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Akako Akari

Hanami - Flower Festival [OPEN]

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                                                    Flower Festival - OPEN

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This city was bustling already as the sun broke over the horizon. There was no need for decorations as the port seemed to be cascaded in flower petals from various blooms. The daiyokai’s presence could easily be felt anywhere within the city. Her yoki thrummed gently, coaxing flowers to blossom prettily in the morning light with celestial magic. Lanterns were hung through Caelum in anticipation of nightfall because the festival would not end until warmed sake was sipped and the sun fell behind the horizon again.

 

The streets were alive with vendors with various goods to sell that ranged from fruit to weaponry. Outside Lady Akari’s estate, there were yokai vendors with specialized items. Kitsune had toys for children that could either play music, perform some magical trick, or be manipulated with their yoki or chi. In addition, moth yokai had demonic silk and thread for sale, and next to them was a spider yokai with kimonos woven from that same thread. It was sturdier than the human stuff and self-repairing. There was also a vendor with demonic armor; however, the person manning that cart was human.

 

Within the estate, servants moved about setting tables outside while the kitchen was in overdrive. Desserts made to look like art were being prepared for the day and left the estate smelling sweet with an obvious floral aroma. There seemed to be a parade of demons and humans alike that came into the large estate to set up for various things ranging from tea ceremonies to traditional arts. Dancers, singers, and storytellers were all making their way into the demoness’s home ready to perform for thousands of curious citizens.

 

 

 

Beverages:                                                                                                       Desserts:

 

-          Hibiscus tea                     -       Jasmine tea                                                -         Variety plate (Strawberry pudding, hibiscus-infused mousse, vanilla cupcake)

-          Green tea                       -      Oolong tea                                                  -         Blossom mochi             

-          Rose tea                                                                                                 -         Éclair

-          Peach wine                     -       Plum wine                                                  -         Cherry blossom mousse

-          Blackberry wine                -      Moscato                                                     -         Raindrop cake

-          Chardonnay                                                                                             -        Matcha mushipan

-          Sake (warm or cold)         -       Yokai sake (warm or cold)

 

 

Activities:

 

-          Sword Dancing

-          Drum Dancing

-          The Art of Storytelling

-          Floating lanterns: This is a city-wide event that will start an hour after sun-down where everyone writes down what they wish for on their lantern then lite the wick and let it float into the sky.

 

 

Edited by Akako Akari

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It was not every day that one was invited to such an interesting and quaint celebration as the flower festival in Port Caelum. Though open to all it did present itself with opportunities that simply could not be allowed to slip by. In this grand game of politics, even a party could be a sweeping victory for those that know how to play, and House Aetherion knew exactly how to win this round.

The objective would be clear, to arrive at the festival in the full splendor of House Aetherion, giving everyone a taste of a truly superior culture. Once there, they would make contact with the nobility present and dazzle them with the wondrous gifts that were prepared for just such an occasion. After they had been properly seduced by the creative minds of the elven people, the coup de tat can be executed. As of now they did not have easy access to sea travel, making their means of transporting themselves outside of Genesaris difficult. If they were to obtain access to Port Caelum however, things would be drastically different for them.

Arriving to such an event required flare, executed perfectly as per their tendency. There were to be many humans and demons who thought themselves above all other creatures, something House Aetherion felt could not be left unchallenged. For so long people had forgotten about the golden time of the elves, and in those years got it in their inferior minds they might be above such splendor. Humility and self righteousness had wormed their way into their thoughts, driving them to build silly little structures that were lauded as perfection for all to see. Time now had come to remind them of just who is the greater of the species in this world. They could not simply arrive, they had to make it a show, a spectacle, a downright scene.

Instead of arriving to Port Caelum by conventional means of transportation like commoners might, House Aetherion chose a more dramatic route. Arcane runes appeared just before the gates of the city, spreading out into a wide circle and glowing with a fierce luminescence. When the circle was completed, a grand pillar of light broke through, and dark shapes formed within the confines of the pillar. Another moment passes, and the light disappears, leaving behind the envoy which had come to partake in the festivities. Ten diplomats and six stone warriors comprised the group, with Lothlorian Aetherion at the head of the group, his beauty so glorious he nearly shined in the light.

“Now, let us show them how an elf celebrates an occasion, hmm?”

With a light laugh, they began to casually stroll into the city, their path made clear by the guards in respect to their station. Judging by their expressions, Lothlorian could surmise they were also fairly disturbed by the sight of the faceless eight foot warriors of stone accompanying them. It was right that they should be, as their rock comprised guardians were quite lethal when directed, their granite swords acting more as clubs than true swords, and the pure shock of seeing one of their javelins sailing for them was just too much sometimes.

Crossing over the threshold of the city proper, the sight of flower petals showering them from above was an interesting aspect of the festival. “Smells nice enough” Lothlorian commented, motioning for the others to begin with their greeting to the good people of Caelum.

