[b "Must you leave so soon?"] A male voice asked the shadow in the other room. [b "Surely they can do without you a little longer."]
A soft chuckle was heard from the shadow, stretching a bit to show the figure was that of a woman. She was slender, yet strong, as well as a little tall for her gender. Her hair fell just past her shoulders, thick and feathered. She walked out of the room, wearing her pants and shirt. The male slowly slipped out of bed, wrapping his arms around her from behind.
[#430505 "As much as I would love to stay, you know I can't."] She chuckled, tilting her head to rest on his arm. [#430505 "If I was a normal guard I could get away with it, but because of my position..."]
He sighed softly. [b "Yes yes, I know. I guess I'll have to let you go then."]
[#430505 "I'll be back as soon as I can."]
The man released her and she finished getting dressed before walking out the door. A smile was still on her face as she walked towards the castle. She loved that man, and wished she could've stayed, but she had her duty. She was a knight, but not like others. Instead, she was one of the few special knights of the kingdom, so she felt she had to set a good example. She knew many looked up to her and her fellow knights, so it would look bad if she would run late whenever he wanted her to stay, which would be everyday.
Pyra Tempris was a strong headed woman, and always had been. She knew from an early age what she wanted to be and worked everyday to get there. Now, here she was, living her dream as an ARK Rider, the highest of knights in the kingdom. She was practically on equal level as the king, but without the power he had. Even so, she was still proper with her speaking, unless told otherwise.
She knew all the secrets of the castle, the ins and outs, the hidden escapes for the royal family, everything. She liked using them sometimes just so other knights thought she could appear from anywhere. It was good to keep the new recruits in line sometimes. As well as to make a good few scares. Today wasn't one of those days. At least, not yet. After she took care of her duties she might have time for it.
Arriving, Pyra walks along one of the walks, looking down into the main courtyard. She could see the young prince practicing with some of the guards, sending one of them flying into the dummies. She couldn't help but to chuckle a bit at that. Killian had quickly grown up after the passing of his mother, the Queen. It was good to see this, but she also wished it had been on his own terms and not because of sudden responsibility. She had faith in him though, he was smart, and still quite charming.
She watched a little longer until Killian left, continuing on her walk as well. Pyra didn't seem to be needed right away, so why not get some training in? Even the best of warriors needed to practice, and she was far from an exception to the rule. Though she was an ARK Rider, she didn't consider herself the best of the best. She knew her own shortcomings and worked everyday to try and fix that. But in the end, she could only do so much.
[center [pic http://fotos.fotoflexer.com/980342e5efd0e97cd01d1df9a331fb491728746.png]]
Stepping into the training courtyard, a few of the guards that had stuck around watched her approach. They didn't say a word as she took the coat off, pulling a hood over her head and a mask over the bottom half of her face. Cracking her knuckles, she took a stance, ready for battle. With a silent bell going off in her head, she made a punch forward, flame erupting from her fist. It created a ball of fire that quickly dissipated within a few feet. She didn't want anyone to get hurt, so she kept her power low. It was much stronger in the ARK, but without it she could still do some damage.
As she continued some moves, flames burst from her hands and feet at precise times. Her moves were fluid, each one mixing into the other. Pyra had great control over her abilities, showing so in each attack she made. Her armored hand grew hot, but it didn't affect her at all as she continued to produce the flames. As they watched, she suddenly pulled out one of her whips, catching the flames she had thrown into the air mere seconds before. She turned, the whip forming a perfect curve, and stretched out to make a loud snap sound at the end.
This dance of fire went on about another minute before she finally stopped. The flames died down as soon as she commanded them to, leaving nothing behind that suggested they had been there. Pyra caught her breath, wrapping her whip up again to put away. A few of her audience started to clap in amazement, despite having seen her do this many times. She had to admit, it was a sight to see someone be able to control fire without it biting back with a vengeance. But the flames never harmed her, even when she was a child. Any flame could not scar her skin, or cause her pain of any kind. Seemed it was a little blessing, but she never thought much of it.
[center [h3 On Duty]]
[center [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIsBuFKy0YI]]
[center [b Maria had offered a dorky smile as she stuck her tongue out rubbing the back of her head. As the man told her not to worry "Miss Knight" what a strange title for her.]]
[center [#e74b9b Well take it easy okay?]]
[center [b She was tempted to make a joke about how she could be "Mrs Knight!" or something dorky to that effect. She didn't have time to crack a few jokes at the boy. Sure she was shy but she loved to laugh as much as the next girl probably even more. She however had to resume her path back down the street.]]
[center [b As time passed Maria had entered the barrack's as she had approached her own quarters. She had began to undress as she began to dress herself wearing tunics and chain mail before getting to her own armor. Seeing her massive steel plate armor and refined steel greatsword it was hard to believe such a tiny girl possessed such brute strength.]]
[center [b As she began to suit her armor on she struggled a bit it was hard without assistance but she was too shy to have anyone help her get changed. Even if they were female aids she'd feel just as shy and awkward about it timid wasn't exactly a trait for a knight was it? These thoughts at times rummaged through her mind. How her personality and occupation clashed with one another a bit. She began to ponder as she remembered today she wouldn't be on patrol but to be by the prince's side.]]
[center [b She wasn't sure if he enjoyed having guards around him but when it was only her? It seemed to bother him less and that made her happy to see. She was very loyal to the royal family and she had admired them greatly. Was she dull? For simply wanting to follow others? To serve? Perhaps she was a bit dull and ditsy she could recognize that sure. Though she had a knack for this, for combat and she felt she had to do something with that gift right?]]
[center [b She remembered why she became a knight a man called "The Mountain" inspired her. As a little girl she looked up to the larger than life man. He was always on the vanguard on the front lines with his massive weapon. Protecting others with sheer force and guts alone she wanted to be just like that. Her element even embodied that trait "Chivalry" to increase strength and endurance. She too fought on the front lines often whenever a raid ever happened be it bandits or whatever else. Still she hasn't mustered the courage to one day tell "The Mountain" thank you for inspiring her the way he had. In time her brute strength even surpassed the mountain yet? She was only second in endurance and she was hard to move sure. Besides the Mountain? She was the hardest to take down but his resolve his willpower and endurance how he could block almost any attack? She had blocked and survived a few insane encounters herself but she envied his raw defensive and grappling capability. That with his strength being second only to hers? She wondered why he wasn't a guard to a royal member himself.]]
[center [b She had tried to wield a shield much like a knight in shining armor but she had lacked the skill or finesse to use such a weapon. Swinging around a massive blade that was what she knew how to do. She wasn't as versatile as other Ark users for that reason but yet the prince had placed trust in her. She wondered if he would have preferred an older more experienced knight with more defensive capability than her. Sure her own defense was second only to The Mountains but why settle for that? She was a hard hitting brawler sure but could she protect the prince?]]
[center [b In her lengthy session of equipping her armor everyday she wondered these things. Cause when the clock goes off? This tiny girl wasn't allowed to doubt herself to question herself. She had this romanticized idea of what a knight was and she had to do her best to uphold that ideal.]]
[center [b As Maria stood up in a full suit of armor placing her blade on her back. She had reached for her spectacles her eyesight wasn't especially bad she could fight without them even. However she was recommended to take it easy on her eyes so she did indeed tried to. They wouldn't last long in a fight without getting smashed if she took a rock or a blow to her face. Still she had money to afford extra pairs when the need had arisen as she exited her quarters she began to head to main infrastructure. Heading her way into the castle as a few guards gave her a salute as she offered a nervous chuckle. Protecting the prince offered a high ranking position sure. Though she wasn't exactly the type to lead other soldiers watching Killian over the years she had learned to take the time to spar with the guards. Train them? Maybe but to lead? To give orders? She couldn't handle a role of authority like that but maybe one day she wouldn't have a choice. She knew Killian had felt the same way about being king but that sounded like it held a lot more pressure.]]
[center [b So much more pressure in fact she felt silly for worrying over it as she strolled through the castle. She didn't have a right to be anxious look at the destiny he himself had. A destiny to do what was right for the kingdom and to lead them to salvation. She wanted to help shoulder that burden as much as she could for her liege for her friend. He may have gotten anxious or maybe he even doubted himself but Maria never stopped believing in him. Sure when they met it was... Bumpy and he was more intrigued into women this his work but deep down? She saw a bright compassionate young man and this last year? Though it's been hard he's really grown into his own and as his knight she was proud of him.]]
