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A Mysterious Meeting [Private/Ayero]

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1A Mysterious Meeting [Private/Ayero] Empty A Mysterious Meeting [Private/Ayero] on 01/01/15, 11:52 am

Solomon's Proxy

Solomon's Proxy
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Sly had been following Ayero since her match in the Coliseum against Vorgoth. She showed huge potential for strength and seemed loyal to her country. He hoped this attempt at a meeting would work better than with the assassin. He had left a message for the woman to meet him at the tavern and had arrived early to get a quiet table in the corner. As much as he would like to try and rely on luck, time was of the essence with the slowly increasing number of Kou soldiers arriving in the country. The need to rally numbers was getting bigger by the day. He ordered an ale and awaited the woman.

Ayero

Ayero
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The message Ayero had received had made her a bit wary. While the woman was cautious, she was no coward and chose to confront whoever contacted her, acting on her own curiosity. While she had left her beasts to look after Vin for the evening, the Ayero had made sure that her weapon was polished and secured to her waist. Striding into the tavern at the appointed time, she squints slightly as she scans the counter and tables for any sign of the person who had left the message for her. It dawned on her that she had no idea who this person was or what he or she looked like, her brow creasing in slight frustration.

Her gaze finally land on a man at the corner table, the familiar shade of Fanalis red hair catching her eyes. A small lit of surprise lights up her eyes momentarily as she approaches him. ”May I sit here?” She asks in a hollow tone, taking a seat anyway as she speaks.


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Solomon's Proxy

Solomon's Proxy
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Sly looked up as Ayero approached, offering her a friendly smile and waved at the seat across from him.

"Please do. Ayero Shiba, correct? I have seen you fight in the Coliseum. Your reputation there as a notable opponent is growing. Your skill with that blade is impressive, if I do say so myself."

He took a sip of his ale, ordering one for the woman as well. He waited until the other ale had been delivered before continuing, waiting for the waitress to leave before speaking again.

"I will admit, I have been following you for a bit. Not just you, mind you, but several of the Fanalis bloodline in Reim that show promise. How much do you know of the Fanalis Corp and its leader?"

He wanted to know how much background she had in the area before proceeding further so he would know how much he might have to explain.

Ayero

Ayero
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She nods in acknowledgement, shifting in her seat slightly to get more comfortable. She’s a bit relieved that this man doesn’t seem to be aggressive right off the bat, and leans back in her seat while crossing her arms over her chest as she listens to him speak. She gives a soft grunt as he recognizes her skill, inwardly appreciative of having been complimented for her prowess in battle.


When ale arrives she give another nod directed at the waitress before taking a long, slow drink. Her eyes flash dangerously for a moment and she lowers her glass when he mentions that he’d been tracking her. And other Fanalis as well? She arches a brow, plopping her mug onto the table with a solid thunk and a deep exhale from finishing her drink. ”About as much as the average Reimian, I’d guess.” She pauses to gather the thoughts. ”I didn’t grow up in Remano, so I didn’t hear much of them. I do know that they’re one of Reim’s most elite forces, or rather….”


She lets her words linger, not knowing the correct way to phrase what she was about to say. She was, after all, speaking with another Fanalis. She knew of the strange tragedy that befell the Corps from the whispers around town and angry rants of distraught citizens, but she felt as if it wasn’t her place to discuss it. Silencing herself for a second with a quick drink, she continues. ”Their leadier…Octavian something? I heard he was well liked.” She fixes her sharp gaze on him, indicating that that was all she knew. ”Would you mind telling me your name? You seem to know about me, yet I don’t even know who you are.”


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Solomon's Proxy

Solomon's Proxy
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Sly listened to what little knowledge she had, nodding at her before chuckling at her request for his name.

"I just go by Sly most of the time. Slyvester. And you are correct, Octavius was very well liked. He took in orphans, led the Fanalis Corp, he... he was a hero, especially to those with Fanalis blood. He was an example of what we could achieve when we weren't slaves. And then that attack..."

Sly sighs, it was painful for him to recount the events. Brushing aside his discomfort, he gave the woman a searching look.

