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In Avalia 2 days ago Forum: Casual Roleplay
Time: Morning
Location: Peninsula North of Roshmi
Interaction: Cyrene @Tpartywithzombi
Equipment: Backpack, fishing net, fishing pole, 3 medium red potions, 3 small blue potions, 1 green potion, fire starting kit, poncho, rope, frogfly named “Beebee,” cooking pot, hygiene pouch, water purifier, wooden spear, handcrafted bow and arrows, knife, wool blanket

Today couldn’t get any better for the simian demihuman as he napped against the smooth bark of a beech tree underneath his wool blanket. His snoring filled the air carrying a cool breeze over grasslands cresting the mouth of the river that led to the vast Avalian sea. For Eros, this was his home, his freedom, and a pleasant chapter of his life that he didn’t wish to let go of. He didn’t have riches or a sense of adding any productivity to society but living in his bubble of bliss and privilege was enough for him. The monks at North Pass would have never let him take a morning nap. Hell, who knew something such as it were a thing? His only troubles these days were catching enough fish for the day and his occasional visits to Roshmi to purchase items he couldn’t make himself.

Just above his head, a tiny frogly named Beebee flew about as the jingle of a bell could be heard at the bank of the river mouth. His wings buzzed with each ring of the bell that was meant to alert Eros of a hefty catch in his fishing net. Still, Eros slumbered, his chest rising and falling with each steady breath. Interestingly enough, it was the rhythmic chirp from Beebee that woke Eros. He was rather slow in waking, first, ceasing his snoring before giving his eyes a few seconds to blink themselves open.

“Bee… bee,” he said sheepishly. Eros rubbed his eyes and peered up at the pudgy chirping creature. “Can’t you see I’m napping? And I was having such” Though he scowled, he sat himself up, finding no sense in going back to sleep since the frogfly was chirping and there was that awful bell ringing in the distance. Bell? My bell? Yes, my bell!

Eros jumped up to his feet with a lively smile, clenching his fists.

“HA! I caught something big too!” A joyous laughter escaped him as he ran down to the bank with little Beebee following behind him still chirping to the sound of the bell. “Sell or eat? What do you think I should do, Beebee?” He asked as he approached the rattling bell hanging from a rope tied to both a sturdy tree trunk and the net in the water. “Heh…” Eros gripped the rope with both hands before he pulled in his catch, hand over hand. The excitement continued to build within his fuzzy chest as he felt the weight of his potential next meal. Beebee seemed to cheer him on but was simply chirping over his shoulder. The dorsal fin of the creature could be seen first, making Eros widen his eyes even further. At that moment, he made his decision. He’d fill his belly with this prize and resume his nap until the next catch of the day. The dark blue scales indicated it could be tuna. No wonder it was so big. Bearing his teeth, Eros’ fur bristled as he pulled the fish from the river with all of his might.

However, his expression starkly changed to one of wonder as he noticed the pale skin, arms, hands, fingers, head, and head of his tasty tuna. Narrowing his eyes, he walked over to the exhausted merwoman trapped in his net.

“You’re supposed to be a tuna. What are you doing in my net, fish lady?” He asked as he raised an eyebrow. “Fish lady? Hmm… How does it go? How does it go? Umm… Have fun in the morning with… No, that’s not it. Beware of glows at night? No not that either.” He said as his amber eye met hers.

In Avalia 10 days ago Forum: Casual Roleplay

Time: Morning
Location: Roshmi!
Interaction:Brigitte @Tae, Bardulf @Lava Alckon, Rue @Potter, Bowyn @Helo, Zeva @Pink Khione, Brigitte @Tae (optional)
Mention: The "S" Word
Equipment:Fancy Ring, Cold Ring, Oak Wood Staff!, Brown Leather Fingerless Channeling Gloves (not worn), Transmission Bracelet, 560 Amas. Oh! And Owlbear loot that he hasn't shared

Mister Luum and Brigitte were behind Zeva in line to which the former couldn't help but become transfixed to her behavior. Unlike Bowyn and Rue, he held little suspicion for her but there was just something that bothered him about her. Was it her hairstyle? Her gait? Perhaps her clothes, no. Her proportions maybe? Her age? No, she's young but… Hmm, yes. YES! Mister Luum's face filled with intense vigor.

As Zeva was finally receiving her food, Mister Luum pointed at her head with his thoughts escaping from his mouth.

“It's her EARS!” Mister Luum had shouted loud enough to grab the attention of several people passing by. Fortunately due to the hustle and bustle of Roshmi, the curiosity ceased after a quick glance at Mister Luum and the young elven woman. The excited expression on his face soon became one of regret as he covered his mouth.

“Mister Luum… Brigitte sounded as uncomfortable as he looked. His oddness often escaped her with his paranoia of complete strangers making her wary of what he might do if he ever acted on his strange feelings of others. Fortunately, Mister Luum never took things that far. She knew he shied away from conflict, something she often found peculiar due to how powerful she knew he was. Once he was engaged in a combative altercation, he performed exceedingly well. Even after all these years, Brigitte still found Mister Luum to be quite the enigma.

“Apologies, Zeva, I was simply pointing out your most striking feature. Your ears are very attractive. Mhm, yup. Best ears I've seen in years! Ohoho, that rhymed!” He was back to being chipper.

“Ya sure did Mister Luum.” Brigitte smiled and clapped her hands together. “My turn. Time ta eat a delicious treat.” She stepped forward to view the pastries and treats behind the glass display.

“Needs work.” He commented with a smirk, making Brigitte frown while pressing her fingertips together. The attendant placed himself across from the two behind the counter. “Hello, I am Mister Luum, renown owner of the renown Saluumi Shack. My slave and I…” Mister Luum gave Brigitte a soft headpat. “...would like four honeyed roast slices and two toffee apples.” Mister Luum didn't have to even tell Brigitte a thing as she already removed her bow and backpack to retrieve 12 amas to pay with. “Good girl.” His smirk was still splayed on his expression.

