The silver-haired Ambassador of Dies Irae sighed softly as he leaned back in his leather-clad office chair, his gaze inevitably finding its way out of the large window to his side, not far from the large mahogany desk he so often found himself occupying. It was a beautiful day, really. The tides of the Azure Sea, as it was so often the case, would calmy caress the white sand beaches of Amber Island in the distance, the bright afternoon sun reflected in the sheet of blue as a glowing marble. Why was it always on days like these that bad news would reach him? Johann von Weiss closed his eyes, letting the information he had received pass through his mind once more in an attempt to sort through it, though it was of little use. The nature of the message was simply too impactful to process with a few simple thoughts, the man opening his eyes anew only to find them involuntarily drawn back to the thin piece of paper stretched out before him, the hastily-scribbled black letters on the parchment a testament to the mood in which the author of this particular piece had been when he had brought the news into writing. It was understandable, really, given the contents of the letter, addressed to the Ambassadors of Dies Irae.
Fiore was preparing its forces for war. The context described in the report was of unambiguous meaning. Pergrande and Bellum were once again taking the field of battle in a conflict with one another, Fiore, as one of Bellum's allies, seemingly being drawn into the fighting, despite the absence of a clear declaration of war as of yet. "What a mess ...", the man mumbled under his breath, briefly recalling memories from the last war between Pergrande and Bellum some 10, no, 15 years ago at the least. He didn't know for sure, but the last time they had fought the argent-haired Ambassador had not yet been a guild mage, making his living as a mercenary. The battles between Pergrande and Bellum were a steady source of income, and an easy one, too. He knew that Pergrande despised magic in any form, so fielding mages was, of course, off-limits, and dealing with mundane troops was far easier than battling against experienced magi in any form. Still, it had been a while, though Johann knew that another conflict was inevitable. As long as the two nations existed they would lust for the destruction of the other. It was a cycle without a clear end in sight. That was all well and good, but what would a guild situated on an island off the coasts of Minstrel and Midi have to do with that? The Ambassador could imagine that any ordinary person could ask themselves this question, and in truth, even Johann, who understood that, if a war would indeed break out, the system of alliances that had been forged across Ishgar would be set in motion, asked himself why Dies Irae should get involved with this particular conflict.
It was true, Fiore was allied with Bellum. The government of Fiore was the Magic Council, Dies Irae being technically an extension of this organization. The fact of the matter remained, however, that the guild was detached from events in Fiore, so why, as it had been ordered in that letter, should Dies Irae mobilize against "the enemies of the Magic Council and all of Magic itself"? It was put in such an orthodox way that the Ambassador wondered if a Bellian Archpriest themselves had written dictated this message. What an utterly ridiculous notion. Was this what people called Realpolitik? Johann sighed anew. He was no politician, but the least he could do was raise this issue with the Magic Council and protest the decision. He would do so in person. Waiting for written replies could take ages when it came to the Council, even with modern communications. Not to mention the fact that attending to this matter himself meant that they couldn't as easily give him some bureaucratic excuse, as they more often than not tended to do.
Unceremoniously, the man would rise from his chair and head for the door to his office, leaving the opened letter on his desk. After all, he had a fellow Ambassador who would undoubtedly have an interest in what it said, not to mention the fact that Johann would have to talk to Seven about this. He trusted her judgment, and as such, the two needed to reach a consensus on the best course of action. When he was not driven by emotion, that was. Naturally, there was another entity that quite appreciated the news that the Ambassador had received. "Why protest? Is this not a most intriguing development?", a deep, albeit familiar voice echoed through the man's mind. "Just imagine the fun a real war will be!". Mars' tone was an indicator of his emotional state, and the Ambassador had expected something like this. It was only natural that the creature he shared a body with would be trimming with excitement. "I have my doubts about that", the silver-haired man replied curtly as he left the office and walked down the hallway towards the Throne Hall, every step echoing back from the polished granite walls with a resounding, yet characteristic sound. Johann wasn't about to argue with the being, but he knew that this topic was far from finished. Mars would have a say in such matters in one way or another, whether Joh consented to it or not.
Busy with himself and his own thoughts, he would reach the Throne Hall, his stride taking him towards the archway that led into the spacious area Dies Irae used as a forum of sorts, though the Hall itself appeared awfully empty. Johann only took note of this in passing and would've ignored the fact entirely if it hadn't been for the two figures that seemed to converse close to the exit Joh had been heading towards. To not at least offer a word of greeting would certainly be rude, the man directing his eyes towards the pair, not to mention the curious creature that seemed to accompany the man. "Ah, forgive me. A good day to both of you. Jariel-", Johann had picked up the habit of calling people by their first names, even if he disliked such informalities, for the sake of making himself appear a little more casual. "-It's good to see you. I heard of the mission to Motor City you'd been dispatched on. If you're back, I assume you have completed your tasks successfully?". After greeting the more familiar person first, it was only natural to move on to the next, a woman, though the Ambassador had to admit that her identity remained a mystery to him. He was certain he had not seen her here before, or at least he couldn't recall ever seeing her around, though she was wearing a uniform distinctly associated with the guild. Was she from the branch of the guild located in Cedar? Or ... "Are you a new recruit, perhaps? I don't believe we've met before, so please, allow me to introduce myself: Johann von Weiss-", at the mention of his name, the man would bow slightly, a gesture richer in symbolism than true courtesy, the long, black coat that formed part of his own distinct uniform almost touching the ground, "-one of the two Ambassadors of Dies Irae".
He gave the woman a closer look. Upon further inspection, she appeared, for the lack of a better term, exotic. Young, certainly, much younger than Johann, although his own appearance wouldn't give that away. Her hair and eyes were especially eye-catching, both glowing in their own respectively unique and, it was not shameful to admit, attractive hue. He imagined that with traits like these, and certain other evident factors, she would be certain to draw the stares of many-a-man to herself, though, in truth, the Ambassador had little care for such things. It appeared, though, that the little excursion to Era he had planned spontaneously would experience a just as spontaneous delay. If a new recruit had to be initiated ... a circumstance like that would naturally require his attention. A weak, albeit practiced smile would curl one corner of the man's mouth upward. Hopefully, an expression like this would appear friendly and welcoming rather than awkward as he continued in a gentle tone. "Who might you be, stranger?".
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