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    What Does "Family" Mean? [CLOSED]

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    Tsubine
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    What Does "Family" Mean? [CLOSED]

    Post by Tsubine on Thu May 12, 2016 6:56 am


    The train ride from Hillfort to Aria seemed to take longer. It was like the world grew to be four times as large or something. But the train ride was boring, and most of it was spent in silence. At Aria, the trip took an odd turn. As they were putting the hunt for Silvath on hold, Tsubine wasn't sure what to really do at this point. Avrae decided to split off from everyone and head to Ardale herself—trying to get a dragon's perspective. She bade them farewell and told them that she'd be staying at the inn in Ardale.

    This was the first time Tsubine was alone with Drake and Luxanna. Thoughts of her dream came back into her mind, and she had to fight to keep the blush down. Tsubine walked in the middle. But no matter what, Tsubine kept feeling like she was being looked at. When she finally decided to make casual glances at the people and not the beauty of Aria... Tsubine's expression saddened.

    The people of Aria were looking at her. Some sneered and others shook their head. She heard someone say "dirty Zakatian," and she began to look at the ground. At least Luxanna didn't hate her, but... the rest of Arcadia just might. "Maybe... maybe I should just wait at the train station. I do not feel welcome here... I think people do not like that I am Zakatian... It might just cause problems." A thought came into Tsubine's head before anyone could say anything, and her worry deepened. "They might not even want to help me because I am Zakatian..."
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    Serenity
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    Re: What Does "Family" Mean? [CLOSED]

    Post by Serenity on Thu May 12, 2016 7:12 am


    The fact that this trip was taking longer wasn't helping the only man in the group. He kept silent most of the time, fell in and out of sleeping, and was just not well. Luxanna had noticed it, but didn't feel right asking. If he needed help, he'd speak up. Drake loved it when they stepped off the train. They were back in the city, where he knew he'd need to get some help soon. He was a little too proud to admit that he had gotten hurt back in that cave. He also thought it would heal by now or at least the pain would calm down, but nothing was changing.

    The group walked through Aria without an Avrae. Drake wasn't noticing any of the staring. The pain in the back of his head was keeping him distracted. Luxanna was used to the stares. She didn't get them anymore back in Caydale because the people had finally accepted her, the same way they learned to accept Nadia. When Tsubine spoke up, both of them looked to her confused. Drake didn't get it, but Luxanna looked around and noticed the stares. "Ignore them. That's not something you have to worry about in Aria Grand. Besides, a guild coming for aid isn't exactly something most guild members ignore."

    "I doubt the leader of Aria Grand will push you away. If you deal with any dirty looks, it is best to ignore them." Drake added in, though his voice was slightly strained, "Aria Grand is also one of the largest guilds who often deal with political issues, so their members are used to people from other countries. Be glad you're not from Nethoral; that'd get people talking." Luxanna saw the guild up ahead. It was pretty close to one of the main gates, so that was lucky. "Well, there it is." Luxanna stopped, "Is there anything you want to be clear before we go in there. It's Aria Grand after all, we should have our stories straight. Though they are likely more accepting, it's best to have every base covered."

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    Tsubine
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    Re: What Does "Family" Mean? [CLOSED]

    Post by Tsubine on Thu May 12, 2016 8:00 am


    Ignore them she says? Oh yeah, sure, like that's something that just works. Tsubine was not so sassy as to roll her eyes, but she did it mentally. "I suppose... We do not have guilds as abundantly as Arcadia does, nor do they have as much freedom as Arcadian guilds... So I am still somewhat confused by the guild system here." Tsubine was worried about Drake though. The more he spoke, the more stressed he seemed. To Tsubine, it sounded like he had a headache that wouldn't go away.

    "I... I do not know if mentioning my surname will be a good idea. But... if they are as accepting as you," she nodded to Luxanna, "claim... I may be wrong on that. Let me think of anything more I can think of... My mother does have CAE, and she has had it for about ten years now. Um... the doctors said it was a slower-acting strain... That is about all I can think of... is there anything you can think of we should bring up or add?" Tsubine had never done this sort of thing before, so she was quite unsure of what exactly to do.

    Before they went in though, Tsubine turned to Drake. "Drake... is everything okay? You seem like you are not feeling well. Do we need to find a doctor? I would rather not subject you to a trip to Zakat if you are not feeling well... I know how stressful my family can be..."
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    Re: What Does "Family" Mean? [CLOSED]

    Post by Serenity on Thu May 12, 2016 8:16 am


    "If you're worried, I'd say let Luxanna do the talking. I'm sure people here at least know of her name since she's the Noir representative." Drake mentioned. Luxanna nodded and looked to Tsubine, "If that's okay with you, I have no problem doing most of the talking... If not, I'd say approach them as professionally and politely as possible, which will be easy for you. Just say you request the services of Serenity Verdant since you've found a case of CAE beyond the border of Arcadia. Also, speak as a member of the Noir. I know you're not official yet, but doing that will tell them that you're loyalty lies with an Arcadian guild."

    "I'm glad you brought it up; I've noticed it to." Luxanna looked to Drake with a raised eyebrow. He looked at both of them and forced up a smile. "I, uh... Have a real bad headache..." he admitted and looked to the floor, "I don't know why, but it hasn't gone away yet. We'll look for a doctor after we visit Aria Grand. I've been dealing with it since we left the ol' dragon's cave, so I can deal with it a bit longer." "That long? Why didn't you say anything?" "Tsu's Mom has been sick for how long? I'd rather get that done." Luxanna couldn't say anything to argue with that. She nodded. "Alright, but right after this, to the doctor you go."

