Dakota walks into the large meeting area, her lips pulled downward into a stern frown. She writes today's topic, Magical Energy Spike in Koma Inu, on the chalkboard, then steps over to the map. She uncaps a Light Pen, circling the location of Koma Inu on the map, as well as making note of the immense magical output of the area it stands over.
She takes a seat in her chair and begins to shift through a folder, pulling several documents out. This includes a map of the capitol city Hylion, information on all of Koma Inu's members, and a chart mapping magical output of the guild, among several other papers. After organizing the papers in front of her, she idly watches the entrance of the room, waiting for the other members to show up. There's still thirty minutes until the meeting officially starts, but it wasn't uncommon for officials to show up early. Dakota was proof, though she did live in the city, and was a mere five-minute walk from the meeting place, and she was also the reason the meeting was even taking place. She hoped the alert she sent out late yesterday evening was enough to cause the others to show up, but she didn't expect a large turnout. In fact, if any members other than herself were to show up, it would be a blessing. The problem was rather centralized, and to expect other leaders to leave their cities was foolish.
"Hello!" Xavier practically sang as he danced into the room and gracefully dropped into his chair. He pulled out a notebook and quill, arranging them neatly in his spot before getting up once more and approaching Dakota. He hands her a fresh, vibrant blue flower as he says, "I brought these for all the council members. Hopefully, they will be a bright light to set the meeting off right. And how are you Miss Claas?"
Dakota relaxes a bit as she watches Xavier enter, as jovial as always. "Good morning Xavier. I apologize if this meeting has interrupted anything at home." Dakota says, taking the flower delicately in her hand. "Thank you. I'm doing fine, but as you can tell by my summons, I am troubled. Once we approach the meeting's start, I'll elaborate further." She explains, and she creates a small vase, placing the flower inside. Despite its ice make-up, the flower is unaffected, standing just as magnificently as before, the vibrant petals accentuated nicely against the pale blue. I can only hope more people show up by then... she thinks grimly, returning her gaze to the entryway.
Timothy arrived next. "Good day Dakota, Xavier. Sorry I am late," he said as he took his seat. "Don't worry Dakota, give it a few minutes and more of us will arrive for this emergency."
Dakota said a small greeting to Timothy, a small laugh rising from her lips. "Timothy, I think you got your times a little mixed up. You're early, actually." Dakota informs him. "Thank you for the reassurances," She adds, and her eyes don't return to the entryway, this time pointed down at the folder in front of her. The contents don't look all that grim, brightly colored graphs and charts and beautiful calligraphy covering each page, so the look of near hatred Dakota addresses the documents with seems unfounded. Her brows furrow as she continues to look over the pages, shifting them about as she recites the information she will relay to the other members in her head.
"Oh, you are right." Timothy chuckled. "It is always better to be early than late. Oh there you are Ash!" Timothy exclaimed as a Kawari came in panting. "Sir you know you can't just take off like that without me," Ash said. They both sit in their respected places around the room.
In the corner of the room, a large cherry wood door appeared, decorated with golden embellishments. It opened rather quickly and a well-dressed man exited hold a white Kawari looking rather timid. "I see I am not the first to arrive, I got caught up talking with the master of Solis Knights. My deepest apologies. Although the it is so great to see everyone again!" Tamashiro says and he places his Kawari, Rosalie, on the floor and leans down to give the three members present a one armed side hug.
"You do know that this was an emergency meeting Tama; there is obviously something wrong. Not a very cheerful thing if you ask me..." Rosalie says with her head slightly down as she lies down in her place next to Tamashiro's seat. Waving off his Kawari's solemn comment, Tamashiro takes his seat as he crosses his fingers and rests his head on his hands.
Dakota lifts her head at the sudden change in magical energy, the troubled look on her face slightly easing as she sees the door that had suddenly appeared. "No worries Tamashiro though I hope you haven't gone out of your way to come here. Internal issues come first." Dakota says, her voice somewhat stern, but equal parts happy. No wonder people refer to me as a second mother... she thinks, as she returns the hug in earnest. She refocuses her gaze back on the papers after he moves to his seat, once again going over the information.