[center [#e74b9b Okay Maria stop zoning out of it, it's time to focus on the task at hand!]]
[center [b She slapped her face and gave a brimming smile as she stood in front of massive doors. She than entered the royal room she quickly saw Killian Maria had offered him a more delicate smile and a wave. She liked to jump behind him and yell "slacking off huh?!" the two played around like brother and sister often. Perhaps it was because of how many sisters he had in his life? No matter the case she hadn't ever minded it sure she got embarrassed at times but she hadn't minded it all the same not that she'd admit that!]]
[center [b Though Killian had bowed and Maria sticking farther back in the room had done the same. The king had made an entrance as they talked of the High Priestess. It had been awhile since Maria had seen their kind around here perhaps the king needed guidance or aid at such a time? Or perhaps she wasn't around when they had came over?]]
[center [b She looked at the ground with a fist against the floor. Maria tried to remain silent at times like these for proper mannerism wasn't exactly her forte. She was here solely to look out for Killian. Though she couldn't help but have her mind wander. "How was the king fairing?" everyday he put on such a brave face but Maria could only imagine how hard life has been for the elderly man. Maria had sighed her "don't be a soggy waffle" trick wouldn't bail her out of a somber mood this time around. Don't be a mushy dessert? She sighed at her own thought not better Maria! She was quirky and a bit silly even or rather a LOT, when she really opened up especially. Perhaps it was her way of keeping a chin up? Nah she was honestly always like this since she was a little girl. Laughing down the streets and saying crazy ridiculous things. She was glad that Killian somehow was able to tolerate all of her weirdness.]]
[center [b With that she found herself with a content smile as her thoughts ran away with her. As she awaited for a chance to speak with Killian she was excited to speak with him again. She wondered what his schedule would entail today.]]
[center [left [pic https://i.imgur.com/bwbW1Tk.png]]]
[center [size14 [Quicksand [b [i "Cast away your worries, my dear, for tomorrow comes a new day. Hold to me, you've nothing to fear, for your dream are not far away."]]]]]
[center [size14 [Quicksand A woman with long, dark hair sat in a room lit by candlelight. She wore extravagant, red robes that stood out among her black locks, her make-up done to complete perfection. In her lap sat a young boy who had hair just as dark as her own, his tiny body cradled in her arms. Lovingly, she gently ran her fingers through his soft hair, continuing to sing the lullaby she had created just for him.]]]
[center [size14 [Quicksand [b [i "As you lay your head and you rest, may your dreams take over, my love. Listen close, my son of the flame, for your destiny lies above."]]]]]
[center [size14 [Quicksand Huo opened his eyes to sunlight filtering through his window, signaling that the day had begun. Slowly sitting up, the male ran his long fingers through his hair as he thought of the dream that plagued him so much. His mother was a constant source of pain for him, and as much as he would like to forget he knew that he never would. [+red "hǎikūshílàn - Even if the seas should run dry and the rocks crumble."] He mumbled into the empty air, slipping out of bed. It was a phrase that his mother would often say, it was supposed to mean you would love someone no matter what happens and no matter how long.]]]
[center [size14 [Quicksand Shaking only painful thoughts away, the lanky male rummaged through his drawers and picked out the outfit he typically wore. Unlike many of the other royal guards, Huo had been allowed to dress differently due to her heritage and religion. Unable to give up the place he grew in, he continued to dress in the warrior's garb that was indigenous to his people. The red pin that was always clipped to his chest was the symbol of the Bàozhà Clan, a tiny yet hidden group of people that many knew nothing of.]]]
[center [size14 [Quicksand Huo left his quarters, grabbing the katana that had been passed from father to son and fastening it to his hip before leaving the building. When he had first arrived in Radinata people had given him strange looks, never before had they seen a man such in such an odd manner. It had taken many months and much effort in order to get these people to trust him, and for him, it was worth it because now the bright city had become his home. He would do anything for the people that had taken him in.]]]
[center [size14 [Quicksand Everyone seemed to be so lively today. Children sprinted and chased each other, guard laughed and poke fun at one another, vendors were having the times of their lives while making great bargains. It made Huo smile as he observed it all. The male decided that nothing was out of the ordinary and decided to go visit a friend before starting his day. Walking into his favorite tavern, Huo approached the barkeeper and offered him a huge smile. [+red "Gary, my friend!"] He said in a very formal manner. The barkeeper laughed loudly, laying a glass down in front of a man dressed in blue before turning to Huo.]]]
[center [size14 [Quicksand [b "Huo, boy you haven't come to say hello in months."] Huo grave an embarrassed chuckle, sitting down at one of the stools and rubbing the back of his head. [+red "I apologize, my boss has been keeping me quite busy as of late."] The old man slapped Huo on the shoulder. [b "Boy, how many times have I told you, don't speak so formally around here."] Many people told Huo that, but once you are taught to speak a certain way, it is hard to break. He talked to the barkeeper for awhile before he had to go off to serve more customers. Sitting there for a few minutes, he turned his attention to the un-familiar boy who had been sitting beside him.]]]
[center [size14 [Quicksand [+red "I do not recognize you, you are new here, yes?"]]]]
[center [b [#000080 [font "Lucida Fax" Killian Darnus Milivoj Radius, The First of His Name]]]]
[font "Lucida Fax" The castle Radinata stood out among the kingdom’s city like a bright white beacon. The people looked to it not as a tyrannical fortress, but as a protective watchful gaze like a lioness with her cubs. The alabaster structure with clay-red roofs with stood enemy invasions for centuries, never leaving its people to suffer. The front bronze gates remained open for all its citizens with a warm welcome from the High Tower in the center of the palace. Neither a storm nor an encroaching army of thousands could destroy this monument home of ten Ark Riders and their impressive machines. At least, that is what the Radinata’s civilians have come to understand. The kingdom’s streets remained relatively peaceful with King Darnus in rule. Even with the happy chatter and the busy roaming of the people down below, inside the castle was a silent mourning for the late Queen Lunarus. Adore by all and a beloved mother of three. Her presence has been missed this past year and it appeared the castle itself wept for her as some clouds pronounced the shadows on the architecture.] [right [pic http://fotos.fotoflexer.com/f04354dde021ff3439d037e6f355a460.jpg]]
[font "Lucida Fax" The silence was broken from the castle as fighting erupted in one of the palace’s courtyards. In the center surrounded by men with swords stood a young man with hair whiter than his blanched shirt. His porcelain complexion dripped with sweat as he panted. In a fighting stance, the man’s soul-piercing blue eyes remained vigilant to the men encircling him. He wore navy colored baggy pants with a golden sash tied around his waist. A long wooden staff was held firm in black gloved hands. The men surrounding him wore similar attire but with red or blue sashes at the waists. All were brandishing steel swords or daggers defensively. There was a long pause before they all charged in at once.]
[font "Lucida Fax" The morning sun glinted off the blades that lunged and slashed and jabbed. All attempts cut and sliced the air and nothing else. The white-haired man pivoted in his stance, dodging each strike with ease. His body was becoming a blade of grass in wind as his torso bent and lurched with impossible speed. The staff was lifted behind his head and horizontally blocked a blow from the back. A smirk grew on his face as he turned his head slightly to speak. [#000080 [b “That was cheap.”]] A modulated voice quipped. At blinding speed, the staff lifted again shoving the blade up and whirled around several times. The blunt end of the wood jabbed square in the center of the other man’s chest and sent him flying into the straw dummies meant for sword practice.]
[font "Lucida Fax" All the men stopped in place and stared after their fellow comrade with slacked jaws. A groaning and a grunt erupted from the destroyed piles of straw as the fallen man sat up with a gruff voice that said. “Well done your highness.” In that instance, everyone erupted into laughter as some men patted that white-haired prince on the back as two others went to go help their friend up.]
[font "Lucida Fax" Prince Killian chuckled as he went over to the fallen man to see if he was alright. [b [#000080 “Sorry to hit you so hard Brom.”]] The prince extended a hand out to the guardsman.]
[font "Lucida Fax" The man simply cracked his back and shook the hand before him. “Not a problem, sire. I shouldn’t have let my guard down.” He grinned as he rubbed his back painfully.]
