Another Horizon IC

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by ERode, May 22, 2015.

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  1. Overcast clouds drearily hung over the skeleton forests of Dansila, muted sunlight dulling the once vibrant colors of nature. The forest had once been alit with flame, autumn’s rain and winds stripping trees of their orange-red leaves, but now, they took on a darker shade, more akin to mud and dirt than fire. Clear cut paths in the woods lead to the capital city of Dansila, Cykes, and the merchants travelling down those well-trodden roads could only sigh as an airship flew overhead. It easily overtook their caravans, its engines and propellers loud enough that it sounded like it was making its presence known, just to spite those who were still bound to the land. A chilly wind passed through the air, but, as it had always been for the past few weeks, there was no sign of snow.

    The end of the eleventh month was coming, and it looked like those in Dansila won’t be welcoming the beginning of the twelfth with snowfall.

    The streets of Dansila, as maze-like as ever, was a hodgepodge of activity. School had just ended, and there were thousands of young people scrambling about, going onto their afterschool lessons, purchasing snacks, or simply heading home. Though there was no glorious afternoon sun to accompany them on their journey, no one really minded. Overcast was common for the eleventh month, even though the lack of snow wasn’t. The tiled rooftops and the resin-coated pillars created an atmosphere of ‘tradition’, even as the magical circuits that glimmered underneath revealed their true nature as mediums for runetech. That motley combination of new and old could be seen anywhere in Cykes, from fashionable young kids sporting the latest designer clothing imported from Astopol, to streetside food stalls that still displayed live animals that they’d butcher in plain sight to prove the freshness of their ingredients. It was messy, eccentric capital, people hopping from roof to roof just as often as they walked on stone-paved streets below.

    The buzz of excitement was even stronger on that particular day though, especially for bookworms. That evening, ex-Captain Ellenil Esprit, a slender woman whose nymph-like beauty was matched only by her awe-inspiring writing skills, was purportedly coming to Seyour University for a special event. Many believed it to be a lecture, but many more hoped for a handshake event. Needless to say, before the unseen sun had even dipped under the horizon, a queue was forming up at the entrance of the palace-esque military academy.

    It was definitely going to be an exciting day.

    As the flashy airship crossed over Cykes, the captain, a balding, scrawly-bearded gentleman sighed, relieved. He wiped the sweat off his brow, checked out the output levels of the airship’s engines, and even managed to smile. Though it wasn’t intentional, they were now going to be able to deliver the goods early. Perhaps even get a bonus for their troubles. Pulling down the periscope and swiveling it backwards, the captain examined the land that airship had just passed through.

    His smile faded.

    It was still coming.

    ~{ Chapter 0 ; Bloodstone Convergence }~
    | OOC | Index | IC |
    #1 ERode, May 22, 2015
    Last edited: May 22, 2015
  2. An exciting new city, safe the culture, was something the young maid butler had looked forward to. Even better when her new employer actually gave her a day off, being her first time in Cykes after all. Not being any different, the black haired girl's goal was actual sight-seeing, the many academies of Cykes and their strange invention were one thing to look forward to, but the entire vibe this city gave off in comparison to Illiserev was just weebish different, like something she had never seen before, and thus she ultimately didn't even need to visit the one or other fancy sight-seeing spot to get a smile on her face.

    That however changed rather fast as, thanks to her unfortunate timing, the streets filled with tons of brats from all age groups. Now? Aresia's looked like she would murder any of those fucks if they actually dared to dirty her stylish suit. They could have been really glad that sooner or later the maid butler decided to continue her small adventure on one of the many rooftops, and seriously, who the hell made that hell of a maze anyways? At least up here she was capable of getting back some clue about where exactly she was, not to mention finding the way back to the tavern... . With the possibility of slowly slandering through the streets and appreciating the architecture gone, Aresia's options were now a bit more limited, and finally she set off towards this oh-so great university, or more like, museum.

    Of course, with her luck, the university museum, a place that people were supposed to find boring and lame, was filled with lots of people too. And while one could expect that those people were actually boring and lame enough to just shut up, no, surprise, they were very noisy here as well! This was like school all over again. But already being here, the black hair still decided to check out the many pieces of art and runetech inventions that were supposed to take over the tasks of humans.
  3. The whirring motors of the airship caught more than the attention of simple merchants. Resting in the back of a wagon, Elthrad’s ponderous gaze turned skyward. The machine was a marvel of technology which Elthrad, like the merchants, had quickly grown tired of seeing. Mankind didn’t need the power to reach across nations so quickly, their hunger was voracious enough when limited to the speed of nature. To his eyes, this marked a change that people such as his would never recover from. With a sigh bearing much more weight than the merchants’, he turned his gaze back towards the road and the city looming ahead.