In Avalia 11 days ago Forum: Casual Roleplay

Time: Late Morning
Location: The Nest, Roshmi City
Interaction: @princess Mari, @Alivefalling Aerilyn, [@Apex Sunset] Scathael, [@Shining Sector] FIVE


Thraash was feeling the thrill of this altercation, even without tapping his Muse Box on his waist or playing his ax-guitar. He almost wondered if Mari set this whole fight up as an early Gift Day present. A solid mayhem-causing warforged to do battle with and a bunny girl with nice legs wielding a wicked hammer at his favorite hotspot! He hadn't even gotten his brunch and gin yet! Thraash's invigoration was at its peak- fuck, it was beyond it's peak.

If only he hadn't inhaled all that yellow gas. The effects weren't instant, and perhaps if he would have simply taken a casual breath of the stuff he might have been okay for a while longer. Thraash was a big guy but inhaling so deeply to unleash his fiery attack had put him in a dangerous situation. His jaw tingled as the last of his flames shot out and it didn't help that the metal man swatted away the little that was left. The tingling quickly spread through his face and neck, causing him to dip his chin and blink inneseccantly. The words he was going to say failed to escape him but would have said something along the lines of “What the fuck is happening?”

Thraash could only grunt as his knees buckled and he dropped his weapon onto the ground. Falling forward, he tried to catch himself but the dragonborn's arms felt too heavy to do what he wanted. With his body's paralysis betraying him, he hit the ground with a heavy thud.

Fuck… He thought as he only see the lower parts of Five and Aerylin. Both engaged in a fight he hated to miss. The most he could do was twitch his clawed fingers and tail and wallow in how pissed he was to be floored like this. If I get up, I'm gonna rip his damn head off. Yeah that'll be solid as fuck. He better fuckin' kill me or I'm gonna… fuck. Get up! FUCK!

An entire day had passed after the AAR before Viktor found it appropriate to approach Kassy regarding KJ. This discussion between them was long overdue due to the sensitivity of the topic. Even as he walked to Kassy's room, he wondered if he was making the right call. Kassy had already gone to see KJ earlier and would be gearing up to go about the rest of her morning. Now was a better time than ever but he could feel something pushing against his advance. An apprehension. A fear.

It won't deter me. He reached the door and gave it three very firm knocks. “Kassy, it's Viktor. Do you have time to talk?”

There was quiet for several moments before Kassy’s voice hit his ears. "Yes, I suppose." The door opened to reveal the worn-looking girl. She didn't bother faking a smile. "I'm so tired… do you think you could make me some Atlantean coffee?" Truthfully it was more almond milk and sugar than coffee, but it didn't leave her crazy.

"We are overdue for a chat, aren't we?"

“We are.” Viktor was frowning at her current appearance. He folded his arms across his chest. “But you were supposed to get rest, Kass.” He should have expected that Kassy wouldn't have. A low grunt escaped him before he spoke again. “This can wait.” It wasn't what he wanted but Viktor didn't want to push the topic of interest if Kassy was tired.

"I… tried." She shrugged mildly. There was no point in discussing the nightmares that had shattered her sleep before she simply gave up.

"Let’s just get this done." With that said, she stepped past him. She was unbearably thirsty.

“Fine.” Viktor almost said begrudgingly as he followed behind her. “Kila and Ja. You and I. We both know things about their mind… You know how I feel about solving problems myself but… I need your help. And that starts with you telling me everything you know about his mind.” Viktor had tried to be softer with how he rolled his words out but he wanted to get to the point.

Kassy was quiet as they walked to the kitchen. She pulled out a large jug of what looked like water, labeled 'mermaid juice' in loopy, bubbly handwriting. (Zach had insisted on the name.) She popped the lid open and didn't bother with a cup, drinking straight from it. Almost 30 seconds later, it was empty and she felt marginally more sociable.

"I'm sure you do need my help. But I'm not telling you anything until you tell me exactly what you mean by solving problems." She tipped her chin up, her tired gaze still resolute. "If you're in agreement with anything Pei said, I'll not waste your time and go back to bed." She strode to the sink, putting the jug under the faucet. Viktor held back the desire to scowl at her back. He was not a fan of how everyone was looking at this scenario. There was too much emotion stewing in it for his liking. Too many extremes.

"Do you want to fix him? Or do you want to help him?"

“Quit it with that, alright. Fixing is solving. Helping is solving. Adding a different tone to choice words isn't getting anyone anywhere. We both know Pei is a poor orator so I'm not going to entertain whether or not I agree with what she said.” Now he was scowling… “It's as simple as this. Ja and Kila have an issue and they need our help. Benching them is just the beginning of what might happen. I don't want what happens next. Do you agree with that?”

"..." Kassy balked slightly at Viktor's words. He was right. Completely right - it was so obvious a cavefish could see it.

"No, I don't. I can't let him keep hurting, or hurt anyone else." The jug was overflowing. "I won't let the League lock him away." She shut the water off and lifted the very full jug. Water slopped on the floor; her hands were trembling. Viktor sighed, more so at himself for laying out how felt with such rawness.

“Kass…” He decided it might be best not to make the situation any worse. “They won't… We both know Ja and Kila respectively better than most. Two personas inhabiting the same body. Ja is deeply in tune with the Red. Kika, not so much but he seems to have a tighter grasp on his training with the BSF. The 'Red Beast' is what I believe we've been dealing with. What he's been dealing with… And you faced it twice, correct?” Viktor was aware of the closeness of Kass and KJ. This felt like a Hail Mary, but Viktor felt Kassy was a paramount piece to some sort of solution.

