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Orion Shan

A man on a quest

209 views · last seen in The Horat-verse
a character in “The Great Guild Fortune”, as played by TrueNarnian

Description

"Bwa Ha Ha!"

Name: Orion Shan
Sex: Male
Age: 48
Race: Human
Physical Description: Orion has a very large frame with wide shoulders and he is extremely muscular. Orion has aged very well and looks at least 10 years younger than he actually is. Orion has light violet hair which he keeps short he also has a well groomed beard and moustache combo.
Clothing:Orion wears a large, ornate, suit of armour that he wears constantly. He has gotten so accustomed to his suit that he sometimes forgets that he is wearing it.
Height:7’2”
Weight:230
Skin Colour:Deep tan
Hair Colour:Light purple
Eye Colour:Vibrant Violet

Occupation:Wandering Hero
History/Bio:Orion was born to clan of great warriors who were gifted with ability to use and master a singular elemental chi. At the age of four Orion was tested for his elemental chi to see his potential. He was discovered to have the ability to use lightning based chi, a rare and very powerful elemental chi to use. Taking interest in him the clan elders demanded that he begin his training as soon as possible.

At the age of six Orion formally began his training to become a legendary warrior under the tutelage of the clan leaders. The training was grueling but by the end of his eight years of training Orion had become very proficient warrior and a master of his elemental chi powers. To symbolize his achievement Orion's hair color was permanently changed to symbolize his affiliation with the clan. But in order to complete his training Orion would have to serve a family of nobility regardless of nationality.

At the age of sixteen Orion was selected to protect the Yin family, an affluent family of nobility whom resided within the Yunish Empire. During his years as a bodyguard Orion met the love of his life. Her name was Rezze. She was the daughter of a farmer whom worked for the Yin family. Orion fell in love with her smile and simple charm and Rezze fell in love with him for his jovial personality and caring personality. Orion was able to get permission from his clan to marry Rezze and by the spring of his 4th year of servitude Orion and Rezze were happily married and blessed with fraternal twins, a boy and a girl.

But this happiness and peace was ended when the war between the Yune Empire and the Kingdom of Gwan escalated. The Yune Empire refused to be defeated and the emperor called for a massive draft. This draft gathered large forces by requiring each family of at least three to send one male. Refusing to send their son to war the Yin family sent Orion in his stead. Orion kissed the wife goodbye and promised his children that he would return soon.
The war was long and hard, during his four years of combat Orion made a name for himself as a legendary warrior and hero to the people of Yune but he was considered wretched traitor by the Gwanish people. During this time Orion was selected as the company champion, fight hundreds of skilled combatants to determine which side would be victorious.

At the end of his tour of duty Orion found that the Yin family had sold his wife and children to marauding Gwanish troops. Enraged by their treachery Orion stormed the estate to confront the people he had trusted only to find that they had fled the country. With the help of the locals Orion was able to track down the slavers who were in possession of his family. Orion, assisted by a small group of friends, killed every last one of the slavers and was able to free his wife and son. Orion found out that that his daughter had been sold just days before the raid. Orion became severely distraught from the loss of his daughter and sank into a deep depression. With the assistance of his wife Orion was able to recover from his depression and promised her that he would find their daughter. Orion entrusted his family with his clan asking that his son be trained to be a great warrior of the clan. Leaving with a few weapons, his suit of amour on his back, and a few provisions Orion began his quest to find his daughter. He has been on this quest for the past two decades.

Home Town:Wu Xing
Home Country: The Kingdom of Gwan

Personality:Orion is jolly to the point where it’s scary. He enjoys the company of others and loves a nice happy environment. Orion often does his best to help others in their times of needs and will put others before himself at times. Many refer to him as jolly lunatic for his sporadic actions and odd behaviour. Though the fact is deep down inside Orion is a very sad person. While he tries his best not to show this side of himself to others sometimes it’s too hard.
Fears and Desires:Orion Fears that he may never find his daughter. He also has a deep fear of the ocean and refuses to go near it. Orion desires to have his family reunited once again and hopes to create a great family line of warriors.

Equipment and Weapons:Orion carries around a large burlap sack. In it Orion keeps an odd medley of weapons that he has gained through the years that range from exotic swords to large imposing axes. Orion also keeps a set of 5 all metal javelins on his back and a pair of throwing axes on his hips. Orion also carries a small medical kit.
Styles and Abilities: Orion is used to one on one engagements and fights most of his opponents head on. Orion is a master of the spear, ax, and sword, and will use one of the three weapons randomly per engagement. At the start of an armed fight Orion will draw a random weapon from his bag and he will use that weapon exclusively for that fight. Orion can be very predictable when he fights since he will scream out the names of each of his attacks regardless of how basic they are. None the less Orion is a terrifying opponent due to his sheer raw power and his ability to recognize and exploit his enemies' weaknesses. Orion usually will use all metal weapons since he can flow electrical currents through them allowing him to be able to paralyze most of his enemies. Orion will use his throwing weapons against enemies at longer ranges, due to his immense strength Orion can throw his projectiles very far.
Chi and Augmentations: Orion is a master of Lightning chi. Orion uses his lightning chi as a projectile in short range combat only, this is because it can very unpredictable at longer ranges. Orion primarily uses his lightning chi to electrify his amour and weapons.

So begins...

Orion Shan's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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It was hot, muggy, and Orion's armor was starting to heat up. Orion wiped the sweat off his brow and looked down the dirt road, up ahead was an intersection with a wooden sign underneath a large and shady tree. Orion smiled to himself and quickened his pace. When he arrived at the crossroad signs Orion set down his large weapon sack and pulled out his map from the inside of his armor. According to the map and the wooden sign Orion was about thirty miles from Jiefong and fifty miles from Poyo. Orion sat down underneath the tree to think about his next course of action. If he were to to head to Jiefong he would be able to get there around midnight if he kept the same pace, on the other hand he could head to the local village, catch a boat to Poyo and be there in two days. Orion decided that he would be able to make a better decision when he wasn't suffering from heat exhaustion and quickly fell asleep underneath the great tree.

Orion awoke to the words "Stand and deliver!" God dammit. Orion got himself up and stared at the trio of highway men threatening him with their swords. "You guys aren't very smart highway men. You're waking up the person you're trying to rob, on top of which you're threatening the very large and armored me. I'm tired and I'm not in the mood to kill all of you so why don't you leave my stuff alone, scurry off, and I won't turn you fellas into crows' food."

One of bandits tried to intimidate Orion by walking right up to him pointing his blade at Orion, "Listen up geezer! You got a lots o' nerve trying to threaten the people threatening you, now shut up and tell us where the hell is your gold." Orion sighed and brought his head to the bandit's ear and whispered "Machina Punch" Orion's fist landed itself square in the bandit's gut and sent him flying a few feet. The man balled up and began to vomit violently. The other two ran to their comrade to attend to him, Orion simply walked past them and went for his sack of weapons. "That's it! You're going to pay for what you did to him." The leader of the group charged at Orion with his sword drawn. "Let the fun begin," Orion muttered to him self as he reached into his sack of weapons, "SHINING DRAW!" Orion pulled out a large double headed axe from the bag. "Oh this is going to be so much fun." Orion stepped back and began to swing the imposing axe at his enemy "DESTINY, CLEAVE!" Orion's axe went straight through the bandit and separating his torso from his legs.

The third bandit who was now in a state of great shock was trying to distance himself from Orion and ran away abandoning his vomiting cohort. Orion walked up to the Bandit lying in a puddle of his own bodily fluids, Orion raised his head to the sky and screamed "FINAL CRUSHING BLOW!" Orion raised his metal boot and crushed the bandit's head with a single stomp. Orion turned to see the last bandit run in the general direction of Poyo. Orion began to run after him and grabbed a javelin from its pouch. Orion raised the javelin and electrified it, "LANCE OF THE HEAVENS!" The javelin flew at an astounding rate and plunged itself into the back of the bandit. Orion walked up to the bandit who was still alive and barely breathing, "P-P-Please, have mercy." Orion laughed loudly and pulled out his javelin from the bandit's back, "Fate will be the one to grant you mercy," Orion pulled out five gold coins and flung them at the quivering bandit, "This will cover your medical expenses, that is if you are lucky enough to see a doctor." Orion walked back to the cross roads gathered his stuff, cleaned his weapons and his armor, and decided it would be a good idea to leave the bodies near the crossroads as warning sign to anyone who have decided to take up the wretched trade of thievery. Orion satisfied with his work, decided to continue his interrupted nap.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Cha'Valkar Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen rode forward grimly, Master Wang Chang pausing as they approached the six guards who surrounded the couple. "Excuse me," He called over the armoured-beast men. He looked over the head of a black-bear creature to get to the couple. "Excuse me, do you know what happened here?"

The silky haired noble-man stroked the woman's hair before looking up at Yuwen. "No idea... these are our lands, good sir. We own the Bao-Laei estate, this crossroads corners them with the water..." He swallowed. "I went to walk with my beautiful new bride when we saw this... scene."

"Right," Yuwen muttered, carefully passing the bodies by on the grass. "Let's hope that doesn't come back," Yuwen muttered, watching the guards as they maneuvered around the scene. As they began to ride again Yuwen spotted another figure: a man with odd-hair resting against a tree opposite the river. "Hold on, we got another one," He called, before galloping up to the sleeping man. "Excuse me!" He called loudly at the man. "There's been a massacre a bit down the road. Do you know what that's about, sir?"

***

Jensu swallowed as she stared at the blonde-haired slaver. Her head was aching but her concentration felt stable. Cha'Valkar, the man himself. She'd heard of him on and off, and he most likely never her. It was in Poyo that one of his underlings raided the goblins, capturing her mother in the process, and figured out that blackmail was a much cheaper way of getting someone to deliver slaves than actually paying. The deal in the letter had been if Jensu delivered the slaves to Foroe her mother would be set free, a deal she agreed to until meeting Fortune, who claimed to know where her mother had been diverted to. And hopefully he still did, because she had a feeling this encounter would go bad.

"We had an accident on the Gan river, some of the cargo was lost," Jensu continued, her gaze quickly picking up Illyria in the corner. She paused. "...You were with the guild."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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Orion was first awoken by that dumb noble woman's scream; he did his best to ignore and tried to go back to sleep. But just when he felt a dream coming on he was interrupted by some jerk yelling at him. Orion's eyes flew open to stare directly at the man addressing him, he was a young adult somewhere in his twenties of obvious Yunish decent. Orion glared at the mounted man, gathered his things, and stood up.

"A massacre you say, hmm," Orion waded through the river and walked to the gathering of people "Now I could lie to you fine people and tell you that I had nothing to do with anything of that sort. Because clearly I was sleeping until you folks so rudely woke me up. But as I said before that would be lying so I'll be honest with you. I did it. I killed them. I might have gone a little bit overboard with the brutality but I have to confess, it was really fun. So now that I have answered your question it's time for you to answer my question. What are you going to do about it? I would recommend you pick your answer very carefully."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Cha'Valkar Character Portrait: Rumelis Morende Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen gave a half-smile as the purple-haired psychopath threatened him. He leaned back on his horse, giving a bemused expression to his teammates, before turning back to the armed man. "I won't do anything, I'm not the law," He replied dismissively. "Of course over that bridge up ahead in the valley is an Imperial Camp. I'm sure they'll have some words for you." He nodded at the man before carefully turning his horse to face the bear-man. "We're heading to Jiefong, its not far," He commented as he leaned forward on Master Wang Chang. "You can travel in our wagons if you want. I'm Yuwen Fortune, this is my guild."

***

"Don't touch me," Jensu replied to the disgusting Valkar as they moved up the gangplank to the side of the Junk. The deck was empty, save for the large white-skinned Oni Mohan. Slaves were nowhere to be seen. "I dropped them off in the town," Jensu lied as they stepped aboard. "To a beast-man who said he was an associate of yours." Another lie. She'd free'd them outside town, more confident in Yuwen's information on her mother than in Valkar's threat. Jensu swallowed as she quickly went toward the wheel before the slaver had time to respond. Hopefully he'd be more forgiving for incompetence than betrayal, and her mother could still be saved.

"Oh dear," Mohan commented to Amanha as he raised anchor. "You're with him."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Rumelis Morende Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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And somehow, after the dead remnants of a crow went flying at the bear man for some reason, it ended up with Fortune offering for him to join them on their journey, seeing as he had just been left behind by his comrades. To Jiefong, apparently.

I can't believe how I got into this mess anymore... Terra had been nowhere near Jiefong at this time the previous day...well, the previous day that she had been awake, anyway.

It occurred to her at that moment that the rest of the group was starting to leave her behind. She began to hurry after them, but soon found herself matching the pace of a Tengu with ash-colored wings.

This was one of the people that had been present when Terra volunteered for the gravesite incide-no, mustn't think of that! Shaking her head to forget the incident, she turned back to the Tengu and opened her mouth. This seemed like a good time to try and socialize with one of the guild's members, if she was going to have to travel with them. "U-um..." The tengu glanced in her direction, but Terra's mind completely blanked on what to say next.

At this point, it seems like a good time to mention that Terra Himene is not good at, among other things, starting conversations.

------------------

Yamato looked at Terra as she opened her mouth to speak, only letting out an "um" before just stareing in his direction. "Something on your mind?" he inquired, unsure what she could have to say to him given that the two had not spoken to this point. Maybe that was for the best, but maybe getting to know the guild was better. He sighed, matching her pace. "Look, if you want to apologize, save it. I don't know anything about the fight you were in. Water under the bridge. Thinking about the mistakes you made won't make anything better. Move on, accept you made mistakes and do better next time."

------------------

While Terra was trying to think of what to say, the Tengu sighed and just told her right off the bat that she didn't need to apologize for anything. Not that she knew what she'd have to apologize to the Tengu for, because she didn't really see him much during the battle.

"U-um..." She finally managed to come up with one idea on what to say. "I-I know you don't want a-an apology, b-but...um..." Her eyes moved in Hyuna's direction. "S-she's been m-mad at me since we met...d-do you know, um, if there's s-something I could do about her?"

------------------

The Tengu chuckled, shaking his head. "She's her own person. A fiery warrior. She isn't quick to trust, but should you prove yourself and stay out of her way, maybe she'll give you another chance." He folded his arms over his chest. "However, until Lo-muna," He gestured to the rabbit-girl, "is better, she's going to hold a grudge."

------------------

It seemed as though trying to get on Hyuna's side was a lost cause until Muna got better. "...I see," Terra sighed, looking down in disappointment. "Ah-wait, I mean, t-thank you for your time..." Giving him a quick smile, she quickened her pace, hoping she hadn't already left a terrible impression on the Tengu.

------------------

Yamato nodded slightly, unsure how to feel about Terra. She seemed harmless, but he could sense she possessed a large amount of Chi. Should she learn to control it, and her personality become corrupted, Yamato felt she would be a force to be reckoned with. For now, she was a confused girl with a power she barely understood. It was dangerous in its own right, using emotions to channel chi was a quick way to commit suicide and mass murder in the same sitting.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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Now that the bear beast man's questions had been answered, it was time to address a more problematic matter. The apparent man surrounded by corpses. "Excuse me, but..." Suiken began. "While we'd love to answer this, but we're in a hurry to Jiefong and have been delayed by enough villains. And so..." Suiken then hit the side of the horse carrying his wagon, which seemed to alarm it and the horses in the guilds caravan all at once.

The horses stampeded over the bandit corpses as if they were being chased by a ravenous wolf pack and headed for breakneck speed towards Jiefong, smashing into Orion as they did.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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#, as written by Nulix
Yuwen hoped onto Master Wang Chang and followed Suiken and the wagons, galloping over Orion as he did and the journey continued. They road further down the dirt-road until they reach a bridge. Nearly forty-feet wide and stretching long across the rapids of the Rann. Yuwen nodded at his team and slowly he began to ride forward, the trio of wagons following. Ahead of them on the far away other side was the large, forested valley surrounded by mountains, the tallest of which spread out into the clouds. This was the closest they'd ever been to Jiefong, and the army camp in the valley was the key to getting up there.

Smoke rose from the massive clearing of an army camp. Surrounded by trees and large, wooden walls the Imperial military trained and organized. Master Wang Chang's hooves touched down on the other side of the river and the guild approached the open gates to the camp. "Great Guild Fortune," Yuwen said, flashing paper work as he paused at a green-armoured guard. The guard glanced over the documents before nodding at the man, letting them pass into the large courtyard, filled to the brim with the tents of passing soldiers.

"I don't care what they say, its my job to enforce the law. And this law is unstoppable," The rat-like Ro spat to an Imperial General, his hand shaking as he held a cup of tea. The elderly general rose an eyebrow at the Prefect before sighing. "Fine, you have my signature Ro. If it is as the Emperor wishes." The general muttered with a respectful bow. "He knows best.

"The Emperor is a teenage boy who doesn't know what rain feels like, I don't think his knows much at all," Prefect Ro replied, grabbing the scroll and curling it up. "Alright boys!" He called, turning around and marching out of the tent back into the common-area. The other red-armoured prefects turned to their commander. "We have two weeks to cover the province and find these Tengu bastards! Raging Rivers is big, so get ready!" He yelled, before pausing in his tracks. There they were. The Great Guild Fortune, stepping right into his clutches...

"Wow," Yuwen whispered as he passed into the camp. Walls built out of the forests mighty oaks lined the area, and on the walkways above them Imperial Soldiers marched and guarded, looking out at the river, the forest, or the mountains... and any threats that within waited. Tents of all sizes and colours lined the dry, dusty grounds of the camp-courtyard, and as they passed every group of soldiers within the Empire's ranks shot them a look. Yuwen swallowed as Master Wang Chang rode through the space. "Come on guys," Yuwen commented to his team as they rode. "Let's find the lift and get out of here." And then he spotted it. A road at the back of the camp leading to a distant structure: what looked like a wooden platform with rails, strung together by rope and wire that flung up the side of the mountain into the clouds above.

"That's it," Yuwen said with excitement. "That's the lift to Jiefong!"

"Yuwen Fortune," A voice interrupted. The guild-leader turned to see Prefect Ro approaching. "Fancy meeting you here."

"Fancy," Yuwen replied.

"The Tengu," Ro continued. "Where is he?"

Yuwen paused and shrugged. "I don't know, we dropped him off on the way to Jiefong," He lied. "Why?"

Ro began to unravel the scroll the general had just signed. "Following the attack on Poyo a new law has been enacted allowing members of the Prefecture to detain and imprison any and all Tengu who have not had residence in Yune since birth." He lowered the scroll. "I'm going to assume that includes your feathered friend."

"That'll ruin thousands of lives, you can't do that," Yuwen spat.

"The Emperor says we can," Ro replied, turning the scroll over to Yuwen and showing that order came from the palace itself. "Its only until we find the culprits of the attack. So lets start with your Tengu, hmm?" He put his brass whistle to his mouth and blew hard. Before the gang had time to react red-armoured Prefects surrounded the wagons, about to inspect inside. Yuwen swallowed as he turned to the second wagon, the one Yamato hid within...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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Orion was taken aback by the sudden command to move out and was hit by some of the horses. After the dust had settled Orion stood himself up. “God I hate horses and that guy on that black horse was a total prick, who does he think he is threatening me. Well the higher they are the harder they fall.” Orion watched the cloud of dust fade away into the distance. Orion sighed and slung his bag over his shoulder “Whelp, I guess I’m going to Jiefong.” Orion made his way down the road all the while whistling his favorite marching tune.

After some time Orion reached the imperial camp. The camp was swarming with troops and in the middle of the whole thing was the lift to Jiefong. An enormous construct with platforms that you could fit carts on. Orion made his way to the lift. The closer he got the harder it got to move through the crowds. His progress was then halted by imperial troops requesting papers. Orion cooperated and pulled out a small envelope of papers and handed it to the soldier. The soldier opened it up giving Orion a good long stare. "Your papers are close to expiration, you really should get them updated." The soldier handed Orion back his papers and Orion made his way to the lift.

Up ahead Orion could spot a prefect harassing a group of people. While Orion could not make out what the prefect was saying Orion was getting severely pissed that he was preventing people from getting on the lift. Orion turned to a nearby mercenary "What's holding up the lift?" "That prefect is currently dealing with a group traveling with a tengu. He's been ranting about how tengus are messing shit up and he refuses to let anyone on the lift unless he has personally given them permission to go on the lift." "Well that's stupid." Orion thought about the situation for a second "Hey aren't prefects eunuchs?" The mercenary was temporarily taken aback to the surprise question, "I believe so, but what does that have to do with anything." Orion gave the mercenary a big grin "Watch," Orion turned his head to the prefect "HEY NO BALLS! SOME OF US ACTUALLY HAVE THINGS TO DO, SO WHY DON'T STOP THIS NONSENSE AND GO PRAISE YOUR EMPRAH IN A CORNER SOMEWHERE SO PEOPLE CAN GET SHIT DONE!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Captain Jensu Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Cha'Valkar Character Portrait: Rumelis Morende Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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#, as written by Nulix
"I'm okay." She said quietly to the goblin captain, hugging herself tight. "I'm fine with being his slave... because, I don't think he's a bad person. If my suffering can help him, then so be it, it's worth it."

