The dark gray sky cracked open with a bolt of lightning searing across the horizon. The sound of pouring rain was almost deafening to those who weren't used to it. Though in this city, it was a lullabye for the children to fall asleep to, and a blessing for the adults- The sound of the pouring rain and booming thunder would drown out the screams eminating from atop the notorious Spire of Squall Castle, the residence of the Barian King.
He looked out a window at the city below. Even through the pouring rain, his orange eyes could see people making their way through the soaked streets. Brushing a bit of pure white hair away from his face, he continued his vigilant stare out the window. Finally, his concentration on the scene below was broken, as a voice chimed behind him- A sweet, yet cold as ice voice, belonging to a brown haired girl, about 17 years old or so, in a black trenchcoat, decorated with red triangles, like a white-mages robes.
"Sir. Preparations for the tournament are complete, and the proper information has been dispersed throughout the country. Are there any further orders?"
The man tucked his hands behind his back and chuckled.
"Ah, Lady Corridino...Ever so eager to please. No, I've got no further orders for you, other then to prepare yourself for the competition. You will be competing, won't you?"
The girl hessitated for a moment, then nodded. The white haired man turned to face her.
"Good. I'd feel best if you and a couple others participated. We've worked too hard to let them simply scurry away like the rats they are..."
The girl nodded again, saluted, and began to head out.
"By your leave, Lord Vaniyakna."
Elsewhere, in Doma, three men sat around a table in the Jade Dragon. The oldest looking of the three, an aged man with white hair and a beard, was speaking rather loudly at the other two.
"I've had men on this for months! Some of my men have risked their lives just for this information! This is the perfect time, you dolts! With all the commotion from the tournament, we could easily slip in and take him out!"
The second man, a very large young man wearing red, and sporting a rather dangerous looking black claw rather then a right hand, interupted-
"And what if we can't get close enough, Dad? What are we going to do then? Ask him to come to a spot where we can stab him in the back more easily?"
The third and final man, dressed almost entirely in black, chuckled at the conversation between the other two, then commented himself.
"You know what the best way to do this is, guys? Enter the competition, win it, and demand he step down. The winner is going to be granted anything within Vaniyaknas power, right? Well, stepping down is certainly within that power of his."
The second man looked at the third, giving him close to a glare.
"Well, either way, we could probably use a bit of help, wouldn't you say, Jaeko?"
Jaeko rolled his eyes, though impossible as it was to tell with his mirrored sunglasses covering his face, it was a pointless act.
"Alright, fine. You win, Griff. I'll go see if I can find anyone who owes me a favor or anything."
And with that, Jaeko stood, exiting the bar to wander the streets, as Griff and his father, Frederick, remained behind to continue formulating a plan.