Hunters of Terra Dolor (Role Playing Section)

ZombieSplitter53

Game Master
Staff member
May 27, 2013
6,050
2,626
113
33
R'lyeh, Pacific Ocean, 47°9′S, 126°43′W
#81
Lost Child of Mine
Part Three


The man let out a snarl and took a long drag on his cigar. “Don’t you worry about it. This is how it’s gonna work, ya hear? You’re going to give me the girl, and I’ll give you this one, and we’ll go on our we. If ya don’t, I send Chugs in to kill you. I’ll kill you. I’ll care that other woman with ya. I’ll try not to kill the girl, but if she dies, I got bat lady here to replace her.”

Zulik realized that he had no way of winning on his own. He dropped to his knees and began drawing a symbol on the dirt below him. Under his breath, he muttered. “Nemesis, I know it’s been awhile since I last pray to you, but justice needs to be done… and I can’t do it without you this time.”

The large man tapped his foot, and pulled out a pocket watch. “I don’t have all day. You got three minutes.”

Zulik continued his prayers. After a minute, there was a sudden gust of wind, something moving incredibly fast. When Zulik looked up, then was a young woman in an unfamiliar looking school uniform smiling down at him. “Hi.”

“May I ask who you are?” Zulik inquired as he stood up, confused as to what was going on.

The woman cleared her throat. “I am Ranseca, Herald of the Gods. You have used a holy symbol to contact the Gods, and I am here to ask as both their voice and ears.” She gave him a big smile. “Tell me your wish, and I shall pass it on, bud.”

“I would like to request aid from Nemesis to exact justice against that man over there.” Zulik pointed at the fat man and his giant. “He used corrupt and unjust power to make a free person a slave… and took her from her parents.”

“Huh… that sucks.” Ranseca scratched her head. “Though Nemy is a busy lady. But I’ll see what I can do.” She quickly zipped away, and for a while, there was only silence.

“Time’s up!” The large man yelled. “What’s your answer!”

“I say no, you don’t get to force someone into slavery and expect to get away from it.” The corrupted elf answered. “I’ll take whatever pain I must to make sure justice is served.”

“That will not be necessary.” A woman with dark, brown hair and silver armor that showed off her form stepped out of the shadows. “What you said is true. It has been a long time since you prayed to me, Zulik.”

“Nemesis, you actually came…” Zulik said, both surprised and relieved at the same time. “I half expected my corrupted form to make you my enemy from now on.”

The Goddess of Justice slowly shook her head. “There are those of darkness who have done the right thing. There are those of the light who go too far and bring undue suffering to innocents. You have nothing to fear from me as long as your heart remains good.” She looked between him and Arlia, her eyes resting on the Manticore girl. “Is she the one?”

“Yes, she is the one we were sent to save.” The priest responded. “ She’s not in the best state of mind, but I think she can be healed with time.”

Nemesis nodded. She walked away from the cave entrance, and waved. “Please, come with me, Zulik.”

Zulik followed her willingly. He was not sure what she would do to the man in question, but he knew that she wouldn’t help him without a plan in mind… most gods didn’t.

“And who the hell are you?” The large man asked, flicking cigar stub towards Nemesis. It bounced off her armor, and she looked into his eyes. He froze where he stood, and the two were silent and motionless for several moments. Then, both blinked, and he rubbed his head. “The hell?”

“I have looked into the depths of your soul, and I have deemed you guilty of having a wicked soul. You are a wicked man, who hurts anyone and everyone to turn a profit and satisfy you own selfish needs.”

“What are you on, dame?” The man nudged his head towards his guard. “Kill her.”

Before the man could draw his sword, Nemesis quickly drew her brilliant red blade, then quickly resheathed it. The guard dropped to the ground without his head, and she quickly dashed forward, catching Bea.

The large man blinked in shock, and stepped back. “Y-you… k-kill her, Chugs.”

The giant let out a roar, and slammed his club down on her. She rose her left arm, stopping it with her shield. As the giant struggled to push down and she seemed like she wasn’t even trying, she looked at Zulik. “Devout Zulik… what judgement would you pass on this large creature that attacks your goddess?”

“Let it burn to the flames of justice.” Zulik didn’t even hesitate to respond.

Nemesis nodded, and pushed the shield up with so much force, the giant’s arm flew up and broke with a sickening crack. She jumped up, and drew her blade, the resheathed it. The giant fell back, blood seeping from the huge slit in its chest.

The man walked backwards, holding up his hands. “Well, uh… whatsay we call it your win. I’ll… get out of your hair.”

Nemesis watched him back away, and she turned her head to Zulik. “Justice must be done.”

“This one I’ll take care of personally…” Zulik told the goddess as he cracked his neck. He walked up to the man and slammed his gauntlet hand, enchanted with fire magic, into the man’s jaw.

He collapsed to the ground, his facial hair lighting on fire. His jaw broken, he had to hold it just to speak. “Please… don’t! I-I’ll change! I-I’ll set everything free, I’ll… give my money to the girl’s family. Please, don’t kill me!”

Zulik merely blasted the man with a small ball of fire, igniting his clothing. “I’ve heard enough to know when you’re lying. Now you will be judged by the gods as your soul slowly leave your body… may you be damned to Grimora’s pit.”

The man cried out in fair, patting out his clothes and climbing to feet, making a futile run for it. A dark energy filled the air. The man stopped short before a creature that appeared before him. It had a skeletal face, and tattered skin where what looked like mouths and faces appeared here and there. It wore a tattered black cloak, had a large hourglass hanging from a rope on its shoulders, and it wielded a large, blood covered scythe.

“Tayder’s minions await their prize,” Nemesis said calmly. “I suggest you do not make it wait long, Zulik.”

Zulik nodded and blasted the man one more time with fire, this one aimed at his head. The creature stared down and watched as the man’s struggling turned to spasms, and he fell still, his head slowly roasting. It leaned down, and shoved its hand down. It went through the man’s chest without touching it, and it pulled out a glowing orb of light. With a sinister chuckle, it squeezed its fist, and the light fade into its arm. It slowly looked at Zulik, then turned its head towards Bea.

“The Reaper hungers,” Nemesis stated. “Your friend’s life fades. It wishes to claim her soul.”

The priest looked at the bat Thrope, knowing that she would not make it back to the manor in time. He picked up her limp body and walked over to the reaper. As Zulik placed her in front of the creature, he murmured. “May you find your way in the afterlife…”

“You are a good man, Zulik,” Nemesis stated, walking over. “And you have done this world a great service by wiping out the evil that was that man.” She placed a hand on his shoulder. “You have the favor of a goddess. Call upon it should you have need.”

“Speaking of that… may I ask why you chose to help me?” Zulik asked. “Of all the people you pray to you and ask you for help… why answer to me?”

Nemesis smiled for the first time, looking down at him. “To be honest… I am not entirely sure why. Maybe because… I had heard so little of you, I hoped to reconnect with one that had, for so long, been silent. You were so devout, but then your prayers disappeared. I can understand why though… and I came here today to show you I am still listening.”

Zulik paused. “And I’m happy you are… I wouldn’t have lived otherwise. You have my faith once more, Nemesis.”

She nodded. “I can not always come when you call… but I will always listen.” She stepped away. “I wish you well, Zulik. Please, take care of yourself, and your allies.”

“As long as my corruption does not affect my mind, I will do just that.” Zulik promised. “For now, I need to get back to the manor and get a certain someone back to her parents.”

Nemesis took a step away, then looked back at the reaper, slowly reaching into Bea’s chest as she drew her last breath. She waved her hand, and Bea started to glow faintly, the reaper unable to reach into her. It let out an angry sneer towards Nemesis, and backed away, disappearing into the shadows. Bea started to heal, though only enough to keep her alive. “Consider that one a freebie, Zulik. And a lesson. Justice is not only about striking down the wicked. It is about protecting those who deserve it. Those who have been wronged. Those who fight for justice by your side. Never turn a blind eye to a friend in need, and you will find you are never wanting in those who will help you in your goals. Do you understand?”

Zulik walked over and picked up Bea. “Yes, I understand… I will do better next time.”

Nemesis smiled. “Don’t worry. You have done well. Better than anyone could have hoped.” She walked off, and a swirl of feathers surrounded her. When they fell to the ground, she was gone.

Bea slowly opened her eyes, and looked up at Zulik with a weak smile. “Did we win?”

Zulik smiled back. “Yes we did… and we’re almost back to the manor.”
 

Frostlich1228 (Alt)

Well-Known Member
Oct 23, 2016
1,110
101
63
21
#82
Frostlich1228 & Zombiesplitter53: "Story Time: First Impressions."

Stepping into the smithy with Veeti accompanying, Betty gave a friendly wave towards the Netzi she passed as she walked over to where she had met Ed the first time. She walked slowly, hoping not to catch him in the middle of some intricate work and distract him during a crucial moment. As she rounded a corner, the first thing she spotted was a small girl, a Sheep-Thrope who couldn’t have been much more than five feet tall.

She was wearing farmer’s attire, reinforced with extra stitched leather and carried what looked to be a pitchfork, each of its four prongs sharpened to a lethal point. The makeshift weapon also seemed to be reinforced with extra bolts and metal in it’s weak points so that it wouldn’t snap when striking something too hard. It certainly seemed like that girl had done all she could with what she had.

“So… What do you think you can do with it?” The small girl baah’d, looking her farming instrument up and down.

Ed rubbed his chin, placing a pipe to the side. “You’ve done well with what you have. Though… you think you can try something different? Different but similar? Like, say… a trident? Sharp prongs. Extremely sturdy. Good for close range, good for throwing.” He glanced at the Thrope’s short arms. “Uh… good for close range at least.”

“Buhh…” She scratched her head as she replied in a meek voice. “Don’t trident’s have one less prong? Why would I want less pointy-bits?”

“Hmm…” Ed chuckled, and nodded his head. “Why indeed. Alright, friend. I’ll see what I can do in a fork weapon. Keep the four prongs, make it of a solid, dense but light material. I’ll even make sure it is properly weighted and fit to your, um… specific size.”

“Uhh, maybe you can… See if you can make it shorter?” She replied, a clear lisp being heard in her voice.

“Yes, indeed. I’m surprised you could wield it at all considering… I, uh, mean that as a compliment of course, um…” He smiled. “Betty! Come on over!”

Upon being noticed, Betty stepped out awkwardly. “Hey Ed, you looked like you were busy zo I didn’t want to bother you.”

Upon hearing the voice, the Sheep-Girl turned around shyly. When she did, Betty could more easily see her other sheepish features. The one she had noticed immediately was of course the fluffy wool covering her head, but now that she was facing them, Betty could also notice some poking out from the bottom of her sleeves. In addition to this, she had the distinctly strange sheep like eyes, strange when compared to normal eyes of course, not necessarily as strange when compared to her own. “Oh! Uh… Hello.”

“My dear, this is Betty. She is the daughter of some old friends of mine.” Ed winked at Betty. “In a way, she’s kinda like the niece I never had.”

“Aww… Zhat’s zo sweet of you to say.” Betty replied, blushing slightly.

Ed nudged the sheep girl’s back, urging her to introduce herself. Jumping a little she scratched the back of her neck. “Oh! Uh… My name’s Magdalene, but I uh… Go by Mags.”

Veeti hopped off her friend shoulder, floating up next to the girl. “Hello… Fluffy Girl.” She said with a smirk.

“And this is Veeti,” Ed said. “The cutest member of this organization in a long, long time.”

In response, the young Netzi merely stuck her tongue out at him playfully. Betty smirked as she watched the exchange, replying in kind,“I don’t know… Mags here is very cute as vell, is she not?”

In response to this, the sheep girl somehow managed to shrink even more. “I uh… I mean… I’m not sure I would call myself… cute…”

“Oh, and why not?” Ed let out a gruff laughed as he limb over, waving his hand about her. “That wooly hair, this entrancing eyes, that cute, little, button nose of yours. Well, my dear… you might just be Veeti’s greatest rival in the adorable department.”

“I’m uh…” She muttered under her breath, her nose twitching slightly. “I’m just a farm girl…”

Ed lightly patted her on the small of her back. “Shy looks good on you. But perhaps, if I can make that weapon for you, bold will look just as nice.”

Mags quickly composed herself, nodding confidently. “Mmhm. Bold. I can do that.”

“Zhat’s the spirit, and don’t you worry, I’ll watch your back out there.” The Fly-Thrope responded, stepping up and placing a hand on her shoulder.

Ed smiled contently, sitting down in a chair with a small groan and picking up his pipe again. “It is good to see such camaraderie in Hunters. Back when Alfred ran things… man, it was like Hunters, who are on the same side here of course, were willing to slit each other’s throats for the big hunts. Might have even happened once or twice. Always good to see you young ones acting like the teammates you are.”

“Wasn’t this uh… Alfred ze one in charge when my parents were with ze guild?” Betty asked, sitting down.

Ed slowly nodded. “In their last year, yes.” He let out a long sigh. “They were two of the closest friends I ever had. And that is saying something at my age. I think… they saved me more times then I saved them, collectively or separately, so… I regret never being able to catch up. Who knows? Had they not disappeared…” He lifted his artificial limb. “This might not have ever happened. Though, naturally, it is the fact that their daughter lost them that distresses me the most.”

Sighing herself, Betty wished to change the topic to something a little more happy. “I take it… You were there when they first arrived at ze guild? You wouldn’t mind telling us a little story, would you?”

