EXPANSE: The City V3 (Fantasy Epic) - Main Thread

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SVETLANA POLZIN

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Middle Markets - Bartholomew's Bargain Broth - 9:54 AM

She wandered over back to the markets, defeated. She had faith in the Steel Hearts but herself? That was a hard question to answer. Sveta sighed, she had created a large trading company from nothing. But wasn't that due to her husbands' work? She wasn't quite sure. All she knew was that she wanted to see those lively twins again and see their mother smile again. Nevermind, maybe it was time to call it a day? No, not so early in the day. As they say, the wheel of fortune spins around at every second. Other opportunities could arise. She clutch her stick and walked on, following the smell of broth in the air to a ramshackle stall. Even with the messy appearance, the tradesman manning it seemed to be pleased with himself. This was curious... Numerous parts of whatever of was in the broth could be seen. Some things were unrecognisable. She tapped the ground with her cane and called the owner over.

"What do you have in 'ere then?" She asked.

"Why, granny, it is the bounty of the sea!" Bartholomew said with a hint of pride, "Trout! Cod! Octopus! And a variety of molluscs for you! From an old family recipe. Here, have a taste. First serving is free."

He poured a ladleful into a sun-baked clay bowl and handed the sample to her, then waited for her verdict.

She grabbed the clay bowl and took a sip. Fishy was the word to describe it, but wholesome too. The squid was a bit chewy, but in the end, she just slurped it down, almost gagging as she nearly choked on it.

"No squid for you then, granny." The man said, laughing, "Here, have another but without squid, as compensation."

'The man must be buying the remainder of the catch, bits of fish too small for a meal, but enough for a watery stew. Thickened with something as well. Hmm...' She thought as she took another taste. Her eyes narrowed at the snake oil salesman. She was sure that the broth was almost wholly thickened fish stock diluted with water. She smiled, there was nothing like making a little scene, "Family recipe!?" She shouted, "If you are feeding your kids this, it'll be a miracle if their you-know-what isn't as watery as this 'ere broth. Think again before you call me 'granny', son. You patronise too much. Bah, I hope your patrons are little."

She walked back, looking a little green at the gills. As soon as she eluded the crowd, she ran to the nearest restroom. 'Can't trust any market food nowadays.' She mentally muttered. Sveta looked up. She then hoped that this Marvello place had a decent toilet and good cleaners.

Fran's activities hadn't gone unnoticed.

Unlike the thief she'd sent running with his tail between his legs, who was nowhere to be seen. For a terrible mugger his ability to weave through a crowd was aggravatingly efficient.

The crowd was as dense with questions as with people. There were a few people asking if she was ok. Which Fran thought was a bit weird since she'd so clearly won. They offered food, and still being hungry, the offer was accepted.

Most of the crowd were nice enough, so Fran warmed to them (even if they had let the thief slip away). The food wasn't up to much as far as presentation or flavour was concerned but the price more than made up for it.

The pub was nice. The crowd had dispersed; one of the men was apparently in charge and he'd taken her into the nearest eating establishment. All in all you might even say quaint (though not to anyone's face). The crowd had disperced

"Ms, do you mind telling me what happened?"

"Not much to tell."

"Well why not start with what brings you to my little part of town."

"Your part?"

"Well according to this badge." He produced a small piece of shiny metal in the shape of a star. Fran picked it, up casually playing with it. "Now, you don't sound like a local."

"How attentive of you."

"I'd appreciate less smart talk when I'm trying to help you."

"Well excuse me if I try to take the edge off after such a serious attack."

He sighed a little, even going so far as to roll his eyes. "Right, now care to tell me what brings you here."
"My business is medical."

The man's eyes light up for a split second, before he regains his composure. "We can always use more people who fix up others. We've got a bit of excess of the opposite around here. Let's hope you have the skills to back this talk up."

"You doubt."

"As far as I'm concerned so far the extent of your medical knowledge is knowing where to kick a man to gentle him down a bit."

