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    Tsubine
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    Post by Tsubine on Tue Apr 19, 2016 11:28 am


    The second day into their trip was going smoothly. They had stopped in Ethaswen at the end of the first day and enjoyed a nice hotel stay. They each were able to rent their own small rooms, and they each had privacy. Which was good, because they were once again stuck in a small room with one another. The train car was comfortable, but despite being a 'privacy car,' it was not meant for overnight stays. The train clacked beneath them, and Tsubine kept looking out the window. She was sitting beside Luxanna today, as yesterday she had sat beside Drake. Tomorrow, she'd sit with Avrae.

    As they reached near Daywood, Tsubine yawned. "I think we should get off soon..." Avrae held back a snicker, but nodded. "Agreed, my ass is killing me from these seats... Who knew sitting all day would do this..." Tsubine gave a small chuckle. "I told you to stretch your legs at the last stop." Avrae rolled her eyes. "So, tomorrow we should ready Norborne, right? Then... what are we to do there?" Tsubine looked to Avrae.

    "Well, we're not going to go to Norborne proper. The town isn't where Daenerys is. She's in the mountain southeast of the town. Mount Norr is where I last knew her to be... but even so, I don't know if she'd be there." Avrae thought for a moment. "Hillfort might have more complete documents on dragon movement in the area though. Lux, do you think we should stop there first?"

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    Post by Serenity on Tue Apr 19, 2016 11:56 am


    Avrae wasn't the only one with an ass that was killing her. Luxanna wasn't entirely comfortable either. She adjusted herself quietly in her seat as the other complained. Luxanna wore some of her normal travel gear. She had a bag of holding with her with some essential gear, though she rarely actually needed the things inside. She also wore the necklace that she had been given for her birthday. She hadn't been seen without it since then and wasn't taking it off.

    Drake was also uncomfortable, but silent throughout the train ride. He entertained himself either by sleeping or staring out the window. Sleeping felt like a dangerous game with these three here. Him being the only man, he feared Luxanna's retaliation and Avrae's practical jokes, so he never really slept. Any bump in the train caused his eyes to shoot right back open. Tsubine mentioned the stop coming up and he couldn't help but thank the heavens. He straightened his back and began listening to the women as they talked. Though he wasn't, he did feel like the odd man out right now. Well, the only man out...

    "Unless anyone has military connections, getting any records there will be difficult. Hillfort is a highly protected place and you'll need permits to get just about anything there. The only thing they do hand out are things in the public records office, but I doubt the locations of dragons, which are often likely to cause a panic if one is sighted in the wrong area, are part of those records. Does anyone have any connections like that?" Luxanna stretched her back and a loud pop could be heard throughout the room. "Ugh... I do not like these rooms... Next time, why don't we opt for a more comfortable room? May cost a few gold more, but it might be worth it, especially with how long we'll be traveling."

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    Post by Tsubine on Tue Apr 19, 2016 12:24 pm


    Tsubine had never been to Hillfort before. She had only heard about it in passing, and in a class at Rydian. But otherwise, it was never brought up. It sounded a lot like Hedoria, where Tsubine spent a few months each year when she was younger. Her father was an instructor for the Imperial Officer's Academy at the time, and his family would travel with him to and from there. Tsubine hated Hedoria. "Well, I have connections to the Imperial Army, but I don't think that would help..." Tsubine grimaced after her joke. "In fact, it might hurt..."

    Tsubine was actually the one to correct Luxanna. "Um, actually these are the most comfortable rooms. If we went with normal pricing, we would have to share a bench in a crowded car not meant for distance travel. The Empire has cars meant for long-distance travel with much better seating. There are even a few lines that run cars with beds in them. Here, we'd have to buy or rent a private coach. And I do not want to put the Noir through that kind of expense, especially for a three-day trip."

    As the entered the station to Daywood, there was a horrible whining sound from the front of the train. It clattered to a stop, and Tsubine had a worried expression on her face. A conductor came down, and knocked on the door before opening it. He was a young man with red hair and eyes, and he spoke with an accent from Grandview of all places. "I'm sorry, but the train has run into some issues. We're going to have to ask you to disembark here." "Wait, we bought tickets to Norborne. Are they still valid?" "Ah... yes, yes ma'am they are. You're just gonna have to wait 'til tomorrow when a replacement engine arrives. Terribly sorry 'bout all of this. If you'll excuse me..."

    "Looks like we're stuck in Daywood for the night." Avrae sighed and stood, grabbing her suitcase from the overhead rack. "I think it is good that we stopped here... I am getting tired, and I can not sleep in a traveling vehicle." Tsubine stretched widely as she stood, but she got Lux's suitcase down first. She then got Drake's down for him. When she tried to get hers, it was wedged in there... "Um, Drake... can you help me with this?"

    After getting Tsubine's suitcase down, the four of them made their way to the first of three inns in Daywood. They were met with a 'no vacancy' sign. The second inn was the same. When they reached the third inn, Avrae sighed in relief. 'VACANCIES' hung in the front window. Tsubine reached the counter, and spoke to the concierge. "Excuse me, we would like four rooms." He didn't look over them twice. "Only got two. Both of them are full-size beds. Usually meant for one person." Tsubine swallowed, and blushed. She turned to the other three. "W.. what should we do?"

