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Dusk

Character Info
Name: Lewis Terrowin
Age: 25
Alignment: CN
Race: Night Phoenix
Gender: Male
Class: Ex-Assassin
Silver: 4887
There were several moments between the two that Lewis would have easily cut the cocky man down to size, but that was far from his actual role. He merely watched with interest, though to anyone else, it would have been an emotionless stare. Though, there was a hint of a smirk when Lady Simone insulted his very existence.

The man, Felix, was not happy with the way he was being spoken to. It was obvious by the tone of his voice and the sway of his demeanor. For someone talking about emotion, he was quite the emotional one himself. As he glared at Lewis on his way out, he made a rather amusing remark.

The Empress and her Dog.

“Woof, woof,” Lewis said as his eyes grew wide, a sadistic smile across his face. “This dog bites…”

The moment Felix left, Lewis’ smile faded. What a waste of human flesh… He had seen his fair share of despicable nobles. He was no different. The world would have been better without him.

“No need to point that out to me,” Lewis replied as he once more resumed his gaze on the Empress. The way she moved was elegant and refined. Almost mesmerizing. “It would appear to me that you have enemies even within your own circle.” He sighed, closing his eyes for the briefest of moments.

The Lady Simone spent quite a bit of time on her plants, to the point where she nearly lost track of time. If it weren’t for her attendants coming to get her, she might have missed it entirely.

“Why didn’t you say anything to her?” one of the maids snapped at Lewis.

“That’s not my job,” the assassin replied with a scowl. “I’m not here to shepherd her around. That would be a waste of my time.” That got a mean look from the maid, but she kept her mouth shut afterwards.

Of course, it was Lewis who was in for a shock of his own. The forced cleansing earlier was nothing in comparison to the hell that the servants put him through next. It was nearly an hour of scrubbing and grooming as he was forced into a fitted tunic and vest, a dazzling blue and silver with black slacks. His hair was trimmed and neatly pushed back. Last, but not least, he was gifted an elegant, black silver half mask.

“Oh, did we not tell you?” a cocky voice said as Felix entered the room where Lewis was being tortured with grooming. “It’s a masquerade ball! What fun that should be for you. All of those wonderful, mysterious people… Try not to kill anyone important now. I would hate for the mutt to cause a war…”

Lewis took the mask, ignoring Felix as he made his way to where Lady Aucliar was being prepped. Of course, he was not allowed to enter as the maids stood firmly in his path.

“Fine,” he said as he crossed his arms impatiently. “The moment she is dressed, though, I will be at her shadow.”

It was a reasonable compromise, and soon Lewis was allowed in. What he saw, though, almost stole his breath away once more…

Simone

Character Info
Name: Simone Terrowin
Age: Appears 20
Alignment: CN
Race: Night Phoenix
Gender: Female
Class: Songstress/Novel Writer
Silver: 11672
Simone made a face and looked back at him, “Felix is my only remaining relative. His father was killed for high treason, I put the rope on him myself after I was able to walk. He arranged for my carriage to wreck and I broke many bones in my body… but I refuse to die because my father asked me to live a long life. Felix wasn’t connected to it but we did find out that his father had been pressuring mine to let Felix marry me. This wasn’t originally a matriarchal empire… My father made it one when he handed it to me.” She filled him in on what she thought he needed to know. “Felix desires an incestuous relationship with me and has ever since we were kids. He even went so far as to make an attempt to visit my chambers at night. However, Llywellyn had sneaked into my room and scared him off. He said he had a bad feeling so he showed up. This is still not enough to oust him from my circle.”

The empress looked up shyly to the maid and kept her mouth shut as a blush formed across her lips. She had lost track of time even though she said she wouldn’t. She did, after all, love her sun garden.

In a hurry Simone was stolen away and out of Lewis’s sight. Brought to her chambers they began to try different dresses on her. They settled on something different from her usual modest attire. It was a deep cut, almost too revealing. The bodice was just thick enough to cover her breasts while a silver branch-like belt laid at her waist. The soft silk-like fabric had many, many slits and the shoulders had a drape from one side to the next. Her hair was braided beautiful around a tiara while matching jewelry was adorned on the rest of her body.

She was standing up on the dressing pedestal when Lewis arrived inside the room. Their eyes connected and she shyly looked away. “You should pick one of the masks. That way you’ll be able to memorize it easier and always know which one is me.” She considered herself plain and easily lost but the way he was staring at her… She was feeling devoured almost.

