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Mercenary on the Winds

Faith in the Spirits Arc 1: To Align the Stars

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Well, Nyx tried to lighten the mood a little. Alas, Syn just didn’t seem like the type of gal to get too relaxed over this sort of thing. A shame, given that Syn would be so much cuter if she learned to loosen up a lil’ bit. Nothing doing, Nyx supposed, even as she kept swaying her hips from side to side as she sauntered around the captain’s quarters. Damn, she really got into the tail thing, huh?

”Oi, Syn.” Nyx called out, her voice kept low even with proximity taken into account. “Th’hell d’ye think we’re lookin’ fer? Some kinda fancy book or somethin’?” A question for the ages, probably, until they found it. Then Nyx decided to tease Syn yet again, as per usual. “Or were y’just tryin’ t’get me ‘lone? Cause, lemme tell ye, y’don’ gotta go t'all o’ this trouble jus’ fer that, Syn~”

Oh, Nyx, you silly goof. “Heh, guess we’ll figure it out when we find th’damn thing, eh?” Nice save! It would help if she wasn’t simply parking herself onto a perch atop the desk, where they might actually find such a thing, but… well.

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"Oh don't worry about that Nyx," Syndra said, leaning in close. "If I want you alone you'll know. It's just that... *sigh* I never really told you or anyone how I ended up here in the first place did I? Well, we can talk about it when we're done here, but just know it's part of the reason why I'm not looking for that kind of partner; at least for right now. The thing we're looking for is probably some kind of journal or manifest; hell you're probably sitting on it right now. If not in or on the desk, we could just search the shelves."

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Oh, Syn took the teasing a bit too seriously. In hindsight, that’s probably Nyx’s fault for laying it on a little thick with the teasing, but even still… well, only one thing for it. “Ah, don’cha worry, Syn. Y’don’ gotta tell me too much, jus’… lemme know if y’ever need a gal t’talk ta, y’know? I may be a lil’ bit o’a drunk, but hell if I ain’t been through some shit too. Hell, we’ll swap stories if ye wanna.”

Getting back to rooting around, Nyx thought to check inside the drawers of the captain’s desk, hoping to maybe find some carelessly hidden ledger in the drawers. “Betcha if th’lad was so prepped as t’cart ‘round those Clouded-killin’ weapons, t’ain’t so simple. Might hafta look ‘round a lil’ harder fer it.”

Hmm… speaking of, maybe there was some funky mechanism under the desk? Might have to leave that for Syn to check up on.

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As the battle wound down it quickly became apparent that something was wrong with Alvira, though Alriana wasn't close enough catch what was being said between dragon and commander. As she moved to approach her dragon friend(?) Aegean spoke up, asking her to find wherever Miria had gone. She should have been right behind her... However, a quick glance behind her did not reveal the shining gold of Miria's armor. Where had she gone? In the time it took her to glance around for Miria, Alvira was already floating below deck. A rare sigh left the lizard, wanting to go to her friend's aid but also having been burdened with finding Miria.

Retracing her steps it didn't take the lizard long to find the missing girl hidden behind some of the barrels on deck, nibbling at a wrapped loaf of bread like a small child holding onto a precious source of food. "Why you hide while eat?" Alriana posed her question without announcing herself, staring intently at Miria. "Gean looking for you."

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"Mm, mmbpffth...!" Miria was caught by surprise by Alriana's entrance. She did her best to maintain herself and swallow her food, pointing to her filled mouth. After doing so, she started slowly getting herself off the ground, grabbing onto anything to keep herself stable. "I-I... sorry, Alriana. I um..." She looked around. Miria hoped she'd be able to just sneak by back to her bunk and rest, but now she was here.

"I uh... I don't have a lot of magic. So the uh, the suit is a lot to handle for extensive amounts of time." A sigh, she got herself up, but she was afraid to let go of the barrel she was leaning on. "My body gets really sore, and I'm super hungry... I'll be fine by either tonight or tomorrow I think. Just gotta, get to my bunk."

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Well she seemed to be fine, but definitely needed her rest. Luckily the fighting was over so there'd be plenty of time for that.

Aegean turn her head at the sound of the man approaching, certainly a looker but seemed very concerned more often than not. "Well when your employers are none other than the Evokers, you can't really half-ass things. Excuse the language."

Truthfully, she didn't appreciate how much he was staring at her. While she didn't have any proof, something about his gaze put her on the offensive. "Yes that's my name. Chris was yours if I recall correctly. As for where I'm from, I've called Glacies my home for as long as I can remember." Best not to over share. "We should probably get miss overzealous here back to your rooms though. Call it a hunch but I think a bed would be a lot more comfortable than the deck of a soon to be abandoned ship."