    As a Knight-Errant, it was his duty to explore the lands and bring glory to the Goddess, and by extension Astopol. Although he held nature in the highest regard, the Goddess of men had not been unkind to him and he truly loved Astopol, so he was committed to doing just that. His quest so far had brought him to Dansila, a land where children younger than him hunted Rift-Beasts for sport, or so it was told. He had met the caravan some time back, and they had hired him on for their trip to Cykes. Although there were many skilled wielders of talentium these days, the demand was never fully sated and his inexperience and generosity made him less expensive. He was not the only one traveling with the caravan, but he hadn’t done any socializing on the trip.

    Once at the gates, Cykes bombarded Elthrad’s senses. The roar of students released from their studies, the intermingling scents and the rise in temperature. Normally, he was not fond of cities, but during the winter months the bustle of the city had the strange quality of making it appear to be in the midst of spring. Unlike the trees, bears and bird, humans didn’t change for the seasons.

    Elthrad rolled his shoulders, stretching after the long ride, and stepped over the side of the wagon. The caravan had come to a halt to be inspected, which he didn’t intend to wait for. Without claiming his modest payment from the caravan master, he passed through the checkpoint and entered the city proper. Knowing little of the city, he decided to let his nose do the guiding and seek out some food. It was not long before he found the market, with a little help from his ears, and decided to get what appeared to be a popular food from a street vendor.

    It was some sort of wrap made from batter and filled with greens, which he decided was surprisingly good. With his appetite sated he decided he would wander to get a feel for the city, and perhaps later he would find an inn where he could store his cumbersome armor.
  4. Ashe weaved through the crowds of people; coming from the Cykes airfield to her brother Verek's place. He had asked for her to drop off some more of her notes, despite having just done so the other day. At the rate he was blazing through all of her hard earned research and study, he would likely make it up to her lab notes from the internship by the first snowfall. Still, that point was far less than halfway with the consistency of learning she had been maintaining while Verek was with their father. It was still a wonder how he could be absorbing all this information at such an accelerated pace, so the girl was under the assumption that her brother was leaving gaps in his knowledge, or was learning the information passed onto him, but not understanding.

    Later, after the exchange with Verek took place, she would be stopping by Escellar's lab for more study and to help as the good intern she was. I wonder if I could sneak a nap in somewhere? Ashe idly thought as she stifled a yawn. The airship field where she had been was the sight of her recent, and only, job for the day. While she was more accustomed to the art of repairing someone's ventilation or toilet, it was nice to have something challenging and varied from time to time. Despite her enjoyment, it was still a dirty job. Grease from overly lubricated joints, dirt from areas which had long remained unclean, and even a little blood from where she cut herself on her ankle had all accumulated on the long sleeved white shirt she was wearing under her overalls, making her a true mess to behold. It wasn't like the girl to fuss over a little grime, though, so she continued on through the crowd, readjusting the tool bag slung over her shoulder and giving a lazy smile to the people who dared cover their noses from the harsh smell she was letting off.

    The girl found her brother's dorm with no assitance, having been there more than enough times before. She knocked. Once. Twice. A third time. No answer; he must be out. Ashe sighed, a little annoyed she couldn't see the brother she already saw so little of, but dutiful in the way she slipped the few rustling papers out of her bag and through the crack of the door and the ground. Hope he doesn't need any explanation on the previous subject matter or what's written there, seeing as how those are mostly diagrams.

    Making her way out, she simply passed the Seyour University and its mob on her way to the lab. Ashe had casually asked one of the congregating people what was happening; apparently, a big name book writer was holding some event there, and these people were all her fans. Not exactly her cup of tea, but she thanked the man graciously before moving on. She passed what could only be described as a giant crepe vendor, something that peaked her interest, and her appetite, but the prices were well above the girl's modest budget. Ashe was barely scrapping by in an apartment more akin to a shack than a home, and eating sandwiches which amounted to a little more than bread with a bland topping. Of course, she did have a little change floating around in her pocket from the airship... This, in Ashe's flawed was of thinking, was enough to convince Ashe to splurge a little, and, instead of stopping at the crepe vendor like many had done on their way to SU's event, she made a detour in her route to the marketplace, where a local gyoza vendor had set up. It served the dumplings with more than enough crisp to be enjoyable. Setting out on this small mission, she began humming a small tune to herself.
  5. The sights and streets of Cykes was a familiar thing to Charlotte, who’d only just been a student in the city seven months prior, when all was right with the world. The day went by fairly carefree; since she was a bit too broke to continue her education for some time, she spent some time touching base with old school friends and professors, one of which was even kind enough to let her sit in on one of his astronomy lectures. Hell, she even hung out with her old roommate for an hour or two to shoot the breeze, which mostly consisted of her old friend getting smashed and having to be dragged back to her room in the midday sun.

