The Country Side West

aryamajor

Curious Adventurer
Benefactor
@Scarlet

The woman was clearly running of a combination of anger and grief. Information trickled in to Saber's mind, as if someone opened a window letting in fresh air. This was the Holy Grail War to which she had been called and this place was akin to the human world. The woman before her had summoned a servant of her own but had yet to affirm their pact, instead she was demanding answers this magical enlightenment could not give.

"It is war," Saber replied, "Anything is possible."

Whether the answer suited the woman or not, it was the truth. Saber sighed and stepped forward from the circle to look at the young, yet some how old soul before her. "This was your family and your home." She had no doubts about that. " I do not know who did this, but they are gone from this place. There is no life but you and I here, besides the embers of the fire and the remnants of a cruel magic. It leaves a poor taste in my mouth." She wasn't about to tell the frightened woman it tasted of the bitter tang of old blood. " I ask again. What is it you would ask of me? To fight in this war? To bring justice or cruelty?"
 

Knosis

Grumpy Badger
Moderator
"Hrm." Ruler nodded. "Though, I do wan' to add one more thing." The massive man turned to the flaming building. "If 'e ain't stopped, this world may be in a serious bit 'o 'urting. 'E plans to end magic. An' you know as well as I why tha' can't 'appen."

The old warrior turned towards the city. "So if ya see an unusual servant in the 'ands of a boy named Max.. End 'em quick like, eh?" He waved over his shoulder and started for the city.

@Lobos @TheGreenerGrey
 
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TheGreenerGrey

Self-proclaimed everything expert.
Once it looked like the... Ruler had stopped talking, Nameless merely nodded at the helpful warrior. It wasn't exactly much, but he had been to the point and the man could respect that. Watching the man go, he waited in silence until he deemed the spirit far enough away that he would have at least a second or two to react.

Grunting, he pat the shoulder of Archer, jerking his head to follow him. As time had passed, he felt his head becoming... clearer. Clearer than it had in years. The pain was there still, sure, but with the deaths of all but one of the Gauchevers and actual light... he would be able to hunt more efficiently now.

But in order to do that, he would need time and equipment. Fortunately, he knew where he could get both. An old safehouse that had been given to him in case the operation ever went bad. Funny... how little he had known. He had been told the Gauchevers were bad. That they were criminals. He had been lied to.

They were a blight upon this world. Monsters. Demons. And they shall purged from the face of this world.
 
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Scarlet

resident marshmallow lover
It left a poor taste in her mouth too.

Valerie wavered in place, considering. The servant's answer left a lot to be desired. For example, where was this person now? And why, oh why? Her father had always been a hard man. But her family had spent generations striving for this singular moment, and for someone to come in and... Not for the first time, she cursed being raised in the dark. Clearly, she had enemies. Her collarbone itched. She pulled back her shirt to reveal the black imprint of a fresh command seal.

She frowned at it, then looked back up at her awaiting servant. Sabotage or not, the Gauchevers were still in the fight. She would do what she was bred to do. "Justice," she breathed, her tears gone. "If you'll help, I'm going to get my revenge. And win the war." She offered the Saber her hand.
 
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aryamajor

Curious Adventurer
Benefactor
Saber looked at the woman's hands and then her eyes. The eyes were always the tell-tale sign of a liar. There she found no malice but a deep pain and determination. "I want to make some thing clear before I swear to you my fealty. I will demand justice, but I will not bring my sword against an innocent. Can you swear to me that you will not do me this dishonor?"
The hand lingered there, not quiet snubbed, but feeling a little foolish nonetheless. The woman's conditions washed over her, and Valerie took them in stride, answering without any hesitation. "I swear it," she vowed, with youthful eagerness.

Satisfied, Saber took the woman's hand in a firm grip without ever breaking eye contact. "Then I, Saber, swear to you the protection of my sword and thus my soul. I would have the name of my mistress?"

