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The girl couldn't remember how she had come to this alleyway. Certainly, she had to have walked here, but she didn't remember how or why. It wasn't where she wanted to be. It wasn't on the way to her destination. It wasn't some sort of shortcut. It was a desolate and isolated location where she felt completely alone in the dark. She had just been out with her friends, where had they all gone? She couldn't even see the moon from where she was. Why was she here? How had she gotten so lost? She'd walked these streets plenty of times, and yet she didn't even recognize this alleyway.

Part of her was cursing herself for staying out so late. But... shouldn't it have been fine? She had been surrounded by other people, and it had been so brightly lit. There shouldn't have been anything that could have gone wrong.

And yet now she was here. Now she was alone in a nearly pitch-black alleyway, that seemed to stretch long enough in both ways that she could just barely see the light on the street. But... at least this gave her a destination, didn't it? If she could just get to the light, she'd be out of this horrible alleyway.

The girl took a deep breath, steeling her nerves before making her way as quickly as she could towards the light. For a while, it almost seemed as if she wasn't making any progress, but slowly, slowly, the pinpoint of light began to grow. It felt as if it was taking hours to reach it, but she was getting there.

Where had she even gotten lost? Where was this?

Heart hammering in her chest, the girl pushed herself onward. She had to escape this terrible alley. She had to get back to her friends and let them know she was okay.

But then...

It was getting harder to see. But it wasn't getting darker.

Fog. There was fog rolling in around her. Suddenly mist was filling the alleyway and obscuring the light she had been striving for. How had something like this happened?! It was a perfectly clear night, and now... now she was lot in the fog, so thick that she could barely see her hands in front of her face.

"... I-is anyone there?" she called, finally, desperately, "Th-this isn't funny, it's not! J-just... if this is some kind of prank... I..."

There was a noise behind her. Wide-eyed, the girl immediately grabbed her phone.

Before she could attempt to call emergency services, to call someone, a jolt went through her spine as she felt fingertips run down her back.

There was a voice.

"I must take everything you have."

There was a searing blast of pain through her torso and abdomen. For a few scant moments, she could see them, her internal organs splayed across the ground, barely visible through the mist.

And then...

Nothing.




Jack the Ripper of 2019


It was midday.

For those who undertook lessons at the Tower, London's prestigious Mage Circle, this meant for some that they were attending a lecture. For others, it meant they were finishing up their work for the day. Students were currently walking the halls, be it to make their way to another class, to study, or to return to their dorms, or perhaps their homes if they lived close by. The myriad of magi in-training filled the halls and many of the rooms.

There was one hallway in particular that was less occupied. Shafts of light shown in through the windows, though from the outside the building itself wouldn't even be visible. Given the day's brightness, the lamps lining the top of the hall were dimmed.

Walking through this hallway, however, were two notable figures.

One was a petite blonde girl, childish in appearance, wearing grey-blue clothing. The other was a somewhat taller, though still not by much, silvery-haired girl, trailing her movements.

"I wonder if they're all squirming in their seats as I keep them waiting~" mused the blonde girl, a small smile on her lips as she spoke, "I wish I could see, but it's difficult to be in two places at once."

She shrugged to herself, with a mock sigh. The magi she had recently called into her service via contract had all been ordered to meet in one of the Tower's lounges, a place usually reserved for relaxing and studying between classes. Normally, she would have asked them to meet at her home, but in this case it was simply easier to summon them to the west lounge rather then take a detour to her mansion.

Arinne Velvet Ar-Rynesarte wanted to have something of a discussion. Recent events in London had caught her attention, after all. A certain figure appearing in the news.

This Jack the Ripper of 2019.

"Well, as long as they all show up," the small blonde said, waving her hand as she did. If they didn't, well, there would be consequences. The contracts forged by her family certainly weren't impotent, after all. It was right in the terms. As the head of the Ar-Rynesarte, she was able to call them to meet whenever she desired, to watch them squirm under her command. That thought was always exciting to the girl.

But there was a goal she was chasing beyond simply seeing those beneath her struggle.

Arinne paused for a moment, glancing back towards the girl trailing her.

"I've had some tea and biscuits delivered to the room for the both of us, Saturday," she stated, "It won't do to go without a snack."

They would be there when Arinne and Saturday arrived, of course.

Soon enough, both girls reached the dark oak door to the west lounge. Without being touched, it simply opened inwards on its own. The lounge itself was lit with small lamps and candles, featuring a soft red carpet and numerous large, cushioned chairs, and a long dark table in the center. Indeed, on it was the plate of biscuits and freshly-brewed tea, just as Arinne had ordered.