"I am sure you are aware that the city is in a state of unrest. The destruction of the Fanalis Corp, the Emperor being killed and his throne given to Lagi el Nagi, the Kou occupation... it is a rough time in this city. I have to ask... would you like the opportunity to do something about it? To return Reim to what it was originally, though with some changes? To get those invaders out of our home?"

He took another drink of his ale, waiting for her answer. It would be what determined where he went from here.

Ayero

Ayero
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She’s silent for a few minutes following his question, retracting her arms to cross them over her chest in an unconscious defensive maneuver. For the majority of her life, she’d spent her time concentrating on her small little word. The safety of family was above all, and even in recent events she strived to keep what little she had safe. She wanted to refuse right off of the bat, unwilling to involve her brother in this by proxy. But another thought struck her, something that had been slowly working itself into her mind. With the influence of Kou becoming more subtle and the people more wary, Ayero’s own anxiety grew. She didn’t want her brother to grow and learn in a world that was becoming so unbalance, at least from what she knew of it. She had traveled to different lands, she’d seen how differently they were ruled and how rich their cultures were.


”I…won’t deny that I am in agreement with some of their policies.” The slave trade and the education reform were foremost in her mind when she spoke. But how would they  be assured that these would be carried out? And at what cost? The abolition of the slave trade would impact Reim’s economy, in the least. ”But…who says that Reim cannot do these things on her own?” She mutters mostly to herself, staring down into her glass as she swirls the remained of the ale around as if it were her conflicted thoughts. They do not belong here. Not like this.” She finally returns her firm gaze to meet Sly’s.


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Solomon's Proxy

Solomon's Proxy
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Sly was pleased with her answer and gave a disarming grin.

"That is what I was hoping to hear. True, many of Reim's policy changes have been good ones, especially the abolishment of slavery, but... this is our country, not theirs. And none of us want to see it fall further into their hands. Would you be willing to do me a slight favor? It is not that you seem untrustworthy, but... it is better to be safe than sorry. My group... we are in need of a healer. A good one. If you could provide us that... perhaps we can further discuss how to return Reim to its people..."

As much as he wanted to simply take her to meet the others, he could not risk it. If she could find them a healer without reporting them to the authorities, then maybe he could let her meet the group.

Ayero

Ayero
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Ayero pinched the bridge of her nose at Sly’s request. If this man could not get a healer for his group on his own, then they were clearly doing something underground. Trying to go under Kou’s radar, no doubt. She briefly wondered if she feared retaliation from the invading country more than she wanted Reim to be free of them. But what guarantee did she have that she would not be walking into a trap? While Sly made no aggressive moves, this could still be part of a ruse to lure her in to Ilah knows what.


But he seemed earnest enough and she couldn’t ignore the potential to help rid her country of Kou. Catching her lower lip in between her teeth, she looks away in thought for a few moments. ”I’ll…try. I make no promises.” She finally relents, hoping that she wasn’t promising something she couldn’t deliver.


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Solomon's Proxy

Solomon's Proxy
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Sly nodded at her honesty, deciding against his better judgement to give her something that may ease her mind a bit regarding his request. Her uncertainty was understandable, but even so, he felt he should at least give her some indication of what she might be stumbling into. He moved his head closer, almost directly against her ear, to make sure his whispered words would not be overheard.

"I am a member of the Fanalis Corp."

As he whispered the words, he slipped her a piece of paper with a location on it for once she found a healer. He held out his hand to shake hers before dropping some coins on the table to pay for their ale and slipping out the front door.

Ayero

Ayero
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Sly’s parting words bring more relief than she had expected, even causing her stiff shoulders to slump slightly. She takes the piece of paper and tucks it into her chestplate. With a spark of renewal in her eyes, she accepts his hand for a firm shake. A bit of hope danced in her heart at the realization that the Corp that the city loved so much might not really be gone for good. She remains seated for several minutes after he leaves, finishing her ale and sitting alone with her thoughts. At last she too stands to leave, heading back to her inn for the night.


