- " We all do things we aren't proud of and if you've never done it, to regret something, you've an enviable life or you're likely lying to my face..."
- — Ryia
Raised by a family which was not her own, Ryia took on the surname, Saito. Despite her features revealing that she was not entirely Japanese, Ryia was supposedly born within Japan yet, her parents she would never know. Ryia grew up as an adoptive child near the Sakurai Dai Gate. Of course, after rumors had begun to spread about it being haunted by ghosts, her family was told to move her away, yet they refused. Several other families had also lived close to these grounds and found nothing to be wrong whatsoever. As the years passed, Ryia lived with her adoptive family believing that they were her true parents. She was told the truth two days before her 19th birthday.
Ryia had learned that her parents had in fact left her about their doorstep and claimed that they could not tend to their child and asked if her foster parents could. They accepted yet, her biological parents said they would soon be back to visit and they did just that. Several times during the first few years until they simply stopped. Her foster parents had never known why yet, they had their suspicions. Her yellowing eyes were more than a giveaway.
One day, years later, Ryia was dared to go past the entrance to the Sakruai Dai Gate. She refused and was urged on by her friends to go and do it. Sadly giving into this taunt and dare, she did. It would be the best mistake she had ever made.
Upon entering, her "friends" closed the door behind her and locked her in. She pounded on the door begging for them to let her out but they all laughed at her.
"The Hell would we care about you for? FREAK!"
Other things were said yet, she chose not to remember those insults. They were based upon her hair and her eyes. She could not help who she was and who she inherited her looks from. So why must she be hated? Giving up on getting out this way, Ryia decided to explore the abandoned temple grounds.
There was nothing else to do and she also needed to find an alternative exit route. In searching about, she came across a Buddha statue which had been polished beautifully. Golden in color and remarkably gorgeous. As she continued to explore she had realized that she was not alone. This temple, once the capital of Japan had been long abandoned though she knew not why. Rumors had been about claiming that ghosts and other beings plagued this castle, yet, it looked as if much more than mere ghosts had been around.
Sliding open a door, she found it led outside. Taking her first step outside she froze and looked skyward. She thought she had heard something. Her hearing was by far better than most, and for her to nearly stop in place, she knew full well it was beyond nothing.
Walking on, albeit it much slower than she had been, she made her way until she stepped upon large stone squares which had been centered around this outdoor area. Looking to the land which surrounded the castle she could see miles upon miles of trees and other vegetation. Ryia had took steps towards the edge of this plateau and then she sat herself down and allowed her legs to hang over the edge as she watched the sun slowly begin to set. The sky was an amazing orange and purple and she often had thoughts of marriage at the time the sun would set. It was the passing of a few more moments which her earlier senses would prove to be true.
Twisting around and nearly falling off the plateau, she spotted a young female with short white hair sitting on the roof of the temple which she had left not too long ago. Asking who she was, the female introduced herself as Kami. Her name meant Spirit. As she stood, she began to advance upon the female only to be attacked by several masked and hooded individuals. They used weapons. Bo's and Chained Sickles. Despite her efforts to run, Ryia was subdued and pinned to the ground.
As the cherry blossoms fell she wondered if this forgotten temple, this abandoned capital would be her grave. Alas that was far from the case. It was out of mere precaution to attack her due to her nature. Upon looking on to her, Ryia's eyes gave away what she was rather easily. She was a Hybrid. Yet as Kami looked closer to her eyes, she could see a dominant green about her golden eyes which meant her blood was Lycanthrope dominant.
"A...Lycanthrope? I-Is that what I am?"
A question which baffled those who stood around her. It was true that there had not been an attacks within the area which she resided and investigation proved that she had lived in the area for years. Of course, as she was released she wanted to leave, yet that could not be. A Lycanthrope living amongst the populace was never something which should go unchecked and when Ryia asked and pleaded she was again restrained when she attempted to run.
"There are those just like you who are nothing like you. Much more...violent and forceful than you are if you get my meaning."