"Not a bad person?" Jensu spat in disbelief as Nee retreated to the half-breed Illyria at the bow of the deck. "Do you know what we used to do to sailors like that in the Imperial Trading Company?" She continued, her yell turning into a whisper at the realization that Valkar could hear below deck. "We'd crucify and drown them," She whispered to the two as she approached. "Now that piece of shit has a human slave. Within the Empire that's illegal." She shook her head angrily and took another chug of her bottle. "The minute we get into Jiefong I'm going to alert the guards and they'll destroy him."

She glanced up at Amanha and swallowed. "Unless you'll try to stop me," She said, having not before questioned the mysterious mercenaries loyalty.

***

Ro glared at the assembled gang who had threatened and insulted him in the midst of an army camp. Every single soldier had noticed and surrounded the trio of wagons, armed to the teeth and ready. "Well, this all checks out," Ro replied, handing Yamato back the papers. "It turns out if you had just shown me you would have been free to pass. Unfortunately you proceeded to insult me, threaten my life and commit treason in the process. In fact you should all be massively executed."

At the words the five-hundred or so soldiers in the camp prepared their blades and rose their shields for combat. Ro shrugged at the sight and began to walk away. "Good luck," He called.

"Wait, Ro!" Yuwen called, pushing passed Hyuna roughly as he ran up to the man. Ro paused to give the noble his ear. "Look... I'll pay."

"Oh good, you'll pay," Ro chuckled, raising his cup of tea off a bench.

"Listen, we surrender and go to court and then go to prison. Whatever the fine is to get out at that point I'll double it right now if you let us on our way," Yuwen pleaded. Ro was silent in response before taking another sip of tea. "They threatened you, you're in the order of the prefecture not the army," Yuwen said, putting his hands together and falling on his knees. "I am literally begging you to undo this."

"Get up, you silly man," Ro muttered, grabbing Yuwen's hand and pulling him up. "Where's the money from?"

"The account," Yuwen replied, glancing over his still surrounded teammates.

Ro let out a laugh. "The account is locked out for Yuwen Fortune and you know it, old boy."

"Then get the other Lu-Tan to do it," Yuwen said. "Tell him the amount I promise he'll extract it."

Ro pause, finish his tea before marching back toward the guild. "Off them men! They've paid a fine and are free to go!" Ro put his whistle in his mouth and blew loudly, causing the confused soldiers to back away. "I said off them!"

"It's not really an issue for you to decide, is it?" The elderly general muttered as he approached through the crowd. Ro turned, instantly getting into the older man's face. "Isn't it?" He spat. "They insulted the Prefecture, so I decide what the punishment for that would be. Right now I decide its freedom. They aren't a threat so I say they go free."

"I am your senior officer," The general whispered threateningly. "And your elder, young dragonfly."

"Alright then sick the army on me," Ro dared the general before turning to the guild. "Formation!" He yelled followed by a loud whistle blow. The red armoured prefectures surrounded the guild's caravan and carefully began to escort them through the crowd of hostile soldiers. The general watched as they walked through the camp toward it's east exit, shaking his head and dismissing the matter.

"You want to use our lift to Jiefong?" Ro questioned Yuwen as they walked out the east exit of the camp and approached the large, wooden platform built into the side of the rock. Ropes hung off it and stretched tightly along the valley stone above, and beside it large beast-man slaves stood beside handled pulleys with rope weighed down with stones to balance the lift as it rose.

"This'll take you to Jiefong," Ro explained, looking up into the cloudy mountaintops the lift's ropes disappeared into. "But it won't support all this."

"We leave everything except Master Wang Chang," Yuwen replied, pointing to his black horse.

"Okay," Ro nodded as he began to walk away with his man. "Take the moron with you," He added, nodding toward Orion. "I don't think he'll survive a trip back through the camp."

Yuwen nodded before turning to his team, the friendly expression he had with Ro was gone, now replaced by one they hadn't seen before. A mix of disappointment and anger. "...Come on," he managed at last, stepping onto the large wooden platform with his horse....

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Malao Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Malachi Gabra Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Keeflo Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Rumelis Morende Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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After an incredibly bizarre scene with Fortune begging the man named Ro to let them pass, the guild was carefully escorted to the rather hazardous-looking lift. Terra wasn't sure if she was permitted to follow, but then one soldier turned towards her and gruffly asked, "You coming or not, kid?"

"A-ah...y-yes!" Flustered, the girl hurried after the guild as fast as possible, keeping her hood down tightly. The bear man and the one who apparently had murdered all the bandits earlier also were being urged along, but she didn't pay attention to if they were following through on it.

As they got onto the lift and it began to move, the others began talking about Hyuna's actions. Not daring to look at the girl herself, Terra approached Fortune carefully. The man seemed to have lost most of his energy and charisma, and was leaning on the railing as if he were doing for support. "U-um...Fortune?" she asked cautiously. "A-about your...g-guild..."

"Yes?" Fortune muttered sullenly, glancing sideways at her. "I realize it is awful. Don't worry, you can get away from us once we reach the city."

Terra immediately took a step back, confused and surprised. Even Fortune's words had acquired a harsher tone. Maybe he was stressed out too much from what just happened? It might be best not to ask to join the guild after all, even if she'd likely be travelling with them for some time. "N-no, t-that's not it...a-actually, I'll tell you later." Giving him a forced smile, she turned away--and found herself face to face with Hyuna.

------------------------

The worst possible person to get in the way, just.. well, got in the way. It was the weird girl, and Hyuna'd be hardpressed to not just snap her throat and see what'd happen. What else would anyone expect? The girl was so pathetic, it'd probably put her out of her misery, right? And it only benefited anyone. She eyed the weird girl with a dark glare. "Remember the bird from before?" She muttered menacingly. "Yeah."

-------------------------

Hyuna was clearly not in a mood to be talking, so Terra just gave her an equally forced smile, whispered a quick "Sorry" to her (forgetting the Tengu's words in the process) and turned away. But the entireity of her guilt suddenly had come crashing down on her with just one look into Hyuna's eyes, and she found herself stumbling slightly as she moved away, as though her energy had disappeared just like Fortune's.

Somehow managing to end up in a sitting position at the front edge of the platform, Terra sighed and stared forward, hoping they'd reach their destination soon. Everyone simply seemed far too stressed out now. It seemed the destination was finally coming up, actually...

Why did she suddenly have a very bad feeling?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Rumelis Morende Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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The lift shuttered to a halt and Orion was greeted by a blast of cold air and a man who he wasn’t expecting. After everyone had left the lift Orion approached the greeter. “Hey, Shorty, where’s Brutus?” The short man looked upwards and glared at Orion, “You know I don’t like being called short and the name’s Jahoul. But answer your question, Brutus wasn’t able to make it, he was caught up in a pile of paperwork.” “Fun stuff; tell him that I’ll be dropping by with a … friend. Oh by the way you got the papers.” “Yeah, I do, but before I hand them to you I’m supposed to deliver a message ‘Don’t get into too much trouble’ it isn’t me who’s saying it, Brutus told me to tell you that.” Orion chuckled a bit “I can’t make any guarantees.” Orion waved good bye to the greeter and headed towards the lower districts. As he reached the invisible boundary of the lower and middle sections Orion kept his guard up knowing that there were thugs who liked to mess with people enter their turf.

Orion slinked through the various alleyways until he reached a simple brown door. Orion knocked on the door three times and muttered the words “I’m in search of the Grand Madame.” A small periscope descended from the upper balcony and zipped up as soon as it reached eye level with Orion. “The door is unlocked” said a raspy voice from inside. Orion entered the smoke filled parlor of the esteemed Madame Butterfly, the famous slave trainer of Jiefong. Orion fanned away the smoke from his face and approached the pudgy and hairy transvestite slave trainer. “I see you’re getting more paranoid.” “Well, you can’t be too cautious, especially in times like these. Besides not everybody can be as … powerful as you.” Orion rolled his eyes “So what’s this information you can’t send by pigeon?” “Well why don’t you sit down and we can talk.” Madame Butterfly beckoned Orion to sit in a large sturdy chair.

“Why thank you.” Orion sat himself down and pulled out the small letter that had been delivered to him by bird. “So where’s this informant? I really don’t see why someone would directly request my presence.” Madame Butterfly sighed deeply “The fact is I fudged some of the details. No, I wasn’t approached by a mysterious informant, but the information is still there and I’m pretty damn sure that this one isn’t fake. As you know I train slaves to be … presentable to society. One of the many things I will do is converse daily with my current trainee. I have recently received a beast-girl from a client who lives in the capital and we were talking about sending letters. A long story short your name came up and she instantly recognized your name.” Orion stared at Madame Butterfly astounded. “Rocky, I’ve known you for twenty-six years and you haven’t bullshited me once. So why start now?” “Listen Orion your reaction is perfectly understandable and my reaction was similar, but I shit you not, not only did she instantly recognize your name, she also was able to describe the much younger you.” “So you called me to meet you just so you could tell me about some beast-girl who knows my name.” “It’s not just that, she says she might know where your daughter is.”

Orion stared at his former comrade long and hard to see if he was bluffing “So why haven’t gotten any information out of her?” “I refuse to beat the slaves that I am training on a matter of principal. On top of which she is now using this information as a bargaining chip for her freedom.” “Well what do you need me for?” “I’ll be blunt, if you want the information you’re going to have to cover the costs of her release. You’re my friend so I’ll only charge you her market value.”

“I want proof. Let me see the beast-girl so I can be sure.” “Of course that’s perfectly understandable. FELICITAY! Company!” a small beast-girl of the feline variety entered from behind the curtained door that separated the living quarters with the parlor. She was dressed in simple robes and by the looks of her she was no older than 20. “You must be Orion, Minene told me all about you.” Orion looked deep into her eyes to spot any spots of faltering. “How do you know her?” “We had a common master and we were friends.” “How do I know you’re not lying?” “Your daughter has your eyes and she has a large scar on her shoulder from when her brother accidentally burned her when he first discovered his fire chi.” Orion and Rocky looked at each other “Rocky, I don’t think I have ever told you about my daughter’s scar.” “and this is the first time I’ve heard of that.” Orion stood up from his chair and pulled out a bag of gold coins and handed it to Rocky. “My dear friend I do believe this is the real deal.”

“So where’s my freedom?” said Felicitay now skipping to keep up with Orion’s fast walking pace. “We’ll visit the imperial registration office and there in exchange for your freedom I demand to know where my daughter is.” “Fair enough,” As the two exited the labyrinth of alleys they were immediately greeted by the sounds of battle. Orion quickly recognized some of the combatants as the group who he had met on the road to Jiefong. A wide smile spread across Orion's face "Felicitay stay back I have work to do." Orion opened up his bag and pulled out his helmet. It was full helm with a singular visor that covered the entire the face. On the visor of the helmet was a crudely drawn angry face. Orion put the helmet and cracked his neck "Let's do this," Orion reached into his bag of weapons and screamed "SHIIININNG DRRRRAAAAW!" as he pulled out an a large broadsword. Orion electrified his body as he charged into the fray taking the bandits by surprise.

"POWER SWEEP!" yelled Orion as he charged forewords and decapitated the first bandit in his path. "Hey! Who tha hell err you!" Orion turned to the bandit addressing him, "The name's Orion and by the way, Doom Bolts" Orion unleashed a torrent of lightning from his gauntlets and electrocuted the bandit. Orion raised his head to the sky and bellowed "Who's next to die!" as he unleashed a pillar of lightning into the sky.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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"Hey! Get down, brat!" "Yeah, we don't care if it's a kid or not, everyone's got to pay up!"

Terra glanced backwards at the thugs as they continued running after her. They were all much faster than she was, but they didn't dare letting her get too far ahead by taking the time to scale the rooftops. She just had to keep ahead of them...

Up ahead, there was a waterway cutting off the street, and the nearest bridge was 2 blocks away. It was perfect for Terra to get a massive advantage. Holding up the emerald in her right hand, which prompty shattered, she hurled herself across the gap. "Hang on, Millie!" she shouted as a gust of wind blasted at the two (screaming) girls from behind.

Somehow, Terra managed to grab the side of the building before her face had a painful meeting with it. Pulling herself up as quickly as possible, she prepared to resume running...

"Big Sister Terra! Look out!" The next moment, Terra found a dagger being hurled straight at her face. She moved backwards to dodge it, but it grazed her across the cheek-and then she realized that she was about to fall over the edge of the roof. Frantically, she threw out her hand and hurled both herself and Millie forwards just enough to stay on. "Y-you're not hurt, right Millie?" Terra groaned as she began to rise to her feet.

"I'm okay, Big Sister Terra! Let's just keep running!" Relieved, Terra resumed her sprint, but it seemed the stunt just now had cost her the advantage she had hoped to gain-the bandits were no farther away than they had been earlier when she tried this stunt, and she was getting exhausted. This couldn't keep going...

Suddenly, she noticed some familiar faces up ahead. Were those members of the guild? She would've felt happy to see them...had it not been for the fact that the one in front was Hyuna.

An eager grin flashed across the once dull face at seeing the bandits up ahead. Nice easy fodder to kill, and blood to satisfy the deep urge within her. "Finally!" She cried out in exasperation, whipping the spear out in a flash, and pointing it at the mob of bandits; the sharp blade glinting in the fading sunlight. "Time for you to di-"

She paused upons eeing exactly who it was she was helping. While Hyuna didn't want Millie to get hurt or anything, there was that weird girl she still had no name for, that was the problem. Perhaps her hunger would be better satiated by watching the weird girl try and fail to outrun the bandits, and be brutally killed in her feeble pathetic resistance. With an even darker grin, Hyuna glanced at the weird girl. "Why should I help you, again? And where's Muna?

Why did it seem like Hyuna was about to murder her again? This really was getting out of control. But something was completely different about Hyuna now...was she possessed or something? "What's happened to her?" Millie asked as though on cue.

Terra shrugged, grimly watching. "Millie, listen. Stay with Ann and Fortune. I need to go back for Muna and Suiken after this." She leapt off the building, moving the stones underneath the bandits' feet so they'd be delayed a bit longer, and landed rather roughly in front of Fortune. "Fortune...Ann...p-please take care of Millie," she gasped, removing the girl's arms from her neck. As the little girl watched her with wide eyes of terror, Terra found herself having to flash a forced smile for about the fifth time in a single day. "Y-your big sister will come back safely, Millie. I-I promise." Ignoring Hyuna entirely, she turned around and ran back down the street towards the bandits, intending to leap over them or something-

Wait, what was with that gigantic flash of lightning in the distance?

"Let's go over here," Fortune commented, taking Millie's hand and leaving the scene.

Hyuna turned an almost deranged look towards Fortune. "Coward. Whatever happened to wanting glory or whatever?" With a shrug, and deciding that grudingly helping Terra out would indirectly lead her to Muna, the spear girl charged ahead with a torrent of wind behind her. It was a lot stronger than she expected, however, sending her barrelling into the mob of bandits. Reflexibly striking at them with her spear, she wondered, exactly, why was her chi so much stronger than she had wanted it to be? Almost as if it were a test, she gathered air around her free hand and condensed it, letting it explode in front of several bandits- body parts flying in the wider than normal explosion. So, she definitely had some sort of power up... and Hyuna honestly couldn't care less the reason, as long as it let her shed more blood.

While Terra was distracted by the lightning, she didn't realize the female lancer that constantly seemed to want her blood was moving until an explosion of wind sent her flying sideways. "What was...?" As she got up, she saw Hyuna staring at her left hand, almost in wonder. "H-Hyuna?"

Then the lancer's hand began to summon winds around it, before blasting it at the bandits, rending their bodies to shreds. It was an absolutely horrifying sight, especially with the crazed look of bloodlust in Hyuna's eyes, and Terra couldn't help but feel squeamish seeing it. But she couldn't collapse just yet...

Struggling to control her suddenly upset stomach, Terra ran past the panicking bandits, swords flashing as she struck down any that were unlucky to end up directly in front of her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Rumelis Morende Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Ten Fists Tuying

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Suiken glanced down at the rubble his attacked had caused. Muna had grabbed the bear beast-man and leaped out of the way, allowing Suiken to collapse the already poorly constructed building to the ground. Suiken drowsily pushed some of the rubble off of him and glanced at the thugs buried beneath it.

The building wasn't made of extremely heavy materials, but nothing that fell on the bandits wounded them fatally. They wouldn't be robbing anyone else anytime soon, however. Suiken, glanced over and saw that someone else had joined in on the assault against the bandits. An unexpected...ally? It was the murderer that Suiken had run over prior to entering Jiefong. Murdering more bandits it seemed.

Suiken looked over and saw the leader of the bandits, Chubu, cowering in a corner. Suiken looked over at the murderer and raised his arm. "Stop, stop killing them! Are they really worth it!"

"No, man! This is crazy!" Chubu shouted. "How the hell were we s'posed to know you guys'd be all strong?! We just wanted to be cool and start some banditry!"

Suiken sighed at how insanely everything escalated. "Half of the bandits aren't even here...I hope they don't end up dead" he muttered. "This can't get worse can it?"

***

"Wow, look at that hooded hero go!" Tuying laughed. "Now, uh..." Tuying frowned, glancing over the burning boat. "What should we do about the one's that were clearly villains? Pursue and arrest in style?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Rumelis Morende Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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#, as written by Nulix
"Oh, you wanna hear about me, huh?" Yuwen commented as he knelt down and let Millie climb onto his shoulders. He rose slowly, holding her in place as he did. "Careful now," He said, getting his balance before walking again. "Well, I don't know how much there is to tell... I grew up in Yuna-Yae, it's the biggest city in the world. There are all kinds of people and cities made of gold - and the palace where the old Emperor used to live," He paused as they cornered onto a bridge to pass over the canal. "He's dead now," He added before shivering slightly. "God it's freezing up here. We really need coats," He muttered. "Anyway I grew up and became an adventurer. I traveled everywhere until I met the team."

***

"Wow, wow - what the hell is this?" A voice called, causing the Guild to look up from slaughtering more teenage thugs. Approaching were heavily armed guards in long, blue and white trimmed fur coats. Beneath his man's helmet the Captain stepped forward into the group. The remaining thugs who tried to flee were quickly smashing into the walls at the end of alley and put in shackles. "Looks like there's been a murder here," The Captain commented as he extended his sword to the great guild. "I'm afraid you'll have to come with me."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Rumelis Morende Character Portrait: Orion Shan

0.00 INK

#, as written by Nulix
Officer Tuul pushed Suiken against a wall and threw shackles on him before pushing him roughly into two more guards. "Man this guy is old," One commented. "And fat!" Another added.

"Right," The Captain nodded to the rest. The guards moved in to shackle the present guild members, readying to take them to the station...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Rumelis Morende Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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"Also if any of you resist arrest, I'm tossing you out of Jiefong, myself," Suiken informed the other guild members and assorted company. "From the upper level."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Rumelis Morende Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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Rumelis was a bit surprised when he was carried off the building, to say the least. But
that was the least of his worries. He had dropped the axe, which he soon picked up once
again, roaring out in challenge.

The bandits recoiled in fear at the roar, which seemed surprising. Hadn't they started it?
Still, they looked no older than twenty years, which seemed too short a time to live.
Rumelis sheathed the axe.

Some braver bandits came near him, with dull-looking knives in hand. They were clumsy
stabbers, and as they missed Rumelis hit both with a paw, knocking them senseless. He
yelled out to the guild.

"Hey! Try not to-"

That was when Hyuna and that murderer arrived, and things got messy. The shout was drowned
in the screams of the bandits and the ruch of wind Chi, heard by nobody but the terrified
bandits near Rumelis. They had lost their will to fight, it seemed.

So much for a bloodless victory.

Soon enough the group found themselves in chains, and though that scared girl (Terra,
right?) ran off from the guards, he accepted his fate. He was not one to run from his
mistakes, other than his first and largest...

As the group was led in chains, he thought of the village he had lost.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Cha'Valkar Character Portrait: Rumelis Morende Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Ten Fists Tuying Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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#, as written by Nulix
Officer Painji glanced to his partner Ten-Fists with a raised eyebrow. "You're saying you were attacked by a hooded... villain?" He questioned, writing the description of the perp down on his mini-scroll pad. Tuying glanced over Painji's shoulder to read what he had written. Guy with hood was all that was on the page. "Well alright then," Painji nodded to the trio of clear villains. He wettened the tip of his quill with his tongue before scribbling down another few lines and closing the pad. "You three have a nice day," He gave an awkward smile at the trio. "Beautiful wife you've got there. Brave... very progressive choice." He gave a thumbs up. "Good heart. Have fun with your daughter."

