Description: "A brilliant man beheld it once, that infinite sapphire spark. And unlike other mortals, he survived... after a manner. He became something else. Neither living nor dead, a machine man, with a machine heart. From great sage to monstrous lunatic... the horrors he unleashed upon his family, upon any he set his masked eye upon... That same spark had chosen a gatekeeper to prevent such deplorable events from transpiring. Yet I found her, lost between times, proof that the gate had been left without its keeper. I am reforging her now. But the Mad Architect already exists, a grotesque memorandum that even the Azure's sublime designs have cracks."
If one is depending on the position and disposition of celestial bodies by which to tell the time of day within the Ever Night, they will be sorely disappointed. The dark, mountainous region has never known sunlight's dreaded kiss for as long as time has recorded. Instead, time is marked by the waxing and waning of the luminous moon, and seasons can be felt by the crispness of the air or the colors the moon phases through - pale white for Winter, silvery for Spring, a faint yellow for Summer, and a blood red for Fall.
The golden glow from this night's moon is reflected and enhanced by a thick layer of clouds passing in the horizon, but over the sprawling Castle Alucard itself, the sky is clear, providing an unobstructed view of the black, starless expanse ruled over by the moon.
Attended to in a location so oft frequented as to suggest that it may be a favorite of hers, Rachel Alucard sits seated at a small white table that is supported by a single stand seemingly made of threaded rose stems, thorns included in the midst of a large rose garden. The primary living quarters of the castle looms high on a hill in the distance, its illuminated windows casting pale yellow glows on the surrounding cliffs. More immediately nearby are a series of round structures that glow from within from orange, magically formulated light suited for giving an approximation of sunlight to their greenhouse-like interiors.
A series of macabre pumpkin lanterns existing somewhere between the realm of whimsical and unsettling circles the circumfereance of the garden, each pumpkin shaped crown bearing a different expression.
The vampire princess's own seat is a black throne and her attendant is a crimson bat-winged bag-shaped creature hovering about having just filled a cup of tea before his mistress. Without any hurry in the world, the vampire noble lifts a pale hand to secure the steaming cup and brings it closer to her lips where she holds it for a while, taking in the smell of the hot vapors rising from it.
"A passable effort, Gii. I should think that it will at least not render me ill." the golden haired child assesses before taking a careful sip.
The flying familiar beams, looking proud at the dubious compliment. "I have been observing Valkenhayn's techniques for centuries to try and get it right, Princess!"
Rachel closes her crimson eyes at the mention of the old steward's name. She knew it was going to take some while for the effects of her last interference in the loyal werewolf's life to run its course, but it has started to feel like an eternity since she lasted sampled his warm, fresh scones or basked in the moonlight while sipping his impeccably prepared tea.
"Princess, what is on your mind?" her tall-backed throne asks, crimson eyes and white muzzled mouth appearing above her head.
Opening her eyes, Rachel lowers the cup of tea from her lips, continuing to slouch wearily against the arm of her sentient seat. "I was just thinking about how it is high time you cleaned the oubliette chamber. It has developed a rather unsightly layer of dust in Valkenhayn's absence."
Somehow, the throne recoils without actually jostling the seated monster in lacy clothes. "B-but Princess, wouldn't stooping to such a task besmirch my dignity?" the talking seat protests, "It certainly seems a fit more befitting Gii's station, I should think."
Rachel doesn't seem to be paying much attention to the counter point nor Gii's plaintive protest that follows, leaning her cheek against the knuckles of her left hand, eyes half-lidded as she stares across the garden, observing the occasional drifting rose petal disrupted by a gentle night breeze.
The relatively tranquil atmosphere of the garden, Gii and Nago's bickering notwithstanding, soon finds itself disturbed by the introduction of a soft rustling sound from somewhere nearby. The distinct pitter-patter of hard leather soles on the surface of the stone walkways leading into the small clearing within the garden echoes through the night in a rhythmic pattern, each footfall coming after the one before with almost mechanical precision. The towering rows of flowery hedges make it impossible to see to whom these footsteps might belong. The list of people foolish enough to trespass upon the ancient vampire's castle is hardly a short one; those actually able to get there without assistance is another matter.
