Sen

この世は でっかい宝島
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[ steampunk // magipunk // gang wars // historical fantasy // @Levy and @Sen ]

A city of prosperity and opportunities, where the greatest creations are invented, and the hottest location for one to finally achieve their dreams - become rich, become famous and become known in the whole world. Alas, it was also the breeding grounds for strong morals, battling one another for control over one of the most infamous cities; Wisteria City.

Three notable gangs, each with their own motives for taking over Wisteria, run rampant in the city. There are those who are gifted with manipulation of the earth who seek for a world where nature may be preserved in their growing society, ruled by steam and turning gears. Then there are those who play with fire, filled with the burning hot passion for making their city into a military powerhouse, capable of protecting those within its wars and assisting sister cities with capable and powerful soldiers willing to serve their country for the greater good, ironically ridding society of flea-infested criminals. And lastly, those whose worlds revolve around money, gaining profits, and wanting their Wisteria to be a utopia of money and prospering businesses, making their home city the best in the world.

Dangerous terrorist, drug dealers, people smugglers and more - despite their labels, they believe themselves to be justice warriors. Though these three gangs are at war, festering their hatred for each other, there is something else more malicious and terrifying that grows under the city unbeknownst to the head of each gang, preparing for the right moment to strike.

What a shame the three gangs only had eyes for each other, their biggest rivals, unable to work together after so many years of hostility. Even on this night, cloudy and cold after a rainy day, moonlight shying away from the concrete jungle and the trench-coat wearing citizens of Wisteria, the gangs were moving in the shadows of the city.

Each of the three gangs had different departments in charge of different things, and the Firehound Watchdogs were the chaos-loving Operations Department of the Igneus Clan. Normally bounding down alleyways, collecting as much information as they could from the city folk or stealing intel from their enemies, tonight was a rare chance for them to take something they needed for a very, very long time - a healer. As an element of destruction, their clan were mostly offensive folk, and though they did not suffer losses often - they always hit very hard. With little to use on them except mainstream medication, it was magical healing and extensive non-drug knowledge that they needed to sustain themselves in future operations.

Their leader was the Hellhound, a young, slim man who would punch you if you called him a sissy. Lightweight, fast, but never one to be underestimated with - he raced down towards their target location with his 'hounds' silently in tow. A warehouse of sorts, or maybe a greenhouse, for those tree-huggers had been made known recently, and there was a chance that a healer or two might be present.

And that healer was going to be theirs.

But people like them weren't going to make it easy for the group. They neared the worn down building, old but sturdy, at the edge of the city's outer ring where the people of the lower class lived - the slums. It would be unwise to kick the door down, they would probably get a rock pillar to the jaw, but they needed to be chased out so they could pick on the healer like a big feline predator hunting small, baby deer.

"We smoke them out."

Those four words were enough for the black-clad men to pull out suspicious, rounded spheres, nodding at one another before pulling the safety pin with a light 'click', and throwing it squarely at the small windows lining the top of the warehouse, shattering the glass as it flew inside followed by a handful more. Immediately, hissing could be heard as they spun round and round like wheels, spitting and spouting nose and throat burning smoke, intended on making the inside of that building unbearable.
 

Levy

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Indeed, the flourishing city was world-renowned in its prosperity—the Promised Land and City of Golden Opportunity, as it was coined, certainly lived up to its name. But, of course, with a bourgeoisie brand of economy, there was sure to be an acute class difference. The middle class made up most of the population, with the dirt poor below and the rich merchant class above, and all the social norms that came with. As a monarchy, the King had absolute control over the entire Kingdom. Corruption was almost second nature. Ironically, he had the least amount of power in the capital, courtesy of the three burly clans constantly butting heads and making a mess of the citizen's daily lives.

The Earth wielders were once humble environmentalists, seeking only to spread their ideas in a time of heavy industrialization with no heed to its adverse effects on the complex ecosystems around them. In time, their anger festered and as of present, they're considered a terrorist group with an expansive drug cartel business. Someone's got to pay the bills. But, of course, their ideals are as firm as they've ever been. They've simply taken to a more aggressive form of persuasion.

A young girl with a sailor's tongue and a tendency to find herself in trouble, June, almost unfittingly, headed their healers. She didn't think she was a very strong leader, but she was certainly the most powerful of them and definitely a force to be reckoned with. They got by just fine.

The entire healing department was situated in back room and heavily guarded, as they were the most valuable department in the gang. Which was also where the girl was supposed to be located. June had wandered to the greenhouse to look at the new shipments of flowers, as she had grown tired of people's faces. Of course, with her luck, the moment she had settled, an unbearable smoke filled the building, burning the people's lungs and sending them into fits of coughing and sputtering. The sentry lining the walls of the building were in a panic, scrambling to collect themselves. The chaos inside only grew as the source of the infiltration was identified.

They were under attack.

June was ushered out the back first, followed rest of the gardeners, while the guards exited through the front, ready for battle. They were still recovering from the blasts, hacking and hustling as they braced themselves, assuming position as per the Commander's orders. Attacks came quick. The enemy wasted no time in taking advantage of the situation.

