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Royal Pardon
(2013-02-20 - 2013-02-21)
Leida and Mercade finally meet again and get to talking about things.
Mercade Alexander Mercade has been in an investigative mood.

Information is spread out all over his desk, information on a missing local priestess. An excitable and altogether suspicious young woman hired him for it yesterday and he's been prodding at the case since.

Mercade looks up at the ceiling, sighing as he listens to the music. Maybe he'll go downstairs for some food and a drink, get himself going again. He looks down at the keys on his desk and reaches out for them. Sure, that's a plan. He'll get refreshed and take another shot at this from a new angle.
Leida A knock at the door of the offices interrupts the detective's train of thought before he can even stand up. The frosted glass is too murky to see the individual responsible for this late visit but the dark silhouette of a small humanoid figure is easy to see against the TDA logo.

Outside the newly relocated detective agency, Leida finds herself wondering if this is such a good idea for the dozenth time in the last few minutes. Her mind flashes back over and over to Will's extreme reaction upon seeing her again after being freed from the corruptive influences of the demon. Even though he had forgiven her in the end it was not a pleasant experience; she doubted this would be much better.

However, it was something she needed to do eventually. The girl inhales and then lets it out slowly as she waits for the response. Her hands fold neatly together at her waist, resting against the fabric of the freshly acquired garment she is wearing. Instead of the rather shoddy look of a homeless girl in an old shirt, the princess is now clad in a matching blouse and skirt. Bright pink with black highlights and lacy ruffles, the attire is rather modern and only the wooden sword belted at her waist clashes with the girlish flair it seems to give her.
Mercade Alexander Mercade pauses as he hears the knock at the door. A visitor, now? Go figure. The Detective picks up his keys, and puts them in his pocket as he walks over to the door and opens it.

There is a moment as Mercade stares down at Leida, his brain trying to process what he's seeing.

"What do you want, Leida?" At least he hasn't /immediately/ pulled his gun.
Leida Leida swallows as the knob turns, trying to keep her nerves steady when she looks up into the face of the first person who ever suffered the consequences of trying to help her. There is a moment of awkward silence as their eyes meet, her corrupted serpentine yellows gazing up into his bright blues. However, when he speaks she looks away, overwhelmed by a sudden surge of guilt.

"O-oh... I..." The tension in the air is immediately apparent and the small girl hesistates, stumbling over her own tongue. She knew this wouldn't be easy. Try as she might to get the words out, her voice only manages to produce weak squeaks and mutters.

Finally, after several seconds of looking stupid, Leida merely tilts her body forward and gives the detective a deep Japanese bow. She folds practically down to a right angle, somehow managing to keep her balance even as her lengthy mass of hair slides foward to whisk against the tiled floors.
Mercade Alexander Mercade watches, his body tense. Perhaps he's waiting for her to attack? The eyes... are even more unsettling in their own way than the possessed girl motif.

Mercade was not, however, expecting the bow. He is quiet, the silence drawing out into slight awkwardness as he sees what she is doing, and he sighs, stepping out of the way. "Come in and sit down."

Once she is inside, Mercade closes the door and takes a seat himself. "All right. What's going on, Leida? Explain what the deal is."
Leida Rather self-conscious about her slowly but inexorably changing appearance, Leida keeps her eyes down on the floor as she straightens up and enters upon invitation. She makes sure to slide her loafers off outside the door first and set them aside, however; manners must be maintained.

The girl stands before Mercade's large desk, waiting for him to be seated before she takes the one situated opposite of it. She sits quietly for several seconds, once more leaving a strange pregnant pause lingering in the air after his question. Her eyes remain downcast as if letting him see them somehow makes the situation worse.

"I... ah... w-wanted to.... apologize." She manages softly. "I-I know... words are not enough... to make up for the things that I have done... but..." Her voice trails off again. "Please... tell me anything that you want and... and I will give it to you. E-even... even if you wish my life."

She has already made this same offer to Will. He did not take it, though that may in part have been due to the stern words of Sarafina that broke through his haze of anger. But just because one person has forgiven her that doesn't mean everyone will. Those people she has wronged each deserve the chance to make their own judgements.
Mercade Alexander Mercade sits there, watching and thinking about the words of the possessed girl. He doesn't know what could be afflictingher, that much is certain. But can he give her what she is looking for? "Leida..." Mercade pauses... And then shakes his head.

