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Shadow of Bellvue (Shrub and Aerilaya)
  • Khaz smiled at Brocc, his arms crossing over his chest, his back leaning against the wall as they talked. "Yeah ... Don't worry, you are less dangerous than Ren ..."

    After all, it sounded like Brocc had never really hurt many people, even if that was his ... natural inclination. While Ren ... well .... the half-dragon had some genocide on his record. Ren had proven not only to enjoy hurting others, but to be willing to do so. To act on it. He had done so when slaughtering the slaves of Kakariko.

    "Slavery isn't funny."

    Ren raised a brow at Khaz, his face morphing to a slight disbelieving sneer. "But it is when it's drow."

    Slavery. Ren. Khaz remembered something from back during their encounter with the empire.

    “Oh,” said Tilly, narrowing her eyes, feigning surprise. The smirk never left her maroon lips. “Did Ren never tell you?”

    “Hey,” Ren snapped with quick interjection. “Whether I go with you or not is not their decision. Heh, you think they can make me stay or go?”

    Tilly smirked, her eyes narrowing now with disdain. “They have been using property that is not theirs. Just because your mother died trying to break the deal she made with Lilith does not change your ownership, Nevisu. Don’t forget who you owe your life to, mongrel.”

    “The kingdom of Hyrule does not condone slavery,” said Rontu. “If he does not want to go, well … he’s my knight. I’ll have to fight alongside him.”

    A slave. Ren had been a slave. Even if no one had ever said it that way before. That word had never been used to describe Ren, but Khaz realized how true it was. He was taken from his home by the empire and forced to train and fight and kill. He couldn't leave. He was forced to do another's bidding. What else was that except ... a slave?

    The citizens of Hyrule certainly didn't know that. Ren was infamous for his slaughter there. Even if he had been called a slave, it would have only made them hate him more. After all, what was worse than a slaver than a slave who killed other slaves?

    But Khaz understood now. That's why Ren thought it was funny. Drow being enslaved. Ren hated drow just as much if not more than Khaz did. Rontu excluded, of course.

    Khaz pulled himself from his thoughts, which he had been lost in for only a few moments of silence with Brocc. He smiled again.

    "Listen, you told me a secret ... So I'll tell you something I haven't told anyone else," said Khaz. "You know how Ren said I randomly know stuff? Well ... it's not really that random actually. The only reasons I can't do it right now is because it's not dark enough yet. When night covers these streets ..."

    His dark eyes looked out over them. "The shadows ... will talk to me. I can ask them questions. They can tell me almost anything about what happened or is happening out in the darkness. So ... once night falls, I can figure out where those kids are and who took them."
  • Brocc's mouth turned into a small "o" as his eyes light up. While abilities of monsters were varied and abundant in his world, he had never heard of anything like this. Magic in of itself was rare, and when it did show its face, pitifully weak. That was the primary reason Rebels took human forms even though they thought humans were scum. The human form consumed no magic, not unlike their true forms did with the exceptions of some monsters who couldn't transform. Like Bigfoot or the Lake Ness Monster. Both were masters of hiding, and the Youkai Organization was even better at doctoring photos and making people believe those who had seen the elusive creatures were bat shit insane.

    "That's super cool!" Brocc gushed. "I wish my friends were that helpful."

    :heart: Rinn “Arwyn” Nailo drawn by Liah :heart:
    Rakshael: if I know one thing about Ruki, it's that she'll prove you wrong just for the sake of saying she did it
    Characters | The Time Lost | The Rumors We Believe | Ruki's Reviews
  • Khaz chuckled at Brocc's reaction. He wondered if he should tell Leita and the others. It wasn't as if Leita didn't know he had magic. He had when they were kids. And after what happened to Sori ... well, there was no denying it. It would even make sense, now that he had his memories back that some of his magic would return with it. Just being able to talk to shadows and stuff didn't tell her everything. It was easy enough to accept that a Hylian would have magic. He would just keep other abilities and Takai secret. Then again ... it would make people uncomfortable maybe? Khaz sort of liked being able to know things and the fact that people didn't know he could. After all, it might make them more suspicious of him, especially those that knew him best.

    Sometimes less was more.

    "So you have friends?" asked Khaz.

    Brocc had talked about a lot of strange things as well. Like something called indoor "plumbing" that both he and Lori were accustomed to. He did suppose they had a similar and unusual style of clothing.
  • Brocc had been talking about his voices, but he decided not to say that.

    "Mn... something like that I guess," Brocc said with a shrug of his shoulders. "I'm part of a larger group. Our job is to keep people like me ... and Ren and Robin I suppose hidden from humans. We aren't supposed to exist you see. We are just things from fairytales to the humans. I don't want to think what would happen if humans learned the truth. We aren't exactly in the majority you know? And if I learned anything about humans is that they are really good at killing - and even quicker about it than a great majority of the so-called monsters. Man you don't even want to know what they would do to you if you did that shadow thing in front of 'em."

    Brocc paused before deciding to tell Khaz anyway. After all, if Khaz ever found himself in Brocc's world, he would be foolish to go acting like he did. He already looked like some cosplayer that Brocc saw from time to time - especially when the conventions were out. However, there was only so much humans would conveniently explain away before they start getting stabby. Or shooty. Or both.