"He's saying, that Lycan's are not meant for peace. They feed on humans and animals alike. So you merely running free isn't something we can just do." Her hair was white just like Kami's but she was older and obviously much more stern. Her hair was long and her ponytail was roughly two feet from touching the ground.
"T-then what...what can I do? I've done nothing wrong! You can't just keep me here!"
As she frantically pleaded with her captors, she watched as one woman with long white hair ball her fist and raise it.
"W-w-w-what are you doing?! You can't ju--" With a single fist to her face, Ryia was knocked unconscious.
As she awoke, she found herself bound to a wall. She tried to free herself but to no avail.
"Those shackles are made to keep things like you secure."
Looking around, she couldn't see the the person who was talking to her.
"Why am I being held? I didn't do anything wrong!"
Silence met her question.
"Hey! I know you can hear me! Let me go!"
For days she hung suspended by her wrists and for days the same woman visited her. Continually questioning her. When she gave an answer which was disliked, which was common, she was struck. For a woman, she hit much harder than any man which Ryia knew. Each day, the interrogations only grew in intensity.
By the weeks end, Ryia's clothing had been bloodied. Her skin, sticky with dirt, sweat, tears, and blood. Her cheeks were swollen and her left eye could barely open. Her ribs were bruised and she now had several lumps and whelps across her body. Ryia could not stand much more of this. Her body was breaking. Out of all the good she has done and the so-called "friends" she had made, she was a good person. So why did this have to happen to her? Why was she being beaten day after day for no reason? Had she wrong someone in a past life only for them to catch up to her?
Her mind was taken aback as chains caught her ears. The woman was coming back. Her hair of white and her face, marked with silver slivers over her eyes and cheeks...she would never forget that face. But now was not the time for idle thinking. She needed to break free.
Without hesitation, she began to struggle. She knew not how she had the strength, but she welcomed it for it was needed. Forcing her arms forward, she continued to struggle. Constantly trying to pull the shackles away from the wall.
As the moon rose above the Temple, she finally reached her goal...
She had finally broke her bonds...
In doing such, she ran. Several humans had tried to stop her yet she was simply too fast for them. She attempted to rush to her left but was blocked by the Kaminchu; turning around she made her way back up the corridor and despite the resistance, she leapt out of a window and landed outside amongst the soft dirt. Getting to her feet, she eyed the gate before her. It was the same one which she saw when she accepted the dare to enter this horrible place.
Taking her first steps towards the gate she halted as she saw a lone Kaminchu before the gate itself. Taking a step away from her, the Kaminchu waived her hand and out of thin air, a light shimmered which temporarily blinded Ryia. Once her eyes refocused, she saw a glistening longbow in the Kaminchu's hands.
"You've your choice to surrender, or die."
With that ultimatum told to her, the Kaminchu placed her righthand to the longbow and nocked several arrows which seemed to manifest from the longbow itself. Ryia initially whimpered.
She was not prepared to die nor did she want to be locked up like an animal. That said, there was only one way out. Ryia slowly began to walk backwards.
"Y-you don't have to kill me..."
"Then kneel and place your hands upon the ground."
Shaking her head, she declined.
"I'm not doing that, you'll only lock me up against my will again!"
"There is no place in the world for a beast such as you to run rampant."
"How can you say I'll run rampant if I've not done so while living here?!"
"All you beasts are the same! Secretive and conniving as you mercilessly kill!"
"Either kneel and accept your fate, or die by my hand!"
Her face fell into an uncharacteristic state. As she stared down the Kaminchu, Ryia could feel her sandal slowly sliding off the edge of the plataeu behind her.
"I'll die when I'm ready..."
Tilting backwards, Ryia kicked off the plataeu and descending into the wilderness below.
