Hidden 4 mos ago Post by FunnyGuy
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Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Guest House
Interaction: @princess Hafiz, Raif, Charlotte, @Lava Alckon Farim, @Rodiak Nahir, @infinite cosmos Munir, @Helo Leo, @Tpartywithzombi Ariella, @JJ Doe Riona, @Inertia Auguste, @princess Anastasia, and @Terrance420 Alden
Mention: @Silverpaw Wulfric

My mouth is getting so dry right now.

The thought was enough to distract him from the ongoing back and forth. Feeling the attention off himself, Lorenzo became a little bolder, grabbing a spoon and spreading some hummus on the small piece of naan he had left. By the gods this pea- hummus is delicious. I'll need to convince Gilbert to make some one of these days. He grinned at the new flavors that he was currently experiencing.

The room finally grew silent as everyone finally indulged in the food in front of them. Eventually, the desserts were served but Lorenzo practiced some level of self-control as he only partook in eating half of a portion of baklava. This too, he found to be quite delicious and sweet to his palate.

“Mmmmmm! I'll need to procure the recipe for this flaky pastry.” Lorenzo was feeling comfortable again, especially after eliminating the snake and the tiger from the room. It conveniently worked out in his favor despite how dire things seemed to have become. It reminded him of a tale he was told as a child about a flock of pigeons… or was it doves? Or crows? Eagles maybe? They were birds! What if they were fish? Lorenzo could hardly remember. All of them dived for the chance at an easy meal, only for all but one to survive the doom of being captured and eaten due to the bait that naturally attracted them. Lorenzo had dove but managed to pull away just in time. Wait, the story was about a wench and suitors. Yes. He pulled out just in time. Yes!

He briefly smirked to himself, finding the recollection quite humorous. Tonight had not been as bad as it could have been and he was sure the ill events would be forgotten as the current calmness in the dining room took hold of the situation.

The sudden entrance of Anastasia, caused the duke to slightly jump in his seat. Initially, he wondered if one of the Shehzadi had returned for vengeance against him but fortunately, he was met with the sight of Princess Anastasia and Alden Plannington. Their presence was quite a pleasant surprise with Alden's presence reminding him of his discussion with Prince Wulfric. An advisor! Lorenzo thought as he followed Anastasia's form, traveling from person to person in the room.

“Duke Lorenzo.” She put her hands on her hips and grinned. Duke Lorenzo fucking Vikena. …”

Lorenzo couldn't help but blush slightly. He was wondering why these young women were giving him this kind of attention tonight. First Mayet, and now Anastasia. He glanced at Nahir, but quickly averted his gaze. No, not a chance. There's no way I'm three for four with young princesses. Ugh, this is troubling. I'm torn on whether I should give in to this kind of attention. I don't think Charlotte would appreciate me courting someone so close to her age.

“Can we stop and appreciate this ensemble? They don't play around in Veirmont. Yow! Matching hat and everything.”

“Please, princess, let's leave the best region of the north out of this… Even if it is the best place to be. And thank you for the compliment. It means a lot coming from royalty.” He smiled as he placed his hands on the table and nodded to Charlotte.

“I think it's about time we depart. As much as I'd love to stay, I have important matters at home to attend to. Sultan Raif, thank you for inviting me to dinner this evening. I would also like to apologize for any issues I may have caused. And that includes last night's events as well. And though I did bring gifts to accompany my apology, I would like to… withhold them. After sitting down with you and your family, I believe what I managed to procure isn't fitting for any of you. Allow me to take what I've learned from you all tonight to adjust my choice of gifts.” The duke frowned before forcing an uneasy smile. “And I have not forgotten that we still need to speak. I think that by then, I will have more appropriate gifts for you and your family. Though I insist, I can accept your decline of this offer.” He nervously scratched the back of his head before realizing he was forgetting something. “Oh and thanks again for allowing me this seat Hafiz. Next time, I'll let you sit at the head, whenever that may be. Promise. And wait! One more thing! With all of you here, I would like to announce that I, Duke Lorenzo Vikena, am searching for an official advisor this season! And who better than one of you gracious people I'm in the presence of?”

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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Mole
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L O C A T I O N : Sadie's Party
I N T E R A C T I O N S : Princess Sadie @Potter , Lady Lyra @Blizz
M E N T I O N S : Drake Edwards @Lava Alckon, Sir Matthias @Rodiak

His sister's response was less than satisfactory, and he could feel a line of contemplation drawing over his own mouth as he cautioned himself from saying anything that would crush her spirits. She was being too naive, and while he always enjoyed her air of innocence -- and was quite in fact keen on guarding it, he only saw this clown toying with his sister and ruining her.

His mind drifted to Lady Thea. He did not want his dearest, most beloved Sadie becoming like her. Suddenly, Prince Felix became aware that he had not thought of her once since stepping foot into the princess' party. He had been so so determined not to let thoughts of her ruin his sister's party, he had not realized that the Lady had not even shown her face. He found it a little odd but shrugged off the thought immediately.

“Your tender heart is most sought after. It is an honest and enjoyable characteristic about you, my sister.” He paused as his eyes gazed over Sir Matthias' son. He was a delightful child, although a little pouty. He was not one to chastise or bring too much criticism over Sir Matthias, though. "Lady Lyra speaks wisely about the subject. Thank you," he nodded to Lady Lyra.

He turned his attention back to the Princess. "I cannot speak any words to adequately explain how cherished you are, as a sister, friend, or especially as a noble of the Caesonian Kingdom. Many more of these letters will come from different avenues in due time. As you said, always guard your heart. It is something you have done well your whole life, my dear sister."

With that, he leaned over and gave her a simple kiss on the cheek. No one was going to ruin his Sadie.
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by princess
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Time: 7pm
Location: Guesthouse
Mention: @FunnyGuy Lorenzo @Rodiak Nahir @Potter Layla @Helo Leo @Inertia Auguste @JJ Doe Riona @Lava Alckon Farim @Tpartywithzombi Lady Ariella @Infinite Cosmos Munir
Attire:Bun, Dress, Gold haircomb

As the hour passed, Charlotte did have ample time to relax somewhat, though she never had picked up her spirits back to where it was. It had been a little difficult not to be on edge awaiting the next dilemma. The desserts had been brought out and a brief silence was suddenly broken by the noise of coughing.

Charlotte had looked to Leo with concern, "Leo? What's wrong?" She pulled over a glass of water and set it in front of him. She gently gave her friend a few pats on the back to try to help ease his coughing. They wouldn't poison us, would they? Admittedly, it was seemingly a ridiculous thought, but after what had happened, Charlotte wasn't sure where the line was. Thankfully, Leo seemed to be alright.

“I don’t know what that is, but it would certainly wake a man up in the morning.”

"Was it too strong?" Charlotte inquired with worry. Then after a moment, she leaned in, "I think maybe we could talk to a few of them now that it seems to be ending..." She gave him a bit of a teasing grin, encouraging him, "Nahir looks a little lonely without her sisters. Maybe you should give her some company... Don't worry. I'll talk to the two Shahzade so you can take your time."

Her gaze rested on Anastasia briefly as she entered, "...That's good timing. Maybe you can speak with the princess as well. I believe her opinion of me isn't too favorable, so might be better for you to approach her."

It wasn't long before her stepfather spoke up, announcing their departure. Charlotte looked at Lorenzo and inquired, " Is it alright with you if I take a few moments to mingle before we leave? ... Would you mind waiting for me? "
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Helo
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Helo Wonderlust King

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Callum has another temper tantrum, part 1

Time: 6pm to 7pm
Location: Sorian Temple/Graveyard

Callum walked aimlessly until the sun began to fade into the night sky. He avoided crowded places, anywhere where there might be guards, and hardest of all, anywhere that he’d likely be found. Taverns, brothels, opium dens, and any building with even the slightest bit of ill repute was bypassed the second he noticed his feet leading him there. He kept trying to chew at fingernails so worn away that there was nothing for his teeth to grasp. So he scratched at spots that did not itch and rearranged his hair. His mind circled around everything his mother did with this morning’s near execution tilting the balance heavily against any good she’d ever done him.

But finally, the sun had set and the night brought resolve. There was no more waiting, Cal had a plan, judging by his track record it was likely not a good one but it was something to do, and it was different from anything else he’d done. He walked with a sense of purpose and the fidgeting quieted but never entirely ceased. He stopped at a small market area first and picked up a few supplies before continuing. His hands shook slightly with wanting as a pair of bottles clacked against one another from within the bag he now carried.

Callum made his way to Sorian’s temple, which, given the night’s current festivities, looked to be as empty as it felt. The sound of fireworks echoed in from outside, occasionally a bit of light flashed across one of the faces of the holy statues that honored the gods. His eyes looked from Zivitas, to Imperis, and to Aquena; those who had once devoted so much to. He thought about how all of that devotion had amounted to nothing. Aquena, the bearer of the waters of life, who had poured Callum’s soul into a life he so despised. Imperis, lord of justice, who had turned a blind eye to all that was unjust in this world. All loving Zivitas who was certainly nowhere to be found in Sorian, probably not in any corner of Caesonia. So instead of further wasting his time with gods that had abandoned him, Callum riffled through a clothing donation box and switched out his clothes with the most tattered replacements he could find. Seemed a fair enough trade.

He then made his way to the graveyard outside, he walked until he was sure there was no one around. The god he sought tonight had no statue within the temple, but tonight he intended to make his request to one who might listen. He picked a spot just far enough from the graves, near one of the many paths that twisted through the cemetery. He sat the bag of supplies down and grabbed what he needed. He opened one bottle of expensive whiskey and poured about half of it along the ground, liquid splashing out into the shape of a crude sigil.

“I call upon Claedo
The mighty infernal hand
Spiller of crimson gore
Sower of strife
Sovereign of discord
And I seek your influence
So it is my will.”

Callum spoke with no hesitation in his voice, only conviction. He struck a match and dropped it onto the whiskey sigil and sprinkled a small variety of herbs upon the flames, allowing it to burn for a moment before he knelt in front of it.

“Holy Claedo, courageous warrior
I ask of thee, upon this night
And this night alone;
Bless me with calamity
Bestow upon me the same chaos I have caused
Bring to me what I have brought to others
So it is my will.”

Callum stared into the flames as he spoke, he held an image in his mind; the image of himself beaten and bruised just as Darryn had been this morning. He kept the image in his mind as the fire burned away his first offering. He kept the image in his mind as he continued with his prayer.

“Oh mighty Claedo
To the earth, I return sacred gifts
Of all that has brought calamity to me
So that they might bring joy to thee
May it be a worthy sacrifice
As I seek to add discord to the world
Through my actions tonight
So it is my will.”

Near the spot the sigil once burned, Cal dug into the earth with his hands and placed his offerings; an onion, a handful of golden coins, and the second, unopened, bottle of expensive whiskey. He reburied his offering and flattened out the earth.

Callum stood and pulled a small pocket knife out and sliced the blade along the palm of his hand. He made a fist and allowed his blood to drip onto the dirt above his offering as he stood back up.

“I offer my gifts
I offer my blood
I offer my words
I offer my actions
I offer myself
Glorious Claedo
Give me the calamity I ask for tonight
So it is my will.”

He held no doubts that his offering and his evocation would reach Claedo. Just as he held no doubt that Claedo would bless his actions. He’d chosen the right deity to work with, one that aligned with exactly what Callum wanted; calamity and chaos, for himself, for his mother, and for everything that kept Edin and House Danrose in power. His belief set the path, made it easier to walk, and removed any trace of doubt from his plans. He left the cemetery with the half-empty bottle of whiskey he’d used for his sigil. Now he allowed himself a few celebratory sips from the bottle as he continued on.
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Helo
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Helo Wonderlust King

Member Seen 0-24 hrs ago

Lord Leo Smithwood

Time: 7 pm
Location: Guest House; Dining Room
Interactions: Charlotte/Anastasia@Princess

Leo whispered a word of gratitude to Charlotte as he tried to suppress the need to continue coughing. A few mouthfuls of cool water brought only momentary relief, but each drink seemed to only make the spicy wine intensify once the coldness of the water had gone.

“Overwhelming spicy.” He answered Charlotte’s question as he picked up the glass with the spicy wine, sniffed at it, and almost drank from it again. There was the instinct to keep sipping at it until he felt like he had truly conquered the drink but Charlotte had also pointed out that now was the perfect time to question those who might have information about last night.

Last night, focusing on that certainly did a lot to help him forget about the irritation the spice was causing. He nodded his agreement to Charlotte, he’d try and talk to Ana and Nahir once the Sultan had concluded dinner.

After the dinner officially ended, Leo approached Ana first. He bowed before speaking, “Your Royal Highness, may have a quick word?” he asked, gesturing with his head away from the table. He’d needed to be careful with his questions, nothing that would make it obvious that he was part of an unofficial investigation. Ana had been very clear this morning that she wasn’t revealing the party’s host, so he’d avoid that subject. This way, if Ana offered up any pertinent information he’d have something to share with Nahir and he planned on being more transparent with the Shehzadi. Leo assumed Nahir would likely be just as invested in knowing what caused their collective memory loss.
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by princess
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Anastasia & Auguste

Interactions: @Helo Leo

Auguste's expression lightened further as his sister trod into the room. Always the life of the room, her positive atmosphere was infectious. Auguste, however, also noticed her weariness, he had known Anastasia long enough to know all her tells. It was likely that she could also see that Auguste himself was exhausted.

“It's good to see you, Ana.” Auguste replied accepting her side hug, lingering, and even kissing the top of her head. “It's been a long day for you, hasn't it? You should go rest instead of checking in on me.”

She shook her head immediately, “Nuh-uh. I already came all the way over here. I want to check up on you.” Anastasia then gave him a reassuring smile, admitting with some cautiousness, “It’s been a day but I’ll be fine.”

“Good. You know I'll always be here for you if you need anything,” Auguste replied. “I am doing alright. Day's been going. But truth be told, I can't wait to get on my bed.” He chuckled lightly, his tiredness betraying him.

“I do know that Auguste, and I hope you know the same goes for you.” Anastasia told him warmly. A frown formed on her face as she considered his words. He looked so exhausted. She wondered if he had endured any hardships outside of the morning and perhaps the sword competition. If anyone had been cruel to her sweet brother, she would take a huge issue with that.

After a sigh, she said, ” …I’m sorry, Auguste.” Anastasia rested a hand on his shoulder as she leaned in to whisper, “It seems like this thing is kinda over to me. If you want to run out and get back to your room to rest, I suggest going for it. Alden and I are here. We’ll hold down the fort… I’ll be sure to tell you about anything that happens.”

Auguste smiled down at his sister. An absolute blessing he just can’t help but dote on. “No, no I can’t have you do that. I’ll see things through, and-” He paused and looked across the dinner table, “... it seems to be close to its end.”

“Please, don’t let me stop you from enjoying Alidasht’s food and dessert, it is very good.” Auguste said. He pinched her cheek, “You are in dire need of some meat on your bones, dear sister.” He continued in a half-joking manner.

Anastasia giggled upon having her cheek pinched. She glanced over at the desserts, her stomach rumbling. She hadn't eaten much of her dinner as she had felt rather ill and distressed. She still wasn't feeling a hundred percent, but the desserts looked amazing.

