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

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"I wouldn't want to fight. I'm not the violent type.I'm sorry for disrupting your day. Perhaps I could make up for it somehow. I'm a doctor by trade so if either of you would like medical attention I'd be happy to oblige.
I've heard this is a tough sort of place."

She was all smiles trying not to show discomfort at the burns on her side.

"You look like someone who cares about fitness I'm sure I could be of help."

Without the Energy inside her it was easier to think, more able to be cool and sly. Well cool and sly by Fran's standards.

SCARLETT WINTER

April 21, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Bar

She would have liked to see a fight. Something to liven up the day, Scarlett lowered her hands to the hilts of her knives in anticipation. But it was clear that things where beginning to calm down and she folded her arms, deciding that people where too nice in this district. She was about to head to the bar to order a strong drink when she heard the word.

Medical. She could use some help. As long as the girl understood the concept of keeping her mouth shut, a blade would be preferable but it was likely, here anyway, that the girl would be missed. Scarlett waited to see was kind of response the other girl would give.

"This is a tough sort of place?" Scarlett mocked. "Well I'd hate to get on the bad side of a couple of snot-nosed kids."

She couldn't help interrupting, her tongue had a mind of its own sometimes.

Telnor Ghests

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

Telnor was bored. Most of the day had consisted of waiting outside their charge's room, and doing meaningless tasks, like fetching coffee or checking each of the bathroom stalls for assassins. In-between their meaningless tasks they would play dice. On other jobs Telnor would scoff at the mercenaries playing dice, looking at them as undisciplined and not devoted to the job. Here? Here dice was the only thing to do. The academy already had plenty of its own guards and the mercenaries couldn't go anywhere in case their charge called upon them. So they were stuck outside his room. With nothing to do but play dice. And now they were going to watch Mage's fight. Telnor's least favourite pastime.

To him, mages were weak. It didn't take skill to set fire to your opponent using magic. It was too easy to drop a rock on someone's head. It was boring, there was no skill involved, no last minute dodging of your enemy's thrust. No daring escape or masterfully swordplay. It was chucking walls of fire at one another, sending waves of water, dropping walls of dirt. Well at the very least he would be watching mages fight with a purse that was a few coins heavier than it was this morning.

LOREL ION

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Mage Side - 2:40 PM

Lorel watched as Aleister entered with Sebastian, "good to see you again as well. Think nothing of the invitation, in fact if not for Amelia, I probably be sitting down in the first floor. She was the one who invited me and Malina up to this booth."

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

"No, that's alright Ollie,"She replied, not taking her eyes off of the magician before her, despite his bulk standing in the way,"I'm not one for a straight-up fight anyways. And neither is she by the looks of it."

" I'm a doctor by trade so if either of you would like medical attention I'd be happy to oblige."

"Right,"Nat said flatly,"And I'm the love-child of an Ion and Gavech. Doctors actually try helping people, not whatever it is you were about to do lady. And I'll be damned before I let one of you pompous pricks touch me again. Think of this as a free pass, I see you again, and you probably won't see me, or if you do, it won't matter much."

She pulled her hand out of the coat, knifeless of course, and patted Oleander on the arm,"Good talking to you, nice distraction from my normal day. Now I've got to go pay for a bath and get this stuff out of my hair, too many questions get asked when you walk around with it."

"This is a tough sort of place?"

"Depends where you're from, doesn't it? And who you're calling children, but not everyone can live up to your low standards."

Natalie threw her hood up and started her trek outside, quickly ducking into an alley. Once there, she used her climbing skills and physique to arrive on the roof of the building, where she had a good view of the street. The bonus for her was the light fog, obscuring her from view unless one knew what to look for. She'd stay up here until either the Girl or Oleander left, and follow them. Both would be interesting marks to follow. One to check his story, the other, well...it wasn't really something that needed spelling out.

