Illyria - Illyria Act 1- The Mask Of The Phantom

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Description: The Sacred Order leadership is furious at the intervention of the NOL, especially in the wake of the circumstances of Dizzy's surrender. While the leadership has made it very clear about where and when the NOL can mingle with the Sacred Order, there is a heightened concern about if and when the NOL decides to ignore the Sacred Order's wishes, and what the consequences should be. Ky Kiske finally sees it unfold, when a NOL operative trespassies on the Vatican grounds. Expecting the worst, Ky Kiske moves to intercept, and soon discovers the presence of The Phantom... and a rare opportunity to find the command gear taken away from him.

She wasn't soaring, merely falling... with the identity concealing and binding cloak flapping noisily around her. The intruders head inclined forward and wide brimmed hat curling down to come to rest against its chest. It fell from somewhere miles above the city tucked into a slightly more aerodynamic profile. A wayward and lost skydiver? Unlikely-- A night jump gone wrong and falling toward one of the most secure compounds in the world. laughable!

The city at night was rather beautiful from above, lit up a such she could make out individual streets, the plaza and courtyards. It made things a lot easier! She would hit her mark because it was all laid out and illuminated in such a way, 'twas easy to do so, all she had to focus on the landing. Nine the Phantom doesn't slow her descent with magic, there was no telling what kind of detectors or wards were present. Reinforcement magic's could make the seemingly impossible plausible, but this was still contingent on her new body being able to handle this and her instincts not having dulled with all that time she was -- dead.

Nine skirts the edge of St. Peter's Basilica with her heels skirting down the side of the domed structure. A trail of sparks from her barely visible heels, no actual danger to igniting the heavy cloth she was wearing. Her teeth were gritted with the strain, she needed to kill off some of this speed before she hit the roof of the building.

No joy.

Skimming across the surface of the building at speed Nine has to hurl herself through a gap between two of the large stone statues adorning the roof. Apostles perhaps? She couldn't spare the time to take a gander, but she had managed to convert her descent into a nice run of forward momentum.

The purple robed figure flies from the roof of the Vatican, still trailing orange sparks, almost invisible against the light polluted night sky. She glides more gracefully than she should, dropping in speed and height until her feet make contact with the tip of the spear like monument in the centre of the plaza and she skips, finally adding enough of her own augmented strength to start to really control her direction of travel. Angling slightly left she bounces high and comes down in a high gentle arc onto one of the Vatican buildings left of the main entry. A carpark below and at the foot of the building it would undoubtedly be occupied, by whom or what... she did not know.

The site was convenient and close enough to the centre of the city she could start a ritual here undisturbed perhaps a few moments. It was just useful enough as a temporary hidey hole for an intruder.

The cloth appendages spread wide and waver and tremble furiously as a circle emerges from a tiny mote of light to cover most of the rooftop, layer upon layer of formula being woven into and complicating the expression and iconography displayed within the surface. Taking her time to get it just right and ensure it would render a clear picture.

Nine's approach had been stealthy. Almost invisible, even. Almost. But Ky Kiske has been on edge. Paranoid. Angry. The recent circumstances have shaken his trust in the foundation of the church, but has left him with a very real, very warranted concern for the trespasses of the NOL on the sacred ground of this Church. He has had sentries set up, on constant alert. And when he's not making preparations of his own for the upcoming journey, he has taken to patrolling in the odd hope that he might stumble across some treachery by the Library that would allow him to declare them, openly, enemies of the Sacred Order.

He may have just found it.

The shimmering, faint light of sparks catches his eye as he rounds about the courtyard. Keen eyes of azure blue follow the trail, finding soon the source in the shadowy shape of the undead witch herself. Of course, from this distance, against the backlighting of the ruddy sky, she is but a shadow. But a shadow that should not be, nonetheless.

He quietly whispers an invocation, calling upon the magical ability that he harnesses with the ease of a born archmage, and creates a shimmering, two dimensional disk of pale, silvery light in the form of a seal, slowly spinning in place in the air, that he uses to leap onto, and off of. Traveling through the sky, the holy Knight bounces from Ciel to Ciel, until he comes upon the sight.

