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A Knight's Last Duty [Festival Social|Aki, Hatsu, Req]

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#1Fiammetta Barone 

on Tue May 01, 2018 6:34 pm

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She didn't completely regret it, honestly.

Her time in the Rune Knights, that was. Though Fia had only ever joined for selfish reasons, she'd found something of worth outside of that within the organization. She'd found, on occasion, noble causes to fight for, opportunities to commit good deeds, and if she was being really honest, she'd admit that it had allowed her to make a few friends along the way. There was no doubt it had played a role in her becoming the far less abrasive person she was today.

But, everything had its end, and Fia's employment within the Rune Knights was no different. That didn't make the idea of breaking the news to her coworkers any less awkward.

As Fia walked down the flowery streets of Orchidia toward their designated meeting spot for an impromptu debriefing - at the seating by a few of the food stalls - she was running it over in her head, how she'd tell them she was planning on leaving the Rune Knights. Nothing seemed to feel natural, however, as she really wasn't too keen on elaborating on her reasons. She wondered if she might seem petty for leaving due to her frustration with the higher-ups, and her other primary reason... Well, it wasn't something she could really say.

The Barone girl let out a soft sigh on the air as she neared the spot, wondering if a stiff drink would make it a bit easier. Then again, the last time she'd been drinking with them hadn't gone too well. She'd just have to sit through the debriefing of the shitfest that was the Phantom Lord Siege, before dropping the bombshell, all while sober.

The timing was a bit off, but she supposed she should also invite them to her wedding while she was there too. Yet another awkward thing to tick off her to-do list.

The Barone lass reached the seating area, and found somewhere with free space for the others. She kept an eye out to see if anyone arrived, but figured they'd be able to spot her first. Either way, once everyone was there, they could begin.

#2Requiem 

on Tue May 01, 2018 7:08 pm

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Requiem was admittedly a bit miffed still at the lost chance to wipe out a dark guild, but that was that. She was also grateful that she didn't have to toe the line yet again. A thin line that separated her from what she was desperate to avoid.

The festive mood of the streets and people around her cheered her mood. The flowers in bloom made her think of the garden behind the church in her former village hidden in the Worth Woodsea. She wore a sundress, light grey with lavender plant design on the hem and sunglasses. Her ears twitched in the breeze as she thought of how things could've gone better while at the same time trying to enjoy herself.

One thing kept coming back to her, Phantom Lord is consorting with the powers of evil. It was bad enough that they were openly breaking the law, but add having demons in their ranks made Requiem furious in a way she hadn't thought possible. Rather than lash out, she simply became silent and walked with more purpose to where they were expected to meet. She reviewed it in her head once more, meet with Fia, Hatsu, and Akira, discuss what had happened, and maybe venture ideas for the future, eat. She found the spot and saw Fia waiting already, "hello, I'm glad I wasn't too early. Have you been waiting long?" She sat next to the girl that could grow massive, sitting in a way that she couldn't be snuck up on.

#3Akira Shimada 

on Wed May 02, 2018 8:22 am

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'No, I'm not going to go in my freakin' uniform!' she exclaimed as she picked out a simply black sleeveless top. 'Yes, it is a debriefing, but I also just want to catch up with them without it feeling all official ok?' she stated, her words aimed towards her partner, before pulling the curtain that divided the tent into her section and his. Aki then proceeded to change into her casual clothes. She no longer cared that her dark attire made her stick out like a sore thumb amidst the riot of colors at the location. Now, that she didn't have the dark magic slipping out of her control, to accentuate her demeanour, her clothes were simply an odd choice of attire, the attention the garnered was very easy to deal with.

'I'm ready.' she said and split the curtain apart again, before taking the lead towards the bar where they were to meet. Honestly, this was less a debriefing and more a chance for them all to agree upon a course of action. They'd all witnessed something that threw shade on the way the organization worked, while they possessed no real evidence, it was imperative that they agreed on how to deal with it. She slipped by the people who were exploiting the festivities for all it was worth and into the noodle bar, Tsuru hot on her heels.

She scanned the seating area of the tiny stall, to quickly spot the newly minted apprentice and the titan and made her way towards them with a wary smile. It pained her to know that Xandra and Asura had not made it here yet... Maybe the Rune Knights didn't think they'd seen enough to warrant this easy patrol, this bribe, basically. Her shoulders slumped a little bit, but it was perhaps for the best. Maybe they never saw that eye and so the spy didn't see them, less of a moral burden on one of her closest friend, frankly, Aki was grateful, though she did miss the blondes. She sat down at the table, facing the other two, scooting to make room for Tsuru to join them. 'Hi, how're you two doing? Glad we could all catch up.' she said, her words sounded just a little bit rushed, simply because she couldn't wait to get down to business... Perhaps because she couldn't wait to share her plight with the few who would understand, given that they had witnessed what had transpired.

