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Mein Kampf
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Emperor
post Jun 25 2010, 07:33 AM
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"So, Miss Amalia, are you certain you want to do this?" Inquired the stuffy noble figure, an unusual hint of hesitation present in his voice.
"Count Freidricht, why must you question me? I've thought this plan through, many times over at that. Targeting Lengyel right now would prove foolish -- Eisenburg is the far better option, especially since you refuse to offer your military aid." She grumbled, rolling her eyes at that last bit in particular.
"My lady, I've already explained my stance on the matter. I do not wish to be associated with your invasions... At least, not immediately. What was your master scheme, again?"
Amalia smirked, walking over to one of her many large closets scattered about the castle. She removed from it a suit of green armor. "A few of... these."
"Oho! Equal parts beauty and brain, I see..."


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Amalia stepped down from her horse-drawn chariot, sporting a green and yellow flowery monstrosity of a sundress. Well it certainly wasn't her favorite look, that much was certain, but it did seem fitting given the event. The people of Lamberaht Castle Town were celebrating a remarkable spring, and hoping that the seasons to come would be just as prosperous.

It was the annual Spring Festival in the bright land, and like any of the other hundred or so events to come before this one, the town was packed. Men, women, children of all ages. Amidst the crowds one could see the giant pale blondes commonly seen in a remote area such as Yllspire, to a handful of tan desert dwellers likely originating from Nagarath. And of course, every shade in between was covered.

"By all that's holy, is this what we've been reduced to accepting... Alright, let's make it work!" A balding man with a noticeably high, whiny, perhaps even feminine voice, paced through the group of hired dancers. He prided himself on being able to immediately recognize a dancer when he saw one, but there was very little visible talent among the group of ten or so ladies. "You, desert girl! take red's spot," He commanded, noticing the redhead among the ensemble seemed to be lacking in not only poise, but simply the idea that she knew where she was. Right right, she's the one who's going to shoot down the flower petals after our wind mage releases them. Alright, let's see what we can do... Looking over the group one more time, and ignoring any voices of protest, or perhaps reason, the two aides began pushing the dancers past the curtain and out onto the outdoor stage. "Alright, that's your cue, make momma proud!"

The audience was of a decent size, the back rows filled with those exhausted helping hands hired to prepare for the event, and the anxious ones who were to clean up after. Some were preoccupied with the stage, while others watched, grumbling as a child spilled his ice cream all over one of the seats. As the first dancer, a statuesque blond that admittedly put most of the others to shame stepped to the center stage a round of clapping began. As the others followed, they engaged in their steps, lovely choreographed, belly dancing-esque steps designed to make the men lustful and the women envious. Perhaps even full of wrath.

"Where is he?" Amalia sighed to a servant, tugging anxiously on her pearl bracelet as she stood by the town gates. The new count of Avoret, a county just on the other side of the river was supposed to be here, and she could only assume he would be arriving soon. Still, the wait was killing her. I need to figure out what he's all about -- Depending on how well he complies, I might even manage to ally with him. Or, he could be the straight laced type and I'll have to take what he has by force... I sincerely hope that's not the case.

By this point Amalia could hear boos from the audience, despite not being close enough to really see what the dancers were doing. This couldn't be good...

OOC Note: Click Here To Show/Hide This Text
Okay, so this is the first post, so just establish where your characters are.
@ Solo and Rook: I assumed your girls were with the dancers, The event that inspires booing can really be anything of your choice: Could be amateur dancing on Yui's part, or even Aida's if she didn't get the practice she needed. Could be bumping into eachother/falling... giving the audience the finger...?
And sorry if this post isn't too good, let me know if you need me to change something to make a post come easier.
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post Jun 25 2010, 03:32 PM
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As the sounds of boo-ing and chortling reached her ears, Aida found herself extremely grateful that she was huddled beneath this blanket and not out there on the main platform. It had sounded like a good idea at the time, too. She was a dancer. She liked to dance. She'd spent all her evenings telling stories and dances for as far back as she could remember, when Aida had heard that this person needed dancers, she'd thought it would be a good way to earn some of this valuable coin-stuff and maybe find a way back home.

