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Kingdom Hearts: Lost Radiance

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Across the Realm of Light, the rich and powerful were contemplating the upcoming ball held in honor of Emperor Francis Ironhart's birthday. For some, it was a place to be seen, an event to show off. Others would use it to settle some business and discuss what should be done about the increasing unrest from the lower classes. The Emperor himself didn't care about such "trivial" concerns and would likely sign whatever edict his advisors put in front of him. But for a Silver Raven's director, it meant the completion of a lucrative contract...

{Destiny Island; Royal Estate - Beach}
Emperor Francis snacked on a shrimp cocktail as he watched members of the court put on a blitz ball match for his enjoyment. It was rather dull so far, so interjecting some new rules seemed in order. He wasn't that familiar with the official rules to begin with, but that hadn't stopped him before.
Away from his father sat Silas, dressed in a linen suit and a wide brimmed hat to ward of the sun. While he watched the game, his mind was truly else where. Unlike the emperor, the crown prince was well aware of the growing political situation. It was a growing danger, but where there was danger, there was also opportunity...

{Radiant Garden; old castle}
The city lights of Radiant Garden shone out into the night, all but one building contributing to the shine. The old castle, once the home and laboratory of Ansem the Wise, had been left long abandoned after Xehanort's Keyblade War, until Prince Silas renovate it as a wedding present for his second wife, the Lady Claudia. Now, their son Lamont lived there most of the year under the guidance of his personal tutors and a few hand picked guards. One of these guards was marching through the main corridor, missing the dark clad figure hiding in a seldom used turn off. Once the guard had past, the figure slinked down the way the guard had come, moving quickly and quietly.
After a turn, the figure made it into the entryway to the castle's kitchens. After a moment of listening, he glanced around and stalked into the kitchens. The room was barely lit, with only a few pools of light from a few appliances and a fixture over a sink. The figure was half way through it when one of the pantry doors started to open. Scrambling, he dropped down and hid under a high table. Praying not to be found, he glanced out to see the heavy boots of another guard. Why did he have to get a snack now? The munching guard past by the table without any sign of noticing the hidden lurker. Waiting for the foot steps to die away, the figure quietly left his hiding place and crept to the kitchen door to the outside.

The doors were locked and enchanted to prevent entree of undesirables, but it was still subject to older magic. In a flash, the figure held a copy of the Keyblade Sleeping Lion. He tapped the lock, which clicked open. Opening the door carefully, the escapee darted out and closed the door behind him. He re-locked it with his blade, then dismissed the weapon. Moving a little faster than before, he came upon a stack of boxes where he discarded the black cloak he had been wearing.

Using a few connected back allies, Lamont Ironhart came out into the still busy streets of the city proper. He was dressed in something more appropriate to a normal person going about their business along with a pair of glasses and a ball cap. His face wasn't generally well known, but some precautions had to be taken. Taking a deep breath, Lamont merged with the crowd. This was a stupid thing to do, but there were things he knew he would only learn if he tried it himself. Plus, it felt good to see the world of his birth up close and not from behind thick walls.

 

{Dark Realm; outskirts of Calik village}

Erinys Ta'gon placed a cracked helmet on the counter of the curiosity shop, eyeing the proprietor with her glowing red eyes.

"Found it in a beast den." She explained as the proprietor examined the helmet with growing disgust. "The thief must have tried to use it to get away from a Heartless pack, but got gutted by-"

"I don't care what got him!" the proprietor exploded. "You expect me to believe this is my helmet? My very magical helmet?"

"Was magical." Erinys said tiredly. "The hound sucked it dry after it gnawed the thief's bones, by the look of things. But i followed the scent you gave me and this is what i found. No way he stashed your helmet and picked up another."

"It was worth 5,000 munnies!" the proprietor bellowed. "Now I'll be lucky to get 50 for it."

"Sorry to hear that. But it happens. Now, we agreed on-"

"If you think I'm paying you anything for this lump of metal," he said, tossing the helmet away "you've got another thing coming!"

Erinys' eyes narrowed.

"You promised 800 munnies for the return of your property." she hissed. "No word on its state, just its return. I risked my neck to hold up my end. We shook on it."

"Pah! Pledges to abominations aren't binding! Begone, noxling, before i call the guard."

The Noxling Ronin gritted her teeth, their white showing up vividly against her pure black skin. A hand shot out and grabbed the proprietor by the throat. He tried to break free, but her grip was like iron. In her other hand, a swirl of darkness left behind a Heartless Shadow the she held by the back of the neck, like one might hold a cat.

"You're not suppose to bring them into the village!" the man wheezed, his eye bulging.

"And you are not suppose to break deals." Erinys retorted in an icy tone. "So here's a new one. You pay me what's owed and this little guy goes away. You keep thinking you can break deals with noxlings, and i drop him. You're the only heart he can feel in here. Think you can get your mace in time?"

The proprietor's bulging eyes swiveled back and forth between Erinys and the Heartless. Wordlessly, he pulled a munny bag from under the counter and dropped it in front of the ronin. Erinys muttered a Stop spell the froze the proprietor in time. Cradling the Heartless in one arm, she opened the bag and counted out the munny. It was high denominations, so she quickly found it was 1,000 munnies in all. She eyed the man who had tried to stiff her, anger smoldering in her eyes. Just taking all of this served the fat man right. Hades, leaving this Heartless with him felt worthwhile. But old Nick had taught her different.

When the Stop spell wore off, the proprietor found that the Heartless had gone and a small pile of munnies was on the counter.

"I'm taking what I'm owed, not a speck more." The Noxling said from the door. "Now, we're square and you don't have to worry about me anymore. Talk to the guards, and I'll be back."

Slamming the door behind her, Erinys stomped through the main street of the village, pulling her hood up. She had a few supplies to get before leaving. Getting them quick and leaving sounded like the best course of action right now.

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- Destiny Island - Royal Estate - Beach -