Of course, there were the occupants of the room as well.

"Hello there," said Arinne, with a wave of her hand as she took her seat on a red velvet armchair, crossing her legs and cocking her head to one side, "Have you been waiting long? Fufu, I don't really care if you have~"

She waved her hand dismissively.

"But, I wonder... can any of you guess why it is I called you all here today so suddenly?"

@Rin@Aviaire@TheFake@KoL@Dark Light@Ginnungagap
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Glen had arrived at the Tower early today, London traffic having treated him far too well. The summons had been annoying but impossible to ignore, so he had simply made his way to this lonesome lounge and waited. The rest of the room's occupants hadn't drawn any interest from him, and after a few minutes of absently waiting after his arrival he decided to take a seat in one of the many chairs set around the table, pulling it out, turning it off to the side, and then just sitting down in it.
Facing the wall.
There wasn't anything more interesting to see if he looked the other way anyway. Just an arriving entourage that did not demand his attention. He'd know when the one in charge arrived; she certainly seemed to be the sort that was unable to abide not making herself known the instant she arrived.

And with her arrival the young master made it clear just how deeply he'd underestimated her. That simply could not have been a real, genuine laugh. At least she made it plain that she didn't care the tiniest bit about anyone else here.
But she did ask a question, so it was somewhat necessary to answer.
Glen spoke up, turning his head back towards the crowd and the mage who had decided to selfishly take command of his life, "Synergistic management solutions? It's what my last boss decided to call everyone in for a meeting on his first day in the office. This kinda seems like an everyone meeting."
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Arinne entered the room, and Saturday followed behind her.

...Even though she'd met some of these people before, she still felt awkward around them. Really, "met" was about all she'd done with them. She'd never really talked to them, after all. Even if she'd tried to, she wouldn't have really gotten far. Arinne was the only person she could talk at length with, and with anyone else the most she could really get out were a few mumbles before she had to make herself scarce. People were just... Not her strong point.

It was so much easier to deal with dead people, really.

Silently, she took a seat as close to Arinne's as possible and hunched down in her chair, shoulders sunk and head lowered as she quietly took a jammy dodger and began munching on it like a mouse. Really, she already knew everything Arinne was going to say... Why was she even here? Couldn't she just... Get to work already? It would be far less awkward than having to deal with all this...
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A R D E N

Arden didn’t exactly know why, but he already disliked everyone in the room. He had arrived in a timely fashion, not too early but safe from being late and had kept to himself ever since. Taking a seat at the rear corner he ignored those that had come before him just as he did those that arrived after. He knew it wasn’t fair to judge them, but he couldn’t help it anyway.

Perhaps it was the noise of this place that soured his mood, too busy, too much to block out. Or maybe it was because the resentment he still carried for this whole situation. The somewhat gentle persuasion he recently endured that had coerced, no, forced him to be here.
Still reeling from that manipulation, Arinne’s entrance and attitude did little to lighten his mood. Yup, still hated everyone here. But amongst all his displeasure grew a faint curiosity.
The silver haired servant or assistant who followed closely behind the child sent new vibrations rumbling through the room, her teeth loudly cutting into the treat as crumbs of the jammy dodger fell away like boulders in an avalanche. Her nervousness was like a deep undertone resonating beneath all the other sounds, but none of that was unusual. Yet there was something there that sounded ‘different’.

As Arinne talked Arden turned his focus away from his curiosities and dulled his senses so he could pay attention.
Of course he knew why he was here, but he sure as hell wasn’t about to blurt out something as stupid as the last person did and draw attention to himself, especially when the question appeared rhetorical.
He just sunk further into his chair, trying to shrink away as he remained silent while conversation filled the room. How he wished he had his headphones here so he could just block it all out and disappear.

The sooner this was over the better, he thought to himself.
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Grain arrived at the meeting with impeccable punctuality. As soon as she entered the meeting room, she could feel a strong animosity coming from at least two of its other occupants. Arrine wasn't anywhere to be seen yet, neither was her personal aide/probable only actual friend of her own age.

Nothing of this fazed the knight. She greeted the others, saying, "Good afternoon," in a kind voice before taking a seat for herself. Grain didn't know what was wrong with those mages—even though she had a good guess regarding it—but she knew that trying to follow up with any conversation would be a pointless effort. If any of them talked to her she would reply accordingly, otherwise, she was content to read a book in silence.