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    Post by Serenity on Tue Apr 19, 2016 12:48 pm


    "Huh..." Well, you learn something new every day. Luxanna was annoyed though. Couldn't they just walk if that was the case? At least they'd get exercise. The train came to a sudden stop and a young red headed man entered the room to explain what happened. Luxanna recognized that accent and red flags were immediately shot up. If there was a problem with those in Grandview, she did not want to be here to fall in the middle of it. As long as their tickets were still valid, Daywood it was.

    Drake was going to stand up, but Avrae got in front of him when she did first. He was going to do the polite and gentlemanly thing, but the women were in his way. He'd be lying if he said this didn't bother him. When Tsubine handed him his suitcase, he nodded in thanks, "I could have gotten it ya know..." Having women do this kind of stuff wasn't exactly what he was used to. It wasn't what he was taught, so they couldn't blame him if it bothered him. "Next time be faster on the draw." Luxanna said as she tapped the top of her own suitcase, "Thank you, Tsubine." A moment later, Drake was asked to get Tsubine's. That's better. "No problem." He stood up and removed her suitcase from it's place easily. He handed it to her and smiled, "'ere ya go, lil lady." he said and then walked toward the door. Luxanna scoffed. That accent he did when talking to Tsubine was annoying, even if it was his voice.

    They arrived in Daywood and the place was packed. It was luck that the third place they had gone to had a couple open rooms, but that was it. Only a couple. Two. And to top it all off, they only had one bed each. Luxanna already knew where this conversation was going and so did Drake. The two eyed each other and sparks of lightning seemed to appear between their eyes. These sparks read "You are my rival". The two stood and glared at each other for long enough that the tension almost spread through the room. "We'll share a room." Luxanna spoke up with a smile, but there was evil behind that. Drake's expression fell to fear and he took a step back. "Avrae and myself cannot share a room. You and Tsubine will not share a room. And though I am the better candidate, I'd prefer nothing heinous come out of what people will say if this were to happen. Therefore, the better choice is for the lesbian to share a room with the heterosexual male. This is your choice." "I'll be sleeping on the floor!" "Yes. You will."

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    Post by Tsubine on Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:10 pm


    Tsubine and Avrae both were somewhat disappointed. Avrae didn't let it show, but Tsubine's expression fell. She did want to share a room with either of them. She wanted to get to know Drake better, and she had something she wanted to talk about with Luxanna... The Zakatian turned around to face the concierge. "We will take them." After paying the man, Tsubine gave one key to Luxanna and kept the other for herself. She wanted to ask if Luxanna wanted to change her mind. But shyness took over, and the thought was shaken from her head.

    After everyone had said good night, Tsubine couldn't sleep. She waited until Avrae had fallen asleep to slip out of bed. She dressed herself in her green-and-white casual clothes, and went next door. She hesitated for ten minutes before actually knocking. And as soon as she did, Tsubine eyed the door to her room. She wanted to run back, to flee and forget this. But she heard shuffling, and knew she'd have no choice. If it was Drake, she'd just apologize for getting his suitcase down. But thankfully, it wasn't Drake. "Sorry for bothering you, Luxanna... but can... can we talk? In private?"

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    Post by Serenity on Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:30 pm


    Luxanna and Drake were both disappointed, but what's done is done. It had to be done. It was the only way for things to be fair and for one or the other not to jump to conclusions. Drake and Luxanna were at war and Luxanna was a tactician. They all went to their rooms and Luxanna kept an eye on Drake. He didn't say much and neither did she. Once it was time to sleep, they went to bed and Drake did indeed sleep on the floor. He would have liked a bed, but he just felt it too inappropriate.

    A few hours passed and Luxanna and Drake were both asleep. When the knock came to the door, Luxanna's eyes shot open and she stood up. She checked on Drake to see if he was still asleep just in time to witness a piggish snore. She rolled her eyes and went to the door, surprised to see Tsubine standing there. Luxanna was still fully dressed, even in her socks. The only thing that had changed was her shoes were off to the side. Her necklace was also on the dresser because she feared the chain snapping in her sleep. "Tsubine...? Is everything alright?" Luxanna blinked her eyes a couple times, getting used to the light in the hallway, "Uh... Sure, sure. We can talk." Luxanna stepped out and closed the door behind her, "What's wrong?"

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    Post by Tsubine on Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:49 pm


    Tsubine was surprised to see Luxanna still dressed. She didn't look like she had been sleeping. It was kind-of amazing, but Tsubine didn't have the time to be jealous. Her hair was slightly messed up from just lying on the bed. But Luxanna? She still looked gorgeous. "Can we go outside? There is a balcony at the end of the hallway. I do not trust Avrae not to be pretending to sleep." After a brief walk to the balcony, Tsubine stood quiet for a moment. Luxanna would see that she was deep in thought. Tsubine turned to Luxanna, worry in her eyes. And beneath the worry was fear. "Do... do you hate me, Luxanna?"

