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    Shifting Perspective [Exam]


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    Lineage : Technological Superiority
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    Posts : 225
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    Mentor : Xia Song (Deceased)
    Experience : 10,518.75

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: ReQuip: Dark Orchestra
    Second Magic:
    Third Magic:

    Shifting Perspective [Exam] Empty Shifting Perspective [Exam]

    Post by Rohma 6th January 2017, 1:40 am

    Paranoia crawled along her skin, cold and smooth as the tendrils tickled and caused goosebumps. The small hairs on the back of the woman’s neck refused to calm themselves and it was all she could do to not envision the very walls closing in around her. No. The logical part of her brain tried to soothe itself that it remained the same size all the way, at most the occasional small table here and there maybe hogging some space. Pictures – blessedly scenery – helped and at the same time oppressed her all the more with visions of where she could be compared to where she was. Only the occasional portrait stared down at her in silent judgement, the person locked inside the frame bearing fine jackets and shirts, pocket watches hidden in breast pockets and perfectly coifed hair of mostly dark hues save one or two older, silver foxes.

    Compared to the fine décor and classy paintings everywhere the woman might as well have been a ruffian straight off the streets in comparison. Jeans torn into shorts bore rough edges, boots scuffed from years of crawling about rocky terrain and pelted by the elements. Even her shirt sat a few shades lighter than when she’d first bought it, color drained after years of sunny days and yet all the comfier in its worn state. Only her jacket bore some level of “newness” as she’d opted for one of her better ones. Hanging a little off her shoulders it fastened like a vest in front, the rest falling behind and almost reaching the ground in its length. Vibrant red she hoped it’d take some attention away from the rest of her garb, though another part of her stubbornly wished she’d opted for something just as worn as the rest. If the barkeep back at the guild hall hadn’t commented on her attire she wouldn’t have even given it a second thought, not with whom the request originated.

    Image mattered at least a little given that if things went well she might find promotion, but the explorer really detested the fact that it’d be at his whims and potential judgement. His word would either help or utterly break this chance, no doubt some little twisted taste of his.

    Rohma couldn’t fight him though. Freedom was no longer her’s to claim.

    Whether a planned ambush on his part or simply lucky timing she couldn’t be sure one way or the other. The man certainly knew to take opportunities when they presented themselves, but she wouldn’t put it past him to setup those opportunities either. According to him eventually the raven-haired woman’s memories would return of what she truly was, perhaps a little kick-started by him, and seemed to gloat in how the world she perceived was a lie from the truth. Even with her “special vision” things weren’t quite fully there, though admittedly she saw the world in a truer state than most. If anything she might go so far as to argue she saw it more truthfully than him, untainted with extra knowledge…but then begrudgingly the woman would admit he may know more with his memories there to help paint extra pictures and create points to focus upon.

    Knowing she’d have to dance to his whims only caused the woman to grit her pearly whites, careful not to growl as she dutifully followed the white haired servant. The woman stood a few inches taller than her and walked with a sense of duty to the point Rohma surmised she must’ve come from a regiment somewhere. Her locks remained short, slightly curled at the ends likely naturally, bouncing a little with each step as they neared what only further felt to be Rohma’s doom.

    Rohma’s guide walked through the doorway, holding it open for the Infinity Hydra mage. Once through she wasted little time moving to stand behind the man seated at the desk, taking to his right side and once again Rohma could see her emotionless gaze. The servant couldn’t keep her attention for not long, not without that soft and smooth voice now filling the room.

    ”Ah Rohma, you’re here! Wonderful, wonderful!”

    Hands clasped before him on the desk, pen now resting to the side as he finished crossing a final “t” or “f” and offered her a radiant business smile. Just the sight of him so casual fueled inner ire in the woman, face tensing with the effort not to outright glower at him, and then to not growl or attempt anything more vicious at the way the corner of his lips turned up a few notches. No doubt her obvious anger pleased him made all the more “delicious” through their threaded connection. Being in close proximity now made her all the aware of that connection.

