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Leviathan

Discussion in 'Freeform Roleplays' started by CodasterTheDisaster, Apr 20, 2014.

  1. The rain tapped gently along the many pavilions and tents of the Winter's Legion recruitment camp. Knights and soldiers of the legion wandered throughout the camp, carrying crates or stacks of paperwork, while a group  was clustered around a platform in the center of the camp. Atop the platform stood the magnificent leader of the Clan: Lord Janus Mera. He was a tall man, slightly over six feet tall, and he was dressed in battle regalia; glimmering silver armor underneath a black and blue robe with ornate white embroidery, a black and silver crown set with several sapphires. At his hip hung the plain sheath of his black and icy longsword. His snow-white skin and long hair, coupled with his piercing blue eyes gave the appearance of a harsh winter personified; pure and beautiful, yet extremely cold. Lord Mera was in the middle of giving a speech to explain the reason and objective of his recruitment, when an equally striking figure approached the back of the crowd, observing silently. Several recruits-to-be moved out of the way of the imposing stranger.

    He was nearly seven feet tall, with pale skin and jet-black hair. Scales lined his cheekbones lightly, as well as the back of his hands. One eye was as dark as his hair, and the other was a piercing teal color. The same color was streaked through his hair in several places, and speckled sparsely on his scales. He was muscular, though not large, but all the same he cut a very intimidating figure. Scaled, elf-like ears protruded from his silky mane of hair that was slick from the rain. A group of nearby Chromians stared at the newcomer uncertainly. The name Zeit Tsukiri was whispered through the group several times, and it was indeed Zeit Tsukiri that showed up.

    Zeit met eyes with the leader of the group, grinning ferociously. The Chromian's eyes quickly darted away. So it seems my reputation has arrived her before I. Interesting. He looked up at Lord Mera, intent on picking up the last bit of the speech.

    "...And as such, we have come to believe that with enough number, and with enough elite hunters, we can slay a Leviathan. We must prove they are mortal so we can take our land back. If you wish to learn more, there are many of my knights, or even myself that you can come find. For now though, I shall let you visit my recruitment officers. They will tell you where to go from there." Lord Mera bowed to the crowd, and left with his bodyguards. The crowd slowly dispersed, shuffling into lines at the recruitment stations. Zeit picked one and stood in line, waiting his turn patiently. He grinned at the officer when it was his turn, making sure to show off his glimmering white teeth that were more like fangs than anything else.

    The officer wasn't threatened, and continued speaking in a bored tone while Zeit filled out his paperwork. Of course, Zeit answered the mans questions in a snarky, even arrogant, manner. "Zeit Tsukiri. 47. Chromian. Arrogant and refuses to state accomplishments as requested," the officer drawled. Zeit laughed and nodded. "I suppose that is as correct as you can get," he replied. The officer stamped the paper, handed it back to Zeit. He was directed to several other areas, where he was assessed several more times. Several physicians poked and prodded at him, had him pick up heavy weights, and do a variety of strenuous activities. They marked his paperwork and sent him along to the next area once again, where he had to duel a knight in front of a judge. They were both given wooden weapons of their choice. Zeit fought the knight, who kept up with the Chromian, surprisingly enough, but eventually disarmed him. He then fought the knight hand-to-hand, which Zeit found pointless. He easily overpowered the knight, and was sent along to the final area. Here his reflexes were tested, both with physical and mental agility. He had to catch a number of items being thrown at him, deal with psychic attacks on his mind. He was asked more questions, and finally his paperwork was taken away. The tests had taken almost all day, and from what Zeit had seen, so had everyone else's. Some people were still getting started. 

    He was then directed to another pavilion, where he was grouped with the other recruits awaiting news on whether or not they'd made it. Some looked like fighters, some looked like scholars, and yet others seemed so outlandish and strange, the Chromian didn't know what to classify them as. He looked at a particularly skinny young mage. There was no doubt in Zeit's mind that he would not have been able to stand up to one of the knights in a duel. I guess they test each potential recruit based on their skill set. How...Efficient.

