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Night of the Golden Witch 2.0

Discussion in 'Role-Playing Games' started by TheSequelReturns, Jun 30, 2018.

  1. Minteh

    Minteh It's so shiny!

    Sybil Leonhart
    Cainhurst Manor - 1st Floor Anteroom

    “Ah - um, right," Haze murmured, stumbling over her own words. Judging by her reaction, it was clear that she had been expected anyone to have interacted with her, not even Sybil, who was the only one who seemed to know her. Still, despite her surprise, she did take the cup from Sybil's hands. “Sorry -- that would be great, thank you.” Mustering a weak smile as she took a sip of the tea.

    Whilst Haze sipped away at the tea, Sybil took the seat next to her, deciding it would be better to stick with Haze rather than linger in the corner by herself for the rest of the night. Before Sybil could comment on how good the tea was, or anything else for that matter, two of the staff entered the room through a door to the side. Of the two, Sybil only recognised the woman, who had been startled by their presence earlier and promptly hurried away. She introduced herself as Belle and apologised for the intrusion. The man who had followed her in seemed more mysterious. Judging by his lab coat, it was likely he was a doctor or professor of sorts, as opposed to being a member of the service staff. He proceeded to have a conversation with Belle, who, when reminding the man that it was actually dinnertime and not morning like he believed it to be, let slip that his name was Yuri. Judging by his accent he appeared to be of Russian descent.

    Sybil is about to try and speak to Haze again when she is interrupted once more, this time by Ally who stalked over to Yuri, and in a rather bluntly asked him whether he was a legitimate doctor. Out of the corner of her eye, she spied Haze giving her a questioning look, perhaps wondering why Ally had spoken to Yuri in such a manner. Sybil chuckled slightly. "If you're looking for an answer, I'm afraid I won't be of much help," she admitted, eyes moving back over to Ally and Yuri for a moment. He was explaining to Ally that he did, in fact, have a degree. "I do not much about it, only rumours, but supposedly Ally had a bad encounter with a doctor in the past."

    Moments later, Saizo reappeared, coming through the same door they had all entered through. He announced that dinner had been served before ushering everyone back out into the foyer. Lucy was waiting for them there, apparently having changed into a spotless uniform since they had last seen each other.

    "Lucy will guide you all to the dining hall. Dinner tonight will unfortunately not be a full five-course meal, but three courses have been prepared with the utmost care for your enjoyment. I do regret to inform you that Master Kieran is feeling too ill to join you for your meal but he does look forward to seeing you all afterwards." Saizo explained to them. Although he would be missing out on dinner with them, Sybil sincerely hoped he felt well enough to greet them all later. She was very curious to learn more about his mysterious summons.

    Lucy bowed lowly before offering to guide the group to the dining room.

    Cainhurst Manor - Dining Room

    After navigating their way down a long hallway, passing by a number of locked doors, and rounding a final corner, the group found themselves stopped at another set of double doors. Even if Sybil had not known where they were being led to, she was certain that the delicious scents of food that lingered in the air would have been a dead giveaway. As Lucy and Gregory opened to doors for them, Lucy explained that the main rooms in the manor all had double doors, whereas the rooms with a single door were either staterooms or rooms set aside for other uses. She claimed that it should help them navigate the manor, but with the sheer size of the place, Sybil was concerned she would forget about that rule.

    Inside the dining room, a long table had been set up with seats for all those in attendance and more. The table was covered with metal dishes, which were revealed to contain the most delectable array of food once the maids had removed the lids. The food was revealed to have been made by a woman known as Violetta, who promptly introduced herself after Gregory commented on her being the second best chef in Europe. Her rather loud persona had not been what Sybil expected, yet she found the woman to be an interesting character. Her neon purple hair was certainly very eye-catching.

    Sybil took a seat at the table after that, gesturing for Haze to take the seat next to her if she wished. Sybil opted for leak and onion soup for her first course along with two buttered bread rolls. She almost went for a glass of wine as well, but opted for tea once more, finding herself unable to resist it again. The comments on Violetta's cooking had been no exaggeration. It was easily the best thing Sybil had tasted in a long while.

    She had just finished her second course meal of roasted chicken breast and some vegetables when things took a bit of an odd turn. After commenting on how it seemed unfathomable how a single chef could prepare all this food, it came about that half of the staff that usually worked here had been sent away just before the family was due to arrive. Jules was the first to question why that would have happened, but it seemed that the staff were none the wiser.

    "Those of us gathered here," Lucy gracefully waved one hand, palm open and up, across the room, "as well as Saizo, Belle, and of course Master Kieran, are the only ones on the island currently."

    "Oh, I'm afraid that isn't the case my dears." A new voice cut in from the back of the room. Sybil turned to see a woman stood at the far end of the room, opposite the kitchen doors. How she got there without anyone seeing her seemed impossible to Sybil, yet even more impossible was who the woman happened to look like. As the woman went on to explain how every detail of this evening had been set in motion long ago, Sybil paid close attention to the woman's appearance. She looked like the woman in the painting - Beatrice. After Orianna asked who she was, she even outright claimed herself to be Beatrice.

    After Jules demanded she tell them what the meaning of this all was, she agreed to do so, looking at all those gathered, spending a long moment on Sybil and Haze before continuing. If that was not uncomfortable enough, what she went on to explain, made Sybil sink back in her chair slightly. If any of them wished to escape the island it seemed that they were required to "play their part", whatever that may be. What made the whole situation uncomfortable was the idea that the easiest way to do was to simply die. Not the most comforting thing to hear, Sybil had to admit. There were two other options they could use to escape, and one was to locate Kieran's fortune, whereas the other one entailed them solving the tale of murder and disappearances. After explaining these first three options, she offered them a boon of sorts, explaining that anything she said in red could not be a lie, even going to give a demonstration. Following this, she offered them all a fourth, somewhat more complex option, but seemed to contradict a lot of what she previously said. Apparently, if any of them could prove to her that magic wasn't real, she would allow all of them to live. Following her final explanation, she snapped her fingers, exploding into a cloud of gbutterfliesrlfies that flew through the walls and vanished.

    Silence followed what had they had just experienced though Sybil thought this was because everyone was weighing up their options. It was the fourth option that weighed heavily in Sybil's mind: proving that magic didn't exist. It seemed a simple enough problem at first until she realised it basically contradicted her earlier remark about "granting a wish" to whoever solved the mystery. Sybil frowned to herself the more she thought about it.

    "Does anyone have any thoughts on what we just witnessed?" She asked, glancing at those assembled.
     
  2. GoldenHouou

    GoldenHouou Up To No Good

    Miraela Leonhart
    Cainhurst Manor - Anteroom


    Whomever had prepared the anteroom had done a splendid job, Miraela thought. The soothing scent of pastries and tea gave the room a distinctively cozy feel, yet not at the expense of due formality. The decor was refined, and the large banner emblazoned with the family sigil ensured that even in a moment of relaxation, one could never forget who the manor belonged to. The proud lion of the Leonhart family oversaw the room's occupants with a proud, stern look. Remember who you are, Miraela imagined it saying, just like her mother would, do not forget what is expected of you.

    Miraela couldn't bear to look at it for long.

    Thankfully, she had a rather wonderful distraction in tow. The new camera her father had bought for her felt a little stiff and fragile in her hands still, but it didn't deter Mira from occupying herself with the photographs she had taken so far. Various plants Saizo had named, the manor's outer wall, the beautiful foyer and, of course, 'Beatrice' - the solemn beauty that had followed their every step with an eerie, azure gaze. Some may have found the painting unnerving - Miraela found it fascinating. A mysterious beauty, stirring the hearts of any who paid her witness, in life and death alike.

    Perhaps one day, she'd be capable of the same.

    Whatever profound thoughts of life, death and eternal beauty lingered in Miraela's head dissipated as quickly as they'd come once she clicked open the next picture. Instinctively, she brought the camera a little closer, eyes darting to ensure no one was peeking over her shoulder. The next picture... yes, it was of the servants they'd been introduced to. Each held their own charm, and Miraela had found herself stealing glances at them a few more times than was appropriate.

    Gregory was polite enough, but the unruly hair and the wink he'd dared fling at members of his master's family spoke of an untamed side, something forbidden underneath the practiced politeness. Ronaldo was the quintessential butler, charming, professional and endlessly ready to please. And then there was Lucy, the enigmatic, dutiful maid with a velvety voice that had sent tinkles up Mira's spine the first she'd heard it.

    She may have snapped a picture or two - or five - of the ensemble.

    Even looking at the photos now, Miraela's heart beat a little faster. Particularly when she remembered... that moment. The kiss Gregory blew to Bianca and Alena. To them, and them alone. Not to her.

    It... it should have been a good thing, no matter how you looked at it. The three were mere servants, and regardless of their physical attractiveness, not the sort of people a lady like her should involve herself with. So the less-- temptations she had, the better. And yet... the jealousy Miraela had always been so prone to flared its ugly head regardless, scorching her chest until she found breathing a chore. She hated the feeling. She hated envying Bianca for her purity, Alena for her courage.

    Particularly once she'd seen what Alena did to the servants in return. If she had been as brave and uncaring of rules as her sister, perhaps it-- i-it may have been her hand that... touched...

    A plate appeared in her peripheral vision, and Miraela nearly dropped her camera in shock. It was only years of practiced poise that kept her body still and her lips sealed, until the situation registered and the startled scream died in her throat, unvoiced.

    "O-oh! Yes--" Alena's thoughtful gesture was a dagger in Miraela's envy-ridden heart. She laid the camera on her lap and reached for a pastry, holding one hand under the other to ensure no crumbs found their way on her dress. "Thank you."

    She couldn't bear to look at her sister, too afraid that the other might see something wrong with her smile. Alena was smart and perceptive, and Miraela was not about to hurt her with her selfish envy.

    So, the young Leonhart kept her gaze strictly on her pastry. That was, until Hester joined their table, forcing Miraela to look up and welcome the girl with a smile. It had been a while since she had seen her cousin and friend, and she did not want to give a bad impression. She was quite curious how the other was doing of late, but the pieces of pastry in her mouth prevented her from asking - and once she ad washed the bite down, her sister and father had already engaged Hester in another conversation. Mira supposed she'd ask later.

    She was only partly paying attention to the conversation that ensued, still trying to clear her thoughts and get rid of the sting in her chest. She was only halfway done when the door suddenly flung open, revealing another pair of staff. A rather cute - if timid and seemingly a little unprofessional - maid, and---

    Miraela placed her tea cup on the table before her trembling hands could make it spill. The man that entered after Belle was blunt to the point of rudeness, spoke with a familiar accent and carried himself in a most unprofessional manner - but it wasn't his misplaced behaviour that made Mira reach for her sister's arm. It was what he wore; a white lab coat. Every tiny movement of the fabric stirred a foul memory. She could still remember the disgust in his eyes. She never did learn why.

    Orianna looked lost when the man sat next to her. Jules was amused. Miraela was petrified. Alena leaned an arm on the table, as if to hide her from sight - to protect her, like she always did. Like she did back then, only to end up hurt herself.

    No, this time, she could not let Alena take the fall for her. She'd need to be brave and---

    "Mira darling!"

    Bianca's upbeat voice shattered the heavy, serious atmosphere that had started to form around Jules' daughters. Miraela was torn from her determined daze by the high pitched sound, surprise apparent on her face as she turned to face her cousin. The mood shift was absolute, and Bianca seemed utterly unaware of it as she went on with her a suggestion of a shopping trip.

