Chapter 1: Rebirth
Note: Please note that at this time Yeager is 23. I will be updating his age as we go along.
His eyes opened, hazy and blurred from lack of use. He sat up quickly, panicked as he looked around the room his body breaking out in a cold sweat as the worry sat in- his lungs working harder than normal simply to push the life back into his once corpse of a form. What happened?
He was sure he died.
Died in that place that was called a battleground but could really only be described as hell.
So how was he…alive? He could feel it all everything…he was alive… but…his heart?
A shaky hand touched his chest lightly as the realization dawned on him. He could feel all of what it meant to be alive except the beating of his heart. Why was that?
The cold feeling of metal and stone slid beneath his finger tips and he felt himself pause…brown flashed wide as they looked down at the sight of red wrapped in gold.
The sound of his name was firm and cold. It was a a sound that cut through his brain as his body came back to full function and brought himself fully back into the land of life once more.
His vision cleared and looked about the form of darkness that made up the room he was in, only to rest upon deep crimson and precicing white. Why did the sight of that man freeze him solid? What was about this man’s presence that told him the worst was about to come?
"C-Commandant?” his voice was a small shaken sliver of a child frightened of the sight before him.
Those eyes locked on him, and he felt himself trapped in his commander’s gaze. He knew it was coming - the order that would make his blood run cold and his body shiver.
“I trust you realize what it is that rests in your chest."
He knew. He knew all to well what the red stone wrapped in the frame of gold was. A Blastia. His Blastia. His Heart.
"Ja, Milord. I do.” His eyes were downcast, avoiding the ever judging presense of the man before him. Did he remember? Did the Commandant remember all that he had done within the mountains that was now only to be known as ‘The Great War’?
There was a long silence between them, and slowly - ever so slowly he brought his head up to see that the face the man he once held in such high esteem was so - changed. He was different, colder, harsher - everything about him felt … frigid. Everything about him made the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end with the anticaption of what was to come.
“So don’t waste what I have given you, Yeager. There is much I need you to do. Much that we need to change. ”
There was a shudder that ran up his spine at the sound of the words. Something sinister about them made his stomach turn at the ideas of what the Commandant could possibly mean by that word - 'change’, and he was sure he would know all too soon.
It took a few moments of rest before the man felt the strength to stand rush through him, and soon enough he was on his feet before his 'leader’.
“Come Yeager.” he spoke in an overly prideful tone, as he moved to lead the young knight out of the room.
He could only bow, and follow his commanding officer.
Chapter 2: The Princess
He was alive again - that much was for sure. However everything was… everything was so different. Zaphais felt different. The Empire felt different. Alexei was…different.
He joined the knights a young man full of hope, ready and willing to do anything it took to protect the one’s he cared about. It was Commandant Alexei that inspired him to do so. He saw what the man was - a great leader ready and willing to give everything he had to protect the very Empire it’s self. There was something about the snowy haired soldier that was captavaing to him - at least there had been before the war.
He was different now; they both were. The Commandant..No…Alexei, he was colder - harsher. He was filled with a rage that burned in his eyes and fueled his every action. It was the way that Alexei held himself now - that caused Yeager to question which one of them was the one who truly died on that battlefield.
The things he was asked to do now - they were things that…that he couldn’t even bring himself to personally agree with. He was a soldier, and it wasn’t in the rights of a soldier to think with one’s feelings. It was just that - Alexei was so cold with his orders - so obsessed with fixing the world now that he was becoming blinded to the mistakes that they made and the reasons the war even began.
Still, he was a soldier and a soldier did not question his commander. He did as he was told - no matter what it might be. That is….the day your commanding officer goes too far. Then what does one do? Obey orders or listen to your heart?
He knew he shouldn’t have listened to voice in the back of his mind. He knew he should have just done as he was ordered. He knew he should have just swallowed all forms of humanity and morality and become the monster that his Commandant was asking him to be - but there was just something in his mind that was screaming at him - reminding him relentlessly that if he agreed to this task he was given - he would never see a decent night’s sleep ever again.
“Vhat do you mean you vant me to isolate the princess?” he asked the man before him, his mind screaming at him for even beginning to speak in a tone that spoke of defiance. He saw the crimson narrow at him and he felt the room go cold.
He could feel the icy cold stare on him pulling his soul from him and it made him shudder, but he couldn’t do it. He wouldn’t do it.
She was a child of a mere Nine years and he refused to isolate her from everything simply so that Alexei could nurture her ‘powers’ so that they may grow to become exactly what he needed them to be. Not only was she the princess - she was a child. A Child. This was simply a fact he could not ignore.
“It is not in your rights to question me, Yeager. If I order something, you simply obey."
It came out in a harsh growl, freezing him in place. He couldn’t do this…any of this ….anymore.
He needed to do the only thing he could do.
"I will give you until tomorrow to come to a more reasonable state of mind, Yeager. Don’t forget what I’ve done for you."
It was a threat. It was a blatant threat and he knew that. 'Or what?’ he questioned in his mind, but dared not to speak the words aloud. No instead he simply bowed, and left without a word.
He would wait - wait until nightfall to do what needed to be done. He would disappear to a place where Alexei could never find him. If he pulled himself out of the picture the Commandant would be down one of his most precious toys - his most trusted toys. So there would be no one left - to keep the princess locked away from everything. No one that Alexei would be willing to entrust such a task to.
And when the night blanketed the grand Imperial Empire, the young knight left his homeland to find a new place to belong - leaving only a small wing pin behind.
Chapter 3: Resolve
It was a long journey from the capital to be sure that he was far enough from Alexei that once the man realized he was gone, he could truly disappear. He traveled through the night, pushing himself past the brink of exhaustion - not willing to stop for anything or anyone. He needed to do this - to get away - from him.
He wasn’t about to be apart of Alexei’s wicked intentions. He didn’t know the entirity of the Commandant’s plan for their Terca Lumeris but he knew that it was nothing good, and if he was willing to go so far as to drag children into it - then he would do whatever it took to interfere with the man’s plans. Even if that simply meant becoming a shadow and living in darkness.
The black pit of the sky began to twist with colors along the horizon, mixing into a painting of pinks and yellows and oranges. It was a warning that was blazing above him and he took this natural sign to heart and decided that finding refuge soon would mostly be the best course of action.
With the sun’s light breaking the darkness he knew that Alexei’s men would be after him soon. Hunting him down like a feral beast - there was no way such a precious toy would be allowed leave so easily - even more so if it wasn’t simply for the stone that rested in his chest. His hand rested over the middle of his chest - where his heart should have been - only to be reminded of his fate when he felt nothing but cold.
Pulling himself in the cover of the Quoi Woods, he took in a deep breath and only could stop to pray that the rumors of the area would be enough to keep Alexei’s ranks at bay. A curse. These lands were supposed to be cursed, but that wasn’t enough to keep him away. He’d fallen into the pits of hell its self so what could a little curse possibly do to a dead man?
He slinked through the forest quietly, letting his eyes scan the area to find a safe place to rest. His body was weary from the constant punishment of motion, and his armor only made the feeling heavier on his slender frame. There was a clearing in the middle of the forest - a small area of trees and flowers. A feeling of the area something that could only be described as serene. His body hunched forward as the fatigue over took him, and he allowed himself a moment of rest. Settling beneath one of the trees, the young knight drifted off quickly.
Hours passed and he never once woke from his slumber, even as the sound of clanking armor drew ever closer. Growling filled the air and brown shot wide, jolting the youth out of his sleep. His reflexes took over and he moved out of the way of a sword’s path just in time. Armor clashing about was more than enough to bring him back to senses and have him jumping back to his feet.
He didn’t speak a word, and merely reached for his own blade only to disregard it in order to dodge the swipe of claws aimed at one of the knights before him. What was happening? There was a clash of knights and monsters before him and it was this sight that caused his mind to scream.
There wasn’t time to stay and fight - if they caught him it was all over. If he stopped now then all of this would be for nothing. A scrambling mess of hands made for his blade, and with a quick success, the now ex-knight took off running.
Don’t look back.
He moved through the brush as fast as he could, thinking of nothing but getting as far from the scene as possible. Several minutes of this and he found himself at a clearing. There weren’t trees for miles and the sky was a brillant shade of blues shining above him.
No where to hide. Only forward to run.
So he did. Past Halure, through Emead Hill, right until he found himself on Capau Nor’s doorstep.
But he didn’t enter. He hesitated. Could he? Surely Alexei had word to the ports about his disappearance. Surely the knights that were stationed here would say something.
Don’t look back.
There was only forward now, and he would go as far as he needed to now that he’d found his resolve.
Chapter 4: The Union
How long had he been running? He’d lost track of time at this point, and merely kept himself going on will alone. In reality, it had been weeks since he had set out from the grand capital of the Empire. New Lands, New Continents were what awaited him - and now he found himself on the mid region of Northen Tolbyicca.
A small city was before him, and after seeing nothing but forest for so long, it was a welcomed sight.
Worn and weary steps brought him to the city's entrance, and the knight didn’t hesitate to follow the stone path into the heart of the area. What was this place? Where was he? The City was small - smaller than Zaphais. It looked as if it was still growing - big enough to survive but no where near the grand capacity of the Imperial Capital.
As he walked into the city, every step felt like it was one the verge of being his last. He’d been running for so long now. How he longed for nothing more than a decent meal and a bed. Simple pleasures as those couldn’t have been more appealing to the young warrior now.
One step. Two.
Further into the city he strode, and he noticed the gazes that were falling on his figure. The people of the area were almost stopping what they were doing - as if he was some odd sight - as if they’d never seen a knight before.
“We don’t want your kind here."
The voice came from behind him, and he turned slowly to see the face of a larger man glaring down at him. His Kind? What did he mean by that? Did he finally find a place where the Empire’s reach hadn’t met? Was this place a place where the Knights weren’t …welcomed?
A sigh of relief left his frame, as he held his hands up.
"I don’t vant any trouble.” he started in a small tone, not sure how to approach the man before him, without causing a bigger scene than his presence already was.
“Then you shouldn’t have come out here, Knight.”
So then it was true. He was getting this attention because of his uniform - because of his allegiance to the Empire. He felt the air grow thick as his hands moved to the clasp on his hip that held the sheath in place. His fingers shook, as they struggled with the contraption. He felt his head growing dizzy as he wobbled in place. Soon - soon he pulled the sword and sheath from his belt and held it out to the man before him. He let it drop to the ground - the metal clattering against stone street beneath his feet, as he kept his gaze on the other man.
“I am no longer part of the empire.” he expressed with a firm look.
He hit the ground without warning, collapsing to the streets into nothing but armor and fatigue. The citizens of this city could do nothing but stare at this odd little knight that had stumbled into their home with curiosity. Soon - an older man appeared on the scene. Red lines marked his face, as a firm gaze looked down at the expended knight before him, and he only could let out a grumble.
“Boss!” It was a chime that more than one of the members of the city spoke, as soon as the man appeared.