It was another one of those days were anything that can go wrong will go wrong, it was actually worse when anyone took into consideration that this was a celebration for the Emperor's birthday, that meant lots of waitresses and waiters to serve the stuck-up nobles and their families, but what could a simple delivery boy do? Nothing. That was Aurion's dilema right now, that, and the "noble" young woman standing right in front of him, a woman that apparently wasn't paying attention to her surroundings, she had bumped into him and spilled her drink on her dress.
"Answer me! Or what, are you blind, deaf and dumb?" she yelled as she slapped Aurion with all her strength, "Do you have any idea how much my father had to pay for this custom made dress?
Aurion was looking at the ground, just like the peasants were supposed to do when in the presence of a noble, but deep inside he wanted to speak back.
"I apologize Milady, it wasn't my intention to ruin your precious garments," Aurion answered as he bowed, "please, allow me to-"
And once again Aurion felt the hand of the young woman hit his face.
"Get out of my sight unless you want to be punished further," the woman said as she huffed and turned towards her cirlcle of friends, "can you believe the nerve of this peasant? Now I will need to ask my father for a new dress."
The young man bowed once again before turning around and slowly made his way far from the party and from prying eyes. How much he hated to be in such celebrations, it seemd the nobles were always looking for an excuse to get angry, to show their power over the people. The worst part is that he needed the munny for food, the children had to eat after all. He had taken residence in the orphanage, thanks to sister Madi who offered her help when he recently arrived. A thousand blessings to the gentle woman for allowing him to stay.
"Are you alright?" A female voice asked, "Here, take this"
The voice behind Aurion said, and as he turned around he saw one of the palace maids with a small piece of cloth with ice. The woman was attractive, Aurion had to admit, blond hair, crimson eyes, nice figure, this made him feel a little self conscious, he took the piece of cloth and put it on his cheek.
"Thank you," Aurion said, "I suppose I deserved it."
"Oh really? By what I saw, it was the fault of the Lady Mira for not watching were she was going," the woman said while smiling, "I can say that your face is an unknown one, you don't belong to the palace staff, correct?"
"By the gods no, I was just making a delivery and before I knew it I was in the middle of...well...you know," Aurion answered, "but, uh, thanks again for the ice, Miss...?
The blond woman just kept smiling, she gave a Aurion quick wink, turned around and walked away leaving the poor man confused. On the other hand the maid, simply known as the Sentinel among the Silver Raven, continued to provide her services to the guests of the Emperor, offering drinks and food, the night was still young after all and anything could happen in such an important event.

Edited by Elrandir

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The Dark Realm, The village of Ester

 

Tyler was sitting on the ground on the outskirts of his village. The village that welcomed him weeks ago. He held his sword as it was unsealthed. He had no idea what this blade was called. All he knew it had a strong blade. He stood up and spun it around. Not having memories, yet somehow instinctively knew how to wield this blade. It was not the only thing he could do. He had knowledge in combat and dark magic. He used these skills to defend his village. The village he called home. Soon, he heard something and turned. It was one of the village elders that was standing behind him.

'' Oh my lord. I did not notice you there.'' Tyler said as he bowed and the old man gestured his hand.

'' Come here my child.'' the elder asked as Tyler walked up to him.'' I have a request of you.''

'' Yes?''

'' The dark warlords forces were seen beyond the outskirts. I ask you, our strongest warrior, to investigate and see if we have to leave once more.''

'' Understood my lord.'' Tyler bowed once more and started walking off. He had no idea why this came now. If the dark lord forces were here, then Ester was in trouble. 

-Hour later-

After an hour of scouting, Tyler couldn't find anything. As he walking back to the village, he noticed something. Smoke. Tyler quickly ran towards the village. He soon found it in ruins. His eyes widen as he quickly ran and started searching. There were no survivors in sight. He panted as he could not process this faster enough. He soon noticed the elder. He ran up to him as he was barely alive.

'' Elder! What happened?! Are you alright?!'' Tyler asked as the elder coughed and placed his hand on Tyler's.

'' My boy. I thank you for everything you did. It was an attack. Carried out by...'' The elder coughed.'' You must run. Get away as fast as you can.''

'' How?'' Tyler asked as tears ran down his face. Soon, bright light appeared. Tyler suddenly disappeared through the light. As the light blinded him, Tyler then noticed something. He smelled something he never smelled before. Yet it was familiar to him. Tyler finally regained his vision and saw himself surrounded by trees. He was now on Destiny Island somehow. 

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- Talus - The Void Eye - Royal Estate -

 

Talus saw the whole hing, the arrogant noblewoman needlessly mistreating the man who had nothing to do with what just happened to her. Talus stood by the side, leaning his back against a wall, trying to fit in, which was easier than one could think. These nobles didn't care much who you were, if you had the appearance of one, you were considered higher class and one of them, and treated as such. And Talus, being former royalty he had the perfect noble appearance. 

 

He overheard some of the conversation the man had with a woman, who, safe to say, did not fit in at all with the staff. Not that it mattered, Talus wasn't here to judge others, he was here to gather info on potential targets of his hollow wrath.

 

"Hey, you there. Delivery boy." Talus called out to Aurion as Talus slowly walked over to him in a relaxed, noble like manner. He shot a smile towards Aurion as he was now playing the role of a humble noble, a good way to get intel and contacts with the downthroden.

 

"I saw what the lady did, and I can't help but feel disgusted by her mannerisms, I apologize on behalf of all of us." Talus apologized to Aurion, bowing his head in respect. Not a common sight, at all. "Allow me to buy you a drink. Its the least I can do." Talus offered Aurion. showing his sympathies to the boy. 

 

"Name's Xilus, pleasure to meet you, sir?" Talus gave a fake name...well, not exactly fake, it belonged to the noble he had to dispose of to get the ball invitation anyway.

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{Silas: Destiny Island; Royal Estate - Beach}

Silas sighed as his father instituted a rule that prevented one team from making bank shots, thus crippling their strategy. It had been shaping up to an interesting match, now it would devolve into a pathetic charade. Oh well. There were still matters to see to for the party. He leaned forward and tapped the shoulder of his daughter, Luminara.

"Keep an eye on your grandfather." He whispered in her ear, getting a curt nod in reply.

Getting to his feet, Silas walked purposefully back along the grandiose terrace back to the palace proper. One Ironhart had to make sure the Hegemony didn't fall to ruin. As he entered the palace, he was greeted by his son Cornelius.

"The guests mingling well?" The crown prince asked, arching an eyebrow.

"Very well, father." Cornelius answered, falling into step beside his father.

Looking exactly like a young version of his father, Cornelius had also inherited Silas' keen mind. He made a valuable right hand for the crown prince.

"Good." Silas said, nodding. "Festivities should be starting in full this evening. With any luck, our guests will still be there to attend."

"Speaking of attending, shouldn't Lamont be here?" Cornelius asked in a innocent tone. "Grandfather might be disappointed with him being absent."

Silas paused for only a moment, but his mind raced on how he was to answer this question. If he was being honest with himself, he would admit a degree of favoritism to his youngest child and preferring he keep out of the politics of the Hegemony and as uncorrupted as by his grandfather. But Cornelius hadn't asked for pure intentions either. As hard as Silas had tried to hide and correct for his favoritism, perhaps the twins had picked up on it better than he had hoped.

"He would only get in the way." He answered, showing no sign of some of the thoughts going through his mind. "He still has yet to learn the proper etiquette for the court life."

For a moment, Cornelius looked dissatisfied with the answer, but it was only there for a moment.

"Well, I'm sure the party will take grandfather's mind off of Lamont's absence." He said, smiling slightly.

"Almost certainly."

 

{Destiny Island: Outer Islands}

Tyler ended up on one of the few islands left untouched by the palace, guest houses, and military garrison. Here, it was possible to enjoy the simple, natural beauty without it being overshadowed by the opulent structures built up over the years.