"Well I can kick women too. Anyway, I'll have you know I'm a pretty good doctor." (Notice how she left out the in-training part). "I could give you something for the burns."

"What makes you think I have burns?"

"Call it a talent of mine."

"Sure... a talent. Well your talent is right in this case, so what'll you give me for it."

Fran produces something from her satchel. It's a jar of clear bluish green gel. "It's a general purpose treatment for wounds. Helps speed up the healing process a little, cleans the wound, even eases the pain a tad."

"Thank ya kindly." He takes the jar and starts rubbing at his side under his coat.

"Ouch." Fran recoils slightly as the sheriff's badge clatters to the floor. "Ansherette! How'd it get so hot?"

"So I was right. Ms, you seem like a good sort, but I'd be careful next time who you choose to talk so openly with.
There are people here not as open as I to talented individuals such as yourself." His tone had become hushed, as well as slightly harsher. It was a bit of a shock when he spoke normally again. "And of course you've already gotten into one fight; your charms could use a little work."

"Is that all?" She did a great job of sounding actually offended.

"Be safe, and maybe loss the accent."

"Whatever."

Fran stood up and Started leaving. Her meal was unfinished but she didn't feel like eating at the moment. Her hand still had a burn from the anti-magic sheriff's badge.

LOREL ION

12:00 PM

Nana split after class, as she studied lighting magic next to fire.

Next class was Ice magic. It was Lorel's second element. While he was nearly a master in the art of Fire, Ice was still in learning. After an abridged lecture they were going to do simple exercises. Freezing water and walking over it. It is harder than it sounds. It was easy enough to freeze it but enough to be able to actually walk over it was harder. Since it was interacting with a natural element, freezing magic-created water was much easier.

In the room there was a small body of water that was in the shape on a rectangle. Once again Lorel passed it with ease, but the next person... It was almost comical. It broke under his feet and they fell into the war. A chuckle came from the class.
After that, his next class was math, horrible, horrible math. Notes upon notes he had to take in his notebook, and his hand began to get tired. Like many he wondered why he would even need to know it. That didn't mean he was bad, no he was average at math but still hated it. Just like history earlier on in the day.

2:00 PM

Classes were over. Soon enough the tournament would begin.

"But anyways, I kill and maim people, you kill and maim people, we're practically cousins. Who do you go after anyways?"

The ale that Oleander had began to gulp down while he listened to Nat speak almost came exploding right back out after hearing the last statement. After swallowing the liquid (thankfully not choking on it) and settling himself he put the tankard down; lest he make more a fool of himself with his recent antics.

"You and I cousins?" He guffawed, "Aye, related in some way sense perhaps, maybe first or second, a generation or two removed, but nothing as close as cousins," His tone becoming more serious as he continued,"You may kill for sport the enjoyment of it, but I do to protect people. That's how it started..."He mumbled, "As for the "bad guy", there is no such for me, I go after whoever pays me to."

He dug through his pockets, looking for the kiel he owed, "Excuse me, but I suddenly find myself lacking an appetite."He huffed.

Oleander stood up and quickly left, brushing past the lass who was near the doorway, his mood fouler then ever.

"Excuse me, but I suddenly find myself lacking an appetite."

"Well, aren't you a spoilsport?"

She grabbed up a slab of ham after a quick swig of water and shoved an arm through her almost dry jacket, shoving the other one through while holding the meat with her teeth. Nat chased after the man, intrigued at what he said about protecting people. In the process, she almost forgot to pay, but as she pushed past the same woman as Oleander, she threw a handful of coins at the bar, not bothering to count, there were always ways for her to make coin in the City, after all.

"So tell me,"She said around the slab, grease spilling down her chin,"Who do you protect? Sure I like what I do, but that's just a perk of the job. I protect all these unknowing idiots,"She waved her arm around the area.

Stuffing the rest of the meat into her maw, she chewed a few times before pulling Oleander - almost easily - down to her level, and whispered in his ear,sprewing grease and spittle into the man's cheek and ear,"Someone's gotta keep the thrice-damned Mage brats in check. Make sure they know they can't just waltz in somewhere and start killing folk."