It takes nearly a full minute for identity of the brazen interloper to become known - or visible atleast - as they are apparently taking their sweet time to make the trip through the winding maze. It's likely the young mistress's powers of clairvoyance allow her to see quite easily who might interrupt her tea, assuming she bothers to ruin the surprise.
The figure that strides into view is a sight to behold - a rather ghastly one at that. The young girl, which Rachel had only recently pulled from the void between reality and possibility and sent off into the world with nothing more than a few words of encouragement and enough cash to buy half of Southtown, steps around the final corner of beautifully kept shrubbery, coming to a halt when her gaze sweeps over to find the vampire and her cohorts at rest.
The entire front of her body seems to be layered in fresh and drying blood as if some demented painter had up-ended an entire bucket of crimson color onto her for a joke. The elegant dress which had been gifted to her by her new mistress is positively ruined, barring some wild plans to start a new career as a surgeon or a butcher. Even her face and bangs are covered in a grisly coating of vital fluids, smeared haphazardly around an unpleasant cluster of bruises and cuts as if someone tried to clean her off by hitting her in the face repeatedly.
Her magical nature has already gone to work on that part atleast, the once nearly blinding swelling of her eye now little more than a bit of puffiness in the cheek and surrounding flesh. The bruising beneath it, however, remains quite clear and sore to the touch, her eye still only able to open halfway under its own strength.
Despite these injuries, Es seems largely unperturbed as she turns to walk towards the small table and its immortal occupants. Her expression is, as always, devoid of emotion and that particular trait takes on a somewhat more unsettling aspect in her present state.
The young knight draws up short some dozen feet away from the table, unsure what the protocol for approaching her master might be in this circumstance. After all, she was told to engage with multiple opponents before returning, a task which she has only partially fullfilled. She does not wish to disappoint Rachel but, at the same time, she doesn't quite know what else to do.
After an awkward bit of silent staring, the homonculus finally seems to find the courage to speak up, her voice as soft and monotone as her face yet somehow seeming to convey a slight hint of embarassment.
"My external appearance seems to have suffered beyond my ability to repair. I... believe I require fresh clothing, master."
The sentient chair and bat-winged attendant go back and forth for a little while, but for once, Rachel doesn't issue one of her ritual backhanded smacks to get them to knock it off. Instead, the sounds of arguing continue while her own thoughts and attention seem to be some other place and perhaps some other time all together. It's difficult to imagine how one with access to viewing events across the lands and timescape of Earth could suffer from so much boredom, but there seems to be no sense of excitement or energy to the young vampire's face.
The approach of another through the hedges goes largely unnoticed, only easily perfecived if one is listening for it. But when Es steps into view, Nago and Gii's quarrel immediately pauses while Rachel's half-lidded eyes flick toward the bloodied figure. Breathing in then sitting up straight, Lady Alucard opens her eyes the rest of the way, placing the cooling cup of tea on the saucer situated before her and then resting her hands in her lap. Her expression changes, a certain life coming into her features, as if she has been brought back from the brink of death by lethargic apathy into the realm of the living and feeling.
"Ah, what a disaster." Her tone hints at amusement but it isn't reflected in her porcelain features.
Gii's tiny beady eyes go wide as he takes notice of the ruined attire he had so meticulously helped assemble for the girl during her whirlwind tour of the castle.
"Oh my," Nago observes, a dismayed sound to his pompous voice. "That is a dreadful state to appear before the Princess in. Was the child taught nothing in the way of manners?"
Gii starts to panic. If he had arms, they would likely be waving rapidly right now. "I can fix this! I can fix this! Please don't get angry, Princess!"
