Rising In The East, Rest To The West: Chapter 1 "When It Rains"

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Jumi, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. [​IMG]

    The rain came heavily throughout the day, and seemed as if it would carry well on into the night. That was the typical night as of late... the coin of many men, and women as of late had fallen into the coffer's of the "Witch's Tit", and it's owner Bathis Munen. The middle aged, portly man ran a calloused hand through his thinning hair, as he looked out across his tavern from behind the bar. He was certainly doing well for himself on account of the rain.

    "Coin in the coffers, from a drink well offered." Bathis chuckled, and came from behind the bar, leaving the lads to tend to the patrons at the counter. Seeing his waitresses gliding through the crowds, Bathis coudl almost hear the coins falling into his purse like the rain colliding with the tavern's roof. 'Gonna be a fine night, it is.' He mused silently, as he continued through the crowd. It was then he spotted a group of adventurers.

    His business senses began to tingle, for if anyone had money to spend... it was these sort of folks these days. "Ho there, friends. Can I get one of the lasses to fetch you all a fine flagon of the best ale south of the Crystal Cliffs?" Bathis offered with a friendly smile as he almost perched himself on the corner of the table.

    The four men turned to the Dwarf, and nodded. The leader dressed in a fine suit of chain, then leaned forward towards Bathis "And might you be so friendly as to tell us news of the realm in this part? There's terrible talk of unrest in the East... that some prophecy is being stirred that speaks of calamity coming anew."

    Waving his hand dismissively, Bathis shook his head "Words of nonsense, or superstition from those poor sods who've renounced the Cohn. They're empty words at best. Words to be filled with fine food, drink, and the moans of a spirited whore!" he chuckled once more, and nudged the man with a fist, before turning to call a waitress.


    Silently, a cloaked figure in the corner, watched the conversation in silence. The man's eye pierced through the haze of drunken fools, and whore's warming the hearts, and purses of those who'd they ply their trade to. The smell, and sound of it all made him nauseous. Taking another drink from his small clay cup, the man turned to his companion, "This land is filled with nothing but fools hungry for simplicity, alcohol, or the exhale of wenches, and whores. I think your information was wrong Fumino."

    He then set his cup down, and folded his arms, with his sword hand, rested comfortably against the hilt of his katana. "Who where would even know their own King, much less the Daisho... Once morning comes, we will head farther west. We'll try another one of these.... 'taverns'" he almost spat the word out ", and ask about the crimson wanderer there."

    Standing to his feet, Michio began towards the bar, when he felt a hand on his shoulder. Turning he saw one of the adventurers had stood.

    "Heard you talking over there in the corner with your friend, and I must say friend... I don't quite like the words or tone you've been using."

    Hood blocking his face from sight save for the smile that crossed his lips, Michio simply responded with "Then forgive me. That is what you're taught isn't it? From the Cohn?"

    "What makes you think I follow the Cohn? Perhaps I'm just a dedicated citizen of Kavoch, who doesn't like home grown folk insulting their country."

    Folding his arms once more, Michio simply shook his head. "I can tell you follow the Cohn, by the slight bend you've got in your knees... the constantly kneeling before your master. One day you'll kneel at the altar, to find yourself unable to rise.... and this isn't my country." Michio finished, raising his head enough to stare at the man with his eye.

    At that moment, the entire tavern had quieted, with all their eyes focused on the situation... most had a hand on their blades, and those that didn't, were contemplating just how good a weapon a plate, or mug was.
  2. Heights were always where Celina felt safest. With her mug of ale, she observed the people from the second floor of the tavern, her loyal canine companion asleep beneath the table. The area she sat in was dimly lit by a dying candle, the wax spilling down the cheap, silver coloured pillar which held it. Although it was a tiny flame, it still made her uneasy. Fires often made her nervous and having it at the center of her table didn't make anything easier.

    Idly, the toe of her boot pet along a leg of her dog while she sat back in the chair, trying to decide when to return home. Today was successful; she delivered what was asked of her to a valuable customer. That animal gave its life so she could eat tonight, as well as the next, then the next! Sighing calmly, she thought back to the chant she gave to every creature she slayed. Memories continued to flow, the image of a giant, angry bear fitting in every so often. That beast did not approve of her exploring her territory and nearly mauled poor Celina to death, those years ago. Everyday, she was reminded by it. Her back was forever scarred by it.

    The flood of memories was interrupted by a disaster just waiting to happen. Celina looked to the barrier not far from her, her eyes looking past the wooden bars to see who was talking. Amato even awoke from his light slumber, his voice whining at her for instructions.

