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  1. Lysander makes his mark and ends the unsuspecting Soldier's life. EXP: (22/100) Stats (Enemy Stats)
  2. Kane nodded to Baldur as he rode along with Shin. Arthur as well began moving, responding to Lenore. "Who do you think I am? He's safest with-" Arthur is shoved! "Don't push me." Arthur and Baldur move again! Arthur is shoved! "I swear to fucking god..." Enemy Phase "Front squad and side squads, forward!" Myrmidon A moves to M10 Soldier A moves to L9 Soldier B moves to O9 Archer A moves to N10 Mage A moves to L10 Mage B moves to N11 Knight B moves to D14 Monk A moves to D16 Myrmidon B moves to E13 Mage C moves to E15 Knight C moves to V14 Monk B moves to V16 Myrmidon C moves to U13 Mage D moves to U15 The Myrmidon leads the assault against the pack, trying to put a dent in Ferdiad to little avail. Over the wall, the first Soldier hurls a javelin at Mim and misses, provoking counterattack. The other Soldier hurls a javelin as well, aiming for Lenore instead and failing as well. The archer takes aim from afar and fires at Lysander, landing their mark... then swiftly regretting it. The mages begin to bombard Ferdiad with their magic, suffering wounds in the process but managing to take some damage on him. TURN 2/12 Player Phase Ferdiad recovers 5 HP! EXP: (19/100) Stats (Enemy Stats)
  3. With her newfound sense of purpose, Mercia moved forward with her companions. Mercia to G12. Lucan to F12. Rosanne to H11.
  4. "Special offer, come get it before it's sold out!... Hm? Ponytail? Lipstick? Nah, doesn't look good on me."
  5. TURN 1/12 Objective: Protect Stella for 12 turns! Alternative Objective: Defeat the boss! Player Phase Stella pauses for a moment, then goes behind the throne. She pulls something out from it; a longbow shimmering with beautiful light. As Stella goes back onto the throne, she whispers a prayer on the bow, then speaks. "I'm not entirely hopeless... well, maybe in battle, but... if you feel unsafe, please stay by me. I'll protect you when I can... and I can shoot enemies from afar if they get too close, but I'm afraid I don't have much faith in the rest of my abilities... also, if you find any chests, please feel free to take them... I fear they may have plunderers with them and I'd rather you have the treasures..." Meanwhile, from afar... "Now, men! The time has come to take back what is rightfully ours from Ceda! Hold your positions until I tell you to move up, or if you see the enemy in your sights! Front squad and side squads, prepare to move in!" EXP: (0/100) Stats (Enemy Stats)
  6. Chapter 2 Dubious Unity As Virtuous settles in the castle of Ceda, a strange phenomenon indeed, they still yet wonder if what Queen Stella says is true. Queen Stella has prepared to disclose anything to convince Virtuous of her good intentions. What is about to happen, however, will ask the question of if Virtuous can truly convince Queen Stella. Stella gives a little giggle at Justine's words, looking a little more relieved. "That's good to know... that I have friends here... it does sound like a lifestyle I'd be unable to keep up with, but-" Before Stella can finish her words, Albert barges into the room, gasping for breath, dread in his eyes. "My lady! My lady, invaders! Invaders! They're flying Gul colors!" Stella stands up faster than you've ever seen her stand up before; it almost felt like she was physically unable of doing so. "Gul!? Th-They can't be here now...! What could they possibly want from us!?" Stella looks panicked, but trying to keep her calm. "Rally the troops, we'll defend with everything we can!" Albert looks pained. "I-I sent the troops off early! I-It's going to take me a while before I can get them all up and running! We'll have been had at this rate!" Stella gives a slight gasp, and puts a hand to her head. "It's my fault... sending the troops off early just to clear the way..." Just as Stella's about to lose hope, Kane steps up with a hint of determination in his face, staring down at her. "Queen Stella, allow Virtuous to fend them off while you wait for your troops to get here." Stella shows alarm on her face initially, before settling down. "You... you really will...?" Arthur lets out a slight 'hmph' in response, pulling his coat on tighter. "It's a damn good thing I brought this for the extra cover from the sun, but it's hot as hell wearing it... needless to say, I'm ready." Kane looks about ready to protest to Arthur, before he sighs and pulls a mask out of his coat and fits it on; befitting his name, a simple crimson-colored mask that fits over half of his face with a barely-noticeable floral pattern. "What, you really thought I was gonna forget about this just because I knew Stella? Come on." Kane sighs and looks forward. Albert looks around and nods vigorously. "Very well! I'll go alert the troops; hold them off for a little while for me, I'll try to be quick!" Stella settles back down in her throne, though she still looks anxious...
