"Yes... Once you get past all of his unpleasantness he's an upstanding man, I'm sure," Nymira muttered with a roll of her eyes, "Forgive me if I have difficulty liking the man still." But then their purpose here wasn't to make friends now was it? Though she could still argue as to why she
required any training it was clear that Ethan required some formalities, and any help Cecil could get would do them a great deal of help. She would go into this business with very little expectations and, should anything useful come of it, she would admit as much; pride was natural when one was to be the heir to the throne of a powerful clan like the Rumia line, but humility and willingness was equally so. And she liked to think she was getting along rather well in those domains - an opinion others may argue with - and it was just a matter of 'growing into the throne' as her father often put it.
Ethan's face lit up excitably at the promise of meads and he very well would have asked to visit the pub had Nymira not shot him down before he could even ask. If the Dimuran knew anything about him it was his lack of navigational skills, and how much of a lightweight he was. It still flummoxed him how she'd managed to empty so many glasses before without any notable side effects. Was there some special kind of drunk magic she had? Someone little like her should have been passed out after half that many! The roasted meats and vegetables sounded good and maybe would be pretty inexpensive, and then Adrianna went right back to discussing meads. Ethan's mouth watered excitably but he remembered himself when Nymira looked back at him accusingly, a sheepish smile crossing his face as he rubbed at his neck. Just food for tonight, besides it would be difficult to train if he couldn't even stand up straight!
Any fervor over their potential dining stop faded when Ethan brought up the matter of the Church and for an uncomfortable moment he and Adrianna went silent. Of course he knew that their newest member hadn't personally killed his friend but still... They were part of it, they had to know things like that went on. But then that was probably why Adrianna was here now, right? Because they knew and couldn't take it any longer? There was bitterness towards the Church but Ethan realized how terribly misplaced it was with the healer and set it aside, smiling again as they reached Kensen's chosen eatery. "I'd say sure but I bet Kensen's got a place all picked out for us already! Maybe we can use it on our own time though!" Their choice of food would be seared meats it seemed, and long before they'd even reached the stalls themselves he could smell the delicious odors on the wind. Before them lay a large bed of coals with a long fire spit hung above the flames, several slabs of various meats hanging from the pole. Before the flames themselves was a long table with various raw pieces on display ripe for the taking, it seemed you selected your own slab and they cooked it to order. Rubbing his hands excitably as he walked up he began trying to pick over what might be the best, giving Adrianna a hopeful glance. "Er... You've eaten here before, right? What's good? I can't decide!"
"A simple meal over a fire... How nice." It was reminiscent of home and the countless dinners spent gathered in the village center, warriors and others all gathered together, sharing a toast and singing while enjoying a hard earned meal. And yet the fire spit was about as far as the familiarity went and Nymira found herself more annoyed by it all. Smaller towns weren't as guilty of this, but it seemed like the cities of the kingdom - and larger towns as well - were no strangers to having an excess of food. How nice it must be to wander about haplessly and be able to take whatever you wish to eat without to work for it. "Most of these people wouldn't last a moon in our lands," the Dimuran muttered as she pointed to a thin steak, lamb apparently, and dismissively told the owner of the stall to cook it however he saw fit. "Does it not bother you? Just how lazy these people are...?" Nymira questioned, frowning as she watched Ethan continue to fret over his selection, "No wonder this Church is so easily able to control everything, most of the people in this kingdom are useless... I'm astonished most can dress themselves."
"Guess what? I've been on the other side of the law near all my life, I'm no stranger to being hunted, but you ain't hearing me bitching about it now are ya? And I don't care, but I also don't want to listen to you bellyachin' all fucking day either. It's like I said: accept who you are and what your lot in life is, or change it. Complaining ain't going to change anything and it'll just piss off everyone around you." Children complained, children whined and moaned and expected things to change because of it. If you wanted something to happen though, if you wanted real
results, you had to take action and take matters into your own hands. He could argue with Cecil all day about the idea of having a "purpose" but Gage had better things to waste his time with. Besides they were at the gearheads place now and with luck he could be done with them for at least a little while. Hopes of that however faded rather quickly when the first words out of the Ydran brats mouth were "Mr. Norman, Cecil's a person, right?"