#4Hatsuharu 

on Wed May 02, 2018 7:29 pm

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Ever since he walked away from that Phantom Lord fight, one thing irked him a lot. He had left without even pausing to check if the squad sent to flank the guild from behind was fine. It was just two Knights from what he heard and Asura was one of them. Maybe the guy let them go without hurting them either and hopefully they were smart enough to take the deal. But that still didn’t change the fact that Haru ran, without a thought about those two. So much for being a defender…

The healer had been falling into his own well of depression for a while now. He didn’t dare express it much; it was only recently that Akira had come out of her own sceptic shell. It would be a shame if he pushed her back into it. But, no matter how much he tried, his frustration had to find some vent and the two ended up arguing over silly things. Like wearing the Rune Knight uniform, for example. Of course, he seldom won any arguments against Akira.

“Fine!” was all he said as she pulled the curtain. He was already in the uniform, plus the black cloak that he always wore on top. The healer stood there with folded hands and a nasty frown, waiting for Aki to change into her emo clothing. And once she was done, he followed her, without uttering a word. When they finally reached the meeting point, Haru made it obvious that he was annoyed with Akira and took the seat far from her. “Hey!” he said with a weak smile, nodding at Fia and Requiem before sitting down. Usually, he would have said a lot more, maybe even initiated a fun conversation. But, that was the old Haru. The ex-pacifist had changed quite a lot in such a short time.

WC: 309

#5Fiammetta Barone 

on Thu May 03, 2018 6:59 am

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One by one, the other Rune Knights who'd been by Fia's side during their ill-planned siege against the dark guild made their arrivals. Fia had just been sitting restlessly, tapping her fingers against the table and imagining how nice a cigarette or drink would be around then, when the first Knight showed up.

Fia didn't know much about Requiem. Just that she was an apprentice who took her job seriously. Maybe a little too seriously. "Nah, I ain't been waitin' too long, yer' fine." Fia uttered flatly as the girl took a seat beside her. Something about her made her seem very... Guarded. Almost off-putting, really.

The next and final two to show up arrived as they always did - together. Fia had never found a situation quite right to ask what exactly they were, but supposed she oughta do that eventually. Akira was seated first, and Tsuru took his place a small distance away from her. Trouble in paradise? Or... Maybe they were reeling from the events too. Fia felt a little guilty, knowing she hadn't truly considered how the others of her squad felt about what had transpired.

"I'm doin' aight. Good ta' see ya both, Giggles, Scarface." Fia greeted, using her usual nicknames for the pair to try and lighten the mood just a bit. She supposed she was the one who'd recovered the most from what had happened, thanks to other good news, so didn't want to make things worse for the rest of them.

"Think this is all of us 'ere. Guess we oughta get started." The sooner they get the debriefing done, the sooner they could take the first steps in putting all this shit behind them. And the sooner they could hand more personal matters together too.

"Dunno if there's much to say, really... We marched in there like we were told, faced some weak flamin' asshole, drew out the fucker in the hood, then marched right back..." Fia groaned, feeling frustrated all over again, though this time without Salem to provide a calmer perspective. "I don' think there's much else worth sayin'... Unless anyone wants ta' talk 'bout how we were on a goddamn suicide mission..." She growled, part of her hoping that her fellow Rune Knight felt the same way. She didn't feel she had much else to add to the debriefing at that moment, so decided to sit back and see what the more tactical knights had to say.

All the while, she was still wondering how to best tell them she wouldn't be fighting alongside them anymore...

#6Requiem 

on Thu May 03, 2018 8:13 am

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Requiem listened and watched as Akira and Hatsuharu came and sat with them with seemingly irate welcomes. She couldn't help but notice the tension between the healer, apparently by the rules, and the woman he came with. Well, it wasn't any of her business what was happening on the side so she wouldn't pry. Fiammetta gave a pretty simple and slightly humorous retelling of their botched attack on Phantom Lord. Of course, the idea that it might have actually been a suicide mission dampened the mood a bit.