"Hmm, maybe you're right. They do look really good, and I gotta make sure I'm looking good for the boys," she said with a sudden mischievous grin growing on her face as a thought crossed her mind. "Auguste... How many girlfriends have you acquired today? Hmm?" She teasingly poked at him, playfully joking in a hushed voice, "How was the prince's court? …If anyone was mean to you, you can tell me their name, and I promise you won't see them again."

Auguste lightly grimaced at her lascivious comments. It was something he tried his hardest to block out of his mind. His having to sternly talk to men he frequently found in his sister’s bedroom was uncommon.

“Girlfriends?” Auguste asked quizzically, “I hope it’s zero.” He jokes but there were also many occurrences of having to solve misunderstandings with women in the past. Anastasia immediately giggled at his reaction. “As for the Prince’s court, it went well. In fact I may have to apologize to Lady Zarai as I may have offended her.”

“Enough about my day, how are you? Have you been enjoying the festivities despite… recent events?” Auguste prodded carefully, he was somewhat aware of the event between his mother and Anastasia.

Her concern was evident in her lifted brows as Anastasia's expression turned somber. " Oh no. Anyone but my darling Zarai… Gosh I better check on her soon. “ Poor Zarai had been hurt so badly last night, then ditched by Anastasia herself in the afternoon, and now also had her feelings hurt by Auguste. She didn’t deserve that. In fact, Anastasia only felt more determined in her resolve to talk to Marek and find out what happened to her.

She shook it away, knowing Auguste would never intentionally offend anyone. She met his gaze once more as his words lured her to consider her own day. However, thinking about her own day just made her feel overwhelmingly sad. " I did… Farim over there is my new friend and we enjoyed the festival together… Also spent some time with Zarai and Wystan…” She explained, her hands moving to her knees, gently clasping them. A heavy sigh escaped her, the sadness in her eyes impossible to hide. She had hoped to spare Auguste from such burdens, but she knew he wouldn't let it go unnoticed. “...Honestly it wasn’t a good day, Auguste.” She softly confessed. “I had bad arguments with both Callum and Darryn…who both might kinda hate me now.”

“I am certain this day has been trying for you, but knowing you, you’ll make amends with them if need-be.” Auguste replied, “I’ll always be here to help you out if needed.”

“This probably has been a long day for our family.”

Anastasia glanced at him and nodded sadly, “...Yeah it’s been a lot for everyone.”

“Your Royal Highness, may I have a quick word?”

She glanced up and quickly put a smile on her face upon seeing Lord Smithwood, “ You can have more than one word, Leo. In fact, you can have all the words!” Anastasia looked back at Auguste and squeezed his hand, “...Fear not, I will return soon.” With that, she rose to her feet, “We’re blowing this lemonade stand and we’re going…” Anastasia tapped her chin, then asked, “...Outside?”

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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Tpartywithzombi
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Tpartywithzombi “Strong women are absolutely unpredictable.”

Member Seen 2 days ago

Violet & ???


Violet walked away from the loud voices, the fireworks and the comfort she felt being near a friend. Each step she took she felt herself sinking further and further back into that black void she felt so lost in.

She let out a long breath that she had been holding in for so long. Her head continued to pound as she felt her body in its weakened state feel even more sluggish. She had just eaten yet it felt as if she was famished and needed energy. Perhaps a rest would do her good.

A presence lurked behind Violet from behind the trees, moving swiftly and silently with every step. She was being watched, whether she knew it or not. The pair of men had been watching Violet for some time now. They had been waiting for a few conditions to be met. The first had been that they needed to be certain that the target was indeed Lady Violet Damien and that she was living. Then, secondly, Violet needed to be alone and alone she was at last. Perhaps there had been guards in the distance, but they were a bit preoccupied for the moment.

Taking small steps to keep her balance, Violet counted as she stepped, 1..2…1…2. She paused for a moment, stopping in her tracks as she rested her weight on the cane. She pretended to be out of breath but truthfully, she felt eyes on her. More than one at that. The feeling of being watched sending shivers up her spin. She hoped it was just Roman perhaps watching her off but something felt off.

Something certainly wasn’t right…

Her head began to hurt even more, the sharp pains in the temple of her eyes. She shut them to rest her vision for a moment, feeling as if her senses were somehow sharper. There was someone watching her. But who?

Opening her crimson eyes, she began to walk again, this time her feet quickening. She continued to count 1-2-1-2-1-2 the beats hitting faster as she focused on keeping her balance. Her legs were already causing problems as they buckled slightly under her from the new speed she attempted. It was useless, she would just need to hope one of the guards was paying attention.

Before Violet could react, a figure stealthily closed in on her from behind. Like a predator stalking its prey, this mysterious assailant made their move, their presence only becoming known as strong, unyielding hands covered Violet's mouth, stifling any potential outcry, "If you scream, you die... again," He hissed the words, “If you scream, you die. Again.

“It would be better if she did. She’s a mistake.With a haughty laugh, a second person had moved up from the shadows as well. “She shouldn’t exist. She’s an anomaly goes against the very laws of nature.... We should kill her here and now while no one is here.’

But before she could even comprehend their words, a blade materialized under Violet’s vision, pressing against the tender skin of her throat. In the moonlight, the knife glimmered ominously, its sharp edge reflecting her own gaze back at her. The man behind her spoke once more. "No..." he declared, his tone unwavering. "We'll bring her to him alive."

Violet felt a hand wrap around her mouth as her back pressed up against their body. Her hands gripped onto the cane as her crimson eyes widened. She struggled in their grasp as whimpers escaped from the hand that held her mouth shut.

You die..again? Die..Again?

It was then that the sharp pinch of the blade pierced her flesh as her head tilted back instinctively. She pressed her body against theirs trying to gain as much space as she could from the blade but it was held so tightly to her skin she couldn’t struggle. Her body felt so weak and frail as it was that even the attempt of taking off was out of question.

“R-Rr” her words mumbled behind the hand, “R-Rom-an,” She tried to shout as she squirmed in the arms of the captor in some hopes he may hear her. It was useless though, the words came out as nothing more than muffled sounds behind their hands.

Violet's eyes searched around frantically, but it was useless; she still could not see or focus on anything. She still looked towards the direction of the mocking voice, her face still not showing even a drop of anger or frustration but she certainly felt something in the pit of her stomach. It wasn’t fear but something else.

"Rr-R-Ro-Ro!"The second man cruelly mocked, his voice dripping with contemptuous amusement as he approached Violet. His malicious intent was obvious in the look in his eyes as he moved closer, even going so far as to shove her with brute force back into the other man’s body, her breath escaping her lips as she had slammed into him.
A sadistic grin stretched across his face, his eyes filled with perverse pleasure as he scrutinized her expression. "Stupid corpse can't even talk," he jeered, obviously relishing in the situation. His lips curled as he bit down on them, savoring the sight of her vulnerable state.
"Does she even have any emotions anymore, or is she nothing more than a mindless zombie? …Well, let's find out, shall we?" With sudden and cruel intent, he roughly seized the bottom of her dress, viciously tearing at the fabric. The sound of the garment being ripped apart echoed through the air as her leg was exposed to the cool air.
Violet didn’t say anything or try to draw attention; she just simply allowed him to push her around, waiting. Feeling the arms of the man wrapped around her tightly as the second approached with a predatory tone in his voice.
She stood still, looking towards his direction as he approached. The faceless man then reached for the bottom of her dress as she heard the shredding of the fabrics. She stood there allowing him to do as he wished, You die..again? Die..Again? The words repeated in her mind as her body quivered, her lips piercing as she felt the cold air sting her skin as her leg was visible from the amount of torn fabric.
The first man, his patience wearing thin, finally intervened.
"Enough," he barked with authority. With a firm grip on Violet's arm, he forcibly yanked her away from the second man, twisting her out of his grasp. Ignoring her pain and discomfort, he began to drag her across the uneven terrain, cutting through the grass with relentless determination. Their path led them back into the concealment of the dense tree line, where no one would see them. He then threw her back into the other man’s arms once they were within the dark sanctuary of the trees. “Oscar, I am going to bring the carriage back over to the nearby road…For now, keep her out of sight and quiet.”

Littering around her the small pieces of her dress floated off into the breeze landing at various parts around the hill she had just left with Roman. She gripped her cane tightly in her fingers as she prepared to raise it but before she could she felt a firm grip on her arm as she was yanked away nearly tripping over her weakened legs as she had to drag herself to her feet while being pulled into an unknown location. Her cane dropping from her fingers as she struggled to catch her balance trying to not shout in fear they may do something worse.

As the first man disappeared into the night, Oscar, the second man, leered at Violet with a malicious glint in his eyes. A malicious smile curled upon his lips as he reveled in his newfound control over her.

She felt her body tossed once again back to the original man as he wrapped his large around around her squishing her tightly to his chest to the point she found it slightly hard to breath. She Thrashed around as she tried to loosen his grip but it wasn’t working. She watched the shadowy figure leave into the distance when she finally spoke.

“Are you afraid of blood Oscar?” Violet asked, her voice was deep and eerie with its lack of emotion. She didn’t wait for a response. “ Let's find out,” Violet threw back her head, her lips parting as she opened her mouth. Her head snapped forward as her teeth sunk deep into his flesh in hopes to loosen his grip on her.

She felt his skin tear under her teeth as a hot liquid pooled into her mouth. She grimaced at the feeling but as the warm thick liquid touched her tongue she felt the urge to bite harder. Her teeth sunk into his flesh further as she felt him loosen her grip on her. Her hands quickly shot up gripping onto his arm as she bit all her might into the latch she had created. She pulled back for air as she stumbled to her knees into what felt like a patch of grass. The red , thick and warm liquid dripped down her chin as she swallowed hard. She scrambled back slightly till she hit a tree, creating as much distance from the man as she could.

Oscar frantically scrambled backward, hand over his wound, eyes wide in shock. “What! …What the hell are you?” Blood trickled down from his wound, staining his clothes. He stared at her with a mixture of anger and fear, his eyes locked onto her as he realized that his captive had proven to be more formidable than he had anticipated.
Rising to his feet, he took a deliberate step toward Violet, his face contorted with determination. "I'll… I’ll make you pay for that," he seethed, his voice laced with venom and hatred."You... you fucking bitch!"

Violet raised her hands above her head cowering on the ground as she shielded herself. She shut her eyes tightly feeling nothing but a sense of peace. She felt like she was about to return home, a smile spreading on her face as she awaited the light.

The night was calm, but Cassius felt restless as he left the tavern. He had spent the evening decompressing in the comfort of a stiff drink. It had been a strange time recently. The death of his mother, him leaving his life as a mercenary behind for the time being to seek out a father he never knew existed, later confronting that very man on the doorsteps of his grandiose estate, making his debut in the city at as an impromptu competitor in an archery competition, and even witnessing the execution of a strange man that proved to be an even odder spectacle than he ever expected… His life had changed so suddenly, and in typical Cassius fashion he hadn’t properly taken the time to process everything. Instead, he had found the solace of women and wine to distract him while he pushed everything down to deal with another day.

As his stroll truly began, he wandered aimlessly, still not truly knowing the layout of the city. He was good at learning his way around a place quickly, it had been a helpful skill in his usual line of work…but as of yet he had not spent enough time here to commit it to memory. He wasn’t bothered though, by the prospect of simply letting the wind guide him and seeing what the night would uncover. For almost an hour he walked, and whistled songs from his past lives.

Cassius found himself in a park. It was dark out, but somehow the surroundings were still beautiful…just barely being serenaded by the dim rays of moonlight. He had a tendency to find beauty everywhere he looked. Believe it or not, it was a learned skill. Another among his arsenal of abilities to cope with the harsh life of a sellsword. It helped to brighten up the times between all the bloodshed and horrors he had endured. As he sauntered through the park, he noticed a scrap of fabric on the ground beneath his feet. His eyes focused on the cloth, and he realized that it wasn’t alone.

He took in the sight of what almost appeared to be a trail of ripped fabric littered around marking a path. Just as his curiosity began to pique, he heard a commotion beyond the tree line. The specific sound was one that made his blood run cold, and though his brain told him otherwise…his heart and the loosening of his will gifted to him by the wine in his bloodstream caused him to rush towards the sound. Palming the handle of the axe at his belt, and cautiously slipped into the trees and moved towards the ruckus, staying low and ready for trouble. What he found was a more ghastly sight than he had initially even imagined. A blood stained man stood towering over a cowering woman aggressively. Cassius paused for a second, trying to piece together some semblance of an idea as to what had transpired here, but there was no time. The man’s violent intent was clear. If Cas was to intervene, it was now or never. He stood from his strategic position and spoke in a stern, but still unnecessarily charming voice.

“It appears I have made a wrong turn, friends. Forgive me, but now that I’m here…I wonder if everyone should just calm the fuck down.” He raised his axe, using it to point at the bloodied man. “Step away from the girl now, or I’ll stain the rest of you with that crimson.”
Violet's hands fell down to her side as she looked up. Her face was pale from fear but the blood had decorated her mouth and chin with the streams of the thick red liquid. She still felt the taste of the coppery tasting blood in her mouth, the pupils of her eyes the size of a pinhead. Her headache had somehow disappeared and strangely enough, she felt slightly better.

She looked up at the new figure who arrived, hoping it was Roman but turned out it wasn’t. She hadn’t heard the voice before, perhaps it was just some passer-by that heard the man's cries of pain.

Caught off guard by the sudden intervention, Oscar momentarily froze in his tracks. His anger and determination were still evident, but he was forced to reassess the situation. He narrowed his eyes, contemplating his options and assessing. Then the other man returned before he could react.

“Alright we’re ready to go, but her guards have bested our guys and they’re on their way. We have to go now-“The man halted his speech seeing Cassius. “…Who the hell is this?”

“Some guy trying to score points with the corpse bitch... “ Oscar drew off then suddenly bolted at Violet, “Fuck him! Let’s just take her and run!”The other man unsheathed a sword and got in between as Oscar began to try to throw Violet over his shoulder. However, his movements were hesitant and he was weaker than before.

Cassius began to saunter around the sword wielding man, circling him strategically. He sized up his foe, taking in everything from the confidence in his face to the tightness of his grip on the weapon. The man seemed comfortable enough brandishing that sword, but Cas could tell by body language alone that he was tense…and that was never good against an opponent as at-ease in combat as Cassius.

“Does it usually take two of you idiots to harass a woman in the dark like this? If I was your boss, I would have killed you myself long ago for such a lack of efficiency. Looks like I’m going to get that chance anyway. Lucky me.” He did not hesitate as he finished his words, taking the opportunity to dash towards the man. Using the underside of his axe’s blade, he hooked the man’s sword and parried his foe’s defensive maneuver with ease. This man was a thuggish ne'er-do-well, but he was no Cassius Vael.

With the same momentum, he brought the side of his fist around and into the man’s nose hard. He could feel the bone crunch beneath his strike. You break the nose…and they may as well be blind. The man stumbled sideways and groaned in pain as his already crooked nose now set on the other side of his face. He came back quickly from the attack, swinging his sword wildly as his eyes were blinded by the effects of the injured nose. Cassius side stepped each swipe, playing with his prey and enjoying the thrill of it.

Violet struggled as the man attempted to grab her. She ripped at the wound on his arm with her fingers, pressing into it deeply as she yanked, tearing at his flesh more. The man screamed out “You bitch!” He shouted before grabbing her and forcefully tossing her over his shoulder. Standing to his feet Violet thrashed around her fists punching anything that could “Let me go.” she growled deeply, yet true to her new nature there was no emotion , no fear, no anger. It sounded like a threat.

