This article, Things Get Moving: Journey to the Capital, is property of Zicoihno.

Dreaded Inferno

"Shit! Why is it so goddamn hot! Ugh!" Richard cried, wiping the sweat from his face. Evidently, the quickest route to the capital was through the desert. So for the sake of time, they hired the services of a sandrunner to get through the desert as quick as possible. The elf that was taking them there was quite generous at the price. But that didn't change the fact that the desert was a wasteland ruled by the sun's fury.

"Do you ever stop whining?" Lana turned away from Richard in annoyance. The sandrunner, a magical vehicle that literally glided over the sand of the desert wasteland, had no roof. So they were exposed to blazing sun; Richard had forgotten to use some sunscreen. Lana was in a pair of combat shorts and a tight gray shirt, the best she could do to cope with the heat.

Richard shielded his eyes from the sun. "It's like were riding through Hell, goodness. Sanjo, next time, we need get a better sandrunner." Richard snapped. Sanjo looked over at Richard. "I'm hot as hell too, man. But this was only available one, and we needed to get moving immediately." Sanjo remarked. He couldn't deny Richard had the right to complain, but that's life for you.

Lana cocked an eyebrow, "You're awfully calm for a guy who's been fanning himself since we got on here. Eitherway, you owe me for this one!" Lana declared. The blonde mage was puzzled. "What the? Owe you what, Lana? " Sanjo protested. She ignored the question, as she took a seat across from him. Sano sighed, he just didn't get her at all sometimes. All the while, Zeo was sitting silently near the front of the sandrunner.

"Nothing but endless miles of sand. Nothing, just sand." Zeo was deep in thought. He thought over the past events of his life, how he'd gone from a criminal to tagging along with a Wizard Saint. Somehow he enjoyed the noise that came with being with them. Sure Lana hadn't care for him at first, but they had learned to get along. "Is this what they call 'friends'?"

Zeo stared off into the distance. The only friend he had ever known had run away. He should of went with her , but that's life. Zeo scratched his head. Life is full of "should ofs" and "could ofs". He turned his attention back to his comrades. Lana was shouting at Sanjo about something. Richard still looked miserable from the heat. He thought of what would of happened had he not teamed up with Sanjo, but such thoughts were desirable.

He focused on Sanjo, "I don't even know what I want in life. Or what the meaning of my existence is. Yet, there's something yearning in me to pursue the answer. Who knows where life will take me, but I know that I've found a friend in you. " Zeo turned back to watch the hills of sand go by as they raced through the desert.

"Zeo, why are you all the way over there by yourself?" Lana called, walking over to him. She squinted at him. "I know it's hot, but are you ok? " She wasn't sure she'd get a question, but it didn't hurt to ask. He nodded, "I'm fine, no need to worry. Just....thinking on things." He remarked. Lana crossed her arms, that answer wasn't exactly satisfying. But it was Zeo, even Sanjo didn't try to dig into his persona.

She took a seat next to Zeo. There was an awkward silence between them. "Looks like I have to start us off again." Lana rolled her eyes, turning to Zeo. " I didn't want to say this around Sanjo to drag on the mood, but I kind have a feeling something bad might happen, you know?" Lana said. Zeo narrowed his eyes at her. "Actually, I don't. What do you mean?" He asked.

She sighed, that was blunt. "Women's intuition, I guess. I just have this uneasy feeling ever since we made plans to head for the capital, " She looked out into the distance, " but it may just be nothing." Those last words didn't make things any better. Lana crossed her legs. " For now, let's just survive the damn sun, right? " She said with a weak smile.


The Wizard Saint snapped back into reality. He had to admit, the heat had him dazed. He looked over at Richard, sitting up straight. "What?" He replied. "Just thinking. I might be overanalyzing, but you think somone's behind the conflict between Fiore and those two countries. I mean," Richard cleared his throat, "it's not unheard of. People have tried to spark conflict for nations for personal gain before, or so history says, right?" Sanjo gave Richard a plain look.

