The Tiran Wars: Liberty, at all Costs


What was the problem with the drawing? Why was Loolayannie so fixated on it? She was about to talk about such legends, which often times had some basis in fact, but then switched her speech to return to the drawing. It was a fine drawing. Yes, it wasn't completed yet, but it showed much promise to be a very good piece. "Loolayannie, drawing has fineness. Your skill rivals Char..." Akana was interrupted by the young magician snatching the cigarette from Akana, while it was still in her mouth, and sucked up the smoke from the burning leaves. Normally, such an act would have brought forth an anger from the woman, but this magician girl was different, somehow. There was no anger at the act, and Akana had no desire to retaliate. Hopefully, the calming effect of the plant would allow Loolayannie to finally divulge the legends that might shed some light on the mystery of the razed village. Instead, she just kept going on about how she was ashamed of the drawing, how everything about it was wrong, and that it was such a disgrace that she would never do such a thing again.

"Peace, please. The drawing pleases me. It has completion not, but I believe you the drawing will complete. It has skill. It rivals the drawings of Charles Rashult." There was some valid criticism about it; the drawing did misrepresent Akana's figure slightly. That was to be expected; nobody had seen her without bulky or loose clothing in quite a long time. The eyes were close, though. They could use a bit of work, but... Why was she still thinking about this? There should be more discussion about the village. "I have disappointment not. Please, complete the drawing. I would like the it to see. It will have goodness. I know this." Maybe this was related to whatever was going on with the others of the camp. "Have you discrimination to experiene? I will any ill will to end. I guarantee it. I would like you happiness to have." It was a desire that Akana would do her best to uphold. Starting with whoever kept hazing the magician, bringing her sorrow.

Deleted User - 819397

Things went as well as Sync could have hoped for to ambush the patrolman...for indeed it was just one person. He had moved in for the kill, confident that one blow from his magic-infused limbs would eliminate the threat, only to find a sword at his throat. He froze, and only then recognized that he'd been about to kill the very person they were looking for, his...original, he supposed. With a glare, the man who to a casual onlooker would be his twin growled, "I thought we were beyond this." Wincing, the construct nodded as much as he could with Audhulma close to touching him. "We are, I didn't know it was you, promise..." he replied in what he hoped was an honest voice. Glasya chose then to come out along with Lucy, making light of the conversation, which helped defuse the tension between him and Joshua, or at least redirected the Swordmaster's ire elsewhere.

"I'm looking for you two, actually. Didn't realize you were lagging behind by a few days, and Mei talked me into going to look for the pair of you. Gods know why I agreed if I'm going to have to defend my life from you all over again." Now that his adrenaline was fading, Joshua found his irritation turning to relief...he'd be back to Mei before the sun went down, and then they could get back and get Gwyll some proper care. Though he had no idea who the third person, a young woman who looked rather worse for wear traveling with them was. "Look...I don't want to argue...the longer we stay here, the more likely a patrol will come through. An actual patrol, mind you," he added at Sync, who winced again. "We'll need to backtrack, get back into the mountains a bit, lets us dodge the camp entirely. On the way you can tell me what all got you so far behind us, as well as who your friend is. I trust she's not like that because of you?" His tone wasn't accusing, but it was obvious he wasn't ruling out the option as a whole.

"We haven't hurt her at all!" Sync responded, indignant, though guilt flashed through his aura as he said it. "Well...ok, maybe a little, but it was to keep us from getting discovered. I didn't do it with the intent to cause harm..." The construct had moved back to Glasya's side, making no effort to hide the fact he thought he was safer by her. "Look...let...let's just get going, ok?"


"Joshua, I'm Insulted...if I wanted to torture somebody I wouldn't be as crude as to pull their fingernails like a damn barbarian...I have more...subtle ways of causing somebody pain, and if you ever threaten my Baby boy again I'll be more than happy to show you them" Glasya spoke in a cool voice as she slipped a protective arm about Sync like an angry she-bear protecting her cub. Despite his dashing good looks and martial skills it was easy to forget that Sync was only a few months old and was in many ways a child with only a crash course in adulthood with which to guide his decisions. For the most part it lent him a boyish charm and naivety that Glasya found utterly adorable but it also meant that he seemed to lack the confidence to stand up for himself, something that Glasya would happily do on his behalf when required.

Following Joshua back along the track down which he'd appeared, Glasya would wait until they were well away from the jungle where a passing patrol might hear them and descending up into the mountains before beginning to give an amended version of what had happened to them, with her being sure to emphasise the point that she had been extremely ill as a result of fighting their battle and that Sync had bravely stayed behind to look after her, unlike the rest of them, whilst omitting the fact that he had unwittingly been the cause of her sudden illness and that she was now in her natural form, with her dark clothes and hooded cloak keeping that particular fact hidden for the time being.

During all this time Lucy had been silently following the rest of the group seemingly lost within her own little world until Glasya spoke her name "...and this here is Lucy, and she has spent a very long time tracking you down Joshua so that she could ask for your help in rescuing her boyfriend...Daner, was it? from the Forbidden City, say hello Lucy" Glasya finished prompting Lucy to offer Joshua a rather sweet smile that was only slightly marred by the still healing scars on her cheek followed by a little wave but would otherwise remain completely silent allowing Glasya to continue speaking in a grim voice “…and if what she says about the Forbidden City is true, then we are all in serious trouble”

"Nobody liking me here...they all thinking me a traitor, no talking to me just shouting that I shaming ancestors by being friends with you and team and adopting the ways of foreigners… and being not even liking me very much" Leilani quietly confessed to Akana's question as to whether anyone was picking on her, knowing that there was nothing that Akana could really do to stop it, not against the entire camp anyway. Truth be told, other than Mistress Sun, Akana was the only person who actually seemed to genuinely like her as evidenced by her praise of Leilani’s drawing; comparing it to the works of Charles Rashult…whoever he was "you really liking of drawing?" Leilani tentatively asked almost fearing that the older girl was playing some cruel trick on her. She’d never really thought of her drawings as being good, she just drew them because she enjoyed doing so though it was always nice to have somebody praise your handiwork.

Carefully replacing the drawing in between the pages of one of her books Leilani would move to sit next to Akana on her bedding; gently placing her hand upon the other girl’s thigh as she carefully replaced the cigarette between her lips “not sure what being in village Akana…” she started in a thoughtful voice as she tried to recall any folklore and stories that may be relevant to the situation at hand “…it could being Jiangshi they no liking daylight…or a yao guai, but they no normally wiping out entire village…an Oni could but they be leaving bodies and breaking of buildings…” it was as Leilani was speaking of the various creatures and spirits that she could recall that Red would notice the girl’s hand gently stroking up and down her thigh in an absent manner with her head practically resting upon her shoulder “…I no knowing Akana…maybe be coming with you and team and taking a looking?” she quietly suggested hoping for a chance to get away from the camp and her studies, and those horrible women and spend a little time with Akana and perhaps even make friends with the rest of the strike team.

By this point the girl’s head was now fully resting upon Akana’s shoulder with Leilani gazing into those lovely eyes that had so vexed her whilst she’d been trying to draw them “You having very pretty eyes Akana”

Doing his best to remain silent as he moved across the slick floor of the passage with the occasional dry crunch of what felt like small stones and twigs beneath his feet, Daner would discover the source of the light he’d seen from within the pool.