    Thank the Divines there were several rows of benches under the pavilion; Zeit may very well have gone mad had he been forced to stand for hours to wait on the news of whether or not he made it into the Expeditionary Corps. Instead, he leaned back on the wooden bench, with his eyes closed and his arms spread across the back. At least this area wasn't too crowded. Zeit might have felt guilty if he was taking up valuable seating space. He remained on the  bench, half-conscious, for a good hour or two before a knight came by with a list. He called out a few names, of which Zeit was one of the first, then assured those that hadn't been called on that he'd  be back soon with more names. Several squires followed the knight, and came to hand out uniforms. Of course, Zeit's was not yet made, and he'd have the cost of producing the armor taken out of his payment, should the mission be a success. If it was a failure, and he returned alive, he was expected to pay Lord Mera the full cost of a new set of armor. The Chromian grumbled under his breath about it, but otherwise did nothing else.

    Unsure of what he needed to do now, he slumped down, lying across the bench, staring at the cloth of the pavilion. He hadn't been directed to go anywhere else, so he was just going to stay and take up space on the bench. At least he wasn't laying on the ground. Here he could take a nice nap, and hopefully be pointed in the direction of a proper bed.
     
  2. "What do you think about all of this?" a pleasant, formal voice chimes.
    "'bout what, Marcy?" replies a much harsher, heavily accented voice.

    A pair of women rest in a small ornate indoor area behind a grand stage that lingers behind them. The muffled cheers of the crowd could be heard outside coming from the circular stands, the audience expending all the capacity their lungs could offer to show their enthusiasm. The two idlers seem unphased by the commotion outside, cutting out the applause from the same susceptible, credulous crowd. 

    "The Hunt. You know, this whole Leviathan business that the Winter's Legion is wrapped up in," spoke the refined matron.
    "A 'lotta bother is what this whole thing is," retorts the accented woman. "They're just sendin' in a bunch of nameless blokes to their deaths if it's true, and they'll be wastin' their time if it isn't."
    The noble woman raised an eyebrow at her associate's response, "Then why do you show interest if you believe it so futile, Regalia? You practically jumped at the mere mention of the Cirque's grand plan."

    A thin, delicate hand slammed shut an annuated case, the owner of that limb belonging to a very gaudily dressed woman. The same hand quickly wrapped itself around the handle, the owner and case rising in unison. 

    "I've always been a firm believer in all 'dose fairy tales, Marcellin," spoke the abrasive voice of the showy lady, "And besides, isn't it a waste to kill such a beast? Cirque du Corde already has it's own super weapon..." she paused briefly to take two ornate cross-shaped objects off the table, presenting it with both crosses bundled together in her hand, "Why not take it for myself?"

    The raven-haired one known as Marcellin only looked up at her lady with a disappointed frown, "You call the hunters deluded when you yourself believe you could tame a god given flesh."
    "Clearly them Leviathans aren't as immortal as the tales make them out to be if they ended up losing to a group of seven nobodies in the end. Besides, it's just a buncha fairy tales ain't they? Don't get your knickers in a bunch about it."

    A clearly satisfied man came climbing down the stairs after they finished their conversation. The gaudy Regalia took this as her queue to go on stage as she made a swift, sharp turn to the steps that awaited her. "Marcellin, I'll make sure to put on a good show for'em, that I will," she said in passing as she moved out of view of her companion. The confidant simply gave an exasperated sigh, finding clear distaste for her callous lack of concern on the matter.


    Dark clouds began to loom overhead as Regalia left the sanctity of the theater's shelter. The audience gave a welcoming clap as she made her way onto the large platform. Her jeweled fingers wrapped around the brim of her lacy white hat, shifting it upward to get a good look at the people who came for the performance. Her ruffled sleeves hugged by the small bands lining her arms, leading up to an equally ruffled white shirt constricted by a closed black vest. An adorned sash covers her waist, with a pair of dressy black slacks covering her legs. Various, frivolous decorations line her person, from the various rings on her fingers, to the small thin golden chain bracelets covering her wrist, feathers and laces on her hat, fancy golden trims along her vest, et cetera. She ran her hand through her straight, long brown hair, ending it with a brief flip; she was never one to miss a chance to show off. 

    "Ladies and gentleman!" the boisterous woman declared, "You may have been slack-jawed in awe of that last performance, but get ready to feast your eyes on some real skill! Now, I'm sure Regalia Harlowe has no need for an introduction so I'll just get right into it."