Her own Kawari, Oleander, had entered the room at some point and was looking at the pages with Dakota. "You know Rosalie, if you take life so seriously you will surely have a stroke," Oleander comments offhandedly, and Dakota looks up to give him a glare. "Surely you have half a mind to rephrase that statement?" She asks, and he simply smirks, standing up just to wave his bushy tail beneath her nose, and then curling up on the corner of her folder, making it difficult to read the pages. "The same goes for you, dearie. Wouldn't it be a shame if your job as a leader went unfinished?" He asks, the look of innocence painted across his face. Rather than replying, Dakota simply pushes the purple Kawari away, lifting the folder up to prevent him from doing it again.
It was Thalia that arrived next. Her clothes were torn and her body scratched, yet she walked in with a look of indifference. "Hello. Looks like almost everyone is here. Sorry, there was a little incident with a certain gardener who thought it was okay to grow carnivorous plants. Nothing to worry about," she said with a grin. Next to her stood her own Kawari. "We came here as soon as we could," Adira finished.
Dakota looks alarmed at Thalia's condition though she manages to stay seated despite the pressing urge to fight. With Thalia's explanation, she is appeased, however, her rigid posture going lax, and she replicates the smile. They all have issues at home. Maybe it would've been better if I had dealt with this on my own. she thinks, but soon enough, she's turned these thoughts around. If they are here it means they want to be. She tells herself, "I'm glad you were able to resolve the issue before the meeting," Dakota says as she places the folder on the table, folding her hands on top of it. Her gaze remains away from the paperwork, where it instead moves to glance around at each official.
"So who else are we waiting on my dear?" Tamashiro says with a warm smile on his face. "Did you receive word from any of the other officials? I can always go and check on them rather quickly and report back?"
Dakota ponders over his question for a moment looking around the table at the vacant chairs. "I expected Penny to be here, she usually comes to every meeting. Rin would also be another one likely to be here, since he enjoys being informed," Dakota starts, "Cynthia and Ryan are the only other two that I have a slight suspicion on whether or not they'll be here. Their cities tend to have the most activity, but like Rin, they enjoy being informed." Dakota looks at the other chairs, shaking her head. "The others sent notifications that they would not be here at all."
"That is a shame that they can not make it. During emergencies, it would be best if we all worked together." Timothy said calmly. "Either way, I'm sure we can relay information to them later if their presence is needed in fixing this problem."
"It really is too bad we cannot gather everyone for-," Xavier began but was cut off by a small pink blur kicking his face. Ajlal stood on the conference table, breathing heavily and growling slightly.
"Xavier, you idiot! What did I tell you about leaving my sight?! How do you expect me to keep you under control if you're always wandering off," the little Kawari asks rhetorically. Xavier grimaces and slumps in his chair as the magic surrounding him is nullified.
"Hello, Ajlal. You seem as lively as ever." Ash, Timothy's Kawari mused.
"I have to be to keep this ditz under control. Very nice to see you though Ash," she grins. Her eyes narrow at the man she's in charge of. He looks absolutely exhausted now but still looks towards Dakota, ready whenever the meeting starts.
The next person to enter is Rin followed closely by his Kawari A-on. They both take a quick glance at the room and the Chalkboard in the distance before taking their seats giving a quick nod to Dakota, Rin not uttering a word.
Jumping on the table and sitting in front of Rin, A-on says, "I apologize for our tardiness and hope our presence didn't interrupt anything?"
Dakota gives a curt nod to Rin and A-on, and then she sets the folder down, glancing around the room quickly before taking a deep breath in. "You guys are right on time," She says, and then adds, "I'm glad all of you were able to make it. Like Timothy said, it is always best if we work together during emergencies. Now, without further prompting, I'd like to get right into the topic today's meeting; The recent spike in magical ethernano around Koma Inu." She rests a moment, gathering her thoughts before continuing in.
