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Hero, Don't Kill The Demon King! Chapter 1: Lives Not Yet Thrown Away

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Agni takes that crown!
Roll1: 23,3 (9)
IGNIS CRITICAL!
18 DAMAGE!
"GWAHHGH!"
SLAIN!
Agni gains +80 EXP! +2 hidden WEXP!
Agni levels!
Level 9! +SPD!

MAP OVER!

All thieves defeated!


The thieves that remained alive had been gathered, tied up, and placed in the center of the arena, so the townsfolk and the group could deal with them. Despite his critical wounds, Nimbus had managed to survive. Bloodied and beaten, he would be dealt with accordingly.

Geoffrey stepped forward, shaking Lavinia's hand. "Thank you all! Truly! We would've been cleaned out had you not been here... I don't know if there's anything we can do, but... From all of us, to you, anything you've managed to save from these thieves, you can keep for yourselves!"

The townsfolk nodded along, smiling wide. Their lives, and all the good Nimbus had stored away to flee town with, had been returned. Any small items picked up were more than enough reward for these warriors.

"Well... There's, no point arguing with all of you. Thank you, for the gracious reward." Lavinia looked back at everyone and smiled... Even if it had been a hard night for them, hopefully the feeling of having properly saved a town, and their rewards, would be enough to raise spirits.

Jezebels Necklace -> Talisman!
Dulhaven's Hammer -> 1 free weapon repair/upgrade!
Arena Ledger -> Secret Book!
Geoffrey's Locket -> Goddess Icon!
Eugen's Lockbox -> ...?

"Before we all leave," Jezebel said, stepping forward, "I need to ask one thing... Is that girl... The Hero?"

A silence hit the crowd, even Nimbus froze up a bit, tied up as he was. They all stared at Marina, eyes worried... But with a certain wonder. The hero? Here? HELPING them? Why? For what purpose? "I don't mean to cause a stir," Jezebel spoke up again, "but her name... They slipped it out at my shop. If you, really are the Hero... I don't know what gave you such a change of heart, but... Thank you. Truly."

Lavinia had frozen along with the townsfolk, but the sigh of relief that followed gave her pause to breathe-- even if she didn't need to. A quick glance to Marina was met with a smile.

"Really... If, she is, then... Well! I don't think you'll see any trouble from us! Right, everyone?" Shocked as people were, they all nodded along to Geoffrey's statement. Not that it will be so easy for the rest of Vaia... Or even everyone here, but, tonight, you are our hero, little miss. Best of luck, with whatever this is.

"Hey!" Taliyah poked her head out of the arena entrance, having gone off to snoop. "Nessraya! C-Come here! I gotta show you somethin'! Bring your staff!"

"Goodness... The night never ends..." Lavinia sighed, turning back to Marina and the group, as the townsfolk began to deliberate how best to deal with Nimbus and his cronies. "All's well that ends well? I suppose?"

And running past her... "Bladen!" Asami bounced into the arena past Taliyah, rushing herself to his side... And keeping a small bit of distance, he looked horribly shaken. "What happened? I came to check, but... Seeing you like this, what, what went wrong?"

Edited by SnakeMomMelissa

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All's well that ends well, so they say. The ransacking of Aensbrook had ended in complete and utter failure for the bandits, Nimbus was in custody, and aside from a stray coin that might have gone unchecked, they hadn't made away with anything. You would have thought that, being made aware that an envoy from the King was in town, Nimbus would have used that knowledge to postpone his raid, but... well it takes a certain sort of dullard to be a bandit, now doesn't it?

Oh. Nessraya tensed for a moment as one of the villagers called Marina out on her title, but after a few tense moments, things seemed to pass. Good... it would have been unfortunate to have to incapacitate any unruly village folk who had decided to attack Marina, but luckily that didn't seem to be in the cards. It was soon after that moment of tension that Taliyah decided to call the General over, urging her to bring her staff along. Whatever could this be, then? Floating over to the sneaky lizard, Nessraya held her healing implement with her tail.

"What is it, Taliyah?"

