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Digital Download of Errant Kingdom Desktop & Mobile Wallpaper Download Errant Kingdom Postcard Holographic Foil Poster Novus Enamel Pin Role Tarot Prints (x3) Mini Comic by Eli Baum Guest Artist Prints (x3) Character Sticker Sheets (x6) Errant Kingdom T-Shirt Character Tarot Prints (x6) Role Enamel Pins (x3) Two CG Commissions + Prints. Errant Kingdom is a queer, high-fantasy episodic visual novel (releasing in chapters on a bi-monthly basis throughout 2020) for PC, Mac & Linux, brought to you by Lunaris Games, a tiny team of five indie developers. Our first game, supernatural murder mystery When The Night Comes. Is currently #3 on itch.io's top-rated games! Errant Kingdom is.
The Kingdom Hearts manga is an adaptation of the Kingdom Hearts video game series. 1 List of Manga 1.1 Kingdom Hearts Final Mix 1.2 Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories 1.3 Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days 1.4 Kingdom Hearts II 1.5 Kingdom Hearts III 1.5.1 Gallery 2 Cancelled 2.1 Kingdom Hearts Tokyopop. Napoleon the Bicorne is a homie taking the form of a bicorne hat that is worn by Big Mom.3 It can also become a sword that Big Mom uses in combat.6 It is a special kind of homie, as it received a soul fragment from Big Mom herself.3 1 Appearance 1.1 Gallery 2 Personality 3 Abilities and Powers 3.1 Bladed Forms 3.1.1 Named Forms 3.1.2 Techniques 4 History 4.1 Past 4.2 Whole Cake Island Arc 4.3.
Okay, so the site is apparently back. To everyone who suffered from inability to read my chapters, it was happening to almost every author and it prevented me changing my profile to alert you all to it. Those that PM'd me mostly got a response but for those who don't know, if I ever vanish again or something odd like that happens, do check out my p a treon. I uploaded the chapters there set to public, free for anyone to view and download without logging in or supporting. If there is ever a problem with the site, that is the only way I can communicate with you, so check it for news or an update. It's also a good way to figure out what is going on if I ever disappear entirely or don't update because if I am sick, away or something else, I'll usually post an update there so people know.
Cover Art: Jack Wayne
The morning light shone through thin curtains of silken cloth weaved into beautiful patterns. They acted like stained glass windows, casting bright hues across the interior of a hotel room bedecked with cushions and draping cloth designed to keep out sand, heat and also the errant insects that preyed upon travellers in Vacuo's nights. The fragrant scent of smoke and sandalwood came from a large incense burner in the corner of the room, thin wisps of smoke misting up from the top and curling toward the sandstone ceiling.
The balcony was pristine white and looked out over the ocean, thin stone pillars jutting up to support a railing Jaune was leaning upon, letting the still damp air from the ocean wet his face as Qrow stumbled into his clothes behind. Eventually, the huntsman joined him, not with his hip flask in hand for once, but a mug of steaming coffee.
'Now this is a hotel,' he said. 'Not like the cheap ass dives I've stayed at before. I admit I was a little sceptical of the beds made up of cushions, but that was the best nights sleep I've had in ages. Last time I came here I woke up eaten alive by mosquitoes.'
'Local knowhow trumps cheap deals any day.' Jaune grinned and rubbed the thin silk curtain between his finger and thumb. 'Curtains to keep them out and incense to ward them away. You can always trust the people who have lived with it for a long time to know the best ways around a problem.'
'True.' Qrow sipped and looked out over the ocean with him. 'I've arranged a meeting with Jax.'
'Will you be safe? That Semblance…'
'I'm confident I'll be fine. Not much way of proving it, though. Any password we agree on now I'd still know if he had control over me. You're just going to have to trust me on this. Neither of our groups have reason to be against the other, and neither wants to pick up fresh enemies.'
'We don't care what they're doing, then?'
'As long as it's not causing trouble, no. Ozpin is more interested in making sure the huntsman academies keep going and that won't change just because Vacuo brings back a monarchy. They'd still need huntsmen and Crown would be idiots to make enemies of us or Shade. Honestly, they need the support of the people, too, so I don't think we have much to worry about. Jax can't mind control an entire Kingdom, either. He has his limits.'