[font "Lucida Fax" The prince nodded with a smile. [b [#000080 “Well see to yourself to the infirmary. I can’t have one of my best guards down on the job, eh?”]] He said cheerfully as he patted the man on the shoulder. [b [#000080 “I think practice is over for the day, lads. Everyone go rest up.”]] He declared as he graciously gave his staff to a servant that was in charge with clean up. He grabbed a towel that was neatly placed on a half wall for him to wipe his face and neck. They had all been practicing for about an hour now. He didn’t want to wear the men down too much else they’ll be too tired for tomorrow morning’s session. Glancing up at the courtyard’s clock, Killian estimated that he had enough time to freshen up before the meeting located in the throne room. Something about a High Priestess requesting an audience with Killian’s father. A small feeling in his stomach left him with a foreboding sensation.]
[font "Lucida Fax" After cleaning up, Killian dressed in his stately attire with the kingdom’s color of blue material, white accents and gold embroidery. A ceremonial sword strapped to his hip as per custom, however, his main weapon of choice as metallic staff. This was all for show, a special guest was requesting a meeting in the throne room and Killian was required to attend; therefore, fancy attire was recommended for the occasion, no matter how much he disliked wearing flamboyant garments. The women of the castle don’t seem to mind though. He was aware of the whispers about his appearance behind his back, the great Prince Killian with his handsome features and suave presence swooned many beautiful girls his way in the past. Since his mother’s death, the late Queen Lunarus, Killian’s childish and seductive behaviors were put behind him as he matured for his father. His kingdom needed him now, and he rose to the occasion as a strong and compassionate Prince.]
[center [pic http://fotos.fotoflexer.com/2026bcd46444cfdce050d951a63dab70.jpg]]
[font "Lucida Fax" Coming into the throne room always gave Killian an odd sensation. He grew up watching his father handle the kingdom’s affairs in this room. Of course, Killian never understood what was happening until he got older. The way his father handle problems was remarkable. The people found him to be fair and just. What was his son? Killian was a bit too impatience and distracted. Very clever and smart sure, but would he live up to his father’s reputation? Even to this day, after cleaning up his act after his mother’s death, Killian still shivered at the sight of that cushioned chair of power and authority. He felt responsibility and duty burn the back of his neck as he stared out of the throne room windows. The scene of the whole kingdom before his feet didn’t help either. Good thing no one could see his fidgeting hands back his back covered by his cloak. [i My palms are so sweaty. Why.] He asked rhetorically. The announcement of the High Priestess’s arrival drew Killian out from behind the throne to see his guests.]
[font "Lucida Fax" Receiving an audience with the King was hard to do on its own since he sought to so many duties in one day; however, the High Priestess was an important enough visitor that Killian thought an except was made. He had seen High Priestess Isis’s appearance before, but that lad accompanying her was new. He looked like an odd fellow enough, but so did many people in Radinata. [b [#000080 “Ah. I see you have business with my father, then. I’ll let him know that you have arrived.”]] People bowed as Killian left the room in search for King Darnus. A servant offered to go search for the king for Killian, but the prince insisted on doing the task himself. Besides, he had a feeling he knew the location of where the man wandered off to.]
[font "Lucida Fax" Indeed, his royal Highness was sitting contemplating in the royal gardens where Queen Lunarus loved to stare at the flowers there. The green house’s ceilings stretched up above with marble pillars supporting the structure on the inside. The temperature was comfortably warm and more so in the uniform Killian wore. He didn’t understand how the clever old man could stand it. Speaking of, he was sitting in the usual spot as always. Killian approached with a bow to his king before speaking. [b [#000080 “Father, the High Priestess Isis wishes to see you on some matter of urgency.”]]]
Azure flips a copper gil coin into the air, and as the coin takes flight, he feels a sudden impact in his gut. He falls back onto the ground slightly dazed from the sensation of being run into by a horse. He lifts his right hand and catches his descending coin, [i 'Da hell did I just get hit by?'] He thinks to himself as he props himself up on his elbows. In front of him is the perpetrator, the assaulter, the tiny little frantic squirrel of a girl. Azure simply quirks a brow as the girl fumbles about and offers him a helping hand. He rolls back onto his shoulders and kicks up, hoping onto his feet.
The girl continues to act shy and timid as she barrages Azure with words. Azure brushes himself off and says, [b "You can calm yourself, yeah? I was partially at fault for not paying attention."]
Azure looks down at the girl and when she asks about his plans. [b "Don't worry about me Miss Knight. I'm perfectly capable on my own,"] He says with a wave as he steps past the girl, [b "Until next time."] Once that girl had gone off on her own, another comes up out of nowhere and gives him a map. This girl is the complete opposite of his previous encounter. She quietly gives him the map and runs off before Azure even tries to respond.
Azure simply looks at the folded up map, [i 'I never said I wanted one though. Having a map is like a cheat sheet. Makes exploring no fun.'] He thinks to himself. Azure suddenly hears a few kids talking about a candy shop that they were having trouble finding. He walks over to the group and the moment one of the kids puts their hands into the air for whatever reason, Azure quickly slips the map into the kid's hand. The kid is suddenly shocked to have the map in hand and starts showing it off to the other kids in his group, talking about how it magically appeared.
[i 'Well, aren't I nice?'] Azure thinks sarcastically as he begins to travel toward the exit of the bazaar that leads to the West end of Radinata. However, before he completely leaves the bazaar, the sounds of a moving mountain fill the bazaar. Azure suddenly stands in place. He grins a bit as he feels a powerful sets of eyes target him. They were focused and stern. Much unlike the previous two he had encountered, the person currently starring at him had a very overbearing presence. [i 'I'm guessing a mountain has caught sight of me?'] Azure thinks to himself as he closes his right eye.
The young mercenary starts to walk once again. He could sense it. Two people are watching him now. One was clearly introduced as the mountain and another that is off somewhere out of his sight. [i 'How shall I lose their attention?'] Azure casually walks forward. He could feel the constant focused stares, and waited for one certain moment. The time where both stares weakened. In that moment, Azure vanishes within the crowd, not because of distance, but because he perfectly blended in with the crowd the one possible moment that would allow him to slip away undetected. A block away from the bazaar, Azure steps out of the crowd that floods out of the bazaar and onto a less crowded road.
[b "Good, lost them,"] Azure says to himself as he gives the copper coin in his hand another flip. He catches it and he flinches a bit. Shortly after losing the attention of two, he gains the curious stare of another. [i 'For crying out loud! It's not like I'm running through the street screaming, pay attention to me people! Why do I keep-'] Azure stops his line of thought and looks over his shoulder at the sword wrapped from blade to hilt on his back. That is a huge attention grabber if he has ever saw one.
[b "Ah this is your fault,"] Azure says rubbing his eyes with his left index and thumb. He hears a ring in his ear and replies to the sound with, [b "Just shut up smart ass."]
[b "Now, how do I lose my next follower?"] Azure says as he looks at the coin in his hand. [i 'I guess that will work,'] He thinks as he begins to flip the copper coin repeatedly. The coin ascended at around the same height with each flip. Azure kept doing this for a long while until the sight of the coin became a natural sight paired along with him. He then suddenly flips the coin up to twice the height, which makes his follower subconsciously follow the sight of the coin for a split second. He turns the corner quickly and slips into an alleyway in that moment.
Azure peeks around the corner to see that the girl that had been following him had bumped into someone due to the sudden distraction he created with the coin.
Suddenly, Azure feels dumbfounded beyond belief. A guy in shining armor had approached the young girl, which looked almost like a Princess. The picture the two created made Azure slap his right hand over his mouth as he holds back a burst of laughter. His eyes well up with tears a bit as he crosses his arms and puts them against the concrete wall. Azure buries his face into his arms in a desperate attempt to hold back the laughter welling up in his throat. He tries his best to hold his laughs back as it feels like his gut is about to burst. [i 'Da hell? That image is so stereotypical that I almost burst out laughing. The Prince charming coming to save the pretty Princess?!'] Azure pounds his fist gently against the wall until he finally can let out a breath without laughing. He looks around the corner again to see that the Princess and Prince charming's attention were on each other. He slips out and walks past the coin he was tossing up earlier. With a perfect sleight of hand, he picks up the coin and continues down an alleyway.
A moment later, Azure sighs slightly depressed. [b "Using these deception tactics makes me feel sick."] He shakes it off and sighs as he resumes his journey for a drink.