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Marina had gathered with the rest of the group in the arena. Honestly, she wasn't ready to hear praise from anyone. Now all she wanted was to finally go back and maybe rest. She saw that Puff Trouble... Nimbus Conflict and his surviving cohorts were gathered, and the townsfolk offered gifts for protecting them. She mostly stayed silent, as she wasn't ready to speak out, but then...

Jezebel stepped forward. Marina had a confused look again. Until...

Is that girl The Hero?

Marina froze with fear. She wasn't ready. She didn't want to fight civilians again. Not some who she was trying to protect. To right her wrongs... All the stares and looks made her so stricken, but she couldn't handle a small nod, agreeing with Jezebel's claim. But soon after, she was greeted by a surprising follow-up. Jezebel was thanking her. Soon, her face lightened. Not smiling yet, but she nodded again,

"I... I wanted to do the right thing..." She started, but she couldn't bear the strength to continue. It was such a different sort of feeling, hearing such thanks. But it couldn't be given just to her! "Honestly, thanks should be given to my..." Do I use the word? "...My friends. If not for them, I wouldn't have been here to help you. They deserve the gratitude," She couldn't just accept the thanks from the crowd so easily, but she wasn't sure what of her words actually made it to the crowd before they went to deal with Nimbus. She breathed a heavy sigh.

It was a nice time, sure, it was actually a lot better than expected. But she knew that she still had things to discuss with Lavinia, but she assumed it was up to the vampire whether or not she was gonna push it. For now, she looked and gave a nod in response, a smile returning to Marina's face, "I suppose," Was all she said, as she wasn't sure what she planned with the remainder of the night anymore.


An fortunate ending, from what felt an unfortunate circumstance. Taiyute was embarrassed and angered with herself from what had occurred with her final strike. Such an easy target, yet she failed to hit. It was frustrating. It was so easy, how could you act so foolish! Damned bastard! She unfortunately yelled at herself in her head.

She had a good view, she sat away from the group; a crate in the corner of the arena, but she was glad they were here in time to save the town from danger. The things that could've happened to Aensbrook... Her understanding of their tongue was almost spot on, but sometimes things get wrapped up in her head. From what she heard, that child amongst the group... was The Hero? The crazed murderer roaming throughout Vaia on a quest to murder the Demon King?

Taiyute hadn't seen much of The Hero in action, but just watching her, it was nothing like she had expected. She was almost disappointed. At least, she wouldn't have to cross paths with a Holy Knight again, from what she was watching.

She had a thought to approach the group, but the wound she had obtained from one of the thieves was still bothering her, and inconsiderately so. It was quite annoying just leaning. Flinging her cloak over, she focused what she could of her magic to close the wound. A heavy breath every minute or so, as she hadn't been able to recharge herself in quite some time.

Maybe approaching the group would've been a better plan...

Edited by Silver Gallade

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The battle had ended almost suddenly, the leader incapacitated by Agni of all people. To Bladen it floated by in a haze. He left the tree, settling onto the ground, followed the others into the arena, making sure to keep a distance between him and Jade as he did, and finally half collapsed against a wall, feeling like a puppet with cut strings. It registered when the villagers started talking about Marina being the hero, but not enough to cause him to stir. His should still ached, despite the healing, and there was a nagging voice in his head reminding him to talk to the General about it. But she was being called somewhere else and... Asami.

"Wrong..." He echoed her last word, trying to collect his thoughts enough to punch through the haze. "Well. It depends on how you define wrong I suppose." There it was. A defense in sarcasm, let that mask his confusion and worry. "For starters, we seem to be very casual about all of using a cursed sword that steals your energy and life force. That would have been fine though, really, if it hadn't been accompanied by Jade going feral and biting me. Oh and apparently I can use magic? Despite my being sure that those stories were just bed time fairy tales told to make young Fallen go to sleep. No, I can just... create swords of light now! Not that I know how I did it. Couldn't do it again if you asked me to. But I sure did do it! So mostly I'm just wishing that I had stayed back to guard the inn. Or that I had never woken up. You know? Just avoided all of this nonsense?" He would maybe stop talking eventually, but it was easier to just say words than it was to actually try and process what all had happened tonight.