Whatever had caused Tyler to appear in Destiny Islands, it had not gone unnoticed. The energy discharge of the portal caught the attention of a gummi patrol craft. It made a wide bank and headed for Tyler's position. With the patrol craft not being enclosed, Tyler could see it carried four soldiers.

"Halt!" Came a command from the craft as it came closer.

 

{Erinys: Dark Realm; Village of Calik}

Erinys exited the general store with a sack of rations and a container of seasonings and spices. There were plenty of critters to eat out in the wild, but most were only truly palatable with something to mask or alter the natural taste. She also finally had enough for that glider at the local junk yard. With that kind of vehicle, she could get around faster. Maybe even keep ahead of the Crusaders until she decided what to do.

Heading for the outskirts, the young ronin pushed through the gates, absently tossing a hunk of meat for the guard dogs. She had been here plenty of times before, with the owner, a man named Sidney, being close to a friend. She was caught up with her plans for the glider that a warning bell in her head went unnoticed as she went to the office window.

"Hey, Sidney!" Erinys called out, fishing in a punch for the munny. "I got the last bit. The old girl ready to fly?"

She looked up to see Sidney's face in the window, white and drawn from fear.

"I'm sorry, Erinys." He nearly squeaked, then dropped the metal shutters to close the window.

Erinys felt something cold take hold of her spine. She slowly turned around, keeping her arms lose at her sides. Behind her, arranged in a loose semi-circle, were six burly soldier types. They carried the heraldry of the Dark Crusaders. No weapons were drawn, but their stance suggested that was merely a formality. It was now she realized she couldn't hear or smell Sidney's dogs anywhere. Blast.

"Let out of your territory, ain't ya?" She asked evenly, her glowing eyes sweeping the Crusaders. "Last I heard, Calik was still a free town."

"Oh, we're not here for this little village." A smooth voice came from office door.

Striding out of office with the grace and predatory vibe of a panther, Faedron Dramos stopped a few steps out of the door, leaving a few yards between himself and Erinys.

"You, on the other hand..." the Warlord concluded and left it hanging.

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- Aurion - With Talus/Xilus -
Aurion turned around when he heard a voice calling for him, he then saw one of the nobles getting close to him, which made him feel the need to be cautious, but that was his nature,  it didn't help that the noble was also bowing to him and apologizing for what the Lady Mira did a few minutes before.
"That won't be neccessary, it may have not been my fault, but I feel that I bothered the guests, at least for a little while. My apologizes that you had to see such a display, milord," Aurion slightly bowed to show respect, "it is not often that such situation arise, but I suppose today was not a good day, not for the staff at least, it is the party of the Emperor after all, and as such, there is enough preassure for the staff."
The young delivery boy listened to the noble introduce himself as Xilus, the name sounded familiar, Aurion vaguely recalled a noble of such name, but he had never seen him in person.
"Oh, uhm...Aurion, milord," he replied, "Just Aurion. It is an honor to meet you."

- Aether - Serving the guests -
The party was going fine, as fine as a party could go, at least. The guests were all noble men and women, petty princes and princesses living inside their own little world. The Silver Raven assassin was keeping an eye for the party goers, some looked interesting, others not so much, even the blitz ball match became dull after the rules were changed, but such was the life of the rich and powerful.
"Oh, my apologies milord, please, take as many as you wish," she said as she offered the last of the drinks to a couple, "if you excuse me, I need to bring more drinks for the other guests, this is a party after all."
Aether left after giving the young man a quick flirty smile, after a few seconds of walking away she heard the voice of one young female complaining that "you should stop eyeing that lowly maid!" and this made the woman suppress a smile. In any case, it was time to get more wine.
"Excuse me Frederic? Can I get another tray with drinks, you know how the nobles like to drink," she said with a smile at the young man in front of her.
Frederic went to fetch the tray and drinks but after a couple of minutes he came back empty handed, apparently the wine was running out and he had to go and get some more from the wine cellar. Aether offered her help to Frederic, which he accepted since he had to take care of other guests. Aether slowly made her way into the wine cellar, once there she took her time looking around, the place was very quiet, even when there was a party, she knew that she had to return with more wine, but she had came the the cellar for a reason, and she had to wait for a little while.

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- Talus/Xilus - The Forgotten Noble - Conversing with Aurion -

 

Aurions humble response and apologies caused a frown to form o Talus's face, the boy's apologies were unecessary, he never minded humbleness, in fact he always welcomed it. "You? Bothered the guests? Oh please" Talus spoke plainly and with class, imitating a noble with the grace of one, his ettiquette classes were often proving to be useful lately. He gestured one of the waitresses, which one quikly came. "Bring me a drink for myself and this fine man, wine please."  Talus spoke as the waitress quickly went off to get some.

 

He then turned around to look at Aurion, "you were not at fault, everyone with sense here recognize that." Talus tried to explain Aurion that it was not his fault. The boy soon introduced himself, prompting Talus to express a smile, albeit this was all an act. THe smile was somewhat genuine. "The honor is mine." he replied, "DId you mention this is a party for the emperor? I don't believe I've been informed about the party being for him, at least it was not in the invitation" Talus spoke, if this Xilus guy knew of the emperor's party or not, he hadn't asked, not that the man could talk much, what with being erased from existence. 

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Tyler took noticed of the troops in the vessel. He didn't seem faze by it. It actually seemed quite familiar to him. He felt his hip. His sword was gone. He always noticed the weapons being held. Whoever these people were, they were not friendly as it seemed. Without his sword, only his dark feather magic could protect him. He sighed.

'' Hello! You wouldn't happen to know where I am?'' Tyler asked as he had to find a way off this island he believed he was on. The smell of the ocean, the feel of the sand on his toes, and wind that brushed through his hair. He felt this before. All this sensation. He has felt it once before. He saw the troops talk among each other. He quickly then turned to make a run for it. He couldn't be captured. He felt that tension. He hid in the forest as the ship starting looking for him.

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- Aurion - With Talus/Xilus -

 

"Thank you milord, I wish everyone was as understanding as you."

Not on the invitation? That couldn't be right, this was the Emperor after all! But what could he know, he was a simple delivery boy.

"Of course milord. This party is to celebrate the Emperor's birthday," Aurion replied, "and as you can see, everyone was invited to such an important event."

Every noble Aurion wanted to say, those who wasted munny on stupid, useless things for themselves and their families while the poor had to watch from afar wondering what tomorrow would bring, if they would be able to survive another day.

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{Destiny Islands; Wine Cellar}

As Aether dallied about “selecting wine”, a woman in a dark grey jumpsuit stepped out of a dark corner Aether would have sworn she had checked. The woman had dark eyes and tan skin. Her hair was a dark blue-black and came to a little below her shoulders, with the left side of her head shaved.

