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Fire Emblem: Curse of the Goddess [IC/PG-16/Not Accepting]

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#661
Yui

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"Well, what most of the world calls 'Healing Magic' we hold as the direct intercession of Inera in events. The Goddess' ultimate enemy is Death itself, and so she offers healing to certain individuals whose faith in her is strong. That we have maintained this access to healing even since the alleged death of Inera is why we in Pontus have never accepted that she was gone. What dead goddess could intercede in the favor of her followers? I admit there is more to say, but it'd be better if I said that later."

 

Interesting. While there was definitely more to learn about the root of healing magic and the craft itself, this was a good enough start. She'd have to take notes. ...a mental note should do just as well. Healing magic comes from the Pontics' faith in Inera, and because they can still use it, they believe she isn't dead.

"Good morrow. The chieftain has been informed of your presence, and will meet you after breakfast."

 

Breakfast in quesiton was a simple dish, but not one Azar was entirely used to regardless. After everyone had eaten, everyone - meaning both the group Azar had been with, and the one that got separated from the rest of the party - was brought to meet with the fox chieftain himself. Seemed he hadn't been taking this troubled times as gracefully as a leader should have, based on his earlier apology during breakfast.

 

"I am deeply sorry for the misunderstanding we had before. We had thought you kidnappers, bandits who sought to steal my daughter away for slavery or some other such dreadfulness. This, compounded with the fact that we have had bad experiences with bandits as of late, well, we decided we would interrogate you and then give you a swift end. However, we were mistaken, realizing our error soon after your friends' capture. I give you my word they have not been harmed by us. Therefore, you are all free to leave, and may go with our blessings."

 

"I am grateful for my sister's safe return. However, before we leave, I have one last question. The frog tribe believe a fox responsible for the death of one of their own. I would have you answer this."

 

"They speak nonsense! We are not responsible for his death, despite what they will tell you. If we are to point fingers, then I will make note of the fact that we still do not know who stole our sacred treasure, and that it is quite likely that they are the perpetrators, and are accusing us of this to cover their own tracks."

 

"Both Glenn and Shiro reported that they saw a large white fox Protean standing over the body of Sir Cyrus."

 

"Impossible! Sienna is the only white fox alive, the first one to be born since the last century."

 

"I'm sure Catriona didn't mean any harm; she's just concerned."

 

"The frogs attest that a white fox was the one who murdered their kinsman. However, we have not heard your side. If you have any knowledge of that night, then that would be greatly appreciated."

 

"There is nothing to say That night, the second night of the harvest moon, or September as you humans prefer to call it, we had our own problems to deal with. The theft of Inari's Beads, our sacred treasure. I do not know where you were during that time, but I doubt it was here, and Sienna being the only white fox in a century, there is little chance of the murderer being one of us. More likely the frogs are accusing us to cover their own guilt, or. They mistook the murderer for one of us. There are any number of white beings in this world, such as the-- Well, that is neither here nor there. Either way, it is impossible that it is a white fox, and that is that."

 

But if they specified a white fox, but Sienna's the only white fox and she's clearly not the killer... either somebody's lying, or our killer's a fake. Azar didn't have much more time to think about the situation before it got a whole lot worse. It seemed the fox village was under attack, and the group went to investigate. Some frog protean with a sword. Azar couldn't bother to remember the name.

"Sir Glenn, I'm sorry that our failure to return caused such an issue. We haven't been captured, we stayed willingly as a show of good faith, and our friends are alright too. Shiro shouldn't be too far behind us. Chieftan, I'd say it's time someone tells you why it's so important that we know who or what was mistaken for a white fox. In Ithome, there was a murder committed by something that was close enough to a giant white fox that we had to defend your daughter in court. Since she's walkin' free, you can guess how that ended up. However, that also kept us in Ithome much longer than we expected to be. Whoever committed the murder also stole scrolls about the Great Dragon, specifically its location, and kept us from quickly finding it. Now, when we entered this forest we were attacked by bandiți, and without the Pelinna Patrol we'd probably be dead. Now, these bandiți also kept us here longer than we meant to stay. So this White Fox, or impersonator, delayed us, and the bandiți delayed us, and now we've been delayed by getting caught up in this feud between your tribes. So, I think this 'White Fox' person, and the bandiți are working together. We already got the Frogs to agree to help us attack the sediu, the hiding place, of the bandiți so we could learn the truth. If I'm right, then whoever stole Inari's Beads from you is the same 'White Fox' who's been causin' us trouble and who's got you and the frogs at each other's throats. So I got a question for you, Chieftain: are you just gonna stand by? Are you gonna let these...these thieves make off with what they been doin'? And if ya don't believe me yet, who else is gonna benefit if you Foxes and Frogs are killin' each other? By my Uncle's bones, why would the Frogs even want to start a war with you? Also uh... could someone get Ciela? I uh...need her to look at my back."