Is this some arcane ritual that is being performed? Is this figure in purple attempting to profane this most holy land, the seat of the church itself?


His voice is resounding, clear, though that H at the start of the word is clearly clipped and harsh, due to his thick French accent. His knightly vestments, in white and blue, flutter wildly about him as he descends to the rooftop, landing nimbly with nary a sound from his boots.

"You are trespassing here. I assume that this is some other plot of the nefarious Novus Orbis Librarium. Have you not stolen enough from us? What more do you monsters want from us?"

His hand moves to the hilt of the sacred relic that hangs from his hip, and before he even touches it, arcs of electricity bridge the tips of his fingers to the hilt, and crackle with blue light down the length of the sheath.


Her processed voice layering discordant alternate voice samples and a heavy reverb that made the voice seem to emanate from deep within the shadowy cowl. It fails to hide core of amusement in the strange figures reply, and select choice of word reflected. As though describing the NOL as moustache twirling evil doers tickled their fancy somehow.

He had challenged her first instead of striking immediately. Confident, but with good reason to be so... as he'd been on her heel moments after landing on a particular rooftop she had picked out of convenience. This close to her little ritual, she could feel the magic in him, that's what the entire ritual was for.

The robe parts at the front and throws itself open like wings, the figure concealed within the robes was most likely a NOL agent of some kind. Wild pink hair shielding her face from his view but exhibiting attire and a body that would draw looks from a thousand yards. Purple with a rich blood red crimson, lines on her skirt and bodice, the billowing sleeves, they glowed with foul magic's and rendered her highly visible. Taloned gloved fingers held toward the ritual, fingers splayed but both clearly busy, she antagonised him by suddenly revealing herself form the confines of her robe, she complied by not moving. She was dangerous, one of the most dangerous women on the planet.

"You haven't tried taking my head already. Now please sheathe that sword before it interferes with my readings.

Her focus appearing to be primarily on the circle only her fingers occasionally twitch as she works. She had to recalibrate for having another large body of magic so close to the point of origin. The boy, and the sword. She continues to work in silence for a few seconds before she is happy with the reconfiguring.

"If you're worried I might disturb anything magical here Boy I'm afraid it's a little too late for that. Most or maybe every seal in the world was broken recently, the stable is empty."

A strange topic for conversation as she was preparing a ritual to detect magic at an unprecedented scale, upsizing a traditional technique wasn't really viable. She needed strength for distance and acuity, the experimentation took time but only half her mind, the rest of her focus was fixed firmly. Or -- perhaps the boy had his own reasons to hate? NOL had a penchant for taking magical devices and problem individuals... it was what they did. it would explain the 'what more do you monsters want' part of his speech.

She throws the poor boy a bone, hoping to stay his sword if not his dislike.

"This is a detect magic spell."

An understatement, most scholars would kill for the rights to publish papers on the formulae she was using, if they even had a hope of understanding sorcery. She turns one of her palms up and lifts it closer to her body, framing that scandalous flesh a minute and simple variation of the spell appears floating over her palm. When it pops like a bubble and expands into nothingness, a tiny snapshot of an image remains fixed and hovering over her hand, the empty void, yet flat plane... of a certain rooftop, two figures brightly rendered and eerily similar to how they both stood at the moment the spell was triggered.

A mini-knight swordsman with a furiously glowing blade and a tiny-witch who burned brightly all over but there was a strange gaping hole in the image where her left eye and a portion of her head was in the image.

Her closing palm disperses the image. It was a fitting enough example to pose to one seeking understanding. If she had to break out a chalkboard to explain things... it might be simpler to run and start again on another rooftop somewhere in the city.

"I did not speak false. Nefarious," Ky reasserts, the tone of his voice growing more stern and cold. Even those boyishly winsome features of his have become more severe. The set of his jaw, usually squared but soft, is a thing of sharp angles. His expressive eyes, typically somewhere between the blue of clear summer skies, or the aquamarine hue of the Caribbean sea, are now a shade that calls to mind the arctic chill of the kind of iceberg that sinks ships in the night. Even his nose, his nostrils flared with righteous indignation, speaks a clear message. Ky Kiske is not in the mood for further interaction with those of the NOL.

