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    Never Skip Leg Day

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Player 
    Lineage : Lucifer’s Aura
    Position : None
    Posts : 151
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 29,000

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Energy Monarch
    Second Magic:
    Third Magic:

    Never Skip Leg Day Empty Never Skip Leg Day

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos on 22nd March 2020, 6:16 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Never Skip Leg Day RJtajUnz_o

    Just like that, it seemed his vacation away from Bellum was over.

    Vandrad hadn’t expected any kind of letter or message really ever while he was in Fairy Tail. The only person that actively knew where he was at any one point was Mercury and frankly, if she wanted to get in contact with him, she would make it a point to show up. But that was only in the case if she were to find a job that would be good for the two of them. Otherwise, he expected her to be at the training room every other morning, ready to spar. So it came as a surprise, as the Prince of Bellum came down the stairs, when the fairies at the front desk called to him and claimed to have a letter for him. He’d been curious, downright suspicious, but not necessarily of the attending creatures. He took the letter, mumbling a quick thanks, before he walked over to the dining area and sat himself down.

    And it was a good thing he had sat down too because the letter addressed to him would have knocked him right off his feet. It had come in an unmarked envelope, lacking any return address or stamp but the minute he tore off the top and unfolded the parchment, he recognized the paper almost instantly. He’d handled it several times over the course of his life and as he turned it around to read it, he found the seal of his family’s crest near the top and the fine, curving calligraphy of his mother’s handwriting.

    “Dear Vandrad,

    You know, I have to admit I’m quite impressed. It took me a whole month to figure out where you had taken up residence in that backwater nation. Your uncle and cousins were convinced it would take five days, perhaps a week. But you hid yourself well, my son and for that, I must say that I’m quite proud. Not many can pull the wool over your dear mother’s eyes.

    But alas, you have been found out. And while I do not condemn your desire to seek out further information about your father, I cannot not condone your actions either. Leaving without a note or a simple goodbye goes against the manners I know your teachers put upon you, let alone your superiors in the military. I know my admission came at a shocking time in your life – you are nearly forty now, Lord how the years have gone by – but if you had stayed, I would have opened up more about it in time. It is not an easy thing for a mother to admit the scandalous actions of her past and, as you are fully aware, my inclination to physically connect with a man is something I wish to leave behind me. But I digress.

    If you wish to continue your search for more information, I shall not hinder you. I am sure that you’ve sat there wondering if I was laying informational traps to sic my agents upon you and bring you back home by force. As much as the idea entertains me, I cannot afford to throw men’s lives away by throwing them at you. I know who my son is and I know, loyal soldiers of Bellum or not, you will not stay your hand if you are threatened. But as I understand it, you’ve been keeping your origin a secret. I imagine that has been quite the challenge for you so I commend you undertaking such a trial.

    Yet I did not pen this letter merely as a means of reconnecting after our month apart. There is a ball tomorrow evening, though I believe it will be the evening of the morning you receive this. And as much as I wish I could explain away your absence, I cannot. I shall require you to return to Bellum to attend said gala for the sake of formality. While I do not wish to come across as intimidating, I do hope you’ll take into consideration that I merely sent this letter rather than sent a royal escort. But do know that they are housed within Magnolia and should the clock strike twelve and you have not left for Bellum, they will come and request your attendance in a far grander gesture. For both our sakes, I hope you will not push the matter. I’ll see you tonight, my love.

    Duchess Themesycia du Wolff


    The Prince of Bellum hissed between his teeth, agitated as he finished the letter. Blast it to Hell – somehow, she had found him. It wasn’t the worst-case scenario; she had listed exactly what that was in her letter. But he had been doing his best to keep his identity under wraps. The only person that he could recall knowing it fully was Mercury and that was only allegedly. She had never confirmed or denied that she had heard him in the Sun Tower, though the very next job they went upon had seemed to be subtle tease at him, even if unintentionally. He wasn’t concerned about her letting the news out – it wouldn’t be beneficial or amusing to her to do so. Plus they were… amiable rivals at this point. Revealing who he was would rob her of further entertainment and challenge or so he assumed.

    Whatever the case, she had found him. And if her letter was to be believed – and he did – she required his return that very instant. He sighed as he crumpled the letter up into his hand, closing his fingers around it until it was only a small ball. A small pulse of energy from his palm incinerated the paper orb, reducing it to mere ashes. One day back in Bellum, that’s all she had said. He would attend the ball that night and be back on his way by tomorrow morning. That was easy, wasn’t it?

    Nothing ever was with his mother but what other choice did he have? After destroying the evidence of the letter, he slid out of the chair and headed back to his room. If he was only going to be gone half a day, he didn’t require a lot. All of his royal outfits were back in Bellum anyways, so it wasn’t like he was tracking a pack of laundry with him. Oddly enough, there wasn’t any single item that called out to him to bring. Almost in a witless move, he grabbed the electronic pad that Mercury had given him and packed that in a small bag to take with him. If anything, he could use it to browse the Lacrimanet and perhaps continue on his own personal research.

    Before he left, he made sure to tell the fairies up front that he would be gone for perhaps a day to run an errand back to his hometown. No more questions really asked; they simply marked it down and let him know they’d let the higher ups know about it. And with that he left, rocketing up into the sky and off back home. It was a fairly short trip, considering. Back when he had flown to Fiore, it had definitely felt much longer. But now that he was a bit stronger and was more in tune with his magic, it seemed his flight was more rapid as well. Before long, he had passed the outlying border of Bellum and soon the du Wolff estate would be in sight.

    In terms of size, it was quite the gargantuan setting. It was easily one of the smaller ‘estates’ in Bellum but no doubt anyone from Fiore would balk at calling it anything less than a palace. Set on an island surrounded by waterfalls, the du Wolff estate rose off the land naturally, merging stone and stone together as if they were one. A crescent-shaped harbor sat on the bottom part of the island, where several fishing boats docked and embarked from. Several buildings were built into the stony wall that rose to the royal estate, housing citizens of the small port town. On either end of the crescent were two lighthouses burning with open flames and set against intricate crystals. The center of the wall was embedded with a copper configuration that bore the family sigil of du Wolff in its most center circle. Up on the upper echelon of the grounds were several other buildings, mainly homes for the estate staff. Two massive stone bridges extended out from this mid-tier section to the lands past the waterfalls, so that vehicles and people could come and go. And finally, on the upper-most level was the mansion, exquisitely designed out of magic to look both natural and forged in nature. It easily rivaled some of the bigger castles in Fiore without shame.

    Vandrad was greeted by the house workers, who were quite excited to see his return. They caught up with him, mostly about how his mother had been worried about his running off. But as he questioned them to when the ball actually started, they seemed quite stunned. It was then he learned the truth of the matter – the ball was not that night as his mother had led him to believe. In fact, it was the next day entirely. And it wasn’t some gathering of nobles and family members like she had certainly hinted at.

    No, it was one of her old traditions that she came about every year or so. Yet another attempt to marry him off.

    He had protested and demanded to know where the woman was, only to be told she was out for the evening and wouldn’t return until the ball the next day. Clever old bat – she knew he would confirm the news and demand answers from her, so she removed herself from the equation. He grumbled and thought about simply leaving to spite her… but then quickly remembered what would happen if he did. With an agitated groan, he went inside his birth home and opted to simply accept that two days would simply have to do. Oh but wait, there was more!

    The night went by fairly uneventfully. The maids and servants of the manor sought him out every occasion they had to talk and catch up and Vandrad had to keep ushering them away, not wanting to be disturbed. By the next morning, he was ready to get himself ready and simply get the whole circus over with. He managed to get through most of his morning routine before the tailor came to fetch him, alerting him that the ball started in less than two hours and he hadn’t been fitted yet. Apparently the outfits in his room weren’t going to do; he needed something brand new to impress whatever woman his mother had managed to scrounge up. As he walked into the room, a familiar young face turned to meet his gaze.

    “Well if it isn’t Uncle Van. How’s it hanging, old man?” A brash, blond man stood in the center of a pedestal, with semi-circle of mirrors reflecting his image. Crimson red eyes flickered with amusement as he adjusted the red tie on his collar.

    Vandrad snorted. "Bartrand. In your usual chipper mood as always,” he replied as he went and stood on his own dressing pedestal.

    “Well you know me, old man. Always a huge fan of getting dolled up and listening to old bats talk about unimportant shit for hours on end,” the twenty-year old man replied as he finished tying his tie. He pulled the cape over the rest of his suit; an elegant black fabric tail with fur lined along the collar of it. “But enough about me. I hear you’ve been playing hooky in Bellum lately. Ran off to… what was it? Minstrel?”

    So his family had been talking. How annoying. "It’s not anyone’s business but my own,” he said. The tailor came up and looked Vandrad over before snapping his fingers and waving a loom of white cloth at him. Much like it had in Rose Garden, the fabric wound around him tight and then pulled to a close and melded to his skin. A pure, clean white royal tuxedo now covered his body, with blue stripes running the length of the legs and down across the boots. Golden fringe embraced the ribs of the suit and ruffle pauldrons of the same shining gold hung loosely over his shoulders. Vandrad took one look at it and did his best to hide his sneer. "All this for something so ridiculous.”

    “Ah, come on uncle. Not everything can be as fun as a battlefield,” Bartrand said, giving the older man a knock on the shoulder before heading for the door. “I’ll see you in a bit!”

    Time seemed to slow and speed up all at once. The Prince of Bellum felt he was standing still but he continued to move, being greeted by family members as they arrived. Before he even knew what was happening, the ball was completely in motion. Half of a full orchestra lined the exquisite quartz ballroom. The hard crystal made up the entirety of the room, from the intricately shaped pillars to the ceiling etched with fantastical images. Chandeliers of rose quartz hung down over the entirety of the area, their warm hue keeping the entirety of the massive room comfortable.

    He didn’t even get a chance to relax. He was handing out greetings to people as they came up to him and then, before he had a chance to decline, he was pulled out to the dance floor to take part in a waltz as the orchestra played into it. He sighed softly as the woman in front of him chattered away, wanting nothing more than to be anywhere else.

    But at least it couldn’t get worse, right?







    Words: 2303 | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Player 
    Lineage : None
    Position : None
    Posts : 150
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 24,150

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Gunblade Master
    Second Magic: Mecha God Slayer (2nd)
    Third Magic:

    Never Skip Leg Day Empty Re: Never Skip Leg Day

    Post by Mercury Arseneault on 22nd March 2020, 8:30 pm

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    About a week had passed since their deadly little excursion into Ca-Elum, which had quickly turned into a fight for their lives. Mercury had very nearly died on the boat ride out after a long and insane fight with a sea serpent out in the open waters that had taken a whole lot of power and a whole lot of luck on both her and Vandrad’s side to kill. She had wound up drowning in the ocean waters after being smacked off her flight disc, and only lived to tell the tale because Vandrad had done the unthinkable and pulled her out of the water, dislodging the liquid from her lungs and saving her life.

    It had been an odd moment for Mercury. Well, for both of them really, but especially for her. Her gruff partner wasn’t exactly actively trying to kill her these days. If anything, he had made it pretty clear in his actions and his words that he wanted her around more often, if only to train. Vandrad saw value in her as an equal combat partner, someone that could push him past his limits and encourage him to grow in strength and power. However, that didn’t exactly mean that he was any less surly with her on any given day, nor that he considered her a friend or really anything more than an ally.

    So it had been really weird, as she’d slowly come back down from the high of almost dying, to see him treating her with something oddly reminiscent of concern. They both had needed rest and other accommodations, which he made sure she got first: a warm bath to fight off the chill from being drenched in violent winds, dry clothes, a fresh meal, and then off to a much needed sleep. And frankly, she’d been so weary with exhaustion, hardly able to move much on her own, that Mercury hadn’t really stopped to think much about it at the time.

    She’d thought about it a lot ever since, however. There certainly wasn’t any gestures of romance in any of the behavior, not that Mercury really understood what such things were anyway, but there had still been a caring and attention there that she’d never really been given before. It gave her much to consider. Frankly, up until now she had constantly referred to herself as his best friend just because she knew it would get a rise out of him and she quite enjoyed watching his nose wrinkle in irritation and disgust. However, a part of her was wondering if this was perhaps what it was like to actually have a friend -- a real one.

    Such conjectures were kept to herself, of course. Stars forbid that she ever make any such authentic insinuations to him. At best, he’d bruff it off with a scoff. At worst, he would vehemently deny it until his dying breath, but that wouldn’t change the fact that even after everything was said and done, and they were both rested and ready to continue on to the actual job they’d signed up for in Ca-Elum, he still had been more gentle and mindful of her for the rest of the trip. Perhaps he’d just felt bad. After all, the whole trip had been his idea and yet she was the one who had very nearly perished. She supposed it was entirely possible that the small, temporary change in demeanor had been more out of a sense of guilt and responsibility than a fully genuine concern for her wellbeing.

    Only time would tell.

    What was interesting was the fact that he hadn’t made any mention of her magic. Mercury had never gone full stop in front of him before with all the power that she had available to her, content to let him wonder and guess about it. She was a woman that liked to keep her cards close to her chest, after all. It was a survival tactic with her to not show her full hand to any one person so she could keep them on their toes and allow herself to be unassuming. It made it all that much easier to knock them off their guard if the need ever arose.

    Surely he had been brimming with questions, yet none were put forth. She was both impressed and slightly vexed as she attempted to figure out why he hadn’t brought the subject up. It wasn’t like she had normal magic. From the research she had done on slayers, her magic was rare even by slayer standards. At the very least she expected him to make some kind of offhand snide remark about how much she’d been holding back from him during their spars, or even since Desierto. Not that she’d ever performed such grand feats of magic before even during her private trainings with Jadus, so it wasn’t like she knew she was capable of such things before her life was well and truly on the line, but still. She’d expected something.

    But nothing. No smart ass quips, no questions, not even a shred of curiosity. Did he truly just not care that much? Or maybe he was simply taking a crack at her own games, silently passing the opportunity to comment upon such findings in the hopes of driving her mad with waiting for the shoe to drop. It would only be fair, she supposed. After all, she had been doing just that with the little nugget of knowledge that he was royalty from another country, hiding in plain sight in a land that wasn’t necessarily enemies of his own but certainly wasn’t on the best of terms, as far as she had researched.

    Oh well. It was bound to come up sooner or later, and she was patient enough to wait and analyze his every move until then to see if he planned on trying to pull a fast one on her. In a week, he had yet to do so. They had returned from their trip and gone right back to the routine they had built up of sparring with one another roughly every other day. The so called prince was a stickler for his workout sessions, expecting the night owl to be at Fairy Tail sharp in the morning to get started. It was fun, but it was also torture for someone like her that was definitely not an early bird. She nearly always showed up half a sleep with a cup of coffee clutched in her hands, often taking a bit to wake up before she was really able to get into the swing of the exercises.

    So it was strange, then, that she’d been waiting in Fairy Tail’s mess hall for nearly an hour with no sign of the man. Vandrad was almost never late, and if he ever was it was only by a few minutes at most, usually grumbling his annoyance at whatever person or thing had gotten in his way and kept him from his schedule. Mercury had finished her coffee and was fully awake by the time she realized something was definitely wrong.

    She had gotten up to talk to one of the members at their desk, who knew her face well by this point, only to confirm that Vandrad wasn’t even at the guildhall. He had left the day before stating that he needed to go “see to an errand” at home, with intentions of being back by the next day. Only, it was the next day and he wasn’t there yet. If he’d expected to miss or have to postpone their session, surely he would have notified her. Or at least, he had better. Hell would await him if she’d gotten up this early in the morning for absolutely no reason just because he’d forgotten to contact her and let her know something had come up.

    The thought of home churned in her mind for a moment. Bellum… she’d yet to go there. It was most of a day’s flight, but ever since her last hover disc had been destroyed Mercury had managed to craft a new one whose speed and aerodynamics far surpassed that of the one she had lost. Perhaps it was time to take it for a true test drive. If he had gone home without any notice or warning, it was possible that something serious had happened that required his attention as a prince. If it was that important, than perhaps her assistance would be of worth, which she knew he’d never lower himself to ask for.

    Luckily for him, Mercury had no qualms about showing up places unannounced, and what a delightful show it would be to confirm that she did, in fact, know his real identity by appearing at his house out of the blue?

    She’d taken the quick flight back to Silver Wolf to grab a few essentials for her trip: a couple days worth of clothing and toiletries, her travel tool kit, and a few other things. After that, the mage hopped back on her disc and made the long, uneventful flight to Bellum, pondering as to all the possible natures of what could have happened along the way. She’d already long since looked into him and his family, and knew which city his home was located in, even what the place looked like from the outside.

    Of course, seeing pictures of the place was nothing in comparison to setting her eyes upon the real thing. It was close to night time by the time she’d arrived, and she’d paused on her disc somewhere over the water to admire the veritable palace that he called home. “And here I thought I’d been the one holding out on you,” Mercury murmured to herself with a delighted smirk.

    Rather than land directly in the palace, she’d made her way into the heart of the city and done some exploring to see if she could pick up any news that might catch her interest. Citizens were always chatty and full of gossip whenever anything of interest was going on, so she was not surprised to catch wind almost immediately about what had drawn the man back home. What did surprise her was the nature of the event: a ball. And not just any ball, a full blow gala to celebrate his potential engagement to some Midian princess.

    Mercury could hardly contain her glee. He had abandoned her for this nonsense? Oh, he had to be furious. There was no doubt in her mind that something like this was utter agony for the soldier, and it occurred to her that perhaps he had intentionally not made mention of the trip to her for the very reason of knowing that she would find some way to make it worse for him. Well, he certainly would have been right about that, because she was already crafting her plans of revenge and humiliation.

    By the time the ball was in full swing, Mercury had managed to slip into the palace and the ballroom without drawing any attention to herself. The people around her were far too busy enjoying their livery and frivolity to notice her slowly moving up along the vaulted ceilings, far above their heads. The aesthetic of the ballroom was unbelievably delicate and extravagant, with crystal pillars and a dark marble floor, with intricate archways and cross beams along the ceiling and a dramatic staircase leading down into the room.

    It was from the beams in the ceiling that Mercury curiously watched the goings on below, tucked into a dark nitch in the crystal and idly nibbling on a snack as she observed the hundred or so odd people that had gathered. Each person of noteworthy birth or origins that entered the room was announced by a sussed up man with a cane from the top of the grand stairway, and she found herself rolling eyer eyes at each dolled up woman that did her best to look like she was floating down the step with grace and poise. Luckily, no one was near close enough to hear her snort.

    But really, it was the Fairy Tail wizard that she kept her eyes on. He was dressed up to the absolute nines in a finely tailored suit of white, blue, and gold that made him look much more like an actual prince than she ever could have envisioned him as. And boy did he look bored Mercury snickered to herself with delight a number of times as she watched him get passed from dancing partner to dancing partner, each woman practically bursting with some kind of emotion over getting the honor of sharing a moment of his time. Their endless babble was infuriating him. She could tell just by his body language. He looked so much more rigid and uncomfortable here than he ever had during any of their time together in Fiore.

    Guess I better spice things up for him a bit then, she told herself with a devilish grin. Moving with quiet grace along the archways, making sure to keep to the more shadowed areas, she found a spot where she could safely drop down to the main floor between a pillar and a wall where no one would notice her. Mercury had been watching the dance closely, analyzing it with her scanners to pick up the pattern of movement and commit it to her memory. This would only be the second time she’d ever danced, but this time she was sure that she would have the knack of it perfectly as this had an actual prescribed rhythm to it that she could mimic rather than just aimless sauntering back and forth. And hopefully this time her feet would be left unabused, as well.

    Waiting for the opportune moment, she slipped through the crowds right as Vandrad was getting ready to change partners again. Rudely and unceremoniously hip checking the next starry eyed broad out of the way, Mercury slipped right into his hold with ease and picked up the movement as though she’d known the dance all her life. Unlike everyone else present, however, Mercury was not wearing anything even close to a ballgown. Oh no, his punishment was far worse than her merely showing up uninvited. She was sporting a pair of worn, ripped up denim jeans over a pair of black and white tennis shoes, with a white sleeveless shirt that was just shy of being a crop top.

    And in big, black font, the shirt boldly proclaimed the words, “Your son calls me mommy too”.

    Mercury smiled at him innocently, though her emerald eyes betrayed the almost sadistic delight she was taking in this moment as the full realization of what was happening surely settled slowly into his head after the initial bout of denial. “It’s funny. Out of all the things I figured you could have stood me up for, getting hitched wasn’t even on the list. It’s terrible manners to keep your best friend out of such an important milestone in your life, your majesty. Only think of how hurt my feelings are.”

    WORDS: 2541/2541 | @Vandrad Ragnos
    Serilda Sinclair



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Player 
    Lineage : Lucifer’s Aura
    Position : None
    Posts : 151
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 29,000

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Energy Monarch
    Second Magic:
    Third Magic:

    Never Skip Leg Day Empty Re: Never Skip Leg Day

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos on 23rd March 2020, 4:32 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Never Skip Leg Day RJtajUnz_o

    Surely there were no gods in the world. If there were, they would hear his prayers to be struck down where he stood and moved. Vandrad had despised these events since he was a child and his mother knew it quite well. Even as a young lad, one would always find him sitting in the corner, arms crossed over his chest, glaring at the endless bodies that moved inside the hall. As he grew, his attempts to sneak away were met with equal resistance from his other and her attendants. He had a duty to greet guests and take part in conversation, since he was the son of a duchess as well. He couldn’t even remember when he was given the honorary title of prince; a silly traditional badge of honor that didn’t even make sense. Bellum was ruled by the Archmages, not kings. Duchess was even a ludicrous title to go by – his mother was merely in a line of succession towards a place as an Archmage. But the people of the nation loved to address themselves with pretty words and things to make themselves feel better.

    And to Vandrad’s credit, he did refer to himself as a prince when needed. He’d grown up with it so it was hard to cast it aside. But with it came all the responsibilities and lessons made for one that was essentially royalty. And these balls became more important for his attendance as he grew. His mother was grooming him to be more like her, despite his best efforts. The first minute he could, he had signed up for the military and removed himself from the equation. Sure, she had still managed to worm her expectations between his orders and bring him home more times than he cared but overall, he had been saved from such events more times than not. But perhaps the worst galas, the ones he hated the most, had to be these marriage ones.

    This wasn’t the first. It wasn’t even in the top ten. As he aged, his mother became more concerned with him taking a bride and establishing himself as her heir in duty and management. She also wasn’t exactly coy about her desire to have grandkids that she could help bring up as well. Every other year or so, she arranged for him to meet with a new possible bride and see how they hit it off. Thus far, he had refused all of them and, to his mother’s credit, she obliged. The one thing she would never do was force him to marry for the sake of tradition or honor. She genuinely wanted him to find someone he could be happy with. But unfortunately that meant that she would continue to arrange possible matches until she was successful. He’d long lost the ability to convince her that he would settle down when he wanted. It was probably because she could see right through him. He had no desire to settle down. The world was far too big to simply play house. There was so much he wanted to see and do and she certainly hadn’t helped her case by finally revealing his origins.

    Yet she still knew how to manipulate him, as she did most people. Though she was a noble, she was far from the average one – none of his family were. They were far more scandalous than other families and the matriarch had established herself as the odd one out years ago. Similar to her son, she had been part of the military for a long time as well. After the event in which she had met Vandrad’s father, she had claimed she would never be anyone’s damsel ever again. The whispers of her nickname were still spoken with a touch of fear – the Ashen Dread. While her family was more interested in juicy hook ups and affairs, she was claiming lives on battlefields and operations. It had only been a decade or so ago that she had retired to become a Duchess full time. But that didn’t keep her from venturing out every now and then to remind people she hadn’t lost her step. And it was definitely from her that Vandrad got his analytical mind, even if she was far better at familiarity than he.

    Whatever the case was, he was here now and he had his duties. Hands were shaken, welcomes were issued to those that approached him and soon enough the music was flowing enough that dancing had started up. Of course he was asked for a dance before the first song was even in full swing and, as much as he wanted to, he couldn’t deny them. And so he started into the waltz that had been ingrained into his mind from childhood. The one benefit to being so well tuned to the movements is that he could tune out the rest of the world. Sure, he could answer questions in short bursts and negotiate idle conversation. Women always wanted to talk even while dancing. But part of his mind retreated inwards to his mind palace.

    It was here that he could continue to do what he was best at; training. Ethereal wisps formed around him in his mind, taking the form of smoky enemies. As they rushed into attack, the Prince of Bellum fought them off. These foes were of martial skill, truly forcing him to work his hardest to fight them off. As he defeated them, they faded into smoke before returning, stronger than before. He activated his Empowerment, utilizing the additional power to push him past their strengths. Soon enough they were gone. He needed a stronger challenge. He focused and soon a curvier form appeared out of the smoke. She took on more distinct shape and soon, the image of Mercury stood before him, smirking and confident. He couldn’t help but return her smug look as he pushed himself to the highest tier of Empowerment, getting himself in a fighting stance. She prepared herself across from him, ready to fight. It was strange just how realistic she looked, even as she slid into his arms and began to dance with him. Ah well, it just meant that his imagination was—

    Wait MERCURY?!

    This wasn’t some visage of his mind. No, she was in fact in his arms, waltzing right along with him and smiling up at him. His eyes widened in realization as he looked her over and was utterly horrified that not only was she present in his home but she was dressed as commonly as possible. Normally, he wouldn’t give a damn what she wore or didn’t wear but here – among his family – he knew that this, she, was going to be the focus of all conversation. Indeed, already people were starting to turn and murmur as the attention of the room turned towards the prince and the severely undressed woman dancing along with him.

    "What are you doing here?!” he hissed at her, glancing past her at all the eyes looking at them. She answered him without answering him – she was taking great delight in the situation that she was far too prescient to. She knew he was here because of an arranged marriage and clearly that he was a royal. He knew it – she had heard him that day. She had just been hanging onto that knowledge, a weapon ready for her to wield when it best suited – and amused – her. "Tsk,” he began his answer with a scoff. "I had no intention of being here longer than a day. But then things… complicated themselves,” he gave her an honest answer. It hadn’t even occurred to him to stop dancing with, continuing to waltz even as the room surrounded the two of them. The line of women waiting for their turns with Vandrad looked utterly appalled at the commoner that had rudely jumped to the front of the line.

    He snorted at her and shook his head. "You know, I would think that I would be surprised about you showing up here looking like you just left your job at a brothel, yet I’m not. But it doesn’t matter; you need to leave now before—“

    “Before what, dear?”

    Ah… there it was. Somewhere deep in his gut, he should have known that fate would take advantage of him while it had him at a severe disadvantage. Vandrad finally stopped dancing with Mercury, his head dropping a bit as a sigh escaped his mouth. He let the Silver Wolf mage go and turned to face his mother, Duchess Themescyia du Wolff. The first thing that Mercury would notice was just how young the mother of Vandrad looked; her skin was silky smooth and she very easily could have been mistaken for his younger sister. Her flesh was ashen gray all over, though not in a way that made her look sickly. If anything, she looked quite well bodied. Intricate red tattoos were imprinted upon her bare head, running over and above her ears, around her temples over her bros and two ones that highlighted her cheeks. Her dress was far more scandalous than the others in the ball, drawing almost as much attention as the dressed down Mercury. A tight silken gorget wrapped around her neck and draped over her shoulders, golden cloth straps attached at its base that ran down to a fit corset. An extraordinary amount of the top of her breasts showed over the top of the silver and gold cloth enclosure, that ran down over her form with such tight detail that her full figure was on display. A black and red sash, inked with archaic symbols, wrapped around her waist and was tied with a golden loop. The dress itself cut off shorter on the left side, allowing her lower and middle thigh to show for all to see, whereas the other side was far more covered. Knee-high leather boots, complete with straps up on her revealed thigh, ran the length of her leg and came to a nice even heel on each foot.

