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Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra]

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#1Finn Mertens 

Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra] Empty on Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:05 am

Finn Mertens

It was the end of the year, and for that this extravagant hosting was planned to signal a symbolic end to the chaos and misfortune that had plagued Fiore for years. It had seemed as though every few years, another major issue had found itself wreaking havoc through this little slice of Earthland, and time after time the citizens were the ones that had suffered.

The common folk had taken the brunt of the losses in every major event. When the scourge of Grimoire Heart was running rampant through the towns, countless men, women, and children met their ends to the struggles. When the demonic excursions signaled the precursor of the war to come, the people who died were the general populous. And as the war raged and the Nine Heroes were hunted across the continent, it was those without power who had to bunker down and wait for the situation to be resolved.

Anyone who understood the current state of the country knew that it was not the Nobility, nor even the Royal Family, who was being looked at with gazes of respect and gratitude. It was the mages, both affiliated with guilds and independent of organization, who were the hero to the common man. It made it no surprise that those who ruled were so quick this time around to celebrate the perceived rescuers of the common folk. "See," it seemed to say, "We had them save you, and they too come to our beck and call."

The gesture was hallow and easily seen through. Yet, in a time like this where the future held a long path to recovery, it was something to cling to. Even when you knew it was false, it was something that gave hope in an otherwise bleak truth. Who would admit that even those who ruled were unable to stand up to the forces at work behind the curtain? Who would admit that even they needed help from the Guilds, and that if the Guilds refused their call, the population would suffer? Better instead to view the two sides as part of the same coin. At least then there was something to grasp.

In all of Finn's travels, he understood better than most just how important hope was in such trying times. He saw how people who had lost their inner light were quick to succumb to the horrors of their own fears. It was a pit that he himself had slipped in and out of for the longest time before his return to Fiore.

And luckily, it was something that he was now safe from. He had begun finding reasons to hope once more. The discovery of a long term goal was one thing, but more than that he had reconnected with his friends whom he had once left behind. He had even begun written correspondence with Jake once more, who had apparently even started his own family. Things were going well for him once more, and his life was one to enjoy once more.

That said, what brought him here wasn't the anticipation of reward nor the goal of seeing his friends. What brought him here was the promise of a single persons time. She had agreed to this rendezvous, had agreed to his intent, and had signaled that there was at least a chance of her feeling the same way that he did.

And that gave him something to grasp onto.

As he made his way through the dense crowds of royalty and nobility, he was in awe of the sheer wealth that was held within this single room. His suit was fine, and as expensive as any mage or adventurer could afford. Yet the clothes on those of the upper crust really shone as unique. Their jewelry alone was worth more than Finn would likely ever see, and they held themselves with an esteem that they likely had never earned. The room dripped with gold and silver, crystal and diamond. The relic in the center was possibly the cheapest thing on display, and it was the reward to all those who showed up here today.

And yet all the richest and glitters faded into his peripherals.

His eyes fell upon the one he had came to meet, and his heart began to beat rapidly within his chest. Despite the onslaught of noise from all directions, he felt for a moment like he could hear only her heels falling upon the surface. Her dress clung loosely to her body, catching upon the air as she walked and making it look as if she were flowing through space itself, and still managed to accentuate her figure. Her hair cascaded past her neck and shoulders, falling naturally in a way that framed her face like the art it appeared to be. And as his eyes found her face, well, she was upon him and he was lost for words.

"I-" he stuttered, "I mean,-" he paused longer this time, as if the words he searched for simply didn't exist. For all the money that went into this hall, for all the paintings they hung around the room, and for all the statures that did their best to depict beauty, he found himself enraptured by the woman before him. "You look perfect."

Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra] C47FSON
#2Xandra Queen 

Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra] Empty on Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:11 am

Xandra Queen
So tell the gun to sin Like an angel with the dirty wings Tainted by tastes of the soul This is another level Deep in

The sound of melodies danced through the atmosphere, like a hymn dedicated to praising the unseen battles fought by those gathered. A facade of celebration and joy reigned, burying the inner turmoil of people as they hoped that this happiness would last. On the outside, the sheer extravagance radiated within the vicinity submerged all feelings other than that of awe and admiration. Individuals mingled and chattered as their words were drowned out by the clutter of voices. 

These was an exquisite elegance present on the brim of the celebration but unfortunately, it failed to sink in any deeper. While it appeared as if everyone was enjoying, it was becoming difficult for the Bellan to turn a blind eye to the concerned faces that occasionally slipped through the smiles. The dazzling room reflected shades of gold, a shade befitting for a ball thrown by the King, but the shadows of darkness that lingered were hard to ignore. 

The ballroom was large, barely allowing her eyes to catch a glimpse towards the other end where a wall stood. People indulged in their own activities, be it eating or drinking, chatting or dancing, without so much as batting and eye towards the individuals present towards the outskirts of the room. They were clad in similar uniform as they stood there, gliding their gazes over the area in search for threats. The reason they were placed there was rather obvious; for protection. 

There was no guarantee that bringing together mages that hoped for destruction and those who wished for peace along with those, who simply didn't care, was going to be a safe practice. It seemed as if everyone knew that and yet, they actively tried to ignore the existence of such a fact. Perhaps it was merely because of the urge to suppress the fear of any emerging chaos while simply losing themselves to the pleasure of leisure. It was a feeling Xandra understood all too well. Caught in an endless turmoil of her own emotions, she found herself simply wanting to immerse in the feeling of joy. 

She trudged along the marble floor as her gaze wandered from left to right in search for a particular individual. Although it had been a few days since their last meeting, his face still lingered in her mind. She could vividly recall every detail about him and it made her feel at peace. Amidst the chaos and confusion about her own bleak future, goals and aspirations, Finn had become her salvation. If there was anything she found herself being sure of at that moment, it was warmth that he had made her feel. Perhaps that was why she found herself seeking him out. The one thing she knew was that her feelings of joy would not be derived from indulging in the luxuries of the party which were simply there to bring life to the occasion. Instead, they would do so from simply spending the promised time together.

Alas, she found herself being right about her own feelings for the first time in a while. He stood there, slightly towering over other individuals that occupied that vicinity, making him a lot more visible. The frown that had found its way onto her forehead from being unable to find him had instantly disappeared. Instead, it was replaced by a smile that had laced her lips without her knowledge. She walked towards him, swerving through the crowd, only to halt once she stood right before him. 

She took a moment to drink in his appearance which gave a completely different aura when compared to their previous meeting. His hair, which once laid messily on his forehead, was now slicked back, much to her disappointment. There had been something about his unkempt hair that made her want to run her hand through it at least once. Now, however, she found herself being able to get a better look at his face. His golden eyes were no longer obstructed by strands of hair while the tattoos that laced his forehead were on display. Xandra was yet again, awestruck. Contrarily to what she had believed, perhaps she might not be able to get used to seeing him like this as she could picture herself stuck in a state of admiration every time. 

His neat tuxedo had embodied an air of lavishness and yet, he didn't seem to completely blend within the crowd of nobles. It was something that she had found herself liking about him; the mere fact that he was different from others, to her at least. She broke out of her awe upon his words, which left his lips only to stop as he took a moment to gather his words. What he said next was something she should have perhaps expected and maybe she did, but it surprised her nonetheless. The way he complimented her was simple and yet, it made her heart race. However, unlike last time, she wasn't caught up in the act of disguising her fluttering emotions anymore. A genuine grin laced her lips, indicating her happiness and yet, there was a slight shyness to it. Tonight was a night to let loose and enjoy herself, and that's what she wanted to do.

"I can say the same about you." She let out a small chuckle before glancing up at him, realizing just how tall he was now. "I guess that means we look like a perfect pair now." All her fleeting thoughts had now disappeared as she focused her attention on the man before her.
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#3Finn Mertens 

Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra] Empty on Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:04 am

Finn Mertens
As he had only just done, she analyzed him from top to bottom. In a way it felt odd. His mind flashed back to their first meeting for just a moment as she stood in silence. He saw the two of them, laying on a pier in relative silence alongside Jake. He remembered how quiet she had been, how distant and reserved no matter how much they tried to crack her shell. He remembered how much more innocent he was back then, still thinking that life was one big adventure that would always go in his favor. Back when he felt more free, and back when he had his brother at his side.

Then, snapped back to reality. Her words permeated his flash to the past, and he found himself once more in the Grand Cathedral within Crocus. In front of him was still the beautiful woman that he would have never anticipated being with in a million years. Their fates had strangely intertwined, and had culminated in a moment of opportunity. What happened tonight, he felt, would set the tone for his upcoming year. They were sharing one of the moments that one could truly feel the gravity of the situation, without the need to wait for hindsight to appreciate its significance.