He shrugged, too soon to tell. "Or it could be something more simple then that. Let's hope it's the latter. Let's wait to ask some question at the palace before we cook up any theories." Sanjo said. Richard cocked an eyebrow. "Wait? There's nothing wrong with my logic if you think about it. You should know well that things are more complex then at first glance." He had Sanjo there. Sanjo sighed, his friend was right.

"Well, we'll just wait and see what happens, eh?" Sanjo remarked. He pointed at the sky. "But more then anything, I want to get out of this place. I never hated the sun this much, you know." Richard laughed, even in tank tops, they were still dying of heat more then ever. "Oh I almost forgot. What about the Hell To-" Sanjo raised a hand to interrupt Richard. "Forget about that, doesn't matter anymore. Fiore is what matters now. As a Wizard Saint, I need to do my best to protect it.....and even moreso as a Vista."

He thought back to what Mari said, what had gotten him into that competition in the first place. It was nothing more then a bluff, evidently. "Besides, I haven't seen Joseph in a long time." Sanjo said, smiling. Richard was at a loss. "Joseph? You mean the Prince, man? " Richard retorted, confused. Sanjo nodded in agreement, as he got up and walked over to the front of the Sandrunner, passing by Lana and Zeo.

"Old Man!" He shouted, waving to get his attention. The elderly elf peered over his shoulder. "How long until we reach the Capital?!" Sanjo added. Instead of shouting, the old man held up his right hand, completely open to signify five hours. Sanjo smiled. "5 hours? Lovely, we'll be there soon enough." He thought. It was at the capital that their questions could possibly be answered.

Rumble in the City Square

Normally she wouldn't go so out of way for something, but Ruzana felt like she should be the one to buy the wine that she drinks. Besides Jackson's in Oshibana Town had her favorite wine, even if it wasn't fancy, it was still very good to Ruzana. But, without fail, an attendant tagged along. Her name was Liza, and she was more shy then helpful at times. Ruzana figured the girl was intimidated that she was tagging alongside the Lady of the Vista family.

They walked through the crowded narrow streets of the inner part of the city. Even in a time of potential war, the central part of Oshibana Town was bustling as usual. She smiled as she watched merchants trying to sell off their products to each and every person passing by, the children playing in the street. It was hard to believe at the same moment her husband was in a war meeting.

She looked over at Liza, who seemed taken in by the mood. "Nice times, huh, Liza?" Ruzana remarked. The young attendant snapped out of it. "I'm sorry, Ruzana-sama," She felt a hand fall on her head. "It's alright, kid. You really should just calm down, I don't bite." She said. "Oh, I see. I'll do my best." She said, smiling nervously. They resumed walking. "Long as you don't drop the wine, it'll be all fine." Ruzana said, chuckling a bit at how that sort of rhymed.

They made their way into the city square, the heart of life in this city. "Liza, I'm hungry. Hmm.....what should we have?" She announced, smiling. "We?" The young woman was confused. Ruzana sighed, "You don't expect me to eat alone, do you? " The words didn't seem to reassure the woman. "I don't know, as a servant, I shouldn't be eating with you, Ruzana-sama." Liza muttered. Ruzana shook her head, the girl's sense of duty was way to rigid. Then again, the Vista family she had married into was very different from many other noble families.

She raised a finger to get Liza's attention. "Then it's an order." Ruzana proclaimed. Liza tilted her head in question. "I order you to relax and eat lunch with me. Because eating alone is boring." She felt she had won the battle with that play. She, and no one in her family for that matter, were the type to segregate them self from "the help".

Taking Liza's silence as her conceding, Ruzana twirled on her heel and beckoned her to follow. "Alright, I'm thinking meat." They continued on their way to a grilled meats stand. Little kids passed them, playing with a ball. Suddenly Ruzana's eyes shifted to the left in shock. Something giant came hurling at them. There was almost no time to think as it crashed towards them.


In that moment, a small explosion erupted in the city square when the object made contact. Screams exploded all around the square as people ran for their lives away from the sizable pillar of smoke. People ran like mice out through the alleyways to find safety.