Over the years, Ryia has been alongside Nikita. Initially, Nikita and Ryia met each other a few years ago when en route to the Canary Islands. Afore this, Ryia had jumped ship and left Japan. Stole clothes and the moment she reached Russia, she explored for a time. She was amazed that most the people here looked like her. Having blond hair and fair skin. Nikita was one of the few whom even paid her any attention. They introduced themselves, spoke for a time, Nikita bought her food and from there, she has remained at her side.
However, after that they sought work, which was difficult to find as well as grease palms with favors and errands run. After tireless attempts, they finally landed something. An expedition was landed for them which ran a course of a full year. However, Nikita chose to steal the ship, The Content.
After fleeing with the ship, they had come to a new location. This was Manila of the Philippines. When they had docked, a young Nikita and younger Ryia explored. Most of the land had been overrun with foreign ideals, designs and people. Mostly, the Spanish were about and the natives had their own esteemed homes. Estates they looked like.
To the north, the village which they stopped in was peaceful and the people friendly. From stalls to craftsmen, it was all a wonder. Things were all and well until they sat to eat. Nearby a windmill, the two purchased food.
"How do you do that?"
"Do what?" Nikita asked as she situated herself.
"How do you speak so many languages?" Earlier, Nikita ordered for them both and spoke in the native tongue of the people.
"In this line, you've got to know your shit. Just like speaking proper English, you've gotta know your shit so you don't get lumped in with the lot where others think you're shit, y'know."
Nikita laughed. "Stick with me, I'll help ya, deal?"
It wasn't long before the Ketupat alongside Nikita's order of excess meat made it to their table. As they sat and ate, Ryia noticed something.
There was a Sephtis in the corner, sitting and eating the same thing as Nikita, just with more of the meat. She recalls him well. He wore all black, his hair spiked backwards, and he wore a black wrap around his right forearm. Ryia knew he was a Cross-Beast like her. His eyes were unmistakable and his scent just the same.
Instinctively, he looked at her via his peripheral as he placed a piece of meat into his mouth and began to chew. For a few seconds they watched each other. He however, broke off the stare and resumed his meal as it was more important. Ryia noted that the sword which had been at his back had been comprised of both bone and steel. The hilt was black and a seeming emerald lay in the weapon's guard. The weapon itself made her feel uneasy. Almost as if it had been watching her when he was not.
Secondly, what made her nearly jump out her skin had been the Pure Lycanthope which sat across the way. This was a woman and by her scent, Ryia knew she had been powerful. Same goes for her eyes, they also gave that away as well. Despite the fact that she appeared calm, the Lycanthrope was just as uneasy of being in the same place with two Cross-Breeds apparently.
Ryia looked at the two of them and then a quick glance to Nikita. Once more to the Lycanthrope. The woman was tensing herself now. However, nothing came of this. Ryia also noted that the woman had been Japanese. Her half-robe and garments also matched that as well. Even her blade was a Katana.
"Don't get too comfy here."
"I won't." Ryia quickly answered while watching the two beasts.
Truth told, they (Nikita and Ryia) were only here for trade. After that Cavendish business was completed, they kept to themselves and were planning on leaving for Spain. They had used the Manila Galleon route in order to trade and in order for trade to run as it had been, the sails were stolen from a Spanish ship. All in all, they were trading stolen goods in order to maximize their own profit. Especially since half of the original cargo from the ship had been transported to one of Cavendish's ships before they ditched him.
"Why do we have to do this?"
"You know what I mean."
"Not everyone can make an honest living y'know. In fact, if everyone did make an honest living, there'd be no war, no death, no rulers, no kings, no queens...none of that. Just people working in harmony and helping each other."
"That sounds better than what we're doing."
"It also sounds like someone's secret wish or prayer."
"Hey, I'm being honest."
Ryia sighed while looking at her food.
"To wish for something like that is to seek a Utopia...but a Utopia is just as far-fetched as Eldorado." She added as she waived a hand in a dismissive fashion.
"Anyway...the sooner we leave the East Indies the better."
"Because of our cargo?"
"Nah. Something doesn't feel right here."
"You feel it to?"
