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Astra

Wonderful Objects

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Even after the queen left, Malli still stared at the tea.

 

”The tea is not poisoned child- you chose your own cup.”

 

Malli eyed it, still not trusting it completely. The thing was that she had never liked tea, and she was mildly allergic to several varieties. She pushed it away slightly, and stood up when it was time to go to the dungeons.

 

"And I suppose it is laughable that I would come here when the objects are everywhere. The thing is, though, this kingdom seems to be in the thick of things, and a likely place for more items."

 

Malli followed the Hatter to a prison cell, which seemed to be a place from which people never come out. Malli made sure to study the depth of the hall and the door as she walked in, for future reference. It would be easy to get out of here, but there were guards, and that could monkey things up. Malli started to plan on how to kill the guards, but her mind kept wandering to her house - it was a dark place, but it was nice.

 

---------

 

Fayt raised her eyebrows at the thought of having a room prepared for her. She had never had such accommodations made, and she wasn't sure she trusted the Spades. Stil, though, as long as the queen thought she was insane, it could be a good thing.

 

She turned around, somewhat suspiciously, to follow the man. I think his name was Mikhaiel... she thought for a moment.

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The White Queen sat to her full height on her throne, polished-white fingernails tapping agitatedly against the metallic arm of the chair. Although outwardly she appeared to be quite calm, bubbling inside her was a mixture of anger, exasperation, and worry; all of these emotions were caused by her sister's reckless decision to send the Dark Avenger to invade Diamonds.

 

Her sister. She reflected bitterly. Although the White Queen knew, more than anyone, that her sister was no fool, the Red Queen's impatience had too often cause her to rush her decisions too quickly.

 

Yes, one shouldn't spend too much time to decide an action, Calysta admitted, but to act too quickly was not a more sensible solution. She understood that gaining additional territory is important, but it is unwise to have sent the Dark Avanger away at this moment; when, just not long ago, spies from Clubs had been discovered in Celes. Despite the fact that those spies had been taken care of, there are chances that Clubs might invade in retaliation. Who, then, would defend Chess if the Territory is unguarded?

 

A vague memory suddenly resurfaced, and Calysta sighed. She couldn't really blame Cassandra's decision to send Vorpal away after all, as she herself had not care to inform her sister of the sighting of the clubs soldiers. The Red Queen wouldn't know that there might be an invasion from Clubs. Perhaps it is time for the sisters to truly work together.

 

***

 

Midday was approaching, and the sun was glaring down at full force towards the Ante Desert. Gone were the heat of the earl morning, now replaced by burning temperatures almost ten times worse.

 

The red army were now dripping with sweat, and weakened by the heat, their pace began to slow. Their advance was halted when the Bandersnatch, ridden by Vorpal Slayer suddenly sniffed at the air and growled. Confused at his mount's strange behaviour, Vorpal turned towards the direction the Bandersnatch is pointing at. He could not see clearly, but he could make out faint outlines of a person fleeing from the Desert. They were spotted, and if the one who spotted them was from Diamonds- and no doubt he or she is- the invasion might fail. Well, perhaps not, but at the very least, they could no longer surprise the enemy.

 

Making sure that the figure he had just saw was already far enough from hearing range, Vorpal cupped his lips and emitted a shrill whistle. Within a few minutes, Jubjub birds flew from the forests of Chess, and landed before the Red Army.

 

Turning to his subordinates, Vorpal ordered, "Each bird should be large enough to carry at least two of you. Now mount. We'll fly to Tidea."

 

Although most of the soldiers looked relieved to be able to escape the Desert faster, some seemed puzzled at this sudden change of plan.

 

"But, Sir..." one of them spoke inquiringly at the leader, his voice hoarse from dehydration, "What of the Red Queen's order?"

 

"Screw that order!" the Dark Avenger responded, somewhat rudely, "We're seen! Now we can't waste time here, or they'll have their defenses ready!"

 

The red army gave a weak cheer as they mounted on the birds. Vorpal himself picked a red-and-white-colored avian, before he instructed his Bandersnatch to 'go home' then took off.

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“You’re sleeping like a nestling,” his old uncle scolded. “Stop being a nestling and wake up!”

 

“But I’m not asleep!” he protested, for that was quite true—he was awake. Sitting at the kitchen table, as a matter of fact. Happily munching on birdseed.

 

“The Queen is having a party in the throne room that you should probably go to!”

 

Now, Naesala hadn’t seen his uncle in quite some time, but he distinctly remembered that the old man did not have a high-pitched, girlish voice. And he didn’t know any queens, whatever wild stories he told. Naesala himself also didn’t normally eat birdseed. Nor did his chair tend to mysteriously fall out from under him.

 

Naesala landed on the floor with a “thump”, flat on his back with Yue sitting on his bed, looking down at him innocently. Oh, so she’d been the one telling him to stop sleeping like a nestling. That made perfect sense, even to someone who’d been just awakened from a two-day-long dead sleep.

 

“Yue, do you realize what hour of the morning it is?” he asked by way of greeting, not bothering to get up off the floor despite one of his many belt buckles digging painfully into his spine. “Haven’t we been over that it’s too early if I’m still a human?” He sighed as Yue continued to tell him to get up.

 

“All right, all right, dammit,” he grumbled, dragging himself reluctantly off the floor. He may not sleep much, but by the Goddess, when he slept, he did so like he meant it. At least she’d had the sense to let him sleep for the full two days it took to regain his strength. He rubbed his eyes, and stretched, trying to will his mind into working. He ran his fingers through his hair, braided it, and scooped Yue off his bed. “So where are we going, nestling?”

 

***

 

Mikhaiel lead Fayt up one hallway and down another, glancing back repeatedly to make sure she was following. After some time, he finally stopped before a door.

 

“Your room, Lady Fayt,” he said, bowing timidly. “Shall I leave the candles for you?”

 

***

 

Maeve looked around the throne room and went through her mental “to-do” list. Clubs invasion dealt with, check. Idiot with light dealt with, check. Sylph…

 

Sylph. She sighed internally. She didn’t have much else to say to the creature. There wasn’t much she could say—she just had to be ready to deal with whatever the King of Clubs would throw at her next.

 

“Yeah, yeah, I’m here. What’s everyone so worked up about?” a familiar voice asked from the doorway. Maeve chuckled as she looked over.

 

“Good morning, Naesala,” she said. “Sleep well?”

 

“Until a couple of nestlings started jumping on me, shouting something about a party,” he said, nodding at Tai and Yue.

 

Masahiro chuckled. “No party, sorry. Just Clubs trying to invade, someone trying to break into the castle, and this dog here.”

 

Naesala eyed the dog. He’d never been terribly fond of dogs, but since becoming part bird, large dogs with proportionally (or, occasionally, disproportionately) large teeth made him quite uneasy. Yes, he was a pretty big raven, but there were also some pretty big dogs in the world. Like the one he was now looking at.