She let him go after a quick lick lapping up the meat drippings,"Sorry 'bout that, but there's still some morons around here that still think they're a bunch of gods-in-disguise, to hell with them all."

ALEISTER CRAWFORD

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Mage Side - 2:00 PM

The bell tolled on the last of Aleister's classes for the day. He had just finished teaching a more advanced group of the students the basic of teleportation spells, explaining how they worked along with their pro's and con's; making special mention of the fact that if used in quick succession would cause the spell caster to become fatigued through over use, stating magic like teleportation was to be used in dire circumstances.

Earlier...

A few of the more over confident students wished to try their hands on using it, and Aleister warned them to exercise caution, as he read that problems could arise if a person put to much power behind the spell. He was surprised and smiled at those who managed to accomplish the task, even though they only teleported a few feet. Others however put a little too much, which caused them to fly backwards and come crashing into a bookcase. Aleister helped each of them up in turn before speaking with them.

"See what I meant, problems can arise. You were lucky that due to your age, you only got knocked back a short distance. Far worse things might have occurred if you were around my age. In any case, once you have left the classroom, you should go visit the Nurse's Office and speak to Medic Gordian on your way out, have him look over you in case you've injured yourself, these bookcases are quite sturdy." Aleister then stood up to the rest of the class.

Now...

"What are you looking at? The class is over, and you may leave. Don't forget, the Tournament will be starting soon, so if your going to stay and watch, make sure you locate yourself a good view of the arena, I hear it will be quite the show." Aleister remarked with a smile as he watched the class leave.

"We best be leaving ourselves sir. Wouldn't want you to miss the show." Sebastian said nonchalantly as he grabbed Aleister's coat from the stand, helping the young lord with putting it on before retrieving his own.

"We can afford to be a little late Sebastian. Fortunately being a teacher has its benefits. But your right, we should make haste." Aleister said as they left the room, locking the door behind them on their way out.

Gods in disguise? Now that was pretty amusing.

Not that Fran was eves dropping, she just listened to people when they talked. She considered her next move. The burns were numbing a bit, but the other wound stuck around. Normally Fran would make a point of correcting anyone that pushed her aside, but she paused for a while.

She was doing her very best not to back hand someone.

"Well they aren't all that bad?"

Did she say that out loud? Yes yes she did, hence all the funny looks.

Bloody Julie, this was most probably her fault somehow.

MARCUS TARSEN

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Mage Side - 2:00 PM

Marcus scratched his head in confusion as he looked about the campus. Even though he had found the Quartermaster in just a few minutes of entering the grounds, he couldn't seem to find where the tournament grounds were. He thought it would be easy to spot, obviously having to be an arena of sorts, but he found no such clue that a place like that existed. He tried to use a map, but on the one he used, there wasn't a marker to display his position, so he spent more time figuring out where the hell he was than actually finding the tournament grounds.

Luckily, as he walking down a cobblestone path through a an open quad, he noticed a somewhat pale man with shoulder-length grey hair walking just a bit farther ahead. A rather fastidious-looking butler followed close behind. In fact, Marcus had to squint to see it, but he could have sworn the butler was enveloped in a strange aura. Well, it is a Mage school after all. Of course someone here would have that kind of magical eccentricity.

"Excuse me, sir!" Marcus quickened his pace to catch up with the man, whom upon closer inspection, looked just a bit older than he. "Do you happen to know where the tournament is today? I'm afraid I have gotten lost."

ALEISTER CRAWFORD

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Mage Side - 2:05 PM

"Excuse me, sir!" A voice called out to Aleister as they were walking through the open quad of the Academy. He turned to a stop to inspect this new individual. Whilst the gentleman looked a few years younger than Aleister, he was certain that the man was an inch or two taller than he was. "Do you happen to know where the tournament is today? I'm afraid I have gotten lost."