Valerie's shoulders lowered in relief, some tension in her chest uncoiling. "Valerie. ... Now the last remaining member of the Gauchevers family." She wrapped her arm around her middle, as if such a simple motion could keep her grief from splitting her in two. "...How good are you at moving heavy things--..." She gave a long, meaningful glance, requesting a name she could use for the woman herself.

"Mistress Gauchever," Saber nodded respectfully. It was always best to address formally unless requested to do so otherwise. Judging by the size of the rubble, this house had been quite large and the use of the family name pointed to Valerie being a noble woman by birth. As she dropped her hand away, the woman asked how much she could lift and then paused as if she wanted to address her as something besides Saber. She tilted her head at her mistress and placed a hand on her sword. "A name has power, and it is not safe for you to know it," Saber told her, "If Saber does not please you, then you may call me Lady. You would not be the first."

"Okay, Lady, nice to meet you. I think." These were definitely not the most ideal circumstances to enter the war. She hadn't even been briefed. She had no clue what she was walking into, nor any idea why her father wanted that grail at all. She stepped away from the circle, gesturing towards the blocked east wing, left buried by scorched wood and crumbled pillars. A large stone chunk drifted up, and then was thrown to the side. The wood was left untouched by her magus. "What can you tell me about this war, and what we're expected to do? I'm afraid my education is.... incomplete. My father kept a lot from me, I-" she couldn't finish. She moved more stone off the side. This was going to take a while.

Lady blinked at her mistress in surprise. Education incomplete? How was this possible? Then again...she felt the warmth from her sword grow at her side. She knew exactly how it was possible, and it wasn't the worst problem they would face. "The Holy Grail is a magical item that chooses seven mages to compete for a wish to be granted by the victor in a war using summoned spirits as servants to battle. There are different classes of servants, all of which have their own strengths and weaknesses. All but one must be defeated before the mage and their servants wish may be won and fulfilled by the grail. Your mana supplies my presence here, Mistress. If you were to die, I would fade as well without someone to sustain me. This means the easiest way to end a servant, is to kill his master." Reaching out, she put a gloved hand on Valerie's shoulder with a gentle squeeze. "Which is why I must insist we leave this place now."

She actually knew most of that, which was reassuring. She had been informed about the oncoming war when she had received the circuits during her father's only visit years ago. But he had been brief and she had only been left with the vague instructions to prepare once she was healed. What had he wanted with the grail, she wondered. She glanced at the hand on her shoulder, not use to such a gesture. "But there might be things spared... heirlooms. I can't walk away with nothing, they could be lost."
Saber shook her head slowly, her honey colored curls catching in the hot breeze. "There is too much to sift through and this place is too open to attack. The one who did this may expect you to return and if he does have a servant on his own, it would mean battle here and now. Do you have some place we may go that is safe? Anywhere that is not where you are to be expected?"

Valerie swallowed hard, appropriately unnerved by the possibilities Saber spoke off. "Very well," she relented, finding it only a little hard to let go of her desire to retrieve her family's things. After her family's death, she found herself with a healthy sense of self-preservation, her grief be damned. Turning away from the rubble, she nervously scanned the dark landscape beyond the house, considering the woman's question. "...A city. Any city. In the eyes of society, I don't even exist. No one will expect me anywhere." She stepped closer to her servant, face sagging in resignation. "Get us out of here. I trust your judgement."

"This war is not meant to involve those who are not mages. A populated area may prove protective." Lady paused, her eyes scanning over the area carefully. The remains of the house were remote and the woods unpredictable. Were there no horses? No. Humans used vehicles. "We must make our way to a town. Have you a means to travel other than by foot? A car, perhaps?" The word was odd on her tongue, but she felt like that was the correct way to say it.