Rachel closes her eyes, releasing a soft sigh, "See to it that you do." Responding to a cue neither seen nor heard, the seat beneath the dainty looking child shifts, helping her to her feet without her having to apply the slightest effort of her own, before melting down and reforming into the shape of the large, plump feline that seemed to be Nago's base form. "Nago and I will be coming along to supervise."
Her right hand lifts, lacy sleeve slipping down to her bent elbow and with little more than a twist of her slender wrist, the four are pulled into a shroud of black similar to the experiences Es had in her last visit. A split second later, only the white table remains in the garden, a cup of tea and and still full pitcher the only evidence of the tea party interrupted.
When the curtain of the void is pulled back, giving the battered doll a view of a new location in the castle, she will find herself in a large chamber with a domed ceiling. The floor is covered with tilework, each large square depicting events out of known myths and legends, and a few featuring characters or sequences entirely unknown in the modern Earth. The back side of the room is occupied by a large bath the size of a small pool, with steps of pristine white marble leading down into it from either end. The air in the room is humid and warm, scented with incense and prohibitively expensive bath oils, kept within by the closed heavy wooden door that must lead back out to one of the castle's countless corridors.
The room is illuminated by bright candles burning in alcoves along the two side walls. Racks hung with towels, mirrors situated over small, ornately carved wooden tables, and comfortable seats tucked into each table suggest this room could be used to prepare a small army of beauty pageant contestants rather than a single guest.
Gii is already by Es's side, tugging her over to the right, "Come, come, we better get rid of those rags before the Princess gets upset." Already, his dexterous tiny taloned feet are starting to undo the knots, laces, and ties responsible for holding what's left of the ostentatious, ruined outfit together. Guiding Es toward a small, cushioned stool positioned in a cordoned off section of white tile, Gii fusses about with the speed of a busy bee. Above the stool, a long, slender chain of gold hangs down, responsible for drawing warm water through the hundreds of small holes in the ceiling.
Rachel barely seems to be paying attention, her right hand against her side as Gii tries to get Es out of her filthy, bloody clothes and situated on the stool beneath the rain-like shower. Nago sits at her side, his tail swishing over the floor.
"Am I to believe that you have started on the task that you were to be about?" Rachel asks calmly. "Searching for interesting individuals to fight? What did you learn?"
Es watches the dismay and panic unfold in the faces of the more expressive members of the tea party, gleaning far more clues about the reaction to her appearance than what Rachel deigns to show. She has neither the experience or knowledge to interpret the subtle variences in the immortal's slight shift of posture and expression, but going by the vampire's companions, she must have done something terribly wrong.
Unsure how to proceed, she is content to wait for instructions, offering no excuses about her apparent bad manners nor any protest when the dark void closes in around her.
The trip through Rachel's teleportation matrix is as unpleasant as ever. Es weathers the journey with her eyes closed, attempting to shut out the emptiness of the blackness through which they travel. When reality asserts itself once again, she opens them, taking a moment to survey their new surroundings.
The vast expanse of the bathing hall could only be described as awe-inspiring. Such a shame that its majesty is wasted on one who cannot truly appreciate it. Even so, the homonculus's eyes are drawn to the various artworks laid out on the elegant tiles that compose the entire floor of the massive room, her attention flitting across each new scene like a child presented with a colorful book of illustrations.
She isn't given long to admire them, however. Gii's tiny claws tug insistently on her sleeve and she obediently turns to follow his lead as he chides her for upsetting the vampire's relaxation time. Despite being drenched in blood, the outfit is mostly intact, offering no particular difficulty in undoing the knots and buckles that hold it in place save that its wearer is in motion, something which proves no obstacle for the energetic little familiar. Es even does her part to help, unfastening some of the large buttons on the front of her corset.
By the time she reaches the stool, the dress has largely been cast off. The girl pulls the tie loose around her neck and tosses it aside, allowing her to shrug out of the fancy blouse which she tosses haphazardly onto the floor, marking the end of a long trail of dirty fabric from the center of the room to the bath. Divested of her garments, she takes a seat on the cushion and places her hands in her lap, awaiting futher instructions.