    She glanced at her son with a stern and studious glance, chastising him without speaking. Then her deep, silver eyes flicked over to Mercury and took her in. Her vision stopped at the words emblazoned on her shirt and seemed to read them several times before they continued their trail downwards. When she finally lifted her study back to the Silver Wolf mage’s eyes, the tension in the air seemed to come to a complete halt, as everyone held their breath.

    “Vandrad,” she said softly, without breaking her gaze. “How rude of you not to introduce your bold and delicious friend,” Themesycia’s lips pulled back into a smirk, that would be easily recognizable as it was the same one her son had. She didn’t wait for the Prince to speak up as she stepped forward, holding out her hand for Mercury to shake. “Duchess Themesycia du Wolff. May I be so bold as to say that your presence here has made this ball far more worth it than I originally intended?” The woman hummed in a pleased tone, giving Mercury a sly wink before she cast a glance at her son for a moment. Then she turned her attention to the rest of the audience surrounding them. “What’s everyone staring at? This is a gala, not a peeping hole. I’m sure most of you are just jealous that this beautiful woman possesses the boldness to come comfortably rather than stitched into her dress. I’m looking at you, Margaret – no one is buying that your tits have magically gotten bigger.”








    Words: 1939/4242 | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Player 
    Lineage : None
    Position : None
    Posts : 150
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 24,150

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Gunblade Master
    Second Magic: Mecha God Slayer (2nd)
    Third Magic:

    Never Skip Leg Day Empty Re: Never Skip Leg Day

    Post by Mercury Arseneault on 23rd March 2020, 5:56 pm

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    It took him a second to realize what had just happened. His mind had been literally everywhere but at the ball, and they had danced for a couple seconds before reality hit him. “Mm, there it is,” Mercury said as horror and rage shadowed his face. “That irritated little wrinkle in your nose that I like so much.”

    Mercury was honestly surprised that he kept dancing with her, despite the fact that the whole room around them had practically halted to stare and whisper among themselves. He must have been completely flustered by shock, to the point where he actually gave her an honest answer about why he had missed training. Oh, and she was reveling in the attention, that much was certain. All the other women were stunned and enraged by this common trollop walking in and cutting the obvious line, only to successfully get the man’s attention.

    Hell, he actually seemed a bit happy to see her. Sure he wasn’t exactly smiling but he definitely snorted in some form of amusement and continued to move about the room with the underdressed wench, engaging in conversation with her much more than any who had danced with him before. As he started talking about his lack of surprise at her showing up uninvited and out of dress code, Mercury’s impish grin only grew. She was quite pleased with herself, and didn’t hide it even a little.

    Vandrad was about to regale her with a list of reasons why she needed to sod off -- all of which she’d planned on ignoring -- when he was interrupted by a commanding female voice. Even as he dropped his head and sighed his frustration and resignation, Mercury turned to behold his mother. She’d known what the woman looked like, as pictures of her had been quite easy to find on the lacrinet. Much like the city itself, however, a mere picture did not do the real thing justice. The duchess was by far the most exotic woman Mercury had ever laid her eyes on, and as Vandrad finally let her go the Silver Wolf mage made no effort to mask the once over look she gave the older woman.

    Vandaddy,” she said in that moment of tense silence, lightly smacking him on the shoulder with the back of her hand without taking her emerald gaze from the woman. “You didn’t tell me you had a sister.” It was definitely bold, particularly when she had little reason to believe that anything other than her being physically tossed out of the building -- or worse -- was about to happen. But then again, this entire venture, outfit included, was almost alarmingly brazen. In for a penny, in for a pound.

    The entire room was already thick with suspense as everyone, including herself, waited for judgement to come down hard. The beautifully gaunt woman made a show out of eying Mercury from head to toe, taking her in fully before finally addressing her son. And then, she chastised him for not introducing his friend before flat out hitting on her. The woman smirked at her in such a way that it sent some goosebumps down Mercury’s skin, while also drawing up memories of the times that Vandrad himself had given her such a look. And as the duchess stepped forward to make Mercury’s acquaintance, the only thought going through the Silver Wolf’s head was: Oh, daddy, you’re in trouble now.

    Themesycia offered Mercury her hand by way of introduction, pushing the pleasantries further by proclaiming how the Xocili’s stunt had made the entire gala far more worthwhile than she’d originally intended. “Please, my lady,” Mercury told her in a deep charming voice, taking the dutchess’ hand. Rather than shake it, however, she turned it over on her palm and bowed low in a well practiced gesture of respect. Without taking her eyes off the other woman’s, she murmured, “The infamous Ashen Dread can feel free to be as bold with me as she wishes.” Then, she gently kissed the back of Themesycia’s hand, lingering her hold for a moment longer before releasing it and straightening back up.

    After giving Vandrad a quick look, the duchess turned to the gawking crowd and chastised them for staring, even going so far as to mock them for being jealous of Mercury’s bravery and sense of comfort in the face of so much frivolity. Without missing a beat, she followed the sentiment by calling out one woman in particular for supposedly utilizing magic to enhance the size of her breasts. By that point, Mercury was practically looking at the woman with stars in her eyes, as though the incarnation of love had just fluttered down from the sky to inject a lifetime supply of oxytocin directly into her veins. Vandrad’s mother was perfect, and there was no one in the cosmos that would be able to convince her otherwise.

    As the crowds jumped to making it look like they were busy doing anything other than continuing to stare and try to eavesdrop, Mercury gave the duchess a smirk of her own. “Please forgive your son’s reluctance to introduce me. He was not expecting me, and right now he is far too busy envisioning his hands around my neck and wishing he’d left me to drown in the oceans outside of Ca-Elum. He’ll catch up in a minute.

    “In the meantime, please allow me to provide my own introduction and explanation of my presence. My name is Mercury Arseneault… though, if I may continue to be bold myself, you are more than welcome to also call me mommy.” She gave the woman a flirtatious wink and continued. “I am not from any place whose name you would recognize, as it is far, far away from this continent. However, I have recently taken up residence in Fiore with one of their many guilds.”

    Mercury wasn’t keen on telling anyone on Earthland exactly where she was from, but she got the feeling that not naming her homeland was just going to make her all the more mysterious and interesting to the woman anyway. “Vandrad and I train together every other day or so, and when he didn’t show up for his morning beating I was concerned, you see. It’s not like him to be late, let alone miss one of our workouts without leaving any word. I was afraid that perhaps something distressing had called him home to see to his duties, and thought to check on him and perhaps offer my assistance as his friend. Alas, it seems he simply left me hanging for a line of fawning ladies.”

    She raised a hand to her chest over her heart as if she were hurt, making a right show of it that everyone involved in the conversation would be able to see right through. It was entirely clear that, while Mercury certainly may have come out of a sense of concern for her friend’s sudden disappearance, she was definitely here now to have a little fun getting under his skin. While her expression showed innocence and hurt, her eyes were utterly glittering with a well honed sense of mischief.

    “I do hope you can forgive me.”

    WORDS: 1254/3795 | @Vandrad Ragnos
    Serilda Sinclair



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Player 
    Lineage : Lucifer’s Aura
    Position : None
    Posts : 151
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 29,000

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Energy Monarch
    Second Magic:
    Third Magic:

    Never Skip Leg Day Empty Re: Never Skip Leg Day

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos on 23rd March 2020, 6:46 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Never Skip Leg Day RJtajUnz_o

    This was going to be trouble. But not in the way that the rest of the ball was expecting.

    Vandrad was not concerned about his mother tossing Mercury out. The thought that the Silver Wolf mage may offend the Duchess had never even crossed his mind. No, from the moment he had met Mercury, he had only one thought in his mind. This was a woman my mother would love. She had the wit, the spark, the boldness that would impress a powerful and daunting woman like the Ashen Dread. And so, at some point in his realization that having Mercury around benefitted him, he had made a decision. By no means would he ever allow them to meet. There would be far too many connections and similarities and frankly, he was pretty sure either one of them would sweep the other off their feet. His mother was unmarried by her own choice, claiming that she would take no husband until she met a man that could dominate her. In truth, Themesycia wasn’t interested in any man – she desired only women. While being a lesbian wasn’t necessarily frowned upon in Bellum, there were those who still stuck up their noses at the thought and their influence could sway power away from the du Wolff estate. So the Duchess was more than happy to allow rumors of her liaisons with the same sex to travel – titillating conversation to pass among strangers. But around her family and those that lived on the du Wolff island, well… she didn’t bother pretending she wasn’t what she truly was.

    And while Vandrad wasn’t sure if Mercury swung in the direction that included women, he had known plenty of perfectly ‘straight’ women that had stumbled out of his mother’s bed chambers, weak in the legs and grinning from ear to ear.

    Mercury smacked his arm without looking, focusing her attention on Themesycia, and chastised him for not letting her know he had a sister. He could feel the collective gasp from the crowd as this unknown so boldly played such flirty tones with the Duchess. But the woman herself couldn’t help her pleasure at the comment, a slight twitch of her lips. And when she got around to introducing herself and offering her hand in a gesture of camaraderie, Mercury went beyond. She took the woman’s hand, addressing her as lady, and turned the limb over before declaring that any boldness she took would be more than welcome. And the feeling of the Silver Wolf’s lips on her flesh sent a small shiver of elation through the older woman, though she wore it without hint of exhilaration.

    As the Duchess took the time to criticize the watching crowd, Vandrad could only shake his head. He knew his mother would make a spectacle of this entire debacle but having Mercury here as well was like adding gasoline to a fire. Not only would they certainly spend the entire time plotting against him, he was sure that his mother would be doing anything in her power to whisk Mercury to some dark corner and attempt to seduce her right out of her mommy shirt. Once the rest of the gala had, at the very least, pretended to return to a sense of normalcy, Mercury opted to give a proper introduction. The Silver Wolf wizard gave a little backstory of herself and Vandrad, being fairly honest about his resentment at her being here. The Prince of Bellum physically winced as Mercury openly invited the older woman to also call her mommy. “Mmm but I think I’d much prefer to hear you moan mommy about me, my darling Mercury Arseneault,” Themesycia purred, smiling as she took yet another moment to look the Silver Wolf mage over again.

    The matriarch listened to Mercury’s story with great interest, her attention fully on the beautiful woman as she spoke of her home far, far away and explained her reasoning for coming here. As usual, she did everything in her power to twist the story to her advantage – meaning it making Vandrad look as badly as possible. He glared at her out of the corner of his eyes, even as his mother chuckled softly, clearly having caught onto the ruse and very much enjoying it. “Now dear, that is so rude. How could you possibly let this vision suffer in concern over your well being?”

    "Probably because I wasn’t aware of the true length of my return home. If I had been told the truth, I would have left some kind of note,” the Prince said, taking the time to finally get a word in edge-wise and give it back to his mother.

    She smiled and chuckled once more. “Alas, he is correct. I may have led him astray to the length of his stay. He doesn’t enjoy these events and I knew if I told him the intention of introducing him to a possible bride, he would insist upon staying away. I do hope you’ll forgive me, my dear Mercury, for causing such concern,” the Duchess explained, her own eyes dancing in delicious misbehavior. “Allow me to make it up to you. While I do personally enjoy your outfit and would very much like to see how it looks on the floor of my chambers, I think for the sake of allowing my guests to have some measure of relaxation that we put you in something a bit more event appropriate. If you’ll follow me to my personal dressing room, I’ll be happy to help you…” Already she was reaching out, her hand sliding over the Silver Wolf mage’s shoulder gently, her nails longing to tease the young woman’s neck.

    There it was. Vandrad stepped forward and practically between his mother and Mercury. "I’ll take her to get an outfit,” he insisted.

    “My dear, that isn’t necessary. This ball is for you after all; just allow me and your friend to slip away for a few moments and…”

    "If it’s my event, then it’s my responsibility to ensure my guests are properly dressed for the occasion, correct?” He spun it back on her, his head turning slightly to fix his gaze on her in unbreakable assurance.

    Themesycia’s brow knitted together for a brief moment as her eyes studied the two. Then as her silver gaze flitted back to Vandrad, it clicked. “Oh. Ohh I see,” she said, her smile spreading over her face again. “While the Duchess in me feels I should be ashamed, I’ll admit that I am proud of you, Vandrad dear. And here I thought you truly were going to save yourself for marriage…”

    Vandrad’s entire face turned beat red as he quickly grabbed Mercury by the arm and dragged her away. He made a bee line right for the staircase, pulling her up it and to the hall that led to the west wing. Though he couldn’t hear it, he knew his mother was giggling to herself back in the gala, amused that she had managed to pierce his metaphysical armor once more. He led her the whole way to the massive dressing room fit for a queen, walking her in and then slamming the door behind them. "Pick whatever one you want. They’ll adjust to your body type,” he explained so quickly that it almost came out as one stream of sound. He turned himself away from her, staring at the wall, smacking his cheeks in hopes of making the heavy blush that had suddenly overtaken his features.







    Words: 1250/5492 | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Player 
    Lineage : None
    Position : None
    Posts : 150
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 24,150

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Gunblade Master
    Second Magic: Mecha God Slayer (2nd)
    Third Magic:

    Never Skip Leg Day Empty Re: Never Skip Leg Day

    Post by Mercury Arseneault on 23rd March 2020, 8:09 pm

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    This was dangerous. Everyone present knew this was dangerous, and yet the moment continued to build. Mercury played right off of the duchess’ demeanor and delivered it back, much to the audible shock of everyone present. Giving the Silver Wolf mage an audience was always a bad idea, yet here she was with Vandrad’s mother encouraging the whole thing. Themesycia even reciprocated Mercury’s invitation to introduce pet names into their new but quickly budding relationship, only flipping it with her open desire to have Mercury be the one who referred to her as mommy. It was a comment that earned the duchess a pleased and considerate grin that promised Mercury was more than okay with the switch.

    The woman was quick on the update with the mage’s ruse, smoothly transitioning over to scold her son for leaving poor Mercury to fret over his absence. Vandrad used the comment to twist things right back on his mother, reminding her that the only reason he hadn’t said anything at all was because the woman had lied to him about how long his trip was going to be. It was an accusation that Themesycia readily admitted to, proclaiming aloud what the three of them already knew: that Vandrad utterly despised gatherings like this. She went on to apologize to Mercury for the “upset” before offering restitution in the way of providing the Silver Wolf mage with attire more befitting to the occasion, if only to save them all the headache of the other patron’s whispers and discomfort.

    Of course, this was all said while quite openly admitting that she already wanted to get Mercury in her own personal chambers to spend some quality bonding time with her. On her part, Mercury was already weighing the consequences of bedding Vandrad’s mother, and whether or not she cared about what those consequences would be. Each word out of the duchess’ mouth emboldened Mercury to new heights of crude forwardness, a feat in and of itself given that she hardly had much of a filter to begin with.

    She was about to make herself ready to be whisked off to said personal dressing room without argument when the killjoy stepped in, quite firmly putting his foot down on the entire ploy before it could come to fruition. Mercury pouted playfully at the back of Vandrad’s head as he stepped between the two women as if to make himself a physical barrier to keep them apart. In his defense it was the wisest choice, but that didn’t mean Mercury wouldn’t play up her disappointment for his mother’s benefit.

    Mercury remained otherwise silent through the short exchange between the two of them arguing which would be better suited to escort her to a tailor, with Vandrad insisting that it was clearly his responsibility since Mercury was his guest, at an affair that had been put on for him. “Aww. And here you keep trying to insist that you don’t care about me,” the purple haired woman commented with faux gratitude, a comment that was fairly par for the course with him at this point.

    Apparently, her son’s words had sparked a note of awareness in his mother, however, who spoke up with a tone of surprise and understanding. She voiced how, despite the fact that she should have been disappointed with him, that she couldn’t help but be pleased over the revelation that he hadn’t quite managed to save himself for marriage. Mercury chuckled for a brief moment, the implication not fully hitting her right away.

    But oh when it did, her green eyes flew wide open and flicked aggressively between Vandrad and his mother. Mercury let out a deep and audibly dramatic gasp, even as his face turned absolutely crimson, confirming the delicious truth that he’d hidden from her all this time: She had taken his virginity. Vandrad gave her no time to make a show of the knowledge, snatching her roughly by the arm and quite literally dragging her toward the exit while a very stunned audience watched. Mercury allowed herself to be taken away, but not without turning to watch Themesycia as they went, openly mouthing the words “Thank you so much” and “I love you” with the sincere, almost teary eyed expression of a woman that had been given a priceless treasure.

    Up the grand staircase they went, through the halls of the western side of the palace where Vandrad hustled them into a garishly sized dressing room and slammed the door shut behind them. The man practically vomited out the instructions on picking out whatever dress she wanted, explaining that it could be magicked to fit her, all the while doing his best to keep himself from facing her. His hands were up at his face, and Mercury knew that he was desperately trying to break apart his blush, but it was far too late. And quite honestly, there was nothing she was less interested in at that moment than changing clothing.

    “I was your first?” she asked him with a mixture of glee and affection, the absolute picture of a woman who had both been truly touched by the knowledge and also intended to make sure that he never, ever was going to live it down. “Although, come to think about it, that does explain a lot. Here I thought all that build up and excessive release of tension was just from how angry you were at me, but the truth is just so much better. Oh, you poor thing. I don’t even blame you for not telling me. Even I know that I should never have been informed about this.”

    With a wistful sigh, she decided to stop her teasing there. At least, for the moment. Mercury needed time to figure out all the infuriating little ways she was going to use this new knowledge against him, but in the meantime she could take pity on him now that they were alone. He’d already been having a bad day before she got there, after all. Putting a hand on her hip, she tilted her head at him and gave him a wry smirk. “You have been absolutely miserable all day, haven’t you?” she asked him with slight amusement but also not lacking in sincere sympathy.

    WORDS: 1075/4873 | @Vandrad Ragnos
    Serilda Sinclair



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Player 
    Lineage : Lucifer’s Aura
    Position : None
    Posts : 151
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 29,000

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Energy Monarch
    Second Magic:
    Third Magic:

    Never Skip Leg Day Empty Re: Never Skip Leg Day

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos on 23rd March 2020, 8:52 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Never Skip Leg Day RJtajUnz_o

    This was a perfect storm and the vessel that was Vandrad was quickly sinking. Between the two women, he simply had no chance at keeping himself afloat. His mother had been the one that had sharpened his wit over the years; after all, she had no qualms about teasing him and making fun of his quirks that were oh so much like his wayward father. But when push came to shove, Vandrad knew when to step in and take a stance. His mother attempting to lead Mercury to the dressing room was certainly going to result in the Silver Wolf mage missing until the next morning. It was made all the worse by the fact that Mercury honestly seemed a bit connected to Themesycia, meaning that no matter the case, he was in for a challenging night. He managed to get his foot down and place his stance, seemingly on a solid foundation.

    But like the strategist she was, his mother saw through his defenses and found the chink in his armor once more. Mercury’s gasp was all the confirmation he needed that two and two had clicked together and he quickly grabbed her and pulled her out of the room. It was the one weapon he had refused to give her, the one tool he had kept from her shed and his blasted mother had thrown it to her like a cheap bone. Whether it was intentionally meant to twist him up or rather to further ingratiate herself to the Silver Wolf mage, he would never be able to tell. Hell, he didn’t even care at the moment. The only thing he wanted was to get Mercury out of the presence of the crowd so she couldn’t call further attention to the demoralizing news. He almost threw her into the room, following in after if only to keep her in one place and to keep his mother from sneaking in without him noticing.

    It was too much to ask that she would simply forget the news and look for a dress, right? She asked him, looking for confirmation to the news, as if his redden face wasn’t enough. She mused aloud over how it all made sense, considering, and even admitted that his misery was well earned. Even she wouldn’t have provided that weaponry to herself. He did his best to ignore her, staring so hard into the wall that it rightly should have been cowering in fear. A moment of silence passed between them before she spoke up, her tone still amused but also not lacking empathy. He didn’t answer her right away, honestly pondering if he would ever answer her again.

    Yet it seemed, once again, his own voice found its place in the world without his permission. "These balls, galas, whatever you want to call them… my mother hosts them every couple of years or so to try and tie me down with a woman. They were annoying to begin with but her insistence to continue it, almost traditionally, has made the entire ordeal insufferable. Time and time again she finds princesses or maids from wealthy families and she arranges a big event to bring us together and hope there will be this… I don’t know, love at first sight nonsense. And every time, when I staunchly tell her no, she says that it is probably the last time she’ll try. Yet here we are,” he said, gesturing to the wall but truly making the motion to the ball back in the main hall. He sighed and reached up to rub his throbbing temple, trying to relax the vein.

    "She ambushed me with a letter at Fairy Tail. I thought I’d kept myself hidden well enough to avoid her eyes but she found me nonetheless. Insisted I return to Bellum to attend this ridiculousness or else she would ask in a more robust fashion. The last thing I needed was anyone knowing who I really was.” He paused. "Anyone else.” After all, she knew as well. Her being here had confirmed his suspicions all along. Finally he managed to look at her, his face settling back down to its normal color. "I had a feeling you heard me at that tower. All the while, I knew you were biding your time. You let several different opportunities slip through your fingers, just to lead me astray. Desierto, Silent Glaciers, Ca-Elum… all prime moments to strike and yet you remained. It’s equally impressive as it is infuriating.”

    Another one of his backwards compliments – he was good at those. Snorting, he walked away from the door and over to the window on the opposing wall, glancing out at the waterfall in the distance. "This day will get much worse. My mother has ammunition from my growing years that she will not hesitate to use, just to make a spectacle of me. I suppose a dutiful son would be honored that his mother shows such pride in him but she had quite the way to twist it into a fun little game for herself. I tend to find myself in the company of many like that,” he said, glancing briefly at her. He closed his eyes and sighed, building himself up morally before he spoke. "I understand you’ll stay – I’m not an idiot that thinks you’ll simply leave now that you’ve come. And I know that you’ll take every opportunity to rub salt in the wound further. But for whatever it’s worth, I’m… glad you’re here. Pain in the ass that you are, I know you’ll find ways to amuse even me, in between long bouts of amusing yourself and others are my expense. I’m… sorry I didn’t inform you about my departure.”

    Gods, that felt like pulling teeth. And yet he knew he wasn’t done. She most likely wouldn’t say as much but she would wait with bated breath, wanting official confirmation – if only to supply ammunition to her new toy. With a roll of his eyes, he turned to face her fully. "And yes,” he said, meeting her gaze. "You were the first person I slept with. And you and I both know that, as a rookie, I rocked your fucking world. It’s as you said,” he said, giving a little shrug and the slightest hint of a smirk. "Sleeping with you wasn’t the worst thing in the world.”

    It was a humbling, sober moment with the Prince of Bellum that she rarely got. Despite all his brazen pride and arrogance, it was evident that he still felt emotions as fully as anyone else. He was even capable of having humility. After a moment of sharing her gaze, he snorted. "Now hurry up and get out of that ridiculous outfit. ‘Your son calls me mommy too’; what an outrageous notion. You’re the one that insists upon calling me Vand-… that stupid nickname.” There was a slight tone of humor in his voice, even as he refused to say the name out loud. "And try not to drool over my mother so much; I’ve seen far more stoic women be entranced by her tongue.” He paused, his twisting in realization. "Words. I mean words.”

    Disgusting.







    Words: 1196/6688 | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Player 
    Lineage : None
    Position : None
    Posts : 150
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 24,150

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Gunblade Master
    Second Magic: Mecha God Slayer (2nd)
    Third Magic:

    Never Skip Leg Day Empty Re: Never Skip Leg Day

    Post by Mercury Arseneault on 24th March 2020, 9:00 am

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    It felt like hours before he said anything, sternly and stubbornly staring at the wall with such determined silence that Mercury was certain he was well and truly reconsidering his decision to keep her in his life. It honestly wouldn’t have been the first time. Mercury had given quite a number of people reasons to dislike and even downright loathe her in the past due to her love of amusement at the expense of others.

    And yet, when he spoke up it was not to tell her to shut her trap, nor to berate her for the embarrassing show she’d just put on for his honored guests. Instead, Vandrad opened up about how his mother was regularly tricking him into these ostentatious parties in an attempt to pair him off with a woman and finally get him to settle down. It was a tradition that she had been conducting since he was a younger man, and at the time he had already disliked them. But now, after a couple decades of dealing with it they were downright impossible for him to stomach as he had to suffer through countless women vying for his affection like all it would take was the mere sight of them to bring him to his knees with a ring.

    Mercury winced. Even to her, that sounded like an absolutely awful existence. She loved a good party, and would absolutely never turn down an opportunity to dress herself up for a night on the town, but being forced to act like she was interested in a complete stranger in some form of social mating ritual? She could certainly understand why Vandrad had been as out of tune as he had been before she showed up.

    He explained how his mother had somehow managed to track him down at Fairy Tail, despite his best efforts at keeping his identity hidden. She had demanded his return for the event, even going so far as to ensure that his refusal would be met with a swift and public veto that would reveal his secret. To more than just her, at least. Mercury grinned a little as he finally turned to fix his narrowed eyes on her, his cheeks mostly back to their normal color. The prince commented on her ability to keep the secret to herself despite a number of chances to hold it over his head just so she could make sure she could use the knowledge where it would really count the most for her. He even admitted that it was impressive, despite how much it vexed him.

    “Trust me, killer, you have no idea how many times I wanted to say something,” Mercury assured him in her impish fashion. “The only thing that kept me going was the knowledge that you were probably debating to yourself as to whether or not I’d heard you at all, and it was very satisfying having those suspicious little eyes on me every time the subject could potentially come up. Especially in Desierto.” She chuckled fondly at the memory. “I wish you could have seen the look on your face when I sold you as a commoner instead of a noble. Priceless.”

    It felt so good to finally get to release some of her humor that had been bottling up the last few weeks. Amusement for her own sake was great, but things were always so much funnier when shared with someone else. He snorted and moved over to one of the windows which showcased the great waterfalls farther out in the water. Mercury listened as he told her that the evening was about to get worse, or at least it would for him. Everything he described sounded utterly delightful to her. “So, a regular Tuesday for you, then?” she commented with a smirk when he eyeballed her about having far too many people in his lift twisting his existence for their entertainment.

    He sighed again and surprised her by coming out and stating that he wasn’t going to bother with the effort of trying to convince her to leave, knowing that she wouldn’t. It seemed it was easier for the prince to simply accept the inevitable instead of wasting his energy bashing against her meddle. Even though he knew that her presence was going to inflate everything he already hated about these events, he admitted that having her there would still make the event more bearable, even if he’d have to endure a bit more humiliation for it. He actually told her that he was glad she had shown up, and apologized for leaving her waiting back in Fiore.

    This was far too much open and honest sincerity for her comfort, and her coping measure of masking things with cool humor kicked in right on cue. “Yikes. You actually want me to stay, and you’re apologizing to me? You’re even more depressed here than I realized.” She gave him a wry smirk.

    Of course, Mercury had no intention of letting him get away without answering her initial question, and it seemed Vandrad was already prepared for that. With an exasperated look, he finally confirmed for her that she had, indeed, taken his virginity, following the statement up immediately by reminding her that, while it had been his first time, he had still managed to land a spot in her top best lays. Oh how she grinned, even as he followed up with her own words affirming that it hadn’t been the most awful thing that could have happened to him.

    “You remember it now, don’t you?” she teased him with a smug tone, the ease of his smirk readily betraying that the temporary amnesia from his blind rage had finally worn off and gifted him with the full memory from his own perspective. As if a sorrowful thought had just occurred to her, she sighed lamentably. “Fuck, I can’t believe your first time was that intense. I’m pleased by the knowledge that I gave you the best sex that you’ll probably ever have, but dejected over the reality that I have set the bar so high that I’ve probably ruined sex for you in the future.” Mercury put her hands on either of his shoulders, looking him in the eyes with a playfully despondent expression. “I am so sorry,” she whispered.