“Get him to the Inn. Now.” It was a rough order, and the people of the city scrambled to meet it. Instantly the knight was lifted from his spot on the street, and carried to the nearest Inn in the city.
It had been nearly a fortnight since his arrival in the city that he learned was called ‘Dahngrest’. The leader of his place went by the name of Don Whitehorse, and he ran a guild called Altosk.
There had been much to learn, and much to discuss in the time he was there, and he ended up telling the leader of the city everything. He begged, pleaded with the man to let him stay, and to not throw him back to the monsters that Alexei’s men were - and after much consideration he agreed.
He had to earn his own keep, and they both had agreed that if he was going to go 'into hiding’ he’d best ditch his name.
It was on that day that Yeager died once more, and Regeay was born. His new life, his Sanctuary.
From this point on he would learn everything about the guilds and now they worked. He would give his life for them, and do whatever he could to help. He would help support this life that such a great man allowed him to come into.
He would start his own guild. He would - he would pull the blastia from the Empire’s grasp. Currently such a powerful thing was exclusively in the Empire’s hold - Alexei’s hold…and that wasn’t something he was about to let happen. So if he gathered people together he could pull the Blastia from their Terca Lumireis, and make them far more - commonplace.
Blastia… it was something he needed to learn about. Some he needed to know everything that was possible to know about. He needed to know just exactly what was keeping him alive, and how it was doing so.
He would dedicate his life to it.
Chapter 5: Ruin's Gate
Age Advance - Yeager is now 26.
“Yeager. We need to talk."
His head snapped around, and met the eyes of the older man. A sigh escaped his lungs as they rested on the Don.
How long had it been since he’d heard that name? So long…too long… three years too long.
"Ja, Vhat is it?” he asked in his normal voice, curiously as he sat down in front of the other man.
It was in these moments, and only these moments that he felt like he was still alive. He could be himself - completely - in front of the Boss of this city. He was the only one who knew - knew that Yeager and Regaey were one in the same.
He had spent the last three years building a guild of his own. He poured his life into it, making it his complete and utter focus - so much so that he often forget his real name - his real purpose himself.
This was the time when he was brought back into reality.
“I’m going to pull Ruin’s Gate into the Master Guilds. I needed to know if you’re okay with that kind of attention.”
Attention. Yes, that is exactly what he would be getting with the rate that Union was growing now. Dahngrest wasn’t the small budding spot on the ground he’d found those years ago - and with the title of ‘Third Strongest Guild in the Union’ added to Ruin’s Gate - he would be getting attention from everyone - even probably attention he didn’t want.
Still, could Alexei possibly still be looking for him? Even now?
It was too early to call and Yeager wasn’t about to take any chances. As long as he stayed a Regaey he should be fine - right?
“I w-w-ould be fine wi-with that. ” he spoke, forcing his accent away, and pulling back on the persona he was so used to taking up now-a-days. The Don only smiled at him.
“You don’t have to keep the act up in front of me, Kid.” he spoke, setting his hand on Yeager’s shoulder.
“You’ve earned this spot. When you came here three years ago, I didn’t know what to make of you, but you’ve grown into quite the man. You’ve even helped us with those dogs from the Empire. If you hadn’t come here, the Union wouldn’t be anywhere near as strong as it is now.”
He meant those words. It was easy to hear in his voice.
It was true, three years ago he was a different man - a knight bound to a man, a task that he couldn’t complete, but now it was starting to feel as if he could finally take back his life in with this mask he’d created.
No one in the entire Union knew more about the Blastia than he did. He had something he specialized in, something that he was known for - and it honestly was a feeling that he couldn’t describe.
Because for the first time since his death -
He had somewhere, he belonged.
Chapter 6: The Lion and The Wolf
It was a normal trip to Aspio that had the news passing by his ears.
Walking into the city within a cavern, he couldn’t help but listen - pause - flinch in his step as he heard the knights guarding the area talking amongst themselves.
“Did you hear?” one spoke, and the tone of the man’s voice only drew in Yeager - no Regaey’s attention.
“About the capital? I hear the Commandant is furious.” the other responded and upon the word ‘Commandant’ floating into the air the Archaeologist felt his body tense, and his skin crawl. The hairs on his neck stood on end at the idea of what the man would do to him had he ever found him again - even after all these years. He shuddered at the thought.
“It’s a shame. I hear we lost some good men.” It was a defeated sigh as the knight looked off to the side, as if to mourn the loss.
“We lost Scifo, didn’t we?”
“Yeah. Finath was a good man. ”
There was a pause in his step again, at the mention of the name. Finath Scifo.
His hand balled into a fist as memories surged into his mind, and he braced himself to remember that he, himself was still - at his core - a knight.
He knew that man. He knew him, not just of him. Finath was close to his brigade, to his Commanding Officer - to Casey. He’d spent time training under the man in his rookie days. He could see the knight in question’s face clearly in his mind.
“W-What happened?” he asked, chiming into the knights’ conversation on instinct, his voice shy as he gave them his full attention. The knights turned, looking him over for few moments before speaking.
“And you are?"
His mind jerked, as if it was an engine that stalled upon the question crossing the man’s lips. He looked away shyly, as he struggled to give his thoughts the kick start they needed.
"R-Regeay. I run- run the guild R-ruin’s Gate.” He held his hands together as his shoulders slumped - all insecurity more than visible about his form. Would they believe him? Did they know?
They looked him over, once or twice, and the guild leader could feel his skin tingling with fear of what they would do next.
The knights before him merely smiled, and explained the situation.
“There was an attack on the capital, and we lost a lot of good men. Some are saying it was monsters, while other’s are blaming the guilds.”
“So be a good boy. We’re going to be keeping an eye on you guild folk. Your guild might have a good reputation but that doesn’t mean we trust you.”
Their words didn’t make him feel any better about the whole concept of Alexei and the possibility of being found out - the sheer idea of being watched left his nerves tingling.
Even so, there was work to be done, and research to conduct.
It only took a few moments to check in his guild, and be off to the ruins. They spent hours there - digging out blastia and finding new ways around the caverns of Shaikos. It was fascinating really… and normally it was something what would have his completely devoted attention but today… today the news he’d heard - it just distracted him.
Finath was really gone?
There was this nagging in the back of his mind telling him to go - go to Zaphais and pay the man the final respect he deserved, but his fear was holding him back. What if they knew? What if Alexei was still looking for him? What if someone stopped him?
What would he do if he was caught?
Could he honestly risk it?
He would need some rest to think it over.
His Guild was commissioned to work on these ruins currently for another week - so he would have the time to at least mull over the topic a little bit.
The night was not kind to him, nor were his thoughts. Even after disregarding his knighthood, still he remained honor bound. What would it take to shake such a thing from him? He owed the Empire nothing, but yet he felt so compelled to at least pay the respects to the knights he once knew.
A sigh escaped his form as he reached for his glasses and replaced them on his face. His steps carried him outside, just outside the caverns of Aspio, only to stand for a moment to gaze up at the stars.
He twiddled his fingers together as he stood there, zoning out into the blackened sky, watching the stars twinkle in the inky painting. They were lost…as lost as he was. They were scattered in that darkness, so far away from each other, but close enough to be seen. No where to hide, no where to run. Even if they couldn’t be seen at night, still those stars were there - carrying on with everything.
What if they had life on them too? What if there were families up there somewhere? What If…
It was the question that kept filling his mind. 'What If’. It was a nagging mother refusing to leave him alone until his chores were finished.
He needed to go, whether he wanted to risk it or not - he needed to.
The week came to and end, and the guild was packing up it’s belongings when Regaey informed his men that he needed to tend to some personal business in the capital. Traveling by caravan made it easier on him, as his guild was kind enough to simply drop him off at Zaphais to avoid at least a day’s trip walking.
When they offered to wait for him, and stay the night, he assured them there would be no need for that and he would back in Dahngrest before they knew it.
Slow planned, paranoid steps brought him onto the capital’s streets, and he crept through the grand city with absolute caution. Adjusting his glasses he looked about the area, to make sure there wasn’t any sign of Alexei or the Royal Guard and once he deemed it safe, he slipped through the streets to make it Imperial Graveyard.
It didn’t take him long to scan the names on the grave and find the one he was looking for. 'Finath Scifo’. So it was true….he really was gone. A small sigh left his form, as he let a mournful gaze meet the stone.
A moment of silence in respect before he spoke.
“I zhould be lying there vith you, my friend."
His hand pressed over his chest, hand tightly holding the golden wrapped red stone that rested beneath the fabric of his shirt. He let the moment consume him, as his mind let the memories flood forth and his true persona shine through.
Time lingered, as he stood there, merely watching the stone, as if he had something else to say, but didn’t know how to say it.
"Who - Who are you!?"
His head snapped around to meet the sight of angry blue eyes, framed by blond locks.
He was a small child, pale skin, not too tall in stature but not one to be called short either. He looked, he looked just like Finath - so he could only conclude that it must be his son.
A smile crept onto his lips, as he watched the boy stand there, glaring at him - the perfect picture of a small lion - full of pride and honor - even when one should have been so broken and torn over such an event as the loss of a loved one.
"Flynn calm down.” The second boy spoke. He was about the same age as the blond, clad in black, hair made of violet. He held onto the blond’s arm, as if to hold him back from doing anything rash. A small pup of a boy, he was.
The smile never faded as he approached them, stopping only for a moment to rest a hand on the blond’s shoulder.
“Your father vas a great man."
He left the words for the children and in that single instant he said nothing more, leaving the city to be on his way.
"Flynn…who was that?” the child of violet spoke, as he turned to look at his friend.
“I - I have no idea…"
Chapter 7: The Krityan
It hadn’t been too long since Ruin’s Gate’s last visit to Aspio, before they were commissioned for another job. There were caverns discovered on Hypionia, in a forest called Egothor, so of course this job drew in his attention.
Hypionia was still quite new when it comes to most maps now-a-days. People had charted the continent, but there wasn’t much life on it so it only made Regaey wonder what kinds of things he could find in such an abandoned place.
He accepted the job with enthusiasm, not really asking much about the details of the area, and merely rushing off with the joy of discovering new things polluting his mind.
It wasn’t a short trip to get there, even more so with the lacking information on the map provided. His guild found themselves wandering about the place for hours, until they came upon the place that was described.
Dark eyes looked up over the edge of glasses frames that were sliding down his nose, glancing from the area they’d come to and back to the map in his hands.
“I- I think this is the s-s-spot.” he stammered out, as gloves hands folded up the paper in his hands and carefully replaced in the back pocket of his pants.
They pushed forward into the forest, and into the caves that were in the mountains of the area. Lighting a lantern, he looked around the rock room, not finding too much of interest in the way of blastia, and it went on that way for several hours.
Heavy steps carried him forward as the day drug on. Fatigue creeped at his form, but none the less he continued on. The sound of rock falling filled the air, as he drug his hand against the wall of the cave’s path. Hopefully he would find something soon… Hallo?
