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Stage Manipulation [Quest: Hatsuharu]

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Stage Manipulation [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:39 pm

Akira Shimada
There was no guilt in the choice that she had made. In fact, Vincenzo deserved to suffer more in her eyes. Though she did see the crime, she never understood his motives. Was he just that much of a mad man? Despite the lack of guilt and additionally the feeling of triumph after a long time, Aki had not managed to get a wink of sleep. It was because the success was darkly shaded by the loss of a fellow Page. A seemingly attentive one at that. She held herself responsible for Marta's death. If only she could've connected the dots and used her wand on Vincenzo sooner...

She wondered if she'd feel worse about being the reason for Vincenzo's death if Tsuru had fundamentally disagreed with her about decision. It was rather surprising that he didn't. Perhaps getting to know the victim of Vincenzo's crimes had helped him see her reasons. Which begged the question of his take on the matter changing if he hadn't... His opinion probably shouldn't have held as much weight as it did, especially given the prospects of the future, but naturally, it did.

She couldn't believe that after all this time away from him, he still managed to stir that warmth in her soul. It was as delightful as it was distracting. But despite wanting to cut ties, in the wee hours of the morning, her feet carried her to the cafe she had visited on Nilan's request. Maybe I'll run into him again.


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Stage Manipulation [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:22 am

It had been a tiring week; both mentally and physically. The physical exhaustion screamed for him to rest, but the mental trauma wouldn’t let him get that rest. He lay on his bed, staring at the ceiling blankly. Marta’s death still haunted him and in retrospect, he wished they had not killed Vincenzo. It was still too clean a death for someone who had gone on a murdering spree just for the kicks of it.

The translucent window panes began to glow softly as the sun rose. He had been waiting for a reason to get off the bed and give up on trying to get some sleep. The appearance of the sun was good enough reason. He got up, dealt with his morning duties, dressed up and walked towards the case file cabinet. The Lieutenant figured the best way to get over one horrific case was to drown himself in another.

There was a particularly interesting one in there. Someone how requested that the Knights help them cheat. And in return, it would serve as a trap to arrest an outlaw. Haru wasn’t too happy about the cheating part, but recently, he had learnt the benefits of ‘end justifies the means’ philosophy. If this head guard was going to help them catch this troublesome criminal, then maybe this thing was worth it. It wasn’t like they were meddling with an official tournament.

Taking the file, the orange-haired Knight walked out of the building and was on his way to meet with Jelies. As he walked past a café, he noticed the familiar glowing orb atop someone. It was obviously Akira. His brain was still not sure if he wanted to meet her, but his legs were already taking him into the café.


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Stage Manipulation [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:42 am

Akira Shimada
She picked a seat by the window, without meaning to. Or rather, she gave into her weakness regarding her ex-partner, now that she'd chosen to wish and hope for his presence at the cafe. At this point perhaps it would be less cumbersome to just go seek him out herself. But that felt like she was going to far. Perhaps, she'd be able to make peace with not seeing him should she get unlucky, but if things went sour after she ignored her self-preservative instincts, it was likely to feel worse. She stole several surreptitious glances through the large glass pane. As she waited for the coffee she ordered. One such glance did in fact reveal Tsuru.

She took a quick sip and held her breath, averting her gaze quickly and hoping that he didn't catch her looking, especially if he intended to continue walking by. Lucky for her, he did. She heard a soft jingle of the bells attached to the door and in strode her ex-partner. If there was anyone happier in the room than Aki (who made it point to conceal her joy very well), it was that waitress, who greeted him ever so enthusiastically. It was strange, how little changed despite the murders. In a way, the demonic incursions had probably served to blunt the acute sense of fear and loss. Another sneaky glance allowed her to notice the file he was carrying. Had he even seen her? Was he hoping to work with her again?


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Stage Manipulation [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:05 am

The moment he walked in, he was greeted by that same waitress who was there the last time he was here to meet with the inspector. She assumed that he was there alone and offered a secluded corner table. He refused politely and began walking towards where Akira sat. It would seem the waitress had not seen Akira until then. When she realized that she was the same girl as before, she rolled her eyes and walked away without a word. Haru didn’t notice any of that and was already at Akira’s table.

