Ego Draconis

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  1. #51
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    Default Oh the drama and joy of reunification!

    The stars floated in the sky like raisins in your breakfast cereals. It was still clearly night but as the morning approached, so did the feeling of celebration. After all the day of the world eater festival would be held today. Renshaw was slightly drunk which made him unsure where he was at the moment. After blinking his eyes twice, he noticed his left cheek was resting on the hard, rocky surface of the market area. His back was bent so badly that it looked like his spine was in shambles.
    Slowly the mighty pirate captain stood up and looked around. The market was still empty, aside from the ”regulars”. He sat back on the bench he had been a few moments ago, wondering how the hell he had gotten into a position like that. It didn't take long for a blast from the past to arrive right into Renshaw's cheek. Renshaw was thrown back by the force of the blow, he would have one bright red mark of a hand on his cheek in the morning.

    ”How could you?!”

    Before Renshaw could reply, he waited for the numbness to leave from his cheek and then looked at his attacker. It was her, it really was Kaori back in that tavern. Renshaw's mouth grew into a huge grin before stood up in order to take a better look. Before Renshaw could say anything, Kaori asked the same question again, her tone was much more frustrated this time.

    She was literally shaking, first she had just been looking at the ground but now her eyes burned a hole through Renshaw's own eyes. Renshaw stood still for a moment, retaining his grin, before he grabbed Kaori into a huge hug which raised her from the ground.

    ”Gah hah hah!! Yer still alive ya little booger!! I knew ya had it in ya!” Renshaw yelled out before putting Kaori back on the ground.

    Kaori had grown into a beautiful young woman, even though she had been practically abandoned by Renshaw. The guilt had always been eating away Renshaw's heart, his tough nature just couldn't handle it well. After all it felt like he had abandoned his little sister, again. Usually if the feeling of guilt hit him, he drank rum like a whale drank water. This combination was the worst possible since Renshaw always started talking rather loud about his feelings whenever he was drunk enough. Trust me it was not something you wanted to listen to.
    Kaori didn't seem satisfied with a hug and being called ”booger” so Renshaw tried to apologize the best way he could.

    ”Uhh.. I had tae leave ya 'cos this huge soddin' white whale attacked me ship an' uhh.. Gah! Ya know how much I hate this stuff?! I couldn't take ya with me 'cos I'm no father material! I'm a pirate captain, feared all across Heoden! I can't be babysittin' a kid while doin' some honest plunderin'!!” Renshaw raised his voice the longer he spoke, thus he nearly yelled at the end.

    Rats squeaked in the darkness of the night, escaping the sound of Renshaw's booming voice. The streets were unusually restless, the festival had its up- and downsides. If you stopped and listened, you could clearly hear conversations coming from dark alleyways. Mugging people was the favorite pastime of old crooks, just like Bootleg Ben had shown when he accidentally attacked Renshaw, and later unbeknownst to Renshaw, an ally of Renshaw. Undoubtedly some people had heard Renshaw's yelling, fortunately the two were left alone.
    Feeling unsatisfied of his answer, Renshaw continued this dragged and to be blunt, dreadful apology.

    ”Ye can't even imagine how much danger I woulda put ya if I had taken ye with me. If ye wanna be one of me mates, ya gotta be able to handle yerself in a battle! Ye were just a knee-high runt.. so me an' me mates thought it was a good idea to just leave ya in some peaceful village.”

    A deep silence fell on the scene, neither of them said anything for a while.

    ”Glad yer okay, Kaori.” Renshaw said before looking away.
    Last edited by farag0n; 08-06-2011 at 04:02 PM.
    Calm down people, it's just me.

  2. #52
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    ** Recap **

    The name is Blue Vaiyon, and I was, until a few weeks ago, one of the Five Generals of the Krystania Legions. I was betrayed by the current ruler Rau, being framed for kidnapping my old time friend, the heir to the throne of Krystania, Tesa Maeilista. With the help of some of my loyal soldiers and friends, I have journeyed out to find her, and bring her back to her mother. Along the way, I was given information that informed me where one of the most powerful wizards, Bisbin, was located. I decided to follow this lead in hopes of discovering more information on Tesa's location. I ended up in the city of Cyre, where I learned that my future, as well as my future companions, will greatly change how our world is viewed. I just left Bisbin's house and now going to contemplate where I should start my search for them and Tesa.

    ** End **

    Blue walked down the dark alley ways, contemplating on what he should do next. I know I need to find these other travelers but... where should I start? He stepped over a man who was laying in the middle of one of the alleys, and could smell the stench of alcohol and stale food. He shook his head in disappointment. The amount of homeless people seemed to be increasing daily. Blue stepped from out of the alley and onto a broad street which seemed to have a few people still lurching around in the middle of the night. Some of the taverns nearby could be heard with people laughing and music being played. Blue walked down the middle of the street taking quick glances within the taverns, seeing if anything would just...register, showing him the path where his future companions will be. Coming up to the last tavern and taking a peak inside, he sighed. I am wasting to much time. I am better off on my own anyway.

    Five dark figures jumped down from above and landed in front of him. Looking at them, they all possed dark black cloaks, each one hiding their face. The figure in the middle's hair went down both sides of their shoulders. Blue could feel something was different about them. He took a fighting stance.

    "Who are you?" A brief shine from the moon showed the grin on the middle figure's face. "Aww, he's a cute one" she said as she started to bounce on her toes.

    "Stop playing around Elsse" said one of the other figures in a rough tone. "Tell him what our master wants him to know." The woman turned toward the man, grumbled something and than re-faced Blue. "Fineeeee." She took a step closer, and Blue instinctively took a step back. She gave a small laugh. "When the time comes, our master wants you to join our cause. You deserve to be on the winning side Blue Vaiyon. Remember that." Blue shifted his feet alittle. He did not quite understand what she meant. She gave another small giggle at Blue's reaction. "I bet you didn't know that Rau is ready to march his troops onto Cyre did you? You really are behind in the times aren't you?" Blue made sure his face was blank, but he was surprised. How could this be? At the moment, everything seemed to be turning upside down.

    Out of no where, the female figure was instantly standing infront of him and gave him a small kiss on the cheek. Blue swung a fist, the woman dodging it flipping backwards. "Hope to see you soon." The female and her companions became like illusions and disappeared. Still standing in the same spot, Blue tried to contemplate what just happened. He than took a step forward down the street, revisiting all that just happened to him.
    Last edited by *sky; 08-07-2011 at 11:42 PM.


    Quote Originally Posted by Paladuck View Post
    The economy is really rough, all those Chinese gold farmers are out of a job.

  3. #53
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    Default Birth of the bounty hunter

    ** Recap **

    What? You forgot already? Fine, I'll tell it again but only briefly.

    It all started from the Oathkeeper tower which was lead by the tyrant named Dragan Loth. Dragan was an insidious man, only thinking of gaining more wealth and slaying Sanguins ruthlessly. You'd think those are good traits for an ambitious man, but you haven't seen how he works. I was taken from my village, Inoua, and trained to be an Oathkeeper, a slayer of Sanguins. I had to undergo a brutal ritual where my eyes were forcefully changed into that of a monster's and at the same time, a deadly disease entered my body. I must drink Sanguin blood at least once a day, otherwise the disease will kill me with a huge fever in a matter of hours.

    Eventually I managed to escape the Oathkeeper tower, killing everyone in there so that no one could give me chase. Out of the eighty Oathkeepers in the tower, only one remained alive: Dragan. He somehow survived and chased me into the nearby Forest of Whispers. Dragan was able to catch me in the end but I was the one who survived, albeit in a near-death condition. Hector found me from the edge of the forest where I had crawled, he took care of me for the past few days. We became fast friends, a concept which I had forgotten due to the terrible things that happened to me in the Oathkeeper tower.

    However, our friendship received a death penalty when Hector learned I had killed his little brother in cold blood. Even though our friendship was gone, I think Hector still cared about me.

    I don't understand it, he had all the reasons to hate me.. but in the end, he didn't.


