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An Inn, Garleton: Evening

While Rin was unsatisfied with the answer of the stalker, he would have to let it go since his client was already moving away. He definitely made sure to give the man a solid glare as they moved by before returning to his duties as a proper bodyguard. Thankfully the day passed by uneventfully, the money they made was enough to pay for lodging and food at the local inn in town. Rin would have insisted they share a room, but he knew that the client required privacy due to their opposite genders and basic societal courtesies. It annoyed him to no end, but he would have to accept the risk for the happiness of the client.

He entered his room and looked around, it was unimpressive. Not that it needed to be, simply having a bed was already a step up from the bedroll on hard dirt he usually slept in. He set aside his spear and lay down in bed, not bothering to take off his armor as he stared at the ceiling. It was still early, much too early to be sleeping. A yawn escaped Rin's lips regardless, the day finally catching up to him as he stretched his legs out. Perhaps if he closed his eyes... just for a minute...

"Rin! Something seems to be happening outside! I apologize for the interruption but please accompany me!" Rin's eyes snapped open, curses tumbling out his lips as he scrambled out of bed and grabbed his spear. "Sumire stop! You can't go outside without accompaniment, it defeats the purpose of a bodyguard!" He heard the chaos outside, the screams as people were cut down by god knows what. And his client was going to run off into that chaos by herself with no protection. The door was a suboptimal path, luckily Rin had been given a room with a view. He smashed open the window with his spear, leaping through and ignoring the broken glass that cut up his clothing. He looked left, then right, spotting Sumire exiting the inn and running into that man. "This is why I eliminate threats to client safety early, this girl is making me too soft-" He muttered to himself as he ran towards the duo, ready to skewer the man before he could lay a finger on her.

A flash of light exploded from Sumire's hands, knocking away a bandit that Rin had barely noticed in his singleminded focus on the stalker. Shame welled in his heart, but he squashed it down as he focused on the situation as a whole. There was no time as an arrow fired near Sumire, barely missing her and embedding itself into the doorway. Rin had closed the distance by now, moving in between Rin and the stalker as he fired a bolt of lightning at the archer who was attacking. "We need to get out of here right now." He called upon his knowledge of the town, mind going a mile a minute as he thought about the most well defended points of interest. "We're going to the castle, there will be no arguments." He appraised the mage who Sumire had defended for some pointless reason. "You will be coming with us." Rin determined that a larger group would be optimal, more bodies to put in between harm and the client.

Status: Alive
Class: Recruit

  • Vulnerary
  • Iron Lance

Status of Client:

Rose quickly followed suit in setting Chen down, brushing her hands off on her shirt as she looked at the newcomer. "Yeah we're just here looking for treasure and stuff. While I do love rebellion, I'm not here to get involved in any political shenanigans. All I know is that this dude fell out of the sky and then everyone started freaking out, so we just picked him up and booked it." Rose shrugged as she looked over at Kanbaru, a nonchalant look on her face as she discussed what lead to them carrying an unconscious young boy through the wastelands. "Anyways, I'm Rose! Nice to meet ya!"

"Hmmm...." The shattered world held no shortage of strangers and wandering nomads. And it wasn't like the two girls tried to fight back or even bring harm to Chen; though she raised an eye when Kanbaru patted the boy on his ass. "Well, you two look like the adventuring sort. But you can't live in these lands without having heard about the Imperium; or the people going against it. If you two are that ignorant, then we got another problem on our hands." Solanne embedded her blade into the ground and leaned forward atop it, giving both of them a look. "If you're not Imperials, how do I know you're not gonna rat me out to some, y'know? Well, I guess it wouldn't be a problem if you two joined the winning side..." she said with a hint of dramatic implication.