    "Easy," she whispered, reaching down to pat her friend on the head. Curiously, she got up from her chair and walked over to the wooden barrier, her front leaning against it while an elbow balanced at the top, her face immediately moving to her flat palm to be cradled. Although she had a bored expression, she was very much interested in the man hidden within a cloak. There was no need for her to intervene; so she assumed. Celina was no authority, plus those men could handle themselves. Should she need to though, her bow and quiver of arrows were easily within reach upon her back. As for her firearm, it stayed rested against a corner.
  3. [size=-2]
    Fumino rolled her eyes a little at Michio. His scathing observations were not often well-rewarded and tended to get them into more trouble than was necessary. Fumino stood the, to stand up next to Michio. Her information should have been solid and she didn't want to get kicked out quite yet, especially not into the filthy streets running with rain. They had managed to make it inside and get set up with warm drinks by the fire just before the rain had started and she was absolutely not willing to go into the pouring rain now. She was loathe to get all cold and wet and maybe dirty from the splashing puddles.

    Fumino lay an arm over Michio's shoulders with warm, solid weight. "Now, now, my candied dumpling" she crooned, smiling apologetically to the man. Her eyes flashed a little and her glinting dagger at her hip caught the light and shone a little, as though by her will. Fumino turned her sugar-coated threatening gaze to Michio and smiled toothily. She was not precisely threatening Michio - heavens knew that she's be really in a rough spot without the more impressive man to hide behind like a weak little woman and a good traveling partner was hard to find. Michio was someone she would protect, even if it was just for her own benefit. However, she would certainly make her opinions known and hope that her looming grumpiness would keep him mostly out of trouble.

    "We wouldn't want to make me sleep tonight in the nasty cold, now would we, dear? We've just had a rough day."
  4. [size=+2]Michio[/size]

    "I couldn't care less where you sleep, slave." Michio replied instantly, and turned his eye to Fumino until she removed her hand from his shoulder.

    The loosening of swords in their scabbards filled their air, as the group of adventurers rose from their table, a few of the other patrons taking a brave step forward.

    "That's no way to talk to a lady, frien-"

    Flicking his thumb, the hilt of his katana loosened an inch. "I'm not your friend, and this is none of your concern. Remove yourself from affairs that do not concern you." Michio answered sternly, and slowly began turning from the man, and his friends in order to ascend the stairs to their room.

    Grabbing, Fumino by the arm, he began to drag her with him. "Know your place woman. The emperor sent you with me because of your abilities, not your health, or well being. My forgiveness pales in comparison to his." Michio almost hissed into the woman's ear before almost throwing her to the stairs leading to the second floor.

    It was then that the situation deteriorated.

    "That's quite enough, I won't have you acting like a barbarian." The Adventurer had now drawn his sword, and was moving towards Michio.

    Turning, Michio drew his katana, swung across from left to right, spun around, and sheathed his blade. His swing had cleanly cut through the man's longsword, and rendered it useless. "Go back to your drinks, and your whores." The Ukyon warrior responded before turning to ascend the stairs after Fumino.

    The tension in the air had grew till that point.... it was now beginning to wane, but it was certain... this would be a memorable night.
  5. [size=-2]
    Fumino was actually more angry about touching the floor than she was about being insulted. To be honest, she'd been called far worse and really, words meant very little to her. Fumino might have shrugged off everything he'd said and figured that he was not willing to be anything less than a supreme ass except that she touched the floor when he pushed her. That made her much angrier than his little speech to her had. She wanted to go right over and kick him in the shins but at this point, it was too late to keep from being kicked out if they were going to be.

    Fumino's dark eyes roamed around the room. She did not want to be associated with Michio if he was going to get kicked out of the place. She raised one delicate dark eyebrow and walked slowly, her hips swaying a little as she walked, towards a table that might have seen her abuse but not heard her words. She hadn't precisely been ordered to stay with the ass, after all. She'd only been ordered to help him and really. she thought, she'd done what she could.

    Fumino pouted out her lower lip to a man sitting alone at a table that was too far away to hear her exchange but close enough to have seen it. She altered her expression a little to appear sheepish and a little bit afraid. Gingerly, she ran her index finger over the scar across her face as if remembering some awful event.

    "Hello... do you have room for one more to sit here?"
  6. Rain. It was raining. Something pleasant against his skin, anything was pleasant compared to that dungeon. Even this cold, wet and muddy landscape that stretched around him, uninviting and deadly. Beal turned his attention back to the earth and knelt down, scooping up a handful of mud and sniffing. Mmmm, she was close, and she knew he was coming because he could taste the bitter sweet fear that leaked off her body. He rolled his shoulders and snorted hot air from his nostrils, the chase was sweet.

