"Wait, no," Aria corrected herself with a frown, "I meant the East Continent. I heard they have some pretty messed up traditions - stuff like regulating the reproduction amongst families, leaving excess children for dead like old playthings, stuff like that. It's actually kind of interesting. In a deprecating, morbid sort of way, I suppose.."
"We can leave if it's making you uncomfortable," Aria suggested, glancing over at the bar briefly, before turning back to Zara with an inquisitive gaze.
Kovu slipped back into the faculty room, happy his shift was officially over before they got swamped with more customers. He pulled out his phone and began texting his sister.
K [1:08pm]: Hey
K [1:09pm]: Ms. Princess and her posse are kind of low-key invading my workspace??
P [1:12pm]: ok
P [1:13pm]: and your point is?
K [1:13pm]: Aren't you supposed to be like, doing your bodyguard thing..?
P [1:16pm]: busy with the usual suspects. don't you get off your shift soon??
K [1:18pm]: Yeah. See you soon
P [1:19pm]: yh, bye
He put away his phone, sighing before taking off the apron and gathering up his belongings, making to leave out the backdoor.
Aria shrugged. "Your call, I don't really have much to do myself."
"Took you long enough," Umbra grumbled in a low voice, watching her twin's approach with an expression of moderate disinterest. She let go of the nameless hoodlum in her grasp, not even bothering to look at his slumping form against the brick wall, straightening her usually hunched spine. "Honestly, you need to live a little, Mr. Barista."
"Not everyone can be rolling in the big bucks, sister dearest," Kovu sighed, and as his sister exited the alleyway into the open plaza, he made to follow her. "Besides, I live plenty during my night job, thank you very much." He huffed, directing his gaze away from the cafe he slaved away at in the mornings, "bounty hunting provides more than enough excitement for my entire life, you know!"
"If I hear you whine about volunteering for some supernatural misfit police force one more time, you're paying for my next pack of Lucky Strikes," she threatened drily, already taking a drag from the cigarette in hand.
"Wha-! But I don't have that kind of money!" he lamented. "Why do you even need Lucky Strikes?! You're a nicotine factory yourself, you.. you conniving cheapskate!"
"It's a nostalgia trip, for auld lang syne," she snarked back at him nonchalantly, before briefly motioning with both her hands, partially in jest. "The clock is ticking, time meister. Chop chop."
He simply sighed, hanging his head and rubbing at his temples in exasperation. Umbra had the decency not to laugh outright in his face, but her intentions were betrayed by the smirk playing on her lips.
Since no one had decided to specify on what they wanted to do Zara ended up deciding to go to the nearest park, she had heard of a fireworks show that would be starting on that day, as a way to celebrate the end of summer. It was weird to do that considering classes had already started, but she didn't mind anything that gave her a reason to clear her head. "There sure are a lot of people here though," she commented as they got to the site, seeing large mobs of people all gathering and setting up their places on the park.
Considering that the chances of an attack on Zara were heightened in an environment with too much space and double the amount of strangers, it wasn't hard to see why Umbra and Kovu would also be in attendance, though the latter was more so wanting to just have a good time. Umbra, as usual, had a Lucky Strike perched between two fingertips, taking a drag as Kovu lamented under his breath about the dent she'd put in his savings with that specific purchase.
Nonchalantly, she leaned against the tree supporting her weight. Which, to be completely honest, wasn't a whole lot, considering her lean and gaunt stature. The heterochromatic pair of eyes belonging to the Greek twins scoured the area for potential threats. For a moment Umbra caught Zara's glance but quickly redirected it to two rather suspicious figures intermingling towards the back of the crowd.
"Two potential dangers at three-o-clock," Umbra murmured between drags of her cigarette, "Seems like a likely scenario, don't you think?"
"Unfortunately for us, yes," he snarked in reply.
"Unfortunately for them," Umbra corrected him with a half-open smirk, the cigarette evaporating from her fingertips. "They wanna pick a fight? Good thing we speak the language, huh, adelfós?"
"Sure. Let's go punchy-punchy their heads in and get arrested in the meantime," He deadpanned with an exasperated look.
"Hypothetically we could frame it as being self-defense," she supplied perhaps unhelpfully.
"Uh-huh. Hypothetically." He made a point of drawing out the last word in a skeptical fashion. "I somehow lack faith in your ability to not get either yourself of both of us in trouble."
"Oh, so I'm the unreliable one?" She grumbled with a scowl.
"Yes. As the older twin I can state with the utmost confidence that you are extremely unreliable." He responded drily.
Zara scanned her surroundings for Umbra and Kovu, knowing they'd probably followed her. She couldn't spot her amongst other people, even if she was sure they were there. Regardless, she'd rather forget about them for now and enjoy the moment. She let out a sigh, earning Elise's curiosity.
"Something bothering you, friend?" the woman asked, causing Zara to jump in surprise.
"No, I'm okay, just waiting for the fireworks," Zara replied with a casual laugh.
"I've heard they're real pretty," said a darker-skinned man walking up behind the trio. A second, nearly identical man joined him, offering the girls a rueful grin. "Are you ready to celebrate the night, amigas?"
"I have a really bad feeling about this," Umbra hissed to Kovu, who sighed in reluctance.
"You really suck at avoiding confrontation," Kovu pointed out drily. Umbra briefly contemplated flipping him off, deciding to storm off in Zara's direction instead. She was halted, however, as she detected the glint of something metallic in the second stranger's hands. She tensed, her own fingers ghosting over the hilt of her sheathed sword, narrowing her heterochromatic eyes in challenge.
"Penumbra," Kovu growled in warning, pressing a hand to her shoulder, "don't do something you'll regret, dumbass! You're no use to me locked up in prison, and somehow I don't think you are to the princess either!"
"Oh, bite me," she snarled in reply, making to partially draw the enchanted blade, "I can't let her come to harm either, it's not like a jail sentence is going to do more harm than failure ever will!" She grit her teeth, holding off on starting a fight for a little while longer. "If you want to do this diplomatically, then at least start a distraction. Her safety is more important than a get-out-of-jail-free card to me."
"The things I do for you, reckless troublemaking sibling of mine," he grumbled, before clearing his voice, getting ready to yell into the crowd.
Zara jumped a bit when she heard the man's voice. She turned to look at him, instinctively retreating back, only to feel Emily put her hand on her shoulder as she smiled at the man. "Yep, we're really happy we can see them, though it's really bad we don't have anyone to celebrate it with," she said, glancing at Zara for a moment and motioning for her to calm down. The guy seemed suspicious but they couldn't cause a ruckus right from the get go, they'd have to play it carefully.
"Excuse me!" Kovu yelled into the crowd, collecting as loud a presence as his voice could muster. "On behalf of the Bounty Hunter's Association, I must inform you that there is a bomb in the vicinity. This is not a drill! I repeat, there is a bomb in the vicinity! I implore you to evacuate immediately!"
Umbra face palmed internally. If anything, the panic would make her job even messier as hundreds of bodies scurried past her. Sighing, she decided to just go along with it, concentrating her Skill a little further from the clearing, causing a concentration of gravity to implode. To most, the explosion would add credibility to Kovu's claim. She made direct eye-contact with the brothers, raising her eyebrow with a smirk in challenge.
"Shit," the second one muttered, gritting his teeth. "I think we might have a problem..."