A Journey Out

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Tian Bo

The Warrior

"I made a promise, and I intend to keep it."


Brows creased together as a drop of sweat slid down between her brows and onto her eyes. While the perspiration stirred the sleeping girl, it did not wake her. No, not when she was too deep in sleep, too deep in her nightmares to be woken by small droplets of liquid. Nightmares that stilled her very body, but trapped her, having such a tight hold on her she could hardly breathe, fear consuming her entirely. Even as she laid there, washed up on the share of land, the water lapping her feet and legs, soaking her even further.

“I’m sorry Bo … He wasn’t strong enough to recover from his wound with his illness.”

“Where is he ..?” She swallowed knowing the exact answer. That Bai, her older brother, the person most precious to her in the world, the only one that made life worth living, the one who she cared for and loved with all her heart, her only family … was no longer with them. That he was gone and he would never come back. And yet, despite knowing it, she refused to believe it. “I need to see him.”

“Bo. He’s gone. He passed in his sleep only moments ago.”

Shaking her head Bo pushed passed him, “no, you’re wrong,” mumbled the girl, barely breathing as her chest constricted, tightening and making her slightly dizzy. But she continued, step by step, repeating how wrong the doctor was. Who was he to say? Bai was stronger than he looked, a single jab with a sword couldn't kill him. He was taught tough for that to do him in. It was all a misunderstanding.

Bo reached the door, gently placing her hands on the handle. She hesitated. Why? She was too scared to open it, to see what lied ahead, even though she knew exactly what was inside. And again, she refused to accept the reality. She braced herself and slid open the door.

There, laying in the bedding was Bai. She had never seen him so still before, but the peaceful look on his pale face could have meant he was sleeping. Any moment now he would wake up and rap her on her head for being so stupid, for wandering in dangerous grounds, bandit grounds, for risking her own well-being and life. When truthfully, he shouldn’t have come after her, no, not when he was already so sick, he had overexerted himself and ended up injured in her stead. And it was all Bo’s fault.

“Bai …” She whispered, dropping at on her knees and crawling to his side.

There was no response.

“Bai … please, wake up.” Her voice cracked, the lump in her throat growing larger and harder to ignore. “Bai, I beg of you. Wake up.” Bo pressed her palms flat against his shoulders and shook his frail body relentlessly. No response. ” Bai.” Her hands slid away from his shoulders and took his hand instead, holding his limb from which the warmth was leaving. “Don’t go. I was supposed to protect you.” And she broke, crying and sobbing uncontrollably. “I need you.”

Again, there was no response. Her brother had left her.. All alone.


Tears leaked from her closed eyes, the pain of her aching heart was too real to continue sleeping. Bo did wake up with a start, but rather somberly, her eyelids slowly fluttering open. For a moment, she laid against the wet and cool ground, staring into space. The nightmare was not a nightmare, it was a memory and a rather painful one too. She waited for the pain in her heart to subside before sitting up.

Her body felt heavy, but that could have simply been because of the pieces of metal armor she wore and the fact her clothes were soaking wet along with the rest of her body. First things first, she reached to remove her boots and pour the water from them. Yet, the girl did not put them back on because the moment she had finished emptying them of water, Bo realized her sword was missing! What followed next was her utter panic and confusion when taking in her surroundings. She had no idea where she was!

Only seconds after, she regained the memories that had escaped her. Only a days after Bai had passed, she ventured out with a set goal. To get back what was hers. To keep her promise, and that promise entailed finding her brother. And so help her, if it meant crossing the Styx river then she would do it. And that was exactly what she did. She had traveled far and wide until she met a mysterious old woman who knew how to cross over. Bo had given her everything she carried on her except for her sword and the clothes on her back. None of it mattered anyway. The woman gave her a boat and told her to cross the river and into the fog. All had seemed to be going well until the storm came in seemingly out of nowhere and crashed her boat onto land.

From where she stood, the fog was too thick to see far out into the river. With a huff, she began to search the rocky and sandy shore for her weapon. Bo would not take any step deeper into the greenery ahead until she found her sword. While she searched, she wrung the water out of long her ink black hair and tied it back. It was better that way, so it wouldn’t get in her way. And just as she did, she discovered her sword.