"Hellhound! It's the hot heads, boys. Give 'em your all!" Commander yelled, charging in the Hellhound's general direction. Pyre and stones of pillar were exchanged, and the guards fought valiantly. But in the end, they were still just guards. The front offensive lines were no match for a handful of greenhouse guards, and it showed, as they were quickly overwhelmed. Meanwhile, June rushed to guide the gardeners underground to spread the news of attack. Proceeding, she sprinted back to the site of battle to assist her comrades. She huffed at their commander's offensive strategy, which was to recklessly charge forward.

"Commander, I will not go by your ridiculous speed. Slow down or die." She barked. Swiftly, she tended to the fallen men, warmth escaped her hands, and a golden light bubbled around her. Upon which, instructing the healed to carry the rest of the injured to the infirmary, reassuring them that reinforcements were arriving. All the while, she felt a somewhat disconcerting gaze on her back. Things were not looking well for them.
 
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Sen

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Their footsteps were obnoxiously loud, as they always were, those tree-huggers, and the Hellhound could see shadows emerging from the smoke. Waving his hand to signal them to split up, he took two around the back of the warehouse where their healer was most likely to take refuge in, while the others charged on with gas masks slipped on to take on the burly guards that had finally come out to see what was going on. The young man had no idea what their healer was supposed to look like, whether or not it was a male or a female nor their capabilities. It was safe to assume that their healer would be at the back, providing support when needed in battle but kept out of harm's way - they could not afford to have their healer injured when there were others in need.

He could see pillars of stone rising to meet his men, who had adapted to this by using them as leverage to send themselves high in the air, shooting out jets of scarlet fire at them. It would do them good to roll out of harm's way - at least they weren't stupid enough to leave out anything flammable nearby, all of their precious saplings and flowers were going to be inside. But that wasn't what he wanted out of today's operation. If the Hellhound turned up empty-handed, that would be an insufferable blow to his reputation.

The back wall was perhaps the sturdiest one of them all, lined thickly with iron and bricks and whatnot, and showed no sign of dilapidation. Were all the important plants lined up on this side or something? The young man didn't let strange tree-hugger architecture bother him, and signaled his men to stay back. Hidden in the shadows, there was no sense of life about them, and that was good. The Hellhound was appropriately named so for a reason, out of all the Watchdogs, he was the most ferocious and had the most potential. He was undeniably good at what he did for a living. The police feared him, the government cowered at his abilities. A real terrorist who could easily blow anything or anyone up - unpredictable and deadly.

The Hellhound drew a thin sword from its sheath. It was very pretty and was obviously from a foreign land, with an Orient aesthetic. No one really asked questions about it. Its blade was shined to the point where one's reflection could easily be seen on it, and its owner cared for it as if it was his life. One would laugh at how puny it looked, but it wasn't the blade you had to be careful of - or, at least the cutting aspect. With one hand gripping it tightly, the other holding the end of the hilt, the young man pointed it straight at the wall that stood between him and his goal and lunged.

Normally, such a sword would probably bend and snap right in half if met with such a thick-plated wall. But as the tip made contact with the iron, nailed into the plates of semi-rusted steel, everything seemed to explode as if a bomb was lodged inside it. Fire erupted from inside out, and suddenly the wall was no more, just melting iron and hissing smoke where it once stood.

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He took one look at the gardeners, huddled against some sort of shelf stocked with plants. "Kill them," he said simply, nonchalantly. Every operation had its casualties. But what he found himself focusing on was the lady who had moved to the front, near the front lines where the man leading the charge of tree-huggers fought with his own men. As the tree-huggers fell, she would run up to them, working her 'magic', surrounding herself with that golden light that was a telltale sign of one's healing abilities. "There she is."

"Hey, lady! Tree-hugger over there." He beckoned to her. "You know you can't go into a..." he counted his men, "ten versus one fight. What say you come with me? A healer like you is very, very special," a playful smirk crossed his features. Indeed. His boss would be so proud of him. Promotion? More cash? Hell yeah.
 

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June turned her back as reinforcements flooded the scene. The hot heads were incredibly quick to react, and June was almost impressed by their adaptability. And a little nauseated. Fire and earth were exchanged at a staggeringly quick pace, destroying a lot of surrounding vegetation and architecture and leaving June with even more fallen men, some of the hot heads wounded with them. Swiftly, the better trained guards lined up and erupted massive stone walls behind the greenhouse to block out any more mass scale pyre from reaching the central buildings, also serving as personal protection. It was only a few more moments until the Hellhound leveled the ground, absolutely demolishing their prized greenhouse. A tense silence followed as the rubble cleared.

June's blood was categorically boiling. How dare a heathen of his caliber waltz into their territory, mortally wound their men, demolish their property, and have the absolute audacity to demand their Head Healer, like a slimy rat beckoning a harlot, no less. At that point, it was fairly simple to put together the plot of their plan, and June despised it. Her hands pushed upon the chest of the man she was healing, who looked to be in more pain than rest, and proceeded to tear through her own men. June's eyes more resembled the flames that rose from the enemy's hands than anything else.

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Just at the hounds approached the feeble group of gardeners, June leaped from her place in the front lines and pulled a harmless looking sphere from her neck, pulled a protruding knob, and tossed it between the gardeners and the enemy. Instantaneously, the orb emitted a blinding light that illuminated the air within a 20 meter radius. A flash bomb. June shielded her own eyes as she gathered the gardeners, who were just as confused and sightless as the rest of them. The glare only lasted a mere few seconds, but everyone on the scene was utterly discombobulated. Even Commander was stumbling slightly.