The sudden outpouring of water from the elaborate shower is met with blank curiosity. Es tilts her head up to peer at the holes in the ceiling for a moment then lowers it again, staring quietly into the distance as the cleansing water washes over her hair and skin. It is not until Rachel speaks to her directly that she turns to regard her master once more, nodding her head once in affirmation.
"That is correct. Atleast, I believe so. I am still uncertain as to the exact meaning of 'interesting'... however... I encountered an individual whose actions evoked an unexpected sensation in me."
Gii is not only eager to help, the crimson lumpy bat seems to be quite capable of it. Just as he demonstrated during Es's last visit, he is able to handle not only his flight but also the manipulation of his tiny taloned fight with remarkable dexterity, able to assist Es in creating her trail of bloodied debris while she is on the move without ever bumping into her or pulling or tearing too suddenly.
"We're going to get you all cleaned up and as good as new!" Gii chirps, occasionally tugging on the golden chain to welcome the steady, warm rain-like shower to pour down over the blood drenched doll. "First we'll clean off the outer layer and then with a nice soak in the bath... you'll see!" He darts over to a display case housing dozens of bottles of oils, lotions, ointments, conditioners, and other cleaning materials, checking each bottle in turn until finding one he appears to agree with and coming back over to begin the work a healthy portion of it into her hair, building up quite a sudsy lather in the process. "As a guest of the Princess, you can always come back here and I'll help you clean up!"
"Always remember, while engaged in tasks assigned by the Princess, it is important to also look your very best." Nago adds in with a nod of his head and slow blink of his giant eyes. "It would never do to imply that an associate of the Princess would look anything less than elegant." The large cat pauses for a moment, before dipping his head slightly as he adds an addendum, "Exceptions can be permitted in the midst of battle, of course."
The tiny Lady Alucard has offered no commentary on the clean up process, more interested in the question she posed and the response it garners. "In invoking something you had not felt before, that marks the individual as interesting for our purposes. Please continue. What about his actions made you feel this unexpected sensation? How did they make you feel?"
Gii pulls on the golden chain once more, bringing down rinsing waters before zipping off and coming back with a silken loofah that he uses to start wiping the now soaked blood from off Es's skin.
"And what did you do in response?" Rachel asks as a further line of inquiry.
If Es has any feelings one way or another about the enthusiasm her tiny helper puts into the task of getting her clean, she doesn't show it. Her expression remains as blank as ever as she shifts her gaze between the trio of immortals taking each of their comments in turn with her full attention. The unwavering stare is somewhat uncanny with her hair matted to her face and water pouring freely down upon her but she hardly seems to notice these impediement.
The knight does offer a monotone, "Thank you", to Gii at the reassurance that she can always rely upon him for assistance in such matters, however, and to Nago's admonishment she responds with a simple, "Understood."
It is not until the addition of the extravagant soap to her hair that the girl finally shows a reaction, flinching involuntarily as the suds wash down into her azure eyes. "Ah...!" Her eyes squeeze shut and she reaches up as if to rub them then pauses, unsure if this is somehow part of the cleaning process, like a child frozen with indecision at being presented with an unfamiliar social scenario.
%tInstead, she focuses on Rachel's questions, answering them promptly with her eyes remaining shut against further soapy intrusion. "I am... unsure. I encountered a man who seemed to have the power to invade the minds of others. He had instigated a riot at a local school. At first, I sought only to quell the disturbance... but upon confronting the individual he attempted to use his powers to control me."
Es pauses for a moment, seeking the words to use to explain how her encounter had unfolded. In particular, she struggles with the expression of her own feelings, the emotions that had been evoked upon seeing that crazed criminal treat other humans like nothing more than toys to be used for his own entertainment. It brought forth flashes of memories, yet more shadows from her hazy past. She felt..."