“You are the Sentinel.” The assassin stated rather than asked. “I am Omicron. You were assigned the task of reconnaissance. Report.”

This Omicron was not a Silver Raven member she knew or heard of. Her manner of speech was clipped and mechanical. She seemed like a ton of fun at parties.

 

{Silas: Destiny Island; Palace}

Silas and Cornelius continued into the palace when a little flashed on a bracelet on the younger man’s wrist.

“Excuse me, father.” Cornelius excused himself. “A potential security matter to look into.”

“Keep me up to date.” Silas said, dismissing his son with a wave of the hand.

Continuing on by himself, the Crown Prince passed through several rooms with guests, making polite nods to several powerful world rulers and business executives. It was too early for them to split off for their little “chats” for how they planned the worlds to be run. In one room near the kitchens, Silas took note of a noble and what looked like a servant or delivery boy talking with each other. While the delivery boy looked properly nervous, the noble’s manner was atypical for a noble. Unwise, if he didn’t want his peers to turn on him like piranhas.

Putting the odd noble to one side of his mind, Silas entered the kitchens to speak with the head chef and maître’d.

 

{Destiny Island; Outer Islands}

The patrol craft hovered by the beach, allowing three of the guards to jump to the ground. Two of them carried some form of rifles with bayonets while the one in the more ornate uniform summoned a copy of a Keyblade.

“Whoever you are, come out!” shouted the officer. “Reinforcements are coming! There is no escape! Give yourself up and you will be treated with mercy.”

 

{Erinys & Faedron Dramos: Dark Realm; Village of Calik}

Erinys repositioned herself to give Dramos her attention, but trying not to leave a too big of a blind spot for his crusaders to take advantage of.

“I guess this is about that squad I killed.” She said, a spark of dark fire winking into existence in her left hand.

“Yes, though not how you might think.” Dramos said with a shrug.

The Warlord moved off the porch and walked lazily to a point in the middle of the half circle of his men.

“As I understand it, you killed them for killing your master.” He continued. “A motive I can well understand and support. Nick Ta’gon was a powerful wielder and was well respected by even me. Knowing that someone cared enough to avenge him is comforting.”

Erinys eyed Dramos from under her hood. What was his game?

“Thank you.” She said curtly. “But you’re not here to express that.”

“True.” Dramos admitted. “Your display of power and skill in taking out one of my best squads was impressive. I need that kind of warrior in my crusaders. I had hoped to recruit your master, but he was a bit too set in his ways. You, however, have a spark he didn’t. You see the weakness and dishonor that abound in the Dark Realm. With your help, I can strengthen the tribes and bring us back to glory.”

Breathing a little easier, Erinys considered Dramos’s offer. While she worried about retribution, the Warlord trying to recruit her had crossed her mind. It was something she had already been debating within herself. By reputation, he was fair with all his followers, even a few Noxlings. He was looking to burn the imperfections from the world, and that was a goal Erinys could get behind. But Old Nick had disapproved. He had gone on and on about balance and how Dramos was destroying it. Seeing Old Nick so worked up had worried her at the time. Then he died.

“But how could strengthening the tribes upset balance?” She thought. “Unless…”

“Unifying the tribes sounds noble and all.” Erinys said, her eyes narrowing on the Warlord. “But that’s not your final goal, is it?”

Dramos smiled darkly. A chuckle was shared among his crusaders as he stalked towards the Noxling.

“Like I said, vengeance is a motive I support.” He said, his previously conversational tone taking an intense edge. “Our people were cast from the Light to survive in this uncaring realm. Under my command, I will bring our people the just vengeance we have craved for centuries. We will take the Realm of Light by force and show its inhabitants what true suffering is.”

“So, the rumors are true.” Erinys thought.

War with the Light. An act that had nearly destroyed them before. After all this time, the Light could only be stronger. Yes, the Dark Realm and hardened its people, but was it enough? Not that the people of the Light and most of the people of the Dark didn’t deserve it. But what would be left after the dust settled?

Dramos stopped directly in front of Erinys, his eyes blazing with an inner fire.

“Well?” he promoted. “Interested in becoming more than a barely tolerated ronin?”

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- Aether - Wine Cellas -

Aether was looking around for a specific brand of wine when a voice called for her around the corner, the source was a mysterious woman with dark blue-black hair, not someone she recogniced.
"Omicron, uh?" she said, "My report is as follows."
The young assassin recalled everything she had learned since the moment she stepped into the palace, from kitchen staff, waiters and waitresses, but most importantly security service.
"We do not have to worry for the staff, most of them are from the lowborn families and are here only to get their hands on some cash, there are some whispers that some of them want the head of the Emperor for all the mistreatment, but who can really say," she said to Omicron, "What is important is the security. The Emperor, and his family, are under constant watch, they also have guards disguised as civilians all around the palace, giving them the chance to mingle and learn from the guests."
Aether looked at the other woman while holding a bottle of wine in her hand.
"We also have some guest who are able to wield keyblades, but those are mostly from the security team," Aether said, "And that is my report."

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- Talus/Xilius - The Eye of the Void - At the ball - 

 

"So I see..." Talus spoke, as if he had just discovered it was the emperor's birthday...this was even better than he thought. He brought a hand to his chin before smirking while looking to the side, before he turned to Aurion. "Alright, I can see that im annoying you, friend." Talus spoke as he drunk his whole whiskey glass in one go and placed the empty cup on a nearby table. He began to walk forward, past Aurion, tapping the boy's shoulder. "Safe travels, friend." Talus spoke charismatictly as he quickly disappeared in the crowds.

 

Now by himself Talus could concentrated, he found out it was the Emperor's birthday...that meant one thing, security... and security meant fake keyblades. Such insulting things that shouldn't even exist. This would turn to be an interesting night after all. He used his senses, enhanced by void magic to nullify its aura, as to make sure none other than another void user or someone with extreme magical power could sense even a smidge of it. As he began walking through the ball. Not only analyzing the magic traces of the fake keys, but also keeping his eyes open, sharp. To notice any guest acting strangely...these types of security that mingled amongst guests always had one or two patterns that if one paid enough attention, could be discerned...and exploited.

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- Asher Zahn, Duality Incarnate - Destiny Islands, Outer Islands -

 

Not too far from the altercation between Royal Patrolmen and the mystery youth, Tyler, Asher Zahn was meditating in what was once a tranquil and wonderful part of the Destiny Islands, where there was little in the way of wildlife, considerable foliage and never a disruption. Asher was centering himself and his spirits, their energies surrounding him in a soft, cyclonic motion. These sessions of his were enough to bring him a semblance of inner peace, but now he was being rudely interrupted, though he thought it peculiar. Never do the Patrols venture to these outer islands, never mind in the pursuit of strangers...whomever this was they were calling out to, he must have done something to annoy them.