    ** End **

    They say that humans shouldn't be judged by their actions alone, but who could forgive someone like me, a monster who has murdered so many? I was raised with the single purpose of killing others. No such person exists who could forgive me, nor will one ever exist.

    A loud crash echoed in the distance, a bolt of lightning was about to show it's might upon the earth. A brilliant flash which could blind you erupted only seconds later. It snapped a tree in half nearby, setting it in full blaze. The fire engulfed the tree wholly, leaving only ash behind once it was done.

    Maiyu turned her gaze to Hector, still shrouding her face with the hood. Hector's eyes did not waver, they were locked onto Maiyu, almost like they were trying to peer inside her. His eyes thirsted for a reason, for an answer, but the body wouldn't act. Maiyu felt more uncomfortable the longer the silence continued. There was not a single soul in sight, the two were alone on this small plain of grass. Another blinding flash, as sharp as the eyes of a romantic man, struck on the ground.

    No words were needed, everything necessary had been said. A dark shadow had taken a hold of Hector, it was clutching his heart, twisting it as it pleased. The shadow wouldn't allow Hector to rest, not until the murderer of his brother was dealt justice, not until the woman in front of him was dead. Hector looked up and saw how the sky mocked him, taunting him to kill her.

    Everywhere Hector looked, the word revenge was evident. Yet he was still able to resist it, this was not a fight of revenge. He just had to do something in order to cleanse the anxiety inside himself. Slowly he lowered his axe into battle position, and then rushed right at Maiyu. Maiyu could hear every stomp Hector made, the steps were getting closer and closer. Still she refused to do anything, she was waiting for her judgement.

    Hector: ”You refuse to fight back? .. So be it.”

    However, before Hector was able to land a hit, Maiyu's instincts took control of her. She wasn't aware of it herself, it was like her body acted on its own. As Hector sliced through the air with his battleaxe, Maiyu swiftly jumped to the side. She had laid a web where Hector landed his axe, the web clutched into his axe immediately and held it in a tight grip. As Hector struggled to get his axe off, Maiyu grabbed a pair of knives and sent them flying at Hector. Hector saw this and shouted so loud that even the dark clouds backed down. The knives were deflected and they fell on the ground.

    Maiyu snapped out of her trance-like state, finally realizing she had to at least protect herself.
    Hector let go from his axe and grabbed his bow, soon two arrows were launched right at Maiyu. Maiyu dodged one of the arrows but the other caught her hood and ripped it apart. Now her face was bare for the first time in a long time, the eyes and face she so much tried to hide finally made themselves public to Hector. He could only watch in utter disbelief, this was how Maiyu looked? A short scarlet hair, small nose, tan lips, a black tribal tattoo covering her left cheek and part of her throat.. not to forget a pair of the most bizarre eyes Hector had seen.

    Hector: ”What are you?!”
    Maiyu averted her eyes from Hector and clutched to her chakrams.
    Maiyu: ”Just another curse your dear younger brother cast on me, and all the other Oathkeepers.”
    Hector: ”.. I see.”

    Hector unleashed another warcry, his skin turning slightly red as if his veins just started pumping more blood. He grabbed his axe and pulled it out of the web rather easily. It seemed his warcries somehow enhanced his abilities. Before Maiyu was able to ponder about it more, Hector lashed a flurry of swings at her.
    Maiyu used her chakrams to repel a few swings but the power they held was inhuman.. again. Both their weapons clashed more than once before Maiyu was hurled into air by the force of Hector's strength. While on air she grabbed her crossbow and shot a bolt at Hector, right the same time Hector also shot an arrow at Maiyu.

    Amazingly the arrows collided into each other. Neither of the combatants had inflicted any wounds to one another which was rather odd considering how seriously they both fought. Hints of exhaustion were there though, both of them were breathing faster than normal. No matter how you looked at it, Hector had the highground in this battle. Maiyu had just recovered from her near-mortal wounds after all. Still Hector shared no mercy.

    He roared and crashed his fist through the ground, raising a pillar of rock next to him which he sent flying at Maiyu. She wasn't fast enough to dodge the pillar, thus she took a direct hit and was sent flying in the air. She landed with a loud thump back on the ground. She finally realized her strength alone wouldn't cut it.

    Maiyu: ”Sta'Te.. Iratho.”

    A warm feeling took over Maiyu's body instantly. She felt how her mind changed into a more primitive form as her body started changing. A layer of fur started coating her skin and sharp fangs emerged from the sides of her mouth. The fur was dark red in color. A long and strong tail grew from her bottom and her hands and feet turned into paws. The transformation was complete, Maiyu had trasformed into her panther form.

    She growled viciously at Hector, baring her razor sharp teeth. Her eyes stayed the same and they somehow complimented her new ”look”, making her even more intimidating. Hector watched silently as Maiyu turned into a panther while clutching his axe fiercely. Once Maiyu was done, Hector swinged once before rushing at her again.

    Hector: ”Show me what you got, beast!!”

    Before Hector was able to swing his axe, Maiyu leaped at his throat and tore it open with her fangs. Blood started gushing out of Hector's throat, he was still able to breathe though. The speed Maiyu possessed now was something Hector had not expected. Nevertheless, the blood river which flowed from Hector's throat would soon kill him. Before he was to die however, he was determined to take Maiyu with him. He dropped his axe and jumped at Maiyu, bare-fisted. Maiyu was fast enough to counterattack by taking another leap and sinking her fangs deep into Hector's shoulder.

    This was the position which Hector was aiming at. He grabbed Maiyu's neck as she bit his shoulder and started twisting it, trying to snap her neck. He certainly had the strength to do it and Maiyu could feel it. Her neck bones started turning and would soon snap from the pressure. She struggled and sinked her teeth into Hector's face, however the giant wouldn't give up. Half-Giants were known of their stamina after all, they won't go down easy. Hector's grip was tight, it felt like being held by a bear. There was only one way out for Maiyu.

    Maiyu: ”Aste.. Riivas.”

    Again Maiyu's body was engulfed by a warm surge. Now her nose turned into a beak and her front legs into wings. Her fur ”fell off” and underneath a lush set of black feathers revealed themselves. She had turned into a bird, a crow to be more precise. Quickly she flew up in air, easily getting out of Hector's grip. Hector could only watch in silence as Maiyu was able to escape his final attack. There was no more time left for him, he collapsed on the ground. Maiyu flew above him and turned back into her human form shortly after..

    Maiyu: ” Ti'Sepianos. ” (As in "reversal")

    She landed a few feet away from Hector, catching her breath first before getting up. She threw her hood over her head again and held her hand over her neck, it was badly bruised because of Hector's brutish grip. She wasn't able to look at Hector for now, thus she looked in the opposite direction. Hector kept staring at the sky, his expression was calm.. peaceful even.

    The shadow twisting his heart and soul was gone, it had released Hector from it's deathly grasp. For some reason.. it looked like he embraced death, as if he wanted it. Was he aware of Dragan's true nature.. ? Even worse, was he not able to cope with the truth of it? Instead choosing to think highly of his brother, even praising him of his actions. Would he live in a lie rather than condemn his younger brother.. ?

    Hector slowly turned his head towards Maiyu, bearing a smile on his face.

    Hector: ”.. Thank you. The truth had always been there.. I just couldn't face it. After all, no matter what happened, Dragan was still my little brother. Maiyu.. survive, will you? No regrets.. promise me that. I.. Urgh.. don't want to see you up there anytime soon, you hear me.. ?”
    Maiyu: ”H-Hector.. !”

    Maiyu finally turned her head and looked at Hector. He looked peaceful, he had finally passed on. She knelt down next to Hector and ran her hand over his eyes, closing them. Hector's skin felt warm, it felt almost comforting. The ominous storm had sub-sided, sun rays started to pierce through the cracks in the vast field of clouds. Maiyu walked away from Hector's body and sat down on the grass, staring at her hands.

    Maiyu: ”Wherever I've set foot, I've left corpses behind. Is.. that who I am? Just a cold blooded killer.. ?” Maiyu turned and looked at Hector: ”No regrets, huh..”

    . . .