"How did I feel...?"
Es speaks the words in a low whisper as if testing to see how it sounded out loud. Emotions have not been something that she has experienced in a very long time. Even before coming here to this unfamiliar world she had been cocooned in a bubble of isolation, protected from the passage of time and the tribulations of mortal life. She'd been safe there and content but also... empty, like a piece of her had been hollowed out and taken away.
"I felt...," she says again, attempting to summon forth more words yet finding none adequate. "The things he was doing... they were the acts of someone with no regard for life. He sought to turn me into his puppet... and the thought that I might be used for such evil..."
Her voice trails off as she struggles to explain what she felt. Was it contempt? Hatred? Fear? Too many different feelings swirl around inside of her, foreign but somehow familiar, yet she finds herself unable to describe them properly. Her brows furrow at this failure to properly answer the question asked of her.
"I did not want to become that man's servant. I did not want the students to suffer any more at his hands either. So I... struck him down."
Gii continues the cleaning process without piping up while Es starts to work her way through answering Rachel Alucard's question. For most the tiny vampiress deals with, a question like that would almost certainly be answered flippantly enough.
'It pissed me off.'
'So I hit him.'
But such a simple question is vastly more complex for one unaware of what feelings are, let alone how to put such complex, human experiences into words. As she answers, keeping her eyes closed, there is a cycle of rinsing, adding new cleaning substances, conditioners, and other treatments, then more rinsing, as the bloodied water swirls down the center drain in the small tiled indentation where the small swordswoman sits.
Rachel rests her right hand near the side of her head, fingers pressed lightly against the side of her scalp above where her ear should be hidden beneath her golden hair, eyes half-lidded but focused on Es, clearly paying attention on at least some level, though given her nature, it's possible some of her focus lies elsewhere.
"Oh?" she response to the description of the individual Es found. "What a strange man. I should want to know why he did what he did." A faint smile forms at her lips, "There is so little to be gained at stirring up the youth population of Southtown into a frenzy... except to instigate chaos or distract. Hm..."
"What a deplorable sort," Nago comments briefly as Rachel falls quiet, shaking his head and seeming to shiver for a moment. "Attacking children is truly the work of the craven."
Gii fusses with Es's hair one last time, giving it a good rinsing, before returning with a soft, fluffy cloth that he puts to use in drying the drenched warrior's face. He returns with a brush in his talons and, still darting around with speed that simply doesn't seem possible with such tiny wings and his round, awkward body, he brushes the girl's hair off of her face and more down her neck and shoulders.
"Hm..." Rachel comments quietly when Es speaks of how she felt disapproval at the manipulator's actions, that the suffering of the students spurred her into action. "Good."
Seizing upon the pause in the exchange, Gii flits down to tug on Es's arm, "Come on, you're ready for the bath now!" He blinks, before adding, "You can open your eyes, the soap is all cleaned off!" True to his word, the crimson familiar with attempt to guide Es over to the marbel steps that lead down into the hot bath. Deep in the center, a submerged ledge to sit on can be found easily enough and he'll make an effort of encouraging his pet project into taking a seat on said ledge, allowing the water to come up to about the level of her neck. "Soaking in this will clean you the rest of the way off," he explains, "And the water contains lots of nutrients and special ingredients to keep your skin smooth and soft!"
Meanwhile, Nago looks up at the contemplative Rachel. "Princess, did you expect to find that she has a moral core? She understood suffering, felt empathy, and exerted will. Hardly an empty vessel as she might have originally seemed."
"So it would seem," young Lady Alucard replies, moving a few steps closer to the bath while Gii helps Es get comfortable.
"You did well in beginning the task I gave you. Es, now that it is over, how do you feel about what you did? Did such action feel..." She drums her idle fingers once. "Compatible with your purpose?"
"He spoke in a strange manner that was difficult to understand. His speech patterns were reminiscent of poetry and rhyme. However... I believe that chaos was the very thing that he desired from his actions."