Now, she was ready to venture. “Hello!” Her hoarse voice called out. “Is anyone there?”



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Gui

The Soul Collector
In times of war the souls that arrived were greater in volume. No one escaped death, but it was the times of chaos that pronounced it the most. Children, women, mothers, fathers, vigilants, they all passed him by and appeared in his book. Their names, their lives, age and date. More souls would have to be released into the world to keep the balance, but for now they could only take. Take an ripen the souls, wait for times to calm down so that life could be fruitful again. Until the greed had passed and a time of repentance arrived.

Among that steady stream of stripped souls a warm body was found. Gui had immediately noticed her presence. How she had slipped past the guards and how she managed to get her way into this place --his place-- was beyond him. Life wasn’t supposed to exist within this realm.

So he had set out, curious who this warm body belonged to, hear out their means and alleviate himself from boredom. He had travelled down the long stairs and past the many archived, paid his respect to the tribunal and into the thick greenery that surrounded him towards the passage of heavens.

“How amusing,” he spoke from the shadows, hiding between the vegetation that grew so lush around the palace. “I have never met a soul as warm as yours,” Gui continued, waving his fan open to hide his toothy smile. A lull was heard in his voice, mocking and sarcastic as he knew what she wanted. All humans came here for the same purpose, but none ever succeeded. It was a sad, but cautionary tale.

“There are many anyones here, including me” the male continued, teasingly. He had no idea who she was and who she came for, with her soul still attached to her mortal body her name would not be available for him. Gui didn’t own life, only the souls of those slumbering and that made this encounter all the more interesting.
 
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Tian Bo

The Warrior


Instinctively, Bo’s fingers curled around the hilt of her weapon the moment the stranger was within her line of sight. He was wearing a mask, she observed. Bo had never been too excellent at masking her feelings, surely the look of immediate distaste and suspicion was obvious on her now frowning face. People in masks were not anyone she could warm to even in the slightest, after all, it meant they had something to hide. His mocking tone only made her tighten her grip on her sword, but she had no intentions of whipping the weapon out unless he threatened her. Her eyes remained narrowed and but made no move.

“You need not concern yourself with my soul,” Bo responded, temporarily taking her eyes off of the single person there and around him. As far as her eyes could see, there was not another person around despite him saying so. It made her feel more on edge than she had been when boarding the boat.

If there were more individuals around, she’d doubt she’d make it any farther than where she stood. In her exhausted state, fighting her way through wasn’t a possibility. Her heavily soaked clothes only weighed her down along with the few metal pieces of armor she wore. If it came down to it, she was only slightly confident she could take on the masked man. Still, he was a stranger and his strengths were unknown. Most importantly, he was a resident of the spirit world.

Was he friend or foe? His mocking tone and hidden face didn’t make her feel anymore friendlier towards him. Bo wouldn’t feel the slightest bit guilty if she did have to kayo him.

Huffing from her chest, she braced herself and took a single step forward, pulling her sword in front of her. She was sure to make her weapon known and the look in her eyes said she would use it if she had to without a single feeling of remorse. “Who are you? I want a name.”

 
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Gui

The Soul Collector
The soul collector laughed at the girl’s statement, her ignorance as a human being clear. What concerns did he have for a soul still attached to its host? It was not his to take and nor did he care for it.

“I’m known by many names,” Gui teased, deciding not to tease the girl on her manners as he mirrored the female’s step. She was like a stray cat, cautious and ready to strike, but he knew that mortal wounds wouldn’t hurt or kill him. After all, he was not part of their world, or of afterlife for that matter.

“Just call me Gui. A stranger like you, if you will,” he continued, eyes twinkling behind his mask as he circled around the female. Though the sword might be unable to hurt him Gui wasn’t about to let the human know, yet. Besides, he liked to take a good look of the human, he rarely gets the chance anyway. “And you must be cold,” he mused, snapping his fingers to wring out the water out of her clothes. If he was to have a guest he might as well entertain himself.

“Welcome to the realm of souls, or whatever name humans have given this place,” the masked Gui waved his hand in the air, gesturing towards the island. “Though I’m afraid you have arrived prematurely,” the collector continued with a grin as he turned back to the other.

“Now, what was your name again?”
 