A maid brought a large jeweled box over to him and opened it. “Please pick one for Her Grace to wear.” He wasted no time picking a blue lace mask with beautiful blue and white butterflies on the right side. Diamonds were gracing the top of it making it look very elegant. She pulled up her skirts just enough to step off the pedestal with ease. “Shall we go then?”

Dusk

Character Info
Name: Lewis Terrowin
Age: 25
Alignment: CN
Race: Night Phoenix
Gender: Male
Class: Ex-Assassin
Silver: 4887
Lewis had barely thought of companionship during his life as an assassin. Sure, there were the occasional nights of debauchery when he felt it was needed, but that was merely the animalistic desire of human nature. It was something that he hated, but it was a necessary evil…but it wasn’t something that he had ever desired. Nothing had ever quite caught his eye before, not like she had.

His breath had caught, and he realized moments later that he had not been breathing. The assassin cleared his throat, focusing on anything but Lady Simone after his initial, devouring gaze. He took a moment to walk around her room, noting the entrances and exits, as well as the possible hiding places. It didn’t take long, though, for the maids to arrive with the masks for the night.

The assassin still had not donned his own, holding it in his hand. If he was to picks her mask out, it would be for the ease of familiarity. The middle mask was made of blue lace, and easily identifiable when it came down to an emergency. He picked it up, and walked over to the Empress as she descended the pedestal. He offered her the mask, and nodded.

“After you, Lady Auclair.” His eyes locked with hers again, and he felt his breath hitch as she walked past him. He shook his head, and ignored the feelings, walking behind her.

When they approached the ballroom, Lewis could hear the sounds of the guests chatting. Lady Simone stopped at the entrance, and took a deep breath. Lewis waited as well, and once she was announced, followed her out into the crowd as her presence was met with applause. Though, the applause seemed to fumble when Lewis made his own appearance. He wasn’t sure if it was the shock of a new royal guardian, or something more.

Of course, the obvious choice went far over Lewis’ head. There were murmurs once they entered the crowd proper.

“So when can we expect the babies?” a rather drunk fellow said as he approached Lewis, acting too friendly. His crimson hair was tied back into an elegant ponytail, his green and red eyes shimmering as he looked Lewis up and down. “And to think, the Captain of the Guard has lost his chance with the beautiful Empress!” He sounded almost too dramatic. “But…as long as she’s happy…” The man was wearing a white suit, which did nothing to match his personality. Not to mention, he had the tackiest demon mask.

“Don’t mind him,” another voice said as another man approached. “He’s just wasted.” The brown haired man was wearing a brown and green vest. His mask was that of a wolf. “Rhenakos isn’t usually like that. Well…he is, but not that bad. You must be the…uh…new help.” He held out his hand. “Xeik. Royal physician. We’ll be seeing a lot of each other…Lady Simone is prone to injury.”

Lewis stared at Xeik’s hand, and then looked back to the Empress. “Who or what you are doesn’t matter to me. Not a part of the job…”

Xeik shrugged, smiling behind his mask. “I can’t say that I appreciate that outlook, but it is true that you’re here for her sake. I just hope you don’t see much action. She deserves a quiet life after everything…”

The assassin raised an eyebrow. “Wha-”

There was a sudden change in the mood of the room as music started. A slower song started to play, and it seemed as though the party goers were now pairing off to dance.

“What a waste,” Lewis said as he watched out for the Empress. “Well…it doesn’t matter. Even if they dance with her, they couldn’t make a move before losing a hand…” He wasn’t worried at all. Whoever she chose would still be a target should they make the wrong move.

Simone

Character Info
Name: Simone Terrowin
Age: Appears 20
Alignment: CN
Race: Night Phoenix
Gender: Female
Class: Songstress/Novel Writer
Silver: 11672
Simone heard the whispers and her eyes drifted back to Lewis but only for a moment before her eyes landed on her captain. “Lord Rhenakos… Please watch yourself before your wife really hangs you this time from the scaffolding. You know how Lady Osiria’s temper can be~” She teased him.

There was a smile once Xeik showed up, “There’s not a scratch on me right now.” It got her a look from Xeik before the music started. There was a rush of suitors towards the unmarried empress and Simone washed no time grabbing Lewis.

“I choose you.”

“Wha–? No!” Lewis yelled at her hushed.

“My court. My rules,” she gave him a smile as she dragged him off. She wasn’t bad at dancing but she wasn’t the best either. She moved his hands into place after bowing to him and they began to dance. “I’ll let you touch me this once.” Even though her skin was bumping up at the mere touch of him. She was uncomfortable but not in the way that she had been with Felix. Felix who was fuming from a table that wasn’t that far away.