“Did the inspector ask to meet you again?” he asked, as he took the seat opposite her. Haru placed the file on the table and ordered his coffee. When it becomes clear that she wasn’t there at the request of the inspector, Haru would push the case file slightly towards her. He wasn’t sure if this was a good case for her to be a part of. It wasn’t entirely clean. He was certain the old Akira would have no issues with it. However, he was afraid her newfound belief would not allow for such a thing. “I know Illumin wouldn’t approve. But he is also not much help in catching the outlaw,” he said and bit his lower lip to stop himself from grinning.

Haru wasn’t sure why he was so annoyed at Akira’s religious inclinations. He had met dozens of people who were believers and has been very respectful of their right. But for some reason, Akira’s belief irked him. He had not expected it and it felt like a small betrayal of sorts.


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Stage Manipulation [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:44 am

Akira Shimada
Now that he was here, Aki wasn't sure what compelled her to hold up her slightly icy demeanour. For some reason, she found his question interrogatory. Why does he care if Nilan asked me or not? She realised she was bothered because denying that would mean she could potentially have to admit that she was loitering around here hoping for exactly what she had now... a fateful run in. She cleared her throat and knew that there were options apart from that. 'No. I just like the coffee here.' she mumbled. Their exchange was rather reflective of the sort of banter they indulged in, in their early days of working together. Just after they had learned to accept one another's differences.

She sighed and browsed through the file, almost disinterestedly. She really didn't want to be associating herself with the Rune Knights much more. It turned out that this Jelies fellow wasn't specifically looking for Knights anyways. He made quite a stink about them not having caught this outlaw he wanted help bait. 'It isn't specifically for us- I mean you all, otherwise Nilan would have assigned someone already.' she added, ignoring Tsuru's quip about Illumin and taking another long sip to prevent grinning about it herself. Unable to help herself, she did let slip her own slightly snarky response. 'You'd be surprised at intensity with which some embrace the greater good philosophy.' There was a risk involved in being around him, he really did force her to break character.


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Stage Manipulation [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:15 am

Haru frowned at the idea of letting someone who wasn’t a Knight do the job. “What? Let some idiot do it and then have them mouth around town how incompetent the Knights are?” he asked. His voice dipped to a hush when he realized he was going to put ‘incompetent’ and ’Knights’ in the same sentence. His coffee arrived and he was glad for it. The lack of sleep was also another reason why he was so much on edge. Taking a sip, he decided to stop skirting around and ask her straight up. “Listen, I’m grateful that the church tended to your injuries,” he started. There was obviously a ‘but’ following that. “But, you can’t trust them. You heard what Adelaide said. Come back and we can be partners once again. Like old times,” he said.

“Not to mention, we need to do something about that curse. Are the church medics even aware that it is a curse? Let alone trying to find a way to undo it?” he asked. Haru didn’t have any animosity towards the religion or their supposed god. But after hearing what some of them were capable of and now potentially losing his partner to them made him dislike the faction intensely. “Just tag along. It’s a simple mission. You can get the reputation back with the higher-ups and they will let you rescind your resignation,” he added. The poor guy was throwing everything he had to convince her to stay, unaware that she never left the faction and it was all a cover.


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Stage Manipulation [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:37 am

Akira Shimada
Aki noticed the stark difference in the way their cappuccinos were served. The cream added to her cup, was pretty much chucked in there as a huge dollop. Tsuru's on the other hand was decorated in a pretty little pattern and had a swirl of chocolate syrup with an additional smattering of cocoa powder. She rolled her eyes offering the waitress a wry smile, which she didn't even bother returning.

