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Lumina Lusteria, the Lustrous
With The Rising Crown, in the place of Scholars and Warriors


The princess had been somewhat quiet. Perhaps she was just trying to absorb all this information without being overwhelmed by certain surprising facts. It was good, if she was trying to keep her head. Knowing when you needed to calm yourself down is important.

"That is quite a curious bit, isn't it?" They did seem to know quite a bit about his family, "and that old man was rather tenacious. You said Varjan was headed home? Well, from the sounds of it, we should hurry, should we not? So what are we waiting for?" Maybe she was inviting herself, but she didn't really have any better ideas at the moment.
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~~Seleth~~

@PaulHaynek



Quite the utilitarian looking place. Seleth followed the feathered one through the halls, still keeping to herself. There was little to be said or done for now, and speaking with this servant wasn't going to bring anything to light. Upon reaching the double doors and walking in, Seleth was grateful for the warmth of the fireplace. Her eyes darted to Lord Athos as the feathered One announced their presence. Seleth gave a brief nod in thanks to Parzon as she left.

"Terrible, I guess?" Seleth sighed, sitting heavily into the velvet cushions of the seat. "You didn't hear? His father came to the infirmary and tried to start something. I only got the tail end of the argument, but I saw what happened after his father decided to threaten legal action against me, which I'd almost like to see him try to cause an incident." She folded her arms, shaking her head. "...he used some sort of teleportation magic I guess. Him and his father disappeared from the infirmary. Haven't seen him since." He had answers, though? Maybe it wasn't her place to ask, but she had little patience for beating around the bush.

"Why was he using drugs? And why did he come ask me to kill him at the cathedral? Was it something to do with his parents?" Seleth's features was strained with mild stress, and perhaps a bit of worry.
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South Of Zauberheim


~~~ @AzureKnight (ENI) ~~~


"Fow now, though, I think it best to return to the Citadel and speak with Athos-san. I imagine he'll want to hear about how today's event have transpired."
Enishi


"Right. Come on, I'll take you there." Vitalion proceeded to escort you. "Say, what's your history with this Hisana fellow? I heard you were a bounty hunter or something but surely you've got a deeper reason for chasing her this far and this long." The Head Captain asked. "Not that I don't appreciate you helping to take down a career crimainal. I'm just curious, is all."

"Is the bounty on her head really high or something?"

???


~~~ @AzureKnight (HIS) ~~~


"So, your Varjan huh?⭐ I imagine you've got yourself caught up in this whole drug this too. I recall a mercenary asking me if I wanted to use enhancements in order to boost my strength as well.♣️ Honestly I don't care about the whole thing, but I can't imagine someone as strong as you needing them. From what I've heard you're quite the prodigy, excelling at all subjects at the prestigious Seraph Academy. I also wonder what a school boy would want with little ol' me?"❤️
Hisana


"Like I said, dabbling in those illegal substances was a mistake of mine. My recklessness has almost... ruined everything." Varjan said. "But I have been given a second chance, I shall not waste it. I am now clear of mind and fully prepared to execute my plans."

"And you have heard right. I am said to be a prodigy in the magical arts in all fields." Varjan continued. "I intend to prove them right. Prove them all right, that I am the greatest mage of Razelia." He declared not only to you but to himself as well, his gaze steered of you and into nothingness. As if he was having some sort of vision. "That I will change the world, and immortalize my name throughout history."

His eyes returned to you. "You are in the middle of history, Hisana. So I ask again, do you want to become more dangerous? To have more power to exercise?" Varjan asked once more. "And no, drugs will not be involved. Rather, it'll be my own spin of magic."




Seraph Academy & Luminous Citadel




"Mira, you all seem to know quite alot about Varjan and his familial affairs. Could you perhaps elaborate a little more on the exact nature of his relationship with his kin?"
Lisianthus von Zauberheim


"That is quite a curious bit, isn't it?"
Lumina Lusteria


The trio, having realized they mouthed off some of their delicate secrets, looked at each other for the next course of action. Knowing there's no going back, Ecthel was the first to speak. "Should we tell them?"

Alicia and Mira nodded. "Yes. I think there's no point keeping this hidden anymore. Besides, I think they deserve to know."

-


"Why was he using drugs? And why did he come ask me to kill him at the cathedral? Was it something to do with his parents?"
Seleth Thenri


Athos was silent for a moment, taking in your words. He hung his head before replying. "It's worse than I thought. Far worse than I had expected." The old sage lamented. "What have I done? I was... am, such a fool."

"Yes, Miss Thenri, it has everything to do with his parents. And the rest of his family, and I suppose us too." Athos began his long tale. "The Caldeyron family was not a renowned, famed house a long time ago. No, they crawled and clawed their way to where they are now. Unlike some noble families, they appreciated what they achieved. They did not take it for granted."