    Looking up at the woods his vision changed rapidly. He detected blips of life, mostly small mammals and a single bear. Beal also detected trails of magic with his vision, he could smell it and tasted it on his tongue. She was trying to do something. Oh he couldn't wait to see. Padding quietly and swiftly he made it to the edge of the wood where he could now specifically see points of life. The small mammals and birds were frozen in place with fear. But the bear looked slightly different closer up, the outline and solidity were not entirely consistent and the energy as a whole was not right. Beal hunkered himself down like a big cat prowling through the jungle, padding almost silently between the trees. He let her detect him, he could feel the build of anticipation coming from her and it sent shivers down his spine and goosebumps on his skin. She was surrounded by darkness and rain, scared to death, not wanting to summon a wisp of light for fear of attracting his attention. But he could see her perfectly well, hiding within a visage of a bear.

    Beal sprung out of the woods into the clearing. A word of magic shouted out to complete a chain of words sent bolts of burning magic to blast Beal into a smoldering pile of charred flesh. The bolts hit his body and burned out with a pathetic 'fitz'. Unharmed. Beal slowly walked forward, enjoying the waves of fear pouring off this mage, he could feel her heart beat pounding, see the blood rushing through her veins, the pulses firing in her brain desperately, baffled and frightened and panicked, she knew she wasn't going to live. Beal's eyes widened with delight "Yesss."

    She screamed. Beal swept forward and cut her scream short, lifting her off the ground with his hand around her throat. He breathed in the scent one last time before crushing the light from her body, and he watched it slowly fade away, feeling as if he could have taken it and kept it for himself some how. But he knew the power was beyond him so he reveled in the energy of death. He let her body fall to the forest ground with a thump. He stood there in that clearing and felt all the ambiance around him, despite the presence of death it was all still natural. Turning away to leave he could see very far away a cluster of life. A town, what drew his attention was a certain energy. Beal couldn't tell much about it since he was so far away. He took a step forward and then-SCCREEE- That God forsaken king was summoning him back and the signal was scraping against his mind. Beal gnashed his teeth with disgust and turned back toward his Master's direction and started running. The fastest thing on two or four feet peeled across the countryside as a red blur.
  7. [size=+2]Michio[/size]

    "Stupid woman..." Michio muttered as he ascended the stairs, and then turned at the top of the railing. His foot steps carried him passed Celina, where he stopped a moment. Underneath his cloak, his hand then moved to rest on his stomach, which began to shift. Gritting his teeth, the Ukyon warrior continued past her without a word, and opened the door to his room, and entered shutting it behind him.

    The man at the table that Fumino had gone to looked shaken, and uncomfortable with her presence. Nervous hands were clamped around the clay mug that was filled with piss poor mead, and his eyes darted from it to her. "I... I don't want no trouble miss." He then answered instinctively. The response of a peasant who tilled the fields, and was content with his lot in life, and firmly convinced to keep it that way. The Elderly man's worn face showed that he'd seen a great deal in life, but was still afraid of a man and his sword. Yes, a peasant in every way.

    He moved slowly to relinquish the table to Fumino for fear of her accomplices sword finding his chest in it's next path. "S-sorry to h-have bothered y-you and your friend." he managed to bumble out, and slowly retreated back into a larger group of patrons, with the idea of safety in numbers.
  8. [size=-2]
    Fumino frowned and then quickly adjusted her features to be more friendly but it was too late, the damage was done and the man had gone on and away. Fumino inhaled deeply, feeling thoroughly aggravated about the ordeal and more than a little bit irritated with Michio for being so intimidating. Fumino leapt lightly up the stairs, her face an expressionless mask while she was in thought. She came to the room that Michio had disappeared to, walking past a girl and a pet as she did so. Her eyes flicked coolly over her once and then to the animal but after, she didn't spare so much as a facial expression.

    Fumino slipped in the room after Michio, closing the door quietly before narrowing her eyes at him angrily once more. He seemed very much undisturbed and it also served to irritate her more. Was he going to intimidate everyone so much as to make her job utterly impossible? It wasn't likely she could get information from anyone in the pub now if they were all afraid of her partner.

    "Not only did you make me touch the filthy ground but you utterly ruined my chances of getting information from any of those people now. You have such a ridiculously short temper... you could have simply gone along with it but no, you had to intimidate the whole place. I couldn't even convince a simple peasant to sit with me over a cup."

    Rant ended, Fumino took a deep breath. Her frown was in place but she seemed to have utterly lost her thread of anger. He might be short-tempered, but her fuse was practically a grain of gunpowder itself. It flared up and died down just as quickly. She expected an asshole reply from Michio, however, and turned her back to him after that.

