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Everything's a mess when you hide all the lies

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And my heart will be blacker than your eyes when I'm through with you
50Posts
25Age5'8"Height
Beneath his stoic expression, inside, Ero'yen was wincing at the idea of hits being put out on innocent priests. As most people believed, Ero'yen also believed that priests were holy and pure and untainted. Innocent. The very definition of innocent. So the idea that somebody would put a hit on one... and Yuriel in particular? That didn't sit well with him at all.

"And who would that be?" Ero asked, while also wondering why this man was bringing his concerns to them. Because they stood out?

That... wasn't unreasonable. A priest like Yuriel stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb... but Ero and his mask wasn't exactly a common occurrence, either. He'd only been around these parts for mercenary work a few times and people naturally didn't trust a man who hid half his face.
37Posts
26Age5'9Height
Then why was he here talking to them when he needed to protect someone else? The whole thing seemed fishy to Blanc—and he knew a few things about fish. Snorting softly, he crossed his arms.

This man’s story was seeming more and more flimsy by the second. Maybe he really was a pervert. Or maybe...

Blanc was careful to hide the clever gleam that came into his eyes as they waited for the stranger to respond.
70Posts
27Age5'9"Height
Seth frowned a little. His client, as discreet as she was, didn't mention the young man's name. All the Mightyena Shifter Mage had to go on was the stranger's appearance. Not a whole lot, but Seth had to start somewhere. This man's life depended on it.

"My client never mentioned a name, but then she was very discreet," he replied. He glanced between the masked man and his priest friend.
And my heart will be blacker than your eyes when I'm through with you
50Posts
25Age5'8"Height
No name mentioned. Odd. Even if this man's client was discreet, why would she intentionally make it so difficult for him to find this person she wanted protected? He turned away as the stranger looked between the two of them.

"Good luck," he said flatly, gently tugging on Yuriel's wrist to drag him along with him. Although, admittedly, he wasn't so sure about dropping Yuriel off with some random mercenary. It wasn't as if Ero had a job going on right now. He could take Yuriel back himself. It was a little close to his old home for comfort but...

As he mulled that over, however, he realized that the timing of this random stranger's job, the discretion of the client, the fact that she was a she, and what happened back with the other mercs at the camp... He glanced back at the other man and then slowly turned back.

"So how do you know who you're looking for?"
214Posts
32Age5'7Height
(Go ahead and post without me, I’ll jump back in when it’s time for Blanc to react.)
70Posts
27Age5'9"Height
(oki)

"Hmmm," Seth hummed at Mr. Mask's response. By the way he was dragging the priest away, he was obviously not going to be much help. However, Seth could see that neither of them blended in as mercenaries. Something was amiss here. If these two tried to hide, he planned to follow them in the shadows.

"I was given a picture of the guy."
And my heart will be blacker than your eyes when I'm through with you
50Posts
25Age5'8"Height
"...are you going to show it to me?" Ero asked, somewhat impatient. He understood the discretion part but how on Quora was he going to help this person (did he even want to?) if he didn't know what he was even looking for?

"Or at least a decent description?" he added, in case the picture wasn't allowed to be shown. Honestly, if what he thought was happening right now was actually happening, he wasn't sure he wanted the picture being shown off all willy-nilly.
70Posts
27Age5'9"Height
"Provided I can trust you to keep this quiet," Seth replied with a slight frown. He hoped the masked man wasn't one of this guy's enemies.

"Very well, then," he stated before edging close. He carefully pulled out the scroll and unfurled it as discreetly as possible to show the masked guy.
And my heart will be blacker than your eyes when I'm through with you
50Posts
25Age5'8"Height
Moons be damned.

Ero narrowed his eyes slightly, glad for the privacy his mask afforded him, although it wouldn't disguise the way his mouth turned down slightly at the image the other person showed him.

It was him.

Younger, of course. But it was him. Not the one known as Ero'yen, but him as a little princeling, with the stupid clothes and the neatly combed hair and those piercing eyes. He'd always been a rather serious kid but... It was jarring to see himself after so long.

