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Post by Oculus Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:46 pm

The guards had orders, and were not too happy to be the ones on shift to wake their visitor, one sent by Oculus to greet Slychotic.  As if pulling straws, they looked across at each other, and the younger one sighed and left  back into the keep, while the other guard looked down at Sly and the covered up dragon.  "Medic Sly, we have orders from Emperor Oculus himself that you are to..uh...accompany a certain individual.  Please wait for him to come." The guard spoke, slightly nervous about the whole station, but still maintained a strong posture as he watched and waited for his companion to return.  The wait was not too long, but it was about five minutes before the visitor that was to greet sly came out.  Clad in black armor, a figure came out of the keep suddenly, landing in front of Sly with much grace, his armor having special padding between each sheet to silence the clanking and his landing noiseless.  Lifting his head, or what was learned to be a he, the 'visitor' spoke in a meticulous and calculated voice, "Soooo, you are the target that Lord Oculussss has given me, I was told you would return to thisssss point eventually, ssssseems my sssssource was correct," he spoke in a hiss, his eyes glaring at Sly as if he were his prey.  Right underneath his eyes on a helmet were dark red marks of an order.   "My orders are to bring you ssstraight to Lord Oculusss, nothing was ssssaid about a companion. Sssso, thissss companion may ssstay and be welcomed here at the border until further orderssss," the male clad in black armor hissed, nodding towards the general area of the NightWing Capital.  "Now, for your sssake and the sssake of my back, I ssssuggesssst you don't resssissst, as'sss my orderssss are to bring you back alive, nothing wasssss ssssaid about conscioussss and with body unmarked."  The armored dragon, turned, very much expecting Sly to follow as he began walking through the gate, his ears perked up listening, and his gaunt seamless and stealth-like as no sound was generated from his lean body, one that had obviously been worked hard to achieve the tone and muscle underneath the black padded armor.
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Post by Sly Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:30 pm

In the days of his youth, he enjoyed the privilege of being able to wonder beyond the wall of the Empire. Getting permission to do so was quite a pain, but it was something he treasured dearly. Not that he was under any threat of losing it. With hardly any dedicated healers within the ranks of the Empire, it was imperative that Sly was to exercise his own knowledge and keep himself updated with the latest or the best. But with how enclosed the Empire was to the entirety of Pyyria, well he would have to go out on his own.

Or not really on his own…

Xangor made sure Sly had guards to accompany him. Those sworn to protect him until his return home. Frankly, Sly found them more to be a burden. Until recently he had been evading them, after that little ‘incident’ that made him throw a fit at them. Unlike many within the military, Sly’s weapon was his inspiration. Powerful, but very delicate. It was something very small, a spark that could just as easily die as someone tapping his shoulder and asking what he was thinking. Much to his annoyance, that inspiration would forever be lost. And it was the only way Sly could improve his art for the Empire—at the very least.

His first run-off was probably overlooked without a fuss. But the second one…he was really pushing it. And Sly figured, with those he were seeing, he would have to venture out on his own much more frequently. Sadly, his number of excuses did not rise. The afternoon was partly cloudy. When Sly arrived before the gates, seeing the rather gloomy and shaken expressions of the guards, he knew something was wrong. But nonetheless, he presented himself, along with a visitor he didn’t name yet, called Sindra.

Sly just huffed a sigh when one demanded him to wait. But to accompany a certain individual? It was no surprise. Honestly, he saw that expression on their faces one too many times that he lost count. Some Nightwing freshmeats had arrived and knew how to scare a dragon. Before he could address Sindra, the figure had already arrived. Or…really, flashed right in front of Sly and coated his entire vision in black. A large beast in black armour, seemingly landed from the sky. Sly had seen worst, but what got him a little unnerved was the armour. Surely it would make a noise, especially with how it articulated and beat against each other with every movement. Perhaps a latest addition to the Nightwing military. Stealthy, heavily armoured fighters. Though Sly wondered about the weight.

He listened to this figure, taking note on the hisses. Then Sly smirked, tilting his head. I see. I should be honoured the great emperor, Oculus, personally wants to see me. He wondered about his ‘sources’ though, considering he only mentioned Oculus’ prediction of where would Sly show up. As he spoke, a red mark gleamed from under his helmet. Perhaps a member of some sort. Sly was a little peeved with this dragon’s last retort, a subtle mention of his state if he resisted. Why would he have any need to resist if he were to be presented before the mighty Oculus?

Sly rolled his eyes to the ground, wondering if it was about him evading his escorts. But he doubt something petty as this would catch the interest of an emperor. No matter. He decided to find out what Oculus wanted. Sly took a step forward before he remembered Sindra. My apologies. It seems we may not be able to begin our lesson today. Perhaps another day. Though it has been great knowing you.

And with that, he followed the large dragon towards the Capital.

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Post by Oculus Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:05 pm

The black armored drake chuckled in a not to kind way at Sly's remark about being honoured.  "Ah yesssss, very honoured," the dragon spoke as he marched towards the capital.  As they began marching into the NightWing territory, the guards on the castle visibly relaxed and then turned there attention to talk to Sindragosa.  The clad figure would remain silent and alert as he walked, obviously a little bit agitated with being out in the open.  He followed the main ground path towards the NightWing capital, but remained in the treeline as he walked.  After walking some distance, and choosing to literally ignore anything Sly said until he reached a certain location, then abruptly stopped and sidestepped in case sly was going to walk into him.  "Here isss where we hopefully partssss wayssss.  You shall go to the capitolssss and meet with Lord Oculusssss.  I shall be watchingsssss, ssso don't tryssss to runssss," he hissed before hopping up onto a tree branch, glaring at Sly before hopping into the leaves and disappearing out of sight, with the only sound being a few leaves rustling before a little bit of wind rustled the leaves, and all was silent.  Out of view, the dragon watched Sly, half hoping the runaway medic would try and flee so he could get some action and prove himself.