ALEISTER CRAWFORD

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Arena - 2:40 PM

"Good to see you again as well. Think nothing of the invitation, in fact if not for Amelia, I probably be sitting down in the first floor. She was the one who invited me and Malina up to this booth." Lorel said as he explained how he came to be here. Aleister let out a short chuckle.

"Well, I can assure you, the seating down there is rather comfortable." Aleister said as he pushed his hair back so it was tidier.

"I guess having such an influential, and powerful friend like Amelia can have its benefits. To think, someone so young is in control of the entire section; literally the lives of thousands of people are in her hands. If I were you Lorel, I would be cautious around her, you know what they say about those with great power, it has a tendency to corrupt; and absolute power is even worse." Aleister said, sounding a little suspicious about the young Noble.

"Listen Lorel, should you ever need passage to the North; come talk to me, I can arrange for a safe journey through the mountains; the Guardians and some contacts of mine are in good relations with them. Its the least I can do for a friend. Anyway, lets just sit back and enjoy the tournament."

Kain Whitestroke-Middle Section-Upper District-Carriage

"Damn, we're late." Kain muttered aloud in the carriage. "Didn't think you would come to watch a mage tournament all the way out in the Upper District. Is there some other reason we're here Marco?" He continued to ask. Both were dressed in light clothes, Kain wore black leather armor underneath his modest brown jacket and hat. Even the pants looked worn. Looking rather shabby compared to Marco's more lavish attire of a black suit, though Kain suspected Marco was wearing armor underneath it, as he was incredibly paranoid. Both were armed, Kain's silver sword sheathed on his left waist, and Marco kept his hand on his katana almost at all times on the ride over as though he expected an attack.

Marco looked intensely at Kain and responded, "I'm always interested in seeing what new talent the academy has to offer, I normally come here every five years or so for possible recruits and we still needed talented mages back on the Hurricane anyway. I don't exactly have any other pressing matters going on but if something happens and I'm there, great. I haven't been here in about two years anyway." Though Marco hardly leaves his ship, he never trusts anyone to perform any sort of important diplomacy and always came to the Upper District himself if he needed to. "So," Kain began to phrase a question, "is there anyone in particular you are looking forward to in this tournament." Marco shook his head, "None in terms of recruiting, I heard that Lorel Ion would be participating and that would certainly be interesting to see. I've always liked the Ions though we only met twice and last time we talked was quite a few years back. So I guess I'm interested in watching Lorel for personal reasons. There's quite a few other mages watching or participating; if I see anyone I know I'll be sure to introduce you."

The carriage slowed to stop as Marco finished his last words and the drive walked around to the side and opened the door, "Sir, we have arrived at the Academy." Kain and Marco exited the carriage together and Marco walked in front to lead the way. "If I remember correctly...The arena should be down here...There we go!" He muttered to himself as they found the arena. The arena was crowded and the two began to walk around. "Are we gonna find seats sir?" Kain asked as they continued walking. Marco said no and remarked how he would rather stand, "What if something happens? Small chance of any happening but I would much rather be standing than sitting in a public place like this." Kain signed at Marco's paranoia of attack and didn't ask again as they continued to walk around.

LOREL ION

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Mage Side - 2:42 PM

Lorel looked at Aleister with a strange eye and a cocked eyebrow, "Okay... What is this about?" Even Malina was looking at Aleister suspiciously. "Is there something I am not aware of that I should be?"

ALEISTER CRAWFORD

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Arena - 2:42 PM

Aleister could tell he had sparked something that was wrong, as he could see both Lorel and Malina looking at him suspiciously.

"Okay... What is this about? Is there something I am not aware of that I should be?" Lorel asked.

"Rest assured Lorel, I know nothing. It was simply a friendly piece of advice. You may be the son of a Noble, it doesn't mean your safe, or can't be touched. The world can be a harsh place, and the path we walk is often unpredictable. Apologies if it sounded as though I was putting you on edge Lorel, seeing as though you are a good friend of mine, I would hate to see something bad happen."