They'd keep their activities quiet. Unlike the White Fang, who didn't need the support of their victims and so had gone out their way to terrorise and kill whoever got in their way. This Crown organisation still had to rule over the populace if their plans worked, so it was best they be seen as saviours by said populace, or the monarchy would just be overthrown a second time.
At best, they'd be acting against the current government of Vacuo. Which, as Qrow so easily pointed out, wasn't their business. It also wasn't like Crown could just kill their way to the top, since the whole point of a democracy – or really more of an oligarchy, but same deal – was that the leader could be replaced ad infinitum if they died. Crown needed to prove they were better than the Council, build support and then overthrow them.
By that point it'll be Vacuo's choice to make what way they want to be run. I guess Ozpin is right. It's none of our business. The citizens here should have the right to choose their fate. Not us.
'If you don't come back to the hotel tonight, I'm coming looking for you.'
Errant Kingdom (chapters 0-4) Crack Filler
'Ha.' Qrow laughed. 'Fair enough. Good luck on your end as well.'
Rashem Technological Enterprises was a new feature of this timeline and dominated the commercial sector of Vacuo. It was no exaggeration to say it had transformed the city, taking what was traditionally a trade-oriented and holiday-trade city and giving it a bustling tech industry of its own. Part of the reason Rashem had risen so high and so drastically was because of how poor Vacuo was, with lots of well-educated labour that wanted to work in the city but couldn't find jobs for their advanced degrees.
Now with RTE, they could, and they had. As a result of the newfound wealth, other companies came along to settle nearby and provide services to RTE, sharing the bounty. After all, a company making high tech scrolls needed cases for said scrolls. They needed plastics, metals and electronics. They needed accountants, a marking agency, sales reps and logistical firms willing to take their goods across the globe. And all those companies needed their own suppliers as well.
Just like that, Vacuo had gone from a nice but down on its luck city in his time, to a thriving capital of a Kingdom experiencing its first economic boom in over fifty years.
It felt so arrogant to say it was all because of him.
But it was.
Not because he'd been a clever businessman or saved the city, but because he'd come along like an idiot with a scroll almost ten years ahead of its time and handed it off to a random merchant. With how fast tech went, he'd essentially jumpstarted the technology of the Kingdom. It wasn't just scroll-based, either. There had been computer chips, software and more on the device, all of which people would have been able to apply to other industries. In doing so, he'd obviously hurt some company in Atlas down the line, the original manufacturer, but Atlas would survive. A little competition would do them good.
The RTE Head Office was a beautiful building made primarily of white stone and lacquer wood panels, with huge glass fronted windows taller than two men stood on top of one another. There was a park outside it, along which people sat on short walls laughing and watching pets and kids run around. A fountain off to the side glittered with coins thrown in, and it seemed the business had become more than just an employer for the region; it had become a part of the local community.
Walking up to that as just some random guy felt strange, even if he'd had a hand in its inception. The work was ninety-nine per cent Rashem's, with his input only being handing off a device. For Rashem to even remember him so much to set up a bank account as he had was already a huge display of generosity. Would he be willing to offer anything more? Honestly, Jaune wouldn't blame him if he wasn't.
The entrance lobby was large and spacious with reclining chairs, plush seats and tall paintings along a white back wall with silver letters RTE backlit by pale blue lights. A dark-skinned woman sat on a tall stool behind the counter, aping away on a terminal. She smiled on seeing him, putting her work down and clearly inviting him to speak.
Jaune coughed awkwardly. 'I know this is going to sound ridiculous, but I'd like to request a meeting with Rashem.'
The receptionist managed to smile, which was a credit to her self-control. You didn't just walk into a business and ask to speak to the boss, not even a small company, let alone an international giant. That was like Ruby walking in and demanding to speak to Jacques Schnee. Even calling, you'd be directed and deflected to a hundred other people before anyone would dare ask the MD or CEO to waste their time speaking to some random pleb.
'Do you have a meeting arranged with Mr Rashem?' she asked. 'He's a very busy man as you can imagine. If I can take a name, I might be able to ask his PA if he has time…?'