    "I'm sleeping in the floor, I suppose, because you aren't gentleman enough to give the bed to a lady..." she tossed a blanket provided in the room onto the floor and snatched one of the pillows all so quickly that Michio had hardly a moment to object. Fumino huffed at him and then decided that she would keep him at bay and play on his obvious distaste of her, those bound in service by force, and from what it seemed, women in general. With her back still turned to him, she began to undress for sleeping.

    "Just leave me alone and make cloth dolls or whatever your hobby is over there."
  9. The events unfolding before her very eyes were, to say the least, interesting. Instead of a regular fist fight between drunks, there was a man making enemies with some strangers. A crooked frown even showed on her face as Michio seemed to effortlessly sabotage a man's sword. Clearly, that was not a person to be trifled with. Then again, neither of them were.

    The man and the woman he traveled with coldly walked past her. Celina found nothing intimidating about the girl, though it was obvious she was upset. She tried to hide it with an emotionless mask, yet after witnessing earlier events, the negative energy was obvious.

    Sighing her herself, she left the barrier since there was nothing else to see. Amato was laying under the table tensely, concerned about what more was to come. Celina sat back in her chair and snapped her fingers at the dog, who responded with his paws at her knees, his tail swishing back and forth cheerfully. Immediately, her hands went to scratch behind his ears.

    While she was far from everyone else below, Celina still listened to what she could of the conversation. Many of those men were brutes, yet they now trembled with fear. From her perspective, there wasn't anything to be afraid of. So as long as no one provoked that Ukyon, all would be well. That's what she assumed, anyway.

    Still smiling at the affectionate animal, she let him sit beside her with his head in her lap. A book was then pulled from a travel pack slung on her shoulder, as well as a pen. The book was opened to a blank page, where she began to scribble down her observations from earlier today. Records of places she explored were kept handily so she'd grow more familiar with them. She could keep track of the species, the climates, even the condition of the soil. When that entry and another drink was finished, she intended to retire for the night.
  10. Staring at his destroyed blade, the Adventurer gritted his teeth, and throw the sword straight at the ground with anger pumping through his blood. He wouldn't be made a fool of, and especially by some Mud Puddler! Stomping his feet almost all the way back to the table of his fellows, he sat heavily with them all falling into silence.

    A dwarf sitting with them was stroking his beard with his eyes closed. Moment later he slowly looked at his mug, took a drink and then looked to his friends at the table. "Those Ukyons... don't they match the description of them people that Zuta wanted?"

    They all looked up, at each other, and then to the dwarf in unison.

    "Yeah. I'll wager that those two are the marks. And you go off, and start picking a fight with em', Branz." The dward barked, and washed his words down with another drink from his mug.

    Branz, slammed his fist on the table "Dammit Thedas, he was insulting Kavoch, mistreating a lady, and he broke my bloody sword!"

    "Hmph... not like you're any more dangerous with it..." The dwarf responded with sarcasm.

    "Shut up, both of you!" The largest of the group said butting into the little squabble. "All that matters is, they're both here... and that means we ain't gotta go lookin' for them. That means that by the end of the week we'll have some fat purses. All we gotta do is snatch them."

    "You're smarter than you give yourself credit, Elricht." Branz said with a whistle, and lightly tapped his gloved fingers on the worn oaken table. "We'll just wait till later in the night, and have ol' Thedas pick the lock, and we'll bag the two of them, and haul them off to Castle Town. That Zuta guy had better have the coin he promised, else I'm gonna be pissed."

    The group had made that one fatal mistake when discussing a means for money in a tavern... believing the other drunken banter, and ambient noise would be loud enough to hide their talk.

    All the while, the old dwarf Bathis stood behind the counter with a hand on his head, and the other lightly tugging at his beard. "This night's right fucked..." he mumbled depressingly. The old dwarf had lived long enough to know that his little run of luck had almost certainly come to an end, but he didn't have the stones to tell those two trouble makers to leave. He just hoped that his instincts were wrong.


    "This land stinks of laziness, and selfishness. I would have to burn for two eternities, and a forever to cleanse my body from the foul air that lingers over these lands." Michio responded softly, as he continued to look out the window, both his arms raised, and perched against the windowsills to prop him up.

    "I don't care where you sleep. I will not be sleeping this night." Fumino would find it odd, that he spoke those words... he very rarely slept since they'd began their travel. Truth be told, he seemed to be awake nearly ever moment of their journey with the random couple of hours that he drifted off into fitful sleep when sat against a wall, or tree as they camped, or rested.