"Flame-brain!" Her voice was taunting. "Over here, you bumbling idiot. If it's me you're looking for, leave the innocents out of this. Here I am. Come and get me." She yelled upon the clearing of the light. She stood where the gardeners had been just a moment before the outburst. Presently, they hurriedly stepped from their places and ran past the great wall that was erupted, shuffling through the burly men that stood in front of them. The rest were too muddled to stop them. A number of guards called to her, reprehending her reckless actions. The fire people quickly flanked to her side, as did her comrades. They all looked to Hellhound, awaiting his next order.
 
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The men the young man had brought with him collectively gasped as the blinding light took away their vision, shielding their eyes from the sharp bite of the orb's gleam. They were agents of the darkness, they did their business in the shadows, and they did not like anything that took that secrecy away from them. The Hellhound didn't seem to mind, he was well-collected as their leader, he was not allowed to show any weakness or any sort of sense that he was going to back down and he really did not have any plans to - especially not in front of any tree-huggers. They were small fry, most of them, he bet he could take down any of these men easily. But the healer was what he came for and he needed to take her back alive.

As they bared their teeth at the shouting girl, who was surprisingly brave despite her situation, they moved to her side instinctively and without command like real predators, watching for their enemies' every move. Her people mirrored them, until a scene was painted - the two of them standing face to face encircled by those who wielded fire and those who had the earth at their command. He blinked at the girl, caught off guard for a split second. What did she just call him? He huffed away the annoyance.

"Innocents?" the young man chortled. "You're our super important fetch quest - anyone who makes that difficult is going to have to pay the price." He jabbed at finger at his chest, clothes a little tattered from the explosion he had created himself. "I am the Hellhound, little twig. We always catch our prey."

No matter that they had seen his face, it would have bothered him a long time ago when he was still a newbie, but no one ever came to the more 'normal' places he worked at anyway. But better safe than sorry. "Men! Chase after them - don't let any escape! And you two-" he beckoned to the men closest to him, "Stick with me, we'll give these guys a good challenge."

As seven of them tried to give chase to those who had fled, two of them remained, flanking either side of the Hellhound. He gave his sword a little flick before lunging forward, the tip of his blade whistling through the air before the little pockets of explosion caused a chain reaction, a snake of dangerous bubbles of smoke and fire shooting straight towards the men that surrounded the lady. "Give up your healer, tree-huggers. You'd better off dying at the hands of my men than me!"
 
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"Excuse me? They did absolutely nothing! They were simply tending to the garden before you and your pack of mongrels barged in! You're no better than the dirt beneath my feet, you-" June shouted, indignant. She would've kept going too, shouting obscenities, had Commander not shoved her aside, as he knew the healer would most certainly have her head leeched off if she was left to her own devices. Hellhound was known for a being a bit of a hothead, after all.

"I'd like to see you try, Hellhound!" Commander shouted, deploying his men to fight off the two that flanked Hellhound's sides. The bulkier warriors that erupted a massive stone wall stood in the path of the rest of the hotheads, whilst the gardeners hid behind the safety of the wall. They couldn't really blame them. Gardeners weren't exactly trained in honing their abilities for battle, but they could grow a grape vineyard at the snap of their fingers. Though, that wouldn't be as useful on war ground. The front lines could somewhat hold their ground against the hounds, but anyone could tell that they wouldn't be able to last long.

As the warriors fought valiantly, exchanging earth for pyre, Hellhound continued his advance. They would have to think quickly if they were to keep their Healer. One particularly gutsy earth-manipulator decided to risk his chances against June's wrath and recited an enchantment under his breath, a last ditch attempt. The ground beneath June began to crumble, before it dissolved entirely, prompting her to fall ass backwards into a ten foot hole. She screamed.

"What the hell?" She shouted, quickly leaping back on her feet. "Joey! Joey, I fucking swear, I will slit your kneecaps and ship you to the top of Everest if you don't get me out of here right goddamn now." She cautioned. Joey, the man who had created the hole, shivered, but none made a move to release her. This was, sadly, the only way to keep her safe. "God fucking- this does nothing! You realize that, right? You're going to get everyone killed!"

June rubbed her face, vexed. If she didn't do something, all her comrades up there would die. As much as she hated to admit it, their forces were no match for the fire goons. The only people that could possibly rival their war power would be the soggy river goblins. Or, formally, Water mages.

"Oi, Hellmutt!" She yelled, a frisky plan suddenly coming to her. It would be a long shot, but it was all she had going for her. "You need me alive, don't you? I have a grenade in my hands right now. If you don't call off your men, your 'fetch quest' ceases to exist." She said, her voice firm and unyielding. "Test me. I fucking dare you."
 
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Sen

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"God, you tree-huggers are all so goddamn annoying." The boyish figure once again lunged forth blade in hand, towards the wall they had erected as an attempt to stop them. It burst into flames as soon as the point of the blade touched it, splattering debris all around them as smoke rose from the detonation. "Y'know, being tree-huggers and all, you're all such a waste of oxygen."

Now what were they going pull from their sleeves just to save one person?