    Bianca laughed, and Miraela managed to muster enough strength for a shaky, polite laugh of her own.

    "Y-yes, quite!" she chirped, only half-aware she'd done so.

    Carefully so as to not glue Bianca in on her fear, Miraela gave Yuri a short side-glance. Only one, she resolved. She wouldn't let Cisrian control her life any more than that.

    Miraela tore her gaze away, much as the thought terrified her, and regarded Bianca with a smile. When she next spoke, she sounded altogether normal. Not even her father could have told the difference. Only Ally. She never could fool Ally.

    "I would enjoy that very much," Miraela offered. Her calm may have been feigned, but her words were not. In fact, there was nothing she would rather be doing this very moment than shopping with her cousins. Far from this room, and this island.

    At least, for better or for worse, Bianca seemed very adept at distractions. It seemed as though Miraela was haunted by the topic of the servants.

    "Handsome? My, I'm not sure... Bianca, they are servants, after all," she tried, one hand covering her mouth as if she was utterly shocked by the prospect of sparing a glance for anyone not of noble blood. She wasn't sure how convincing she sounded, or how clear the light tint of pink on her cheeks was. "I-- do suppose both are pleasant enough, as is to be expected, how-"

    She lost whatever words were meant to follow once Bianca brought up the prospect of suitors.

    "N-no, that is--" Miraela blurted, gaze now fixed on her shoes, "-i-is quite alright, um, I-"

    Ally was faster, and her voice louder.

    "C'mon, B. Mira has a brain. I think she can choose whomever the hell she wants to date or fuck with."

    Miraela flashed a dozen shades of red. She threw a terrified glance at her father, then tugged at her sister's sleeve.

    "A-Ally," she managed to peep in a sharp inhale, but all other words eluded her. Miraela knew her sister was just being her usual protective self, she knew she meant well, but--- but she just wanted the topic to change.

    It did, eventually, though Miraela can no longer recall as to what. She spent the rest of their short stay at the anteroom sitting in embarrassed silence.

    ~~~

    Cainhurst Manor - Dining Room

    Come dinner, Miraela found herself silent once more - though this time, it was not of embarrassment.

    She had barely begun on the second course when the family was joined by a most unexpected party - with the most unexpected message. The woman called herself Beatrice, and true enough, she looked like the foyer's painting come alive. Gold for hair, sapphire for eyes, with naught a blemish in sight.

    Yet for all her beauty, Miraela found her far less charming in person.

    Nothing she said made sense. She spoke plenty but explained little, each answer she gave birthing a dozen questions more. Playing a part, four courses of action, death, a fortune, a murder mystery, the red speech, lies, and... and magic. By all means, everything she said should have been dismissed as drivel, and yet--- the way she'd appeared into the room, rendered Gregory mute and written ethereal red words into the air... It certainly looked like the work of a witch. None of it could be dismissed. Or... could it? Was there a trick to it all?

    Prove that magic does not exist.

    But how did one prove a negative?

    "Does anyone have any thoughts on what we just witnessed?" Sybil asked just then, and Miraela jumped a little in her seat. The silence was broken.

    "Yes," Miraela dared say, voice was soft and smooth despite the turmoil underneath. "I think we should leave the island at once."

    Magic or not, the woman's words had been a clear threat. Miraela had always loved the idea of the supernatural, always wanted to meet with a ghost - but not like this. 'No matter what fate befalls the others on this island'... if only they could leave, they ought to be safe.

    And yet, even as the words left her, she couldn't help but fear it may not have been as simple as it sounded.
     
  3. Tealeaffs

    Tealeaffs ヒマワリ

    Hester Leonhart
    Cainhurst Manor - 1st Floor Anteroom

    Hester tuned out as her cousins began to discuss the matter of Mira getting a suitor. She still didn't really find the topic very appropriate at all, especially given that Bianca had triggered it off by speaking of the service staff. Nothing was wrong with the notion of talking about future suitors, they were all young, attractive heiress after all, but to hint at something more with the service staff was very inappropriate in Hester's eyes. Though a part of her wondered if her dislike of the subject was merely some jealousy that had flared up over not receiving a wink from Gregory. As she had tuned out of the conversation, she missed out on whatever it was Ally had said, but noted Mira's flushed reaction, and shot her a short smile as if to poorly reassure.

    After speaking about suitors, she jumped a little when Ally called out to Yuri, demanding to know if he was a real doctor. Which Belle quickly confirmed to be truewith a doctorate in Botany and General Medicine, as well as having an undergraduate in Chemistry. An interesting mix, Hester thought to herself. And before Belle was interrupted, she seemed to have been about to imply that he had had a hand in the white roses that Hester recalled in the foyer. Did that mean they were not natural then? Hester didn't really have time to think about it more before Saizo reappeared and informed them dinner was now ready and proceeded to usher them out of the room where they met Lucy who was to take them to the dining hall.

    "Lucy will guide you all to the dining hall. Dinner tonight will unfortunately not be a full five-course meal, but three courses have been prepared with the utmost care for your enjoyment. I do regret to inform you that Master Kieran is feeling too ill to join you for your meal but he does look forward to seeing you all afterwards." Saizo explained to the family.

    ---

    Cainhurst Manor - Dining Room

    After navigating their way down a long hallway, passing by a number of locked doors which Hester was curious to know what was behind them, and rounding a final corner they finally made it to the dining hall.

    Inside the dining room, a long table had been set up with seats for the entire family with room to spare. The table was covered with metal dishes of varying sizes, which were revealed to contain the most delectable array of food when the lids were lifted away. It all looked delectable and smelled divine. As it wasn't to be a full five-course meal, Hester didn't mind going for something heavy like some seared duck breast. Had this been a proper five-course meal, she likely would have gone for a soup or a small salad to start with, but she didn't mind bending the rules on this occasion.

    As they were making their way through a second course, her aunt pointed out how impressive it was for a single chef to have made all this food. The chef, who they had earlier discovered was named Violetta, explained that the staff had helped her. Apparently, she usually had some assistants to help her, but they, along with half of the staff had been sent home for reasons unknown. Hester couldn't help but think this seemed odd. Why would grandfather have sent so many people away when he knew they were all coming? It seemed so odd for him to do that unless he had been thinking it would make the place seem less crowded which still seemed odd given how large the manor and its grounds were.

    Things took a further strange turn, when a new voice cut in to the conversation, shortly after Lucy mentioned that all of the staff they had already seen, along with Hester's grandfather were the only people on the island. Hester, like the rest of her family, turned to see who the voice belonged to. She was shocked to see that the woman speaking to them was the woman from the painting in the foyer - Beatrice.

    The painting had portrayed her as a nice and pretty young woman, but there was something about the way she addressed them that filled Hester with a deep sense of dread and horror.

    Hester remained silent whilst the woman spoke, listening intently to what she had to say, despite her increasing unease of the situation. Although she spoke a lot and gave them a fair few details, very little of what she said made sense, and some things outright contradicted each other. The gist of what she said seemed to imply that events of the night had been in motion for a long time and that they were all required to "play their part" whatever that meant if they wanted to get off the island. It did little to reassure Hester that the easiest option was to die. There were three other options as well: solve the mystery laid out for them, uncover grandfather's hidden fortune, or prove to Beatrice magic wasn't real.

    Hester felt like the fourth option should have been the easiest of the remaining three. Hester had always privately entertained the idea of their family being linked to a supposed witch, but she had never outright believed magic, it just wasn't possible. Or was it? Yet, some of the actions the woman had performed had made Hester question those beliefs.

    For a moment after she had, they were all silent until Sybil's voice broke it. "Does anyone have any thoughts on what we just witnessed?"

    "Yes," Mira was first to respond, "I think we should leave the island at once."

    "I have many thoughts about what we just witnessed," Hester answered smoothly, though her tone seemed to suggest she would not be divulging any of those thoughts any time soon. She glanced at Mira before speaking again. "I agree with you, Mira. We should leave this island as soon as possible, but I fear the storm that followed us here will impede that process. I certainly did not come here with the intention of dying, so if we must play her games, then I shall do so, albeit reluctantly. I think it would be wise we think of how best to approach this situation before we do anything further."
     
  4. *Jean Grey*

    *Jean Grey* Night Triumphant

    Alena Leonhart
    Cainhurst Manor


    "Is no worry. I am having actual degree." Yuri replied, prompting Alena to raise an eyebrow. He sounded earnest enough, but there was always the chance that he was bullshitting. Uncle Cisrian was the charming sort after all, claiming to never mean any harm...claiming to always have a cure. When she was but a child, her naivete led her to believe the man at first, but what he did were more akin to experiments and most of the time, they only served to hurt her and Mira. She wised up quickly enough, and protected Mira from him as best she could. Of course, this meant that she suffered the brunt of his experiments. She didn't trust medical professionals to lay a finger on Mira after that, and took it upon herself to learn first aid so that she would never have to ask for their help...

    Then, Belle chimed in. "Ummm," her hand went for the ribbon around her neck again, as though to steady her nerves. "Yuri is actually a doctor in both Botany and General Medicine." Kiss-ass, Ally immediately thought as Yuri mentioned his Chemistry degree and Belle fawned over him, mentioning that in addition to his medical expertise, he also supposedly worked with roses. Was the maid nervous around Yuri because she had a thing for him? Sure, Yuri was not a bad-looking man, but she wasn't about to trust him too quickly or kiss his ass, just because he had at least three degrees and a green thumb.

    Yuri then coughed, which made Belle cut herself off. She blushed furiously and Ally shook her head.

    "What?" Yuri asked. "Is only cough. Coffee is hot."

    "I think she finds something else hot," Ally suggested rather sarcastically as she smirked at Belle, whose blush deepened to the point that her face was almost like a tomato.

    "Attention everyone, dinner is served." Saizo's voice echoed throughout the anteroom. At this, Ally grinned. They had waited long enough and she was starving. She held out her hands for her father and Mira to take, and helped them up. Saizo informed them that their dinner was going to be a three-course meal, and that Gramps would not be joining them, but rather, would see them after dinner. Ally's heart sank at this. She did want to know her grandfather better, perhaps talk to him...she never saw his face and only heard some stories about him after all. The purpose of his summons eluded her, and there were so many questions she wanted to ask him, even though she knew better than to get her hopes up too much. Apparently, however, that was going to have to wait until after dinner.

    -----

    The smell of tasty food wafted past Ally as the group stopped in front of another set of double doors. It smelled heavenly, and even managed to make her crack a smile, despite herself. Not to mention, Gregory was standing there, his hair freshly washed. After explaining that all the important rooms of the manor bore double doors, Lucy, with Gregory's help, opened the doors to reveal a large dining hall, which they all entered. In the middle of it was a long table, set with enough chairs for everyone to sit on. Filling the table were a whole collection of dishes concealed with metal covers, which the maids started taking off to reveal a rich assortment of delicious-looking dishes.

    "Whoa, food porn," she whistled, prompting a look from her father, perhaps to silently scold her for her language, though she wasn't wrong to describe the setting as such. There was a variety of meats and steaks, vegetables ranging from the usual to more exotic ones, and many other side dishes. Violetta really did exhaust herself in preparing such a dinner, and it would have been a shame to pass on it. Even Ally, a lover of casual pub fare, knew that only imbeciles passed up on such a feast.

    "I think you'll find Violetta is the best chef in all of Europe." Gregory said, the shine in his green eyes giving away his barely-contained urge to taste the food.

