CrystalTears

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Arden
"I cannot run away from my problems, but if I stop they'll eat me alive."
"Leave me alone! Please!" A female voice called out as she was running through the streets. No one spared her any glances, in a way, this was close to normal. Arden had been stuck doing this on several occaisons, running through the town to escape the men that was chasing her in black. They were persistent, but most beings would be when they were only breaths away from riches. It was a horrible fate, but no one seemed to care as most valued her bead over anything else. To be born as a Kumiho was close to a curse, a life of running and hiding for the rest of her life, it had always been like this. They were chasing her for the damned bead she had been born with, a Kumiho's heart one could call it. If taken or given away by a Kumiho, it would grant a wish to whoever held it, one wish before it broke, and it was unconditional. There were limits to what it could do, obviously, as it could not alter the world in any shape or form, but wishes for riches and love was possible, the same with youth or even immortality. It was why Kumiho's were close to exctinct, in the beginning, there were several clans and houses, they were almost as common as humans, but then greed consumed most when the news of their beads was spread like wildfire throughout towns. They were hunted like mere animals, beads ripped out of their bodies as their souls were shattered like a piece of glass. Beads had been easy to buy once, but now they were almost as rare as the purests of diamonds, making her a prime target to all who held greed above her life, which was most.


"Stop her!" One of the men called out. "She's getting away!" Another one added.

Her silver ears were bending backward to listen in on their conversations. Amber eyes not daring enough to look behind her, scared to see if the numbers of chasers had increased. Normal humans would sometimes help in these hunts, wanting a reward or a part of the money when the bead was sold, which was why Arden had learned that she could trust no one but herself. It was why she wasn't screaming her lungs out for help because it never came. The blue markings on her body were visible, which would usually hide underneath her clothes or magic, but in her panicked state, she did not manage to do so. There were illuminating in faint blue light, in the dark, they would have lit up, but it was in the middle of the day, so they were less visible. However, the markings' faint glow become more evident when Arden stomped her foot on the ground, raising the pavement behind her to create a wall. It was her transmutation power, which made her valuable enough. The ability to take dirt and make it into gold was priceless too, but thankfully they only knew of her bead.

"Are you so blinded by greed that you'll die for it?! Are you?!" Arden yelled out to the men. She was out of breath, a hand coming up to dry some sweat away from her forehead. She had been running all day, they had found her early in the morning, and she had only lost them for an hour, there was no rest for her. "There is wealth for you elsewhere! Leave me alone!" She added to her pleas.

They fell on deaf ears, as they usually would, and the wall of pavement she had created got punched through. They were magic users like her, which made getting away so much harder than if they had not been, and Arden was already so tired. "Come with us Kumiho; we wouldn't want to hurt you-- too much," the man gave off a disgusting grin followed by laughter by his fellow hunters.

"You are nothing, but a group of hyenas laughing at an injured lion!" She yelled at them, her voice hoarse from all of the yelling she had done today. "If you are so willing to fight, then I'll give it to you!" Arden called out as she surrounded herself with sharp lances made out of ice. Unlike the legends, she was not a monster nor a demon. The last thing Arden saw herself doing was ripping someone's heart out and eating it as the myths foretold. Even the mere thought of hurting someone was unappealing, but this was self-defense, and she could not stand down if they were willing to go as far as to use magic. The ice shot itself forwards as the men charged at her, none of them aimed to kill, but all of them were sharp enough to do so, she made sure to focus at their legs, cutting them or stabbing them to slow or stop their movements entirely. Her only thought was to get away, to run away and hide so her tired body could rest. She was chanceless in a fight, Arden doubted she would last five minutes, which was why she needed to run.

Arden didn't wait to confirm whether or not the ice had gotten them all, instead, she turned around and ran again. Her attack should slow them down a bit, buy her a few minutes where she could lose them behind a corner or in a busy street. Their steps were still behind her though; they were approaching at a rapidly fast pace, making her hand reach itself out and touch a car. It changed into a flock of birds, catching the men off-guard as they flew straight into the men before flying away. Her power of transmutation wasn't limited to objects, but whatever life she created with her ability was not hers to control, which was why Arden could not make the birds attack the men, but she would have summoned some willing birds if she had the power to spare.

It was only for a millisecond that she glanced behind her, but it was enough to slow her down just a little bit as her arm was grazed by something sharp. A yelp escaped Arden as she raised the pavement again, but this time her hand touched it and turned it into metal, making it tougher for them to punch through it. The Kumiho ran to the closest alleyway, quickly hiding in the dark before leaning up against the cold brick wall. Her eyes traveled to her arm, blood was seeping through a deep cut, but the problem was not the injury in itself, it was the dust she could see in it. It had to have been poisoned, cursing underneath her breath, Arden attempted to heal it, but her strength was already fading. "Dammit," she added before she heard steps approaching her again. Her gaze lifted itself from the dirty pavement ARden was sitting on, to the men that had chased her only movements earlier. She could not hear their voices, but they were talking about something. Her vision was already becoming blurry, and the last thing she could remember is the man grabbing her arm and lifting her up before she got engulfed in blackness.

A groan escaped Arden when her consciousness returned. It was cold, her entire body felt cold and even a little bit wet. The Kumiho had to struggle a bit to sit up, blinking her eyes to get her vision back. It was dark, she could barely see, but it was enough for her to know she had been taken to a room, perhaps even a basement? The floor was damp, which was why she felt cold and wet, and water was dripping from the roof. There were no windows, only a door that she presumed to be locked. It had to be some sort of storage room for the black market; they had gotten her. A sob escaped the girl as the realization hit her, though she shook her head quickly and dried away a tear that threatened to fall. This was no time to cry! She had to get out, if she wanted to live, she had to escape! The only reason she was still alive must be because they failed to find her bead, which was good. The bead could not get taken away from a dead Kumiho, which was why they were too scared to kill her before finding the bead's location.

The drug was still affecting her body and mind, making her a bit hazy, though she managed to stand up. Standing was difficult, for some reason, she couldn't find her balance, and ended up having to lean up against the wall. Arden reached her hand out, wanting to create a little flame to give herself some light, but a sharp pain rushed through her body which caused her to collapse again.

"She's awake!" A male voice spoke from outside the room. The door did not open, but instead, it became transparent as a man stood at the top of the stairs. Unlike those earlier, he was well-dressed and did not hide his face behind a pair of sunglasses. He had sleek dark brown hair that was brushed back, matching dark eyes that were staring at her like an art fanatic looking at a painting, only trying to find out its value. He let out a chuckle when his eyes landed on hers, fearless enough to start approaching her.

"Do not step any closer to me!" Arden growled out loud as adrenaline allowed her to step back up on her feet. Her hand once again reached out, the markings on her body glowed a dangerous blue before the pain from before returned. A loud scream of pain escaped the Kumiho before she collapsed back on the floor again, the man tapping her head with his black shoe.

"Stupid fox. You cannot use your magic in here. The drug must be keeping your body numb, around your neck is an enchanted collar. It will keep giving you pain should you attempt to use your magic," the man informed before squatting down in front of her and lifting up her face. "Now, do you wish to sit in here and starve for a few days or will you make it easier for yourself and give up your bead? You could have made an excellent pet, but your bead is more valuable and less time-consuming," it sounded like an offer, but there was no real choice in the manner.