    He finally told her to hurry up with picking a dress so she could get out of her current statement piece. It was outrageous, Vandrad told her, as the only one that used any nicknames between them was her. Mercury grinned at him as she went over to a window and opened it to the night sky, flicking her tablet into her hand and pressing a couple commands into it. While he went on to command her to stop lusting over his mother, Mercury slowly started browsing through the available dresses. She opened her mouth to make a comment about his choice of words regarding his mother’s tongue but he cut her off before she could begin, hurriedly correcting his language in order to get a horrifying image out of his head.

    “Okay, but real talk though, your mother is an absolute smoke show. I will do my best, but I don’t think I can make any promises. She seems pretty determined to sling me around like a hula hoop, and I’m not altogether sure I have the stamina to resist it. My point is: You’re probably going to have to keep an eye on me and make sure I’m not left alone with her for longer than five minutes.” Mercury paused for a split second of thought before innocently correcting herself. “Ten minutes.”

    Would she actually sleep with his mother if presented with the opportunity, or was she just starting into her favorite activity of teasing at his discomfort? Frankly, not even Mercury was entirely certain. “Besides, I would think you don’t want to rush me. The quicker I get ready, the quicker you have to be back in that room with all those uptight hussies prostrating themselves at your feet and swooning over your very existence.” The Silver Wolf mage snorted, clearly entertained by the mental image she’d crafted for herself. As far as she was concerned, she was doing him a favor by taking her time.

    Pulling out a dress, she looked it over before putting it back, keen on finding something that suited her style and the image she very much wanted to present of herself to the crowd that was surely awaiting their return. “As a point of interest, you should consider the opportunity you’re being presented with, here. Your mother is a woman after my own heart, as you’ve already pointed out, but she only has as much control as you give her. You could spend the rest of the time focusing on keeping her from whisking me away into her bedchambers… or...”

    Mercury turned to fix him with a mischievous twinkle in her eyes. “You can make us both proud and get some satisfaction in taking every conceivable chance to remind her that you got to fuck me raw and she didn’t.” This was his chance to get a little payback at his mother for a lifetime of verbal abuse and teasing on par with what Mercury herself gave the man every time they spoke. Why waste it?

    By the time she settled on a dress, her purpose for opening the window was revealed in the form of her hover disc dutifully delivering her travel bag to her. Mercury draped her selected garment on a nearby chair and took the sack in hand, digging through it until she retrieved the pouch that had her makeup within. If she was going to return to this shindig in fashion, it was going to take more than a dress to ensure that she looked the proper part. She moved over to a brightly illuminated mirror behind a vanity station and set the pouch down, dumping out its contents to start applying her war paint.

    “I’m loving that outfit on you, by the way,” Mercury told him candidly, shooting him a flirty look through the mirror between applications. “It’s been difficult trying to envision my gruff, hunky sparring partner as a trim and proper aristocrat, but this is definitely helping.”

    Finished with applying a coat of toner and some blush to her face, she pulled out a dark brown eyeshadow and began adding some smoke and color around her eyes. “So tell me about your intended beau,” Mercury playfully nudged him, interested in hearing exactly what kind of lady Themesycia had lined up for him tonight in her attempt to play matchmaker. “Was she already there and I missed it? Please tell me it was the one with the tits that your mom yelled at. Oh, or even better: the one that was practically crying after I stole her dance with you. We can establish a safeword if you want, so I know when I need to wade into the fray and come rescue you from the dismal threat of matrimony.”

    WORDS: 1919/6792 | @Vandrad Ragnos
    Serilda Sinclair



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Player 
    Lineage : Lucifer’s Aura
    Position : None
    Posts : 151
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 29,000

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Energy Monarch
    Second Magic:
    Third Magic:

    Never Skip Leg Day Empty Re: Never Skip Leg Day

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos on 24th March 2020, 3:39 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Never Skip Leg Day RJtajUnz_o

    Vandrad wasn’t surprised to hear that Mercury had been pining for the opportunity to reveal that she knew who he was. Juicy information like that, with all the ways it could be used for teasing and twisting the knife, was hard to come by and most people would want to play the card right away. And yet she had been patient and played her hard close to the chest, up until it had practically left his mind. Then she had struck in the form of appearing here, out of the blue, seemingly as if her presence was invited or even welcomed. Given how his mother had already started laying seeds to bed her, welcomed seemed far more suited. She verbally labored over the knowledge she had kept close, finding sanctuary in the knowledge that he was probably wondering day and night over the matter. She even chuckled as she recalled when she had sold him as a mere common slave rather than a noble. The Prince snorted. "That was the moment that I knew you weren’t just selling me for shits and giggles. If you wanted to fetch a high price, you would have told them who I was. Granted… doing so might have made them consider trying to take you prisoner,” he said with a small smirk. "I’ve a bit of a reputation with slavers and anyone that could best me would make them a fortune.”

    He lambasted over his situation, already acknowledging her presence there would continue. And he got a bit more empathic than perhaps he meant to, revealing his own thoughts and feelings without filter or pause. And unsurprisingly, the Silver Wolf mage opted not to rise or sink to his level and simply played off the moment with a joke, amused that he was acting like the one at fault in the situation. "Parties like this bore me. At the very least, I know you’ll make it far more entertaining.” He didn’t know everything about Mercury but he knew enough at that point. While he would be the prime rib of her mockery meal, she wouldn’t simply feast on him. There were dozens of people out there that were open and ready for ribbing and he wasn’t going to stop her if she chose to get her fill of the feast.

    She was far too excited over the realization that he remembered their time in the desert, her smugness filling the room as she teased him. She mused aloud, realizing that she had essentially set a standard for any throes of passion that he should partake in moving forward. She was torn between taking great pride in it as well as great pains, knowing that no woman would match up to her. As she put her hands on his shoulders and put on a show of ‘sincerely’ apologizing for it, he snorted again. "And here I was, wondering if I had ruined sex forever for you. After all, who else can claim to have been utterly destroyed by Prince Vandrad du Wolff?” He didn’t take too much pride in the claim, nor did he truly wish for her to go around claiming such things. But the fact of the matter was that he knew she would so there was no point in playing around or hopelessly demanding she withhold herself. He may as well just steer into the skid and play in the new territory.

    Mercury wandered over to the window and opened it up, pulling her tablet into existence and typing idly away on it as he continued to speak to her. Vandrad didn’t quite order the women to stay away from his mother… but his tone certainly conveyed that he didn’t enjoy the idea of Mercury finding herself in Themesycia’s bed. She was straight with him, commenting on his mother’s looks and insisting that she’ll try her hardest to resist but couldn’t promise him anything. She was quite sure that if the Duchess kept pushing the matter, she wouldn’t be able to build enough defenses to say no. It would simply be easier, in her own words, that Vandrad keep an eye on the two of them and not leave them unattended for an exorbitant amount of time. "Believe me, woman, you’re not the first woman to talk to me about such matters. For years I’ve watched that woman take bedfellows that were, otherwise, uninterested. She may or may not have seduced one of the Archmages as well but that’s only rumor. Point is, I’ve been in this position before. But unlike those other situations, I partially give a damn if she happens to get into your pants. I can’t have you distracted with daydreaming about my mother when I need you focused during training.” Because of course that was the only reason he cared.

    She chastised him for his wanting her to change quickly, explaining that the sooner she was in a suitable outfit, the sooner they had to head back out to the ball he abhorred. "I said get changed quickly, I said nothing of returning quickly. I would much rather see you naked than wearing that ridiculous shirt.” That hung in the air longer than it should have before he realized what he had said. "What I mean is that being properly attired is more suitable than being dressed down.” But there was a slight reddening of his cheeks; not as bad as before but enough that he clearly felt odd about essentially saying he’d prefer her out of clothes.

    Taking a moment to look at himself in the mirror and adjust his outfit, he glanced in the reflection at her as she browsed through the dresses. She pointed out to him, as she continued her search, that he was in the middle of a golden opportunity as well. She explained that his mother would only control him to a certain extent and he was allowing her a good portion of it. If he truly wanted to ruffle her feathers, he should take his time to point out to her that it was he that had managed to bed Mercury, not her. "Unfortunately she is more like you than you might expect. If I were to put forth the notion with the intent of attempting a jibe, she would do everything in her power to make sure she had you on her bed within the hour. You think she’s bad now – she has only been warming up. Once she has some wine in her, she becomes unhinged in her desire. Some people call it exquisite charm.” He probably wouldn’t use that word but still.

    "But you have a point. There are subtle ways I can rub it in her face that would keep her from throwing you over her shoulder and marching out with you. It’ll require strategic planning and moments of opportunity but… possible.” A small smirk tugged on his lips. Yes, Mercury was on the right track but thinking in the way she would operate. Doing so would almost certainly guarantee the Silver Wolf mage being charmed out of her dress. No, he needed to confront the matter in his own way, using his own tactics. After all, all the arguments he had ever won with her had been through his own means without stooping to her level.

    He was already laying the ground work in his head as her hover disc came in through the opened window, supplying her with her travel bag. He turned to look at her as she took the sack off and dug through it. "By Gods, woman, you had to pack to come here? What the hell were you expecting?” It was honestly a rhetorical question and he was far more amused than shocked by the sight. She had come prepared alright and she seemed ready for anything and everything. He simply shook his head as she retrieved her make up pouch and made her way over to begin applying it.

    She commented on the outfit, commending how it looked on him. Apparently it had been quite the challenge to think of him as a Prince based on how he had carried himself around her. "Yes, I’ve been told I ‘clean up well’, whatever the hell that counts for. These formal events are only made worse by the fact that I’m required to put on this monkey suit. A formal business suit I can understand but this?” He gestured to his extravagant outfit. "But of course, it was designed to hold the attention of the crowds.”

    He leaned against the wall near the makeup station, staring idly out the window. It was then that Mercury spoke up, asking about the woman that could be his bride. He scoffed as she began her questions, forming hypotheticals outloud as she wondered if it was the woman his mother had belittled or the woman at the front of the dance line who had been pushed aside in favor of the Silver Wolf mage. She even offered to create a password for the two of them, in case she needed to intervene. "Princess Sabine Hotoi from Midi. My mother has spoken about her on several occasions. It seems she’s been involved in a lot of arranged marriages that never followed through. She hasn’t arrived yet – based on the very little I know about her, she prefers delayed grand entrances. She likes being the focus of all the attention. And trust me; you won’t need a word to know when I need rescuing. You’ll see a pained look on my face the entire time she’s here, no doubt.” It was his attempt at joking, a small smile on his face.

    "Another thing I should warn you about. Or rather, person. My mother has a brother, Duke Simon du Wolff. You won’t be able to tell that they’re related as they look nothing alike but he is apparently my uncle. He is as bad a womanizer as my mother and no doubt will attempt to pursue you. And even I’ll tell you that he has the looks that allow him to have whoever he wants. So I’ll most likely be juggling a princess and keeping the two of them from trying to win you for themselves.” Gods forbid Mercury was the one woman that agreed to share with one another.







    Words: 1722/8410 | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Player 
    Lineage : None
    Position : None
    Posts : 150
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 24,150

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Gunblade Master
    Second Magic: Mecha God Slayer (2nd)
    Third Magic:

    Never Skip Leg Day Empty Re: Never Skip Leg Day

    Post by Mercury Arseneault on 24th March 2020, 5:50 pm

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    “Well unless you’ve been sleeping around since Desierto, no one, since I took your virginity.” The tease slipped right out of her tongue before even she had a chance to think about it. Mercury stopped as if the comment had only just hit her before chuckling. “Oh yeah, I’m definitely never going to get tired of saying that.”

    Apparently Vandrad had grown up watching Themesycia whisk people away into her bed, an occurrence that happened often enough that he knew the signs and understood what exactly he was up against. Or rather, what Mercury was up against. He claimed that he didn’t need her fantasizing about the woman while they were training. “Clearly you don’t understand how much I fantasize during training. Have you seen you without your shirt on? I can multitask, don’t you worry.” If Mercury thought there were other reason why Vandrad wouldn’t want her thinking too much about his mother, she didn’t voice it.

    She did, however, shoot him an interested and teasing look when he rebuked her plan to take her time in changing so he could have a few extra minutes of reprieve. His statement that he’d rather see her naked was certainly worth pausing her venture to give him a knowing grin, even as he started to blush a little again and corrected himself, insisting that he’d meant that she should be in appropriate attire rather than the crass shirt she’d brought along. “Mhm,” was her only response, the gentle hum a clear tone that she was pretending to believe him for his own sake.

    According to him, there was little good that would come from him using his jaunt with Mercury in the desert as a way to gain a foothold over his mother. She was too much like Mercury herself, who would simply view the comments as a challenge to rise up and meet. That was fair, and the way the Silver Wolf mage nodded her head in candid agreement expressed her concedence to his logic. However, he did follow up with stating that there were more subtle ways that he could go about it that could get the jab across without necessarily spurring the older woman to action. By the smirk on his face, he was already putting together little plans and ideas. Mercury chuckled, pleased with how much of her mischief was rubbing off on him.

    When her pack came through, he chided her for having actually packed a bag in the first place, though his tone and face expressed more amusement than anything else. “Hey, I’m not the one that has resources readily available out here,” she reminded him with a grin, equally as amused as he was. “Besides, have you ever tried traveling light as a woman?” Mercury was more than willing to make a small jab at her own sex, as female creatures were often had to pack for a lot more eventualities than men did.

    Vandrad didn’t seem as pleased by his attire as Mercury was, but that was to be expected. He’d worn it a number of times, and it was definitely flashier than one would expect him to be comfortable in. He did, however, have a bit to say about his supposed bride to be. Her name was Sabine, and apparently she was a princess from the country Midi. Apparently she had been pledged to a number of arranged marriages that all fell through, and like Mercury she enjoyed a bit of spot light. So much so, in fact, that she was supposedly famous for being late to functions just so everyone could see her arrive. Mercury didn’t bother trying to cover her snort, rolling her eyes as she put the eye shadow away and took out her mascara. While the Xocili certainly enjoyed attention when she was ready to strike and set her plans into place, she didn’t really go seeking it for the sake of having it. Those who were in the spotlight always had to watch their backs. Better to hide in the shadows until being in the light suited her.

    Still, according to him there would be no need for a passcode of any kind as he was probably going to be in a constant state of frustration once the woman got there, or so he joked. She chortled a bit to herself, already imagining his face. “I don’t blame you. I’m already exhausted by her and she’s not even here yet. I’ll do my best to keep my mouth shut. Or maybe I won’t. If she’s already dropped out of a number of other potential match ups then there’s probably something wrong with her.” Mercury had never met a Midian before, though, so that was going to be interesting at least. Maybe she could learn a bit about their culture and add it to her databanks.

    By this point Mercury had finished all of her makeup except for her lips, double checking her work to make sure it was flawless. She’d even used the tiniest bit of her magic to create a few thin steel lashes to add to her own, giving them a fuller look than usual. As she stepped away from the vanity and started to strip, Vandrad opened up about another concern of his that he wanted to warn her about. Apparently his uncle, Themesycia’s brother, would also be in attendance tonight and he was just as incorrigible as the duchess was. According to him the two siblings looked nothing alike, but he had no reason to disbelieve their claimed relationship to one another so there it was. Plus, even Vandrad had to admit that the man was a looker that easily caught whatever fish he wanted, meaning that the prince was bound to have his hands full that night trying to entertain a princess and keep two of his family members from sneaking her off.

    “Boy, you’re really the black sheep in the family, aren’t you?” she mused with a chuckle, contemplating on how totally opposite Vandrad seemed to be from his relatives so far. Mercury pulled off her shirt, confirming for him a second time that she didn’t wear a bra. She carefully folded the item and set it down on the table before bending down to untie her shoes and work on removing the rest of her outfit. “Also, I know you’re trying to make them sound like people I should be wary of, but all this is doing is making me fall in love with your family more. You do realize this, yes?” It was ironic how quickly Mercury seemed to be able to fit right in with the du Wolffs. Granted, they probably wouldn’t like her so much if they knew the truth of her origins and her status.

    But thankfully, that was information that no one, not even Vandrad or her guildmates, were privy to.

    Finally removed down to nothing but her underwear, Mercury took her pile of folded clothes and tucked them back into her back, along with her shoes. Picking up the dress, she unzipped the back and started tucking her arms through the underside of the skirt so she could pull the thing over her head. “Hey, gimmie a hand here, would ya?” she asked. Fancier dresses were a bit more of a chore to get on properly, not to mention she would need him to zip it up.

    Once the piece was on and he’d gotten it properly secured, the dress indeed altered itself to fit her more snuggly. But of course, as a woman the ensemble couldn’t be completed there. A bit of jewelry was needed, but that was a part where Mercury had no intentions of borrowing. Instead, she took another drawstring pouch from her makeup kid and opened it to reveal a few different pieces of metal inside. One of them was gold. Eying the outfit with a thoughtful hum, she gave a scrutinizing glance at her hair, currently hanging down limp past her ears. It was hardly fitting for the dress, and so she used a bit of the gold to craft an intricate, half moon shaped band out of delicate curves and used it to pull her hair up behind her head, leaving her neck and shoulders exposed.

    Once her hair was gently tucked into the band and as regal as she could make it look, she added a couple small drops to her earlobes as well as a bracelet for her wrist that covered the back of her hand and fixed itself to a ring on her middle finger. She then moved back over to the wardrobe and selected a pair of chocolate brown heels to go with the dress that also adjusted themselves to her foot size. These too she upgraded with her magic instructing the gold until it plated the soles of the heels and even added an anklet in a similarly flowering and vine like style as her hair piece.

    All that was left was her neck, which was disappointingly empty given the dramatic open front of the dress. Using the last and largest bit of the gold she kept on hand, Mercury fashioned a delicate looking gorget of her own to fix around her neck, gently using her fingers to draw an elegant chain of it from her neck down through her open cleavage where it fastened to the top of the dress just beneath her bust. Giving a final look in the mirror, she turned to him with a little smirk.

    “What do you think, your highness? Am I suitably presentable now?” The completed ensemble was just as bold as what she’d just been wearing before, except instead of crude and offensive it was much more on the racy side. The chocolate and cream colored dress only covered as much of her breasts as was minimally acceptable in most societies, practically leaving both mounds bare with only a few firm, brown satin leaflets covering the parts that would technically leave her nude. The soft material of the skirt was slit all the way up to her waist where it connected to the bodice just over her right hip, meaning that if she sat down at all during the night practically her entire leg up to and past her ass would be on full view for the world to see. The elegant cape completed the look with a slight train, the back of which hung down just low enough to display the ironic crimson symbol of a wolf between her shoulder blades that was the mark of her guild allegiance.

    Though she hid it relatively well, the outfit was actually a little daunting to her and if he was paying attention it was possible he could catch a slight air of uncertainty through her facade of coy confidence. It wasn’t from the style of the outfit being scandalous, of course. Mercury wasn’t at all afraid about showing a little skin. Rather, she’d never actually worn something so extravagant before, and it was… well, odd. Not unpleasant. She was quite smitten with it, truth be told, but there was a part of her that she was doing her best to ignore which couldn’t help but feel a bit out of place dressed up this finely. Just, not enough to see if the completed look could get a third blush out of him.

    WORDS: 1933/8725 | @Vandrad Ragnos
    Serilda Sinclair



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Player 
    Lineage : Lucifer’s Aura
    Position : None
    Posts : 151
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 29,000

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Energy Monarch
    Second Magic:
    Third Magic:

    Never Skip Leg Day Empty Re: Never Skip Leg Day

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos on 24th March 2020, 7:32 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Never Skip Leg Day RJtajUnz_o

    Vandrad really… didn’t know what to do with her comment about him being shirtless. Truthfully, he wasn’t used to comments on his physique because most people didn’t see his physique. In the military there were plenty of times he had showered with others in the communal wash areas but no one was going out of their way to say anything about him. If they had shared the same thoughts as Mercury, he’d never gotten a hint of them. But then again, the Silver Wolf mage hadn’t been shy about her thoughts on him essentially from the beginning. There were still topics, however, that he didn’t know how to respond to. His first inclination was to tell her to shut up but ironically, he didn’t. He wasn’t sure why.

    So instead he let the subject slide to the wayside, in favor of making an absolute mockery of himself by insinuating he wished to see her naked. The look she gave him came nearly at the same time as he quickly tried to save face and explain his meaning. Her grin didn’t help the situation and he did his best to simply move past it. Her hum wasn’t believable at all but it wasn’t meant to be. She was once again finding reason to tease him as he faltered over his own words. That, in and of itself, was odd. He was usually quite well practiced when it came to conveying his thoughts and feelings in a concise, clear manner. Yet somehow he found himself stumbling over them more and more and not just with her. He’d even caught himself idly making comments about Beira back in Rose Garden and having to quickly fix his meaning. She’d made a similar sound of disbelief. Utterly absurd.

    As her pack came delivered through the window, she turned and grinned as she explained that she was the one that came without resources. "Says the woman with the mobile delivery service,” he said, gesturing to the hover disc. She continued her thought, putting forth the query into traveling light handed as a woman. "No but if I’m ever cursed with a sudden case of femininity, I’ll be sure to record my findings for you to read. Ironically I knew a soldier that could use his magic to force people to switch genders…” He had always wondered why that man had joined the military with such a ludicrous ability. It certainly wasn’t helpful on the battlefield – changing one’s sex didn’t make them any better or worse in the scheme of wargames.

    Mercury shared her thoughts on his possible betrothed, seemingly sharing his precognitive exhaustion. She promised to keep her mouth shut… at first. Then she rebuked it, idly commenting on her lack of sustaining a pairing meaning that she had some sort of issue. "Mother is quite insistent upon only giving me bare details, so that I may discover the rest when I meet them. I haven’t had one yet want to ask anything about me – I swear my mother prepares a study packet for them before the arrive. It’s always about them.” Face after face passed by his mental eye then, of women from the past that he’d been paired with. It was amazing that, through out all the different shapes and colors, they all seemed so similar. Facades that faded into the background as one big mesh of attractive female flesh but without substance.

    Vandrad honestly wasn’t sure why he warned her about Simon. Simply based on how Mercury was, it was almost like he was chumming the water for a shark. Perhaps it was some dignified sense of honor that he wanted to give her as fair a heads up as he would expect for himself. His family, while noble, was unlike the others in Bellum and he almost felt compelled to carry around a caution sign and a booklet on how to avoid the pitfalls. She listened intently and then remarked about how he seemed to be the odd one out of his family. He glanced at her as she began to move, peeling off her shirt and beginning to undress so that she could get into her dress. He didn’t bother to look away – he knew if he did, she would have some wildly inappropriate comment to make towards him that would surely make him blush. "The rest of my family thrives in the scene of nobility and scandal. They get their kicks out of musing over who slept with who, who had what affair, who had done what… I’ve never fancied any of it. For me, tangible things meant much more. Action speaks louder than words, especially flowery ones.” He snorted softly at his own outward thinking, shaking his head softly. "But I’m perfectly capable of being charming when I want to be – I was raised in this house after all. I just… prefer to be honest.”

    "It’s for that reason that I am giving you heads up advice. Whether you choose to take it to heart or not is entirely up to you. Though it would be in your nature to show up unannounced to a royal event and somehow garner the attention of all the thirty nobility,” he said with a sly smirk, glancing at her. Another one of his backwards compliments – something she was probably quite used to at this point. He was quite proficient at it. She asked for helping getting the dress on and he pulled away from the wall, walking up to help ease the fabric on. He waited until the dress fit itself to her body before he zipped it up and walked over to the window, glancing out at the sky once more. The ball had been going for several hours at this point – he imagined Princess Sabine would be arriving any minute now.

    And then the real party would begin. His mother would have all sorts of special little things planned for him; activities that he would partake in with his supposed ‘beloved’, to showcase his skills in an attempt to woo the woman further. It was perhaps his least favorite part of these events; put on display like a peacock and told to entertain. Showcases in the royal court didn’t bring him joy like the ones in battles and wars did. There was no testing of strength here, save for the strength of keeping his neck vein from bursting out from his flesh. Having his rival here would ease the tension no doubt but there was still going to be a weight in the air. He sighed softly, lost in his thoughts. He didn’t even notice that she had begun fabricating jewelry for herself out of metal that she just carried around. It wasn’t until she spoke up that he turned to look at her, with a face that had just come out of his internal study and was just tuning back into a conversation.

    He was stunned silent. He had expected her to pick a dress that would be racy – most of his mother’s dresses were just that anyways. And indeed, the thin piece of fabric that covered the parts of her body left little to almost nothing to the imagination. Yet by the widening of his eyes and the soft but sharp inhale through his nose, it was obvious that the dress fit her perfectly. But Vandrad was an observational man and certainly not a stupid one. And he could see the slight apprehension that clung to the lines behind her confident façade. It was a hesitance perhaps; like wearing something of such grandeur didn’t fit her style or wasn’t worthy of her. She did her best to hide it behind her usual brazen words and looks but he could see it. Damn all the time he'd spent with her.

    He didn’t say anything at first but nor did he blush. If anything, he probably looked quite uncharacteristic to his usual demeanor. Then slowly he walked over to the dresser on the opposite side of the wall, pulling loose a drawer. He glanced inside briefly before finding what he was searching for. With it tucked in his hand, he walked over to her and held his own hand out for her own. Counting that she obliged, he would reveal a small gold ring that he’d withdrawn. It wasn’t as fancy as the ones she had made nor was it the most glamorous one within the room. But a simple loop, carved with vine-like etchings that wrapped around an emerald. He slid it on her opposing middle finger to mirror the one she’d made herself.

    "If you intend to be as beautiful as a princess, then custom dictates you have something to match your eyes,” he said softly, surprisingly gentle with the words as he made sure the ring was on well enough for it to magically adapt. "There. Not that you needed anything else to be… radiant.” He managed to meet her gaze as he held her hand for perhaps a second longer than he meant. Then he let her go, clearing his throat carefully. "Well, I suppose we’ve delayed long enough. If we stay any longer, they’ll believe I had the same intentions my mother was vocalizing. So we should get back.” He sounded real confident with that statement. Falling back into his practiced mannerism, he held his arm out for her to take, doing his part as the dutiful royal to escort her back to the gala.

    Out in the main hall, trumpets sounded loudly from the main foray. Several Midian women walked in through the archway, each one bearing a white kimono with the family kanji over the heart. They separated and stood on either side of the arches, presenting themselves as the welcoming committee. After they had dutifully taken their positions, they bowed and gestured towards the door, drawing the gaze of the entire ball to the woman entering after them. Princess Sabine Hotoi sauntered into the room with the grace of a gazelle, seeming to slide over the quartz surface rather than walk. She wore a soft pink kimono, wrapped with a large pink and white bow over the small of her back. Her long dark hair ran down the length of her back and wistfully waved over her rear, while two equal strands hung over her chest. Gold and silvers earrings and necklaces hung off of her in such an extent that a person looking at her from the wrong angle would be blinded from the light. Her face was molded with excitement as she looked around the room excitedly.

    Themesycia walked up and greeted the princess with a gentle bow. “My dear princess Sabine, how was your trip?”

    “Long and daunting. But well worth if for a chance to meet your delicious boy. Where is my soon to be husband? I would think that he would greet me first,” she said with a voice like velvet but with an underlying tone of presumptuousness. Her eyes darted about the place, looking for any sign of the Prince of Bellum…

    Only to spot him as he came through the door with Mercury on his arm. The entire ballroom turned to look up at him and the Silver Wolf mage, the air freezing in that instant. Vandrad scanned the crowd expectedly, having known that his return with Mercury would catch attention. But as his gaze slid over to his mother, he spotted another regal looking woman with eyes that seemed to boil with crazy. "Fuck,” he swore softly, only so Mercury could hear him.