“Of course not.” Ed glanced at the sheep Thrope. “I promise to get this ready asap. Of course… if you would like to sit in for a story…”

“I uh… I wouldn’t mind, go ahead.” Magdalene spoke up, crossing her legs and sitting down as well.

Ed sat back, taking a few puffs. “I was… about thirty-seven. Thirty-eight. Some would say I was past my prime. I would beat down any who said it to my face, of course. We met on… strange terms…”

********
 

Frostlich1228 (Alt)

Well-Known Member
Oct 23, 2016
1,110
101
63
21
#83
Thirty-Two Years Ago


It was a usual, busy day in the lobby of the Havenbrook Monster Hunter’s guild when the front door flew open. They slammed into the walls with a crack loud enough to pull all eyes towards it, and, after a brief moment the sight of two silhouettes stepped through the door. The first was massive, an almost eight foot tall colossus of a man wielding a sword that was only a few feet from matching that size in one hand, leaning the flat of the blade horizontally on his shoulder. The other was that of a woman, sitting on top of the huge sword with one leg hanging off the side. Her large ears were her most defining feature, other than her bow and all around disinterested posture as she held up her head with her hand.

The Man lumbered forward slowly, his full set of iron armor casting an intimidating presence onto the room as well as his almost mane of dark brown hair. The female on the other hand had belts covered in daggers, wrapped around her black leather armor, it was her blood red eyes that stood out from all out this, however.

The woman looked around the room, then down at the man. “Mm… Good entrance honey… Zome of zhem look like they’ve seen a ghost.”

“Why must you always use me to intimidate people, babe?” He said with a low voice, looking up at her.

“Because it entertains me to vatch zhem quake in their little boots…” She replied, looking out at all of them. “I vould do it myself if I had the outward presence you do, but zhen again, if I did… surprising people would be so much harder…”

“Those doors are the property of Mr. Ivan Havenbrook, you know?” a voice belonging to an unseen person stated. “I guessing you’re new. Breaking them would make a bad early impression.”

“Huh…?” The man said, looking around. “Look, if I really wanted to break them, they’d be off the hinges. But I see your point.”

“I don’t know… I think we made ze perfect first impression.” The girl said, hopping off his sword and onto the ground.

Edminfar stepped back, the woman nearly landing on her. “If you wanted to make a better impression, you should have stepped in first, lady,” he said with a wide grin, looking her up and down.

She blinked a few times. “Are- Are you flirting with me? After you just heard me called him ‘honey’... You’ve got balls, little zhing.”

“Hey, just ‘cause someone else bought the shiny… be-UEtiful sword before I did before I could doesn’t mean I can’t admire the craftsmanship. The… smooth steel, the perfect curvature, the… well balanced handle.” He shrugged. “That last one isn’t the greatest analogy. Point is, you’re hot, and it’s a compliment from ‘Ol Ed.”

“Wait… Are you still talking about the sword or…” He asked naively.

However, the girl just patted him on the back. “Give him a second… He’s… Innocent… Like a big baby.”

“Ha ha, I’m not the one being hit on by a squirrel, babe…” He knelt down. “I think he wants to bury his nut somewhere…”

“Oh, that’s rich. Might ‘ave to take zhat one back…” The girl chuckled.

“A squirrel, huh? That’s a new one. Not sure if I should be insulted, or amused. At any rate, it is clear we have a brains and brawn thing going on here.” Ed floated up, and lightly patted the man’s cheek. “She seems like a keeper. I’d marry her if you haven’t already, before someone takes her. You can protect her from any wild bear attacks, and she’ll protect you from drowning by staring up, mouth agape, at the rain.”

“I’m not sure if you noticed, but I am the bear, little guy…” He replied, shrugging. “And as it turns out, people hitting on her isn’t really a problem… I wonder why...?”

“Hmm? Is that so? I’m assuming that isn’t because people don’t hit on such a… lovely young beauty.” Ed floated up to her, and gave her a suggestive smile. “Isn’t that right, my sweet?”

“Ha! You’re lucky you’re endearing… And cute.” She stated, but suddenly spoke again to stop him from replying. “And I don’t mean cute like attractive… I mean cute like… A stray kitten outzide your door.”

“Oh… ouch.” The Netzi placed a hand over his chest. “My poor heart.” He floated back, and placed his hands on his hips. “Well, I might be cute, but I am also one of the greatest warriors this world has ever seen! Certainly the greatest in this guild. Edminfar Tevin, the great, smart, and powerful! That’s me.”

“I can see why ‘The Humble’ isn’t one of those.” The Bear-Thrope said, chuckling lightly.

“Vhat do you do to the monsters? Snuggle them to death? Pacify zhem with fuzzy cuddles?” The girl nudged him with her elbow.

Ed’s eye twitched, the ‘cute’ remarks finally seeming to get to him. “Care to test me out? There is this beautiful new outdoors training grounds out back. Just finished it the other day.”

“Well, vhat do you think Gus?” She said, looking up at him.

He shrugged, “I don’t see why not.”

“Vell then, I suppose it’s time we introduced ourselves…” The woman replied again.

“I’m Augustus, call me Gus. Her name’s Vesp.” He continued her sentence.

“Gus and Vesp. Nice names. Easy to remember.” Ed waved his hand, turning towards the back. “Come. Ol’ Ed will show you the way.” He led the pair out the back and to the ground outdoor arena, looking as much like a tournament ground as a training ground. There were racks filled with training versions of every weapon imaginable. “This used to be a farming field, back when slavery was legal in this country. Once that was abolished, the Havenbrooks were quick to change their business focus. Although we could still cultivate things here, Mr. Havenbrook was tired of the reminder of his family’s past as slave holders. So he built the greenhouse on the west side of the grounds, and paved this over. You like?”

“Hmm… Reminds me of my old guild house…” Gus said, pressing his sword into the dirt and looking around.

“But with less big, zweaty humans to beat up… Maybe…” She smirked, putting a hand on her hip.

Ed chuckled, floating to the center of the arena. “So this isn’t your first Hunter’s Guild, I take it? That’s not all that common, but always welcome. Always good to have experience. So?” He landed on the ground and folded his arms. “Who am I gonna beat up?”

“Take your pick.” Vesp answered. “We’re great apart… but if you really vant to zee what we can do, fight the both of us…”

Ed laughed heartily, and nodded. “Very well.” He walked to one end of the arena, calling back. “Might want to use your real weapons. I’m afraid there is no practice version of mine.”

“Well, now I’m curious…” Gus said, picking up his massive blade.

Ed turned back to them. His antenna twitched back and forth. After half a minute, he nodded his head. “I’m ready when you are.”

Pulling out her blackwood bow, Vesp smiled. “I think I’m ready Hon.”

Ed just smiled, making no movement. Not to attack, not defend. He simply stood there, and big grin on his face as his antenna continued to twitch back and forth. Vesp began by simply notching an arrow, aiming it and releasing the string, causing the arrow to cut through the air as it flew towards him.

Ed breathed in, and from out of the nearby bushes, and blur moved in front of him. Before him stood a creature of metal, sleek and golden yellow, resembling a tiger. It closed its jaws, snapping the arrow it caught and dropping it to the side. It let out a reverberating growl, and slowly paced to the side.

“Well, well, well… It looks like the teddy bear might not be all talk after all…” Vesp chuckled, loading three arrows into her bow this time.
 

Frostlich1228 (Alt)

Well-Known Member
Oct 23, 2016
1,110
101
63
21
#84
With a snarl, the construct known as Grigori charged her. It was fast, not limited by muscle fatigue or lung capacity, and it quickly closed the gap between Ed and Vesp.

Suddenly, Gus reached under Vesp’s legs, tossing her up with all his might and easily throwing her twelve feet into the air. Gus then backhanded his greatsword, held in his other hand, skidding a cleaving strike along the ground towards the construct.

Ed and Grigori were thrown off guard by the sudden actions. The construct slammed its iron paws down, causing it to fly back and barely avoid Gus’ attack. While it slowly circled the massive man, looking to see his next move, Ed looked up, preparing for an overhead attack.

As he looked up, he saw Vesp reach the height of Gus’ throw, firing her three arrows down onto the construct as Gus stepped forward, this time following up with a two-handed sweep of his massive blade from other side. The construct jumped up, willingly taking the arrows, one of which stabbed into its back, for a chance to dodge Gus and take a swipe at his side.

In response to this, Gus attempted to swat the Wolf away with his arm, taking a hand off of his blade. Meanwhile, Vesp landed on one of the giant’s shoulders, using the height advantage to fire at Ed himself, hoping to distract him from controlling his mech.

Ed flew to the side, his smile as wide as ever. He probably would have been distracted, but nearly two decades working with his construct meant it wouldn’t be that easy. Gregori jumped high in the air, up over Gus, up over Vesp, and let out a large electric shock as it passed over the latter.

The literal shockwave blasted the Bat-Thrope off of her perch and momentarily stunned Augustus, however Vesp kept her composure, managing to throw two knives at the construct during her fall with one hand while catching onto a plate of Gus’ armor with the other.

The knives struck behind its head, but seemed to not do any damage. Ed laughed heartily. “You’ll have to do better than that!” While Gus was still recovering, Gregori charged him. “Hope that armor wasn’t expensive, Gussy!” he yelled as Gregori took a cleaving slash… and completely missed. “What!” Edminfar narrowed his eyes, and noted the knife stuck in his construct’s neck plating, interfering with the flow of magic and throwing off its aim.

Now recovered, Gus quickly turned around, grabbing the robot’s neck with his hand and lifting it up off the ground to allow Vesp to plink easy shots into it’s weak points.

Gregori tried to send out another shock, but the combination of the interrupted magic and Gus’ vitality allowed him to weather it. “Stop!” Edminfar ran forward, holding a hand out. “Th-this is j-just a practice match, right? I’ll… we can call it a draw.”

Upon hearing this, Vesp sat down on his shoulder to take a breath while Gus gently brought the Mech down to the ground before pulling off his ruined gauntlet. “Alright… Did not expect it to jump zhat high… Zuprised me.”

“Y-yes, well… w-when you don’t have to worry about muscle strain, um… you know.” Ed started looking his construct over, resting a hand on its head like he was comforting an actual animal. He reached behind it neck, willingly getting shocked to remove the knife lodged in it. “You, uh… y-you have impeccable aim… ma’am,” he said with surprising tact, offering her the blade.

Instead, Gus picked it up gently with two fingers and passed it up to her. “I uh… I ran with ze circus for a few years… Pay was awful and the benefits were… none… But zhat’s just how you made money as a Thrope in Themosa.”

“I understand.” Ed took a few more maticulous moments to look his construct over before patting it on the back. “Nothing too bad. I’ll fix you up later.” He sent it running off, and looked up to the pair. “Look, I… thanks for not being so rough on him, and… s… sorry. You know, about earlier.”

Gus held up a hand. “No need. It was all in good fun. You need any help with that thing?”

“No, but… it looks like you need some help.” Ed frowned at the deep fried gauntlets. “I’ll, uh… I’ll pay for those. Better yet, I know the head of the armory. I’ll get you some better ones.”

“See Vesp, this is what being cordial gets you.” He said, looking up at her.

“Whatever you say… I’m zure I could’ve snatched gauntlets of equal or better quality from someone myself…” She pouted childishly.

“Then they would’ve left us on the battlefield and took it back later.” Augustus pointed out in response.

“Like you and me couldn’t handle whatever it vas by ourzelves.” She countered, seeming too caught up in the banter to remember Ed was still standing there.

Edminfar looked between one and the other, and broke out into laughter. “You two really are great for each other. Don’t mean to pry, but… I have to know. Sweethearts? Or are you married?”

“Married? Now hold on just a moment.” Vesp quickly turned her head back towards him.

“I’m still buttering her up for that…” Augustus chuckled, turning to the Netzi as well.

“And you’re not getting any closer for your time.” The Bat crossed her arms.

“She has turned me down five times now.” The Bear stated towards Edminfar, smiling. “I think the sixth might really do it.”

Ed nodded. “If not, humans have a weird fascination with seven. Think it’s lucky or something. But I’ll pray to the god of love for six. In the meantime…” He picked up the gauntlets. “I have some business to attend to. I… look forward to fighting by your side some day.”

“Same here little guy. You might wind up on ze very short list of people I can tolerate one of these days.” Vesp replied, leaning over her lover’s shoulder.

Ed chuckled nervously, and likely would have blushed if not for all the fur covering his cheeks. He bowed his head, and flew off to replace the gauntlets, though not before fixing up his weapon and partner, of course.

******

Betty finally leaned back as Ed finished his tale, smiling brightly. “That was amazing! I never knew my parents were such amazing fighters!”

Veeti floated past her, looking at Ed. “Ed was great also! You built that?”

Ed turned back, glancing at Gregori. The construct was in pristine condition. Ed might have lost his ability to control it to the same degree as before his accident, but he was sure that it was in top condition and battle ready. “I did. I’d say a long time ago, but I sent decades reworking him, tinkering with new ideas, adding this or updating that. Though in the last… ten or so years, I’ve just worried about upkeep. You like?”

The young Netzi hurried over to examine it, her eyes wide. “I want one! To build! But… Father never let, too dangerous he said…”

“I… well, I…” Edminfar looked between her and Betty. “I mean, I’m never one to… defy someone’s parents, but… well, how old are you, Veeti?”

“Age is twenty-eight, younger than Betty by two.” The Netzi replied.

“Well, like I said, I wouldn’t want you to defy your parents unjustly, but you are an adult, and you’ve been one for quite some time. And, well… as much as I’m sure Betty counts on you, I’m sure you want to be known as more than Betty’s friend, right?”