    She never was the type to be an asshole or a pompous rich-bitch, but being back in the city with little but a few coins in her pocket was a humbling experience. While she certainly still had a few gold pieces in her coinpurse, it was almost odd for her to be so thrifty in deciding what food or drink to have when she used to be able to put everything on a tab and pay out the lump sum without a care in the world. Thankfully, Cykes was home to many broke-ass college students, and finding cheap street food was not a difficult task. Buying a stick of skewered barbeque chicken at a small vendor, Charlotte ended up running into Ashe, an old classmate of hers, and they talked for a few minutes before parting. By then, it was nearing dusk, and she made to head back towards the inn where Alexa and her butler had made their lodgings.

    During this short trip, however, she became acutely aware that somebody seemed to be following her in the crowded streets of the city. She’d felt a similar presence during the night, raising her suspicions, so when Charlotte saw another friend by the name of Raela, she jumped on the opportunity. Funnily enough, the pink-haired girl latched herself onto her, clearly bored enough to follow random friends. So they headed back to the inn, doing anti-stalker maneuvers.
  6. "And here I thought my status as a creature of the night would keep me concealed!" Raela proclaimed as Charlotte managed to pick out her presence amidst the crowd. Truly she was grateful in the end, though, as her boredom had started to become unbearable. Her belly full with the blood of a willing junior, Raela had little else to do in the way of entertainment. Being a graduate, and unemployed to boot, meant many a days of helplessness. Thankfully, her past boarding in Gael's dormitory had lent her a wealth of colorful friendships to fall back upon when the going got tough.

    Raela had taken a particular liking to Charlotte, as the wealthy girl strongly reminded her of the tenants her own father had stressed during her youth. She'd go as far as to say Charlotte embodied them just as well as herself. Kind, not of any particular arrogance, relatable. The vampiress found a good deal of pleasant qualities in her, and summarily looked to strengthen their relationship as best she could during her school days. All the same, their harrowing adventure stories had a similar taste, furthering her gravitation towards the girl.

    "You're moving awfully... particular. Shifty eyes, hurried movement. Someone after my dear Charlotte?" Raela inquired, her wide grin making it quite obvious she was aware of some sort of need to "get away" from something, or someone.
  7. Only the barest amount of ambient light managed to slip through the room’s thick curtains and illuminate its interior. The time of day where streams of sunlight might have managed to poke through had long passed, yet buried within a bundle of blankets the room’s occupant had just awoken. Araki sat up amidst a sea of cloths within a bed quite a bit too large for him and yawned openly with no one around to admonish him. Feet slipped off the side to touch warm flooring and a hand ran through messy hair as he plodded his way out of the room.

    The sounds that drifted in from outside the estate were plentiful and coaxed him to wakefulness as he made his way down the stairs. As expected of the time he’d awoke, there was no one to greet him and Araki made his own way into the building’s kitchen. On the counter laid a plate covered bowl with a spoon laid on top with a note that indicated it was meant for him. Uncovering the leftovers released a cloud of steam that filled the air with tantalizing smells and despite the fried rice’s simplicity it would be, without a doubt, delicious.

    He returned up the stairs with the bowl in hand, happily devouring the rice, and paused at the top to open a window and glance out. As expected the sun had begun its descent to the other horizon. As a result the streets were busy with mostly students that’d just been let out of class, but also the vendors that hawked their wares, services, and delicacies to them. For a moment he let himself simply bask in the sun’s rays, eat a nice warm meal, and listen to the hustle and bustle of Cykes. Then that moment passed, the window was slid shut, and Araki returned to his room.

    When he left the building, it was wrapped up in various layers of clothes as per usual. Soft blue hues layered over one another along with his age painted a rather youthful picture. Of course rather than push open the small gates into the busy streets Araki chose to jump up onto the walls that enclosed his home. He surveyed the crowd from the vantage point for a moment, receiving a number of glances in return, before he kicked off the tiles with a gentle hop. Yet the movement threw him into the air that let him clear the street with ease and land on the opposite building. He grinned from the brief moment of excitement before he landed just as softly, but it was a fleeting feeling. So he ran. Without any real destination or direction in mind, he simply surveyed his surroundings, picked a path that looked challenging, and put his body to work. While his clothes might have seemed an odd choice to go roof-running with, the many layers of cloth didn’t impede him in the slightest.
  8. Alexa grinned to herself as she layed about on a rooftop in the marketplace, clutching a bottle of cheap wine in her hand and taking the occasional swig from it as she watched the bustling activity in the marketplace. She'd given her maid some time off, and Charlotte had run off to catch up with old friends, so that really left her with nothing to do but laze about for the day and drink.

    Of course, she really should go about finding another mercenary job soon. Alexa and her little retinue were still in the black as far as money was concerned, thanks to a rather lucrative job involving two rift beasts a week ago, but hell, more money never hurt anyone.