    Her hand joined it's sibling in holding the handle of the case as it was swung around in-front. She extended her small fingers to undo the latches placed on the container, the front half swinging open. The contents of the case were simply large chunks of kaolinite; contents that were swiftly launched in the air before they could tumble out, as Regalia used the leverage of her foot to give the case a quick jolt. She quickly let go of the case, using one of her free hands to grab one of the strange cross bars. A small red-tinted aura seemed to surround the catalyst and the minerals, elementary-level fire magic being used to quickly raise the temperature of the material until mullite forms. The performer employed the other hand to catch one of the chunks before it fell, giving a smirk to the crowd.

    "A simple trick. I've always been a bit attracted to the way porcelain looks. But a few rocks a golem does not make, so let's add a bit of Demonkin ingenuity, eh?"

    She spun the cross-shaped bar in her hand once before tossing the rock upward, pointing the object forward aimed at the material. Various thin, red strings shot forth, lodging themselves onto some of the rocks strewn over the stage. Shortly after she brought out the second bar and did the same to the rest of the lot. The heated kaolinite began to converge, shift, and pile on top of each other before resembling a fairly human shape. Regalia gave the control bars a bit of a shake before they began to smooth out and even engrave patterns on the porcelain golem. The audience gave loud roars of applause as she scaled and mounted the porcelain beast, moving it as fluidly as she moves her own limbs.

    "This is what you lot should expect from an expert puppeteer!" she boasted, moving the golem along with her words, "I can make as many as I want, as quick as I want, and make them how I want them to look in a blink of an eye!" 

    -

    The sky almost seemed disappointed that the show eventually came to an end. The grey overcast clouds began to drizzle on the troupe's grounds, the performer sitting beside her companion just as she had been earlier. Regalia's head pointed to the skies, the hat protecting her face from the mounting downpour. Marcellin, however, preferred to try and cover her head with one of the dishes left around.

    "I wonder how long it'll take us to reach the Legion camp? It's been a few days, we should be close."
    Marcellin only gave a slight shrug, "That may be so. But who's to say they haven't already packed up and left?"

    Regalia simply put on a pouting expression before looking back at the other troupe members cleaning up the debris from the performance.

    "Oh, and could you please be more careful next time?" the ebony lady replied, "We can't keep trying to pay off the damages."
     
  3. A sudden influx of activity awoke Zeit as the noise of it powered over the sound of the increasing rainstorm. It had only been a light rain when he fell asleep, but now it was really starting to pound heavily on the camp. He grumbled and sat up, his feet hitting a puddle beneath the bench. "Well damn," he grumbled to himself, slowly getting to his feet and stretching, his fingers almost reaching the top of the pavilion. An obnoxious sigh escaped his lips as he marched forward, pushing a few of the recruits out of his way. What looked like a few circus wagons was approaching the camp. "I swear to the Divines, if that's those pompous Cirque du Corde pricks," he grumbled. A Legion knight soon arrived and tried to police people back to their original spots.

    Zeit shrugged it off and walked back, plopping back down on the bench. I guess I'll just have to wait and see if they're gonna join us...
    He rubbed his temples, not particularly wanting to associate with the Corde Creeps. They just wanted to put strings on everything and there was something about it that just rubbed Zeit the wrong way. He'd never met someone from the Godsforsaken clan that was actually pleasant to be around. Guess I shouldn't dwell on negative thoughts. I'll just keep my standards low to avoid disappointment. That way I'll either be right or pleasantly surprised. Foolproof plan.

    He slid down to his back with a heavy thud.  A drop of water leaked through the ceiling and landed directly between the Chromian's eyes. "Gah! Blasted pavilions! Can't you Legion wimps build a damn thing right?!" he shouted angrily. The nearby knight payed him no heed. I gotta admit, for a bunch of humans, these guys got nerve. Guess these northerners are something else. 
    Zeit scooted towards the edge of the bench, hoping to avoid any further dripping. He kept quite for a moment, then got bored. He was too pissed off with the water to go back to sleep, so he sat up and shouted at the knight again.

    "Oi! Are we gonna have to deal with the Corde Creeps?" He called out. The knight paused and walked towards him. Apparently he managed to get all the recruits to calm down, and the wagons were parked with a few people trailing out.

    "Well, they've already had their assessment. You've been assigned numbers, so you'll meet up with your squads. As soon as they're situated, I assume you'll all have to move," the knight replied, staring curiously at Zeit. "What's your problem with 'em? They're certainly eccentric, but there's no need for animosity. We share a common goal, after all."