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    Re: What Does "Family" Mean? [CLOSED]

    Post by Tsubine on Thu May 12, 2016 8:49 am


    "I would be very, very relieved if you did the talking, Luxanna." Tsubine gave a very relieved sigh as Luxanna offered that. It actually meant a lot that she'd do that. When Luxanna brought up Tsubine's 'membership' of the Noir, she pursed her lips. Tsubine hadn't even decided if she was joining yet. She'd feel bad for lying, but one thing she didn't want to do was disappoint Luxanna. And if she screwed this up because of not wanting to tell a white lie...

    Drake's headache worried Tsubine. "Promise that. I do not want you to get further injured on this trip because of that incident." Tsubine still did not know what to think about Drake's calling her 'Tsu.' It was weird, but she liked it. Most people didn't do that, and she wouldn't mind Luxanna doing the same. She'd bring it up later. Right now, it was time to enter. "...Which one of us should go in first?" Tsubine thought Luxanna should enter first, but she didn't really know that either.

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    Re: What Does "Family" Mean? [CLOSED]

    Post by Serenity on Thu May 12, 2016 10:01 am


    Everything was settled. Drake stepped up to the door first and opened the large door into Aria Grand's guild hall. The place was quite impressive and filled with Arcanists of all types. The initial door opening wasn't surprising and no one took a second look. However, once one person noticed it, the staring quickly spread through the crowd like a ripple in the water. Luxanna and Drake even felt it here, but she was much more skilled in avoiding it. No one that just stepped into Aria Grand was Arcadian and the silence showed they could tell.

    Across the room, sitting at a large table, was Lillianna Cascella and Julliette Kenward. The two noticed the guild fall into silence and looked up from their conversation to see what was going on. Seeing the newcomers, Lillianna and Juliette looked curiously at each other and stood up, making their way down the main aisle to the group. Luxanna saw the only two people that were approaching them and nudged Tsubine to follow her. "Luxanna Luminere, the leader of the Noir guild, I never expected to have you in Aria Grand. Welcome." Lillianna spoke up cheerfully, surprising Luxanna. The silence seemed to die down when Lillianna spoke, most people accepting the arrival or not caring since Luxanna was an apparent guild leader. "What can I help you with?"

    For once, Luxanna was stuck. Drake nudged her when he noticed this and she cleared her throat. "Y-You know me?" she asked. "Only be reputation, of course. It's not ever day that a Zakatian is able to lead an official Arcadian guild. I'm delighted to finally meet you." Lillianna held her hand out to Luxanna, who took it quite shyly, with a bit of a blush on her cheeks. Lillianna turned to Tsubine and then to Drake to shake their hands, "It is nice to meet the two of you as well. I am Lillianna Cascella and this Juliette Kenward." Julliet just stayed back and watched the group, but waved when she was introduced. "So..." Lillianna motioned for them to continue. Silence again. Drake rolled his eyes at Luxanna and nudged her. "R-Right!" Luxanna regained her composure and spoke up, "Sorry about that. Was just taken aback."

    "Well... The Noir are wanting to request the aid of a member of yours, at least I believe she is still a member: Serenity Verdant." Luxanna explained. Lillianna stayed silent and stared for a moment. She was very protective over Serenity and wouldn't just toss such information at someone. "Why?" Lillianna asked. "It seems CAE has made it's way into my friends Mother. She's suffered from it for about a decade now." "Why have you not come here before hand." "We're Zakatian." "That doesn't matter to Serenity, nor I. Though, you couldn't have known that." Lillianna sighed and rubbed her forehead, looking back to Juliette. "I'll take care of everything while you're gone. I know you aren't just going to let them walk up to Serenity's place like that, but make sure their story checks out first." "How am I supposed to do that?" "Well, I guess you can't. It is The Lady Of Luminosity, so you can just go by reputation." Lillianna nodded and looked back to the group. "Serenity will help, but I'm not letting her go alone. I'll take you to her. She's living near Rydian now. When are you wanting to lea-..."

    "Hey, are you okay?" Juliette called out to Drake. Luxanna turned around. Drake looked like he was losing his balance. He tried catching himself, succeeded, but then lost his balance again. He reached up to the back of his head. It hurt like hell. "I'm... seeing... too many people..." he waved his hand in front of his eyes. He had double vision. "Need... doc-..." And with that Drake fainted and collapsed.

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    Tsubine
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    Re: What Does "Family" Mean? [CLOSED]

    Post by Tsubine on Thu May 12, 2016 11:43 am


    Tsubine enjoyed seeing Luxanna blush. She didn't know why, but she did. Luxanna always seemed so in-control, but for that moment she wasn't. It was a nice change, and Tsubine now wanted to see more of it. Luxanna handled the questions in a great way. Tsubine wanted to answer some of them, but Luxanna's answers were just... better. It was another thing that Tsubine liked about Luxanna. Luxanna had a good tongue and a very large vocabulary. She knew what to say, when to say it, and how to say it.

    Tsubine turned around to see Drake stumble. She looked more worried as he fell, and Tsubine's eyes widened. "DRAKE!" Tsubine knelt down beside him, tapping his cheeks. Someone outside heard Tsubine's screams and had walked in. A crowd of onlookers followed. "Stand aside!" The man was nearly a foot taller than Tsubine and he knelt beside Drake as well. He knelt down, putting his ear near Drake's chest. "He is breathing, but only little." Tsubine tried to say something, but the man raised a giant hand. "Do not worry, I am trained in saving life." And he began CPR on Drake.

    After a few breaths didn't work, he leaned up, very concerned. "It does not seem to work... Has he hurt himself recently?" Tsubine thought for a moment, then nodded emphatically. "He... he hit his head in a cave. We fell when the ground collapsed under us... and he hit his head then. It... he said it was bearable, but..." And that is when Lillianna stepped in.
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    Serenity
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    Re: What Does "Family" Mean? [CLOSED]

    Post by Serenity on Thu May 12, 2016 12:05 pm


    "O-Oh god..." Luxanna took steps back to let people through. She knew she wouldn't be any help to Drake and she'd only get in their way. She kept trying to look over the people to see Drake, but the large man that came through wasn't exactly something to see around. "Wh-What do you mean? Is he gonna be okay?" Luxanna asked worriedly. The man tried CPR, but it didn't work. "Okay, so he hit his head. What symptoms has he had?" "He's been in pain since then. He just said it was a headache."