Two of his party began to climb onto their stone chaperons, one going to each side of three as they began to perform their impressive acrobatics. Lithe bodies twisted and turned, flipping from one side to the other, the warriors not reacting in the slightest as their impressive feats of agility wowed the nearby pedestrians. At their leader’s command another two stepped forward, making sweeping gestures with their arms as they used their magic to manipulate the wind into their commands. Gusts and gales of air began to gather whole groups of petals, swirling them into miniature twisters of incredible beauty as passerby viewers looked in awe. The show was not quite over yet though as the performers leaped from the front most warriors high into the air, caught by the magic of the aeromancers as the petals gathered before them to create the shape of mighty dragons.

With one acrobat mounted upon the head of a petal dragon, he pointed towards his female counterpart, marking the cue for the third pair of elves to cast their magic upon the mouths of the facsimile lizards. A great torrent of fire spewed forth to the other dragon, where she dodged and the fire went harmlessly into the air. They continued this dance for sometime, performing intricate tricks while riding their magical mounts, even switching places with such fluidity they almost seemed like spirits. Captivated by this incredible display of theatrics, the crowd was gathering around them, watching hungrily to know the conclusion of the act. With one mighty blow, the female acrobatic directed her dragon to unleash a terrible torrent of flames at her opponent, the petals catching as the construct became a massive inferno of beautiful flames. At first the crowd seemed concerned, uncertain if the defeated performer would survive this encounter, their jaws dropping when he attempted a front flip to the other dragon, but suddenly the fiery jaws of the consumed petal dragon snapped shut upon him, and he disappeared just as suddenly as the flames did.

Where did he go?

What happened?

Did he die?

“One, two, three.”

Diving out of the open mouth of the surviving petal dragon, the crowd surged with excitement and cheers as the male acrobat made a beautiful landing on the ground. Joining him from her perch, the two gave a bow and won the admiration of everyone in the vicinity, with word spreading like dragon fire about the newcomers. Through the efforts of his master performers, Lothlorian had already won the people simply through a few tricks up his sleeve. Now it was time to enjoy the rabble's admiration and bask for a moment before seeking out the nobility. He could almost feel their desire to be ruled over by elven masters once more.

“Someday, perhaps…”

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Within the shiro, servants moved to and fro between different rooms gathering items to take outside, still setting up for the performers that were still filling into the oversized courtyard. Several performers were stationed in Akako’s gardens that encompassed two acres of land. Her gardens were filled with walls of flowers, trees, pretty ponds with koi fish and water lilies, a maze with hidden gazebo sitting areas, and fox statues that sat stoically only to occasionally turn their mischievous heads to watch. Several sitting areas were organized, large swaths of silk draped over plush grass for individuals to sit upon and watch the various acts of the day.

The Lady of the household walked through the halls of the shiro at a leisurely gate with Aiyoku and her hawk retainer. They had just finished necessary paperwork in her study and were heading back to her quarters. While her serpent familiar’s head was lifted, the hawks gaze remained downcast as she moved demurely behind the elder demoness.

 “Junko.” Akako’s voice cut through the silent hallway suddenly.

The hawk’s face shot up, eyes wide and blinking at Akako’s back. “Yes, my Lady?”

“Set out a suitable kimono for today’s activities… preferably something comfortable. On second thought, something impressive.” The elder turned her head to peer over her shoulder at the hawk.

The young woman demurred and bowed before turning on her heel and heading back the way they came towards Akako’s wardrobe room.  Aiyoku’s serpent tongue flicked to taste the air and she hummed. “It seems like people are already beginning to arrive.” Akako turned her golden gaze to her familiar as if to say that she was already aware. Aiyoku straightened slightly, her fragile ego slightly bruised. The vixen’s lips upturned in amusement and her pace hastened. “This One is aware. It is time for me to make an appearance. Be sure to greet any leaders and bring them to me, Aiyoku.” The white serpent hinged at the waist, bowing before vanishing down another hallway.

The celestial fox then grinned a wicked sort of smile and evaporated into smoke.

Aiyoku, the white serpent, watched the magical theatrics, arms crossed over her chest. They were just as bad as the resident demoness was… maybe worse. With an exasperated sigh, the demon familiar pushed away from the wall she was leaning against. It was surmised that this group was from the House Aetherion, one of the many political figures that Akako had invited. The demoness was always eager to meet her neighbors and build alliances.

Breaking through the crowd, Aiyoku stepped forward, hands now neatly folded in front of her. The woman bent at the waist and bowed deeply. As she rose, her nearly blind violet eyes look at each one of the strangers. Her lips parted and she sucked in a breath before her tongue flickered in the air, tasting the exotic visitors. “Welcome to Port Caelum. I am Aiyoku, the Regent’s retainer. The Lady Akari is within her residence.” Her focus shifted, her gaze pinning down on Lothlorian. Her lips lifted in a demure smile, however out of character that might have been. “I take it you are Lord Lothlorian? I know she will be expecting you.”

There was a brief moment that jealousy snaked its way into the reptile’s heart. The elven leader was beautiful, otherworldly as was her lady. Were all the leaders in this world so ethereal? Aiyoku was suddenly self-conscious of her chin-length white hair, milky white skin, and her slender figure. In a few thousand years, perhaps she could be as beautiful. @Grubbistch

The elder demoness stood in the garden, dressed in layers of gold, crimson, and white silk. Her kimono fell off her shoulders, baring her collarbones. In addition, her kimono parted at her thighs showing glimpses of her legs and dainty bare feet. She was delightfully scandalous. Though, she looked every bit the celestial being that she was with her silver and gold hair pulled up into an intricate knot that was kept together with gold hair ornaments and decorated with crimson blooms. Akako’s pupil-less eyes were molten gold, warmed as she accepted a cup of hibiscus tea from one of the many yokai that maintained her household. Her tails swayed idly as she waited for Aiyoku to return with her guests; though they weren’t the only visitors she was excited to meet this day.

