An Honor to Be (the Fourth Musketeer) !


    Lacey Botticelli

    Regular VIP Status- Quality Badge Level 1- Quality Badge Level 2- Quality Badge Level 3- Rising Star- Player -
    Lineage : Viktor's Descent
    Position : None
    Posts : 558
    Guild : Guildless
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    Experience : 8575

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Kiah Lake
    Second Magic:
    Third Magic:

    An Honor to Be (the Fourth Musketeer) !

    Post by Lacey Botticelli on 6th April 2017, 2:51 pm

    Job Title: The Fourth Musketeer

    Rank: C

    Player Requirements: C-Ranked Wizard(s) or Two D-Ranked Wizards.

    Job Requirements: Thread must be 30 posts long. 250 Words per post. Must Defeat at Least Three Groups of Enemies and the Boss. After defeating three groups of enemies "STEALTH" becomes optional, and you may keep rolling; and avoiding the enemies that appear by hiding and using espionage within Townsend Mansion until the Boss appears.

    Job Location: Earthland (Minstrel), LeBuque Town

    Job Description: 'Musketeers' that's what wizards are called in Minstrel. Charged with keeping the peace in the entire nation, the Musketeers are an ancient organization that accept only wizards into their Ranks. Unlike Fiore; they do not have an organization charged with keeping their Musketeers in check; rather, the Musketeers, protect the civilians of Minstrel and are the official lawkeepers of the nation.

    However, there is trouble afoot in the elegant town of Lebuque. It seems; some Dark Wizards from Fiore have managed to break into the house of one of the most famous nobles in all of Minstrel. Sir Townsend. They have taken him, and his entire family hostage; and have laid demands of 1 million jewels down or it will mean their death.

    The Musketeers are all to familiar with Dark Wizards, but felt it was best to contact the Guilds of Fiore for help against their own natives.

    Your mission is simple; infiltrate the Mansion and free the Townsend family from the grasp of the Dark Wizards from Fiore.

    The Musketeers have assigned three of their very finest Musketeers to make sure it goes smoothly.

    Their names are Atha, Atma, and Portha. Blonde, Red-Head, and Brunette; respectively. These girls are REAL lookers; but don't let that fool you. All of them are extremely skilled wizards, fem fatales; and use both Gun Magic and Sword Magic at levels that far exceed this Jobs requirements.

    However, they are personal friends of Sir Townsend and his family; and will stop at nothing to help you free him.

    Meet up with the Three Musketeers at the location that the Musketeers organization has told you they'll be waiting for you.


    Weak: Wind-Make Wizard x2 - Goes down in one hit of C-Ranked damage, or two hits of D-Ranked damage. Will target Lightning, Water, and Projectile Users first.  

    Normal: Earth-Make Wizard x2 - Goes down in two hits of C-Ranked damage, or four hits of D-Ranked damage. Will target Water and Wind type opponents first.

    Strong: Summoner Wizard x2 - Goes down in four hits of C-Ranked damage. Or eight hits of D-Ranked damage. Will target Darkness or Light type opponents first.  

    Boss: Teleportation Wizard - Goes down in 10 hits of C-Ranked damage. Or twenty hits of D-Ranked damage. Will avoid anything less than a C-Ranked attack with an instant teleport without even trying. Will teleport behind you and attempt to use melee (hands and feet) strikes in combination with his teleportaton magics. Also may grab an item and warp it above your head to fall on you; or other tricky surprises.

    Reward: A Green "Musketeer" outfit to wear when you're in Minstrel, showing that you are always welcome in Minstrel and are considered an official wizard there, just like you are in Fiore. 15k Jewels. Equivalent EXP of THREE Jobs of C Rank. May only complete this Job once.

    I'm doing this by word count, so I rolled for enemies in this post specifically for this job.  I rolled a lot because I expected to get a boss later on in them and have to use espionage, so I will do it like this.  I will fight two normal enemies and one strong one (in the order I rolled these guys), then the boss (just like the mission requires, 3 + boss).