She spoke to him, cheeks flushed and smile wide, and he felt his heart melt. This was how things were suppose to feel when they were right, he though. Simple, as if things just clicked and without the need for extra effort. He liked it, and it felt different from anything he'd experienced in the past. He found himself laughing under his breath at her non-comedic comment, as if he were in disbelief that they were both here right now. Still, he had made it this far by charging blindly ahead. Now that he knew she was interested, what could the harm be of charging further still?

"Well," he began, his voice surprisingly sure. "We came all the way here, to a ball, so would you give me this dance?" As of on queue, the song that had played their arrival had reached its diminuendo. The final notes slowly dragged themselves, reverberating from the walls and beginning to die. If she had not expressed immediate disdain for the idea, he would have acted. Stepping forward and reaching towards her hand in his, he took it and smiled. Slowly, he'd walk with her towards the dance floor, leading just a step ahead.

Then he would stop and turn, one hand finding its rest upon her hip and his other rolling in her grasp, interlocking his fingers with her own. His golden orbs searched out her amethysts, and his lips curled upwards in a shy smile. The next song began, and as the people around them began to move in their manufactured elegance, Finn began to follow suit. The only problem was that his movements were a little different than theirs. He didn't feel stiff, but his movements were arguably a little lack luster in comparison to the posh and prim movements of those around him. A quickly learned imitation, perhaps?

Then, as if to confirm it, Finn spoke up. "I uh... Truth is, I don't know how to dance. But I figured if you came here with me, it was part of what we were expected to do. So I've been watching them all really closely and, well, I think that I've got it down for the most part." The confidence was still there, but it didn't take a genius to realize that he was not the best on that dance floor, but hopefully there were points for effort.

Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra] C47FSON
#4Xandra Queen 

Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra] Empty on Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:20 pm

Xandra Queen
So tell the gun to sin Like an angel with the dirty wings Tainted by tastes of the soul This is another level Deep in

There was a sheer allure in the way he held himself, radiating confidence and surety despite the occasional display of nervousness. His small, yet hearty chuckle spread a gush of warmth through her as she found herself smiling alongside him. It was miraculously odd when she thought about it. A boy she had met years ago had now appeared before her as a man. The memories of the past were slowly, but surely, slipping out of her grasp as they were now being replaced with new, much more beautiful ones. The boy, who had a rather diminishing impression when compared to his companion, Jake, was now standing before her, vivaciously taking over her thoughts. Luckily though, she wouldn't have had it any other way. This funny twist of fate that reeled them in together had created a refreshing start to the new year, making her wonder about what the future had in store for them; about the memories that they would engrave with one another.

His words asked for the obvious, requesting for a dance as the lively music relaxed its pace as if slowing down to match the momentum of the individuals that swayed to its rhythm. While her eyes quickly glided around them, noticing the people she had paid no mind to in an attempt to focus all her attention on him, he had taken action before she had the chance to respond. It was as if he had known that she wouldn't have rejected his invitation, which made her widen her smile while accompanying it with a small laugh. He took a step closer to her and reached for her hand, which she gladly placed in his own. Her slightly cold hand slipped into his, immediately being engulfed in a blanket of warmth that radiated from his skin as he led her towards the dance floor.

Gently swerving around the mass of people that were beginning to fill the large marble surface, he halted his steps once they had reached a spacious area and turned on the heels of his feet to face her. She had followed him, allowing him to take the lead as he wasted no time in intertwining their fingers. His hand exuded the warmth that she sought after as she gently squeezed it in response to his action. The song which previously entertained the crowd had cascaded into another one, acting as a cue for many couples on the floor that began swaying to it. Finn and Xandra were no different either. She raised her free hand and placed it on his shoulder, taking a quick note of his shy smile as he gazed straight into her eyes before they too, submitted to the allure of the music and began dancing.

To others, the man before her may come off a mere tall, dark and handsome man, perhaps even intimidating to some. She, on the other hand, found him quite adorable.The way he moved to the melodies that surrounded them was enough to make her realize that it was not a position he found himself in very often. She could tell that he was trying, in an attempt to dissolve into the crowd of those gathered here and as if to confirm that thought, he went on to speak with unwavering confidence about his attempt to master the art of dancing which had been a foreign act to him. It felt like he was asking her to appreciate his efforts, which she did. She recalled the conversation they had back when they had encountered each other after years. For someone who had grown up in the wild, she could barely comprehend how he must have felt being surrounded in such a situation but his efforts made her heart flutter. Perhaps she was finally realizing that it was time to acknowledge how she felt about him. 

Giving into his words, she wanted to give him a compliment. "I wouldn't have been able to tell that you don't know how to dance." She gave a hearty laugh, "But you know, we're not expected to dance. If you want.... we could always just escape." Nodding her head towards the center of the room where clothed tables, garnished with delicacies for guests stood, she looked back at him. "I've heard the food here is great." She made a humorous comment that held truthful words in it. Xandra realized that she was perhaps overthinking but she didn't want to see Finn go out of his way to blend into the crowd of nobles. There was a peculiar charm to him when he was just being himself. 

She took a step closer, closing in some of the distance between them as her words dropped into a slight whisper, voicing out her inner thoughts, "Although dancing with you is pretty fun."
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#5Finn Mertens 

Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra] Empty on Tue Jan 21, 2020 9:23 pm

Finn Mertens
It had seemed that any reservations she'd brought with her, of him or the night, had been left at the door. Long gone was the nervous and shy exterior that had reacted to his initial come on. Instead, it had seemed as if she found comfort in his grasp. Her laugh rang out, and though it would have been deafened by the music and the jollity of the room, it reached him just fine. His lips curled upwards, genuine appreciation for the one who stood before him. She stepped into each rotation of their dance with much more confidence in her movement. It had seemed, at least to his untrained eye, as if this were not her first party.

Her comment about the food meant it was his turn to laugh. It escaped his lips before he'd even noticed its presence, causing him to turn his face and laugh in a way that seemed almost unbecoming of the dress he wore. It was a genuine laugh, far from the reserved nature of those who otherwise surrounded them. In a way it matched hers, and perhaps that was another reason to the familiarity he felt.

Yet it was not as though this was a predicament in which they found themselves in often. Never before had she been so close to him, and he found their lack of distance almost intoxicating. Everything about her drew him in closer. She had a unique perfume, and had worn just enough that only at this close distance did he detect it at all. It was delicate, floral even, and lingered in his nose like a citrus. Even the way she looked at him, craning her neck and staring at him with eyes that seemed to want to fill themselves with his visage alone, made him wish to bring her closer still.

And so as she spoke again, moving her body as to close the distance even further, Finn couldn't help but react. His grip on her waist shifted ever so slightly, allowing him to better hold and lead her in this new close proximity. If anyone had told him, even as recently as their reuniting only a few weeks ago, that he'd find himself in a place like this with Xandra, he'd have likely ignored them completely. It wasn't as though he had found her unattractive or anything of the sort; Rather, he'd simply never imagined her in this context before. Yet now, as the song continued along and their movements slowly refined themselves, he found a comfort in her touch.

"Well, I didn't say I disliked the dancing," he began, grinning and looking down at her now, his eyes seeking to lock with her own. "Just wanted to make sure you knew what you were getting yourself into. But I'm glad you're enjoying it..." His voice trailed off, but the smile lingered on their face as he continued to dance with her. He'd have given her a moment to make any comment, should she have wished, and then proceeded forward.

"I'm glad you said yes, you know. To the date- To this." He spoke while lightly motioning his head behind him, referencing the entire Cathedral in its expansive presence. "I know it must have been sudden but, I've really been enjoying my time with you. You make me feel lighter, I guess. And happy. And, well, there's no one else I'd rather be here with." If there was one thing that may never change, it was Finn's inability to articulate his feelings when it came to this sort of thing. Yet still, it wasn't as though he was lying. He meant every word, and though perhaps he shouldn't have said such things while they were in mid-dance and preventing her from escaping should the words be too "cringe" as they say, he felt it needed to be said nonetheless.

Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra] C47FSON
#6Xandra Queen 

Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra] Empty on Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:45 am

Xandra Queen
So tell the gun to sin Like an angel with the dirty wings Tainted by tastes of the soul This is another level Deep in

Her surroundings faded into a blur as the sound of his laugh resonated within the premise of her surroundings. The melodies that lingered in the background were long forgotten by the Bellan as all her senses were dominated by the man before her. His tall frame narrowed her line of sight to him alone, blocking out the dazzling light that surrounded them. She was no longer mesmerized by the blends of gold and silver accents that laced the hall. Instead, she found herself stuck within the bounds of awe towards Finn who, unlike the grandiose ballroom, didn't seem to be overbearing to look at no matter how long she did so. Perhaps the simplicity that came along with his presence was what drew her in, more so than she would have ever imagined. 