Valerie was surprised at how easy it was to remember things from when she lived here. It had been a decade, but she led Saber out the door and around the dark footpaths of the building with no issue. She pointed silently to a detached garage behind the west wing, a pulse of strong wind blowing out the door straight off its hinges. She peeked in, her hair standing on end as she strained to make sense of the overwhelming darkness inside. She didn't dare turn on the lights, afraid of drawing her families killer to her like a beacon. Her eyes adjusted, and she sighed in relief. "Only if you can drive?" She pointed to a row of keys hanging next to the door. How many cars did they have?

Lady followed her to a separate building, making sure the only sounds in the area were their soft foot falls in the ash and the light tink of her armor. Inside there were rows of vehicles. She was not gifted with knowing exactly which the best was, but she chose one based on its plain look. They did not need to attract attention. The keys were hanging from the hooks, each with a single tab that matched the insignia on the car. She chose the one with a cat and then went down the rows until the same cat model appeared on the hood of a black car. "This one." She unlocked the door and then tried to climb into the driver’s seat only to find that was a difficult task with armor and a sword buckled to her belt. "This is not made for battle, I see," she chuckled to Valerie, "How strange it is to be in a human world." Her instinct was to change into something more suitable for the task, and at her will the armor melted away to a blue floor length gown with flowing sleeves. "Is this appropriate for a guardian in the presence of her mistress?"

Valerie raised her brow at Saber, amusement bringing light to her previously dull gaze. "Uh... I mean, if you want the world to think I'm the guardian here, sure?" Valerie wore simple traveling gear-- canvas pants and a black v-neck. She wore a shawl over it like a cloak, the pin she had used to summon Saber having been clipped back at her neck as they had walked over. She slipped into the passenger side, an uneasiness filling her. "...You sure you know how to drive?”

It appeared that formal wear would not be required when traveling with her mistress and that was a relief. She disliked wearing cumbersome skirts. A hint of a smiling flickered over her lips and she willed the dress to change into an outfit befitting what Valerie stated a guardian would wear instead. A pair of simply black pants, tucked into glossy black boots, a blue v neck t shirt and her hair braided down her back became her clothing. As she climbed into the driver's seat, and stuck the keys into the ignition, Valerie gave her an uneasy look. "I would not say I know...sometimes you must simply try." With the engine running, she gripped the wheel and then frowned. She had forgotten to add herself a pair of gloves and the pink jagged scars over her hands were out on display. As quickly as she noticed, a set of finger-less black gloves appeared over her hands. "Mistress you may want to strap in." Clicking the gears into what she assumed was forward, Lady hit the gas and gave them a squealing start out of the building. As she slung them down the paths, toward the lights in the distance, Lady stole a glance at Valerie. "I am sorry that we could not stay to recover your family's things." Apologies did little, but it was all she could offer at the present time.

The drive was short but once they came into a populated area to the north, Lady realized that she had to slow her pace. Her stops were rough at each red light, and she was rearing to go when the light turned green. The way the engine made the roaring sound was a pleasing sort and while she knew they were there on business it was impossible not to get some measure of enjoyment from it.

Rows of shops lined the streets, but most were darkened, obviously not open for the night. Lady only hoped she could find an inn or tavern for them to stay in. One where her mistress could reside in safety and make whatever protections she required. A taller building appeared with many windows, so Lady came to a lurching halt outside the door, bumping the curb a bit. “I think we may inquire about a boarding room inside.”

( In collaboration with @Scarlet )
 
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aryamajor

Curious Adventurer
Benefactor
Lady let go of her solid form, melting away with a glow of silver light until she was nothing but a ghost. Aware of her surroundings, but utterly nonexistent to them. She had seen her Mistress do little in the way of magic so far, but it had only been a day, and a long one at that. When Valerie summoned the wind it was a bit thrilling. It had been a long time since she had felt the tingling call of flight's excitement and for a moment, she wished for her solid form to experience it fully. Still, this sort of travel would require energy and Valerie would need all she could get to remain safe.