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The oni princess had walked through the entrance of the arena with a very serious, almost dead expression. She had a lot on her mind now, Suzume's appearance was something that had startled her. It wouldn't have gone well if Ayane was still in her angered state. But she had to thank Ren for appearing to soothe her soul somewhat, enough to keep everyone safe from her undead sister's wrath anyway. 'Suzume...' She took a look around the arena, hoping to find Ren.

Edited by TheRoon

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Jade's initial response to Nessraya's surprisingly pragmatic point of view on the situation was anger. She'd bit back any snappy comeback she might have wanted to say, the zombie could ill afford to spoil whatever good will she'd accrued after all, but the feelings of That's easy for you to say, lingered. The general'd never been in her shoes, had she? How could she get penance without punishment?

It was only after everyone had filed into the arena for the full aftermath to get sorted out that the realization hit the merchant. Her mind had of course gone immediately to vampires as another possible case of, as--how had she put it--"sudden onset hunger". This, of course, in spite of Lavinia mentioning that in all her years she'd never gotten the urges that bad. So, had the woman been referring to another species then? ...a succubus in heat, perhaps? Maybe Nessraya did know exactly where Jade was coming from. And when she got to thinking that, she just felt empty inside for awhile. Not relieved--though she should have been grateful that the expedition leader was so understanding--just... hollowed out. Spent.

Ashamed of herself.

Sorting out the treasure return, the rewards offered, the revelation of the hero in their midst. Everything passed Jade by, like she were stalled at the side of the road, replacing a broken wagon wheel. She should apologize; that would be best. But as she'd decided and begun to work up the nerve, as she'd turned to look at Bladen, the man had briefly caught her eye--or at least she thought he did--then quickly looked away, answering something Asami had asked him. He was incredibly obvious about keeping his distance, and who could blame him?

Later then. After he'd had some time to work things through. After she'd had some time to work things through.

For now, Jade needed to do something to occupy her mind. No more of this standing around, having to play the same thoughts on loop over and over again. Maybe she should take BV for a ride? Maybe she should practice blowing smoke rings.

...Maybe she should take a closer look at Marina's Holy Sword? The Hero had just... dropped it off in her wagon. Things appeared to have come to a conclusion, and people were beginning to filter out, dismiss themselves. It was time to follow suit.

No fanfare, no announcements, the merchant would just quietly, calmly exit the arena and walk back to her wagon, get her 'mares settled back into the stables, and then, well, then...

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"Ah! Th-This way! There's a whole bunch of tied up people in the weapons room!" Taliyah scampered back down the hall-- luckily straight enough for Nessraya to follow her without getting lost.

"Uhm... A-Ayane, yes?" Erephis, of all people, has slithered up to the oni, trying to get her attention. "I... Noticed, the, uhm, e-exchange you had during the battle... That... Girl, wh-who was she? If you dont mind me asking. If you do, that's f-fine... I just... Well, thought of, uhm... Something."

"Supposing is enough, Marina... We'll talk in the morning. You seem... Better. Everyone, back to the inn, once you've wrapped up business! It's still early enough that we should be able to manage a decent amount of sleep!" Hopefully they wouldn't dawdle for long. Lavinia spotted her next few hours of entertainment already trying to leave the arena. With heavy, but surprisingly quiet steps, she made after the zombie.

"What, running away from me? And here I was hoping to have your hands on me, all to my self... To help with my neck, remember? I wasn't trying to make an excuse, I'm... Trying not to agitate it right now, but their healing attempts were not... Perfect. I should be fine in a few nights, but, just in case. Wouldn't do to lose my head. Again, hmhmhmhm." Lavinia had purposefully avoided battle during the engagement for this very reason. Healing and keeping an eye on everyone had luckily been enough. 


"Oh... Bladen, I'm..." She slowly reached out for his hand, trying to make a bit of s connection, hoping it would be fine. "I'm so sorry... We'll have Nessraya look at you, okay? You should be fine... Physically. Jade is still fresh, I'd be shocked if she could infect anything, really." Whoever had turned her into a zombie had used some magical means. That she had such a violent reaction to what she could only assume had been damage, though... Maybe there was something else at play here? 