“Betty friendship important, but she in danger hunting.” Veeti answered looking up. “Maybe could… Help her? With one of these…”

Ed nodded, looking over to Betty. “That sound fair to you?”

“I wouldn’t want Veeti to be hurt… But if she really wants to be out there… Zhen I say go for it.” Betty replied, stepping up next to her friend.

“Thank you Betty. But… While you older with years, I older with mind… Can decide for self.” The Netzi rolled her eyes.

“But I’m still your sister, your zafety is important to me.” The fly girl replied.

“Excellent.” Ed put out his pipe, and stood up with a groan. “We can start with working out a design for your Construct… after I help a certain little Thrope with a certain powered up farming tool.”

Everyone looked back towards Magdalene, who was still sitting quietly. The Sheep gave them a small wave. “Um… I liked your story too.”

Ed nodded. “Thank you.” He walked over, patting her on the shoulder before waving for Veeti to follow. “Let’s go! Chop chop!”

“Mmm right!” The Netzi flew forward, Betty following behind at her own pace.
 

Black0ut

Active Member
Feb 5, 2015
598
89
28
19
[REDACTED], Washington
#85
Black0ut & DarkGemini24601 Present:
Food For Thought, Part 1


The dining room still held its splendor, despite the Hunters it catered to. Jay walked in, with no plate and with none of his usual gear. Dejectedly, he sat down at one of the chairs, and with a scowl, managed to persuade the other people sitting near him to move. Laying back, he stared up at the ceiling, as he remembered his lecture with Titania last night on 'proper' manners.

The manor staff and other hunters in the second-floor chamber finished their meals quickly. Offput by the abrasive manner of the light elf, they were swift in their departure from the dining room. He was left alone in the brooding peacefulness of solitude. Unlike the last time he had come here, the sun had long since set. The torches in the room hung low, having burnt through much of their fuel over the course of the evening. The solemn, thoughtful glumness seemed to be an extension of Jay's own mental state, like a black aura around a corrupted wretch.

But then, like a purification spell had been cast, the shadows of the room retreated. The torches were given magical fuel, and burned at a proper, vivacious orange-yellow hue. The light suffused through the room once more as the caster responsible for the restoration entered. "Hello again," Sela said to Jay as she slid into a seat near him.

The Light Elf raised a hand in greeting, but seemed to dwell in his glum mood. "Hello." Was the only reply Sela received, Jay merely continuing his watch of the ceiling.

"Something wrong?" Sela questioned, the elf picking up on his ill mood. "You were taciturn when we first met, but you weren't brooding like a gargoyle."

"Getting yelled slash lectured by a long-time traveling companion tends to put me in a sour mood." Jay replied dryly, as he shifted his gaze to Sela.

"Why'd Titania get mad at you?" Sela questioned, sipping some wine from a glass she'd brought in.

"A fight with a Hunter." jay said simply, as he leaned forward. "Probably shouldn't have let my temper dictate my actions, but what's done is done."

"Suppose so," Sela replied with a nonchalant shrug. "We're a rowdy bunch; makes sense that we won't always get along."

"True, but I don't believe that Hunters should nearly kill each other, but again, what's done is done." Jay repeated, as he started messing with his magic, causing a single water orb to appear over himself, swirling slowly.

"Hey, I'm not the guildmaster. Doesn't really matter to me," Sela spoke reassuringly.

Jay stood up, and smiled, "Thanks. It's hard finding people who don't automatically assume it's my fault, or who don't get upset with something I happened to do."

Sela raised an eyebrow. "Why would someone just assume you're to blame?" the elf questioned.

"Because I'm a Light Elf." Jay replied simply, as he also raised an eyebrow at Sela's question.

"...ah," Sela responded at length. "I hadn't considered that."

Jay shook his head slowly, sighing softly. "Most of my scars on my body are from Elves and Humans, not monsters, although the extent of those old wounds is truly monstrous." The mage replied, as he slotted his glass eye back into place.

"The eye too, huh..." Sela shook her head. "Never really was exposed to that sort of cruelty. There weren't many slaves in my home village, and I don't recall any of them being mistreated. We were pretty poor; bruality would've been ineffecient."

"Then you were spared the sight of the mistreatment my people and I have suffered. That is something I... didn't know was possible; if people could treat Light Elf slaves without any brutality." Jay replied, sitting back down into his seat.

"Maybe the treatment of your kind varies from country to country. I know that in larger Kemarian cities it's not as great, but..." Sela shrugged helplessly. "Anything dirty the slavers do, they tend to keep it out of sight in the Duchy."

"Perhaps... perhaps you're right, but even being free is problematic as a Light Elf."

"How so?"

"Firstly, any potential slave merchants who might force you into slavery. Secondly, and this depends on the country, any person who has a bigoted view towards Light Elves." Jay explained, leaving out the third way it was terrible.

"Eh, at least you've got magic. That first group of people preys on the weak, not the strong. As for the second group, well... they're misguided, but usually far less dangerous. Anyone that hates light elves so much that they'd immediately attack one would get themselves killed pretty fast."

"I didn't know I had magic until a year or two of traveling with Titania, so, technically I was weak. But I think that's kinda obvious when you look at my frame, but I digress. So... I'm going to assume you haven't seen too much slavery in the Duchy?" Jay asked, stretching his arms while talking.

"I only lived in an elven village until I was nine, so no," Sela explained.

"Huh." Jay replied, looking as though he was lost in his thoughts after a few moments, an idea popped into his head. "Interesting. Well, seeing as I've scared away most of my company, and seeing as how I don't know you all too well, would you like to play a game? We'll just ask each other one question about anything, and the other person, after answering said question, can ask one of their own. You up for that?"

"Hmmm... sure," Sela agreed, putting a little consideration into her decision, but not a lot. "You can go first."

"Why'd you become a squire to that guy in the armor?"

"Well... ties back to the fact that I left my village when I was young." Sela rubbed the back of her neck. "To be more specific, it was destroyed by an Ophidian raid. I lost both of my parents that day," Sela told him neutrally, not letting her emotions reach the surface. "Solomon found me in the rubble. I wanted revenge, so he took me in and trained me to fight."

"So Solomon is effectively family... got it. I'm sorry for your loss." Jay responded quietly, a look of sorrow briefly flashing on his face before disappearing. "You're turn."

"I'll start simple: what country are you from? And what's it like... bad and good?" Sela inquired.

"Helvan. And it's terrible to Light Elves, but if you went there probably decent." Jay answered, "How was life living under Solomon?"

"Well... we travelled alot. That's why I'm always slow to become accustomed to a new place. When you are on the road every other week you don't usually bother to make friends." Sela shook her head. "I wasn't all bad though. Seeing new places is entertaining, and I did interact with the people I met." The squire chuckled. "Don't tell Solomon this, but I've developed a knack for gambling and street games. Whenever he would be off conducting business and retrieving supplies I'd take some time off my own shopping duties to make some extra money for personal Use. And the thrill of those games of wits, perception, and luck was its own reward." Sela shrugged. "As for Solomon himself, he can be a clever ass and a taskmaster, but I enjoy our verbal duels, and I've learned a lot from him. I'm grateful for his tutelage, even if I'm not constantly saying that."

"Hmm... guess I shouldn't say that some people here like to gamble. Or that they meet every week in the library. I also shouldn't tell you that the pot is pretty nice. Of course, I would never tell you that..." Jay said nonchalantly, smirking ever so slightly.

Sela smirked. "Thanks for nothing," she responded sarcastically. "Alright, so..." She thought a little more deeply about her question. "How did you meet Titania?"

Jay's smirk disappeared at the question, as he debated whether or not to fully answer her question. After a few moments, his honor won the internal struggle. "She came and bought me." The mage said so quietly, with so much pain, that it was barely understandable.

"She doesn't... mistreat you though, does she? You're as good as free I would assume," Sela sought clarification.

"No, she treats me fine, and she technically owns me, so as to avoid any potential slavers wishing to enslave me. And I believe that's two questions." Jay responded looking away from Sela, "So... besides being an amazing warrior-mage, what are some non-combat abilities do you have? And why... do you keep coming back to chat with me, when others leave?"

"Well, I can hunt, I can track, I can cook, I can tell you a little about Kemarian history - a subject of interest to me, and I can ride a camel - something practically everyone in the Duchy can do. Nothing of immense interest, really," Sela responded plainly. "And I've got no particular reason. I suppose I enjoy our interactions, but I haven't stopped to think about some broader purpose."

Jay nodded slowly, " I... see. I'm sure I have much to learn from you then. Your turn."

"How did you two come to the guild?" Sela wondered aloud.

“We walked, how else?" Jay replied sarcastically, raising an eyebrow. "How did you and Solomon get here?"

"That's not a proper answer," Sela stated.
 

Black0ut

Active Member
Feb 5, 2015
598
89
28
19
[REDACTED], Washington
#86
Food For Thought, Part 2


"Oh, fine. We adventured for four years and nearly ran out of money when we found the Havenbrook manor. My question still remains the same." Jay said with a frown, as he slowly conjured another water orb and began weaving the newer one around the older ball of water in intricate patterns.

"Solomon and I have been all over Kemar doing hunter work..." A floating flame went in-between the two spheres of water, causing gentle plumes of steam to rise from their edges. "We wanted a change of scenery. Nothing remarkable."

"Nothing else? I find that a little hard to believe, but... you do seem the type to- ow - change areas for the locale." Jay said, grimacing slightly, as he rubbed his shoulder gingerly.

"You alright?" Sela questioned.

"Just healing from being cooked alive. Y'know, the norm of our- ow- business." Jay grumbled, as another orb of water appeared and soaked the injured area.

"Wish I could help, but healing magic isn't my forte. There are healers around the guild though, you know," Sela offered.

"Eh, I could heal myself if I wanted too, but there are somethings that even magic can't fully resolve." Jay replied quietly, looking down and away from Sela, seemingly lost in thought.

"A shilling for your thoughts?"

"...I just don't know if I'm cut out for Hunter life. Everyone else can take a hit, but I suppose that's not true with me. I don't think I can support heavy armor like you can, nor do I think I'd be truly effective with leather armor. I guess I'm wondering if anyone here truly needs a crippled Light Elf, who's only great thing about him is his magic which others prove that theirs is better." The mage continued staring afar, but suddenly seemed slightly older and more worn-out than he had moments ago.

"Not everyone's supposed to wear armor. Stay in the back, take a support role. There's no shame in that," Sela insisted, crossing her arms firmly.

"You say that, yet you take a frontline role, can cast magic to aid you in combat, and can actually take a hit. Comparatively, all I can do is create orbs of water or light to throw at enemies, and occasionally heal the real warriors." Jay argued, returning his gaze back to Sela, "I'm not much to look at, and I'm barely able to be a Hunter alongside people who have far more impressive abilities. There is plenty to be ashamed of."

"I can only take a hit because of my armor," Sela was swift to point out. "I'm just as squishy as you underneath it. And my armor's not nearly as sturdy as Solomon's." She tapped her fingers on the table in thought. "You could probably get Solomon and Ed to build you some sort of armor, provided they can buy the right materials, you know. If you're uncomfortable with the idea of us paying for it, use the money from your last job."

Jay paused, as a thoughtful expression crossed the Light Elf's face. After a moment, or two, he responded, "That could definitely work. The only problem is building enough muscle to wear the armor, as I believe skinny doesn't translate to strength."

"Get Erin to enchant it then, when she has a chance. Or put the work in to build endurance. Both things are within your power," Sela insisted. "Just don't make excuses."
 

ExoGrim

Active Member
Nov 13, 2015
641
57
28
19
Washington state
www.youtube.com
#87
DarkGemini24601 and ExoGrim: Preparations for a Special Night

Sela rolled a set of ivory dice between her hands, reclined in a chair next to the medical bed. The scent of medicinal herbs permeated the air, causing the elf’s face to be consistently scrunched up. She’d been in the hospitals of healers in the past, as any seasoned hunter had, but the floral smell was something she never got used to. The squire much preferred crisp, dry desert air to the pollinated, aromatic aura in hospitals. The idle motion of her dice wasn’t a suitable distraction. Her salvation arrived as the temporary resident of the guild’s hospital began to stir.

“Welcome back to the land of the living,” Sela greeted the groggy assassin as she awoke.

Arlia noticed the desert elf in the chair and sighed. “Is this really necessary? It’s just a bullet wound… not like I’ve been poisoned or carved into by some crazed murderer.”

“‘Just a bullet wound’, she says,” Sela echoed incredulously. “You’re fortunate it didn’t hit anything vital.”

“Not that it would matter if that happened.” The assassin countered as she got out of the bed. “If I did get hit in a vital organ, I wouldn’t have made it back to began with.”

“That’s not my point. My point is that it was still serious enough to render you unconscious. I’m going to trust the doctor on this one,” Sela stated.

“Expect the doctor doesn’t think about others’ plans, only their medical issues.” As she spoke, Arlia walked over to the elf and looked around the infirmary, seeing what areas she could use for hiding in the future.

“I agree, he should just have let you bleed out so you could go conduct your business with Taydar. I’m sure it was quite important,” Sela responded sarcastically.

Arlia chuckled, as she unbuckled the area of her armor where the wound was to show it. “The doctor doesn’t know that I already have it covered.” The wound looked as if it had been cauterized and only had a scab forming instead of blood leaking out of it.

“Healing potion?” Sela wondered.

