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Private could've saved some face

Discussion in 'Crystal Vales' started by Neo Politan, Sep 2, 2019.

  1. Neo Politan

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    [​IMG]

    @Ozma
    8th of September (if that works?)

    Neo never claimed to be the most knowledgeable of people, especially about the various histories of the people she had ended up allied with. But still. She was pretty sure that Salem's ex-something had died, was immortal like Salem, or something (because everything she knew was mostly gathered from out-of-context eavesdropping, and Mercury, who wasn't a reliable source when it came to anything, or reliable in general), and then they had both died, and now, for some reason, he was a teenager (maybe?), and he was here. Now, Neo didn't care about Ozpin. She never had. For all that Cinder told them, he seemed to just be an old guy she had a grudge against, and she was the one paying them, so they hadn't asked that many questions. Plus, by paying them, they weren't on her bad side, and getting burnt to death.

    Not that that had saved Roman, in the end.

    Still, new person. Interesting new person, who Neo was currently neutral towards. A new person to bother, too, because she was bored, and bothering Salem wasn't worth the risk of death, no matter how tempting it might be, and Mercury got really boring. Unreliable he may be, but his reactions sure were predictable after a while. So, new person. Trailing him quietly for a while, (disappearing behind corners, or into nooks whenever he turned around), Neo finally got up close enough to do what she had been aiming to do for a while.

    Tap him on the shoulder with her parasol, and then, when he turned around, move around to in front of him. If he didn't turn around, she'd just stay where she was.

    [/box]
     
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  2. Ozma

    Ozma RWBY

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    Oz had noticed someone behind him immediately, but, upon determining that it wasn't a Grimm, or Salem, he'd felt a touch of tenuous curiosity. Enough so that he hadn't immediately spoiled her game by letting on that his magic could detect everyone in the castle to some degree. Instead, he meandered around the castle, stopping here and there to clean something that had been bothering him. Occasionally, he saw a touch of movement in the corner of his eye, but every time he turned to look, she was gone.

    That was actually rather admirable, in Oz's opinion.

    He didn't immediately respond to the tap on his shoulder. When he did, after a few seconds, Ozma turned slowly, and smiled at the empty space. Sensing her behind him, his expression took a mischievous turn, and he reached out with his magic, forcefully tapping her on the shoulder in kind.

    "I'm afraid I don't know your name, but I'm sure I've seen you before." He chatted without turning around. "My name is... Oz, I suppose."

    @Neo Politan


     
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  3. Neo Politan

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    [​IMG]

    Neo smiled, waiting for him to turn around to face her. But it never came, as she stood there, starting totap her feet, There was no fun in this if she didn't get a reaction, after all. If this didn't work out, she'd haveto go bother Mercury, orgo ask Salem for a mission, and both of those options were boring, since Mercury was predictable, and Salem would probably just send her off on recon again, which was almost as mind-numbing as stealing Dust from old men.

    Then he tapped her on the shoulder, without moving. Neo blinked and turned, before realising that she had gotten got. Her smile deepened, because so few people ever tried to get her back. This would be fun. He still didn't face her, even as he spoke. His name was Oz, which was familiar (of course it was), and she tilted her head. She couldn't exactly talk to him without him looking at her, so she split off, leaving an illusion of herself behind as she walked around to face him. In both sets of hands was a sign.

    Neo.

    [/box]
     
  4. Ozma

    Ozma RWBY

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    Oz wasn't sure what surprised him more: The sign, or the well-crafted illusion left behind him while she walked around to his front. He glanced between both with raised brows, and his expression loosened into a genuine smile. "You're from Remnant, yes?" He hazarded a guess, recognizing the sign of a semblance when he saw one, and sensing her aura anyway. Of course, Oz had already taught numerous people in Pandora to wield an aura, but Neo's was more sophisticated than anyone who had only started using one within the last year.

    It was a bit odd to meet a mute, though he wasn't callous enough to say that aloud. He merely glanced between her and her illusion. It was impressive, the more he looked, because Oz... wasn't actually sure which one was the real Neo. "Your semblance is well developed." He complimented warmly. "Illusions are a challenge. Not many people can pull them off, even with practice. Yours are outstanding - I'm impressed."


