Hunters of Terra Dolor (Role Playing Section)

Meeting the Metals pt. 4

“Then will you come have a cup of tea?”

“Fine…” Titania relented as she grabbed the handlebars for his wheelchair walking him back as a hand wrapped around Faith’s mouth and held her back.

“Don’t scream, I just wanna talk without my older brother and sister hearing us.” A mouse thrope said quickly before removing his hand. “Sorry, my name’s Cooper. I figured my Brother and Sister are gonna have a fight and I think you don’t wanna get involved… at least I hope you don’t.”

A shortsword placed itself firmly into his neck, a familiar crest in view. “You will let me leave or I swear to the Goddess of Rage that you will not have a head or a brother. I am the one thing that can keep Titania from killing him. So, do you want to try again?” She pushed the sword a little deeper into his skin, but not enough to pierce it.

He frowned but raised his hands in a non-threatening manner. “Hey. As much as they hate each other, they wouldn’t kill each other. Injure, yes, but never kill. Now, I can guess… but you guys talk so loudly I heard everything. So you’re Titania’s daughter? How’d you meet?”

“Is that entirely important? Why am I the one getting asked questions when you’re the one who should be answering some?” The sword removed itself from his skin to place itself underneath his chin. “Also, I don’t exactly appreciate the fact that you decided to cover my mouth the way you did. Have you ever thought about, I don’t know, not being creepy?”

“Sorry, force of habit. Cecilia says that leaves evidence behind for people to figure out but… I keep forgetting and that’s why.” He said softly, tilting his head as the blade bit into him, a bit of blood dribbling down. “And you’re like me: Curious about others and about what those who’ve passed have left behind, right?”

“In a more psychological sense, I suppose,” Faith answered dryly.

“Well, I was going to talk to you and if we got to be friends, lend you a rare book I have...but it seems you want to stab me. Which I’d prefer not to happen. Corpses tend not to be the best conversationalists after all.” He replied, his hand reaching behind him.

“As the one who captured the spy, don’t I get to choose what happens from this point forth?” Faith removed the blade from his chin, swinging it once with help from her magic to remove the blood before sheathing it.

“You do. So what happens now? Are we going to keep talking or are you going to hurt me…?” Cooper asked, his thumb lighting on fire as he slowly raised the flame to seal the wound shut.

Faith quickly slapped Cooper across the face, the impact infused with magic.

“Is that what you want? For me to bleed out? Okay. Give me a deeper cut then, although Titania probably won’t be happy with you.”

“One, THAT was for keeping me from getting some tea, which I was looking forward to. Two, a cut that deep wouldn’t make you bleed out, nor would one even slightly deeper do so.” Faith paused for a moment, waiting for the magic to start healing his wound shut. “And three, I healed it, so stop crying. I can use Light magic, you know. I’m not an incapable child, believe it or not.”

“I know. I can read magical auras, you know. I appreciate you not turning me into a puddle. That would’ve been far too messy and being swimmed in would be horrible.” He deadpanned, trying to figure out if the bird enjoyed dark jokes.

Faith raised an eyebrow at the comment, but said nothing more. “I can’t imagine the only thing you want from me is to be on good terms and to just avoid your siblings for the time being. Is there some sort of hidden plot you have cooking in that rodent brain of yours?”

“Yes. I plan to tie you up and feed you to carnivorous parrots. I am an evil mastermind who shall do exactly that.” He said in a monotone voice, his eyebrow raising.

“I assure you, the carnivorous parrots would get you first before they’d ever get me,” Faith responded with a voice just as monotone.

“Are you sure? They seem to like me… never even taken a bite out of me…” He continued, a small smirk popping out.

“Hard to call you an evil mastermind when you don’t even know that parrots are nibblers, not biters. Not to mention, they have no capability to bite in the first place. What kind of evil mastermind ARE you?” Faith crossed her arms as she slowly hovered upwards, to the point where she was glaring down at him inquisitively.

“One that needs to ketchup with the rest of the evil masterminds… I don’t relish this, but I must ask you for help… which must-be-hard for you. Can you help me become better?” He joked this time smiling, as he began floating too.

