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Charlotte, , Devan, & Persephone
Part 1


Finally, Charlotte returned and announced the guards were gone. Persephone immediately uttered the countercourse and fell to the floor with a loud thud. She groaned in pain and sat up, then crawled out from under the table. She pressed the wet rag to her face and nodded towards Charlotte. ”Thank you, I owe you all. It is greatly appreciated. As for the truth - where would you like me to begin?” It felt as if weights were holding down her legs as she crawled out of sight of the windows despite the curtains being closed.

“Please begin from last night.” Charlotte replied curtly.

Persephone nodded and took several deep breaths. The cold cloth against her face kept her awake, and she resisted the urge to yawn. Blinking, she rubbed her eyes, and then began speaking. ”I attended the ball in order to steal food. I had a bag with me I used to hide everything in. I’ve… I have been on my own, and well, living is rough in the slums especially with my family’s… history. After the ball ended, I went to go check my loot when I heard Calbert talking to you. I eavesdropped on the conversation while eating, because I was shocked to hear it. He left suddenly so I tried to hide in the trees but he saw me and followed. There, he threatened me if I exposed what he’d said to you and threatened to have me punished for stealing from the feast. …. So then…”

Charlotte glanced at Count Fritz, her initial reaction a mix of emotions. However, Persephone’s next words quickly drew her attention back to her.

Persephone’s voice quivered when the memories of Violet’s dead body filled her mind’s eye. Tears blinded her vision, but she rubbed her eyes and continued. ”...After that mess, I had changed and was walking around the streets, eating, because I was so hungry, when I saw… I saw… V-V-Violet D-D-Damien’s dead.. Dead body… With an ax to the face.. I don’t.. I don’t know how.” Persephone choked up and shook her head, but continued speaking. ”And I dropped bread from my bag I noticed earlier this morning, the same from the banquet and what Calbert had seen, so now he thinks I killed her. I didn’t do it though! I’m not strong enough to wield an ax!”

Charlotte’s hand immediately went to her mouth in shock. Her eyes widened as she struggled to process the information. She slowly made her way over to a chair and sat down, feeling overwhelmed by the gravity of what she was hearing.

Persephone hiccuped and wiped her eyes on her clothes. There was a pause while she collected herself, then continued, but her voice shook. ”And at the ball… Kazumin upset Crystal, I don’t know how the girl’s so clueless and fragile. So Calbert wanted Kazumin over for “brunch” and well, by the time I arrived he was threatening Kazumin, had a gun to his head and wanted to take him hostage, it looked like, so I intervened. I used the invisibility spell to hide us running away and came here because I couldn’t hold the magic for too long. I’m so sorry Charlotte.” Persephone broke down crying now due to the stress, terror, and anxiety overwhelming her. ”Kazu is my childhood friend and the only person I have left in this shitty world because my family’s dead. I didn’t want to lose him. I just found him yesterday.”

”...” Charlotte’s gaze was lowered as she listened, her grief palpable to the others in the room despite the silence. The idea of Violet being gone made her sick, let alone knowing she could have been killed in such a vile way. That was unbearable. Her eyes watered as images of Violet flashed before her. She wanted to believe Persephone was lying, but it certainly hadn’t sounded like so. Though she had listened and absorbed all that Percy had said, she had only initially managed a few words half-heartedly after a pause. “Don’t speak poorly of Lady Crystal… She is precious to me.”

Persephone glanced at her without a word. She would have uttered a sarcastic response normally, but she didn’t dare test the waters. ”....Sorry.” Her words fell flat, however the effort had been made. She gritted her teeth and pulled her knees up to her chest.

She tapped her nails on the table as if trying to soothe herself. Tears spilled over from her eyes and soundlessly slid down her cheeks as she glanced up at Persephone again. “I don’t know who would want to hurt Lady Violet. She’s an innocent woman who keeps to herself. I-...” Charlotte sighed deeply and shut her eyes tightly for a moment in an attempt to compose herself and collect her thoughts.

”I have no reason to want to kill them off. I was happy living the farmer peasant life… before…” She trailed off and shook her head without finishing her sentence. ”I don’t want anything to do with this bullshit. I regret going to the ball or being there.” Or being alive, really.

△△△ listened to story with a stoic expression. For the most part, it matched Peter’s account of events. Assuming Duke Damien’s true character was not as genial as he pretended to be, the rest of her story sounded credible as well. If there was anything that surprised him, it was how openly Persephone admitted to using magic. His eyes drifted to Lady Vikena’s direction, wondering if she caught that detail buried in the tragic news.

Charlotte raised her head and met Count Fritz’s gaze. She gave him a subtle nod. He’s giving me a ‘I told you so’ look… I suppose magic’s the word of the day. She thought to herself and shifted uncomfortably.

“Do you think Count Damien was aware of his daughter’s murder when he had us trapped in the tavern?” he asked.

There was a long, awkward silence before she stood up. She moved to retrieve a tissue and approached Persephone. Charlotte then began to dab at the blonde girl’s eyes delicately. “You poor soul.” She commented finally quietly. “This situation is worse than I thought… But I assure you, I will do everything in my power to make sure it works out okay..” She gently brushed her hair behind her ears. “You’re going to have to remain here and try to lay low, Percy… Alright? And I think maybe we need to change up your appearance.”