Arden gathered what strength she could and lifted herself a bit off the floor, shrugging her chin out of the man's hand before slapping it away. Her eyes were lit up with pure hatred; she would rather die of starvation than to give this man what he wanted.

He sighed but stood back up. "We'll see if you're this stubborn after a few days without food, drink, and light," it was his last words before he stepped through the transparent door before the steel barricade appeared once again.

All alone, Arden curled up on the cold floor, hugging her knees and resting her chin on top of them. One hand moved over to her neck, touching the cold metal that surrounded it. It was true; she had the accursed item around it. Her fist raised itself into the air before hitting the cold stone floor, the little puddle doing nothing to make it hurt less, but she barely felt the pain, even when the hot blood ran down her knuckles.

Arden had nothing to do now, but to wait for dehydration or starvation to get her, but only if they were merciful enough to let her die.


SkittlesAndSpike SkittlesAndSpike
 
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SkittlesAndSpike

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Scout
"I'm living in a past that I no longer have, dreaming of a life I know longer know"

The darkness was a frightening comfort for Scout. On one hand it was her home, she was broken bit it, stripped to her barest parts both spiritually and physically, and then forged anew by its cold and eerie flames. Whenever she thought about it, all she could think about was her simultaneous end and beginning, something she was normally good at suppressing. But the darkness also gave her a sense of calm. A raging calm if you would, like the oceans. It was reassuring but treacherous, like making a deal with the devil.

But if it was like making a deal with the devil, then she was one of his daughters, and she was looking to drag some sorry souls back to hell. She sat squat in the darkness, still as a statue as she waited for her prey, the only indicator of her presence being the faint, orange glow of her narrowed eyes. She’d been sitting for about two hours, a remarkable feat for someone with her level of impatience. She’d started growing tired about five minutes ago, but her patience was about to be rewarded.

She heard them before she saw them, two men, dressed sharply and wearing sunglasses, at night of all times. “…Freakin’ idiots…” Scout whispered to herself, biting her lip. They were quiet as they walked, hands behind their backs, heads facing forward, but she swore she could see their eyes looking all about, observing their surroundings. “Not gonna help you.” She growled under her breath. They walked past her hiding spot, failing to notice the orange eyes watching them go.

After a few moments of waiting, her feet, canine in appearance just as her lower legs were, lifted off the ground as she slowly levitated into the air, clearing the buildings that surrounded her. Her eyes scanned the area below her, searching for, and easily locating her two targets. Flight, probably the best thing that she got from what happened to her, made everything she did so much easier! She hardly ever walked anymore, instead preferring to float her way through life. It was one of the most useful abilities she’d gained.

She trailed the two for what seemed like an eternity, her irritation with them growing by the second. They circled back several times, taking many detours before they decided they had lost whoever might have been tailing them. They approached a building complex, walking up to the doors to unlock it. Now that she was confident she’d found their little base of operations, Scout sprung into action, her body rotating so that she was upside down before she simply let go, falling from the sky.

One of the men had just unlocked the door and nudged it open when Scout landed on him, hands reached out and black nails lengthened and sharp. They pierced his flesh easily and the force generated from her free fall caused him to hit the ground, head smacking the concrete, leaving it stained with blood. As soon as she could, she pulled her claws from his back, turning just in time to receive a punch to the face from the second man. “Gah..!” She grunted, pushing back against the force of his blow and swinging her claw upward. She’d gotten lucky, slicing through his throat with no resistance. The man instantly grasped at his neck, stumbling backward before collapsing to the ground.

A smirk grew on Scout’s face as she scampered into the building, feet lifting off the ground once more. She normally didn’t enjoy killing, but with these people, it was alright, more than alright really. It felt liberating! Every time she killed one she could feel that anger in her stomach leave, even if it was just a little. And why wouldn’t she? They were the ones who changed her.

The black market had expanded years ago, moving beyond drugs and assassinations to things more supernatural in nature. It might have been the Yeouiju, a rare crystal with some sort of mythical origin Scout wasn’t sure, nor cared about, or an enchanted ring, but it didn’t stop there. It evolved into hunting and harvesting of monsters to create your own for personal use, and the latter is where Scout had ended up. She was stripped of her life, ripped from this world only to be brought back anew. These people had taken everything from her, and now that she was free all she wanted to do was take everything from them. That was why she was here, to ruin any and everything they were doing tonight.

She floated through the building, careful to avoid detection for the time being. She was tough but she wasn’t tough enough to take on however many of them were in the building at the time, heck if she knew that answer. First, she wanted to see what the “merchandise” they had for the night was, she would set free whatever was living and whatever wasn’t…well, she’d figure something out. Admittedly, this wasn’t a well thought out plan.

She paused in mid-air, hearing someone walking by. She quickly looked around, trying to find a place to hide. Eventually, she opted to float upwards, flattening completely against the ceiling, the best she could come up with on such notice. Once another well-dressed man walked past her, she lowered herself to the floor, glancing back at him before heading in the direction he came from. She raised an eyebrow when the hall led her to a steel barricade, a frown forming on her face. “Damn…they’re serious about protecting their stuff, eh?” She had no key to unlock it and she sure as hell wasn’t strong enough to knock it down. She could either go kill the guy and take his key or…or she could act like her damn species.

“You’re technically a ghost now Scout, time to act like it.” She whispered to herself, cracking her knuckles and stretching her arms. She had hardly ever done this before, it wasn’t something she was particularly good at, but she was sure she could pull it off this time. She slowly floated towards the door, moving forward until she was pressing against it. At first, she could feel the cold metal on her skin, enough to make her shiver a little. But with enough focus and whispering ‘Please’ over and over, she found the feeling fade, a new feeling washing over her as she found herself moving through the steel door slowly but surely until she had completely phased through it. “Yata!” She patted herself on the back verbally, a smirk on her face. “Now…lets see what I can screw up in here.”


 
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CrystalTears

The Lovers
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Romance - Action - Drama - Fantasy - YAOI .... I feel like I can put everything here so don't make me do it ^^;
Arden
"I cannot run away from my problems, but if I stop they'll eat me alive."
It hurt. It was all Arden could think about and most of what she had thought about the past three days. The only reason she knew three days had past was because of her magical energy, it may be limited to her body, but she could still feel it coursing through her body. Kumiho's naturally fed on moonlight and was depending on it for power, even if she could not see it or bask in its light, she could feel it rise and fall and her body craving its sight. It wasn't the only thing Arden's body craved, it was food and water too. The man had held his promise of refusing her something to eat and drink, the last few days, Arden had only had about a glass worth of water, enough to keep her alive, but not enough to make her thirst quenched. Of course, when starving her didn't give them the result they had wanted, they had instead changed their tactics to become much more violent. Today was just another one of those days. There were too many for her to fight and running around the room only did so much when they kept her physical strength so low with the lack of nutrtions to her body. Arden hardly remembered what they did, but she could always see the aftermaths. Her legs had several cuts and bruises, some of them were still bleeding, but none of them were too deep. They wouldn't scar, because these men were professional at what they did, if they were unable to get her bead, then they'd sell her in the black market, no one wanted a scarred slave. Her arms were much the same state as her legs, purple bruises and cuts here and there.