Requiem placed her arms on the table, hands folded together to help them not shake, "I want to say this before continuing, I'd rather not reveal the details of how I got my information. I did some digging on our vibrating friend. There wasnt much to find but I know for a fact that the man claiming to lead Phantom Lord is a demon. The rage and disgust she held for Shura, not even saying his name, was palpable, "In all likelyhood, he was lying about his position. I could find no information on the one who called himself Dante. I suspect he is also a figurehead.

Anyway, back to the one we know about. Like I said,
Not much information was floating around on him but I did learn he survived the destruction of his family, the Ranzu.
" She was silent for a moment, hoping that she wouldn't have to explain why the name was important.

#7Akira Shimada 

on Fri May 04, 2018 9:35 am

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Tsuru's bleak mood did not improve. She was surprised that things had taken such a sharp downward turn, that he refused to be his usual pleasant self even in the company of others. She'd hoped their presence would force him out of his frustrated state... Despite her scooting over to give him place next to her, he pointedly decided to go take a seat away from her. Fine then. Be that way. She simply sighed and smiled almost apologetically. It was clear that the feelings of dissatisfaction were mutual amidst the Knights and there was nothing much Akira could do to diffuse it, nor did she want to.  

Fia's striking accent did lend a tone of lightness to the conversation already. She shook her head and let her lips split into a knowing grin at being referred to as giggles again, somehow she didn't mind it anymore, she could only wish that the circumstances had provided more reasons for her to live up to her uncharacteristic nickname. 'Good... good...' Aki said, in an off-handed manner. Till the titan mage broke the silence again and Aki's eyes snapped onto the woman's face, almost guiltily as she summarized the encounter. 'Pretty much...' the Shimada said with a shrug, in agreement with the gist of the battle. 'I'm sorry by the way, about hurting you in the process... don't even know if you noticed...' she added, in a soft mutter, hoping that her apology was enough and that Fia truly had not taken any serious injury from the mage's mistimed spell.

When the titan finished, they were met by a moment of silence. It was on everyone's mind, truse the brave woman to just spill the beans as they were. 'Is there a point talking about it? Other than the fact that I'd like to confirm the authenticity of that claim... It all happened so fast, I kinda still want to believe that-  I don't even know.' Akira added softly again, folding her hands and letting her head flop onto the table, so that her chin rested nestled in the crook of her elbow, while she watched the others. Particularly around the titan, it was apparent, that while Aki liked organizing and strategics, she wasn't going to be able to lead and steer this conversation in any direction, once again, it wasn't like she wanted to.

The apprentice seemed to have her priority clearly set on trying to actually complete the initial orders, which was commendable. Aki hardly had that drive, she saw it more like a game between the higher ups and that her contribution, wouldn't really matter. Rest assured, more information on either side was welcome. She nodded at Requiem as she mentioned the demon they'd taken out. 'Ranzu, huh? The injured demon, right?' Aki confirmed as she ran her fingers through her hair, since they were flopping into her eyes. 'I see... Interesting.' she added, before pulling herself off the table and turning to them.

'Is there any way to get more information on the council?' Aki asked, her question directed at the apprentice, in case she'd be willing to take on such a task. But perhaps she'd be putting herself at risk by doing so, maybe if Requiem actually decided to do something, Aki would finally advise against it. At the moment though, she was high on that fresh dose of frustration. 'If there is ever a confirmation that we were actually just... sacrificial lambs or something, to invoke a freakin' reaction out of those Phantoms, I will probably just revolt.' the Shimada said boldly, folding her hands and leaning back against her chair stubbornly, barely realizing the implication of her tall claims. 'Also, I'd like to say, we showed some tremendous strength and courage there, I guess we got lucky it paid off... I swear when that Dante guy pointed at you Fia, I thought you'd be a goner. You're one of a kind y'know so... strong and brave.' Aki muttered now chewing on the inside of her cheek as the memories of the skirmish caused her brows to knit together, had Fia not been there, things would have probably been even worse.

#8Hatsuharu 

on Sun May 06, 2018 10:47 am

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Haru was very distracted, but was brought back to the present when Fia began the brief recounting of that horrible attempt of a siege at Phantom Lord. Whatever happened there, was truly a mystery. They poor Knights did not have enough pieces to put it together and look at the actual picture. They could sit there all day along and come up with various scenarios, but what would be the point? In the end, they can’t be sure.

One thing was certain, however. They were sent there with a completely different objective than they were led to believe. If they knew there was such a powerful mage like Dante that would come to the defence of the dark guild, then they bloody well also knew the rag-tag group that they sent to destroy the guild was not equipped to handle that threat. The only harsh conclusion they could come to was that they were a bunch of expendable pawns in the council’s chess board.