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Tian Bo

The Warrior

For a moment, Bo had been caught off guard, shocked by how with a simple snap of his fingers her clothing was free of water. Her gaze fell to her clothing, observing the change only for a second before she remembered her self and glared back at this Gui. He had shown a kind gesture, but that didn’t make him trustworthy. In fact, his display of mysterious power set her more on edge. It was unlike anything she had ever witnessed before. Her hand remained on the hilt of her sword, body tense and brows still furrowed. She would not let her guard down again just as she had a moment ago. She would be the one in control of this situation. She was the warrior and - “realm of souls!” She perked up instantly.

Her dark orbs immediately scanned the shore they stood on once more. Was he saying this was the spirit world? “Is this really the realm of souls?” The hold she had on her sword slipped slightly as her focus and cares shifted elsewhere. If this stranger was telling the truth, it meant she was no longer in the world of the living, and that meant Bo had made it. She was one step closer to completing her goal, to fulfilling her promise, closer to Bai. Her frown dissolved and transformed into an uncontrollably gleeful smile. She could have thrown her hands into the air in the midst of her excitement. “It is so much quieter than I expected it to be?” Bo almost laughed. “I can’t believe I’m here.”

The knowledge Bo held of the spirit world was limited. She never listened in on the tales unless it interested her. The most she knew about it was simply that it was a place living beings went when they passed on. If it wasn’t for the masked man, Gui, acknowledging her to come before her time she would have thought herself to be dead. It was highly possible that she could have drowned without knowing it after all.

Remembering Gui, her eyes fell back on to him before revealing her name. “My name is Bo.” There was no harm in telling him, she supposed. “I did not come here to stay” And she certainly wasn’t keen on divulging all of her information. Though, she did need some sort of help. “I’ve come here with a goal in mind, and I hope you won’t get in the way of that, Gui.”
 
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Gui

The Soul Collector
“I believe I just told you where you are,” Gui mused, a grin spreading over his face in mockery. Humans were always so stubborn in what they believed. “If you don’t believe me you can look for yourself,” he offered, his hand waving into the mysterious forest.

The island was vast and empty, a low mist hanging like mysterious curtains to cover away the secrets. Should the human choose not to believe Gui she could search every corner of the place but not find another living being. After all, life couldn’t survive this mystical place.

“Bo,” he repeated the female’s name. In his time here there had been many who shared a name and Bo was no exception. What was an exception was that there was a living being on his island, still breathing and warm. Gui wondered how the mysteries of the island would react to that. In all the time that he had been here even he didn't know all of its mysteries.

He wondered if the girl knew what she was asking for by coming here. What disruption there is to be if one meddled with life and death. Gui kept silent, however deciding that he would instead break out of routine and help himself. Perhaps experiment and discover.

“I can hardly interfere with life,” the male spoke, once more never getting straight to the point. “I can help you in your goal, however. Shouldn’t be too difficult,” he continued, voice composed and expression seemingly serious. Though it was quite the opposite. There was something sickly ironic about his offer, a humour only he knew and understood.

“You will need it, the island is treacherous,” and for the first time Gui managed to speak a truth.
 
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Tian Bo

The Warrior

Bo did just as he suggested, drinking in the sight of the island, though there wasn’t much that could be seen where she stood. She was eager to dash ahead and receive a better view of where she was and the world where the dead arrived itself. It was a miracle in itself that she had made it and was very much alive and breathing.But she was one step closer to achieving her goal and that alone was enough to keep her happy and energized.

The only thing Bo wasn’t sure of was this Gui character. Again, she trusted no one wearing a mask. After all, it meant they had something to hide, did it not? And the way he talked was almost too mocking for her taste, as if he was in on a joke and she was completely out of it. Not to mention, she wasn’t quite sure what he was. Perhaps a spirit?

No matter how suspicious of a character he was, Bo did need the help.

“You’d help me?” Bo questioned, locking her dark eyes on him and glaring slightly. “Why would you do that?” As far as she knew, he would gain no benefit from doing so. There was a possibility he could even earn trouble on his behalf.

“And why should I trust the likes of you?” Bo huffed. Admittedly, she was also still annoyed with his teasing attitude. Bo hated to be the butt of any joke, she was a warrior and they deserved respect and nothing less.”If the island is as dangerous as you say, and you are an inhabitant of it, how do I know you won’t simply stab me in the back?”
 
