Adalinda was growling angrily to herself as she chugged another keg of alcohol to soothe her nerves. It had to be her that Ruvel picked to do this stupid thing. Why couldn't Sol have gone instead?! He had better experience with this! She just wasn't made for this at all. She wasn't a fancy ball person! Talking to snobs… drinking weak alcohol that could barely sate even her left pinkie. She shuddered at the next thought. Wearing dresses. It was bad enough she had to wear one at the masquerade ball a few months back… but now she would be forced to again… No fighting… No making the company look bad. And she had to do this multiple times at a few of these stupid social gathering ball things. How was she supposed to even act like she was a noble woman anyways?! 'Clearly not by doing your own thing… you do have me, brat.’
Veles snorts within Ada's head. 'I'll help you out, if anything, so you don't get your ass beat by your CEO. Even though that'd be funny to see.’ 'Yeah… totally funny… go die, Veles.’
She was grumbly as she looks over to the out the window of the flying ship thing. She was going to Bellum for these parties and events. And she was to find out about some rumors. What it was… she couldn't remember. 'Nitwit… rumors of espionage and war coming to Fiore.’
A small growl escaped her lips again as Veles made his presence known to her again. Everyone on this airship was trying to stay away from her the whole time she was on, as she was seeming to be radiating her rather sour mood.“Hey Ada… could you calm down? You're not the only person here you know.”
Tammy was in her Neko form as she sat next to her dragon Slayer, whispering to her as she was slightly worried for the others around her. She was dressed like a child, trying to pass off as Ada's possible daughter. Though, the purple hair and eyes didn't really cut it. Tammy could just say that she was adopted or something like that. That could probably work and be passable. There was really only one way to find out, use it when someone asks. Tammy takes a deep breath and looks at Ada while she glares back to the exceed. “Don’t give me that look! We’re in public! And if you’re going to not embarrass your company by doing so, might as well chill on drinking from kegs and calm yourself down.”
Tammy hisses as she fixes her skirt. Adalinda grumbles a bit and glances away from Tammy. Yeah, she probably had enough alcohol in her system to get her through a couple parties by now… depending on how bad they got. She takes a deep breath and pushes the empty keg away from her, it was probably her fourth keg anyways… not too strong of stuff though. “A lady sits with her legs crossed at at least the ankles… And they put their hands on their laps lightly.” ‘Hah… having fun being taught how to be a lady, from a cat?’
Veles was enjoying this. As Adalinda moves herself to sit ‘properly’ as she should, the flying ship was starting to descend a bit. Maybe she needed more alcohol, because her stomach was starting to flip once more, and so far, the alcohol was saving her from her motion sickness. “I need another keg…”
She ended up grumbling. Tammy only sighs as she sees the green on her slayers face, knowing it was inevitable now.
When the duo finally landed, Ada was carrying their bigger luggages, while Tammy was pulling a smaller one. They were in Bellum. The country that prided itself on magic and the ability to wield it. A frown came to the slayers face as she thought of that. ‘Not everyone is fortunate enough to have magic. And of course, with power comes egos and the like.’ ‘Oh hey, just like a dragon…’
Adalinda was rolling her eyes towards Veles’ comments. Of course she knew this. She was able to have magic, and knew others weren’t able to protect themselves like she was able to with it. She wished she could help the people here who were considered less than appreciated or whatever for not having magic, but there was just too many that happened to be here. ‘Can’t save them all Ada… Can’t save them all…’
She tells herself quietly. She leads Tammy with her to the hotel that they were apparently going to stay at, and takes a deep breath. “A party tomorrow… Hell is it’s name. Guess I should see what dresses I got…”
She grumbles to herself before going through the luggage's. She didn’t pack the bags herself, because she wouldn’t have put any dresses in it.
-- The next night --
Adalinda was wearing an ombre red and black dress and takes a deep breath as she walked into the room. Tammy had done her black hair up into a fancy seeming hair do, and she takes a deep breath. She could do this… She just needed to get used to the heels she wore first and walk around the area. Talk to people, or listen in to others. ‘Talking makes it less obvious you’re listening to others, you know?’
The dragon comments to the slayer. Ada clears her throat, wishing she could muzzle the dragon in her head, but it wasn’t going to be able to happen. ‘Go grab some champagne, and mingle.’
She smooths out her dress as she reaches a gloved hand out and plucks off a full glass of champagne from a passing traveling tray like Veles told her to, sipping it slightly like how Tammy showed her. This was going to be such a drag. How was one to go about doing this?
She was suddenly approached by a man who was taller than her by maybe a foot. “Hello, miss.”
He says as he bows slightly. Ada looks to him with a raised eyebrow for a moment before she clears her throat, slightly nodding her head in greeting. “Hello…”
She responded back. It was weird not having anything out. “So… I gotta admit… this is my first time here in Bellum. I’m not too sure how the parties here go.”