"I didn't realize what it was until recently. I should have, but…" She shook her head. "When he changed in Atlantis, it wasn't like now. He didn’t seem to be in the same sort of pain. Instead, he was just… furious. I got hurt, and he was at my defense before I could recover." Grabbing some paper towels, she wiped the wet floor, the rest of her story slipping free.

"I thought he was going to break that man's neck. So I … stopped him from the inside." The reluctance in her voice was palpable. Even now, what she had done didn't sit right. "There hadn't been enough time for another plan. I hated myself for it, but… he didn't." She straightened up, a soft look in her eyes.

"He thanked me for it. He said he'd… lost control." A half smile lit her face. "Heh. Ironic, right? I terrify an entire auditorium and he's the one who…" The smile flickered. Her thoughts spun, a whirlpool of things she'd been too close to see properly. "Viktor, if he lost control, wouldn't that mean he had it before?"

“Exactly…” Viktor was about to continue but felt the need to say something to her “I… I can hear the guilt in your voice. You didn't do anything wrong. At least not in my eyes.” Letting loose a sigh, he stepped closer to her. “Yes, I scolded you for not talking about this but I understand why.” Viktor made a curt nod toward her bracelet. “I am also prepared for you to return the favor…” He knew Kassy would set him straight if it needed to be done.

“I have been thinking about Ja and Kila for a while… months. I knew his mind was divided in a way but I was curious as I am with most things, especially concerning my team. So the Red Beast having already existed prior to the last two missions isn't a surprise to me. The way reacted toward the team… also isn't a surprise to me.” Viktor let that sink in before what he was about to explain next. He was being careful with taking his time with this. Ever so careful.

Kassy straightened up, silent in the wake of Viktor's blunt honesty. Love it or hate it, she always knew where she stood with him. "You're leagues ahead of me, aren't you?" She chuckled, then peered up at him sharply. "And what did I tell you before? Strike, or don't." This was said with a smile. "There's more, right?"

“Yes, there's more. And I don't know if it's leagues ahead but the goal here is to put both of us on equal ground concerning our friend.” He narrowed his eyes at her before his lip formed a slight smirk. “And you're correct. I shouldn't hesitate with you. You can take it.” Viktor rolled his shoulders as he felt his tenseness ease.

“Kila, Ja, and the Red Beast all inhabit one body. While one is free, the others are held back.” Viktor pressed his fingers together like a cage but… “It's like they're inside of a house and everything outside of it is… the rest of the world. Kila comes out. Ja goes inside, watching from… a window. Ja can remember what Kila was engaged in but from a limited perspective, so to speak. They've been swapping places, so it makes sense that they've formed similar connections. To me, Kila is almost like a rivaling close-in-age brother, while Ja is more like a whimsical younger brother… I don't have any siblings but…” Viktor's eyes lowered, feeling his lapse in knowing that type of bond could make his words seem empty. “Nevermind. What's important is that the Red Beast has been kept inside. I believe that it doesn't know what's supposed to happen when it's out. It just reacts. I don't know why it attacked Quiver or Talos but, I know them. They strike first. Even if they didn't, I'm sure they were prepared to…. I think we should try to communicate with the Red Beast. Maybe there's some way to meet it in the middle or teach it or just make it understand what it's causing.” His last bit of words gave off a subtle tone of desperation.

"I don't know, Viktor. I understand what you want to achieve, but… the only way to reach the Beast involves drawing him out of Ja. It hurts him, so that's not an option." She started to pace the kitchen. "I've been researching in my downtime. There are things that can cause… conditions… like he’s going through. The issue is that the more professional sources all point to one thing."

“Strike.” He requested, though his expression was serious now.

"The movies get it wrong. Though that's no surprise… there is no 'evil split personality', basically. Even the harsh ones are made for self-protection." She could only hope that Viktor would understand. "Whatever the Red Beast is… he's not evil. He is protecting Kilamanjaro, possibly the only way he knows how."

“But with that truth, it only makes more sense to communicate with it- the other persona. I read the post-mission report. You were able to talk him down…” Viktor reached for Kassy's arm and held it up, showing the bracelet in all its glory. “Without your powers. You assured him that everything was fine. That there was no threat. I don't think I could accomplish the same on my own. Kila, Ja, and the Red Beast trust you more than anyone else. And if Ja allows it, and with preparation on our side, we can commune with the Red Beast safely. I thought of asking Daphne to join us but I don't want him to think she's there to sedate him.” Viktor realized he was still holding Kassy's arm and released it. “And don't worry, this is not something I would enact without your presence.”

“I feel the Red’s fury boiling within me; wanting to lash out at you. If my resolve to contain it weakens, and it becomes a threat to both you and Zach: Does that mean that your best option is to kill me?”

The words echoed in Viktor's mind. It likely hates me…

Kassy looked off, pushing at the bracelet like it burned her. "...we have to present other options. All of them, any of them. I don't want to risk hurting him."

“It's the only idea I have the most faith in but yes, we should have other options.” Viktor couldn't help but frown. “We can't suppress the third persona. I think that would be impossible. Kila and Ja also have no control over who comes out. Are we sure we wouldn't just permanently remove the wrong persona from the equation or worse, only have Ja or Kila left at the forefront… Then there's the option of going into their mind and confronting the Red Beast, a capability we don't have... Or perhaps, Ja could do it but then you'd have to think about how it views him.” Viktor was making short work of the ideas he was listing off. “I doubt he can convince a persona that lacks faith in his ability to protect himself..” Viktor shrugged. “Your turn.”