    Maiyu: ”.. Fine. I'll survive Hector, I promise you.”

    She held a silent moment for Hector before getting back up and facing the city of Cyre in the distance. It would take her a few hours to reach the city. Judging from the position of the sun, it would already be evening once she reached Cyre. She figured there'd be bounty hunter jobs in the city, after all without gold she wouldn't last long.
    There was also another reason why she was headed to Cyre: Alarei.
    Last edited by Takesh; 08-07-2011 at 01:43 PM.

  4. #54
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    The days passed quickly on the surface, unlike underground where there was no sun or moon, or stars. Vonur spent his days in the blacksmiths, and his nights in either a bar or the inn he was staying at, ‘The Traveller’. Today was like any other, Vonur woke up earlier than the sun, and walked his way down to the harbour, to the blacksmiths. The stars were no longer visible, but the moon could be seen nearing the horizon. As he walked he met the usual early workers, saying hello to the ones polite enough to acknowledge him. When he reached the harbour he stopped, as the norm, to take a few moments and look out to the horizon. The sea flickered with the light of the moon, as the waves rolled over the edge of the horizon. Vonur wondered what was beyond, what the world had to offer beyond what he could see. After stepping foot on the surface, it never ceased to amaze him what the surface had to offer.

    After a few minutes, Vonur turned on his heels and headed for the shop. He was always the first one there, and the owner had trusted him with a key. He wasn’t asked to come that early, but he was used to it when he ran his own shop. He put the key in the lock, and turned it, a series of clicking noises could be heard within the lock, and then the door swung open, revealing a pitch black room. Vonur lit the two oil lamps that hung by the door, which lit the room with a dingy orange tint. It wasn’t a lot of light, but enough for him to navigate his way to the back where he worked. He picked up his apron, black with smoke; the original colour unknown to Vonur, hung it over his head, and tied it behind his back. Turning around Vonur went to the furnace and lit it. The fire was bright enough to light the whole shop, creating ominous shadows that stretched across the walls and floor. The shop was small, there was a wooden counter, with a small bell on it, at the front, where Hammer would serve the customers, and then there was the back, where Vonur made his living. There were rings of all sizes hanging on the wall and piled on the floor, a bucket of water, a furnace, some tools; tongs and hammers mainly, and an anvil.

    Voner got straight to work, heating metal, and hammering it out, bending it, and finagling joining the two ends to create a perfect circle. He was making the rings found bound around wooden barrels, not what he was used to, but at least it was metal-crafting. The hours passed on, and Vonur had completed ten rings. Vonur was too busy hammering away to notice the door open, and the close again, and as he was facing the fire, all shadows where behind him. The being moved quietly to the back of the shop, but even if they had been shouting at the top of their lungs, Vonur was too engrossed in his work to notice. Vonur stopped pounding the metal, as it’s glow dulled, and placed it, with a pair of long armed tongs, back in the open fire to heat it up again.

    ???: Hello there.

    Vonur swung around, tongs in hand, and aiming for the head, but the man ducked, avoiding the hot metal.

    ???: “Ho there friend, it’s me you stupid lug.” Said the voice jokingly.

    Vonur then looked at the man for the fisrt time.

    Vonur: “Crap, sorry Hammer.”

    The big man grinned and held out his hand to Vonur. He was holding a piece of paper, Vonur took it.

    Hammer: “Don’t worry about it. Here we have a new order in.”

    Voner opened the small sheet of paper, and read the contents. His eyes widened, pupils dilated.

    Vonur: “Is this a joke!” he said, a hint of anger in his voice, “I can’t do this, not by tomorrow!”
    Hammer: “I am sorry friend, but it’s no joke. We have to get 160 rings made, by those measurements, by tomorrow morning.”

    Vonur just stared at the paper shaking his head.

    Vonur: “Impossible.” he said sternly.

    Hammer: “It better be possible. The client is paying us double what I would sell those for, so it needs to get done, I don’t care if you are working all night, you will be finishing that order.”

    The two men stared at each other, Vonur was angry, he liked his employer, but this was just unreasonable.

    Vonur: “What about all this”

    He jested towards the counter where there were a few other pages lying; other orders.

    Hammer: “Forget about those, this will make up for them. Don’t you understand the profit we will be making.” He could see the defiance in Vonur’s eyes so added, “And of course I will be paying you a bonus.”

    Vonur sighed, but he needed the money, the inn wasn’t paying for itself, and nor was the drink. He nodded, turned back to the fire and tossed the paper in and watched as it disintegrated. Hammer went back to the front door.

    Hammer: “I will be closing the shop today so you can get this done.” He opened the door, “And don’t leave until you get it done.”

    The door slammed close, and as soon as it had Vonur kicked a pile of rings, sending them rolling across the shop, until they fell and clattered to the ground.
    RPing, i'm not really sure neil...

    *week later*

    I am Karosath, the almighty destroyer of the royal family MWAHAHAHAHAHA

    *next day*

    NEIL: so gecko hows the RPing
    ME:who is this gecko??? Adress me only as Karosath, the almighty, u peasent

  5. #55
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    Struggling in the man’s grasp Laec was dimly aware through the blood pumping in his head that there was talk going on around him though he couldn’t hear what was said, that same old hearth wrenching fear had gripped him once more, the fear which wouldn’t even let him run, the fear that told him that he was caught like the mouse he was. Suddenly thrown at a wall he screamed out as he hit, sagging down in a small heap desperately hoping nothing been broken.

    Fear and pain both racing through his body made him near deaf to the roar, the screams and clattering of steel, first noticing it when all sound was gone, leaving the alley eerily quiet.

    Feeling something touching his leg he glanced at it, squeezing through the pain he barely made out an odd ball like shape, though it wasn’t a ball he realized with a feeling that made him almost retch, it was Leyden’s head. The thief no longer needed his curse removed.

    Footsteps echoing in the alley made him look at the man who tried to kidnap him, he had not gotten easily out of the fight either. His right arm was pierced with two bolts and the rest of him bleed from several cuts, Leydens men might have been scum and rapists but they knew every dirty trick there was to bring a man down, but still this one refused to die. Stopping to pick up something he came closer to him, holding a small piece of metal in his hand, looking odd in that huge hand of his.

    “It’s unfortunate but I will cut the tendons in your legs, I can’t have you run away while I’m in this condition” The panic disappeared as soon as it came when he saw what was in the man’s hand, the realization bending him over, pain, fear and relief shaking him uncontrollably as a bubbling pain travelled from his stomach through his throat and into the air as he laughed, tears filling his eyes as he tried to stop, oh god it hurt!
    “Something’s funny?” An polite question but with an undertone of threat, after having been shot and cut up laughter was the last thing any man want to hear.

    “Yo- You are” he barely managed to squeeze the words past his laughing fits “You plan to cut with him?!”
    “Your point?” he growled as he took a step forward, his patience with Laec clearly running out.
    “Nothing, nothing’s wrong, you will just die”
    “Enough, I-“Stopping he cast a surprised look at his arm which had swung itself into his chest, digging the dagger he just picked up into it. A look of pure puzzlement settled on his face as the arm raised the dagger again and again, opening up his torso like one opened a pig.

    With the blood gushing out from the wound, deep as mud he still managed a step forward, reaching out a hand towards Laec before falling over, his heart which helped him live his entire life now pumping out that very life through the wound.

    Painstakingly slowly Laec got up, the laughter ceasing as the adrenaline left, leaving him exhausted. Quickly checking himself he could far too easily feel how bruised he was but nothing had been broken. Touching the nameless man with his foot a few times to ensure he was dead he kneeled down, bending up fingers which still clutched Greg, trying to but unable to prevent getting his hands and knees soaked with blood, wiping the blade and his own hands on the man’s clothes as best he could he held the dagger to the air, the light glittering onto its all too familiar shape.

    “I sure got lucky there, good work Greg”

    “Are you really happy with this Laec?”

    Seeing people coming their way, screams, shouts, the clang of steel and the resulting bodies attracting both humans and flies as effectively he walked away before any watchmen came, the last thing he needed was to be asked why his clothes were all bloodied and thrown in a cell for it “Not sure I understand the question, I’m alive what else matters?”