So the woman was gone, crisis averted.

Fran relaxed slightly turning to the two that had spoken up to her.

"Thanks, for the help. The offer stands by the way." She appears to be speaking to Scarlett especially. "Would you mind if I said you looked like the sort how could use someone of my profession?"

Fran could sense something, the afterglow of some pretty serious injuries, mostly healed now but not completely.

"I'm Fran by the way." She held out her hand again.

SCARLETT WINTER

April 21, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Bar

She could see the girl relax a little. "No. Not at all." It would take a lot more than to offend Scarlett. She smiled slightly and reached out to take the girls hand. As she did her sleeve moved back to reveal a multitude of healed scars, some more visible than others.

"Scarlett by the way."

She should have lied. Like she always did. Choosing any name that happened to pop into her head. But for some reason Scarlett did not, and that surprised her.

"Well I can see that much."

Fran shakes Scarlett's hand before inspecting the arm more carefully.

"Recent aren't they? You haven't given them the chance to heal properly, see here." She points to some particularly red ones. "It's infected; I'd guess it's from contaminated water. If it's been exposed recently chances you've caught a bug or two," actually at least 6 by Fran's last count. "Give me a second to think."

She paused consulting her notebook, not bothering to hide it from anyone most probably because it wasn't written in the local language.

"Now I can help get rid of the scaring and ease any infection or discomfort they are causing you. But to do so I'll need to make it a bit worse first. If I reopen the wounds for a bit they I can apply some disinfectant. It will sting for a while but get rid of the infection and speed up healing. Then it's a case of sealing the wounds properly.

I'm fairly good with a needle and thread then I'll get bandages with a touch more disinfectant. All in all it shouldn't take more than a few days to get you back to normal, at least for the more recent injuries. The bandages should also help prevent reinfection in case you get the idea to go swimming again.

Ide, venn rilloy."

LOREL ION

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Mage Side - 2:43 PM

Lorel went back to smiling after Aleister responded, "well that's good. I thank you for the look out. Hopefully nothing will be required. So far everything has been good. To have some more small chat till this begins... How has your classes been going? Students doing good?"

ALEISTER CRAWFORD

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Arena - 2:43 PM

"Indeed Lorel, a majority of the students have been showing great promise and potential throughout their studies, I have high hopes for them; there have even been one or two who appear to be specialized solely in shadow elemental magic like myself. Which means that after the standard lessons have been completed, they shall be going on to the more advanced classes." Aleister said as he walked up to the balcony area to look out onto the arena below, it appeared as though they were just getting final preparations underway before it would begin. He then turned back to Lorel and Malina.

"Though there was one incident in a class earlier today, in fact it was the one I had before I left for here. Several students were a bit too eager to practice teleportation magic, and when they tried to teleport, they found themselves flying backwards and almost crashing into a nearby bookcase. I told them they was lucky that they didn't put too much power behind the spell, otherwise it could have been worse. So I guess there are still a few who need some more training." Aleister took a moment to look at the time on his pocket watch, before looking back towards the pair.

"So, how about you two then, how have your lessons been? Also, would the two of you care for a cup of tea, I'm sure Sebastian here wouldn't mind preparing a fresh pot for us."

SCARLETT WINTER

April 21, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Bar

"Some are recent. Others much older." Scarlett's words stumbled across faded memories, brought to life with the conversation. Stirring from the void of bad memories that resided in the darkest recess of Scarlett's head. "Some won't heal at all. The blade that caused them bound with magic."

"Won't heal at all?
Well that sounds like a challenge.
And don't worry about magic it's not like I've not deal with magic before."
She speaks softly in northern tongue for what doesn't sound like too many words.

MARCUS TARSEN

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Arena - 2:45 PM

Marcus thought himself lucky that his seat was actually not that far from the arena floor, giving him a great view. However, he hadn't expected that it would take so long for anything to actually happen.