"Rat you out? You literally just dropped down from a tree alongside a random road. I don't think they'd care if we told them a self professed rebel was acting like a highwayman." Kanbaru shrugged, bouncing Chen with the exaggerated motion of her nonchalance. Not that Solanne wasn't bringing up good points, their ignorance proving nothing if not being suspicious in what had all the hallmarks of being a volitile political situation. Her brows rose as the red head went from menacing to recruiting on a dime, leaving her uncertain how to proceed. "Umm, you just said we know nothing about what's going on here. Aren't we like, the last people you'd want to just bring in, no questions asked?"

The way Rose's face contorted into an expression of pure disgust spoke volumes about how she felt about ratting people out to say the least, but she was definitely intrigued by the recruitment attempt. "So like, I agree with everything Kanbaru just said and all. But let's say she didn't talk you out of recruiting us out of nowhere, how much does being a rebel pay? Like I appreciate the idea of freedom from rule of law and all that, but I also enjoying having money to buy nice clothes. And money to buy food. And money. Just money in general really." While Rose certainly didn't want to becoming embroiled in a deep war of opposing ideals that had been going on for who knows how long, she really did like the promise of cold hard cash. The adventure on the road to cold hard cash was also nice.

"Ah, but see, people who don't know any better are the best sorts to recruit, y'know?" Solanne flashed Kanbaru a cheeky grin. "That means you can see for yourselves what the Imperium's tyranny looked like. And with no connecting ties to either side, you're the ideal candidates to bring on board." Next she looked at Rose with an answer for her too. "Oh, you get paid lots and lots....and you'll get paid even more when we win and overthrow the Imperium. There's alot to be gained, really, especially on the monetary side." Now whether that was true or not, neither girl had a reference of comparison in this world. "Besides, don't you think the way things are run around here is kind of, y'know, oppressive? You say you're newcomers but you must have gotten some exposure to this land, yeah?"

Kanbaru schooled her features, looking towards Rose to hide her complete ignorance of the Imperium. She'd only seen a handful of armed soldiers on the street, not the full blown colomn of them that had nearly arrested the Black Pentacle earlier, though in doing so she could tell real quick the pirate would be having them hop aboard just for the flagrant promise of money. Probably can't even use it once we leave this world, but whatever floats her boat. "Alrighty then, just what are you looking for from us then?"

"Sweet, I'm in." The moment Soleanne spoke of getting paid lots for overthrowing governments Rose had already made up her mind. And even assuming she didn't get paid lots, that just meant she would have to steal all their treasure as she handed in her resignation form. Win win! "Oh yeah, I think I ran into those Imperium guys when I came here. There was this lady with a big ass dog that could smell lies or something, she was yelling at my group about going to meet a governer or something, but I decided I didn't really feel like it so I just left. She seemed pretty confused by that honestly, didn't expect me to just walk off. Then I met up with Kanbaru again and then the kid crashed into the ground from the sky and then we ended up here! Talking to you! I don't think we caught your name yet by the way." As she mentioned Chen she made sure to poke him in the side, a small groan rumbling up from his chest as she did so. "He does that everytime I poke him, I think he might have broken ribs or something. But he also heals pretty fast, so maybe he's just sore?" Rose shrugged, it wasn't really her business.

Solanne nodded, happy to see two fresh recruits into the Librarian's cause. She opened her mouth to give the bluenette some expectations, which weren't much, only to be talked over by Rose. As soon as she mentioned a lady with a big dog, the redhead paused. Her grin slowly dipped into the opposite direction; the temperature in their small clearing slowly started to hike up in degree and Solanne waited for Rose to finish her spiel. Poking Chen probably didn't help. "Huh. So you met up with the Imperium's top enforcer, yeah? The one that's kind of infamous for all of us rebels? Y'know, I kind of thought you girls were cool. When were you gonna tell me you were totally spies?"

The temperature boiled by now, no doubt leaving everyone in the forest sweating except for Solanne. "Sorry bout this buddy, but we just scored some free intelligence," she said to the downed Chen, hiking her blade back up and pointing it at the duo. This time she wasn't backing down. "Name's Solanne by the way, but your Imperial friend knows me by the Crimson Hound. Hey, I didn't make it up, she did, with her weird fetish for animals. But that's beside the point. The offer's still up just so you know, but I think we're all better off for some forceful recruiting."