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Gui

The Soul Collector
She was a smart one, Gui had to admit. Needingly cautious and not too overly gullible. The collector was pleased to know that not just any boring human had come over. However, standing out here at the shore, with the mist thickening, Gui was growing bored of it.

“As I said, I can’t interfere with life, you’re alive, I can’t and won’t get in your way,” he explained once more, this time more serious as he watched the boat behind the female drift away. Life never stopped and the longer they stood here the more was wasted.

“I’m also the best bet you have,” he chuckled. “Coincidentally, also your only,” he continued, finding the whole thought amusing.

“Now, it is your own decision, but I’m heading back. It is chilly.” Turning around Gui pushed back the dense vegetation around him, disappearing into the forest that separated the shore and his place. The low mist that was always present stood low against him, making it seem like the collector was floating away instead of walking.

A careful listener would realise that the forest was silent, eerily so. However, while in the human world such silence was either a sign of a great storm, or ambush, it meant nothing for this dimension. Silence was its normal state, just like the mist hanging around and the numerous trees and plants growing wildly around. Unkempt and frozen in a limbo.

“Oh, I also have food, you must be hungry,” Gui called out from the mist. Suddenly, in a place that had only known silence a heat had entered bringing in all its consequences.
 
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Tian Bo

The Warrior

Bo harrumphed at Gui's response. She didn't like him. And not only because of the mask concealing his face, but because he was absolutely right. She had no one else to turn to and he didn't particularly seem like one to dabble into people's affairs other than to watch in amusement. That concept made her dislike him even more. Her journey would be nothing but an entertaining way for him to pass his time. But she had no choice but to accept it and the help he offered.

Her brown eyes narrowed in the direction of Gui and watched as he walked into the greenery and mist. Briefly, she looked behind her to find that her boat was no longer on the shore. It was too far gone for her to retrieve it and she could only stare, gaping at her greatest mistake. Now, she certainly had no way back, at least not now. Gui's assistance was detrimental for her mission to end successfully.

And the mention of food lit her eyes up. As if on cue, he stomach grumbled loudly. She was not only hungry, but tired too. Surely, a hot meal would solve at both issues. "Well, maybe a little." Bo admitted quietly and somewhat shyly as she stalked after Gui. She could hardly see her own hand with thick wall of fog.

His voice and movements were loud and clear on the silent island, however. She had trained every one of her senses to use as advantage. The training of a fighter came in handy in situations such as the current one she was in. She was knowledgeable and skilled when it came to anything regarding fighting and dangerous circumstances.

But for Tian Bo, that was all she was very smart in.

"What type of food do you eat here in the spirit world ...?" Bo asked as an after thought. She hadn't studied a lot about the after life. And she was coming to regret that.
 
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Gui

The Soul Collector
The rest of the island was as mysterious and empty as the shore had been. Flora surrounded them all around, giving the forest an eerie look along with the thick mist surrounding them. There were no singing of birds, no signs of wildlife, not even the zooming of a fly. Only the endless mist that wrapped itself around the pair. If Gui decided to walk any faster he could easily shake the female off and disappear, but he had invited her as a guest and as mischievous as he felt he knew that leaving a live being behind in the forest was dangerous.

“Food,” Gui quipped at Bo, a foxy grin appearing on his face once more. He couldn’t help himself, pausing for a moment. “Humans call them souls, however,” he continued, peeking over to see what reaction the female wore at his claim. She was a stern one, serious and honest, which made it all the more fun to play around with her. He was also bored beyond reason, being alone tended to do that.

“Just kidding, souls don’t digest well.” Another chuckle escaped the stranger, eyeing the sword in Bo’s hand. Was she a soldier looking for a fallen comrade? There had been many of them entering the realm. Dead, of course, since that is what war did. That the female cared enough to enter this realm was surprising, however. There weren’t many with the courage to pass the guard.

'Questions for the dining table,' Gui promised as he gazed Bo's posture. She distrusted him and for good reason.
 