The guards looked down at Sindragosa, visibly relieved that the other dragon had left with Sly.  "So uhh....Mister?  You can make camp just inside of these walls if you wish to stay and wait to stay safe, or you can go back to your original tribe." the one guard who spoke to Sly earlier told Sindragosa.  "If you stay, we can bring food, but you have to remain just within the keep.  Can't let you venture into the territory without permission," the other one said, rejoining his companion.
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Post by Sly Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:48 am

It was mostly a short walk, but one which he could summarise in a few lines.

Under the cloudy skies, they ventured across and into the main Capital. This escort exerted some very peculiar behaviour, keeping himself close with shadows rather than enjoying what sparse sunlight there was today. It was even good for them cold-blooded dragons, but he would not force him. This dragon had all the outer signs of some intimidating foe, but…really, if he was concerned about being in hiding now, he would not be a struggle to deal with.

Sly cycled in his memory anything he knew about the red mark, or if he had caught a glimpse of it at some point. So far, nothing came up. Not that it mattered, now that the escort decided to leave. Sly just raised an eye at him, up to the point this dragon disappeared into the trees. Too obvious, to say the least. Mentally he noted how this dragon passed, from tree to tree and putting at least a solid object between the two. Sly made sure he kept his eye low so as to not expose his adapted ability. Though the dragon may seem to have left, he knew otherwise. But it did not mean he knew exactly where he was, probably not unless he released his star flare.

Royal Guards? Trackers? None of those really fit this dragon’s picture. Sly shook his head and just marched forward along the path, making his way to Oculus’ chambers. He was a Nightwing himself. Of course he knew how to blend with the shadows, as well as predict where his adversaries would hide. Any hatchling left on the streets needed to know this, to adapt and survive. In his youth, his predictions had got it wrong. A lot. And he was surprised he escaped unscathed, but was rewarded with knowing his errors. His predictions had become more and more on point as ages past. And soon, it became a sense.

Perhaps if he had loving parents who would protect him, then he would be spoiled enough for many sneaking dragons to outwit him.

Nonetheless, Sly had no intentions of running away. That was a sign of mistrust. If Oculus were to raise any issues he had with Sly’s conducts, he would hear them than run like a coward. And who knows? Perhaps that would lessen his punishment. Whatever it was.

Sly walked into the palace and made his way through the guards. Until he came across the last door, between him and Oculus’ chambers. Sly panted, trying to soothe his aching throat as he repeated one last time, I, Sly the combat medic, was summoned before the great Emperor, Oculus.

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Post by Oculus Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:43 am

On an unfortunately uncommon break between pointless meeting after pointless meeting, Oculus had the luxury of just sitting in silence with the ability to just think, without any interruptions about petty things.  It was one of the reasons why he was getting an Internal Minister, to handle all these trivial meetings that did not require his attention.  He had another pointless meeting, one about two drakes apparently getting into an argument over who owned the fish, the one that caught it in front of his neighbors den, or the neighbor.  Dreading another petty squabble, Oculus shook his head as he heard the outside guards permit someone to enter.  Looking up, he saw that it was Sly, his runaway medic.  Smiling, both at the fact that he could delay the meeting and finally talk to Sly, "Guards,  please cancel all meetings for the rest of the day, I will be busy.  You are also dismissed for the rest of the day."

As the guards filed out at left the room with 'just' Oculus and Sly, a figure seemed to meld out of the shadows next to Oculus, wearing the same armor as the previous one that had accompanied Sly, but was smaller.  The smaller one whispered something to Oculus, who nodded before slipping back into the shadows and going onto a perch in the upper areas of the chamber, matching statues of other dragons along the top perch.

"Ah Sly, I do see my messenger has reached you.  I hope he treated you well along the way?  And your journey?" he asked Sly, looking at him as he laid down, folding his paws on top of one another as he watched Sly.  While he knew the conversation would eventually not turn pretty, it was never a bad idea to let Sly dig his own grave first and save them both the problem of prying information.  But Oculus was content to let Sly determine how easily things went, or how rough.
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Post by Sindragosa Tue Jan 12, 2016 1:31 pm

Sindra, with all her might, couldn't hold back some chuckles. One, as an escort came to pick her student up, and two, as the guard not only addressed her as a male but also was worried about her safety. Never, in all her undying time, has anyone ever commented about her being safe. She was safe everywhere and they should rather worry about their own safety around her, of course she would never word it that way or speak it out loudly.

Looking around, her body of course concealed beneath the cloak, she was taking in all the details of the place she was now stuck in. She has never been in Nightwing territory before, or rather she never left the Icewing Kingdom before, haven't seen much of the world around her than the frozen wastes in the everpresent blizzard she grew up in. Nonetheless, she wasn't awestruck or anything like that. For her, it was simply another place where mortals are born, growing up and dying.