A polite but mostly empty offer. They both knew the meeting wouldn't happen, but she was offering to go through the motions to prove it to him and not be rude. Rashem had hired good people. Luckily, he had an edge himself, and one he only felt a little embarrassed exploiting.
'Jaune Ashari-Schnee, heir by intended marriage to the Schnee Dust Corporation.'
The receptionist's jaw had dropped open by the end of his name. As much as he liked to think his name was well known, that was only really in huntsman circles. The -Schnee added on the end, though. Well, that was a little more recognisable. The engagement between himself and Winter was also heavily public knowledge, both thanks to paparazzi and the efforts of the SDC to disseminate the news across the world.
It was ridiculous and oh so arrogant, but then what wasn't where Jacques was involved? At least he was happy his daughter was getting married and wanted everyone to know. That easily made him five times as good a man as he had been in the last life, so Jaune was prepared to forgive him the embarrassment of being splashed over every newspaper and TV channel as `Winter's husband` first and `Jaune Ashari` second.
'M-Mr Ashari-Schnee!? I am so sorry!'
'No. No. You didn't know. You've been incredibly polite and helpful. I'm sorry that I didn't arrange a meeting ahead of time…'
'I'm sure that won't be a problem. Let me just speak to his PA and I'll see if I can arrange a meeting. Would you like to take a seat? I can have some dates and spiced wine or chilled fruit juice brought out to you.'
'Juice is fine, thank you.'
He hated using his name like that, which was funny since it was one of the first times he'd ever done it. Was this what Weiss and Pyrrha felt on a daily basis? It wasn't so bad the one time, but he could imagine it getting tiring fast, especially when she came out with the promised juice and fruit, practically bowing as she handed it to him. I'm no better than you, he wanted to say. Don't treat me like this.
In the end he had to tell himself it was business, and she was doing her job. In the same way a waiter or waitress would do everything they could to make a guest feel welcomed, she was required to bow and scrape to him. All he could do was take it politely, smile and thank her as gracefully as he could.
About ten minutes later, a woman came down in a pale grey suit and skirt combo, tanned legs reaching down to black flats with silver hair. Despite that, she couldn't have been older than him.
'Mr Ashari-Schnee.' she said, greeting him with a firm handshake. 'I am Ellie Grass. Mr Rashem has asked me to come collect you. I hope we didn't keep you long.'
'Not at all. Your receptionist was a wonderful host and very accommodating.'
The receptionist smiled prettily, pleased with the compliment that may well aid her career path. It was the least he could do. Ellie Grass nodded and thanked her as well before offering to take him to the upper floors. He was whisked away quickly, brought down tall and long corridors with numerous award plaques and pictures posted on either wall, some of award-winning employees, others of awards the company as a whole had won. There were a lot of them, but then he supposed Rashem had made a meteoric rise to power. A miraculous and frankly impossible rise only made possible because of future technology.
Fastest 40 under 40. Entrepreneur of the Year for what looked like four years running. Director of the Decade: Vacuo Region. Top 50 company to work for. The accolades went on and were all proudly displayed in what he assumed was a corridor many investors and guests were taken down to impress them. It was certainly working.
I wonder if I could have done this if I'd used my brain. I had the scroll, not to mention some knowledge of future events. I could have used that to play the market and make myself the richest man on Remnant. Money hadn't been his main goal, but that much would have let him do just about anything. It said a lot about Rashem that he'd gotten this far, and more about himself and his own intellect than Jaune liked to admit.
Eventually, they reached an elevator that led up to a floor dedicated to just three offices, one of which was labelled E. Grass – Personal Assistant. It was the larger, central office that Ellie led him to, knocking once on the door.
'Come in!' a gregarious voice said. 'Come in! Come in!'
The room inside was spacious without being ostentatious. The most interesting thing was easily the huge open windows at the back, looking out over a plant-laden balcony and then the city itself, light shining through the windows in great beams across a marble floor detailed with mosaic patterns of red, brown and gold. The ceiling angled upward into a dome from which a single chandelier hung, and in the centre of the room itself sat a redwood desk, behind which stood a figure who hadn't changed much in the last ten years. Still dark tanned skin and bright eyes, if a little pudgier in the cheeks and visibly happier than he had been.
