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The Domino Effect [Akira]

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#1Augusta Rhines 

The Domino Effect [Akira] Empty Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:20 pm

Augusta Rhines


"In hoc signo vinces"

What remained of the leaves in Orchidia, the cold, brittle husks, colors siphoned away as the unforgiving cold of winter began its lengthy, melodic creep through the country of Fiore, they served to only provide a bit of diversity to the otherwise pale look that was cast throughout the region. It had felt as though autumn had come and gone faster and sooner than what anyone had imagined. Even those who for generations had seemed to build and mold their lifestyles and practices alongside the changing of the seasons were left unprepared. In the fields just outside of Orchidia, farmers, farmhands, and volunteers alike worked tirelessly, picking and salvaging as much crop as possible; it was inevitable that snow was to come, but just a question of when.

She had arrived early in the morning, the farmers and those who lived within the city gates having already begun to flood outwards back into the fields. Layers of blankets, thick clothing, and heavy cloaks were all common amongst the people, indicative of them expecting to spend hours upon hours working within the fields on either side of them. In contrast, Augusta wore an regalia of steel similar to that of what she had travelled with over the past several years, hidden beneath thick foreign scarves and rags, her look far more indicative of that of a mercenary than that of a veteran Holy Knight, at least to the untrained eye. Pushing her way through the crowd of migrating workers, she glared her eyes as she scanned the faces of anyone who happen to come within eyesight. There were no shortage of reasons for her to wary, though now having since returned to Fiore those reasons had seemingly increased time over.

After what had seemed like an eternity, Augusta finally found herself with a chance to breath, the air no longer polluted by the unkempt, the poor, and the undesirables. Unfortunately it was a scent that had become all too familiar to the woman, though some things were missing. Blood, fire, ash, and carrion. It was that which she perhaps missed most of her time outside the country; lines of prisoners, bloodied, fatigued, defeated, marching towards their final destinations. Large piles of corpses thrown atop of each other, some charred beyond recognition, some still burning from the flames, and some fortunate enough to escape the flames, but meet their end all the same. It was nothing short of a masterpiece, one of many in which Augusta had painted throughout the countryside, one that she so desperately sought to create within Fiore.

Alas, with her return to Fiore too came the challenges that had initially kept her from marching upon these lands in the first place. Though it seems now things had only become worse than what they had been before. The Rune Knights, long an obstacle for Augusta personally, now only further stood to impede what would be her greatest work. Though in silence, Augusta seethed at the failings of the Holy Knights, to have allowed her acts of glory and triumph be undermined in such a way that the country had come to view her as a sort of monster. Admittedly too, there was some delight she took in the whole circumstance, how now her legend, one having been falsely painted as that of one who fell to the Rune Knights, was crumbling around the Rune Knights, Augusta's true success being revealed to the world.

Yet even in spite of that, the Rune Knights served as the key problem moving forward. While fortunate enough to have campaigned in lands with neither a force as impressive or as diverse as the Rune Knights were within Fiore, such a luxury was no longer available. To expect that the Holy Knights themselves would be willing - or able - to remedy this issue, it left Augusta less than optimistic. However, as she found herself within Orchidia, and to some degree in unfamiliar territory, it would not be by the hands of those that had failed to prove themselves to take care of this issue, but would be left to Augusta herself. And as she began to lay the foundation to what was to come, all that remained was the first domino to be set in place, only for her to knock it over.

#2Akira Shimada 

The Domino Effect [Akira] Empty Mon Dec 31, 2018 5:58 pm

Akira Shimada
Fighting. Why did people always have to be fighting? She exhaled a last plume of smoke, after taking another fake puff of the cigarette wedged between her teeth. The smoke lingered in the dense mist, swirling and rising ever so slowly. Soon it mingled with her condensed breath as she flicked away the butt and sighed deeply. Pausing, to analyse whether it would be prudent to intervene or not, given the state of affairs...

It was easy to turn to her favourite interaction repellent - smoking - especially after her spat with Tsuru, perhaps it was because she recalled that it annoyed him that she favoured it. An act of defiance that wasn't witnessed and so was rather unnecessary. In fact a lot of her anti-social tendencies had returned following that. The Knights were of course quick to take advantage of it. Apparently, somehow that made her the best candidate to be able to ward off all the possible hatred and dislike people harnessed towards her after her reprimand. You've dealt with it all before anyways, haven't you? How bad can it be? was their general philosophy.

She suppressed the urge to grumble about it, mostly because there was no one here to care or to listen. In a way she'd made her choice, to suffer the consequence was her choice too. She could have quit for real, she didn't have to play along with this quest for redemption, for an act that she didn't believe required a redemption of any sort to begin with... When she stepped out of her own misery, her wiser self (usually buried under all that brooding and self-pity) could see why the events had to unfold the way they did. Needless to say that is what propelled her to accept this fate, for the time being at least. How much of this would be on her own terms and how much would require her to be a mere pawn in the plan of the higher ups, was still to be determined.