-


"And that soon became a problem of theirs. They so appreciated their achievements that they became very protective of it, fiercely defensive of what they have. They jealously guarded their reputation and status from anything. Criticism was seen as attack, advice would get you suspicion. Even accidents demanded retribution." Mira continued their tale to Lumina and Lisia. "And it just got worse. Despite achieving a high status... they wanted more. They never stopped wanting, and they never stopped guarding."

"That continued on to this day." Ecthel took over. "Varjan was the Caldeyrons' most latest pet project. Imagine birthing a child so gifted in magic in the Kingdom Of Magic. It was a miracle from the Twin Goddesses. Or so they keep saying." The boy rogue shrugged in annoyance.

"They couldn't let such an opportunity go to waste. They began training Varjan to hone his innate abilities. He followed at first and, from what I heard, the family was relatively happy in those times." Alicia' face then took a darker visage. "Then Varjan had other dreams. He wanted to be a sculptor, an artist. Not a mage."

-


"You could only imagine the outrage in the family. The Caldeyrons promptly took control of Varjan's life. Restricted where he went, who he talked to, and decided for him to enroll in Seraph Academy." The Court Mage gulped before gaining the strength to continue. His eyes were watery, the liquid glistened in the fireplace's light. "Then Varjan approached me. Asked for my help regarding his family."

Heaving a breath, Athos recounted his part in the story. "I was the Court Mage to the Zauberheim, the royalty. My word carried strength that could shake even the Caldeyrons." He started. "If I told... If I advised the family to lay off of Varjan, I... I could've stopped all of this. There would've been... none of this." Athos' tale became a confession.

"But I didn't... I didn't. He had... he had so much potential, Miss Thenri!" The Court Mage attempted to justify himself. "I sensed it! For him to become something other than a mage would've been a huge waste! He was--" Athos stopped himself, calmed himself. "No, no. There are no excuses. Forgive me, Miss Thenri."

"But that was how I felt during that time. That was my... 'reason' for my decision." Athos continued, deflated. "But I knew what my choice led to and so, I thought it best to light-- attempt to lighten Varjan's stay in Seraph Academy. So as not to leave him wallowing in misery."

-


"And that's where we came in." Alicia motioned to her and Ecthel and Mira. "Lord Athos contacted us about Varjan and told us the entire story and told us to befriend Varjan." She paused for a moment. "I... already knew Varjan then. I attempted to reach out to him several times but, approaching a loner by your lonesome was... hard. He was quiet and... it was just awkward."

"Ecthel and I also knew Varjan, I mean who didn't? But not to the extent that Alicia did." Mira took over. "But we were friends with Alicia too so, why not add one more in the circle? I mean, Varjan was a loner and quiet but in time, he opened up a bit about himself. He even began partaking in activities on his own initiative."

"And oh man, he LOVED his bad puns. He'd always have a stupid grin when we cringed." Ecthel reminisced, but the smile was not to last. "But as we became seniors, his family intruded more and more into his life. He needed to finish with a bang and what's a better bang than the Grand Academy Tournament?" The rogue continued. "We saw Varjan less and less ever since and now... we're here."



"I... don't know what to ask of you, Miss Thenri, other than try to help Varjan if you find him." Athos finished. "But you're the winner of the tournament, weren't you? You're going to need to prepare for the award and the graduation ceremonies. I doubt you'll have time for the Caldeyron matter."

"I hope I've answered any questions you have."



"That's why we plan to set out and try to find Varjan. Going by Alicia, he would probably be back home." Mira declared. "It's several days from here so we might need to set out as soon as possible."

"I'd ask you to come with us but... I'm sure you two have duties to attend to, right?"
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~~Seleth~~

@PaulHaynek



Seleth listened to the words of Athos, expression growing more serious with each passing word. It was a story she was quite well aware of. Child pressured into doing something the parents wanted, despite perhaps wanting to do something else. She had a similar story herself - though in her case she decided that she would take up the mantle. Trying to constantly live up to her family name was difficult. For her, it instilled a since of pride. A sense that she was better than everyone. For a time she did truly believe that, while she was attending the academy, even when she was constantly second guessing herself.

"...you're a fool, Athos." Seleth replied simply. "But there is little to be done about it now. You are correct, with the ceremony coming up I doubt I'll have time to investigate or even try to find Varjan." She leaned back in the chair. "...Lord Athos." She fixed the older mage with a slightly concerned gaze.

Perhaps she should mention what the Lot knight had told her.

...No, that would be silly.