"...something feels extremely good. Like, pleasant, warm and in the sunlight. The other part of it feels dark, cold, and violating in a way."
Ryia looked to the other Cross-Breed and noticed that he had already gone. He likely heard everything that they had said but in the end she could do nothing about it. If she exposed what he was, she would expose herself at the same time.
"Hey, eat up, we may not get the chance to visit again, kid."
Ryia shook her head. Seeing that, Nikita took her food and ate it.
By the end of the day, they boarded and departed. It would be months before they reached their next destination and when they did, they scouted the area.
Days had turned to weeks and weeks to months. The raids continued and Ryia, with her inhumane hearing, passed off her hearing based on "hunches" or guesses in order to help out with said raids. She honestly hated what she had been doing and had often thought of owning her own ship. One which was honest and traded with each country. Nikita frowned upon the idea and spoke of such trade as another Utopia; as other countries naturally war with one another. It did not stop her from dreaming though. These wishes came to a head once they docked once more.
They were trading goods in Russia.
With pulled strings and her own resources (as she hailed from Russia herself), Nikita was able to strike a decent deal. It was while they were here that Nikita noticed something.
Ryia's charm, a piece which she kept with her at all times, was of Russian make. One which she has not seen in years. Ryia told her that it came from her adoptive parents. When Nikita asked, Ryia told her that her parents (adoptive) were Japanese. Her biological parents however, she had never met.
Nikita noted that the charm which she carried, was tied to her people, as well as her ethnicity. Ecstatic, Ryia asked where it was from and Nikita furrowed a brow.
"Here, in Russia." She went on to say: "It is of the Gilyak, or as some say, the Nivkh."
According to Nikita, most of the Nivkh were mainly fishermen, hunters, and dog breeders; they were also semi-nomadic, living near the coasts during the summer months and as the colder months came, they moved inland and settled along streams and rivers to fish.
Ryia had dedicated a great deal of time to learning about the Nivkhi. Between raids, and Nikita's newly acquired "rival" (as Ryia calls him) Jack, it seemed that life as it was, had become repetitive. Stealing, killing, selling. Being robbed, sitting, waiting. With Nikita continually being humiliated by Jack, she wondered if the man actually liked seeing her naked (as way of humiliation, Jack often stripped Nikita as a way to scar her pride). After all, that is all that ever happened really. Jack attacks, Nikita somehow loses, then ends up naked, kicked into the ocean, and has to be pulled aboard again.
With it happening so often, or rather every time they crossed paths, Ryia offered Nikita the idea of working for Grandall, as it would be a legitimate source of income. She merely said "I'll consider it" and chose not to say anything else. In the end, Nikita took up the offer.
For three years, they worked for Grandall. Trading spices and silks. Occasionally, armor would come in and so would some firearms and swords. Mostly they had come from Spain though. To be specific, the Canaries. She remembered how beautiful it was when she first visited. You would never think a war had taken place there. But it did. However, that was in 1599, and back then, before the war, she and Nikita had met one of the numerous weapon-smiths of Spain.
Her name was Brass. To Ryia, she had been the strongest woman she had ever seen. Her arms were like that of a man in strength. With her time there, she could smell sex all over Brass as well as the tavern she had run. At first, she thought Brass was a whore till she learned that the upstairs had a bedding area reserved for special guests. Rather, those who pay enough to use those rooms. In the end, some maid had cleaned up the room after the fact.
While she was there, Nikita spoke to Brass quite often. Not only that, but once they entered the forge, Ryia could hear nothing once that door had been shut. Not only that, but what she did hear was oft spoke in a language which she did not understand. In the end, she brushed it off as nothing.
That is until she caught scent of not one, not two, but three Cross-Breeds. She immediately took to the tavern to hide but was already too late. She ran into a woman: barely taller than Ryia herself, wore a revealing robe, shoes which showed her toes, and above all else, she was Persian. Lustful, playful, and intelligent. She spoke of the sciences and many other things and formulas which Ryia had never heard of. However the main thing which stood ou was that this woman of science was...different than other Cross-Breeds she has seen.
her eyes and scent fit the bill but...something was...different. As science was oft spoken, she wondered if this woman had done something to make herself into a Cross-Breed.