“I can’t call you a weiner for that much of a stretch. You should probably just float on by if you plan on making a career out of this. There’s no way I can help chew.”

He giggled, as he bowed to her. “I admit my defeat, your puns are too punny even for a simple man like me…”

She gave him a curtsy, though she descended a lot quicker than she intended once she noticed her panties could’ve been visible. She stumbled backwards as her heels clicked on the ground with an unsturdy feel.

Strong hands steadied her as Cooper did his best to look away, his face a bit red from what he’d seen. “A-a-are you okay?”

Faith exhaled a sigh of relief, though her expression immediately turned dark with intrigue. “Oh? Did my panties make you hard? We’re related, you know. That’s…” She leaned closer to Cooper’s ear to moan. “Immoral~.”

He immediately floated away, his face even brighter as his wind took his place at helping her. “N-no! I just… t-t-technically you’re not r-r-”

“‘We’re technically not related’, right? I am still your niece, Uncle. Don’t tell me! You plan to do,” Faith faked a surprised gasp,” pervy things to me?” She took a few steps back, feigning fear while her eyes stated otherwise.

“S-s-stop teasing me. It’s u-u-unfair that you g-got my stutter to c-come back.” He pouted, turning away from the duck.

“Well, it’s not fair that you took me from behind, Uncle… I wasn’t prepared for your meat to touch my lips like that… And then you told me not to scream… That was scary…”

“Oh my Gods. W-why…? I can’t t-tell if you’re t-trying to seduce me or i-if you’re just… a degenerate.” He stuck out his tongue at her, still pouting.

The duck floated up to him, giving him a hug around his waist and leaving her hands dangerously close to his genitals. “You know, I used to have a stutter too… Mr. Awkward Boner.”

“And s-so you tease m-me? S-seems highly unfair…” He pouted, before he tried to squirm out of her grip.

With his struggling, her small hands ended up gripping his meat in the hidden alcove. Anyone who happened upon the scene that was unfolding would likely be very concerned.

“L-l-l-let go!” He whisper yelled, trying to squirm out of her new grip.

Faith let go, pouting and floating close enough to allow him to have enough space but not so far that she couldn’t talk to him and grab onto him. “I just wanted to make you happy, Uncle…”

“You just-t rubb-bed me! N-n-not okay!” Cooper continued, his face a bright red and his expression a mixture of horrified, intrigued, and sheer embarrassment.

“But Uncle… you moved my hand there…”

“I did not! You grabbed it!”
 
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Meeting the Metals pt. 5


“While I was hugging you, you moved and my hands were on your… ummm…” Faith paused for a long time, pretending to prefer not to state what she was touching.

“Just- UGH.” A wall of rock sprung up between them, as did one of fire and lightning on either side of him.

As soon as relief washed over him, he felt two small arms wrapping around him. Where there was once a wall, there was now a pile of rubble covered in fire and lightning. “I know you have some personal problems to sort through, Uncle, but--”

Soft lips planted themselves on hers as he turned around, seemingly testing her own theory. His hands wrapped around to pull her closer, but held a gentleness to them that revealed he didn’t want to hurt her.

“W-was that… an adult kiss, Uncle?” Soft, adorable and innocent eyes peered up at him as her tongue licked her own lips sexually, juxtaposing what she was intending to convey.

His voice held a more confident tone to it. “No. I’m not going to be a toy for you to use. You want to…” His stutter returned unceremoniously, “ f-fuck me, d-d-d-d-d-date me f-first.”

Strong arms moved to his shoulders to pin him to the ground with certainty. Faith’s eyebrow raised in question. “Who said I wanted to fuck you?” she asked, her voice returning to her normal one. “And how did you come to that conclusion, mister?” She dragged a finger across his chest, slowly but confidently as she laid upon him.

He remained silent, but held an unreadable look. “Then w-why a-are you holding me d-down?”

“Because you put the thought in my mind as well as your own. Not to mention, you were the one who looked at my panties.” She paused, her expression becoming more devious. “Just be happy I was wearing some today. I usually don’t.”