When her robe parts, revealing the voluptuous but wickedly adorned figure hidden behind it, the knight captain takes one defensive step back, drawing forth the crackling blade of Thunderseal and raising it before him, with the tip pointed in the direction of her heart. "I cannot, nor will I sheathe my sword. You are a trespasser here, and if you do not explain yourself, then I will take measures to see you off the premises and reunite you with the rest of the Library's dogs. You have Dizzy. What else could you possibly want from us, at this point?"

When she explains that she is, in fact, casting a detect magic spell, Ky's lips arc in a rueful smile, and he ticks one brow upward, as if this very concept amuses him to no end. She is here, in Vatican City, and casting a detect magic spell? It is the home to hundreds, if not thousands of ancient magical relics, from the bones of saints to shards of the true cross, to the swords of holy warriors, such as that which he wields now. Rome is a veritable treasure trove of magic, and the Vatican is the sun around which it all revolves.

But she need not even explain such things to Ky. While his martial prowess is the stuff of ever increasing legend, he only has that level of martial achievement in part because of his mastery of sorcerous arts. Especially magic relating to lightning, which is notoriously one of the hardest forms of elemental magic to master.

"You do realize that you are essentially jumping into the haystack expecting to find a needle if you are trying to find a particular item of magic. Also, if you intend on taking a relic from these holy grounds, you would be a thief, and will be treated accordingly. I am giving you this warning as a courtesy. After the underhanded, villainous tactics that were used to coerce Dizzy to "surrender" herself to NOL custody, you will find that my leniency is hard won."

Threatening her with that blade is enough to trigger deeply rooted programming, it urges her to hasten her casting or abandon the spell crafting and make ready to defend herself. She had no stalwart defenders who would by her time to ensure the casting went perfectly. There was nobody with her.


A ridiculous name!! Poor thing if that was given her by her Mother or Creator.

"If that is the name the Command Gear is using then it is more than I knew of them personally. NOL Intelligence had suspicions they were being hidden here, it went unverified. She appears to have let slip enough small and unimportant clues to have confirmed it; well after the fact."

Phantom left out the part where Ky's accusations and threats toward her were also equally valid confirmation. Rather it seems to drain some out of the fight out of Nine as she exhales a weary sigh and slumps her shoulders.

"Tch! I don't know what you were thinking bringing her to a place like this? Hiding away the Queen Bee--"

Nine slowly sinks to one stockinged knee as she presses down with both palms until they meet the surface of the roof, within the circumference of the circle, the large body of magic formulae dilates as layers of it peel away and drop through the building, floor by floor until it reaches the ground level, the glow filling each floor of the building with unnatural soft glow.

"--with no thought to what the drones might do."

The gentle pulse of magic renders its first grainy image right in front of her eye level, unresolved glowing hotspots and pinpricks that were probably individuals strong enough to register, people carrying artefacts or some form or another or the brightly glowing vaults. The instead seemed to be directed downward. Specks and masses flaring into existence in the sewers and tunnels below the city, but what draws her eyes are intestine like worming trails wending their way we deep and below toward the city, probing short trails up toward it and trailing away in seemingly random directions.

The tunnels lit up fiercely and brightly in response to her probing. A network carved by magic and once home to beings that were a fusion of Arts and Science. The creatures in the sewers might even be entering through some of the outside tunnels or long-time residents. With each successive pulse the image grows a little shaper, the deeper elements rendered more clearly.

"I seek nothing but information, not your trinkets."

The way she turns her head and cast an appraising eye at Thunderseal almost invalidates her statement. She was either intrigued enough to want it or irritated enough that it was interfering with her readings. In either case she turns her head back to the map spreading before her.

"Personally have no need for needles, knight. Haystacks often conceal nests of mice and vermin. In this case they mostly appear to have moved along on their own without causing much in the way of lasting harm."

More than was his due! These accusations she was something like a common thief, she seethed and burned at the comparison. The glint in her golden eye sharpened, her body language stiffened as she drew herself up. She was a prideful woman, the ground he treads carelessly was dangerous and his missteps would have consequences.

"There is nothing wrong with the name Dizzy," Ky defends, and the arch of his brows flattens, creating a tiny crinkle above each. "Your... Intelligence... created the problems where there were none. Their lies are the only reason you have her now. They misled her."