 

“Sounds like you’ve all had a great two days,” he said.

 

“More like a great six hours,” Maeve grumbled. “Naesala, I have a job for you.”

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{Yay for the plot slowly creaking into gear >w< and only the Hatter has a monster post this time~}

 

The Hatter glanced around the throne room once it was entirely empty, his hand was in his pocket, fingering his pocketwatch thoughtfully; he didn’t feel any sort of reaction from it though, so he assured himself that there weren’t any unfamiliar objects in the room. It seemed silly to check, certainly the guards might have been half-assed the majority of the time, but those were the ones with the lower duties- only the best could guard the throne room or perform the more important matters… Of course, after everything the Hatter had seen involving guards that day he couldn’t help but be wary, and if Clubs was devious enough to sew pieces of paper into people’s clothes, there was always the chance they were bugging the room in some creative manner. Checking might have been paranoid, but at least it assured their conversation was safe.

 

”Well, exciting a morning as this has been, I do believe it would be best if I put aside the casual conversation and get straight to the point.” He pulled out his plate as he spoke and used it to conjure himself a cup of tea- a different blend than what he normally preferred- this one had quite a bit in it to calm the nerves. Of course, he could control his emotions very well without tea… But tea was just a wonderfully tasting way to help. The Hatter even offered the Queen a cup as well. ”I know you generally disagree with my tastes, but you might find it useful this time.” He said, placing the cup before her and sipping from his own casually. Then he sighed and his demeanor became much more grave and serious.

 

”You recall me informing you of Clubs’ rather sad attempt to invade your sister’s domain in my report yesterday.” He began, becoming steadily more stoic and businesslike as he proceeded, and got into his work mode. ”They exhibited poor strategy- blaring battle horns and sadly disguising themselves as Spade guards and soldiers- now of course, this is all review for you, however, I bring up the point because it occurs to me that something of similar occurrence has happened in Hearts… This very city in fact- roughly about a month ago when I was returning from a mission, I encountered some Clubs dressed as Heart guards- took them down easily…. But for the sake of cleanliness, I won’t explain how… When I investigated further, however, I found no motive or more ‘invaders’ in the area- and without such information, it would have been useless to inform you then.”

 

”I did however, have more guards continue investigating the situation- they were the ones who recovered the ‘stolen’ uniforms, but there was otherwise no trace of a trap placed by Clubs…. It was not until I noted that many of the Clubs invading your sister’s domain were wearing Spade uniforms that it occurred to me that the key to their ploy lay in the clothes.” He proceeded to pull out of another pocket (who really knew what use he had for so many pockets at all?) a couple of tiny scraps of paper- they were tattered around the edges and were all yellow with age, but he looked at them as if they were far more than that… perhaps he had a vivid imagination- perhaps he was just paranoid…. But his watch reacted to those scraps of paper, and it seemed far too much of a coincidence for Clubs to use such an object against more than one nation if they weren’t up to something.

”If I had to surmise, I’d say these scraps are part of the map.” He continued after a moment, ”The map is useless unless it has been to a place, but once it’s been there, it will have the entirety mapped out, complete with moving dots to indicate people… It’s rather useful once it’s gotten around…. In fact, the King of Clubs could very well be watching us right now…”

 

He paused for a moment, considering his following explanation carefully- he himself had created all the objects, but even he did not know their entire potential, so while he knew some things for certain, others he was simply theorizing. ”It’s likely that he’s also done the same to Spades, and perhaps even other nations as well…. Yet making the fact that he’s planning something so obvious makes me wonder whether he’d actually invade any of them- he’s lost the element of surprise after all, especially in Spades…. The only conclusion I can come to is that he will combine objects for some devastating effect…” But what that effect was, the Hatter couldn’t say- he knew what each object did, but he didn’t know what objects combined did… ”Still…” The gears in his head turned fiercely.

 

”…Since the King of Clubs is using the map, whatever his ‘attack’ is will likely be something long range- something that he could do from the comfort of his own castle… and it will also likely be something that could total a city- since that’s what he seemed so intent on mapping… “ He heaved a sigh at this conclusion, as if such was a very bothersome interruption to his tea, and after a long pause added nonchalantly, ”Your sister’s nation is also in danger- I know you two don’t always get along, but I don’t think any amount of madness would make it wise to not warn her and simply hope that they get attacked first.” Working together, maybe even forming some sort of alliance, was their best bet for figuring out how to put a stop to Clubs’ scheme; there was no denying that fact, but the Queens of both nations were sharp enough to cut themselves- even without rapiers involved- the Hatter was certain they’d both choose the wisest path for their nations even without his saying.

 

 

--------------------------------------------

 

Tai glared pointedly at Naesala until he put Yue down. Mean old birdies that couldn’t decide whether to be a person or a birdie were bad enough- but a mean old birdie with indecisive issues that Sis trusted was worse! He’d eat her eyes out when he got the chance! Tai made a face at this thought and looked away when Yue gave Naesala a hug… As long as he got cake at the party he supposed he could deal with a mean old birdie that his sister liked…. At least for a little while… Besides, if he turned into a birdie halfway through, then his cake was up for grabs- and Tai really loved cake. Thus he ran down the hall after Yue to the throne room with as much energy as ever and managed to keep his animosity to a minimum- save for the occasional deathglare he sent Naesala’s way when the mean old birdie got too close to Sis- until they arrived.

 

…And then it turned out that Spades was being invaded… And worse, there wasn’t any cake! What kind of cruel joke was it for the Clubs to lie about cake?! Tai’s ears drooped disappointedly, ”Queenie better beat up those Clubs for making me think there was cake… He mumbled after a moment, “It’s not nice to lie…” He glanced over at Yue to see what she thought about the lack of cake, but she seemed to already be thoroughly distracted…. Tai followed her gaze…. To a dog. A big, fluffy, doggie with big pointy ears.

 

”A doggie!” Yue was the first to exclaim happily, positively starry eyed at the sight; she’d felt the presence of a dog before, but she didn’t think it’d be so big and soft looking, and so she skipped excitedly off to pet him. Tai followed close behind; he wasn’t as much of a sucker for animals as Sis was, but he sure did like big fluffy doggies… A lot more than mean old birdies anyways…

 

--------------------------------------------

 

”H-hey! Wait a sec!” Sylph scrambled away when the children began approaching, ”Dog is man’s best friend- man! And neither of you are men-“ He backed away further, but quickly added, for the little demon girl had stopped in her tracks looking very hurt, ”-That’s not that I don’t like girls- I just don’t do kids! Uhh, not that I would ever-” He shook himself out- that probably wasn’t the wisest subject to bring up right then, ”Look, the last experience I had with a kid involved a girl who caused a lot of trouble around wonderland- oh not you, pipsqueak-“ for the little demon girl was looking both hurt and confused now- god he was horrible with kids! Sylph took a breath, struggling for words but coming up short.