    Glancing down at the marketplace, Alexa took another long pull from her wine bottle, only to frown as the flow of fermented grape juice suddenly stopped. Mother fucker. An entire bottle of wine and she was barely feeling a buzz? Alexa supposed this was what she got for buying the cheapest bottle she could find at the market. Sighing, she got up from lying down on the rooftop, preparing to jump down into the marketplace before she saw an old friend walking down the street. Well, more like acquaintance, but that never stopped her.

    Leaping down into the street, Alexa landed right behind her mark and wrapped her arm around her, grinning.

    "Ashie!" Alexa cried out cheerfully, still clutching the empty wine bottle in her other hand.
    #8 Psyker Landshark, May 23, 2015
    Last edited: May 23, 2015
  9. "Holy hell... this place is crazy..."

    Whilst most would have considered visiting Danslia an exciting ordeal, Raiga didn't really feel the same way about this place. Used to his own and sometimes a punching bag's company, being within a paved street of hollering, running, and probably overpriced stalls wasn't exactly his cup of tea. Although Raiga could appreciate the intriguing architecture of the area, whenever he went up to examine a building, somebody ran and jumped across it, or was swinging off the windows in order to get to the next building. He already preferred his short time within the more relaxed Astopol to this madness... but in order to train, he'd have to put up with the overly loud and strange ambience.

    Raiga was currently shirtless, exposing a strongly-built chest of tanned skin as the wind swept his charcoal-black hair behind him. Most would have thought Raiga was doing this to show off to the ladies, but the truth was that he couldn't really afford a shirt. This caused a few funny looks from people here and there; dislike of the unwanted attention caused Raiga to duck a little as he walked, wincing a little from embarrassment. Archipelago customs seemed to be way different to everybody else's. He was only here to get jobs to kill some of these... 'beasts', as his father called them. He'd undergone so much relentless training that if he wasn't ready for a job like this now, he'd never be ready. Ever since he got those Talentium gauntlets and boots, he'd never felt more ready for something like this. But first, he needed directions.

    Avoiding the various stalls and screaming people, Raiga's deep brown eyes scanned the area for somewhere he could pick up information. For crying out loud - there was even a drunk woman on the roof of the marketplace! Trying to not get too distracted by this fact, Raiga's eyes finally settled on something that could prove mildly useful: an inn. Swinging the door open, Raiga was instantly hit by a whole new wave of sound from the building. The inn also had the stunningly beautiful lady here and there, but that couldn't even slightly be a distraction. It was time to get down to business.

    Sheepishly, Raiga did his best to make himself comfortable on a barstool, shuffling his muscular body on the stool. He must have looked like he was looking for a punch-up or being a general ass by entering shirtless and exposing his muscles. Raiga ducked down a little and tried to avoid a few glares, and tapped the bar counter to get the bartender's attention. Obviously, he'd need to buy something if he wanted to get some information.
    "Yeah... I'll take a cup of that rice wine you do. Sake, is it?" Raiga asked, pronouncing the drink wrong (Say-key). Shuffling in his trouser pockets, he rooted around for what little he had to prepare to pay the bartender. Hopefully he'd finish his drink as soon as possible, get the information, and get out of here. He didn't want to be part of some drunken brawl, otherwise he might accidentally kill someone.
    #9 Jakers, May 23, 2015
    Last edited: May 24, 2015
  10. The three knocks by his sister were not enough to wake the sleeping youth, who had been up until early morning as inspiration fueled his brain through the whole night. Her sister's notes from the previous visit were a jumbled mess on his desk rather than neatly stacked as usual. The results of his passionate calculations were on a sheet on paper underneath his head, the runes and designs drawn upon it furiously scribbled out as the ideas proved unworkable. His own ignorance bred by years away haunted him every time he began a new design. He would find himself halfway to a prototype when he would come across a new principle or law that shattered everything he had worked upon. It didn't matter how many times it had happened though, he would follow through with his every halfway decent idea, determined to succeed.

    It was only a short time after she had left that Verek finally awoke, yawning widely and keeping his eyes shut against any glare from the sun that might peek through his windows. Slowly he pushed himself up into a sitting position and, confident the curtains were doing their proper job, opened his eyes. The room was lit by what little light that could break through the clouds and didn't pain his sleeping eyes too badly. Standing up he stripped down and stumbled into the shower where the miracle of runetech provided beautifully hot water. After showering and dressing in casual clothes with a large, navy blue cloak over the top he finally noticed the notes on the floor in front of his door. Picking them up he immediately recognised what they were.

    "Dammit, I missed Ashe." he said, frowning. He looked over to his desk and blanched at the thought of going back to that work as soon as he woke up. He needed to finally take some time off and head outside. To that end he did a quick tidying up of his desk, putting the new papers into their own pile, and left the dorms. The question now was where to go. And would he actually make it there given the city's maze like structure. Right outside the academy he uncovered the line leading to the ex-captain's event. It caught his attention and he wondered whether he should join the line or head more into the city. Probably better to actually go out if he was going out, he didn't even know what she would be talking about.

