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MaskedHero

A Knight's Lament

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"This?" she responded to James' comment first, addressing Gauen as if he was more of an object than a person. "This is Gauen. He served with me under the Queen of Erenia many years ago."

She turned back to Gauen, shaking her head in confusion.

"I'm not here for you?" she indicated curtly. "I'm here to show him around."

She gave James a loud pat on the chest, her gauntlet making a loud clanging noise against his hardened chestplate. Her eyes knitted in confusion. She wasn't at all offended by Gauen's passive-aggressive backlash. She was moreso puzzled if anything. Puzzled at his dilemma, puzzled at the mixed signals he was giving.

". . . Would you prefer if I consoled you, or offered you advice?"

@MaskedHero

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"I would prefer if Fate did not bring rivals back when I have this much more to deal with."

The response came blunt as he returned to the polished stone overlook bench, the clatter of metal issuing as he sat down with a heave

"Much has strained the kingdom since your leave."

@Phoebe

Edited by MaskedHero

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"A rival?" James snorted. "I don't know your circumstances, but I can tell you she's not competing against you for greatest grumbler in the world".

He gestured towards Gaeun as he turned back to his companion. "Now if there is nothing else, Akimee, perhaps we should take up his preference and let him deal with his own thoughts?"

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"..." 

The knight got back up from the bench and stood still for a second, breathing a sigh with his only eye closed.  Soon after he turned back around and took a few heavy steps from the bench towards James before stopping short with a glare.

"I don't know you warrior... and you don't know me.  Judging by your lack of humility or tact in this situation... I think that you feel highly of yourself."

He took a step forward leaning in slightly towards him as his tone went quieter.

"You may intimidate many men, but I will never be one of those.  Keep yourself on guard, knight."

Gauens voice was expertly honed in the art of command, having sharpened it in The Order and with his troop of Guardsman.  

@Fierach

Edited by MaskedHero

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James raised an eyebrow. It was a lot of nonsensical trash talk coming from the man who tried to threaten him first. "He who falls in love with himself has no rivals" the Daemonslayer quoted the words of an ancient wiseman.

It suggested a few things, namely that:

1. Yes. James did think very highly of himself, why thank you!

2. As if Gaeun could ever be a rival to James.

Edited by Fierach

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Gauen shook his head slowly as he leaned back from the man.  Any respect he was withholding for when the cocky warrior shaped up was now tossed away.  This man did not deserve his energy in Gauens mind.  To him, the words of a "Wiseman" were nothing but the ramblings of a fool.  He devoted no more of his gaze towards James now, instead landing it on Addison as she was something familiar to him in these scrambled times.

"Best do more with him than take him sightseeing.  Where did you go after your... exile?"

He paused on the last word, knowing that it was he who lead her to the exile after all.

@Phoebe

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The wild gaze in Addison’s eyes began to subside as she assumed a less feral stance. There was something about Gauen that agitated her immensely, whether it was his obnoxious sense of dogged false righteousness, or his stubborn nature, but nonetheless she chose to shut it out and endure him as he was. No man was perfect, and for what she had been charged and accused of in the past, she understood this fact better than anyone. And so she stood before Gauen the accuser, Gauen the executioner, and humbly delivered her story.

Having no where else left to go after being relieved of duty in the country I sought to serve, I met up with my old friend, Ryder Hawk, whose employer had been killed in an apocalypse class continent destruction event. Esstevan Montoya, I’m sure you’re familiar with him.

We joined up with equally disgraced Gallian Senator Koralee Clause and founded a city. We struggled to keep our economy afloat, but we managed to pull through in the end with a lot of support from allies we had made along the way. Even Khan made a huge donation to fund our cause.

Then, three months ago, a portal opened in the Bastion Courtyard. An accident that was never meant to occur. And then, I found out that my ex-boyfriend whom died when I was only twenty-two years old grew up in a world where I had died instead, and became the Master Knight of the Order. So yes, I’ve been to places and done things after I was exiled. Perhaps this little venture will do you some good too.