    "You're damn right I am," a French accented voice called out from the kitchen doors, before they burst open to reveal the imposing yet attractive Violetta herself, the color of her hair, swept up into a beehive, clearly living up to her name. "I'm not here because I'm the second best chef in Europe, I'll tell you that. There's nothing you all have tried that can hold a candle to my cooking, not a damn thing."

    "Vi, manners." Lucy said through her teeth. "We have guests." Ally had broken out a full grin, however, as the exchange continued; Lucy with her measured politeness, and Violetta with her barbed words. She liked Violetta and her casual manner. In a way, the chef reminded her of herself, except for the difference in cooking skills, of course. The purple-eyed young woman was, after all, known for being downright terrible at cooking. If they said Violetta was the best chef in Europe, she sure as hell was going to believe it, given what was spread out on the table.

    "My sincerest apologies." Lucy said with an apologetic bow, her cheeks slightly flushed. "Kieran tolerates her... attitude because she truly is a culinary genius. Please, help yourselves." She and Gregory went about pulling out chairs for the guests and doing their best to act as servers. Yuri acted as though he was as much a guest as the Leonharts and allowed Lucy to sever him as well. Ronaldo joined shortly thereafter, his hair still damp as well, and he too joined in serving the guests.

    "She's cool, ain't she?" Ally whispered to Mira as she helped her younger sister seat herself. The mood was surprisingly festive, despite the storm still raging outside, and the food was marvellous. The truffle mushroom soup she chose as her appetiser was rich and flavourful, and the steak was probably the best one she ever tasted.

    "I must say, for a single chef to have prepared such a wonderful feast is very impressive." Orianna complimented. This earned her a grin from Violetta.

    "The other staff pitches in as well. Normally, my assistants are here too. But with them gone I just can't prepare my usual spread." Gone? It sounded odd to Alena that most of the staff would be dismissed just before they arrived. Not that it bothered her that much, as she admittedly wasn't comfortable being waited on hand and foot by several servants.

    "Gone? Why would the staff be gone when you were expecting this many guests?" Her father asked, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. Ronaldo replied that the rest of the staff were sent home a few days ago, while Lucy added that the only ones left on the island were the ones everyone had met, as well as Gramps, of course.

    "Oh, I'm afraid that isn't the case my dears," a voice called out from the back of the room, a woman's voice so smooth and rich that it beckoned Alena to turn her head. In fact, everyone did, and all eyes fell on a figure standing at the far side of the room, opposite the kitchen doors. What the-... It was impossible. It had to be. The last ones who came in were Yuri and Belle, and Alena sure as hell didn't see anyone else accompany them, especially not one this conspicuous-looking. What were the chances that she could slip past without being seen anyway? The woman who now stood facing them was the spitting image of the lady in the foyer painting, Beatrice. It was as if she had walked out of the painting or something.

    "Every tiny detail of this evening, all the things that have transpired and all the things yet to come were all set in motion long ago." The woman continued. To Alena's ears, it sounded as if she was describing a game, and if there was anything Alena loved to do, it was to play games, the higher the stakes, the more exciting. She arched an eyebrow at the woman, as if daring her. If the woman expected her to look nervous or cower in fear, she was terribly wrong about that.

    "Excuse me, but who are you?" Orianna asked.

    "Is it not obvious?" the woman said. "I am Beatrice."

    "That's not possible." Gregory said. Beatrice laughed, a haughty but strangely angelic sound. "You can't be here!" Gregory shouted. He opened his mouth to say something more but Beatrice simply snapped her fingers and his voice stopped. Gregory stood there, mouth agape, trying to form words but no sound was coming out.

    "I don't recall giving the furniture permission to speak," she spat coldly. At this, Ally's blood boiled.

    "Dude, what the fuck? Furniture? How messed up are you?!" She spat, her eyes burning and her expression angry.

    "What is the meaning of all this?!" Her father got on his feet, his haunting violet eyes, eyes that Alena herself happened to inherit, blazing, as if they could burn through the woman if he tried. It was a rare sight for her normally mild-mannered father to raise his voice, and him doing it meant that his buttons were really pushed. The woman's lips curled into a thin smile, seemingly unfazed. "I'll tell you, Blood of Kieran." Her gaze slowly fell across each of them in turn, but lingering longer on her Uncle Callum and her cousins Sybil and Haze in particular. "The tragic tale you find yourselves in tonight is simply the closing act of a long story. The final, penultimate chapter in the history of this island, of your family." She laughed, the voice that once sounded like bells deepening into a more sinister tone.

    "I am Beatrice," she continued. "The Golden Witch. And tonight dearies you are at my mercy. If any of you wish to escape this island, there is only one thing you can do..." Her porcelain face broke into a creepy grin, which prompted Alena to get up, and rather loudly at that. "Play your part."

    Who does this fucking asshole think she is? A goddamn deity? Someone who, for some reason, thinks herself above us? Alena thought, gritting her teeth from behind her closed mouth. If there was one thing hated, it was being anyone's pawn. Dispensable, submissive, easily manipulated...these were the very qualities she thought weak and useless. Though she stood unmoving, her mind worked out the possibility of engaging the woman in a man-to-man fight. She seemed delicate, while Alena had more than enough cage-fighting lessons. If Beatrice was expecting her to act like a pawn, she wasn't going to be giving her any satisfaction. Her father had once affectionately teased that she might have been descended from the Morrigan or perhaps, the Queen of Air and Darkness of lore, and she knew that neither were ones to surrender or give in. She wasn't about to do so either.

    "You have four options, and only four options." Beatrice said. "Of course the easiest way off of this island is to die. That is your first option. For the second, if any one of you can locate Kieran's fortune, I will grant you my blessing. No matter what fate befalls the others on this island, I assure you that the one who receives my blessing will survive the night. But be warned, this applies only to the first one to find it. No one else. To the one who can solve the mystery set out before you this evening, the tragic tale of murder and disappearance, I will grant one wish. There are limitations of course, but not many. Even the dead could be restored, if the wish-earner asks." The woman's face turned serene and angelic once more. It was a face that most people, at first glance, wouldn't put on a murderer. As for the choices she placed before them...they didn't seem like choices at all. Everyone dying, one of them taking all of the fated fortune, or one of them being granted a wish? They seemed more like twisted, macabre jokes than anything. What were the chances that they were hollow lies and empty threats? That it was all part of a show?

    "I am a benevolent witch my dears, so in this difficult pursuit I shall grant you all a boon. Anything I say in red will be absolutely true," the woman added. Ally crossed her arms silently, pondering on whether to ask what the hell say in red meant, or dismiss it as just trickery. Her father, however, beat her thoughts and asked straight away. The woman looked confused, before taking a deep breath and snapping her fingers. She opened her mouth once more, declaring that anything she said in red could not be a lie. As she spoke, the words materialised in glowing red in front of their very eyes.

    Ally wanted to throttle the woman, knock her to the ground and find out what kind of cheap parlour trick she was pulling off to make them believe. Actual magic didn't exist...it was impossible. She was all too familiar with illusions and stage magicians, and thought the words to be just that - an illusion.

    "How can we trust you to tell us the truth?" Orianna asked, her face giving away her nervousness.

    "It is quite simple dearie. The Red Text can not lie. It is not my rule, it is simply how it works. Let me show you what a lie looks like in Red Text." She cleared her throat and opened her mouth. "My name is Kieran," she said with conviction. More letters materialized, but "Kieran" wasn't one of them. Instead, broken red shard-like wisps appeared in its place, before dissipating. It seemed like magic, but the silver-haired woman did not want to believe it. The choices were empty words, the red text was some form of elaborate illusion. The woman was not Beatrice but someone who was dressed as her, and the murderer was still lurking around. It had to be, it just had to be. Magic was something from fantasies after all, wasn't it?

    "And what is our fourth option?" Lucy asked.

    The largest and creepiest smile yet graced Beatrice's face, looking truly like a witch for the first time. "Your fourth option is simple," she said. "I will allow every soul on this island to live if any of you can do one simple thing, prove to me that magic does not exist." And with a snap of her fingers, she disappeared in what looked to be a cloud of golden butterflies. Not real, Ally reminded herself as she pondered on the fourth option. Prove that magic didn't exist? But magic wasn't real, was it? Illusions and parlour tricks were more likely. If the woman had claimed that the red text was a sign of truth, shouldn't she have just said that magic was real in red and just left them with three options? It was all too clear that there had to be a logical explanation behind what had happened, and Ally was the last person who would attribute the events to mere magic. Any wish could be worked out in a roundabout manner, and anyone with half a scientific mind could come up with the red substance, as well as whatever it was the golden butterflies were made of.

    "Does anyone have any thoughts on what we just witnessed?" Sybil, Ally's distant cousin, addressed everyone in the room.

    "Yes," Ally heard her younger sister begin, her voice soft and smooth. "I think we should leave the island at once."

    "I have many thoughts about what we just witnessed," Hester added, glancing at Mira before she resumed speaking. "I agree with you, Mira. We should leave this island as soon as possible, but I fear the storm that followed us here will impede that process. I certainly did not come here with the intention of dying, so if we must play her games, then I shall do so, albeit reluctantly. I think it would be wise we think of how best to approach this situation before we do anything further."

    The last thing Ally wanted was to be a pawn to someone pretending to be a supposed Golden Witch using trickery and illusions. She didn't come here to die - nobody did, and she wasn't about to let a murderous charlatan in a costume convince her that magic was real, and to tell her that their fate was set in stone. She hated planning. It was wasting time that led people to become victims after all. Beatrice and the tricks were obviously distractions employed to fool them into accepting the game and ignore the fourth option. Magic indeed! She strayed away from her place at the table and strode towards where the woman in the painting appeared, stood and disappeared. She then unfastened her left glove and held her hand up, trying to feel for some remnant of the strange red substance, or the strange gold substance. The air felt the same, however, although she was no rocket scientist, so what did she know? She then tugged her glove back on and knelt down onto the floor, giving the wood a few hard raps to check for any sign of a trapdoor, a hollow space, anything! There was nothing. She got back on her feet and turned towards the others.

    "Best get out of here and check the front doors first, then. Now. Unless some of us are too scared to get their asses off their seats," she spoke, half-hoping that Yuri was going to be one of those, not wanting to deal with being around him for the moment. "There's a would-be murderer, and the longer we take, the more time they have to fuck us up and trap us here. What we just saw? I think they're just distracting us with a costumed woman, lies and cheap tricks! Murderers like easy victims, manipulators like pawns...they want us to be easy victims and pawns," she continued, before approaching Mira and taking her hand.

    "And if they're keeping us in, I swear on my blood that I'm going to hunt that cunt down. Come, Mira, Pops...I'll take down this son of a bitch if it's the last thing I'll do," she spoke grimly, looking up at all the others before she set her mouth in a determined line. She then turned around and pulled Mira protectively along with her, hoping that her father at least, would see some sense and refuse to believe the threats. If the murderer was going to take her down, then take her down by all means...but Alena wasn't about to allow herself to give up, run like a coward or go down without a fight.
     
  5. Monster Guy

    Monster Guy Fairy Tale Man

    Bianca Leonhart
    Cainhurst Manor; 1st Floor Anteroom


    "Wonderful! Bianca replied after both of her cousins agreed to her idea for a shopping adventure. "We'll make plans after all of this is over."

    Bianca then rolled her eyes at Mira's comments about Gregory and Ronaldo being servants. Did what one does for a living really matter when it came to love? Bianca didn't think so, and she could speak from experience. "So they're not like us? Does it really matter that much? We're all people at the end of the day."