'Hey! Cut it out!' she growled softly, her voice trembling as her teeth chattered. She didn't make the effort to budge from her spot though. Her words were probably too soft and maybe they didn't hear her at all. There was a time she was OK being ignored, even preferred it on the occasion, but in the wee hours of that morning, the Shimada was prickly. Forced back to the scene of her crime... well not exactly but even within the same town... and the nasty bite of the weather certainly did not aid her mood.

All the men saw, was her silhouette, as she stepped away from the wall she'd been leaning against ever so casually. She stood between them and the street-lamp, which was the only source of light in the dim, dank alleyway. Even the sun shied away from making an appearance this early and in the dismal weather. The drama of the mist and smoke sure must've been a sight especially with the halo like light reflecting of off the golden globe that floated behind her. 'I said, cut it out!' she exclaimed louder this time, but her voice devoid of anything too menacing and still rather nonthreatening. They took a moment to scrutinise her appearance, at least it got them to stop tugging at the sack of grains. She used to moment of silence and the attention she'd garnered to ask them what the hell was going on. They answered, but as she stepped closer and their eyes got accustomed one of them quickly supplemented it with asking her for her credentials.

She couldn't reveal her continued allegiance with the Rune Knights of course, not to intervene for such a small skirmish. She could see why the argument had become heated and there was a dire need for the passion to protect whatever one managed to salvage. 'I was with the Rune Knights.' she said through grit teeth, mostly to prevent them from chattering. 'I'm not anymore, but that doesn't mean I'm not strong enough to take that damn bag of grains and leave it for neither of you, so quit the squa-' they cut across her, since one of the men had noticed her face. 'Oh! You're that lass they fired, you have no authority here, get busy somewhere else.' she was compelled to argue and explain she wilfully chose to step down, it was a small concession they made to tend to her pride and for her agreeing to continue working undercover. But there was hardly any point to that now.

She merely crouched to pick up a stone. 'Well... do you also know why I was fired then?' she started, ever so softly. Tossing the stone and catching it again, she took another few steps closer. Enjoying the way she had captured their attention. 'It was for taking a life, off the books and believe me that wasn't the only one I'd taken.' she explained, rather nonchalantly. It irked her to confess this way, considering she still hadn't made peace with those incidents. Her training allowed her to hide it well. She slung the at the sack till it tore and spilled its contents and cocked her head. 'Divide, collect and consider this matter settled.' she said, this time in a tone that certainly did not warrant argument.

The Domino Effect [Akira] Signature6
#3Augusta Rhines 

The Domino Effect [Akira] Empty Mon Dec 31, 2018 7:25 pm

Augusta Rhines


"In hoc signo vinces"

It didn't take long for the majority of the farmers and their help to clear out from the main area of Orchidia, eventually leaving just a few people. Augusta, a few vagrants, and then the occasional stragglers that began to flood in and out of various buildings all around them. Some of them farmers who had either waken later than the rest of their companions or otherwise just dragging behind. Others fell into the other category, a composition of merchants heading to work, travelers on their way out of the city, and people who otherwise did not fall into any of those categories. It left enough Augusta with a bit of a view of the people around her, a very small sample size of what she might expect.

Informative, maybe. But inconclusive more than anything. There were still too many questions that had yet to be answered, many of which she would be unable to derive from what she saw around here.

Worse yet, nothing that she could see, neither upon her arrival into the city nor what she had seen thus far, was helping her with what she had immediately set out to accomplish here.

Meandering around the streets of Orchidia, there wasn't much for her to take in, not a whole lot to discover. Even in spite of what she may have hoped for. A light breeze spread through the streets, carrying with it a light fog, not unusual for an early morning, especially within this type of weather, though inconvenient all the same. It only helped to frustrate Augusta further, of the more minuet details that she would otherwise pick up and make mental notes of later now dissipating away with each second that the fog persisted for.

Augusta seemed to only become more irritated as she continued along, her tolerance and willingness to further search the city waning with each step taken. What she had found had up to this point in no way tolerated the amount of time that had been invested in her arrival here, between both the arrangements set to smuggle her back into Fiore, as with the actual amount of time it took to actually travel here. It might have been a case of happenstance or just good fortune though a small group of people gathered about nearby, their silhouttes just barely penetrating through the morning fog, was enough to draw Augusta's attention. Moving a bit closer towards them, Augusta kept herself out of sight, just around the corner from entering the alleyway herself. Augusta cocked her head slightly to the right as she hoped to listen in a little bit better, though the softness of whomever was speaking did not lend itself much to easing Augusta's current plight.