She rubs the back of her head, being careful to not mess up her hair. Tammy would kill her even though she’s not with her right that second. The man chuckles. “That’s fine. It’s like any other party, you mingle, drink, enjoy yourself however you wish.”
He tells her. “I’m Charles Hannery, a founder of Hannery Stationery.” “I’m Adalinda Ortinbras. Daughter of Veles Ortinbras.”
She had Veles in her ear, telling her what she should say, but he didn’t know who to say she was the daughter of though, so she had improvised as quickly as she could without hesitating. As Charles was talking to her about how he used her company to ship his stationery and supplies to Fiore quite often without knowing she quite well knew his company did, Ada’s ears were listening to around them. She was picking up a bunch of random business chatter that meant nothing to her and didn’t scream that danger was to befall Fiore, or even the West Fiore Trading Company. This felt like it was going to be a long night for her…
As the night progressed, Adalinda had talked to a various amount of people, and her head begun to hurt. Veles was at least keeping track of all the people for her while she would rub her head. They had met various businessmen, daughters and sons of business people, cousins of royals or high ranking officials and everything in between. Most of the people were talking basically nonsense to her, but it seemed Veles knew what to say while she was lost, and helped her to be able to get a few people to start using West Fiore Trading Company as their source of trading their goods elsewhere. Adalinda sits herself down at a table as she rubs her head a little. The party was almost over, she couldn't deal with this much longer. And to think, there was like four or five other parties to attend to! ‘Maybe you should have hid from Ruvel so he wouldn't of found you.’
Veles snickered to her. 'Shut up for now… don't need your input. Just silence.’
She huffs as she looked to the champagne glass in front of her. It was her third. In all honesty, she never had champagne before, but it was stronger than she had expected it to be, but it still didn't have too much alcohol to get to her. She was starting to space a bit as she sat there, till she heard something near the band.“Have you sent them to West Fiore Trading Company?”
A males voice asked. “Yes, it'll take some time though. There are high ranking mages everywhere on that God's forsaken land.”
A second male had replied with. They were using the loud beat of the instruments as cover for their voices, but it was nothing for Ada. A smirk was on her lips as she continued to listen, sipping her drink. Her ice blue eyes trailed over to where the voices came from. Both men looked like they were well dressed and of high prestige. She had yet to rub elbows with them. Maybe one of the other people she met already would know one of them? “We should make way within the month. Though, we may have to hypnotize one of our men to make him forget his reasoning for going there to sneak him in. Just need a trigger for him to remember and some way for us to tell what he's doing and found out before the trigger.”
These guys were quite chatty for being in a public space. But then again, they probably weren't expecting a dragon slayer among them. Who would expect that? She then paused. She was in Bellum. Where people were praised for having magic. Wouldn't there be mages here who could have enhanced hearing? Now she felt cautious of what was going on. There was no way they were talking like that on accident here of all places. Something was up.
She stands up and spies the two males leaving with someone else rather quickly. She grits her teeth and shakes her head as she looks around. 'You should have gotten up the moment you heard them talking about the company.’ 'No, they could have been talking about using the company for sending stuff off at first.’ ‘Really? Sending someone to the company?’ 'Duh, some people want to see in person how our company works. I don't do much around there, but I know that still.’
The black haired mage takes a deep breath. She had their scent. She'll find them at other parties and whatnot.
-- A Week Later --
There had been numerous parties and little gatherings for tea and the like that Ada had managed to get herself into. With the help of Veles, they were able to pass her off as a noble within Tolgalen, and that she was rather important enough to be needed at the events. She was now at a charity event, and stretches a bit in one of the bathrooms. “They're here…”
She mumbles to herself in the mirror. The dragon slayer had caught their scents before she left the main hall for the bathroom. She had been wearing dresses and makeup the whole time she was in Bellum, and she swore she was forgetting what her own face originally looked now. At least Veles and Tammy were both getting a kick out of Ada's suffering of having to wear this stuff. She takes a deep breath as she was in a knee length green dress that's shoulder straps crossed over her chest, and some nice mid-calf high heels. “Let's get this party going.” ‘Remember, no fighting.’
Veles snickers as she walks out of the bathroom just as other girls came giggling in and walking past her.
Ada takes a deep breath as she pushed a lock of her hair behind her ear. This time, she wore a high ponytail, but it was teased to be a higher bump after the hair tie. She looked around the area, and found herself holding another glass of champagne while also nibbling on a finger sandwich. ‘Aw… does the rough and tough dragon slayer have a fancy side to herself?’ 'Get over yourself. I'll be in heaven once I can be through with these atrocious dresses. I'm going on vacation and going to party like it's nothing and get blackout drunk. And I'll do it all without a dress on. Never touching one again.’ ‘Not even when visiting Yuudai's family?’ ‘At least I can fight in those dresses and I don't have to act as a snoot…’
A snort escaped her while she thought that to Veles as she looked around the area. She honestly was itching to get out of the dress as soon as she could. It bothered her greatly, like all the other various colored and styled dresses she wore this week. She really
couldn’t wait to leave for Tolgalen again.