After staring intently at everything below him, Marcus decided to see if the Elites on the upper balconies were doing anything interesting. That's when he just happened to see Aleister again, talking to a boy with....white hair?! "A Ion?" Marcus mutter to himself as he thought aloud. While Upper District politics were of little interest to him outside business, Marcus was aware of the trademark hair of the Ion bloodline. In fact, it just so happened that Marcus' quest for contract renewal involved a contract with the Ion Noble.

"So, Aleister's a friend of his?" Marcus smirked at an idea he had just thought of. "I think the fates have already willed another meeting between us."

SVETLANA POLZIN

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Middle Markets - Marvello's - 9:54 AM

The old woman woke up after a bout of leaning over the toilet seat and a nice chat with the owner about why the toilet seat was covered in an array of half-digested seafood and bile. Svetlana explained all and luckily got put in a room upstairs . She felt better, why was it that she needed more rest nowadays anyway? Svetlana sighed. She refused to be one of those elderly people who drooled and snoozed and drooled and snoozed. She wasn't destined for the knacker's yard yet, not until she had found the little ones anyway. She sighed again and stood up, her hand cupping the familiar handle of her cane. Sleeping wouldn't help things...

Still, at least there were a number of hours in the day. She briskly walked downstairs and saw an old collection of people. One woman was next to another speaking curious words in Northern and what looked like a sellsword of sorts giving a weak smile to another crowd. Svetlana was unsure whether to approach. To burden others would just be... impolite. Not to mention the fact that few people took up any call for help nowadays. Her age didn't help either. She was either a mad hag or a senile bore in other people's eyes. 'Sod them.' She thought as images of shut doors raced through her mind.

Those words echoed through her mind and granted her some courage. Svetlana almost laughed. Who was she? A young 'un trying to woo barflies? Ha! She walked up to the bar and ordered some sort of cream liqueur. Pity the place didn't have any of the Northern specialties which had more kick. But still a drink was a drink, and right now she needed one. Svetlana's stomach grew a little more settled as it and the alcoholic beverage were introduced to one other. Well, it was the second best thing in this situation, the first being milk. But who orders milk at a bar anyway?

With a huff, she made up her mind and turned to the sellword and began some small talk, "Business any good?"

LOREL ION

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Mage Side - 2:46 PM

Lorel went first, "Good thus far, although I will admit things have been slow. A lot of what I am doing in class is stuff I have already learned a bit ago. But I need to finish my magical education I guess so even if I am not a fan. I don't have much choice."

Malina went next, "Fun actually. Been learning some fighting in some of my classes, pretty good at it if I say so myself. Not a magic user but I can hold my own. Aside from that my normal lessons have been going swimmingly."

The white haired boy stood up and walked to the edge and leaned over, "It seems like it will begin soon enough. Excited Aleister?"

ALEISTER CRAWFORD

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Arena - 2:46 PM

"Good thus far, although I will admit things have been slow. A lot of what I am doing in class is stuff I have already learned a bit ago. But I need to finish my magical education I guess so even if I am not a fan. I don't have much choice." Lorel said as he spoke first.

Malina was soon to follow. "Fun actually. Been learning some fighting in some of my classes, pretty good at it if I say so myself. Not a magic user but I can hold my own. Aside from that my normal lessons have been going swimmingly."

"That is very good to hear from the both of you indeed. Although Lorel, just because you have already learned something, doesn't that it is all which can be discovered; there is always something new to be discovered, whether it be about ourselves, or the abilities which we can control."

Lorel soon stood up from his seat, and walked to the balcony's edge and looked over. "It seems like it will begin soon enough. Excited Aleister?"

"Indeed I am Lorel. I am curious to see what will be on display, and if Amelia is taking part, then that will be a sight to behold." Aleister remarked as the turned to face Sebastian, who was standing back at the table.

"Sebastian, could you make us a pot of tea please. I feel as though watching the tournament may make us rather thirsty."

