Fox of Hearts

Call me MsNoMer
Collab between Winter Winter and Fox of Hearts Fox of Hearts
On The Other Side

“Meow?” A black kitten cried with delight.

Chaos’ blue eyes sparkled with delight when she spotted the newest addition to the Tankered Pirates. It had been awhile since she made new friends and Alicia seemed to be the perfect choice. The woman appeared very serene and inviting. Wasting no time, the excitable cat dashed over and rubbed her body against Alicia’s ankle. Her eyes closed as she started purring.

Chaos nuzzled the Feian woman one more time before her eyes snapped open. She stood on her hind legs and rested her front paws on Alicia’s knee. She gazed up hopefully as if she wished to be picked up. “Mrrrrao!”

Alicia had stood with her arms folded awaiting the next game before she blinked and looked down to see the small animal, her almost bored expression relenting into a softer smile as she crouched to glide a hand across the back of the cat. “Hello little one” she said softly, stroking a finger under her chin before gently wrapping her arms around the cat and lifting her up into her arms as she stood up once more. The swordswoman cared for all creatures big and small but she had a particular fondness for cats in particular for various reasons, the first and foremost being how they chose to show affection and trust.

Chaos’ eyes her closed. The kitten purred contentedly as her head rubbed against Alicia’s arms. Her approaching owner simply quirked an eyebrow at the sight. Cedric knew Chaos was very friendly by nature but this was the first time he saw her take to someone so quickly. He would have preferred observing a little longer but his eyes met Alicia’s.

“Judging by her purring, you might be her next favourite person,” he commented. “My brother would be heartbroken. He claimed he was her number one.”

He broke eye contact briefly before looking at Alicia again. He hadn’t planned on approaching her just yet but seeing that Jack was currently occupied he had no choice. “Well, First Mate Tashigi, have you figured out how you want to help your crew?”

His smiled briefly when he remembered Alicia’s face earlier when she was informed she was the First Mate. It looked as if the woman had no idea. That was highly unusual since most people knew their position aboard any crew. “You aren’t officially one of us yet. I doubt it would be wrong to help your crew.”

There was a lot of disgust in the way he pronounced the word “us” but he doubted Alicia would have heard it. Still, he paused for a bit to allow his previous message to sink in. “You must have realised by now that my Captain helped me score the win earlier.”

Cedric waited for Alicia to reply. He would offer information if she asked for it but he couldn’t do more than that. They were strangers and there wasn’t any trust between them. This meant that she would be suspicious if he appeared too enthusiastic. Jack was the only person who would trust him amongst the Stardusk. They had spent more than thirteen years together.

Alicia regarded the approaching man for a moment before returning her attention to the purring cat as he spoke, continuing to scritch behind her ears. “I’d considered incapacitating your crew and bringing the game to an abrupt end, but it seems my captain is enjoying herself… and has ordered me to behave myself” she replied softly, having missed his expression for his disdain towards the Tankards. “Cheating isn’t surprising, although not any less irritating. That being said even should we lose the game I doubt very much that we’ll willingly submit to join with the Tankard crew. I imagine either way we’ll be walking away from here so in the end it’s of no consequence” she spoke casually and calmly, no hint of threat present in her demeanor. “Your cat is quite lovely however, I always had a fondness for them myself”.

“She is, isn’t she? A good distraction from weightier topics.” He reached out to tickle Chaos’ chin with his finger.

“What the Stardusk does is of no consequence? There will always be rumors but none too flattering if you continue spilling blood unnecessarily.” Cedric turned his attention back towards the field just as Kadi took his first shot. “Not everyone here is your enemy. A lot of them are unhappy to be here. Speak to these men yourself if you don’t believe me. I’m sure you will be able to gain many allies. Not too different that day at Fort Nevis, no?”

The two of them were too far away to see the targets clearly. Luckily, it wasn’t hard to guess the results based on the Tankereds’ reactions. Samuel was outclassed by the one-eyed navigator. Cedric was amused. His captain wasn’t going to like this. The Stardusk were going to take back his newly acquired trophy in one round.

“It was nice meeting you in person, Maiden of Misery. Pity our time is so short. With luck, it will be even shorter with no bloodshed.” He dug his hands into his pockets and looked up at the sky. “It’s too beautiful a day to be soiled by death. Yula Fei has many wise teachings. None wiser than respecting life. Many nations should learn from your example.”

His eyes narrowed as the sunlight landed on his face. As his fringe slid backwards, faint silvery scars could be seen along his cheek. The lines ended abruptly near his jaw before appearing on his neck. Cedric’s hand reached up unconsciously as if he wanted to hide the imperfection from view. He dropped his gaze down abruptly with his hand still cupping his chin.

“Your crew has chaos following in your wake. Now you even have an adoring cat named Chaos in your arms.” He tickled her chin once again calling “Chaos” several times.

Chaos’ eyes blinked open. Her pupils were still fully dilated but she was oddly alert. She pricked her ears up when he called her name for the fifth time. She purred, twisted slightly in the crook of Alicia’s arms then winked out of existence. There was a sudden warm weight on Alicia’s shoulder when the cat reappeared. All traces of her earlier laziness was gone.

“Mew?” she murmured.

“Yes,” he concurred. He didn’t even bat an eye at his cat’s ability to seemingly teleport from Alicia’s arms onto her shoulder. “Non devons y’aller. Jack fait plasir d’vors.”

“Would you mind keeping her company a while longer? Jack would be happy to see both of you now that the match is over.” He cut off abruptly as a thought occurred to him. A calculating look crept into his eyes. “Reiner and Samuel. That makes two of them now.” he mused.

He started walking away from Alicia when he heard his name. He frowned. Wasn’t that the captain? He considered walking away when one of the Tankereds clapped a beefy hand on his slender shoulder. “Capt’n called ya. The Stardusk wants you.”

The tone was cold but Cedric didn’t let it bother him. He had no idea what the Stardusk (and by extension Jack) were doing. Calling for him by name was the quickest way to make them suspicious. He was supposed to be a stranger. Shrugging lightly, he allowed himself to be led towards the two captains.

Sid turned back towards Alicia after they passed her. “I’ll be seeing you soon, First Mate. Please take Chaos to Reiner for me. I haven’t had time to do that yet. You’ll understand why later.”

He wanted to say more but now wasn’t the time. He doubted Jack would let this opportunity slide. How long they had depended on the next round. No matter how brief it was, it would be enough for him to reassure Adelaide when they meet. He kept his face impassive but smiled when Runali did.

“Thank you, Captain,” he responded politely then took his leave when appropriate.

He studied the rest of the crew as he passed them. His gaze lingering longest on Sara who was upset Alicia didn’t rejoin them. He admitted he felt the same way but his upbringing wouldn’t let him express so crudely. Knowing that his stay was temporary, he bowed his head and continued walking. He spied a yellowish blob following him out of the corner of his eye as he passed by Zila. A small miracle considering how his fringe obscured most of his vision.

“Chester, vo soeur est’vec Reiner.” He said to the glowering cat. “Bring a little gift for Jack before you seek her out. You know what to take from my bag, mon ami. Go get it.”

The little lion looked skeptical. He yowled in protest before vanishing into thin air. Cedric didn’t even look to the side to check if Chester was gone. He knew his cat would obey him because it involved Jack. There better be cream this evening, Cedric thought with a shudder. His majesty would demand it later.

“That is why I said incapacitate and not kill” she replied softly. Unless Runali ordered otherwise Alicia had no intentions of drawing blood needlessly, whether they were her enemies or not. If push came to shove she was confident she could take down the vast majority without having to mortally wound any of them, of course she didn’t care to underestimate any of them as she was sure they would have one or two individuals that could potentially put up a resistance. Nevertheless Alicia would stay her blade till she was required to draw it.

She picked up on a few of the things he’s said, firstly about Fort Nevis which indicated he had a modicum of knowledge about them and then about her homeland which caused her to look up from the cat oddly named Chaos. She gave a small nod when he asked to transport her to the two mentioned Tankards from the previous games, drawn to fulfilling the request more out of curiosity than anything else. She was about to pose some questions of her own when her attention was suddenly stolen by the callout from Runali as she called for Cedric to join them, causing her eye to twitch a little.

“... She is in so much trouble” she murmured to herself as more Tankards began to fill in around her again as Cedric took his leave, resuming their awful attempts at flirting which Alicia did her best to navigate around awkwardly. Thankfully however she had a teleporting cat upon her shoulder, something she might have questioned in more detail had she not seen stranger things happen in the past. “Excuse me” she politely spoke as she made her way away from the eager Tankards to seek out the two names she’d been given, using her perception to pick them out from the crowd before making her way over towards them.
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Capt. Blu

Fake it til You Make it
Original poster
Roleplay Invitations
Not Taking RP Invites at this Time
Posting Speed
A Few Posts a Week, One Post a Week
Writing Levels
Adept, Advanced, Adaptable
Genders You Prefer Playing
No Preferences
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
Favorite Genres
Fantasy, Adventure, Scifi, Anime, Steampunk, Heroes and Villains

Location: Still on the Field, Round 4
Tankerds: 1 - Stardusk: 2

“You seem a little upset.” Runali responded to Sara’s shock. It wasn’t in question, nor did the captain look phased by it either.

A whistle blew that got everyone’s attention. Abram stood atop a few crates, waiting for them to gather. “Alright! We’re in the fourth round! Like I stated before, the rules are simple.” He cleared his throat and a Tankered pirate walked up to Abram with two small flags in hand. One red and one green. “These two flags will be tied to two different dogs and they hafta catch their flag. Whoever gets to theirs first wins. The dogs will get a five second head start to run away and run wherever they so choose. The players will stand on the farthest end of the field and’ll start on when they hear the sound of the gun. Got it?” All the Tankerds let out a resounding ‘Aye!’

Runali gave a simple nod. “So I get to pick, yeah?”

“Since the Stardusk won the last competition, yes. You… do in fact get to pick the next competitors.”

“Cool. I’m gonna piiiick…” Runali’s eye scanned over the Tankerd pirates, occasionally glancing over at Alicia as well. “The one that just did the archery tournament. He seems like a good one.”

The one from earlier, Samuel, looked on in slight surprise before quietly nodding and stepping forward. Runali watched the Tankered captain’s expression change into a slightly annoyed gaze to a more neutral one. It made Runali smirk a little. “And Luro.”

Two white and gray dogs were walked out to the middle of the playing field. One had the Tankered jolly roger painted on its right side, that one got the red cloth tied around its neck while the other got the green one.

“Alright, places!”

Runali stood at the edge of the field and stopped Luro before he could get too far. She gestured him down to her level. “You trust me, yeah?” She held her hands behind her back and spoke in a lower voice so only he could hear. “I… kinda need you to lose. I really want to know what this fifth round will be. And by the way things are going, Abram’s gonna cheat anyway so he doesn’t lose his crew.”

After giving Kadi a small pat on the shoulder after winning Luro focused his attention back on the Captain, he wasn’t sure what kind of trick Kadi pulled but whatever it was he had all manners of questions on how he went about it. Making a small note to himself to ask later he waited for the Captain to bring Alicia back to their side, though when she instead spoke Cedric name, Luro’s brows arched but rather than surprise a grin found its way onto his face and he folded his hands behind his head.
“Haha I enjoy when you make things fun Captain,” Luro said glancing back towards Alicia. “Destroying expectations is part of what makes being a Stardusk fun. Ah welcome to the crew Cedric, give me a bit of time to get used to how you look and your scent.”
Luro looked back at Runali when she brought up him being in the next match, he offered a small nod to her figuring that was fine, he was getting tired of just watching from the sidelines anyway.
Though when Sara spoke up cleary bothered by her choice Luro arched a brow at her.
“Masu we get her back if we win the whole thing...I miss Alicia too but fight’s not over yet,” Luro said lowering his arms. “Have a bit of faith in us, it almost hurts you’re upset over something like this.”

Luro turned back around and rotated his right arm chuckling a bit at the idea of getting involved, Zilia couldn’t share the man’s carefree approach to this thing, she wasn’t wholly pleased they hadn’t gotten Alicia back, and now some strange man was standing with them, but she hadn’t intended on losing anyway so she supposed their objective hadn’t changed. She had some faith Luro would win and get their friend back, but she couldn’t deny watching him turn over an empty rum bottle that there wasn’t a bit of worry.

Listening to Abram’s explanation Luro looked over at the dogs as they came out then to the man he would end up going up against. He waved at his opponent and smiling at the dogs flexed his hands as she started to make his way towards the starting point. When the Captain stopped him however he knelt down shoving his hands in his pockets as he listened. His eyes widened a bit at her request and he raised his body. He ended up walking ahead without a response bringing a hand to his chin allowing himself to get lost in his thoughts for a moment.
“This is a dilemma...I’m sure I could find the dogs without much difficulty...but to purposely lose...hmmm.”
Another voice echoed in his mind as he considered his options.
“I say we don’t do it. I mean we want to win right? It’d certainly make Masu and Alicia happy as well. I don’t need to remind the kind of trouble we’re in with them.”
“...though I didn’t ask for your opinion that is unfortunately true...but it would mean ignoring the Captain’s request...and I do trust the Captain.”
“This could be a chance to gain back some trust from those two...and Alicia would owe us one...well she’d owe us two, we never collected on that first favor. I know you want that and don’t you miss sparring with Sara, I know you do.”
“I do miss and want that but there’s a chance nothing will change. Masu clearly looks at me differently and there’s a...distance between Alicia and me, more than usual anyway. Betraying the person whose trusted me without hesitation...or a chance to regain a bit of trust from people I’ve already betrayed. That’s...what you’re trying to dangle in front of me.”
“I’m not dangling anything, I’m just mentioning facts, you messed up and you can fix some of that right now, I’m not wrong am I? You lost their trust, that’s just the reality of the situation and you’re trying hard to show you’ve changed to no merit, what has your change really brought you...the looks are the same, the distance has grown greater...everything you’ve been doing has done nothing to shrink the hole you created. Whether you follow the Captain’s request or not matters none to me, I’m not the one out there right now dealing with all this, I’m not the one that has to deal with that sting in your heart each time you look in their eyes and no longer see the warmth that once rested there. You’re the horrible person, I’m appalled right now you just can’t see it.”
“You are not helping and you don’t know what that word means.”
“I know it’s a bad word to use towards someone so neh.”
“Look just go away if you’re not going to add anything useful.”
“Hey I give good suggestions.”
“Kill everyone is not a good suggestion!”
“You’re impossible and I said kill almost everyone, I’m trying to change too….I mean I did say kill all of Stardusk and a few towns but after that we stop for lunch.”
Luro shook his head dismissing his thoughts and took his place next to his opponent, this game almost wasn’t fun anymore...almost.

Runali watched Luro go, deciding to take his silence as not the worst answer she could have gotten. When Abram neared her, she raised a brow. “Something wrong?”

The Tankerd pirate gave a skeptic look, before shrugging. “Not being sneaky are you? I mean, not as sneaky as the last game?”

Runali gave a short laugh and smiled. “Don’t know what you’re talking about. I was only offering a bit of luck to my shipwright.” The smile turned into a small smirk as she added. “Don’t tell me you’re getting antsy because we’re winning? It’s not like you expected to win, hm?” She watched Abram’s curt look and smiled- egging him on really.

“The game’s not over yet Lev. Don’t get too cocky…” Abram adjusted the rings on his fingers. “That Worst Gen title is exactly that. Merely a title and it can easily be taken away.”

This sparked a curious look from Runali as she watched Abram walk off, leaving the threat in the air. For a moment, she stood there almost intrigued by the blatant threats and the obvious cheating. They weren’t a challenge, not in the slightest. Runali was sure her crew could clear them out before they could take a single shot, but that wasn’t what interested her. What interested her was just how bold they were to try. She almost respected it… almost. It was at least enough for her to want to prolong the game. At least, if Luro decided to listen.

“Alright fellas! The dogs get a 10 second head start.” One of the Tankerd pirates spoke to the two while holding the leashes of the two dogs. “I’ll signal for you to go after I let the dogs go.”

“Uh, good luck.” Samuel nodded to Luro before getting into a ready position. After the quick explanation, the pirate let the dogs go, waited ten seconds and then signalled for the two to begin the competition. Both dogs were fast and they raced to the end of the field, however as the dogs reached near the edge of the field, the Tankerd’s painted dog began to slow down to a casual jog.

“Good luck to you too,” Luro said smiling at Samuel. “Ah I’m Luro by the way, my Captain told me not to kill any human being’s today so I’m going to make sure to miss you.”
Luro flexed his right hand and rubbed his wrist with a small smile before moving his hands into his sleeves looking back in the direction of the dogs. He patiently waited watching the dogs his eyebrows arching as the Tankerd’s slowed before smiling looking back at his own who was still going strong.
“Let’s see...the Captain said I couldn’t kill any Tankerd’s...but far as I know these dogs aren’t part of the crew and there’s no rule to say I can’t sooo…perfect.”
Luro watched as Samuel sprinted ahead after his dog and Luro calmly walked forward in no particular rush to catch up to his target, taking the rifle off his back he loaded a bullet into the chamber humming to himself.
“Stubbs!” Luro called back to Abram. “You have my apologies if you liked these guys, but unfortunately there’s no rule on killing them and I’m not the type of guy who likes to hold back against people, so-”
Luro raised his rifle and fired, something flew past Samuel’s head and past his dog before something landed directly in front of Luro’s dog, a moment later a large explosion followed, fire filling the area and exploding upwards creating a ball of flame that burned the grass around it as it flared, the sudden explosion caused the dogs to quickly yelp and run back towards Luro away from the flames. Luro watched as his dog quickly ran in another direction and glancing at the crater he left in the earth grinned and loaded another shot.
“Haha that wasn’t even full output, this is really fun,” Luro said. “It’s been a while since I’ve hunted animals...but I can’t hit the dog and burn up the flag soooo.”
Luro fired another shot causing another ball of fire to crash into the earth redirecting the dog elsewhere while the shipwright continued walking at a casual gait humming to himself.
His shots redirected the dog and caused Samuel’s dog to quickly turn and run in a different direction, Luro made sure his shots were hitting enough to guide his dog where he needed it and ensuring Samuel couldn’t catch his at the same time.
“I do feel bad for scaring the poor thing, but cheaters in ‘fair’ games only deserve one ending...and I love when people cheat against me.”
A toothy grin formed on Luro’s face as he raised his rifle again.
“I love people like you. The kind that lets me keep my promise and have fun.”

Luro pulled the trigger once more and another explosion followed though both dogs ran back towards Luro at this particular one and Luro calmly returned his rifle to his back as he had used up his three shots and there was little need to reload as the game had already reached its conclusion. The moment the dog’s approached Luro the redhead smiled and met the dog’s eyes with his own, there was a brief moment where something in the air shifted, Zilia flinched a bit at the sudden change and glanced over at Luro as Samuel ran up to the now cowering dogs.
“Ya see Stubbs, all ya gotta do to stop animals is remind them where exactly they are on the food chain,” Luro said staring down at the dogs. “Animals have really good senses. Kind of like our Observation Haki if i had to compare something...they can easily see what most can’t.”
Zilia blinked a bit as Luro seemed the same to her, though she could tell there was a slight difference in the air around him, the dogs however could easily see the amount of killing intent rolling off the shipwright in waves, passing over their bodies raking against them like invisible claws, reminding them exactly what would happen if they turned their back on him. Luro pointed at the ground causing the dogs to lower their heads and with a smile turned off his ‘intent’ and walked over to the now subservient animals.
“Ah this was fun Samuel, sorry for almost hitting you back there,” Luro said grabbing the flag off the dog.
Noticing he had the green flag and seeing the Tankerd’s roger he laughed a little.
“Ah whoops this is yours, here you go.”
He handed the flag to Samuel.
“Thanks,” the young man said taking it from him.

The first explosion riled up the pirates, some hurrying backwards while others grabbed the closest weapon. It wasn’t until they realized it was Luro’s ‘plan’ that they relaxed… sort of.

“What’s the meaning of this Lev!? He’s supposed to capture the dog not murder them!?” Abram glared as he stomped over to the Stardusk captain. “You’re playing some dirty games here and clearly ready to forfeit the game if you’re gonna play-” He paused in disbelief when he realized Runali was laughing. “You must be ready to abandon this crew of yours with the way you’re-”

“Pretty riled up for a captain who just won the challenge.” Seeing his confused look, Runali jutted her thumb towards Luro and Samuel. The latter was holding the green flag in confusion and in exhausted surprise, but he was in fact holding his first. “We’re playing the game as you do. Like Luro said, no rules against-”

“We won!” Abram bellowed, interrupting Runali’s chatter to announce it before anything else could change. The Tankerds erupted into cheer until they realized what that meant. It wasn’t very often it happened- Abram made sure of it, but the Tankerds and the Stardusk had definitely tied which meant a fifth round was necessary.

Luro made his way back to the others rubbing the back of his head, a weak chuckle escaping from him especially seeing the glare on Zilia’s face. While returning to the loser side the echo in his head returned though he didn’t let the smile fall off his face as a low chuckle came from his head.
“They’re going to be mad at you.”
“Hah…yeah Masu and Alicia are not gonna be happy about this…but if it was that easy to regain their trust I’d have it by now….nice try.”
“Too obvious? One day you’ll fall for it. I can see the weakness in your heart after all, one day you won’t be able to take it.”
“The Captain showed unshakeable faith in me and trusted me without hesitation…I can never repay that but I’m not going to go and ignore a favor from her…even if I’m hated for it. I won’t turn my back on people who trust me...and I’m not going back inside that easy.”
“Hahahaha I guess so. Why do anything for those two anyway. It’s not like they care about you, one’s ready to kill you and the other clearly wants little to do with you. We can feel it, that kind of hatred is the best kind of drink, the sideways glances, the casual distance it sends chills down my spine knowing I’ve stolen that away, that manipulating the feelings of our precious friends is so damn easy. Maybe we should just-”
“It’s not that simple and they have every right to those feelings…so shut up and stop talking about them...and they’re not our friends...they’re mine”
“For least until I’m done.”

Luro stood in front of everyone or at least who was left and offered a small shrug to them.
“Sorry about that guys, I got so excited I forgot about the rules,” Luro said before grinning at the others. “Guess we better win the next one huh or we’ll be in trouble.”
Zilia made a motion with her hand causing Luro to lean down, she then grabbed his shirt and immediately started shaking him, screaming at him with her eyes as Luro apologized to her laughing and waving his hands trying to get her to stop.
Once she finished Luro turned back to the tankered and waved to Alicia.
“Sorry Alicia! I know your mad but try not to be ‘kill me’ mad okay! I kind of have plans later!”

The cheers from the Tankerds died down- something unusual for what was a success for them. It started to become a little more obvious that their attention was turned to Abram who had an aura of frustration and anger as he walked towards the Stardusk. His head was held high, and he was only a little careful in not showing just how he felt.

After Runali was so rudely interrupted, she made her way back to her crew to wait for Luro’s return. When he did, she offered him a smile planning to give them all words of encouragement- and maybe offer the fact that it was all “as she planned it”. But before she could get words out, Abram cleared his throat and once more interrupted. “As are the rules, this does mean I get to pick another from your crew. But since we’ve also tied, this means it’ll have to be settled as well. Usually, it’s… amongst captains on what the challenge will be. However, since your shipwright destroyed our playing field there’s going to be one more intermission before all of that can be settled. Use it wisely.”

The not so subtle threat was left hanging in the air as Abram walked away, being surrounded by his crew. The interaction was a lot tamer than she thought it’d be, but nonetheless, Runali’s one eye lit up with excitement when she turned back to the crew. “This is perfect!” Catching the looks from her crew, she relaxed a little and crossed her arms. “What’s the issue? Oh-” She patted Luro’s arm. “No need to be upset with him, Luro coulda easily won. But if he did that, then I wouldn’t have been able to get a tiebreaker… You guys are sure getting riled up, yeah?”

Luro only offered a grin at Abram at the mention of blowing up their field, they had put it aside for personal use and there were no people to get caught in the crossfire, how could he not resist having a bit of fun in a place like this. That and Abram never said they couldn’t destroy the field, but putting that aside what little worry he had vanished seeing the Captain’s smile, he didn’t like Alicia staying on that side but he didn’t intend on really losing this fight and this situation was one of his favorites.

“I treat all my opponents the same in a real fight after all,” Luro said stretching his arms out in front of him since the Captain spoke up for him. “Still thanks to this collar I kinda have to hold back.”
Luro grinned a bit tugging at something invisible around his neck leaving the matter at that.
“I’m also used to losing too so no big deal. These are the kind of things I enjoy though, with your back against the wall and one step away from life or death, these are the kind of moments I live for. The struggle really makes it fun, easy victories are boring.”
Luro laughed a little at this and turned towards the Captain.
“I have complete faith in us Captain, don’t let your guard down though I have a feeling Abram’s gonna make this last fight really interesting…besides…”
Luro walked over and pat Jack on the shoulder grinning at the man.
“I can’t let you be alone in the loser’s box, what kind of friend would I be then? Now we both can be in trouble right?”
Luro grinned at Jack, he knew he felt guilty for losing but at the very least he didn’t have the shoulder the burden alone anymore.

“Oh, by the way Lev! I’ll be taking that archer of yours.”

Abram’s yell made Runali laugh a little. “Guess he remembered to take one of the crew after all. Well, you heard him Kadi. Go keep Alicia company for a bit.”

Tankerds: 2
Stardusk: 2


Vivid Imaginings
Roleplay Invitations
Group Roleplays, One on One Roleplays, Private Convo Roleplays
Posting Speed
A Few Posts a Week, One Post a Week, Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Adaptable
Genders You Prefer Playing
Male, Female, Primarily Prefer Female, No Preferences
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
I'm willing to do either, but may lean more towards the passive side.
Favorite Genres
Fantasy, magical, modern, medieval, horror, dark fantasy, post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, adventure, action, anime
Genre You DON'T Like
Realistic fiction, romance

Cedric Langley

Once Jack dismissed his crewmates, he smoothed back his hair and leaned against the tree trunk. His arms folded against his chest. It felt almost defensive-- not the way he wanted to greet his brother. He started lowering them to his sides, but it felt overly awkward, them dangly with nothing to do and the last thing he wished was to start smoking with Sid there to note all his tells. Ticks of indecision ensued before Jack settled with fists in his pockets and by then Sid had finally arrived.

“Hello...Sid.” Jack inclined his head. He offered a small smile to Sid and looked him up and down, taking care to notice the details he missed before while they played. The card game had intervened with their initial reunion, but it was a reunion Jack never prepared for. Nothing was prepared for, the grim thought flashed in his mind.

Sid didn’t return the smile this time. Worry threaded his brows as he remained where he was. Jack was never this transparent before. He wasn’t sure whether his brother had become too laxed over the past year or whether this was a ploy to lure people around him into a false sense of security. The latter was more like the man he knew.

“Qu’est-ce qu’il ya? Tu es parler l’Comms. You don’t do that unless you are burdened.” The younger brother suspected his presence was the root cause of Jack’s distress. Their chance meeting might not remain a secret for long. Not when she had ears everywhere.

“Mew!” Chester greeted lazily as he reappeared at Cedric’s feet. A small bottle was gripped between his teeth. His green eyes narrowed to thin slits as he waited to be thanked.

“There you are,” Sid greeted turning his attention from his brother to the feline. “Merci, Monsieur l’Chat.” He knelt down and patted the miffed looking Maine Coon. “Tu veux de l’creme? Jack sait-il?”

Master and cat looked at Jack the moment the last question left Sid’s lips. There was something almost wistful in their expressions that added a tinge of humor to the heavy air surrounding them. Cedric retrieved his bottle and tossed it to Jack.

“Better keep that promise, frère. You don’t want to find hair balls all over your pillow tonight.” A faint smile finally graced Sid’s. “L’ouvrir. You were never able to resist this. A little gift to … shall we say mettre du piment dans sa vie?”

Catching the gift, Jack flicked the lid open as bid. He threw a narrowed glance at Sid’s observation regarding his language of choice. Truthfully, Jack never minded which language he spoke in yet the Trovalian tongue had indeed grown comfortable on his tongue. Once. The spiced aroma broke his train of thought. A flash of humor met Sid’s concealed pun, but it disappeared as he recognized the gift. A poultry rub-- one Jack was particularly fond of, filled with nutmeg and a touch of red pepper. Carefully, his thumb pressed it closed and he rubbed his nose. His eyes drifted as he rubbed his shoulder.

“You remembered. Of course you would,” a rueful smirk played on his face.

Leaning back on the tree, Jack pocketed the spices and brought out a cigarillo. In the distance, Luro’s match was starting to play. From the responses, Jack assumed Kadi won his round but he neglected to rejoin his crew once Sara and Luro left him. He briefly glanced back down to the bush Luro- somehow- managed to hide in while Sara and him talked. Luro didn’t have much to say, not with the next match starting, but the concern was touching. It was also a good reminder how sneaky the giant could be.

A match sparked and he puffed on his smoke. He looked to his brother and released a sigh. A closed look, marked by a half-smile, changed his face. It was a ghost of the face Sid remembered. “Thank you. It’s appreciated… but now isn’t the time, Sid. Tell me why you’re here.”

“You’re repeating the same question.” Cedric remarked. He knew Jack was trying to dig deeper but he thought the answer was obvious. He didn’t enjoy cooking, so there was only one reason he’d carry a stash of spice rub around. He knew from experience Jack had a weakness when it came to food. That knowledge came in handy whenever he wished to soothe waters.

He went quiet after that. His fingers ran through Chester’s thick yellow fur. Jack wasn’t satisfied with his answer earlier. The man didn’t believe their meeting was a coincidence. Jack probably suspected his current mission was just an excuse to be here. Cedric sensed that he would need to give a better reason soon if he wished to remain with Jack. His brother had made it very clear that he didn’t want to be found. Sid exhaled loudly. Jack wasn’t going to like what he was about to say, but it was the most compelling reason he could give at the moment.

“I accepted the Kirkendall mission. I managed to steal their secret and …” he paused dramatically.