    Lillianna shoo'd everyone back. Luxanna grabbed Tsubine's shoulders and pulled her back a bit. "Give her some room." Luxanna said and then tried to reassure Tsubine, "Lillianna Cascella is one of the most skilled healers in Arcadia. He'll be fine." Lillianna began attempting to heal Drake, concentrating around his head. "He's got a crack in his skull... You." Lillianna pointed to the big guy who came to help, "Can you get him to the infirmary?" The big guy agreed and picked Drake up, taking the man to the infirmary. "Juliette." Lillianna signaled her, so Juliette closed and locked the door behind the group so they couldn't get disturbed. "Okay, so from what I can tell, the crack caused a bleed and I'm sure a piece of his skull is enlodged in his brain." "Are you going to be able to heal that normally?" "No, I won't." Lillianna said, stopping to straighten Drake's head, but that moment caused Luxanna to begin to panic, "I have to turn the wound back." "Alright then. Get to work."

    It took a mere five minutes for Lillianna to calm down her Arcana. She was working quickly because of the injuries severity, but after a while she was able to calm down. Two minutes after that, she stopped and tapped Drake on the forehead. "Hey, you're friends are worried. Wake up." Drake's eyes opened and he quickly sat up, looking around the room. "The hell happened?" "Feel better?" "Y-Yeah. Haha. Oh that is so much better!" Drake laughed happily and held the back of his head, "The headache is gone. Who did that?" Luxanna pointed to Lillianna. Drake jumped off the table and hugged Lillianna tightly, picking her up and swinging her around. "Thank you so much!" "It's my job! I'm glad you fainted here and not out on the road... Next time, get your head checked out... Dumbass." "Before she saved you, that man there tried... You weren't breathing normally, so he performed CPR." Drake's smile dropped when he saw the man, "Uh... Thanks." Drake wiped his mouth and went to the sink, rinsing out his mouth. Luxanna just laughed, "S-So... Can we get going?" "Ready when you are."

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    Re: What Does "Family" Mean? [CLOSED]

    Post by Tsubine on Thu May 12, 2016 1:10 pm


    Tsubine was worried, and it showed on her face. She had never seen a friend like this. The closest was her mother, but even that was never this bad. Her mother had a resounding ability to remain conscious. Tsubine's eyes widened in shock as Lillianna explained what had happened. It was not something she had expected. Tsubine hung close to Luxanna, not wanting to be alone during this. The fact it only took five minutes surprised Tsubine. She had seen a healer or two at Rydian, but none were that quick. It took them ten minutes to do a papercut. For Lillianna to be able to do a brain injury in five? She had to be good. "I am so relieved that you are okay..."

    Tsubine sat beside Drake on the trip to Colburn. She let Lillianna sit across that way she could see if there was anything off. Okay, there was an ulterior motive too. Tsubine liked seeing Luxanna when the train went over bumps. She tried not to look, but c'mon. There wasn't a way to not stare. Unless you were a gay man. But there was a surprising lack of them on Aurora thankfully. Tsubine also stole glances at Lillianna's chest, but her eyes mainly focused on Luxanna's. They were better. At Colburn, Tsubine had to fight the urge not to return to Rydian. She really, really wanted to see it again. But that was selfish, and Luxanna had already scolded her on being selfish right now. "So where do we find Miss Verdant? I... would rather get out of here soon if we are in a hurry. I do not want someone to recognize me..."

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    Re: What Does "Family" Mean? [CLOSED]

    Post by Serenity on Thu May 12, 2016 1:24 pm


    The entire time that Tsubine was checking Luxanna out, Lillianna was noticing. There was one time that she raised an eyebrow and smirked at Tsubine when Tsubine realized she had been busted. Lillianna just held back a giggle and returned her attention to outside of the car. Once the group arrived in Colburn, Lillianna took in a deep breath of that fresh air. Drake complained about the ride. He was tall and these cars were just not as comfortable as he'd like them to be. Luxanna was content.

    "She lives a little outside of town with her boyfriend. Come on." Lillianna led the group all the way to Alain's house. She felt a little awkward showing up without really giving a warning, but Serenity wouldn't mind. It was Alain that Lillianna had to worry about. Coming up on the house, Lillianna stopped. "Is that... a dragon?" she asked and pointed out some large animal hanging upside down from the roof. It wasn't supposed to be up there, but... It's a fucking dragon. A moment later, Serenity came out and seemed to be scolding the dragon, who came down quickly and pouted in it's corner. "Is that her?" "Yeah... And she has a dragon." Lillianna facepalmed, "She has a dragon." Lillianna hurried over to Serenity, "You would be the one to own a dragon."

    Serenity was just minding her own business by scolding the dragon for going places it wasn't allowed! However, when she heard a familiar voice, she turned to Lillanna with wide eyes and the biggest smile Lillianna had seen in a long time. Lillianna opened her arms, expecting the hug, and receiving a tackle and a super excited squeal. Lillianna ended up on her back with a Serenity snuggling into her. "You have a dragon!?" Lillianna just wouldn't get over it. "Uh'huh. He's my friend. Alain let me keep him, but only with strict rules!" Serenity glared back at Nero, who pouted again. "So what are you doing here? Oh! Come inside for tea and..." Serenity looked up to the rest when she realized Lillianna wasn't alone, "Who are yoouu?" "Holy shit, another Nadia..." Luxanna laughed heavily at that.