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    Post by Serenity on Tue Apr 19, 2016 2:09 pm


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    Luxanna nodded and followed Tsubine out to the balcony. There was a wonderful cool breeze blowing through Daywood right now. From where they were, she could see people working on the train for tomorrow, but it seemed like the work was dying down, so that was a good sign. She looked to Tsubine to see that she was deep in thought and just waited until she was ready to talk. When Tsubine turned to her, Luxanna tilted her head in curiosity about that look in Tsubine's eyes. Luxanna had to wonder who's ass she was about to have to kick to make Tsubine look so worried about something, but soon realized it would have been her own. "What?" Luxanna raised an eyebrow. She answered a little more sternly than she had meant to and glanced away, cursing herself. A moment later, she got the words she needed to say. "There isn't anything about you that is unlikable, Tsubine. If I see nothing I can even dislike, hate is completely out of the picture, so no. I do not hate you. Did I say something wrong? Why would you even think something like that? I mean... I know I can be a little... off putting to some people, but I didn't think it was bad enough for you to figure I could hate you."

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    Post by Tsubine on Tue Apr 19, 2016 2:42 pm


    Tsubine winced a bit with Luxanna's voice. Was she not expecting Tsubine to find out? Was Tsubine wrong? No matter what, it was a hard voice that the Zakatian did not like. And the fact that Luxanna said that instead of 'No,' raised doubt in her mind. The silence didn't help either. Tsubine was very close to saying forget it and leaving. She'd pretend this never happened. No, that wouldn't happen. She'd just thank them for their time, pay the Noir, and return to Zakat. She was already planning her trip home when Luxanna spoke up.

    It warmed Tsubine's heart to hear that she didn't hate her. That was big for Tsubine. Luxanna, someone Tsubine could dare say she liked in a romantic sense, didn't hate her. But her worry didn't leave. "You are not off-putting, it is just..." Tsubine shook her head. "Back in Iserlohn. You said you hated Zakatians. You said that so vehemently, with so much raw... anger, that... That I wondered if you hated me too." Tsubine pursed her lips, then raised a hand to her heart. "I take pride in being a Zakatian. I am not like the ones I had an argument with then... We are not all like that man. We are all not like my father either. I strive to be proof of that. I want to prove to the rest of the world that Zakatians are not all... closed-minded, stubborn people..." Tsubine had to struggle to come up with a nice way to say that. "And so it hurt when you said that."

    Tsubine still didn't smile. "Luxanna... I do care about you, and that was why I had to make sure. If... I want to think more about these feelings I have, I had to know that you did not hate me. I do not know what I feel for you, but I know that it would be for naught if I thought fondly of someone that hated me. And I would not want to waste your time traveling with someone you hate. So..." And Tsubine began to cry. "So it really means a lot that you do not hate me. I am glad I was once against just foolish..."

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    Post by Serenity on Tue Apr 19, 2016 2:56 pm


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    Luxanna leaned over the balcony and looked down to the street. "I forgot about that..." she thought as she listened to Tsubine's explanation. She said nothing. How was she to explain herself. She was surprised that Tsubine had actually not figured out that she was also a Zakation. "You weren't foolish." Luxanna said, "I said what I said and it caused you to think on that. That doesn't make you a fool, that makes you human. However, Tsubine, I do hate Zakatians. It's the same way I distrust elves. The same way Nadia is an important part of my life, you are as well. It's difficult to explain..." Luxanna stayed silent for a moment and began staring up at the night sky as she gathered her thoughts.

    "The Elves, as a race, are a sneaky and hidden threat that many Aurorans aren't even aware of. They keep themselves in the forest, sticking to the shadows. We know little about them, what they can do, what they may be planning, and whether they're friend or enemy. Then we have Nadia... Nadia is not sneaky. Nadia is not hiding. She's sweet, loving, gentle, and more honest than she should be. I like her... And Zakatians are stubborn pig-headed fools that do not accept people for something they can't control. Being born different causes you to be shunned among Zakatians and it's a disgusting way to live life and to treat people." Luxanna stood up and turned toward Tsubine.

    "And then there is you. You are an accepting, open minded, strong willed, and beautiful woman who has proven time and time and again that you do not share that same discriminatory mindset that the Zakatians have. Yes, you are born Zakatian, but your heart is Auroran. You accept every being for who they are, not because of where they're from or what power they may or may not hold. Arcadian's can often be similar to Zakatians, but their reasons are different. They dislike Zakatians because of the constant usage of Aurora's natural resources, while Arcadian's only take what they need from the land... It's why even I renounced my Zakatian Ancestry and assimilated into Arcadia."

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    Post by Tsubine on Tue Apr 19, 2016 3:24 pm


    So Luxanna was Zakatian too? Tsubine always thought Luxanna was Arcadian, or at least half-Arcadian, because of the way she spoke of Arcadia and Zakat. But the fact that Luxanna was Zakatian changed a lot in Tsubine's mind. "Luxanna... Please do not take this offensively, but I think that more Zakatians should be like you. You... remind me of me, to be honest. You distrust elves, and yet one of your closest friends is one of them. You hate Zakatians, and yet you say I am an important part of your life."