Over the city, Lady took in the entire view again. It was nothing like she had seen before in some ways. Glowing lights and constant movement not made by living creature but by electronics and machines, though they hummed as if they were flesh in blood. Busy cicadas filling the streets below. An hour or so passed and Valerie took them to the country side, which was far more familiar a sight. She seemed to be searching for something, but Lady wasn't entirely sure what other than it was a safe place. Being this far from the city had its advantages and disadvantages, but a fortress here was better than some boarding house with little protection and too many eyes.

They came to a stop finally and Valerie called out to her, looking winded. Yes, Mistress?
 

Scarlet

resident marshmallow lover
Relief flooded her. "You need to show yourself. No one under any glamour or trick can enter this land unharmed. ... My mothers doing," Valerie added softly. She closed her eyes, standing at the fork in the road where the winding road cut abruptly right and led into thick trees. "Stay back," she ordered, toeing the very edge of the road. The hair on her arm stood on end as she raised her hand... and boldly stepped forward. The air shimmered around her, but otherwise it let the limb pass unharmed.

Valerie let out a breath she didn't realize she had been holding. She grinned, glancing back at Lady. "Guess I had remained part of the family after all." She didn't mention how wrong that could have just gone. She stepped through, disappearing from view on the other side. "You may enter now," her voice drifted through. And Lady would find that the any unwelcoming feeling she had gotten from the protective ward vanished upon Valerie's invitation. Lady would enter to find the glamour spell did not apply to the inside of the dome. What appeared to be a footpath leading into the woods was actually a cleared area with a decently sized house sitting dead center in the middle.

"This place is likely still littered with wards and traps, my mother would store them in crystals so if you see one... walk the other way, will you?" She turned to face the winding road, closing her eyes and reaching out to consider what warding she could feel remained. She frowned, and sat down there on the lawn. "I need to fix these first. And erect a bounded field of my own. I don't trust these ones; if someone got through to my parents from inside that mansion..." Well, they had to be powerful indeed to avoid triggering all the layers of protection that was meant to stop people from breaking in. "The door should be unlocked to you now," she offered, closing her eyes and crossing her legs. She took a deep breath, then began to chant.
 

aryamajor

Curious Adventurer
Benefactor
She wasn't entirely sure that her invisibility was a glamour, but she was a swords woman more than a mage. Not to mention, she was not willing to risk a curse or worse based on a small uncertainty. Bringing herself back to a physical form in the same jeans and tshirt as before, she nodded to Valerie. "Aye."


Lady waited until given the word that it was safer to enter and nodded, noting the mention of traps. "I will keep a sharp eye, but I will stay by your side until your wards are complete. I do not take chances with those in my care."

Valerie took her seat and Lady folded to her knees beside her. Part of being a mage, or any other practice was learning focus and patience. For the first time since their meeting, Lady let her veiled armor reappear. Silver plates and her own sigil, the laurel leaf, engraved on each shoulder. Her blade sat in its sheath across her knees, warm through the metal. This was comfortable. Natural.

Lady waited, gathering her own thoughts, until Valerie stopped in her work. The bounded field had been expertly made, even she couldn't detect it.

"You have great skill," she said, as her Mistress stirred. Rising from her knees, Lady looked to the house behind them, "We should inspect the house to take stock of our supplies and then when you are rested, venture to the library."
 

Scarlet

resident marshmallow lover
Valerie gave her a tight smile, fatigue creeping through her face. Finally, she was tired. "Morning then," she agreed, dusting grass off her butt. She wordlessly gestured for Lady to follow behind her, approaching the house and frowning at the looming oak door. It wouldn't open under her touch. Forget technology, the Ghauvescheshjgs (x.X) had relied heavily on their skills with magic to keep them protected. They were 'old fashioned' as some might say.