    "They'd call you a witch and burn you at the stake," Brocc paused for a moment. Well he doubted most humans nowadays would burn people at the stake. That seemed like it would be something that was more likely to happen here. "Well shoot you probably if you are lucky. Most likely they'll kidnap you and run experiments on you. There were entire hunts for witches a few centuries ago and before that other magical creatures got hunted down like cattle. A lot of them got killed in antiquity though. You know, hero quests and what not."

    :heart: Rinn “Arwyn” Nailo drawn by Liah :heart:
    Rakshael: if I know one thing about Ruki, it's that she'll prove you wrong just for the sake of saying she did it
    Characters | The Time Lost | The Rumors We Believe | Ruki's Reviews

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Ruki ().

  • That was hard for Khaz to imagine, and yet ... not. Maybe he was just jaded because of everything he had experienced. But he knew enough about prejudice and fear of the unknown. People without magic were usually more afraid of those with magic. Sometimes Khaz was able to bluff and frighten away attackers just by showing off his talon glove energy blade. Khaz kept his craziness and Takai's magic a secret for a reason. He supposed some part of him did fear that not only would those close to him shrink away, but the idea of a mob coming after him didn't sound too far fetched.

    The experimenting on him did sound rather disturbing.

    "I'll keep that in mind if I ever find myself in a world with ... indoor plumbing," said Khaz. Maybe he would get to learn what that was exactly. He supposed he could ask Brocc if he really wanted to know.

    "Perhaps it wouldn't be such a bad idea letting Brocc know of my existence. I could ... help him release his urges in a more acceptable fashion," whispered Takai.

    Apart from that sounding disturbingly and nearly sexual .... No! He's handling his urges on his own just fine. Don't go around corrupting people who ... don't need it yet. Khaz only went along with it because it was the only way for he and Takai to maintain any semblance of stability. Brocc seemed to be handling the stability okay without resorting to killing off criminals.

    "Khaz," said a familiar voice nearby. Khaz turned to see Lynn's head poking out of the alley next to where he and Brocc were. The Hylian went over and into the alley quickly. Most places didn't react well to seeing Lynn, the shadow beast. So Lynn usually just went hunting and roamed the wilderness outside the towns and villages they passed through.

    Lynn narrowed his green-gold eyes at Khaz once in the alley. "You have been taking too long in this village."

    "Sorry, Lynn," said Khaz. "We got a situation here that we're ... involved in now."

    A breath passed through the shadow beast's nose. "I'm not really surprised ..."

    Khaz smiled. "By the way, could you do me a favor?"

    Lynn nodded.

    "We're investigating some missing children. Could you search the woods around town, see if you find any leads?"

    The shadow beast bobbed his head in agreement.

    “We must be greater than what we suffer.”
    [A Light in the Dark| Empire of Darkness |Under the Red Sea]

    The post was edited 2 times, last by Shrub ().

  • Brocc liked to think when it came to monsters and mythical beasts, he was pretty knowledgeable. After all, it was sort of his job to know things. Monster things. About monsters. However, he had never seen anything like the creature Khaz was talking to before.

    It looked like a jaguar, if a jaguar had feathers instead of fur. He tried to think of what sort of monster could possibly fit into the criteria. Maybe something from Mexico or South America? After all there were some feathered serpents down there. There was also the Kanaima, but they typically looked like normal jaguar before they rip out people's throats.

    Try as he might, Brocc couldn't think of anything.

    However, the real mystery lay in not what the creature was, but in its name.


    Also totally thought it was a dude by the way it sounded. Guess I can't be judging based on voice.

    "Never seen anything like you before," Brocc said as he walked to look at the beast with a head tilt. Looking at it closer, it definitely seemed like it would be something in South America. When he got back - whenever that would be - he should ask about whatever Lynn was. Maybe it was a monster they didn't know about and should.

    :heart: Rinn “Arwyn” Nailo drawn by Liah :heart:
    Rakshael: if I know one thing about Ruki, it's that she'll prove you wrong just for the sake of saying she did it
    Characters | The Time Lost | The Rumors We Believe | Ruki's Reviews
  • Back at the entrance to the black market, Robin led the way through various stalls and around shady people who pulled their cloaks closer when they passed. She was used to the hustle and bustling of an underground marketplace, and ignored all the exotic animals for sale, as well as the many mutilated animal and human parts which were on display. She caught sight of some stolen weapons cache for sale, but shook her head, heading to a smaller stand and stopping there.

    She pounded on the table, hard enough to get the attention of the person manning it. It was difficult to tell if it was male or female, but it was distinctive enough to interact with.

    "Aaaaaah," the person croaked, "so you've managed to find me at Bellvue, Miss Adams. How is your father doing?"

    "I haven't seen him in a while," she said bluntly, "but last I checked he was fine."

    "Poor fellow," the thing said, coming closer. It appeared to be a woman in the fairer lighting near the front of the stall. "Sad that even such a noble man as him has to go through these...ridiculous procedures. I'm not one for decency around here, but slavery is depraved."

    "I'm not here to get him another tag," Robin said.

    "Oh, are you here to get one for yourself then?"

