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Lingering Doubts
(2013-01-28 - 2013-01-29)
Reize has started to doubt his role as the leader of the Shard Seekers. With the growing turmoil in Fluorgis and Manhattan, Reize's reasoning for leaving his home became more transparent. Yet, there are some people hopeful for him.
Reize Seatlan The Shard Seekers have faced a fair share of incidents in Fluorgis. For now, everything seems over. However, it is not without its share of casualties. Many of the adventurers that have acted on the defense have disappeared from few of the attacks. People are still greeted by the presence of the Heartless.

Reize has been mulling over a couple of things. The prhase of 'this is home' has always been considered. Fluorgis is their home. However, the boy remembered what he was doing in the first place: Being an adventurer.

Sometimes, it means leaving the home. The young adventurer is moving towards the entrance, looking over the cactus. Lily is likely at the garden with Dandelion. The young adventurer mulls over his situation.

What should he do?
Priel Aylin The front entrance of HQ opened as Reize mulled over his situation. And in walked Priel casually, a lopsided smile on her face and a sack of /something/ slung over her shoulder. She had been gone for a few days by this point, so only lord knew what she had been up to all this time.

"Hmhmhmhm~" She hummed a tune lightly to herself, spotting Reize approaching her way. "Oh, well look who it is, the idiot leader! What's with that constipated look, huh? The bathroom's not this way now~" The redhead spoke in a teasing tone, striding past him to set her sack on the table and then have a seat.

Settled down now, she rested on elbow onto the table, her chin in her palm as she glanced over at the boy.
Reize Seatlan Frown.

There is Priel, always there to kick the boy while he is down to make things worse. However, Reize is looking over towards her bag with an quizzied look, peering while trying to figure out what she took.

"...Who did you rob?" Reize frowns at her, then he grunts. "I was just thinking about something, is all!" The boy puffs his cheeks, now looking over to her and the sack. "...What do you have in there, anyway?"
Priel Aylin "Hmm~?"

Priel smirked at his question, arching a brow delicately. "Rob? Oh come on! Do I /look/ like I rob people now?" She asked, smirk widening into a smile. Her eyes slide over to her sack, then back to Reize, twinkling with amusement.

"You want to know what's in the bag? Hmm~?" The girl asked, her tail idly raising up a bit and swaying from side to side. "Well, ...That's. A. Secret~"


Yeah, real helpful.

"So what are you thinking about anyway? I didn't even know you /could/ think! Ahahahahaha!"

And then she tossed her head back and laughed.
Reize Seatlan Reize frowns, lifting a finger as if to answer Priel's question. After all, /he/ was robbed that one day. Reize is still pretty unhappy bout it! Nevertheless, Reize tries to put that behind him and move on!

Yeah. He tries.

Nevertheless, the boy looks at the bag, then he huffs at her response.

"...Well..." He is uneasy about revealing quite a bit to her, but he decides to reveal something. "... Just to adventure again. Not just return here after the adventure, but to keep going." He lifts his head up, "Seeing the things that no one has seen and continue on from there."
Priel Aylin "...Adventuring?" She asked, tilting her head a bit. Falling silent for a couple seconds, she considered his words. Yes, she knew what he was talking about. She was doing much the same back on her own world after all.


"...Well, there's nothing wrong with going out and traveling. But isn't it nice to have some place to return to? No matter how long you're gone now?" A small smile was given, just a bit less mocking then her usual. A bit. "If you go off running around on your own again, what will happen to this little happy family you've built up, hmm~?"

She crossed her legs then, smile widening. "And what of your little harem?"
Reize Seatlan Adventuring..

THere is the joy of being able to continue on through different cities, towns, villages, countries, and even worlds. To be able to explore and see new things without having to look back at everything else. To not have the responsibilities of having to look out for a group of people and to stay in one place.

"...Eventually, yeah. It is nice to know that you have folks waiting for you when you return... or to see your father a bit unhappy that you left in the first place." Admittedly, Reize doesn't quite realize that he let that bit out. The boy lifts his arms up, "... Sometimes, I can't help but feel that it gets in the way at times."

The happy family...

In a way, it feels like it has gotten in his way of being an adventurer. To be confined i the group, never to explore out too long because they would worry. Deep down, Reize just wants to walk off and not return for the sake of living the life of an adventurer.

...But in the end, woudln't that be abandoning his friends...?

"...I don't know." His fingers move towards his pendant, rubbing the crystal. "...The joys of being the leader of a diverse amount of people, formed into a clan for a common goal."