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    Tsubine
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    Re: What Does "Family" Mean? [CLOSED]

    Post by Tsubine on Thu May 12, 2016 2:06 pm


    Tsubine was more excited about the dragon than anyone else. She wasn't going to show it though. Tsubine thought she recognized the name on the mailbox, but she couldn't quite place it. As Serenity tackled Lillianna (almost to the ground surprisingly), Tsubine giggled slightly. Drake's comment of her being like Nadia was all too true... Tsubine smiled and curtsied—pulling at the sides of her skirt a bit too much. She wasn't used to curtsying.

    "Um, hello. My name is Tsubine von Zarkonheinz... I am... here to ask for your assistance. My mother has CAE... And she has for about ten years now... And I did not come to you sooner because... she lives in Zakat, and I do as well. Sort-of. I do not currently have a permanent home." Tsubine shook her head to get herself back on track. "But yes, I would really appreciate it if you could help her... I can pay you too, if that is what needs to be done..."

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    Re: What Does "Family" Mean? [CLOSED]

    Post by Serenity on Thu May 12, 2016 2:31 pm


    Luxanna was surprised that Tsubine was the one who spoke up, but was actually proud she did. Luxanna stepped away and listened to the conversation while enjoying the scenery. Drake went over to the dragon and began examining him. He was a pet, so Drake assumed it was a good dragon. Behind the main scene that was happening, you could see Drake patting the dragon's head, so the dragon pat his head back. Drake poked the dragons nose, so the dragon whacked him with his tail. The two glared at each other for a moment and then Drake jumped on Nero's back. Nero hopped around like a bull a few times and then flew into the air. "AHHH!" And Luxanna, who noticed this scene and was watching the entire time, was now dying of laughter.

    In the main scene, Serenity's smile completely dropped when she heard CAE. She looked to Lillianna with wide eyes and a panicked expression. "Calm down." "I-I didn't get it all?" "Serenity it was bound to happen." "N-No! Th-They said it didn't leave Arcadia. So wh-wh-..." "Serenity, calm down! It's fine. You can help them and that's what matters. You didn't know. I didn't know. We can fix it." "O-Oka-..." Serenity was cut off by the screaming and looked back to see Drake being flown off with Nero. "Bring him home safely, Nero!" Serenity called out to him, waving as they flew off. "You guys want to come in for some tea?" Serenity was actually a bit shaken up at the moment. Her adorable demeanor dropped and a more serious one took it's place. "Yeah sure." Lillianna motioned for everyone else to follow. "He's... gonna be okay, right?" "Your dragon riding friend? Yes, Nero is a good boy." Serenity reassured with a soft smile. "Alain!" Serenity called out, "We have guests!"

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    Tsubine
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    Re: What Does "Family" Mean? [CLOSED]

    Post by Tsubine on Thu May 12, 2016 4:47 pm


    "Um... well, I do not know when you were supposed to get rid of it, but my mother has had it for quite some time. The doctor said it was a very slow-acting strain, and that it would not be gone for years. ...I think it did not help that my mother was a rather powerful Arcanist..." Tsubine sheepishly ducked her head, expecting someone to roll their eyes. "I thank you for the offer, but I am working on Luxanna's time, and I would rather not cause the Noir any un-needed expenses..." The name Alain made Tsubine's eyes widen. It began to click, but she shook it off.

    "Hm? Guests? Do you need me to start a fire?" Alain stepped out of the front door, wearing a pair of jeans and a white working shirt stained with various things. Most of it looked like oil and sweat. Alain waved to the group and walked out further. "Well, hello and welcome to our home. Oh, Lillianna. These folks friends of yours?" Alain smiled to them, but his eyes laid upon Tsubine and he leaned in. "Have we met before?" "Ah, yes. We have. About... ten years ago. At Rydian. You were graduating when I came in, I think." "And you were on the fencing team, right?" Tsubine nodded.

    "Let me think... Your name starts with an 'L,' right?" Tsubine shook her head, but then nodded. "Laeticia was my alias... It is the name of my friend on the other side of the border near Mont Blanc. My name is actually Tsubine. I am surprised you remembered me." "I'd say I remember the name of every pretty girl I've met, but I'm pretty sure Serenity would elbow me in the ribs." Alain gave a playful smile to his girlfriend. "I remember you because you were damn good with a sword. I see you've elected to switch to something larger." "My rapiers kept breaking in the line of duty. I needed something with more metal."
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    Re: What Does "Family" Mean? [CLOSED]

    Post by Serenity on Thu May 12, 2016 5:08 pm


    "Hello, Alain." Lillianna gave a nod as she was greeted. Serenity went off to make some tea. Luckily, she had already put some on the stove and it was ready by the time they got back inside. She quickly made everyone a drink, placing an extra cup for the guy that was flown away. She brought the tea back and set it on the table, offering some to anyone here. Serenity noticed Alain and Tsubine talking friendly to each other and was automatically bitten by the jealousy bug. When she received that playful smile, she puffed up her cheeks and looked curiously at him before clinging to him. She didn't care if he was dirty or anything. She was giving him a hug whether he liked it or not.

    "Well, to get to the point of why we're here..." Lillianna stared at Serenity so she would explain to Alain. It wasn't the best of conversations, but only because Serenity realized she was going alone. Lillianna had to confirm that she would be going along with them for Serenity's sake. That made Serenity feel better, but she didn't want to be away from Alain. That didn't matter; she had to. Soon, Serenity was packed and ready to go. She gave Alain a kiss goodbye and walked out with the group to see Drake wrestling with Nero. Serenity was surprised by this sight. Luxanna was impressed and Lillianna was cheering for Nero to win. Nero pinned Drake, who quickly gave up, "Ahh alright, alright. You win! Nice job big guy." Nero jumped around like a happy pup and helped Drake to his feet. Drake looked to everyone else with a smile, "We headin' out?" And so they continued their journey.