“Hardly…” The assassin pulled out of small, airtight packet of herbs from her belt. “It’s a Stromrend concoction, we call them Wound Burns. They heat up the blood surrounding a wound enough to boil it and… in turn, cauterize it.”

“Sounds painful, but, let me guess: ‘in Stormrend we make do with what we have’.”

Arlia grinned. “Funny you say that, because my General supplied all of his soldier with one before every fight. And actually, it’s not as painful as you would think… either that or I have a lot of pain tolerance.”

“Huhhhh…” Sela nodded, thinking to herself. “If the former is true, I might be able to replicate that process in a fire spell. Might be a fun experiment to pass the time.”

“I’m just not going to question that…” Arlia muttered, noticing the dress on one of the chairs. “Yes, he brought it like I ask him to.”

“What are you talking about?” Sela questioned, her expression bemused.

Arlia grabbed the blue dress before responding. “Oh, after Zulik dropped me and Bea here, I had asked him to grab my dress for me.”

“Funny, I never really envisioned you wearing one. You seem like too much of a soldier,” Sela noted with a smirk.

“Well, you can’t wear your armor to a date, now can you?” Arlia found a place where she could change in private and began to unbuckle the rest of her armor. “I don’t think that would end well.”

“Who’s the lucky guy?” Sela inquired, tossing one of her dice and catching it before it could impact the ground.

“Davon Reinhold.” Arlia answered from where she was. “He’s a new hunter for Havenbrook.” After she finished dressing, she walked over to Sela in a long, blue dress that complimented her nicely. “How do I look?”

“Good,” Sela decided without much deliberation. “And conveniently you probably smell perfumed due to all the herbal crap in here.”

Arlia chuckled. “You have a point there… but for now, I must go. I can’t keep him waiting for long.” The assassin left the hospital room, waving goodbye to the desert elf.
 

MarineAvenger

Operator 21O
Staff member
Dec 9, 2013
3,310
849
113
New York, USA
#88
Walking the Same Path Part One (MarineAvenger and ExoGrim)

Arlia waited for the gate of the manor for her fellow assassin. She had brushed her hair to the point that it's wavy state was a bit more straight. Her face seemed to gleam in the sunset, as she was not wearing her facemask... nor makeup as she hated the material. Instead of her usual armor, she had on a long, flowing, light blue dress. The dress was a high cut, due to Arlia's lack of chest, but had straps instead of sleeves.


Striding out of the manor in some new attire was her date for the day. Davon was dressed in a black dress jacket with a red trim, a similarly colored black shirt with red tie. He looked like he had no weapons with him. "My, my princess, you are looking mighty lovely." Her fellow assassin noted as he took her hand and kissed her fingers with a sly look.


Arlia giggled lightly. "Guess the same could be said about you. You ready to head out?"


"Of course I am." The nobleman answered as he took her arm and the two departed. "So, what made you really want to go out with your rival. After all, only reason we are allies right now is because of Havenbrook."


"I want to get to know you more." The princess replied. "I intrigued by this interesting and smart man who seems to know a thing or two about my experiences."


"A flatterer? From all the stories, you were a stony heart recluse." Davon told her with a bemused tone, "Which for a princess was intriguing to me."


"Yes, I was a stone heart recluse, but I had my reasons for that." Arlia countered as they walked down the trail.


"I see. So princess, tell me... Why did you run away from home? Most would kill for your life, and I am not talking metaphorically." Ra'shavarak noted with a sideways glance, his arm slipping out of hers and going around her waist.


"Like I said before. I did it because I couldn't stand being the protected while the people I was supposed to rule went out to die."


"Well, it sounds selfless but you do realize if your mother and father died, no one would be able to succeed on the throne. The country would have been in turmoil. More would have died." Davon told her nonchalantly.


"When I had done it, I was anticipating my father losing his throne." The princess said casually. "He wasn't the best at managing the people when war broke out... so I thought that he would be removed by Stormrend law and we would be striped of our nobility. Guess that didn't happen, as there's a reward for my return."


"Nope. In fact, in a move no one saw coming, he used it to increase political power with a sob story. It was an extremely cunning maneuver. Though, I am interested... how far are you taking this relationship?" Davon asked with a raised eyebrow.

Arlia gave the man a coy smile. "Depends on how far you're willing to take it... but as relationships go, the small things always come first."


"Well Arlia, I believe this may be sudden to bring up but it is an interesting proposition all the same. If you haven't realized by now, we are both still of noble birth, you are the princess of the entirity of Stormrend. My family is powerful and influential. Those not already friends od the Reinholds could be made to share our view one way or another. But marry into my family, and you take on my name, then my family gains a major claim to the throne. One strong enough that if your father either abdicated or... Disappeared, the crown would pass to us. You always claim you don't like being idle as a princess. Imagine the good you could do as a Queen." Davon spoke in a low tone of course, not daring to say such things too publically, but the entire time his face was serious, and he glanced over at Arlia to see what she thought.


"The proposal is tempting, but what would be the fun in getting married now?" Arlia remarked, still keeping her coy smile. "If you want to marry into the throne, you're going to have to work for it." She wrapped her arms his neck and leaned in to kiss him.


Davon rolled his eyes playfully and accepted her kiss, putting a hand on the girl's cheek. "Trust me when I say I was talking about the future." Looking over the woman, he held her close on her waist so they pressed together. "I have a feeling you've never done this before."


"Father wasn't the one for letting out of the castle." The assassin admitted. "Though, isn't this part of life about experimenting and seeing what works and what doesn't? Can find I guy I like if I can't if I don't look for one myself."


"Don't worry love, I'll take care of you. After all, if we go through with taking the throne, we will have trying times. Our relationship will need to be strong for that time." The blue haired assassin told her bluntly, pressing his forehead against hers. "But there is something you should know."


"And what would that be?" Arlia ask softly.


"I'm not exactly a great guy. I have little empathy for other people and their pain. In fact, I find other's suffering to be rather hilarious. You being excluded from that list. I won't ever hurt you. And know I didn't choose you because you were the princess, but the fact you give me a line to the throne is a factor in our relationship. Don't forget that fact, even if my feelings for you are genuine. I wouldn't be surprised in the least if you use me for your own plans. Finally..." Davon said, letting out a small sigh, "I was poised to be married once before. She was a cute little scullery maid, one I adored deeply. Then someone I thought I trusted with my life was jealous of mine, and killed her. Almost killed me. Being with me is a dangerous gambit. I wouldn't blame you if you turn back now. The loss would be easier to handle at this stage."


"Then you must know something as well." Arlia answered, lowering her smile. "I had found love once myself. He was a rather charming man... similar to you. He seemed carefree when I met him, but something happened to him. He turned against our home and helped in a raid against the outpost I was stationed in. He still walks this land, probably looking to take revenge on me... but my point is, if I wasn't willing to take a chance for you, then I should be called a hypocrite for it."


Davon's smile widened slightly, reaching down and gripping her chin as he lifted it gently. "Then we are both down a similar road of revenge and love." he leaned down, seductively whispering in the woman's ear, "You certainly are an entire package princess."


"You know what they say..." Arlia blushed slightly as she spoke. "There's always a first for everything."
 

MarineAvenger

Operator 21O
Staff member
Dec 9, 2013
3,310
849
113
New York, USA
#89
Part Two

"That there is. Come along now, we should get to the town soon. Unless you are planning to stay in these woods the entire time?" He questioned with a suggestive nature.


"Though the darkness is our home, we do have to eat eventually." The princess reminded Davon. "Besides, if you want to see about something like that... I'm not one for unique locations."


"So the not-so innocent princess has gotten frisky in her freetime. Color me impressed." Davon said as he slipped away from her and walked backwards with a teasing look.


Arlia's cheeks turn a heated red. "I may have dabbled a little in... self pleasure."


"Ay, but where is your sense of adventure? Unique locations and with another person make things a whole lot better. Though that information I keep sealed... Unless you can catch me." Davon said, extending his arms before turning and jumping, climbing up a tree quickly before jumping from the branches away from her at a quick pace.


Of course he does it well I'm in a dress. Arlia mentally sighed as she chased after him. "Remember, you can run, but you can't hide." She said playfully as she climbed a tree herself and hopped from branch to branch in order to keep up with him.


"We will see about that!" His voice called out from farther away then she realized.


Having noticed this, Arlia stopped after she got where she heard his voice from. She hopped down from the branch before she started looking around for Davon. She kept an eye out for buried tracks, messed up footprints or blue hair that he may have shed. She sighed as she wandered the area. how long is he going to make this last? Suddenly, there was a sharp snap and Arlia was pulled back and straight into the air by her ankle, left dangling in what looked to be a hastily put together rabbit trap. Arlia crossed her arms as she waited for her fellow assassin to come and get her out of his little makeshift trap. I should've seen this coming...


"You know, to be honest, seeing you like this is just disheartening. Like a majestic animal in a cage." Her date's familiar voice said as a knife flew and cut the rope, Arlia falling into awaiting arms,


"You were the one who set the trap." Arlia reminded him. "You seem to really want to stay here... is going to a small town too much for you?"


"Eh... I don't know. In a big city, people barely know you, but in a small town, people tend to remember things. I'm just not sure how much I want to be seen. Especially when both of us aren't really subtle in appearance."


"You'll be fine, it's not like they're going to greet us with pitchforks and torches." Arlia teased. "We're only going to be there for a bit, then we'll head back to the manor."


Davon contemplated it a bit, then nodded and set her down. "Fine. But you owe me for this."


Arlia rolled her eyes. "We're almost there. And, who knows, you might get lucky." She winked at him as she guided him to the town. Davon smiled, interested by the new prospects that would come from this woman. Arlia led the man to the town. Grabbing Davon's hand, she guided him through the streets to a small garden. The garden was filled with thorn roses and nightshades. The princess looked at her date. "They only here today until the gardener cuts them dowm, so I thought you'd like to see them before that happened."


Davon looked to the side at Arlia and smirked, "Oh yes, and how often do people plant this combination together? You planted these in some other fools garden for me, didn't you?" he asked softly.


"Maybe, maybe not..." The princess answer vaguely. "That's for me to know, and for you to eventually find out."


Davon looked down at the flower bed, sighing slowly, "This was sweet of you Arlia. Suffice to say, no one has gone out of their way for me like this since I was a child."


"Sometimes it take someone who cares to remind you of the beauty of life." Arlia wrapped her arms around him from behind. "Though, I never got your real name."


"I didn't lie to you." The assassin said in a low voice, looking down at the bed sadly. "Davon Reinhold. A noble just like you."


Arlia sighed briefly. "You would make a fine king... should we get that far in this relationship." She looked up at the starry sky. "We should head back soon... it's getting pretty late."


"Yeah, we should." Kneeling down, Davon took hold of one of the roses, pulling out a hidden knife. He slowly and carefully cut the stem free of thorns and took cut the top half off, turning to his date and putting it in her hair with a smile. "Beautiful."
 

ExoGrim

Active Member
Nov 13, 2015
641
57
28
19
Washington state
www.youtube.com
#90
ExoGrim and ZombieSplitter53: Facts of Life

Zulik made his way back to the library after a long day of fighting and loses. He picked out a book that interested him and began to read it without any further thought. As he read further into the book, he felt himself being pulled back to the house that he lived in with his Master: Maverin. Having almost drifted into the illusion of his past, Zulik quickly shut the book and regathered his conscious. He was disappointed in himself for nearly falling into the trap of focusing on the past... he needed to focus on the present if he wanted to survive in this dark world.

"Copper for your thought?" Esmeralda slowly sat across from him, her usual chipper expression instead one of concern. "You looked like you were somewhere dark for a moment."

"Just had a dark memory." The corrupted elf replied, his body shivering slightly. "It's nothing of concern... they happen to all of us."

"I suppose, but..." Es shrugged. "I figured with your whole corruption thing, your dark memories are scarier then most."

"I've been through hell and back..." Zulik answered, his voice hinting that he was joking. "I don't think I know what fear is anymore."

"That's a scary thought." Esmeralda placed her chin against her hand. "I mean, fear is a good thing in a fight sometimes, right? Tells you when it might be better to back off from a fight. Helps you know your limits and what is a bad idea. Tells you not to trust that cockroach. Stuff like that."

"Well, some people has developed a tolerance to fear... like me." Zulik straightened his back and looked at the librarian. "A little off topic, but how have things been on my master's notes? Any luck?"

Esmeralda frowned. "Still working on it, I'm afraid. Though I have something." She reached to her side and produced some notes of her own. "I was able to decrypt some of the numerous sightings over the centuries that your master discovered. Take a look."

Zulik looked over the notes she gave him. "Hmmm... that's odd." He pulled out a very worn out map from his pack. He unfolded it and began pointing out the sightings on it. "They all appeared to be small towns, each one near a bigger city... but why?"

"Hmm... I wonder. Could it be..." Es leaned back, lost in thought at the moment.

"You have an idea?" Zulik inquired, anxious to find the answer.

The librarian shrugged. "Just a couple possibilities. Like... what if this Evil force is bred from the cities and attacks the smaller villages from there? It could be that there are more then one temporary things. Or perhaps there is one, and it is summoned by someone in the city. Or... something else. I don't know. I don't have enough data. All we can surmise is it either prefers smaller villages, or something prevents it from attacking larger ones."

Zulik looked over the map again and something hit him. "In the towns in question... were there ever reports of violent or otherwise shady spell casters grouping up in the center of town?"

