This was something that I simply didn't approve of. I should not be the one to handle political issues in this land, but at the same time, my own right and wrong tells me something isn't quite right. I decided to slide my own truth around and see what would happen. Stepping forth to be next to Runnah, I waved my tassel about.
"We are under contract from Paddra and Bohemia. The man is under political asylum as some have stated. Furthermore, he is one of my students and I am no person to triffle with. Nor am I L'Cie."
I spun myself around and revealed as much skin as I could without taking off clothes. I visibly charged wind and fire in each hand to show some force to buffet and frighten the enemy, but it would also help should I need to strike immediately.
"I ask you, are you willing to challenge Angil The Rescuer? Witch Of Bohemia?"
My words were loud and resounding. A warning was clear from my part, but how would the others respond?
This was beginning to get out of hand. Milly, Jason, Angil, Parnell, Darran and Haru were all on Yuki's side. However, each of them had there own expression of indignation. Though the councilman was correct, there were at least 3 to 1 odds between us. I had faith that we could take them depending on who got the first strike, but I tried my hand between diplomacy and measured and ensured violence.
"This does not need to resort to bloodshed." I waved my hand about while closing my eyes and calling out to her. Opening them, I continued.
"I am Bohemia Felsen Runnah. Ambassador of Bohemia and Second in Command. I summoned all of them under both Paddrean and Bohemian contract to train our forces. During which time only a handfull of us wiped out a group of bandits twice your force." I neglected to mention that the bandits were both desperate and horribly out classed.
"Several of us have Eidolons, not to mention that my father has already recieved word of this treachery and is on his way now with the rest of our fighting force." The man looked perplexed at my claim. I pointed to my choker.
"You see, our Eidoliths can allow us to communicate with our Eidolons and therefore each other. Speaking of which, she would like to say her piece as well." The Eidolith unlocked and tumbled to the ground on which I smashed it with the Felsen Staff. The glyph appeared on the ground and The Hunter formed in the air with a flash of wind. Her large wings spread out and her eyes began glowing to track targets and damage variables. Valefor's cannon and gatling gun twitched this way and that as she flapped well above us. She let our quite the roar. I was going to add a bit more but Angil chimed in.
"That Eidlon was responible for the damage a half mile past the gate a few days ago. And that is just one of ours..." Unaware of the event, I let that suffice. As de facto leader of our party, I made a very simple request, not mincing my words.
"I'll ask this once. Let us pass."
OOC: *Blinks* I wasn't expecting that quick and effective of a response. I think there is enough now to move forward...
Roleplay/DM Time Start!
Clearly, Hale had not anticipated this much of an opposition. Neither had the guards: many of them were already fidgeting and glancing back the way they came. Still, Hale had one ace up his sleeve, courteous of Darran, Parnell, and Jason.
"Yuki, eh? That is indeed the name of the second son of Lord Adan Mitsu...I wonder...do you know the rumors circulating about him?" the Ambassador said mischievously.
Yuki paled and Haru noticed. He can't...
Hale noticed them and grinned. "You know that he is out of his home because of being a L'Cie, but are you aware that he is also wanted in connection with..." He paused for effect. "The deaths of his older brother and another whom he was close to?"
If anyone looked at Yuki now, they would think he was about to collapse. Haru was now royally angered. "You...!"
"It's true then..." Hale responded and then cackled madly. "Oh this is perfect! You have all been traveling with a murderer and a kinslayer and you didn't even know it!"
Yuki couldn't even think straight now. "Murderer" and "Kinslayer" rang through his head. He thought his strength was about to leave him. And then the voice of a long forgotten teacher echoed through the valley...
"I knew you were a crooked man, Ambassador, but this is a low even for you!"
(Begin Nobunaga's Theme from Kessen 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IbIKErPnFY Starts at 5:43)
Yuki's and and the Ambassador's eyes were drawn to a bluff overlooking the area where a man clad in medium green armor with red and blue accents sat atop a green Chocobo. Yuki could already make out how the armor and the helm made the man look like a Faeryl, and two words escaped his relieved and fearful mouth as it dawned on him that it wasn't just a hallucination: "Lord Guan..."
The Chocobo leaped off the bluff with a loud Kweh! and landed in between Yuki and the Ambassador. Guan took a moment to look at Yuki and his party before turning his assuredly angry gaze to the Ambassador. "If this were any other time, I would take this as a declaration of war against Akaso given what Lord Adan said, but I have other things to worry about: Leave and never bother this man again, and I will make no mention of this to Lord Adan. Refuse, and you will regret it."