    Even though she had braved the burning sun and its accompanying heat for the little orange book she now held in her hands, Leahndr Aspont would admit that she had not expected to ever feel inclined to user her passport.  Rather, it had only been another free thing (and oh boy did the girl like to hoard any kind of stuff that came without a definite price).  Now however, as her fingers traced and pressed against the embossed stamp on the thick rectangle of paper that made up the cover, the redhead waited in line at the border of Fiore.  She could barely remember her original arrival to the country anymore.  Her sparse memories did establish that it had been by ship from the country of Bosco; the mage concluded that having been basically smuggled into the country, of course no identification had been necessary for that trip.  Certainly it had been a much more expedient method of entry despite the possible ramifications involved in illegal travel.  Just then, Leah huffed out a slight puff of annoyance upon noticing that this line had in fact moved barely a meter and forty centimeters since she had arrived at the checkpoint.  The girl checked her watch with eyes that already watered from numerous stifled yawns.  Two hours it had nearly been.  To be fair, the mage was confident that it would take many more jewels to bribe a greedy Boscon (Bosco-con) than what she would be paying altogether to the officials who monitored the borders.  After all, she had made no arrangements for the journey and was planning to go on foot by herself to visit the place where her grandmother had grown up, in Joya.  At the same time though, the smugglers and slave-selling people who made up the majority of Boscon ships were probably eager enough to participate in illegal activities, so long as they drew any kind of profit from such.  Perhaps she ought to have gone straightaway to one of them, in the end…

    A loud ruckus suddenly wiped all thoughts of what-ifs from her mind.  Barging in with a slam of the door against the wall (did these people not have doorstops?) that the redhead swore shook plaster off of the ceiling, a sharply dressed young man with eyes of periwinkle ice (she thought they were striking but in a cold sort of way) strode into the room.  Crumpled in his hand was a scroll that he presumably wanted to carry to Fiore; after all, they were technically in Minstrel already and only on the country’s general border, but she had not yet been allowed formal entry into the country simply for the sake of passing through.  Since the would-be courier came from the door that Leah supposed she would exit out of, the redhead felt a slight irrational twinge of envy.  He certainly didn’t seem to be in a very chipper mood, judging by the line of his mouth and the way his fingernails dug into the palms of his hands.  Maybe it was all just her imagination, but he honestly did seem stresse-

    Loud shouting for silence broke through her concentration.  It was just fabulous, after all, when people created clamor as an attempted means of ridding a situation of it.  Immediately turning her attention to a uniformed woman who was waving her hands around like a pinwheel, Leah wondered exactly what kind of situation was going on.  Of course, she found out soon enough after the crowd quieted down and stopped asking what was up and taking place.  “Dark mages from Fiore appear to have broken into the home of one of our most distinguished council members of Minstrel,” she said with a very nasally voice that grinded on the girl’s ears.  Wisely, the redhead kept her mouth shut; by now the room was silent enough that snarky comments would be noted and definitely not help her case.  “Minstrel’s law enforcement would like to rescue the family and eliminate the criminals as soon as possible, but the government acknowledges that it might be proper for Fiore to participate.  After all, the evil dooers do originate from your province,” the brunette said with a hint of undisguised scorn in her voice.  Well, Leah did rather understand.  If she had gone and robbed a bank in Bosco, it would have reflected badly on Fiore, if they had realized where she was from.  Although on second thought, she hadn’t even been to the country at that point and was fresh off the boat from Joya… all of that was hypothetical, of course.  She wasn’t that greedy (really more so in all honesty).  “Since this is a sensitive situation that we would prefer not to get out to the whole community of Fiore and the rest of the world, for your sake as well as ours, are there any mages in this audience who wouldn’t mind lending some assistance on behalf of your country?  Three of our Musketeers are quite willing to accompany you if one person steps up to lead the rescue mission,” she finished with a stern glance around the room.  It was as if she expected nobody to speak up, and Leah had just assumed the same when an elderly woman from beside her elbowed the redhead sharply in the ribs.

    “Hn!” she coughed inadvertently, and the stranger glared at the mage with baleful eyes.

    “Yer a mage, an’ I know it ye sly l’il gixie,” the wizened old woman said, “An’ if ye don’t wants to volunteer then I be given ye up, fer the sake of Fiore if nuttin’ else.  Go on now,” the crone said as she tugged Leah to the side and out of line before shoving her towards the front of the room.  The official had seemingly noticed the girl (forsake her red hair, for sure!) because her expression became even more incredulous.  Perhaps she was thinking something along the lines of we would be better without even this puny mage, but apparently the musings had turned to more of but at least she can be a good distraction and cannon fodder while our Musketeers do the work.  The severe doubt morphed into a sickly sweet smile as the woman hurried forward to wrap an arm around the girl’s narrow shoulders.

    “Dear me, I guess we have found a mage after all!  Thank you sweetie, and your country thanks you,” she took the liberty of adding generously.  With a frosty glance at the old lady and as the remembrance of how she would in fact have swallowed all her patriotic pride and just stayed in the line flowed through her mind, Leah sent an equally sugary beam back at the woman from Minstrel.

    “Of course, no problem m’am,” she murmured smoothly.  “It is my… utmost pleasure.”