The sound of the woman’s struggle beyond this man pulled Cas’ focus momentarily. It was enough of a distraction to allow his foe to land a glancing slash on his left arm, nothing major…just another scar to add to his collection. It was time to wrap this up. Cas aggressively blocked the man’s next attack with enough force to knock the blade out of his hand. A look of shock filled the eyes of Cas’ opponent. Normally, Cassius would allow the man to retrieve his weapon…but this wasn’t a man of honor, so that luxury had not been earned for him. With one quick downward slash, Cassius brought his axe down hard into the man’s head, cracking through the skull and into the soft meat of the brain beneath. Using his foot to kick the man backwards, he released his weapon from the man’s skull and turned his full attention back to Violet.

Oscar’s eyes darted between the two of them, quickly realizing that it was two-on-one. He swallowed hard, a bead of sweat trickled down his forehead His gaze was locked on the man sprawled on the ground. Oscar’s mind raced for a split second before making a decision. With a sudden burst of adrenaline, he slammed her down on the ground, his hands breaking freeing from her waist. He gritted his teeth and glared at Cassius. “This is far from over.” He seethed, his voice laced with a promise of vengeance, “I’ll find out who you are and then we’ll make you endure the pain that will exceed the realm of your nightmares. ” He sneered before his glare snapped to Violet. “ And you. I’ll be back for you.” With a wicked grin that twisted his features, he hurriedly retreated backward, disappearing into the darkness of the night.

Oscar left them with some chilling parting words, “Don’t worry, you won’t have to wait very long.” The sound of hurried footsteps echoed through the silence, leaving the two siblings to deal with the aftermath of the encounter.

Violet let out a loud groan as she pulled herself up off the ground. Slowly pushing herself up with her hands, pushing up her knee to slowly rise to her feet. She stared at the figure with dead eyes. Violet's blood soaked face held no emotion, her deadpan stare, frail and bruised body standing before the man.

“ You should have let them kill me.”
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by princess
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Interactions: @FunnyGuy Lorenzo @Rodiak Nahir @Helo Leo @Inertia Auguste @JJ Doe Riona @Lava Alckon Farim @Tpartywithzombi Lady Ariella @Infinite Cosmos Munir

The Sultan nodded curtly to Lorenzo as he absorbed all his words. He gently massaged his owntemples, still feeling the weight of recent events weighing heavily upon him. His voice, deep and resonant, carried a tone of measured composure despite the weary look on his face.

"This dinner shall suffice, and I shall consider us even. There is no need for further visits or the exchange of gifts," he stated neutrally.

However, a hint of concern crossed Sultan's face as Lorenzo unexpectedly inquired about an advisor. He cringed slightly, immediately advising, "Duke Lorenzo Vikena, it would be wise for you to establish a thorough application process and conduct interviews. An advisor cannot be chosen haphazardly for a man of your status. Your need for proper guidance is paramount, and I implore you to embark on this quest with utmost seriousness instead of just calling out to a table seated with youth,"

He rose from his seat not long after that, a rather despondent expression on his face as he moved slowly. "I am finished here." His gaze glanced over to Hafiz, who seemed preoccupied with glaring at Farim currently. Hafiz undoubtedly had a lot of thoughts to share about all that happened, but he presumed he was currently unhappy with his son's friendliness toward the seemingly unstable Danrose princess. As his mind returned to the events of this morning, he found himself strangely in agreeance with his brother for once. "Hafiz. Come. We have much to discuss... Oh and...Nahir and Farim... I'd like to speak to you before the night ends. Please arrive at my room in an hour." The Sultan paused to add in front of all, smiling slightly at his successful nephew and intelligent daughter, "In short, I am impressed with your actions tonight and I would like to discuss my expectations of you."

After thanking Prince Auguste and bidding all adieu, he left the room. Hafiz was quick to follow, leaving everyone else in the dust of the storm.

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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by princess
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Charlotte & Munir

“Munir… right?”

Once Lorenzo had agreed to wait for her as the gifts were repacked in the carriage, and the Sultan had left, Charlotte had approached the Shahzade. Though it had been with some apprehension. She offered a smile as she stood by his seat politely, “I don’t believe we’ve formally been introduced. It’s nice to meet you…I’m Charlotte.” She offered her hand out, “ I was wondering if you could spare a moment to speak with me.”

Munir, having been in a distracted state due to the tumultuous events of what was supposed to be a simple dinner, half-hearted turned to face Charlotte. “And I’m Shahzade Munir Ibn Raif Al Kadir…. Munir took up her hand and gave it a soft shake, returning the northern gesture. “Sure. I can spare a moment. What is it you wish you speak about, Lady Charlotte? Does it need to be in private? I can have my servants prepare my room to receive guests…” Munir offered, despite him wanting to wrap up the night and retire to his room.

“ I wanted to speak to you about the party last night if that’s alright… I don’t believe it needs to be private if you want to just speak quickly here. “

“Did you have a question regarding the party? What did you want to know from me? I’ll provide whatever answers I have, as I have nothing to hide. Munir said with a slight flourish of his hands. “Please excuse my tone, if I do come off as unwelcoming. It is just the events of this dinner, which I had not planned on attending anyways, has been quite stressful. Matter of fact… Munir snapped his fingers twice, and gestured to his personal retainer quickly. The young man bowed and made a quick but silent exit. “Let us continue this conversation in my room. You can ask your questions while we walked there, and I will answer when we arrive. The room will be ready for guests by then.”

“Yes…I understand how you feel. I feel like I could fall asleep standing right here. It was quite draining.” Charlotte told him with a sympathetic smile. “Umm, alright I guess that sounds nice. Thank you, Shahzade Munir. “ She stepped aside to give him room to stand.

“Right this way then.” Munir said as he pushed the door open and walked into the hallway leading to his room. “Lady Charlotte, you still haven’t told me what you wished to know… or was this a ploy to get me back to my room?” There it was. Munir Brand charm. Even when he was dog-tired and just wanted to rest…

She followed him out into the hallway, figuring he was joking, “You caught me red-handed.” Charlotte jested a little cheekily, raising her hands with a silly smile, and then met his gaze once more as they began to walk down the hall. “ …So, I was wondering if you could tell me your recount of the events leading up to and after the party. I am aware you may have forgotten or have a hazy memory of the party itself, however.” Charlotte herself was exhausted after the day she had, but she welcomed the light-hearted conversation. It was best if everything that had happened was not for nothing.

“Mmm. My memories of the event are definitely hazy. Whatever drinks I had was…different. I know my limits and the amount I had should not have exceeded that. So I’m a little lost as to how it all happened…but…” The pair had arrived at his room, the retainer is now waiting and pushing the door open for the pair. Munir gestured and waited for Charlotte to enter before doing so himself. Giving his retainer a quick nod, the door was closed softly behind the pair. “Please have a seat. Would you like some iced mead?” Munir said as he loosened his sash to open his tunic and let it flow freely. Pouring two cups of iced mead, he set one in front of Charlotte and took a sip from his cup. “So. The party. I heard of it from Princess Anastasia and simply decided to go. Nothing more to it. I don’t pass up a chance for parties. As far as after, I don’t remember much. I simply retired to my room and rested…”

“...So that's never happened like that before? Do you recall anything about where you were or where you went? ” Charlotte asked as she sat down. When he had given her the glass, she had thanked him again.

She had then picked up that glass of mead and took a sip. It had looked perhaps like beer to Charlotte at first glance, but she found the taste to be much better. She nodded with respect for it, sinking into the chair. Normally, she might have felt a little more awkward with the situation, but she was definitely still buzzed from the wine she had been drinking earlier and the idea wasn’t hitting her at all… That is until she noticed his tunic open. Her cheeks reddened and she averted her eyes slightly to be polite. Charlotte brushed hair behind her ear as she asked, stammering slightly, “W-Were there any side effects indicating that you… may have.. Umm.. been drugged?”

“Hm. Well. Given that I was essentially knocked on my ass after one or two drinks… I’d say it was pretty evident I had been given something that was not purely alcohol. As for indications afterward, other than the killer headache I had, I would say no.” Munir leaned back and sank further into his seat, allowing his tunic to further open.

“ I see.” It was ironic because she did not see. She was fixating on a painting on the wall as if it was very interesting. Charlotte figured that was as much information as she was getting from him. However, he had invited her in formally so she felt as if they should conversate more before suddenly leaving. Her gaze traveled back to him and somehow his tunic had opened even more. She wondered if this was considered normal behavior in the Alidasht and rubbed the back of her neck, “Heh. I reckon that would happen to me… Suppose you must have a high tolerance then?”

“Mm. I don’t really prescribe to specific weight classes in terms of my ability to handle alcohol. I simply know my limits and I adhere to them. After all, I can’t be acting a fool while on foreign soil.” Munir said with a wry smile. He grabbed the bowl of chilled figs on the table and set it down on the table between them, taking on and taking a bite into it. The fruit perfumed the room and the taste was sweet. Shrugging his shoulders once, and causing his open tunic to rise and fall, he continued to speak, “Is that all you wanted to know? If I can handle my drink? It sounded like you had something urgent or important to ask me. Do you?”

“Right. No, that’s all. I simply wanted to acquire your account of the party. “ Charlotte rose to her feet, feeling as if perhaps she was maybe overstaying her welcome and that she had grown uncomfortable herself. “Thank you for your time and hospitality…” She then turned on her heels to make her way out.

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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Lava Alckon
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Charlotte & Farim

Location: Alidasht Guest House
Time: 7pm
Mentions: Charlotte @princess, Munir @Infinite Cosmos, Lorenzo @FunnyGuy

Farim had been looking rather grim at the moment. The servant came by and refilled his wine in due haste, prompting a short nod from the young Shehzadi. He took a sip before a sudden rush of wind hit the room, as the woman he met earlier had arrived for dinner after all. She had gone through a few introductions, and then approached Farim. He watched every step of hers with a new intrigued look. What was first pessimism on his face began to warp into a more joyful expression, if only slightly. But he knew that with her, came another familiar friend. He smiled wide as she brought his lovely bird back to him. His heart began to soften at the sight of his loyal companion. He immediately allowed her to hop into his lap, his hand cupping for her head to naturally fit for a gentle pet. Thara happily rubbed her head along Farim’s palm before looking around the room to investigate the many new and familiar faces she now saw. A soft coo came from her beak as Farim continued to pet her.

”I am ever grateful. This is just what I needed to turn the night around, dear Princess.” Her soft words and positive personality certainly had an effect on him. He could tell Thara had been well kept and she seemed rather content. For this he was grateful. His shoulder could feel the slight rub, and to further seal the deal he reached up to take her hand and give it a soft kiss along her knuckle. With a grin he looked up to her and nodded. ”I will make sure to hold you to that, my friend.” She was then off to interact and mingle with the other dinner guests as she pleased.

Farim looked at his bird and with a less dignified voice he would softly ask. ”Were you on your best behavior?” Thara could only tilt her head in mild confusion since she obviously couldn’t reply, yet Farim knew that his lovely falcon would never do anything bad unless severely prompted. He gave the underside of her chin a scratch and stood up, placing Thara onto his shoulder before giving a slight bow to the Sultan. ”I shall excuse myself for the time being, Your Radiance. Despite the chaos that came, I am still glad to be seeing all of you in good health. It truly has been far too long since I have visited home.”

He then turned and walked from the room and to his bedroom where he would place Thara onto her perch and give her a fresh bowl of water to drink from should she find herself thirsty. ”I shall return. I must go mingle with the guests and see how our friend Ariella would like to end her evening.” He spoke aloud to the falcon before giving a soft expression that became somewhat of a frown. ”You have missed a lot, dear Thara. I shall key you in later. But for now, enjoy some well deserved rest!” He then walked out of his bedroom to see the dark-haired woman from the table, Charlotte, leaving his cousin's room looking somewhat perplexed.

”Why hello there, Lady Vikena. Is there something the matter?” He seemed rather puzzled and somewhat curious as to why she would be leaving Munir’s bedroom. Frankly he was surprised she wasn’t half-clothed with his reputation.

Charlotte paused in her step and smiled at him in greeting.. She seemed as she had in the dining room, except her hair had been now let down, framing her face. ”Oh, hello Shahzade Farim.” She greeted, “No, nothing’s the matter… But I was actually looking for you. Think you could spare a moment to talk with me?”

He offered a pleasant smile, and turned to face her, his attention now fully caught as she seemed to be asking a few of his family questions. His curiosity was piqued, to say the least. ”Of course! And by the way, I am truly sorry for how some things came by tonight. We can be a bit…passionate at our family gatherings. But rest assured I don’t believe anyone actually wishes ill will on you or your family.” After the display that had happened he figured it would be best to calm her nerves about any potential dangers she may be concerned with.

Charlotte sucked in her lips, nodding awkwardly. She somehow had some doubt regarding the last statement. After a moment, she smiled once more, “I should actually thank you really for protecting my stepfather. You were brave to stand up for him like that, though I’m very sorry it caused such strife between you and your cousin…I’ll just say your good intentions were understood by the rest of us. ”

He raised his hand as if to wave off any worries she may have had for him. ”It is of no worry, Charlotte. If a wall is felled by a single blow, then it wasn’t a very strong wall to begin with.” He sighed in reconciliation for the potential lost connection. ”I thank you for your kindness all the same. But alas you are here to be asking me something. What plagues your mind, young mistress?”

“I understand…” Charlotte wanted to give him words of reassurance, but she wasn’t sure if that relationship had been worth saving. She fiddled with a strand of hair, twirling it with her finger. The conversation topic hadn’t gone all too well with Munir, but at least this man was keeping his shirt on thus far. “Well…" She drew off with some hesitancy, “I wanted to ask you about the party you attended last night if that’s alright with you.”

Farim’s eyes shifted off to the side for a moment, as if to gleam if anyone else may be present. He crossed his arms and let out a brief puff of air as he tried to remember just what it was that happened the other night. Nothing but flashes of images and thoughts, like a dream that you couldn’t quite catch. ”Ahh…it still eludes me now, but I shall help you as much as I can. What is it you are wanting to know?”

She nodded gratefully to him and asked, “Can we start with what happened leading up to the party please?”

Farim pondered himself for a moment and thought back to the events leading up to it, and began to speak his thoughts as soon as they came to him. ”Yes. I remember coming home from a long night of traveling. I had just gotten here well after all of my siblings and found my dear friend Saiya waiting for me. Naturally I was elated to see her and her…cough attire for the evening.” Farim couldn’t help but smirk at the rather revealing dress his friend had on. ”Forgive me. As a man I can hardly contain myself when a beautiful lady wears such fine dresses or robes.” He shot her a friendly wink before continuing.

Charlotte had nodded along with each statement as if she was making a mental note, but she was uncertain why he had decided this information had been relevant. She then paused her nodding to digest the last statement as well as his wink. Eh? She glanced at him then down at her dress for a few seconds, only glancing up again once he continued.

”Right but, I had went with her in a carriage to a warehouse ... .somewhere in the more lower class area of the city I surmise. Definitely outside the castle walls. We went down into some basement area and that’s about where my memories begin to falter. I can catch glimpses, like there being a fight, dancing, and many people practically drooling over one another. But it isn’t anything you wouldn’t normally see at any secret party.” He stopped his story to give her a moment to respond.