The Shimada could only sigh. It was apparent that despite the waitresses best attempts, Tsuru barely even noticed the gesture. For some reason that made Aki smirk, as she took her first sip. 'They wouldn't be wrong now, would they?' she said darkly. Even Tsuru had to agree, especially with the case they'd just solved. His retaliation was swift and against her new alleged affiliation. Her eyes narrowed and she pinned Tsuru with an intense and slightly cold stare. It wasn't easy, but it was good practice, perhaps it was overkill too.

'I'm not interested in being treated poorly again. They need to mend their reputation for me, not the other way around.' she replied, rather flatly. She took another sip before setting her cup down. Clearing her throat to dissipate the tension borne out of their exchange, she casually agreed to accompany him. 'Since the Rune Knights haven't been able to catch the culprit yet, we might as well do whatever it takes.' She could see right through the facade Jelies was trying to create. It was despicable.


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Stage Manipulation [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:57 am

He frowned yet again when Akira herself implied that the Knights really are incompetent, but chose not to say anything. Their last case proved that the faction harboured more than just lazy Knights. He figured they really need to do better background checks before letting people sign up as a Page. Right now, it would seem they let any riff-raff in without a second look. In any case, there was no way he was going to agree with the sentiment that the Knights are not good enough, especially when Akira dissociated herself from the faction.

There were several things about Akira’s statements that confused Haru and almost provoked him into retaliating. Sure, no one really treated her well initially. It was because of the darkness. While that was not fair, things did change. She got promoted so many times, making her the youngest Captain-Commander; at least to his knowledge. Of course, while he wasn’t around to see it, he was sure her sudden climb would have made the other older captains and lieutenants extremely jealous, which didn’t help her case when she did go off the book.

He wanted to have a conversation about all of that. But he chose not to. Right now, he was just glad she chose to accompany him on this mission and he didn’t want to jeopardize that with any volatile topics. So, he finished his coffee, paid for it, picked up the file and walked towards the door. He held it for Akira before exiting himself. Now, to go find the ‘great’ Jelies.


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Stage Manipulation [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:12 am

Akira Shimada
They finished their warm beverage in silence, which was more than welcome and warranted after the risk of things getting heated. She was surprised when they didn't, she half expected her ex-partner to rise to her baits and refuse the company they both sought. That would've probably been easier, because now she had to keep up this pretence up for longer.

At any rate it was worth it, just to have a chance to work together again, for old times sake. She could make a habit of this, it wouldn't even hurt too much if just Tsuru managed to see through her role... If only the straight-laced man could reliably lie, she'd just spill the beans so they could tide over all the friction her new affiliation created.

She browsed through the file again, clicking her tongue and shaking her head, making her judgement about their client quite obvious. 'Look at this man...' she said, ever so dryly. 'He is blatantly trying to take credit for someone else's work.' she hissed. Her voice already lilting with regret. It was repulsive to help with this.

She couldn't believe that they would be pandering to such spineless filth. In her head, the Shimada was already cooking up ways to provide some sort of a surprise hindrance for him too. If nothing else, the fight would be more believable that way and it'd earn them a chance to see the entitled man falter. She waited for Tsuru to lead the two Knights out.


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Stage Manipulation [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:32 am

Haru just sighed at the mention of Jelies being a cheat. He wasn’t happy about that fact, but he really was glad this time it was not a Knight, but the head guard of a noble family. The Lieutenant wasn’t particularly fond of the noble families. Especially the ones that had their own guards. Like they expected the Knights to not be capable of protecting them. Besides, what makes them special and in need of an elite team of guards? Because they were born in the family? As if that was a personal achievement. So, for once, he didn’t care that there was a weakling heading the guards of a noble family. If not for the chance at finding an outlaw who was a real threat to the commoners, he wouldn’t have bothered with this nonsense.

“What happened to the Akira who taught me to look at the bigger picture?” he asked rhetorically. “We can allow this guy to keep the façade as a strong guard of a noble family if he is helping us stop a criminal who is harming the innocents. After all, personal guard is a privilege. Safety is a necessity,” he said. He didn’t waste his year with Zade. He had learnt that not everything was black and white. Haru thought Akira understood that when she was just sixteen. He didn’t expect himself to be explaining this to her.