His face flamed with embarrassment, as he struggled to get away. “Just… I'm s-sorry. Okay?”

“I’m assuming you’re wearing underwear, right? It’s only fair that I see yours after you’ve seen mine, right?”

He struggled even harder, trying to get away from her. “N-n-n-no!”

“What? Is it covered in hearts or something?” Faith tried undoing his pants while keeping him pinned, which was a lot harder than she thought. “Why are you so insistent that I--”

Instead of finding underwear, she found the meat stick she referenced, as it practically bursted from his pants, surprisingly girthy for such a small man. The mouse stopped moving, too embarrassed or humiliated to continue.

“Oh,” was Faith’s response.

The mouse tried to speak but only squeaks came out, too embarrassed to talk to the woman on top of him.

“And why, by chance, are you wearing no underwear?” She poked the meat stick. “Did you see me and you just HAD to put on whatever you could find?”

“I didn't have practice… n-no practice, no fancy clothes… a-and since my underwear is fancy…” he started before trying to swat her hand away, as it was near his sensitive member.

Swatting her hand made her finger caress over the tip with her soft fingers. “So, I was technically right.” She pulled his pants back up and put them back together before laying on top of him, listening to his rapid heartbeat. “I’m sorry…” she whispered, loud enough for him to hear.

“Why?” The question escaped his lips, his tone one of hurt. “Why this?”

“Are you okay? Is there anything I can do to make it up to you?” She tried to spread her warmth to him through her light magic.

He stopped stuttering but his upset look persisted. “Why did you do it? Why did you keep going when I told you to stop?”

“Heat of the moment… the irony of that…” Faith buried her face in Cooper’s shirt.

“How… do we go about this, then?” He asked, wondering why she was trying to hide in his shirt.

“About what?” she murmured into his shirt.

“Dealing with what just happened.”

“Either we act upon it or we don’t act upon it. That’s really it.” Faith looked up at Cooper, searching for a reaction.

“As in…?” His face hid his emotions but there was a hint of naivete that went with his words.

“Well, as you’ve previously stated, we are not actually related. If you want to do it, this is your choice to make. I will not make any decision here and I will allow you to choose what happens from here on.” Faith’s voice started becoming hoarse, so she cleared her throat. Her cheeks held a slight tinge of blush. “I’ll be happy with whatever choice you make. My fate is in your hands. Not to mention, you’d be doing it with a Goddess, so...”

“But you're not a Goddess.” Cooper replied, tilting his head to the side. “And I already told you that I'm not looking for sex. Call me a bit old fashioned, but isn't this sudden choice of yours to have sex a bit random? You held a sword to my throat literally not a few minutes ago…”

“Meh. I change tunes as the winds change direction. And, pointing out that I’m not a Goddess is rather rude, you know. I am known as the Goddess of Knowledge and Conviction, Faith Regallis.” Faith looked as if she’d received an extreme confidence boost until it all crashed down to where it used to be not moments before. “And, honestly, if you agree to my proposition, I can’t say I’d be able to handle the weapon you yourself would wield against me anyway, so to speak. It was rather impressive, if you don’t mind me saying so.”

He stared up at the girl on top of him. “Look. I'm not going around screwing just anyone, and while being held down isn't exactly how I expected this to go, you shouldn't be doing it regardless. There's a line you shouldn't cross with strangers, Faith, but from what I've seen so far, you seem to struggle to see it.” He frowned, his look disapproving but not entirely unfriendly. “So stop with the sexual comments and let me up.”

Faith closed her eyes and slowly stood up as she got off of him. As he followed suit, he was thrust into and pinned to the nearby wall, the source obvious as Faith held out a hand in his direction. “I know you’re trying to ‘help’ me and you’re treating me like a child who needs advice with her social skills. For the record, I wouldn’t have made so many sexual jokes if they weren’t hanging right in front of my face.” Faith started pacing back and forth, switching hands as she turned. “The thing that intrigues me most is that you believe that I do this kind of thing to just anyone. And yes, while we’re technically strangers, we’re also technically family, opening another rather large jar of worms for me to access for joking purposes. Now… I’m not disappointed in your answer. I’m disappointed in your ending line. I understand that even I go a little too far, but I would’ve preferred a nicer, let alone more gentlemanly, answer to my question. Now, I will let you go, but I am not entirely pleased with how this has gone, so don’t expect Little Miss Nice Faith.” As she finished, she let her hand down, signifying that she wasn’t pushing upon him anymore.