Growling lowly he folded his arms and stood at the door, scowling as Norman gave him a perplexed look. "Don't look at me, your problem now."
Well... He hadn't expected Gage to be sent along with them. He was familiar with the man's less than amiable personality and so it was of little surprise to find both Amuné and Cecil bothered by the man. The girl came to him with questions perhaps far too philosophical for a child and for a good moment Norman hadn't the words to offer one way or another. Deciding it was best to just not even get into that mess he smiled and squat down before Amuné, taking off a dirtied glove and patting her head with a laugh. "Cecil is fortunate to have someone who cares about him enough to argue with Gage, you're a brave little girl, Amuné." Or a little foolish, though even Gage wasn't the sort to strike a child for speaking against him. Slipping his glove back on Norman pulled his goggles up to his forehead and smiled at Cecil, stepping aside and gesturing to the shop, "Taliya told me all about our plans and I've got everything set up for us, come in and make yourself comfortable."
"And Amuné? I know you'll be doing your own training with Gage and I'm sure he's got plans for you to practice elsewhere, but you might be happy to know we've prepared a range nearby for you to practice at, if you'd like." There was of course an ulterior motive to his suggestion and Norman's wide smile should indicate as much. Calling for one of the shop's assistance to fetch "the weapon" he seemed to grow more eager as a box was brought out to them, almost as long as Amuné was tall. Taking it and placing it down before the girl Norman unlatched the locks and smiled as he pulled the lid off, revealing inside a repeating crossbow. "It's a bit crude honestly and its still in its prototype stages but I think it's a perfect weapon, if you have to have one," Norman explained before looking up at Gage curiously, "Er... You're absolutely certain she needs to be trained? I'm still against the idea of giving a child a weapon at all."
"Tali's orders, don't matter what I think about them," Gage answered gruffly as he stepped forward, leaning over Amuné and snatching the weapon up in one hand. Examining it closely he took a closer look at it, interested in the design. "Looks like a regular ol' shooter, except for this here..." he muttered as he tapped a conical cartridge affixed horizontally beneath the weapon's barrel.
"Each shot moves the cartridge forward, automatically lining up the second arrow for firing," Norman explained eagerly, standing beside Gage as he pointed to various mechanisms, "The string has to be drawn back manually still since we couldn't decide on a suitable automation for that, but reloading the weapon itself is, pardon the phrasing Amuné, child's play. It can hold 8 bolts simultaneously and the weapon itself is highly accurate and light thanks to an ash composite for the body and a carbonized steel plating for the- Er... What are you doing?" Seeing Gage taking aim at one of the walls Norman gasped and tried to stand in front of it to prevent him from firing, ducking when Gage pulled the trigger and turning to see the bolt having pierced through the shop wall, albeit a very thin sheet of wood wall, and ending up goodness knows where out back.
"Not bad, good stopping power for such a small toy," Gage noted as he turned it over and dumped the remaining bolts into his hand, dropping the emptied weapon then into Amuné's lap. "Try that out kid, if you can manage to fire it without falling on your rear maybe it'll be yours yet."
In the city of Balkova, Eastern Adelon - One day ago
What was the reason to call him all the way back here? Hadn't he done everything that had been asked of him? There was the Magi in Terranova that was causing a problem and they had been dealt with, so had the woman in that small village by Geromaine's Gorge, a tiny little place at the base of the Boehm Highlands to the north. Not that Bernadette had sounded terribly cross but there was a slightest hint of urgency to her voice and that rarely bode well. Unlike when he'd been teleported to his locations there was no such convenience for his return, he'd be on his own. Remus had to charter two ships to journey down the rivers and even then had only managed half the trip by boat, the rest had been done on horseback and changing three times over before finally reaching Balkova. His body ached from the culmination of battle and the weariness of the ride but he carried on down the busy streets, his head high and eyes forward as he walked through the crowds. Further east was where most of the heaviest population centers were and, in turn, where the Church's presence was most felt. Indeed banners denoting the Church hung from many high places and their priests were on almost every street, handing out fliers for events and gathering donations for just one of the numerous local churches in the city. Was it right of them, a group who essentially owned the city already, to be asking for donations? It wasn't his place to say.