"The guild Koma Inu has always been in good graces with the Toranku 15 for the most part, and they have always helped out in hunting down dark mages, however, their reasons are, at times, less than noble. Their guild leader is very ambitious and strives constantly for more power, which has attracted several powerful mages, one of which being a Wizard Saint. They also harbor mages of questionable backgrounds, and while I believe they have turned over a new leaf, I can not be too lenient." With that, Dakota pulls out several sheets of paper documenting all the members of the guild, a small bit of background information on all of them, as well as a photo, and passes them out to the other members.
"I have reason to believe that this recent spike in magical energy was intentional, and it has been placed there in order to further boost their magical powers. And with this new source of energy, the members will gain a great boost in magical potential. Should they become unsatisfied with the power they currently hold, I can not be certain our collective strength could stop them if they went on a rampage. One of the members of the guild is directly related to a member of our ranks as well, and while I would never question loyalty, I can not ask someone to fight against their family." Dakota concludes the prompt, looking around at the members to gauge their reactions.
"I asked you here because I would like to ask of your input on this matter. I would also like ideas on what measures we should take to hopefully prevent anything from happening."
Tamashiro was patiently stroking Rosalie's fur, who had already jumped up on his lap for the remainder of the meeting. "Well, that is some troublesome news... If this ethernano spike does occur, there is no way that we could hire another guild to deal with an outburst, should one occur, or even handle it ourselves. The effects on the body being exposed to pure, concentrated ethernano greatly increases their magical strength, even surpassing a Second Origin mage. But this can take a toll on the body, should they run out of said ethernano. I wouldn't want to put the mages of Koma Inu through that, for that would not be too kind. And given that these are just rumors, shouldn't we confirm them first before taking action?"
"Tamashiro brings up a very good point. While I am not entirely too fond of certain people in that guild, I believe we should at least hear what they say about this new power spike," Xavier inputs. Ajlal sits next to him, just out of his reach, on a small pillow so as not to further dirty the table with her paws.
"If I may," Timothy said to cause attention to him, "I have not foreseen any ill intention with this spike in the ethernano around Koma Inu. However..." Timothy paused to gather his thoughts. "I also have run into something very troubling. While looking forward into the past for the area around Koma Inu, it is hazy... like there is a hole in the time stream that I cannot see. I am sorry I cannot give you much more information than this." Ash looked over to Timothy concerned.
"This is a first, isn't it Timothy?" Ash asked him.
Dakota listens to each of the members, turning over all their information in her head. If we were to confront them about this, it could be troublesome. There's the possibility that they can manipulate the ethernano and determine when and how much of it is released. That would not work out in our favor if they have intentions of war, especially if we went directly to their guild. However, if we leave it alone, they could bring the battle to us. Dakota is relaxed as she turns these thoughts over in her mind, keeping calm despite the turmoil she feels.
"If we were to talk with them, the consequences might turn out to be worse than we intend. This claim, especially if it is wrong, could cause Koma Inu to lash out against us. Placing such a large blame on them will likely cause their temper to flare, and while it is possible that they might not have the ethernano spike on their side, it could create mass panic within the city, as well as neighboring ones." Dakota says, looking towards Xavier and Tamashiro. "If we are hesitant, however, we could just be waiting for a ticking time bomb to go off," She adds.
"Timothy, is it possible that the output of magical energy is disrupting your future sight? If it is, we could approach them some time before it turns hazy, and we might be able to end it even before it can begin." She says, leaning forward slightly at the positive turn of events. "There is the possibility that they can control the surge, and if that happens, we could be walking right into a trap," She adds solemnly.
"It's not unusual for representatives to visit the legal guild of their city right? One possible course of action would be for you to visit the guild, while we lay waiting close by. It gives you a perfect chance to investigate further without any suspicion and if anything were to happen we would be close enough to intervene. I for one don't believe they would go so far to go against the Toranku 15, but at this point that's just personal opinion. Once your investigation is done if you can find anything, then we could act with probable cause as our pretense. Though like I said, this is just one idea." Said Rin while poking at A-on.
"That would give me a chance to try and clear up the haze as well with that plan." Timothy added. "I hope this is nothing, but we need to work cautiously."