She gave it a bit of thought, considering if it were worth it, taking out her toy to play or not. Almost as quickly as the idea popped into her head, so too did it fade away. It wasn't worth it, nor was there any reason to believe that what was going on the short distance away was anything more than just another sinful act committed by some people who deserved nothing short of a brutal death. Such a punishment she could gift them without having to resort to using that. It was just a question of, would she have to?

#4Akira Shimada 

The Domino Effect [Akira] Empty Tue Jan 01, 2019 4:18 pm

Akira Shimada
It worked. She truly had begun mastering the art of using her alleged past to play out her intimidation tactics, much like she used her darkness when it slipped out of control back in the day... As the scrambled over the spilled grains, she stood over the two, daring either to seek more than they should have. The odd thing was how they'd both accepted the fate with such ease. She believed she'd have more of a fight in her had she been swindled out of a half. Perhaps the sack was truly neither of theirs. So much for justice served... But it was all she could afford at the moment. From the corner of her eye, she noticed another figure closing in on them, from the little that she could make out, the person was armoured, the light glinted off the metal much like it did of off Akira's orb. Her breath hitched, but she remained composed. Perhaps it was time to practice all the preaching she'd been rehearsing. It certainly wasn't easy to fill her words with any passion or intent, at least initially.

For all intents and purposes, Aki was her own brand of agnostic. For her it was less about Illumin's existence and more about the lack of his involvement. With the way the world around her was, it certainly didn't offer much proof of any divine intervention. In a way, she'd read enough to know that there was proof supporting the existence of Illumin. Perhaps, she'd even find indisputable evidence of this, but that certainly wouldn't excuse the rampant crimes committed and the power struggle created in his name. Even if divine intervention could be witnessed in the form of all those blessings, she believed that He'd passed the baton onto those who didn't really give a crap about justice, equality and all those other noble and false expectations of rights. That Grace that was handed out to a chosen few, was like a medal for winning some competition they didn't even know the rules of. Perhaps even the otherwordly beings had their own agendas and much like humans used each other as pawns, the divine didn't spare them either.

Nonetheless, she had to try and realign her allegiance with the servants of the Church after all. Slowly but surely. While her purpose and goal was fairly set, her journey and method wasn't. She compelled the men in front of her to see the way of the light, to purge their sinful greed with fire, to earn the warmth (which she was in dire need of, but definitely not in the context she was referring it in, but rather... literally) and forgiveness of god. Should they fail they'd earn his wrath and so on she went. Her words were louder and clearer than before, as though this new holy spirit she'd harnessed offered her clarity and a lack of hesitance. She didn't shy away from spinning more tales, she added how through retribution she had earned his blessing, since she had nothing on her except the orb, it seemed like a fair tool to attribute to His gift.

So she went on for a bit, as they finished sweeping up the grains with their hands and collecting it in new sacks respectively. Once it was all done, the two men pretty much apologised and scrammed. She sighed softly and slunk slowly towards the armoured person. Tentative in her approach. As she got closer, peering through the mist allowed her to recognise the make of the equipment. She halted warily, her eyes narrowed ever so slightly. Could they be onto her? Did she mess up? Either way, she couldn't react in any manner that'd elicit suspicion. First, she had to glean more information. This could very well prove to be her first test... Of course it had to be in Orchidia... How fitting. 'Were you warned of a situation here? I hope you don't mind that I took care of it... I'm sorry if I overstepped.' she spoke, her tone soft again, sweeter than her usual broody self. It boasted of confidence but was devoid of any hint of ego or arrogance. The Shimada had to remain rather measured in this interaction and she was well aware of that...

The Domino Effect [Akira] Signature6
#5Augusta Rhines 

The Domino Effect [Akira] Empty Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:42 am

Augusta Rhines


"In hoc signo vinces"

Augusta watched out of the corner of her eye, attention focused on the three individuals, her vantage point leaving more of the important details up to her own imagination than fact. Back alleyway confrontations, to the best of her own knowledge and past experiences, rarely ended without some degree of bloodshed. Whether it be a few scrapes and bruises or it result in a few dead bodies, for all patrons to walk away unscathed would be nothing short of a modern miracle. Of everything she had come to see of the people of Fiore, and even extending back to what she had seen of her travels outside of Fiore, Augusta had little reason to think that these individuals would end up walking away. And even then, that was assuming Augusta would be silent on the matter.

Her eyes perked up as she turned her head more to see what was going on, inspired by some remarks by one of the figures within the alleyway. A woman, echoing some sort of religious chastisement, something which at the least Augusta was not expecting to have heard within Fiore, let alone in some dark alleyway within the slums of Orchidia in the morning. And here Augusta thought that nothing good was going to have come out of this; perhaps she was going to be proven wrong in the end. Or, maybe not.