    Heading into the city he wondered if he would somehow bump into anyone he knew.
  11. He flowed effortlessly from rooftop to rooftop and crossed districts in a matter of moments, homes and housing changed to shops and stores. Despite the delicious meal he just had, Araki was still hungry enough that he’d check to see if there was anything particularly tempting in the air this afternoon. As a myriad of scents began to hit him, Araki had to fight the urge to simply stop and bask in them. This was simply only the outskirts of the marketplace, the fragrance of food would be heaviest deeper in.

    Here, where the streets were even more crowded, it wasn’t uncommon to meet others that ran above the crowds. Araki didn’t pay much attention to the others that shared this space with him; he responded to the occasional greeting, but otherwise flowed past them without a thought. He came to a halt when someone dove into the crowd just ahead of himself. The scents were strong here, almost palatable, and a few moments were spent to savor the air with a few deep breaths. Curious, he also wandered to the building’s edge and peered down into the crowd for the stranger that had jumped off. Surprisingly, when he found the reddish haired individual she was behind a familiar face.

    Rather than dive-bomb into the crowded street Araki stepped off the rooftop and drifted slowly down towards the pair under his own power. Given he was probably fairly noticeable at this point above the crowd’s heads he gave a friendly wave and greeting in the pair’s direction. “Hi Ashe.” The two of them seemed fairly close, though given the empty wine bottle in the other girl’s hand, that observation may have been questionable.
  12. The visit to the museum turned out to be a lot more interesting than she initially expected. While not sure what to really make of all those strange tools that were supposed to help out in ones everyday life and could theoretically make the job of a maid easier, but also less sought after, the most eye-catching for her personally was one of very simple design. A square-sized object that easily fit into ones hand and through operating of a mechanism allowed to create a small flame, sure, the fire fist bitch was capable of creating flames herself, but that was like trying to make a campfire through the use of a Flammenwerfer. A flammenwerfer, also here in the museum, was basically one of those new fancy weapons, designed like some bizarre long dragon able to thrust a LOT of fire forwards, not someone one would want to use in a forest...or anywhere but rock really.

    Aresia was just about to read something about another runetech thing that had the very purpose of fighting such flames when suddenly some sort of voice resonated through the entire complex.

    "Dear visitors,

    the museum is about to be closed in 10 minutes due to various preparations. Please use the designated exists and have a nice day."

    And then it started, hell broke loose. People scrambled, pushed, shoved, it was just a big mass of flesh plumped together slowly trying to get out. And Aresia was in the middle of it. She didn't have much of a choice, and didn't plan to get through the trouble of accidentally hurting anyone else either. But it was annoying nonetheless, at least they had rules for no food and such so her suit was on the safe side.

    And then, then she saw it, between that ocean of black and brown hair that pretty much every student here had with the rare occurrence of another color, there was something white-haired. The mere thought of this being HIM made her heart skip a beat. Was something like this even possible? Coincidence? Fate? Was it really him? She couldn't tell from behind, but there was a possibility. And it wouldn't hurt asking, right? With an actual goal in mind, her movement became firmer, instead of simply going with the flow of the crowd she aimed towards the white hair, still careful to not walk over someone, and luckily for her there was no bullshit of losing sight of him or whatever, no, Aresia got closer and closer until she was basically behind him, with a face full of hope and bright as the sun now, she slightly tapped his back.
  13. On her walk to the market place, Ashe had run into an old acquaintance by the name of Charlotte. It was good to see her, though it struck her as curious that a particular friend of this girl was not far behind. While the runetechnician wouldn't claim to know what her and Alexa were like outside of school, but in it, the two were nearly inseparable. Ashe had thought that such loyalty was adorable, yet at the same time wondered if she would know how it felt to share such a connection with somebody. Ashe waved her off, telling her she was in a bit of a hurry to make an appointment she had at her place of internship, yet still grab a bite to eat before then.

    The girl made a b-line for the concession stand, but still found herself waiting in line. A necessity in life to maintain order, but still a bothersome thing when you were already cutting it close by the minute. By the time she was next in line, a bosomy person had hopped on her back and startled her to hell and back. "Alexa!" she said, wrestling the girl off her before doing much else. She gave a quick burst of a sigh. "What the hell, I should've expected this; Charlotte's with you then? I ran into her on my way here." Ashe was able to smell the alcohol, and see the bottle Alexa still clutched. She pinched her nose; the smell being more repugnant than the delectable gyoza right behind her. "Still up to your usual ways, eh? I'd offer to buy us a small bottle for old times sake, but-"