"Of course sir. I shall return momentarily." Sebastian said in a polite tone as he exited the booth from another door.

SCARLETT WINTER

April 21, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Bar

"Uh, ok, well either way I need a drink." Scarlett surveyed the girl briefly and wondered her age, she looked young. "Do you drink? I could get you something?" She had no idea if mages had a preference or what. Turning to face the bar she signalled for something from a clear bottle stood on a crowded shelf at the back. The man behind the bar grabbed the bottle by the neck and turned, Scarlett signalled twice for a double. She dropped the Kiel on the bar in exchange for the glass and took a long sip, the liquid burned as it slid down her throat. She almost forgot the girl was still there.

"No thanks I'd rather not." Neither of her loyalties was particularly fond of drinking.
"You drink like that often?" She sounded concerned genuinely. But also like she was poised to give a lecture on why drinking was either bad for the soul or the liver depending on what mood she was in.
She spoke quietly in her native tongue. Small talk again, probably.

SCARLETT WINTER

April 21, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Bar

She shrugged. "Suit yourself." Scarlett knocked back the remainder of the glass in one quick, sharp, motion. Slamming the glass down on the bar to catch the attention of the bartender. She pointed down and smiled her best smile. The man poured another and took the Kiel, keeping one eye on Scarlett.

"You drink like that often?" The young mage enquired.

Scarlett smiled. "Often." She ignored the concern in the young girls voice. "It helps..." Scarlett took a sip and let the burning feeling of the spirit linger in her throat.

On cold days in the North she could drink firewater all day long. It helped keep the seeping cold at bay. Despite her growing affection for southern wine, mostly fine vintages from the coast, she liked to have a glass or two of her native drink. Though it didn't seem popular here, judging that the bottle was still nearly full. Scarlett couldn't blame the locals, firewater was not renowned for taste.

Scarlett listened to the mages words. "I'm not here by choice." Her tone made it clear she had no interest in discussing the matter. "What about you? What brings you here?"

LOREL ION

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Mage Side - 2:48 PM

"I'll enjoy some of that tea," Malina spoke clapping her hands together in joy.

Lorel just shook his head as he looked back at Aleister, "I am not one for tea... I rather have some carbonated soda." Soda wasn't very popular in the City, it was still new and hadn't spread out to the entire city yet.

Fran decided it best not to ask, the other woman had something uneasy about her.
"It's where I'm needed. The slums here are pretty serious; there are some social efforts but the medical side of thing isn't there yet. Plus it's nice to get away from the mages sometimes."

ALEISTER CRAWFORD

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Arena - 2:48 PM

"I'll enjoy some of that tea." Malina said as she clapped her hands with joy, Lorel meanwhile simply shook his head as he looked back at Aleister. "I am not one for tea... I'd rather have some carbonated soda."

"Ah yes, whilst I have heard of soda, I never have had the chance to try it; I shall have to sample some at some point." Aleister remarked as he sat down at the table with Malina. A few moments later, the sound of a door being opened could heard, and out came Sebastian with a tray with a pot of tea, along with several cups, some milk and sugar, and a glass.

Setting the tray down on the table, Sebastian picked up one of the cups and the tea pot, he poured the tea in from a height, before adding in some milk and half a spoonful of sugar. He then stirred the tea before handing it to Aleister.

"Here you are Sir." Sebastian said before then performing the same service to the next cup, but this time without the milk, and two spoonfuls of sugar. He then stirred the tea before handing it to Malina.

"And here you go Miss Alamark." Sebastian said with a small smile before looking up at Lorel.

"Ah, Master Ion, do not think that I had forgotten about you. A little birdie told me that you had a penchant for soda, and whilst the drink is somewhat new to me, I was able to ask around the kitchen and acquire a bottle for you." Sebastian said with a smirk before pulling out a bottle of soda, seemingly out of nowhere from behind him, and proceeded to pour the fizzing drink into the glass, and set it down onto the table.

