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It was a savage darkness like no other. Demons descended from the gates and started to wreak havoc in our world - this world called Altrus.
With great effort, the nobles built a last stand; hoping to gather the strongest and bravest of men and women. The wisest and the most cunning.

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Are you the hero we need?
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A Crack in the Coin; Continuation of "an unusual request" RP with Kisara and Ileana
Topic Started: May 26 2017, 07:45 AM (879 Views)
Locke Cole
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Setting

  • 5 days just after the RP "An Unusual Request"
  • Sky is getting darker and rain seems imminent, wind is chilly and steady.


Locke heaved a sigh as he started to step down from the carriage that took them from the port to Tomichi. Part of his rational mind was telling him to go back and make amends. He had not only escaped the training grounds, but he had been a witness to a general knocking out her fellow because of his request. This was responsibility he had to bear.

But despite this, a larger part of his mind wanted to push through. The pit in his stomach was like acid waiting to break through. If he did not keep himself in check it was not entirely implausible that he'd run off chasing any whisper he could hear. Of course, he could not dare do that with the lady general being on his journey.

Though, their travel had seemed rather smooth. There were no hindrances so far. Locke had half a mind to think that he'd have to escape and go on alone because of the general's agreement she said; to which he could not refuse even though he wanted to.

The wind kept blowing steadily, making Locke feel the chill of the weather. It did not help that he had left his vest to the sleeping general Alexandria when they had left her to the guards at the port. It was partly due to his remorse for what had befallen her that he did that. He was, after all, at fault.

Thinking he would have to find another way to get back to her good graces, Locke faced her accomplice, the red haired general Amadea; her visage seemingly resembling his lost companion. He blinked once to shake away the fatigue that had built up and to somehow sooth his unruly emotions.

"So, lady Amadea," he spoke softly, unsure whether to call her by her name in fear that it might cause more trouble. "Can you tell me a bit about this area? It would not be a bad idea to study the lay of the land before we go ahead and ask."

Extending his hand to help the general out of their ride, all he kept having glimpses of memories he had shared with his companion.
Edited by Locke Cole, May 26 2017, 08:02 AM.
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Ileana Amedea
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Ileana suppressed a yawn as she took Locke's hand and jumped down from the carriage, making sure her old staff won't get caught over the carriage's ceiling. She had retrieved it from the Main Base a few days ago seeing as she had been forced to leave Odile[1] behind.

Though in hindsight, leaving her weapon was a pretty useless move since Kisara had probably alerted Eclair of what she did already. They could be after them now, ready to whoop her behind for daring to go to east without leave and even dragging a trainee with her.

Noting Locke's expression, Ileana flicked his forehead with a huff. "You're still thinking about Kisara? I told you, she'll be fine. She's probably gonna come after us with a blazing trail of fire and death and then beat me up a few times. In fact, she's probably on her way now and will be upon us before we even know it." Ileana looked around for good measure.

The town of Tomichi was as silent as the grave making it seem like a ghost town. The gloomy weather wasn't helping its image either. But Ileana knew there were still people who lived here.

"Anyway..." She started then trailed off, "this town used to be big and bustling with life, before the demons attacked. It's one of the few towns we managed to recover but...as you can see..." She trailed off again, moving forward and looking at the silent houses. There were a few people peeking at them from their windows but none came out to greet them.

"My House had holdings here, the main estate here in the east in fact, but it's all burnt to the ground." Ileana said, "my relatives didn't make it since our estate was located at the borders nearer to Dafentall Land..." She had been trying to find someone willing to come back to the east to relieve food and resource shortage but none of her relatives are willing to live so close to the demons. "The town lost almost half of its original area so we have less to cover. If Klas is staying here, it wouldn't be so hard to find her. If she's not within town borders then we can try searching outside of the town border. Though...I don't know why she would be out in the first place...it's very dangerous. Dafentall Land is just a bit to the north after all..."

Ileana glanced back at Locke at a particularly chilly wind, "by the way, are you cold? We should find you some coat before you get sick."