[b "Man, that sight caught me off guard. Almost made me laugh to death,"] Azure jokes as he flips the coin into the air again. He hears another ring and says, [b "It's funny. Trust me. It's funny for me at least."]
Later, Azure arrives at a tavern at the North West end of the Kingdom. He steps inside and waves to the barkeep as he takes a seat.
"What's your poison?" The barkeep asks as he cleans a glass.
[b "Give me something strong,"] Azure replies as the barkeep gets his drink ready. [i 'This place really is way to peaceful.']
[h3 [center Dawn]]
[center A man smiled as he looked out his window, a small yawn stretching his tired face.
[#f47506 "Time to start the day is it? I slept well."]
He smiled as his legs dangled themselves off of his bed, guiding him up and into the faint light from the rising sun. He had only gotten a few hours of sleep but for him that was a blessing. He didn't mind it one bit however, as his catch phrase seemed to always be "A real warrior doesn't sleep" or "Sleep is for the weak" or something to that nature. He chuckled, a smirk planted on his face as he slipped into a white button down shirt and some black trousers. He looked into the mirror on his wall as his hair was pulled back into a bun on the back of his head. He was ready for the day, but had some down time before he had to report to duty- guarding the royal family wherever his captain saw fit- and what better way to spend his free time than at the local tavern, getting a bit of mead before he had to report in.
He slipped on a thin long coat and slipped out of his home onto the streets of Eastern Radinata. His smile stayed glued to his face as he passed by the usual faces, waving at some, saying the occasional good morning to others. He was a pretty bubbly man; his temper never seemed to rear its ugly head. The girls around the kingdom would say he was a player but he liked to think of himself as more of a flatterer. He was an innocent, yet flirty man, having no time for any real relationships or even flings. He focused on protecting his home and his royalty, yet even the most dedicated of soldier needs some kind of down time right? And that's where he got his reputation as a flirt. When he wasn't guarding the royal family he was on the streets, talking to anyone who would approach him, be it female or male though he seemed to attract more female presences. His good looks didn't hurt either, having lovely blue eyes and golden hair he almost looked like the stereotypical Prince Charming when all along he was just a knight in shining armor.
His favorite place was the tavern, not for the ales but for the people. He found that those who were intoxicated, even slightly so, we're more open than those who weren't. His conversations with the local drunks were always greater than any he could find elsewhere. Often they provided a much needed stress relief before and/or after he fulfilled his duty as a Royal Knight. So he listened to the hustle and bustle of the streets he walked every day as his boots took him to his destination.
Yet on the way there he saw a strange sight, a girl whom looked familiar walking the streets alone. He smiled, chuckling to himself as he walked her way. Her face came into view and he knew he had seen the girl before, many times actually.
[#f47506 "That girl is always slipping away isn't she?"]
He said to himself as he walked towards her, placing his hand on her shoulder. As she turned around taking his hand off of her and giving a small nod of the head as an apology in case he startled her.
[#f47506 "Hello princess. If you'll please pardon my interruption but shouldn't you have a guard with you?"]
[#2A96E2 "Why do I have to have guards with me but Luciana doesn't?"]
[b "You know very well why, Princess."]
A huff was heard from the small girl, her arms crossing in discontent. She wanted to go out into the town, but she was forced to have guards with her whenever she wanted to go. The girl seemed to have guards on her twenty-four seven now, and she hated it. Why did her brother get final say all the sudden? He wasn't king yet.
[b "I hate this just as much as you do."] The guard muttered, walking along with her down the road.
Princess Ikana, the youngest of the three children of the king. Sixteen and mischievous, always trying to escape the castle and go explore the town. Sure she could go whenever, but because she had to have someone with her, it meant everyone knew who she was. If she walked up to a stall, they would suddenly start to praise her, offering her many things to take. She didn't like that. She wanted to see what life was like through ordinary eyes. But because of how many times she had escaped her escorts, she was now forced to go with a guard. Now she didn't have a chance to pretend to not be a princess.
As they walked, Ikana continued to look for ways to get away. The guard was as well, knowing full well she was going to try. Every time she attempted to go near a really crowded place, the guard quickly moved her away so she couldn't get lost in it. That was her main way of getting away. Now she had to really search for something that could be a distraction of some sort.
That's when she spotted her older sister.
[#2A96E2 "Luciana!"] She called, rushing over to the girl as she sat with her maid.
The teen hugged her sister, giving her all the love and attention a sister could give. While she did love her sister, this wasn't how she usually showed it. This was usually a "Help me do something and I'll help you back" type of affection. She noticed her sister had been looking at someone while other men looked at her. Ikana knew who it was, and didn't quite understand it. She knew she couldn't have him, so why did she bother still hoping? Sometimes she wondered who was really the oblivious one.
She heard someone yell that the Mountain was on patrol and saw her chance. Ikana looked as people started to crowd around him, giving their praise to the man.
[#2A96E2 "I'm going to go greet him."] She called to the guard. Before he could really register what she was doing, she went off into the crowd.
While Ikana didn't mind talking to John, she wasn't going to waste time in her escape. Quickly, she melted in with the crowd, slinking off into another street that lead away from the bakery and more into town. She didn't wait to see if the guard had noticed she was gone, instead she made her way to another part of the bazaar to start exploring.
There were stalls all over the place, selling many different things. Some had food, others had spices, there were even stalls with jewelry and other fine goods. There was even a stall selling birds as pets. While their feathers look beautiful and the small birds were precious, she already had a cat back at the castle. She knew what would happen if she came back with a little bird in a cage. She might as well send it to it's death now than to let him fear the cat.
[#2A96E2 "I wonder if there's any sweets being sold."]
The princess didn't have much of a sweet tooth, but sometimes she enjoyed a sweet or two. What was she in the mood for today? Perhaps some kind of cookie. Or maybe a sweet bun. No, that was much too sweet for her liking most of the time. She would just have to see what was there and make her choice then.
It didn't take her long to find a stall that had said sweets she was looking for. Candied fruits, little things of cookies, and even some jams. It all looked pretty tasty to her. Perhaps she would buy some and save them for later. She had a few hiding places around the castle where she knew no one would find them. Ikana picked out a few treats, giving the owner the coins as payment.
Walking along, something caught her attention. While she didn't know everyone in the town, being impossible simply because of how large it was, this person seemed rather out of place. There was something about him that interested Ikana. The girl watched him walk by across the street, her head tilting as he went. Something sparked in her blue eyes, something that hadn't really sparked before. Her chest felt a little strange too.
The princess quickly crossed the road to the other side to follow him, but making sure to look like any other person walking along. She wanted to know who he was and where he was going. Why? She wasn't exactly sure, she just wanted to know. He hadn't seemed to notice her as they walked, the crowds giving enough cover for her to blend in. Thankfully it wasn't too crowded to where she couldn't see him. From the gaps she saw his brown hair and blue and white clothing. He stood out in a crowd, but also blended in quite well.
Bumping into someone, she quickly apologized and looked up to see him gone. Ikana quickly looked around, trying to find him again and having no luck. She had no idea where he was going and no idea who he was. It seemed she had lost him forever. She had a sinking feeling within her at that thought, and she really didn't like it.
The girl suddenly felt a hand on her shoulder, making her jump. Looks like she had been caught. But by who?
[center [size10 Za'zi, the phoenix goddess, that was the one person the Azi priests believed over all. Their priestess was their voice, their eyes, and their constant watch over the land around the temple. The priests, priestesses, and Acolyte spread the word of the Goddess across the land. Omi was one such priest to the Goddess, however he was much more then just a priest, he's what the people call a Cleric, a person highly trained in the priesthood, a guard to the High priestess and a member of the Azi class.]]
[center [size10 Omi had been standing guard over the inner chamber to the Godess's temple when the a messanger Acolyte had appeared holding a letter marked with the High priestess's seal. the male had taken ahold of the parchment and quickly scanned the outside of it for possibility of forgery, but found none. looking to the messanger again, Omi had only nodded to the boy. Both resumed their duties that were deemed to them. A second guard came only moments later with a look of puzzlement on his face.]]
[center [size10 [#398929 "Omi, what are you still doing here?"]]]
[center [size10 [#107e9e "What ever do you mean Kalen?"]]]
[center [size10 [#398929 "The message that I had been given from the high priestess Isis, it said for me to be here and replace you. That you had been called to her chambers."]]]
[center [size10 [#107e9e "Well Kalen, I must be going then before the High priestess calls for me yet again."]]