“If worse comes to worse, I offer my abode as refuge as well.” △△△ added, ignoring Udo’s frustrated groans and Peter’s fist pump.

Persephone stiffened when Charlotte stood up then approached her. Her gaze was watchful, like a prey animal cornered. She watched with astonishment as Charlotte… dabbed at her eyes? Seph didn’t move, unsure of how to respond. She locked eyes with Charlotte as she spoke and sniffled.

”Th-...Thank you….” She whispered, and began sobering up. Her tears flowed, but not as heavily as before, and the rest that flowed were blinked back. Persephone took several deep breaths again and gently set a hand on Charlotte’s shoulder. ”.There are some spells… I can use it to alter my appearance… but I don’t have the stamina for them at the moment. I don’t.. I don’t want to use too much more right now too…”

She trailed off, then continued. ”In exchange for your empathy and help, I will make it up to you; I can cook, clean, and sew. I’ll make whatever you want when you want. How’s that?” I am really sorry for dragging you all into this. I didn’t … I didn’t mean to…”

Next, Count Fritz spoke cand caught her attention. Persephone looked at him with surprise, then nodded gratefully. ”Thank.. Thank you. I appreciate it.”

”Spells…” Charlotte repeated as if tasting the word. She was uncertain on how she felt about that remark. “Well… I am not looking for anything in return so, um, don’t worry.

The count and the rooster exchanged a short glance. Lady Vikena clearly heard the taboo words, but avoided addressing the matter. He doubted she started to believe the existence of magic just because Persephone said she used it. He hoped, however, that it helped the seed take root in her mind.

Then again… Lady Vikena could potentially witness the aftermath of magic firsthand. △△△ studied Persephone carefully.The nosebleed and fatigue were clear signs she used magic. Her heavy movements suggested the backlash from levitation. What about the consequences for invisibility?


Things had a way of going wrong... quickly around here, Devan was learning that.

He had allocated most of his focus towards unpacking, trying to get into the groove of being here. From the pancakes at the park back to the estate, he'd been stuck churning over the situation he was in. Charlotte was stressed, people seemed to be at one another's throats and everything was otherwise too exciting for his tastes.

Unfortunately for him, it continued to be exciting.

He was jarred from his task by the sound of glass shattering, of the blasting of guns. The suddenness of everything made him terribly reluctant to even humor it but the idea that someone he cared about could be in danger was enough that he pushed himself to his feet. "This is a nightmare." He notes to himself quietly, "I could have kept delivering mail."

Of course, he couldn't have, because his parents would have found some way to cut into that and ruin it but-- it was a nice thought. All the same, he needed to tackle the current issue before he started reminiscing on the fact that he didn't have a job anymore and that this chaos was his chaos now. He made his way towards the noise, ignoring every valid instinct in him that told him that approaching chaos was asking to be a part of the chaos.

Approach he did though and eventually he was standing at the edge of all of it.

He drew in a breath, exhaled it through his nose and said. " everything okay in here? Or do I want to know?"

Good afternoon Sorian!
It's now 1pm.

Time: Afternoon - 1pm
Weather: Mostly Sunny - Pleasantly warm
Location: Sorian

Mentions: @Helo Leo & Callum @Tae Thea, Saiya, Mina @ReusableSword Roman @Rodiak Nahir, Matthias, Zarai @JJ Doe Ryn & Riona @Aerandir Verrick @Conscripts John @Infinite Cosmos Munir @Potter Sadie, Layla Persephone @13org Mayet @Heartfillia Crystal @samreaper Kazumin @FunnyGuy Lorenzo @Silverpaw Wulfric @Inertia Auguste @mantou Wystan @Terrance420 Alden @Lava Alckon Farim @mellowdy Priscilla @PapaOso Cassius @Prosaic Devan & Kieran @Apex Sunburn Wasun @Tpartywithzombi Ariella @SausagePat Ruby

1pm Event

The Horse Race

The buzzing excitement was tangible at the Great Summer Horse Race!

The first of a series of horse races was about to begin. The sound of hooves pounding the ground against the door and occasional neighs filled the air. The wooden bleachers on the side were packed with people, all dressed in their finest attire and eager to watch the competition. Many all had grand hats, some were wild while others were simply magnificent. Every horse race in Caesonia traditionally had a hat contest that sometimes became more competitive than the horse race.

As the horses lined up at the starting line, the crowd grew quiet in anticipation, but it would be a few minutes before the race would begin. Hushed whispers came from the sideline.

Towards the front of the area were a few snack stands and bicycles that had been parked. Beside that, it was a pretty simple set-up. A table with a very lovely white cloth was situated in front of the track. There was a megapone on top awaiting a certain someone...

The first horse race of the year would be hosted by special guest Duke Lorenzo Vikena. If anyone had not been at the ball, they had certainly found out about the fiasco through the paper or even through the constant gossip. For this reason, there was a bigger turnout than ever at the horse race. Duke Lorenzo, for better or worst, was the hottest topic in Sorian and everyone was eager to see what he did next.

Alice Varo

Alice sat next to Versle and folded her arms on the table. She couldn't stand the idea of drinking around strangers so it was only natural she'd sit on the side of the table with those who were like-minded. She was certain Nikolai and Adelaide probably wouldn't mind letting loose for a while. She was mildly aware of Adelaide being challenged to a drinking contest and hoped her sister had the brain cells to ignore him.