"Funny you should mention that my good man, I was just on my way to the arena where the tournament is being held myself. Feel free to join me if you like. Pardon me, where are my manners, I offer you to join us, and I have not yet introduced myself. The name is Aleister Crawford." Aleister said as he offered a hand to the man, all the while he took a moment to inspect the man in a different light. He noticed a familiar presence, one like his own, but different.

"Say, you wouldn't happen to be a mage per chance?"

MARCUS TARSEN

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Mage Side - 2:05 PM

Marcus met the hand with a slight smile, caught a bit off guard by his mage-side uncovered so easily. "Why, yes I am, Marcus Tarsen, and I appreciate the offer." With a slight nod, Marcus followed Aleister as he led the way to the tournament.

"You must have quite an eye to find me out so fast, I try not to flaunt my...talent." The trader decided to try and figure out his escort as they walked, if only to pass the time. "I guess it takes one to know one? Do you attend the Academy?"

ALEISTER CRAWFORD

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Mage Side - 2:05 PM

The man spoke with a slight smile as he returned the handshake as they walked towards the arena. "Why, yes I am, Marcus Tarsen, and I appreciate the offer."

"Well, it is a pleasure to meet you Marcus, no doubt you'll enjoy the tournament that the Academy is putting on today. A lot of work has gone into it in the past few weeks. The students here have been practicing their A game so to speak." Aleister remarked with a smile.

"Oh, I almost forgot, this here is my butler Sebastian. Not only does he provide the services of any good butler, but he has a few tricks up his sleeve as well." Sebastian politely nodded at the mention of his name and what he could do.

"I guess it takes one to know one? Do you attend the Academy?"

"As a matter of fact Marcus, I'm actually one of the teachers here. I will tell you now that the Middle Section is not the place of my birth, I actually, if you'll pardon the pun, hail from the North. I am a graduate who has specialized in Shadow elemental magic, and a few years ago, after the Academy caught wind of my talents, invited me down here to teach others my craft."

"Well they aren't all that bad?"

With a sigh, Nat turned away from Oleander,"No one asked you kid,"She waved her hand off in a random direction,no longer paying attention to the "Now get lost, I'm talkin' here. Go bother someone that actually likes eavesdroppers."

Now the sensible thing to do was to back off. But that would involve backing off.

"I wasn't eavesdropping, you were talking near me."

Fran again cursed Julie, Julie had a habit of never shutting up and Fran got it from time to time. It didn't help when bigoted idiots were baring the full glory of their ignorance.

SCARLETT WINTER

April 21, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District

The first thing Scarlett had accomplished on her arrival, a few days past, was robbery. The house had been the perfect target, no guards, no busy maids or servants, and had been equipped with only the basic of locks on the doors. A free lunch to a member of the Red Stain. Scarlett had loved the house, she had walked silently on soft rugs, through more rooms than she could count. And her loot, small bags of Kiel, had been numerous and hidden in all the obvious hideaways. It was enough to make her head spin. When Scarlett left the house she had enough money to last the week and promptly booked herself into the nearest Inn, making a trip to buy some clothes top priority.

Now she was bored. Walking aimlessly around the streets looking for somewhere to spend the Kiel. She liked the sight of a pub and stepped inside.

"I wasn't eavesdropping, you were talking near me."

Scarlett stopped. The last thing she needed was to be involved in trouble. She wanted to leave, but her curiosity made her stay. Something interesting at least.

MARCUS TARSEN

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Mage Side - 2:07 PM

Marcus gave a nod of acknowledgement to Sebastian as he listened to Aleister's story, taking note of his foreign past. He could sympathize with being from a far away place, but didn't feel like telling of his own origins to a polite stranger. "Sounds like you've had quite the success in such a short time." Marcus was compelled to rub his faction's symbol on his collar, but resisted the urge. "I'm just a simple trader, doing what I can to keep the City's wheels greased. Of course, traveling as a Mage has become more hazardous of late, even for those who keep to themselves."