Valkar gave an evil look as he, Nee, and the half-breed trudged away. Painji placed his pipe back in his mouth and puffed some smoke. "So we're gonna stalk the scum, right?" He questioned, looking over to his partner as they watched the clear criminals leave and wander off toward the city-gates...

***

Behind black-bars the Great Guild members were locked away in the farthest corner of the noble district's police base. Snow melted through the grass-overgrowing their above-ground window, fresh water dripping in from the soil as the night raced on and faded into a new day. Dawn peaked over the green-land far below the mountains, and in the cell the guild members were still gathered together, weaponless and without contact from the outside - the trio of guards watching them remaining still like status...

Suddenly a door opened, and entering the maze of cells a tall man entered. "Breakfast," He spat, throwing some bread at them before exiting again, the cell-door locking behind him...

***

"Stop," Yuwen chuckled, half-asleep as he tried to push the large, black dog away from him as it licked his face. "Stop, babe-stop it," He laughed, his eyes slowly fluttering open to face the animal before him. "Of course," Yuwen muttered, pushing the creature off before standing wearily. He looked around the hotel room they had gotten in the noble quarter. Quite expensive, quite lavish - and now completely in the wrecks and filled with animals. He looked at himself in the mirror in horror. His hair was puffed up and messy, and several bottles of empty wine polluted the turned over sofa he'd collapsed on.

Yuwen glanced to the room's bed in confusion, where next to a lion Millie was sleeping soundly. "Wake up!" He called, grabbing her quickly and pulling her away from the creature. "We went to a zoo last night, didn't we?" He questioned, vaguely remembering how his night of trying to entertain a child had escalated to the craziness he awoke to...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Rumelis Morende Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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"Well this isn't the worst arrest I've faced..."

Rumelis looked up as the Oni remarked on their situation. He looked around the cell, noting that they'd left everyone in the same cell. He was sitting in the corner, next to the seemingly savage murderer and across from Hyuna.

He took a hunk of bread. Maybe it was a bit claustrophobic in the cells, but prison didn't seem terrible. After all, free food couldn't be ignored.

Rumelis ate in silence. What seemed like a while passed, though it was hard to tell without much outside view. Since he was going to be in the cell with the others for a while, he decided it would be best to at least know their names.

"So, what are everyone's names, anyway? I don't think we ever had time to ask. I'm Rumelis, by the way."

"Hyuna." The girl muttered, keeping a suspicious eye around her. She could already sense that some of the other inmate were oggling her, possibly not having seen a female in years, and it gave her a mix of fear and irritation. She kept her head down, and shuffled unconsciously closer to the damn dancing singing Oni and the bear, blatantly ignoring the idiot in orange armor. "Nice place... huh?"

"Hyuna, hmm?" Rumelis looked over at the bars as a guard walked past. "How was that bird, by the way?"

She narrowed her eyes uncomfortably, wanting more than anything to just hide herself with her chi. "Does it matter? And all the eyes on me... this is shitty, Bear." She had said bear on purpose, not in the mood to respect that he had an actual name; hoping beyond hope that the rabbit had made it out safely, somehow.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

"Bird," A voice in the corner whispered. It belonged to an old, red-bearded man, who had stayed quiet all night until now. He rose his head up from his knees slowly and stared at them. "You killed a bird? That's why you're in here?" The thin man questioned the group of criminals before him...

"Do you want me to choke you to death, old man?" She snarled, glaring at him in the corner.

The old man cracked a smirk at the response. "No. No I do not," He replied, cracking his neck. "My name is Scamulus, but some refer to me as the elder or old red. I've been in these prisons for many years, and many lives... I've seen your type in here before. A group of heroes enforcing justice within civilized walls." He paused, looking straight at Hyuna. "It doesn't end well."

"If you're that great..." She took a nervous glance around her; definitely the only female. "Make'em stop staring, already."

:Ah, the old wiseman," Suiken commented. "I've heard tales of you. The sacred secrets that come from the depths of Jiefong's walls. I wonder if the stories are true..." the oni murmured. He then turned to the bear, Rumelis. "Suiken's the name, by the way."

The elder gave a wink to the Oni. "Only as true as you heart makes it," He wisely informed...

"The wisest words in the land..." a somewhat obese prisoner spoke, before breaking into a fit of uncontrollable laughter.

"Die in a hole!" Hyuna growled at the laughing idiot. Oh, how she wanted to just drive her spear into his throat.

"My friend Fat Chu is no tool to be fooled with," Old Red shared in wisdom. "Besides, its the day of learning in Jiefong. A holiday of peace and joy."

"SEASON'S GREETINGS!" the fat prisoner guffawed, drawing out a pair of salt and pepper shakers and dousing Hyuna's eyes with them.

She scowled angrily, but still tried her best to keep the lust for blood to a minimum. "Fucking Jiefong, huh?" She murmured. "Go die in a hole twice."

"But we already have," The old anorexic man winked...

Fat Chu elbowed Old Red in his highly visible ribs, laughing insanely. "Oho, gotaa CHUse your words carefully, eh?" he asked.

"Why's that?" She turned entirely away from the orange idiot and the bear idiot, feeling a dull pain pierce at her head again. "What'll you do if I keep telling you all to die?"

"Who knows? Life has many twists and turns, and death may have even more," Red shrugged. "A lunatic never dies alone."

Hyuna got up, almost spitting in frustration at the two men, and sincerely wanted them dead. And, who knows, perhaps in killing one of them, she could gain some respect in here and stop the people in other cells from staring at her the entire time. "Shut up already, old man, or I will choke your life out."

"Ho ha!" Fat Chu chuckled, pointing at Hyuna. "FAT chance!"

She would have lunged at Fat Chu if she didn't realize at the very last second that it'd probably give the other inmates a nice view, so she settled on shooting him a death glare. "You've gone insane in this hellhole." She then nudged the bear. "Hey, stand over me while I sleep, okay?"

Rumelis looked at Hyuna. "Sure."

"Insane?!" Fat Chu screeched, ensuring no one slept. "Maybe so! But it's alll a part of being a lunatic! Bard!" Chu shouted, pointing at Suiken.

"...Eh?" Suiken questioned.

"Play me a fat beat for my sick rhymes," Fat Chu nodded confidentially.

"Uh, alright," Suiken shrugged, complying because he was bored.

"Villains Unite, time for a fight! Lunatics Unleashed!" Chu shouted, beginning to pace back and forth in an upbeat manner. "Friends NOT of a feather! Are they gonna get better?! Lunatics Unleashed!"

"Evil redeemed! Things not what they seem! Lunatics Unleashed!" Chu continued, smiling stupidly. "Destiny Unbound! Are they safe? Are they sound? Lunatics Unleashed!"

"Now let me tell ya what it means to be a Lunatic," Chu began to musically explain. "You need conflicting goals and some allies who are pricks!" he informed, pointing at Hyuna and Orion."You need voices of reason! Masters of the season!" he replied, pointing at Suiken and Rumelis. "Creepers and some seepers! Can't get 'em any cheaper!" he continued, pointing at every piece of scum in the prison.

"And you can't even have a team called Luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuunatics! Without everyone's favorite Chuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuunatic!" he chuckled pointing at himself. "Now with the money in our pockets, you'd think we'd better buy a rocket! Lunatics Unleashed!"

Chu suddenly grew a very serious look upon his face, lowering his voice and carefully explaining. "Now there are over 150 Lunatics...." he began, before a guard snatched the wooden mic away, smashed it to the ground and kicked Chu senseless.

"Ho, ho!" Old Red mocked. "What a Fat.Chu."

"Goddamnit." Hyuna muttered, glaring at the singing dancing oni. "Please don't play along, Suiken, I'll be nice to you from now on and shit, okay?"

For the first time in her life, Hyuna seriously contemplated suicide.

"Ahaha," Suiken laughed hardily. "I'm not exactly sure what just happened."

"You're a sadist, Oni." Hyuna hissed.

Felicitay's ears perked up. "I know what happened! That horribly singer just got beaten up." said Felicitay in very pleasant tone,

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

"Self defense shouldn't land you in a prison cell. I'm telling you guys, that stupid emprah of yours is nothing but an idiot." Orion turned to the Bear man and gave him a big thumbs up, "The name's Orion by the way. Greatest warrior to ever set foot in this pathetic country."

Rumelis looked over at the warrior, confused for a bit. "You were that murderer, right? The one who killed those bandits on the road."

Orion took off his angry face helmet and gave a deep hearty laugh "Murder, that's a harsh word to describe it. I prefer to call it public service."

Rumelis was surprised the man took it in stride, yet considering his ego, perhaps it wasn't too far-fetched. "That's one messy form of public service you've got there."

"I killed them because I literally cannot hold back. If you went through the training I went through you would learn the first, and most important lesson of combat. Mercy is for the weak and will get you killed."

"Nobody deserves a young death, not even some bandit. Break an arm, maybe, stop their fighting. Not killing."

"Have you ever been to the Kingdom of Gwan, bearman? I'll tell you it's a really fun place, and if you don't go for the kill, you end up dead. Though really it is a fun place, much better than this dump of a country."

"Have you seen a village burn in front of you, warrior?" Rumelis stood. "Have you seen all you know destroyed? I think not. Death is no solution, every death brings grief."

"I have seen villages burn, whatever your name is, I have, and I have seen people I have loved and cared for die in my arms." Orion shuddered at the painful memories that were surfaced to his mind. "I have seen shit that you wouldn't believe. But you know something, I don't dwell on it like others do. Dwelling on things like that is what makes men crazy. Yes death isn't always a solution, but at times it is an acceptable one. Bearman we live in a hellish world, and if you want to survive, you got to play by the rules, no matter how dirty you get."

"So says the man who breaks this country's laws whenever chance affords." Rumelis was still suspicious of Orion, from the aftermath of both battles they had seen.

Orion scoffed at the bear's accusations "I do try to obey the laws, hell I even fought with the Yunish army to preserve them. I don't go seeking to break them like some petty anarchist, I do what I must and sometimes certain times calls for certain measures."

"Ah. Is that why you joined in our little street fight? Where was the reasoning there?"

Orion thought on the beastman's words, why did he help them in the first place? Was it to help others who seemed like they needed help or was it to seek the thrill battle once gave him. "To be honest, I don't know. I saw people in conflict, engaged in the bloody dance of steel and nerve and I joined. Whether it be conscious thought or simple instincts I did what I did and I have no regrets."

Rumelis looked at this warrior, clearly from an upbringing so different from his. "All I saw was fear. I suppose that is what makes us different." He relaxed as much as the stone allowed him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Rumelis Morende Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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#, as written by Nulix
"Who?" Yuwen demanded, glaring back at Terra with a raised eyebrow. "Listen, guys - I saw someone get in a rickshaw. Someone who may solve all our monetary problems. Some of you can head to the prison but I'm gonna stalk him. Who's with me?"

***

Back at the cell a guard approached, shifting through keys until he found the correct one. "You four," He called, opening the door wide and nodding toward the guild members. "Your bails been paid. You're free to go."

Scamulus stood up at the words. "Paid by whom, my young friend?"

"Didn't leave a name, he was a man in white," The guard explained. "You can collect your weapons and go. Although she-" He added, pointing at Hyuna. "May have to do some community service in relation to complaints we received from the effected families of the boys you killed."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Rumelis Morende Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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"Who?" Fortune demanded, glaring back at Terra with a raised eyebrow and forcing the hooded girl to move backwards slightly in fear. "Listen, guys - I saw someone get in a rickshaw. Someone who may solve all our monetary problems. Some of you can head to the prison but I'm gonna stalk him. Who's with me?"

What's he thinking?! Do his comrades really matter less than money to him?! Terra looked at Millie, who was simply gazing back, unsure of what to do. Sighing, the hooded girl dismounted and shook her head. "I-I'm sorry, Fortune...I-I shouldn't g-go with you. I-I got y-your friends into that prison...i-it might be best if I head there." Plus you wouldn't want to go with a murderer, would you?

Turning on her heel, she rushed onwards towards the prison, not daring to look back. Unfortunately, she'd most likely get recognized with this outfit...she had to move incredibly fast and avoid even getting within sight of any guards.

But while Terra was thinking this, an explosion suddenly rang out from where the prison was, complete with a blast of dust everywhere. The explosion was so powerful it caused her to lose her balance and slam into the ground face-first. But compared to the panic that the others had been killed, the pain in Terra's forehead didn't even bother her as she scrambled to her feet.

--------------------------------------

God fucking dammit, when would his plans stop getting ruined for no apparent reason?!

The masked man watched with annoyance as the prisoners left the building, including that girl who apparently had eaten Spectre (not that he knew why someone would eat a crow in the first place). He had intended to break them out himself and snatch the girl, but now they were being escorted out, with a number of guards around. The man would have to make another effort to catch her.

In a foul mood, he sat down hard against the upper part of a building. Nothing ever went his way-it hadn't when he was with Fortune, and it wasn't when he was working so hard to capture those girls. All this trouble for him? What did he do to deserve it?

But then, a wicked gleam entered the man's eyes. I think I'll just cause a bit of chaos anyway. Might provide me with some suitable entertainment.

Raising his right hand, he waited for the former prisoners to get far enough away, then snapped his fingers, declaring in a hushed yet ecstatic voice, "Trap, activate."

A moment later, an explosion burst from the outer wall the prison. The guards screamed as the wall collapsed, it's rubble falling forward onto the street below and into water of the nearest canal.

The prisoners in the cells near the wall looked back with shock and confusion. Just the kind of emotion the masked man wanted from everyone. "Well, the prison has been destroyed. And you, who have killed plenty of people already, are the prime suspects. This ought to be fun," he chuckled to himself as he stood up and got ready to follow them. "So come on, all of you. Let's start something for the worst."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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Orion was relived with the recent change of events. After collecting his large bag of weapons and assorted goods Orion stepped out of the police station and turned to guild members who had been released with him. "So who here wants to help a Gwanish Surgeon collect a patient."

With slightly glazed over eyes from the torment of Scamulus and Fat Chu, Hyuna was snapped out of her daze at someone pointing directly at her... something she coudn't quite hear clearly about community service and families; not that it really mattered. If the families didn't want their sons to die, then they should have taught them not to get in the way of angry girls wielding spears- they all deserved what they got, as far as she was concerned. And maybe some even got off too easily. With a scowl, still rubbing at the pounding headache, she grasped at her oveted spear, and quickly shafted it under her cloak on her back, relieved to at least have freedom after that harrowing experience. When she heard the orange idiot's question, she shrugged. No reason not to; and it might be interesting.

"Count me in." She muttered irritably. "You're the orange idi- I mean, Orion, right?"

Orion glared at the much shorter girl, "I know what you were going to say. You must have a lot of guts for trying to pull something like that. Where you from?"

"Leiya, I guess." She thought a bit of the island village to the north- constantly embroiled in war with the Tengu, and smirked a little at Orion. She thought he was interesting; and a good fight as well. And he didn't grate on her nerves like the dancing singing Oni, or the weird girl, or that goddamned Yuwen Fortune. "You got guts yourself. Bet if I started rubbing that bear's fur, he'd cow right up."

Orion wasn't very sure what "Cow up" meant but he assumed it was some weird and obscure Yunish saying. "By the by, where the hell is that leader of yours, he made himself an enemy with me and my fists with all of that arrogant back talk."

Hyuna took a slightly cautious look at Orion as they exited the damnable prison, completely ignoring the Bear and the Oni. "Yuwen's my prey, got it? I want to be the one to kill him."

Orion laughed heartlily at the girl's statement, "You got me all wrong, I don't want to kill him, I just want to beat the crap out of him, heal him, and then beat him up again."

She grunted at that. Finaly, there was someone else who wanted to hurt the damned Fortune. Although still, it somewhat irked Hyuna that someone else was probably going to follow through on it- she still considered him her own special victim. Just like that fire hooded bastard, she knew she'd have to stop the orange idiot if it came to it. Might as well try to get to know him though... he didn't seem all to bad. And not a pacifist coward too- obviously the type to be ready to launch into battle and kill anyone in the way, as collateral damage.. "So then." She said, scanning the streets of Jiefong. "Where's the patient?"

Orion grinned widely "He lives in the Merchant District, though I must warn you he won't be coming willingly. But don't worry, all we have to do is smack him around a little bit and we'll just bring him over to somewhere quiet where I can begin ... 'operations'."

The girl showed a grin to match with Orion's. Looked like she chose the right choice, in following him for now. Already she was feeling the warmth building up in her bottom half at the thought of another fight- although, and this was sobering- she'd have to hold back and not kill him.... most likely. And she could buy a gift for Muna while there, right? "The best kind of victim." She sneered pleasantly. "And don't worry 'bout a quiet place, I can just hide us with an illusion. Though, uh, can we make a pitstop at the sweets shop before goin' after him?"

Orion looked at the way the girl was gettting exited at the thought. Orion chuckled to himself, "Of course we can make a quick stop, though I am insisting on finding somewhere that can drown out noises, 'surgery' can be extremely loud. And knowing this pig of a man, he's gonna squeal loudly."

"Interesting." Hyuna looked up at the taller man after figuring that it'd only be a few more minutes if they decided to actually get there quickly. And, well, she was impatient. "What kind of man's he? And, d'you mind picking up the pace? I can just boost us over there with wind."

Orion picked up the pace by widening his stride. "So your a wind chi user, eh. Now are you the kind that uses it to fly or make people explode?"

Hyuna grinned and decided that a demonstration was more prudent than explaining it. Quickly spearing a stray cat, and flipping it off her weapon onto her left hand, she condensed the air and let it expand rapidly- the corpse burst like a bubble of blood and fur; the pair only avoiding getting sprayed with a barrier of air. She then grabbed the orange idiot's shoulder and lifted them onto the rooftop of one of the house, eliciting an almost unheard complaint from the inhabitant. She smiled casually at Orion, awaiting his reaction.

"Very nice for someone hasn't had any real chi training. Now let's get down and get going, we can't take to much of our time with tricks."

With a pleased, almost fluttery feeling, Hyuna leaped down from the top, landing, as usual, with grace, using air to cushion her descent. "Lets hurry it up then!"

Orion jumped down from the building creating a small crater with his heavy descent. The owner of the nearby house started yelling at Orion demanding payment. Orion simply responded by summoning a giant lightning middle finger.

"Goddamn..." Hyuna muttered at seeing the electricity crash onto the ground. "I can't fight you damn lightning chi users. Somehow, they always manage to hit me when I'm tryin' to dodge them by flying."

Orion scoffed at her remark and began walking down the road, "You really haven't had any formal training have you. Let me ask you a question. Have you ever been in a lightning storm?"

They were walking at a faster pace now, making headway towards the Merchant District. Hyuna thought pensively, back to the old resistance group she'd been with- for some reason, they never did let her fight during storms, though she never really got an explaination for it. With a little frown, she shook her head.

"Hmm, well if you ever do find yourself in a storm one thing you'll notice is that the air gets heavy. Lightning travels easier in denser air, by trying to fly you create that coveted dense air that we lightning chi users love and turn yourself into an easy target."

The technical parts of the little speech Orion gave went completely over her head- it's not as if Hyuna's ever needed to be educated to fight, right? But what she garnered was that using her chi made her easy for lightning ch users to hit her... which, to be honest, pissed her off. How would she fight them, then? The only, and this is marginal, good thing about it is that she could make a good team when fighting alongside Orion- and considering how easily they've gotten along lately, she wouldn't mind having someone strong to be able to boost. Maybe, if the hooded bastard came back, Orion'd be exactly what they needed in order to finally kill him. She was still going over her thoughts as she entered the sweet shop, and bought a few large bags of the tasty confections; shoving them into her deerskin back at her waist and made the mental note not to touch them until she saw Muna again. She looked at the sweets with a soft, almost caring look, and hoped that Muna would like her gift. With red tinting her cheeks, she exited, waving a little at Orion.

"So, where's the poor bastard of the day?" She asked, her voice heavy with the desire for seeing her first ever real dose of torture.

Orion pulled out the small stack of papers he recived at the lift. Orion pointed down the road, "According to this we just need to go a little further and we'll be right at his door step." Orion returned the stack of papers to the inside of his breastplate and continued down the road.

It wasn't long until they reached the house in question. Hyuna glanced at Orion before he nabbed the man. "Sure you don't want an illusion to hide us, even with the... quiet place?"

"I'm sure it's not like people are going to be peeping in." Orion reached into his bag and pulled out a large curved blade. "Oh baby, this gonna be fun. Alright quick game plan, I'm going to break down the door, and then we're going to slaughter the bodyguards. Our target is probably upstairs and we got to silence him fast if we don't want the cops on us, but remember, don't kill him just yet. You ready?"

Hyuna nodded.

"Alrighty then, lets do this." Orion kicked down the door and stabbed the first bodyguard in sight. One of the smaller ones tried to get up the stairs to warn the others but was quickly killed by one of Orion's throwing axes.