    On the upside, she did get to skip the entire line of border security, although presenting her passport was still necessary to enter Minstrel.  Once the girl had been ushered through all government systems with great expediency compared to the hundred and forty centimeters she had managed to inch forwards over the past couple hours, a ticket was shoved into her hand by the brunette with no formality.  After brief instructions on how to get to the ‘meeting place’ were given, the woman disappeared easily into a room, leaving Leah alone and still clueless for the most part.  Her eyes blinking in puzzlement, the girl decided to just go ahead and start walking.  That kind of action had never failed her in the past (or at least, she was going to utilize her extremely good selective memory right now and say it hadn’t).  Thankfully, it was easy for one to simply walk out of the customs and border control area once through the checks.  Only a few minutes after the official had left, the redhead was already blocks away.

    She had now been walking for seven blocks and still had absolutely no clue what her final destination even was.  Simple instructions, her… ah, better not think about words like that.  Swearing was frowned upon here in Minstrel, wasn’t it?  Or at least, using vulgar language could reflect badly on Fiore; despite the fact that Leah wasn’t exactly a model citizen or gung-ho about her country, she wasn’t one to put the reputation of the place in jeopardy by fault of her own.  Returning her focus to the problem at hand, also known as the fact that she was miserably lost and in accordance with running on one and a half hours of sleep, probably looked wretched, Leah sat down on the nearest curb.  To be honest, she was surprised there even were curbs around here, since it really only seemed to be a small town with dirt roads at the edge of Minstrel.  Her assumption was that it would be necessary to take a bus or something to the center of the country, or at least close to it.  After all, the purpose of this job (could it really be classified as a job? Probably, because she was wasting her vacation time on it) was to rescue some rich upper class man from her country’s dark mages.  Wonderful, wasn’t it-


    The realization came to Leah in a very blunt and painful (ly obvious) sort of way, and her reaction was so strong that the girl thought she might fall over backwards on the spot (really, almost as if she had been stabbed by an unsharpened needle for a shot or gutted with a dagger).  The train station!  Of course, the woman had given her a ticket for the train; it was probably back near the place where she had originally emerged from that area for the further inspection and interrogation of foreigners.  With a mental smack of her palm against her forehead, the redhead set off at as fast of a pace as she could manage without her feet completely flying off the ground in a sprint.  It wouldn’t do to waste energy, after all, would it- oh, impulsiveness would be the death of her someday for sure.  But Leah ran all the way back to the border control center only to discover that as she had hoped, there was a train station there.  Furthermore, it went straight to the capitol of Minstrel, which was where she was supposed to meet with her fellow mages who would create the rescue team with her.  Of course, this was all only from recollection, and the mage did not particularly have an excellent memory, as shown by her several experiences of being lost while on missions.  Nonetheless, she was now in high spirits due to the realization of her mistake; the redhead felt well encouraged to travel to the capitol if there was the slightest chance that it was the correct destination.  The train ended up being a rather modern affair if one was being honest; the outside was equally polished pristine to the point that the cars seemed brand new and never having been used before.  Likely, this was on account of the fact that it would be the type of transportation either most tourists used or most people passing through Minstrel would see.  No country liked to be seen as poor, for the simple reason of pride in one’s country land.

    Smiling at the idea of her having displayed loyalty to Fiore by taking this job (wasn’t that the truth?  But yet so far from it) the redhead strode over to the platform and handed the voucher for safe passage to the conductor, who eyed it dubiously.  Fortunately, a brief examination showed that indeed, the mage was good to go.  And so she did; the ride was smooth enough, despite the hasty stops and starts at various stations that jerked her head all around and would probably result in whiplash if one rode the train more than once a month or the like.  Nonetheless, she did arrive safely at the capitol.  From there, the only question was where exactly the true Musketeers had dictated they should meet up.  Although she had experienced a recollection of the information given to her by the official at the border control station, it had not extended to the location of the right place.  In the end, Leah decided that it would be a good enough idea to just stand in front of the main law court building.  Probably, she looked like a good for nothing loiterer to most of the citizens of Minstrel, and once or twice a policeman came over and asked her what on earth was she doing?  But the voucher from the woman fixed all of that, since it said he was a mage from Fiore sent to assist in a special mission.  Most of the country seemed to have heard of the fiasco already, as she saw it on newspapers thrown in the trash: Sir Townsend Held for Ransom, etc.  At the same time, they didn’t seem to particularly be able to connect the fact that this mission she was on and that incident were related.  In the end, the green eyed girl decided that it was likely on account of the fact that it hadn’t been specifically mentioned to the general population that the dark mages had been from Fiore.  That little tidbit had been kept for the sake of the country’s reputation and because the two nations did have a fairly good relationship and were hardly meaning to make trouble for the other.