@Fierach @MaskedHero

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Ah, but there it was. Of course Gaeun didn't understand the quote in its entirety. The lad had been just speaking of Akimee, or Addison rather as Gaeun knew her, as a rival earlier. James never asked for, nor did he want the respect of some self-loathing and jumpy peacock who couldn't appreciate philosophy. As did Gaeun's threats earlier fail to find any purchase, so did his seeming disdain. James let it go for the moment. After all, Akimee had told Gaeun that she was here to show him around twice now, yet he still asked three times. James already told him that he didn't know anything of his circumstances, yet he felt it necessary to repeat it a moment later when attempting to measure himself up.

Some people were just slow of understanding. 

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The knights eye softened for a second as his hand reached up to run his brow out of frustration.

"...Give me grace.... my mind feels like a stone sinking into the ocean..." 

He took back his spot on the bench with a heaving sight, resting his arms on his outstretched thighs.  He was making no sense to himself now, not just the warriors behind him.  The Order helmet was set down next to him with a soft clatter as his head bowed down to his chest.

@Phoebe @Fierach

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"Come on James," she frowned. "No good ever came from taunting a defeated man."

She turned to leave, but not before reaching for his wrist and pinching it softly with her thumb and index finger.

"If what Gauen says is true, Erenia is in no state to be visited at the present. We should go back. I'll buy you dinner to make up for it!"

Her voice conveyed great delight, but as James looked into her eyes, he might have sensed a certain disappointment. How couldn't she be? The country she had seen and helped rise among other great nations of the world had turned on its own champions. And now, with Atlas gone and Gallia piloted by the self-absorbed Nate Luxbourg, where truly did Erenia stand?

Perhaps it was another story for another day.

"Facilis descensus Averno, Gauen," she remarked solemnly. "May the Gods guards your heart."

Then, she turned and left.

@Fierach

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James gave the barest shrug and went to leave with Akimee.

He understood her outlook. She wanted to uplift others, her nation, and her fellow humans. James's Order took on a different mantle, of guarding humanity and letting it uplift itself. They stood apart from the politicking of lesser men and women, not getting involved if they could help it. Whether it was a better way or not remained to be seen, but it worked well enough for the Force Majeure.

Edited by Fierach

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The knight now sat alone, the only thing other than the natural silence was his own thoughts now.  The rushing, crashing, mess of thoughts good and bad, emotions joyful and hated.  His gloved fingers massaged his temples as he stared down at the kingdom he had protected for years now.  His single eye faded in and out of a spacey focus as the massaging slowly turned to simply bury the shame of his face.

All he knew was distorted now.  He had ruled under leaders that he either never agreed fully with or understood why they were leaders...  simply a man following unheeding orders, killing not for his morals but for the morals of "Just" and "Unjust", of "Good" and "Bad.  These ideals were always so different from one overseer to the next, so much so that the very ideas to him have now both lost their potency and their meaning, simply words that dictate "kill those, not us." 

And so he was, the poison that had been shelled up inside him for many many years finally seeping out of the container he made for it, its venomous grip tightening around both sanity and morality.

@Mackenzie Rose

Edited by MaskedHero

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"Ya know you're extremely funny to watch when you're thinking" The joyous voice would call out to the side of him. Minori Kasyia Derivative was leaning against a pillar with a childish smirk. Dressed in flowing gown rather than her usual armour or hunting gear. 

"I can't see your face yet I know exactly what face you're pulling under there" Pointing a finger to back up her statement she'd cross her arms back over her chest as she tilted her head, 

"Have I ever told you, you are extremely hard to track down when you don't want to be found" 

@MaskedHero

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"Comes with the job." Came his voice in stark contrast to the Queens, quiet and cold.  A hand rubbed across his forehead, brushing the bristly black hair into the cold wind.

"What comes next, your Majesty.  My execution for treason? Exile, if you are in a rather stately mood."

He stood up from the bench out looking the Erenian lands, clad in his armor and helmetless.  The knight turned towards his queen, color long drained from it with sleepless self imposed watch shifts and long hours in worry.  Gauen, The Black Knight, stood broken before the Queen he thought a friend.

"I dont know where you came up with these ideas, but I speak what I will take to my grave.  The Erenian Court was under my protection, and not my unseen dominion."

@Mackenzie Rose

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