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Her response to the question, and subsequent gazing was to be expected; why wouldn't one be guarded when asked such a question, out of the blue, and by an unfamiliar face. It could just been her being weary, but Chris's eyes narrowed at the response for a moment. "...Ah, sorry for making you feel uncomfortable. That was a needlessly personal question, and I apologize for the staring; you just happen to look like someone." He turned and looked at Marianne, who was also looking at him with a confused glance, "You're right, Maria might be soft, but even she'd get tired of sitting on deck." 

"Excuse me, Chris?!" Marianne glared at him, and he returned the gaze. She paused a moment, and then cleared her throat. "Jackass... Chris, there were a lot of pure weapons on this boat. It's no surprise that Islexian pirates have them but... I think you should probably go take a look, two of the mercenaries already went below, but I think it would make me a bit more comfortable for you to take a look around. I can rely on Aegean here to help me back to the other boat."

Chris looked back at Aegean with a gentle smile, "Well, if Marianne trusts you, and you're offering, I can leave that to you, right? I'll be back shortly, Maria." He placed a hand on his sword's hilt and wandered away. 

"Sorry about that, Aegean... He does that sometimes, he didn't mean anything by it, really." She sighed, "Now then... how do you want to go about this?"


Tio blinked back into reality as she heard the teasing voice of Elisa. She smiled at her, "He is good looking... but you're right. I'm sure of it now... whatever that magical signature is, it's from him. I'm no closer to figuring out what it is, though, and I don't think he--or his partner for that matter--would take well to being questioned about something like that." Tio scanned the boat, looking for Ingverd; he'd been performing remarkably well, which, to be fair, shouldn't have been surprising to her. If there was anyone who was going to have, or get information from Chris, it was likely going to be him. Or maybe... maybe he wouldn't have to speak to Chris at all. Ingverd seemed to be on positive terms with Marianne. 

He was speaking with Natalya, and despite his bloodied appearance, seemed to be perfectly fine. "Ha... quite the showoff, Ingverd. I'll have to ask him a couple things later... for now, I should be more concerned with you." Her gaze finally returning to Laniva. "Be sure to let me, or Renais know if you need anymore of these herbs, I'll hand some to her at some point." Tio let out another yawn, her body still heavy, even if her mind was starting to wake. "At the very least, we'll be able to go back to sleep at some point." 

Edited by Mercenary on the Winds

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"O... okay?" More than a bit confused by Renais just suddenly running off, Natalya scratched her ears a little, blinking while her tail swayed. Maybe not the strangest thing that one of them had done today, but a headscratcher nonetheless... It was definitely something about Cinaed, so maybe the boss would have to ask what ailed Renais about him, or else there might be some unneeded tension among the mercenaries. Not like they needed any more of that than they already had.

Though after that, the expected man showed up and with quite the stained façade. "You sure look like you ran riot through the pirates down there. My idea was to see if there's anything on the ships that we could use personally, then discuss with our crew what to do with them. I doubt we've got enough crew to send them to port, so... unless they have a better idea, we could give our aggressors a burial at sea. Hulking ships this big in the middle of the Altair Channel doesn't strike me as the best option." A quick shrug; Ingverd might have his own suggestions to add to that list. Either way, the quicker they got to a decision about that, the sooner they could be back on the way to Eibar. No point in prolonging what was going to be a week-long trip regardless.

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Cin was still standing staring blankly into the distance in the direction that their healer had fled, unsure what to do with the strange feeling filling his chest, when his roommate popped up, covered in blood but seemingly unhurt. "Ah... Ingverd, yes, things went... well." The battle had at least. Stop it Cinaed. Not everyone will always want to be your friend. You should know that well enough by now. As always the chiding voice in his head reminded him of his mother, gently scolding him over some mishap or another. And she was right. Besides, it would be rude to ignore the person in front of him to sulk over the one who had left.

"Good to hear the other ship is clear. You might consider a change of clothes before you run into some of the others though. They might panic before realizing that's not your blood. Err, assuming none of it is. I didn't see a wound but..." But he hadn't looked especially close either. He took the chance now, giving the swordsman a closer look, but still not seeing a scratch. He ended up locking eyes briefly with Ingverd before looking away grateful his dark skin covered the light flush of embarrassment in his cheeks. It did seem his assumption had been correct, but he had been distracted when he made that assumption. He couldn't be foolish like that, even in a low stakes situation such as this. It would only lead to him making the same mistake again in the future when it might matter more.