The comfort she had felt with him had been incomparable to any other feeling that she could put into words. There was a certain aura that he possessed which caused her to relax, without having to drown within the thoughts of having to concoct words to start a conversation and the subsequent social exhaustion. The mundane feeling that had recently been crawling over her evaporated as if it had never existed. Every moment that she had spent with him appeared to defy the laws of time as it seemed to have been passing by faster than she had wanted. The feeling of solace to the ordinary day had engulfed her in warmth.

It appeared that she had been overthinking for no reason as her smile widened upon hearing his words. Her racing thoughts had immediately come to a halt at that moment when she realized that Finn was a very bluntly honest person, perhaps way more so than she was. If there had been something that he felt needed to be said, he would say so. That thought alone was enough to put a stop to the subconscious habit of putting a deeper meaning to his words. When he claimed that he simply wanted to inform her of the potential consequences of her agreement to dance with him, she couldn't help but chuckle. "In that case, your warning was well received." 

Xandra, however, had momentarily forgotten the waves of emotions he seemed to enjoy creating. Slowly but surely, she found herself adapting to his pattern of honesty, which appeared to be tossed into the mix at odd times, leaving her flustered and often, unable to respond. As he went on to tell her how he had been enjoying his time with her, although it hadn't been long since they united within the venue, she couldn't help but lose control of her pounding heartbeat. Despite that, she found herself unable to tear her amethysts away from the golden orbs that stared right back at her.  His lips continued moving, letting the words flow out continuously, as if he was merely stating how he had felt without having put too much thought behind it. His honesty was one of the qualities that she had admired about him, perhaps because she herself, would not have been able to say something like that as blatantly as he did. It seemed as if every time she found herself relaxing within the sea of her own thoughts and feelings, his words would come in like a tide and disrupt the calmness she had felt. Nevertheless, it wasn't something she had hated. Rather she just didn't know how to react. 

The words he had told her had fallen in line with the definition of what she would consider cringe. If she had heard that anywhere else, she would have perhaps physically recoiled at it but she hadn't done so here simply because it hadn't disturbed her, or made her uncomfortable in the slightest which was also something she found surprising. Regardless, it wasn't as if she could just turn around and escape if she disliked it; he didn't give her enough space, neither did he provide her with the urge to do so. However, it seemed as if she had to start getting accustomed to the verbal grenades that he occasionally, and leisurely, tossed at her. She wanted to return his sentiment with her own but she found herself unable to find the words but instead of scrambling to find them, she looked at him only to find an expression of genuine sincerity masking his face. Perhaps she really had been unnecessarily overthinking. 

She simply relaxed with a sigh. Since she had decided to let loose for the night, she was more than prepared to take a risk at the moment. And so she did. His last words had engulfed her in warmth, enough for her to decide to take action. She stretched upwards, balancing herself on the tips of her toes and pulled herself closer to him using support from the hand that rested on his shoulder before gently placing her lips on his cheek. It was an action that may perhaps make her want to wither away in the near future, but for now, she was content with what she had done. 

"I guess that makes two of us."
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#7Countess Margret 

Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra] Empty on Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:14 pm

Countess Margret
Margret moved with grace as she moved about the room, each step summoned a click of her high heels, it demanded attention with each step, and she was on the hunt for her next target, a social elite attempting to find out what information she could.  She had spent most of her evening talking to the mages attending the ball, it had been a productive night, and she was starting to get a feeling as to where most people kept their allegiance.  Her silver eyes scanned the people about, looking for more guests to converse with. Spotting two people moving to the dance floor she watched, they seemed to be enjoying themselves from everything she had witnessed.  Standing with a few other people she casually talked with them, picking a drink off a tray as it was brought around the room. Bringing it to her lips she swashed it about the glass and decided if she really wanted it, but after a moment of consideration she took a sip, it was exactly as she expected, a fine wine, the king had clearly spared no expense. It occurred to her how unknowing the uncultured mages around her likely didn’t have the slightest clue as to how good the wine really was, let alone had any appreciation for it.

The two danced about, a chemistry that was truly inspiring, something Margret finding herself slightly jealous of, but she wouldn’t diverge anything close to her true feelings. When the tray passed by again, she took off too glasses and waited for them to end.  When they showed signs of stopping, she would make her way towards them both, two drink in her one hand her own in her left.  “perhaps a toast to the happy couple?” She asked offering out the drinks to Finn and Xandra, meeting with them as they exited the dancing floor, but not a moment sooner.  She wanted to interject but she didn’t want to come across unfavourable.

Margret smiled a fake smile, a smile not to different from a salesman or con artist, though she looked sweet enough to be trusted, a truly dangerous combination.  She wore a long elegant pale-yellow dress with silver high heels. A collection of matching set of diamond earrings and a matching necklace finished off the outfit. It was clear she had wealth. Her hair long and silver, not from age, but for some other unknown reason.

Her expression never once changing as they spoke back to her, she seemed to listen eagerly, a true adept of playing the social games. If they took the bait, she would introduce herself as “Countess Margret, a pleasure I’m sure.” Arrogance mixed with unnaturally high confidence clear with her tone and body language

#8Finn Mertens 

Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra] Empty on Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:46 pm

Finn Mertens
Finn had spoken to Xandra, and used that time and their proximity to confess a lot of the things that had been on his mind. He had allowed himself to become stressed, as he often did when there were unresolved issues within his life. Yet once again it was her that allowed him to make those problems melt away. He had confessed to all of his hidden thoughts, laying himself bare before her, and she seemed to have soaked them all up. She hadn't answered him or interrupted, instead choosing to continue to dance and look through him as he spoke.

Then, he had finished. With his thoughts put out before her, he readied himself for a response. He was not so optimistic as to expect her to immediately reciprocate, nor was he such a pessimist that he anticipated the end of their night. Rather, he didn't know what to expect. There was a sort of stillness in the air that permeated despite the notes and joviality around them that made it feel as though he were standing upon pins and needles. He was nervous, more so than he had been in a long time.

And when she answered, it was completely outside of his realm of possibilities.

Of anything he could have hoped for or predicted, the distance between them dissolving was the last on his mind. His heart immediately fluttered, the nervous feeling within his stomach made him feel as though he were completely out of his element. Yet without a word, and without him having the opportunity to react, her lips pressed against his cheek.

As she pulled away, she'd immediately be able to see his dull pink hue that had made itself at home upon his face. This was the first time since his appearance shifted that he blushed. On the bright side, his ears no longer turned red in embarrassment. On the negative, it turned out that pink was a natural accent to the markings upon his forehead, making them stand out even more than ever before.

She spoke to him, simply and in affirmation, and Finn felt it. For a moment, they were alone together within this room which had entered obsolescence, and there was nothing in front of him but her. It was only a moment, but he felt truly happy. To call him elated would have been an understatement; Yet, there was no time to process such complicated and evolving emotions now. Not when their time together had become interrupted.

Finn's feet stopped, his gaze drifting to the woman who approached them. His grip had tightened ever so slightly on Xandra's waist, in part to make sure that she didn't accidentally keep moving to the music and tripping upon his sudden halt. The other was an almost protective measure. Despite her ability to make him relax and feel at ease in his surroundings, an event like this was still a nightmare for someone like himself. He was surrounded by unknown potential enemies, and one such individual had just approached them.

Her words and tone, however, were disarming. Finn was not well versed in the culture of court, and despite his leaps and bounds in the politics of words he was dealing with someone who had been born and raised in the art. Nobles and Royals could paint entire canvases with their words, and the ones the spoke to would never be the wiser. She spoke of them being a couple, and while his cheeks reinstated their pinkish hue, he stayed on edge. Only had Xandra chosen to step away or put distance between herself and Finn would his arm have falling away from her waist.

Assuming that wasn't the case, though, one of his hands untangled itself from hers and reached for the offered wine. Taking it and motioning it in a "Cheers" fashion, Finn brought the rim to his lips and sipped on it. The distraction dulled the moment, but it also gave his mind time to catch up with itself. The woman before them spoke once more, and only then would he respond.

"Finn Mertins of Blue Pegasus. Thank you-" he paused, motioning with the glass to the room around them, "For putting on something like this. I've never seen anything so extravagant before."

Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra] C47FSON
#9Xandra Queen 

Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra] Empty on Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:39 pm

Xandra Queen
So tell the gun to sin Like an angel with the dirty wings Tainted by tastes of the soul This is another level Deep in

The sound of her own heartbeat reverberated within her head as the fading music, which was close to it's end, was long forgotten. The adrenaline that had made her succumb to the desire of acting upon her feelings was slowly diminishing, leaving behind a trail of nervousness as she began feeling unsure of how the man before her would react. Despite the clear indication of his words, which had indirectly professed how he had felt about her, she found herself swirling within the storm of doubt as she realized she couldn't be sure, at least not until she had seen how he would react to her advance. 

Never before had she imagined herself skipping on the stones of pure emotion so frequently, within such a short span of time at that. It was enthralling and yet, the blend of nervousness made her wish that time would pass by faster but that hadn't been the case. It was quite the opposite actually. She had felt as if time had halted it's steps, trapping the two individuals within it.

The lingering optimism that she had subconsciously attached to the situation had finally bloomed upon seeing the pinkish hue that slowly crawled over his neck and face. Upon noticing his reaction, she couldn't help but release the breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding. While the soft blush on his cheeks didn't condone her action, she awaited any words that would follow but the moments of silence that passed between them made her blood rush to her face as she felt a fiery warmth engulf her body. Although he hadn't voiced out what he had felt, his expression had given it away rather easily. Beneath the mask of pink that became a dweller upon his cheeks, she could see the look of joy slowly slipping past. Just looking at that had dwindled the calamity of emotions that swirled inside. Before she knew it, a genuine smile had curled upon her lips. 

The song that swayed in the background had reached it's finale as it faded into nothing, only to soon be replaced with another soundtrack. As if on cue, their engrossment within their own little world had been struck down with a voice which didn't wither in comparison to the beauty of the melodies. It was strong, yet carried an elegance to it as it requested a toast. With a voice that powerful however, it felt like an irrefutable order. 

Her steps had halted, much like those of her partner as she felt his grip become sturdier around her waist, as if shielding her from any external danger. However, thinking nothing much of it, she diverted her gaze towards the source of that sound, only to find a familiar, yet intriguing figure standing before them.  Their intertwined hands fell apart as she lightly turned her body to face her, finding it unnecessary to shake off the hand that rested on her hip.

She took a moment to observe the woman before her, who exuded an air of elegance and sophistication without shying into modesty. The way she handled herself within those few passing seconds of their encounter was enough to declare her status as a noble. Moreover, Xandra was well aware of who the woman before her was. The storm of emotions she had encountered mere moments ago had showed no signs of their presence as she collected herself, indulging in the calm that followed after her arrival. 

"A toast is very welcomed." Using her free hand to take the glass she was offered, she raised it slightly to play along the motion of 'cheers' as they gave into her request for a toast. Taking a small sip from the glass, she simply let it rest in her hand as she watched the woman before her stand tall and proud with an unfaltering smile. Her ability to maintain the socialite demeanor she withheld was rather terrifying, but nothing foreign to nobles. 

When she introduced herself, giving a name and a title to her face, there was an arrogance that laced her words. Everything about this woman was a determining factor of who she was as an individual; someone who was superior to the knight at least. Given her recent frustration with her own faction, she wasn't particularly excited about this encounter. The sight of the Countess, albeit beautiful, had left a bitter scene in her eyes and subsequently, a bitter aftertaste from the wine. Yet, she wasn't foolish enough to show it. Plastering a smile on her lips, she decided that her best course of action would be to simply ride the tides of this social game, much like her partner had done. 

After he had spoken, expressing words of gratitude, she would simply continue. "Yes, it's evident that the King spared no effort in expressing his gratitude." She would give the woman before her a smile, accompanied by a small bow before looking at her unwavering gaze. The Countess was indeed a beautiful woman, with her silver hair being a trademark of her unforgettable beauty. Although the Bellan had never directly conversed with the noble before her, her existence was something she knew well enough. 

"I'm Xandra Queen, a seated knight. It truly is a pleasure to finally meet you, Countess." Perhaps the Bellan was far better at the social scene than she thought she was.
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#10Countess Margret 

Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra] Empty on Sat Jan 25, 2020 9:56 pm

Countess Margret
As the two separated Margret found a sick joy in having forced their  happy interaction, it was a little sadistic, but she relished in the fact she had created an awkward moment at the kings ball, one that they likely wouldn’t forget easily, not that she would ever admit to such things.

As they took the glasses, she would keep the smile, speaking with risen cheekbones the edge of her lips had a slight curl to them that encroached on a smirk. It was subtle and when she realized she would force the smile a little harder.  She would raise her glass as if to cheers them, taking note that they were not as low brow as some of the people she had met, they had the common sense as to not slam crystal glasses together in celebration like brutes with stouts of beer. “may there be many more” she would add into the end of the toast, mostly to throw off any trail of having a distaste for the king, it would be social suicide to outright show any ill thoughts towards the king.

After she introduced herself, they followed suit, Finn of the blue Pegasus, it rang a bell, and she contemplated on all she knew of him, though informants and general hearsay. If what she knew was correct there were not many who could go toe to toe with the Blue Pegasus Sweetheart, at least none that survived.

Xandra started with a line drop about the king, it was true he really had gone all out, but Margret would disagree if asked, instead she raised her eyebrows slightly as she spoke it, in attempts to create an unsettling feeling within her.   After she introduced herself, a seated knight no doubt, she had her suspicion upon coming across them, and now it was almost too perfect.

“ah yes Mr. Mertins, i have heard a great deal of things about you, all good i assure you” she spoke quickly in response ignoring the attack he clearly tossed her way with his sneaking the kings’ efforts into their toast, but she remained unwavering in her resolve. Her plastered smile held true as she spoke to him “rumor has it there are no equal with a sword, a truly compelling accomplishment.”

Her attention turned back towards Xandra now, as she filtered through her thoughts as to what to openly state. “a seated knight, how wonderful, I’m glad to see such a fine knight in person, truly “she paused for a moment to place her hand to her heart and continued “inspiring for us all, and that you’ve found such wonderful company.” She said looking towards Finn for a moment. She didn’t know how much they knew each other, but she was willing to try her dark and sadistic game, “some might call this star-crossed love” she said planting her seeds of doubt and discomfort.

“but I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, that a Blue Pegasus Sweetheart could have anyone they could possibly want. . .. “she paused as if she realized what she was saying was unintentionally hurtful. Her eyes widening a bit more as if in shock of what she said. “My apologizes Ms. Queen, I was out of line” she said keeping her sentence shortened to leave room for doubt.  Her apology was about as empty as her trust in people but seemed sincere, or at least for people not adept with social games. Though she did her best to demonstrate she was sympathetic with her body language.  She however knew of Xandra’s accomplishments, and how well known she was, and the longer they interacted she grew more aware of the many deeds she had done.

Margate took another sip of the wine in her hand, then cleared her throat softly as if she was going to announce something. “on a different note, some of the guests I had talked to this evening, have been so bold as to tell me they think it foolish to display such a powerful relic, I would love to her to opinion of two highly regarded individuals such as yourselves.

#11Finn Mertens 

Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra] Empty on Sun Jan 26, 2020 10:25 am

Finn Mertens
Xandra's tone and body language had shifted. Gone was the woman who had let herself free and enjoy the night, and back was the Seated Knight of the Rune Knights. Her body stiffened, her eyes focused, her smile dissipated, and she was once again at work. Finn would be foolish to think he knew her so well now that he could figure out what she was thinking based on her body language alone, but such a sudden shift was enough to catch his attention. Her emotions had become falsified, and with that Finn's night became slightly worse.

It was due to that, no doubt, that as the Countess spoke he found himself seeing her words in a more negative light. Regardless of her tone or expression, she was now the woman who had dampened his evening. In any other case, it would cause for an unnecessary souring of relations between him and whoever it was he felt this way towards. In this case, however, it coincidentally allowed him to see her in the very light she truly belonged to.

As she made her name recognition, reasonably putting together who he was, she spoke with flattery. Her words addressed his accomplishments, hinting that he had been discussed even in Era and the Capital. Perhaps, in another light, he would have felt flattered to a degree. Instead, he responded with an "Mmm", acknowledging her words without expressing any thoughts on the matter. He was lucky that she had kept talking, making his dismissal appear as though he were showing respect in letting her continue, rather than interrupting.

Yet what she said fueled his annoyance, and at that point her intent was not longer important. Instead, all he focused on was what she was actually saying.

And what she was saying pissed him off.

She had finished her talk, and if she was as in tuned with people as a noble should be, she would likely see the annoyance on Finn's face. Had this been anywhere else, with anyone else, he likely would have had a few more choice things to say to the noblewoman. Luckily, he had matured a bit over the years. He understood, in a sense, that he was dealing with Xandra's boss. To directly disrespect her would be to directly cause problems for Xandra, and that was something he wasn't willing to do.