[center [size10 Kalen had instantly taken up the post his predecessor had once held to guard. Omi had taken his blade and handed it to the man with the last parting words. [#107e9e "happy journey and may the Goddess's Flame always burn inside you."] holding his hand up in the sign of the clerics. Kalen had held the same sign up as Omi bound off down the hall and turned the corner to the left.]]
[center [size10 Instantly stepping back into the garden of the temple Omi admired the beauty of the place. Flowers of all hues of colors, Blues, greens, purples, and all different shades of red. Going even farther into the garden a circle made of pure white stones beseeches the eye, accept for a path made of glass stepping stones surrounded by a series of blue stones to offset them. Stepping on the glass stones Omi's eyes were drawn to the magma chamber below the glass, everyone knew the pocket of magma that kept the temple warm, and the temple's center constantly glowing with the goddess's power.]]
[center [size10 [b "All in due time will answer's be found."] It had caught the boy off guard, the voice of the past, present, and future. That female voice from his family. It was his great aunt Zajil.]]]
[center [size10 [#107e9e "Zajil, We see each other again in this temple of the goddess, especially in the garden of her power. Tell me Priestess, do you by chance know why the High priestess Isis have called me to her private chambers?"]]]
[center [size10 Zajil stopped and bent down on the glass stepping stone she stood on. Picking up a fallen leaf from the white stones and clasping it in both hands she pressed it until her hands lightly glowed an orange in color. Opening her hand to show the leaf ws gone she only smiled. [b "Anger, Wealth only in the bosom of fools will ever feed the curiosity to ask many more questions then answers will appear."] Omi had wanted to ask another question, more precisly to ask why his own flesh and blood would speak to him in riddles, but he had other pressing matters to attend to.
Bowing to the priestess omi only said [#107e9e "Far seeing is the eye's of the Goddess, until next time Priestess Zajil."]
[center [size10 Taking the glass stone path to his right the boy had followed it until he was out of the stone garden, and on the regular ground from before. Seeing the same hues of color in flowers Any visitor would be enchanted by the garden, but the garden wasn't the reason he had come here. Still walking the Garden gave way to a red pipestone pathway, that had looked as if the Goddess herself had placed it there. Knowing this was the pathway that would lead him to the High priestess Isis, Omi had expected a set of clerics to have already appeared to take any weapons from him before entering the holy grounds, but alas no one had done so.]]
[center [size10 Confused, and with even more questions in his head omi placed his first foot on the red pipestone path. He could feel the heat from the chambers below and he felt even closer to his people and his true calling The goddess Za'zi or to many the phoenix goddess. Still following the stone path the battle cleric drew more and more into the heart of the temple. Had it been about what had happened earlier with the priestess and the nobility? was it about the rumored lies of how the Goddess was not real, and just a fictitious fairy-tale made by the nobility to rule the people how they saw fit? No it couldn't possible be about ether, how would omi have anything to do with ether? he was after all in the temple all day like he was suppose to be.]]
[center [size10 [#c10d0b "Halt Omi I must ask before proceeding any longer, I must ask you relinquish your armor, weaponry, and confess any wrong doings before entering our most holy place."] said a commanding voice that seemed so out of tone he could almost tell who it was under the armor.]]
[center [size10 [#107e9e "My armor, and weaponry I gladly strip of myself, however confession is for those who have done wrong doings. The Goddess does not allow Unjust people within her temple without first branding them."] Stripping off first the sword that still hung at his side, the male noticed now not one set of guards but three. Six guards for the High priestess? Something big must be going on for her to be needing so many. Secondly came the bow and arrows off his back, with a little assistance from one of the guards as well. However quickly undoing several straps of the armor and pealing away the metal plating, chain mail, and leather under clothing Omi now stood in only leggings made of leather of the temple's choosing for the different genders and roles within the temple. His were dyed a White color to respresent his Purity and bond to the Holy Goddess.]]
[center [size10 [#c10d0b "Omi I must ask again Confess any wrong doings you have committed. If you do not the high priestess Isis will know, and you will be put through the test again."] the boy knew exactly what that had meant, everyone here in the temple, in the Azi class knew what the test was, they had all gone through and survived it as just children no older then eight years of age.]]
[center [size10 [#107e9e "I yet repeat myself, I have nothing to confess, If Za'zi wishes for the test to be redone on my body then it shall be so, and the high priestess will command it be done."] omi had his weapons and armor taken away to where he could not tell, but he assumed he would have them returned to his room in the temple, and to him upon his return to his room. Seeing that the guards accept for the one that had spoken to him had disappeared again out of view he assumed that he could resume walking, and so he started moving again. The man that had spoken had taken stride next to the now stripped male as they walked the rest of the pathway to the door that led into the high priestess's private chambers, the heart of the temple. stopping the guard bowed to the man, turned and walked back to his post.]]
[center [size10 Lightly tapping the door the bright eyed male waited and as if on instinct, or from his touch the door barely opened and allowed the male to step into the room. Upon entering the room Omi was instantly swallowed by warmth, light, and the most noticeable thing glass. It was hard to believe that the temple's heart was a room of Solid glass, of course the temple had been built around the natural formation that had been there, but slowly over time the glass had taken on the shape of a circular room.]]
[center [size10 Omi's eyes wandered the room memorizing each nook, each cranny, each flicker of shadow on the walls and how they would play with the light and how it made everything in the room come to life. How the colors in the room seem to become even brighter, however his eyes were instantly drawn to attention as he noticed the high priestess in the middle of the room sitting on the floor. She seemed to have the same look she always had when around the men of the temple, as if she knew something about them that they themself didn't know. Perhaps it was the Goddess's voice inside the lady that now sat in front of him that told her such information.]]
[center [size10 [#107e9e "My lady, I recieved your summons."] the man said with his head held low [#107e9e "I'm sorry it took me so long to answer, I had become distracted along the walk here. It has been quite some time sense I had last seen these parts of the temple."]]]
[center [size10 [#c828f0 "Omi, You are to be put through the Purity test once again."] her voice seemed to hold all authority daring for anyone to question her. The boy knew that he could not question the high priestess, because doing so would damn him from the temple and brand him a traitor to the Goddess. While in the Country of Radinata the Goddess was not important she still held High athority within the temples found, even more so to the nobles who still feared or worshiped her.]]
[center [size10 [#107e9e "Yes, my lady."] was all the male said as he spun around and left the room. Standing there in silence for a moment he had to think, was his affection unpure? would it cause him to fail the Goddess's test? it didn't matter his High priestess ordered it so and he shall follow command. Snapping his fingers several of the other clerics appeared.]]
[center [size10 [#107e9e "Prepare a purity test, one of our own is to be put through it."] The guards didn't argue, they didn't question and they knew when a purity had to be prepared swiftly. Walking down the same road that had led him to the priestess's chambers had now lead the man out of the area. The male had walked into a room where the tub for the purity test was being set. Firstly seeing the tub wasn't an actual tub, but more of a walk in circular shape that had been carved into the ground.]]
[center [size10 [#c10d0b "Omi who is it that is to be tested today?"]]]
[center [size10 [#107e9e "I am to be tested today, on orders of the Priestess Isis."] It seemed to worry several of the guards, and more of them had an utter horror look on their face, Only Isis herself had passed retaking the test. Omi however with a blank face stripped even the little content of clothing he had on to stand nude infront of all who were there. Crossing the room with little amounts of strides he stepped down the first step of the tub to watch as the clear liquid started crawling up his body. Taking the second step down the liquid's cold touch came just barely under the curve of the man's hips. Taking the third step down the content came to about mid stomach right above his belly button. Taking the very last step down The The clear liquid came up to just above his shoulders. Even standing six foot three the tube wasn't meant for a grown adult to stand in. Laying on his back Omi stayed as calm as possible during his test.]]
[center [size10 [#c10d0b "Light the Fire."] was all the man from earlier said. Torches were placed on the floor about the edge of the tub and the oil which lead into the tub was lit. Omi closed his eyes and let the Goddess's will be done. Feeling the heat from the fire the man started to feel pain, but he could feel the liquid going down farther and farther into the tub like it was being burnt away, for the air around the man started to get cooler and cooler, eventually having his back placed on chilled marble at the bottom Omi opened his eyes to an empty pool. Gasps had come from the guards and temple members who had come to see the testing and most of them had looks that the boy couldn't tell what they were thinking. which was rare for him.]]