Was that possible?
Then there were the two brothers. Volkov and Sasaki. Russian and Japanese. Nikita noted that Volkov was a familiar name. One tied to Dalkia for a great many generations. However, he spoke nothing of it. Volkov was humble, calm, and polite. Sasaki was cold, dismissive, and uncaring.
They worked things out though, somehow. In the end, the all got onboard and were all set to arrive in Grandall. She remembers Brass giving her an odd look the entire time she had been there. Perhaps she knew what Ryia was? If that was the case, then she must know what the others are as well?
She could only wonder as the new year had come upon them. When they next docked, It was 1606, and with the war 'tween Grandall, Dalkia, Halteese, and Maletta at an end, they touched down on Grandall just in time to witness the Grandallian soldiers returning.
However, before they could even dock, Nikita pulled Ryia to the side and spoke with her.
"I never got how you could get things with your guesses y'know?"
Ryia had no time to think of answer before Nikita continued.
"Were you even going to tell me of that dual situation of yours?
"...don't make me ask about how lovely a shade of gold your eyes are..." She began. "I may shoot myself by how sweet that sounds..."
"I...don't get-" At that moment, the younger brother spoke, to whom she did not even know was in the cabin with them:
"She knows what you are."
With that said, Ryia froze. She has gone on to work for a living all while hiding who she truly was for a reason. If she were discovered by Hunters, she would be beaten and then killed. She had seen far too many of her kind as well as innocents be tortured for information they did not have and innocent children be killed out of fear. Some women, whether they be a Cross-Breed or Half-Beast or not, were taken advantage of. Shortly after, they were simply killed and left for wild dogs to tear at the defiled remains.
This is what she feared. Especially since she had run away from shackles once already. However, Nikita knew well enough what she was and when Nikita confronted Ryia about it, she pointed out a possibility before anything else:
"Humans with the blood of a Lycan don't always go full Lycan. Ever that or they do and take a human wife or husband--or it's just sex with the unexpected package at the end of the year." She went on to say that she knows that Ryia is human-based Lycan. Meaning that she is half and half. Ryia thought of running as she had been found by another Hunter, yet that was not the case.
"If you were to try and kill me, I'd likely be dead already. Even though a Half-Beast has its limitations and talents, I don't know what you are capable of nor do I intend to be on the receiving end of finding out. Anywho, you've worked with me for...how long? Thirteen years?"
"Fourteen years, nineteen weeks, and five days to be exact."
Nikita raised a brow in shock while Sasaki lifted his head and watched.
"Mhm!" Ryia nods. Nikita gave her a rather flat look.
"Why so enthusiastic?"
"Because" She started as she smiled. "If you were going to get rid of me, you wouldn't have three others of my kind onboard!"
"I am not like you, woman." Ryia took a wary step away from Kuro, the younger brother. Nikita simply brushed off the small incident.
"Anyway, the work you've done outdoes what I would make for turning you in...and even more so you've done me no wrong. No need to send you to the Fire Pit."
"So I can stay?"
"Just keep a low profile of yourself when the wrong kind of eyes are watching, yeah?"
Nikita chose to keep Ryia's secret and continue on with her current lifestyle. So long as there were no outstanding feats which were beyond that of a human and in some cases for a woman, those which she would have to explain, Nikita cared none.
As time marched on, most of the days were uneventful. Aside from raids and tripping down the deck or off the dock, or falling overboard, her life at this point was mostly repetitive...and this kind of repetitive, she could live with.
Ryia works as first mate under Nikita's command. She oft aided with delivery and also found other means of work wherever she had gone. From France, to Germany and Japan to China. The world was her home. Her latest stop was within one Fortress City of Parousia, the territory was that of Grandall. Last she had heard, a war had been raging with this empire, however, it had come to an end by the time she had arrived.