Valerie tilted her head, muttering something under her breath. "...Huh. Do me a favor, cut me with that sword of yours," she asked, nonchalant as she held her hand out expectantly to Lady.
 

aryamajor

Curious Adventurer
Benefactor
Lady's eyes opened wide at the suggestion. "If it is a blood seal you seek to break, I fear Sperest may cut you too deeply." Thinking for a moment, she pointed to the silver laurel pin on Valerie's cloak. "If I may?" With permission, she unclipped the pin and took up the woman's hand, singling out her thumb. "The thumb usually bleeds best," she said, jabbing the sharp needle point into the pad of her finger. Blood welled up around the wound, and began dripping before she removed the pin. "That should do better than a slice."
 

Scarlet

resident marshmallow lover
Valerie nodded in appreciation turning her bleeding thumb in such a way to not drop or lose the beading blood. She smeared it across the dark, intricately carved wood. A woosh of energy gusted past them as the seal broke and the door clicked open. "...There. Shouldn't have to do that again." She crept in regardless, on high alert for more of her families tricks and traps. There was blood magic in her family now?

Michael. She realized at once. Her brother must of developed an inclination towards medical magus after all. Her father had tried so hard to beat it out of him. Her position in the family made a little more sense now.

She swept through the five floors, disabling all traps that would threaten them and modifying the rest to accept their presence. By the time they had gone through each room, her hands were shaking in effort. Too many complex spells, her mana was concerningly low. She lowered herself onto a couch, her interest in further exploring dulled by her need to rest.
 
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aryamajor

Curious Adventurer
Benefactor
Lady stepped into the house after her Mistress and took in the lay out of the house as she worked. There were several traps laid in corners or hidden under the stair wells, but the place would do nicely for a base of operations. Once the house was cleared, Valerie sat on the couch looking tired. It had been a long day both physically and mentally for her. While she felt no different in regards to her stamina, she knew her mistress probably wanted to be left alone to rest.

Without an order from her Mistress, Lady took advantage of the moment and decided to do a little exploring of her own while she could. There was no need for sleep and she wasn't about to go outside the safe house without having Valerie restored to full mana. Her armor jangled as she roamed the living room, poking through the book shelves and then further.

She stumbled upon a kitchen area with wide cabinets and an island in the middle. All of the equipment looked as if it had barely been used and the odd device she knew of, but had never seen, was fully stocked with cold items. A refrigerator. The humans were inventive in ways that were fascinating at times. Wandering on, Lady walked through a grandiose dining area housing a long table and high backed chairs under a gleaming chandelier.

The hallway contained many several doors all of which were closed. But were they locked? Her curiosity flared and she walked down the corridor, letting her fingers graze over the door knobs until she thought to open one. The first one opened with a quiet click. Inside, she found a bed with a simple blanket and a teddy bear propped against a mound of pillows. On the window sill sat several multi-colored crystals which felt warm with mana. The book shelf to the left was filled with books on magus history, Grail War Lore, and several books that looked to be hand written. Mostly likely the collection of her family's magic through time. Clothes had been laid out on the bed as if in preparation for whoever would be staying in this room. Judging by the size of the garments they were meant for a woman. Valerie.

She had spoken of being banished from her family and still being considered under that status...yet...Lady crossed the room and picked up the stuffed bear, feeling how soft it was with its red bow on the neck. Things like this were not given to children who had been forgotten or pushed out entirely. Her family, or at least someone had given the room thought. With a small sigh, she put the bear back where she found it and then tried the next room. This one had a smaller bed, but obviously still belonged to a girl. There were nick knacks on the shelves and a small, pink dress hanging in the closet.

The room across the hall was different from the first two. It smelled of old cologne and something darker beneath that. A smell that tasted tinny and bitter on her tongue, not unlike the scent at the burned mansion on the night she was summoned. There were hand written notes on the desk and a poster of a human's anatomy hidden in the wardrobe. She left the space as it was, not wanting to touch anything out of sheer dislike for the smell.