 

Well... Edrick sure had a lot to say on the matter of the recent hostilities. At the same time, however, the mention of the possibility of an impersonator did work well with what Azar had been thinking about the whole thing.

 

"It's a bit of a barbaric suggestion," Azar started, "but is it possible a fox protean has been coloring his fur white somehow? With paint or dyes for instance? Or even flour if they happened to have enough lying around. Proteans are a bit out of my field of expertise, but it would explain a white fox protean running around when Sienna is supposedly the only one and is decidedly not respsonsible for any of this. An impersonator, just like Edrick suggested."


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#662
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Penelope's words, as hastily spoken they had been, seemed to calm the chief to some extent. The Tactician stiffened when Ciela spoke, worried she'd say something to bring them back to square one, but it mostly seemed to have the effect of causing Catriona to speak up in...a much more reasonable manner than usual.

 

Penelope had half expected her sister to challenge Rufus to a duel.

 

There are any number of white beings in this world, such as the--"

No, no, that was most certainly here AND there. Something important was about to be said and Penelope knew it. She considered it might just be a dead end but what if this was the information she was lacking to figure this all out?

 

Before she could ask, however, chaos broke out. A frog had attacked, mistakenly thinking that his companion, Shiro it seemed, was being held prisoner. This Protean was odd, using a sword, which made Penelope once more think of Sir Cyrus, whom upon further reflection she recalled more vividly.

 

Whatever the case they had to act fast. To calm the situation and make sure it didn't come to blows. "Link." She whispered to the soldier. "Try and get closer, but don't make it obvious, if worse comes to worse you may have to knock the Frog out, to prevent bloodshed."

 

Then she prepared to interject, to soothe things over...and that's when her companions, curses they made it hard for her to do her job, acted.

 

Edrick's words almost caused her to panic. Mentioning how Sienna was held suspect may worsen relations with the Proteans and those in Ithome. She did not wish to cause any diplomatic issues between the two. It was similar to the fire situation from before. Even to complete their quest she'd rather not risk damaging the world as they went...

And then he gave up the information of their quest, loudly, to so many people. If any of them were a spy they'd know exactly what they planned now.

 

But she could work with that, at least she knew they knew, she'd just have to keep an eye on the entire village to see if she could spot any suspicious activity or response.

 

It was Azar's words that caused her the greatest concern, however.

 

She stepped towards the woman, and gave her a look of reproach. She spoke to her, but made sure to be loud enough for Rufus to hear. "I do not think that any of the foxes would resort to such a trick, there is no need for such an accusation. After all.." She looked at Rufus this time. "There could be something else entirely that caused this."

 

With that said, she looked back to the Frog warrior. "I'm sure meeting with your friend will soothe things over, yes? There need be no fight if he's unharmed is that correct?"

 

The girl couldn't deny she was nervous. If a fight started now they'd be forced to take a side. And it was clear whose side they would need to be on, in the midst of all these foxes.

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He finally found them, and, with a sigh of relief, he noticed Alois was fine. The girl was bowing to him, which felt odd, and uncharacteristic. He wondered what had transpired here.

Gunther couldn't ask as Ahri immediately left after that. He waved goodbye to her, giving the girl a fond smile, as she made her way back inside.

 

"Well, this was..." was all he could get out before being blown over, a difficult thing to do to the Knight, by the wind. When it had stopped they were once more by the boat and the oddly silent man from before.

 

He turned towards the mansion and saw that it was just as broken down as it had been when they first came here. Gunther took several moments to stare at it, and then slowly turned to Alois. "I, that is, er...shall we agree that this was a very unusual night?"

Gunther looked at the man in the boat. "I don't suppose you have anything to add?"