    Her cousin appeared to get nervous when the subject of suitors came up, and Bianca couldn't help giggling. The poor girl had probably never even spoke to a man, let alone had a boyfriend. Bianca knew she would have to fix that at some point.

    Then stepped in to say, "C'mon, B. Mira has a brain. I think she can choose whomever the hell she wants to date or fuck with."

    Bianca shook her head. "Yes, but some people need help when it comes to matters of the heart. It's nothing to be ashamed of." Bianca figured Ally could also use help with her love life. After all, Ally never seemed to stay with the same man for very long, but avoided giving voice to those thoughts. That would be mean.

    There were more conversations going on around her, and before she knew it, Saizo summoned them all for dinner. He informed them that their dinner was going to be a three-course meal, and that their grandfather would not be joining them for dinner, and would see him afterwards. Bianca was a little disappointed that she would have to wait a little longer to meet him, but considering she hadn't seen him for the entire 22 years of her life, she could wait a little longer.

    ---

    After navigating down a long hallway, past a few closed doors and around a corner, the group stopped at another set of double doors. The smells of tasty food were already in the air. Gregory and Ronaldo had come back to join the rest of the group, which made Bianca smile. They had changed into dry clothes, and Gregory had even put on cologne.

    Once they were in the dining room, there was a table set with a bunch of dishes. Lucy went about removing the lids, to reveal a bunch of perfectly cooked meals.

    "I think you'll find Violetta is the best chef in all of Europe." Gregory said.

    At that point, Violetta herself had to chime in, and actually agree with that statement. Bianca couldn't help giggling at the exchange between her and the other servants. If she truly was the best, then why on earth would she work for someone else? She could open open up her own restaurant if she truly had that kind of skill. Bianca was in Culinary Arts school herself, and she planned on opening her own restaurant herself one day. While she knew how to handle herself in the kitchen, she certainly didn't have the credentials to call herself the best chef in all of Europe.

    As the servants withdrew the chairs for everyone to sit in, Bianca took the chair that Gregory had pulled out. The seat conveniently happened to be in between her brother, and her cousin Miraela. They were then told to help themselves. The food was amazing, even though Violetta didn't think it lived up to her standards. Normally, she had other servants to help her, but apparently a lot of them had been let go prior to the family's arrival. Bianca thought it was strange, but she was sureher grandfather must of had a good reason. The food was still good, even if it wasn't a full five course meal.

    At some point during the second course, an unfamiliar voice called out from the back of the room. "Oh, I'm afraid that isn't the case my dears." Everyone in the room turned to see a figure standing at the far side of the room, opposite the kitchen doors. How she got into the room without being seen was unclear. What was even more strange was the fact that the voice belonged to the mysterious woman in the painting depicted in the foyer. It was Beatrice. Bianca's eyes widened with both shock and excitement. She had to prevent herself from letting out a squeal. She had a feeling if she ran to the foyer right now, the portrait would be empty. She had heard stories of ghosts hiding in portraits of themselves.

    After she confirmed her identity, Gregory spoke up next. "That's not possible."

    Beatrice laughed haughtily, but didn't reply.

    "You can't be here!" Gregory shouted.

    Beatrice simply snapped her fingers and his voice stopped. Gregory stood there, mouth agape, trying to form words but no sound was coming out. "I don't recall giving the furniture permission to speak." Beatrice said coldly. Immediately, Bianca ran over to Gregory's side.

    "What is the meaning of all this?!" Her uncle shouted

    Beatrice smiled. "I'll tell you, Blood of Kieran. The tragic tale you find yourselves in tonight is simply the closing act of a long story. The final, penultimate chapter in the history of this island, of your family." She laughed sinisterly again.

    "I am Beatrice," she continued. "The Golden Witch. And tonight dearies you are at my mercy. If any of you wish to escape this island, there is only one thing you can do..." Her face broke into a creepy grin. "Play your part. "You have four options dearies." Beatrice said. "Of course the easiest way off of this island is to die. That is your first option. For the second, if any one of you can locate Kieran's fortune, I will grant you my blessing. No matter what fate befalls the others on this island, I assure you that the one who receives my blessing will survive the night. But be warned, this applies only to the first one to find it. No one else. To the one who can solve the mystery set out before you this evening, the tragic tale of murder and disappearance, I will grant one wish. There are limitations of course, but not many. Even the dead could be restored, if the wish-earner asks."

    Bianca's ears perked up at the mention of granting a wish. If the Golden Witch was to be believed, she could bring Alistair back. That would be a dream come true if she could solve this mystery before anybody else. But... wait a second... what mystery was she talking about? Everyone was alive and well last time she checked... Unless... She looked around the room, and saw Saizo and Belle were missing. There was also her grandfather. Would one of them be a victim?

    Beatrice then explained something about red text. It really was not that much help as far as what the heck they were supposed to do.

    "And what is our fourth option?" Lucy asked.

    The largest and creepiest smile yet graced Beatrice's face. For the first time, she truly looked like a witch. "Your fourth option is simple." she said, a maniacal laugh starting to build in her throat. "I will allow every soul on this island to live if any of you can do one simple thing, prove to me that magic does not exist."

    Bianca rolled her eyes at that. Clearly that wasn't going to happen. Magic was definitely real, or the witch wouldn't have offered to grant a wish.

    And with that, the Golden Witch Beatrice snapped her fingers and exploded into a cloud of golden butterflies that flew through the walls and vanished, her laughter echoing as it faded away.

    For a moment, everything was silent as the people in the room took a moment to process what had just occured. Eventually though, people started to speak up. First, one of her relatives asked if anyone had any thoughts about what they had just witnessed.

    "Yes," Mira spoke up next. "I think we should leave the island at once." As if that were a valid possibility considering the weather. They were stuck here whether they liked it or not.

    Hester then added her own thoughts on the matter. Stating that she wanted to leave too, but she understood that the storm would likely prevent them from doing so, and that they should figure out what their next move should be before proceeding any further, With all the good that would do, considering how little information they had.

    Meanwhile, Ally investigated the spot where Beatrice stood. Then announced that she was going to investigate the front doors, and said some other things about cheap tricks, and whatnot before grabbing Mira, and walking off. Bianca just sighed and shook her head. Magic was right in front of her face, what proof did she need?

    Bianca then turned her attention to Gregory. "Oh dear... I hope you're alright. Please tell me that witch didn't render you mute..." After that, she turned to everyone else. "Well, if you want my opinion, as scary as this whole situation is, I still think this is, well... rather exciting!" Bianca exclaimed with a grin on her face. "It's like something out of a novel. There's mystery, and intrigue, a break from the mundane. it's absolutely magical! I think we can get survive this ordeal. We're Leonharts for goodness sake! We can get through anything. I do agree though, we're not going to get anything done by standing here looking terrified." She wanted to grab her brother, and start investigating, but there were some questions that needed to be answered first. Like what to investigate for starters. "First things first, does anybody have an answer to the mystery Beatrice is talking about? As far as I know... No one has been murdered...” Bianca's smile faded as she nervously bit her bottom lip. She realized as soon as she said it that she had probably just jinxed them by saying those words. She didn’t want to think about something so morbid, but It looked like she would have to, since three important people were missing from the dining room. “Um... has anyone seen Saizo and Belle, and know where grandfather is?"
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
  6. TheSequelReturns

    TheSequelReturns Phantom Thief

    Cainhurst Manor - Dining Room

    "Does anyone have any thoughts on what we just witnessed?" Sybil asked, glancing at those assembled.

    "Yes," Miraela dared say, voice was soft and smooth despite the turmoil underneath. "I think we should leave the island at once."

    "If only we could..." Lucy murmured, glancing at the window.

    Hester noted that the storm outside would probably keep them from leaving and the collective mood in the room dropped a few notches. The storm had only gotten worse outside. It could clearly be heard. Raging wind, a frantic downpour of rain, all punctuated by the occasional peal of thunder. But the whole storm was oddly muffled, the sound masked more so than an old house like this should be able to. Or that just paranoia sinking in?

    Ally got up and began checking the room, a task that Ronaldo seemed equally eager to attempt. Ronaldo checked around under the table, looking in much the same way that Ally was for anything suspicious. Lucy went to check on Gregory. Violetta was sitting next to Orianna one hand on the other woman's shoulder reassuringly.

    Yuri stared suspiciously at his food, poking it with his fork. "Madame Vi, you have not been... creative, with the recipe?"

    "Are you seriously asking if I drugged you?" Vi said with a scowl. "Besides, we all saw the same thing." She nodded, as though to reassure herself of that. But her scowl gave way to worry. "We did all see a lady explode into butterflies right?"

    "Yes, I think so." Jules said. He didn't voice it, but the squinted look he was giving his food suggested he was considering Yuri's theory.

    Bianca approached Gregory, who was rubbing his throat while Lucy was trying, and failing, to offer him some water. "Oh dear... I hope you're alright. Please tell me that witch didn't render you mute..." Bianca asked.

    Gregory shook his head. "I'm okay now." he said. His voice was strained and rough. "My throat is sore though. Whatever she did to me..." he rubbed his throat. "It was like I was paralyzed."

    Lucy frowned and tried to offer the water again. "Gregory, here."

    Gregory shook his head. "No, you know I can't..." he stopped, and coughed, his throat dry and stiff, "I'm not thirsty."

    "Its just water..." Lucy said, but defeated, placed the glass back on the table with the rest of the food.

    Meanwhile, Ally and Ronaldo both seemed to be defeated in their search for clues.

    "Best get out of here and check the front doors first, then." Ally offered. She tried to motivate the others to follow and expressed her disbelief in Beatrice's "tricks" before approaching Mira and taking her hand. "And if they're keeping us in, I swear on my blood that I'm going to hunt that cunt down. Come, Mira, Pops...I'll take down this son of a bitch if it's the last thing I'll do," she spoke grimly, looking up at all the others before she set her mouth in a determined line. She then turned around and pulled Mira protectively along with her, hoping that her father at least, would see some sense and refuse to believe the threats.

    Orianna had tried and failed to get out somewhere between three and eight different sentences and was currently resting her face in her palms. This was too much for her more mundane sensibilities.

    "Sister." Jules called. Orianna perked up. "Keep an eye on the others, I'm going to accompany my daughters." He got up from his seat and followed Alley and Mira towards the door back to the hall.

    "Well, if you want my opinion, as scary as this whole situation is, I still think this is, well... rather exciting!" Bianca exclaimed with a grin on her face. "It's like something out of a novel. There's mystery, and intrigue, a break from the mundane. it's absolutely magical! I think we can get survive this ordeal. We're Leonharts for goodness sake! We can get through anything. I do agree though, we're not going to get anything done by standing here looking terrified."

    Jules paused for just a moment as Bianca talked. Those thoughts were right after his own heart. Had had to admit that this whole situation was starting to get his mind racing. This was just the sort of puzzle he had always dreamed of. But his daughter's safety came first.

    "First things first, does anybody have an answer to the mystery Beatrice is talking about? As far as I know... No one has been murdered...” Bianca's smile faded as she nervously bit her bottom lip. “Um... has anyone seen Saizo and Belle, and know where grandfather is?"

    "Saizo and Belle are probably cleaning the Anteroom." Lucy chimed in quickly. She was ever the professional. "Master Kieran is most likely still in his chambers.

    "Should we check on Mr. Leonhart?" Yuri offered.

    "No." Lucy scolded. "He will call for us when he's ready."

    "Surely he would like to know what just happened here?" Orianna said.