Hale scowled. With Guan's arrival, the guards were now clearly frightened: The "Steel Dragon" of Akaso was feared even by the elite L'Cie Temple Guards. Hale knew at this point that his effort was ruined, and likely his reputation as well. "Mark my words, Lord Guan, I will have this stain on my reputation removed at some point!" Then he motioned for the guards to leave and he left as well, sparing one last hateful glare at Guan and Yuki as well as the party.
"Beginning is easy - Continuing is hard."-Japanese Proverb
When they were out of sight, Guan shook his head and dismounted from his Chocobo. He turned to face Yuki, and Yuki saw that Guan's face was not one of happiness or relief at seeing Yuki alive. "Take off the helm, boy," said Guan, causing Yuki to flinch. "I'm fairly certain you are who he deduced you are, but I need to be certain."
Yuki hesitated for a moment. He thought about trying to fool Guan, but Yuki knew that Guan was as perceptive as he was strong: Guan would see through any of Yuki's deception. With that, Yuki removed his helm and looked at his former teacher.
Guan sighed. "In the back of my mind, I hoped that this would not be the case, but it seems that fate is not kind." Yuki made no response, seeing that Guan was surveying him. Guan's eyes rested on Yuki's brand and scar, and then looked into his eyes, causing Yuki to shiver involuntarily. "So you are a L'Cie now...that provides some explanation as to why you fled home, but is that truly all?" Guan's eyes rested on the scar again.
Yuki could not take the scrutinizing gaze and commentary anymore. "You should have been able to see my reaction to his accusation from where you were. I am indeed responsible...and it is something I take no pride or joy in."
"You confess and I can see in your eyes that it is indeed not something you are proud of. That is good for you: the council might be lenient with you given those facts."
Yuki scowled immediately. "The council? You intend to take me back to Akaso for trial?"
Guan nodded. "Yuki, I was sent here to bring you back to Akaso, one way or another. If you refuse," he paused and looked down, clearly troubled by what he was about to say. He looked up again, his face hardened. "If you refuse, I have no choice but to invoke the Rite of Judgement."
Yuki felt all the air leave him as that statement hit him. "The Rite of Judgement?" he gasped out. "But...the only one who can grant the authority to issue that is..."
"Your father," Guan finished, his face perfectly masking any emotion he felt behind a cold indifference.
Yuki was stunned: his own father had signed away his life.
Haru was scowling again and noted that Yuki was once again not in a good state. "Rite of Judgement?" he asked. "I'm no expert on Akasan laws and rituals, but it does not sound great..."
Guan turned his gaze to Haru and nodded. "That is right. The Rite of Judgement is..."
"A duel to the death," finished Yuki, breaking out of his daze.
Roleplay/DM Time End
OOC: More Reaction time!
"Beginning is easy - Continuing is hard."-Japanese Proverb
Darran was dumbfounded by Hale's revelation about Yuki
"Y-Yuki was responsible? Is that true?"
Parnell was equally shocked, he constantly switches his gaze from Yuki, the accused kinslayer, to Darran, his older brother, and back again
"His older brother died because of him? I-I don't want to think that's possible!"
Parnell then remembered the breakdown Yuki had at the cave in Bohemia
Could that have something to do his brother's murder? No way, I'm not treating Yuki like a murderer.
"I don't think he's that sort of person! Otherwise, why would he be helping me to save my brother?" spoke Parnell in a doubtful voice
"Parnell, please calm down." said Darran in quiet voice before turning to face Yuki
"Whatever you plan to do now, you better give us an explanation. Look like not everyone in the group knew."
Runnah And Angil Roleplay Start
Between the display of all of us, the guards were faulty in their footwork. That much was clear. The fire was hot and the wind was warm. However, keeping up this kind of strength was something I should reserve for combat and I was teetering. Then their ambassador made things clear to the rest. Yuki killed his brother and his best friend. Valefor and I were there when he confessed it the first time and neither of us were shamed to admit that circumstance led him down a cruel outcome. The truth to some made them falter and I knew that even if were we to fight, we would be condemning more people to death. I would fight if and when I think I should. I would fight if it meant the death of other people. I would fight for Yuki and the friends I'd gained. But it still wouldn't sit well with me. Not this time. This feeling brought my magic force down a bit as my fire and wind shrank in size.
