Ace Concealed in Shadows

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Ace Concealed in Shadows

Post by Fayte Scarlett on Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:42 am

It was a rare time of relaxation. Fayte was on standby, awaiting next orders. After her last mission, she was told that they would have something else for her ‘soon.’ That probably meant she wouldn’t have the whole day off. Ever since her fight with Atrum, she had avoided the park where they first met. It was just one less place for her to feed the birds. Actually, she had become reluctant to be seen in public at all, especially in Crocus… because he might show up there. She knew he was a traveler, but there was still that chance. She didn’t want that chance.

So she waited inside. Still a bit reclusive from her other family members, although she had made a lot of progress since meeting Takakiro. Her thoughts turned. She opened her closet, seeing the dress that Master Xian Fei had bought for her. Blue and white, full of lace – fancy and impractical, completely the opposite of Fayte. And yet that dress now had other memories, those beyond Master Xian Fei. Reverently she touched one of the lacy strands.

Yes, much had changed in the last six months. They were at all-out war against the other guilds. Her family no longer had to hide in secret. And herself… when she thought back to the time she spent in Mayonaka, Fayte knew she had changed in Shadow Heart. Her own resolve had become much stronger. Her pride in Shadow Heart was unshakable… even if it pit her against those whose company she… enjoyed.

A knock thumped loudly on her door. Hastily she closed her closet, concealing the dress within. “Fayte?” Selene’s voice came from the other side. Fayte opened the door, seeing her mission teammate. The other girl handed her a small slip of paper. “You’re to go to this location.”

“For… a mission?” This was rather secretive even for Shadow Heart. They were in the guild hall, after all. It wasn’t like their organization was in danger…

“I don’t know,” Selene shrugged truthfully. “That’s all I got, sorry.”

The note said to come alone. Fayte nodded simply, heading past Selene to the designated place. Her path took her past the main hall… her eyes unintentionally met with the first person there, as he looked up at the same time too. Takakiro, her other mission member. They were too far too speak, and made no move towards each other. Fayte could feel a certain suspension, some kind of tension… or maybe she was just overthinking it. Her gaze shifted ahead, she would go to the designated meeting place…

_________________
avatar
Fayte Scarlett
Shadow Heart C
Shadow Heart C

Posts : 191
Experience : 218
Primary Magic : Takeover: Harpy Soul
Secondary Magic : N/A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Ace Concealed in Shadows

Post by Maxus on Mon Nov 03, 2014 5:08 pm

It was a long and uncomfortable silence in the room before a figure seemed to appear out of seemingly nowhere on the other side of the hall. But upon closer inspection, the figure might have been there the entire time. He strode forward into the hall, each step seeming full of purpose and direction.

He was garbed in a black cloak that covered most of his body. What little could be seen was obscured by dark clothing, even his hands. The only skin that showed at all was around his eyes. A rather stern and imposing mask covered his face, and muffled his voice. Once in a brighter part of the room he stopped and took his time eyeing the two of them. It was hard to tell what he was thinking though, as even his eyes seemed impassive.

“It’s good to see you could both make it,” He stated breaking the long silence. He stood with his arms at his sides, though he didn’t seem all that lax or vulnerable at the same time. “I understand there has been little time to rest at such a critical time. However, you two are among some of my best agents. And it’s for this reason I’ve called you both here.”

“But… before I give you your missions, I need to ask you both something,” The entire time he spoke, his voice neither wavered, nor increased in volume. It wasn’t monotone either, rather there was a firm purpose in his words and tone. “What are the both of you after? Or rather I should be asking... Why do you crave the power you're reaching for right now?”
avatar
Maxus
Admin

Posts : 113
Experience : 122
Secondary Magic : N/A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Ace Concealed in Shadows

Post by Fayte Scarlett on Mon Nov 03, 2014 11:32 pm

Fayte blinked as the masked man emerged. She had seen him before, was there when he gave his speech to Shadow Heart about becoming known to the public... but this was the first time he had come to talk with her. Missions were always given by someone else, never their actual leader. Judging from how Takiro stiffened next to her, he hadn't expected this either. They were two of his best agents... were they really? Fayte knew she did her job well, but had paid little attention to others' performance unless it impacted her. The Shadow Lord... was asking about their resolve...

The last remnants of her initial surprise faded. Normally she was the quiet one, the one to answer second. But she knew the answer already. Odd that the Shadow Lord was asking this question for both them... when Takiro and Fayte had talked about the same thing. Last time, she hadn't know exactly what to say. This time... she had thought much on the matter. She knew what it was. "Shadow Heart is my family," she answered quietly, gaze meeting that of the masked man. "Originally I only had my own goals in mind. But... it has become so much more for me here. I want power to change the world, one where we can depend on each other as family, while our enemies fear us. But most of all, Shadow Lord... my previous master entrusted me into Shadow Heart's care. I want to serve her, and in turn, serve you and your ideals..."

