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Judge, Jury, and Executioner[Plot Task]

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Liber Aurelius

Liber Aurelius
β-Tier
β-Tier
Job Name: Not All Are Enemies [Task 1 Part II]
Job Rank: B
Job Location: Reim
Job Rewards: 200 XP/15,000 Huang
Job Prerequisites: Call to Arms
Job Overview: Octavius has asked you to assist in retrieving Ms. Ten Fu, her two children and her six men from a mob of villagers that are keeping them locked in a small barn with little food or water and forcing her to watch as her soldiers are tortured by the villagers, threatening her with a similar fate if she attempts to escape. Octavius wants her retrieved with as little collateral damage as possible.

Enemy Name: Angry Villagers x20
Rank: D
Needed damage to take down: D
Description: Angry Villagers are armed with a variety of weapons, including axes, hoes, swords, and daggers, all capable of inflicting D-tier damage. They are not experienced in ways of battle, but their large numbers give them an advantage.
Abilities: Angry Villagers move at 6 m/s and deal D-tier damage with their weapons. Angry Villagers can be knocked out or incapacitated with D-tier damage or with the use of poisons.

"This is the place..." A young fanalis soldier wearing Reim equipment said atop his horse as he pointed to a small village on the horizon. "Are you sure you don't want back up?" The youth asked to a cloaked figure riding the horse next to him. Liber glanced to the side and looked at the soldier, he couldn't be any older than the minimal age required to enter the service and had a look in his eyes more befitting a scared farmhand than that of a warrior. "I'm sure, now return back to Remano. I'm sure the others will need your help more than I." Liber said with a whimsical smirk. "I'm not here to fight in the first place."

The soldier seemed reluctant, but nodded slowly and turned to take his leave. "Be careful then, and good luck...Hya!" Spurring his horse onward, the boy returned to Remano leaving the fanalis assassin to do his work. But the order of the day was not to ensure folk make an early appointment with death. There were innocent lives being wrongly punished for crimes that held no victims and it was Liber's job to liberate them from this injustice. Tugging on the reins of his horse, Liber willed the beast into a trot as he began a slow approach toward the village.

It would not take long for Liber to reach the outskirts of the village. Even at its edge he could begin to see why the people here had been driven to extreme actions. Thier fields were all but barren and signs of a famine lingered marking that they likely just had a poor harvest. With little food and money, the people were likely already on edge. News of Kou's invasion and the appearance of the "enemy" would have been more than enough to spur violence. Unfortunately, these villagers were victims as well. While Liber was thankful that he had no cause to turn this into a slaughter, it complicated things that his morals were starting to see his targets as suffering innocents as well. Still, no amount of circumstance justified torture. Liber's values demanded that he put a stop to what was going on here.

Word Count: 366/1000


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Liber Aurelius

Liber Aurelius
β-Tier
β-Tier
The clopping of his steeds trots came to a halt as Liber entered the edge of the village to be greeted by a small group of angry looking villagers. They had swords and axes at the ready and stepped into the road to block Liber's path. "Hold it right there! Who are you? What have you come here for!?" A burly looking man asked as he pointed his blade at Liber threateningly. The cloaked man sat silent atop his horse for a moment as his maroon eyes looked these people over. It was brave of them to take up weapons when surely most were simple farmers, but their fears had consumed them. That bravery was false and tainted if they would so quickly turn blades to any stranger approaching their village.

Slowly, Liber reached up and pulled back the hood of his cloak to look down at the man with a disarming smile upon his face. "Greetings, my name is Liber. I'm fighting with the rebellion force to rid the Kou invaders from our lands. I have orders to interrogate the Kou noble reports say you've captured. My orders come from the new fanalis corps." Liber held himself like an important officer as he spoke even though he held no military rank to speak of. Some of the villagers spoke among themselves as they debated whether or not to believe Liber's claim. His fanalis hearing picked up on whispers of whether or not his red hair was enough to believe Liber's story. The assassin cleared his throat and spoke over them with an extra incentive. "Your village will be rewarded for your trouble, of course. I've been authorized to grant you payment to thank you for capturing these filthy invaders." Liber then reached into his cloak and revealed a large bag of gold.