The job wasn't anything like what she'd been expecting. The... the dance that they had wanted her to do was horrible. It was far too seductive and far too... loose for her tastes. Then there was the clothes... this tiny little top barely covered anything and the pants... and the exposure... It was just too much for her. She'd tried to go out on stage and do the dance. She'd honestly tried as hard as she could. But it just wasn't going to happen. She couldn't go out and debase herself like that. She just couldn't. She couldn't let all those men stare at her and lust and peek and... ooooooh...

Aida wrapped the blanket just a little bit tighter about herself. It was the only thing she had on that covered the scandelous costume... if she lost it... There was no hope for her. At least she wasn't alone back here. One of the other dancers had stayed behind for some reason... not that that helped much. All she could do was hide backstage behind the raving man who had hired her, listen to the boos of the crowd outside, and try hard not to cry.
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post Jun 25 2010, 05:36 PM
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The journey to Lamberaht took longer than expected. There was a problem with the carriage, and so they'd had to walk part-way to the Castle Town. It was slightly more extravagant than Andreas' own, but only slightly, he thought. He'd only been to two now, so that didn't exactly make him an expert on extravagance. The man and his four person entourage at last reached the gate. Two of Lamberaht's guards greeted them. Rather gruffly. "State your names and your reason for being here," one said, looking at Andreas and his nice clothes with envy.

"Count Andreas Valentine von Avoret. I believe the Countess is waiting to meet with me, hmm?" Andreas said, putting his hand on the hilt of his new sword. It was a ceremonial blade, he was told, but it held much the look and feel of a legitimate weapon, and was shown to have a fire spell imbued into it. He shifted his stance so that he was leaning on his left leg, his right hand on the sword, which was on his right side.

The guards both looked alarmed and opened the gates for them, ushering all five of them into the town. Waiting near the gates was a woman in an expensive sundress that he thought contrasted with her lovely, violet hair. On her wrist were expensive ornaments, and standing near her was a person who looked to be of a much lower class. She must be Countess Amalia, Andreas thought.

As for himself, he was wearing a green coat the color of mountain pine-needles, black pants and boots with golden trim, black, specially tailored leather gloves, a collared, cerulean tunic that was untucked(in the back, at least), and a black vest with white trim. He had also elected to wear his sword belt and baldric, hanging from which was his new sword. The black sheath blended in with his clothing, but the ruby that served as the pommel was slightly more visible. "Countess Amalia," Andreas approached the woman, gently getting ahold of her right hand's fingers, "It is quite the honor to meet you at last in person." Andreas kissed the knuckle of her middle finger, and slowly lowered the appendage, before backing away a step and bowing at the waist. "I am Andreas Valentine von Avoret," he smiled at her.
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post Jun 25 2010, 05:48 PM
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This was not what Yui thought she was being signed up for. She was going to have to have a talk with Leto when this was all said and done. He had made a good point when they argued; while a large gathering such as this had a tendency to bring together many targets, a day or two had already shown that the work was frighteningly easy. A string of disappearances could be covered when done obscurely, and if a few people took to their rooms before the best of the festivities came about, well maybe they were waiting, or had found someone to pass the time with. Or maybe were of a shadier sort, and were discussing deals that might be best left out of earshot of large crowds; many targets indeed. With her partner claiming those, however, he had suggested that she perform. Sharpshooters could always catch people's attention, and might have the added benefit of drawing attention to her. Some of the assassinations could lead to her, and if people kept on eye on her, Leto could get away with other means, since the targets might think their killer under a watchful eye.

Yui liked that Leto didn't try treat her like a delicate flower or some sickening crap like that. They each used each other, sometimes throwing on in danger to help the other maneuver with ease. But if he didn't try chivalry, he still had other ways to make her aware that he was a man. She bet he was somewhere in the crowd right this instant, wondering why she wasn't up there. And ogling the others that were up there. She clenched her teeth at that a little, but let it slide. She wasn't sure if she liked it more when she'd just ignored men or not.