Jack’s brow snapped together in annoyance. He knew exactly what his brother referred to; it was a mission Jack told him to steer clear of, some time ago. The cigarillo was tapped to one side, dispelling loose ash, before returning to his lips. He waited for Sid to continue.

A small smirk appeared on Cedric’s lips as he studied Jack’s face. He was confident he had the upper hand now. “You were right. I got double crossed. Almost. I stole it back to use it as a bargaining chip. Now I have even more people looking for me.” He faked a cough in a poor attempt to cover up the word “Navy”.

He stopped petting Chester long enough to shrug. “I figured you’d be the best person to approach for help. It’s not like a dead man can contact Adelaide, no? Best not to drag her into this mess.”

Luro’s shot made Chester bristle, and broke the sudden, treacherous look that crossed Jack’s face. The hissing cat batted away his master’s hand. He glared in Luro’s direction then turned away with a disdainful snort. Chester began appraising Jack with a keen interest. He sensed Jack tensing up under his intense stare. Jack started reaching for Sid’s arm, but their feline friend didn’t give Jack a chance to move an inch. The Maine Coon crouched down suddenly and leaped into the air. He vanished the moment his feet left the ground. He rematerialised on top of Jack’s head. His claws massaged the scalp agitatedly with each successive shot. The raking motion caused Jack’s hair to fluff up.

“Ow! Curses-- Chester,” Jack groaned, taking a step back as his hands went up to remove the cat.

Chester’s scowl deepened when he saw Luro picked up the dog. Wrinkling his nose, he turned his attention to his handiwork. He raked through the hair vigorously to free even more strands from the dreadlocks. He meowed approvingly once Jack had a puffy cloud on top of his head. Chester threw himself down on his new cushion and rolled onto his side. He draped a paw down the man’s tan forehead. His front leg was just long enough for him to tickle the tip of Jack’s nose. He wasn’t able to reach the cigarillo no matter how much he stretched. He hissed in annoyance.

Jack sighed heavily. He blew a puff of smoke into the cat’s face, but otherwise left the creature be. It stopped the mounting fear that began to take hold. He scratched Chester’s forehead. “You may pay for this later, Majesty. You know I hate when you muss my hair.”

“Looks like Monsieur l’Chat misses you. He ran to you the moment your Shipwright went trigger happy.” Sid observed. Jack’s eyes raised to meet his again. “He will want his cream more than ever. He hinted that you promised him some earlier.”

Sid kept his arms crossed. He wasn’t aware he had done that earlier when Luro began firing at the dogs. Watching the maverick in action made him reconsider some of the rumors he heard. His brows furrowed. Jack couldn’t have changed that much, could he? The man he knew wasn’t that bloodthirsty.

He decided he would worry about the red headed giant later. He hadn’t finished talking to Jack yet. He continued with their current topic until he got the chance to ask some questions of his own. “Trust me. Chester won’t let you off that easily. You don’t want those hairballs on your pillow. He found a way to make them worse.”

Despite the friendly smile on his face, Cedric was certain Jack heard the underlying message. It was his brother’s turn to answer his questions. Interrogating Jack won’t be easy given the man’s secretive nature but Sid was determined to get his answers. He was glad Chester agreed to help with the interrogation. The feline was talented in making things as uncomfortable as possible. If that didn’t work, Cedric had other tricks up his sleeve. Some were below the belt so he hoped he wouldn’t need them today. He preferred saving his aces for another time. He missed his brother too much to make things that uncomfortable.

Noticing their reactions, Jack too, turned to his attention briefly to the match concluding in the distance. He took the smoke from his mouth as he watched, and heard, the man chase his dog. His jaw clenched. Don’t lose yourself, Luro. Rather reluctantly, he returned his attention back to Sid when he started speaking again. He would have preferred facing down Luro’s gun again rather than the coming questions he suspected brewing in his brother. After all, it’d been nigh a year since the last letter Jack sent, and longer still since they last met face to face.

He softened just a little. Fingers searching for Chester’s favorite spot, he offered his brother a rueful smile. “I have no doubt he did.”

There was an awkward pause before Jack scoffed. His hand fell from the cat to swipe across his face. The other made a fist at his hip. “The sea take you, Cedric. Do you have no sense? Or were you so wrapped in your own thievery to not notice all the obituaries showing your name? Gods even the bloody Ravens thought you were dead and they went to Norja!” His voice rose.

“I bet many spirits are starving,” Cedric replied sarcastically. “You forgot, dear brother, dead men get cut off from their wealth. I was lucky that Belvedere didn’t divide my assets. The instructions were to wait for you to come over personally.”

Sid splayed the fingers of his right hand as he waved it about in the air lazily. “You left me a poor boy with no family. I did what I did to survive. Or, I was simply living up to my Guild moniker. You’re lucky Lazarus didn’t tell the others I was still alive. You forgot he was with me at the time of my supposed death.”

Jack glared. His anger finally broke through, but it showed he at least moved past the awkward reunion with Sid. He looked at his brother with a mixture of distress and relief, flipping between the two. He was happy, immeasurably happy, to see him. Drifting alone, Jack almost forgot want it was like to have family close again. Suddenly he pulled Sid into a rough embrace.

“Damn you, baby brother,” he muttered. Standing back, he balanced Chester on his head once more. “You don’t know what you’ve walked into. You should have heeded me.”

“Your letter mentioned Oubila. I don’t know what else to think. The place was obliterated and you were running like the hellhounds were chasing you.”

Cedric’s face was impassive although he returned the hug. He took the opportunity to fish for more information. “So does that make you the wanted man or is it the two of us? I’m confused by need to confirm my death. Our last agreement was that I would go into hiding. I don’t think it was serious enough that I need to start off with a blank slate. Pourquoi prendre le pion quand on voit la tour?”

There was hurt and anger tainting his voice. He hated being left in the dark. Jack had pushed him into an awkward position to protect him. It wasn’t the best choice given that the Guild had been infiltrated. He eliminated two of the spies but he knew the game was up. The best thing he could do was to get an iron clad security blanket and reunite with his now notorious pirate brother. The attention from the Kirkendalls and the Navy should keep their real enemies at bay.

“Circumstances dictate that I make counter plans. I dispatched two of the spies. It won’t be long before their comrades find out. I felt that Kirkendall secret is our best bet. Getting double crossed was my real aim. Now that we have enough people targeting us that those in the shadows will keep away.”

Jack took an involuntary step back, horrified. “That-- that was your plan? To bring the hell of the world down upon us so our enemies can pick and chose which of them comes first?” He laughed, cold and dark. “Load of good that will do! The Navy already wants Stardusk, Tenebrous Bodhisattva with them,” the cook mentioned his moniker with a snort. “At most Kirkendall will be a new member on the long list. Congratulations.”

Sid quirked an eyebrow. “I know they want the Stardusk. Your Captain escaped Kane’Artem. It only adds to the appeal of recapturing her. Tsk, didn’t you see your wanted posters? Be consoled, Jack, that I’m still a pawn in the grand scheme. A someone with his own set of hellhounds. This is enough to persuade you to let me stay awhile, I hope.”

Jack turned his back, began to pace. The hurt in Sid’s voice hadn’t been missed. The guilt burrowed deep, ever since he made his choice to leak the death of Cedric Langely. He forced it down with a hard swallow. He hadn’t really considered the position it’d put his brother in, that was true. His safety became priority-- and, Jack hoped, the severity of his move would be warning enough to his little brother. It hadn’t been; on hindsight, Jack couldn’t see himself why. If their places were reversed, he’d move land and water to find his brother again. His shoulders slumped as he stopped. “I’m sorry,” he said at last. “I am. Things happened...rapidly. I didn’t have the luxury to think through my actions. It doesn’t matter now. Just, tell me you didn’t go there.”

Pivoting back to Sid, he gripped his shoulders. “I need the truth. Tell me you didn’t go there yourself to Oublia.”

Cedric was lost in the flashes of emotion he saw playing across Jack’s face. In his mind’s eye, he saw a cracked mask disintegrating in the wind. The imagery left him feeling ill at ease. He didn’t know if it was a sign of greater burdens haunting his brother’s waking moments or it was something else. He allowed his eyes to wander past Jack’s shoulders. Cedric saw Luro throw an arm around Runali’s shoulders. His cheerfulness was a huge contrast to the grim expressions on the other faces. The results were a little clearer when he saw the Stardusk archer walking towards the other side.

“Vadoma has her ways. Don’t forget how often you would ask her to ferret for critical information.” He watched Kadi’s back grow smaller as the man walked towards Alicia. He couldn’t tell if Chaos was still with her. “She knew Lazarus was the best person to contact the moment she received news about Oubila. That said, brother dearest, your crew needs you.”

Jack visibly relaxed. He squeezed Sid's shoulder then released him, nodding with satisfaction. At the brother's indiciation to his crew, Jack looked back and sighed. "You're right. We should return... we can talk later once you're on the ship.”

“We will be proceeding to the tiebreaker. Your Captain and Makachi were conspiring earlier. Well, let’s see what else Captain Lev has planned. l’Captain doesn’t know when to give up. The fool!”

Cedric shook his head bringing his fringe over his eyes again. “Your new companions are the last people I expected to see in your company. You will have even more stories about once you leave here. Mark my words!”

At that, Jack chuckled as they turned to rejoin the crews. "Ah. They are not much different from Hoshi's crew, you'll see. I like them well enough."

There was brief lull in their exchange. Sid allowed Jack to turn his attention back to the Stardusk before he spoke again. “It’s time I check on Reiner. Do you wish to pass a message to Tashigi and Arcadius?”

He shook his head, careful not to disturb the freeloader kneading claws into his scalp. He figured it'd be better if the cat stayed there. No doubt his dreads were a disaster now, and at least the cat prevented them from falling into his face.

"No," he answered Sid, "They won't be staying with the Tankerds long."

As the younger brother spoke, his slender fingers pulled out a card from one of his many pouches. Inscribed on the card in dried ink was symbol for light. He rested the edge of the card against his scarred jaw. “Alright, I’ll take my leave for now.”

Chester rested his chin against his paw. His green eyes drifted to his master’s hidden left ear. A faint glow peeked from underneath the silky hair. He purred contentedly not wishing to follow the man this time. He enjoyed his perch a little too much. Cedric ignored his cat. He knew that Chester was bound to him and the feline wouldn’t wander off too far.

Cedric’s card caught fire and burned to ash. The effects were immediate. He remained standing by his brother’s side although the man couldn’t see him anymore. Sid was invisible. His disembodied voice whispered into Jack’s ear. “Go!”

Nodding to Sid's suggestion, he picked up his pace and hastened to his captain. "Sorry," he said to Runali as he sat next to her. "There were... family issues to address."

An eyebrow rose as Luro came over, clapping his arm and announcing his own defeat. It prompted a wane smile. Jack nearly forgot his own embarrassment with the mess of other worries plaguing his mind. "I appreciate the sentiment but something tells me you did it on purpose," he replied with a glance back at Runali, recalling Sid's earlier comment. Seeing Zilia behind the giant, he leaned forward to her with a serious face.

He asked, "I don't suppose when we return to the ship, you can help me fix this monstrosity that his Majesty created?" Jack pointed at his nest of hair with the large cat smugly curled on top.
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Capt. Blu

Fake it til You Make it
Original poster
Roleplay Invitations
Not Taking RP Invites at this Time
Posting Speed
A Few Posts a Week, One Post a Week
Writing Levels
Adept, Advanced, Adaptable
Genders You Prefer Playing
No Preferences
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
Favorite Genres
Fantasy, Adventure, Scifi, Anime, Steampunk, Heroes and Villains

Location - Finnigan Island - Empty Clearing/Field
Round 5 - Tiebreaker

Runali and Abram stood face to face with their crews behind them. The latter had what Runali assumed was supposed to be an intimidating glare while she had an amused smile. “So…” Abram started, obviously frustrated. He fiddled with something on the odd barrel he had on his arm. “The rules state in tie breakers, the captains must come to an agreement on the final challenge whether it be drinking contest, some game, a fight till the death, or even a simple contract of agreement. And as you know-”

“How many tie breakers have you had to deal with?” Runali interrupted.

“...Very few.”

“And how many captains have you killed?”

Abram’s hand twitched at his side, but he straightened up. “I don’t see how that is any of your concern really. It’d be wise to focus on your own crew’s future. By the looks of it, not all of them seem very… encouraged by your decisions thus far.” Both captains glanced at the Stardusk crew until Abram continued. “ A crew that doesn’t fear their captain is usually doomed to fail. But then again, I suppose I’d be tired too if my captain was so clearly riding on the back of my successes.”

“Pardon me?”

“...Y’know, I’ve always thought of the Stardusk as insufferable. But I especially hate you Lev.”

Runali looked a little more confused and crossed her arms. “I’m not following. Have we met before? I don’t really go out of my way to remember everyone we’ve-”

“Stories spread don’t you know? About how the Stardusk crew goes off the graces of pure luck. About how just because you did a few accidental things you suddenly think it makes you qualified to be the Pirate Lord.”

“Accidental? Isn’t that what all pirates-”

Abram wouldn’t let her finish her sentence. “What are you really without that crew of yours? I remember being there back on Hara Island. I saw how you caused a fight and how poor you weren’t even strong enough to finish it. The stories and papers spread about how you were the one locked up in Kane’Artem and how your crew had to get you out. S’not a good look if you ask me. Frankly without them, you’d be hopeless- dead even.Then again, all the stories of the ‘Stardusk’ become so inflated it’s honestly something to laugh at.” There was a subtle shift in the air, something not very noticeable unless one was paying attention but what was noticeable was how Runali straightened up and her arms fell to her side. “Why do you even want to be Pirate Lord? Just for the fancy title? The pirates I know have plans and reasons for it. What would someone like you even do with the power that it entails?” He continued his ranting, beginning to circle her like a predator. “You leap head first into some bullshit adventure and you think all it takes is for you to send your crew to fight and get to the top? Frankly, a pirate captain needs no one, except for a few subordinates to man his ship... I suppose I should give you the benefit of the doubt considering you’re a lass. Of course you’d be soft. But still, what do you think will happen when you face a real problem? Like your crew turning against you or y’know actual enemies that your crew can’t handle?” Abram stopped his circling and stood face to face with Runali, closer than he was when they first started talking. “Watching you fail, as delightful as that sounds, isn’t my priority. What’s important here is that you’re in my way and it'd be wise for you to move. Face it Lev, you’re nothing more than a child with too much time on your hands. And that crew of yours following suit, hah! It’s the blind leading the blind.”

“All this talk of the Stardusk doing this and doing that in the papers- the gossip between pirates even! Why don’t you do what’s proper and do as ladies- no, do as children are supposed to? I’m sure your mommy and daddy are worried you’re out past curfe-” In his taunting, he used his hook hand to reach out for the necklace her mother gave her, but was suddenly cut off by a punch to the jaw that sent him stumbling to the ground.

In the same moment, Runali felt her necklace snap and saw the jade beads fall to the ground.

“You know nothing about me or this crew.” Her voice was soft, but held a venom behind it. What he said wasn’t true. Grant it, she wasn’t even sure what he was getting at. But insults were insults. The Stardusk captain was well aware that he didn’t know the full truth of their adventures, their struggles, or anything they had done to get where they were. She shouldn't have let it get to her so easily, but she hated how he talked down to her. And then she touched her neck where her necklace once was before reaching down and grabbing Abram by the collar. She reared her fist back, only to pause when Abram chuckled.

“Heh, doing the heavy work now?”

“Hm…” There was a brief pause and Runali let him drop back to the ground, suddenly a lot more relaxed compared to the angry look that flashed before. “Y’know what? You're right. One last game. Let’s make this interesting.”


“Yeah… Winner takes all. Not just the crew. But the bounties, and hell if you can, you can even take the title as Fourth Worst Gen.”

This got Abram’s attention.

Runali frowned at the beads in the grass before walking over to where her crew stood. She removed her blades and handed them to Jack, then casually tossed her eyepatch to Luro. She didn’t say anything to any of them, instead turned her back and removed the sash around her waist as she walked back to Abram. “It’s real simple. Me versus you. The catch? All you have to do is strike me. No guns. But I’ll be nice and say you can keep your sword.”

“What is this, some sort of trick? Gonna have your crew shoot me while I’m unarmed?” Despite being so skeptical, he looked a bit intrigued by the game.

“Nope. They’re only going to stand there and watch.” She made sure the order was loud and clear for them so they wouldn’t act. “I’ll even make it easier for you.” Runali proceeded to wrap the sash around her head. “I’ll be blind… well, completely.” Her fun and playful nature for the game had disappeared and it was a little harder to read her expression. “I see you’ve built up this system of gaining a crew. You own an island where the navy could easily show up. To keep them informed so they know your rise to power. Luring other pirates and overthrowing... Gaining a small army even… You must’ve been real close to that Worst Gen spot huh? Probably one more game, one more right move and you'd have been in the running for Worst Gen. Then we ruined that for you. So now you’re feeling a little lesser, yeah?” The look on his face confirmed Runali’s suspicions and she smiled. “I’m gonna give you the chance to kill me and keep your little plan going. You wouldn’t be watching me fail, you’d be causing it. That's a pretty big headline for the papers don't you think? And then you'd even get my crew and they're worth a lot. So? ”

“So.. You just want me to hit you ...while you’re blindfolded? That doesn’t seem fair.” Runali stood in Hawa temple, watching her mentor, Momo, tie a blindfold across their already masked eyes. It looked a little ridiculous but Runali was tired of suggesting they take the mask off.

“Not fair for you anyway. Hah, how about we make this more fun? Any time you hit me, I’ll answer a question. Any of them.”

Runali attacked, striking just as she was taught, but Momo dodged each attack with perfect fluidity. It looked incredibly effortless and proceeded to frustrate the young girl. “What.. are you?”

“Hm?” They hummed while moving their arm to direct Runali’s strike the opposite way.
“Are you human?”
Momo chuckled. “A demon to some towards the east. Mistaken for a god somewhere in the north. A human last I checked.” Still, Runali couldn’t get a strike, even when she tried sweeping Momo’s legs from under them.
“At least tell me if you’re man or woman, so I can address you properly?”
“A woman the way she moves. A man the way he strikes. I prefer to call myself an experience, really.”
“No fair.” Runali’s following strike was caught with ease and suddenly she was spun around and pushed on her butt.
“You’ve asked me two questions and I have answered, even though you haven’t hit me.”
“How do people trust you so much while knowing so little about you?” Runali jumped off the ground, lunging to tackle her mentor.
“Ah, Ru,* Her mentor side stepped, “but I give everyone the information they need. The desire to know about my personal life is a want and will benefit you in no way. Besides, it makes emotional attachments and you don’t want those with me. However, announcing that I come in peace is a necessity as I don’t want to cause suspicions and fights were they aren’t needed. But speaking of fighting, are you tired getting your butt handed to you?”
This time, when Runali jumped up to strike, Momo used their palm to hit in the center of Runali’s chest, causing her to fall back and gasp. “Hnn…”
“I’ll take that as a yes.”

“I accept the challenge.”

Runali didn't spare her crew a glance. She only nodded towards Abram and took a few paces away from where the beads of her necklace were scattered, towards center field. “Good because the easier option was just to kill you. Better make it count.” She watched Abram remove two pistols off his hips and hand them to a pirate who rushed and grabbed them. When the pirate ran off she pulled the sash over her eyes and tightened it. “Alright Luro, signal to start!”

The moment she heard the gunshot, Runali’s head tilted slightly and she listened to Abram move around her. When he struck, she stepped back, dodging it. And then he proceeded to quicken his pace. It wasn’t as fluid as she hoped, but Runali continued dodging and taking steps back, narrowly missing some strikes while easily diverting or dodging others. All the while, Runali kept her hands behind her back. She could hear his grunts of frustration and his heavy footsteps as he approached and without having to focus so much on sight, she noticed every so often his hook was a little squeaky too.

Runali stayed strictly on the defensive up until Abram attempted to thrust his sword towards her face. She ducked under it, using her palm- with the help of her armament- to hit the sword upward, causing it to fly in the air. Her head followed the movement and she took a few steps backwards. Quickly, she raised the sash and reached out, grabbing the sword’s hilt as it came down and swung back to aim the blade at Abram’s chest. To her surprise, the hook on his hand was gone and he was pointing the barrel at her stomach. “Here I thought you’d be honorable.”

“Tch. You looked.”
“And you cheated.”

Both captains stared each other down for a brief moment before the sound of a gun ran out the same time Abram howled in pain.
“So, guess this means I won?” The sword was stabbed into Abram’s stomach and Runali had a bullet wound in her side. She managed to shift slightly to avoid too fatal damage, not that it wasn’t bad as it was. Runali let go of the blade and staggered backwards. It took a moment, but she managed to stand tall. “You probably won’t die...hopefully.”

The sudden danger the Tankerd captain was in, made the surrounding pirates grab their weapons, only to pause when they realized one wrong move could put their captain in more danger. Abram on the other hand gritted his teeth and stared daggers at Runali. “Didn’t think you were the torture type.”

She took the sash off her head and wrapped it around her, putting pressure on the bullet wound. “Hm? Oh I’m not trying to kill you.” She looked at one of the Tankerd pirates. “Oi, what’s the name of this island again?”


“Alright. It’s mine.”


Runali stepped closer to Abram. “You heard me. Finnigan Island, once claimed by the Tankerd pirates, is now claimed by me, the Stardusk captain. And you all,” Runali eyed the sea of pirates that stood around the field. Some wearily put their weapons down, immediately accepting defeat, while others kept their weapons trained on Runali. “Hm…you all can keep being pirates under Stubbs here. I don’t care really but just know,” There was a gleam in her eye that caused all of them to suddenly freeze in place and grow cold. Runali didn’t notice a few of them actually stumbling back. “You work for me now... Which means?”

Abram grumbled something but quickly gulped when Runali grabbed the sword hilt. “...Should you need t-the Tankered Pirates, we’ll be there. Allies to the Star-”

“Hah! No way. You don’t get that title. You don’t deserve it. Hmmm…. Subordinates t the Stardusk. That’s more like it.” Runali carefully leaned forward and smiled. “This’ll hurt a bit.” She yanked the sword out of him and tossed it to the side. “One of you patch him up, don’t let him die on me.” Two doctors scrambled over with their supplies to help their captain while Runali slowly made her way to her crew as they all reconvened together.
She was quiet for a moment, still ignoring the new bullet wound she had. “The belittling from other pirates, I can deal with. But,” And she glanced over at Alicia and then Sara, before sighing. “I’d like to believe you didn’t think so little of me. Reckless or not, I do value you guys’ lives.” She kept a calm and unchanging expression. “After everything we’ve been through, you’d really think I’d just give you away? Especially to a crew like them?” Before any of them could answer, she looked over at Sara. “I don’t ask for much. Not even complaisance, but you’re ego won’t do you any good in the long run... If you’re gonna be apart of a crew- this crew, at least remember that I am in fact still your captain.” Runali raised her hand to keep them silent.

“Kadi, Sara- find out where they keep their valuables and get them on the ship. With how much they took from the island, I’m sure they have plenty. Alicia make sure there’s no more of their flags flying around the island. They’ll need to be replaced. There’s also a navy office somewhere in the town. We didn’t do too much damage but check to see if the navy’s coming any time soon.”
She tugged the sash around her waist and wrinkled her nose. “I s’pose bleeding out isn’t the ideal way to go for me either. Do you mind, doctor?” She took a few steps, heading towards Lady Luck, but stopped and looked over at Luro. “Oh yeah, mind taking that barrel… hook hand thing from their captain? And… make sure they got the message that it wouldn’t be wise to try being sneaky.”
She leaned on Zilia for a brief moment and pointed at Jack and Cedric. “And you two are free to fill me in on what got you so worked up Jack. After I get a fresh set of bandages. But in the meantime,” Runali headed towards Lady Luck, waving a hand to dismiss the crew. “Welcome to the Stardusk crew Cedric. Hope you weren't fond of the Tankerds because you're sailing with us now.”


Too weird to live, too rare to die.
Roleplay Invitations
Group Roleplays, One on One Roleplays, Chat Roleplays, Private Convo Roleplays
Posting Speed
Several Posts a Day
Writing Levels
Genders You Prefer Playing
Male, Female
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
Favorite Genres
Realism, Sci-Fi, Western, Romance, Modern, Low/High Fantasy
Genre You DON'T Like
High School

At Runali’s blase attitude, Sara could only sigh and turn away. It’s not that she didn’t trust Runali to not do the right thing, because Runali generally did do the right thing, but it was the journey to doing the right thing that bothered Sara. When Luro brought up her lack of faith, Sara replied icily.

“I equally believe that the sun will rise up tomorrow, and that you’ll be drunk as a skunk when you do see it. There are things that you are good at, being fast isn’t one of them.” Her nose wrinkled at his bottle, it was difficult to tell which stunk more of alcohol, it or him.

As the game went underway, and the first few shots rang out and the subsequent explosions boomed, Sara buried her face in the palm of her hand. To her, Luro was obviously throwing the game, she had been around the red-headed giant long enough to know when he was holding back. She continued to face-palm until it was declared that Samuel caught his dog first, and that the Tankered pirates had won.

Immediately, she stomped off towards Alicia, ignoring the stragglers clinging near her, and said. “Alicia, can I have a word please?”

The swordswoman continued to stroke the cat as she watched the next game unfold, closing her eyes and releasing a sigh as she watched Luro throw the game entirely causing yet another loss on their side. From what she could tell and from her experience from having traveled with Luro all this time, he’d thrown it intentionally which more than likely meant he was either up to something himself or he’d been asked by Runali, something which wasn’t that hard to believe all things considered. Nevertheless it still brought a degree of frustration from Alicia, an emotion she was experiencing a lot today. She turned her attention back towards the cat for a moment before Sara approached, pulling her attention away once more.

“Of course” she replied, her tone soft despite her slight frown wondering what Sara could possibly wish to discuss with her given what was happening.

“You probably already noticed.” Sara said after taking Alicia away from the Tankered Pirates, pausing only to pet the kitten and scratch under his chin in her arms. “Luro threw. But, I also think Runali put him up to it, she said something to him before the challenge started. I was going to go ask her why, and probably yell at her for her poor judgement. Do you want to come with, and probably yell at her too?”

“Although I do intent to reprimand the captain when all this is over I don’t think raising my voice at her will change much about this situation. Runali intends to see this through to the end and while I question her choices, she is still the captain” she replied with a small exhale. “But feel free to convey my frustrations if you still plan on giving her a verbal kicking”.

Sara took in a deep breath, and let it out. “You’re right, waiting is probably the smarter thing to do here. It’s just… I don’t get Runali’s judgement, at all. This Cedric is important to Jack, but you’re important to the crew. You’re important to me. We should have gotten you back, and then have aimed for Cedric in the next round. Risking you like this is just… pointless.”

Alicia gave a small smile which stretched into a slight grin, “I’m always right” she replied, the cat suddenly poofing from her arms onto Sara’s head suddenly which made her startle a little, still unused to animals being able to teleport at their own will. “You’re important to me too Sara, do not worry… we have a habit of coming through in the end, even if the journey itself is somewhat arduous” she replied, lowing her arms to her sides as she turned towards the Tankard captain as he announced the next game.

“We always do.” Sara replied, quietly. She blinked as the cat in Alicia’s arms suddenly disappeared, and she had almost jumped out of her skin when he had reappeared onto her head. She took the small kitten and held him in both hands as Sara stared at him skeptically. “You’re… a very unusual cat.” She spoke plainly, her tone softening. “But least you’re cute. Who’s a special kitty? You are!” She held the kitten close to her, softly murmuring baby-talk as she scratched behind his ear, paying half-attention to what the next challenge actually was.


*Insert quip here*
Roleplay Invitations
One on One Roleplays
Posting Speed
A Few Posts A Day, One Post a Day, A Few Posts a Week
Writing Levels
Elementary, Intermediate, Adept, Advanced
Genders You Prefer Playing
Male, Female
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
Both are fine. I tend to be aggressive more though.
Favorite Genres
Modern Fantasy, Historical, Fantasy, adventure, romance, anime, action, etc.
Genre You DON'T Like
Depends on the story, not all that picky about it.

Zilia wasn’t entirely sure what to take from all of this.
There seemed to be two sides to this particular encounter, on one hand she shared in Sara’s concern about what was going on, but on the other hand seeing Luro and the Captain so relaxed made it feel…silly to be concerned. She squeezed the bridge of her nose as she couldn’t stop herself from worrying but she disliked what she was looking at. Sara’s cold words to Luro not only showed where the two stood with each other but the grin that Luro had returned to her only confused Zilia further. She wanted to question it but Sara had already moved to the other side to speak to Alicia at that point.
Jack was concerned about this Cedric person and Luro for some strange reason had a weird look in his eyes, there were so many little things hidden among the larger issues it was starting to give her a headache.
Now she was staring at the Captain during this tie breaker and she disliked that this hadn’t ended quickly, she partially blamed herself for speaking up for the activity.
Her emotions now ultimately didn’t matter, the situation was going to continue forward despite her feelings, so she just mentally sighed and waited for what came next.
The only thing that brought her comfort was Jack’s style request, which she responded to with a firm nod and pat on his shoulder.