As she set foot upon the docks, she could smell the blood of countless people from those whom had returned from the war but not only that, she could smell blood from the castle as well. Not a small amount either. It was nearly overwhelming. Telling Nikita of her immediate findings she was told not to worry of it. Being told this, only meant that Nikita knew full well what was afoot. Either that or she knew something was not entirely right.
As the night had fallen, Ryia was on her way to the Svipul. The Svipul was a tavern which Nikita ran herself and had been running for nearly seven years now and when Nikita had not been around, others ran the tavern in her place. Coming up a walkway, she accidentally ran into someone.
Her cargo had fallen over but nothing broke. As she looked to the person she ran into she quickly apologized as he looked none to thrilled about the situation. Ryia could almost swear he was about to leave her, yet, he changed his mind and helped her out. She could tell by his face and by his voice that he had been through hardships and in addition to that, he was Japanese.
The smell of blood about him made her wonder if he had been within the war. Ignoring that thought, she thanked him for his help and before he turned away, Nikita came out of the Svipul and began to tear Ryia a new one until she saw Ky standing off to the side. After asking him if he had been injured he merely scoffed and at her inquiry. Ryia noted Nikita's enthralled expression and it was after that which Nikita made small conversation with him. In this conversation she asked if he had been enjoying the festivities of victory; Ky said:
"Festivities are that which concern children".
"You should at least get something for your troubles. Free drink?"
It mattered none though, brimming with excitement, Ryia asked if she could go with him, however, he looked at her with a flat expression. He then denied her and went on a small rant of how he would rather be dead than to take her. This slightly hurt her feelings yet, she did not care. She again asked him and while his back was turned, she shifted her cargo and held her heavy load with only one arm, revealing that she was far stronger than she seemed. Nikita signaled for her to use two arms, however, she did not pay attention. In order to distract Ky from seeing such a feat, Nikita made her way in front of him and distracted him. She offered him several parts which would cost her more than a mere free drink.
"She needs to get out after being onboard a ship for nearly a full year. If you take her out, there'll be parts and even blades in it for you."
Ultimately, Ky accepted.
Ryia then quickly unloaded the rest of the cargo she needed to do in record time. This was due to her being a Hybrid. It was under an hour which she had gotten ready and as she made her way out of the tavern Ky was already outside.
"Y-you waited that whole time?"
"There's no need to change into anything special when there's nothing 'n no one special is there?" She winced as he told her this. "Let's just get this over with."
As they roamed, it was practically silence between them. She had attempted to make conversation, however, he had only given short and one word answers to everything. Even more unnerving had been when they had arrived at the epicenter of the festivities themselves.
Several of the male soldiers were hiding their laughter as they passed him by and vice-versa. Ryia thought of him to have made a mistake and the entire country had known about it, yet, as she listened, she had known exactly what had happened. Ryia had overheard Sven, a foriegn noble, whom had stated that a female named Raiko, had given him the best night of his life the first night he set foot in Grandall and despaired at the fact that there had been no other female like her around.
She was innately disgusted that Raiko had still been sleeping with practically any man she could find or rather any that she had truly been interested in. Ryia had also learned that Ky and Raiko were supposedly an item at some point. Though after she placed the soldiers laughing and Sven together, she came to her conclusion rather quickly.
Raiko had betrayed Ky.
Not just with one man but it appears to be the entire Grandallian Army. If not most of the Grandallian Army. The odd thing of it and what made her physically twitch (which gained a curious eye from Ky) had been that some women had spoke of Raiko's tongue as well.
As they explored more of the celebration, the pair came across a group whom each knew Ky. What she noticed had been the younger woman which had did her best to hide her shock but she was not able to do so in time. Ryia noticed. Her shock had also come to light when she had laid eyes on Ryia as well. Ryia wondered if this had been Raiko, yet, the younger woman introduced herself as Aliyah and then she introduced Priya and Nicholas.