    “Oh, PRINCEY-POO!” Sabine called out excitedly, practically shoving Themesycia aside as she raced through the crowd and to the stairs. In an instant she was in front of them, her eyes glittering with wild admiration. “Hello, my handsome betrothed. My my, that is quite the outfit. I think black would have been more slimming but this is fine as well. Oh we must get to know one another!” She vomited up over Vandrad, her voice teetering between being grating and shrill. She also didn’t even glance at Mercury once… until she finished her thought and finally deigned to look at her. “Thanks but… I’ll take him from here.” She said simply, her voice dropping and becoming deeper. She reached for Vandrad’s arm, ready to wrench it out from Mercury’s and claim the Prince for herself.







    Words: 2064/10,474 | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault | © marzia at shine & gs.


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    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Player 
    Lineage : None
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    Posts : 150
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    Experience : 24,150

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Gunblade Master
    Second Magic: Mecha God Slayer (2nd)
    Third Magic:

    Never Skip Leg Day Empty Re: Never Skip Leg Day

    Post by Mercury Arseneault on 24th March 2020, 10:12 pm

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    “A study packet, eh?” Mercury asked while she finished up her makeup. “I’ll have to see if I can get my hands on one of those. I’m sure it’s full of all sorts of goodies.”

    Leave it to her to linger on that bit of information over everything else he’d said. For her part, Mercury didn’t particularly seem to be concerned one way or another if he was watching her while she undressed or not. Perhaps she might have made a joke if he’d looked away, but perhaps not, and neither did she sprout any lewd comments about him choosing to keep his eyes on her. He explained that his family was all about a good scandal, which explained why Mercury had made such an astoundingly good first impression with his mother. Those things didn’t interest the prince, however, and never had. With a bit of amusement at himself, he admitted that he could be charming when he wanted to be, but usually he just preferred to be forthright with people.

    She shrugged a bit. “Honesty can be charming,” the mage told him simply, her only playful response to his dissertation on the differences between himself and his relatives. He followed it up with what essentially amounted to, “I gave you the warning to take or leave as you please”, with another of his underhanded compliments that he was prone to, remarking on how he’d expect nothing less than for her to crash a noble affair and immediately get all the aristocrats to like her anyway. “I’ll be sure to keep it in mind. As curious as I am about your family and their vices, I’m not so curious that I would miss out on your big night just to go get my skirt lifted out in the garden. Believe it or not, I do have some standards.”

    On the dress went, and he moved back to his corner to go brood in mostly quiet patience while she finished getting ready. Once everything was in place, Mercury got his attention and pried for an opinion, giving Vandrad her trademark smirk, albeit with a hint of uneasiness that she didn’t seem to be aware wasn’t fully hidden from him. There were perks to sticking around with someone long enough to know where all their buttons were, but there were also cons in the sense that they had as much equal opportunity to learn about her as well. Given how brief worded and aloof he usually was, it was easy to forget sometimes that he was better at reading people than she gave him credit for. Or perhaps she hadn’t even really quite pegged him for that yet.

    Either way, he was visibly taken back, causing her emerald gaze to twinkle a bit deeper with mischief for a moment. There were a number of responses Mercury could expect from him: A humor coated insult paired with a blush of denial, even a scoff of derision over her mannerisms that often irritated him. Complete and utter silence wasn’t at the the top of that list, but also wasn’t entirely unreasonable and when he moved without saying anything Mercury ran with it as she usually did, crafting her own explanations where he often gave her none. “Ouch,” she said, giving an overplayed but greatly amused wince. “That bad, huh? If you want me to buy you more time I can always go back through the rack and search for something…”

    Her voice trailed off as he plucked an unseen item from one of the drawers at the vanity and came to stand in front of her, holding out his free hand toward her unadorned one. “...better?” Mercury finished her statement, ending it on the note of an inquiry. Her eyes had narrowed at him with a mixture of suspicion, curiosity, and amusement. The latter two options got the better of her and she silently acquiesced to his wordless request by giving him temporary possession of the limb.

    He slipped a gold ring with an emerald gem on her middle finger, informing her rather softly that it was customary for a woman with a princess’ beauty to adorn something on her person that would draw attention back to her eyes. That comment alone had been more than enough to completely drain the rascality from her face and replace it with something very akin to confusion. Yet as he waited for the jewel to adjust to the more petite size of her rather dainty fingers, he followed it up with an idle comment about the jewel not necessarily adding much to her radiance.

    It was so quiet one could have heard a pin drop onto a rug, the two of them standing there a bit awkwardly in silence for a second that lasted longer than any hour. There was a mild look of what could only be compared to panic in her eyes as her completely shut down brain scrambled to figure out how the hell to react to him talking so lavishly to her. Memories flitted back to similarly complimentary comments that had been bequeathed to her by Gangting not terribly long ago during their second, unexpected meeting. She had been equally as stumped then, though the larger man had talked a fair bit longer than Vandrad, giving the Silver Wolf time to recover where the prince had not.

    Mercury continued to say nothing at all as he let her go and conjectured on how they had better get back to the gala before people started thinking that Vandrad had ushered her away to beat his mother to the punch. He didn’t sound at all like he wanted to leave the room, though Mercury stubbornly stamped down the rattling in her ears that told her his lack of desire had nothing to do with the actual party itself. And for once, she didn’t call him on it or even tease him about it. “Well, we wouldn’t want that, would we?” she said, her voice quieter and more sober than usual.

    The prince stepped back and fell into the well practiced mannerisms of one who had been trained on noble decorum all his life, offering his arm to her like the lady she was currently pretending to be. There was only a split second of hesitation and wariness on her end before she accepted the gesture, taking his limb with her own and letting him lead her back toward the ballroom. As they walked, neither of them said a word, which was just as well for Mercury as it gave her adequate time to get her head back in order, aided in part by the distracting and distinctive sound of a trumpet fair down in the direction they were heading.

    By the time they made it to the top of the landing, she’d managed to put her mask back on and felt a little more like herself. The patrons in the room had been quite interested in the Midian princess when she arrived, of course, but those who had been present to witness Mercury’s first entrance had been waiting all the more to see what happened next with her. She could feel some of the tension, of course, and knew that there were eyes on her. The Silver Wolf mage wasn’t exactly shy about her looks. However, she also wasn’t one to assume that she was the center of attention at any given point of time, so she assumed that most of the gazes cast in her direction were due primarily in part to people paying attention to the prince, or rather just gawking at her continued boldness in choice of dress.

    Mercury had stopped walking when he had, of course, following his gaze along the room until it fell upon an obviously foreign woman in a kimono with a display of jewelry so gaudy it made her own seem humble in comparison. Princess Sabine was currently paired off with his mother, and the moment her eyes met Vandrad’s there was no mistaking that the woman was… well, not for him. The prince swore under his breath so only Mercury could hear. “Oh look,” she murmured to him, her tone fully engaged back in taunt mode. “Your blushing bride to be.”

    It was only made better as the excitable woman practically shouted across the room, referring to him as “princey-poo”. Mercury flat out snorted, a soft but long expression of her deepest amusement. “You know, if you really dislike ‘Vandaddy’ so much, I could always try that one out for a while,” the mage offered him. The woman practically shoved Themesycia out of the way to hurry her way across the room and up the steps toward them. “Oh my stars, she is a trainwreck,” she whispered before Sabine was close enough to hear. “I can’t believe I almost missed this.”

    The princess beelined her way practically right into Vandrad’s face like Mercury wasn’t even on the same continent as them, immediately gushing over his attire while also critiquing it for what she thought would have better suited him. The Xocili’s face so badly wanted to give way to betray her complete and utter amusement over the development, her lips trembling and twitching with the effort it took to keep her expression down to a cool, unreadable smirk. Somehow, she managed to wait patiently for the princess to finish blubbering like a prepubescent teenager and actually acknowledge her existence.

    And when she did, Mercury was not disappointed. The Silver Wolf mage was met with the most petty of stares, quite condescendingly informing Mercury that it was now her turn with the prince as though the lavender haired mage had been little more than an arm warmer for him until her arrival. For a moment there was a tense silence as both women looked at one another in the kind of screamingly silent judgemental standoff that only women could have with one another, Mercury’s level gaze cool and confident, seemingly undaunted by the noblewoman’s demand. In fact, the way that Mercury gently, almost patiently raised her eyebrow ever so slightly at the woman and didn’t with all haste immediately relinquish her hold of the prince’s arm suggested that she may even be so bold as to deny the woman her command.

    But then Mercury smiled for all the world like she was genuinely happy to oblige, and had expected nothing less for an outcome. “Absolutely, my lady,” she told her kindly. Turning to face Vandrad, he would catch the utterly wicked glimmer in her eyes as she neatly curtsied to him. “My sincerest thanks for your time, your highness. I’ll leave you to your intended. I am sure you are quite eager to make her acquaintance. Oh, and before I forget: that word we were looking for was ‘collywobbles’.”

    Yes she had just subtly fed him a safe word, yes it was an aptly picked antiquated term for feeling queasy to one’s stomach, and yes she had picked a word that was purposefully so ridiculous that he wouldn’t say it unless absolutely desperate. Without moving away from Vandrad just yet, she turned to Sabine and inclined her head respectfully. “My lady,” she said by way of excusing herself, drawing the woman’s attention away from Mercury ever so subtly pinching Vandrad’s ass before finally walking away.

    As she descended the stairs, the Silver Wolf looked quite smug and pleased with herself. Unlike every other woman who had done their best to grace their way down the landing, Mercury instead carried the air of a woman that was fully confident in her audacious attire and not afraid to show it. Given that Themesycia was the only other person in the room that she knew, the mage returned to the duchess’ side and raised her arms up as if to playfully display herself, turning in a small circle for the woman with a smirk before lowering her limbs. “I trust this will be less distressing for your other patrons?” she inquired impishly.

    Then, much like Vandrad had done for her, she held out her arm with a slight bow. “I don’t suppose it’s too presumptuous of me to ask if you’d be willing to accompany me to wherever there is an available supply of alcohol? Within the ballroom, of course. I have been given strict restrictions and instructions on how far I am allowed to stray out of your son’s sight. Which is to say: not at all. I’m starting to think he doesn’t trust us with one another.”

    WORDS: 2153/10,878 | @Vandrad Ragnos
    Serilda Sinclair



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    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Player 
    Lineage : Lucifer’s Aura
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    Experience : 29,000

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Energy Monarch
    Second Magic:
    Third Magic:

    Never Skip Leg Day Empty Re: Never Skip Leg Day

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos on 25th March 2020, 5:07 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Never Skip Leg Day RJtajUnz_o

    Vandrad was quite relieved to get back to the ball, which was saying something. He had been quite adamant against returning to the spotlight, staying away from the prying and judgmental gazes of the court. There was also the fact that he had to meet the woman that he was supposedly meant to marry, should they hit it off. Adding that into the way his mother acted and teased him and it seemed that he should be far more interested in being anywhere else. And this was true – right up until he had laid eyes on her in her dress.

    It had stirred something in him. He wasn’t sure what it was but his stomach had twisted in an odd knot that he couldn’t quite comprehend. Whatever it was, it had motivated him to go and retrieve the ring from his mother’s dresser and place it upon her hand. It had spurred him to speak of her beauty, his gaze lingering on hers for longer than he had ever let it before. An emerald jewel for the same color gems of her eyes. She had seemingly been stunned by his actions, her voice trailing off as he took her hand and placed the ring on her finger. The silence between them was deafening, creating a tension that threatened to tear his sanity apart. So he had retreated from the oddly humbling and honest moment, finding the excuse of being viewed worse than he already was a viable reason to leave. And thankfully, Mercury granted him an agreeable statement without finding reason to mock him. It made him wonder… but not enough to question it. If he was getting off scot-free, he was going to roll with it fully.

    But even one escape wasn’t enough to bring him far enough away from his situation. They returned to the ball in absolute silence, each one of them trying to wrap their head around whatever the hell that was. But then the trumpets signaled the arrival of his hypothetical betrothed. He stopped at the stairs with Mercury on his arm, staring in horror at the sight of Princess Sabine Hotoi. She whispered to him, taunting him about the woman currently meeting his mother. "I have eyes, woman. Why else do you think I just swore?” he hissed back at her, trying to appear neutral despite the panic in his eyes.

    Things only got worse as the princess spotted him and tacked him with yet another dreadful nickname. Of course Mercury felt the need to comment on it, offering him the chance to swap what she addressed him as. "Absolutely not. Vand-… the other one is acceptable,” he muttered back, disgusted by the notion of being called ‘princy-poo’ by literally anyone. As the princess nearly ran his mother over – an achievement many slain enemies could never boast – Mercury mused her amusement at how much this girl was quite the… show and nearly missed out on the opportunity to witness this. He wasn’t surprised; this was literal food for her mocking stomach and no doubt she would use this as a weapon for a long time.

    Sabine was before them in no time, practically flying to the couple and making herself the sole focus on Vandrad’s world. She made some idle comments about his outfit, or perhaps it was his form? He wasn’t quite sure – she spoke a mile a minute. Either way, before he was able to open his mouth, the young woman turned to Mercury in an attempt to shoo the woman away, insisting she would take over. It was a defining moment, as Vandrad looked at the Silver Wolf mage out of the corner of his eye. But rather than rebuking the young woman, Mercury simply acquiesced to the woman’s demand. She took a moment to look at him, her eyes alight with mischief once more, as she thanked him for his time and supplied him with perhaps the oddest word he’d ever heard. It only took him a moment to realize that she had supplied him with a safe word… but one that he would never dare say. Collywobbles was an utterly childish word for bowel unrest and the notion that such a word would leave his lips was atrocious. Then again, that’s exactly what she wanted, wasn’t it? His eyes narrowed slightly, meeting her gaze with unspoken threats. She would pay for this time – in time.

    Mercury turned back to Sabine and humbled herself before her, but not before she reached around and gave the Prince of Bellum a quick tweak on his ass. He inhaled sharply, his eyes widening a fraction for only a second before he collected himself. She had gotten back to form rather easily, hadn’t she? He watched her with pointed gaze as she departed down the stairwell, only pulling his gaze away once Sabine had reached out and literally pulled his face to her. “There; now that the simpleton is out of the way. I would so love to meet your family, princey-poo. How about you introduce me?” Her arm slid sickeningly into his, the princess practically melting into his form. With no other choice in the matter, Vandrad led her down the stairs to give her proper introductions to several of the onlookers.

    Themesycia had certainly been watching the events on the top of the stairs but once Mercury had waltzed down the stairs, the Duchess’ attention was solely on her. Wearing an amused smirk, she waited until the Silver Wolf mage had come in front of her and teasingly displayed herself for judgement. “Mmm quite acceptable indeed,” Themesycia purred as she stepped forward, taking her time to admire Mercury up close and personal. And apparently feeling emboldened, she even ran her finger across the crevice of her revealed breasts, giving the younger woman a wicked grin as she did so with such recklessness. “Consider that dress yours, my dear. I can’t imagine wearing it after such a creature as you as made it look so much more delectable.”

    Mercury had opted to focus her attention on the Duchess, offering her arm after a short bow and asking if she’d accompany her to get some alcohol. Themesycia chuckled and slid her arm between the Silver Wolf mage’s, running her nails gently over her wrist. But apparently fetching the liquor meant they had to stay within the confines of the ballroom – it seemed Vandrad had taken to asking her not to leave his sight, though not necessarily for his own sake. “Oh that’s too bad. I have this two hundred year old rum in my bedroom that I think you’d really enjoy,” the Duchess said with a smirk. “But I don’t blame him; if I may be presumptuous, the minute I laid eyes on you, I haven’t stopped imagining you naked. Luckily for me, you’ve provided quite an ample view of what they could be. And I must say, I’m quite displeased I didn’t manage to get you into bed before Vandrad. Not that his having you will stop me.” She whispered the last part, giving the younger woman a wicked wink.


    Themesycia glided through the crowd with Mercury, directing her where the bar was. A lavish quartz setting, it was evident to anyone with a keen eye that there was absolutely no cheap bottle on the shelves. Everything cost a couple hundred jewel on the lowest end and somewhere in the millions for some of the special brands. Themesycia slid against the bar, keeping herself close to Mercury as she waved to the bartender. In fact, her hand would casually slide over the woman’s supple behind, only pausing to get a firm grip of the meat before her hand came around the Silver Wolf mage’s hip. “Whatever this woman desires is on the house. That includes the high priced stuff, Damien – don’t give me that knowing brow, she’s my son’s friend,” she teased the bartender even as she turned to Mercury. “Now that the party pooper is distracted with his bride-to-be, tell me more about you, Mercury. I’d very much like to get to know the woman I’m absolutely trying to get into bed.”







    Words: 1360/11,834 | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Player 
    Lineage : None
    Position : None
    Posts : 150
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    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 24,150

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Gunblade Master
    Second Magic: Mecha God Slayer (2nd)
    Third Magic:

    Never Skip Leg Day Empty Re: Never Skip Leg Day

    Post by Mercury Arseneault on 25th March 2020, 7:06 pm

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    Oh, he was so angry with her. Mercury could see the fury in his eyes that promised payback, but by the look in her own gaze she wasn’t very afraid of that unspoken promise. Luckily the princess didn’t seem to be any the wiser to the intent behind Mercury’s subtle mannerisms, which was telling in and of itself. Unless this woman was better at hiding her intellect than Mercury gave her credit for, Sabine was a woman that thought herself better at every other woman around her in the sport of being catty. That was a game that Mercury was far too interested in playing, but it required the proper amount of time and patience to build toward.

    Plus, she had not been shy about admitting that she was still going to pick on Vandrad through this whole thing, and even the prince himself had already accepted that fact. He knew what he was getting into at this point, and that just gave her all the more free reign to torture him as deeply as she pleased. She didn’t see the slight widening of his eyes as she’d pinched his behind, but her sensitive ears could not miss the intake of breath that betrayed his reaction to her. With little else to do, she then wandered down the staircase and toward the only other person she knew at the party.

    Themesycia never took her smouldering gaze off Mercury even once as the Silver Wolf mage approached and gave her a little show, and neither did Mercury back her own eyes down while the other woman threw timidity to the wind and trailed a finger down the smaller woman’s front, causing a slight eruption of goosebumps in the digit’s wake. The duchess was quite vocal of her approval of the chosen outfit, immediately informing Mercury that it was hers to keep as the older woman wouldn’t feel right wearing it after her. “Oh? And here I was thinking maybe you’d enjoy my lingering scent on it after it was returned to you.”

    A quick return in flirtation before she humbled herself a bit. “Thank you, though. That’s very generous of you, as is letting me borrow from your wardrobe in the first place after my rather dramatic entrance. I will have to find an excuse to wear it again, someday.” After that, the duchess lamented the restrictions her son had placed, stating that she had a couple hundred year old bottle of rum up in her room that Mercury might like. The insinuation did not go unnoticed, and the younger woman hummed in consideration of the offer.

    Still, it seemed Themesycia understood her son’s requirements, not staying her tongue as she admitted that she’d already been trying to picture Mercury naked since the moment she laid eyes on her. A feat that was all the better aided by the gown she’d chosen. It was then that Mercury’s grin went from flirtatious to cheshire, as the woman classily complained about not getting to her before Vandrad did. “Oh, and that is a story you’re going to want to hear, trust me.”

    Off they moved over toward the bar, arm in arm with Themesycia’s nails gently running along the inside of Mercury’s wrist, a pleasant sensation that she had no intentions of discouraging. Neither did she show any surprise or disappointment when the duchess moved her arm around Mercury’s hip, making sure to grab a firm hold of the smaller woman’s bottom before completing the path. It was going to be a long, challenging night for Mercury, that much was certain. She was capable of getting into far too much trouble with highly sexual individuals, already rethinking the consequences of letting Vandrad’s mother carry her off anyway. Alas, it was probably better to behave in that regard…

    ...she told herself, without being aware of her thumb gently rubbing the underside of the ring he’d put on her finger earlier.

    The barkeep was instructed to let Mercury have whatever she wanted, no matter how expensive, before the duchess insisted on learning more about her son’s friend. “Surprise me with a rum of some kind, please,” she asked the man before giving Themesycia a smirk. “You mentioned it and now I can’t get the idea out of my head.”

    As Mercury leaned against the counter and waited, she gave some thought to the duchess’ request to learn more about her. “Well, I already mentioned that I have taken up residence in Fiore. Specifically, I’m a mage with the Silver Wolf guild. We focus a lot on hunting for treasures and artifacts, while preserving the histories and cultures that they belong to. I’m one of their three aces, placed in charge of their branch of Scholars.”

    “Thank you,” she told the barman as he slid her drink to her, taking it in hand and giving it a sip with a delighted hum. Then, Mercury continued. “I actually met Vandrad on a job involving a treasure hunt, of sorts. Our guilds are allies, so we got randomly paired to go hunt some ghosts deep in the Silent Glaciers that were bothering the locals. The things were guarding all the treasure they’d hoarded and never spent.” She rolled her eyes to express her thoughts on the silliness of gathering so much of value just to never make use of any of it.

    “Anyway, much to his chagrin I tracked him down later and convinced him into another job with me. I’m pretty sure he was hoping to never have to see me again or hear my name. Apparently, I remind him too much of his mother.” Mercury gave the woman a wink, taking another couple sips from her glass. “Honestly, there isn’t a terrible amount to know about me. I spend most of my time working, either on jobs or tinkering around in a lab. And, as of recently, forcing myself to get up at cursed awful hours of the morning to work on my fighting skills since Vandrad seems to have decided that I’m the only worthwhile sparring partner in any of the surrounding countries. Don’t dare let him catch you referring to me as his friend, however; he prefers the term ‘rival’, no matter how much I myself argue to the contrary with him.”

    Mercury grinned a bit there, obviously quite pleased with admitting that picking on Themesycia’s son was one of her favorite pastimes. It would likely be more than easy for the duchess to note the ease of which the Silver Wolf mage smoothly deflected the broad inquiry into herself. In fact, most of the information she had passed along had more to do with her interactions with Vandrad rather than herself as a person.

    WORDS: 1155/12,033 | @Vandrad Ragnos
    Serilda Sinclair



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Player 
    Lineage : Lucifer’s Aura
    Position : None
    Posts : 151
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 29,000

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Energy Monarch
    Second Magic:
    Third Magic:

    Never Skip Leg Day Empty Re: Never Skip Leg Day

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos on 25th March 2020, 8:26 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Never Skip Leg Day RJtajUnz_o

    Poor Vandrad had been pulled away from the only semblance of an anchor he had, if one could called Mercury that. She was more of a constantly swinging punching back that happened to hit back but with jibes and teases. But considering  the serious amount of his time had been spent with her over the past several weeks, it was safe to say that she was someone he was… comfortable with. He’d grown accustomed to her being around and, as such, she resembled a portion of normalcy in his life. Yet as Sabine took his arm and took control of the rest of his evening, Mercury was all too happy to leave him to his misery. He really shouldn’t have been surprised and, in a way, he wasn’t. But she certainly found a way to make the entire ordeal that much worse. Whatever the case, it seemed he was now on the hook for introducing each and every family member to the Midian princess. And the woman was equal parts cordial and insulting to almost every single person she met. But she did it in such a way that he couldn’t call her on it outright… at least not yet. Hopefully she would slip up and give him a chance to rid himself of her.

    Meanwhile, Themesycia was having the time of her life. With Vandrad with his potential beau, it gave her plenty of time to admire Mercury in her dress. As the Duchess remised about having to gift the dress to the Silver Wolf mage, Mercury, in turn, addressed the fact that she’d perhaps want the dress back, if only to get the woman’s scent on it. The Duchess chuckled, her eyes twinkling in naughty delight. “Why settle for a dress when perhaps I could persuade you to leave your scent on my bed?” She said in a low voice, sharing the intimate flirt only with Mercury. This woman was dangerous – she had a keen wit and a flirtatious streak that was going to get her in trouble. Though truly, perhaps it was Vandrad that should have been worried. If he was too distracted with his bride-to-be, he may miss Themesycia sliding Mercury into a corner to get a taste of the rambunctious wizard.

    As she mused at the pity of her son getting to Mercury first, the Silver Wolf mage voiced just how interested she would be in the story itself. A single brow cocked in curiosity as Themesycia smirked. “Oh is it? Well, let us find somewhere comfortable to sit and drink and you can tell me all about it. And don’t worry about shirking details; I may be his mother but I am far too curious a creature to pass up an opportunity to learn about wild affairs.” It seemed hearing about her son’s first time wasn’t going to be a matter that would bother the women, even as she slid her arm into Mercury’s and brought her to the bar.

    Mercury may have been aware of it but it seemed that the Duchess was pulling out all the stops to seduce the woman. Even as they set themselves at the bar, Themesycia stayed close to her, practically attached to her hip. Though the Silver Wolf mage had it in her head to behave, she would find her female companion had no such mindset. After instructing Damien to give Mercury access to anything she wished, she gently tailed her finger nails along the hip she held close, sliding her fingers along the fabric with such poignancy that she may as well have been rubbing flesh. She made sure not to fully grasp Mercury’s rear but her trail of touching certainly circled just on the outside of her bum, keeping the attention on her even as Mercury ordered rum and flashed a smirk at the Duchess. “Pleas enjoy. I feel the more alcohol I let you have, the better my chances are,” she told Mercury plainly, smirking as she nodded to the barman as well. He knew exactly what she wanted. A hard scotch, sans rocks.

    He was quick to get the drinks prepared, even as Mercury answered Themesycia’s question. She listened intently, leaning gently on the bar as she kept her gaze focused on the younger woman. “Silver Wolf. I’ve heard of the guild, though I admit I have no deeper knowledge than a namesake. But journeying to places to discover treasure and artifacts sounds like quite the adventure. Tell me; who was it that found such a precious jewel as yourself?” She chuckled, realizing how silly the flirt sounded but clearly no apologetic over it. As the drinks came and she took hers, Mercury continued and told of how she had met Vandrad in the first place. A hunt for some spirits in the Silent Glaciers it seemed. “Ah, that’s the thing with ghosts, my dear. The physical manifestation of wealth no longer applies to their minds. But because their memories recall the treasure, it’s treated as an anchor. Something for their lingering essence to cling to.” She spoke from a place of experience, having dealt with ghosts during her life as well.

    Mercury continued, outlining the history between herself and Vandrad in greater detail. She had found him again and convinced him to rejoin her on another job. As she winked at the Duchess when referencing the similarities between herself and Mercury, Themesycia smirked but continued to listen intently. Hearing about her son’s adventures in Fiore was truly intriguing and learning more about Mercury herself was delectable. Apparently at this point in their ‘friendship’, she had taken to meeting him several mornings to train her combat skills, though he refused to call her a friend. ‘Rival’ sounded a lot more like Vandrad anyways. “Why not just stay the night with him? I know if I intended to meet with you in the morning, I would certainly invite you to share my bed the night before. Though we might lack in waking early enough to do any combat training,” Themesycia said with a grin, downing her drink in one full swig and placing it back on the bar. “It sounds like you’ve truly found a way to knock Vandrad off of his game… and for that, I’m thankful. He’s so stubborn and stiff; he needs a quick and hard kick in the ass every now and then. I’m glad to hear someone has taken up my position as pain in the ass while he’s been spending time in Fiore. Now how ever will I repay you for your efforts…?” The Duchess asked, leaning in slowly and closing the distance between them. She smirked softly, her gaze flicking between Mercury’s eyes and her lips.

    But right as she was ready to close the distance, a person stepped up from behind the Duchess. “Working quickly tonight, dear sister of mine?” As Themesycia pulled back to look at the origin of the voice, Mercury would be treated to the sight of Simon du Wolff. Just as Vandrad had explained, the resemblance between the man and the woman was so lacking that many didn’t truly believe them related. While Themesycia was nearly as white as snow, Simon’s flesh was a dark and smooth as chocolate. The almost overly-handsome man looked down at her with similarly emerald eyes and a soft smile that would send most women falling to their knees. Two silver earrings graced each ear, twinkling in the light as he reached up and brushed the dark hair from his eyes.