She paused as her looking around let her see the two guys together that she had heard the other day at the first party she went to.There was a problem though. She couldn't just walk up to the guys whom she suspected were trying to cause trouble for her home country. She needed to find someone to introduce her to them… Adalinda blinks as she sees the one pretty boy from the first party with the two, chatting up one another. What was his name again? 'Charles, brat. Charles Hannery. The one with the Hannery Stationery.’
The black haired slayer smiles as she actually did remember after his name was said. Now it was time for her to wait for pretty boy to see her again. Veles had mentioned that she could have Charles introduce her to the men whenever she got the chance. It was all about patience though. She couldn't jump too soon after Charles left the duo, and she couldn't wait forever and ages either. ‘Wait till I tell you to go…’
The dragon in her head says as he uses her eyes to see what was going on around them. The slayer takes a deep breath as she sits there, glancing around to make it look like she wasn’t focusing on one area for too long. It didn’t take too terribly long for Charles to walk away from the two. ‘Slowly make your way towards him… and when you do, start small chat. Say you haven’t seen him much this week and then ask him how he’s been.’
He instructs. Adalinda sips her champagne and starts to walk slightly over to Charles. “Hey! Charles, right?”
Ada smiles to him. She felt sick though, acting all sweet. “I haven’t seen you since the party last week! How have you been?”
Her voice had started to get slightly peppy with how Veles told her to speak, and with how others around her had been speaking as well.
Charles seemed to light up seeing Ada, and smiles to her. “Hello there! It’s been quite a week, hasn’t it? I hope you’re doing fine here in Bellum. I’ve been… doing the usual, rubbing elbows with others around here. You know.”
He nods as he motions to her. Ada gave a small, slightly unamused, chuckle as she understood that quite well. “Yeah… it’s been getting tiring for myself as well…"
She mumbles. Charles looked down to her, and raised an eyebrow. “You look good. Would you… happen to be seeing anyone?”
He questions. Adalinda had been looking at the two guys when she was asked that, and she had froze to look at Charles a bit. She wasn’t expecting someone to like her here. She takes a rather large swig of her champagne before she looks towards the man. “Thank you for the compliment, but yes. I am engaged.”
She held up her hand with the ring on it that Yuudai had molded for her and gave to her when their babies were born. Even though she didn’t think she needed a ring from him, she was kind of glad she had one now, and that she never took it off when she came here too. Charles blinks for a moment, then seems like he’s embarrassed. “My apologies, I should have realized.”
It was his turn to nervously chuckle now while he was rubbing the back of his head. He hung his head a bit as she takes a deep breath. ‘Ask him about the two men. Say you hadn’t met them before and are curious.’
Ada blinks as she looks around Charles a bit. “Urm… would you mind telling me who those two are? I hadn’t been able to meet them yet. They also seem like they’re…”
She waved one hand in a small circle, trying to figure out the word to describe them. “Higher up than the rest? They are. They’re Barnaby LaYeen, and Presley Du Wep. They’re partner companies and related through marriage. Mr LaYeen is more higher up than Du Wep though.”
Charles explained to her. He then clears his throat as he motions for her to follow him.
Adalinda stays a step behind him, and smiles as sweetly as she could to the two men as they approached. “Sorry to bother you again, but this young lady is Adalinda Ortinbras, daughter of Veles Ortinbras.”
Charles had introduced her to them. Ada smiles as she nods a bit. “I’m sorry, I felt like I needed to meet you. I didn’t want to just come up randomly.”
She uses a finger to lightly scratch at her cheek. The two older gentlemen smile sweetly. “It’s alright my dear, new money tends to be rather cautious of us. I’m Presley Du Wep, owner of the DuWep Arts.” “And I’m Barnaby LaYeen, founder of Pear iLacs here in Bellum.”
The two had introduced themselves, and Adalinda’s eyes went wide. For once, she actually had heard of these two once before. “I feel honored to meet you two! I’m sorry for not recognizing you. I can forget people’s faces rather easily.”
She tells them, which wasn’t entirely a lie. Charles looks up as he hears his name being called by another. He excuses himself and walks off. ‘Perfect, use this to ask about what they use to ship things. Say you’re family is looking for a different company to work with themselves.’
Ada clears her throat again as she looks to the two. “So, my family is looking for a new company to work with to ship and trade our goods. My parents feel that the West Fiore Trading Company isn’t as great as they originally thought they were… would you happen to know anything better?”