Lying on the floor was the guttering remains of a torch that had been seemingly dropped by somebody; though there was no one around that he could detect save for himself and his companions who were currently hiding back at the pool.

It was only when picked up the torch that he would discover that the floor was smeared in blood; both fresh and old, and littered with bones, many of which seemed to belong to small animals though a few of the larger ones appeared to be humanoid in shape. Most of this however would be lost on Daner as he discovered that the severed hand of the torches previous owner was still holding on to it.

Once he was able to look past his grisly surroundings and focus on the task at hand he’d find that he was standing within a small chamber with a low ceiling into which a trio of passages entered. One would obviously take him back to the pool from where he’d originally come from but as for the other two, there were no distinguishing features whatsoever save for a trail of bloodstained footprints leading into one of them, though whether he wanted to follow those footprints was another thing entirely.


As Daner continued to move forwards, creeping towards the source of the light whilst pressed up against the wall, he slowly became aware of the fact that there was no-one there. What he instead found was a torch slowly burning away on the floor which revealed blood smeared across the room and bones littering the floor. Bloodied footprints lead out of the chamber and down a tunnel, suggesting that something that walked on two legs (presumably human, though beyond that Daner had no clue) had passed through recently. Deciding that to venture beyond this point was a risky venture, Daner, holding on to the torch which he had picked up, began to make his way back down the corridor along which he had come, holding onto the torch. He swiftly reached the area where he had come from and cast his eyes about, searching for Alia and the others. With a hush voice, he called out. “Alia? Tywin? Taranis? Are you okay? I’ve found a torch, but it looks like we’re still in the maze for now. If we want to escape, we’re going to have to keep moving.” It was best, he had decided, to not mention the blood smeared floor and skeletal remains right now. That could wait until once he'd made sure that everyone was alright, and still capable of moving.
Last edited by a moderator:

Deleted User - 819397

Joshua scowled at Glasya as she threatened him if he attacked Sync again. "He was going to kill me, I was just defending myself. And he wasn't the one who wound up with a broken arm the last time we fought." He looked ready to continue, then cut off, looking away from the display of protective affection. "Just, let's get going. I don't want to argue about it." Arguing with her was pointless, and he had promised to try to get along with them...this seemed like a good place to start. He listened as the Ifrit explained what they'd been up to the last while, rolling his eyes a little at the dramatized parts...or what he assumed were the dramatized parts, anyway. So she'd gotten sick and Sync had kept them safe. Explained the hood she was under at least, trying to keep warm. He didn't have a lot of comment until Lucy was finally introduced, and that she'd been trying to track him down to have him help rescue Daner, and something about bad things in the Forbidden City. Looking over with curiosity at the girl, he asked, "and what's going on at the Capital?" Realization struck to some extent, and he scowled. "Don't tell me...they did that to you. Kramen Kayle..." he launched into a muttered stream of curses in Jehannan, going on about corrupt leaders and needing to put a final end to it. once he'd calmed down a little, he looked back at the unfamiliar face. "What happened?"


Loolayannie was finally willing to get around to telling Akana what was causing her trouble. There were people in the camp calling her a traitor and a disgrace to her ancestors for adopting foreign customs and unladylike mannerisms. It seemed, then, that there were many people in this camp that were forgetful or just plain stupid. Many of those people calling Leilani a traitor were themselves traitors, if you took the current Tiranian government's side. It was only natural that there were people changing sides all the time during times of civil war. So, while calling Loolayannie a traitor was technically true, as long as the current government was in power, they would also have to apply that label to themselves as well. It was hypocritical to discriminate against one person based on something they all shared. The insults based on her adapting foreign culture and being unladylike were also poor things to insult someone about. It was alright to go down your own path. And Loolayannie was learning about science and magic. She was increasing her knowledge by the day. She should be praised, not scorned. This would stop. Akana would guarantee it. "Give me names. I will this issue with them to discuss. They will you to stop to bully." Loolayannie was also worried that the Strike Team didn't like her either. "The Strike Team has different opinions about you. Arnold and Edward enjoy the presence of you. Daniel has frustration. He would like you to bed. He cannot. Therefore, he has anger. He will it to overcome. Give him time. He will you to learn to like."

Conversation then drifted over to the strange village ruin, and what the message could be referring to. There were several options that Loolayannie brought up, including jiangshi, which if memory served correctly were corpses given again the facilities of life. Though such a feat was believed impossible in Oak Village, there might be some obscure magic that could pull off the trick. And those legends did mention that the creatures abhorred sunlight, aligning with the message on the wall. And of the other options brought up, including yao guai and oni, it seemed that the jiangshi were the most likely candidate. It could also be an elaborate trap set up by the federale, but that theory assumed that the enemy attacked the village in such a way that would draw the attention of the rebellion, they disposed of all the bodies somewhere, they set selective, controlled fires, they knew the location of the rebel positions well enough to know that the conflagration would be visible from their camp, they left a message cryptic enough to be confusing but interpretable, and they had a grand plan to tie all this together and take out enough of the resistance to make the effort worthwhile. The jiangshi theory assumed that there was magic capable of causing corpses to move, someone did such a thing, attacked a village that happened to be near both rebel and government camps, and that someone had managed to leave some sort of message before they died. The jiangshi theory had less assumptions, unless Akana was...

Wait... Was it getting hotter in the tent? Akana could have sworn that the place was getting hotter by the minute. It couldn't have been the fire or the heat of the sun soaking through. No. The cause of this rising temperature was right next to Akana, coming straight from Loolayannie, who had somehow sneakily placed herself right next to Akana. The magician's hand was lazily moving across Akana's thigh and her head had all but fallen on her shoulder. That did explain the source of the heat, but not the intensity. No human should be giving off such kinetic energy, not even when afflicted with fever. Something about Loolayannie wanting to accompany the Strike Team on their next foray into the ruin made its way through the scientist's heat burdened consciousness, pulling Akana back to the reality in front of her. "We can the village again to investigate. You can with us to come along." And then Loolayannie, whose head had softly landed on Akana's shoulder, said something completely out of the blue. She called Akana's eyes pretty. This had the curious effects of raising the tent's temperature by a magnitude, causing Akana's body to take on a protective red tint, and it had somehow driven nearly all knowledge of the Common tongue and any form of rational thought from her mind.