"And there I was thinking you were one of those damned stains," He chuckled, his mood lightening a little, "I don't protect any one any more, I just listen to the money that I'm given." He said shrugging off the question, wanting the subject to change to something else, "Who knows, maybe tomorrow I'll be after you, some disgruntled noble wanting revenge, but for now I have the honour of being on your side."

ALEISTER CRAWFORD

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Mage Side - 2:07 PM

"Sounds like you've had quite the success in such a short time." Marcus said as he listened to Aleister's story. "I'm just a simple trader, doing what I can to keep the City's wheels greased. Of course, traveling as a Mage has become more hazardous of late, even for those who keep to themselves."

"Indeed, we all must do what we can in order to keep this world of ours spinning, for we are all important, even if we do not think ourselves as such. And, I guess you could say I have had quite the success in such a short space of time. Though I have not told you everything about myself Marcus; however even if you were to ask, I'm afraid I cannot tell, for being a teacher is not all that I do. I have another occupation of sorts, which in some ways is my true vocation, and that of my family, but it is a secret." Aleister said as the sight of the arena came ever closer, with small groups of people arriving through the archway that served as its entrance.

"Your most certainly right about about the hazards of being a travelling mage these. Those misbegotten Hunters certainly can create a mess in the name of their crusade against magic. Out of the interest of curiosity Marcus, have you ever come face to face with one?"

MARCUS TARSEN

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Mage Side - 2:07 PM

Why bother telling me there's something more, if you're not going to actually tell me? Marcus blinked to hide him rolling his eyes as a moment of silence hung between the two. I do dislike being teased.

Once the trio arrived at the arena, Marcus was taken by surprise by Aleister's next question. Probing me when you tell me next to nothing about yourself? This guy's trying to play my game. "I have had a couple of encounters, but I try to give them a wide berth when I can. I rarely visit the districts bordering Ferela. Speaking of, have you had to deal with the Hunters? I'd imagine you'd have little reason to travel south of The Middle District."

ALEISTER CRAWFORD

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Mage Side - 2:08 PM

"I have ventured south of the Middle District on a couple of occasions, mostly looking into some research on behalf the the Academy and some other interested parties. But your right, I mostly stick to the anywhere above the Middle District; even then, I've run into them a couple of times, they appeared mostly bored and with little to do except hunt more Mages."

"I am for certain that I am not on any of their hit lists; perhaps its just a case of bad luck, happens to us all. Both myself and Sebastian have tried to be reasonable with, attempts at diplomacy and the like, and usually that will work. But sometimes you get the ones that have more muscle and not enough brains, and so a fight ensues. Though thanks to this..." Aleister remarked as he unsheathed his sword to show Marcus.

"...and years of training, we've come out on top." Aleister said with a brief smile, as he then returned his sword to its scabbard as they reached the arena entrance, where two guards in robes were standing watch.

"Perhaps we should talk more once we're inside."

MARCUS TARSEN

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Mage Side - 2:09 PM

"The brutes are always the worst." Marcus' eyes gave a glance of curiosity at the sight of the sword, but that was the only vestige that betrayed his appearance.

When the pair arrived at the arena, and Aleister invited their conversation continue, Marcus replied with a nod. "You probably have a better seat than me anyway." Marcus stuck a hand in his pocket and felt for his ticket, but kept it tucked in his fist when he withdrew it.

"Who knows, maybe tomorrow I'll be after you, some disgruntled noble wanting revenge, but for now I have the honour of being on your side."

She patted him on the shoulder,well, bicep, since she couldn't reach that far op on the massive man,"So long as you're not between me and one of 'em, I don't think we'd be-"

"I wasn't eavesdropping, you were talking near me."

Nat sighed and spun on the woman, who although was easily her superior in the vertical department, obviously had little to no fighting abilities,"Like I said before, butt out kid. Now." She grabbed the younger woman's arm and spun her around with ease, before lightly pushing her through the doorway. That is to say, she shoved her through, not enough to make her crash into anyone, she thought, but enough to get her out of jumping distance.