Immediately upon Orion kicking down the door, Hyuna used a burst of wind to rush in, wrecking the room and landing prone on the chest of one of the guards. She hardened the air around her left fist and punched down into the guard's throat, her hand going cleanly through. She then leaped off of him, driving her spear into a guard that was about to slash down at her with a katana, and used another burst of wind to send him flying into another guard who had an arrow aimed directly at Orion. She smirked at the orange idiot before bursting herself upstairs, almost bowling over the target. On top of him, she drove her hand between his legs, an act that'd stop any hope of resistance from him, and laughed.

"Why if it isn't the only son of the pathetic Yin family." Ukyo Yin turned in fright to see Orion once more, "Listen I don't think you guys understand what your doing. I have protection, I can't be touched by the filty likes of you." Orion gave a hearty laugh, "Nothing can protect you from my wrath, NOTHING!" Orion opened his bag and pulled out coils of rope, "Hyuna, help me tie him up. I've got work to do."

"Geez, why not just stab his spine, or something.." Hyuna muttered under her breath, but after locking the door shut she turned to the ropes and began tying it around Yin, giving him a vindictive smirk. "I haven't ever seen torture before, you lucky bastard. You get to be my first."

Orion began rummaging through his bag and pulled out a small surgical kit. Orion turned to Ukyo and gave him a wide grin. "I'm going to have so much fun breaking you into little pieces and then just rebuilding you, just to tear you down again." "Listen, Orion, can we talk, it wasn't my idea to sell your family." "Ah but it doesn't matter if you did or not. You're a member of the Yin family and for that you will die." Orion turned to Hyuna, "You want the honor of breaking his first bone?"

Hyuna grinned; eyes bright with anticipation. She almost shivered at being able to break the first bone, and looked over him carefully, before deciding on Yin's jaw. With her hand, she produced a small but certain wedge of air, and smashed it down on the jaw of the man, looking in almost childish wonder as the pain wracked through his entire body; and almost moved to smash it down on more bones, just for kicks. She turned to Orion. "You get to do stuff like this in gettin' your family back?" She glared, almost enviously. "Next time you're on a hunt of whatever, don't forget to add me in!"

"I'll try to remember."

After an hour of brutalizing Ukyo, he finally died. Orion wiped the sweat off his brow and sighed, "God Damn that was satisfying. Hey Hyuna if you help me dispose of this body I'll treat you to a meal."

"Sure." She smiled happily at Orion. "How do we do it? Should I just explode it, or something?"

Orion laughed, "Sure, why the hell not!"

Pressing a small hand to the brutalized corpse, she rapidly condensed and expanded the air, sending goblets of body parts flying around the room; again, blocking the gore from touching them with air chi.

Orion started pouring a bottle of hard liquor on some of the wooden furniture and lit them on fire. "Alright, let's get out of here before the cops show up."

With a grin, Hyuna almost dragged Orion to the window of the second floor, before using a gust of wind to send them flying out, and landing once again on the street, a few blocks away from the scene. She'd bent the air to make them invisible mid-flight, and took away the illusion once they had landed. She shook her head a little, getting used to being able to see again, and chuckled. "That was fun, Orion. We gotta do this again some time."

"Yes, yes we do. So where do you want to eat? It's my and the deceased Ukyo's treat."

"Point us at the best Sudean Restauraunt around!"

Orion smiled, "I think I know a place."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Ten Fists Tuying

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"By the spirits!" Suiken exclaimed as a part of the prison seemed to cave in. "This city's gone to the dogs..." Suiken muttered to himself, shaking his head, not even wanting to know the cause of this.

Turning around, he saw Yuwen waiting for them all. "Ah, Fortune. I assumed it was you who bailed us out? We have to talk about a few guild matters, I believe..." Suiken sighed. "Then I need to hurry up and get to that antique shop..."

***

"Y'know, Lu Tan, I don't know how getting a bite to eat is conductive to our investigation of those kidnappers," Tuying informed the other officer, who was greedily eating his broiled pheasant. Tuying glanced apprehensively at his grilled fat-burger and continued talking.

"Anyway, I was thinking that we should utilize the construction routes to circle the city faster and," Tuying paused mid-sentence as both he and Painji looked up from their respective meals and almost in unison, removed their sunglasses as they saw a a Yunish girl and a Gwannish man eating at a table across from them.

Tuying raised an eyebrow and elbowed, Painji, pointing at the two diners. "...Villains?" he questioned.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Ten Fists Tuying

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#, as written by Nulix
Officer Painji glanced at the two criminals. "You bet," He muttered, pulling out his cross-bow. "Let's book em."

"Excuse me!" The officer said. Hyuna and Orion looked up as the two men approached, lording over their table with weapons drawn. "Where have you two come from?" Painji questioned, pulling a scroll out with his spare hand as he glanced over the two...

***

Fortune hoped off his horse and looked over the guild. "Right, who wants to explain why you guys got arrested last night?" He questioned, folding his arms...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Ten Fists Tuying

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#, as written by Rann
After chowing down on some delicious broiled pheasant, Hyuna felt elated. Nothing, in her opinion, really matched up in quality than the somewhat sweet and salty taste of the broiled pheasant, cooked to the maximum cusp of tenderness and toughness in the meat itself. She was happy, for once in a long time, and thought briefly about the crow she'd eaten- that also tasted decent, despite carrion being a hard meat to digest. "Y'know-" Hyuna was interrupted by two cops suddenly aiming a crossbow at her and Orion, and Hyuna let out a little scowl. However her need for killing was satiated for the moment; and plus, her headache had come back, and she wasn't in the mood to deal with using chi and dealing with it at the same time.

"We came here to eat." Hyuna said quietly, with subdued wrath. "is that against the law, Officer?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Ten Fists Tuying

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#, as written by Nulix
"There's a report of a pair of villains in the area," Painji replied, glancing at his partner. "A guard station was attacked on the upper level and the criminals may be hiding out here. We think it may be the two of you. In fact-" Painji suddenly paused, squinting as he looked upon Hyuna's features. "Bloody hell - Hyuna, is that you?" Painji muttered, trying to recognize the girl he'd seen in his youth. A good friend of his brother's...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Ten Fists Tuying

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#, as written by Rann
"Bloody hell - Hyuna, is that you?" Hyuna glanced at him in alarm- had she seen him before? Sure, he'd looked very... very familiar. In fact, he looked a lot like Yuwen, but obviously, it couldn't have been him. But... Yuwen did have an older brother. She raked her brain over to try and collect the name; it was an odd name, to be honest. Banjo? Panjo? Painji? The last one seemed the most right... and weird memories of happier days flooded into her system. Her knees almost buckled once she recognized him.

"Y-yes..." She mumbled, trying to regain her composure. "It's me. And... I think, anyways, you're Painji?" She smiled a little- a genuine, sweet smile, before rubbing it off as fast as she could and turning it slightly crooked. "It's... been a really long time. And, well... we can't be the villains, we just wanted to try some Sudean food."

She cracked another smile at Painji, almost wistfully wanting to be the Hyuna she had been way back then. "Seem's time's treated you well, at least."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Ten Fists Tuying

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Orion finished chewing the food in his mouth and turned his head and stared at the two officers who were pointing their crossbow at him and Hyuna. Orion thought about the strange question that was presented to him by one of them. "What the hell do you mean where I came from? I came from my mother's womb of course. I find it insulting that you would accuse me of a being a witch." Orion stood up from his chair and pointed at the officer holding the crossbow, "And I also find it insulting that you would dare racially profile me. I thought that at least Jiefong would be a nice place to be but I guess I was wrong. It just goes to show the corruption that the Emprah has spread throughout these lands." Orion tried to hold back his laughter but failed miserably. Wiping a tear from his eye Orion quickly became serious again. "But on a serious note, I am pissed that you are racially profiling me and unless you want to face a civil lawsuit I would recommend you lower your weapons."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Rumelis Morende Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Ten Fists Tuying

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#, as written by Nulix
"What is a guild?" Yuwen repeated as he looked to Rumelis. "Well, its a group of a single profession unified under single leadership, legally. The Great Guild Fortune is a group of warriors, but unlike other warrior guilds who fight for contract and pay we fight for good. For glory - to be heroes." He gave the bear a large smile. "...You joined us on the road, right?" He questioned. "What are you doing in your life, beast-man?"

***

"Well the army didn't make it, easy, I assure you," Painji said with a charming smile. "Your family was based in Leiya, correct? On the isle between Yutan and Tengala." He glanced down, as if unsure what to say. "I heard things got messy. I'm glad to see you've made it out alright. And found yourself in such a city."

Suddenly the elderly man with her rose and began to accuse the two officers of racial profile. Painji gave a glance to Tuying before raising his bow once more. "Citizen, I'm going to need some identification." He demanded...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Rumelis Morende Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Ten Fists Tuying

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"Our friend speaks the truth," Suiken nodded. "Bandits attacked us. Just teenagers really. It seems a few of our number had retaliated a bit too much and killed them. That murderer from earlier outside the city was with us as well. All in all...it was a taxing night last night. I didn't even get to find the antique shop. How were things on your end?"

***

"Wow, we meant where'd you just come from in Jiefong? Relax," Tuying shrugged. "As far as the emperor and his apparent 'corruption' goes...eh, you might be right," Tuying shrugged. "But m job is to protect and serve the people not the emperor, so my opinion on him doesn't matter much, does it?"

Tuying then glanced at Painji. "So, you know this kid?" he asked, before noting how his partner focused his crossbow on the old guy. "Watch the itchy trigger finger, Lu Tan..." he warned.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Cha'Valkar Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Ten Fists Tuying Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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"Your family was based in Leiya, correct?" Painji asked, and Hyun nodded calmly, trying to drown out Orion's hostilities. She'd always liked Painji, viewed him as somewhat of the responsible figure for Yuwen to bounce his fun and games off of, when they were younger. If things went a good way, maybe she'd even have fallen in love with him. But of course the way things are now, there's no was Hyuna could love anyone, right? She subconsciously rubbed the treats in her pack. There's no way she's in love with anyone right now. And Muna only crossed her mind because of some evil coincidence, right? Completely haphazardly, nothing to do with love at all.

Painji made an almost uneasy glance as he made his condolences about Leiya, but was relieved she made it out alright. Hyuna nodded her head humbly; just like she did years ago whenever meeting the older man, with a great nostalgic feeling ebbing through her. "Thanks." She said. "It was rough, but my family pulled through. My brother's dealing with the loss of his lover... but it'll work out in the end."

She then heard the other man, in a stifling tone, that they were only asking where they'd come from, in Jiefong. Hyuna quickly addressed him, getting up from her bow. "We're just visiting Jiefong, before heading back to Leiya." Hyuna said clearly. "Buying more materials for my father to make maps with."




The trio was now standing at the northern gates of Jiefong. A while back, all three of them had noticed that they'd lost the trail of the two idiotic cops; and that was all for the better, of course. They were, presumably, safe from any pursuit, thankfully. And while Valkar and Tiamat were still going strong, Nee was getting visibly tired; still not used to physical activity. They still had quite the distance to go just yet, before trying to contact her father, Ying, as well as the second in command of Valkar's Empire, Moga'Torash. There was, presumably, a barnyard farther down the Yokai Road, where Valkar had put out the idea of resting there for the night, after paying the owners.

"Why are you even-" A languished yawn from Nee as she stretched her small body, blinking away the tiredness as best as she could. "Tiamat, you don't really have to stay around anymore..."

There was no answer, though; at least no wordless answer, from the half-Ashura. Valkar raised a curious eyebrow. As long as he'd known her, she'd never seemed to be the type to care about company, and always preferred being a lone wolf. He shared a look with Nee, the thought coming from him trying to say, "Maybe, Tiamat doesn't mind us as much as she says", while Nee simply opened her mouth and grumbled that she was exhausted.

Valkar moved to lift the girl up, but she instinctively shied away from him, shooting him a frightful glance; almost like a kicked puppy. This hurt Valkar a lot, and showed what he did to her, probably the first person he's cared about in a long time. He didn't really know why, but he enjoyed her company, and wants to keep her safe from now on. But, how, though, when she's too repulsed by his skin to even consider getting help from him? How could he regain her trust, and try to make amends for his mistake? With a defeated sigh, he took money out his pouch and showed it to Tiamat.

"Could you carry her?" He asked the giant. "...and please don't kill her, or anything."

Still without words, the half-ashura almost forcibly grasped at Nee and swung her up and over her shoulders; riding the half ashura almost piggy-back like. The girl snuggled herself against the helmet as best as she could; to try and secure herself, and rested her head against the cool metal, looking uncomfortably, yet grateful all the same.

And so, they began to leave Jiefong, once and for all, with the calculating girl finally allowing her burdened mind some rest, the slaver endlessly contemplating his sins with guilt and shame, and the half ashura, who may or may not mind the company as much as she'd verbally admit... not that'd she'd verbally say anything, if given the choice to stay silent.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Ten Fists Tuying

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"My identifications huh?" Orion reached into his breastplate and pulled out a stack of papers. Orion quickly leafed through them. Orion pulled out two sheets of paper and a small bundle from the stack and returned the rest back to where they came from. "Here is my residency card, mercenary work permit, and all my required permits for the weapons in my bag. And before you say anything, yes my card is close to expiration, and I intend to fix that. Also, I was with her at the marketplace and I bought myself a bottle of hard cider, bird seed, some parchment, and ink."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Ten Fists Tuying

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#, as written by Rann
As Orion dealt with the identification, and mentioned that he had been with Hyuna to buy certain things at the market, she nodded helpfully at Tuying, before turning back to Painji. "I wish your father the best of luck, and a long life." She said courteously, probably messing up the saying some Yune nobles gave to each other. It was an odd feeling, being reconnected to someone from your past you never really intended to meet again; but it was also pleasant. It reminded her of when she wasn't filled with the urge to fight and to kill; and how she wished she could return to the innocent and blissful days of trying desperately to keep up with Yuwen. When Painji brought up the bill... the bill they had been forced to pay because of Hyuna's own mistake, trying to murder Ro like that in the open. She barely resisted the urge to start twiddling her fingers and fleeing, but she knew that wouldn't solve anything. And Hyuna really didn't want to be put in a situation where she had to choose between freedom and sparing Painji's life. He was a part of that precious and idyllic past that she wanted to keep separate from the current life she now lead. What lie would work best, here?

Might as well something of a half-truth.

"He kind of.. um, roped me into his stupid little games again." Hyuna made a little self deprecating smile. "A guild or something. That's why I have this man here," Gesturing at Orion, who was apparently elderly, "to send the materials I bought up to Leiya and my father."

That was when the crowd started screaming, loudly, and over and over, 'bandit, bandit!', making Hyuna scowl irritably. Painji walked over o the window, and Hyuna followed, curiously, seeing the guards encircled around... someone; Hyuna couldn't exactly make out who it was. There were.. fans, apparently screaming and cheering non stop, and Hyuna really wanted none of it. "What kind of bandit would- ugh, I won't even try." Hyuna scoffed, frowning. She turned to look away from the window when she caught a glimpse of those fuzzy bunny ears.

Bunny ears. Lo-Muna? Was she safe, then? But why is she being considered a bandit, of all things? And all of a sudden, Hyuna's pack felt even heavier; almost calling for her to give them to the bunny girl. Longing filled her face as she rushed forward, completely forgetting about Painji and Orion and the other cop as Muna filled her every thought; blushing, as it did. Using a burst of wind to shoot herself through the crowd, cracking the entrance of the restaurant in the process, Hyuna forced her way through the crowd and right next to her guild mate and... friend? Did Muna consider her a friend? She shot an annoyed and jealous look at all the pictures of Muna lacing the mob; and wanted to block out all the eyes ogling the rabbit woman. With a red face and an awkward frown, Hyuna fumbled with her pack until it exploded open by accident, the bags of sweets going sprawling out. Hyuna stood there in shock for a few moments before gathering them up, and presenting them to Muna with a hopeful and nervous face.

"Um.. I, well, I bought these... for you." She coughed shyly. "A gift, I guess, and an apology..."

She glanced around at everything, and found the need to ask. "...What the hell happened, anyways?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Rumelis Morende Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Ten Fists Tuying

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Suiken nodded at Yuwen. "Very well,"he said,before glancing at the others. "Any of you feel free to go with either, Yuwen or myself," he informed them. Suiken then glanced to his side, and noticing Terra standing nearby, gave an exasperated sigh.

***

"Alright...I guess,"Tuying nodded. "That checks out for now. But from what I've heard about that turd's brother...." Tuying spoke, pointing towards Painji. "If your friend is associating with him, then nothing good will come of that," Tuying shrugged.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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When Felicitay realized that Terra would not be very helpful Felicitay gently put her down and sighed. "Orion sounds like the guy we ran over with our kart," Felicitay turned to face the person addressing her. Judging by the way he carried himself and the high quality garb he wore, he had to be of some noble birth. Felicitay had to hold herself from hissing at the new stranger. "If you head with Suiken he'll help you find him. I promise." Felictay glanced over at the large oni, who was discussing with a tengu about how they would find their comrades. Judging by the way the oni looked at the tengu there was something between and that something wasn't friendly. "Heh, so let me get this straight, we're going to find your friends and Orion. This search party is going to be so out of place that they'll find us before we find them," Felicitay chuckled a bit at her own joke. "So my joking aside, where we gonna start our search?"

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

After his papers had been checked out Orion folded them up and returned them to his breastplate. Seeing that Hyuna was already gone Orion grabbed his bag and went outside to see if he could find her. In the midst of the chaos Orion found himself face to face with Jahoul. "Hey Orion, Brutus is looking for ya. I would like to go into more details with ya but I'd rather not talk about it in the middle of a crowd such as this." Jahoul pulled Orion into the near by alleyway away from the cheering crowd. "Alright, so we got a visit today from Rocky and he gave most of the information on the informant. Brutus has her papers all written out and all we need is her name and then blamo! She's a free citizen of Yune. Brutus wouldn't trust me with the papers with the cops all and about so he told me to tell you to get your butt over to the north gate so he can give you the papers personally. He expects you there before twilight. If I were you I would get going there now, its better early than late." With a tip of his hat Jahoul disappeared into the crowd leaving Orion by himself.

Taking the advice of Jahoul Orion made his way to the North gate. By the time he got there it was about an hour away from the designated time of meeting and there was no sign of Brutus. With nothing better to do, Orion began to wait for Brutus and the papers.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Cha'Valkar Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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#, as written by Rann
Heading north was the plan, of course, Valkar thought to himself. Find some shelter to rest up- not even he and Tiamat could last forever with no breaks, of course. Then maybe send a message to Moga; get back in touch with the Empire. He'd have to also try to negotiate things with Ohano, the noble who'd wanted those goblins in the first place... hopefully he'd be able to conduct the negotation in a way that didn't hurt business. He glanced at the kimono-clad girl, resting on the shoulders of the giant blueish woman. Using her chi, it'd be an obvious asset. Keeping the noble from becoming riled up; making him stay calm and thus easier to manipulate."Well, let's get going, then." The slaver lord muttered, a hand gently on his burnt face. It really had hurt, hadn't it? But he still deserved it.

Nee, who still wasn't completely asleep heart coming heavy footsteps and with labored blinks, looked back and saw someone that looked kind of familiar. Very orange, though. She pointed her gaze at him, trying to force through her exhaustion to get the name.

Orion quickly leafed through the package of papers that were given to him by Brutus. According to him, the papers Orion held were the "Allfather of All Registration Papers" Orion had scoffed at his silly phrasing but still realized the potential they had. Looking up, he noticed a small group approaching and he quickly put the papers away.

Some gwanish clan, right? With a little frustrated noise, Nee hopped down from Tiamat's shoulders, in order to clear her thoughts. Who was this man, why was he so familar? With a gasp, Nee noticed her collar was showing just slightly through the kimono and hastily fixed it, before sending a sleepy smile at the man. "Uh... hello! Have we met before, sir?"

Orion crouched down so that he was at eye level with the small girl. Inspecting her facial structure and her clothes he was able to determine that she was of obvious noble birth. "I don't think we have, you're a bit too young for me to have known you. But there is a possibility that I may know your parents. Tell me child, which noble house are you from?"

The noble girl made a hesitant face at Valkar, who shrugged at her. Surely this man, in the slaver's point of view, couldn't take on himself and Tiamat at the same time... so there was really no threat. The girl then looked forward at the familiar-yet-unkown stranger with a charming grin, and a little curtsey. "Me-Hyung, sir; from Furoe." She was still puzzled though. What was the name of that clan, on the tip of her tongue but not quite. Frustrated, she asked; "And your clan? You are of Gwanish birth, yes?"

Orion smiled at the small girl's polietness, "You have a very keen eye. Yes I am of Gwanish birth, I'm of the Zhànshì clan of northern Gwan. Tell me child, Furoe is in the northern regions of Yune, am I correct?"