Arden's clothes were in a much worse state than herself, though. They were dirty and wet, making the Kumiho shiver when the nights arrived and the air turned colder. The men had little care for her clothing and had used their knives freely into it, making the light blue jeans she wore had turned into ripped jeans with purple spots on it. The black sweater held the same condition as her jeans, though the blood was not so visible due to the dark color, so it was harder to tell that she was bleeding. Arden also had injuries around her neck. Some of them were from the collar that gave her shocks whenever she attempted to use magic, but most of them were from her own hands tugging at the metal in the attempt of getting it off. Her nails had left a few scratches on her skin, none severe enough to make her bleed, but there were red marks on her fair skin. They had complained about it, but done nothing to fix it and instead just ignored it entirely after the initial discovery, and Arden had given up trying to take it off before she clawed herself.

The man that Arden presumed to be the "boss" had just left after another failed attempt at making her reveal the bead's location. It was a thought, but Arden wondered how long she had to endure this until she eventually perished from this world. Perhaps, she'd meet her mother and father again. The Kumiho had never given a thought at what happened to "demons" like herself when they died; most Kumiho's didn't as they lived for so long, that was until they got hunted down. As per usual, when the men left her alone, Arden curled up in the corner of the room. Knees pressed up against her chest, arms around her legs and chin resting on top of her kneecaps. It was how she would spend her time in the little "prison cell" they had made for her. The steel door that separated her from the outside was the first and last thing she saw whenever exhaustion caught up with her.

However, today was different. As Arden's yellow eyes had begun to close, her head nodding off and losing the battle it held against sleep, she suddenly heard something. Her first reaction was to try and slink into the wall, even attempting to phase through it, as she was too scared and tired to handle more of their "interrogation" for the night. If they did come again, Arden might cave into the temptation of making them stop. The sweet merciful hand of death would become too enticing, which was what she feared the most. The Kumiho didn't even dare to breathe, as her eyes took in the sight of the newcomer. Arden's markings had been a faint very faint blue, but now it lit up the entire corner she had pressed herself into desperately. Her eyes searched the "intruder" in a panic as if surveying her would tell whether or not she had been thrown in there together with her, working with them, or Arden's one-way ticket straight out of there.

After a quick second decision, Arden found herself craving after some hope that the dirty basement she got locked up inside would not be her final memory, that she threw all caution to the wind, and uncurled to make herself a bit more visible to the stranger. "U-Um. . ." An introduction seemed so stupid in this terrible situation. This situation did not call for an introduction, and considering what the strange girl had said when she entered, she doubted it was appropriate. "...Who are you?" Arden decided to ask anyway, being rude enough to forget to introduce herself first, but it was also a habit to never reveal herself to others. Life on the run made her wary of strangers, had she not been trapped and desperate; she would have stayed hidden and quiet in the hopes that she wouldn't get seen before she could have run away.

"How did you get in?" That was the most important question, and the one she should have asked first. "I've been trying for the last three days, but nothing seemed to work," Arden added before she curled herself up a bit more, trying to hide the poor state she was in as if appearances mattered. Her long ears pressed themselves against her head as she backed up into the corner again. No matter who the girl was, or how she got in, Arden's trust was not bought that easily. Despite her being so desperate and the situation so dire, but with no other options and no way out, she could only wish for answers and a way out.
 
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SkittlesAndSpike

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Scout
"I'm living in a past that I no longer have, dreaming of a life I know longer know"

The emptiness of the room had lulled Scout into a false state of security. Between the darkness and the seeming lack of merchandise or people in the room she had assumed it was either a front for a secret room or, the much more likely option, empty. So, when she heard someone speak she nearly jumped, or rather floated a little bit higher, baring her fangs in the direction of the voice. Of course, she instantly lost her fierce look upon seeing the source of the voice, a frown gracing her face.

She didn’t answer the questions at first, instead only floating closer towards the girl, her nose visibly wriggling, a sign she was trying to take in the girl’s scent, as well as anything else she might have missed in the room. “You…smell terrible.” Scout finally spoke, her choice of words rather abrasive. She even pinched her nose shut to emphasize her point. “You look terrible too.” She floated closer, attempting to get a closer look at the girl only to stop suddenly. She was obviously scared, and if she remembered anything from her early years, it would do her some good to take it slow and steady. She didn’t want to scare her any more than she already was, and from the way she shrunk back into the corner, it seemed that was the right call to ake.

“Oh, I just walked through it.” Scout finally answered at least one of her questions. She raised her legs up, crossing them as she floated in midair, a small grin on her face. It was an attempt to seem more friendly and ease the girl's fear, plus she really enjoyed sitting this way. “It’s just something I do. I could probably do the same for you too, help you get out.” Well, that was a bit of a stretch. It wasn’t a feat she was particularly adept at performing, but given the circumstances, she was sure she could make it happen with enough time and concentration. “Getting through any door or wall is no problem for me, as long as it's not protected by a ward, anyway." If she couldn't get them both out then she'd just have to find the key.

"Oh yeah! My name is Scout!" She finally introduced herself. Giving her name was sure to put the girl at ease at least little as well. "What about you? What's yours? And why do they want you?" Her last question was straightforward, but she figured if it wasn't information that the stranger wanted her to have then she wouldn't share it. It didn't matter why anyway, she was going to be blowing this place wide open regardless.


 
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CrystalTears

The Lovers
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Arden
"I cannot run away from my problems, but if I stop they'll eat me alive."
Arden pressed herself further into the corner as the stranger jumped, making her jump as well, before taking a better look at the girl now that they were seeing eye-to-eye. The striking feature was how she was floating in the air. A few blinks were given in the stranger's direction, before confirming that her feet were not touching the floor. Yes, she was indeed floating. It was reassuring to have another magical creature in her "cage," but it also made her scared. As of right now, Arden's powers were sealed away by the enchanted metal collar around her neck, in a fight, she'd be at a disadvantage. Her "fight or flee" instincts were working overtime, but Arden knew that there were nowhere for her to run in this room. The Kumiho had attempted hitting the walls for three days, there were no weakspots. It was sturdy and undoubtedly underground, which was why it was so hard to break the wall. In the off-chance she had broken the wall, only dirt would meet her. Annoyingly enough, her captors were clever to have a back-up plan to their prison, which worked all too well in Arden's personal opinion.

The intruder broke the silence that had been between the two, catching Arden off-guard this time before the newcomer began inching closer. If the Kumiho could have pressed herself further into the corner, she would have, but her back was hurting from the pressure she was putting on the cold damp rock wall. Her comments made Arden feel self-conscious, more than she had been, about her current state, so her arms came around and hugged her own dirty, bloodied self. Appearance was the least of her worries, but the immediate comment and meeting of someone else, made her mind instantly think of how she looked. Then again, it confirmed something; the girl was not with them. If she were, then her appearance would have been the least of her worries. It was reassuring while also nervewracking, because if the stranger was not here under the orders of the black market then why was she here at all? Arden wanted to ask, but she doubted she would get an answer. It was the equivalent of someone breaking into prison, who broke into a prison, and for what reason? And who would share that reason with an inmate?

Her nonchalant answer as to how she got in surprised Arden. "You walked through it?" Arden parroted before staring over at the thick steel door she had banged on several times a day. Thinking that the stranger was a human was beyond reasonable, so of course, she had magical abilities. Was she a ghost? A spirit? The Kumiho opened her mouth to ask what the newcomer was but got interrupted by the sudden suggestion of getting her out the same way, which made Arden's entire being light up, quite literally, before stepping away from her corner and closer to the other girl. "So you can get me out?" Arden asked, hope beaming throughout her yellow eyes as she smiled for the first time since she had entered the room. The pure excitement of being able to get out made her much less wary of the intruder, it almost made her feel safe, though the Kumiho was not as trusting yet. If she could help Arden get out, then that was amazing, but giving the intruder her trust was still a long way to go.