"And you must have some good hearing to be listening to a whisper,"She stuffed both her hands into her jacket, one grabbed the amulet to double-check there wasn't any magic emanating anywhere near, the other to hide a knife she'd palmed from up the sleeve in case this loudmouth got more than a bit offended.

ALEISTER CRAWFORD

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Mage Side (Arena Entrance) - 2:09 PM

"The brutes are always the worst." Marcus remarked as he gazed at the obsidian colored sword before it was returned to the scabbard. He nodded at the suggestion of continuing their conversation once they got past the gates. "You probably have a better seat than me anyway."

"In terms of view I wouldn't say that it was any better than be at the front or the back, myself and Sebastian are situated near the middle of the arena, towards the back, some spells can have a wide area of effect, meaning you'll need space to see it all. That is not to say that having a seat near the front is bad either; you get to see the inner workings of a spell right up close." Sebastian said, stopping for a moment to retrieve his ticket from his front jacket pocket.

"There are even rumors floating about, that the head of the Nobles herself, Amelia Foel will be participating in the Tourney. They say she is one of the most powerful Mages around."

MARCUS TARSEN

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Mage Side - 2:10 PM

"There are even rumors floating about, that the head of the Nobles herself, Amelia Foel will be participating in the Tourney. They say she is one of the most powerful Mages around."

"Then I guess I'll get my money's worth. I hear she's rather young for someone in her position, must be a talented one indeed." Once the pair presented their tickets, the guards them them pass into the arena's concourse, where they could then find their seats. "Actually, speaking of Nobles, I just happened to visit the In'fal estate on business. To my surprise, it I never even met the man. Makes me wonder sometimes if the Nobles even exist." Marcus dropped the line as a joke, but he couldn't help but drop a little scorn in it too. Mostly thanks to the Noble being responsible for completely wasting his time.

ALEISTER CRAWFORD

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Mage Side (Arena) - 2:10 PM

"Quite, many of the Nobles here in the Middle Section have a habit of not putting in a public appearance to the districts outside of the Upper. Often spending their time behind closed doors and consolidating their power. Instead they'll often send subordinates or other lackeys to do the work for them. In short, many of the Noble families in the Middle do not care for those who are not like them; powerful, influential, and wealthy.

Though, for all my complaints, there is one exception to the rule that springs to mind, the Ion family. They are much more of a friendly sort of people, and they actually give a damn about those who are of a lesser station in life. I actually to be on rather sociable terms, after I broke up an argument involving their child Lorel." Aleister said, voicing his disagreement about how things were run here, much preferring the mode open ended nature of Northern nobility. Both he and Sebastian, as well as Marcus were soon allowed entrance into the Arena. He soon looked at his ticket.

"Well Marcus, it appears that this is where we part for now. I must say, it has been a pleasure talking to you." Aleister said, showing a brief smile.

MARCUS TARSEN

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Mage Side - 2:10 PM

"Well Marcus, it appears that this is where we part for now. I must say, it has been a pleasure talking to you."

Marcus returned the smile with a courteous nod. "It was a pleasurable exchange, we should try to find a time to talk longer, you seem to have a great insight regarding the Upper District. Perhaps if the fates will it, we can meet again soon." After taking a quick glance at his own ticket, Marcus strolled away.

An interesting fellow with some interesting....quirks. I should ask around to see if he has more of a reputation up here.

LOREL ION

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Mage Side - 2:10 PM

Lorel walked out of his last class and met up with Malina just outside the arena. It was crowded as they got to the gate to the concord where people bought food and such. Lots of large stone slaps with wood on the top lit on fire around the area which gave all of the lighting they needed. Just as they went towards the inner gate to the actual sitting area they were stopped by a man in heavy armor.

"Lorel Ion?" They spoke their face concealed.

"Yes?" Lorel spoke as he looked at Malina who looked back.

"I was told to bring you to a special Elite's section on the second floor, by orders from Amelia Foel herself."

"She did now? I guess we have no choice then, best not to refuse the offer." Malina spoke.