"As, for the rest... I... Don't know a lot, about the magic you used. But I know a little. If you want to come back to the room with me, I can tell you what I know... How does that sound? I know it might be a bit overwhelming right now, but its natural, at least. So try not to worry about something having gone astray. What you did was something you were meant to do." Perhaps alarmingly, Asami was carrying herself with a surprising level of care and gentleness. No jokes flung or even a hint of sarcasm...


"Xalrei!" An angry voice the dragon would be all too familiar with sounded into the arena, a tail sliding along the ground towards her with frightening speed, before she was hoisted by her clothes. "What in the name of Hess were you doing out there!?" Laselia was unimpressed with Xalrei's abuse of the demon blade and her show against Nimbus. "Do you have any idea of how important you are!? Any at all!?"

Edited by SnakeMomMelissa

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"...hm?" Well Erephis did manage to get Ayane's attention, even as she was stuck in her own head trying to figure things out. She turned to the snake like woman. "...her name is Suzume Kusanagi, my sister. Asami told me Ouka may have reanimated her body and brainwashed her and she was right." She looked aside a little, still very regretful. "Why do you ask and who are you for that matter?"

Edited by TheRoon

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It seemed Lavinia did want to wait on it. Marina was okay with that, it gave her a chance to really reflect on how she was acting. Besides, she was sure Lavinia wanted to check on Jade as well, who left as soon as the talking ended. And with that, Marina didn't really have anything left to do that night, so it was a means of gathering everyone. Soon enough, she turned to see Erephis talking to Ayane, a sad look in Ayane's eyes.

Starting to approach and get close, she caught that an individual she had encountered was her brainwashed sister. Marina's face grimaced a bit, but she kept her approach, stepping just close enough to where she was next to Erephis, but it seemed too rude to just butt in when she wasn't part of the conversation at all. She listened, waiting until she had been addressed, by either person.

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"Forgive my dear cousin's brutish tone miss.  It seems her humanity wasn't the only thing taken from her."

Like a specter from the shadows, Ren appeared and placed a gentle but warning hand over Ayane's shoulder.  He looked no worse for wear, one of the few that came out of this somewhat unscathed.  "Sorry for making you wait Ayane, I was looking for a little pretty bird that had worried over me," he offered as an excuse, smile unwavering even as he looked over to Erephis.  "Well!  And who might this charming lady be?" he asked, knowing full well that his cousin had already asked this before.

Some light teasing could be what they needed after what happened tonight.

"You know, snakes are quite revered where we're from.  A symbol of rebirth, transformation, and the continual renewal of life," he offers, his smile brightening at this knowledge.  Quite the bookworm, his cousins would often tease him about, but never really bothered by it.

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Bladen couldn't help the slight flinch as she touched his hand, before letting his shoulders sag a bit and taking her hand. "Yeah, Lavinia said the same thing. Let the General look at me, just in case something was missed. It shouldn't be a problem, but just in case. Always just in case. The polite way of saying 'Well you might turn into a zombie but we don't want you to panic.' Because that would be worse." He frowned, knowing that he was lashing out at the wrong person. But he was scared. And while that wasn't an excuse, it was certainly a reason.

And then the magic... "Y-yeah, sure, whatever. It's not... It wasn't scary. I mean... The magic itself wasn't. The fact that I had no control over it and it came out of nowhere wasn't great, but the actual magic was, well, warm. It pushed things back, gave me a few seconds of peace, I..." He shook his head. "I don't know. I probably sound like I'm talking nonsense. Maybe getting away from everyone would be good. Some peace and quiet..."

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And that would be it for their midnight excursion. The bandits were rounded up, and the villagers offered kind rewards after all. Turned out to be a good idea, thanks to Lavinia's quick decision, so Agni had no mind to think too much about it --especially since he was already mentally tired. If they were no longer needed for the night, it'd be a good time to start walking back to the inn...

