While the crickets chirp and the fire slowly crackles throughout the night, Ariana can only toss and turn as of late. So many thoughts running amok in her head, so many questions about herself and her place in the world. “…What should I do…” she slowly whispers to herself as she rises and makes her way towards the section of camp where Welf was sleeping. The neurotic man lay on top of his bed roll clutching his pack as if ready for some night bound assault on the camp. “Welf” a faint whisper. “Welf, wake up” only realizing her mistake at the last second as she sees her arm reaching out to wake him. With the deft reflexes of her other arm to cover his mouth “MMMPPHHHMPPPP!!!!” Welfs eyes darting around looking for whatever escape he can only to see Ariana with her finger up to her lips and a smile pursed against to it.
“Well, what could be SO important that you HAD to wake me, I WAS about to have a bre…” His words trail off as he sees the darkness sink in her eyes. “Alright, alright you have my attention” His posture more relaxed and gentle. Moments of silence pass until she finally speaks “I’m sorry for waking you, I..I-I just didn’t know what else to do…” The tears now trickling down her cheeks slowly and faintly in the starlight. “I feel so conflicted, I’m so happy traveling with this group, everyone treats me so nicely and Dominick actually sees me as an equal, not a weapon, not a tool to be used, not even a monster!” Her voice raising higher and higher “I don’t think anyone has ever thought of me that way, not since I can remember. Sure they were suspicious at first, but how could they not be with what I am?” Her head hangs slightly then picking up showing a small grin, tears still flowing “But Dominick, no, not him, he took one look at me and saw me as an individual, a PERSON Welf, a person…”
Welfs eyes widened with what the part weapon part woman has said before him. “Well that’s good is it not? You SHOULD be happy with that, you aren’t just SOME random emotionless thing Ariana, you laugh, you cry, you feel pain and fear…” Welfs eyes drift away from hers with a mild sadness to them. “You need not worry about the past Welf, you did help me after all, it wasn’t your fault…” her hands reaching out clasping his face “You SAVED me then and I will be eternally grateful.” “WELL either way, WHY would you be CONFLICTED about your current SITUATION then? I don’t fully understand.” As she lets go of his face, her hands fall into her lap the the tears begin anew. “…o…erve…ppy” still looking down speaking the words into her chest “You’ll have to speak up dear these old ears aren’t what they used to be.” “Do…se..t…ppy…” annoyed Welf grabs her shoulders and shakes her slightly “SPEAK. CLEARLY.” Her head bolting upright nearly smashing his. “DO I DESERVE TO BE HAPPY!!!” she all but bellows out in his face, the tears flowing non-stop not.
A few moments pass as the sobbing subsides, Welf patting her on the back “Ariana, look up at me.” Her tear stained face looking up at him like a wounded pup looking at its mother, a faint grin passes his lips and his hand makes clean contact with her face in a resounding slap. “YOU FOOLISH GIRL! HOW STUPID CAN YOU BE!! HAVE YOU LEARNED NOTHING IN YOUR TRAVELS?!?!” Eyes as wide as dinner plates she falls back and staggers at the frazzled mans face “Wha..” she barely stammers out before he can speak again “YOU REALLY THINK YOU DON’T DESERVE TO BE HAPPY YOU DAMNED FOOL!? YOU HAVE THE SAME RIGHT AS EVERYONE ELSE, DID YOU CHOOSE TO BE BORN? NO! DID YOU CHOOSE TO BE A DEMONBLADE? MAYBE..I still haven’t gotten that far in my research…” he trails off anger subsiding only for a moment.“YOU DIDN’T CHOOSE YOUR LIFE BUT YOU CAN DAMN WELL CHOOSE HOW YOU LIVE IT” His arms gesturing uncontrollably. “YOU. ARE. A. PER-SON, AR-I-A-NA. YOU. DES-ERVE. TO. BE. HA-PPY.” Her tears pouring from her eyes now “Don’t believe me, ask that Dominick fellow, he’ll tell you the SAME damned thing, now dry your eyes Ariana, the silence spell I cast is wearing out and if something attacked the camp we wouldn’t know it, so we’d better get back before they find out…” Araina rises from the ground wiping her eyes and clearing her throat, “Dominick is okay still so…I think their fine…”
“Have fun in the plane of fire” Percival mutters as he watches the party fall slowly into the abyss only to get swept up in storm of leaves and vines and vanish. Time still frozen and Chise reverting back to human form. “Damned fey, interfering where they don’t belong.” He spits at the ground vain popping on his forehead. A moment passes and he regains his composure. “Come along Chise, We must leave the city before they converge upon us” Chises head hung low looking at her hands shaking. “Oh for…COME ALONG!” Percival scream grabbing her by the arm and vanishing as time begins moving again.
SMACK Chise hits the ground hard as Percival stands before her hand extended in an open palm. “Don’t think that just because i’m using you now means your valuable to me wench!” Her head still hung clutching her shoulders and shaking. “Whats wrong? Seeing your daughter look at you with disgusted rage and fear have you that shaken up? WELL SHAPE UP!” His arms rising again as she flinches in place “Shes not your daughter anymore nor you her mother. You, my dear, are a tool made by me, to be used by me, then throw away once you are worthless, now stand and remember your place by my side!” Her head lifts, eyes devoid of emotion “Yes of course, I won’t forget again” She stands and dusts herself off returning to his side. “Now then, we’ll need to rest somewhere far from here and I think I know the perfect place.” A wild toothy grin crawls along his face and he grabs her and vanishes one more.