    ”I see you’re not over our little reunion quite yet, but that’s fine. I expected there to be quite an adjustment period,” he casually waved it off as if it were no more than any other business deal, ”After all if the circumstances were reversed I certainly wouldn’t be pleased…well…not like it hasn’t in a sort. We weren’t exactly ‘free’ at one point…but I don’t expect you to reach that point quite yet. You still have our last life to fully recall before you can move further down the chain.”

    The way his eyes pierced into hers the woman didn’t even have to consider: she knew he was currently probing her mind. Curiosity. He wanted to know what she remembered thus far and all she could do was grit her teeth and bare it. Let him see that she recalled random spots rather than linearly, dreamt them really. More often than naught they came to her in episodes at night, rarely turning into a vision or daydream as she went about her business during the day. ”Just get on with it,” she grit out finally, annoyed by his probing, ”what the hell did you call me here for anyways?”

    That pleased smile disappeared for a moment, vague surprise causing the dark haired man to blink a few moments before it returned. Placing his head in his hand he regarded her fondly for reasons she couldn’t imagine, ”It’s very simple really: I want your help with something.” A bark of laughter escaped at her mixed expression of disgust and distrust, ”Now, now it’s not that bad! I promise. How should I best put it really…I need control over a little situation and would appreciate backup, especially from someone who’s granted me such wondrous talents! Well, built upon mine I suppose if we’re being truly honest.”

    ”Oh? Not going to invite your usual friend?” she mocked harshly. Why he’d need Rohma over that woman boggled the explorer’s mind.

    ”First and foremost she’s a little preoccupied right now. Second of all…hmm….it’s primarily that, but I suppose a little extra control over the situation does make this choice a little sweeter. Having you there will merely increase my capabilities.”

    ”So what, I’m just your good luck charm now?”

    ”Oh, no, I won’t have you laze about I’m afraid. I do need you to work. Especially if you want to earn that promotion!” The way his smile brightened caused her to want to wipe it off his face all the more. ”Just think of us as coming together as a more efficient entity than we are alone. You are a part of N-“

    ”Don’t say it!”

    The words came out harsh, panic dripping in every syllable, every letter as her hands desperately clasped the armrests of the chair she’d taken. While she couldn’t utter it herself some part of the woman feared that name in a primal way, like a child quaking at the mere mention of the boogie man. Knowing she was that now only sent further shivers down her spine.

    Across from her the finely dressed gentleman snorted, chair squeaking lightly as he sat back and steepled his fingers, ”Amusing reaction…but I guess I’ll offer you a bit of leeway there. It’s not like you fully remember who...what you are either. Hmm…I wonder why it’s in humanity’s nature to refer to other entities as ‘what’ rather than ‘who,’ what an interesting query…”

    Faeral’s wandering thoughts offered Rohma a moment’s reprieve, an opportunity to recover from the shock. While a small, small part of her opened up to the truth of her being more than she initially seemed for whatever reasons the mere thought of that name set her off. It felt taboo and like an ancient terror though given some of the stories people uttered in the dark corners of the world maybe the feelings weren’t all wrong.

    ”Enough getting off track however: time for business.” His abrupt change in demeanor and tone shocked Rohma back to the present. ”We have a target,” he slid a folder towards her, letting the Hydra mage pick up the dossier before continuing, ”He is suspected of all sorts of dealings from setting up contract killing – perhaps even hosting an underground training for aspiring throwaways with potential – to black market auctions. There are a few fingers almost pointed at him for human trafficking, but of course no one recovered would dare utter a name as you can imagine. While such a figure might often come with some sort of “taken alive or dead” type deal it is our duty to capture him very much alive even if a little scraped up. It’s the hope of authorities to find further leads after all and this fellow doesn’t seem too hard to crack as he’s not much to look at himself. It’s mostly his hired help we’ll have to worry about.”

    ”It says here he’s also one of your company’s top business partners…” Eyebrows raised as she peered at him over the rim of the file, curiosity filling her. ”Looking to take over his ventures, perhaps? How much of this is even real?”

    ”Plenty real my dear,” he spoke nonchalantly, sitting forward to clasp his hands on the desk and smile a little too kind for her liking, as if they weren’t speaking about taking down a tycoon, ”A lot of this is, in fact, things I’ve been looking into myself. There is admittedly that small point that we will likely take over the reins of his company and business ventures. That stands as a small bonus and nothing more. Being in the Rune Knights held a few pluses at least before I had to leave to attend to other matters more full-time.”