Es does her best to sit still while her attendant finishes up with the scrubbing, washing, and drying of her hair. There is quite a bit more of it than would appear when it is bound back into the neat braid making it a somewhat time consuming task. Her eyes remain closed while Gii works, still unsure at what point during this process it will be safe to expose them again, even after he has dried her face and moved on to brushing the long tresses into something less messy and obsctructive.
Even as the little bat urges her to rise and move on to the main bath, the knight's eyes remain firmly shut until she is directly told to open them once more. She complies immediately, blinking a couple of times to clear her vision, and finding that the threat of stinging soap is indeed gone. She files away that particular bit of information for the future: soap + eyes = discomfort + blindness. It's certain to be useful knowledge.
The homonculus allows herself to be led over to the submerged ledge like a child, trailing after Gii quietly. She plops down neatly onto the protrusion and sits primly, hands in her lap as she awaits further instructions. Her bright azure gaze is drawn once more to the murals on the tiles, particularly to those depicting ancient warriors wielding swords against various evil monsters. There's something strangely appealing about those images. Perhaps she merely sees herself in them amidst the familiar iconography.
Gii draws her attention away to explain the health benefits of soaking in the specially treated water.
"Smooth and soft...? Is that a desireable outcome?"
She lifts a hand from beneath the surface to peer at it as if only now regarding her skin as anything other than a piece of the biological machine that composes her body. Shadowy traces of memory tickle at the back of her mind, images of herself in similar situations sitting in large tubs of water surrounded by suds, evoking senses of comfort and relaxation.
Nago's musing about her capacity for morality go unnoticed in her moment of distraction. However, when Rachel speaks to her again she is all ears, her head swivelling to the side to meet the vampire's gaze. A flush of warmth touches her lightly upon being praised, dispelling her concerns that she might have done something wrong.
"How do I feel...?"
The vessel's eyes dim a little as she focuses her thoughts inwards. What had been her feelings during the fight and how did they change between then and now? She searches for an answer to that question but like before there is little more than simple data to be found within her mind, albeit some what colored by bits of illogical subjectivity here and there. Perhaps that is what her mistress seeks to know about.
"I feel... as if I made the correct choice. However... in regards to my purpose... I did not feel strongly about it one way or another. Such a man had no power to threaten the Azure, though his ability to influence minds could pose a potential threat. But, as I was able to cast off his attempt to control me, I believe he is of no concern to those with the strength to be truely dangerous."
"Oh, yes, definitely, most certainly!" Gii chirps in response to Es's question regarding the desired state of her skin as more than just something to keep her insides in place.
Nago elaborates from the young Alucard's side. "As a lady of the Princess's court, you must always look exquisite. While on assignment from Lady Alucard, you are a representative of this castle. Every effort must be made to maintain a clean and comely appearance."
With Es seated in the large bath at last, Gii darts over to the trail of bloodied debris left on the floor of the grand washroom, zipping down to pick one item up after another in his talons until the entire assortment has been collected, a crimson dyed bundle of cloth dangling beneath him. Only the money pouch gifted by Rachel is left behind."Off, off, off to the incinerator with these!" The lumpy bat with impossibly small wings rushes down the length of the grandiose chamber, vanishing around a corner in the distance, presumably to do exactly what he said he would.
Nago follows Es's attention on the large portraits, his head turning and eyes scanning the images along with her as if curious to see what sparks her attention in them. The depictions of warriors are many, though not every painting is a celebration of victory for the champion portrayed. An equal number of images show evil overcome the warrior, drowning the hero in strangling shadow, or stealing from the bold mortal their very breath of life, amid many other grim fates.