A dozen feet away from the pillar of smoke, gracefully landed Ruzana. She was carrying Liza on her back, the latter was in shock. "Ruzana-sama?" The young woman muttered weakly. "It's alright, Liza. I'm more then fine, just rest." She laid Liza next to a wall. Ruzana clenched her teeth in anger. On a nice day like this, in an area full of innocent people. someone decided to attempt an assassination. Her eyes were full of rage. "Who the hell did this! Show yourself coward!"

"Look at that, she's pretty quick." a voice said. On top of a now empty food stand, stood two young woman. One was notably younger with silver hair in pigtails and oversized scythe on her back. The other was in some joke of a get up, but looked more mature; she had brown hair. Ruzana's expression remained unchanged. "Some kids, huh. I don't know what we're gonna do with this generation these days. " She taunted.

"Lilya is not amused, old hag." The younger looking one said. Ruzana scowled at the girl. " Try saying that again, brat." Ruzana snapped. "Lilya, let's be level-headed about this, eh." The other young woman said. Lilya looked over at her partner as she took the scythe from her back and twirled it around her. " Ilya-nee?" She blinked.

Suddenly they saw a shadow over them, they looked up immediately to see Ruzana descending upon them with an ax kick. Their eyes widened in shock. The duo dodged in the nick of time as the blonde woman came crashing down. A huge crater formed where Ruzana planted her kick. She looked behind her to see the duo ready to engage her.

Ruzana smirked, "I'm getting too old for this. Prepare yourselves!" Ruzana began to walk towards them, she threw off her green robe and lifted her right fist, which began to glow. " For putting innocent people in danger. For putting my attendant in danger. And for annoying the hell out of me, I won't hold back." She declared.

Lilya and Ilya took their stances. They had no idea that the Lady of the Vista House was this fast or this strong. It was unreal to see a crater like that from a simple ax kick. From the sidelines, hugging close to the walls, some citizens were watching as a rumble like never seen before was about to erupt in the town square.

Ruzana flipped back as the blade of a scythe glided right over her. Quickly, she dashed forward at Lilya at full speed. "Tch!" Lilya dodged the woman's initial punch and widened the distance between them. "Kids always love to run away." Ruzana shouted, running at her enemy. The girl tried to block but in that instant felt the air in her lungs just vanish as Ruzana's punch connected.

She yelped as she was launched backwards into a wall, cracking it in many places. Ruzana turned to see another magical vehicle flying at her, she dodged the projectile with ease. She looked up to see the one named Ilya floating in mid air. "Levitation magic, huh." Ruzana said to herself. The younger one used a scythe and in site of her size, with great skill, And it seem the other used levitation magic.

Ruzana knew well that 2 on 1 was never a good situation, but she could manage against these two. The true problem lied within the fact that she was out of practice. Lilya slashed forward at Ruzana. "Heaven Split!" She shouted, a blade of wind ripped towards a surprised Ruzana. She cursed internally as she blocked the attack.

Ruzana was sent flying across the city square on contact. Quickly, she regained control in mid air and managed to land on her feet, skidding backwards across the ground. Ruzana clutched her left arm in pain. "I couldn't dodge that one. Crap!" A stream of blood flowed down her left arm.

"Oh my, I guess age may be a problem. Eh, Madam Vista." Ilya taunted, landing to the side of Ruzana. Lilya giggled at the insult as she twirled her scythe around her. Ruzana stood up straight. She wanted to bash their faces in, but they had a slight point. But it wasn't her age, but her inactivity. Ruzana reminded herself to started brushing her skills up after this was dealt with.

Without saying a word, Ruzana took off toward Lilya. She decided to disable the armed opponent from the get-go. Lilya lunged at her, slashing ferociously. Ruzana swayed side to side, dodging each and every slash-- barely, but surely. Ruzana dropped in a crouch and swept the girl off balance in one smooth motion. Quickly she grabbed the girl's arm and twirled her around; sent her flying into a wall.

Lilya hacked up blood as she hit the wall. She panted, cringing pain. "Damn you!" Ilya cried, furious as ever. She sent a food stands flying at Ruzana. "You'll pay for hurting my sister!" Ruzana smiled at the young woman's anger. "If anything, I should be the one that angry. But this is interesting. Come at me, kid." She said, beckoning Ilya to attack her.

Lilya arched an eyebrow, Ilya wasn't one to normally get so angry. She took to her feet, they had a mission to carry out. She watched as Ruzana sent Ilya tumbling to the ground. They could not take the woman on in close range, at least not without injuries in exchange. Ruzana cross her arms in an X shaped. "Wind Cry!" She swiped her hands forward, as a torrent of wind ripped towards Ilya. It was met by a blade of wind.

"Lilya?" Ilya said, looking back at her comrade. She nodded in agreement, "Lilya won't be downed so easily." She remarked, gripping her scythe tightly. Ruzana curiously narrowed her eyes at the pair. "I don't get it. How are you two going down a path like this? " The question went unanswered as they both dashed straight at the blonde woman. Wind swirled violently around Ruzana's fist as she took a new fighting stance.

"So be it!" She shouted, crashing her fist with the enemy's scythe.

Pushed farther then expected and forced to the brink, the duo of Lilya and Ilya retreated from the battle. The battle had left the city square of Oshibana town in ruins.

Ruzana panted as her body leaned against a wall. She was worn out from the battle. People were all around here, frantically trying make her more comfortable and tend to her wounds. "Ruzana-sama, are you sure that you don't want to go to the hospital?" Liza asked, teary-eyed. She had woken up in some pain, only to find Ruzana exhausted and injured. Thankfully her injuries weren't severe.

"Liza, I keep telling' you. I'm fine, I've been in worse binds then this anyway. When will the magic vehicle be here?" Ruzana asked, forcing herself up to face Liza. The young woman pushed Ruzana back. She shook her head. " No, Ruzana-sama. A military airship is on its' way. An alert has been sent to Raimo-sama." The words made Ruzana shiver a bit. "Knowing him, furious is an understatement." She said, chuckling softly.

"But he has the war situation to worry about too." Ruzana thought. She forced herself up, pushing away Liza's restraining arm. Ruzana surveyed the site of the battle. Buildings were damaged, the many stands of the city square were in shambles, and craters decorated the wide spanning pavement. She sighed, she should cover the cost of the repairs for those craters.

Ruzana clenched her fist. While she was angry, she was more curious. What was their objective in attacking her? The more she thought about it, the more her questions grew in response. These were strange times, indeed. But she had this feeling that even worse things were on the way, just a faint feeling.

Divide and Conquer

A young man ran like a mad bull through the corridors of the Military HQ. He had one goal: get to Centro as quick as possible. Just moments ago, the communications center got an alert like none other. Even the most experienced had been caught off guard by the news. It just begged the question: why and why now of all times? He zipped past shouting superiors as he rushed towards the command center.

Meanwhile in Centro, Raimo was going through the details with Dr. Iker. Things had calmed down a bit, but that hectic feeling had not yet departed. While the Military secured the borders of the nation, the Magic Council handle the domestic preparations. Guran Doma had been a more efficient man then Raimo expected. But they say in times of war people tend to work together like never before.

Raimo frowned, "Has there been any word from the King's convoy, Iker? Have they reached the treaty point?" He looked over at that white-haired man with a smug look on his face. " Not yet, they should be there soon. Relax, they've passed through all checkpoints safely." Iker said, smiling. In hopes of reaching a treaty the leaders of the 3 nations in a miltary deadlock—Fiore, Seven, and Bosco—set a meeting in the neutral nation of Joya. The whole affair had Raimo rather nervous.

Iker handed him a paper. "Oh and Xena reached her destination. I had forgotten to tell you that." He remarked, turning to get back to his work. Raimo arched an eyebrow. "When did they relay their arrival?" He asked curiously. Iker scratched his head as he tried to remember. All the while, Raimo was left waiting and waiting. The white-haired man snapped his fingers, it was all coming back to him. "Yesterday, sir."

The was a brief silence as Raimo let that sink in. Raimo clenched his teeth, "And you waited till now to tell me, why?!" He shouted, waving his arms in anger. "Lazy ass, get it together!" It was one thing if it had been a few hours ago, but a whole 24 hour delay on information like that was bad. "Hey, cut me some slack. I've been heading up lots of stuff since this whole war fiasco broke out. " Iker pleaded, laughing nervously.

Suddenly the double doors of the room burst open. A young man entered, panting from exhaustion. Raimo turned to see what was up. "Boy, what is it? I'm busy." Raimo said. His tone had an annoyed air to it. He looked at his superior with weak eyes. "Sir! Horrible News! Your wife...." He tried to catch his breath. "....Ruzana-sama was attacked by two assailants in Oshibana town!" The words cut through Raimo like a knife.

"Ruzana....was attacked?" Raimo said plainly. He began to walk over to the messenger. "She fought them off, but they got away. An airship was sent to get her. She has some injuries, but nothing critical--" He immediately flinched as he heard the wall to his rear crumble as it met with Raimo's fist. Everyone in the room was speechless at the news. Why now? That was everyone's question. Hell, why ever, even more so.

"When will she arrive here?" Raimo asked softly. The young man shook his head, "She's being dropped off at the Vista Manor, actually. Everything's being prepared according to the staff at your home. She requested they do so, might I add." Raimo removed his fist from what was once a wall. Words couldn't describe how angry he was.

Ilya walked slowly down a forest path, supporting an injured Lilya with her shoulder. She pondered on what had just transpired. They had accomplished their objective, but at a bigger cost then expected. But it was all for him. "Don't worry, you're safe, Lilya-chan." Ilya reassured her partner with a big smile. Suddenly she shivered at the familiar but hostile presence from behind. She felt bloodlust from it, it was faint but there.

"You guys are idiots. Useless."

She peered over her shoulder to see a white-haired man with a scowl on his face. A bead of sweat ran down the side of her face. She never did like being around him, and neither did Lilya who winced upon seeing him. Ilya took a deep breath, "We did our job, Vilmos ." She said plainly. His scowl just got worst. "No. You went overboard, the mission was to injure Ruzana Vista. Not almost kill her! The point is to divert the Supreme Comander's focus with the incident, you fools!" He slapped his forehead, he just couldn't stomach these two's actions.

"Thank god she was too much for you two. Ugh, if she had been killed or even in critical condition.......we would of had Raimo on our tails. Think, don't try to do more then you can." Vilmos snapped. He figured they'd screw up somehow, it was only a matter of time. He started to walk towards them. Lilya stood on her own feet without support, she didn't like the look of this.

For every step he took, the two young woman took a step back. "Lilya did not know the Vista Madame was so powerful. Lilya is s-sorry " She stuttered, frowning. Both of them had a fear of Vilmos, or more specifically, an enraged Vilmos. He clenched his teeth, "I don't care. You both almost ruined, no, almost destroyed this part of the plan. Don't let it happen again!" Vilmos barked.

They both suddenly yelped as they felt his large hands grapple their throats. Ilya felt the air leaving her. She felt light headed as he proceeded to choke the life out of them. And to make matters worse, he lifted the pair from the ground. "Those like you two should be taught manners, or even....." Vilmos trailed off as he tightened his grip on their slender necks.

Lilya choked loudly, catching Ilya attention. "Lilya! Vilmos.....let us go.." She cried weakly. But to no avail, he didn't not loosen his brutal grip. Ilya gripped his forearm with her hands, clawing at them to break free. It was as if it had no effect. "Frankly, I doubt the loss of you two would be that big deal. This isn't the first time you two have fucked up. Well....." Vilmos said, grinning devilishly. "....we learn through pain, no?"

"Are you some demonic sadist? Put them down this instance, Vilmos. You disgust me, acting like this."

At those words, Vilmos dropped the two on the ground. They gasped for air on their knees before Vilmos' towering figure. A black-haired woman suddenly appeared to the rear of them. She had an air of elegance, and an apathetic and serene look on her face to match. Vilmos' expression softened as she walked slowly towards him. He frowned, "Ama, their failure could cost of this part of the plan." Ilya sighed in relief at the woman's arrival.

Ama was the only person she knew, that could calm down Vilmos' rage in any situation. It was a gift, many would put it. But the two were close friends, somehow. Ama helped the two of them up. She turned to Vilmos and a death glare followed. He sighed in annoyance. "Forgive my brutality, brats." They both kept behind Ama, just to be sure.

"Also, enough with that detestable cussing. Anyway, " She set her attention back on the two, " you ladies completed the mission , that much is to be sure. Now I'm sure you know what comes next. After you two rest and regain your strength, we're headed for that place. " Ama said, calmly. Lilya and Ama nodded in agreement.

Ama silently scanned the area for any enemies, they had to be sure not to be tailed by any uneeded "attention". Vilmos cracked his neck as he waited for her to lead the way. "This is gonna be a hard one. But with all the ruckus this nation is in, things can go smoothly." Vilmos said, smiling. Any fight was a good thing to him, so it worked out. On the other side of things, his smiles sent shivers down Ilya's spine.

Ama faced the lot of them. " Alright, the men are already nearing the destination. Let's hurry up and get there.....and no falling behind." Ama turned on her heel and took off, Vilmos and Ilya followed in suit. Lilya sighed, this wasn't her idea of resting up before the mission. But she'd rather endure this then deal with Vilmos' anger again. She tightened her scythe's strap, and dashed off after them.

Welcome to the Capital

Crocus, the capital of the Kingdom of Fiore.

At the center of this lovely city was the massive Mercurius castle, home to the King and his family. It was the symbol of the government's prosperity and sovereignty. Passing through the streets, Sanjo and co had seen many lovely things. It was a flourishing town, from both a fiscal and emotional perspective. But they weren't here to sight-see, but to talk with the Prince. The whole situation with war had the nation on its' toes, that was apparent even in the capital.

The carriage passed through the massive gates around the Royal sector of the city. They were finally here, at the palace of the King. Lana watched as they passed by many statues. She had been here once during her days in the Magic Council, it was a bit stuffy for her though. On the same note, Richard had been here a few times due to his job with the Council. But neither had ever conversed with any of the Royal family. This was Zeo's first time ever setting foot in Crocus.

For the first time, Sanjo, Richard, and Lana witnessed Zeo in awe of something. He looked overwhelmed by the palace and its' surrounding grounds. And they haven't even gone inside yet. Sanjo smirked, this was not to be expect, but it was amusing. Nonetheless, it was, in fact, a magnificent sight. Even as one who's lived at Vista manor, it never fails to impress Sanjo.

Finally the carriage came to a halt before the towering building. Lana was the first to get out, giving the death glare to anyone who didn't honor some sense of chivalry. The others followed in suit. Sanjo stretched his arms, and let out a soft yawn. "It's been a while. A while since I've been here. I used to play here as a toddler every now and then. But things are more serious now." Sanjo pondered, looking around. He noticed a groups of guards walk up to them.

He arched an eyebrow, the security detail was looking a bit slim. Especially for the situation the nation was in. Lana took a step forward, "We wish to have an audience with the Prince, please. " She asked, smiling. All the while, Sanjo was scanning the area. There were not as many guards contrary to expectations. Richard noticed but didn't bother to get in his way. "You all look like a respectable bunch, but the Prince said he's taking no--"

"If you're wondering why the Castle has half the guards as usual. It's because they're are protecting the King's convoy to the treaty meeting with the two nations we're at odds with. Answer your question, Vista-dono?"

The statement cut the guards off and caught everyone by surprise. A young man with long black hair and a sword at his waste slowly walked towards them. "Vista?" One of the guards muttered, slowly turning to face Sanjo. "Blonde hair, tall stature, Sanjo Vista of the House of Vista and....the famous Golden Lion?" He finished. Richard smiled in delight. "Look even palace guards know of you, man." He mused.

Sanjo set his sights on the young man. "Mugen Terumi, it has been a while." Sanjo asked. Richard snapped his fingers, "That's right, the Prince and his band of merry men. Right?" Richard remarked, grinning. Mugen sighed, "Vanguard, Mr. Aria. Furthermore, aside from Sanosuke, his highness, and I, the rest are out on assignment. Also all the Royal Guard are with the King and Queen."

Lana crossed her arms across her chest, that was an interesting bit of info. She bit her lips, wondering why they took such an extreme approach even in war time. Not to mention, no actual war had broke out. Mugen waved off the guards. "They are fine, and coming with me. Return to your posts, " He commanded, turning back to the others, " Now, you four can follow me. " With that, he proceeded into the caste; the others followed closely.

"With one of them here, the king was confident on how skimpy the guard would be left." They followed Mugen into a large courtyard where ceremonies would normally be held. "One of them? Care to elaborate?" Sanjo questioned plainly. Richard eyed Sanjo, the latter was being rather to-the-point all of a sudden. Lana frowned, things were getting seriously quickly, from the looks of it.

"One of the mighty Commanders, old friend."

They all turned to see a young man in fine clothes walk towards him. The regal air around him made it no doubt who he was. Sanjo smiled, "It's been a while, Joseph. And at least smile when you see me, man." Sanjo joked. This was the Crown Prince of Fiore, and the King's first son; heir to the throne. He had quite the apathetic and serene expression, one that calmed the soul.

"That it has, Sanjo. What brings you to Crocus?" He asked, looking at Sanjo's companions. He recognized Richard and Lana. Despite being at the top of the nation's political arena , he cared to know the best of the council's men and women. Though he had no idea who Zeo was, but it didn't matter. Sanjo laid his hand on his shoulder. "First off, which Commander? Don't tell me it's Franz? Yikes...."

Suddenly everything went pitch black for Sanjo. Someone had cupped their hands over his eyes. The hands were soft like that of a women. He had no idea who it was. He doubted Lana was behind it. No, he knew she didn't care for such antics.

"Guess who!" a female voice said excitingly.

He knew this voice, it was familiar. One that went way back, and the patronizing tone of it only added to this. "We're not playing 20 questions, just guess!" She said again. Then it came to him, he knew exactly who this was. The only woman who would play around with Sanjo like this, as if he were a kid. He sighed, "So, my dad sent her? Lovely. " Sanjo remarked.

Xena removed her hands and spun him around. "Her? Sanjo-kun, you were so cute as a kid. Now you're all grown and snippy, sheesh. " She said with a tone of disappointment. Lana and Richard giggled as the expense of Sanjo's confidence. Xena nudged Lana, "Did you know he used to call me Xena-nee; was clingy too? It was too, may ask your name?" She asked, grinning at Sanjo, who was currently shooting her a death glare.


They all turned to see the silver-haired Alia with a surprised look on her face. Lana's jaw dropped at the sight of her. " What are you doing her?" Alia asked. "What is this? Some damn reunion?" Sanjo moaned, trying to shake off Xena. "Oh, be nice, Sanjo-kun." Xena taunted. He rolled his eyes, this was far from what was planned. Richard chuckled at the situation unfolding before him. "This. You can't pay for entertainment like this. "

"We were here to get some answers on the war situation. Didn't expect too see you. " Lana said, stroking her chin, " you were deployed with Xena-dono?" Alia nodded in agreement. Richard pointed at the two of them, "How do you two know each other?" He asked confused. Alia wrapped her arm around Lana. "We're best friends, Kind of like sisters, almost. You could consider me the older and more mature one. In more ways then one. " She said, winking.

Xena chuckled, this was an interesting turn of events. Though she was truly curious as to why Sanjo and the rest had shown up here. Jokes aside, it did bother her a bit. Sanjo freed himself from Xena. She was like a big sister to him, but embarrassed him now and then. Still, it was nice to see her again above all else. He looked over to Joseph.

"Now, let's get down to business. "

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