[center [size10 [#c10d0b "Omi are you burnt anywhere?"]]]
[center [size10 the boy didn't even think of it, he hadn't felt any sting on his skin or a single burn from the after affect besides the pain from the heat. Looking around his own skin Omi had only called back. [#107e9e "Give me but a moment and I will be out of the pool and you can check for yourself."] slowly climbing out of the pool he held up his arms out and allowed himself to be checked for burns, bruises, scrapes, or any deeming quality that was considered a failure in the the test.]]
[center [size10 [#c10d0b "You have passed taking the test. Child."] pulling out a letter the head guard who Omi didn't know personally said only [#c10d0b "The priestess Isis, has said that you are to join her at the Captial."] Omi only looked down at the letter that was between the two men. Taking a hold of the letter the male strapped around himself quickly a patch of white cloth to over imself up. Looking up at the armor decorated person in front of him Omi had noticed one thing. That it was the person he had spoken to earlier, it was as if they to had known he was going to be put through the test. His aunt had given him the letter.]]
[center [size10 [#107e9e "Very well. I shall depart in the morning."] The guard only held up a hand.]]
[center [size10 [#c10d0b "She said you leave now, as to get there and represent the Goddess while you are there."] Omi's eyes grew just slightly. The Priestess was thrusting upon the man so much already, first his re-testing, and in confidence that he would pass commanded him to join her and another to give the King advise on the Goddess's will. How could she do this to him? Did she know something about the goddess's will that even he could not understand?]]
[Center [size10 The journey to the capital was a short one. it had taken the group three hours to arrive, but it was quiet and allowed the boy time to think. Why had he been chosen to come to the Capital? what was it the Priestess believed he could achieve while here other then be a nusence to the king and the Royal family? Why was it at all that they had left the temple? Being pulled from his thoughts by the sounds of bells he saw the city had drawn closer then he had imagined. Its walls drew high into the sky and thicker then he could have guessed. Perhaps the kingdom's power wasn't in its size, but its ability to defend what they claimed as their own.]]
[Center [size10 Omi had his attention drawn away from the details of the fine craftsmen that was put into the Iron gates and the stone masonry of the walls to directly in front of him. A group had gathered to stop and watch a man in his workshop a little way up the street which had caused the herd of people to slow down, or stop completely in some places, however as the crowd dispersed a giant man came out of the forge shield in hand and armor on. He must have been apart of the army that was on patrol. As it seemed the man stopped not far from the group, however his eyes were focused on something else entirely. Following the man's line of sight Omi saw what he had. A knight had knocked over someone and was trying to helping him up and just disappeared down the street after giving him a few words. It was then that someone else had come up to him and given him a map to the city. Perhaps one of those would have been useful to Omi, had he not had the Priestess already have her destination in mind and her eyes set upon the path they would take to it. The Cleric drew his hood away from his head, letting his brown hair flow into the wind, Isis had carried on their party to what was believed to be the Palace.]]
[Center [size10 Drawing in the finery of the thrown room the boy started falling behind only to hear a grunt from one of the female guards behind him. He had caught up to the group as Isis was bowing to a very young looking women who stood to greet them. Isis's voice raised up before the women could even speak to them. [#c828f0 "I am High priestess Isis. I am here to see the King."] As the priestess spoke Omi's eyes wandered the grand hall to see a young male step into the thrown room from behind the Thrown itself. He could only guess that this man that stood before them was the prince and next in line for the crown. Seeing the man from the Bazaar earlier come into the room as well Omi took in a sharp breath, perhaps the Priestess was an unexpected guest and would be getting more attention then just the kings.]]
The air was alight with fire and smoke. Loud clangs of metal on metal permeated the air. The eye and lung blocking heat in the air did nothing to bother the man in a thick black smock. Sparks flew through the air as his hammer struck a sword in the making upon the anvil. A spark bounced harmlessly off of the old man's cheek. A young man in the corner of the room winced at the heat and the sparks, but the old man remained unflinching, his hammer blows just as steady as they were before.
The crowd beyond the smithy where he worked all watched in awe as his blows continued to ring out like thunder into the city beyond. The loud clangs and the sweltering heat kept the crowd back as he continued stone faced into his work. Each blow bent the blade in the making more to his will. Made it's shape more perfect. The piece before him was simple, unremarkable in every way. It was a weapon used by novices and masters alike. To mass produce them, they had to be made with no deviations to form.
[+gray “Boy. Start killing the fire.”]The younger man snapped to attention and rushed around the forge, and the loud clanging of metal restraints hitting the floor rang out. The young man rushed back around just in time for John to dunk the blade he'd been making into a barrel of water.
[+brown “Are you finished for now Master?”] John waved him off as he walked to the opening of the forge and closed it.
[+gray “Yes. Clean up the shop. There are patrols to be made.”] With a practiced motion, he removed his thick black smock to reveal his leather harness. From the shadows of the shop, he hefted a massive shield, almost as big as the towering six foot nine man himself. It was entirely unadorned, the ebony mirror's only decoration the scratches and dents from years of use. He hefted it onto a set of hooks on the back of his harness. Then, from the same shadow, he drew a neat set of plated gauntlets, fingerless and spiked.
[+gray “And make sure that blade quenches correctly. I'm off.”] The crowd having now dispersed, he walked easily into the bright sun, beating down upon another day in Radinata. It would be peaceful, and he would make sure of it. With a heavy sigh, he ran a hand through his grayed hair. He kicked his plate boot against the ground and decided a round of the Bazzar would be a good place to start. It was a big place, and thusly merited a good amount of watching.
And with certain steps, he began making his way away from the warmth of his forge towards the bazaar. His long legs carried him quickly towards his destination. His stony face and stature quite often drew the attention of passers by. Not before his reputation did, however. He was the oldest knight still serving, and the man most commonly referred to as ‘The Mountain.’ Not solely for the fact that he was a giant, he was also virtually impossible to move, his powerful musculature visible to anyone that caught sight of him in his harness.
He tried to avoid crossing people's paths however, people had enough to worry about without him forcing others to make way. He didn't want to constantly excuse himself, so he stayed to the side of the streets, making sure to look down alleys and side streets as he walked. Everything was clear, but the day was young.
When he finally did make it to the Bazaar, he was treated to the bustle of people getting set up and everyone making their sales pitches over each other. The smell of freshly baked bread was the most easily discernable smell in the air, maybe because he was next to a bakery. He was drawing attention.
[+Brown “Hey look! The Mountain's on patrol!”] Came a cry as he began to walk along the outskirts of the messily assorted trade area. He pumped his fist into the air, drawing a cheer from those that noticed. His grappling fighting style was quite popular amongst the people, who absolutely loved it when he would throw his enemies around or slam them into the ground. The only thing they loved more was watching him forge it seemed; small crowds willing to stand the heat of the forge to watch him work.
He was in thought, but continued to scan across the huge crowds for anything that looked like trouble, but was interrupted as he felt something latch onto his leg. Looking down, he saw a little girl with a mop of messy brown hair attached to his leg. Slowly, he took his spiked gauntlets off and hung them at his side. Then, with a careful motion, he lifted the little girl to eye level with himself. Wait a moment, this was one of his.
[+Grey “Maria, why aren't you helping your mother at the store?”] The little girl just smiled and held her arms out towards the behemoth of a man, making grabbing motions with her hands. With a heavy sigh, he put the little freckled demon on his shoulders, and she instantly locked her legs around his neck, leaning onto his head.
[+red “Momma wanted to know if uh, you were gonna be at dinner tonight.”] John continued walking along, not letting his granddaughter distract him from doing what he did best. Look scary.
[+grey “Assuming everyone is doing their jobs, yes.”] A statement that came with this new sight. He quickly made his way over to a situation that could quickly spiral into a disaster if he didn't intervene, but the situation seemed to diffuse itself, thankfully. The royal mage and that young knight needed to get to work.
That man they approached however. He was a foreigner. Definitely. His clothes were the biggest indication. Normally he'd merit watching, but if he were out to cause trouble, he'd have done so by now, or he'd have gone out of his way to not be noticed. John surmised that keeping his ear to the ground was the wisest course of action here.
[+red “He looks funny!”] Maria shouted as loud as she could, causing John to shake his head a little bit, seeing her pointing right to the man in question. He tsked at her rapidly, continuing to make his round about the Bazaar.