"Haraan Fields Province, to be precise." She felt a little satisfaction- on their most recent trip to Gwan, she had seen a few people of the clan in question- this stranger looked somewhat alike, sharing a few facial features. Could he be of use to her, for later on? That was a harder question. Subtly appraising him; heavily armored, with an ompossibly large and bulky bag, it can be assumed that this man is at the very least, powerful. As skilled as her own companions? Valkar and Tiamat were strong, definitely. But so was this man. He'd lose- since he's outnumbered, but therein still lies the fact that he'd do some damage before going down. At least he didn't seem hostile... it wouldn't hurt to get to know more about him; learn more about this potential pawn.

"So, if I may, um, what is your name? Where are you travelling to, sir?"

"Well, aren't you the nosey one. The name's Orion. I haven't been travelling to anywhere in particulure. Just a lot of wandering and a ton of searching. Been looking for members of the Yin family, seen any recently?"
Orion couldn't quite put his finger on it, but there was something off about this girl. Maybe it was her demenor, maybe it was the sheer amount of questions. Orion decided that he best watch his tounge and keep an on this child to make sure nothing too strange happens.

Yin Family? That made Nee scowl on the inside; that was one of the families that, no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't push them into the role she'd wanted. It was a shame, because when they suddenly gained fortune and money- and it was still unknown to her exactly how they got that newfound cash so quickly- she had tried to pull them to her circle of allies, to no avail. Perhaps she could convince him to kill them, if that was what he was looking for. It would certainly help her family in their influence conquest. But it seemed this man was being more guarded now.. since he had specifically noted she was being nosey. "Only curious, sir." She said gracefully. "If you wish, you may call me Nee. The man here is Yalar'Hatten, also from Gwan, and this is Tiamat." She gestured at the giant sheepishly. "Um.. she's half ashura... obviously."

She fixated her gaze directly on this man, Orion, now. "...Last I heard of the Yin family was their Ukyo residing somewhere in Jiefong. Have you met with him, yet?"

Orion chuckled to himself, "The curious ones are always the first to die, just a common fact." Orion looked the the other two travellers, bodyguards perhaps, or maybe something else entierly. Something was clearly off with this group. Apparently Brutus wasn't the only one to know about Ukyo's presence in Jiefong. "Heh, I guess you could say that I met with him."

Valkar eyed the man carefully. Nee was being too open, too friendly with someone she didn't even know. Wasn't that what got her into the slavery in the first place? It wouldn't do well to underestimate her, Valkar knew that now, but she was still just a kid, essentially. She's too full of herself and her sense of invincibility, and that'll be her downfall, the slaver lord surmised quietly. He was tempted to knock out the man and just move on with their travels before the two cops caught up to them. But that would cause a ruckus- and it wasn't likely he'd follow them, anyways. Unfortunately, the little girl had other ideas. With a wide grin, she popped out a few coins from Valkar's pouch and showed it to Orion. "Let's get goi-" Valkar had tried to say, but Nee, not missing a beat, cut into his words with swift accuracy, like an arrow hitting someone in the throat through chinks in the armor.

"We can travel together, if you'd like, then." She beamed. "I can hire you to be a bodyguard for me, if you're just wandering. It should be easy coin, right?"

Best keep a potential pawn close, Nee thought. Never know when one might come in handy.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Cha'Valkar Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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Amanhã trudged along, silently bearing the infinitesimal weight of the slave girl on her back: needless to say, she'd spoken nothing, and her helmet would have obscured the hard features of her face even if they had borne witness to any tangible expression of emotion. And though they had not-- even within the sanctity of the metal facade her mien remained callous and stony-- the little imbecile's words had... had an impact. They had provoked vexation. Uncertainty. Sudden dubiety. Why did she choose to linger on here? Sure, Cha'Valkar was paying her consistently, whether it was remuneration for toting around his little slave thing or for killing things that would otherwise have killed him, but... Amanhã found she could not ascertain that that was the sole justification for her continued accompaniment.

And she didn't like being uncertain about her actions.

I should just kill the both of them was, naturally, her first and most immediate solution to the quandary. Well, it was a sensible proposition, after all: if your company is presenting a perplexing situation, the swiftest path to resolution is probably to kill your company. Amanhã had found it an effective method, except that for one reason or another official authorities seemed to disagree with her choice of tactics-- some shit about 'unlawful murder' or some such asinine bullshit. Well, long story short, there was a certain reason Amanhã was no longer legally allowed to enter the Kingdom of Eoland, though that didn't hamper Illyria Kúr'êshii, among other unaffiliated half-Ashuran bounty hunters who had nothing to do with one Amanhã Tiamat.

Alas, she had little time to consider how to go about her ingenious solution to her problem, for no sooner had one irksome farce come to an end-- needless to say, that was in reference to the brief spectacle with those two idiot cops-- than another came to pass. Amanhã hardly even noticed when the little cretin removed herself from her back and leapt lightly to the ground, only realising yet another irritation was about to befall her when she noted that Cha'Valkar had fallen behind. She turned her head back toward him and his slave, and her eyes fell upon... someone new. Some buffoon with overly ornate armour and bizarrely bright violet hair. Naturally, the slave was making pointless small talk with the stranger, because clearly she was intent on delaying the journey as long as possible (well, that made sense-- even this peculiar runt of a human probably had little interest in expediting her journey to slavery).

Amanhã wasn't planning on standing by idly and waiting for long, but she didn't even really have to in the end: the girl wanted to hire the jackass with the violet hair to be their bodyguard using the slave lord's coin. In that case, Amanhã's presence was no longer necessary-- if the pair of them were going to start paying this new jackass to play bodyguard, she sure as hell wasn't gonna stick around with them for kicks. It's never been in my interest to idly linger about wasting time with other people without pay and without violence, she assured herself firmly, before deciding it was high time to put the whole quandary to rest for good. And so as the slave girl negotiated the details of hiring the jackass with the asinine hair, Amanhã turned, and simply continued walking toward the north gate. Easy and straightforward-- the way things were always supposed to be.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Cha'Valkar Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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Orion stood to his full height and stared down at the small girl, "I may be a wanderer, but that doesn't mean I don't have a purpose. I'm not saying yes and I'm not saying no. I'll consider it, but first I have some minor business to attend to. Just a few loose ends that need to be tied. Shouldn't take to long, I'll give you my answer by the end of the hour. So if you'll excuse me I must be taking my leave." A small glint caught Orion's eye and he spotted the small symbolic lock of a slave collar around the little girl's neck. Well I'll be, so I was right, this girl is up to something. As Orion passed the Gwanish man Orion whispered, "It would be best to watch your back slaver, that's where the most lethal of attacks come from." Orion walked down the road and began whistling a quiet war hymn as he went back into the city to find Felicitay and hopefully find where his daughter is.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Cha'Valkar Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Ten Fists Tuying Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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After a bit of walking, Suiken glanced from Yamato to the newcomer, asking her, "So,you say this guy you seek is the one who has the keys to set you free? You have any ideas as to where he might be?" Suiken then looked to the side an uttered, "Ah, hold on to that thought...!"Suiken announced as he turned to face a small building to his right. "Ah, it was here the whole time! The antique store!" Looking up at Yamato, he said, "Remember to inform me if you spot any of our missing companions!"

***

"Well looky here..." Tuying muttered, spying Orion conversing with the suspected criminal and his abductee, from the rooftops. "The purple headed merc may or may not be on the up and up, but he led us to our kidnapper and the kidnappee...But where's the other villain? The Ashuran one..."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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As Orion walked through the streets of the Merchants district a steady fog rolled in. It was bad enough that he couldn't find Felicitay anywhere, but then the weather had to go for the worse. As he walked through he noticed that the busy streets had suddenly thinned themselves of people creating an eerie felling for Orion. As the fog thickened around him a strange creature lunged at him from the shadows. Orion's reflexes kicked in and he grabbed the hellish creature by it's throat. Orion stared into the creatures eyes as it squirmed and hissed. Disgusted by the creature Orion tightened his grip on the fiend's neck and crushed it Orion crushed it, but instead of going limp like most things the creature dissolved in Orion's hand. "What the hell is going on here." Just then a scream rang out from the alleyway up ahead. Orion dropped his bag and ran to the sound, drawing his two hand axes from his hips. Turning the corner Orion spotted three girls fighting a group of the creatures. To his immediate relief Felicitay wasn't with them, but they still needed his help. With a mighty war cry, Orion electrified his weapons and charged forewords. The creatures were no match for the might of Orion as he barreled through them ripping them apart as if they were made of soft fabric. Orion increased the current flowing tendrils of lightning extended from the blades, reaching out as if they were trying to grab the ground underneath them. Orion brought the two axes together, unleashing a large torrent of lighting that eradicated one of the creatures with its crackling fury. The monsters reeled back in fear from the sudden burst of electric power and retreated back into the shadows from whence the came. Orion wiped the strange liquid from his blades and hung them on his hips once again. He turned to the trio of girls, and asked "Are you folks okay? I heard screams and I figured you guys needed help."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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There was a brilliant golden flash, and the horrors were retreating into the shadows about the group. A man in lustrous, ornate armor was standing in the street, holding two axes. As he placed them back on his hips, he approached Terra, Millie and Ann, and asked if they were alright.

Millie nodded quickly. "I'm fine! I didn't take any hits!"

But Terra gave her a strange look when she heard that. "W-wait. Millie, there's b-blood on your dress..."

"W-what?!" Millie looked down at the dark blue fabric, noticing the red stains on her shoulder and hip. "W-wait...how did they get here?" The fabric was unbroken, and Millie had taken nothing but scratches.

As Ann sheathed her sword, she glanced at the stains. "That yours?" she asked. When Millie shook her head, she simply nodded and turned, as though she had already figured out the answer.

Terra sighed and relaxed...just a little, though, because the entire encounter had shaken her terribly. This was about the third time she put someone else's life in danger in just four days...when would it ever stop? And even worse...the horrors have followed me here. Which means, whoever summoned them also realized I'm here...

Then she remembered where she had been hoping to go. "Aaaah! A-Ann! T-the ball! W-we need to hurry and get there now!" She scrambled to her feet as quickly as possible, but the wounds she had taken caused her to scream and fall back to the ground immediately. "...I-I don't know if I'll be able to walk there," she sighed, looking down in embarrassment.

As Millie began to pull her up to a sitting position, she suddenly noticed something. "Uh...T-Terra? What's that?" Her older sister followed her gaze to see some sort of black ooze dripping from the wound...it was the same ooze that spilled when Ann cut off the horror's arm.

Whatever it was, Terra immediately had a bad feeling. "G-get me some spare cloth and some water," she ordered in an unusually high-pitched voice.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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Orion's eyes widened at the spreading blood on the hooded girl's tunic. "We're going to need to close up that wound, and some spare cloth and and water isn't going to do the trick." Orion turned to the older of the girl's companions, "We're going to need to get this girl somewhere safe and with flat surfaces, I know some basic healing tricks but I'm going to need some time. I'll carry her but I need someone to carry my bag for me since my hands will be full. You think you're strong enough for the task?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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"Then let's get a move on," Ann said with Millie tagging along close by her, glancing over at the armored man to see him lift Terra up. She lifted his bag as was requested and she gave the man a cursory visual inspection. "Just passing through?" she asked as they began heading back on track. "Thanks for the help, by the way. You caught us in a bad spot." She gave the heavy bag a small shake. "What do you keep in here? Bars of lead?" she joked with a flat expression.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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"I'm a wanderer of sorts, been looking for a few people, just a couple enemies of mine and a family member." Orion watched as the girl lifted his bag. "I'm surprised you can carry that thing. But I probably shouldn't doubt the strength of a daughter of Gwanlai. That's my bag of provisions, you know, the basics, Food, Drink, and Weapons." Orion spotted a sign for a bar down the street. "Lets set up in there, I'm sure a place like that has plenty of flat surfaces." Surprisingly the bar was abandoned and Orion set the girl on the counter, "I'm going to need you to hold your friend down." Orion removed his guantlets to reveal his large hands. Orion grabbed a bar towel and turned it into a make shift gag, "Now listen sweetie, I'm going to fix you up. I'll be able to heal up that wound with a little chi, but its going to hurt just a whole lot. So I'm going to need you to bite on this towel so you don't scream too much." The girl nodded, obviously frightened at what was to come, "Alrighty then," Orion looked up to the other girl, "Hold her down tight so she doesn't squirm." Orion's hands lit up as he started to close the mighty gash on the smaller girl's body. All the while her screams of pain were muffled by the bar towel. After the healing process was done the wound was closed and the girl was breathing heavily but still conscious. "Well she should be fine now. I'd recommend that she stay lying down for about fifteen minutes, just to give it enough time for the wound to seal properly.Thank you very much, you were a great help."Orion gazed at the cabinents filled with glasses and turned to the girl, "Care for a drink?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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Phecda glanced with disappointment at the envelope the hooded man carried, as he had actually been looking forward very much to blasting the door and all the guards to bits, but he sighed and decided to forget that for the time being. "Ah, I suppose that will serve our purposes very nicely," he commented. "Strange that you'd get one, though...but I won't ask how."

They passed by the guards with almost no effort, regardless of Phecda's rather...eccentric...outfit. "Well, my friend...let's enjoy ourselves for the night."

But he suddenly stopped moving and speaking, suddenly sensing multiple presences fade out. Someone had been fighting the Umbral Horrors...and now, had killed them. Who could it be? It was worth investigating later, he supposed...in any case, as long as it didn't affect the number of Umbrals he could call in if needed, it mattered little.

"What's wrong?" the hooded man asked, glancing at him with confusion.

After a few seconds, Phecda shook his head. "No, it's nothing," he reassured, and began to walk again.

------------------------------

Hopefully, this would be the last ball Terra ever attended.

Everything was so fancy...and everyone around her, so arrogant. It felt stifling, especially considering the role she was going to play. And after fighting the horrors, this feels even more like I don't belong here...what if they suddenly attacked? Her arm and midriff still stung terribly from the encounter, regardless of what the man with the armor had done.

Thinking about it, where was that man now? She and Millie had quickly refused the drink and hurried to the ball, then proceeded to change into their formal outfits. Hyuna was giving her devious looks for some reason...this night would be dreadful; Terra could already feel it.

Well, there was nothing to be done except bear with it...She made her way over to the refreshments table, picking up a cup and filling it with the sweetest, coldest drink she could find. As the pink liquid filled the cup, Millie suddenly walked over to her and pulled on her kimono. "T-Terra? You're going to be okay, r-"

"I'm not Terra here," the girl in the green kimono interrupted in a rather cold voice. "And, Millie, you're supposed to be Fortune and Hyuna's daughter...i-it'd be best if you didn't stick with me anyway." The encounter with the horrors flashed through her mind again to remind her how unfit she was to take care of Millie anyway...

But as she placed the jug of the drink down and reached for a cake, Millie suddenly leaped up and wrapped her hands in their usual place around Terra's neck. "You're our family's slave, anyway. Which means I can give you any order I want, right?" Starting to worry, Terra slowly nodded... "So I order you to take me with you tonight!"

Terra very nearly dropped the drink and cake when she heard this. She tried to argue, but Millie wouldn't take no for an answer. Eventually, Terra just gave up and started trying to find Hyuna, with a brightly smiling Millie clinging to her.

Suddenly, explosions burst in the air above the girls, sending brightly colored lights everywhere. Both of them screamed, and Terra started running. But during the chaos, she spotted a very uncomfortable looking Hyuna doing...something...with some male noble. Keeping an eye on Hyuna, who was suddenly pushed aside by a lady, Terra moved to a spot where they were less likely to get hit by the fireworks, waiting for this hell to stop...

As she waited, a certain rabbit woman ran by her, dragging a fat noble by the collar. Recognizing Lo-Muna, Terra's mind blanked out again. Just what was she doing?!

Finally, the explosions subsided, and the previous activity resumed. There was much more talk of a "zoo bandit", though...regardless, Terra found Hyuna again and walked up to her, silently offering her the refreshments which miraculously had not been damaged or spilled in the slightest during the scene.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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Orion quietly sipped his drink alone. The three girls had left the bar in a hurried manner, mentioning a ball they had to attend. As he leaned on the bar, he noticed one of the cabinets was slightly opened. Orion decided to investigate hoping to find a few bottles to go. Much to his surprise, he found Felicitay sleeping in the cabinet next to a small pile of empty bottles. Orion gently shook the cat girl until she awoke. Felicitay fluttered her eyes open, she was sober but her head was pounding from the massive hangover that was taking over. “UGGGH, where the hell am I?” “You’re in a cabinet, in an abandoned bar. I’ve been looking all over for you, where have you been?”

Felicitay rubbed her temples, trying to recall what exactly happened after she finished that third bottle. “To be honest I can’t remember anything.” The fact was that Felicitay could remember a lot of things, such as running through the streets without any clothes on and lighting a few fruit stands on fire while screaming about the repressive plant overlord. “Nope, I don’t remember a single thing. So how has your day been?” “Now that I think about it, it’s been a pretty good day. I was able to get the papers we need to make your freedom official.” Felicitay’s eyes lit up like a thousand candles as her smile widened, “Really! SWEET, so what do I have do, sign at some dotted line.”

Orion chuckled a bit as he pulled out the papers, “It’s a bit more complicated since I had to obtain these papers though a few back door dealings. All we have to do is add your name to the top, and find two people who be willing to lie on your behalf and say they saw the official signing. Which reminds me, we need to put your name on the top and due to … reasons, you won’t be able to use your current name, so is there any name that you would like me to put on the top?”

Felicitay had to think long and hard about this, but after a good long half hour of thinking she finally came up with an answer. “Fie, Fie Kurai.” Orion raised his eyebrow and diped the quill in the jar of ink, “Naming yourself after the legendary female knight of Gwan, you have good tastes. May I ask where the last name comes from though?” Felicitay smiled a bit, “Kurai is my actual last name, it got taken away when they enslaved me.” Orion nodded and with a quick swish with his quill Orion wrote “Fie Kurai” on the top of the of the papers. Orion put away his writing supplies and extended his hand, “Welcome to the free world Fie Kurai, it’s a pleasure to meet you.”

The newly dubed Fie looked at Orion’s hand and then shook it. “So what now?” “There's a ball being held at the palace in honor of the regent. I’m sure we can find a few people to lie for you and sign the bottom of these papers.” "I don't think we can just attend a ball of that stature." Orion gave Fie a strange look, "Why the hell not?" "I'm pretty sure parties like that are reserved for members of the nobility, and I'm pretty sure neither of us are nobles." "Well that's a stupid rule. I guess we'll have to get disguises for ourselves and wear something fancy."

About an hour later Orion and Fie were standing in front of the entrance to the palace. Fie was in simple Kimono while Orion wore a large cloak that hid his armor and a black eye-patch that covered his left eye. "We are the masters of freaking disguise." "I don't think dressing up counts as disguising ourselves. Besides, wouldn't they check for invites or something?" Orion chuckled to himself, "With class like this we can just waltz right in and they wouldn't even question us." Fie squinted her eyes at Orion to see if he was serious. Though much to her surprise it didn't take too much to get in since the guards were dozing or off doing something else. Inside the palace was a spectacular sight for fie, bright lights, a large array of foods, and hundreds of nobles in magnificent dress. Orion on the other hand payed no real attention to the sights and scanned the room to see if he could spot anyone he could recognize. Across the room he was able to spot one of the girls from before as well as Hyuna, the two were confronting a man, Orion really couldn't tell who the man was since his face wasn't visible. Something was going down and Orion wanted to find out what. The man must have been really annoying for he was punched in the gut by the girl who had been wounded earlier. As he slinked away Orion was able to spot his face. The two made eye contact and Orion smiled like a mad man. Elan's eyes widened and he quickly ran away. Orion approached the two girls, "Why hello there Hyuna, didn't expect to see you at an event like this. I couldn't help but notice that man who was bothering you looked like someone I knew once. Can you tell me his name?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Millie Kiyare

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As the speech continued...and Terra was not even paying attention to what it entailed anymore...she continued sending wayward glances at Hyuna, just to make sure she wasn't still affected by that creepy noble from earlier. She might not like Hyuna all that much, but people like that noble...they bothered Terra many times more than Hyuna did.

At that moment, she noticed someone walking up behind them, and turned to see a very tall man with violet hair. She paled for a moment before recognizing him as the man who saved her, Millie and Ann from the horrors. Straightening and composing herself, she bowed and whispered a "Thank you for earlier, sir" to him before noticing a rather familiar catgirl approaching, not far behind the man.

Where had she seen that catgirl? Terra tried to think of it, and soon remembered...Felicitay, that was her name, right? The slave looking for a man that apparently was able to free her...

But Felicitay no longer had the slave collar, so that must mean she was freed, right? Terra walked up to the catgirl with a smile. "H-hello again, Felicitay...I-I see you've been freed, eh?"