Zilia stood next to Luro the moment Abram started insulting Stardusk, she expected him to step forward gun at the ready to put a bullet in the man’s head and was prepared to stop him. Though instead Luro’s eyes seemed to twitch as if he had noticed something and instead a small smile found its way onto his face. Crossing his arms he listened as Abram offered his opinion on their journey so far, and his opinion on the Captain. A few birds in the area ended up flying away almost sensing the incoming danger, squirrels moving into the trees and generally anything that noticed the small change getting away from the source.
“…I feel sorry for his crew.”
Zilia glanced at Luro at his words listening to Abram spout about his men.
“Having a bunch of people is no excuse either, the Cutthroat’s treat each other well and they’re a sizable group. Stubbs is just bad at this huh.”
Zilia arched a brow at the calm in Luro’s voice, he even chuckled a little as he watched the exchange.
Zilia couldn’t deny that even she wanted to leave an imprint of her boot onto the man’s face at this point but a small pat from Luro on the shoulder drew her attention back to him, he smiled at her almost sensing her silent anger and just pointed ahead, when she did Runali slammed a punch into the man’s face.
“We’re doing things that people call an accident or luck cause it’s so hard to believe…doesn’t that feel good Z,” Luro said grinning at her.
Zilia’s eyes widened a little at Luro’s words and she watched as the Captain got prepared for the final game, Luro catching the eye patch offering a small nod to the Captain. She disliked that Luro of all people had been sensible in that moment, she was well aware what Luro has done when it comes to Stardusk.
“…why are okay with this Luro?
“Oh I’m not. I’m furious and want to rip the man apart,” Luro said smiling at Zilia. “I love moments like this though so it’s hard to be fully upset.”
Zilia tilted her head not sure what the man was hinting at but he just pointed ahead.
“You’ll learn to like them too.”
Zilia wanted to dig deeper but Luro was already focused on the fight, removing his rifle at the Captain's requested, he raised his gun and fired a shot in the air, hitting a bird in the process, signaling the start of the fight.

Zilia gave her full attention to the fight, and as expected Abram wasted little time cheating but she was more focused on Runali's responses.
“Was that Observation…or just the Captain?”
Zilia stared at the now bleeding Abram watching as Runali made her way back to the crew, she wasn’t sure what to make of the sudden hesitation of the Tankards when Runali had looked at them. Though she was well aware of the meaning of the grin on Luro’s face the moment they reached for their weapons and the subsequent sigh from him when they chose not to act.
She had little time to consider an answer to her question as she gave the Captain a hand. She decided to hold off on her lecture until Runali was being treated. She looked over at Luro who was staring at the Tankards after the Captain's order, he ran a hand through his hair a toothy grin slowly forming on his face. Something reflected in his gaze for a moment but it faded quickly.
“Aye Captain I’ll speak with them,” Luro said glancing back.
Zilia narrowed her eyes at him and Luro waved a hand at her.
“I’ll behave Z, just take care of the Captain.”
There was a little time to deal with Luro as the Captain bleeding out was a bit more prominent, they'd just have to deal with the backlash.
“You make things hard to record Captain. I’m writing it down and I don’t believe what happens half the time with this crew.”

Once Luro was sure the doctor’s had saved the former Captain’s life Luro slammed his foot onto Abram’s stomach ignoring the groan from the man twirling a small dagger in his hand.
“Now I need that thing of yours cause it's the Captain's orders. I could rip it off ya…but that’s no fun,” Luro said.
Eyeing the small dagger he arched his brow before shaking his head and returning it to his sleeve, pulling out another, he ran his finger along the side of the serrated blade and gave a small nod.
“Sorry this one is all I got so this might take a bit. I’m bad with sharp things so could you stuff something in his mouth.”

Holding the removed hook in his hand Luro wiped the blood off on his pants before turning the hook over in his hand with a grin, he wondered why the Captain wanted it but if she didn’t have any real plans he could find a few things for it. Ignoring the doctor’s now attending to Abram again he glanced over at their two previous opponents, his eyes moved to Samuel as he had already forgotten the other man’s name.
“You guys can go,”
Luro stared at the two men patiently waiting for them to leave, and after a moment the words sunk in which caused Samuel to speak up.
“Oh...okay are you sure?” Samuel said looking at the other Tankards. “Aren’t we a part of this…encouragement.”
“You didn’t want to be a part of this group anyway right. Then you don’t need to be here for this talk, I’ll speak with you later.”

After shooing the two away Luro took his rifle off his back and placing it along the ground started walking in a circle around the gathered Tankards. Humming to himself he walked with a bit of a skip drawing an imaginary circle in the ground with the tip of his gun, ignoring the confused looks of the Tankards around him. Just as he came back around a smile slowly crept onto his face and flicking a switch fire erupted out of the earth tracing the line he had drawn, creating a ring of fire around the group, stretching a little above the distant trees. Luro returned his rifle to his back glancing up at the tall makeshift prison he had created for his new ‘allies’.
“The Captain said to encourage…so I should probably hold back…” Luro thought bringing a hand to his chin.
“I’d rather not be interrupted…or disturbed during our conversation,” Luro said taking a few steps forward clapping his hands together smiling at the Tankards. “Now guys we are going to have a really fun conversation!”
Luro looked between the faces of the Tankards raising a hand at them.
“No need to look worried, I’m just here to talk. I’m not going to shove a gun in your face or anything. We’re friends now and I always treat my friends well. All I’m going to do is tell you the truth.”

The passage of time quickly became an illusion, resting on his knees the tankard could no longer recall how long they had all been there. Minutes….days…months…years…there was no difference anymore as the smiling redhead sat in front of them.
It had started with the voices that echoed in their heads, first as whispers then steadily growing louder until they became screams. Some gripped their skulls at the voices, others yelled at the secrets being pulled out of them, one by one each person there slowly succumbed to an opponent with no form. The shadows that marked their exposed skin danced around their forms, the fire had long faded, the world itself had shifted into something else entirely, lanterns hung on the walls that now surrounded them, blue flames flickering casting darkness over each of their forms.
The outside was gone; raising his eyes he saw only the remnants of a room, if it could even be called that any more. Splotches of red liquid circled around him, the red rising out of the broken marble floor stretching out under them covered only by tattered bits of red carpet. The fluid rose above their heads blooming like a flower, only to fall back onto them slowly running up his arm, cutting his skin as it passed over it.
He flinched at the pain, trying to knock away the strange secretion only to realize he was carving into his own skin with his dagger, with a scream he threw it into the far wall, watching it clatter against the stone wall that ran along the both sides of the long room. Ripped white curtains reached towards him like fingers thanks to the wind that he couldn’t feel on his skin anymore. He wanted to ask where he was, he wanted to question why he was suddenly in a dilapidated castle but the voice never stopped, it took over his thoughts, his emotions, his sanity. He wanted to believe this wasn’t real, that the throne of bodies that were little more than skin and bones reaching towards him was fake, that the man seated upon it laughing at them with the glee of a child was a fabrication, but the pain made it real, the voice made it real, the screams of his friends made it real. His comrades clawed at their skin trying to scratch at something that crawled inside of them, some stared down the barrel of their guns mumbling incoherently, eyes the size of globes looking into their loaded barrels for answers.
He met the gaze of the man who had made them this way, who had muttered a few words with the gentleness of a friend but a serpent’s tongue, and he felt his body chill at the gentle smile that rested on his face.
The golden crown slipped slightly off Luro’s head as he rested his fist on his cheek, and held up a hand putting his thumb to his middle finger.
What was that look he just gave them.
The voice whispered the answer to him and he felt his breath catch in his throat before Luro snapped his fingers.

“I think that’s enough.”
Luro watched them with the kindest smile he could muster, the fire had long since faded the only evidence it had been there was the burnt grass surrounding them. Brushing his hands off Luro moved his hands to his hips and let his gaze fall over the Tankards.
Most of them were huddled on the ground mumbling to themselves, he rubbed the side of his head wondering if he had let them go on for a bit too long. He made sure to stop before they lost anyone, if they couldn’t handle something like that he worried about what would happen when they had to face a real threat.
The ones not still lost in their own worlds were staring at their hands, trying to comprehend why their fingers were bleeding or why there was something oddly familiar under their fingernails.
“Ahem,” Luro said drawing the attention of the Tankards. “I think I’ve gotten my point across right? I was honest with you guys. The Captain doesn’t let me handle stuff like this too much so I might have gone a little overboard. Ah but I made sure not to break any of you.”
Luro held a hand up grinning at them.
“You guys are my friends so I’d never do that to you. I don’t like the whole ruling with fear thing and I don’t feel violence is necessary.”
Luro held his arms out towards the Tankards and with a laugh spoke to them making sure to to put as much happiness as he could into it.
“That hurt me a bit you know. I hope I don't have to have a stern talk with you guys again."
Luro lowered his arms before slamming his hand onto his fist remembering something.
"Oh right the ones mumbling in the old language make sure you watch them on the sixth day. Trust me it is not fun to explain why there are innards nailed to the buildings in town. No matter how many times I have that conversation it's always awkward. They should be fine by the seventh day."

Luro made his way back onto the Lady Luck humming to himself as he carried a small chest with him, he walked the ship for a bit ignoring the red that was now splattered all over his clothes thanks to his ‘conversation’ and found the Captain with a Zilia still trying to treat her.
“Ah Captain everything’s handled. I didn’t kill anyone either,” Luro said. “I spoke with them and got the point across in a way they could understand.”
Luro held the small box towards Runali.
“Some especially wanted to show their loyalty to you, to see the world through your gaze and were very keen on proving it even though I told them it wasn’t necessary.”
Luro offered a small smile.
“Ah I wouldn’t open it here though, Z might get mad.”
Zilia wasn’t entirely sure what was in that thing but something in the back of her mind told her not to question it.
"I was gentle also good work on getting us an island. I can't wait for what's next."
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Vivid Imaginings
Roleplay Invitations
Group Roleplays, One on One Roleplays, Private Convo Roleplays
Posting Speed
A Few Posts a Week, One Post a Week, Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Adaptable
Genders You Prefer Playing
Male, Female, Primarily Prefer Female, No Preferences
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
I'm willing to do either, but may lean more towards the passive side.
Favorite Genres
Fantasy, magical, modern, medieval, horror, dark fantasy, post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, adventure, action, anime
Genre You DON'T Like
Realistic fiction, romance

Back on Lady Luck

On the walk back, Runali couldn’t help but snicker at the doctor’s note. “Well believe it because you’re here too.”

“Thanks again Zilia.” Runali waved the doctor off, messing with her new bandages wrapped up her sides. Her shirt was tattered and practically a crop top at this point, so she made note that eventually she’d have to stop at an island for the sake of clothes shopping. It was a little long overdue anyway. “Aye, aye, I’ll be more careful next time.” Runali waved Zilia’s expectant look away, and walked to the deck of the ship. Earlier, Luro had peeked in to tell her that he had taken care of things and she gave a small salute and a thanks.

They hadn’t left Finnigan island yet, with Runali still having a few things she wanted to take care of. But for now, she decided to give herself a moment to breathe. She had opened the box on her way out and upon seeing what was inside, she couldn’t help but look a bit surprised before quickly making a U-turn to put the small box in her cabin before heading back to the deck.

Her hand touched where her necklace had been and she frowned to herself realizing she didn’t even go back to get the pieces. “...<Dammit>.” It wasn’t often she spoke in her native tongue since she left home, and it was less often she appeared as frustrated as she felt. Walking out and towards the deck of the ship, she nearly ran into Jack. “Oh, <there you>” Runali cleared her throat and relaxed a bit. “There you are.”

Jack’s eyebrows lifted in mild surprise as he looked down at her. “Here I am.”

There was an awkward pause. Since the fight finished, Jack mysteriously vanished, making the excuse of helping Alicia in town to avoid the explanation he knew his captain desired. Her cook’s eyes shifted as he fiddled with the collar of his shirt. He knew what was coming; the lingering distance in his eyes told he was still absorbing his brother being on the same ship. He looked down at her and gave a shy smile.

“Oh,” reaching to his belt, he grabbed a pouch and handed it to her. “The beads. From your necklace. I picked them up after the fight was over. Sid can put it back together, he’s an amateur jeweler.” Once the pouch was in her hands, his went to his pockets. “I also spoke to the locals. Let them know the changes happening, since Abram no longer owns the island. They seemed… very relieved.”

A sly smirk tugged his lips, and for a moment he seemed prideful. “Expect them to be far more loyal to you than they’d ever be to the Tankereds. If you don’t mess it up, of course,” he teased.

Runali watched him for a moment until he presented her with the small pouch of beads. She didn’t hide the relieved look on her face when she took it either. “Thank you.” When he teased, she raised a brow and smiled. “Mess up?” Her smile broke into a grin. “A Stardusk doesn’t mess up Jack, we… improvise.” She laughed and gestured him towards the deck. Everyone save for Zilia and Luro was out doing as the captain ordered, so it was empty for the time being.

“You’d think them hearing that another pirate crew took over would make them a little worried. But, I suppose it’s not like we’re gonna stick around here.” Runali walked to the edge of the ship to look at the sea. “Still. Nice to say we own an island. Gonna have to check in here every now and then.” She looked over head to see CP flying above. “Speaking of- Sid, you called him?” Her attention stayed on the bird until she flew down in between them. “Want to start with the easy details and work your way up? Or do you wanna rip the band aid off now and tell me what’s bothering you?” She gave him a playful smile. “Take your time. We have plenty of it.”

“Sometimes I wish you’d beat around the bush,” muttered Jack.

He released an expansive groan. Leaning against the ship’s railing, his shoulders slumped as Jack pinched the bridge of his nose between two thumbs. All in a rush the stress was back etching his face.

“Do you… remember that crew I was a part of? The one that left me on Harbor Island?” he breathed in a deep inhale. “Well… I… we… look, there isn’t much I can actually tell you. Mistakes were made. I… made mistakes. Put everyone at risk. Sid is… one of them. He’s my brother, you see. When I left my crew, I sent word to him. Asked him to lay low. I figured the way I did it was a clear sign-- this wasn’t a joke. I needed him to disappear and be safe, in case…”

Jack stopped. He blinked a few times, realizing the amount he talked about an issue he originally planned to say nothing at all on. There was only so much he could lie about, or dodge. Cedric was his brother. There was a history that he could and couldn’t share. And, Jack noted with alarm, there were things they missed discussing that Jack would need to touch on. He narrowed his eyes at the lapping waves.

“He wasn’t supposed to be here, Captain. I’m not sure it’s wise for him to be on this ship. However… perhaps it was unavoidable. And what you did, I take to heart.”

“Take your time.” She echoed, still smiling when he groaned. Runali looked over as Jack’s earlier worries seemed to catch up with him, but she only raised a curious brow and waited for him to speak. There was no need trying to pressure him into saying something he hadn’t told her before. And simply by the looks of it, this was something he didn’t plan to bring up- probably never if he had the chance.
Runali stayed quiet while he did speak, petting CP and waiting for him to sort his thoughts. It wasn’t often that Jack fumbled over his words, nor was it often he visibly showed distress, so she remained patient. When she was sure he was finished Runali straightened up from her lazy stance. “Ah, so we’re going with the easy details first. Gotcha.” Runali stretched her arms over her head, almost immediately regretting it with her injury. “S’pose that’s in your nature. Can’t be helped.” She pressed her side and continued. “So you’ve got a brother that’s supposed to be... safe somewhere. You’ve done some bad some time ago, messed up a few things along the way, and,” Runali gave him a curious look, “now you’re afraid of it coming back to haunt you?”

She couldn’t help but chuckle. “If you haven’t noticed, I’m basically a pro at handling my crew’s past and present. Future is debatable but we figure that one out together.” A smug grin followed while she poked at CP. “Personal best? I dunno, I think Kadi’s dance with death is still number one for me. He’s got his whole life back, y’know? But,” Runali shrugged, leaning next to him to look out at the water. “As wise as it may not be…” She paused to find the right words. “Would it not be safer to stand together, than to fight apart?”

Reaching out, he stroked CP’s breast feathers with a finger, and gave Runali only a half-amused grin. “You make it sound so blastfully simple,” he said. He slowly lowered his hand and brushed back the dreads falling into his face. They met the puffy mess Chester made, which caused a glower as he listened to what else the captain had to say. It turned into a troubled frown.

“You wouldn’t be saying that if you knew,” Jack’s jaw worked as he looked down at his captain. He seemed to be coming upon a realization that left a sour taste.

“Fighting together only works if your greatest weakness isn’t standing next to you. Cedric is not my blood brother but I’ve done more to protect him than you know. I’m not about to stop. Sid’s strong on his own- I’m not saying he isn’t- but… have you ever had an enemy, that knows you inside and out? Do you know how hard it is to fight that? If he had done what I asked, I would kick him off the ship myself, bury him neck deep in whatever hideout he built and ensure he’d stay there. But he hasn’t, and we crossed paths by sheer coincidence-- or I imagine that’s what he wants me to believe. So now I don’t know if it’s safer to keep him here, where I know where he is, or out there with the chance of fate.”

Jack flapped a hand to the ocean, almost knocking off CP in the process. He was breathless. He hadn’t paused once in his rant to inhale. He did so now, forcing calm into his being.

“You don’t know me, captain,” he replied when he was under control again, “If you did, you’d understand. The way Stardusk fights isn’t going to solve what I left behind.”

“S’what I do. Keeps things easy.” She responded in kind. Despite the light attitude she had, her stance shifted a bit as Jack got more exasperated. CP flapped between them, shooting Jack a pointed look before moving to the opposite side of the captain. When it fell silent again, it stayed that way for a longer stretch of time. Runali pondered over what to say, but ultimately also wanted to give Jack a bit more time to breathe. He obviously needed it.

Her fingers tapped on the edge of the ship to get his attention again. “Your greatest weakness can become your greatest strength… if you play the right cards. Hmm. There’s a few things lost in translation and a lot of like actual fighting courtesy of my own mentor. But the thought still counts, really. You’ve gotta embrace weaknesses to overcome them. But I’m not… too well versed in the sibling disputes or issues since my parents stopped at one.” Runali gave a shrug. “But I do have a… familial rival in the Worst Gen now? Not the same, of course as you must care more about your brother than I do a cousin.”

Realizing she was rambling, Runali waved her hand in front of her face. “Point is, you can go ahead and toss Sid in the next hideaway you think is safe, but guess what? Not gonna really change much. Eventually all that stuff will chase you down to the ends of the earth until you face it head on. And what better time to do it than now where you have a whole crew who’ll stand by your side?” At the notion Jack made about not knowing him, her expression flattened a little. “I know as much you tell me, so… who’s at fault there? I can only understand as much as you let me… But that’s not going to stop me from standing by you as a crew member and friend.” It was stated rather simply and matter of fact, as if there wasn’t a weight behind her words depicting how serious she was. It was met with a light pat on Jack’s shoulder. “Y’gotta stop worrying like the world is on your shoulders Jackie. Hell, even if it is, you’ve gotten this far without it collapsing on ya, you can make it even farther. With help at that!”

The half-smirk returned, but it didn’t completely hide the shaky anger filming in his eyes. He took a deep breath to force down the emotions again. “Captain. I appreciate what you’re trying to tell me. You are always the optimist, aren’t you?”

“This crew is a good one, I think. However… the last time I-- how did you put it? ‘Play my cards right’? My brother ended up bleeding out on a hospital bed.” He rotated towards her, causing her hand to slide away from his shoulder. “He still has the scars. And the last time I trusted a crew, I was quite literally, left for dead. So. Forgive me if I don’t take your words to heart.”

He sighed. “I’m not blaming you for not knowing what I haven’t talked of. It’s not like you’ve ever asked, and I never gave it freely. I don’t blame you-- and I’m not so arrogant to think the world is on my shoulders. Just… my piece of it. The one piece. I once made a deal to protect it, now I regret it with every morning I wake up to, every place I go to. I know how to get out of it… but I don’t want to. I don’t want to leave this. I guess can’t now, with my brother here. Someone needs to warn him about what lies beneath Luro’s throne room. Or the booby trapped box in Zilia’s quarters. Look at me, rambling on when you got a hole in your side.” He made to laugh but it came out shaky and awkward. His voice had fallen into a deadpan monotone, talking to himself more than Runali, with his eyes unfocused. It was clear, whatever she said, Jack seemed to determined to hold his worries with a vice grip close to his chest.

Slumping over the railing, he looked out to sea with empty eyes. “You should tend to yourself. I’ll be fine in a few days, you know. I just need… space.”

“Aye, and you could attempt at least a little optimism.” she mocked his exasperation before crossing her arms. “Like I said, mistakes were made and your brother almost died. But, it was an almost. So, maybe playing them wrong would have had him dead. Who’s to say really. And who's to say he doesn't feel the same? After all, I'm sure you've almost died plenty of times with and without us. Someone with as many secrets as you has bound to have been in a bunch of trouble. If the bond between brothers is as strong as you make it seem, surely he worried too?” She ended up leaning with her back against the edge this time. “And what fun is it to warn him about the Stardusk, hm? Not like you got one. The fun is in the surprises.”

The further Jack spiraled, the more Runali straightened up until eventually she couldn’t remain as calm as she wanted. She sighed and leaned over closer to Jack using her knuckle to tap his cheek. “Of course. It’s always space and time… Y’know, the higher you build that wall of yours, the… messier it'll be when it comes crumbling down. And trust me, it will. Maybe not now but later. Could be by you or someone else.” It was spoken as if from experience, but Runali didn't dwell too long on it. “I won’t pressure though. As I’ve told you before, if you don’t want to tell, I will not pry. You seem like you need more help than any but, you’re as stubborn as they come.” She chuckled. “Which is fine, as your friend I’ll be there to help you should you need it.” Runali fiddled with her bandage for a moment and added. “Why would I need to tend to myself if I’ve got Zil for that? I’m practically good as new. M’not going down that easy thanks to some low life pirate who thinks he’s better than me.”

He retracted at her light tap, more surprised than anything. His cheek turned into her knuckle as he raised his brow. It was a gentle, simple move, but he wasn’t expecting. It certainly got his attention. He noticed the assured she way lectured him, as if she once learned the hard way, and filtered that as a mental note for later. The flat emotion remained in his eyes but he managed an amused chuckle. “You’re not the first to tell me that,” he replied softly. “It certainly won’t be the last time you tell me, either.”

His gaze drifting back to the dock, he saw the others making their way from the island. He straightened up, stretching his spine while pushing against the banister, and huffed. “Be that as it may, you can’t expect the doctor to look after you all the time.”

Jack hesitated, then offered his arm to her. “I’m going to put a face on now; I’d appreciate it if we don’t talk about this again. For tonight, at least. They’ll want food and I’d rather not be distracted. Come down with me? You can relax… and I imagine, you’re dying to tell me all about it.”

Runali watched him and couldn’t help but laugh. “Don’t worry, I’ll drill it in your head enough times until you can recite it when I look at you.” Her brow raised when he stood up and she scoffed. “What’s the point of having a doctor if I can’t expect her to stitch me up when I… improvise?” The captain reached out to take his arm and teased. “Wow you’re already being so honest with me. Don’t worry my lips are sealed.” She let Jack be her crutch as they walked to the kitchen. “I’m pretty relaxed actually. I mean punching Abram got most of that energy outta my system.” The offer to talk about what happened made Runali pause, as if assessing the situation, before she gave a shrug. “Y’know, the worst part about fighting blind is not being able to see how annoyed Abram must’ve been because he couldn’t hit me.”

Laughing, Jack bent down to tell her every minuet detail he saw transpire during her fight.
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Bunch of neurons riding a meat mech

“Thank you, you are most kind, Samuel,” said The Navigator when the pirate finished leading them to the right barrel. The loot hoard of the Tankered pirates was hidden in an empty rum barrel, placed in the cellar of the Unassuming Plantation, the sole producer of alcohol on the island. Arcadius insisted Samuel would be the one to take them there. He felt he had a connection with the lad.

Samuel grumbled something, handed him the torch he was holding, and stomped away. The pirate archer was quite finished with this day. Kadi flashed a grin at Sara next to him, his remaining eye glistening in the torch's glow. “Oh, isn't this fun, eh?” he asked. “Ah, robbing the undesirables of their ill-gotten gain, dispensing proper justice... I think I'm starting to enjoy living the feudal life!” he said to her. He began tapping at the board of the barrel to find a weak spot, where he could pry it open.

When Runali called Sara out on her lack of faith, both in her captain and in the crew, Sara was unable to look her in the eye. Runali did not have to raise her hand to keep Sara quiet, she was doing a good enough job of that on her own. She followed the Navigator to the treasure room, and couldn’t help but feel a little bit disappointed.

“That’s it? I thought a town’s worth of loot would be a lot more than just a single barrel.” Not bothering to look for a weakpoint or a way of opening, Sara raised her fist and brought it down onto the barrell, smashing it to splinters and pieces. With a keen and measured eye, she looked over their new treasures.

The hole in the barrel, as it would turn out, hid another hole, this time in the wall. A passage was dug behind the cellar’s wall, leading deeper down. “Well, how about that,” Kadi said, pushing the torch into the hole and illuminating the damp, heavy darkness in front of them. He looked at Sara, noticing her lack of enthusiasm for the looting. “Oh come on. The boss gave you a bit of a chew. It happens. It’s what subordination means.

He climbed in first and led the way deeper down into the earth. The path would open into what seemed to be an ancient, forgotten and buried crypt. Skeletal remains of the dead inhabitants were laid into a pile in a distant corner of the room, and the scrapes on the sides of the marble sarcophagi showed that the Tanker’d repurposed them into coffers. “Disrespectful to the end,” he commented on the situation. A crowbar was left leaning against one of the coffins. He handed the metal bar to Sara. “Well, at least take the honors. Might brighten up your day!”

“Maybe.” Sara replied. “I have yet to see that all this was worth it. Although, a secret tunnel certainly is intriguing. Even if they picked the worst possible hiding spot for it.” She followed Kadi down into the tomb, to which Sara whistled.

“Oh yeah, this is what I was talking about.”

Taking the crowbar from him, she levered the marble lid up and pushed it aside, leaving an opening large enough from them to see what was inside.

The light from the torch invaded the inside of the coffin the moment it found the smallest of opening, reflecting off the contents inside. Their faces were suddenly engulfed in kaleidoscopic storm of colors, as the various gold coins, fine silverware, religious icons studded and encrusted in all kinds of gems and crystals and what seemed to be disassembled copper distilling still came into view.

“Magpies,” the Navigator commented with distaste. He picked up one of the coins and looked closer. The coin had imagery of cedar trees, and a rectangular hole in the middle. “Must've took all shiny bits that weren't nailed down. Or even that, considering…” he said, and reached for something deep inside the sarcophagus. His hand emerged holding a polished steel nail. “Nevermind.”

“Ooh!” Balancing the kitten that was still on her head, she leaned over and ran her hands through the king’s ransom, her eyes alight with greed. “Just a handful of this... Kadi, what are you going to do with your share?” Sara had brought a sack with her and started to fill it up with plunder. If the other coffers were as filled as this one was, then she would need to make more than one trip back, and that was one burden that Sara was more than happy to bear. She picked out pieces of jewellery that she liked, rings, necklaces, and gem-embedded headbands, it didn’t matter to her as she wore them all. There was no scheme in mind, but rather just a loud and vulgar display of her sudden wealth. It was temporary of course, Sara wanted to know what it was like to wear over half a million dollars at once.

“Don't know. Play the stock market and lose it all by day two. Or find the rest of the distillation setup and spend the rest of my life drunk.” He picked up the crowbar where Sara left it and moved to another coffin. “Let’s see what’s hiding inside desecration number two…” The stone slab made the same dry, coarse scraping noise when it was moved. Once it was past the metastable equilibrium, it fell over, and landed with a heavy, dull thud, raising a thick plume of dust. When the smoke settled, the Navigator was standing above the coffin, with an expression of someone who has just seen ghost escape from inside the sarcophagus. His face was lit by a gentle blue light coming from within the box. “Souls,” he said. The box was full of small ceramic lidded pots, the lid and pot bound together with twine. From around the rims of the pots escaped the blue light. On each of the pot lids was a black sign of a cedar tree within a triagle. “And they are tax stamped. My gods, Sara, we are so incredibly and immorally rich, words cannot even begin describe it.”

“Souls?” Sara asked, turning her head with a clink of jewelery. She walked towards the sarcophagus and peered into it, frowning softly. “Actual souls? I don’t know if the captain would be okay with bartering with ‘souls, if even that is a thing.” She picked one up out of curiosity and was surprised by how heavy it was. “How do you think low-rates like the Tankered’s stumbled upon these?”

“That's a very good question. Perhaps stole them, perhaps they peddle them for someone else. Perhaps they were planted here,” His voice dropped as he spoke, the amazement over the discovery gone and replaced with vague hints of fear. He turned to Sara and carefully grabbed her shoulders. He turned her to make her look into his eyes. “Listen, please. No word to the captain. Or anyone. Fewer people know, fewer people can be harmed. This is bad, we… need to know more. We'll go to Abraham, and ask politely what the fuck does this mean. If he doesn't answer, we'll beat it out of him. This… is too convenient. This must be a plant.”

“Yeah… I don’t know about that.” She put down the soul back in the sarcophagus, still frowning. When he put her hands on her shoulders, she took a step back and resumed peering at all the souls in their possession. “If there’s anything that we should probably tell Runali about, it’s all the souls that she now owns. Keeping this from her, I don’t think that’s a good idea. If you want to kick Abraham’s ass, then yeah I’m all for it, he deserves a good ass-kicking, but I’m not with you on this one.”

Capt. Blu

Fake it til You Make it
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Location - Finnigan Island - Dock - Lady Luck
Time: Evening

The longer they stayed on the island, the odder it seemed to become. Odd maybe was a bit of a strong word. Peculiar? Unexpected? Runali settled with unexpected for now. After all, she never knew Jack had a brother and it didn’t seem like he wanted anyone to know either. But now said brother was a part of the crew.

A good chunk of the Tankerds were lost in some fear of the unknown after Runali let Luro deal with them. She wasn’t too sure what that meant, but now less than half were aware enough to listen to her. Though, they assured her they’d relay the message afterwards. And then… there was something about souls that Kadi and Sara found after the captain instructed them to take their possessions. The idea of the Tankerds holding onto a bevy of souls sounded like a recipe for disaster. And the idea of the Stardusk once more fiddling with the undead didn’t seem like a good idea either- but it did sound better than the former. The outcome Kadi and Runali came to didn’t seem to be a good one for either of them...

But besides that, they now owned an entire island and judging by how low the sun was getting, it was all in a matter of a day’s work. “This has got to be a new record… Nice.” Runali stood in front of the recently torn down greeting sign that displayed the Tankerd’s name in crude letters. A new sign was being hammered in its place by a few Tankereds. At the bottom of the sign ‘Finnigan Island’ was cleanly carved on the bottom. In larger carved letters, ‘Stardusk Pirates Territory’ was placed above it- instead of painted on. However, Runali did have paint and brush in hand and began to carefully draw the Stardusk symbol in an empty space, finalizing their mark. “Aha! Now it’s official! What do you guys think?” The Tankerds she asked gave swift nods of agreement, adding their own quieter praises. “Nice!”