The last room was the master bedroom and it was by far the largest and most luxurious. A silk duvet covered the bed adorned with matching pillows and an imposing, carved wardrobe, but otherwise the place was fairly unadorned. The wardrobe had no lock or ward of any kind, so she walked over and opened the doors, peering inside. Plain clothes sat on hangers, all perfectly pressed and smelling of soap. She started to close the closet again, but a little glimpse of red caught her eye at the bottom of the shelves. Bending low, she picked up...a book? It was older, with the binding cracking in protest as she opened it to find it was filled with images. A man, a woman, two children but never 3 at the same time. They were obviously family, Valerie's family, and Lady sat down to look at the pages. The first time she had seen these faces they had been burned beyond recognition, but here they were smiling and happy. Valerie held the same sharp features as her brother, though the eyes were different. Colder.

Her mind turned to other faces, one's she had not seen in a long time. What would she have given to have an image like this for her own family? Friends? Closing the book, she put it back where it had been found and kept looking. It was better not to the think of the past.

Wandering on, Lady went down a level to see extra an living space...a bathroom..and then another door. This one was made of steel and plated with rivets, obviously meant to keep someone out. Her blue-green eyes searched the door, trying to detect any protections around the room, but she felt none. Pushing the door open, Lady curled her lip at the same, sickly smell. She felt around for the light switch till her fingers ran across the panel on the wall. The lights faded in and her stomach churned at what she saw. A room stocked with vials, and tubes...strange equipment. There were bits of flesh in jars, mostly brains and few that had an odd glow to them even under the florescent lights. A microscope sat on the cabinets along side a tray of surgical equipment, and a examination table. Perhaps the most disturbing item was a sectioned off area in the very back. A cell bound by thick bars and containing only heavy chains. The whole room felt wrong. So unnatural that the hairs on the back of her neck stood up. What sort of twisted magic was at play here? The equipment looked unused but it had obviously been prepared with care with the expectation of use.

Backing out of the room, Lady closed the door in an effort to block out all of it and went back upstairs. Her mind turning over what she had seen. Valerie had been in exile, but why? Had she known of these strange, sickening things? She didn't think so. The woman seemed to know very little about her family in general, but perhaps she knew something. Whatever her family had been involved in looked wrong...perhaps their deaths were no random attack at all.

Entering the living room, Lady found Valerie still asleep on the couch, her mouth slightly open. She wanted to ask her questions immediately but waking the woman in a demand for answers wasn't the way. Instead, allowed her 'normal' clothing to return and sank into an arm chair across from her, closing her eyes. Maybe she didn't need sleep, but the attempt made her feel more human.
 

Scarlet

resident marshmallow lover
When Valarie woke up it was pitch black beyond the barred windows. Huh. The windows were barred? That's a touch excessive. She stirred, stretching a kink from her neck as she slowly looked around and caught sight of the rest of her surroundings. It was odd to be around such opulent wealth again, even the soft leather of the couch felt foreign under her hands. In a strange twist of fate, she found herself missing her old sleeping mat. Even if it was stiff. She glanced across her to see Lady sleeping, which was also a strange sight to catch, giving she was still in full armor. Ouch, talk about a kink in the neck when she woke up.

Her stomach snarl demandingly, reminding her that she had not eaten a real meal in countless days. She slightly stood up, closing her eyes as she tried to remember the direction of the kitchen. ...left? No. Right. Down the hall, to the right. She crept off, pushing past oak doors and stainless steel appliances to the pantry.
 

aryamajor

Curious Adventurer
Benefactor
Lady's eyes cracked open at the movement of her Mistress. Particularly due to the ferocious sound grumbling from her side of the living room. Being hungry was something she remembered, and though she didn't experience it now, the effect of believing one needed to eat did muster an appetite. She waited a few minutes for Valerie to get oriented, then rose to her feet, changing into jeans, a t-shirt, and her fingerless black gloves. The woman's long rest had given her time to think upon their situation. Stretching out her neck, and arms, Lady woke up the spiritual sinew that created her body in the world and then walked down the hall. A clattering sound from the kitchen caught her attention, so she turned the corner, entering the kitchen to find Valerie rummaging. "You look well rested, Mistress. How do you feel?"
 