    Zeit just moaned loudly, not even bothering to give the knight a proper answer, which left him visibly irritated. He grumbled something under his breath, but Zeit ignored it and fished out his now-soaked recruitment papers. There was some information on it that he didn't bother to read, but immediately found his squad designation. He spared a glance through  the camp, then picked the direction he assumed would be closest to where he needed to go and  began his trudge through the rain and mud.

    ***​

    He found the pavilion where his squad was supposed to gather fairly quickly. "Damn rain," Zeit hissed under his breath, as he walked underneath the cloth cover. He'd been out long enough for him to be soaking wet now, which left him looking like a rather pissed-off, demonic, drowned rat. He stood in the center of the makeshift floor, with his arms crossed angrily, as his squadmates trailed in, equally wet and displeased-looking as he. Hopefully the circus freaks in his team would arrive soon. Hopefully there wouldn't  be many, either. Zeit voiced his concerns too, which elicited a few giggles from the recruits, but rather harsh glares from the actual Legion members that would be serving as 'commanders'. Zeit hoped they didn't actually think that he of all people would listen to them. He'd treat their orders as mere suggestions, and there wasn't a thing they could do about it.​

    He took a moment to cool off a bit, closing his eyes and breathing deeply. He focused on the sound of the downpour. He cracked his eyes open again, after a few minutes, to look at the people he'd be fighting alongside. Mostly humans, a few forestkin, and only one other Chromian. The humans were already dressed in the Expeditionary uniforms; sets of armor that were nearly identical to the Winter's Legion uniforms, but without the emblems and fancy trims and enamels. Well-made armor, at least, just not as fancy. The forestkin seemed to be from two tribes. One group looked almost completely elvish, with little fuzzy fox tails; the other seemed a bit more imposing, with hairy chests, big muscles, and large bull horns protruding from their temples. The Chromian was slightly shorter, and more lean than Zeit, with a silver-and-green color scheme. He wasn't wearing a uniform either, presumably for the same reason. Instead, he wore leather traveling gear with a large scimitar strapped to his hip.​

    Judging by the Chromian's glare, he was also well aware of Zeit's reputation. Unlike the others, however, he didn't seem to threatened. Good, another of his kin that wasn't brainwashed by the Ascendant's claims of superior blood. Yes, the alphas were different, but they weren't as special as they made themselves out to be. Zeit proved that. He grinned fiercely and nodded at the other Chromian. His lip twitched, and he returned the nod. At that moment, Zeit knew he already made an ally. ​

    "Hey! Squad seven! Line up!" A knight barked out. Sure enough, the humans snapped to attention and scrambled to fall in place. The Chromians and forestkin, to Zeit's amusement, all seemed to mosey on over to their positions. They called out everyone's names, to make sure all of the recruits were present, then announced that their Cirque du Corde squadmates were on their way.​

    Zeit looked to the other Chromian, Yukiin, and shrugged. His response was a smirk and chuckle.​
     
  4. (Somehow I accidentally double posted this needs to be purged from existence. Oops.)
     
  5. Fingers tap against the armrest of a seat, their owner growing increasingly more anxious on each repetition. Regalia looked out the window of the transport, seeing their carnival wagons and other such things trailing alongside them. Even with their brief intermission, putting on a few good shows to keep up their spirits, the entertainer's boredom was mounting with each passing moment. She almost felt the lull of slumber until the sudden loss of forward momentum, which caused her to fly out of her seat.

    "Are you alright, my lady?" spoke Marcellin, sitting there stoically unmoving long before their mode of transportation did.
    Regalia adjusted her hat as she picked herself up off the floor, "I'm perfectly fine, stow your worries, Marcie." Her head turned to the window again as she stood, "I guess we've finally made it, eh?"

    The carriage door swung open as the decorated woman bolted out of them. She scanned the horizon until her eyes met with the place they would be convening. She was glad to finally arrive, but at the same time disappointed as she knew what she'd have to be doing.

    "Having to step out of my comforts to be subjected to being adjacent to a bunch of slimy grunts, terrible rations, and a bunch of messy mud-filled travel. When he said 'He' wanted us to be his eyes, I was hoping it'd be a lot more grand than just following an army around. Honestly, if someone wanted to stick their finger in every pie, you'd think they would've found more effective fingers... than... setting set of 10 of them out to... err... I'm failing this analogy."