"I think that would be a fine idea Rin. However, if any of you were to leave your cities, it would obviously raise suspicion. The mages of Koma Inu are all intelligent, and it would be safe to assume that they could put two and two together and say that you were in Hylion." She says, pausing for a moment to gather her next thoughts. "I could carry a hidden communication lacrima that would allow you all to hear the exchange from your own cities. And if anything were to happen, I could alert Timothy so that he could set back the time." She says, turning to the mentioned member as she does. "Would that be alright with you?" She asks.
"That's fine with me. Ash you ready for this?" Timothy asked his companion.
"Whatever you need sir. We can do this." Ash stated.
"If I may interject? While Sir Timothy's abilities are extraordinary, Yoshino lies quite a distance from Hylion. Even if he were to rewind time, it would not be enough for most of us to act. Going in alone would be of great disadvantage to yourself Miss Claas if it so happens to be that Koma Inu is responsible. Sir Tamashiro would be the fastest of us all to respond in my opinion. We should gather our thoughts further and come up with a backup plan?" Stated A-on as he swatted Rin's fingers away with his tail to stop from poking him.
"I agree with you A-on. We should have a backup plan that doesn't require my reset. If I could see everything clearly I wouldn't feel as uncertain as to what to advice. I can tell you just how far I can see for the area around Koma Inu." Timothy stated as he sat straight up. His eyes began to glow as he was looking into time. He fell back into his chair as he closed his eyes a moment later. "36 hours. I can see all possibilities of the future up to 36 hours. After that, I can't see anything... at all. I can keep you all informed on what is going on until then and if the other members need to move into Hylion. After that, I will be blind other than what I can hear in real time. I'm sorry."
"A-on brings up valid points. In terms of a backup plan, I believe Tamashiro would be a valuable asset. He and a team of his choosing could be on standby, and if needed, he can create a portal to aid me." Dakota says, trying to leave the offer as open-ended as possible. "The possibilities of what could happen during the timeframe Timothy can not see are endless, but if I am careful enough, we might not even need any of this. Bringing back Rin's previous point, it is not uncommon for me to visit the guild. I could go there under the guise of a plan to expand the guild hall. That should grant me the ability to scope the entire guild building and search for any possible reasons for the spike in magical energy."
"That sounds like a lovely idea Dakota! And I would be happy to get a team ready, should an evacuation be needed. I will obviously be contacting Asa after this meeting, for she is a valuable member seeing that she has teleportation magic as well." Tamashiro smiles. On his lap, Rosalie stirs and sits up to address the table. She speaks softly, but sternly. "Oleander, I do hope that you will be joining them? I want to make sure that Koma Inu does not have any ploys to use this additional power to do anything against the Queen and the rest of the kingdom..."
All of a sudden Penny runs into the room, dress dragging behind her. "Sorry I'm late everyone!". Fírnen, her Kawari, trails behind her. Penny takes a seat quietly, ignoring the stares put on her. She whispers to Fírnen, "I hope this doesn't ruin my reputation, but we have more important matters on hand it seems.".
Dakota slightly startles at Penny's sudden entrance, staring bewildered at the girl. "Penny, do try to be more punctual. And if you were to be late, entering quietly so you don't interrupt the meeting would be a better idea." She says sternly, fitting the green-haired girl with a harsh stare. "And yes, Tamashiro, that would be great," She says, turning to the older man and giving him a smile as well. Oleander nods his head, "I've gotta keep Ice Heart here under control, and I can't very well do that if I'm not around her." He says, giving Dakota a sidelong glance. The only sign that shows Dakota heard his insult was a short, angry puff of breath.
"Sorry Dakota-san! You know I just don't like to miss meetings!". Fírnen jumped on the table and said, "Pipe down Penny! You should be more respectful. Plus this is an emergency meeting". "Sorry", Penny said once more. "What is this emergency meeting about anyways".
"Penny," Ash said. "There is an ethernano spike at the Koma Inu guild. We are making plans on how to find out why and if the spike is meant for malicious purposes."
Penny looked like she was thinking for a moment. "Well, looking at the spike around Koma Inu, a guild full of naturally powerful wizards, I honestly wouldn't usually worry about it. But seeing as this is a little unusual, I'd say we should have Kawari scouts go in and check out what's going on. It could be nothing more than a high rise in power from all the wizards. There getting new members every day."