Again… Haru actually didn’t mind being that pawn. If that was necessary to keep the people of the country safe, then it was part of their job. But… It didn’t sit well with him that their superiors would not trust them enough to let them know that they were pawns.

When Fia had nothing more to say, the neko apprentice placed some new information on the table. He had no clue how the girl had access to that intel, but he didn’t question it. Akira seemed more interested in the council and their actual intentions. He couldn’t fault her for it. The demon and his saviour were known enemies. The council was an unknown variable; one that had the power to use them as they wished. He wouldn’t ask for the apprentice to spy on the council, however. That would be a very dangerous ordeal and they could charge her with treason. “Don’t go spying on the council. They aren’t fools,” he said, his voice laced with concern.

And then came the topic of Akira hitting Fia with her spell. Haru had to roll his eyes, but he knew it was also his fault that the titan mage had taken several hits that noon. So, instead of lecturing Akira, he chose to use that moment to properly apologize to Fia. “I’m sorry I was of no use in that fight… I…”, he began, but did not know what to say. So, he ended it with another sincere apology. “Sorry,” he said, staring blankly at the table in front of them, not wishing to meet the titan’s eyes.

WC: 431

#9Fiammetta Barone 

on Fri May 11, 2018 6:37 am

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Fia waved her hand dismissively at Akira's apology, huffing in disagreement. "Don' sweat it, wouldn't a' been standin' there if I weren't ready to take some scratches. 'Sides, I get kinda... Reverted back, anyways..." The Titaness explained, still uncertain on the nature of the magic that had reversed her to a previous form.

On the matter of the supposed 'suicide mission' they'd been sent on, it seemed opinions were conflicting, and Fia felt a little bad for wording it as such. "I ain't exactly got confirmation but... Seems like the kinda shit they'd do, really..." Fiammetta admitted, scratching her cheek as she turned away a little. Her own bias definitely played a role in her opinion, as did the counsel from her exceedingly wise feline companion. But even she didn't fully trust Salem, so she wasn't about to bring up his words on the matter.

With all she had to say on the matter said, the first to speak up was the ever dutiful apprentice. Fia wasn't sure if she was naive or just zealous, but this girl didn't seem to waver at all in her duties. She had a fair bit to say on flame wielding mage Fia had fought, but none of it was of any particular concern to the Barone lass. She leaned back, crossing her arms as she listened to what information the young apprentice had to offer.

Akira's suggestion to pry more information from the council was quickly shot down by Hatsu, and Fia agreed herself. "I'm with 'im. It ain't healthy to fuck with those guys..." Fia groaned as she rested an arm on the table, her hand tensing into a fist. It was ever frustrating, being forced into this state of submission to the council.

What came next pretty much shocked Fia. Akira's casual mention of revolt was surprising enough, but her sudden claims of the Titan's bravery? How she was one of a kind? That was... Something else. Fia hadn't ever heard such words from a friend before. "U-Uh, thanks..." Fia stammered out, her expression reddening as she rubbed the back of her neck in embarrassment.

Hatsu's apology was every bit as surprising, though not quite as flattering. Between his lamentations and Akira's muttering... Fia was starting to feel more guilty by the second for how much she'd rolled with the punches of this event... When it was clear this pair was still reeling from the blows.

"Oi, oi!" Fia suddenly growled, pounding a fist on the table. "Stop with the gloom, would ya? Don' either of ya go actin' like yer useless or some stupid bullshit like that. You eggheads really think my Titanic ass couda done it without yer brains?" The Titan girl wasn't quite realizing what she was saying until after she'd said it, but damned if it wasn't the truth of what she felt. She slumped back in her seat, huffing a sigh.

"We fuckin' survived, and that's good enough fer me..." She sighed, feeling evermore guilty about her decision. The truth of her employment would be revealed soon, she decided, she just had one more matter to deal with.

"Anyways, anythin' else anyone wants to say fer the 'debriefin'? Seems like there ain't too much else to talk 'bout..." Fiammetta muttered, hoping to end the business side of this meeting then and there, and give Requiem the chance to leave if that's all she'd come for.