Lips stretched wide, as interest filled dark eyes. Pushing his glasses back up his nose, he moved towards the contraption he had just found. A blastia? He was sure that was what the machine had to be.
But what did it do? What was it for?
His hands moved for it without hesitation, as he continued to look it over. A deep breath was pulled into his lungs before he released it again to blow the dust away. It was such an awkward little thing. Was it just a power source of some kind or maybe just some kind of light? Absorbed into the idea of figuring out exactly what this blastia was for.
Leaning in closer, he noticed it - the core. This blastia was not only completely intact but it still had its core? What wonderful little find this was….
…a flash of light filled the room, and he hissed in pain as he laid his fingers on the center stone - and the machine burst to life. He struck the ground hard as he was throw backwards. Glass clattering across the stone floor, he could only watch as the machine began to glow, showing that it was indeed still functional.
Just what did he find? What was this wonderful discovery before him? Looking to the sides for a few moments, he picked up his glasses and replaced them in their rightful spot, before moving in closer examination.
“W-What are you?” he spoke aloud, his hand moving towards the core.
A threatening roar cracked the sky, and the ground shook beneath him. What in the world was going on?
Jerked upright, he wobbled in place as the roar tore the sky for a second time and the ground shook once more.
Something was very, very wrong.
Hurried steps carried him outside, navigating the cavern’s path as quickly as he could. His gaze shot to the sky to see exactly what he feared. It was a monster - one of the monsters from the war. A large blue dragon let out a threatening cry and shot the ground with a great blast again - aiming towards the cave he was just inside.
“Oh No.” was the only thing he could think to say, as he stood there frozen for a moment. Why was it here? What was causing it to go berserk? Was it… the blastia?
As if all the gears clicked into place at once, his eyes shot wide and he found his body moving before he realized what he was doing. The blastia… that blastia… He was before it once more in what felt like a blink of an eye. There wasn’t a chance to think about what he was doing, no - there wasn’t time for that. His hand wrapped the core, and pulled it free causing all forms of life to fall from the machine. Even if this wasn’t what was angering the monster so much he could always study it later.
Racing back outside, he looked to the sky - only to see the dragon flying away from the scene. That must - must have been it. As he watched the creature, he noticed her. Squinting to make the image clearer he saw the image of a small girl riding on the dragon’s back. A Krityan?
It was the only thing he could come to think of considering their allegiance to the beasts in the war.
He gripped the small stone in his hand tightly wondering why such a thing would make the beast appear before him again. This was something he was going to have to look into.
Chapter 8: The Raven
Two years have passed, Yeager is now 28.
He wasn’t much for drinking but after a long day’s work, today he just simply found himself being drawn to the atmosphere of the local tavern. There was a bustle of noise the whole room, and a musk that laced the air making the area a little more than unpleasant.
Fingers laced the handle of his glass and he lifted it to his lips taking a small sip, before letting out another sigh.
Two years had gone by in the blink of an eye since he’d found that blastia in Egothor Forest. Research had brought him many bits of knowledge on the topic. It was a blastia called Hermes after the researcher that created it - a Krityan.
Learning this didn’t really find this to be surprising considering the Krityan’s connection to the stones - but still there was so much to learn. This blastia in particular was so complex. It drew in the aer differently from the others - but at the same time the amount it took in was a massive increase from even the most complex blastia he’d encountered thus far.
This Hermes, it even far surpassed the Hoplon Blastia… if it were to be used incorrectly he could only begin to imagine what damage it could cause.
A small hiccup escaped him as he took another drink from his glass, and finally sat the mug back down on the counter empty. It’d been a long while since he’d found himself in such a place - the last time being before the Great War with his brigade after a successful mission.
A sigh escaped, as he looked down at the counter top, a blurry version of his reflection shining back at him from the polish of the wood.
Who was that staring back at him? Was it himself anymore?
He could drown in the thought at this rate, and that was exactly what he did.
Lifting himself from his place at the bar, he tossed his fee on the counter and made his way outside. It was raining.
The sky was black, and the clouds rolled over head in an angry grumble as the rain poured down.
It’d been years since he had heard his own name, to the point that even he - himself was starting to think of himself as 'Regeay’ rather than ‘Yeager’. His hands pushed into his hair and gave it a good ruffle. A defeated sigh left him as his gaze met the puddles beneath his feet, and he was met with face of a man he hardly knew.
He was tired - tired of being this 'Regeay’, tired of speaking in a false voice, tired of hiding who he was. He was tired - he was tired of running.
Five years past and there had been no sign of Alexei’s men still on the look out for him. Perhaps the Commandant thought him dead? In all honesty, he could only hope for such a thing.
But how long? How much longer would he have to wear this mask before he could be himself again?
Stumbling through the alleyway back to his place of residence, he saw him.
He saw the bright colors that were coming in his direction, with tanned skin and raven brown locks that he would never forget. Was that…Damuron? Slender fingers wrapped the frames of his glasses to pull them from his nose for a moment. He blinked twice - three times - before rubbing his eyes in an attempt to clear his vision. There was no way to mistake it - that was definitely Damuron.
But then why was he here - in the Union? In Dahngrest? Did he run from Alexei too …or was he still Alexei’s perfect little pet?
He didn’t know, but he needed to - he needed to know for his own safety - his own freedom. His hand shook at the sight of him, as thoughts of the Commandant invaded his mind again. The fear took over as he thought about it - the idea of what Alexei would do if he ever realized he was still alive.
Why? Why was he here? Could he be trusted? Did he know? Would he know when they met face to face?
Their steps were drawing them closer and closer to each other, and Regeay kept his gaze downcast and away from the other man as they passed.
“Hey!” he heard sound suddenly and his heart skipped a beat. “You know any good places 'round h’re I can find the ladies?” he sounded in a drunken stupor.
A sigh of relief left him. He didn’t notice…he didn’t recognize him.
He could only suppose that meant he was safe - for now.
Chapter 9: Leviathan's Claw
Only a month or so had passed since he’d met that man - that Raven. He was the newest member of Altosk and the sheer concept of someone joining that guild with little effort made him nervous. Getting into one of the Five Master Guilds was no small feat - even more so the most influential guild of the entire Union.
He hadn’t dealt with him often, only occasionally running into the man when he would have to attend the meetings for the Master Guilds - He seemed - seemed to be close too the Don - almost his right hand man. How did he gain the trust of Don Whitehorse so quickly?
Something just wasn’t adding up.
He pushed his hands down on the tabletop as he stood, and the leaders of the guilds dispersed from their meeting.
He paused at the sound of his name, turning to face the Don, now that he was the only one in the room.
“W-What is it, Don?” he asked as he folded his hands together and his frame twitched in the usual nervous way he had for the past five years.
He met the hard gaze of the older man, and wondered what he could possibly be thinking - what could he need that couldn’t have been discussed at the Guild Leader’s Meeting?
“I want to see more of you.”
The words were sudden and unexplained. They caught him off guard - freezing him in place as his mind struggled to process the meaning behind them.
“E-Excuse Me?” he asked, as he shook his head, still puzzled by the critic saying.
The Don stood, walking across the room - as massive wall in size when compared the stammering Guild Leader before him. A single hand rested on the smaller man’s shoulder and he spoke.
“Don’t you think it’s about time you stopped running?"
His world broke for a moment, as time froze. Running? He’d gotten so used to it by now, that it was habit -it was almost the same as breathing to be so cautious in his steps and his motions. There was no way he could let himself slip when it came to a man like Alexei.
"I know you’re not happy, Yeager. I can see in your eyes at every meeting. You’re a shadow of the man who came here five years ago.”
The hands on the clock ticked slowly, creeping forward at a decelerated pace, as his mind fell into the thoughts on the subject. Drowning in an instant, it was as if the mere concept was a wave crashing over him , and the sound of his own name was the final push he needed to send him spiraling under the depths of his persona.
It was almost visible to see the mask crack, struggling to find the words to say as his mind tormented him with the idea of actually being - himself. Could he ever have something like that ever again? Could Yeager ever be a person again?
It’s been five years….was it possible that Alexei was still looking for him?
Was he willing to take the chance?
His mind was screaming at him that it was too much to throw on the roulette table, but his heart was already placing his bets on down. Enough was enough - how he longed to hear his own name again, and to not have to think about the way he spoke. How he wanted nothing more than to be himself once more.
“I - I just don’t know if I can take the risk.”
"I vant to, just…if…”
“The Empire has no power here, Yeager. You know that."
"Ja.” It was a sighed agreement, as his shoulders dropped. “I-I’ll think about it.”
There was a drag to his walk, each step feeling heavier and heavier the more his mind sank into the concept of no longer wearing a persona. Finally taking his leave of the other man, a sigh escaped him once back upon the streets of Dahngrest.
The idea toyed with him, taunting him the entire time he took him to get back to his place of residence. What was he supposed to do? Could the Don possibly be right?
How he longed for the older man to be right….
Pushing the door open to his small home within the city’s limits, he trudged into his room, stopping before the mirror that caught his attention.
There he was again - that man he didn’t know. Hunched over, and shy - a defeated shadow that the only thing he could do was hide and cower from things he shouldn’t be afraid of. He was…he was stronger than that.
There was an anger growing as he kept his gaze locked on the ‘man’ before him. Such a submissive little man…how had he become that from the proud knight he once was?
Letting out a frustrated groan, his hands moved into his hair, fluffing it up in anger. His long bang fell loose of it’s usual style, and his glasses slid to the tip of his nose. He caught the sight again, the sight of himself looking back at him reflecting in the mirror.
Curiously peaking, slender fingers pulled the glasses off completely and he merely took a moment cherish the sight. That was him… that was what he was supposed to look like.
Alexei be damned.
He would have his life back, and it would start now.
It took several months of work under the table, but today was finally the day he could appear again. Brown dress shoes clicked against the stone streets of the Union, as coat tails swayed with his walk. He headed straight for the Union Headquarters with an air of confidence about him like he hadn’t expressed in years.
He could feel the stares on him as he made his way through the city, like when he had came for the first time, as a knight, five years ago. He was a 'newcomer’ in their eyes, and far as he was concerned, let them think that. No one - no one needed to know his connection to Regeay.
His confidence only grew as he pushed himself into the Union Headquarters, a path clearing as he walked through the small crowd gathered in the lobby of the building.
“The Don is in a meeting right now.” One of the men spoke to him, as he stopped before the door that lead to his long time friend.
Dark eyes snapped at the man, with a glare that spoke 'I don’t care.’ without even speaking a word.
He pushed past them with little concern, and entered the room.
There was a pause to the chatter in the room, as all who occupied it, and rested their gaze on the blue-suited male.
A smug grin appeared on the face of the eldest man, as he took in the sight before him, and he spoke.
“What business do you have, that’s so important you’d interrupt one of my meetings? That’s pretty bold of you."
"I’m here to establish the marking of a new guild, Leviathan’s Claw.” his words were brimming with pride as he rested a hand on his hip and shifted his weight.