 

"You know we cannot let this go unchecked...those Patrolmen won't grant the mercy they so promise." In Asher's mind, the voice of Nithron, the Light Half of his Split Soul, compelled him to act in the favour of the Patrolmen's target. Sighing deeply, wondering if it was really so difficult to get a moments peace in this world, Asher rose to his feet and walked toward the commotion. The sight of "The Hegemony's Finest" was already enough to sicken him, so once he was in view, Asher called out:

 

"You speak with such threats, yet you promise mercy?!" Catching their attention, Asher continued his fierce stride towards the guards, slowly unsheathing Urfael, his sword and twirling it in his hand as the energies of Nithron coursed through the enchanted steel. "I demand that you tell me the nature of the one you are chasing, then call off your pursuit! These islands are a place of solitude, peace and nature, not a shooting gallery for the wrongfully accused!!" Asher continued his advance until he was close to the guards, not close enough for a swordfight, but close enough that they could see his face.

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Neena Mors - The Zealot - The Ball, Royal Grounds, Destiny Islands

 

Neena kept herself busy as well, in a manner similar to Aether, though she knew not of the other assassin's work, nor of the other Silver Ravens. Neena hoped she would be able to take down a couple true keyblade wielders that were attending today, though she wasn't sure how it would work out. What she did know, was that this area was exceptionally busy, and that any moment now a cocky noble would slink away from the crowds by themselves, and find a sword stuck through them. They likely wouldn't enjoy that, but Neena cared little for any of what these people enjoyed. Because they enjoyed festivities like these, gorging themselves, speaking of the most petty things, while people starved in the streets. In her servant disguise, with weapons stowed in the rafters secretly, Neena smiled easily as she poured drinks, imagining the wine was rather blood.

 

Isabela - The Corsair - Calik, The Dark Realm

 

Isabela slunk out from behind Faedron, and smiled, a certain smile that could at once be described as entertained, energetic, and perhaps, just a little, evil. Like a cat she slipped in front of Faedy from inside the house running her hand across his gauntlet before she stepped towards Ronin. A Noxling. Sorry creatures, but ultimately not a problem. You just had to be prepared if they decided that it was time for Heartless to join in the fun. Isabela wasn't a fan of big fights, preferring the small ones she could control, but she was nothing if not adaptable. In the case of Noxlings, that meant killing fast. "Hey darling..." She said, stepping around, circling Ronin. "I know it doesn't sound like much fun now, but trust me, Faedron runs a good ship. You get your dues and you get your fun." She reached out, briefly brushing her fingers across Ronin's back before standing in front of the Noxling. "And if you don't like him, surely you can at least like me? And, being with me is better than being by your lonesome, I assure you." Isabela continued to purr, before finally moving back behind Faedron. The Warlord didn't like being out of the spotlight too long.

 

Mychel Stormblessed - The Windrunner - City Streets, Radiant Garden

 

It wasn't hard to recognize a noble when one sees them. Clean hair, able to stand up straight and manage a proud gleam in their eyes. Or at least, eyes that weren't sunken with hopelessness. And when they appear from castle walls, sneaking like an amateur pickpocket, it makes them more conspicuous. Mychel watched as the boy slunk into the crowds, and considered his options. Do nothing. Very appealing. Why should he get involved with some punk ass noble kid? Rob him. Another decent option but... Mychel didn't think he'd do it. Ultimately, this noble boy hadn't done anything to hurt him. His class had, and Mychel was determined to detest him for that, but robbing him was so... harsh. And the final option, as Mychel watched the noble boy walk right towards where a couple burly members of a local gang were hanging, was the one he ended up deciding on. Mychel swiftly moved next to the noble boy, and placed a hand on his opposite shoulder, hard. "This way," Mychel growled, steering him away from the gang members. "And keep your head down. And... I don't know, don't be a piece of shit. Given you have no guards with you, I'm assuming you don't want to tussle. So, I'm helping you. Against my better judgment..."

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{Destiny Islands; Wine Cellar}

“As expected.” Omicron intoned. “To get to the target, a diversion must be made. Standard royal procedures in the case of an attack is to move the Emperor to a safe room off the main hall. As with all security measures, there are failsafes in place to be exploited. I can be in position in 13 minutes. You will need to provide the diversion. Do you need assistance in this?”

For a bare instant, the deadpan assassin’s face twitched as she felt something…strange happen. The old saying “like someone walked over my grave” would have been apt if Omicron had known it.

“Did you feel that?” She asked, her eyes narrowing and darting around as she tried to make sense of what she was feeling.

 

{Destiny Islands; Ballroom}

As Talus stretched out his senses to look for hidden guards and other surprises, he felt a spark of something, an aura coming from the lower levels that harmonized with his own power. There was another Void User in the castle.

 

{Destiny Islands; Outer Islands}

The Patrol began moving towards Tyler’s last known position as the drop ship took to the sky again. They didn’t go far before Asher revealed himself.

“Freeze!” called one of the riflemen as both raised their firearms to aim at the new threat.

The Keyblade wielding officer eyes narrowed at Asher. There was more than one? Prince Silas might not be too forgiving if there were multiple party crashers.

 “Cut him down!” he shouted, pointing his Keyblade copy towards Asher.

Both riflemen followed the order and opened fire.

 

{Erinys Ta’gon & Faedron Dramos: Dark Realm; Village of Calik}

Erinys took a step back from Dramos as she tried to think of an answer for him. Luckily, she got more time as Isabela stepped in. The Warlord seemed annoyed for an instant by the intrusion, but it passed quickly and he backed up like a gentleman to let the Corsair make her pitch. This wasn’t what he planned, but Isabela had earned a fair amount of free reign in her actions. She was persuasive and a second party, a combo Dramos would be a fool to silence now.

Eyes darting and muscles tensing, Erinys gritted her teeth as Isabela circled behind her. She wanted to keep the lady in sight, but that would leave her back to a larger force. It was a relief when the Corsair came back around in front of her. From inside her hood, only Erinys’s glowing red irises and the whites of her eyes showed up, looking directly at Isabela. What couldn’t be made out in the gloom was the look of apprehension on the Noxling’s face. The path Dramos was planning was a dangerous one, Old Nick had been clear on that. But as much as she would deny it to others and herself, the idea of being a part of something rather than being something apart touched something in her heart. An ache she tried to keep buried.

“And what exactly would be in my part in this crusade of yours?” the Noxling Ronin asked, her voice trying to sound strong, but there were slight tremors in there for keen listeners.

Dramos gave Isabela a brief approving smile as she passed him. There were many reasons why he recruited her, her cunning being one of the big ones.

“The long-term answer to that question is an ever-evolving topic.” The Warlord answered smoothly. “Short-term, there is a task I need done that would allow you to honor your Master’s code while also impeding the fighting ability of those who oppose me. Call it a mutual test period. If we both like what we see, you are welcomed into the Crusaders and are ronin no longer.”