Either way, she had to try and get out of this disgusting dress. She'd been offended at the wear he'd provided her before; the breeches were much too tight, and the blouse had a lower neckline than she was accustomed to. But this... if the neckline were any lower, there would be no claim at all to decency. And there was just too much skin showing besides. She'd be overjoyed to switch back to the blouse. She honestly didn't care how this celebration went in the least. The man who'd nearly thrown her onto the stage was busy with worrying over the current show, for at least the second, but she supposed she could ask him some proper show could be arranged for her. In the meantime, she decided she could vent her anger. She didn't bother hiding it; what else would a girl feel in being forced into a dress like this? Another had seemingly been misled into this job, refused to take to the stage. Yui did wish she could cover herself with a blanket as well. "How could anyone be willing to dance like that?" She said in a disgusted voice.
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post Jun 25 2010, 07:59 PM
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"Wh-what are you two doing?" The director squealed at the two young women who stood behind. "I, I just... No no, Fabrizio is not impressed!" He said, hands on his hips and his face turning beet-red. Fabrizio just couldn't accept that he and his lackeys went through all the trouble of designing their outfits, choreographing the routine, and gathering the dancers, only to have them waste all that precious time and money standing around backstage? Granted they were only just shown their outfits a few hours ago, but that didn't change anything! He would get to the bottom of this, even if it was the last thing he did. "Ah, I am sorry for that outburst." He apologized, softening his tone considerably. "I just need to understand, why is it that you two didn't go out? If it's nerves, I understand how you feel. The first time I danced on stage I--"

His sentence was cut short just before he could start grovelling for the ladies to go out on stage and degrade themselves for a few bucks. The low buzzing of boos and "c'mon!"s got louder and louder. Fabrizio spared a peak outside, only to find the stage empty -- His dancers were nowhere to be seen! This was quite simply... Infuriating! Reaching to his belt, Fabrizio grabbed a loud horn used to get the dancers' attention and blew nearly all the air out of his lungs to silence the crowd. "Everyone, settled down!" He shouted at the now quiet crowd. "And uh, put your hands together for... For uh..." He then looked down at his clipboard to see who the next performer would be. "Skylessia's Songbird!"


Finally! Amalia thought, catching glimpse of a fairly well-dressed man approaching the gate. Kept me waiting long enough... Just who does this guy think he is?! Indeed, the man looked every bit as Countly as she anticipated, if only a bit young. He was dressed well, although the sword belt threw her off... Did he expect to see combat? Well it wasn't too outrageous, considering he was traveling with a small group. He had no way of knowing how tight a grip Amalia kept on her bandits and such(As long as they left the county for their pillaging, she would turn a blind eye to their crimes,) so it was better to err on the side of caution. In scanning the belt rather quickly, she decided that the sword inside would have likely been rather showy, possibly an heirloom or something of the sort.

Taken slightly off guard by the man's gesture, Amalia soon began to blush. She was expecting a simply bow, or even a curt nod in her direction, though in hindsight she ought to have been more prepared. "Amalia Kreszentia von Lamberaht, it's truly a pleasure." She bowed her head a tad, still not one to show too much respect to any man, woman or creature. At least he was a gentleman. "I'm so pleased you were able to make it... I've been wanting to meet you ever since I heard about you." She sniffed a bit at the air around him, as though she were a hound of sorts. Did he walk all this way, I can practically smell the soil on your boots... You should've asked, I would have surely sent a caravan to escort you here... She thought to herself. "Come now, naturally there's entertainment as far as the eye can see," She gestured for the man to follow her, also waving her hand for her servants to disperse, allowing them to tend to whatever needed to be done. "The town is rather nice, isn't it? I mean surely even you must admit." That's right, open up with small talk Amalia...


"Just find your strength, in loooooooooove~" The current act concluded, leading to a rather remarkable applause. The statuesque dark-skinned blonde smiled and bowed, before heading off the stage and out of sight. Whew! Nice save... Thought Fabrizio, who had managed to cool down and regain his fair, non-red complexion. "you ladies still haven't told me what the problem was... You first, missy," He folded his arms, waiting for Aida's excuse.
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post Jun 25 2010, 08:34 PM
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The director's outburst tore into her ears and caused her mind and heart to jump. Aida took a long step back while her eyes widened in terror. She clutched the blanket tighter about herself, as through fearful that it would be taken away at a moment's notice. If she lost this blanket now, Aida wasn't sure what she would do. She blinked at her watery eyes and tried to swallow the lump in her throat.