    Lucy frowned. "That's..." But she didn't say anything more.

    "I'm going to find Saizo and Belle then." Ronaldo said. He got up to leave.

    "Where do you think you're going?" Lucy stepped in front of him, blocking his way to the exit.

    "Don't do this. Not now." Ronaldo said. Lucy's perfect mask cracked ever so slightly. He continued, quietly. "You know why." Lucy's lip twitched. An awkward pause stretched out, and then Lucy stepped aside and let Ronaldo walk out.

    Lucy stood quietly, trying to keep her composure. It was hard to tell if she wanted to scream, cry, or both. No one dared speak for a long, strange, moment. Finally, Orianna piped up. "Um, I don't mean to worry anyone, but has anyone seen my dear Cal?"

    The young man's seat was empty. The group looked around the room, but Callaway Leonhart was nowhere to be seen.
     
  7. Minteh

    Minteh It's so shiny!

    Sybil Leonhart
    Cainhurst Manor - Dining Hall

    After Sybil's question, it was her distant cousin Mira who responded first. "Yes," she dared to say, her voice soft and smooth despite the turmoil underneath. "I think we should leave the island at once."

    "If only we could," Lucy murmured, glancing out the window. Where the storm that had followed them here had gotten much worse. Due to the sounds being unusually muffled, Sybil had not noticed how bad it had become. It was Hester who was quick to point out that storm would likely prevent them from leaving quickly, though much like Mira, she expressed a desire to leave as soon as possible. However, she also explained that if they had no choice but to play Beatrice's games, then she would do so, albeit reluctantly.

    Ally meanwhile had taken to exploring the room, studying the area where the words had appeared in particular. One of the staff members, Ronaldo, was quick to follow suit, checking under the table for anything suspicious. Violetta had taken a seat next to Orianna, a hand on her shoulder reassuringly. Lucy meanwhile was seeing to Gregory. Yuri questioned Violetta whether she had gotten "creative" with her recipes, perhaps insinuating that she had poisoned them in some way, and that what they had just witnessed, was simply an after effect of this. The chef was quick to shoot down this theory, but it seemed that Yuri's suggestion had had an impact on some of her relatives, as she noted Jules eyeing his food suspiciously, as if he was considering the theory.

    It soon became apparent that Ally and Ronaldo had been successful in their hunt for clues. Ally was quick to point out her disbelief in what had happened, and then stated she was going to take the person down if it was the last thing she did. According to what she said, she intended to start her search by the front doors. She dragged her sister after protectively, and shot her father a look as if expecting him to follow her.

    Jules did not follow immediately, and instead lingered in the room for a moment to listen to Bianca, who seemed surprisingly excited about the whole situation. She was quick to follow up with some questions about where Saizo and Belle had gone, and where her grandfather was.

    Before Sybil was able to say she had last seen Belle and Saizo back in the anteroom, Lucy quickly responded that Kieran was likely still in his chambers and that Saizo and Belle were probably cleaning the anteroom. Orianna pointed out that they should probably let Kieran know what was going on, but Lucy cut her off. After this, Ronaldo mentioned going to look for Saizo and Belle, which seemed reasonable enough in Sybil's eyes. Strangely, Lucy tried to block him from leaving, which triggered a small spat between the two of them. Although reluctant to let him leave, she eventually gave way and stepped aside.

    She stood quietly to one side, and to Sybil it looked as though she was unsure whether to scream, cry, or both. Rising from her seat, she moved round the table and toward Lucy. She had almost gotten to her, when Orianna's voice cut through the silence in the room.

    "Um, I don't mean to worry anyone, but has anyone seen my dear Cal?"

    Sybil blinked in surprise ."I thought he was right he-" She was about to say he was sat with them still when she finally noticed he was no longer in the room, seemingly having vanished as mysteriously as Beatrice had appeared. How odd, she thought to herself.

    She then turned to Lucy, placing a hand on her shoulder reassuringly. "Are you alright, Lucy?" She asked softly, managing a soft smile. She hesitated a moment before continuing. "I think Orianna was right in saying Kieran needs to know what is going on here; especially now that Cal seems to have disappeared. Presumably you know where his chambers are, yes? Perhaps you could take us to him, and ensure we don't get lost."
     
  8. Tealeaffs

    Tealeaffs ヒマワリ

    Hester Leonhart
    Cainhurst Manor - 1st Floor Anteroom


    After Hester's comment, Ally was quick to jump to her feet, going over to the area where "Beatrice" had been stood, and searching the area. One of the butlers, who Hester believed was called Ronaldo, was quick to follow suit, looking under the table the same way Ally was for anything suspicious. Hester knew it wouldn't take long for her elder cousin to have jumped to action. The maid named Lucy went to check on Gregory, who had been rendered temporarily mute by Beatrice. At the table, the chef, Violetta, was seated next to her aunt, a hand on her shoulder reassuringly.

    Yuri asked whether Violetta had been "creative with the recipe", which Hester realised was probably his way of delicately asking whether she had drugged the food. The woman was quick to shoot down his suggestion, but Hester noted her uncle staring suspiciously at his food after that, as of he had perhaps believed Yuri's theory. Lucy and Gregory's conversation seemed to have taken an odd turn, Hester noted, picking up Gregory's refusal to drink the water for some reason. She wondered if he had heard what Yuri said and believed his theory, or if there was something more going on there.

    Meanwhile, Ally and Ronaldo's searches seemed to have amounted to very little.

    "Best get out of here and check the front doors first, then." Ally suggested. After attempting to motivate the others to follow her, she expressed her doubts about "Beatrice's" tricks before approaching Mira and taking her hand. And if they're keeping us in, I swear on my blood that I'm going to hunt that cunt down. Come, Mira, Pops...I'll take down this son of a bitch if it's the last thing I'll do," she spoke grimly, looking up at the rest of the family before setting her mouth in a determined line. She turned and dragged Mira along with her. Her uncle Jules asked Orianna to watch those who had remained behind whilst he went ahead and accompanied his daughters. He lingered for a few moments to hear what Bianca had to say.

    "Well, if you want my opinion, as scary as this whole situation is, I still think this is, well... rather exciting!" Bianca exclaimed with a wide grin on her face. "It's like something out of a novel. There's mystery, and intrigue, a break from the mundane. it's absolutely magical! I think we can get survive this ordeal. We're Leonharts for goodness sake! We can get through anything. I do agree though, we're not going to get anything done by standing here looking terrified."

    All of her cousins seemed to have such varied opinions on what had happened. Although she couldn't share Bianca's optimism, she had to admire her cousin's ability to see the good in all of this. Hester almost envied her for that. She liked to think of herself a practical woman but already her mind was jumping to the worst of conclusions as to what might happen here tonight. She was so caught up in her thoughts that she almost didn't hear Bianca's follow up question about where Belle and Saizo were, as well as their grandfather. Lucy was quick to answer her, explaining that Belle and Saizo were likely cleaning the anteroom, whereas their grandfather would be still in his chambers. At the suggestion that they should maybe check in on him and inform of what was going on, Lucy was quick to say no, which Hester thought was odd. Surely her grandfather deserved to know what was going on?

    After a small argument with Ronaldo, who quickly left to find Belle and Saizo, Hester watched as Sybil went to go speak with the maid. However, before she could speak to her, they were interrupted by her aunt Orianna.

    "Um, I don't mean to worry anyone, but has anyone seen my dear Cal?"

    Hester glanced over to where her cousin had been sat but found his seat was empty. Like everyone else in the room, she looked around quickly but found that the young man was nowhere to be seen. Hester gulped to herself. That niggling sense of doubt in the back of her mind was suddenly evermore present.

    Hester rose from her seat and walked to where Bianca and Orianna were. "I think we should find Saizo," she suggested, doing her best to keep her voice steady and calm, despite things. "Being the head butler he might be better suited to some of the questions I have. Besides I think he should know what just happened here, and who knows, he may even have seen where Callaway went, too."
     
  9. GoldenHouou

    GoldenHouou Up To No Good

    Miraela Leonhart
    Cainhurst Manor - Dining Room


    Miraela was not alone in her sentiment. Both Alena and Hester expressed their agreement - but the latter also expressed her doubt. It was the storm that worried her cousin.

    Yes, the matter of the storm they’d seen brew upon arrival. She had nearly forgotten it once they'd stepped inside the mansion proper. It was as if they’d entered another world, and all that lay beyond the high walls and decorated ceilings was of consequence no longer. The storm certainly could hinder them - but it could also turn out to not make any matter. If they moved post-haste, then perhaps--

    As if to mock her naive optimism, thunder roared outside. It was the roar of a lion seated in high heavens, much mightier than the one painted on the Leonheart family crest.

    Miraela jumped in her seat.

    It was as if someone had removed a filter from around her senses. Suddenly, she was hyper-aware of the onslaught of rain against the windows and the howl of passing winds. How-- how long had that been going on? The last she remembered, the storm had only been brewing! Miraela's cheeks felt hot, and her heart sank. Could a simple boat have a chance against such a display of nature’s wrath? If it did not, then... were they truly trapped?

    Her thoughts wandered back to Beatrice’s words and the choices she had presented, as if subconsciously resigning herself for the game forced upon them. Around her, she could heard conversations bursting to life. Hallucinations, drugs in the food, Gregory’s recovered - if hoarse - voice and his refusal to wash away the dryness with a drink. Words, words, and more words, all filling the air with a thick cloud of tension.

    Her sister was a different sort. Before Miraela knew it, Alena had seized her hand and pulled the younger noble to her feet. Miraela's first few steps were shaky and uneven as she tried to adjust to her elder sister’s brisk, long-legged stride, but she fell into rhythm soon afterwards. This was not the first time she had been literally pulled along on Ally's whim - and it was unlike to be the last.

    She glanced behind her. Their father was about to follow. He lingered in the room for a moment longer, stopped by words that Miraela could no longer hear, but she knew he would catch up to them in time.

    A few more steps forth, and the sounds of the dining hall started to grow distant. It was in the following silence that Miraela begun to hear her own doubts. They were loud, filling her head until her ears rung. If she did not voice them, they would deafen her.

    Biting her lip ever so slightly, she took the few steps needed to catch up with her sister. The click of her heels echoed off the high walls, their loudness a perfect contrast to the whisper that followed. "Ally...” her tone was careful, reluctant to shatter her sister’s resolve, “the storm is worse than I realized."

    She hesitated, unsure if she should spell the rest of it out. Alena had mentioned checking the front doors, but... if they were unable to use the boat, what good would it do them? All that would await them outside was a forest as dark as the night itself, and a downpour without end. Checking the front doors only made sense if Alena still believed they could leave the island.

    Miraela wanted to believe it, too. She wanted to believe in her sister's forceful, bold optimism against all reason, evidence and odds.

    The storm outside did not; as much was made clear by a yet another rumble.

    Even so, once they reached the front doors and Ally reached towards the handle to fling them open, Miraela held onto her sister's arm and stilled her breath in anticipation regardless.
     
  10. TheSequelReturns

    TheSequelReturns Phantom Thief

    Cainhurst Manor - Dining Room

    Sybil turned to Lucy, placing a hand on her shoulder reassuringly. "Are you alright, Lucy?" She asked softly, managing a soft smile.

    This close, Sybil could clearly see the anger she was trying to hide. But, as quickly as it appeared, it was snuffed out. Lucy let out a long sigh. Slowly, her shoulder's relaxed and her expression hardened back into the professional mask she seemed to always wear. She turned towards Sybil and nodded curtly.