    “Simon, how nice of you to join us and with such impeccable timing,” the Duchess replied, her tone neutral but still carrying an edge to it. “This is Mercury Arseneault from the Silver Wolf guild in Fiore. She is a friend of Vandrad’s.”

    “How much I wish I was Vandrad then, to have such a friend,” he said, offering his hand to Mercury. If she took it, he would turn it over much like she had for Themesycia and place a gentle but lingering kiss on the top of it. “A pleasure. Simon du Wolff. I am truly honored to meet you and, if I may be so bold, entranced at the beauty that stands before me.”

    Themesycia fought the urge to roll her eyes, maintaining her royal etiquette. “If you don’t mind, my dear brother, Mercury and I were in quite the intimate conversation.”

    “Intimate conversations! My favorite pastime,” Vandrad’s uncle said, glancing at Mercury and giving her a wink. Clearly it was time for him to tease the Duchess a bit. “Let me get a drink and I’ll be happy to join you,” he said as he stepped in near Mercury, waving at the barman. But just as she felt the Duchess’ hand on one hip, another more masculine hand would slide over the small of her back and gently trace the other hip. It seemed that the Silver Wolf mage had found herself between the siblings du Wolff and either one seemed interested in trying to garner her full attention.







    Words: 1507/13,341 | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Player 
    Lineage : None
    Position : None
    Posts : 150
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 24,150

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Gunblade Master
    Second Magic: Mecha God Slayer (2nd)
    Third Magic:

    Never Skip Leg Day Empty Re: Never Skip Leg Day

    Post by Mercury Arseneault on 25th March 2020, 10:14 pm

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    Clearly there was going to be no end to the flirtations between Mercury and Themesycia that night. Or probably ever. The two were equally as capable of going back and forth, though even Mercury would admit that the older woman was far more skilled and blunt about it than she was. Mercury certainly wasn’t shy by any means, but she typically played a bit more coy and teasing rather than outspoken. This wasn’t a turn off by any means, of course, just meant that the duchess held a bit of the upper hand in their exchanges. Somehow, Mercury got the feeling the older woman preferred it that way.

    She admitted that she’d heard of Mercury’s guild, though wasn’t keen on too many details regarding their mission as a group. The Xocili told of her first excursion out with Vandrad, which seemed to touch on battle territory that the Ashen Dread was more than familiar with as she offered Mercury a conjectured thought about the lingering dead. The whole conversation eventually brought her back to the fact that Vandrad had demanded Mercury as a training partner, to which Themesycia inquired as to why Mercury didn’t make her mornings a little easier by simply spending the night with her son beforehand.

    Mercury laughed in a deeply amused chuckle. “Despite the connection you so aptly deduced earlier -- ammunition I will be forever grateful to you for by the way, because he certainly had not told me -- our relationship, if you can call it that, isn’t anything along those lines. Vandrad tolerates my existence begrudgingly and with great pains, only because he seems to have this idea in his head that I can make him stronger. I suppose in a way he’s not wrong, but boy does he loathe my methods.”

    It was information that the duchess would come to understand momentarily, once they were able to find a suitable place to sit comfortably and Mercury could regale the story to her in more length. There was a slight nagging in the back of her mind over her insistence that her relationship with Vandrad wasn’t what his mother seemed to think it was, her thumb continuing to almost caress the delicate band on her finger, but she easily kicked that singular, disarming moment back in lieu of other honest truths. After all, nothing about her comments were deceitful, nor intended to be so. Mercury was simply delivering the nature of their partnership as she truly saw it, recent oddities notwithstanding.

    Either way, the duchess was pleased to know that someone had taken up in her stead of making sure Vandrad was being kept on his toes, commenting about how stiff he was nearly all the time. She was murmuring about repaying Mercury for her efforts, leaning down very much like she was intending on giving the Silver Wolf mage a kiss, and Themesycia may have even gotten one if they hadn’t been interrupted.

    On her other side, Mercury turned to see an insanely attractive man with the darkest skin she’d ever seen in her life. Like she had with Themesycia, the mage made no effort to hide her eyes openly taking the man in. Vandrad’s description of his uncle’s looks hadn’t even come close to preparing her for actually meeting him. The two supposed siblings truly looked nothing alike, but they were both so exotically beautiful that it was almost painful to behold, not that Mercury intended on looking away from either of them any time soon.

    The duchess sounded less than pleased by the intrusion, for a number of reasons that Mercury could easily deduce on her own, but introduced the Fioren nonetheless. Simon commented on wishing he were Vandrad, if only to hold the pleasure of calling her a friend. Whoo boy, he was charming. Mercury smirked at him. “Well, you should tell him that. Maybe if enough people besides myself refer to me as his friend, he’ll start believing it. Stockholm syndrome is a powerful tool.” She allowed him her hand, which he gracefully kissed the back of much like Mercury had done with Themesycia upon meeting her. Much like the duchess’ touches, the gesture sent a slight shiver up her limb.

    “Ah, yes,” Mercury teased flirtatiously as Simon introduced himself. “The other family member I was forewarned about. Your nephew seems to think I’m liable to go missing somewhere between the two of you if he doesn’t keep track of me. Not that I blame him, of course.”

    Themesycia, obviously annoyed at her brother’s interference, attempted to shoo the dark man away, a gesture which Simon seamlessly ignored and instead took as an invitation to join them. Mercury had a feeling that the rest of her night was going to consist of the two siblings fighting over her. The notion was amusing, and flattering, particularly as the man wasted exactly zero time in slipping his own hand around Mercury’s waist, resulting in the Silver Wolf mage being more or less held on either side by the two. She could practically feel Vandrad burning with irritation over the sight, whether or not he was actually in a place to view it at the time.

    For her part, Mercury only chuckled, not honestly knowing what to do with all the attention, even if she was genuinely flattered by it all. “Well, you are just in time, then. I was preparing myself to illuminate your resplendent sister with the story of how I took your nephew’s virginity. It’s a story I imagine I will only be able to get away with telling so long as he is distracted… so better to have a full audience, yes?” Her emerald eyes danced with mischief. Vandrad was probably going to try to kill her again before the night was through, but it would be absolutely worth it.

    Turning back to Themesycia, Mercury raised her free hand and gently traced the back of her fingers down her arm. “You mentioned finding a place to sit, my lady?” she purred. While Mercury was certainly as entranced with Simon as both Vandrad and his mother probably expected him to be -- after all, she could only assume that the duchess was annoyed by her brother’s arrival if she saw him as a threat to her game -- the Silver Wolf mage had no intentions of letting the older woman think that she was simply going to be forgotten just because there was an extra mouth around to exchange banter and wit with.

    Once Simon had his drink in hand, the three of them made their way to a free couch that was far enough back from the hustle and bustle of the main dance floor that they wouldn’t have to be too overly loud to hear one another nor feel that their privacy was being invaded, but still at an angle that they could easily see most everything in the room. Mercury took a seat wherever she was invited to, which presumably was going to wind up continuing to be between the two of them. The slit in the dress fell down far enough on her right side that the only thing keeping them from getting the full view of her ass cheek was its depression into the material of the sofa. Mercury seemed undaunted by this, easily crossing the free limb over her other knee and essentially leaving the entire limb out on display. She settled herself just so onto the couch, ensuring that her hip was brushing up against that of Simon’s. Meanwhile, her freehand boldly took the chance to rest its palm lightly on Themesycia’s knee.

    “There, this is much more cozy, don’t you think?” She asked the two of them impishly. “Without further ado, allow me to recount for you…” Mercury paused for dramatic effect, her grin deepening. “...The day that Vandrad tried to murder me.”

    She took a casual sip from her glass of rum, letting the comment sink in. While there was certainly enough amusement in Mercury’s tone to suggest that this was not an event she held a grudge over, they would know right from the start that she wasn’t exaggerating the claim. Turning to Themesycia with a ponderous expression, she told the woman, “You know, before I get started it occurs to me that you might know a portion of this story already. I didn’t understand until after all was said and done that you are apparently acquainted with a young boy by the name of Morli, who was recently kidnapped while traveling to visit family in Desierto?”

    Presuming that she was aware of both the boy and the kidnapping, Mercury would nod. “Hopefully by now you know the boy was returned to his family, but to confirm what you’re probably already assuming, yes that was a job that Vandrad and I took on. Or well, that I took on and enlisted Vandrad to help me, so to speak. Forgive me in advance for this story. I admit that I did not treat your poor son very well that day.”

    Her eyes twinkled with mirth and mischief as she went on. “I won’t bore you with all the minutiae, but suffice to say that the only way I was going to get any assistance in completing the job was to sneak someone in as a slave. Vandrad was my obvious choice because I knew he could handle the job itself, but I knew he wouldn’t be keen on pretending to be a slave, and I am not convince on his acting abilities. So I may have… actually kidnapped him. Knocked him out while he was training, stripped him down to a loin cloth, chained him up and dragged him through the desert behind a camel for the better part of a day.”

    “Needless to say, he was furious when he came to. He was also suspicious because I had only just recently learned his real identity.” She gestured broadly to the room with her rum filled hand. “But I never confirmed that I overheard the truth of his origins, and he was happy to hope that I was unaware. He was suspicious, of course. But when it came time to ‘sell’ him to the slavers, I gave him a false name and peddled him off as a commoner.” Mercury chuckled to herself there, still more than pleased with the image of him twitching with anger beneath the shackles and muzzle.

    “He’s so delightful when he’s upset. Anyway, he managed to figure out that I wasn’t actually trying to sell him, and that I was on a job and he was a part of it. His part was to act as a distraction and destroy the entire arena while I located young Morli and got him out safely. I didn’t know at the time that he knew Morli, though it’s possible that’s the only reason I’m actually alive to tell this story. Vandrad destroyed the place while I got Morli back, and then I found a nice secluded place out in the middle of the desert to wait for him. He was so utterly ripshit with me for all the abuse I’d given him that he blacked out from the anger and didn’t come to until the next morning where he was utterly horrified to find me both alive and naked next to him.”

    Oh, how she grinned, her features ripe with smugness over the story. “It took him days to remember. Actually, I didn’t even get confirmation until tonight that he does recall the full event now. But that is the broader story of how his attempt to take my life went wildly awry, and now I apparently get to hold being his first bed partner over his head for the rest of his life. But boy, let me tell you, he was naughty...” She let the implication hang there, gently teasing them with juice over Vandrad not only losing his virginity in such a scandalous way but also being downright ravenous about it. Details were great, but baiting with subtle implications was so much more satisfying...

    WORDS: 2029/2029 | @Vandrad Ragnos
    Serilda Sinclair



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Player 
    Lineage : Lucifer’s Aura
    Position : None
    Posts : 151
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 29,000

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Energy Monarch
    Second Magic:
    Third Magic:

    Never Skip Leg Day Empty Re: Never Skip Leg Day

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos on 26th March 2020, 11:59 am

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Never Skip Leg Day RJtajUnz_o

    It seemed that Mercury had found herself caught between the du Wolff siblings, though to her it seemed like she was more happily placed than anything else. Others around them chuckled softly to themselves as Simon moved up to join the pair, their murmurs already talking about the scandalous situation. Themesycia and Simon were each, in their own right, well known for their womanizing ways. While the Duchess had to be in constant public denial of it, if only to keep up appearances, the younger brother was openly proud of his desire to seduce and bed whatever woman that caught his eye. For a man who could easily be the best paid model in all of Earthland, he didn’t generally rely on his looks either. He had a practiced wit and a silver tongue that practically oozed charm. To the pair, banter with their hunted was like foreplay – a build up to excite all parties until one gave in and felt the need to get release. And both Simon and Themesycia were proud of the fact that they normally could talk a woman out of her clothes without taking the initial step of intimacy.

    Of course, Mercury was a wild card. Normally they were able to get a heads up on the person they singularly or equally desired. Word spread fast in Bellum and hearing about a person’s details wasn’t that hard to come by, if one truly wished to hear them. But the Silver Wolf mage was new to court – so fresh that it hadn’t even been an hour since her reveal. While the Duchess had talked with the woman and found a competitor after her own heart, Simon had only listened in from the outskirts of conversation and the whisperings of the rest of the crowd. It have given him a little bit but not enough that he could build a sound strategy on. But to both siblings, that was part of the challenge. An unknown target, with beauty and boldness, who had gotten in without being noticed or stopped. While this party was certainly for Vandrad, Themesycia and Simon both felt that they would be the ones in bed with a woman by the end of the night.

    The Duchess had put forth the question as to why Mercury didn’t seemingly spend the night with Vandrad prior to training. The Silver Wolf mage was amused to say the least and informed her about the details of their lacking ‘relationship’. While they had certainly slept together, it seemed that Vandrad only accepted her existence in his life because it was a means to make himself stronger. It was Themesycia’s turn to be amused, chuckling softly. “I am not surprised he didn’t tell you prior to your dalliance about his… hold out. My boy is quite the secretive man, only sharing knowledge or information he perceives as important. He’s quite guarded, that son of mine…” And for a brief moment, the humor in her face drained into something more sober, something more… sad. But before it had a chance to settle, she wiped it away with a smirk as she looked back at Mercury. “It is a shame he doesn’t see you for the delight you are. Personally, I would think it a miracle if I even let you leave my bed. There’s plenty of training that can be done among the sheets, if you ask me.”

    Whether the Duchess planned on stealing a kiss from Mercury or not would never be revealed. In truth, she was most like to slid her lips to her ear and whisper a possible, naughty method of paying the woman back for her continued teasing of Vandrad. But before she could attempt to excite the younger woman, her brother decided it was time for him to barge in. It was a calculated move of course – he knew that Themesycia had a strategy and if he lingered too long, he may miss his opportunity to counter her efforts. It wasn’t anything personal against his sister but the thrill of the hunt, especially this new beauty, was far too much for him to ignore. His sister could easily find a more conquerable vixen once she had lost out to him.

    Simon made his robust entrance, much to his sister’s annoyance. Mercury smirked up at him as he commented idly about wishing he were in Vandrad’s shoes, a facial feature that he returned to her upon her comments. “Oh but my dear, why would I help my poor nephew out when I could take the time to make you my friend?” He was all charm and smiles, as he kissed her hand and then boldly inserted himself into the conversation. It seemed that Vandrad himself had taken the time to give the woman proper warning ahead of meeting them, going as far as to insinuate that Mercury could disappear between the two of them. “Go missing? Perish the thought. I prefer to think of it as getting to know one another on a more intimate level. The only thing that generally goes missing is clothing,” he replied with a mischievous grin.

    Simon was in the competition now to win it and he was going hard right from the start. Themesycia glanced at the man for a moment longer, hoping a glare would shoo him. But as he made himself comfortable, sliding his hand over Mercury’s hip, it seemed he had settled in. If he meant to challenge her for Mercury’s attention, he had found himself a competitor. In truth, this wasn’t the first time they had gone head to head to keep the attention of a lady. Though the numbers were skewed on victories, as neither one of them would ever admit defeat, it was clear that no matter the case, one of them was hellbent on taking her to bed that night. If she played her cards right, she may have been able to convince them to share here even, though that would make her a competitor of the highest tier. Time would only tell.

    The bartender slid Simon a tumbler of scotch as Mercury detailed the story she was about to tell. The sordid, scandalous story about how the Silver Wolf mage had taken the Prince’s virginity; a tale she would only get away with spinning so long as Vandrad was with his bride-to-be. And based on his location all the way across the room, it seemed she had plenty of time. It wasn’t that he wasn’t trying to keep an eye on Mercury – by now, he was sure that his mother had put on several moves. But as the Midian princess insisted upon meeting every single person and delivering her backhanded compliments, he was at a loss. Breaking away would have caused a scene of unparalleled shame. He had to bit down hard and deal with it – at least until he could get the advantage again.

    “Ah so Vandrad finally ‘besmirched’ his honor?” Simon asked, clearly more proud than anything else. “I, myself, have always tried to convince him to let loose and do away with that pesky holdout. But if I had known that my first time would have been with a lovely woman such as yourself, I may have waited as well,” he said as he took a sip of scotch. “Please, I would adore to hear this tale.”

    Mercury turned back to Themesycia, gently gliding her fingers along her arm as she recalled them finding a place to sit. The Duchess smirked and reached up to take the Silver Wolf mage’s hand in hers, so as to lead her. “Come, I believe there is a lovely spot around the corner. A nice private couch that can seat three,” she said, her eyes passing over to Simon with amusement. She wouldn’t do anything to undercut his attempts; she did have a sense of honor even beyond the battlefield. The play would take place on an even ground, so that the victor could savor their victory that much more.

    So they made their way over. It was a nice spot in terms of placement; it kept them away from the crowd and music enough that they didn’t need to shout to speak. It was also angled enough that certain gestures could be missed by wandering eyes but it still gave them a full view of the hall. Themesycia sat herself first, sliding to the end and allowing the empty middle spot to be taken by Mercury. And as predicted, Simon slid onto the spot on her opposing side, setting the Silver Wolf mage between the two siblings. Each one got themselves comfortable, with Themesycia crossing a leg over and leaning in towards Mercury and Simon leaning back comfortable but still close enough as he slid his hand behind the Silver Wolf mage’s head and draped his arm around her, with his fingers running over the flesh of her neck and shoulder. He released his tumbler and it… kept hovering in the air before him, allowing his other hand to gently trail along the outside of her bared thigh. As Mercury herself got herself adjusted and laid her hand on Themesycia’s knee, the Duchess brought her own hand over and drew small circles on the woman’s forearm.

    “Much,”
    “Much.” the two siblings agreed with her, not even bothering to pass a glance to one another. Building up to the dramatic story, Mercury drew out the content before revealing that the tale began with Vandrad’s attempt to murder her. “Oh? You must have really gotten under his skin then. How delightful. I personally always find that thin line between fighting and fucking so… exhilarating,” Themesycia said in a low voice, so only Mercury and Simon could hear.

    “An unsuccessful attempt clearly. I’ll be sure to thank him later, or else I would have never gotten the chance to gaze upon you,” Simon said with a small chuckle.

    With both their flirtatious comments out of the way, they listened as she stopped before getting into the thick of things and bringing up a fact that they would be very well aware of. She mentioned Morli, a child that had only recently been returned home after a slight case of kidnapping in Desierto. “Ah yes, young Morli. Such a tragic event for someone so young to go through,” Simon said, his tone sober despite the intimate setting. Even they knew when to observe manners when it came to such serious situations.

    Mercury nodded and confirmed that she and Vandrad had been the ones to save the boy, though it seemed it was more of her job and the Prince had been brought along. Mercury admitted that she hadn’t been the best of partners on that particular day, eliciting a chuckle from the both siblings. “All is forgiven, my dear. Vandrad is used to trials but rarely ones from people with extensive wit and panache. I’m sure the entire ordeal for him will be quite delightful for us.”

    And so the story was unwoven for them. For the most part, Mercury would find herself fairly ungroped by the pair as they listened intently. They continued the small, intimate touches they already were placing upon her but the tale itself was far too interesting to ignore for the sake of getting handsy. As she told them that she had captured the man and stripped him down, the siblings chuckled and drank in amusement, more than pleased to listen to such a scandalous tale. Apparently the Prince had let slip at one point of his true origin and had done so in a setting that allowed Mercury to hear. He hadn’t gotten confirmation that she had overheard it and as she outlined how she had sold him as a mere commoner, it seemed she was more than happy to throw him off his game. She continued, explaining that Vandrad had been ‘recruited’ to act as a distraction slash source of destruction towards the slave pits. It had apparently been Morli’s reveal of being there that may have allowed the Silver Wolf mage to survive the situation in the first place. After they had rescued the boy, Mercury had returned to a private spot in Desierto to wait for him. And Vandrad had come, an avatar of rage of such depths that he had apparently lost his wits. They had only returned when he awoke the next morning and found himself beside the naked Mercury.

    He had repressed it, only regaining memories over time and had only revealed that night he remembered the entire ordeal. And so ended her broad tale of how she had taken his virginity, ending it on a cliffhanger about how he had apparently been quite wicked. Themesycia was grinning. “Was he? I’ll admit I’m surprised. He’s always so tactful and moderate.”

    “Ah no, dear sister. Your son has the rage of a hurricane inside of him. I imagine that anger feeds a lot of filthy, nasty desires that he apparently took out on this lovely creature. And by the looks of it, she seemed like she was impressed,” Simon said with a smirk, giving the Silver Wolf mage a slow wink. “How about you tell us in great detail all the things he did to you? I’d like some ideas.” And he took a moment to look her over once more.

    “Dad.”

    Two women, around the age of twenty, stood before them. One was wearing a vibrant pink gown, with golden roots clasping about the bodice and over her shoulders. Her hair was short and black, held up in a bun with a pink tiara. Her bangs hung over her forehead evenly, save for two strands that framed her porcelain face. Her eyes were dulled and it was obvious that she was blind, in spite of her beauty. The other woman wore a black dress, adorned with spies on the shoulders and chains running down from her neck strap that covered over her dress. Her brown hair was up in two wrapped buns, while the rest of her follicles hung about her face. Her chocolate eyes were lively with absolute boredom.

    Simon glanced up and smiled at the siblings. “Girls. This is Mercury Arseneault, a friend of Vandrad’s. Mercury, these are my daughters; Cecilia and Ophelia.” He gestured to each of them; Cecilia in the pink gown and Ophelia in the black.

    Ophelia’s face scrunched in surprised. “Vandrad has friends?” She seemed utterly shocked.

    “One, at the very least. A lovely creature indeed,” he said, taking the time to look back at Mercury.

    “A pleasure to meet you, Lady Arseneault,” Cecilia said, giving the woman a small curtsy.

    “What up,” her sister replied, not nearly as cordially.







    Words: 2452/2452 | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Player 
    Lineage : None
    Position : None
    Posts : 150
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 24,150

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Gunblade Master
    Second Magic: Mecha God Slayer (2nd)
    Third Magic:

    Never Skip Leg Day Empty Re: Never Skip Leg Day

    Post by Mercury Arseneault on 26th March 2020, 2:58 pm

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    The siblings listened to her tale with great interest, interjecting only occasionally to contribute their own thoughts. All the while they also found little ways to pamper her with their hands. Simon snugged himself right up against her bare leg, his arm around the back of her head and gently rubbing her neck while he other hand trailed along her thigh. On the flip side, Themesycia was giving similar caresses along Mercury’s arm that was rested on the duchess’ leg. It was threatening territory and Mercury knew she was asking for trouble, but that just made it all the more exhilarating.

    By the time she finished her story, both Themesycia and Simon were quite elated over the information, having very much enjoyed the sordid details of Vandrad’s abuse. The duchess was especially pleased to hear that her son had really let loose during the session, while her brother quickly corrected her, reminding the woman of the deep seeded anger that was near constantly brewing inside his nephew and waiting for a chance to release itself. He even went so far to insinuate that Vandrad’s rough handling of her was something that Mercury herself seemed more than satisfied with, and for her part Mercury merely gave the man a small, impish, and overly smug smirk, with eyes as green as his own that danced with a seductive passion which definitely betrayed his assessment was right on the money.

    He was in the process of suggesting that the Silver Wolf mage regale them with some of the more salacious details of exactly how Vandrad had made use of her when they were approached and interrupted by two young women, one of whom referred to Simon as “dad”. It seemed the man had children which was no surprise. They were around Mercury’s own age, both with dark hair and similar features of the face that betrayed their blood relation. Outside of that, they couldn’t have been more different. One was donned in a feminine pink gown and wore a gentle grace about her. She was unmistakably blind. The other dressed in darker fashions and carried herself with a more standoffish attitude, though she wasn’t necessarily unfriendly.

    Simon introduced her to his daughters, named Cicilia and Ophelia respectively. Ophilia’s honest shock over the notion that Vandrad had friends caused Mercury to choke slightly on her rum mid sip. She pulled the glass away from her face and swallowed the liquid so she could laugh at the comment. “He’ll deny it to his dying breath,” she said, following up Simon’s comment, “But yes, at least one that I can confirm. Though it still remains to be seen whether that will last the night, especially after the rather mortifying story I just finished telling of him.”

    She grinned at the darker girl, the open face of mischief, before gracefully prying herself out of the hold of Simon and Themesycia to greet the two women. “The pleasure is mine, ladies, I assure you,” Mercury told them as Cecilia curtsied, her tone for once having a simple and genuine pleasantness to it rather than any flirtation or deviousness. After all, she could hardly try to seduce Vandrad’s entire family -- his mother and uncle were going to be more than enough of a handful. She offered both women a friendly handshake, seemingly undaunted by Ophilia’s more crass mannerisms, and also making sure to verbally communicate with Cecilia if it was alright to exchange a handshake before simply taking the girl’s hand without her expecting it or consenting to the touch.

    “Please, join us,” she invited them. “I never planned on the opportunity to meet any of his family, and I would love to get to know as many of you as possible, particularly if you have any delicious and embarrassing stories I can hold over his head later. Here, let me get another sofa pulled up for you.” Thankfully, there was plenty of open seating around as most people were up dancing and mingling, just not all of it was facing the same direction. Tapping into the ornate metal of a couple of the other nearby couches, she bent her magic ever so slightly and turned them around with a casual flick of her wrist, using some of it to make sure she lifted them slightly off the ground first so the feet wouldn’t scratch and grate across the surface of the floor.

    She turned around a couple of the items until there was a small circle of sorts of a couple different sized seating arrangements, with more than enough space for a few others to join them later as Mercury had a feeling would be the case down the line. Rather than sit herself back between the duchess and her brother, the Silver Wolf mage elected to settle herself onto a single seated armchair so that she could be equally engaging with all the present family members. And perhaps to also drive Simon and Themesycia a little more wild with her impressive ability to play hard to get.

    “This is actually wonderful timing,” she told them, making herself comfortable. “Your father and aunt have seen so busy drawing stories about myself and Vandrad out of me, that I haven’t really gotten the chance to return the courtesy of pleasantries. It’s been so shocking and refreshing to me to come here and find his family to be so charming and social in comparison to his constant brooding.”

    WORDS: 925/2964 | @Vandrad Ragnos
    Serilda Sinclair



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Player 
    Lineage : Lucifer’s Aura
    Position : None
    Posts : 151
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 29,000

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Energy Monarch
    Second Magic:
    Third Magic:

    Never Skip Leg Day Empty Re: Never Skip Leg Day

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos on 26th March 2020, 5:38 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Never Skip Leg Day RJtajUnz_o

    Knowing that Mercury had apparently enjoyed the so-called naughty things that Vandrad had done to her only seemed to spur Simon on further. Her gaze was teasing and heated and the man found himself drawn in by it. He was keen to learn exactly what Vandrad had done with her, so as to turn the subject  to bring up one of his many quirks when his daughters interrupted, having finally found their father. And unsurprisingly, it was trying to court another woman. They set their gazes on the Silver Wolf mage in neutral study, as she nearly choked at Ophelia’s comment about Vandrad’s relationships. She admitted that the Prince would no doubt deny it to his grave before confirming that she was certainly a friend of his, though how long that would last was dependent on him learning of her told story. “Oh are we telling stories about Vandrad? He hates those,” she said with a chuckle, showing her first sign of amusement.

    Mercury rose up from the seat to introduce herself properly, much to the disappointment of Simon and Themesycia. Both were cordial enough, despite Ophelia’s blatant lack of interest in… well, most anything. Cecilia smiled and reached out her hand to shake the offered one, informing her it was fine to greet her in such a manner. “My magic gives me the ability to ‘see’ in a way. It’s a bit hard to explain,” she offered politely.

