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@Single Malt It's good to be back
The Great Gus

Seems we have to grab something for the high horsed folks. What a drag… Rather not deal with that filth again. The roguish lad was in deep thought as the others discussed the task they were given. Why would that old fart even deal with people like this? In his own words, nobles are nothing more than idiots to bleed dry and backstab afterwards.

Gus leaned against the wall, flicking his signature coin. He stared at the dwarven woman offering him a bowl of soup. ”Let me just. . . voila!” The coin rolled around his hand before it disappeared in thin air. Now his hands were free to accept the free meal. ”Thank you ever so kindly for the meal. He winked at the dwarven woman before starting with his meal.

He soon would finish his bowl and what seemed like a little prayer before heading to the bedding accommodations and claimed one of the top bunks with a graceful jump. ”I hope nobody minds me taking one of these, but I do it out of my care for everyone here. My radiance would keep anyone from sleeping soundly.” And with a small illusion his face became a playful depiction of the sun. He shall worry about the other details around this task once he wakes up.

He had been held up, briefly, by the guards outside, but then they had recognized their social better and ushered him through. There were many men of importance gathered, and others of little. There came flowery words from Ayla, as well, that took up quite a bit of space without meaning very much. The Perrenchman certainly nurtured no grudge against her, but it reminded him of the vipers trying to elevate themselves through their social better. His goal was plain and his time spent listening outside had given him more or less the measure of his quarry. His footsteps sounded on the marble floor. A rapier hung at his hip. He came to a stop with a smart clack of his heels.

"Marquis de Zengali." The young man nodded in his host's direction, polite and businesslike, but did not bow. It was not proper for the son of a duke and *prince du sang* to do so before a mere marquis. "Lady Arslan." In any event, the Mezegolan did not seem much preoccupied with formalities.

"I am Yvain de Berbignon, and I so happen to represent those 'others' who my lady anticipates working with." He smiled agreeably, but his bearing remained intense. "We have come here, on behalf of Perrence and her allies Belzagg, Eskand, and..." He more or less smothered his grimace through his smile.. "the other one, to help you slay a beast and to ensure that no others follow in its wake. We are - all of us - capable thaumaturges who come prepared for a fight. We shall not require much but your consent and any resources you may see fit to bestow upon our effort." Left unsaid was the rest: I trust this is agreeable.

The Marquis had grown tiresome of this conversation with Lady Arslan. Double speaking and now he might have Ersand'Ernise solo actors in their port. He even ends up questioning if his own son sent word to a contact in Ersand'Ernise. But none of that mattered, the Marquis decided that he would cast Ersand'Ernise outside his port.

But first was tall gentleman, Sir Yvain de Berbignon. He came with purpose and clarity unlike the Lady standing before him. The Marquis was much more attentive to Yvain. It was like a breath of fresh air that tells you that the eggs had gone rotten.

"Well your service will be much appreciated," the Marquis silently gave a nod to Yvain.

"Your presence is permitted, of course,-" the Marquis gave a subtle glare at Ayla, "And as such, your group will be rewarded a case of mana shots for tomorrows hunt." The Marquis lips curled into a small smile, smiling didn't fit his face.

He turned to Ayla, "Lady Ayla," his voice grew serious, "Anything you have to say?" he looked at her expectantly.

Ayla noted Yvain's presence as he entered the discussion and politely bowed her head in his direction. She had hoped to aspire to something better and greater in their meeting, aiming to create a united front with her fellow students from both factions and beyond. However, it became clear that such an aspect was unexpectedly threatening to the Marquis. As the adage goes, ‘better the enemy you know.’ The idea of a third party, no matter how benevolent or well-meaning, was seen as an unknown.

She sighed softly, especially as Yvain distinctly presented himself as part of the Sovereign Pact. This clearly identified her as being aligned with the Central Alliance, contrary to her intention. "We are all here to assist in this endeavour, regardless of factional lines. We represent students from Ersand’Enise, primarily from the Central Alliance nations, as our colleague next to us has stated. Your consent and any available resources or information you can offer would be greatly appreciated to allow us to operate effectively in dealing with this issue."

The Marquis weighed his judgement. She obscured herself as a neutral when she wasn't. Whether that was a lie, delusion, or genuine hope weighed on his mind. The Marquis was unashamed taking a minute or so of time to conclude his thoughts on Lady Arslan.

"The Central Alliance has done much to help hasten our readiness for tomorrow, and for a group representing a talented addition to their ranks, I thank you for coming. As such, I welcome you to Zengali, Lady Arslan. My aid will share with you the details and sleeping arrangements for tonight." Marquis Dume's kind words were laced with pity for the girl. One of the aids pulled out a scroll for Ayla and escorts her out of the Marquis's home.

Yvain nodded in response to the Marquis’s offer. ”They will be put to good use.” A sense of satisfaction enveloped the Perrenchman at hearing those honeyed words being partially taken back.