"I'm Arden," The Kumiho returned when Scout introduced herself. It was strange how easily she had given up her name. It was something she would never do before, but there was something about Scout that made her guard drop. Perhaps it was the lack of communication for three days, at least with a friendly face. Or it could be the fact that Scout was her ticket out of there, which turned her sour mood upside-down. "I'm--" she began, hesitating for a few moments, before shaking her head. Whether Scout or not was a question that would have to wait. In her situation of desperation, she had no choice in the matter. "I'm a Kumiho," Arden began. "I have a bead that can grant any wish; they want to take it away from me and sell it. If they do, I'll die," it was a rather direct way to explaining why she was locked up in the room and why she wanted to get out. Her life was in danger, as it always had been, and if Scout had not shown up, then Arden might have allowed Death's cold embrace take her in.

"Are you sure, that you can get me out?" Arden asked as she approached closer to Scout, standing only a few steps away from the stranger. "They placed this--" she lifted up her chin and showed off the unwanted accessory around her neck. It was the cleanest thing that Arden was wearing now, the shiny metal reflected some of the dim-lighting that her body gave off, but the accessory on its own was also glowing. There were faint glyphs littered on the metal, all seals that hindered Arden from using magic and punishing her if she attempted to do so. "--It's enchanted with magic that prevents me from using my own, and if I do, it'll shock me," she informed Scout before lowering her chin again. "I don't know if that also means your magic, I've been here alone, and they've never used their magic when they came in to hurt me," Arden continued before falling silent.

It was a bit awkward as silence was growing between them again. Arden shuffled her legs a little bit, trying to hide her injuries while also wanting to do something about her scent. In this dirty basement where she had spent three days without showering, and then procceeding to stain her clothes with blood, of course she would smell bad. However, she still wanted to do something properly to her possible savior. "... It's nice--" she murmured before extending her hand out to Scout. "--It's nice to meet you," Arden finished as she lifted her gaze off the floor and gave Scout another smile. Arden never knew how refreshing it could feel to smile, to have a little flame burning amidst the darkness, but now that she knew, she found it hard not to draw out that happy feeling for only a few moments longer.
 
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Scout
"I'm living in a past that I no longer have, dreaming of a life I know longer know"

“Of course they do, that’s what they do.” Scout couldn’t help the growl in her voice. She wasn’t even surprised, at least not about their intentions anyway. They’d do anything to make a profit, and Arden’s bead seemed like it’d be their biggest break yet. At least she hadn’t given it to them, not only did she get to keep her life but even more satisfying, they wouldn’t get their product. A smirk grew on Scout’s face and her tail, black, fluffy and streaked with glowing orange, began to wiggle about wildly, showing just how please she was.

When Arden extended her hand to Scout, the Inugami took it with both of her own rather quickly. “You’re damn right it’s nice to meet me!” She shook her hand rather enthusiastically, up and down like she was mixing a drink. “Today’s your lucky day Ardent, I’m getting you out of here!” It was part of what she came here to do anyway, or it at least contributed to her overall objective. “It’ll be easy, and hopefully you’ll never have to worry about these people again.”

Scout let go of her hand and circled around Arden, observing the collar closely. “Stops your magic, huh? I had something like on me a long time ago.” She mumbled, thinking out loud. She wasn’t sure how to remove it personally, but there were a lot of different options they could try. “If they never tried their own, then maybe it’s because they were scared they’d break it? I can conjure something up…not that I’m particularly good at this bit.” The Dark Arts were well within her capabilities, it was the means through which she was changed after all. “I hope it works. If not…well, there are other options.”

She flicked her finger against the metal before lowering herself to the ground, pawed feet settling without a sound. She pushed up the sleeves to her jack before cracking her knuckles and stretching her arms, joints creating a loud pop sound as a result. “Alright, I’m gonna try my stuff and, if this doesn’t work then I’ll raze this damn place to the ground until I find the way to get you out.” She promised the Kumiho. Of course, she was going to do that anyway.

Scout took a deep, and maybe overexaggerated breath. She wasn’t particularly good with spells, but there was a simple trick she could do, and something she felt comfortable doing. It felt natural to her even, like walking even. It was subtle at first, but the air in the room changed, becoming stiff and still. She raised her hands, black claws extended. Sparks danced around the tips of her fingers, almost unnoticeable in the darkness if it weren’t for the seemingly purple hue it gave off.

“Alright Arden, let me know if this hurts.” She didn’t wait for any sign of acknowledgment from the girl, instead moving to grab the collar right away. It was her hope that with some dark magic and a little elbow grease, she’d be able to break the thing right away. Unfortunately, the contact with the glyphs were not happy about the outside magical interference. It was almost a violent reaction, sparks flying as her magic fought against those embedded within the metal.


 
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CrystalTears

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Arden
"I cannot run away from my problems, but if I stop they'll eat me alive."
In contrast to Arden's very timid extended hand, Scout's enthustiastic grab of her hand before proceeding to shaking her entire body up and down was almost refreshing. It would have been more so if it hadn't made Arden dizzy, the Kumiho practically bouncing along with their hands as they went up and down. "Really?" Arden asked as her bent back ears perked back on top of her head. "I wish it would be that simple, I've been chased down by them my entire life," she smiled, a bit sadness hidden behind the forced sign of happiness, as her ears dropped a little bit again. "It's okay, I know how to handle them. I got careless and they ended up catching me," the Kumiho added as she did know how to handle them on her own, though the thought of having some help was always welcomed. One dying species against an army of greed was a losing battle, one that Arden saw herself fighting until they finally got her. However, that day was not today.

Arden's hand fell back to her side when Scout let go of it and began circling her. Yellow eyes followed the spirit around until she couldn't see her anymore, before watching her appear on the opposite side. "I've never had to deal with something like this; it's the first time I've gotten caught, sorry, I can't give you any helpful tips," the Kumiho apologized. It felt as if she was handing all of her troubles to Scout without having anything she could return. Arden had always been alone, since the day her parents had been hunted down and murdered. Her instincts had kept her alive, and they did not allow her to make friends or talk to most, so to be in a position where she relied on someone else, but herself was strange. The sound of Scout landing on the floor snapped Arden out of her thoughts, eyes darting down to look at her pawed feet. Oh, now it clicked. Scout had to be an Inugami. The ears and her spiritual being, it all made sense now that she had made the connection. However, what was an Inugami doing breaking into a black market? She wished to ask, but dared not, as angering or prying into Scout's business and scaring her off, was the last thing Arden wanted to do.

A light giggle escaped Arden as Scout promised to take the entire place down if they could not remove her collar, which sounded like a beautiful idea, though she wouldn't want to cause even more trouble for Scout. "You are much too kind to someone you just met," Arden complimented the Inugami before Scout began preparing herself for whatever magic she was planning on unleashing on the enchanted accessory around her neck. Arden's breath stilled as Scout's black claws revealed themselves, hand raised as sparks surrounded them. The Kumiho squeezed her eyes shut as the Inugami told her to say anything if it hurt. It had barely registered through her brain before Scout's hand was curled around the metal. The sparks were making the same sound like an electrical box being punched through, before the pain coursed through her body. She didn't say anything. Instead, she clenched her hands and bit her lip to hold in the scream of pain that wanted to get unleashed.