    Tracing a hand along the Y shaped scar along his abdomen, he felt his insides shift slightly, and it nauseated him. Quickly he moved that hand to his mouth, and gagged with dry coughs for a moment. "I will kill you yet, you bastard..." He murmured softly so only he could hear his words.

    "Just leave me alone and make cloth dolls or whatever your hobby is over there."

    The fit had passed, and he remained looking out the window, as he answered. "There is nothing to learn in this building... "

    Show Spoiler
    After a tense situation between Michio, and a group of Adventurers over ill words resulting with Michio lashing out at Fumino's interference. Michio then left to their room, while Fumino attempts to find information on the Daisho of the Ukyon Emperor, but to no avail, as most are afraid of her traveling companion. She then follows Michio to their room leaving the common room.

    The Adventurers are sat at a table in the middle of them room, and have began conversing about kidnapping the Ukyons for a reward of an undisclosed amount of money, involving a man named Zuta, and bringing them to Castle Town, west of the Tavern.

    Celina, has witnessed the entire unfolding of events from her table upon the second floor of the tavern, and has remained silent while eavesdropping on the conversation between the Adventurers. What she'll do in response has yet to be seen.

    Beyond the tavern's walls, Beal, a secret tool of King Darius is in hunt of a known witch. Zeroing in on her using his extensive array of senses proves to be easy, as he closes in, and kills the woman without much of a struggle. Then just as quickly as he'd pounced, some strange force unseen calls him away, where he sprints through the woods with inhuman speed.
  11. [size=-2]
    Fumino shook her head and tugged on her loose woolen gown from the small rucksack that she brought for her travel. She shook her head a little and turned to face Michio. Her anger had already abated and she was feeling only mild annoyance at the course of the evening. Michio was mumbling to himself and she couldn't understand what he was saying from the distance.

    "You're so weird..." she muttered, padding across the rough floor to stand closer to Michio with faint curiosity. Her wide dark eyes narrowed while he coughed more and rubbed his stomach. Fumino tilted her head to the side, a frown slowly etching across her features. Fumino stepped close to him, her face set now into a stern expression.

    "You all right? You won't be much use if you're sick and you've made some enemies tonight..."

    Fumino poked her tongue out from between her teeth, wondering whether he would lash out again or not. She fight him tooth and nail if he tried to push her to the ground again but otherwise, she wasn't concerned.

  12. The rain fell all throughout the day, soaking the landscape once more through the dark dreariness of storm clouds. Even as the sun set and the moon rose high above the grey night clouds, the rain continued to fall. It was typical weather as of late, as if Mother Nature herself was weeping for what had been, and what was to come.

    Rafael Gregorios trudged through the mud just outside the town he had hitched a ride to. The farmer's wagon had dropped him off not several hundred meters away, and continued on down an adjacent thoroughfare to head back to his home. Rafael wore a heavy cloak of oiled leather; the rain slid from his hood and shoulders, and he was surprisingly dry underneath. Tall, heavy leather boots protected his feet and legs from the filth he kicked up with his heavy steps. The rest of his ensemble was a mystery to all who could make out the vague outline of his form as he stepped through the falling rain. All that was clear, aside from his silhouette, was the 2 meter long shaft he held out in one hand as a walking stick.

    More and more stones began to dot the road of the town, and he was thankful for it. Following the stone path, Rafael made his way down what he could only assume was the main road. After all, it did bisect this corner of the world, didn't it? He followed the faint embers of lantern light through the dark mist of the rain, hoping it would be a tavern or inn of some kind. He had been on enough adventures to make out these kind of places from afar.

    His assumption paid off.

    He shouldered open the heavy wooden door and slammed it behind him. Generally, he would have thought the raucous noises from patrons on the inside would drown out whatever noise newcomers would make; he was dead wrong. The atmosphere inside of the establishment was tense, thick and if someone had a knife on them, they would be able to cut through it.

    "Hmf," he grunted, eying the nearest folk and staring down at the Dwarf behind the bar. "Someone die?"

    Rafael pulled away the hood from his head and shrugged the covering flaps of his oiled leather cloak. The water splattered all behind him, drenching parchment that had been stuck up to a bulletin board. He ignored the mess he made, and flashed a toothy grin to the patrons that were eye-balling him.

    "Give me a tankard of a hard cider of some kind. Anything; surprise me." He waited at the counter until his request was fulfilled, setting his shoulder to it to take in the measure of the place. The atmosphere was indeed strained, as if a fight had just broken out. He spied men hunched together, sharing words conspiratorially. Looking up easily let him see the railed-off second floor, and there were several tabled propped up against. He gave each one a look, and raised an eyebrow when he spotted something, or rather someone.