    Eventually, Leah realized that it wasn’t exactly the best idea to just pace around at the top of the capitol hall’s steps the entire day.  She had gone to a nearby side street in order to purchase some kind of food, because her items had all be confiscated at the very beginning of her journey through customs; something about the illegal nature of them.  Well, to be completely honest, the redhead wasn’t sure how they could have known that.  After all, she might have stolen the apples and bread and maybe ninety percent of the other items, but all the proper owners’ name were removed long before she even ventured into Minstrel.  Besides, the girl hadn’t even gotten in trouble for it.  Perhaps the officials were just overly worried about fresh fruit and foreign food and all the diseases that dead animal pelts (which had been quite the catch for her, since people seemed to pay well for fur coats) could bring into their glorious country of Minstrel.  Oh well.  The female was fairly over that by now, since she was confident that this job would be able to earn her back the jewels she would need to replace all of that, along with a bit of profit.  The very idea encouraged her to stop pacing and stand proudly in front of the door, occasionally getting bumped into by people exiting who were unaware of her presence.  As her feet tapped impatiently on the cement platform at the top of the steps, she kept an eye out for the three women who were supposedly going to help her rescue that nobleman.  Leah did know his name, it really just slipped her mind-

    “Hello there!”  A jubilant voice sounded from right in front of her, and she realized that in her wonderings and review of the day’s activities so far, it her eyes had shifted from up to the possibly rather blue, but sorely overcast sky.  Immediately flicking them back downwards, she met eye to eye with a woman of about her own height, except much more mature in appearance.  With her blonde hair swishing slightly in a high ponytail which began somewhere under a sailor-esque cap, the stranger extended a hand towards the mage.  “I said, hello there!  Pleased to meet your acquaintance, my name is Athma.  I’m sure you were expecting us hours ago, but unfortunately we were given faulty instructions to meet with you at the park center just a few blocks away.  I apologize for any inconvenience; my superiors are not always the best with locations!  But really, one would have expected them to get it right in the capitol city!” she joked, and Leah let her face break into a humorous smile.

    “It’s quite all right,” she reassured the woman, who seemed to be a sword wielder as a rapier hung down from her belt and slightly shook as the two walked side by side down the street.  As they did so, the blonde inquired politely as to whether Leah was really from Fiore, and where exactly did she live, and what guild was she from?  At the same time, the redhead was chiming in with questions about Minstrel and the best places to go shopping and how the sword magic worked.  Being a ReQuip mage herself but utilizing a type of dagger and knife magic that typically had a great many different weapons in her arsenal and combined them all in spinny, slicing attacks, Leah was curious about such things.  Just as she was about to ask if there were guilds in Minstrel, a yell from across the street, where the entrance to the park was, captured her attention.

    “Hey!  It’s Atha!  And she did find the foreign girl after all!  Ha, you owe me 20K now, Atma,” a brunette with a hooked nose said as she waved her hands for attention in a pinwheeling way.  The redhead beside her protested and mumbled something about how Portha always played unfair, but to no avail as the woman already seemed convinced of her victory.

    The group soon found that they had a lot in common, with all the females being interested in weaponry but especially swords and blades.  Portha, who ended up being a redhead but with a more statuesque figure than Leah herself, was a gunslinger and therefore couldn’t relate to the other Musketeers as well.  Nonetheless, she did have a bayonet and was well acquainted with stabbing her enemies, so they all truly got along very well and furthermore would understand the limitations of each other’s’ magic.  The only thing left to do after introductions was to actually begin making the journey to LeBuque Town, which was apparently the resident city of Sir Townsend (the girls were great friends of him and therefore were participating in this mission because of how important it was in their personal opinions and to their desires).  Leah acknowledged that she would have to work hard to live up to their standards, and being that they knew she was from Fiore the redhead realized that she would have had to anyways.  Although there was certainly no great bias against the country, the trio of Musketeers seemed dubious about their law system, especially considering that there were even formal dark organizations that passed under the radar right in the government and with the Wizard Saints themselves!  (See Exhibit A- Black Rose, for more details.)  Either way, they were sure that Golden Phoenix was a treasure hunters’ place and seemed to expect a lot of adventurous actions from Leah, which the girl felt at least a slight bit awkward with.  After all, it wasn’t so much that she loved hunting for the shiny things, but instead the mage just loved treasure itself as well as jewels.  Oh well, it wasn’t as though the emerald eyed girl was particularly lazy.  She just wasn’t a fan of unnecessary danger.