    Sybil hesitated a moment before continuing. "I think Orianna was right in saying Kieran needs to know what is going on here; especially now that Cal seems to have disappeared. Presumably you know where his chambers are, yes? Perhaps you could take us to him, and ensure we don't get lost."

    Lucy's breath caught in her throat, as though she had started to voice something and then quickly shut it down. Instead, she recomposed herself and said, "The Master was quite clear with his orders."

    "Bah." Yuri calmly poured himself a new cup of coffee. "Stop being tin soldier. This is, how you say, special circumstance."

    "Need I remind you that you are a guest of Master Kieran." Lucy responded without even looking his way.

    Hester rose from her seat and walked to where Bianca and Orianna were. "I think we should find Saizo," she suggested, doing her best to keep her voice steady and calm, despite things. "Being the head butler he might be better suited to some of the questions I have. Besides I think he should know what just happened here, and who knows, he may even have seen where Callaway went, too."

    "That's a good idea." Gregory said. "I'll accompany you."

    "You will do no such thing." Lucy said, with a bit of an edge on her otherwise smooth voice.

    "You heard the doctor." Gergory shruged. "This is not business as usual. With that witch-"

    "Beatrice is not-" Lucy sighed again, but stopped talking.

    "My son is missing." Orianna chimed in. She stood from her seat, arms crossed. "I'm going to go find him while you all... sort whatever this nonsense is out."

    Lucy turned to step into her path. "I can't allow you to-"

    Orianna pushed her aside and made her way out of the door and out into the manor.

    Lucy stood there, face flushed, staring after the door. "I'm the one in charge here..." she said to quietly to herself. "The Master gave that role to me."

    "Lucy, I-" Gregory started, but Lucy held up her hand.

    "Do what you want." Lucy said, barely keeping her mask together. "I will go and let Master Kieran know what's happening. In thirty minutes, I expect all of you, Belle and Ronaldo included, to be gathered in the Parlor. Failure to do so will be considered a refusal of duty and treated appropriately." And with that, the raven-haired maid stormed out of the dining room.

    Yrui took a long sip of his coffee. "This will be long night." he muttered.

    ~~~~~~~~~

    Cainhurst Manor - Grand Foyer

    Ally reached for the handle. The heavy wooden doors creaked as she pulled them open. It took a bit of force, but once the door got moving, it flung outward. The force of the storm winds rammed the doors wide open, knocking anyone too close back. Immediately, the sound became tremendous and the rain began to blow into the entryway.

    Not wanting to risk Ally trying to take on the storm all by herself, and also not wanting the foyer to sustain any water damage, Jules struggled to close the large door, but the wind made it a difficult task for one older gentleman.

    Ronaldo arrived in the Foyer however, and helped Jules and Ally close the doors back.

    "No one is going out in that I'm afraid." Jules said. His entire front was soaked from the rain. "And even if we could, the boat wouldn't survive this."

    "No," Ronaldo said. "I think you're right."

    "Thank you for your help." Jules offered. Ronaldo seemed taken aback. He clearly wasn't used to receiving thanks for such a small task.

    "Now, I need to find Belle and Saizo." Ronaldo said. "Its important that they know what's going on, and no one should be alone right now. Would you care to accompany me?"
     
  11. Vern

    Vern Why not both?

    Haze Leonhart
    Cainhurst Manor || Antechamber -> Dining Room

    To Haze’s relief, Sybil opts to sit down next to her instead of running off the interact with the other family members. Sure, she would be fine by herself — but in unfamiliar surroundings, with unfamiliar people, it’s nice to have somebody by your side. Catching the questioning look Haze gave her upon watching a punk-looking girl antagonise the guy in a labcoat, Sybil smiles, and says: "If you're looking for an answer, I'm afraid I won't be of much help,” she admits, "I do not much about it, only rumours, but supposedly Ally had a bad encounter with a doctor in the past.”

    Haze nods, and says nothing. Up until now, the fact that these people — so wealthy, so influential, so assured — might have problems of their own had never occured to her. Although she knows it isn’t much of a big deal, some part of her still feels oddly guilty over it.

    Before she can dwell on it for too long, the butler Saizo appears, and invites them to dinner, while informing the family that Kieran would not be attending dinner due to feeling too ill. A worried frown on her face, Haze follows Sybil and the others into the corridor, and into the dining room.

    Dining Room

    While Lucy leads them through the corridors and points out the eccentricities and identifying characteristics of the manor, Haze preoccupies herself with the aromatic smell of food wafting through the air. The dining hall itself is every bit as majestic as Haze had imagined, with dishes spread out over the entirety of the long table, and as she took her seat next to Sybil, the maids began to remove the lids, revealing a feast that Haze had never imagined she’d be able to lay eyes on, least of all actually partake in.

    Gregory introduced the chef as the best in all of Europe, and right on cue, the woman herself bursts through the kitchen doors — her hair a bright purple, which probably has something to do with the name ‘Violetta’. She has a foul mouth an attitude, and while Lucy seemed aggravated over it, Haze finds it almost comforting. In this manor full of refined and elegant things, it’s nice to have something a bit rougher around the edges. It at least made everything seem more… real, still connected, albeit tenuously, to the world Haze had known.

    Haze helps herself to the same dishes Sybil does, not quite knowing where to begin. The table is long, and a lot of great-looking food is out of her reach — but standing up and getting it herself would probably be… against some sort of high-class etiquette, or something. Trying her best not to look like some ravished animal as she tears into the food (being used to plain, almost tasteless cuisine, everything tasted like heaven to her), she barely catches the snippets of conversation floating around the room: half the staff had been sent home, and the people in the room (apart form Kieran and whoever was attending to him, probably) are the only ones on the island. Oddly ominous, like the beginning to a murder mystery.

    And then — a new voice floats over the room: "Oh, I'm afraid that isn't the case, my dears.”

    Blinking, Haze quickly turns around, catching sight of a woman stood by the kitchen doors, her eyes widening in recognition.

    Beatrice. Somehow, she’s even more stunning in person, although Haze can’t quite place the source of her charm. There’s something almost inhuman, magical about her, like a character from a fairy tale. As she talks about how she orchestrated everything, and how everyone present needs to play their part — her gaze lingering on Haze and Sybil a bit longer than everyone else, sending shivers up her spine. Something about those eyes seemed clearly… off. After Beatrice finished explaining about red text and the ways they could go through the evening (among which dying is listed as the ‘easiest’ one, which isn’t exactly grounds for optimism), she disappears into a cloud of butterflies, leaving the room in stunned silence for a while.

    Among the options, one lingers in Haze’s mind — a single wish, with almost no limitations. Maybe she could bring her mother back, or let her father live the life he wanted, or even get something for herself — return to the past, where everything was nicer, and stay there for as long as she wanted, without a care in the world...

    "Does anyone have any thoughts on what we just witnessed?” Sybil’s voice snaps her out of her reverie.

    While everyone discussed options — first and foremost trying to leave the island — Haze sits there and observes, a pensive, faraway expression on her face. All of this seems surreal to her, like some sort of dream. Yuri insinuates that they might have been drugged, Gregory rubbed his throat as though he was choking, and people began to leave the room, off to explore, or find the witch, or whatever else they’d set their mind to. Only when Sybil stands up does Haze find herself drawn back into the reality of it all, and she quickly gets to her feet, awkwardly getting off her seat and following her half-sister. If things were going wrong, it’s best to have someone to be with. While Sybil comforts Lucy, Haze stands awkwardly by them, unsure of what to do with herself.

    And then, the bombshell drops: Callaway has disappeared.

    At that, what semblance of order seems to evaporate. One by one, people leave the antechamber, pushing past Lucy and ignoring her futile attempts to keep them there. Haze watches as Lucy seems to slowly lose control of herself — her mask cracking bit by bit, revealing what, to her, seems to be a familiar sense frustration, shame, guilt, and fear. It’s the face of someone who’s losing control of something, the face she’d often seen in the mirror while she tried whatever she could to keep her two-person family together, without success. For a moment, she considers going after Lucy as she storms out of the room, but can’t quite muster the courage to do so, and doesn’t really know what exactly she’d do after she caught up anyway. Besides, she might have just projected her own past onto her while looking for familiarity in unfamiliar surroundings — she’d always had a gist for seeing problems that weren’t there, trying to help people who didn’t want or need it.

    Sighing, she shakes her head, and gently taps Sybil on the shoulder. “Um, do you think we should go and look for the others?” She asks, her voice sounding even smaller than usual and tinged with worry, “Some of them went off by themselves, and it would probably be best if nobody's alone — you know, safety in numbers…” Although, considering the fact that Cal had gone missing while in a room full of people, I’m not sure how much it would help. She leaves that part unsaid.
     
  12. Monster Guy

    Monster Guy Fairy Tale Man

    Bianca Leonhart
    Cainhurst Manor; Dining Room


    Gregory shook his head. "I'm okay now." he said. Bianca breathed a sigh of relief that he was ok. His voice was strained and rough. "My throat is sore though. Whatever she did to me..." he rubbed his throat. "It was like I was paralyzed." Lucy then offered him a glass of water, which Gregory turned down. Something Bianca thought was odd, because Gregory definitely sounded like he really needed it. She brushed it off. It was more proof that magic was real. Surely Beatrice had to have done something to him.

    Lucy then responded that Saizo and Belle were likely cleaning the Anteroom, which sounded odd considering the timing... She also said grandfather was in his bedchambers, which was likely true. Then there was a discussion about whether or not to let him know about what was going on. A logical next step, but Lucy did not seem to want do so. Maybe she didn't want to upset her employer, but he would likely be more upset if Beatrice appeared in his room next. She even tried to stop Ronaldo from going to look for Saizo and Belle. Bianca had to wonder what was going on with her. This was a special circumstance. Trying to maintain order should not be an issue at this point.

    And then her mother said something she really didn't want to hear. "Um, I don't mean to worry anyone, but has anyone seen my dear Cal?" Bianca was sure he was in the dining room with them a moment ago. She looked in the chair he was sitting, and then around the room, but he was nowhere to be seen. Bianca nervously bit her bottom lip. "Um... m-m-maybe he must have gone to the washroom or something... He's perfectly fine..." Bianca said, trying to reassure both her mother, and herself. She really didn't want to think about the fact that her brother might become a victim.

    Hester rose from her seat and walked to where Bianca and her mother were. "I think we should find Saizo," she suggested. "Being the head butler he might be better suited to some of the questions I have. Besides I think he should know what just happened here, and who knows, he may even have seen where Callaway went, too."

    Bianca nodded. If anybody had seen where her brother had gone, it would be him.

    Gregory agreed with this suggestion, and offered to join them, but Lucy just wasn't having it. "You will do no such thing." Lucy demanded.

    Bianca had to question what Lucy was thinking. Gregory had voiced her own thoughts on the matter. That this was a special circumstance, and that now was not the time to try to be professional.

    "My son is missing." her mother chimed in. She stood from her seat, arms crossed. "I'm going to go find him while you all... sort whatever this nonsense is out."

    Lucy turned to step into her path. "I can't allow you to-"

    Orianna pushed her aside and made her way out of the door and out into the manor.

    Bianca stood there with her eyes wide. No one gets in the way of a mother and her child.

    Lucy and Gregory had some discussion, then Lucy decided to let grandfather know what was happening here, which was the first thing they should have done. The maid demanded everyone to be back in the parlor by thirty minutes, or there would be consequences. Then she stormed out.