Scarlet

resident marshmallow lover
Valerie startled, swinging around with a pan in her hands. "Oh-god, you startled me. I expected to hear armor." She lowered the pan, placing it on the counter and shaking out the last of the adrenaline rush. "I... feel more like myself, at least," she amended. She hesitated, then added softly, "It helps to have work to look forward to." She picked back up the pan and briskly turned, setting it on the stove before disappearing back into the pantry. She pulled out several cans of corn beef hash and shuffled out with them stacked in her arms. She hip-checked the pantry door shut, really studying Lady for the first time. "It dawns on me I don't know much about you. I'm not very good at this... small talk stuff," she admitted, taking a knife and trying to hack open a can. "But if you talk, I'm good at listening."

Yeah, her social skills weren't exactly given space to be refined up in those mountains...
 

aryamajor

Curious Adventurer
Benefactor
Lady wandered over to Valerie as she struggled to open the can with a knife and took up two objects, striking open the can with two quick stabs and a wrenching motion. Valerie was interested in knowing about her? For awhile she had assumed her Mistress had been congenial but had seen her as no more than a tool. A means to an end. Perhaps she truly was curious and that was admirable. It was easy to become detached when all a person could see was the goals in front of them. Lady gave her a small smile and handed the can of hash back to Valerie. "I am afraid talking about myself is not something I excel at myself. An old habit. What is it you wish to know and I will try my best to answer."
 

Scarlet

resident marshmallow lover
Valerie gave her a flat look, taking the can and dumping it into the warming pan. "Very well. Where are you from?"


Lady told her about her past. It was extensive and private. Use your imagination.


Valerie took in a deep breath, letting the exhale out in a whistle. "...Fair enough. ... I am sorry for your loss," she murmured, looking down and away from the woman. It wasn't the most empathetic response to a story such as it, but it was a warm one where Valerie was concerned. She turned off the stove, serving two plates rather generous helpings. "Well then. Eat up, Guardian. We have people to save." Valerie gave her a small smile, handing her the plate of steaming hash. This servant would do, she decided, feeling at once more comfortable and confident in her mission.

A half sort of smile flicked to Lady's lips and she vanished her sword, to take the plate. Valerie was not the kind to give abject pity and Lady found that to be a good thing. Pity was not wanted nor needed. It didnt solve the issues at hand. "Thank you, Valerie." She sat across from the woman and looked at her plate. "Of course, this means it is even more imperative that we prevent Max from his goal. An end to magic here, may cause a terrible ripple through my world." Swiping up a fork, she shoveled a few bites, humming with satisfaction. "This is delicious. When we are done, I wish to show you something."

Valerie ate eagerly, a hum catching her her throat as the salty concoction was worked through her mouth. She had missed this meal so much. It was comforting to know she could have it whenever she wanted now. "Can it wait?" She asked around the mouthful. "I really wish to see this Library my mentor told me about. He said you'd know how to get there?"

Lady shook her head, unable to answer through a mouthful until she swallowed. "I do not think its something we should delay. It may be something linked to you family's death. If you do not wish to see it, I will tell you. There is a room in this house of yours containing a...laboratory..." the word was odd but it came to her nonetheless, "Inside, I found objects of magic along with a cage and manacles. It leads me to wonder if your family was killed from within rather than an attacker breaking through wards from without." Clearing her plate, she looked to Valerie. "And yes, I can take us to the Library."

Valerie double took, the finger that she was licking slowly falling out of her mouth. "...A ...what? Where," she demanded. "Show me." She stood up, her plate forgotten.

Lady stood promptly at the order and with a swish of her long braid was out the door, leading her mistress down the hall to the stairs. The basement was as she left it, the heavy steel door closed. "Beyond that door," she pointed, "It feels the same as before. That taste in the air the night I was summoned. Sterile and yet of twisted magic."