Caught by surprise, the trio stepped back at the sudden and formulated collapse of the earth under the healer, backing up in case they would follow suit, all the while the men that flanked the Hellhound continued spouting fire from the palm of their hands as they forcefully tried to push back the enemy Commander and his men. While they kept the nature-lovers busy, the young man crouched at the edge of the hole they had created, looking down at the healer that they so desperately needed. For a girl, and a member of the Earth clan at that, she was both violent and quite... boisterous.

He rose an eyebrow at her threat before throwing his head back for a burst of laughter. "Oh no!" he said with a dramatic flair, rolling his eyes. "A grenade! How spooky. What was all that about 'you're going to get everyone killed?' nonsense you were yelling at poor Joey over there?" the man smirked at the healer stuck at the bottom.

"You can blow yourself up and your little saplings with you, you know the Firehounds will just brush it off. So do us all a favour and off yourself, we'll just find another healer and take them instead. Even if it takes years, one of yous will eventually pop up," he hummed, unafraid by what she had said at all. In a world like this, bluffs were a good way to get out of a sticky situation, but those never always work.

He pointed his blade towards her allies, still watching her with his cold eyes, ablaze with amusement. "I agree, fuck you, Joey. You'll be the first to go. Or... Miss Healer here will come with us, and save a whole bunch of precious lives. What say you, healer? Promise we won't bite... hard."
 
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June looked at the fist she had made to insinuate a grenade that she didn't have. The only thing she had equipped herself with that day was a smoke bomb and a dagger that was still strapped to her thigh. Though, that, she decided she'd keep hidden until she absolutely needed to use it.

Up she looked to the cheeky, ruthless man positioned overhead, over her. She didn't like this power play situation. She didn't like this mutt barging into their greenhouse and snapping at them. And she really didn't like that he had called her bluff, and then some. The bemused and apathetic eyes that bore into her skull prompted her to kick the walls of that hole and stomp her feet. Oh, how she wanted to punch that incredibly punchable face.

"Agh! Damn it! Damn it all! You know damn well you're not letting anyone go. I'll agree to come with you and you'll get your slimy watchdogs to restrain me and your head will be so far up your ass, you'll kill the rest of us off, right?" She gave the dirt one last puny kick. That was how the Fire Clan operated, and how this world turned. Their representatives spouted pipe dreams brimful of honor and justice, while with his hands behind his back he instructed his underlings to carry out heinous plans. They weren't much better, of course, corruption in all three of the clans ran rampant. "Right?"

The wall that was erupted to protect had crumbled, she knew this because of the crash and bits of earth that had rushed in at the impact. Perhaps if she could stall him here a bit longer, she could prevent any more critical damage to her clan. Above, she could still hear the clashing of dry elements.

The gardeners had successfully escaped into the depths of the building, leaving the guards and reinforcements to fend of the attack dogs. Some of them began emptying earth underneath the hounds just as they did with June, and managed to get a good number of them trapped, but the hotheads slowly began to adjust themselves and their reflexes caught on. Still, the mouth breathers were wounding more men than they could catch up with, and the battle remained heavily one sided. It was incredibly draining to use combat magics, especially if one isn't accustomed to using it on a regularly basis. Prolonged use of it could very well be fatal, and June knew this.

Joey, who was locked in intense combat, stole glances towards the Hellhound and where he'd landed the head healer. With a puff of air, he shot his hands out and emptied a hole for the hell hound to fall into, knowingly giving his opponent an opportunity to strike. He received a swipe to the legs and a thrust of flame to his chest.
 
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The boy seemed to be deep in thought at her words. "The boss will be mad if I don't get rid of any witnesses, but I think he'll be more mad if I manage to let you get away," he said, shrugging. It wouldn't be good if they ran off and babbled about what they looked like, especially the Hellhound himself, since he did occasionally walk around the city off-duty. It would be bad if he was recognised by any tree-huggers, or reported to the police. He had a normal job on the side, not to mention an apartment to call his home, if any of those were raided then it would spell out bad news in the end.

Perhaps the best choice of action was to take her, and chase after those that had left after.

He watched as his men flailed into pits, while others regained their senses and kept on fighting. Those that fell eventually clawed their way out, their bodies aching with throbbing pains. They were tired, he could see that much. After this, he would have to deploy different men to sniff them out. Or maybe he could stake his chances on the smoke having covered up his face from those escaping 'gardeners'. However.. he looked at those nearby, they were definitely not allowed to live.

The ground underneath him gave way as Joey made his move. It would have been totally uncool if he fell backwards away from the healer, so he tilted himself forward until he slid down the edges of her man-made cage. He took big, confident steps towards her until the figure was right before him, close enough that he could smell that gross earthy scent on her that all tree-huggers smelt like. He noticed that he was about half a head taller than her. With a quick movement, he swiftly tried to grab hold of her wrist, the arm where she was supposedly holding a grenade. "You'll come with us and my men will back off, how's that?"
 
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"So I am of value." At least, enough so that some mouth breather would catch an ass beating if she wasn't kept in one piece. It was too late to continue her bluff, but this stubborn pride of hers wouldn't allow her to back off without a decent fight. Not being able to protect her clansmen and at the same time uphold her dignity was an endlessly vexing thing. She'd combust from the fumes of frustration before the enemy could get to her first.

The sudden skid of feet and intrusion of personal space instinctively backed her into the far wall of the hole, as the suddenly a thousand times more intimidating Hellhound approached. He was almost radiating heat. The smothering scent of charcoal filled her lungs. The punch she was itching to throw was only a faint afterthought now. She barely remembered to snatch her hand back, still balled in a fist, and offer the offending party a knee to the crotch.