She paid sharp attention as the information was much more important. Charlotte hung on every word with a determined expression, her eyes slightly narrowed. A warehouse basement. There was a fight, dancing… Suddenly she looked at him with peaked interest and a sudden glimmer of hope in her gaze, “...Do you remember the warehouse number?” The warehouses were right by her house along a few side streets. She could just simply sneak over there and check them out.

He took notice of her initial reaction and placed both hands up, feigning an apologetic stance. ”I am sorry if that was too much. I was simply looking to compliment, not offend. I promise I will not try anything like my dear cousin.” He snickered for a moment before adding a little quip. ”Unless of course that is the real goal here.” He let loose a slight chuckle before returning to a perplexed and thought-filled expression. He tapped his chin and began to sound out some words he had remembered seeing scrawled on some parchment. He rubbed his temples as if to physically bring the memory out of him ”There was an invitation ... .something about a…420 wicker street? Gods above why is this so hard to remember. I normally can stomach more than just a few shots. I couldn’t have even been there for more than an hour or two before we were all rushed out…” He trailed off as he continued thinking of the strange night he had at the party.

Charlotte shook her head at his concern, deciding to assure him. “It simply… took me by surprise. I appreciate the compliment. I’m just not all too used to them.” She told him and smiled to ease his concern “420 Wicker Street. Hm. I’ve never heard of that street.” She then paused thoughtfully before inquiring, “ …Do you remember anything that happened afterwards?”

”Well that is reassuring to hear. I’m shocked you don’t get many compliments. You are a fine looking woman!” He took a moment to glance up and down at her once more as if to further check his previous statement. ”And as for the after. I just remember feeling rather awful and lots of noise. People storming in, taking the royal children out as if they were blackout drunks. But from what I heard most people did not drink that much. It’s…rather strange, don’t you think?”

Charlotte tried to play off her blush by looking around as if the hallway had grown very interesting, “Oh well… I guess.. I mean, not that I’m conceited or anything…I just appreciate you saying so.” She found it hard not to cringe at herself in that moment. She quickly added to her statement with a more forced smile this time as to clean up the mess. “Thank you. You’re a very lovely looking man yourself, Farim… And yes, your cousin said he knows his limits as well yet had somehow blacked out.”

Farim found her innocent reactions rather adorable, if he was being honest. He shared a similar interest in the wall around her as he gave a slight jab. ”I did not think you were, Charlotte. I also agree that the wall there is rather well made. I think it’s mahogany!” He let out a slight puff of air that resembled a chuckle. ”Those are some sweet words, mistress and I thank you for flattering me. After interacting with you here and seeing you at the dinner I think I am beginning to understand my cousins’...fondness of you.” He leaned back against the wall, arms crossed while his gaze continued to examine her, as if to gauge what more she may hold or tell with her body language.

She raised a brow at his initial words, wondering if he was poking fun at her. Even worse, the man seemed to be examining her as if she was performing an entertaining show of some kind by simply standing there. These Alidasht men are a little bizarre…Though I suppose perhaps the women were too…

“See something you like?” Charlotte asked finally, her tone somewhat amused and somewhat not. She had kept up a polite smile, though it was obvious she had dropped her formality. Granted, her current state of exhaustion and less-than-perfect sobriety may have influenced her impulsive remark. “We could find a photographer perhaps.”

All Farim could do was raise his eyebrow at the remark. His shoulders lowered and his body relaxed a little more as he motioned towards his temple with his finger. With a few quick taps and a friendly smile he gave her a retort. ”No need, mistress. The world’s best camera is right here.” With a mimicking motion he blinked his eyes and pretended to work a camera, as if to quite literally ‘take a picture’. ”I’d say I rather enjoy the view right now. Do you enjoy what you see, madam?” He gestured down towards his own robes and body as if to show himself off to the woman despite maintaining a relaxed posture.

Her gaze instinctively followed his gesture and she pulled her eyes up with some frustration. “Is it commonplace for men in the Alidasht to be so quick to flaunt their body to women?” She asked. The dark-haired woman tapped her foot, folding her own arms. “Just curious.” She added, her smile tight-lipped. Charlotte’s thoughts returned back to the rumors she had read this morning. She couldn’t help but also tell him, “Also, you need not refer to me as mistress.”

Farim took note of the reaction, as she seemed to be growing somewhat displeased with his words he resumed his casual lean against the wall, hands now placed at his hips as he gave her a straight-faced answer to her question with a slight shrug at the start. ”Somewhat. My countrymen and women know life is fleeting so we like to live dangerously. On the edge, some would say. I know it is not for all, so that is why I like to gauge people’s limits at the outset. I will do my best to not push yours too much, Charlotte.” He added some emphasis there, not to sound mean or sarcastic, but simply as a sign of respect to the woman who had clearly been through alot. ”I know you’ve had a long day. I apologize if my words upset you all the same. What else are you curious to know about either my country, its people, myself, or that particular night? I am a rather open book right now.”

“...It certainly is fleeting.”Charlotte mused after an initial silence, her tone carrying a hint of melancholy. After giving her own arm a comforting rub, she said, “I apologize too… I normally hold more restraint with my tone. I am not certain I have too much time tonight as my father is waiting in the carriage for me, however I’d be open to talking to you again so you can tell me all about yourself and the Alidasht. I’d love to hear everything about it…” She drew off before she moved up to him and gently took his hand in hers. Charlotte raised their clasped hands between them so she could place her other hand on top in a compassionate gesture. With a warm smile this time, she told him, “I wanted to also let you know that you’re never alone… There will always be someone who cares.”

Farim’s own expression seemed to lessen at the thought of fleeting life. He knew it may not be what everyone liked to hear, but it was in essence the truth. He met her initial words with a friendly joy-filled smile as he straightened himself off the wall. What she did next certainly had him thinking for words as she took his hand and held it warmly for those few moments.He felt his hand smothered between the soft, delicate, and warm feeling of hers. Then she went and said something that he entirely didn’t expect. He stood with a shocked look on his face, thinking of some words to respond before finally collecting his cool. His eyes met hers and with a truly friendly and genuine smile he softly spoke. ”Thank you. I believe those are words we don’t often hear. I will happily talk with you again. I shan’t keep your father waiting. I hope he hasn’t eaten all of our naan in the meantime.” He couldn’t help but giggle at the slight poke, but he had felt just a little more relieved as the night had been going on.

Charlotte let go of his hands and managed a giggle at his words. “Ahh. I might be the one to do that actually... I really like bread.” She confessed then bowed her head as a means to bid him adieu, “Thank you as well, Farim. Hope you enjoy the rest of your evening.”

Farim gave Charlotte a kind bow with a courteous ”You as well, Lady Charlotte.” before proceeding to walk to the Sultan’s chambers. He had a mixed feeling about what would happen there, but he obviously couldn’t simply ignore His Radiance. Even though He might be there…
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Hidden 4 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Lava Alckon
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Lava Alckon

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Attire: Coat/Shirt, Trousers/Coat-tails, and Boots
Time: 7pm
Location: Sorian Park -> Edwards Estate
Mentions: Ariella Edwards @Tpartywithzombi,
Interactions: Victoria and Gideon Edwards @princess

With the delivery of his letter gone off without much of a hitch, Drake had resumed his leisurely stroll through the city. There wasn't much to observe or think about as he made the steps across the smooth pathways. It was, for once, a rather calm evening for him, and he felt rather pleased with how things were going. Of course he had his anxieties over how Princess Camilia would take his letter, and wondered if perhaps the others present would get a peak at it. He gave himself a mild shrug, as a man who can’t pronounce his feelings in front of an audience shouldn’t be doing things like sending love letters. He continued his walking pace, daydreaming about what he could possibly have in store for himself tomorrow. A daydream that would come to a quick halt as he approached the front of his estate.

The most obvious thing would be Gideon and Victoria Edwards standing at the doorway, as if ready for his arrival. He wondered if he had forgotten something as their serious expressions seemed to dictate. Drake thought to himself for several moments as he slowly approached them, keeping his calm as best he could before addressing them. ”Mother. Father. I am glad to be so well received on my return home but it seems something is amiss. What is it that troubles you both tonight?”

"Yes, something is amiss, Drake," Victoria greeted him with a disdainful tone. The Duchess's gown shimmered under the chandelier as her eyes bore down at her son from the top of the staircase. She slowly descended, her every movement exuding an air of haughtiness and superiority. Eventually, she came to a stop before him, her flowery perfume overpowering the air.

"Unfortunately for you, you'll be going straight back out," she declared with a dismissive wave of her hand. With a grimace, she suddenly began straightening the collar of Drake’s shirt.

“What your mother means to say,” The red-haired Duke of Sorian finally emerged from the side, he himself also adorned in the most luxurious of clothing. With a warm smile greeting Drake, he displayed a reassuring demeanor despite the concern lining his face. Placing a firm yet comforting hand on his son's shoulder, he spoke with an unwavering resolve."We need you to go back out tonight, my son... I apologize for the inconvenience. Rest assured, I can arrange for guards to accompany you, if necessary... However, there is a pressing matter involving your sister, Ariella, that requires our immediate attention." he explained calmly, “We need you bring her home.”

"...I swear if she’s barefoot in the woods again…” Victoria’s grumble could be heard behind them.

Drake took in the words calmly as he could but felt his mother’s blatant attitude to be a touch drastic for simply requesting an audience with his sister. He furrowed his brows as she adjusted his collar and made his own rudimentary adjustments after the fact. ”Walks on the town are no inconvenience to me. The fresh night air does wonders for a stressed mind.” He made a motion for a nearby servant and calmly requested for him to bring a carriage around to the front of the house.

”Last I heard she was to attend the Alidasht dinner party with one of the Shehzade royalty. Surely this fuss isn’t over one of her retreats into the woods?” His tone was slight disbelief mixed with curiosity as he wondered just what his parents, or most likely the Duchess herself, would be so animated about.

" It’s exactly that, but worse.” Victoria told him, patting his collar down until it was perfect, "She was seen sneaking with a man into the woods and it won’t be long until rumors run amuck… Do you know how hard I work to make sure everyone thinks well of us? …It’s like she doesn’t have any empathy for me.” She vented, clearly vexed over this. " Anyways, we were able to find out where she’s been going and we had the area searched-”

“Some concerning items were found.” Gideon added curtly, “Some that could suggest she might be involved with the occult. We want to conversate and shut down these rumors as fast as possible for the sake of her wellbeing,”

" And especially mine.”

“Right, of course, my darling Victoria. We all care deeply for the stress this is causing you.” He took his wife’s palm and kissed the back of her palm. She relaxed a little, though, she still yanked her hand away from him. “Drake, please bring her home as soon as possible.. I’d send our staff but I fear she may resist them.”

”Yes Mother I am sure this event is rather stressfu-Come again?” Drake stopped mid sentence after the mention of occult items. He rubbed his jawline with his fingers for a moment as he was truly perplexed by the notion. This must be a misunderstanding. But it is still best to just do as they want for now.

The carriage had begun to turn around the building, prompting Drake to talk once more to his parents. ”I shall see to it. No need to send any guards after me. I have a very persuasive word and an even more persuasive…method should I run into any trouble.” It wasn’t really a secret that Drake kept a flintlock pistol on hand but he figured he should subtly allude to it for his father’s sake of mind. ”Perhaps mother could use a glass of her finest champagne to ease the mind. And before you say something, dear Mother, no you are not suddenly growing crow’s feet and gray hairs.” He turned to walk out the door, holding it open with one hand as he turned to look at them once more. ”Anything else before I take my leave?”

They both shook their heads, though Victoria did not seem happy about his suggestion and was glaring at him.

Sensing her distaste Drake decided to add. ”Oh, come now. It was merely a quip to try and lighten the mood. In all due seriousness I shall get her back shortly.” He walked to the carriage and shut the door, finally adjusting his collar back to his preferred position.
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Tpartywithzombi
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Tpartywithzombi “Strong women are absolutely unpredictable.”

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Time: 7pm
Location: Guest house
Mention:Farim/Drake - @LavaAlckon
Appearance:Dress, Hair style but red,

Ariella sat at the table with her hands on her lap. She had picked at her meal through the night just keeping to herself as everything transpired. Mayet throwing the knife certainly sealed the evening for her.

Ariella had seen and heard quite a lot this evening that she wasn’t sure she was able to socialize more. It was like she was watching a circus, yet she was also inside the large iron bars. She could never understand the actions that many of them took this evening, all for their titles or honor. She felt so out of place, even now. A room full of people yet she sat there to herself, unable to feel any sort of connection.

She was however rather impressed by Farim. In the short time they had known each other he had expressed his interest in becoming the next Sultan and the way he held himself this evening she could see that being a proper fit and it seems like she wasn’t the only one to feel that way. She watched him leave and continue his conversating and socializing while she sat there alone.

She didn’t fault anyone, it really was her own undoing. Ari always had a hard time finding common ground with people, the only one she was actually able to hold a conversation with was Callum. She was missing the time she had spent in the garden with him. It was really nice to actually share a conversation about her own interests then pretending to be someone she wasn’t. She envied Callum for the fact that he was able to stop caring about what people thought and just acted out on his own accord. She hadn’t quite gotten to that point yet.

Ariella stood up out of her chair and began to gather her belongings. Everyone was so busy she tried to slip out without being noticed.

Farim had been rather absorbed in the night's events, having now taken care of Thara and answered an interesting array of questions from Lady Charlotte. He had initially begun to head off to Sultan’s chambers to answer the summon, yet as he walked down the hall, a realization hit him. Ariella! I completely wandered off without seeing her first. I hope she is doing well

He turned a corner and began to quickly walk towards the dining room. As he made his entrance he noticed Ariella beginning to head out. He slowed his pace and came up behind her, not trying to sneak but not trying to announce his presence either. He stepped to her side and finally spoke to her as he would lean forward to show his smiling face.

”Ariella! I hope you were not too displeased by tonight's dinner. And apologies for disappearing for a moment. Thara needed to be placed on her perch. What is it that you plan to do with the rest of your night?”

Ariella was startled by Farim as she looked over to see him just behind her. “ Oh, Farim. Well, it was longer than a moment, but it's quite alright. The future Sultan would have his hands rather busy at an event like tonight.” She kept her voice low so no one would overhear their inside joke.

She stood straighter and offered him a friendly smile ” Displeased isn’t the word I’d use. Slightly entertained and Overwhelmed.” She shifted around uncomfortably ” I was actually just about to step outside for some air, would you care to join me? I understand if you are busy”

First, his expression was one of embarrassment, which quickly morphed into a slight panic as he would put a finger to his lips. ”Not so louuud…” He doubted anyone heard, but he was not willing to gamble any of his family caught wind of such a joke, even if it did put him on airs ever so slightly.

She extended her offer, which he nodded happily, offering his hand to her as he moved to pull her chair for her. ” It would my pleasure, fair Ariella.” He followed this with another trademark Farim wink. ”I feel some fresh air is a smart idea. I understand I was running around for a mo- well longer than a moment. But I am here and you have my undivided attention.”

Ariella smiled and lead the way out through the guest room doors. Making their way through the main room and out the large front doors. The evening air tickled her nose as she pulled her shawl over her shoulders tightly, covering her bare arms from the wind. “ Ah..That is better. Nothing better than an evening breeze. I think it has to be one of my favorite things.”