The news began spreading like a wildfire throughout the island. At some point, people began to peer out of their homes or walk out completely as if the world was suddenly different. Most were hesitant and fearful of the new order that would take place, unsure of how stronger pirates would make matters better for them when the Tankerds made it so much worse. However, some were outwardly relieved and a small few were even elated to hear that a Worst Gen group were the ones that were taking over. It was hard to say why they thought it as a good thing, whether it was the status or the fact that they knew the Stardusk name. But it didn’t really matter to Runali. The island was claimed and they didn’t dare try to challenge her.

“Alright, listen up!” Runali looked a little amused at how readily the Tankerds went to attention. “From now on, the Tankerds that stay here protect this island from harm and see to it that this place thrives. This place has had enough tyranny so have fun fixing it. Those that leave, your flags may raise as Tankereds but you are still subordinates to the Stardusk.” Runali paused in her ‘speech’ and eyed them over. “Just know… you’d much rather have the navy come after you than me. So choose what you do wisely.” She cracked a small smirk. “We’ll be watching.”

Sudden shudders went down their spines, but all of them quickly saluted. “Aye, aye Captain!”

Turning back to her crew that tagged along, Runali chuckled. “Give me a few more pirate crews like this and I’m gonna get drunk with power.” Her chuckles turned into muffled laughters and she waved at the Stardusk as a signal that’d she ‘be right back’. She moved through the crowd and walked up to Samuel who stood rigid and looked obviously tired. “So, what’s your plan now?”

“I-I don’t honestly know… Everything was taken from me so I suppose I’ll have to start-”

“What about becoming captain of this crew?”

“P-Pardon me?”

“You. Captain of the Tankerd pirates. Controlling what goes on while I’m off adventuring.”

“But didn’t you- what about Abram? I thought you wanted him to continue being captain?”

“I don’t need someone that I know will try betraying me again. He’s of no real use to me. I just wanted him alive so he could wallow in his shame. Lesson being learned and all.” She gave a small shrug. “So?”

Samuel straightened up with a surprised look. “M-My apologies. I, uh, I've only been low ranked in the last crew I was in. I don't know if I can handle uhhh, the leadership?? Where would I even begin?”

“You sure do ask a lot of questions.” Runali laughed a little. “You also would have a lot more than I did starting up. You’ve got a crew who will readily be behind you, a ship, an entire island, and! You’ve got the Stardusk pirate name if you need to be intimidating. It’s easy.” She gave him a light punch to the shoulder. “Or, start off as the first mate. Let Abram be the face of the crew since he’s scarier looking. And you just make all the smart decisions.”

“Actually- Uh, that doesn’t sound like a bad idea.”

“Oh? Huh, well… Yeah alright. Keep Abram in line for me. Every once in awhile CP will fly by here so you can leave letters and things with her.” As she spoke, the bird landed on Runali’s shoulder and tilted her head back and forth at Samuel, memorizing his face. “Have fun.” She walked off, leaving Samuel a little bewildered. He started to say something but decided he wouldn’t get much else from her and nodded, accepting his fate. Runali had waved him goodbye, heading back to her ship, only to pause when someone got her attention. Turning, she raised a brow to see Reiner now possessing a crutch and a satchel with the other half of his broken prosthetic sticking out of it. “Ah, you’re still here? Would have thought you’d be half way across the sea by now.” The captain smiled and gestured to the crutch. “Sorry about Sara’s tantrum. Didn’t know she’d get that upset about a cut.”

Reiner simply waved his hand as if brushing it off. “Orders were orders, on both sides. But trust me captain, I would have been gone except your new crewmate Cedric was helping me with this bit of support.” He patted his crutch with his free hand. “So I’ll be taking one of the doctors and headed back to where I belong… Home with my family.” He looked out to the sea in longing, while they were all crowded around the dock. “I was just coming over here to offer my personal thanks. Things could have gone… a lot worse than what they did.”

Runali watched him for a moment before giving a small shrug. “What I did was for my own gain. You all just happened to get a positive from it.” She laughed a little. “Pirates, y’know? Can’t having people think we’re heroes or something.”

There was a quiet moment between the two before Reiner chuckled and gave a polite nod. As he turned away to head to his small boat he called over his shoulder, “Ally to the Stardusk. Should you need it, I’ll do what I can to help.”

A grin formed on the captain’s face, however she didn’t say anything as she watched the man hobble off. Instead, she headed back to her crew and back to Lady Luck. At this point, everyone was finally back together on the ship.

She looked over at Cedric and eyed him over for a brief moment before raising a brow at the cats that were now tailing him. “Hm… I don’t know what you have to offer Cedric, but like I said before, welcome to the Stardusk.” She pointed to the cats at his feet. “Are they permanent attachments to you? I mean, I don’t suppose I mind, but you’re cleaning up after them.” She looked over at CP who was perched on the edge of the ship not minding the presence of two cats on board.

“Ah well, get comfy. Crew introduce yourselves. Luro play nice. And Alicia- Sara counted the treasure we got so if you’d kindly double check that’d be great.” Runali shooed them off to their own devices and leaned next to Coral, petting her gently. Some of the Tankerd pirates were saluting goodbye so Runali saluted them in return. “Guess we’re done here huh? Well... Time to set sail!”
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Both are fine. I tend to be aggressive more though.
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Depends on the story, not all that picky about it.

Zilia mentally sighed as the Captain waved her off making a promise she knew wouldn't be kept, she wouldn't be surprised if she came back with a few daggers poking out of her. She rubbed her face at how carefree the Captain was at just being stabbed, a few inches off here or there and her pirate adventures were over. Still that was the Stardusk way, Luro barely avoided danger himself knowing they had a doctor now, and she had lost count how many times she had to treat the others at this point. Something about what Luro had done bothered her so she decided to check the mental state of the Tankards just in case. On her way off the ship she noticed Luro standing on the other side of the deck, hands in his sleeves watching Runali and Jack talk. She arched a brow at him looking back at the two as Jack pulled out the beads, she looked back at Luro to see a small smile on his face.

Luro watched his two friends only pulled out of his observation by Zilia who pat him, he glanced over at her seeing her motion off the ship and giving the two one last look stood up and followed after her. He agreed that giving them a bit of privacy seemed the best idea, he had already accidentally eavesdropped on Jack once, he didn't want to do it again. Making their way off the ship however Luro brought a hand to his chin as they stepped back onto the island, a thought coming to mind that he hadn't considered before.
"Is Jack another rival?"
Noticing Zilia's arched brows at him he waved a hand at his her.
"Ah nothing just thinking to myself. Let's walk the island."

Zilia wasn't sure what to call the state some of the Tankards were in, they seemed lost in a whole other world muttering in some strange language and even though Luro assured her they'd come back something told her they wouldn't be the same. She could relate giving there were random thoughts that came to her own mind thanks to Luro's interference, she still couldn't look at catfish the same after one of his stories. While they passed the still 'conscious' Tankards a few straightened up as Luro passed but with a chuckle he held a hand up to them pointing back to their activities.
"I'm not the Captain nor the First Mate, save that stuff for them. I'm just a Carpenter," he said smiling at them. "We just had a talk don't forget that."
At his words a few of them slowly returned to what they were doing, the others showed hesitation but at Luro's stare they eventually turned back around returning to getting the island back in shape. Seeing that reaction Zilia remembered another time when she and Luro ventured out somewhere, and a similar reaction from a certain young woman. She glanced at Luro wondering if she should question him about it.
She decided not to push the matter figuring the answer wasn't worth the suffering that would come with it, and decided to just focus on walking the island. Alicia hadn't reported any problems from the navy as far as she knew so that was a good sign, and they now had some money in their coffers.
"It's nice to walk away with some spending money this time, I need to replace some of my stuff,"
"Hm we have plenty of money Z."
"...where exactly Luro?"
"Hm I have at least two chests on the ship full of coin did you need some?"
Zilia came to a complete stop and narrowed her eyes at Luro before quickly scribbling another note.
"How?! I know for a fact you only get paid in rum...don't you?!"
When Luro only offered a shrug to what he was paid in Zilia just decided not to press the matter, Luro did always seem to have enough to buy rum and wood she decided just not to question where he got his money.
"I want to make a note of the flora in this area, would you mind making a detour? Or do you have to count your coin today."
Luro took the note and with a grin nodded following after Zilia.
"Nah that's for tomorrow, there's too much to count in one day so I divide it up. I counted some yesterday, I should be done tomorrow."
"We...we need to have a long conversation later."

On the way back to the ship Zilia couldn't help but smile a little seeing a few of the people so relieved in town, though she wasn't a fan of seeing Stardusk get into trouble when she saw this outcome it almost made it worth it...almost. At the very least it was something nice to add to the Chronicle, she liked to add good things into the book as often as she could. With Stardusk she thankfully got to add in more than she expected especially given their first encounter. Now if only she could add a few more good moments involving Luro and Sara it would be nice. She stared at the notebook in her hand before glancing over at Luro who hummed a shanty to himself, she started to write Sara's name down but stopped midway and closed her book. She didn't want to force anything, if neither of them had taken any action it was probably for a reason, at least that's what she told herself as they walked back onto the ship, she mentally hoped she was right in this case.

Once Cedric was brought forward Luro raised a hand to the man and offered a grin to him.
"Hi Cedric! Any friend of Jack's is a friend of mine welcome aboard. I'll eventually get used to your scent and taste and recognize you as a Stardusk, until then please avoid standing too close to me or near me when I'm shooting. I tend to try and kill what's not part of the crew without thinking too much. Don't worry I'll get used to it as fast as possible and I'll make sure to focus on you when you're nearby so I know."
Luro grinned placing his hands on his hips.
"You're the first crew member I hadn't tried to kill or betray in some fashion so I'm sure we'll get along great. If you need anything built or some changes to your room let me know. Oh right I almost forget. I'm Luro Makachi Carpenter to Stardusk, nice to meet ya."
Luro glanced over at Zilia who had knelt down in front of the cats offering them a small smile, he pointed at the woman next to him before speaking again.
"That's Zilia Vili-"
"I can introduce myself Luro," Zilia said holding up her note cutting him off.
Standing up and brushing off the front of her outfit she handed a note to Cedric.
"My name is Zilia Vilimar, it's nice to meet you Cedric. I work as the doctor for Stardusk. If you feel ill or start bleeding out for whatever reason please let me know...I'm hoping you'll be one of the more careful ones but if not my door is open anytime. That includes should you have any grievances brought on by...situations."
Zilia glanced over at Luro at this who was downing a bottle of rum before handing Cedric another note.
"I'm sure you'll get used to things here quickly, minus a few specific traits everyone here is pretty well-rounded and respectful. They'll repay any respect shown to them properly. Just...learn to know when it's okay to listen to Luro and when it's okay to tune him out. Don't confuse them or he'll start over from the beginning...welcome aboard."
Zilia with her peace said Zilia handed a note to Jack.
"Now let me have a go at your hair. I've already drawn ten designs, let me know which one you want...I can also just return its original shape whatever works."
Zilia twirled a pair of scissors in her hands a dangerous gleam in her eyes.
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The sound of chopping filled the air. Cedric saw his brother working furiously at the kitchen table, a scowl on his face. Bowls of spice mixes lined up neatly in front of a battered chopping board. He wrinkled his nose at the sight of one particular ingredient. He never liked spinach, so he hoped Jack wasn’t going to put it into the main dish. The tomato stew served at lunch was bad enough.

“That better not be spinach curry. It’ll be like the merging of two levels of hell together.” He walked towards the wicker basket filled with spinach hoping to topple it onto the floor but Jack caught him in the act. He made a face. “I’m right! It’s going into the curry.”

“Not everything’s curry,” Jack said. He pushed the batch of onions he’d been dicing to the side, and rubbed his eyes against his rolled-up sleeve. They were inflamed thanks to the ingredient, causing him to sniff as he squinted at his brother. His eyes strayed to the vulnerable bowl of leaves and they narrowed further.

“What brings you here? There’s a stool in the corner, if you want to bring it over.”

Chester snorted loudly from where he sat on Cedric’s left shoulder. The cat appeared amused at his human’s discomfort. Cedric ignored the Maine Coon as he returned to his seat on the opposite end of the table and picked up the necklace he was fixing. The old barrel was surprisingly comfortable. He guessed this was going to be his new favorite spot.

“I’m good. I hate the smell of onions as much as the next person.” He stopped talking long enough to string the next bead. “You can pass the necklace back to the Captain later. It’s been reinforced so it won’t break so easily next time.”

He kept his head bowed as his hands worked steadily. He was certain Jack hadn’t stopped glaring at him yet. The man was a bit overprotective of the vegetables whenever he was in the kitchen. It wasn’t like he intended to throw the whole lot of them into the fire no matter how tempting it was. He had only done that once before. Just once when he was twelve! It looked like his older brother never forgave him for that.

“I’m not going near the vegetables again. Stop glaring, ok?” He lowered his hands. “J’ai vingt uns a’pas douze.” (“I’m 21 not 12.”)

At the back of his mind, he wondered if Jack saw him picking out the diced bell peppers from his omelette at breakfast earlier or how he ate plain naan for lunch to avoid taking any of the stew. There were meat dishes, of course, but their spicy smell repulsed him. He chose not to dwell on the thought for too long, because he was starting to get uncomfortable. He knew from experience that Jack never approved of his pickiness.

The cook grunted. “Fine, fine. Take the stool, if you’re going to stay.” Jack sighed as he took the necklace and looked it over. “You know you can bring this to the captain yourself, right? She doesn’t bite. Much.” He smirked, but it softened a little as he rolled the wire between two fingers before his brother took it back. “It feels strong. I see your skills have improved.”

“Maybe … and I’ll pass on the stool. Sitting so close makes me want to toss the spinach overboard.” He chose to ignore Jack’s praise. Accepting praise in any form felt awkward. He never figured out why.

“So, how are you adjusting to the ship little brother?” As Sid settled himself, Jack ventured to the cargo space for his food stuffs, returning with a wooden bowl filled with the fruit he knew his brother liked. He set it down next to his brother before returning to his work.

“The crew is small so finding ways to make myself useful hadn’t been a problem. Their fondness of spice and vegetables on the other hand …” Cedric shrugged. He knew exactly what he wanted to say but that would be toeing the line. He didn’t want to have the fruits confiscated before he had his fill. This would be his dinner and possibly his breakfast.

He finished tying the last knot and inspected his handiwork. Satisfied, he placed it carefully into a box he made specially for it. Well, it was meant to hold the loose beads but he figured the captain could keep it in the box. No point wasting it. Not wishing to be pulled into helping with the cooking, Cedric retrieved a small blade from his pouch and began carving an intricate floral design into the wooden surface.

“It’s been awhile since I failed to complete a mission,” he remarked suddenly. “I don’t like it but the family could barely afford the reward.” He tilted his head in a cat-like manner as he brushed away the fine wood shavings with his fingers. “The money wouldn’t make a difference at the end of the day. Maybe a warm meal at a tavern. Maybe just a tankard of beer. Depends on the port.”

Jack slowed a little as he smashed the dill with his pestel. He looked up at Sid. They hadn’t gotten to talk much since they left Finnigan island; mostly Jack’s fault. It took...a moment, for him to readjust to his brother’s presence. It’d been nearly a year since they came face to face, and despite his talk with the captain, the unease never stopped eating at his stomach. He couldn’t face Sid without dealing with first… or finding a to push it down. Way down. He continued mashing the dill at a gentler pace, carefully keeping his eyes down but putting on a casual tone.

“I’m surprised the Guild took it on in the first place. It seems… a little below your pay grade, isn’t it?”

“I wasn’t supposed to be the one accepting the mission. I bribed the rookie to give it to me. Told him not to tell Lazarus. Figured it would be the best place to start looking for you. I was surprised you didn’t show up at my hotel room when the Kirkendall mess up happened. Je’ais que t'inquiètes beaucoup.” (“I know you are a worrier”)

“I’ve been...preoccupied,” Jack waved idly at the ship, indicating to his crew. “Not that I wouldn’t have come, if I had the chance. It was a stupid move Sid.”

“I’m supposed to be dead, remember? Correct me if I’m wrong but you didn’t set a good example either.”

He gave Jack a sneaky sidelong glance. Even as adults, Cedric knew that Jack would never change. His older brother took his responsibilities far too seriously. It was touching but still suffocating. “J’me demandais. Puis j'ai vu l'affiche. Tenebrous Bodhisttava. Total Bounty of $150,000.” (“I was curious until I saw your wanted poster.”)

“It won’t be long. She would have seen them too. Trovale is part of the World Government. You know that, right?”

The pestel stopped its smashing motion. Jack set it softly down and braced himself with knuckles to the table. “Listen Sid… you need to understand something. If you’re staying on this ship, you can’t - can not- mention anything about what we did in Trovale. Do you hear? No mention of her, or the Sirens, or our jobs. Understand me?”

His brow knitted above his eyes, showing his seriousness. “It’s for their good as much as ours.”

Cedric raised an eyebrow. An act that escaped Jack’s notice thanks to his excessively long fringe. That need for secrecy was the same at least. He was going to have to observe closely to see what else remained. Jack felt too different from the last time they met. Chaos’ blue eyes stared into his suddenly and he blinked. His thoughts came to a screeching halt.

“Mew!” she greeted having returned from her little adventure. A small bow was tied to her tail. She waved it about to show off her newly acquired trophy.

“Jack could use some help, you know?” He pointed towards the bowls containing chopped carrots and shelled peas. Chaos’ eyes sparkled.

“Give them a little nudge towards him.” Cedric instructed.

Chaos vanished and reappeared on the table. She began running enthusiastically towards the two bowls. With her mind fixed on the task at hand, she didn’t notice the cabbages and long beans falling to the floor. Cedric tried his best to keep poker faced. This was a much needed break from the tension building up in the room. He did, however, leave his seat and began returning the bruised vegetables to their rightful place. A small gesture to lessen the impact of the Jack’s flare up.

Chester appeared suddenly on the table. He blocked Chaos’ path forcing her to hop off the table. With that, the carrots and peas remained safe from harm. Cedric and Chester exchanged glares. The Maine Coon broke eye contact first. He turned to face Jack and silently demanded a reward for his good deed.

Erupting in a fluent stream of curses that jumped languages, Jack scooped up Chaos and put her to his shoulder, scratching her chin to distract the little nefarious feline from ruining more of his food. Chester was also removed, and tossed a slice of salted meat for his troubles.

“How many times do I need to tell you two? No paws on the workspace!” He irritably brushed away cat hair and set about re-cleaning his workspace. Once the top was clear and the unusable vegetables fed to the fire, Jack set about re-chopping the work he’d lost with frequent glances at his brother. He did his best to keep a straight face, even as the corners of his lips twitched up. All the times they spent in the kitchen of Hoshi’s ship, and then later with Chaos and Chester in the mix, came back with fondness.

He turned his attention back to the work. “So…” Jack grabbed an empty bowl, dividing the spinach into it, along with a dash of carrots and the other vegetables. “Tell me how our friends in the Guild are doing. I’m assuming Lazarus is faring well enough?”

Though Sid was an official member of the Guild, Jack worked with the group several times in his past, long before he joined Stardusk. He knew his brother’s partners well enough, even liked one or two, sly lizards though they were. He peeked at Sid from beneath his brow as Chaos maneuvered herself among his pinned-up dreads.

Sid returned to his attention to his unfinished wood carving. He wasn’t sure where to begin. Too many things had happened in their year apart and he doubted he’d have the patience to sit through it all. His fingers began working steadily. A huge hibiscus began forming on the once empty surface.

“Lazarus is … he’s the same. He doesn’t hold back as much anymore. He’s loud. The novices are scared of him.” Cedric began as a tiny smile played on his lips. The Guild had changed over the years. More eighteen-year-olds have begun applying. Lazarus wasn’t happy to accept them but the old man realised they needed the manpower to keep the various branches active.

“I’m glad he feels I’m more useful out on the field. Thankfully, I escaped being involved in training the newcomers. Mentoring suited you more despite your constant fretting and nagging.”

Jack chuckled in agreement, dumping in the shelled peas into the divided spinach bowl.

Chester yawned. His eyelids dropped for a bit before his green eyes flicked back to Jack. He glared. The piece of meat Jack tossed to him earlier remained untouched. “Meow!” he scolded. He wanted cream not meat.

“Mew?” Chaos responded to her sibling.

Her paw stopped moving long enough for her to study Chester closely. He didn’t acknowledge her, she observed. He appeared to be contented with glaring at Jack. Chaos ignored him as boredom set in. She turned her attention back to the gleaming bits in the frizzy hair. She pawed, tugged and gnawed at them. Without warning, Jack’s hair fell like a cascade of bloating brown caterpillars as several pins were removed at once.

“Mmmm?” Chaos purred through her mouthful of hair pins. She spat them out eventually not liking the taste against her tongue. “Mao,” she complained now wanting cream too. Cream was the the only thing she could think of to get rid of the metallic taste.

“Mao,” Chester echoed. His demands getting more aggressive. Finally, he and his sister agreed on something worthwhile.

Cedric laughed. “Shall I come to your rescue?”

His brother sighed, not immediately bothering to brush his hair away. “What cream’s left is in there,” he pointed to his personal stock for the kitchen. “It’ll be bad within the week. Then what will you do?”

The last question was directed at the cats as he pushed back his hair, eyebrows raised in inquiry. As Sid went to get the cream, Jack made quick work of pulling his hair back once more by tying it up with his own dreadlocks. He then took the bowl of spinach and vegetables, drowning it in a creamy dressing he had placed to one side and placed it in front of Sid’s spot.

“Your dinner is read by the way, dear brother,” Jack called as he suppressed a smile. “It’s good to have you on board again.”

Cedric jerked from his seat. His knees fought to support his weight but Jack forced him back onto the barrel. That all too familiar “you better eat this” smile plastered all over his face. Sid’s eyes darted around the room looking for a way to escape. He couldn’t believe Jack caught him off guard like that. Damn that man!

“I need to go … like now and maybe you should have a taste first … the cream smells … off.” He explained while trying his best to get his cats to pay attention to him. They didn’t even look his way. Their eyes were fixed on the cupboard Jack pointed to. Cream was all they want right now.

Those traitors. He thought as a fork was placed in front of him. “If I get food poisoning, it’s your fault.”
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Bunch of neurons riding a meat mech

Sara emerged from the crypt with a wheelbarrow filled with treasure, and she herself was as equally resplendent in her excess. Gold and silver chains around her neck jangled with every step. The kitten, Chaos, was still snoozing on top her her head, resting his head against a gem-encrusted tiara. “Hey Runali.” Sara said, passing her by on the way to the ship. “There’s a sarcophagus full of souls you might want to check out. Kadi can show you where it is.”

The captain waited on the ship, resting mostly due to Zilia’s request, and waited for the others to return so they could wrap up the little… adventure that they decided to partake in- or more rather an adventure the captain dragged them into- which was technically the same thing. The moment she heard CP’s call, alerting her that the crew was boarding, she nodded to Jack to put their conversation on hold. “If it’s the treasure team, gotta see what they got.”

And what she found wasn’t too surprising, but it was a sight to behold. Runali’s brow raised as Sara donned a little too much jewelry in Runali’s opinion and pushed a wheelbarrow filled with even more things. “Ahaah, looks like those guys were useful for something. Take it to-” Sara’s nonchalant attitude made her pause and look a bit confused. “Wait, what?” She leaned over, reaching out for one of the shiny bracelets dangling off Sara and tugged her to stop. “Come again?” Runali clarified. “Two things- maybe more actually. One, was that all of the treasure or is that just you taking your share?” It was a mild tease, but Runali did have her suspicions. “Two, you’re bringing up a… sarcophagus full of souls…? A little too casually. So mind clarifying that one? Three,” Runali looked around for a brief moment. “Where exactly is Kadi? He’s supposed to be with you- as it was a two person trip.”

Sara looked at Runali skeptically. “Oh, after our last few adventures, I thought a sarcophagus full of souls would be normal. And this is the first of two, maybe three, trips. If you want to give me all of this, I’m not going to complain. Kadi is still down there, practically salivating over those things. He said that they were tax-stamped and incredibly valuable. He’s both aroused and scared, it’s creepy and I don’t like it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have treasure to stow and later count.”

Barring further interruptions, she continued to trundle on, clinking all the way.

“Normal or not, I don’t suppose it’d be in your interest to give actual explanations.” Runali’s eye rolled as Sara walked away. “Ah, that much of a share would go to pirates that actually want to sail under the Stardusk flag.” She wasn’t sure if her short quip had been heard, but it didn’t matter much to her. Runali would have also questioned the cat as well, but decided once more that it wasn’t important at the time. Instead, she walked off to find Kadi.

The Navigator was leaning against an alcove, facing the entrance tunnel to the crypt, giving an impression of a spider waiting for his lunch drop into its web. “Captain,” he greeted her. “I see Sara has spilled the beans, hasn’t she? Against my request. Ah well, I guess you can’t expect much from someone who’s not used to seeing such amount of treasure in her own hands. Live and learn, I suppose. Anyway, we’re in trouble,” he said. He nodded towards the sarcophagus that had blue light coming inside of it. He walked over to it and pulled out one of the pots and handed it to Runali. “To cut it short, this is a soul in a pot. If you look on top, its stamped, which means it is legal to trade. That means it's stupidly valuable to the right people. Just this single one is worth more than the baubles and tinfoil Sara ran away with. There about two hundred of them in the cask. Abraham is a lot of things, but he’s not the right people. This shouldn’t be here, and the right people might come looking for what has happened to their shipment of souls. We need to figure out what to do, starting with shutting up Sara talking about this to even more people, at least until we formulate a plan of how we’ll get rid of this Danaic gift. For now, fewer people know, fewer people are in danger.”

Runali looked around the area and scratched the back of her head. “You’re in luck, she didn’t say much. And what she did say was short and in passing.” Fortunately, Kadi wasted no time beating around the bush- something she appreciated really. Her brow raised at the idea of souls being stamped, but decided to hold her questions until he was done. “I think you take the cake of most surprising thing today. Congrats.” She held the pot, examining its outside and fiddling with the top. Ultimately, she decided to keep it closed and take Kadi’s word for it.

“You’re right… Abram having these is a sign of disaster. For him sure, but also for this island. He shouldn’t have them…” She frowned a bit in thought. “Which means next best thing is we take them and put them somewhere else.” Despite them being as valuable as Kadi mentioned, the idea of playing with the ‘undead’ for a third time sounded like they were pressing their luck. Though, to be fair, in this case they were only going to be transporting the pots to some place that the Tankerds couldn’t find them. At the mention of Sara, Runali smirked. “Oh trust me, she’s knee deep in jewelry and gold. The last thing she cares about is this. She didn’t seem to care when she told me about it either. I believe Sara’s the last of our worries. Grant it, it’ll be a little difficult to keep from the crew. I don’t suppose just telling them, hey we’ve got some valuable pots that we need to get rid of on the next secluded island, so please don’t touch them and please don’t break them- would suffice?” She paused for a brief moment and looked over at Kadi. “Is the option of opening them and throwing them in the ocean off the table? Are there consequences to that one Mr. Soul Expert?”

The Navigator scratched his scalp and looked at the ground, then furrowed his brow and looked back at her. “Uh… boss, look… right now, the best course of action is to leave this here, and just write off ol’ Abry as lost asset. You don’t understand the gravity of this. What you hold in your hand has about as much value as this whole island, just that one pot with that stamp. And there’s circa two hundred of those here. Someone has prepared this shipment, and then this certain someone has also lost it, and he won’t bother asking who’s responsible when he comes here looking for it. Throwing them into the ocean would mean we have lost a lot of money to someone. And that someone might trace this missing cask from where it was stolen to here, and then squeeze out of Abraham where those went afterwards.” He smirked and mirthlessly chuckled. “Unless you believe Abry will take it upon himself for honor’s sake or some similar perfidious mental movement. Which he won’t, he’ll rat us out first chance he gets. So no, I don’t think throwing these to Davy Jones is a good idea. But yes, it is an option.”

He thought for a moment. “Second option is, we pick someone from Tankereds who has beef on Abraham, and thinks he could be a captain in his stead. We elect this person to captainhood, and when whomever these souls belong to comes here looking for them, this person will hand over the souls and Abraham, and he will pray the unknown creditor is in jolly mood and skinning Abraham alive will be sufficient repayment of the incurred losses and trouble.”

“Third, and you won’t like it, they took manifest from the ship they raided this from. We’ll find where were these headed. We’ll deliver this shipment, and pretend nothing illicit ever happened.”

“Oh no you’re absolutely right. I know nothing about dealing with the dead. Especially lost souls. It’s why I asked you, seeing as you’re the resident, uh soul…. collector?” She tapped on the pot, still curiously inspecting it. “This being worth more than the island I just took over isn’t helping your case though. I mean, trust me, I understand the idea of dealing with someone who wants it back. But, worth a whole island? You can’t fault me for being impressed.” She sighed and handed the pot in her arms to Kadi. “I could risk Abry, for the sake of keeping our hands clean. But that’s still risking an island. And I just got this one. But I don’t trust keeping it all here. If he finds out what he has- or decides to use that, he’s gonna end up doing something that might actually get him to rise in the ranks. Can’t have that.” The gears in her head turned. “Consider,” She moved to look at the hundred or so other pots. “We do go with option two. I can name a few who would readily rat out their captain. Quick and clean without hesitation.” She snapped her fingers in thought and then pointed to the pots.

“But also consider we take half. Enough as a leverage… enough just in case plan two ends in… a bad way. We keep what we have, I dunno, leave a note for them to come find us. Anything as valuable as this, someone would bargain first before risking that their prize gets tampered with- or thrown out at sea.” Runali looked at Kadi with a curious gaze. “We gamble in risk and reward all the time. Would this not be any different?”