The two arrived at the noble house. Jelies was pacing outside the gate nervously, hoping someone who was interested in helping shows up. Haru wondered how this guy was keeping the lie alive when he was willing to put out flyers asking for assistance to such blatant cheating. Besides, what’s to say the one who challenged him does not catch wind of this. This guy has got a lot to explain.


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Stage Manipulation [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:31 am

Akira Shimada
As they set off, Aki was forced to notice how the city was mending. It reminded her of their time after Arthurias succeeded in executing his coup. That devastation had been more strategic. Given that the young and late king had intended on leading, destroying the country's capital, wouldn't have served him well. So while his henchmen did display violent tendencies, they definitely did abide by more rules than the demons had.

It'd probably take more time to restore Orchidia to its former glory. But once again, the resilience of her kind, did surprise her. There they all were, back to fixing everything they had lost. These occurrences were probably quite a burden on Reign, she wondered how the poor noble was faring. Now he, had been an example of what one could do with their wealth, rather than throw it around to show off.

She knew he wasn't really looking for an answer, but she had one anyway. Especially after she was reminded of their time in Hargeon. 'Let's just say I've learned to look at the even bigger picture. We catch this criminal, but we're setting precedence for people like Jelies. Who will always skate by and encourage others to take similar, easy routes to success.' she sighed softly drawing a long breath in, to continue.

'Surely we could stop the criminal without needing the aid of this self-serving man... Well we could, clearly the force as a whole failed to...' her words dripped off her tongue with ease. Criticism against her faction was easy to find. There was a lot that needed to change. It was probably the easiest thing to maintain, given the chosen role. 'You cannot just throw money at problems to make them go away. And if you can, you probably should not be.'


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Stage Manipulation [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:29 pm

This alternation of perspective as they climbed the ladder of maturity made Haru chuckle. Those were the exact words he would have used two years ago had he faced the same situation. And Akira would have probably convinced him it was okay to do some shady things for the greater good. But now, the role had reversed. Ideologically, he was inclined to agree. But practically, they need to show results. And giving up on an opportunity just because it was not entirely straight was not really an option anymore.

“So, what do you suggest? We nab the outlaw the moment he shows up and expose Jelies for the cheat he is?” he asked. His question sounded as though it was not a plausible solution. But in reality, it very much was. Haru couldn’t fathom why the Knights were honouring a deal with a culprit. This should serve as a bait. If he was naïve enough to come thinking he will get away with clearing all charges against him after defeating the head guard, then they should be exploiting that and catching him the moment he shows up. There was no necessity for ‘trial by combat’ in an honest justice system.

When Akira mentioned how money wasn’t going to solve problems, Haru sighed softly. “You can take away all the money and power he has, and he would still be a lying snake. Some people never change. Their greed and jealousy are worse demons than any real demon that could possess them,” he said, resigned to the unfairness of the world. There used to be a time when these things made his blood boil. Now, he had realized getting angry wasn’t going to change anything and simply attempts to bring what little change that he can.

Upon seeing the two walk up to him, Jelies gave a sigh of relief. “Please tell me you guys are here to catch the outlaw,” he said. What he truly meant was, ‘help me cheat please’.


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Stage Manipulation [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:45 pm

Akira Shimada
She simply shrugged in response to his suggestion. It indicated that she no longer cared about the disparity in the world, deeply enough to make that decision. That, since this was a case he had picked up, she would follow his direction. 'I don't see what is stopping us.' She said with a soft grunt. Once again though, she felt an inclination to counsel otherwise. She'd already picked enough fights with her faction, luckily it worked out in her favour in some ways, but she definitely did not want to see her ex-partner have to deal with similar consequences. 'He'll probably stir up trouble for us, or rather you. I have very little to lose.' she added, throwing caution to the wind.