    Robin shook her head. "I still pass as an elf in most parts, fortunately. I'm here to get one for an...acquaintance," she said, gesturing over to Rontu.
  • Ren looked around as they passed through, his expression still expressing his boredom, his thumbs hooked in his belt. Rontu also passed through with his same deadpan expression, but he absorbed his surroundings quickly. He knew places like this in Delu before as well.

    They stopped with Robin at the table she pounded on.

    Rontu's expression didn't change as he listened to the conversation. So she was the daughter of a slave. That explained how she knew places like this and the people in them. At least she was useful. Ren was still looking around, his back to Robin and the owner of the stand. It looked as if he wasn't paying attention to what they were saying. But he heard it. He smirked to himself.

    “We must be greater than what we suffer.”
    [A Light in the Dark| Empire of Darkness |Under the Red Sea]

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Shrub ().

  • Surprisingly, the witch kept her mouth shut through the exchange. Even more surprisingly, however, was that she caught the insinuation which was slipped in.

    Slavery was nothing new to Lori - after all, Africans and the indigeious people of America had been enslaved and shipped around the world. Africans in particular were part of their own massive trade where they were traded for goods and commodities. Living human beings for objects. It was insulting as it was depraved.

    Her blue eyes were taking time to adjust to the darkness. She wished she could bring out her wand and cast some light into the shadows, but who knew this place's feelings on witches. While she had used magic prior, the only person who still had their memories regarding it was Rontu. So far the Drow didn't say anything about her ... abilities, and she hoped it stayed that way.

    She knew she wasn't the only one with magic though of the group. Everyone of Team Awesome had their own type of magic, some more powerful than others. Still, she hadn't seen any of them use any magic, and with little things such as "races being enslaved left and right" slipping from Robin's mind, Lori wasn't going to take a chance.

    :heart: Rinn “Arwyn” Nailo drawn by Liah :heart:
    Rakshael: if I know one thing about Ruki, it's that she'll prove you wrong just for the sake of saying she did it
    Characters | The Time Lost | The Rumors We Believe | Ruki's Reviews
  • "An acquaintance you say?" the woman asked, turning her gaze over to Rontu. She immediately recognized what the Drow was, sighing. "That shouldn't be a problem, for a small fee."

    "How much are you looking for?" Robin asked, her face unreadable. She was hoping the merchant would not charge a ridiculous amount for this. She was more than happy to do it with her father, but for someone she had just met, it was going to be rather difficult to waste a lot of money on something rather small.

    Well, she thought to herself, he doesn't deserve to become a slave, this is necessary for figuring out what the hell is going on in this backwater town.

    "Tell you what," the woman said, leaning forward and smirking, "I don't want gold from you this time, girl. I have something else in mind."

    Surprisingly, Rontu's expression didn't change in the slightest. Oddly, this place wasn't too different from Delu. It wasn't as if he hadn't heard that offer before. His gold eyes looked to Robin without turning his head. He wasn't sure who the woman was referring to. It wasn't odd for people to have different tastes.

    Ren started snorting with laughter.

    Though internally she felt entirely disgusted, she wasn't really surprised, and remained calm."What do you want?" she asked.

    The woman pointed at both her and Rontu, looking gleeful."I need to see something here~!" she cried, having a rather disgusting look of excitement on her face. "Who knows, you could pop out a healthy bab-"

    "Absolutely not," Robin interrupted. She took back her earlier thought about spending so much gold, it now suddenly looked very appealing.

    Rontu raised a brow. He stepped forward. "I'm afraid that's not possible. I have gold. I can pay for it myself. Plus any extra for your ... disappointment."

    Ren was practically crying with laughter in the background.

    The woman shook her head.

    "This is my price!" she stated, stamping her foot down and staring both of them down. Robin was just trying to ignore Ren's laughter, focusing on what she could do to change her mind.

    "Look," she said, her patience wearing thin, "what do you really gain from seeing that anyway? What happens when it is over, what will you have after that?"

    "I want a child," the woman simply stated in response. "I was originally going to buy one to do my bidding around here, but Bellvue is slim pickings for children these days, wouldn't you say?"

    The laughter stopped suddenly, and then there was Ren pushing both Robin and Rontu aside as he stepped up to the woman's table. His red eyes narrowed as a smile spread on his face.

    Then in the next second, he slammed his fist into the table, breaking it clean in half. He stomped through the wreckage toward the woman. He grabbed her by the throat. His red eyes pierced like burning red-hot fire pokers.

    "Listen, you sick twisted bitch. If you don't take his gold, I'm going to burn you alive right here and take the damn tag from your crusty burned hands."

    The woman gasped, though she didn't seem to be experiencing any kind of fear at all. Robin felt nothing but relief, sighing a little bit.

    "F-fine," she said, giving Ren a twisted grin of her own, "but only if I eventually get a child from her. You, sir a-are a fine example of why I want a hybrid child at my side." She chuckled weakly. Robin glanced at Ren.

    "Put her down," she said, her tone rather seething. For once, it wasn't actually directed at him. "We can work through this."

    Ren didn't seem to be listening. Heat started to pour out from him, his hand on her throat becoming hotter and hotter, and he was slowly tightening his grip.

    His stare was boiling. Eyes wide with a sort of manic rage, his lips snarling.

    "Ren," said Rontu in a sharp warning.

    Lori's eyes narrowed as she stepped forward. She had been keeping back and quiet - a first for the excitable woman - but it seemed the whole conversation was getting on her nerves as well.