 

”Y’know what?” He shook the jar off of his back, ”I’m just going to leave before someone kills me for harassing small children-“ It was the safest course of action to get away from tiny hands that would tug at his fur, and it was high time he got back to Clubs anyway… What with the king’s impatience and all… ”-Though I should emphasize that the munchkins started it!” He added, glaring in their direction before getting about his business… Damn, climbing into that jar was a pain! And it probably looked ridiculous too- a giant dog climbing into a jar that was only a third of his size was pretty strange even for wonderland…. Maybe it was about time he considered friends other than ‘man’- because his master was pretty strict...

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((I'm here, but I'm absolutely lost. And I'm horrible at jumping back in. So, if anyone has any idea how I can maneuver my way back into the story, then that'd be awesome. I suppose I could say that Lapin accidentally went into hibernation, being a hare and all..? lol))

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((haha--actually, i think that only the one night has passed. so she didn't necessarily even go into hibernation! just got a good night's sleep. there's someone in the hearts dungeon...and the hatter seems to have uncovered a plot...and another messenger will shortly be appearing whenever my posts finally make it that far. so you'll have plenty of stuff to do. ;) ))

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((I'm still here, but I've had other stuff that I've been busy with. Anyways, I'll post something short about Fayt right now.))

 

"No, thank you. I'll be fine without them." Fayt replied politely to Mikhaiel. She smiled, and nodded, before she walked into the room.

 

Fayt peered around the room a little anxiously. It was dark, but she had no problem seeing, as her cat eyes were good in low light. There was a bed in one corner, a dresser in another, and a long mirror beside it. There didn't seem to be any kind of trap in the room, but Fayt couldn't really think of any reason to hurt someone who was 'insane'. Being 'insane' did have its advantages.

 

Walking over to the bed, she pulled back the covers. They were surprisingly soft. Fayt smiled once again, and transformed into a cat very suddenly. She leaped up to the small window, and looked around. It was far too high to jump from, and there seemed to be a bed of roses beneath it. It would be more than a little painful to land in those thorns!

 

The moon was almost full, and cast quite a bit of light. It made the whole castle look very beautiful.

 

Fayt left the window after a few moments of gazing at the stars. She turned back into a human, and slipped into the bed. Before closing her eyes, she grabbed her teddy bear from her bag.

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(( ... ... ... Sorry! ^^; Been kinda stressed lately- and a stressed Ashen=no writing. Buuut... I'm having a cup of very yummy tea at the moment, and it's making me happy. Mmm... tea. <3 So. I shall try to write something.))

 

The Queen of Hearts took the proffered cup. She took a sip, and nodded. It was quite pleasing- though it could perhaps do with just a touch of honey- and better (in her opinion) than most of the tea the Hatter enjoyed. She listened to the Hatter, sipping her tea.

 

"...I encountered some Clubs dressed as Heart guards- took them down easily… ... I found no motive or more ‘invaders’ in the area- and without such information, it would have been useless to inform you then...”

 

She raised a brow at that, but let the Hatter continue. Pursing her lips, she tried to place exactly when this had happened. Hmm... If it was when she thought it was, perhaps it was better he hadn't told her. She had been in quite a mood...

 

”…Since the King of Clubs is using the map, whatever his ‘attack’ is will likely be something long range- something that he could do from the comfort of his own castle… and it will also likely be something that could total a city- since that’s what he seemed so intent on mapping…"

 

Bryony set down her tea. She would have to ask the Hatter just what was in this blend. Still, that had to wait. She massaged her temples with gloved fingers. This could prove to be quite a headache- she would rather deal with her sister than the King of Clubs. Her sister she could handle. The territory of Chess she could deal with. Clubs was a wild card. If Clubs was a driving force in the war? That boded ill for everyone.

 

”Your sister’s nation is also in danger- I know you two don’t always get along, but I don’t think any amount of madness would make it wise to not warn her and simply hope that they get attacked first.”

 

Bryony raised her head. She very nearly covered her face with her hands and groaned. She understood that their kingdoms were both in danger, but really, could this had happened an a more inopportune time? She had just sent back a very definite 'no' for her sister's offer of alliance. She tapped her fingers on the armrest of her throne.

 

With a tsk, she rose. Pacing about the room, she contemplated the possible actions. It wasn't long before she had decided, but oh! how the decision chafed her pride.

 

"LAPIN!!"

 

((...Evidently Queenie-kins is in a good mood. I'm not sure why... *is scared* XD ))

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Aidan Lee sat in a corner space of a relatively empty pub- with no customer aside from himself. His azure eyes stared unblinkingly to the large, old piece of parchment spread across his arms, the cheap bottle of alcohol he'd ordered stood on his table untouched. The barman, obviously bored, took his time to steal some curious glances at this rather peculiar customer. This action of the former, however, was blatantly ignored.

 

Unknown anyone but himself, it was not the images of the map he was actually seeing through his silver-rimmed spectacles; instead, he was seeing a vision of the Ante Desert; witnessing an army clad in red, bearing the banner of the Territory of Chess, marching towards the Kingdom of Diamonds. Seems exhausting, Lee mused to himself, Does the Red Queen really expected to win if her troops are not in perfect condition?

 

As if they could somehow hear his thoughts, the army halted their advance, and left their horses to ride on several large, brightly colored avians with multiple eyes instead; Lee noticed that the creatures were summoned by the One-armed commander.

 

Taking of his glasses, he lowered the browning map and seemed to notice for the first time that his ordered drink had been served, Lee poured himself a portion and took a sip. With a disgusted grimace, he quickly reminded himself to not order any similar product in the future. He was about to stand up and leave (he'd paid for the drink the moment he ordered it) when the door opened from outside. Their boots thumping against the wooden floor with each steps, their uniforms and bulky figures advertising their origins, several Clubs soldiers marched in. The barman promptly squawked in alarm before he nervously proceed to serve the hulking men.

 

Lee could somewhat understand why the barman was behaving this way. Intimidating as they already were, it was enhanced by their obvious displeasure. He'd heard about it alright- that the Clubs had invaded Spades a few hours ago. The invasion, evidently, did not end well. Deciding whether or not he should attempt to sell them any information, Lee slowly rose from his seat, gaining the soldiers' attention for the first time. Each of the men glared suspiciously at him, but whatever their impression of him was, Lee chose to ignore; greeting them formally, he proceeded to offer them a deal- that he knew some valuable information he'd be willing to share for a price.