"I am not judge, jury, and executioner. You've hurt me, much like you've hurt others when you were the way you were. If you truly mean this, then all I can really ask is that you work to help bring as much good into the worlds as you had previously done otherwise." He gestures. "There's nothing you can do to make the past go away... But you can do something to make things better now. I couldn't ask for yourr life."
Leida The corrupted princess merely nods after a moment. The same response as everyone else. She wonders why it is that the people of these other worlds seem so quick to forgive. If she had been stopped by the people of her own land there is no doubt in her mind that her twisted spirit would be long since sealed away in some dank cave with a shrine built nearby to remind passersby for ages to come of the dangers of dealing with spirits.

But this was not the land of the rising sun so she was forced to endure her shameful continued existance yet again. She wasn't quite sure which fate was worse.

"You could," she counters eventually, finally looking up at give him a weak smile. "And it might restore what little scraps of honor I have left to reclaim. But... I will try... to be of some use." Leida pauses for a moment, looking thoughtful. "I have heard about the shards... pieces of your world that might bring it back. I know Reize-san and Ivo-san are both looking hard to find them. If... if you think of some way in which I can assist your efforts..."
Mercade Alexander "Death is easy. It's living that's hard. Life is more just than death." Mercade says. Is he thinking to himself? Perhaps.

He considers the words of Leida, and nods, folding his hands on the desk. "Be more confident in yourself. You have a reason to live and a purpose to accomplish. Being shy and retiring isn't going to help anyone, including yourself." Mercade points out.

"I appreciate the help of the Shard Seekers in working to find the remnants of Manhattan. IF you guys are successful, we can combine them and work together to bring the world back. The people of Manhattan will be glad." He smiles faintly.
Leida Living was certainly proving to be difficult after bringing so much death with her selfishness. But there has been some upsides as well. Her friendship with Imi and the other Legions would never have come to pass if she'd merely thrown herself off a cliff. And despite how hard it was, finally saying she was sorry brought great relief.

The way forward was clear but still treacherous. Even now the corruption sought to reclaim what was once its property, a fact that was obvious to all in her tainted eyes and the lingering aura of unease that seemed to follow her wherever she went. But maybe she had found a solution for that too. The dark knight's training was likely to be brutal but if his expertise in maintaining control over the darkness in her soul demanded it, then she would endure.

Leida's smile gains a little strength at his encouragement. "Forgive me... I have never felt great reason to hold myself in much esteem. I know I need to be bolder but... it is a difficult thing to change. I hope that in aiding you I can find a reason to."
Mercade Alexander What does the Detective think about this situation? Well... So far so good at least, right? He seems to accept Leida's explanations. He still, however, isn't looking her in the eyes. "Understandable. These things can't change overnight. Either way..." Mercade trails off for a moment, sighing to himself. "Eh, it doesn't matter." He gestures nonchalantly from his seat. "I'm all right now and you... Well, you have your own road to follow. So what will you do now? I heard the Shard Seekers and others have been working to protect Fluorgis. How is that going?"
Leida Sensing his uncomfortableness, Leida looks away as well and the tiny glint of cheer she had quickly disappears. Her hands lock together in her lap once more to keep her fingers from worrying at the arms of the chair.

"Reize-san has been kind enough to let me stay with his clan, though I am not sure I truly belong there. However, the city of Fluorgis has been beset by many troubles of late and I feel compelled to aid in whatever way I can to repay him, even if my skills in combat are meager at best."

She closes her eyes and exhales. "A man was caught recently who many seem to believe was the one responsible for these troubles. I pray that their suspicions are correct. However, even with the culprit in custody the dark clouds that beset the city have yet to abate and rumors are spreading that the fire crystal is in danger."

Leida shakes her head from side to side slowly. "I am not certain what it is that I can do to aid them at this point. The heat of the desert taxes my constitution, even more so with the crystal's power waning. I fear that I may no longer be able to assist if this dire situation persists."
Mercade Alexander "I'm sure you are doing what you can. You're helping in your own way..." He pauses. "A man who was responsible for the problem, eh? Who was it supposed to be?" Mercade asks. "If something like the Fire Crystal is in danger, that could cause problems for the entire area, or even further. Isn't that supposed to be a giant repository of energy? Someone who knows how to use or abuse that could cause a lot of trouble..."