He saw the look of pure curiosity wash over the older man’s face.
“And you are?” he asked, the younger man.
“The Guild’s Leader, Yeager."
Chapter 10: Torim
There wasn’t much that brought him to this city beyond business now-a-days. A few months of his newest guild being established, and he was already busier than he expected to be. He knew that weapons were needed to defend against the monsters, and that blastia were a precious resource - but he had no idea how much attention that would actually draw to his guild - not that he minded. The extra money was always welcome as it made it much easier to make a living.
The sun was out and the wind was blowing. The day was much more pleasant than the days he’d been seeing this past week. Something about the water drew him in - and it was a welcome calm after just meeting with Fortune’s Market. That woman was much less infuriating to deal with when he was in his own skin. The air of trust she gave off when he was that stammering baffoon, Regaey was gone but he was willing to take the loss for the much less annoyed attitude from her.
Letting out a sigh, his shoulders slumped for a moment as he simply found himself getting lost in the waves. The sound of the sea mixed with the air, dancing along with the sound of children playing. Children. It was such a joyous sound to hear such innocent swimming in the air around him. Closing his eyes for a moment he simply just took it in, and let his mind fall to better times - younger times.
Falling into his trance, it took him a few moments to come back to reality as he felt a tug on the tail of his suit coat. He hesitated, shifting his gaze behind him to find the source of the motion. There stood with bright eyes a small girl, with equally bright green hair. Behind her was another girl, with locks of red - cheeks puffed out as if she was upset with the other girl.
“Hey Mister. ” The green haired girl started. “What'chya doin’ here?” she asked again, blinking her eyes with an innocent curiousity.
The red haired girl pulled at the other’s arm, and with a frown she growled. “Come on Droite, you know we’re not supposed to talk to strangers - and this guy is definitely strange. "
The green haired child didn’t move however. No, she simply stood there, staring up at him with those wide untainted eyes, holding onto the tail of his jacket with such wonder.
His lips curved up, stretching out in a wide smile as he knelt down to the girls’ level and locked gazes with them.
"I’m here on business. You zhould go back to your parents before they vorry about you.” He spoke cheerfully, only to receive a smile from one child and a glare from the other.
“We don’t have parents.” The child of fire snarled, as she successfully pulled her green haired counterpart behind her. “So there’s no one to worry about us.” There was such anger in that small voice - where there should have been innocence there was only pain.
His features twisted into a disapproving frown, at the girl’s words, and he sighed.
“Then vhere do you live? Zurely zomeone must take care of you."
"We live at the orphanage up the street."
"Droite! Don’t tell him anything! You know we can’t trust strangers."
"Aw come on, Gauche. He doesn’t seem like that bad of a guy…"
From what he could gather, this ‘Gauche’ seemed to be rather protective of this 'Droite’. Were they sisters? From they way acted he could only assume.
He watched them for a moment, before he received a hard glare from the red headed girl as she pulled her sister away from him.
"It was nice talking to you, Mister!!!” The right handed twin shouted to him as she was pulled backwards.
What an odd set of girls they were….
He still had things to discuss with Fortune’s Market, so he found himself staying in the town for another night. The Inn was small and welcoming - the bed was comfortable - so why couldn’t he sleep? Thoughts of red and green were pestering him - bothering him…why couldn’t he stop thinking about those girls?
Growing up in a noble family, he found it hard to relate to the idea of living without parents. From what he saw, it seemed like all those girls had was each other. Why did that bother him so much?
The morning came before he knew it, and sleep had failed to visit him much throughout the night. Business to attend to. His steps carried him out of the Inn and straight back to Fortune’s Market’s headquarters, only to see a glance of color out of the corner of his eye. Was it them? Turning to follow what caught his attention, he found it was nothing. Sighing, he entered the home of his fellow guild and went on with his business.
Long and boring - this woman was always so difficult to deal with no matter what face he showed her. He was thankful for it to be over because now he could head back to his home not to far from Dahngrest, and rest in his own bed.
It was the sound the heels of his shoes made as he found himself back on the stone streets of the port. The wind blew past him, warm and welcoming - but beckoning at the same time. It was as if something was pulling him towards something. He turned to follow the direction of the force, and his eyes fell on a small building up the street.
“We live in the orphanage up the street."
He could hear that girl’s words in his mind. Was that the place? Curiosity carried him closer, until he could read the sign next to the door that clearly read 'Torim Children’s Home’. This had to be it. Lifting an arm he knocked on the door lightly wondering if anyone would even answer.
The door pulled open slowly, and he was greeted by the face of an older woman, who only looked at him in confusion.
"Can I help you?” she asked.
“Um….I meet two girls yesterday… Gauche and Droite? I vas vondering if they lived here.” he explained, trying to not come off as rude.
The woman tilted her head to the side, and pulled the door open completely to let the Guild Leader inside. His gaze circled the area, and he cringed at the sight of the building. The windows were dirty, the walls were cracking in small spots…to be completely honest it was falling apart.
“Don’t mind appearance of the place, money’s a little tight and we don’t get many guests. Feel free to have a seat, and I’ll go get the girls."
He a gave the woman a small smile as she left the room - and he continued to just have a look at the place while he waited. How could they live in a place like this? She’d said money was tight, but to this extent?
“What are you doing here?"
His attention snapped around at the sound of the young voices aimed in his direction, and smiled. He was met with a happy smile from one and a hard glare from the other. He paused, not really knowing how to answer the question only to have the owner of the small home pipe up.
"Girls…how do you know this man?” she asked them, her voice coming out a little more than worried in tone. He smiled.
“I met them on the pier yesterday.” He piped up before the girls could answer, and extended a hand out to the older woman, in greeting. “My Name is Yeager, and I am part of the Union. I run one of the guilds zo I vas here on business.” he explains in hopes of easing the woman’s fears.
There was a long pause, as his eyes moved around the room, taking in the state of the building again. “And if you don’t mind me asking, how much vould it cost to get this place fixed up?"
The woman’s look dulled at the question, shoulder dropping in defeat.
"Quite a bit. I’m behind in taxes and other bills - I only can do what I am able for these children."
His lips spread wide, as he looked to the young girls and back to the woman who owned the orphanage. "Then allow me to help you give them a better life, ja?"
She looked up at him with a shocked, confused look - as if he couldn’t be serious. However it was the complete opposite - he was dead serious. No child should have to live in such conditions, he never did - so why should anyone else? He had the means to support them, and it would be nice to have a reason to come to this town for reasons other than business…because for some reason he just felt drawn to these girls. He felt like he needed them in his life….because their bright smiles made him feel
Chapter 11: Daughters
Age Advance: Yeager is now 29.
It’d been a whole year since he met them, and honestly he couldn’t even believe that the time had passed so quickly. Torim was a place he went out of his way to stop in for a quick visit now-a-days. Helping out that little orphanage - it made him feel almost as if he was alive again, and those two girls - they made him forget about this problems.
The heels of his shoes clicked against the stone streets of the port city as he left the small home for unfortunate children, only pausing to give the two girls both a hug and a kiss on the forehead.
He could hear them waving behind him as he made his way out town, their small voices fading off into the distance bidding him farewell. A small smile was woven into his lips as he crossed the boarder out of town, musing to himself about the conversation he had with the girls’ guardian before he’d left.
It’d taken much thought and consideration, but lately in end of this past year, he’d found himself growing lonely without those smiling faces around, and he wanted to just see those two girls grow up as happy as they could be. Adoption crossed his mind more than once, and after months of deliberating on the topic he finally convinced himself that it would be the best for the three of them in the long run.
These thoughts, the followed him home, back to the Manor of the Wicked, where he dwelled over just how quiet the halls where when there was no on around but himself a few of the men that joined Leviathan’s Claw.
Determination struck him and he decided, rest on the idea for a night, and he would take a trip to Torim to see the girls and tell them of his idea of a family after his usual business in Dahngrest.
A night’s sleep wouldn’t hurt anything.
They’d set out in the dead of night, slipping out under the cover the black blanketed sky, so that their caretaker wouldn’t notice they’d gone missing. It had been a year since they met him, since they’d met this Yeager, and admittedly the both of the had taken quite a liking to the man. He was always smiling when they were together, often stopping to bring them presents and to help their head-mother with the bills she was struggling with. Since this man had stepped into their lives, they’d gotten better - and not just their’s but all of the children who lived with them.
The two girls had tried to think of a way to repay the Guild Leader, only coming up with things that always felt like just short of enough. The thought of living with the man they all most considered family had crossed their minds more than once over the course of this past year, and every time they brought up the subject they were quickly given a straight ‘No.’ and other such reasons of why living with him would be far too dangerous.
What could be so bad about someone so kind?
Gauche and Droite honestly had trouble imagining someone as gentle as Yeager being in any sort of trouble - he was just genuinely too nice for such a thing.
So they’d decided it in secret, if he wouldn’t have them live with him, they would just have to prove to him, that they could handle anything that came their way. He was part of the Guilds, so they automatically assumed if they went to Dahngrest they would be able to find some kind of information on how to find him - or maybe even find him.
It wouldn’t be that hard…would it?
Morning came faster than he expected it to, and soon enough he rose from his slumber to make his way into the Union. There was a meeting of the Five Master Guilds today, so he would have to slide on the mask of Regeay for a few hours before he could tend to his other business.
The meeting was long and boring as they usually were, and all the stuttering in his own speech made his head hurt. He was starting to question how he’d kept the act up for all these years. Making his way back into town, it was simple matter to slip back into his 'own skin’ and see the business he had for Leviathan’s Claw.
Heading to discuss a few things with the Hunting Blades was the agenda for the day, and he groaned at the thought. Clint wasn’t exactly the most agreeable person, and quite frankly he avoided dealing with the group whenever it was possible. However they owed him a favor for keeping the Blood Alliance out of their business, and off their hunting grounds - so it was about time he had a little chat with them on the matter.
It was about mid-day and they were sure they were almost there by now. They had to be, they had been traveling all night. Not wanting to take another step, the green haired girl paused, dropping to her knees to draw in a breathe.
“Gauche, I’m tired. Can’t we stop now?” she whined, only to receive a hard glare from other girl.
“No. If we stop now, who knows what will happen. We’re almost there, Droite…and once we are, then we’ll take a rest at the Inn.” she urged the other, as she turned around to snap her gaze on her sibling.
Both girls jumped at the sound as it cracked the air. Eyes wide they turned to see the trees of the forest rumble, being accompanied by the sound of footsteps thudding ever closer.
“W-What was that, Gauche?” The right handed girl sounded, as she jumped to her feet, and ran to her sister’s side.
“I don’t know, but stay behind me.” The left handed girl spoke as felt the other girl’s arms wrap her own.
Gauche slipped her hand down, sliding her fingers into her sister’s grip, to hold a firm grasp on the other’s hand. Her hold tightened as the trees parted and a large beast appeared before them. Both sets of eyes widened in fear, at the sight, and the red head could feel her sister freezing.