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    Re: What Does "Family" Mean? [CLOSED]

    Post by Tsubine on Fri May 13, 2016 1:21 pm


    Tsubine was tired of having to basically take the same train back and forth. They passed around Aria, entering the Sharbilnarg Highlands. Named after Njorbyrson Sharbilnarg, Tsubine had always found the name almost funny. As no trains led into Zakat from Arcadia, there was a period where the group rode in a wagon heading for the border. Tsubine got them through without trouble, and soon they were in Zakat proper. Although the other Arcanists might have felt off being in the Arcana-lacking landscape, at least they were near the Arcadian border. It wasn't as bad up there as it was in the Empire proper. Tsubine, compared to the rest of them, felt more at home in Zakat. Despite having Arcana herself, she had long-since been used to the 'empty' feeling Zakat had on Arcanists.

    The train ride to Mont Blanc was quite more relaxing than any of the Arcadian train rides. The cars were designed for longer, smoother travel. If they were going to the other end of the Empire, there were even cars with beds in them. The roaring steam engines led them to Mont Blanc. And, well, Mont Blanc stood out. A lot. This was mainly because of the quite-tall tower that the city seemed to sprout around. "That is Mont Blanc's High Tower. It is where the Imperial Army's border regiment is headquartered." Tsubine explained with a bit of pride in her voice.

    On the outskirts of Mont Blanc, there was a nicely-sized two-story home. It wasn't a mansion, but it wasn't some quaint cottage. It even had a white picket fence around it. "Unlike before... I think I should do the talking. And please, until I introduce yourselves... do not use your Arcana. I really, really do not want to see you all thrown out. My father has... a temper." Tsubine rubbed her cheek, still feeling the phantom sting of his slap. "And another thing... Do not fight him or anyone. If things do somehow get violent, just run. Luxanna, you can cover that, right?" Tsubine swallowed and began to make her way towards the house after learning everyone was ready.
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    Re: What Does "Family" Mean? [CLOSED]

    Post by Serenity on Fri May 13, 2016 1:39 pm


    Any Zakatian pride was actually met with annoyance on Luxanna's part. There was nothing to be proud of in Zakat. Their advancements in technology do not make up for the arrogance and prejudice. Serenity was awestruck by the area of Mont Blanc, however. She would get excited and point something out, but stopped when she realized she was about to say Alain. It happened a few times, each making her more and more upset. By the fifth time, she just stopped getting excited about anything. Lillianna was impressed with Zakat's architecture. It was a strange country, but quite beautiful in it's own way. Drake was seriously missing the Arcana rich lands of Arcadia. Something about this felt off.

    When they made it to what seems to be Tsubine's home, Luxanna fell completely silent. She had no problem with letting Tsubine speak. She wasn't here to make friends, but to help Tsubine's mother. That was it. She also knew better than to use her Arcana around a Zakatian while in Zakat. She could get away with it farther north, not here. Serenity and Lillianna merely shrugged and nodded to the requests Tsubine had. They were fine with it. Drake, however, was annoyed by it. He looked at Tsubine with a raised eyebrow. "If anything here gets violent, it'll be because of someone else. If someone attacks me, I'm not going to run away. I'm going to kick their ass." What kind of man backed down from someone who attacked them? A bitch, that's the type. If you can't hold your ground, you might as well be a damn kid. Now, that didn't mean he'd use his Arcana. Drake never used his Arcana against someone who didn't have any. He'd just kick their ass the old fashioned way.

    "I'm with Drake on that. I doubt things will become violent, especially if there's an ounce of common sense being tossed around. However, I have no issues about keeping my Arcana a secret. I'll be silent most of the time anyways." "I will be as well. I'd rather not step on any toes while I'm here." "I'm asking anything I want to ask." "Well of course you are; you're the one here to save someone. You have every right." "Exactly." Serenity puffed up her cheeks in a smile and pointed toward the house, "Now, let's go!" Drake sighed and facepalmed, "Why do we have two of them now?!"

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    Re: What Does "Family" Mean? [CLOSED]

    Post by Tsubine on Fri May 13, 2016 2:14 pm


    Tsubine furrowed her brow. She really didn't think she was that demanding. But she asked for them to do one thing, and they wouldn't. She shook her head. "Fine, let us just get this over with." She knew she couldn't talk them out of it. Tsubine didn't want to have to choose between her family and her new friends. But now...? Tsubine was started to regret telling Luxanna about this in the first place.

    Tsubine took out a key from around her neck before pausing. She slipped it back on and knocked. This wasn't her home. She'd have to be a guest. A few minutes later, a young woman opened the door. Her jaw dropped as she saw her older, taller sister. Isabelle von Zarkonheinz, Tsubine's oldest sister, had a beauty Tsubine didn't. She was more feminine and had the grace of a good mother with each step. Before either could say anything, Isabelle hugged her older sister tight. "Vi—No, you go by 'Tsubine,' now, right? It's good to see you... How long have you been back? How long are you staying?"

    Tsubine broke the hug, smiling awkwardly. "It is good to see you too, Izzy. I just now arrived in Mont Blanc, and I will not be staying long... I am hoping to leave today." Isabelle's smile dropped. "I am actually here... with someone who can help Mother. How is she?" Isabelle crossed her arms and sighed. "Doctor Lovak says she's got about a year left of CAE in her, then it will have eaten every bit of her Arcana. You came at a good time... Dad isn't here, and Mom is awake... Come on, I'll take you to her."

    As they walked, Tsubine introduced her friends. The house was not that much different from when Tsubine last set foot in here. "She's been reading your letters. It's one of the few things of yours that isn't locked in the basement. Your room was turned into a guest bedroom three years ago." At the end of the hall was a pair of double doors. They were propped open, showing the corner of a bed. Tsubine stepped in first, then made her way to her mother's bed.