"H..h... Hva? Muh... Meine Augen? De... De... De haben Schö... Schönheit ikke. Sie ha... Sie har Sans ikke. I... I... Ich..." What was wrong with her? Why was she reduced to nigh incomprehensible blather? It was as if this magician had put a spell on her, causing her thoughts to slow down and muddle up, and her body to burn hotter than a metalsmith's forge. She had to say something sensible, or at least in a language Loolayannie could understand, lest the magician think that all mental capabilities had fled from Akana's mind.. "It has huh... heat. This teh... teh... tent has heat." That was something, at least. That wasn't too hard to get out. Now, to keep going. Say something else. Keep the good streak rolling. "I... I have conf... confusion. Wuh... Why you that tuh... tuh... to say? My eyes have buh... beauty not. You huh... have beauty. I... I... I... have that nuh... not." This was going about as well as the search for the transmutable rock. Why was it such a struggle to just get simple words out? Why couldn't Akana even think normally? It really had to be a strange magic that this magician had cast on her. "Cuh... Cast you a spp... spell on muh... me?" Stop. Breathe. That theory was stupid. There wasn't any magic going on here. It wasn't anything like the last time Loolayannie used magic on Akana. There were no books, no chanting, no strange hand gestures, just one person leaning against another and a bit of small talk. Why was all this so hard? Maybe the reason lay in the fact that the person leaning against Akana was very pretty. That fact hadn't really occurred to her before now, but it must have always been so. But she didn't know what to do about that. These kinds of things had been completely gone from Akana's mind, since she left the first village on her journey, over half a decade ago. Such thoughts had been completely flooded by combat and science. But here was this beauty and now there was time. "You have beauty. I know not what to do. Help?" Well, that sounded pathetic, but at least it was coherent. Loolayannie must think the mess against her was laughably pathetic. But it was all Akana could do at the moment. Hopefully it wouldn't destroy the friendship they had developed so far...


Who would have thought that such a simple compliment as saying that someone’s eyes were pretty could have such a profound effect? Sure, she'd both expected and hoped to get a reaction from the pretty brunette; a slight blushing of her cheeks, a smile, perhaps even a few quietly spoken words of thanks, but it would appear that Akana had taken it far more to heart than Leilani could ever have anticipated. She watched as her friend first spoke in what she assumed to be Maurangian, to then stammer out that she felt that she possessed no beauty, Lies! She's gorgeous why would she ever think such a thing? To then ask whether Leilani had cast a spell upon her before finally admitting that she thought that Leilani was beautiful and that she didn't know what to do.

Leilani had wanted to get as far away as she could from the topic of naming her tormentors, fearing the reprisal's she'd get once Akana was no longer present, but reducing poor Akana to a gibbering wreck was far from what she wanted to do "oh poor Akana, I no meaning to scare you" Leilani whispered; stubbing out the cigarette she'd pilfered a few moments ago, to then take her hand from off of Akana's thigh When had she done that? And gently place it against the girl’s cheek so that she could turn her face towards her and look into her eyes as she spoke in a low heartfelt voice "Akana is wrong, Akana has pretty eyes, Akana is pretty and I..." Leilani hesitated. She knew what she wanted to tell her, needed to tell her if she was ever to have a chance at being more than just friends with the girl beside her but...what if she was wrong? What if she didn't feel the same way? Leilani didn't want to lose another friend by pushing things too far, but this is different! She's not Yui I...I have to tell her or it will tear me apart!But what if she says no!? Her mind cried out in anguish knowing that it would be oh so easy for her to simply let the moment pass and pretend that nothing had ever happened. Instead she took a single deep breath before finishing what she had started "...I liking you very, very much" she whispered in a voice scarcely loud enough for Akana to hear. It was then that Leilani would slowly lean in and kiss her.

Closing her eyes, Leilani savoured the sensation of her lips gently brushing against those of Akana’s, with her heart beating so quickly that it felt like it would burst right out of her chest.

Kissing her was everything she’d ever dreamed that it would be and oh so much more and Leilani wished that it would never end but all too soon she found herself pulling away from Akana to once again look into a pair of eyes that she could lose herself in for hours if not forever “y-you l-like?” she breathed; shaken and terrified that Akana wouldn’t reciprocate her affections and that she had destroyed her only friendship by giving in to her own desires, Desires that the rest of the world abhorred, casting her forever into the role of the freak, and the outsider, unloved, unwanted and not even deserving of pity. If she got this wrong she would lose everything and worst of all she would lose Akana, she needed to know that she hadn’t made some terrible mistake in offering heart to the girl beside her “p-please speak to me Akana…please”

(OOC: Seeing as Johann is going to away for a while I thought I'd put up Leilani's section so he had chance to see it before he went. I'll add the rest of this post in due course)


What was this? What was going on? Why were things becoming so confusing? What even was happening? Loolayannie said something that should have had a negligible effect on the scientist, but had, temporarily at least, reduced her to a puddle of steel. Through deep breathing, and a fortunate pause from the magician, Akana was able to gather herself up a bit, calm down enough to form coherent thoughts. "Loolayannie, you scare me not. I had surprise only. I deserve compliments not." And it was true. Akana had never paid much attention to her appearance, instead focusing most of her energy on improving her scientific knowledge and, later on, her skills with the rapier and its Bálonè style. What little attention she had given to her looks had gone completely out the window, with the exception of her disguise, when she started her crusade against the Tiranians who had ordered the destruction of Oak Village and all its scientific wonder. But Loolayannie was actually complimenting her looks, calling her pretty. Akana moved her hand on top of Loolayannie's, intending to remove it from her cheek, explain to her that her words were ill founded, but paused when she saw the panged expression on the magician's face. She wanted to say something; it was obvious that the tension was growing ever thicker, threatening to condense into an anxiety precipitate. Finally, after what must have been only a slightly shorter time then the time it took for one drop of pitch to form and fall, Loolayannie spoke again, barely getting out that she really, really liked Akana. That didn't seem like a difficult concept to grasp. It was obvious that the two were friends. So why did it take so much effort for the magician to say it? "Why say you rea..." And then it happened.

The relief valve had jammed shut, the boiler had overpressurized, and the turbine had oversped. Everything had exploded in several, simultaneous, catastrophic failures, throwing bits of pressure vessels and high speed steel blading all over the room, leaving nothing more than fractured piping and bits of hardened steel embedded in copper clad wooden walls. The room was filled with steam too hot to see, until it cooled enough to condense on the wreckage. But it was still too hot to safely enter. Everything was burning, but there was no fire to be seen. Anyone who dared to enter would be instantly immolated without having even felt pain before it was too late to go back. The cause of such a seemingly impossible event , though, was made apparent as soon as Akana's mind returned to the tent, just as Loolayannie was pulling her lips away from Akana's. It was all Akana could do: stare into the middle distance, mouth agape, try her best to keep breathing. That was important. Breathing was necessary to gather her wits about herself in the face of this heat coursing through her body, originating from her lips, placed there by the young magician in front of her. It had been so long since Akana had felt anything like this. There had been that one fling during Akana's first journey, but that had ended terribly. And before Akana had even left on her journey, there was Pomu from Oak Village, but he was now a scattering of ash and dust. After those two catastrophes, Akana had started to conceal who she was, and had completely abandoned any sort of romantic pursuits. And though they had been abandoned, the desire for such a relationship had never died. Instead, it laid in waiting, biding its time for the right time to emerge, to make itself heard and listened to. Now it was awake and screaming at Akana to respond to the lovely girl next to her, tell her exactly what she wanted to hear. Here it goes. "Yes. That pleases me. You please me." That had been surprisingly easy to say. Perhaps this steam explosion had morphed into a soothing sauna, the overwhelming heat quenched by a desire to get her own feelings across, transformed into a comforting warmth that made anything possible. "This is good. You are good. You have me salvation gave. Thank you." The kiss was returned, and with Akana mentally present to enjoy it, her words were confirmed. "Thank you, Loolayannie."