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Tian Bo

The Warrior

"Sou -- what -?" Bo choked. She been taken off guard by Gui's answer. When she had asked about food, she had not been exspecting such a dark answer. They ate souls? Did that mean that her dear brother had been eaten or possible hiding away to avoid being gobbled up by shady characters such as this masked Gui person she had just met. If that was the case, did that mean her soul was endanger too It would make her entire mission more difficult than she had ever anticipated it to be. Everything could be ruined, she could be ruined, her dear Bai could be --

"Just kidding."

Again, Bo choked and then her shock and anxiousness were replaced by irritation. Her warrior training had been forgotten just to yell at Gui. Bo had never had the coolest temper and it was that and her occasional recklessness driven by emotion that tripped her up. "That was not funny!" She barked. Her pretty face crumpled up into a clearly agitated frown. Was this the type of attitude she would have to deal with her entire trip? If so, she wasn't so sure how long she'd survive without trying to attack him.

Still, as her temper slowly cooler off, he had said souls didn't digest well. She could have been overthinking it and he was joking again, but still. "Well, I hope for your sake that you didn't eat the soul of my friend." She huffed, placing her hand back onto the hilt of her sword simply because it was the most comfortable position in this mysterious land with no friends around. "Does anything in this place eat souls though? Would anything here eat me? Or are those dinner table questions as well."
 
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Gui

The Soul Collector
“Oh, dear, no that would be foul!” Gui exclaimed, quasi-disgusted by the notion of souls being eaten. He willfully ignored her second question, however. There was no fun in relieving her of all her worries straight away.

Pushing some bracken out of his way Gui soon revealed a straight pathway leading down a path of more mist and the faint light that betrayed the location of a large building.

”Seems like we’re almost there,” the male mused, fan waving open and close again in nonchalance. ”My home, that is,” he explained to the female with a cryptic smile.

The silhouette of the building betrayed its colossal size, the corners of the roof curling up towards the sky as spherical forms rested atop of them. Dividing itself into three circular layers the building looked more like a complex of apartments for many to live. The truth, however was that Gui was all alone in the building surrounded by the many, many rooms with walls filled with history to the brim.

A bright light floated towards the masked man, long and serpent-like with a thin moustache and beard hanging around its snout. Circling around Gui the creature seemed to be protecting him as more of its likeness came out. This time it decided to surround Bo.

“It is alright, she is a guest,” Gui spoke, his tone clipped as he put weight on the last word. The creatures paused as they turned their heads towards the masked stranger before circling around the female once more as they dove towards the sword on her hip.

“They are judging if you are worthy of their hospitality,” the soul collector chuckled, wondering if the human would understand the implications that the creatures were making. “They are sprites who decide whether you will move from this spot or not,” the man followed as he continued his walk down the path.

“The last time I angered the sprites they made me walk in circles for a month,” Gui called over his shoulder leveling up his voice. Smirking he opened his fan again, circling around to face the female as he proceeded to walk backwards. “The dining table sure is far if you don’t get their approval.”

With that he swirled around once more, following the sprite that had stuck to Gui’s side from the start. As he walked on the mist thickened that soon swallowed up the stranger, even if the distance had been short.
 
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Tian Bo

The Warrior

Not even for a moment did Bo miss his avoidance of her second inquiry. It garnered a slight frown from the female warrior, but she did not push for a verbal answer. She took his silence as a huge possible yes and what else was she to expect coming to such a strange and foreign place? But Bo was appeased with what information she had been given. After all, it did mean that her dear brother was safe from the possible dangers on this island. And she had already been prepared to go through whatever means necessary to retrieve her brother, and so if she had to face human eating creatures, so be it! She was ready.

Or so Bo thought.

Lai Tian Bo, the fierce and fearless warrior, was not at all prepared for the distinct otherworld being, the sprite --as Gui called it--. It was far from what she had been prepared to see. She froze on the spot, face growing slightly pale and her large brown eyes glued to the strange creature. Unlike Gui, this being truly made her stop in her tracks because it certainly was not human nor carried any characteristics of one. And, not that she wanted to, how would one go about fighting a sprite if it threatened to cause harm?