The strain in his voice, and the tense set of his shoulders displays the depths of the upset that he feels over the events. When she talks about hiding away a queen bee, the stern nature of his countenance only grows more extreme. "We were not hiding her away! We were merely helping her to grow and learn the ways of the world so that she might be able to integrate with society. We wanted to give her a chance at a life of peace and happiness. It was never the plan to simply keep her locked away. She could have been a beacon of light and hope for this world. She could have prevented further atrocities like those committed by Justice in Japan!"

His sword flicks down to his side, almost violent in the way he slices the air, leaving a gleaming trail of silvery, reflected light in its wake that still has a faint sparking trail of electricity.

Now, she has him curious. Those blue eyes fall to the image as she works down, past the building and into the network of vaults, sewers, catacombs and more underneath, Ky watches the image as it forms and takes on clarity. After a moment, he lowers himself to her level, squatting in front of her and looking at the network of tunnels she has illuminated with a critical eye.

"What information do you seek, and what is it that we are looking at, then?"

Still irritable the witch spits out a singular point of contention. "Lies? I just told you that the last I knew there was no confirmation where she was until she was in custody! I assume you kept a close enough eye on her to tell if we did have an agent close enough to 'mislead her' into anything."

As far as Phantom knew, they didn't have any such person, and if did lead to suspicion of others within the Sacred order ranks? that was an amusing outcome at least.

She skips right over the part about helping acclimatize an engineered weapon in 'integrating into society.' An artificial lifeform created by humans like the Gears attaining such a high level of consciousness and cognition.

She was positively intrigued with the line of thought, pausing in her work where her fingers still. She had no such hopes for the Murakumo, only that they survived and lived long enough to fulfil their purpose.

The witch responds to his asking about the image eventually ordering her thoughts and waiting for some particular level of clarity in the image to be reached.

"A network of tunnels carved by at least three Gears of probably Large-type chassis or above. There is no uniformity in the directions they took to, arrive from. Yet, the tunnels were carved by magic, enough they still register in detail at a depth. They were probably drawn to the Command Gear because they could sense its presence, just seemingly milling about aimlessly while here rather than moving with purpose."

She largely had the answer she needs.

"Since there are currently ongoing operations with mixed Sacred Order and NOL forces it was deemed prudent to ensure that perhaps the Vatican and home base of one of these forces wasn't targeted or destroyed by a mysterious force wielding magic."

Blame might fall on the wrong heads and complicate matters endlessly NOL was a young organization but it grew in leaps and bounds, 'charitable' with its aide to a lesser, no 'smaller' sister organization. My aren't we arrogant! but there is a good possibility that the endgame play was to absorb the sacred order like so many groups before it.

"In my limited knowledge of the 'target of an operation' you might be speak of. With its ability to cause widespread damage and the proximity of forces that would have been called on for help. She could not be taken through violent means."

Phantom was nonspecific as to if she meant the Sacred Order or the Gears.

"Perhaps your accusations are true, perhaps not. I personally don't know the answer. With this newly gleaned information however, the only place I would suspect they could safely elude detection by Gears and house her would be in close proximity to Mt Fuji or Southtown."

Both sites where the Command Gears had unleashed their powers already, muddying the maters and possibility of detecting them, where the latest of NOL facilities was undergoing construction and representative of their great victories won there.

She pointedly doesn't bring up the fact some of the Gear tunnels create a security risk for the Vatican where outside forces using the tunnels could gain access to the sewers and lowest reaches of the city, nor what some of the strange patches of magic were.

"At least for the short term we are temporarily allies."

She was likewise uneasy with this, as you should be around people who were normally unfriendly, usually enemies and had a sword already drawn.

"She was led to believe that the Sacred Order were in trouble, and that she could protect us by surrendering herself, in exchange for our freedom. Freedom that was never in question," Ky says, trying his best to subdue the venom in his voice, and as a result, all that comes through is the quiet heartache of a broken young man. "I believe that one of yours had been secretly infiltrating our city to search for a make contact. I imagine that it may have been one Captain Hazama. He seems to be always there, on the periphery, ever since the operation in Japan. He did show up here, once. Threatening me and generally sniffing about for Dizzy."