As Joshua started speaking to her; a look of panic would appear on the scarred Khitain girl’s face with her simply nodding her head in response to his question as to whether those back at the capital had been the ones responsible for her injuries. When asked to tell her side of the story however Lucy would open her mouth to begin speaking only to see his face leering down at her cutting all sound from out of her throat as it was washed away by the pure unadulterated terror she felt. Twice she would try to speak only to find herself completely unable to do so “Go on Lucy tell him, If nothing else Joshua is a good man, He’ll help you if he can” Glasya quietly urged only to watch as tears began to roll down Lucy’s face as she began to tremble and shake in pure terror “Oh don’t cry Lucy dear, it’ll be alright I’m sure Joshua won’t mind waiting for another time, right Joshua?” Glasya asked, though it was clear that she didn’t know what the cause of this sudden and seemingly unprovoked anguish could be, and how could she? How could Glasya know that every time Lucy even contemplated speaking that his face would be there with its hellish eyes burning into her own and a leering smile that seemed to curve on into infinity, go on my pretty tell them, I’ll enjoy ripping them apart in payment for your treason…

Roughly wiping away her tears and completely heedless to the pain she felt from her wounded cheek and ruined fingertips as a result, Lucy turned and hurriedly began walking down the trail giving the others little option other than to follow her. It would appear that whatever events had transpired within the Forbidden City would remain untold.

“Never been better” Tywin replied in a pain filled hiss as he limped into view with Alia doing her best to support the far larger man, closely followed by Taranis who appeared to be uninjured after his fall into the pool “…not sure if its broken or not but I’m not going to be walking far on my own for a while” Tywin continued, delivering his diagnosis of the injury he’d sustained.

With their progress slowed by an injured Tywin the group would slowly make its way back down the passage to the chamber in which Daner had found the torch
“Is that a…h-hand?” Alia stammered as her normally tanned complexion turned rather pale eliciting a chuckle from Tywin in response “Don’t worry girl it ain’t going to hurt you” he said clearly amused by the girl’s squeamish nature.

It was as this comical interlude was taking place that Taranis would slowly stalk around the chamber, periodically stopping to examine something on the ground before then moving on without comment. It was only after he’d complete his circuit that he would speak in his softly spoken voice “we should go tha’ way” he said pointing down the same passage that the bloody footprints had gone “Air’s fresha an’ whoeva’s doon here drags their kills in from tha way” he stated, moving several steps towards the passage in question before pausing to look at Daner, clearly waiting for the young thief’s approval,
“hmm it would appear my boy that you are in charge” Brahmoth spoke in an intrigued voice, quietly wondering how the self professed coward had found himself in charge of a group that contained a pair of mercenaries far older and more experienced than he was and an opinionated noble woman and yet here they were waiting for Daner; a mere thief to say the word “well don’t keep them waiting my boy the sooner we start walking the sooner we get to see the lovely Alia in the daylight…just think how grateful she’ll be when you get her out of this accursed place?”

Terrified that she had made a terrible mistake Leilani anxiously listened as Akana spoke to her in shaky Tiranian, stating that both the kiss and her had pleased her before going on to say that it was good. Although this was far from an outright rejection it still wasn’t exactly what Leilani had been aiming for, leaving her feeling rather confused as to what exactly the other girl was saying and…all thought was suddenly cut from her mind as the other girl’s lips met hers.

With one hand twining itself into Akana’s thick, dark hair and the other encircling her waist it would appear that at least her sub-conscious knew what to do as all rational thought abandoned her as she lost herself within the moment.

With a gentle push the pair of them would fall to lie upon the bed with Leilani simply allowing the moment to take her wherever it pleased.
Last edited by a moderator:

Deleted User - 819397

Whatever had happened to Lucy in the Forbidden City was bad, that was obvious. She was unable to say anything, bursting into tears before taking off down the path. Joshua had been a little taken aback when Glasya had called him a good person...perhaps he had judged the ifrit too harshly before...although it could also be a ploy to get him to change his mind about her. He couldn't be sure. What he did know is that the Khitain girl was getting away, so he headed off after her, frowning. The sooner he was back with Mei with the little band, the happier he'd be. She'd know what to do...she'd had more experience leading people than he did, which was a little ironic given his status in the world. All the same, he didn't know how to soothe Lucy's fears, and knew he wasn't the person to figure it out. As his double silently followed behind him, probably with Glasya in tow, he could only hope that the answers wouldn't prove too devastating...he didn't want to have to leave Khitai in shambles like they had the Northlands...Mei's family was too important to her for him to ask her to leave in such circumstances.


Daner winced as Tywin walked into view. The man didn’t exactly look in the best of shape, though Daner wasn’t willing to give a prognosis given both his lack of technical ability, as well as the fact that they could make little out in the darkness, even with Daner’s superior eyesight. With Alia supporting Tywin, the group set back off down the way they came, with Daner hoping they didn’t run into whatever had left the blood marks that he’d found. They arrived back at the square with no sign of the creature, much to Daner’s relief. Alia’s surprise at the hand washed over him, mostly as he stopped to consider which way was the best to advance. He’d thought about sticking with the right wall grab tactic, but that seemed ineffective now that they didn’t have an obvious start point. The advantage of any such tactic was that it ensured that you could always reach the exit, but now there was no exit for them to turn back to… Taranis, however, had been having similar thoughts it seemed, and had set out to resolve their predicament. He settled on the same passage as the bloody footprints and began to set off down the passage before stopping to wait for Daner’s opinion. After Brahmoth had wryly surmised the situation, Daner stopped for a second. The squeamish side of him didn’t want to go anywhere near anything that had caused those bloodied footprints. But thinking like that wasn’t going to get them out of this cave. Blast it all! Daner nodded his head, and set off, explaining as he placed one slightly shaking foot in front of the other. “That’s fair. I’m no tracker, so I’ll trust your judgement on this. I’ll take point again. Taranis, you cover the back and make sure nothing sneaks up on us. Alia, keep supporting Tywin and take this torch. We’ll make it out of this yet, I promise you.” Managing to keep the fear from his voice and his limbs, Daner slipped slightly further ahead of the group, his feet falling almost inaudibly on the stone beneath him. The dark was his element, and he could trust it as a friend. If something was coming, he would know about it. Now was just the time to keep on moving forward, regathering at any junctions to let Taranis help figure out which way to progress. As they kept moving, Daner felt a surge of desperate hope within his heart. They’d come so far, they’d claimed their prize. They’d make it out of this, they had to. Daner’s grip on his throwing knife tightened, his body tense. Before, he’d have been consumed by fear, curled up and crying like he had the first time he’d met Joshua. But now he was Daner Risert, the man who had, with the help of Brahmoth, escaped the Forbidden Palace, stolen the Star-Key, crossed half of Khitai, and who wasn’t going to let himself die in some godforsaken tunnel just because they’d had the misfortune to end up there. He was Daner Risert. And he was going to be fine.


Her feet glided across the marble floor of the dance hall as the string quartet quietly played in the background; her gown shimmering in the light of the chandeliers overhead "Oh Joshua, You've made me the happiest girl in the world" Mei softly breathed into her husbands chest as he held her close. They had been married in Jehenna that morning before a crowd of adoring people there to see their King marry his beautiful bride, and now they were at a ball thrown in their honour and having their first dance as man and wife; King and Queen. It was all so perfect and nothing could possibly spoil this moment except...