     
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  5. Neo Politan

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    [​IMG]

    There were many things that Neo was expecting from this conversation. A new victim, maybe. A new enemy, quite possibly. Definitely a new acquaintance, because there were only three people in this castle with any regularity, and a new person that didn't also scare the fuck out of her was always a joy. In their own way. Questions, of course, because, if Neo was being honest with herself, she had to admit that she had some herself. Like, apparently this brown-haired teen was Ozpin, aka a white? green? haired old professor, which was pretty confusing in of itself. Always questions about the mutism (she could talk, she just didn't want too, thankyouverymuch, the world didn't deserve the sound of her voice), as well.

    A compliment was not one of them. An actually genuine compliment, too, which was a hell of a surprise, because how long had it been since she had had one of those? Compliments shouted in fear, desperate cries for mercy, sure. But never a genuine compliment, not since Roman. Neo nodded, because really, of course she was from Remnant. But then she smiled, a surprisingly sweet one, without any of its usual edge, before she half-curtseyed, half-bowed in return for the compliment. Both of her did, making it hard to tell which one was the illusion still.

    Practice, said the sign, as Neo straightened. Do you know which one is real?

    [/box]
     
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  6. Ozma

    Ozma RWBY

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    Given the nature of his relationship with Salem, Oz did his best to turn a blind eye to anyone else she had in the castle. If he focused on them, he wouldn't be able to stop himself from interfering with their plans and, in turn, Salem's plans. Nevertheless, it was hard to ignore someone who had approached him first, so Oz merely regarded Neo with good-natured interest. She didn't look like someone who would typically fall under Salem's sway. That was to say, Neo didn't look particularly evil or even like a typical criminal.

    That didn't mean much, especially in Remnant, but Oz couldn't help the way his lips curled upwards in immediate response to her smile. Whether she was good or bad, at least she was someone entertaining, and she wasn't spitting insults at him like everyone else. That was more than enough for Oz to eagerly welcome Neo's company for the time being, looking between she and her clone with close interest.

    His eyes crinkled warmly up at her challenge, and Oz looked between the copies of her again. His magic made it obvious which was which, but he didn't immediately say as much. It felt rude to end the game so abruptly, so he made a show of concentrating and considering the options. Then, with a smile, he reached out and poked her firmly in the shoulder.

    "It's a good trick, but it's still a trick. Does your aura split between them, or is that an illusion as well?" Oz grilled her inquisitively. He considered himself something of an aura expert, and it still would have taken him a second glance to distinguish between Neo and her copy, had Oz not had magic to guide him. It was fascinating. "It gets a bit obvious, the longer you hold it, right?" He added thoughtfully. "It starts looking... stiff, I suppose. You don't usually need to keep them up for long, I presume."


     
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  7. Neo Politan

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    Neo, the Neo's, moved in unison, tapping their feet as she watched Ozma think. Most people couldn't see through her illusions, not until the real her hit them, or they hit the fake and it shattered. Or she shattered the fake deliberately to cause a distraction of some kind. Roman had always been able to tell, and she'd never been able to tell why. She was proud of her illusions. She knew they were good, and they had gotten them out of more than one sticky situation.

    When Oz reached out and poked her, the real her, Neo's smile grew a little. With no warning, the fake shattered, and the real Neo tilted her head, pink and brown eyes switching. She curtseyed, and looked at Ozma carefully. Neo had always been cautious when it came to sharing information about her Semblance. It was her ace-in-the-hole, her trump card, and her escape strategy when necessary. If she shared too much, she lost that advantage.

    Still, that information was harmless. Neo shook her head. No, she was saying, her aura didn't split. If it did, maybe her illusions would last beyond a single hit, instead of shattering so quickly. She had gotten good at replicating the look of an Aura, but that was all it was. Anyone with a Scroll capable of measuring Aura could see through her illusion immediately. It hadn't been a problem so far, but she knew she had to get stronger, survive to wreak her revenge.

    That was new information, but Neo wasn't surprised. Her illusions were good, but holding them for a while sucked. If it also meant that they stopped looking like her, there wasn't really a point in holding them that long. Neo nodded, though, and then shrugged. It was what it was.