"...Mhm, nevermind." Seleth narrowed her eyes at him. "If I am able, I shall clean up this mess you made with my own two hands. Is that all, Or was there something else you wish to confess aside from your foolishness?"
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Lumina Lusteria, the Lustrous
Seraph Infirmary


So, Varjan was that kind of tragedy, huh? Never wanted for his talents or status, wanted a simple life. "Oye, oye..." But, all that gave her good information. It'd be tough, but maybe if she could befriend him, maybe she could turn this all around. That might be really tough, though

"Nobles always make things so complicated," she grumbled softly, then spoke up, "he lives that far? He could easily outpace us, what makes you think he'll spend days there? I suppose they are his parents, after all. He might well spend days reasoning with a hot-tempered man like that." The boy showed respect enough to his folks to obey their wishes and do something he seriously had no desire for. Did the Court Mage fear that this outcome was their coming apocalypse, when he heard of the vision prophecy? Maybe she'd have to ask him later, but it was only for her curiosity, really. There was one other question bothering her...

If the boy was involved, was he a catalyst, or the apocalypse itself? If he was abusing some power drug, it could go either way.
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Seraph Academy


~~~ @AzureKnight (LIS), @CitrusArms ~~~


"he lives that far? He could easily outpace us, what makes you think he'll spend days there? I suppose they are his parents, after all. He might well spend days reasoning with a hot-tempered man like that."
Lumina Lusteria


"I have no guarantee that Varjan will stay there for an extended time, but I don't know where he could go next and so we must attempt to catch him there. Thus, we cannot waste time and must leave as soon as possible." Alicia replied.

"Right. We will begin our preparations for departure immediately." Mira said. "We will appreciate it if you would come with us..." She told Lisia and Lumina.

"...but if not, then pray for to the Twins for our success, alright?" Ecthel continued. "Well, it's nice meeting you two and I hope our little private chat here has proven useful for the both of you. Let's go, Alicia and Mira."

The two girls nodded and the trio left the room to start on their trip to Varjan's home. Lisia and Lumina could elect to go with them or do something about their newfound information about Varjan's life.

Luminous Citadel




"If I am able, I shall clean up this mess you made with my own two hands. Is that all, Or was there something else you wish to confess aside from your foolishness?"
Seleth Thenri


You saw Athos visibly wince when you called him a fool twice but he pushed that away with a chuckle. "Well, I must also confess that I did not expect you to be brutally honest for a Dark Elf. I have heard the rumors about you, Miss Thenri, but now I might have mistaken you as a Light Elf. A typical Dark Elf would be more polite in their misgivings."

The Court Mage then continued, the talk was apparently not over. "Although, I did meet a Furred One with black hair and golden eyes." The appearance was familiar to you. "I believe her name was Lumina. She told me she was here because of a prophecy that foretold of a disaster--"

*KNOCK KNOCK*

"Ah, excuse me, Miss Thenri."

Athos got up and answered the door, revealing a figure in knightly armor and a man in Eastern clothing. After a few exchanges that were audible but not enough for you to decipher, Athos returned to you. "I'm afraid we must end our talk here, Miss Thenri. However, please do feel free to come see me at anytime you like. Especially if you have something new about our... problem." He then motioned for the knight to come closer. "Miss Thenri, this is Sir Vitalion. Head Captain of the Zauberheim City Guard. He shall escort you out of the Luminous Citadel and to the Radiant Cathedral if you so wish. Farewell for now, Miss Thenri."

You were out of the room and back into the halls of the citadel with Sir Vitalion. You knew your escort. Almost everyone in Zauberheim, maybe even Razelia, knew him. He was a famous knight, a master in both the arts of the sword and the magics of Amalya. He was one of the greatest Arcknights of Razelia, even friends with the King himself. However, one day he suddenly left the Arcknights and signed up as a simple city guardsman in Zauberheim. No one knew why but regardless, he was soon made Head Captain as he was better leading guardsmen than serving as a grunt.

"So you're the Seleth Thenri everyone's been talking about lately." Sir Vitalion started. "She who has defeated both Varjan Caldeyron and Princess Lisianthus of Zauberheim. Quite the achievements, ain't it?" He remarked. The Head Captain talked to you like a good friend. "How'd you do it? Got a trick up your sleeve? Although, I admit you've gotten a bit too far on Varjan."

"Anyway, as the winner of the Grand Academy Tournament, you got an idea what you want for a reward? You gonna join the Arcknights?"
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~~Seleth~~

@PaulHaynek


"Tsk," Seleth's skin was colored red with mild embarrassment as she was compared to a light elf. Something she had been told over and over again, especially by her own parents who tried to get her words and sharp tongue under control only to fail miserably. Well, there was nothing to be done about it. The Dark elf sighed, barely catching the end of Athos' words. Wait, was that - Her thoughts quickly turned to Vitalion before she could process. An Escort, eh? What was she, a child? She could handle herself.

"And you as well, Athos." Seleth replied simply, turning to leave with Vitalion. At his question, the Dark elf clicked her tongue in mild annoyance.

"Varjan...was an unfortunate accident, though the Princess - I was simply bought victory by Lady Aylama. Nothing more, nothing less. Perhaps the princess simply needs to practice more, hmm?" She chuckled, holding a hand to her mouth before quickly realizing she was gloating. " - Ahem anyways....I do not believe knighthood is for me. I would serve the people far better with clerical work." As for what she wanted, though? Seleth held the spear in the palm of her hand, running a slender finger over its haft.

"...this spear was in my family for generations. A holy relic. Said to have been gifted to us my Lady Aylama." She frowned. "But some generations ago, its power was lost. Some charlatan thought to steal the spear for his own selfish purposes. He was hunted down and dealt with, but the spear lost its luster. He also destroyed many important records in the family, detailing the spears use and its exact origins. It is my hope that...perhaps I can get help returning this relic to its former state."
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Lumina Lusteria, the Lustrous
Seraph Infirmary