Suddenly, out of the corner of her eye, she saw Muna hurrying up to Fortune and speaking urgently to him. Where has she been?! Terra cut short the conversation with Felicitay and tapped Hyuna on the shoulder, pointing quickly in Muna and Fortune's direction. "Hurry," she whispered urgently.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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#, as written by Rann
Seeing the orange idiot- Orion, his name's Orion, even though he is an orange idiot that's hiding his orangeness with a non to orange cloak- doesn't that ruin the point of him being the orange idiot in the first place? Anyways, Hyuna watched as he and that noble exchanged brief but meaningful glances when Hyuna remembered that the bastard noble guy she had helped kill was a goddamn family member of that noble. Elan Yin. How did she not recognize it before? Almost looking ashamed of herself for falling for his stupid tricks, she waved to Orion.

"Yin." She said with an eager grin. "Wanna take him out?" It was then that she felt a little nudge and heard the weird girl- and her current slave whisper something and gesture towards Muna... who was chatting with Fortune of all people. What the hell. Now scowling she looked almost torn between murder and romance. And for that matter, where's the damned singing dancing oni that said he'd perform that song with her?

Orion his single uncovered eye, "I figured he was a Yin, but I need first names. Specifics. I can't just go around killing people, I need to make sure each one of those Yins have a befitting death for their actions."

Befitting death? Who gives a shit about stuff like that? There he is, a ripe target, and yet... goddamnit, she didn't know. Maybe she's just in a supremely bad mood because of Muna and whatever the hell she's up to- not jealous at all, Hyuna murmured darkly in her head, there's no way she- fuck it, she was jealous. To death. Preferably a Yin death, but anyone would really do, right?

"C'mon." Hyuna wrapped her arms around herself. Anything to goad the orange idiot into killing Elan. He did touch her in stupid spots, after all. "He touched me all over and shit, Orion. Probably raped your wife or something, or your daughter."

Orion's face contorted with rage, he had to prevent himself from slapping the girl back to Tuesday, "Who the fuck told you that, anwser me now. I don't have time for silly games, who the hell told you about that."

Wait, what? Something didn't make sense- what the hell was this orange idiot going on about? Wasn't he there when that Ukyo bastard screamed out in that pitiful voice about not being the one who thought of selling Orion's family? Maybe he was getting senile in his old age, or showing off that he's an unorange (for the time being) idiot. To be honest, Hyuna had no idea each one it was. So she put herself in a slightly more aggressive stance, shaking away the feeling of Elan's hands all over her.

"Ukyo screamed as much then." she murmured. "You were there, right...?"

As the two began speaking back and forth, with the man with the violet hair getting increasingly aggravated for some reason. Terra glanced nervously between the two, suddenly aware that something personal was involved in the whole matter.

Orion leaned forewords and stared directly into Hyuna's eyes, "I was there all right, but I didn't hear him scream rape. So where the hell did you hear the word rape, cause I know I didn't hear it, I know Ukyo was-"

"It was an assumption!" Hyuna scoffed, mumbling the word 'idiot' to herself. "Elan sure didn't need any encouragement to start touching me in a ball- what makes you think he wouldn't do anything further to your family?"

Orion took a step back to give the girl a bit of space, "I know he did things to my family before he convinced the other Yins to sell my family. I know because I was made aware of it by my wife. Word of advice, it would be best to watch your tongue when it comes to things you don't know. I don't cut out liar's tongues, but I sure do know many who will."

A brief memory flashed of her time in Tengala that she shook out of her head. Unimportant right now. Don't think about life there. She focused on Orion, instead, almost violently keeping the memory from rising up. It was irritating and useless to remember shit like that right now. But at least whatever had just transpired was over with- it's time to get at the main attraction. Elan's brutal death, right? With an almost hungry look in her eyes, utterly ignoring Orion's warning, she clicked her tongue.

"See?" She said gleefully. "Can we do it now? Tear him a new asshole?"

Orion chuckled a bit to himself, "With that one I won't need to kill him myself. I know a few people who are willing to pay a high price for him alive so they can kill him themselves. I'm thinking about selling him to an owner of a small pack of hellhounds, I hear they just love to rip people to shreds. Besides, I want to enjoy this evening."

Well, that was a let down, wasn't it? No excessive amounts of blood this time; she had gotten her hopes up, too! And now she has so much pent up bloodlust inside her that she needs some sort of release before approaching Muna, right? She cursed under her breath- why couldn't they just kill the bastard? It'd be fun, and it also has a personal stake for her this time, wouldn't it? And it'd be almost like a test to see how much non-lethal damage she could do with only chi.

"Can we at least hurt him?" She whined, almost like a little child asking for candy, or a toy fire and coal powered long wagon. "Make him cry, or scream? I already got lots planned out for him!"

Orion plucked a small glass from a passing butler and took a swig, "I didn't say we couldn't beat the shit out of him. They don't care what condition he's in as long as he's alive."

Hyuna smirked. "I'll trick him out of sight of the guards." She instantly followed in the direction where she had last seen Elan move- talking to some small girl in what looked like a heated conversation. Almost curious, Hyuna decided to listen in first; just in case the girl would recognize her after the capture.

Orion stepped forewords, and pulled Hyuna back, "I said I wanted to enjoy my evening, lets just wait a bit."

Terra was about to question Hyuna on where she was going... If she had asked Terra to find Muna, why was she just going off like Muna wasn't there? Of course, with the murderous gleam in Hyuna's eyes, and the object of her focus-to be specific, that creepy noble that had received Terra's fist to his stomach-was trying to hit on someone again. She started taking a sip from the drink Nee had given her...

...and promptly spat it back out (into the glass, thankfully) when she realized that he was hitting on Nee at that very moment. Suddenly, the idea of Hyuna doing...um, whatever she was planning...to that man seemed very appealing.

"It's not our family's fault." Elan sputtered. "We just got lucky and rich."

The girl, Nee, looked indignant as she took another sip. This bastard was ignoring a lot of socio-economic factors here. It was, honestly, frustrating. But she still kept her pleasant face on. "Sudden luck like that doesn't happen." She said smoothly. "Not when I'm carefully hounding you."

She was already certain that the sudden fortune was probably due to the slave trade. There's no other real explanation to how quickly the Yin family grew in influence. and yet he still could try to defend himself? For all she knew, he was one of the ring leaders of whatever the hell they did. She knew to be careful, though- if he really was into slavery, well, she was at risk. And this man obviously doesn't have a shred of kindness in him. None of the damn Yin family do.

"You're strong, Nee." Elan murmured darkly, leaning into her; making her flinch and move back. "But my family is stronger. Marry into ours, the mighty Yin Family, before we wipe you off the map."

Hilarious. The Yin family didn't even almost have enough influence to be making threats like that, were they? She settled back in her seat, faking comfort, and took another sip of the drink. With a calculated gaze over to the droning voice of that blasted regent, as well as an eye on that Yuwen- not talking to a rabbit beast-man... a slave, perchance? Could be... but even though she wanted to continue stalking him, it was a secondary priority right now. Because the detestable third heir of the Yin family has decided to talk to her specifically. And was failing spectacularly.

"My family has nothing to gain." Nee said. "From marrying me off to you. It'd weaken the NNA, for one. And there are better options for us, in gaining influence in Central Yune."

She made a dark, toothy smile. "Declined, good sir. Have a nice day..." She turned her head just enough to notice that man from before- Orion. The one with a hatred of slavers... and was apparently hunting down the Yin family, if Ukyo's absence meant anything.

Orion finished off his fourth drink and smiled, "Alright I enjoyed my evening enough tonight, lets get this whole business finished." Orion turned to Hyuna, "Work your magic so we can fuck his shit up."

Hyuna, with a cackle, primped her hair up with wind, for just that little extra oomph, and stepped in between the two noble's fierce discussion.

"I apologize for earlier, Yin." She grinned. "My servant is just... overprotective, is all." She looked down at the kimono girl briefly but then turned back to Elan. She was watching the spear girl carefully but not enough to make Hyuna really give much of a shit. "Shall we... perhaps, go somewhere private?" With a sneaky smile and a bit of a giggle; "Somewhere where my husband won't see us."

"You know what, I'm feeling a bit impatient. FUCK THE POLICE!" Orion stepped in and grabbed Elan, "We're going to have so much fun."

Nee sneered as she saw what was going on- an important figure of the Yin family, being eliminated effortlessly in front of her eyes. She didn't even have to do anything, so she decided, hey, why not. "Orion." She curtseyed politely, getting up from her seat. "Enjoy your time with that man, won't you?"

Orion smiled and turned his attention to the small girl while he casually punched Elan in the face. "Why hello there, didn't expect to see you here, how have you been?"

Well, there was no need for Orion to know that she's essentially been freed of slavery. "As best as a slave can manage." She shrugged. "I'll make sure no one important notices what happened here, so don't worry about being caught." With a sweet smile, she sauntered off to minimize the chance of anyone noticing Elan's disappearance whatsoever. Chances are, no one would notice in the slightest.

"Slimey bastard." Hyuna spat. "C'mon, let's go somewhere quiet." Flicking her left wrist, Hyuna covered them with an illusion of random, generic nobles so no one could see them exit the ballroom.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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Fie looked at Terra like she was crazy. "Wow, someone doesn't have a taste for fine wine." Fie sipped her own glass daintily. "Who the hell am I kidding." Fie laughed a bit and then drank the whole glass. "So Terra, how has your day been?"

Terra sighed and shrugged. "It's my first ball...I-I haven't exactly tried things like this before." She gestured at the wine in her hand. "A-and, my day has been going well, Felicitay...yours?" But even as she spoke, she glanced back at Nee just to make sure the noble girl was doing alright.

Fie gave Terra a big smile, "Oh, my name isn't Felicitay anymore, it's just Fie. I had to change it due to legal reasons. You know this is my first ball as well, I have to say it's a bit of a let down. You know, no Prince Charming wooing the beautiful Princess, no dastardly villain ruining the day. But hey, at least the booze is good."

Really? This is what she thinks balls are? Terra scratched her head and laughed a bit. "I-I don't think it'd be really enjoyable if a villain came through the wall, you know...F-Fie." She'd have to get used to the new name now...but while Terra was thinking this, she suddenly noticed Nee approaching them, while Orion and Hyuna were walking off holding the creepy noble. Whatever happened to him automatically wasn't Terra's concern now. "Fie...c-call me Rika while I'm talking to that girl," she whispered quickly, gesturing towards Nee, before putting on a friendly face just as the noble got within a meter. "A-ah, hello again-"

But the next moment, a man with a hood appeared behind Nee and began to question her. "Fancy meeting you here...You know Mister Fortune?" he asked, in a somewhat threatening tone.

He said "Fortune". Terra's eyes widened as she remembered the man...he had appeared during the gravesite incident. What's he planning? Could it be... The Regent's speech suddenly finished, and people began to dance, but Terra, Fie, Nee, and the hooded man were ignored. So Terra, motioning for Fie to suspend their conversation for the time being, approached Nee and the hooded man, sensing for the worst...

She almost recoiled in shock- that goddamn voice again. She'd had enough of the fucking thing back on that damned ship, and she lost track of the rabbit somewhere in the middle of their dance. Dark thoughts almost seemed to ebb from her as the young noblegirl slowly and fearfully turned towards the hated voice. The hooded man... the one who'd touched her so tightly, and so soon after the incident, that fucking incient that ruined everything had happened. What was he thinking- why was he here? Was he going to try and- but Valkar's not here right now, is he? So then...

The idea of giving up, honestly, flipped through her mind. She really did consider taking the chain from around her waist and just sliding it across her throat, right then and there. She wouldn't let it happen again. She'd die before suffering that pain again. No matter what.

"Wh-what..." Damnit. She lost her composure, didn't she? Why couldn't she just stay, at least, outwardly calm? She felt the blood drain from her face; going pale. "I.... h-he's just posing as... a fake noble." Nee stammered, not daring to look behind her, but knowing it might've been smarter to. "Just.. wanted to see what h-he's... up to."

She feebly took a step farther away. "Whatever you're here for.. it-it has nothing to do with me. Right?"

What was wrong with Nee? She looked absolutely terrified of the hooded man for some reason. But hold on, she apparently seemed to know Yuwen as well...just what was going on? Regardless...Terra, glancing between Nee and the hooded man nervously, made a decision and placed herself directly between the two.

"S-stop questioning her." The dread of what he might be planning for Fortune was causing her to stammer, but all the same, Terra did her best to stand straighter and keep her voice bold. "C-can't you see she's troubled? J-just leave her alone...and Fortune, as well. W-what do y-you care about him, anyway?" Suddenly, it felt like the entire plan depended on Terra...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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After having sufficiently pummeling Elan, Hyuna left Orion to go back to the ball. Orion picked up the battered and bruised Elan up and carried him over his shoulder. When Orion finally reached the hidden house of the Hellhound breeder Orion was greeted by the unearthly howls of the creatures, lusting for the bloodied human flesh that he carried. “You hear that? They can smell that their dinner is here.” Elan squirmed violently and tried to scream but was muffled by his gag. Orion pulled at the bell cord and was let in by a one handed man.

“You really do deliver,” The man dropped a large bag of gold coins on the table, “Your payment.” Orion nodded, “So what do you want me to do with him?” The one handed man smiled, “Remove his gag, untie him, and throw him to the dogs, they’re hungry and they know dinner is here.” Upon hearing this Elan struggled harder but it was to no avail. Orion pulled off the gag, untied him, and threw Elan into the cellar. Orion slammed the door shut to hide the monstrosities that lurked underground from the rest of the world. Orion smiled to himself as heard the shrieks of Elan, followed by the sound of growling and the sound of flesh being torn off the bone.

Orion collected his gold and shook the man’s only hand, “It was a pleasure doing business with you.” The man smiled at Orion, “Likewise.” Orion found his way back to the main streets of Jiefong. As he made his way back to the ball Orion gazed up into the night sky. Orion looked up to see what seemed to be a person falling from the sky. When the body exited his field of vision Orion heard a loud thud. Orion quickly ran up ahead to investigate.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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#, as written by Rann
And with that, the hooded bastard left. It was almost ironic- him calling Tiamat to be a slaver. Sure, shed had a pretty big part in her abduction, but it was a part of her job, was it not, since she was paid for it. Nee couldn't really forgive it, but she knew that it directly helped her plot to ensnare Valkar and make him hers to command. So she has trouble bringing herself to hate the suit of armor, too. On the other hand, though, don't mistake Nee's ambivalence with like. Or even marginal trust. No, Tiamat's just such a wildcard that making any assumptions at this point is just idiotic. The only thing to really say abut her is that she likes money and that she likes to kill. And might have some very deep seated, incredibly subconscious affection for her sister, Gridiron. And Nee wondered if she could somehow sever the beginnings of a sisterly bond- it wouldn't be that difficult, all she had to do was confirm the fact that Tiamat had been instrumental in capturing her. But the thought of agreeing to something hoodie himself said; it made the noble want to vomit. He was that disgusting and terrifying to her.

Gridiron, though. Ne somewhat nuzzled her and then let herself be pushed somewhat away- her body being allowed to be her own, again- only to feel a hand rub against her head. She expected to jump up in fear and shock, but... she didn't. It wasn't all that bad, being... well, petted by the Sudean slaverkiller. She felt her fear and anxiety slowly ebbing away as her head was massaged. At Gridiron's suggestion to leave the ball, Nee nodded, adjusting the kimono around her frame again. She'd had enough of this damn place. Yuwen's plot probably wouldn't help her in the least anyways. If rumors served correctly, Yuwen really was simply a self-motivated man; not likely to really be of use, or be in impediment, either. Just a piece of the board that does it's own thing, and is better left untouched.

A few things happened at the same time. That girl- the murderous one, blew up roughly half the ball. Nee regarded it with a mix of shock and interest, as she let her nerves slowly calm down from the second Hoodie incident. The girl with insanely strong wind chi used it to escape after singing her... horrible choice of song for an unrequited love, and, well, Nee felt a small pang for her. The second thing that happened was the cops, and their guards, being sicced upon the 'Great Guild Fortune.' That is when everything clicked together.

Yuwen is here on some sort of guild scheme. And what does a guild do, other than try to get rich? Apparently, they were strong... but just how strong, was the question? Nae almost wanted to stick around- and hell, she'd probably have to anyways, to avoid suspicion, even with her NNA backing her up. A series of names were called out, and Gridiron expressed her annoyance with the whole situation. Nee had to agree- this really was inconvenient, even if a good opportunity to scout out a potential merc for hire.

"Let's just not get involved." Nee said quickly, seeing sensing an incredibly violent aura from the living suit of armor. "Wait it out, then escape. Easy."

Just in case, though, she kept a hand on the chain wrapped under her obi. It wouldn't be much help, but aboard Tiamat's shoulders, she figured this trio could fight their way out.

"...thanks." She whispered to Gridiron.




Hyuna crashed, using a cushion of air to destroy whatever was n front of her so she wouldn't die from the impact. utterly lacking any sortof flair, or grace, or aesthetic impressiveness. She just crashed into the side of a building and utterly demolished it. She let out a snarl, bitterly twisting her neck behind her to see if anyone had followed. No one had. Not even the bunny, that damned despicable bunny. First thing to do- the fucking dress. Hyuna unceremoniously shredded it apart with her fingers, not even caring about if anyone saw anymore. There was a slight bitterness that she lost the spear, though.

Slight? Isn't that the last thing your brother gave you, before the falling out?

Shut up, Hyuna scowled and, feeling a little vilified, decided to look at the rubble she'd created. It looked like that clothing store from before, didn't it? With a shrug, Hyuna started lifting up chunks of the building, tossing them unceremoniously behind her so she could get at the clothing, just in case there was something she could wear, quickly. She'd already decided on a course of action, though. Time to head back to Leiya. And go back to the war. The war broke her, after all. So maybe it's only right that she let it kill her, too. Hyuna then heard a sound of heavy boots clicking behind her, and she spun around to see... the orange idiot.

"Damn." Hyuna hissed, immediately conjuring up an illusion of clothes- mostly jut a simple dark cloak to cover whatever needed to be covered. "Enjoy the look, Orion?"

She looked at him, bitterly, almost brokenly. "What do ya want? Did Yu-Fortune tell you to force me to hang around in that shit guild?" She let out a laugh, brandishing her hands. "Yeah, yeah right. Like he'd care if I even died. So, what the hell do ya want, then?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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Orion tried to pretend that he couldn’t see through Hyuna’s illusion and approached her, “Your cloak seems rather flimsy,” Orion removed his own heavy cloak and draped it over Hyuna, “Take mine. The night is cold and it would be damn shame to lose a warrior to something like hypothermia.” Hyuna questioned him asking if her guild master sent him to get her, Orion scoffed at the idea remembering the arrogant asshole and his really stupid horse, “Like hell I would, you really think I would listen to a pansy like him. I was simply in the general neighborhood, taking care of a few things when I heard a loud crash, so I thought I would investigate. Oh, before I forget.” Orion reached into his bag and pulled out a small bag of gold and tossed it to Hyuna, “This is for helping me with Elan, you did well kid. We would make a good team. Too bad you’re tied down with a guild contract.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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#, as written by Rann
Feeling an actual cloak draped around her- although it was far too big for her, and weighed down quite heavily, Hyuna couldn't help but feel a tiny amount of gratitude towards Orion. Once covered by actual clothing, the ex-spear girl dispersed the illusion of a cloak. Still, at least Orion hadn't seen anything critical, right? She let out a bit of a sigh or relief. And thus, the orange idiot was clad once again in his orange glory, making Hyuna wonder, just how stupid was he to pick orange as a main color scheme?

"Take mine." Orion muttered gruffly. "The night is cold, and it would be a damn shame to lose a warrior to something like hypothermia."

Fair enough, Hyuna surmised. She still didn't know what Orion wanted. In any case, clutching at the ends of it, she pulled it tighter around her, making the girl almost have a wraith-like appearance, with the bottoms of the cloak fitting against the slight curves of her legs, and then splaying out a the bottoms around the feet. If it wasn't for wind chi, Hyuna wondered just how she'd walk in this heavy cloth without tripping, or something. And her mind went back to her own clothes for a brief moment, wanting to get them back, until she remembered that Yuwen still put them somewhere. Fuck that, there's no way she'll ever willingly see Yuwen again. So.. she'd need money. Unfortunately, Yuwen also has all of her money, along with her clothes. It was stupid.. how was she going to get stuff to wear, if she didn't have any gold on her? What a stupid predicament.

Aswering her question with an almost jolly laugh, Orion looked as jovial as ever, even with his daughter being enslaved. Hyuna wondered, exactly, how the hell could Orion seem so laid back and carefree on the surface of things, in that situation? If it was Muna, or heck, her own big brother, Hyuna'd never rest until- well, not so much now, huh? That part of you's gone now.