'My friend!' Rashem said warmly, standing with his arms open wide. 'As the sun rises and falls, it is you!' He came around the desk and forward quickly, engulfing Jaune in a tight hug and patting his back.
Ellie Grass, seeing her work done, bowed her head and backed away, closing the door behind her. Jaune laughed, patting the man's back and wondering if it wasn't strange to be so welcome. On the other hand, he'd turned this man from a street vendor to a billionaire so maybe a degree of happiness was to be expected.
'Hello Rashem. You look well.'
'I do? You have not aged a day. Changed, yes, but for the better, I think.' He pulled back and looked up at Jaune with a wry smile. 'You were beyond your years when last we met, a boy with the face and eyes of a man. Now, you are a man, and you look it. The years have been kind on you, methinks. Kinder than they had before we met, no?'
What did he mean? When he first arrived-? Ah. Jaune smiled wanly. 'I hadn't been in a good place,' he admitted. It must have been obvious. Hard eyes, hard faced and desperate for any lien, a veritable refugee from a doomed timeline with nothing but his sword to his name.
Even though he'd been hopeful back then, he'd been damaged. Not broken, nothing so dramatic, but constantly on edge and believing the weight of the world rested on his shoulders.
'I could tell, my friend. And now? I have kept my eye on you as best I can. Set to be married, successful in your own way and with a daughter!'
'Two now. I adopted a second.'
'Wonderful! A family man, though doing it backwards with the children first.' His laughter boomed around the office and he hugged Jaune tightly again. 'It is a welcome day I meet you again. I had thought of seeking you out before, but work. Ah.' He gestured to his desk. 'You'd think being this successful I would have less work, but there is more than ever. Still, it keeps me busy. We have a saying in Vacuo; a busy mind is a healthy mind, though I think my doctor would appreciate if I took a few days off.'
'You're looking after yourself, right?'
'Of course! Of course! Here, come have a seat. Let us talk. No, you came here for a purpose. Of course you have. Business first, then. Do you need more money? Are you through the cut I gave you already?'
'No! No!' Jaune started defensive until he noticed Rashem's grin.
'A jest. A jest. One marrying into the Schnee family would hardly be hurting for money. Tell me, then. What can Rashem do for you today?'
'I'm looking for someone. A huntress, more of a hermit than an official one. Sticks to the deserts and tends to attack people who get close to her. Not a criminal per se, but someone you wouldn't call `on the side of the law` either. I don't expect you'd know her, but I think you'd know how best I could find her or who might be able to find out.'
'Hm. Hmm.' Rashem hummed to himself, bobbing his head slowly. 'Information, you say. Well, I am no information dealer, but it is important to have contacts in business. I have a few. Alas, I doubt they would feel confident speaking with a newcomer, especially not a huntsman.'
Criminal elements. Or at least people on the shadier side of things. He doubted Rashem was running the local mafia – that sounded like something Qrow's `Crown` people would be involved in – but Rashem likely knew people who knew people, the usual lines of communication.
'I could ask on your behalf. Do you have a name?'
'Omaira. No last name she uses.'
'Omaira.' Rashem hummed. 'An old-fashioned name. It means `Red` I believe. It is a unique enough name. A relief. I dread to think if you only had a first name and it was Jane.' He laughed. 'I will ask, and while I cannot promise, I will put a bounty on the information. The people I would speak to will go a long way for that.'
'I can offer some-'
'No. No.' Rashem cut him off. 'This is my gift to you, friend. You will not insult me by refusing it. And I believe we can take care of pleasure and business at the same time. You must come to my manor and dine with my wife and I. Let us say two days from now. That way, we shall have dinner and I can present any information my sources have found. Business and pleasure.'
That seemed fair enough. They couldn't expect information straight away, and the time could be spent asking around Vacuo to see if Omaira had been sighted nearby. He doubted she would have been, but it was worth a shot.
'Thank you, Rashem. I humbly accept.'
'Of course you do! Ha ha! My dearest will be delighted to meet you. I have spoken of you to her often and I sometimes feel she believes I have made you up or exaggerated your reality.' His eyes sparkled. 'This will be my chance to prove her wrong.'