"You mean like cultist?" Esmeralda and quickly walked off. She returned in a surprisingly short amount of time with several books, and scanned through them. "Hmm... our reports from other guilds are sparse, but many Hunter's Guilds share their missions regularly for research purposes... and to brag. It looks like... yeah. A lot of guilds report fighting or at least investigating cult activity in these cities. Only a few of them don't... but... it looks like cults were found near these cities... after the nearby towns were destroyed."

"It's very possible that these cultists are the ones summoning the Evil to wipe out towns and corrupt their souls for further use." The corrupted Elf speculated. "And if this map has any sort of pattern to it, they'll be showing up in Sarasam soon."

"Now that's a scary though." Esmeralda looked over the notes on the map. "Hmm... can't really tell just from this how long that might be. I'll have to do more work on the notes. Hopefully, they don't show up until we're prepared, not, like... tomorrow."

"Hopefully..." Zulik muttered, getting up from his chair. "I should get back to what I was doing earlier... that and I have someone to talk to."

"Um... okay." Esmeralda gathered the books together. "I'll let you know when I find anything new."

"I'll see you and that great smile of yours later then." Zulik stated in a slightly flirtatious tone

Esmeralda blushed a little, hiding her gaze as he walked out.

***
 

ExoGrim

Active Member
Nov 13, 2015
641
57
28
19
Washington state
www.youtube.com
#91
ExoGrim and ZombieSplitter53: Facts of Life
Part 2

As Zulik walked along through the halls, he noted a small figure in a brown cloak he had seen around before. She was slowly walking the hall herself, a hand extended towards the wall. As Zulik got closer, however, she froze, taking a step back and turning her head towards him.

Zulik took note of the small figure, but didn't say anything until she took a step back. "My aura turn you off?" He chuckled. "Don't worry, it's just something I have with me... it means nothing really."

"O-oh... right, of course." Aemilia smiled nervously, removing her hood so her could see her covered eyes. "Sorry. If I could see, I would have probably have noticed it. But as I am, all I could do is sense a very dark aura approaching me. It was silly of me to think it could come from a person.

"Fair enough." Zulik looked at the girl. "You a relative to Lady Havenbrook? You seem a bit young to be in the guild house for hunting."

She smiled softly. "My name is Aemilia. And truth be told, I pretend to be Lady Havenbrook's cousin, but I am actually the greatest Hunter in the world." She held up her fists and weakly punched one forward. "I am feared across half a dozen countries."

Zulik chuckled. "And what can you do that makes you so feared?"

Aemilia folded in arms and gave him a smug look. "I am stronger then a golem. I am swifter then a lycan. Smarter then a... uh, really smart person. I know five different kinds of martial arts, and can wield every weapon imaginable. And my eyes? I can steal the souls of men by gazing into their eyes, so I must wear this blindfold. I am too powerful to unleash on the world, so Mina keeps me here in case she ever needs me to take down men, monsters, or even the gods themselves!"

"Then how about you prove it?" Zulik challenged. "If you're as powerful as you say you are... then hit me with your best attack."

Aemilia scratched her cheek. "Well... I can give you a taste, but you have to promise you won't get mad if you get hurt."

"I promise." Zulik prepared himself for whatever attack was coming his way.

Aemilia placed her a fist against her other hand, and bowed. She jumped up and down a couple times, and charged Zulik, swinging and punching and kicking. Despite her inability to see, she was surprisingly good at not charging into the wall, but her attacks were slow, weak, and predictable, much like one would expect from a ten year old that weight less then seventy pounds.

Zulik merely stood there, slightly assumed. "Didn't Lady Havenbrook teach you not to lie to people?"

"Hey, it isn't lying if your just playing around." Aemilia stepped back and placed her hands on her hips. "I mean... I mean, are you saying you're not impressed with my skills?"

"They're impressive... for someone of your age." Zulik answered. "But you have a long way to go before you can be a hunter."

Aemilia chuckled sadly. "Yeah, well... I was just foolin', of course. I can't be a Hunter. I can't... do much of anything to help here."

"Don't get yourself down." Zulik knelt forward, being eye level with the child. "Everyone has something that they can do... don't let anyone tell you otherwise."

Aemilia nodded. "I try not to get down. And people here are very supportive. More so then where I used to live. It's just hard to fin my place, you know? I'm sure there are plenty of things I can do. I just can't think of anything that would help a hunter's guild."

"Well, it's not about what you can do in this guild." Zulik said cheerfully. "It's about what you want to do."

"Yeah... there is that. I guess I have to think about that, huh?" Aemilia tilted her head. "What about you, sir? Are you a hunter?"

"Yes, I am a hunter." Zulik answered the young child. "And before that, I was just a priest."

"Really?" Aemilia rubbed her wrists. "I, um... so that means you... know a bit about the gods, right? Can I ask you something?"

"Sure, I'm always up to answer other people's questions." The corrupted priest replied.

"Well..." The girl placed her fingers against her bandages. "Do you think if I prayed enough... they would fix my eyes? I mean, I've tried for a long time, and they've never done it, but... maybe I just haven't done it right."

Zulik lowered his head. "It's possible, but not very probable. The gods are just as busy as we are... and you would need to know which God to pray to for that kind of work. Another thing about praying is that it take commitment. You can't pray to a new god everyday. You have to stick with one and know what is required for their prayer. But... if I can be saved by Nemesis herself... then I'm certain your god will fix your eyes."

"You were saved by Nemesis?" Aemilia asked in surprise. "You... did you actually see her... in person?"

"Yes I did." Zulik answered. "She helped me and my friends escape just yesterday."

"Whoa... cool." Aemilia bowed her head. "Thank you, mister. That is the second time you've given me hope."

"And this is the first time I've given hope." The priest admitted.

"Oh, I doubt that. You seem like such a nice guy. I'm sure you can inspire anyone." Aemilia 'looked' around. "I've lost my barrings. Is the golden armor display with a feathered helmet there?" she asked, pointing at 10 o'clock.

Zulik looked behind himself, noticing the armor set on display. "A matter of fact, it is. How do you do that?"

"Well... I have to," Aemilia answered. "I don't like bothering people. So I don't want someone to have to walk me everywhere I go. So I've memorized the entire layout of the manor. And Mina is nice enough to let me know when there are any changes. So I can get around, even without my eyes, as long as nothing unexpected is put in my way. I think the librarian lady calls it 'good spacial awareness'... or something like that."

"Esmeralda is very good at finding out these things and telling you what they are." Zulik remarked, grinning slightly. "I want to know where she gets that extraordinary memory of hers."

"Guess she's just smart. Smart and kind. A good combination." Aemilia started forward again, but paused and turn back. "Be careful with whatever it is you're carrying. It has a lot of corrupted energy. You could get hurt."

"I am as carefully as one can be in my state." Zulik stood back up. "But you are correct... This corrupted body is very dangerous to have. I have no idea what may happen if I continue to adsorb corruption in this state."

"So it is your body I sensed." Aemilia took a deep breath. "If I had to guess, I'd say it would make you physically stronger... but mentally weaker. Be careful, mister. The power might be tempting, but don't take in so much that it corrupts that kind heart of yours."

"I won't let it taint my mind... I promise." Zulik looked at the nearby clock. "For now, I must be off. There's someone I need to talk to."

Aemilia nodded. "Have a good day, mister," she said, turning and slowly making her way down the hall once more.
 
#92
Insane Dankness presents...
Solo Journey



She was dirty, exhausted, and utterly done with everything that affected her mental health negatively. Her glasses were so smudged that wiping away the grime just added to it instead by this point. She laid down on the top of the Havenbrook Manor as she held her favorite book “The Ugly Duckling” in her hands, her feet swinging back and forth above her head at her own pace and a huge smile stretched across her face. Her throwing knives, now dwindling in number, sat in a small leather pouch at her waist.

Of course, she knew she wasn’t nearly as graceful or even the same type of bird as the swan that the ugly duckling had become. Even so, she felt a connection to the character, as both of them had parental issues growing up. Every time she read the book, she cried at the ending because she loved it so much and it filled her with so much happiness. While not good for staying hydrated, she needed something to do, at the very least. That and she needed to keep her mental stability, well… Stable.

“Hey, you! Get down from there this instant!” One of the guards had noticed her sitting on the roof. She hadn’t realized that she could be so easily found. Quickly, she dashed towards the closest ledge and jumped off, transforming into a duck mid-fall.

She flapped as hard as she could, which very quickly deteriorated her duck-transformation time. Within five seconds, she fell out of the air, the stress and fear effecting her body at a very bad time.

The guards noticed her falling, as well as the fact that she hadn’t intended for it. The way she had run away didn’t make her seem threatening at all to them, more like that she needed to survive. So, when she had effectively landed on the ground by decreasing her fall speed with magic, the guards knew that she was there for a reason, even as she desperately ran away. Especially when they were close enough to hear the throwing knives bouncing in her pouch that she hadn’t used on them.

Even though she was small, that didn’t make her too much faster than the giant behemoths whose feet thundered after her. Of course, in her attempt at escaping them, she tripped over nearly everything her feet touched and had to save herself with magic every time. Which, of course, got old and tiring very quickly.

“Please stop, little girl! We aren’t trying to hurt you!” One guard called, not even close to out of breath yet.

“I…” she tried, but was unsuccessful in trying to tell them that she wasn’t a little girl, her rebelliousness fading with each extra breath she desperately took, as she had conjured it up from absolutely nowhere. She still pushed forwards, every limb in her body begging her to stop.

It was her instinct to push on. She couldn’t let herself be caught by these two heavily-armed guards. However, her body couldn’t possibly run any longer. Maybe it would be okay to become roasted and seasoned to perfection. At least that way someone will enjoy my company… she thought to herself before she felt a cold, hard sensation on her face and her inability to move a muscle, as she had collapsed completely out of exhaustion.
 
#93
Insane Darkness and Black0ut present…
An Unlikely, Yet Likely Pair


Titania walked down the hallway until she came to a room which contained the recently and not so recently wounded, proceeding to peek her head in. She saw a small Thrope lying on a bed, a glass of water keeping the unconscious girl company. Titania, after devising and executing a brilliant plan to get the medical staff out of the room, approached the young girl. Making sure to keep her voice quiet so as to not upset the other patients, she sang a slow, but cheerful tune, hoping that the girl slept well.

A series of noises made their way to Faith’s ears. They weren’t unnerving or uncomfortable, at least. Although, they did wake her up and were a slight nuisance. Slowly opening one eye, she immediately noticed the wall on the farthest end from where she laid. “M-my glasses... “ she muttered, hoping that someone was nearby to give them to her. Her eyes were all the way open at this point.

Titania gently reached over and grabbed the girl's glasses, before gently putting them on. She paused her song long enough to ask, “Are you feeling better?”

Upon seeing the new, kind face staring into her eyes, Faith’s own face turned a bright red. Quickly, she tried to hide under her hood, but found that it wasn’t there, which made her feel even more embarrassed. The next best thing she could find was the blanket, so she hid under it, feeling completely invisible. I am a turtle, she thought. I cannot be found. Especially by this… person.

Titania tilted her head to try and peer over the blanket, before realizing she couldn't. “H-hey… I'm not that scary. I got an idea: I'll tell you my name if you tell me yours. Is that fair?”

“F… Faith… Where am I?...” the Duck Thrope whispered, loud enough to be heard but no more. Of course, she still hid under the covers. No matter how nice this person was, there was no way she was leaving the safety of the blanket.

“My name's Titania. And you're in the Havenbrook Manor. You're lucky the gargoyles didn't attack. Where are you from, Faith?” the fellow Thrope asked.

“Puh-personally I’d preff-fer to forget…” Faith responded, her stuttering coming back in full force around somebody else, as well as the fear that accompanied it. She gripped her blanket tighter at the mention of her home. Well, ex-home.

“Okay. I'm sorry for bringing it up. But, uh, I was wondering… why the roof? I mean, if you wanted a place to sleep, Mi-Lady Havenbrook would've let you stay… but she would probably ask why you were on the roof. And she probably will ask. So… can you please tell me, Faith?” Titania asked once more.

Faith took a deep breath before answering. Why so many questions in the first place? she thought at the same time. “Um… I was trying to hide from everyone and everything… I was told to join a guild by my mother so that I would become strong… But…” She started to tear up, as past memories resurfaced with a vengeance and assuming that Titania could figure out the rest. She sniffed, before continuing. “Sh-she want-ted me to gr-grow stronger…”

Titania said nothing, as she gently hugged the child. “It's okay, Faith. It'll be okay. I promise.” The older Thrope tried to soothe, as her mind wondered what could have traumatized the girl so badly.

Faith’s sniffles subsided slowly, but she was finally in a position to have a “normal” conversation with her. She slowly made her way out of the thin shell that covered her body to the light outside.

Titania carefully lifted the younger Thrope’s glasses with one hand, while wiping away Faith’s tears. After she was sure Faith was done crying, she moved her hands away and asked in a sweet voice, “You feel a little better, Faith?”

Faith nodded at the motherly figure that acted so similar to her own. She quickly lunge-hugged the Wolf Thrope and muttered, “Thank you,” over and over.

Titania startled, nearly pulled away from Faith, but after a moment or two of looking around to make sure no one was near, returned the hug. “Hey… it's okay, Faith. You don't need to thank me. Just… when you see the lady who owns this manor, tell her Titania vouches for you, okay? Tell her what you told me, and you should be fine.” LW is going to kill me for this… Titania thought nervously.