    It seemed like the girls were only dropping by to say hello but Mercury insisted that they join them. It was an odd statement, considering the couch was only meant for three people and two of the chairs were already taken. Ophelia looked like she was about to say something when suddenly Mercury turned around and used her magic to bring forth some of the other seating options nearby. The seats came over easily and were arranged, forming a near circle of sorts for the party and for anyone else that chose to come over later. The sisters exchanged a look and then shrugged, seeing no reason not to depart now. “Neat trick,” she commented idly at Mercury as she sat herself down on one half of the sofa. As she did, the metal twisted around her into spikes similar to those that were on her shoulders. Cecilia sat on the opposing side of her, glancing at the spikes briefly before turning her attention to the group.

    Being the absolute tease that she was, Mercury chose not to return to her rather cozy seat between the older siblings and instead chose to plant herself in an armchair meant for one. There was no wiping away the smirks on Themesycia’s and Simon’s faces, seeing the game she was playing and clearly approving of it. Playing hard to get only made the game that much more fun. Now that everyone was settled, Mercury asked about the family themselves, as they had put so much focus on her and Vandrad’s adventures together. She wanted to put the focus on the rest of them, stating that she was elated to see his family was the complete opposite of him.

    “Oh I don’t know about that. Vandrad is just…” Cecilia started, trying to play off his demeanor.

    “A damn stick in the mud,” Ophelia finished the thought with a snort. “Don’t get me wrong – I don’t like these fancy galas either but man, that dude needs to get laid. Ease off the throttle a little.”

    “Well then perhaps you should look to this lovely woman over here and thank her for attempting to rectify that so-called stick,” Themesycia said, waving her hand to Mercury.

    Both of the sisters turned to look at Mercury, a stunned look on their faces. “No way…”

    “You…? Oh my…” Cecilia looked absolutely astonished, a brief passing of pink adorning her cheeks.

    Ophelia turned her attention to her father and aunt. “And? Is he any happier? Fun? Capable of cracking an unironic smile?”

    “Ask your aunt; she’s the one that summoned him back against his will to possibly marry Sabine Hotoi.” Simon said with a chuckle, as he drew a drink from his glass.

    “I did not ask him to return against his will. I simply put forth that if he didn’t answer me letter privately, I would have to ask him to return publicly,” the older woman said with a small shrug.

    “Ah yes, my apologies. That absolutely was no means pressuring him to return at all. So sorry, dear sister.” He cast her with an idle glance. “But it seems your cousin is as ornery as usual. Though he was quite thrown off when our dear Mercury appeared. What was that charming phrase on your shirt? I was absolutely enthralled with it.”

    “Your son calls me mommy too,” Themesycia answered for her, already chuckling. “I was so impressed and everyone around was so utterly aghast that she’d shown up looking so common. Frankly boldness of that nature deserves rewarding; this court has been severely lacking it lately.”

    “Van’s always been a bit of a grump. The only time he ever played with us as kids was if we were doing anything similar to fighting,” Ophelia offered, returning to Mercury’s curiosity. “Seeing as he was an orphan taken in by auntie, it was understandable that he was unruly but man, I’m surprised his face isn’t forever stuck in a frown.” She paused and cocked her head slightly. “Did you know he was an orphan?”

    Counting that Mercury answered that she hadn’t, Cecilia spoke up after. “It was quite sad, actually. Aunt Themesycia was returning from a summit between Fiore and Bellum. They were trying to establish a… what was it, a truce and possible trade pact?” She asked, turning to the older siblings.

    Simon cast a glance at Themesycia briefly before gazing at the group. “Yes. Bellum and Fiore have always shared a… difference in opinion. It’s mostly because Fiore treats all their citizens equally, including the non-magic people,” he explained, disgust in his voice as he described people lacking magic. “Nonetheless, we reached a place of parlay and your mother was brought along with your grandmother, who was acting as the ambassador. Unfortunately the entire summit was attacked and the result was our continued… ‘neutrality’ with Fiore to this day. But upon returning home some months later, your mother discovered baby Vandrad in a basket. He’d been left on the side of the road with no note – utterly abandoned. And she took it upon herself to take the boy in and declare him as her own.”

    “Aw, it’s still so sweet even now.” Cecilia said, sighing.

    Themesycia had been unusually quiet during the story, glancing idly between all the members of her family and Mercury. But as her eyes set upon the Silver Wolf mage more studiously, the light catching a stone brought her attention down to the ring on her finger. She looked at it for a brief, fleeting moment before she turned her gaze away and tuned back into the story. She made no mention of it not did it change her demeanor. But a seed had been planted in her mind that she had been strongly sure wasn’t a possibility. Perhaps she had misjudged the situation… or perhaps she was seeing what others couldn’t properly look at themselves. Whatever the case, she finally cleared her throat and smiled. “Well, I couldn’t just leave the child there. It wouldn’t have felt right. And now look at him – in fact, here he comes now. Hello, my dear son. How have introductions gone?”

    Indeed, Vandrad had finally made his way over to the party with his beaming bride-to-be wrapped about his arm. If there was ever a look a man could wear from being to war and suffering in its trenches, the Prince had it on his face now. He glanced between all the faces present, ending his gaze on Mercury before he finally spoke up. "Sabine, this is…”

    “Ah ah ah,” she chastised him playfully, tweaking his nose. “What did I tell you, Princey-poo? It’s Princess Sabine,” she said, correcting him. Then she added: “du Wolff, of course.”

    “That’s presumptuous,” Ophelia said with a scoff.

    "This is my uncle, Duke Simon du Wolff, his daughters Ophelia and Cecilia du Wolff. You know my mother and this is Mercury Arseneault. She’s…”

    “Ohhh I see,” Sabine said, awareness striking her. “I get it now. That’s why she was with you when I arrived. Oh, it’s so nice that you people treat your servants so sweetly,” the Midian princess said, batting her eyes sweetly. “Unfortunately, my dear, your services won’t be needed once Vanny and I get married. So sorry.”

    The members of the du Wolff family shared a moment of surprised silence, each one blinking. Vandrad was the one that cleared his throat. "There, that’s the entirety of my family. Now if you’ll excuse me…” He tried to untangle himself from the woman.

    “Oh come now, Vanny. Let’s spend time with them! You know you won’t see them very often once we move to Midi.”

    "… what?”

    “Well duh, silly-willy. Once we’re married, we’ll move into my palace in Midi. That was part of the arrangement.”

    “I don’t recall your father including that caveat in the agreement, Princess Sabine…” Themesycia spoke up, her tone less flirty than it was before.

    “Oh it was implied, Themmy. Oh! I need a drink. Excuse me, I’m going to order one of my maids to get me a drink.” She hurriedly excused herself, stopping only to turn around and plant a large, wet kiss on Vandrad’s cheek. Giggling, she took off… ironically, moving past the bar to walk back to the entrance where her maidens were.

    Mercury would certainly feel the tension in the air, as all the eyes in the area turned to Themesycia. Her face had fallen, her smile settled into a frown and her eyes narrowed as she watched the princess go away. For a long, long moment it seemed like she was about to explode. But then it passed and she smiled, turning her gaze up to Vandrad. “Vandrad, darling… perhaps you’d do us the favor and entertain our guests?”

    He knew what that meant. His own eyes narrowed as he met her look. “Absolutely not.”

    “My dear, don’t be rude. I would think that you would want to showcase your talents for your new… lady,” she explained, almost sickly. It was clear that the question wasn’t a question at all, nor a suggestion. It was a demand.

    The Prince of Bellum continued to stare at her for a few seconds before he glanced over at the orchestra. “There isn’t one,” he said curtly.

    Themesycia grinned. “Now don’t start that nonsense,” she said as she rose to her feet and began to walk towards the group. She made sure to slide a hand over Mercury’s shoulder as she passed by before moving through the crowd. “Arnold, darling… is there any chance we could pause the music? Oh and if you would be a dear… bring forth a piano.”

    The conductor nodded and gently eased the music to silence. The entirety of the hall paused to look towards the orchestra as the maestro waved his hand and began to form a piano out of thin air. It constructed itself right before the eyes of everyone, formed from the pure quartz of the ground. As the conductor put the finishing touches on the instrument, Themesycia turned to the audience in a grand swoop of her dress. “Ladies and gentlemen, thank you once again for coming. I know my son is equally pleased that you all managed to come for his exquisite gala.” Anyone that took a moment to look at him was sure to see that he was far less than pleased. “But to honor this night and the arrival of so many from across all of Earthland, he would like to play us a little tune. So if you would all gather round to listen to him play, he would be most grateful. Vandrad, whenever you are ready.”

    The Prince of Bellum growled behind closed lips but after a moment, he moved through the parted crowd. Applause followed as he walked up past his mother, shooting her a dirty look – which only earned him a smile back. He walked to the piano bench, pausing at it to consider his options and then sat himself down, flipping out the coattails of his suit so they didn’t wrinkle. He glanced at over at the conductor, then to his mother and then to the audience before sighing. He stretched his fingers and began to play lively tune – upbeat and jazzy.

    “No no no!” Themesycia said, waving her arms and interrupting him. “If we wanted music to dance to, my dear, we’d let the orchestra keep playing. Come on, Vandrad – this is a special night. Play something special. Oh and…” She nodded to the conductor. A moment later, a microphone appeared on the piano, attached to a pole so that he could sing into it comfortably. “Sing as well.”

    Oh she could feel the hatred ebbing off of him right then and there. He glared at her through barely open eyes. He knew a wide array of songs, unfortunately – it had been bred into him from a young age along with his lessons of playing. He knew his mother was reaching for something here, he just wasn’t sure what. Some kind of love ballad about that insufferable wench posing as a princess? He’d spent almost ten minutes with Sabine and already he wanted to throttle her. He groaned softly to himself before he looked back to the crowd. He saw a row of familiar faces, including Mercury’s. His eyes lingered there for a moment longer than the others before he sighed and turned back to the instrument. And then he began to play and sing.

    "♫ Honey you are a rock
    Upon which I stand
    And I come here to talk
    I hope you understand
    That green eyes
    Yeah the spotlight, shines upon you
    And how could anybody deny you

    I came here with a load
    And it feels so much lighter
    Now I met you
    And honey you should know
    That I could never go on without you
    Green eyes

    Honey you are the sea
    Upon which I float
    And I came here to talk
    I think you should know

    That green eyes
    You're the one that I wanted to find
    And anyone who tried to deny you
    Must be out of their mind

    Because I came here with a load
    And it feels so much lighter
    Since I met you
    And honey you should know
    That I could never go on without you
    Green eyes

    Green eyes
    Oh oh oh oh
    Oh oh oh oh
    Oh oh oh oh

    Honey you are the rock
    Upon which I stand ♫


    He played slowly and softly but his voice, a resonating baritone, echoed out throughout the hall. Vandrad honestly lost himself a little in the song, singing with more emotion and gusto than he normally would. As he finished playing, the entire room was silent – struck quiet by the song. Slowly applause built up from everyone, gaining strength and excitement as it went. But no one was far more excited than Sabine, as she burst through the crowd, giddy and practically melting.

    “Oh my goodddddd you wrote a song about me?!” She practically screeched.

    Themesycia looked at the woman evenly. “But my dear princess, your eyes are silver.”

    “It was obviously metaphorical!” She replied sharply, her voice dropping a few octaves in defense.

    The Duchess hummed in amusement before looking back to the audience. “Now ladies and gentlemen, we have another guest tonight. A lovely young woman who surely you all recognize by now, even without her lovely shirt. And I think if we all give her enough incentive, perhaps she’ll come up and sing as well.” For a moment it looked like she was talking about Sabine but then, in a stunning turn. “Ms. Mercury Arseneault. Give her a round of applause and get her up here.”

    And the Duchess led the way, clapping loudly and getting the rest of the gala into it. Her summons had been placed.







    Words: 2548/5000 | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Player 
    Lineage : None
    Position : None
    Posts : 150
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 24,150

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Gunblade Master
    Second Magic: Mecha God Slayer (2nd)
    Third Magic:

    Never Skip Leg Day Empty Re: Never Skip Leg Day

    Post by Mercury Arseneault on 26th March 2020, 8:47 pm

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    Once everyone was seated and comfortable, the real fun began. Mercury was quite literally at the edge of her seat, her body leaning forward as a sign of being fully engaged in the conversation, her expression more than eager to hear the delicious things she was surely about to hear. She could only imagine the number of elicit stories these delightful people had to pass along, not even just about Vandrad himself. There were few things more fun than having dirt on people, so the Silver Wolf mage was more than a little eager to soak up all the juicy gossip they had to offer her, even about people she didn’t know.

    Cecilia opened by attempting to defend Vandrad a bit, but her sister was having none of it, jumped right in to state that her cousin had a gigantic stick up his ass that only sex was probably capable of curing. Knowing she wouldn’t have to say anything at all, Mercury only smirked knowingly into her glass as Themesycia herself informed the ladies that Mercury had already seen to that particular issue. Both of the younger girls threw their gazes on her, the mischievous grin on her face more than enough confirmation of the statement’s truth.

    Immediately Ophelia began drilling the older adults present to inquire if Vandrad had changed at all. Such as, being able to be anything but a grump. Mercury would have interjected herself to submit her own observation of the little ways that Vandrad had slowly started showcasing some of her own demeanors, much to his own horror, but the conversation quickly shifted along to Simon’s accusation at Themesycia for forcing her son to return home for this event.

    It was an exchange between family members that Mercury was more than happy to sit back and silently observe, noting all their nuances and filing the provided information away to mull over later. As much as she did enjoy a spotlight, this was much more to her liking. Listening was such a fruitful activity, and the du Wolffs had a lot to say.

    And then, Ophelia provided a tidbit of information that did honestly surprise Mercury, to the point where her trademark smirk actually seemed to soften a bit, her lavender brows furrowing in thought. Vandrad was an orphan? “No, I had no idea,” she told the woman honestly. Cecilia and Simon filled in the details for her, about how trade and peace agreement attempts between Fiore and Bellum had been stalled close to forty years ago, and shortly after returning home Themesycia had found Vandrad as an infant, abandoned in a basket with no explanation. The young duchess had opted to take him in as her own.

    There was something… odd about the way the story was told, however. At least on Simon’s part. Mercury was fairly exceptional at reading people, or so she liked to think. Given the nature of the event and her great interest in paying attention to Vandrad’s family, she hardly missed the subtle look that Simon had given his sister. Was he lying about something? The sensors for her internal HUD switched on immediately and she started secretly monitoring the man’s body head and blood pressure. Either she had missed the window of the lie, or he really was telling the truth, however. None of her numbers indicated a trace of deceit, and Mercury trusted her monitors to be precise. Of course it was always possible that he was simply an exceptional liar, but there was little Mercury could do to prove that.

    The knowledge struck a surprising chord in her, however. She was surprisingly somber for a moment or two in thought, her gaze on the rest of the family merely an idle one as she unwittingly thumbed once more at the ring on her left hand. Mercury never talked about herself to anyone. Or at least, nothing more than surface details. There wasn’t a single person on Earthland that knew her history or origins, though not for lack of asking. She was quite good at brushing such inquiries off in an effort to remain as unassuming as possible. Her mission required it.

    She wouldn’t get much time to ponder the convenient similarity of their lives, however, as the subject of their conversation approached with his clingy bride in hand. Mercury’s expression immediately switched back to its normal coolness, her eyes dancing with a mischief that Vandrad, at least, would more than recognize once he finally cast his gaze on her. He looked absolutely miserable, as though he was on a week straight with no sleep and no rest in sight, and no reprieve from the destitute battle he’d been waging. The corner of her lips lifted in the barest of smirks as their eyes met, covering the look with a well timed sip from her tumbler.

    He started begrudgingly introducing the woman to the present family members, but before he could even begin she was already cutting him off to correct him on using her proper title, even going so far as to insist he place his own last name upon her, snuggling up to him and tweaking his nose in the process. It took everything Mercury had to keep from busting up out loud over the ridiculousness of the princess’ behavior, especially with Ophelia openly commenting about how presumptuous it was for Sabine to already be assuming their surname. The normally collected Mercury that could stare in the face of most situations without batting an eyelash or revealing her inner thoughts had to casually lift a hand up to her face as though she had a mild itch just so she had an excuse to cover her amusement long enough to keep it from betraying her.

    Vandrad made quick and precise work of the introductions, listing off names so quickly that surely Sabine barely had time to apply the identities to their owners before he was on to the next one. Not that Mercury imagined the woman was all too interested in remembering names, anyway. When he got to the Silver Wolf mage, she was more than curious to see exactly how he was going to introduce her as clearly she wasn’t a member of the family. Was this the time that he would finally have to own up to calling her a friend through gritted teeth and barely concealed irritation?

    The world would never know, for Sabine instantly cut the prince off and filled in the blanks for herself, touching upon how sweet it was that they treated their servants so nicely. Oh, how Mercury fixed her gaze on the woman, who had unknowingly thrown herself on what was arguably the Silver Wolf’s biggest pet peeve. While her outside expression hardly changed, there was a very sharp look in her eyes, one that Vandrad himself had only seen for the first time recently. It was the collected, unhinged promise of danger from a predator that had just caught a whiff of her prey, ripe and ready for the killing.

    In that moment, there was no one else in the room besides her and this sorry excuse for human existence. The rest of the family blinked in surprise and shock as the woman went on to inform Mercury that her ‘services’ would no longer be needed once the two nobles were married. The lavender haired mage didn’t miss a beat as she smiled sweetly and coolly replied. “I understand, mistress. It will be a shame to have to change duties after serving him for so long, but I’ll make certain that my lord makes thorough use of me before then.”

    She took another meticulous sip of her glass then, her unwavering gaze not leaving Sabine’s even after she’d seemed to have forgotten about Mercury’s existence. Vandrad attempted to pull himself away from the woman now that his duty of introducing her to everyone had been concluded, but she was having none of it, insisting that they really should spend some time with his family while they had the chance, since supposedly they’d be moving to Midi after the wedding.

    If the area had been tense before, it was nothing in comparison to Themesycia’s reaction at the news. The duchess inquired about the claim, stating that nothing had been mentioned in the agreement she’d discussed with Sabine’s father. The reply was simply that the decision had been implied, and the princess seemed to think by her mannerisms that “Themmy” would have to be happy with that answer. The entire family was flabbergasted by the audacity of it all, even as Sabine declared that she needed a drink, giving Vandrad a kiss on the cheek before prancing off to find one of her servants, a chore that was less work than it would have been to simply go to the bar herself.

    And while the rest of the family was surely looking to Themesycia to judge just how much she was going to blow up over the blatant disrespect, Mercury’s head instead turned to watch the princess as she left, her narrowed eyes fixated on the princess’ back like there was a wide open target painted on it. Her jaw shifted ever so slightly, her tongue gently caressing the back of her own teeth as she began calculating all the little ways she was going to absolutely destroy the woman and everything she believed in.

    For once, Mercury hadn’t even really been paying attention to the conversation, blinking a bit to herself as she realized she’d allowed herself to be distracted. When she tuned back in just in time to here Themesycia insisting that Vandrad do something that he very much did not seem to want to do, something that involved showcasing his “talents” so to speak. Mercury’s curiosity piqued as he threw up one last defense, vaguely stating that something wasn’t present that he would need, which his mother quickly brushed aside as though it were of little concern.

    Her fingers trailed across Mercury’s shoulders as she passed behind the Silver Wolf mage, causing Mercury to grin up at her with delight, clearly enjoying the touch. As the duchess moved away to speak with the musicians, the slayer turned to look at Vandrad with a mischievous and curious grin, as though silently asking him what sort of fun treat she was in store for that he was clearly so unhappy about. She wouldn’t have to wait long for an answer as Themesycia called off the current music and gathered everyone’s attentions, announcing that Vandrad was going to express his gratitude to everyone gathered for his event by playing some music.

    “Oh, yes,” Mercury said in absolute elation, greatly looking forward to watching the surly man put on a begrudging show -- though her voice was only loud enough that Vandrad, his uncle, and his two counsins were the only one that would hear it and see just how much she was looking forward to this particular display of discomfort her friend was about to put on. She was not going to miss this, and so when the prince moved to make his way over to the orchestral section, Mercury stood and joined the people gathering around, making sure to find a spot where she could watch from a reasonable distance with a crystal clear view of him.

    And all the while that he got himself prepared to start, she was fighting the urge to cackle mercilessly to herself.  The prince started playing an upbeat song, his fingers moving across the keys with impressive accuracy and grace, until the duchess stopped him and demanded something more moving. Something with a bit of singing and lyrics involved, as a microphone appeared before him. “This is it,” she murmured quietly to Ophelia and Cecilia, who were standing closest to her. “This is the best day of my life, and I think I’m officially in love with your aunt.”

    Vandrad was furious, and at this point Mercury wasn’t doing much of anything to hide how delighted she was by everything that was happening. For one brief, satisfying moment, the prince’s gaze fell on her own and she gave him probably the most shit eating grin he’d ever seen on her, an expression that went unnoticed by most of the others present as she was somewhat off to the side from the rest of the crowd and no one else was really looking at her. She could only imagine the slew of curses firing off in his brain, and each one was more music to her than what he was about to perform.

    Or, so she assumed.

    He finally seemed to settle on something and started playing a much softer song that was more akin to a ballad than anything else. Mercury sighed happily to herself, holding what was left of her glass of rum to her chest as though it were a comforting pillow to cling to on a beautifully rainy day. Although she had to admit, she was impressed that he could actually sing so well. He had a soft, moving baritone range in which he was actually quite strong. It was yet another thing that didn’t really appear to suit him, a talent that she never would have assumed of him given that this sort of thing was so completely opposite of what he enjoyed doing.

    But as she continued to listen to the words of the lyrics, her expression changed. The deeply satisfied smile ebbed away into something once again akin to confusion and suspicion at the first mention in the song of green eyes. Surely that was a coincidence. His attention was completely focused on the instrument and his performance, giving her plenty of time to observe him as he played and doing her best to kick back the unfamiliar sensation that had once again reared its head much like it had back in Themesycia’s dressing room.

    The whole performance was so moving that it had taken the audience’s breath away, leaving a few seconds of silence pause before everyone present burst into applause. For her own part, Mercury actually refrained from joining in with them right away, her brain too deeply tucked in upon itself to join everyone else, but after a moment she did lift her free hand and gently applauded as best she could around the glass in her hand.

    Of course the entire moment was ruined by Sabine, who threw herself out of the crowd to fawn over the prince and talk about how sweet it was that he had written a song about her, despite the fact that her eyes weren’t even green. And when Themesycia was bold enough to point such facts out loud, the princess practically changed her entire demeanor down to a more threatening tone as she politely insisted that the color of the eyes wasn’t the point.

    Mercury was once again deep in thought, despite the fact that her brain felt completely empty in that moment as it tried to process whatever the hell had just happened. Or if anything had happened. Her scientific mind was quite annoyed with the fact that there was really no evidence of an occurrence worth note despite the fact that her gut was telling her otherwise. She barely paid attention once again as the duchess spoke up about another in attendance at the party who would come up and put on a performance of their own.

    It was the “lovely shirt” that caught her attention, the color suddenly draining a bit from her face as she realized where this was going. “Fuck,” she whispered to herself, much like Vandrad had once they’d arrived back in the ballroom and set eyes on Sabine for the first time. She recovered by the time Themesycia actually got around to saying her name, but probably not before Vandrad’s eyes would have found her.

    And suddenly everyone’s eyes were on her again, her calculated and even smirk back in place, though it was slightly more apprehensive than before. Or at least, it would be to those who could see through such things. It was enough of a surprise that the duchess had managed to knock Mercury slightly off her guard, and impressive feat that she really couldn’t even be mad at her for. But given that Mercury hadn’t exactly been ready for the attention this time around, it was slightly more daunting to actually have it and she felt ill prepared to navigate the situation with her usual ease.

    “You don’t even know if I can sing,” she informed the duchess playfully, giving her a look of wicked mischief as her eyes met the other woman’s. Mercury could sing of course. Not that she did it often, but it was something she knew she was capable of doing thanks to the synthetic portions of her biology that gave her almost perfect engineered control of her voice in that capacity.

    Even for Mercury, it seemed that peer pressure could be a hell of a tool. For the briefest of moments she held her ground as though she intended on refusing, but did ultimately relent, stepping slowly through the crowd and finding a place to set her glass before moving over toward the piano where Vandrad still sat. Her mind was scrambling for a song. She’d sung on occasion in private, but never performed before. And even in her personal time, she’d rarely done it to the extent of necessarily being comfortable with her memory of the words to most of the songs that she generally knew.

    She realized she was standing there a bit awkwardly, and covered it up with an easy, apologetic smile to both Themesycia and the crowd. “You’ll have to forgive me. I know very few songs, and I’ve never sung before an audience. I also don’t know how to play piano, or any other instruments.” A confession she delivered coolly, but from how close she was now standing to Vandrad and his mother they both could probably see that she was quite clearly panicking a bit. Knowing that she was going to need some help, she forced herself to meet Vandrad’s gaze and gently ask, “I don’t suppose sight reading is among your many hidden talents..?”

    Presuming he confirmed that he would be capable of playing the notes for a song he’d never practiced before, Mercury hesitated only a brief moment more before walking over and taking a seat next to him at the end of the piano bench. With the wave of her hand she created an electronic tablet in the space where sheets of music usually rested, its screen providing him with the notes, tempo, and all other information he would need for the instrumental portion for the song, though it was lacking the lyrics. Her hand trembled only slightly as she slid the microphone over in front of herself before she finally nodded to him that she was ready , without fully turning her face to look at him.

    ♫ No time for rest
    No pillow for my head
    Nowhere to run from this
    No way to forget
    Around the shadows creep
    Like friends, they cover me
    Just wanna lay me down and finally
    Try to get some sleep

    We carry on through the storm
    Tired soldiers in this war
    Remember what we're fighting for

    Meet me on the battlefield
    Even on the darkest night
    I will be your sword and shield,
    your camouflage
    And you will be mine
    Echos of the shots ring out
    We may be the first to fall
    Everything can stay the same
    or we could change it all
    Meet me on the battlefield ♫


    She couldn’t help her eyes from flicking to him briefly during the small instrumental. It was a dramatic, suspenseful song, one that she sang with more than a little hesitance. But as the verse past and the chorus came she seemed to find a little bit of her strength, drawing from a place of emotion that Mercury rarely, if ever, touched.

    He could probably feel how tense she was, and while it was obvious that she had zero background in performance given how she did little to engage the audience while she sat and sung, there was no mistaking for those who paid attention that the song was a bit personal to her. Still, as she continued she found more strength as she closed her eyes and did her best to simply focus on doing the song justice and letting its words reverberate with her as it always had every time she listened to it.

    ♫ We're standing face-to-face
    With our own human race
    We commit the sins again
    and our sons and daughters pay
    Our tainted history,
    is playing on repeat
    But we could change it if
    we stand up strong and take the lead

    When I was younger, I was named
    A generation unafraid
    For heirs to come, be brave

    And meet me on the battlefield
    Even on the darkest night
    I will be your sword and shield,
    your camouflage
    And you will be mine
    Echos of the shots ring out
    We may be the first to fall
    Everything can stay the same
    or we could change it all
    Meet me on the battlefield

    We carry on through the storm
    Tired soldiers in this war
    Remember what we're fighting for

    Meet me on the battlefield
    Even on the darkest night
    I will be your sword and shield,
    your camouflage
    And you will be mine
    Echos of the shots ring out
    We may be the first to fall
    Everything could stay the same
    or we could change it all
    Meet me on the battlefield
    Meet me on the battlefield. ♫


    By the end of it, similarly to the prince, she had been rather deeply swept up in her own song to the point where it was rather passionate by the end despite how little she moved or engaged herself along to the rhythm. The story was in her face. Even with her eyes mostly closed through the whole performance, there was no mistaking the emotions that played along her expressions as she delivered the intense, sorrowful song. And when it finally over, she gently opened her eyes and forced herself to glance at the crowds to see how they had received it, then to the duchess, and finally -- with much forced effort -- to Vandrad, if only quickly and out of the corner of her gaze.