The one speaking, a woman whose figure and any other distinguishing characteristics still lost in the slow, receding fog, continued on with her lecturing of the others there. Augusta listened to the woman, her tales not reflective of past texts within the common library of the Holy Knights, sounding more like that of a personal tale of self-reflection; this woman's tale. It was entertaining enough of a story, just how true being one thing that only her and God may stand to know, but even from what little she could see of the other two figures hearing the woman's tale, it seemed at least that they were taken aback by it. Augusta in particular seemed to enjoy the woman threatening to inflict her wrath upon these men for their apparent crime. It reminded her of some of the earliest Holy Knights that she had encountered, threatening retribution as a means of calming a situation and escaping violence.

The same Holy Knights who Augusta would butcher in order to harden those that sought to join her crusades.

A bit more time passed and not much more was said that Augusta had not heard in one capacity or another. Perhaps she had not been paying attention or otherwise was just distracted, but at some point it appeared that the two men had scurried out of the alleyway as quickly as they could, obviously shaken by whatever this woman said. Augusta gave neither of the men an acknowledgement, the closest thing being her eyes trailing them as they ran away, hastily prepared sacks of grain flung over their shoulders. It wasn't until the woman came within feet of her that Augusta rose her head up, giving more proper recognition than that of her cohorts.

To hear the woman speak though, hitting Augusta with a series of questions, that in which one might have considered a bit paranoid, it left the Holy Knight as much confused though also processing just what it might have been that this woman meant. After a moment, she chuckled lightly, "Heh. Warned? Wouldn't that mean that there were a report of 'a situation?' That's, that is an optimistic view point, I suppose..."

There was something interesting to this woman, but just what it was was a bit more of a question for Augusta. What she had heard, the sermon of retribution, what she imagined of the woman who spoke that did not match what was before her. Of what to take of that, whether it be for better or worse, remained to be seen. "If you want to call that taking care of it," Augusta remarked as she looked beyond the alleyway, the two men now having completely disappeared from eyesight, "Not how I would have handled the matter, but, your's... I guess there could be benefits to that kind of an approach..."

Pushing off of the wall, Augusta looked directly at the woman, standing a good several inches shorter than Augusta. For a moment, she stared directly at the woman, only for a moment before a smirk appeared upon her face. "Quite a loaded word there, overstepped. Many meanings that one could derive from it. That you hold me to some sort of authority, of power. Quite a position to grant to someone you've never met." Augusta leaned in, the distance between the woman and her now much closer, only a few inches now. "But as well, it could be that you view yourself as beneath me. Confident enough to stand to some peasants, but to grovel before a fellow woman, one can only imagine for what reason would spark such... weakness in one's self."

Augusta gently put a hand upon the woman's shoulder, immediately slamming it and her into the wall, the force being nothing that would cause any sort of serious or significant injury, rather for dramatic effect than anything else. "So tell me, which is it. Am I the angel brought forth from divinity or do I simply stand before another damned soul, struggling to remain above ground?"


#6Akira Shimada 

The Domino Effect [Akira] Empty Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:11 am

Akira Shimada
The Shimada wondered how much of her pretentious sermon the woman had managed to catch, just the mere presence of a witness had inspired the performance after all, Akira would hate to see it go to waste. She held the woman's gaze as she chuckled and chimed in rather mirthlessly herself after hearing the words. There was much irony in the situation, for optimism was definitely not Akira's favoured trait. Not to mention the expectation of a written report on a matter of such insignificance would be rare if not almost unheard of. That did beg the question of the woman's true purpose for being here. She held onto that question for the time being, among others.

Akira narrowed her eyes as the woman explained that their approach to the matter would've certainly varied. Once again, she bit her tongue, choosing to wait before pressing for details. She didn't want to give up her keen interest so early into the conversation. However, she was calibrating her options, the ways in which she could continue this little lucky meeting, Could she have hit jackpot? Was Adragna expecting this? Had Akira read too much into an otherwise simple mission requirement? Perhaps her being posted in Orchidia again had nothing to do with the choices of her past after all and merely to do with the possible presence of people who were of interest.

Mentally, she jotted down the characteristics of the features she could spot, now that the mist no longer hindered her vision. Golden eyes, long platinum hair, a sharp well-chiselled nose, in fact, conventionally beautiful features in general... and of course the Holy Knight's armour, which unless had been stolen, or acquired in some other capacity, was enough to mark an affiliation. There was a chance they'd walk away without so much as exchanging names and she needed to ensure she relayed the details of this encounter. Besides, if this woman was anyone of significance and she wished to hide it, relying on her word even for a small detail like a name could prove to be a futile venture.