The dance came to an end and a blonde-haired man came over. He was smirking at Simone as if she was a prize. “You owe me a dance my Empress.”

Simone was hesitant. Her skin shivered almost on its own even though she held barely any movement that said so. “I do.” She gave a pained look to Lewis. “You can wait for me by the balcony…” It wasn’t that far away. She hated this.

“You never responded to my marriage proposal,” he smirked at her.

“Jerome, we’ve been over this,” Simone danced with him within ear shot of Lewis as she frowned. “You are the one who broke off our engagement.”

“That was a mistake.”

She frowned deeply and ended the dance early. “I don’t care for men who think they can abandon me whenever I inconvenience them.”

“Mone, that was five years ago… We were stupid kids. Can’t you tell how much I love you?”

“You love me like a moth loves a flame,” she bowed to him and walked calmly away but before there was a look in her eyes as she stopped her advance towards Lewis. Her hands met her skirts and she took off into the sea of people. Towards the back gardens where there was no one else.

She fell onto the fountain sitting on the edge with a panicked look on her face. She detested these things.

Dusk

Character Info
Name: Lewis Terrowin
Age: 25
Alignment: CN
Race: Night Phoenix
Gender: Male
Class: Ex-Assassin
Silver: 4887
It was a shock to be pulled so forceful onto the dance floor. The assassin was annoyed, and it showed on his face as he started to dance with the Empress. There would be more talk about this, but Lewis barely cared for the idle gossip. No, he was much more annoyed that this would compromise the safety of the Empress. But, as Edwin had said, somehow she always got her way…

Lewis was no slouch when it came to dancing. It wasn’t that he specifically learned how to dance, but rather that he had trained his body rigorously in order to perform his assassin role with ease. As such, he had incredible control over what he wanted to do, and how. This easily translated into dancing, and it was as easy as mirroring what others were doing.

Of course, with more grace.

Of course, Lewis noticed her discomfort to his touch. It was hard to describe, but he was feeling something quite similar. It wasn’t revulsion to her touch, but more that there was something unspoken between them. A bond of sorts. He was closer to her than he had ever been to anyone else…well, anyone else while they were alive.

The dance ended, and it took Lewis a moment to pull away. It was much easier, though, when the blonde haired man, Jerome, came by to steal his dance. Lewis stepped away, his eyes still locked with the Empress’ for a moment longer before he walked over to the balcony.

That’s right. I’m merely a well trained guard dog…

The assassin watched as the two danced, and though it was hard to hear everything, he could read their lips as well as catch fragments of the conversation. It would seem that Jerome was yet another one of the failed suitors.

Lewis wasn’t sure why, but that made him…happy.

The music ended, and there was an applause as Lady Simone bowed to her dance partner. She started towards Lewis and the balcony, but seemed to hesitate. At once, she rushed the opposite direction, disappearing from the crowd.

“Damn it,” Lewis whispered as he started for the crowd himself.

It took little time to guess where the Empress had gone, and without a word he walked outside to see her sitting on the fountain. He silently kept his distance. She probably got overwhelmed with it all. Lewis could almost relate; the ball was a rather grotesque display of noble wealth being put to waste.

“You can come over,” the Empress Simone said as she took notice of Lewis.

“I wou-”

“That wasn’t meant to be a choice,” she said. “Please?”

The assassin sighed, and walked over, sitting next to her. “You should be more careful. At least…warn me next time you bolt. It’s hard to keep up with you in a crowd.” He glanced her way. “For your protection, you know…” He reached up and pulled off the silver-black mask, and placed it on the cool stone.

Lewis was no good at this sort of thing. The fact that she was tired of the ball was technically none of his concern. Yet…

“Did you…hate it? Dancing?” he wondered. “It seemed like you didn’t have a choice.”

Simone

Character Info
Name: Simone Terrowin
Age: Appears 20
Alignment: CN
Race: Night Phoenix
Gender: Female
Class: Songstress/Novel Writer
Silver: 11672
Simone looked over to him as he sat next to her. “No, I love dancing. I hate people who are snakes.” She chuckled a bit. “I liked dancing with you.” She took her mask off and put it next to her. “I’m nothing more than an object of power for them. There are a few people who are genuine with me but I feel nothing for them. It’s a giant hole in me… I’m just looking for that spark… That feeling.”