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Ingverd nodded towards Tasha's words, pleased to hear them. "I did, I did. It was some good exercise... I think we set fire to the ships, yes, once we get what we need. Let the sea have them, and their bodies. I did leave one man alive on the other ship if you wished to go and ask questions. He won't last forever, though, so if you don't want to, I'll go and put him out of his misery~" His mirth at what was effectively torture was a bit much, arms folded, smiling gently. His attention turned to Cinaed, as the half dragon looked him over, making him smile wider. Their eyes met, his narrowed a little, and he chuckled. "Hey there, big guy. Didn't get a good enough look last night? If you'd like to help me change, I could use a hand~"

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Dammit. The man was attractive, Cin wouldn't deny that, but that had not been why he was looking. "You misunderstand my intent. I simply realized I had made an assumption... One that on someone less skilled than you seem to be could have been fatal. A companion might hide a wound thinking it not worth the bother and then... Infection sets in and even a skilled healer cannot fully save them." He looked away, conceding that he had lost here, though, having been pushed fully off kilter at this point. First Renais, now this. He wanted to make some comment about being professional and not flirting in front of his new boss, but given she had made comments yesterday about him seducing the women on the boat, so somehow he didn't think he would have support there... Best to just stay silent and continue to be grateful for his darker skin hiding the slight blush that refused to go away.

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"Oh? Worried I'm wounded? How very kind of you, Cinaed~" The one blood free part of his body, his hand, gently reached up to the dragon's face, a single finger gently sliding across his chin to try and pull his gaze back. "Would you like to give me an inspection? Help me out of these clothes? I'm sure you're rather worried, it couldn't hurt... And we'll still be on the water for a while. Say, tonight, in our room, when we're nice and alone~?" He couldn't help a chuckle, not having flirted with a man bigger than him in quite some time. "Cute."

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When Ingverd's fingers caught Cin's chin, he finally lost the battle of keeping the signs of his blush hidden as the heat in his face rose to an almost alarming level. He wasn't used to this. He flirted, sure, but usually he was the one having to initiate. Especially back in school where most people either instantly dismissed him as a muscle-bound idiot (even when presented with evidence to the contrary) or were so intimidated by him that they reacted much like Renais and ran away. So to be faced with such... blatant words and intentions, he was caught flat footed. And even though he could have easily resisted the man's light touch, he still found his head turning the way it had been directed. Two pairs of ruby red eyes locked, and Cin suddenly found it hard to swallow. Dammit Cin, behave like a professional. Maybe I should have slept on the deck after all.

"I'm sure that you can assess if you are injured or not. And... Have reason enough to not hide an injury. It wouldn't," his tongue stuck for a second, causing him to stumble over the sentence before finally getting back on track. "Wouldn't do for an envoy of the crown to be struck down by something as silly as an infection from a pirate's lucky strike after all. So. So I'm sure you're more than capable of getting out of your own clothes." 

'Cute.' It had been a while since someone he was uninvolved with had called him that. Especially unprompted. Ugh. Surely Natalya would intervene here soon. Save him. He couldn't just leave. This was the man who had hired them, he couldn't be so rude as to just walk away when there were still things to be done up here.

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"That's a no, then... Shame. Perhaps one of the girl will be more willing... Or you'll change your mind. Just let me know, Cinaed," Ingverd mentioned his name again, very pressing on making sure he kept doing so. "You know where to find me, after all... Ah, mmm, Natalya, a quick word from you on that leftover pirate and I'll get out of your hair. Either to deal with him, or to get into a fresh change of clothes. All alone. Woe is me~"

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It was pretty amusing for the tiger to witness this sort of flirting going on right after a fight, but she supposed that tracked with the type of person Ingverd seemed to be. He had a way with words and theatrics, to a point where it was probably part of his job description somehow, currently much to Cinaed's dismay. "See if you can get something useful out of him and tell me if you do. I'm not the type for interrogations, but you're free to enact mercy whenever he stops talking," Natalya replied, but put on a smirk after a pause.

"Maybe you could try being smooth with me next time, see where that gets you... pretty boy~" She wasn't without a bit of tease in her as well, though her position did make it so she had very few chances to ever show it off. That might have been a good thing.