LOREL ION

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Mage Side - 2:50 PM

Lorel smiled as the soda was poured, he only could wonder who this little birdie was but he wouldn't pry. "Thank you Sebastian."

Malina also took her cup of tea and also thanking the butler. It was nearing time for the tournament to officially begin so outside of the booth and down below on the arena floor, a man stood in the spot light created by some magic. The entire arena went silent as this happened. The man was younger and was wearing an eccentric outfit with more colors than he cared to think about.

"Today is the first day of the Thirty-First Magic Tournament! Twenty-Eight has entered, but only fourteen shall move on today. The rules are simple, the mages may not kill their opponents. An ultimate-class non-elemental shield has been placed over all of the fighters. Once that falls they lose. That is it!" By this time the clock hit 3.

"Now I introduce the first fight of the day! To my left Anlia Everli," the lights went to the left side of the arena where a gate opened up revealing a woman in her late twenties wearing light armor. Although Lorel noticed he couldn't see the shield around her. "And on my right, Dray Kanto."

On the right a large hulking man appeared wearing much armor and even some almost tribal things such as animal tooth's and such. Even a wolf head as a helmet. He barely even appeared as a Mage, almost like a regular hunter or swordsman. At both Anlia and Drays appearance the crowd went wild and continued to stay that way until the fight begun.
Now that both Anlia and Dray had been introduced the announcer left the arena and went up to a large booth above the arena that looked down at. "Fight!"

Anlia ran forward and sent out a wave of wind at Dray to knock him over, but the hulking man just conjured stone around his legs to keep him in place. Realizing that he wasn't going to budge, Anlia sent out fire at the man in the form of fire balls.

Dray smirked and then brought up a wall of fire however what he didn't expect was that the wall crumbled against the fire and hit him directly. Losing his focus the stone restraints around his legs failed and he went flying. As he was hit the shield flared but kept strong. It would take more than that to break it. Before hitting the ground Dray was able to get his posture back and landed perfectly.

Suddenly the man glowed bright and then zapped into lighting and the bolt rushed at Anlia who tried to dodge it but the man came out from the lighting and slammed large stone fists against her. There was no way to block it. On the sand floor, Anlia used her wind magic to move her out of the way from Drays next attack and again and again as bolts of lightning struck the ground where she once stood.

Once the attack stopped Anlia jumped and slammed a fist into the ground and a wall of fire began to go across the arena. Dray once more went into his lighting form and flew up a bit into the air and then transformed back, hovering in the air for a moment he sent a pillar of stone at Anlia. However realizing he was going to do that she dodge out of the way and sent a laser of fire at him knocking him out of the air and then hitting the fire wall just before it dispersed. His shield was taking a great many hits and he didn't know how much it could take.

This woman was angering the hulking man. Running towards her he casted the stone restraints on her legs and then her arms sealing her magic and movement. Before she could try anything he sent another stone pillar at her which hit her in the stomach. The shield took most of the blow but she still felt a bit of it and then he hit another pillar at her which successfully hit.

Just when he thought victory was in hand, the cracks in between the stone restraints glowed red and then exploded in a ray of fire. She was free and then used the fire magic to remove the stone feet just in time to dodge another stone attack.

As a lightning bolt was going to strike her spot she sent a wave of wind above her head and it stopped the bolt midair. Around Anlia's arms lines of winds began to circle and she brought her arm back and then sent them out. Giant blades of wind ripped across the air and Dray simple jumped out of the way and smirked, "is that all you got?" he taunted her.

However he was foolish and didn't feel the magic energy coming behind him as the blades hit him straight in the back and his shield flared and died knocking him to the floor. She had been able to control the blades and have them turn back to hit him. "It's over!" the announcer cried out, "Miss Everli is our first victor of the day!"

Lorel checked the time, it was only 3:10, and the battle only lasted for ten minutes and was in a trance the entire time. It would only be a minute before the next battle, "That fight was amazing, I almost thought Anlia was going to lose there for a moment..." Malina spoke.