He looks at the image of the glowing tunnels, taking in what she was saying. Gears. Drawn to the Command Gear. They tunneled under the city and remained there, wandering aimlessly, listlessly, just to be within the proximity of Dizzy. He could use that.

She also lets slip the location where Dizzy is most likely to be held. He had no real desire to return to Japan, unless it was with the backing of a relief and support effort, but there is no question of his intention. He doesn't wear it openly. Instead, he simply squats there, examining those tunnels closely. He certainly doesn't have any current clue what the strange patches might be indicating, but the tactical genius in him certain can see where those tunnels could create openings in the defenses of the Vatican. If only so many resources weren't being directed towards Illyria at the moment, he might be able to have this taken care of immediately. He may just have to go down there himself.

"Your spell," he says quietly, ignoring all else for the moment. "It is rather advanced for a detection spell. If we are allies, even temporarily, perhaps you could show me how it is done? Even a basic form of it could help our forces tremendously in our current joint task."

"Hazama is.. a special case."

She chokes the words out, as though her throat were being squeezed, the undetectable serpent chain collar constricting her throat at the merest hint within her dark thoughts she might let slip some crumb of what she actually knew or thought about that man. She would say nothing! The pressure eased, the depth to which she was compelled to protect that man was infuriating.

Hand held stalled as if reaching for her throat she lowers it with a deliberate motion and dusts her hands together, mission completed she abandons direct control of the circle, ceases feeding power into it. Let it erode and fail while she rises from kneeling and folds her arms beneath her breasts while considering the request to teach something she truthfully had no real confidence in. it was fit for purpose, here and now in this moment with her adapting it time and again as new variables and interferences arose. Today it was a useful spell, tomorrow it might return a result that got people killed.

"Hrmm, it would depend what schools you were trained in and how you applied what formulae you know. The simpler the spell the longer it's potential range, the larger the area the less accurate the return. I can't give you an education I would be comfortable building on advanced techniques in a few moments ...however capable you are. I have some sense for what it is like to work with a talented swordsman!! -- I can work with that."

She was not deriding his ability. The relaxed purr escalated into an overly amused and syrupy tone only a few notches below hysteria at her mention of experience working with swordsmen. There was no question her sanity was damaged, fraying and worried at a minimum.

"Point your sword at me."

It was what swordsmen did, they trusted in those blades as an extension of themselves, one that had a little extra room to spare for an additional enchantment or two.

"He is a serpent. When I look at him smile, it looks like you can peel off his flesh to see the scales underneath. Like one of those aliens in that old tv series," Ky proposes of Hazama, and his youthfully elegant features sort of twist in on themselves in a look of sheer, unabashed disgust. Perhaps it is that vacant look of disgust that allows her strange motion with her hand, and the choked sound of her voice, to be left unattended for the moment.

"I excel at elemental evocation with a special talent for mastery of elemental lightning, though I am proficient with other forms of magic, as well. Including divination," the knight captain replies to her thoughts about his background and aptitudes. He gives her a faint nod of his head, though the look in his eyes is one of fierce determination. He has a purpose to learn this spell. Ky Kiske is a great deal many things, but foremost among them, perhaps, is a man who will do whatever it takes, overcome any obstacle, in order to build the brighter tomorrow he yearns for. Not for himself, but for everyone. "I am no mere swordsman. I fuse sorcery with swordplay."

The madness seeping in at the edges is noted. Ky looks a bit wary. But he does as instructed. He turns his side to her, folding his free hand across his lower back, and lifting the point of that sword up, and out, so that the tip nearly, but does not quite, rests in the hollow dip at the bottom of her throat.

"Which is unfortunate only because I would have you unlearn what you have been taught so as to follow a better way of doing things. Every teacher instils their understanding and strengths as well as their flaws in their students."

Even Nine. You had to question for yourself and reject that which was flawed to begin with, rather than accepting 'it was the way things were done.' Nine raises a taloned glove and curls her fingers around the blade. An artisans piece, perhaps the masterwork of some long forgotten smith, or a Legacy Weapon. Her golden eye stares at Thunderseal as though she was breaking it down and wondering how all the parts intermeshed so well in her mind's eye. It was a welcome focus that helped order her mind, focus on finding a stretch of unused space.