She was quiet for a while, seemingly content to sit there with her gaze down at the table. Her head was busy imagining the attack and how they could make the number of people they had efficient. Alice sighed and tapped her fingers on the table. Had they attacked with such a big group before? Having only her and her sister often benefited them. They were so used to each other that they synced up and read each other's minds easily, working together without needing to say a word. Sometimes less was more. Nonetheless, the situation could not be helped and she needed to figure something out. She hoped these men were smarter than some of them looked.

The voice of the man next to her made her raise her head. After a pause, she spoke softly, "I suggest observing the lizard from afar as there are questions we need to be answered such as... How fast is the creature? How big is it? Are we able to research it? Knowing something before jumping into a battle could be the difference between life or death, especially for those who fight in close range to the enemy." She raised one of her guns. "I am well equipped for distance and can offer myself to do such task before we all go into battle. Then knowing more about this creature, we may be able to divy up who's best suited for which target."

She set the gun down and cleared her throat to receive the attention of others. Alice knew perhaps they might find distaste in her speaking up but it did not phase her. "Everyone, introduce yourselves and tell us what you can do." Her gaze fell on the fox-like man. "Starting with you."
Anastasia & Wystan

@Rodiak Zarai (The very end <3)

Anastasia had come bounding up to Wystan like an excited golden retriever as her blonde hair danced behind her. She had a plate of rolled crepes in hand and teddy bears tucked under her arm. “Wystan! I haven’t forgotten about you I promise!” She outstretched the food toward him as she stood before him, “I… I thought you might be hungry over here.” She was breathing a little heavier as she tried to catch her breath.

The bodyguard blinked once at the dessert before he dutifully accepted the plate in one hand. ”Thank you for thinking of me, Princess.” Wystan had tried not to, but he looked over the delicacy with a little too much of an uncharacteristic gleam in his eyes.

“ Of course! Didn’t want you starving over here.” Anastasia noticed a certain look in his eyes and she grinned with pleasure. It had always entertained her to get a reaction out of the normally stoic bodyguard. “ Go on. Try it! Pleeease!”

A small rumble erupted from the empty pit known as his stomach just then. ”...” Without much else of a word, he nodded and gestured towards a bench nearby, patting down the spot for the princess before they sat. The watchdog held the plate awkwardly in his hands as if waiting for an order.

The princess hurried over and scooted beside him, her elbows against her knees and her chin in her palms as she looked at him expectantly. She nodded her head as if to urge him with a smile, her eyes alight with excitement.

Wystan then folded the thin pancake over his fork and promptly took a bite. It was practically an order from the princess. There was no world in which he could have refused. He closed his eyes for only a moment to savor its soft and creamy texture. A soft exhale left him as he did so, while his shoulders seemed to slacken ever so slightly.

A small, soft squeal of joy escaped Anastasia and she clasped her hands. “ Ooooh you still love those… I’m so happy you still love those. I used to secretly pester the kitchen staff to make them more often so you could have them when you first started living with us.”

The bodyguard’s eyes fluttered open at those words. He cleared his throat with a fist over his mouth, effectively disguising his rather bashful reaction with a rough grunt. "Back then, it was you…?” He processed the memories from those early days— when he felt unworthy of stepping near the royal estate the first time he was brought there. Even with Auguste's sincere welcome, every fiber of his being told him that he did not belong. But for some reason, when it was time to dine, the royal kitchen staff had never missed serving him the crepe rolls he adored so much. Delicious food played a big part in what calmed his raised hackles and allowed him to relax. Truth be told, knowing Ana now, he should not have been surprised that she was the one behind all of that.

...And he wasn't. What did surprise him, though, was how his mind stalled when he heard those words. A skip in his heart rate. Was he sick? He couldn’t make out what any of what he felt meant. Instead, he took his feelings out on the crepes, inhaling them in less than a minute.

”Thank you, Ana.” Wystan paused to think of that one thing Auguste often said to him to express sincere gratitude. ”...I feel blessed to have you in my life.”

A smile slowly crept across her face that she tried to bite back as her gaze lowered and her cheeks reddened. Anastasia was thoughtful for once over her response. Wystan had a way of catching her off guard with his words often, in such a manner that made her want to consider her reply more selectively. She glanced up at him through her lashes as she finally decided. “You know what... Can I give you a hug?”

”Oh. As you wish, your Highness.” Wystan looked at her and then their surroundings, deeming it safe before responding with slightly open waiting arms. Then, he pat himself down around his abdomen and made sure his concealed arms were out of the way. The expression on his face was of concern, but not unwant. It was clear this was not something he was used to. ”I am ready.”

Anastasia emitted a giggle at his reaction. There was a very small inactive pause before she threw herself at him and wrapped her arms around his waist in a tight squeeze. Thankfully, she wasn’t a very strong princess. She remained there silently for a long moment until she felt satisfied with their hug.

Wystan was silent. He had his arms laid gently around the princess’ back, careful not to squeeze too hard lest he pained her by any injuries he couldn’t notice from last night. On the other hand, the bodyguard was half-part perplexed and half-part amused, thinking to himself that perhaps if one were, for some reason, to be enveloped in a human-sized marshmallow, then that was what it would feel like. He would never get used to hugs, but he could for sure take solace in Ana’s.