Her mannerism made Ryia ask if she had been a servant, which Aliyah grudgingly answered:
"I was, but my master...he was killed by Malettan forces."
Ryia apologized for her loss, but Aliyah shook it off. Aliyah wore a long skirt and a beautiful blouse. Her hair was down and past her shoulders and overall, she was a very pretty young woman.
"I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Ky to be honest..."
"You say that like you've no strength alone."
"It is just..." Her voice trailed which let Ky speak once more.
"Out of us all, who single handledly fought and repelled Dalkian, Malettan, AND Grandall forces again? Not to mention knocking Pfieffer on her ass, and only being pushed back by a storied commander along with her like-minded second?"
Aliyah looked down towards her feet and did her best to hide her smile, though, her attempt was terrible, to say the least.
Thinking more of her shock, she wondered, if it had been simply for the fact that she knew Ky or possibly, was infatuated with him. Seeing that she hinged on any words Ky had spoke, Ryia believed that she was.
"Well, in either case, we are proud to have you, and Halteese as allies Aliyah."
This was Priya who had now spoke.
Priya was a name she had heard often before she had reached Parousia. Ryia knew of her to be the daughter of a great military commander or some such. To see that Priya was taller than her was not surprising yet, what had thrown Ryia's assumption of this 'mythical warrioress' (as Ryia had been told Priya was) she had been of a differing complexion. (In all honesty, she assumed Priya was of the people despite her name.) Her eyes struck Ryia as an exotic feature due to them being a greenish-blue. Her complexion along with her eye color was quite an interesting thing. As a small conversation had begun which she took immediate notice of Priya's accent. It was influenced by the Spanish. Heavily Influenced at that.
"W-where are you from Priya?"
"Hm? Here of course."
"Oh, I just thought...by your accent..." Priya smiled at this.
"I took a liking to my father's language. Through him, I learned his native tongue and through him as well, I learned English. I suppose that by learning the language spoken most here from one whom is not of this land or rather, of a different region would give me the same accent."
"I, think it would."
"Truth told, my father, Surina, and myself, spoke only in Spanish to each other. We rarely deviated from that and even now, speak in Spanish to each other long after his passing."
"I see. So, you speak Spanish to preserve what your father taught? Or your heritage?"
"Why not both? But, he hailed from where Spanish was spoken as the dominant language, therefore, it would be the former of which you've listed."
"Ah. So, this, Surina...is her accent as strong as yours?"
"Not at all. Hers is dying off actually and dare I say, is practically gone. There are traces of it here and there, but not much." Before anything else was said, Priya nudged the man to her left known as Nicholas. "You don't have to be silent, it's a time for ease."
Nicholas had his green eyes fixated on Ryia's unnatural eyes.
Ryia noticed that Nicholas had been keeping his eyes on her. More so than Aliyah, Priya, and of course Ky. Ky had not even noticed her dress while Nicholas had commented on it stating that it had been beautiful.
Priya pointed out that he need not be rude and stare due to Ryia and Ky being together, of course, Ky quickly explained that:
"I was damn near begged to show her about. Don't go assuming that there's more to it than what the eye sees. I've had enough of that already..."
With that said, a brief silence hung over the group and shortly after that, Ky turned to leave. Priya asked him where he was going yet he did not answer. Aliyah bowed and then followed him while Priya shook her head whilst releasing a sigh simultaneously.
"I suppose I'll show you two about then?"
"Well...if you don't mind."
"It would be a pleasure." Nicholas added.
"Yes, it would be."
"Flattery gets most people nowhere you know?"
"True, but there is no flattery in mere kindness, nor is it in respecting another."
"...it still sounds like you're trying to flatter her." Ryia chimed in.
"And deal with her sister? I may be bold but I'm not insane!" This earned Priya's laughter as well as Ryia's confusion. Before she could ask, Priya gave a small bit of Surina:
"She's far more...abrasive than I am. As well as aggressive. In this case, she may try to kill him if he actually were trying to court me."