Instead, he would try to play at her game.

"You might have a point, Countess." Rather than addressing the relic, he instead chose to bring the conversation back a few steps. "After all, I am currently here with my date Xandra. And considering she is the only person whom I could possibly want, well, I guess you're right." Whether she would take what he said as an indirect jab to her own allure was up to her, and her state of mind. Rather than linger, Finn would only give a glance to his date in order to see if she wished to chime in as well. If not, he'd continue on.

"As for the relic, I guess that depends. If the thought is about its safety, then I'd say there's no where safer in all of Fiore right now than right here. If you mean using the Relic to give us this rejuvenation, well- I guess that depends. If you like the idea of one of Fiore's most powerful assets getting a boost to their fighting force, I think it was a wonderful idea."

Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra] C47FSON
#12Xandra Queen 

Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra] Empty on Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:47 am

Xandra Queen
So tell the gun to sin Like an angel with the dirty wings Tainted by tastes of the soul This is another level Deep in

The prior bliss that lingered in the air slowly dwindled as the conversation prolonged further. It seemed as if her lack of comfort within the current situation, albeit unnoticeable to those around, was caught by her partner with whom she was sharing the joys of the night a few moments ago. However, the shift in her demeanor didn't seem to have slipped past him as she could see him glancing towards her from the corner of her eye. She had chosen to momentarily ignore it as she directed her focus towards the noblewoman who stood before her, in hopes that the hands of time would tick past faster than before so she could return to leisurely enjoying the event with Finn. 

Having been a part of the knights for quite a while, Xandra wasn't ignorant to the people-pleasing games that were played among socialites as well as the knights, who would often plaster fake smiles and coat their words with honey in an attempt to woo those who were powerful. It was something rather common, much to her disdain, given the strict hierarchy that was followed within the faction. It had been one of the many things that had enraged her and the presence of the countess had done nothing more than add fuel to the igniting fire. 

The subtle signs that had let the intentions of the noblewoman leak had not gone unnoticed. Rather, the Bellan simply turned a blind eye to them, retaining her unfaltering smile. The strength in her smile alongside the slight raise of her eyebrow which followed the knight's words had clearly expressed it's disagreement but was instead, blatantly ignored by the female who simply let her continue. Perhaps doing so had been a mistake.

As her words continued, swaying between the two individuals, she chose to make a particular comment regarding the pair, which had stuck to her. She had gone as far as to call them 'star-crossed lovers' after simply observing a few moments of their interaction. Given her realization towards her rising affection for the man besides her, Xandra would not have minded in the slightest if she had heard it on any other occasion. However, the words that had escaped from the Countess' lips left behind a wicked premonition about what was to come. 

Indeed, her unpleasantness appeared to surface beneath the smile that she adorned upon the noblewoman's taunting remarks which had been followed up with an apology. While it may have appeared to be a simple slip of the tongue to outsiders, the knight was adept enough to catch onto the underlying intentions that had laced her words. It appeared as if she had enjoyed the odd hobby of playing with provocative words while dwelling within her own arrogance regarding her status. It was as if she had known as nobody would say anything to her because she was a noble. It was a act practiced by many who indulged in the art of nobility and it seemed as if the woman standing before them had mastered it, given that she had successfully instilled anger within the knight.

However, before she could part her lips to utter words that would perhaps have been far too honest to say to a noble, Finn had interjected. He had taken charge as his words carried a within them, certainty and confidence and yet, when she looked beyond the surface, she could see the hints of rage and annoyance that laced his words. The adorable man that she had become fond of had displayed a new part of himself, making her realize that she hadn't known him as well as she would have liked to. Regardless, if anything, it served as an incentive to her as she found herself wanting to push past the layers of his character to get to truly know him.

Her amethysts glided over towards him and as she stared at him, she felt her own anger melt away. A smile crawled upon her lips, different from the one she had given the countess as this one was laced with the emotions she was unable to hide upon hearing his words. Within that situation, there weren't many options for her to express the warmth she had felt in that moment so she did the simplest thing she could. Her unused hand, free from the chore of having to hold up the glass, slipped over his, which rested on her hip and gently squeezed it. If he'd permit, she would slip his hand away from her waist and intertwine their fingers partly because she wanted to, while another part of her had taken this subtly bold action right in front of the noblewoman in an attempt to irk her. 

"There's no need to apologize, Countess. Rather, I should thank you for making me realize just how honored I am to have such a delightful date." 

She would wait to see if the woman before her displayed any change in intention, through her words or actions before moving on to finally arriving at the topic that appeared to be her reason for interaction. She asked about their opinion of the showcase of the powerful relic which appeared to be the star of the night, claiming it to be bold to call it a foolish act and hence, seeming to want their opinion to coincide with her words. As Finn would go onto express his support towards the display, the knight would merely nod her head in agreement. 

"It truly is a powerful relic. Rather, I believe hiding it from the public eye would be far more foolish. After all, power is meant to be displayed. It works wonders when it comes to surfacing the real intentions of people. Doing so is quite an exciting way to start the new year." She would offer the Countess a smile before throwing her question right back at her, "I would also like to know what an intellectual such as yourself thinks about this matter."
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#13Countess Margret 

Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra] Empty on Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:33 am

Countess Margret

Margret smiled amused, as Xandra deflected her assault, it was bold and it made the countess smirk as she seen her grab his hand, ~ well played~ she thought, detecting only minor irritation at most from finn, he did well to hide his temper.

Pressure she applied on Xandra was nearly perfect, but through a group effort they shrugged off her verbal joust, she was both bitter and impressed, more so impressed, that they had the social capabilities to play the game and were able to defect the conversation so casually without so much of a hint of hesitation.  Margret’s smile turned more genuine as she felt a little more admiration for the two, it wasn’t often she was bested, but she could respect that they had.

At this point she had two options, to push this further or accept that she had been bested, as bitter as she might have been for it, she was quite impressed.  Deciding there was nothing more to gain from attempting to embarrass the seated knight she decided to talk to them as if they were more or less equals.

“ it is sweet that you would forgive me so easily, but i have spoken out of turn, and i don’t wish to be ill-received.” She said a little more sincerely before clearing her throat and changing the subject towards the relic.

Finn brought up some good points, points that Margret nodded along to, they seemed more thought out then other she had discussed this very topic with. She enjoyed the way he worded it.  It appeared as if Xandra agreed with the things Finn was saying, which was thought provoking, she went on the further the conversation about the relic, which the countess nodded with.  Better yet, Xandra brought the conversation back towards Margret, which she found to be great conversational edict.  She took another sip of wine and looked towards the relic. “I would have to say we are all in agreeance, I couldn’t have worded better myself, it would be unwise to hide it away. And clearly it attracts more good than harm, seeing as you two are here, and I haven’t come across anyone with too sinister of intentions. “she explained her reasoning.  Feeling the conversation coming to a natural decline she would try to repark it with another question.

She gave the small amount of wine in her glass a swirl, letting it spin about the glass for a second before taking the last of it down, just in time to have a server with a tray collect her drink, as if timed out masterfully.  “i wonder. . .” She said aloud, before pausing for a second, as if to call for their full attention “ what are your opinions of the current state of Fiore,  with the rising crime rates and all the issues in the last year” she said making a flourish with her hand in a circular motion, as if to suggest all of this~  " surely your positions grant you insight that most go without"

#14Finn Mertens 

Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra] Empty on Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:17 am

Finn Mertens
Xandra, it seemed, would prove time and time again that the leagues they stood within were separate. The way she was able to read the wave of emotions coming from him, and match her tone appropriately, baffled him. He was certainly not the one who would step into a room and control the atmosphere with his linguistic prowess, and so seeing someone who could was something he couldn't help but respect. His body seemed to relax as she spoke, the stress that once caused his frame to tighten finally seeping from his form. His eyes fell upon her side profile, and he thanked whatever it was he believed in for being there that night.

Their fingers had woven together, and it seemed that in the Countess' efforts to draw a divide between the two, she had brought them closer together. It was a strange feeling that welled up inside him. It was as though, in that moment, he made the unconscious decision that she would be a very important person in his life. He squeezed his hand once, lightly, a silent appreciation of her brave move. His eyes found their way back to the Noble, and as if nothing had happened at all she continued their little game.

It was truly terrifying, if he stopped to consider what had just happen. In no more than a few moments, and with only the context clues that a glance could capture, Margret had figured out how to draw out such a visceral response from the two of them. Had they not leaned upon one another, it was possible that a scene could have truly unfolded here. Her words were daggers, and they found the two to be relatively unprotected against them. Could she have wanted to bait a more primal response, perhaps? But what does she have to gain from such a thing..?