She freed him and looked up at him, her hands moving to her hips with solemnity. “Now I am ready too.”

The watchdog found satisfaction in her satisfaction. In that moment, he was simply glad that she felt safe enough around him still, even in spite of his failure to keep her and her brother safe during the nobles’ getaway. After eating away at him all night, that thought finally crept back into his mind as he lost himself for a moment in silence.

”...Ana.” He spoke low. ”I want to know… and if it’s absolutely okay, what happened last night?” He repeated the question Auguste had asked him prior, only to realize the heaviness in his chest of anticipating her response.

Anastasia had tilted her head with a frown at his sudden silence and change in disposition. Though his next words cleared her confusion up, she did not seem to cheer up any. Her shoulders slacked. “Oh. Right… That.”She wondered if Wystan would be as disappointed as everyone else. The idea stung to think about, but there was no escaping his question.

“Well… My friend throws these parties… He tries to make a space where everyone can be themselves and not worry about titles or their reputation. He’s a really nice person I think so I didn’t want to tell my parents his name without any proof he did anything wrong... I thought it would be fun to bring people to the party but I convinced Darryn, the stablehand, to bring us there.”

The bodyguard acknowledged all of this with a slow nod, recalling the boy’s face from the stables.

She paused and bit her lip. After rubbing her forearm, Anastasia continued, her throat growing tighter with every word, “ Then this morning…No one remembered anything that happened but apparently, a lot of us came back in bad shape, even the Alidasht royalty. So of course my mother freaked out and tried to blame Darryn-“ Her words broke off as her voice cracked. She covered her mouth to keep the dam from breaking. Farim and the festival had managed to distract her enough to forget how she had been feeling.

Wystan laid his hand on her shoulder, tightening it in a warm grip to refocus her attention on him. ”Be easy, Princess.” He nodded at her with concern, establishing full eye-contact. ”I’m listening, but you need not speak more if it pains you to do so.”

“I-...” She looked up at Wystan. His words were soft and soothing; they managed to calm her a little. Her hand drifted from her mouth. Even though Wystan had given her an out from the conversation, she found herself continuing to speak. “They tried to torture him… Callum told me that Darryn’s free now…But… I have a feeling my mother...“

It wasn’t chilly by any means this day, but the princess shook like a leaf. In turn, watchdog respectfully held her tighter. ”It’s alright.” He spoke softly. ”It’s alright… it will all be handled.”

Anastasia wondered if Wystan had meant his words simply in comfort, but it was the idea that motivated her to feel that she had to make sure it was handled, though she had no idea how she’d do so quite yet. “ Yes.” She relented with a sigh finally after a pause. “ Suppose it will...”

”Ana, I hear that heavy sigh.” Wystan knew she was in her head again. His heart ached a little without his intention, but his voice still sounded strict due to concern. ”Please worry not. Prince Auguste likely has a plan in the making of what’s to come. He will not let a trusted stablehand, especially one as loyal as Darryn, go without a fight. In fact, I would not mind being a substitute for such punishments in his place— after all, I was in charge of looking after all of you last night.” Though he was painfully aware of the Queen’s merciless potential, there was resolution in his voice, and a suggestion like this was never prone to doubt when it came from the watchdog.

Anastasia’s eyes widened on their accord and she cringed a little. She was shocked and frankly horrified at his suggestion. She did not interrupt as he continued to talk, her mind racing as his initial words looped.

”In regards to your friend’s gathering…” He pulled away to give her a look; the stone-coldness of his features warmed into icemelts as he spoke with sincerity. ”I know that I have apprehended you and your acquaintances more times than any man could count… but I want you to know that we do this because we worry. Your brother, Auguste, tells me to keep an eye on you because he cares for you deeply. Prince Wulfric, too. Young Prince Callum doesn’t like to mention this to me, but I don’t doubt his consideration for you, either.”

Her gaze was on him as he spoke. She was paying attention though too caught up in worry to comment just yet. Anastasia did believe him when it came to Auguste and Callum, but she did wonder sometimes if Wulfric really cared. She’d die for any of the three regardless as well as for Wystan. She cared about all of them, even her parents, more than she wanted to sometimes admit.

”...And as for myself, I do feel this way, too.” He looks away as he mumbles the rest of his point before returning his careful gaze to her. Her eyes met his somberly, frowning slightly. Anastasia then folded her hands anxiously as he spoke once more. ”Anyway, my point is… I apologize for making you recount the night prior, but I thank you for sharing this with me, Ana. I know now that I have your trust, and I assure you I will do my best to maintain it as your retainer.”

Her mind was still hung up on his willingness to substitute himself in Darryn’s place. Imagining Wystan all scarred up like that made her grip her hands together tighter. “… No. You are not substituting yourself for any punishment.” Anastasia’s words were firm and she had a look of resolve as she spoke. She wasn’t one to take on a demanding tone often. She looked up at him, locking her eyes onto his. ”You’re never to offer yourself for such a thing… Okay Wystan?” Concern swam in her eyes, ”Promise me please?” If her mother or father, or even Wulfric, ever agreed to hurt him, Anastasia knew she would turn on them completely and never turn back.