    She took a stick out of her pocket and leveled it at the woman and uttered one simple word:

    "Stupefy." A red jet shot out of the wand and the woman fell unconscious.

    Ren's head snapped toward Lori. His rage was not at all cooled by her interference. He snarled lowly at the witch, "I had the fucking cunt--Stay out of it!"

    "Ren, it's enough, she's unconscious," said Rontu stepping toward him. "She can wipe her memories and we can leave with the tag."

    Ren growled indistinctly, almost throwing the woman to the ground. There were burn marks on her throat from where he had gripped her.

    "Normally I would heal that, but I think I won't this time," Lori commented as she began to search through the woman's belongings before finding the tag. Duplicating it, she tossed the new copy to Rontu.

    "Might as well take the original," Robin said, utter disgust in her voice.

    Rontu caught it and used it to replace the copy on his ear. Ren was still boiling. Rontu could still feel the heat coming off him.

    "I'm a cop - I don't steal," Lori said as she slipped her jacket off. It was getting hot in here.

    Rontu look to her. Then again, maybe she wasn't like Taerin at all. It wasn't as if Taerin wanted to steal, but stealing from drow in Delu was ... different. However, Rontu didn't really consider this woman different from many drow he had met before. All the same, he dropped some gold at her feet. To keep Lori quiet.

    Robin fished around in her bag, pulling out a gemstone and leaving it on one of the intact tables.

    "She can have this as a payment," she said. "I have a feeling it would be very stressful trying to make duplicates."

    Lori pointed her wand once more at the woman. Muttering about this is why they burned witches at the stake, she muttered another word - 'Oblivate' and a green light shot out.

    "There." She slipped her wand back in her pocket and gave a sigh as she pushed her hair back, her hand running over her goggles before her demeanor did a 180 and she instantly became cheerful again. "Well now that's done, where to now?"

    "Out of this place for now," said Rontu.

    Ren was already forging ahead. Back in the direction they had come.

    Robin sighed, giving her a weak smile.

    "Might as well rest for the day," she said quietly. She found the new tone rather refreshing after those few minutes of intensity.

    "Onwards!" Lori exclaimed as she pranced - literally pranced - after Ren.

    Rontu nodded in agreement. They would have to think of new leads.

    OOC: yay for Skype IMRP collaboration!


    The post was edited 3 times, last by Shrub ().

  • Khaz smiled at Brocc. "Brocc, this is Lynn. Lynn this is Brocc."

    The feathered jag's eyes narrowed and his lip started to snarl slightly. "... He smells ..."

    Then he turned away and disappeared into a shadow of the alley. Khaz rubbed the back of his neck and chuckled nervously.

    "He's .... not a big talker."

    Brocc lifted his arm and sniffed before frowning slightly.

    "I do smell ..."

    Khaz chuckled again, but looked down. "... He could probably tell you aren't ... human."

    Khaz's statement didn't seem to bother Brocc any though and he simply smiled.

    "It's fine. I'm used to it."

    Khaz nodded and looked up. "Well ... I think I've pouted enough. Kinda feel better now ... Maybe we should go back and find the others?"

    "Sounds good," the other boy said as he stuck his hands in his pocket. He paused a moment "... Seriously though, what is Lynn? I know a lot of different creatures, and I never saw anything like him."

    "Oh," Khaz smiled again. He forgot sometimes. He knew Brocc wouldn't be too shocked, but it wasn't surprising he didn't know what Lynn was. Khaz didn't know when he met him either. "He's a shadow beast. He says I'm his charge, so he follows me around."

    "Hm. Interesting," Brocc said as he put his hand on his chin, seemingly becoming thoughtful.

    They headed back in the direction Khaz had stormed away from. But he wasn’t sure where they had gone to exactly. Khaz suppose he would guess, and then if there was enough shadow nearby Takai would be able to take care of the rest. He just needed to be in the same general area.

    It was then Khaz saw Ren. Ren was an ass, but Khaz generally recovered quickly even when they got into fights. You kind of have to when you’re stuck traveling with a jerk like him. After all, Ren was never the one to apologize for anything, even if he knew was in the wrong. Khaz had just learned to accept that. The Hylian brightened and started to wave, but then stopped his hand raised. The smile on his face fell, becoming an expression of dread.

    Khaz saw the look on Ren’s face. The boil rage in the half-dragon’s red eyes made him look as if he was on the war path. Khaz had cringed unconsciously.

    Upon Ren’s approach, Khaz asked, “What happened?”

    Mother fucking cunt!” snarled Ren. He kicked a large rock on the ground and it crumbled.

    Khaz flinched.

    Rontu and the others were following behind Ren. The Hylain looked to them for answers.

    “We had some trouble with our vendor,” explained Rontu dully.

    “I shoulda killed that bitch,” growled Ren who was now pacing. He turned back to them, his glare on Lori. “Don’t you ever get in my way again!”
  • Lori wasn't afraid of Ren. That much was clear as she crossed her arms and raised an eyebrow at him. She couldn't back down because some albino brat was throwing a temper tantrum because he wasn't allowed to kill somebody because they said something to upset him. She didn't care if he was half-dragon or not. She's faced worse.

    Seen worse.