"I'm sorry, sir. But, I... I did not know that you meant... that you meant that sort of dancing." The words were stilted and halting. Aida's accent didn't help her at all. "I'm a desert dancer. We dance to tell story and legend, not... not to inspire lust. I... I tried to dance as you desired, I honestly did, sir. But... I... But I can not... I do not want to do this."

Try as she might, Aida couldn't look the man in the eye, nor could she keep confidence in her voice. This was going to end badly, she could already tell.
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post Jun 26 2010, 12:38 AM
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Yui looked at the girl, barely keeping an inch of control over herself. It pained her to think that she herself had been like that less than three years ago. Overall, things had gone much better with her after she'd become more bitter, switching from a thief barely living from day to day to becoming a contract killer. During a year and a half of service to a Valhassan crime syndicate, she'd built up a small fortune. Much better than being a street rat.

Shaking her head at Aida's meek display, Yui waited for her to to sputter to halt before explaining herself. "I, on the other hand, was supposed to be signed up for something entirely different. I'm going to have a talk with my partner about that as it is, but in the meantime, I wanted to know if there was any work for a sharpshooter. Something like hitting apples off of a blindfolded girl's head, or something of that nature," she said, motioning with a small jerk of her head and a small smile towards Aida.
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post Jun 26 2010, 01:55 AM
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Andreas walked nearly side-by-side with the Countess through the town, with her in a slight lead. She probably knew the layout of the place better than he did. "The town is rather nice, isn't it? I mean surely even you must admit," he heard her say. He glanced at her out of the corner of his eye, before returning his attention to the festive townsfolk. Even when they were not gathered around the stage set up in the center of the town, he noticed that there was a bounce in their step and a spark in their eyes. They must truly enjoy this time of year.

"I agree. Everyone looks to be enjoying themselves," Andreas commented, gesturing vaguely at some passing people. He looked at the ground for a second, mumbling, "I only wish I knew how to put smiles on the faces of those that were important to me." But as soon as he said it, he looked up again. He noticed how long the shadows were. He must have kept her waiting for a longer than he first thought.

Andreas turned to his guards and dismissed them with a gesture. "I apologize for having kept you waiting. The carriage that was bringing me here managed to break an axle while in transit. The repairs would have taken several hours more, and so I decided to walk," Andreas explained, skimming over the boring details. He placed his hands behind his back, continuing to walk with the lady. He wasn't sure, but he thought they might be going to the castle. "I am not one to do nothing when an obstacle presents itself," he stated.
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post Jun 26 2010, 08:37 AM
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Well well, it seemed the Count was buying into the clever front that the Spring Festival tended to put on whenever there were tourists about -- Especially those of the influential variety. Thw townsfolk indeed played their part unintentionally, genuinely full of joy because of that time of year. Of course, this may have had something to do with the fact that, on this special day, food was free, and most workloads were lightened, if not canceled altogether. In contrast to the high taxes she imposed and tough labor(With relatively minuscule wages, one might add,) the lower classes were in sheer heaven for this one day. Thankfully, no visitors needed to know that... All they needed to know was that the festival was thrown out of the kindness of the Countess's own heart, and the loyal citizens had no complaints.

She found herself mildly distracted again, this time staring at the Count's eye. I wonder how he got that scar... A rather unsightly blemish, I must admit. Perhaps a decent opportunity to ask will arise, eventually. "Hm? Oh, oh dear!" She responded, returning to the discussion at hand. "Well I'm glad you are a man of action. After all, two more minutes and I might have closed to gates and left you to the wolves," She laughed, touching his hand playfully. There was a bit of truth in her statement, but it was probably better for everyone if she left that little tidbit out.

"The entertainment can wait a moment, but more importantly, is there anything you need? I imagine you must be hungry, thirsty, or something after walking all this way." She asked, brushing a strand of violet hair behind her ear.