  7. Although her words conveyed otherwise, Kane still looked somewhat concerned at Lizaveta as she spoke her words. Before he could say anything in response, Albert clapped his hands. "Very well! Then we'll be off as soon as possible; gather what you'd like to bring, feel free to bring weapons if that makes you feel safer, and if you have any horses you'd like to bring, let me know and I'll set them up with the rest of the caravan." Albert moves to Stella as she sleepily gets up. "It's such a long walk to the caravan..." Albert looks a bit flabbergasted as he looks back to Fey, with a sort of 'are you seeing this?' expression on his face. Stella begins to walk out; Arthur holds the door for her before leaving himself, with Albert heading out as well. Kane, however, looks to everyone. "This is... going to be risky and stressful, so please, if at any point you all need to get out of the castle or if you all feel we should leave early, let me know. I'm going to go get the horses. Knight, Dragon, Ficus..." Kane adds for emphasis, not in a hostile tone but more as a sort of 'we are not letting you forget him again' sort of tone. "...I'd like to ask your assistance in bringing your mounts out..." As he moves to the back, he stops by Lizaveta and whispers. "I'll also be there if you get uncomfortable, just let me know if you need me to say or do anything." He says something similar when walking by Ferdiad. "If at any point you feel like you need to speak with the queen or myself, just let me know." ... Similarly to Kane's usual outings, you all pile into the back of a carriage, only this time Kane and Simeon are also sitting in the back with everyone. Stella also is sitting with everyone... except she's fast asleep with no chance of waking up, seems rides tend to make her sleepy. Conversations don't get a chance to really strike up, as everyone arrives at the castle rather quickly. As the carriage stops, you hear Albert outside telling the guards to go off duty, and let the rest of the guards in the castle know as well, to which the guards respond rather positively. You are all ushered out and able to enter the castle without attracting attention; Stella needing to be shaken awake to get her moving. You all approach the throne room, Stella sitting on the throne rather comfortably. As expected, King Darcy is nowhere to be seen. Albert clears his throat. "Oh, yes... Albert, if you'd please get the book... the, uh... what was it called again...?" "No worries, my lady, I'll get the book as quickly as possible." He leaves, leaving Stella to lounge a little bit on the throne. "...There were two thrones out here... but my husband ended up deciding he'd rather sit in his room all the time... I know it's not really that known, but the reason my husband stays in his room all the time is because he doesn't care too much for being king... he just likes the power and wealth. I do most of the work... but, erm... that's why he won't see you all... unless something major happened, he won't come out. The last time he came out was a few months ago-" Stella looks a bit grim for a second, before looking at the ground with a rather nervous expression. "......Um... what's it... like...? Being wanted across the continent...? It sounds exciting, being on the run... I wouldn't know... I don't think I'd be rather suited for it with my sleeping problems... but it sounds like it'd be fun..." Stella pauses, her nervousness now just turning into plain awkwardness. "...I shouldn't be having those thoughts, I'm sorry... it's rude of me to act like I have a part to play in all this... really, I can only give opportunities... and I'm sorry if I talk too much, I don't get to be this informal... at all, nowadays..."
  8. "That's alright, Snowbird. Feel free to keep your distance as long as you need, I'll go handle things." --- Stella looked a bit crestfallen as Lizaveta talked, though a very keen observer or someone close by might notice she dozes off a couple of times during Lizaveta and Baldur's speeches. However, by the time Lenore finishes, she's awake again. "...I know you may not want to be affiliated with me... that's why I'd like to try to keep the operation a secret. I think that's the way you all operate, just being in secret... I haven't even told my husband... and he probably won't ever learn, he never comes out of his room unless he hears important news..." Stella sighs as Kane walks in; she hasn't rolled down her sleeve and Kane clearly notices her crest. "...I know it's unorthodox... so if some of you feel like you can't trust me-" "Hold on." Kane speaks up as it looks like Stella is about to relent. "As leader of Virtuous, I'd like to rule that we're going to the castle. If nothing else, just to find what your plan is and how you intend for us to go about it... however, I know some of us are still uncertain..." Kane looks over everyone, particularly Lizaveta. "...so I would like to make sure that everyone is at the very least willing to give it a chance. If not, I'm afraid we run a tight ship here and we don't leave anyone behind." Stella looks a little relieved, but Albert seems still on edge. "Well, yes, I won't tell anyone about this exchange nor if we made an alliance, but good heavens, the strain is quite difficult to bear. At the very least, I've seen that some of you can be good people..."