    "My people... we are very stubborn. It is a problem that I know firsthand. There is not much of a movement to allow Arcanists into the mainstay of society either, and it is terrible. My father might approve of me then..." Tsubine shook her head, changing the subject. "Something people seem to forget, Zakatians included, is that the ideal Zakatian is one that will invite others into their homes, even if they do not agree with them. You may not like my Zakatian pride or the blood that flows through me, but you still accepted me into your home. You have the type of soul that many Zakatians strive to have, myself included."

    Tsubine placed a hand on Luxanna's shoulder. "I will not ask of you to change your mind of Zakatians... but... remember that there are those that are like me, please? That is all I can ask of you, and even if you will not, I think I can understand why..." Tsubine removed her hand from Luxanna's shoulder, and she began to look at the town below. "I technically am homeless. My father does not like me, and I do not want to return there. I do not have a home anywhere in Zakat, and I do not see a need to get one." Tsubine turned around, leaning her back against the railing.

    "My mother... is an Arcanist. My father is a high-ranking officer in the Imperial Army. And my father still loves her. I think part of his anger towards Arcanists... is not towards Arcanists themselves. Yes, he still finds them to be a bit... odd, but... My mother has CAE, Luxanna. And she has for years. My father does not want to risk her health in transporting her, and so she has remained in Mont Blanc since her diagnosis. I went to Rydian to try to find a cure or something to help her. And yet... I found nothing that I could do to help her. Sure, there is the famous healer, but we could not afford her..."

    Tsubine shook her head again. "My father just does not want to see others go through CAE. It was painful for him to watch, and I do understand his anger to a degree... but I do wish that he would be more accepting. But he slapped me the night before I left home. It was not long after I returned from Rydian, actually... I left home because of that, and I have been traveling around the Empire since. I have been doing this for six years now, Luxanna." Tsubine looked up at the stars. "So that is why I strive to be different. I do not want to reject someone because of things like that. If you do not mind my asking... What drove you from the Empire?"
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    Post by Serenity on Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:14 pm


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    Luxanna would not take a compliment seriously. If people should change themselves to be like her, she was doing something right. Everything Tsubine said about the Zakatians Luxanna kept nodding to. She completely agreed. She stopped when Tsubine mentioned how Zakatians were supposed to be. "The ideal Zakatian..." she thought as she listened to Tsubine. It was something that even she forgot. She felt that was more of a common sense thing. "I do remember there are some like you. If I did not, I would not be here with you now." Luxanna reminded with a smile. Tsubine went on and Luxanna stayed silent. When she got to the issue with her mother, Luxanna turned toward Tsubine with a blank face but shock and worry in her eyes. Tsubine's mother was sick? And had been sick for some time...

    "We'll talk about that another time." Luxanna said. She didn't wish to speak about her past right now. Her mind was on a completely different and more important issue. "The woman you're talking about, Serenity Verdant... The government pays her each time she saves someone with CAE... Though, I guess since you're Zakatian, they wouldn't cover that. I've heard she's an extremely nice person, so it's possible just asking her would be fine... You may even be able to set up some sort of payment thing." Luxanna said with a reassuring tone, "There's only one place we can find out how to contact her..." Luxanna put up one finger, "Aria Grand. She trained there and someone there will probably know where she is at. We should try that... As soon as possible, so your Mother won't suffer anymore and maybe seeing her saved by an Arcadian... and an Arcanist will lighten your Father's heart."

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    Post by Tsubine on Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:53 am


    "I would like to hold you to that." Tsubine was now very curious as to what happened to Luxanna. Zakatian Arcanists usually just kept their talents hidden. But she fled the country and renounced it? There was something different and probably sad there. Tsubine was glad to be reminded of the famous healer's name. But Luxanna was right. Because Tsubine's mother, despite having a bit of Arcadian blood in her, was Zakatian, her treatment wasn't covered. There was also the fact that it was a different strain of CAE than what most people had.

    "I should have spoken up sooner. We passed through Aria only yesterday." Tsubine smiled a bit, then relaxed. "I think it would help a lot." The Zakatian turned to Luxanna, and embraced her tightly. "Thank you for not hating me." She held it for a while, enjoying Luxanna's warmth. Eventually, she yawned and decided to break it. "I think I might be able to sleep soundly for the first time in a month. Again, thank you." And Tsubine returned to bed.

    The next day, the replacement engine arrived. The quartet of adventurers boarded, and the train was on its way early in the morning. Tsubine enjoyed the ride, and she looked quite satisfied the entire day. They reached Norborne at around 3 that afternoon. Avrae split off to go scout the mountain out to see if anything had changed. After getting a room, it was time to discuss the gameplan. Avrae returned, an annoyed look on her face "Alright, so Daenerys's old lair is in the mountain. Unfortunately, I can't find the entrance I used to use to visit her. It's high up there anyway, so I'd have to either carry you or you'd have to climb. But since I can't find it, we're going to have to go through the cave system in the mountain. Any questions?"