Turning towards the two guards, allowing her icy-blue orbs that replaced her eyes to glow under the hood, she spoke up, in the same voice that many referred to as the Grim Reaper personally. Of course, how could I ever dare leaving this place leaving me open to the dangers of the outside. I will stay here until Sly is available once again, we have an important schedule to keep up with. Narrowing her magical eye-orbs, she lowered her voice, letting the natural cold of hers spread. To make it clear, I do not need your assistance nor your protection. I can find myself around here just fine. The only reason I am playing along with this is because I need Sly alive and well and I am not going to get him into trouble. I hope you two understood.
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Post by Sly Tue Jan 12, 2016 1:45 pm

Sly tapped his tail against the marble floors, seeing that the guards had disappeared inside to stir the Emperor. A quick glance of his surroundings showed nothing much had changed. The same decorations and atmosphere as before. He hated having to wait. One could do things more productive, and unfortunately he would never get that time back. He already had suspicion over what he was being brought before Oculus for.

Frankly he could not say the same for how big of a deal it was. He did come back did he not?

Before he could ponder any further, the doors moaned and shot open. And there stood a grey dragon, almost the same height as he was. The grand Emperor, perching on his throne with a welcoming smile.

A pleasure to stand before his grace, Sly said. He bowed before him as Oculus spoke. Curious. Oculus had to cancel all his meetings. A smirk could hold many things. Joy and suspicion were two of them. It was a habit of his to determine what his patients were really thinking. And he was not liking what Oculus had in mind. Not that Sly really cared.

The shadow near the Emperor bulged and took shape into a dragon. Much like the encounter before, but this one was smaller. Sly followed them with his eyes, up until his instincts told him it was one of those glaring statues above.

If they were statues at all...

Sly kept his guard up, but hid it behind a stoic and calm expression. Quite an underestimation of character, and certainly more patronising than he would like. Then he smiled after hearing the 2 questions in the end. Personally I think you are a little cuckoo if you think that messenger is that warm. Sly laid down in front of Oculus as well. His heart hammered against his chest, and he never liked the pair too many eyes looking in their direction. Not that the Emperor ever mentioned this meeting would be private. Sly knew thale second question was coming, and he did not understand why Oculus would toy him in such a manner. He could go into detail about how he found Havenweed and Sindra, or go straight to the point of this meeting. Surely, there are more important matters than the story of a typical healer. But I am charmed that someone as great as your majesty was willing to hear. Sly cleared his throat before he began, It was...marvellous! Sly almost shot from his position from the excitement. His voice rose to the higher pitch of what would be his child-like self. The journey you have addressed is more of an inspiration. There I was, walking along the forest in the midst of morning until I came across a mountain. Then it hit me. A valuable herb that grows only within the mountains, but under very narrow conditions. There a lots of things I can do with Havenweed, so there I ventured up the mountain. It was a long climb, my legs becoming very sore and such that I thought I was unable to go on. But I listened to my heart, more than my mind. And I pushed on. And there...I found it! It was like a dream come true. Like some black angel had descended and blessed me with her cold and chilling breath. Oh right. Did I mention how cold it was up there? I would have froze but at least I found the Havenweed, right? So there I began my harvest... this went on for quite some time, with Sly trying to describe in much detail of his endeavour and his feelings during specific events. Sly was half eager to blurt out his story to Oculus, making it a little more dramatic than reality, but the other half...well, he hoped to bore the wandering eyes from the shadows until they would peave the two in private. And who knows? Perhaps he could make them all think he was just a typical healer with impeccable interest in his field.

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Post by Oculus Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:11 pm

The two guards looked across at one another, one of them smirking at the other, and the other obviously getting more uncomfortable.  "Errr, sorry ma'am, but if that what you wish, then its fine with us."  "What my dear fellow guard means that if you wish to not stay within our borders, we will not hold you here, and are free to go about outside the territory as you please."

Oculus watched Sly with amused eyes, boring into Sly's as he watched him work up the nerve to speak.  It was amusing to watch him go off on how he had found such marvelous things, dodging the main issue as to what he had summoned Sly here for.  "Ahhh yes, he is the most clumsy of the group, and was hoping to help improve his abilities.  Apparently talking is still a weak pint, much like my own," Oculus spoke regarding the messenger, "Ahh, I am so glad you were able to find things that made your exploitative journey a success, and how were the guards that followed?  Did they help carry anything back?" he asked, already knowing the answer, but was going to make Sly work his half of the knowledge out.  He had reports, and he would keep the content of those reports until later to corner Sly if necessary.  "But before you answer, know that I don't take kindly to dishonestly."  There was a hint of threat behind the words, but Oculus kept his smile and charm about as he looked at Sly.
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Post by Sly Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:46 pm

A curious king easy to please...or a tough one. Sly just finished his heavily extended story of his journey, and was quite surprised that Oculus was able to listen that far. Actually, it spread joy through Sly. He grinned before the Emperor. Oh? So you listened. Finally! I was waiting on a friend who was willing to listen, but many ousted me as... well... boring. Sly looked down, a little sad. Sure enough, no one within the Empire ever wanted to hear about his travels and such. It was like the endurance to live had paid off.

Before he could talk about it, he was suddenly brought back to reality. Of course. Oculus meant serious business when he summoned anyone here. Even if he were a healer, like some unorthodox addition to the military. Before he could answer that, Oculus spoke again. Although the Emperor carried a friendly expression, it was already enough to cause blood to rush to Sly's head. Sly exhaled from his nostrils and reverted to his serious demeanor, eyes falling back to a stern look as they slowly turned yellow before the Emperor.