He pauses. "And God help us if the Heartless get it..." He gestures. "If you can't help in Fluorgis, you can help elsewhere, I'm sure... But then, I can't really judge. I didn't even know what you were doing until just recently." He thinks. "Have you been to Traverse Town recently? Did you happen to stop by the church here?"
Leida Leida looks up and tilts her head to the side at the question. "The... church...?" She runs that term through her head for a moment before remembering where she's heard it before. "Oh... you mean the temple for the local gods!" Her head shakes back and forth a few times. "No, I have not visited such a place within Traverse Town. I only came to stay at the local inn to recover from my last trip to the desert."

She pauses and then glances down at herself. "Oh... and Imi-chan and Emi-chan took me to a local store. I think she called it a... boutique. They picked out these pretty new clothes for me. I have never worn anything besides a kimono before so I let them decide which I should take."

"Um..." Leida fidgets a bit but glances up at him and asks, "Do you think they look appropriate? Imi-chan and her sisters said they did not know much about modern clothing either so I think they just made an educated guess." The educated part might not be entirely accurate.
Mercade Alexander Mercade nods. "That's all right, I was just wondering." Hey, you never know until you ask, right?

He smiles at the mention of Emi and Imi. "The Dennous. They work with us too... They're a good bunch. Very helpful and honest. They should do well by you, don't worry too much about it." He tilts his head, looking over Leida again. "I think you look fine in them. If it wasn't for the eyes, you would fit right in in Manhattan." Then again, Manhattan fashion can be a little weird sometimes.
Leida "O-oh." The mention of her eyes causes Leida to stare down at the floor again rather quickly. "Well... I am glad to hear you say that. I was worried I might look a little silly with all these frills."

Another pause. "As for the fire crystal, I am afraid that I know little of its form or function. The crystals seem to be artifacts of great power that exist across many of the worlds that have been brought together. The gossip I have heard while in the marketplace of Fluorgis seems to believe that the crystal is responsible for keeping the city safe from the desert's heat but beyond that I cannot say what purposes it may be used for, if any."

"Whatever the case may be, the dark clouds that have been summoned by the individual who was captured... ah... I believe his name was... Bacon...? Baigan...?" She waves a hand dismissively. "Something of that nature. The clouds are filled with monsters and have shut down all air travel in the area. Without it the trade has come to a halt and prices for simple necessities have already started to rise."
Mercade Alexander "In that case, the situation is pretty dire indeed in Fluorgis. If you need any additional help there, the TDA will be happy to give a hand." As if they'll do any better? Hah. "If Baigan is involved, that means Baron is involved, and that can mean a major assault from them at some point." Mercade rubs his chin. "But why Fluorgis? Could it be the Crystal...?"

He shrugs. "This isn't something I can solve now. There's a lot on our plates and you guys have this well in hand." He gestures. "So is there anything else in partuicular you wanted to cover?"
Leida Leida shakes her head and gets to her feet, sliding out of the chair gracefully. Her hands smooth down the front of her skirt idly which gives her a reason to continue staring down instead of letting him see her eyes again. "Um... no, not really."

The girl bows to him once more, though less dramatically this time. "Again, please accept my humblest apologies. Though I am not sure what I can do to aid a... detective...? -- if you ever require my assistance please do not hesistate to ask."
Mercade Alexander Mercade stands, and walks Leida to the door. "It's no problem." He open the door, and looks back to the young accursed girl. "It's been a pleasure to meet you, Leida." Mercade smiles then, pleasantly.
Leida Leida nods softly once back outside the office, giving a final quick bow, then slips her shoes back on and heads downstairs. Well, that went better than she expected and now that it was off her chest, she felt a little bit lighter for the effort.

She makes her way out into the street but then princess pauses and glances around, a hand instinctively going to the wooden sword on her belt, half expecting Angantyr to come bursting out of the shadows at this point. After several seconds of nothing but the thud of her own heartbeat she sighs. This never knowing when to expect his 'tests' was going to drive her paranoid.

This scene contained 20 poses. The players who were present were: Mercade Alexander, Leida