"Back off, hound boy." She spat, and kept a good foot's distance from him. Quickly, she ran her options through her mind. First, she could pull out the dagger and start stabbing. That was, of course, only a last resort. She could try to slither her way out of it, argue with the man until there was nothing left to argue. She could fight him and likely go down trying. Time was running out. Each moment she spent stalling was another man down. He obviously couldn't be trusted. His very breath reeked of treachery. Was she honestly willing to trust him to lay off?

Goddamnit, she couldn't risk losing any more men. And she definitely couldn't risk any innocent lives.

"I need your men to retreat first. I'm not going anywhere before they're out of sight. I'll call off Commander when and only when you do. And then," June shoved a hand through her hair, clearly bothered by the agreement she was about to make. "I'll come with you. And you better not send back any of your attack dogs after I'm gone. Deal?" She held out a hand to shake, the same hand that was supposed to be holding a grenade.
 
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"Good to finally have you cooperating," the boy flashed a big grin at her that could have, in some case, interpreted as a threat. But it wasn't a lie that he was pleased about the current situation. He moved his dry, calloused hand clasp hers in a sign of agreement, a symbol of mutual... trust, one could say. It was the hand she said had a grenade, but he wasn't surprised at all when he realised that it held no such thing. Once again, a bluff complete rendered transparent by the Hellhound.

He sheathed his blade, and raised his now free hand, motioning for his men to back down from their opponents. They exchanged a glance with one another, as if to ask if he was sure this was the way to go. Their leader answered with a well-practiced glare that sent chills crawling up their spine - they dared not infuriate or disobey their leader, only the gang's boss' word was above his.

"I am a man of my word, don't worry. My crew here won't chase after your men anymore, in return, you'll come stay with us. If it makes you feel any better, missy, we'll like... decorate your room with plants or something," he made a strange expression at this. Certainly they were going to make her feel as comfortable as possible in enemy territory, but honestly they never really went to such lengths for someone. Especially an enemy, but she was a healer and that made her more important than anybody they had ever taken, kidnapped or not. "You probably won't be able to water them, so buy some cacti or something, I'unno."

While he may be generous this one time, and agree to her circumstances, his boss' decisions were not his. If he were to command another troop to go after those that had escape, what did it have to do with him? He didn't order it, so technically it didn't count as a broken promise.

"Alright, men. We're moving out, leave those tree-huggers alone, we finished our little fetch quest. You- Joey, make some stairs or something, I ain't gonna crawl out from here like some sort of animal."
 
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  2. Primarily Prefer Female
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Fantasy (high, low and anything in between), modern, medieval, anything that'll keep me at the edge of my seat. Romance is absolutely necessary. And fluff. Just a lil bit.
"That... won't be necessary." She was a bit discombobulated by his suddenly generous, almost kind-hearted demeanor. Offering her succulents to make her comfortable in their lodging was the last thing she expected to hear. She wouldn't allow herself to be fooled, however. This was a fickle boy, as fickle as the moon. Just minutes ago he ordered all those innocent gardeners dead with an apathetic tongue.

Upon his call of action to Joey, June looked up. She couldn't see out of the hole very well, but she could certainly draw a picture of a confused group of soldiers, puzzled by the enemy's sudden halt. "It's okay, Joey, Commander. I made the deal. Don't try to argue with me, you know very well this was the best course of action." Her voice rang. A good moment passed before a flight of stairs was produced, leading up to ground level. She followed the Hellhound up the steps, keeping the implicit foot's distance she'd mentally marked. In the minutes following, the other holes were closed up as well.

"I leave the Daenerys in charge of the healers while I'm gone. Don't worry about me, Commander." She looked at the old, stout man who seemed like he was about to pop a vein and simply shook her head. "It's alright. I'll be back soon." The angry, brutish girl from before had been coerced, shifting into a calmer, but slightly more worried state. At least she wouldn't have to worry about putting food on the table for a while. She wasn't sure if anyone from the clan would miss her, and she certainly wasn't looking forward to being surrounded by rowdy mouth breathers for God knows how long, but what could she do.

There were protests and shouts of disapproval, of the shame it would bring to the clan, but Commander kept them all mostly in order. She could already see a plot brewing in his mind, some bizarre rescue mission, and shook her again once more. "Don't let this all go to waste." Slowly, the soldiers picked themselves up, one by one. They weren't going to last any longer if the fight continued.

"So? Aren't you going to restrain me, or something? What if I run away?" June piped up, glancing in the direction of the boy.
 
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Sen

この世は でっかい宝島
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Climbing up the steps that had been fashioned from the walls of pit, he strode upwards until he found himself at the top once more, surrounded by his men who wore an expression that screamed of the desire to move, itching to get back into the action that their leader had forbade them from. He dusted himself off, arms on his hip as he looked at the destruction he had caused. Giving the enemy commander a dismissive look, he turned and began walking out towards the clearing they had come in from. The men instantaneously hung back so that when the healer followed - and he expected her to without complaint - she would be trapped between the boy leading the way and his men tagging behind her.