    Curious as she was to know about his time in the Rune Knights – and what fool bought his act, although she amended that it was easy to fall for without knowing otherwise – Rohma refrained from asking too much. Something told the woman he wouldn’t enlighten her on the matter and there remained more pressing concerns. ”Though…even if you do take things over won’t this hurt your family’s business to knowingly be associated with this man if this all comes to light? Or…do you plan to play this off somehow?” She gulped a little, unsure why trepidation started filling her stomach.

    Something about the way he stilled unnerved her, as though for a moment he no longer lived, eyes turning arctic cold and yet the smile stood the test of time. If anything it lengthened a little in a way that lead the roguish mage to wonder if he’d been possessed by a demonic entity. ”My dear,” came that cool, smooth tone, ”that is certainly no worry of your’s. But I appreciate your concern for my reputation and livelihood.”

    Even in such a state he found time to mock her, reigniting that irksome fire and urge to deck him. However it also came as a not-so-subtle warning to keep her nose out of it. Whatever the outcome it’d likely turn out as he desired it and she would merely come along for the ride, forced to wait and see the outcome. It left her…anxious, as many things seemed too.

    * * *

    The ride in the carriage proved a quiet one, but one that allowed the man to delight in the anticipation of what was to come. Even now through their connection he could tell that Rohma sensed his dark glee, something he cared little about as he’d waited long enough and here the first moment of many stood. To many this might come off as a rather long and unnecessarily roundabout way to revenge, but the man very much enjoyed the emotions that came with such plans. After all it wasn’t as if time posed an enemy to him: if anything it came as an odd ally. It wasn’t the first time he’d let something go long enough for other forces to become complacent and then he started the machinations for their downfall. Last time hadn’t quite gone according to plan, but then again it’d been a bit more “how long will this go on for?” type of game. A test of endurance for the people only for one of the other gods to turn against the lot of them. An interesting twist if it hadn’t almost cost him his true life, the woman sitting across from him still unknowing of how close she’d come to killing him once.

    She wouldn’t get another opportunity.

    However he’d be remiss to not accept how selfish this little act truly was. While this man, Cornelius Darbolt, may not have been his primary target he certainly sat high on Faeral’s list. This man aided greatly in his mother’s “accident” after all, the young Faeral having heard their guffaws through the walls of his father’s study. To this day he could hear the clinking of glasses of scotch as they celebrated another “job well done” in that office: a common occurrence. The memory stirred something inside, likely a part of his “human” psyche and feelings protesting against the very act. It, alongside his late grandmother’s wishes, provided something to do in this life. A small goal he wanted to bloom into a glorious flower so he could enjoy that brief moment of perfection before it wilted into dust.

    It proved worthwhile to join the Rune Knights, contacts and connections that lived through even now…not that he’d truly left. As far as the roster, his father, and any member of the public might be concerned he’d been removed from any active lists as per his request. Reaching into that true inner sanctum of special operatives hadn’t been easy and made rougher by a “bumbling” team member and a most curious superior, but he’d managed to bypass those obstacles all the same. Even their stricter joining guidelines to the Rune Knights as a whole merely worked in his favor. All he truly cared about was access to the chain of information.

    Not that he merely used, offering a certain Mr. Darbolt and his activities up as a wonderful sacrifice. ’Two birds and one stone,’ he’d even mused while offering evidence of his claims against the fellow to the higher ups. His only request remained being the one to bring the fellow to justice, going so far as to request the aid of someone from a guild. Offer them a little limelight in taking down a backer of dark guilds and a man of darker deeds while keeping the Rune Knights out of it.

    They’d been a bit curious at his choice, Rohma’s name not exactly out there. She boasted a few jobs here and there – nothing great – but lacked any real recognition and they went so far as to suggest he take one of their Rising Stars. Faeral refused on the basis that they’d be too easily recognizable. They didn’t want reason to make the fellow immediately suspicious even if he surmised some trouble would inevitably crop up. The man knew her capable however, and that was all he required. They reminded the businessman that his standing would be on the line, and as long as they were okay with that then he could go ahead. If the target should escape though…

    Faeral assured them he wouldn’t. The man would be brought in alive even if not in perfect condition. He might resist after all.