He couldn't dwell on the thought. Instead, she directed yet another question their way. She was simply full of inquisitive thoughts, and it seemed she would not hesitate to lob them at the two. Once again, though, Finn would speak up first. "Well," he began, his eyes locking upon the orbs of the Noble. For a moment, perhaps if she was more in tune than he gave her credit for, she could perhaps feel it. The sense of dread that came from standing before a hungry predator, and the uncertainty of where one lay on the food chain. A sense of intimidation, perhaps, that would come with such a feeling being directed at her from someone she apparently knew of so well. Without giving her time to process, if it was indeed needed, he continued.

"I'm not going to pretend I know the direction Fiore is going. I just know the patterns that I've seen in my travels throughout the continent. If the worse comes to pass, I will continue to try to protect the citizens of Fiore, and will do my best to confront those who would do them harm, no matter who the enemy is. Even if it means I have to confront the Royal family." His words were not at all quiet. Had there been anyone keen on listening in at all, the nearly treasonous words would have been easily overheard. Regardless of if it was bravery or sheer stupidity, there seemed to be no hesitation from the Warrior. Rather, he seemed so confident in his declaration that anyone would be quite just in calling him a fool.

Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra] C47FSON
#15Xandra Queen 

Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra] Empty on Wed Feb 19, 2020 1:07 am

Xandra Queen
So tell the gun to sin Like an angel with the dirty wings Tainted by tastes of the soul This is another level Deep in

The seemingly tense atmosphere that lingered before them, while the music continuously swayed in the background, seemed to have departed from the feeling of menace. It was as if the unexpected unity of the two individuals had thrown the noble off guard but luckily for them, she appeared to be someone who was quite befitting for the grace of a countess, not simply in the way she moved but also, in the way she handled the art of conversation. Although the underlying meaning behind their polite words held hints of offense, she didn't seem to take it as an attack to her pride. The shift in her demeanor was rather evident as she relaxed ever so slightly while the sophisticated smile she withheld was now laced with sincerity. While her reaction raised doubts within the Bellan's mind, she was thankful that the conversation was sailing smoothly thus far but that wasn't enough to let her guard down.

While her guard hadn't dropped, she did relax slightly upon feeling the warmth that laced her hand. Beside her, she could see Finn from the corner of her eye and watched as his face no longer held the grim look it did moments before. As delighted as she had felt, knowing that her action had, at least, a mild impact on his mood, she was well aware that it was far too early to expect to see a return of the joyful grin she adored. Resisting the urge to heave a sigh, a plastered the smile on her face and turned back towards the noble who gulped down the remainder of her drink. The knight was so engrossed within the happenings of the moment that she had forgotten about the glass in her hand so out of mere courtesy towards the noble who had offered it, she took a small sip.

When the moment came to pass, which indicated the dwindling of the topic of interest, the Countess took within her hands the responsibility of extending the conversation. It was apparent, from her title and her tone, that she was there to provoke their thoughts and prompt a response from them. While Xandra may have been confused regarding the intentions that laid under her words, the string of questions she directed towards them seemed to aim towards testing their loyalty to the country. It made sense. After all, in the vicinity which was brimming with powerful individuals, it was rather strategic to push them over the edge to see which side they fall on. Regardless, that was a mere assumption that didn't suppress the lingering disdain from the noble's previous words.

During the moment she spent being lost in her thoughts, she heard Finn speak as he took the initiative to answer first. His words, however, had caught her by surprise. There was a confidence that he carried in his voice, accompanied by his straight posture and the assured gaze he held against the Countess. His words seemed to flow out, carrying with them the sincerity that he possessed. He sounded rather heroic and more foreign to her than ever before. Perhaps it was then that she realized that while she knew him on the surface, there was simply too much about him and his beliefs that she was not aware of. This answer was intriguing but somehow, it was also something she had subconsciously expected from him. Blatant words which might be taken as offensive or foolish, depending on the context, were something that she could imagine coming from the man beside her. The thought of that brought a small smile to her lips.

Once Finn had finished expressing his loyalty to the people of Fiore, rather than to the throne, the female would pitch in. Unlike her partner however, she had no intentions of swearing loyalty to anyone. She wouldn't talk about what she would do if an unforeseeable future passes, simply because she didn't know. In that sense, she perhaps envied Finn who seemed to remain grounded to his principals. 

"The future is very unpredictable. However, seeing Fiore as it is now, it would be unwise to assume that it'll get significantly better in the future. Just take a look around. We're surrounded by people whose intentions we're not aware of. In fact, if irony calls for it, even the perpetrators of the rise in crime rates around the country might be loitering around here. The only thing keeping us from finding out, through their actions, is the fact that they know it would be foolish to attack right now. However, outside the walls of this palace, they can easily attack citizens." 

She glanced at Finn before returning her gaze to the Countess, "That's why it's important to have someone who would fight for the sake of the people. This extravagant display of power serves as a warning to those who may wish to go against it, but it also brings forth a lot of greed. If not more so than before, there will be people who'll commit crimes just to get a taste of power and chances are, the citizens will be on the receiving end because it's easier to feel powerful around people who are weaker. That's where we come in."
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#16Countess Margret 

Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra] Empty on Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:47 am

Countess Margret
Margret listened as Finn responded, a slight smirk forming at the corner of her pale lips,  she seemed to make mental note of what he said, but moved her gaze more so to Xandra as she started to speak. She listened intently as the Xandra also talked a bit about her point of view.  Margret also shared Xandra’s cynical views, nothing really seemed to get better for the general population, just a few select individuals, but as Xandra seemed more upset by this the countess didn’t seem to share the same point of view about the rest, her eye brows raised slightly as she mentioned the attacking of civilians.  She looked for a second as if she would speak but motioned to carry on as Xandra paused momentarily to glace at Finn.

The countess stood at her usual stance her gloved hand brushed her bangs from her line of sight, and she cleared her throat with a slight “hmm” before she continued into her main discussion.

“An option I didn’t take you two for. . . .how. . Interesting” she would say wavering her fingers in a circular motion as if recalling the words,  but her attitude would indicate it was more likely to add weight to her statement, as if it was so out of the box thinking that she had to make up what she had prepared to say. “for the people . . . .   Respectable, admirable, but a tad foolish if you ask me. The people hardly ever know what they want, let alone the things it takes to meet their ridiculous demands.   It is good that two people of your reputation and prowess are looking out for the people, they tend to get themselves into a great deal of trouble when not safe guarded like children. But ill not bore you with the innerworkings of the economy or the demographics of the people, you two were having a lovely evening and I have taken enough of your time.  Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me, I have a great deal to consider” she said trailing off a bit. Her attention seeming to turn towards an individual that passed by.  She turned back to the couple and offered a rather gracious bow for someone who had moments ago verbally attempted to bully and belittle them.  She would turn around without so much of a glance back and walked gracefully and with purpose towards the other end of the room, disappearing into the crowed room.

A few minutes later, a small meek looking man in formal attire found his way to the couple, with him is a silver tray and a bottle of wine in a bucket of ice.   The man would place the bucket with the rather expensive wine bottle on the table for the two. along with what looked looked like a coin purse. “ The Countess Margret wishes a toast to the happy couple, and a little something more for your time” he says rather scripted sounding, the man would quickly bow himself out of the situation, the man no doubt wanted to return to the countess with news of his job completed after all she didn’t seem like the type enjoy waiting for anything.


#17Noyiah Dashi 

Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra] Empty on Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:54 am

Noyiah Dashi
Finn Mertens has been rewarded 150,000 Jewels.

Xandra Queen has been rewarded 150,000 Jewels, additionally Xandra’s answers have unlocked an S3 Mini-Plot.

#18Finn Mertens 

Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra] Empty on Mon Feb 24, 2020 12:21 am

Finn Mertens
Xandra answered the question in a way that confused the warrior. It was as though, in the presence of the Countess, she had embraced the role of her job. While her answer certainly represented her true feelings, it was laced with the wordplay of the upper crust. A piece of Finn was impressed by her ability to play their game, and still another part of him had done his best to decipher her words. No matter how he struggled, though, he couldn't find commitment to anything in what she said. Rather, it seemed as though she'd intentionally avoided aligning herself to any specifics. It wasn't as though he was offended or hurt by her statement; Never would he try to hold someone else accountable to his own sense of duty.

Rather, it pinged a sense of intrigue. What she said neither conformed to a preconceived notion of who she was, nor did it catch him off guard and surprise him. Rather, it showed how little he truly knew about the woman who was with him. She was not a shallow person in any sense of the word. There was so much depth to be discovered, and he felt his lips curl into a smile as he imagined what the future may hold for them. She had proven herself to be someone who could contest wits with the noble far better than he could, and for that she now had his respect on top of his affection.