Circumstances again changed as the one called Lord Guan leapt down. His words cut through if ours hadn't and the threat on Yuki's life was averted for the moment. I absorbed the remaining magic I was using, but kept one hand lazily resting on my knuckle holster. If I used time magic, I could beat him on the draw if he was a warrior, but my existence here would be shortened again. And I'm not even sure how long it will last. Nor would that guarantee victory anyways. Best to see how things played out. Runnah was meanwhile pacing back and forth, visibly annoyed and ranting.
As the guards from Paddra left, Valefor shot a burst of magic in the air that hung for awhile. The color was a serene blue and told my dad the current crisis was handled without violence. The Hunter swirled the wind around herself and came back down in her combat outfit, taking great interest in Lord Guan's armor and weapons. This whole situation is now completely a conundrum. I began pacing back and forth spilling all the consequences of our current situation.
"The problem with all this is that Bohemia took Yuki under political asylum which renders the Rite of Judgment beyond your jurisdiction. He also took a contract with Paddra which gives him another political advantage. With the Rite of Judgment still standing however, it falls to the ones who took him under asylum to be responsible. Since my father isn't here, that falls to me and I'm not the kind of fighter to deal with Akaso's close quarter style. Malakkar might be a match for you, but that is neither here nor there. If we go to Akaso, it will all be for Yuki's sake regardless if it seems against our will as it is the job of ones who grant such asylum. That effectively makes us all your prisoners, or at least Haru, myself and maybe Angil too. If we fail to go to Akaso peaceably, the Rite of Judgment will have to be carried out per your orders and I will more or less have to fight you. But, given that the Rite of Judgment is a trial by combat, I am allowed to choose an alternate. Given that Yuki has protection from Akaso under us, it renders him out. And if I won't fight you specifically, Valefor won't either. Angil being his teacher could also stand in his place if she wanted." Angil and I locked eyes upon the suggestion and she shook her head.
"When I battled Valefor a few days ago, it was a sacred thing that no one interfered in. I swore that if there were to be any duels in the future, I would not step in not matter the circumstance, even if death was the result."
She looked down at her feet. Maybe she never thought the possibility would have arisen when she made that promise.
"There is also the matter that if we refuse both the Rite of Judgment or passage to Akaso, Akaso would go to war with Bohemia and therefore Paddra as a result. Paddra and Bohemia have recently bolstered there ranks with many L'Cie and Akaso's warriors were not pushovers. The ensuing bloodbath would be catastrophic. And then a small force of Cocoon soldiers would pounce on whoever was left standing and kill them in the aftermath. Pulse would effectively be wiped clean as the other smaller towns were subjugated. I'll be honest though. I don't have much love for Akaso or Paddra with all that happened in the past five minutes, but letting Cocoon win is far worse."
"There is one more thing to be made aware of mind you. By our arrangement, Yuki has been made an honorary bodyguard to myself and all the entitlements. This includes fighting for me as an alternate. As an Ambassador, I do not believe it is chiefly my job to make all the important decisions, but merely lay them out before us. I don't know your father Yuki and tales of Lord Guan do extend into Bohemia. Whatever decision you guys decide, I will go with."
I stopped pacing and looked back at Angil.
If he fought and lost, avenging him would only bring me satisfaction, not honor his memory. Runnah's explanation was spot on. In no situation did we have a clear advantage and it was frustrating. I looked over at Valefor and she continued to stare in admiration at the man.
"I could take you, but it would cause problems for my master." Her smile was wide and devious. Runnah sighed and put a hand on her head. I scanned the others and waited for what they and especially Yuki would say.
OCC: derp. Arth told me that wasn't supposed to happen yet. DISREGARD.
Milly (Let's try this again.)
I looked almost as Pale as Yuki did. After that Man showed up, I wasn't so worried.
Milly: "Hm... If all of these facts are true, then that would Mean It'd Either be Haru or Jason would need to step in as they're the only two who would even have a remote chance of winning.. But still, I'm the dealer with foregin affairs in Oerba, so if we were acting as your slaves.. Your instigating troubles with them..."
Jason: "Milly, you realize he isn't really taking us prisoners right? Anyway, I'm more concerned Nightmare hasn't tried to attack us again. Though with the numbers we have right now, he most likely wouldn't be able to.
Milly: "Uh, HELLO? Reality Check: He knocked Yuki and I Aside like we were NOTHING! We can't possibly match him!"
*She makes a valid point you know. Just don't worry about anything for awhile. We need to regroup for now anyway.*
If you say so...
