The carriage bearing the Red Star crest of Arcana Kingdom crosses the border into the Eshtar Region. They approach the town of Zelia. It is a town of healers who use natural herbs to treat or cure many ailments. They are similar to Cypress Gallows in Arcana’s northern region which also specializes in herbal remedies. A group of children playing just outside the village border stop and watch the beautifully decorated white and blue carriage ride by. They wondered who was inside. It is then that they catch a glimpse of the Red Star crest on the back. One exclaimed the carriage was from Arcana Kingdom. Another excitedly proclaimed his suspicion that it was the White Sage who occupied it. Teasingly, two other children denounce the claim. After the carriage rolls out of sight, the children resume their play while continuing to guess exactly who is in the carriage.
If they were able to, they would have seen the three women who are inside had the curtains not been drawn closed. Beatrice and Amanda sat opposite of Tiphanee who is busy changing her outfit. Amanda is shocked at how comfortable the girl seemed in front of them. Beatrice is not. She could tell that Tiphanee is very confident in herself, mainly because she was able to speak casually towards her. There have been other female recruits who were timid at the mention of Beatrice’s name or her moniker—the Golden Storm Empress. Just her presence alone was enough to weaken the knees of many a female recruit. Tiphanee was relaxed around Beatrice. She did not become timid or weak kneed. She stood before the High Captain with assurance. It was then that Beatrice knew she would be a good a candidate for being her subordinate. Beatrice has, as of late, come to realize that Amanda is under stress especially with dealing with her sister whenever she returns from her assignments intoxicated. She has been looking for another subordinate to help Amanda but none have proven worthy until now. This latest endeavor has solidified her decision in appointing Tiphanee to Amanda as a Squire. Squire Knoxville’s worth is further proven with the fact that she has been to Eshtar and she knows someone who lives there. Beatrice smiles with approval. She is certain she made the right choice.
Tiphanee finishes lacing up her boot. The outfit she changed into is a low cut strapless short skirt with calf high boots. She wore fingerless long gloves with black and purple stripes. With one final tug on the laces, the boots were secure. Tiphanee takes a pair of goggles out of the bag next her and places them on her head. The outfit she is wearing was intended for Willow just in case Beatrice met up with her while she was on assignment. Beatrice had brought it from a merchant cart outside the castle prior to meeting Tiphanee, Gustavo and Barlot. She was concerned about the fit but Tiphanee fills it nicely. The raven haired girl adjusts her dress around her bust which appears to be larger now that it is not confined in her blue outfit she was wearing before. She has been nonchalant the whole time she was changing wardrobes. It was as if she is used to changing in front of people.
Beatrice notices that Tiphanee is spending time adjusting the top of her dress. She decides to call her on it. “Make sure the girls are well adjusted. They have a big day ahead of them,” she teases, prompting a look from Amanda.
Tiphanee giggles. “Well if things in Eshtar’s Council Hall are that out of hand then we need to bring our “A” game,” she says, giving the dress one more twist. “Or in our case, “T” game,” she playfully adds just as the carriage rides over a bump. Beatrice and Tiphanee share a laugh. Amanda hides her face and shakes her head in shame.
“Please Milady, don’t encourage her,” she groans.
“Relax, Madam Lieutenant, we can have a little fun, can’t we?” Tiphanee chimes in as she sat down.
“Of course but let’s not lose our heads. This assignment is still of a diplomatic matter,” says Amanda with a firmer tone. “And don’t forget, I am now your superior so when we get to Eshtar Council Hall, you will follow my lead.”