She took in a deep breath before letting it out slowly. “ It is quite alright, I wasn't saying anything against your social adventures this evening. I came under the impression that it would be rude and perhaps even a bit sad if you were to attend this evening alone as Anastasia had canceled on you. “ she shrugged letting out a soft laugh “ I suppose a future sultan would have no problem finding his way to an event alone” her eyes softened “ you held yourself very well, I think you should be proud of yourself. I hope that's not too strange for me to say.”

It seems his actions had been favorable with more people than he thought. He was reassured that perhaps his vocabulary, while harsh and cold, may have been what was needed to diffuse things. He would likely have picked different words should such an event occur again, but one rarely has the chance to think such things in the heat of the moment.

”You are quite kind, Ariella. I thank you for that.” The breeze hit his body as well, prompting some goosebumps to form on his arms and back, hidden by layers of silk. He took note of that for now and continued reflecting on what she had said. ”Well if I could have just anyone I would still much prefer to have someone like you in my company, Ariella. You are quite different from the riff raff, in a good way mind you.”

He took another look at the lady next to him covering her bare skin. ”I could likely shed a layer or two if you would like some more warmth. Perhaps I could even run back and grab you something?” He then offered her his arm. ”Or perhaps we can simply huddle for warmth? If that isn’t too cheeky for your liking?” He flashed a smile in her direction that was soft and inviting, or at least it aimed to be.

Ariella laughed nervously as she took his arm, she huddled next too him and pressed against his shoulder. “ Careful, or I may start calling you Munir” she teased as she remembered the graze on her back as he had joined the table earlier.

Farim used his free hand to rub the back of his head in slight bashfulness. ”Well, I hardly find myself on Munir’s level, but I just like to make sure those who deserve compliments receive them. You are a special one, Ariella. Don’t let others fool you.” His hand reached over hers to keep it warm. They walked together down the road and he took the moment to breathe in that cool night air, his body brushing up to hers to savor the body between them.

Ariella smiled lightly as she continued walking with Farim. It was a surprising friendship, to say the least. Ana certainly had her way with charming people, but it worked out nicely for her since she got to spend some time with a rather interesting person. “ I appreciate the kind words Farim. I will have to take your word for it. I don't believe I’ve done anything to deserve such sentiments but I shouldn’t refuse them, coming from a future sultan “ she offered him a warm smile and a gentle nudge to the ribs. “ Although this evening was not something either of us expected, it was a nice surprise. I would have much rather continued the evening at the bar then that dinner but I suppose that is just how it is sometimes.”

Farim enjoyed this little moment. In his brief time in Caessonia he seemed to be making quite a few friends, which he was rather grateful for. Her nudge to his ribs made him look at her with a cocky grin. ”You are certainly right. This has been a day of many turns and twists. If not for the bar fiasco you would not have seen your Prince Charming no?” He joked with her, giving her a slight nudge with his arm locked with hers. ”I am glad to have met you, and I do hope you find yourself someone like that, if not in Prince Callum.” The cold weather made him shiver ever so slightly, but the warmth between them managed to stave off most of the shudders and chills.

She let out a soft chuckle “ Prince charming…Do you mean Callum? That was a very nice afternoon, he doesn’t toss around much of the Charm as you make think. He is just himself, easy to talk to, or at least I think so... but I don't think he’s interested in me that wa-"

Ariella was interrupted by the sounds of horse hooves hitting the pavement as a carriage began hurrying its way down the road.

The carriage came to a sudden halt as a loud voice called from inside the cabin. ”HALT GOOD SIR!” The driver pulled the carriage around and the door popped open. At first, Farim tensed up and took a step forward, eyes glaring at the darkened inside of the carriage.

Ariella stepped behind Farim as the carriage pulled up, feeling her heart racing at the unexpected visitor.

That is when a reassuring, calmer voice rang out. ”Now now, this is not what you think. Ari, dear, you are requested at home. I am sorry to your…friend? But there is an urgent family meeting.” He stepped out of the carriage, brushing his pant legs off before taking a moment to address Farim. ”Good evening, Shehzade whose name I regretfully do not know. I am Sir Drake Edwards, this fine young lady’s brother. So I apologize for the sudden departure but as I said there has been an urgent family assembly called.” He looked at Ariella with a serious expression.

Ari looked at the carriage as a familiar voice came out, stepping out of the carriage was her brother. She felt the daggers of his eyes piercing into her as she continued to stand behind Farim. “If it's about the mud, I told mother that I fell while getting into the carriage home. It wasn’t a big deal Drake, it's all fine now..” Ariella said her voice holding a tinge of concern behind her words.

His words turned from serious into concern as he closed the distance between them, leaving a few paces between the pair in front of him. ”I’m not saying you did anything wrong. But our parents demand us all to sit down and talk. Mother is….well mother. And even Father is concerned.” He paused for a moment, his eyes looking at Farim before coughing nervously. Farim would only meet the man's gaze with a raised brow. He thought of saying something but this seemed to be a private matter so he held his tongue for the moment. ”I really think we should at least talk about this on the ride home, because they won’t accept no for an answer, Ari.”

Ari let out a long sigh, standing behind Farim her head lowered. She leaned against his back for a moment. Her head pressed into the small of his back. She took a deep breath and pulled back, walking around Farim she gently held onto his arm and looked up at him with a smile.
“ Thank you for the nice walk, We will catch up more another evening.” There was a look of disappointment and fear in her eyes as she turned to look at Drake. “ Yes, we can talk on the way there. Let's go.” Ariella let go of Farims arm before stepping into the carriage.

Farim would reach his arm around as she walked in front of him, their arms still clinging for just a moment. He gave her a gentle hug to soothe her seemingly rattled nerves. ”Get home safe, and do not let your parents give you too much trouble. It was wonderful seeing you Ariella and I hope to talk to you more in the coming days.” With that he felt her grip leave his arm and she walked into the carriage. Drake looked at the Shehzade and held out his hand, his expression still somewhat somber yet firm as they locked eyes.

”Thank you for watching over her. I will do the same henceforth. You have my word. I bid you a good night.” Farim met the man’s hand with a quick handshake, and the two turned and began walking opposite ways, one into the carriage and the other back to the guest house. Farim couldn’t help but worry for Ariella. He knew being reprimanded by your parents, especially ones that sounded as overbearing as hers, would be an intense headache and could lead to trouble. ”Better keep your word, Sir Edwards…” He whispered to himself as he continued down the stone road.

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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Helo
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Helo Wonderlust King

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Leo & Anastasia

“Outside it is.” Leo agreed with a nod and followed Anastasia out of the guest house into the cool evening air. He thought over what he’d ask as they walked, he had to keep his questions focused; things she might be willing to talk about and that wouldn’t trigger a need to protect the party's host. It had been a long day, and an even longer dinner, so he avoided trying to start any small talk. Leo would be willing to bet the day had been just as taxing on Anastasia as well.

“I’d like to talk about what happened last night if that’s alright with you. It’s the memory loss that’s been troubling me. So if there’s anything you can remember, anything about what happened last night, if I took anything there, it would really help ease my mind some.” Leo asked once they’d found a spot to speak without anyone listening in.

Anastasia exhaled softly, her breath mingling with the cool evening air, as a wave of guilt washed over her heart. Her entire demeanor shifted. "...I'm so sorry, Leo. I hope you are feeling okay and not hurt or anything from last night." She first said sincerely.

"You know I would never take you guys anywhere if I thought there was a risk of getting hurt, right?" She hugged herself tightly as she settled onto a nearby bench.

"...Honestly, it's all a bit hazy once we arrived at the party," she continued, her brows furrowed in concentration. "I have brief images, but I can't guarantee they weren't from a dream or something. I vaguely remember seeing cupcakes scattered on the ground, and there might have been a cocktail in my hand. I think… I think we went down some stairs to go there, right? Weird to go downstairs in a warehouse... I realize it sounds really stupid, doesn't it?" She briefly covered her face with her hands, feeling overwhelmed by the situation.

"I feel terrible about what happened to Darryn and what happened to everyone, especially Zarai. She doesn't deserve that," Anastasia admitted with a heavy sigh. However, determination glimmered in her eyes as she lifted her head and focused on Leo once more. "But I will find out what happened. Tonight, I'm going to confront the guy who threw the party and question him." She told him in a resolute tone, “I’ll fix this mess.”

Leo took a seat on the bench leaving a respectful amount of space between himself and the Caesonian princess. He listened, quietly, as Ana spoke, shaking his head to indicate he was not hurt, and nodding that he understood that Ana’s intentions were not to get anyone hurt. The guilt was evident in her tone and he couldn’t help but wonder if he’d judged her too harshly after this morning. Leo could easily admit that it was often hard to stay reasonable in a situation as heightened as this morning's lecture had been. Until she mentioned her plan to meet with the host tonight, another reckless plan even if she was only placing herself in danger.

“I think I remember stairs, but not cupcakes. And staring at a cloudy blue sky. Which, you know, makes less sense than anything you said because it was night and we were inside.” Leo offered some of what he remembered. He hadn’t thought about how strange it was to be in the basement of a warehouse until Ana pointed that out. “When I try to recall more than small glimpses I get this terrible headache, does that happen to you?” He asked.

“Stairs, cupcakes, the sky… Ugh isn’t there anything else?” Anastasia rubbed her head and found it truly did give her a headache to try to think about the party, almost as if she had been blocked out by a wall in her own head. “Yes. I do have the headache.”

“And you weren’t wrong this morning, we are all adults who chose to go, that is not on you. Titles are stressful, they ask a lot from us, and anytime we shrug them off for a bit, it seems we end up paying for it one way or another. Those who look at our lives with envy, desperately want to see us fall. It is unfortunate, but that is the world. If you feel you need to protect the host, that is your call, I’m not looking for someone to punish. But for as much as I’d like to know what happened, how it happened, it is not worth putting yourself in danger. I’m certain Zarai would agree. It is your enthusiasm that brightens Caesonia, and that is worth more than answers.” Leo offered his thoughts in a quiet voice, without any of the usual forced confidence.

Anastasia had smiled faintly, grateful that he did not blame her. It was a nice change of pace. “Well…I just don’t know for sure if he did it…If I can’t remember what happened, it feels wrong to throw him to the wolves without at least trying to find out what went on. My parents will execute him with no questions asked…If he’s to blame for all this, I will stop protecting him.”

However, the more Anastasia thought about it, the more she realized that she did not recall any of the parties she had attended over the years and not just this one. “I usually can’t remember what happens to be honest at his parties …but I always drink too much and so does Callum. I didn’t realize it was abnormal until it happened to everyone. ” She shrugged to him, “I have been going to his parties often and he’s always nice to me. I don’t think I’ll be in danger, but if you’re concerned, Wulfric is making me bring guards with me.”

“Sounds like you’re doing the best you can with the information you have. I can respect that, but from someone who is often nice to people that I neither like nor care about, people can be nice for very selfish reasons. I’m not saying this is the case with your friend, but I am glad to hear Wulfric is looking out for you.” Leo spoke as he thought over what Ana had said; that these parties had been happening for a while and they always ended in memory loss. It had to be the drinks, it was basically a guarantee that everyone at a secret party would have at least a drink, so someone, if not the host himself, had to be drugging the drinks. With what or why were likely not things Ana knew, but Leo was sure it couldn’t be anything good.

“My concern is that this might be some sort of blackmail scheme. If you find anything out, a possible reason behind all this, I’d very much appreciate it if you let me know.” Leo added.

“Of course. I’ll tell you everything I find out. ”
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Rodiak
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Rodiak 𝔴𝔢 𝔞𝔯𝔢 𝔬𝔫𝔢

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By the end of the dinner, it felt like someone was splitting her head open while someone else simultaneously drummed against it. The wine had done very little to help it; in fact, it seemed like the alcohol had made it worse. All the talk, the melodrama and the constant stupidity of Lorenzo, and the over-the-top responses had tired her out for the night.

On a normal night, Nahir would have soaked in a bath for an hour while her ladies-in-waiting told her all about the people they kept an eye on. However, she did not expect dinner to turn into a headache.

Nahir had smiled at Anastasia when she invited herself into the dining room with the advisor. She eyed the man briefly before dismissing his attendance and returning her attention to the delicious pastry before her.

She stayed quiet for the remainder of the dinner, the constant drumming in her head only growing as everyone said their goodbyes.

At some point, her father approached Farim and her, asking them to see him in an hour. Nahir had bowed and nodded, as was expected.

She stood by the door for a few seconds, seeing how everyone began talking amongst each other. Some in casual conversations, others in much more hushed tones. And for a split second, she wished Layla and Mayet were in the room with her. Layla shooting off comments about everyone, and Mayet adding to the fuel. She felt the discomfort settle in her chest; her heart picked up a beat, and a lump rose in the back of her throat. All the voices sounded muffled, her mind fogged, and her eyes lost focus, staring across the dining hall.

Anastasia’s loud voice cut through the fog and snapped her right back to the dining room. She blinked and swallowed down the lump and any feelings along with it. With no one paying any mind to her, Nahir left from the dining room. She headed outside in hopes that some fresh air and a smoke to relieve the drumming before meeting with her father.
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Helo
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Helo Wonderlust King

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Callum has another temper tantrum, part 2/2

Time: 7 pm
Location: Sorian Temple/Graveyard

Callum walked, or more accurately, drunkenly swaggered, purposefully exaggerating the unsteadiness of his feet, through the slums of Sorian. Poorly maintained streets lined with dilapidated buildings and numerous back alleyways that weaved and snaked about, small shops were closing up, taverns and brothels were just starting to pick up, and Edin’s Enforcement officers were no nowhere to be seen. They didn’t bother patrolling out here; everything about this part of the city was fully neglected, from the streets to the people, deemed not worth the effort by the king.

He drank from the bottle in his hand, carried the scent of whiskey on his clothes and breath, and belted out an old drinking song as he walked. It felt good to have a plan. It felt good to be acting on a plan, even if all it amounted to was making Alibeth’s life just a little more difficult. It was only fair. Despite what many people thought the young prince did have a few talents, and making a nuisance of himself was certainly one of them.

He threw his shoulder into any unfriendly face that walked too close to him. Anticipation left him feeling wired as Cal waited for someone to take the bait. He understood exactly how things worked in Caesonia; an eye for an eye, and if he wanted to be understood he had to communicate in the ways they understood. His family understood blood, and the only blood that mattered to them was Danrose blood. So he would spill his own and that felt fair like there was a small bit of justice in it.

If he did nothing it would happen again. Alibeth, nor any other Danrose, could be left to think that harming others would be an effective form of punishment or control. Not for him, and at the very least he could ensure at least one Danrose paid for their own crimes.

And Alibeth had hurt him, he would hurt her back. That was fair.

His problem with Alibeth, the reason his mother’s actions today cut so deeply, was that before now he had really believed his mother loved him. But she knew when she threatened Darryn exactly how much that would hurt not only him but Ana as well. If his mother’s love came with such malicious forms of control, then Cal neither wanted it nor would he think of it as love.

Alibeth had one weakness that he was sure of, one button he could push that would at least hurt. If seeing one of her children hurt would distress her even a little, it seemed worth trying. But what he was really hoping for, was that it would sting a little bit more for her to have look at him and know he was mirroring back her cruelty, forcing her to look at it, maybe even think about it. That would make a worthy piece of art.