"What's the point?" he replied, "The instant you do, we'll kill you, and leave no witnesses. We'll sniff out what department you belong to and take another healer just like we did tonight." His words held no emotion nor remorse for something so violent. It was the lifestyle of the gang members to be numb to the violence that happened and brought havoc to the city. However, everybody in the Igneus clan fought for one reason and for one reason only; justice. True justice that this corrupted city could not enforce, because the government was at its low, its security and police forces were utterly useless.

From the inside of his clothes he brandished a blindfold that was deep maroon in color. Once they were outside in the clear opening, surrounded by nothing but cool air and dry grass, he held it out for her to tie over her eyes. "So, you're probably gonna be mad if I call you tree-hugger all the time, what do I call you, girl?"

"Put the blindfold on so we can take you back to base. Hold my hand." He paused for a second. "This is the only time I'm going to do something as gross as this," he huffed.
 
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Levy

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  1. Male
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Fantasy (high, low and anything in between), modern, medieval, anything that'll keep me at the edge of my seat. Romance is absolutely necessary. And fluff. Just a lil bit.
June was silent, scowling. This was the only thing she could afford to do, surrounded on all sides by enemy. It was almost suffocating, the air of tension and deadliness that hung around the pack. There was the ruthless, cold-blooded Hellhound that had men and women covering beneath their kitchen tables. He would pass his judgement as he or his leaders saw fit, and the people would have to settle with it.

She glanced up the mention of tree-hugger, ready to parry him with some equally ridiculous insult. But, instead, she stared. There were too many things wrong with everything that came out of his mouth. A grimace crossed her expressions as she took the maroon cloth in her own hands, stared at it, and begrudgingly tied it over her eyes. "This better be the only time. If you try anything funny, I swear I'll cut your hand off." She gave the precursor while extending a hesitant hand.

They walked for a good while. On multiple occasions, the girl lost her footing on the jagged ground and slipped. Sometimes she would pause to tighten the blindfold, seeing as it loosened while she walked. Of course she wanted to know where their headquarters were, and she'd even contemplated leaving a gap to see through at her nose bridge, but ultimately, she respected the secrecy of the clans. The last thing she wanted to do was sink to lying and cheating for her own benefit. That, and, if she refused, or if she was caught, her head would be off in a matter of seconds.

Now that she had the time to think the decision through, accompanied by an overwhelming sense of dread, she had quite a few questions looming in her mind. Most of which, would likely have to wait. "It's... June, by the way. My name." Her response was curt and unsure. The sudden shift from heartless to slightly accommodating confused her to no end. "Flame-for-brains is tedious for both of us, probably, as well. You got a name? Other than Hellhound, I mean."
 
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Sen

この世は でっかい宝島
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He had rolled his eyes at her, it wasn't like two-legged dogs didn't exist. Hounds were known to adapt to survive, they were beasts who did their very best to live. They never gave up until the very end - that was a prime symbol of the philosophies of their clan, for no matter what happened to them, they were loyal to their mission and to their goal of securing a peaceful nation where people could feel safe, and their allied countries could feel safe to. Even if now they were branded as criminals, it would be worth it if in the end their mission could be recognised.

And so the group made their long, winding trip to their nearest base, where the boss would already be waiting for them. It was also the one the Hellhound was station at, it was close to the ports of the city but not too close that he would be mingling with the seaslugs. Just enough for him to get information that they needed these days. While the boy tried his best to make the journey as smooth as possible for the practically blind girl trudging along behind them, it was difficult since they had to take the long way around - they weren't going to walk straight onto city streets and have others assume they were trafficking humans or something dumb. The police may be useless but they still had quotas to fill and they'd chase after them on the spot. And the girl wasn't likely to get away when she was blindfolded.

"June, huh? That's a plain name, guess it's easy to remember." They were close now, he could see familiar faces working around him, doing their 'front' jobs. Others were just relaxing, and they only spared him a glance as the group moved on. "Yeah, they call me 'Keluo'. It used to be the name of a volcano from a country way across the sea."

"That's not my real name though, so don't bother looking it up on any database, you won't find shit."

Suddenly, the boy stopped to open a door. June would probably hear the shuffling of objects and feet, and low mumblings as Keluo talked to fellow members of the gang. Once another door was open and closed behind them, he pulled away the blindfold that covered her eyes. This base was inside a very nondescript building, connected to plenty of warehouses which served as their home. The smell wasn't pleasant, but they had learnt to deal with it. Everything was lit by torches and artificial red lights that made the claustrophobic hallways made of iron and metal eerie and unwelcoming.

However, it was the bigger, open rooms that conveyed that sense of camaraderie, friendship and family that was present in all three gangs, even when they were at odds with each other and wanted nothing that was similar between them. While off-duty, Igneus' members didn't have that militaristic personality attached to them as they were known for among the three gangs. They were just like any other person, relaxing with a cup of alcohol, or talking with friends.

"Ah! It's Keluo!" one of them called out, waving at him as he shouted in his gruff voice. He was seated with a group of his mates, all sharing bottles of alcohol after a tough day of work.

"Is that her? The healer? Wow, you stick out like a sore thumb here," another bellowed as he cackled. "Hope you don't burn to a crisp here, twig!"

"God, mind your own goddamn business!" the Hellhound snapped back, a real growl to his voice. However, unlike how he had spoken to June and her allies before, there was no malice or sadism in how he spoke. It was akin to two close brothers talking, teasing, one could say.

