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Kazuhiko Tsuda

In transit from District 7 to 9

“Well, that just happened,” the frazzled looking esper with black hair grumbled. If he squinted, he was sure that he would still be able to just make out the bus he was supposed to be on fading farther into the distance. Yet his bitterness had less to do with the reality that he would now need to walk to his job and more so with the fact that he had missed out on one of the precious few chances to nap today. After all, even if he wasn’t blessed enough to get a seat, nodding off while standing was a skill Kazu had been dutifully cultivating over the past few weeks. It was only a matter of time before he mastered it and became that much closer to being able to say that he could sleep literally anywhere.

Letting out a noise that was an odd cross between a dejected sigh and exhausted yawn, he took off at a rather sluggish pace. There was plenty of time before his shift started at the noodle shop that currently had a reserve on Kazu’s free time, so there was little point in using up what little energy he had left rushing there. But even so, some of that energy was still wasted dwelling on the person that had caused him to miss his bus to begin with.

A tired hand ran down an equally tired face as Kazu recalled the phone call he had received from his dad, who somehow managed to be equal parts doting and deadbeat. And as if to illustrate that very point, his father had called to let Kazu know that he had dropped off a surprise at his son’s apartment. The sheer dread from such news had caused the young esper to turn even paler and rooted him to the spot just outside of his school for five full minutes.

As a child of the Tsuda household, Kazu had been engrained with the knowledge that his dad only bought presents in two situations: when it was somebody’s birthday or when he had really screwed up. And seeing as the teenager’s birthday was still months away, Kazu couldn’t even begin to fathom what kind of mess his old man had managed to get himself into this time. “I seriously don’t feel like going home today…”

Kazu’s attention snapped back to the present, his eyes falling on a news segment being broadcast across the street while he waited for the crosswalk to turn. The picture was unbelievably grainy, as it was coming out of a relic of a model that was completely out of place in the modern world, but he was able to get the gist of it from the banner running across it. Apparently there had been a murder in the warehouse district, and a rather gruesome one at that. Everything about the incident just didn’t add up to Kazu no matter how he looked at it, from the motive behind it to the method involved.

After all, just how much sleep could that guy have gotten if he had just turned in for the night instead?
Well you certainly have my interest
Oz Morioka

Oz hooked his thumbs in his pockets, his eyes focused on the fight in front of him. Both of the combatants moved with a naturalness that spoke volumes about just how familiar they were with this kind of affair. And for perhaps the first time, Oz found himself feeling like maybe he was in a bit over his head. Years of working under Raiha had made him good at slogging through cumbersome manuscripts and picking at the nuances of magic, but what little combat training she had given him clearly paled in comparison to whatever the two figures before him had gone through.

It seemed as though Oz’s question was to go unanswered, seeing as his blond haired companion had yet to say anything. Not that that he was particularly bothered by it, after all small talk wasn’t for everybody and he was hardly the pushy type. But from the corner of his eyes Oz noticed her making some kind of gesture, causing him to shift his gaze her way. His shorter companion had placed one of her hands to his throat, which was adorned with an impossible to miss scar running across it. Oz’s eyes lit up with surprise and his mouth hung slightly agape, the realization that she hadn’t answered him because she was physically unable to dawning on him all too quickly.

Yet before he could offer any kind of apology, she pointed to the Lifan woman. Oz couldn’t help but smile at her response, bowing his head guiltily. A brief moment passed as Oz composed himself before he started rustling through his satchel, the noise of which was completely lost amidst the clamor of magic getting tossed every which way. He shuffled past Raiha’s letter, the odd textbook, and even his own relic before he found the notepad he had been using to sketch out different herbs he had been studying on the train.

It only took him a moment to flip to an empty page and hastily jot something down. Satisfied with his work, he moved to pass off the notepad to his companion. On it he had scrawled out:

I have to agree with your choice. That lady is no joke.

The name’s Oz by the way.

“To be honest,” he started with a sheepish chuckle while he waited to see if the blond would read his message, “I’m not sure if this is even more obnoxious for you, so be sure to let me know if it is.”

Before he could get a response though, the voice of some lady cut through the square, informing delinquent trainers like Oz that he should show probably get a move on. “Ah!” the brown haired boy yelped, eyes quickly dropping to the watch on his wrist. “That’s my cue!” In his rush to get going, he let go of the notepad. Whether it ended up in the girl’s hands or on the street seemed entirely inconsequential to him.

But as he took off jogging towards the arena, Oz glanced back at the girl once last time and waved. “If you see me around, feel free to kick me in the shins if you want!”

Oz’s group certainly seemed like a rather rag tag bunch. He immediately recognized the darker skinned youth who had been dueling the Lifanite woman not too long ago, but he had no such luck with the no-nonsense looking brunette or the clumsy looking boy with white hair. The first to break the ice was the latter of which.

“Nice to meet you Xander, I’m Oz,” he replied with a smile, his hands tucked behind his head. He glanced between the other two, as if to invite them to go next.