    Bianca sighed and shook her head. With the way Lucy was trying to keep everyone in, she was begining to think Lucy had something to hide. However, she didn't spend time dwelling on that, there was a more important matter to deal with. "Well, if you'll excuse me, my brother is missing, and I'm going to go find him. I've already lost one loved one. I'm not about to lose another." With that Bianca briskly followed her mother out of the room as fast as she could considering she was wearing heels. Had she'd known so much was going to happen this evening, she would have chosen more sensible footwear.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2018
  13. Tealeaffs

    Tealeaffs ヒマワリ

    Hester Leonhart
    Cainhurst Manor, Dining Hall


    After walking up to her aunt and cousin and suggesting that they leave to find Saizo, Hester was quite relieved when they agreed with her. It seemed like the safest course of action in Hester's eyes, and whilst she would have gone after him herself had they disagreed with her, she felt more comfortable to stick close to her aunt and her cousin whilst wandering through the manor. Even more so now that Cal had seemingly vanished. Gregory also seemed to agree with them, and even offered to join them, but Lucy was having none of it.

    Despite Sybil's attempts to offer some semblance of comfort, Lucy had brushed her beside, sticking to the notion that he was not to be disturbed. Yuri had pointed out that it could be considered special circumstances, but she still shut him down.

    Whilst she and Gregory butted heads, Hester couldn't help but feel as though it was a little unnecessary for Lucy to remain so formal. In a way, she respected the woman for continuing to carry out her duties or at least trying to do so anyway. After what they had seen with "Beatrice", Ally and Mira taking off, and now having Cal disappearing, Hester was honestly surprised the woman wasn't beginning to crack more. Although Hester had picked up on a brief moment of hesitation when Sybil had attempted to comfort her; whether this had been her mask slipping, Hester could not say, for Lucy had promptly gone back to being prim and proper moments later.

    "My son is missing." Her aunt chimed in. She stood from her seat, arms crossed. "I'm going to go find him while you all... sort whatever this nonsense is out."

    Lucy turned to step into her path. "I can't allow you to-"

    Orianna pushed her aside and made her way out of the door and out into the manor.

    Lucy and Gregory then proceeded to argue again, before Lucy finally conceded to letting their grandfather know what was going on, albeit by herself. She demanded that everyone was to return to the parlour in thirty minutes, or there would be consequences. And then she stormed out.

    Silence followed for a moment before Bianca spoke once more. "Well, if you'll excuse me, my brother is missing, and I'm going to go find him. I've already lost one loved one. I'm not about to lose another." She then briskly followed her mother out of the room, moving as fast as she could given that she was wearing heels. Hester hesitated for a moment before turning to Sybil and the girl whose name she still didn't know. "I'm going to follow them." She said, already moving for the door. "Try not to disappear too." She then nodded and quickly hurried after her aunt and cousin.
     
  14. Minteh

    Minteh It's so shiny!

    Sybil Leonhart
    Cainhurst Manor, Dining Hall

    Stood this close to Lucy, Sybil could visibly see the anger that she struggling to hide. She had to admit she was rather surprised to see her in such a state. Of course, she had suspected that Lucy was not pleased with everyone running off, that much was obvious to see, but she had not been expecting to see such anger. Slowly, the woman relaxed, and her face went back to the serious mask it had been from when they had first met.

    At Sybil's suggestion of her leading them to Kieran, she shifted awkwardly. Her breath caught in her throat, almost as though she had been going to say something, but had quickly shut it down. Instead, she recomposed herself and said, "The Master was quite clear with his orders."

    "Bah." from where he was sat Yuri calmly poured himself a new cup of coffee. "Stop being tin soldier. This is, how you say, special circumstance."

    "Need I remind you that you are a guest of Master Kieran," Lucy responded without even looking his way.

    Surprisingly, Sybil found herself agreeing with the eccentric doctor. Whilst she couldn't fault Lucy for her dedication to her role, and for attempting to keep order, Sybil still strongly believed that not telling Kieran about what had happened was not the right thing to do. Things took a bit of a turn when Hester stood up and moved to Orianna and Bianca, suggesting that they leave and find Saizo. Gregory, one of the butlers, was quick to agree to the idea, and even offered to accompany them. However, this idea was quickly shot down by Lucy, whose voice had taken on a notable edge. She and Gregory argued back and forth for a moment before Orianna stood up and declared her intention to find her son. Lucy did make an attempt to stop her, but Orianna simply pushed past and quickly left the room. After Orianna left, this triggered another argument between Lucy and Gregory, before Lucy finally conceded to letting Kieran know what was going on, albeit doing so by herself. Before she left she ordered everyone to make sure they were back in the parlour in thirty minutes or there would be consequences. And then she stormed out.

    Bianca was the first to speak after she left, explaining that she was also going to look for her brother, and quickly hurried after her mother. They were followed a moment later by Hester. "I'm going to follow them." She said, already moving for the door. "Try not to disappear too." She then nodded and quickly hurried after the two women.

    Yuri took a long sip of his coffee. "This will be long night." he muttered.

    It was then that Sybil felt a small tap on her shoulder from Haze. “Um, do you think we should go and look for the others?” She asked. Her voice sounded so small when she asked that question, and Sybil noted that there was a tinge of worry to her voice. “Some of them went off by themselves, and it would probably be best if nobody's alone — you know, safety in numbers…”

    "Makes sense," Sybil was quick to respond, nodding her head along to her sister's words. "Considering Cal disappeared in a room full of people, and given everything we've seen so far, I would prefer to have somebody with me before we go exploring." She then paused for a moment before speaking again. "I'd suggest we go look for Ally and Mira and let them know what happened here. The others shouldn't be too hard to find afterwards since we know they'll be looking for Saizo and Belle. Besides, it'll give me an excuse to get a better look at that portrait of Beatrice in the foyer."

    She then turned and caught the attention of Gregory, who still looked a little flustered from everything that had happened. "Would you care to join us? I'd feel much better if we had someone with us who actually knows their way around the manor."
     
  15. *Jean Grey*

    *Jean Grey* Night Triumphant

    Alena Leonhart
    Cainhurst Manor


    The heavy wooden doors creaked as Ally tugged at their handles. They were heavy double doors, but Ally managed to pull them open with a little effort. The force of the storm winds then flung the doors wide open, knocking back the silver-haired woman. Before she could say anything, the echo of the pouring rain grew louder, and gale-force winds blew some of it in, soaking her hair and clothes. She wasn't bothered, however, and stuck her head outside. The rain fell in sheets, and she could scarcely see anything amidst the downpour.

    Her father tugged at her arm, prompting her to pull her head back inside to face him. His expression was worried.

    "Ally! There's a storm that's getting worse...you're going to get yourself killed!" He chided. Ally pushed back some wet locks of hair from her face and gave a small smile before helping her father close the doors. The gusts made it difficult, but Ally managed to shut her side. The same couldn't be said for her father, however, who was struggling. Thankfully, a familiar figure joined them in the foyer, and helped shut the door. It was tall, dark and handsome Ronaldo. Ally not so subtly whistled at the sight of him.

    "Thanks, man. You're a rockstar," she grinned as she threw him a playful salute and squeezed his arm.

    "No one is going out in that I'm afraid." Her father said, his entire front was soaked from the rain. "And even if we could, the boat wouldn't survive this." Ally, though she was soaked herself, took off her father's coat and tried shaking it out, before helping him back into it. She then took off her black leather jacket and did the same.

    "No," Ronaldo said. "I think you're right."

    "We can't just stand here doing nothing! Someone fucking took Cal...someone might do something to Gramps or anyone else if we don't stop talking...we have to move!" Ally butted in, folding her arms around her chest. The storm might stop them from going out, but it wasn't going to stop Ally from doing something. There was a would-be murderer inside the house, and if she wasn't going to get to the bottom of things soon, it wasn't only Cal who would disappear like that. The last thing she wanted was to be a passive victim and witness to what was now unfolding before her very eyes.

    "Thank you for your help." Jules offered. Ronaldo seemed taken aback. He clearly wasn't used to receiving thanks for such a small task. Ally rubbed his arm once more. She had to give Ronaldo some credit for keeping his cool and having his head screwed on straight in such an odd situation. It took guts, lots of guts, and Ally was the sort who would call it when she recognised it. He certainly was levelheaded enough to share her sentiments back in the dining hall, as he didn't seem to believe what Beatrice was saying, judging from how he helped her try to look for clues.

    "You're a real champ. Lots and lots of cojones, you have there." She remarked, using a word she picked up in college from one of her pals. Whatever lust she felt earlier...it was going to have to wait. There was a more important matter at hand, and she wasn't about to let her feelings get in the way of her judgment, or what mattered. The last time she allowed that to happen, it only ended badly for her, and for all she knew, the murderer could take advantage of anything they saw fit.

    "Now, I need to find Belle and Saizo. It's important that they know what's going on, and no one should be alone right now. Would you care to accompany me?" Ronaldo said. Ally immediately nodded, before giving him a rough, but playful and reassuring slap on his back.

    "Yes, we should. I'm not about to sit here on my ass and wait for shit to go down. You're the only one among us who knows his way around here. We're Team Awesome now...and that includes you. No need for formalities...call me Ally. Just Ally." The silver-haired woman agreed, chuckling as she named their ragtag bunch. Although she didn't want to admit it, she was was glad that Ronaldo had joined them, mostly because he was sure to know the manor and its many rooms, knowledge that they all sorely lacked. She strode across the foyer, her steps determined. She wasn't going to let things play out. They were going to meet Gramps, find Cal and deal with the would-be killer before the latter could play with them. If there was anything Ally hated, it was being played with...and tonight, she wasn't in the mood for playing.

    "Ronaldo...could you lead us to Gramps' crib, at least? I don't want to hear about any more ****ing disappearances tonight...and we have to do something. We have to make sure he's not being targeted by that bastard."
     
  16. TheSequelReturns

    TheSequelReturns Phantom Thief

    Cainhurst Manor - Dining Room

    "Well, if you'll excuse me, my brother is missing, and I'm going to go find him. I've already lost one loved one. I'm not about to lose another." With that Bianca briskly followed her mother out of the room as fast as she could considering she was wearing heels.

    "I'm going to follow them." Hester said, already moving for the door. "Try not to disappear too." She added to Sybil with a nod and then quickly hurried after her aunt and cousin.

    Meanwhile, Sybil and Haze were talking among themselves. "I'd suggest we go look for Ally and Mira and let them know what happened here. The others shouldn't be too hard to find afterwards since we know they'll be looking for Saizo and Belle. Besides, it'll give me an excuse to get a better look at that portrait of Beatrice in the foyer."

    At the mention of the witch's name, a Violetta and Gregory's eyes turned to stare at the spot where she had disappeared as though expecting her to be sitting there waiting, summoned by speaking her name aloud.

    Sybil then turned and caught the attention of Gregory, who still looked a little flustered from everything that had happened. "Would you care to join us? I'd feel much better if we had someone with us who actually knows their way around the manor."

    Gregory tore his gaze away from the empty air in the back of the room and turned to face the two ladies. "I'd be my pleasure to look after you two." he said with a quick bow. His voice was still a little rough, but he seemed to be recovering from whatever had been done to his voice.

    "In that case-" Yuri said, "I will be helping clean kitchen. Best for anyone not to be alone."

    "Thank you, Yuri." Vi said. "I think I'd like the help."

    Yuri dismissed the butler with a wave. "No worry. We will meet up in parlor. Doctor's promise."