When Arrine arrived, Grain immediately rose up, showing the proper courtesy that the others didn't seem to mind with. She only sat down again after being told to, ignoring any of the young girl's comments. Grain could only imagine how twisted a girl like Arrine was. Having to grow up with little to no friends of her own ages and no parents to care for her was certainly a painful upbringing. She could understand why the young girl felt like making others' lives "miserable" was an enjoyable pastime.

"Why we got summoned here?" Grain said to herself as she thought about the reason behind Arrine's question. "I'm not knowledgeable in the latest news of the Tower, so forgive my ignorance if it has anything to do with magi affairs. However, if it's not that, I can only think of one recent event significant enough to call the attention of a mage."

"It's because of the Whitechapel murders, is it not?"
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"Synergistic management solutions?" Arinne asked, cocking her head to the side as she did, "What, are we running an office here? Please. At least make yourself appear to have some tiny shred of competence, can you? I hope you're not completely useless at everything."

The blonde girl let out a mock sigh.

Steepling her fingers and resting her elbows on her knees, she listened as one of her servants attempted to answer. To her credit, by and large they were correct. The reason she had summoned them without even waiting to return home was because of the recent string of serial killings in London. But it wasn't any fun to simply come out and say it directly. She wanted to get a sense of what those under her contracts actually knew.

"That much is obvious, I suppose, isn't it?" Arinne mused, sitting up straighter and waving one hand in the air as she did, "But, I wonder..."

She trailed off for a few moments, kicking her feet as she did. The girl glanced towards Saturday, noting the way she seemed to shrink down in her seat, and reached out with one hand to pat her on her head.

"Oh dear, are you feeling shy?" she commented, "Just like a kitten getting introduced to new people for the first time~ Ah, but if everyone sees such an endearing sight, they might fall for you, Saturday. That simply wouldn't do."

Seeing the silver-haired girl's reaction to that was bound to be amusing.

Placing her free hand to her mouth, the short blonde giggled, still petting Saturday's head, before reaching down and claiming a custard cream for herself.

"But for now... Indeed, I'm talking about the Whitechapel murders. This Jack the Ripper of 2019," Arinne said, "But you're all supposed to be my servants, aren't you? What can you tell me about him~?"

It hadn't exactly been kept quiet. Particularly, her eyes were now on those who hadn't spoken yet. The man who had been serving as her bodyguard for a considerable amount of time, and a few of the other magi who had been brought here by contract.

As for 'Jack the Ripper of 2019', there wasn't that much known about the killer as of yet. But something that they might have known was that the killings were highly unusual. All young women, aged between fifteen to twenty-five. Three so far. But the strangest part was, by far, the fact that all of their internal organs were missing.

Without any visible incision made to extract them.

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Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Dark Light
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Arden’s patron had drilled into him much information on the Ar-Rynesarte family, the tower and all relevant magi happenings, especially the Whitechapel murders. Always so eager to please and impress in hopes of raising their own stature, they had even done their own extra research.

They had told Arden what to say and what not to say. How to say it and even when. But as those arrogant blue eyes locked on to him, and refused to sway even as he looked away and squirmed under their weight, an ember of defiance blossomed into a small flame. Arden mumbled to himself under his breath but his soft words were clear in everyone’s ears.

“Jack the Ripper 2019, it’s unwise to get caught up in the media hype. Too little information, on this and the original to assume a connection or look for patterns. Even using the name Jack insinuates a male and then we start calling the killer ‘he’.”

Arden pauses and let’s that sink in. Silently pointing out to all that Arinne had already been assuming the killers gender.

“In a time where attacks on women is far less prevalent and common, this person or people’s actions will stand out more. Narrowed down even further by their magical ability.
The attacks have not reportedly shown signs of violence, struggle, intense emotional outbursts or any form of sexualisation, all factors connecting the Whitechapel murders of the late eighteen eighties and early nineties.”


He weaved a subtle tone of smugness through his voice, just enough to be registered but not prominent enough to know if it was there. Not only could he manipulate his voice to appease people, but also the opposite. He did this all whilst never making eye contact, constantly peering down and away to his left at nothing in particular. Arms folded across his chest as he seemingly slouched even further into his chair.

“The main similarity is the removal of the organs, likely a play on their innate ability. The fact they are all women is probably just a nice media grab. Or a message. The real question is, why are you so heavily interested? It can’t be the first time a mage has killed a few people, are you worried you will qualify after your next birthday or do you think this is somehow connected with your parents?”

... Had he gone too far too soon? Even if things went over well here there would be hell to pay when he got home of word of his antics ever left this room. He wasn’t sure which he feared most right now. A wrath of a spoilt rich little brat or a the cunning cruelety of a wise and desperate master.