  9. Kane looks just slightly relieved as Ferdiad agrees to come with. "Thank you, brave Knight... I promise when all of this is done, the country will hail you as a hero. Queen Stella will see to that as well... there are many sins in this world, and sometimes, they can't be forgiven... but all the same, there is always a road to redemption. It's just a matter of if you want to take that bumpy, treacherous road... to get to a satisfying destination at the end." Kane gives him a gentle pat on the shoulder. "Won't you both join me back in the living room?... Snowbird, I know you were getting overwhelmed, so you don't have to if you don't want to. I just want to go deliver my verdict to the Queen." --- Stella gives a very gentle giggle at Justine's words, though Albert slightly narrows his eyes at her. "You're very kind... and I am grateful for all of your answers so far, but please make sure that all of you are willing to come with me. If there's anything I can do or say to convince you, please let me know..." Arthur gives a little sigh, still looking away from the group with his eyes closed. His hand clasps over where his Mark is, as if to try to hide it even more than his clothes already were. "..."
  10. Kane mulls over what Ferdiad says. He didn't care much for the reputation of Virtuous as long as the whole country wasn't calling for their heads; in the end they were bound to have plenty of people against them, considering how without context, their missions could seem very... outlandish. Unfortunately, as a result of mulling things over, Kane does not overhear the behavior of his teammates in the living room. "Knight... No way would any part of you be a curse to us. You've been one of, if not the most invaluable member of Virtuous. Snowbird's right; if the Queen is willing to work with us, she can give you a chance. It's up to you though if you'd like me to appeal to her. We can't and won't go to Ceda Castle without you... it'd be wrong. Just tell me what you want to do... but know that I'll support any decision you make." --- Meanwhile, in the living room, things were starting to get a little heated. Albert looks a bit on edge. Arthur looks just about ready to yell at someone, probably Lizaveta. "Can you not behave yourselves!? I know you're all Virtuous, but it's disrespectful to argue this way in front of the Queen-" Stella raises a hand to Albert, quieting him immediately. It takes her clearly a little bit of effort, but she stands up from the couch. She's short; just an inch taller than Mim's height, and yet she manages to have an imposing presence, especially now that her eyes seem open for once rather than constantly being drifting off. Even Arthur quiets down. "None of you will be put in the dungeon under my watch, and none of you are obligated to take my offer, or even trust me if you do not want to. I understand; you are all wanted criminals across the continent, and I am queen of one of the seven countries demanding your arrest." She sounds fully attentive, but there's a hint of forcefulness to her tone. "But I ask that you give me a chance to support you all. If my reputation is not enough... then I'm afraid I have nothing. Nothing... except a sign of trust. To show you all that I mean what I say." Without a moment's hesitation, Stella rolls up her right sleeve. Arthur gives a small gasp of shock that almost sounds scandalized, and Albert looks extremely confused. On Stella's shoulder is a small crest with a faint blue glow, in the outline of a bear's face. "M-My lady, what's... what is that? Why have I never heard of this?" "...This is... the royal crest of Ceda. The Mark of the Bear... or as we may refer to it in public if we must, based from our ancestral weapon... 'Sloth'. These are not crests to be proud of... they're a burden. Even the cruelest rulers know to keep it under wraps... A mark of shame that royalty bears upon their right shoulder, as proof that we are meant to rule for our own selfish gain, and nothing else. You may notice the faint glow as well... it's normally meant to shimmer much more brightly once you are ruler, but I could never figure out why mine never did. My husband's doesn't shimmer, but that's because he isn't a part of the bloodline, his crest is artificial... my mother's shimmered, but not mine, even when she passed away. These crests are never meant to be shown to anyone but other members of royalty... Arthur?" With a small groan, Arthur turns away from the group and rolls up his own right sleeve, showing a similarly faintly glowing outline of a crest; this time, it glows a faint red in the outline of a horse's face. "...The Mark of the Horse... 'Wrath'." Arthur immediately pulls his sleeve down after his explanation, continuing to look away from the group. Stella looks over everyone with gentle eyes, her tone growing softer. "It's nothing material, nor solid proof of good intentions... but no royal would ever show their crest to someone they wouldn't trust with their lives. I... hope that's enough to show you all that... I believe in you all. You saved Arthur... I... I don't have anyone else to turn to. I... will be useless in trying to keep Purgus safe... and I would only be able to watch as every country flares up in war... and it'd be only inevitable for Ceda to become a casualty. Please... heed my words."
  11. Kane looks a bit crestfallen as his words seem to do nothing to help Ferdiad, so instead he just patiently listens. Then responds afterwards in a gentle tone, his concerned tone and face fading away and replacing with sympathy. "...I understand what you mean. Forgive me, it was tactless to act like it wasn't as important as it really was to you... but my point still stands. I won't accept the Queen's offer if you feel as if you can't go to the castle. If Queen Stella forbids you on her grounds... then I refuse to work with her, plain and simple. But..." Before Kane can continue, Mim shows up. Kane looks mildly alarmed, but his softness has not disappeared. "There's no worry at all, Snowbird. I was just having a short talk with Knight... but I understand the pressure you must be feeling. I must admit... while I'm trying my best to show it, it's really hard being the leader of one of the most well known crime groups... with a queen and a missing prince in your base. I can't blame you for needing fresh air. So please, feel free to stay if you need." Turning back to Ferdiad, Kane continues to speak softly. "I know you have great honor as a knight, so while I will offer to negotiate with the queen to take you out of exile, or at the very least, tolerate your presence while working with us, or she won't be seeing a single one of us work with her... but if you'd rather me not negotiate, which I understand,. we'll simply find our own way to improve this continent, and that's my final word, even if you may disagree. I am not leaving anyone behind for any queen or prince."