“Run!” she shouted, pulling hard on her sister’s hand, making a break for the clearing behind them. It had to lead to something that could help and with any luck they would find a place with a barrier quickly.
They raced through the trees, panicked and worried as they heard the beast roar and it’s loud steps shake the ground as it chased them. The last thing Gauche accounted for on this trip was monsters, and now she found herself cursing mentally that she should have known better.
“It’s gunna catch us!” Droite whined as she clutched onto the hand pulling her forward tighter.
“Not if you don’t stop running!” Gauche commanded, racing forward, her voice desperate to cover up her ever growing fears.
Forced forward by the adrenaline surging through them, the red head didn’t notice as her foot slipped under a root that was arced out of the ground. A loud yelp of pain escaped her, as it drug her down, causing her to release the death grip she held on her sister’s hand.
The monster was drawing ever closer, it’s steps sounding of thunder - drums crashing in Droite’s ears as she moved quickly to try to help her sibling to her feet. A hiss of pain escaped the fire haired girl, as she pressed her ankle down.
“What’s wrong?” The words came out panicked as the green haired twin kept glancing over her shoulder to see the monster looming over them now.
“My ankle…” Gauche winced in pain as she tried to keep her foot from the ground, leaning her weight against the other girl. “Droite go…and I’ll catch up."
"N-No! I can’t leave you! That thing’ll kill you! Someone will come to help us!"
"GO!” An angry push against her chest, sent Droite stumbling away from the other girl - her precious sister - only to watch as the beast behind them raised it’s claws ready to strike the injured figure before it.
She winced, she cried, turned her head away - and closed her eyes in terror not willing to watch.
W-What? A gunshot rang through the air, and soon both girls saw their pursuer fall to the ground in an instant. Red and Green glanced towards each other in confusion, as the air froze for a moment. It was as if time slowed in that instant, the world quickly returning to it’s normal pace as Droite lifted herself from her place on the ground to race towards her sister in a panicked fit.
“Gauche! What’s wrong with you!? Are you Okay?! That thing could have killed you! Oh my God! I- I’m so happy you’re okay!” It was a mess of words that left the girl as she threw her arms around her kin, the feeling soon pasted though as the air froze again, under the sound of twigs crunched under the approaching steps.
These were lighter than the one’s of the monster, and coming from the direction they’d been traveling in. Was it another monster? Holding each other close, the girls braced themselves.
“Are you two crazy?! Vhat are you doing out here?! You could have gotten yourselves killed! I expect a good explanation for all this!”
That voice… They knew that voice. Their eyes shot open and turned behind them to see the sight of the man they had been looking for. There he stood, holding a tall rifle in his hand, his other resting on his hip as he tapped his foot in an upset manner.
There were no words they could say to express the relief they were feeling as they let the idea of the man before them actually being there and not just some dream their minds thought up. Tears streamed as if on command, and the two of them moved towards him in a hurry. Well the attempt was there, but Gauche hissed as her ankle hit the ground, and she stumbled forward.
Letting the rifle strike the ground, he leaned forward to catch the girl before she fell, and only looked down at her with an expression mixed in anger and worry.
“She tripped when we were running away from that thing…."
"I zee.” It was a short response, and it was easy to see the anger that was overwhelming the Guild Leader, as he lifted the red head up into his arms, balancing most of her weight on his left side. “Vrap your arms around my shoulders, Gauche.” It was a soft order, but an order none the less. His gaze shifted to the other girl, as the red head complied with his wishes. “Droite, my gun please.”
She ran over, picking up the weapon and handing it to him as he freed a hand for a quick moment. There was a quick turn of his wrist and in an instant the gun shifted and twisted until it was now resting in a small vision of a shield, and a few seconds later it was hanging back underneath the tails of his suit coat.
“Come along.” He spoke, in a parental tone, as he re-shifted his hold on the girl in his arms, to make sure she was completely supported. A small smile crossed his lips as he felt the small grip on his belt loop from the second sibling.
It wasn’t too long of a walk to get back to town, and Yeager instantly brought the two girls to the closest Inn in the ever growing city. Strange looks were caught out of the corner of his eyes, as he was sure what everyone could possibly be thinking about seeing a hired assassin helping two young girls.
With a nod in the direction he wanted her to move, Droite rushed forward to get the door for him, as he entered the Inn. He gave a second nod to the Innkeeper, who directed him to an open room without much of a fuss.
Setting the fire haired girl down the bed gently, his eyes softened at the sight of the both of them, and without warning he pulled them both into a tight embrace.
“Don’t vorry me like that."
"We’re sorry, we just wanted to see if you would let us…”
They’d asked him countless times before about the topic of adoption and living arrangement. It almost broke his heart that they thought they had to risk their lives to get him to agree. Letting out a sigh, he pulled back, placing a kiss on both of their foreheads, and brushing the bangs from their faces as he cupped their cheeks gently.
Both sets of eyes lit at the word. Such a simple word, but they weren’t expecting to hear it so easily. They were sure after what just happened there would be a fight, and they would be getting shipped back to Torim in the morning.
"R-Really?” The voices that left them were small, as the tears started to well up in their eyes, only to have the dam break as he smiled, and gave them a nod.
“I vas going to get you after I vas done vorking. ” he explained, smiling brighter as the twins wrapped their arms around him, in a tearful hug.
It was a short moment, before he pulled back from them, giving them a warm smile. Lifting himself from the kneeling position before the bed, he turned for the door, moved down the stairs quickly to go pay for the room.
A curious eye from the Innkeeper made him sigh, and only wonder what the man could have been thinking.
“Aren’t they a little young for you, Yeager?” he asked, causing the assassin only to glare at the man before him.
“They are my daughters.” he snapped quickly, slamming the fee for the room down on the counter and storming away.
To think some of the most vile things could cross people’s minds. It infuriated him.
Those two girls… Yes, from this point on.
They were his Daughters.
Chapter 12: The Lost Child
Age Advance: Yeager is now 31.
We are 2 years prior the the beginning of the game.
It was a lift adjustment to have young girls in his life, but after several months of pleading he finally caved and allowed them join Leviathan’s Claw. It was no place for children he would tell them, but they never listened and constantly insisted that he teach them how to fight. With the incident of the time he adopted them constantly lingering in his mind he finally agreed, and taught them how to fight as well.
That was a year ago.
Having mastered most everything he’d taught them, Yeager decided that now would be appropriate time to get the girls weapons of the their own. So a trip to speak with the Soul Smiths was what was added to the list of today’s agenda. His usual meetings were tended to, and he’d sent someone else to fetch supplies. Regeay had already made his appearance for the time being, with Ruin’s Gate being properly managed.
All was in order as of the moment.
It didn’t take the businessman too long to make his way to the Soul Smith’s part of town. Entering the building, the owner only smiled, knowing that Yeager of all people was one to bring odd requests for weapon making. He placed the sketches he’d drawn up before the man, emphasizing the fact that they were to be made for two young girls. The weight needed to be minimal but still effective for their intended purpose. It was yet another challenge he presented the guild with, almost as challenging as the request he’d put in for his own weapon of choice, years ago.
Stepping outside the shop, a smile crossed his lips as he thought of looks on the faces of his daughters once these new weapons were completed. They would be so excited. Humming a small tune to himself, he would have to return the next day of the weapons - but no matter - it was a small wait compared to requests he’d given them in the past.
“No one wants anything to do with a loser like you."
The words and tone caught his attention, like a fish on a line - reeling him into the conversation even if he had nothing to do with it.
"Get lost! You’re not welcome in any of the other guilds! What makes you think we would want you?!"
A second voice continued and the shark’s gaze was slowly turning red as he saw the sight of familiar Guild Members bullying a small brown haired boy. What was going on? He kept his distance for now, and simply watched the scene. It ended up with the boy running off in a mess of frustrated tears and the other Guild Members walking the other direction with smug grins on their faces.
Something about the entire situation made Yeager’s skin crawl.
He paused for a second, torn between poking his nose in the situation, and simply letting it be, he chose the latter and carried on with his business.
He returned the manor in a short time, and decided it would be enough to deal with his paperwork tomorrow after he went into town to fetch the girls’ new weapons. A night’s rest was in order for now.
The night passed before he noticed, and soon the assassin found himself back on the streets of Dahngrest.
"I thought we told you yesterday! Buzz Off!” A familiar sounding voice snarled, and it snapped the Guild Leader’s attention around quickly.
It was the same scene as the day before. A small boy taking to familiar looking Guild members. What guild were they apart of, again? He couldn’t quite place it entirely.
“Yeah! Seriously, what even made you think, a loser like you could make it in the Hunting Blades?!"
A determined look crossed the boy’s face, as the two continued to belittle him. There was a spark there, in those young eyes, that said the boy was worth something - he just needed the right opportunity to prove it. A hand moved out and shoved the child backwards, sending him to the ground in a tumble. He said nothing, simply glared before running away much like the day before.
Something about the entire situation made his skin crawl. Something about it just bothered him in a way that told him he couldn’t leave it alone this time.
The Hunting Blades.
Ah yes, he knew that guild well - and if he was correct they still owed him a favor - more than one at this point.
Slipping like a shadow along the street, the Businessman smiled devilishly as he approached the two. Neither one of the was the leader of the guild in question, but the leader - Clint wasn’t it? Yes, Yeager knew him well. He’d made it his business to take the time to know all the leaders of guilds within Union walls. He was a part of the Five Master Guilds, after all.
"Vho vas that boy?” he asked, chuckling ever so slightly as he watched the two jump unaware of his presence behind them.
They turned to face him, looks of anger making up their features, and the businessman could only smile.
“What’s it to you, Old Man?” The taller of the two brat snarled at him, causing the assassin to only stop and think upon hearing the words ‘old man’. He wasn't that old….
“I don’t know who you are, but you shouldn’t be sticking your nose into the business of the Hunting Blades!” The young girl before him snapped, and again the Guild Leader only paused to let out a chuckle.
How nice…they didn’t know him.
Before he had a chance to speak, a third voice chimed from behind. “Nan, Tison, watch your mouth.” The deep sound of the voice had the German man turning with a grin on his face, knowing the owner by sound.
A sharp glare had both children in silence as the gaze shifted from the pair to shark like man. “What do you want Yeager?"
Straight to the point as usual. It wasn’t like Clint to dance around a subject, and he’d found it was easier to deal with the man if he did the same. Shifting is weight, he placed a hand on his hip as he kept his attention to the hunter looming over his shoulder.
He felt eyes narrow on him from the lack of details he was giving out. He expected as much.
"Earlier these two vere harassing a boy. I vant you to give that boy a chance.”
All three sets of eyes locked on him at the request, and he waited for refusal. It was always the same, people always forgetting that he wasn’t one to make deals or demands when the cards weren’t in his favor.
“You can’t tell me what to do with my Guild, Yeager."