“To be fair, I didn't hurt you, and I did apologize. You stuck a sword to my throat, sexually assaulted me, and then offered me sex after I said no multiple times. Truth be told, I have reason to be rude, and while I did scold you like a child, your actions were childish in nature, not like a seventeen year-old should act.” Cooper started, his own breeze brushing through his hair. “This was too far, drastically so. What gives you the right to try to scold me when you're in the wrong? When…” He suddenly stopped, his face paleing a little as he looked past Faith.

The literal raging winds that were picking up around the Faith immediately faltered and a blush rose to her cheeks as she noticed who it was. As quickly as she could, she dashed past the individual, hoping she wouldn’t get caught.

A hand caught her nearly throwing her back. “Cooper… Faith…” Titania started, her voice full of icy rage. “Explain. Now.”

“My fault-” Cooper started, trying to take the blame.
 
Meeting the Metals pt. 6


“It’s my fault!” Faith yelled over him, diverting Titania’s full attention. After she did so, a hand went to her forehead, signifying the physical pain this situation brought her. “Everything that happened here is my fault… I don’t want to get into specifics, but--”

The wind around her mouth silenced her as Cooper continued. “I grabbed her from behind and tried to talk to her, but… I kinda caused us both to fall and we ended up in a rather compromising position. As you can guess-”

A loud explosion quickly shot Cooper into the wall, Faith untying the strands of wind preventing her from talking as she did so. She cleared her throat, an eyebrow twitching in irritation. “You’re making it seem much worse than it was. He just surprised me, is all… And then I started being really rude to him for no reason… And that was pretty much it… I was just being a brat…”

Titania grabbed Faith’s ear, her grip not too gentle as she dragged Faith along to do the exact same thing to Cooper, completely silent as she did so.

Barely visible next to the mouse was a message simply being ‘I'm sorry’. As he got up, he made eye contact with Faith, his head nodding subtly at her, promptly before Titania grabbed his much larger ear.

She dragged them both inside the manor, straight to the library. She let go of their sore ears, her voice still cold. “Stay here and don't get into more trouble.” The unspoken punishment of what she might do if they didn't listen hung in the air like a shroud over them. The wolf soon left, leaving the two to wait.

“I-I know… I’m a terrible person… I’ll see if I can get you out of this…” Faith piped up as soon as Titania was out of range.

“My fault… I shouldn't have snuck up on you. I'll try to make her less mad. Hopefully Dad can calm her down.” Cooper said softly, rubbing his fairly large ear.

“I will not let you incur the wrath of Titania and I swear it upon my tiny little heart that’s coated in blackness and death and-- you get the point.”

“Still doesn't mean I won't try to take the heat off you… nobody deserves Titania's rage. Best let her hate me like the rest of my brothers, as this'll probably be the last time we see each other. “ He handed her an old tome, still dusty despite its obvious use. “It's magic and history. Got some nice spells… wow, we're kinda screwed, aren't we?”

“Do we run?” Faith asked, tilting her head up at the taller man.

“Nope. Probably would make it worse.”

“Not if your Dad had anything to do with it!” Graeme proudly proclaimed as he entered the library, promptly before smacking them both with a book. “And you're both stupid for having a fight or trying to lewd one another; whatever it was I don't care. Just… don't do it again… or keep it in private.”

“I feel like an alcove is pretty damn private…” Faith mumbled to herself.

“Oh ho? Well, no, it's outside, so try a room with a lock. You'll do better.” Graeme said softly, before wacking Faith again. “And don't talk back. Grandpa just saved both your asses, so no disrespect, young lady.”

“Dad, that's just how she talks.” Cooper tried to say before another book wack came.