Mei awoke with a start, mentally berating herself for having fallen asleep, Kraem! You’re supposed to be meditating not sleeping! She quietly exclaimed hurriedly getting up to check on Gwyll only to find her exactly where she'd left her by the small fire she’d built.

Curled up into a ball and clutching her stomach, the shapeshifter was deathly pale and shivering despite the blankets Mei had thrown over her. Nothing was working! She’d tried everything she could think of to treat the worsening symptoms that the girl was exhibiting with her efforts doing little more than slowing the rate at which her health deteriorated.

It was heartbreaking seeing her like this and knowing that there was nothing she could do to stop it, she just wished Joshua was here so at least she'd have a shoulder to cry on, but he was out in the jungle searching for his evil twin and the Ifrit that had tried to kill her, and the stress of trying to treat the girl all by herself, alone in the jungle was putting a strain on her already overwrought mind with not even her attempts at meditation helping to calm her down "oh ancestors help me, this all my fault" she quietly whispered not for the first time since Joshua had left her; praying for a miracle to arrive and save the dying girl before her...and then in answer to her prayers a miracle arrived...if in a rather unconventional form.

"Sun Mei you get me out of this thing or I swear you'll be sorry!" Glasya screamed, glaring down at the collection of arcane symbols that had ensnared her.

The walk to where Joshua had left Mei had been long and tiring leaving an already weakened Glasya in no state to be dismantling the magical trap that she had unwittingly stepped into with there being no telling what would happen if she was to step out of it
“Glasya?...oh Joshua, thank the ancestors, you’re back!” Mei cried as she caught sight of her fiancée; rushing over to him so that she could throw her arms around him, only to be brought up short by the now rather irate Ifrit “No! Hug him later get me out of this now!” she snapped; jabbing her finger down at the magical runes by her feet “Really?”
“Yes! Really!”
“Ok Glasya, but honestly even Leilani could get herself out of one of these traps” Mei responded in a dubious voice as she scuffed one of the runes with her foot though not before giving Glasya’s hooded form a curious glance, why is she wearing a hood? Winter may be fast approaching but its still rather warm in this part of the jungle Mei idly wondered to herself as she moved to be with Joshua.

Free of the trap Glasya would weakly stagger over to Sync and put her arms about him more to stop herself from collapsing than out of any desire for affection from him “I’m sorry Baby boy but if we go much further you may need to carry me” she whispered to him, clearly exhausted by her illness, lack of sleep and the long walk, not to mention Mei’s trap.

It was as Glasya clung onto Sync that Mei would embrace Joshua; relieved that he had returned to her unharmed “J-Joshua she’s not getting any b-better…I…I…don’t know what to do” Mei quietly sobbed as tears slowly rolled down her cheeks “She’s g-going to d-die and its all my f-fault!” she said with her voice turning into a pained whimper at the thought of her friends imminent death. There had to be something they could do for her, there just had to be!

With a nod of his head being the only reply he would give to Daner’s instructions Taranis would silently slip to the back of the group to cover the rear from any possible attack.

The tunnel was cold, dark and appeared to be natural rock resulting in its width and height fluctuating as it wound its way through the earth, with the occasional spattering of blood being the only markings to be seen.

After what felt like an hour of wandering within the dark the sound of drum beats could be heard growing louder and louder with every step he took with his eyes finally being greeted by light spilling in from around a bend.

Upon turning the corner Daner would find himself looking down into a vast chamber filled with campfires and braziers illuminating a horde of stunted, emaciated humanoids gathered before an altar upon which a tall hooded figure was carving the heart from out of a man’s chest; his scream’s drowned out by the creatures chanting. With his grisly task finished a pair of the creatures would then ascend the altar and toss the lifeless body down into the chasm at the far end of the chamber.

It was as he was watching this that Daner would notice a passage on the far side lit by natural light, with a scattering of leaves indicating that it did indeed lead to the outside world. To reach it they would have to follow the narrow path skirting the encampment and its fell denizens and then cross the chasm using a rickety looking rope bridge. The path was high enough up the side of the chamber’s wall that they should be able to pass by unseen within the shadows so long as they careful and more importantly quiet.
Last edited by a moderator:

Deleted User - 819397

Glasya's stumbling into some sort of trap alerted Mei to their return, for which Joshua was glad...he wasn't sure he'd gone the right way a half hour ago after they'd left the beaten path. His fiancee seemed to want nothing more than to leap into his arms, but Glasya stopped her, demanding to be set free. She did, with a question why Glasya couldn't do it herself, which was interesting...she'd seemed out of sorts since he'd run into her...what was going on? Still, this wasn't the time to worry, as Gwyll was dying. The Swordmaster held Mei as she bemoaned the wild girl's rapidly declining health, looking over at the small bundle that lay in a forlorn fashion. "She's helped so much...what can we do?" He was at a loss...he couldn't help, he had no magic, wasn't a healer...he gazed over at the trio he'd helped bring back, desperation in his voice. "Glasya...can't you...?"

Sync cut off his original, knowing Glasya wouldn't want to answer Joshua that she wasn't able to do anything magical right now. "I can help. But it'll wipe me out for a day and will send a magical beacon so strong any mage nearby will sense it." This was his way to help the ones who had spared him, to prove to them he wasn't a threat anymore. "If we can get somewhere safe soon, we should. But her aura is faint. She won't last much longer." He looked at the pair across from him and Glasya, trying hard to impress upon them how serious he was. "Please. Let me help..."


Of all the people and ways that Gwyll's salvation could take on, Sync; the creature that had impersonated her lover, terrorised and then robbed her had never even crossed Mei's mind as being a possibility, yet despite this she leapt at the offer like a drowning woman who had finally found a hanging branch no matter how slender it was "Yes! Please Sync you've got to save her...I'll pay you back I swear to the ancestors I will!" She pleaded in desperation; hurriedly leaving Joshua's arms in order to take Sync's hand and lead him over to the dying girl who lay a short distance away.

Upon reaching the huddled form lying in amongst the weed covered ruins, Glasya would stagger over to a corner and wearily sink down to the floor "I'd take a step back if I was you my sweet sister...old magic doesn't play well with others" she quietly spoke so that Mei wouldn’t inadvertently suffer the same fate as herself. Just because the jungle looked to be deserted at the moment didn't mean that nothing would come to investigate the sudden magical surge caused by Sync's healing, and if something did come then they would need the young fire mage and her magic to protect them from it.

Knowing that there was no safe place to be had for miles around Mei simply followed Glasya's advice and stood well back after signalling for Sync to do whatever was necessary to perform his miracle, with the young mage once again returning to her fiancée’s arms; praying to her ancestors that her friend would survive the ordeal.

With a clear area around the stricken girl Sync would be able to perform the spell uninterrupted with the magic quickly taking effect as the wild girl arched her back and crying in pain before rolling onto her side to painfully spit up; a thick, blood red puddle of vomit that was crawling with the same worms that had been infesting the creatures they had encountered the night before prompting a terrified whimper from Mei at the mere sight of the vile things and the horrible fate that had awaited her friend had Sync not intervened.