    “That you had me saving you twice”

    “If you mean when you saved me from my sis I been meaning to ask you how did you manage to cut through that wall? It’s not like she’s the type to be sloppy with those kinds of things” It was true, he had wondered about it. Her mental barriers keeping her safe might have been swiftly constructed but they weren’t sloppy, he doubted he been able to break them.

    “Sometimes I believe you forget what I am, a dagger, something made to cut, it’s my very nature. Do you really think anything a human mind made could stop me? But don’t avoid the question, are you happy with having to rely on me to save you? One day you be alone and unable to run, what will you do then?”

    Watching the blade, a red sheen enveloping it despite his attempts to wipe of the blood of he realized he had forgotten something important, or rather chosen not to think about it. Greg was a dagger, neither human, elf, dwarf nor any other kind of living being but a weapon. He might have a mind of his own, but a weapon with a mind, was that truly a good thing? He might be relatively obedient now but he had just shown what he could do one day if he felt like it, even if being just a small dagger. Betray and kill him. Masking his anxiety he replied “It worked my whole life Greg, and if I ever stop I be caught and killed, just as today showed. I’m short on options”

    “You could fight, otherwise you spend your whole life running and in fear”

    “If I just get to spend my whole life in peace without dying I will be satisfied” he said as they walked the street, his body tired and bruised, but the throbbing of the curses overriding all his other pains, as they always did when he got tired or injured, one fighting to protect him and the other fighting to kill him. Waiting for him to grow too tired and weak, day and night draining any life it could get out of him.
    Yes he thought grimly as he gripped his arm, all he asked for was to be able to spend his life in peace without having to worry about getting killed, then he would be satisfied.

  6. #56
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    Talking So lengthy, and yet so much I have left out. :(

    In the midst of battle, acting the part of the subtle string that linked the two warriors together, Cerelis stood with an air of invisibility. She couldn't intervene in the duel as an active participant. Her role was unseen, resting in the capabilities of her complex mind. And she knew that the complicated magic, the mystical force that compelled her and her slave driver to face Hiro, was an unfair and crude double edge blade. One side would guarantee Richelieu a bloodless defeat should Hiro overpower him in a flight of fury. However, the other side depicted how the power that enchanted Richelieu tore and gradually hacked away at Cerelis's drifting mind and weakened body. Already, her panting seemed heavy, her breathing becoming shallow. The calmness that allowed for conversation and a seemingly scripted fight would very soon crumble.

    So, it didn't come as a surprise that Richelieu was unraveling his impatience and contempt. He too could feel the efforts of negating Hiro's actions reflecting upon Cerelis physically, her hazardous power finally destroying her. The disgruntled frown that held as much weight as a perfectionist finding a flaw in a carefully constructed plan lingered long enough for Hiro to catch it.

    At first, it left him puzzled. Why had the mood dampened so heavily on Richelieu's part? Wasn't everything up till now going according to plan? But a quick glance at Cerelis left a pressure of urgency and guilt upon his heart. Richelieu's skeptical feint at Hiro's flying kick flashed in Hiro's mind. That moment was a ruse, like a timed punch or a false kiss in a play, meant to deceive the audience. And it would have, if Hiro didn't know about Cerelis's capabilities.

    Of course, Richelieu knew Hiro was still at a disadvantage. If he were to severely injure Richelieu, Cerelis would be the one to suffer the most. That distant, third person perspective overwhelmed Hiro yet again. Not only was everything already planned, but Hiro was the only one who didn't know the secrets yet to be told. A smug grin was plastered on Richelieu's face, the expression of someone who knew something you didn't know. And it bothered Hiro excessively. Time was slipping away, winding as clockwork does during crucial moments. Would the heart-wrenching silence result in a finale of might, or would more flashbacks into the unchangeable past seep into his memories?

    "Life is tedious, tiresome, and simply a pause before death." Richelieu was speaking matter-of-factly, a quality that was rare in someone who enjoyed taunting and gloating in his own twisted way. "Why else would peace only exist in fairytales?" He chuckled darkly, lowering his eyes for effect. "That is why war is ever present, a chance for glory or for rebellion. But on a grand scale, all you have are faceless dimwits struggling for a cause that, in the long-run, swallows them whole or repeats with time. That is where you and your adorable sister come into play. You see, I'm bored, and I just so happen to be entertained by the both of you--"

    "You are naught but an abhorrent fiend who dons the guise of a crestfallen god, a repulsive beast who sacrificed his heart! And the reason? A mere chance to capture the essence of this battlefield you are consumed with, tightening its scope with the presence of my brother and I. You believe it to be a more personal performance." Unlike her involvement in the physical conflict, Cerelis felt no need to bite her tongue when it came to highlighting and announcing what she felt needed to be spoken. "Am I incorrect, or have I omitted the ridiculous notion of plucking from my brother's encounters those who also interest you?"

    "You cannot mean..." Hiro cleared his throat, the thoughts swirling within his mind hindering the confidence in his voice. "I shall not allow any ill will to be inflicted upon Renshaw."

    Cerelis stepped forward, not intending to ignore Hiro, but focused on getting Richelieu to comply with her. "Why have you yet to recount for my brother the bleak and horrid truth of the tragedies you weaved within Avis? Or were you in high spirits that my faltering body would affect my memory of the intentions surrounding this fateful encounter?"

    "Patience!" Richelieu's voice sharpened, practically shoving Hiro backwards with his weapon while he faced Cerelis. The contradiction in his shouted word and his own impatience would seem amusing if the situation wasn't dire. Intimidation was even more ineffective on Cerelis than it was on Hiro, but physical violence was her kryptonite. He wouldn't be able to hurt her now, but she'd be harshly punished later.

    "To be honest, I couldn't wait to fill those gaps in your fractured memory. Oh? Does that come as a surprise? I'm sure it does, but I won't allow anymore interruptions. No time for fancy and detailed speeches, so, the point: you used a forbidden art. You could say every technique has a limit, and that limit...balances with a personal crippling. But twins are always so unique, and you could say the both of you were secretly adored for your unique qualities. After all, what's more balanced than the existence of twins?"

    ******A Forgotten Encounter******

    Time eased its way backwards, back to a time Hiro could not recall. But someone was there, someone who shouldn't have even been there to begin with. Along with his father, Richelieu arrived in Avis, just in time for a rush of gossip. Unable to breach Castle Diraemis at the time, Richelieu mingled amongst the commoners, long enough to hear the news: twins were born.

    In other lands, twins were monstrosities, cursed beings who could only beckon misfortune. Nevertheless, envy and pride stirred within the hearts of rivals and mentors, respectively. They were gems to behold, yet to Richelieu, the twins brought forth Pandora ’s Box.

    ******

    "How did you come to arrive in Avis precisely on the day of Cerelis's and my own birth?" A bit of anger was surging within Hiro at the thought of never knowing just how long Richelieu had been plotting his sick schemes.

    "Oh, I'd call it the work of fates." Richelieu was obviously being arrogant, but he commended silence once more: "Hush! I have more to say."

    ******

    Intrigued by the possible chaos he could create, Richelieu scouted the island for any useful clues. His diligent was remarkable, but without direct contact with the nobles, all he could gather was petty rumors. Then two years passed, and an encounter was made.

    Night had fallen, bidding a night's rest for everyone who would need an early start, which was practically everyone within the castle walls. In a certain room, the door creaked open, and in strolled a younger Hiroveus of four years old -- in Aviseom years, of course. He collapsed on his bed, having spent vigorous hours training with a wooden sword to sharpen his timing, movements, and judgment. Despite it's material, the sword he was given grew heavier and much too pointy every week. There were already tons of blisters on his hands, purple bruises on his knees, and cuts on his cheeks that each signified a death. Then, as if his aching muscles and beaten body wasn't enough, his tutor lectured of his disappointment in prince Hiroveus.