"What? No no, seriously. What?" Kanbaru said, trying to grasp the full heelturn that had the now named Solanne turning on them because apparently the others just so happened to meet up with some rather prominent imperials. The irony of the split party winding up on diametrically opposed sides of the war wasn't lost on her, but it wasn't lifting her spirits any either. The change in temperature told her that her precious diplomacy wasn't going to work here, so the bluenette cut right to the chase and lightened her load.

A full twirl on the spot and she had flung Chen hard towards the pyromaniac Rebel, her keyblade summoned to her hand and conjuring a ball of near freezing water to follow up the airborne sack of potatoes. "You really need to work on your sales pitch. Often times people fumble at the end, but you failed spectacularly!"

"Wait, huh? But wouldn't we be like, the worst spies ever if we just walked up to you and started talking about how we just met up with some big important Imperium lady who's also our boss? That doesn't make much sense at all! Is everyone who's ever met with an Imperium guy a spy? I feel like you're logic is kinda funky here..." Rose rambled as she pulled out her newly acquired card. "Well, I guess now's as good a time as any to try this out. Oh man I've always wanted to say this."Rose struck a serious pose as Kanbaru tossed Chen at Soleanne, passing the card over her face as she transformed.

"Henshin!" Her bore a striking resemblance to Chen, save for the distinctly feminine outfit. "Alright, let's see what this bad boy can do!" Rose cried out as she dashed towards Soleanne with katana, whoa she has a katana now, a trail of ice forming behind her as she moved. "Ice powers, neat." She slashed at Solanne in tandem with Kanbaru's blast of water, ducking low while Kanbaru aimed high.

Ironically, it was the duo who struck first, a living projectile hurled right at Solanne. She caught the flung Chen and swiftly deposited him to the side with a, "Sorry", before a hand wreathed in instant fire smacked away the ball of water. The orb dispersed into fresh steam on contact, the water sizzling in the air itself as a reminder of the forest's rising temperature. So great was the heat that soon enough, it'd be difficult to breathe for either girls.

".....y'know, it doesn't help your case using my ally's power," Solanne mused, seeing Rose now wearing Chen's clothes along with her continued attack. "I'm not sure how you're able to steal and absorb someone's Tome, but we've got ways of finding that out-woahh!" Rose even copied his weapons too somehow, Solanne's blade blocking the sword before bursting into a pillar of fire held in her hands. "But that's not too great for you when fire beats ice," she told Rose smugly, rearing back and kicking her with her boot, using enough force to mirror Kanbaru's Chen Bullet.

"Pfft, like I'd let you!" Solanne's boot would meet no resistence, a golden portal swallowing her kick into a treasury dimension that would leave her off balance. Behind the portal the last glimmers of a Serei card absorption cascaded around Kanbaru, her hair lightened to a bone white and a infernal dagger in place of her keyblade. At her command the portal spat Solanne back out, unable to close with her still in it, and the moment it blinked out Kanbaru was dashing low to the ground with her blade out to strike. "Pierce all; Cheater's Blade!"

"I still don't know what a tome is, not the face!" Rose cringed in preparation for what was surely gonna be a solid boot the the skull, only to blink as a golden portal protected her, courtesy of Kanbaru. "Ah sweet, teamwork!"Rose jumped into the air, letting Kanbaru fly under her as Rose did a full three hundred and sixty degree turn and extended her leg. "Roundhouse kick!" Her leg was encased in ice, adding weight and armor to her kick as she moved to kick Soleanne in the face just as she had tried to do to her. She was also working to completely encase herself in an armor of ice, just in case Soleanne had some more tricks up her sleeve.