    Finally they did arrive in LeBuque town and were directed to the local headquarters of the law enforcement, which was of course comprised of Musketeers.  The friendly men and women advised the females to first set out and attack the mansion at night, when they would hopefully meet very little resistance.  After defeating enough enemies that there would be robe enough for each of them (since the guards seemed to wear robes that indicated what kind of mage they were) the rescue team would be able to continue without much more delay.  Using this kind of espionage, they would be able to reach the very heart of the mansion and enter the library where Sir Townsend, his family, and some of the higher ranked staff were currently being held captive.  It seemed to be a sound plan, and Leah was ready to get started right away even as the sun was just beginning to set.  Fortunately for her, the foreign officials did agree that this was a matter of utmost importance, as the noble held several government secrets and had a great many hidden files located in his home.  Should the dark mages occupy the residence for too long, they might be able to discover the presence of the secret banks of information and use it against the country of Minstrel or just generally against anyone from the populace of Earthland who had been mentioned.

    Off they went, with extraordinary expressions that showed their determination.  For Leah, it was a bit of a new thing to see herself as a hero going off on a long journey, as well as the concept of being welcomed on return.  Although her guild had showed her nothing but generosity and kindness so far, she barely knew any other people in the organization.  They hardly welcomed her home from missions and, although the girl wasn’t sure who cleaned the rooms (but she did her own, so it was hardly a factor anyways of showing whether she had occupied it recently) she dared say that they might possibly have not even realized that she was gone in the first place.  Surely that was just being negative, since the guild master and aces and bar master probably realized what jobs were posted up and when their members left abruptly to take personal time or the like, but nonetheless she somehow felt completely unnoticed.  It was not exactly a bad thing in her opinion, because she liked her own personal time, but the redhead did find that people tended to think that she was simply lonely.  That was admittedly her own fault, since Leah did try to be as friendly as possible and put on airs that she did indeed want friends.  In reality they were often a nuisance socially but she loved allies to watch her back and perhaps even take care of and be cautious for the sake of some.  It was just the ‘I want someone important to me’ kind of vibe, the redhead supposed.  Either way, just about now they were arriving at the mansion of Sir Townsend, and oh boy was it a mansion.  Obviously the people who had requested the help of a mage from Fiore were not lying, but she did realize that they had probably meant to emphasize the wealth of the client (or perhaps not client, as it would be the government officials and Musketeers who she would get her payment and any gratitude from) for the sake of the idea of bonuses and gifts of thanks.  Speaking of such, Leah never really had gotten a chance to ask exactly how much she was going to be paid.  Of course she had assumed earlier that it would be enough to pay off the food that she lost from the customs officials who had seen fit to take all of her food.  That was just a normal thing to think, because an *ahem* glorious nation like Minstrel would hardly be cheap in excess to visitors.  No matter whether they were diplomats or just plain workers or rich vacationers or poor nomads and travelers just passing through.

    Oh dear, and now the emerald eyed girl was realizing that she had the Musketeers had already entered the mansion.  At some point, one of them had managed to open a secret passage or the like, for it seemed that the group was travelling through (under?  Under.) the floors.  There were the echoes of footsteps, probably as mages hired by the conspirator dark mages guarded the home.  Now, all the group had to do was find a group with robes that either fit them or just plain were able to suit their needs.  The acolytes would probably be the best, since then there would be no question of being caught wandering around unknowing of the layout (for Leah, since Athma and her group would be absolutely fine due to their intimate relationship with the Townsend Family).  Furthermore, if they could get ahold of one of the dark mage leaders, it would be even better.  With a smile, the redhead gestured up at the roof just as they heard the clatter of boots against the ceiling (well, it was really the floor for everyone else) a few meters ahead of them.  “Let’s go,” she mouthed as silently as she could.  The mage was glad for the bare bit of light from the odd moss on the walls, which illuminated these tunnels with a ghastly sort of slightly blue tinted glow.  Hopefully on account of it, everyone would be able to read her lips.

    Then she summoned her Mercenary’s Daggers and reaching up to the low ceiling of the tunnels, stabbed cleanly through the roof.  Acting quickly before the mages could react to the blade that had been thrust upward and was now sticking out of the floor, she carved out a square above and motioned the Musketeers to get out of the way.  The messy chunk of tiling and plaster fell to the ground of the tunnels to let out a cough-inducing cloud of dust, but Leah was already reaching up to grab for the edge of the opening.  Thankfully, she and the other females were tall enough (and the passage seemed to basically be made for children or dwarves anyways) that they could do something like a reverse pull-up to get into the formal confines of the mansion.  And so they did.  Hoisting themselves up one by one, the girls found themselves surrounded by four wizards dressed in bright green robes.  Plant magic, perhaps?  The redhead did wonder, but she realized that they could possibly just use the robes for the following remainder of the mission in order to pass mostly undetected through the house.  Without turning to face her comrades, the girl made them privy to of her plan with a simple, “Try not to get blood stains on any of them.  We can use their… vestements… later.”  This time glancing briefly at the three young women, Leah was met with firm nods and the readying of swords and guns, in Portha’s case.  Gunshot wounds were notoriously clean but at the same time, they tended to leave either bullet holes or splotches of red from emerging from the other side of their target.  Hopefully, neither would be a result of the fight here being won.