Yes. There was the response he was excepting, and he merely turned to face the other Guild Leader fully with a boastful smile on his lips.
"But I can let the Blood Alliance run all over your territory.It’d be a zhame if they got in the vay of your hunts, ja? Think about it.”
With the growl that was admitted, there was nothing more to be said. He knew that was another argument won. He simply gave the taller man a knowing smile and took his leave. He needed to go pick up the girls’ new weapons after all.
Chapter 13: The Mage
Please note, that Yeager has no canon last name, I made one up for him for Roleplay Purposes. He just doesn't sound classy enough introducing himself without a last name.
The sun flickered through his window letting his body know it was time to wake from it’s slumber. Setting up slowly, the Guild Leader released a yawn, stretching his arms out above his head. A few moments passed as he took the time to let himself come back to the land of the living completely before he lifted himself from his bed, and began his hunt for his usual attire.
Slender fingers made a simple task out of the task of buttoning the yellow fabric that covered his upper form, until he stopped to take a moment to simply gaze into the mirror at the red stone that rested in the center of his chest.
His blastia. His Heart.
The realization dawned on him as his mind started filling with the knowledge he had on the subject, but yet he found himself falling short in the topic of a blastia sustaining life. What kind of blastia even was the one that was forced upon all those years ago?
It bothered him to no end that he couldn’t answer such a simple question - even more so when it was his life that was hanging from it’s delicate wire.
Finishing his morning routine in a flustered fashion, the self-employed archeologist sat out for the Union city in the hopes of finding something within his other self’s years of research.
His hopes yielded little information, the only thing of any sort of interest being that of a blastia by the name of ‘Hermes’. More, he needed to know more about it. Of all the blastia he’d researched in these past years this blastia seemed to be the only one that even sounded remotely close to one that could do something so fantastic as sustain a human life.
But where could he….
The years he’d spent exclusively as Regaey came back to him quickly, and the idea crossed his mind in an instant. To go through with such a plan…it would seem he would be in the need of his other self.
It was a simple task for the Foreign to change into the mask of the bumbling fool that had been his sanctuary for so many years. He proceeded to meet up with his guild, as they were about to head off to another task within the Shakios Ruins. It’d been some time since he accompanied them, and he was received more than welcome by the rest of his subordinates.
There was idle chit-chat amongst them as they worked, until Regaey finally spoke.
“H-How are things in-in Aspio?” he inquired, only to receive a smile from one of his men.
“There’s a new mage. A prodigy.” He starts pulling in his leader’s full attention. “I think Morido was the name… "
"R-Really? Have y-you met th-this Morido?” he asked wondering just what would lead his men to call this mage a 'prodigy’.
“No. No one sees much of'em. I hear they keep to themselves a lot. A real weirdo. Supposably they are so obsessed with blastia they don’t care about people at all. Guess if we ever need to know anything about the blastia we dig up, we could send someone to talk to'em.” The man ended with a hardy laugh as he continued with his work.
Morido, huh? This young prodigy caught the attention of the guild leader, and gave him plenty of ideas. Perhaps a lead of some sort? Maybe just …maybe.
This would need a more personal inspection.
A week or so passed before the leader of Leviathan’s Claw decided that it was finally time to pay this new young mage a visit. It was a simple task to slip out of the manor unnoticed. This was personal business, and thus had no place within the walls of the manor of the wicked.
Not even his girls needed to know of his reasonings for going to the cavern city. No one needed to know of …his heart.
Approaching entrance to the city his mind didn’t even register the potential danger of the knights standing on guard. They stopped him instantly, scanning the blue suited man before questioning him.
“Do you have a passport?” One of the knights asked him.
“What business do you have in Aspio?” The second pushed, giving the Foreign man a sharp glare.
“I vish to zpeak to one of the mages here, goes by the name of Mordio.” He answered only for the gazes upon him to turn skeptic.
“What relation do you have to Mordio? No one ever comes to see her.” The first knight hissed.
“I vish to zpeak to her about a zpecial kind of blastia."
There was a long pause of silence before one of the knights turned and walked into the city.
"I will go ask her. Stay here."
The shark like man simply smiled and thanked the man, while waiting patiently. Shifting his weight, he tried to avoid the gaze of the other knight but found his attempts to be uneventful. He could feel the eyes on him, prying, pondering, wondering what he was up to. It was always the same with these Imperial Knights. No respect for those from the Union.
"Who are you anyways? I don’t remember ever seeing your face around here before.”
He tensed at the question, returning his gaze to the other man - locking brown with those piercing eyes- as if the knight was trying to find something he could possibly be hiding.
“Yeager.” he stated plainly, while adjusting his cravat. “My name is Yeager Herzwei. I lead the guild Leviathan’s Claw. The guild has been running for only a few years now, zo I’m not zurprised you haven’t heard of it."
"And what business does such a guild have with Ms. Morido?”
“I told you. I vish to zpeak vith her about a blastia.”
Before the knight could protest his claims the other returned, silencing his counterpart before he could say another word. Turning his attention to the foreign Man, he spoke.
“She won’t see you.” There was a pause in his words the knight gave him a hard glare. “She says she doesn’t care what kind of blastia you have, there is nothing that she hasn’t seen and won’t have her research disrupted for a stranger."
"I zee.” He started with a sigh. “Vell then gentlemen, thank you for your time. ” With that he gave a simple smile and was on his way. He would just have to find another way to learn about the cursed gem that was forced upon him.
He needed to know everything he could about it, his blastia - his heart…
His life depended on it.
Chapter 14: Nightmares
Months had passed since his excursion to the cavern city of Aspio, and in that time Yeager had found himself falling in and out of his old habits of wearing the mask of the bumbling fool that was his other side. Regeay was a useful tool when it came the concept of collecting needed information - even more so when that information was concerning blastia.
The results of his research had yielded little information of any real use. The only thing he really had to go on was that his blastia was one known as ‘Hermes’. The researcher who had created the formula was Krityan, and thus he concluded was probably long since passed considering the cause of and damaged created by the Great War.
What he wouldn’t give to get his hands on the research notes of such a mage…. the things he could learn from someone with such knowledge. He could only imagine.
“Papa?” A small voice sounded, snapping him out of his work induced daze, as he looked up quickly to the source of the sound. A small set of rose eyes were fixed upon him. He smiled.
“Papa are you busy? You’ve been working all morning…."
"I’m fine, Gauche.” he spoke with a smile as he sat down the book he’d been reading, letting his reading glasses slide down to the tip of his nose.
The young girl let herself into the room, approaching the older man with a tray in her hands. Setting a small cup down in front of him, she took a moment to fill the glass with the tea she’d made, and looked up at him with a concerned look.
“I made you some tea, and a sandwich - please Papa, don’t push yourself.” she urged him, as she took the sight of him in seeing the dark rings under his eyes. “Papa… have you been sleeping?”
He hesitated. This wasn’t a time to worry her, but it wasn’t the time to tell her the truth either. Sleep was something that had been escaping him for the last few weeks - a fickle spirit that would only bestow the wonders of slumber upon him when it deemed fit - and when it did it wasn’t what one would consider restful by any means.
A groan escaped him as he noticed her inquiring gaze, and knowing the child all to well, he broke easily. Why was it that he had a hard time keeping anything from these girls?
“Nien.” he sighed, as he took a sip of the tea poured and slumped down in his chair. He wasn’t about to tell her the real reason. No. He’d let that part slide and simply let the blame fall to his obsessive habits his research had reawakened in him.
Books lined his office space now, many of them setting in a rather large pile upon the side of his desk signifying that they needed to be read, while there was a second pile for the ones that the guild leader had already absorbed the information from.
The sound of a frustrated sigh rested upon his ears, as he looked back to his daughter, who could only return her father’s gaze with one of worry.
“Papa, you need sleep. I know your research is important to you, but you do need to sleep."
Before he even had a chance to protest, he felt the warmth of the girl’s hand was resting on his, tugging at it in an attempt to pull him from his seat. Again, he caved to her, lifting himself slowly to follow the girl out of the room. She lead him down the hall, and to his room.
A defeated sound left him, as his shoulder slumped and he removed his jacket. Looking back to the girl she smiled at him brightly, and upon moving to her tip toes, he bent over so she could place a kiss to his forehead.
He waited her to leave but instead his lips pushed forward into a pout when he watched her simply approach his bed, and pull something out from under it. Turning back to her father, she gave him a hard look, as she held the object in her hands.
"No books, Papa. You need sleep.”
Still he said nothing, and simply watched her search around for the others that were resting along with the one she already captured. Lifting the pile in her arms, she continued with the look of disapproval as she left the room triumphantly, leaving her father to only sigh and retire to his bed.
Again it was less than a restful slumber. His mind wrought with ideas and fears that plagued his every day - his every year. Thoughts of the crimson eyed devil that he would do anything to avoid.
And he went on like this for hours.
The voice echoing in his mind, a sharp reminder that his life was restored by the same man he feared more than anything else, and no distance that he ran would ever be enough to escape him.
Setting up suddenly in a cold sweat, his eyes wide and breathing ragged, a shaking hand resting on the bared metal residing in the center of his chest. He clutched the small gem tightly, as he tried to pull himself from his dreams.
The knock at his door was the needed push to snap him from his daze.
A twist of springs could be heard as the knob was turned, and the vision of one of his men slipped through the door.
“Sir. I’m sorry to bother you, but we received a new request, and it seems rather urgent. "
"Danke.” The word slipped past his lips, just waking from his slumber not giving his mind the time to force himself to correct the language to the proper tongue. “Ich werde da sein in einer Minute."
He paused for a moment, as his brain began to catch up with his ears and he heard the words that escaped him. "Zorry.” It was his only response to the confused look on the man’s face. “I’ll be zhere in a minute.” He corrected himself.
His subordinate simply nodded and left the room. Upon making it back to his office space, he found his girls waiting instead of the new client like he was expecting. Tilting his head to the side to show his confusion, his girls approached.
A paper was handed to him, a form filled out to the last detail about the requested mark, and it was expressed at the bottom that a meeting between Guild Leader and Client was requested immediately at Capua Torim. Not being one to dismiss a job opportunity, he accepted the idea, and sat off for the port city that same night.
A few nights travel was required to make it the small town that he knew so well, and a night’s rest at the inn had him arriving to the appointed place properly on time. He wasn’t about to give his guild a bad reputation by doing something so juvenile as arriving late.
The port was empty on this night, and the client themself was starting to grind on Yeager’s last nerve as time passed while he waited impatiently. How long was this going to take?
It was one thing for a businessman to keep appointments, but this was just rude.
The sound of footsteps was a distant nip at his ears, as he found himself tuning into the silence of the darkness, as he half found himself zoning off into the sight of the water.
The sound was becoming louder as the faint clanking of armor was added to the mixture. Something about it just made his blood run cold. Why did the air suddenly feel so sharp? The cold chill around clinging to his form as the noise grew ever closer.
It felt as if the world it’s self was trying to warn him of the invading danger.