"Well, shit...." Solanne felt gravity inverse itself as her leg was stucked into a portal. By the time it closed, Rose was walking without a bloodied face and Kanbaru was transformed too. There wasn't time to think, only act. The Crimson Hound slashed to meet Kanbaru's strike, catching the blade in a lock that sparked nearly harsher than the flames she was putting out. "So you both got that trick, huh?" Solanne frowned, noticing that Kanbaru's blade, which was now a dagger, was cutting through hers. "Just how sharp is that-oh shit!" A wall of fire burst from the proximity of Solanne's arm to melt away the iced leg heading right for her courtesy of Rose. With muscles reaming, she pushed off Kanbaru and spun about to leave Rose's kick missing all in one fluid motion.

"Sheesh, you two are starting to make me sweat now. You seem nice enough for Imperial spies so I promise this won't hurt. Much." At this point the air was dense and hot enough to start lighting leaves on fire and the oxygen in the area was rapidly falling to a minium. Solanne kept a spare gaze on Chen, ready to end the fight soon before he was baked to the ground. At the same time, the flames surrounding her grew hot enough to melt through the armor Rose had spent time creating.

A surge of unbridled glee tore through Kanbaru just as keenly as the Cheater's Blade began to do with Solanne's massive sword. Just a few more inches and she'd have comprimised it beyond use, but the Crimson Hound wisely backed away and deprived her of the easy victory. The heat swelled to new heights, Solanne seemingly unaffected by her own magic. "Gaah, this place is turning into an oven. Rose, we need to take her down, now."

Taking the lead once more, she brandished her devilish dagger for another lunge, face twisting from the effort to take a single step closer when the height was a near wall. It was a fresh hell, the metal bits of her own attire burning angry welts against her skin till even she could take no more. With a scream Kanbaru's arm whipped straight back, hurling the Cheater's Blade into one portal while her other hand rose up, blasting a torrent of freezing water towards Solanne. It evaporated instantly, a plume of fog existing for scarce moments before even the vapor vanished, but it was cover enough to mask the portal opening behind Solanne that ejected the projectile dagger towards her back.

Rose landed on her feet quickly, sweating as Solanne turned the battlefield into what she imagined the surface of the sun to be like, but worse. "I'll keep her attention, just do some sneaky stuff." And with that Rose activated the second part of her new powers, regeneration. The way Chen used it was to regenerate from wounds and grow plants, but it was so much more than that. It was the ability to regenerate anything, creating something from nothing. So as Rose focused on her katana, forming ice around it to make it even longer than it already was, she dashed towards Solanne head on, her blade turning into a spear of raw ice as she stabbed into the heat with all the energy she could muster. And even as the ice melted rapidly, it regenerated from nothing, a constant cycle of cold and hot whipping the arid dirt around them into a frenzy as a small tornado formed around them.

"I am the storm! Now fall as I pierce your heart with justice!"Damn she always wanted to say that. Eat your heart out Kamen Rider, Freedom Pirate Rose just did a signature attack.

"An attack like that won't work," Solanne called out to the staggered Kanbaru, frowning as her flames reacted in their natural way. That meant the pulse of water that met it head on was reduced to a fresh mist, albeit one that was rapidly deteriorating from the heat. But it was enough of a distraction to count; by the the time Solanne's sights were brought back, she noticed the dagger in Kanbaru's hand was missing. Then she noticed the second girl charging right for her with a melted popsicle stick. "You ready for a tan?" she said, more than eager to burn Rose alive with an explosion of fire and heat the closer she got. Her endeavors came to a halt as a pain much hotter than her flames pierced her from behind.

"Gahh!" The pain suddenly doubled as Rose's attack made contact, a blade sticking out of the Crimson Hound from either side. Sword falling out of her grip and her knees buckling to the forest floor, Solanne desperately tried to wrench the dagger out of her back with her armored hand while the other burned Rose as it grabbed for the girl's wrist, still holding her spear. Even so, the distraction and rising blood was enough for the flames to slowly die down and the forest's temperature to dial back to normalcy, if not a layer of sweat on everyone but Solanne. The leaves that caught on fire turned to ash as the rebel bit down through the pain, ignoring the blood seeping from her front and back.