The very moment that the spell was complete, and she was signalled that it was safe to do so, Mei would rush over to Gwyll's side, pausing long enough to torch the vile worms in a burst of blue flames before then checking on her friend. She was alive, weak, but very much alive and it was all thanks to Sync
"Oh Thank you Sync! Thank you, I promise I'll make this up to you, just name it!" she babbled excitedly as she planted a quick kiss upon his lips before thanking him again as she returned to Gwyll's side, sobbing in relief as she cradled the blonde in her arms, begging her for forgiveness.

Even with his back to her and in his current condition Sync could sense the vicious green spikes of jealousy within Glasya's aura as a result of Mei’s kiss. Although she knew full well that it was simply a display of gratitude and nothing more she still felt the urge to snarl at the girl she’d come to consider her sister and lunge for her throat. Had it been anyone else and under different circumstances she would have torn her limb from limb, but as it was she simply contented herself with reminding Sync of her existence "Come to me Baby boy" she whispered softly in a sultry voice; holding out her arms like a child asking for a hug with a single look in her eyes telling him that she needed reassuring that he was still hers "Please Baby boy, let me take care of you"

Deleted User - 819397

The plan was agreed to readily, with Mei obviously latching on to any idea that might help save Gwyll. He stepped forward, getting close to the dying girl, nervous about unleashing the force he didn't really understand once more. He had promised, however, so he knelt down and allowed the knowledge to once again flood his mind. The symbol bloomed across the ground from his hands as he began to chant, the words twisting around the area. As not all of the onlookers were dying this time, they could see the strain on his whole body, holding the power he was channeling in check. It had been made to cleanse, to purify, and it sought to break free of the shackles the construct had placed on it so it could do. The mages would be able to detect an actual presence that indeed wanted to do just that...the world was impure and it wished to use the one who had called it to work its craft on a global scale. Every time it would seem to find an exit, a word spoken by Sync seemed to stun it, preventing it from escaping. It seemed whoever had crafted the spell had perfected the art of keeping whatever was in there bound, assuming of course the caster didn't falter.

Time dragged on, Sync kept chanting, Gwyll vomited up the cursed beings she had swallowed, and the force with them kept trying to break out. The construct was sweating, every muscle tense as he continued, words coming with obvious effort. And with no fanfare it finished, the presence disappeared, as did the sigil. Sync rose on unsteady feet, a tired smile on his lips. Mei burned the things that had been killing her, then came over and kissed him. Had he been in more of a frame of mind to realize what was going on, he might have reacted more, but as it was he didn't manage much more than another smile. He turned to Glasya, smile fading into exhaustion, almost falling into her waiting embrace. "Don't feel...right..." he half gasped, shuddering. As he did, his aura winked out entirely for a moment before fizzling back into existence. At the same time, his skin seemed to ripple, becoming translucent, all the way through him. He groaned and repeated the motion and actions, a whimper escaping the back of his throat. "Light...headed...". A third shudder, more powerful than the first two, and he went transparent. With finality, he passed out, returning to how he had been before the incident, albeit unconscious.


Joshua had watched in silence as Sync had worked, uncomprehending how someone who was supposed to be him was so attuned to magic to do this. At his side, Audhulma had flared up against the spell, vibrating slightly, but after a moment of observation it seemed the blade wasn't going to do anything else. Mei confirmed that it had saved Gwyll and embraced his double before returning to the girl. The Swordmaster rose and walked over to them, sitting back down. "I'm glad she's going to be ok...she was just protecting us, no one deserves to die for that." He fell silent, letting Mei do what she felt she needed to, just being there for them. It was really all he could do for now.


With the blankets wrapped about her body against the cold, Leilani quietly sketched in the pale light of the early morning whilst her new lover slept peacefully beside her. From what she could gather Akana had had a long day out in the jungle, investigating the curious village and it’s missing inhabitants before making the long journey home where she had then spent much of the evening within her arms, prompting Leilani’s decision to let her sleep awhile longer whilst she continued to work on her drawing.

It wasn’t quite finished yet as there were still some details that she felt required some refining, but the woman’s figure was now truer to that of Akana’s and the eyes which, although not perfect, were as close as Leilani was ever going to get with mere charcoal. She’d even filled in the ghostly figure to reveal a petite, dark haired Khitain girl standing with an arm about the central girl’s waist, a gesture that would appear platonic to those who didn’t know any better, not that anyone other than Akana was ever going to see it.

Stifling a yawn, Leilani carefully set aside her charcoal stub before looking over at the girl lying beside her. Despite being several years older than her, or perhaps even because of, Leilani found Akana more than a little attractive with her dark, curly hair and a surprisingly feminine figure that had been a delight for her to uncover, and those eyes…she’d never seen a pair of eyes so mesmerisingly pretty!

Leaning in she would kiss the still sleeping Akana upon the lips only to break away with a giggle once she was certain that she was awake “Morning…I wanting to wake you in nice way” she whispered, tenderly brushing a lock of hair from her face “how you feeling? You to being alright with this?”

Holding onto Sync as tightly as she could as he seemed to wink in and out of existence, Glasya quietly sniffed as tears rolled down her cheeks, only loosening her hold upon him when it was clear that he wasn’t going to disappear from out of her arms “And yet you would let Sync trade his life for that of your pet?” Glasya quietly wept as she held her beloved Baby Boy close to her “I know he wronged you, but he deserves better than this, he’s only a child!...oh Baby Boy what have you done to yourself?” she said, gently stroking his hair with a gloved hand. He wouldn’t be casting that spell ever again if she had her way, no matter how dire the consequences “His debt is paid, you hear me Joshua Jehan! He owes you nothing!” she cried in an anguished voice before burying her face into the side of his neck. Oh Baby Boy why couldn’t you have just disappeared with me like I wanted to?

It was as Glasya wept for her stricken partner that Lucy, who had kept well away from the strange ritual, would cautiously approach Joshua and attract his attention by gently touching his arm, almost as if she feared that simply touching him would sear her flesh. It was clear that she desperately wanted to speak with him, to tell him something but yet she seemed incapable of doing so as her lips moved soundlessly with even her hands gestures making little sense causing the girl to become increasingly frustrated to the point that she was almost in tears by the time that she finally snatched up a nearby stick and scratched into the dirt a simple two word message. Save Daner?

With only one obvious path the small group of former prisoners slowly made their way along the narrow and precipitous path that skirted the chamber and its fell denizens. Had it just been Daner making the trip, then slipping through the shadows undetected would have been a simple task and one that he could have performed rapidly, but with Taranis being the only other member of their party he would trust to be skilled enough to perform such a feat they instead found themselves moving at a painfully slow pace in order to minimise their chances of detection, the pace that was further slowed by an injured and limping Tywin, and a scared and flighty Alia who would freeze at the slightest of noises.

Yet soon enough they would find themselves approaching the rickety looking rope and the final stretch that would take them outside. It was with their freedom so close to hand that inevitably disaster would strike as Daner hit by a sudden surge of energy that sent him reeling. Had he known such a pulse was coming then he could have prepared himself for it and minimise its effects like Mei and Glasya had done only a short distance away but instead Daner found himself stumbling back into Tywin and sending a cascade of rocks tumbling over the edge of the path as they both fought to regain their balance.