He disliked this. Disliked it a lot, for reasons he could line up on a table like a surgeon barber lining up his rusty, chipped and dirty tools. Wanted to anyway, but also feared telling more that was utterly necessary. “Boss, anyone with a pulse can name a dozen people who are backstabbing bastards. This island is a trap, not a prize. We have nothing to gain here, it is probably already lost, and the only valuable thing we can still rebate is name of the person who set this up,” he answered her with agitated urgency in his voice. She clearly was missing his point. They did not wanted to meet the true owner of the box, on good or bad terms. “Boss, the thing that lays claim on those souls will… do thing to us, just to show everyone, and i mean everyone, to not fuck with his business. It will… look, have you ever had a nightmare? Woke up, colt sweat across your body, feeling of desperate but uncertain dread that is slowly flowing away? Unable to actually recall the specifics of the nightmare, but you're damn glad it's gone and forgotten? And then you go outside and everyone seems like they had the same dream, but noone wants to talk about it?” He hoped the damp silence of the crypt would help unravel the unsaid implications. Some things were best left merely assumed, without the damning and maddening confirmation. Sharp mind could also cut itself on its own wit.

“Boss, lets just pack up all the gold scrap and shiny shit and sail away. Forget we were here. It's… safer that way.”

It wasn’t often she saw Kadi upset and the very few times he had been, it seemed to especially enhance just how serious and dangerous the matters could have been. Runali deflated a bit, not because she was upset about the dangers of someone coming after them, but more so because she was potentially losing something that could have given them the upper hand. It all seemed like just another risk to her. They didn’t know who exactly had ownership of a bunch of potted souls so it was no guarantee that danger could have followed. But of course there was the worst case scenario that even someone like Jones could have owned them and stealing from him… Well, she wasn’t too eager to meet him any time soon. Not yet. She also didn’t like the idea of potentially sacrificing an entire island when she could have easily kept it as hers. But, Kadi was smarter than she was and had wisdom over her. Runali made a lot of brash decisions in her time, but she at least knew when it was time to… well, not make one. She ran her hands through her hair and heaved a sigh. “So our best option would just be to leave it all here and let… nature take its course, yeah?” Her arms crossed and she hummed in thought. “...I suppose.” Moving closer to one of the pots, she lightly scratched at one of the stamps. “This time we’ll leave them… I’d rather know my crew can sleep easy on the ship rather than have to face the undead some random night.” She straightened up again after tapping the pot. “Yeah, fine we’ll leave it. But, we get everything else. If we play it safe then I at least want everything else. More stuff means, larger pay portions anyway.”

Runali paused and looked out the door they came in and added. “I’ll also pay Abram a visit. Might as well figure out what he knows before we leave.” When things were settled that the souls would stay where they were, Runali did just that.

It wasn’t hard to find Abram who was still recovering from various injuries he was given. The Tankerds seemed eager to point her in the right direction. Without the eyes and ears of the rest of them, Runali went to interrogate the captain, hoping to get more information from him. However, just as unfortunate it was that she couldn’t keep the pots of souls, it was equally unfortunate that Abram couldn’t provide answers that she wanted. He grumbled over details about someone he didn’t know left them there and about how whoever it was knew that the Stardusk would show up and wanted Abram to get rid of them. Which meant once more, someone else was keeping a close eye on them… It could have been the Ravens again. It could have been someone else… Whoever it was, Runali’s paranoia was set again. However this time, she decided to keep it to herself. The Stardusk captain was careful to skirt around the details of the pots that were being left behind, but it was obvious there was a piece of the puzzle missing for both of the pirate captains.

“It’s a mystery all around.” Runali told Kadi when she got back on the ship. She decided to let him know as little as she and Abram did. Someone would be back for the souls and it was possible that same person was out to get them as well. “So take it or not, we’ve made some enemies along the way. Which, shouldn’t really be very surprising. Nothing we can do now except keep sailing I suppose. Sail. Rise in ranks. Keep it moving.” She chuckled. “Y'know, easy stuff.”
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Queen of cold.
Roleplay Invitations
Group Roleplays, One on One Roleplays, Private Convo Roleplays
Posting Speed
Several Posts a Day, A Few Posts A Day, One Post a Day
My Usual Online Time
I check in pretty much all times of the day, either from my phone or from my home computer. So it's likely I'll see messages shortly after I've received them.
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced
Genders You Prefer Playing
No Preferences
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
A bit of both, honestly. I like a bit of balance here with my partner.
Favorite Genres
Sci Fi, Fantasy, Fandom, Anime, Sometimes Horror. Survival, Romance, Furry, Magical.
Genre You DON'T Like
I'm not entirely sure. I don't like playing canon characters already defined from shows. I also don't like any genre utilizing a roll system for combat.

After the game reached it's conclusion the swordswoman stood with her arms folded, merely observing as Runali laid out the future for the Tankard pirates. It wasn't until Ru turned towards her and Sara that she furrowed her brow slightly before giving a small nod when she asked her to take care of the flags, turning away before seeming to blink out of existence as she'd make a quick round of the island removing the flags of it's former pirate owners. She didn't waste time removing the flag by hand, instead making fine cuts to remove the flags, casting them to the wind to carry off in the breeze. When she was finished she returned to the crew once more in time to hear about the treasure and how she was needed to count it up to double check on Sara's work.

"Very well" she replied softly, "But first... " she took a few step towards Runali before extending her arm, flicking two fingers against her forehead with a rather satisfying 'tap' sound. "That is for accepting his silly game."

'Tap' "That is for not telling me that I was your first mate."

'Tap' "That is for worrying me and getting yourself shot... " she finished before adding, "There was more but I think those were the main points covered". She then walked away to find Sara and count the treasure as asked, though first she'd need to make a quick stop by the cabin to pick up the ledger so that she could tally it up properly. Depending on how much they had perhaps she could convince Ru to spend on upgrades for the ship, although next stop they would need to also replenish some stocks since their stores were starting to thin out again, not dangerously but they would definitely need to restock soon.

Fox of Hearts

Call me MsNoMer
Days Earlier - Leaving the Island

Cedric’s euphoria over reuniting with Jack ended when Runali’s smiling face greeted him for a second time. Introductions was the most awkward moment when meeting new people. He hated it! Sid tried to keep his smile relaxed but he felt his cheeks starting to ache. Merde! He prayed no one would assume he was trying to be deceitful. That wouldn’t be the greatest first impression! He inhaled sharply and his arms crossed tightly over his chest.


Sid felt a tiny warm body lying across his arms. He didn’t need to look to know who it was. He relaxed visibly as he adjusted his arms so that he ended up cradling Chaos. Not wanting to be outdone, Chester trotted up to his side and sat down beside him. It was moments like this that Cedric was glad they existed. They understood him as well as (if not better) than his brother.

“Merci, Captain. That’s how we say thank you where I’m from. I’m honoured you are willing for me to be part of your crew.” He inclined his head subtly not wishing to bow as was expected of a young man of his status. A Trovalian custom so deeply ingrained in him that he had to consciously drop it now that he wasn’t home. “My cats, as you call them, are part of me. A little job hazard you may say. Please don’t worry about them. They are well-behaved most of the time.”

He removed the hand petting Chaos and waved it about absent-mindedly. “You said you don’t know what I can offer earlier. Why don’t I make you a new shirt to replace you ruined one?” He flexed his open hand vaguely in the direction of Runali’s bare torso indicating the gash. “I could make you new outfit to go with the shirt as well. It’ll be a small token of appreciation.”

Chaos’ ears perked up as she purred after Sid stopped talking. Her blue eyes studied the woman in front of them. She was attracted to the long blue hair blowing in the wind. It reminded her of string and she loved string! Mewing, the kitten leaped from her master’s arms, vanished and reappeared with a soft pop on Runali’s shoulder. She batted at the bangs trying her best to peer into this mysterious woman’s eyes.


Sid jerked forward to retrieve his cat when the Stardusk’s mad gunner stepped in to introduce himself. Cedric stepped back to avoid colliding into Luro. Confusion threaded the younger man’s features as the redhead giant rambled on about smells, killings and betrayals. He wasn’t sure he even grasp half of what Luro said. The mention of “smell” didn’t sit too well with him, though. It brought a slew of unwanted thoughts to his mind that made him feel really warm around his neck. Did Makachi know what he was implying? He suspected the carpenter wasn’t aware of the connotations. The man appeared far too forthcoming to be that subtle.

Feeling reassured by his assessment, Cedric relaxed visibly. “Thank you, Makachi. I’ll keep that in mind. Let me know if I can be of any assistance around the ship. I have some knowledge of carpentry.”

His attention was turned towards Zila. He accepted the note and read through it slowly. He wasn’t illiterate by any means. Hoshi made sure of that. He was a little rusty. Back in the Guild, the secretaries provided the necessary translations for various notices and job postings. Zila sounded friendly enough but he wondered if he would take her into his confidence in the near future. He was nearing the end of her message when his forced smile return. Haircut. He knew Jack would make him get one sooner or later. He wasn’t sure if Zila was the right person for the job. He didn’t want to end up regretting it every morning when he stared into the mirror. He had to figure out how to refuse her politely. It’s always best to keep on the ship doctor’s good side.

Wait, was she deaf? Or just mute?

Feeling a bit embarrassed about missing that detail. Sid decided to speak and sign at the same time. Sign language, particular CS (Common Sign), was a skill most Guild members were taught. There was no telling when you would need it on the field.

“Sorry, I don’t know know if you are mute or deaf and mute,” he spoke while gesturing. “I apologise for any embarrassment caused by my inattention, Ms. Vilimar.”

He realised his signing was lagging behind. He allowed himself to finish signing before he spoke again. “A doctor has steady hands and is a good choice for a ship’s barber. I’d like to see your handiwork before deciding on my hairstyle.”

He stopped and gave her polite smile. “Have you cut anyone’s hair before?”

Chester snorted. He enjoyed lapping up the awkwardness coming from Cedric. The proud feline lay down like a proud yellow sphinx beside his master. His green eyes looked at Luro for a fraction of a second before he turned to Zila. This woman he could tolerate. She was quiet at least. He watched the exchange with polite interest. Jack wasn’t in his sphere of interest. Cream could wait.
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Capt. Blu

Fake it til You Make it
Original poster
Roleplay Invitations
Not Taking RP Invites at this Time
Posting Speed
A Few Posts a Week, One Post a Week
Writing Levels
Adept, Advanced, Adaptable
Genders You Prefer Playing
No Preferences
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
Favorite Genres
Fantasy, Adventure, Scifi, Anime, Steampunk, Heroes and Villains

Departing Finnigan Island

Runali rubbed her head from the flicks she received. “How’d you not think you were the first mate to being with? You do just about everything on the ship!”

Introducing herself to Cedric was a little more interesting the second time around. Not only did he offer to make her new clothes- something she wouldn’t have thought of- but one of his cats seemed oddly fond of her hair. Especially the hair in her face. And the more Runali was caught off guard by it, the more it reminded her that she needed to get her bangs cut and out of her face.

Location - At Sea - A Few Days after Finnigan Island

The first two days of sailing offered little peace. Storms rolled in the moment they departed Finnigan Island, putting Runali slightly on edge for the most of it. They didn’t have the best luck during storms and she wasn’t ready to deal with a repeat of anything before. For most of those two days, she stayed above deck, making sure to keep an eye out for anything dangerous. Though much to her relief, it was just another storm that came and went, leaving Lady Luck be. She could rest easy after.

The rest of the week went by fairly smooth for sea travel. Runali walked the ship, checking in on her crew every now and again to see if they wanted or needed anything, but for the most part she left them to their devices. Being on a ship together constantly, she figured there was no need to invade the little personal space they had. She had considered talking to Sara again, but after their last brief encounter she decided to leave it be for now.

Every once in a while, she’d nearly trip over a wandering cat- still not used to the fact that there were two new animals on the ship. They didn’t bother her too much, though finding out they could vanish and reappear in different places had her questioning Cedric and their abilities. Coral on the other hand, noticed the cats and kept her distance from them. For the most part, she perched in the crow’s nest, high enough to keep watch and look down at everyone. If the bird wasn’t keeping her distance, she’d perch on Luro or Runali, occasionally Kadi when he was steering the ship. Usually when she wanted extra treats, Coral would go to Jack, but now that the cats were around she was a bit skeptical going around him.

Life on the ship in between wild adventures usually had its own sense of peace to it where the crew could happily relax or work on small projects they had, or even train. At one particular part of the day, Runali decided to go fishing. Most of the fish she managed to catch, she’d toss in the air for Coral to catch and eat. For the rest, she asked if Jack wanted them. However, whatever was useless to her, she just tossed back in the water. During her casual escapade, a harder tug caught her attention and she scrambled to get her fishing rod before it was pulled into the ocean. There was more of a struggle than usual and while Runali planted her foot against the side of the ship, she looked over at the first person who came above deck.

“Oi! Zil, help me pull! Hurry!”

However even with the two of them trying their best, instead of pulling the creature above water there was a sharp snap and the two watched as the fishing rod broke in half and fall into the water. “Wh-” Runali leaned over the edge and searched for the culprit. “That was my only one! I liked that one!” She grimaced and slouched. “...Aw man… Well, thanks anyway Zil. Hmph, there goes the rest of the day.” She patted Zilia’s shoulder. “Well, guess I better tell Jack seafood option is limited.” Before she tossed the broken fishing rod to the side, she glanced at it. “Unless... I wonder if Luro can fix it. That’s an even better idea Zil, thanks.”

Sometime a Different Day

“So Cedric, that’s the best way to stop a giant crocodile from rampaging towards you.” Runali had started to tell the new crewmate about… something. There was probably something important that was meant to be said, but somehow she got on a tangent about the Cutthroats and their large reptiles. “Wait... “ Runali scratched her cheek and looked between the tailor, the chef, and her carpenter. “What was the question again?”

Some other time

Runali stood between Kadi and Alicia, occasionally glancing at the map Kadi had. “Surely you had to have considered the idea that you were the first mate, no? I mean, you take up most of the responsibilities from the rest of us. One of the longer term members here. Arguably the most responsible, besides Kadi. But he’s the navigator. He knows he’s the navigator-” Runali raised a brow and looked over at Kadi. “You do know you’re the navigator correct? You haven’t been sailing with me for this long not knowing your position on the crew?” It was said mostly as a tease towards the swordswoman before she followed it with a question that she posed to the rest of the crew as well when she got their attention.

“You guys, ‘cept for you Cedric, knew Alicia was the first mate, yeah? Was that not obvious?”
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Too weird to live, too rare to die.
Roleplay Invitations
Group Roleplays, One on One Roleplays, Chat Roleplays, Private Convo Roleplays
Posting Speed
Several Posts a Day
Writing Levels
Genders You Prefer Playing
Male, Female
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
Favorite Genres
Realism, Sci-Fi, Western, Romance, Modern, Low/High Fantasy
Genre You DON'T Like
High School

“Hey boss!” Sara approached Runali while they were still at sea, a few days away from any port. The mid-afternoon sky was as blue as the ocean surrounding them with not a white cloud in sight to hide the perfect golden sun. A gentle and cooling sea-breeze was nothing short of refreshing on such a warm day. The weather was good, and Sara’s mood matched it.

“Hey boss.” She repeated, catching Runali’s attention. “I feel like things between us has gotten kind of tense, so do you want to spar our issues out?”

With how well the weather had been and how quiet the sea was, Runali lazily rested on some empty crates, watching the waves. She heard someone call for her but at first thought she was dozing off. It wasn’t until she realized the voice was Sara’s did she sit up and turn to face her. “Hm?” Runali’s brow furrowed in confusion for a second before she realized the situation.

“You want to spar? With me? On the ship?” There was a curiosity to her voice as she stood to her feet. “You think your sea legs can handle it?” It was a light tease and Runali stretched her arms over her head and walked across the deck. “Sure Sara, I’m always up for a spar. And I don’t think I’ve actually had one with you either. Gotta admit I am curious with all the extra training you’ve been doing.”

“Please, I haven’t vomited in three months, I think I’ll be fine.” Sara said proudly, taking her place on the opposite side of the deck. She only brought her gladius and no other weapon aside from her pistol at her side. “And since you want the ship in one piece and minus any holes, you probably don’t want to see the fruits of my labor quite yet.” She started stretching in preparation for the spar to come. She was curious as to how good the captain was from the perspective of a potential opponent.

The captain couldn’t help but laugh at her remark. “I guess that is impressive. To say the least. At least you can keep down the food Jack cooks now.” She cracked her knuckles, not really bothered by the fact that Sara had weapons. Hers were below deck, but she doubted she’d actually use them. “Fair enough I guess. Guess that just means you owe me another spar when we reach land.” She readied her foot stance and looked over at Sara. “Any time you’re ready.”

Sara pointed her gladius at Runali. “Go get your weapons. It isn’t a spar if only one of us are armed. I barely seen you use those chakram-thingies, and you need practice with them.” It was clear that Sara wasn’t going to start until Runali had properly armed herself.

“Unless you prefer to do strictly hand-to-hand, which admittedly I need practice with anyway.”

Runali’s arms dropped to her side and then rested on her hips. “I don’t see how it wouldn’t be a spar either way? Typically, pirates nor the navy wait for you to grab a weapon.” She shrugged. “Armed or not, I’m still sure I’d win. Figured I’d make it easy.” Runali teased again, but waved her hand dismissively. “Fine, fine I’ll play by your rules this time.”

It didn’t take her long to walk to her cabin and grab her chakram. She pet one of the wandering cats she passed, still forgetting which was which, but not really bothering to stop and check either. Back in the same spot she had been in before, Runali stood at the ready, leaving one of the blades on her hip while the other spun in her left hand. “Alright, now when you’re ready?”

Sara gave a flat look in response to the thought of her losing. Runali was a decent fighter, but there was reason why she was captain, and that Sara was the commando. “Well, pay attention, you might learn something.”

Once she returned and said that she was ready, Sara saluted her opponent by raising her gladius up before shifting to a wide combat stance. She circled Runali, her eyes narrowed and focused for any signs of a weakness or opening.

“You know, we didn’t talk as to how this spar would end. First blood, or would you prefer something lighter?”

“You sure have a lot of rules to sparring.” Runali had yet to move when Sara started to circle. She looked pretty relaxed, still spinning the chakram between her fingers. “I mean, by all means, we can do whatever you want since you’re the one that offered to spar. But I’m not getting scolded by the doctor because I left a bruise on you.” Her stance relaxed a bit, before she shifted ever so slightly when Sara walked into her blindspot. “Even so, I tend to avoid causing injury to my own. Not very captain-y of me, y’know?”

Sara shrugged. “When it comes to almost-killing each other, it does help to be clear on how far we’re willing to go. For now, let’s avoid actually hitting each other and stopping our strikes before contact. And if you actually bruise me, then it’s no one’s fault but my own.” She said simply.

When she exited Runali’s blindspot and entered back into her field of vision, Sara lashed out like a snake, closing the distance between the two and aiming for her chest.

“I suppose a spar to you is usually almost killing each other, yeah?” She bounced on her toes for a moment, only to hop back when she saw Sara coming towards her. The moment she struck, Runali maneuvered her free hand around Sara’s to deflect the strike and used the chakram to block the gladius. In the brief moment they were in the standstill, Runali raised a brow. “I don’t know how things work in the gladiator pits, but there are such things as non-lethal sparring matches.” She attempted to knock her leg from under her before taking a few steps to put distance between them. “If you’re not gonna hit me then… oh I know, the spar ends when one of us yields. Should make it interesting.”

“Almost being the key-word.” Sara’s leg bent at the strike, as the heavier woman didn’t falter or stumble. She grabbed ahold of Runali’s wrist and pushed her back as she stepped away, disrupting her balance. “And you surrendering works for me.” Sara replied, with a small grin.

Runali was light enough on her feet to easily rock on the soles of her feet and recover. She raised a brow, eyeing Sara over for a moment before changing her stance. She returned the grin with a small smile. “Must’ve taken a lot to be as confident as you are, hm?” Waiting for a fight to begin was always the slowest part when people weren’t blindly charging towards her. It made fighting so much easier that way, but she expected her crew to be smarter than that. So Sara’s patience wasn’t a surprise, but Runali knew it’d get boring quick if all they did was pace back and forth.

Knowing that she’d been training with Alicia gave her a little insight of what Sara could potentially do, assuming training was going well. And the few snippets of fighting- minus the actual fight with Alicia, she did see told her more than enough. So, Runali changed her tactic and switched to the offensive. She bounced on her toes before racing forward right at Sara. She tossed the chakram from her left hand to her right, but at the last second, instead of attacking with the weapon, she sidestepped and attempted to send a light kick that would have ended up as a light tap into her side.

“Oh yeah. A lot of knocks, both given and received, made me the woman I am today.” She followed Runali’s movements, seeing the obvious distraction for what it was. However, she wasn’t expecting a kick and had unintentionally dodged right into it. She stumbled a few steps back, an arm around her side.

“Okay.” She panted. “That one… That one was on me.” After a few moments to gather her breath, she stood back up straight with her sword ready. Sara, almost immediately, switched to the offensive, lashing out and stabbing in a dazzling display of martial skill.

There was a faint smirk that crossed her face when Sara gathered herself. Runali was tempted to say something, but Sara was quick to respond to her previous attack. She had to admit, Sara was fast. But that didn’t mean she couldn’t match her speed. With each strike, Runali carefully danced around, staying close enough so that she’d be able to attack when she could. However, there were a few strikes that had gotten a little too close for comfort had Sara been an actual enemy, while one, Runali instinctively covered her arms in armament haki in order to prevent the stab from making complete contact. Instead of completely blocking it, she knocked the sword upwards to make an opening.

“Oh, close one.” She commented. There was nothing behind her words save for an observation but it was followed with, “Good form though.” Runali pulled back aiming to punch Sara in the chest but stopped mid strike to drop the haki covering her arm and then tap where she would have hit.

“Thank you.” Sara smiled at the compliment, before an opening was created that Runali beautifully exploited. “Nice one!” She said, with no hint of malice or sarcasm. “You definitely have been practicing with Alicia too, I can tell. But can you keep up?”

Taking a step back, she readied herself once more before resuming a blistering pace. Swings, feints, and stabs came from all directions, culminating with Sara stabbing through the middle of Runal’s chakram and ripping it out of her hand, disarming her, and embedding it into the mast of the ship with a quivering thud, before Sara placed the tip of her blade a safe distance from Runali’s throat.

“Not bad!” She grinned. “Not bad at all.”

The compliment made Runali snort a bit. “Not really. But every so often yeah, I s’pose. You occupy her free time for the most part. I’ve learned from an old mentor of mine. And of course, trial and error.” The question made her raise a curious brow but it was enough of a warning for her to stand on the defensive when Sara attacked. The way she moved reminded her of sparring with Alicia, which made her laugh a bit. It was a familiar dance of dodging a blade, however with Sara there was much more… force than calm elegance to Alicia’s movement. Which Runali chalked up as Sara just being physically stronger than the swordswoman. Even with the option to use the blades, Runali stuck to using them as a defensive weapon or simply moved out of the way of attacks. It wasn’t until her chakram was taken out of her hand did she look on with a bit more interest.

“Hm. I might need that later.” With the blade pointed at her throat, Runali took a challenging step forward curious to see what she would do. Just in case she did strike, Runali was ready to react and use her armament to deflect the blade and push it towards the ground.

Sara stared at Runali curiously as she took a step closer to the sharp object near a very vulnerable spot, taking a step back herself to maintain a safe distance.

“Uhh, boss? You’re aware that this is pretty sharp?”

She turned around to reach for the still quivering chakram in the mast and, with a grunt of effort, pulled it out. Sara then offered it to Runali, only to pull it away, raising the ring blade to her face for closer inspection. She examined the edge of the blade, both the razor-sharp edge of the outer ring and the slightly curved blunt edge of inside of the ring. She then looked up at Runali and said.

“You know this can be thrown, right?”

“Hm.” Was the only response to Sara’s concerns. Instead, she reached out to move the pointed blade off to the side, only to pause when Sara turned around and grabbed her chakram. “Of course it can be throw. I’ve thrown it before, I just see no need to continuously throw it around.” Runali took the second one off her hip, spinning it around. “Sharp enough to cut with, useful in shape for deflection. Mhm.”

Sara tossed the ringed blade in the air, watching it spin at it’s apex before catching it deftly as it came down. Gripping the chakram tightly, she looked up from it and at Runali.

“Not quite what I mean, watch.” With a great force of effort, and a clever flick with her wrist, she hurled the chakram out onto the ocean, where it spun and whirred, glittering out of sight.

“Give it a moment.”

A moment passed, and Runali could hear it come whining back as it cut through the air and, once again, embedded itself deep into the mast,

“There!” Sara said proudly, reaching up to pull the bladed disc out of the treated wood before passing it back to Runali. “That’s what I meant by throwing it.”

Runali patiently watched Sara’s in depth analysis of her blade, but the moment she tossed it towards the ocean the captain straightened up. “Hey that’s-!” Her brow furrowed when Sara told her to wait but her attention turned when she caught sight of the chakram spinning back where it came from. “Huh…” Runali took the blade from Sara and inspected it for a moment. “A boomerang of sorts. I suppose that’d be useful…” She flipped it around a few times until she settled with putting one back on her hip. “Guess you learn something new everyday.” The blade that was still in her hand was pointed at Sara. “Cool trick. Could have used a warning first.” As much as she wanted to try it out, Runali wasn’t going to risk her chakram flying into the ocean because she wasn’t good at throwing it correctly. “I’ll have to test that out some time though… maybe when we get to the next island and I don’t have to swim for it when I screw up.” Curiously, she inspected the mast’s damage, impressed by how much force it managed to have upon returning.

“Why, don’t you trust me?” Sara said with a small frown. “I am the commando and weapons-master of your ship and crew, this… is literally my job.” Her expression softened a little bit. “And the next time we stop, I can show you how to do it. It’s not that hard, it’s all in the wrists really. If you tried to throw it in the ocean, then I’m certainly not getting it.”

“Wh-” Runali turned around, instantly catching Sara’s expression. “Trust you? This isn’t-” She paused to pick her words a little more carefully. “These were a gift to me from the Nova pirates. So I’d kinda wanna know if you were planning to just throw them.” Realizing that didn’t answer her question Runali leaned against the mast of the ship. “I trust you, yes. Although I don’t remember when ‘weapons-master’ was tacked on to your commando title. Either way, trust you or not, I do hold some value to things. Like my ship, or my crew, and these weapons.” When Sara offered to show her how to throw them properly she nodded. “Thanks, I wouldn’t be very fond of doing so either. And I’m sure Coral isn’t volunteering.”

“Probably around the same time when you made Alicia first-mate.” Sara said, her frown replaced with a small smile. She seemed to have accepted Runali’s explanation.

“As in, it was always implied. She is a great weapons-master, so long as that weapon is black, has a single edge, and about three feet long.”

Runali pushed off the mast. “See, I’m sure I mentioned it to Alicia at least once or twice. I thought she readily accepted the job that’s why she was doing all that work.” She shrugged. “As for you, is it really considered a weapons master if it’s not all weapons?” She strolled past, walking almost aimlessly. “Didn’t you almost shoot Jack by accident?” It was said with a short laugh.

Sara shrugged. “Everything I know, I can apply to pretty much every weapon. Sword, spear, shield, gun, you name it, and I know how to use it. The weapon itself is meaningless, without the proper know-how behind it. And that was my first time, you can never expect mastery on the first time.”
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Vivid Imaginings
Roleplay Invitations
Group Roleplays, One on One Roleplays, Private Convo Roleplays
Posting Speed
A Few Posts a Week, One Post a Week, Slow As Molasses
Writing Levels
Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Adaptable
Genders You Prefer Playing
Male, Female, Primarily Prefer Female, No Preferences
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
I'm willing to do either, but may lean more towards the passive side.
Favorite Genres
Fantasy, magical, modern, medieval, horror, dark fantasy, post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, adventure, action, anime
Genre You DON'T Like
Realistic fiction, romance

On the Seas: Sometime before Finnigan Island

Luro stood in the training room a grin on his face as he faced the door, arms crossed patiently waiting for two of his friends to join him. He had pulled the Captain and Jack aside after lunch informing them that he needed both of their help with something, asking to see them shortly after dinner. He wanted to aim for the night but since any of them could get night watch and he wanted a few hours to work on this he decided against it, down here there would be enough privacy not to interrupt the others. He also made sure to make the room somewhat sound proof as well since he liked to mess around here at night so it was a good enough place to avoid disturbing…that and not many people came down here usually.

He knew the two would come as he made sure to inform that it was unlikely they would die from his request, which he felt would show that he was thinking about their safety in all this. He also made sure to add that he needed both of them at the same time and just in case to have a will prepared, adding again that he wasn’t trying to kill them.

“Go me for getting the point across,” Luro said grinning. “Oh man I wish they’d hurry. I can’t wait to get started.”

The idea that Luro needed help with one thing or another at night was going to get less and less surprising if he kept asking. The only reason Runali was more curious about it now rather than before is because he asked both her and Jack. Or rather, it was more curious with how much he insisted they weren’t in any danger. “Not the most ideal way to make people feel safe, but I s’pose you’re at least trying.” Runali commented earlier. She hovered around in the kitchen after dinner with Jack, mainly to idly chat about anything new or curious with the crew, but eventually left him be to get a few of her own things taken care of before it got too late.

When night had officially settled in and most of the crew were getting ready for bed, Runali headed to the training room. Instead of putting her eyepatch back on, she opted to keeping it in her pocket for the time being. Having hair in her face was only a problem if she’d be fighting after all- and it only reminded her that eventually she’d need to get it cut before it got as long as it did when she was in Kane’Artem. “If you could wait till sunset, I’m almost sure you could wait just a bit longer.” She teased as she stepped into the room and greeted Luro with a smile before walking over to him. “What’s got you so cheery, hm?”

“I’ll second that question,” Jack appeared behind the captain. He leaned against the door frame with hands tucked in his pockets, a cigarillo curling from the mouth. His eyes roamed briefly around the room, out of habit, before resting on Luro.