What was wrong?
The noise stopped, the presence of another person resting behind him. There was a tug at his heart that told him not to turn around, and his mind only continued to agree to his hesitation.
“It’s been sometime, hasn’t it? You probably thought I forgot about you. Didn’t you, Yeager?”
The voice that floated in the air, came down on his shoulder like a boulder as the deep tone of victory rang in his ears. His blood not only ran cold now, but froze in his veins as swore he felt his heart stop. Turning ever so slowly, his gaze shot wide, brown shrinking instantly at the sight of crimson slicing him in two upon meeting the gaze.
There he stood. The shadow of his dreams, the man he feared more than all else in this world. He stood before him, a smile on his face - the prefect picture of the devil looming over his prey. There he was, as real as real could be. Alexei Dinoia…Commandant of the Imperial Knights - and no matter how much he wished it was, he knew….
that this time it wasn’t just a nightmare.
Chapter 15: In Debt
He felt the blood in his veins freeze as fear took him. A single step of clanking armor in his direction had his mind spiraling in a frenzied collapse of emotion. His chest rose quickly and deflated at a matching pace. The trembling was spreading through his form like an incurable plague and he found himself unable to pull himself from the railing he was previously leaning against.
“What’s the matter, Yeager?"
It was a cool smug tone, a command of power that the enclosing demon knew the other could not ignore. What was he to do in this situation? After all this time… all this time…
"Did you think eight years was long enough for me to forget about such a precious part of my plans?"
He was closing in now. He was so close…and the Guild Leader found himself paralysized. Why was he frozen at a time like this? Why? Why now? It was as if the world was mocking him, laughing in his face that all he’d done to get away from this man was a vain attempt to hide from the one thing he could never escape. A sharp jolt of freshly renewed fear shot his attention sharply into the crimson gaze of the white haired man as he felt the weight of a hand resting upon his chest.
Upon the Blastia.
"I asked you a question."
He couldn’t speak. The words weren’t even there to be caught in his throat. It was as if they were trapped in the pit of his stomach unwilling to do more than give him a constant whirling sensation of nausea. He shook his head as he tried to avoid eye contact signifying a silent ‘No’. He could feel them. He could feel the burning sensation on his skin as those red orbs fixed upon him.
”I asked you a question.“
It was a harsh growl that came from the other man. It was easy to see that Alexei was losing his temper rather quickly with the lack of words that the once-knight was giving to the conversation. Still he failed to find the words to speak, despite his desperation to locate them. The nausea worsened as he felt the fingers grip into the fabric of his shirt at the lack of his reply. Soon he felt himself being forcefully tossed to the ground as if he was something replaceable.
"I told you once.” The Commandant started, as he leaned over the younger man gripping his collar in his hand, pulling him from the stone street firmly, and locking his gaze onto the frightened man. “When I give you an order, you simply obey."
Eyes downcast, jerking away from his elder quickly, his expression formed into a look of defiance as his mind jolted back to the things that the Commandant had asked of him during his enlisted days. Struggling in the man’s grip, Yeager tore himself free, and stood. Brown eyes glaring, his nose wrinkled up as he snarled.
"I am no longer one of your pawns, Alexei!” he shouted, as his hands balled into fists, the sound of leather rubbing against it’s self squeaking into the silence of the night. “I vant no part of vhatever it is zat you’re planning!"
There was silence between them. Alexei said nothing. A pause in the Commandant’s actions gave the assassin cause to worry, and soon he found how justified that worry truly was. No words. No warning for the coming blow, as the armored back of Alexei’s hand struck hard against Yeager’s cheek. He hissed in pain as he felt his lip split and soon he spat blood to the side.
"What was that?”
The defiance only grew fiercer as he continued to glare at his once Commanding officer. “I zaid, I vant nazing to do vith your plans.” He hissed, a hand moving up to hold his quickly swelling cheek. “You can’t use me anymore, Alexei."
Anger flaring, another strike had him stumbling the ground as his knees buckled. A strike to the face broke open above his left eye, and the one that followed knocked the wind out of his lungs. He continued to glare, and Alexei continued his assault. Lifting him by his collar, Alexei brought the smaller man to eye level as he stood in his air of confidence. "Do you realize now…that I own you, Yeager? You should have realized you lost your humanity when placed yourself amongst the dead. You think you still have rights? Dead men have no rights, Yeager. You are nothing more than a blastia."
In a last stretch of rebellion, the forgien knight jerked his focus off the other completely, refusing to give the other the submissive acknowledgement he was looking for. Again he struck the ground, discarded as if he were a common piece of trash. Silence took the night once more as the snowy haired devil turned his back to younger.
"If you’re going to kill me, just do it. I vould rather die zhan help you vith anything!"
A strong proclamation most likely wasn’t the best choice and this realization only struck him as the larger man turned back to cast a vicious gaze down upon him.
"Oh? Is that so?” The smooth tone of his voice made Yeager shutter. He closed his eyes, waiting for the inevitable only for the expected blow to never come. No, he felt the presence loom closer and kneel down before him, and the cool touch of armor pressed under his chin. “But what would those girls do without you?"
His eyes shot open, wide with shock as he glared down the other man. How did he know? How did he find out about them? Watching those lips curve up into a slick grin, let Yeager know that Alexei had found his victory. "How is fatherhood treating you by the way, Yeager?"
Frozen again, he felt what was left of his natural heart shatter. There was nothing he could do. The threads of fate bound him, and quickly laced his wrists behind his back in a knot of complicated events and unrequested favors that he could not escape. All of it was tightly bound in the chain cuffs of a father’s unwavering love. He knew it. He could feel it coming.
His head dropped in defeat as his shoulders slumped. Not even needing to see the look on the other’s face, he knew that Alexei was wearing the expression of the devil. The expression one would have after completing the sale of a new soul. "So then, when I give you an order, You simply obey.” The words were chimed again, and Yeager still said nothing as the dark cloud of depression rolled over his expression. "As I know you’re quite fond of those two young ladies. It would be a shame if anything were to happen to them.“
The look that washed over his face was nothing short of pleading as he brought his attention back to the older man in a sharp snap. He simply was given a knowing look. "So there will be no more problems then, will there Yeager?"
Eyes dropping to the streets once more, he voice deflated to a meek whisper.
The morning came, and his eyes fluttered open to the see the worried face of the woman that owned the orphanage looking over him. "Mr. Herzwei… Mr. Herzwei…. Yeager!” She spoke in a flustered tone of worry as she shook his shoulder. His hand rose and pressed against his forehead, and he hissed as the feeling of leather roughly pressed against the open wound. His head was pounding, and his body was sore. He remembered now. He remembered all of it…and worst of all he remembered Alexei.
What had he done?
He’d sold his soul to the devil and he could only tremble at the idea of the things he was about to be forced to do. Letting out a sigh, he shakily lifted himself from the ground and dusted himself off. Looked back to the worried woman, he gave her a smile.
“Do not vorry. I just ran into zome complications.” he explained to her not willing to tell her the real reason that she found him passed out on the pier. She didn’t need to become involved in this mess. No one else needed to become involved in this mess. He’d already got his precious angels into this twisted game of chess. But how was he supposed to win when he was only given half the pieces he needed at the start?
After much fretting over his condition he finally convinced her that he was indeed fine, and that he simply needed to go home to take some time to rest. The trip wasn’t as long as it felt like it was, but the Manor was a welcomed sight once his eyes caught the image of it. He managed to slink into building unnoticed for the most part, only being spotted by a few of his men. It was a simple task to speak to them - keeping his face turned away from them so that his now swollen eye and cracked lip were out of sight.
Luckily Alexei favored one side of his face over the other - well if one could consider such a thing lucky.
The door to his quarters creaked as he pushed it open, and he ignored it to favor the sight of his bed. His body was sore and aching, and he wanted nothing more than to lose himself to the land of slumber within the safety of his comforter. Kicking his shoes off lazily, he pulled his arms free of his suit coat, and let it fall off of his shoulders as he hit the mattress with a 'thud’.
Even the pillows hurt.
Laying on his stomach he found himself unwilling to move, as thoughts of his failure flooded his mind. What was he going to do? Would lose them too? Would Alexei really harm his daughters if he were to disobey? Worse yet… would he kill them? The thought of their blood staining his hands was more than he could bear. The warm sensation of salty tears lined his eyes as the streams fell. What kind of father gets his children into such a situation? His mind told him that keeping these girls at a distance was the smarter move, but his heart just couldn’t ignore the joy they brought him.
The sound of his weeping swept into the hallway, and drown out the sound of his door creaking open once more.
“Pa-pa?” A small voice sounded, and Yeager shot up instantly to see the sight of wide green eyes and matching hair looking at him. Forgetting his wounds for the time being, he looked at her, full faced - all wounds apparent to the girl before him.
Forehead cracked open, lip cracked, black eye, swollen cheek, accompanied by the miscellaneous paints of blues and blacks that decorated his skin. He must have been quite the sight.
She ran to him quickly, and threw her arms around his waist without hesitation, pressing her face into his chest. “Papa! Papa what happened? What Happened?!” She cried, holding onto him tightly as she struggled to fight her own tears.
A gentle hand ran against the girl’s hair for a moment, as he took the time to simply look at her. The though shot back, that one wrong move and she could die. Die because of him. His hand pulled back and the tears ran like rivers that he couldn’t stop no matter how much he tried. He felt her pulled him down, as a small hand gently guided his forehead to her shoulder. Slender fingers combed through his hair softly, as she held him there, comforting him.
“Papa…it’s okay. Whatever it is…we’ll fix it together."
Chapter 16: The Favor
Yeager is now 33 - the same age at the start of the game.
Depression was the only company he kept now-a-days. It was a constant companion, never leaving his side, as a perpetual reminder that he was once again in the grasp of his own waking nightmare. Years passed from the day that the devil found him and during all that time it felt as if good father time was dragging his feet on letting anything flow at a normal pace. It was a delicate situation he was in now, and each and every step had to be carefully planned. Currently his board was empty and his pieces captured. He’d already made too many wrong moves and now his king was in check.
Alexei had his hands tied behind his back. He was a slave to this mad-man once more.
“Papa?” The small voice broke the silence that had made residence in his office space, and dull brown eyes lifted to meet the green orbs that were fixed upon him. A soft smile spread across his lips, as she entered. "Are you alright?“ she chimed again pushing further into the room until she was perched before the older man’s desk.
He didn’t answer her. Silence remained his friend as he mulled over the very idea of what would constitute ‘alright’. Ideas and thoughts flooded his mind. Memories of those lost and better days taunted him. No matter how he looked at the situation it all lead to the same conclusion. No. He was far from 'alright.'
"Ja, mein liebe. I’m alright.” The smile faded from his lips as the sound of the door creaking filled the room, and both sets of eyes followed back to the source to one of Yeager’s lower ranked men standing in the door way.