    WORDS: 3486/6450 | @Vandrad Ragnos
    Serilda Sinclair



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    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Player 
    Lineage : Lucifer’s Aura
    Position : None
    Posts : 151
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 29,000

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Energy Monarch
    Second Magic:
    Third Magic:

    Never Skip Leg Day Empty Re: Never Skip Leg Day

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos on 27th March 2020, 8:00 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Never Skip Leg Day RJtajUnz_o

    The world came to a screeching halt.

    Sabine had been like this since the moment she walked in. Truthfully she was like this all the time – she held no regard for speaking her mind, letting everyone know whatever small and ridiculous thoughts popped up in that acorn-sized organ. She found ways to be as equally insulting as she could be complimentary – usually mixing the two together in a horrible statement about a person, place or thing. There certainly was a reason that all of her other arranged marriages had fallen through and based on how she was acting tonight, it looked like she was going to be on the outs for another. Vandrad had absolutely no intention of suffering this woman any longer than he already had, simply keeping up appearances for the sake of getting through an already insufferable evening.

    But he hadn’t expected Mercury to come at the woman swinging. She had been so overjoyed to leave the Prince in the princess’ care, if only for her own amusement. Sabine had already made a comment about the Silver Wolf mage that had rubbed Vandrad the wrong way but now that they were before her again, she continued to throw barbs. He wasn’t worried or all that protective; he knew that Mercury was capable of handling some pretty torrid shit. After all, he said some fairly sharp things at her all the time, though that was usually in response to her own remarks. But the look that Mercury set upon his ‘betrothed’ was one that he had only learned to recognize. A calm but focused attention and he knew that the rest of the world was gone. Sabine had painted herself as a giant target and it wouldn’t be long before she moved to attack.

    Not long at all – there was hardly a beat before Sabine finished essentially dismissing Mercury from made up services that the Silver Wolf mage rebutted. She stated that she understood, conveying the sadness in having to depart but assuring the bride that she would give Vandrad plenty of time to make use of her. If a pin had dropped before, an entire emotional hammer slammed into the gemstone floor. Sharp intakes came from almost every single member of the du Wolffs, save for Vandrad. For the first time in the public eye since he’d arrived, a small but wicked smirk tugged on his mouth. "A very thorough usage,” he said simply, glancing at Sabine and raising a cock-sure brow. For a brief moment in time, he returned to the version of Vandrad that Mercury knew well. And everyone in the vicinity got to witness exactly how good of a team they truly were.

    Sabine didn’t even register Vandrad’s comment. Her eyes, wide with hellfire, stared through Mercury with such judgement and disdain that the floor felt sheepish. It was a long moment before she continued her own process, seeming to snap back to normal as quickly as she had lost it. Before long, she had planted her disgusting lips on the Prince’s cheek and departed to get herself to her maids to have them get her a drink. The moment was gone and soon Vandrad remembered where he was, reminded instantly as his mother set her gaze on him and requested he perform.

    Vandrad had been taught a very many skills growing up as a royal; being proficient in several topics, subjects and hobbies was essentially required for someone of the court. He’d been given a choice when he was seven to what instruments he wished to learn, his mother telling him he would pick two and master them. When he had remained stalwart against the idea, Themesycia had decided for him – piano and guitar. The classic key instrument so that he had something vintage and guitar for his very ‘rock n’ roll soul’ as his mother put it. And so he had been taught and forced to practice relentlessly. Despite his stance against it, he was a bit of a savant when it came to piano. But then his mother had insisted he also learn to sing, as she had heard him once and believed he had a strong natural ability.

    He did but that didn’t make him any more desirous to the thought. But yet again, he wasn’t old enough to keep his mother from making decisions for him. He’d had voice lessons right up until the day he left for the military, never turning back to it after that point. Yet his training never faltered, even after so many years. Themesycia knew this… and now was making a point to embarrass him further. Of course, the woman had different reasons for wanting him to sing; a seed had been planted in her mind and now she wanted to water it and see what sprung forth from the shell. But she had to be mindful to how she did it – she couldn’t rely on her normal means of discovering answers. No, she needed to take a page from Vandrad’s book and find more subtle, strategic means of tending to her plot.

    Vandrad was filled with unquenchable rage as he sat down at the piano, absolutely abhorring every second of his existence. He just knew his mother was doing this as a means of make him look like a damn fool, especially in front of Mercury. He refused to look at anyone as he started in with the upbeat song, wanting something that would cause people to think more about dancing than listening to him. But no, the Duchess was quick to dash that idea and demanded something more soft, something moving and emotional. Like I have those kinds of emotions, he thought to himself as he set his gaze out upon the faces. And he stopped at Mercury’s face, shining brightly with a grin that made shit look shiny. It was only for him – she was in such an angle and placement that only he could see how she was smiling. That dopey, idiotic look of hers that was nearly as vibrant as her eyes.

    Before he knew it, a song had come to mind. An old song that he’d heard a few times and was simple enough in its chords that he could play it from memory. As his fingers danced across the keys, the words came clearly into his head and siphoned themselves out through his mouth. He’d stunned himself as much as he’d stunned the crowd, bringing forth a great deal of emotion that he wasn’t even aware he possessed. By the time he’d pressed the last notes and his voice faded out, he was staring hard at the piano’s face in shock. What was that? Where had it come from? Why had it come out now of all times?!

    The applause was roaring in his ears and yet he couldn’t hear it. Luckily – and this would be the only time he’d thank whatever deity was up there for her – Sabine interrupted the moment to make it about her. Vandrad’s eyes snapped up to her and Themesycia and his introspection was shattered into dark and utter denial. It was just a moment set upon him because of the instrument. He hadn’t played piano in a long time and he had been so caught up in everything that it had made him temporarily weak. That was a feasible explanation that he could get behind and believe and that’s exactly what he did. The song was over and now he could return to trudging through this nightmare of a ball without any other incident.

    At least, that’s what he had severely hoped. For a brief moment, it seemed like his mother was about to introduce Sabine to sing. The audience sure seemed to think so but Vandrad, he knew better. She wouldn’t put this much show on for a woman that she clearly didn’t like. He hadn’t missed the glare that the Duchess had set upon the princess’ departing form only moments ago, after she had taken it upon herself to speak Themesycia’s nickname of Themmy without permission. He wasn’t fool enough to think that there was any magic that could aid in that recovery. No, if his mother was going to call out anyone, it was going to be someone she earnestly enjoyed. So, it didn’t come to much of a shock when she turned the attention on Mercury, inviting her up to sing for all of them.

    It seemed the rest of the du Wolff’s also had an inkling that Themesycia was going to pull something like this. The wicked, amused grins they were wearing as they turned their attention to the Silver Wolf mage was almost as similar as the one that she had been sporting for Vandrad only moments ago. All the eyes were on her, though none had managed to catch her moment of weakness and only saw the cool and collected mage. She retorted the invite teasingly, claiming that Themesycia didn’t even know if she could sing. But the Duchess tutted, smirking back with equal wickedness. “Now don’t be shy, my dear. I can tell by that silken voice that you have a gorgeous pair of pipes. Don’t make me come over there and drag you up – though I kind of hope you do,” the Duchess purred, eliciting a chuckle from the crowd.

    It seemed that the pressure proved too much and soon Mercury was heading up to the piano, albeit hesitantly. Themesycia watched her evenly and Vandrad as well, though he was trying to figure out what this was meant to accomplish. Was it an attempt to shame Sabine further? His mother was well known for getting revenge for those that slighted her. And she was quite done with the Midian princess’ shenanigans. For a brief moment, Mercury just stood there in contemplation, probably trying to find something in her mental library that she could sing. Eventually she apologized for the pause, explaining that she hadn’t sung before an audience and lacked the talent to play any instruments. That essentially meant that Vandrad would have to play for her.

    Themesycia nodded and walked past her once more, this time reaching out to give her a squeeze on the arm akin to wishing her luck. Vandrad was trying not to simply stare at her, as lost as she was at this point. Finally she met his gaze and asked him if he was capable of sight reading. Well of course he was – years of music theory still rattled around in his brain like a bat stuck inside a house. "Yeah,” he answered simply and softly, his gaze lingering for a moment before snapping down to the piano uneasily. After his confirmation, she sat herself down on the piano bench and summoned her tablet on the music rack, complete with all the information he needed to be able to play, though it didn’t come with any lyrics. Clearly she would supply those herself. He took a moment to study the digital sheet and then when she was ready, he began to play.

    It was a haunting symphony, one that spoke on a personal level for a lot of people present but no more than for the Silver Wolf mage and the Fairy Tail mage. He couldn’t look at her fully while he played but there was an idle, sideways study as he went, watching her as she started out hesitant but began to find her courage as she lost herself to the words. He’d known her for a warrior but he’d never understood just how deep that ran. The song wasn’t just something she had pulled out of the air to entertain – it was connected to her on a level that he couldn’t truly understand. Despite his obvious moment of flux whilst performing his own song, the Prince of Bellum didn’t connect with music in terms of events in his life. But she had… and it was obvious to everyone listening and watching.

    Yet despite him not having that personal connection to music, he did recognize it. And as she began to fall into the feeling and allow herself to sink deeper into her emotional ballad, he played with more feeling, rising to meet her. He didn’t do it because he was personally being swept up with it – he did it because he wanted to do it justice, for her. Soon it came to an end, the Prince striking the last notes and her voice fading out, still echoing over the crystal walls with her solemn, impassioned voice. The entirety of the room was stunned into silence, all eyes staring at her for the longest time in shock. No one knew how to start the applause – until Themesycia started it gently, building it up as she looked at Mercury with a newer, far more respected gaze.

    To Mercury’s benefit, Vandrad didn’t meet her gaze either, unsure how to even meet her eyes after that. The applause built up until it was raucous, evidence that the entirety of the attendees had adored every moment…

    Save one. “Wow, way to bring down the mood, harlot,” Sabine said, unimpressed. She scoffed. “Let a real pro show you how it’s done.” She stomped over to the piano, ready to grab the mic.

    But it was Vandrad who was up off the bench, grabbing her hand tight as she wrapped her fingers around the microphone. Gone was the emotional, confused Prince of Bellum. The soldier had returned and his steely gaze was upon the woman he had been set to marry. "Don’t you dare throw your disrespect at her, you fucking simpleton,” he hissed at her through clenched teeth.

    Sabine was shook. “Excuse me?!” She screeched, trying to pull her hand free from his. “How dare you. Do you know who I am? I am Princess Sabine Hotoi from Midi and I will not be spoken to by anyone like that, especially to defend some skan-“

    She suddenly shrieked as Vandrad’s hand tightened on hers. He had barely increased his grip but already she was squealing like a stuck pig. The Prince’s head slowly lowered as his anger started to bubble higher, ready to snap the wretch’s hand. But it was his mother coming out of the crowd swiftly but easily, carefully laying her hand on Vandrad’s arm. He looked up at her, ready to snap at her. But the look he saw in her eyes gave him pause. Begrudgingly, he released Sabine from his grip, the princess stumbling back.

    “You broke my hand! You monster! You piece of trash!” She screamed in a shrill voice, cradling her arm.

    “Now I think that’s quite enough, Sabine,” Themesycia inserted herself into the conversation, walking to stand between the pair at the piano and the princess.

    “It’s Princess S-!

    “Oh I’m fully aware of what you are. An eyesore, an idiot and a disrespectful waste of space.” The Duchess paused, rubbing her chin gently. “Well, I suppose that does describe a princess from Midi, doesn’t it? My apologies.”

    Sabine was flabbergasted. “I-…”

    “You have come into my home and insulted my family, my friends and my guests. You walk around this place with a dress more stuffed than your lard of a father’s stomach and an uppity attitude that you really haven’t earned. Against my better judgement, I believed that your reputation was merely venom spat by your enemies but now I see that the real snake was always you. So you’ll have to excuse me, Vandrad, but I must void your engagement to this sow. Unlike Midi, we don’t believe in marrying barn animals.”

    No response from the Midian princess, only wide-eyed staring. Themesycia smirked, a look that both mother and son shared. “I believe you were going to storm out in hopes of getting a sympathetic reaction from the crowd. Please do but don’t mind all the laughing once the door shuts on your flat, unappealing ass. You’re welcome to stay here overnight, if only because I don’t want your father blaming me when the night creatures tear you limb from limb as you try to get home overnight. But I expect you gone on the morrow.”

    Sabine moved her mouth but the look from Themesycia silenced her. Her lips were trembling and then with a sudden shriek of anger, she spun on her heels and tore through the crowd. They parted for her, a low chuckle rumbling out from the patrons as she went. Her maidens followed after her as she raced up the stairs and disappeared down the hall into the depths of the palace.

    The Duchess watched her go before looking back to the crowd, smiling. “Well it’s not a party until someone runs out screaming, right?” She asked, earning her a full laugh. “But I think there’s been far too much drama for one night. Arnold, I believe we’re all ready to dance and drink ourselves into a stupor again. One more round of applause for Vandrad and Mercury’s wonderful songs.”

    A cheer carried through the crowd. After that, the ball continued on as well as it had before. Vandrad, now free from the ball and chain attached to his side, was able to actually find a semi-reasonable state of being within the party’s limits. He joined his family and Mercury in their seated circle, enjoying drinks and suffering tales from his childhood that were certainly filling the ammo cartridge of insults for Mercury. Hours passed by in a blink of an eye and soon, the ball was beginning to wind down. People began to say their goodbyes and Themesycia delivered one final farewell to everyone before telling them to get the hell out of her house.

    In the midst of guests leaving, a very important question arose. “So where’s Mercury staying? Most of the guest rooms are filled up. Though it might be funny if we stuck her in Sabine’s room,” Ophelia said with a wicked grin.

    “Oh Ophelia, that’s so cruel,” Cecilia said with a chuckle, though she didn’t seem entirely against the idea.

    “Well, being the host, it is my duty to provide comfort for all of my guests. I’ll just have to take the responsibility and have Mercury spend the night in my room,” Themesycia said, smirking as she looked over at the Silver Wolf mage.

    “Then again, I could allow her the use of my room and I’ll simply find somewhere else to stay,” Simon countered with a seemingly genuine offer. But it was clear by his tone and the twinkle in his eye that he didn’t necessarily mean to depart his room at all.

    So many options but the two prime ones were certainly oozing with naughty insinuations. Vandrad groaned softly, already realizing there was only one answer that would keep his family from having their way with the Silver Wolf mage. "Back off, you thirsty heathens,” the Prince said, looking at the group. "She will stay in my room.”

    A collective “oooh” came from every individual present, as they shared looks among one another. “You hear that, Merc? He’s so demanding.” Ophelia said as she downed the last of her drink.

    "Perish the thought. I am simply doing what is right to keep these two hungering wildebeests from taking advantage of her. Nor do I trust her not to let herself be taken for a ride,” Vandrad informed the party, though there was the barest of smirks on his lips.

    Simon chuckled. “He really does know us far too well. Well, if that’s settled, then I shall see you all soon enough,” the Duke said as he got to his feet, giving a wave to several and a wink to Mercury. His daughters followed after him. It was an odd statement, since usually bidding goodnight would be said verbatim as the aforementioned.

    Themesycia gave a likewise murky departing statement, leaving Vandrad to escort Mercury up the stairs and towards his chambers. He kept an even pace, his face wrought with conflict as he wrestled with something. After he had turned down a hall or two, he stopped and sighed. "Can’t believe I’m going to do this,” he mumbled softly before he turned back to her. "The ball is over but there’s… an after party,” he revealed, hesitantly. "My mother insisted that I bring you along, as she felt you might enjoy it. I was also told not to tell you anything about it until you see it with your own eyes.” The Prince looked very uncomfortable with the idea but he’d still revealed it nonetheless. "Let’s go,” was all he finished with, before turning back down the hall they had come from and walked in a different direction.








    Words: 3448/8448 | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault | © marzia at shine & gs.


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    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Player 
    Lineage : None
    Position : None
    Posts : 150
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 24,150

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Gunblade Master
    Second Magic: Mecha God Slayer (2nd)
    Third Magic:

    Never Skip Leg Day Empty Re: Never Skip Leg Day

    Post by Mercury Arseneault on 27th March 2020, 10:17 pm

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    If Mercury had shown pleasure in picking on and irritating Vandrad through the night, she was absolutely basking under Sabine’s furious glare. The two women stared at one another as the rest of the immediate area gasped in shock. Or at least, everyone but Vandrad. He knew Mercury well enough by now to not be surprised by her quick, calm, and severing wit. Likewise, he’d gotten used to her enough to be able to banter back against and with her. As such, he steered right into the skid, taking what was probably the first opportunity he’d had to jab at the infuriating woman all night and running with it, confirming that he would indeed make very good use of Mercury during the time they supposedly had left.

    But Sabine hadn’t heard it. No, she was as much focused on Mercury as the Silver Wolf mage was on her, but Mercury’s will was stronger and eventually it was the princess that turned away with a dramatic flourish to go get her drink. Now it was a party, one that she was greatly looking forward to. It wasn’t the last she was going to hear out of Sabine. Mercury had left the door wide open and she knew the woman would throw herself through it thoughtlessly to try and get retaliation for the comment, which was exactly what Mercury wanted. The bait had been set. Now all she had to do was wait.

    Thankfully, that wait wouldn’t be too terribly long. The next few minutes consisted of a complete whiplash of emotions, her high from her little verbal joust with Sabine and finding exquisite delight in Vandrad’s performance discomfort thoroughly squashed by the sinking reality of Mercury herself being put on stage when she wasn’t expecting it. Still, as with most things she quickly recovered from being momentarily off her guard, seemingly entertained by the surprise invitation. To her credit, Themesycia actually did help a bit with easing her enough that she was able to actually follow through with the impromptu performance, first by teasing her back and flirting with her -- which helped Mercury solidify herself into her usual demeanor -- and then by offering a silent squeeze of encouragement as she passed the woman on the way to the piano.

    Thankfully, Vandrad could provide the music for her. In truth, Mercury probably could have conjured up a set of speakers that would have just as easily played the melody for her, and with several instruments, but that felt… cheap. That, and she did not like displaying too much of her magic, particularly when there were so many unknown faces with their eyes intent on watching her. So she’d simply done enough to give him the lyrics, a small gesture that wasn’t too telling and could easily be interpreted as any number of magicks.

    The tension from her was pretty thick when everything started, but by the end of it there had been nothing but passion, and perhaps even a modicum of sorrow. Vandrad played the final notes even as her voice faded out, leaving the room in a deafening silence that made even the undauntable Mercury gulp just the littlest bit. Was this a good reaction? A bad one? She simply didn’t know. People had paused for a bit after Vandrad’s song too, but this was a longer wait. Or perhaps it just felt that way now that she was the one in the hot seat. And at this point she really didn’t even care whether or not they loved or hated it, she just wanted something to go off of so the moment could end.

    It was Themesycia who began the applause, drawing Mercury’s attention to her to see a knowing look in the woman’s eyes. She had understood the weight of the song, and it had seemingly allowed the two of them to bond even more thoroughly than all their prior wit and banter and flirtations had. The duchess seemed proud, and Mercury understood that she was not clapping out of pity but of a true appreciation for the music, which stirred another odd emotion within the Silver Wolf mage.

    Both she and Vandrad seemed intent on not looking at one another. Neither of them had ever shown a whole lot of emotion around the other outside of endless wit, and rage, and the occasional serious moment. But nothing like this, and certainly not from Mercury. Between the two of them, she was the one typically brushing most somber moments under the rug and finding ways to keep things light and airy, never going into much detail about herself or her life. But for all the lack of personal details, the lyrics of the song had still given a lot of answers to the man who often proved to be just as observant as she was, but less outspoken about it. It was a vulnerable position to be in, the first time in a very long time that Mercury had felt that way.

    But as she was perhaps on the cusp of discovering something about herself, the train of thought in her own mind was interrupted by Sabine finally reaching out to snatch the bait that Mercury had left for her. Her grating voice piped up about how much of a mood killer the song had been, once more looking to take the spotlight for herself by storming up as if to steal the microphone. And if the bitch had approached the matter in any other way, Mercury probably would have let her have her time to make a fool of herself. It wasn’t like she cared about the woman’s opinion. Harlot was an insult that had been flung at her many times, and really it was more a compliment to her than anything else.

    But Sabine had disrespected a song that meant more to her than anyone knew, and that was not going to end well for her. Mercury turned slowly on the bench, a terrifyingly composed expression on her face that told every single person watching that Mercury was not only about to break Sabine mind, body, and spirit, but that she was going to get a deep pleasure out of doing so. Her emerald eyes were locked on the dark haired woman with a glittering inferno, her lips tugged into a borderline sadistic little smirk that only Vandrad had seen before, back during their struggle to survive the open waters to Ca-Elum. Mercury was poised and ready, cool and collected to spring her trap. She just needed Sabine to come a little bit closer…

    Her dangerous train of thought utterly derailed by a white and blue blur moving across her vision. She’d been so focused on Sabine that Mercury hadn’t even noticed Vandrad standing from the bench, moving to intercept the insufferable princess before Mercury could even get a chance at her. The expression wiped right off her face and was replaced with open, unabashed shock as Vandrad snatched Sabine’s hand and pried it off the microphone before demanding that the woman keep her vile opinion of Mercury to herself. He even swore at her and insulted her in the same breath.

    Everything that followed happened so fast and was charged with such energy that it was almost difficult to keep up with. Mercury managed to at least come down from her confusion over how quickly her own revenge had been taken out of her hands, enough to watch with silent attention as Sabine tried to throw her political weight around, only to have Vandrad once again cut her off from insulting Mercury. The woman shrieked in pain as he squeezed her wrist, and it was that delightful sound of agony that brought Mercury back down to earth.

    She eased back onto the bench, this time arranging herself a bit more comfortably as though this had been a show put on for her personal amusement, lounging gracefully against the end of the piano and fixing the flailing Sabine once more with a satisfied, near murderous smirk. Vandrad was about to tear this woman in two, and not in the fun way. Or well, not a way that would be fun for Sabine. Mercury was fully ready to watch it happen, but just as it seemed like the prince’s anger was about to bubble into fruition his mother stepped in and gently took control of the situation with little more than a touch on his arm to stay his anger.

    Mother and son exchanged a look that Mercury couldn’t fully see from where she sat behind them, but it was enough that Vandrad seemed to think it was best to let go and let the older woman take over. And for good reason, too. Sabine began to whine and insult Vandrad only for Themesycia to coolly cut her off. Then the duchess went into a collected tirade of clap back that Mercury honestly got quite turned on by it. She managed to listen with intent silence up until Themesycia commented about Midians marrying barn animals.

    The rest of the room may have remained painfully and tensely silent, but Mercury sputtered her open laughter. It wasn’t so boisterous as to interrupt the moment, but everyone would be able to see it, as well as hear her continue to chortle quietly from her seat. Sabine was staring at the older woman in horror, stunned to silence from a verbal thrashing that probably no one had the guts to give her before. It all ended with Themesycia giving Sabine leave to exit the gala, stating that she was allowed to stay at the palace for the night but only for so long as it took for her to be able to travel safely, stating that she was to leave as soon as feasible in the morning.

    It took a good long while for Mercury to stop giggling to herself. By the time the duchess finished easing the tension in the room with a bit of humor, an invitation to return to dance, and one more round of applause for Vandrad and Mercury’s performances, the Silver Wolf mage was practically wiping tears of deep amusement from her eyes. Any awkwardness or uncertainties she had been feeling before had been wiped completely from her mind and forgotten, at least for the moment, leaving her in full humor and quite the cheery mood.

    The du Wolffs and Mercury returned to their little circle of seating to share the rest of the evening in relative harmony and entertainment, from which Mercury got much more dirt on Vandrad. It was such an enjoyable moment for her that she didn’t think about Sabine once for the rest of the night, content with her current company and to let the past issue go rather than brood over it.

    But of course, all good things came to an end and eventually it was time for the guests to start leaving and for the gala to officially wrap itself up. An obvious question was posed by Ophelia as to where Mercury would be staying that night seeing as how all their guest rooms had already been filled before the woman’s unexpected arrival. She even went so far as to delightfully suggest that they put her in the same room as Sabine. Mercury’s gaze lit with hope and suspense as she turned to Themesycia. “Oh please, please do,” she practically begged, a grin as wicked as Ophelia’s spreading across her face. “She and I can have a nice little chat. I can guarantee she’ll be gone before you’re even up. Just don’t ask me how.”

    But of course, the duchess led with how it was clearly her duty to make sure Mercury was accommodated by allowing her to stay in her own room with her. Mercury returned the older woman’s gaze with a look that very much said she might be willing to acquiesce to that, and she was about to state as much before Simon chirped in, casually stating an offer to let Mercury use his room. It was an offer that appeared gentlemanly on the surface, but no one was buying it. Which frankly, was half the fun. She rewarded the man with another knowing smirk just for him.

    And truthfully, Mercury really hadn’t thought this far ahead. Sleeping arrangements hadn’t been on her mind at any point of the night because frankly, she hadn’t expected to be allowed to stay. She figured she was going to wind up at a hotel outside the palace, but clearly that was not to be the case. “So many kind and generous offers,” she purred, clearly both humbled and pleased by the gestures. And frankly, Mercury had no idea what the best -- or safest -- option was. Hell, she wasn’t even sure she wanted a safe option.

    Apparently her choice was being made for her, however, as Vandrad spoke up quite clearly to state that the only room Mercury was going to be allowed to sleep in was his. Everyone was taken back by the declaration, including Mercury herself who “Oooh’d” playfully along with the rest of the du Wolffs. Ophelia teased the Silver Wolf mage over how demanding her cousin was being over the matter, and for her part Mercury had now fixed her flirty, playful gaze on her partner. Very demanding,” she commented, as though the mannerism was doing it quite well for her. “Reminds me a bit of how he was back in Desierto. Mommy likes.”

    She flashed him a grin, waggling her eyebrows at him a bit and making a show of it with the rest of the family. In his usual manner the prince brushed aside their teasing comments, saying how it was the only option that made sense to ensure that neither his mother nor his uncle were able to cash in on any of the courting they’d been doing with Mercury that night, as well as depriving Mercury of the opportunity to let either of said relatives achieve their goals to bed her. Mercury sighed in dramatic resignation. “What can I say? The man knows me,” she said with a simple shrug, making no effort to deny the accusation that she would very much let herself be taken advantage of by either of them.

    That seemed to be the end of the matter, with Simon voicing similar thoughts before waving his farewells and leaving with both daughters. Or at least, if it was a farewell it was an odd one, followed by a wink to herself. Mercury didn’t think too much of it, assuming he had meant something along the lines of seeing them all in the morning, so she did little more than return the wink and blow the man a kiss. Themesycia exited in much the same manner, until it was just Mercury and Vandrad apparently on their way back to the prince’s rooms.

    “Well, this is exciting,” she told him in her teasing, flirtatious tone, filling the silence as they walked. “When I showed up tonight I didn’t expect to get whisked away into princy-poo Vandaddy’s own personal bed chambers. And here I thought it was only the rest of your family that wanted to spoil me tonight. Sorry, despoil me.”

    Mercury grinned wide, pleased as punch with her own humor as she typically was. He remained quiet, however, without even a roll of his eyes or a comment of any kind. For a second she thought he was just tired, but a closer look told her that there was actually something on his mind. The slayer eyed him openly, waiting for him to open up about whatever the hell he was clearly working up the courage to say until he finally sighed and stopped them in the hallway before they could even make it to his room.

    It was there that he confessed there was an after party, one that he didn’t look at all thrilled to attend. However, it seemed the duchess had insisted he bring Mercury, and if tonight was any evidence Vandrad was a dutiful son, if a grumbly one. He had also been instructed not to warn her of the nature of the party, which was one that Vandrad was clearly uncomfortable with. “Oooh,” she said with interest, turning to face him fully with an intrigued look. “I do like a good mystery, particularly one that appears to be giving you a severe case of the collywobbles.”