"Assuming of course, that you truly DID capture some Kou troops and a noble...I don't see any. If the report turns out to be a lie, you can kiss this reward good bye..." Liber then returned the bag to its place within the cloak out of sight. If the village truly had gone through a famine then a large sum of gold would surely help them survive through till next harvest. While the villagers seemed reluctant to let Liber through at first, the sight of the large gold purse brought hope to their eyes. When Liber put pressure on them by putting it away, the villagers cracked and slowly lowered their weapons. "W-We apologize for our rudeness. It's hard to know who you can trust these days..."

Liber shook his head and dismounted from his horse, "Don't feel ashamed, these are dangerous times. You're only protecting your own. I cannot condemn you for that." Liber said holding up a hand to dismiss the villager's worries. "The prisoners are kept in old Romulus' barn. It's this way." The man with a sword offered to guide Liber there but the fanalis looked around and realized that he needed an escape plan. One horse could not spirit several soldiers and a small family away by itself. "Before that, I'd like to take a look around your village. I noticed the fields on my way in, it doesn't seem to be a good year for you. If I do a proper inspection I can report back to my superiors and ask if its possible to send relief. I can also advise where to bolster your defenses in case more Kou soldiers arrive."

"Y-You don't mean...are their armies already close?" A terrified middle aged woman gasped with her hands held over her mouth in worry. She was nearly bursting into tears just from the thought.

"It's hard to say. Fate willing, it's possible they might never pass by your village. One might even say it's a boon that your harvest was poor. Without much supplies, they would have little to gain from pillaging your land. But it is better to be safe than sorry." Seeking to lighten the woman's fears, Liber gave her a hopeful smile. "Understood, in that case. I shall be your guide. My name is Clavicus, I've helped build half the buildings in our town. I know the lay out better than anyone else." The burly man from before said as he stepped forwards. "Excellent, lets get started then. Please, take care of my horse madam. It's tired from a long ride." Liber said before leaving his mount in the care of a female villager before gesturing for Clavicus to lead the way.

Word Count: 1000+/1000


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Liber Aurelius

Liber Aurelius
β-Tier
β-Tier
As Liber toured the village with Clavicus, it became apparent that most of the villagers were elsewhere other than their usual daily routines. It almost seemed like a ghost town. When Liber asked about it, the carpenter who was his guide explained that most of the people have been spending their time "treating" the Kou soldiers to some "village hospitality" lest they forget where they are. Liber could tell from the tone of Clavicus' voice that those words didn't accurately reflect what was probably really going on, but he didn't pry. Instead, Liber earnestly took account of the various troubles the village faced and in what ways they could prepare themselves for an enemy attack. Liber discussed a nearby river and possibilities of irrigation along with a few recipes to make the most of what little supplies they currently had. After an hour of talking with Clavicus about where to build barricades and how to set up a string line with wooden planks to act as a warning system, it was finally time to go see the prisoners.

Liber could tell as they got close to the barn that his assumptions were right. It seemed as though the reports of torture were accurate. A mob of almost two dozen villagers were gathered around three kou soldiers who were tied together and strung upside down over a large trough filled with extremely filthy water. The soldiers were being dunked over and over again until their struggling became lifeless and they looked to be on the verge of death only to be cut down for a break while the other three soldiers were hoisted into the air to take their place. They were already looking weak which made Liber wonder how many times this cycles had repeated today along. His fists clenched tightly and Liber grit his teeth as an old anger swelled up inside of him. The same anger that led Liber to kill his former mistress with his own hands. But he snapped free of spites cold embrace when Clavicus spoke to him. "The soldiers will be...occupied until sunset. But the whore and her spawn are this way."

Liber forced himself to relax and turned to follow after the carpenter as he was led into the barn. "Thank you Clavicus. Now leave us. There is no telling where spies might be listening and I have sensitive information to ask about." The villager didn't seem to like the idea, but after all the help Liber had given up till now he had no reason to distrust the fanalis. Clavicus nodded and gestured for the two guards inside to leave as well.

When the wooden doors closed behind them, Liber looked to Ms. Fu and her children. They were sitting in the dark in a pen meant for animals like they were beasts. Looking around, Liber didn't need the reports to tell that they had been given little food or water. Signs of malnutrition were already apparent on the children and their mother looked weak. Drained of all strength and hope. Liber carefully walked towards them and knelt down. The children retreated in fear and clung to their motionless mother whom seemed to have resigned herself to oblivion. Fear was reflected on the childrens eyes as Liber reached into his cloak, but he did not remove a blade as they worried. Instead, it was a modest water skin.