On her way back to her sitting/laying down position, every muscle in Faith’s body reminded her at once that she was extremely sore. Mid-fall, her breath caught and she fell back faster than she had anticipated. If not for the little amount of air behind her head that was moving because of her fall, she wouldn’t have caught herself in time to prevent a hard landing, even if it was just on a pillow. She sighed as the sides of her pillow folded around her face as she slowly closed her eyes.

Titania slowly got up from her kneeling position, and quickly fished out a pencil she had taken from a Helvan merchant. She looked around for something to write on, and upon finding a book, she tore a page out and began writing to Mina, informing her of the situation, and that if she did keep her, that she serve as one of the girl's teachers.

Having finished writing, Titania set the note down beside the girl, and proceeded to gently and carefully remove Faith’s glasses, setting them on top of the note. Without another word, Titania walked out of the room, smiling as she noticed the medical staff returning.
 

ExoGrim

Active Member
Nov 13, 2015
641
57
28
19
Washington state
www.youtube.com
#94
ExoGrim and Black0ut: Questions of Character

Titania laid down in the grove she had found, frowning as she looked up at the tree, noting that it looked more dead than alive. “Maybe I should ask if I can take care of this grove… might be pretty fun in the long run…”

Zulik walked into the grove a little later, noticing the Wolf Thrope laying next to the nearly dead tree. “Titania, was it?” He asked as he approached her. “Can I talk to you about something?”

“Sure?” The wolf Thrope replied, slightly intrigued by the question.

“It’s about your traveling companion, Jay.” Zulik stated. “I was wondering if you could enlighten me on his condition and why he holsters a hate against Elves.”

“No. I haven’t known you for that long, and I bet Jay hasn't either. Besides that's a question you should ask him.” Titania replied tersely, raising an eyebrow at the corrupted Elf.

“Except it would be best that I gave him space…” The corrupted elf replied. “Considering what happened last time I talked to him.”

“Which was?”

“When we were talking, I tried to explain my corrupted state using something he had in common has comparison… and he attacked me out of nowhere.” Zulik explained. “All over an eye.”

Titania winced, feeling slightly bad for Zulik. “That's a sore subject for him. Let's just say… someone did that to him a long time ago. It'd be best if you stayed away from him for a bit.”

Zulik paused for a moment. “I think I have a feeling I know why he hates Elves so much and where he would have had to live to receive such brutal punishment. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but he’s a slave from Helvan, isn’t he.”

Titania didn't react visibly, instead opting for a bored look. “If he was, I surely wouldn't know. But you can continue making hypotheses about his origins, or you could man up and ask him. Either way, I'm still not answering your question.” The thrope responded coolly, raising an eyebrow at the Elf’s attempt.

“Except Nemesis can’t help me out if things go badly again…” Zulik muttered before sighing.

“Nemesis? So you're telling me you have favors from a God? I'm sorry, but I find that hard to believe.”

“Only when justice needs to be served can I call open her… but yes, I have favor with Nemesis.” The priest answered bluntly. “I have been a devout priest of hers for 70 years.”

“Even so… most priests can be extremely devout and never see their god, much less get favors from them.” Titania pointed out, as she closed her eyes.

“Guess you could call me a rare case.” Zulik lowered his gaze. “Bea wouldn’t have lived otherwise… and neither would have me and Arlia.”

“Bullshit. Arlia would’ve talked to me about something that dire. Probably. Besides, what would be so dangerous that it would've killed three Hunters on the property? Or… are you freelancing?” Titania replied, opening her eye to look at Zulik in an accusing manner, before a small smile appeared on her face, the wolf thrope thinking she'd caught him red-handed.

“Freelancing?” Zulik gave her a confused look. “That’s not a term I’m familiar with… could you care to explain?”

Titania raised an eyebrow, but answered nonetheless. “Going off and doing work that's not contracted by the Guild, i.e. you're finding work outside of the guild.”

“That sounds like a stupid and risky idea with little benefit.” The corrupted stated as bluntly as he could. “So what would make you think I was doing that? Consider I just mentioned two other guild members.”

“People tend to be moronic if money is involved. Following that logic, they might have decided to work with you. Both of them are assassins, which means money usually talks.” Titania argued, both eyes now opened and staring at Zulik.

Zulik sighed. “I’m not here for the money… I’m here for the answers. Nothing more, nothing less.”

“Well, why did you go off the estate, then? Freelancin’ is the only reason I can think of about why two hunters are injured. Unless you have something to disprove my theory?”

“I was told that what we did was confidential.” Zulik replied, slightly irritated. “Besides, Lady Havenbrook would deny everything, even if I did tell you.”

“... you do realize she's a friend of mine, right? All I have to do is ask her a safe question to which she can provide a safe answer.” Titania replied, her teeth sharpening out of irritation. “Zulik, please tell me what you did. Arlia’s someone who I care about. Please…”

Zulik paused, looking down in thought. “Okay, but you can’t approach anyone about this… neither me or Lady Havenbrook are willing to deal with legal backlash if someone outside the guild finds out.”

“Okay… go ahead, then.”

“Havenbrook approached the three of us for a mission: One that involved a Thrope who developed Manticore traits.” The priest explained as he made sure no one was listening. “She was kidnapped, but the problem was that it was done through legal loopholes, so to rescue her would be breaking the law. We agreed to the task and made our way into the circus that abducted her… with some complications along the way.”

Titania nodded, “And what were those ‘complications’?”

“On our way out of the building they were stationed in, Arlia got shot and Bea was captured… sacrificing herself to let us escape.” Zulik continued, shame plugging into his voice at the last part.

Titania picked up on slight change in his voice. “You blame yourself for her capture… don't you?” Titania questioned bluntly.

“No… that was her decision… what I blame myself for is that she nearly died for us.” Zulik lowered his head. “She would have if Nemesis didn’t show up… same with the rest of us.”

“Still find that hard to believe… but okay. I believe you for the most part. So… what now?” The wolf thrope asked, as she closed her eyes again.

“I don’t know… depends on when Lady Havenbrook sends out requests for the next job.” Zulik stared off into the distance. “Though, I wonder if Arlia would be back in time for a mission… knowing her she would do it regardless of her condition.”

“If she goes, so do I. We need to talk about something, anyways. So… besides work talk, and your problems with Jay, is there anything you wish to discuss?”

“No, that’ll be everything.” The corrupted elf answered. “I’m going to be off now, I have to practice a bit incase I’m taken in for another mission.”

“So… you came up here to my happy place, in order to talk shop… okay… how about this: let's just talk about everything that doesn't have to do with the previous two topics? That way, I can feel slightly content, and you can get closer to understanding why Jay is the way he is.”

“Sorry, but I need to get back into the habit of daily training…” Zulik remarked. “I’ve been slacking… maybe next time, Titania.”

“As you wish. See you, Zulik.” Titania replied, closing both her eyes as she continued to relax.
 

Dahlexpert

Well-Known Member
Jun 23, 2013
2,548
527
113
25
USA
#95
The fallowing is a colaberation between Dhalexpert & Zombiesplitter53

Happy lovers day

Havenbrook Manor/Guildhouse
The Greenhouse
Feb. 11th, 3349
5:45 p.m.

Esmeralda, for once, had ventured out of her element. She was away from all her precious books, but the bibliophile naturally had her emergency novel in her napsack, along with a book she kept near her at all time for personal reasons. For a third book, she had a thick text on exotic botony, practicing the only real hobby she had (as reading, for her, was a way of life, not a hobby).

She sang lovingly to a row of flowers. Tulips of the seven colors of the rainbow, all of which had an odd shimmer to them, like they were covered in ice crystals, or the shimmer of a ballroom dress. She grabbed a pair of tiny sheers, and leaned close to the cyan flower, humming her song while she moved the sheets with the determined look and precision of a surgeon.

Charter entered the green house. He used the place to relax and look at the flowers. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a familiar face. "Heh, hello Esmeralda, didn't think I would find you here. You're actually out of your library, didn't think you could do it."

Esmeralda smiled as she delicately snipped off a stray stem. "Well, when I first came here, I had to occasionally sneak out to find food. And even I need the occasional of atmosphere. Luckily, I have my babies here to motivate me to come out for some fresh air."

"Hmm, never took you as a gardener. So a Light Elf that loves books and gardening. An interesting combination. I just came in here to relax. Training the other dire wolves can be exhausting, but since you're here too, I want to ask you something."

Es carefully tested the stem of one of the flowers. "Sure. Lay it on me, friend."

"Well, today is Lover's Day, and I was wondering..." Character took a deep breath and exhaled. "Do you want to celebrate it with me?"

Esmeralda looked back. "A-are you asking me to... for the two of us... t-to...?"

"Yes, would you do me the honor of... going on a date?"

"Oh! Oh, a, uh... a date!" Esmeralda laughed nervously. "I mean... yes. That would be lovely, Charter."

"Were you expecting me to ask you to have my child?" Charter sighed. "Look Esmeralda, I know full well what Lover's Day is about. Trust me, I've had a few women every year come to me with offers. But I'm just not interested in kids right now in my life, so in saying that, would you like to go to the city with me and celebrate?"

Esmeralda nodded. She placed her sheers down, faced him, and bowed her head. "Mr. Van Dam, it would be an honor to go on a date with you."

"Thank you, would you like to get ready? Or do you want to go right now?"

Esmeralda looked down at her clothing. "Um... kinda not dressed for a date. Um... j-just give me five minutes, okay?" She quickly pulled off her gloves and rushed out before he could answer.

"Hmm, what the hell am I doing? I don't typically do this, but I guess I could give it a shot." Charter waited in front of the manner, wearingsome baggy pants and a shirt. "Ugh, I really don't know what I'm doing at all. But at least it's a life experience right? More then likely, she will want to go to a library or something, which I wouldn't mind actually." Charter said to himself.

Esmeralda came rushing out, walking awkwardly on some platform heels when she often wore sandals or nothing at all. She had on a black cotton dress that contrasted well with her pale skin, and a pair of small, golden earrings. While her dress wasn't anything fancy, she still asked, "I-I didn't over dress, did I? Because, I-I could... go back..."

Character looked stunned by her appearance. "No, no, you look great. Lovely actually."

"Thank you." Esmeralda a moved a hair out of her eyes. "You look nice yourself. Very handsome."

"Hum thanks. I'm not used to this by the way. I'm used to armor not regular clothes."

"Well, you look dashing either way." Esmeralda looked over at the stables. "Want to ride into town?"

Character whistled, and Slone and another dire wolf approached. "Your chariot, ma'am. Um, but first, they need to smell you."

"Smell me... right." Esmeralda stepped forward and nervously held out her hand.

Both Slone and the other dire wolf smelled Esmeralda's hand. "The reason I'm having them smell you is so if you get taken by anyone, mostly slavers, they can track you down and find you."

Esmeralda gave him a surprised look, and smiled sweetly. "That is... thank you, Charter."

"Yeah well, you were already put through that hell once. I'm not letting it happen again." Once the wolves finally had Esmeralda scent. Slone bowed his head to her. Charter jumped on the back of the other wolf. "Well, get on Slone."

"Right." Esmeralda climbed onto the oversized wolf. She held on tight, and giggled. "He's like a fluffy horsey! I'm glad I decided to wear underwear with all this fur, though."

Character raised his eyebrow at Esmeralda. "Are you saying you typically don't wear underwear?"

Esmeralda laughed. "Of course I do... when I remember." She winked at him.

Character blushed at the Light Elf, and lightly kicked the wolf to run.

Esmeralda did the same, and had to hold on tightly as Slone moved forward. She held The dire wolf tightly, not all that comfortable with her ability to ride a horse, let alone something like Slone. But soon enough, she was able to get somewhat comfortable, just as they neared the city of Cleardevon.

As they approached Cleardevon, Esmeralda saw the back of Charter's head and saw that his ears bright red. "Heh, you know, for a librarian, you're very flirtatious."

"Am I?" Es scratched her cheek. "I guess it is a result of my upbringing. Back in Lustania, we usually just say what's on our mind. I know that often makes me come off as... well, weird and eccentric. But old habits die hard, you know? I just hope I didn't embarrass you. I'll try to keep it down to a minimum in front of others."

"Are you kidding? That just means that you like me. And I very much appreciate it. I just hope that I don't make a fool of myself on this date."

"Yeah, same here," Esmeralda whispered, trying to hide her own nervousness. Outside of the city, Esmeralda carefully hoped off her furry steed. "Thanks, Slone. Wish you could come with, but it is me and Charter tonight. Besides, you know... big, scary wolfy and all."
 

Dahlexpert

Well-Known Member
Jun 23, 2013
2,548
527
113
25
USA
#96
Part 2

Charter whistled and both Slone and the other dire wolf came to him. He whispered to them and both the wolves ran off. Charter extended his arm to Esmeralda. "Shall we enjoy ourselves?"

She nodded, wrapping her arm around his. "Lets?" The pair made their way into the city, a sweet aroma filling the air, shades of a passionate red everywhere. There were many couples out that night, each sharing each other's company on the night honoring the deity of copulation. "Soooo... where are we going exactly? Oh! Is it a surprise? Should I be wearing a blindfold? Ears plugged?"

"Ugh." Charter seemed uncomfortable with the atmosphere of romance, him being a lifelong soldier. Charter shook his head and looked at his date. "I've been to this city a few times. I think I remember this great inn that was in town. But with all the couples here, it might be difficult to get in."

"An inn, huh?" Esmeralda blushed, looking away. "M... maybe we can... get something to... eat?"

"Um... yeah, right." Charter escorted Esmeralda around the town, both seeing all the couples around the streets. Charter was somewhat confused on what to do, or what to ask Esmeralda. Finally the two made it to the inn.