"Oh! He wasn't?"
"No." They both answered.
"I thought he was laying down the best he had only for it to fail." Nicholas eyed Priya as he heard her stiffled laughter.
From here, they continued on. They passed people dancing and drinking and with her ears, she heard several women and men having sex. Nicholas noticed her blush after the first few couples and asked if everything was alright. This gained Priya's attention as well.
Nicholas simply said "oookay" while looking at Priya, whom simply resumed her pace. After a half hour, the trio reached a clocktower. It was yet to be complete, however, Priya showed them the entrance. Despite it being a bad idea, she followed Priya either way. Nicholas, behind Ryia at that. As the ascended the narrow stairway, she stumbled up the steps but quickly caught herself, Nicholas on the other hand ran smack into her buttocks--face first.
Her face flushed a deep red and Priya turned to see what the issue was only to see Ryia with a tomato-complexion and Nicholas with his face against her buttocks.
"Please...at least give warning when you both are going to roll and tumble about.."
Ryia flushed even redder while Nicholas protested that he was not trying to do such a thing. With his voice raised, Priya raised her hands and spoke to him. After a few minutes of bickering, she was able to calm him.
She made clear of her jest and that it was rather inapproapriate. Ryia for one felt as if it was downright rude as well as uncalled for. For this, Priya apologized and made a verbal note that she would not joke as such any more for the night. Moving on, they continued up what seemed a a thousand steps until the reached a platform.
Ushering as well as beckoning Ryia and Nicholas to look, they did just that. Priya had them look out a glassless window. From here, they could see everything. The flame from the bonfires looked as small as stars from here while the actual stars seemed so close and the moon was just as close itself.
"I see why you come up here now..." Ryia's voice trailed as she looked on.
"It gives me time to think really."
"It's quite a sight, I must admit. It'd likely be better at sundown."
"It would! Nicholas, you're a genius!"
"Now who's flattering who?"
"I think this is the part where she was trying to lay down the best of what she had."
"I..." Her voice trailed as she saw a small burst of flame rise from the distance. When it exploded, her eyes lit up.
"Fireworks...?" Priya idly questioned.
The three watched as the continued to go off. For a time, there had only been silence between them. The people down below were easily heard but were drowned out by the firework's explosions.
"Y'know, I thought that Grandall was staying out of the war. Why'd they get involved?"
"That was Dalkia's plot." Priya simply answered.
"You were allies though, right?"
"Up until they declared war against us. Several people were torn on what to do. Attack. Resist. Reason. Investigate. In the end, they hit us before we came to a true decision."
"You were prepared though."
"Hardly. We prepared defenses, stationed soldiers, and tried to prepare for an attack all while working on a treaty or something of the like to preserve our peace. After all, were were allies for almost a hundred years."
"Could you shed some light on that?"
As Priya spoke, Ryia looked down at the celebrating city beneath her while Priya spoke of Grandall's history. Nicholas listened quietly just as Ryia did, yet this was cut short when the fireworks resumed.
Seeing that Aliyah went after Ky, she assumed that her suspicions were well-placed. Aliyah had feelings for Ky. Or quite possibly, those feelings were coming into bloom and were yet to be understood. The only thing is that the way he was acting now is a complete turn away. Ryia heard as well as thought of Ky to be a warm and even humorous individual but instead he was cold and outright dismissive of others.
"Was the war that hard for him?"
Initially Priya said nothing, and when she started to, Nicholas spoke instead:
"He wasn't always like that. Life just tries to get you and if it does, then you'll turn out like that...but, in any case, people can gut you just as easily as life could."
Priya added on to this by telling her that it was simply trying and that it was a war. Everyone has their limits however, Ky's limit simply shattered and with that, had little to do with the war altogether.As Nicholas then chose to explain it, he said that Ky was once involved with a woman named Raiko; upon hearing this, she understood that something happened 'tween the two. He explained a light version of it but at the end, told her that Raisa and Aliyah know what happened best.