Despite the pain it brought, Arden could feel the collar loosening around her neck. The magic was disappearing, and the collar was giving in to whatever magic that Scout was applying. It was the final "snap" that caused the cool metal to leave her neck. It did so with a brutal force, knocking Arden off her feet and back against the wall. It was quick thinking that made the wall turn into a soft mattress before she crashed into it. "That--" she began before landing back on her feet, touching her neck and feeling some blood. It was a small price to pay for her freedom. "--was close..." Arden finished off her sentence before walking over to Scout and doing something very out of character for her. She hugged the Inugami, even snuggling a bit into her as one of her nine tails made an appearance and wagged happily behind her. "Thank you," she smiled before giving the two of them a bit of distance and then smiling brightly to Scout. "Thanks a lot, Scout!" She repeated before letting go of Scout's shoulder and stepping over to the door so she could open it for the both of them.

The door disappeared and in its place was flower petals that fell to the floor. Transmutation was a handy gift if used correctly. "As you've helped me, I want to help you too," Arden decided she had no intentions of taking "no" for an answer. "Whatever it is, I'll do it. The moon is up too, so allow me to bask in the moonlight for just a few moments, and my magical abilities will be at their full potential," the Kumiho added with a wider smile than before. The thought of getting out of that room after three days were worth all of the happiness that was numbing down the pain, especially with the thought of something to eat and drink was close by, and a bath, she really wanted a bath and a change of clothes.
 
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SkittlesAndSpike

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Scout
"I'm living in a past that I no longer have, dreaming of a life I know longer know"

“Looks like I still got that magic touch!” Scout smirked, proud of herself. She’d defeated a magic-cancelling collar. Sure, it was probably only designed to cancel the magic of the wearer, but it wasn’t like it was an easy feat for her. She was almost too busy celebrating to notice the transmutation of the wall into a mattress. It was stunning to say the least and it resulted in a whistle leaving her lips. She would have commented on the feat had she not been surprised by the hug Arden gave her.

“It was nothin’, I couldn’t leave you down here after all.” She responded, a proud smirk on her face. Had she not been so caught off-guard she would have returned the hug, doing this good stuff had its perks, that was for sure. But as much as she enjoyed the hug, she found herself enjoying seeing Arden’s magic in action once again even more.

When the door was gone, replaced with flower petals, she couldn’t help but float over, scooping up a few of the petals and poking at them, rubbing them between her fingers and eyeing them closely. “Wow…I’ve never seen anything like this before. That’s some pretty awesome power ya got there.” She told Arden, blowing into her hands and letting the petals float about in the air once again. “Yeah sure, we’ll get you into that moonlight no problem.” If she could change steel into flowers while ‘magically starved’, she really wanted to see what she was capable of on a full tank.

“Lemme go first then, just in case we run into trouble.” She placed a hand on Arden’s shoulder, floating past her and poking her head out the doorway. She saw nothing, or at least, nothing to cause her any alarm. Her ears flicked, twitching every few moments as she attempted to listen for anyone who could be coming their way or even waiting for them. When she heard nothing, she motioned for Arden to move forward, floating into the hall. “Door is this way, I killed two guys already.” Now was as good a time as any to tell her why she was here.

“Since you so kindly offered your help with everything, I figure I should tell you I didn’t break into this place on an altruistic mission.” Scout started, speaking in a hushed tone. “I mean, I would have saved you anyway, but…it was more about making these…these…assholes hurt. I want to bring this building down on top of them, literally or figuratively…maybe figuratively. That way I can make sure they die.” She couldn’t keep the growing rage out of her speech. “They did to me what they would’ve done to you.” She wasn't trying to take a trip down memory lane though, now was not the time. "Anyway...help me do that, and we're even."
 
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CrystalTears

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Arden
"I cannot run away from my problems, but if I stop they'll eat me alive."
Scout was such a nice person. The fact that Arden had thought about attacking or doubted her for a second made some sense of guilt wash through her. It felt amazing to meet another person again, especially to meet someone that Arden already liked quite a bit. "Not everyone is like that, especially not when it comes to the Black Market. I'm really thankful Scout, I mean every word of it," Arden said as Scout brushed off her efforts, but Arden wouldn't let her. It may be the foreign act of someone doing something for free that was throwing the Kumiho off her usual pre-cautions with strangers, or the mere fact that Scout had helped her without asking for anything in return. Kindness, should not have been something that was so unfamiliar to her, but thankfully, Scout seemed to have an endless supply of it to show off to Arden and familiarize her with it. "It's trasmutation. I am able to take something and turn it into something else, I would have made myself some food if I could, but I'm unable to make something so detailed," Arden smiled. Whatever aura Scout had around herself, it made Arden feel at ease as she shared more about herself and her powers. She must have forgotten how it felt to socialize with someone she could trust, because it was a different kind of "nice" that she didn't know if she had experienced yet.

"Thank you, again. The moonlight will make me more useful to you," Arden found herself thanking Scout a lot. It was unavoidable with everything that Scout was doing. The Kumiho nodded as Scout said she would lead before floating past her to check the hallway. Arden did not dare to make a single sound, her breathing stilled, as her ears flicked left and right to try and pick up sounds alongside with Scout. The Kumiho could not hear anything, not breathing nor any steps, which was why she gave the air a few sniffs. Blood, she could smell fresh blood in the air. A few of her wounds were still bleeding, but it was too faint to be coming from her. Had Scout needed to fight her way in, or was it some other unfortunate souls trapped in here that had caved in or proved not to be as beneficial to these men? The thought in itself was morbid, so Arden shook it off and instead followed Scout when the Inugami beckoned her forwards. "Huh? Wait-- Did you say-- killed?" She asked the Inugami as she came around the corner where Scout confessed her intentions for breaking into the dreaded place.

Arden had not thought for her intentions to have been good, but the fact that Scout wished to kill every single one of them in here, it made something inside of the Kumiho's stomach twist. Her ancestors would have screamed in joy if she had gone on the same mission, one endless and filled with vengeance and blood, but Arden had never wanted to walk down that path. However, she had promised to help Scout out with anything, and if that was bringing the building down, then there was bound to be some casualties. A few moments passed before, Arden had to get over her hesitations. Her earlier claim of helping Scout, with anything, still stood and she was not one to take back her words. Scout had saved her from certain death, and Arden needed to repay that, even if that meant doing something she had never imagined herself doing. What Scout was asking for was to help her take down the entire place, Arden never had to do the act of killing, it would be the consequences of what they were going to do. "Okay," the Kumiho said, not fully knowing what she was getting herself into yet. "I'll help you, I told you I would, and I'm not backing down on that promise," Arden smiled before allowing Scout to lead the way outside.