    The butler nodded, though he looked a bit nervous about leaving the two of them alone. He glanced at Vi, who nodded her consent, before he turned back to Sybil and Haze. "Well then, shall we be off?" With that, Gregory lead the two ladies out of the room and back towards the Grand Foyer.

    -~-~-~-~-~-~-

    Cainhurst Manor - East Tower (Hallway) -> Library

    Orianna stormed down the hall the the way only a worried mother can. With Bianca and Hester following along behind, the three of them made their way down the hall in the opposite direction from the Grand Foyer. Up ahead, at the end of the hall, was another set of double doors. A main room of the manor, if Lucy's rule of thumb was accurate.

    One of the doors stood ajar and a single dull, flickering light, like a candle or a dying fireplace, emanated from beyond.

    "Cal?" She called towards the open doors.

    No response.

    She reached the doors now, but stopped, hesitant to barge in. No matter how upset you were, this house just seemed to radiate unease like an aura. The sight of the slightly ajar door, the dying light, the raging storm outside the only backdrop, would have given anyone pause.

    But not too much pause. Not enough to stop a mother looking for her child.

    Orianna pulled the door open, flinching slightly at the creak and entered the room. Bianca and Hester following.

    Inside, was a Library. And not just any library, but a veritable museum of books. They were everywhere in sight, stacked on chairs, displayed on shelves, carefully locked in glass cases, or strewn haphazardly across the many side tables and arm chairs that dotted the room. But the room was also very dimly lit, and the flickering light of a single candelabra, three candles lit, was all that kept the room from plunging into darkness.

    The shadows danced along the edges of the light as it increased and decreased in strength ever so slightly, and the back of the room was totally drenched in inky black.

    Orianna felt around for a light switch, but found none near the door. Then, as though just now realizing that she wasn't alone, slid further into the room and made way for the other two ladies to follow in.

    "Cal?" Orianna cautiously offered to the darkness.

    The library door creaked shut with a soft, but ominous click.

    The older Leonhart reached for the handle, trying to open the door back, but it wouldn't budge. They were locked in. In a half-dark library. Surrounded by old dusty books and antiques with only a measly three candles between them and whatever might dwell in the dark.

    Orianna was clearly flustered beyond her capacity to handle at this point. Slowly, she sunk to the floor, utterly defeated. Still, it was hard to get her to actually admit as much. Leonhart pride ran deep.

    "Thank you for accompanying me dears." she offered to Bianca and Hester. "I don't know what I'd do if I was alone in here, but I am sorry...", she was fighting back sniffles at this point, "I'm sorry that I got you trapped in here too. And Cal is... is out there somewhere... and..." She buried her hands in her face, trying to hold on to whatever thin thread of composure she had left.

    -~-~-~-~-~-~-

    Cainhurst Manor - Grand Foyer

    "Thanks, man. You're a rockstar," Ally grinned as she threw him a playful salute and squeezed his arm.

    Ronaldo smiled, kind and sincere. But like before, there was something distant in his expression that was all the more apparent this close up.

    Jules expressed his concern for the storm and the boat, concerns that Ronaldo was quick to agree with. No one was getting off the island by boat so long as the storm raged on like this.

    Ally rubbed Ronaldo's arm once more. He flinched ever so slightly at her touch, as though there was something wrong with it, but it faded in an instant.

    "You're a real champ. Lots and lots of cojones, you have there." That managed to crack his professional demeanor just a bit. He was almost blushing a bit.

    "Now, I need to find Belle and Saizo. It's important that they know what's going on, and no one should be alone right now. Would you care to accompany me?" Ronaldo said. Ally immediately nodded, before giving him a rough, but playful and reassuring slap on his back.

    "Yes, we should. I'm not about to sit here on my ass and wait for shit to go down. You're the only one among us who knows his way around here. We're Team Awesome now...and that includes you. No need for formalities...call me Ally. Just Ally." Ronaldo and Jules both nodded along as she spoke, neither objecting to the team-up.

    "Ronaldo...could you lead us to Gramps' crib, at least? I don't want to hear about any more ****ing disappearances tonight...and we have to do something. We have to make sure he's not being targeted by that bastard."

    Before Ronaldo could respond, the door to the hallway opened and Lucy entered. She was clearly troubled. Her cheeks were still flushed and her fists were clenched, but her eyes were distant and her expression was more worried than anything else. She caught sight of the group and stopped. For a moment, she and Ronaldo stared silently at each other.

    As though it was painful to say, Lucy offered an quick "I'm sorry." that was so low in volume it was almost missed.

    Ronaldo nodded and Lucy turned and headed up the stairs and through the huge double doors that waited up on the second floor.

    "This job is everything to her." Ronaldo said to the others. "Sometimes, she forgets to take time to just be a person."

    "Is father really so hard on the poor girl?" Jules asked.

    The butler exhaled slowly, not quite a sigh. "This is the most prestigious manor in all of Britannia after all." he said.

    It wasn't quite an answer. And Jules didn't seem convinced. Before he could press further, the doors to the hallway opened again. This time, it was Gregory, Sybil, and Haze who entered the Foyer.

    "Have you found Belle?" Gregory asked.

    Ronaldo shook his head. "No. We haven't seen Saizo either. And Lucy just went upstairs."

    Gregory glanced briefly towards the upper level, carefully avoiding the large portrait that hung on the wall. Then he turned back to Ronaldo and the Leonharts who stood with him. "Why are you all wet?"

    "We took a look outside, its a lost cause." Ronaldo self-consciously patted at his damp suit. "Would you mind tracking down Saizo and Belle?" he asked. "We wanted to check in on Master Kieran and we could use a dry change of clothes as well. The staterooms with the luggage are all on the second floor as well."

    Gregory started to nod, but turned towards Sybil and Haze, deferring to their authority.
     
  17. Monster Guy

    Monster Guy Fairy Tale Man

    Bianca Leonhart
    Cainhurst Manor - East Tower (Hallway) -> Library


    Bianca followed her mother down the hall in the opposite direction from the Grand Foyer, Hester also following close by. At the end of the hall, there was another set of double doors. One of the doors stood slightly open and a small light ominously flickered from behind. "You know, this house was gorgeous when we walked in. Now all of a sudden, it feels like we're in a haunted manor." Bianca whispered to Hester.

    Her mother called Callaway's name into the darkness, and got no response. There was a moment of hesitation before she opened the creaking door, and entered the room. Bianca and Hester went in after her.

    Inside, was a library. Filled to the brim with books. Everywhere you looked, there was a book somewhere. Judging by the state of room, the maids hadn't gotten around to cleaning this room. It was also very dimly lit. Three small candles on the candelabra were all that kept the room from being pitch dark. It certainly wasn't bright enough to actually get any reading done.

    "Cal?" Bianca's mother called out once again. Again, she got no response... Other than the library door shutting behind her.

    The older Leonhart reached for the handle, trying to open the door back, but it wouldn't budge. They were locked in. The three of them were now trapped in a dark, dusty old library. Bianca put her hand over mouth, and gasped. How did that door close on it's own? Is the door simply broken, or is something more sinister at work here?

    Her mother was clearly flustered by all this. Slowly, she sunk to the floor. "Thank you for accompanying me dears." she offered to Bianca and Hester. "I don't know what I'd do if I was alone in here, but I am sorry...", she was fighting back sniffles at this point, "I'm sorry that I got you trapped in here too. And Cal is... is out there somewhere... and..." She buried her hands in her face, trying her best to maintain composure, and obviously failing.

    "It's alright. We weren't just going to let you search for Cal by yourself. Don't worry, we'll find him mother." Bianca said reassuringly. "He's bound to be in this manor somewhere, and he most certainly can take care of himself." Bianca walked up to the door, and loudly pounded on it, hoping someone else was on the other side that could hear them. She quietly hoped that Gregory or Ronaldo would come in and save them. There couldn't be anything more romantic than being saved from being trapped in a creepy library by a handsome man. Seeing her brother open the door would also be reassuring. "Is anyone out there?! We're locked in! Aiutaci per favore!" No one answered.

    Bianca sighed and rubbed her temples. "Of course, we would get stuck in a library trying to look for Cal." Bianca said, trying to stay upbeat. "My brother always did like to read. It's almost like he lead us here on purpose."
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018 at 4:25 PM
  18. Tealeaffs

    Tealeaffs ヒマワリ

    Hester Leonhart
    Cainhurst Manor - East Tower (Hallway) -> Library


    Hester quietly trailed behind her cousin and aunt. After following them out of the room, her aunt had led them down the hall in the opposite direction of the grand foyer. At the end of the hall, there was another set of double doors. If Lucy was to be believed, this meant that it was a main room of the manor. One of the doors was ajar slightly and all that could be seen was a small light flickering from beyond.

    "You know, this house was gorgeous when we walked in. Now all of a sudden, it feels like we're in a haunted manor." Bianca whispered to Hester, causing Hester to tense slightly. She wasn't wrong, really. With the strange goings-on that had recently happened, it was beginning to feel more and more like they had walked into a haunted house.

    Her aunt called Cal's name into the darkness, and got no response. She hesitated a moment before she opened the creaking door and entered the room. Bianca and Hester quickly followed her in. Inside was a library that was practically filled to the brim with books. Pretty much everywhere you looked you saw a book. Some had been neatly set aside, or even on display in glass cases, but others looked as though they had strewn haphazardly around the room. The room was also very dimly lit, with three small candles on the candelabra being the only thing that prevented them from being pitch dark. The way the shadows danced along the edges of the room made Hester feel quite uneasy.

    Her aunt called out for her son again, but once more received no response, save for the door shutting behind her. Her aunt reached for the handle, trying to get the door open, but it wouldn't budge. The realisation that they were now trapped in this room came to Hester quickly and did little to settle her unease. She cursed herself for being so nervous, for her mind jumping to the worst conclusions. She always did this, and as always it grated on her a great deal. Although in fairness, it was not every day your cousin disappeared in a room full of people without anyone seeing him, so perhaps, for once, her worries were warranted.

    Her aunt was clearly becoming flustered by everything, as she sunk to the floor, utterly defeated. "Thank you for accompanying me dears." she offered to Bianca and Hester. "I don't know what I'd do if I was alone in here, but I am sorry...", she was fighting back sniffles at this point, "I'm sorry that I got you trapped in here too. And Cal is... is out there somewhere... and..." She buried her hands in her face, trying her best to remain composed, but failing.

    "It's alright. We weren't just going to let you search for Cal by yourself. Don't worry, we'll find him mother." Bianca said reassuringly. "He's bound to be in this manor somewhere, and he most certainly can take care of himself."

    As Bianca went up to the door, pounding her fist against the wood in the hope someone might have heard her cries, Hester crouched beside her aunt, resting a hand comfortingly against her back. "It will be alright, aunt," Hester said softly, doing her best to offer some semblance of comfort, which was highly unusual for Hester, who was usually about a comforting as a plank of wood. "I am certain we will find Cal soon. At any rate, as Bianca said, he's always been a resourceful lad, so he'll be quite capable of taking care of himself."

    Bianca had finally stopped calling for help. She took a step back from the door and sighed before rubbing her temples. "Of course, we would get stuck in a library trying to look for Cal." Bianca said, clearly trying to remain upbeat. "My brother always did like to read. It's almost like he lead us here on purpose."

    "Whilst I appreciate the sentiment of the library being somewhere Cal would have liked, the notion that we might have been lead here on purpose unsettles me," Hester admitted, glancing up at her cousin. "Especially after what we witnessed in the dining room with that woman."
     

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