“You're already in trouble for sneaking off… are you trying to get in more trouble? “

“No…”

“Good. Now, Faith. I'm Graeme, but you can call me Grandpa.” The lion said softly, reaching a meaty hand out that dwarfed Faith's. “It's a pleasure to finally meet you.”

The size of two fingers was the same size as Faith’s entire hand as she extended it. “Graemepa fits just as well, in my opinion.” She made extra emphasis on the Graeme portion.

He chuckled, a twinkle in his eye. “I see you like puns… I see why you and Cooper got a bit more acquainted.”

“Dad, no!”

“Dad, yes. I can say what I want… I'm older than either of you by several decades. Anyways,” He looked at Faith, his face becoming serious. “If you're going to date Cooper or do anything indecent, you'll have to abandon the official connection you have with Titania. Only in title, mind you, as I'm fairly certain that Titania couldn't see you any other way.”

“I figured that was an option, if that’s what Cooper wanted.” Faith nudged the man himself slightly in a friendly nature.

However the mouse seemed to be hiding his head in his hands. “You're both terrible…” He groaned, his face bright red where he couldn't hide it. “We've literally only met!”

“And?”

“It's immoral!”

Graemepa looked at Faith. “Mind giving him a chance?”

“I'm still bloody here!”

“I figured it was obvious I was giving him plenty. Must I be more… forward… with it?” Faith stepped closer to Cooper to where she was uncomfortably close to him.

“He's shy and hasn't had a relationship.. You might need to blatantly say it.” Graeme replied, grinning at his son's misfortune.

“Uh-uhm… Cooper… I…” Faith was permanently dragging it on as long as she could to induce the most amount of suffering upon him, bringing back some of her old habits like twiddling her fingers. “I, um… Oh, do I need to spell it out for you?... It’s just… Umm…”

“S-stop! Why a-are you teasing me?!” He floated up to a bookshelf, cramming himself into a pocket of it.

“Maybe I should introduce you to everyone else. That way, Cooper won't hide.” Graeme suggested.

“Maybe, with some added competition, he will be a little more forward…” Faith added.

“Well, come along then, Faith. I'll give you the grand tour.” He got up, but as he did so, a familiar kind of limp revealed itself. Graeme held the door open for Faith, gesturing for her to go through.

She gave Cooper a wink before going through the door, her tiny steps barely able to be heard.

Once she went through, Graeme let out a laugh. “Yup, you're definitely Titana's daughter. Just as sassy, but just as shy.” Graeme noted.

“Titania? Shy? You know something I don’t.”

“She was very unsure of herself and had few friends than most growing up. She was usually by herself and tried to keep it that way. I admit, I probably didn't help with my overbearing parenting.”

“Gotcha. Well, with that wording, I’ll just believe you cared about her extensively.” Faith walked with her hands behind her back, taking one step at a time and multiple when she needed to to keep up.

“I did and still do, but like any parent that messes up, I can tell that she doesn't much care for me. I… understand why, but I hope you and I can at least be friends. After all, Graemepa has a nice ring to it…”

“I agree, though I suppose friends will be the goal for now and family later on. Unless, maybe it’s possible to become family before becoming friends…”

“You seem like a good kid, and Titania must love you a lot if she decided to bring you here. That's good enough for me to consider you family.” Graeme shrugged, offering his hand for the tiny Thrope as they walked around a corner.
 
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Meeting the Metals pt. 7


Graeme’s entire hand wrapped around Faith’s fist, making her feel a little weird, but over time, it seemed more natural than any alternative.

“Soooo… I can tell you're the learning sort, so what would you like to know? It can be for anything you want.” It seemed Graeme wasn't the best conversationalist.

“I suppose you would have a better collection than most, wouldn’t you?” Faith tried her best to compromise.

“Compared to commoners, yeah… other nobles, not so much. We're not the richest by any means, so we focus more on the combat aspect of our house. However, Cooper has been rectifying that, seeing as he owns much of the library, buying whatever he could with his own money.”

“Well… For someone like me, that is INCREDIBLY attractive.” Faith glanced over her shoulder in the direction of the library.