Unfortunately the night would not end without a scare, with Jezebel --the shopkeeper elf, Agni remembered that much-- pointing at Marina and asking of her true identity. Too sharp, that one, but... she didn't seem to hold hostilities with that fact in mind. The silence looming in the arena after the revelation was stressful. Agni had adopted a straight posture, on guard with a hand to the side of his hips, where a dagger holster was present, but quickly, but the following reactions were leaning on the positive. That was enough to relax his posture, he decided.

Agni didn't need to do much of anything. He had already proven himself, with Nimbus utterly defeated. That's the second time this man has lost to me today... what a poor creature.

"Everything okay, Marina?" Agni approached calmly, a hand finding itself on Marina's shoulder soon enough. "At least most people here are willing to give you a chance. That's a good sign, I think."

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After the battle, a flow of emotions, both good and bad, circled around the atmosphere. It honestly overwhelmed Gabriela a little bit, seeming to not be so sure what to say. Though you can imagine the surprise when Jezebel came forward and pretty much guessed Marina's true identity. It was however, a good thing to see that they didn't have to battle off an angry mob in addition to the junkies from the arena. Gaby decided to walk over to Marina and Agni.

"Hey, Hero. It looks like everything is fine here... isn't that great?" Gabriela gave a smile, though it was a bit forced.

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Following along after Taliyah, Nessraya soon came across just what the half-lizard had said... a large amount of people tied up within the armoury. It wasn't overly surprising... there would have been folks staffing the arena, and they would have needed to be dealt with before Nimbus could make his move proper... they seemed to be merely indisposed and not dead, which was a blessing.

"Thank you, Taliyah. Begin undoing their bindings... anyone who is injured, speak up. I'll begin healing." Nessraya noted, waving her trusty staff about with her tail.

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Xalrei had been prepared to end her second duel with Nimbus with a decisive strike from Requiem, spear poised to pierce the sword fighter; however, the elf crumpled in front of her and all Requiem pierced was the air where he had stood. Who dared!? The dagger in Nimbus' back told her all she needed to know: Agni. She was angry all over again, but for a different reason. This wasn't even the first time he'd done it tonight! Was he looking down on her!? She could handle herself, damn it! She didn't need help, especially not from a human! With the thieves rounded up, and thus without anyone release her anger on, the ground was forced to bear it, tail and claws slamming into it in a huff.


In the time it had taken the villagers to collect the thieves and Nimbus, Xalrei hadn't calmed down much, if it all; instead, her anger had turned inward, directed at herself. Stupid, stupid, stupid! How could you say all that and then put up such a sorry performance? That's why they think they have to baby you! In her anger, she had forgotten that Requiem could read her thoughts, but, what was it going to do? Console her? Doubtful. 

The scare that the shopkeeper had caused did, however, remind Xalrei of the cursed blade's presence. Even if it was only for the fact that the blade would've endlessly complained at her if they had been forced to protect Marina from the villagers; she had no intention of turning Requiem on the people of Aensbrook. They had every right to want nothing to do with the Hero, so the positive reaction from the villagers was a little starling to the dragon. At least they didn't have to fight them.

With things seemingly resolved, Xalrei turned to leave, eager to head back to bed, but froze the second she heard the unmistakable voice of her angry 'mother'. Now, entirely off the ground, she was reminded that, if she wanted to, Laselia could, and would, drag her back to Zreiya if she felt the need to. However, instead of bowing her head and apologizing, her anger turned her towards defiance. "Yeah, dad will lose it if I die. I know. And it's not like I fought until I collapsed! I know my limits! You don't need to treat me like a hatchling!"

Edited by Ursali

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"Ch-Charming? Rrrrrr-r-r-revered!?" Erephis completely lost her train of thought, stumbling over several words and shrinking in height, until she finally managed to take hold of what she'd been requested. "Uh... I-I, I-- well, thank you, but... Erm, that... A-Anyway," trying to focus... "uhm... M-My name is Erephis. I'm the head librarian at, C-Castle Tassion, the... Demong-- Ahh, D-Demon King's castle, in the capital of Vaia. Uhm." A good start. "Well, I-I, I'd seen an infection like hers, before... In, a book. Though I-I, I don't exactly r, re, remember which one... Would, uhm... You, l-like me to look into that, once we return t-to, the castle?"