"Maybe we have something to talk about after all," Ero said finally. He tilted his head, not toward the mercenary's guild but over toward the area of the outpost where an inn stood, before he started in that direction. He didn't let go of Yuriel--it was too late at this point. Now the hapless priest was part of it, as much as Ero had hoped he wouldn't be.
37Posts
26Age5'9Height
This was working out even better than Blanc had hoped. Knowing how timid and quiet Yuriel was made it easy to hang back and observe. To plan. And when the paper was shown to Ero-yen, Blanc almost smiled. The picture was hardly new to him--he'd been shown one just like it prior to setting out on his own mission.

"What's going on?" he asked stupidly as they began to move away from the guild and towards an innocuous street. "Ero? Who was that? What's happening?"
70Posts
27Age5'9"Height
Seth raised an eyebrow at the man's response before rolling the scroll back up  and stowing it safely away. Now, it seemed like he was getting somewhere. He wasn't sure what relation the masked man had with the guy he was to protect, but it had to be something. No one pulled a face like that for no reason. Perhaps, this guy owed the masked man money or something.

"I think we do," Seth replied with a nod. He followed the masked guy towards the inn while ignoring the priest's questions.
And my heart will be blacker than your eyes when I'm through with you
50Posts
25Age5'8"Height
Poor Yuriel. Ero never meant to get him involved with his family drama and here he was, following after him and wanting answers. In a minute, he was going to know way too much... and when he did know what he knew, Ero couldn't possibly just drop him off with mercenaries. Suppressing the urge to sigh, he only said, "You'll see in a minute."

Once he entered the inn, he paid for a room. The tavern was packed and maybe they could speak without being overheard but there was no way he was chancing it. The man with the picture could be lying; he could be the opposite of what he claimed to be but...

Ero would just be careful. Very careful.

After he paid for a private room, he said to the stranger, "Let's go."

The room was not made for three grown men and the woman behind the counter certainly did give him a strange look. But he didn't plan to sleep here. The bed was a single bed, the cheapest room he could get upstairs, over the loud tavern. There wasn't much to the cheap room, either.

Inside the room, Ero closed and locked the door behind them.

"Your client," Ero said, without preamble now that they were in private quarters. "She's the Queen, isn't she?"
37Posts
26Age5'9Height
Right as they passed the bar, squeezing past a few unsavory types, Blanc slipped the bartender a note. It was nothing more than sleight of hand; he doubted that anyone really noticed. Giving the shrewd-eyed man a slight nod, he passed through.

Upstairs Blanc seated himself in a chair and wedged his hands between his legs, sitting slightly hunched over. Silently he observed Ero, then the other man. The queen sent him. Naturally, she would. Someone must have alerted her to the plan...

They would have to ferret out the traitor.

But he gasped, as was appropriate in a situation like this. "The queen?!"
70Posts
27Age5'9"Height
Seth followed the masked guy into the tavern. He paid little attention to the other people inside. However, he hadn't been expecting the sudden question out of the masked stranger's mouth when they'd got inside their room. That woman at the palace never said who she was and was not dressed like a queen. He wasn't one for asking questions, either.

"She never revealed her name and she didn't look like royalty, either," Seth replied truthfully, ignoring the priest's gasp. "All I know is that this guy's in danger and I have to protect him no matter what."
And my heart will be blacker than your eyes when I'm through with you
50Posts
25Age5'8"Height
"You don't know what she looks like?" Ero mused. And he thought everybody knew what she looked like. Then again, she could have been magicked to look like somebody else, especially if she was doing her best to remain discreet. After what happened that night with the feral creature... He understood.

"In danger, you say," he said, still hesitant to reveal his true identity. He knew that he was in danger, though. Somebody had made an attempt at his life earlier, hence why he'd left the mercenary group. Now he wondered if that was such a wise move.

"That's all you know? Nothing about the enemies?"
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