The instant she felt the moonlight hit her skin, her markings lit up, and the Kumiho let out a loud sigh. It felt so lovely compared being locked in the dark basement, her tails, all nine of them, appeared behind her, before Arden opened up her eyes to stare at the moon in the sky. It had been so long; now she understood why basking in the moonlight was so crucial for her species. Her energy was rejuvenating itself; she could feel the magic coursing through her veins. Yes, freedom was the best for anyone. Arden followed Scout, not taking the time to properly enjoy the night; before their escape anyway, before the scent of blood become stronger. She gasped when he saw the man that had gotten his face smashed in, quite literally. There was another man next to him, while his face was human, his throat had big slashing marks across it, and the dark thought of him dying from the lack of air or choking out on his blood, made it across her mind which made Arden's entire body shudder.

There were no reasons to ask if Scout had done it because it was quite obvious she had done so. It looked brutal, and she had no doubts in her mind, that it had been so too. The fact that there were scattered pieces of the smashed head was plenty to tell anyone how it had to be. Arden could only hope that Scout had been merciful enough to kill them quickly, but all she could tell was that they were dead now. Unlike Scout, Arden had to step over the bodies, and as she did so, roots from the ground grew from where her feet had touched, before dragging the bodies down and burying them underneath the ground, showing no signs of the bloody mess. All had a right to a proper burial, though it was the best that Arden could do. A few flowers grew up from the ground where they had been before Arden moved on to follow Scout's lead.

As Scout lead them deeper into the establishment, there were more and more guards around too. Arden knew that they could try and sneak around them, but Scout had already made up her mind and was charging into the battle. "I am sorry," Arden murmured before she got into the action too. Usually, Arden would hold a little back, but this time, the Kumiho was going in to kill. It was the first time in her life that she had not run away from danger, but instead, into it. Unfortunately, Arden had never explored the more aggressive parts of her powers, but one time had to be the very first. Shots rang out into the air, and for a moment, Arden had thought of running, but instead, she reached out her hand. The bullets turned into drops of water before they made contact. The Kumiho summoned spikes of ice before sending them forwards, this time making more contact than just cutting a few legs, they aimed for a quick end of those who prevented her escape.

One man grabbed her from behind, which was his biggest mistake. In one moment, a man had been standing next to her, in the next, the man had turned into leaves and were blown away with the wind. "I truly am sorry, but I have a promise to keep," Arden apologized once more as she stomped down on the ground. The ground changed underneath and around her, turning into molten lava as the men helplessly fell in. The ground closed itself again as if it had been opened like a book, deafening the screams of the men burning alive. It felt terrible to admit it, but she could not lie that it felt a bit good to finally return some of the pain they had caused her.
 
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SkittlesAndSpike

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Scout
"I'm living in a past that I no longer have, dreaming of a life I know longer know"

A low whistle escaped Scout as she watched Arden’s magic in action. She found what the Kumiho could do impressive and, had she not been here, in this particular scenario, maybe even a little scared. She nearly let out a gasp when Arden changed the floor into lava. Hearing the screams of the men sink into the floor only caused a small grin to form on Scout’s face. Sure it was brutal, but she felt they deserved to die. How it happened, she didn’t care.

“Don’t apologize, they had it coming,” Scout told her, elbowing her gently. Maybe getting her to help out with this was a little much. She’d forgotten the obvious, Arden didn’t look the type to enjoy killing, even if it was justified. Her burying of the bodies that Scout had left before only helped to confirm it. Feeling a little bit of remorse, Scout patted her shoulder. “Hey, if you want you can let me do the majority of the work and you can just watch my back. Even though I’m pretty sure you did most of it already.” She couldn’t help herself, she patted Arden on the back.

The tide of men had come to a stop, leading her to believe that if any were left inside the building they were either hiding or running, either of which was okay with her currently. “Thanks for your help though. This whole thing will really send a message!” Sure, it would make hitting the next place more difficult, but she wanted them to know they were a target. She wanted them scared or angry, maybe even both. Just the thought alone was pleasing to her.

“Let’s get out of here Ardent. If anyone is left in this building, well…either they’ll quit while they’re ahead, or they’ll find their way to another headquarters they have, and I’ll deal with them there.” She started to float backward, towards the door. “Now it’s time for the fun part. I get to blow this dump to bits!” She clapped her hands, rubbing them against each other while snickering. It was as if her flight was dictated by her mood, her body began rotating in the air, still moving her towards the door.

Sure enough, a few them had decided to jump ship, deciding that escaping this madness was a better choice than burning alive or being turned into leaves or whatever crazy thing the Kumiho would cook up in that head of hers. They’d snuck out through the back, but they had a face, two in fact. One of a liberated product and the other that reckoned herself some sort of freedom fighter.

The attention Scout thought she wanted was surely gained.
 
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CrystalTears

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Arden
"I cannot run away from my problems, but if I stop they'll eat me alive."
"It's okay," Arden said with a smile as she turned to the somewhat concerned Scout, drowning the sounds of the men's last pleads of mercy, with the spirit's soothing voice. Concern was refreshing, especially since Arden lived a life where getting to know someone and fighting along them had been, but a thought that was out of reach in reality. It was funny, it was now something she had done, but it had been much different than she thught. "It's refreshing in a way," Arden began explaining before brushing some of her short silver hair out of her eyes. "To be freed from the restraints I've put up and fight back, it is surprisingly nice to be able to give them some of their own medicine to taste," the Kumiho reassured the Inugami as she got a pat on the back. "So, do not worry and lead the way Scout. I'm behind you," she smiled and let the spirit take the charge into the building and what their next move would be.

A message would get sent. The men who had died there would go missing, despite there not being a single trace of blood nor a body left behind. However, if Scout was planning on taking the whole building down, then there might be those who survive and those who get crushed, it could get dirty quickly. They continued further into the establishment, where Scout had been correct about some of them leaving. Fewer guards got stationed inside than outside; they must have gotten scared after Arden decided to fight back. The Kumiho prided herself in being above the respect that came along with fear, but if this was the only way to obtain a peaceful life, then she only needed a little bit of a push from Scout to do it. "Scout?" Arden spoke up as she looked over to her flying new acquaintance.

"This other place you are planning to go to, do you mind if I come with?" Arden decided to ask. "I-- I wish not to run anymore. If there are others who are captured like me, waiting for their end, then I'd love to help them as you did me. It is a selfish request, but I promise not to be in the way!" The Kumiho spoke as she had a high desire to help Scout on her missions of taking these Black Markets down. Arden was unsure what the Inugami gained from doing this and what her reasons for it were, but Arden knew she wanted to help her.
 
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SkittlesAndSpike

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Scout
"I'm living in a past that I no longer have, dreaming of a life I know longer know"

Scout found herself surprised by Arden's request to tag along. She'd previously felt bad for having the girl help her with this. She didn't think she had the heart or the stomach for the violence, but maybe she was wrong. Just as she said, she was sick of running from creeps like this. The only other options were to let them have what they want, or to wipe them out first, and it seemed to Scout she'd decided to wipe them out, and that put a rather cheek grin on the Inugami's face. "Oh, look at you! Now you almost sound like me!"

She did sound like Scout, just less violent and rage filled. "Well, I don't think you'll get in the way. You've pretty much done all of the work in this place, anyway! You've proved you can pull your own weight, and mine!" Sure, Arden was a valuable asset to have. Taking down places like this or anything much worse would be easy as pie with the Kumiho by her side. But Scout had to admit, even more than her assistance, it'd be cool to have someone to work alongside with. She'd been solo for awhile and honestly, it was making her a little violent. Well...more violent than she was used to being. "Sure, you can tag along. You can be my sidekick!"