Despite his earlier thoughts Arden realised where his disdain had come from. He had always disliked the entitled and the elite, the privileged and wealthy. Those that thought they were somehow better, that looked down upon the very people they took from, people like his no good father, people like the ones surrounding him in this very room.
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Saint leaned against the wall just inside the door, arms crossed as he stared around the room. Someone unfamiliar with him might confuse his constant focus with a brooding personality.

“I spoke with a friend on the police force, though they know depressingly little about what’s going on.”

He pulled out his phone to reference some notes.

“What he could confirm is that aside from the missing organs, none of the victims had any external injuries. Indeed, until the autopsies they didn’t even have a cause of death. None of the missing organs have turned up either.”

The bodyguard slipped his phone back into his pocket.

“This seems to point to a very high degree of precision in the magic used to remove the organs as well as some motive having to do with them. The police seem to be favouring some sort of satanic motive.”

He didn’t give this last part any intonation to show what he thought of that, but he glanced at Arinne very slightly raised an eyebrow.
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ᴇ ᴜ ᴘ ʜ ᴇ ᴍ ɪ ᴀ ᴅ ᴀ ʟ ʀ ᴀ ᴀ ɴ
Euphemia had been sitting there for some time, and was passing the brink of awkwardness when Arinne walked in. She sighed in relief. Then, she listened along to the conversation as it began, appearing disinterested, but observing her newfound companions all the while. None of them she knew very well, if at all, though that was the case for many people.

"Oh my! How awful," Euphemia said, speaking up for the first time. She sat in her seat, as comfortable as she would be in her own home, making her way through some of Arinne's snacks. The truth was that she had been horrendously early, and didn't have much of a choice apart from getting cosy.

She was still nervous. She hid it the best she could, but the way her feet tapped impatiently against the floor and how her dainty fingers fiddled with the ends of the armrests, and among other things, were telltale signs. "It is a little odd that they have similarities to the original Jack the Ripper though. One would think they were intentional." As if unconcerned, Euphemia inspected her nails, painted a delicate pink. "Perhaps it is coincidental. We shall have to wait and see. I would wonder what those organs are for, however..."

Euphemia trailed off as she leaned over to take another biscuit. "Or what anyone should want with them. Somehow, I do not think they are selling them."
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"Hmm?" Grain let out after being obviously surprised by a voice, that didn't even make much effort to disguise their contempt for those present, speaking right to her ears. She had to look around the room to realize that its source was none other than the boy who—not to her surprise—seemed to lack everything in the subject of manners.

"Excuse me, could you please not use your magic on others without permission? That's a very rude thing to do," Grain said. She didn't try to sound confrontational, but the very fact that she spoke against it, should be enough for anyone to realize that she didn't like the unwarranted invasion of her personal space. Especially when it was done in a way loaded with such animosity.

"Satanists? That seems very out of character for the police to jump right to a hypothesis that this must be the work of a cult. However, I do agree with the idea that, whoever is behind this, isn't a mere organ trafficker," she said after pondering about the answers given by the two that followed the hateful boy's reply.

"If I may say so, the original Jack the Ripper is said to have consumed the organs of some of his victims. I believe that, for mages, parts of the human body can have many different meanings depending on the current of occultism you follow. Most of the internal organs are really important in alchemy, are they not?" Grain paused for a moment, looking at the mages—especially Arinne—to confirm if she had been right so far. "It's very probable that whoever is behind this might be harvesting these organs for use in some manner of spell. Also, as for why the victims are only young women, the reason is likely related to what kind of magic our culprit is trying to weave. If we could confirm whether or not the victims had something else in common other than being young women and girls, we might be able to get a far more conclusive clue."

"Like, I... hmm, for example, if... hmm..." Grain seemed to grow consistently more flustered as she approached the conclusion of her train of thought, almost as if she were getting self-conscious of something, until she finally said in a low voice while turning their gaze away from the others, "Knowing whether or not they were all virgins, it would be a great clue. Checking for sexual violation is a standard procedure for the police in these kinds of cases so... maybe we could get this information from them?"

And, after she finally spoke everything she had to, Grain couldn't help but think that the sight of her hands clasped over her lap was a very entertaining one indeed. So much that she didn't even lift her gaze to look at anything else other than her twiddling thumbs.
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Arinne raised an eyebrow.

One of her servants seemed to think he had the right to behave arrogantly when simply parroting the most basic facts about the killings without applying any critical thinking. That he had the permission to abuse his capabilities as a mage, to use a spell to force his voice into every one of their ears as if he was the one in charge. How bold of him.