Ivo's goal. To find the missing shards of the worlds. While Reize shares it...

He just wants to be a simple adventurer.
Priel Aylin "Huh..." Priel mumbled, listening to his story. So that's how he left, hm? She rested her chin in her palm, her elbows in her lap. "Gets in the way, huh? So then, deep down..." She smirked, finding this to be utterly amusing. "...You talk big about friendship and rainbows and love and peace, but...In the end, you just want to get out and travel."

A hand is brought to her mouth, suppressing a giggle. "I wonder then, is saving people and doing good deeds just a way to validate your travels? To validate abandoning your friends and your gallery of girlfriends~? Ehehehe~" Another giggle, this time, she looked away.

"...Why don't you do it then?"


"If you want to travel so much, if that's really what you feel deep it." No, she wasn't going to try and convince him otherwise. She didn't particularly care one way or the other.
Ivo Galvan Problems upon problems, Ivo reflects as he emerges from the corridor leading to the men's dorm, shirt loosely unbuttoned, still toweling off his damp dark hair from the shower. The Shard Seeker swordsman and would-be strategist isn't convinced for a moment that Fluorgis is settling down despite the lull in hostilities, what with the dark clouds above the city showing no sign of abating, often casting shadows over a people used to a bright desert sun. His inability to make sense of the Shard Seeker Mk I's weird performance and the frustratingly inscrutable properties of the phoenix pinion fossil they discovered intermingle with his own reluctance to face up to an increasingly more obvious fact: people are counting on them.

Hopes have been staked upon the recovery of World Shards. What had been a convenient common cause between the refugees of diverse worlds lost to darkness has become a great responsibility, the quest to restore the cosmos itself. This was a burden Ivo never intended to bear -- but isn't it also the purpose around which their friendships were formed? If his comparatively flippant motives get out, if the shard-seeking device is an impossible lie--

Hasn't he betrayed all of them?

It's with these thoughts still plaguing his heart that Ivo overhears Reize speaking, and stops before he steps out from around the corner, listening. As their boy leader confesses his doubts, first Ivo is surprised; then, he is relieved; then, smirking to himself, he feels foolish. Priel responds, and Ivo remains silent, letting her challenge him, say her peace.

"We trust you, chief."

And when Ivo steps out at last, hair and clothes mussed and towel in hand, he is smiling softly, his blue eyes warm.

"We're a collection of free spirits, aren't we?" he asks rhetorically, smile broadening as his gaze shifts from Reize to Priel and back. "That's why I wanted to bind us together in the first place," he confesses. "When you and Lily and I... and Priel, you were there too, weren't you?... when we formed the Shard Seekers, it wasn't most because I wanted to return to my world. It was because I wanted to stay with the both of you, because it'd give us a goal to strive for. I don't regret that decision. But..." His smile turns wan. "It's stifling, isn't it? Protecting a city, working on a device that could help save Manhattan... upon which the hopes of our friends rest. I should have anticipated this. But... I didn't."

He looks away for a moment, toward the windows to the garden, the young man's smile almost wistful as he leans against the wall.

"I thought I was the only one," he then chuckles. "That I was the only one getting tired, that as long as I didn't say anything, your pure fighting spirit would carry us through, Reize. That was unfair to you." He looks back at the boy, and his eyes have cleared. "We're all pulled in different directions. And you wouldn't be you if you didn't get lost from time to time. We all expect you to wander, Reize. We wouldn't have any other way. But I can't imagine you not wanting to protect people in need, not being there at the moment we need you. That's just who you are. So when you need to, wander."

Ivo's smile becomes a grin.

"I know you'll be back."

His gaze shifts to Priel, grin receding as he grows contemplative for a moment, looking at the cynical dragongirl, his rival and partner-in-crime. She was too harsh on Reize, but that's her way. To get her inducted into the Seekers, he confessed more than he ever intended about the bond he instinctively feels with her. But perhaps that was for the best. His smile returns, lopsided.

"I promised to help you find your world," he says quietly, "and I will, whatever it takes. But I think that..." He glances back at Reize. "...our friendship doesn't depend on success or failure, or whether that's what we're up to all the time. I..."

He hesitates.

"...I want to believe that."
Reize Seatlan "... Sometimes, there are things greater than my own desires." Reize givesa rueful smile towards Priel. "In the end, I help people because I want to." His eyes level towards the woman, "To see them have hope puts a smile on my face. To see that they have their faith to continue on is a reward itself. ...It's something my father always did."