Akira cocked her head and merely responded with an 'I see. Well as long as it is sorted for the moment.' and shrugged. She felt somewhat scrutinised although, it could merely be reflective of her own inspection. The armored lady pushed of the wall, much as Akira had earlier today, perhaps that was indicative of some interest on her part too. As that further decreased the distance between them, Akira was forced to angle her head upwards, just a little. This wasn't uncommon, she was of a petite build and often had to look up at others. But that gesture, heralding the words the woman spoke next, make Aki feel a tug of unpleasantness.

In a way, she had often faced doubt and rather frequently visited the idea of not being good enough. Undeserving of the rank she was offered, the company she had lost, etc. But to have someone note it this starkly made Akira wonder if she wore that doubt on her sleeve, which was definitely not a good thing. Especially given the sensitivity of the mission she was eventually supposed to embark on. She heard the woman out patiently. The silence must have spurred her to continue, now posing another question. Akira continued formulating an adequate response. There was a time to be strong and rely on her more intimidating sides and there was a time to play up her weaknesses in the hopes to either find an ally as she played the damsel in distress, or garner sympathy and hope for a slip up... Right now, it was time for neither. While the latter was an option, weakness certainly didn't command respect.

She offered a slight courteous smile and took a bold step closer to offer her response, mostly because it further highlighted her choice.  'The word has as much significance as the difference in our height.' she responded. Her voice devoid of any annoyance or the righteousness evoked when interactions scraped against a perceived flaw in a person. To prevent any misunderstandings, she did explain her analogy.  'One could say that I'm looking up at you, another could say you're bowing to me. Both of us know neither is true and our actions are governed merely by the circumstance. I simply assumed we were on different paths and that I could've unintentionally stepped onto yours since I've recently lost my judiciary rights, but old habits die hard.'  she said, her smile morphing into a smirk of her own.

'Should you be a heaven-sent angel you certainly don't need me to attest to it and I'll take your word for it. As for the state of my soul and its struggle, I'll let you know when I find out.'  she levelled, opting to purposely take her questions more literally rather than deal with the implications. The choice of the woman's words had Akira intrigued however. 'Am I to assume you're you accustomed to having damned souls grovel at your feet then, given your deductions based on the loaded word?' Akira asked, her tone neither jovial nor concerned, but somewhat curious. Not enough to be offended at the lack of an answer, however.

The Domino Effect [Akira] Signature6
#7Augusta Rhines 

The Domino Effect [Akira] Empty Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:19 pm

Augusta Rhines


"In hoc signo vinces"

Fog finally began to give way as clarity picked itself up, though at this point irrelevant to the current status of Augusta and the woman whom she had in essence cornered. To put it as a game of cat and mouse would be both a disservice upon the woman, her name unknown, and whatever her status or purpose similarly lost onto Augusta. And to Augusta herself, it was fair to say that there were no clear cut motive to her actions, yet premature enough to classify her as a huntress, in spite of the scene before them. But that could have changed in a moment.

The woman seemed to show no fear, her demeanor neither of overconfidence nor that of insecurity. A blank canvas, perhaps a generous term to describe it, but there were no defining features, nor indicators towards the woman's disposition. Augusta could not help but delight in the challenge.

She couldn't help but chuckle slightly at the woman's retort. This girl was quick on her feet, and Augusta didn't mind hearing what she had to say, at least at first. Her smile began to erode away at the woman's suggestion of Augusta bowing down to her, changing to what began of a glare. Though, as she listened, said smile returned again to her face, albeit with what could have been perceived as a coldness within her eyes, "Perhaps. Perhaps not. What does it matter to a disgraced, whatever you are. Excuse me, whatever you were."

Augusta could not help but chuckle slightly at the woman's expense. "Was that little sermon of your's your way of atonement? To put those two on the straight path that you so desperately seek yourself? Your path towards redemption?" The Holy Knight stepped back from the woman, her piercing eyes remaining fixated upon those of the woman before her. "Whether I've walked atop the corpses of a thousand of the damned or simply stepped forth into the light, it does not take much to see the damned soul before me."

Even in spite of her cruel words, Augusta could not help but be intrigued by the woman before her. Whatever her past title, whatever this woman had once carried herself as, she still carried herself, or at the least, tried to follow the same path. It was admirable, at the least. Though, her circumstances brought with it questions of their own. To be stripped of what this woman called 'judiciary rights', it either meant a former prestige or an inflated sense of self-worth. An interesting case, to say the least, but Augusta needed to see more first.

