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Julian: The Professional
Topic Started: Jun 4 2017, 06:34 AM (328 Views)
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The Sir of FTG

The man seated across from Julian seemed angry. That being said, why wouldn't he? He was being rejected by a young upstart with deep pockets, despite a seemingly impressive record of getting the job done. Still, Julian knew that this guy wasn't what he was looking for. Not even close. Any Knight worth their salt would peg him as a crim the minute he showed his ugly mug. No. That's not what Julian was looking for at all. So, despite the man's silent glowering, Julian had no intentions to change his mind.

"Well? Go on then, gent." Julian prodded, "Move along, yeah?"

A small shooing gesture accompanied Julian's words, prompting the ugly sack of skin to pick himself angrily from the seat opposite his interviewer. It hadn't been a long interview. Only a few seconds, really. None of the others had been much longer. Everyone was... wrong. There was always something wrong... Some had connections to the target. Others were so well known they had actual wanted posters posted around their hometowns. No real big fish, of course. Julian didn't have the resources, these days, to bring out any of those... But still, the current pool wasn't so great.

Julian tapped his finger impatiently. He'd been holed up in The Crow's Nest for a week, waiting for any comers who would reply to the feelers he'd put out in the underground and seedy places of Fiore. It was a fairly easy job, but a partner was needed. It paid well enough, given the other requirements for the job. Still, there was plenty of stipulations that were meant to make sure that Julian's time wouldn't be wasted. Still, people like Meathead Maude still showed up expecting to be paid handsomely for what amounted to a trifle.

"While I'm impressed by your resolve to clean up your messes, boy..."

Julian had no clue how long Mogwin had been watching over him, but he didn't like it. Mogwin was a skilled criminal. In his time, creating a small empire which still exists, in some form, to this day, with only his own resourcefulness and wit. And now, he was a lackey to the Sinister Shopkeep. So, even while he mocked the thief-turned-mobster with his words, Mogwin mocked him by his very existence: a reminder of what he was to become.

"... But it seems you just cannot figure it out, eh?"

"Oh, I don't fink so, Moggie. Just, you know tha old saying: Ya just can't find good 'elp these days."

"I do not believe that is correct, Dear Julian. Simply that you are an imcompetent."

"Don't you got an old man ta report in to!?"

Mogwin chuckled darkly, "No no no... I'm far too interested in what's about to happen now to let something like that get in my way."
Edited by Fairchild, Jun 4 2017, 03:19 PM.
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Reya Starlyght
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Verba volant, scripta manent.

Even though he had been to the Lavender Forest on multiple occasions in the past few months, and had visited cities near Trillium, it had been quite a few years since he had actually set foot in the city. As a matter of fact, the metropolis was fitting to its title more so now then it was the last time Leonidas had seen it. Astrea may have done her number on the Grand City of Winds, but it would be clear to almost anyone that the citizens had taken their situation and flipped it to the positive aspect of things in their reconstruction. Or at least, that was what came to mind at the surface of Trillium.

Up until that point, the blonde had avoided the city not unlike the plague, primarily for two reasons. First, it happened to be the closest of Fiore's major towns in proximity to the Glacial Flats, and although a part of him longed to hear the flat whistling of snow against a barren landscape and the bitter taste of the cold against his skin, such a visit inevitably would lead to one thing, and he wasn't sure if he could handle that in present time. The second reason was simply because of the fact that Eris and him had been planning on visiting Trillium, yet not soon after the decision was made did things go so horrible awry.

That day, however, his intent was simple, to gather information. Through both his own personal experience and the word of mouth did Leonidas gather one place to find such a thing, or perhaps an organization would be a better word. It was Raven Tail, the dark guild that had quite high influence in the city. The blonde would have gone to the guild hall itself, but he wasn't all too familiar with the location and doubted it was public knowledge. So, instead, he had to settle on the next best thing, a shop that just so happened to proudly portray the guild's emblem. That had to be good for something, right?

Walking into The Crow's Nest did Leonidas find a somewhat modest layout, odds and ends of products littered throughout shelves and displays. He took careful note of the fact that the door was rather reinforced as it seemed to almost slam shut as it closed, and took it as a sign that whomever owned the place was seemingly accustomed to danger. Depending on how things played out, the blonde supposed that could either be a positive trait, or a bad thing. Whatever the case, it seemed an interview of some sort was going on in the joint, another thing that spelled opportunity. It was possible that he could get the information he sought if he helped with whatever the employer of sorts, a man with dishwater blonde hair and purple eyes it would seem, wanted.

A chance was better then nothing, he supposed, so as another individual left the building seemingly disgruntled did Leonidas approach, with the hint of a smile on his face.