    Only then was she approached by a voice yet again, this time by an underclassman she had also been friends with. "Araki!" She scratched the back of her head at this exclamation, blushing, hoping that her former junior hadn't heard her admission of deviance. Noticing the annoyed look of the vendor for them holding up the line, Ashe's face turned an impossible shade of red. She placed her order and received it not minutes later. Paying the man, the girl pulled her two acquaintances to the side before continuing their conversation. "What on earth are you doing here? You didn't happen to skip classes again, did you?" This question was posed because Ashe had become all too aware at the little boy's habits. She sighed, knowing this was likely the case. "Anyways, I've got something to do," she checked her pocket-watch as she said this, nearly spitting out her food as she noticed how late she was becoming. "Ah, well, I'd hate to abandon you guys, particularly you Alexa, since we haven't seen each other in a while, but, uh," Ashe was stumbling with her words, the pressure on her mounting. "You want to come along to the lab? Lots of interesting runetech to look at! If you're bored anyways, and don't have anything to do!" She was hoping that this was going to be okay with Escellar. "Right, if you're coming, follow me. If not, don't." She trotted off, not bothering to wait for a response from wither of the two. I'm going to be so late!
  14. “On the contrary, friend, your bright hair makes you the most identifiable in any crowd.” Indeed, it was easier for Charlotte to spot the pink-haired vampire out of all the friends and acquaintances that she’d met up with during the day. That said, she was a bit taken aback by the vampire’s bold statement. Clearly made in jest, she would have still half expected the crowd to stop and stare, but they clearly knew it was one or did not care enough to do anything about it. Thinking it over momentarily, Charlotte was glad that didn’t happen, for that would give her pursuers a rare chance for a more public and less discrete opening. But that was nothing against her fanged friend; knowing her history, that made her all the more admirable, and in these trying times, made her ever relatable.

    Moving through small streets that she had become well familiar with during her years at school, the pair seemed to make relatively swift work of throwing off any unsavory pursuants. It wasn’t much of a high-intensity situation, and she even found the time for a friendly wave to a familiar shopkeeper, who was closing up shop for the day. Slowing down to a more casual pace, she faced Raela with an equally mischievous grin.

    “If I told you it was an army, how would you react?” Now that was an experience. The skirmish on the Illiserev coast with her old friend only seemed like yesterday. “Fun stuff, really. I'm surprised you haven't heard. I’m the head of my family now, but that’s not really a good thing when you're taking control of debt, and not a company. Debtors got involved, and I might have pissed some people off when Alexa and I beat up the small army they sent as my welcoming gift. Seems like we’ve been followed since then, so the past few weeks have been an exercise in attentiveness."

    Taking a few more steps, Charlotte paused, looking up into the totally not darkening sky for a moment. "Maybe it would be better to skip the inn for now?"
    #14 Click This, May 23, 2015
    Last edited: May 24, 2015
  15. In his search for friends Verek had been completely unsuccessful. It had taken a lot of his concentration to simply remember the way around the city, given his extended time studying, let alone search through the crowds for people he knew. At one point he thought he glimpsed a familiar style of bright pink hair, but it was quickly swallowed up by the sea of much blander colours. At some point it occurred to him Ashe might be at Escellar's lab and it wouldn't hurt to be there himself for awhile. He probably wouldn't understand a thing they were doing but he could still observe.

    Closing his eyes he mentally checked where he was and how far away the lab was. He tried to plot a route between the two spots and was standing still for a few seconds. And then a few seconds longer as Cykes' design got the better of him. As such he was unaware of the presence approaching from behind.

    A poke on the back distracted him from his thoughts and his eyes snapped open. It had been too deliberate of a feeling to be accidental, and the boy swung around to see who was behind him. His expression fell slightly at the sight of the maid and he was sure that her own bright and hopeful face would do the same now he had a view of him. Why she had poked him in the first place was a mystery. Unless she had sought him out to tease him for some reason. "Oh, hello Aresia." he said, easily remembering his 'kind of rival but only form his perspective''s name, "It's been awhile since we saw each other. Uh, how have you been?"

    Between his surprise at her appearance and actions and his own confusion the words were quite awkward. Of all the people he could have bumped into Aresia would not have been high on his list.
  16. At the mention of an army, Raela recalled the tall tale of Charlotte's past, though didn't seem all that worried regardless of how probable it actually was. She trusted her own skills, but against a pursuing "army" her pride faltered. She doubted she could pull off the same results that Charlotte's friends afforded her years ago. Still, she lightened the situation.

    "Hm, then I'd have to say I would lay down my life to defend you, my princess! I can't afford losing so... delicious a friend," Raela giggled, "But in all seriousness, why not procure a retinue of guards? If need be, I can assist you. I was left with a hefty sum of money by my father when he sent me away." Indeed, as his life became steadily less certain, Raela's father realized that his future was found almost solely in his daughter. As much as he raised her to be complacent and polite, he knew Raela wouldn't take well to a much poorer lifestyle in Dansila. Before she escaped, he bestowed upon her a pretty grandiose fortune, stressing to her that it should only be used if absolutely necessary. Still, she knew the true value of it, and knew then that random spending wouldn't dent it very much. It was still relatively untouched regardless of her willingness to spend, testament to her father's hammering of values.