Several days later, Ayero leads an older gentleman through the darkened streets of Remano. She had thought carefully about where to find a skilled healer that could be trusted, finally settling on one of the healing mages she went to see often. Bertoldo was a graying middle-aged life mage who had worked in Remano for his entire life. He spent most of his time servicing the coliseum fighters and their various injuries, which is how Ayero came to know him. He was a warm, friendly man and they often chatted as he tended to her, leading the Fanalis woman to trust him enough to believe that he would be the right person for this job. He subtly expressed his distaste for what was happening to the city, but it was apparent enough for Ayero to understand that he too was against the Kou occupation.


Not wanting to reveal her true intent at the very start, she told Bertoldo that her brother was too ill to move and went about leading him to the “inn” where she was staying. She only hoped that the older man would not be too angry at her. She had taken care to memorize the location written on the paper in advance, even casually passing by the area to scope it out earlier so that she did not look lost. ”Miss…this isn’t an inn.” The healer mutters to her as they approach the building. ”He’s inside.” She mumbles equally as low, keeping her face forward as she knocks at the door.


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Solomon's Proxy

Solomon's Proxy
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Sly looked up at the knock at the door, tugging the curtain closed that hid the 'patient' from view. When he opened the door, he saw Ayero and the medic he had seen around the Coliseum several times. Deciding to trust the woman's judgement, he ushered them into the abandoned house. He waved the healer to the curtained off area.

"Thank you for your assistance. He is back there. Please, do what you can. And please, don't... don't say anything when you see him."

Sly made a nervous face, hoping the healer could do more for the injuries than their first-aid attempts thus far. There was still broken ribs, deep lacerations and what he suspected was the beginning of an infection starting on the 'patient's' torso.

He looked up to Ayero and offered her a seat if she wished to take it.

"I appreciate your silence in this matter. I know I have asked a great deal from you, but we cannot be seen in most parts of the city without... drawing unwanted attention."

If Ayero were to look around the abandoned house, she might notice shadowed figures in the corner, their faces and hair covered. They would remain still and silent until they could judge for themselves the safety of revealing their identity.

Ayero

Ayero
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Surprise showed across the old man’s face when they entered the building and he gave a sideways look to Ayero. He had a feeling that the woman wasn’t quite telling the truth when she began to lead him through the city, but it was apparent that someone here needed healing. Sticking true to his oath to protect life with his gift, Bertoldo nods and heads behind the curtain to tend to Ayero’s “brother”.

Ayero shakes her head when offered a seat, preferring to stand for the time being. She took quick note of her surroundings, not entirely surprised to see several other people present, their features obscured by the cloaks and hoods they wore. Feeling a little uneasy, the Fanalis woman feels her sword hand twitch and crosses her arms over her chest. She didn’t want to make any aggressive movements yet, seeing as how she was outnumbered by what she assumed were the remainder of the Fanalis corps.

”I understand. I’ve done my part, and I expect to hear more about…what we discussed earlier.”


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Solomon's Proxy

Solomon's Proxy
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Sly nodded at her question, one ear on the healer and one focused on the warrior woman.

"As I told you, I am a member of the Fanalis Corp. My battalion was sent out to investigate the blizzard that happened right before the invasion, so we weren't there when the rest of the Corp was... lost... Octavius and 3 of his men had been out scouting the Western Front, but arrived back in time to see what was going on. He sent his men out to find my battalion, to let us know what was going on. By the time we arrived... he... Octavius... he was trying to save the rest of the Corp. We were exhausted from travel, several of us injured between the blizzard and some vicious wildlife... we couldn't... there was nothing... we couldn't save him..."

One of the shadowed figures came from the corner to rest a hand on Sly's shoulder, giving the man a moment to gather himself. When they pushed back their hood, a female face was revealed with the trademark red hair. She took over the explanation.

"We had to watch as they struck Octavius down and then mourn as he and the rest of the Corp died. It was vicious and meaningless. We kept from being seen, after knowing we were such a large target. When the crowd scatter, we went with them. Sly gathered us and we came back, hoping to at least put our men to rest properly. That was when we discovered... Octavius... he... someone had brought him back... but, they did not heal him. That is why we needed a healer."