The group burst out in laughter before settling, "But isn't that great?" one turned to his friends, an expression of relief on his face. "Now our injured can finally get a good break. Good job, Keluo!"

But this wasn't what Keluo had brought June to see, though, as he quickly made his way down another hallway with her to the small room at the back, where a very important person was waiting.
 
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Levy

✿ crafty flavor ✿
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  1. Male
  2. Primarily Prefer Female
Genres
Fantasy (high, low and anything in between), modern, medieval, anything that'll keep me at the edge of my seat. Romance is absolutely necessary. And fluff. Just a lil bit.
"Kel.. Kelou? Keluo? After a volcano, you say? It's extremely fitting, I think." June pulled a small smirk. Upon her blindfold lifting, however, the smile contorted into an expression of, first, irritation at the sudden strain of colored light, and then, something of discomfort. It was all very mechanical, almost hostile, especially to an outsider, and she felt the need to stick close to the boy.

Nevertheless, as they passed through less congested, more welcoming rooms, she puffed out her chest and maintained an air of dignity, taking confident steps. No matter the environment, she would stay assertive and bold. Or at least try to not look like a mouse among hounds. It was a bit difficult a task when those more gruff looking towered over her considerably.

"Watch it, mouth breather. If you get hurt, I'll be the one in charge of your vitals." She shouted at the passing statement. Though as she looked around her, she did stick out in the crowd. The colors she wore were pale and earthy, her clothes layered and in bunches, and she carried a hell load of equipment, starting from satchels to ropes to charms and trinkets. She jingled a little when she walked, and though she was used to it, she didn't realize it attracted attention to her.

Despite her offhand comment, she listened to the teasing conversation carefully. It was always good to get a feel for the kind of people she'd be around. Kelou seemed to be something of an older brother to these people, someone that looked out for them. That was how they spoke to him, at least. His responses were less than telling. They were surprisingly... friendly? She had always assumed the people here would be gruff and unkind towards each other, and she'd be lying if she said she wasn't the slightest bit relieved, but the thought felt traitorous, so she shook it off. Something about their conversation troubled her, though. She waited until they were out of sight and in a relatively quiet area to bring it up.

"Not that I care, but does your clan not have any sort of healer at all? Not even a normal doctor?" She paused, wondering if she should continue. "And if so, does that mean that your injured are forced to work without rest?" Like she said, it wasn't any of her business how the top dogs operate their clan, but it couldn't hurt to ask. Plus, that would give her an inkling as to how heavy her workload would be. Working an injury would obviously create more problems, so she only hoped she wouldn't have to fix deeply rooted issues for each person. This begged another question.

"And, Keluo, how are you so sure I'm going to agree to heal your men in the first place? You could very well kill me and bring in more healers, but they could refuse the service as well." Of course, it was her obligation as a human and as a healer to patch up anyone to at least a functioning degree, but it wasn't like he knew that.
 
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Sen

この世は でっかい宝島
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"No healers here," he answered flatly. The harsh truth of a clan with a harsh ability meant only to bring about the end of a life, not the return it. While one could say when it came to raw strength, fire was more destructive than earth and water alone, but those two clans had the power to bring life back to those who needed it - leaving the Igneus Clan empty handed. "We have normal doctors but they're not good at treating wounds we get from anything that isn't a knife wound."

Keluo's nose twitched as he walked down further into the depths of the building with her, screwing up his features to make an indescribable expression. It was incredibly strange to her say his name, like she was already used to it, when he was used to the normal and casual racial insults that the clans pelted at each other without mercy. That was how he lived his life, he never knew he was going to one day get this chummy with someone from an opposing clan.

Nevertheless, he tried his best to keep her informed and answered her question to the best of his abilities. The Hellhound turned to look at her with blazing eyes just short of entering the final room, a thick iron wall stood between them illuminated with that fake red light. Casting shadows onto the boy's face, perhaps he really would have looked like a beast as he said cold words; "Any healer would co-operate if we threatened to kill their team mates, no? If you don't work with us then we'll make it work now that you've stepped foot into our den."

But not too much - there was always a reason why one clan didn't dare to go out and straight up eliminate the one they had an advantage over. If the Igneus left the earth people a pile of ashes, without their natural threat the water slugs could easily beat down the hounds and claim Wisteria, thereby forcing them into a three way lock that remained for as long as the clans have existed. How terribly annoying, Keluo often thought. The fact that this fight for dominance hadn't budged for years didn't help with his impulses.

Keluo pushed open the door, which did not creak. Behind it stood four men, all of which were crowded around a table where a map of Wisteria was laid out. It was a map that had even the most minute of details, containing every building and every shop and every street that existed in the form of squares and lines. Scattered all over the map were little figurines and miniature flags that represented places to keep watch of, places to investigate or enemy movement - it was very organised and militaristic, just like their leader.

At the group's centre was a handsome, masculine man with short golden blond hair dressed in a formal, military khaki uniform. He looked quite sharp with his badges, winking at the pair that entered under the light that they had. This was their leader, who somehow didn't come off as a rough mafia or yakuza boss but still radiated with the danger and determination of one. "Hello, June, Head of the Healers, am I correct?"