     
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  8. Ozma

    Ozma RWBY

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    Oz was used to people being secretive about their Semblances. In Remnant - especially among fellow huntsmen and huntresses - keeping a Semblance close to one's chest could be the difference between life and death in a fight. After all, though there were many who didn't (or refused to) realize it, one of the greatest dangers in their world had come from other humans. Grimm were often something of a side concern compared to the hazards of one's fellow man.

    So he wasn't surprised that Neo wouldn't immediately disclose a potential weakness to him. He was no one to her, and if she knew who he had been... well...

    They had been playing on opposite teams.

    He hummed thoughtfully when she did give him a bit of information. "I'm sure it will evolve and develop more over time. Most of them do." Oz said charmingly. "For what it is, it's already quite impressive."

    After a pregnant pause, Ozma weighed what else he wanted to say and ask. What was socially appropriate, versus what he wanted to know waged a quiet war in his mind, until he finally made his choice. "Why are you here, Neo? I mean no disrespect, but... Salem seems a bit outside your pay grade. And your style, for that matter."


     
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  9. Neo Politan

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    Neo smiled rather genuinely, something a bit softer than her normal cat-that-caught-the-canary look. It had been a long time since she had gotten a real compliment, outside of the backhanded, threat-implied compliments of Salem or Cinder, who had a tendency to, with every real bit of praise, imply that she had better do the same next time, or else. Honestly, those got painful after a while. It wasn't as if either of them would back it up, in the end.

    She curtseyed again, a polite acknowledgement of the compliment. Neo couldn't tell if he was deliberately being charming, or simply just that way naturally. Normally she could tell if someone was trying to charm her, and normally, no one managed either way. It was a side effect of being around Roman so much. You hung around someone who oozed fake charm that much, you built up an immunity, she thought. Not that she'd ever tell Roman that, not even when he was alive.

    Neo raised an eyebrow. He did have a point. If it wasn't for her goal, Neo probably would've looked into one of the many crime syndicates around here. She had heard of plenty, including a few that she wouldn't have minded joining. But-- reaching up, Neo slipped her hat, Roman's hat, off her head, and showed the inside to Ozma. Written there still, even though it was faded, was Roman's name, written in neat handwriting. Then she slid a finger across her throat, in the universal language of kill.

     
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  10. Ozma

    Ozma RWBY

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    Roman Torchwick was another name that Oz was familiar with, but he had never actually laid eyes on the man unless it was on a screen. To be as delicate as possible, Oz had bigger fish to fry, and one man's dust-based enterprise had never really factored into his daily life, even if it was one of the larger criminal operations of the last fifty years.

    Perhaps it was wrong of him, but anything that pissed off Jacques Schnee was usually something Oz could turn a blind eye to... which was not to say that Oz was content with someone stealing any innocent person's livelihood, but he hadn't really taken any steps to become involved. Frankly, Glynda had been more invested in it than Oz.

    Nevertheless, killing for vengeance was something he did know well. It was something that he had done, now and then, because he wasn't nearly as perfect as people tried to pretend. So his expression didn't change radically. There was simply a momentary flutter of sympathy in his eyes.

    "An eye for an eye makes the world blind, you know." He pointed out gingerly, though Oz knew better than to start lecturing her about what would and would not make the pain of losing someone better. Neo needed that about as much as she needed a hole in her head, he wagered.

    So Oz merely dipped his head. "I'm sorry for your loss." And he was. Even if Torchwick was awful by most societal standards, clearly Neo cared for him deeply. His personality and actions didn't negate how she felt about losing him. "Do you think Salem will help you to your goal? Or is Salem the target?" He flashed her a warm smile. "Don't be shy of telling me. I assume you're aware that she and I don't have the best relationship nowadays. By all means, kill her if you think you can."




     
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  11. Neo Politan

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    Neo shrugged. The world could blind itself for all she cared, she just had someone she wanted to avenge. She knew that that saying wasn't meant to be taken literally, but, again, she didn't actually care that much. Sometimes she wondered if the reason everyone was all so obsessed with speaking was so that they could talk around what they actually wanted to get across. Cinder and Roman could both talk for hours without saying anything of actual value.