    Observing the dark haired woman next to his usual assistant Faeral again mentally applauded his handiwork. The spruced up jacket and sturdier pants that disappeared into her boots left the woman capable of fighting and yet a more proper image of someone he might keep nearby. That more worn, desert dweller look of her’s before wouldn’t have been tolerated and would’ve immediately sent warning bells in the body guard’s minds, more so than they usually felt with Subaru around in her hardened leather and armor getup – though far more expected at this point. He’d gone a little further to conceal the guns dimensionally while not erasing the comforting feel of the straps around Rohma’s legs and connected to her belt so she physically knew they remained within reach.

    Even as the guards patted her down upon arrival they couldn’t find a thing, Faeral noting the slight warping of the woman’s face at this fact. Luckily the guards only took this as a sign of discomfort before waving the trio in after relieving Subaru of her large blade – much to her usual dismay.

    ”Ah Faeral my boy! It’s been too long!”

    That rich, honeyed voice greeted smoothly and reached the group a split second before the shorter man’s hand gripped Faeral’s and gave a firm shake. Rohma masked a small gasp as she felt the murderous wave roll off of her other half and yet eyes watched as he in turn offered a jovial smile, ”Why yes! Simply too long Mr. Darbolt! Fear not father is still well I promise, albeit away on business at the moment.”

    Cornelius Darbolt looked very much how Rohma imagined many businessmen. Dressed in fine pants, button down shirt with a vest and jacket over that, he stood almost a foot shorter than Faeral. His belly jutted out a bit from likely a mix of good food and lots of social drinking it did little to detract from his finely quaffed hair as it swooped back and out of the way. Specks of silver decorated the dark locks and yet compared to Faeral’s rich raven the man’s hair looked a few shades faded. A small, gold chain clipped to a breast pocket disappeared right into the pocket and she could just make out a small bit of a circle – likely a monocle. Not a hair seemed out of place, even the slight crinkles of his jacket and pants picture perfect as the man waved them into the room.

    Despite it all Rohma wouldn’t have trusted him regardless of how they met.

    Something about her struck the woman as “off.” Maybe it was a bit of her judgmental and cautious nature mixed with simply being out of this circle entirely, but he came off as too perfect. Too gentlemanly. Then again the fact that two men in black suits stood in the room on either side of the chairs he offered didn’t exactly sit well with her either. This man owned reasons to be this wary and it showed.

    ”It soothes my soul to hear that as I admit I was a little worried, but your father’s always been quite the go-getter and if something’s cropped up in his absence then he’d find a way to deal with it as quickly as possible. I find myself a little envious that he has such a reliable son in his care that can take care of such matters in his stead.” Those blue-gray eyes of the man slid towards a frame resting at the corner of a desk and Faeral didn’t have to peer at it to know it bore an image of his wife and son. For all of Cornelius’ cunning and intelligence his son proved rather weak-willed and ever so malleable to suggestion as Faeral found out in their younger years. It hadn’t taken a lot to tweak that budding confidence and break it, leaving the boy to doubt every little action he took until he settled for a small position in his father’s company out of the way and with little drive to move up. The dark side of Faeral rather enjoyed watching that portion of the plan come to fruition.

    ”Well it wasn’t without some work on father’s part,” Faeral waved his hand, offering a small shrug and half-smile, ”I could be a bit willful at times growing up. He did eventually open my eyes up to the wonders of our family’s business.”

    ”That’s right,” Mr. Darbolt chuckled, ”I believe you wanted to be a musician at first! While he was disappointed at first I don’t think your father ever showed a crack in his resolve to see you inherit everything and continue the legacy. I see it’s served him well.” Another note of envy slipped in despite his jovial tone. Finally he sat in his chair, fingers lacing together atop his desk as he regarded Faeral’s lax pose, his companions, and then resettled his eyes upon the younger man, ”I am curious though, was there something wrong with the last shipment? Or is it about time to adjust numbers? Your little taunts at this meeting remaining secretive piqued my curiosity. This is under your father’s order’s I presume…he can be rather…secretive.