    It was obvious where Tsubine's beauty came from. Lyra von Zarkonheinz was exceptionally beautiful. She was pale and her hair had faded long ago, but she still was a very pretty woman. Her eyes sparkled when she saw her eldest child, and she sat up obviously in pain. "Mother... I am back." Lyra smiled and tears formed in her tired eyes. "Vivian... I'm so happy to see you. And you brought friends?" Tsubine nodded, and Lyra gestured for the group to come in. "Come in, come in. I'm glad to meet any of my darling Vivian's friends. Let me guess... That pretty one there is your girlfriend, right?" Lyra pointed to Luxanna, but Tsubine didn't turn around to see who she was pointing at.

    Lyra gave Tsubine a wide smile, and Tsubine shook her head fervently, blushing hard. "N-n-no! L-Luxanna is just a friend. We are close friends, but we are not dating." "But at least you know which one I was talking about. I know you, Vivian. You can't hide that from me. I'm your mother." Tsubine shook her head and leaned over, giving her mother a good hug. "Everyone, this is my mother, Lyra."
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    Re: What Does "Family" Mean? [CLOSED]

    Post by Serenity on Fri May 13, 2016 2:43 pm


    So, a bombshell answered the door. Drake and Luxanna couldn't help but glance to each other. They were thinking the same thing. They both compared Tsubine to Isabelle and then leaned into each other. "Tsu's hotter." "Agreed." "You two." Lillianna nudged both of them roughly. Serenity was too close to Tsubine and Isabelle to hear. Serenity gave a wide smile to Isabelle and before she could answer Tsu's question, "You're pretty! I like your hair. You take good care of it; I can tell."

    Serenity walked right beside Tsubine the entire time. Luxanna and Drake stood near the back with Lillianna between the rest. The group stayed quiet until they were invited into the next room. Lillianna stepped over to the end of the bed and out of everyone's way. When Drake and Luxanna saw Tsubine's mother, they were both stuck. They looked to each other again, but said absolutely nothing. However, when Luxanna was called out as Tsubine's girlfriend, she looked up to Drake and smiled cockily. He just rolled his eyes and glared back down at her.

    Luxanna, Drake, and Lillianna all bowed politely. "It's lovely to meet you. I am Luxanna Luminere, a friend of your daughter." "My name's Drake, just Drake. Real name sounds way to pretentious and I am also a friend of Vivian." Drake smiled playfully at Tsubine. He'd never call her that again, but this was his first and only chance. "I am Lillianna Cascella. Thi-..." Lillianna was about to introduce Serenity, but Serenity was already over near the bed, staring at Lyra's stomach. "That... is Serenity Verdant. She's here to remove CAE from your system."

    "And she can do it. It's not some farse. It's true." "I'm sorry..." Serenity mumbled, tears falling down her cheeks, "They said it didn't get out of Arcadia. I had no idea it had come this far. I thought I got it all... You've had it for so long. I'm sorry." Serenity knew how horrible this illness was. It devastated her to know that someone still suffered from something that she could cure so easily. This one was gonna take a bit longer because of how deep it was in Lyra's system, but Serenity began. Her body began to glow, but the glow soon moved to her hands. Serenity took a deep breath and began the extraction process. While she did this, she often fell into a sort of trance. Right now Lyra was the only thing in her world. "Come on everyone. To the living area. Let's not distract her." Luxanna suggested and then left the room. Lillianna and Drake agreed, quietly following her out.

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    Re: What Does "Family" Mean? [CLOSED]

    Post by Tsubine on Fri May 13, 2016 3:24 pm


    Tsubine gave a rather annoyed glare towards Drake. Even though he wouldn't, Tsubine did not know if he'd call her that again. This glare was to show otherwise. Vivian was not Tsubine's full middle name, and it was something only her mother called her. Tsubine stood near her mother while Serenity made her way over. She stepped out of the healer's way, noticing the tears form. Lyra shook her head like a good mother and patted Serenity's head. "Oh, don't you worry about it. It's painful—Nevenka, it hurts, but it hasn't killed me yet. I've dealt with this for fifteen years, Miss Verdant. You look a little too young to have gotten rid of this before I got this damnedable disease. And Mont Blanc is close enough to the border that they might not have known I had it at the time. Don't blame yourself."

    "I'm not like your father, Vivian. I know Arcana can be used for good, and that it is a good thing for most people. There's a reason I have Chronic Arcana Elimination. Before she starts to use this on me, do you trust her? I want you to look me in the eye and tell me that." Tsubine looked to Serenity, then to Luxanna, then to her mother. "I think so. I do not know much about her besides the rumors in Arcadia, but I would not have brought her here had I not thought she could do this." Lyra gave her daughter a nod, then smiled.

    Tsubine kissed her mother's forehead and walked out. Their living room was nice, and Tsubine took a seat beside Luxanna on the couch. "Sorry about what my mother said, Luxanna... She has always thought that I was... well..." "A lesbian?" Isabelle interrupted, a wide smile on her face. "Come on, most people in the neighborhood thought that. Hell, people thought you and that Laeticia girl had a thing going on for a while." Tsubine turned quite red and she shrank down. "We-we did not... She was just a friend... And as I came to fully understand recently, I think I am in the middle. I think the word is 'bisexual.'"

    Not long after everyone had sat down, the front door swung open. Thick-soled military boots echoed on the floor, and the color left Tsubine's face. She pursed her lips and looked quite uncomfortable. Ivan von Zarkonheinz was old. He was around fifty-five, and age had not treated him kindly. His blue eyes were now a gunmetal grey, and he seemed to have frown lines instead of smile lines. "So, Yorin was right. He did see you in town. You're looking well, Vivianna. Why have you come back?" "Father. I brought someone who can heal Mother's illness." Ivan's eyes narrowed. "There are no doctors in the Empire that can heal that damndable disease. I know this for a fact. Who did you bring?"