#10Requiem 

on Fri May 11, 2018 2:37 pm

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Like everything else in her life, Requiem more or less rolled with the punch and used it to further focus on her goal. Fiametta seemed to have more or less taken the failure in stride but the other two seemed to have have been devastated by the turn of events. She was surprised to hear that all three of the elder Knights agreed that she shouldn't dig too deep for information on the rune knights, "I had planned on a more or less cursory glance to see if our orders were forged. It shouldn't raise any alarms and it'll be done when I submit my report so I have a reason that'll deflect suspicion." She took a sip of water and set it back down before dropping the bomb, "I feel I should warn you that we may be targeted. Right after our mission, I was attacked by a woman claiming to be my sister. It's possible that our assault on Phantom Lord was to get us killed without inconvenient questions." Requiem hated to insinuate that there was a traitor among the knights, but the timing of the attack was simply too coincidental. And add in Grimoire Heart's attack on Crocus and you had what looked like a conspiracy. "I don't have any evidence to support my belief, and I may be entirely wrong, but the timing just seems too perfect for our enemies."

She waited until Fia had essentially declared the end of their meeting. Requiem smiled, "All in all, had we not been interupted by unforseen events, that would've been quite an adventure." She wanted to find out more about her comrades and so she stayed seated. If they had other things to do, she would take her leave.

#11Akira Shimada 

on Mon May 14, 2018 8:10 pm

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The titan took her apology rather well, in fact she didn't seem to be too annoyed at Akira at all. The woman truly was someone who took things in her stride... Extremely long strides... Perhaps that did make it much easier, considering something that had injured the demon quite severely, was something she equated to a mere scratch. It bolstered Akira's confidence and she found herself already cooking up scenarios where she could afford to be a little more reckless, if the titan was by her side, little did she know those plans would likely have to quashed. It really was surprising, how her mind sometimes veered in directions where she was willing to put the others in harm's way, even though it was just a little, for the greater good.

Another example was her suggestion to the assassin. It had met swiftly met with the criticism that she'd predicted and it deserved, though the source was not the healer and was the Titan instead. The lunar mage, didn't have the heart to disagree, especially because they were right. What was the difference between her and the council members if she had just essentially offered the apprentice up to the vultures? With the way she quickly began calculating how much the titan could truly endure? She shook her head as her usual doubts started gnawing at her. Was this her darkness? No. Maybe it was just the circumstances? She suppressed a shudder. 'Yeah... Don't.' she muttered in agreement, her words directed towards the assassin. 'Sorry, that was stupid.' she added in general, chewing on her lips as her passionate hatred for the system faded.

But the young girl already piped up with some information she'd tried collecting. 'Keep that out of your report, if we're collecting anything against anyone to prove the set-up, we really don't know who is on our side and who isn't.' she said, her skepticism oozing out of every syllable that she uttered, today, it wasn't hiding  behind her usual bored silence. While her insides screamed conspiracy when the page mentioned the woman she was attacked by, Akira merely nodded and her muscled coiled into a display of her tension. She'd expected that they'd be targeted at one point or another, maybe they went after someone assumed to be the least powerful just to send a message. 'We don't have to prove anything... yet. We just have to keep things between us.' she added, in a soft hiss, before breaking into all the praise she sung for the titan.

It seemed to have embarrassed the woman more than anything. Akira offered a small half smile in a reassuring manner. The young girl had never been good at receiving compliments either, but that was also perhaps she was rarely on the receiving ends to begin with. Then came Tsuru's apology and Akira looked at him with slightly wide eyes. So his failure to defend the Titan was another reason for his morose state. She empathized, her own face falling just a little bit, as guilt for giving him a hard time and a reminder of failure encroached upon her. It must have been easy to recognize... The loud bang and the rattling that followed had Akira's rapt attention, among everyone else in the bar, probably. The Titan had very efficiently set up for the frank speech she offered to bolster her spirits. It was Akira's turn to stammer, so she opened her mouth and closed it again... settling just for a nod.

The assassin too agreed. 'Well, if it truly was the council that sent us there, we did technically succeed, it seemed they wanted a reaction and they sure got that... I just don't think they expected us to live.' Akira muttered, trying to be optimistic, but still letting her bitterness slip through. 'But I am glad we did, too. I guess that does call an end to the debriefing.' she added, louder and clearer. This was her trying once again, to steer this conversation towards something lighter, in an attempt to put the whole ordeal behind them. It was strange, that in a passive way, she was kind of calling the shots today, Akira had never seen herself as much of a leader, but she was happy to know people respected her for the strategies she tried to implement.