    That suspicious undertone tickled Faeral something fierce and yet, despite how much he wanted to burst out laughing the man only permitted himself the slightest upturn of his lips. ’Mustn’t give everything away immediately. I can’t let this end too soon.’ “A deplorable trait I’ve inherited from him undoubtedly…fear not: the numbers are fine. You’ve done wonderfully to uphold your end of every bargain and agreement.” The quaffed man relaxed only a few degrees, eyes remaining very much trained upon him. ”In fact you’ve been so upstanding I couldn’t help thinking of you first when a new proposition cropped up. After all as not only father’s friend you’ve been very much a reliable partner in every venture it’d almost be criminal to keep this from you.”

    Now he had his attention. Both Rohma and Faeral watched as the hesitant curiosity transformed into eager intrigue, pleased at a new possible avenue of gain. ”There’s a resource a friend of mine has discovered in another country and we’re looking to secure some land to begin extraction. It’s a curious crystal of sorts that appears quite malleable in terms of purposes. We’ve been able to alter it in order to increase magical power while decreasing output required, yet in another form we can store power and activate it to explode. This explosion form is quite…terrifying if I do say so myself as it’s proved unstable and requires further testing: in some cases those in proximity become pure crystal themselves and we cannot seem to revert them. In other instances it either created or displaced many objects creating an unpredictable scenario that results in high rates of damage with easy potential of death. In even another test it caused nearby flora and fauna to undergo a transformation into some rather volatile and violent beings…not a pretty cleanup I assure you. There are theories it depends on the magic placed in, but as I said requires further testing and we’d rather not let the competition get ahold of it first.”

    ”Oh my, and pray tell what would you have of me?” It took the man some willpower not to lick his lips, though even Subaru noted the subtle sound of increased spittle.

    ”You’d be a co-owner of this site naturally, and thus half the profits would go to you. In turn we’d like you to provide more of the excavation crew since we already have the labs prepared and scientists working on this substance. You’d be accredited with any of the products – being a large supplier naturally – and we know you have quite the connections to set something like this up faster than us. We have the ability to setup buyers for finished – and not so finished – product…and, well when some of the other countries hear of this development and begin to feel the effects there’ll be an increased demand for both this and weapons in general. Pergrande will likely be scrambling to ensure they have ways to combat this too and I know you enjoy quite a bit of business with some of their military…”

    Sitting back Faeral watched the man mulling this over. War remained the top spender and customer of both men. While it might be a little chancy with the random way the item acted if they could get it under control then it stood to make a lovely amount of gold from anyone willing to buy. Neither man would balk at creating a little discord to get the sales rolling either.

    ”Very well,” Cornelius finally spoke up, ”inform your father we’ll talk more on this matter as I’d like to see a few things drawn up first. I think I can have something going very shortly though-“

    ”I’m afraid father will have no part in this,” Faeral’s voice cut-in succinctly, any pleasantness fully removed by the clear statement, ”He will be fully cut out of this venture.”

    ”Wh-“ the man stumbled upon his words for a good minute before he managed to stumble over enough syllables, ”I’m not sure how I feel about not including your father. I applaud your confidence as you’re very much his son-but I don’t think it’s quite time for you to…too…”

    ” ‘Take over?’ I must disagree Mr. Darbolt. In fact…I really wouldn’t claim to be his son. The very thought sickens me greatly so you’d do well to never insult me in such a manner again.” Any remaining hints of soft jovialness faded away as Faeral regarded the man with a hard stare, eyes boring into the sweating and nervous fellow. His female counterpart noted how a few hairs started falling from their perfect wave. Deciding to give her a full, proper show Faeral leaned forward, fingers laced together as his elbows rested on the corners of the chair, ”If you utter so much as a word of this to father I will see your business crumble, family in ruins, and your wife and daughter to work off your crimes as your son likely commits suicide. If he doesn’t then I’ll see to it that the fellow does because I have no use for him. Try to sell this to someone else and expect very much the same to happen – and I’ll even give you updates on how your lovely wife and daughter are faring all the while you’re in jail my good sir. You’ve kept silent for that man: surely you can do the same for me?”