"I think… I think you're adding a thought and emotion where none exists." She paced the cold tile, trying to organize her mind. "Anger is not the same as hate. Anger is…" How had Black Canary put it? "What you express when you feel you've been wronged. When your boundaries have been crossed. If we consider that the Beast's main priority is to protect Kila and Ja… trust and faith don't figure into it." Since the bank, she'd been researching various aspects of psychology and the mind. It was all very fascinating to her. Granted, some of it was well beyond her understanding.

"And if that's the case… then that is why I was not attacked. I didn't push a boundary, or threaten." But there was a glaring hole in her theory.

"It doesn't quite fit right, though."

“So more one-tracked is what you're getting at. It doesn't have a primary objective to protect… Its only objective is to protect. But you also say that observation doesn't fit. Why?” Viktor's manner of speaking always seemed like daggers were flying off his tongue but Kassy knew it was simply his typical directness. He raised an eyebrow inquisitively to hear her answer.

"It's as if…" She frowned and shut her eyes. "I need more information…" And time to parse it.

"Tell me what you remember about the bank mission, before things went wrong." Viktor shrugged before answering this. He wasn't there during the trigger but he could go by the aftermath and the information from the mission's debrief.

Kila was leading us, and very well at that. He was on comms… Giving Squad A, my squad, orders to proceed from the lobby…” Viktor slightly squinted his eyes trying to piece it all together. “He was going to issue an order to Cora before he seemed to have been attacked. That part I can't be certain of since he simply grunted before he cut out. After that attacked every single robber in his path. He…” Viktor's eyes widened as new pieces of information from Kassy fit in place with the old pieces he had studied on his own. “Hmm… Many if not all were left with broken limbs. Brutal, yes. But also the second most effective way to eliminate threats. I am now more certain he was attacked before his message was cut short.”

"I was thinking the same thing. Something had to have pushed him into that state. But… what?" She rubbed the back of her head in a subconscious way, thinking out loud. "The missions had nothing in common aside from a leader…"

Viktor remained quiet as he walked by Kassy to access the refrigerator. Retrieving an espresso coffee pod he made his way over to the coffee maker.

“I disagree.” He said plainly as he shut the pod inside the coffee maker. “I found both missions to be oddly assigned. We are heroes but given the purpose of our team, bank robbers and city gangs aren't adversaries I'd ever see us dealing with.” He pressed the brew button and set his black mug beneath the dispenser. “Besides that, Quiver is also a variable attached to both missions… But I don't suspect him as being a direct cause of the third persona surfacing. There was also the difference of Kila being present during one mission, while Ja was present during the other… Lastly, the missions both have two respective instances that I cannot figure out, though they don't seem connected in the slightest.” He frowned, feeling like he was just spinning his wheels in place. He felt so close but there was a piece he was failing to connect.

"You have a point. Gang busting seems like a job for the city police, and aside from the amount of them - and the weird weapons Cora found - the criminals in the bank weren't anything special. I mean, what were they even there for?" She followed him, leaning on the counter while the scent of coffee filled the air. "And what do you mean by 'instances'?"

“I have my theories on the bank heist but I'll first explain the two instances. The weapons are one. They were all hi-tech but their capabilities did not match the intent of their users. Electrified bolas, hardening foam, shockwave generation, and sound emission. If you were holding hostages, you'd want to threaten with the most lethal weapon. A standard firearm would have served them better. At the docks, it was the wounded man who disappeared from Pei's provided shelter. The detail seems miniscule and didn't affect our mission but I found it abnormal.”

Kassy frowned, looking up at him. "What do you mean, he disappeared? Wasn't he hurt?"

“He was injured, yes. It was a flesh wound. He could have gotten away but Pei made sure the container we placed him in couldn't be easily opened. Now, even if he found a way to break out, the thought of leaving a shelter after being wounded due to your exposure is unfavorable.” He grabbed his mug filled with freshly brewed coffee and took a quick sip.

“It is indeed strange but it doesn't seem connected to the problem at hand. I suspect the sound-emitting weapon to be the culprit of his first… episode. But at the docks, there wasn't anything like that weapon present. I've even tried to connect these instances to his unconsciousness in Taos, which was also abnormal despite there being no Red Beast…” Viktor narrowed his eyes as he took another sip.

Kassy made a non-committal noise, lost in thought. "In Taos, I always thought that green-eyed cloaca ambushed him somehow. I mean, the Beast only becomes present when KJ is conscious."

“KJ?” Viktor raised an eyebrow. “Kila-Ja… Hmm… KJ.” He briefly mumbled to himself. “She did ambush him but after I faced her, I had my doubts she could put him in that state with her abilities so quickly. It was also out of the ordinary. Will was made into a slave. Mateo was made into a slave. Riley and the other teens were made into slaves. Ja was incapacitated. I was going to be made into a slave. What happened to him doesn't fit the pattern.” Viktor set his mug down and crossed his arms.

“She did something different. Specific to him... It was intentional.” Viktor started to nod his head. “That might be why his episode at the docks was different than at the bank. The sound emitter was a fluke… This is not good. Not good at all.” Viktor's hands balled tightly.

Kassy's hands were the same but for perhaps a different reason. "...I know we're heroes and all, but I am going to knock that girl's teeth into her skull when I see her next." There was a frigid edge to her tone. "She won't be pretty once I'm through with her."

“Focus, Kass.” Viktor shook his head at her contempt against the Kobra agent. “What's important is that she may be involved. If she has something or an ability that manipulates his mind, she could prove to make our friend into our most deadly adversary. If what she did is connected to what's happening now, she doesn't need to get close to influence him.” Kassy snorted lightly as Viktor admonished her. He wasn't wrong, though; saving KJ was much more important than revenge.