 

Whatever the case the Knight would suggest getting back into the boat and returning, unless Alois wished to explore the area more. Gunther, for his part, would prefer to stay away from the building for the rest of the day.


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#663
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Link followed the chain of events wordlessly, ghosting behind the group, ready to intervene if he was needed. A frog protean with a sword—one that Princess Catriona’s group seemed to recognize—was somehow fending off several fox proteans at once, all the whilst shouting threats in very prim and proper Galtean.

 

The soldier would have found it rather hard to take him seriously, if it wasn’t for the fact that the presence of a certain wolf cub had caused him to snap to attention. There was no mistaking that it was Rohns, but what? Why was the wolf cub snapping at the foxes? Why was he here? They seemed to be ignoring the pup thus far, but Link grasped his sword a little tighter, grinding his teeth so hard he thought they would break.

 

Out of the corner of his eyes, he saw Edrick throw himself between Rufus and the frog protean, and a part of him wanted to scold the young Pontic. Another part of him appreciated the distraction, taking the heat off the wolf cub in the midst of the mass.

 

"Link." Penelope whispered to the soldier. "Try and get closer, but don't make it obvious, if worse comes to worse you may have to knock the Frog out, to prevent bloodshed."

 

Link was moving before Penelope had finished the order. He slipped between the crowd effortlessly, skirting to the edge and circling silently toward the frog protean. His eyes stayed glued on Rohns, still snapping at anyone that got within his reach, teeth gnashing as he growled. It would have been threatening—that is if Rohns wasn’t the size of the average boot, and his growl wasn’t a high pitched keen that drew more sympathy than fear.

 

Link eyed his target, then Rohns, and made a split second decision. He stayed close enough to intervene if the call was made, but stepped closer to Rohns, whistling quietly and motioning for Rohns to come to him. This was the closest he had come to disobeying an order in years, but he wouldn’t let the cub get caught up in all of this if he could help it.


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#664
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As the boy was getting ready to leave, he looked back to the fox girl as she gestured to give him a gift. Taking the leaf, he looked curiously at it unsure of why the leaf was so important. He wasn't exactly sure what it was she was explaining when it came to it either, but figured if there were ever a place to get a magic leaf it'd be here. Still a bit curious about it, the boy pocketed it saying, "thanks kid." As the boy began to walk back to the mansion, fox alongside, he was confused as to where the door they had come from was, but at the same time, the door they had used was located in a wardrobe to begin with. Puzzled, the boy merely nodded as Ahri asked if he couldn't stay, she bowed giving him a farewell. "Until next time. Oh and kid," he patted his own head and pointed towards her, "next time, you're it." 

 

As the knight began to speak, a large gust of wind came knocking the both of them off their feet. Being a bit dazed from it, the boy slowly picked himself back up only to see that the mansion was at it was when they had first found it. Alois was at a loss for words when he saw this, and just nodded when the knight spoke, "Yeah this was...very weird." With that, the duo got back on the boat to go back, and though Alois had many questions about what had just happened, he was looking forward to things making sense again. 

 

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When the archer awoke, she felt that something was off. The feeling of the ground she on top of now, was definitely different than the one she had fallen asleep on. Moving her hands around on the surface, it was clear that this was definitely softer than the ground. Opening her eyes, the girl saw that she had ended up back in her bed, though she was entirely confused as to how she had ended up there. While she tried to figure it out, she didn't think about it for more than a few moments before merely getting out and joining everyone else for the day's activities.

 

The girl merely sat around as everyone started to talk about the theft problem. The girl didn't add much to the conversation, as she merely swayed back and forth in her seat thinking about the whole situation herself, though not getting very far. Her mind was also preoccupied with the reunion of the friends she made not a while ago, but was wondering where the annoyed looking guy and the big guy were, and who exactly the new person was. All the same, the girl eventually perked back up as the situation seemed to change. Following after the rest of the group, Tsetseg was a bit nervous about how things were going, as everyone seemed super on edge and ready to brawl, but as everyone began speaking, Tsetseg looked to the Isaurian and shook her head saying, "no, no. See, see, this." She walked over to the girl, pulling out the white hair she had found yesterday, rubbing it a bit to reveal that it was still white before saying, "see, it's not flour or paint or something like that." She was practically shoving the hair in the girl's face at this point. 