    ”How DARE you threaten me!” An ugly ruddy color overtook Cornelius’ face as he flew to his feet, large chair shuddering against the wooden floor as it’d been forced backwards. Hands slammed onto the desk and caused a few papers to flutter to the ground, many desk toppings to hop, and the picture frame folded on itself and hit the floor. Rohma could see the image of the man standing by his sitting wife, framed by their rotund son smiling with relief and daughter sporting an innocent smile – likely sheltered from the sort of life this man truly led. ”I don’t know where you gained the confidence but I assure you’ll I’ll be having words with your father about this! I will not stand for this insult to my name!”

    By the gods did Faeral enjoy stubbornness! This man knew an odd, strong sense of loyalty for someone who lived half in the shadows of the underworld of this life. Though…he supposed his son’s weakness required an inherited seed…yes he’d likely inherited it from his father. Without that other man to help build him up…Cornelius Darbolt might not have been much in the end. Likely a reason he’d kiss Faeral’s father’s boots if commanded. ”I see…a shame. I was hoping to use you…but I suppose it simply wasn’t meant to be. Well I hope your wife and daughter know how to work my good sir: I gather they’ll soon be using that knowledge. Then again there’s undoubtedly colleagues and more casual business partners that wouldn’t mind helping them learn.”

    Faeral’s casual callousness irked Rohma, the woman uncomfortable with the way he tossed these threats around. Even if this man proved a gussied up bag of scum there remained the chance that neither woman sullied themselves with darker business. And yet right now she couldn’t concentrate too much on that, more wary of the way the bodyguards no longer stood against the walls, but seemed to be closing in on the trio. She didn’t have time to question Subaru’s relaxed posture in her chair or the way Faeral ignored both.


    The silent question in her psyche seemed to be the trigger the dark haired woman required. Splayed hands rose up, palms pointed at the bodyguards’ faces and then she heard the shot before the guns materialized. Both men reeled backwards, limbs jerking as if their muscles began cramping and veins became visible. Letters Rohma – and now Faeral – could understand spilled from where the bullets struck their foreheads, invisible to most eyes as they trailed down the men’s bodies. Cornelius could only watched in stunned silence as they robotically left the room, sounds of magic slamming human bodies around now echoing down the hallways as the men attacked others.

    ”You know Mr. Darbolt, it’s not a good practice to test things on your workers. It can result in some tricky situations like this and I’m afraid most Human Resources departments are not going to be pleased, never mind unions. Though…I guess in your instance it’s going to be the more interesting businesses.” Producing a small vial Faeral let the fragile thing hit the ground, mouthing a small oops as if it’d slipped through his gloved hands and the bright blue liquid spilled on the rug. Quickly it lost a lot of luster, turning a more dull shade as Faeral shook his head. ”Well, not like I need that really to take you into custody…there is a very extensive list currently in the hands of the authorities that they’d like to inquire about. You know how it is: unsolved crimes, illegal operations, and hopes of some name dropping for further leads. I only hold a little bit of curiosity at how long before you start leaking.”

    Through it all Cornelius stood, eyes wide and mouth agape as sweat trickled down his temples. It seemed almost like a miracle when his face shifted – mouth closing – as if his brain caught up and then he began to laugh uproariously. One of the man’s pudgy palms slapped his forehead audibly as he outright guffawed to the point both Rohma and Faeral wondered if he was working on a plea of insanity. ”Well it’s not like it’d be the first time I experimented on the staff…though it’s usually not the bodyguards: gotta have someone clean up the mess! I guess now’s a good a time as any to try something myself!”

    Much to Faeral’s surprise the man produced a vial of his own and gulped the dark, purple liquid with gusto.

    A chunk of the house now lay in ruins Rohma noted with a groan as she stood up. Adrenaline started surging in her veins, conscious of the last sight she beheld before the world exploded around her. Smacking a hand away from her she belatedly realized it belonged to a bored looking Subaru, the white haired woman silently apologizing for reasons Rohma couldn’t understand. Though it was one of the first times she’d really looked the woman in the eyes and yet the woman she thought of as Faeral’s assistant regarded her with…respect? A slight hint of wonder? She couldn’t really describe it, but it somehow felt like how this woman viewed her counterpart. One of Subaru’s hands pointed behind Rohma, answering the question her mind had been about to ask itself and she whipped about.