“Excuse my intrusion, Sir…” the man started as he entered, holding a small piece of paper in his hand. “A letter came for you. It’s marked with the Imperial seal.”
His blood ran cold for a moment knowing full well what that mark meant… that it was his 'master’ calling. Sighing, he took the letter from the man and opened it to look at the words inside.
The worry that consumed his expression was quickly masked as he shifted his attention to his daughter. "Droite.” he corrected her, and her eyes dropped at his tone.
It had been a discussion he had not cared to have, but it was nessacary for the stalemate he’d been forced into. He couldn’t let them be drawn into this more than they had to be. More than they already were. They were no longer allowed to address as they had before. No. Daughters or no, he needed to keep everything professional as possible. Loopholes, weaknesses…. he couldn’t afford for such a thing to make it’s way into Alexei’s hands.
The words of the letter were vague, as they usually were and it only made the worry grow in the pit of his stomach as he read that he was being summoned to Zaphias.
The last thing he wanted was to be in the presence of that madman alone.
A sigh escaped him as he sat the summons back upon his desk, and dismissed the man before him. Turning to his daughter, he rested his hands on her shoulders and locked gazes with her. “I need to go to Zaphias.” he started a slight shake to his voice. “Zo I’m going to be leaving zhings to you and Gauche."
She pushed a lip forward as she pouted, not wanting her adoptive guardian to go to the Imperial Capital on his own. She knew better than to ask, to even suggest he bring along company, so her shoulders merely dropped as she looked to the floor.
"Yes Pa- Yeager.” she corrected herself with a sigh watching him as he lifted himself from his seat. A pause in his step had him leaning over to place a gentle kiss on her forehead. Of all close to him, she was the only who knew the full story. Her words still echoed in his mind. “Don’t worry Papa, we’ll fix it together.”
He could only hope that she was right.
It was a five day trip to cross the oceans that separated Tolbyccia and Ilycia to bring him to the entrance of the Imperial Capital. There was the smallest of shaking in his form as the first click of the Imperial pavement was heard against the heel of his shoe. It’d been many long years since he dared to set foot on these lands, and even longer since he dared to do so as the one called 'Yeager’.
He didn’t get very far into the capital before he was met by knights clad in red. The locals seemed to have taken interest in him anyways as he walked through this run down part of town, and even more so as the royal guard showed up as his unwanted welcome party.
“The Commandant is expecting you.” One of the men commanded, to which the Guild Leader only gave a nod and followed without a word to be spoken.
He would much rather this be over and done with as quickly as possible - even though in the back of his mind he knew nothing ever went so smoothly when dealing with one so wicked as Alexei. No words left him as he followed the path he already knew until he was face to face with the man he so despised.
The very sound of his name filling the air in such a deep commanding boom. His voice sank into his stomach as if to hide from the predator before him. The moment of silence took the room and soon he was starting to feel the burn from the crimson gaze that was boring into his skull.
"Ja, Milord.” He started as he summoned up the courage to speak. “Vhat is it zat you require of me?” Formal as possible, business first - there was no room for weakness or personal feelings. Alexei was just another client and he would continue to tell himself that until he’d convinced himself of the lie.
The clanking of armor filled the air as the larger man shifted in his seat, folding his hands together as he leaned forward on the desk he was perched behind. The man’s mere presence was commanding, making the force of time slow at his beckoning.
“I am in need of weapons, ones that I have heard you have access to.”
He folded his hands together as he adjusted his posture to uphold his professional air.
“I have access to many veapons, Milord. No disrespect but you’re going to need be more zpecific. ”
The back of his mind went to alarm, but the rest of his senses reminded it of the precious girls that were on the line concerning his actions. "Ja, of course, Milord."
The white haired devil slid a paper forward as he spoke. "Here are your directions, and to insure that you don’t get any ideas of running again…. I have arranged for you to work directly under one of my knights."
His mind wanted to argue, that such a thing wasn't unnecessary but his heart told him to watch his words. So instead he said nothing, and merely nodded.
The door creaked open upon the name, and one of the most vile men he’d ever laid eyes on slithered into the room. His stance screamed of arrogance, and his aura made Yeager’s skin crawl. It should have been expected that such a demon would send in a snake just as wicked as himself.
The brightly colored knight shifted his weight with a cocky flare as he placed his hand on his hip and looked the guild leader over. A disgusted look crossed his face, and Yeager could already tell this man was going to be less than pleasant to work with it.
“What do you require of me, Commandant?"
His voice was a poisonous hiss, dripping of lies and deception. Perhaps one day he would be able to play this pawn in Alexei’s plan to his own advantage.
"From now on, you will be working with this man, Yeager. He has been given instructions. You are to make sure he stays on course."
There was a false bow from the man, and a fake smile. "Of course, Commandant."
They left the room in unison, after being giving a dismissive wave from the Commandant’s hand. The assassin turned to walk away from the knight, pausing as he felt a hand come down on his shoulder. He looked back, meeting the other man’s eyes, but still refrained from speaking.
"So then, Yeager. I don’t know what Alexei wants with guild filth like you, but I’ll have you know that one day Iwill be the leader of the Imperial Knights. So mind yourself, just remember your place. The Empire could crush your tiny guild in the blink of an eye."
He was caught off guard for a moment, only a moment as the listened to the words of treason that presented to him. Yes. This could work in his favor indeed. He could use this man and find a way out of Alexei’s grasp. It was starting to look like that maybe…just maybe he was gaining one more piece for his side of board in this wicked game of chess he was playing with the devil.
He bowed, as a grin stretched across his lips.
Chapter 17: The Mark
Ruin’s Gate was suffering now, as the assassin didn’t dare don the mask of his sanctuary now that he had the Empire’s eyes watching his every move. Even more so, with that troublesome buffoon, Cumore looming constantly over his shoulder. Such an arrogant knight - and he was becoming more of an obstacle than any form of assistance in his little dance with the devil.
Alexei was calling all the shots, and unfortunately for the once knight, the Commandant knew just where to place all of his pawns. How was he ever suppose to get his life back at this rate, when he was completely surrounded?
The Manor was almost a memory now as he found himself having to handle most of the Empire’s assignments personality - considering the delicate nature of the situation. He wasn’t about to risk one of his men making a wrong move and bringing about the wrath of his ‘employer’ - at least that was how Yeager liked to refer to him; It made it easier to hold on to the sliver of hope that he wouldn’t be that demon’s puppet for the rest of his life.
A hand rested on his chest, and the lack of anything that could be associated with living was a hard reminder that such a hope was more than likely a fleeting dream. He was more than a slave to his work now, he was a slave to the Empire…
The voice cut through his self induced trance, and his eyes rested on the sight of glaring crimson eyes. How he despised the knight before him. It’d been months since Alexei had ordered his cooperation with this pompous idiot, and he was starting to think that the Commandant did it less to keep him under a watchful eye, and more because he knew that the knight’s temperament and grandiose nature would grind on the guild leader’s last nerve in such a way that he would have to hold himself back from killing the other outright.
It was nothing but constant orders, and boasting from this knight- this Cumore….and how Yeager couldn’t stop himself from loathing every annoying fiber of the man. Serving his fair share of time under military rule, the veteran knight could only snicker inwardly at every claim of grandeur of becoming the next Commandant. He knew all too well, accomplishing such a thing was not such a simple task, and that the people of Zaphias were not about to suffer such a fool commanding the helm.
Currently, the two were walking through the small town of Heilord and the violet haired buffoon had been rambling on and on about something - not that Yeager was actually listening to anything that was being said. Enough time had passed now that he learned the difference between actual orders and mindless banter and taught himself to tune in and out of the conversation accordingly.
"Are you even listening?!” The other shouted at him, to which he only received a smile accompanied by a simple ‘Ja, Milord.’
There was only so much complaining one could take in a day before violent thoughts began to cross their mind. It was a sheer miracle in it’s self that the blade of the elder male’s scythe had yet to taste the other’s blood.
No matter how much he wanted it to.
The man stopped short ahead of him and brown eyes only narrowed at the knight’s back for the moment. As the flamboyantly dressed ‘noble’ turned to face him, his features quickly painted the picture of a perfectly agreeable businessman.
“I still don’t understand why the Commandant insists on associating with Guild filth, but no matter.” The younger man scoffed his arrogance from those perfectly painted lips. What did he hope to gain from fretting over his appearance so, anyways?
A white paper was presented to him, and black clad fingers took the parchment from the other; dreading the contents.
“Commandant Alexei wanted me to give you that. He said it was of the utmost importance and to take care of it quickly.” The Knight spoke, as his expression changes, growing with the weight of the situation. It was clear to see in the other man’s eyes that Alexei had expressed that this matter must have been serious for it to be seen to in such haste.
They parted ways after that. Thankfully the other had different matters to attend to, and apparently sealed within this envelope was his next demonic assignment. A sigh left him.
At least he would be able to return home for a short time.
The Manor of the Wicked was anything but, as it came into the view of tired brown eyes. It’d been some time since he’d been here, and as he pushed the door open to his home he was greeted by the silence that echoed off the walls.
A sigh left him.
At least there was peace. Tired feet drug along the floor as he made his way to his office and let himself fall into his seat with an exhausted plop. It must have been the sound of the door creaking, or the groan of fatigue that left him that brought peering eyes to his doorway.
“Papa?” A small pair of voices sounded and soon there was a head of green and another of red poking out from behind the door. His gaze shifted to meet them, and his lips stretched into a wide smile. Just seeing those two beautiful faces were enough to breathe life back into his lungs.
“Ja? Vhat is it, girls?” He spoke causally - more than he had with them in many months time.
“You’ve been gone for so long, we missed you.” The crimson sounded. “But we’ve kept everything under control for you!” The emerald one added on the end as they entered the room and perched themselves in front of his desk.
He smiled at them, reaching forward to usher them to him in order to pull them into a tight embrace. “Ja, I know. I’m zorry. I missed you too.” Kisses placed on both of their foreheads, the elder just sat there for a minute with each of his precious angels in his arms. His missed this; he cherished this.
He would do anything to protect them from harm even if that meant he needed to sell his soul to the devil himself.
It was a short moment and a quick reminder as the girls pulled away, both leaning on either side of his chair respectively when he reached into his pocket and pulled out the white envelope from within. Again, it was his next heartless task - his assignment from the demon; and he sighed while opening it.
He didn’t want any part in such things but what he wanted had long since been pulled off the chess board as a possible option. He only needed think of serving his master now; like the good little slave that he was.
There was a letter inside, describing the appearance of a young man, a young knight in the early days of his service. Apparently, he’d been giving the Commandant quite the hard time by stepping out of his rank on more than one occasion.
“Don’t think me fool Yeager. I know well of your skill with a blade. Either send someone or do it yourself, but Flynn Scifo needs to die.”
Was all that was contained inside.
So that was what he wanted? He was asking him to make people disappear now? If that was what he wanted, so be it - he had already lost control over his life and fortunately he could think of just the man that would take on such a disgraceful job for him.