Scout nudged Arden with her elbow. "But I tell ya, runnin' with me is gonna be tiresome and crazy." She lost her grin for a moment, giving Arden the most serious look she could. "It always ends up in blood, but almost always theirs. And you might end up with a bigger target on your back for awhile. There might not be a 'hit it and quit it' thing going on with this place." It almost never was.

"So if you think you can handle rolling with me...yeah, you can tag along!" She nodded her head up and down, ponytail bobbing in the process. "Just bring this place down, and I'll take it as a 'sure thing!'. Then we can go...the next day." As far as she was concerned, they'd have the advantage by showing up in the day, when they least expected her to attack. Plus, she wasn't sure if she should take Arden with her tonight. She'd just saved the girl from chains after all.


 
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Arden
"I cannot run away from my problems, but if I stop they'll eat me alive."
Arden thought about it for a little bit. Sure, she didn't doubt that tagging along with Scout on her mission of taking down these sorts of facilities. Undoubtedly, her life in the shadows would be over. But Arden had spent so much time in her life running anyway, so standing up to the "bullies" would feel as refreshing as it did today, wouldn't it? Of course, it would also be dangerous and put her at risk, but with Scout's help, it would somehow be okay. Or so she hoped. Well, with some determination, Arden decided that it was far better than a life on the run. A Kumiho lived for quite some time, and she was done running away. If the full moon hadn't been out, then her powers would have been far less, but thanks to it, Arden was able to give Scout a clear answer as she walked over to the building and touched it with the tip of her finger. The moment she did, the entire building turned into dust. It didn't even look as if anything had been standing in the previously occupied spot, as the wind carried it away as if it had never been a building in the first place. "Is that a sufficient answer?" Arden asked, but needed no reply once she saw the smile on Scout's face.

With their task at the dreaded place done, Arden decided that her best next move was to go home. Scout tagged along, not that the Kumiho minded in the slightest, and their walk back to the modest apartment building was a pleasant one. Her apartment was on the second floor, room 214, which she happily invited Scout into. It wasn't a huge apartment, but plenty of space for only one person. Arden's home was very open. The kitchen and the living room had no walls between them, and the two doors that were leading elsewhere was the bathroom and the bedroom. It was also very tidy, though a bit dusty, but that was because Arden hadn't been home in a few days.

"Sorry if it's dirty," the Kumiho excused her living space as she took off her worn shoes in the entrance way and then took the first steps back into her home. "I haven't been here for a while, but I'll clean later," Arden smiled before stretching her arms into the air. It felt good to be home. "I'll take a bath, feel free to make yourself comfortable. I have a mattress you can use to sleep on too, and if you're hungry there's probably something edible in the fridge," Arden continued before opening the door to the left, making the right one leading to her bedroom. "Just knock if you need something!" Arden added, before closing the door after herself.

Arden looked at herself in the mirror and almost shuddered at the look. She had a bloody handprint in her hair, though it was dark red now, it still felt a bit sticky to the touch. Her face looked pale and was filled with dirt, probably from the basement, and Arden knew the state of the rest of her body. The clothes she had worn was nothing to keep, so instead, Arden transmuted them into a white dress and undergarments. She stopped the water, before stepping into the hot water and letting out a loud sigh. If anything, the way the warm water relaxed all of her tensed muscles and made her wounds hurt less. If she didn't know better, Arden would have fallen asleep in the tub, but instead focused on getting some of the half-dried blood out of her hair. The last thing she wanted was to get that in her fur.
 
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SkittlesAndSpike

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Scout
"I'm living in a past that I no longer have, dreaming of a life I know longer know"

"Oh wow, you have a cozy little place!" Scout called out to Arden as she explored the apartment. She floated through the studio, not wishing to track filth from her paws onto the floor as she looked through everything nosily. She wasn't trying to snoop, but she was so...curious. She'd spent months living on the floor, and before that she essentially lived in a kennel. To her, having your own place, and a nice one at that, was as foreign as it was sacred.

"I would kill for a place like this." She mumbled to herself. Her snooping was interrupted by the angry call of her belly, causing her to snicker. She floated her way to the fridge and opened it, rummaging around for something to eat. She let out a pleased squeal when she found chicken. Cooked chicken at that. Cooked chicken that looked well seasoned!

She knew it would taste better if she warmed it up first but she had no patience for that. Instead, she hurriedly removed it from the appliance and began digging in, eating like the animal that she once was. She would have eaten it all had she not remembered that she was a guest in someone's house! As much as she wanted to eat it all, to eat everything, she wasn't going to be a crappy guest to the person who had helped her bring down those scumbags. No, she should do the sensible thing and leave some for her! Arden was probably just as hungry as she was!

Scout licked her teeth clean and made her way over to the mattress, gently lowering herself onto it. A small sigh escaped her as she sunk into the softness of the fabric. To her, it was like a cloud, almost. A soft, fluffy cloud that, if she jumped on it, would bounce her back up. "I left you some chicken!" She called out to Arden. "And I'll leave you some room on the mattress!" Or at least she would try. If she passed out there was no guarantee how much she'd flop around in her sleep.



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CrystalTears

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Arden
"I cannot run away from my problems, but if I stop they'll eat me alive."
Arden didn't stay in the bath for too long, while it was tempting to soak in the water and stay in there forever, she had a visitor, and it would be rude if she isolated herself in the bathroom. The bloodied and dirty clothes were turned into air, nothing she wanted to save for later, and it was beyond a wash of being okay to wear again. Arden brushed her hair for a short while before doing the same to her tails and then walking out to the living room. She put on a light blue bathrobe before exiting the bathroom to try and find Scout.

"Scout?" She called out when she didn't find her immediately. Arden took a quick peek in the fridge, finding the leftovers the Inugami had left her and smiled as she took a bite and brought it with her to the bedroom. "You settled in?" The Kumiho laughed as Scout looked like she was in Heaven on top of the mattress. "Can you make some room for me too?" Arden joked as she got dressed into her pajamas. Her ears and tails were still visible, having no reason to hide them from Scout before she sat down on the edge of the bed and stretched.

"You don't have your own place?" Arden asked the Inugami. "Where do you sleep then?"

 
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SkittlesAndSpike

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Scout
"I'm living in a past that I no longer have, dreaming of a life I know longer know"

"Uhuh...sure thing..." Scout almost sounded like she was drunk. She rolled over to make room for Arden and resumed her process of melting into the mattress, becoming one with the bed. "God I love this bed. Better than anything I've slept on in my life." She snickered before looking at Arden.

"Nah. I guess you could say that I'm a vagabond." She told the Kumiho after some thought. "The world is my oyster! I sleep wherever I can. I don't have a home to be honest. I mean I might, but if I do, I don't know where it is or anything about the people who are there." She grumbled a bit as she spoke about it. The last place she slept was in someone's backyard. They had a little treehouse for their kids and she hadn't felt like sleeping in the rain. It was still cold, but it was dry and it was safe.

"But it's a small price to pay for freedom, eh?" She quite literally turned her frown upside down, now grinning like a fool. "I went from wearing a collar and living on a chain to exploring the world and killing scumbags like the ones who took you." It was a pretty good change if you asked her.

Still, despite how chipper she looked and sounded, a heavy sigh escaped her. "I've been through too many lives." She almost sounded sullen, if not downright depressed. The grin on her face remained though. A glimmer of hope for better things to come.