As the Noble finished her piece and attempted to bow out, Finn turned his attention back to Xandra. His expression had changed ever so slightly from anything it was before. It was a peaceful acceptance of the moment. He gazed at her, his intense golden orbs softening ever so slightly, and his entire body seemed to relax. The fighter who could never seem to leave the battlefield seemed, for once, completely vulnerable. He drank in her appearance as long as he dared in silence, accepting whatever words she had to add. He realized he could comment on the strange happenings that had just occurred, but better he thought to accept the silence while it could last.

As he finally opened his mouth to speak, their time together was once again interrupted, if only briefly. A stout man had approached, a platter in his hand that cost more than low ranked requests would ever pay, with a bottle of wine that dwarfed even that. He commented that the bottle was from Margret, stated to them a toast from the Noble, and then bowed and made his way out. Finn stared in mild disbelief as the man made his way, then a soft chuckle escaped his lips. "I don't think I'll ever understand these people..."

The bottle had been opened by the man, and without hesitation Finn grabbed it and set aside the two glasses, filling them up slightly. He handed a glass to Xandra, and held the other in his dominant hand. Perhaps she'd have noticed his complete disregard for the bottle, not admiring it the way that the Countess likely would have insisted upon. He understood that the bottle was expensive, and he didn't need to consider anything else. Raising the glass towards her, he grinned. "To a unique night, and many more to come." Assuming she'd accept the toast, he'd sip at the drink and then place his own drink down upon the table beside them.

"You know, this is all new for me." He spoke with the smile still upon his face, and while it was clear that his mood was high, his tone took on a slight seriousness. "Everything about you just feels different from anything I expected. Beyond the fact that you're obviously gorgeous, you're just so... Mysterious?" He added an extra inflection upon the word, emphasizing his inability to find the correct thing to say. "Every time I think I have figured out a little bit about you, you add more to the table. You're smarter than I could have imagined, experience with Nobility, witty and carefree, yet cautious and paced with everything you do. I have felt like you've led this little dance of ours since we've met, and I've done nothing but trip over my own feet."

He laughed at his own words, a genuine laugh that showed how amused he was with the situation. "Everything about this is so far out of my expectations that I have no idea what to do or say next. All I know is I want to do something to feel like I'm controlling the pace a bit. Something that I've wanted to do since we got here, I guess." His words trailed off, and without further ado he leaned forward and lifted his hands. As his palms cupped her face, his lips would press solidly to her own. He had moved to her tune since they met, and finally he was going to trip her up.

Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra] C47FSON
#19Xandra Queen 

Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra] Empty on Fri Feb 28, 2020 2:04 am

Xandra Queen
So tell the gun to sin Like an angel with the dirty wings Tainted by tastes of the soul This is another level Deep in

Whatever tension lingered in the air, dissolved with the departure of the noble who left behind a string of sophisticated words which did not, in the slightest, improve her impression in the eyes of the Bellan. However, she smiled and bid the woman adieu in agreement with the fact that too much of their time had been taken by her. The night was still long and while the conversation hadn't lasted long, it had extended enough to shatter the atmosphere of warmth that was created between the two individuals, much to Xandra's dismay. She set the glass, which was given to her by the countess, aside on a table nearby before finally being able to focus all her attention to the man before her.

She was met with a pair of golden orbs which stared right at her, softening as they glistening underneath the shimmering lights, exuding a warmth that immediately wrapped around her. The encounter that, moments ago, had fouled her mood slightly was now long forgotten. If anything, she learned just how much she was yet to discover about Finn. To her, he was a man of much depth that she had yet to explore. It was as if every time she pulled apart one layer of his persona, she would be met with several others and perhaps, she too, was just like that in his eyes. His alluring nature, and sharp responses that directly conveyed what he had felt had placed him in another light, a much brighter one. For that, she couldn't help but internally thank the noble.

As he stared at her in silence, she returned a smile that melted onto her lips as she gently squeezed the hand she realized she had been holding. The chatter around them died down, mingling with the music which now felt so distant as the only thing she could look at, was the man standing in front of her. His demeanor had visibly changed as he settled into the comfort of the atmosphere that had returned when the two were left alone. He looked rather vulnerable, but more relaxed than he had been before which made her smile widen. 

"Well, that was interesting. Granted, she interrupted us but it was still pretty enlightling." Her memory immediately drafted back to the moments before the noble arrived and the sweet moment they had shared upon her initiation. However, upon recollection of that moment, she couldn't help but cast her gaze away as her eyes drifted towards the gleaming lights behind him, which suddenly appeared so fascinating. Although she had an inkling about his response through his reaction, she was too nervous to presume anything until the words had slipped through his own mouth.

The blood which was rushing to her cheeks had dwindled down immediately when they received another, short but stoic, interruption by a man whose height coincided with the length of his message. His monotonous tone and unhinged expression as he left the token of gratitude from the Countess' behalf were rather interesting, to say the least. Without so much as glancing at the bucket left behind by him as he made his way away from them, Xandra cast another glance at Finn who simply let out a small chuckle with a small comment. A small laugh escaped her as she shook her head, "I don't think I will either."

He slipped his hands out hers, which loosened upon noticing that he wished to grab the bottle of wine that was just gifted to them. Tipping the bottle to let the contents flow into the glasses, he held one out for her with no significant appreciation towards the drink itself, which resurfaced the smile on her face. Taking it from his hand, she tapped it against his own raised one, creating a small sound which was only audible to their ears. She took a sip, and so did he, as her eyes traveled along with his glass which was gently placed on the table where she had set down the noble's toast, only to have it disappear, presumably being taken away by a waiter. His words, however, snapped her gaze back to him.

The smile on his face contrasted the resolute tone with which he spoke as he started off with a rather attuned sentence. Her eyebrows knitted together ever so slightly in confusion as he continued, causing her expression to change with every sentence that he spoke. He had a way of making it difficult for her to accept his words with a simple thank you. Instead, they sent her into a frenzied state of fluster. He continued pouring out his thoughts, which were laced with only positive views of her. A part of her was flattered but in a way, it also made her realize that he too, only knew as much about her as she did about him. Perhaps it was far too early for them to learn and accept each other's flaws but it wasn't something that scared her. Rather, she looked at him with eyes that conveyed her affection more than words could. 

"In that case, I guess you have no choice but to stick with me until I'm no longer mysterious." It was an invitation from her behalf, letting him know that she's willing to open up to him because she selfishly wanted him to know her just as she wanted to know him. He continued on, trailing off onto words of his desire to want to control the pace a bit. She tried to control the laugh that threatened to  release, holding it in with a restrained smile as his expression seemed rather adorable to her. She simply settled her glass down, leaving her hands empty, as she looked towards him in an attempt to decipher his words. However, he didn't give her much time to do so.

He leaned in, closing the space between them, as his lips locked onto hers gently and yet, with a riveting passion. The warmth immediately engulfed her face, not just because of his hands, but because of the blood that rushed up as a result of her hammering heartbeat which viciously bombarded her ears. She closed her eyes as her hands found their way around his waist, giving into the heat of the moment. Any potential eyes on them, or even her own physiological manifestations, were ignored by her hazy mind which refused to focus on anyone, or anything, other than Finn. It was truly terrifying how he managed to sway her emotions every time. That was what she had always thought. However, never before had she meant it as sincerely as she did in that moment. The tides of euphoria that she rode were all courtesy of him. 

Once they would pull apart, she could loosen her arms around his waist as she stared at him. "So..." If his intention was to create a mayhem inside her heart, he had succeeded. Regardless, she needed confirmation. A word of simple reassurance to know that the euphoric feeling was the start of something new. "I'm guessing that means you like me?"
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#20Finn Mertens 

Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra] Empty on Mon Mar 09, 2020 11:36 pm

Finn Mertens
Their time together thus far had been better than he could have possibly anticipated. There was certainly the bumps in the road, primarily in the form of the Countess who chose to imbue their night with her bad taste, but it was a splendid time overall. It felt, to Finn at least, as though the recent months had been to this very moment. The two of them, still strangers in almost every sense of the word, found a comfort in one another. For him, Xandra's presence was something that he not only couldn't take for granted, but something that he had come to look forward to with almost a dreamlike glee. She had invaded his time, making herself omnipotent in his thoughts.

She simultaneously made him feel untouchable and impossibly vulnerable, and he appreciated her for it. It had been a long time since he had felt this way about anything, and he certainly hadn't thought himself capable of it. Yet here he was, dressed in clothing that was far stuffier than he would have worn otherwise, to see her. Nothing in the cathedral, not the relic nor the hall that was adorned in priceless art and artifacts, would draw his attention as she could with the most simplistic actions.