You know... my emperor... I was rather hoping we would stand on a much... more friendly ground... but I suppose my stories did not fascinate you enough... or was it surrounded with lies? Sly's last question was conveyed in a sharper tone. Sure enough, Oculus did try to sound friendly but Sly knew a patronising tone, even if hidden behind flowers and sunshine. He was a healer. It was against his vows to lie, unless for the sake of a patient. Nonetheless, Sly cooled his head quickly and smiled, his eyes turning back to green. Before I answer, know that I do not take kindly to threats. Sugar-coated and all. Sly waited, giving it time for it all to sink in, before shifting in his position and taking another breath. His heart was calmer than before. Do you like imagination? It is a weapon of choice for those like me. Not a claw or a helmet. Imagination is intangible, but suffers from being fragile...that anything as disturbing as a tap on the shoulder and it just...vanishes, Sly motioned his claw across him, speaking as if he was in awe. That...exactly was what happened with me whenever I am with those guards. When I feel a tick in my mind, I freeze. In that instant, venturing in the dimension of the mind, I was in a struggle. To wrestle... and to tame that idea before it escapes. Without that idea, I would never have found the extremely rare herbs I have been searching for and reproduce. And so, to answer your question. The guards were like excess weight on my wings with the sole purpose of breaking my thoughts. Surely you heard their reports before I returned. I lost them while I was grasping inspiration. At that moment, I was torn between two things. Should I return? Or should I chase after my dreams? Surely you know the answer to that. Now tell me, Sly's eyes began to swirl, a mix of yellow and green mingling with one another, am I being...dishonest?

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Post by Oculus Tue Jan 12, 2016 3:21 pm

Listening to the medic get ecstatic was good, hopefully everything would be learned and the truth behind everything learned without much pressure.  But alas, it seemed Sly was still attempting to hide something, especially as his demeanor changed.  Still sitting up high, Oculus let Sly speak what he wanted, not going to interrupt him and let him say his part.  It was very...imaginative...for Sly to paint the way he did with his words, but he still evaded the main problem.  "And do take note Sly, I am very interested in your findings as a way to help all with your findings of this herb called havenweed.  However, you should take not I do not take well to deceit, especially within my own ranks," Oculus spoke to Sly, leaning forward towards him.  "As much as you hate threats, I would hate to have to follow them out dear Sly.  It is not something I want to do, but when lied to, I am forced to discipline the children of the Empire, for the good of the Empire.  Now Sly, you tell me, are you lying to me?  The truth will be revealed, only a matter of time.  Especially when the guards were ordered to follow and accompany you, yet they returned without you, twice."   Oculus took a deep breath, deciding to see if there was a way to learn the true reasons as to why Sly had purposefully evaded the guards, and as to why he was delayed in his return both trips he made.  If there was a way for him to keep a good relation with his medic, he would try that, but Oculus was beginning to fear that Sly had committed more than just evading his guards, especially with meeting an unknown person.  With a sigh, Oculus looked at Sly, thinking as he stretched his wings out before folding them back in.  "Sly, you don't need to be afraid of revealing the truth.  Is something wrong?  Do I need to send someone to remove that figure who accompanied you on your way back to the Empire?"
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Post by Sly Tue Jan 12, 2016 6:42 pm

It seemed none of this was going anywhere.

On and on, Oculus persisted that Sly was being... deceitful this time. What did he have to hide? Sure, there were secrets he kept but so did others within the Empire. Or did he really need to know he favoured sleeping on his back? Sly just cocked a smirk, pulling one corner of his maw back as he listemed to his Emperor. I see no gain in lying before you, my dear king. I admit, I abandoned my guards, and I have stated my reason at its most true. Unfortunately I cannot help if you find nothing in my story of inspiration, neither if you are still unconvinced.

Sly then looked around the room. There were barely any dragon waiting. He was getting rather thirsty with all this talking, and he half-expected Oculus would give him some refreshments. Small cubes of delicacy, or a bowl of exotic drinks for example. Look, I know you are very concerned about my recent behaviours, but I have been reassuring you they are for the good of the Empire. I did come back have I not? And this little delay...I can guarantee you, Sly ducked his snout close to his neck. In the shadow, he grinned a little, it will pay off.

Sly really did want to get to know Oculus a bit more, especually now that he welcomed him in his presence and had taken not of this mere little medic compared to those like Allistair or Oreo. They went with a rather sour start, and Sly still could not understand what Oculus was getting with this. He leaned closer to Oculus when he threatened to remove Sindra. I... am never afraid... of revealing the truth, he said quietly. I am quite a busy medic myself. Every second spent here... is another second I am away from those in need. There is one patient I know who needed the Havenweed. As for the one waiting outside, she is my teacher for the arts of healing. Are you willing to void me of the opportunity to further my arts for the sake of... chasing butterflies? Sly took another breath, keeping his voice calm but more proficient. Ask yourself this, my king. What if you...were wrong?

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Post by Sindragosa Tue Jan 12, 2016 7:23 pm

Sindra merely glanced at the guards, one definitely more shook than the other. Should she reveal her face to them, her secret? No, not yet, there was no reason to. She would only endanger her student and while she wasn't really caring much about mortal lives, pretty much a trait she obtained from her father, she was still curious as to how far Sly could get with that knowledge he would get from her and for that he had to be alive and well, two things she could not guarantee after revealing her to them. As such, she kept the hood up, leaving her face in its shadows.