Yana's Old Training Staff

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[1] Her cursed weapon
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Locke Cole
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Locke looked around, as lady Amadea had told him, as he rubbed the part the general had flicked, seemingly nursing it even though it did not hurt much. It was as she had said; there were people looking out but nothing made a noise aside from the howling wind. It would not be off to think that they were being treated as absurdities with the suspicious looks that were darting through them.

Although the gusty breeze was strong, the next words of the red haired maiden left Locke more like he was just slapped in the face. It was a huge surprise. The seemingly frail maiden, one you would least expect to find within a battlefield, was not only an accomplished fighter but one who had experienced a lot of loss. She was, by far, more of a man than he is yet she is definitely feminine enough to charm the hearts of men.

Are strong people created by adversities? Or were they strong from the beginning? Locke refrained from voicing out his thoughts as he slowly took a deep sigh, remembering his companion. She too had a rough past. Being treated as a monster just because she was misunderstood; surely she had every right to hate the world's logic and yet she doesn't. She held a deep respect for the stories left by the same humans and although she had her guard up when he first dealt with her, she was by far not unsociable.

Lady Ileana might just be the same.


The more Locke spent time with general Amadea, the more he saw similarities with his partner. The hair pigment aside, they both had a mischievous side that likely hid the sadness they held. Merchants were people who could see through people but Locke was sure this was no mere conjecture. He had, after all, seen it firsthand though it just made his heart ache all the more, as though he was looking at a surreal illusion which was too fragile to touch.

It might be why he unconsciously lacks restraint when it comes to her.

It might be in a foreign land but regardless, Locke made a silent prayer to the souls of the departed that lady Amadea had spoken off and thought about her next words. Indeed, this would be an absurd place for his companion to end up but he had no other trails to thread.

"Do not mind me," Locke replied to lady Amadea's concern about his outfit with a smile. It was not the first time he had to traverse a place with unfit clothing. "Instead, would you mind if I asked you if you had a special person for yourself? I do not know if my companion would call me 'special' but someone who would, at least what I'd like to think, throw away a lot of things for your sake?"

His words left his mouth rather abruptly and he realized it far too late that he had asked the general a rather sensitive topic already. Looking up at the darkening sky, he could only blame his emotional state being such a mess. If his companion was here right now, surely she would be laughing at his impertinence.

Aye, I really feel too comfortable with her.
Edited by Locke Cole, May 28 2017, 02:14 PM.
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Ileana Amedea
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...What…?

Where did that come from?

Ileana froze at Locke’s unexpected question. Did he mean a lover? Such things never interested her because she was always focused on juggling her duties as an heiress and her extra activities as an aspiring dancer.

It didn’t help that all the men who’d come to woo her so far were...not to her liking. They either have their own ulterior motives or were simply trying to further their own status. Then they’d see just what kind of a ‘lady’ she was. Some just peacefully backed away and never returned. Others, unfortunately, were more persistent, voicing out their unsolicited opinions and telling her parents how they could make a proper lady out of her.

Ileana will have none of them.

Now, she was a General. One of the strongest in Altrus. Ileana was sure not many men wanted a lover who could freeze and pulverize their butts whenever she so pleases.

As for 'someone who would throw away a lot of things for her sake'...

She didn’t have anyone like that, did she? Someone like Locke towards Klas…

Earnest forest green eyes briefly flashed in her mind, unbidden. Her chest tightened in response as a guilt buried deep pushed to the surface, begging to be let out.

No.

No. No. No. He didn't...

It was all for his family. For Altrus. He was just too nice for his own good.

Ileana shook her head to erase the image and as a way to respond to her companion’s query.

“No. I don’t.” Ileana said nonchalantly with a shrug. “Anyway~” She added, “I think we really should find you a coat at least. I don’t like the look of the sky.” She commented, frowning up at the darkening clouds. “Maybe one of those people hiding in their houses would lend us one. Did your lead state any specific part of this town where we might find Klas? We have to start somewhere.”
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Locke Cole
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Seeing the fluster of the red haired maiden, one who was finally acting like what her image betrayed, Locke couldn't help but give out a chuckle.

So she does have someone in mind, he mused to himself. It was likely that she would hide under a shell of embarrassment had he pushed more so he kept his thoughts. It was reassuring enough to know she had someone in mind.