When he spoke of how the loss of everything would still leave the man with his sneaky ways, she scoffed. 'No one can change unless they want to, I'm pretty certain he sees nothing wrong with what he's doing.' she added, nonchalantly. The more she spoke of this man, the more it blunted that spike of rage she'd felt initially. It reminded her of the fact that there were so many more people in the world like this. In all likelihood, he was heralded as a hero... someone who was smart enough to survive, no, thrive in this cutthroat world, without putting the effort required to do so. 'Possession would imply they have something else to blame for their inherent nature. You're right, it is worse.' she agreed.


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Stage Manipulation [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:56 pm

Haru pondered over the idea of just blowing the whistle on Jelies after capturing the outlaw, but figured Akira must be right. The man must have some ties within the faction. How else did they manage to make a deal with the criminal in the first place? So, there was no whistle to blow. The Lieutenant wouldn’t be surprised if some of the Captains already knew that he was a cheat and was yet letting him live the lie in exchange for personal profit. After all, such exploitative scum were all over the place. How was his faction any different?

“Let’s see what he says first. We can decide when we have a better picture of the situation,” he said. But there was nothing new to learn. It was just as he expected. When Haru confirmed that they were indeed there to assist him and ensure he wins against the outlaw, the first thing he told them was to not bother ‘ratting him out’ to the Knights. He went on for about a minute listing all the influential names within the organization and how close he was with all of them. “Go ahead. Tell them whatever you want. They aren’t gonna bat an eye,” he said, grinning cheekily. “Well then! I expect the grounds to be rigged in my favour. I’ll leave you two to it,” he added, as he turned and walked through the gates, into the mansion.


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Stage Manipulation [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:20 pm

Akira Shimada
Tsuru woud probably find the sharp change in her demeanour somewhat surprising. She'd only given him a glimpse two years ago, when they had their stint with Fernando. Over the couple of years, she'd perfected the art of pretence so much more. Perhaps this was her way of giving him a hint that not all of their interactions were entirely honest, over the course of their reunion. She hoped it would serve as a sort of a warning and earn her the benefit of doubt for whatever the future held.

'Oh of course, we're at your service, Ser Jelies.' she said with a polite curtsy. To beat a snake, one had to be a snake. Something Aki was learning to do, but it wasn't a trait she saw herself relying on forever. She carefully and heartily promised to him that the two of them would never dream of trying to rat him out, regardless of his connections.

She did go on to praise all the connections he'd made. Through the banter, she carefully gleaned information on exactly how he'd managed to curry the favours of these Knights and other influential people. Just to keep track of how things worked, if nothing else, then for her own sake. She knew that a certain level of corruption ran deep within the organisation and to a degree, it was a monster that was going to be impossible to kill. Sometimes it was a need based arrangement, other times, it was feeding a greed.


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Stage Manipulation [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:17 am

The sudden change in her attitude did shock him. But it didn’t last long. Her behaviour immediately reminded him of the time when she put up a similar façade for the fashion designer back in Baska. This time, her pretence was even more impeccable than before, making him doubt which part of her was the real one. He thought it was a one-time thing, just for the show. But, with all the changes over the years and now this, he had to wonder if he knew her at all.

Even though he knew it was not genuine, he didn’t like that she was talking sweetly with someone like Jelies. Frankly, he wouldn’t have liked it no matter who it was. He just had something to blame this time around. If anyone, she should be speaking like that to me. That thought surprised him as much as it would have surprised Akira had he said it out loud. It made his cheeks flush and he just hung back while she coaxed him into giving up his little secrets.

When they were done and Jelies left, Haru simply turned away from them and began walking towards the grounds where the fight was to occur the next morning. They have quite a bit of planning to do if they were to ensure the traps aren’t obvious; or worse, easily visible so that the outlaw uses those against Jelies.


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Stage Manipulation [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:45 pm

Akira Shimada
As expected, Tsuru was quite taken aback. She felt a pang of guilt, but it dissolved as soon as she noticed the realisation flit across his face. By the Illumin, why is he so damn transparent? she thought. Of course, it wasn't blatant enough for Jelies to pick up, he was quite taken with the praise and let slip more than he should have.

