough to help. But, um, thank you. Your concern means... a lot to me." Lucille had paused and changed her words out of embarrassment. The vampire's response had been very similar to the general's; it felt so odd for someone to worry about her in a manner that wasn't just her ability to help further their goals. It almost felt like before everything came crashing down on her. She had wanted to say that it meant, 'The world' to her. In barely more than a couple hours, members of this group had shown themselves to be far more trustworthy than the entirety of Coteon and the Church. Unfortunately, there were still exceptions to that... one such was likely in earshot of their conversation. "Um... I introduced myself but... I ran off before I could learn your name, Miss..."
  23. Somehow, they'd made it through all of that. The Drakes, Naomi's squadron, and the group from the castle had all been slain. Of course, they still had a castle to sack, but even if it was just for a moment, they could breathe. It hadn't been long, but Luci already felt like passing out. Likely because of just... everything. The worst of the episode was passing, but she didn't feel much better. What a mess. She could only imagine the explaining she'd have to do after all of this. Even if it was for a moment, she put everyone here in danger. Lucille urged Villkiss back to the clearing before the rear entrance, she needed to hear their next move if she was going to at least try and help out. Maybe she'd... No, absolutely not... She... She wasn't serious about that. She said all of that to snap you back to reality... She didn't really... Lucille to 2, 23
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