Meanwhile far below, the hooded figure would clutch it’s head in response to the pulse of energy generated by someone casting a very old and powerful spell so close by, however like it’s minions it’s eyes would snap unerringly onto the small group up on the narrow path as it heard the falling rocks echoing around the chamber.

With one hand still clasped against its head it would scream something in some vile and unintelligible language as it pointed up at them with a pale hand extending out from beneath its robes, unleashing the horde of creatures upon them.

Howling and cackling in glee they surged towards them in a single mass to scale the cliffs in an attempt to cut them off from both the bridge and tunnels alike. All the while the figure continued to stare up at Daner with baleful eyes that promised him nothing but a lifetime of agonising pain and torment.


"The jig is up, dear Akana. You've let the news out. They're about to find you out. Now everyone will know your secret, Maintainer Apprentice Akana. TheTiranian rebellion leaders will start to ask questions. You're going to have to leave them before they find everything out." Red and Oak Village's head fisherman, Aleksandr Rybolov, were standing on the main deck of an old copper plated wooden boat, bobbing at anchor next to a fish farm. The snow topped mountains all but surrounding the fjord seemed to slowly advance upon the placid lake. "Why'd you go and do a thing like that, hmm? You'll be the talk of the entire rebellion within the Zehntag. By Kvikksolvtag everyone will know that you're a woman and that you're sleeping with a prisoner of war. Why did you do such a foolish act?" The Heuschreche steam engine below decks quieted down, having transported its load of cod into the holding bay, and Mishka Knute emerged from the shadows of the steam room ladderwell onto the weather deck. "Really blew the gaskets on this one, Aki. It's that damn Bâlonés, innit? He's gone and mucked yer mind right up, young apprentice. Ya were supposed to revenge us, Aki. Now yev thrown away yer best chance at revenge fer a fling or two wit a bloomin' magical girl. A magical girl! Not a lick of science inner 'ead! Betcha she don't even know 'bout enthalpy!" Closely following behind Mishka, the Bâlonés in recent question, Giovanni Dall Agocchie, swaggered up the stairwell. "Blame me not, friend Mishka. I am just a teacher and a retired warrior. Lejiadro Testacorvo is a wonderful woman and a brilliant student. She is much too good to be contained up in this town and its archaic prejudices. She has to travel the world, enjoy all the experiences that she desires and deserves. I know she can rise up to defeat any consequences that may arise from her adventures. I know she'll be able to overcome whatever difficulties may arise from this uh... predicament, worthy of the writings of Sapfo di Skala. If she cannot make her revenge manifest through this rebel group, I will give my wealth to the Directory and leave here forever." So many words had already been spoken over this particular matter with Loolayannie, and Akana feared that so many more were about to be spoken. Behind Giovanni, Akana spied the face of Karl Poltern emerging from the shadows of the stairwell, probably ready to scold her about the decisions he most likely disagreed with. Just how many people were down there in that tiny steam room, ready to lecture her on her life?

Her dream, or perhaps it was a nightmare, was thankfully interrupted by the most lovely feeling on her lips. As her gray eyes slowly opened, Akana spied Loolayannie's face above her own, their lips locked together in sensual bliss. As soon as Akana moved to return this morning kiss, Loolayannie moved away, to brush that one pesky clump of ochre hair from Akana's face, standing out in bright contrast to the black curls that adorned the rest of her head, a small memorial to all the slaughtered lives from Oak Village. "I have wellness. So, so much wellness," Akana replied to questions of, well, Akana supposed that she was her new lover, the Khitain magician Loolayannie. The glorious events of the night before were a wonderful blur of warm feelings and new discoveries, the beautiful results of such lovely experiments unreplicatable in any laboratory or workshop. This bed, and maybe the desk, perhaps the floor as well, were the only research labs that Akana needed for this new adventure of discovery. It was a shame that the sun was already angling through the few cracks and holes in the tent fabric. She'd love to spend all day making breakthroughs with the stunninginlgy beautiful woman sitting above her. Akana would be expected back at the strike team's campsite long before now. There would be questions about why Akana was so late to return to the campsite, of course, but they would be easy enough to deflect, as long as Akana kept her head about her. While this new... development... was absolutely wonderful, undoubtedly the best thing to have ever happened to Akana, it would have to be kept a secret from the rest of the camp. Should any questions arise, it could cause Akana's ostracization from the rebellion, losing her the best and possible last chance she had for her revenge.

"Wonderful Ani, please, keep this secret," Akana stated as she reluctantly rolled out of the bed. "This has wonder. However... This could complications with my revenge to cause. Please forgive me. This must a secret to be kept. The rebellion can knowledge of my gender not to have. You have wonder. This has fairness for you not. I have sorriness." By now, Akana had almost completley redonned her clothing, her head scarf the last task separating Akana's transformation into the mercenary Red. It was a regretful thing, having to leave this tent, and the wonderful woman who lived within it, but Daniel and Arnold should have returned from their scouting mission by now, hopefully with the knowledge of where the other Northern mercenaries had come from. "I will you for our lessons at five noon to see. Have a good morning. Please, join us for breakfast." Akana gave Loolayannie a kiss, before almost exiting the tent, changing her mind at the final moment before exiting to steal one, two, three more kisses from the bewitching woman before fully installing her head scarf, allowing nothing but her gray eyes and those few pesky strands of ochre hair that refused to obey orders. It was because of them that everyone believed that Red was a carrot top. Only Loolayannie knew that her true hair was black as holzkohle. It did help the disguise, though nobody had accurately guessed the real reason for those ochre strands. "Ani, I love you," Red spoke, before finally leaving the tent and returning to her strike team's campsite. The campfire was already burning brightly, the smoke carrying the lovely smells of cooking eggs, bacon, and griddlecakes. Edward was busy watching over the breakfast, ensuring everything was removed from the heat before it was overcooked and ruined for human consumption.

"Welcome back, Iceman," Daniel stated, liberating a piece of griddlecake from its unifying circumference, and speaking around it. "How'd the Tiranian magician treat you last night? Bet she showed you quite a few 'card tricks'. Hey, you think I've got a chance after you get bored of her?" Red gave a quick negative headshake with accompanying snort in disgust, then retrieved a share of the breakfast, for later, solitary consumption next to the lake. "Look, Red, we tried the best we could, but we lost the Northerners. Sorry..." Arnold stated, picking at his scrambled eggs, dusted in a red spice called paprika. The news was unfortunate, but at least they had confirmation of Maurangerian involvement with the federales. They had proof that the official (at least for now) Tiranian government had hired the fellow Northerners, pitting fellow countrymen against fellow countrymen, though Oak Village had been technically independant since the establishment of the Committee, so long ago that even Akana couldn't state the exact date, despite being the (probably) cursed sole survivor of Oak Village. "We will the Northerners to find. We will them to defeat. We have good information on them. Worry not." Daniel snickered around a mouthful of bacon. "I'm sure you got lots of good information too, last night. The exotic mating habits of the locals, perhaps?" Red flashed grey eyes of anger at the wayward warrior. "I know not that kind of knowledge. Speak not of unimportant subjects. We will this afternoon spoor and sign to look for. We will the Maurangerians to discover. We will them to eliminate." Daniel gave another laugh and responded. "And maybe we'll all get magical rewards for the accomplishment. Or at least you will. That would be nice, wouldn't it Iceman? Or maybe that magician girl's melted you. Maybe we should call you Puddle, hmm? Turning into a drooping mess of a man at the sight of any old sorcerer chick." Daniel would have to be talked to about this behavior. It could be distracting to the missions they would have to accomplish, and he was getting much to personal about it all. He would get a talking to in the evening, after they found the spoor that led to the elimination of the Northern mercenaries. But all that would deal with him later, after eating breakfast and teaching Loolayannie more fencing and science. Hopefully she would make it for breakfast. Red could smell the paprikaed eggs from here and they smelled better than anything she'd at this campsite.