Jaune chuckled. 'I'll make sure to come larger than life.'
'Do that! Yes! I will have Ellie provide you with directions and a formal invitation. A shame you cannot bring your fiancée, perhaps another time. Or I shall meet her at your wedding. Jacques Schnee has already invited me.'
One of the richest men on Remnant automatically inviting another. Nothing surprised him about that. 'You're welcome there, Rashem. Thanks for seeing me today and I'll hope you manage to find something.'
'If there is something to be found then I shall find it, my friend. And if not, then that should be information itself. There are few parts of the desert where no one travels. If nothing is found, your woman is surely there. Let us be sure before sending you into the bone lands, however.'
Qrow found him in the corner of the bar they'd agreed to meet in, sat down, pulled a cross-eyed expression and droned out, 'I think Vacuo needs its monarchy back.'
Jaune kicked him under the table. 'Not funny. Did he try anything?'
'Nah. Course not.' Qrow accepted the offered drink and took a long drag. 'Asked plenty of questions on why we're looking for this person but agreed to help quickly enough when money was waved in his face. More than that, I think the idea of working with Beacon won him over.'
'Hmhm. They're going to need influence when they go public. Having favourable ties with the biggest academy in Remnant is worth more than lien. Would have been even more if Ozpin was still, you know, Ozpin, but they're happy to work with the headmistress anyway.'
They didn't know about Ozma, Salem or the Relics, then. That was a relief. Ozpin wasn't usually stupid enough to bandy that information around, but after the huge failure over Lionheart, Jaune wasn't prepared to take anything on face value.
It might have been easier if Qrow knew Omaira's name, but then he'd have to ask how Jaune did, and that was a conversation he didn't have answers to. Even sitting here with Qrow was bringing back unhappy memories. After their miraculous success in Atlas, they'd all been riding high. Thinking they could handle anything. Arrogant. Vacuo had been an eye opener for them. A painful one.
'Hm.' Qrow took another drink and then paused. 'You okay? You've been off ever since we got here. Not moody, just… off.'
'Lost in thought.' About Qrow's death. 'Sorry, I'm just missing the girls. What else did you find out from Crown?'
'Not much about our missing lady, but enough to know they noticed our arrival. They asked about you.' Jaune tensed. 'Nothing bad,' Qrow assured him. 'They asked if the money was fronted by you. Kind of obvious since I'm not exactly swimming in cash.'
'Did they ask to meet you?'
'Not specifically. They said you'd be welcome if I wanted to bring you along. Jax also promised any meeting would be done at a polite distance. I don't think they're interested in you specifically…'
'Yeah. More legitimacy, this time with the potential of a big backer. I'm sure your pop-in-law would be into the idea of close ties with a potential monarch, too. Exclusive mining rights for cheap dust sounds like something he'd be into.'
'Probably.' Jaune sighed. 'I'm getting really tired of people recognising me wherever I go.'
'Ha. Well to be fair, they don't recognise you so much as your sugar daddy. I'm surprised you're not more famous for who you are. Haven't a few of your sprogs won tournaments?'
Emerald had, and so had Yang and Vernal, and they weren't the only ones. He mostly entered his students locally now, so he didn't have to travel, and a few of them had won regional tournaments. One thirteen year old had also gone on to represent Vale in an under 15's tournament in Mistral, coming second out of thirty-two combatants. She'd come to him two months back saying she had offers from people wanting to be her agent and asking for advice. He'd ironically called on Alexander Nikos for help, who promised to set the girl up for a meeting with Pyrrha's agent.
Those people might go on to be famous, but people mostly knew of the ASH Gym and less so Jaune Ashari. His name had appeared in a few news stories, including the rescue of Pyrrha Nikos and the downfall of Lionheart, but only as cliff notes. The average huntsman might recognise Jaune Ashari as a fellow huntsman and owner of a training school. The average citizen knew him as that guy Winter Schnee is marrying.
'It's not the same. Well, are they making their co-operation contingent on meeting me?'