 

He did not receive any response for a while, other than several confused or doubtful stares. It was to be expected that they would not believe him immediately. "It's about the Territory of Chess" Lee added, hoping that giving them an overview of what his 'information' was would convince them to purchase it. It worked; or, at least, it seemed to perk some interests- including that of the barman's.

 

He started telling them facts that a number of the Red Army has left their bases to invade Diamonds and proceeded revealed that a certain one-armed commander controlled giant avians (his 'clients' immediately recognized them as 'Jubjub birds' ). Intrigued, but unconvinced, the men handed him a pouch filled with quite a lot of money to hold for a while.

 

Smirking, he slipped out the pub, leaving the soldiers debating about the reliance of his information. If they ever decide that he was bluffing after all, and try to track him down, he'd be long since gone.

 

((Finally managed to introduce Lee; he's an (unaffiliated) information broker. I'd reckon he'd stir up troubles though, especially if he plans to run around selling information regarding various kingdoms to opposing rulers. Hope you don't mind that, Astra, but knowing that you plan to have Clubs invade Chess anyway, I don't see how it really matters.))

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Lapin's eyes snapped open at the sound of her name being yelled. Without hesitating at all, the hare jumped out of bed and left her room, quickly moving closer. When she entered the room, she quickly bowed before the Queen.

 

"Yes, Your Higness?" Lapin asked, still panting a little from her brisk walk. It was almost certain that the hare would have something to do.

 

Not that it bothered her. In fact, the prospect of having some nice work to get done seemed like a gift more than anything.

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((ashen, i get the impression that we're both about to send a messenger to each other's kingdom, becasue mine is on his way--or will be in my next post XD))

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((haha--good one XP))

 

"Doggie!" Yue exclaimed upon spotting Sylph.

 

"Oh, hell no!" Naesala crowed, grabbing Yue and Tai by the backs of their shirts (or, in Yue's case, cloak). Maybe he was a bit biased, maybe he was a bit paranoid, or maybe he had just cause for concern, but he was not letting his nestlings anywhere near that dog. Petting unfamiliar dogs was a great way to get bitten--and with Yue's low pain tolerance and Tai's severe distrust of Masahiro--the only nearby healer--he wasn't about to let them chance it.

 

"So, this job?" he asked nonchalantly as Tai and Yue scrambled to get away and Sylph clamored to get back into his jar, looking panicked. Maeve waited until Sylph and his jar were gone before she answered.

 

"I have a job that requires your...expertise," she said. He released Tai and Yue.

 

"And what expertise would that be?"

 

“Your stealth.”

 

“All Spades are stealthy,” Naesala said. “See this guy here?” He gestured at Masahiro. “This guy could sneak up and kill Death itself. How stealthy could a guy with a big feathery cape be?”

 

"It is known by all that my country produces excellent spies and assassins," she said, glancing at Masahiro. "But my sister’s subjects are notoriously good at their jobs as well. They would find him, and—as skilled as you are, Masahiro—you are young. You may be more than a match for most anyone you’ve fought, but Hearts has guards with five times your age in fighting experience alone. That brings us back to you, Naesala,” she said, shifting her gaze back to the raven. “For it seems that they have little regard for my messengers. I need you to deliver a treaty to Hearts. Directly to the hands of my sister herself.”

 

“Is that all? Consider it done. Give me the treaty and I’ll be off at dawn,” he said, pushing a few stray locks of hair back, looking for all the world like the confident bastard he knew he was. “Unless, of course, you want me to go now.”

 

“Pft,” Maeve chuckled, rolling her eyes playfully. “I have to write the treaty first, overeager featherbrain.”

 

“Ah, that’s right. You’ve had a rather exciting night, have you not?” He wound a stray lock of hair around his fingers restlessly. Whenever he had a job, he tended to want to do it as quickly as possible.

 

“Far too.” She snapped her fingers and a maid appeared almost at once. “Fetch us something to eat, if you would,” she said. “I fear no one will be getting much sleep tonight.”

 

“Yes, your Majesty,” the maid curtsied and hurried off.

 

“Naesala,” Masahiro said, looking at the half-raven. “Be wary—Hearts has an assassin of a caliber far superior to my own. He goes by “Hatter.” I do not think he will harm you, but…”

 

“No one can retreat faster than me, BlackJack,” Naesala smirked, stretching. Masahiro smiled wearily.

 

“Be that as it may, I believe the Hatter would be able to catch you if he wanted to. Bear that in mind.”

 

“Spare me the gloom-and-doom speech,” the raven replied casually, noting that Yue looked quite distressed at the idea of him flying headlong into danger. “I’ll be fine. Just a routine fly-by of Hearts with a brief interlude.”

 

“That’s why I’m sending him, Masahiro,” Maeve said. “Because far fewer people would notice a raven. Even you, would you not?”

 

“I am not the Hatter, Maeve,” Masahiro said. He could see he was quite outvoted—Naesala would be going to Hearts, danger or not. In fact, he probably wouldn’t be going if there wasn’t danger. But the healer in him worried. It was always much harder to treat Naesala’s injuries—shapeshifting tended to reopen wounds.

 

The maid returned with a large, rolling tray of food as well as a raven-feather quill (given as a gift to Maeve by Naesala) and a roll of official-looking Spades parchment. She curtsied again, holding out a silver goblet to the queen. Maeve thanked her, accepted the goblet, and turned to her Knave and her messenger.

 

“Cheers, gentlemen,” she said, raising her glass. “My will be done.”

 

*** *** *** *** ***

 

Maeve read the document one more time, already assured that there weren’t any stupid mistakes but trying to discern how her sister would read it. She had read it several times through, shown it to Malcolm, Masahiro and Naesala, and then read it through again. She sighed. It would have to do.

 

“Naesala!” she called to her empty study. She waited.

 

“Surprise,” said a voice from the window. Maeve jumped and whirled around, rapier drawn. Naesala was sitting on the windowsill, his feathered cape in the form of two enormous black wings. He smirked at Maeve’s reaction.

 

“I expected you at the door,” she said by way of greeting, sheathing the rapier. The jeweled hilt glimmered in the candlelight.

 

“Finished?”

 

“It’s as good as it’s going to get,” she said as she melted crimson sealing wax over a candle. She dripped the wax onto the seam of the scroll and pressed her seal into it. After waiting for the wax to harden, she handed the treaty to her messenger.

 

“Thy will be done,” he teased, putting the scroll into a case and tucking the case into a pouch on the belt he wore across his chest. “Make sure the nestling doesn’t panic too much for me, yes?”

 

“As you wish,” Maeve said. The sun was beginning to peek over the horizon, the sky turning grey with the promise of the coming dawn. Naesala fluttered his wings, the pale light illuminating his pale face, making him look ancient but—at the same time—much younger. A dark blue aura began to form around him. In moments, the winged human was gone and a large raven sat in his place. Maeve crooked her arm before her and the raven fluttered obediently onto it.