Guan chuckled at Runnah's rant. "I see that Lord Malakkar didn't miss a thing in your education, or did you figure all that out by yourself?"
His face then turned serious. "However, even if Yuki wasn't under Bohemia's asylum, your people would be in danger anyway. My Liege's feelings on L'Cie are bad at best...and I imagine he would want a village full of them to be wiped from the face of Pulse."
Then he turned to Yuki. "However, I am here for one reason and one reason only. I respect whatever decision Lord Yuki makes, and I promise on my honor as a head of one of the Four Houses of Akaso that I will not commit any hostile act towards the rest of your company, though I do reserve the right to defend myself."
Yuki meanwhile was trying to figure out how to explain everything to Darran, Parnell, Milly, Jason, Azra, and Emil (and to an extent, Runnah). He doubted they would trust him again, especially Darran given how he was reacting, but he knew an explanation was due. "Guan, let me explain everything to you and my companions who I have not confessed to yet." Guan nodded in response.
(Begin Ukiyo No Narai from Sengoku Basara: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lzx0VG8y6Ec)
Yuki then explained everything, starting from the death of his mother and how he had to care for Masa, to his failure in the Trial of the Hunt, to the fateful Behemoth hunt and his encounter with Atomos that led to his insanity-fueled murder of Jin and Zhao, and finally to the farmer family that he failed to protect when he had the chance and the promise that had been born out of that.
When he finished, he was facing away from the group. "I already know what I have to do...I'm sick of having other people die because of me, and I'm sick of running from my past."
Haru realized what Yuki was doing and objected to it. "Are you crazy Yuki?! This is your life we're talking about! You can't expect to help us by potentially letting yourself die!"
Yuki sighed. "You would understand if you were in my position, Captain." Haru was shocked out of his anger as Yuki continued. "If I went home, it would only be to put Masa and Liu through losing me again, and you all might be at risk as well. If I refused, I would be betraying my heritage on top of putting countless numbers of lives at risk and potentially cost us the war with Cocoon."
Yuki then looked at Guan. "If there was a way to avoid any loss of life without hurting others in some way, I would take it in a heartbeat. As it stands, by taking the trial only one person has to die, and if it is me, so be it."
Haru glanced around at the others, stopping for extended periods on Runnah, Angil and Valefor, essentially telling them to stop Yuki.
OOC: And yes, the music would continue through any response to this.
"Beginning is easy - Continuing is hard."-Japanese Proverb
Runnah Roleplay Start
"If there was a way to avoid any loss of life without hurting others in some way, I would take it in a heartbeat. As it stands, by taking the trial only one person has to die, and if it is me, so be it." Haru looked at me with pained eyes. Haru... Ahahah, that might just work.
"What about executing him?" Valefor stopped breathing and Angil's eyes beheld fury.
"IF all this fuss is because Yuki happens to be alive and happens to be with us under our protection, I propose that I kill him. I've killed over 200 of my own villagers already, one more won't be that much of a bother. Besides, if he is in my care then it befalls to me to be responsible for him."
"Have you gone completely out of your mind Runnah?" Angil was tightening her fists and the blank expression I held didn't make it any better that I wasn't reacting. I too had to pretend if this didn't bother me at all and was something akin to taking out the trash.
"Why ever would you think that? We offer Yuki up on a silver platter for Akaso and we'll gain some influence there in the mean time. That way it won't cause a problem should we need to go there another time."
"Killing him could produce the exact opposite effect Runnah. You'd be responsible for the death of Adan's second son after he already lost his first. This is not how diplomacy works." She was desprate to convince me otherwise and I didn't believe anyone would be figuring out what I had in mind. I dropped my backpack and pulled out my jet black cloak. Donning it, I made sure everyone had seen the rear of it that said the word Gravemaster. Angil was about to fight me when Valefor stopped her and she simply gave up. Even though it wasn't an act for them, I couldn't have asked for better from the two. I walked over to Yuki and put a hand on his shoulder, rubbing it a few times, hopefully giving him the subtle hint that everything would be okay.
"You won't even feel a thing Yuki and since I'm such a good host, I'll let you choose the manner of your execution." Tapping the Felsen Staff into the ground resulting in two weapons appearing before him. A thick and daggered long spear and a massive but flattened earth hammer. I pulled the hood over my head and hid my face. It was hard not to smile. To fool your enemies, you must first fool your friends. Read that in a book at some point. Good advice as long as Guan didn't figure out that I was planning on revitalizing him after the fact.
End Runnah Roleplay
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