"Oh? Saviors, finally," a gruff and tired voice spoke out, almost chuckling. "And-- By my beard, Nessraya? What are you doing all the way out in Aensbrook?" The inquisitive voice belonged to who was clearly a vampire, though physically well beyond his years. White hair even at night, glowing red eyes, sharp fangs, a full mustache and well trimmed beard. "I take it if you're in here trying to save us, the issue with those rowdy fellows has been resolved?"

"Uh," Taliyah spoke up, scurrying to undo his bindings first. "Who are you, s-sir?"

"Me? Name's Eugene... And I had this whole scheme figured out. Almost, anyway... One of them got the jump on me, and then tied the rest of these poor sods up." It would only take a glance to see who was there. Galahad, Leon, Frank!? The rest of the arena fighters! "They've been planning this for months, it seems. Nimbus got it in his stupid head that he deserved more... Terrible time to start acting on it."


"You stupid girl." Laselia let Xalrei go without warning, letting her fall to the floor of the arena. "That doesn't mean you just run in like that! And all that boasting!? For what!? Your ego? Just because you won doesn't mean you weren't in danger..." In what would be a rare moment of weakness for Xalrei to see, Laselia had to fight back some swelling tears, the sleeve of her gear hiding her eyes for a moment. "Just... Take, care of yourself, dammit! Rals told me to watch you, and I want you to grow, I can't keep holding your hand this entire time... Just... Be, smart about it. I know you can be... Tonight, was not that."


"It's standard procedure, Bladen... Someone as fresh as Jade isn't going to turn anyone unless she bites them to near death and they're left there for over a week. She has no rot, she hasn't been dead for long enough... Lavinia was just worried. I am too..." She held his hand a bit tighter, hoping it was helping at all. "You aren't talking any nonsense... Come on," she started, trying to stand with his hand in hers. "We'll go back to the inn... I'll explain what I know. After that, we can just hug... And I'll be there for you, okay? No... Funny business. I... Just, want to help." Hopefully he would let her.

Edited by SnakeMomMelissa

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A grasp of her shoulder from Agni got her attention very quick, she turned to Agni with a light, neutral appearance on her face as she nodded, leaning away from the conversation with Ayane and Erephis to speak to him, "I'm okay, Agni, I'm just tired..." She nodded, "I wanted to speak to Princess Ayane before leaving, is all. She looks so sad and I--"

Then she was also cutoff by the interruption of Gabriela, eyes giving a rapid blink as she processed the way Gabriela referred to her. "O-Oh, hello Gabriela, yeah. It's... much better than I expected." And she gave a small chuckle. "I'm lucky that of everyone in the town, it was Jezebel that found out." She looked over to what she could see of the crowd, "Now that's two things I have to repay her for..."

For a few moments, Marina caught her vision blurring. Tipping to the side a bit, she quickly got herself back together, grabbing onto Agni to keep herself from completely falling. Readjusting herself back up, "S-Sorry Agni, I'm fine,"

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Bladen really just wanted to stop talking about zombies, so he just accepted what Asami was saying and tried to not think about his arm. It still ached, but for all he knew that could just be in his head. It probably was. Just nonsense his brain was trying to convince him of... And then Asami was tugging on his hand as she started to stand up, so he followed her lead.

"Yeah, sure, heading back..." Information would be good. Though it seemed like this was something he should be learning from his family and clan, not from an outsider. But half of the people that he could have learned it from were dead, so he had to go with what he had. "I just... Talking some would be nice and then I just want to sleep. Sorry. I'm just tired after everything that's happened today. It's been a long couple of days. Sometimes it feels like I should have never left home..." The last sentence was a whisper, something that escaped without him really being conscious of it. But it was true at the same time. What was he doing, tagging along with this hero trying to make amends? He should be home, sharing in his clan's grief, being there for his mother... Not pretending to be some sort of protector of the land.