Viktor's face formed a scowl before continuing. “And at worst, if it isn't an innate ability, that means she may not be the only person capable of doing so. I suspect it's the worst case… Remote, invisible, instant, targeting.” Viktor seemed to be rambling more to himself toward the end until he simply uttered. “A signal. A frequency.”

She listened, trying to follow his rapidly moving thought process. His theory caused a twist of dread in her stomach. It was plausible, far too plausible to dismiss.

I could test it…

"A frequency. Something only he could hear. And the rest of us would be unaware." She dug her fingers into her curls. "How would we know, if that's true?"

“What else could it be? I almost dismissed the idea due to my own acute senses picking up on higher frequencies but… Ja. When it comes to sensory prowess, he is unrivaled. I…” He narrowed his eyes. “My new weapon is capable of producing the same frequency… I could test it, yes. Will I, no. Confronting Red Beast and our friend requires delicacy. Not force.” Viktor grabbed his mug once more and started drinking his coffee again.

Kaasy let out a faint sigh, her shoulders slumping. There was a sudden relief tension in her. "Viktor, can I… can I say something important?"

“Hm… Strike.” Viktor raised an eyebrow, wondering what she might have to say.

"I know before, you said you forgave me for before, but… I still need to say this out loud." She fidgeted for a moment, then sighed. "I was awful to you, before. Yes, I was frustrated, but some of the things I said to you? They were just meant to hurt your feelings." Despite looking Viktor in the eye, there was a deep shame in her posture. "I don't like who I become when I'm mad. And I am working on fixing it." A wan smile lifted her lips. "You aren't the same person you were in Atlantis. Not by a long shot. You've truly changed… and I recognize that now."

There was a slight dip of his head as his eyes averted from hers. However, he quickly recovered himself.

“You were awful, yes, but I was worse. I put the mission before everyone else. I failed to trust my team.” He placed a gentle hand on Kassy's shoulder. “I couldn't have changed without you… or Kila. So… don't fix yourself. Use that anger. That passion. Use it in a better way. You recognize your shortcoming, yes? So, make use of it. A pitfall is but a hole. Do what you want with it.” Viktor shrugged but his eyes also glanced at her bracelet.

Kassy offered up a vague smile, but she too, looked at the binding weight around her wrist. "I will. Sooner than you think." Her weary gaze turned upward. "You've made me change as well. The support and caring of the others, and… well." A grin lit her eyes, just for a moment. "You can't build strength without resistance, right?" But her statement was punctuated by a toothy yawn. "Ugh… I feel like I fought a riptide."

“At least you can say you survived the fight.” He managed to jest as his hand left her shoulder. “Unfortunately, it seems we both have a new fight on our hands. We know more but we can't move forward without Kila and Ja or ‘KJ’. KJ… I don't know if I like that name yet, but it does simplify things.” Viktor nodded, quite pleased with what he and Kassy had discerned so far about the Red Beast.

"Well, you don't have to call him KJ if it's weird. I mean, I can't do nicknames for people either." She poorly stifled another yawn.

“And one more thing…” He stepped toward her, his eyes peering down at hers with displeasure. “Go. To. Bed. You can't help anyone if you don't get rest, yes?”

"I'm not that tired-" Kassy's own body betrayed her quickly, as she yawned mid-sentence. "Hah. Nevermind, point taken. I'll go. But you wake me immediately if anything happens, okay?" She strode in the direction of the elevators but turned just before leaving.

"...Thank you, Viktor."
Daphne & Viktor

Blood, Sweat, and Tears

Five Days After the AAR

“But that’s the thing, Cain, it’s what he does…”
Daphne entered the gym and beelined to the boxing area, throwing down her bag with a huff. She took out her hand wraps and started to put them on. She was wearing a matching pink two-piece set, white sneakers, and her hair was tied into two French braids.
“He does something nice to lure you back in. It makes you think that this time he’s finally making an effort. Only to disappoint you even more…”

“I know Daph. I just didn’t think it was this bad. Maybe I haven’t noticed it because he’s been so obsessed with you and his work the last couple of months. He asked me how things were at the car shop. He thinks I’m a mechanic, he doesn’t even remember I’ve been a firefighter for nearly a year now.”

“You know what it is Cain…” Daphne could feel herself getting angry again while putting on her custom boxing gloves. She started hitting the sandbag not really minding her technique. As the conversation continued so did her ferocity.
“We shouldn’t have to explain to him how to be a dad”

“He should just be our dad!”

Daphne threw all of her weight into the next punch. It made her headphones fly out and tumble onto the gym floor. Cain luckily did not catch her swearing. She immediately recoiled feeling a sharp pain in her wrist.

“And you should be less reckless.” A hand scooped up one of her earbuds. Viktor held the earbuds in his palm with his eyes slightly furrowed. “She's fine, Cain.” Viktor commented to the earbud. Viktor was dressed in all black, wearing a tank top, athletic shorts, and a pair of Flash Free running shoes. The light beads of sweat on his face revealed he had already been using the vast gym within Mount Justice.

Daphne disconnected her earbuds and used her good hand to continue talking to Cain while glancing sideways at Viktor.
“Yes that was Viktor….”
“No you can’t….what do you want to say?”
“Can you calm down for a second…”


She ended the call and tossed the phone back into the half-opened gym bag on the bench next to her. Sitting down she let out a sigh. With her other hand, she managed to peel off the boxing glove. Her hand seemed fine, slightly red was all.

Both Daphne and Viktor had been in the gym more frequently than usual. Daphne only started to pick up on this after she made the gym part of her routine. No matter what time she would go, Viktor was always there. Either arriving at the same time as her or already mid-workout. He usually exercised daily but since Alisa's departure and Kilamanjaro's incident, Viktor had increased his frequency by five. Something indeed impossible by the average person but due to the young hero's healing factor, Viktor could take advantage of his quick recovery speed. He had to become stronger, faster, and more capable in combat than he had been previously. At least that's how he reasoned it.