An eyebrow arched. “So, my friend, what are we here for? I hope it’s not to cut my hand again.”

“There you guys are!” Luro yelled seeing the two enter the room. “Thanks for coming!”
Once Luro was sure the door was shut he looked back at them and gave a small shake of his head at Jack’s question.
“Nah no friend stabs today, this shouldn’t involve any sharp objects…probably,” Luro said nodding before looking at the captain. “It’s because I’ve been waiting all day that it’s been hard to hold back Captain. If this goes well…I mean when it goes well it’ll help out a lot!”
Luro gave a small nod to himself before he folded his hands behind his back; now that they both were here it was time to explain what exactly he needed them for. He didn’t want to say it earlier as he really wanted to surprise the two of them, the Captain might have an idea but he knew Jack didn’t know which was going to make this all the more fun. Clearing his throat Luro turned and started to pace back and forth grabbing the L.A.D. out of his pocket in the process.

“Okay as you guys know you’ve been helping me with my Armament study lately. Jack thanks to you imbuing my bullets with Armament, I got to learn the effects on external objects and rough estimate on how long it’ll last outside of a person’s hand. I also know I asked you to randomly use your Armament on the L.A.S.S. and L.A.D. which I thank you for. Captain that night we shared together also taught me a lot. Especially when we almost destroyed the ship in the process. Thanks to you guys and with a bit of inspiration from the others who I won’t name since one of them might stab me I’ve made progress with this!”
Luro put the L.A.D. away and started digging in his sleeve, though after a bit of digging his smile faded and he started patting his body.
“Huh…I put it somewhere,” Luro said. “Maybe here…no that’s the other thing.”
After a bit of searching Luro pulled out two gloves from his other sleeve with a relieved sigh and held the two up towards them.
“Captain you know what these are but to summarize it for you Jack, these gloves have L.A.D.’s in them and with the use of Haki it allows the control of elements. Borrowing their power for a short amount of time or in short bursts…until I figure out how to increase the time. They’re extremely dangerous and have the potential to blow up the ship if used incorrectly…so yeah I need your help polishing them and making that not happen, annnnd I have some new stuff to try out.”
Luro lowered his hand and motioned to the training room.
“I need Armament for this experiment and we can cause a bit of damage here in case that happens. So…think you guys can help me out?”

“He cut your hand?” The question fell on deaf ears as Luro carried on with why he gathered the two of them. Runali took an idle step backwards as he began to pace around. She watched him go back and forth as he explained, only to cough lightly when he mentioned ‘the night they shared’ that consisted of nearly blowing up the ship. She would have preferred to keep that one between them, but to be fair, it wasn’t Jack who she needed to worry about. Alicia would have been the one scolding the two of them. Seeing the gloves, Runali couldn’t help the grin that followed. “Armament stuff. That, I’m familiar with.” For added emphasis, she hit her fist to her palm. “I’m never opposed to armament training, especially not with cool new stuff, so long as the ship’s not destroyed of course.” Runali gave Luro a mock salute. “You can count me in.” She looked at Jack and laughed. “Whaddya say Jackie? Could be fun. Or could be the only force to stopping Luro from accidentally blowing a hole in the ship.”

Jack blinked. “They… control the elements?” Stepping forward, he took one of the gloves and looked them over, feeling its exterior and peering with a critical eye. He glanced up when Luro and Runali mentioned nearly blowing up the ship.

“You… nevermind. Don’t know why I’m surprised anymore.” The cook muttered.

Sliding the glove on, Jack flexed his hand, turning it this way and that. “You have a point, I suppose, captain which means I don’t really have a choice do I? How do these work anyways?”

Luro grinned seeing the two were willing to help, bit by bit he’d get this all together especially with help, and having the two Armament users would assist with polishing what he had. With any luck he’d be able to try one of the designs he drew up not too long ago. When the Captain brought up blowing a hole in the ship Luro wanted to comment about something else he was working on but ended up putting it aside. The potential danger of the other thing would only be a problem if it got out, so he saw little need in bringing it up now and changing the subject.

“They let you control them yes,” Luro said. “Don’t worry once you use it it’ll all make sense. Much easier than standing here trying to explain it. I practiced with Z and she told me I was speaking gibberish the whole time.”

Luro eyed the glove on Jack’s hand for a moment his eyebrows arching seeing which one he had in his possession and with a smile tossed the other glove to the Captain pointing to it.

“What you want to do is let your Armament flow into your hand then run it up to your arm,” Luro started. “Captain you remember how to do it right? Why don’t you show Jack, these two are the fire gloves after all so it’s the same.”

Luro motioned to the Captain so Jack could watch her do it.

“Like the Captain let it go up your arm preferably to your elbow then after let your Armament fade. Once that happens all you gotta do is reach like you’re trying to get a firm grip on a…piece of bread. Pretend like you’re picking up bread.”

The moment Jack asked how they worked Runali straightened up, eager to volunteer. Fortunately, Luro had the same line of thinking and she caught the glove from him. “Do I remember- of course I remember.” She scrunched up her nose, making a face before smiling and slipping the glove on. As Luro explained, first, she let the armament flow up to her elbow, holding it for a moment before reaching out. Luro’s example made her side eye him, but when she pretended to grab the air in front of her and watched as the glove, up to her elbow, was encompassed in fire. “Hah, see? Easy peasy. And,” she looked over at Luro. “Still cool.” While the fire swirled around her arm she grinned and stretched her arm out to show it off. “Can cause a whole lot of damage with this.”

When she was done playfully posing and showing off her fiery arm, Runali furrowed her brow for a moment and watched the flame. “And…. Oh right.” With a quick shake of her hand, the fire dispelled. “Tada, and just like that it’s gone. And not a scratch on me, see? Cool, right?” She gestured towards Jack. “Alright, now you try.”

Listening with a skeptical face, it was immediately placed with wide-eyed astonishment as Jack witnessed the fire blossoming around the captain’s arm. He started to reach for it but stopped short when she showed how to put it out. He looked down at his own gloved hand. “You know, I’d really like to hear more of this gibberish you speak of,” he muttered to Luro, more to himself, as he tentatively repeated what he was shown.

It took an embarrassing couple attempts before the fire ignited for Jack. He made quick action of summoning his haki and then releasing it, but had a harder time getting the grip-gesture right, as he wasn’t sure how one could firmly hold bread without it crumbling-- something he was adamant at pointing out to Luro after the second failed attempt, tints of crimson warming his cheeks.The third attempt brought success and Jack made a little jump of surprise when it did. Mystified, he turned his hand left and right, moving it in small, contained gestures as he watched the fire react in gentle swooshing sounds.

At one point, he realized he was holding his breath. He let it out and made a shaky grin at Luro. “This is...quite magnificent. I can’t feel a thing on my arm! Do you have the mechanics written down? May I read it?” Caught up in curiosity, Jack continued to make little circles with his fiery arm, clearly enticed more by the engineering phenomenon than the power behind it.

Luro grinned seeing the Captain had remembered the process and watching the fire roar to life without difficulty he gave a small nod. He had practiced it himself before but he didn’t have Armament himself so it was hard to test it with a ‘fresh coating’ of Armament. He was glad the Captain was still enjoying it as well, with any luck he could show the other elements today but fire was the easiest to deal with since if something went wrong it could be put out and he had messed with it the most. His eyes moved to Jack as he observed the Captain and he chuckled a little seeing his expression change, he couldn’t believe he had gotten it to work either so he had a feeling he had made the same face when it worked.
He turned to Jack watching him attempt to summon the flames, his brows arching seeing it took a few attempts, he contemplated altering the activation process when he picked up Jack’s comment about bread. Luro closed his eyes believing the other example was a better representation but from that look he got from the Captain he decided not to say it out loud.

He watched Jack offering a small nod as he watched him summon the flames successfully, he didn’t say anything not wanting to rush him, small moments like this, watching faces in wonder, that was one of the more enjoyable parts of all this. Once Jack came back and asked him about how they worked Luro dug in his sleeve for a moment before pulling out a piece of paper and walking over to Jack.
“Yeah I drew up a mess of designs, I ultimately based it off this one and made some changes, but this is the original design. The final design is in my head but this is where it came from,” Luro said handing Jack the paper. “Please put the fire out before grabbing it though…it won’t touch you but it’ll burn anything else.”
With a smile Luro moved his hands to his hips offering a wide grin to him.
“I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m making these for everyone after all so it’s no fun if you don’t like them. Anyway take a look.”

The designs in Jack’s hand made no matter of sense, staring at a blank piece of paper would easily garner more information on the device’s function than the scrap of paper filled with doodles and random musings. There were four cows drawn with tops hats in the corner and a ship in night wear in the lower left corner, at least that’s what it looked like. The design itself looked nothing like the gloves, it appeared to be a duck fighting an island with random numbers drawn on the side, though the number themselves were just people flexing.
There was no way a normal human being with any sense of sanity could read these notes.
“This part was especially important,” Luro said pointing to one of the flexing numbers. “If I hadn’t figured that out the gloves would just explode on your hand.”
Taking a closer look no insane person could probably read this as well, the very existence of the paper threatened everything a person knew, easily able to create a mind lost to an endless void of haberdashery, crazy haberdashery especially if hats are put into consideration. There was a decent chance the walls were going to start talking to Jack soon as one of them was already trying to look over his shoulder.
“I showed it to Z and she ended up passing out after trying to read it for five minutes. She woke up with a bloody nose and left to take care of it. She then told me not to show it to any other living thing…I don’t know why though,” Luro said shrugging. “You can look too if you want Captain.”

When Jack finally got the hang of it, Runali’s eye lit up and she gave a short clap. “See! Cool right? Now you can hit even harder. It’s.. like double damage!” As excited as she was, Runali was careful not to get too close. She didn’t want to get burned from his inexperience, not that she was much better than he was. For a moment, she messed with the fire until Luro called her over.

“Oh?” Runali was curious, sure, but she knew she wouldn’t understand any of it. There were just so many little mechanics that she couldn’t get. The times Luro talked about his work, while it was nice to hear him being so enthusiastic, it was still very much confusing. But that didn’t stop her from bounding over and leaning over Luro’s arm to check it out. Her head tilted left and right as she looked over the notes. It wasn’t what she imagined- seeing cows and what she thought was a duck, but she decided not to question it. “Hmm….” Her hand tapped her cheek lightly before she looked up at the redhead. “Looks complicated, but you understand it and that’s what matters.” She flexed her gloved hand and smiled. “I mean, without the smarts, we wouldn’t get cool stuff life this. And your sharpshooting of course.” She gave a shrug and turned on her heel. “So what else did you have in store or were you just showing off the gloves again?”

Just looking at the designs made Jack’s head start to pound, but he nodded along as Luro pointed out the details. The designs themselves were chaotic, and almost felt they held a life of their own, so it was no wonder to Jack that Zilia had the reaction she did. The picture of the duck versus an island did prompt a humored smile, however. After what he felt was an appropriate amount of time, he set the designs down and rubbed his neck with the non-gloved hand, suddenly feeling tense, as if someone breathed down his neck. He couldn’t help a suspicious glance at the wall while Runali asked Luro what else he had in store.

Luro tilted his head wondering what had made Jack smile but he shrugged and took the design back letting the Captain see before he put it away. He did spend a bit of time on them and he forgot how many rewrites it took just to get to this point, it was thankfully worth it in the end even if he lost a few nights of sleep on it. He glanced over at the Captain offering a smile as she mentioned his understanding of it, though as she continued he slowly shook his head motioning to the two of them then towards the door.

“You guys are my inspiration and there’s plenty smarter than me,” Luro said. “I wouldn’t have been able to make this without all you guys, and just wait till you see me start trying to shoot Captain.”

Luro offered a grin before he pulled out another glove, he slipped it onto his right hand and after flexing his fingers a few times nodded as if confirming something before looking back up at the two.

“Why I need you here…is kind of the complicated part.”

Luro folded his hands behind his back and turning started to pace bringing a hand to his chin, his eyes narrowed a little before a small smile found its way onto his face as he started to get into why he needed the two of them here.

“Okay as we already know if the flow of Armament Haki is cut off eventually it’ll fade off the object and return it to normal. Using the elements is the same way, they have to be used before that invisible timer is up, most of the time it won’t cause any manner of damage just that there’s a limit to the manifestation once they’re separated from the Haki source itself. Up until that point however the element can generally be controlled and shaped to an extent. What I’ve been trying to do is create more options for that particular moment, I’ve been able to do a little but I still feel there’s something…holding it back,” Luro said with a small nod. “That night with the Captain gave me some information I needed though. The Haki naturally went up the Captain’s arm, I’ve noticed that it will cling to the body and it changes its own shape to match that. So what I need from you guys is pretty simple.”

Luro turned to face the two and rested his hand on his chest.

“I need you to cover your entire bodies in Armament and let me observe how it affects you,” Luro said grinning at them. “If that little bit caused such a change and allowed the Captain a bit of control then by allowing it a bit more freedom it may amplify the effects…and with any luck the flow will last longer due to the presence of more Haki. There’s also a chance it’ll help me find a way to increase that timer as well.”

Luro tapped his own arm with the glove offering a small chuckle.

“Since I can’t use Haki I need your guy’s help for this. Just being able to observe it will help me.”

The captain decided not to respond to Luro humbling himself and simply offered a nod. She was more curious about his motives anyway. “S’only natural if you’re practiced.” She commented, remembering the first time she had struggled to keep her armament up for longer than a minute. It took a lot of focus and a lot of other technical stuff she couldn’t bother to think about at the time. Her gaze went from Luro to Jack as the former began to explain what he needed. The request itself made her brow furrow a bit and she crossed her arms. “Hm, haven’t figured that one out yet.” It was a simple response that warranted Runali to explain herself. “Trust me, I would if I could. But I’ve never gotten haki to go,” She vaguely gestured to her entire body. “I mean, at most I can probably…” Her voice trailed off and she hit her heel to the ground, focusing her attention on the haki going up to her knees. “But even that’s relatively new.” She shrugged and then let the haki flow up her arms as well. “It’s like… a suit of armor. Well, if it was invisible of course.” She flexed her arms forward and wiggled her fingers. “I fight mostly hand to hand sure, but the idea of my fighting style is, well, not to get hit. To put it simple. Defensive more than offensive.” She explained. “Armor’s not necessary if you can’t be hit.”

She laughed and shrugged. “But, I s’pose the various times I’ve gotten stabbed or shot doesn’t really prove a point there. S’pose it’s a good a time as any to learn.”

Jack chimed in. “You do realize full-armament is a rare skill, right?”

An eyebrow arched to Luro as the cook crossed his arms, leaning one shoulder against the ship’s side. There was no denying the gloves fascinated him, and his mind turned with ideas and predictions of how they’d best come in handy. But spreading armament across his whole body? He only knew one person who had that power and she died long ago. Jack grunted as he looked down to one hand, wondering how long it’d take between him and Runali to achieve that same level. He couldn’t help but agree with the captain’s last statement about not needing armor if you weren’t getting hit.

“My armament isn’t like the captain’s,” he followed up once she was done. “My haki is most powerful when infused with the weapons I wield. I only use it to prevent damage from hits I can’t block. Perhaps I can hold it over a greater area, but I wouldn’t doubt yours is thicker than mine.” He gave her a smile before going back to Luro. “I don’t think either of us are saying it can’t be done. Just that it’s a challenge. Certainly not something we can do in one session.”

Luro listened to the both of them and though his brows arched hearing they weren’t able to do it that was the extent of his response to the realization. Digging in his sleeve he pulled out a small notebook and flipped through it as Jack explained how his Armament worked offering a nod to show he was still listening. After a bit of searching he ran his finger down one of the pages and shut the notebook closing his eyes at this new information. A smile found its way onto his face however in the face of this kind of obstacle, the smile eventually forming into a grin as he raised his head back up to the two.

“Well it wouldn’t be fun without a challenge,” Luro said putting the notebook away. “I heard it wasn’t common but it’s rare huh. I figured there was no harm in asking, I guessed you either knew of it or could just do it.”
Luro brought a hand to his chin offering a small nod.
“Haki in itself works as an invisible armor around the body, then with a bit of concentration you can create a coating which amplifies not only your defense but offense as well. Covering the whole body would really be like wearing a full suit of armor.”
Luro motioned to the Captain’s leg at this due to her earlier display before continuing.
“That difference you guys have is a good thing. Captain since yours is defensive that may allow you better control of the Haki, since it’ll respond to your coating a bit better, the flow will follow easier around your form. Jack since you’re accustomed to increasing your strength I think you’ll be able to pull out more power from them, the few L.A.D.S. I had you use Armament on were very effective.”
Luro said this with a nod and turned back to the two.
“When you can I’d like you guys to meet me here and practice Full-Armament if that’s okay. Even if it’s just spreading it around your body, let me be there to observe the changes. I want to see the effects as you grow and control your Haki. Since you two handle it in different ways it’ll easily let me see the difference in usage, both from a defense and offensive sense, I couldn’t ask for anything better…and being able to watch the effects over time then just at the end will help my research much better anyway.”

Luro said this looking at the glove on his hand before ‘grabbing’ with it, a burst of cold exploded from the glove and Luro eyes widened a bit as the sudden cold. Blue mist surrounded the glove and started spreading out over the area, a mini blizzard passing through the area and in the span of a few seconds rows of ice had formed around the group. Luro looked up as stalactites formed on the walls, ceiling and floor.
“Ah there was more in that one than I thought,” Luro said shaking off the ice. “If you guys are okay with it I’d like to continue these sessions and watch the growth. We can start with fire or ice whichever one and expand from there…fire might be a good start I uh…I need to adjust for ice.”

“Well yeah, of course.” Runali agreed with Jack’s comment about her haki being tougher. “Different uses, different functions and all.” She waved a hand in front of her face before looking over at Luro. Presenting it as a task made it a little less fun than it seemed, but anything presented as a challenge made the captain perk up in interest. “Oh, most definitely. Like Jackie said, we’re not saying we can’t because I most certainly will. Just don’t expect it at this exact moment. Can’t just snap my fingers and make these things happen.” She couldn’t help the small laugh as Luro requested to watch them train their haki.

“Hear that Jack? He wants to study us.” She gave the cook a mischievous grin. “Which means~ you’ve gotta spar me now. Unless you don’t wanna get tougher haki or a better sense of the skill, hmm?” She couldn’t count how many times she tried coercing Jack into sparring with her, but he always passed on the opportunity and somehow they ended up people watching instead. Runali laughed again and for emphasis walked over to Luro and poked the taller man’s side. “If not for your captain, do it for the red giant and his cool toys.” Speaking of ‘cool’, the sudden burst of ice everywhere startled her enough to make her step closer to Luro, away from the surrounding ice.

“You’ve really gotta get that under control.” Runali sighed and watched her breath cloud in front of her as the temperature dropped rapidly. She shivered and put an armament covered foot on a close by stalactite and pressed until it snapped in two. “Can’t say I’m not impressed with how sturdy it is though.”

The cook shivered, rubbing his arms, the miniature blizzard producing ice crystals in his dreads as he threw a withering look at Luro. “You don’t say?” Jack asked in a fake mild tone, unamused about the sudden and unwarranted cold, when the carpenter brought up needing some adjustments. He nodded in agreement about needing better control before going to the door and opening it, allowing the waft of warm sea air draft through the space. He relaxed a little when he felt the comforting breeze. Enough to look back at the captain with a considering brow.

“I have a point.” He had been avoiding her incesstance to spar, largely because he saw no reason to. He didn’t see himself as someone who could help the captain elevate her abilities; he certainly acquired no desire to do so himself. He knew his strengths and limitations and they’d been enough to get him to where he was now. More than enough, sometimes. He hesitated, looking between the two of them, and let out a sigh. “I guess I don’t have a choice, do I? Not between you two. Besides, after facing the Ravens, it may be worth heightening our abilities. We are fourth gen. Who knows who we’ll face next?”

Luro rubbed the back of his head and let out a small chuckle since he had made the room a little uncomfortable. He started digging in his sleeve for another glove when he picked up the Captain’s comment, smiling he offered a small nod motioning to one of the stagalicties nearby.

“Courtesy of Ray, it really helped having his ice...I can almost match his Devil Fruits ice...almost…”

He watched Jack open the door as she slipped on another glove and tried to hold in a chuckle at the ice crystals in his dreads, taking his gun off his back he started to mess with something but noticing all the ice around them, put his gun away and running over to the door slammed it shut, ensuring the cold would stay in the room.

“I was going to take care of the ice but this actually works out, I want you guys to experiment with the gloves and use it to clear out all the ice. We take care of the cold and it’s good practice, now the most I’ve gotten it to do is shoot out balls of fire, act as a flamethrower and on one occasion create a wall of fire. I want you guys to to fiddle with them and see what you can do, even if it’s just punching the ice.”

Luro said this holding up a finger as he grinned at the two of them.

“I can also see how you handle the gloves at your current strength. Then each time you spar I’ll have you use the gloves and see if there’s any growth.”

Luro turned to Jack his grin turning into a small smile as he gave his friend a small nod.

“The Prophets did say they’d end up meeting us again one day. Knowing Nikos he’s probably training right this moment to fight the Captain again. I’m can’t wait to ki-fight...fight the next people who challenge us. I can’t let you guys do all the heavy lifting though, so if I can make you stronger while improving myself all the better...and there’s a very slim possibility those gloves will explode and kill us all so that’s a nice extra.”

“Ah, I miss Raymond. Hope he’s having fun being a captain of a warship.” She sighed a little at the thought before taking the opportunity to use her foot to break on another stalactite. She watched Luro rush and slam the door with sudden urgency and stopped in her tracks of trying to break every ice chunk near her. “Uh huh…” A laugh followed his request. “Is this just so you don’t have to clean up? Makin’ us do the dirty work huh?” Her teasing would have continued had the mention of Nikos not gotten her attention. “Oh? Yeah probably. He’s still upset about our last fight. And,” Runali paused to go through the process of lighting the glove and her arm on fire. “S’pose that is a nice extra. Can’t fight anyone else if we’re all dead.”

She stretched her fingers out, examining the ice around her. Like Luro mentioned, she decided to just start off by punching the ice and sure enough ice chunks shattered and melted around her. “Can barely feel a thing with haki and fire doing the work.” She commented, deciding to hit a few more of the stalactites around. She noticed some of her punches would cause the flames to hit before she could and looked over at Jack. “Hmmm... hey! Jack think if you throw the fire like your knives you’d get small projectiles?” She examined her own fire, spinning her finger in a circle to cause a small and short lived ring to form. “Luro’s reckless so of course he can throw fireballs around, but turning reckless energy into something more contained, hmmm…” Runali stepped out of the way in curious thought. Projectiles had little use to her when majority of the time she never used them. But she did throw around her new blades a lot. Runali shook her hand to get rid of the flames. “Huh… hey Luro mind tossing me one of those practice weapons- extra weapons? Why do we have extra swords anyway?”

Jack recoiled as his warm reprieve slammed shut. His eyes narrowed and his mouth opened in protest. Luro quickly followed up with an explanation, to which Jack reluctantly closed mouth again, and listened. He looked around the cabin as Runali broke another large icicle, nodding. “I suppose… this is fair practice.”

His hate for the cold seemed to fuel his need to rid of it. Jack’s glove alighted faster than the first time, the cook developing a feel for its function and use. He placed one hand on a remaining wall and focused the fire. It grew around his fingers like he pressed a small orb of flame against the ice. Steam and water arose as he melted it down. The farther he went, the more he tried to get the flames to extend away from his palm and stretch down on its own. Once that was accomplished, Jack gave an experimental flick of his hand. A bright, orange line of fire no thicker than his thumbnail peppered out of the glove and the wall. He was about to repeat the motion when Runali spoke up.

Jack’s head cocked to one side. “Let’s find out,” he said. He curled his hand as if holding one of his throwing knives and concentrated the fire between his fingers until it extended and resembled a long projectile. With a flick of his wrist, he aimed it the same place as before.

Luro only offered a grin at the idea of them doing his dirty work, he left the matter at that turning his eyes away as the Captain agreed with fighting their next opponents. His gaze moved to the swords at the Captain’s inquiry.

“Well…originally I got them so I could allow half of them to rust and place them in specific places for…uh…not nice reasons. Eventually that changed and I got them because only Kadi and me used guns on the ship, I figured we should have extra but no one really…uses weapons other than the ones they got so I then got them so I could mess with the metal a bit, maybe make progress on idea number 394 which I’m still doing…at the moment though I use them to test myself, I created a mechanism and unlike people it doesn’t hold back or have any particular feelings towards me.”

Luro pat his arm.

“The more swords I have the more I have to dodge, it’s actually really fun and I’ve only almost died twice. Eventually I’ll do it with the earplugs too not just the blindfold.”

His attention immediately refocused back on the two as they started taking care of the ice in the room, Luro took out his notebook watching how they used of the gloves, seeing the fire flare with the Captain was interesting, since the fire was controlled it easily reached the ice before the Captain’s blow did. Jack’s on the other hand seemed to flare outwards, just as the two had said, the Captain’s fire was contained but powerful like a shield around her form or at least her fists. Jack on the other hand’s expanded outwards, this was only a start but it really did respond to their style. Seeing Jack actually able to shape the fire caused Luro’s brows to arch.

“Fascinating...thanks to the severed head of the fourth god the waters shape decided to do a jig,” Luro said staring at the at the projectile.

He noticed that the fire exploded a bit when the projectile flew out and gave a small nod.

“Interesting I didn’t realize the old man taught the fish to fly backwards.”

Luro mumbled to himself as he scribbled something down and with a grin looked back up at the two.

“Ah sorry lost myself in thought for a second there,” Luro said. “Being able to actually reshape the fire was a surprise, that is one of my objectives, to change the shape of the element but that requires very specific circumstances, even I can only fire it as a concentrated force. Just as I expected, those with Armament are able to pull out the full potential of the gloves in their current forms.”

Luro eyed the two and looked down at his notebook.

“...let’s hold off on the duel for today. I wasn’t expecting Jack to actually make the projectile, especially given the current state of your Haki. I’m going to adjust the limiters on the gloves that way you don’t blow up the ship form exchanging blows, I have to make sure the power itself remains contained but still responds to your Haki properly so I can mark it. Once I get a feel for how much power is coming out, we can take the experiment off the ship that way there’s no collateral damage...but that’s a long term goal. For now let’s call it here.”

Luro smiled at the two.

“I want to see this through but that’s all meaningless if you guys get hurt after all. I’m glad I dialed the power back a bit.”

Luro pat the glove on his hand.

“If you can do all this with fire...I’m even more excited toward your progress...and how you use the other elements..”
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“Gahaha just call me Luro, everyone else does and I’ll keep that in mind,” Luro reached forward and pat Cedric on the shoulder. “No need to be tense we’re all friends now.”
Luro grinned and moved his hands back into his sleeves, it was nice to have another person on the ship and it was a friend of Jack’s as well. He looked down at his singed clothes and held up his burnt sleeve a bit; clearing his throat he looked back at Cedric.
“Actually if you’re in the mood for making shirts I…could use an extra one. I’ll give you some of the good stuff in exchange.”

Zilia watched Cedric in silence as he read the note, making a mental note to pick up more supplies next time they made port, she found she always had just enough when it came to treatment but with the Captain’s recent escapade and the fact there was another crew member, that number had changed again. When she looked at Cedric a familiar feeling hit her, for some odd reason at his smile she felt oddly offended, as if he had silently attacked her character in some form, though she wasn’t entirely sure why. The feeling only stood out more as he spoke to her, there was a wall between them, just like there was with Jack. It was subtle, hidden behind a similar smile but it was there, this one just seemed higher.
“Feel free to speak to me normally, and no offense taken,”
She left the matter at that deciding not to linger on the matter longer than need be.
At the mention of any hair she’s handled Zilia pointed at Sara’s hair, the crisp cut tailored to the woman giving off a subtle grace, drawing attention in just the right way.
“If you’re not comfortable with me doing your hair you are free to ask someone else, my skills are average at best take that as will,” Zilia left the matter at that before turning and walking away to return to her own matters.

The days thankfully passed peacefully something that brought Zilia bit of comfort, she had used the time to catch up on a few books, Luro even left her alone for a bit. He seemed more focused on his own side projects and occasionally telling stories to Coral when she landed on him.
During one of the few times she stepped out the Captain apparently ended up catching a large haul, she quickly ran over to try and help to no real avail. After leaving a note with the Captain informing Luro could fix it she ran off to find the man as they had prior arrangements to attend to that day.

Later on

Luro brought a hand to his chin as he twirled a small transparent sphere in his hand, watching the red contents within shift slightly only to raise his head as the Captain got their attention, he had been half paying attention to her conversation with Kadi and Alicia, something he felt a little bad about since he wasn’t able to recall the question the Captain had asked the other day. His gaze moved to Alicia for a moment and arching his brow he looked over at Zilia who only offered a small shrug.
“Z says she’s not too surprised by it,” Luro said standing up fully. “I was surprised at first…but after I thought about it for a second it pretty much makes sense. Long as she’s been on the ship she’s pretty much tried to do everything.”
Luro put his hand on his chin and stood up before offering a small shrug.
“I think it was more surprising because I forget everyone’s titles sometimes. I forget Jack’s the chef all the time. He’s just the best cook so to me he cooks all the time. Kadi’s got the best sense of direction so he guides the ship. His name literally means finding path’s after all. I just figured I forgot she was…I’m pretty sure you’ve mentioned it…probably.”
Luro tossed the sphere into his other hand before taking a seat again.
“Who knows maybe we have a second and third mate too?”
“…If there are any I think Kadi and Jack would probably fit that role.”
“What’s that about Z? I’m not even on the list. I mean yeah those two make sense but I could be a fourth one. I do my job too you know.”
“…Luro your job is the only thing you do…”
Luro started to dispute Zilia but closed his mouth and sat back down rubbing his head.
“…nah you have a point I’m not going to pretend I do any more than that,” Luro said grinning at Zilia. “Oh right Alicia since you’re the first mate next time something on the ship comes up, talk to me. Putting our current relationship aside for a moment I do make sure to do the job the Captain gave me ya know. It’s good you got the job cause you take on the responsibilities…but you don’t gotta do it all on your own…anything involving the Lady I can help with. If you wanna know how much wood we got just talk to me, if you need to know how much we need or anything else pull me aside. Just putting that out there as…there have been a few moments we weren’t on the same page and we’ll be better off if we’re in the same place sometimes…but from one Stardusk to another don’t forget I’m here just cause you’re higher up on the chain…though I’ll probably forget you are tomorrow. Like how Masu’s the Musician now.”
Luro grinned and went back to messing with the orb in his hand.
“Well knowledge or lack thereof aside congratulations on your promotion Alicia…or the admittance of your promotion I suppose. Just do your best not to end up in my care for overworking. It may be meaningless to say but you did earn this position just by being yourself, continue to do so at the same pace.”
“…I think you should take your own advice Z.”
“You came back one day with ten knives in your back! You are part of the reason I can’t relax!”
“No it was nine knives Z. I took one out.”
“Yeah and then you stuck it back in to ask me if it made a funny shape!”
“…oh yeah I did do that…you never answered me by the way.”
Zilia turned and held a note up towards Alicia trying not to let the anger show on her face as Luro continued to press her for an answer.
“My nightmares have been of this man being first mate…you do not know the relief I feel knowing it’s you…I expected it was you or Kadi so either really works for me.”