'No. I told them you had your own things to do. They let it go. Again, not worth upsetting us when we're not in their way and could very much make their lives harder. If anything, they offered an olive branch. We do our thing, and they'll do theirs. No need for conflict.'
'Refreshing change. Will you feel insulted if I remain paranoid?'
'Heh. Not at all. How was your day?'
'My contact agreed to ask around for her; I'm checking back with him in two days, invited to dinner at his manor.'
'Manor? You rich folk really do rub elbows a lot. Is there some kind of millionaire's club I'm not aware of?'
There probably was to be honest, but he didn't know of it. 'We did business a while back. Anyway, he did let slip that if we don't find anything about our girl here, then he's fairly sure that means she's in some place called the bone lands. I did a little research online before you arrived.'
'Sounds like a lovely place. Do tell.'
'It's a large stretch of open desert surrounded by sheer cliffs. Something about that causes the wind to be harsher inside, kicking up unpredictable and powerful sandstorms. It's inhospitable because of that. Not lethal by any means, but just not worth inhabiting. Crops don't grow, the few oasis dried out and the sand is in your face all day long.'
'Knowing my luck, that's where she is. These sandstorms…'
'Natural as far as I can tell. There's scientific backing for why it happens on the site I read. Something about the wind rushing down and bouncing around.' He hadn't read the full details, only enough to know the sandstorms made sense and therefore probably weren't Omaira's doing. Probably. There'd be no knowing for sure until they dealt with her. 'It's called the bone lands because a lot of animals die there, including birds flying overhead, and the storms rip their flesh off while also keeping carrion away, so there's a lot of bleached bone sticking up everywhere.'
'As I said. Lovely place. Thousand lien says we end up going there.'
'I'll take that bet.' Jaune replied. 'If only in the hopes your Semblance decides you losing that bet and saving us the trouble of going there counts as bad luck.'
'Two days should be enough for Crown, too. We'll see what we can find. I'll ask around the huntsmen groups and see if they've noticed any unusual characters. Glynda already sent a message to Shade asking for information. We'll see what they know.'
'Is it safe to alert so many people like this?'
'Safe, yes. Subtle, no. Let's hope speed is on our side.'
A waitress came up to their table dressed in beige robes with her hood down to show a pretty face. In her hands she carried and unopened bottle of spiced wine, setting it down on the table. Qrow was quick to wink flirtatiously at her, but Jaune frowned and said, 'We didn't order this.'
'A gift from the couple in the corner,' the waitress said with a thick accent.
Jaune craned his neck along with Qrow, easily spotting the two since the woman had her drink raised in a toast. Long auburn hair with a solid streak of white or silver defined her the most, though her dark skin and almost golden eyes certainly stood out. A huntress given the short-cropped top, exposed stomach with black tattoo and shorts to knee-high boots combo. Something no random traveller to Vacuo would wear, but a huntress who relied on mobility might.
Her companion was far surlier. A veritable giant of a man easily six and a half feet tall with broad shoulders, green hair set in a mohawk like that of Russel Thrush, and a dark, annoyed expression. He didn't offer a toast, nor did he smile their way. If anything, he looked annoyed by their existence. Certainly a huntsman, though. Underneath his brown, hooded cloak lay a breastplate dyed green. Not exactly camouflage in a desert.
'Friends of yours?' he asked Qrow quietly.
'No. Quite the opposite.' Qrow thanked the waitress and downed his prior drink. 'The broad is Carmine Esclados. Not sure on the guy. They're part of Crown.'
'I thought you said they were content to leave us be.'
'Jax was,' Qrow insisted, 'and he speaks for Gillian. They must be acting independent.' Sighing, he stood, picking up the bottle. 'Not much point us sitting here, is there? Let's go see what they're up to.'
'Semblances?' Jaune asked quickly.
'Combat related as far as I know. Nothing like Jax.'
Dangerous, then, but not in a peaceful setting. Jaune finished his own drink and set the glass down, scraping his chair back. The scowling man didn't look prepared to make room for them and looked like he wanted to crack their skulls open. He preferred that to the downright friendly smile on Carmine's face. There wasn't a hint of duplicity on her attractive face, only genuine cheer and an inclusive smile that said she wanted to know you better.