”...Understood, Princess.” Wystan did in fact not quite understand Her Royal Highness’ concern for this offer, however, she looked scared, and so he did not have any difficulty in compliance. ”In turn, may I too ask you for a promise?” She nodded her consent as she visibly relaxed.

”...Please do inform me of where you will go the next time.” The watchdog lowered his eyes. He didn’t want to think of the possibilities of what could’ve happened had he or the Queen’s men arrived a tad bit late. ”I cannot blame you for wanting to leave after the ball. I do not mind so much where it is you find yourself. I will not judge you for the places where you’d rather go to be.”

”Oftentimes, I feel the same way.” He gave a light pause, realizing that perhaps he has spoken too much in this one sitting than the entire half-year. ”If you need to run, then do so, but I’d rather you not without me knowing where.”

”...Forgive me for my straightforwardness, Ana. I hope that you may understand.”

“… I do understand. I’m really sorry for the stress this caused.. Anyhow, I promise. “ Anastasia held up her pinkie, to which the bodyguard looked at with mild perplexion.

” Pinkie swear!”

Ah. ”Pinkie swear.” Wystan followed Ana’s lead and intertwined his little finger with hers.

”…Annnd to start things off, I’ll be honest that I plan to go visit my friend who threw the party to find out what happened… Buuuut I don’t think I want my brothers to know…”

”I appreciate your upholding of this “pinky law” so immediately.” With fingers still conjoined, he couldn’t help but smile.”Date, time, location, and means of transportation, please.”

“ Tonight. 8pm. Improvising.” She was smiling as she declared her answers despite their lack of depth.

”Clive’ll follow. 7:30pm. We’ll be ready to hear of your improvisations. Clear?” Though his voice was stern as always, he wore a satisfied expression as if calmed by relief.

” Crystal clear! … Or should I say …Crystal Damien clear?” She giggled at her own unfunny joke, immensely pleased with the delivery.


”Mmmfh.” Wystan suppressed his own giggly laughter, but he could only do so much. ”Hahaha!” He slapped his knee in the process.

Anastasia’a smile grew as wide as possible as soon as Wystan began to giggle. However, it was the knee slap that sent both her into laughter and her ego through the roof. ”I KNEW IT! I am funny ! Yes ! She triumphantly raised a teddy bear in the air victoriously.

”Hahaha..” Wystan was clutching at his stomach. "You always come up with the best jokes.” There was sincerity, and he meant every bit of what he said.

”I know! I’m glad you still have a great sense of humor.”

”...Thank you, Princess. You are the first person to tell me this.” After wiping away a stray tear, he experienced post-laughter clarity in which he inwardly questioned how they went from a very serious topic to this.

She reached up to wipe away a stray tear he missed with the back of her finger, gentle and slow with her movements. Anastasia was thoughtful as she collected her grip over the teddy bears again. [color=E77298] “ … Hey you should come meet my new friends. I have been hanging out with some of the Alidasht visitors. They’re actually really nice… Plus after everything that happened, improving our relations with them is probably a good idea.”[/color

”Uh- Ah, yes.” Wystan was visibly caught off-guard, but brushed it off at Ana’s suggestion. ”That, we should do.” With that, he stood up and offered a hand.

”Here, let me carry those for you.”

“Okie dokie! Prepare your hands! They’re really soft…” Anastasia began to place her teddy bear in each of his hands, but then halted her movement just before they touched his skin and gave him a serious warning look, “... aannnddd prepare your heart too because they’re very cute! Don’t want it melting, do we?”

”No, of course not. Don’t worry.” Wystan wondered if the warmth burning inconspicuously inside his chest the entire time was akin to “melting”. He stretched his arms out to receive the bears with a rare smile as he looked at her.

I do suppose these bears are quite cute.

Anastasia had started walking toward the group when she recalled the gunshots they had heard earlier. She slowed her pace as the importance of that dilemma dawned on her. She suddenly whirled around and looked at him. There was a dramatic pause before she spoke in a hushed voice. “Wait… Did you hear that bang, bang, bang earlier? “

”The… what?” Wystan squinted his eyes and leaned in closer. ”And where did you hear that from?"

Anastasia decided to step close to him and get up on her tippy toes so she was just by his ear. She then whispered, “Gunshots from the south. Three. Think there’s something bad going on. “ The princess retracted her head from that position and instead looked up at him with eyes, sparkling with bad ideas. Truth be told, there had been a pang in her gut about that situation. If someone was hurt, every moment counted.

"I can hear your thoughts and I don’t like them.” Wystan frowned and sighed quite audibly. "I will be the one to scout the area. You will stay here, safe and sound with the company of your guards.”

“No way! I’m coming with you. I gotta make sure you don’t get hurt.”Anastasia at first grinned as she spoke. After a sigh, she rested her hands on her hips and the smile fell. “In all seriousness, I want to help. If someone’s getting hurt and there’s something I can do about it, then I want to. I know I am not a badass like you but I promise I won’t be any trouble. Besides, those guards are going to just follow me wherever I go anyway. ” She gestured to the two on the sidelines. The two looked each at other before moving toward them with the intention to join.

The bodyguard exhaled deeply. He knew that if he were to apprehend her, she would simply find another way to slip through. ”I will not make myself regret this.” He spoke simply.