#12Hatsuharu 

on Wed May 16, 2018 9:00 pm

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The rest of the squad seemed to have taken the whole thing a lot lightly, relative to what Haru was feeling. But, the young man was always afraid of failure and found himself moping for days even for the smaller ones. It was one of his flaws, and maybe one day he will learn to be as practical as the young ladies sitting there with him.

Haru was glad that the other two agreed with him and didn’t encourage Requiem to poke into the council’s dirty linen. The assassin still seemed unconvinced and assured she would be careful. He couldn’t blame her or anyone for it, however. It was apparent that the entire squad was very wary of their superiors and it was only natural they would want to know who they are defending and what they stood for. He simply hoped no harm befell her in her quest to expose the truth, especially since she mentioned that they could be targeted.

The healer’s apology was met with a harsh, but deserved, rebuttal. The moment Fia banged her hand on the table, a startled Haru looked up at her with wide eyes, wondering if she finally remembered how terrible he was at assisting her and was ready to give him a piece of her mind. He prepared himself mentally, willing to take it and apologize more; but what she said was nothing close what he expected. His mouth fell agape in surprise as the titan girl demanded that he stops fretting and even went so far as to give him credit for the planning. He knew there was no credit due to him in that mission. But this was not something he was going to argue. Instead, he smiled softly and thanked her with a nod. “Thanks!”

For a very swift moment, his eyes flitted towards Akira to see her reaction, but he quickly looked away, scared that she would spot him ‘staring’ at her.

Haru had nothing much to add and the debriefing came to an end. “Yeah… Irrespective of whether they thought we would survive or not, what matters is that we survived, like you said,” he said, closing the discussion. He hoped their next missions together had more clarity and went a lot smoother, with him being of some use. The scarlet-haired man really wished to fight alongside the same people again prove that he was not a burden, even if it was less to others and more to himself. But would he really get an opportunity to do that?

WC: 423

#13Fiammetta Barone 

on Tue May 22, 2018 9:08 am

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The potentially dangerous plans of spying on the powerful and watchful Council were quickly put to rest, as luck would have it. Fia raised an eyebrow at Requiem's assurance that she'd given nothing more than a cursory glance at the reports, hoping the young assassin didn't overindulge in her curiosity. If she did, that was her own damn fault, and Fia hoped she was prepared to face any consequences that came with it.

Some information did seem to already be in the girl's hands, however, as she mentioned something about them possibly being targeted. Fia just huffed at first, figuring that if anyone saw a Titan and decided they wanted it silenced, they were either a fool or a coward. Either way, not anyone Fia intended on concerning herself with until they made themselves known. And, as Akira pointed out with her skeptical take, it was hard to know who was on whose side, so it wasn't something to mention just yet. Nevertheless, the idea of being targeted was something that concerned Fia a little. Though the Titaness was a glutton for punishment, her family and friends... They were not quite as safe.

"Giggles is right. We play this close to the chest for now." Fia spoke up firmly, looking oddly tense. Though she could tower over almost any man, the Knight still found herself just a bit terrified of those threats which lied under her gaze. The shadows and all their subtlety posed a threat that could slip right through her protection and thrust a reckoning upon those she cared for. She furrowed a brow, lowering her tone a moment. "But if y'all do ever think yer bein' targeted... And got good reason to believe it... Ya come to me, and we sort out whoever's comin' after us." She growled, relaxing back in her chair and letting the conversation flow on froam there while her words lingered in the air.

When it came time for Fia to talk some sense into the tactician couple, she was genuinely happy to find Akira and Tsuru both smiling back at her. She knew she couldn't just yell at them to stop being mopy after going through all the shit they did, and expect it to work completely, but her sentiment had gotten across, and that was enough for her.

The 'debriefing' came to an end, with the general consensus being that they should count their victories where they were, even if it was as simple as surviving the ordeal. "If they expected us to die, us bein' here is our way o' tellin' em to go fuck themselves, far as I see it." Fia declared crudely. "But yeah... Deriefin' over... Uh, good job, team..." She then muttered, realizing there was one major downside to their trudging through the debriefing being over.

Now Fia had to move on to the personal shit.

"So, uh, other shit to talk about..."

Coughing awkwardly, Fia raised a hand to the back of her neck, rubbing it uncomfortably. "Kinda anticlimactic last duty, huh..." She muttered to herself, before glancing up at Akira and Hatsuhara. Requiem was still there too, but hopefully she wouldn't linger if things got too awkward.