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"Ahah, my apologies, Natalya, but, you're old enough to be my mother. I've plenty of respect for you and your Iron Tigers... But that is all. Maybe you send some of those wiles towards Alvira, yes? The dragon seems quite taken with you. Adieu, to you both." Ingverd bowed slightly, once more, turning and leaving towards the boat again with a wave. He had a little 'date' with that pirate, and he could get anyone to talk~

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This search wasn’t going very well. Admittedly, Nyx wasn’t trying too hard to find these documents or whatever, but it was still vexing. Not to mention that, adrenaline having worn off, she felt tired and sweaty from all the running around the boats she did. Plus, it was hot as shit in here, and this was including the ice mage!

Deciding that, rather than simply opening a window like a normal person, drastic measures had to be taken, Nyx sat back up atop the desk and undid the buttons of her vest, tossing it away with a grunt and laying atop the desk with her gaze directed to the sky.

”Oi, Syn. Y’think I’d make a good fancy art piece?” Nyx teased, turning herself to face the mage with her partly opened shirt, propping her head up with her one hand as she - perhaps a bit too dramatically - fanned herself with her other hand. “Cuz I betcha ‘m way better on th’eyes than anythin’ that punk wit’ th’bow ‘as in ‘ere any day~”

Really, Nyx just wanted an excuse to stop looking for this stuff and fluster Syn some more. Oh, to put a little heat on the ice queen’s cheeks, and get her to open up a little… It would make dealing with all these closed-off kids so much more bearable to have someone willing to open up.

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Oh. Good. He was gone. Off to interrogate and then from the sounds of it find one of the girls to flirt with. That was good. When those bright red eyes turned his way, it just meant that the man liked to flirt with people, not that he was anything special. That was good. Safer at least. Still, the idea of sleeping on the deck was appealing. Breathe. Focus. Make a shape. A small flame popped into existence over his hand. It formed into a circle, then a square, followed quickly by a diamond, a hexagon, and finally a small star. By the time that was done, he had control over his thoughts again. Next time he flirts, do that sooner. That way you won't look like an idiot just because a cute guy decides to play with your emotions.

Turning to his commander, he tried his best to pretend all of that hadn't happened. "Any orders for me, ma'am? If not, I plan to spend time helping clear our ship. My strength should be a benefit there at least." And maybe find some time to talk to Gean. He had planned to talk to her about his original problem, but now he had two to deal with...

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"If it's really that hot in here let me know, I could make an ice sculpture out of you to cool you- wait a minute, what's this?" Syndra looked down at where Nyx's vest fell and noticed something below the desk. "Looks like some sort of lockbox or something, but it's attached to the desk itself... think you could open it Nyx? If it was what Syndra thought it was then Nyx's skills would be more useful in getting at what was inside. And she was definitely not using it as an excuse to just check out the rouge a bit more.

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Oh, hey, she did it! Look at her go! Clearly, Nyx was the absolute best at this whole finding shit thing. Of course, the lack of a reaction from Syn mildly stung, but Nyx figured that not getting turned into a lady-sicle would have to do. Or maybe Syn was offering to make her an ice sculpture… like, not from herself? Well, whatever.

”Aye, I’ll take a crack at ‘er.” Nyx motioned to the mage to step back and leave the lockbox to her, already feeling around in her handy chest pocket for her set of lockpicks. Never leave home without them! “Lessee here…”

And with that, Nyx’s deft hands got to work, as she leaned over the lockbox while swaying her hips idly once more. Damn her for getting that tail idea in her head! And, come to think of it, damn Nattie for actually having a tail and being hot with one! Nyx groaned as she quickly lost herself in petty thoughts, before refocusing on the task at hand.

”Y’think ye could make me a tail? I betcha I’d make a pretty cute catgirl~” Nyx teased as she kept working, trying closely to hear that little click that told her she was done. “Betcha I’d be cuter than Nattie wit’ it, at least.”

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Chris sighed, on the one hand it was entirely possible to have chalked everything up to him looking a little too hard at Aegean, but on the other, 'for as long as I can remember' piqued his interest. But, he'd have to ask the person who he now remembered saying that name several times. That would be a while in the wind, so no reason to worry about it. Unfortunately, his conversation put him just out of reach of Ingverd; his clothes were stained red, but judging by his movements, there wasn't a single injury on him. Befitting of him... maybe I should ask him for a round or two, see exactly what he's capable of. He turned to the tall, feline clouded that Ingverd had been speaking to, "I'm assuming that you're the one in charge of the mercenaries? I don't think we've met, my name is Christopher Safiric. My fiancé was assisting your group in the skirmish, and mentioned that these pirates had quite a few pure weapons. I... can't exactly give you who I am completely, but stuff like this is something that I would be tasked with investigating. I just wanted to let you know before I went below deck, so not to cause concern." He offered a smile before continuing on his way.