"Hello. Let me guess, you two will be having a room?"

Esmeralda blushed fiercely. "A-actually, we, um... w-we were hoping to get something to eat, um... d-do you have a seat available. O-or at least know someplace that isn't reserved. I realize this is... such short notice..."

"Hmm, so you want some food. I think I have a few booths near the back." The waitress took the two near the back to one of the booths. "Here you are, I hope you enjoy your time here." The waitress left the couple to handle other people.

"Right, um, the place is very crowded today with all the people." Moaning could be heard above them, clearly that's where the most of the couples were.



Esmeralda subtly pushed a napkin to the floor. "Oops." She knelt down to pick it up, and rubbed her cheeks while out of view to try and get the red out. "Stop blushing," she said in a bit so quiet whisper. "He's gonna think you're some kinda prude. Or a dainty flower. Or that you're sick, and you need to go to the doctor, and the local physician's office is not the place for a good time!" She quickly shot up, a big smile on her face. "Found it! Silly me. So, uh... while we wait, um... T-tell me... a little about your family. Uh, please."

"My family... that's a topic. Well, my family is very, how do I put this... we're military through and through. Hell, we been serving in the military since the vampire war. As for relatives, I have a little sister and brother. My brother, last time I checked, was a city guard back home, and as for my sister, well... she was eleven when I left about seven years ago. And I haven't been home in quite some time."

A waitress appeared next to the couple. "Hello, I will be your waitress for the evening. Would you to like room after your dinner?"

"No! No, um, can I get a bottle of ale please?

Esmeralda giggled softly. Charter didn't know it, but his nervousness made her feel better. "And maybe a few oysters for appraisers? They're in season, right?"

"Of course, I will be back in a few with your drinks and oysters."

As the waitress left, Charter looked back at Esmeralda. "Um, can you excuse me for just a moment? I need to... um... bathroom, yes, I need to go to the bathroom."

Es nodded. "Of course. Um... take your time."

Charter left the table and headed to the bathroom. Once in the bathroom, Charter looked himself in the mirror. "Gods damn it, why am I bad at this, I'm a soldier, not some boyfriend material... crap." Charter looked at the sink and started to think this was a mistake, then shook his head in annoyance. "No, I will finish this date, and just relax for once, and have fun." He left the bathroom and came back to the table. "Right, sorry for that, um Es, can I be honest with you right now?"

He caught her in the middle of sucking on oyster out of its shell, a small trickle of fluid going down her chip. She quickly put the empty shell down and wiped her mouth. "Y-yeah, sure... go ahead. I prefer it, naturally."

Charter sighed. "Look, since I was seven years old, I was trained to be a knight. I learned how to wield swords, axes, and so on. I read about great heroes of the past and was inspired to be just like them, hence my love for books and me reading so much. I 'm not used to this. I'm not used to being around woman in this kind of environment. I mean a date. So if I seem nervous, that's just me not knowing what I'm doing."

Esmeralda tapped her fingers against the table. "Well... if it helps at all, I find the nervousness charming. I mean, I'm not put off by it, if that is what you are worried about. Not like... I'm good at this either. I'm probably worse, to be honest."

Charter reached over and grabbed one of the oysters. "Heh thanks, but you're doing great, better then I am. Heh, say, after this you want to go to the bookstore here? They do have some good books there."

The bibliophile's eyes out up for a moment, but she gave him a small smile and shook her head. "You... you don't have to do that for me. I'd rather do something we both want, not just me."

"You forget, I love books too hon. Besides, I wouldn't mind. Could use some new books, don't you think. Then maybe we can find a room to, you know... have some fun."

She blushed again, taking a big drink of her ale. "Sounds like I'm not the only flirt."

"Call it payback for that underwear comment from earlier."

The waitress returned to take there orders. "Sorry for the wait, but we're very busy today. Can I get you anything?"

"A steak if you have any?

"And you ma'am?"

"Oh, I've heard this town is well known for importing salmon from down south... u-unless that is too expensive. Because I can just have the chicken... o-or just a salad..."

"That's fine, give the woman her salmon please."

"Sure thing be back in a minute."

"Right, so Es, I told you a bit about my family. Why not tell me about yours?"

She smiled just at the thought of her family. "Well, my parents are kinda very super traditional, very down to Earth. My dad is an Elf and my mom a Light Elf. Usually, this would make my Elf babies, but instead they had one Elf, my big brother, and three light Elves, my big sister, me, little sister. My brother Diamante is aggressive and kinda pushy, but he's lovable and looks out for all of us. Safira is kinda... weird. She has weird tastes and doesn't care what other people think, and I love her for that. And Rubi... oh, I miss Rubi. So shy, so quiet. I hope she's come out of her shell more since I last wrote them.

"Nice to hear that you still talk to your family. As for me, I haven't talked to my folks in years."

"And why is that?" Es asked with genuine curiosity.

"I just haven't. I've been traveling so much, I just forget to."

Es rolled her eyes. "Well, that won't do. Family is important, you know. Especially when you are so far away from them. First thing in the morning, you should write to them. Understand, mister?"

"Yeah sure, and I'll be sure to mention I have a Light Elf girlfriend too. See how that works."

Esmeralda smiled. "Think they'd be mad?"

"You kidding? My parents were the ones that taught me to be respectful to the other races. So, I'm pretty sure the wouldn't mind me having any non-human as a girlfriend."

Esmeralda tapped her lips. "Wonder what my parents would think. Hmm... they would probably be okay with it."

Charterstarted to chuckle nervously, and took a big swing of his ale." Um, are you saying..."

"Alright, here's your food, a steak for the gentleman. And our best salmon for the miss."

"Oh, goody! I hope it tastes as good as it smells." She took a big sniff as it was placed in front of her. "And smells. Thank you."

"No problem can I get you anything else?"

"Ale, more ale please." Charter finished his first bottle of ale.

"Coming right up sir."

"Mmm... so good." Esmeralda gave him a big grin. "This was such a good idea. Better then leftovers, any day."
 

Dahlexpert

Well-Known Member
Jun 23, 2013
2,548
527
113
25
USA
#97
Part 3

"Yes, a great idea, way better hunting with the wolves. They tend to be brutal."

"And yet, you have such grace." Esmeralda bit into a carrot. "You have the nobility of a night yet the strength of a wild man. I'm surprised you weren't taken the moment you arrived at the manor. Plenty of cute Hunters to chose from."

"As I said before, plenty of women around this time would flurt with me, and of course the random maiden every time I enter a new country. But I was devoted to my duty, and still am. The knight's oath isn't so easily broken. And it often doesn't involve romance."

Esmeralda gave him a sly smile. "Them why ask me out? Aren't I a distraction for your knightly ways?"

"I have been a knight since I was eighteen. I fought monsters, raiders, and all sorts of evil. Figured I'd try this romance stuff out before dying, so why not try it on someone I have some interest in."

"Good idea. I'm glad that happened it be me." Es took a large bite. "Imad u ook mah oua ma mamor," she said with her mouth full.

"Es, try swallowing it helps." Charter said while taking a big bite out of his steak.

As swallowed and giggled. "I said I'm glad you took me out of the manor. Probably would have just curled up and spent another Lover's Dayalone."

"Nothing wrong with that. I used to spend Lover's Day with Slone killing raiders, so this is an improvement."

"Ugh." Esmeralda raised an eyebrow. "Word of advice. Don't go around telling people you spent Lover's Day with your Dire Wolf."

"Why, it's the truth?" Charter slowly realized what she meant, and got a frustrated look on his face. "I-I swore to protect people, not harm them, except for those that harmed the innocent."

"I know. Just teasing you." As gave him a big, goody smile.

Charter stood up and decided to sit next to Esmeralda. "Yep, this spot is so much better.

Esmeralda giggled. "Couldn't agree more." The pair shared some light banter as the continued to eat. Charter spoke of his adventures this far while Esmeralda told him a little about her home life. Once they were finished eating, Esmeralda stepped out into the fresh air and rubbed her belly. "So full! So... bookstore?"

"Yeah, I'm sure you've been looking forward to this." Charter escorted Esmeralda to the bookstore. It was unsurprisingly empty with everyone celebrating Lover's day. "Well, no one here. Guess we go look around."

Esmeralda let out a squeal, always wanting to have a bookstore to herself. She ran forward like a child on Lady Nichola's Day. "Look at this! It's second edition! And they only made seventeen of this one!"

"I should probably stop her... nah, she's having her own fun. I'm sure there are a few books for me around here." Charter made his way around the store, looking at books about alchemy, smithing, and a few historical books. He did stay a good distance away from Esmeralda, letting her free roam while also keeping an eye on her.

After a half an hour, Esmeralda was out of breath from running to and fro. She walked over to Charter with a big grin and two novels, a book on astonomy, a huge cook book, and one claiming to be a true to life Doloran translation of the Book of the Dead. "I, uh... hope Lady Havenbrook doesn't get upset when I ask for another advance on this month's pay."

"Hum, well then, it's a good thing I got paid from the last mission I had. Not like I was gonna us it anyway."

"Right." Esmeralda quickly paid for her books and waited for Charter to do the same. Stepping out into the fresh night air, she sighed deeply. "Such a nice night. Any more fun plans, sir Knight?"

"Hmm, I could come up with something. Is there anything you want?"

"Not that I can... ahem..." Esmeralda blushed, looking down at her feet. "I mean... what do... people usually do on this day?"

Charter looked at a couples kissing around them, and all the festivities. "Um, this day is usually spent by bringing new life into the world, by one or many partners." Charter started to hold Es' hand.

Esmeralda let him, and slightly squeezed it back. "You know, I'm... not ready to be a mother. Not by a long shot. But that doesn't mean I... am opposed to the patron god of this day and... what he enjoys doing. You know... fun and... all that."

"Um... right, I'm also nowhere near ready to be a father, not by a long shot. But I do serve the gods and will do anything they tell me, as will any knight. But..." Charter squeezed Esmeralda's hand. "I'm... not sure about this... I don't want to force anything on anyone. but do... do you want to?"

"Weeeeell..." Esmeralda scratched her nose. "The man I am with is nice... handsome... dashing... strong... and likes books. So... yeah." She gave him a toothy grin. "I could do a lot worse, don't you think?"

"Annnnd the woman I'm with is cute..... attractive, has an adorable personalty..." Charter lightly squeezed Es hand again and sighed. "Oh, why not?" Charter turned to Esmeralda, leaned down, and kissed her.

Es lightly stroked his cheek as she kissed him back. When it was over, she let out a giddy laugh. "Nice kiss."

"I try my best. It felt nice. Not used to kissing many people."

"Well, I'm not used to the part that comes next, but we'll manage." Esmeralda pulled him along. "Come on. I'm sure the inn we ate at had a vacancy or two."

"Right... right." Charter and Esmeralda went back to the inn they previously had dinner in.

"Why hello. Oh, you two again? Can I help you with something?"

"Ugh, do... do you have any vacant rooms?"

The innkeeper smiled. "Yes, of course, we just finish cleaning one of the rooms. If you will follow me."

Esmeralda followed in quiet anticipation, thanking the innkeeper once they had their room. Once they were alone again, she said, "It is a little embarrassing, since they know exactly why we're here. But I guess the same goes for everyone else here, huh?"

"Yeah, well, we don't have to do it. I mean, are you sure about this? I mean, I don't mind it, but... I'm not exactly used to this."

"Is this, like... your first time?" Esmeralda asked. "Because if you're having second thoughts..."

"Ugh, not something I'm comfortable mentioning, but I don't mind. It... it's just a thing. Was gonna lose it eventually, so might as well, right?"

Esmeralda giggled,practically skipping over and leaning against him. "I promise to be gentle, okay?"

"Right. Well then, happy Lover's Day, Esmeralda."

"Happy Lover's Day... Sir Knight Charter."
 

Dahlexpert

Well-Known Member
Jun 23, 2013
2,548
527
113
25
USA
#98
Letter to family

Havenbrook Manor/Guildhouse
The soldiers barracks
Feb. 12th,3349
10:45 a.m.

Charter is sitting in front of his desk, looking at a piece of paper thinking about what he was going to write to his parents. “Um what to do, what to do?” Charter picked up the feather pen and started to write.

“Dear mom and dad, hi it’s charter. I’m alive and kicking sorry for not writing to you guys for so long, but I’ve been so busy lately and. Charter bolled up the paper and threw it away. “No that’s not it, gods damn it how do I write this?”

Slone leaned his head against his master’s arm, he also whined at him.” Right write straight from the heart huh, thanks buddy. So ugh let’s get this over with.” Charter grabbed another sheet of paper and started to write.

“Hay mom dad and everyone, it’s it’s your boy I know it’s been a while since I last talked to you and I’m sorry for that. The main reason I have not been writing is because I’m not sure if you’re proud of me or not, I’m not sure if you agreed with my decision to become a mercenary and not join the legion. The reason why I did not become a soldier in the legion was because. I couldn’t let anyone else get hurt by raiders or monsters, I could not stand around and let anyone die without starting a war with any nation so that’s why I became a mercenary.

I’m sorry for not writing for so long, and avoiding you guys. Dad I’m still keeping to my oth and defending the weak, I have been all over the continent over the years helping everyone I came across. Helping farmers, killing slavers and so on.

And to my sister Elma, I have so many books for you to read. I also learned a bit of alchemy for potions and poisons, and plenty of spell books for you to read.” Charter rubbed his head.” Look Elma I’m sorry for leaving you when you were so young, when I last saw you you were learning ice magic. I have no idea how far you’ve come, but knowing how determined you were when I last saw you I have no doubt that you have gotten stronger as a mage.”

