Description: Leo Whitefang has a lot of work to do in making sure the new country he is in charge of gets up and running properly. The last thing he needed was a visit from the assassin simply known as Oswald. Only an exchange of words occurs for the time being as the assassin reveals some information not known to the Sacred Order and an offer is left on the table.
Surely this whole nation-building thing won't be this tedious and mind numbing and stressful for ever. Regardless of the insane circumstances that got them all into this mess - this is the new life of Sacred Order Commander turned one of three 'Kings' of the newly founded United Kingdoms of Illyria - Leo Whitefang is already desperate for a vacation.
Grumpily, he storms his way down a lengthy hallway in the still ruined but rapidly being repaired Castle Illyria, heading away from the massive room being refurbished into a command center and towards a large but empty meeting chamber to prepare for yet -another- long look at paperwork and requests concerning the logistics of getting things going.
A man who has been in leadership positions for a good chunk of his adult career, Leo isn't adverse to taking charge and issuing orders.. it's just they've suddenly gone from paramilitary strike force to the leadership in a newborn nation in the space of..what seems like an instant. Adjusting takes time.
Aside from being called King and Your Majesty. That didn't take long for him to get used to at all.
The meeting chamber is quiet aside from the footsteps of Leo as he enters. It seems he is left with privacy with paperwork set aside for him to glance over, but someone like Leo will quickly realize despite the silence he is not alone. Just a glance to his right would see one of the chairs at the table is occupied with an unfamiliar face. A older gentleman with rose colored glasses and a slight grin playing across his features.
Near him on the table is a bottle of scotch and a tumble half filled with the liquor as well as a deck of playing cards. "Mister Whitefang. Pardon me if I refrain from calling you king. I am not one for royalty."
If he is dangerous he has made no motion to show hostilities. How long that will be the case it is hard to tell. For now he just reaches for the tumbler to swish the contents about and he takes a sip.
"Pardon me for lifting this from the castle, but I figured a good drink always help in conversation. I believe I have some information you would be interested in. I could have looked for your fellow king, but I think you are the more reasonable one." He probably isn't wrong. He knows what he is about to say and it may result in violence, but his chances of a more peaceful conversation are much better with Leo.
"Before we go further you may simply call me Oswald." he gives a slight nod in greeting. "And before we go further I have a question. The word trust. What does it mean to you?"
"It would seem that there is an intruder in here who -also- lacks any notion of international etiquette when speaking with leadership by refusing to acknowledge me by either my national title or my rank as a Sacred Order Commander."
WHO is Leo talking to. Himself? Everyone? Or perhaps he's just trying to work out this new bizarre scenario while the large doors to the chamber close behind him.
"You are at least partially correct, intruder. I am not entirely unreasonable but you've already gotten off to the wrong foot. I suggest your next words are chosen carefully in order to keep the conversation going."
All that said, Leo doesn't openly engage his weaponry and he noticably make effort to call for back up either.. and instead walks forward towards the table to spin around the largest chair, prepared for him no doubt, and to drop his weight into it heavily and then lean back to kick a leg up onto the table. Etiquette be damned apparently.
"As to your question, as king of the land you are currently on, my answer to you is that it is my trust that you must now earn and that the trust of king is not easily gained without some manner of price."
The old man doesn't seem intimidated. He does listen quietly and enjoys another sip of the scotch. "Hmm. An simple answer. For me trust is an important thing. In my line of work you don't live as long as I have if you don't have absolute trust in your employer to give you all information in the job you are about to perform." He is being vague, but it isn't too hard to figure out what his line of work probably is. It takes skill to have made into the chambers without raising any alarms.
"Three times. Three times in all my years has that trust been taken for granted. The most recent by a group you are surely familiar with, Novus Orbis Librarium." He pauses for a moment. The glass is gently set down and he reaches for the cards. He idly begins to shuffle as he speaks. "You would have the report I am sure. Early on an expedition camp was attacked. I would say a little over a dozen casualties. The attack was chased away by NOL agent that was not supposed to be there. If not for him the rest of the crew would have been massacred. But there is more to it. As the man that was hired to kill them I know that wasn't intentional. Afterall it was your dear friends in Novus Orbis Librarium that hired me to exterminate everyone."
He remains relaxed but there is a pause in the shuffling. Maybe just to see the reaction from Leo before he continues. "They betrayed my trust by not keeping their lackey in line. So that is why I am here. You are a fledgling nation with enemies and I would say NOL is one of them. I also say someone that betrays my trust so an enemy of them? Well I would not say I am looking for friends, but I am sure you know there are some unsavory parts of protecting a nation that need to be taken care of."
It would seem Izanami wasted no time in getting that bounty onto his head...
"Illyria is not the enemy of the NOL. They simply have no power here." remarks Leo matter of factly, "Their agents, however, are permitted to enter the kingdom as anyone else can and occasionaly may do so on business.. Nevertheless I'm quite certain that if an opportunity presents itself to turn things to their side here, they will. And there is much they've done which does still need to be answered for."
