@avemaera ; @mjolnrr ; @radiantpriamos
The mage tackles her on his way into the library. Setsuna wobbles on her feet and takes a step to recover. Thankfully she doesn’t fall over. After all that falling he did, he must not be very steady on his feet. Injured even, maybe. That was so sad. She should ask Priam to watch out for the mage’s very obviously brittle bones.
The room they’ve found is...something. A library, full of books, in a way that seems strange after everything else they’ve seen. And Setsuna has seen a lot of strange things in her life. But there’s nothing shooting at them or shocking them or any holes to fall in, so Setsuna guesses that this is fine and safe for now.
For now ends up being very short. The giant lizard they found grows quiet for a moment before it starts to make horrible, gurgling sounds of pain. It thrashes around, wiggling and squirming. Setsuna can’t see anything wrong with it, but something obviously has to be.
She kneels down next to him and shushes him, gesturing slowly to try and get his attention. Softly, she begins to hum again, hoping that it might help him calm down.
For a second, it seems to work. He looks at her, and he settles, eyes meeting hers in what she would call recognition if she was sure that the lizard was capable of that. And then just as quickly it’s gone, and he resumes thrashing and wailing.
Setsuna frowns. Unease settles in her stomach like a heavy rock, she’s just as useless as always just the same as having to walk away from him crying in the deeprealm everytime, can’t do anything right it’s leg smacks hers as it rushes past, and that time she does slip and fall over.
“I think there’s something wrong.” She announces to the group, frowning as she watches it move around the room. “Should we help it? It did get us in the room...” She pushes herself up. Maybe it was the room? Or was something happening somewhere?
@avemaera ; @mjolnrr ; @radiantpriamos
The strange woman Setsuna doesn’t know gives them something that makes the wall split open. “Woah, who put that door there...”
Her question goes unanswered as the group ventures further into the tree fortress. It’s dark. It’s the first thing Setsuna notices, the second being the blue lights that line the walls near their feat and cast a strange glow on them as they walk. Someone could get a headache looking at those, Setsuna thinks with a frown. Thank goodness she was made of stronger stuff than some people.
After a time of walking, four different pathways are lead out before them. A discussion immediately breaks out; groups planned, who should go where, what they should do...Setsuna doesn’t pay attention to any of that. Her eyes look over the four pathways quietly. Finally, she nods to herself.
“I pick this way~!” She declares in a sing-song voice. Before anyone can grab her to stop her, Setsuna heads down the fourth hallway, humming to herself as she walks. She can hear the sounds of people following behind her, but she continues on. If they need her, they’ll say something, and if they don’t need her...they’ll probably still saying something about her being reckless and making bad choices, but Setsuna has gotten very good at tuning out comments like that over the years, so she’s not worried.
Eventually the hallway leads to another door and an abandoned room. It looks abandoned. Most of the things in the room are broken and the tree has started growing in the room itself. Some flashing lights on the other side of the room catch her attention immediately.
There’s a puddle on the ground with sparks shooting off of it from a rope looking thing nearby. Setsuna hums to herself curiously as she looks at it. A trap? Not a trap? Magic traps were less fun then one’s she could stuck in...so not a trap and therefore Setsuna shouldn’t get stuck. She takes a moment before, carefully, jumping over the puddle.
With a proud giggle, she walks over to the blinking lights. More buttons, it looks like...some glowing and some not. Setsuna looks them over thoughtfully for a moment. Well. They’ll never figure out if they do something just by looking at them. She presses one of the buttons.
A humming fills the room. Something behind her starts to fizzle, and suddenly there’s a loud crack, like thunder magic cutting through the air. Setsuna jumps, taking her hand off the button, and turns to look at the three who followed her curiously.
“...what was that?” She asks. “Did it do something?”
Saias makes his way into the classroom and takes his seat, setting his satchel out on the desk before him and taking out the necessary materials for the class. Part of the reason why he’d chosen the Officer’s Academy had been how vigorous and thorough the magic education had been presented to be, and that, coupled with its faraway location, had made this school the most attractive to the budding bishop-in-training. As a result, he finds himself excited to attend his first Reason class—here’s hoping it’s as good as he heard it was.
Not to mention he’ll have better resources for learning how to control his magic. While he would like to attempt the other branches of Reason while he’s here, it’s probably best to focus on Fire thanks to his heritage giving him a natural affinity for that particular element.
... One of these days Saias is going to figure out how to stop tempting fate, because when he finishes arranging his stuff and looks back up, who should appear at the front of the class but Arvis himself. In a professor’s uniform.
WHAT THE H—
The teen stares, paralyzed with shock, at the near-exact copy of Julius. The older man’s hair is wavier, and the Mark of Loptous is missing from his forehead, but there is no doubt in Saias’s mind that this is his birth father and the emperor of Grannvale. What in Bragi’s name is he doing here?! And if he’s here, who’s running the country in his absence? (Of course, he could’ve come here from a different point in time; he looks a little on the young side.)