    Tsubine stood up, but her father still towered over her. He was six-foot-two, after all. "I brought the Arcadian healer, Serenity Verdant. She is helping Mother as we speak." Tsubine's eyes were hard, and her father's expression darkened. "She's in there with Lyra? Alone? Why did you think that was a good idea?" "Because I trust her to do her job. I am not as afraid of Arcana as you are." Ivan was about to say something when Isabelle stood up, putting her hands up between them.

    "Both of you, relax. Dad, I think she honestly believes this woman can heal Mom. I think she's the one that got rid of it in Arcadia a few years back. If she can do that, then this house call should work. You haven't seen each other in nearly ten years. Can't you two be civil for once?" The eldest daughter and her father shared a glare before he sighed. "Very well. I might as well be polite and introduce myself first." Ivan gave a polite bow to the ladies and a head nod towards Drake. "I am Brigadier General Ivan Stralvich von Zarkonheinz. Welcome to my home."
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    Re: What Does "Family" Mean? [CLOSED]

    Post by Serenity on Fri May 13, 2016 3:50 pm


    "You don't have to apologize; It was a compliment, even if the assumption is not yet true." Luxanna said. Drake raised an eyebrow at her, "Uh'huh... What assumption?" Luxanna realized then what she had said and smiled, "That she is a lesbian, of course. Look around this room... Women are a thousand times better than men. Not only do we show our hearts a lot easier, but..." Luxanna shook her chest to make them wiggle a bit. Drake immediately glanced down, not able to resist looking, "Men are so much easier to manipulate." Drake nodded, "That's definitely true. We do tend to look when women don't want us to. Men prefer to think logically about a situation to decide what the best outcome is. We also aren't so petty to manipulate others, especially in ways that cater to more carnal desires. It isn't our fault we're coded to be strong, independent, and this good looking." Drake flipped his hair in a fabulous fashion. Luxanna and Lillianna both laughed. "Touche." "I don't know... Women are a thing of beauty, but I think I prefer strength. There's nothing better than a tall, strong man with the ability send shivers down your spine by merely whispering your name. I also like feeling as light as a feather and running my fingers down the abs of a well-toned chest." "This conversation got too feminine for me." "You're the one flipping your hair better than I can." "Oh shush." The group shared a quick laugh up until the door opened and then everyone fell silent as Tsubine's Father came through and the two talked.

    The group kept silent until Ivan turned and introduced himself. Drake nodded in respect back to Ivan. He stepped over to Ivan and held out a hand. "Nice to meet you, sir. I do apologize for the sudden visit, but Serenity Verdant, the woman who we brought with us can and will heal your wife. I'm confident of it." Drake was so glad there was another man in this damn house. He serious missed Masamune at the moment, even if he did come with the crazy little Nadia. "Yes, she will." Lillianna stepped forward, curtsying politely, "My name is Lillianna Cascella. I have accompanied Serenity here as a friend. I do believe everything here will go well and know that soon you and your lovely wife will be able to spend many more years together without the nuisance of that wretched disease." Luxanna stood behind Ivan at this point. She felt awkward around a man like this, knowing his opinion of Arcanists. She knew it'd be looked down upon if she said nothing, so she mimicked Lillianna's curtsy. "I am Luxanna, merely a friend of your daughter's. If I can add anything to this, it is that Serenity was devastated when she found out that someone else had been suffering with CAE. If you do not feel comfortable with them alone, please, go see the girl for yourself. One look at her, a moment of conversation with her, and you will understand that she really and truly is only here to help."

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    Re: What Does "Family" Mean? [CLOSED]

    Post by Tsubine on Fri May 13, 2016 4:18 pm


    If men were easy to manipulate, then Tsubine might as well have been a man. She looked too. And yes, they were nice. Tsubine was surprised at how well of a hairflip Drake could do, and she also agreed with Lillianna. Both men and women had their perks—though some perks were perkier than others. Tsubine and her father's converation happened in Zakatian, so it was unlikely that anyone other than Luxanna understood it.

    Ivan shook Drake's hand, somewhat surprised that the young man would even do so. He nodded as everyone introduced themselves. He stayed silent the entire time, eyeing each of them with trepidation. "You all have faith in this healer. I have heard of her, but I thought her to be more of an over-hyped publicity figure." Ivan took a seat in his chair, crossing his legs. "I have also heard of you, Miss Cascella. You apparently do a fine job at running one of those... 'guilds,' I think it is. It is impressive to see someone so young able to do such a difficult job." Ivan steepled his hands, staring hard at all of them. "So tell me... How did you meet my eldest daughter?"
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    Re: What Does "Family" Mean? [CLOSED]

    Post by Serenity on Fri May 13, 2016 4:33 pm


    The over-hyped comment only had Lillianna clenching her fists. Serenity was like a younger sister to her, so Lillianna took that on the more personal side, even if she knew he was wrong. When Ivan spoke directly to her, she smiled again and let the matter go. "I don't do it alone. Though I handle the paperwork and represent the guild, it's very much a group effort. The guild is my family and my home."

    "I've only recently met her. She and her friends came to me looking for Serenity. I guided them to her and continued with them here. I only came because Serenity wouldn't feel very safe while alone with people she just met." Lillianna explained as kindly as she would. Drake glanced to Tsu, but kept quiet. Luxanna spoke up next. "Your daughter helped me save a friends life. A young girl that I look at more like a daughter went missing and Tsubine guided me and another through Zakat to save her. Since then, she's been family." "Well, I guess it's my turn... And I refuse to lie, so... " Drake pointed at Tsubine, "She was checkin' me out while I was working out. Wasn't my fault!" Lillianna and Luxanna stepped away from Drake for their own safety. "I like to train."