"I'm here to help. Here, drink." Liber offered the skin forward and for a moment none of them dared move. With a sigh, Liber popped the cap off and took a healthy swig from the water himself to show it wasn't poisoned before offering it again. The children still made no moves at first, but their mother reached a fragile hand out and took a meager drink for their sake. The kids eyes lit up and between the three of them they emptied out the rest of the water while Liber spoke with their mother. The noblewoman from Kou looked dirty and hardly seemed to fit the part with how disheveled she appeared. "Is it true?...You've come to help?" She asked in a raspy voice. Liber nodded and kept his voice low as he explained, "I was sent by someone who appreciates your intentions and finds this situation to be a terrible tragedy. My orders are to take you to Remano where our comrades can protect you. I understand if this treatment has changed your mind about helping with the rebellion against Kou. But even if it has, I'll still see you all free from here. This is wrong."

Ms. Fu seemed as though she could hardly believe that she would be escaping captivity and began pouring tears from her eyes. "Thank you...Thank you so much..." She then wrapped her children up in a hug and Liber stood to take his leave. "I'll come for you tonight after the sun has set. Stay quiet until then, okay?"


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Liber Aurelius

Liber Aurelius
β-Tier
β-Tier
The door to the barn creaked open and Clavicus stepped inside, "Are you almost done? The town elder would like to speak with you."

Liber took the waterskin from the children while his body still blocked it from view and he performed a backhand to Ms. Fu holding back enough to not seriously hurt her, "Sorry..." Liber whispered before standing and speaking loudly, "See how you've wasted my time!? I'll see you again tomorrow morning. We'll see how tight lipped you are after I've had some quality time with you. If you think what they are doing to your soldiers is bad, you've never seen real torture." Liber then turned on his heel and walked out past Clavicus speaking lowly to the carpenter, "Forgive the ungentlemanly display. You said the elder wanted to talk?"

Clavicus sneered at Ms. Fu and her children and noticed a smile on one of the young boy's faces as the child looked at Liber's back with hope. Suspicion began to grow within the villager, but he said nothing of it. "Hm? O-Oh, yes. Right this way." Clavicus then led Liber away as the two guards from before returned to their posts. "I told him about the help you've given so far as well as the reward and offer for future assistance. We're all most grateful, but I'll let Cato express this gratitude." Clavicus said as he walked up to the door of a rustic two story house and opened the way for Liber. The fanalis man entered to find a dusty wooden room with an old man seated by a fire. "You must be the one from the rebellion lil' Clavy mentioned." Cato said as he looked up to the sound of the door opening. "Come, sit." He said as he gestured to a chair next to his own. Liber stepped forward and made a military salute followed by a slight bow, but he did not take a seat. "My apologies, but I'd like to keep this brief. I'm weary from a long ride and I could use some rest." Liber declared.

"Yes, of course, I'll have Clavy prepare a room for you. But first I'd like to thank you. My name is Cato. We've been through some rough times here in this backwater farming town before, but this is the first time we've had to worry about invaders. Your presence here and the help you've offered will help bring peace of mind to everyone. This whole village is like my family...I can not thank you enough." Liber shook his head, "No, I'm merely following orders and doing my duty. A warm bed is more than enough. Thank you." After a brief conversation about what kind of support the rebellion could offer the town, Liber took his leave and left the house to be guided to a small abandoned house on the edge of town opposite to where the barn was. There, a bed had been prepared and Clavicus bid the fanalis good night.


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Liber Aurelius

Liber Aurelius
β-Tier
β-Tier
Liber settled into the room given to him swiftly despite its meager renovations. It was clear from a thick layer of dust throughout the bode that no one had lived here in months. But at the very least, the room and bed had been cleaned off as best as the villagers could given the short notice. Liber looked out of a window to see the last lingering sunlight disappearing behind the horizon. He wrote a letter to Octavius detailing a request for support to be sent to the villagers and sent it to him via carrier pigeon before closing the shutters and crawling into bed. There, Liber layed still with his eyes closed but sleep did not come to the fanalis. Instead, his mind was taking in the lay out of the village trying to improvise a plan. There were no wagons big enough to carry himself and all the prisoners. The only horse in town was his own. It seemed like there were no options available to him other than to try and escape on foot. Liber hardly liked the idea, but without any other form of transportation the situation made the choice for him.