She shivered when the wind came through and looked at Lewis. “We should probably turn in the night. It’s late… I’m tired. Too many assholes.”

Lewis escorted her to her room and she hesitated to go in and watched him softly for a second. “Good night Lewis… and thank you for a good end to my night. Though it was brief.” She wavered on him for a few seconds before she clothes the door.

Llywellyn climbed into the window and she almost screamed but covered her mouth. “What are you doing?” She whispered to him so Lewis couldn’t hear.

“Why are we whispering?”

“I have a bodyguard now he’s outside the door.” She pointed.

“Oh, change into this we’re going to a festival. He won’t even know we’re gone.”

Simone made a face before she took the commoner’s dress and changed. She took off all her makeup and her jewelry. The clothes were all over the ground but before she left she wrote a note. “Lewis, Went to town. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you please don’t be upset. I didn’t have a choice. -Simone”

Llywellyn took her into his arms and brought her down the castle carefully so they could go to the flower festival. The town was light up with lanterns and people were dancing everywhere. She looked like an everyday woman. No one suspected a thing.

Dusk

Character Info
Name: Lewis Terrowin
Age: 25
Alignment: CN
Race: Night Phoenix
Gender: Male
Class: Ex-Assassin
Silver: 4887
It was strange seeing things from this angle. It was the power that most people feared or desired when it came to the assassination game, which meant that Lewis had only ever seen his targets as a consolidated power. Now, though, he was seeing the humanity behind it. And, at least for his Empress, he was seeing the loneliness about it.

He wanted to say something to her, anything to make the situation seem better than it was. A lie. Yet, her words came first. She was tired, which was understandable given the position she had been put in. He stood up and escorted her to her room, and as she started to go in, she seemed to hesitate.

“Yes, my Lady?” Lewis asked. She said her good night with a smile, seeming to want to say more, but then disappeared as the door shut softly behind her. Lewis stared at the door for a moment longer, realizing that he had been frozen in place.

These stupid thoughts need to go. She’s under my protection. Nothing more… His thoughts lingered to the dance, though, and her uncomfortable, yet not unwelcoming aura. It was more…as though she wasn’t sure what to do.

And here I am…overanalyzing things… The assassin furrowed his brow, and walked to the other side of the hall, sliding to the floor as he stared at her door. His brown eyes seemed to linger on the handle. Sneaking into her room would be easy, and with his skillset she would never notice. But that would be an invasion of her privacy.

That, and he wasn’t sure how she slept. Lewis was pretty sure that they had beheaded people of his status for seeing their ruler in a compromising position.

Yet…there was a slight excitement to that idea. A high risk situation…much like the dance of death when killing someone.

Lewis found himself standing up and placing his hand on the door handle. No…I respect the Empress more than that…. A sudden thought, though crossed his mind. A memory…

“The enemy is a man who is hellbent on breaking her and using her as a breeding tool. Making her less than human…

The enemy. Lewis could not let his protectee out of sight…regardless of what she wanted. He opened the door, and slipped into the room silently.

It took only a moment for Lewis’ eyes to adjust, but there was already something wrong. It was far too quiet, even for a sleeping woman. At once, he realized she was gone. Her clothes were scattered across the ground, and for a moment Lewis’ panicked. It took him only a moment later to find the note, and he crumpled it up in his hands with a deep breath, trying to keep calm. Tracking her wouldn’t be a problem, but the fact that she was so brazen as to leave without him was…

It…hurts.



The flower festival was in full bloom as the town was alight with paper lanterns. It was something stunningly beautiful to most, but it was lost on someone like Lewis. He swiftly weaved in and out the crowds, ignoring the looks he was getting for being rather rude and abrasive. He didn’t much care, so long as he found-

“Lady Auc-” Lewis started as he spotted her finally. He cut himself off, though, realizing that he probably shouldn’t announce her in such a public place. Besides, he was caught off guard…

The Empress was in mere commoner’s clothes, twirling about by herself, dancing to the calming music that radiated the festival. She looked so at ease and happy, but there was something that was missing. She seemed far too lonely, as though she longed for someone to be at her side as she danced the night away.

Lewis was entranced by her movements, though, frozen in the crowd as he stared at her. She was the image of beauty as the night sky behind her filled with paper flowers and lanterns.