    "I will if I need to," the witch said bluntly. "You think I'm going to back down and let you throw a temper tantrum like a toddler? Guess again. I'm an Auror - a cop - I hunt people who make you look like a god damn saint down and bring them in to face justice."

    While a sane person might have shied away from the raging half dragon, Lori uncrossed her arms and took a defiant step toward him. She wasn't going to let Ren think he had any say or sway over her. If it resulted in a fight, Lori would be there to meet him head on. While Ren may have had strength on his side, Lori had versatility ... and surprise. She proved she was an idiot. Now she can easily prove she was dangerous as well.

    "I don't care what you are. Half-dragon ... incredibly strong ... that's meaningless to me," Lori said as she walked toward Ren, her stride easy and purposeful. "You are going to come across things which will upset you in this world, and to lash out with them in violence and hate because they upset you, that doesn't make you strong. That makes you weak and a fucking coward. You think if you punch and scream and make a scene enough they'll just go away? That things you lost will magically come back?"

    She stopped in front of him, her blue eyes - usually filled with mirth and laughter now completely serious as if they belonged to a different person - stared straight into his red ones.

    "News flash. They don't. This world we live in is cruel, but adding more cruelty to it is not the answer. Now if you have a problem, I suggest you come at me now, so you can get it out of your system and we can actually concentrate on what matters."

    :heart: Rinn “Arwyn” Nailo drawn by Liah :heart:
    Rakshael: if I know one thing about Ruki, it's that she'll prove you wrong just for the sake of saying she did it
    Characters | The Time Lost | The Rumors We Believe | Ruki's Reviews
  • Khaz’s eyes widened steadily with alarm as Lori spoke bluntly to Ren, striding right up to what was the equal to a ticking time bomb, ready to go off at any touch. This was bad, very bad. Rontu was already sighing, closing his eyes, and pinching the bridge of his nose with his fingers. Ren so did wear on one’s nerves.

    Ren’s boiling rage stared straight back at Lori, as she got into his space. Flaming red eyes met with the thrashing blue of the others. A clear battle of wills. Ren barely heard the exact details of what she said back to him. Her eyes spoke to him more than her mouth did.

    He heard her challenge and remembered her previous words: “I hunt people who make you look like a god damn saint down and bring them in to face justice.”

    A smirking sneer broke the snarl that had been twisting his face. His eyes were wide again, manic, but the burning rage that had once smolder there was missing. This was almost a hungry look. His blood red eyes light up with a bloodlust. Or maybe it was battlelust. Ren was never really sure he could tell the difference.

    “Heh, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” She should have seen him back in his good old empire days.

    There was a blurring snap of his wrist and arm as he sent a punch to her gut. It was enough to topple grown men three times her size. But not enough to kill her.

    Ren didn’t want to kill her.

    He wanted to see what she was made of. Were all those words talk, or was that blue flame in her eyes the real deal?
  • It hurt. It hurt like a god damn mother mother fucker. Surprisingly her bones didn't break - they had hardened enough to not crack each time she did something stupid. Still it would leave a bruise.

    Staggering to her feet, there was a wild fire in the witch's eyes. Losing wasn't an option. It never was. Never would be.

    Once again the wand was out and pointing at the half-dragon's face.


    Out of nowhere a softball sized hail stone appeared and went flying toward Ren. Lori's body though was tense like a cat, ready to respond to his reaction her.

    It was like a raging inferno and the ocean itself had come to blows.

    :heart: Rinn “Arwyn” Nailo drawn by Liah :heart:
    Rakshael: if I know one thing about Ruki, it's that she'll prove you wrong just for the sake of saying she did it
    Characters | The Time Lost | The Rumors We Believe | Ruki's Reviews
  • Ren met the large ball of ice head-first, literally. He could have dodged. But that wasn't the point of any of this. This was an exchange of blows. He was still measuring her. It would have been dishonorable to dodge it and not receive her response to his.

    Ren slammed his forehead into the ice and some of his nose. It was cold, and it hurt, mostly because it hit part of his nose as well. The ice shattered over his face, and leaving a bloody laceration on his forehead, blood trickling down the bridge of his nose along with the bits of ice that melted on his face, due to his higher body temperature.

    It was at this point Rontu stepped between the two. But he turned his stare to Ren, who he expected to retaliate against Lori again.

    But instead, Ren was smirking. "Well, what do ya know. Brainless has some guts. I guess she would need something since there's nothing but air between her ears."

    Rontu closed his eyes and sighed for a moment. "Are you finished?"

    Ren shrugged, his boiling temper from moments before seemed to have dissipated. As if Lori's hail stone to his face had cooled the hot steam whistling from his ears.

    "I'm good," answered Ren casually. He turned his red eyes back to Lori. "But listen up, brainless. I kill who I want when I want. Some people are nothing but a waste of fucking space and air. So you're some kind of protector of the law? I don't give two shits about whatever fucking moral high horse you ride on and if that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside about yourself. Some people should just die, and I ain't waiting on laws."

    He smirked. "But this was fun. Let's do it again sometime ... you know, if you get in my way again."
  • Lori waited a moment, seeing if Ren's agreement to stop fighting was merely a bluff before lowering her wand, casting a look around the town to see if anyone saw the display of magic. Her heart thumped in her chest, whether if it was from the fight or the fear of having an angry mob after her and her need to fight against people she wanted to help not quite clear.