“And to my little brother Adam, I’m sure you are in charge of the guard in Mirdia. Or at least in our city anyway, and if you are congratulation sorry for missing the ceremony and all that.”

“But let me get to the main reason I’m writing you. I have joined a guild, yea the Havenbrook guild of monster slayers. Yea the guild that a few years ago that only hired human a few years ago, they have a new leader and she’s doing a great job. We had a few missions already and so fare everyone is doing great, as for Slone. Sloe is fully grown now he has a mate now and some puppies, so if you guys do find me you can see them. Also so on the mission I was on we fought a woman that had some control but now those wolves fallow Slone, now he has a whole pack now. Heh I remember when he was just a pup with nothing, now he has a mate some pups and a pack of his own.”


“As for me, well you know I don’t like talking about myself much. But the other day, or however long lover’s day was when this reach you. I met was with someone, and she’s a light elf. Her name is Esmerelda, and she works for the guild as a librarian. And is an amazing woman, anyway I’m alive and kicking and still protecting the land for all sorts of Evil your son Charter.”

Charter gave the letter to a messenger. “Make sure this gets to the Van Dam manner in Mirdia.”


“Yes sir no problem.”
 

ExoGrim

Active Member
Nov 13, 2015
641
57
28
19
Washington state
www.youtube.com
#99
ExoGrim and Frostlich1228: Teachings

Havenbrook Manor
February, 10th, 3349
12:09 am

Arlia was in her room after her date with Davon. She had a long container with a purplish liquid in it while she sat on a pillow. With a herbal blending kit in her hands, she was preparing her poisons for the week. She had her armor on, but her facemask was lowered this time... revealing a calm smile. after the herb she was grinding turned to powder, she placed it in the liquid, then began to gently place shurikens in the concoction.

Suddenly, a voice came from the door as someone attenpted to open it. "Arlia? Are you in there? Its Sylvie."

As Arlia placed the last shuriken in the liquid, she looked over at the door. "Come in... you're not interrupting anything."

Stepping inside, Sylvie smiled at her friend. "It's good to see you again Arlia, are you doing better since the last time we met?"

"Yes, I'm much better now..." Arlia responded.

"Good. You seemed... Troubled, to say the least." The huntress replied.

"It has passed, I am perfectly fine now." Arlia said as she sat down with an herbal pack and a small cup in her hand. "Would you care for some tea?"

"Tea? That sounds nice. Is this a special occasion?" Sylvie casually sat down on her bed.

"No, but I find it helpful to drink some tea while I let my shurikens soak in the poison I make every morning." The assassin answered. "It calms me and blocks out the revolting smell that the poison emits."

"Fair enough." Sylvie stated. "What herbs do you use for your poison?"

"I use Thrisleweed, Black Rose thorns and apple seeds." Arlia answered as she took a sip of her tea. "I've found they're a nasty combination."

"Hmm. Back home if we needed to use poison, we would prefer something fast acting... The petals of a pitch black flower that grows completely alone on the forest floor." The village girl replied.

"Interesting..." Arlia raised on eyebrow of intrigue. "Do you have any of those petals on you now?"

"No, but I packed some, just in case." She answered, standing up. "They're in my room. That's all I have though, I've been told the plant only grows in Neren'teva's forests."

"A shame." The princess sighed. "I could've used them if they could grow here. I can imagine now what that extra bit of material could do for my Agger Spree poison."

"The petals work fast and there is no pain, even when ingested. We use it because it causes as little discomfort to the animal as possible." Sylvie explained. "Unfortunately it also taints the meat, so even then we use it sparingly. It can be removed from the meat, but it can take days of soaking in a special mixture."

"Well, guess I won't have need in them then..." Arlia sighed once more. "My poisons are meant to sicken enemies, make them feel pain... not to kill them. I leave the killing part to the weapons I possess."

"That seems strange..." The huntress tilted her head. "If you are going to make them feel pain and kill them anyway, then why not use lethal poisons?"

"Because temporarily disabling a target in the mist of combat makes it easier in the long run... then another dead body." The tone in her voice turned a bit more serious as Arlia spoke. "It also makes it better in fights with allies, so you can help them if things get ruff and you can't kill the enemy in time."

"I suppose. But to make someone suffer that much seems... Unnecessary... Pointless." The huntress sighed. "Couldn't you simply use some kind of... Nerve poison to disable them instead?"

"And if you need to interrogate him later?" Arlia countered. "When in pain, you can still get info from them... you can't do that with a vegetable or a corpse."

"From what our herbalist taught me, nerve toxin rarely causes permanent damage unless used in very high doses." Sylvie raised a finger. "Besides, how much information can you get from someone screaming in agony?"

"That's the thing... pain doesn't always mean screaming." Arlia leaned in closer before speaking further. "There are many ways to insert pain... most do not allow you to scream..."

Sylvie instantly become on edge, as if she had been suddenly transported to the den of a predator. "Is that so... It's good that it's reserved for our enemies then..."

"No need to worry, I'm not one for hurting comrades to prove a point." Arlia tapped the young huntress on the cheek. "I respect you all too much for that."

"Well, maybe you shouldn't talk to people in that tone then..." She replied, breathing out.

"What tone?" Arlia tilted her head to show her confusion.

"Nevermind."

The princess didn't seem pleased by this answer. "I'd prefer to know what this tone you speak of is, so I know what it is and when to use it properly."

"You said that rather intimidatingly." Sylvie pointed out, rolling her eyes.

"Oh, did I now?" Arlia muttered, slowly realizing what she said. "Well, sorry for that... I didn't want to scare you."

"You simply put me on edge. I forgive you." The village girl smiled.

Arlia grabbed a few of her shurikens and began drying them off. "Good to hear..."

The Earth mage took a closer look at the shurikins, seeming puzzled. "How exactly... Do you use these?"

"It much simpler than most would think." The assassin explained, placing one in between her fingers. "They're general held like this... it considered one of the safer ways. While most throwing weapons use your full body weight, shurikens are more about speed. They are best thrown using a flick of the wrist... letting go as you flick to send it flying."

"And then these prongs catch in the flesh..." The hunter noted. "Spears are much heavier, they require you to take the arc into careful consideration."

"That's why I don't like using them." Arlia remarked as she placed her shurikens onto her belt and pulled out one of her kunai. "I prefer lightweight weapons because they're easier to use and allow for more mobility in combat."

"Yes, but these would never do enough damage from range to kill." She pointed out. "Although, I suppose that would explain the poison."

"You'd surprised how damaging a kunai is." Arlia chuckled lightly. "I've done some damage with a good throw."

"But not enough to kill on its own." The huntress replied. "All I need is one good throw"

"All it takes is practice." The assassin threw the kunai into the wall of her room. "Then you can do wonders with these tools."

"Hmm... I might be interested in learning how." Sylvie said, gently picking one up. "Maybe if you teach me how to use these, I'll teach you how to throw a spear. Sound good?"

"No need to teach me how to use a weapon I'll never touch." Arlia lowered her arm, flicking out a kunai from her sleeve. "And yes, I am willing to teach you how to use my tools, if you want to use them in the future."

"Well, I'm not sure I'll use them either, but I think it's fun to learn something new." Sylvie shrugged.

Arlia smiled. She had taught many how she managed to throw so good, but her special trick was her to know and hers alone... but she considered teaching that to Slyvie. She offered the young village girl a kunai. "I might even teach you something unique if you can grasp the basics."

"Why thank you, and like I said, I'll teach you something after you teach me." She responded, taking the knife between two fingers.

Arlia took a kunai off of her belt and began to explain. "Throwing weapons are all about the speed in which you swing... as their is at least some swing to the throw. Most importantly, though, is the flick that releases it. Usually, you do a half swing... then you flick and let go." Arlia demonstrated the hand motions as she explained the process of using a throwing weapon.

Sitting quietly and nodded, Sylvie tried to match the motions she was making.

"Now it's your turn to try it." Arlia stated. "Let's see how good your are for a first try."

Sylvie turned towards the wall, flicking the blade like she had showed her, however instead of sticking into the wall, it hit at an odd angle and harmlessly bounced off.

Arlia tried her best not to laugh. "There's always time to improve. How about this, try pulling your hand back the moment you let go of the knife... see if that helps."

Doing as she said, this time the knife stuck, but only around an inch or so in the wall. "How's that?"

"Better... with more practice you should be able to throw harder and more accurately." Arlia stated, a bit of pride in her voice.

"Thanks for teaching me... Now, when do you want to try your spear training? We may need to go outside for this..." Sylvie stated, sitting up.

"Maybe later, since you insist on trying to teach me." The assassin replied. "For now, we should get some rest... maybe give you time to practice."

"Very well... It was good talking to you again Arlia, just know I've got your back out there." The mage nodded with conviction.

"Right, and I have yours." Arlia finished drying off the rest of her shurikens and places them on her belt. "Until next time, Sylvie."

"See you, Arlia." The woman waved, stepping out of the room as well as giving the assassin a light wave.
 
Insane Darkness and ExoGrim present...
The Lucky Duckling

Faith heard heavy footsteps from her hospital bed and before instinctively hiding under her blanket, grabbed her glasses just in case she had to run. Not again… How many visitors am I gonna get before I get cooked? she thought, terrified.

Zulik walked into the room, going to check on Bea. He noticed the bulge in one of the beds. Not sure what it was, said. “Is someone here?”

“Eep!” She accidentally made a sound. Faith cursed herself out for making such a rookie mistake.

Zulik’s gaze shifted back to the bed with the lump. “I’m not here to hurt you… if that’s what you’re thinking.”

Slowly peeking out of the blanket, she noticed the man that towered above her with a mysterious yet intimidatingly dark aura. Although, since he was an Elf, she asked him, “Do you speak Elven?” in their native tongue, not feeling completely scared of him.

“Yes I do…” The corrupted elf replied in the same language. “Though, I am not what I used to be.”

Slowly and cautiously moving to a sitting position, Faith asked another question. “Is there any reason why you say that?” She stared curiously at the man who stood so tall in front of her, especially his arm.

“My body is corrupted.” Zulik stated, examining the Thrope carefully. “I have been darkened and it has affected my abilities and my very aura.”

“I think you’re a nice guy. I don’t think your aura makes you who you are, especially if it’s not your choice.” She got up and hugged the corrupted Elf. “See? You’re okay!” She smiled a huge smile up at him.

“I’ve gotten that alot since I got here.” The priest muttered. “Guess this really is an accepting Guild after all.”

“Well, I’m not really in the Guild yet… My mother told me that I need to get stronger, so I’m glad that everyone here is nice. Then again, I don’t think I’ve met exactly everyone, either…” Faith let go of the Elf, before asking, “What’s your name, by the way? I just hugged a really nice guy whose name I didn’t even know… It doesn’t sit well on my conscience, honestly.”

“My name is Zulik Maverin.” The elf answered. “I am a priest of Nemesis and a mage.”

“It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Zulik. My name is Faith. I have abandoned my last name, if you’re wondering. I can perform a small amount of wind magic. It’s the only reason that the throwing knives I had on my way here still worked as long as they did. I don’t know where they placed them, though…” She looked around, thinking that maybe they left them nearby, but realized that an armed stranger is, in fact, more dangerous and untrustworthy than an unarmed one.

“You may have to talk to Lady Havenbrook if you want to find your gear.” Zulik noted. “Though I do have a question for you… do you speak Doloran?”

“I… I do…” She responded in Doloran. She started crumbling in on herself, twirling her thumbs around each other.

“Do you not prefer the language?” Zulik asked, still talking in Elven.

“I get a little… shy when I speak Doloran. I don’t know why. I think it might be that everyone can understand what I say when it’s in Doloran. In my hometown, it wasn’t an issue. Now, I can’t control whether I am shy or not. Especially if I want to talk to others.” She bowed an apology.

“Fair enough…” Zulik patted the small Thrope’s head. “Well, hopefully you’ll be able to become a member and help us clean this world of the monsters that plague it… or at least try to.”

“I… I would like that…” She’d never had her head patted before, especially by a man that was so nice to her. “Um… Do you think that, uh… Thropes can be… controlled by the monsters? I’m just hoping that my Dad didn’t beat me for no reason…” Faith adjusted her glasses so she could look Zulik in the eyes.

“If the monster has mind control capabilities, then they can control any race.” Zulik’s calm face turned serious. “Even if there was a way to stop that kind of affect… there is no excuse to beat one’s child.”

“Okay… I think you’re right, Z-Zulik. Thank you.” That was the first time she actually said his name and it made her feel super embarrassed. She’d definitely never seen a name starting with a Z before.

The corrupted elf chuckled. “It’s easier to pronounce in Doloran… but I’m sure you can get it down rather quickly.”

Is it hot in here? Why am I so hot? she thought, staring at the ground. She held the sides of her glasses to keep them from falling off, as well as to cover her face.

“You… okay?” Zulik asked, not sure what was going on.

“Y-yeah… I guess? What is this feeling?... I think I need more sleep or something…” She turned around and sat down on the bed once again, taking off her glasses.

“You should get some rest then.” The priest remarked. “I will be going for now. See you when you get better.”

“I’m looking forward to it.” After placing her glasses on the stand next to her bed, she laid down, facing away from him and smiling happily. Only once his footsteps left the room did she realize how embarrassing it was that she said she wanted to see him again. She shoved her face into the blanket, her temperature severely high, yet not due to a fever.