Later that Day.

Luro made his way below deck and towards the training room, after marking a chakram indent that was in the mast and finding out why. When he got close he started picking up sounds coming from the room, which would have been surprising if the door wasn’t slightly ajar. The sun was setting at this point so he had a good idea who was inside and what exactly that noise was, he only knew one person who resided in this place at this time, every day like clockwork. Every time he did his evening walkthrough he encountered her, so as he pushed open the door he could only smile seeing Zilia’s foot connect hard with a nearby Dummy, a narrowed expression on the Doctors’ face as her foot met the hardened wood again, an invisible shockwave following the attack blowing the nearby dust away from her as she lowered her foot seeing Luro enter.
“Hey Z! How’s ya training going?” Luro said closing the door behind him.
Zilia took a small rag and wiping her forehead held a note up to Luro.
“It’s going pretty well, thank you for making this dummy for me. It’s greatly helped me with my form…and thankfully these things are easier to repair than people.”
Luro smiled and looked over at the dummy, Zilia had made a strange request of him asking him to create a different kind of dummy to train against and he noticed Z down here every day afterwards, generally hitting the thing hundreds of times in the same fashion, probably more as he normally got bored watching at that point. She normally didn’t do such things if anyone was nearby, preferring to practice in solitude without witnesses, she’d given up on not showing Luro though as he was constantly walking around the ship taking notes, there was no ‘time’ when she could do so without his wandering gaze.
“Ah I’m happy to hear that…cause I got a favor to ask.”
Zilia’s smile immediately left her face and she shook her head putting her pen to paper, she expected a response like that from Luro, mentally counting how many supplies she was going to have to use she held the note up to him.
“Okay how have you hurt yourself?”
“I haven’t hurt myself.”
“Who have you hurt? Was it Cedric? He doesn’t understand yet that helping you with most things is a bad idea.”
“No I haven’t hurt anyone including Cedric.”
“Who are you going to hurt? Is it Cedric? He doesn’t understand that listening to you most of the time is a bad idea.”
“Why do you keep bringing up Cedric? I’m not going to hurt anyone today…probably… not intentionally anyway.”
Zilia stared at Luro her eyebrows furrowing for a moment, the tip of her pen tapping the paper as she met Luro’s stare for a moment before lowering her head and continuing to write.
“Those are the only times you ask me for a favor. What could you possibly want?”
“I want you to teach me how to fight...uh without my gun.”
Zilia stared at Luro watching him with an expression that reminded him of the time he had told someone that he was a good person, pure disbelief.
For what one of them considered hours Zilia eyed Luro with a fixed expression her notebook almost slipping out of her hand at one point, but whatever stopped her from responding faded quickly and she immediately scribbled another note.
“Why are you asking me? There are plenty of people on the ship who could teach you. The Captain is easily stronger than me when it comes to hand to hand, Sara is too.”
“Hm I agree the Captain is pretty strong and in a normal circumstance I’d love to learn her style. Masu…well given our current relationship I don’t think asking for a favor is a good idea right now but yeah she’s a good choice too, I’ve already sparred with her so I’m aware what she can bring.”
Luro offered a grin and shrug at this and Zilia just shook her head deciding not to comment on it.
“I’ve thought about this. I don’t want to learn from someone who can summon forth power to supplement weakness, such as Haki to armament their abilities, either offensively or defensively. So Jack and the Captain are out, and I haven’t seen any of the others punch things so I’m not sure how proficient they are at it. Kadi may be good at punching things in the face but I haven’t seen it, same for Cedric, he’s probably a master at the act of face punchery but I don’t know.”
“I’m not teaching someone who describes fighting in such a fashion.” Zilia thought her eyelids drooping slightly as she listened to Luro.
“Alicia’s out too I’ve taken a few of her punches…she hurt herself more than me…”
“I’m pretty sure if she wanted too she could punch you hard.”
“Probably…but she’s in the same position as the Captain and Jack, she’d need to augment her abilities in some fashion. That defeats the purpose of what I need. I’m positive they could teach me even with their Haki or power but there’s something very specific I require…and I feel you can give that to me Z. I need someone who has adapted and found way to hone a technique without a power to augment in certain aspects, such as when an attack is inches from you face.”

Zilia watched Luro twirling the pen in her hand, after making his request he folded his hands together before lowering his head begging Zilia as he fell to his knees. If she was being honest she didn’t want to deal with this, she knew firsthand the Captain could beat her and Sara’s strength was an easy supplement and probably more fitting for him, she was sure Jack could teach him if no one else as it was clear just from his kicks he had some form of technique. She looked down at her blank paper and closing her eyes for a moment considered her response before writing it down, there was no logical reason to accept to his request, cruel as it may be the best option was to send him to one of the others.
“Very well, come at me so I know what I’m working with.”
Luro stared at the note a grin slowly forming on his face as he read through it, leaping to his feet Luro pumped his fist in the air a laugh escaping from him. Seeing Zilia’s narrowed expression however he quickly cleared his throat and with a nod took a few steps back and raised his fists up. Zilia watched him before slamming her foot onto the ground and raising it got into stance. Unfortunately logical didn’t normally work with Stardusk so there was only one other option.
“I’m not sure why it needs to be from me…but Luro always has his reasons…and will just end up bursting into my room until I say yes. Besides…I can’t ignore someone genuinely wanting to grow…I think he knows that.”

The tales below have nothing to do with the main story and as such are going to needlessly use up your time away from the main story. If you got the time to waste though read at your own discretion I ain't gonna judge.

Kaim sat on the sofa tailor style staring at the the two people in front of him, his leader Nikos and his right hand woman Tari who were engaged in a conversation about one of their previous missions. The two were generally constantly together, as such it was common to refer to them as the sword and scabbard with Tari being the latter. They had just finished a larger one and returned to their hidden abode, their home away from home choosing to stay on land for a bit and out of sight as they almost ran into the Navy. Nikos had acquired a few hideouts for them and thankfully this one at least had comfortable furniture, though the softness of the cushions didn’t do much for his irritation, even though it felt like he was on a cloud at the moment.
“What’s wrong?”
Kaim glanced over as Kara took a seat next to him and he pointed ahead at Nikos and Tari.
“What is it?” she asked pointing to them as well.
“The two of them are standing close together discussing the mission and looking over papers. Now watch this.”
Kaim motioned ahead as Tari pointed to one of the reports causing Nikos to lean down, face inches from her own and look over it, Kara’s eyes lit up for a moment but seeing not even the smallest reaction from Tari her mouth twitched as Nikos moved away.
“…They’re at it again,” Kaim said hanging his head.
“I see…I had been preoccupied so I hadn’t noticed their exchanges…”

Kara and Kaim since they had joined had noticed that Nikos and Tari had a strange distance. Nina, Emil and Aira seemed accustomed to it and Ria didn’t care enough to be involved, but for the two of them, who are romantics at heart, they can’t stand watching two long term friends so close yet so far.
“He treats her like a sister he’s never met…it hurts Kara.”
“I know…I can never tell how they really feel about one another. Tari’s been here longer than anyone, she’s known Nikos since he was a lad….there has to be something there. One of them has to make the first move and unthaw the cold heart of the other”
“Agreed…let’s keep watching.”
Tari ended up dropping a report and Nikos turned bending down with his right hand to grab it off the ground for her, when his hand covered Tari’s, Kara and Kaim’s eyes widened and they leaned forward slightly. Nikos raised his eyes to Tari who seemed more focused on the hand covering her own at the moment.
Gently but also with a bit of firmness Nikos took hold of Tari’s hand drawing the woman’s attention to him at last, Kaim pulled at his hair and Kara gripped her clothes enough to crease half her outfit.
Nikos voice was soft and the response from the woman was an averted gaze, her cheeks burning at the firm gaze resting on her.
“This is it…” Kaim muttered.
“Say it…say it Nikos…” Kara muttered.
Nikos opened his mouth and Tari’s other hand gripped her pants waiting for the words to come.
“You haven’t trained today have you?”
“Huh?” Kara and Kaim said tilting their heads at the two.
Tari pulled her hand free and with a small sigh offered a nod.
“I haven’t had the time today. I intend on doing so after the reports.”
“I noticed there weren’t the usual bumps on the inside of your palm. Here I’ll finish the reports daily training is important.”
“Thank you Nikos, I’ll do just that.”
The two separated and Kara and Kaim draped themselves over the sides of the sofa, heavy sighs escaped from both of them.
“…you gotta be kidding me….” Kaim muttered.
“The both of them are so….”
A voice however pulled them out of their self imposed misery drawing their eyes back to the scene.
“Actually Nikos.”
Kara and Kaim sat up as Tari jogged back to Nikos, holding her hand out she watched as Nikos lowered his attention to it.
“Could you…hold my hand again?”
The two on the couch immediately sat back up watching as Nikos with a raised brow took hold of Tari’s hand with his left hand.
“….I’re training more with your right hand.”
“Oh you noticed?”
“Yes it felt different than usual but this feels familiar,” Tari said running her fingers over the palm of his hand. “How is that working out for you, I’ve been trying same method to build strength and dexterity.”
“Surprisingly well you see I-”
Kaim and Kara fell back over the side of the couch as the two started going on about their particular regiments without a care in the world.
“Neither of them have any kind of common sense.”
“…I’m not giving up hope Kaim…Nikos and Tari will admit their feelings….I know it.”
“…do they have feelings other than train and do missions?”
“….I think so?”

Tari lifted one of the many documents laid out in front of her, silently recounting a few of the notes she made on them as she set a coin aside. Nikos had given her a small room to handle the finances of the group and a place to look over reports with some privacy. Kaim normally got into some kind of mischief that either ended up loud or with someone getting punched. That or Aira would end up telling a vulgar story that consisted more of expletives than actually sentences, and worst case Emil would go on and on about how great he was to anyone listening, who sometimes was only Tari.
She was very thankful to have this room to conduct her business.
Her only regret is that the room had a usable door which a knock came from; raising her eyes she called the person inside watching as Kara entered the room. Her brows arched seeing the woman as she set the papers down, Kara of all people knew this was the time of day she handled reports as she normally helped her, it was rare for her to interrupt her. Tari’s eyes narrowed a bit as she set her papers down; it was more than likely something serious judging by her tense expression.
“What’s wrong Kari?” Tari asked folding her hands on her desk.
There was very little to the room as it was a temporary space, a few wanted posters on the wall of targets they were watching, a single desk in the center of the room and a few chairs nearby in case someone needed something, which Kara grabbed before sitting down in front of her.
“I’m worried about something and…I know you have most of the information on it. So I need your assistance.”
“I’ll help anyway I can,” Tari said offering a small smile to Kari. “What’s wrong?”
“I’m worried about my precious Emil.”
Tari’s attention immediately lowered back to her papers causing Kara to stand up and slam her hands on the desk.
“Come on Tari! Don’t be so mean I just want a report.”
A sigh escaped from the clearly busy woman and she set her reports back down.
“You came in for a report an hour ago…nothing has changed. I don’t get reports by the hour…he’s in Yula Fei!”
“I’m worried about him though! You know how Emil is when he gets invested in a target, especially one who beats him. He might do something creepy or unnecessary.”
“Hah…I know your concern but this was his target not some passing stranger like Nikos. He’ll treat the matter with civility and intelligence.”

Meanwhile in Yula Fei.

Emil was perched on a roof staring at the Tashigi estate arms crossed watching the home where his rival was currently sleeping soundly, the moon high in the sky seeming to illuminate the place just for him, inviting him to act on the impulses thrashing about violently inside of him.
“I know how to beat her…I’ll watch her sleep…once I find out how to get inside since her room isn’t around the outside”

Back at Tari’s desk.

“No he won’t,” Kara said sitting back down with a heavy sigh. “Knowing him he’ll be thinking of ways to learn his opponent’s weakness…and he’ll get really weird about it. You remember when he timed when Nikos went to the bathroom to see if his speed in there matched his speed in normal things.”
“…yeah but we were all surprised that it matched. Though that is like Nikos he does try to be efficient in all things after all.”
Tari shook her head as that was a long month but held a finger up to Kara.
“Emil just has his own way of finding solutions to things. He get’s desperate and that influences his thoughts for a bit, but after a bit of thought and understanding he realizes the shortcomings are his own and moves to address them, that’s one of his good traits. I’m positive that’s where he’s at.”

Yula Fei.

“The problem can’t be with me…I’m the problem is with Hanako. If she snores than that means her attacks will have more power based on her footing, but if she’s not then it’ll have more power based on the frequency of her strikes. That makes absolute sense.”

Tari’s desk.

“I understand that,” Kara said. “The problem is with how long that takes. I’m worried he might do something that puts his life in danger in his desperate need to beat her. You know the kind of trouble he can cause. He might call down the fury of the entirely of Yula Fei.”
“Kara…you’re over thinking this…how could Emil pull something like that?”

Yula Fei.

“Okay after I kidnap Omoiyari then the plan really starts, but first I have to tie Satia to that pole over there and denounce the entire Tashigi name to draw Hanako out and make her fight for real.”

Tari’s desk.

“Emil is smart enough to handle himself, it’s not a problem. He’s more sensible than he seems, you know that better than anyone. He would obviously avoid doing anything that would mess with his mission.”
“What if he decides to break into the Tashigi estate Tari?”
“He would understand that such an action would be foolish and stupid.

Yula Fei.

“Breaking into the Tashigi estate…is extremely sensible and intelligent why has no one else done this?”

Tari’s desk.

“I promise I have the matter taken care of, as soon as I hear a report back you will be the first to know. You can deal without Emil for a bit longer. His job is to make sure Hanako remains safe from the influence of any remaining Ravens. We’ve narrowed most of their ranks so I was going to pull him back but he asked to stay, he wants to ensure the safety of the girl he’s made that clear. It’ll be fine.”
“Are you sure I shouldn’t just go back him up, there’s a ship leavin-”
“I’m positive.”
Kara sighed and stood up from her seat with a small nod, she stared at Tari for a moment before holding her arms out towards the smaller woman.
“…can I hold you instead then?”
Kara shoulders slumped and all the energy drained from her, Tari watched her turn and slowly head towards the door, with a heavy sigh she squeezed the bridge of her nose.
“…one minute.”
Tari barely had time to turn before Kara had her arms wrapped around her; half-heartedly returning the hug she made a note that she needed to find another substitute for Emil, she was never going to get work done this way.

Yula Fei.

“All right plan ‘Not going to fail because I’m amazing’ is ready…I need a better name but that’s for later. Hanako Tashigi…I’ll make you pay for that earlier draw.”
Emil started to move but a letter ended up at his feet, he didn’t have time to register who had placed it there as the person had come and gone faster than he could track, seeing the seal on it however he knew it was his boss and with a click of his tongue opened the letter from Tari. The letter if it could be called as such only had a few words on it.
“Don’t do it stupid.”
Emil grit his teeth and crumpled the note in his hands, he started to yell but remembering it was night and he was hidden he just closed his mouth and looked back at the Tashigi estate. Shaking his head he made his way off the roof and destroyed the letter. He supposed taking action now would be foolish anyway, her safety was guaranteed, he made sure of that so no one else had the opportunity to defeat her, he could wait a bit longer.

Though Emil wasn’t sure why Tari had sent him that letter, the woman herself knew Emil all too well along with Kara. Annoying as it was she knew just how to handle the two to keep them from doing something silly, that unfortunately was also a part of her job.


*Insert quip here*
Roleplay Invitations
One on One Roleplays
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A Few Posts A Day, One Post a Day, A Few Posts a Week
Writing Levels
Elementary, Intermediate, Adept, Advanced
Genders You Prefer Playing
Male, Female
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
Both are fine. I tend to be aggressive more though.
Favorite Genres
Modern Fantasy, Historical, Fantasy, adventure, romance, anime, action, etc.
Genre You DON'T Like
Depends on the story, not all that picky about it.

A fair bit of time before Finnigan

Zilia stood on the main deck of Lady staring at her notebook, tapping her pen against the paper, her eyes twitching slightly as she eyed the empty page. She found herself at a loss for words, and no matter how far she dug the paper in front of her remained blank, the words bouncing around in her skull unable to find a home on the page. Zilia disliked it but she had to admit that she was stumped and that meant she’d have to gather more information, her shoulders dropped slightly at the very idea but she had been standing for hours with no success.

Putting her notebook away she turned and decided to go find the Captain, she had a feeling she would be able to assist her with this particular matter. She also had something she needed to talk with her about and there was little reason not to take the opportunity.
Thankfully it didn’t take too long to locate the Captain and holding a note out to her Zilia lowered her head to Runali.
“Captain I need your assistance with something, could you meet me tonight in the training room…I need your help.”

Runali saw the doctor approaching and whispered something to the bird sitting next to her. Before Zilia could get too close, CP swooped over and stole the note from her then carefully placed it in the captain’s hand. “Can’t really say teaching… more like perfecting CP’s fetch skills.” She held the note up. “See? No rips or tears.” Runali grinned and looked down at the note. “Hm,” She started and handed the note back to CP for her to return.

“Something wrong doc?” She watched CP return the note before adding. “I’ll take night watch tonight if ‘privacy’ is what you’re after.” Her arms crossed and she chuckled. “Although, you do realize you don’t talk so it’s a little difficult for anyone to listen in on conversations. A little one sided and all.” Runali shrugged and nodded. “Tonight. Training room. A captain’s help is needed. No worries, I’ll be there. Annnd if I forget, it’s not like you can’t find me on this ship.”

Zilia came to a stop as CP approached only to blink a few times seeing the note taken from her, she reached towards the bird only to see her hand the note to the Captain. Arching a brow Zilia offered a small nod seeing the note was in good shape, her eyes moving over to their feathery companion as the note was handed back to her. Giving CP a short pat for her good work she focused her attention back on the Captain. She offered a nod at the idea of Runali taking night watch, she disliked keeping things from the others but she didn’t want what she needed to get out, it would cause unnecessary trouble, and she’d feel guilty about it.
She also chose to casually ignore the one sided comment.
“My thanks Captain…please take night and I’ll see you tonight. I’ll slip something in Luro’s drink to make sure he doesn’t wander down there like always…”
Zilia stared at the Captain with a blank expression after the delivery of the note only to hold up another.
“…that was a joke but I had a feeling it would be good to clarify. I’ve found my tone can sometimes get lost in my words.”
Though Zilia said this her expression didn’t change and her eyes wandered to the rum room, but she left it at that and went on her way.

That night in the training room Zilia waited downstairs after peeking into the rum room to make sure Luro was fast asleep, he had a tendency to wander around at night, she knew why but it was a pain when she wanted a moments peace. He always found himself in this room so they had run into each other often, she didn’t want that today. Just for now she wanted the Captain’s attention and her help, with any luck she could resolve this before anyone caught wind and save some trouble.

The idea that Zilia would slip something into Luro’s drink made her laugh. She wouldn’t have put it against the doctor for doing so, nor did she believe the second half of the note she gave. Not seeing him wandering that night didn’t help her case either, but Runali didn’t mention it. As night fell, Runali sat on the edge of the ship watching the sea calm. Judging by the sails and the way her hair whipped around, the wind wasn’t going to let up any time soon.

The captain waited for a bit, listening to ship fall silent completely before she stood to her feet and tiptoed through the ship to the training room. She wasn’t trying to sneak up on Zilia, but the farther she got the more she wondered. Runali pressed a hand against the door to the training room and cleared her throat. “So~ what secrets are you hiding that even the sun has to be hidden from them?” Runali raised a curious brow towards Zilia and leaned against the wall.

Zilia glanced behind her as she picked up footsteps but chose not to turn around, she folded her hands in front of her keeping her back to the door, at least until she heard the Captain’s voice. She only turned around upon hearing the door shut, her hands moving to her notebook as she wrote a response to the Captain, making her way over to her in the process.
She handed the note to the Captain when she reached her.
“That was almost poetic…but before we talk about the topic at hand. I need a favor first.”
Zilia held up another note shortly afterwards.
“I need you to spar with me.”

Zilia upon delivering the note swallowed something down as she stared at the Captain. She had intended on asking during the day for this part but if she found what she was looking for she wanted to talk with the Captain about it immediately. For the time being she wanted a private session to see what the Captain could do, she had seen it firsthand but she needed to feel it for herself, with any luck it’d give her the answer she’d need.
“Just a short session…please.”

The first note made her smirk a bit. “Day and night differences? I dunno.” She left it at that and reached out for the next note. “If the favor is a pay raise, don’t bother. Sara’s asked me plenty of times already. Wait,” Runali paused and read the second note again before giving Zilia a suspicious look. “You, the doctor who threatens me for the smallest of injuries, wants to spar?” Suspicion turned into a cheshire grin and Runali laughed. “I’d love to, but what for?” Runali handed both notes back to Zilia and pushed off the wall. “You aren’t without your motives Zil. All pirates have them.” She stretched her arms over her head. “Unless you just want the challenge. Putting those ‘secret fighting moves’ from Jaipur to good use? Do tell, I’m all ears-” Runali paused and furrowed her brow. “All eyes? Technically not all eyes though… Hm. Well, you get the point.”

Zilia squeezed the bridge of her nose hearing that Sara wanted a pay raise, if anyone was owed one it was her, she was thankful she wasn’t in this job for the money. She’d purposely charge an arm and leg so they’d stop getting hurt. She put that aside as it was something for another time and instead looked back at the Captain for her answers. Her eyes narrowed a little and her mouth twitched to the side at the Captain’s comment over injuries.
“Our opinion on what’s a ‘small’ injury are two different things.”
She was waiting for Alicia or Kadi to come back without an arm and tell her it’s just a flesh wound, it was a genuine thing she waited for and it bothered her.
She expected Luro to just come back without a head and somehow still talk.

When the Captain asked why Zilia turned her gaze from her, she had expected the question but it didn’t make her happy, neither did the grin that came from the favor. She didn’t want to explain but the Captain was being nice enough to help her, and they were going to start hitting each other so it was best to talk while they could. She couldn’t very well talk while they were sparring.
“I don’t have secret moves firstly…and I didn’t want to ask anyone…but I’m out of options and I’m stuck so I have no choice.”
Zilia continued writing and held the note out to her.
“I was going to ask Jack…but I’ve been wanting to see your style up close for some time now so I chose you…I can’t ask the others for this either…not for this reason. There’s something I need to figure out, and I really hate saying this…but I need to spar to find the answer to it.”

“Details, details, Zil.” She playfully put her hands up in defense when she was given an all too familiar look. Fortunately, she was more interested in moving the conversation forward, making Runali sigh in relief. Reading the note made her curious again, but this time it was less playful mischief and for a moment, Runali looked fairly genuine. She returned the note and took a step back. “You know Z,” Her head tilted slightly. “Sometimes, fighting isn’t so bad. I’m all too familiar of the doctor panic. My dad was a pirate doctor after all. But,” She shifted her stance a little. “You shouldn’t go making things difficult for yourself just because you don’t want to get hit… Or hit anyone.” Runali patted Zil’s shoulder. “Nothin’ to be scared of you know.” The captain rubbed her palms and looked down at them. “Can’t say I haven’t been curious about what you can do up close too. So it’s a win win for the both of us. Though, wish you would have warned me there, fighting without an eyepatch is a little weird.”

“And Jack’s as willing as you are when it comes to fighting, I’m sure he would have said no. But, that’s enough talk from me. You wanted answers.” Runali took a few steps backwards. “So, time to spar.”

Zilia only lowered her head in response to the Captain’s words; she stared at her gloved right hand for a moment at the comment of fighting. Those words were very familiar and it made her heart ache for a moment but she shook her head pulling herself from her own thoughts.
It was her clouded mind that was making this whole thing complicated in the first place, Runali had agreed so that was enough for her. Raising her eyes she noticed Runali take a few steps back and offered a nod to her. She put her notebook away opened and closed her hands a few times.

Taking in a deep breath and letting it out Zilia raised her foot and slammed it to the floor bringing it around and raising it as she got into stance. She didn’t move for a moment her eyes focused on Runali’s as she maintained her distance. The boat let out a loud creak and Zilia resolved that issue closing the distance between her and Runali quickly, extending her foot towards the Captain, only to shift her stance and redirect the blow towards her chest. She wasted little time attacking in earnest, launching a flurry of kicks at Runali, she seemed more focused on speed keeping up a constant flow of attacks.

The moment Zilia moved, Runali shifted her left foot backwards and raised a hand up. The first kick was easily deflected and she pushed Zilia’s leg to the side. For a few of the kicks, she was able to stay in one spot carefully dodging each one. Though as Zilia got faster, Runali had to shift her stance and take a step back. One particular strike, Runali had to raise her arms up and take one of her kicks head on. It made her stumble back a bit, but didn’t break her stance. Looking through her raised arms, she laughed a little and caught her following kick twirling her around and pushing her forward, putting distance in between the two once more.

“I’ll admit, you’re a little faster than I thought. Not that I thought you were very slow to begin with.” She waited for Zilia to face her again, deciding not to strike while her back was turned even though they were technically sparring. In fact, despite them sparring Runali purposely stayed on the defensive.

The one kick that managed to make contact had a bit more force to it than the others, though Zilia didn’t follow up noticing that Runali was still standing strong. At the push she spun around sliding her foot back up but Runali hadn’t closed the distance which allowed her to fully regain her balance. She only offered a nod to the Captain at speed, but she was learning plenty from engagement.
Hopping between her feet she sprinted at Runali again, though unlike before she mixed up her strikes, she still kept her hands free to respond attacking with her feet, but unlike before she didn’t focus purely on speed. She shifted her steps and closed the distance, stepping in-between kicks and moving her body around, it seemed she found out what she needed with speed and had slowed down, though her strikes still came in fast, there was more focus in each blow, she would shift when Runali shifted, her movements tracing the Captain’s whenever she saw the smallest change in her own stance. She seemed to experimenting with each kick, aiming high then low before spinning and bringing her foot straight down towards the Runali.

Once again Zilia rushed at her and once again Runali readied her stance. However there was a sudden change in Zilia’s fighting that she wasn’t anticipating. It was her own fault for being comfortable as it caused her to have to move a little faster and be a little more quick to dodge. Some of the kicks struck true, but they didn’t hurt enough for her to want to use her armament against them. It wasn’t until, one particular spin kick came a little too close for comfort, did she consider it. “Oof.” Was the only sound she managed when she watched the kick go past her face, narrowly missing. Her arms were raised, but the kick managed to go right through her defense.

Instead of waiting for her to regain her footing, Runali lowered herself into a crouch and raised a fist that quickly changed into an open palm to strike her stomach. This time, she made the effort to put a few steps between them after.

Zilia’s eyes narrowed a bit when one of her attacks connected but she didn’t waste time considering it, continuing to move though Runali managed to break through her attacks. Her eyes twitched and she grit her teeth as the palm hit her stomach, she stumbled backwards her foot sliding back a bit as she regained her footing. Seeing the distance between them she stopped herself from stepping forward instead taking the moment to straighten her body.
Closing her eyes Zilia brought slid her foot in an arch in front of her, though instead of raising it she kept both her feet planted and extending her palm towards Runali allowed her other hand to return to her side.

After shifting her stance she closed in on Runali unleashing a barrage of attacks from her hands and feet, she combined her previous two attempts, her upper blows came fast with less force while her legs focused on breaking through Runali’s defense, weaving back and forth she slid her foot forward aiming to trip up the Captain launching a flurry of strikes with each movement, each shift she would throw in a few feints, raising her knee aimed for her stomach only to be bring her elbow forward, her body continuously moved each body part attacking a different part of the Captain.
She kept her right side open a few times trying to lead Runali to attack the opening, extending her fist forward towards Runali.

Runali bounced on her toes, rocking back and forth between each foot the moment they separated again. She noticed the change in her movements each time they separated so Runali decided to do something a little different. The moment Zilia ran towards her, Runali squinted ever so slightly. It was quick and much too fast of a movement to notice unless it was focused on, but Runali’s foot shifted and instead of leaning away from the attacks she moved towards them in hopes to get Zilia to have to move backwards. It wasn’t often she wasn’t going toe to toe with someone with a weapon, in fact, the last time she got a proper fight with someone without weapons was in Jaipur if she recalled correctly. And even then the bounty hunter had some gauntlet that she had to get past. There was a sense of familiarity towards a classic fight- or spar like this that she missed.

With Zilia using her hands and feet, Runali had to be lighter on her toes. There was no need to dodge sword jabs or firearms, just a few punches and kicks, and that was something she could take. That was something she was taught to do, with and without haki. Some of the strikes, she purposely let land only to use the opportunity to hit Zilia in the side or the stomach. Runali was careful to only hit her with an open palm, resulting in forceful pushes or smacks instead of outright punches. Spar or not, she seemed to refuse to actually punch the doctor. Runali leaned forward when she was kneed in the stomach. She started to say something, but instead reached out and attempted to grab one of Zilia’s legs and pull them from under her to throw her balance off before sending her own bevy of strikes to Zilia’s midsection- most of which became light and rapid taps instead of hits.