”You may come. But do keep in mind that I need you in my sights at all times. If you remove yourself from my view even just once, I will find you, and I will attach you to me without hesitation.” Wystan patted his hip, making it obvious the number of concealed tools he had on him, ready to use whenever.

Anastasia sucked in her lips to keep in a laugh that bubbled deep within. The princess was barely audible as she muttered to herself,“Is that supposed to be a bad thing?” She struggled to keep her lips from upturning so she instead averted her gaze in an attempt for him not to notice.

The bodyguard raised an eyebrow. How could it not be a bad thing? He was perplexed but didn’t want to entertain this mischievery any longer for fear it might underplay the urgency of the situation.

”...Why are you smiling?”

“...I’m not...Oh look is that Zarai? Anastasia’s gaze fell on the pretty girl with strawberry blonde hair. She was hard to miss. “ My love! Back from the War already!” She called to her.

Location: Park of Sorian
Interaction:@Lava Alckon Farim @Rodiak Nahir @Potter Layla @Tae Saiya @Ojo chan 42 Dali @mantou Wystan

Anastasia had excitedly applauded Farim's win. "Oh this is amazing! We are so lucky today!" She waved her little bear in the air victoriously.

Soon after that, she found herself surprised when Farim decided to give her a gift over his family. She understood the situation a little better after the wink. After a split second hesitation, she grinned at him, "Oh my goodness! It's so cute and soft! Thank you soo much." She accepted the bear and hugged both bears to her. As his attention had been caught, she moved up to him and used the bear's face to kiss his cheek. "Mwah! Just for you." Her gaze subsequently followed his toward the southern end of the park. There was some distant yelling. As she focused on it, she pursed her lips at the sudden noise of gunshots. She recognized them off the bat. Part of her was curious to go find out what was going on.

"Anastasia...I hope everything is okay? Is that something we should be worried about, my friend?"

Something strange was certainly occurring but she did consider that perhaps it was something down in the slums. It was not out of the realm to have some trouble brewing there once in a while. She decided to not delve into it and worry the Alidasht more than they already were. Her eyes met his as she felt the warmth of his hands on hers. She returned his smile, "You're so sweet... I will treasure my new friends close to my heart."

”Want a turn after Nahir, love?”

Anastasia glanced at Layla and grinned at her, "You know it, darling! We should play until everyone has a prize."

Two new figures began to approach at that moment and Farim seemed to recognize them. From their garb, it was quite obvious they were also from the Alidasht. I'm happy he can get the family time he was yearning for. Anastasia watched with a smile as he greeted the two. They were also extraordinarily good-looking. She wondered if everyone had great genetics in the Alidasht as she offered the newcomers a friendly smile and wave. "Hi!"

As the group did thicken, she did find herself feeling a little out of place. Anastasia debated stepping away to give them some family time. The least she could do was give them at least a moment together. Her mind wandered to Wystan and the other guards. Maybe she could take a few minutes to bring them some food. There was no way they'd take their eyes off her to get it for themselves.

"Everyone! I will return in a few minutes. I want to make sure my guards get something to eat!"

Calbert & Kazumin & SURPRISE GUEST

“If I am indeed a corrupt noble she is going after, then you cannot fault me if I defend myself.” Calbert began to speak. However, he paused shortly after.

In the background, shouting could be dimly heard while Calbert had been speaking. Guards were yelling indistinct orders at one another. A few soft thuds were heard against the Damien mansion. The yells were pierced by the sound of glass shattering. Servants who’d been upstairs had come rushing to discover the meaning of the sudden chaos. The yelling continued and began escalating louder and louder. One of the guards could be heard yelling, “...and there’s another one!” More glass shattering was heard, this time closer to where Kazumin and Calbert were situated.

Kazumin tilted his head, which was now resting against his left palm propped up by the elbow, blinking sleepily.”Hm? Did you invite other guests? Because if so they don’t sound very happy. Might…” Momentarily interrupted by burping against his right fist.”Might um..want to get that, my lord.”

“What in the hell… Did you plan an attack on my estate!” Calbert’s voice rose as he looked around wildly toward the sounds around them. He pressed the gun into Kazumin’s forehead. Rage was consuming him now. He leaned in to meet him eye to eye, seething as he sneered, “You vile creature! I’ll find this Percy and I’ll rip her to shreds in front of you! I’ll gut her like the pig she is while you watch and make sure her death is the most painful experience I can. Then we’ll see how funny this joke is to you.” He grabbed his arm now as he kept the gun to his head. ''GET UP!”

Kazu simply blinked in confusion at the accusation. “Attack? Plan? I’ve never been one associated with making plans.” The blonde answered tiredly, having figured all the ruckus was just some rowdy guest or worked up pet. It was at this point everything was starting to become a hazy blur as he could hear Calbert speaking while some cold, metallic object pressed against his head; only catching every other word the angry nobleman was saying, something about Percy and pig and death among others, the rest muffled gibberish.

Then he felt himself being jerked up to his feet while in the midst of trying to shake off the drowsiness and piece things together. ”Ow! Hey, take it easy man! I don’t know what’s going on either and I don’t think Percy is in the mood for a pig.” His words finished with a slight slur as he stood swaying on his feet confused and barely lucid.