Daphne was curious why he did this. It felt more difficult than usual to start up a conversation with him too. She had her suspicions as to what might be going on with him. Deciding to bite the bullet she looked up at him.

“So…you’ve been in here a lot lately…” She said as he took a seat beside her.

Viktor handed her earbuds over while examining her hand.

“I have.” He answered plainly. “Surprisingly, so have you.” He grabbed her wrist and held up her reddish hand and with his other hand, he lightly traced a finger over her palm.

Daphne's skin tingled and she closed her eyes. A foreign feeling came over her. Her heart was beating faster and she felt her cheeks getting hot. At the same time, there was something familiar about this interaction, she couldn't put her finger on it.

She tried to pull her hand back but it was like her body wasn't listening. What she did next surprised her too.

Reaching up to Viktor's head she ran her hand through the front of his slightly damp hair. He nearly flinched, not expecting her to do that.
"Your hair's getting long"

His usual spiky hair was starting to fold down a little. Daphne liked the way it looked but Viktor slightly narrowed his eyes at the stated observation.

“And your hands are callusing.” Viktor gently returned her hand. There was a long silence between the two, yet it wasn't unsettling or a sign of detachment. It was a calm moment that the two didn't think they needed until it occurred. “Why… Why are you training this hard? Th-There's nothing wrong with it.” He was quick to soften his approach. “It's just, I know I'm doing it and I hope you're not doing the same. Trading one pain for another.”

“I want to be stronger.” She replied confidently. With everything that had happened to her and the Team in the last two months, she was now more determined than ever to not be a burden. Her answer being a desire to improve should have relieved Viktor but all it did was make him feel alone on his set path.

However, Daphne was getting better at reading between the lines with Viktor. It wasn’t easy, but she was picking up on his cues, which revealed bits and pieces of his otherwise hidden inner world. Trading one pain for another. That’s why he was here all the time. Alisa was his friend, maybe even….

She glanced to her side. In his own way, he looked downcast, maybe even sad. Seeing him like this tugged at her heartstrings. The pity was all over her face so she resumed staring at the punching bag.

After another short silence, she got up to get something from her bag. It was a water bottle with painted flowers on it. One of the gifts that Alisa gave her when she was in a coma. A gift that showed Alisa always hoped Daphne would recover and she did.

There were a lot of things the teen girls had in common. Most of them were either terrible or traumatizing, usually both.

“I miss Alisa….”

She took a sip and stayed quiet, tracing her fingers over the flowers on the water bottle. Viktor kept silent and his head slightly dipped up on hearing his best friend's name.

Maybe he doesn’t want to talk about it now….

“I miss her too…” Viktor sounded so different, his voice projecting so quietly and weakly. His eyes hadn't even met Daphne's as he spoke. “It's not as bad as when she was destroyed but it still… hurts. Then there's Kila and Ja… I very easily said I wanted them to be benched but I just want them to get better. Until then and without Alisa… I have to be stronger.” His words were similar to Daphne's but he made it seem obligatory.

Daphne shifted closer so she could lean her head against his shoulder. He almost moved but before he could, he realized the comfort was something he wanted as well. It didn't completely take away from how he felt, but Daphne's closeness put him at ease.

“I wish we could just go back to our first week. We didn’t have the weight of the world on our shoulders yet. Everyone would still be together, not caged, comatose, or destroyed. Our biggest problem was me choking Talon by accident.” She chuckled, but it was half-hearted and misplaced. Viktor nodded along with her until he noticed her awkward laugh slowly turned into quiet sobs. It looked like there was no stopping the waterworks. Daphne tried to talk through the crying while getting a towel to wipe her face.

“Da-” He didn't get his words out as he shifted himself so he could look at her. Viktor wasn't sure what he should say or what to even do.

“I…I’m so… ss-sorry.” She sniffed. “This all just sucks…I–I wa–wanted to make you fe-feel better.”
Her chest heaved after taking a couple of shuddered breaths. All the while, Viktor was speechless. He felt as if a precious tree that was Daphne had suddenly started to fall against him. He could move out of the way. It was something he figured he would have done in the past, during the “easier” times Daphne mentioned. However, Viktor wouldn't do such a thing now, even with such a clueless look on his face “I’m sorry I’m usually not like this” Daphne apologized again as he sat ever so still.

“I’ve barely slept this past week and I'm on my period too.”


And now Viktor felt entirely ill-equipped for the task at hand. Lost for words and his mind muddled, he simply acted. Reaching around her, Viktor embraced Daphne with a hug.

“You don't need to apologize, Daph… It takes a lot of strength to be that honest.” Viktor took a deep breath. This wasn't so hard. It was foreign to him but it felt natural to try to put Daphne at ease.

The feeling of two arms pulling her in surprised Daphne.
Viktor is hugging me…..
The firm but gentle way in which he held her, steadied the whirlwind of emotions inside her. His closeness made her feel safe and protected. This moment seemed familiar, but she would have remembered something like this happening….right?

This was a far cry from where they started. He didn’t make her feel like she didn’t belong or that he was only doing this because of a mission objective. Viktor was being considerate of her feelings and he was making an attempt to comfort her.

“We… We are all hurting but… we can get through this. There's no going back, so it's better to move forward the best we can. One day at a time, right Daph?”

One day at a time….
Something connected and a memory came rushing back. It was a mixture of not just images but strong sensory impressions. The skin on her right shoulder and upper arm tingled. Daphne gently moved away from Viktor’s arms so she could turn around and face him. They looked at each other and her eyes searched his. There was so much she wanted to say, but didn’t know how to. Instead, she took his hand softly and guided his finger across her collarbone and her arm, his eyes following as she recreated her resurfaced memory.
“One day at a time…”

“Yes?” Viktor felt lost for a moment, perking up one of his eyebrows before he realized what Daphne was doing. She couldn't have…

“You remember.” His eyes averted from her as he tried to recall every time he visited Daphne while she dwelled as a tree. He reached up to touch his face which was becoming unfamiliarly warm.