 

“Good luck, Naesala,” she said. The raven crowed once, pecked playfully at Maeve’s fingers, and took off into the rising light.

 

***

 

Mikhaiel was sitting outside Maeve’s study door when she emerged.

 

“Interesting place to sit,” she said with a smile.

 

“Fayt did not try to escape,” he replied. “Shall I send for her?”

 

“Bring her breakfast,” Maeve said, “I’m yet to decide what to do with her.”

 

“You don’t trust her, do you?” Mikhaiel asked, not sounding terribly surprised.

 

Maeve frowned. “It’s like I said to her—I didn’t ask if she worked for Hearts. With Clubs invading, one would think that her first inclination would be to assure me she isn’t a Club. Hearts was the last thing on my mind.”

 

“You think she’s a Hearts spy, then?”

 

Maeve looked at the half-Incubus. He was older than he looked—Masahiro’s age or more, but he looked to be in his mid-teens. Despite his heritage, there was something terribly pure an innocent about him. “I do not know, Mikhaiel—I merely know that her loyalty does not lie with Spades.”

 

Mikhaiel nodded and was quiet for a moment. “Queen Maeve?”

 

“Mikhaiel?”

 

“Where might I find a bow?”

 

“A bow?” Maeve blinked in surprise. “I suppose you don’t mean the kind that’s on the back of my dress.”

 

“No, your Majesty,” Mikhaiel said with a smile.

 

“What need have you of a bow?”

 

“I…I wish to learn how to use it,” he said, blinking his mismatched eyes. “If Spades is to go to war…”

 

“Mikhaiel, that’s what the army is for,” Maeve chuckled.

 

“All the same, Maeve,” he said. “I still wish to learn.”

 

She closed her eyes and breathed deeply. “I shall send Masahiro with a message to someone I know. If he will take you…you could not ask for a finer teacher.”

 

((^^; massively long post is massively long...masahiro was suspiciously quiet in this one....hmm....))

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The Hatter continued to sip his tea casually when the Queen called the messenger hare Lapin into the room; the decision to send a treaty to Spades didn’t surprise him- no amount of Heartly pride could stop the Queen from protecting her people… He certainly hoped that she didn’t ask him to review the writing though- he never did fancy paperwork… Actually, it was no secret that he avoided paperwork like the plague- and he’d seen the plague, so such a statement was really no exaggeration.

 

Thus the Hatter decided to be ‘considerate’ enough to leave the Queen alone while she wrote the fine lines of the treaty…. He’d return when he was certain enough time had passed that the finer lines had already been done….

Unfortunately, he was met by an obstacle the moment he stepped out of the throne room and into the hall…

 

”Oh Adrieeenn…” A taunting voice chimed musically as a hand landed on his shoulder, ”Skippin’ out on paperwork again are ya?”

The Hatter didn’t have to turn to know who the speaker was. He merely sighed and said, ”I’ve told you many times not to call me that, Desiree.” Then he turned and met the violet eyes of a red headed maid, who was glaring at him teasingly with a playful smile on her face.

 

--------------------------------------------

 

(Okay, this is usually where Tai and Yue go, but I’m switching up the order to introduce my new character… Soo uhh…. Bear with me guys!

 

And she seems determined to become…. Irish…?)

 

”Oooh, always such a wet blanket!” Desiree smiled, ”I don’t know why ya hate the name ‘Adrien’ so much, really nice soundin’ name it is!” Then her smile faded a bit as she leaned in closer to look at the Hatter’s face; he could hold up pretty well in front on anyone else, but she could tell that he was tired… And if something had worn him out to the point where she could notice it then it was definitely something bad.

 

”What happened, Brother?” She asked after a moment, ”Ya look like ya been hit over the head with a fryin’ pan one too many times!” And she was fairly certain she hadn’t chased him around with one of those in a while….

 

There was a long pause that followed this statement, in which the Hatter stared at her apprehensively, obviously considering something; but after a moment he stated simply, ”It’s not an affair that should be gossiped about among the maids of Hearts Castle.”

 

Desiree made a face. ”Ya’d think that seven hundred plus years would make it so a girl didn’t have to worry ‘bout an overprotective big brother-“ She stomped her foot, ”-Ya tell me what’s goin’ on or I’ll march into that there throne room and ask Hearty herself!” It might not have been proper for a maid to talk to the Queen, but Desiree was stubborn and she most certainly would; she knew she could get away with it since she was so close to a certain big, important, assassin…. It’d just cause him a lot of trouble if the Queen was particularly busy…

 

The Hatter rubbed his temple gingerly as a headache began to form; he really didn’t feel like dealing with her antics right then, and so he grudgingly caved in and explained everything that was going on…. Because by whatever gods existed in Wonderland, sisters were annoying as heck when they wanted to be.

 

 

--------------------------------------------

 

”…So are you actually planning something or are you just staring at me because I’m that pretty?” Sylph quirked an eyebrow at the King of Clubs- who’d been staring at him intently for a while now that he’d finished relaying the events that had conspired during his visit to Spades. He really wasn’t sure what the heck was running through his master’s head at this point- making his nation the enemy of everyone in Wonderland didn’t exactly seem like a good idea no matter how you turned it…. Seriously, if he was suicidal there was counseling for that!

 

”I’m sure your abnormally large mouth was well worth the delay-“ Celeste finally replied after a moment, drumming his fingers on the arm of his throne, ”-But I assure you that my plans don’t involve sharing anything therein with you.” The King of Clubs had been just as impatient as Sylph had predicted, and he was not happy with the dog’s ‘tardiness’. It was lucky that he hadn’t punished him, but he seemed far too preoccupied for that; rather than making any remark about Sylph’s report, he simply turned back to his scrying dish, watching the events of elsewhere as if his pet’s actions hadn’t even mattered.

 

The King himself was not doing the scrying- there was a certain enchantress nearby who was handling the magical part of things…. Sylph had never liked her… She smelled funny and well… He wasn’t the biggest fan of magic, being raised in a place that prized fighting like Clubs had that effect; he wasn’t sure why the King had taken her as his queen, since he’d never used to like magic either… But lately it seemed like he’d do anything to reach his goals- whatever the hell they were- and marrying an evil enchantress seemed to be a part of that.

 

”Hmmm, so the Red Army has left their home practically unguarded….” The King smirked, then promptly ordered the enchantress to send orders via some sort of weird sending stone (Sylph thought that rocks were better for beating people, but what did he know?) for the army to take the chance to invade the Red Queen’s portion of Chess. ‘Do their worst’ and ‘Have fun’ were along the lines that were relayed.

 

”Why would you send them there without a mission?” Sylph twitched his ears, ”Rebels without a cause generally end up dead, and quite frankly those soldiers don’t need help getting themselves killed considering their lack of brains.”