    Marcellin stood near the doorway, clearly not amused by Regalia's all-to familiar struggle at witty retorts. The gaudy performer turned back to quickly bark, "Don't give me that!" before marching off. Before they leave, they'll be given a small briefing on what they'll be doing and where they'll be doing it. She didn't want to sit through another boring lecture, but it's the last thing she'll be doing before having to be subjected to days of actual labor.

    ~~~​

    "Lazarus Emriel."

    It was only a few hours but it felt like an eternity to him. Anxiously waiting, both dreading and anticipating the answer he'd be given; After about 2 list readings, of course he'd be one of the last few to be mentioned. All those tests he'd been given, he barely succeeded in most, and horribly failed in others. I hope Leviathans don't try to probe my mind and make me think of grandma's  teeth again, his thoughts wondered, Her molars were eldritch abberations of their own! He was lost in his thoughts until his name was called out again. He snapped to attention, leaping off the bench and waving his hand nervously.

    "H-Here! Over here!" he cried.

    The squire handing out the uniforms followed the origin of the voice, but failed trace it's whereabouts until it rang another time.

    "O-Oi! D-D-Down 'ere!"

    The man looked down to see his expectations betrayed on what would qualify for someone joining the Winter Legion's hunt. Before him (barely) stood a stuttering forestkin bearing the features of a hamster, and the stature of one too; his impressive height of slightly over 3 feet could barely meet the man's kneecaps. He stared down in disbelief at the uniform he carried in his arms before looking back at the miniature beast.

    "You're Lazarus Emriel...?" questioned the squire.
    "U-Unfortunately," the forestkin nervously replied.
    The squire tilted his head at the odd response, "How did you manage to pass the tests...?"
    "I w-wonder the same exact thing, m-mister."

    The uniform was bestowed to the small knight, but disappointment was clear in both their faces. The uniform was obviously too large for the lad; the chestpiece nearly dwarfed him, and the tabard was clearly more like a robe to him. The squire clearly saw his duty done and proceeded to leave and quickly get back to his duties. Lazarus was clearly dismayed by the action and looked back down at the uniform that he and his comrades would wear. His current outfit was basic in comparison; a basic red tunic with a leather breastplate draped over it, strapped to a small metal pauldron on his shoulder that bears a similar style to his open-face helmet. He wasn't anticipating having to wear a uniform until he saw the soldiers at the opening ceremony.

    The forestkin let out a sigh, draping the clearly oversized cloth over his shoulders. Why does everyone think I can do this? I can't live up to their expectations, I can't be anything like my father. He sighed as he climbed and rolled over onto the bench, clearly ignoring the pieces of his uniform left scattered on the floor. The tests had pushed him to extremes, and couldn't really keep up the adrenaline any longer, so he used this lull period to get some rest.

     ~~~​

    "... quad seven! Line up!"

    Lazarus scurried off the bench at the sudden cacophony of the knight's voice. That's me, right? I mean, I think that's me. Gods, don't tell me I missed it or something, did I!? He dashed about, confused on the whereabouts of this, "Squad Seven," as he dashed around frantically, tripping on the gown twice. He tosses the uniform off in frustration after getting tangled up in it multiple times, as proceeded to dart around in random directions until his forward momentum was stopped by a very movable object.

    "A rodent?" the woman questioned, "Are you seriously apart of all this rabble? Their standards must be very low."
    Lazarus looked up at the voice, the voice belonging to a very gaudily dressed being with an equally gaudy hat, "U-Umm... S-Sorry, ma'am. I didn't mean to..."
    The woman eyed him curiously for a bit before speaking again, "Worry not, little... rat... thing. I suppose I set the bar of my expectations too low and you ran right into it. Face-first. Yep, it was that low."

    The forestkin was confused by her odd attempt at humor. To him, it seemed apparent to just ignore the lady while he had the chance and be on his way back into panicking around in circles. As he got himself back to his feet and turned around, the woman grabbed at the small scarf wrapped around his neck.

    "Ack!" he cried.
    "You're one of them, right? Show me the ruffians I'm supposed to be joining with."
    "B-But I don't know who y-you are... or wh-wh-where I'm supposed to go..."
    "I wasn't asking a question," the woman said with a grin.