    "Thank ye," he told the barman as his cider was set down with a not-so-pleasant 'thud' on the counter. Rafael set down a silver mark and swiftly found the stairs leading up. He had eyes for the one table, the one person, he had saw from the level below and without asking for permission or waiting to be noticed, he sat down.

    "Hello, Celina," he said jovially, loud enough for her ears lonely.
  13. In all honesty, Celina hoped to not be bothered. The longer she sat there, the more likely she was going to be talked to. After all, she witnessed the events below her. For a moment, she wondered if she should have done something. She usually preferred to keep silent, until there was obvious justice needing to be served. At the moment, she didn't know who was acting right and who was acting wrong. Or, perhaps, both sides were wrong?

    The contemplations were interrupted by her quietly growling dog. Somebody was approaching who he must not have approved of. Looking up from her book, she eyed the man heading in her direction. Against her wishes, she felt her heart race and send a flame of colour to her cheeks. With a frustrated sigh, she reached behind herself and pulled the hood of her forest green cloak over her head, shielding her eyes and shadowing her face.

    Celina's pen was set on the page she was working on to hold her place before closing her journal. A hand then went to a side of her face, her elbow on the table so her head could be cradled in that palm. Rafael was a valued friend, as well as customer, of hers, so she couldn't ignore his company with her drawing and writing.

    "Good evening," she replied simply, peeking at him from her hood. She contained her enthusiasm for seeing him, knowing he might very well leave her without a word like he did the last time. One of these days, she'd punch him for it. That was a promise made to him more than herself. Challenging the power of her emotions would be foolish, as would denying them.

    "I trust that you're well, Rafael?" asked her friendly voice, followed by a warm smile.
  14. [size=+2]Michio[/size]

    Hearing Fumino's footsteps carry her to stand beside him, Michio visually tensed. 'Did she hear me? No... She couldn't have... she couldn't have seen either... Michio thought to himself in concern, and then deemed his fears to be all for naught.' Drawing his cloak around him tightly, Michio turned to look at her from under his hood with his one eye. "Do not concern yourself with me. I will be alright." The tone wasn't harsh, or aggressive. It was simply blank at best. The look in his eye however, would be slightly troubling. His eye was bloodshot, and showed signs of fatigue. Perhaps it had been the trek through the thick country mud, and grass, or perhaps it was because for the last few weeks, he'd eaten hardly a thing, and even when he had he'd disappeared to eat it.

    Clutching his cloak closed, Michio turned around, and slowly leaned against the wall next to the windowsill, and slid down to sit on the floor, crossing his legs. "They will be trouble." He murmured, this time loud enough for Fumino, from under his hood. His visible hand was loosely wrapped around the hilt of his katana, which rested in his lap. So far, Michio had shown a nose for trouble, though whether it was because he caused it, or simply saw it coming... wasn't known. He did however have a knack for keeping Fumino safe from harm, and himself. Where Emperor Genmadoro had found the Vagabond was also unknown, however it was apparent that Genmadoro had a great deal of faith in the man, by sending him, and him alone for the Daisho's retrieval. Fumino had been paired with him, as a safety net. Should Michio begin to stray from his task, he'd ordered her to kill him knowing that Michio distaste of those who found their way into servitude, and his general obsession with succeeding in his task would more than likely blind him from the knife until it was buried in his heart.

    Ukyon was a land of obedience, and perfection. One would be removed should they pose as a weak link in the chain. It was what set itself apart from Kavoch, though any Ukyon warrior would be outnumbered nearly twenty to one should the two ever collide in battle... which was the growing possibility each, and every passing moment.

    "Sleep while you can. Who knows how long we'll be moving till we stop next." Michio said softly, and slowly closed his eye, before he lifted his sword to rest it on the ground, and against his shoulder, leaning his head against the hilt.
  15. [size=-2]
    Fumino scowled and brushed a tendril of hair from her face when Michio sat down. His words didn't sting and she was, overall, very thick-skinned when it came to insults. There was something to be learned on the streets and all of her lessons accomplished more than making her desire the fine life. There was some part of her that could never go back to the way things were when she was a little girl. Every time she remembered how life once was, she felt like she was remembering the life of someone else. Despite the disconnect between her current self and her child self, the memories still prompted her to seek out a hot bath at least once every couple of days and the mocking of her be damned.