[+grey “Now that isn't very nice Maria.”] He commented as she continued to stare intensely at the man as he disappeared into the crowd.
[+red “Momma says ‘Honesty is the best policy!’”] He chuckled a bit at this. His daughter was a snake, for sure.
[+grey “Your Momma and I are going to have a talk about how I raised her.”] That caused Maria to giggle and hold onto John's head as they continued around. Hopefully the day remained this peaceful. He's hate to have to crack skulls in front of his granddaughter.
Much as the little shit would probably enjoy that.
[center [size14 [Quicksand Eyes the color of a clear ocean opened to bright sunlight, gazing around an intricately decorated room. Luciana Radius slowly lifted herself from her silk sheets, lifting one of her delicate arms to rub the sleep from her eyes. As she sat there for a moment, a knock and a familiar voice cause the tired female to smile, [#BA55D3 [b "Ah, Rachel, you may enter."]] A tiny maid shuffled into the room, greeting the middle child of the royal family. Without any instruction, she quickly picked out her mistress's outfit for the day and helped her to dress. About a half hour later Luciana sat in front of her vanity, a diamond-encrusted brush in her hands. She sat there a few moments slowly brushing her lavender-tinted hair, staring off into space as thoughts of how her mother would do this for her and her sister when they were children.]]]
[center [size14 [Quicksand [b "Princess Luciana, are you alright?"]]]]
[center [size14 [Quicksand The words of her maid startled Luciana out of her thoughts, causing her fingers to fumbled and making her drop the brush on the floor. The maid scurried to pick it up and place back in her hands. A sad smile crossed the princess' face as she placed the brush down on the wooden vanity. [#BA55D3 [b "I am fine...."]] She muttered. Though as she sat there she shook her head and slapped her cheeks, this was no time to be mourning! She had things to do, suiters to annoy, boy to piss off.]]]
[center [size14 [Quicksand After spending almost two hours getting ready, the jeweled beauty of Radinata left her quarters and sauntered down the hall. As she made her way to the front doors she passed by the royal court mage, Lily. She offered the other girl a polite smile before running off, her diligent maid chasing after her.]]]
[center [size14 [Quicksand Luciana made no haste in getting to the Bazaar just in time to see the local baker open up his shop. The woman sighed as she stared at him from afar, totally ignoring the looks of adoration she was receiving from other males around her. While Luci had no troubles in getting the attention of men, there was really only one she sought after...and unfortunately, he preferred....a separate gender. [#BA55D3 [b "Ah Rachel, why must fate be so cruel?"]] She asked, laying her chin in the palm of her hand as she continued to stare. Beside her drinking a cup of chamomile tea, her maid shrugged her shoulders. [b "I cannot answer that, Princess."] Luciana let out yet another sigh, dreaming of unattainable loves.]]]
[h3 [center [size10 [+crimson Just Another Normal Day]]]]
[center [size10 [+darkred The Kingdom of Radinata was a peaceful Kingdom. Nothing terrible happened there a lot, except for the previous year, when the Queen had passed away. Everyone in the Kingdom was pretty effected by what had happened. The Queen was a kind Queen. The King, as well, was kind, still is to this day.
Lily was waking up for the morning, usually an early riser. Everything about her had to be perfect, from her hair down to her clothes. Well, not truly perfect. Her personality was a bit stand offish. It was like she tried to be the best at what she did, but only because of her ancestors. For her, being a Royal Mage, meant she had to know what she was doing. It ran in her family. Her grandfather was the Royal Sorcerer to the King a long time ago. Before she had even been born.
Unfortunately, it also meant that she carried a line of special abilities, passed down through her family. Not everyone received this ability in her family. None of her parents or Aunts and Uncles received this ability, just her.
Her attire consisted of a long black dress, with a bit of frill on the bottom of it. A bonnet with a red ribbon over her perfectly groomed, straight black hair. As well as, a pair of boots. It was what she always wore, owning a few black dresses like that.
[+red "Time to start the day,"] she spoke to herself as she grabbed her bag and books. Her staff stayed in the Palace where it would be safely guarded.]]]
[h3 [center [size10 [+crimson Outside Observance]]]]
[center [size10 [+darkred Outside, Lily walked towards the Palace. Of course, everyone here was pretty peaceful, since our small Kingdom was pretty nice to live in. The name itself just embodied what the Kingdom was like. As Lily walked, she stumbled upon the middle of the Kingdom, witnessing a bit of an accident happen.
Of course, it was Maria, she was a bit clumsy. Lily saw the event happen right before her eyes, a smile peeked out from her lips. A smile that no longer lingered on her face, for quite some time. After a few moments, the smile faded as she watched the two mingle a moment.
Holding her bag tight and her books against her chest, she ended up overhearing their conversation. A map of the Kingdom? Lily always carried extra of those, since she had a bit of help designing them. Yes, she was a wiz with a pen and paper. Most of her books were written by her, notes mainly.
After Maria had left the scene, Lily walked towards the new boy in the Kingdom and handed him a map, quietly.
[+red "Here you go,"] she said to him in a non-enthusiastic tone. It wasn't really her style to show emotions, not after everything she had witnessed in her life. But, that's a story for another time.
Having given him a map of their Kingdom, she went towards the Palace in a brisk manner, not waiting for the boy to say anything to her. It wasn't as though she was running late, she just wanted to be there at certain times in order to fully hold her position in the Kingdom. Part of her perfectionism. It wasn't that she was trying to be rude, but mannerisms are not her forte. So, off she went to the Palace to begin her day as the Royal Mage.]]]
[center [h3 Relaxing Day]]
[center [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tY3x3JXqAJs]]
[center [b Radinata a beautiful and ravishing kingdom as the name would so imply it was radiant. In such a kingdom was a knight who fought and strove to keep this beauty for those around her. This woman was known as Maria Hardt.]]
[center [pic https://i.pinimg.com/originals/e2/04/8d/e2048d705612f7ab419f69446f5a3922.jpg]]
[center [b There she had laid her spectacles beside the bed as she had her legs sprawled across her bed as she snored away. Her windows wide open as a fresh breeze had gusted right in. Rays of vast sun light had beamed down on the girls pale and petite face as she scrunched her nose in retort. As she squinted her eyes her small mouth had began to stretch wide into a loud and lengthy yawn as she had set up rubbing under her eyes. As she reached over for her spectacles placing them upon her face. As she put her feet down to the wooden floorboard both warm and firm much like the feeling she had lay bare in her chest. As she took a step up with a peppy smile looking out the window.]]
[center [#e74b9b Look out world! Here I come Maria Hardt here to have another stupendous day! Or eat jam sandwiches trying!!]]
[center Making even less sense than usual huh Maria?]
[center [b A neighbor had responded as she blushed a bit in embarrassment at the motherly woman. For as upbeat on how she looked at life she was rather timid and meek she was afraid to talking to others. She had admitted she was even particularly bad at talking to boys. Very unbecoming of a knight wasn't it? She was even a bit of a klutz it was easy to look at her and wonder how she ever became a knight, bodyguard to lord Killian.]]
[center [b She had plopped down falling to the floor as she let her tiny hands ball up into rather fierce fist. As she caught herself letting her knuckles slam hard into the wood as she began to push herself up. As she began her morning routine she was a bit of a klutz but she was unrivaled in raw physical brute force. As her morning routines went by she had went through her wooden wardrobe as her eyes glint with glee. She had perused a bit as she found a pink overcoat and a scarf to go with it was getting a bit chilly as of late right? Than she had carefully picked the rest of her outfit.]]
[center [pic https://i.ytimg.com/vi/0dEWyNbxMa4/maxresdefault.jpg]]
[center [#e74b9b There we go! Nothing too fancy but at least I don't look like a doofus!]]