Indeed, how bold of him to directly question her motivation like that.

The small blonde leaned back.

"Why indeed?" was her only comment, with a shrug. It wasn't as if she had any particular interest in concealing her motives, and anyone who could put two and two together could likely guess at it, but the way the boy had spoken had immediately rubbed her the wrong way. And so she had every intention of rubbing him the wrong way right back. "I could question your motivation for repeating the most basic facts about the killings like they were profound new information, couldn't I?"

With a smirk, she leaned forward.

"Or perhaps I could question how someone could possess such a lack of confidence in themselves that they need to cover it with abuse of their magical capabilities? My my, making quite a first impression, aren't you, Mister Arden Grey? But is it really the one you wanted?"

Arinne cocked her head to one side.

"If I wanted the most basic summary of events, I could read a newspaper. I certainly hope a human being could provide me with more then that," she concluded, picking up a cup of tea and taking a sip as she did. Ah, perfect... though she noticed one of her other servants, Lady Dalraan, had chosen to begin eating the biscuits she'd ordered with some irritation.

"... Now, where ever does it say that these are for everyone?" she commented. To be truthful, she didn't necessarily believe that they were wrong in thinking anyone could have some of the biscuits and tea to themselves, but it would be more entertaining if she lead them to believe they did not. Besides, she had ordered them for Saturday and herself in the first place, hadn't she? "Isn't that rather rude?"

But now...

Her bodyguard had at least been able to supply information that seemed significant, and put some thought into his words. Yes, indeed, this was the precise conclusions she had come to herself. However...

"Satanists?" Arinne asked, unable to hold back her giggles. She leaned back in her seat, small feet kicking back and fourth as she placed one hand to her mouth, her giggles growing into full-blown laughter, "Really? Ah, that's too much! Yes, yes, surely, the perpetrator is actually a cult of insidious cloaked figures worshipping the devil!"

Could the mundane law enforcement be blamed for jumping to an outlandish conclusion for an outlandish ca-oh yes they absolutely could. Satanists was a completely absurd stab in the dark!

Arinne wiped a tear from her eye.

"Aaah... but you're right, Mister St. James," she said, recovering from her mirth, "The killer must have been extremely precise in order to claim the organs and only the organs. Displacement sorcery and medical knowledge? Hmmm..."

A look of deep thought crossed her face. But it was the knight Dame Blackmore who had provided the most interesting response.

"Ah, yes! That's what I was looking for," she declared, clapping her hands together with a smile, "Indeed, internal organs are quite useful for a variety of spells. Alchemy, haruspicy, and theurgy just to name a few. The internal organs of both humans and animals can be used as potent magical ingredients. Each organ can be utilized as a representation of a celestial body positioned in our solar system. The heart is the sun, the brain is the moon, the lungs are Mercury, and so on and so forth."

She waved her hand. Any well-educated mage would understand the association between parts of the body and the heavens, however. No, what was far more interesting to her was Grain's reaction to bringing up the possibility of the victims' virginity... now that was quite amusing.

Arinne's smirk returned.

Ah, but this was the critical thinking she had hoped to see from all her servants... though some had yet to respond. Perhaps they could show they were capable of coming to their own conclusions?

"So, if they killer is, possibly, murdering these girls for magical ingredients..." Arinne continued, "Why would they pursue such violent options? Certainly there are easier ways to obtain a corpse, are there not? Even if they do require virgins. It may take some time, but to commit murders on the street in such a disruptive fashion..."

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"To be honest I hadn't actually been following along with that case too closely. I was not aware it was at all related to our hostess's goal. Though do I wonder how the budget for the Ministry of Silence has fared since this whole thing started. They have a lot of silencing to do right now after all." Glen spoke up again, rubbing at the back of his ear absently, seemingly completely unbothered and okay with Arinne's rebuff. Though he had been a bit tempted to mention that this basically was an office meeting, just at a very fancy office and with a higher than usual percentile composed of magi.
You didn't joke around with a new boss, and this one seemed like the type to take everything personally. So doubly so not even the tiniest bit of humor. With that in mind, Glen decided to offer his own opinion before she decided that silence on the matter was also offensive to her tastes, "But from what you've all said so far, we have a medical miracle of a mage who can teleport the organs out of a person before they even put up a fight. And they don't bother hiding the bodies the same way when they probably could, so they clearly don't care if someone comes after them. Assuming there's a purpose that makes any sense might be a bit of a stretch with the kind of crazy guy who makes a mess that big and leaves it for everyone to see. You want to assume there is a reason and guess at why, well I'm gonna guess not a one of us is a master of divination so it'll be just that, guessing. I think it's safe to say we don't know enough about our killer to say anything about why."
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Sophiana Chiffon Val-Verde


Sophiana was late to the meeting, of course. Punctuality wasn't always her strongest point and it was around lunch time after all. That meant getting something to eat like any sane person would--talk of strange murders or not, she wasn't going around on an empty stomach--and the waitress in that little café was adorable... it had taken a lot to drag her away from the early lunch to arrive at some semblance of the appropriate time.