Hours passed and Liber remained in bed, meditating on what might be the best route to take out of the village to remain unseen. The assassin kept running scenario's through his mind over and over again in order to maximize chances of success. At last, Liber opened his eyes and got up. He moved to the window with silent steps and cracked the shutters open ever so slightly. Peering out into the night, Liber judged that it was just past midnight. Most of the villagers should be asleep, it was time to move. But before Liber took action, he noticed the flicker of torchlight creeping into view for a second. Edging the shutter open a bit more with tentative caution, Liber peeked his head out a bit further to see that a sentry had been posted at his door.

Why was there a guard there? This changed things. There were many possible reasons, some benignly innocent and others devastating to Liber's plan. Either way, he had to move now. The longer Liber remained, the more suspicious he would become and the former slave did not like the idea of having to torture Ms. Fu to avoid conflicting with the act he'd shown to Clavicus. Instead of going out the door, Liber snuck out from the window and made a stealthy approach towards the guard. The human guard was complacent and relaxed, he hardly realized anything was amiss by the time Liber was upon him with a swift light strike to the back of the neck. Liber held back to avoid seriously injuring the man, but he fell to unconsciousness all the same. Catching the guard before he fell, Liber hoisted the man up and propped him against the wall. With some careful positioning, Liber managed to make it appear as though the guard were napping on duty.

With his "protection" taken care of, Liber took to the shadows and crept his way through the dark village. The obscuring embrace of night would aid Liber in approaching the barn unseen, but from what he could tell, there was no one else awake. There wasn't a single sign of candle light in any of the houses nor any more sentries. His sneaking to the barn where Ms. Fu was kept had been uneventful, but something didn't seem right. Liber came upon the barn entrance to find that there were no guards posted outside. He wasn't sure what to make of it, but time was of the essence. There was no telling how long it would be before the guard he knocked unconscious would awaken and sound some kind of alarm. Feeling the pressure of urgency upon him, Liber reached out and pushed the barn doors open.

It was too dark to see inside but Liber could hear the muffled sounds of the gagged prisoners coming from deeper inside. Liber took a few steps forward and the doors swung shut behind him. Liber didn't need light to tell from the sound that a board was slid into place securing the door further. Then a flint struck and a few lanterns were lit. Liber was surrounded by roughly two dozen angry looking villagers. Fu, her men, and her children, were all tied together with their backs to one another and hanging from the rafters by a rope. Clavicus stepped forward to the front of the angry horde, a sword in hand. "Looks like I was right, you're a traitor after all..."


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Liber Aurelius

Liber Aurelius
β-Tier
β-Tier
Clavicus was practically shaking with anger as he pointed his blade towards Liber, eyes demanding some kind of defense or explanation from the fanalis. But no such attempts at self justification were in Liber's mind. The only thing he was thinking of was how to best accomplish his mission in this dire situation. Looking around, Liber made a quick head count of all the villagers present. There were no less than twenty. Looking up, Liber saw the bundled up prisoners tied up around their torsos and gagged. Seeing them tied up like that gave Liber a reckless idea, perhaps he could simply carry them out of the village using his fanalis strength and speed. Looking back to Clavicus' eyes, Liber saw the hope in them. the hope that this was still some kind of misunderstanding.

A friendly smile came over Liber's face as he swiftly threw his arms upwards raising them high as if to surrender. "You got me!" Liber declared loudly to direct attention to himself so none would notice the lone needle he'd thrown with the movement. A single Reapers Kiss flew past the rope holding the prisoners up cutting it ever so slightly. With the weight of so many people on it, this small cut would gradually begin to grow in size. Liber had to buy time until then so he appealed to Clavicus' hope. "But you're wrong. I am no traitor to Reim." Liber stated plainly as though it were obvious. "I'm here on orders from a general. It is absolutely necessary that I bring these people back to Remano." Keep stating facts, let the people be engrossed by the information. "I've been a citizen of Reim all my life. I would not be here right now if I did not have the heart to fight for my home."