"Whatever you seek out in trying to lead the broken back forth on the right path, to fix those cast astray, it will do nothing to mend your soul. Your struggles will exist still, and we both that to be true." Her sight never deviated, watching the woman's reaction to what she said, as harsh and cold as she made her words sound, "You only lie to yourself if you think otherwise."


#8Akira Shimada 

The Domino Effect [Akira] Empty Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:34 am

Akira Shimada
There was a story here. There was a story worth knowing and worth sharing, Akira deduced. There was something quite unsettling about the woman. The way her eyes glinted at the mere concept of bowing... Aki had been watching closely. She'd always been a keen observer, her recent training had only sharpened that tool. Any evidence she could garner that worked against the Holy Knights was definitely worth collecting. She remained cool in the face of the passive aggression the woman displayed. The words could've possibly hurt, if they were true in their totality. Aki's position was more a result of a disagreement, than outright disgrace, though it did intentionally lead to the latter for appearance sake. Aki's sentiments may have suffered if perhaps if they were spoken by someone she deeply cared about, like Tsuru... she pushed the thought away before it had a chance to claw its way in deeper and affect her demeanour.

Since neither was the case, she didn't know this woman nor was she as disgraced as the Knight had assumed, it wasn't as easy to plausibly react. She obviously couldn't overreact, condemning herself to wear the label of weakness, nor could she got on the offensive, given her larger purpose. But, she also had to ensure she didn't give up her intent by being too impassive. Keeping this balance was tougher than she'd expected.

Her smile vanished, lips pressed into a thin line as her hands found their way on the gentle curves of her hips. She wore the look of disappointment, but didn't quite channel it anywhere yet.  'Matters little indeed, I suppose.' she agreed, sighing softly. This was not just for the sake of being agreeable, but merely in an attempt to maintain that this was still happenchance was nothing more. Then she went ahead and made it just a little easier for the ex-Knight. Akira realized something very crucial. It becomes far easier for one to play a role when the audience, in this case, the target assumes the details and writes the part out, and all the actor has to do, is adhere.

She held the penetrative gaze, returning it in kind. While the fog had receded the chill remain and was only amplified by the frigid nature of the interaction between the two women. The irony felt heavy to witness, while Akira was still going to play along, the woman sure seemed to have a rather inflated ego. Whether it was a product of her status as a Holy Knight or not, was still to be determined. She deliberately responded in kind, while highlighting that she had noticed the armour and by extension the association. 'Perhaps, perhaps not. Does it matter to someone as graced amidst the Holy Knights, as you are?' Highlighting that while there may be a difference in status indeed, it didn't bother the Shimada in the least.

So Akira was the damned soul now. Fair enough, she'd never given much thought to the idea of damnation, having it thrust upon her didn't quite elicit any strong reaction. 'Oh, but I don't.' Akira finally contradicted, with a straight face, but she really had to suppress the urge to decorate this with a smirk of her own. 'I don't even believe the lesson I attempted teaching will linger long enough to be considered a mending. I seek not to abolish my struggles, I've come to accept them and that their existence is what gives us damned souls the illusion of purpose. Hope cannot exist if there is nothing to overcome.' She paused while the woman sought to steal exactly that hope away.

Finally, Akira did smirk. 'And are you sure? Absolutely nothing I can do to earn redemption? Surely a heaven sent angel who may or may not have walked atop a thousand corpses should be able to defy such a reality, right?' there was just a hint of mockery in her voice, she kept it well controlled, but let just enough slip into her words to allow her to gauge the reaction of her company.

The Domino Effect [Akira] Signature6
#9Augusta Rhines 

The Domino Effect [Akira] Empty Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:40 pm

Augusta Rhines


"In hoc signo vinces"

It had been a fun game, Augusta finally having seen not only someone who perhaps could have stood up to her in a battle of words and logic, but just someone who had illustrated a level of intelligence beyond the most basic of actions. Sleep, awaken, work, eat, fuck, sleep. There was hardly an inspiration or imagination to the people, ironically the few who stood out from this routine being that of fools or those so deeply fallen to whatever their vice that the basic routine would be of a great point to aspire towards. This woman, it was a welcome change, though she knew too that it would not last forever.

And Augusta was fine with this. She was getting far more out of this woman than she had first anticipated.

Augusta rose her hand to shield the sun as she took a quick glance beyond the alleyway, the increased presence of people reflective of the time of day. While yes, it was still morning, the period in which the farmers and laborers would flock through the streets had long since passed, their window having faded much like that of the fog. Now the locals, the patrons of the local inns looking to shop for wares, to buy their groceries, or otherwise just to enjoy what Orchidia morning had to offer them. Augusta shot a small smile to a passing duo, a young mother and her child, a girl no older than perhaps a couple years. No need to give them a wrong impression, and draw more attention towards this woman.