“Intriguing offer.” Erinys said, her voice more under control this time. “And what is this task?”

“The Bastions of Hela, Morgal, and Trep have armies and work forces comprised of slaves. Something your master looked down on, I believe. Help free them, and you aid them and my cause immensely.”

 

{Lamont Ironhart: Radiant Garden; Streets}

It was the smells of the city that were currently taking most of Lamont’s attention. Odd mixtures of both tantalizing and horrid smells drifted through the air. He tried to pick out individual smells, but some he just couldn’t place. While there were definitely sour notes in this nasal orchestra, the young prince couldn’t help but enjoy it. This was what normal people smelled every day. You heard such stories in the royal court about how disgusting the commoners lived, but it didn’t seem too bad to Lamont so far.

It was because of this bit of private musing that Lamont made no notice of the rough types that seemed to be taking note of him, nor of Mychel’s presence until the man had put a hand on the prince’s shoulder.

“Wha-“ Lamont started, but was cut off by Mychel’s warning.

Following his possible rescuer’s directions, the young prince’s mind raced as to what was happening here.

“What are you on about?” he asked, trying to bury some of his high-born accent in what he thought was something more street level. “I’m just out for a walk.”

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- Aurion - Now alone -

 

The young man watched as the strange noble walked away, wondering if he was actually sincere or if it was all a rouse. He was far too nice for a noble, but maybe, just maybe, those were his suspicions talking.. Aurion didn't even had the time to apologize to the noble, maybe if he saw him again he could offer an apology.
"Uh...that was strange," he muttered to himself, "I wonder who that noble truly was."
Aurion then sighed and went back into the kitchen to speak with the head of staff, he needed to get the payment for his delivery after all.


- Aether - Wine Cellar with Omicron -

 

" What a coincidence, a diversion is already in place for tonight, you don't have to worry," Aether replied, "I went ahead of schedule and planted some explo-"
In that moment Aether could see the almost invisible twitch on Omicron's face, the question was, what had caused it?
"Nooo, but I'm afraid that if you were the only one able to feel it then it must be important," Aether answered, "Do you feel the need to go off schedule to investigate this phenomenon,  or should we stick with the program? I mean, the explosives are already in place all around the palace, I could detonate them once you are in position, unless this is more important than to deal with the party boy. So, which is it? Investigate this "feeling" or deal with the Emperor?

Edited by Elrandir

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Neena Mors - The Zealot - The Ball, Royal Grounds, Destiny Islands

 

Neena felt a sudden presence of... something. What it was was not easy to tell, but she knew it was strong, and dangerous, and magical. It also didn't seem like a keyblade... though she could be wrong. She had hesitated in her pouring for a moment upon feeling it, but the noble gave a quick "achem" and Neena smiled apologetically, continuing the drink pouring. She could go investigate, but ultimately it was not her problem. Her goal here was to eventually corner a keyblader and send her sword through their chest. Everything else was extra. She would wait a little bit longer, see how the situation developed.

 

Isabela - The Corsair - Calik, The Dark Realm

 

Erinys was practically convinced. She was pretending like she wasn't, but Isabela felt pretty sure. She was going to take Faedron up on his offer, and be part of his army, the Crusaders Isabela remembered the name. Names weren't too important to her really. They were just labels, and labels were just different chains. Faedron explained further, asking Erinys to carry out a slave exodus. Isabela's eyes lit up at the potential. She spat at the ground. "Slavery is the biggest evil we have down here. Don't you think so Faedron?" Isabela asked, raising an eyebrow towards Erinys though she addressed her boss. "We've been sentenced to lives in the darkness by the light, and yet we sentence those among us to even further darkness by enslaving them. And they're helpless, abused, innocent. Wouldn't you say that anyone who does that is far worse than us Faedron?"

 

Mychel Stormblessed - The Windrunner - City Streets, Radiant Garden

 

"Quit the games kid," Mychel hissed. "No slum kid would smell so good." The Windrunner insisted, watching the thugs out of the corner of his eye. Their attention lingered on Mychel's little noble pet for a moment longer before turning away. Clear. Once they emerged from the crowd a little bit, Mychel pushed the brat away from his protection. "Go back home. I don't know what your plan was, but it was a bad one. Plenty of people don't like your type, me included. I just happen to... not be able to look away from danger." Mychel glanced again to where the gang members stood, pushing their way through the crowd, looking like they wanted any excuse to smash heads. "Go back to your precious little palace where it's nice and safe and you can pretend we don't exist." And hope I don't come back for you. Because I am coming back for this... this society. Soon as I can I'm going to tear down your palace. And hopefully you won't be in it, because you're just a kid.

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- Talus - Disguised as Xilius - Royal ball -

 

 

Much to Talus's surprise, and possibly dismay he visibly flinched as he felt a certain magical power, not just any magic power, it was akin to his own, void... 'Impossible...' Talus thought to himself, he never imagined there could be others like him or not, fueled by curiosity. 'I felt it somewhere in the lower parts of the castle...strange...possibly the Wine cellars?'

 

Following common logic, the way to the wine cellars was possibly through the kitchen, which was...not exactly off limits but he'd stick out like a sore thumb there. He needed some way there...he could turn himself to void dust and fly there, but he'd need to be out of vision for that to be possible, which difficulted things a bit. 

 

Talus walked around a bit, trying to no appear suspicious, all the while continuing to use his detection abilities to pinpoint where the spark of void energy's location in the lower levels, finding and area out of sight for him to disappear would prove difficult for the moment. 

 

'Might have to change my plans, I need to find out where this source of energy originates from, and see what it is.' Talus thought. 'Royals be damned, I won't have another chance at finding a void user again if I miss this.' Talus continued thinking.

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{Silas Ironhart: Destiny Islands; Palace Kitchen}

“-but the deviled eggs should be done shortly, your highness.” Jock, the head chef, babbled to Silas.

He wiped away the sweat on his brow with a rag. Prince Silas was more understanding of delays than the Emperor himself, but there were stories. And he was still a noble.

“Satisfactory.” Silas said after a pause. “The guests should be satisfied for now. Have all deliveries come in?”

“Why couldn’t he only be interested when something is wrong, like the rest of the noobs?” Jock thought desperately.

“As far as I know, yes, your highness.” The chef answered, mopping his brow again. “I believe the last one was made within the last few minutes.

His eyes darted to the side and saw his salvation from this interview.

“But Victoria can tell you more.” Jock said quickly, indicating the head of staff.

Victoria gave Jock a brief, murderous look before giving the prince a sunny smile.

“What can I do for you, your highness?” she asked as Jock walked away as fast as he dared.

“Are all deliveries in?” Silas asked, his eyes sweeping the kitchen again.

“Yes, your highness.” Victoria answered promptly. “We are still sorting through the last few deliveries, but I need to pay off the last one.”