The windows to the dining hall abruptly shattered. Glass flew everywhere and ricocheted off the wall. Arrows flew in from every direction, narrowly missing Calbert while completely missing Kazumin. The chandelier hanging over the table crashed down, causing food and silverware to fly off the table as it split into two. The noise drowned out the yells and cries of the guards, all of whom were helpless to do anything. Finally, there was a pause in the arrows. Next, there were a few gunshots which caused some of the guards to duck and dive behind trees. Moments later, arrows flew one after another into the dining hall. This time, they were coming closer to Calbert. Miraculously, they continued to miss Kazumin, though by mere inches. The arrows stuck in the wall or fell to the floor, while some pierced glass or other objects. Shattering and thuds were a continuous melody. It was absolute chaos, and there was no stopping it.

Calbert had let go of Kazumin’s arm to duck as the glass shattered. With wide eyes, he proceeded to crawl under the table as chaos erupted around his dining room. It had been a mistake to invite him and underestimate the two of them. There was no doubt in his judgment now; he had been right on the money about them. These two were psychotic killers set on his family. “Someone get the royal guards!” He yelled over the noise.

So much screaming and destruction was going on around him, but Kazu failed to notice any of it or the fact Calbert was no longer holding onto him. He was barely even awake and standing while arrows flew and things broke; not even the arrows whooshing inches from his head seemed to faze the exhausted blonde.Then he jolted awake abruptly. ”What the heck? Wuh... oh god no…noooooooo!” He cried, dropping to his knees grabbing at the scattered food and broken plate that had seemingly stirred him awake.”Oh, to see such food wasted. Please let this all be some sick, cruel nightmare!” He exclaimed in horror while contemplating the urge to eat the scraps and spare them their pain.

A hand grabbed the back of his shirt and began dragging him backwards. Though the figure wore mostly black and was hooded, blonde strands dangled out by her neck. She paused and grinned down at Calbert, half her face concealed in shadow. Burn marks lined her arms. She then grabbed a piece of bread off the broken table and shoved it in her mouth. With a victorious grin, she proceeded to drag the delirious Kazumin over to the window. "Jump through the window Kazumin if you want some pudding." She whispered as she began to push him out. Her movements were now hasty as she noticed Calbert climbing out from under the table.

Kazu washed with grief at the loss of the food to pay any mind to the ensuing chaos around him. Barely even noticing the fact he was being dragged by the mysterious black-robed figure; not that he had any strength to free himself even if he could. Next thing he knew he was hearing a voice whisper in his ears and one he might have recognized were it not for his delirious state. And yet, the instant the word pudding left her lips had Kazu gotten up and leapt through the window without questioning why or hesitation, merely that it would get him pudding was all that mattered.

Persephone hesitated briefly to stifle laughter from watching Kazumin leap through the window. She hopped out after him, somersaulting neatly onto the ground then back onto her feet. There, she grabbed hold of his scruff and dragged him after her so he didn’t get lost in the sea of guards or chaos then let go. To occupy the guards, she took her gun out and aimed it at them menacingly, while the other hand pushed Kazumin forward. ”Pudding this way. Stay with me!”

Kazu had just gotten to his feet who was attempting to dust himself off when he was grabbed once more to be dragged along by the mysterious robed person. At this point it was impossible to follow anything; mind whirling from the drug’s aftereffect and exhaustion, the promise of pudding the only thing keeping the cowlicked blonde conscious as he was running on fumes at this point.” Oof! Hey, come on. Take it easy.” He complained about being shoved.

”I can’t believe this.” If Calbert could have caught fire from the rage boiling inside, he would have at that moment. He scrambled out from under the table and practically dove to the window. He leaned on it, his eyes locking on Persephone as she pointed a gun at some of the outdoor guards already in tow. Some of them broke formation in fear of the gun while one in particular took out a gun and fired a shot. It struck right behind Persephone’s feet. Other guards were pouring into the room inside the estate but alas, they were a moment too late. “AFTER THEM! NOW!” He bellowed at them without hesitation. The men looked at each other in alarm, then began climbing out the window.

*Sheesh, what’s Calby’s problem? He acting like someone died.* His thoughts towards Calbert’s enraged shouting though it was lost in the lost bang of gunfire which made his head pound anew with a fresh headache.” Ugh, does everyone have to shout and go bang bang so much? Fuck… you better have that pudding!” Kazu warned in an annoyed tone as he forced his body to run down the way the robed person shoved him towards. Hopefully not for long as he could feel himself dipping in and out of consciousness as he went.

”You don’t say!” Persephone exclaimed, continuing to push Kazumin forward and shielding him with his body. The bullets made her jump in the air and stumble when she hit the ground. Scowling, she fired behind herself at the grass and continued forward. Then, realizing the men could catch up to them on horseback, bit her lip. I don’t want to do it…. But how else will I save us….? You know the effects…. But it’s temporary…. And yet, here we are, running from a noble bastard with more guards than I….. I… I have to do it… But only this once…

Persephone took a long, shaky breath, when a voice answered her back. A famous lie you’ve told yourself before, my dear.

She halted for a moment and turned to glance backwards at Calbert. Despite being a safe distance away, she knew their luck would eventually run out. Persephone bit her lip and then concentrated, allowing herself to become distant to all the other noise. Her head began to ache as if she’d smacked it against the wall, and the familiar scent of iron filled her nostrils.