As their conversation went on and she played her part to near perfection. Jelies was not a difficult man to fool. In fact, she was a bit surprised at how gullible he really was. Perhaps he'd heard of her own influence, or lack thereof among the Knights and so wasn't really concerned. Perhaps, to the noble she was just someone who had fallen from power and now was willing to do whatever it took to gain it back. Oh, how wrong he was.

Finally, he left them with a few instructions, but largely to their own devices. Once he was gone, the gigantic and seemingly subservient smile she'd pasted on her face, vanished in an instant. A coldness seeped into her demeanour again as she turned towards Tsuru. They had quite a few things to consider...


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Stage Manipulation [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:42 am

The swift changes in her demeanour was quite scary. “I see you’ve gotten much better at that,” he said, shaking his head. “Had you worn that mask in front of the council, they would have made you the queen,” he added with a chuckle as they walked.

The designated ‘battle ground’ was an approximately circular clearing at the edge of the forest. The centre showed signs of constant treading with little to no grass. There were marks of slashing and hacking on the trees that faced the clearing, indicating that this wouldn’t be the first time a fight occurred in the area. Whatever traps they lay must blend with the environment or it was going to be too obvious.

One immediate idea that popped up in Haru’s head was poisoned thorns. “We could coat thorny twigs with poison and hide it under a bunch of dry leaves. Nothing fatal. But enough to disorient,” he said. If they manage to set one up, they could tell the exact location of the poisoned twigs to Jelies and he can not only avoid it, but bait the outlaw towards that spot.

However, they can’t rely on one trap. They needed to set up more such things so that the head guard will have options. But not so many that the Jelies forgets about some and falls into one himself. He didn’t seem too bright and Haru reckoned it would be best if they kept the number below what he could count with his fingers.


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Stage Manipulation [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:24 am

Akira Shimada
She briefly pinned Tsuru with a gentle almost apologetic look. She muttered under her breath, words she hoped wouldn't fall on deaf ears, but knew should 'I wish just being better was good enough.' her exasperation was with herself. Adel's information was already quite a headway, but she had no means of gleaning more. She cleared her throats and chuckled mirthlessly at his remark. 'And what a life it would be, to have to wear a mask all the time...' there was heavy irony in her words, considering that is exactly what she had been condemned to. But he'd probably miss it, much to her personal disappointment and much to the gratitude of her duty adhering self.

They made their way to the designated clearing. The folks were taking this quite seriously. Perhaps, such a battle provided distraction and entertainment in these perilous times. Perhaps, it was why the outlaw was taking such a risk too. With the incursions, life felt much shorter and probably forced some into making dangerous gambles. At this point, she had more respect for the criminal than Jelies, they were practically in the same bracket in her eyes anyways, at least the former displayed more honor.

'Just the thorns, poison could be overkill, we'll need a few more options and I'm really inclined to not let Jelies know about one of our little tricks, accidentally forget, y'know?' she muttered as she surveyed the area too. There were probably going to be weapons or something littered on the ground for use. They were informed of the two sides the competitors were going to be assigned, naturally the poor outlaw was going to be provided faulty tools.


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Stage Manipulation [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:38 am

“At least you are in the game,” he said when he heard her mention how being better was not good enough. Haru was a straight-laced guy. He expressed what he felt at all times and did not like the two-faced politics that everyone played around him. Maybe, if he tried, he could play that game as well. Maybe, sometimes, it was a necessary tool for doing good. But he knew it would eat him from within every night. However, he did respect Akira for having the tenacity to put on the show. After all, it wasn’t like she liked putting on the mask.

Haru simply shrugged when Akira said the poison might be overkill. He just wanted to catch the culprit and did not care if they had to take him on a stretcher. But, she may be right. If they find out that the thorn was not inherently poisonous, then the fact that they cheated might get out and prompt the outlaw to incite a public outcry. Half the people hated Knights enough already. He didn’t want to give them more reason. “Alright, just the thorns then,” he said.