    It began rather abruptly, but simultaneously from all sides as the mages raised their staffs (it was an odd thing, and a type of spell casting that Leah was unfamiliar with in the general sense that people rarely made their holder items as staffs in her experience and instead aimed for something more personal) and pointed the gnarled wooden sticks at the four females.  The emerald eyed girl resisted the urge to grin, as for some reason the atmosphere in the hallway felt like they were all pointing at her.  Her self-preservation instinct, which was always right on point, screamed for the girl to get moving already, but she stood stock still and refused to cave into her paranoid mind.  And then they all struck, one at each girl.  Obviously, the group either possessed some sort of telepathy or were simply highly trained to operate in combat as single unit.  It made things that much more interesting, which was an odd outlook for the female.  Typically, she just wanted to get battles over with as soon as possible; although, thinking on the situation more, Leah was more than ready to admit that all she wanted right now was for Sir Townsend to be safe and for the promised reward to be in her hands, just as safe as the noble’s life.

    The girl realized that unconsciously, the three Musketeers and herself had formed a tightly knit circle, back to back.  Slowly but contemplatively, the group was rotating around and sizing up the opponents.  It seemed as though the staffs were wavering in the air and trying to find the exactly mark right between each of their eyes, but with the continuous re-aiming that had to be done on account of the slight differences in each woman’s height, Leah could see that their concentration was beginning to fray.  Soon, they would make their move.  And just as she saw the fingers of the two mages who were somewhat in front of her tighten on the twisted wood stick they held as an overgrown magic wand, she let out a quiet hiss to remind the other girls that yes.  She was going in.  And then all at once, moving in almost blurs, the weapons users lunged for their respective targets.  Leah went for a very conventional approach and with her two daggers, lashed out in a series of quick attacks that each did miniscule damage.  Together, however, the added up to hurt the target more than a single heavier strike with each dagger would do.  Oh, how she remembered being a mercenary and acquiring these blades!  It had been a tough time, what with being pressed for any sort of money.  Now, the redhead reflected, she was a mage belonging to a legal guild, and she had free food and lodging.  There was no need to resort to underhanded tactics, but they admittedly did tend to make battles move along much more quickly, so the emerald eyed mage went ahead and aimed straight for the wizard’s solar plexus with two jabbed fingers, smoothly transferring the blade formerly in her right hand to her left.  Although it would barely wind him and not even manage to stun the guy, the point was not to kill him (who knew what the mages from Minstrel thought about things like that or whether it was acceptable to execute the bad guys here) or stain the clothes with any kind of blood.  When the man crumpled slightly and opened his mouth in a vain attempt to suck in some kind of oxygen, Leah hit him against the side of the temple with the pommel of her sword and watched as the dark wizard slumped to the ground.

    Just a quick glance around her told the girl that her fellow female mages had fared just as well with defeating their enemies, although Portha was still finishing up as the girl glanced over at the brunette.  It was probably on account of the fact that she had chosen to use some kind of phase-blade that seemed to pass through any armor or clothing (very nice, and apt for slicing through flesh bloodlessly).  The gunslinger had briefly explained on the way here that she did use a variety of virtual type advanced weapons that utilized the mechanics of technology combined with a special magic.  Instead of normal cutting, the weapons tied off veins and arteries as they passed through tissues, basically severing things the same as with an ordinary sword except with the added benefit of being unable to have her attacks blocked or parried.  In addition, it was clearly great for preserving clothes, as when Portha finally decapitated the mage with a clean swoop of the slightly transparent green, phantasmal sword, the cloak appeared to be in perfect condition.  Or perhaps not perfect, but the same as it had been at the beginning of the fight (minus the amounts of sweat the dark wizard had probably broken trying to defend against the brunette’s merciless attacks).  After conferring for a moment and comparing notes, the rescue team found that they had all experienced varying kinds of attacks that involved either wood, energy blasts, or stone.  Coupled with the fact that the robes were green, it was safe to assume that their adversaries had been earth mages, and the girls continued onwards now cloaked in the ivy colored fabric and armed with the knowledge that they ought to shout some kind of earth related spell if they needed to keep up the disguise.  