Once the Central Alliance representative was escorted out, did the young man’s sight return upon the man he had a meeting with. ”May I assume you wish to discuss more with me?” Yvain’s smile did not fade from his face. ”If so, could I suggest doing so while sharing a wonderful glass of wine?”

Marquis Dume smiled again, "As much as my aids and I wish for some reprieve, we cannot yet," the Marquis said with maybe a sigh and a small laugh among his aids. "But I do have news on your quarters," he stood from his chair to turn and point to a lovely looking villa on the higher part of the mountain, "A noble man like yourself should receive these accommodations, you'll find the amenities quite nice." One of the aids was quickly writing the authorization to use it after the sudden offer.

The Marquis moved on from his small gift, "If you wish to share a drink with me, come find me after the performance tonight, until then Sir Berbignon," the Marquis waved for one of his closer advisors to guide him out to the side gate instead of the main gate to avoid the common traffic.

He handed him the piece of paper for the house and a silver tablet to receive the mana shots. Along with that, the aid gave a similar breakdown of the thresher that he learned earlier. Lastly he was slipped a small bag of coinage to enjoy himself at the festival!

@Play Misty That's okay! I've been really busy lately anyway. Will be back with Gus by the weekend

Running out of luck

Cannonfire already!? What a warm welcome! His instinct kicked in and soon he was untraceable by anyone's sight. He began to dive deeper to avoid any incoming fire. Keeping his breathing in check with the chemical magic knowledge that he had. .His eyes sharpened to see through the darkened parts of the sea. Fuck you, Silvestri. . Could've warned us that it would be a fucking warzone. .

It was too much. He survived so much death around him. During the events at An Zenui, during his meeting with the so-called avatar of Reshta, during the student’s attack on the school and now not even a month after they get dropped off within a warzone? He did not have any person who he should care for more than himself. . . There was Kaureerah but she usually seemed to have luck on her side and if she were to be in trouble someone else would help her out, right?

Fiske just needed to get as far away from it as he could. Anywhere but those ships would be a gift from the gods. He dove and swam until he found… wood? Were these parts that fell off the wreck that Silvestri talked about? He needed to investigate it further, luckily for the boy he was the most experienced student at bending light to his whim, not that he would ever brag about that.

The closer he got to it, the further he went down to avoid anyone noticing him. The threshers in this area were not as big as the Golds he was familiar with but they were so numerous that it became harder to see much else. He wanted to let out a sigh of relief… before he realized it might not have been the best idea underwater. The boy was too confident in his own manas and skill in camouflage that he swam close to the threshers… not even realizing that the rock he had passed left a small cut on his leg.

While these threshers’ rather lackluster sight could be easily tricked, their sense of smell could not. One by one did they start noticing the invisible prey in their waters, cutting into his clothing and skin. At first Fiske did not notice, but when his sight saw red he panicked. Those things noticed him? He tried to speed himself up through the water, broken bones be damned but these threshers were called torpedoes for a reason… They kept up with his feeble attempt to escape and even overtook him.

He pushed them away but the kinetic energy he dispersed came back to him. His eyes glimpsed at one of his arms. He wondered why it was so hard to move but then saw chunks of his flesh missing… Was that bone? His bone?.. He grit his teeth trying his hardest to keep his sense of pain down enough to mentally function. Was this going to be the end? Of course it can’t, not after he survived fights against mages three times his superior, a grand demon and even a goddess… to die to a group of glorified arthropods would be the funniest joke he couldn’t live to tell.

Well, it looks like I can’t swim away anymore. The humor in this pathetic way of dying was not lost on the boy who tried to reach the sun. Chunks of his leg… abdomen.. he couldn’t really which it was floated along his one working eye. He tried to numb the fear of death with his own ‘humor’. Will I end up in Oratz’s heaven for all the lives I’ve saved?... or tried to at least? Maybe I’ll end up in Escheran’s hell for wanting to live…

The water began to boil and the boy’s mangled face contorted further. The threshers backed off. Am I not to your liking? Let me see Dami already, damn it! What little will he had left dragged the threshers back to him. While he did so his body, or what was left of it began to change as something within him clasped onto what he felt was his soul. I think I see now, I’m beginning to see it all so clearly. Fiske silhouette was utterly unrecognizable at this point. Another threat was near his broken frame and he did not even notice it. The shore was so close, if he could just survive for a little bit longer, help would come. He knew people wouldn’t just abandon him, right?

It was then that the sand on which he laid began to shift, his abdomen falling within the creature’s claws which soon created a Fis and a Ke. He could not fight against this thing, not in the state he was in. All he could do was laugh.

”Hee hee, hoo hoo hahahaha! So this is it, huh!” What was left of the Huulisch boy was dragged down as the last of his laughter became muffled under the sand.