"You know of them. Or perhaps I should be saying us," Augusta passingly remarked, returning her attention to the woman as her head ceased following the child and mother, ensuring they were out of sight. "There seems to be two types of people at this point in time. Those who feed into the growing tension between the organization I represent and the one you at one point did, and those who abstain. I wonder, which camp do you fall into it?"

Augusta walked a little towards the side, the few grains of whatever the men had been gathering scattering with each step of the Holy Knight, "But, does it really matter? Does my stance matter? Hardly. I have my role to play in it all, and perhaps the same could have been said of you. Maybe."

A small chuckle escaped from Augusta's mouth at what at least seemed like that of a plea from the woman, the hints of sarcasm within it being impossible not to pick up. "Heh, you tell me. Disgraced Rune Knight, parading themselves around in the slums of a Fioren city hoping to bring even the faintest of hope to the misfortunate. It's a nice story." Her eyes focused in on the woman, "But that does not mean redemption. Nor purpose. If that is even what you want..."


#10Akira Shimada 

The Domino Effect [Akira] Empty Sun Jan 06, 2019 4:34 pm

Akira Shimada
The muted light from the sun spilled across the section of the alleyway. Another part still remained dank and shrouded in the shadow of the buildings. The bustle on the main street began to grow ever so seamlessly. A person then another, then two together... Till there were enough people frequenting the street for Aki to be just a little conscious of this ally bound discussion, especially when a few turned their heads to get a better glimpse of the orb atop her head no doubt. While it wasn't too rare for people to walk around with strange objects, it still didn't garner attention. Aki wondered if that too was a deliberate move and if she was essentially a walking, talking bait of some sort.

She inched towards the wall, choosing to lean against it yet again, maintaining a rather casual and collected appearance, to ensure no one got the impression that she was being condemned for any reason. The Shimada didn't miss the smile she shot at the lady and the girl, it seemed the Holy Knight was inclined to play along too, at least for the time being, The armoured woman felt the need to state that she'd recognised Aki's knowledge. It made sense, the Holy Knights were still emerging, up until now their existence was mystified by the power of the church. But now, they sought to make an appearance and did indeed want to contend the Rune Knights in some regards, that of course was still classified information, at least on the blue side.  She wondered if the woman had just entertained the possibility of Aki being part of her faction. If she had, that was progress already.

So either she had overheard Aki's threat before the sermon or she had arrived to the deduction on her own. Either way, the Shimada was hardly concerned. This only meant that the whole ordeal of being a fallen Knight was serving its purpose well. However, the woman could just as easily fall into either category, and claiming one while she fell in the other wouldn't work too well. 'Which do you think?' she cautiously answered, hoping to slip deeper into the role the woman created for her. While she stated her experience, for the moment she didn't colour it, waiting to see if the woman's assumptions would make her inclinations clearer. 'I was accused of straying away from the mission and reprimanded accordingly. For taking a life that wasn't mine to take. I have to admit, I disagreed and so stepped down on principle.' Her words in themselves could mean she'd be happy fuelling the fire, perhaps even out of a vengeful instinct. But they could just as easily signify she was a lone wolf and would abstain should her principles dictate so, giving her an out, should the woman be of the abstaining variety herself. Though an inexplicable instinct told her otherwise.

It was still easy to brush away the patronising tone and the antagonising words. She had not reason to allow herself to be coaxed into being disagreeable. There was still much to learn.  'I did concede to purpose often being merely an illusion didn't I?' she said, with a soft sigh as their eyes locked again. The light pouring in deeper, the armours glint was piercing but the woman across her probably had it worse as the gold hued reflection off the orb, accented the features of her face. 'Can't lie that I do hope for it to be more.' she added softly, slowly throwing in her own bait. Wondering if the woman had any offers to make, or if there was more she could pique her interest, while slowly making her own observations.

The Domino Effect [Akira] Signature6
#11Augusta Rhines 

The Domino Effect [Akira] Empty Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:46 pm

Augusta Rhines


"In hoc signo vinces"

Augusta smirked. It was a fun game of cat and mouse the two had been playing. To whom was which role, their own minds would be the judge. Questions were answered with questions, retorts challenged and thrown back at each other once again. This girl was fun. A tragedy that in the end, she would end up like the rest. It were a pity really, as one like this could have been of such benefit, as could she have been to this one. Alas, the heavens had granted Augusta redemption, saving her from the pitiful existance that this world had sought to imprint upon her. Maybe there was yet hope for this one.