It wasn't long before Callum bumped into the wrong shoulder and got a shove that sent him stumbling backward.

“Yawatchwhuryagoin’ pal.” Callum exaggerated the slur to his speech as he pointed the almost empty bottle at the man's chest. It was just as quickly slapped away and watched as the bottle was knocked out of his hand and shattered against the ground. “Ruuude.” Callum exhaled a dramatic whine of a word as he glanced at the shattered bottle.

There was a gruff ‘fuck off’ muttered as the man tried to shove past Callum who repeatedly moved to continue to be in the other man’s way. Now Cal was grinning as he grabbed a handful of coins from his pocket. He threw them, one at a time at the irritated, red-faced, man while speaking slowly, “Go. Buy. Some. Manners. An-”

Callum didn’t get to finish, a solid right hook knocked him back and spilled the rest of the coins from his hand onto the ground with the glass and remnants of whiskey. It could’ve stopped there but Callum really did have a gift for antagonizing things. So he got back up, repeatedly, and continued to make himself a constant pest that needed swatting at by angry, heavy, hands. Until he found himself laying on the streets of some back alleyway with a foot constantly smashing into the same spot on his ribcage until it was hard to breathe. His final attempt to get back up ended with a hard kick to the face that left him laying on his back looking at the stars. He wasn’t entirely sure if they were imagined stars or the same ones that were always in the night sky but it didn’t matter.

He achieved exactly what he’d set out to do. He allowed his skin to be painted in the shades of violence and it was both worse and better than he’d expected.

It hurt to move. It hurt to breathe. It hurt to lie still. There was this deafening ringing in his ears that muffled out the sounds around him. Blood from somewhere on his face was stinging as it ran into his eyes, blood from his nose was running into his mouth, and the blood in his mouth was constantly being spat, or more accurately drooled, out onto the ground.

Callum’s face twitched into a grin because it was glorious. Alibeth would know he had done this because of what she had done to Darryn. She would know that the next time she repeated her actions, he would repeat his. She would know because Callum would look her in the eyes and say it. All this was certainly worth that.

“Praise be to Claero, answerer of prayers, most worthy of worship. Thank you.” He whispered through clenched bloodied teeth. He had found a god worthy of worship, the infernal god had not only listened, but he had blessed Callum with everything he’d asked for. Some bit of that infernal calamity had worked its way into his life, and it would spread. Hopefully to his mother. If not, he’d try again. And if it did work, he’d set his sights higher.

Eventually, he would get up, but he didn’t plan on going home yet. There was a brothel not too far from here, he planned for that to be his next stop. A brothel always had offered a warmer welcome than his home ever did. He could sleep there, better than being tossed into the medical wing of the palace by miles. He was just going to need a few minutes, probably a whole lot of minutes until he was ready to do anything besides lay in the alleyway. Or maybe lie here til morning. Drunken, beaten, and pretty damn close to lying in a gutter; what mother wouldn’t love to hear she’d caused such fate for her son?
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by SilverPaw
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King Edin & Wulfric

“Wulfric.” King Edin set down his fork to look over. “I see you’ve returned… The cake was deemed safe if you would like some.” He offered and locked eyes with him, “So were the gifts. I believe you may actually enjoy yours. I had the others' gifts brought to their rooms.”

Wulfric didn’t shy away from his father’s gaze. He absolutely did not feel he had anything to be reproved for. “That is good,” he stated. At the offer of cake, he shook his head. “No, thank you,” he declined as he took his seat. However, he did have a cup of green tea brought to him. “What were the gifts?” he asked, mildly intrigued. Even though he had no intention whatsoever to lessen his distrust of Ezra, he was curious what the man had picked out for them.

“I won’t ruin the surprise. You’ll see when you get to your room.” Truthfully, King Edin just hadn’t paid attention to what they had been.

“Were you interested in a report from the Guild?” his son then asked, moving on from the previous topic. At the go-ahead, Wulfric gave it. His visit hadn’t been aimed at gathering an overview of the most recent economic happenings in Caesonia. However, he’d still learned some intriguing news from simple casual chats.

“The northern areas of Montague are remarkably thriving after that flood a few years back. It is clear the support we have provided to reinforce key bridges, re-pave the local roads, and build better embankments has paid dividends.” He kept each tid-bit brief and to the point, gauging his father’s reaction in the meanwhile.

“Lord Damien never fails to impress. I received word he handled a lot of the reconstruction with that ordeal.”

Wulfric thought that if he was so impressed, Edin could do more of the same himself. Sometimes, conversations like these were a good way to nudge the king in certain directions, or imprint on him certain ideas. Such as that ‘giving out money’, strengthening ‘the lesser of the two duchies’, or even ‘brownnosing to the damn Varians’ (as Edin termed cooperative efforts) were indeed advantageous.

“There are some concerns that heavy industrial areas are a slight against Aquena and Tempestes.” This was somewhat ridiculous, but he supposed Luddites would exist as long as technology did. “Meanwhile, production is in ever high demand.”

King Edin scoffed at that. “I did order that those damn factories be relocated where people cannot see them… Especially Duke Vikena. That Hartforth in Vermillion especially remains a town of smog. Duke Vikena ought to speak to Count Emil about it and have it sorted.”

Finally, Wulfric moved onto the topic of present interest. “Are you familiar with the company Black Rose? Or its leader, Marek Delronzo?” he questioned bluntly. “The company is the one renting the warehouse at which the party was held last night. Since drugs were involved, the company may very well be involved in the black market. I suspect Delronzo is making rather illegal profits. I don’t know if he intended last night to be so ruinous, but it is certainly suspicious and concerning.”

Edin's eyes darted around the room briefly before settling back on his son. His brows furrowed, and a faint hint of worry flashed across his face that was only noticeable for perhaps a split second. “I know of him.” He confirmed, “In that case, I’ll have some of our people sent over to investigate.”

His father’s nervousness did not by any means escape Wulfric. “May I lead the investigation on our end?” he requested. “I have already arranged for a few people to look into one of his establishments.” Those few who’d follow Anastasia with an additional mission.

As he continued gazing at his father, he mirrored his previous expression of concern. “But father,” he gentled his tone with understanding. “How do you know him?...Has he caused trouble before?” His expression was one which invited the sharing of worries. After all, he dearly wanted to know just what it was that Edin did.

“... Yes you may. Keep me updated on the results you obtain, Wulfric. I expect you to demonstrate your problem-solving skills. I am not getting any younger, and one day, this…” He tapped his crown with a grin, “Will be all yours.”

The grin was easy to mimic. May it be soon. But all he said was, “Of course, I will.”

King Edin rose and he began to approach his son. “He has not caused me any trouble before. I have heard of his name and his financial success over the last year… I’m sure you’ll be able to uncover more information.” His expression started to darken as he came to stand before him, glaring down at him, “Wulfric… There is no room for errors in your actions. He held his gaze with intensity, “I may have mentioned this before, but it's crucial that you understand it now more than ever. Your reputation must remain untarnished. Every decision you make holds immense importance, including the choice of your future wife…” He narrowed his eyes as he admitted, “I hope to hear that you've made progress in that regard.”

Wulfric stood up to face him, and folded his hands behind his back. This action was born largely of habit than of any true respect. “I know,” he intoned gravely. “I have been acquainting myself with ladies whom I have not known previously. It is the courting season, after all…I foresee no issues in picking one by the end of this summer.” He liked Mayet so far, though didn’t mention it as he was aware his father did not. Besides, there were still some others he’d prefer to meet and get to know better. He would rather not settle for someone; yet given his age, that was not a reason his father would accept.

More importantly, the king had evaded the previous issue. There had been that initial worry, so he had to know more than he was saying. “It is unfortunate some were involved in last night’s scandal. You know how fainthearted women can be, and how they love to gossip…” He was sure he owed more than one silent apology to womenfolk everywhere for that comment. However, he had to turn the topic back somehow. “It would be reassuring to all for this to be settled sooner rather than later. So, please, if there is any other concern regarding Delronzo, would you share it with me?” He tilted his head, and took a guess, “Does he know something he shouldn’t? Or are there perhaps strange rumours surrounding him?”

King Edin had not interrupted him, perhaps to Wulfric’s surprise, and let him finish speaking before he told him softly, “Make sure whichever woman you choose is attractive and has a smile that will enchant the people… People make most of their judgments off looks alone. Secondly, she must be submissive and obedient. You are right that women are very fainthearted and they cannot be trusted to make decisions. Be wary of women who overestimate their self-importance. If you long for the company of different women over time, it is perfectly fine for you to accumulate as many mistresses as you may like. Just make sure the one who stands at your side is one who knows her place.”

His thoughts moved far off for just a moment, “It does not matter in the end what happens behind closed doors as long as you keep them there, Wulfric. All that matters is what is seen.” The King looked down at his son once more and grinned, “As for I, what’s seen of my appearance is more than enough for most, however, you have a little of your mother in you so you might need to do a little more work.” His words were accompanied by a hearty laugh, revealing his smug amusement. Wulfric had merely nodded wherever appropriate thus far, not revealing any of his disagreement or distaste. His father’s ‘joke’ prompted an eyebrow to slowly creep up in disbelief at the old man’s conceit. However, he kept any comments to himself.

“Just kidding… Well, sort of. Anyway, Delronzo will pose no issue for us. He will be addressed and we will uncover the truth… It's rather perplexing, considering this is the first time I've heard of him being involved in any sort of trouble," he added, his irritation evident in the final statement.

“As you say,” he finally spoke. First fear, now anger…So, either Edin had truly not noticed any issues, or he hadn’t minded them as they’d been kept ‘behind closed doors’, as he’d put it. Either way, even if his father hadn’t considered there to be any, that did not mean there hadn’t been problems. It’s only that now, it was something obvious, undeniable, and apparent to them all. “Has the man ever worked for you - directly, that is?” he queried.

King Edin stared at his son. The question was an interesting one; however, he technically was not lying as he replied, “No.”

His son raised an eyebrow at the curt and swift answer. “Any dealings with him at all? You must have heard more about him than I have,” he asserted.

Edin looked like he wanted to sigh. Though he wanted him to be as prepared as possible, this was the heaviest burden of them all. “Wulfric. You won’t have to worry about him.” He rose up and told him with a rare display of some sympathy in his tone, “You’re not ready yet.”

Lines of frustration etched Wulfric’s expression. “Father, I can handle far more than you realize. I am ready,” he countered. “I can deal with it. Why won’t you trust me? Aren’t I your heir?” He clenched his hands behind his back, a thread of agitation making his temples pulse. What was it with this play at protectiveness? Now, of all times? Just why?

After a pause, he spoke again, “Let go of this obsession. I am still King and you are still the prince. I will handle the situation-” A staff member suddenly ran in and began whispering in his ear. “Oh… Oh... Gods.” King Edin commented in between whisperings. The man looked at Wulfric with a nervous expression and quickly ran back out.

The King looked at Prince Wulfric and told him, “Duke Vikena irritated one of the Sultan’s daughters enough to throw a knife at him…. Now the Sultan is leaving and bringing his daughter with him tomorrow.”

Wulfric frowned at the sudden interruption. What inopportune timing…Even so, the information was concerning. “I see,” he said, despite not at all seeing how it could have come to something like this. He then sighed. “Well, I already intended to get the details of this dinner from Auguste,” he stated.

“If I may?” he requested to take his leave. At the permission, he offered a curt bow. Just before departing, he had some final words for his father, however. “Please consider what I have said. I can handle whatever it is, but not without knowing.”

Edin gave his son a nod and averted his gaze as he considered his last statement, uncertain for once.
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Helo
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Helo Wonderlust King

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Lord Leo Smithwood

Time: 7 pm
Location: Outside the Guest House

Leo had offered parting words and left Ana to her plan to meet with the party’s host. If Wulfric knew Ana was doing this, then the prince likely already had more precautions in place than even Ana knew about, and he shouldn’t have to worry. But he did anyway because whoever this guy was, Leo had a bad feeling about him that only got worse when Ana mentioned that this wasn't the first party like this. That she and Callum both had gone to these parties, woken up with memory loss, and thought this to be a normal occurrence. Maybe he should have offered a warning about acting so recklessly but who was he to lecture about reckless behaviors just when he had the same impulses? His were only acted out far away from polite society where they couldn’t so easily be picked apart by his peers. Well, most of the time at least.

Thea hated being lectured, talked down to, and having her every action picked apart. Leo understood this, and Ana reminded him so much of Thea that he often saw her in much of the same light. Or maybe he just wanted to see if Ana could find out any more information. Leo, honestly, wasn’t sure why he ignored the bad feeling, but with so many other unanswered questions floating in his mind, he left this one packed away. So instead Leo went over mental notes for the questions he maybe could begin to find answers to.

These secret parties have been going on for a while. Ana and Callum have been to several. The memory loss afterward has been a constant.

The party’s host was a male. He was nice enough to the two youngest Danrose royals that they both think of him as a friend.

The party was in the basement of the warehouse. It seemed like memories got hazy once they had descended the staircase. At least that was true for him and Ana both.

Whatever drug they had been given was likely mixed in the drinks. That had to be what was causing the headaches and memory loss and he could only wonder what other effects the drug had caused.

Memories of the party came as obscured, dream-like, glimpses. Ana remembered cupcakes on the ground and holding a cocktail. Cupcakes. Shit, he immediately wondered if that obnoxious baker had been there as well. He probably should’ve asked Ana about that but the chance was gone. Maybe he should interview Ezra as well.

As he went over his thoughts, trying to keep everything important organized in his mind he decided he would need to get some pocket notebooks to keep track of everything. He couldn’t afford to be forgetting clues. Eventually, he caught sight of Nahir outside the guest house; time for another interview.
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by PapaOso
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Cassius & Violet

Cassius was absolutely buzzing as the adrenaline of combat still coursed through his veins. He wanted to pursue the fleeing man and meet him with the same ending as his colleague, but he knew it would be a fool’s errand…and that the important thing at this time was making sure that the woman was alright.

He cautiously made his way over to the woman as her attacker fled, doing what he could to be gentle in his movements as to not startle her further. He took in the sight of her as she slowly made her way to her feet. The poor girl’s face was covered in blood. Cas hoped that, at the very least it was the man’s blood and not her own. The look in her eyes was vacant, and he could not help but notice the scar that decorated her face. The woman’s words filled him with a sense of gloom as she suggested that he should have let the men hurt her. With a deep breath and a look of reassurance, Cassius lowered his stance to meet her gaze.

”Listen…I don’t know you, but I don’t need to know anything about you in order to know that you’re wrong. Whatever it was that those men had in store for you, there is no reality where I should have left you to that fate.” Cassius flashed her a genuine, caring smile…his eyes full of concern and warmth. ”I know that this is a loaded question, but are you alright? Rather, are you hurt? Do we need to get you to a doctor?”

Violet's eyes scanned over the shadowed figure as he spoke. Let out a deep sigh as he showed concern for her. Truthfully she would rather not see a doctor or anyone at this point in time. She just wanted to go home, hide in her room and wait for the passing days. She did however have some very serious questions to ask her mother. Why were they so adamant about the fact that she had been killed? Clearly, she had not, she was standing here.. Breathing..living.. So why would they say that?