The past few days the two had traveled was rather uneventful, mainly due to his restlessness, but seeing this reaction felt like he had seen something mere acquaintances would likely never see. It would not be a lie to say he felt rather happy at the thought.

Moving closer to her, again by mere subconscious, he raised his hand and gently put it on the red haired general's head. He then ruffled her hair; a smile of satisfaction on his face as he told her, "You did well for yourself..."

It was an honest praise, one of sheer amazement and wonder. Locke knew he could never amount to anything half the deeds the general had.

But he also understood that the strong normally kept themselves in solitude. Stubbornness was a part of their blood as much as their courage and valor. One could not revere a man who needed another to walk, but the paradox is that a man also could not walk a thorny road without a trustworthy crutch. Whoever she had envisioned during that split moment was a likely someone very important; someone she could deeply lean on when all her cards were exhausted. Locke knew men are governed by profit and logic. They did not do anything without a reason. For a lady general far grander than any noble Locke had laid his eyes on to think of someone, surely he must be as amazing; although she poorly hid the fact.

"But you'd do well to be more honest. Even the bravest of heroes cry on solemn nights. No one would blame you if you wanted a warm shoulder to do so," he continued his sentence as he gently lifted is hand from the general's head.

Surely, such folly could be forgiven, aye? he thought as he breathed in a sigh to regard the rest of the general's words.

"Sadly I know not much else aside from this," he sternly spoke, shifting the lighthearted mood, "You can call me a fool, I will not deny such, but I just ran out here from the whispers that there had been a witness to a woman with red hair and amber eyes here. It may as well be a wild goose chase, and I will not blame you if you leave now for more important business, but I at least want to ask around..."

Locke trailed off, giving another look around him. As he did, he felt rather cold but not because of the weather. "That is if they will indulge us at all," he continued, regarding the cold stares of the people around.

Glancing back to the lady general, he asked, out of respect of position, "Shall I go ask around?"
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Ileana Amedea
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Ileana didn't speak as she listened to Locke's words.

Be more honest? She had no such luxuries.

In her position, honesty is a deadly virtue. If not to her, then to those around her. Nobles liked to keep their secrets close. Let one information slip and it could spell then end for them.

She smiled wanly as Locke ruffled her hair. Her father used to do that and she'd always complain then because he'd end up messing her hairdo. Now, she'd give everything just to have him do that again.

"I'll keep that in mind." Ileana answered simply.

She observed him closely as he continued to speak, unable to hold her sigh when he said that he wasn't really sure whether the rumors he heard spoke of Klas or not.

But she could understand his desperation.

Wasn't she the same?

Holding out on a very feeble goal that....

...that she'd still be able to find her family's remains...

For what? In order to uphold a timeless family tradition?

She remembered Eclair's words back then. She remembered it clearly until now. There were more pressing problems to think about than stressing over giving a proper burial to a bunch of dead people.[1]

To Eclair, her family were nothing more than a number added to the total loss of the continent.

And perhaps she was right. She wasn't the only one who lost her loved ones in this brutal war.

But then, if she didn't have that goal...what else could she do?

"Don't worry about it." She sighed and approached the nearest house that wasn't empty then knocked on its door. "May a have a word, please? I am General Ileana Amedea, Commander of the Front Lines. My companion and I have some questions to ask!"

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[1] In A Future General
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Kisara Alexandria
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-----Meanwhile in Triathos -----

A hooded rider dress in all black on top of a large black stallion. What is interesting is the companion of this rider is huge sleek black panther prowling by her side, on the look out to protect his mistress.

It was the dead of night when she arrived at Triathos. Kisara reigned Black Thunder to the lone traveler's in in the village. She needed to rest Thunder for a few hours and also Cerberus. They've been traveling with so little rest just to catch them up. Kisara took the time to go back to the Main Office when she woke up from the blinding headache that Ileana gave her.

She grab her weapon in her office and changed her red coat to a black hoodie and headed back to the Alexandria Estate to get her horse. Balthazar insisted her to bring Cerberus with her since it's a bad a idea for a Lady in her standing to travel alone. Her trusted butler gave her some food to pack and a few clothes to bring for traveling. Light enough as not to burden Thunder too much weight, even thought it doesn't bother him.