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Having arrived yesterday to prepare for the festival, the salt in the air now clung to her porcelain skin like a perfume. When she had first stepped off the boat into the seam of people, blossom and send sensations Persephone had first been overwhelmed. She had retreated to her room, hiding till the ease of night and then ventured out into this world of fragrance and sound.

 

Now, she wandered with ease and grace through the crowd as if she had walked the streets of Port Caelum her whole life. The salt and the sunshine were welcome. The city was dazzling and vibrant with life, it fascinated her to see the activities. She licked her lips, hints of plum wine from her finished cup still sweetened her lips.

 

Persephone had wasted no time of the day, leaving her rooms empty as the sun yawn on the horizon between sky and sea to seek out a kimono for the day. After all, how could she attend such a festival without the proper attire? From hearing the infamous work of the vendors that lined the streets within a reach of Lady Akaro’s abode she had sought and searched for the best part of the morning.Persephone was only an observer of this world, having no rank or title she was free to do as she pleased. Freedom was always to be Persephone's master. 

 

The sun had been warming the streets well by the time she had finished haggling down the price of a kimono bad. The spider yokai had twittered mutinously as cold coins exchanged hands but there was no bloodshed over the silken package that exchanged hands. Now, Persephone roamed between vendors of curiosity and interest, draped in a kimono of dark navy, gold and red embroidery detailed the edges and a belt of similar colours offset the dark fabric. The hem lightly trailed on the ground, the reverse cream side of the fabric falling lightly as she walked.

 

She fingered the fabric, marvelling slightly at the work she moved closer to the throngs. A few petals tumbled into her hair, the wave of purple and deep blue now scattered with tiny pink shells as it waved down her back. She caught a few of her fingers, rubbing their cool surface between her fingers. So lovely, yet so fleeting. Picking a flower or two, she tucked them into her hair, their delicate perfume adding to the sensations.

 

She wandered further, upon hearing shouts and cheers she sauntered silently towards the entrance where a crowd had gathered. Was it a performance? Looking over the heads of others, she gasped and clapped along with the rest at the stupendous display of magic by the elves and their warriors. Her lips curved, a smile grew wide and brilliant, however, her eyes wandered over the group as much as the display. They were not only skilled in the art of magic but appeared to be well prepared.

 

Persephone had only heard rumours of the House Aetherion, the words had not unfounded. Ducking her head as the serpent lady approached, broke the cluster of people and introduced herself, Persephone gave the scene one last look before melting soundlessly into the ground and heading back towards the stalls to purchase another drink before she journeyed towards the epic centre of the festivities, the home of Lady Akaro. The cold touch and bittersweet taste of sake soon graced her tongue as she walked on.

Edited by Abigail666

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At the sight of the purple eyed servant, Lothlorian felt rather accomplished in his ploy. Not only did he seem to be winning the people, but even the local leaders wished to speak with him. The performance must have been better than he supposed, that or she was just waiting for him the entire time. Either way he felt the excitement start to fill him as he thought of what would come from this meeting.

“Iselda.” He called, and the male acrobat walked to him, covered in an assortment of petals, soot and lipstick marks. “Enjoying yourself, are we?”

Iselda was another elf of great golden beauty, a personal friend of Lothlorian's, on occasion a lover when the mood struck, but a capable second in command for these situations. While Lothlorian held the beauty of a destiny wrought in accolades and glory, Iselda had the beauty of a trickster god, never sure what he may do next. Qualities like that were rare in an elf, which was what made the elf so attractive to the ambitious Lord. To know this elf, to understand how his mind worked and how he viewed the world, that felt like the greatest victory to acquire. Even now, Iselda could be taking his duties far more seriously than he let on, all hidden away in that laid back demeanor.

“Someone has to be having fun, oh most glorious of lords!” He was absolutely drunk off the attention he was receiving, having perhaps become bored of the tranquil life to live in their homeland. “What is it you need of me, oh stupendous leader of elves?”

Lothlorian could not help but laugh at his so open of jests, the way his acrobatic leathers clung to his supple body, the subtle lines and flowing colors making him nearly breathtaking. Only he was so bold to speak to him without worry of punitive actions, it just wasn't in Lothlorian to hurt such a piece of art with his anger. “Look after things here while I speak with the Regent. Try not get into trouble.”

“Trouble? When have I ever gotten into any trouble before? Bah! Go speak with your little nobles and your kings. I am going to enjoy myself some of the more local flavors.” Iselda was unlikely to ever settle down, to take a partner or likely to ever find something he wouldn't try just for the experience. Even if Lothlorian were to give his friend the world, he doubted it would be enough for the long lived reveler. Turning to follow the serpent, Lothlorian would keep his smile, though toning it down to bemusement in order to keep his expressions more neutral. Keeping one's emotions close to the chest was crucial for successful negotiations.