Just a killer. That's all you are.

Right. Just a killer, that's right. She nodded at Orion's scoffing at Yuwen, and then he explained how he found her in this situation. Well, it worked, she supposed, didn't it? Not like it mattered, as long as i wasn't guild business. She walked closer to Orion.

"Oh, before I forget.” A pouch of coins went flying at Hyuna, who caught it easily with her left hand- she didn't make somewhat of a vacuum to suck it towards her fist, hones! “This is for helping me with Elan, you did well kid. We would make a good team. Too bad you’re tied down with a guild contract.”

Hilarious. There's no way she's going back to the guild. And Orion was obviously a killer too- maybe travelling with him'd be a good thing. And maybe she'd get stronger in the process.

"Fuck that." Hyuna snarled. "A contract is just a worthless piece of paper. Who needs it?" She made a wicked grin, already itching to get into more killing, regardless of how it was- cold blood, hot rage, war, pure murder, whatever. It didn't matter. But she wanted to kill- and simply torturing sanity from Elan wasn't good enough. She wanted victims. And the man standing in front of her, well, he was someone who could offer her victims. Compared to that, what the hell could the damn guild do? Even if it wasn't filled with people like Fortune, or Lo-Muna... there's no way she'd want anything to do with a guild. Even Master was more or less obsolete- shed never be able to make him proud, anyways. But with Orion, making him proud or not was irrelevant. All that mattered was that they'd get to kill. Oh, and save that daughter of his. But that's more of a secondary effect, more than anything.

"Always ready to go killing... anything, with you!" She cackled with fervor. She was ready for action. She wanted blood. "So, who do we torture and kill now... partner?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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Orion chuckled nervously, "What? You think that's what I do for a living? Torture and kill people?" Surely this must be some elaborate joke. "Well if you're actually serious about joining me as a partner, we'll have to find your guild master." Orion cringed at the though of having to find the arrogant bastard, and actually talking to him. Orion really hoped that the horse wasn't with the guy, there was something about those dumb beasts that really pissed him off. "Seriously, do you really think you can just waltz away from a guild contract without any legal repercussions. Child, there are reasons why mercenaries avoid guild contracts like the pussy of a succubus, those things are non-negotiable, have a shit ton of hidden rules, and top it all off, they can only be canceled by the guild master." Orion chuckled to himself a bit, "I normally don't get involved with guilds and their stupid politics, but if you really are serious and will pay attention to orders, then I will do my best get you out of that dumb contract."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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#, as written by Rann
"What?" The reinstated orange idiot made a somewhat... nervous chuckle. What the hell's up with that? Hyuna scratched at her head absently, not really caring all too much. She was full of energy- and the more blood she could shed, the faster she could get rid of the pain of Muna's rejection. The more she kills, the stronger the armor she'll be able to build around her heart. And at this point, the faster she deals with that, the better. OR, and she almost recoiled in horror that she had thought it earlier- go back to the war to die there. Her hands shook slightly as she realized ephemerally, that if Orion hadn't shown up, she'd probably be going down the road in this current fork that labelled death for her. Hyuna sighed- although she was certain her life was definitely chaotic more than orderly... and that she'd suffer in the end, was it really so bad, to try and carve out your own happiness in this world? Another shudder broke through her body. What the hell has she been fighting for, all this time? Still, she nodded absently to Orion, not really paying attention, as she reveled in horror at the futility of her life.

Suffering this ridiculous pain by Muna... being ridiculed by Yuwen and Suiken after the damn performance. But more than that. Having her older brother scream at her and telling her that he hated her... and in that respect, having his lover killed to save her own life, during the damn war. They were close - close as sisters. And she was the last one of their little group that got left behind. Yaeha. It still hurt to think of her. Also, anything to do with that Tengu... that fucking tengu hurt her probably even worse than anything else. And almost as if there was a madness meter in her psyche, the number started shooting up like a rocket. It took her actual effort to snap out of it, only peripherally noticing Orion talk about her guild master... Yuwen Fortune.

"...-think you can just waltz away from a guild contract without any legal repercussions?" Orion looked at her, almost in disbelief. Hyuna clenched her jaw, ready to lash out, screaming that she was bailing; and fully intended on sacrificing her in war to just end all of this bullshit called life. But before she could make a move, Orion said the clinching word.

"Child." The word echoed, both in Orion's gruff voice, and her own father's light baritone, with the slightly raspy, throaty accent of Gwan inserted in. All of a sudden, a myriad of warm emotions and memories flooded- of the good old days. Of the fact that life... life wasn't just suffering. Sure, there's pain, that's inevitable... but isn't there some goodness, too? Her dark spiral was put on temporary hold for now. If she can find some of the goodness again... isn't that reason enough to live?

After listening, now calmer and slightly more at peace, Hyuna bumped fists with the orange idiot, with a wry grin. "Sure." She said with an air of self-confidence. "Dunno how useful I am without a weapon... but I'll do my best, orange idi- sorry, I mean, uh." She paused, looking bashful, not wanting to make a bad impression- it really had just slipped out! "Sorry. Orion, I meant to say Orion."

Flashing her teeth in a grin; "Let's have a nice partnership for as long as it lasts, ne?" With a determined smile - it was the least she could do in repayment for this man potentially saving her life - "We'll get your daughter back, whatever it takes!"




Somewhere along the Comrade Mountains were the strangest trio you could ever imagine. They were beyond the northern exit; hiding out in an alcove a bit away from the actual mountain path that swiveled and sloped it's way down, gradually, until it reached the plains that constituted most of Nee's home region- the Haraan Fields. The night was bitterly cold; and Nee took the time to reflect on her actions. Had she done the right thing, in convincing the boy to leave? He was, essentially, committing treason, after all, deserting in the face of duty, while in employment of the Emperor. But then again, if she hadn't, the boy would have died a brutal death, and his sister would've starved, or been taken as a slave and be submitted to... no, Nee didn't even want to think about what'd happen. Wrapping her knees closer to her chest, Nee shivered against the wind that cut against her.

Not for the first time, she wondered if she was going about her revolution the right way. It'd cause a lot of death- probably more than necessary... so many families and lives would be torn apart because of her actions. And it'd be all more blood, permanently stained onto her figurative hand; never being able to rub out. But then again... the ends justified the means, did they not? Once she could wrest control of the Yune Empire, she'd make changes to help out everyone in need. She'd fix... well, everything she could. Wasn't that, overall, enough to justify the death she'd create? Disliking this moral quandary, she turned to Gridiron. It was stupid, really, and she knew all too well that it was because of the permanent damage she'd done to soldiers, just paid to do their jobs, is all. Taking out eyes, wrecking the tendon of wrists... disarming them to be sheared apart by Tiamat's great sword...

She didn't like it. Not being this close to the horrors of combat.

"Did I do the right thing?" She asked the Sudean in a shaky voice. "Letting Tiamat kill them like that... or the survivors; permanently disfiguring them for life. All for the sake of my own." She glanced at a random pebble on the ground, ashamed that she was even relying on someone else like this in the first place. "I just..." The noble let out a sigh. "Not used to actual combat, I guess."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Rumelis Morende Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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Orion returned the smile, this could be the beginnings of a solid partnership. But there was something chewing at the back of Orion's head. What was that look from before, that strange manic expression on Hyuna. Part of Orion screamed demon, but it was quickly silenced. "You don't have a weapon now? Well that isn't a problem." Orion opened his bag up to show Hyuna the wide array of weaponry. "Orion reached an pulled out a steel spear and handed it to Hyuna. "This might be a bit heavier than what you're used to, but I'm sure you can adjust." Orion sealed up the large bag and slung it over his shoulder, "Now all we have to do is find your guild master and get this whole thing sorted out. Hopefully they are still at the palace, and I think the ball should last for another hour, so I think it would be best if headed over there to see if we can find your comrades."

Orion turned the corner and was able to get into eyesight of the palace, the thing was the palace was on fire, and then it dawned on Orion, "Oh shit, I left Fie at the palace. Hyuna, I think it be best if we start double timing it." Orion started sprinting towards the palace, "I hope Fie is still okay."

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"THIS IS THE BEST MOTHER FUCKIN' WORST DAY EVAH!" Screamed Fie as she threw a frying pan at one of the strange creatures that had burst in the ball room through the windows. The hit didn't seem to phase it and just made it angry. "Damit, that did not wok like I had planned it to. Well there is only one option left, TACTICAL RETREAT!" Fie raised her arms in the air and began running for her life.

Fie ran upstairs and sprinted down the halls with the creatures in close pursuit. Up ahead was a small girl aimlessly wandering the halls. One of creatures spotted the girl as well and began to go after the girl, Fie quickened her pace and picked up the girl like a battle ball objective, running like no tomorrow with the girl under her arm. When Fie looked behind herself she noticed that the beasts were slowing down and were turning around. Fie thought it would be best to continue running in the maze of hallways to find somewhere she and the small girl could hide.

Up ahead was a fork in her path and Fie turned right to come face to face with a very large and horrendous creature. The thing resembled a very large and shadowy bear with large sickle like claws and a large fanged jaw. It's glowing red eyes sized up Fie as it licked it's lips. "Oh shit," Fie turned around and began running like no tomorrow, the beast cocked it's head and began following her. As it moved the whole ground seemed to tremble. As Fie turned the corner she ran into the girl she recognized as Terra and some bunny person. As she passed the two girls she screamed "NO TIME FOR TALKING ABOUT FEELINGS! GIANT BEAR THING!"

Fie made her way down the hall and burst into the room at the end of the hall where a small group of people were meeting. Fie quickly slammed the door behind herself and propped a chair against the door. Fie turned to the group, a few of which she recognized as members of that guild, Fie frantically pointed at the door and tried to force the words out of her mouth, "B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B-B BEAR, TH-TH-THING, G-GIANT, HUGE B-B-BEAR CREEEEATURE."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Cha'Valkar Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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#, as written by Rann
Nee let out a sigh, huddling herself tighter in a smaller, more compact ball. It was ridiculous, wasn't it? And she supposed she really had been relying too much on Gridiron's newfound kindness here. They had only just met- and hey, hadn't Nee stricken the Sudean with that blade of hers, a few times? Funny, really, how things turned out, wasn't it? She shuffled a little. What was going on with her? For the first time in a long time, Nee was actively trying to not turn on her sharp and analytic mind on the Sudean. It was pretty hard to discern why at first- trying to dig into people's heads could only give advantages, after all, right? But then again... doing that also stopped her from viewing people as equal to herself. And, wryly, Nee realized that she already out the Sudean slave-killer up to the same height that she put herself. A girl who, her whole life, kept people at a controllable distance; unable to really form much of a connection, she found herself quite starved, honestly, for someone who she could simply choose not to manipulate. Sure, it had it's own practical reasons- Griddy seemed to be more useful with sincerity than with callousness, but then again... the somewhat emotional dependence that had grown on Nee really was genuine. She didn't know if it irked her or not. Maybe it was... a little pleasant? Too early to tell, though, really, if this friendship could last, what with that suit of armor sitting, possibly asleep, in the corner of the cave. Really was pretty damn cold, and the noble really wanted to move around a bit, to get some heat in her muscles.

Finally, Gridiron gave her answer to Nee's query- alleviating the burden on her heart just a little bit. "Well... I mean..." Gridiron looked uncertain, and tended to the waning fire that didn't do much to warm up Nee at all. The gesture was there, though, and she listened with rapt attention. "-you shouldn't be used to it." A brief pause. "You're a child, Nee. I know you probably don't like to be told that, but... you are. And children... aren't meant to have to grapple with the morality of killing."

Was that really true, though? There was that boy, in the Yunish army, was there not? He was hardly older than she was- and was still considered a child, and yet... killing was most definitely on his mind. How about that Rika? She was a member of the guild, so sure enough, she got some kills herself. She looked almost Nee's age, also just a tad older. And yet killing still happened there. Nee shrugged sadly, silently. Was she even a child anymore, these days? Had she ever been?

Nee drifted her mind back to the dark, dank cave, missing some of Gridiron's words, but getting the meaning nonetheless. It was nice, in a way, to have someone worry about her as a child like this... and it was, to a point, self gratifying. But if she wanted to spearhead a rebellion, she had to discard that part of her; lock it away forever, right? Nee noticed the Sudean shift her position a bit; Nee shut down her brain momentarily as to not go into the psychological implications of said turn. "But if you're asking if you did the right thing... you did what you had to do."

"Forgive the presumption..." Gridiron returned her look to Nee, who nodded and mumbled, faintly; 'forgiven', before falling silent again. "But I suspect you already know that sometimes what you have to do isn't the right thing at all."


It really was a lot to think about, wasn't it? "Did what I had to do." Nee mused balefully. "Like, the ends justified the means, right?" Did that apply in all walks of life? Sure... it wasn't the right thing to do, by all means- but it might've been the necessary thing. And there is a distinct difference between right and necessary here. Necessary evil. Necessary villain. Nee wondered briefly- was that her role in this world? "So... doing evil for a later good... that's how it is?"

Nee then got up, clutching at her kimono now. she had gotten a bit of rest on the way to the cave, so her mind wasn't as weary as death, anymore. But then again... well, whatever. The presence outside seemed to want her, in any case. Nee stretched her arms out, wondering exactly who they were. She had to respond with one last thing, though, to Gridiron.

"In some echelons of Yunish society..." Nee gulped; hard. "After being broken in by a man, a girl becomes a woman." Her vision shook a little, and turned grey at the corners just a bit- hyperventilating. She took another harsh gulp to do her best to keep it down; ignoring the pounding headache. "So because of that Valkar... I'm not so sure if I count as a child anymore. Not that it wasn't nice to hear- thank you, Gridiron." She made a bit of a curtsey. "I... I'm going to get some air, before we head out again. Be back soon." She said that last bit with resolve because, well, she wasn't sure if she was going to be back, if it was who she thought it was.

Leaving the cave behind, Nee stepped out into the bitter biting mountain winds. She caught a glimpse of the square tilled fields below; a few red farmhouses. At the distance, she could vaguely see a figure of a man using wind chi to harvest his plants, a whole field of carrots rising at once, and moving in unison towards the storage. A little boy, playing with a cow and a wooden sword, using it as a steed. Nee looked at them fondly... her subjects. The people she'd protect, once she got power. And they were only a small sample. Warm, gentle feeling surged through her, as she felt the two presences get closer.

"So." Nee said icily. "Valkar made his first move, didn't he?"

There they were, the Eagle and the Hummingbird- disgruntled at the worthless Guild Fortune that couldn't even complete a quest right. When the whole thing exploded, the two avians did what they could- measuring the damage before visiting several pubs, maliciously spreading rumors around Jiefong how terrible said guild was. As of now, it'd be hard for them to really be able to find a job at all, really. And, well, it worked as punishment, they supposed. Didn't matter in the long run; their target was here, ripe for the taking.

"Took him long enough." The noble continued. "Was wondering if he'd forgotten abo-"

Two feathered hands grasped hard at her wrists, wrenching her back. Nee spun; eyes narrowed. What the hell was going on? Kicking forward in reflex; dust and a few pebbles rolling down the side of the Comrade Mountains, Nee started breathing hard again at the firm grasp behind her. But try as the terrified noble might, she couldn't get out. One thing was for sure though- this couldn't be Valkar. He'd have made his men treat her with more kindness than this; that was a given. Forcing herself to focus- this was no time to be freaking out- she asked, in a hissing, biting tone. "Who sent you?"

"You'll be a nice pawn." The hummingbird said, watching the eagle secure ropes around the girl; bound and helpless. "With you as our hostage... well. Our leader; Moga, can make Valkar do anything he wants."

"Like kill 'imself." The eagle said darkly, hoisting the girl up above his shoulder. Her eyes squinted in rapid thought, first of indignation- a pawn? Really? Wouldn't that be ironic- after all of her machinations and deliberations, she ends up as a stupid pawn? That's just... terrible. Second of all, and most importantly- her sexual safety was in no way promised anymore, was it? Cold shudder wracked through her, and as her body jerked, she felt the hand tighten around her waist, holding her in place.

"B-but... who's... second in command. Moga... internal p-power stru-" Okay, maybe it was a lot harder than she thought, to keep herself composed, when at risk of shit happening to her all over again. She struggled fiercely as The hummingbird nodded, confirming her thoughts. So there really was a power struggle- and perfectionist thoughts started rushing through Nee's head: this time, on how to eliminate Moga as soon as possible, and re-unite with Valkar before her safety could be used against him, again.

Still, she wasn't all that helpless. Seeing the cave, Nee let out a shrill scream for help, particularly, Griddy, to come and save her.




Just north of Hanshan, two men were walking. An old, pale looking man, with grizzled grey hair, holding an assortment of maps in his back, alongside his son, with a messy mop of brown hair, almost covering his eyes, toting a donkey behind him, with food and water rations.

"Father." The young man aid, yawning tiredly. "You don't have to try and fool me."

The man looked upon his son with weary eyes, seeing the rising sun in the horizon. He really was old; soon he'd have to stop travelling and settle down in Leiya once and for all. He'd lived a long, mostly good life. Losing his love too early... and losing his daughter, also way too early, he was still mostly happy. At least he had his son, Lunan Ka-Nan, with him, to spend his last days with. The father let out a bit of a cough; deep in his lungs, it was, and Lunan shot him a worried raised eyebrow.

"It's dangerous for you to travel this far from Leiya these days." Lunan scratched his hair absently, recalling the last few weeks. "We've been all over Yune. It's as if you're looking for... someone."

Of course, the old man was, wasn't he? The man sighed wearily. "I can't... settle down. Not until my baby girl comes back, and forgives us."

Lunan spat bitterly. "Forgive us?" He shouted. "She... you know her role in my fiancee's... it's her fault, Father!" Lunan stopped walking momentarily, wiping away at the tears forming in his eyes, while the father just wistfully looked at his son. Lunan's temper, while never as fiery as Hyuna's was, it was still pretty strong. It family resemblance was uncanny. "She was pregnant with my child, father, Yaeha, and yet-"

"If Hyuna could have helped it, my dear boy, she would'v-"

Almost like a swooping predator, a man with long hair and a red suit descended upon them. He recognized a younger version of that voice, and regarded the man and father nth scrutiny. Was it really him, Valkar wondered momentarily. The slaver who managed to escape his clutches and live a mostly good life? The slaver who fell in love with a slave?

"Run." The father said after a few moments, to his son, with panicked eyes. Sure enough, the red suit and long hair was iconic- the son of the man who was once head of the Ku'rannos Slaver Ring. Cha'Valkar. The man shuddered... he didn't want any of his children to know his past, after all.

"Been a while, Riev." Valkar said, with a grin. "Or... whatever name you're going by now."

"Haven't heard it in a while." The man who was once Riev said guardedly, while Lunan looked back and forth between the two men in confusion. "Though, my name's Kolan Ka-Nan now."

"A nice Yunish name" Valkar simpered. "Well, then. Where's the sl- wife? How is she?"

"Dead." Kolan murmured, looking down. "Childbirth." He then looked up, with imploring eyes to Valkar. "I don't want anything to do with my past anymore. Please, Cha... leave us be. Okay?"

Cha laughed, and patted the man's shoulder. "Don't worry about a thing." He said with a bitter, self loathing smile. "I'm not here to kill you. It's just- I need advice. It seems that I, too, want to protect and take care of a slave, although for me, it's more of a... father-daughter thing."




Goddamn, this new spear was heavy. Hyuna twirled it a bit- it really felt off-balance. Not really something he could use as well as the custom made one, after all. but then again, her old tengu spear was so heavily modified in order for a small girl like her to be able to wield it at all. Still, perhaps the extra weight could make for a more powerful thrust, at the sacrifice of some speed. Hyuna twirled it again, ending with a jab to a part of the stone, feeling the sediment crack under the blade. It lacked the armor-shearing capabilities of her old spear, and that really was a same. It also would take more energy for her to hold... but it was the best she could do for now. She clenched her left fist: chi hand still was fine, in any case.

Hyuna muttered a thanks, feeling awkward without straps on her back to shove her spear, but she couldn't complain. At least she had something. And she'd have to adjust, wouldn't she?

"Now all we have to do is find your guild master and get this whole thing sorted out." Orion said, in an almost business like tone. Hyuna groaned internally; she had just, literally, just escaped them for a reason, right? That fucking bunny. Hyuna still burned with shame at the idea of needing to face her again. If she was in trouble... there's no way Hyuna'd jump in and save her this time. The faster this damn mess got dealt with, the faster she could move on, and forget about her only love. Behind Orion's back, Hyuna made an illusion of Muna being exploded into bits by condensed air- and Hyuna felt no pang of pain at all, in her heart. Instead, she felt righteous vindication. Vengeance for the pain that she suffered. Her slasher smile spread on her face. "Hopefully they are still at the palace, and I think the ball should last for another hour, so I think it would be best if headed over there to see if we can find your comrades."