Their gambit worked perfectly, bringing down not just the Rebel but the flames that proved the greater threat in their fight, even with Rose and Kanbaru's seeming elemental advantage. She ejected the Henry card, dispelling the dagger in Solanne's back amid a wave of airy motes of light even as her keyblade was held before Solanne's face with an air of finality. "That's enough, Solanne. You may have powerful flames, but you've already demonstrated you are unaffected by them. I just need to squeeze off a burst and your lungs can boil or freeze with you unable to lift a finger about it."

She eyed the hand reached out to Rose sternly before aiming the blade to the grass between them. "But we aren't spies, and we aren't going to be the Imperium's assassins just because they've made you too wary of strangers. Now, can handle those wounds on your own or do we need to bandage you before we start getting compensated for this?"

"I'll just do it myself, don't worry about it." The burns on Rose's wrist vanished quickly enough, barely lingering long enough to hurt as Chen's insane powers of regeneration dealt with any wounds she had been dealt. Rose dispelled her weapon in turn, returning to her normal form as she pressed a hand to Solanne's bleeding wound. While it would initially hurt, having a hand placed on a fresh stab wound, the gentle relief that flowed from Rose's hand would surely be enough to calm the raging hound as she cast Cure. "But seriously though, seems like a terrible idea to just go around and talk about Imperium guys we ran into if we really were spies. I hope you're not behind recruiting, because you seem pretty bad at it." Soon enough the wounds were fully healed, leaving Rose touching bare skin for way too long.

"Anyone ever told you you're pretty hot? In both senses of the word, if you catch my drift." Rose winked at Solanne as she slowly disengaged from touching her, the tips of her fingers lingering just a moment longer as Rose winked at their former opponent.

Solanne gave Kanbaru a glare in addition to rolled eyes. "That doesn't explain how you can use other people's powers," she pointed out, noting how a card ejected right out of her body in a glow of light. Before she could answer about her wounds, Rose took the initiative, healing both herself and the Crimson Hound. Solanne gasped lightly before feeling the seering burn in her back and front dissipate away, blood stopping and flesh sinewing itself back together. The blatant flirting wasn't lost on her and she stared at Rose with a raised eye at the compliment. "Well, you're not bad yourselves when it comes to combat, despite being strangers. And my sales pitch totally still applies if you two hadn't just outed yourselves as some kind of Imperials. Like I said, people can't just steal other people's Tomes. Not that I know of..."

"I'm going to assume Tomes are your source of magic? Look, we're really, really foreign. We've got our own system and stuff." Kanbaru came down to a knee, resting a hand on Solanne's shoulder to try and get across how non-threatening they were right now. "We aren't spies. I could keep argueing that, but I doubt you'll just take my word on it, so let me ask you; Does it even matter? If we aren't spies, you get help. If we are, you have your eyes on two sexy spies who are still helping you to keep up some kind of cover. If you spilled anything to people you didn't trust then frankly they's just on you guys."

"You're smoking hot. Don't make me need to bruise that bod of yours. It's a crying shame!"

"Listen, I'm gonna lay out just how foreign we are. We came from this little island nation called Japan right? It's got it's own powers, we've never even heard of wherever the hell we are right now! We saw this crazy tower one day, decided to go into it for whatever reasons, I was doing it for adventure. We found these weird ass cards, we don't know the people on em, but the cards give us powers that I'm assuming are related to said people. That's all we know, we don't know anything about the Imperium, about any rebellion, I don't know who this guy is, I don't know who you are outside of your name, and we aren't spies. That's that." Rose let loose an absolute torrent of words as her annoyance at Solanne's paranoia reached its peak, the sheer backwardness of what she was saying driving her insane! "Now stop talking crazy and go back to being sexy and mysterious! We already agreed to join you, I'm just here for money and adventure! I could not give less of a fuck about your horrible dystopian society! As long as I get a fun time, I'm down for whatever!"Rose leered at Solanne blatantly as she said this, smirking as she ran a hand through her hair.