Lothlorian did not wear the traditional clothing in Port Caelum, as he felt the practice would have been a concession to an inferior culture. Instead he wore the traditional Celtic garb of his House, patterned in purple and gold as his elbow long cloak softly bent in the breeze. Leather boots sounded in the distance, growing louder as he approached Lady Akako, her form a sinful captivation to his senses. The rumors were certainly true then about her otherworldly beauty, but as always, it paled in comparison to that of the natural beauty of his own people. Two mythological creatures meeting off to have words in a place of fantasy and charm, how positively poetic.

“I have answered your summons, Lady Regent.” Gracefully he bowed, not missing a beat as he continued to speak. “You should have been there for our arrival, it was absolutely spectacular, though of course not nearly as lovely as this festival itself.” The game of words and sophistry was afoot now, their every motion and thought carefully planned for this occasion. For now Lothlorian stood, like a proud column in an unsure storm, unbending, unbreaking, unyielding to the demands of the lesser. His skin was nearly electrified with excitement, carefully hidden by a suave demeanor that had been practiced for centuries. @Akako Akari

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Helianthus sat cross legged on the edge of a low roof. Occasionally some passerby glanced up at her, but the women usually just glanced and moved on. The men lingered a bit longer, taking the time to run their eyes over her sensuous figure, but they quickly averted their eyes when their wives cleared their throats. Children were the ones she enjoyed watching the most. They pointed and laughed. “Look mama!” One little boy exclaimed as he pointed with unabashed excitement. “That naked lady is on the roof!”

”She isn’t naked, Jero!” The mother said as she pushed him along. “Don’t stare!” 

Having taken the last hour to observe the apparel of the locals and the visitors, Helian wondered if she should have worn a cloak or a fur. It seemed as though these people took great care to hide their bodies from the rest of the world. Perhaps they were hideously disfigured beneath their clothing... Who could tell? She was certainly underdressed, according to their standard.

I tried to warn you, my love. Terianthus said. Your people had no concept of modesty, but these people typically only allow their lovers to see so much of their bodies.

Only Helian could see or hear the spirit of Terianthus. Perhaps someone with a powerful sense of the spirit-world could sense him as well, but she did not know anyone like that. She shook her head and responded without looking back at him. “Illis son rigide.”

Use the common language, my love. You must practice.

“They are being the rigid. They think too often and feel too little.”

Don't be so certain, Helianthus. Times have changed, but there is still a great deal of beauty to be found here. For instance... He tapped her bare shoulder and pointed down the street.

While she had been unsure about the people, the festival itself had impressed her greatly, and so had Port Caelum. The new arrivals, who she spotted as they paraded down the street, absolutely captivated her. They danced and performed lovely feats of magic. 

Helian extended her hand, calling forth a handful of petals from the rooftop. They floated to her and gently swirled around her palm. She turned back to watch the performers create masterful images with the petals. Helian’s magic was nowhere near that potent. 

Then she spotted the center of the attention. “He is... teibeu.”

Terianthus sighed, not bothering to disguise his jealousy that someone else had captured Helian’s attention. I suppose he is rather beautiful.

 Helian dropped from the roof with nimble agility. She landed almost silently and walked in a straight line toward the beautiful elf-man. She meant to speak to him, to ask his name, but an odd creature with purple eyes intercepted him. After a brief conversation, the elf-man followed the creature. Helianthus could not bear to lose track of him without at least knowing his name, so she allowed them to gain a healthy lead, and followed. 

He was clearly a leader and celebrated figure in this new time. If anyone was going to help Helianthus get reacquainted with the world after the millennia she spent alone in the mountains, it might as well be a glorious being such as he.

The elf-man followed the creature to a magnificent garden, in the midst of which stood a woman the likes of which Helian had never seen. She could sense the powerful life-force coming from the elf man, and it was like bathing in pure sunlight. The woman’s own life-force was equally potent, but it was more akin to being submerged into a pool of heavy darkness, though not at all unpleasant. 

Helian quickly climbed a nearby tree and watched the two as they conversed. She could not hear them from her vantage point, but she enjoyed watching the sensuous language of their illustrious bodies. The elf-man was a golden god, and the woman was a pool of erotic desire. 

She was beginning to think she had picked a fine time to rejoin society. “Preends-moi pore ton propree.” She whispered to the two strangers.

@Akako Akari @Grubbistch

Edited by Radioactive

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Simply by wandering, Trevor had found one beautiful place. Not only that, demons seemed... welcomed? Either this place had dark secrets, the citizens were crazy, or... they were all trusting. It was rare to see a place like this. Either way, Trevor walked into the festival with a smile, after all it was the fist festival he's seen in a few years. He had problems lately. Fighting with people he loved... He needed to get things off his mind. 

The young (appearance wise XD) man walked in, his green robe a dead giveaway he was here. He decided to keep his hood on for now, and he walked with a wise posture. 

He heard shouts, cheers, and best of all, excitement. This was quite the wondrous place, though he wondered what the occasion was for. He didn't butt into others' conversations. If Edgare taught Trevor anything other than magic, it was manners. He walked over to a couple of the vendors selling demonic goods. 