As he spoke to her, overflowing with more words than were likely necessary, she did it again. Anyone else would have taken such a sudden outburst and looked on in a horror, confusion, disgust, or a mixture of the three. Not her.

She watched him with a baited anticipation, frozen on him as if time had stood still and eyes wide as if in wonder of the man before her. The more he talked, much too quickly in a single breath, the more confidence had welled up within him. She had taken his words as if they were a lifeblood to her, and it was her way of interacting with him that made him feel this way. With her, more than anyone else, he felt as though he were someone. Far too long, and without even realizing it, he realized that those around him had often made him feel like an expendable piece in their life. As his mind flashed back, even the what seemed like it should have been an obvious exception came back the same.

Yet with her, he felt special.

So as they came together in that moment, and as the room around them seemed to both spin wildly out of control and come to a complete halt, Finn had gambled everything. Their time together, the signs that he may have misread, the bond that he felt yet had never heard put into words. He rolled the dice on who they were, and what if anything existed between them. As he pulled away, the distance allowing him to look at her face in its entirety once more, he could finally process how her body language had reacted to his advance.

Her hands had found their way to his body. Her cheeks had flushed, eyes both searching out his own and diverting themselves from his gaze in an alternating pattern. Her breath seemed to have been taken away from her as she uttered a single word before pausing in order to gather herself. Then, in a final strike to his heart, she spoke in a way that brought a smile and laugh from his lips before he could stop it. His eyes looked up, head tilting back, and a sigh escaped his curved lips.

Locking eyes with her once more, and still unable to curb the happy noises escaping from him, he nodded once. "Yeah, you caught me. I like you." Moving one of his hands down to his own waist, his hand would cup itself around her arm. "Is it safe to say that you're still holding onto me like this because you like me too?"

Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra] C47FSON
#21Xandra Queen 

Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra] Empty on Mon Mar 16, 2020 5:37 am

Xandra Queen
So tell the gun to sin Like an angel with the dirty wings Tainted by tastes of the soul This is another level Deep in

The golden orbs that blinded her vision, stared at her with a look that she could only determine to be adoration. It was as if she were the only person present within the large vicinity that was bustling with people and yet, neither of the two paid any mind to another. They were far too deep in their own world to direct their focus to the music or to the people around them, which they had been doing previously through the dancing and interactions respectively. Now, she could finally direct all her attention to the man before her and Finn made it rather easy to do so. With every passing moment, she found her heart full with just the sight of him as his presence was becoming increasingly endearing. The way in which he managed to make her feel comfortable by doing the bare minimum was an art within itself, one that she could never stop admiring. 

The chill in the air collided against her flushed face as he pulled away, evidently displaying the glee on his face. It appeared that it was her time to be flustered as everything he had said and done had happened so fast that she couldn't grasp the moment of sitting down and thinking about things. Instead, she gave into her instincts, returning his kiss and before she realized, the need of assurance had slipped into her words as she blurted a question to which the answer was strikingly obvious. However, his hearty laugh and glistening eyes were enough to subdue any bubbling feelings of anxiety. Xandra found herself moving along to his rhythm as his contagious laugh had replaced the astonished expression with a smile of her own. 

He proved every time that there were still several ways he could probe further into her heart and the subsequent thoughts. Her erratic heartbeat fell into a rhythmic sync as the words escaped his lips. She felt his hand gently cup her arm, which she had loosened around his waist, as he returned her question back to her. A hearty chuckle escaped her lips as she pulled her arm back so her hand would wrap around his. "Not at all. Why would do you even think that?" The humor that laced her voice was rather evident as she chose to beat around the bush slightly. However, it was surprising to even herself, how quickly she had given in, being unable to contain her feelings any longer. "Just kidding. I like you too. I guess we both got caught." 

Her hand clasped as she entwined their fingers together. "Well, you already said everything that had to be said. Except for the compliments maybe." She grinned at him, pulling her other hand away as she raised it as a gesture, holding her index finger and thumb slightly apart. "They may have been a little bit to much." Her hand fell as she maintained her smile, which morphed from a playful one into a more genuine one as her eyes looked at him with adoration. 

There were some things that she felt like she had to say and so she did, while the rush of adrenaline still assisted her. "But you know, this is all new for me too. Being around you makes me feel....comfortable and relaxed. I guess a better way to put it would be to say that....you feel like home. I don't know if I can explain it properly, but seeing these different sides of you really makes me happy because I feel like I'm getting to know you better. I don't know if you could tell but I've been tripping on my feet the entire evening too. There's just so much about you that I adore. I guess what I'm really trying to say is that, Finn, I really like you." 

There was a sense of relief that mingled with the excitement which coursed through her body. Perhaps she had simply been too nervous before to tell him her feelings, dawdling in the fear of displaying how flustered he truly made her feel. However, she realized that it was far too foolish for her to have been doing so. Maybe, she would have been more honest regarding her own feelings from the beginning. Her worries slipped past her as she settled into the ease of the atmosphere, looking at him and listening if he were to say anything in response. 

Taking a quick glance around, she would notice how the once dazzling light that bathed the crowd just seemed so mundane. The chatter of the people finally reached her ears as she spotted a few glances being thrown towards the two, possibly an aftermath of their interaction with the noble. Looking back at him, she would offer a sheepish grin, "You wanna get out of here?" Waiting for a quick moment for his response, if he were to say yes, she would send a smile his way which seemed to be plastered on her face. Pushing herself away from the table, she'd clutch his hand gently before moving away from the crowd, towards one of the balconies which oversees the beautiful gardens of the cathedral.
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#22Finn Mertens 

Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra] Empty Yesterday at 9:30 am

Finn Mertens
Her words escaped her with a sense of glee, a sense of giddy excitement now radiating from the young woman. For a moment, much to brief for him to truly focus in on, he saw her as she once was. The quiet girl, unable to bring herself to speak more than a few sentences at a time and with eyes that seemed like they no longer yearned for more. He wondered if, perhaps, she felt the same sense of surreal difference from the past. Long gone was the shorter blond boy, eyes of ocean and brother at his side. He had been replaced by many versions of himself along his travels, but he felt an almost irony to the fact that he felt more like himself now that he was in this new body than he ever had before.

There was doubt in his mind, of course. Not yet prominent worry, but the seeds of chaos that would certainly be watered with time. The question of if her feelings for him existed before his physical change would spend the next few months crawling its way through his psyche, causing damage from his subconscious until it found its way into a question. There would be plenty of time for things such as that, though. It was still such a new concept that he didn't have the ability to conceptualize anything that would act as a damper to the night.

Instead he listened to her words, and they did their job of getting him lost within the moment. She had already confirmed her feelings for him, but the fact that she could find the courage to articulate them made him even happier.

She went a step further, explaining to him just how foreign she felt to the situation at hand. Hearing that comforted him, proof that he wasn't alone in his feeling of being lost in the unknown. They would have plenty of time to get to know each other better. They would be able to grow closer, to get more acquainted with one another's past. Yet before they took the time to look backwards through time, they would find a way to get further muddied in the present.

"I feel the same way, Xandra." She had found his hand once more, earlier as she answered his question, and had anchored herself to him with her comforting touch. Jake would be so happy if he saw this right now. His lips curled upwards. He'd have to write his brother and try to get him to visit. After all, he had always been a vocal proponent that Finn's decisions in life might not have been the best for him. This, he thought, would be something they would agree on.

Then came the suggestion he'd been waiting for, though whether he had been awaiting her to mention it or for himself to he couldn't say for certain. Once she put forth the idea of leaving, though relief flooded over him. He hated this stuffy atmosphere, the fake personalities, the forced enjoyment of the night. In a sense, the Countess had been a bright spot among a crowd of gray intentions. At least she had made herself transparent, even if she couldn't break the deceptive wordplay of a noble.

"Yeah, lets go."

Though leaving was very clearly Xandra's suggestion, Finn would lead the way. Her fingers, laced in between his own, felt comfortable in a way he couldn't explain. He moved through the crowd, which seemed to have thinned a bit without his realization, and before long they had made their way to the grand entrance. The doors were propped open, and aside from the guards, butlers and maids stood to thank the guests and bow to see them leave.

Finn glanced at his partner and grinned, stopping and gently pulling her over. His arm raised, and while their fingers were still tangled up together he rested his hand on her hip and held her against him. He could speak, ask about what they were now or where they were going, but part of him felt like any noise from his lips would shatter what certainly felt like a dream. Instead he closed the gap once more, finding his place on her forehead, and then began walking with her. The night would embrace them, and they had all the time in the world.


Stars Converge [Grand Ball || Xandra] C47FSON

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