    "You can count on it," Lori said, the fierceness still not leaving her eyes. "There are terrible people out there, but there is no way I'll succumb to their level. And if I'm here, I won't let anybody else either. Justice will take its course."

    That's when the Russain stepped in, clapping his hands.

    "So, you're a witch then," he said with a grin. "It's been so long since I seen one, let alone one as powerful as you. The ones back at home couldn't light a fireplace, light alone do half the stuff you could. It seems even if you're from a world with indoor plumbing, it's not the same - unless you heard of the Youkai Organization?"

    "No," Lori said as she slipped her wand back into her pocket. "Never heard of it. I'm going to assume it's something like the Department of Magical Affairs though - youkai means demon in Japanese right?"

    "Mn," Brocc hummed smiling. "It started there. You'll have to tell me more about your world when we have time. We can compare notes. First though, we have some children to find."

    :heart: Rinn “Arwyn” Nailo drawn by Liah :heart:
    Rakshael: if I know one thing about Ruki, it's that she'll prove you wrong just for the sake of saying she did it
    Characters | The Time Lost | The Rumors We Believe | Ruki's Reviews
  • "You can count on it," Lori said, the fierceness still not leaving her eyes. "There are terrible people out there, but there is no way I'll succumb to their level. And if I'm here, I won't let anybody else either. Justice will take its course."

    Ren smirked but rolled his eyes at her last statement. Killing was no biggie to him, especially if it was people like that. But … he wouldn’t admit, at least not out loud, that if he was going to get so upset about it … he might as well have gone back and killed the bitch to satisfy himself. He should have kept a cooler head or kill the bitch vendor. No half-way pussy bitch stuff. After all, Ren was done with making more regrets than he already had. It was better to be decisive and be done with it than just get pissed and blow off steam in an aimless direction like he was before. So the bitch vendor wasn’t worth it. That much he got from Lori, even if the rest of what she said was bullshit morality he didn’t care about. Blaming his lack of decisiveness on Lori was weak and stupid, and that was the only thing he regretted.

    It seemed to be over almost as soon as it started. Khaz was still gaping is shock. He … really hadn’t been expecting Lori to stand up to Ren like that. She had seemed so … light and cheerful before. He certainly hadn’t been expecting her to exchanged blows with Ren, or that Ren would actually cool off afterward.

    But if Ren backed off … why did he back off? Not back off exactly … more like …

    “I don’t get it,” said Khaz to Rontu. “He backs off after she smacks him with ice?”

    Rontu shrugged. “Ren comes with his own set of rules … It’s a Nevisu trait, so I don’t find it surprising. He comes from a clan with specific rules about honor and courage.”

    Khaz’s brow furrowed. What did that mean?

    Rontu understood it rather easily. It was the reason Ren would … sometimes listen to what he said. He listened to Kira on occasion for this reason as well. Lori had not backed down first. She showed courage and grit. Ren respected that in people, even if they weren’t as strong as him. Rontu didn’t know what other magic Lori had up her sleeve. But them fighting it out was definitely not what he wanted. In any case, Ren didn’t agree with Lori, but he at least respected her for not backing down.

    Rontu looked to Lori. She was … full of surprises. The reminder to never underestimate anyone no matter the appearance. There were times she reminded him of Taerin, and then others that she didn’t. No, that was something Kira would have said. Taerin had his own sense of justice, but he wouldn’t have carried it out the way Lori did.

    But the way Lori spoke before. It told him a lot more about her. She truly wasn’t afraid of Ren. It wasn’t just courage. The eyes she showed him. They had seen hell. Rontu knew that look. Anyone who had stared into that abyss knew. Ren had to know it too, especially after exchanging blows. It was part of the respect he gained. She gazed into hell before, lived in it. But she wasn’t broken because of it. At least not in the way that caused her to cower.

    Rontu knew Ren was broken, but it was the kind of broken that made Ren fight harder. The spirit wasn’t broken, but maybe it was twisted.

    As for Khaz … he was so broken into pieces it was surprising he didn’t give up on life in general. Rontu made sure of it once, that he not give up. Khaz was the kind of man that needed a specific reason to hang on to life. It was no surprise that Ren had zero respect for Khaz.

    Khaz himself was thinking on the look in Lori’s eyes. It wasn’t a look he had expected. Her words neither. He had to admire her courage and resolve to stick to her guns … Even if Khaz agreed more with Ren’s argument than hers. If she really had dealt with people worse than Ren … Well, Ren used to be worse himself. Still, compared to Dito or Hyde …

    It was hard to say. Sure, Ren had tried to kill Khaz the first time they met. But that day was not the worst of what Ren was infamous for in Hyrule. He never witnessed that slaughter in Kakariko. But it was said the Nevisu brothers were merciless. No child, man, or woman was given special treatment in their chase. They just cut them down.

    All the same, Khaz wouldn’t be surprised that even if Lori knew all that about Ren … she would not done anything differently.

    “What made Ren snap on the vendor?” Khaz asked Rontu as Lori and Brocc discussed something. After all, if the vendor didn’t start the fight themselves … Ren usually had a pretty thick skin. Khaz knew from experience, trying to get into an insult-war with Ren was never very effective. Insults tended to slip off his back—his pride was too big to be insulted by words. The mistake most people made—assuming his pride because it was large was easily damaged or provoked. Even if you knew what to say that gets under his skin, Ren didn’t always show that it did. It was part of his pride not to show that kind of weakness.