Trevor again, looking 16, didn't look formal other than his boots. Those boots looked taken care of, and quite fancy. 

"E-excuse me," He said to the vendor. "What is all this for? Is there a special occasion? You all welcome demons? Is there a catch? There has to be a catch.... Right?"

Trevor was a mage, so naturally, he wanted to know things. He expected the vendor to either attack for asking too many questions, or laugh. But.. who knew?

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“Your Highness, please!” Breathless, a petite brunette chased after Raveena—who was swiftly making her way down the length and up to the deck of the Yacht they had taken into the harbor of Port Caelum. It couldn’t be helped—she had returned to Port Caelum, which was only a stone’s throw from Umbra—and that meant Kirena was close enough for a visit.

“Your Highness please, you mustn’t leave without your detail! King Rowan will—!” Raveena spun on her bare heel, the luxurious spidersilk of her gown dancing around her legs. “It’s a festival, am I not allowed my leisure?” The vampyre opened her mouth before closing it again with a reproachful look.

“You still have protocol to follow, young miss.” And Raveena knew it to be true. “Very well,” She smiled, not the very least deterred. Though Kirena was relieved of her services to the Queen, Brigette had been a blessing to her.

Her Umbral retainer, Brigette was responsible for ensuring that Raveena was treated like the royalty she had become within the Empire, and though she still had much to learn and large shoes to fill, Raveena had become wary of her cheeky servant’s cunning. “How many will there be?” She inquired as Brigette smiled smugly, a chuckle in her throat, “Forty-three this time, young miss. Your meeting with Rou Ji and that little stunt you pulled, I opted to double your guard.”

“Forty-three!” Eyes wide with outrage, Raveena turned to follow Brigette as the vampyre brushed past her, grinning triumphantly, “But I—!”

“King Rowan has already signed off on it, backed by your brother in law and your son.” Brigette counter-argued. She took Raveena by the hand and led her to the tall mirror that had been installed. Standing behind the young woman, she gestured for Raveena to look—truly look at herself. “You’re a prominent political figure, a ruler, and an Imperial. You are the daughter of our Lord Father Rafael, Raveena Bartolome. Your every move will be watched with even more scrutiny than before.”

As she spoke, Raveena did look. She was a vision in soft, shimmering gold. The sleeves over her sheer coat swept the floor elegantly. Brigette stepped aside and opened a box that rest on a side table, velvety and dark. Gently she removed the circlet and meticulously arranged it to sit on Raveena’s crown, where it was pinned in place.

“I know you’re eager to see Lady Kirena. I in no way can replace the future Imperatrix. But I promised her that I would look after you, and make you the radiant woman you are intended to be. You represent this city, and all cities within the Empire, as well as your own growing reign.” She gently patted Raveena on her shoulders and gently guided the horror-stricken Queen down the hall and to the stairwell that led upwards to the deck of the ship where they would disembark into Port Caelum.

“Oh! Are the gifts ready? Did we bring one of each?”

“They are being passed through port customs already. You will be informed the moment they are ready to be presented to Lady Akako.”

“And the boys?” The edge of nervousness in Raveena’s tone made Brigette laugh.

“The Knights are ready as always. Your other boys were cleared by Port Authority this morning and are being cared for. I will oversee the necessary gritty details of your stay, young miss. Enjoy yourself.” Raveena felt the tension leave her shoulders as she made her way up the stairs where her personal escorts saluted her in greeting.

“And BEHAVE!Came Brigette’s voice from down below.

 

--

 

There were flowers everywhere!

Raveena fought to hold her composure, but a broad smile crept on her face as she reached out. Like a beautiful snowfall of petals. Some of them stirred in her palm, the fleeting life sensing its distant kin within her as an elementalist. Flowers turned to greet her, and she would greet them in return. Though they could not be seen, her forty-three guards were dispersed and remained elusive to her. Every now and again, she could have glimpsed the scarlet and gold of Hyperion, but they remained out of her sight.

The world around her was so colorful that she almost didn’t recognize Port Caelum from her prior visits. It had grown tremendously under Xartia’s rule, but with Akako’s return it seemed to metaphorically blossom with excitement.

She had already purchased several weapons to be taken back through port customs and to be loaded onto the ship. Crates of fruits and spices were toted off, and still Raveena felt no end to the splendor. She had splurged on the majesty of silk kimonos that was sure to make Rowan jealous over his own spidersilk that she worn. She knew already which ones she wanted to present as a gift to Weland’s regent.

Sipping on Jasmine tea, she thought of him—as she so often did. For all the time they spent alone together, she sometimes felt she saw so little of her British Beau. Brigette insisted on referring to him as King, but they were not yet married. The arrival of his son Grant had been the cherry to the revolution in what was now known as Alethea. He was here, watching over her as he had done before she knew he existed. Would he ask her? Would he feel that deeply for her? Was he that committed? She wondered—and daydreamed as young women in love often did—if they would have an elaborate wedding, or if it would be small and intimate?

Would there be festivals to celebrate? Feasts and gifts and stories of their bold adventures? Rowan shared her blood, as she shared his own. He was now a legitimate suitor who showed no sign of relinquishing her to any other. Raveena sighed listlessly and sipped as she wandered down the streets and followed festivities, her forty-three guards following in no recognizable pattern. She was content, for the first time in a long while to simply wander, and admire, and enjoy.