Clavicus had seen the way Liber made an earnest effort to help their village first hand, he was tempted to believe the fanalis' words. Perhaps if he were a leader among the villagers it would have made a difference. But this was a mob, there was no leader to guide their collective wills. Another villager spoke out, "Stay your treasonous tongue! Foul lies, you're here to help the enemy!" The single man's cries were enough to stir the rest of the villagers present into a frenzy. A club swung from behind and cracked Liber against the head. It was a weak blow that would do little more than leave a bruise, but it hurt all the same and sent Liber stumbling forward. Another villager lashed out with a dagger cutting across Liber's left arm which he rose defensively. A grit of pain stung across Liber's arm and reflected in his expression, but the man adamantly forced his smile back. He refused to fight against these people using his full strength lest he hurt one of their few able bodied workers.

"I don't blame you all for not believing me. But I have reasons why I can't back down too..." Another villager attacked Liber from his right side swinging an axe with violent rage. But this time, Liber acted and stopped the blow by catching the axe by its wooden handle. A sudden wave of killing intent poured out from the assassin to intimidate the people as his smile thickened and Liber spoke calmly, "I'd advise you all to go back to your homes...I'm not sure I can hold back from taking your lives if you come at me all at once like this..." The wave of willpower that flowed through the room gave all the villagers pause. Some timidly stepped back in retreat but one of them called his bluff, "Don't listen to any more of his lies! There's no way he can take all of us on at the same time!"

Four villagers gave battle cries and charged Liber only to be followed by the rest. Liber used his hold on the axe to toss the villager whom wielded it into his fellows to delay them. He danced gracefully throughout the people avoiding attacks and pushing them into one another, but even a fanalis could not perfectly avoid so many weak attacks at once. A cut caught Liber's right arm, a slash an down his chest barely missing his exposed nipple. Blunt strikes landed in half a dozen spots on his body and more cuts littered his arms until both limbs were covered in blood. Finally, the rope overhead snapped from as the rope reached its limit and the Kou family came falling to the ground. Liber had been waiting for this moment. With a leap, liber jumped into the air and caught the falling group in air landing just in front of the barn door. A powerful kick rendered the wooden board holding it shut useless. The doors flew open and Liber hefted the gagged Kouen people before breaking into a run.

Liber sprinted as fast as he could until the yells of the villagers behind him faded into the night and then he ran further still. Running on and on, Liber moved with the fire of adrenaline running through his veins. Even carrying so many people, Liber's speed was simply too much for a human to catch up unaided. Finally, Liber ran out of breath even with the stamina of a fanalis at his disposal. The man slowed down and let the Kou prisoners down before untying them. They had a barrage of questions for their savior but Liber was too busy trying to catch his breath and recover from exhaustion. But before Liber could get more than a moments rest, the sound of a horses hooves clopping at a gallop caught his ears. Liber took in a deep lungful of air and urged Ms. Fu and her people to go on without him between breaths. "Go...If you...follow...this road...it should lead you...straight to Remano. The guards...should be...expecting you..."

Liber insisted and sent them on their way before standing and turning to face the direction from whence he had come. It didn't take long for the horseman to come into view. Clavicus had taken Liber's own horse and gave chase after him. Liber chuckled to himself at having forgotten something so simple as to send the horse back on its own to prevent its use to follow after him. The fanalis wobbled a bit on his feet as Clavicus came to a halt a few meters away and dismounted with a sword in hand. The blood loss Liber suffered from the many small wounds and all that running was just now starting to hit him. Vision blurred out of focus for a second before snapping back to clarity giving the appearance that Clavicus teleported closer to Liber in the blink of an eye. "Shit...I just lost consciousness for a second" Liber thought to himself as he watched Clavicus come to s stop.

"Where are the prisoners....what did you do with them!?" Clavicus demanded, his sword pointing towards Liber with a great anger. The fanalis simply smiled and looked at Clavicus with weary eyes. "Speak damn you!" the carpenter shouted as he brandished his sword. Liber closed his eyes and then opened them, "They're gone...safe now..." He replied still short of breath and panting between words. "Don't worry...I've already...sent word to the capital...Help should arrive...for your village soon..." The words were meant to be assuring, but they only drove Clavicus to deeper confusion, unable to understand why Reim would seek to help anyone from Kou. "Enough! Tell me where they are!" Clavicus shouted as he ran towards Liber with his sword held at the ready. Liber's eyes shot open and his body whipped out with lightning speed, a single mortal strike from the fanalis flew with more accuracy than what should be rightfully possible for a man as injured as he. A needle flew into his targets skull piercing the brain to cause a painless death.