Valerie swallowed hard, glancing once at Lady before unwillingly looking back to the door. "Maybe your nose is just broken?" She murmured hopefully, a bad feeling in her stomach. She forced herself to press forward regardless, the doorknob cold under her fingers as it opened to her touch. It was... a lot to take in. And she took her time doing it, slowly drifting from the desk... to the examine table... to the bookshelves... to the cage. She took in each detail with a rigid back, her face empty of expression. "My brother..." she finally breathed. "He had always shown an inclination towards this type of magus but..." The ever present question pounded harder in her mind. What the hell went on in that mansion the decade she was away? She looked back to Lady, unsettled. Pale. "You don't suppose he..." it was a rhetorical question, one with an obvious answer. Mathew had used human subjects. But for what? And... who? "I think it's time we go to that library."

Lady watched as Valerie examined the disturbing contents of the room. It was obvious from her face alone that she had not known her family was taking part in what appeared to be very dark practices. She mentioned her brother before mumbling out questions they both already knew the answer to. Lady let her soak it all in, trying not to curl her lip at such an abhorrent smell. It smelled as if a Shade or a Baku had been there.Dark, and dangerous. "It is something for us to consider," Lady said, "And I agree. Let us go to the library. "(edited)
Beckoning Valerie over, the swords woman thought of where she desired to be and her knowledge given by the Grail took over.
 

Knosis

Grumpy Badger
Moderator
The roar of the bike sounded over the hills as it sped over the roads towards the country side. At least it was safer out this way. Less people to worry about hitting. That would be a messy fix to try to explain away. It was a short while later when Ruler turned to the right and down a dirt road that he slowed down. A short distance further, the small party arrived to the front of a manor house.

"Not quite sure what's been 'appening to the magus of this war. This one never made it back from the Library. Think she got caught between realms on the way back. Librarian there can be a bit.. Uh.. Well. Let's just say, do as I say an' not as I do when it comes to the Librarian and stick to 'is good side. But that's left Saber a wee bit masterless. Unlike the Archer class, Sabers can't go very long without their master. That's why I picked ya up rather quick-like. Saber's prolly still a wee bit in shock, so we best proceed with caution, alright?" He said after dismounting. "Stay close behind me."

He started towards the door of the Manor.

@aryamajor @glmstr
 

aryamajor

Curious Adventurer
Benefactor
Lady reappeared in the manor in a haze of confusion. Where was Valerie? The woman had been by her side when they ledt the library and she had been sure the librarian hadn't followed. What happened? She couldn't feel the presence of her mistress at all...she was completely cutoff from mana which meant that Valerie was gone some how. A sense of dread and dissapointment filled her. Without a master she could not fulfill her goal. She would once again fade away to nothing....a flash of anger ensued. Not again.

The feeling was only curbed when a large and familiar energy met against the barrier of the manor. Gripping Sperest's pommel, she turned to a non-physical form to preserve her strength and drifted outside to see Ruler with another behind him. Perhaps he was here to collect her, but the swordswoman was unwilling to go just yet. This would not be her fate.

Materializing in her full armor, sword on her hip, she met Ruler with a hard and stormy gaze behind her blue green eyes. "Ruler my mistress is gone through no fault, if you have come to collect me. I do not wish to go before my task is complete and I must object."

@Knosis @glmstr
 

glmstr

Magus
Allie listened and nodded. Perhaps, she suspected, such a codependent spirit would be less likely to abandon her. She stayed close behind Ruler, eventually stepping out when introduced. Her expression was tired but still carried hints of her calculating attitude, and she offered a half-wave.

"I think you're gonna be my new partner here. I've been having trouble with mine, and I guess you lost your mage. Please tell me you'll be nicer than that Beserker," she half-joked, giving an exasperated attempt at a chuckle.
 
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