Which was why, with the meeting already in place, a short and curvy girl waltzed in seemingly without a care and still humming, just in time to catch the tail end of someone mentioning teleportation and cluing her into the murders. Excellent, and as soon as she was comfortable, Sophiana had the exact thing to say about it.

'Comfortable', in this case, meaning going over to the adorably shy girl nibbling away at a biscuit and pulling her into a rather soft embrace. "Have you missed me, Saturday~?

"Now, as the office worker-looking fellow suggested, displacement is no doubt the killing method here. The organs have been clearly and cleanly removed from the bodies without passing through them, which means a killer with some skill; partial displacement is immensely more difficult than moving a complete item, even if you were to somehow restrain or immobilise your target before doing so. I presume that some method to prevent the target from moving too much is in operation, as the alternative is quite impossible; the world's foremost expert in displacement is clearly not killing pretty girls. It would be such a waste~"
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Ascertain that everyone had the same basic founding facts and work from there, he thought to himself in the sly obvious voice that he dare not use a loud. Despite her condescension he backed his original statement one hundred percent and thought less of her for questioning it. It was important they were all on the same page. None the less, while confident in his choices, he didn’t share those thoughts. He would let the child have this one.

She was right about one thing though, he hadn’t been building the right first impression. Hell, he didn’t want to be building any impression at all, but it was clearly too late for that. ‘Idiot’ he cursed at himself.

Arinne had chosen not to answer his questions, instead turning to attacking his character with spite, stabbing at his ego. Arden defended in the only way he knew how. With nonchalant dismissal, putting up solid walls while falling into the familiar facade of not caring. It was a cold and lonely place behind that mask, a mask that fit all too well, but at least it felt safe.




Arden let his attention drift out of the room, catching the chorus of sounds that swept in as the door opened to a latecomer. He was slightly curious how Arinne would respond to that, but instead he dialled in his hearing to the different classes and lectures going on throughout the building. The gossiping of groups and the thrumming taps of boredom. He was surprised to find Arinne’s name still on the tips of many tongues even though it had been some time since she passed.

There were so many talented people here at this institution, so why were none of them here in this room? Where were the subject matter experts, the agency men or even some semi-decent investigators. Surely they could solve this in a manner of moments between human and magi resources.
Was this really the best Arinne could gather. Or did Arinne actually just care so little about this that these people would do. Arden’s self included.

As of yet he had seen little to convince him that this was a bright bunch, but then again if this was all just some small passing amusement, a means to flaunt influence and power, then even this bunch was elaborately unnecessary.

No one yet had actually questioned why they were here. Just accepting the topic as reason and playing along. Arden could almost hear the ‘groupthink’ taking over, like a new member in the room slowly growing more confident and louder. He feared with curiosity what would happen if they fell into polarisation.

Up until now Arden had been denying his own interest in this case, there were so many facets that fascinated him. New worlds of possibilities were opening up to him as he sat there in disengaged silence. While everyone focused on the present he fell back into the past.
The original ripper could have in fact been targeting those very same organs, only then using the brutal murders and attacks of the time as a coverup for the true motive. The theft of organ parts was widely dismissed as rumour and fears levied by the tabloids, but that could have been a coverup.

To what ends would that original endeavour have met, was it thwarted in secrecy. Was there an investigation. Did the killer or killers succeed. (Arden wasn’t going to rule out a group just yet. For either instance.)
Arden didn’t understand enough about magic to grasp why or if female organs would be chosen over males. Perhaps in the past it would have been more convenient at the time, to hide amongst the many attacks already happening, and now it was just a notion to copy. The fact the victims were left to be found was the lure on the line for him.

With access to people’s thoughts Arden had long since developed a deep interest in psychology, evolutionary in particular. So after separating his thoughts from the situation at hand with Arinne and the others, he became caught up in the thoughts of why. Why not hide the bodies. Why pick a place guaranteed to grab media attention. Why the effort for precision.
Sure he could draw conclusions, but enough of them were being thrown around already.