Well, it wasn't like she had any better ideas. There was the crime ring, but she didn't think they were directly connected. Just another catalyst, the important part they had to play was probably the drug. To amplify the power of a magical prodigy sounded like the perfect stage for disaster. If she could stop things, was this her chance?

"I've my own preparations, but I will join you." She should let that old couple know that she wouldn't be around for a few days, and probably pack a few things. She still had to grab her shield and booster from where they'd been letting her rest, too. "Shall we meet by the gate, then?"
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--Lisia--


@PaulHaynek @CitrusArms

Lisia was bewildered by even more revelations. She realized that Varjan was a prodigy, but she wasn't fully aware of the nature of his relationship with his family. Let alone their greed and connection to the underworld.

"My father had spoken briefly about the Caldeyron family even so often, but...I must admit that this is all lost on me. I didn't know they weren't of true noble blood, having earned their status through sheer hard work and determination. But, to use should despicable tactics is uncalled for! Especially for what they put Varjan through..." The princess had trailed off for a moment, lost in her own thoughts. I had no idea Varjan wanted to be a sculptor. To such selfish aspirations placed on oneself...

She realized something was bothering Varjan even before the tournament had started. During their school periods, she noticed how antisocial he was. She was surprised that Mira and the others were able to befriend him, though as they stated it was all planned.

"I had tried to consult him, ask him what was wrong. But I couldn't get through to him. The way he worded it, it sounded like I had failed his expectations. If perhaps I weren't so inept I could have stopped this..." A combination of events that have transpired in the capital city for the past few days have stirred various emotions within Lisianthus. She felt her chest tightening as she bit her lip in frustration.

After hearing the rest of the story, it seemed that Lumina was ready to head out into the thick of it. Perhaps the princess could draw strength from this woman, she seems to take everything in stride and doesn't sweat the small stuff.

"If that's the case, then there's no time to falter. It's time I did my part and made things right among my fellow students. Lumina, you have my sincerest gratitude for offering your aid."

With her resolve somewhat hardened, Lisia braced herself for the trials ahead. With the way things are with the Caldeyron house, they would likely have to prepare themselves for anything. She promptly followed the trio out of the room, her mind made up. She would find and help Varjan in any way she could.




--Enishi--


@PaulHaynek

Enishi looked at Vitalion, his expression quite serious. "That woman has done many a terrible deed, all for the sake of sating her primal urge for self-gratification. More specifically, she's taken much from me." He paused for a moment to gaze up at the night sky, his eyes lost in the twinkling stars.

"You know, despite her ravenous killing streak, she doesn't usually willingly hunt down innocent people. She's really only attracted to those who have considerable power. Sir Juan was an unfortunate exception, she was probably just playing up the role she was given by that ring of criminals. It...it's not the only civilian she's killed however. There was once a..." Enishi paused again, the look on his face showed hesitation. As though he could get out what he truly wanted to say.

I'm sorry Vitalion-san. Is not something I really wish to speak of, as it is a very private matter. Just know that she'll pay for her crimes in full force! And yes, her bounty is quite high as you would expect."

Everyone had secrets they would rather keep to themselves, the bounty hunter was no exception to this. He didn't want to end the conversation on a sour note, however.

"So since things went well with Orlov, I imagine Lumina-kun is doing fine? I know she wanted to hunt Hisana down as well, has she decided to stay in the capital and continue the hunt?"




--Hisana--


@PaulHaynek

The adept boy offered an interesting proposal. Instead of drug enhancements, Varjan stated he could increase her strength his own special sorcery. While Hisana was the last person to feel that she need aid from others, she didn't outright dismiss his offer. Having more strength meant that she could have even more exciting fights. On the other hand, however, being enhanced by his magic may mean that he would have more power to subjugate her under his will. While she didn't have much of a problem with Annabelle, Keith shenanigans had nearly gotten her iced. Needless to say, she was not enthralled by the prospect of working with others again.

However, Hisana felt that it wouldn't be wise to cross an entire group of people while still not at 100%, especially when one of those people is one of the most gifted mages in a kingdom renowned for magic.

Hmm. What would you say if I refused to gain your enhancement magic, but still offered my services to your cause? It's just that I'm rather cautious when it comes to introducing foreign magic into my body.💧 If you still have doubts about my base skill level, I could perhaps prove myself in a...contest of sorts?❤️

Truthfully, she didn't give a damn about the effects on her body. She was spindling her words to get herself within the groups good graces while still trying to maintain her autonomy. She could try to escape, but when would she get another chance to get this close to her prize?
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Lumina Lusteria, the Lustrous
Seraph Infirmary


"If perhaps I weren't so inept I could have stopped this."
Lisia


"Hey, hey. Don't blame yourself." Lumina placed a hand gently on the princess's shoulder. "There are many hands in this, and you are yet young."

"If that's the case, then there's no time to falter. It's time I did my part and made things right among my fellow students. Lumina, you have my sincerest gratitude for offering your aid."
Lisia


"Yes, This is your chance to shape a better future, right? It probably won't be easy, though, but that's why I'm here. More or less." She gave the girl a couple pats, there on her shoulder, before she went into the area she'd been given previously, to retrieve her things and let the nurses know she was taking off.

After she spoke with her temporary employers, she grabbed two hunks of crystal she'd been growing from the garden. Large chunks, suitable for a variety of things. Maybe even sculpting. If she could reach out to that part of Vajran, maybe she could befriend him. Sharing a favorite pastime or hobby, especially an art, was an excellent way to make friends.
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???