    Michio slipped under the blankets of the bed without argument, pleased to be allowed to sleep on the bed and not the floor. As she snuggled into the softness that she could never take for granted, silently reveling in the way that the fabric cushioned and cradled her skin, Fumino turned her head so that she could see Michio. Her facial expression, by virtue of her cheerful mood, had relaxed and she seemed almost happy. Her ordinarily narrowed eyes and saccharine expression were relaxed by a calmer, wider gaze with her lips curving softly.

    "You look peaky. Don't go crazy or anything in the middle of the night, huh?" After thinking about it for a moment, she patted the dagger tucked under her in the bed. "Wake me though if there's any trouble with the meatheads. I don't want to miss out on all of the action." Curled like this, she looked approximately as intimidating as a sleeping kitten but there was still the gunmetal flash beneath her eyelids.
  16. Beal ran across the country side, mud and pieces of earth splashing up around his feet. He travled in an hour what it took a horse two hours. Making it to the edge of the estate with no trouble on the way, just the annoyingly persistant pull of that damn talisman on his mind. Reaching a wall, Beal easily jumped up several feet in the air and grabbed the edge and swinging himself up onto it. Looking around he saw all the guards doing their patrols, unaware of his presence, they couldn't see like he could. From the wall he jumped onto a turret and from there je jumped to spring off a buttress and grabbed onto a window of the keep.

    The window was barely big enough for him to slip through.

    Beal shook his head vigorously, getting water every where before he set off down a hallway directly across from him and kicked the door open to a room, very unceremoniously. The room was big, and Beal tracked mud into the room, turning a corner and there he was The King. Beal felt him before he saw him, when ever he was around Darius his skin itched. Beal's face remained impassive, but his eyes smoldered as he stared at the King. "She has been eliminated."
  17. "Very well," Rafael said with a giant smile on his face. He leaned back a bit to look under the table, and waved at the dog below. "Hey there, Runt," he said jovially. The name was what he had called the dog since they first met; it was one of both affectionate and mild annoyance. There was something about the creature. Rafael knew that it knew why he called it that name.

    He leaned forward, setting his arms and elbows on the table. He took a long, heavy swig of his hard cider. It was of an apple kind; he should have known. The region was known for it's delicious apples.

    "Ahh, delicious," he said, setting down the heavy frosted mug and wiping his mouth with the back of his leather-and-fur gloved hand. For all intents and purposes, Rafael looked more a rugged adventuring warrior than a mage. He set down the heavy backpack that was hidden underneath his cloak next to his feet and chair, revealing more of his raiment. He was covered in head-to-toe in heavy leathers, looking more like light armour than clothing. His entire right arm was covered in solid plate, stitched to a sleeve of leather, while his left arm laid bare. His arm was surprisingly toned and fit, not scrawny or flabby. It said much about what lay hidden underneath the layers he wore.

    Looking at her with his near-golden eyes, he spoke again. "You're looking as beautiful as ever," he told her, a small glint of affection showing in those near-golden eyes. He waited only a beat however, giving her no time to respond to the compliment. "So what brings you to this drab end of the world, my dear? No, wait-- you're always in drab ends of the world, aren't you, being the Ranger and Tracker and Scout that you are. Hey, are you on a job now?"
  18. Celina made a smirk after Rafael greeted her dog with the name he called him by all the time. The name stopped bothering Amato, but he still felt some resentment towards the man. He toyed with Celina's emotions, whether or not he realized it. The loyal Retriever couldn't be blamed for his way of thinking; his owner was his life.

    "You should appreciate Amato more, Rafael. He saved our skins once in that forsaken forest, and my own dozens of times more," Celina told him in a blunt voice. She couldn't imagine where she'd be without her canine companion. During times of injury, he could fetch food and water. During times of sorrow, he could make her laugh. Amato wasn't the only one under appreciated, though. Many animals were. That was a subject that always made Celina defensive and cross.

    Something of a sardonic smile showed on her lips when he called her beautiful, with no room to respond. Sighing inwardly, she moved her head backwards, letting her hood fly from it. There was no more flushed skin to hide. Her head went back to being cradled in her palm though, her armoured elbow shifting uncomfortably for just a moment. Celina felt a need to rest her head in some way; she wasn't sure why.

    "I was. I'm staying here for the night, since it's dark and rainy," she answered. Safety was a first for her. Staying in this tavern, she admitted, made her uneasy, but it was better than wandering in the stormy darkness. None of the brutes downstairs would dare try anything, right? Especially after the issue from earlier.

    "I wonder the same about you. I doubt this is a place you visit too often, but I could be wrong."
  19. "Of course I appreciate him, Celina, but-- well, he'll always be Runt to me."