    Tears were also forbidden, a sign of weakness that would be his undoing, so Hiroveus had to bite back his complaints and whining. Cerelis couldn't stand the expectations and hardships her brother faced, including dressing himself when he was drenched in exhaustion. Why should servants don her clothes when all she had were her studies? But whenever she offered to assist Hiroveus in any way, he just smiled warmly and went about his business.

    This time, Cerelis was prepared. As Hiro crawled under the sheets of his bed, she murmured about a trick to him. When she peaked his interest, Cerelis went on about discovering an ancient book, one that offered an escape.

    ******

    "Forgive me, brother, but I--"

    "--Will stay quiet and let me be the one to tell him! After all, I want to see his face when he learns the truth."

    "What truth do you--"

    "Silence!"

    ******

    The span between their beds was short, short enough for Cerelis's arm to reach half the distance to where Hiroveus rested. Blinking his eyes with curiosity, it didn't take him long to grasp his sister's hand in his own. Just as he did, their arms went limp, and both their faces were soothed with the peace of sleep. If the spell only evoked sleep, though, Cerelis would have learned a lame trick.

    But it wasn't. Far from boring, her trick allowed for freedom, for the two siblings stood giggling and gapping (Cerelis and Hiroveus, respectively) at their slumbering bodies. All too soon, Cerelis yanked her brother out of their room, down several halls, and through a back-door as to not be found by the night watch. Apparently, they were still visible, but as long as they weren't found, no one would know they snuck from their room. It was truly a treat, to wander the grounds without restricted access to what was easily traveled by everyone else.

    In the thrill of exploration, Hiroveus felt eyes upon him. After all, they were close to the villages beneath the mountain, having taken a short-cut down one side that Cerelis knew about. If their attire didn't attract attention, then their similar appearances would. Devastated at being caught, but not wanting to bring trouble upon them, Hiroveus told his sister of the stalker. Unfortunately, being too bold for her own good, Cerelis called for whoever was lurking in the shadows to step forward and reveal themselves.

    Oddly, only one person appeared, and he was an elf of a different sort: a tree elf. To the young siblings, the tree elf was simply a stranger, perhaps even friendly at that. His wintry green eyes were glossed with delight, and a reassuring grin eased the air of suspicion. His hand hesitated in the air, kneeling to get a better look at the twins. Besides their individual personalities, the two had distinct features: pitch black hair for the boy and faint black hair for the girl. Although he had never seen so dark a black as the hair of the boy, the girl's hair was even more mysterious.

    "Tell me, kindred damsel, why your hair is such a peculiar color."

    "You should do well to know I am not a 'damsel,' but to answer your question, my locks are the same hue as my brother."

    "Clever girl, aren't you? But your hair glows with another hue. Is that a trait you don't know about?"

    "Perhaps--"

    "Pardon, Lis, but there is danger in giving secrets to a perfect stranger of the night." Hiroveus apologetically motioned Cerelis behind him before gazing sternly at Richelieu, his stance as defensive as a child could muster. "Mister, may I ask for your name?"

    "So direct! You must truly care for your sister."

    "If you mean to cheat my sister, we shall both take our leave--"

    "Richelieu." As he spoke, Richelieu lowered his hands, one to pat boy's head and the other to keep him from leaving. "Are you that impatient--"

    "Stop!" This time, Cerelis protected Hiro. "I cannot allow you to touch either of us! Forgive me, but if you were to touch us, my trick will end. Anyone or anything living cannot touch us in this...er--well, you see...--ah yes! In this state, we are not to be touched by the living! Therefore, I ask you to keep this secret. Promise?"

    "I promise. Now, your names?"

    "Cerelis! Oh, and many thanks!"

    "Very well, I judge that our trust is mutual--" Cerelis gripped her brother's wrist, her own way of telling him to calm down. "...Right. I am Hiroveus. May the fates be fond of our meeting."

    ************

    "How cruel must the fates be, to beckon deceit for friendship. But dawn advances with haste, and my mind anguishes from discerning your character. May I not misjudge my sister's strength."

    "What?!"

    All sympathy was lost as Hiro's memories overflowed within him, some still blurry, but others very clear. Marking Richelieu's location, Hiro prepared Semis with the last of his energy. By the time Richelieu knew he was being targeted, the magnetic rocks already materialized. Hiro swiftly leapt at the first rock, pouncing on it with his next move in mind. As soon as he kicked off, Hiro rotated his body like a spinning top in front of Richelieu, their blades crossing. Richelieu narrowed his eyes at Hiro's Arsaen Sword, knowing Hiro wouldn't hold back, even at the cost of hurting Cerelis.

    Hoping to weaken Hiro and decrease his speed, Richelieu sliced at the open gash at Hiro's waist, causing him to lose balance. The toe of his scythe threatened to pin Hiro's arm into the ground, but with the will to accomplish his goal, Hiro managed to only scrape his back. Certainly, a lot of blood was being lost, but pausing meant the worst defeat possible: death.

    Racing for the next rock, Hiro lingered long enough for Richelieu to waste a swing at thin air. Tumbling to his initial position, Hiro lowered his aim towards Richelieu's feet. An expected jump dodged the blow, followed by a charge that sent Hiro flying backwards. Hiro's neck would have gone rolling it he didn't counter the piercing spear-head, shoving it aside so he could sprint to the third rock.

    "Now, I shall resolve our duel!"

    Richelieu spun around with every intention of severing at least one of Hiro's limbs. The back-flip that followed on Hiro's part certainly caught him off guard, but then he glimpsed the final rock. Extending his weapon, Richelieu readied his chance to truly see Hiro suffer, but it never came. Instead, Hiro remained on the third rock, rising with the chance to cut the surface of his right arm, which held his weapon.

    "Hah...hah......f-fine, ...you...w-win. Bu-t, ...you're si-ght, it's...st-still...mi...!"

    "Hi...-o, f-...nd.....e la....d o....dra...ons...!"

    Hiro tried to listen, but the words became jumbled and muted. And then, He collapsed.

    Nurarihyon no Mago!
    Quote:
    Inpa: "...I got your mask already, look! Isn't it pretty?”
    Balthazar: ”Urgh.. !! It's pink..”
    Inpa: ”Oh please, it's called being metrosexual!..."
    -- farag0n; Tales of Amn

  7. #57
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    Default A friend from the past

    My next stop is Cyre, the heart of Heoden. I heard from Hector that Alarei was headed towards the city. I'm not the type to follow people, especially someone I've supposedly never met, but.. I have this strange feeling that I actually know him. I need to know if it's true.. No, actually I must know if it's true.

    The sun glared at the land of Heoden, slowly descending in order to make way for its nightly counterpart, moon. Maiyu was walking down the clay road towards Cyre, ever slightly staggering at times due to her fight against Hector. It was no small feat to change shapes in such small intervals. It was especially exhausting for her spirit since everytime she changed, her spirit changed too. This can affect her memory, causing amnesia, but it can also cause major distortions, much like mirages on deserts. These after effects wear off in a couple of hours but until that she would be quite vulnerable to attacks.

    The ground underneath Maiyu's feet was still slightly muddy due to the rain in the morning. It was muddy enough that it could make you slip if you were careless. There wasn't much traffic on the road which was rather surprising since Cyre was after all the capital of Heoden, you'd think any road headed towards the city was packed with carriages and the like.

    Unbeknownst to Maiyu, someone was following her, completely sealing their presence since otherwise she would've noticed them. It was as if she was drawing danger to herself, which was partly true due to her condition caused by the ritual (she senses Sanguins, and they sense her). This individual however was different to the common monsters.. in fact, this individual was connected to Maiyu's past in the most intriguing of ways.

    ~

    A wave of blue slashed the air as it landed next to the cold body of Hector Loth. The youth wielding a spear knelt down and touched Hector's throat in order to check his pulse. He sighed as soon as he found out there was not even a sliver of life left in this body. He turned around to face his three other companions and motioned them to secure the area. The trio vanished in three different directions and soon couldn't be seen anymore. The blue haired youth knelt down again and examined Hector's cause of death. Of course the most striking wound was the obvious bite mark of a beast on Hector's neck.