"Hello there. Pleasant day, isn't it?"
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The Sir of FTG
"No. It ain't." Julian snorted, "sides, we're closed. Can't ya read tha-"


Julian's frustration was clear only to himself and Mogwin. While Julian had tasked the white puffball to place a sign: a task which the moogle seemed to have gleefully completed, though pointedly incorrectly. Instead, Julian could see a plank of wood placed outside the shop's grated window, the lettering pointed inwards, rather than out: Closed for Renovations... Well, that was supposed to be the story, at least. Upstairs, Mogwin tittered maliciously.

"Well, it seems you have a customer, Dear Julian."

"You little rat wif wings, I'll-"

"TEMPER TEMPER, Julian, my boy. You really must keep your composure whilst a patron is present."

Julian shot a pointed expression at Mogwin, his lip curled in a snarl, before turning back to the boy, a genuine-seeming smile on his face. He approached the counter, his hands coming together in an apologetic gesture. When they met, the faint sound of ball-bearings and clinking metal briefly puffed into the air, added to the equally faint smells of dust and rust.

"My apologies, Young Sir." he beamed, "I 'ope our squabble din't put ya off a shoppin' mood, eh?"

Julian looked the boy up and down, trying to get an idea of what he might want. In a previous life, he would use this particular skill to determine if someone had something worth stealing (and more importantly, if they were skilled enough to do something to stop him). Judging by appearances alone, Julian was not impressed. His clothes were ratty and faded, and at his age, that was telling. His sword was quality, but old... likely an heirloom... Or stolen. Considering he had the look of an orphaned boy, stolen was probably more likely.

"But... I'm not sure iffin' we've got anything... in yer price range."
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Reya Starlyght
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Verba volant, scripta manent.

The twos' squabble was amusing, if not a bit unprofessional, Leonidas noted. The cream cat-like creature was indeed an odd sight, warranting that the shop's owner, whose name was apparently Julian, either was a traveler of some type or had a rather well run business. Of course, perhaps the individual with bat wings was a partner of some sort, but a similar situation probably still applied even if that was the case. As the man looked Leonidas up and down, he couldn't help but have an epiphany, for in terms of his appearance it was then he realized it probably wasn't the greatest.

"That's right, I forgot to get a change of clothes after that encounter in Lavender Forest, didn't I..." he muttered as the shop owner threw out a rather implied blanketed statement. Social standards concerning apparel had always been such a bother, for it was a subject that slipped by the blonde's mind all too often. Although his memory was sharp, he was bound to forget some things from time to time. Such was simply a reality considering his age.

Not saying anything further about the matter did the crimson-eyed man state his reasonings for entering the store. "Well, I'm not exactly here for... conventional shopping, but we'll see about that. I saw the Raven Tail sign on your store front and was wondering if you might be able to help me find an individual or two of... particular interest. Or does your guild have a policy on that? Grimoire Heart doesn't as far as I know, but I've heard you're not quite as loose knotted as us." For a moment, he wondered if the two guilds had a rivalry of some kind, not really knowing or caring much about his own in the first place, but if such was the case it wouldn't be too hard for the blonde to reason his sense of detachment from Grimoire Heart.

Taking a moment to break eye contact with Julian, Leonidas noticed a gouge in the counter. It looked like it was painted black for some odd reason, until he realized the splattering was a little too erratic to have a purposeful meaning, and the color itself didn't have the sheen that such a material usually carried. As a matter of fact, the stain reminded the blonde of something he was all too familiar with. "Huh, odd stain you have there," he remarked, looking back up at the violet-eyed shop owner.
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The Sir of FTG
Lately, it seemed, he was spending more time with members of Grimoire Heart than his own. These days, that even more of Syeena's guild-mates would patronize his store than his own brethren. It wasn't unexpected. After what Julian did... and how the Guild took it... In fact, it was the best the thief could expect. And for that very reason, of course, he had to out-source this job. The fact of the matter did not change how much it hurt: knowing that none of your own still cared to help you in your time of need. Julian steeled himself against the notion, his heart hardening even more.

"Huh, odd stain you have there,"

Julian's lachryma left hand unwittingly clasped over his other, made still of flesh and blood, pressing a leather-bound, metallic thumb against a hideous scar in the palm of his hand. As soon as he noticed the tick, he was moving to rectify it, thinking it a sign of weakness. Instead, he leaned over the counter, mere inches from the boy's face, his breath hot, reeking of stale cigarettes and black coffee.

"Grimoire 'eart shares knowledge." Julian replied, "Round 'ere, we sell it."

"And unfort'natly fer you. Knowledge is far more cos'ly than mere trinkets."

It seemed that Julian had more to say, though, something stayed his tongue. He looked over the boy once more, this time, a different goal in mind. He backed away, slowly unhunching himself from over the counter, a self-satisfied smile on his face. Now, Julian saw what he hadn't before: how such a child could be useful to his own goals... and if he was willing, he would be the perfect tool to use against the sarcastically named "Saint Savio."