Lorel nodded and then the Guard gestured for them to follow. When they reached the marble stairs the guard waved away the security that blocked the way up. Making sure only Elites and friends could go through. It wasn't uncommon to get lower class and middle class to attend the tournament. At the top of the stairs they went down the south hall until they reached a door with the words: Reserved in English etched into it on a golden plate.

The guard opened the door and held it open for Lorel and Malina to enter, when they entered he walked back out and closed the door behind them. They were in a booth with various chairs situated so that you could see the entire arena. Inside the arena the first floor seats were dark while the upper floor booths were lit up with torches. The battle arena was a bit lower than the first floor and sand was on the ground. Torches light the sides of the arena and a magic barrier was erected around it.

However while it was a sight to behold it wasn't what gained their attention, Lorel and Malina saw the back of a blonde hair person sitting in the front row of seats in the booth. "Welcome," the person spoke, it was female and clear who it was before they turned.

Amelia. She stood up and revealed to be in her battle armor that she would be wearing in the tournament. He pitied those who were put against her. The Noble turned and faced the two students, "Lorel, Malina." He saw then her striking yellow eyes.

"Amelia..." Lorel stated, "I was told you reserved this."

The Noble clapped her hands together, "I did so. I assumed you would be coming, which appears I was correct."

"Shouldn't you be down there ready to fight?" Malina questioned.

"Oh I'm already ready to fight. Been waiting for a while now. Thought I would meet you two up here. Although now it appears we will be starting soon. Hope you enjoy the show." She spoke with glee in the end. After that she walked past the two of them and exited the booth.

ALEISTER CRAWFORD

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Mage Side (Arena) - 2:10 PM

"It was a pleasurable exchange, we should try to find a time to talk longer, you seem to have a great insight regarding the Upper District. Perhaps if the fates will it, we can meet again soon." Marcus said with a courteous nod, before taking a brief glance at his ticket then walking off to find his seat.

As Aleister look around the grand spectacle that was the Arena, he happened to notice a guard walk up to Lorel and Malina, mentioning that by order of Amelia Foel, they were invited to a special section of the arena.

"I guess those with powerful connections can get anything they want in this part of the City. Then again, who am I to judge, given that if we were back home in the North, I would be presented with the exact same offer, so I shouldn't complain." Aleister thought to himself as he and Sebastian made their way towards the seating area stamped on their ticket.

"Jealous sir?" Sebastian asked with a smirk, referring to the section above them.

"No I am not jealous Sebastian. You forget, we'd be receiving the same treatment back home." Aleister said as they sat down.

Fran stumbled but regained her balance quickly.
She paused for the shortest of seconds.
Difficult choice ahead.
She had the energy built up for something nasty, well pretty bad burns. The odds weren't the best, especially when Fran couldn't get a real estimate of her opponent.
She tried to focus, her mind was clear now; at last all too well she could see. Getting a feeling for the strange girl; there was power there, a surprising strength.
But no, Fran didn't get to walk away.
The energy was building, and needed to be let out. People like her just simplified the morality a bit.
The Vessel looked her opponent in the eyes.
"I'm sorry." She presents her hand open palm, ready to shake.

"I'm sorry."

The amulet suddenly went through all sorts of vibrations,temperature changes, and everything else Nat had ever seen and felt it do. All at once, something she had never even heard of it doing. And it hadn't been doing that until just now, which meant something was wrong with the amulet, or this was a very special mage near her. And those eyes were certainly not the same ones she'd seen moments before, this was something else. Nat had heard stories of two mages sharing the same body before, or one inhabiting the same space as a regular person, but never seen it. This was definitely weird, and Nat barely trusted the normal people around this place, even though most of them had at least heard and feared her family and their dealings, and a magicker was even less trusted in her eyes.

"Well,well, two in one day,"She said, a grin spreading,"But, I'm feeling generous. You leave now, and I promise I won't rip out your windpipe,"She had already entered into the mental state that allowed her to perform her...special talents,"You keep holding that hand out, and you'll be losing it soon enough. This isn't the first or the last time I'm going to be running into your kind."