    ???: ”Mon Dieu. Only two days ago, you were alive and well slaying Sanguins together with my group and the mysterious Alarei. How is it possible that you fell against a simple beast.. ? A cougar? A panther at best? What's more, easily the most peculiar of things, how is it possible such a beast managed to slay you here in the midland, where there have never been sightings of such creatures?”

    The youth was the radiant leader of the Falcons, Leo Laurent. He shook his head in disbelief, not really buying the way Hector died.

    Leo: ”I suppose there is only one way to find out. Pardonnez-moi, Hector, but I shall take a peek at what happened to you.”

    Leo placed his hand on Hector's forehead and as soon as his hand made contact, Leo's eyes flashed with blue. He entered Hector's mind, and searched his memory in order to witness Hector's final moments himself. For some reason, Hector's memory was blurred and thus Leo couldn't get a clear picture. However there was one thing he saw clear as day, and that was a woman with scarlet hair possessing the eyes of a beast, same as Leo's. As soon as Leo saw her, he let go of Hector's forehead and jumped up.

    Leo: ”Maiyu.. !!”

    Leo was awe-struck with the turn of events, he couldn't believe his own eyes. However as soon as his surprise wore off him, Leo grimaced with grief. First she annihilated nearly everyone in the Oathkeeper tower, then decapitated Dragan Loth and now Hector. It seemed only corpses followed her, which only meant one thing.. Dragan had succeeded in making his emotionless killing machine, or that's what Leo thought. He grit his teeth, his fists trembling with anger.

    Leo: ”Fils de pute!! Of all the Oathkeepers, why'd it have to be Maiyu you managed to break Dragan.. ?!

    .. I have to find her. It's my responsibility to stop her.. to end her suffering. My only wish is that she still retains at least some of her sanity.”


    Leo placed Hector's hand on the man's chest and put the giant axe on top of it.

    ”Repose en paix, Hector.”

    With that, Leo summoned a small beacon of blue fire and set it near Hector's body. It would guide the rest of his team to him once they returned from scouting the area. Leo himself raced off towards the road to Cyre, trying to find any signs of Maiyu.

    ~

    It was only when the mysterious follower made a slight error in calculation and accidentally landed on a tree branch too thin to hold his weight, did Maiyu notice him. She quickly turned around and threw a knife into the tree the follower hid behind. She didn't move a muscle, she wasn't sure whether the follower was alone or whether they had a whole army hidden in the woods. Retaining a calm attitude, Maiyu grabbed three more knives on one hand and kept staring at the tree.

    Maiyu: ”Come out, I know you're there.”
    ???: ”...”

    The follower remained silent which was the dumbest thing to do when Maiyu was involved. While she spoke, Maiyu had woven a web through the three knives. Now she threw all the knives towards the other side of the tree and like a leash, she pulled them back so that they circled the tree from the other side, trapping the follower between the tree and the web adorned with knives. Unfortunately the follower was quick enough to dodge the incoming knives with a roll, exposing himself to Maiyu as he had to come out into the open road. A slight smirk grew on Maiyu's lips though as soon as the figure entered the road.

    Maiyu: ”Gotcha.”
    ???: ”Huh.. ?!”

    Maiyu had laid a web on the road in which the follower was now stuck in. It was something she always did whenever she was walking alone, it was to prevent any followers from catching her off guard since the web served to alert her.

    Maiyu: ”Now who are you? Why are you following me?”
    ???: ”Heh. You always did manage to catch me off guard, however your true weakness lies in the confidence you have right afterwards that.”

    Maiyu somehow recognized the man's voice which subconsciously made her look at her web leash with knives. Three small bombs tied together with a small wire were sliding down the web right towards Maiyu. She immediately let go of the web and rolled forward towards the follower. As soon as she did that, the follower freed himself from the web and jumped at Maiyu, aiming his spear right at her. In the nick of time, Maiyu managed to block the attack with her chakrams before sliding underneath the follower. She jumped up and turned around to face the mystery man.

    Maiyu: ”.. I know I've seen you before. Who are you?”
    ???: ”Mon Dieu. You still don't remember me? It's me, Leo, one of your dear Oathkeeper companions. Have you truly fallen so low that you can't recognize friends from the past?”
    Suddenly Maiyu's eyes flew wide open, now she finally remembered Leo. They used to spar together in the Oathkeeper tower. She never really acknowledged Leo but he was always tagging alongside her. The amnesia caused by the shapeshifting was definitely behind this memory loss. Even though Maiyu didn't care about the other Oathkeepers, she still remembered most of them.

    Maiyu: ”Leo.. !! You're alive? I thought..”
    Leo: ”So sorry to disappoint you, murderer. You won't get me with a cheap trick like that, I know you well enough to predict such things.”
    Maiyu: ”It's not that simple.. !”
    Leo: ”Yes it is! You ruthlessly murdered everyone just to get Dragan! Did you ever think of the consequences.. ?! And what about Hector?! You killed him too, didn't you? Why?!”

    Maiyu could feel a twist in her heart, she was disgusted by herself.
    Maiyu: ”.. He challenged me because I killed his smaller brother, Dra-”
    Leo: ”Enough. I feared you were nothing but a killing machine now, seems I was right. It's my duty to avenge my brethren.. En garde!”
    Maiyu: ”No.. !! NO! Not again! Stop it!! I don't want to fight you!”
    Leo: ”.. What? It's no different to murdering all the Oathkeepers, your brothers and sisters in war.”
    Leo answered calmly and aimed his spear at Maiyu.

    Maiyu: ”Even you know most of them were rotten to the bone, just like Dragan.”
    Leo: ”That may be, but there were still many who were forcefully turned into Oathkeepers. You killed all of them, except me. What the hell were you thinking.. ?”
    Maiyu: ”.. I just wanted to get out, any means necessary.”
    Leo: ”We all did. Eventually we would've overpowered Dragan and seized hold of the tower. After that we could've continued our noble work like we used to back in the day when Dragan wasn't consumed by greed..

    .. But you just had to intervene.. ! You stole our dreams, you're responsible for everyone's death! How do you expect me to just look away?!”

    Maiyu: ”..”

    Maiyu couldn't find the words to respond to Leo. Instead she took out her chakrams and resumed her battle stance.

    Maiyu: ”I guess this is the only way you'll find peace then.”
    Leo: ”En effet.”

    Is death the only salvation for me? Am I forever cursed to kill all those who are close to me? If that's what fate has set in it for me, then..

    .. then I will fight fate itself. From this point on, my destiny is my own. No matter how this fight will end, you will not be the one who dies Leo.

  8. #58
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    Default An hidden knowledge

    Heading into an empty alleyway Laec knelt by a puddle of what he hoped was water, probably best not to ask, and started scrubbing. However much he splashed his clothes the blood wouldn’t go away. Scrubbing harder still, leaving his arms and legs soaked. Still those dark red stains, though fainter, showed. Now what? Considering using Greg too cut of the bloodied parts for a moment he swiftly changed his mind, the picture of how Greg had killed that man all too vivid in his mind. Instead he grabbed a handful of mud, spreading it out, covering all blood soaked parts with it.

    He hated the cold feel of the mud simpering through his clothes and was already freezing, however poor he been he always tried to keep himself clean. Satisfied that he no longer be arrested at least there was still one problem to take care of, getting out of Cyre. Now that his sister knew where he was it be a bad idea to stay.

    Reaching for his pocket where he put the pouch with coins which he stole from the thieves earlier he found it strangely devoid of said pouch. Frowning he checked his other pockets, finding no trace of the money he taken with him. Suddenly he remembered how that big brute that held him had taken the money and thrown it away.
    There was no point in going back to find it now, leave a copper penny on the road and you be sure as sunrise it to be gone within the minute. Counting up the rest of his money in dismay his spirit dropped further. He always carried all of his money with him. One because he did not trust leaving it anywhere, second if anybody said “your money or your life” he have the money. Though he doubted anybody take this paltry sum and be satisfied, his funds were almost nonexistent. Surely not enough to secure a room for himself on a ship. And he had heard far too many rumors about bandits recently to dare his luck on land.
    Clenching his fist he banged it into a nearby wall, the effect stolen by the whine escaping his lips. Nothing was going his way recently.