"Listen', I need to tell ya guys somethin. Sorry to be outta the blue, but I'm real shit at this and can't think of any other way than bein' blunt 'bout it..." Fia announced, scoffing at herself. "Shit, bein' sublte ain't ever been my style." A deep breath in, and a breathe out. Crap, when had this become so hard? Fia's nerves were going wild, dulled only by her insistence on biting the bullet and handling this headfirst. With whatever courage she had mustered, Fia stated what she had to say with all the bluntness she had.

"I-I'm gonna be quittin' the Rune Knights." She stammered out, gulping down immediately as she sat before Akira and Hatsu, watching their reactions closely. "It's somethin' I've been considerin' fer a while... And after talkin' bout it with my fiance, after all this shit... It's what I gotta do. Fer my family, fer myself... I'm sorry fer not tellin' ya sooner, but I had to get this outta the way. And I wanted ya to know before I actually did it. I'm, uh, sorry... That I can't fight with ya anymore... But this shit? Bein' pushed and pulled like I'm worthless by the council? It ain't somethin' I got the smarts to get around or change..." Fia lamented, her eyes cast a bit downward as she spoke, almost in shame.

"I ain't like yous. I ain't selfless like you think. I'm just lookin' out fer my own, and, well... I can't do that here no more... So I gotta get out... Even.... Even if it means I can't fight alongside you eggheads." She stopped speaking for a moment, acknowledging how sudden everything she was saying was, and knowing that Aki and Hatsu deserved a moment to process it.

A moment Fia was dreading as she anticipated their response.

#14Requiem 

on Mon May 28, 2018 7:29 am

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Requiem nodded to herself as they more or less came to an agreement to keep things on the down low. Already, her mind was planning which information brokers to speak to, who needed their arms twisted, and what items she would need to at least peek behind the curtain without getting herself or the others killed.

Failure announcing her intention to leave the Rune Knights put a bit of a sour taste in Requiem's mouth, but she kept it off her face as she listened to the reasoning and waited until the Titan stopped speaking before taking her leave and expressing her hope that they would be able to work together again in the future.

She walked down the street enjoying the sounds and smells of the festival, or at least trying to. She hadn't considered what would come after achieving her goal of become a Holy Knight and this simply brought that oversight to her attention. She walked to the Rune Knight barracks and sat on her bed lost in thought. Several minutes of brooding later, she got up, changed into workout clothes and took her frustrations out on the helpless training dummies. Between the failure at Phantom Lord and the realization that she hadn't considered her future beyond what she had planned she felt tears going down her face.

-exit-

#15Akira Shimada 

on Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:51 am

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There was a tender moment that sliced through the tense air between the healer and the lunar mage, as the two locked eyes following his apology and the swift dismissal it was met with. The truly magical aspect of that fleeting instant was how quickly they chose to look away... There was something there, but if the two would ever pluck up the courage to confront it remained a mystery, among other more pressing matters.

Despite the somber tone of the conversation, the Shimada cracked a smirk at being referred to as giggles ever so seriously. 'I hope I don't have to take you up on that offer, but I definitely will if it comes down to it.' Akira muttered softly, in a frank response to Fia's bold offer to play the role of the protector once more if things got murky. She had the build for it and her magic did wonders to help move things along in that area of things... A true juggernaut if there ever was one. This was really not a good prelude to the news she was about to drop. Here Aki was, sitting and assuming they were all going to be stuck in this rut together, that they'd be able to call upon each other's aid with ease.

Following the offer Fia drew things to a proper and blunt close, much like her initial summary of the events, her synopsis of their reaction was crude but on point as well. Akira heaved another long sigh before nodding sagely at Fia's words. Gruff as they were they were a fairly accurate representation of what she felt too. As a girl who rarely felt the need to resort to words, she had a surprising bunch on them in her arsenal but did run low on the choicy swears. While Fia had stuck to the simpler variety, something told Aki she could let loose a whole sling of more colorful

She shuffled, ready to slip off the chair she was on and make her way out. She peered at the gathered Knights, surprised when she noticed the titan showing no interest in leaving just yet. Aki hadn't  now that this whole ordeal was packed and tucked away... But it was time for the Barone to drop her bomb. 'What is it?' Aki prompted, genuinely surprised since it did seem like they'd covered everything. There was a sense of dread in her voice as she wondered if there was something she didn't know... The anxiety that came with the anticipation was not one that Aki handled too well. She stopped short of prodding any further, but had to bite her tongue to stop herself from urging the Barone to spill already...

Perhaps it'd have been better if she'd taken just a little longer with it. Probably should have sat on this decision itself a little bit more...