She waved to the curtained off area, just as the healer pulled aside the cover to show the leader of the Fanalis Corp, a smile on his face and the bandages gone from his torso. Without wasting a moment, Sly jumped up and ran over to the man, inspecting the healed wounds carefully before sweeping the healer up into a hug, being mindful not to crush the graying old man.

"I COULD KISS YOU, YOU MIRACLE WORKER!"

Ayero

Ayero
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She listens intently to Sly’s story, trying to balance her attention to his story while keeping her focus on those around her. At the mention of a strange blizzard happening right before the invasion, her eyes suddenly widened and a short gasp left her lips. But she reigns in her thoughts in favor of taking in Sly’s words. Her lips fall into a flat line and her eyes become somber as he struggles through speaking of his fallen comrades, his family. Her eyes focus on the figure that reaches to comfort him, scanning the feminine face as she relays the rest of their tale.


Hearing the words from the lips and minds of those who had witnessed such tragedy sparked a flame of rage in her stomach. The anger began to work its way onto her face, her eyes beginning to smolder as If she were standing on the snow-covered mountain once more, poised to kill those who had taken so much from her. Pausing to look up at the faces of Sly and the woman beside him, she realizes that they’ve likely felt the same feelings.


Her gaze follows the other woman’s gesture towards the curtain area that obscured Octavius from view as the healer worked his magic. She was surprised to hear the bit about Octavius being resurrected but still left with grievous wounds. When the mage pulls back the curtain, her eyes widen in slight awe as her eyes land on Octavius. She was surprised to recognize his face at least somewhat from the parades she had seen long ago, considering that she previously strained to remember anything she knew of the Core.


”Your “brother” is feeling a lot better, miss.” The healer said in an amused tone as he cleaned his hands with a rag, winking at the young woman. ”Ah…” Ayero gives him a sheepish smile as she rubs at the back of her neck. ”Sorry about lying to you…” She apologizes, her smile becoming more genuine as Sly takes the man up into a hug.


”It’s….an honor to meet you, Sir. I’ve heard many good things about you.” She turns to Octavius to address him, still in a bit of awe from speaking directly to the leader of the Fanalis Corp.


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Solomon's Proxy

Solomon's Proxy
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Sly released the healer before going to inspect Octavius again. Octavius gave him a good-hearted chuckle before nudging the man back to look at the woman that had brought the healer. His voice rang out softly, but with a strong note it had lacked in previous weeks.

"It is an honor to meet you, as well, sister. I cannot thank you enough for finding us such a trustworthy healer. Bertoldo and I have quite a history together, you could not have brought us one more capable and able to keep this quiet. Come forward, my family. She can be trusted."

At Octavius' words, the others around the room took it as a sign that they could reveal themselves and six more faces were shown, all clearly of Fanalis bloodlines and all with smiles as they saw Octavius moving on his own without wincing or panting in pain. The leader of the Corp gave them each a moment to come forward and give him a hug before turning his attention back to Ayero.

"So, Sly tells me that you are interested in removing this... spreading infection of Kou from our land and returning it to the people. Did he tell me true?"

Ayero

Ayero
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Her face softens even more as she watches the scene play out in front of her. It was heartwarming to see the remainder of the Corp happy, relief etched onto their faces as they embraced their leader one by one. It must have been tough for all involved, she imagined. In a small way, the closeness they shared reminded her of her own family. It had been a long time since she’d been around this many fellow Fanalis.

As Octavius addresses her again, she straightens and a more solid look falls onto her face. ”That is correct, sir. I…must confess that I’ve been away from my home country for some time. I returned shortly after hearing news of the invasion and I….” She trails, hesitating as she tried to put in to words what she really wanted to do. ”…Reim does not belong to Kou. They…have no business doing what they’re doing.” She finishes, a bit awkwardly albeit earnestly.


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Solomon's Proxy

Solomon's Proxy
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Octavius gave a friendly smile, one that was familiar to those in his 'family' of Fanalis. One of understanding and appreciation for their efforts. He moved around a bit, glad to be able to move without being in excrutiating pain.