Ajlal's fur raised and she stood immediately. She slowly walked across the table to where Penny sat. Xavier knew trying to stop her would only result in pain for him so he remained seated as she said,"Scout? Kawari scouts?! We are a noble race who does not need to do the petty bidding of humans. How dare you demean us as if we were your subordinates who you can simply boss around. I do not care if you simply 'misspoke', next time think before you open your mouth or hold your tongue."
"That's enough Ajlal," Xavier warned when the small creature looked about ready to continue. He grunts as she increases the nullification body cast around him and turns her tail to Penny.
"Alright everyone let's get back to the topic at hand," Timothy said trying to bring the focus back to Dakota. "If you please Miss Claas, let us continue planning this operation."
Dakota allows the events to unfold, simply using the time to write down a rough draft of the plan. Ajlal wasn't wrong in what she said. Her methods were rather unorthodox, but I suppose if I were insulted in such a way, I may not have reacted all that differently. I just hope Penny isn't too afraid to speak up anymore. Her naivety seems to be the only problem she faces when she's making decisions. Hopefully. she'll take this as a learning experience and not a setback. Once the situation blows over, she clears her throat to help get the attention back on herself. "Alright, so we have decided that I will go to Koma Inu on my own to look for any possible reasons for the ethernano spike. I will carry a communication lacrima so that you can all see and hear what's going on from your own cities, as well as bring Oleander with me as a representative of the Kawaris. Tamashiro will be on standby should anything occur that is out of my control with a team of mages of his choosing. As a last resort, we are to signal Timothy to reset time in order to better approach the situation." Dakota pauses for a moment, carefully analyzing all the information she's been provided thus far, and the plan she's just said aloud. "As Timothy loses sight after 36 hours, I'd like to be able to go into Koma Inu two days from now in order to figure out the reason for the sudden stop of his future sight. Is there anything that I have missed, or that you would like to add or change?" She asks, carefully rearranging the folders so everything is neatly tucked away, leaving only the rough draft out in case any changes need to be made.
"This is just a suggestion but Ajlal could accompany you and have her superb nullification magic at ready if necessary. She could be there to get away from me and spend time with another Kawari, Oleander in this case, as an excuse," Xavier offered. Ajlal began to rile until Xavier flattered her. "That way I could have time to build up strength if I am needed as well."
"As long as she won't be missed by you or the Katasura citizens, I would gladly take you up on that offer," Dakota says. "Why didn't you consider my opinion Miss Claas? After that particular outburst, I'm not certain Ajlal will be able to keep her temper down long enough for us to investigate." Oleander states, giving the smaller Kawari a vicious smile. "I appreciate your input Oleander, but I believe Ajlal is just as capable as the rest of us in terms of going undercover. If anything, I'm not certain you would be able to control yourself should any negative thoughts come to mind while on our mission." Dakota counters, leveling Oleander with a glare. "You can't get rid of me that easily Miss Claas, I thought you'd understand that after more than three years of working together. But, I promise to keep my words in my head, no matter how true they are, so long as Ajlal does the same."
"You would be surprised by the things I already keep in my head," Ajlal snorts. "But I will be of polite temper, that I can assure you. It will be nice to get away from this idiot for a bit... even if I'm trading one idiot for another." She gives a cheeky grin to Oleander as the insult was meant for him. "Besides I much enjoy Miss Claas since she knows how to use that brain of hers unlike Xavier. I will offer my assistance willingly in this situation."
"Oleander and I would love your company during the mission," Dakota says, a ringing finality in her tone. Oleander looks ready to deny this fact but thinks better of it. "I'm sure having her around will be to our advantage," he affirms through his teeth, not bothering to look at the other Kawari.
Penny looked at Ajal. "I'm terribly sorry Ajal, I didn't mean to offend you. You are correct about being a noble race and I wouldn't dare demise your species to some livestock animal. I mean, send in Kawari fighters. And it is, to your queens permission of course.". And Penny addressed Dakota, " Ms. Claas, my other idea was that we, are selves physically go there and search. Or we could send an image of one of us. Does anyone here have a specialty in Thought Projection Magic? It could useful. And I am open to many more ideas.".