While he didn’t yet know what they were going to be tasked with, Arden decided he would try a bit harder to play along. At the very least to quell his own curiosities. So he continued to sit there in his cold silence, giving no one nothing and hoping someone would provide some noteworthy information or ideas soon.
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by KoL
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The late arrival of a certain flamboyant—in more ways than one—mage pulled Grain's attention away from her fidgeting hands. She had heard about Val-Verde before but the rumors didn't make justice to the real deal. The way that Saturday's head all but disappeared within those breasts was certainly a sight to behold...

However, Grain couldn't let the almost slapstick comedy nature of the scene distract her from the matters at hand. She shook her head lightly as she heard the next replies before saying, "Well, it's not like the murderer tossed the bodies on the street. Leaving bodies in a back alley isn't that out of the ordinary. In fact, if rats and other scavengers got to it before the police, maybe the missing organs wouldn't even be noticed. Furthermore, maybe, inducing fear in their victims before slaying them is part of the ritual. It was quite common in cultures that practiced human sacrifice to do that as a way of pleasing whatever entity the sacrifices are meant for. What better way to guarantee that their victims are dreading their own demise than allow the chance of some of their killings spreading to the media?"

"If the killer needs something not only out of the body, but of the soul of their victims as well, this would explain why they don't get the organs in less conspicuous ways. Since the soul should already have departed from a body by the time it reaches a morgue, or any other place you would be able to smuggle a human corpse from. Maybe a mage could be able to ascertain that, by looking for psychic impressions on one of the crime scenes?"

"Di—Divination!? I could try something like it but..." Grain glanced at her right thumb while her cheeks got slightly pinkish with a sudden influx of blood. "Why don't we try something else like... searching one of the alleys, or laying a trap for the murderer? I'll be the one who shall be the bait if it comes to it. I'm confident in my capacity to survive no matter what happens," she added.
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"I'm asking you to speculate, not to admit your failings," Arinne commented, narrowing her eyes slightly at Glen. Really now, what kind of mage gave up before even trying? What kind of mage didn't seek answers? Certainly, there were plenty of magi who followed this typical path that she felt were utterly uninteresting, but that didn't mean the path itself was incorrect for those who desired to be called practioners of magic. "Do you not have at least a little imagination? Some desire to attempt to puzzle out the motivations? A mage should be able to apply some knowledge to this situation to make at least a conclusion, even if it's ultimately incorrect."

She let out a sigh. Really, the one who had thus far provided the most healthy speculation wasn't even a mage! Oh well, at least she could perhaps wring some amusement out of these people...

Arinne smirked.

"If you're completely off-base, you'll only look as if you have no idea what you're talking about," the blonde girl concluded, "And that would at least be amusing for all the spectators, wouldn't it? Fufu."

It was at this point, rather conveniently, that one of the best practitioners of displacement arrived. Arinne had known Sophiana for some time now, and had indeed invited her to participate in spite of the lack of a contract.

"As Miss Val-Verde says," continued Arinne, smoothly, glancing towards the fact that the older girl had buried Saturday's head in her chest with her huge(largely to see Saturday's expression from the experience), "It's unquestionable that the mage who committed this crime possessed a great deal of skill in an art that is often quite complex, and the medical knowledge required to perform it properly. Where ever could such a mage be found, I wonder~?"

Her smirk grew. Her words hung in the air for a few moments. The implications she was making should have been obvious. A mage with such a degree of skill, who also knew how to target the organs in the body with surgical precision... It wasn't as if people like that simply grew on trees.

Arinne was insinuating the killer could potentially be a member of the Tower's Faculty. It was what she suspected, based on the nature of the killings.

She glanced towards the boy who had been less useful then a newspaper. He'd completely fallen quiet. How... pathetic. How completely and utterly pathetic. Well, perhaps those compelled by her contracts weren't all worth it. He neither attempted to speculate, nor did he make a retort(which would have at least been entertaining).

Oh well.

"It's quite possible a ritual is at play, as Dame Blackmore says," added Arinne, "However, it's difficult to get a sense of the possibilities without seeing the evidence. As such, I've arranged for us to visit one of the crime scenes shortly. I hope none of you are sensitive to the sight of blood~"

Her smirk returned.

@Rin@Aviaire@TheFake@KoL@Dark Light@Ginnungagap
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There had been that all familiar tug, the soft pull, the basic automatic urge to retort and have the last say, there was something simple and primal in that need. But defiant as he was Arden didn’t, and for his reward he could hear the displeasure hidden in the silence between words as Arinne looked at him expectantly.