    What’s up Laec? First time I seen you hurting yourself” Greg almost sounded amused.

    Massaging his hand he smiled gloomily at his poor excuse of a companion, however much he had washed him the red shun on Greg hadn’t disappeared, as if not willing to let go of it.

    “So many seem to like doing it. I thought I give it a try myself, personally I don’t see the fun in it” Massaging his hand he observed all the people walking past their alley, some who looked even dirtier than him. At least he hoped they did. “I said before that we run Greg, but I don’t have the money to just walk out of the gates with enough food to last me. Nor enough to go by ship or caravan. And once my sister arrives she find me no matter where I hide don’t doubt that. Can blame the little unique bond we two have right there” he said rubbing his right arm, it stung ever so slightly.
    If I can’t get you to try to strike her down then kill a captain, his crew and take over one of the ships and we get out easily enough” Greg said as if the easiest thing in the world. The image of himself wielding Greg, killing left and right and sailing away with a ship. The dawning sun ahead of them made Laec smirk. It was just so ridiculous an image.

    “Violence is never my first answer, no Greg I got another idea. One I had liked to avoid”. Hesitating, not sure if he should continue he realized he had little choice at this point. Reluctantly he continued “Me running around the whole bloody continent haven’t given me lots of time to get to know people. But I made a few acquaintances here and there, some in this very city. They share a similar magical inclination to my own. They even run a, in lack of better words, school for most of the dark magical branches. Necromancy, blood magic. Those kinds of fun things”
    So why not meet them? You’re a dark mage and you’re no worse for wear. Actually you are but if they’re the same as you all you need is to scream boo and they turn with their tails running”
    If only it be that simple. They hold me no ill will, at the same time if they ever think I give out the location of the school they kill me. So I had hoped I would not have to meet them while hiding here, maybe they would forget about me”

    Greg didn’t contribute any further, leaving the silence hanging.

    “Yet, I do not see what choice we have” Staring at his clothes, mud splattered and foul smelling he wondered whether it had been a good idea, some blood would have made them respect him a bit more perhaps. Or they just think him a sloppy workman.

    The moon was out bathing the streets with its pale cold light, just making the wrecked house looming above seem all the more unnatural. It was nothing more than an empty shell of what it once been. Whatever it was that made some houses a home and safe haven had left this one long ago. And that fact made him somehow feel that he was dealing with something dead and rotten which was yet standing. Almost jumping as he heard something behind him he saw dark figures scuttling around. He seldom was this far within the slums of Cyre and knew why. Some people might claim that the guards had control over the city but within the slums screaming out for guards was pointless. Much more likely to send a thug your way than any help.

    Taking a deep breath he Placed his hand on the door he half expected it to fall over despite knowing better. As soon as his hand was placed the wood croaked and groaned, expanding and subtracting like breathing, slowly creeping up along his arm. If he hated the feel of mud on his skin the feeling of being slowly entombed in wood was far worse. He didn’t panic, silently waiting for the voice he knew would come. As on queue a creaky voice seemingly coming from the wood itself slowly said “The white candle is burning, the black candle is extinguished. Which one do you choose?”

    Clearing his throat as not to say the wrong word which result in his death he answered “I choose the dark candle, to avoid the bright flame which makes me blind” immediately the wood that been spreading onto him returned into the door which opened with a creek. Unbearably conscious of every sound, the scattering rats hiding in the dark, a muffled scream silenced and forgotten by the night. Imagining how somebody was creeping behind him, coming closer by every second Laec didn’t hesitate to go in and slammed the door shut behind him. Protected now by whatever people was on the outside.

    The room he found himself in was as wrecked as the rest of the house. The only furniture’s being a carpet, an old round table and two chairs. The only light source coming from a single candle set upon the table, casting more shadows than light. Making the shadows dance and squirm around the man who sat there watching him. All dressed in black, the shadows jumping around him in the light of the candle. Blinking the shadows was once again still, the illusion the light cast gone. The man withdrew his hood, revealing the person within. His hair fading white with spots of black still in it tied in a ponytail complied with a face lined with lines, wrinkled even more as his face was set in a scowl. “Oh it’s just you Laec, but then again who else would come dirty and ragged like that. For your sake I hope that is mud”
    Valdri how glad I am to see you” Laec said with a true smile of relief. Valdri was one of the few persons here he could claim to know. “I just had some trouble earlier today which dirtied my clothes and thought I come here and see how you’re all doing”
    Really? And what makes you think that we want you here? We don’t need trouble” He said, flexing his fingers. Laec held no illusions about him hesitating to unleash whatever spell he had in mind if given reason to.
    “I’m out of trouble for now, but I will be waist deep in it again within a few days at most. I need a favor”
    Stroking his chin Valdri was silent for a moment until he nodded “my shift here is soon over. My replacement will be here momentarily. In the meantime take a seat” he said gesturing towards the other poor excuse of a chair.

    Wearily sitting down, unsure how secure the chair was. “Tell me Laec, I never really understood. Why have you not joined us? While I hold no regards about your courage, your talent in curses is another matter entirely. A talent we could use, but instead you dress yourself as a beggar. Why?”
    “You might not know it but I’m being chased, have been for many years now. I can’t stay in one place for too long, it’s quite a story actually”
    “Interesting, before deciding anything I like to-“ he was cut short as an trapdoor from the floor opened and out stepped a woman in a dark robe similar to his own.
    Ah my replacement, we continue this discussion in my quarters Laec. I leave the watch over to you now Mira” The woman gave him a curt nod before she took the chair Valdri left and sat down. Following Valdri down the trapdoor it closed behind them. Leaving everything pitch black if not for the torches set in the wall. Descending down a spiral staircase for more turns than Laec could count they reached the bottom at last.

    The lack of fresh air for who knew how long filled the place with a stale, musty smell, only growing worse the further down they progressed. Having reached the bottom they reached tunnels which felt more like a labyrinth, making several twists and turns as they walked.

    Passing several more black robes that seemed to keep watch, all who let them pass without a word. Laec was growing more and more nervous as time passed. He could almost feel the weight above crushing him down. His breath growing haggard and quick, his heart pounding loudly. After what felt like an eternity they finally exited the tunnel and entered into a low roofed cave about five meters high, lit with several torches. Groups of people moved back and forth across the cave.
    Some in heated discussion, others hurrying across the cave to one of the several other tunnels. Most of the people were young, dressed in grey robes, though a few elders could be seen in their distinguishable black robes and black capes. Moving past the crowds, the grey robes made sure to not get in their path, the respect they held for Valdri as obvious as wrinkled noses and faces Laec attracted with his clothing. There were several other tunnels spread out around the cave, some leading to similar places, some to the teaching halls, and others to the students and teachers residents and other places that were required.

    Valdri wasted no time and entered another tunnel, dismayed Laec followed him. This one was so there was no more room than to spread your arms. Leading to some troublesome moments when some people came from the other side and the both of them had to squish themselves against the wall to get past. This one was shorter though and soon they emerged directly into a house. A comfy fire sparking in a fireplace. Chairs, tables and benches were spread close by, the first sign of wood in this cold stony underground world, the fireplace being the center of the woody formation. In the room there were several other people, all in black robes eating, chattering and laughing. Not your typical image of a dark mage.