Oleander looks over to Penny, agitation written clearly across his face. "Since Dakota just reiterated everything no less than a minute ago, I won't go into specifics. We've already determined a plan that we agree on, and now we are trying to make sure everyone can get a fair chance to add their thoughts. Please try and keep up with our pace, and follow along." He says, and Dakota waits until he finishes to begin speaking. "Sending in Kawari to fight a guild, even if they were trained, would hardly be a fair fight. If this ethernano spike were to turn out to be true, even mages like ourselves would be at a huge disadvantage. That is why I am going on a solo mission--apart from Oleander and Ajlal-- to figure out what is going on. It will raise less suspicion and give us ample amount of information, from both a mage and Kawari's point of view." Dakota keeps her voice level and calm, unlike her partner, though her message carries the same meaning.
"Miss Claas if I may interject," Timothy chimed in, "From what I can see towards the future, this plan we have now is one of the better-received actions for Koma Inu. Like you said before, it isn't uncommon for you to visit the guild, so it would be the best option overall to take."
Penny laid back in her seat and decided to say nothing. They were right, she needed to keep pace. She was a young adult and she was acting like 5-year-old. "Ms.Claas? I know that this is a solo mission, but I kindly ask I tag along. If it is not a problem with the other council members.", Penny said while glaring at all the members and their Kawari. "And to quickly say, my plan wasn't and never was about fighting.".
Dakota gives Penny a quizzical look. "Is there any particular reason you'd like to tag along? This mission was determined to be a solo mission on the premise of being reminiscent of normalcy. If I were to bring another Toranku 15 member, it could easily put Koma Inu on edge." I honestly can't see any positive outcome of having her come with me. If anything, it would be more troublesome, and it's not as though she can truly gain anything from it either. If this mission is to be a success, I will only appear to be looking for the best ways to expand the hall, which is hardly a leadership skill. It's probably the opposite, deceiving your citizens is definitely not something a leader should make a habit of, even if it for the good of the country. Even as she thinks this, she makes sure to listen to Penny's reasoning for wanting to go.
"Having another member to aid you would be advantageous to your search. It's not uncommon for members to visit each other, especially when help is needed. You could simply say you asked Penny to accompany you as a second opinion regarding the expansion of the guild and how to go about such expansion." Said Rin interrupting the conversation." Well at least that's an idea, I'm sure we could come up with something else if we have to."
Dakota nods her head to Rin's suggestion, looking to Penny. "Understand that if you come, you are putting yourself at great risk. If you are still willing to go knowing that, I will gladly take you with me. So long as the other members do not disagree, of course," she says, turning to face the group at large. "If there aren't any further comments you would like to make, we can call this meeting to an end. I will be ordering and issuing out the lacrimas for each of us, and they should arrive at your offices no later than tomorrow evening." She remains seated, in case the representatives have anything they would like to discuss separately. In the meantime, she begins writing the requests for the lacrimas.
Penny nodded as she watched Dakota prepare the lacrimas. Fírnen, who was silent but has been observant, questioned Oleander "What will our positions be?".
Oleander rolled his eyes as Fírnen's question. "Just like on any other mission, we are to stay by our partners side to relay any suspicious movements to the Queen," he says, stretching languidly across the tabletop. "You know, Oleander, you could be the slightest bit kinder to our guests," Dakota says, never looking up from her paper. Oleander heaves an exasperated sigh. "Well, I don't take kindly to people with stupid questions. You didn't do anything when Ajlal blew up on Penny, but now I'm suddenly in the wrong," he says, to which Dakota rolls her eyes. "It's just a suggestion," she answers.
Fírnen sighed at how Oleander didn't to understand his question. "Oleander, 3 things. 1, my question was on how we will help. Of course we will always be by our partners side. 2, what Ajlal said to Penny was valid. We are a powerful race that should be able to do more than follow our partner round like me trained household dog. 3, there is no need to act so proper, nor boss-like. Being paired Dakota may be an honor, but it's not a pass to being higher up over others.". Fírnen sat down, done with this conversation.