"...However, I cannot just find myself focusing one place." He shakes his head, "...It's why---.."

And then, he hears Ivo, one of the people who believes in him. Ivo's confession of forming the group puts a smile that grows on the boy's face, "...Hehe, I enjoyed your company." However, Ivo's remark on the stifling nature of having to save everything and being unable to do so because he is stuck focusing on one area, well....

"Yeah." He lowers his head, "...I am getting tired. To be honest, I never wanted to be the leader of anything." His hands threw up in the air,"... I just wanted to live the simple life of an adventurer." A laugh is given. Ivo's faith in him, nevertheless, is reassuring, "...That's al I ask."

"I am no leader material, honestly. I just like being an adventurer. You guys are able to keep things under control more." His eyes lock towards Priel, "Yeah, we'll be able to find your world." He walks over towards Priel, "I know that... things aside, you have your reasons for being as guarded as you do. ...I know that deep down, well..."

He moves to pat her on the back, "Let's work together."

----And unfortunately, his hands slips.

And gives a quick stroke of her tail.
Priel Aylin Shrug.

"You don't have to justify yourself with me. Just go and do what you want to do." There was no mocking, playful lilt to her tone this time. She was just speaking the honest truth. For once. "Get out of here. There's a ton of stuff waiting for you out there, right? So go."

And then came Ivo. She wasn't particularly surprised to see him appear, and just turned a bit to look. He was the one who pushed so hard to get her into this little...well, not so little group anymore. ...It was strange. She didn't particularly care about what they stood for overall. Nor did she care about 'doing good', was nice to have a place to return to.

That was probably the only reason she was still about.

...She gives him a smile in return before responding. "...You shouldn't make promises you can't keep." Was all she said about that. In fact, the entire concept of 'Shard Seekers' was a promise that couldn't be kept to her. But alas, they had their uses. Friendship speeches aside.

Her attention returned to Reize then, smile lessening a bit as he approached to pat her back. "What are you--"

And then his hand slipped, going down to her tail and stroking. "A-Ah--!"

...What was that?

Did that come Priel? No, it couldn't have. That sounded almost like a moan. Pan the camera back up to her face. There was a hint of red on her face as she frowned. "W-Watch where your hands are, you idiot!" Growling, she grabbed the boy's wrist, pulling her arm away from her tail.

"This is the second time now, what should I charge you this time, huh?"
Ivo Galvan Ivo's smiling to himself, his arms crossed, listening quietly. Reize's words, however, return a hint of his usual amusement to his eyes, one of his eyebrows quirking slightly.

"That's what you're wrong about."

The older adventurer contradicts Reize gently, still leaning relaxedly back against the wall, the signs of his own troubles having dissipated.

"I know you don't want to be the leader of anything. I know to take care of the logistics and the orgainzation so you don't have to. And I know it might be impossible for you to settle in one place -- at least, not as you are." His smile broadens slightly, blue eyes sparkling, mirthful at what he perceives to be Reize's misunderstanding. "But if you think that means you're not 'leader material'... you're wrong."

Ivo shakes his head, lowering his gaze, still smiling.

"You may not realize it for a while to come, Reize, but you're the one who brings people together, and you're the one with the honest spirit to help them. You're the only leader the Shard Seekers will ever have. And I can only do what I do because you're here."

It's possible that Ivo is selling himself a little short on his own leadership potential, given his past life and job. But there are protagonists and there are brotagonists, and there are people who are ideally one or the other. When it comes down to that question, Ivo knows who the party leader should be.

"But you may have to wander a bit more before that makes sense to you."

He's grinning.

It's then that he turns his gaze back to Priel, and her smile visibly surprises him, his grin slipping as his eyes widen slightly. And at her words--


He looks touched, and for once, he doesn't even try to hide it.

'She knows,' he thinks to himself. He hasn't let her down. She knew all along it was bullshit, that he was putting on a bold face to create this place, a place that the homeless could call home. He shouldn't have thought for a minute that he could pull that kind of fast one on her, given how dubious she is anyway. She didn't trust him to make good on his promise; she knew his promise was crap, and trusted him anyway.

"Making promises you can't keep and then keeping them anyway," he replies, his grin returning as he raises a hand in a sort of salute, "is what being a knight is all about." And as everyone knows, Ivo Galvan is a real knight.