"Shadow Heart... are the only people that saw the true me, without some preconceived bias. I want to free the people of Fiore," Takiro had recovered enough to speak. "They've been mindlessly following the Magic Council without any real understanding of what's going on. I want the people to decide their own justice, instead of it being handed to them from someone else. It's the strong that are respected... so I need strength first if I want to change the world."

They both had finished. Fayte had never heard of the Shadow Lord asking such things before... or even taking an interest in simple agents like themselves. She had a feeling something would happen... was this some kind of test? But for what?

_________________
avatar
Fayte Scarlett
Shadow Heart C
Shadow Heart C

Posts : 191
Experience : 218
Primary Magic : Takeover: Harpy Soul
Secondary Magic : N/A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Ace Concealed in Shadows

Post by Maxus on Tue Nov 04, 2014 12:03 am

“I see…” Blue eyes regarded them intently, drinking in every word they spoke. Every action was taken into account, and no detail was left unnoticed. As for what he thought of what they said he said nothing. He gave no indication as to what he thought about what the two of them said.

“Come,” He commanded as he turned and started walking. He headed back in the direction he came from and simply walked through the wall. Or it seemed like he did at first. Upon closer inspection the two would notice that the wall wasn’t quite right. It was, in fact, an illusion.

On the other side, they stood in a large  room with a chessboard set up on a table in the center of the room. It looked like a game was in progress, neither side having lost a piece. The room itself was empty, outside that there was a door on each wall. There was no way of telling what was through the doors however.

“Decisions, choices, change,” the Shadow Lord said walking past the board. He stopped and motioned to it slowly. There was a pawn that would get destroyed if one of the knights didn’t take out the bishop by it. But in doing so, the king would take out the knight. Everything else was arrayed on the board so it couldn’t directly interfere with the scenario set up. However, they were set up to take other pieces should the call be made. “Every action in the world has a reaction, though not always what we expect. You can save the pawn and sacrifice the knight. Or you can save the knight and let the pawn die. That choice is in your hands. What would you do?”
avatar
Maxus
Admin

Posts : 113
Experience : 122
Secondary Magic : N/A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Ace Concealed in Shadows

Post by Fayte Scarlett on Tue Nov 04, 2014 12:47 am

Obediently the two followed the Shadow Lord's command. The fake wall, Fayte honestly hadn't seen beforehand... but it certainly made sense, as the Shadow Lord had appeared from nowhere. She suspected that Takiro with his powers, had already seen through the illusion a long time ago. The pieces on the chessboard were carefully arranged, and Fayte was studying it even before the Shadow Lord spoke. Was this a riddle of some kind?

"I'd save the pawn," Takiro answered quickly. Fayte idly wondered if this was his way of making up last ground from earlier. "Even if a key piece is removed from play, I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing. It's forcing the king to make a move. That can cause a reaction for the rest of the board, one not initially expected. Besides... the pawn has the potential of becoming something much greater than a knight."

The pawn... it was a symbol of the common man, of community. It was an essence that Fayte strived for. But was it really more important? "...I'd save the knight. The pawn might become great in the future... but there's no guarantee. The knight is of the most immediate use.... And it can move in unexpected ways than the other pieces." She wondered if there was a right or wrong answer... She knew chess was a metaphor for much greater lives. Regardless of what the Shadow Lord's meaning behind it all was, she wanted to impress him... the person that Master Xian Fei trusted. The father of their family...

_________________
avatar
Fayte Scarlett
Shadow Heart C
Shadow Heart C

Posts : 191
Experience : 218
Primary Magic : Takeover: Harpy Soul
Secondary Magic : N/A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Ace Concealed in Shadows

Post by Maxus on Wed Nov 05, 2014 11:44 pm

“I see…” Peircing blue eyes regarded them while he once again avoided saying who was right. They had come to different answers. Likely, their paths before they came to Shadow Heart were vastly different. He motioned the door behind him before he started walking. “There is one more thing I must see.”

He led them into a long hallway. The three’s footsteps echoed across a stone hallway. It soon spiraled downwards in stairs that seemed to go on forever. As they got deeper, it got darker, until they could barely make out their own hands in front of their faces. The brick the were walking on was gray, cold, and looked very old.

“We’re well under the castle now,” He stated as he paused to grab a stick. After a moment of lighting it with a Lacrima, the area took on an eerie orange tint. The walls at the bottom of the stairs were lined with cells with rusty bars and looked like they hadn’t been used in years. Many had decomposed bodies of prisoners that had been here presumably before the war. The air was stale, still, and seemed to want to suffocate anyone who stayed long.