Sitting down next to the guards, she started inspecting them, analyzing how they look, their physique, everything she could see with her sight. There was really no need for her to speak right now, simply letting her glowing orbs resting on them, maybe unsettling them with those unblinking eyes. She always preferred those over natural ones, sure she couldn't show any emotions, she couldn't cry or even close them to sleep but they weren't even close as vulnerable as natural ones were.

The more she looked at them, the more she was wondering whether or not she should get herself a body of flesh and scales back. She wouldn't have to hide behind her cloak and could actually express what she was feeling, not being a skull-head anymore. Then again, she threw it all away for good reasons. Flesh could be cut, blood be spilled and scalestorn apart. She did this to remove several vulnerabilites of the body, leaving her with the bare necessities. Even her organs are gone, her entire being supported by her magic in more ways than one.

Turning away, she decided to rest and restore her magic slowly, taking deep breaths and starting to meditate, trying to collect the ambient magic around her, knowing that it might take a while for Sly to return.
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Post by Oculus Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:57 pm

Listening to the responses of the medic, Oculus grinned as his fishing payed off.  So, the Sly was attempting to hide something about his detour after his first adventure, and this is what he would pry at, one way or another.  There was definitely something being hidden from him, and Oculus did not like it.  But first, he would let Sly continue his talk, not interrupting to see if he could fish anything else.  "Oh dear Sly, of course I would not take away an importunity from you to learn in order to benefit yourself, I was just making sure that there was no issue with who was accompanying you, if they had taken advantage of you somehow."  Alas, the sweet talk could not go on forever, he would have to start hammering down on Sly now to get the information, and depending on how resisting Sly was, he feared he may have to resort to more unconventional terms.  "Now Sly, as you asked, I shall answer.  If I was wrong that you are very much hiding something, then I would respectfully apologize for the time waste, and life moves on.  However, we both know that is not the case, and I am not chasing these so called butterflies as you say."  Lifting one of his claws, he looked down, inspecting the razor sharp black talons, noting how clean and pristine they looked ever since people started fretting about his appearance.  "Now Sly, I have been honest and open with you, and have tried to be lenient as much as possible, granting you freedom to do your studies abroad, in the condition you had guards.  You ran from them, and that a shame.  Thankfully, you are still alive in one piece here, but now you are withholding certain facts from me.  I'm trying to be your friend, but I also have an entire Empire to look out for.  What....was the cause of this delay, and what are you trying to hide?  If you fear about being eavesdropped on, the two...erm...'guards' are completely loyal and won't spill anything." Oculus said, now looking straight into Sly's eyes with his own, vibrant yellow ones.  If this did not work, or Sly tried to pull some flimsy excuse again, he feared that Sly had been corrupted, and would be forced to rip open the secrets that Sly was hiding.  Had he gone and plotted with the IceWings?  He certainly hoped not.
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Post by Sly Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:32 pm

Again, any effort of talking or reasoning did not produce any results, and they were back to the beginning. This discussion was trying his patience and revealed more about Oculus' mistrust towards his own healer. Every time, he would open up for any secrets, all which Sly had hardly any to give. If this was about any plot towards the Empire Sly would have let him know, for it would affect him as much as Oculus.

The emperor spoke again, but the tone was more harsh. Sly sensed frustration. That was good, at least he would know how vain it was to push him for anything really. But he would bite. If Oculus wanted to know everything...literally everything... Sly would give him everything. Unbiased, raw and such. But it would be a huge waste of time. Not even Oculus know what he was really looking for and was just stabbing in the dark. Sly could pull off random stories and he would have nothing to judge how accurate it was.

And how would you know I have something to hide if you do not know what to look for? Alright... I will bite. Ask away. Though I find it difficult that I would have something the Empire desires at this point. Are there any drinks? My throat is getting dry. This should be interesting. Sly did some background checks on most influential figures within the Empire, and Oculus was not spared from the archives. The emperor rose to this status with purely his wit it seemed. Sly smiled, eager to get a taste of what he was made of. His mind... against Oculus'.

Sly just gave a brief glance at Oculus' claws, which his majesty seemed to adore for a moment, before the emperor finally spoke. So this meeting became an interrogation. That was interesting... My many thanks to your grace for granting me such a privilege, but if shame were to point, I personally say it would be the guards. Soldiers of the mighty and powerful Nightwing Empire, trembling to even their own like your messenger. A disgrace if you ask me. Sly looked up to the ceiling for a moment, then back down. The shadows were still here. The delay? Why I have told you a few minutes ago. Inspiration struck and, like a 6th sense, I followed. And there it led me, after a muscle-tearing climb up the mountain, to this extremely rare herb. Then I met Sindra, who told me about the herbs, the greatest desires of all healers, and is willing to teach me a few arts of her own. I guess my story about the black angel was a little... too convoluted, but here it is. Oh, this better be quick. I do not want the herb to die and lose its properties. Sly then sniggered as he moved to the next question. What I am trying to hide? You tell me. What was it that you are most concerned about? If it is relevant, then I will think about sharing it with you for the good of the Empire. Surely you will understand that I...may have embarrassing secrets behind secret chambers that I wish all of Pyyria to not know about. Or the secrets to my special potions.