He looks unsurprised at the various revelations however and does add, "The treachery you speak of is unsurprising. Equally unsurprising is the fact that the NOL's ambitions are so great that it would bite its own hand in the process of trying to see its goals met." He kicks his leg off the table and sits forward solidly,
"So what is it then. You're looking for a formal alliance? For me to support you striking back against them for your betrayel? And what of -your- wrong doings in this. You've just sat here and admitted to being involved in the death of expedition members. My people. At NOL's request, but still, your hand is the hand that brought the executioners blade.."
"I look for nothing of the sort. An alliance would just limit my work. Likewise there is nothing for me to gain in telling you what really happened so I do have an agenda." He smiles. He could easily mistaken for some kid's kind grandfather if not for the fact Leo already knows that Oswald is far from that. "As for those who died? Think of it you know even more now who you can trust. I have no contracts offered to me to give you trouble so I have no reason give you further trouble.
He lightly flicks a card from the deck and it spins in the air before landing on the table in front of Leo, the corner of the card embedding in the table and on closer inspection it seems a very thin and sharp metal. There is good reason why Oswald are wearing those gloves.
"If I wanted to cause trouble there would have been a more violent entrance and I doubt we would be having this conversation. I can take care of NOL on my own time, but there is always an offer on the table if you need me to deal with them on your behalf. Perhaps at a discount." He gives a soft chuckle. He reaches for the glass once more to enjoy the contents. A please smile comes across his features. "I do not ask you to like me, but you can trust me....as long as you show the same manner of trust."
Whitefang's fingers drum against his leg as he listens. He folds his arms, frowning mildly before ultimately nodding his head.
"Your brazeness..or bravery..is noted. Either way, hidden agenda or no, it is clear to me that you are attempting to size up your odds against The NOL and are testing the waters of those who might likewise have an agenda against them. Such thing need not be an alliance no. You are th sort that, undoubtly, would prefer pawns, over those on equal footing."
His lips do trend downward now though. "As for trust? I would much rather those expedition members be alive for me to test their 'trust' for myself..versus taken out by a goon..forgive me..assassin..sent by the NOL."
Leo leans forward, lacing his fingers together, "But you do strike me as incredibly intelligent. You did not come here expecting to be able to just reveal this information to me and then freely walk out, did you? Why should I allow you to leave without restraining you to obtain more information about you and your dealings with the NOL..and to obtain justice for those whose lives were lost?"
Oswald waves his free hand a bit dismissively. "Think of what you may. I always repay those who betray my trust in my own way. If you like to believe everything will be fine in this little country and everyone will leave you alone then who am I to tell you differently?"
He finishes the contents of the glass as Leo mentions about possibly restraining the assassin and trying to draw out more information. He sets the glass down and reaches to adjust his tie a bit. "You ask some valid questions. I did state earlier I have been doing this for a very long time. I am here for a simple conversation with no intentions of bloodshed, but if you wish to restrain me...." he just smiles and stays silent for a few moments. His left hand gently picking up the cards again. "Who is to say I don't have something set up something that would damage this castle and those inside? Do we really want more lives lost? I do hate having to kill when there is no money involved."
Is he bluffing? It is hard to tell. If he snuck in so easily it would make sense he could have planted a bomb or something similar to set off if he felt threatened. He slowly rises to his feet and he gives a half bow. "So how about we just leave things as is and if you ever need my expertise to make sure the nation continues to thrive.....well I am sure you can find a way to contact me."
It is that precise possibility which prompted Leo to make that comment to begin with. To see if he could get Oswald to tip his hand and glean something from his comment. As it is..he could be bluffing but given the attack on the camp itself..he probably isn't.
"A man like you can't be fought on your own terms." he states, allowing Oswald to rise and opting to not push the issue into a fight.
"And I said nothing about Illyria's present day position in the global community. Danger is on all sides. And apparently within as well. This doesn't mean that we're going to go using every resource we have available, no matter how dark. I assure you, we have the means to protect ourselves but...I will not forget your words or your 'offer'.."
Leo leans back and rests both arms against the throne, "But you get no absolition from me on your crimes and when we next meet, it'll be on my terms and you will answer for your misdeeds. Think of it as a trust building exercise.."
There is a chuckle and Oswald pockets the playing cards. "Very well. You are more than welcome to try. I look forward to the day." He turns about and starts to walk away. Then there is a pause after a few steps.
"One last thing. The dragon that was troubling the lands? I was one of the ones that defeated it so you could find your new nation. Don't think of it as a way of me making up for what I have done. There just isn't in money to be made in a world ravaged by such a creature. I guess it learned it wasn't the only monster in Illyria that day."
He says no more as he turns back about and opens the doors to the chamber to slip out. No one else would see him and soon Leo is left to his own thoughts and the sound of silence. The card resting on the table happens to be a Joker and with it a number on the back. Highly doubtful a direct line to the assassin, but certainly means to contact him.
Log created on 19:39:29 06/16/2018 by Oswald, and last modified on 21:26:18 06/16/2018.