    Neo shrugged, again. In a way, she was starting to wonder if it was both. She wanted revenge on Cinder, of course, but she was starting to feel like Salem was the one who had really been calling the shots about what happened at Beacon, which meant that the immortal witch was also on her hit list, which was a thought that she wasn't 100% comfortable with. Neo wanted to avenge Roman, sure, but she wasn't suicidal. It helped that this castle was the best way to get information on the whereabouts of both her targets, and that Cinder, who was going to show up eventually, she just knew it, would gravitate to Salem eventually. Mercury had, after all.

    She knew she wanted Cinder dead, and Ruby would be a bonus, but she couldn't tell Oz that. It was a weird thing that so many people in this place were attached to Little Red, so she had just gotten into the habit of not telling anyone that part of the plan. She was fine letting most people know that she wanted Cinder dead, though.

    Neo was pretty sure that there was a queue for that.

    So she said nothing, but Neo winked, as an illusion of Cinder settled over her body for a moment before vanishing.

     
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  12. Ozma

    Ozma RWBY

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    Although Oz had said that he didn't care if Neo wanted to take a shot at Salem, he did find himself quietly hoping she wasn't that stupid. She seemed... nice enough, for what she was. She didn't deserve to die like that. Still, it was Neo's prerogative, not Ozma's, so he responded to her shrug with one of his own. She struck him as a clever enough person - maybe she wouldn't plunge headfirst into a conflict with the unbeatable.

    Better yet, maybe she had some kind of magic super power, and she would somehow incinerate Salem with little more than a gesture.

    He grinned to himself, entertaining the notion in his mind with enthusiasm, then jerked his head back instinctively when Neo abruptly turned into an eerily accurate replica of Cinder. After a moment of wide-eyed shock, Oz couldn't help but laugh in simple delight at her trick. He loved illusion-based semblances. They could be so much fun.

    "That really is an amazing semblance, Neo. You have a fantastic grasp of it." Like many huntsmen and huntresses, it was hard to put a definitive age on her. People in their life had a habit of growing up fast and dying terribly young, making it hard to discern if someone was twenty or thirty-five.

    In any case, he supposed it didn't matter. Age was nothing but a number - Oz knew that better than anyone, given how many times he had been both elderly and a minor. "I suppose you could say I have my own grudge against Cinder Fall. Do let me know if you need any help." He added with his own wink. Normally, Oz wasn't the type to hold onto spite or hatred...

    but he could make an exception for someone who had already killed him once before. With his own magic, no less.


     
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  13. Neo Politan

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    Neo curtseyed again. She was slightly worried about how much she was showing of her Semblance to someone that she didn't know that well, and did know was on a different side, but, again, just knowing she could make illusions didn't meant that they knew how to see through them. In fact, sometimes it worked to her advantage. People, knowing that there was an illusionist around, had a tendency to panic, to start getting paranoid, to start not trusting their own people, their own eyes. It worked fair better than anything she actually did, sometimes. Besides, he was surprisingly nice, and definitely the nicest person in this whole castle.

    Normally, Neo tended to look down on nice people. They very rarely had what it takes to survive outside of the cushoined world that they knew. But, someone how had to power to be nice, in a place like this? Someone who could be nice in a place like this? Neo wanted to see what made him so sure he could afford it. She knew that everyone in this castle had power, of one kind or another, and she was also aware that she and Mercury were definitely the weakest (she was pretty sure she could take Mercury, because even though she knew of Marcus Black, because everyone knew about Marcus Black, Mercury was a student, and didn't seem much more than a fighter), and she also knew that she didn't want to be caught between Salem and this guy, if it came to it.

    It was probably a good idea that she not get too friendly.

    Nevertheless, Neo smiled, because as much as she wanted to choke Cinder to death with her own two hands, if she pulled this guy in, she'd have a handy scapegoat when she eventually ended the life of one of Salem's favourite minions. Someone who might not die immediately, as well. Besides, she'd be nice. Let him get a hit or two in before she took that woman's other eye.