A boisterous crowd outside the bar was parted by two members of the Church as Remus approached it and the proprietor, a portly older gentleman whose sweat stained his white wool coat jacket greeted him at the door. In her usual fashion his handler seemed to spare no expense in creating as much inconvenience for others as she could while setting up a meeting. Thanking the man at the door he ducked beneath the low bearing frame and into the bar. None seemed to pay him any terrible mind as he entered save the few drunkards who, probably if spoken to, would find enough reason to foolishly get into a fight with him. He was not here to take part in any drunken spats however nor did he have any desire to, his destination was through the door behind the bar. Greeting the young woman behind the counter he made a mental note that she was likely the owner's daughter judging by their resemblance - an uncanny and often annoying habit Remus found himself doing - thanking her for her work before disappearing inside. He'd barely shut the door at his back when a knife found itself at his throat, stopping promptly and glancing to his side at a smiling Ydran.
"Oh, its just you gramps. Hehe, sorry, don't want anyone unexpected popping in," the Ydran laughed as he lowered his blade, spinning it on his finger before dropping it into a sheath at his hip, "Took you long enough to arrive, what kept you? Run into some women on the way here?"
Remus didn't bother with an answer and instead looked to the woman behind the desk: Bernadette. Though a false name as he well knew, it was simply yet another moniker that she'd taken on during her work. Her actual name alluded him and she'd never made any mention of it in their brief discussions, nor did he ever care to ask. "You called for me? I assume there is more work to be done?" There was no immediate response and for several seconds she simply looked at him, her smile never leaving her face. Feeling like he was being silently picked apart Remus shifted his weight and opened his mouth to speak again, being cut off instead by Bernadette.
"So I understand you and Sero had a little fight again, hm? You two should really learn to play along..." she cooed, resting her head on her hand as she traced the table grains with a fingertip, "That's twice you've fought now, and twice someone's gotten away because of it. I know you don't see eye to eye but please, be a dear and get along, won't you? I'd hate to have to punish you for disobeying us again..." Remus visibly tensed at her veiled threat and there was a very distinct look of anger in his eye but he remained silent, her smile widening as she set both feet on the floor and leaned forward. "That's a good dog, you know your place. Now... I know he's not your favorite fish in the world and you've asked not to work with him, but... I have a job for you that you might like." Looking at the Ydran she waved for him to speak, settling back into her chair and folding her leg over the other again. "Elluine can tell you the details."
The Ydran was rather pleased with himself though he was little more than a messenger: anything to get under this stoic old fossil's skin, tormenting him was always such a joy. "Sero's got a problem of causing scenes during his jobs, it's becoming a real headache to clean up his messes. After all, we're not supposed to be causing scenes while we work, it'd be very unflattering for the Church," Elluine began as he broke into a grin, reaching into his tunic and pulling out a parchment, rolled with a red string and stamped with a familiar seal. "This one comes from above, they want you to make sure he doesn't go too crazy with his next job. If he causes a problem then clean it up and bring him back, we'll handle disciplining him ourselves. Oh, and Remus...?" The Ydran grabbed the man's hand as he was putting away the paper and he snatched it back, waving it in the Muran's face with a wink. "This here's an order for you to deal with whoever else shows up there. If its another Magi you can kill them on sight, we'll argue it was self defense and that's that. That said please don't go laying waste to everyone, it'll look bad."
"Besides, the game's no fun if you wipe out all the pawns immediately," Bernadette interjected with an airy chuckle, "Keep Sero on a leash and make sure he does his job, after that bring him back, drag him if you must, I really don't care. And don't mess this up, my patience with you two is thin as it is and I'd hate to have to report that two of my men ended up dead."