"Bertoldo, my old friend, I see you have only gotten better at your craft in my absence. My thanks for your wonderful care. Sly will take care of your payment, you may not wish to be part of what is discussed next."

After giving the healer the opportunity to leave but not pushing for it too much, giving the healer the option to stay if he wanted, Octavius would continue, looking at Ayero.

"Sly tells me there have been several meetings in the city, private meetings where people are voicing their distaste for what happened. We need to encourage these people to come forward in a public display. At the same time, I would like to rebuild my Corp. I have a few friends in the Remano defenses that I would like to call upon, but, if you would like to help, I would be grateful for anything you can do. We had another that we were hoping would assist us, but it seems to have fallen through, I think. Regardless... do you know of any Fanalis-blooded individuals that might be interested in helping me to rebuild? Or just people unhappy in general, that would be willing to fight, if trained?"

He gave her time to think on the question. He knew that some of his connections would be willing to help with the supplies, weapons and whatnot, but he needed people. And while he would like to rebuild the Fanalis Corp, he also felt that the citizens themselves needed to take part in retaking their country, in any way they could. He realized not all would be able to fight, but even helping with supplies or simply spreading word of protests would be an asset to them.

"I am not quite ready to make my debut, I need to get back into fighting shape. I have been out of commission for so long, I fear I need a chance to work back up to my former glory. If nothing else, I would not mind the opportunity, at some point, to spar with you. If that would be acceptable, of course..."

Ayero

Ayero
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Nodding in understanding, the healer bids the Fanalis man farewell before taking his leave and vowing to remain silent about what had taken place. There was a twinkle of hope in his eyes as he left the building.

Ayero’s brow creases in thought as she recounts the number of contacts she had in Reim. Some of them may be interested in helping form a rebellion, but she didn’t know to what extent. She had come across a few other Fanalis, Liber and Bahir while she was in the city. Perhaps they would be keen to help. While Liber might be interested as this is his home country, Bahir hailed from Balbadd and she didn’t know him well enough to know if he’d be willing to participate. Diego also had Fanalis blood, but she hadn’t seen him for quite some time. She wondered about Yakuroro and Ariella’s thoughts on the situation at hand, if they’d be willing to fight for a country they did not belong to. Azix as well seemed to be doing his best to help the country while holding distaste for his own, but she didn’t know the man well enough to trust him. Finally, she settles on a single conclusion. She’d try and probe those she knows to see what their thoughts are on Kou’s occupation and how deeply those feelings run. ” I’ve made many acquaintances abroad, but there are few I am close to in Reim. In truth, I haven’t had much time to focus on Kou’s occupation until recently myself. But I am here because I fear for the future.”

The mention of a battle puts a hint of a challenging smile on her face. ”I’d be happy to help in any way that I can. A spar, I can certainly do.”


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Solomon's Proxy

Solomon's Proxy
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Octavius chuckles at her final words, knowing that glimmer in her eye. Fighting was her strong point, it seemed, but she was willing to try and help them gather forces if she could.

"Well then, blood-sister, do what you can. Sly will send word once I am prepared enough to try and fight. I fear right now, it would be more like trying to fight a baby than a gladiator. If, at any point, you need to contact us, Sly will give you a drop point. We do not stay in one place very long, for obvious reasons."

Octavius moved over to her, holding out his hand to grasp her forearm in a sign of solidarity. He felt the urge to hug her, but understood it might not be welcome and so he would settle for a fellow fighter's grip. She had done much already to ensure he could rebuild by bringing the healer, he would not push her personal boundaries this day.

Ayero

Ayero
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Ayero nods in understanding, raising a brow in surprise when he moves to grasp her arm. Momentarily unsure of what to do, she settles to grasp his forearm in kind with a firm grip. After only speaking with him for a few minutes, she began to understand for herself why the other Fanalis seemed so adoring of him. He was a man who radiated warmth and strength, the type that would be able to rally likeminded individuals around him easily. Her resolve to help her country became cemented with her involvement of the Fanalis Corps, and despite being uneasy with the dangers associated with it, it also felt rather exciting. After wrapping things up, she bids them farewell and slips out of the building, heading back to her room for some sleep.

[Exit]


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