It seemed that picking a fight with any of these sprites was not something that one wanted to do. Before she could say anything else, Gui vanished in the mist and she was left alone. He certainly wasn't building her trust any faster. Bo huffed frustratedly but quickly offered a polite smile to the creatures as it seemed how far she went was up to them

"Very well then," Bo sighed slowly and reluctantly removed her belt from her hip, and with it her sword. She crouched down to place it neatly onto the ground. It pained her to leave behind her weapon, means of protection and very special gift from her brother. But retrieving her dear brother mattered more than what he had given her. With a determined nod and one more finger brush to the gold design on its sheath. "Okay." Bo said as she stood back up, "I'll leave it with you for safekeeping."

At least, she hoped it would keep it safe. Bo didn't wait for an answer before dashing ahead to catch up with her guide. He was not losing her that easily.
 

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Philosopher; Crimson Text;
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Gui

The Soul Collector
As soon as the sword was laid to the ground the sprite touched the blade, turning it into a ball of light that the sprite could carry. However, the human had already moved on, dashing after Gui as the sprites still occupied itself.

If Bo observed her surroundings she would notice more sprites gliding past her, seemingly moving peacefully at their own pace, but still travelling faster than she did in a dash. The white glowing bodies all carried smaller orbs or light, similar to the ball that her sword had been turned into. The only distinct difference between the lights was that these faded in and out, matching a calm breathing pattern. However, their destination was all the same as they headed for the silhouette of the building beyond the mist.

Gliding past the sprites moved with ease while Bo would find herself at the foot of the stairs. On top Gui stood in front of the great doors, seemingly waiting for a while seeing his relaxed posture and lack of exhaustion despite the long stairs. Beyond the sprites rushed past the masked man, rustling the fabrics near his legs as they delivered the balls of light way beyond inside of the building.

“Come now, you can hold onto their tails. They won’t notice,” Gui spoke, his voice surprisingly clear for the distance it travelled and his lack of an effort to yell. It was the fabrics of time and the lack of rules applied that allowed this to be possible. “You humans always take the hard road.”

Turning around without waiting for the human to reach him Gui stepped into the great hall of the building. While the building looked square from afar it was round within, the walls travelling into a circle with the halls stretched to the sides and rooms within. Levels and levels of rooms and places that the male hadn't quite discovered himself yet. Yet, the sprites seemed to know exactly where to go, gliding into the rooms to drop their balls before it floated out of the building again. In the very middle of it all, on the ground level where there was no roof to cover their heads, a table was set. More sprites were moving around there, setting teas and dishes onto the table, preparing for the guest arriving. Exotic fruits, meats, all of the best quality that was offered here on the table.

"Rare spoils, even in time of war," the male spoke to no one in particular as he moved himself towards the table. Above, where the roof was missing Gui could see the sky. Though by no means could he tell the time. A strange mixture of day and night happening above him, but always clear, that much was at least guaranteed.
 
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Philosopher; Crimson Text;
Tian Bo

The Warrior


Though Bo had reminded herself one too many times to stay focused since she arrived at the mysterious island, her attention was divided rather fast. The world around her was far more surreal and full of wonder than she had first begun to think. Even her dash had minimally slowed down the moment she noted the little ethereally glowing balls that Gui called sprites. She could only begin to imagine what else she would eventually run into when she really began looking for her brother. That thought was fleeting and forgotten when she was suggested to take the tail of spite to go faster.

Her brown eyes landed on a nearby sprite and blinked. Admittedly, she was still very cautious of the creatures and in no way put at ease, but she was certainly considering it. They weren't as scary as now that she was looking at it better and otherwise surrounded by them all. Without thinking twice, Bo baited her breath and waited for the right moment to reach out her hand and grab onto the tale of the bright creature. Naturally, she was far from prepared for the speedy ride up the steps she had been given. How did such a small thing have so much strength to lift something ten times its size of the ground and go just as fast without noticing her presence?

Luckily, Bo let go before she ended up somewhere even stranger than where already was. Besides being a little dizzy from confusion and the lift of the sprite, she was feeling rather exhilarated too and instantly followed in the steps of the masked Gui to the dining room. Seeing the roofless ceiling and sky should have surprised her more, but she was just beginning to get over her shock of this world and delving into nothing but wonder.

Focus, Bo! She shook her head and stalked after Gui. She couldn't get distracted ... no matter how delicious smelling the meals before them was, or how delectable it looked ... or how her stomach grumbled and her mouth watered. She may not have trusted Gui completely yet, but she was ready enough to if only to stuff her face.