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    Post by Serenity on Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:19 am


    "Well, we've got to go home sometime. We'll pass through there again and see what we can dig up." Luxanna smiled as she was hugged and returned it. She was surprised how long the hug went on, but didn't let up until Tsubine pulled away. "Yeah, get some rest." Luxanna nodded to the thank you and watched Tsubine return to bed. She stood outside in the cool air for some time, just thinking to herself. When she was ready about ten minutes later, she too returned to bed.

    The group was back on their trip. Drake was uncomfortable the entire time. His back was aching and felt real sore. Luxanna was well rested, but through most of the trip she kept her eyes closed and arms crossed. As Avrae went on, the rest waited patiently for her to return. Once she did, the plan was explained. "None." Drake said. Luxanna was silent for a bit. They were going into a dragon's lair. Tsubine and Avrae were both dragons and Drake could obviously defend himself. Luxanna wasn't entirely the battle type. Sure, she could fight, but if this goes south, she would likely just get in their way. Oh well. "No, let's go."



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    Post by Tsubine on Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:41 pm


    Thankfully, no questions were raised. Avrae unpacked a small travelsack from her suitcase. It had some rope and a pair of lanterns. Tsubine put on her armor and summoned a quite large longsword that she strapped to her back. Avrae looked impressed, and then motioned for them to follow. The four of them made it Mount Norr by rented horses as it hit late evening. They tied them to a tree near some grass, and they soon made their way into the small forest surrounding the mountain.

    It didn't take long to find the entrance Avrae was looking for. It looked to be an old safehouse for some bandit group, but the wooden doorframe was old and rotten. There was no sign of the door. As they ventured deeper in, they started to go higher. A swarm of bats flew over, causing Tsubine to make a panicked squeak and latch onto Drake's arm. Avrae smirked at that. After the swarm passed over, they reached a section of the cave where it split off into two directions. Both seemed to go upwards. "Hm... I don't remember which one of these takes us to the cavern. I think we'd be best splitting up here." "Lux, come with me. I can smell Daenerys if we get close to her. I can also blast us a way out if we get turned around. Drake, you're reportedly a good tracker, so go with Tsubine."

    "I know you might think this is dangerous, but the last time I was here, the only thing that went through these paths was rainwater. Oh, Tsubine." Avrae leaned in and whispered something to her. Tsubine raised an eyebrow. "Make sure you say that if you come across her. " "Are you sure...?" "Yes, yes I'm sure! Now hurry, we needn't waste much more time." Avrae began taking the right passageway, leaving Tsubine and Drake to take the left one.

    The two of them walked in silence for a while, Drake carrying the lantern. Tsubine had her sword out, although she wasn't carrying it. Instead, it was floating beside her. "Hey Drake..." Tsubine spoke up, a bit worried. "Do you think that we are on the right path? And do you think Avrae and Luxanna will be safe? I know Avrae said she can 'blast a way out,' but I am concerned about what that means for the mountain..." In the other tunnel, Avrae was walking along casually when she decided to speak up. "You know that girl likes you, right Lux?"

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    Post by Serenity on Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:56 pm


    Splitting up was not something Luxanna wanted to do, but if they had to Avrae was actually her choice to go with. Drake and Tsubine were both combat ready, while Luxanna had faith in Avrae's skills to protect her if things went bad. She wanted to disagree, but logic told her otherwise. She went along with Avrae after telling the other two to be safe. Luxanna was silent, paying close attention to the caves layout and some features that may hint to a dragon passing through. "Hm?" Luxanna was caught from her observations by Avrae's sudden question. She waited in silence a moment. "I doubt it. I've yet to find anyone has an actual attraction to me on a more personal level. Physical, yes, but she admitted that about Drake and myself during the first party we had. That means nothing toward an attraction deeper than outside appearance. However, I do know she is a good friend, very kind, passionate, and cares for every one of us... You two have gotten close, so how have you not asked yourself the same question?"

    Drake was silent most of the trip to the mountain. The only time he spoke up was when Tsubine latched himself onto her. He used his other arm to cover her out of reflex and then brushed her hair back with his hand. "Nasty lil' buggers... Can't say I'm fond of bats either." he told her with a smile and chuckle. Splitting up was fine by him; He got to go with Tsubine and wouldn't have to deal with Avrae's constant pestering about his thoughts toward Tsubine. Drake walked beside Tsubine and kept wanting to poke at the floating sword. "That... is cool." he thought when she spoke up. "Hm?" He blinked and rubbed the back of his head. "Well... I'm sure Avrae's got Luxanna's back if anything goes south. And Luxanna can disappear on a whim from what I remember, so I'm sure they're both fine." he said and then groaned in worry a little, "If that woman brings the mountain down on us, I'm haunting her for one thousand years." Drake lowered himself and began examining some of the dirt, looking for footprints or any evidence that someone was here. "Honestly, not too sure..."