Her hands she kept in her pockets the whole time, no longer holding the amulet, but two knives, both perfectly balanced and tempered to keep their edges and shape even under the pressure she'd put them under with her amazing strength.

Fran pulls back.

There's a brief glance down at her hand. Be a shame to have to get it replaced again.
"Something bothering you?"

The energy still there, wanted to break out, ready to reset the imbalance that created it. The Vessel more than knew what to do.

Her face barely changed (and even then only for a split second) as she let it discharge into Fran's side. Under her clothes one of her sides was burnt slightly. She did her best not to show the pain, which she'd more than her fair share of practice doing.

The release of energy let her relax slightly.

LOREL ION

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Mage Side - 2:30 PM

Lorel and Malina sat in their seats and waited for the tournament to begin, they could see the workers setting up everything in the darkness of the room. Just then he leaned over the ledge and looked down at the stands and saw Aleister down below with Sebastian. "Hey!" Lorel yelled out. "Aleister! Want to come up here?"

Oleander really liked this pub; he wasn't about to get himself barred because two girls decided to duke it out here. He raked his hand through his hair as he thought up a course of action which wouldn't end with him dead. He didn't have any weapons on him and he wasn't about to get in between the axe crazy mage hunter and the lass that was suspected to be a mage.

Although, he really did like this pub

Sighing he stepped between the two girls.

"If you're planning on fighting take it outside, if not, then there's nothing to worry about," He said smiling weakly.

ALEISTER CRAWFORD

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Mage Side (Arena) - 2:30 PM

Aleister had leaned back on the arena seating, watching the clouds overhead pass by, and feeling the cool air on his face; when he suddenly heard a voice call to him from above. It certainly wasn't Sebastian, as his voice was more mature sounding. He sat up, readjusted his hair, then looked to see where it was coming from.

"Hey!" Lorel yelled out. "Aleister! Want to come up here?"

"Well, if you are offering Lorel, it would be a shame to refuse something from a friend. I shall be up shortly." Aleister said as he stood up, adjusted his attire, then proceeded to follow Sebastian up to where they saw Lorel and Malina heading towards earlier. They was just reaching the stairs when they were stopped by a pair of armed guards.

"Halt! Who are you two, and for what reason do you have for approaching the reserved section? You do know this section is only for invited guests and their associates." One of the guards asked.

"My name is Aleister Crawford, and this is my butler Sebastian. I am one of the teachers here at the Academy. I was invited here by Lorel Ion, who I happen to be a friend of. If you so desire to, you can verify that with him; but I asure you he will give the exact same response I just have."

"Alright then. One moment if you will, I'll just go see if your story corroborates with the individual you just named." The other guard said before disappearing up the stairs.

LOREL ION

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Mage Side - 2:38 PM

Suddenly but not unexpected a Guard opened up the door to the booth and called out to Lorel, "Lorel Ion, I was told the man by the name Aleister Crawford and his butler Sebastian, were invited to your booth? Is this correct?"

Lorel nodded, "It is indeed. Please escort them here."

The Guard nodded and then left the booth, closing the door behind him.

ALEISTER CRAWFORD

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Mage Side (Arena) - 2:38 PM

Aleister and the remaining guard had been silent ever since the other one had left to speak with Lorel; the silence soon broke as the guard in question returned.

"It appears you are correct sir. Allow me to escort you up to the reserved section, where the young Ion boy will be waiting." Aleister gave a smile at this response. Whilst he found this occurrence to somewhat unnecessary; he did understand the need for caution on occasions when dealing with people in the higher echelons of society. After a brief walk up the flight of stairs and along the corridor, they soon arrived at the reserved seating, with the guard opening the door for them.

"Here you are sir. Hope enjoy the tournament." The guard said as he left the booth, shutting the door behind him once again. Aleister took a moment to examine his surroundings, and he had to admit, things did appear to be of finer quality than down below. He soon approached Lorel.

"Ah Lorel, it is indeed good to see you again. And thank you for the invitation." Aleister said politely as he offered a handshake to Lorel.

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