It was beautiful, she decided. It was all devastatingly beautiful…

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PREDADOR: A REVOLUÇÃO MUNDIAL

 

Grant had only been made aware of his mothers plans to attend the Flower Festival at Port Caelum at the very last minute; specifically as he had been returning home from a mission. The op had gone well, and he hadn't been forced to kill anybody; but he was still tired and had been hoping to catch a few days of rest before getting back to work. But a Knights work was never done, so he head ordered his transport to change course and mentally congratulated himself for having the foresight to keep a formal suit with him at all times. To be fair, he had been told that Raveena's security was well in hand; that they had taken just shy of fifty guards with them. But though he greatly respected the ability of their soldiers, he knew for a fact that he could defeat forty-three men in combat without too much trouble; and therefore knew that there were plenty of others in the world who could do so as well. As much as he respected the Royal Guard, he still felt like he should oversee things personally. 

Thanks to the skill of his pilot, Grant managed to arrive at the Port just a few hours before Raveena was due to arrive. He had thought about taking in some of the sights and sounds of the celebration, but he felt his mother might pout if she felt he had been enjoying the local color without her. Instead he had opted to sit at a nice tea shop within view of the harbor where the royal yacht was due to arrive. As he sipped on his beverage he reflected that it had been at a shop much like this one that he had first met his adoptive father, the King Consort Rowan. At the time he had known him only as a mysterious employer called, the Contact. If someone had told him back then that he would one day agree to be the mans son, he would have laughed in their face. But Raveena had convinced him to give the brit another chance; and he had soon grown close to the two of them. His memories of his birth family were vague, and not necessarily trustworthy; but he knew that what he felt when he was with them was what it was like to have a family.

Eventually the yacht arrived, and Grant had watched with some amusement as the vampyre chased her around the deck; trying in vain to control her enthusiasm. As he watched her make her way into the city, he had observed her guard following her; blending into the crowd so well that the average person would never notice them. He was duly impressed, but he was looking forward to the moment he toot them all by surprise. It would be a bit of fun; and a gentle reminder to the men not to become complacent. Silently he crept among them until he was right behind his mother, a small grin on his face as he spoke.

"Can't resist a festival can you mother?"

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     “If I had emotions the scene might be beautiful but instead to me, it is empty colors carried about by the wind, just the cells of a tree in bloom unable to fight off the gust from its aggressor. A pity I can’t see things as intended, perhaps if my mind were not so damaged I may even be able to enjoy myself.”

     There was something about the calm trees that stirred a deep anger inside him. The creature leaned against the wooden fencepost to get a better look at the tree. Souji didn’t quite understand why people celebrated the blossoming of flowers upon the trees, he only knew of them as food, and nothing more. At times, the fae did contemplate the meaning of such trivial things, but in the absence of a mind of functional emotion, he was unable to rationalize it. Souji was not stupid though, he knew that if he did not learn to mimic these useless social niceties, he would never be able to lead any type of normal life. Though, maybe he preferred it that way.

     Purple eyes continued to follow the path of a drifting petal before snatching it from the sky and plucking it into his mouth as if it were candy. The taste was rich, so he kept it clenched between his molars to suckle upon while he watched the passerby.  If he hadn’t already stopped to buy silks, he might be completely bored. As, apparently it was customary to purchase things during these types of events, but perhaps he had gone overboard when he replaced his entire kimono of white and gold with one of light pink with purple trimming. Perhaps this in combination with his racial featured made him look more feminine than he had any business being.  The store owner was even generous enough to give him a small satchel to hold his other garments in which he kept twisted in the fingers of his left hand. Which rested across his waist and hovering over the hilt of Chime his relic sword.

     “Kill…”

     “Leave none standing!”

     Souji straightened from him fence post, his eyes moving absently from the tree in either direction looking for just the right amount of people to run into. He turned to the left and began to walk in the direction of distant voices. Perhaps if he followed this path, he may run into something that silenced the voices in his head.

 

===

@Akako Akari@Deus Ex Aizen (And @whoeverthe hellelse is interested) 

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Persephone had meant to have wandered further into the festivities than now, currently, she resided on a wall just below another sweet and flowering tree lightly prodding the most abnormal desert she had ever seen. In truth, she had no need to eat, felt nothing from it but she could still taste the food of the living. On a journey as ever, she could have hardly been less entranced by the sight of something that looked like a droplet of water that had been suspended in time. It would have been a crime to not try such an experience.

 

Catching a lock of hair that threatened to invade her desert as a strong breeze played with it, she poked the blob suspiciously with her spoon. She had to admire the beauty of the creation, the flower inside looked perfect as if it had been plucked from a tree just a few seconds ago. She had entranced by the strange wiggle it gave when she shifted her hand, eventually giving into to temptation and purchasing one after gazing at the food for a full ten minutes at a stall. Raindrop cake? Appropriately named, Persephone pondered as she dusted roasted soybean flour and dripped an amber that smelled strongly like sugar.

 

Here goes nothing, she stabbed her spoon into the blob, enjoying the texture with immense satisfaction as the curve of the spoon glided through its surface. Raising it to her lips, she inspected it one last time before putting it in her mouth.