"Witch Hunter, Divine source, Sense magic, Expose, Perceive ward, Pierce magic, Pierce Veil"

She continues a chain of spells, a long mantra of simple yet obscure and specialist spells from at least 13 separate schools of magic. With every name spoken another glyph appears of the flat of the blade and progressively slides down the blade toward the hilt and making room for the next.

"... Attune."

Her grip weakens and she resumes folding both her arms.

"I don't have the temperament or patience for teaching."

She recalled Trinity having to spend the better part of a week talking to the faculty after the first few attempts at giving her apprentices. Those girls were soft and cried much too easily!!

"The sword is a fine piece. But even then it will not remember all those simple spells, not does it have the presence of mind to use precisely what you need when it would be required. Wands do not wield the powers the wizards possess, nor swords wield the swordsman."

Her curled fingers brush her chin as she looks Ky dead in the eye.

"You wanted a way you could trust to locate magic. Lower your sword, close your eyes and then aim your blade at the most powerful magical source nearby."

The boy expressed he had a confidence in his divination and swordsmanship. She played into that.

Ky Kiske watches as Nine's talons curl around the pristine blade of Thunderseal. It makes him uneasy, having her touch his sword. But then, in truth, everything about this strange witch makes him feel uneasy. Her voice, that eye, the way she moves, and her affiliations with the NOL. All of it. But he allows it. He simply observes. And takes what he can. She may not have the temperament nor the patience to teach, but Ky has always been an intuitive learner. Oh, no. He's not going to learn the actual spells that she's casting, able to cast them himself at a later date. He's trying to understand the workings of it. The trappings and the inherent nature of each spell she casts.

Which is staggering, to say the least. Most of them, he doesn't recognize at all. Different schools, some of which he has no familiarity with at all. Ky might be an accomplished sorcerer, but this woman is on a level he couldn't begin to comprehend. At least not without years of dedicated study. Even his sour disposition cannot disguise his surprise.

"How long will this last?" he asks, even as he lowers the sword at his side. His eyes fall closed, and he tries to shove down his own emotions, thoughts and intuitions and allows the blade to guide him, pointing to the strongest source of magic in their vicinity.

Her eye.

"That's a good look in your eyes!"

A soft yet coy smile and amused twinkle in her eye, she liked see prodigious talents and displays of skill. She was actually a little disturbed the blade was pointing at her eye instead of just her general direction. A talent for this kind of thing most likely? He clearly wasn't thrilled with events yet was thinking and analysing rather than complaining. A knight of a religious order was standing head and shoulders above anyone else who had ever tried learning from her.


His question regarding the duration of the enchantment? That depended on use. It has a fixed duration where without using it; on a blade at rest? Perhaps ten years.

"If you were to use it to perceive and fight an opponent with strong magic, or come in contact with anything that dispels magic? Mhmm-- There would be little left over afterwards. If you used it to direct you towards the strongest source of magic nearby? Combined it with your own divination and it might help you find a strong magic even if it is obscured or hidden."

Such as it may have already done.

"It might last a few months, factoring use a knight may have for his blade. It's about as reliable as a compass, it won't unfailingly always direct you north, but always toward the strongest magic it can detect."

That was the spell in its entirety but how it interacted with his magic's could yield all kinds of results. So long as it never lead the lad to a kiln, that was the one condition she had programmed into the enchantment. A kiln, a dense concentration of seithr that was close to being toxic to mortal men and women. It would never lead him somewhere like that, not expose those secrets of NOL's that lay close to the heart of those hidden structures.

"I like to be exacting in my standards and give confident answers. You might use it all up in the course of your duties or save enough that you stand a hope of using it to find your 'friend.' I do not object to either outcome."

The compliment seems to fall on deaf ears, for all that it was worth. Ky isn't focused on receiving praise. He's focused on gaining an understanding of what kind of forces this strange sorceress might bring to bear in the favor of the NOL, as well as trying to determine the nature of the enchantment she had placed on his blade. And to what ends he will use this enchantment.