As if on cue, Aurion arrived in the kitchen. Victoria inwardly offered up thanks to the gods for the arrival of the delivery boy. With so much of still left to do, any completed task was a weight off. And maybe she could use it as an excuse to get away from the crown prince.

“If you will excuse me, your highness, I have to settle with the delivery boy.” The head of staff said, pulling out a clip board.

Silas followed the servant’s gaze and eyed Aurion. Ah, yes. The boy from upstairs. He held out a hand to stop Victoria in her tracks.

“If you are still sorting, allow me to take care of this.” He said with a polite smile, his hand outstretched hand now turned to receive the clipboard.

Victoria thought about respectfully declining the offer, but while his mouth was smiling, his eyes weren’t. So, having the prince deal with the delivery boy would get both off her back. Sounded honestly like a bargain at this point. Hopefully the kid was smart and mind his tongue.

“Here you are, your highness.” The Head of Staff said, heading over the clipboard.

Silas dismissed her with a wave, then turned towards Aurion. He glanced at the clipboard, then treated they delivery boy with a smile.

“Your name?” the crown prince asked.

 

{Destiny Islands; Wine cellar}

Omicron looked uncertain and antsy. Whatever she had felt had rattled her. It had felt…oddly familiar. But this was not from the training. What was it? It was there, but gone now. It must be an abnormality. She had to report this to her handler after the mission was complete. She visibly calmed and went back to her blank expression.

“No, it was nothing.” She said, returning her gaze to The Sentinel. “The target comes first. Once you leave this cellar, wait 13 minutes before detonating. After that, extract.”

 

{Erinys Ta’gon & Faedron Dramos: Dark Realm; Village of Calik}

“Ah, using slaves to sway me. How cute.” Erinys thought, some of her natural cynicism reasserting himself.

She wasn’t sure how much Dramos cared about the well fair of the slaves, but his lady friend sure seemed to. The Corsair’s words seemed to indicate deeper emotions on the subject. Maybe some experience with it. It also occurred to her that Dramos had used tried to influence her with what Old Nick thought, not her own history with slavery. Did he knowingly leave that out or did he not know?

The Warlord had to suppress a smile. If anything could get Isabela worked up, it was the subject of slaves. With how well Noxling Ronin was taking Isabela’s testimony, what Dramos’s plan potentially could work out better than he thought it would.

“I would, but those are just words.” He said, answering the Corsair’s second question. “Easily said and forgotten. But my actions speak for themselves. As they will with the release of those slaves.”

“Okay, I’ll bite.” Erinys said after a moment’s thought. “But are you planning on having me do this on my own or will you be sending help with me.”

“Since we both are trying each other out, you will have company.” Dramos answered. “I have a few lieutenants I trust to report on your work and know me well enough to answer your questions.”

He half turned to the Corsair.

“Such as Isabela, here. She and her tribe have been loyal members of my crusaders and have their own quarrel with slave masters. What do you say, Isabela?”

 

{Lamont Ironhart: Radiant Garden; City streets}

Lamont considered another attempt to dissuade his…new acquaintance that he wasn’t anything special, but decided against it. Who ever this guy was, he seemed intelligent.

“And I don’t have enough cards to bluff with.” The young prince thought.

So, what were his options? The return home option was the most obvious and the one his possible savior was voting for. But to return empty handed after setting things up felt wrong. Maybe spin a web about who he was? Perhaps.  

“Would, if I could.” He said, dropping any attempt to change his voice. “But I don’t have a home to go back to. Step-mother got everything after father died. Was about to be tossed out by her anyway.”

Maybe not the most original of lies, but Lamont had heard this kind of story before, both from old legends and from gossip he overheard from the servants. Were there any possible lines back to who he really was? There were plenty noble families living in the area for the story to work.

Edited by rikunobodyxiii

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- Aurion - Palace Kitchen -
It took a little while to get into the kitchen but once there Aurion began to look for the head of staff, instead, he found one crown prince asking for his name.
"Uh..." Aurion muttered before he finally realized that the prince was asking for his name, "A-Aurion, your highness."
The delivery boy looked at the smile the prince had on his face, something told him not to trust it, he quickly bowed slightly. Aurion expected to get paid and be done with the job for the night, instead he had to be face to face with the crown prince.

- Aether - Wine Cellar -
The Sentinel stared at Omicron for what it felt for a long time, it seemed that the woman always tried to hide her emotions, which had failed today, if only for a moment.
"Nothing is never nothing. It's always something," Aether said quietly, "but as you wish."
Aether looked and fidgeted with her small wristwatch, setting a timer for 13 minutes, and to prepare the explosives for detonations.
"This will prove useful, if what Lunaris told me was true," she thought, "Girl's off her rocker, can't make sense of all her technobabble, but if this thing can help with the explosion then that's fine, she's never let me down, yet."
The young assassin prepared a trolley with boxes that contained bottles of wine and used the small elevator to send it back to the kitchen.
"In any case, I'll see you in 13," she said to Omicron, "Gotta enjoy one last drink before ditching this place."
Without any other word, Aether gave Omicron a wink and left the wine cellar.

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{Silas Ironhart: Destiny Islands; Palace Kitchen}

Silas looked down at the invoice on the clip board, matching up names as his mind went through filing cabinets of their own.

"Ah, yes." He said pleasantly. "Here it is. Well Aurion, if you will come this way, the chef's office will have the munny for your payment. If you will follow me."

The Crown Prince started down the side of the kitchen, heading for a smallish door in the corner.

"No trouble with the delivery, I hope?" Silas asked, confident that he was being followed.

 

{Destiny Islands; Wine cellar}

The training that had been drilled into Omicron's head echoed with Aether's words. There was always something. You didn't discount anything. You verified and dealt with problems. But even now, the memory of exactly what she had felt more and more indistinct. Had she simply imagined it? Till this moment, she had thought that impossible of herself. No. It was an abnormality. Just like she had been warned to watch for. Her handler would take care of it when she got back.

"13 minutes." Omincron repeated after the Sentinel, then wondered why. It was unnecessary.

The assassin watched her job partner head out. The wink elicited a brief look of confusion from Omicron. Now alone, she took a moment she normally wouldn't have had to collect her thoughts.

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Isabela ~ The Corsair ~ Calik, The Dark Realm

 

Erinys was going for it. She was going for the carrot. Isabela smiled, eager for another recruit. An interesting one, though she knew not how well a Noxling would fare in an invasion of the Light. It wouldn't be good she assumed. The whole... light sensitivity thing. And there was no real sun down here generally. Didn't matter to her. Wasn't her problem after all. It would be Erinys' if it came to that. But first... slave freeing. "Always down for a little... chain breaking. I'd be happy to take care of this." Isabela affirmed, looking to Faedron, placing her hand on his arm for a moment before taking it away. She looked to Erinys. "Assuming you won't reject me? Ah, who am I kidding, you wouldn't do that to me would you? You'd terribly hurt my feelings, and I'm so sensitive."