He didn't like it. At least the man was honest with his intentions. Following after Qrow, he returned the cheery smile with a brief nod, then let Qrow take the seat on the left of the woman, settling himself in the corner between the giant and his friend.
'Did Jax send you?' Qrow demanded immediately.
'Is that any way to greet a lady? I'm hurt. But no, Jax didn't send me here and neither did Queenie. I do have a mind of my own, you know.' Her smile didn't slip. She glanced Jaune's way and winked. 'Why, hello there. See something you like?'
'Awfully rude, aren't you? I wonder what Winter Schnee sees in you.' Her eyes dipped lower cattishly. 'If it's not your personality, well, I can only imagine what you're packing. The name's Carmine if this dusty old crow didn't tell you. My friend here is Bertilak.'
The huge man shifted. 'We are not friends.'
'Sweet, isn't he?' Carmine rolled her eyes good-naturedly. 'Don't mind him, he's a little competitive. Not about me,' she added with a short and sweet laugh. 'He prides himself on being the strongest huntsman in Vacuo.' Slyly, she said, 'Are you feeling threatened now they're here, Bertilak?'
'Hmph.' He closed his eyes, huffed, and would say no more.
Errant Kingdom (chapters 0-4) Cracker
Carmine rolled her eyes again and whispered a silent apology to them, winking a second time. Very forward, very friendly, so much so that if he hadn't been clued in by Qrow, then he might have thought her charming. Maybe that's why Crown keeps her around. There's a lot to be said for someone who can take the diplomatic approach.
'So, if Jax and Gillian didn't send you then why are you here?'
'Would you believe me if I said it wasn't my idea at all?' Carmine asked brightly. No. The answer was no immediately, and she could see it on their faces. Her laughter returned. 'Honest. It's actually Bert here who wanted to meet you. Problem is, he's not much of a conversationalist so he asked me for help. What kind of friend would I be if I said no?'
'You know damn well you're not my damn friend, Esclados.' Bertilak's eyes opened, dark and grim.
'And yet I'm telling the truth, aren't I? You did ask me for help because you weren't sure how to approach these two.' To Jaune's surprise, the giant of a man didn't deny it. She really had been telling the truth. Or this was part of their act, either outcome was possible. 'Well? Here's your chance. Don't keep us all in suspense. I'm curious what you want from them as well. Not to cause trouble, I hope.' Her tone carried a sudden edge. 'Queenie would be upset if you did.'
Bertilak ignored her and stared hard at Jaune. 'Fight me.'
'Bertilak!' Carmine snapped.
'Not as enemies, you damn bitch.' he spat. 'A spar. I want to fight against you.'
Jaune tilted his head to the left. He wasn't necessarily against a spar since they had time to burn, but a fight without a reason seemed unlikely. There wasn't much to give away the man's reasons, though. While his face was honest where Carmine was a bed of lies, his stony exterior didn't give much away.
'Seriously, Bertilak? You realise I was joking around when I said you'd feel threatened by them. I didn't realise you really would be. Geez.' Her hand came up to cover half her face. 'How childish are you? Who are you aiming to impress? Jax isn't going to like this.'
Errant Kingdom (chapters 0-4) Crackers
'Jax doesn't need to know. I want to fight, and I want to fight him.' His eyes bored into Jaune's, the faintest glint of something inside them. What the message might be, he didn't know, but the fact Bertilak wanted to convey something at all had him curious.
'Alright. I agree.'
'Good.' Bertilak leaned back, clearly relieved. 'Outside the city,' he grunted. 'No point causing problems for people. Within sight of the walls, but far enough we can let loose. You can bring your pet with you.'
'I'm coming as well.' Carmine said. 'And let me make one thing clear. This is a spar. These two aren't working with us, but they're not working against us either. You may have your issues with the academies but they're not Crown's issues. I'll step in and stop this if I have to.'
'It's fine,' Bertilak grunted. 'It's just a damn spar.'
Hopefully, the site is fully fixed now but I shall also upload this to my site just in case. Play it safe as it were. Assuming no problems, however, I'll stop doing that unless the site acts up again. This isn't the first time this has happened, but ff's server demands must be pretty big.
Next Chapter: 14th November
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