Liber's hand was outstretched from having thrown the needle only to fall limply at his side as Liber coughed up a gruesome pool of blood. The horse Clavicus had rode to catch up with them fell dead, a Reaper's Kiss lodged in its skull, as Liber looked down at the sword now impaling him through the gut. Clavicus looked all the more confused and began to pull the blade free but Liber clenched his teeth and gripped the man's wrists preventing him from doing so. He might still be able to catch up to Ms. Fu is he were allowed to hurry on, Liber could not let this happen. Using the last of his strength, Liber held Clavicus there in place despite the strong carpenter's attempts to struggle free.

Clavicus was saying something, shouting, but Liber couldn't hear him any more. Everything was beginning to go dark. Liber's eyes lazily fell so his gaze fell upon the sword, "That's right...this sword is still a problem..." Liber thought to himself. He rose one of his hands and made a fist, Clavicus cringed in fear prepared to be struck, but the blow came crashing down on the sword instead. Liber snapped the poorly made sword off at the hilt, most of the blade still plunged into his stomach. The fanalis assassin fell to his knees with a blank pair of oddly glowing maroon eyes and a contented smile. Blood covered his arms and chest as well as poured from his lips, but even so, Liber looked happy. Tears poured from Clavicus' eyes, unable to understand, his spirit to fight as broken as his sword as he took in the sight of a now dead Fanalis.






Lady Fu and her entourage arrived at Remano in the early morning hours many days later, safe and sound. They brought with them tales of Liber's heroism and praises for his deeds proclaiming that they were in the man's debt. Several hours later around noon, another arrived at Remano behind them. A carpenter from a distant village named Clavicus. He carried in his arms, the still body of a now dead fanalis warrior. Clavicus refused to hand the body over to anyone other than the man in charge of this fighter.


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Solomon's Proxy

Solomon's Proxy
Ω-Tier
Ω-Tier
Sly spotted a disturbance as a guard tried to stop a man carrying the body of a red-haired man and moved closer to investigate, keeping to the shadows. When he saw who the body was, his face immediately fell. It made this rebellion hit even closer to home, knowing that such a skilled man had fallen during what should have been a relatively peaceful mission. He approached the guard, whispering in his ear before turning to Clavicus with a neutral face, his tone almost frosty. Though the man carrying Liber looked distraught and saddened to be carrying the body, it might be a trap. Still, he was just a single man and if he caused problems, it would be easy enough to deal with him.

“We are saddened to see the death of one of our own. Please, allow me to carry him and follow me, so we can discuss the circumstances of his death with the man that asked him to help Miss Fu.”

He would hold out his arms for Liber’s body. If the man chose not to hand it over, Sly would accept the decision, but regardless he would pull off his cloak to cover Liber’s body both out of respect and to keep stray eyes away. He would then lead the man to the warehouse, eyes sharp as he moved. When he walked in, he would meet Octavius’ face, mouthing Liber’s name, the General’s face falling when he saw the evidence of a fallen soldier.

Octavius would look from the body to the man with Sly, his tone sad but his features friendly. It would not do to frighten the man before he heard his tale.

“What has happened to our brother?”

Ayero

Ayero
Ω-Tier
Ω-Tier
Ayero had been present in Octavius’ office, going over the finer details of her next task when Sly entered with another man. She doesn’t look up in time to see Sly mouth Liber’s name to the general, but her eyes are immediately drawn to the body the unnamed man was carrying, features covered by a cloak. Her gaze narrows as she realizes the implications of the situation. The wounded were not often covered like this. Turning her body fully towards the men, her eyes sweep over Sly and the man carrying the body, trying to gauge their emotions. Her own stomach begins to twist at the thought of the body beneath the cloak belonging to someone she knows.