Zilia chose to take the hit barely seeing Runali’s kick coming towards her, deciding to use the opening to land more strikes.
Blow after blow, the successes and the failures each one gave a different answer to her question. It was a strange feeling but she could almost feel Runali’s intentions, her body naturally braced against the incoming attacks when a few of her blows connected. It was due to this she was well aware Runali was holding back trying not to hurt her, she still treated the attacks as actual ones as that was the intention but it did help answer more of her questions as well.
An image almost flashed in her mind as she blocked another blow but she did her utmost to keep her attention on the fight though feeling her leg go up her eyes widened a bit. Noticing the incoming attacks, she grit her teeth and turned her body using her raised foot to meet each of Runali’s blows keeping them from coming in contact with her.

However instead of trying to step forward she moved backwards, placing her foot back down and holding a hand up to Runali as her body relaxed, indicating she was finished.
Zilia let out a long breath her body relaxing as she allowed herself to calm down, the moment she did however she rubbed her stomach silently sighing before pulling her notebook out.
“Thanks Captain…that answered my questions. Pulled blows and all, I’m glad I asked you I’m sure Sara would have just hit me outright…or would forget to hold back a few times.”
Zilia stared at her notebook for a moment before writing something else.
“Also…just for clarification I don’t think fighting is bad. I think you getting hurt is bad which happens more when fighting…but prevention is the best medicine so I’d prefer you throw a punch and avoid getting stabbed then not….though I don’t condone constantly choosing the ‘punch it’ route.”

When Zilia held her hand up, Runali stopped mid strike. “Hm?” She realized she was stopping their fight and used the hand she was about to strike with to high five her. She took a step back and shook her hands out. “Well, that was fun.” Her attention went back to the notes for a response and she laughed. “I'm not gonna hurt my doctor, that'd be ridiculous. I mean, I wouldn’t go attacking my crew in general. But especially not the doctor.” She shrugged. “Don't have to hit hard to learn how to dodge, learn where mistakes were made. Blah blah blah, other stuff I learned through my own training. Stories for another time.” The second note made her grin and she put on the most playfully innocent voice she could muster. “What? Me? Getting hurt? I'd never just recklessly get into fights!” Runali snickered and put her hands up in defense before Zilia could glare and threaten her in some fashion. “To be fair,” She started and relaxed a little more. “I'm not the one who usually hits first… Just the one to end it.”

With a sigh, Runali wandered to lean against a wall and gestured for Zilia to follow. “So what were the answers you needed? Better question, what were the questions you were asking?” The moment Zilia started writing, Runali couldn't help but tease. “And you lied, you definitely have secret moves to spare. And probably more than that. Hah, some of those hits kinda stung.” She waved a hand, dissuading any of Zilia's protests before she could write them down. “I'm more curious about the secrets you're willing to share of course.”

Zilia’s eyes twitched at the Captain’s ‘innocence’ but she quickly brought them back to the topic at hand, Zilia closed her eyes deciding to just leave the matter alone. Stardusk was going to be Stardusk sadly and she mentally reminded herself of that as she took a spot next to the Captain. She took a moment to rub her wrists and open and close her hand, they still stung a bit from the few blows she stopped, her eyes narrowed at the tingling sensation running through her hands but she ignored it as Runali asked the question she was dreading. Offering only a glance at her mention of secrets she put her pen against her notebook not exactly keen on sharing what she was needed.
Runali however had been kind enough to assist her, and she disliked keeping secrets from the others, she felt bad enough calling the Captain down like this. She decided to inform Runali of what was on her mind, feeling she did deserve it at least a little.

“I’ve been a little on edge since our deal with the Ravens…I didn’t want to bother the others with it….well it’s not just the Ravens but it’s the most recent problem. I barely survived that fight with Kara Captain. It’s not the first time I’ve managed to stave off death, in the Undersea if Kadi and Jack hadn’t come along I’d be in a bad place…I won’t even bring up Tilea.”
Zilia reached up and squeezed the bridge of her nose thinking back to her life in Tilea but put that aside.
“The one time I managed to survive without being saved and I was on the throes of death. I was happy because I felt I grew…but at the same time I fought an opponent who wasn’t serious and won because I caught her off guard.”
Zilia twirled the pen in her hand only to give a small shake of her head.
“I was writing in the Chronicle…and I write about everyone…occasionally adding myself as I am a part of the crew. Normally it’s not difficult to write, there’s always something to add here and there. I mean I have two whole pages reserved for Kadi thanks to the Undersea alone. What’s changed on the ship, how the others are I watch all of it. Yet when I look at myself…there’s so little change there’s little reason to even add it in.”

Zilia flipped a page in her notebook her eyes narrowing as the thoughts came flooding back.
“I was reminded of that after the Ravens…and I didn’t want to bother anyone with it. I’ve bothered Jack enough…and it should go without saying I’m not going to bring it up with the others…not with the way things are.”
Zilia gripped her notebook a little tighter, though realizing she was ruffling the pages she turned the page and continued writing relaxing a little.
“There’s something I’m looking for…an answer to an old question…it’s a question I was told I’d have to find on my own. Seliria strangely knew what I was aiming for and told me the same thing, but that I could seek the aid of others for hints. That’s part of the reason I asked for your help. Every battle we survive, every time you guys do something amazing, each time I watch you, see just how far you’ve come it’s a constant reminder…and it hurts…every single time. Every one of you have found an answer, it’s really impressive, I can’t help being just a little jealous, I just needed to see where I was so I could make a note so I asked for your help.

“Hm…” Runali hadn’t started reading the note, but the moment it was handed to her she realized Zilia had a lot to say and that meant it was important. As she read the note, she slid down the wall into a more comfortable seated position, taking care to read over each one a few times just to be sure she hadn’t missed anything. Her fingers tapped against her knee until she shuffled through the notes again and set them down in front of her. “In a world against you, survival is a talent in itself.” It didn’t sound like she was talking to Zilia at first, but right after Runali straightened her back and glanced up at the doctor standing next to her only to pat the space beside her.

Runali didn’t wait for Zilia to decide whether she wanted to sit down or not to start talking. “It’s… not unfamiliar. To be surrounded by people with so many skills and talents and not feel good enough to compare, yeah it happens to all of us… Well, a lot of us. I can’t speak for everyone.” She leaned her head back against the wall deciding not to keep turning her head since Zilia was on her blindside. Her eyes closed for a moment and Runali sighed. “Everyone survives in their own way but as a crew- apart of this one at least, you’re not expected survive alone.” Runali pulled a leg up to rest her arm on it. “Watching others learn and change is much easier than watching yourself. Trust me I’ve tried. So, of course you can’t see it. You see the crew in a different… way than you see yourself. Everyone’s so talented and they have so many skills and they’ve learned so much even in the span of a few months. And then you see yourself and, well, it’s hard to compare. It’s even harder to keep up.” Runali cracked a small smile and shook her head. “And then you go searching for answers but you only get more questions really…” Runali pushed her hair out of her face and took a brief pause.

“The Novas definitely have a way that ends up making you… think about your life that’s for sure. I’ve been at this for awhile and every adventure… every life threatening and non life threatening encounter, I’ve been posed with the same question over and over and even when it feels like I’m so close to figuring it out,” She pretended to reach out for something, only to wave it away. “The answer seems to slip outta my reach. And it’s exhausting and can be so frustrating… But then I see all of you and all of the amazing things you guys can do and that… constant reminder is motivation. None of you are willing to give up. You all are working your damndest to be the best at what you all are good at, so that means I can’t stop either.” She paused and waved her hand in front of her again.

“But this isn’t about me. And not that you asked for my advice or anything, but maybe you’re going about finding the answers the wrong way…” Runali gave a shrug and scratched her cheek. “Sometimes change… doesn’t happen by yourself. Teachers, friends, family, enemies, hey they’re all around for a reason. It’s not always a bad idea to call on them when you need help- although enemies might be a little confused about that...” She chuckled and pulled both of her legs to her. “But what do I know? I could be wrong. It certainly wouldn’t be a first and I’m sure it wouldn’t be my last either.”

Zilia looked over at the Captain before bringing her knees up, hugging her legs as she listened to the Captain’s words. She hated that she was bothering her with something like this, her own ineptitude; her own hesitation was what caused this and getting the Captain pulled into it of all people. She couldn’t help feeling a little low, she knew Runali had enough to deal with and she ended up bothering her with this kind of thing, something that she should be able to deal with on her own, she hated this feeling of weaknesses.
That didn’t stop her from listening to the Captain’s words though, lowering her face as she brought up the others. Runali was right, she felt constantly stuck herself and this spar was to see if she had grown, to see if there was any change. She didn’t like the answer she had found in that fight, but though it was a harsh one she needed to feel it.

“Someone I traveled with one time…a woman who would always fight with me. She told me that there was a rhythm in fighting and if you could feel that rhythm it made things easier. She told me she liked my rhythm and as such would randomly attack me, with this bright smile on her face. It was bothersome and I’d be forced to respond each time and she’d keep fighting until we were both out of breath.”
Zilia held this note towards Runali and pulled out the older notebook, the one with the Stardusk symbol, and writing in her regular notebook continued talking.
“I asked her why she kept fighting me over and over again and she told me… ‘it’s how I’m able to change’ with this smile on her face. It made no sense to me at the time and I suffered a punch in the face while thinking about it. What I’m looking for…I don’t think it can be found in others, I have to figure it out…but I think you guys are a good hint. She was trying to find something too but you can’t punch yourself in the face and find what you’re looking for anytime soon.”
Zila ran her fingers over the old notebook, her eyelids lowering slightly as she opened the notebook, flipping to a certain page, one of many that she knew by heart. There was a name written on one of the pages in her handwriting but she closed the notebook and put it away not lingering too long on it.
“That’s not what I’m looking for right now anyway. I can figure myself out once I keep my promise. Letting myself get down over something I can’t change right now isn’t going to help and complaining isn’t going to change it.”
Zilia climbed to her feet and turned towards the Captain, she watched her for a moment but turning her gaze from Runali she fiddled with one of her bangs, trying to find the right words. Shaking her head to put aside one of the thoughts she quickly pulled out her notebook.
“Thanks for listening to my whining Captain, I’m okay now. Allowing myself a moment like that was embarrassing and hopefully doesn’t happen again anytime soon. I know what I’ll write now…on that note I hope you find the answer you’re looking for.”

“Hah, rhythmic fighting always ends up with someone getting punched in the face. Too expectant. It’s like… dancing to me. Your opponent knows your next step and then they trip you- or punch you in the face. By the way, I’m not planning on punching you in the face. That’s not a favor I can see through. So don’t ask.” Runali noticed the notebook she pulled out but decided to leave it be. “And I dunno, punching yourself in the face sounds drastic. Could work though, I doubt some people actually try. All about spontaneity… I think that’s the word for it.” Runali shook her head, realizing she was going off on a tangent. “Don’t beat yourself up over it Zil, we’ve got so many adventures ahead of us. Plenty of times to leap into danger to get into trouble.” She gave a devious grin. “Who knows, maybe you’ll look death in the eye once and suddenly have the answer you needed.” Runali laughed and stood with her, but her laughing subsided when she read the note. “Hm? There’s no need to feel embarrassed about stuff like that.” She gently nudged Zilia’s shoulder. “Listen Zil, I’m your captain sure, but I’m also your friend. You can talk to me whenever you need to, I don’t mind.”

“And,” Runali started, handing the notes back to Zilia. “I’ve gotta find the answer.” She gave an earnest smile and started to move past the doctor. “If I don’t, I’m never going to be able to keep up with you and the rest of the crew. And then what kind of captain would I be?”

Zilia brought a hand to her face not wanting to admit how true Runali’s comment was, she had lost track how often her blows had met her face. She was glad the Captain wasn’t keen on it; she shivered a bit as the woman’s laugh echoed in her head for a moment. She held a hand up indicating she wasn’t going to ask Runali to do so anytime soon, her eyes moving over to the Captain seeing the grin, her eyes narrowing a little before she held up a note.
“I think death is tired of seeing us due to our frequent visits. Pretty sure he left you his eye so you all would take the hint.”

Zilia’s eyebrows arched a little when she was nudged, though the words that followed put a small smile on her face. She was almost a little upset how comforting those words were, she adjusted her gloves wondering when she became that simple of a person.
She offered a small nod and turned her back to the Captain, about to make her way back to one of the dummies. She stopped hearing the Captain mention her own answer and though she didn’t turn to face her she grabbed her wrist to stop her from leaving. Keeping her back to her she handed her a note before making her way back to the dummy.
“Just make sure you don’t need to look death in the eyes for the answer. The one I know doesn’t want me to find it. If you ever need help finding it then know that I’ll listen to you as well.”

“Hm?” Runali paused to look down at her wrist and then turned to look at the note being handed to her. When she read it, she scratched the back of her head. “I’m not gonna- I can’t make a promise to you I can’t keep…” She sounded a little solemn but she cleared her throat and shrugged it off. “But thanks Z, if I do need to talk I’ll keep you in mind. You happen to be a real good listener.” She turned towards the door and called over her shoulder. “From what I’ve learned chances are limited and few with death, so if I do have to face him again, I’ll at least make it memorable. That I can promise you.” It seemed a little odd to leave it at that so she stopped again after taking another step and added. “But do let me know when you’re the doctor that cures all so I can purposely pick fights with death. That sounds fun.” To avoid being stabbed or something the next time she needed to be stitched up she quickly added. “Annnd when you’re fighting overthinking and being offensive isn’t a good mix. Anywho, if you need me I’ll be on watch making sure we don’t get snuck up on.” Runali put a thumbs up before slipping away to leave Zilia to herself in the training room.


*Insert quip here*
Roleplay Invitations
One on One Roleplays
Posting Speed
A Few Posts A Day, One Post a Day, A Few Posts a Week
Writing Levels
Elementary, Intermediate, Adept, Advanced
Genders You Prefer Playing
Male, Female
Playing Style- Passive or Aggressive
Both are fine. I tend to be aggressive more though.
Favorite Genres
Modern Fantasy, Historical, Fantasy, adventure, romance, anime, action, etc.
Genre You DON'T Like
Depends on the story, not all that picky about it.

(Also another but couldn't find a banner so...use your imagination, you're good at that).​

Pulling the cloak a little tighter around their form a figure stepped into Yula Fei, their hooded gaze rising to the towering structures. It had been some time since they had stopped by this place and though they were going to pass by and move to the next island; somehow they ended up turning their ship and visiting anyway. Walking into the gate the figure raised a hand to a guard and after a short conversation the guard directed the visitor wishing the man a good day. Keeping their hood up and weaving through the crowd of people the man made his way towards his destination, not keen on sticking around longer than need be, this city brought back too many memories and he was only here for one reason. His arms were hidden in his cloak which made it easier to hide the item that he clutched tightly in his right hand.
“…Tashigi,” the visitor mumbled continuing forward.

It took little effort to reach the destination having visited the place many times before, the visitor’s gazed raised, eyeing the cherry blossoms as he passed under them. His gloved hand gripped his chest under the cloak, walking through the trees was one of the hardest parts, it was a strange reminder that echoed in the recesses of his skull, he kept his head low but continued forward only raising it to nod at a few nearby guards. Once he was out of view however the man pulled his hood down as he stepped into the shadows, his presence fading from the area as they left their cloak on a nearby statue.
In the nearby darkness a woman stepped out into the light holding flowers in her right hand, as her gaze fell on two graves side by side, one bearing the name Akiyoshi. A stern expression decorating her features she took a step forward and kneeling down placed the flowers on both the graves, her eyes moving to the one that held the name Sakura Tashigi.
“Couldn’t stick around for a few more years huh,” the woman said rising back to her feet. “Your kid’s got a long way to go…but she ain’t doin’ half bad. You and Akiyoshi would be proud. Though I suppose there’s little point in telling you, I’m pretty sure she’s survived this long with some thanks to you watching over her.”
A smile rarely played on the lips of the woman and this was no different, Seliria stared at the grave in silence closing her eyes as the woman’s face appeared in her mind. The familiar tug at her chest forced her to open her eyes; she didn’t want to stay here for too long.
The last thing she needed was to run into the other Tashigi, or one of her ‘fans’.

The Shrine lake of Yarna was a large place of perpetual beauty situated away from the main cities of Yula Fei, large twisting cherry blossom trees raining pink petals that swept along the winding stone paths in the gentle inhale and exhale of the wind. At the center of the shrine stood a large multi tiered pagoda where the shrine maidens themselves would come to pray and worship Yarna directly when they weren't tending to the graves of the heroes that'd been laid to rest here throughout time.

The tombs of house Tashigi required visitors to traverse down a long winding stone path and over a couple of small wooden bridges before the tomb itself would come into view, albeit unlike the usual physical representations of tombs the area was more like a large open garden with stone walls decorated with elaborate murals, statues of deities standing behind some of the gravestones like they were watching over them themselves, beautiful flora of diverse colour neatly framing each collection of graves.

Some of the gravestones here had become victims of time, the names and words upon the stone eroded away leaving behind jagged stone moulded by nature's own perspective. The shrine was truly a beautiful location and just as much as the Feian cities that boasted grand architecture and expert craft it remained consistent in portraying the level of care and discipline that Feian's portrayed in their lands. It was perhaps this level of care given into the aesthetics of Yula Fei that made for why many outsiders desired to visit and even attempt to live here.

As Seliria knelt upon the ground before the graves of Alicia's parents there were some mutterings in the distance, more than likely a couple of maidens tending to the grounds but as they drew closer it would soon become clear they were heading in her direction. A quick glance would show three individuals, two wearing green and white robes while the third appeared much more differently dressed, short white hair tied by a purple bow with a shawl around her neck, two swords at her sides wearing what appeared to be attire not dissimilar to someone else the woman might recognise.

Satia, the youngest sister had made her way here and had only taken a few more steps with the maidens before pausing upon seeing the visitor. She turned towards the maidens, inclining her head in thanks before they would part ways allowing Satia to make the rest of the journey alone. "I didn't expect to find anyone else down here" she commented as she approached through the stone archway, untying her swords from her waist before resting them against the stone arch. "May I ask who you are?" she asked softly.

Seliria turned to leave when she picked up voices nearby, her eyes moved to the shadows but she closed her eyes not wanting to run away from the grave, even if she wanted too she was already in view and disliked the idea of coming off as overly suspicious. Her eyes fell on the young lady with the maidens and it took a bit of effort not to scowl recognizing the younger Tashigi. She turned back to the grave as the Maiden’s left, listening as Satia footsteps drew closer. She remained silent intending on leaving when she paid her respects but when she was addressed Seliria’s eye twitched.

Her gaze moved to the gravestone and her eyes narrowed a bit, almost as if she blamed Sakura for this situation but the look faded and she glanced towards the exit wondering if she should walk away without an answer. That would have been her normal course of action but for some strange reason standing in front of the grave of this woman made it hard to be herself, it was like that gaze was resting on her again and it gave her a moment’s pause.
“…all these years and those eyes still bother me, stop being a child.”
Feeling she had allowed the silence to linger for too long she responded as she turned away from the grave.
“I’m no one of particular importance,” Seliria said shoving a hand in her pocket. “Just came to tell Sakura something she already knows about Alicia.”
Seliria glanced over at Satia for a moment, this Tashigi seemed to be handling the affairs while the eldest was gone, there was a certain pride to that. She was glad these two had a bit of sensibility, she knew more than enough people who killed for not being told ‘good job’ in their youths.
“…keep up the good work Satia,” Seliria said before turning and walking away from the grave. “If you’ll excuse me.”

“Alicia?” Satia furrowed her brow a little as she turned, observing the woman a little more closely as she regarded her for a moment. “You know her and you know my name and the resting place of my mother. If you have news of Alicia I would appreciate it if you share it with me” she replied, deciding to ignore what she took as a codescention given she had no idea who this woman was or why she’d ventured out here.

Selira was inches away from the shadows when Satia spoke to her, her footsteps coming to an abrupt stop as she kept her back to the younger Tashigi. She immediately regretted speaking Alicia’s name, squeezing the bridge of her nose she wondered why she acted like this around the Tashigi’s, though the answer came back quickly enough. Glancing back at Satia her brows arched as she asked for information about her sister.
Her sidelong glance remained focused on her for a moment as she considered ignoring her and just leaving. She started to turn back around when her eyes moved to Sakura’s grave, the woman’s face echoing in her mind causing her to close her eyes, gritting her teeth.
“…they’re just as annoying as you were,” Seliria mumbled turning to face Satia.
“Doesn’t Alicia send you letters or something of the sort? It’s a little bothersome that you have to hear news of her from me.”
Seliria turned back around making her way to the exit.
“I’m not talking in front of your mother. I can feel her smile from beyond the grave. I can answer a question about her so you have peace of mind. Then I’m leaving. If I lose sight of you I’m taking that as a lack of interest and heading to my ship.”

Satia glanced back towards her mother’s grave, silently and internally voicing that she would return once this was concluded. “Very well then” she replied before following after Seliria. “She does write to me, but letters and their frequency are dependant on where she is in the world as you probably know” she answered as she walked a little behind her. Once they were in a location that the woman found satisfactory Satia would get straight to the point, “Given you’re offering one answer I’ll make my question broad.”
She considered how to word her question for a moment, thinking of how to collect the most amount of information from a singular question before she eventually asked, “What exactly do you know?”.
The question was phrased as such as to be vague enough to imply many questions within one, mirroring some of her mother and older siblings wit as she watched Serilia for a response.

Seliria only offered a nod as she mentioned that Alicia did write her, but she supposed she wouldn’t know what had happened recently. Even she had connections that had brought the information personally to her. Though she disliked the fact that she had the information in the first place, but putting her own feelings aside she grabbed her cloak off the statue as they passed it tossing it back around her form in one motion. For her intentions on leaving the girl behind she walked at a casual pace giving Satia an ample amount of time to keep up, only quickening her pace when she could hear the girl’s footsteps directly behind her.

Once they were out of the temple Seliria shoulders lowered slightly, and she turned to Satia as a silent way of informing her she could ask her question. Seliria shoved her hands into her pockets as she mentioned making the questions broad, she closed her eyes seeming to hold back on saying something and instead opened her eyes after pushing down whatever threatened to show itself listening to Satia’s question. She stared at Satia in silence for a few seconds, her eyes drooping a little as her mouth twitched to the side, but she’d keep her word.
“I know as much as I need to about her,”
Broad question, broad answer that could signify a multitude of responses and she answered informing her that she knew a few things about her sister so basic question answered.
“Good job wasting your one question,” Seliria said pulling her hood up. “Good to know you’re similar in that aspect.”
Seliria turned her back to Satia and continued forward.
“We’re done here then. Give Hanako a pat on the head for me.”

Satia was known for having inherited more of a temper than her elder sibling, so it was probably of no surprise that when Seliria gave her response the younger Tashigi furrowed her brow, seeming to suppress something within herself after a short moment. “Are you always this unpleasant or do you revel in being obnoxious?” she replied at first, folding her arms before shaking her head slightly. “Just tell me what you know about Alicia, why you’re here and how you know my mother and then you can be on your way and both of us can be happy about it” she said in a more firmer tone before recomposing to keep her irritation from bleeding further into her tone.

“I’m generally unpleasant but I put in the extra effort to people I find equally as such,” Seliria responded glancing back at Satia.
She turned to face the younger sibling removing her hood as she made her demands, she moved a hand to her hip giving a small shake of her head. Now she was standing in front of her asking multiple questions, reaching up the woman squeezed the bridge of her nose but she lowered her hand and motioned to Satia with her finger.
“You and your sister have that habit of asking questions like you deserve the answers,” Seliria said before lowering her hand. “You can offer nothing to me and you’re getting an attitude and I’m supposed to just magically tell you everything because you asked.”

Though she said all that Seliria made no effort to move and instead crossed her arms under her chest.
“I don’t want to talk to Alicia, or a Tashigi…I want to talk to Satia. I don’t need a mirror of your sister, respect her all you want but show me a bit more of yourself not her. Now since you didn’t ask a question about your sister but instead asked a question about what I knew about your sister. We’re going to try this again.”
Seliria walked to the side and took a seat on a small rock folding her hands together.
“Satia…ask me a question about your sister Alicia Tashigi and don’t be stupid this time. That way we stop wasting both our times.”

Satia rolled her eyes, “I bet people just love spending time with you… “ she commented casually, “Don’t ask, don’t get it’s that simple. I never said I deserved an answer those are your words and your assumption on this interaction, as for my attitude I put in the extra effort to people I find equally as such” she purposely repeated Seliria’s own words for the last part applying an almost bored undertone to it as her eyes remained locked with the woman, likely conveying part of her stubbornness along with it. “Tell me everything you know about Alicia and my mother, there… is that intelligent enough for you? Want me to write it down for you this time perhaps?”

Seliria rested her hand on her cheek waiting for Satia’s question, arching a brow at her first snide remark, though as she started talking about deserving an answer, a yawn escaped from her and digging in her pocket she started peeling an orange waiting for her to finish being Alicia. She kept her attention on the youth but it was taking an effort not to fall asleep listening to her.
She only stopped peeling when she finished, her brows narrowing a little at her extra addition, which in normal situations would be irritation but instead a chuckle escaped from the woman and she put her half peeled fruit away.

“That’s more like it,” Seliria said standing up. “Where was this bitch hiding? With a bit of work you might be worth something.”
Seliria offered a small nod to Satia that was almost entertaining.
“It seems I have to teach you the concept of numbers though, because what you asked me implies more than one…I know you have a hard time listening to instructions, which is strange given who you are, but you get one question about your sister Alicia Tashigi. Not about Sakura, not about Akiyoshi and not about me. So…let’s try…one more time because I believe in you, that you can listen to basic instructions. Ask me….one question…about your sister.”
Seliria said this before taking a seat back on the rock.
“I have news I’m willing to share. Just show me that extra effort your apparently keeping hidden.”

“Apologies, I usually pay attention when I’m not getting bored, navigating condescension and lousy attitudes ” she replied at first, stepping back to lean against one of the wood posts of the fences erected to surround the gardens of the lake, choosing to ignore the comment about her worth given she herself needed no validation from a woman she’d never met before. “Just tell me how she is so I can stop talking to you… you’ve already managed to fill my irritation quota for the day”.

The other Tashigi was an interesting one, she had an idea what she’d be dealing with but admittedly it was nice to actually speak to her. She listened with a blank expression, tapping her finger on her knuckle giving Satia her full attention. Both sisters were stubborn and it was annoying but she was stubborn herself so she couldn’t really throw stones in this case. This conversation had been reasonably illuminating; she lamented running into Satia but this was a surprising blessing, she decided to leave it to luck than the invisible hand of Sakura.
Seliria stood up from her seat brushing her bottom off as Satia asked her question.

“Well I’ve learned what I needed to know, I see how you’ve managed to get by,” Seliria said pulling her hood up. “If you’re tired of talking to me that’s fair, and as I am boring and taking up your time there’s little need to continue or conversation. I have errands to run myself so I’ll be on my way.”
With that Seliria turned and walked away from the woman returning her hands to her pocket and pulling out her orange, returning to peeling it.
“Hmmm this one might be in better shape than the other one…maybe.” Seliria thought her eyes narrowing a little.

“As I expected, you know nothing... “ she commented before unfolding her arms as Seliria started to collect herself. “And if you happen to ’actually’ meet Alicia send her my regards and try not to waste her time with your nonsense” she added before taking herself in the opposite direction down the path towards the grave, slight irritation still with her at having had her time wasted, something she loathed to happen.

After having visited the graves, laying down two small handmade items upon them the younger sister would make her way home towards the estate by foot, favouring to enjoy the walk as it gave her piece of mind. After crossing the large gates, down the winding paths and over the small bridges within the estates large beautiful gardens she’d eventually arrive home, passing a few of her students along the way who inclined their heads respectfully in passing. “Miss Tashigi” one of the estates servants approached her, causing her to pause and turn towards him with a small smile. “I’ve received a letter for you” he said before passing it to her, causing her to furrow her brow for a moment as she wondered if it might be from Alicia. “Thank you” she replied politely, turning it over and breaking the seal on the envelope before taking out the piece of paper within it.

The letter was a detailed report of Alicia’s most recent actions with a date listed on top, with the occasional extra note resting her and there, naming locations and what she had done there and any affiliations her and Stardusk had encountered during the time. The report was a few pages front and back written in nice clean handwriting, there was even extra notes written in Feian. There was one bit of writing on the very bottom however that was different than the others, not exactly a note, the handwriting clearly not matching with the rest.
“I never said I’d answer it then. Try to be less predictable next time we meet and take care of Hanako, she’s a sweet kid.”

Satia read over the pages intently, feeling uneasy at times and relieved at others as her eyes moved down each line, her jaw firming at the last line which caused her to almost curse out loud. “Oh I really really dislike you…” she muttered to herself before folding the paper back into the envelope, deciding she would read it again later before informing Hanako about how Alicia was getting on, knowing she too worried for her and desired information on how she was.

Seliria stood on her boat watching Yula Fei fade into the distance as she removed the cloak off her body. She took a seat on the edge of it and pulled out a small contract taking a look at her next job before she’d make her way back to the others. Stardusk was getting into all kinds of trouble as always, but she couldn’t deny the group was growing on her, save the occasional annoyance.
She crossed her arms after a few minutes of searching however, closing her eyes as she reflected on her previous actions.
“Hah…that was childish,” Seliria said glancing back in the direction of Yula Fei. “Still…visiting her grave always throws me out of sorts.”
Seliria reached down and grabbed a bottle only to shake it and with a sigh set it to the side, she stretched her arms above her head with a small groan.
“I hope you don’t follow in her footsteps Satia…just like I hope your sister finds her own way. She’s with Stardusk and as annoying as that group is they got potential…seems you’ll be fine as well.”
With a shrug Seliria turned and took a seat back down.
“I suppose that’s one of the few good traits you inherited from her,” Seliria said unfurling the rest of her sails. “Though neither of you have her patience.”
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