    So onwards Leah continued with the three Musketeers, and they seemed to encounter no further resistance from the dark wizard they passed in the hallway.  It was a rather large house, and not even Atha, the one on the team who was most familiar with the layout of the place, was not able to be one hundred percent reliable on where they were and where they were headed.  Instead, the blonde warned the other three females that in order to get where they wanted to go, it would basically be process of elimination with educated guesses.  Most likely the library would have an entrance somewhere near the center of the house, since the gigantic affair spanned multiple floors of the mansion and had a separate stairwell inside the library that led to each floor.  The separate levels had different volumes located on each one and were categorized based on some kind of personal reference system that the Townsend family was familiar with; Atma claimed that she had tried to find her favorite novel in there once and had instead gotten hopelessly lost between the shelves.  Half of the fault was simply that she was an absolute bookworm and had felt the compulsive need to go through all of the at least part way interesting titles that her eyes scanned, but the other half was because of the impossible factor when it came to navigating the library.  There would be plenty of opportunities to hide someone in there, as well as perhaps the location of some secret chambers being near the area.  

    Either way, Leah thought it would be a great idea to head there.  The only down side was that to be completely honest, none of the mages had the slightest idea of what way to head besides inward, which was not particularly helpful when it came to knowing one’s way in the halls.  Normally she would have automatically taken the left corridor at any kind of fork, if not for the fact that Atha warned the maze of hallways had been specifically built against anyone trying to cheat requiring a map or an understanding of the layout that way.  And so here they were, still on the ground floor level (or one up, considering that the tunnels had basically had their entrance at the same height as the road).  Wandering around was a pesky sort of business, because it was risky in this situation.  The Musketeers seemed to be hesitant to continue going about completing the mission in this way even though the blonde insisted that it was the only way.  Leah herself was not quite sure.  The only bad thing would be if someone actually stopped them and questioned their business in a certain part of the house, but since they had donned the cloaks nobody had even bothered but to glance and allow their eyes to pass over the four figures.  Admittedly, the skinny redhead had discovered that the patrols, guards, or just walking along wizards seemed to travel in pairs rather than groups of four or more, but since they had encountered the dark mages in the quartet she assumed it was fine.  Everything really was, until they went a little bit too far into an unknown area that Portha warned was typically barred to those not an actual member of the Townsend family household.  Apparently, that had changed, or at least was different for those commandeering the mansion as their base for dark wizard activities (wasn’t that a shock?) as the girls ran into a pair of mages cloaked in gold who stared at the group suspiciously.  One stepped forwards with a swagger and asked in an over the top loud voice what exactly the four puny little minions were doing here, and that it was a classified area.  The other seemed to be more composed in manner but equally curious as to their purpose; he wouldn’t let them return to the patrolling area and instead questioned the group fiercely about how they had gotten into this wing, where they were supposed to be, what their names were, who they answered to, etc.  

    In the end, Portha had whisked off her cloak and cocked a pistol at the colder but more dangerous seeming mage and had blown his brains out against the wall.  This time, since she was actually using bullets (albeit magically created ones), the attack had caused blood to splatter everywhere on the wall behind his head.  Thankfully, it was a silenced pistol, and at the same time that action did help to assuage any doubts previously existing in Leah’s mind about restraining herself from killing in the presence of the three Musketeers.  It was true that they could possibly have only been acting this way due to their own high and personal stake in it, but the redhead got the feeling that this wasn’t the case.  The casual way Portha had acted reassured her heavily, and the emerald eyed mage slid across the room in the shadows and slit the throat of the babbling golden cloaked wizard who was aimlessly threatening Atma and Atha.  It was pure dumb luck that neither of the attacking members of the rescue team had gotten blood splattered on their clothes (well, both had in actual reality, but the droplets were so tiny that it almost seemed as if the robes had remained pristine throughout and even after the brief bout of fighting).  It certainly did help that the encounters could barely even be called battles, because they had lasted not even minutes each.