"And I do mean whatever."

Once again, before Solanne could answer Kanbaru, a wave of verbal vomit by Rose was expunged instead. It didn't help the girl was speaking a mile a minute for every word, but even her words made no sense. Japan? Magic cards? Well, that had some evidence to it with their fighting style, but the rest of it sounded as mad as Lorelai. "Ok, I believe you," she said flatly. "Not even my sister can make up a cover story that blatantly false. But yeah, sure, you're from Japan." She winked as she repeated the foreign word on her tongue, catching onto their clear-cut cover story that baffled even her. That said...Rose's hand made her realize just how close the two girls were. With Kanbaru's hand on her shoulder and Rose stroking her crimson locks, she nervously settled back.

"Er...what kind of whatever are you thinking about, Girl Chen?" Then she realized Kanbaru also commented on her body and suddenly she began to question the real intentions. Just because they weren't Imperials didn't mean they were morally sane.

The bluenette was just as staggered by Rose's verbal assault as Solanne, surprised she'd even make the attempt of explaining their actual origins when they sounded so far fetched to the layperson. Still it seemed to appeal to Solanne, finding the notion so absurd no competant spy would even consider spinning such a yarn. This left the red head to face the implications of what both girls had heavily hinted at, and after Rose's avalanch of words, Kanbaru was keen to make the next move.

"The kind that ends with us sans our clothes and very, very satisfied." Kanbaru purred, leaning in with her hand drifting back to craddle Solanne's neck while her lips brazenly pressed to the more mature woman's. Her tongue beckoned for entrance as their lips met, yet she waited for the redhead to respond before going onwards.

Her suspicions were confirmed in the broadest way possible, lips taken by Kanbaru's in little time. The only warning she got was a deep-rooted purr before the blunette made her move, lips nearly singed by the depth of warmth radiated off the Crimson Hound's. Needless to say, she was quite surprised at the boldness, staring at Kanbaru. "Great. I get two molestors instead. I think I'd rather you two just be Imperials," she panted, wiping her lips with a sleeve that doubled in hiding her red cheeks.

The Crimson Hound wasn't exactly responsive, but Kanbaru enjoyed what taste she got while it lasted before she leaned back. "Come on, molestors? It's not like we're tearing your clothes off here. You can just say no if you really don't want too. Though sheesh, it's kinda insulting to get a non-response like that. Hmm, or maybe you like being in that it?"

"Yeah, it isn't molest if we're all consenting adults. So are you consenting or what, I need to know so I can start taking my clothes off, lots of buckles and clasps on this bitch." Straight to the point as always, Rose leaned back out of Solanne's personal space, tousling her own hair as she mentally noted where each and every buckle on this damn uniform was. Or maybe she could magically dispel it? That would be convenient.

"It's kind of insulting to just expect free sex out of a few compliments too," the Crimson Hound retorted. She glanced over at Chen, only to see the boy was still unconscious. In hindsight, it made sense; any woman would have been this needy when lugging around Chen all day. Seeing that he wasn't waking up any time soon, she huffed. "Yeah, sure, I consent. Your friend there is already ripping her clothes off," she said, looking at Rose fumble around.

With healers focused on Saffron she would be up and at it again soon, but during that time people were dropping left and right as nobody could take the aggro that she could. Up until Graphite showed up that is. While her sharp words drew little attention from the Champion, the concussion grenade designed to grab it's attention certainly did as several of it's drones were blasted apart. This was also Ranger's opportunity to mark the Champion, as there was now a very large opening exposing the boss. These precious few moments were critical, as everyone began to open fire on the Champion while it had it's focus turned on Graphite. From 65 percent to 60 within ten seconds, it seems the boss actually staggered for a brief moment under a particularly powerful sniper shot from Royal Ranger.