~~~ @AzureKnight (HIS) ~~~


Hmm. What would you say if I refused to gain your enhancement magic, but still offered my services to your cause? It's just that I'm rather cautious when it comes to introducing foreign magic into my body.💧 If you still have doubts about my base skill level, I could perhaps prove myself in a...contest of sorts?❤️
Hisana


"I see. Suit yourself then." Varjan stood up. "And no need to prove yourself. I just need you to do what I ask."

"Untie her, Anesh." Varjan told his maid who did as he asked. "Call the others. We're going to begin the Transfiguration." He ordered his maid again who dutifully followed. "Congratulations, Hisana. You get to bear witness to my second-most greatest spell I have learned. Follow me."

------

The small group had assembled in a clearing lit up by bright torches surrounding the area. In the center was an empty patch of ground save for a coal-drawn circle containing intersecting lines and inscrutable words within. "My friends, my stalwart allies in the coming fight. Welcome to your greatest change in your life, your Transfiguration." Varjan began.

"The process is not complicated for you. All you need to do is enter the circle and I'll do the rest." Varjan pointed to the shape on the clear ground. "The process will not be painless but it is guaranteed success. So then, who shall go first?" Before anyone could answer, Varjan continued. "On a second thought, why not let our newcomer choose? So she could participate in our little group."

All eyes turned to you, awaiting your answer. "Go on. Pick one of them."

Those presented were the angry blonde called Orne, the beautiful girl in the red dress, and the bespectacled boy with the scarf.




Luminous Citadel


~~~ @AzureKnight (ENI) ~~~


I'm sorry Vitalion-san. Is not something I really wish to speak of, as it is a very private matter. Just know that she'll pay for her crimes in full force! And yes, her bounty is quite high as you would expect."
Enishi


"Hey no worries, friend. Sorry for bringing it up." Vitalion apologized. "Rest assured that the City Guard will help you any way we can."

"So since things went well with Orlov, I imagine Lumina-kun is doing fine? I know she wanted to hunt Hisana down as well, has she decided to stay in the capital and continue the hunt?"
Enishi


"Err, I don't know about her. I did hear that she's here for other than Hisana. I don't know the details."

The two of you then reach the Luminous Citadel. Despite the dead of night, the fortress was lit up like a beacon in darkness. The soldiers there stood a vigilant guard, ever ready for anything. Past the great doors that served as the entrance, you and Vitalion entered the central structure of the Luminous Citadel.

The Head Captain led you through the wide, defensible halls of the citadel. The fortress felt like a maze with the amount of halls and corridors within it but Vitalion navigated them without difficulty, as if he was a regular here. Finally, the two of you reach a seemingly normal corridor with a set of double doors at the end of it. Vitalion approached the doors.

*KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK*

The doors were answered and Athos was revealed on the other side. "Ah, Sir Vitalion. What brings you here?"

"Lord Athos, I bring Sir Enishi. He wants to speak to you." Vitalion said. "Er, are you busy perhaps, my lord?"

"Oh, uhh, yes actually but we've just finished. Please, come in you two." Athos beckoned you inside the room. It was a simple chamber containing a couple of windows on the side, a warm fireplace burning at the fore with two high-class, velvet chairs facing it and a low, glass table in between the two pieces of furniture.

Athos and another figure, a dark-skinned Elf of red eyes and young age, was inside. The Court Mage spoke to the Elf a bit before sending her away alongside Vitalion. Athos sat on one of the chairs and motioned to the other. "Please take a seat, Sir Enishi."

"So, what did you want to talk to me about? Have you caught your target Hisana?"



"...this spear was in my family for generations. A holy relic. Said to have been gifted to us my Lady Aylama. But some generations ago, its power was lost. Some charlatan thought to steal the spear for his own selfish purposes. He was hunted down and dealt with, but the spear lost its luster. He also destroyed many important records in the family, detailing the spears use and its exact origins. It is my hope that...perhaps I can get help returning this relic to its former state."
Seleth Thenri


"It's a unique relic, eh? Well, our library at Seraph Academy has a ton of books detailing magical relics and artifacts of the known world. Maybe you can find something there about your spear." Vitalion suggested. "Just talk to the Headmaster. Even if you weren't the winner of the tournament, I'm sure he'll help you out with your spear."

You and Vitalion reach the Radiant Cathedral without incident. And with that, the day has ended.




Seraph Academy