    “The vendor wasn’t willing to accept money for the tag,” said Rontu, as he spoke, he took the copy Lori had given him off his ear and replaced with the real one. The one he and Robin dropped some gold and gem for. “Instead, she wanted a half-drow child from me and Robin—which she would enslave once it was born.”

    Ah. Khaz didn’t need any more explanation after that. Rontu seemed to know this too, because he didn’t say anything else. It was the slavery thing Khaz had thought about before. Normally, Ren was good at acting like he didn’t care. Khaz’s eyes widened more from the fact the vendor was trying to get Robin to have sex with Rontu. That was … disturbing.

    Tilly smirked, her eyes narrowing now with disdain. “They have been using property that is not theirs. Just because your mother died trying to break the deal she made with Lilith does not change your ownership, Nevisu. Don’t forget who you owe your life to, mongrel.”

    But Tilly, that Scarlet imperial solider, she had said more than that too.

    “This is where he belongs,” replied Tilly calmly. “He’s already passed the test Lilith planned since before his and his brother’s birth. Why do you think there were two of them when she only need acquire one? Obviously, to ensure she got the best of the breed, the brothers who were raised together would find themselves pitied against each other in a fight to the death. Ren has slain Tasuki. He is one of us.”

    Like Ren was a pup from breeding prized dogs together. All the same … it made Khaz wonder about Ren’s mother. The way Tilly spoke … Ren’s mother had accepted a deal not unlike the one the vendor had proposed to Robin. Khaz knew the story, that his mother went back on the deal and tried to take Ren back … But what made her make that deal in the first place?

    Khaz also still had never gotten to ask Ren about Tasuki. Or maybe that he didn’t dare ask Ren about Tasuki. Still … the brothers fighting wasn’t completely unimaginable. Khaz saw Tasuki attack Ren before. But it was just that. Tasuki had attacked Ren. Not the other way around. In fact, as Khaz had seen that fight … Ren had just been on defense—which wasn’t like him at all. Khaz couldn’t even imagine your own siblings trying to attack and kill you.

    Khaz didn’t know when it happened. The war had gotten so … chaotic. He had forgotten completely about Tasuki. He had last seen him in the battle in Kakariko. The first battle the Rebellion lost. After that, Khaz never saw him in any other battles.

    “I didn’t kill him out of competition,” Ren retorted coldly. “Not like how you drow slay your kin for rank and power. He had shamed our name and sullied our honor. The Nevisu clan. And he was not going to atone for it in anyway. As his family member it was my duty to put his shame to rest.”

    Tilly gave a snort of a chuckle. “You tell yourself some interesting lies if you think that was the only reason you killed him.” She laughed then. “Honor? Since when have you had honor, Nevisu? Haven’t you already shamed your family’s name and dignity beyond repair? Perhaps you should just lay your shame to rest yourself.”

    Ren killed Tasuki out of … duty? It sounded like more of that Nevisu clan rules stuff he didn’t understand. If a family member did something that dishonored them and refused to atone for that dishonor … It sounded like it was then the family’s responsibility to kill the member who dishonored them. That sounded insane to Khaz.

    But … maybe he understood a little, when he thought of Sori. All the same though, he couldn’t pretend he killed Sori out of something as pure as duty.

    But he supposed he did understand Ren a little more at least. The reason he stayed as a knight of Hyrule. Zelda had actually explained it best to him.

    “You’re really going to knight Ren?”

    Zelda smiled with soft understanding at his disbelieving tone. “I know … That might sound like honoring a mass murder for all his crimes. That’s what most of my people will see it as. They will be angry with me, but that it is not the truth.”

    She leaned her elbows on the castle window sill and looked at him again. “This was Ren’s choice. He told me he would serve me for the rest of his life. Heh … I never asked for that much, but I suppose that’s the only thing that will satisfy his need to atone for his dishonor. He will not go home. He will serve Hyrule and its people. Thus, he is my knight.”

    That was one thing Khaz understood about Ren. His shame of his past actions. Even if Ren talked about his past like it was no big deal. He’ll admit to the things he did without batting an eye. But the shame of dishonor was the thing he held close inside. It was the only reason Khaz forgave him.

    Khaz came back from his thought when Brocc spoke.

    "It started there. You'll have to tell me more about your world when we have time. We can compare notes. First though, we have some children to find."

    “We need to find some leads,” said Rontu.

    “If they’re even still alive,” added Ren.

    Khaz glared at Ren. “They could be.”

    Ren smirked, crossing his arms over his chest. “Do you really believe that? Come on, you must have figured it out by now. Whoever is doing this is doing it for fun. They’re not trying to collect kids to put them in some play-pin and give them candy. They aren’t asking for ransom. Sure, they probably played with them … and then discarded them. Your best chance is that the most recent brat is still alive—but not the rest. They’re long gone. Even so, the recent kid is probably dead already too. So … someone else is next.”