The crowd had settled down considerably, and was now waiting patiently for their next act. This gave the director a bit more time to interrogate the ladies. Fabrizio's expression had darkened considerably after hearing the young woman's story. "Aww, I didn't think any of you weren't pleased with the routine." He had been far too oblivious to notice any displeasure among the strippers dancers. "I just assumed you were the quiet type..." The redhead's part of the story intrigued the man immensely. "Sharpshooter, you say?" He wondered aloud, silently pacing back and forth. "I've got it!"

"Oh Samuel~" He called in a sing-songy, almost operatic voice. An exhausted-looking aide answered the call, carrying several of the offensive outfits from before. "I want you to head to the fruit vendors and grab a basket of apples. Tell them Fabrizio asked for it, they'll understand." Yes, he had taken Yui's suggestion entirely seriously, and was planning on getting his money's worth out of them to buy time to prepare for the next act.

"Now as for you two... Desert girl, I want you to toss the apples up in the air. Red over there will shoot them down, flawlessly, I might add. At least, if she would like to receive payment... Yes, here we go!" He concluded, snatching the basket from the sweating aide's hand. "If you two have no objections, please hurry on out of here and onto stage. Though... Not before removing that blanket, little miss!"
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post Jun 26 2010, 11:45 AM
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A horrified look at Yui followed her initial suggestion. Aida felt her limbs begin to twitch and quiver beneath the folds of her blanket. They weren't really going to make her stand there, blindfolded, while this other dancer shot at her, ,were they? The tears in her eyes very nearly broke free right then and there. All she wanted to do was go home, to go back to the desert, and instead she had to deal with this...

But those tears became relief as the coordinator spoke. They wouldn't be blindfolding anyone, instead she was just to throw them... but... but to do that... she would have to go out on stage... in this outfit... Aida's teeth squeezed her lip and her head shook. She couldn't go out in this terror of an outfit. She just couldn't...

"Please sir, let me change first. I beg you." Aida didn't wait for permission or instruction. There was no way she could go out before those men wearing these clothes. "I will dance on stage while throwing the apples, if... if you just let me change."

Without waiting for a reply, Aida turned and sped into the back room. The door was closed and the lock fastened. Aida did not even bother properly removing her garments, there was no time, she ripped them straight off. They were flimsy enough for it. Quickly and deftly she donned her usual robes. A dark red shirt, a matching white vest of gold, dark red pants and a golden sash about her waist. There. Now that her arms were more bare than her stomach, she felt much more comfortable going out on stage.

She rushed back out of the room, blanket and costume forgotten, and deftly snatched the basket of apples from Samuel.

"I am sorry, sir. I truly am." Aida moved away from the aid and closer to the stage entrance. "But... I simply could not go out on stage in those other clothes."

There was no more time to waste. She slipped out onto the stage, basket over one arm, and began moving through the steps of her favorite piece: Orrento Fights the Best of Hades. It was a fast-paced, twisting song that kept the dancer moving quickly and the audience watching for everything happened so fast. There were also several key spots along the way where the action suddenly came to a complete stop. Aida planned to take advantage of those stops by lobbing her apples skyward.
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post Jun 26 2010, 02:32 PM
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A sigh from Yui. "You were about to send me right on stage without a bow, you realize. That would have ended badly. As luck with have it, my clothes are with it, so..." The last lime came as she was already walking slightly hurriedly to the changing room. There were two, and Yui suspected she'd gotten the worse of the two. The room was leaking, even though there wasn't a cloud in the sky outside, and it was awfully small when full of other women. She cursed when she couldn't locate her shift. There wasn't any time to bother, however, so she kept the top -- stripped of the streamers, it was actually a rather comfortable undergarment -- and donned a pair of tights after removing the divided skirts that revealed the sides of your legs, all the way to the hip. She squirmed into her breeches and blouse, tied the lace quickly, and picked up her bow and quiver before bolting back out the door.