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Liber Aurelius

Liber Aurelius
β-Tier
β-Tier
((Note, Liber sent a carrier bird with a note to Octavius in a previous post. He should recognize Clavicus as someone Liber spoke well of as a line of communication for further support for their village))

Clavicus refused to hand over Liber's body, he would place it in the care of the one who gave him his orders and no one else. The carpenter said nothing as Sly led him to the warehouse Octavius was using as a base. When they entered and he laid eyes upon the legendary hero of his country, Clavicus' jaw dropped but he remained silent until Octavius spoke. The generals words lit an unspeakable anger within Clavicus and he dropped Liber's body unceremoniously at his feet. Grasping the cloth that was covering his features, Clavicus tore it away in a fit before pointing an accusatory finger at Octavius. "You....This was your fault!" Tears began to stream down Clavicus' face once more as his emotions boiled.

"If you had come, it would have been different..." Sadness then overtook the anger as Clavicus dropped to his knees kneeling before the great fanalis leader. "We thought you were dead. But if you had come to us...then...then...He wouldn't have had to die!" Stricken by grief enough to addle Clavicus' reason, the carpenter was looking for someone to blame for the confusion he felt. For a moment, the man simply broke down into sobs until he finally looked back up with a glare. "Why did he have to die for some Kou whore!? Where the hell were you when we needed you all this time!? You sent him there to die! Why!? He didn't fight back, he had no weapons! He didn't...he didn't hurt anyone...smiling even as I..." Clavicus looked down at his hands. He could still see the blood on them even though he'd cleaned them off in a river hours ago. "...Even as I stabbed him...he kept smiling..."


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Solomon's Proxy

Solomon's Proxy
Ω-Tier
Ω-Tier
Octavius watched as Clavicus broke down in tears, his face still frozen in concern, even as Clavicus shouted angry, accusatory words. When the man seemed to have petered down to nothing but tears, Octavius stepped forward and forcibly removed Liber’s body from the man, carefully shifting to rest the deceased Fanalis on a table. He would see to a proper burial in a moment, after he had dealt with the man. He recalled the message he had received from Liber about a man named Clavicus to use as a future line of communication. The General held back the angry response he wanted to issue and instead remained calm, though it took effort.

“He died trying to aide a Kou woman that was trying to help our cause. He died trying to take her without harming anyone. Your irrational hatred killed this man, not me.”

His tone softened slightly before he spoke again.

“I had died, I was returned to this world. I was too weak to fight, originally. As soon as I was well enough to take up a mantle of responsibility, I began organizing who and what I could. I can hurt Kou more when they do not know I am alive. This is no consolation for you, I am sure. But I felt it the best course of action. While I regret the death of one of our brothers, do not lay his death at my feet. You fell into blind anger and hatred, it was why I sent him to gather that woman you had captured and were torturing. She was an ally to this country. And it was you that killed him, by your own words. You killed a man that did not fight back. No, his death is your fault, not my own.”

He took a deep breath, shaking his head.

“If you are the one called Clavicus, Liber had sent a message before… before he left the village, saying that you would be a good person to contact about aide. I received it this morning. I will not punish you for your hatred, you are suffering enough. But if you wish to take up his mantle, in helping others, then you are welcome to join our cause.”

Ayero

Ayero
Ω-Tier
Ω-Tier
Ayero’s gaze followed Clavicus’ movement, eyes flaring in surprise when the cloth covering the body was pulled back to reveal a familiar face. Her stomach immediately turns and her expression moves to one of shock. Though she knew that death was an all too real cost of war, she hadn’t woken up this morning prepared to deal with it. Ayero swallows thickly, Clavicus’ accusations muffled into the background as her focus remains on Liber’s body even as Octavius moves to place the deceased more appropriately on a table. She’s nearly unable to keep the shake from her hand as she reaches out to touch Liber’s face, finding it cool to the touch but not stone cold of a long-dead corpse.


She’s caught in a few surreal moments where she struggles to take everything in. He doesn’t even look…he looks like he’s sleeping. The woman continues to stare at Liber’s face, as if somehow she’d discover a sign of life. But no such movements were made from the young man, the realization that he was gone causing a confusing mix of feelings to surface in her. She wasn’t exactly close to Liber, but they had shared what she assumed to be the most intimate parts of their pasts with each other. In a way, she felt responsible to carry out the necessary retribution for his death.



"...Even as I stabbed him...he kept smiling..."