    And then the mages were walking again, this time continuing deep into the restricted area but now armed with the names of the four green cloaked wizards whose identities they had been assuming for most of this mission.  In order to avoid as much conflict as possible in the rest of this job, Leah had insisted that the four go through the records in a nearby room, the doorway of which the two golden had been standing nearby when they had spotted the Musketeers and the girl from Fiore.  Clearly, her sense of logic was telling her, there was something important enough behind that door that it would possibly help them rescue Sir Townsend and his family and staff.  That being all any of the girls really cared about, they had eventually acquiesced to her desires and pressure and examined the room thoroughly.  An exploration of the cabinets had yielded the names of several dark mages who were under the employment of this band of outlaws and magic wielding criminals.  Among these were the ones the rescue team had knocked out (Atma helpfully was able to match them using her photographic memory in combination with the mug shot style square photos paper clipped to the edge of each bio in the file about earth and plant mages in the group's employ.  Leah remembered the incident that had occurred right after that as well; a third golden robed made had suddenly opened the door as the Musketeers and the emerald eyed girl were scouring the info banks for anything relevant to their job.  Since the door had been opened at a relatively normal speed, all four of the females had been able to hear the click of the door's bolt sliding out from inside the door frame and then the smooth sound of mechanical pieces against each other as the knob turned.  Immediately upon seeing the dead bodies of his two fellow comrades, the wizard's eyes had widened and with a grave voice, he muttered some words.  They turned out to be phrases related to a summoning, for a koala bear appeared and asked in a whiny voice what "Eric" wanted.  That was one other name to file away in the back of their heads for future reference, had been what Leah was thinking as the entire incident was going on.  Fortunately for her, upon seeing that the other redhead had no intention of moving, Atma had struck and cleanly decapitated the man.  Now her robes were streaked with blood on the hen, but it wasn't as bad as it could have been.  After all, the entirety of the enemies' deaths had somehow managed to be pulled off with enough silence that everyone dismissed the idea of foul play or anything amiss going on in the mansion.  Although, after realizing that people and especially other dark mages were able to walk in on the corpses and report them to their superiors (or just alter their decisions based on them) Leah had wisely chosen to hide the bodies under the desk.  If they did rescue Sir Townsend, the group would have to make a note to retrieve them all before the smell really was able to set in.

    Anyways, by now they were traveling along the hallway which was located parallel to one of the walls of the section of the library on the floor they were on.  It was only a thin wall separating them (possibly, that was, if the targets were actually being held captive there) and the redhead was tempted to just straight up try and punch through the plaster.  Unfortunately, she had no access to sound obliterating magic and therefore had to remain stealthy until it was certain or at least vaguely a good possibility that there would be nobody (particularly no great hundreds of dark mages even if low level) backing up the masterminds as the Musketeers and possibly the slim girl battled them.  So the group walked on, keeping their heads down and trying their best to disguise the fact that not a single one of the four actually knew where they were supposed to be (as dark wizards, that was).  It would not matter for long, however, as Atha said she did know the way into the library now that they were this close.  It seemed that the biggest struggle would simply be actually either finding the nobleman inside the spacious study and book browsing space or to come out on top with a battle against the heads of this covert evil operation.

    Then at last they were turning around a corner and the blonde Musketeer shushed the trio trailing her.  As she pointed to the door in front of them, each female readied her weapons once again.  Leah chose her Oriental Armor just for good measure, since it would go well with her High Imperial Daggers that she had already requipped.  Then the team barged in, and chaos ensued- not really.  The library seemed to be almost completely deserted, as not a single soul was in sight and the entire place was dead silent.  Each girl could hear her own breathing so clearly that simultaneously, they all quieted down every inhale and exhale.  It was at that moment that the enemy struck.  First came a punch straight from behind Leah, which absolutely no warning; it was as though the attacker had suddenly teleported in, because she would certainly have expected to feel his presence!  The punch definitely hit, but it bounced off the barrier that the armor had created and damaged the transparent bubble very decently.  There seemed to be another one of the odd stealth attackers busy at work, for the redhead saw her companions dodging from arms that seemed to be sticking out of nowhere.  The emerald eyed mage frowned and shouted to follow her.  Sprinting across the room towards the staircase which presumably led to the next level, Leah ran as fast as she could.  Seemingly unwilling to battle the vanishing mages outright, the two criminals had their fun in tormenting the girls as they tried to make their way up each flight of stairs.  Just as they were about to make it to the top of the last one, Leah requipped her dirks on impulse and whirled around to stab the air behind her, where a stranger's head and body had briefly appeared with the intention of striking at her back.  Immediately after managing to get through his tactics, the girl attacked in a flurry of thrusts that ripped the cloak and the body underneath it to shreds.  The three Musketeers had already begun to follow her example, and the group arrived at the top of the staircase unhindered by any dark guilds' mages.  And waiting for them was Sir Townsend with his grey beard, and Lady Townsend with plenty of jewels, she reassured the girls.  Although really, only Leah cared about that.

    On the way out, after all four had been paid (with either great thanks or real money) Atha winked at the emerald eyed girl on the way out.  Atma did the same, but Portha leaned in for a hug and whispered in the girl's ear, "Before you get back to journeying or whatever you were doing before you came here, check your bags.  We told those nosy border people to leave a gift for you, for helping us and because they rifled through your stuff anyways!"  With a laugh, the brunette left, and Leah began the task of navigating through the house...alone...back to the outside.  Today really was a wonderful day.  It was probably already afternoon outside.

    7579/7500 Words.

      Current date/time is 21st November 2018, 7:06 am