"As per tradition, you may address me as Igneus. As head of this clan, we welcome you. As long as you remain our temporary ally, we will treat you hospitably and with the respect any member deserves. In return, we ask for your services as a talented and natural healer." He turned to look at the Keluo standing behind June, who puffed up his chest in the presence of his leader. There was deep respect in the boy's eyes, glimmering like stars. "And apologies for the rough treatment, we are not the most gentle of people here. But far better than those robotic, heartless water slugs," Igneus chortled at his comment.
 
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Levy

✿ crafty flavor ✿
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Preferred Character Gender
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Fantasy (high, low and anything in between), modern, medieval, anything that'll keep me at the edge of my seat. Romance is absolutely necessary. And fluff. Just a lil bit.
She assumed as much. Normal doctors were still in business, treating normal people, but their methods obviously weren't very effective with the elements. Most wounds acquired from the battlefield were magical in nature, therefore requiring magic to fix. No matter how much they trained, studied, or mastered the inner workings of magic, they simply lacked the genetics. A recessive trait could be activated if one devoted enough time to it, but those cases were few and far in between.

June looked up at the boy as he answered her second query, chills running down her spine. Perhaps she should refrain from asking provocative questions in the future. "Brutal much? Well, I guess that's to be expected." At this point, what wasn't?

Her posture stiffened as the air grew thick, stepping into what she assumed was an obligatory consultation. The leader was conspicuous among the group of four, he didn't even have to address her. He had an air that almost forced your hand to a bible to pledge your lifelong loyalty to him, the charisma was nearly overwhelming. She stuck her hand out to shake, a nervous gesture. "Yes, Sir. Er- Igneus." The name tasted foreign on her tongue, but she laughed at his gag towards the Water Clan, and noted his subtle flattery. She felt as though somehow if she offended him, she would be drinking poisoned water the next day.

"I'd be glad to heal for such an, uh, reputable establishment." She wasn't. "Your subordinate, Keluo, apart from demolishing our greenhouse, hasn't done anything too terrible to me, in fact he held my hand the whole way here." She had to hold in a chortle, and prayed that the reverent boy beside her wouldn't smack her upside the head. Still, there was little lightheartedness in the room, apart from Keluo's eyes and the leader himself. The three men that stood next to Igneus were bearish and looked like they could crush a man's skull between their thighs.

Well, while she was here, she'd better get some information.

"If it's alright with you, I'd like to know the purview of my duties while I serve in your clan. Will I only be working in the clinic, or on the battlefield as well? Will I be sleeping with the war captives, in a holding cell? Will I be able to leave the premise for necessities? Am I allowed to speak to other members of the clan?" Her array of questions continued until she was sure there was nothing left to know. She looked adamantly onward. The last time someone's ever earned her respect so fast was, well, her own clan leaders and elders.
 
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この世は でっかい宝島
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"Your sarcasm is impeccable," Igneus offered a charming smile. In the clan, he was no hound - he was the head wolf. Not even Keluo, who was quite close to his leader, knew fully what he was capable of. That was what made their leader scary. And the fact that he treated his men like family, yet wasn't afraid to turn around and bite them clean in half if they showed any insubordination.

This time, his expression betrayed a little surprise. He turned to look at his loyal hound with an eyebrow raised. Keluo would have normally fervently shook his head or denied the fact he would ever touch a member of the tree-huggers in a non-violent way, but this time he could only turn away from his leader's gaze as if he was embarrassed. It was the perfect portrayal of a hound with droopy ears and their tail hanging between their legs at the stare of their pack leader in human form. The Hellhound, notorious for his deeds on the streets and a name that gang members would only dare to whisper was rendered silent.

"So my boy finally held a girl's hand, that's wonderful." And as his said these words, it really did come off as him being pleased at this fact. "He's been so focused on his job he hasn't really bothered with women, even though he's already at his age." Igneus' smile faded a little. "He's not incapable of chivalry, but don't mistaken his manners for kindness. He has trouble holding himself back, your betrayal will really break his heart."

The Hellhound finally found the strength to speak. "My god, boss... stop- you're embarrassing me."

"Heh. I must say, a fire and an earth union hasn't been heard of for a long time. I dearly hope you two will remain friends at most if you don't want to face any prejudice."

Keluo made a sound from behind June, as if he was disgusted that he was being paired up with the healer by his leader. His work was way more important, there was no time for him to mingle with girls. Even more repulsively - an earth girl? Not only did they smell like dirt and worms, Keluo couldn't help but feel as if... if he made one wrong move, they'd simply catch on fire and die on him.

Ignoring the Hellhound's expression, Igneus turned his attention back to June. He had seen many members of the earth clan before, but rarely healers. She looked capable, as the leader of that department. And it looked like she was prepared for anything thrown her way, which was perfect for the environment here. The Igneus' Clan was spontaneous and if June couldn't keep up then there was no use for her here.

"You will come with us to the battlefield, but we'd prefer you to stay in the clinic for the majority of your time. You will have your own room, it will also serve as space for all your needs. You will not be allowed outside unless you require something of urgency that we cannot provide and even then you will have an escort. If by any chance you enter into territory where we cannot be seen, let it be known that you will always have one of us following you." His eyes flashed, as if daring her to try and run back to her people. "Yes, you may speak to anybody you like in the premises. However, do not be angered if you are treated with hostility. If you encounter any problems, feel free to speak to Keluo. He is in charge of you here."
 
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