~~~ @AzureKnight (LIS), @CitrusArms ~~~


"I thank you both for coming with us. It means a lot to know we're not alone." Alicia then looked at Lisia with uncertainty. "But uhh, shouldn't you be at the graduation ceremony? We at least can be excused for not being there but you... you're the Princess." The redhead pointed out.

"She's right. We'll be gone for a week or two, Princess Lisia." Mira piped in. "Don't get me wrong. I'm glad you want to come with us but how are you going to... you know, not be at the graduation? As the Princess, I'm sure you're going to be a speaker there."






Radiant Cathedral




A few days passed without much happening. You were simply informed about the date of the graduation ceremony and you were advised to come up with a speech and a flashy spell demonstration to bedazzle the audience. But those could be at the back of your mind right now for your parents could be arriving any day now. You had to be ready to receive them.

There was also the matter with Varjan. You have not heard anything about him ever since your meeting with Athos, not even from--

"Seleth? There are two girls who want to see you outside. Alicia and Mira."

A Light Elf priest told you. You went outside to see the two aforementioned girls. Both of whom were dressed more than usual, as if they were going traveling. "Hello, Seleth! Have you been resting well? Are your injuries healed up?" Alicia greeted you. "Listen, we're going to Varjan's home which is several days from here so we'll be gone for a while. We're here to ask you to pray to the Twins for blessing in our trip."

"We're also here to congratulate you properly for your victory in the tournament." Mira said. "Sooo, congratulations! A lot of people didn't think you could make it this far but you showed them, didn't you?" She chuckled. "Well, pray for us okay? You have any parting words?"

"Oh man, I make it sound like we're not coming back from this."