“Well… you want to know a secret about him?” Graeme whispered conspiratorially, looking backwards as if Cooper might suddenly appear out of nowhere.

“Whatever he doesn’t know won’t hurt him…” Faith whispered back, a twinkle in her eye at the mention of a secret.

“Well, as you might guess, he likes collecting very old books. What you don't know is he hides some poetry and romance books under his bed. A couple of the poetry books are written by him. That's if you want to make him blush more… but you didn't hear it from me though.” Graeme whispered, a jovial grin on his face.

“Very well.” Faith plainly responded, her head full of ideas.

They entered an armory where a Rhino Thrope took a stock of the weapons and how maintained they were. She was a few inches shorter than Graeme, which was fairly impressive. Noticing the two, she turned, clanking a little as she was in armor. “Heyo Dad. What brings you here with a kid?” She grinned before shaking her head. “Just kidding. Faith, I already talked with Titania. How're you? Good I hope?”

The note of her being a kid irked her, but Faith merely narrowed her eyes for a moment in warning before giving her a shrug.

“Eh? Want a dagger? We got a couple… hundred, here.” Phoebe asked.

“I have a few…” Faith proceeded to relinquish her arsenal from its restraints, letting out a little over a dozen throwing knives, her trickblade, and her underused wind dagger to float around her.

“Whoa… nice! Bet you don’t have a dagger from our house though!” Phoebe countered, before tossing the one at her hip into the air.

Faith fired her sword out of its sheath like a gun at the airborne dagger, causing the smaller weapon to land between two of her fingers before her sword slowly floated back to her hand, the blade pointed at the rhino’s neck. She paused for a moment before flipping the sword around, hilt-first. “I mean, that’s what this one is for.”

The Rhino looked at it, noting that it was chipped in some places. She grabbed it. “It’s a little damaged, would you like me to fix it up?”

“There’s a blacksmith who works at my Hunter Guild who’d normally do it, but I suppose he’ll have to accept me taking up your offer.”

“Great! So, give me a couple hours and I'll have it ready. First hour’s so I can finish up here.” The Rhino explained, as she set the used weapon on the top of a shelf. She paused, looking at her father. “Milord?”

“Noooo…” Graeme groaned irritatedly. “We're family, so no honorifics.”

“Yes, Milord.” His daughter said with a smile.

“I can give you more duties, like the latrine in the training area.” Graeme threatened.

“Okay, Milord Father.”

“Latrine duty, your next shift after the sword.” Graeme commanded sternly.

“Worth it.” The woman whispered to Faith with a giggle.

Graeme groaned again before leading Faith away. He showed her the kitchen, the lounge, his study, and a myriad of places before arriving at the training ground. “This is, as you can guess, our training ground. We sent a lot of our soldiers to help Wilhelmina Havenbrook, so we are technically vulnerable.” Graeme explained with a quiet voice. “I heard you went through Hell with a battle for the world. I'm… sorry you had to go through that.”

“Lots of blood, death, and equally disastrous things. Overall, we took the win and that’s what matters. We just need to regain our invaluable losses somehow. I doubt it will happen, but we might come to a satisfactory conclusion someday.” Faith’s tone bordered on cheery and nonchalant with an undertone of mental scarring.

Graeme paused, before kneeling down to hug Faith. “I’m sorry. If I had been allowed to fight, I would’ve ensured you wouldn’t have had to see so many perish. But,” Grame pulled back to look in her eyes, “should you ever need to talk or a safe place to be alone, just ask and I’ll make it happen. Okay?”

“I appreciate it...” Faith responded, her tone monotone and insincere as she wrapped her small arms around him.

He sighed and lifted her up easily with one arm. “That bad, huh?” He said with a sigh.

Faith gave her own sigh, though her eyebrow twitched with a different emotion than the one Graeme was expressing. “I’m not a child, Graeme-pa. If you want to talk at eye-level, I can help you with that. This is highly unnecessary.”

“True… but I feel guilty. You should let an old man get rid of his guilt towards his granddaughter by letting him hold her.” He murmured softly.

“I’m nothing if not good at making people feel more guilty,” Faith commented, her voice softening.