    Several heads were turned as Laec was noticed but no comment was raised, the people just turned back to their neighbor and continued in their discussion. He held no doubt he just became the head subject of some. Nodding to several of the people they passed, some relaxing in a chair, others walking towards the tunnel they just came from Valdri lead the way up a spiral stair case. Stopping at the third turn they entered a hallway and stopped by a door, being made of as everything else built here. Unlocking the door he opened it and showed Laec in, closing it behind them and locking it again. The room was lightened up by several glass lamps fastened in the wall filled with some kind of glowing creatures. The room smelled stale, the stone walls giving it a cold, hard feel despite the light. Most of the items of the room were well worn and used, except the books in the bookshelf. The shelf was crammed with them, tracing a finger over the books they were of many different subjects, everything from herb lore to different accounts of magic, from light to dark and in between. Stopping his finger at a book “Curses and their form” he was about to take it out when a hand grabbed him. “Try to not touch anything, I prefer my belongings clean” Self conscious of his clothing once again Laec sat himself down on a chair by a table, barely touching the chair to avoid any mud getting on. Setting down on the other side the both of them studied each other for a moment, Laec ragged and dirty, Valdri old and clean.
    “Seems you’re doing well, have not yet been caught. You seem younger since last I saw you as well”
    Don’t try to flatter me Laec, it won’t sway my decision. And we will not be caught anytime soon, very few know about these underground tunnels and even fewer know about these buildings we found and we do our best to keep it that way. If outsiders do know about them, well a few sacrifices are needed if you want anything in this world” he said with a small smirk.

    Sacrificing people for magic, Laec knew all about that he thought as he felt the anger flaming up in him “You think the sacrifices are worth it? Last I was told you won’t even let your students out until they’re considered trustworthy. But also you kill people for this. Is there anything that’s worth so much that you’re willing to sacrifice human lives? I know all about the feeling of being sacrificed for somebody else’s ambitions. And for what? Is it your search for knowledge and power which drives you all here?" Despite the even light in the room Laec once again experienced that odd sight when the shadows seemingly grew closer to Valdri, Erratically flaying around him as he spoke.

    “Laec, once upon a time our magic was, while maybe not considered completely respectable, it was tolerated and thriving, now? It is a dying art. You just need look at the branches of other kinds of magic to see the difference between us and them. We been hunted and hindered for far too long and knowledge have been lost. And for what? Are we feared? By some yes. A reputation some have done nothing to improve but in the end our art is not evil by itself. Like with all magic it can be used for good or for evil.
    Our art may be more corruptive than others, I am willing to consent to that fact but that is all. Yet some refuse to understand this. No Laec, I am, we are, all of us hiding and studying here willing to go to whatever lengths necessary to make certain our knowledge will not be lost. Knowledge is the sole thing worth protecting, no matter the cost. So do not ask me if a few lives are worth it! I live everyday with the consequences of what I done and what I will do it again if the need arises. If you came without truly knowing us just to criticize, leave. If not speak of why you’re here!”
    He practically screamed in the end, the shadows no more just clinging to Valdri but reaching for Laec, flaying and swinging erratically as if alive as they seemed to reach out from the floor and walls, grabbing Laecs arms and legs. Flaying his arms he fell down from the chair to the floor, gasping as his sore body hit the floor. The tendrils climbing over him, trying to grab him. He felt them growing more and more solid by each second, keeping him down, slowly reaching for his throat.

    “Sorry, really sorry I said that! Accept my apology I shouldn’t have said that!”

    S
    taring at him the anger in Valdris eyes faded, turning his face away as if
    embarrassed to have lost control. “Apology accepted. Now tell me” Valdri continued, now mollified. The shadows having left Laec and settled down in their rightful places now. “Tell me everything. From what you said earlier I take it you want a way out of Cyre. But before that tell just what happened, from the beginning. After that I decide whether to help you or not”
    Getting himself up Laec muttered “stingy” beneath his breath. “What was that Laec?” Valdri said with a raised eyebrow as a shadow moved slightly.
    “Oh nothing, nothing at all. I was just wondering where to start, the beginning you said? Alright, of course you should know. Let’s see, when I woke up earlier today I-“
    Holding up a finger, silencing him Valdri interrupted “The very beginning”
    “Oh, that beginning” Laec said with a smirk. Despite the feeling of pushing his luck too much he couldn’t resist a comment “Get a napkin Valdri, this one’s a real tearjerker for both children and adults” he said and then told him of all that had happened to him. From his early childhood days to his sisters betrayal and his reason for coming here to him.

  9. #59
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    Of all the things Renshaw could have done after her slap, a hug was exactly the thing she didn’t want him to do. It would have been fine if he had screamed, shouted, walked away or done anything else. It would have fueled her anger. It would have made her bitter feelings be ever stronger and her resolve to be angry with him not fade away. But a hug, a hug made everything fall apart.

    And she was not pleased about it. Nor was she with his words.

    So that were the things you said to someone who you had abandoned many many years ago? Calling her a booger and he would expect her to be fine with it?

    With her feet of the ground and her body pressed against Renshaw’s there was not much she could do, but she refused to wrap her arms around him too.

    Her silence and stiffness seemed to make Renshaw realize that his words were not exactly right so he tried again. But his sayings only made things worse not only in their meaning but they were now also literally hurting her. Renshaw was yelling so loud that Kaori thought that her eardrums might pop if he would continue that way.

    She squirmed and managed to get free of his “hug”.

    “No I don’t know how much you hate this stuff.” She said. Her voice was like venom, her ears were still ringing. She had the feeling she talked louder than she wanted, but couldn’t quite hear herself. “You know why? Because it seems that I am just someone who needs a babysitter and who can be dropped off at some random town with people who looked to me like I was crazy. But why do you care, you just want to plunder and have fun hurting others. Why did you save me anyway? So you could abandon me again when it would hurt the most? You could’ve better let me die!”

    The words came out before she could properly think about them. Her hands were still clenched and her nails made moon shaped marks in her hand palm. Renshaw’s next words only told what she already knew, but didn’t want to accept. Of course he had been right when he dropped her there. Of course she couldn’t possibly survive on a pirate ship – hell she hadn’t even fully understood the meaning of the word pirate back then – but I still hurt.

    A silence fell between the two. Both gazes were on each other and then averted.

    Renshaw was the first again to speak up. ”Glad yer okay, Kaori.” Kaori gulped. Her eyes were now on the pavement, following the lines between the stones as if they let to some sort of answer. An answer to what she should do, but there was nothing there.

    “I–” She began not knowing what she actually was going to say. “I just – Ca-can I ask you something? I mean, back then, why?” Her talking sped up as if she was afraid that the words wouldn’t come out anymore if she stopped now. “Why did you save me? I mean you could just have left me there and nobody would have ever known. Nobody would have cared. So many died. You could have just left me and be done with it. Why save me and after that abandon me again? Why -” Her voice broke.

    --

    In a small street leading to the marketplace a lone figure leaned against the wall. His eyes closely observed the two figures before the bench. His mouth was nothing more than a thin line. When the tall man pulled the girl into a hug he cursed loudly, but withheld himself of stepping out of the shadows. A few people looked at him strangely, but decided to ignore him. Most of the time it was best to not mingle with strange folk. Never did anyway much good anyway.

    Returning to his calm self Mikau observed the pair again. It was an odd combination. A tall and lousy man and a slender female figure. Kaori was already smaller than him, but compared to the strange man, who had apparently saved her life one, she was downright petite.

    He wanted to interfere. Badly. But he would wait. Wait for the opportune moment as one could say, but Mikau knew that that was not it. Something in the tone of Kaori’s voice during their last and brief conversation held him back. There was a connection between those two in the past that she had never before mentioned with one word. Now the group all had their pasts about which they didn’t exactly bragged. They had had their fare share of horrors and respected each other’s privacy in such matters, but wasn’t this something Kaori should have told him after at least seven years of travel together? He knew her parents were dead, but he realized now that he had never known how exactly they had come to their end. Had the man something to do with it? Surely he wouldn't have killed them, right?

    Kaori was talking now, well more like shouting, and slowly the story started to unfold. So Kaori had not always lived in the town in which they had picked her up and that man was the cause for her unhappiness there so much was clear. Mikau strained his ears as Kaori’s words faded away. He would know what this man had done exactly and if she wouldn’t tell him, then he would find it out this way. And after that, well it depended on the story, but he would surely feel good if he could just beat that man to pulp.
    Last edited by Fieryfly; 12-05-2011 at 07:44 PM.


    A man said to the universe:
    "Sir I exist."
    "However," replied the universe,
    "this hasn't created in me
    a sense of obligation."

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