It only took Irene mere moments to realize that her Ishgar heritage would always make her an outsider amongst the people of Alvarez. The Spriggan were especially a cause for concern. There was always some competition. Irene's birthplace was a weakness that she would never be rid of. None could defeat her in an outright fight, except perhaps August, so they would try to use politics to achieve their aim.

Irene was completely and utterly alone. It did not matter; not really. Irene was not here to make friends. Those who she deemed worth her time were merely stepping stones on the path to achieving her goals.

Precautionary measures had to be taken.

The Emperor had taught her enchantment magic now Irene was going to develop something new with it. Irene would create life. She was embracing a challenge not a cry for help.

A thought came upon her then. Meddling with magic to tamper with life or death was forbidden; it was the same action that caused the Emperor to be cursed by Ankhseram. Irene refused to fall prey to the same fate. What she was creating were illusions, not people; they were poor imitations of reality.

She would create them so that they would appear human to deceive those around them. This enchantment would allow Irene to play the game better. She would have insider information on various happenings in the capital and actions of the Spriggan. They would be illusions superimposed onto objects. But what? It would be better if the items had a practical purpose.

Swords, they would have to be expensive. After all, Irene was a Spriggan her political adversaries watched every move. The swords and the illusions they would take on would be reflections on her.

Unfortunately being part of such an elite group called for a certain amount of decorum; especially since the Spriggan served directly under the Emperor, at least when he was, actually, in Alvarez.

Finally, Irene had found fitting vessels for her retainers. Two elegant swords, they were nothing a mere commoner could afford.

One was the color of Obsidian, while the other was Alabaster. Both shared intricate patterns on the blade. The swords mirrored each other, so would their personification's; there was a certain duality to it all.

Their creation would be a long process, admittedly, but now Irene could begin casting the magic that would realize the birth of magic that would subvert the laws of the gods themselves.

Irene crafted identities to match each girl. They would not be very convincing illusions otherwise.

The alabaster sword became Juliet Sun; who was a bright as her namesake would suggest. Juliet had a cheerful disposition which was not only endearing to those around her but also an effective deceptive device. Her clumsiness helped as well; it made her appear as a ditz when she was so much more. Juliet was warm in a way Irene never was, even in her youth, which naturally inclined most to open up to her. People underestimated Juliet, so they spoke more freely around her.

The obsidian sword became Heine Lunasea; though it seemed as if her counterpart eclipsed her, Heine shone just as bright. Sharp and serious to a fault. Heine was a shadow. People did not see her, so she caught conversations that were not meant to be overheard. When her presence was known she was respectful; nothing more, the perfect soldier.

The longer the girls accompanied her, the more they grew on Irene. She was fond of them, yes, but it was not some sentimental whim. They were valuable assets; landmarks of Irene's magical achievement.

Irene knew their value. She appreciated her handy work. There was nothing more to it.

If having them around brightened her day a bit. If their presence filled a vacant space in Irene's life; that was her business, and she would never admit to caring. Irene would never admit to weakness. It was not caring. Irene did not feel anything at all for the girls, no her creations. Why would she? Heine and Juliet were mere illusions. If their presence was enchanting, if it grasped Irene's attention for a moment, it was because it was their nature to be. Heine and Juliet were only enchantments after all.