“Then you won't mind obliging me, then?” Graeme raised an eyebrow at the duck.

“Titania always called me a good cuddler. Well, not outright, but she’s constantly trying to cuddle me, so I must be doing something right.”

“You probably are. She absolutely adores you, despite you two not being blood relatives. If I had to guess-” Graeme started.

A heavily armored man walked out, his spear at the ready. “I demand a challenge for the head of the household, Father.” The two words were soaking in disdain.

“Why?”

“You gave the household to her? To the second youngest?! The one who left the House? Clearly, your mental capacity is at risk.”

“Steeven, there is a reason-”

“Trial by combat. You and me. That's the only way you can convince me… or are you a coward, way past your prime and more of a has-been leader?”

Faith could see a vein appear on Graeme's head as he struggled to remain calm. “I-”

A faint light spread from Graeme’s heart, calming his nerves. A powerful yet soft voice spoke to him. “Remain calm. This is not a fight you need to accept. He is baiting you into this. If he can’t listen to reason, then he shouldn’t be leading the household. At least, that’s my take on it.” Only at the end of what the voice was saying was it obvious that Faith was speaking those words.

Graeme sighed, and looked at a man he had raised but did not have his blood. “No. You may insult my honor, but I have already proven myself at Helvan. My choice is final.” Graeme turned around and began walking away only for a spear to dart a foot towards him, stopped by a blade.
 
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Meeting the Metals pt. 8


“I wouldn't do that if I were you.” Hardened eyes, murderous eyes stared into Steeven’s as Dante held him back. “It will be the last thing you do. Cecilia? Would you kindly tell him why that is?”

Ice knives surrounded Steeven in every perceivable direction. “You’ve violated many rules with that one throw. In all honesty, I should have you killed where you stand. Of course, because of Milord Graeme’s generosity, he would’ve asked that I don’t do it at all or I give you a merciful death without pain. That last one isn’t true, but I wish it was.” A feminine voice as sharp and cold as the knives surrounding Steeven penetrated the air from somewhere unrecognizable.

“As such matters are, I have jurisdiction to judge a suitable punishment for you, including death. But like Cecilia said, Graeme will let you off lightly. As such, the most I can do is confine you to your room with armed guards ready to attack you should you try to escape.” Dante approached at a fast speed, his fire melting the closest daggers around Steeven before a punch dropped the unruly noble to his knees.

He pulled him close, a fiery aura around him that spared Steeven from burning but made Dante look even more intimidating. “I don't fucking care what you do away from here as long as it's discrete, but the moment you come here, you're in my fucking house. You abide Graeme's rules and if you don't, I will personally enjoy beating the shit out of you until you do. Got it?”

Steeven nodded his head frantically before Dante threw him back. “Cecilia. Have two of your maids take him to the cells you have under the mansion for now. My men will set up his room for an extended stay.” Dante said coldly, his eyes showing a hint of cruelty in them.

“One moment.” A stern voice called out, its source a small duck Thrope. She walked up to Steeven, somehow having disappeared from Graeme’s clutches before stopping in front of the rulebreaker. “The whole time I’ve been here, I’ve received friendly greeting after friendly greeting. Except one. But he was eventually friendly too… So that doesn’t count. ANYWAY. You should be ashamed to call yourself a Regallis. Titania is a better leader than you’ll EVER be. And I would know, as I’m her daughter.” She started floating, rising higher than the kneeling excuse of a man. “Don’t piss off Titania’s child, or it will be worse than the rage only she can bring.”

“Enough.” Dante raised a hand, his eyes still cold and unwavering. “He is restrained and he will be dealt with accordingly. Threats against him are not needed. Cecilia, if you could kindly summon your maids…” Graeme sighed at this, rubbing his temples as if to ward away the situation.

No response came to the request, but two Regallis maids walked up to the group. As they approached, Faith was spinning her finger around Steeven’s head, his hair waving back and forth with her movements. As one moved to talk, Faith placed a shiny green object in her hand. “You place this on his cell, he can’t escape. If you don’t do that, it will be treason. Understand?” Faith’s voice held a stern tone.