Kisara gave the stable boy three deeks to give Thunder some water and shelter him in the stables. She let Cerberus prowl around the village forest. He knows when and where not be seen or heard. The people with likely be uncomfortable to see a huge panther roaming freely in their village.

She entered the in and went to the table where a man behind the desk doing his logs in the log book. Kisara thew some 5 deeks at him. "I need a room for the night." She said gruffly, making sure that the noble twang in her voice didn't show. She is keeping a low profile a woman of her standing shouldn't be running around without a chaperon.

Kisara sighed with relief as the innkeeper leads her room. Most of the stragglers in the inn stared at her, wondering who is this tall hooded figure with a huge bladed staff weapon at her back. She tried her best to cover her weapon since curse weapons are rare and the knowledge is not well know yet to the masses.

She entered the room that the innkeeper opened. Kisara looked around, one bed, a desk and a chair next to it. "Thank you, this will be enough." She said to the innkeeper who is waiting by the door, Kisara gave him three more deeks to keep him quiet then closes the door. She dropped her bag by the bed, leaned her weapon at the wall next to the bed and took off her black hooded cloak and laid it at the chair by the table.

She sat on the bed, elbows resting at her knees and hands at her temple as she groaned. Eclair is out so I had to chase those fulls down here. She thought furiously. Those two better pray that I will be in a better mood when I catch up to them or I will let Cerberus have a nibble out of their hides.

Without bothering in taking of her ridding boots, Kisara lay down at the bed to take a short nap since she had little sleep while traveling and her body is starting to ache. Good thing she grabbed a few pills to ease the aches and keep her up with the traveling. For now she drifted off.

Kisara's Riding Outfit


The Purple Nightingale
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Doreena flinched as General Amedea knocked on their door. She turned to her father who looked back at her before standing from his chair and walking towards the door. He opened it, revealing a young lady holding a twisted wooden staff. She looked so out of place in their dreary town made even drearier by the weather. She looked so colorful with her teal eyes, red hair and expensive dress.

“M-my lady general!” Her father greeted with a nervous bow. Doreena scurried to him and curtsied. “What brings you here in our town? Is...” he paused, gulping in fear, “is there an impending demon attack?”
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Ileana Amedea
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"Oh, no, don't worry about that. I didn't hear about any incoming attack. I'm here for another reason." Ileana responded.

"My companion here is looking for his friend, a young woman with red hair and amber eyes. His last search has led him to this town so..." Ileana paused, "have you or anyone around here seen anyone like that? She'd be a stranger here so it shouldn't be hard to notice her."

She stopped and then added as an after thought, "by the way...do you have a coat to lend to my companion? I'll pay you for it even."
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Locke Cole
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Locke sighed with an exasperated smile directed at the general beside him, resigning himself to her kindness. It seemed like come hellfire she was determined to find him a coat despite his dismissals.

The thought gave a bit of warmth to Locke's rather unruly emotions. Despite his cool facade, his heartbeat was starting to get stronger. A bit more and he thought it might cause him to faint. But he knew when not to be run by emotion. He was a merchant, after all, and from his many experiences from dealing with townspeople he knew their expressions were rather frightened. Whether it'd be from the fear of a demon invasion or not, he wished that the lady general at least presented herself with more of a casual air. They were not here for an inquisition; it was merely his own selfishness that brought them to this land.

Locke stepped forward and presented a calming smile to the old man and his daughter. "My apologies, we are not here for official business. Truly, we wish to only ask a couple of questions. 'Tis as general Amadea asks. May we indulge in your kindness?"

It took enough effort to put his words out for his calm was surely being forced but Locke still managed it. He knew enough not to force an issue, nor to hasten trade. If all goes well, he might just be reunited with his missing companion by sundown, if the sun intended to at least show its face to them.
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Doreena’s father let out a sigh of obvious relief. “Oh, thank the heavens!” He exclaimed with relief. For a moment he had been afraid that there would be another attack. After all, the young general before him has only ever showed up during those times.

It was true that they’d come to look at her as a symbol of protection and hope.

But her appearance had also come to portend a promise of fear and uncertainty.

Death.