She pulled herself out of her thoughts long enough to speak to the man. “ My name is Lady Violet Damien.” She said her voice was still stone cold. “ I am fine..” she actually felt better than she had prior to the attack strangely enough. “I was heading to find my carriage, if you could possibly help me my vision is quite poor. Im blind. I also lost my cane at some point…” Her voice seemed to drop into a defeated tone. “Your name Sir? I suppose I should thank you for helping me.”

“My name is Lady Violet Damien”… Cassius’ expression changed from one of concern to one of disbelief as he processed the woman’s words. It was almost comical after everything else that had transpired today. Another Damien. A sly, crooked smile curled across his face but the warmth and kindness remained. He took a step back to really take in this Lady Violet Damien, trying to gauge the familial resemblance. It was a bit difficult seeing as she was covered in blood…but perhaps that was its own telltale sign of the Damien family.

He considered just coming out with the fact that he was her long, lost kin…but honestly it seemed like too much all at once for the poor woman. After all that had just transpired, he figured the last thing she needed was even more life altering information. So, he decided to keep things close to his chest for now. He did, however, plan to help her get home safely.

“It is lovely to make your acquaintance, Lady Violet. Of course, I wish the circumstances had been different, but at least you are safe.” Cassius began to look around the area for Violet’s cane, searching as he spoke. “Truly, this is a strange world we live in my lady. I’m not one to put all of my eggs in the basket of fate, but I’ll admit that I’m grateful for whatever force it was that led me to this park on this night.” Finally, he found the cane hidden amongst the broken branches and tall grass. Taking it in his hand, he walked over and presented it to Violet. “And as for me…My name is Cassius Vael. It would be my honor to escort you home. You’ll probably find this hard to believe, but I was just about to go meet with the Count as it were. Coincidences are always interesting, are they not?”

Violet reached out for her cane, her hand moving around to find the object as Cassius moved it closer to her. She gripped onto it grateful for the returned support as she leaned against it while standing in the middle of the blood-soaked dirt they had tumbled into.

Violet did notice her legs were feeling better, they felt stronger. It didn’t quite make sense to her considering the fact that just moments before the attack she was struggling at taking steps to begin with.

Once she got her balance back Violet couldn’t help but feel strange towards this man. Why would some stranger kill a man who was trying to harm a woman and not require anything in return? He also somehow had a planned meeting with her father and chalked it up to a coincidence. She wasn’t buying it.

“ I do find it hard to believe Sir Vael. Call me old fashion but an attempt on my life followed by a random person who coincidentally finds me in the woods and happens to be visiting my father.” Violet said between gritted teeth as she felt her hand trip onto her cane tighter than before.

It was then that she heard some panicked feet run toward her location, she could hear at least 4 sets of feet hitting the pavement as the sounds of rustling bushes and clanking metal echoed around her. “ Halt!” shouted a deep voice as the sounds of a sword unsheathing could be heard.

Violet looked around slightly confused as two men came up behind Cassius wrapping each of him arms with theirs pulling him behind his back as the two armored knights held Cassius in a tight hold

“ M’lady, We were following you as instructed by your parents. We lost sight of you and tracked some footsteps heading this direction. “ The guard looked down at the nearly decapitated man at Cassius' feet, “ Are you alright?”the concerned guard asked as he placed a hand on Violet's shoulder.

“Yes , thank you. Two men tried to attack me, taking me out of the park. “ she paused leaving out the part of the man across from her assisting her. “ I must have bit my lip as I felt a bunch of blood around my chin but other then that I am alright”

The guard let out a heavy sigh of relief. Her father would still be very displeased with them, especially in the condition she was returning in. “ What do you want to be done with this man?” He asked, turning his attention to Cassius.

Violet turned her attention to the man, she kept silent as a curved smirk at the corner of her mouth slowly appeared. She lingered in the silence long enough to atleast spook him, if he was going to do anything , with the guard around perhaps he wouldn’t try something now.

“ He did nothing wrong, He actually is the reason that man is dead on the ground.” She sighed, “ He says he has a meeting with Father, Escort him there in my Carriage.” If he was lying about this meeting then she would imagine he would give in to his lie. If he happened to be telling the truth, then at least she felt safer on her trip home.

Cassius realized quickly that he was correct in not revealing his identity. In fact, perhaps he should have left the part out about meeting with the Count. Her skepticism was fair, given all that had just transpired, and just as Cas was bout to answer her and try to put her concerns at ease…the guards approached.

He stayed calm and collected as they restrained him. This wasn’t his first run-in with the law, after all. Listening to Violet explain what happened, a smug grin came across his face as Violet purposefully gave no mention of him nor the part he played in the incident. He respected what she was doing. He could tell that she was playing with him a bit, and that she was being strategic above all else. Was she actually trying to make him panic? Perhaps It was fair, given the strangeness of all that happened, for her to rather be safe than sorry in this situation. It was a good move. He was impressed.

Finally, though, she mentioned that he had done nothing wrong. His smile at her grew as she explained that perhaps the guards should escort him to the Damien estate. Again, he respected the move. He was relieved that she hadn’t fully thrown him under the carriage, but seeing her renewed self-preservation was honestly nice after she had just moments ago suggested that he should have left her to die. Something about her seemed stronger, more capable, and less frail than when he had initially found her. If this strange yet impressive woman really was his sister, he looked forward to getting to know her more.

But for now, an escort under the watchful eye of her guards would simply have to suffice. “Shall we then?” Cassius asked, slightly pulling against the guard’s grasp in the direction that they came from.

Cassius was purposefully quiet during the ride back to the Damien estate. For most of the trip, he replayed the battle in his mind. The glory of it all. His opponent thought he was a bad, bad man…Cas proved him wrong. He reveled in the victory, and only wished he could have fell the other thug as well. That man escaping was going to come back to haunt them, he was sure of it.

He remembered how frail Lady Violet seemed the moment he found her. Compared to now, she was like a completely different person. *Was she pretending to be afraid? Was there something that he missed?* He pondered her odd behavior and sudden change. Either way, she had been impressive.

He spent the rest of the trip toying with one Violet’s guards, giving them his best *kiss me* eyes and seductive grin. Something about being a menace was just…so…much…fun.

It was not long before the two were inside the carriage, and even sooner that they were pulling before the Damien Estate. Past the iron gates and inside the grand doors of the imposing manor, Count Calbert could be found upon a stool in the foyer.

As the doors swung open, he was presented with the sight of his offspring finally returning home. He remained seated, taking a moment to absorb the scene before him. Bathed in the soft glow of moonlight, their figures appeared as silhouettes framed by the moonlight, casting elongated shadows that stretched across the checkered slate floor.

“Violet, Cassius. “ He greeted with some warmth etched in his tone despite his tense countenance. “...I see that you two have finally met.”+

Once they arrived at their destination, Cassius sauntered into his family’s home and walked straight passed his father to a nearby table where he poured himself a glass of wine. He watched curiously as Calbert and Violet talked, taking obnoxious sips from his cup.

Violet looked in the direction of Cassius “I suppose … He said he had some kind of meeting with you…” she took a few steps inside, “I will let you talk business, I’ll be heading to my room for the evening. I'm rather tired. “ Violet took a few more steps as the moon light crept over her face. The dried blood around her mouth as it had dripped down her chin and stained her lips. “ It’s been a long night,” she said softly as her eyes scanned over the tall shadowy figure, cringing at the sounds coming from Cassius. “It's clear your guest has no manners, perhaps you can teach him some while you're having your meeting,” she quipped as the sound of his sloppy obnoxious sips came from his mouth.

Calbert's scowl deepened as Cassius walked past him, but it wasn't until he caught sight of Violet's blood-covered face, now illuminated, that he abruptly stood up from his chair. “Violet. You will remain here.” He ordered sternly , “And that guest… is your brother. He’s my son from a previous marriage. His mother has passed and he will be staying with us from now on… I understand this is a lot to take in, I understand this is a lot to take in, but it is something you must come to terms with. I I expect you to present Cassius with the same love and care as you do Crystal.”

With determined steps, Calbert approached Violet and gently examined her injured face. His expression shifted to one of sadness as worry consumed him. Calbert's voice softened as he continued, his concern evident. Calbert knew it had been a bad idea for Lily to let her outside. “Are you hurt? What happened?”

Violet had no reaction to the news about Cassius, her face stayed as stone-cold as it was the first time he saw her. She couldn’t care about more family members or people to love… What did all of that matter in the end. Apparently she had died and yet no one seemed to have noticed, no one knew of her death..no one cared about her death. The real question was, why was she here…

The only one to show a remote amount of care to her was Roman and even in that situation, he had zero reason to. Yet he still did, he was kind and caring and seemed genuinely upset at her condition but her family played it off as if it was nothing.

Violet's once kind nature seemed to diminish when she wasn’t around Roman, or perhaps it was the taste of blood that caused her nature to finally come forward.

“So I suppose we will take in any mutts now,” she said “I fell and bit my lip, it was nothing,” she stated in a matter-of-fact tone. She would rather not get into the conversation with her father about the possible murderers and her supposed brother killing one of them.

It would just be another thing her father would sweep under the rug anyways.

”Mutts? Violet. He is my blood.” He gently wiped blood off her face with his hand and showed it to her. “Same as mine, see? …Blood runs thicker than water and nothing can change that fact… Family will be the only ones there for you while the rest turn their backs. ” He waved a servant over and nodded to her, soundlessly gesturing to Violet. She left and returned promptly with a wet cloth.

Violets eyes narrowed in towards her fathers voice as she felt her fingers buckle into a fist. Her fingers clenching the more he spoke“ No, you only turn your back when it’s convenient. “ Her words trailed off at the end, emphasizing the word convenient.

“You have a bastard son, swept him off to the side his entire life. Casually announcing his presence to your eldest as if my entire life hasn’t been a lie. “ she shrugged her shoulders as a half grin spread on her lips. “ I guess that doesn’t matter considering how little our lives mean in the first place.” She took a step towards her dad“ So long as you and mother look good, then no one would need to find out…” she whispered softly, the tone of her voice holding a level of resentment.

Calbert looked upon her with a mix of bewilderment and fury. He had been beginning to clean her face as she had spoken, but his movements slowed to a halt. “ I did not sweep him to the side!” He retorted angrily. “Violet, his mother left me before I could even meet him…” If she had looked closely, she might have even seen tears in the corners of his eyes as he had emotionally addressed her. “I spent years looking for him…And now that he’s here I am going to give him everything I have just as I have given to you and Crystal… Forgive me for getting vexed with you but I just do not understand how you could feel I don’t love you more than anything in this world!”

“Love…” she huffed at the word as it left his mouth. “Very convenient once again…” she took a step back away from him. “How did I die…Father?” she asked plainly, seeing if she would omit to know. If what those men said was true, this was going to be an interesting evening.

Calbert’s lips parted in surprise. “W-What? … You didn’t. Your mother told me it had all been a mistake…” As the man had spoken the words, he had realized how ridiculous they had sounded as he stared straight at the scar across her face. His eyes narrowed thoughtfully as he considered the prior interaction with his wife. As soon as I had drank the water, I felt so calm… All my worries had dissipated… But I was right.

He suddenly sighed deeply and brushed hair lovingly from his daughter’s face. Without turning around, he said, “Liliane… Do come out now and tell us the truth.”

A beautiful blonde woman emerged from the shadows of the room, gracefully moving over. She joined the two, putting her hand on Calbert’s shoulder. “ Let me take over from here, darling.” She said smoothly. The two made eye contact and she smiled up at him.

Calbert hesitated, then finally took a step back.

Liliane came to stand before her daughter, but did not move to touch her. “...Violet, if you are ready to understand what’s happened to you, I am ready to tell you everything. ” She softly spoke for only Violet and Calbert to hear from then on, explaining all that had occurred without sugarcoating any of it as it was not something that could be hidden for long even if they had tried. Calbert had listened on with a growing expression of dread.


“As long as she’s alive, there’s hope.” Lily sweetly reminded both of them , “All we need now is a cure… Until then, we shall do what must be done to keep her comfortable and that is for Violet to tell us herself.’

Violet took a step back…One foot after the other as she grew more space between her mother and father. Her red eyes widened as a shaking hand came to her mouth, the look of shock and horror painted across her entire expression as she stuttered to speak. “ Y-yo…you…” she managed to say. “How c-ccould you? “ she said to her mother with a shocked look still plastered over her face. “ Did you know any of this ? “ she asked her father, her voice cracking with pain. “ Did you okay this?”

“ No.” He softly replied somberly and met her eyes, “I thought you were dead and I was… shocked…” He drew off and then reached out a hand toward her, “But I can’t say it wasn’t the happiest moment of my life to see you alive again, Violet. I thought I had lost you…” He clenched his fists, “I will do whatever it takes to make sure it is undone and that you live as comfortably as you did.”

Lily tilted her head in confusion at Violet, “How could I save you? Is that what you are asking? ” She asked gently, “I know this must be terrifying for you, Violet, but you have a second chance at life.That is a gift most of us do not receive. Be upset at me if you must, but with time, you’ll feel closer and closer to normal.” With a smile, she added, “Perhaps even better than normal.”

Violet looked toward her father, her face softening as he spoke. He really seemed to not know anything.

Her head snapped towards her mother “ You think this is terrifying? Tell me mother, do you know what its like to die…to feel peace, to live in a state of pure happiness only to be ripped back out of it only to be met with a failing body that is blind, broken and weak. A mind that cannot remember anything prior to my death, not recognizing those who meant … mean..so much to you? No..you couldn’t. So do not tell me about what is terrifying for me. I will never be normal again, unless you can somehow provide me with a new life, with new memories and a new face. “ She took another step back away from them.

Lily was silent for a moment as Violet had finished speaking, her expression falling apart. Finally, she told her sincerely and lowly, her voice cracking as she spoke, “Violet… I’m so sorry… I was only trying to help… If those are the things you want, I can do what needs to be done to provide them to you. Whatever needs to be done, we will do… But please, don’t push me away…”

“You’ve done enough,” Violet stated before walking around her mother and up the grand stairs, to the place she originally intended. Her room.

Calbert came to stand next to his wife. He dropped a hand on her shoulder gently, “... She will need time, Lily… But I am sure she’ll come around.” He wasn’t certain himself what had been the right thing to do in the situation, but he couldn’t say he was angry about what Lily had done. He wasn’t quite angry at her for lying about it either. He would sort it all out as soon as he could speak to the man he needed to tonight.

Lily nodded and then gracefully approached Cassius after a moment. She warmly smiled at him in greeting. It wouldn’t take long for him to notice she had a rather angelic and gentle nature, evident in both her speech and movements. “I’m sorry this isn’t the welcoming you probably imagined. I’m Lily, your father’s wife… I have no wish to replace your mother, but I will be here for you from now on like one as much as I can be.” She gave him a tender hug and said, “I promise tomorrow will be a much better day… Now. Tell me. Are you hungry?”

As Lily approached him, Cassius was still reeling from what had just unfolded in front of him. In the beginning, they spoke loud enough for him to hear, and Cassius watched the back and forth as though it were the stage-play melodrama of the century. Sipping wine in between their comments, and desperately wanting to add in his own little quips and corrections. However, he remained silent. Even Cassius Vael knew when it was a poor time to interrupt…not that he always followed the notion, but the knowledge was there all the same.

Things had escalated quite a bit from there as the family quarrel continued, become much more intense and…strange. His initial assumption was that he must have simply misheard his sister. He could have sworn that she had mentioned the fact that she had died. Odd thing to say, seeing as she was standing before him very much alive if not uncanny. From there the volume of the conversation lowered, and Cassius smirked at the firm reminder that he was always just going the be the Bastard of the family after all. So, he turned his attention towards refilling his cup.