"Then I will make certain that I do not have it dispelled during our sojourn to Illyria. It would be remiss of me to allow such a useful tool to go to waste."

When she mentions that he might use it to find his "friend", Ky's attention snaps back to her, keen and alert. There is the return of that stern displeasure, and the young knight of the Sacred Order remains silent, with a disapproving frown for a long moment.

"You wouldn't object to me using this to locate Dizzy, when you know that I would only use it to go retrieve her from the hands of the NOL? Does that not seem a bit disloyal to you?"

He waves it off. Yes. That is the sole intent he truly has for this boon she has granted him, though he was not going to vocalize it outwardly. Though he would have to assemble a small insertion force to infiltrate whatever facility they might be holding Dizzy captive within. He'd keep that only to those who need to know.

"Regardless, you now have the information you sought. Those tunnels you found will be sealed off immediately, after a thorough investigation of them." And the larger, more condensed areas he saw, to be precise. Those she may not have mentioned, and he might not understand their implications at a glance, anyone who saw them would realize that they were noteworthy and should be investigated more thoroughly. Perhaps there are still Gears lingering around, or they might have left something behind. He'll have to go down with a team to find out. "I will now escort you to the gates, so that you can return to your companions in Rome."

"Retrieve her from the hands of ...weren't you paying attention?"

A scornful expression on her face and tut-tutting, waggling of an upraised index finger. They'd discussed this earlier. Nobody had successfully gotten that girl to go anywhere she wasn't going along willingly with or cooperating with her captors. A theatrically exaggerated sigh; her open clawed hand raised to her brow and just delicately touching it as though pained by a headache. Vexing, but she still refuses to go back over the same material they'd already covered, better to let him dwell on it as homework that make her repeat herself.

"And return to where exsactly?! ..Here? Where her presence could endanger everyone and this /most/ holy of cities. If her presence may bring the Gears and how might they react to her being in danger--. . .??"

Clear derision and a lack of respect for the building, sculptures and scriptures contained therein. It didn't mean she would enjoy seeing the city burning. Her free hand makes vague gesture at the skyline as she posits the fate of the city versus one girl, the amount of enemies and deadly allies that came part and parcel with the Command Gear.

"Foolish Boy, I've dropped enough hints and help regarding where she is. Why don't you seize some initiative and see for yourself? Or better yet ask to see her and see if you can visit to see how she's doing officially. If she's under the protection of that man, she might be in more danger than you think -- and less than you hope."

She did not mean Hazama. If she wound up in the same building as that Mutsuki fellow? ... Kagura. She did not like the lax and jovial attitude of men like him, and that familiarity with women from his position of power. He was one of the types of Men she despised most.

"But yes, security duties to attend to before considering the girl?! I'm sure that would make her happy. Knowing how and where she places and ranks in your eyes."

Now it was Phantoms turn to do some provoking, she teased him because for all intent and purpose she felt she was right. The comrade held 'captive?' by enemies, who must be assumedly in danger ... after these last few jobs were done, and expedition mounted, and then we'll get right on with that rescue! Unless, the enemies that held your friend weren't accountably so bad and evil it was life or death. Did he really want to save her, or possess her?

"I can sense I've overstayed my welcome. I'll leave the clean-up and security in your hands and return to my 'friends'."

She regretted the meeting had to end so soon but wasn't about to push her luck any further. She never even left her name, this unnamed and enigmatic sorceress takes a seat in mid-air, crosses her legs in a slow and deliberate fashion and raises her hand to waggle her fingers in a wave.

"I almost got caught up in how much fun it could be to talk to something approximating another mage. As a professional courteousy I'll wish you well in what you decide to do, White Knight! and that we don't meet again soon."

It would be a shame if she had to immolate him at the command of one of the seemingly too many people who held her leash.

"Bye Bye."

Rather than being escorted out, the witch vanishes in a flare of purple flame. A decoy self-destructing or something else there is exactly no casting time or invocation on the spell. The Black Queen moves freely across the board in any direction, a danger to and threat to every other piece, a high value target. One that has to be especially wary of tricky pieces like knights and both where and what they are protecting.

Log created on 23:27:05 03/18/2018 by Nine, and last modified on 20:09:44 03/29/2018.