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#665
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Shiro had been, in a word, quiet, the entire morning. He didn't want to say something out of line. After all, deep in enemy territory, he could get the group killed if he spoke wrong. He stayed in plain sight, standing with his hands in plain sight, so everyone could see what he was doing at all times. He had to make sure that they didn't suspect him of foul play. He listened to the chieftain's words closely, to make sure there was no deceit.
 
"I am deeply sorry for the misunderstanding we had before. We had thought you kidnappers, bandits who sought to steal my daughter away for slavery or some other such dreadfulness. This, compounded with the fact that we have had bad experiences with bandits as of late, well, we decided we would interrogate you and then give you a swift end. However, we were mistaken, realizing our error soon after your friends' capture," he explained. "I give you my word they have not been harmed by us. Therefore, you are all free to leave, and may go with our blessings."
 
"I am grateful for my sister's safe return. However, before we leave, I have one last question. The frog tribe believe a fox responsible for the death of one of their own. I would have you answer this." Her commanding tone did not seem to sit well with the chieftain, whose eyes narrowed.
 
"They speak nonsense! We are not responsible for his death, despite what they will tell you." He shot a dismissive glance toward Shiro. "If we are to point fingers, then I will make note of the fact that we still do not know who stole our sacred treasure, and that it is quite likely that they are the perpetrators, and are accusing us of this to cover their own tracks." Of course, the fox trying to misdirect the blame onto the frogs. Typical. Nothing has changed. Still, Shiro remained silent still. 
 
"Both Glenn and Shiro reported that they saw a large white fox Protean standing over the body of Sir Cyrus," the princess pointed out.
 
"Impossible!" Rufus roared. "Sienna is the only white fox alive, the first one to be born since the last century." A sharp observer would hear a note of panic mixed in with his frustrated indignation. Shiro's eyes instantly darted over to the daughter of the chieftain. Was it her? Did she do it? His hands twitched, but he didn't nothing. Trying to kill her here would cause more trouble than needed. The other humans filled the air with their opinions, and yet, he remained silent. A hasty frog wouldn't catch a fly, after all.
 
"The frogs attest that a white fox was the one who murdered their kinsman. However, we have not heard your side. If you have any knowledge of that night, then that would be greatly appreciated."
 
"There is nothing to say," Rufus replied shortly. He seemed to have gotten control over himself, to Catriona's slight disappointment. It would have been interesting fighting a man like him. "That night, the second night of the harvest moon, or September as you humans prefer to call it, we had our own problems to deal with. The theft of Inari's Beads, our sacred treasure." He paused. "I do not know where you were during that time, but I doubt it was here, and Sienna being the only white fox in a century, there is little chance of the murderer being one of us. More likely the frogs are accusing us to cover their own guilt, or," he held up a hand to forestall Catriona's protest, "they mistook the murderer for one of us. There are any number of white beings in this world, such as the--" he stopped and shook his head. "Well, that is neither here nor there. Either way, it is impossible that it is a white fox, and that is that."
 
"I see," The princess stated. Shiro wasn't buying it, not even for one second. Where they implying someone was outfoxing foxes? Surely they jest. However, it seemed any confrontation would have to wait.

"Chief, we're under attack!" a fox ran in, out of breath. "Though it's just one man..."
 
"Who is it?" Rufus asked, face like thunder.
 
"It's, uhh, that green guy. That one frog man. The one who likes to fight with a sword."
 
"Inari's claws!" the chieftain swore, before recovering himself. "If you'll excuse me, I'll have this taken care of shortly," and he left the building without waiting for an answer.
 
"I will follow,"  and the princess left. And for the first time this morning, Shiro spoke.

"Oh goddammit Glenn...," Everyone headed out, and the sight they saw before him was pretty much what he expected. Glenn was making short work of those that opposed him. 

 

"Dastards!" he cried. "You have stolen not only innocent human beings, but also Shiro, my stalwart friend, and for that, you must pay!"

 
"You!" Rufus hissed. "You have done quite enough to us in the past couple days. You and your friend!" The chieftain looked like he was ready to jump down there and fight the man personally.

 

"I was quiet and respectful all morning, what else do you want from me?" Shiro muttered inside of his head as he prepared to help Glenn. The two of them could clear a path and get the hell out of--- well, no, the humans decided to cause some chaos by speaking and things and... they weren't a cohesive group, were they? This outta be fun... Still, Shiro noticed that one of them was edging his way to Glenn... one he didn't much of, so he had no idea of his character. Silently, he slipped through the chaos, until he was by Glenn's side.