Doreena couldn’t help but marvel at this young lady even after all this time. She probably wasn’t any older than Doreena herself...and yet, from her looks, one would have never thought that she was a General. One who commands the front lines in fact.

The responsibility to take back the rest of their lands fell on her. The blame, if ever the demons managed to push further into their territory, falls on her as well...

How could she deal with it? How?

“Doreena, go get my cloak.” Her father said, jolting her out of her thoughts. Doreena nodded and went to do as her father asked. “No coats, m’lady but I do have a cloak. Though I think it would be more useful to you than a mere coat if ever the skies decided to let go of its burden.” She heard her father say. “As for this person you are looking for, well there was a woman with that kind of description roaming about around what...two weeks ago or more? Isn’t that right, Doreena?”

“Yes, father. She was with the soldiers bringing in new supplies for us.” Doreena answered, as she returned to their entrance with the cloak.

“Ah yes. She was with the soldiers bringing in fresh supplies. Food and basic resource are hard to come by now so we have to also depend on the soldiers for those…” Her father trailed off as if realizing something, and Doreena realized a moment later that the General was also the Head of the house responsible for their food and basic needs. “Ah, because the demons had occupied or razed our most bountiful lands. There’s nothing else we could do...not that...” He trailed off as he waved a hand as if trying to find words.

Then he cleared his throat. “Anyway, the woman went with the soldiers to the forward camp in Arcane Land once they were done. I haven’t talked to her so I could not tell you her name or any more information about her. But others might have so nothing would be remiss if you continue asking around. She's pretty memorable that girl. There aren't very many people with your striking hair color, m'lady, especially not in these parts.”

Her father then took the cloak from her arms, “this is my cloak." He said, handing the cloth to the lady general. "It doesn’t look like much but it could protect your friend here against the rain. Oh, no need to pay me! I am very much honored to be of service.”
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Ileana Amedea
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“I see...” Ileana said, taking the cloak and shoving it onto Locke’s hands. “Thank you for your cooperation, and for your generosity. We’ll return the cloak on our way back” She added. “Come on, Locke.”

The reminder of the supply shortage here in the East made Ileana’s heart clench. With the sudden loss of their resources here in the East due to the demon attacks, they were all forced to rely on the supplies they had in the West. But despite the heavy losses they had sustained, the population that needed to be fed still remained high and their farms could no longer produce enough food and resource to match the demands.

The Agudia Forest was also nearing its maximum output despite how big it was. If they forced it to give any more, Ileana feared it would destroy the thriving ecosystem of the forest. That would make their situation worse in the long run.

They didn’t know how long this war would last. They didn’t know how long before they could retake Dafentall Land. Or revive Arcane Land into it’s former glory.

She and her uncle Ciro had tried talking to some of their relatives to move back to Eastern Altrus to at least oversee the distribution of supplies, make sure everyone was getting their fair share. Or make sure the people are receiving them on time. Or even better, they could get the abandoned estate they had in Pomah up and running again.

Unfortunately, none of her relatives had been willing to step up to the responsibility. Her cousin who had been running their estate in Pomah had lost her husband during the first attack, leaving her alone with their seven young children, and Ileana couldn’t fault her for not wanting to come back.

But...perhaps now that Arcane Land has been retaken, maybe they’d be more amenable to her request. She could only hope.

...If she was permanently assigned here in the East, she could also work on their food and supplies shortage more closely.

She sighed quietly. “It would seem that this person we are seeking for is now in Arcane Land. There aren’t many people who’d go there. Only soldiers and the occasional healer or researcher.” Ileana commented, rubbing a hand behind her neck. “Do you think this person is Klas?” She asked. “Arcane Land is quite far and not to mention dangerous. We’ll have to cross enemy territory to get there...” She trailed off. She wasn’t sure she’d be willing to take Locke that far. Tomichi was one thing...Arcane Land was another story.
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Locke Cole
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If there was anything a merchant hated more than death, it would be debt. A bankrupt merchant at least had little to no more consequence to his actions, but debt is different. It was not far off to say Locke had accepted the cloak with a heavy heart. It might not have been as grand as a noble's but surely it was the best they could spare.