Southern Gate


~~~ @AzureKnight (LIS), @CitrusArms ~~~


Days passed and Ecthel found a caravan that the group can join to get to Varjan's home of Pinsilpi. The caravan was assembling at the southern gate of Zauberheim, and Lumina had arrived there only to see Ecthel and no one else from their group. "Hey, Lumina. What's up?"

"You might be wondering where the others are. Well, Mira and Alicia went to the Radiant Cathedral first to see Seleth and pray to the Twins for blessing for... whatever we're gonna do." The boy rogue said. "As for the Princess, well I haven't heard from her yet but if she's coming with us, she'll be here."
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~~Seleth~~

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Blegh, she didn't want to get out of bed.

Slothfulness was a sin, but for now, it felt like an acceptable one. Her parents could be coming any day now, and she really didn't want to deal with them. What would she say? What could she do? She had certainly impressed and did as she was told, but would it be good enough? Would she be berated for her behavior again? Would they find some other fault?

Eventually she pulled herself from the bed and got dressed, just in time to receive some visitors it seemed.

Grumbling lightly to herself, Seleth made her way out of the cathedral, only to be greeted by Alicia and Mira.

"I see." Seleth frowned lightly. "I shall pray, as I always do for safety." They were going, huh? She wanted to go herself, if she were to be honest. She could use it as an excuse to not have to deal with her parents, but...she would have to deal with it eventually. Best get it over with, as they say. "And I will ask both for safety, both you and Varjan." Seleth fell silent, leaning on the spear slightly and casting a perturbed glance to the side.

"...Truthfully, I would like to go with you, but I can not, so I will only say this once," She fixed the both of them with a stern gaze. Perhaps she was just nervous. With everything that had happened, it was understandable. "If at any point you feel something is wrong, return. Do I make myself clear? I do not care how small of a misgiving you have about something. I do not..." Her voice lowered in intensity. "...want either of you to get hurt."
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Lumina Lusteria, the Lustrous
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They were going on a trip, so she should come prepared. She'd probably end up on guard duty, at least for a few shifts, but she could be quite the hungry lady. Luckily for her, she'd been sent with plenty of equipment. She had a wool-insulated container with a crystal imprinted with cold magics, stocked with meats and other things that might spoil. Roasting some meat over an open fire sounded pretty appetising, and she wondered if the princess had ever tried such a thing. If she would be joining them in the first place, apparently she had other obligations. As to be expected of royalty she supposed.

A voice called her name. Ah, this lad looked familiar. Let's see... Ooh. He was there when they failed to secure Juan. She couldn't remember seeing him at the cathedral before then. He reminded her of her mistake, and now to find out they were on the same side! There were many other approaches she could have used to see a better outcome. More patience would have rewarded her greatly. Alas, that had all already come to pass, and she would have no opportunity to correct that grevious error.

"You know my name, but I can't recall if we've been introduced, I'm sorry. You'll be with us for the journey, then? I've brought meat for an open fire, kept cold and well in this container of mine. If our journey is long, I can only assume we will camp somewhere."
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Radiant Cathedral




"...want either of you to get hurt."
Seleth Thenri


The two girls were silent before bursting into a light chuckle. "Thanks, Seleth! We'll definitely come back in one piece!" Despite your rather stern tone, the two girls were energized by your words.

"Well then, we won't tarry any longer. Ecthel and the Princess must be bored waiting for us by now." Mira said. "Until then, Seleth."

With that, the two girls were off to their short journey. You get a feeling they would only find trouble in their destination, but then it seemed all roads that involved Varjan led to trouble in these times. Regardless, it was your choice to remain here in Zauberheim for the graduation ceremony and the arrival of your parents.

Just when you were about to return inside the Radiant Cathedral, someone stopped you. "Hello! Hello, miss." She greeted you, tiredly. She was a dark-skinned Elf with snow-white hair. She wore a set of black clothing that made her seem like some sort of mercenary or adventurer. Her light yellow eyes were tired and she appeared to be somewhere your age.

"Sorry to bother you. May I ask, is this the Radiant Cathedral? You see, I mistook the Luminous Citadel for the cathedral and I had to hoof it all the way here since I couldn't be late." She said. "Do you happen to know a Seleth Thenri by any chance?"

Southern Gate


~~~ @CitrusArms ~~~


"You know my name, but I can't recall if we've been introduced, I'm sorry. You'll be with us for the journey, then? I've brought meat for an open fire, kept cold and well in this container of mine. If our journey is long, I can only assume we will camp somewhere."
Lumina Lusteria


"Oh, I guess we haven't been introduced, have we? Well, I'm Ecthel. Ecthel Rivera. A simple country bumpkin who somehow found himself here living amongst noble-born. Nice to meet you, Lumina Lusteria." The boy rogue offered you a hand to shake. "And thanks for bringing food for us to eat. We'll definitely be camping on the way and I doubt the caravan leader's going to give food for free."

"I've been asking around about you, you know? You don't look like you're from here." Ecthel said. "I've heard you're from somewhere far away, here on a mission because you've been told there would be something happening here? Is that all true?" He asked about your reason for being in the kingdom. You could tell him he was right or you could correct the finer details.

"So uhh, any luck so far?"
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"It's my pleasure, Ecthel. Travel is better with good food." No, food wasn't free here, not even rations. Another reason for her to wish she was home. At the same time, however, it gave her more reason to stay here. To effect change, however subtle... But that was neither here nor there.

"No, I'm quite the foreigner. I come from an island nation. Out, aaah..." She took a moment to get her bearings, before pointing out toward the ocean. "[color=bbeeff]That way."

He asked more about her mission. "Yes, the seers of my land have foreseen... Certain major events we could not ignore. In the name of Sacred Life, I am here to influence them."

"So, ah, any luck?"

"Hmmmnnnn define luck. I have a lead that I'm here following. Ah, but, no. The prophecy was, as prophecies go, vague or non-descript about certain things but clear to a point of others. I can only do what I think is right." A pause. "And how about you? What brings a country bumpkin into all this business, Ecthel?"
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~~Seleth~~

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Seleth watched them leave, something didn't feel right by far, but...there was nothing to be done. The dark Elf sighed, making to turn back into the Cathedral, but she was quickly stopped by a new arrival. Another Dark Elf? Seleth peered at her curiously as she approached. It wasn't all that often she met a new Dark Elf here. Not that she wanted too, in fact if she could meet as few other Dark Elves as possible that would be quite nice.

The fact she was asking about her, didn't make her confident either. She could only think of a handful of reasons why someone would be asking.