[center [b Contrary to her words she had then given a rather ridiculous salute to the nearest wall. As she tried to hold a straight face as she gave a long breath slouching her shoulders with a shrug. For a knight she wasn't very becoming in terms of grace or behavior it was something she worked on sure but she found a way to upset many nobles. Despite always trying her best to appear as proper as possible though it never seemed to bother Killian those two always got along. He was just about her only friend after all if it was very proper to call the prince you're "friend"]]
[center [b With that Maria had set out to the barracks she was sure she had a bit of time left. It was a shame to put that much effort when she'd be changing into her armor as soon as she got there right? She remembered being a squire and forgetting to comb her hair or wearing the same clothes two days in a row. She was so focused on her training she thought to be kind and to be strong was all it took to be a knight. A few captains and other higher ups would comment on how she was a symbol to the people. To show grace beauty and power but she couldn't help but skip along the street as she hummed a tune anyhow. It seemed pointless really were it up to her she'd keep her armor on all the time. She felt safe in it maybe it was because it was a sort of barrier? A social barrier between her and others? It did give an air of distance it was heavy sure but it was snug and she felt safe in it. It was a show that despite her clumsy appearance she worked hard to become as strong as she was. She was set on helping Killian live long enough to become king he would be a kind and just king even if he had a lot left to learn. Would it bore him? Would he enjoy that job? If he could have had a fun and normal life would he have taken it? She sometimes wished he hadn't had to become an Ark Rider that he wasn't expected to fight and lead it was such a dangerous job and draining to add. Did he really have time for friends? For a personal life? At least he did have a family who loved him very much and Maria was his friend sure but was he content with that? Truly content?]]
[center [#e74b9b Gah Maria stop being such a soggy waffle and start acting like a fluffy pancake that gets things done!]]
[center [b She clenched her fist together with a fire of determination in her eyes as a few people nearby eyed her with a confused look. As she looked side to side her face exploding into a crimson red as she rubbed the back of her head with a nervous smile. "Whoopsy" for someone who was terrified of talking to others she far too excitable. Learning the mannerism of chivalry was a hard task for her indeed. Ironic considering the name of her Ark element right? Maybe the other knights thought so too that or it made her that much easier to laugh at. "Gotta wonder how a klutz like that is by Killian's side" which responded with of course "you hear? Killian keeps her by his side in order to warm his bed at night"]]
[center [b "Yikes Maria not a pleasant memory to stumble on" she thought to herself again don't be a "soggy waffle". As she had set her way to the barracks passing by the front gates as she began to sprint with newfound passion. Today was going to be a bad ass day no matter what! With that the clumsy girl had stumbled into a young male a rather fanciful white coat and a blade that matched. As she plowed right into the boy knocking him over she packed a lot more of a punch than her size would let on. As she gasped placing her hands over her mouth as she leaned over offering him a hand.]]
[center [#e74b9b I-I'm so sorry! I-I should have looked where I'm going jeez I'm such a klutz. I-If you're coming through the gate and you're new here don't hesitate to a-ask us for directions. Oh duh I'm sorry by us I mean the Royal Knight's our Barracks are over here let me give you a map of this area.]]
[center [b She had went to go reach for her back pocket as she noticed it was empty. Really? It was a knight's job to prepare this sort of things for newcomers and civilians alike it took more than being able to swing a massive hunk of iron. At least that's what her captain always drilled into her mind during training apparently it didn't drill hard enough! She let out a sigh because if she didn't head out soon she was going to be late.]]
[center [#e74b9b I-I'm sorry, I guess I'm forgetful too huh? I'm actually about to head on in for my shift. I have some arrangements for today but if you follow me I can take you to the barracks and perhaps another knight can help you get around a bit? It's the least I could do after knocking you over. I-If you've got other plans though than that's all right to I understand.]]
[center [b Her voice trembled a bit as she looked away he looked around her age for sure. Talking to people wasn't exactly easy but to boys her age? Oh yeah that made it easier pfft sure it shouldn't matter to her it wasn't like she had time for that kinda stuff. Sure he was kinda cute but she loved being a knight more than anything else. Didn't mean talking to guys like him was easy perhaps that's why she didn't have many friends growing up. She was a bit of a dork but she was proud of it! Even till this day she was as a matter of fact! Least she had hoped she was anyhow. Maria had turned around and began to make her way to the barracks if she didn't stop for anymore distractions she should be fine and make it on time. Hopefully Killian wasn't up early waiting for her she hated to keep him waiting.]]
[h3 In a far off land...]
...known as the wastelands, in the depths of the Earth, a brown haired boy stands up top a stone alter. The alter resides in a large room that can hardly be seen due to the endless darkness that fills the room. The boy stands there beaten and battered, his clothes in tatters and are beginning to be stained by his own blood. Drops of blood run down his face like crimson tears as the coldness of the room brushes against his skin. His sky blue eyes look down upon a sword that impales the surface of the alter he stands on. The azure blade glistens and glows, piercing the darkness with its radiant form.
The boy pants weakly as the room suddenly trembles violently. The sounds of explosions can be heard off in the far off distance. Bits of earth and rock fall from the ceiling as the vibrations of the room travel throughout the boys body. The boy looks up in front of him to see that the wall behind the sword is actually a large stone obelisk. The obelisk is in the shape of the top half of armor and the eyes of the armors helm pier down at the sword. The boy could faintly see two large stone hands hovering by the sides of the alter.
"That little rat is just on the other side of these doors! Bust it down so we can finish off the trash, and claim the Emperor's treasure!" A man shouts from the other side of the stone doors that enclose the boy inside the room he stands in.
The boy places his right hand over the crest on his left shoulder plate. The crest is stained in blood, but yet its azure color remains true. He clenches the shoulder plate and grits his teeth. [b "We are to close to die here. We were only one step away from achieving everything we worked for,"] The boy says as his vision becomes a bit blurry as he reaches his right hand out toward the hilt of the sword before him. [b "I won't let it end here. I won't let them simply be erased,"] He says in a determined tone as he grips the hilt with his right hand. [b "I will get out of here, and I will finish what we started!"]
The boy grips the hilt of the sword with both of his hands, and squeezes the hilt tightly within his grasp. [b "I will carry them the rest of the way by bearing 'their' name!"] The boy shouts out as the sword begins to glow. He grits his teeth in pain as blue pathways of energy travel up along his skin. The pain he feels surges throughout his body as his eyes glow blue. The sword glows brighter and brighter as the boy shouts in agonizing pain.
A glowing light consumes the entirety of the room and at the core of this glowing light is a voice that says one simple statement.
[i Host Acknowledge.]
[h3 One Year later...]
... an elderly fifty five year old man walks along a brick path. His white mane flows with the gentle breeze that brushes by. Surrounding him is a sea of flowers as he limps along with a cane in his right hand. His right leg has three metal rings wrapped around it as he almost drags his leg along with each step. The man stands tall and holds a strong stance despite his weak frail looking form. The man finds a stone bench and sits on the seat as he looks out at the flowers before him. He strokes his beard with his left hand as he goes deep into thought.
[b "It's another peaceful day Lunarus,"] The man says in a content tone as he rests both of his hands on the top of his wooden cane.
"Your majesty, King Darnus!" A boy calls out.
Darnus looks into the direction of the young boy and strokes his beard with his left hand. He quirks a brow as his deep sea blue eyes fall upon the boy.
"The Young Master and Mistresses are wondering where you went," The boy says as he pants.
Darnus sighs and replies, [b "Well keep it a secret from them my young lad. My children can be worrywarts simply because I am old."]
"But sir," The boy is interrupted as King Darnus pats his head.
[b "Off you go boy. I would like to have a little more time with my wife,"] King Darnus says with a gentle, but sad smile.
The boy simply nods as he seems to show a bit of sadness as well. The boy runs off as he leaves the King in the Royal Garden.
King Darnus chuckles as he watches the boy run off. He looks up at the sky and says, [b "Our children have become quite nosy. Ever since you passed a year ago, they have been treating me like a fragile old man."] Darnus smiles and closes his eyes, [b "The castle has become to quiet without you here, my dear Queen Lunarus."]
... a young man that goes by the name of Azure has just entered the lively Kingdom of Radinata. The young man wears a blue trench coat and a white overcoat with matching pants and undershirt. On his left shoulder he dawns a prominent winged crest. On his back is mounted a sword shaped object that is wrapped entirely in bandages except for its hilt.
Azure quirks a brow as he stares at the scenery before him. He is at a plaza known as the Bazaar, where most of the public traffic of Radinata travels through for most of the day. The plaza is encircled by impressive stone structures and at the center of the plaza is a large beautiful decorated fountain. A lot of people walk around the bazaar, visiting the stalls and walking into the shops that encompass the lively place.
[i 'This place sure is peaceful,'] Azure thinks to himself as he looks around. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out two golden Gil coins. [b "Time to find a place to get a drink,"] Azure says to himself as he walks off to find a tavern or somewhere that had alcohol.
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