Sly tilted his head, meeting Oculus' yellow eyes with his green ones. He had answered the 2 questions. Now he should wait how his emperor take them.

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Post by Oculus Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:02 pm

Oculus was unhappy with how Sly was playing his little game.  He was repeating the same things as talking about his second journey, when he met this apparent Sindra.  Oculus was getting sick of this simple circular talk, and motioned the same one that had whispered to him before.  "Bring water, and something to hold his herb."  As he looked back at Sly, his eyes were active and he casted Sly into his strongest ability, the Tsukiyomi.  All Sly would see is his eyes go red momentarily, then be back in the same room.  Oculus knew the cost of the technique, and that he would have to rest afterwards, but Sly was avoiding something.  "There, you no longer have to worry about the herb dying, and the assa-...guard, is getting water and something for you to put the herb in.  Now, answer the question quite simply, what are you hiding about your delay, and not on this journey with the Sindra person.  And we have all the time in the world here Sly."  If Sly looked around the room, small details would be missing, and the door out would have been replaced by a wall, like they were put in a room and boxed in, with no way out.  Time wouldn't pass in the real world, so this allowed for a much easier time to 'talk' and learn why Sly was hiding something.
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Post by Sly Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:29 pm

Sly cleared his throat again, but was rather thankful that Oculus decided to send a messenger away for water. But as Sly turned to look back at the emperor, he noticed something off about his eyes. They turned blood red, with some patterning in black. Sly blinked, then felt a slight tinge in his mind.

A look around and he noticed the chamber had changed. Some vases were missing, among other priceless decorations. The statues above disappeared, and the door behind him had vanished. Another brief look around and Sly figured he walked into some trap without a way out. Oculus was still there in front of him. As Sly turned, the emperor's figure seemed to slowly distort a bit. But the same eyes were there.

It was pretty obvious. Oculus had put Sly in an illusion, affected hy what was probably contact with those strange eyes, which Sly believed to be his true eyes. So this was how Oculus would interrogate his...prey. Not that Sly would beg for it all to stop or had much to hide. So it finally comes down to this, Sly said, his eyes reverting to yellow. Hearing Oculus' next question, Sly frowned, then realised what his emperor was talking about. Ahh...I see, I see. My first expedition. Sly looked down, trying to remember the details. I have already mentioned the problem I had with the guards, so I will not repeat that. But that was the very first time, after a long while, that I received sparks in my mind that was drawing me to certain locations. I... cannot remember where I went, but I vaguely remembered glimpses of volcanoes. That was roughly where I noticed I lost the guards. Following my pursuit I...sort of got lost. The forest there was extremely dense but... Sly's eyes sparkled a little bit as he struggled to contain himself. I was in heaven! Just look at that place. Lost in the woods but surrounded in priceless jewels. To me, herbs and plants are jewels and there was surely a whole lot that I cannot harvest in one sitting. I was so overfilled with immense joy. You should see the forest some time. Oh but... I could not remember the way. But I took that into account and harvest the rarest I know until they were literally squished against the vials. See Oculus? This was what I really wanted all along. So many herbs. So many ingredients for my potions and my medicines. Oh but there is still so much to be done, so much to discover that I could not wait to get back to Shadows Refuge and... Again, Sly was lost in that ramble of his journey. But surely Oculus would listen with interest like he did with the 2nd story, right? [/color]

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Post by Oculus Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:32 pm

Oculus watched Sly's expressions, noticing that Sly realized they were in his own little illusion.  What Sly most likely did not notice was that time was not passing in the real world, just this one.  Sly's own senses were his to manipulate, but he figured it would be best suited to keep it so Sly had feelings of self control.  Oculus listened to Sly, and once again heard almost the same exact story.  Whatever Sly was hiding, he really did not want to reveal it.  Question was, was he hiding something important for the safety of the Empire, or just an embarrassing secret?  "Now now Sly, you said you got lost, so lets  start at the beginning of where you remember you were, and how you got lost.  You say you were in a forest, yes?  Let's start there."  Slowly, the scenery around them faded and turned into a grassy area, surrounded by trees.  "So Sly, begin to explain what you remember, and maybe I can help give you visuals to help you remember where you got lost?"  Oculus hoped Sly would play along, and maybe accidentally reveal something minor that could be pushed too.   Maybe a slip up, maybe nothing at all.  Time was on their side, after all.
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Post by Sly Wed Jan 13, 2016 5:07 pm

Unbeknownst to him, the chamber was shifting. In a blink, Sly broke his stare at Oculus, eyes still in that eerie pattern, and found he was in a clearing. In the middle of a glade. At that point, he knew the nature of this illusion. It was a recreation, but imperfect and based on predictions. Sly chose to play along, not that he had any choice. Though he was beginning to wonder what was happening in the real world, and if he had his water laid out in front of him. His throat was... strangely not as sore as it should since he lost himself in his story again. I suppose even if you created a door, I will feel like I had returned, but actually still within your grip, Sly said.