She bats her eyes a little and tilts her head, though inside, she was cringing at how she was acting.
Presley seems to smile about hearing this. “Oh yes! We feel that that devilish West Fiore Trading Company is purposely stealing others. We use our own ships to deliver our goods. Your parents are rather wise.”
Barnaby grins as he nods as well. “We’re planning on taking down the stupid company once and for all. We have to get somebody, or bodies, inside there though to help exploit what it is they’re doing. Tolgalen itself is probably even the best place to even place our own company on instead.”
The two seemed like they were rather chatty. ‘I think they’re just stupid to openly talk about taking down another company like this. Or they don’t think anyone from the company would even come here. Keep them talking.’
Ada grins to them. “Why don’t you have me help? I can get in there rather easily. Who would suspect a girl like me?”
She puts her hand on her chest, and bats her eyes slightly. “Like an escort though, I’m not free, or cheap.” The two men look to one another before they began to grin to one another suddenly. They were seeming like they had a thought coming up together. ‘They seem like they’re going to use you as the scapegoat.’ ‘Too bad I’m not really offering up my services to them…’
The girl and her dragon both found that amusing as they watch the older males before her. Barnaby holds his hand out in front of him to Adalinda, in which she took, and motions for Presley to walk on. “Let us… talk in private, alright?”
Barnaby says with a satisfied grin.
The two lead the black haired slayer to a backroom, and sit at one end of the table after they both helped her sit down at the opposite end. Barnaby clears his throat as he folds his hands in front of him on the table. “Are you serious about being able to help?”
He raises an eyebrow to her. Adalinda gives one of her devilish grins. “Why would I bluff? If you pay me properly. I could probably get you in and out within a blink of an eye.”
Barnaby and Presley seemed to like hearing that. “Oh really? You can get into Tolgalen and into the West Fiore Trading Company, get some information that they have and be able to provide it to us so we can… take them out with our own trading company?”
Adalinda just continues to smile to them. She shrugs her shoulders as she leans back in the chair. “Depends on what all that ‘information’ it is that you’re trying to look for…” “Shipping. As well as any information on the people within the place, and all the security measures.”
She snorts to herself and rolls her eyes. “Easy.”
She felt pretty confident in herself, didn’t hurt that she wasn’t telling a lie that she could get the information, especially if she asked. Just being able to give it to these bozos was what she could lie about with ease. “How fast could you do this? We want to be able to come in with our own guards and just barge in there like it’s nothing.”
Presley crosses his arms over his chest as he stares down Adalinda.
She raised an eyebrow to him and leans forward. “Give me two weeks, have your men waiting to set sail after I give you a call.” ‘These guys are supposed to be masterminds of some sort?’ ‘Clearly not if they’re spilling everything to me like water.’ ‘Guess you hit the jackpot then with these numbskulls.’ “Now, boys. Let's talk about payment, hm? Need to be paid a bit up front, then later.”
She chuckles as she sits up again and crosses her arms over her chest. With Veles’ help, they spend the next half hour negotiating her payment, and Adalinda starts to walk out of the room with a smirk on her lips. Ruvel wanted her to find out if this rumor of war and espionage was true. And there it was, in the hands of these two. It felt all too easy. Well, not too easy. It took her a bit to get this information, now she just needed to-“Have you heard? There was a dragon spotted! It was far out west. One of my cousins who likes to go an adventure nearly every year, decided she wanted to go past Fiore and explore the lands that way.”
Ada’s eyes shoot towards the couple who were talking. “Really?! That sounds rather scary to be quite honest!” “Yeah. Liona said it was cause there was just this big old dragon that looked like it was made of iron! It was just casually flying over her ship like it was nothing!”
The other girl gasped in surprise at that news. Adalinda started making her way towards the two, making sure she heard them properly. If this was true… she may need to request a vacation to investigate herself. “Liona even said that the dragon was carrying some old iron and munching on some while it flew. The dragon seemed like he was angry…”
That sounded like something Metalicana would do… Ada lets up a sigh as she looks around. She needed to leave. Both, to tell Ruvel about what she found, and to search for her foster father.
She sets her champagne down and starts to leave, slipping around people. A couple people tried to stop her and talk to her, but Ada quickly said that she had gotten word her father wasn’t well and needed to leave, which prompted them to allow her to leave quickly. Despite the shoes, she jogged out of the building, not wanting to be there a second longer. She makes her way out and immediately removes the shoes, getting in a carriage and allows herself to be driven to her hotel room. From there, she collected her suitcases, and got Tammy to go to the outskirts of the city with her, in which she quickly changed to her dragon form, carrying her luggage in her claws and flying off for Tolgalen once more. She wasn’t going to take ‘no’ as an answer from Ruvel about this. She needed
answers as to why he left her, that’s the one thing her memories never revealed when she got them all back from unlocking Veles.
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