    The hamster panicked as he looked around, his fears cleansed when he heard the knight call for squad seven again. He swiftly pointed in the direction of the voice and saying, "That one! Y-yeah. That's the o-one. Right there. Yep." He tried to slip out of her grasp, but instead ended up leading her like a dog on a leash. He clearly wasn't happy with this arrangement, but this woman looked like some sort of high-class witch that could turn her into a toad or a kernel of corn or something. When they had reached their destination, the braggart shifted Lazarus aside as she presented herself to the group.

    "I'm sure the need for introductions has passed, you've seen our caravan and you know what I'm here for. We can skip all those silly little procedures and get right into the fancy parties and fighting giant monstrosities, yes?"

    Lazarus sighed in relief as the woman immediately forgot his existence. However, he wasn't sure if he actually went to his assigned squad, he just dashed toward the first name he heard to save his skin from... whatever this person is. The only hope to hold onto is if his extreme serendipitous luck struck again or they somehow manage to not even notice him. The three-feet tall knight was not very happy with how this whole hunt will turn out if this is how it starts. I hope nobody else is like her, he said as he scanned the faces in the crowd. There were plenty of humans, however it was comforting that other forestkin were in the crowd... not that it mattered since their tribes varied wildly, in both appearance and values. However, the Chromians seemed especially intimidating, especially the few that stood out. They just had this quality about them that he couldn't quite put his paw on, but they definitely put on a different air than the others in their company. For now, he just had to resign himself to the situation and see how all of this plays out.
     
  6. It took only a few moments to spot the Cirque du Corde members. Only the strange members of that godsforsaken clan would have a tiny forestkin on a leash. Poor creature probably got forced into slavery after going to a damn demonstration, Zeit thought. Then came the self-righteous speech. The Chromian heaved an audible sigh, crossing his arms and staring at the woman with a less-than-thrilled expression. "Sorry to tell you, miss," he began. "there isn't going to be any parties. I know how dear to you those pointless social interactions are, but you're just going to have to deal without," he mocked, his voice dripping with sarcasm. He glanced to the rodent-like forestkin that Zeit assumed was an indentured servant. The creature kind of made it up to his kneecap. Maybe if Zeit didn't have boots on...And the forestkin was wearing thick shoes...and standing on a higher level.

    He knelt in front of him, bending close to his ears. "How'd you wind up with such a group of creeps?" he whispered. "Personally I'd just run away. You could probably slip out of anything. You're small enough. I'll help you escape if  you want." He paused for a moment. "I mean, unless you want to fight huge abominations. No offense, but you don't exactly...look like a warrior.

    Zeit had been serious; he didn't mean to offend the hamster-y lad, but it was true. He couldn't  be any taller than three and a half feet, and his armor just made him look cuter. The more Zeit thought about it, though, he wished he hadn't said that. The fabled Usagi clan came to mind as he looked at the little hamster. The clan of bunnies that was perhaps the most dangerous organization in the entire territory. Who was to say that this little guy in front of Zeit wasn't one of the most powerful fighters known to the five races? 

    A few seconds of awkward silence passed before Zeit said anything again. "I...Didn't think about what I said before I said it. There's no doubt you're very skilled if you're here. I'm Zeit Tsukiri. You?"
     
  7. The rodent looked up at the tall Chromian kneeling in front of him. He was already intimidating, as any seven-foot-tall draconian figure should, but his words of caution betrayed that feeling for just a moment. Despite their meaning, however, they were less than reassuring and somewhat demeaning, which Lazarus wasn't too keen about, even if it was the truth. 

    "If that was on option I would've already taken it by now..." he muttered after the Chromian's speech. 

    A few standing moments of awkward silence, before it was broken by an unexpected apology by the imposing dragon-man apparently named Zeit. I don't think skilled is quite the word for it... his thoughts echoed before he opened his mouth for an actual reply, "Zeit? W-Well, I'm, uh, L-Lazarus Em-Emriel, Mister Tsukiri." His head pointed to the ground as he spoke, in an attempt to avoid the man's gaze.

        The chestnut-haired woman gave a pleased grin at the response from the only person in this company who seemed to have anything noteworthy to say. Although, it seemed as if he had the attention span of the rodent he was speaking to, as her extremely-temporary guide seemed to catch his eye immediately after her arrival. 