@Shurikai @Innue @Raijinslayer @Atagait Denral
Name:Osmeren “Oz” Morioka
Age: 20
Gender: Male
Appearance: Oz is the very picture of average and unassuming. Standing at 5’10” and a build that is neither scrawny nor particularly well built, he’s the kind of guy that is easily lost in a crowd. His skin is on the slightly paler side and extraordinarily smooth, speaking volumes of his time spent assisting his master’s research. He keeps his unruly brown hair in a short, lazy ponytail with his face framed by a set of bangs. The only feature that really makes Oz stand out would be his hazel eyes that are perpetually brimming with curiosity.
Hometown: Lifan
Personality: The very embodiment of the word affable, Oz always carries himself in an easygoing and unassuming manner. While it might be a stretch to call him charming, he is the kind of guy that can strike up a conversation with just about anyone. On top of that, he far too easily goes along with whatever flow he finds himself in and is one of the most imperturbable creatures in existence.
Relic Description: Oz’s relic takes the form of a thin, metal bookmark with one end beveled. And on that beveled end is a small hole with brightly colored threads running through it, each one storing a Natrelmon.
Starting Natrelmon: Eishund, Gen
Starting Spell Schools: Frostweaving [3], Windspeaking [3]
History: As far as Oz is concerned, life for him started when he was taken in by a certain red haired mage at the age of four. Raiha Morioka had always been an incredibly polarizing figure within the Mages Guild, as she is widely regarded for her ability as a Searsinger and herbalist, but her blunt and solitary nature makes her incredibly difficult to work with. How Oz ended up in such a person’s care is a puzzle to many, but not one that the young man himself is all that concerned about. After all, in his books she is the one that saved him and that’s all there really is to it.

And in spite of everything, growing up still proved to be a rather mundane experience for Oz. While it was far from typical, Raiha still give Oz chores of sorts, only they mostly related to assisting in her work or keeping her workshop maintained. Consequently, all of his time spent sorting her herb stock taught him a great deal about the craft, while her complete inability to make a decent meal motivated him to learn his way around the kitchen. The relationship between the two has never been quite close enough to be described as similar to the kind between a mother and son, yet at the same time not nearly clinical enough to be written off as simply one between master and her apprentice either.

Years passed by and by the time Oz turned twelve, Raiha formally started training him in magic. And to her surprise, she discovered that her charge had a greater capacity for the art than most. The fledgling mage had little interest in learning the art of Searsinging, much to his master’s chagrin, but took to the lessons like a fish to water. The comfortable and predictable routine of his daily life began to seem like it just might be able to stretch on forever. So of course he wasn’t all that surprised when on the day of his twentietha birthday his master dropped a surprise on him.

Raiha was leaving Lifan for the foreseeable future. Without him.

His master didn’t leave him any explicit instructions or advice, but she made it a point to let Oz know that he shouldn’t bother waiting around the workshop. There wasn’t anything in particular Oz desired to do, but given his skillset he figured now was as good a time as any to perform his Rites.
Professions: Mage, Herbalist
Noteworthy Skills: Remarkable memory, intuitive understanding of magic, fairly competent cook
Gifts: Magical Savant
Oz Morioka

The sound of tumblers clicking in place rang in Oz’s ears with dispassionate finality. Strangely enough though, shuttering up the workshop that he had called home for the past fourteen years was proving to be a far more anticlimactic affair than he had expected. Sure he would almost certainly return to this out of place building on the outskirts of Lifan once he had finished his Rites, but still, he had been expecting… well, more.

Raiha’s letter had been so flippant and out of nowhere that Oz couldn’t even bring himself to be all that surprised. It was just like his master to suddenly drop everything and anyone around her in order to pursue the latest object of her interest. Although in her defense, the redheaded Searsinger had never done so on quite the same scale as this before. Her letter didn’t even say whether she would be gone for only a few months or if it would be years before she would return, only that Oz shouldn’t bother waiting around for her.

Taking one last sidelong glance at the workshop, Oz did just that and started walking towards the center of town. His recluse of a master lived as far out of the way of the city proper as possible, so the sooner he started walking the better.

”One way to Toran.” Oz’s voice just barely cut above the busy din of the station’s morning traffic. While he personally wasn’t a big fan of them, the only way to get from Lifan to Toran in anything resembling a reasonable amount of time was to take a train. He handed over the necessary amount to the attendant and glanced around, losing himself in the bustle of the place.

“Just a moment,” the attendant said, completely stopping in his tracks mid transaction. The older man eyed Oz up and down, as if trying to confirm something with a rather scrutinizing look. “You’re that Morioka woman’s apprentice, aren’t ya?” he asked innocently, to which Oz could only nod his head slowly in silent confirmation, his face scrunched up quizzically. Yet the attendant said nothing while he rummaged through the drawers on his side.

“Aha! There we are,” the man finally proclaimed as he held up a letter for Oz to see. “An odd one, that master of yours,” he went on to say nonchalantly as he opened it and took out the money inside. “Said her apprentice would be coming through here and that he would probably be going to Toran, so she left enough money for your ticket.” He finished his little explanation as he produced the ticket and handed both it and the money Oz had previously tried to pay with. But when his eyes fell on the aforementioned apprentice’s face, a small, unnecessarily apologetic laugh escaped him.

“Looks like you have it rough. Try to hang in there kid.”

By the time the train finally pulled into Toran, Oz had come dangerously close to becoming completely stir-crazy. The brown haired youth was off the train before the doors had even finished opening. He could have sworn that one of the train operators muttered something along the lines of “kids these days,” but he was already too far ahead of the words to worry about it much.

Oz didn’t have a particular destination in mind as he took off, simply enjoying being free of the oversized metal box that had been his prison for the past few hours. But even at his quick pace, he couldn’t help but marvel at how different Toran was from Lifan. While he didn’t stop at any point to truly appreciate any of the art adorning the various buildings and bridges, he couldn’t help but be impressed by their sheer ambition.

It didn’t take long for his gallivanting around town to take him to the town square, where some kind of commotion was breaking out. It didn’t take much detective work to figure out who the perpetrators were, as the crowd had been polite enough to give the two trainers duking it out plenty of room. The woman was instantly recognizable to Oz as a Lifanite, a true Lifanite unlike himself, while the dark skinned man she was trading blows with was much more difficult to place.

As his footsteps finally came to a stop, he noticed he was standing right next to a short girl with blonde hair.

“Looks like I’ve missed quite a bit,” he announced good naturedly, as if the two of them were old friends. “Who do you think is coming out on top here?”

@Atagait Denral
Kieran Arol

The first shy rays of the sunrise found Kieran dutifully, with half lidded eyes, at work. The mud in his hands was cool to the touch as he rather haphazardly worked over the subject of his labor. After all, there was no real finesse required when it came to painting a wyvern with a fresh coat of mud. Or at least that's he had woken up believing.

The half-conscious mercenary jerked back just in time as Tiaramut’s sharp set of jaws snapped shut within kissing distance of where his face had just been. “Oi, we're having none of that,” he dispassionately chastised his disgruntled partner, far too tired to put all that much effort into it. Kieran didn’t even have to look at his wyvern to see how displeased she was with this oh-so-terrible treatment, as she somehow had found a way to radiate the feeling. Honestly, he would have been amazed by the phenomena if it weren’t for the fact that it was all directed squarely at him.

“Look,” the redhead muttered in exasperation, scooping another handful of mud as he did so, “You don’t like this, I sure don’t like this, but we’re just going to have to put up with it until those Nuniel envoys clear out.” Without breaking eye contact with the wyvern, Kieran unceremoniously glomped said handful onto her hide, further diluting her usual red luster to a drab brownish red.

In Kieran’s head, the logic certainly checked out. A red haired wyvern rider wasn’t that uncommon. Likewise, a red wyvern was somewhat rare, but far from being unheard of in the world. But combine the two and even a self-absorbed Nuniel envoy may start asking questions that Kieran had no interest in answering. So here he was, risking his appendages to obscure Tiaramut’s true color.

With a final plop of mud hitting wyvern hide, Kieran dusted off his hands and looked over his shoddy work. “There, all done Mutt.” While he was almost positive that Tiaramut couldn’t understand a lick of the human tongue, the way she always bristled at his pet name for her never failed to cause him to wonder. “Huh, this might actually be a good look for you girl. Maybe we should splash some color on you more often.”

A rumbling growl was the only response Kieran got, which once again got him questioning just how much the oversized lizard really understood. Or maybe he was just naturally offensive, regardless of language? That little thought caused a wry grin to spread across his expression as he shuffled back to his tent.

Kieran was once more unsuccessful at stifling the umpteenth yawn of the day as he strolled lazily through the Red Branch’s encampment. While he would have rather kept his head low until well after the envoys were far away, there was far too much to do around the camp for a newbie to the company like Kieran to be allowed to take it too easy. It had only been a few weeks since he and Cael had signed on with the outfit, creating an atmosphere that pretty all but explicitly told them that they had to prove their worth. Regardless of the fact that to do so they were being dragged straight into the very conflict that they had sworn they wouldn’t get involved in.

Thankfully, the wyvern rider was ripped from that unwelcome train of thought as, coincidentally, his attention was drawn to the sound of ripping canvas.

Turning the corner, Kieran found a fresh looking set of tears in the innocent tent’s exterior. And it only took the briefest of glances to find the offending party, one red eyed fighter with a scourge wrapped around her vambrace. Despite how new he was and the fact that they had never really spoken before, it was hardly difficult for him to pick out who the figure before him was with that iconic scar of hers. Amber eyes flicked from the scourge at her wrist back to the newly ventilated tent, his face betraying none of his thoughts on the matter.

Dramatically, Kieran swiftly raised his hand, as if to cut off whatever excuse Fenne may have thought to offer. “No, no, I’m with you on this one. This tent definitely had it coming for all of its grave sins against humanity,” he stated dryly, but he wore an amiable smile as he turned his attention back to the culprit. "The world is in your debt for showing it the error of its ways."

@1Charak2 Sky Knights Assemble intensifies
I've got some more formatting to do after work, but for now here he is!

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