Daphne similarly turned away, staring at her hands. Reality started to set in. She quickly let go of Viktor’s hand. She talked while staring at the gym equipment behind them.
“I do. This is the first time I remember something specific. Usually, it’s just……”
She finished in a softer voice. It was something she still didn’t understand herself, but this memory seemed to explain a part of it.

How or why she didn’t know, but her feelings for Viktor had changed. Ever since she woke up from her coma, seeing and talking to him was different. He still made her nervous, but not in the same way as he did before. A blush formed on her cheeks.

“Apologies.” He sat and leaned forward with a sigh. “I was there a lot. Perhaps too much… Pestering you… every single day.” He whispered the last admittance. “I was cruel in the beginning.” He looked at her from the corner of his eye. “I blamed you. For your state. For the outcome of the mission in your absence. So I apologize.”

She reclaimed the spot next to him on the gym bench. There was a forlorn look on her face.
“It’s okay…”
“I blame myself too….sometimes I think it would be better if….”
“If it was me instead of Alisa.”

Viktor silently shook his head. At this point in the months he's been with everyone on the team, he didn't see any better option for someone leaving the team. It was Kila who truly opened his eyes to that. Links in a chain.

“And…” Daphne played with the ends of her braids, searching for the right words. She was going to admit to something scary. Scared of what it meant.
“I was happy you were there. There were times when I couldn’t tell my own thoughts apart from the Green. I was scared I would lose my mind and not even realize it. It would be like I never existed.”

“I don’t think I would have made it back on my own….”

Not without you…

“Everyone that could, contributed to your recovery.” Viktor stood up from the bench but kept his eyes on her. “And making it back with help, isn't a bad thing. It just means we helped you realize your strength. The Red. The Green. To rein in such powerful things is remarkable.” Viktor reached out his hand to her. “To still be amicable with someone like me after the things I've said and done, is even more so.” There was a slight smile on his face. A smile of reassurance to show Daphne things weren't so grim. The team was lacking the glue that kept them together but the strength of their bonds was not so easily dissipated.

Time: Late Morning
Location: Castle Gardens
Attire: Alexander and Lianna
Interaction: @Tae Mina @Helo Callum

“Enjoy yours as well, prince. The Black Rose will maintain contact for anything you might need,” Alexander smiled. He was quite pleased with the auction's development concerning the bachelor's. It would give some lords a chance to place their daughters into the paths of eligible potentials at the cost of coin rather than making the best of a long game of garnering good impressions.

Mina agreeing to host alongside him was a pleasant addition to the project they were pursuing. To be closer to her was a personal matter and though he did not foresee himself having trouble doing so, the auction was a sure way to solidify that. He was being reeled in without much effort, getting closer and closer to the bow of her vessel. All he needed was for her to pull him in…

A delight.

With the planning of the auction secured, he shifted his attention back to Mina, looking upon her with his winning smile. However, it was short-lived as he noticed panic surface over her expression. He placed a hand on her upper arm and turned towards her field of vision as she spoke of seeing someone she recognized. His face contorted into a scowl as he became defensive for Mina. Even as she changed the topic, his eyes scanned the crowd.

“Yes,” he replied though he wasn't entirely listening to what Mina was saying about the auction. Nothing. Whoever had startled Mina had mysteriously vanished or made their presence less than obvious. Returning his sights to the woman in his grasp, Alexander couldn't help but look slightly concerned. He wore a smile of course, but his brows had a slight furrowing.

“Mina, I am…” He took a step closer to her, his hand sliding down to her wrist. With his voice now a whisper, he continued. “...not a man who gambles things I find extraordinarily precious.” He could feel her radial pulse beat so fervently from his touch. “I'm far more concerned with how you're doing. Something troubling you? Are you comfortable, Mina?” He asked, his voice as gentle as the strum of the harp across the garden. “If you like, we could schedule something. Just you and I. No distractions… No discomforts.”

In Avalia 23 days ago Forum: Casual Roleplay

Darius by@FunnyGuy and Dante by @Alivefalling

Time: Morning
Location: Gaurav Village
Interactions: Menzai @samreaper, Cyrus @Helo, Ophelia @princess and Viola @13org
Equipment: 2 shot glasses, 1036 Amas total, Flowers from Phia, Dante’s cellphone, and Dante’s knife

Cyrus was able to share that he was from the River Fairy Kingdom, which for a second piqued his interest since he hadn't heard of the place before. He knew of Riverbloom and River Port during his short time in Avalia so it made him briefly wonder what Cyrus was referring to. What was more significant to Darius was Cyrus's mention of reuniting his family and how pivotal it was for him and Viola.

“I do. Family is everything to me.” Darius had replied with his eyes lingering on Dante's face with slight concern. Cyrus then spoke rather cryptically about not asking him the same question posed by Darius. Sure, he wasn't going to just spill all the beans but Cyrus seemed to have taken the opportunity away if he was foolish enough to do so. Perhaps it was something he could address later.

Darius had been ready to answer Cyrus and Viola's concerns regarding the Gaurav villagers when Phia landed before the group with her usual spirited energy. She bounced back. That's good. For the first time since the battle with the roc, Darius smiled, meeting Phia's with his own.

“I'll take some healing, Phia. And Dante might have some scrapes but I think he needs one of those blue potions to get back to normal.” Darius didn't even have injuries and was sure Dante was just fatigued but he had a feeling Phia might just feel happy to be helping in any way she could. He returned his attention to the previous topic of discussion.