    And here she’d thought the night was over, yet it seemed it was only just beginning. He turned and walked away in near dejection, inviting her to follow. And follow she did, now all the more interested in seeing just what kind of surprise was in store for her now...

    WORDS: 2844/9294 | @Vandrad Ragnos
    Serilda Sinclair



    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Player 
    Lineage : Lucifer’s Aura
    Position : None
    Posts : 151
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 29,000

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Energy Monarch
    Second Magic:
    Third Magic:

    Never Skip Leg Day Empty Re: Never Skip Leg Day

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos on 28th March 2020, 9:34 am

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Never Skip Leg Day RJtajUnz_o

    Despite the fact that Sabine wasn’t the source of most of the tension in the air, it was her removal that seemed to heal the strange sensation for everyone it was affecting. The party returned back to normal and Vandrad and Mercury were able to find their footing and return to their former, more comfortable places. It was true that the Prince of Bellum didn’t enjoy stories about his past – specifically when he was a child and focused more on embarrassing situations – he could forgive them now, if only because it was a break from the insufferable wench. He even found points where he was able to laugh and go into further detail, which really only provided Mercury with more content in which to tease him with.

    Eventually the party began to wind down, with people departing through the archway and up the stairs. It seemed that Themesycia had prepared several places for people to stay across the entirety of the island. A lot of the homes in the square just down the hill were, in truth, empty and open for travelling guests to use as accommodations. That was if those self-same guests preferred something a bit more private rather than taking up a spot in one of the many bedrooms within the palace itself. But given that no one had expected Mercury to show up and make such an impression upon the family, there was limited places they could put her. Ophelia joked about rooming her with Sabine, to which the Silver Wolf mage almost pleaded for the opportunity, stating that she would ensure the Midian woman’s departure. The sad part was that while they laughed as if it was a jest, they all knew it most likely wasn’t.

    Themesycia and Simon both offered the opportunity for her to stay with either one of them, with the Duke acting the gentleman and stating that he wouldn’t besmirch her honor by sharing the bed. Of course it was a lie and given the eyeroll that came from both of his daughters, it wasn’t unusual for him to take this stance. Mercury took them all into consideration, weighing her options teasingly, though it was clear she was moved by the generosity. But before either one of the older du Wolffs could press the matter, Vandrad interrupted and staked his claim – in a manner of speaking. It earned him several teasing comments, with Ophelia and Mercury grinning and commenting on his very demanding nature. But as he cleared the air and stated that he trusted none of the three, it was clear he was doing what he could to keep Mercury from getting more intimate with Simon and Themesycia. And the Silver Wolf mage admitted that he had every right to distrust her, a small admittance that even Vandrad couldn’t help but smirk at – but only a little.

    After that, the party dispersed… but only for the moment. In truth, Themesycia had already taken a moment only an hour ago, whilst she brought Vandrad with her to fetch drinks, to state that Mercury should attend the afterparty with him. The Prince was not pleased – the event that took place after galas were the ones he truly wished to avoid at all costs. The balls were one thing that he could accept to a point, even if he didn’t enjoy them. But the activities that always took place in the night club beneath the palace were never to his liking. Worse, he knew that Mercury would absolutely be enthralled with it. His mother was clearly putting him to the test without even knowing it. He’d vowed to ensure that Mercury wasn’t swept away by either one of the womanizing siblings but in truth, that challenge was going to be greater in the midst of the after party. He also knew if he simply refused to go, that the Duchess would put forth the invitation to Mercury solely and then he’d have no control over it period.

    But that didn’t make it easier and it was evident as they walked through the halls that he was wrestling with it. Mercury was still far too amused at how demanding he had been that she stay with him, teasing him with her old nickname and the one that Sabine had granted him. "Princey-poo,” he said with disdain, snorting. "My mother must have been truly desperate to consort with that woman in the first place.” Though it was possible that Sabine had never met Themesycia in the first place. By the sounds of it, the agreement had been made between parental figures. What a rude awakening.

    Still, he couldn’t delay any longer or his mother would certainly come looking for the pair. With a sigh, he turned to her and revealed the truth of the matter. For her part, she was quite interested in the prospect of another party, especially one that made him uncomfortable. She even used their terrible codeword, another instance where his normal frowning appearance broke for the slightest of smirks. "Yes and thank you for such a useful signal. Like I’d ever be caught dead saying… that word.” He even refused to speak it now. She had seemingly agreed and so they headed down an alternative hallway, now walking in the opposite direction of his chambers.

    "There is another hall beneath the palace, kept away from others for these singular events. The gala is open to invitees and guests but only certain people are ever invited down to this… club,” he explained, trying to remain as neutral to the situation as possible. "You’ll notice that it’s quite a different atmosphere than what we were just in. That’s all I can tell you. That and if you truly wish to change into something else, there is a room with a station to change your outfit. But it’s… ugh, never mind.” He couldn’t even explain what the settings for that were. Not that giving her a heads up was going to sway her away after all – if anything, she would probably be dragging him to it by the end of his explanation.

    They passed through a few hallways before they came to a long one heading back towards the front of the palace. But Vandrad stopped halfway through the path, glancing at her briefly before he sighed and turned to face the wall. A beautifully painted portrait of the du Wolff estate and island hung on the wall before them, taking up most of the wall. He reached up and pressed his hand against the painting, his palm covering one of the boats on the water. The image shifted slightly, light running up the frame on the inside as if it was scanning the portrait itself. Then the entire object shimmered and faded away, revealing a well lit winding staircase, dipping down into the belly of the palace.

    He led her down onto the path, his arms crossed over his chest as he took he step. It was a familiar path, despite his estrangement to the party itself. He’d only attended the after party a handful of times before he had insisted that he had no desire to be invited anymore. It was one of the few objections that his mother had honored, understanding that the environment wasn’t for everyone. And if her son wasn’t into the activities, then she wouldn’t force it upon him. As they walked downward, there would be a rise in a music. But it wasn’t the same orchestral music that had filled their ears from the main hall. No, this was a throbbing, thumping music, heavy in the bass, that one would normally hear in a club. Soon the stairwell evened out and revealed a lobby area, where a bouncer stood in front of a pair of intricately designed doors. The man himself was quite the robust gentleman; he easily was six foot five and probably weighed somewhere around three hundred pounds. But his body was rippled with muscles, which showed because he wasn’t wearing any shirt. In fact, he was wearing tight leather pants and a small black bowtie around his neck. If anything, he looked like a stripper.

    "Kristoph,” Vandrad greeted the man, coming to a stop before him.

    The man smiled. “My lord. It’s been quite some time,” he greeted the Prince properly, nodding his head in respect. He looked over at Mercury. “Ah, is this the woman your mother is quite entranced by?”

    "Unfortunately,” Vandrad stated, glancing back at the Silver Wolf mage.

    “Can’t say I blame her,” the bouncer said with a chuckle. “I’m assuming you didn’t tell her anything?”

    "You know the Duchess.”

    “That I do.” With that, the bouncer stepped aside and gestured towards the door for them to enter. “Enjoy, my lady,” he said to Mercury, giving her a deeper, knowing smile.

    As soon as Vandrad pushed open the door, the pulsating music burst forth from the club. The room was unlike anything else in the palace; whereas the rest of the building was rustic and magical, the club was a heavenly mixture of both including technology. Right in the center of the room was the bar, well lit so that the bartender could attend to those that needed drinks. It was open all the way around and was serviced by at least three drink pourers. Round chairs hovered just before the bench all around for those that wished to sit and drink in close proximity to refills. But as one’s eyes looked upwards, they would first find a second level that had additional seating and intimate dark spots. Staircases wound around the outside of the bar and off to the side from the main dance area for those that wished to head up. Still further up was a series of glass tubes that could be reached by willing participants from the second level. Poles were built into the center of the cases and both men and women, in differing states of nudity, were dancing utilizing the poles.

    A deep red glow filled the entire room from the tubed lights that ran the length of the walls. But they weren’t hanging from the barriers themselves; no, they seemed to have grown out a mossy plant that covered the walls just above the main living area. Even the ceiling was covered in the thick foliage, with more lights hanging from dark plant life like stars. Along the right side were dimly lit booths, some filled with people and some not. Off to the left side was the main dance area, with flashing spotlights and laserlights flashing all along the area. A bar ran the length of the outside of the dance floor, a place for people to place their drinks while they went and danced with wild abandon.

    But beyond the structure, the first thing that Mercury would no doubt notice was the several lack of clothing. Several patrons were fully naked and many of them were together, huddled against walls and booths in writhing passion. Others were dressed in such scandalous states of dress that body parts were hanging out that should have, properly, been covered. If it hadn’t dawned to her yet, it would only a moment later.

    Vandrad had brought Mercury to the du Wolff after party… and that party was essentially one giant orgy.

    The Prince’s eyes did not wander the room, as this was nothing he hadn’t seen before. He moved through the bodies easily, guiding her towards the dance floor. There didn’t seem to be any speakers around the room, the music playing through some unseen magical means. Just beyond the main dance area was a stage with a long but curled couch. And sitting upon it was both Vandrad’s mother and uncle. But they had certainly changed as well. Where Themesycia had worn a dress before, she was now in what could only be considered a metal bikini. The scandalous outfit hung about her chest enough to keep her from being considered topless, but not by much. A metal collar clung to her neck, with a chain hanging down between her bosom and laying across her lap. The lower part was covered with a skirt of sorts but it only hung between her legs on either side and didn’t protect a whole lot.

    Simon had dressed down to a toga, though it only covered him from the waist down. It was obvious that both of them took care of their bodies as well, with both brother and sister bearing taut abs and musculature, despite their differences in genders. As Vandrad walked up with Mercury, the two looked up at the pair and smiled.

    “Vandrad… Mercury,” Themesycia said, purring the woman’s name. “So glad you could make it. I do hope this wasn’t too much a culture shock.”







    Words: 2146/10,594 | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault | © marzia at shine & gs.


    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    Mercury Arseneault
    Mercury Arseneault

    Player 
    Lineage : None
    Position : None
    Posts : 150
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 24,150

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Gunblade Master
    Second Magic: Mecha God Slayer (2nd)
    Third Magic:

    Never Skip Leg Day Empty Re: Never Skip Leg Day

    Post by Mercury Arseneault on 28th March 2020, 11:52 am

    Mercury Banner
    Cunning is the art of concealing our own defects
    and discovering other peoples' weaknesses.
    “I’m nothing if not considerate,” Mercury teased with a grin as he jokingly thanked her for the utterly useless safe word she had fed him at the beginning of the gala.

    As they wandered in the direction of their new destination, Mercury listened with interest as Vandrad did his best to prepare her without shirking on his promise to keep the secret. He told her there was another hall of sorts in the depths below the palace that was specifically for more intimate gatherings after the larger galas, where only family and invited guests were allowed. Except, it seemed the invitation for this event was much more exclusive than where they had just come from. The only thing he could really say was that it would be an entirely different experience than the ball, to the point where there were changing stations if she wished to change her outfit.

    Frankly, Mercury was so greatly enthralled with anticipation that she couldn’t even come up with anything witty to say. Her eyes said it all, the way they danced with excitement and suspense. They stopped beside a large painting of the estate, which seemed a weird place to halt, but the glance he gave her and the sigh that followed betrayed that there was a secret here. And indeed, he placed his hand up on the painting and it shimmered, disappearing to reveal a pathway down into the belly of his home. “Ominous,” she said, practically grinning from ear to ear. The further down they went, the more tension and discomfort she could feel radiating off the prince.

    But likewise, she also felt more power. Wherever they were heading, it was chock full of elements from her slayer magic to the point where she was already feeling the weight of it and they weren’t even there yet. Music began to grow gradually in volume as they got closer, but it was a deep, thudding music with heavy reliance on its beat and tempo. The stairs evened out and they approached a doorway that was guarded by a singular tall and exceptionally muscled man that was clad only in a pair of tight leather pants.

    From the way the handsome bouncer -- stripper? -- greeted the prince, it was obvious that Vandrad had not attended one of these after parties in a very long time. Years, perhaps even decades. And apparently, someone had already prepared the man for her own arrival as he turned his approving gaze on her and commented as to whether Mercury was the one Vandrad’s mother had been so captivated with. She grinned wide at her partner’s surly response. “It’s like he’s embarrassed by me or something,” she commented toward Kristoph playfully.

    After another brief exchange, he moved out of the way and gestured to let them pass, inviting Mercury to enjoy herself while giving her a wink that she very much enjoyed and just got her all the more looking forward to whatever the hell was behind those doors. As Vandrad pushed them open and they stepped inside, Mercury’s gaze flew wide with unbridled delight. She gasped audibly, and not just from the surprise of how exotic and exciting the environment was to her. With the barrier of doors removed, she was hit with the full brunt of the many laser lights and electronics that had been calling to her since they’d started their trek down the stairwell. The lights in particular sent a hard tingling of power down her body as she could feel energy just soaking into her pores with each second.

    She was in absolute awe of the place, and unlike Vandrad her gaze couldn’t decide where it wanted to look first. There was so much to see and take in that she had to turn a fully circle to get even a proper starting grasp on the place. And during that time, she observed not just the scandalous state of dress that nearly everyone was in, but also the unmistakably illicit activities that many of them were already up to without shame or regard to the still rather public setting. Mercury had never imagined anything like this in her life. She was more than familiar with sex, obviously, and no stranger to the concept that sometimes it could be a small group affair. But she’d never had an opportunity to be familiarized with the concept of an orgy or what it entailed.

    It was like he’d opened a portal into an entirely different universe, one that she didn’t want to leave. I love this planet, she thought to herself suddenly, only barely managing to keep herself from making the statement out loud where Vandrad would hear it. Really the only thing that was daunting was the fact that her sensitive ears were rattling from just how loud the music was, but that was a small price to pay for the sights and sounds her other senses were feasting upon.

    When she finally found her voice, Mercury set a curious gaze on Vandrad that was still highly amused and invigorated by the surprise, but there was also an expression of pensiveness to it. It was like she was studying him in some kind of new light, as though reassessing some of her thoughts on him, a look that was validated when she ultimately spoke up to say, “You know, you tolerate me a lot more than I’ve been giving you credit for.” From everything she knew of Vandrad thus far in their partnership, this was absolutely the last place on any planet that the prince would want to be. It fully explained his entire countenance the whole way down, as well as the way he was already rigid with displeasure from the atmosphere.

    And yet, here he was, making the conscious choice to bring her here of his own volition, though Mercury had a feeling that he had still been arm wrestled into it a bit by his mother. But still, she got the distinct impression that at the end of the day Vandrad really hadn’t needed to come to this if he was really dead set on not doing so. Sure, he was adamant on trying to keep Mercury away from his uncle and mother’s grabbing hands, but at the same time he also knew Mercury well enough to know that if she truly didn’t want to take part in something, she wouldn’t. He could have just as easily let someone else escort her there and let her have a good time while he remained in his room or whatever other setting was more to his liking, and not had to expose himself to such a depraved engagement.

    A raised dais next to the dance floor sported a long couch upon which sat Themesycia and Simon, who had both exchanged their formal attire for practically no clothing at all. The duchess was practically in a bikini crafted from pure metal, looking like a delicious snack on a number of levels to the slayer. Next to her, Simon was clad in a loose garment that left his exceptionally sculpted chest free for viewing pleasure. This was where Vandrad led her, the siblings smiling at their approach.

    The duchess greeted them looking pleased as punch over the little surprise and clearly eager to get some of Mercury’s thoughts. The Xocili grinned, resting a hand on her hip. “And here I was only planning on showing up out of dress code to one party today,” she teased. First she’d been severely underdressed, and now she felt quite the opposite. Though she had a feeling that was going to be rectified sooner rather than later, particularly since Vandrad had already mentioned how there would be places available to put on something more setting appropriate if she desired. Not that her current dress wasn’t appropriate, she supposed -- it showed plenty of skin. But in comparison to everyone else present, some of whom were fully naked, it was almost glaringly modest.

    “This is fabulous,” she told the duchess, turning around again to behold the place once more, this time from their new and higher angle upon the staged area. There were so many details, so much going on, that she was certain it would take hours to notice everything, if she ever did. “If you’re trying to convince me to never leave, it’s working. You’re okay with having to actually call me mommy, right?” Mercury turned to Vandrad with a grin. “Cause I’m pretty sure I’m going to marry your mother.”

    Presuming that the confirmation of changing stations had been made in regard to her earlier comments about being overdressed, she draped an arm on the prince’s shoulder much like she had back in the Silent Glaciers after their fight with the dopplegangers, fixing him with a devious grin. “So, how far invested are you into giving me the full experience? Do I have to go change by myself and leave you all dolled up, or are you going to continue to entertain my cruel whims and put on something more fun? I can bust out the chains again, if you want to ease into it with something a bit more familiar.”

    It was the first detail she’d betrayed regarding the nature of their sordid little tryst in the desert, which Mercury had still kept to herself for most of the night knowing that Themesycia and Simon both wanted to hear the full story. At the time, her interest had been in teasing them. However, she’d now been presented with a golden opportunity to slip in a delicious nugget of information that was both vague and telling all at the same time, and Mercury wasn’t going to pass it up.

    No matter whether he indulged her or staunchly refused, she allowed herself to either be led to or pointed toward the direction of the places that she could change. Stepping inside the cylindrical space, the door snapped shut behind her and she was treated to a virtual interface that essentially let her design her own outfit to be magically conjured upon her body. Taking off the gown, she folded it up neatly and tucked it into a slot that would allow her to secure it, as well as her jewelry and the shoes, that allowed her to retrieve them later with a biometrical receipt.

    She glanced through her options, of which there was a wide array, before finally setting on a corset based get up in shades of grey and pink. The only bottom to the piece was the underside of the black shirt beneath which snapped into place like a onesie between her legs, leaving the rest of the limbs bare as though she were wearing little more than a bathing suit. A large black belt accentuated her tiny waist, and a few stripes of gold added a bit of pop color to the bust. There were no sleeves on this garment, and the closest thing to a skirt was just a bit of dainty silk ruffles on one hip that didn’t even fall long enough to cover her ass. A woman who greatly enjoyed accessorizing, she also generated a choker around her neck made of a soft cloth that tied up in front like a corset and had a simple, black pendant hanging from it. A plain red garter also crafted itself around one of her thighs, and she sported a strappy pair of pink heels with gold colored studs along the leather bands.

    Thinking it would be fun to continue to throw the de Wolff family for a continued loop, she also touched into her genetic ability to grow her hair on command, lengthening it until the tips of the lavender strands were barely brushing the top of her ass. Once the ensemble was complete, she admired herself in the available mirror, taking stock of herself and making sure everything was to her liking. The only thing she’d left on from before was the ring that he’d let her borrow, not wanting something to happen to the item while it was technically in her care. Clearly the only reason.

    Once everything was satisfactory, she stepped out and found Vandrad, once more giving him a teasing grin and inviting him the chance to comment on her attire. “What do you think? Still too modest, or will this do?” As opposed to the last time, Mercury was clearly much more comfortable with this garment change as it wasn’t nearly as exquisite and expensive as the gown. There was even a naughty little twinkle in her eyes as though she were interested to see if it had any effect on the prince as well, except maybe this time there would be more blushing and less awkward sincerity involved.

    WORDS: 2172/11,466 | @Vandrad Ragnos
    Serilda Sinclair



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    Vandrad Ragnos
    Vandrad Ragnos

    Player 
    Lineage : Lucifer’s Aura
    Position : None
    Posts : 151
    Guild : Fairy Tail
    Cosmic Coins : 0
    Dungeon Tokens : 0
    Experience : 29,000

    Character Sheet
    First Magic: Energy Monarch
    Second Magic:
    Third Magic:

    Never Skip Leg Day Empty Re: Never Skip Leg Day

    Post by Vandrad Ragnos on 28th March 2020, 1:06 pm

    There’s no fair or unfair in battle.
    ( There is only victory or in your case, defeat. )
    Never Skip Leg Day RJtajUnz_o

    The du Wolff after party was hopping, so to speak. Though the numbers were far less than what was at the ball, there was still a massive party of people within the confines of the thrumming club. For anyone that had met the family recently, it was probably quite the stretch to imagine them hosting such an event… but then, not quite. The ball itself was full of scandalous outfits and chatter of the latest affairs in the kingdom. There was also the fact that its benefactor, Themesycia, did very little to hide her attempts to seduce and win over women, along with several other partygoers. In retrospect, the powerful family having a veritable sex dungeon actually made a whole lot of sense.

    But one wouldn’t get that impression from Vandrad himself. He was such a stickler that one would think his family was a bunch of sour, stubborn aristocrats who only saw fun at the humiliation and destruction of others. Yet as Mercury had learned, Vandrad was a bit of the black sheep of the family, only showing similar qualities to them within certain scenarios. Apparently one of those required him to be blacked out in rage. Whatever the case, it was clear as he moved through the crowd and remained undistracted that the Prince had been in this place before, whether against his wishes or not. The writhing bodies that moved in passion or rhythm affected him so little that they may as well have been invisible.

    He did glance at her as she spoke up, apparently coming to the conclusion that he abided her far more than she ever understood. It took him by surprise – so much so that he had to stop and look at her. And perhaps it was the brutal removal of Sabine that had uplifted his spirits enough but he managed to crack a small smirk her way. "Oh please, you’re barely a challenge at all,” he teased her with his own mischievous glimmer, one that only truly ever came out in her presence. Because as hard as it was to believe, she was one of the only people he’d met that challenged him on a near-daily basis. There were others he had encountered that had offered opportunities to test himself against; physical, mental or otherwise. But she was all in one package and he showed her the dutiful respect of giving her the same energy back that she gave him. In a way, it was perhaps the only sign he ever gave that he did consider her a friend.

    With that moment passed, he brought them up to meet with his newly changed mother and uncle. The Duke and Duchess were quite pleased to see the woman, each one shifting in their seats so they could refocus their attention on her. The Silver Wolf mage was greatly amused and enthralled with the scene, remarking about her plans on only showing up under – or over – dressed to one event. “Why I wouldn’t say you are out of dress code, per se. You are showing the perfect amount of skin but in a more… aristocratic kind of way. But if you are feeling like getting a bit more adventurous, I’m sure Vandrad has told you there is a changing area set over by the restrooms. I certainly wouldn’t mind if you felt like showing off a bit more…”

    “Nor would I,” Simon mused as he took a sip from his drink, allowing his eyes to trail over her form yet again.

    It was clear Mercury was already enjoying her time there. She mused over the clever ploy to try and keep her here, warning Vandrad that she was quite close to simply attaching herself to Themesycia via wedlock, flashing the Prince a grin over the prospect of truly becoming his ‘mommy’. Vandrad rolled his eyes at her even as the Duchess chuckled. “Careful, my dear. I can have us married and in the honeymoon suite within the hour before you even know your clothes are off.” She said it with such a dark, lusty tone, her eyes fixated on Mercury with such clear focus, it was clear she was imagining all the things she wanted to do to her.

    Mercury seemed dead set on fitting with the setting, leaning herself up against Vandrad’s shoulder and staring at him with the naughtiest of grins. He looked at her with a single raised brow as she asked if he was willing to help give her ‘the full experience’. She was fine with changing all by herself but she seemed to be hinting that she wanted him to partake, if only for her own amusement. Either way, she seemed like she was going to get a chuckle and perhaps several comments out of whatever choice he made. But she did mention the chains from their little desert tryst, which broke his stare for a moment, a slight flush rushing to his cheeks.

    “Chains? My dear boy…” Themesycia gasped softly, though it was more out of showmanship than anything else. “I must say that I am impressed.”

    “Looks like you do take after your mother after all,” Simon said with a wry grin.

    Well that was an uncomfortable statement to be apart of. "Fine. Let’s go, woman,” Vandrad said, taking Mercury’s hand and pulling her towards the changing station. If she insisted on being apart of this, then he would continue to stand at her side… if only to ensure she wasn’t taken off by some family member. Gods forbid he leave her alone for even a moment; his uncle could make that moment last much longer than a breath.

    He brought her to the station and let her go inside, standing guard just outside the door. He continued to stare up at the ceiling, admonishing the entire event. But, he supposed, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Sabine had been a test to his patience beyond anything before. Insufferable and lacking any sense of moral containment, she had laid on insults to all of his family. Yet it had only been when she had insulted Mercury that last time that he had snapped… why was that?

    He shook the thought away before setting his focus on a different one. No doubt she was going to emerge looking as scandalous as the rest of the partygoers. And while he didn’t necessarily abide dressing down for any other reason than cooling off, showering or sleep… a slight joke erected itself in his mind. Granted, it would only be one between himself and her but it would be quite amusing to see her reaction to it. But did he dare? For the sake of playing it even, he pictured a mental coin and flipped it, allowing fate to decide for him.

    Heads. He turned and walked into the secondary changing room, closing the door behind him. He easily pulled off his lavish, overly flashy outfit and turned to the option board. It didn’t take long to find it – it was one of the more popular options for some of the men here. Smirking in amusement for himself, he selected it and set to dressing.

    By the time she came out from the pod, she would find herself standing before a very familiar version of Vandrad. Gone was the aristocrat and modestly dressed Prince and returned was the slave version, reduced to a loin cloth and lightweight cuffs that clung to his wrists separately. She had made the joke and he had followed through in his own means of getting a humorous rise out of her. Unfortunately, the only rise was his when she emerged and looked… well hell, sexy as hell. She’d somehow managed to grow her hair out so it hung down over her back in long strands and put herself in a tight fitting corset that, while covering her, left a lot less to the imagination.  
    It would do but it wasn’t his words that told her that. Now in a sudden predicament similar to Silent Glaciers but lacking the means to properly hide, he simply turned enough away from her and smirked, trying to play it off. "Looks like you’re blending right in with the rest of the perverse. Congrats.” His attempt to use his stoic demeanor to deflect went off about as well as anyone would hope. But he didn’t wait to linger, moving back through the crowd hurriedly. He took the time to get focus up and get control where it needed to be. By the time they returned to the couch, he was back in order. But it was only his mother there for the moment, his uncle having disappeared.

    “Please, come and sit, my dears,” Themesycia said, sliding over so that they could sit down together.

    "Simon run off?” He asked, his eyes narrowed as he scanned the room.

    “You know your uncle. I’m pretty sure he spotted your uncle Dudley and my dear sister Everance and wished to speak with them. They’re always terrible about getting to the actual gala but never late for these festivities,” the Duchess explained. Counting that Mercury sat herself between the two du Wolffs, she would probably be unsurprised as Themesycia snaked her arm around her back and began to gently run her hands over her bared thigh. “By the way, Mercury… I love this outfit. And your hair is quite lovely; much easier to grab and hold now,” the Duchess purred with a smirk. She reached down with her free hand to take a drink, only to find an empty glass. “Vandrad dear, would you be so kind as to fetch your mother another drink? And perhaps something for our dear Mercury as well?”

    Vandrad looked over at her, his gaze narrowed. "Why not go yourself?”

    “When I have such a lovely and dutiful son? Don’t be cruel, my dear – plus Mercury is a guest. It’s proper to get her a drink as well.”

    Disarmed at his mother’s words, Vandrad sighed and stood back up. “I’m guessing your usual?” Themesycia nodded softly. Then he looked to Mercury. "You want something?”

    If she gave him an order, he would make a mental note of it and head back down through the dancing people. He figured getting a drink would take five minutes tops. Mercury had said ten minutes was the maximum she could hold out for. That was worth trusting, right? As he departed, Themesycia chuckled. “Well I don’t know what kind of reaction you got out of Vandrad with your choice of apparel but I’ll tell you honestly… it has my blood boiling,” the Duchess said quietly to Mercury, her fingers tightening slightly on the other woman’s thigh in show of just how aggressive she felt.







    Words: 1793/12,387 | Tag: @Mercury Arseneault | © marzia at shine & gs.


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      Current date/time is 1st April 2020, 4:32 pm