Simone

Character Info
Name: Simone Terrowin
Age: Appears 20
Alignment: CN
Race: Night Phoenix
Gender: Female
Class: Songstress/Novel Writer
Silver: 11672
Llywellyn was nearby and he stood near Lewis, “Don’t be mad at her. I made her come out. After the horse’s ass at the dance she needed this.” He put up his hands to Lewis. “She told me you wouldn’t like it and was quite upset she couldn’t tell you. She puffed up her face at me and berated me for the last ten minutes.”

Lewis gave him a dead glare, "Better her berating you than my dagger across your throat. Next time you might not be so lucky…"

Llywellyn chuckled a bit, “That’s what she told me you would say.”

The assassin rolled his eyes. "Then you should listen to her. I don't make idle threats."

“Ohhh. Okay.” Llywellyn had seen the way Simone reacted to Lewis. It was a good thing. “Okay. She’s yours.” He slapped Lewis’s back and pushed him right into Simone.

“Lewis!” Simone’s face was blushing. “Lly!” She puffed up her face uncharacteristically of what Lewis knew her. “YOU KNEW HE WAS HERE!”

“Nonsense… He just showed up. Probably got your little love note you left him.”

“I-… It wasn’– I…” Simone stuttered and blushed.

“Less complaining more dancing. I have to go back to Sulwal. Good night Mone and Lewlew.” Llywellyn disappeared.

“…Lewlew?” Simone started to laugh.

Dusk

Character Info
Name: Lewis Terrowin
Age: 25
Alignment: CN
Race: Night Phoenix
Gender: Male
Class: Ex-Assassin
Silver: 4887
Lewis was shocked at the sudden push into the Empress, but that wasn’t the worst of it. That dumbass of a prince Llywellyn called him an absurd nickname. As the assassin turned to see the elvish prince fleeing, he reached for a dagger, fully prepared to lob it into his back.

“They won’t miss him, will they?” Lewis asked.

“Oh, but Lewlew, please don’t. Just…come dance with me?” Simone asked as she pulled his arm away from the dagger at his belt. Her hand locked with his as she pulled him hard.

The assassin huffed, and turned his attention to the Empress. “F-fine..” Her face was puffed out from trying to convince Lewis not to kill her friend, and it was…cute. He stared at her for a moment longer, almost lost in her stormy gray eyes. “Oh…dance…” He had almost forgotten that they were still holding hands as he relaxed his iron grip.

Much like before, he took the lead as they started to sway with the music. Unlike before, Simone seemed much happier, excited to have a dance partner. Lewis himself was lost in the motion, his heart stirring in a way that had never happened before. Their dance brought them weaving intricate patterns between them, and several times they found each other mere inches away from one another, their noses practically touching.

The music started to pick up, crescendo-ing towards an explosive end. To match this, Lewis took Simone by the waist and hand, twirling her as the music rose higher and higher. It all seemed so perfectly timed, and Simone found herself being dipped as the music ended on the grand finale.

Her eyes locked with his, and each of their eyes shimmered a beautiful azure as they shared what felt like an intimate moment. Both were panting as he pulled her back up.

“That was…” Lewis’ eyes widened. “…that was…dangerous of you, Empr-…” He looked around, and dropped his voice. “Empress. What if someone recognized you? We should not have made such a scene…”

Simone

Character Info
Name: Simone Terrowin
Age: Appears 20
Alignment: CN
Race: Night Phoenix
Gender: Female
Class: Songstress/Novel Writer
Silver: 11672
Simone’s heart was beating loud as he dipped her and she looked up at him as he brought her up. The crowd was clapping towards them. “Because I am a plain woman Lewis. No one will recognize me without makeup.” She blushed a bit. “Only you can. And well Lly but he brought this dress to me.” She walked hand and hand with Lewis and smiled at him.

“I… This is very nice. This allows me to make sure the people of Auclair are happy. To see the fields at their worst or best… Everyone always tries to put on good faces for me when I come with guards but right now… They are bearing their all for me.” She looked around and smiled. “I make judgments based on these visits. Like I think the flour tax needs to be reduced because the cake stand is having issues paying for it.”

She put her arm in his and smiled. “This was nice… Thank you. I haven’t enjoyed myself for a very long time. I was mad at Lly for not letting me tell you where I was going.” She blushed a bit. “I don’t want to violate your trust. You told me I could do whatever I wanted as long as you were there. You would have let me go.”

They made their way back to the castle and she avoided the front gate. “Come on.” She showed him how Llywellyn got into the castle grounds unnoticed and started to climb up the side of the castle. “Come on… We can get into my room this way.” Once they got into her room she did a stretch and danced around her room.

“Does this mean you aren’t going to leave my room at night now?” She chuckled.

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