"Aleister what do you think of the fight?" Lorel asked.

ALEISTER CRAWFORD

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Arena - 2:50 PM

A young man roughly Aleister's age stepped out onto a magically created spotlight, dressed in a rather lurid outfit, with a spectrum of colors so varied, he certainly stood out on the arena floor. "Today is the first day of the Thirty-First Magic Tournament!... Once that falls they lose. That is it!" The man said as he explained the rules of the Tourney. At this point in time, Caleb looked at his pocket watch, and saw that it had reached 3 in the afternoon.

"Now I introduce the first fight of the day! To my left Anlia Everli." A set of light shone on a gate at the left hand side of the arena, which opened up to reveal a woman wearing some light armor. "And on my right, Dray Kanto." The gates on the right opened up to reveal a hulk of a man, wearing rather thick heavy armor, adorned with some tribal looking items, one item in particular was a wolf's head amulet around the neck. Tension and roars of the crowd continued to rise as both combatants took their positions.

"Fight!" The announcer called out to the crowd, and the first battle was underway.

Ten Minutes Later...

"It's over! Miss Everli is our first victor of the day!" The announcer called out, which drove the audience to roar with applause, even Aleister found himself joining in a little with the celebrations.

"Aleister what do you think of the fight?" Lorel asked.

"If I was to describe that first battle into two words Lorel; they would be, intense and exciting. Both certainly gave it their all, there were points where it could have been anyone's victory, however in the end, it was Dray's overconfidence that cost him the bout. Suffice to say, if this is what the first battle is like, the remainder of the tournament shall be a sight to behold."

MARCUS TARSEN

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Academy - Arena - 3:10 PM

Marcus let the spectacle of the fight distract him from studying the Ion boy from afar. In the end, while it certainly was a sight, he was disappointed in Dray's Earth technique. It was brute, simple and lacking in creativity, reduced to being the battering ram to supplant the man's lightning speed. It lacked finesse and a sense of...style? Marcus couldn't think of a better way to describe it, but he felt as though he could have done better, if not win.

Regardless, if this is what the kind of stock that the Academy produced, then Marcus thought he was better off with his private tutors and self-training.

SCARLETT WINTER

April 21, 6267 - Middle Section - Upper District - Bar

Scarlett snorted with amusement. She liked nothing more than to be away from mages, she held no love for them, too arogant and self righteous in most cases. This girl however...

She turned and studied her as the last of the alchol burned down her throat. Something seemed...different. "So you heal the sick, that your thing?"

and do you bark and roll-over like a good little mage? Or are you one of the other ones...

"I want to help people; sometimes healing is the way to do it. Sometimes it's not."

She glanced down for a second. Her notebook was still open. She quickly scrawled something, with her hand writing it could have been anything from words to some sort of complex diagram.
If you had really good eye sight you'd make out the words.

Its drugged. Don't drink it

KAIN WHITESTROKE
April 21st, 6267-Middle Section-Upper District- Academy-Arena

Kain and Marco took a seat and sat quietly as the fight started and went on. As the fight ended the two clapped politely and started conversing as they waited for the next fight to start. "Well that was definitely a decent opening act." Kain commented as Marco merely nodded in response. Kain glanced up at the private area and tapped Marco on the shoulder, "So anyone up there you know about sir?" Marco looked over at where Kain pointed out and started explaining, "That boy over there is the Lorel Ion and from what I understand the girl next to him is a friend. That young man next to him is Aleister Crawford from the North, a rather gifted mage hailing from a well known noble family. Most of the people up there tended to be invited by the rich and connected."

"Something feels strange...I just get the feeling something may happen soon." Marco whispered, "Don't treat this as a vacation." Kain nodded, though Marco tended to say something like this at least once a day, he still intended to take it somewhat seriously. Kain sat and waited until the next fight which was looking to be soon.