    "I'd be happy to ensure my friend isn't being stalked by burly bounty hunters all the day long. Gods know that you've experienced enough!" As the two approached the inn and Charlotte opted to venture elsewhere, Raela titled her head.

    "Why so? Worried that someone will follow us inside?"
  17. Alexa smiled as Ashe offered to buy them a bottle of booze. Free alcohol was good alcohol, after all. As some cute little underclassman walked up to the two of them, the Sword Arts wielder grinned as Ashe whirled around to face him, blushing. Of course, Alexa got the entirely wrong idea from this, assuming that Ashe had taken a boy toy for herself. Actually, Alexa was impressed by this. She didn't think Ashe had it in her. Giggling slightly at the double entendre that logically followed that train of thought, Alexa made her own order of gyoza after Ashe, happily chowing down on the dumplings as Ashe spoke the underclassman.

    As Ashe left in a hurry, though, Alexa's face fell slightly, but recovered nonetheless. Oh well. She could catch up with her later. If Ashe still lived in the same boarding house, that is. Then again, she didn't exactly have a reason to leave Ericsson's place. Still, even if she didn't know where Ashe lived now, she could probably just ask Gael. Or pop by the lab and ask Escellar.

    "Well, whatever. I can go out on the town with her tonight or something." Alexa shrugged, popping the last dumpling into her mouth before turning to Araki. "Hey, Ashe's friend, wanna go get liquored up? My treat." She grinned impishly, hoping he'd accept, if only just to see what Ashe's reaction would be when she found him drunk.
  18. Elthrad

    The plan to explore first and dispense with his armor later was becoming less and less practical as Elthrad meandered about cluelessly. He had been hoping to see this Seyour University he had heard about on the road, but the layout of the city was unlike anything he had witnessed before, and the height of the residential buildings made it difficult to find a single point of reference like a palace tower or monument. He was just tiring himself out on the lowest level of the city, with supernaturally agile students bounding overhead and leaping about.

    With a sigh, he decided Cykes was not an easy city to understand and “getting a feel for it” without any information was hopeless. Running a distracted hand through his blond hair, he read the signs of the storefronts along the street before him, twisting his head to the left to read the ones on his blindside. He spotted an inn, where he could rest with a drink and see about renting a room. He moved through the crowd carefully, apologizing to anyone he bumped into. The Dansilans weren’t a particularly large folk, as far as he’d seen.

    He passed through the door to the inn and immediately felt the warmth of a fireplace, but it was opposite of the bar so he could put his back to it. The room was lively, with serving girls dancing about to deliver drinks and food to tables and the occasional bout of raucous laughter. He spotted the bartender in front of a large, well-muscled man. Although he and the stranger looked drastically different, he could tell at a glance that the stranger was equally out of place. Approaching the two, he took a stool on the man’s left, lowering himself awkwardly onto the stool to keep his sword and armor from tripping him up.

    I’ll have a glass of whatever you recommend, chilled preferably,” he said, wiping the sweat from his forehead with a handkerchief before tucking it back in his belt.
  19. Raiga leant on the counter, drumming his gauntlet-covered fingers against the wooden surface somewhat irritably. The bartender hasn't really been of much use, even after he'd payed a hefty amount for his drink. Perhaps he should have planned ahead a little more. Raiga looked at the clear liquid in the small clay cup the sake was served, picked it up, and downed it. Hmm... alright, that actually tasted pretty good and he wouldn't mind another, but it still wasn't really worth the money, in Raiga's opinion. He'd probably barely be able to afford a room for tonight; hopefully he'd get used to this weird city as soon as possible.

    Raiga looked up from his empty cup as he heard a clanking or armour to the left of him. With a discreet turn of his head, Raiga got a glance of the man over his shoulder. Woah... with an eyepatch and armour like that, Raiga assumed this was the kind of guy that had seen many battles. Perhaps he was a commander or something? Then again, probably not... Raiga wasn't really an expert, but his gear didn't really look 'Dansilan' or whatever - but hey, he hadn't the slightest clue what the Dansilan military were uniformed like.

    Either way, Raiga didn't feel completely out of place anymore. Compared to all the others whooping and dancing members of the tavern, this guy also certainly stood out. Raiga blinked, before deciding to make conversation with this one-eyed man. Perhaps he'd get the directions he needed to find where all the beast-slaying was.

    "So, uh..." Raiga said a little awkwardly, pushing his empty cup away as he looked at the man sheepishly. This guy was a standard human, by the looks of things - a good start.