Onto the stage, Yui allowed herself to reach a level of focus that could become dangerous in other situations. Everything in sight seemed to fade to black -- seemed being the keyword; color and the like seemed to fade away, and she could only barely discern shapes -- except for those apples, swinging quickly in their basket and flickering when the dancing girl's turns brought her in the way. What was she supposed to do, shoot them while she was spinning? At any rate, her short bow, from head to hips in length, came out, and she drew her first arrow. The apples had all her attention, and it seemed like a distant echo that told the girl holding the bow to wait and make sure the girl had an opportunity to toss the apples. It would be a waste of the apples if they were just being shot in the basket like that, no matter the skill in hitting them while they were dancing around with another potential target. In the void of this focus, she didn't care, all her attention was on those apples, the only thing with color, the only object with form. Suddenly, the dance stopped, and one ball of red was thrown into the air. The arrow hit it slightly off center before it reached the apex of the throw, spinning towards the crowd with a small explosion of apple mush. The acrobat took a couple steps back, making the shot that much harder.
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post Jun 26 2010, 02:56 PM
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"Well I'm glad you are a man of action. After all, two more minutes and I might have closed to gates and left you to the wolves," She laughed, touching his hand playfully.

Andreas' lips twitched upwards at the corners, as he looked away, groping blindly for her hand. But it was no use, as the hand was out of his reach. The closest he got was barely brushing his fingertips against her knuckles. Then he gasped, as haughtily as he could manage before saying in his most ridiculously pompous voice, "Madam, I am... offended at the notion of such an action." He waited a two seconds before saying in a good-humored voice, "I jest. I really don't care, as the guards would probably have opened it anyway." He looked around the street some more, before returning his gaze.

"Lively today, isn't it?" Andreas remarked.

"But yes, I would like something," Andreas said. "I'm neither hungry nor thirsty, as I've spent much of my life walking on my own two feet throughout the world, but I imagine you are unused to the smell that comes with that sort of life. So, if you would have a tub of water prepared, I would bathe and have my clothes aired out," Andreas proposed. Absently, he touched his facial scar with his gloved left hand, before brushing some of his long, dark hair behind his ear.
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post Jun 28 2010, 02:12 PM
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"Well well," Fabrizio sighed, peeking out through the curtains to watch his girls perform. "Looks like it wasn't a waste of money after all." The impromptu show wasn't all that bad, as it seemed - And the crowd agreed. The handful of adults that would have been less than impressed by the apple-tossing were mesmerized by the desert girl's outlandish dance. Similarly, the younger audience members certainly adored the marks-woman's accuracy and showmanship in general. In summary, a strange twist of fate and perhaps a wee bit of luck made it so that the audience was on their feet, applauding the two women. Mission, accomplished!


Oh dear, now she would just have to go and contradict herself. "A bath? Certainly, I'll have a servant prepare it..." She turned toward the castle, waving her hand for one of the loyal subjects she just dismissed. "Jeffrey!" The man came speed-walking over, knowing all too well how low her patience was.

"Yes, ma'am?"

"Prepare a nice warm bath for the Count. Of course, spare no incenses and bath salts for our lovely guest... Perhaps jasmine?" With that, the servant went scrambling off. "In the meantime, why don't we go see what entertainment is taking place on center stage? After all, it's about time the beloved Countess make her appearance..."
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Wingman
post Jun 28 2010, 05:07 PM
Post #14


Bat Break
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As they were whisked backstage, Aida couldn't help but smile. It had worked out, hadn't it? She'd been able to keep her dancing pure, she hadn't faltered, and she would get paid for the work that she had done. Maybe now she could move a little bit closer to Nagarath and be just little bit closer to home. That would be nice if it all played out that way, if things came together for the best.

"Thank you." Aida whispered to her dancing companion as the curtain closed. "I couldn't have done that without you. I'm Aida."
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Higan Retour
post Jun 29 2010, 12:12 AM
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A headache followed Yui's deep focus as the red apples dwindled, and eventually ran out. Falling out of the focus was a lot harder than going in, and her vision blurred while the dark-skinned dancer talked to her. She didn't stumble or throw her arms around any; she could tell when a wall or a person was coming in her direction, and it continued to clear up as she walked on. She returned Aida's smile when she could tell it apart from from the rest of her face.

"Aida? I'm Yui," she said with a gentle nod of her head. "Nice moves, I suppose. I still would have preferred to shoot the apples right off your head, though," she continued providing a sly grin.
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