And Graphite was avoiding damage like a pro, her skills from PvP translating surprisingly well to the PvE environment. "**** off Graphite!" And Saffron was back up finally, unloading onto the boss with Incendiary grenades and all the firepower she could muster in an attempt to outdamage Graphite. From 60 to 55, the boss was dropping health much faster than it had been in the prior phase, the drones scrambling to try and fill the holes that the grenades were opening, until suddenly they scattered in all directions again, leaving the boss wide open.

"I grow weary of this game. Let us all bathe under the light of the Abysmal Sun."

The drones flew into the sky above, crashing and smashing into each other with reckless abandon as the boss slowly ascended into the sky. Soon there were no drones left, only a massive orb of crushed metal and wires, sparking with azure energy as the boss rose to meet it. It raised its blade above its head, scraping the tip against the sphere of alien material and igniting it. It blazed like the sun, blinding everyone in the arena without exception. And then they knew nothing as their health dropped to zero.

Time up.

Just like that, everyone had simply run out of time. A common mechanic in MMOs, the enrage was designed to give a set time limit for raids and to add a sense of urgency to the fight. Without the enrage, healers would simply be able to infinitely heal while tanks took all the aggro and damage from the boss, making it's defeat an inevitability. Saffron raged over the team chat, screaming bleeped obscenities as she stomped away to who knows where. She would probably calm down later and message everyone in the guild, giving everyone a job well done and some tips on what they had done right and wrong.

What was much more intriguing however, was the single email everyone who had participated had received.

Well that was quite the light show huh? I figure now is as good a time as any now that you've worked up a sweat, so I wanted to announce the opening of the brand new bar/hangout spot in HGO, the Sixth Chamber! Come on in for drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), food, and a place to hang out with friends while chatting about the total ass whupping you just received from that boss! You can find us at the corner of 6th and Blanco, we have the big impressive display out front that shows a revolver firing a bullet! It's super cool! And remember, the fight ain't over till the Sixth Chamber is empty!
Sixth Chamber Owner, Henry
Consider me interested.
Plaza, Garleton: Noon

A few different things of note happened as Rin stood guard. A spear wielder assaulted a would be thief who was approaching a mage, likely another bodyguard and client duo judging by how he simply settled next to the woman with little fanfare. Medium priority duo to be watched, the spear wielder was a possible threat but they showed no sign of approaching. More people gathered in the crowd, most being low priority due to both distance and how they were limited by the crowd. Sumire soon finished her performance, sending the bard to collect their payment from the ground.

Several children ran up to her with stars in their eyes, Rin was already moving to intercept when Sumire raised her hand to stop him. "They're just curious children, be at ease, Rin. While them on the other hand..." While Rin had many objections, especially after seeing someone their age try to rob someone in the crowd not even a minute ago, she was correct in that the objectionable looking mercenaries needed to be cleared out.

"Your presence disquiets my employer. Please vacate the premises immediately and never come near her again." It was far from elegant to be sure, with the group of three narrowing their eyes and beginning to step forward to give the boy half their age a piece of their mind.

"Now you listen here kid, you don't tell us-" Any further objections were interrupted by a swift punch to the throat, leaving the man on the ground and gasping for air as his friends crowded around him. Nothing more needed to be said, Rin turned away from the wannabe mercenaries and headed back to Sumire who was finishing with the children.

"IT'S YOU!!"

Rin's stance immediately tightened as he ran to Sumire, who had now pulled away their stalker from the crowd to avoid making a scene. "I would suggest we break his legs to prevent any further pursuit." And of course the first solution Rin had to offer was the most efficient and likely the most distasteful to Sumire. It's why he led with the option, he knew it would be rejected out of hand, meaning his next suggestion would be met with much more consideration. "Failing that, we could always just knock him out and hand him over to the local guards. I am sure they would know what to do with a strange man stalking a woman through several towns." He said as he already drew his spear and experimentally twirled it around, getting ready to give the man a concussion he would never forget. Or maybe he would, those tend to happen with concussions.