    There stood a sizeable black beast, purple designs lighting up along its body. A broad chest slimmed down to narrow hips, long hind legs bent even as muscled forearms pressed a large pair of knuckles into the manicured lawn. A whip of a tail extended from its backside, not particularly long or as worrisome as the claws, but something to be cautious about. Near white slivers for eyes glowed the brightest and almost distracted her from the smooth set of horns curving back, and all the while she wondered at its stillness, poised to leap forward. Then she noticed the other figure standing in front of it, easily missed against the dark beast and yet…the pure, dark shadowiness of the figure almost made the beast appear a few shades lighter by comparison the more she shared. Wisps of an almost smoke-like substance wafted off them and she had to squint to really make out the humanoid form of the figure against the dark beast, slowly realizing one of its “hands” reached into the beast’s skull.

    ”I’m sorry my good sir,” it sounded like multiple voices – some far away and shouting and other’s whispering in her ear, all speaking together, ”but I can’t let you go quite that easily. I promised to bring you in alive and I plan to do just that…and as pleasing as your new form is compared to the one prior I don’t fancy they’ll enjoy receiving a beast. We’ll have to fix that. Now be a good boy and go to sleep: you’ll wake up…well the same man you were before. Sans everything you’ve worked for or stolen I’m afraid.”

    The creature crumpled to the ground, body giving the occasional shiver as the process began to reverse. The shadowy limb that’d secured itself in the skull of the transformed Cornelius Darbolt held its palm open, the dark liquid now hovering above it as he marveled at the substance.

    ”What are you planning?” Rohma jumped, scaring herself with her own voice and the way it shook. Teeth clenched as she watched that shadowy figure slide towards her.

    ”You really still can’t recall what we are…” hearing the disappointment in that otherworldly voice struck her as ludicrous and she almost barked out a laugh, ”well we shall fix that in due time. I suppose for the sake of your human side-“ ”I’ll change, but you can’t expect me to baby you forever, sibling or not.” The darkness melted away from him revealing the human form and yet she couldn’t quite erase the prior form from her immediate memory. This frozen state caused him to shake his head at her before placing a hand upon her shoulder. There it was again. That intrusive feeling as magic slithered through her being and forced the status away, though not as sickening as tying her existence to his.

    Bored gold eyes took in the scene of destruction near them and the shrinking form of the beast as it continued to shift as if muscle by muscle to the human and he sighed. Again his attitude towards everything almost caused her to laugh, the feeling loosening her muscles in a much more pleasant way than his forced control, ”That doesn’t exactly answer my question…”

    ”You, my dear, are going to take credit for this mess…well, capture and resisted arrest.” The man smirked as he took in her incredulous expression before waving it away, ”I already altered his memories anyways. As far as he knows you fought his body guards, took them all out – though fear not those that died likely did so because of friendly fire and improper aim on their part. We won’t bloody up your records too much. As for him…he partook of some potion that temporarily transformed him, but ultimately you took him down and the effects wore off. Not without some destruction to his property…but desperate times, desperate measures and all that jazz.”

    ”But…we could’ve easily done that all anyways…” Why she said it Rohma couldn’t really explain, somehow sure they could’ve easily made that reality. She supposed it was the farce of it all that struck her as odd as she played with a frayed portion of the once nice jacket, ”Seems like an awfully big production. What was even the point to all this?”

    ”Point? Why, to enjoy the chaos of it all of course!” This time the woman did give off a loud laugh at his sincere surprise and incredulous expression, ”But I can’t very well have him warning the old man either so it’s better to simply wipe that part of the conversation away. As far as he’s aware you came to arrest him on multiple claims of underground business and linked to a variety of crimes he’s helped commit or orchestrate himself and I was merely your tool for getting inside. Pretty cruel of you to use me honestly!”

    ”I hate you, you know that,” she stated with a smile, for some odd reason unable to fully mean it right now. Something about this all…well maybe she’d chalk it up to how much of a chaotic dream this all felt. It certainly didn’t feel real.

    He smirked down at her, ”I know.”


      Current date/time is 22nd March 2023, 8:53 am