“Before the war, this was where prisoners were kept,” the Shadow lord said as he started with his brisk pace again. His gaze stayed as forward as his stride. “Thieves, murderers, traitors… they were all kept down here, even after the war killed the late king. With everything in disarray, no one thought to come down to free those poor souls locked behind iron, stone, and mortar.”

“Justice, some might call it,” He continued as they paused outside a large metal door. It was completely solid, though it had two plates that looked like they once slid to the sides. One at eye level, and the other on the floor. “They were criminals after all. But others might call it sad or cruel. They were living, breathing people. Some would say they didn’t deserve to be forgotten to starve… or worse.”

“I wonder which you will decide,” He said as he opened the door. Inside was a man with his arms bound above his head. It looked like they would have been behind his back, but he was hanging there with his eyes closed. When he heard people though, his eyes snapped open, and he started making muffled crying sounds. He was gagged, shirtless, and looked half starved and tortured already.

“Here we have a man accused of stealing another man’s wife,” Shadow Lord said, keeping his tone the same as ever. If he regarded the man with contempt, he didn’t show it. “He’s accused of killing her kids, kidnapping her, and forcing her to marry him.”

“What do you do?” the Shadow Lord said as he pulled out a sword. He set it on a table in the center of the room, the torch light gleaming off the blade in an almost sinister fashion. The man in the back struggled against his bonds as tears ran down his face, managing to look rather pitiful despite the accusations. “Judge him guilty? Or hear his side of the story?”
avatar
Maxus
Admin

Posts : 113
Experience : 122
Secondary Magic : N/A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Ace Concealed in Shadows

Post by Fayte Scarlett on Thu Nov 06, 2014 1:40 am

Fayte awaited the Shadow Lord's verdict, but none was coming. At least not yet. There was still a final test for them. Dutifully the two followed again, ever downwards in the spiraling stairs. Takiro behind the Shadow Lord, and Fayte behind Takiro. Despite the dimming light, the two walked as if they knew the passageways well. It took a few minutes for Fayte's eyes to adjust, but she trusted Takiro in front of her. He had probably already used his magic to map out the place; light wasn't an issue for a tracker of his skills. The light revealed more, the dead bodies of criminals long past. Silently they listened to the Shadow Lord's history.

Neither were new recruits; both Takiro and Fayte had lost their compassion long ago, and didn't so much blink at the bound prisoner. It was more surprising to know that someone was down here still, alive, than seeing the man's ill state. The Shadow Lord had set it up specifically to hear their responses. Justice... it was a word that many in Shadow Heart liked to use. A large portion of their recruits insisted that the world wasn't right, that the Magic Council lacked the justice it claimed to serve. But at the same time, Shadow Heart accepted thieves and murderers into their ranks. What was the real meaning of justice? Fayte stared at the sword, the blade glinting in the torchlight.

"Will his words even matter..." Fayte's hand reached for the blade, slowly grasping the hilt. "Perhaps-"

Takiro stopped her, holding her back with one arm. Apparently he'd misunderstood her intention, and thought she was going to kill the man on the spot. She was actually going to theorize some of her thoughts. But Takiro's face was grim, eyes shining darkly in the flickering torchlight. “Maybe you forgot, Fayte, but I know what it's like to be on death row,” he said lowly. “I know what it's like to have your life depend on the word of a single person.” She hadn't forgotten. He had told her about how he joined Shadow Heart, about the false accusations for him murdering his family. And that he'd been charged guilty. But it was another matter to realize that this would actually impact his decision on the matter. “We should at least listen to what he has to say,” Takiro's gaze softened slightly. He stepped towards the bound man, crouching to undo the gag.

“...My Lord,” Fayte said respectfully, while Takiro worked. She needed to be clear on her task. “You spoke of justice earlier. Is it justice, then, that we should use to decide our verdict?” She was not sure she had that right. Personal justice, she felt she had the right to. But this man, they knew so little about him to make such a decision.

“Alright,” Takiro rose, now having removed the gag from the prisoner. “We'll at least listen to how you got into all this.”

… That's what he said, but Fayte could only see fear in the prisoner's eyes. Takiro might have true sight when it came to illusions and deceptions, but even he wouldn't be able to tell if the man was lying or not.

_________________
avatar
Fayte Scarlett
Shadow Heart C
Shadow Heart C

Posts : 191
Experience : 218
Primary Magic : Takeover: Harpy Soul
Secondary Magic : N/A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Ace Concealed in Shadows

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum