Plexaura visibly tensed, surprise written all over her face as she looked down at the pixie again. "Right - hi," she replied quietly, quickly trying to regain her bearings. It wasn't every day one saw a pixie suddenly appear from a monster hunter's belt pouch... especially Caiden's. "Didn't know you were still traveling with him."
"We're..." Caiden started, but he stopped and furrowed his brow, swallowing and wondering where to even start.
His sister, however, clearly fought a grin and whispered, "Good gods, Caid, you're blushing!"
The Venator crossed his massive arms and scratched his face with one hand as if in an attempt to partially conceal that fact. He just grunted at first, before he cleared his throat, looked Plexaura in the eye, and then very abruptly muttered, "I love her."
Plexaura's jaw went slack. She blinked and stared, and Caiden suddenly grinned. Not a hint of a smile on one corner of his mouth, or even one of his lopsided smiles, but an actual grin. That convinced his obviously skeptical little sister, whose eyes went even wider when she actually believed the look on his face.
"Oh," she said, blinking some more. Caiden fought his grin down and kept his arms crossed, though he shifted his weight between his feet like a romantic who just couldn't keep it in, which, given it was Caiden Voros, was a ridiculous sight. "Wow," Plexaura finally added, grinning, herself. "That's... incredible, you two. I mean, the size difference definitely is... intriguing...? But who's to judge, right?"
Caiden just made a noise and shrugged, still wrestling against the dumb grin trying to creep back onto his face.
"You can smile, Caid. No one's going to whip you for having feelings."
"Shut up, Plex," Caiden mumbled halfway in embarrassment, breathing a laugh.
Plexaura's apparent happiness over the moment started fading fast, however. She made a slight face and glanced down at Percula - and then back to Caiden. The look in Caiden's one eye swiftly darkened. Whatever thoughts they were sharing, Percula wasn't privy to them. They looked like they were having some kind of sibling mind link moment, both thinking the same thing but afraid to say it out loud. Afraid, quite literally - Caiden clenched his jaw and swallowed hard at another look Plexaura gave him.
At length, Caiden just nodded and said quietly, "I'll be upstairs." He snorted. "Again."
Plexaura nodded right back, adding, "I'll be here if you need me."
Caiden glanced down at Percula again, waiting for her to disappear into the pouch on his belt once more before he turned and strode out of the room, his long blue cloak flowing behind him. He ignored the conversations in the meeting room as he passed through it, or any noises from elsewhere in the manor, going back to his room once more and shutting the door behind him.
As he did so, he said all too grimly, "Percula - you're right. We need to talk. Sooner, rather than later." ((see PMs))
Kye saw the look on Adriana's face when she heard the voice coming from his insides, and he sputtered, "Nonono wait a minute it's not what you th--!"
Dewitt managed to struggle one of her arms free and slam a fist into Kye's stomach, which made Rosette's world crumple and deform while Kye doubled over with a wheeze... Although thankfully Dewitt didn't hit hard enough to do anything more to Rosette other than startle her.
Kye focused on maintaining his disguise, staying on top of Dewitt and groping for a hold on her free wrist, but he yelped when she bit down on his hand, reflexively pulling it away. Dewitt couldn't put enough strength into the bite to puncture the fingerless leather glove he wore, but it certainly still hurt - and it made Kye's eyes flash violet, his upper and lower canines visibly becoming long fangs in his grimace. But it faded in almost the same instant...
And, thankfully, Kye's back was to the door, so Sef didn't catch a glimpse of his eyes and fangs briefly showing. However, for a moment, she couldn't take her eyes off Kye's back that she had such a good view of... ((see PM for details))
Dewitt tried to get her legs under Kye while he wrestled to keep her pinned, but Neitha showed up and restrained her again, to Kye's apparent relief. "Now, look, I know what you just saw was confusing and probably scary, but I can ex--"
"W-wait!" Rosette called out, still muffled inside Kye, but Dewitt and Neitha heard. "T-this is my fault! I-I think we can sort it out! J-just c-calm down?"
Kye seemed like he wanted to say something about that, but he just coughed, trying to get his breath back.
"Uh, Kye, why is your stomach talking?" she asked.
"It'snotmyfault!" Kye blurted in incredible embarrassment, but Neitha put things together easily.
"Percula, is that you!?" she growled at Kye's midsection. "Because I swear to Anubis if this is your fault I will... I will smack you with a flyswatter!" she hissed angrily.
"And why'd you hurt me?" Kye muttered, sounding hurt in more ways than one. And then he glanced over his shoulder to see Sef watching from the doorway. He went pale.
Under his breath so that only Neitha would hear - and Dewitt, given they still pinned her down, he added, "Uh... we got company. And - and-- and she's a Templar."
The gravity in his voice was heavy enough to sink a ship, and Neitha could see the fear in his eyes. Keeping his disguise up right this minute was hard enough as it was, but with the extra weight piled onto his nerves, it would be even harder - especially if Dewitt managed to attack him again. Kye was still keeping Dewitt pinned, along with Neitha's help, but he wasn't trying to cover her mouth again.
"Oh, yeah" Sarael said reflexively. "Er, well... I haven't been sleeping too well" she added sheepishly after a couple moments. "But having something to do helps. I'll be fine!" she concluded with another slightly-forced smile as if she was trying to convince herself of that, as much as she was Ben.
Ben just nodded. She couldn't tell what he was thinking, given the helm he wore.
"If you ever need to talk about it," he offered, "I'm here. I know talking doesn't usually do a lot of good, but," he shrugged, "some people say it works for them."
Stroking his moustache pensively with his free thumb, Marcus then asked, "What else do we know for sure about this Coven? Anything tying them together besides the usual lets take over the world nonsense? I take it theyre not going to make it easy on us by putting on robes, holding hands, and chanting somewhere shadowy during their weekly staff meetings."
Daisy snorted, but it was Stevan who answered, "Honestly, you're best off asking Caid. He has the closest connections to it of any of us. We've often speculated when exactly the Coven began, and we have some reason to believe it's more ancient than we once thought, but we know for sure that Albertus Lysander is a member - an important one. And Caiden has had some encounters with him in the past.
"At this point, most of what we know is that the Coven has its claws in at least all our organizations here. That, and our own orders often try to cover up the Coven's actions. Sometimes it's not clear why. Whatever the case, they're often connected with the Hidden, as they operate through the same means... But the Coven are willing to subvert even the Hidden if they think it'll give them an edge. I've seen it. They're often sneaker than the Hidden's more insane and bold members, like the kind who unleashed the plague on Redfield. That was a case of the Coven using the Hidden's insanity for their own ends, at least until Caiden stopped it."
Turning back to the Twins, Katrina added: "I wouldn't be too quick to judge, if I were you. According to the stories I heard, Charon helped those two Inquisitors Ben and Durante take down a Necromancer up North in Arrowfall, though apparently he can now use Demonic Magic."
Jed and Forge exchanged skeptical glances. "Aye, well, y'know, demons themselves can sometimes do things that could be construed as bein' good. Doesn't mean they meant to do anythin' good, just they they ended up doin' it because it'd also eventually get 'em to their own goals," said Forge sagely.
His twin nodded. "Anyone who can use demonic magic has somethin' wrong with 'em," he agreed. "No offense meant," he added to Katrina.