  12. Albert looks a bit more in high spirits. Seems Fey might have won him over just a little bit. "Yes, indeed! I may not be the best she's ever had, but I certainly do try!" As that happens, Stella looks curiously at Shin with his responses. "Mmm... Shuhficus...? That's a strange name... but it's nice to meet you... I do have a castle, it's nice..." Stella doesn't really seem to get the gesture Shin does for a handshake or notice, especially when Justine speaks to her. "Ah... and you're Minstrel... I'm happy to help, especially for a nice young lady... Arthur was right too, you are cute..." "Okay, I never said that!" "You don't think she's cute, Arthur...?" "I- I never said that either!" Another giggle after Stella finished teasing Arthur, her turning to Lenore. "Not at all... there's something at my castle that I was hoping to show all of you, I didn't bring it since I'm... not exactly supposed to take it outside of the castle, it's too important to get stolen... but it's because of its exclusivity to me and the rulers of the other countries with knowledge of it not even being with the public... I want to show it to you all... to convince you all that... we can change the world for the better... if you want." Stella looks rather pleased with Baldur's response, but her smile is replaced with discomfort as she covers her ears. "Not so loud, please..." Arthur sighs a bit. "Thank you, but I'm fine without tea for now. But maybe later." Albert nods in response to Baldur. "Very well. As long as you promise... then I have no complaints."
  13. Arthur looks mildly annoyed at Lenore's comment. "Oh, whatever, I'm not the damn prince anymore, I refuse to give that bastard the satisfaction of having an heir-" He stops himself short as it's apparent his swearing only serves to make Stella giggle. With a huff, he leans against the wall, no longer nearly hitting his head on it. "Hehe... If that's the case, though... then it's good to know that... I'm not alone. I want to make the world a better place... and it's reassuring to know that. Arthur may not sound like it, but he wants to change the world too..." Arthur doesn't comment. --- "Yes, life can be interesting in that way... I personally was not sure myself if we should be going here, especially just on Prince Arthur's word, but Queen Stella insisted. Urgh, it was frustrating... I told her I wouldn't go on basically no information at all and I would not allow her to risk her life, but then she pouted at me and looked like she was about to use her favorite form of guilt trip on me. I tell you, normally I don't stand for that sort of thing, but Queen Stella just manages to tug at my heartstrings, especially since she sometimes even starts crying, it's sometimes a little ridiculous how much I'll listen, but that's just my duty..." --- Kane looks... rather shocked at what Ferdiad says. His expression looks more soft, but still concerned. Mostly for Ferdiad's wellbeing. "I'm not going to accept the queen's offer unless I know I have you... if it weren't for you, I would never have gotten the confidence to get this group kicked off of the ground. I won't leave you behind... if you feel uncomfortable with going, then we won't go. This may be the biggest break Virtuous has gotten and will ever get... but I'm not going to do it without you, Ferdiad. If there's any way I may be able to convince you, please let me know now, but if I can not persuade you... I won't do it."
  14. "Very good, very good... Of course I mean nothing in bad faith, just sometimes it gets a bit exhausting, that's all..." Kane looks... rather surprised at Arthur being the prince, but decides to keep quiet about it as he notices Ferdiad's request. Kane gives him a nod. "Of course... Excuse me for a moment, Queen Stella, I will be deliberating your offer, but feel free to hear out the opinions of my teammates." As Kane moved to the kitchen, he passed by Justine, giving her a small pat on the shoulder and a whisper. "Keep her occupied and talking, will you?" He moved to the kitchen to Ferdiad, his expression growing a bit concerned. "Is everything alright?" Kane speaks with his voice down.
  15. Albert looks to Fey, a bit off-put by being addressed directly, but regardless leaning in to whisper, making sure Stella was too busy preoccupied with giggling at Arthur's sudden swearing. "Er... Of course, don't tell her I said it, but... y-yes, admittedly it does happen a bit... er, but she does know how to keep a secret! Did the young Prince Arthur not tell you that he was the prince of Ria?... Well, no, I kind of understand why... he was on the run, and King Ruslan never posted his name or pictures... but he didn't tell her to keep his identity secret, he wasn't expecting us..."
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