    Khaz gritted his teeth. He had figured that the person responsible was doing this for a sick twisted sense of entertainment. But he didn’t want to accept the rest of the logic that came with it. You would know, Ren. You used to do shit like this for fun too, right? Was Kakariko just for fun? Khaz couldn’t help but taste that bitter jab on his tongue. He held it back. It was only because he was mad that Ren was right.

    Mad that those kids were probably dead. He thought about the mother he and Brocc talked to in the bar. Her crying. Her wanting her child back. Khaz had no stomach for watching families be torn apart.

    “That aside, we still need leads …” said Rontu. He crossed his arms as well as he contemplated. There was something off about the Mayor. Theo Rivers. He was a politician so it was only natural to be suspicious of him. Even if he wanted their help … it doesn’t mean he truly gave them everything he knew. He was probably holding something back. But that still didn’t give him any leads.

    “We must be greater than what we suffer.”
    [A Light in the Dark| Empire of Darkness |Under the Red Sea]

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Shrub ().

  • "As much as I hate to say it, Ren is right," Robin said, her voice rather hollow sounding from their earlier dilemma. As much as it bothered her that children were likely dead, she knew that was the reality of the situation. What use would someone have keeping these children alive, what good were a bunch of kids to someone who would likely end up killing them anyway? She shuddered at the idea of how many children could be missing.

    "You know how that old saying goes, prepare for the worst and hope for the best," she added, continuing to walk. She turned around and looked at them as she started to walk backwards. "Perhaps there is a way to get the information we need, but I'm not entirely sure besides going to a tavern and asking around. But that idea seems to already have failed."

    Continuing to walk, she thought to herself. SHe hadn't really picked up any rumors in the market when she was there, and she couldn't think of any leads.
  • Lori was no stranger to missing people. Whenever there was a missing person during the war, you can be sure they were dead ... or wishing they were. Torture. Killing. Mind control. Lori lived through it all. Twirling a strand of her hair thoughtfully, she ignored the argument about if the kids were dead or not - after all either way parents needed closure. The worst part was not knowing. Besides, it didn't end with just finding the children. It ended when those who abducted them were brought to justice.

    "I was never that good with potions," she said with a sigh. She didn't even have her potions book with her and she silently cursed herself for not having it with her. A truth serum would be good right now, and unless somebody else was carrying a way to make one, they were shit out of luck. She looked down at the bracelet on her wrist, the Libra sign - her birth sign - engraved on the metal glinted in the sun. Davis had given it to her a long time ago. Even if it wasn't foolproof, it was better than nothing. "If we could find a suspect, I could find out if they were lying or not."

    "Maybe we should rest on it?" Brocc suggested. "Unless we have some more leads to follow, we are at a dead end. We can pick it up tomorrow. Contrary to what television depicts, investigations cannot be solved in less than an hour."

    :heart: Rinn “Arwyn” Nailo drawn by Liah :heart:
    Rakshael: if I know one thing about Ruki, it's that she'll prove you wrong just for the sake of saying she did it
    Characters | The Time Lost | The Rumors We Believe | Ruki's Reviews
  • On that note, Rontu turned immediately for the inn he had gotten rooms at. He needed to think. The idea of children being taken and killed was never a new idea to a drow. Children died all the time in Delu for many reasons. A lot of people in the world died for a lot of reasons too. A wave of frustration furled over him as he stalked toward the inn, not checking to see if anyone followed him. Again Khaz had dragged him unwillingly into this situation. It was annoying how the Hylian seemed to always want to right all the wrongs in the world.

    Khaz was always rather … desperately idealistic in this manner.

    Rontu was far more practical.

    All he wanted was to protect his small corner of the world. That small corner was Hyrule and the people in it. His focus was also mostly just on a small group of people in it. His friends and pseudo-family. That was the only reason they were here at all. He just wanted to find Leita, Kira, and Kai. They had been gone from Hyrule too long.

    All of this was just getting in the way. He tried to force Khaz to see reason, after all, he would have thought the Hylian would be the most single-minded about finding Leita and making sure she was safe. Maybe it showed how much Khaz had grown if he could at least partially trust his sister to protect herself for once. However, it made Rontu almost sorely miss the old days when Khaz could hardly let the Hylian girl out of his sight without worrying.

    Khaz was at least just as stubborn as he always was. Rontu would have to solve this mystery as soon as possible to get back to his main goal. He wanted time to think without the distraction of all these new people. Needless to say, he didn’t truly trust any of these new “comrades.” Death could come from any direction and any unexpected person or thing.

    Khaz turned to see Rontu trudge off in the direction of the inn without a word. Well, Rontu wasn’t usually talkative anyway …

    He turned back to the others. “I think he’s headed to the inn. Brocc, you’re right. Let’s go relax at the inn and maybe something with occur to us.”

    Khaz lead the way, following Rontu. Ren followed after him.

    Inside the inn, Rontu had sought a round table. It wasn’t too busy yet, but the drow still seemed to draw more gazes. The eyes seemed to go mostly to check his ears and find the gold tag placed there. Khaz followed Rontu to the table, sat down, put his heels up on the table, and his hands cradling his head as he smiled at the others cheerily. It was hard to imagine he had been brooding over dying children moments before.

    “Take a seat. I’ll pay for anything you want to drink or eat.”

    “We must be greater than what we suffer.”
    [A Light in the Dark| Empire of Darkness |Under the Red Sea]

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Shrub ().