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    Post by Tsubine on Thu Apr 21, 2016 1:14 pm


    Avrae shook her head as Lux spoke. She was wrong. "You haven't heard how she talks about you. She really admires you. She said she was never one for having many friends, and she admires how many you've made with the Noir. As for me... I told her from the start that I wouldn't be interested in her. She's cute, but... I'd feel weird going after Silvath's Disciple. It... It's hard to explain in physical terms. Imagine if... Masamune summoned an Angel. We know he'd never do that, but still roll with it. Wouldn't it be weird to date that angel? That's sort-of how it is with a Dragon Disciple. Elder Dragons either date their own or don't date one at all. It's just how it usually goes. Anyways, she sees me as more of a teacher, since I can teach her where Silvath left off. She's... horribly under-equipped for being a Disciple, especially one with as much latent ability as she does." Avrae shook her head. "That girl could be very dangerous if I don't teach her. We need to get her to join the Noir, Luxanna. That way I can keep an eye on her."

    Tsubine didn't like Drake's answer. It just made her worry. "If we end up at a dead end, do you think you could track Luxanna and Avrae so we could follow them?" She shifted a little uncomfortably. "This air is odd. I do not like it." Something told her to turn back, but Tsubine continued. She felt that they were on the right path, or at least a path that would lead them in the right direction. "Drake... how come you are so talented at tracking? Do you have Arcana that assists you?" Tsubine watched him closely as he examined the dirt. There really wasn't much sign of human (or dragon) movement. There were snakes and small crustaceans, but nothing too big.

    After getting her answer, the ground gave way beneath the two of them. Tsubine yelped as she plummeted below... and splashed after about 10 feet of falling. They were in chest-deep water, and the lantern did not go out thanks to it being waterproof. Tsubine's clothing clung tight to her, and the water was extremely cold. It was still, and only tiny fish swam in it. "Drake?! Are you okay?!" Tsubine had landed feet-first, and when she tried to walk, she winced and whimpered. She let herself float and swam over to where Drake was...
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    Post by Serenity on Thu Apr 21, 2016 1:40 pm


    Luxanna wasn't believing the things Avrae was saying. With how Avrae often was, she figured this was likely some sort of joke or way to mess with her head. If Tsubine liked her, she'd come forward about it... Wouldn't she? "Then ask her to. I don't want her joining for something like a relationship. If she joins, it should be because she liked the Noir and wants to aid the guild in their goals." Luxanna looked around and narrowed her eyes, "Okay, so how far should this place be? I'm getting more anxious the farther in we go, like somethings gonna go wrong."

    "Yes, that won't be hard at all. Their tracks will be fresh and since Luxanna always wears some sort of heel, whether small or long, she'll be easy to follow." Drake said and then changed to a reassuring tone, "Tsu... We'll be fine. They'll be fine. Nothing bad is going to happen." He then began examining the dirt and realized there wasn't anything here. "Nothing more than snakes comin' through here... Might as well head ba-..." When the ground gave way, the back of Drake's head hit the side of the hole as they fell. He did not land on his feet and ended up under the water. It took him a moment to get rid of the dizziness, but he was able to. He pushed himself up and looked around. "TSU?!" he shouted worriedly. He heard her call out and moved to her. He grabbed onto her arms and pulled her closer to examine her. "I'm fine, are you alright?"

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    Post by Tsubine on Thu Apr 21, 2016 2:06 pm


    Avrae rolled her eyes and shrugged. "You're right, but still... If she loses control, bad things will happen. She has the potential to rival me in power, Luxanna." Avrae looked around. "I'd say about another twenty minutes of walking. That's the main reason I sent Drake down the other path... I thought theirs might be the wrong path, so I wanted to send our tracker so he could follow us. And before you say anything, I only split us up because it has been that long. I could have been wrong." And so they continued walking...

    Tsubine was glad to see that Drake was fine. She was durable, but still she had the body of a human. She blushed at how close Drake pulled her. "I.. I think I hurt my ankle when I fell. I landed feet-first." Tsubine pointed to the 'shore' the small pond, and Drake helped her along to it. When she got there, Tsubine tried to walk but only winced and stumbled. She crawled over and removed her boot. She then removed her sock. Tsubine prodded at her foot, and sighed in relief. "I think I just twisted it... I would say that a normal person would have sprained or broken their ankle if they fell like I did." Tsubine pointed at an upward slope where the pond seemed to be fed from. "I think we should go that way." Tsubine tried to stand again after putting her boot back on, but only fell in pain. "Ow... ow..." Weighing her options, Tsubine blushed and gave Drake a pleading look. "This is embarrassing to ask... but do you think you could carry me for a little while? It still hurts too much to walk..."

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    Post by Serenity on Thu Apr 21, 2016 2:18 pm


    Luxanna rolled her eyes right back. "So what would happen if you were wrong and they found this dragon first? Is this... I can't remember the damn name, but are they a kind enough person not to eat someone who ends up trespassing in their lair?" Luxanna had legitimate concerns about all of this. She didn't know the person they were hunting down and if it had been that long since Avrae had seen them, how did Avrae know whether it was even safe for Tsubine and Drake to maybe stumble upon it? Luxanna was becoming more nervous about all of this.