"Course, I've always been more partial ta services than goods..."

"I wonda... What're yer feelings 'bout tha Knights, eh?"
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Reya Starlyght
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Verba volant, scripta manent.

The fact that Julian didn't address the stain in even the slightest bit hinted to two things, that it was either a sensitive subject or that he thought it irrelevant. Perhaps it was a mix of both, although the traits the shop owner was coloring in upon suggested more towards the latter. As he leaned in closer Leonidas did not move an inch. Yes, such was quite a common occurrence when he was having a one-on-one conversation for one reason or another. In different cases it often led from intrigue, or maybe just a sore height difference, but in this case there was the overlay of arrogance, as if the purple-eyed man moving in closer was supposed to be a sign of superiority. It was a bit annoying, enough for the blonde to utter a single statement after Julian finished his first little spiel. "Is that so..."

The assumed to be Raven Tail member's next few sentences were a little more forgiving in intentions. He was still going off the assumption that the crimson-eyed man had no money or items of value, but the idea of a service of some type didn't seem too bad he supposed. Coupled with the notion of the Knights, and considering Julian's probable allegiances, well it wasn't too hard to figure out what he was asking for. Leonidas's next words didn't even have to be bent to appeal for once.

"Eh, the Knights exist to make life more difficult, in my opinion. All of Fiore's government loves to do that, actually. Let's just say a long time ago they didn't like me too much, but over all those years they tend to be a bit forgetful. Let me guess, you're not too fond of a few of them? It is a pretty common occurrence."

Perhaps a small bit of his reply seemed out of place, although it were true, but only time would tell if the shop owner picked up on it.
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The Sir of FTG
On the surface, they boy's comment might seem strange, but... on the other hand, it all made perfect sense to Julian. As a boy, Julian had been a trouble-maker and criminal attached to the hip of someone far more dangerous and crafty. However, once he grew, it seemed as though even the local knights paid him less and less mind. Perhaps they figured it was youthful rebellion... Maybe once he became more stealthy, they simply thought he had ceased his criminal activities... Or maybe, they didn't even recognize him anymore. It was impossible to say, really... And given how much traveling Julian had done in his youth, any of those possibilities were valid assumptions. Regardless, Leonidas' words didn't faze him in the slightest.

"Yeah, well... Even a Raven knows tha Knights have their place in tha world." Julian continued, "Even iffin' the Knights don't know it themselfs."

While the boy's answer wasn't as definitive as Julian could hope for, it would be enough, for now. It didn't matter so much if Leonidas agreed with Julian's plan in full, only that he disliked the Knights in some fashion. The rest could be revealed or omitted at his own discretion. Julian had no qualms with using him to his own ends. If he thought about it too much, he would likely be disgusted with himself.

"One such Knight 'as been givin' me some grief... and goin' a bit further than otha' Knights would approve of in tha process. People 'ave been 'urt."

"My people."

A half-truth, sure, but true enough. The people hurt were more Raven Tail's than Julian's, including Julian himself. Even today, Julian kept thinking about the hospital... and Savio breaking his fingers, simply to prove a point. Back then, Julian was too weak to stop him... battered and beaten by an even greater evil and left at Savio's sadistic mercy. But no longer. Savio would answer for his twisted actions... and he would learn the true meaning of Justice.

"An' now... I wanna make sure 'e learns 'is lesson. If only so 'e don't end up killin' someone who don't deserve it."

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Reya Starlyght
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Verba volant, scripta manent.

What Julian countered with in response to the blonde's statement was not surprising in the least, for it was true that the Knights did indeed fit into civilization rather well. They were regarded as the keepers of peace, the defenders of Fiore, and hundreds of other titles essentially boiling down to the same concept, that they were the light in the world. The criminals, the misfits, the unnatural, they were the ones that didn't hold a spot in the daylight, but even then there were the niches like the dark guilds and other underground organizations to hide under. It was when one didn't conform to those that they were outcast, and even if those relations were forged out of falsehoods the truth would always be evident beneath the surface. Those individuals were the ones that didn't have a place in the world, the ones who precariously balanced temptation and regret, sanity and insanity, rationality and instinct. It was a shame, but reality for him.

Nevertheless, the violet-eyed man's proposition seemed logical enough. Leonidas didn't need justification for acts against the kingdom, but he supposed it gave some insight into Julian's motives. It seemed that he, or perhaps an acquaintance of his, had suffered at the hands of a lackey of the Knights, and wanted revenge. Indeed, perhaps the two had something in common in that regard. Still, the crimson-eyed man didn't see much of a formulated or methodical plan being thrown into place, and without it, well although he played the game himself Leonidas didn't exactly like being kept out of the loop of things. At the very least, the lethality of the mission was a must.