“Now offense, ma’am but I am aware of the procedure when it comes to negotiations between the Steamists and Alchemists,” Tiphanee respectfully says. Beatrice questions her on this knowledge. Tiphanee tells them that her uncle is a member of Eshtar’s council board and that she and Tamirei have attended negotiations with him. She also tells them that she knows her way around Eshtar City itself due to her spending time with her relatives. This intrigued both Beatrice and Amanda. They acknowledge each other wordlessly. There will be no need to walk Tiphanee through this assignment. Tiphanee looks at her new superiors. She can tell they are thinking about how little they have to show her in Eshtar. They may look to her for more knowledge about the city. They may even look to her for more knowledge about the unerring conflict between the Alchemists and the Steamists. She has some knowledge about it, mostly from overhearing her uncle during discussions at the Council Hall. If that time comes, Tiphanee will be ready to provide her mistresses with whatever knowledge they need. However, there is some information she needs from them. Tiphanee knows her sister Tamirei better than anyone, even Tamirei herself. Tami always has her head in the clouds and her nose in the books whenever she was around family or friends. The perfect portrayal of the cute, quiet girl who could do no wrong. Alone, she has a much darker side. Tiphanee has witnessed her sister’s prudent side. When no one was looking, Tami was quick to grope anyone, mostly females. Because of her innocent appearance no one suspected her to conduct a lewd act. Truth be told, Tami thrived on groping. It has grown to the point where it is as natural to her as breathing. Tiphanee cannot see how someone like that became a knight, let alone a ranking lieutenant. The thought peaked both her curiosity and disgust.
“Milady Ashcroft, if I may ask, how did Tamirei become a lieutenant? My sister isn’t one for combat so I’m curious as to how she made rank,” she asks.
Beatrice looks at her for a bit before answering. “First thing you should know, becoming a knight is not solely based on combative skills. That’s just a small percentage of the reason. There are many other skills one can acquire to rank as Squire. What Tamirei lacks in combat she makes up for with her intelligence and skill as a healer. She is well versed in medicine and alchemy. These reasons are enough for even a prude like her to achieve a Fourth Lieutenant ranking.” Beatrice pauses to allow her words to sink into Tiphanee. She notices the doubtful look on her face. Tiphanee is still troubled by the fact that her sister—her clumsy, prudish sister—is a knight. Beatrice laughs lightly. She can guess at Tiphanee’s thoughts. She conveys them out loud for her. “How is this possible? My sister is clumsy, a prude and will perform a lewd act without anyone noticing. Someone like her should not hold a noble title. Does that sound about right, Squire Knoxville?” she says, looking at her with coy.
Tiphanee stared blankly back at Beatrice. What her Ladyship has said is exactly what she is thinking. Her sister Tamirei is not one for nobility yet she has somehow achieved a title. This further agitated Tiphanee. If either of them were worthy of becoming a knight, it is Tiphanee, for she was groomed for knighthood. The thought that her prude sister has a title of knighthood bothered Tiphanee. She is the one who trained hard to be a knight. Tamirei could not handle the endurance of training. The more Tiphanee thought about it, the more it annoyed her, almost to the point of jealousy.
“It really bothers you, doesn’t it?” says Beatrice. Tiphanee was so deep in thought that she nearly fails to hear her.
“I just find it hard to believe,” Tiphanee answered. “Then again, mom always spent more time teaching Tamirei about alchemy and medicine while my father trained me in combat. He said I have a knack for it.” Before she can continue, Beatrice and Amanda both begin chuckling. Tiphanee looks at her wondering what she had said that was humorous.
“Don’t worry, we’re not laughing at you. It’s just amazing how small the world can be sometimes,” Amanda said.
Tiphanee is still at a loss. She stares at them awkwardly.
“Amanda and myself were raised in a similar situation,” says Beatrice.
“I grew up with four brothers so there was not time to be feminine. My mom sent me to a finishing school to gain better refinement. And she was pretty heavy handed with her lessons,” Amanda said, recalling her mother’s strictness.
“My father trained me in combat as well while he catered to my sister’s magic abilities,” Beatrice told Tiphanee.
“Oh I see. Your sister is diverse in magic, Milady?” Tiphanee asked.
“She is,” Beatrice answers. Tiphanee then asks Beatrice if her sister was also a captain. Beatrice tells her that Willow is not a captain and does not have a ranking title. Seeing the curious look in Tiphanee’s face, she goes to explain about Willow not being able to rank in knighthood because her skills in combat are exceptional.