He continued to hold his silence and slug around in his nonchalant demeanour. The sooner this child had had her fill of amusement the sooner he could get on with his task. The withholding of information and needless critical questioning was becoming arduous and tiresome.

Arden gave no reaction to the mention of blood. Hidden beneath his facade was a frustration built from unanswered curiosities. He had questions that he would leave for time to tell rather than engaging with and trying to get answers from Arinne. So he followed along and looked no where in particular but listened to everything intently.
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ᴇ ᴜ ᴘ ʜ ᴇ ᴍ ɪ ᴀ ᴅ ᴀ ʟ ʀ ᴀ ᴀ ɴ
"I don't suppose there's a list for these things? Ah, if only," Euphemia sighed, taking more of the (not for her) snacks, in a tone that made it difficult to tell whether she was series or not. "At the very least, it shouldn't be too hard to disqualify a few suspects. Do we have those yet? Hmm..." She trailed off in thought, still watching the others carefully, with perhaps more intelligence than she let on. Or maybe she was just very interested in how natural Grain's hair colour was. These sorts of questions - and there were even more that arose as the discussion furthered. She tapped on the armrest quicker.

And there were even more of them! Truly, the murderer was fearsome, but the need for so many people (with quite a few of high status) was definitely interesting. Nevertheless, Euphemia kept her thoughts to herself, continuing with the conversation at hand. "It isn't clear how well a trap would work, but you need not endanger yourself, Miss Grain. I could make a convincing fake... if a bait at all would even work," she said, frowning. "There is something to be said about the precautions these kinds of people take. But leaving a body in an alley isn't very careful, is it?"

She clapped her hands together at the mention of a crime scene, though no noise was made. Euphemia looked much too happy for what Arinne had just said. "What a wonderful idea, Miss Arinne. I'm sure that we will be able to find some more useful information there - after all, seeing something confirms it," she said, a little ironic coming from an illusionist. She was unsure of how exactly she would react to actually seeing the crime scene, though Euphemia was sure that she had seen enough horror films to ensure her lunch stayed where it was supposed to.
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"I appreciate your offer. However, other than the Holy Church's agents, there's no one better qualified to face an unknown magical threat than us, knights. I assure in the name of blood of the Savior of Erin, which runs in my veins, that, no matter the method the murderer uses, no harm shall come to me," Grain said when Euphemia proposed to be the bait in her place. At this point she realized that the suggestion was born from a lack of introductions on everyone's part, which she was about to correct.

"I suppose that I should have introduced myself before making such a declaration. Apologies for that," she said, taking a hand to her chest before continuing, "I'm Grain Blackmore, one of Her Majesty's knights, here to honor a friend's request. While my family's name may not suggest it, I carry a trace of the might of one of my ancestors, Fionn mac Cumhaill, the Savior of Erin, in my blood. That grants me the confidence to assert that I can face any mage or magical creature and stand victorious just as he did in his time."

"So, please believe that what I said was not out of hubris. Even though I carry a trace of the Knowledge of the Salmon, I'm no mage. The thaumaturgical knowledge I can offer is limited to what I've read, which are basically the general fundamentals. However, I can offer this body I've inherited, and all the might that comes with it, to assist you in what no mage is capable of doing. That's the least I can do," she concluded, hopefully making it clear what was her expectations of her role in this group.
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Glen considered how to meet the younger woman's challenge to speak out, a hesitation that let the others beat him to the punch initially. But it was quite clear she was uninterested in anyone who wasn't willing to keep up with her snide remarks. So giving some sort of response was almost certainly expected if she decided to directly address a topic.
She went on with more leading questions, of course, but the other speakers gave him a chance to think about how to respond...
And then Grain reminded him and probably everyone else that nobody had really introduced themselves. And she had quite the point with that one, since they were apparently being dragged right on out to the field at Arinne's convenience. If nothing else it would be prudent to know who could do what here.
"So skilled, not talented, for sure? Then surely they know the Tower would involve itself in a matter like this, since we know they're not stupid. They didn't even bother hiding that the killings were done with magic. The women just disappearing wouldn't bring magi in, so whatever it is they want, they do want magi pursuing them, investigating this. Did you at any point consider that, Lady Ar-Rynesarte? Is that the conclusion you've been looking for then? And of course despite that you want to walk right in to whatever they're doing."
Having dealt with that, he turned his attention towards the residents of the room other than Arinne. "It is fine enough to meet you, Blackmore. I might as well make my own talents known. I'm Glen...Pearwoolf. My family's affinity is dreams, which is why I understand how dangerous it is to go assuming what it is this murderer wants."
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