"Well if you mistook the Citadel for the Cathedral, I suppose it's to be expected you wouldn't recognize the one who won the Tournament." She replied coldly. "Who might you be?"
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Radiant Cathedral




"Well if you mistook the Citadel for the Cathedral, I suppose it's to be expected you wouldn't recognize the one who won the Tournament. Who might you be?"
Seleth Thenri


The Elf gasped. "Could it be? You're Seleth Thenri?!"

She then made a sharp bow. "I'm sorry! Forgive my rudeness, Lady Thenri!" The title was of praise but the reason why was unknown. "Allow me to introduce myself. I am Dechan, a mercenary hired by Lendeme and Piladi Thenri to accompany them to Zauberheim, the capital of Razelia the Kingdom of Magic." She pronounced as if it was a speech she memorized and practiced.

"And it is good that I found you, Lady Thenri. You see, your parents are already here in Zauberheim and enjoying a meal in one of the restaurants." Dechan revealed. "They asked me to locate your exact whereabouts here in the capital so they would know where to go to meet you. Good thing too since now I know where to lead Lord Piladi and Lady Lendeme."

"Err, can you please stay here while I get your parents, Miss- Lady Thenri? Thank you!" Dechan turned to leave but then stopped. "Oh and your parents asked if you have anything prepared for them. Something to expect? You know, besides being winner of the tournament?"

Southern Gate


~~~ @CitrusArms ~~~


"And how about you? What brings a country bumpkin into all this business, Ecthel?"
Lumina Lusteria


"Well, Seraph Academy doesn't exactly care whether you're a noble or a commoner. So long as you can utilize magic, you can go ahead and enroll." Ecthel answered with a smile before telling his tale.

"I was in a whole new world, tell you what. Still, my family supported me and I'm here right now to make them proud. Err, not right now right now but right now as in I'm finishing my time in Seraph Academy and trying to get a nice position somewhere so I can repay my folks back home." The rogue explained. "Or maybe I can just go back home and apply what I learned there. Not that it'd do much though. Magical archery isn't exactly useful in farming."

"So yeah, that's the gist of it." Ecthel's smile was then replaced with a frown. "Do you think... do you think we can save Varjan?"
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Lumina Lusteria, the Lustrous
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"Ah, so you're here for magic tutelage. ... Archery? Oh, I think that could be useful. You could pin a rope in most places that way, yeah? Certain constructions would be a lot easier. If you're creative enough, you'll figure something out. Hunting comes to mind, as well." Magic archery, huh? Why didn't she think of that?

"Do you think... do you think we can save Varjan?"


"That's what I intend to find out. If, somewhere in his soul, he wants to be saved, it will be possible. We just have to reach that part of him." It wouldn't be easy, likely, but she'd sure try. And she wasn't going to be alone.

"So, you would magic archery? How does it work? Do you enchant an arrow as you fire them, or do you manifest them? I'm curious."
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~~~ @CitrusArms ~~~


"So, you would magic archery? How does it work? Do you enchant an arrow as you fire them, or do you manifest them? I'm curious."
Lumina Lusteria


"Real interested in my archery, are we?" Ecthel smirked, happy to discuss his abilities.

"Yeah, I just enchant them. I'm nowhere near awesome enough to conjure arrows from thin air." He began. "But any other mage archer could enchant arrows, I need to step up my game if I want to be somebody in Seraph Academy. That's why aside from enchanted arrows, I'm also sort of a speedy, rogue fighter if you get what I mean. Like sure, I can shoot arrows but I'm no slouch in close quarters either."

"What I mean by that is I've trained to use my bow in a melee. No, I'm not using it as a makeshift club but I will do it if I have to." Ecthel said. "It's more like I can aim and shoot in close quarters. And yeah, that means I can nock arrows pretty fast and in quick succession. I remember my arms dying training to do that but some Blessing and Wind magic helped. Speaking of Blessing and Wind magic, I also use them to move around in quick bursts of speed to avoid attacks aimed at me. Can't lose if the enemy can't hit you, right?"

"Alright, now it's my turn. Explain to me your abilities, Miss Lumina. Honestly, I've never seen anything like it."
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Lumina Lusteria, the Lustrous
Southern Gate


Ecthel diversified his magic with rigorous training to expand his basic capabilities. He also applied some other magics to help him obtain the necessary speed for close quarters with a bow. Interesting. Aah, but the conversation turned to her, in turn. He inquired of her magic, just as she had of his. "Drawing a bow is no mean feat, indeed. As for my own magic? Hmm..." She thought for a moment, wondering how to explain it properly. Without getting weird.

"Well, it's nothing as formal as spell casting. More like a sort of... spell, or enchantment was put on me, to give me extra power. When my will and the enchantment align, the power increases. When they do not, usually if I'm being selfish or something, or if I'm unsure, it decreases. Conviction and compassion guide my power, like when things resonate with each other."

"Aah, was that sufficient? It's kind of not very straightforward."
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