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The battle was over all too soon, and the cursed weapon felt no contentment. It certainly didn't help matters that the last kill was lost ... by mere inches. What a tragedy. On the other hand, the battle offered a more concerning insight, a potential setback Requiem had never before considered.

This collection of arena lovers was really good at murdering people.

Almost too good. It wouldn't be too long before others decided they were too dangerous to fight. As things stood, only a few kills could be expected during each slaughter, even with them taking turns using it, and eventually the threat they posed might keep them out of most fights. There had to be a better way to feed, a way to use their efficiency to its full advantage. Most likely it would have to bide its time and make due. With more power, new avenues would surely open up, but for the moment, their admittedly clever shenanigans were as good as Requiem was going to get.

'Grow stronger, Xalrei,' Requiem demanded, 'This power is far more valuable than an axe,' the cursed blade continued with obvious contempt for the earlier swap.

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Oh how she glared at Ren for his comment. He was right, but the cousin earned him quite a slug when she got the chance. But then the snake went on about the reason why she approached her. "Infection?" She turned to her with a softer expression than the one she gave Ren. "The oni transformation is one I believe cannot be reversed, but I am curious. If you have the time then by all means research and keep in touch." She bowed her head a little. Despite Ayane's aggression and anger she can still pay respect where it's due, especially to those who offer their services.

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"Eugene... ah, Erephis' friend. She was wondering where you had been... it will do her heart good to see you safe." Nessraya replied, pressing her healing staff to Eugene as she reached him... like the others, he had some cuts and bruises, but no one seemed grievously injured. Good, that was better for everyone involved, after all.

"As for why I'm here... business from the King and all that. Trying to restore a bit of peace and normalcy to the region... the need for such a thing in the first place is likely why Nimbus chose to strike now... although I personally came to the arena just earlier today, so he must either have failed to notice we were here, or was woefully overconfident in just how talented he was." The General added, shaking her head a little. They didn't need more chaos in Vaia at the moment to be certain, but it was for the best that Nimbus appeared to be among the more dull tools in the shed... had he waited for them to depart, he likely would have succeeded in his heist after all.

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Hearing once more that their infection has no cure left a sour taste in Ren's mouth, but the fact that Erephis knew about their curse his interest piqued.  "As Ayane said, our curse has no known cure, but any new information you can find for us is greatly appreciated," he offered with a smile.

His cousins glare and the impending doom mood emanating from her when dealing with him was not lost on him, but he will deal with that later.

"Will you be leaving then soon?  That's quite the shame actually, I would've loved your company longer," he says idly, before blinking as he realized the last part could be taken wrongly.  Red suddenly appearing on his pale cheeks, he quickly went to correct himself.  "I-I mean, I would've l-loved to have more conversations with you!  Yes, yes quite..." he explains while offering a more bashful smile this time.  "Your wisdom is appreciated Lady Erephis, taking your time to help a pair of foreigners like us," and with that he proceeded to finish his compliments with a bow.

He was mostly trying to hide his flush from the others, but details...

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Not expecting to be dropped so unceremoniously, Xalrei stumbled back a few steps and fell on her rear. She weathered the scolding from her new position on the ground, head hung, unable to come up with any defense for her behavior against Nimbus. She shouldn't have boasted, or let him provoke her; in the first place, she had only gone after him so that she could get back to bed. She glanced up in time to witness Laselia's weakness, and though it gave her pause, she didn't understand why this was such a big deal; as long as she was a part of this group, and not playing the part of a caged bird back home, she'd be in danger. That... was something she learned the hard way.

Xalrei grit her teeth as Laselia continued, not daring to explain her true feelings in front of a crowd, especially not with the humans nearby. Instead they were bottled up further, Xalrei latching onto her anger as a replacement for them. "I get it! I messed up! You don't have to keep saying it!" She shot up to standing, angry glare directed at her mother figure. "And 'Hold my hand'!? You weren't even there when I needed you the most!" 

As for Requiem, the cursed sword would have to bear her anger too. You shut up! I'm in the middle of something!

Edited by Ursali

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