For the rest of the class, the teen does his level best to avoid eye contact with the professor while making himself as nondescript and uninteresting as possible. He breathes a sigh of relief when the bell tolls and the class ends, and he stands with his fellow students to begin packing his things away. I wonder what the dining hall is serving for lunch. Hmm...
Then he makes the mistake of looking up. A jolt of panic shoots through him as the professor strides right towards him.
(starter for @avemaera)
It should have been an easy task — dispel the crowd of magic non-believers protesting outside the gates of Garreg Mach. Ishtar supposed it would not take her long; after all, who could continue to deny the existence of magical phenomena if they were to witness it with their very eyes? She would go down to the gates, perform a simple spell or two, and send them on their way.
But things thought to be simple never played out to be so, and Ishtar found herself the lone voice of reason before the defiant crowd. Disbelieving, they shouted the Friegan down even after she shot arcs of lightning over their heads and conjured a shimmering hand into the sky, where it swatted at birds that were unfortunate enough to fly into her line of fire. Few seem convinced; some even boo at the display.
Frustration does not make itself visible on Ishtar’s mien very often, but she feels her patience fray and a vein becomes prominent on her jaw. Magic had been a fundamental part of her ever since she was young, a cornerstone of the woman she had become. She found comfort in the familiarity of her spells, especially in the pages of Mjölnir. So much of her identity had been built around her ability to spellcast — for them to deny that it were even true feels like an insult that cuts deep into the core of who she is.
“Cheap tricks!” yells one of the more outspoken members of the crowd, a stocky man with beady eyes. “Smoke and mirrors — the lightning is obviously a plate of gold reflected of a plate of steel, and the thunder booming is drumming —”
“Drumming?” Ishtar exclaims, cutting across his protests. “I’m the only one here!”
“Obviously a hidden accomplice,” the man continues doggedly, undeterred. He points at Mjölnir, clasped tightly in Ishtar's hands. “And that’ll be your book o’ tricks, won’t it? Give it here, witch!”
He lunges, grabbing one end of the Holy Weapon.
“No — no, let go!” Mortified, Ishtar makes to tug it back, but surprise is on the naysayer’s side and he snatches it from her grip.
“Now let’s see just how you’re making all that booming n’ flashing …” The man flips the tome open, haphazardly rifling through its pages. “...what is all this nonsense? Some sort of code?”
Ishtar reaches for her birthright, straining over the group huddled about the man holding Mjölnir.
“Give that back, you haven’t the slightest idea just what that can d — Lord Arvis!”
Relief floods her as eyes register the head of blazing red. “Have you come to help? Excellent!”
Helplessly, she gestures towards the crowd. “They won’t listen to a word I say. They’ve grabbed Mjölnir right out of my hands, too — I’m not sure how to retrieve it without hurting anyone …”
@avemaera ( moved from here)
for a second, sigurd thinks that maybe arvis is actually concerned about him; but of course not. why would arvis ever have any concern for sigurd's wellbeing? the man wanted him dead after all, had actually killed him in another lifetime. "one of our team members just died and you're concerned about the enemy?" sigurd scowls, unable to keep his bitter words to himself. words that reflect sigurd's anger in his own actions more so than arvis' thought process. sigurd pauses, realizes that this is such a childish and petty way to go about things, and sighs. "ugh- i'm sorry arvis, i didn't mean that." and he even offers some emotional vulnerability in the moment. "but i can't.. focus on strategies right now. not with everything that has happened since we got to this damned place."
@avemaera ( moved from here)
he smiles, this time a little annoyed. he’d come to arvis with a peace offering of sorts, and this is what he gets? can the man not be such a dastard for two minutes? sigurd has half the mind to tighten his grip on arvis’ hand to warn him something fierce, but the handshake ends before he can even think about doing so.
a fear takes hold in his heart that arvis will discover what his mark means, but he doesn’t let it take hold of his mind too. “lord arvis, i’m touched you’re worried so for me.” he says instead, not about to let arvis take advantage of the anxiety his mark holds for him.
sigurd can’t say he’ll be doing any such thing any time soon, but he also doesn’t want to create a rift between two members of their team. what a dilemma this is. “…likewise.” he starts, sounding sincere. he can’t bring himself to keep up this charade for much longer. really, arvis brought back his boyish and bratty 16 year old self. “when you inevitably get yourself in trouble, i’ll protect you from whatever happens.” a backhanded promise insulting the man’s own strength, of course.
[ cont. ] @avemaera
His response does not quite register at first— of course he had a daughter!— but her questions die in her throat as he kneels.
It was a moment that was oh so familiar to the girl. Memories of childhood swirled, fighting against the cruel thoughts that reminded her that her father was dead. This man was likely not her father…at least not version of her.
As soon as she looked into his eyes, tears pricked the sides of her own. It was so overwhelming— both seeing him and knowing he had none of the memories she once had with him. It hurt, but she couldn’t help but be thankful for even a semblance of her father in front of her. “F-forgive me, father— I didn’t— I didn’t mean to start crying…” She brings her hands up to her eyes, rubbing them in an attempt to stop the tears from flowing any further. Perhaps when she opened her eyes once more this cruel visage would be gone.
“I never— I never thought I would see you again…oh, father…”