    Once Tsubine said she may have hurt her ankle, Drake wrapped an arm around her waist and walked her through the water, but he too wasn't without his own troubles. Once they got onto the shore, he let her go and sat down, holding the back of his head. "Yeah... Probably." Drake took a deep breath. He was planning on resting after that fall. He looked to the place she was pointing to and nodded in agreement. When she asked if she could be carried, however, Drake raised an eyebrow and shook his head. "No. We're going to rest for a while." he said in a rather demanding way, "You're ankle is messed up and I hit my head on the way down that damned hole... Sit." he pat the ground next to him, "and give yourself some time to recover." Once he knew he'd be able to relax, Drake took a few minutes trying to wait out the pulsing pain he had at the back of his skull. The silence was unbearable though, so after a while, he spoke up. "Uh... Before we fell, you asked about my tracking skills... Most of it is skill, but" he tapped right below his eyes, "I see three times as well than a normal person, so that helps."

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    Post by Tsubine on Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:24 pm


    Avrae smirked. "Daenerys isn't usually that kind. But I gave our little Zakatian friend a phrase that only me, Silvath, and Daenerys know. She won't attack them so long as she says it. And it's one of those weird phrases that you just can't say wrong. It sticks in your head too easily." Avrae wanted Tsubine to meet Daenerys first just so she could hear the young woman's voice and see her face as she said it...

    Tsubine would rather have continued on. If her foot didn't hurt so badly that she couldn't walk, she'd carry Drake. The longer they were down here, the worse off they were. "All right." She sat down next to Drake, but didn't take her boot off. She watched the fish swim around. There were so many of them. This must have had water in it for a long time, and the rainwater must wash all sorts of small critters down that the fish eat. "Hm?" Tsubine's attention was broken by Drake speaking up. So he did have Arcana within him. Fascinating. "That is a handy ability, but I am more impressed by the fact that most of it is skill." Tsubine didn't have much more to say. She went back to watching the fish.

    Tsubine stayed silent for a while, her eyes almost glazing over as she seemed to be concentrating. "There is a larger cavern up above us." Tsubine's lit up normally again, and she stretched her arms. "I felt the airflow and listened to the wind. I can not tell how far away it is, but there is a larger opening up there..." Tsubine pointed in the direction of the upward path. "But that is not all. It is faint... but I can smell that there is something alive there. It either is alive or was recently alive. And it is large. I think... we ended up on the right path."
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    Post by Serenity on Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:44 pm


    So that must have been what Avrae whispered to Tsubine. "Hm." Luxanna nodded in approval and went on. The fact that they were this deep in the cave and didn't find anything was bothersome. "Avrae... I feel like we should go back. We've found nothing and we're pretty far in. I'd rather catch up to Tsubine and Drake..." Luxanna was showing a bit more worry than she usually did, but she was also way out of her element here. This was an uncomfortable situation.

    Drake cheered up a bit. He had something that impressed Tsubine, that was nice to hear. The silence came again, but Tsubine brought up another cavern. He looked up and then back to her with an eyebrow raised. "You sure?" he asked and she explained, "That's something you get from being an air dragon disciple, right?" It had never been said before, but Drake had his suspicions ever since that conversation at the first party and finding out what Avrae was. Women usually confused him, but there were some dots that he was able to connect. "We found what we were looking for..." Drake stood up and dusted his backside off, "Let's go then." Drake began down the path she pointed out.
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    Post by Tsubine on Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:05 pm


    Avrae shook her head. "No, we've found nothing because she doesn't leave in a human form. We're actually..." Avrae moved aside a curtain of moss to reveal a hole in the wall barely big enough for Avrae to fit in without bending over. "Here."

    [Meanwhile]

    Tsubine smiled slightly, but shook her head. "Funnily enough, no. It was part of my original Arcana. Well, the wind was part of my original Arcana. I just learned how to read it." Tsubine stood, and she sighed in relief. "I think I'm fine too." And the two made their way upwards. It was actually surprisingly steep, and it had a single curve that spun it to the left. And soon they found the source of the rainwater. It was a massive cavern with a circular entrance long-since blocked by trees. It sloped slightly, leading to the hole where Tsubine and Drake were standing in.

    And in the middle of it all was a massive, golden dragon. It was not as large as Avrae, but it was still much larger than Tsubine's dragon form. Its scales were obviously once beautiful, but now they had lost their luster. Its long head lifted from the curled shape of its body, and it seemed to raise an eyebrow at Tsubine's presence. "I've expected someone to come through the other entrance, not that one. Good job on surprising me." The voice was old, but smooth. It had the texture of well-worn leather, and most of all, it was a female. "So say your peace before you die by the maw of Daenerys, the Dawnbringer."

    Tsubine swallowed... and summoned another sword. It was a thin rapier, and it oozed with draconic Arcana. "Wings... wings are nothing but something to cover yourself with after a night of pleasure." Tsubine blushed hard, and knelt down on one knee like a proper knight. Daenerys stared in silence, but her attention was drawn by a snickering from the other side of the cavern. Avrae stepped forward, helping Lux through the portal. "She is with me, old friend." Daenerys shimmered, and her form changed into an older woman. She had white hair that flowed like a river behind her, and she wore a golden robe. But what stood out more about her were the golden scales on her face and hands.