 
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Arden
"I cannot run away from my problems, but if I stop they'll eat me alive."
Arden felt as if he had asked a question she shouldn't have when Scout started to explain that she had no home. They just met today, and she might have intruded into the Inugami's personal life. Then again, Arden was just a tiny bit jealous. Scout had her own life and lived as free as a bird. Yes, she didn't have a bed to go home to or dinner on her table, and not to mention her murderous rampages, but the Inugami did whatever she pleased. Arden had been on the run for so long that she had forgotten how it was to just breathe and not worry about who was hunting her.

"Sorry," Arden apologized. "I shouldn't have asked, it's none of my business," the Kumiho smiled and relaxed as her head hit the pillow. It had been a while since she had been home. When she had been locked in that cold basement Arden didn't think she would see her bed again, it felt terrific to relax against the mattress. "Do you want to live here then?" She asked out of the blue. "You don't have to move in or anything, but I think the least I can do for you is to offer you a place to stay whenever you need it," Arden smiled as she turned to her side to face Scout.

"And what are we doing tomorrow?" Scout had mentioned something about more of the places where Arden herself had been taken back at that dreaded building. The Kumiho was against violence, but Scout's cause was just. Yes, it was far more deadly than what Arden had done before, but maybe it was time for her to pay some of the horrors they had given her back.
 
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SkittlesAndSpike

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Scout
"I'm living in a past that I no longer have, dreaming of a life I know longer know"

"Don't worry about it, it was just a question." Scout assured her. "Besides, I'm the one who kinda went into a small rant." She didn't mean to go into such detail, even if it was a little vague, but she didn't care either. She was living a life that was at least fun! She could hardly complain about it, and it wans't something she felt she had to keep secret either. At least not from Arden. The girl was like her, after all. Supernatural and hunted for what she could do for people. If there was anyone she could talk to right now, it was Arden.

She was surprised that the Kumiho offered her to live with her. Of all the things she expected, which wasn't much, she did not expect that. The generosity and kindness in the offer were enough that Scout could feel her eyes water, and Arden could see it too. "Awh...geez, that's pretty nice of ya! I think I'd like that!" She wasn't going to turn down such a good offer! And it would help her keep an eye on the girl.

"I don't have a lot of stuff to move in any way!" The Inugami patted herself down for a moment before giving a rather smug grin. "I guess you could say I'm something of a minimalist. All I own are the clothes on my back and the person that I am now!" She didn't have much when she was a slave and she didn't have anything but freedom now that she was liberated.

"As for what we're going to do tomorrow...I kind of wanted to hit another place." Scout scratched her head gently as she thought about it. "I mean, tonight went so well and all and..." She could feel that fire rising in her belly again. The flames of hatred. She grumbled a bit and shook her head. She wasn't going to let that ruin a good night now.

"We'll deal with tomorrow when tomorrow comes!" She declared, raising a fist high into the air before letting her arm fall back above her head. "That's usually how I deal with stuff." Admittedly, she was not much of a planner.


 
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Arden
"I cannot run away from my problems, but if I stop they'll eat me alive."
Arden's eyes were tired after everything that had happened today, but the moment she saw tears start gathering in the corners of Scout's eyes they shot up. Panicked, the Kumiho looked around for anything in case the Inugami was going to cry, but in the end, she just grabbed a piece of the blanket and used her powers to turn it into a tissue. "H- Here," she offered hastily before smiling in the hopes of stopping the tears that were threatening to fall.

As Arden suspected, Scout, didn't have anything to grab for her to move in entirely. Her clothes and whatever she had was all her belongings which were convenient, but sad. "Then how about we go somewhere tomorrow? We should at least buy you some clean clothes, I probably got something you can wear in the meantime though if you don't mind my clothes," she offered. Unfortunately, the Kumiho couldn't buy fancy nor expensive clothing, but Scout would probably appreciate having more clothes. The rescue had shown her how bloody Scout would get during these "attacks" and blood was not easy to wash off. They would need another bed though, while she didn't mind cuddling up to Scout, the Inugami would probably like her own sleeping space.

"Yeah!" Arden smiled as Scout told her to deal with tomorrow, tomorrow. She was tired, and she had no doubt that Scout was probably the same. "We'll have to go shopping tomorrow too, you almost emptied out my fridge," the Kumiho teased before a yawn escaped her. "Goodnight Scout, see you in the morning."
 
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Scout took the tissue from Arden and dabbed at the tears on her face. "Thanks." She responded to the girl, chuckling. "Guess being free has made me pretty soft!" Crying over something like this was rather out of character for her, but it was the little things, the small acts of kindness that got to her. Not that being told she could move in was a small thing.

"Shopping tomorrow? That sounds like a good idea." It had been a while since she'd actually purchased something instead of stealing it. She'd never had money to spend on purchases, so she stole what she needed, or what she wanted. Usually it was just food. "It's been ages since I've worn something other than what I've got on now." She chuckled, shaking her head. "Sorry about the fridge. I was hungry! I may be kinda small, but I eat like a wolf."

She reached over and gave the Kumiho a one-armed hug, patting her shoulder. "Good night Arden, see ya." She responded before shutting her eyes and attempting to fall asleep. It was weird at first, because of how comfortable she felt, but it was a good weird. One that she hoped would last at least a while longer.​

**********​


"Tch...this used to be a safe neighborhood." Palomo scoffed, shaking his head as he stared at the suspiciously empty lot where a rather attractive brick house used to be. "Remember when it was just murderers and gangsters?" He looked over to a fellow officer, Officer Diaz. "Those were the good ol' days."

"There wasn't anything good about them." She shook her head, chuckling at her partner. "We just went from regular criminals to witches and warlocks. That's all." She responded to him, shaking her head. The two had been law enforcement for a while, having gone from regular sheriffs to those of the supernatural variety. "A whole building just...gone. How do you think it happened?"

"Don't care." Palomo responded, fishing a candy bar out of his pocket. He'd kept it in there all day so the chocolate had melted, but he didn't care. He almost preferred it that way. "I just wanna go home, ya know? Pick up a nice dinner, maybe meet a nice girl and-" As he went to take a bite of his candy bar, he was smacked on the backside of his head, and not gently either. He flew forward and landed on his face. "Hrmmm..." He groaned.

"uh...Chief, sir!" Officer Diaz gave a salute to the man that had assaulted her partner. She'd known Chief Tucker for quite some time, but his height always frightened her. He was over seven feet tall and ridiculously strong, so when he was in a bad mood she couldn't help be a bit nervous. "We were just about to get to work."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah." Tucker replied with a snort, glaring at Palomo, who'd just managed to sit up entirely. "You guys should have been looking around for evidence or something, instead of talking about the good ol' day....not even that old..." He muttered as he walked into the cleared building space, his nose twitching like mad. "I oughta sick Shay on you. She could avenge the headache you two give me when you're skipping out on actual work."

"Shay's here?" Palomo scrambled to his feet rather quickly, dusting himself off and smoothing out his hair. Unfortunately, the melted chocolate from his candy bar had been smeared upon his face, leaving him a sticky and brown mess. "How do I look?" He asked the others two.

"Stupid." They both responded. Diaz was trying to hide her laughter while Tucker didn't even bother to look at him. "I smell blood," Tucker commented, a small smirk on his face. Blood and something else. There was definitely...a murder here." ​
 
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