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    Re: What Does "Family" Mean? [CLOSED]

    Post by Tsubine on Fri May 13, 2016 4:49 pm


    Ivan nodded in understanding as Lillianna talked. Tsubine didn't get the glance. Luxanna's story made Ivan smile slightly. "Despite her shortcomings, I am proud to hear that my daughter helped you do such a thing." Tsubine was stuck on Luxanna saying she was like family. That meant something to Tsubine, and she had no idea what it was yet. She had to think of what she thought of Luxanna before this was over.

    Drake's answer... Tsubine stared in dumbfounded shock. Ivan raised his eyebrows in surprise, and Isabelle tried to hold back a laugh. Silence fell. A laugh broke the silence. It wasn't Isabelle, it was Ivan. He smiled somewhat widely before coughing into his hand. "You, I like. Honesty like that is not something many people, especially young men, have. So my Vivianna was 'checking you out,' so you say? She has good taste in men if you train as much as you are honest. Come, sit, sit. Do not be strangers. Some of you may not be Zakatian, and I may not like Arcadians, but you are in my home. I will not be rude to you, and I will most certainly not make you stand."

    "So, Vivianna. Which of them are you dating? Your mother still thinks that you are one of those gay people, but I still think you would prefer a strong man. Am I right? You're dating this Drake fellow, right?" Tsubine turned beet red and sighed. "No, Father, I'm not dating him. What is with you and Mother?! First she thinks I am dating Luxanna, now you think I am dating Drake?! It does not help that I like both of them, but does this really have to come up?! Why is my love life always the topic of conversation..." Tsubine sank onto the couch again, her head in her hands. "Beause. I will want many grandchildren. And you are the oldest, so I expect grandchildren from you first." Tsubine let out a whimper as her dad embarrassed her...
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    Re: What Does "Family" Mean? [CLOSED]

    Post by Serenity on Fri May 13, 2016 5:31 pm


    Ohh, Drake was fully enjoying Ivan's company. When everything fell silent, he was still going to stand his ground. Making Ivan laugh was him gaining points. This was awesome! He inwardly fist bumped and took a seat as Ivan instructed. Lillianna and Luxanna followed suit. Lillianna had a beaming smile on. Luxanna went from annoyance to curiosity every now and then. Drake had gotten points with Tsubine's Father; that was annoying. When dating came up again, it was Drake's turn to look to Luxanna and smirk. Luxanna repeated his previous notion and glared back. Once the Father and daughter finished their arguement, Lillianna couldn't help but speak up. "You know, I feel a little left out here. How come no one thinks she's dating me? I mean... It could happen! In another life time..." Lillianna did her best to lower the awkwardness.

    Ivan was that Father who told embarrassing stories about his kids. Though to Tsubine they were humiliating, to Luxanna and Drake they were endearing and sweet. Though they laughed at a few, it wasn't to make fun. Usually Tsubine did something absolutely adorable that people couldn't hold it in. Lillianna found the entire conversation wonderful. Drake asked about Ivan and his work, explained about his training and how he keeps a strict routine. Luxanna spoke very little on the Noir and mostly on Nadia, Masamune, Tsubine and Avrae. Lillianna was the last to really bring anything up, but she added some stuff about members of Aria Grand, what it was like to be in a guild, and how guilds seem to replace the broken families that some people come from. All in all, it was a good conversation, but it had to come to an end.

    As the group shared a laugh, the door opened and Serenity came into the room extremely tired. Lillianna rushed over to her and caught Serenity right as she would have collapsed. "She's... okay now..." Serenity said in a whisper, passing out in Lillianna's arms. "I got her." Drake hurried over and picked Serenity up, looking to Ivan, "May I lay her on the couch?" Once given permission, Drake laid Serenity down on the couch. She was sweating quite a bit and a little warm. "She was really working... Her Arcana is almost gone." "If she's like that, the disease must have been deep." "With how long Lyra had it, no doubt at all." Luxanna looked to Tsubine and Ivan with a kind smile, "Well, go check on her." The group watched Tsubine and Ivan, only following after they went in.

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    Re: What Does "Family" Mean? [CLOSED]

    Post by Tsubine on Fri May 13, 2016 6:28 pm


    Tsubine stayed quiet most of the time, liking the fact that her father wasn't trying to imprison them all. She hated the stories her father told and would do her best to refute them. Unfortunately, Isabelle was not on Tsubine's side for once. She confirmed stories and even added onto them. Ivan did not give out much detail of his work, other than that he was in charge of one of the Imperial Marines units stationed at the High Tower. Ivan was impressed with how guilds worked, but he did contest that such a thing would not work in the Empire. He did have to admit that it seemed to work well for Arcadia.

    Tsubine and Ivan both hesitated as they looked at Serenity. She looked sick, and it wasn't a good sight. "Should... Should we call a doctor for her? Will she be okay?" After getting confirmation that it was normal, Ivan led her into the bedroom. "I'm going to try to find Eira and Elizabeth." Isabelle darted out the front door and hopping on a small scooter.

    Lyra was sitting upright, her eyes shining. "So... did it work?" Ivan asked with hesitation. "You tell me." Ivan was lifted off of his feet, being brought over with the flick of Lyra's wrist. A wry smile was on her face as she set her aging husband on the ground. Tsubine's smile widened and tears fell from her eyes as she ran over, hugging her mother. "There's no need to cry, Vivian. Save your tears for when something sad happens, okay?" Lyra wiped Tsubine's face clear of tears. Ivan smiled and leaned in for a quick kiss. "It is good to see you in good spirits again. No pain?" "None. And there's no dull pressure like when I was on painkillers. It's gone. And I can use my Arcana again." With another flick of her wrist, the window in her bedroom opened. "I can't wait to get back to the master bedroom."

    Lyra hesitated, then stood. She was an inch taller than Tsubine. She wore a simple blue dress. She smiled as she pushed her wheelchair out of the way. "Now, what are you going to want for dinner? And before you say anything, you are staying for it. It's the least I can do to repay all of you for this."

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    Re: What Does "Family" Mean? [CLOSED]

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