'No... You can't be serious?!' Akira exclaimed, pinning the large woman with her gaze almost ferociously. The Titan went onto explain her reasons. This was sudden information and the fact that it took away a trusted ally from their midst, did not make it any easier to handle. Defensively, she crossed her arms over her chest as though she didn't really care for the reasons much... 'How are we supposed to find you, if we need you?' she muttered, her tone was almost slightly whiny. She looked away, and leaned back on her chair, her stature first defiant and then defeated. After a pause, she finally processed the information the woman provided, the one she had initially ignored and just filed away in her eagerness to react and dissuade.

There was guilt there that followed her explanation. and it softened Akira's stoic demeanor. 'You, you already said we could reach out to you, I'm going to hold you to that.' was the first thing the lunar mage said, she sounded almost petulant. It was truly a pity that official aid would probably not be a possibility once the woman left their ranks. There was another pause, while Akira tried to assess if she was selfless or not and came to quick conclusion of not. 'Oh pssht, I'm no selfless saint.' she retorted, dismissing Fia's praise as just ways she was employing to cushion the blow.

'Fine.' Is all she managed, with another deep breath, she conceded. 'I can't blame you, but... but...' Akira grit her teeth, she'd never pegged herself to be the emotional sort, but on two different occasions they'd fought demons together, it was a bond she'd made without realizing it. Perhaps her lack of awareness when it came to the feelings she'd unknowingly harbored, made this worse. 'I guess, what I'm trying to say is... that you'll be missed.' she finished, rather neutrally, unable to admit herself as personally being the only one who'd miss the large boisterous woman.

'I don't really know why I'm sticking around either, pretty sure if I told my family about this crap, they'd tell me to come back too... If I had more to protect, maybe I'd leave too...' Did she just admit she didn't value her life as much? Akira hadn't really weighed her words before uttering them and for some reason, her eyes searched for the healer again. Meanwhile, the apprentice decided it was time to take her leave. Perhaps the news didn't go over well with her either, it was for the best... The Rune Knights couldn't afford to lose more people, it was imperative that as a collective they didn't lose hope. Uncharacteristically, Aki offered the neko almost an apologetically hopeful smile.

#16Hatsuharu 

on Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:04 pm

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The possibility of them being targeted for their stunts against the dark guilds and their crimes was not too shocking or concerning for the healer. After all, it was expected. “If they are gonna target someone, better us than the common folks, eh?” he said with a resigned snort. The young man didn’t realize how easy it was for him to say that when he had no family to protect, and he will be acutely reminded of it very soon.

Haru simply nodded in agreement when the debriefing was called to an end. He waved at Requiem as she took off and was about to leave himself. He didn’t however, after hearing Fia say she had other things to talk about. At first, he misunderstood it to be her urging them to change the subject and talk about something else. The healer’s mood had lightened tremendously compared to when the meeting first began, and he had forgotten about the silly fight with his partner. So, he was more than happy to sit and chat with his fellow Knights. However, Fia’s tone soon revealed she had something specific to say and that wasn’t going to be any great news either.

Numerous possibilities of potentially disappointing information swam across his mind, but none of them was close to the actual one. When he heard her say she was leaving the faction, his jaw dropped and his eyebrows flew up into his forehead in true shock. But he quickly recovered from it and smiled sadly. How could he have not expected this? He himself considered leaving after all, and he had no one to look after or protect. While it did make him very sad that he was going to lose Fia as a comrade, he couldn’t blame her for the decision she made.

Akira didn’t seem to take it well at first and he shared her sentiment; although, he wasn’t going to protest or express any disapproval towards Fia’s choice. “Knight or not, I know you’ll continue defending those in need,” he said looking her in the eye, without a shred of doubt in his voice. It was a great assumption of her character; but it was something that he felt was true. In the two skirmishes that they had had together, he had seen how the titan fought. Someone who was there just for the pay check would never put themselves so fearlessly in the way of danger. “But yes… We will miss you,” he said, shifting his gaze to the boring wooden table in front. Just then, he realized something.

“Wait… Did you say fiancé?” he asked, now grinning in surprise. “We didn’t know you were getting married,” he said, turning towards Akira for confirmation that she too was unaware of this piece of information. He wouldn’t be surprised if she did—the lunar mage had more social interactions than he did these days. “Congratulations!” he added, before bombarding Fia with his curious questions. “Who is it? When? Where?” he fired his questions rapidly, not hiding the excitement in his voice.

WC: 511

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