Wrapping the blanket about her slender form, Leilani watched as Akana got dressed, doing her best to hide her disappointment that she had to leave so soon after waking as she’d wanted to spend a little more time with her, especially after last night.

Listening to what she had to say on the matter of keeping her gender a secret Leilani would simply nod her head in understanding before quietly replying “That is being ok Akana…I understand, People can no be knowing I seeing girl either” she said, going slightly pale at the thought of what would happen to her if their secret was discovered, her mind filled with visions of angry mobs chasing them both into the jungle. However such thoughts were thankfully short lived, driven from her mind by Akana’s kisses, not to mention a declaration of love that had nearly left her speechless “I love you too Akana” Leilani replied in a breathless sigh as Akana re-donned her disguise and disappeared.

Overcome with a joy and happiness the likes of which she’d never felt before, Leilani fell back onto the bed giggling, she loves me! She said she loved me! Her mind exulted, hardly daring to believe that such wonderful things were really happening to her. After that her mind was a whirl of emotion as she made herself ready for breakfast, should she wear the green dress that Akana complimented yesterday or her nice purple one? Normally such things wouldn’t have bothered her, but for some reason looking nice when she met Red and the others for breakfast seemed really important even if she couldn’t reveal what had happened between them.

Eventually settling on the purple dress, which was a pale lavender colour with long sleeves and decorated with a single spray of pink and white flowers across one shoulder, Leilani would brush her dark, straight hair before leaving the tent in order to join Red and the others already grateful for the sleeves on her dress as it was bitterly cold outside the tent. Winter would be soon upon them, if it wasn’t already.

Entering the small circle of tents that made up the Strike teams camp she would approach the campfire where Red and the team were all gathered and offer them a cheery smile as she spoke in greeting “Morning. Hoping everyone well…Red is our…” it was just as she was about to make a show of asking Red when their next lesson would be so as to create a reason for her being here, that she was interrupted by a grinning Daniel making a comment of his own “Morning Treacle, I’m surprised to see you walking after last night” he said prompting the others to chuckle at a joke she clearly didn’t understand. Why shouldn’t I be able to walk? And why is he calling me treacle? She quietly asked herself as she cautiously approached the campfire with Daniel still grinning at her “why don’t you take a seat next to Loverboy there, do you need us to get you a cushion?”

“Alright, cut it out Daniel can’t you see the poor girl doesn’t understand, Ignore him Leilani, he’s being crude” Edward said, intervening before either Daniel could make another off colour joke or Red beat the crap out of him.

Taking the plate of food offered to her by Edward, Leilani would take a seat beside Red; looking about the faces of the strike team before quietly asking in a quiet and rather deflated voice “They know…don’t they?” so much for keeping it a secret.

Deleted User - 819397

Joshua looked over at Glasya, confused, as she had her minor outburst about Sync giving up his life for Gwyll. "I never said I wanted him to die for her...he said it was fine except for the fact he'd be knocked out for a while after. I wouldn't have asked him to do it if I thought he'd be in danger, promise. He...he is ok, isn't he?" There may be no love lost between the two, but the Swordmaster didn't want to kill him...after all, the construct hadn't killed him when the roles were reversed, and he'd done nothing but try to prove to Joshua and everyone else that he had changed since. He rose to approach the pair, only to stop as Lucy intercepted him, trying to talk and failing. As gently as he could, he knelt next to the troubled girl, hands out in what he hoped was a sufficiently placating manner. "Hey, it's ok, if you can't say what you want just'll be fine..." This proved ineffective, though she did stop trying to talk, instead opting to write on the ground. "Save Daner...I thought he was with the Resistance still? He was with Khalid when we left him...where in the world did he get off to?" As much as he hated to admit it, the thief's whereabouts were a little lower on his priority list than everything else that was going on...he wanted to get the ailing Gwyll and Sync back to the camp first, then he would decide a course of action. If they could help the thief, then he would...but he was starting to see the truth in what he'd been told growing up...helping everyone was had to pick your battles. Which rang all too hollow seeing Lucy's pleading, hopeful face in front of him. Ah, kramen kayle, he couldn't be that coldhearted...yes he wanted to get the sick duo back first, but he could already tell he'd be tearing off across Tiran after the runaway Daner as soon as that was done. No rest for the wicked or the kindhearted, apparently. "Where is he? Can you tell me or write it?"


Things were… so far so good. The group was making slow, limping progress forwards. Even though the small, cynical part of Daner’s brain whispered at him to just run and leave them, he pushed it down on the basis that his best chance of survival lay with the group now, as well as just that he couldn’t abandon them. Daner was so concentrated on keeping his footing and finding a safe and quiet way forwards, however, that the blast of magical energy sent him stumbling backwards, eliciting several cursewords from Brahmoth as the group together was pushed back. And then, with horror, Daner listened as a scattering of loose rocks showered down the side of the jagged cliff edge. For a second there was silence in the chamber. Terrifying, all-consuming silence. Then, with a piercing scream, the hooded figure pointed at Daner and the group and he snapped into frantic action. “Run!” All pretence of stealth abandoned, Daner moved round to the other side of Twyin, putting the man’s free arm over his shoulder. “On three Taranis, we lift him and we run for that exit. Alia, get your bow out, and once they start climbing to within range, fill them with arrows. I’ve got a plan, but for it to work first we need to get out of this cave alive. Come on. One… two… three!”

Words… Yelps… Thoughts… Gwyll’s head hurt. It hurt so much, and her stomach hurt too. She couldn’t… conscious… drifting… Moving? She was being held… no… not held… carried? Who by? Not Mei… smells all wrong… Mei too small… Joshua… Nice... strong… Joshua… Things… moving… ground… earth… Joshua scent… leaving… Just Mei… Fading… Stomach still… hurting… New scent… But not new too… People… but… she was sure… there was a new scent… Scent of blood and magic next to her… Sync? Head… hurts… more… Feel warmth... in stomach… Building…. Building… Building…

With an explosion from her stomach, Gwyll vomited back up the worms that had been infecting her stomach, sapping her consciousness from her. Her head still pounded and felt fuzzy, but Gwyll shifted in the dirt, her wolf body finding a position comfortable enough to sleep in. There was a new smell, not the new girl, something far more rancid. Gwyll growled, a low rumbling sound, from within her belly. The smell was getting stronger, getting closer. Gwyll growled again, trying to get someone’s attention. It still far off, but it just smelt so… wrong.