He couldn’t help but grin like a child when Akira said she wants to ‘forget’ mentioning a trap to Jelies. That one deliberate thing might gut the whole operation, but it was too much fun to pass up. “A dozen weapons. Seven faulty and five in good condition. But we tell Jelies six are good,” he said, grinning even wider.


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Stage Manipulation [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:51 am

Akira Shimada
'You don't want to be.' she said, darkly. From what she knew of him, he definitely would crumble under the burden of such pretence. In fact, from what she'd witnessed, matters had only worsened and as he experienced the world with her and without, he'd only grown edgier and snappier. His tolerance for the sneaky seemed to be at an all time low. Yet, he was here, gritting his teeth and doing his duty, just like her. In a way, the more pressing threats, blunted the stab of annoyance from such petty cheating. That was the only reason the two could endure.

'I'm going to be a little more even about the faulty weapons, leave some on Jelies side too.' she stated simply. He decided to specify the odds, she could tell neither of them were too satisfied with the numbers, but anything worse would make it too blatant and hamper their chances too significantly. The things one had do in the line of duty.

Surreptitiously, once the weapons were laid out, she used her foot to exchange the position of just one more pair of good and faulty. Now Jelies had four good tools and three bad, while the outlaw had three good and four bad. She knew Tsuru caught her in the act and merely shrugged. 'Couldn't help it.' she folded her hands and dared him to switch the two new positions again.


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Stage Manipulation [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:42 am

Haru frowned when he caught her switching the weapons. “No!” he said, his eyes wide. The odds weren’t skewed enough. This Jelies guy was going to need all the help they can give. He agreed not to poison the thorns, but this one was cutting it too close. He switched the weapons again after Akira did to ensure there were only two faulty weapons on Jelies’ side.

Once they were done with the setup, they had to head back to the castle so that they could explain the situation to Jelies. He was mighty happy—since they didn’t tell him about the faulty ones on his side. But Haru did insist on the location of the thorns so that the whole thing doesn’t backfire. Now, it was time to wait for the next morning to see how the fight goes.

The morning came and Haru made his way to the location a good half hour before the assigned time. Jelies was already there, but there was no sign of the outlaw. Haru was afraid he had chickened out or backed off after catching wind of the setup. Thankfully, that didn’t seem to be the case. The outlaw arrived on time and was extremely confident that he was going to defeat Jelies.

The first round didn’t go well for Jelies. The outlaw had picked up the good weapon on his side while Jelies had the unfortunate luck to pick the bad one. He seemed furious when he found out and took some serious hits. It was funny to watch. However, when the second round came, the head guard didn’t take any chances and baited the outlaw towards the covered thorns. And the moment he stepped on it, Jelies took the opportunity to strike him down.

The crowd cheered and clapped for Jelies. But Haru and Aki knew what went on there. The Lieutenant simply shook his head and walked up to the outlaw to arrest him while Jelies showed off and boasted to the crowd.


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Stage Manipulation [Quest: Hatsuharu] Empty on Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:05 pm

Akira Shimada
Akira wanted to smack Tsuru. She wasn't the sort who needed subservience, she'd never throw her weight around, but he didn't even let her have this small victory. It was bad enough that they were working any odds in the favour of the lazy, corrupt man. As they were performing the act of skewing the odds, she grew more and more repulsed again. Her conscience begged her to do something that earn Jelies a dark fate. He should at least suffer, was her reasoning. Regardless, she didn't have the heart to argue. Now that the deed was done, she huffed and decided to not watch the proceedings. She could discern and deduce what was happening from the reactions of the crowd though.

Refusing to acquaint herself with the cheater anymore, she let Tsuru take the lead on bringing the bad guy in, who kept mumbling that he was set up. It really did hurt, there wasn't even enough in the files about what the criminal had done. For all she knew, he could be a petty thief with a penchant for showing off his skills in combat. The poor man could've easily been realigned and retaught. But of course, the Knights don't want such a headache. 'Are we finished here, then?' she asked Tsuru, allowing her frustrations against the system to freeze her words into sharp icicles, then offered a fake congratulatory smile to Jelies.


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