OLEANDER GUBBINS

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Middle Markets - Marvello's

"I'm a doctor by trade so if either of you would like medical attention I'd be happy to oblige."

A doctor? They weren't hard to find, but one that was indebted to him? That could be useful. Mage or not, he had saved her life and she had yet to pay the bill. His current alliance with the hunters and employment might come to a close if he pressed this new venture and he did like the steady stream of income that came with the job, however, this was his chance to break away - and if it did go sour a possibly unknown mage that he could turn in would be ample leverage.

"Oleander Gubbins" He announced to the lass interrupting the conversation with the other girl and briefly bowed, "If you come to this address I'm sure we can discuss business arrangements"

"Business any good?" Oleander had to crane his neck to see the odd, old woman who had suddenly spoke to him.

"In The City? Always!" He replied grinning, the old one looked to have some wealth about her and she a brooch with the sigil of the Steal Hearts pinned to her bosom, if the mage didn't work, perhaps this could be his 'Plan B'. "Not many talk to stranger, what might you need with a sell-sword?"

LOREL ION

3:15 PM

"There is no time for delay! It is time for the next fight!" The announcer yelled across the arena. Once more he was in the middle of the arena with the light shining down upon him. "Let's see if this fight can top the last!"

"To my left, Ellen Tasli!" the light shined on the left side of the arena and stepped out a female who wore a simple robe that covered her face in a shadow. "And to my right, Amelia Foel!"

The lights shone on the right side and illuminated Amelia in her armor, the sight sent murmurs through the crowd. Lorel smirked, "I feel sorry for Ellen. She never stood a chance."

Malina cocked her eyebrow, "Is she really that powerful?"

"One of the most powerful."

After a few brief moments once more the announcer was no longer in the arena and called out, "Fight!"
Amelia just stood there and waited for Ellen to make her move. Ellen moved swiftly towards Amelia leaving only her foot prints to tell where she stepped. However Foel didn't move and just watched her. Then she yawned, "Is this it?" She spoke.

It happened all in a second. A large ice spike flew down towards Amelia and then Ellen was suddenly completely shrouded in darkness and the ice above Amelia vanished. The darkness around the woman vanished and she fell to the ground, her robe ripped, and her shield down however no damage to her body.

"I will admit, it's almost unfair," Amelia spoke as she walked back to where she came in from.

The announcer came back on, "The... The fight is over! Amelia Foel is the victor!" However the crowd didn't cheer, at least not all. More murmurs went through the crowd.

"That was brutal. In just an instance she won," Malina commented.

"She's a lighting and a dark mage. However she tends to use more of her dark magic. Aleister what do you think of that display of dark magic, as a teacher of dark magic."

SVETLANA POLZIN

April 21st, 6267 - Middle Section - Middle Markets - Marvello's

The sellsword greeted her with a grin, but the old woman assumed that was just some sort of act to entice potential customers. The man might as well be with the Red Stain then, anything to get by and all that. Svetlana looked over the young man dismissively. Those eyes... They did not match the face at all. And the bedraggled appearance only served to deepen her initial distrust. However, this man would do anything for money. Anything. She wondered if finding two lost mage children fell under that. But first, she would have to know who exactly she was dealing with. She sucked on her pipe and found it empty. And so, without much thought, she tapped the dull ash into a nearby ashtray.

The ashtray in question being an empty mug someone had left on the table. Wrinkled hands reached into the pouch where she kept her special blend. With some dignity, soon the pipe was lit and the foul-smelling smoke filled the ceiling of the establishment again. Her stomach had recovered from the fire water's roar, and she ordered another one. Though, she was sure to order a side dish as well. Svetlana didn't need to be drunk. She needed to be keen and smart from the looks of the sellsword. But she did like some of the old Northern beverage. It was a compromise. This journey of hers had been filled with compromises from the start. 'And here would be no different,' she sighed.

"Look at you." Svetlana taunted, "Already badgering me for coin. Hmph."

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