    "You get by Dansila often? Truth is, er... I'm totally new to this place. Came in from Astopol, y'see. I'm lookin' for wherever you sign up to slay beasts. Sorry to ask, but, d'you know the directions to somewhere like that? I didn't really arrive prepared." Raiga asked, pushing long black hair out of his face as he talked. Raiga felt pretty uncomfortable right now; he didn't even know what this important-looking guy was like. Raiga was sort of hoping this guy was new in town, too, because then he wouldn't feel completely stood out from the other average guy or girl in Dansila. The shift of culture from Astopol to Dansila was pretty huge, and would definitely take some getting used to. Raiga felt pretty dumb for not hiring a tour or getting a map... but hopefully things would still work out alright. He was eager to train his abilities further, after all.
    #19 Jakers, May 24, 2015
    Last edited: May 25, 2015
  20. Araki allowed himself to be grounded and pulled off to the side with only a glance at Ashe’s friend, the smell of alcohol certainly lingered around her. His attention was recaptured by her question and he simply ran a hand through his hair, shrugged, and questioningly said, “Maybe?” Further conversation was cut short as Ashe ran off through the crowd in a hurry though and left Araki alone with her “friend”. While he was sort of curious about the runetech she worked with in the laboratory her friend’s voice distracted him for a moment and that was enough for the crowd to sweep away his senior.

    Grumbling under his breath, he tossed the older girl’s offer back and forth in his head for a few moments. Gael had tried to keep a watchful eye over him at the Fight Club, but it had been inevitable that Araki would get slipped a few drinks one way or another. Which meant he found out at a rather young age that alcohol and him? The two did and would not mix. Besides finding the taste disgusting, he was pretty much a light weight as well. So with both hands raised and several vigorous shakes of the head, Araki declined the “lady’s” offer.

    Alexa shrugged, mildly disappointed by the rejection. Well, it looked like she’d have to wait for Ashe to get back if she didn’t want to drink alone for the rest of the day. She supposed she could go find Charlotte, but she didn’t exactly drink that much compared to her. Guess it was time to buy another bottle and while away the hours.

    “Alright, suit yourself. You ever reconsider, ask Ashie where I am. She can probably track me down.” Alexa made to leave, but turned around for a moment as a thought passed through her head. “By the way, you ever heard of the Fight Club? I tried tracking it down, but it looks like they’ve moved it again since I graduated.”

    Doubtful that it would ever come to that, Araki nonetheless gave a small nod at the offer and an, “Alright.” His attention drifted for a moment as his mind wondered what to buy, but it seemed she hadn’t left as expected. Turning around, Araki scrutinized her for a few moments, but given she looked a bit older than or around Ashe’s age it wasn’t much of a surprise that he didn’t recognize her, even with the knowledge she had apparently participated in the Fight Club.

    A slight tilt of his head made it quite obvious that Araki was lost in his own thoughts, but thankfully he only took a few seconds to settle them. If she knew of its existence then it should be fine… so he hopped up onto the rooftop and waved for her to follow. Not that he was going to lead her to the front doors, but directions at street level could be far harder to understand. Now, without an endless number of buildings obstructing their view, Araki gestured in the direction of Ericsson’s building. “If you know Gael Ericsson’s place, it got moved a few streets down from it. Go south until you hit the restaurant by the corner and take a left. It’s under the knick knack shop a few minutes down the road.”

    Well, that worked out just fine. Alexa didn’t expect that this underclassman actually knew about the Fight Club, but it was damned convenient that he did. She knew where that knick knack shop Araki mentioned was, so it wouldn’t be hard tracking the place down. Turning around, Alexa gave Araki a jaunty wave as she prepared to leave.

    “Thanks, Ashie’s friend. By the way, never got your name. Mine’s Alexa.”

    ‘Ah, right.’ A bit embarrassed that he had never asked for her name, Araki dropped his head in a slight bow. “Nice to meet you, I’m Araki Seclair.” Given he didn’t go to the Club all that often anymore, occasionally dropping in to see any new fighters that tested themselves that night, Araki found himself asking, “Are you planning on going sometime soon?” Weapons were a common enough sight, along with the skill to use them, but just because it was ordinary didn’t mean it wasn’t worth paying attention to.

    “Yeah, just for old time’s sake.” Alexa said as she carelessly tossed her empty wine bottle away. “Going to go see how the juniors from last year turned out. See you around, Araki.” She walked away, waving goodbye as she did so.

    “Okay then, see ya.” He returned her wave with a smile and watched as she walked off before a flick of the wrist dragged the empty bottle to his hand rather than let it shatter on the ground. As he dropped back down to the ground, he handed it off to one of the food stalls nearby before he returned to his quest to find something to eat. Checking up on the Club afterwards seemed like a good idea, or he could try and find Ashe.
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