Ayero’s breath hitched in her throat as Claviucs, now sobbing, confessed to killing of Liber. Eyes wide, she half-turns to see the man at Octavius’ feet, collapsed under the weight of his sorrow and guilt. As the great General began to speak, Ayero tuned his words out for the first time. Everything else went ignored by her save for the carpenter on his knees who had taken Liber’s life. She had assumed that someone from Kou had done the deed, not knowing the nature of Liber’s task. But to have the killer in the room with them at this moment ignited Ayero’s rage to dangerous levels. A mix of grief and anger beat down on her in an emotional torrent as her family’s own death began to creep up on her, the heat of her emotions dredging up a darker part of her past.



This…this isn’t fair…Liber…he didn’t…deserve this, he…and now he’s gone. In a decisive movement, the enraged Fanalis woman unsheathes her blade and points it downward, the tip kissing Clavicus’ throat. She stares down at him with eyes smoldering in fury, but does not move.


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Liber Aurelius

Liber Aurelius
β-Tier
β-Tier
Octavius' words were a sickly bile to the unreasonable man before him. A rationally thinking person might side with the general, but Clavicus only saw his speech as a means of dodging responsibility for Liber's death. "What 'ally'!?" He shouted in response to the comment that Ms. Fu was an asset to the rebellion. "You would trust the word of the enemy? For what? I used to think you were a hero, but who would have thought the great Octavius was a cowar-" Ayero's blade had impeccable timing. The tip came to Clavicus' throat to cut off his insult making him think that she had done as much for Octavius' sake rather than Liber's. Clavicus held his tongue and clenched his fists tightly into balls. "If you're going to kill me, then do it...Monsters and liars, every one of you..."

Tragically, the misunderstanding deepened and Clavicus became further blinded by rage. Thinking these people to be traitors siding with Kou, Clavicus drew his broken sword and lunged for Octavius in hopes of taking down this corrupt fool of a man. The attack was that of an amateur, the broken blade no longer capable of inciting more than the smallest of cuts. Yet, still, the man charged anyways no longer caring what happened to himself. "Octaviuuuuuuus!"

((suicide by cop approach >.>))


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Solomon's Proxy

Solomon's Proxy
Ω-Tier
Ω-Tier
When Clavicus lunged forward to attempt to attack Octavius, the General twisted and grabbed the man’s sword arm, twisting it sharply until the wrist snapped under his grip as he forced the man to the ground.

“Hate me if you must, but I will not allow your hatred to cost us another life, even your own.”

He looked to Sly with a serious look.

“See that he is restrained in a cell, if you can find one. Do not harm him, if it can be avoided.”

Looking towards Ayero, Octavius approached her cautiously, his steps slow. When he was near enough to her, he reached out carefully to tug the blade from her hand, his voice full of sorrow and concern.

“His own hate will eat away at him, let him live with his sins. It is a far more suiting punishment than death. Do not dishonor Liber by taking the life of a man he would not.”

He rested a hand gently on her shoulder, seeing the look of confusion, anger and sadness there. She had not expected to lose someone, certainly not someone she knew.

Ayero

Ayero
Ω-Tier
Ω-Tier
Ayero’s hand began to shake, the grip on her blade tightening when Clavicus called them monsters and liars. Under normal circumstances she would have had more control over herself, but her anguish took prescience over behaving rationally. It took all she had from driving her blade through this man’s throat, but she didn’t know if it was the presence of Octavius and Sly or her own conscience holding herself back.

Surprise flashed across her face when Clavius lunged forward out of the range of her blade and attempted to drive his own weapon into Octavius’ flesh. The attack would be in vain however, as the Fanalis General caught his attacker’s arm with ease, snapping the wrist supporting the broken sword. Ayero watched as the man crumpled to the ground and Octavius ordered that he be placed in captivity.

Her eyes are still glued to the door way where Sly and dragged Clavicus, not looking at Octavius even as he tugged the sword from her now slackened grip. It is only when he speaks to her and place a hand on her shoulder does she look up at him. The fury does not leave her eyes until Octavius’ last words and she sighs heavily, shoulders heaving. It didn’t feel right for her to allow Liber’s killer to live, but this wasn’t about her. She would respect Octavius’ wishes, and by proxy, Liber’s.

Ayero turns towards Liber’s body resting peacefully on the table, her expression still reflecting disbelief. A stray lock of hair falls in front of her face and she moves a hand to brush it away, fingers grazing her upper cheekbone as she does so but pausing mid movement. ”…” Resuming her action, Ayero tucks the wisp of hair behind her ear while simultaneously wiping away the stray tear.


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