Dorothea read the notice that was thrusted into her hands, disrespectfully so. To think fate brought such a letter to her, it was so comical that it brought a smile to her face.. Did they say that these knife ears were from Oiyac? I guess those aren’t as bad as the filthy baummenschen from Mycormi.

A little stretch here and there. ”Guess it won’t hurt to check it out. It’s a personal request, so that automatically is already better than the school sending us to near certain death.” The girl rolled her neck before shaking off any of the strain from the stretches.

The evening was not filled with rest for the Huulisch boy.

You’re going to fuck up again, dummkopf! It’s not some people on the street we’re dealing with here. It’s actual diplomacy, like the things you should’ve learned but always walked out on when your tutors asked you oh, so politely to learn. Fiske walked around scratching his scalp. Everything has gotten so fast as of late, his mind barely had the time to process it all.

He almost died because he hesitated. His idiotic sense of soft justice is what got Marci in. .

Then when he wanted to just find some books to learn a couple secret spells. That too got him close to death and nobody wanted to help him. He wanted to beg but the pain was enough to keep him silent. Fuck them, fuck them all. I did all of that for them just to be left to die. Oooh, Penny was more important than your filthy common life. . . FUCK. . YOU! Tears fell down his cheek as a mixture of fear and anger hit the boy.

A couple breaths were let in and let out in an effort to calm himself down. If it wasn’t for that weird fruit. I think. . . I think that I would’ve bled out and died there. He conjured a reflection of himself. He did not look any different, but he felt different. The boy could cry. For all his optimism and snark had evaporated and in its wake was a young man who did not feel at home in his own body in a week’s time.

Those filthy students that used the situation of the Zenos coup d'état against Zenith Upta to use their magic to murder. Those men were just mercenaries, did they deserve to die just because they stood against the students’ “glorious revolution”? Most of them probably did not even care about the political aspect of it. They just wanted to kill and fight. To save Penny? Yeah, right.

Yvain did not know how to feel about proceeding to the next round of the Tan-Zeno process. He got through but in the process he had to admit to things he rather wouldn’t have acknowledged. You’re a noble, damn you! Have some pride. But which accomplishments could he take pride out of? Almost dying to that filth in Vossoriya? Not being able to stop his cousin getting killed? Being utterly overpowered by any adversary that was encountered? Admit it, you’re not a legend like Arcel or Benedict. You’re barely a Rouis. . You’re Yvain, a high noble that is strong- But never strong enough.

”It seems we’ll have to talk it out with the students who partner themselves with the Central Alliance.” The Perrenchman sighed heavily. ”After all of this violence, I’d rather not resort to force when diplomacy can do the trick.”

[Saving this lil thingy for Yvvie cheese]
The Great Gus

It was a rather long day for the man. He did not have the best luck with the ladies today, he got caught trying to steal an apple from a merchant and had to run from the guards for a bit… Even his old man, the person who had always been there for him had been missing for a suspiciously long time. The only thing he left was this weird looking coin.

He did however manage to steal a bottle of wine and enjoyed it wholeheartedly. The thief soon found his next target to perhaps steal or gather intel from. The Lock and Key tavern had always been on his radar to visit but it was never really his style. He preferred the more grimy taverns.

He slammed open the door and waltzed in. ”Another round, please!” A young man yelled out as he enjoyed his drink. He looked intoxicated, should he even drink any more than he already did? After a while he found himself towards the gambling table. ”Mind a dashing, young man joining the table?” His bright smile showed no sense of malice. He did not wait for anyone's confirmation and sat down

Gus's nimble fingers expertly shuffled the deck. The flamboyant rogue smirked, eager for the game to unfold. Dorian, confident, leaned back, eyes fixed on the cards. With a flourish, Gus dealt the first round. His illusions subtly altered the perception of the cards.. The mysterious figure raised an eyebrow, suspecting trickery, but remained silent. Dorian, oblivious, won the round, attributing it to his own skill.

As the second round commenced, Gus intensified his magical sleight of hand. The flamboyant rogue engaged in witty banter, distracting others from Gus's subtle manipulations. Dorian, confident in his armor's luck, played boldly. ”Where did all your calculated smarts go?” He jested as he managed to win this round, while Dorian, growing suspicious, eyed Gus with a newfound wariness.

In the third round, Gus decided to escalate the game. With finesse, he altered the perception of Dorian's hand, creating an illusion of a winning combination. The rogue, caught up in the excitement, reveled in the unfolding drama.

Gus, with a confident smile, proposed a daring bet – Dorian's resplendent armor. Placing a golden coin on the table, the illusionist pushed the limits.”Know anything about this lil trinket?” The tension rose as Dorian hesitated, sensing something amiss. Abruptly, he halted the game to summon Gus into the back room for a private confrontation.
Gus Larkspur

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