“YOU JUST DON’T GET IT MAN! MAYONNAISE! THAT FUCKER FED ME MAYONNAISE! A WHOLE TANKARD FULL” the large disgruntled farmer shouts at the stop of his lungs, face flushed and clearly drunk. The man sitting next to him nodding in a similar drunken state. “I hear ya man, s’fucked up is what it is, but Fran? whatchu even gonna do about it? you’re just a nobody farmer and that guy he hic he was like one of them heros ya hear about in storys. Shows up one day, beats a bunch of monsters, saves the town, and the poof” his hands flailing and fingers wiggling wildly “gone with the wind *hic” Fran, now named, slumps in his stool “I know, I know, but it just got me so worked up and its not like I got a lot to complain about anyway, so throw me a damn bone would ya?” The drunken man next to Fran raises his tankard to clack his “Yeah I feel ya, just keep drinkin and screamin make ya forget everyone’s laughin atcha” Frans red face now turning redder with embarrassment.
“Maybe I can help you quell that anger that stirs in your soul friend.” Frans head whips around to see the toothy grin of a man in a deep crimson cloak. "Whatchu mean stranger? hic " he mumbles out before Percival plants a small black gem in his hand. “Just focus on that little gem and remember the pain and humiliation you felt, and your revenge will be had.” The toothy grin even larger now as Frans vision fades leaving only the strangers words and smile in his mind. “Revenge”
“Night mission are never fun, let alone enjoyable give the circumstances you normally have to endure.” Levi thought to herself as she stalked the halls of Siegfrieds castle looking for her prey. “Normally doing this kind of work in another kingdom is out of the question, but its a personal request from Lilly, how could I turn her down…” Levi’s mind wondering while scanning the walls, floors, and everything between looking for hiding spots and ambush points.
Not long after reaching Heaven’s Gate, Lilith explained the whole situation to Levi, About how there may be some sort of plot growing in the ranks of the army, of the wrong doings cast up the previous vice chief of the guard Red Eyed Zechs, and that the current vice chief was under suspect of setting him up.
“I don’t know how much I believe about this whole dark god thing Lilly. I mean is there any real evidence of it? I know you put a lot of faith and trust in your brother, but I mean come on, shouldn’t there be a little more to go on before jumping the gun?” Levi sips at her tea staring Lilith in the eyes with slight concern. “You should know just as well as I do Levi, If we let any sort of corruption begin to swell within our own walls who knows what could happen. We need to nip these things in the bud before they get out of hand, and if it turns out we were just being paranoid then thats that” Lilith’s face darkens “If not, then we must act swiftly and bestow justice!”
A door creaks open as Levi shakes her head not realizing her instinct hid her before her target entered the room, “Being lost in thought does not a good spy make!” Her old masters words ringing through her head. Footsteps traces across the floor as she peers over the beds canopy to see the man she has been informed is Hendrickson, the alleged traitor. She waits and watches silently from her hiding spot for anything suspicious. Reaching his desk Hendrickson sit downs and begins filling out some sort of paper work and speaks to himself.
“Everything is running smoothly, albeit a bit slow, but Percival did say these things take time.” Levi’s ears ringing at the mention of Percival, someone Lilith told her to watch out for, seemed to be in league with this god Vali. “If only I could move on my own and make Lord Vali’s will know then we would have this city eating out of the palm of our hands, and that blasted Siegfried bound in chains along with the rest of his family!” Biting her lip almost clenching through at the words coming from this mans mouth. “Its true!” she thought, dammit Lilith was right, her damned brother was right, she had to get out and find Lilith to take this scum bag down. But her body couldn’t move, she was stuck, frozen, held in place as a cold chill went down her spine.
A small flash a light from bellow the canopy and a jumped start from the man below. Whats happening, why can’t I move, who’s down there. All these thought races through her head as she begs for her body to move but it just won’t. “Ah, ah Lord Vali, you shouldn’t sneak up on me like that, scared me half to death.” A small chuckle can be heard and a faint voice speak up “Come now child, I wouldn’t do anything like that to you, you one of my precious followers. But you truly must be careful when you speak child and what you speak about.” The tension growing stronger and the chill colder and Levi lays atop the beds canopy paralyzed, the fear creeping on her, the realization, she’d be found out…
“What do you mean Lord Vali?” The man cocks his head towards the shrouded man. “You never know where a RAT might be skulking about!” With a quick flourish the canopy rips asunder and Levi falls, collapsing to the floor between Hendrickson and the shrouded man. Her eyes stare up in horror, mouth agape, barely comprehending what shes seeing. “You..y-y-you can’t…aren’t you” Her lips seal shut with another flourish. “Ah ah ah, now now young one, you never know who might be listening.” Tilting his head slightly and grinning at the terrified husk that once was a confident young champion. “But now that you know, i’ll have to make sure you’re taken excellent care of, welcome to my ranks young Levi Telwaz.” His low chuckle piercing her ears as her consciousness slowly fades. “Welcome to the start of my new world…..”