But despite so, Locke's thoughts were mired with other matters.

Soldiers? Why soldiers? Locke understood that his companion was a sharp lass, one on par or maybe even above his on wits, so why would she endanger herself and be out with soldiers? From how they were split apart, surely she would've gone into hiding where he couldn't find him. After all, did she not find being with him rather inconvenient because of his side profession? Did she not have enough taste of danger? Did she just hate him that much and he had not realized it?

No, Locke thought. He knew Klas followed logic over anything else. It would have a reasonable explanation. Emotion, to her, was a second thing. Her problem with him surely had little hand in her actions.

Then, did she run out of coin and therefore had to provide for herself?

Unlikely. Klas was rather unsociable. If ever she had to provide for herself, she would rather scavenge the forest than seek out employment. It was a flaw to her he had not yet helped change.

Then was she forced?

From what he had heard, the soldiers were not boorish enough to hold a lady captive against her wishes; especially considering they were delivering good tidings to the townspeople.

Locke's thoughts were in utter disarray, running from question to question. Breathing in a sigh, he focused his thinking and reevaluated the situation.

Assuming you were on the run, what were the advantages of running beside a soldier's brigade?

For one, they would constantly be on the move. It would make it harder to track a person that kept on changing locations.

Surely that was logical, but if so did she catch wind of his presence? More importantly, was that enough of a reason to actually push her to discard her own protective instincts which had been polished from years of consequence?

Did she detest the thought of him that much?

Locke felt a small buzzing sound at the back of his head, his face turning unconsciously strained. Only the words of the lady general beside him had brushed away his thoughts.

“Do you think this person is Klas?”

Indeed, he was not yet sure. From how his mind spun, it would seem unlikely that it would be her but... there was the possibility.

The possibility that emotion had overpowered logic.

Locke breathed another deep one. He had to purge his thoughts or, at the very least, push them into the back of his mind. His heart was heavy as lead and his stomach had been burning like it was a roaring furnace. The rest of the general's words passed his ears lightly.

"Aye," he spoke while his hands trembling; eyes out of focus. "Would it be fine if we go there?"
Edited by Locke Cole, May 31 2017, 03:06 PM.
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Ileana Amedea
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Indecision briefly swirled inside the young General’s mind.

Should she take Locke to Arcane Land? Or not?

A big part of her wanted to just leave the man here and proceed to Arcane Land alone to verify this woman’s identity though she was starting think she’d unlikely meet Klas. She had seen the uncertainty and bewilderment that crossed his face and realized that the behavior this unknown person exhibited wasn’t something Klas would normally do.

A large drop of rain fell on Ileana’s arm followed by another and another.

Rain has finally come.

Sighing, Ileana put her hood up and arranged her cape to cover her better. Though she was used to being cold and generally preferred winter over all seasons, she still preferred staying warm and dry. But with how heavy the rain fell, Ileana was sure they’d be soaked through despite their cloaks.

Locke
 
"Would it be fine if we go there?"

“It depends.” Ileana answered. “Let’s ask around some more and then we can go to the camp we have here in Tomichi! It's a bit of a hike though, over that mountain!” Ileana spoke over the sound of the rain, pointing to a foggy hill in the distance. They had the camp built on the hill because it was a perfect lookout spot for incoming demons. “We can stay there for the night and see if there were any enemy sightings lately!”

If there were then...they either have to pull back or she’d continue on ahead and leave Locke with the soldiers. She didn’t think Locke would be happy with either of those choices though, as long as he hasn’t seen this woman with his own eyes.
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Locke Cole
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The cold wet feeling of the rain on the back of his neck awoke Locke from his thoughts. They were still a fair bit of a mess but it served enough to have his mind be focused on more urgent matters. It would be for naught if his body would break down before he found his companion so he started to wear the robe to protect him from incoming drops of water.

"Sounds like a reasonable plan," he said lightly, a smile on his face directed to the red haired general. Despite his raging emotions, he was thankful for her accepting his selfish request. He could not

Indeed he needed more information. For a merchant, information was a weapon. The more you have, the stronger you become. If he had went on a journey in this current state, and had there been problems, it could prove disastrous.