To start his recollection in this scenery was rather difficult. For one, he was not paying heed to anything while wothin his inspiration. There was no inspiration in this visual either. No guards. Nothing. What could Oculus possibly want here? I see... trees. Grass. A volcano. Volcano...ah I remember. I somewhat found myself standing within the territory of the Firewings. That was the moment I realise the guards were no longer with me. Sly looked around, but nothing else sparked any memories. Next he could recall was his herbs. Lots of it. Like he walked into a gold mine. All I remember then was that I wandered. And then I found some dense meadow with countless priceless herbs. Surely if I had come across a dragon I would have remembered. After debating on what to carry with me...I believe I was returning. But I was lost in that forest and...well... Sly began to flush. He really did not want to say what was coming next...

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Post by Oculus Wed Jan 13, 2016 5:37 pm

As Sly mentioned that he knew he was trapped, Oculus couldn't help but snicker slightly. Oh, it was really a great idea, if he ever needed to torture someone without pain. Trap them in a room with two doors, and both doors lead to the same room they are currently in. He'd have to remember that one, to convince someone they were crazy. Oculus got 'comfortable', as the feeling of comfort was merely something created in this realm. As Sly spoke about seeing tree's and grass, Oculus just stared blankly at Sly. Well, to give him credit, it could have just been dirt on the ground, but trees...in a forest...he'd have to keep his shock hidden. As Sly mentioned a volcano, he waited for more detail about this volcano, but didn't get any, so he just added a large brown mountain with a crater in the center off to the side. Since it was near the FireWing territory, it must have been along the east side of the Empire. Speaking of herbs....Oculus just put flowers in fields around them, having no real clue as to what there priceless herbs looked like. But....a dragon? That was interesting. Oculus had not asked about a dragon, and yet Sly was not denying ever seeing one. Something to remember. "Ah dear Sly, maybe explain this volcano better, and we could pinpoint its location along the map? What characteristics were there about that volcano that make it stand out? How was it a volcano and not just an ordinary mountain?" Oculus inquired about this land mark. At the very least, they would be able to plot it as a place for Sly to get special herbs and null the process of researching for previously found materials. Oculus noticed the flush spread across Sly's face as he paused in the description, and raised an eye ridge. "Well? No need to worry about being embarrassed by being lost, one of the reason why guards are useful," he jabbed lightly at Sly for abandoning his guards.

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Quotes of the staff:
Baldi

Cele

Cossy
[17:14:43 15/07/2016] @ Cosmos : EbW is more of a... rejected NW baby.
[15:39:56] @ Cosmos : I'm married to Tempest, Oculus is the father of our child, and I.. don't think it'll work out.

sLy
[22:12:50 10/04/2016] @ Sly : Oreo does NOTHING!
[22:13:21 10/04/2016] @ Sly : Except to loterally c***block everything Sly does >:I

[23:20:28 10/04/2016] Aero Dynamic : Sometimes I'm full and sometimes I'm half and sometimes I'm not even there. What am I?
[23:44:45 10/04/2016] @ Sly : My dignity

Tempest

Tenebris
[03:35:11] Virgo : if College Degrees existed in drf
[03:35:17] Virgo : What degree would your dragon have
[03:35:21] @ Tenebris : Photoshop.
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Post by Sly Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:01 pm

Sly knew Oculus would continue to probe him, but he was being honest in that he could vaguely remember much of his journey before he found the herbs. He had to be thankful for Oculus though. His questions did help him recollect something, though he was unsure why he needed the details on a volcano. Sly looked to the side, going deep in thought. There was a bit of smoke coming out of the top, which looked like the mountain had broken off its summit. My immediate guess would be a volcano. Or I suppose it was an arctic volcano. The rest of the top was covered in white. An artic volcano. Something about that did not match with the Firewing territory. Then again he personally never ventured those mountains. Either way, he doubt it was that important to fuss about.

Sly looked around and thought it was Spring. Flowers sprouted everywhere, and it uplifted the cold feeling in his heart. Flowers. Yeah. There were flowers. But not these kinds. They looked...paper cutouts to some degree and were nothing close to what Sly had harvested.

He turned red when Oculus then asked about what happened when Sly just paused over it. Sly gritted his famgs. The guards were long gone by then. Not like those cowards would cross the Firewing territory. Sly huffed a sigh as he recollected the moment he was lost. I know I had to get back so I... I took flight and... Sly puffed his nostrils, I triggered an alarm and was chased down by dragons. They chased me off their territory and I ended back within the Empire after seeing the world above. Sly rushed the end, hoping to get out of that moment.

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Post by Oculus Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:53 pm

Listening to the newer description of the volcano, Oculus tried to manipulate it to look better to match Sly's description, but was having a harder time getting it to focus as the details with everything else was also being maintained.  He was about to ask about the volcano, wondering if it was actually snow on it, or rather clouds around the top, but Sly turned a nice shade of red, so he decided to listen instead.  Looking at Sly as he tried to speed through the ordeal of being chased by dragons, which wasn't just stated that he would have known if he had met dragons?  Interesting.  The coward comment he would ignore for now.  "Now now now, hold on a moment.  You say some dragons gave chase to you?  You did not say this originally..."  Oculus slowed to think on how to formulate his next words, as Sly was saying that they were from the FireWing Territory, and he highly doubted that the rogues would be daring enough to invade the FireWings' land and live there.  "What....did these dragons look like?  Where they FireWings in heritage, or what?  And triggered an alarm, what alarm?  How many dragons chased you?"  Sighing, Oculus looked at Sly with a look that showed he was deep in thought, "Sly, I need honesty here.  You could have just given reason for the FireWings to declare war, and that would be pointless bloodshed.  What did these dragons look like?" he asked the same question again, not really realizing that he had not given Sly time to answer the first time.
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Post by Sly Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:10 pm

Sly cringed a little. Unfortunately letting out this issue did not make the humiliating ordeal any less easier to swallow. A Nightwing... triggering an alarm and chased all the way back to the Nightwing territory... that would bring shame would it not?