 

”I don’t care if they live or die.” Was the King’s nonchalant reply, ”They’re easily replaced.” All he needed was for them to visit the place to fill out his map… Beyond that… Well, he didn’t very much care.

 

”Y’know…” Sylph sighed, ”There’s a huge difference between lives spent and lives wasted...” He wondered whether his master could even tell the difference anymore…

 

--------------------------------------------

 

Yue was rather grumpy at Naesala for keeping her away from the doggie- they never had pets at the castle and whenever she tried to pet anything that was around he always told her it was too dangerous… Or too pointy…. Or that skunks weren’t as cute as they looked… But she’d picked him up off the ground when he was a birdie and he wasn’t dangerous, so she didn’t understand why he insisted she stay away from the big fluffy doggie…. Maybe he was jealous.

 

Still, for all her grumpiness, she still looked worried when he took off out the window into the morning; hopefully he’d find the birdseed she’d stashed in one of his packs, because he’d probably get hungry from lots of flying… And he had to have lots of energy, because Yue didn’t want him getting killed by ‘hats’ like Masahiro had mentioned, and if he was full he wouldn’t have any excuse for not getting her and Tai a souvenir from Hearts! She managed a small smile at that thought.

 

Tai meanwhile was not so worried about the mean old birdie, instead he was talking to Queenie about what was going on. ”How come you sent him to Hearts?” He asked, tilting his head, ”Did he do something bad and got a time out?” That had to be it- he just knew that that mean old birdie had been mean to Yue!

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Aidan stood leaning against a wall in a secluded alley in a town outskirting the Kingdom of Clubs. He seemed to be staring at the scenery before him, but his eyes that glazed behind his glasses saw nothing of it.

 

The vision he currently saw from the lenses was that of the throne room of the Palace of Clubs. It was probably unnecessary, but Lee wanted to know if the King knew about the information he had just relayed to the soldiers in the pub. The images he saw appeared foggy, and the outlines blurred- perhaps it was protected by some minor enchantments- but it was enough for Aidan to make out that apparently, the King had.

 

Pulling of the glasses, Lee then turned to the dirty map he had been holding lopsidedly in his left hand. Now is the time to relay this bit of news to the Territory of Chess. Scratching his palm against the uncoated brick walls behind him, Lee allowed several drops of blood to fall on his map- over the Town of Celes. It took a while for the parchment to recognize the red substance as blood belonging to Lee, but once it did, it opened the portal to Celes- the drying stains fading as it did so.

 

Although from his current position, the Capital of the Red Territory is much closer, and would've given him a smoother, and shorted, travel, Lee also knew that out of the Two Queesn of Chess, the White Queen is easier to negotiate with. The fact that he had once made a deal with her, also, helped.

 

It was, in fact, the task to convince the Elven Guards of the palace to grant a 'suspicious stranger' like him that proves to be the real challenge.

 

"I understand that the Queen is busy, but surely she can spare one minute or two?" came Lee's exasperated voice after 15 minutes of reasoning and sucking up to the guards.

 

"The Queen is busy" insisted the guard; Lee had not known that elves could be so stubborn- not that he'd met one before. "And any spare minutes she has would not be wasted on you. Leave at once!"

 

Dropping all formalities and mock politeness, Lee's expression turned into a scowl, "Who are you to decide how the Queen should spend her time anyway?" He muttered rudely, "You're just some measly palace guards"

 

The guards looked enraged at this remark, but quickly regained their composure before they could fully express it, and simply repeated the line they've been saying since his first request, "Leave at once."

 

Today, the White Queen had decided, was not one of her good days. She had spent her whole morning trying to contact her sister; unsurprisingly, though, the Red Queen had not allowed her to do so. Cassandra had apparently locked away her cat, that Calysta's calls would not reach her.

 

The frustrated Queen had almost cried in anger, when a handsomely-dressed elf sauntered into the room and vacated the empty throne by her side. Putting aside her anger for her stubborn sister, Calysta turned to him enquiringly. "A stranger is seeking for your audience" her husband then informed her, "he was causing quite a commotion when the guards won't let him in."

 

"Send him in," ordered Calysta, vaguely pointing at a random servant who immediately scurried out of the room to carry her orders.

 

*

 

The strange visitor, it turned out, was Aidan Lee, a young informant she came across not long ago- during which he told her of Cassandra's plans to invade Tidea. As she was not in her castle when the transaction occurred, her guards did not know of him- hence their refusal of his entry.

 

"So tell me, Master Lee, what is it that you have to inform me? I assume that that is your purpose here, am I correct?"

 

Aidan merely nodded to confirm that her statement was true. "Indeed it is," he said, "Although perhaps this bit of information might not surprise you, considering the current circumstances we are in, but I have learnt that Clubs is planning to invade your sister's territory. In fact, the King had already ordered his troops to do so. I think they may have some sort of Seer- he knew the Red Queen's territory is unguarded."

 

The people's reaction ranged from doubt, worry to utmost shock when they heard this news. Calysta's was of surprise. Despite the fact that she had expected this to happen, she did not think that they would act so quickly. Yes, she had not considered that Clubs might have a seer; a country so focused on their military, usually neglects the use of magic. Apparently, this does not apply to the King of Clubs.

 

Slumping on her throne, the White Queen asked faintly, "Should not Cassandra be told beforehand?"

 

The information broker bowed deeply, his facial expression hidden behind his red bangs, as he answered, "I was under the impression that she would believe her sister's words more than she would a stranger's. Besides, I felt it necessary to warn you of what Clubs knew of, or is capable of knowing. I had feared that you might recklessly send your own troops to aid your disbelieving ally, and leaving your own territory unguarded,"

 

"I believe you are right..." he heard the Elven Queen spoke absently, obviously not noticing the smirk that escaped from his lips.

 

*

 

Leaving the palace after receiving payment, Aidan wondered where he should go next. Perhaps he could go to Kazas and inform the Red Queen of the invasions; that way, he'd be able to earn extra cash for the same information.

 

But then again, he should also tell the people of Diamonds of the Jubjub birds controlled by the Red Army's commander. They deserve to know what they would be facing, after all.

 

EDIT: This is the last time I'll post any RP entry using my cell phone. They always screw up when I try to edit the posts.

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Aidan stood just in a secluded alley in a town outskirting the Kingdom of Clubs, his enchanted map on one hand, and his 'scrying camera'- or so he called it now- on the other.

 

The scene currently displayed on the small screen was that of the throne room of the Palace of Clubs. It was probably unnecessary, but Lee wanted to know if the King knew about the information he had just relayed to the soldiers in the pub. Apparently, the King had.