"And you're sure this is safe to eat?" Bo licked her bottom lip nervously. She had a lot of questions, but sadly she wasn't asking the ones she truly wanted answers for. Such as, where she could find the spirits of those who passed on. Instead, her mouth was demanding something else.
 
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Philosopher; Crimson Text;
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Gui

The Soul Collector
Once there had been wonder in Gui’s mind. The same amazement and surprise that was now displayed on Bo’s face. The male wondered when that had all stopped, when everything surrounding him had stopped seeming out of the world, when everything had become just another lull of the day. Having the human around was refreshing like that, as it reminded him of a time before all this, a time where he still knew how to feel bewildered.

“Unless humans die twice,” the male responded in amusement. Bo’s question was a legitimate one and once Gui would have asked the same, but he had soon found how unnecessary it was. How dependent this realm was to everything human.

“The sprites don’t cook, these are offerings,” Gui explained as he took a seat at the table. He could see the hunger on the female’s face, eyes wide in anticipation as she tried to fight off the urge. Another chuckle escaped Gui at the sight as he picked up a chicken leg. “Well?” he questioned, waving the piece in front of the human’s face.

Before Bo could react Gui would take a bite himself. “Though, I suppose those technically aren’t meant for you,” he spoke as he gulped down the meat. He had always felt confused on why humans offered the best pieces to their dearly departed, but he certainly didn’t complain, it made living here a bit more enjoyable. “Since you are still alive and all. Do you humans have any customs on that? I hear a lot about curses,” Gui continued as he made himself comfortable. Throwing his feet onto the seat next to him the male leaned back into his seat, taking another gracious bite from the leg.

"I haven't been cursed so far, but I think it is worth the try," he casually remarked, shrugging his shoulders as he gave Bo a look through his mask. She definitely was an amusing one.
 
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Philosopher; Crimson Text;
Tian Bo

The Warrior


"Curses?" Bo repeated her attention Bo's mouth made a line as she stared at the feast laid on the table. It practically called her name. She had to make reasonable decisions, making one screw up while on this mission could cost her a lot. And the fact that this masked man -- if he even was a man --, Gui was always so amused by her made her all the more suspicious. Her eyes looked away from the food just to narrow slightly at him, it wasn't a mean glare, but a thoughtful one.

Her stomach grumbled again. Loudly. Her pale cheeks became warm and she closed her eyes to release a deep breath. Well, she couldn't very well starve to death and die on the island the very island that the dead went to when she was trying to bring back her brother. It wouldn't do if they were both dead.

"I guess I will have a bite." Bo decided it was the only choice that she had. She was already breaking one rule, what would be one more? That said, she slid into the seat nearest to her and looked at the many delicious meals that she had to choose from. Once again her mouth began to water. She reached for the chicken first. "Forgive me." She begged the gods before taking a large bite of the chicken leg in her hand. And it was as delicious as it looked and because of it her facial features instantly brightened

Curses were long forgotten as she filled her belly. Naturally, Bo had enough manners and sense to swallow before speaking. There were some dinner table questions she had to ask. "What's on the other side of this island?" She asked, putting down a chicken bone clean of meat. "Is that where the souls are?"

 
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Ignorance was a blessing. That the human girl proved to him as she gave him a quizzical look, eyes unsure of what he was getting on as she sat, ready to eat. Gui decided to keep it that way, there was no need to scare her into starvation after all and it would take away the fun of experimenting.

“The other side of the island?” Gui mused out loud, fan tapping on the table as he gave it a thought. It was obvious what she was here for, but it amused Gui how clueless she was. Had she done no research before coming here?

“No, you have already seen the souls,” he smiled, fan pointing to the little sprites and their balls of lights. “Those are the souls of the deceased, put to rest to prepare them for the next cycle,” Gui explained as he leaned over the table.

“Don’t think of stealing one, however. They are fragile and the debt cannot be paid by simply giving up your own,” Gui cautioned as he picked up some vegetables. “Far worse than whatever curse you will receive from eating the food of your ancestors,” he spoke between his chews, another smile on his lips.

“What is it that you want?” the man finally asked, eyes twinkling in amusement. There was some fun promised with this human intruder, he could feel it.