“Y-yes. Milady…” the maid responded as she closed her hand around the object, a little shier than a maid is likely intended to be.

“Jenna, come on…” the other maid, monotone, demanded, already restraining one of Steeven’s arms.

“O-of course!” Jenna gave Faith a bow of thanks before moving to restrain Steeven’s other arm, the contorting of his face likely meaning that her grip on him was stronger than the other maid’s.

As the two walked away with the rulebreaker, Faith let out a sigh of relief. “I normally don’t do that kind of thing. I apologize for acting so high and mighty like that…”

“It was a stressful time, Faith. It's fine.” Graeme said reassuringly.

“No. No it was not. The only people who can charge others with treason is me, Cecilia, and Graeme. By threatening that, you have overstepped your bounds and undermined Cecilia. Please don't do it again.” Dante said intensely, staring into Faith's eyes.

Faith groaned before throwing a necklace in Graeme’s direction. “I was only joking. I needed her to put that magic item on the cell so that this necklace actually does its job. I threatened treason because if she messed up, it’s likely he could break out and harm Graeme. I wasn’t outright charging her with treason.”

“With Cecilia's maids and my warriors, the actual chance of escape is minimal, even without your trinket. And,” He said quietly, his gaze flicking to Graeme, “you undermined Cecilia in front of her people, which can cause problems in the future. Again, don't do that in the future. “

“Dante. I need you to go back to being relaxed.” Graeme asked quietly, putting a hand on Faith's head.

“Are you sure? We don't know if he was being coerced or-”

“Relaxed.”

“As you wish.” The dangerous air about him faded as he walked over to the door. “Cecilia, can you come here for a second?”

“No. Fuck you.”

“Please?”

“Your complaining made me think about becoming an alcoholic.”

“Pretty please?”

“I’m sure a fire boy like yourself has to have some sort of alcohol stash around here somewhere…”

“Only a couple bottles and they are in enchanted pouches you can't open or cut. Come here and I'll get them for you.” He bargained, looking somewhat dejected.

Murmurs a few halls down could be heard, a conversation between a few ladies. After a few moments, a much louder voice came from that direction. “You were saying?” The voice trailed off as it got further away.

“You now owe me tonight!” Dante called, grumbling as he jogged inside, leaving Faith and Graeme alone once more. A distant and faint, “Pervert.” could be heard, signifying the leave of both Cecelia and Dante.

“That… was exciting in a rather horrible way…” Graeme murmured aloud, rubbing his head. “Erm, uh, what is this necklace you've given me, Faith?”

“When I said that the device for his cell would make it impossible for him to escape, that was only half-right. That device is a Magic Deactivator. He can’t use magic within the cell, but at the same time, my magic works just fine and is permanently imbued into his hair at the current moment. If he leaves the cell, however, the magic in his hair will deactivate, which will also deactivate some of the magic contained in this necklace. The necklace also can block two fatal shots aimed at you, so it’s somewhat multi-functional.” A spark was noticeable in Faith’s eyes as she spoke of her devices.

“What… why give me a priceless artifact? Wouldn't this be better suited for you to keep?”

“Well, the Magic Deactivator isn’t too terribly hard to make. I just have to implant it with anti-me magic. As for the necklace, I tried imbuing one with the ability to block three fatal shots, but it kept exploding, so… That’s why I gave that one to you. The setup for the link wasn’t too hard to make, though. And, if you’re worried about me,” Faith outstretched her arms and a visible bubble of wind appeared around her, “I have the ability naturally. So it’s not particularly useful for me to wear.”

Graeme looked confused, but nodded gratefully. “Thank you, Faith.” He said softly, his eyes warm. He reached for her hand inside the wind bubble.

His hand reached through without harming him, though a raised eyebrow was aimed in his direction. “Do you always put your hands into dangerous objects?”

“No, but I knew you wouldn't let it hurt me. Thus why I put my hand through.” Graeme replied, grabbing her hand as he led her to the doors. “I think you'll fit right in, Faith.” He offered her a gentle smile as they walked, a good memory of a day they both would remember.
 
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