 

Hmmm, the texture was most unexpected. Or more accurately the lack of texture as the drop simply disappeared into her mouth, truly like eating a raindrop. The slight crunch of the soybean and the sweetness of the syrup added to the experience. Within a few moments, Persephone had finished the delightful substance and was forced to lay down her spoon. Such a fleeting experience, much like the blossoms that bloomed. Her shoes knocked on the ground quietly as she jumped down from her seat above the crowds. Moving back into the fray in search of more delights and experiences she disposed of her now empty packing and let herself be dazzled by the festival.

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Iselda was more than enjoying himself in these festivities, finding great pleasure in the company of the foreigners. These were people who knew how to embrace the finer things in life. Life in Elyssia Paradisium was all fine and good, but sometimes one just needed to stretch their legs in someplace less confined. So many people, so many stories, it was impossible to listen to them all, but damned if he wouldn't try.

Lothorian had gone off on his silly talks of diplomacy and politics. No matter how hard that elf tried, Iselda just knew he was going to get himself killed trying to bend the world to his knee. What did it matter that everyone everywhere weren't being lorded over by the elves? There are enough madmen out there trying to conquer the entirety of the world, his friend didn't need to honestly join their ranks. Oh well, hopefully he would come to his senses soon and try to just move on with his life.

"My goodness this all just so delicious." Looking at the variety of different meals to be had, Iselda and the rest of the entourage would stop at some of the stalls to sample their wares. At first people seemed a little unsettled by the half dozen giant stone warriors protecting them, but as long as they didn't bother the elves, they needn't worry about retribution from their silent guardians. 

"I've never seen anything like this back in our homeland." One of the other elves said. Iselda chuckled at the thought of the silly golden tourists wandering the streets of Port Caelum. More beautiful than the eyes could imagine, but so ignorant in the ways of what lies outside their own borders. It was good to get a taste of something different, even if you believed it to be inferior to your own culture.

"Well then we must surely try them all to see how they taste!" Iselda declared, looking out at the people walking by. "In fact, everyone should get a taste. First hundred cakes and hundred drinks are on me!" People cheered, crowding around the stall to begin anew the small party the festive elf was throwing. While his compatriots balked at the frivolous spending, Iselda was all smiles and joviality. Its easy to throw around some gold and to make some friends. How hard was it really to be a diplomat?

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Her lips upturned knowingly as she felt Aiyoku’ yoki pulse alerting her to their arrival, though Akako didn’t need the announcement. Her nose could already pick up the serpent’s scent along with the leader that she escorted through the winding streets the led up to Akako’s estate. Taking a lingering sip of her floral tea, the demoness shifted her weight, her tails following in a curtain of gold and silver fur that looked incredibly soft. Only a few had been privileged enough to feel the luxurious fur without being killed shortly thereafter. The Scarlet Queen was one of the lucky few that had been trusted enough with such an intimacy.

Akako’s nose twitched and she sifted through the many scents that came and went through her estate. As it was still early and the first performance was still a ways off, the Port’s civilians hadn’t been allowed into the estate just yet. It was for this reason that Akako was able to pick up Lothlorian’s scent which was bright, like sunshine and ice. Then there was another scent that Akako was unfamiliar with, earthier, tall grasses and amber. Both aromas were pleasant to the elder demoness and she turned her cheek to peer over her bared shoulder as her retainer and the leader of House Aetherion approached.

Aiyoku bowed at the waist before turning on her heel and heading back into the city to greet any other political figures. Akako gave her retainer a curt nod before returning her attention to Lothlorian.

Warmed honeyed eyes landed on her elven Lord and she sized him up before turning fully to face him. Her nine tails followed the motion, circling before settling back behind her and moving languidly. “Lord Lothlorian, This One is pleased that you and yours have made the trip to my Port.” She interjected smoothly at the moment he bowed. Amusement lit her features as he mentioned the antics of their arrival and a knowing look crossed her features. “A shame to be sure; perhaps there will be an encore for This One?” Akako suggested.

While her elven companion was a column, proud and true, Akako was like the water. Fluid as she was in her effortless grace, mischievous with the way her lips lifted into coy smiles meant to disarm most. Though, she had no intension of disarming Lord Lothlorian. Rather, she aimed to build a relationship. However, they were not the only ones in the vicinity. A female voice floated to Akako’s ears and one of the two triangle ears atop her head swiveled in the direction.

The language was vaguely familiar, but Akako could only deduce a meaning, unsure if she was accurate. “My Lord, it seems you have brought another guest along with you.” The demoness extended her hand towards the voice before turning her gaze to the tree the seemingly young woman was perched and the spirit that accompanied her. Akako, given her status as a yokai, could see spirits easily with her ancient eyes.

“Alors rejoignez-nous.”, Akako replied to the woman with her hand extended in an invitation. Her gaze then slid to the elven man before she smiled almost apologetically. “I hope it is alright that I have invited our curious guest.”