Eventually, Violet stormed off in dramatic fashion. The poor girl had been seething with rage. He hadn’t the slightest clue what all had transpired to cause her to drip with such vitriol, but one thing he did know is that type of anger rarely comes out unprovoked.

Lily’s embrace and introduction was warm and kind considering how unpleasant things had just been. Her explanation that she didn’t intend to replace his mother almost made him laugh hysterically, but he retained his mask of kindness since he could tell that she meant well. The hug was a nice touch. She seemed sweet, but he wasn’t sure yet how much of that was a mask as well. Cas found her offer of a meal to be rather enticing. Much had transpired today, perhaps too much honestly, and he had enjoyed plenty of drinks but certainly not enough food.

“It’s lovely to make your acquaintance, Lily. You have a beautiful home and a…lively family.” He couldn’t help himself with the last bit. He had done so well to hold his tongue, but even he had his limits. “I very much look forward to getting to know you all.” A kind smile dominated his expression as he continued. “And yes actually…I am rather starved I must admit. It’s been a long day.”

“Aren’t you a charmer? So sweet.” Lily smiled at him and gave him an affectionate shoulder rub, “Alright sweetie. I'll make sure our staff and I fix you something delicious… No Damien shall go hungry in this house!” With that, the blonde woman left Cassius alone with his father.

Calbert cleared his throat and came to stand by Cassius. “ Are you alright? … Thank you for bringing Violet home.“

Cassius watched Lily leave the room, his eyes still trying to read her true nature. He then turned his attention to father dearest, pondering his words for a moment before responding.

“Yes, father. I am indeed alright. This has perhaps been the oddest day of my entire life, but life is strange and sometimes you just have to roll with the punches.” His expression was more serious than it had been with Lily. Looking at his father was almost like looking into a broken mirror. He could see himself in the man’s face, but not wholly. It unsettled him more than he had expected. “It was no problem, though. I’m simply glad to have gotten the chance to meet Violet and escort her home safely. We had great conversations along the way as well. Bright girl, that one.” He took a long sip of his wine. “Perhaps some rest will bring her a bit of peace.”

“She is very smart. Some rest will do us all some good. Tomorrow is a new day.” Calbert agreed with his son. After a weary sigh, he then added,
” Cassius…You must be careful in Sorian. People are different here… Selfish and sometimes even cruel. Wandering about as you have been all day is unsafe. Please allow me to give you guards moving forward and to keep me looped in where you’re going… I understand this is asking a lot since we’ve only met, but it would hurt me if anything happened to you. You’re a lord now. I will formally introduce you tomorrow… Alright? “

Cas’ instinct was to disregard what the man was saying entirely. Father or not, being told how to go about his business rarely sat well with Cassius. He was not the type to inform anyone of his whereabouts or be escorted by guards like some snotty aristocrat afraid of the masses. He was a man of the people, and first and foremost he held onto his personal freedoms tightly. However, he was willing to let things play out and at the very least tell the Count what he wanted to hear. Calbert’s final comment, however, left him speechless.

Technically, he knew that being the Count’s son made him a Lord. However, he had not assumed that the man would make a public display of things. Being a bastard, he had accepted that he was going to kind of be in a separate lane as the rest of the Damiens…and to be fair that had sounded ideal to him. The thought of being officially inducted into their family was an unexpected one to say the least. He studied Calbert’s face again, a look of curiousness in his eyes.

“Tomorrow?” He asked forwardly. “Just like that? You’re not even going to wait and see if I’m compatible with your Noble image? Could be a reckless move...And I did not peg you as a reckless man.”

Calbert stared at him, genuinely perplexed by his words. “ You are my son. Whatever image you choose to present yourself as will not change that. I will never outcast you from this family.” He then gave him a small smile. “ Let’s do this, shall we? ... Tomorrow let’s discuss and you can tell me everything there is to know about you… Well negotiate like the grown men we are and figure things out together… Just know that I can offer an opportunity for power beyond your imagination, Cassius. You will soon see why the name Damien lights up the eyes of all throughout Caesonia.”

With a grin, he bowed his head,
“ I have somewhere I must be… Chin up, my son. A life of winning awaits you. Lily will show you your options of bedrooms tonight.”

Cassius did not speak in response to any of what his father had just told him. He did not have the words to express the overwhelming surge of thoughts and feelings storming in his mind. Instead, he played it coy, and raised his glass in a toast to his father’s words.

An opportunity for power beyond his imagination…that’s what Calbert had said. Cassius had always had something inside of him that wanted more. Something that wanted everything. He had been born with it. Despite his intentions to simply see and feel the beauty of the world in his own indulgent ways, that desire for more occasionally bubbled at his surface. He held it at bay, but it was always there hidden just below his scar covered being. His father’s words ignited that desire brighter than perhaps it had ever been, and his imagination began to run wild. Not many things were beyond his ability to imagine.

As his father left his side, he was all alone in the Damien estate for the very first time. He took in the place properly as he walked around the room, eventually circling back to the wine and pouring himself another drink. His brain was riddled with all of the thoughts and possibilities as he continued to consider his father’s words. He had expected to come here and shock the system, but in reality it was he who had been jarred.
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by princess
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Lorenzo & Charlotte

Charlotte had finally left the guesthouse, greeted into the outdoors by the serenade of crickets and the cool air against her skin. Seeking respite from the weariness that weighed upon her, she hurriedly stepped inside, allowing her body to sink into the plush cushion. Her eyes found Lorenzo's familiar presence within the carriage. Concern etched across her face, she softly asked, “... Are you alright? Did you and Benjamin load everything?”

A soft sigh escaped her father who had remained abnormally quiet since the conclusion of the dinner with the Alidasht royal family. However, his silence was not accompanied by any troubled expression. Though he didn't voice it, Lorenzo just wanted to get back to his estate as quickly as possible. There was also the fact that he was slightly winded after having to load most of the gifts. At the time, he did not understand why Benjamin insisted on his constant need to stop and meticulously organize each bag or box into the cab, but it left Lorenzo with the task of repeatedly going back and forth into the guest house. He could have asked for help from one of the servants inside but felt they had served well enough tonight.

“I am fine, I think.” He cracked a smile, breaking from the neutral expression he held. “And we loaded the cab with all the gifts we carried. If I forgot anything, I can let it be if it means we leave for home sooner. And you? Are you alright?”

“No.” The word spilled from her mouth involuntarily. She sighed and gripped her knee as she considered whether she should be opening this can of worms right now. Her gaze slid to his sadly as she shut the carriage door. “I’m not…” Charlotte confessed, “...I need to talk to you about something serious.”

Lorenzo's brows raised as he dropped his smile, wondering what could be troubling her.

“What is it, Lottie? If it's about the dinner, that's… that's how dealing with hungry royals typically is. There are so many large egos in a single space and then when you add in animals… It's just bound to be rough.” Lorenzo was attempting to ease Charlotte's troubles but per usual, he wasn't quite hitting the mark.

She stared at him in disbelief briefly before speaking once more. “Prince Wulfric told me you were abusing drugs… and um, well…suicidal.” Charlotte wasn’t sure if she was still feeling the wine or if she simply had no idea how to handle this other than to be straight with him. Either way, it was a blindsiding utterance. Lorenzo's face twisted with confusion while he averted his gaze down toward the floor of the cab, trying to completely absorb Charlotte's words. He looked at her face again but still held the same confused expression.

“That's nonsense! Why would he even say something like that to you?” Lorenzo shook his head. “I think I should have a word with him, or perhaps his parents. And to think I was making good ground with him.” He let out a defeated sigh. “Worry not, Lottie. I am not some junkie of a vagrant. I'm a duke! The duke of Veirmont! And I'm definitely not suicidal.” It was clear Lorenzo was frustrated by Wulfric as he spoke without giving Charlotte so much as a chance to reply. “Damn, why would he spread such a nasty rumor when we're on good terms?! And to put you in the middle of this? I mean… Ugh! We'll see how he likes it when I start telling people the truth about him!”

“…It’s not a nasty rumor; he was concerned about you…Prince Wulfric only told me, no one else.” Her expression saddened and she sighed deeply. “I am concerned about you. It’s… It’s been a lot and hard. Struggling is nothing to be ashamed of.”

Lorenzo was dumbfounded as Charlotte clasped her hands together in her lap, her gaze lowered. “Lorenzo, I found the opium and liquor…The rooster went in your room so I had to go in there and try to get him out.” Lorenzo shook his head once more at this, rapidly this time as he felt he'd be crazed to believe the words coming out of Charlotte's mouth.

“The what and the what? A rooster?! A rooster in my room?!” Lorenzo was completely confused but fortunately, the recollection of the rather large bird pieced together at least half of what was said. “Wait…” Lorenzo placed an index finger on his brow as he lowered his head trying to piece together the rest of her words. “You went through my things?” Lorenzo asked, yet he was sure he knew the answer. There was only one way someone could have found his stash of opium and gin. His raised hand lowered as he met her gaze with a face that was a stranger to Charlotte. Never had Lorenzo looked so furiously at her. “Why… why would you go through my things, in my room? And don't blame the rooster! Roosters don't have thumbs, Charlotte! Did Wulfric tell you to enter my room without my permission? To go through my things?!” Lorenzo could not contain the fire in his tone.

“The rooster knocked some of the furniture over so I was trying to put things back the way they were before you came home-” Charlotte had tried to explain softly, her tone unconfident, but she ended up breaking off with a crack in her voice. She felt small at that moment as if she were a child again.

Her lip quivered as she realized with more thought that it had been Count Fritz that put those items on the side table for her to find; she truly had no idea where they had originally come from. The opium and gin could have been very well way out of the rooster’s reach.

“Wulfric didn’t tell me to do anything…” She began and met his eyes with a frown, “I’m sorry Lorenzo. I won’t do it again I promise, but please you shouldn’t be using such things…”

“Stop that, this instant!” The last thing Lorenzo wanted to see at this moment was Charlotte crying. He wouldn't allow it. Not now. “And don't you dare try to switch this around on my use of my prescribed medicine! No rooster, not even one ordained by King Danrose himself could have opened the chest behind a closed room door! Why. Did. You. Enter. My. Room, Charlotte?” He was still seething but then the man simply… popped!

“You know what? Forget it. Forget it! I don't wish to hear any more of this! I just don't understand how you could act so… so… so inconsiderate to me? After everything I do and sacrifice for you. I commit to you and you… you go off to listen to the tales of other men?! And then you repeat them as truth! You let stray animals into our home with no regard for anyone else! Do you think Kier is safe with that rooster going wherever it pleases?! Do you think our servants appreciate having to take care of all these sudden and uninvited guests as well as that touched feline of yours?!” Lorenzo let the words fly with no disregard for the damage they dealt. “And then the strangers… two being fugitives… Complete strangers were allowed into our home without my permission… as if you are the true lady of the house! Charlotte, that you are not! You defiled our home, Charlotte. You- You… My room has always been off-limits, especially to guests, and you defiled that as well!”

Charlotte did not meet his eyes. As Lorenzo had gone on, she had felt sicker by the minute. Her heart pounded in her ears as she remained stiff. She felt completely overwhelmed. As silence filled the carriage, with the exception of the sound of galloping hooves, she did finally raise her gaze and manage to stammer quietly, “…I-I…I just didn’t want to lose you.” Tears brimmed in her eyes, “I love you.”

Lorenzo's anger burned fiercely as he confronted Charlotte leaning forward with his hands set on his thighs. “You are going to lose me if you continue to invade my privacy like this! Can't you see the consequences if I'm mistakenly sent to the sanatorium?! Deemed insane because of what you say?!” His frustration and fury added a deeper and more intense tone to his voice.

A glare of enmity pierced into Charlotte's eyes. “If you truly don't want to lose me, then stop disrespecting me like this, Charlotte!” His voice thundered through the carriage. “Just because I'm not your blood relative doesn't mean I don't deserve the same respect you gave them. I am the master of this house now, and from this moment forward, what I say goes.”

“Never, under any circumstances, enter my room again. And I forbid you from uttering a word about the things you discovered today otherwise you'll find yourself truly alone, with no one to love.”

Charlotte stared at him with disbelief and even some fear. She averted her gaze and anxiously tapped her foot. “I understand… I’m sorry.” Her words hadn't triggered any response from Lorenzo. He just continued to stare intensely at her until he breathed a heavy sigh. His expression relaxed as did his posture as he leaned back into his seat again.

“It’s been a long day… I think I’ll just walk the rest of the way home and enjoy the fresh air.” She called to Benjamin to stop the carriage and quite suddenly opened the door and stepped out. They were just around the block by the Sorian Library.

Still, she could not wait.

“Hm?” Lorenzo was slow to react. “Oh, Charlotte…” He simply shook his head and shut the carriage door defeatedly. Perhaps it was regret for shouting at her that was weighing him down, or maybe he was just tired from such a long day. Either way, Lorenzo was drained both physically and mentally.

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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Tpartywithzombi
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Tpartywithzombi “Strong women are absolutely unpredictable.”

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Location: Damian Manor
Time: 7pm

Violet's room was tucked away in the farthest corner of the sprawling manor, secluded from the opulent events and parties her parents often hosted. It was her sanctuary, a space where she could retreat and find solace from the chaos outside.

As Violet entered her bedroom, the heaviness of her emotions overwhelmed her like never before. With a forceful slam, she shut the door behind her, causing a picture frame to tremble and crash onto the cold carpeted floor, shards of glass scattering in all directions. The air in the room grew thick with an unsettling mix of anger, confusion, and betrayal.

For the first time since her return, Violet finally allowed herself to release the pent-up emotions that had been festering within her chest. Pacing back and forth, her footsteps echoing through the room, desperately trying to make sense of the unimaginable information she had just told. Her heart raced within her chest, pounding relentlessly, as her fingers involuntarily clenched into tight fists, trembling with the weight of her anguish.

Violets trembling hand instinctively moved to her face, her fingertips tracing the jagged scar that now marked her, a cruel reminder of the irreversible transformation she had been subjected to. With trembling fingers, she cautiously brushed her lips, the tips of her fingers moving over her teeth, feeling the sharpness of her elongated canines.

Turning her gaze to the veiled mirror, Violet tore away the fabric obscuring her reflection, desperate to see herself, to comprehend the reality that had befallen her. Yet, her eyes struggled to make sense of the blurred figure staring back at her, shrouded in shadows.

A cry of pain escaped her lips, the raw anguish echoing within the room.

In her anguish, Violet's emotions turned into a destructive force. With a sweep of her arm, she knocked over her vanity, sending bottles, makeup, and precious jewelry rocketing to the floor. The room resounded with the display of shattering glass and crashing objects, a symphony of her internal despair.

Sinking to her knees, Violet's body trembled uncontrollably. She sought solace in the support of her vanity, her tears flowing ceaselessly, carving wet trails down her anguished face. Painful cries continued to escape her lips, muffled by her quivering hands as she curled into a fetal position, clutching herself tightly. With every sob, her body shook, and the carpet beneath her absorbed the salty tears, creating a small pool of grief.

Violet allowed herself to be consumed by grief, her body convulsing with each wave of sorrow that crashed upon her. The weight of her newfound existence bore down on her, she had never felt so alone.
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