Locke took a deep breath as he regarded his situation. The buzzing at the back of his head had not disappeared yet but the pitter patter of the rain on whatever it fell upon was a welcoming sound. It soothed a bit of his worries away.

Giving a curt smile to the father and daughter, mentally noting to give back the debt he had owed, he walked through the small village to find another house not that far off. It would have been rude to let the general do all the talking so Locke figured he had to be the one to ask this time.

"Excuse me," he said through the rain's downpour. "Can I ask about a person of red hair and amber eyes?"
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"Excuse me," he said through the rain's downpour. "Can I ask about a person of red hair and amber eyes?"

Josie's breath hitched in surprise when an unfamiliar voice drifted from outside through the sound of the rain. She shushed her children before walking to the window and opening it just enough to peer at the stranger outside her home.

She thought of the words he had said. A woman with red hair and amber eyes?

"I'm sorry, sir. I don't know anyone like that." She said curtly and shut the window again, not wanting to let the cold in and the warmth out. Her stock on firewood is running out and she had children to keep warm.
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Locke Cole
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Locke sighed at the apprehensive reply he received. It was understandable, though. Remembering the fear that had come upon the old man and his daughter earlier the moment they laid upon eyes on them, Locke knew that this place had been shaken up.

Closing his eyes, Locke started to let his mind fall into order. His raging emotions had been obstructing his thinking. He was a merchant; one who specialized in thinking of ways to grab people's attention.

As the rain steadily kept pouring, the sound drowning out the buzzing that had been in his ear for a while now, Locke realized further questioning at random would take too much time. They needed a faster way to ascertain this information.

Finally opening his eyes, he looked at the lady general and spoke, "Is there a town leader or a proper official instated here? I think we could get more favorable answers from them."
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Ileana Amedea
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Ileana approached Locke after talking to an elderly woman and her grandchildren living just next to the house Locke had approached. They too had not given any new information about this red-haired woman, only that she was with the soldiers giving supplies for the month.

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Is there a town leader or a proper official instated here? I think we could get more favorable answers from them.

"There is." Ileana answered, "follow me."

She hurried through the paved roads of Tomichi, her boots splashing the rain water gathered on the ground. She only knew the way because the town head had insisted on cooking her a meal as a 'thank you for saving them' after her last mission in town.

If she remembered correctly, the current town head wasn't really an official one. The original town head, a noble from which house she could not bother to recall, had managed to escape to Ponomy and never returned. This one was only a resident who took it upon himself to start organizing the rest of the townsfolk during the aftermath of the first attack. The townspeople had started following him so he became the de facto leader. He cooperated with the soldiers stationed here as well which made supply distribution or warning the townspeople of an impending attack a bit more easier.

If there was anyone in town who would know this mystery woman, it would be him.

Upon seeing the nondescript house through the rain's downpour, Ileana jogged the rest of the way and knocked on the door. "Peyton, are you in? This is General Ileana Amedea!"
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Peyton paused from his task of stoking his fireplace. The rain had brought on a chilly air and while he wanted to conserve firewood because he was running low and dry woods were hard to come by because of the rainy season, he had no other choice since his young niece had caught a cold and could not withstand the chill with just mere blankets.

"Was there anyone at the door, Kyleigh?" Peyton asked.

The girl wiggled from under the blankets and blinked blearily at him. "I think so--" A knock echoed more loudly this time.

Peyton's heart pounded. Was there an incoming attack? He hurried towards his door and opened it without preamble, only to be greeted by the sight of a soaked woman and a man.

He blinked and realized he was staring at the face of one General Amedea. He yelped and jumped back. "General! I didn't recognize you for a second. Come in, come in!" He opened the door wider. "What's going on? Is there an attack? Did you need me to warn the villagers?" He silently cursed as he observed that torrent of rain. This will be a cold and wet evacuation.
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Ileana Amedea
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Ileana sighed in relief when the door finally opened. She stepped inside, beckoning for Locke to follow and then step to the side, suddenly mindful that she was dripping water all over the floor.

"No, nothing like that. My friend and I just want to ask you questions about a red haired woman who came here a couple of weeks ago with the soldiers." Ileana assured. "Locke, why don't you give him some more information about Klas?"
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