 

Putting the camera away, Lee then turned to the dirty map spread across his arms. Now is the time to relay this bit of news to the Territory of Chess. Scratching his palm against the uncoated brick walls behind him, Lee allowed several drops of blood to fall on his map- over the Town of Celes. It took a while for the parchment to recognize the red substance as blood belonging to Lee, but once it did, it opened the portal to Celes- the drying stains fading as it did so.

 

Although from his current position, the Capital of the Red Territory is much closer, and would mean an easier travel, Lee also knew that out of the Two Queesn of Chess, the White Queen is easier to negotiate with.

 

It was, in fact, the task to convince the Elven Guards of the palace to grant a 'suspiscious stranger" like him that proves to be the real challenge.

 

"I understand that the Queen is busy, but surely she can spare one minute or two?" came Lee's exasperated voice after 15 minutes of reasoning and sucking up to the guards.

 

"The Queen is busy" insisted the guard; Lee had not known that elves could be so stubborn- not that he'd met one before. "And any spare minutes she has would not be wasted on you. Leave at once!"

 

Dropping all formalities and mock politeness, Lee's expression turned into a scowl, "Who are you to decide how the Queen should spend her time anyway?" He muttered rudely, "You're just some measly palace guards"

 

The guards looked enraged at this remark, but quickly regained their composure before they could fully express it, and simply repeated the line they've been saying since his first request, "Leave at once."

 

Today, the White Queen had decided, was not one of her good days. She had spent her whole morning trying to contact her sister; unsurprisingly, though, the Red Queen had not allowed her to do so. Cassandra had apparently locked away her cat, that Calysta's calls would not reach her.

 

The frustrated Queen had almost cried in anger, when a handsomely-dressed elf sauntered into the room and vacated the empty throne by her side. Putting aside her anger for her stubborn sister, Calysta turned to him enquiringly. "A stranger is seeking for your audience" her husband then informed her, "he was causing quite a commotion when the guards won't let him in."

 

Sighing, Calysta placed Snowdrop on the ground and walked towards the palace gates, her white lace gowns gracefully sweeping the marble floor beneath her as she did so.

 

*

 

The visitor, as it turned out, was a strange man dressed in a set of clothing she does not recognize. He was much younger than Calysta

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Bryony growled in frustration as the wording of her warning progressed more and more into an offer of alliance. This was not what she had set out to do. She had set out to inform her sister of what she knew, and imply that the favor was to be returned at a later date, but..! It was her fifth draft of the blasted note, and each time she wrote it it offered alliance sooner and sooner.

 

The queen snapped her quill in half. She had already destroyed her favorite writing quill... and her second favorite... and the one she currently snapped made three. She reached for a new one, only to find it was her last. If she broke this one too, she would have to wait for Lapin to go into the town and get her new ones. She frowned.

 

Suppose... Well, she could offer a treaty... Her note seemed to be heading that way anyway. She tapped the plume of the quill against her lips. Glancing again at the draft, she saw it wasn't bad. A change here, a tweak there, and all of it copied over to a fresh sheet.

 

She tied it with a red ribbon, sealed them both with wax, and stamped her seal into the still warm wax.

 

"Lapin. This message is to be delivered to the Queen of Spades. Make sure you give it directly to her."

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((ashen, i figure that naesala having to be escorted from place to place will give you time to get to the throne room to meet him.))

 

The journey to Hearts from Spades was not a long one, at least as the crow flies—or, in this case, the raven. It was slightly after high noon when Naesala touched down outside the main gates of Serdio Castle. He concentrated, shifted into Human form, and assured the startled guard,

 

“I come from Donau, with a message from Her Majesty Maeve, the Queen of Spades, to be delivered directly to the hands of Her Majesty Bryony d’Obray, the Queen of Hearts.” He tried to ignore the shooting pains in his limbs and the throbbing in his temples, reminding himself that this was nothing compared to how forcing himself to Human form used to feel.

 

Much to his relief—and his surprise—the guard opened the gate and another guard escorted him through. He smirked and resumed his more-comfortable-by-daylight raven form.

 

“You’ll forgive me if I resume this form—it’s much more comfortable,” he said. The guard jumped. Apparently he’d never met a talking raven. If not for his beak, Naesala’s smirk would have widened into a grin.

 

He was mildly unimpressed that they hadn’t questioned if he was carrying any weapons—he flinched, remembering the dagger in his boot and hoping very hard that it wouldn’t be spotted and seized, and he be imprisoned or killed for an assassination attempt. It wasn’t noticeable as a bird—for obvious reasons—but he knew that as soon as he resumed Human form (because he couldn’t deliver the treaty without first retrieving it from his belt, and it wouldn’t be very wise of him to approach the Queen of Hearts as a bird), it would be there.

 

He forced himself to resume human form without grimacing when he was brought before the Queen of Hearts. He’d been warned that anything might set off her volatile temper. Determined not to make any stupid mistakes, he dropped to one knee before the Queen and bowed deeply.

 

“Your Majesty, I come with a message from Queen Maeve of Spades. I’ve been ordered to place this directly into your hands.” He drew the scroll from its place on his cross belt. “If you would accept it, your Majesty, I would be most honored.”

 

♠♠♠

 

“Why did you send him to Hearts?” Tai asked in Maeve’s direction, referring to Naesala. “Did he do something bad and get a time out?”

 

Maeve chuckled and ruffled Tai’s hair. “No, Tai—he’s simply the only one of my messengers I trust to be able to pull off being the bearer of bad news. He tends to get himself out of predicaments mostly unscathed, and has escaped so many death traps that it unnerves even him. Besides,” the queen smiled. “He never lets me forget that no one can retreat faster than him.”

 

“They say that it’s poor manners to shoot the messenger,” said Masahiro as he came down the hall. Maeve wondered for a moment how it was that everyone seemed to be congregating at her study door. “So you send the one of us most vulnerable to arrows?”

 

“Bryony doesn’t shoot messengers, Masahiro,” she said, quirking an eyebrow and smiling darkly. “She beheads them—and a raven is an awfully small target to behead, do you not agree?”

 

“I suppose so. Now, what is it that you want me to do?”

 

“I want you to be a messenger for a moment,” she said. “I will write a note, and I wish you to deliver it. Your journey will not be a long one. But you will have to wait—there are other things to which I must first attend. Aside that,” she chuckled. “He doesn’t get up until late in the day, given a choice. And now,” she looked at Mikhaiel. “I have another job for you.”

 

“For me?”

 

“Yes, you.”

 

“Your will, your Majesty?”

 

“You will bring Fayt breakfast.”

 

“Yes, your Majesty.” Mikhaiel turned to go.

 

“Mikhaiel!”

 

“Yes?” he turned around.

 

“I will meet you in your bedroom in ten minutes,” she said. “After that, you may do your job.”

 

“Yes, your Majesty,” he bowed, smiling.

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{-poke poke- o-o aaaaanyooone out there?

