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Empire to Empire, Caelus to Kou [Private/Plot]

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Caelus Valeria

Caelus Valeria
Caelus waved to the crowd once more before heading inside the waiting area to clean up.  His number of fans had dropped dramatically since his bout with Zafar went sideways, but he'd taken it upon himself to gain their trust back.  This bout was just the first step.  No tricks.  No magic weapons.  No dirty tactics.  He even gave his opponent time to get up and compose himself before continuing the match this time.  Caelus had won, and with energy to spare.  Unfortunately, this was the only fight that Telleus had managed to get him, some new guy, hotshot from Balbadd.  The kid was scary looking in full plate armor with a giant claymore strapped to his back.  But it was all show.  Caelus beat him handily.

It was only a few minutes before Telleus walked in.  He looked a bit embarrassed, and offered Caelus a towel.  "Well, you won!  And that's good!"  Seeing Caelus' unamused expression, Telleus sighed and apologized.  "Look Caelus, i'm sorry that's all i could get you.  This whole Zafar business really did a number on your career.  Its a miracle i secured this fight to begin with."  He sat down across from Caelus, and leaned back in his seat, pushing his hair back as he did so.  "If i'm being honest, i think the crowd needs a break.  From you."

Telleus nearly flinched as Caelus shot him a fierce stare.  "And what am i supposed to do for money now?  I don't have many marketable skills, Telleus.  I've tried being a bodyguard, and while the red hair gets me in the door, the lack of rock-crushing strength pushes me back out.  And i'm NOT taking another one of those mysterious letter jobs.  I don't care how much it pays, its too risky putting my life on the line for a faceless man."  Caelus saw the sadness on Telleus' face and softened.  "I'm sorry, Telleus.  I know you're doing your best for me, but it's frustrating.  Where am i supposed to go, if i'm not competing here?"  He said, wiping his face the towel.  His thought returned to the past and his encounters with the interesting people he'd met.  What were they doing now?  Where were their lives taking them?

In response, Telleus handed Caelus a slip of paper.  It read of a recent revolution in Kou, the son of the emperor and several followers performing a coup d'etat and seizing control of the empire for himself.  This of course was old news compared to what was written below, about the emperor's survival, and the war that was now brewing over control of the eastern empire.  Caelus' eyes widened as he read it over again.  A civil war in Kou?

Telleus put a hand on Caelus' knee to get his attention.  "Hold on, i can see the wheels turning already.  I'm not recommending you head to Kou to join a war effort.  But, this new emperor may offer you a new perspective on his people.  This is a chance for you to resolve some of those issues you have with the people of Kou, and their affect on your life."  Caelus opened his mouth to object, but Telleus held up a hand to cut him off.  "I know.  You more than anyone i know have a right to be angry.  All i'm saying, is that you could see what the new emperor has to offer.  At the very least, you might be able to get some semblance of closure.

Caelus was silent for a moment.  Telleus had a point.  For all of his hatred, Caelus hadn't done much of anything in regards to actually changing the situation he was in.  People from the empire lived on Reim soil now.  And while he openly opposed it, he hadn't done anything to change it.  "I hate it when you're right..."  He offered, feigning frustration before breaking into a smile.  He stood, and grabbed Ripple off the bench.

"I keep telling you that my ideas are all good.  But you never listen!"

"That may have something to do with the match against giant howler monkeys you set up a while back.  I haven't heard much of anything since."

"Funny.  Look at how hard i'm laughing.  But seriously, i think this would be good for you.  Hell, while you're there you can pick up a few fresh techniques.  It may help you get a match when you return.  And it wouldn't kill you to learn something along the way."  Telleus smiled wide, and gave Caelus a parting hug before leaving the waiting room.

Thank you, Telleus.  Caelus thought, grabbing the rest of his things before heading out himself.

Walking back home, he mulled over the things he'd like to achieve in Kou.  It was a nice thought, getting revenge for my parents, but i need to think realistically here.  I could likely find a tutor in eastern fighting.  But none of that katana nonsense i keep seeing.  Every other day some fool in the Colosseum shows up with a katana and proclaims their skill.  If i wanted to boast, i'd head to a tavern.  Caelus rolled his eyes, and absentmindedly scratched at his right arm.  A slight twinge of pain got his attention and he looked down.  He had broken one of the scabs from his fight with Zafar, and a small rivulet of blood ran down his arm.  In that moment, an idea occurred to him.  What if instead of focusing on defeating my opponent, i looked inward?  There must be a giant library in the empire somewhere.  I could learn about the body, find weaknesses and strengths there.  There are warriors from strange lands that are said to contort themselves in inhuman ways when fighting.  I wouldn't want to go that far, but maybe learning to perfectly control my own body, inside and out, could be useful?"  Caelus grinned, and sprinted for home.  It wouldn't take long to get packed, but he'd have to get going as soon as possible!

~WC: 1032/1000~


Empire to Empire, Caelus to Kou [Private/Plot] TEMcyWS

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