"Principle? And here I thought your kind were nothing capable of such an idea," Augusta carried her words with malice, the implication that of the Rune Knights, though in truth speaking to the people of Fiore as a whole. There was no real need for the distinction, as to two were only to exist because of the other. The Rune Knights were meant to represent some sort of agency of protection, a sort of shield that implied safety to the people of this country. And those people were only there to validate the Rune Knights, to give them some impression that their cause was righteous. "You deviate from what you were ordered, doing what you believed best, and you accept how they reward you? To think, here I thought you thought you might have been different. But you're all the same..."

Approaching the woman just slightly, Augusta gazed into her, the expression on the woman's face calm, though with just enough doubt that Augusta could use. "What have they done for you? You sold your soul for an ideology you never truly believed in. You may believe in what was stood for, but look where that has gotten you. Shuffling through the streets in a festering city like this, holding true to what you believe is right, wasting it away on those who will never understand. Never accept it."

"Your purpose, if there is one, is not this. We both know what you are, and you can deny it. You can challenge it. Challenge me. It will not change you. Perhaps this was a meeting of fate, this between you and I. Had I not been here, what would there be to stop you from cutting down those two? Nothing, because you're no different than what you sought to stop. Read from the sacred text in one hand as you slit the throat of the man before you. I can see it in your eyes. You're no different than them, and perhaps that is why we were destined to meet. For you to finally face that truth, to be able to look at just how far you've fallen."

With a final smile, Augusta turned her back on the woman, beginning her way out of the alleyway, though not before turning her head towards the woman one last time, "But, if you should still disagree, just know this. There is no hope that can come from what you are doing, whatever you hope to do. These people, they aren't worth saving." She could not help but laugh at that last part, "As if you could save them. Nobody can."

Augusta proceeded down the pathway, throwing her hand up as a means of saying some sort of farewell, "Farewell Ms. Former Rune Knight. Perhaps when next we meet, you'll have come to accept the real you."



#12Akira Shimada 

The Domino Effect [Akira] Empty Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:32 pm

Akira Shimada
The repartee between the ex-knight and the holy one would appear to be rather cumbersome if one was to witness it. That itch of impatience had begun begging for a scratch even in the Shimada's mind. Yet, Aki boasted of patience she was still learning to maintain, she stood ground and hoped that this would not end up being futile and a potential waste of her time. That this blonde wouldn't end up being just another Knight preaching her version and interpretation of this religion. She sure seemed like the variety to use her beliefs as an excuse to justify potentially immoral and unjust acts. But that could just be Aki feeling worn at all the holier-than-thou attitude and the patronising insults flung so casually at her.

The odd part was, it would seem that the woman didn't even have any reason to really pick a beef with Akira, which alluded to the fact that this was probably just how she was in general... Dangerously delusional. Well, if nothing else she was definitely a potential flag to warn Adragna about. If the church offered refuge to such people, the sort who laboured under the sin of pride to this extent, the council's worry was certainly not misplaced. 'I suppose you judged too soon.' she responded evenly, though sensing the disdain in her voice, did give her an inkling as to the side she was on after all. Fair to lean towards the fact that she fell among those who wished to widen the rift between the factions. Either that... or worse. Aki chose to interject softly, her choice of words crisper and brief, in stark contrast to the long winded assumptions uttered by the woman. 'No, I willingly chose this fate.' Aki corrected, but it would seem the other didn't really want her words anymore. So the Shimada pursed her lips and waited to see how much more she could glean.

She didn't step away when the distance between them was shortened with a swift stride from the Holy Knight. She folded her hands, perhaps in a show of petulant stubbornness. At least she seemed to have created some sort of intrigue, for the armoured lady did stick around to establish that she either believed Akira was worth more, or just to remind her that at the moment, she's worth nothing. In all likelihood it was a mix of both. It did briefly rattle Aki, when she realised that their scepticism was in fact in sync. The key difference, it would seem was in the layers of their personality. At Aki's core she was still curious, helpful and somewhat optimistic. She'd dive into icy waters to save a stranger... She'd just done that rather recently and was lucky things turned out the way they did. But it helped her recognise that when push came to shove the instinct to help and do the right thing trumped the pessimistic one every time.  

Her festering bitterness was more a shield. She couldn't deny that the words were enticing, the appealed to the side of Akira that often felt like she'd been dealt a raw deal. But the possibilities weren't alluring enough to get  her to abandon her mission. However, she could use this to channel her emotions in a manner that would hopefully earn her more access one day. For the moment she chose silence, as though brooding and introspecting. As if the words had just illuminated another path for her to choose and now she stood there as the flummoxed damned soul she had been painted as. The pause perhaps was too long... For she had been bid farewell. At least we could have exchanged names. she thought. As she heaved yet another sigh and dropped her arms from her hips. 'Perhaps indeed...' she whispered in the wake of the woman. Her sigh and words condensed into a plume of mist. A fitting closure to the encounter.  


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