 

I don't wanna troll this RP with a mountain of my giant humungousaur posts- so I've been waiting for Ashen_Eclipse to post since Naesala is chillin' in her throne room... And Lapin could probably show up in Spades with a similar message too.... at some point...

 

And also, Adept Rogue- if you wanted to post that Club soldiers were marching into the Red Queen's domain and wreaking havoc, you can and I'll build off of it.

 

Let's live people!}

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((So, I'm assuming Lapin is on her way. For the sake of her head, I certainly hope so. The Queen is not in a good mood now.))

 

The Queen of Hearts was sitting on her throne. She twirled her sword at her side, frowning. She had sent off a treaty to Spades of all places. Yes, the queen of Spades was her sister, but Spades and Hearts never got along. The history of their rivalry ran deep. Still, with the options presented...

 

"Your Majesty?" A guard poked his head in. He saw her sword and gulped. "You have a messenger."

 

The Queen lowered her sword as the messenger walked in. He dropped to one knee before the Queen and bowed.

 

“Your Majesty, I come with a message from Queen Maeve of Spades. I’ve been ordered to place this directly into your hands.” He drew the scroll from its place on his cross belt. “If you would accept it, your Majesty, I would be most honored.”

 

She raised a brow. Her sister, sending a message so soon after her last one? Her eye twitched. Something seemed off. She did not like the feeling she was getting.

 

She stood, holding her sword ready at her side. The sun streamed in through the windows, making the metal shine. She stepped down off the dais, eying the messenger. She strode over to him, watching him for any movement. Gingerly picking up the scroll, she took a step back as she examined the seal. It was indeed Maeve's.

 

"My messenger is currently... Occupied. If Maeve expects a reply, you shall have to wait."

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((Gah, I shall post now. I wasn't very active on AM because of other stuff I had to do, sorry! Malli doesn't want to talk to me, so that part is left rather indecisively.))

 

Fayt opened her eyes and yawned lazily. The sun was up, and was making the room to bright. She stretched, and walked over to the window. It wasn't that late, but it wasn't that early, either, she decided. Mid morning.

 

She rubbed her eyes and packed up her things. As comfortable as the beds were here, Fayt knew that she couldn't stay. She had acted much too suspiciously in the throne room that night, and she was bound to have missed something important when she was brought to the room. Grabbing her bag, she slung it over her shoulder and walked towards the door. The door was open, strangely enough.

 

If I was the guy who brought me here, I probably would have locked the door, Fayt thought. There were two guards in the hall. One turned to look at her, scrutinizing her a bit. Fayt skipped up to the guard, and asked him politely, "May I ask where the throne room is?"

 

The guard stared, and offered to escort her. Fayt nodded- it was better to be going with a large person than to be locked in a room. She followed the guard closely, and they soon arrived at the throne room. Fayt pulled open a door and went inside, the guards that were there watching her closely. She looked around, and didn't see the queen.

 

"Hello?" she asked.

 

---------------

 

Malli woke up with a start. She must have fallen asleep! Angry with herself for sleeping, she got up and went to the door. It was time to break out, she decided. There was no reason for her to stay there any more, and she should probably go back to the Duchess to tell her of her failure... If she had to tell her. Malli smiled at the thought of being able to get an object, but decided that it would be better if she simply went home.

 

Taking a deep breath, she stomped her foot on the ground, thinking of the other side of the door. She appeared there a few seconds later, much to the surprise of the guards. Using this to her advantage, she grabbed a knife from her boots and stabbed one of them. She kicked the other, and held the dagger at his throat.

 

"Where's my trident?" she asked in her most menacing voice.

 

"I-In the armoury!" he responded.

 

"Where's that?"

 

The guard described the route, and Malli killed him swiftly. No need to leave a witness. Malli ran through the halls in the direction that he had specified. Soon running into some more guards, she attacked them. Malli struck one from a distance with a swiftly thrown knife, and began to teleport towards the other. The guard moved at a bad moment for Malli- when she reappeared, she found the guard's sword stuck in her arm. She gasped, freezing for a moment.

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As his black antique clock rang loudly, indicating sunrise, Beast awoke from his short slumber. He had spent the entire night examining his Marionettes, patching up any damage he found, and incinerating those he found faulty (i.e. unable to carry out his orders properly). It was quite a tiring work, even for him.

 

Blinking several times to get the image of his surroundings to focus, Beast then noticed that he'd disposed most of his Marionettes, and aside from Awnya, only three remained. The half-demon sighed; he never realized that he was keeping that much junk in his chamber.

 

Washing face to get rid of the last remains of drowsiness, Beast then headed towards the throne room, wondering if the Queen would grant him permission to go off 'hunting'. To his surprise, instead of Queen Maeve, he found the cat girl intruder standing inside. The very one he captured the day before, in fact.

 

Staring at the girl with obvious dislike (which, coming from him, is nothing unusual), Beast snarled, "If you're plan to escape from the throne room, you're making a BIG mistake, cat."

 

~*~

 

Genesis leapt on all fours across the sandy mountains of the Desert, trying to make it to the city as fast as possible. Judging from the pace at which the Red Army is marching, she had at least half a day to prepare and fortify defenses. That was not much time, considering her own speed has its limits as well.

 

However, upon reaching civilization, a figure appeared, from out of nowhere, right in front of her. A collision was inevitable, and down went the two of them.

 

Genesis was not in the mood to be patient. "ARE YA BLIND?!" she yelled at the stranger she'd ran into, "I'M IN A HURRY HERE!"

 

But instead of apologizing, the young man merely responded with eerie calmness, "Oh yes, you should hurry. If you plan to out-speed the Jubjub birds, that is."

 

Genesis' furrowed her brows upon hearing the statement."Jubjub birds? What are you talking about?"

 

"Information does not come free, my lady"

 

The wolf-girl stared at the man in disbelief. Such impudence!

 

Lee, upon seeing that he would most likely not get anything from this woman decided to leave. Perhaps he'd better inform the Royal Family. If the birds had not been spotted by then, it should gave him plenty of money.

 

Taking out his map, Lee opened a portal that lead him straight to the palace of Tidea, and disappeared, leaving Genesis to stare in bewilderment at the empty space where he had been.

 

((I think someone should make a Diamonds ruler. Or should I? :P ))

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{I agree that someone take diamonds, but at the same time, I'd rather it not be you- and that's not saying anything against your RP skills, or anyone else's, but you already have a lot of rulers, and there should be some diversity for the sake of the plot, ya know? o-o

 

but case and point diamonds does need a ruler... hmmm....}

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{{Heheh. You're right. Although, now that I think about it, I'm not really looking forward to see my all my characters merely interacting with each other instead of with other players either. So yeah, I'm not going to make a Diamonds ruler. No worries ^^}}

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