Status: Alive
Class: Recruit

  • Vulnerary
  • Iron Lance

Status of Client:

The honesty on display was refreshing. Their were no shows of bravado, no grand displays of power to prove that they were still the best despite the losses incurred. Their spokesperson was upfront about the problems they faced, both immediate and long term. Despite all this, Kuro was admittedly unimpressed by the first impression given by their leader. While she appreciated her honesty, the lack of confidence shown by Lyveva was disheartening, a sentiment likely shared by many given the frowns all around. The only thing that had kept people from outright leaving was likely the enthusiasm given off by one bold Miqo'te. People began to ride that initial wave of excitement all around, with many more pledging their loyalty to the cause without any further hesitation. Yet Kuro still had her doubts.

It was not the leader which inspired confidence, it was sheer dumb luck that one random bystander had made up for her lackluster speech and gotten so many to join. Kuro almost wanted to leave because of this poor showing, how could she possibly pledge loyalty to someone with so little backbone! How could someone so meek help her take back Doma! But she suppressed her indignation for one simple reason. The way the girl spoke of being the leader, how she had inherited the position from those who came before, it was all too nostalgic. It was the exact same place she had started, inheriting a dream from those who came before. 'Nobody starts off perfectly.'

With that thought in mind, Kuro nodded at the girl quietly. Whether she saw or not was of little import, for now this one would have her support. With that thought being conveyed, Kuro suppressed all signs of her presence and blended into the crowd, ready to follow her leader to save her home. An interesting start, to save the home of someone Kuro hoped would one day save her home. It seemed fitting, thematic almost.
Plaza, Garleton: Noon

His morning routine was the same as always. Open eyes, breathe, sit up. Straighten clothing, looking professional is an important part of the job. Practice forms for one hour. Eat dried rations, drink exactly two gulps of water from canteen. It is at this time that the client awakens, which means that Rin's morning routine has now ended. He must now adjust to the routine of his client, or the lack thereof for Sumire. Today they went out to hire a wandering minstrel, a Dancer's best work was done with music according to Sumire. And so he strapped his lance onto his back and prepared to take on the day and whatever challenges it may throw his way.

'Day 17. We have arrived in Garleton with few issues aside from idle complaints from the client, the client remains untouched. Things may change as we enter our first major town, I will have to be more vigilant.'

Deals were made, coin passed hands, but these details were of little importance to the bodyguard. Everyone was evaluated as they passed by his client. The city brimmed with danger, mercenaries who had to much to drink, citizenry on edge with the arrival of their prince, soldiers looking to vent whatever frustrations they may have, anyone could be a threat to his client's safety. Rin made sure to stay close to her, close enough to shield her from any sudden threats but also far enough that personal space was not violated and his client felt comfortable.

'A man who stunk of alcohol leered at the client, a subtle shift of my lance quickly sobered him up. He passed by us with no incident. A child reached out to touch the client's robes, I was swift to interpose myself in between the child and the client. The client seemed annoyed by this, I will have to ponder why later.'

When she eventually chose a place to perform, Rin's senses tightened even further. A crowd was the ideal place for an assassin or other rogue to hide, bursting from cover when you least expect to attack. He had already evaluated several possible routes of escape should worst come to pass, the current favored route would no doubt knock over the excited child pointing at Sumire, but no permanent harm would come to him. Rin took a moment to observe his client as he scanned the crowd with arms crossed and gaze narrowed. The way she moved her arms, it was reminiscent of a flower blooming. The gentle melody of the bard sped up, turning Sumire from a blooming flower into a storm of petals dancing through the wind. Rin's eyes softened slightly as he watched his client work, it was far from the worst thing he had ever-

Rin's eyes were torn from Sumire as he noticed a subtle shift towards the front of the crowd, but it was merely a father lifting his daughter onto his shoulders. False alarm, but he would have to reevaluate his favored escape option now that the father had joined the child. If he knocked her over and the father tried to grab Rin then it would be an suboptimal escape route.

Status: Alive
Class: Recruit
  • Vulnerary
  • Iron Lance

Status of Client:
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