 

Mychel Stormblessed ~ The Windrunner ~ City Streets, Radiant Garden

 

Mychel regarded the child, curiously. He couldn't say it was ridiculous. At times nobles and their cruelty to others came close to their cruelty towards the rest of them. Mychel shook his head, frustrated by it. He wished he could reject the child, and his tale, and move on. But, he had to help him a little. Perhaps he could stop if he gave him some good advice here and now. Hopefully he could. "Name?" He asked, straightforwardly, looking away from him and towards the streets, watching out for anything suspicious. He felt like something was going to happen, but he couldn't say what. "And what exactly is your plan? Where do you plan on going exactly?"

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- Aurion - Palace Kitchen -

Aurion quickly followed the Prince, he didn't have any other choice, not if he wanted to get paid. While following the Crown Prince, Aurion noticed the maid from before coming out from one of the doors, she also noticed him and mouthed something to him before giving him a smile and disappearing among the staff, this left the delivery boy slightly confused.
"Not at all, sir." Aurion replied, "Just the same as every other delivery."
Of course, those other deliveries lacked constant check ups, bad-mouthing guards, thoughtless nobles, among other things.
"It was an interesting experience," he said, "not my first, but still a little intimidating. This is a party in honor of the Emperor and we couldn't allow us to make mistakes."


- Aether - Palace Kitchen -

Once back at the kitchen the first thing Aether noticed was the young man from before, he was with, the prince? Now that was interesting. Why was the Crown Prince in the kitchens?
"Get out," Aether mouthed to the delivery boy, "Or else."
The undercover assassin quickly walked towards the person she was looking for.
"Done and done Fred!" she said happily,
"Thank you, Milo," he answered, "you've been a great help since you came here."
"Sure thing, but sadly this is my last day," Aether whispered to him, "so, to celebrate the occasion, I need a glass of that wine."
Aether quickly grabbed a cup of wine before Frederic couls say something and took a sip. It was good, but not THAT good.
"Uh...can't believe this is the best they got," she said and shrugged, "oh well, better enjoy it, while I can."
Frederic shook his head and went back to fill more cups with wine, completely  unaware of what was going to happen in a few minutes.

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{Erinys Ta’gon & Faedron Dramos: Dark Realm; Village of Calik}

Erinys eyed Isabela closely. The Corsair seemed on board for freeing the slaves, but was it an act. The Noxling could tell she was being manipulated, but to what end? Yeah, she had power and skill, but Dramos already had that. Why was it worth this kind of consideration to get her on his side? And was Isabela in the know, or just playing along? Well, there was one way to find out.

“Of course not.” Erinys answered dryly, a sarcastic edge clear in her voice. “I see you’re such a delicate person.”

Her gaze switched to Dramos, whose smile was taking an annoyingly victorious look.

“I’m in for the mission.” She said. “We’ll see where we stack up afterward.”

“Wise choice.” The Warlord replied, satisfaction in his voice.

Half turning away from Erinys, he gave Isabela a wink with the far eye.

“The Bastions are easy to find.” Dramos continued. “Contact me if needed.”

He turned back to the Noxling and gave her a two-fingered salute.

“Fortune be with you, Ronin.” He said, then turned to head out of the junkyard, most of the Crusaders turning to follow him.

Erinys took a deep breath. She had met with Dramos and survived. Good first step. Of course, doing what he wanted helped with that. If she had refused, she expected her survival would have been more uncertain. If she didn’t end up liking what she saw of the Crusaders, she would need to make sure to have a good exit strategy that didn’t involve telling Dramos to his face. That just left the question mark of the Corsair.

 

{Lamont Ironhart: Radiant Garden; City Streets}

“Lars.” Lamont answered promptly.

He at least had that part of his cover ready. The surname was tricky. Again, without knowing the extent of this man’s knowledge, the wrong name could shred his story. No, using a local name was too risky. Had to go with someone offworld.

“Lars Darling.” He completed.

The time it took for him to reason out what his last name should be took only a few moments, thanks to dealing with nosey people in the royal court. He just had to hope that this guy wouldn’t read into the hesitation.

“Step-Mother recently sent me here from London.” Lamont explained.

He paused another moment to consider The Windrunner’s next question. What would be an on the run heir’s plan?

“I’m not real sure what or where is next.” He answered, deciding that some honest bewilderment was the best course of action. “I guess try to get a job somewhere?”

 

{Silas Ironhart: Destiny Islands; Palace Kitchens}

Silas half turned his head to address the delivery boy.

“Yes, I do fear people get up tight when it concerns the Emperor.” He said conversationally. “But I am glad it was not adversely troublesome.”

The crown prince made it to the door to the chef’s office and pushed it open. Once inside, he went directly for a small safe in the wall. He didn’t have the key for it, but that didn’t actually matter. With a flourish of his hand, the Keyblade Ultima Weapon appeared in a flash of light. He lightly tapped the safe, causing it to unlock and open.

“Come to think of it, I recall seeing you up in one of the ballrooms, speaking to a noble.” Silas commented as he dismissed his Keyblade and pulled a pouch of munny out of the safe. “Did he voice any dissatisfaction with the party?”

Taking a seat behind the chef’s desk, Silas began counting out the munny owed to Aurion.

 

{Destiny Islands; Wine Cellar}

After a few moments, Omicron managed to expel the troublesome thoughts from her mind, bringing her icy focus back on the task at hand. She was a little behind now, but she could make it up. She turned to a dark corner of the cellar and walked towards it purposefully. The shadows seemed to swallow her up and she was gone.

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- Aurion - Palace Kitchen -

Oh yeah, that man was a strange individual, at least in Aurion's opinion. Aurion was slightly surprised when the Prince summoned his weapon, not because he was afraid but rather that he had his mind focused on the noble from before.
"Not a  single one Your Highness," Aurion answered, "he just wanted to...to apologize for a certain accident that happened between one of the honorable guests and myself."
There was also the fact that the guy apparently didn't knew it was the Emperor's birthday.
"Although..." Aurion said, "by the look of it, I think this man didn't knew that this party was in celebration of the Emperor's birthday, he said that his invitation didn't mentioned such occasion."


- Aether - somewhere around the palace -

The assassin was moving around the palace, away from all the groups of people, and even the guards, a maid didn't had the need to interrupt the guests or the royal guards. Nothing wrong with a young woman waiting for her next set of orders from her superiors. She was looking at her wristwatch from time to time, watching it slowly counting down until the time was right,
"The Gates of Worlds came crashing open, a creak, a groan, a sigh," she thought as she looked around the main hall, "Once locked and hidden, till time choose, and oh, now me, oh my."
Time was running out and Aether wondered what was Omicron's plan when the time came for the distraction to occur. For now, she could only wait.
"Tick tock, tick tock, goes the clock. Here comes the final hour..."

Edited by Elrandir

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