He did not pay much attention to Oculus attempting to point out that Sly never said anything about dragons chasing him. Of course he did not. He did not think the first journey would be anymore relevant than the second, and because his emperor insisted, he recalled that moment easily. And that was after he harvested the herbs, but only Astral knows how long he had wandered in the forest.

Next Oculus bombarded him with a series of questions. Naturally Sly would reply with a sassy comeback, but when his majesty highlighted the seriousness of it all... it brought back tge embarrassment. Like a vulnerable mess, he shifted his claws together, eyes wandering all over the surroundings, trying not to look at Oculus. [color=#006600]Yes... I have... shamed... the Empire. I did not intend for this to happen, and I may as well have triggered events leading to another senseless war. They... well I did not get a good look at them. They were just blurs. I think they may have been Firewings. I did not count how many gave chase. My life was at risk. But there could have been two. As Sly spoke, deep in the back of his mind, he knew war was unlikely and was a scare tactic. He could easily have been mistaken for a rogue. Unless the Firewings had information on all the rogues?

Sly bowed before Oculus, keeping his snout on the 'grass'. Forgive me my emperor. It was careless. My pursuers gave up as I had entered our territory.

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Post by Oculus Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:33 pm

His mind was racing.  If Sly was seen in the FireWwing territory, triggering an alarm of some sorts, then that meant two things.  The FireWings's had some sort of alarm system along their borders, which brought in questions as to why, unless they really feared the NightWings.  But even then, it brought the issue that they had violated their territory and were caught.  This was...unpleasant to say the least.  As Oculus looked back at Sly and listened, he thumped his tail on the ground, the echo ringing throughout the illusion as if the entire land created the sound.  "Now now Sly, no need to grovel.  Mistakes happen.  It's only a shame if you fail to learn from them."  He would worry about lecturing Sly at a later moment for this.  If these dragons were really FireWing guards, and they identified Sly as a NightWing, it would be a political hailstorm.  "Focus on the blurs, make out images.  Even though you only remembered them as blurs, the mind holds a lot more information than you think.  Focus on them, look out at them.  Tell me what color their scales are.  The color of their eyes..."  Off in the distance behind Oculus and in front of Sly, small, shadowy silhouettes of dragons were descending out of the clouds, obviously coming towards him.   Any small details would be beneficial when talking to the FireWing Queen, especially after tearing their so called alliance apart, as it was never really an alliance to begin with.  But if he could tell the Queen the color of their guard, how many, and the area of the encounter, he could limit it down and ask for forgiveness, and possibly future access to this area as it apparently had special herbs.
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Post by Sly Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:48 pm

It was a bit of a relief to know that Oculus was this forgiving. Then it quickly dissipated when the focus was on the pursuers. Oculus attempted to recreate the blurs. They were all black silhouettes. Sly figured it was possible they were black. But that was the end of his details. How could he have known those smaller details if he had to fly for his life?

Just looking at the blurs made him dizzy, especially if he had to ask his 'mind' what they looked like. Sly just stared blankly at them. Nothing returned to him except the hainting thoughts that he had screwed up. The eyes? How could he have caught a second of a glimpse at the eye colour if he aas chased? The colours. If only I could stick around in the same spot like a sitting deer to focus through torrents of flames and get a good look at their scales... especially their eyes. Your majesty, I was being chased and could have died if I were to seize the opportunity for a good look. My mind? It was screaming at me to leave. Find the guards. Find a hideout. Not... what is the colour of their eyes? Sly focused again at the silhouettes.

Yeah. It was a dead end.

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Post by Oculus Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:09 pm

He figured it wouldn't work, but it was worth a shot at the least.  If this error was what Sly was hiding, it was not something that Sly could just hide.  It needed to be known the instant Sly got back to the Empire territory.  This was important information that could easily evolve into something more dangerous.  There was not much left to do here, but he needed to get things going to cancel any mistakes Sly had created before they could compound themselves.  "Sly, I hope you understand the  gravity of the situation created by not reporting what happened, and I think we both can agree that it is only fair that from now on, after each journey, I expect at least a written report of ALL...and I mean all the things that happened, no matter how embarrassing.  I also hope you now understand the need to keep the guards with you at all times.  I expect you to keep them with you and for you to not try and escape them.  If you do, I'll make your next guard the one I sent as a messenger to bring you here as he seemed to be nice and warm to you."  Oculus grinned, knowing that he had sent not the nicest person to greet Sly, not fearing that the assassin would kill him, but he knew that he was attempting to make up for his embarrassing mistake in training officially dubbing him the clumsiest.   "Also, I will be heading off to confront this mishap with the FireWings, and you will need to come along.  Close your eyes, it'll help with the shift out."  Without waiting for Sly respond or comply, Oculus ended his ability, pulling them out of the dubbed Nightmare Realm.  "Of course My Lord, at once," the shadow from the wall spoke, before walking past Sly and Oculus to go order the guards to get Sly some water and a container.  Out of the trance, Oculus's eyes would be staring straight into Sly's, red with the black markings in them before closing his eyes and lifting a paw to rub between his eyes.
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