It's a rare, warm moment shared between them, and as Reize approaches Priel the knight-errant feels, humbly, how grateful he is to have such good friends. That darkness that was shrouding him is eclipsed by the light, such that he can't even remember why he was on the verge of despair. He feels as though there's nothing that could corrupt his pure sentiments of trust and respect that--


"Wh... wha..."

Jaw slack, eyes widened and bright, fists raised and clenched, Ivo suddenly looks like a man who has witnessed a miracle.

"...was that..."

That sweet moan, that involuntary sound, could that have emerged from the mistress of mockery, the queen of self-control, she of the unassailable heart, Priel Aylin? Could the femme fatale, impossibly out of reach, have a /sexy secret weakness/?

"...Aheh... heh heh..."

Ivo's dark chuckling is a forbidding sound indeed, but there's a hint of giddiness to it, and for some reason, he actually doesn't make any nasty comments. Taking a look at him might explain why: like Priel, his own cheeks are slightly flushed. Even as he marvels mercilessly at this delightful discovery, his own composure is a little shaken, too. Because, I mean--

That's /hot/.

"Say, Priel," he drawls, leaning back against the wall, the light in his eyes dancing and grin irrepressible, "why don't we have that 'training session' we discussed tonight? I think we're... overdue."

Uh oh.
Reize Seatlan "...Heh." Reize, "...I suppose so." Reize thinks it all over. He never wanted to be leader. He doesn't really know why people follow him. Even Hati, the one who challenged him, wanted to know why.

...Reize doesn't know.

He needs to leave to find out.

As for back to his moment with Priel, "Ack! Sorr---" And Priel's moan pierces over his attempt to apologize. His eyes become wide, focusing on Priel briefly. "Errr... uhh..." He starts to sweatdrop, eyeing her when she reveals the red streaks on her face. "Priel, y--..."

And when she grabs his wrist, the boy yelps after she pulls away the tail. "It was an accident! Really! I wasn't trying to!"

And then Ivo interjects.

Priel will likely find Reize... _GONE_.
Priel Aylin Ivo's interjection is enough to pull her attention away from Reize at that moment, letting go of his arm in the meantime as she addressed the totally-not-a-knight. "Training session...?" She repeated, nervous smile on her face and her tail twitching and swaying erratically.

He knew.

He totally knew now.

And she was doing a good job of hiding it all this time! It wasn't too long ago that more of her dragon features began slipping through, unable to be hidden any longer by shapeshifting. Probably a genetic thing. Regardless, all it took was one idiot kid's slip of the hand to send everything spiraling out of control. This wasn't fair!

Of course, none of these thoughts showed on her face, instead, she just laughed, placing a hand against her cheek. "Ahahahaha....tonight? Are you sure? You might not...survive." A glance aside revealed that Reize had jetted in the time it took for that to transpire.

She'd get him later.
Ivo Galvan Oh, he knows. Ivo so obviously knows, now, and it's all thanks to Reize the miracle-worker. You see, Reize? You see why we keep you around? You never know what magic is going to happen, just served up for Ivo to enjoy. The knight-very-errant doesn't try to mask the grin plastered all over his face. He couldn't even if he wanted to.

Seeing Priel visibly nervous for quite possibly the first time ever is so sweet and magnificent that he thinks he can hear an angel's chorus in the background. For now he is the predator, and she is the prey. He shall make her squirm, and regret every time she's made a fool of him or toyed with him, and--

Maybe he's getting a little carried away.

Priel recovers her composure, but it's too late. Her challenge is met with an unrelenting grin, the delight in Ivo's eyes undiminishing. "That's a risk I'm willing to take," he says, voice rich with mirth and innuendo. "I think you should be the one worried, Priel. Once your defenses are overcome..."

His arms cross again, insouciantly.

"...I'm going to reveal every inch of you."
Priel Aylin ...This was a problem.

A huge problem.

She had to regain ground, this was bad, really bad! "My defenses, hmn?" She mused, standing up fron the table and taking up the travel sack she had come in with. "Well, in that case, I guess I should wish you good luck then~" The redhead paused at the entrance to the female dorms, turning and giving Ivo a silly salute.

"I'll see you tonight. Seeya~" And then she turned, walking off, tail swaying behind her casually. Once out of sight, she kissed her teeth. "Tch...stupid Reize. I'll make sure he pays me back for this stupidity one way or another~"

An ominous grin followed that, plans hatching within her mind...

This scene contained 16 poses. The players who were present were: Ivo Galvan, Reize Seatlan, Priel Aylin