"We're okay for now," He told Glenn as he got close, his voice a low whisper. "The foxes didn't harm the humans, nor did they try to do anything. However, they deny that a fox murdered Cyrus. We have perhaps one suspect, but nothing solid yet," His eyes darted to the direction of Sienna. "Do you have a dagger? I didn't think we'd find a lead so... soon, and I was planning to rely on my Frog form for my fight... but with the murderer possibly nearby, I need anything to make sure we can put an end to them,"


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#666
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Things were already rough enough as it was with everyone hearing the Chief's side of the story. But things seemed to get rougher when another frog was in the village. Everyone quickly headed outside to see that it was Shiro's friend from earlier.

"Dastards!" he cried. "You have stolen not only innocent human beings, but also Shiro, my stalwart friend, and for that, you must pay!"

Great... Here they were trying to fix this whole conflict, and now a frog has hopped right into the village, threatening everyone. Sienna side and face palmed. "This is all we need right now..." she said. Looking over she noticed that Shiro was beside the frog, and he seemed to be looking her way. She raised a confused eyebrow, what was he thinking? Either way this shouldn't become a full blown conflict.

Sienna stepped forward to the frogs. "Look, I assure you none of these humans have been hurt in any way, including your friend. We're trying to solve this conflict with our tribes, now please... Drop your weapon... I don't want to see anymore unnecessary fighting..."

#667
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"I do not think that any of the foxes would resort to such a trick, there is no need for such an accusation. After all... There could be something else entirely that caused this."

 

"No, no. See, see, this. See, it's not flour or paint or something like that."

 

Well, the archer didn't seem to be wrong or anything. Though she didn't have to more or less shove the hair in Azar's face to prove her point. Azar, in return, set a hand on the archer girl's, then pushed the hand away from her face. "Like I said, I don't know much about Proteans, and it was a barbaric idea to begin with. Honestly, I'd be more surprised if that was the case at all." As much as she didn't like being wrong, and while she admitted her idea wasn't the smartest in the world, Azar was fine with being mistaken this one time. It would have been rather underwhelming if that was the case from the start, right? But that still left the question of who this mystery fox was. It wasn't Sienna, who was apparently supposed to be the only one of her kind right now.

 

Either there was a piece of the puzzle missing, or somebody was lying. She wanted to work out a possible solution to this whole white fox mystery. The weirder it got, the more enticing the idea of being the one to crack the case got to Azar. If it wasn't paint or dye or anything like that, it meant there was probably another white fox protean. But Sienna was supposedly the only one. Perhaps the only one the village knew about? But that meant a renegade protean was running around - a lone wolf fox so to speak - and someone like that would be easy pickings for the frogs, given the current tensions between the two, if they were actually operating alone. Either they're working as part of a larger group, or they're hiding here. That, or someone's lying to us all. And here I thought Pontics would be the headache of this little quest of mine. Although, I think I know how to rule two of those possibilities out if all goes well...

 

"We're okay for now. The foxes didn't harm the humans, nor did they try to do anything. However, they deny that a fox murdered Cyrus. We have perhaps one suspect, but nothing solid yet. Do you have a dagger? I didn't think we'd find a lead so... soon, and I was planning to rely on my Frog form for my fight... but with the murderer possibly nearby, I need anything to make sure we can put an end to them."

 

"Look, I assure you none of these humans have been hurt in any way, including your friend. We're trying to solve this conflict with our tribes, now please... Drop your weapon... I don't want to see anymore unnecessary fighting..."

 

"She's been a bit of a road bump in figuring out this whole white fox mystery, but the girl's right," Azar agreed. "Whoever's behind this, it would only be easier for them to deal with all the other frogs if your villages keep fighting like this. If that's what they want, anyway. We're working on setting things right, so put the weapon down. As for our mystery killer..." Azar glanced around, taking note of any fox proteans nearby. She nudged Sienna with her elbow. A bit more quietly, she said, "See if you can convince everyone in this village to transform. You're the chief's kid, right? If our mystery killer is a white fox and isn't you, and on the off-chance that they're in this village... see where this is going?"


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