    "Avrae... You never liked aging, did you?" Avrae smiled. "And you seem to like it too much." Avrae embraced her friend, who towered over her by a foot. "Being a mother does that to you, child." Avrae raised an eyerbow. "Last I checked, I was older than you by a decade. But anyways, I should introduce everyone..." Avrae pointed to Luxanna and Drake. "These are my companions of a Guild I have joined. The woman is Luxanna, and the man is Drake." She then pointed to Tsubine, who was now standing. "That one is a recently-made friend of mine..." "And I am Silvath's Disciple."

    Daenerys's eyes grew wide at that, and a chair of stone formed beneath her. "My, my... Silvath took a Disciple... How is she, drakeling?" Tsubine pursed her lips, and thankfully Avrae spoke up first. "That is what we are here for, actually, Dae. But first... Tsubine, Luxanna, Drake... this is my oldest friend, Daenerys, the Dawnbringer." Daenerys smiled and waved to each of them to come closer. Four chairs of stone formed up from the ground, not unlike her own. "Come, sit. I am sure standing isn't comfortable for anyone."
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    Post by Serenity on Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:28 pm


    The journey upwards what a pain in the ass for Drake. All the twists and turns wasn't something he enjoyed and he was actually having a hard time keeping up. He played it off like he was fine, but he wasn't. Once they got there, he was quite relieved. Luxanna stepped through the portal Avrae and revealed and followed her in. It was a tight fit, but she got through with Avrae's help. It was then that she heard a elderly voice followed by a familiar one. Drake raised an eyebrow at Tsubine. "Uh... what?" he laughed at whatever the hell she had just said. She looked and saw Drake and Tsubine were already here.

    "It seems we could have taken the same route." Luxanna said with a raised eyebrow. "No. Be glad you did not take ours." Drake sighed and moved over to a wall of the cave, keeping his eyes closed as the others talked. "Are you alright?" Luxanna asked with only slight concern, but it sounded more like 'what the hell did you do'.  When Luxanna and Drake were both introduced, they nodded in unison as their greeting. "I'm glad we were able to find you." she said and then motioned to Tsubine and Avrae, "This is your show, so get to explaining so we're not wasting too much of her time. I'm really not liking caves at the moment."

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    Post by Tsubine on Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:46 pm


    Avrae cleared her throat. "Yes, the young one is Silvath's Disciple. She is..." "Avrae." Tsubine interrupted. "I would feel better if I spoke of this." With an approving shrug from Avrae, Tsubine turned towards Daenerys. "While I am Silvath's Disciple, I was not fully trained by her. It was not long after I was able to freely transform between my humanoid and draconic forms that I... no, that she abandoned me." Daenerys raised an eyebrow at this.

    "She disappeared, and I was left half-trained, alone..." "And reeling over a broken heart?" Tsubine nodded. Daenerys scratched her chin, then began to cough. "Forgive me, I am not as healthy as I once was... Drakeling, you wish to find Silvath? Why? Revenge? To beg her to come back? To ask for payment? Maybe even to have a final fling?" Tsubine shook her head. "None of those, ma'am. I only seek answers. I want to know why she abandoned me and why she chose me. I do not desire revenge or anything of that nature."

    Daenerys sat in silence for a long moment. She stared hard at Tsubine. Tsubine swallowed and her mind began to race. What was she thinking? Was her answer wrong? It must be. She's not going to help. I hope she's not going to try to eat us. I bet Avrae can take her on though. And then Avrae threw a pebble at Daenerys's face. The old dragon shot upright suddenly, looking around confused. "I told you to stop falling asleep with your eyes closed. It freaks people out." "Oh shove it." Daenerys shot Avrae a rude gesture. "Sorry about that, I dozed off. I'm also not as young as I used to be, heh..."

    "My son... I think he would serve you better than I. I have not spoken to him in quite some time, but the last I heard, he was sharing a roost with Silvath. His name is Xalanth. He is a gentle soul, and he protects nature and humans alike. He is the best son a mother could ask for... But he isn't the strongest power-wise. But he is rather smart and has a very good memory. I think if you talk to him, you can find out more... You can find him near the human settlement of Ardale. Avrae knows where it is." Daenerys shot Avrae a knowing, angry glance. Avrae rolled her eyes. "It was one night, Dae."

    Daenerys waved her off, not wanting to talk about that. "Go to Ardale, and ask for him. I believe he goes by the name of 'Robert Halifax' there. When you find him, tell him his mother says hello. And tell him to damn well visit me more." Tsubine smiled and nodded. "Thank you, ma'am. It was an honor to meet you." Daenerys smiled back. "It is good to see Silvath chose such a polite young woman. Which reminds me... Avrae... why did you tell her that ridiculous phrase? You could have just told her to tell me that you sent her." Avrae smiled widely. "Because I wanted to see if she'd actually say it."

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