”Invisio.” She whispered, her voice barely audible, so Kazumin couldn’t hear her. Though Persephone could see Kazumin and the opposite, Calbert and the guards were no longer able to see the pair of runaway peasants. Persephone wiped her now bloody nose on her sleeve and then pulled a handkerchief from her pocket and quickly tied it around the lower half of her face to staunch the bleeding. Despite her vision blurring, her head pounding and her nose bleeding, the rush of adrenaline pulsing through her veins made her feel more alive than ever, on top of the sweet victory she was procuring. Up ahead was….

”See that fancy building up ahead? Go to it. You’ll get your pudding, I promise.” Persephone encouraged Kazumin, her voice slightly muffled from the handkerchief mask.

Calbert’s expression was shrouded by the distance between them now as he lingered by the window. The guards slowed, many of them looking about in confusion. They determinedly kept on forward, looking around for the two. The sound of horses in the distance could be heard as more enforcement was arriving.

Things strangely became considerably easier with Calbert’s men suddenly unable to find them which was certainly odd. They were hardly stealthy, but Kazu wasn’t one to complain as he just wanted this whole nonsense over with.* How did a simple invitation for brunch turn into such a mess.* Thinking this with an exasperated sigh; taking notice that the robed figure looked to be in pain though saw no signs of any injuries or bullet wounds.” Hey uh… you alright?” No longer thinking about pudding as he was concerned for the person who then pointed out the fancy building.” There? Alright, you take a breather.” Without asking or waiting the blonde slipped his arm under the masked person’s shoulder and quietly made for the building while aiding his savior.

The sound of silence reassured Persephone that her magic had worked. The consequences of the action remained to be seen. For now, she pushed it out of her mind. She had to focus on finding them shelter to hideout. Up ahead was the Vikena Estate. Her mind was reeling from the course of events and the magic. Nonetheless, she continued forward and began eyeing the mansion for any windows on the first floor. When Kazumin spoke and then supported her, Seph blinked with surprise. A warmth spread through her unrelated to the recent events. She glanced at him and smiled as if he’d asked her if she’d won the lottery. ”Of course I am, Kaz. Remain silent, we’ll talk more later.”

Persephone put a finger to her lips and patted his head affectionately, then opened a window as quietly as possible. Once she’d checked the coast was clear, she ushered him inside and kept the finger to her lips, and then helped him inside. She quietly shut the window and ushered for him to follow her and continued to signal for him to be quiet. Throughout the whole ordeal, they remained invisible.

It quickly became apparent that this person was someone he knew and if his mind wasn’t a fuzzy mess he might have been able to guess their identity. Too tired to bother questioning the person or any attempts to make sense of what was going on, especially the fact those pursuing lost them so easily.

And so, he simply nodded his head after being told to keep quiet. The sole focus of getting to wherever it was she was taking him and the promised reward of pudding the only thing that kept Kazu moving at this point, pushing through exhaustion and brief spurts of black-outs.

Coins Under the Cup

@Lava Alckon

"Looks like you chose correctly sir! Bravo! Pick your prize!"

Location: Park of Sorian
Interaction:@Lava Alckon Farim @Rodiak Nahir @Potter Layla

Anastasia had led the group over to the game, her eyes lighting up as she looked upon the prize shelf. A little old lady in a periwinkle dress was shuffling three cups faster than anyone's eyes could follow. The sound of coins jingling underneath the cups could be heard but not seen. "Welcome to Coins under the Cup. All you have to do is pick the cup with the most coins underneath to win. One cup may have nothing, one may have a little something, but if you luck out and pick the one with the largest amount of coin, you win a big prize!" There were small and large prizes on the shelf nearby her. Some were stuffed animals again while others seemed to be other types of trinkets.

With a grin, the woman looked to Farim first, "Traditionally ladies go first, but I don't like traditions. So you can go first. " She gestured ceremoniously to three cups. About twelve gold coins were situated on the table. With a nefarious grin she suddenly became moving the cups around speedily, engulfing the coins into them and tossing them about the table chaotically. Finally, she came to a stop. The coins were nowhere to be seen. "Left, middle or right?"

"You can do this, Farim. Use your Alidasht intuition!"

Alice Varo

Alice found the situation distasteful. It was either disgusting that Maeve felt that they needed competition to feel motivated toward protecting people or she knew those she called were too cold to care otherwise. She took her piece of paper and glanced at it before crumbling it in her fist. A bruja with a reptilian guard. Considering the lack of information and the number of people called, she decided this was not something to underestimate, though she was sure the others would. She made her way over to Nikolai, who she was annoyed with. He had been lightheartedly joking around, winking at them, sticking a finger in her gun...She rolled her eyes at the memory and came to stand beside him and the man with Buki. She resisted the urge to kneel down and touch it. Instead, she averted her gaze from all of them and folded her arms.

Both of them seemed to be in cheerful spirits as if this was all a game. This wasn't a competition nor a fun party game- People's lives were at stake. Their homes, their families, and everything they had ever known. Alice did not care if this was an easy nor a difficult mission. She just wanted to slaughter whatever foul beasts were out there greedily taking what was precious from the innocent.
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