Marianne being concerned about the number of pure weapons meant that something was off. Islexia had increased their production of pure weapons as of late, so it shouldn't have been a surprise that even rogue pirates were showing up with an abundance... but to their intelligence, the pure weapons were mostly being stockpiled. So the actual circulating amount shouldn't have changed enough for random pirates to be brandishing them at will. "...Are they affiliated with a war lord, or something? If so, why on earth would they be so far out? None of this is making sense..." He needed to find a journal, manifest or something. As he approached the captain's quarters, he could hear two voices, 'Cuz I betcha ‘m way better on th’eyes than anythin’ that punk wit’ th’bow ‘as in ‘ere any day~' 

'If it's really that hot in here let me know, I could make an ice sculpture out of you to cool you- wait a minute, what's this?'

Sounded like the two that Marianne mentioned had already found something. Chris peered around the door, not exactly keen on walking into anything that he could end up in trouble for. Inside was the tall woman from the night they'd boarded, who'd asked Marianne to perform before her ailment started bothering her. The other, was yet another person he hadn't seen--just how many of them were there? 

"Seems like you two have already found something worth looking at. I'm not interrupting things, am I?" Hopefully things remained cordial, Marianne wouldn't be happy if he'd gone below deck and ended up causing an issue. 

Edited by Mercenary on the Winds

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Hearing the voice of someone she didn't recognize Syndra spun around and met their guest. "Well you kind of did but I won't hold that against you. Hmm, I don't think we've met. Syndra. Wait a minute. Weren't you with that lady and the dragon man who came on board before we left?" I thought they were just on board because they needed a ride, why are you investigating a pirate vessel? "I think we've got things under control here but you can stick around if you want."

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Aegean let a out another sigh and chuckled, the reason for worry having left for now, and the small banter between the duo. She admitted that to herself that Maria definitely was good on for the eye, albeit not in such a drained state. Chris' comment and Maria's immediate snapback also put a little mischievous mood in the mercenary, one she probably needed after all the fighting.

"Well Maria, you look like your in no state to walk, and I think the earlier battle showed that I'm no slouch when it comes to strength. If you're fine with it I can carry you." It definitely would be the faster route, and jokes aside the girl definitely needed a better place to rest.

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Hey, wait, that skinny boy looked familiar. Wasn’t he the one that was with the hot dancer lady earlier? No, no, can’t let her gay thoughts distract her from this! Nyx had a feelings she was close, so close to getting this lockbox opened…!

”’Lil’ bit. Now hush up, m’almost done ‘ere.” Nyx grumbled, but Syn had already taken the liberty of introducing herself, which meant she was being polite and letting him stick around. Great. Apparently now she had a skinny silver-haired chastity belt. And this damn lock was taking forever, which was only aggravating Nyx further.

”How th’hell’d this lad get such a fancy lock fer ‘is shit?!” Or maybe she was just horribly distracted and still out of practice in this sort of thing. But no, Nyx needed to not think about her own potential shortcomings right now; she had a job to finish, dammit!

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It did, in fact, seem like he was interrupting something. Seemingly a bit one sided if the pair's reactions were accurate. He did owe a bit of an explanation at least, "Sorry, I guess my timing couldn't have been any worse in that regard, then. Marianne asked me to come check down here; something about there being more pure weapons than normal. Given our other occupation, that's not really something I can overlook." 

Perhaps a little too much was said just then. But at a glance, the box that the roguish woman was working on opening was surprisingly ornate. Telling, if that was where what they were looking for was. It seemed like things were lining up in a way that Chris wasn't a fan of. Seems like that's backing up some of the reports. That's Maria's intuition for you. He let the woman fiddle with the lock a moment longer before he sighed, "Take your pick, push down and from there move it left and then back to the right quickly. If it's the lock I think it is, that should do the trick."

He went back to leaning on the doorstill, if they asked, they asked. He could always give them the other answer, that wouldn't be a lie.


Marianne flushed at Aegean's proposal but she had just tried to pick herself up, and to no avail. Even if she tried to lean on the girl, it really would just devolve into her being carried anyway.

"W-well... I suppose if you're offering. I can't exactly turn you down and get back to my room." This would make Aegean the fourth person to have carried her somewhere. Even with its frequency, it never got any less embarrassing. "I guess your healer is quite talented if you're so raring to carry me away after all that... or am I the one doing that?" She tried to get some of the control back in this scenario. Please work. 

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