    "Maybe for you, my scaly friend," she said in reply to the Chromian's previous retort before consorting with the... hamster thing, "I'd prefer to bathe in luxuries after a fine day of bathing in monster organs. And while we're at it, if we're going to be dealing with horrible abominations beyond all imagination, we may as well dress like something other than savages while doing it; those uniforms the lot of you are wearing won't do." 

    She paused for a moment to try to envision her view on how her ideal little expedition would play out. Everyone would be wearing fancy suits, drinking some afternoon tea while the entire field is splattered with the entrails of an old god or something. Those forestkin with the big horns would look incredible in a nice dress suit, she thought. Oh, but this whole scene is completely unrealistic.... that just won't do. So she added two or so more lifeless militia member corpses on the battlefield instead of just one. There, perfect. She rubbed her hands together as her thoughts completely derailed the topic way beyond what it should be, "Oh, that would be absolutely splendid indeed."

    This whole expedition didn't really matter much to her. The only reason why the puppeteer is even here is on orders from the top brass, if it was up to her she'd be riding the leviathan by now, taking a nice leisurely stroll through the town on her colossal monstrosity. Maybe putting a little hat on it for good measure. Everything in her eyes are just dolls to be played with and nothing more; interaction mattered little to her in comparison to dressing up a band of warriors in fancy suits and then sending them to their deaths against greater evils.
     
  8. For once in his life, Zeit didn't have anything to say. He just sort of stared at the woman with a mixture of morbid curiosity and nausea. He glanced down at Lazarus, then without asking for permission, scooped him up, placing the rodent on his shoulder, much like one would expect a pirate to carry about his parrot. Zeit shuffled through the crowd, towards the back slightly, to avoid saying anything else to the crazy woman.

    He muttered something that sounded like, "...damn Corde creepers, disconnected from everything, bet she'll make it six hours before she starts complainin'..."
    Some very colorful words followed after, mostly describing the woman's ostentatious garb and potentially unstable mental state. He paused for a moment, folding his arms angrily across his chest. "Stay away from 'em, Lazarus," the Chromian said through clenched teeth. "They've all lost their damn minds. Probably why they're so good at magic." He sighed.
    "Whatever the case, just stay away from them as much as possible. Cirque du Corde members are creepy. You want someone to watch your back, you stick with me."

    By this point, several of the  Squad 7 seemed to be shuffling away from the Corde member. A few grumbled complaints under their breath. Yukiin inched over to Zeit and Lazarus, tapping his fingers on the hilt of his scimitar. "Shame we get the weirdest one of the bunch, hmmm?" he whispered.
    Zeit chuckled. "It's a damn shame that she isn't that much weirder than the rest of 'em," he responded. It was Yukiin's turn to laugh.
    "You're right," he remarked.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    It took  several hours for all of the squads to be organized and instructed. Each squad was then grouped even more, to form regiments. Zeit didn't care for the military organization all that much. To him it was just small groups making up bigger groups making up bigger groups making up bigger groups. The Winter's Legion at least made everything run smoothly, even though Zeit was a pain in their asses throughout.

    After everything was organized, the expeditionary corps was mobilized, and set to march towards the border. Apparently they were all going to have a couple of weeks of training before they left, to ensure that the groups would work together as a cohesive unit, from the squads to the regiments. Apparently Lord Janus anticipated that it would take an entire army to fight a single leviathan. Part of Zeit hoped he would be wrong, but the prospect excited him nonetheless.

    They marched through the night, and as the sun rose, the knights called for a halt. A small meal was provided to everyone, and once they ate, the supplies were packed back up and the march resumed. It wasn't until late in the afternoon that the army arrived at the training location. The squads were separated, close enough to  be within sight of the other squads in their regiment, but far enough for the actual events at each squad tent to be mostly unobservable. Zeit unrolled his sleeping bag in the corner, as far away from their Corde escort as possible. Yukiin followed him, as did Lazarus. Well, Lazarus didn't follow him, Zeit just kind of carried him over and said he could have a spot near them.

    The black-and-teal Chromian plopped down on his bedroll, folding his hands behind his head and closing his eyes. He let out a gusty sigh, content to finally lay down and rest. "I forgot how much a nice, long march takes out of you. Wake me up if something important happens. But not if the creepy one desires to talk." He yawned loudly.
    "Save some dinner  for me," he mumbled.
     

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