But before long, Es's attention is on Rachel's line of questions and the ruler of this ancient fortress listens. A faint smile forms at her lips at something the emotionless knight uttered. "I should remind you that I have placed no limits on who you should apply your combat skills to, only that they be interesting - a criteria I leave it up to you to judge. Whether they pose a threat to the Azure or not is immaterial to me, but you may use it as a compass if that is your wish. In combating this individual, you have begun the task that I have instructed. Rest here for a little while. Gii will attend to you. But I require that you resume your assignment forthwith, once you have been outfitted for travel."
Her crimson eyes close to narrow slits as her thoughts seem to drift elsewhere, "Two more battles, then return. With the financing I provided you, you can see to most of your material needs without coming back early."
Nago's large head cants to the side, his crimson eyes resting on the soaking Es with an occasional slow blink. "Princess... what does this one know of the Azure? I dare say she hardly seems to know herself, let alone something like that... I cannot fathom the connection."
Rachel's eyes open a touch more, golden lashes parting, her faint smile long since having faded as she studies Es. "What connection indeed." she murmurs, giving Nago no answer to satisfy his feline curiosity. Raising her voice, she continues by addressing Es directly, "See to it that you complete your task and return to me, then we will discuss what your future holds beyond this simple exercise."
At the other end of the hall, Gii comes flying back in, zig zagging through the air with a large blanket bundled up like a sack dangling from his talons. At a glance, it is easy enough to surmise that he comes armed with a replacement outfit selected from the dressing hall Es was taken to before. The chances of it being any less lacy, elegant, or overly dressy are extremely slim.
Rachel doesn't so much as glance in her tiny servant's direction as she asks one more question of her puppet knight. "Tell me, Es, what would you do if you encountered one who threatened the Azure?"
Though Rachel herself did not utter the command, she has yet to contradict any of the advice her strange fluffy companion has offered to Es. Though it is a slight presumption on her part since, once again, her new master has made no effort to indicate that her minions speak with any authority, the tiny warrior accepts his words as truth and commits them to her memory.
"I shall place further priority upon my external appearance in the future."
As if to display this newfound commitment to a fastidious mindset, Es starts to splash water onto her body as Rachel speaks, washing away the last traces of her brutal conflict with the crazed psychic criminal. There is little left to clean as Gii's energetic attention has proved rather effective at removing the unseemingly splashes of blood that managed to seep through her clothing. As usual, the girl's actions seem to be those of a robot with a rudimentary understanding of human language and context following simple commands.
Rachel's reminder that there are no limits on her target priority save for the rather elusive concept of being 'interesting' evokes no response. However, upon relating a disdain for the safety of the Azure, Es pauses midway through rubbing down one of her arms. Her expression never wavers from its neutral mask and the hesitation lasts but a moment. Whatever issue she might have had are seemingly assuaged by the assurance that she is free to act of her own priorities.
"Understood. I will engage two more interesting invididuals in combat and then return."
The tiny knight resumes her washing as Rachel and her mobile bean-bag chair ponder on the nature of her connection with the Azure. If Es has anything light to shed on that matter, she fails to do so. Though, as seems to be the case, it is not a lack of willingness to impact information so much as the need to be prompted to do so.
The vampire's final question once more causes Es to pause once more, her empty eyes staring blankly at the far wall for several moments. Eventually, her gaze tracks up to the murals on the ceiling once again, settling on the image of a knight in shining white armor with a glowing sword. Unlike many of the images, this figure in particular stands not locked in combat with a terrible foe, but triumphant over body of a terrible dragon with red scales.
Es rises to her feet, emerging from the water just as Gii arrives with a fresh bundle of clothing for her. Turning to face her immortal mistress, the doll-like warrior meets her gaze and for a moment a hint of something more than the dull gleam of her mechnical intellect swirls in those deep pools of brilliant azure. In that moment, she seems uncharacteristically sure of herself. With no hesistation in her soft monotone voice she pronounces the fate of anyone that would dare profane the most sacred of places.
"I would terminate them."
Log created on 12:25:15 06/30/2018 by Rachel Alucard, and last modified on 21:21:01 05/25/2019.