“We've been at the Gaurav Village for about two weeks. I wouldn't take their… welcoming personally. Their village is out in the boonies- I mean, it's out of the way from everything else. They're a secluded village that doesn't get many people stumbling upon their territory. No main roads lead here and from their perspective, you showed up with a huge ass killer bird… They're just cautious is all. It'll get better. The people that matter trust you enough.”

The group would continue on their until they reached the village. The air was filled with hushed words and many eyes peered at the sight of the new visitors.

Time: Late Morning
Location: Sorian Beach
Interaction: @Potter Layla @princess Charlotte, @tpartywithzombi Ariella.

Feeling Layla's legs squirm against his grip pulled Lorenzo back to reality. He was still holding her... He was alive and somewhat well… Charlotte was alive… And best of all, he wasn't in hell with Calbert as his demonic torturer. His hold loosened as he let out a sigh of relief. With Layla escaping his grasp, he planted one hand down on the brittle sand, taking a few deep breaths. The other held the half-drunken smoothie. I'm still alive… Why? He peered up at Layla.

“I think you must be cursed, Duke Lorenzo. No good deed goes unpunished, does it? Keep your distance and think before you act, Duke.” Her words had bite but compared to other times, it was more like… nibble. She nibbled him… after how he had acted. After what he had done. He wasn't quite sure if the pity that befell him was supposed to hurt more than the punishments he had perceived previously but to him, this was a godsend.

And then just like that, Layla departed and his loving daughter gave him some much-needed embrace.

"Everything's okay, Lorenzo. No one is going to suffer and I am right here."

Charlotte was so patient with him. So caring, as if he were her darling child. The roles they played were as flipped and reversed as they could ever be. Why?

Lorenzo remained silent as wiped his tears away with one hand and reached for Charlotte's hand with the other. He didn't utter a word to her and simply nodded as he pushed himself up from the sand.

“I apologize… for that .” His voice was low and filled with shame. He didn't dare try to turn around to face Calbert. If he didn't have to engage the count, he wouldn't. If anything, Lorenzo needed to keep himself from ruining anything else. Carefully peering over his shoulder, he spotted Ariella who he had left to wait by the water. So careful he was not to look any further. “I think I will head back to the estate… Ariella Edwards would like to see some of our flowers in the garden.” Delivering a curt nod with a solemn face, Lorenzo walked from the beach blanket with his strawberry smoothie in hand. He would wave Ariella over, so they could depart.

Still, his thoughts plagued him. His doubts. His embarrassment.

Prince Wulfric was right…

Time: Late Morning
Location: Sorian Beach
Interaction: @Potter Layla, Olivia @Conscripts John, @PapaOso Cassius @Tae Kalliope @Lava Alckon Farim, @ReusableSword Roman, @Apex Sunburn Sjan-dehk, @princess Charlotte

By the gods. By the gods. By the gods. By the gods. By the gods. By the gods. By the gods. I slapped a princess. I slapped a princess. I slapped a princess. I slapped a princess. I slapped a princess. I slapped a princess. I slapped a princess. I slapped a princess. I slapped a princess. I SLAPPED A PRINCESS! Lorenzo could almost weep as he held Layla's shapely legs. At any other time, holding such things might have given him the pinnacle of comfort but not now. Not after he assaulted her in public. He dreaded what might come next. A sharp bite from the snake, the slitting of his throat, beheading, a knife to the throat… or maybe she would burst his head like a grape between her bare hands. He shut his eyes tightly, awaiting the impending when he heard the sound of Calbert's voice.

“I am truly in hell…” He mumbled quietly against Layla's thighs. It made sense to him. Layla had killed him right there and he was in hell with Calbert as his tormentor. He wanted him to stand so he could inflict some manner of torture on him but Lorenzo refused to move.

When heard Charlotte's, tears finally streamed down his face and one of Layla's legs. They… they killed her too?

“Lottie had nothing to do with this! Please don't make her suffer! Just punish me! I'll do anything! Just keep her away from that devil, Calbert Damien!”

Time: Late Morning
Location: Castle Gardens
Attire: Alexander and Lianna
Interaction: @Tae Mina @Helo Callum
Mention:@Silverpaw Wulfric

The eyes. The many eyes upon Alexander filled him with an unbelievable sense of pride. To believe an opportunity to elevate the Sorian crown whilst supporting the less fortunate could just fall into his lap. And because he stepped on a misplaced cherry at that. In this moment preparation hadn't just met opportunity. It crashed into it.

The man couldn't help but have a big cheesy smile in the face of Callum and Mina's praise.

“Beacon? I mean, this is a pursuit shared amongst us. Our views align, my friends. Our objective is something we will all see to fruition,” Alexander commented. Mina went on to express her jubilation in the charity event which gave Alexander a chance to read the room a bit. His eyes met Wulfric's for a single second. He had to give the prince credit, for making himself so difficult to read. I wonder if Marek fears your ascension… what might he do to prepare… or prevent such a thing?

"And I must say, I'm rather excited to see what the silent auction will bring. Who knows what treasures might be uncovered?"

“I don't disappoint…” His eyes lingered on Mina's before he continued. “...so winnings will be nothing short of remarkable.” Alexander gave a confident nod.

When Mina made her suggestion, he couldn't help raising an eyebrow accompanied by a smirk.

“A date night? That is… I like it.” He placed a hand on Mina's shoulder. “But to place yourself as an option… I don't know if I'd find comfort in that.” Concern lined his expression. “You should rally the contenders – your peers and stand by my side as we both host the silent auction together. You'll get the experience of hosting such an event, and you'll get to put that charm of yours to use.” He mocked her wink, returning the gesture.

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