“Wait, if your sister’s combat skills are exceptional then why doesn’t she have a ranking, Milady?” Tiphanee wondered.
Beatrice explains the situation to Tiphanee. Meanwhile in the low basin that is serving as a graveyard, Willow uses the carts to avoid the undead girls’ grasp. She hops into one cart with a picture of a cauldron painted on the side that has long faded away, making it barely recognizable. She narrowly avoids a dead hand that threatened to cleave her back. More hands burst through the rotted wood. They claw and grab for Willow. She drops low and quickly exits the cart into the waiting, rotting arms of more undead. Willow scuttles back from the approaching horde. Her back presses against the hillside. She whips her head to the left and then the right. The carts here are packed together tightly. There is no escape. Willow watches with wide eyes as the undead horde closes in.
Check out my novel Defenders, a mythological tale set in modern times set in Philadelphia, which begins RIGHT HERE!!
Ecks and Willow’s adventure begins with their first assignment!!
Arcana X: Gunslinger Swordsman
Chapter1- Part 1
Chapter2- Part 1
Chapter5- Part 1
Arcana X: Succubus
Want to know how their second assignment started?! Click the links below!!
Arcana X: 2nd Assignment Chapter 1 Pt.1
Arcana X: 2nd Assignment Chapter 1 Pt.2
Arcana X: 2nd Assignment Chapter 1 Pt.3
Arcana X: 2nd Assignment Chapter 2
Arcana X: 2nd Assignment Chapter 3 Pt.1
Arcana X: 2nd Assignment Chapter 4 Pt.1
Arcana X 2nd Assignment: Chapter 4 Pt.2
Arcana X 2nd Assignment: Chapter 5
Arcana X 2nd Assignment: Chapter 5 Pt.2
Arcana X 2nd Assignment: Chapter 5 Pt.3
Have a look at my fan fiction as well!!
Yu-Gi-Oh X Beyblade Ch.1 Pt.1
Yu-Gi-Oh X Beyblade Ch.1 Pt.2
Yu-Gi-Oh X Beyblade Ch.1 Pt.3
Yu-Gi-Oh X Beyblade Ch.1 Pt.4
Yu-Gi-Oh X Beyblade Ch.1 Pt.5
Yu-Gi-Oh X Beyblade Ch.2
Yu-Gi-Oh X Beyblade Ch.3
Yu-Gi-Oh X Beyblade Ch.4
Yu-Gi-Oh X Beyblade Chapter 4 Pt.2
Yu-Gi-Oh X Beyblade Chapter 4 Pt.3
Yu-Gi-Oh X Beyblade Chapter 4 Pt.4
Dante vs. Bayonetta
The Witch dances with the Devil 1
The Witch dances with the Devil 2
The Witch dances with the Devil 3
The Witch dances with the Devil 4
The Witch dances with the Devil 5
The Witch dances with the Devil 6
The Witch dances with the Devil 7
The Witch dances with the Devil 8
The Witch dances with the Devil 9
The Witch dances with the Devil 10
The Witch dances with the Devil 11
The Witch dances with the Devil 12
The Witch dances with the Devil 13
The Witch dances with the Devil 14
The Witch dances with the Devil 15
The Witch dances with the Devil 16
The Witch dances with the Devil 17
The Witch dances with the Devil 18
The Witch dances with the Devil 19
The Witch dances with the Devil 20
The Witch dances with the Devil 21
The Witch dances with the Devil 22
The Witch dances with the Devil 23
The Witch dances with the Devil 24
The Witch dances with the Devil 25
The Witch dances with the Devil 26
The Witch dances with the Devil 27
The Witch dances with the Devil 28
The Witch dances with the Devil 29
The Witch dances with the Devil 30
The Witch dances with the Devil 31
The Witch dances with the Devil 32
The Witch dances with the Devil 33
The Witch dances with the Devil Epilogue