He was quite lovely, Lothlorian that is. He was all sharp features, regal in his appearance. Akako could appreciate his beauty because he was certainly beautiful. While they shared the same ethereal appearance, Akako was quite petite in comparison. She looked to be delicate, like a flower petal that could easily be crushed, but the power that lay dormant belied the illusion she cast. While their powers should seem at odds with the other, they amalgamated quite peacefully. It was curious to see if both strong personalities could coexist in the same way.

@Radioactive @Grubbistch

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Truly this would be an interesting game between the two, one he was sure to relish. In these proceedings there was sure to be chance moments at taking advantage of even the slightest of missteps, but Lady Akako proved a truly worthy adversary. Lothlorian could find nothing in her body language that he could use, nothing in those eyes but delicious temptation that likely swallowed whole unprepared humans. At the mention of the uninvited stranger, the elven lord couldn't resist smiling.

"Interesting. For a moment I wondered if she could be one of yours, a fresh set of eyes to look upon this momentous occasion." Looking towards the spot where the demon's hand was pointed, his sharp eyes began to look for the intruder. "We won't hurt you, little one. This is a place of tranquility and peace, I would never dishonor its memory by shedding blood here, just as I would expect others to do the same in my own home." It was as much a compliment as it was a means of defending himself from injury. By establishing and reinforcing the ground rules of this place, there was less likely to be an ambush triggered upon him. Certainly he was capable of defending himself, but it was just simpler this way.

"My, what an interesting little thing you are, and an elf too." Things were definitely becoming more curious by the moment. A little elf wandered her way into their meeting, and he knew this would not be an ordinary treaty. "If you would like, you can stand next to me. Your comfort is as important as our talk, little one." Lurking around her seemed to be a spirit of some kind, but he did not have the want to apply the necessary spells needed to see it more clearly.

"We would be most honored to performer you, my Lady. We of House Aetherion do not take as many chances as we should to visit lands outside our own, which is the very reason I have come to talk with you. It seems that we could very likely benefit from each other." Watching the fox move about was an interesting thing, like observing a predator in its natural habitat. This was her place of dominion and power, yet there was always something more to the mystery than what was in front of someone.

"I care for my people greatly, and not just aligned with House Aetherion, all elves that call Valucre home." Looking again to the elf that had wandered to their meeting, Lothlorian smiled and felt his chest rise with pride. "For sometime now I have been wanting to travel to the continent of Terrenus, to see the elves there and to give them a better option of living. I am sure you are not ignorant to the prejudice my people face at the hands of less understanding races. It is unfortunate to even greater extents that the same government who mistreats their own would deny me entrance due to my nationality. Interesting how humans enjoy dividing everyone up by even the smallest of technicalities."

Clenching his fist, he allowed his heart rate to increase just so, giving off the perfect subtle hint of anger towards the Terran people. "This is where your ports and your benevolent empress can come to my aid. The Scarlet Empire is a sovereign nation stretching from both continents, and holding well...at least no allegiance to the Saint King that is." They both had their masters, and above them, the so called Blood God himself, Sauriel. From his understanding, both rulers were powerful, fanged, and most importantly, human.

"If we were to align ourselves more intimately, more than just neighbors on the same continent, then I would be most humbled to start sending my people to Alitssium Bay, where we could begin converting elves to the light of Astra Terra, and directing them to our home where they will be safer there. Many elves are completely unaware they are granted full amnesty under House Aetherion. I would very much like to enlighten them to that notion."

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“Kill, maim, eviscerate”

The voice in his head refused to remain silent during his walk. As he moved, the foot traffic became heavier, one might think it was a healthy amount of people to be strolling through a celebration, however, all Souji could think was, “This one stinks, that one has crooked eyes. He has green in his teeth, her nipples are showing through her top. Whore. This one looks like she would scream if I removed her eyes from their sockets.”

While his mind spoke about the people he saw in the vilest of ways, his face held a smile. The smile was good enough to pass for happy to most people, but it was far from the truth. That smile was depleted of emotion, it was just a learned trait so that he did not stick out when placed with another person smiling. Smiling was something it had taken Souji many years to learn which is why he wore it as his default emotion.

The smile changed to nothing when his eyes sparked something that interested him. It caused him to halt his stroll and tilt his head in curiosity. It was not often that something caught his eye, but when it did it became his single most obsession until such time as the shine wore off and the piece became ordinary. This piece happened to consist of a young woman playing with a gelatin style desert. He did not know why the scene grasped his attention so.

“Is this one broken as well? Perhaps not. Maybe curious?”

He knew if he just stood there staring at this woman it might draw unwanted attention to him, even more so than his fine pink and purple silk kimono.  Souji was quick to make it look like he was a normal customer. He even walked to the stall at an angle which allowed this ‘’curious gem’’ to remain in his field of view.

“Just eat it already!”

And she did. And he was curious still.

              The fae watched the woman’s facial expressions carefully trying to decide what she might be thinking. What emotional response did the sweet food give to her? Why could he not feel the bliss of sugar? Why to him was it just sweet.

              When she moved to leave the stall, Souji would slowly follow. He would be cautious as to stay two people behind and slightly to the left to keep a low profile.

              “What more will you show me? Perhaps you can teach me something I do not know. At the least, you can keep me entertained for the time being.”

He snatched another pink leaf from the air and put it in his mouth.

 

@Abigail666

Edited by Bardic Knowledge

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