"I know exactly what you're referring to in terms of... cruel actions, but that is a very vague plan. Do you want to kick him out of his position, kill him, or try something else? One of those options is by far the easiest and most secure, mind you," the blonde responded casually, folding his hands on the counter in between the two. An ever faint smile was pressed onto his visage, completely unfazed by the mention, and in retrospect the actual performance, of manslaughter. Anyone who threw a cursory, or even an observant, glance would see something more akin to a pleasantry then a hint at sadism, however.
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The Sir of FTG
Julian misjudged this boy, something that was not lost on him in the slightest. He was a dab hand when it came to reading people; his job depended on it. He thought Leo was just a harmless rube who could be easily manipulated, just as Julian once had been... But instead of a starry-eyed greenhorn, Julian found himself face to face with a lie. No... Calling the unassuming facade which Leo put forward a lie was a disservice. Any fool could tell a lie, but to spin such a convincing deception takes some people decades of experience to perfect. There was more going on behind those seemingly genuine and kind eyes, and honestly, it had piqued Julian's curiosity.

“Aw'right then. Tit fer tat. I tell you my plan, the full of it, yeah? But you tell me what yer deal is.”

“What is it, then, eh? Groomed to become some kinda assassin? Possessed by a demon? Raised by wolves?”

It honestly didn't matter how Leonidas responded, at this point, Julian was already enjoying every moment of this. No matter how Leo answered, his honest face, belying this darker aspect of his personality... It was exactly what Julian needed for his plan, without any of the hassle involved with contracting out a clueless nimrod. After listening to what to what the “boy” had to say, Julian shrugged his shoulders, as if suddenly bored by the questions he seemed so eager to blurt out just a moment ago. Really, this was just a day in the life for him, at this point... Really, it was the mystery more than anything that got Julian riled up. He didn't like leaving such questions unanswered.

“Hrm... Well tha's less fun...” Julian dismissed, “But I'm a man o' m' word.”

“Lock that door 'n follow me. We got some things ta discuss, mate.”

Julian swung open the counter, allowing Leonidas entry into the back of the thief's shop. Out of all the possible applicants, it seemed like the walk-in was better than any of them who had an appointment. Not surprising, really, given the sort of people who sought out these kinda of jobs. Rather than dwell on it idly, Julian kept on the move, trundling up the stairs with a pep-infused step. The faint trace of a limp was evident in his gait, a souvenir of his first encounter with a demon which, even years later, never fully went away. The desk at the top of the stairs was free of its normal clutter, instead plastered with pictures, service records and complaints regarding one man: Savio Morandi.

“St. Savio of Correopsis. Callin' him a bastard is givin' bastards a bad name.”

“I could take 'im out m'self easy 'nuff... but the real problem is his stompin' ground: loaded wif Knights. It'd be yer job ta lead 'im away... Iffin' yer up for it, course.”

Edited by Fairchild, Jun 30 2017, 06:17 AM.
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Reya Starlyght
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Verba volant, scripta manent.

His crimson gaze lingered on Julian for a few moments after the man had spoken, as if debating whether or not to speak. The truth was not that, for his head had already spun the lie a thousand times over again and was about to utter it, but for a split moment Leonidas wondered what the shop owner would say were he to fully expose himself. It would be amusing, perhaps, but the possible consequences weren't at all worth the entertainment. "No, my body just stopped aging a long time ago... and well I've seen, done, and experienced some unforgivable things...." he finally responded, scratching the back of his head and looking off to a corner of the room whilst do so. The blonde had to admit, planting a seed of a larger story was pretty fun, and irresistable, if only for Julian to unsucessfully attempt to pry more information out.

Yet, the end result seemed to be nothing but a bore. The crimson eyed man supposed it was for the better, as he walked over to the door and promptly deadbolted it, but if anything it was a judge of the man's character. He didn't really seem to care who or what anyone was as long as they got the task done, or at least so it seemed. Leonidas had to admit, such people were convenient and a nice turn around from the stigma society imposed, if nothing else.

The blonde followed Julian upstairs as he explained the situation, or more specifically the target. He noted the brief reassurance that the purple eyed man hinted to in his speech, as if he wasn't entirely sure why he was doing such a thing, but then again Leonidas supposed it could have just been a rambling, or an explanation for murder, in which he needed none. One thing the shop owner's details did lack, however, was solid information. It wasn't just the knight's description that was needed in order to lure him out, there was also the actual bait. For although he had been off the radar of Fiore for an extremely extended period of time, the crimson eyed man wasn't exactly too fond of walking into a situation blind.

"Seems simple enough. I'll do it, although I's rather have more information on this Savio aside from his looks and service records. Do you know his temperament at all, perhaps any typical routines he goes through or what type of dilemma is most likely to draw his attention?"
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