    Rafael's smile was genuine and full of mirth. He had no animosity or condescension for her or her dog. As a matter of fact, it was quite the opposite! He had every bit of respect for what they could both do. Indeed, he could hardly do what she did. She might not have looked a woman of tremendous skill or wealth, but she was both. Rafael could personally attest to that.

    He took notice of the way she responded to him calling her beautiful. It was hard for most things to escape his gaze. That was where his greatest strength lie, in noticing the things that went unnoticed. It was absolutely vital to him, to know everything that was going on around him, in front of him. He had even noticed how she had drawn up her hood when he approached.

    He only had one question, though: Why? Was she embarassed over the intimacy of their relationship? It had simply been a moment in time, of passion. Why be embarassed?

    He decided not to make more of it. Perhaps she'd share-- women were strange creatures, after all.

    "Never been here before in my life!" Rafael told her with a grin. He had just taken another huge gulp of his cider, actually finishing it off. He had gestured to a nearby barmaid to bring him another of what he had. That damned Dwarf better had remembered!

    "I just came from the Akaya Regions, investigating a certain tome I've been looking for. Alas, it was for naught." He made a face as he sat back, his mind drifting to his most recent adventure. For years, he had been searching out the Tome of Gabral. It was a famed, legendary manuscript written by a mage named Gabral the Fierce, some centuries before. He was a fierce individual in the face of Kings and Queens alike, wielding legendarily powerful magic. Rafael would have killed for first-hand knowledge of how to wield that power.

    "Mayhaps destiny has drawn our paths together once again, eh, Celina? Have you a room? Because I certainly wouldn't mind a bunk mate."
  20. [size=+2]Several Hours Later[/size]​

    The common room had emptied in the following hours as the Tavern had closed for the night. If a passing stranger had need of a room, they'd be pressed to make for the Inn at the other end of the town, despite the extra coin they'd be charged for the accommodation at this late hour.

    Bathis, the bartenders, and the servers had all retired to their respective rooms, all of whom had fallen asleep with a feeling of dread in the pits of their stomach... as if the night wouldn't give way to a peaceful morning.

    As it was not to be.

    The slight creak of leather boots pressing down onto the wooden floor drifted through the halls of the second floor rivaling the passing of ghosts. A lone dwarf dressed in black leather, and cloth continued his way down the hall, occasionally peering over the railing for signs of anyone else being up at this ungodly hour. Reassured that no one else was present, he kept moving with an unnatural grace for such a stocky individual until he eventually reached a door. It was to be occupied by the Ukyons.

    Quietly drawing his knife from his boot, Thedas carefully slid the blades tip in between the door, and pressed his ear against the wood. Slowly he began to slide the knife up, and down while moving it back and forth. As he listened he could make out the subtle scratching of the blade's tip sliding the dead bolt open. 'Sun loving topsider's really do forget the need of a good lock...' he thought to himself in amusement as the bolt slid open.

    The Rogue then turned to look behind him, and signaled his comrades with a wave of his hand. Slowly the other two began towards him as well as Thedas opened the door, and slid inside under cover of the incredible darkness of the spring's hidden moon.

    His eyes were so attuned to the black, that he instantly spotted the Ukyon male sat against the wall near the window, and turning to look at the bed, noticed the woman. His beady eyes narrowed, as he slowly made his way over towards her... his foot steps seeming to be made of air.

    As he reached the bed, he peered down at the young woman, and ran a tongue over his teeth. 'Such a shame to let that Zuta fella have such a fine piece of flesh... but he didn't say anything about a taste of the goods.' The dwarf thought with dark desire running through his mind, as his fellows entered the room behind him.

    Both Branz, and Elricht took in the look of the room.

    Motioning to Michio, Elricht looked at Branz signaling for him to incapacitate him. Turning back to look at Michio, his eyes suddenly widened, and turned back to Branz who was now following suit.

    The Ukyon warrior was gone!

    Soft sandal steps began tapping against the wood, and as they both turned to face their left, a heavy gust rushed passed them.

    In the few seconds of confusion... a Dwarf screamed. Thedas' hand was now resting on the bed beside Fumino... covered in blood, and Dwarf saliva.

    Show Spoiler
    Long after those present at the tavern returned to their rooms to retire for the night. Thedas, Branz, and Elricht make good on their plan to kidnap the Ukyons. With Thedas disabling the lock, the three enter to find Michio, and Fumino appear to be sleeping. As Thedas approaches Fumino with thoughts of just exactly what he could get away with, Branz, and Elricht discover Michio to be missing.

    They are then made away of his presence as he unleashed a wave of air that slices cleanly through Thedas's hand that was reaching for Fumino, resulting in his screaming, ultimately making everyone aware of the disturbance.