"Let's make it quick." Hyuna said, making a slight manic laugh. "Or else I'd be tempted to just kill Fortune and be done with it all."

Rounding a corner, and getting in eyesight of the palace on fire, Hyuna knew exactly what to do. She, with her new awkward spear, charged forwards with her air chi boosting her, tearing apart a few monsters with one hand shredding them apart; vicious air chi raging. Been a while, hasn't it, since she could kill? Far; far too long. She only hoped to not see Muna anywhere. The damned bunny.

Suddenly feeling the urge to look visually impressive, Hyuna did a little jump and a spin in the air; left hand conjuring up those shining white wings, stretching out from her shoulder blades on the back, flapping a little as she landed; both feet on the ground. With a cool smirk, still not used to this spear's weight, she waited for Orion to catch up and get all this shit over with.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

0.00 INK

#, as written by Rann
Orion raced down the street and hurried up the stairs to the palace, Hyuna must have had done her job well, seeing how there was little opposition on the way there. Orion burst through the large door and into the ball room, finding the whole room in disarray and no traces of the guild members. All that remained of the grand party was multiple overturned tables, empty bottles, and a few dented frying pans. Orion turned to Hyuna who was using some sort of illusion in order to hide herself. "What are you doing, I really don't think now is the time for silly hide and seek games."

Hyuna spun around, looking at Orion. She smirked a little bit, seeing that he had come; late, of course. With a wave of a hand, she dispersed the illusion, and walked over to greet him. He didn't know why she'd left the guild in the first place, did he? Not like it'd really matter to him. And not that it was relevant anyways. They were both really only using each other, weren't they? Using her for her murdering, and she was using him for the supply of justified victims. But they got along well, did they not? Maybe they could become friends. But she wouldn't hope for something like that, not after how the guild went down.

"Fine." She sighed. "But I kinda like my illusions." She took a cursory glance at the destroyed ruins of the ball- whatever was left of the umbral horrors had disappeared; maybe scared off or whatever. "The hell happened here?"

Orion chuckled, "I don't know, but I'm gonna go on limb and say that is some sort of evil douchebaggery." Orion lifted his boot from the liquidized creatures and tried to shake off the strange goo. "I guessing some high tier dickery, and some sort of magics and shit. Now I'm theorizing for what went down tonight is someone got dissed or rejected and decided not to be a good sport and summoned a small army of creatures. Now this is just a theory, but I'm pretty sure that I might be right. What do you think?"

The spear girl blinked, with the shaft of the weapon slung across her shoulders. What? "He hell's magic?" She asked quizzically. To be honest, she had never heard of the word, and... well, it was weird. She crossed her eyes for a moment, almost as if confirming that she'd never heard of it in passing ever before, and then shrugged. Probably wasn't important anyways. "Whatever, or whoever it is, can I kill him?"

She brandished her spear at nothing in particular, making a bit of a grunt at the weight. With a little 'heh', she scanned the area. Where the hell was everyone, anyways? It'd be best to just do this quickly. Maybe fast enough that she wouldn't have to see Muna, right? Heck... whatever caused this, wouldn't it be nice if Hyuna could take the opportunity to kill off Yuwen and Singing Dancing Oni? If the battle was bad enough, they could possibly have enough time to do that. Now she was even more eager. "Not just Magic." She cackled. "There are others I'm looking to kill off too, if I can help it." She shot a nasty glare at the window she broke, and then looked around again, not knowing which direction to search in.

Orion couldn't think of where that group of freaks could have gone to and then it hit him, why the hell was such a group even at a ball in the first place, "Hey Hyuna, were you and your friends attending the ball for any particular reason? I don't know how guilds operate nowadays, but last time I checked they're usually groups of criminals headed by noble with a packet of documents that excuse the criminals from their crimes. So I'm wondering why would such a group even attend such a ball?"

Friends. That word. Hyuna clenched herself angrily, spinning to turn and face Orion, bristling with anger. Friends? Really?! The spear was pointed at him, and if she used a burst of speed, it'd be hard to dodge it completely- most likely to at the very least get a bit of a graze. "Don't." She spat. "Ever call them my friends." Her voice went darker; harder. How could she be friends with ny of them, anyways? They were all... mostly, at least, people that pissed her off. Or hated her. Whatever. People who needed to die, as far as she was concerned. The whole lot of them. Even - even the Rabbit. There's no way she'll forgive any of them. There's no fucking way she'll consider them a friend. "As for the ball.. probably one'a Fortune's fucked up plans to get rich. Or famous. Whatever."

She then stormed off in a completely arbitrary direction; heading up the stairs, too angry to look back to see if the orange idiot was following.

Orion stood there stunned, wait, she was travelling around with a group of people who she apparently hated. Wow, that was bit strange. Orion watched Hyuna storm off, and go upstairs, maybe she does have an idea where those people might be, and he decided to follow. As they walked through the upper hallways a pungent smell reached Orion's nose. "Hold up, I think we better slow down for a second, something isn't right." Orion examined one of the columns where the smell was coming from. At the top of the pillar was a strange green substance that was most definitely not mold, "Have any guesses what that might be?"

So, a mysterious strange substance, a disgusting shade of murky green... and that fucking odor, man, what the hell. One mystery, combined with a strange mysterious word- or person, whatever the hell kind of name Magic is, at least. So, putting two and two together, Hyuna answered Orion's question with a feeling of certainty. "That's that magic stuff, right?" She answered. "Or something belonging to that dude named Magic?"

She didn't really care though. However, she was keping an eye out for a lighter lance-type weapon around... preferably one that looked expensive. A noble's spear wold be pretty damn awesome to wield into battle, much better than this one of average quality and temperament. She gave Orion's spear a frown of irritation.

Orion laughed at Hyuna's response, "Nope," Orion scrapped off some of the powder and tasted it, "Yep, that's blasting powder alright, haven't seen this stuff since that time where the Gwans were sending POWs filled with the stuff. It was disgusting of course, but I have to say it was pretty darn cool. I'm getting side tracked, well, it's official, were are now walking into giant explosive. You still think your fr- former comrades are still down this path?"

"Maybe." Hyuna murmured, annoyed that Orion mostly ignored her question about this enigmatic Magic. She would have to remember that name. Chances are, she'll run across them, whoever they are... and from what she knows about this person (that they exist), well, it's reason enough for her to form a plan to kill them. Or to even want to kill in the first place. She sighed, making sure to not forget it later. Magic. An eventual enemy. No way she'd let that go. She then turned to Orion, in a tight voice. "You're weird, tasting that crap. Let's just keep goi-"

There it was. She heard a muffled sound of a cry, or something. Obviously human. Probably a noble. Scared? Hyuna relished that possibility. Following the noise, Hyuna traced it behind an ornate and stupidly decorated golden door, even with some elaborate dragon design sticking out on it. With a wide grin, Hyuna slammed her left hand against it, focusing her wind to blow the door down; both halves clattering to reveal a young, maybe six year old boy, who looked absolutely terrified. How fucking sweet. She heard something else fall to- it looked rather long and pointed. And was used to try and keep the door barred. A quick glance- an ornate winged... coincidentally enough, a spear with some sort of wing-tip design on it, made of what looked to be some strange tempered silver that was melted down and mixed with another metal she didn't recognize. The blade itself- well, it was different from her Tengu one, and was probably useless against plate armor. But from what she could tell, it gave her good piercing strength, and some flexibility. Sweet.

"Hey, let's kill the kid." Hyuna said, after picking up her new weapon, and tossing the old one back at Orion. "I'm bored- "After realizing that was a terrible reason for murder, she corrected herself. "I mean, he'll probably tell the rich jerks that I stole one of their shits, right?"

Orion's eyes widened at Hyuna's proposal, was this girl serious? "HOLD UP A SECOND, are you really considering killing a small child for no apparent reason. I wouldn't care if the kid was spawn of some demonic relationship, I don't know how they teach things from where you're from, but it is a despicable crime to even suggest child killing in most provinces of Gwan."

Hyuna stiffened at the answer. It was disappointing, really... but. Still. She really wanted to kill- heck, that strange voice in her head was even telling her to spear the kid and move on. And he looked so delectably stabbable that it was hard to not do it, honestly. But then again- she did owe Orion. Hyuna let out an easy laugh, forcing the weird voice back temporarily; holding her hands up in mock surrender. "Just a joke!" She laughed; hoping it sounded normal enough. "Was too serious 'round here anyways. Sorry; guess it was tasteless." But if this Magic was somewhere up ahead... well. Better get a move on, right? Hyuna was getting stir crazy already; sensing a battle so near. "Let's hurry it up, explosions be damned, Orion!"

This girl really was a loose catapult that need to be watched carefully, "It's fine, just don't joke around like that again." Orion put the spear that he loaned to Hyuna and adjusted his bag, followed Hyuna who was now hurrying down the hall, "So I'm guessing you aren't a fan of the Gwanish spear, who exactly trained you?"

"It's heavy." Hyuna whined. "And it's more suited for killing horses than fighting everything!" But that did offer an interesting question. She never really did have training, did she? Ever since being forced to fight in the Yune-Tengu war, she never was trained. She just.. sort of picked up the modified spear, and started helping out the resistance as best as she could. She wasn't really trained in chi, either. Ina war, there's no time to be trained. The enemies won't sit around and let you get better before a fight. She had no choice. It was either learn on your own, or die.

"No one." She murmured, suddenly a little self conscious. "Guess it's kinda obvious. Don't really got much in terms of defense- mostly just jumping in and wrecking shit before jumping back out to get ready to jump in again. Shit like that. All about killing the enemy as fast as possible." She twirled the new spear- it already felt like an extension of her own being. "Don't really need training to learn to kill people."

"Bah, That is a falasality, the Gwanish spear is made for mono eh mono combat, you were probably holding it wrong. And yes, they are the ultimate horse slayer, hell most of the weapons I keep in my bag are more well suited for driving that wretched race of beasts back to the hell spawn they came from." Orion scowled at the though of those demonic beasts that separated soldiers from the tender embrace of the great mother Gwanlai. "I swear, I'm going to stab the next horse I see, wretched things."Orion was taken aback for second by Hyuna's comment about not needing training, "What? You think killing is something any maverick can do with a blade, I'm telling ya kid, there's an art behind killing, there's something mystical about hearing a man scream while he's being beaten by his own spinal cord. It's a truly an amazing thing."

The spear girl let out a little huff of annoyance. "I never needed training. Did fine- I'm still alive, right?" They left that hall, then, pushing a large double door; heavy and steel. It looked as if it was going to lead somewhere important; maybe where the others were. She did the same as she did to the other door- chi hand right against it; blowing the door apart, both sections going flying.... down the balcony, crashing against the Comrade Mountains. She looked, almost in shock. Had they gone the wrong way, then? But where else could the Guild have gone? A cold breeze rushed in, and Hyuna pushed against it to glance at the breathtaking view of the mountain range. It was amazing; heck, she could even pinpoint a bee's nest hanging off a branch of a rare tree. The bees- weren't they rumored to be extremely aggressive and merciless? Kinda like her, Hyuna murmured, before turning back to Orion. "Let's find a different door to go through or something."




Nee heard a rustle- someone was coming. She relaxed then, and both beastmen then set her down, preparing for a conflict. Someone was coming, after all. She figured, might as well get as much information out of the damnable things as she could before their inevitable deaths. Before Gridiron came to save her.

"Why does Moga want to take down Valkar?" Nee asked, trying to twist her wrist to be able to grab at the blade on her chain. If she could get it out, she could cut through the ropes, and lash out, probably shocking the two captors, right? And in their surprise, she could escape. She had to buy time for that though. And she also didn't want to be useless.

"Man's gone soft." The hummingbird squawked. "Now shut up, someone's comin'."

"Soft how?" She inquired bitterly. "Enslaved me, didn't he?"

The eagle turned his head to look at the girl in bemusement. "The old Valkar'd have raped you several times already." He laughed, making obscene hand movements. "You'd be nothing but a shell now. Kinda like Moga's chick he's gone. Weird name. Minayne or something."

Minayne? Nee furrowed her brows, making sure to remember that name. Just in case. She also sighed in relief; happy that Valkar's good side had shown through at least a small amount. She had to remember to thank him for at least that much. "Who's Min-"

At that moment the suit of armor burst through; swinging the greatsword and cleanly decapitating the eagle in one fell swoop. In shock, the Hummingbird fell back, holding his katana out at the suit of armor, almost shaking at the shock. Still. He was pissed. His friend for life- died. Right there. And the murderer...

"I'll kill you!" Hummingbird cried out, and lunged at the greatsword, parrying it away to kick futilely against the plated steel. He then took his sword- more specifically, an epee, and tried to dig it through the chinks of the armor. It was at that moment that Nee got a handle on the blade, and immediately cut the ropes out, looking at the flurry of blades slashing back and forth, almost too fast to see. But Tiamat was clearly gaining the advantage with her brute force. This was taking too long, though, wasn't it? And the noble girl didn't want to be entirely useless. With a resolute frown she leaped forward, digging the blade into the back of the hummingbird's knee; making him yelp and fall, almost comically, to the ground. A second after that, the greatsword found itself embedded inside his green feathered chest.

And thus, they both died. Nee looked up at the suit of armor and threw up- nausea and revulsion rising high through her small form. Recovering from spewing her guts, she looked up at Tiamat, ignoring the fact that she had killed once again.

"Um." She mumbled softly, in a tiny squeak. "Th-thanks. Tiamat... I... you saved me. Really." She knew her words probably meant nothing to the half-ashura, but she had to say it anyways. "You're my hero. If it wasn't for- for you, I..."

She stopped ruefully. Chances are she'd be completely ignored anyways. "Let's... just go back to the cave."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Cha'Valkar Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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#, as written by Rann
The loudest fucking explosion cracked the sky. Hyuna and Orion both stopped in their tracks as they heard it - was it related to the explosion powder of before? Probably. So that had to mean that half of the palace had blown up as well, right? She clutched her spear tightly. What the hell had happened? Was Magic making his move? Did he attack the guild? Goddamnit. God fucking damnit. Sure, she hates them, almost all of them... but, seriously. They were her kill, weren't they, despite everything? Specifically Yuwen. She had claimed him, did she not? She turned to a confused Orion with an angry glare.

"Gonna have to save my idiot Guild Master." She said wearily. "Stupid me. Wait for me, kay?" So then, using her left hand to propel wind behind her at high velocity, Hyuna catapulted herself through the air, almost using her spear as a rod to help aim her. Flying chunks of rock and palace gold were in the air, almost suspended as Hyuna rushed toward the debris at high speed, like a rocket, just in time to see a familiar bastard snatching Fortune from Lo-Muna's grasp. Seeing the rabbit girl again made Hyuna flounder, of course, and she failed to time a dodge right, a mountain chunk falling and forcibly pushing her back, away from Muna. It was just as well. She wasn't prepared to face her just yet. The searing of her heart was proof of that. She then glanced around in midair- in her element, for the hooded bastard, who had stolen Yuwen, and saw a glimpse of them elsewhere. But first- and her mental voice screamed at her to just kill the damned rabbit, Hyuna knew she couldn't just leave it at that.

"Just to be clear." Hyuna hissed, propelling herself towards Muna. "I still hate you, okay?"

For a brief moment, she considered rejoining the guild, upon seeing the Rabbit's eyes. But, of course, it wasn't to be, and Hyuna placed her left hand at the small of Muna's back, and used wind to blast her down to the riverbank below, only just protecting her fall with a rather strong cushion of air. And now that that was dealt with, the spear girl aimed herself at the dancing singing oni. Just seeing his ugly old fat form made her even more the angrier. What the hell anyways? This is a perfect damn opportunity to get rid of him.

"Dancing singing oni." Hyuna snarled, using air to hold him in place, utterly ignoring the other guild members. "You... r-ruined everything!" Hissing shrilly, the spear girl shot herself forward, hoping to land a lethal blow. And just in case the dancing singing oni could somehow dodge, or deflect it, she hardened air to a sharp point around her left hand, driving it Suiken's center of mass.




And there was Gridiron, standing at the mouth of the cave, looking at once, stricken, relieved, and confused all at once. It was a little amusing to see the wide range of expressions cross the Sudean's face, but she would have felt mean to let it stay like that.." Nee glanced up at Gridiron with a pleasant, 'I'm safe so it's okay" smile, and then said, aptly... "I'm safe, so it's okay." In response to Gridiron's apology and explanation. Of course, Tiamat was being as stoic as ever, and just muscled past Gridiron wordlessly, leaving Nee looking after the suit of armor with a puzzled frown, only slapping the Sudean for the silly statement.

"She's always like that." Nee sighed, wrapping the chain around her obi once again. "I believe, though... she's better than she lets on, Griddy. I'm glad I have you both with me right now."

She then stretched her lithe body, feeling the weariness and tension ebb away, and let out a long sigh of satisfaction. It really did feel good; and she was anxious to get back on the road after Griddy and Tiamat were both ready to head back out. Meanwhile, her mind was already at work to adjust her plans in order to take out Moga- can't have him vying for control, after all. How would she handle this new problem? And that name - Minayne - how would that fit in? Maybe Nee could make use of her, somehow. She thought carefully, preparing to turn things over in her head a few dozen times. Remembering Griddy was still standing next to her, Nee tentatively patted her as high as she could reach, and then sauntered back into the cave. She halted in her tracks, though, and turned back to her.

"Hey... remember my query, back before the ball?"




"So my mother used to be your slave."

"Yes." Kolan said, for the upteenth time, in the small in of in Hanshan. The three of them had decided to rest in Hanshan for the time being, even finding a ranch to let their pack donkey stay. All in all, it was pretty convenient. And the whole time, Lunan was confirming his father's dubious history. "She was- so innocent. I couldn't resist her charm."

He remembered her smiling face, her small form; everything, with a sad fondness. It had been too long, hadn't it? Since they;d parted? His shoulders then slumped, remembering how she died, whispering for him to treasure Hyuna- then just a newborn babe. Her last smile, fading as she lost the strength to keep going. The memory, even nineteen years later, still itched at his mind, and his soul. Did he treat her right? Did he raise her right? He asked this all the time.

"And you changed your name, from a slaver named Riev'Tadarn."

"Yes."

"One of the better ones." Valkar muttered from his corner of the room. "It's good t'see you again now, at least." The red man put a hand behind his head bashfully. "Glad you're doing okay for now, for your old age."

Kolan chuckled at his old friend. "I'm not that old." He wheezed, and coughed harshly, phlegm appearing on his hand. Lunan quickly steadied his father and helped set him down on the bed.

"I'll go get a medic." Lunan nodded briefly at Valkar before leaving the room.

"Been too long, Riev." Valkar whistled through his teeth. "So... how do I make that girl trust me? How do I make up for what.... what I did to her?"

Kolan turned to the man in the corner and began explaining how he had done it. Because the whole situation reminded him so much of his own past that he just couldn't turn him down.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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#, as written by Rann
Surges of electricity went flying in her direction. Hyuna quickly condensed the air along the lightning to the river, redirecting the path of the sparks as it just nearly missed. It was a pretty impressive sight, if not for the psychotic girl grunting in effort. She was just as surprised as anyone else was at how quickly she reacted to the threat- it was all reflex. Her body all of a sudden felt lighter- relieved, perhaps. That was when she realized the mental strain from being too close to Magic has alleviated; she was back up to full strength now. The spear girl, utterly ignoring Magic for now, turned back to Muna, with a cold frown on her face.

"Hyuna, I know I've wronged you and there's no possible apology capable of remedying that, but for moon's sake, don't take it out on Terra," Lo-muna was almost begging, and that further twisted Hyuna's scowl into one of anger and envy. Why did she care so much about the weird girl anyways, Terra? Were they together now, possibly? A couple? Is that why Muna had rejected her? The doubts and accusations piled up in her head; spear trembling with the vice-like grip on it's shaft. But she stayed herself for now, both wanting to hear out Lo-Muna, and wanting to... well... kill h- no, stop making up stupid lies, Hyuna, to protect your vulnerabilities. You're still damned in love with her like a fool.

"You did the exact same thing and that did not mean that I was to let you die, now did it?" Muna started walking to the unconscious weird girl now. The soothing words mixed with the stupid actions confused Hyuna, to be honest, both calming her and pissing her off, respectively. "I save who I can and do what I must, although I see now I am still capable of injuring others," Muna was still turned away, and the spear girl couldn't see what kind of face she was making. All the better, she supposed.

"You were my first." Hyuna murmured. "Should've chosen someone better, huh?" Hyuna turned to see the cops of Jiefong on the march. That would certainly cut this short- she still had to rendezvous with Orion, after all. She twirled the ornate spear in her right hand absently, the most natural thing in the world. "I won't protect you again." Hyuna sighed with finality. "Hope we never see each other again. Dunno what I'd do to you otherwise."

Creating an air barrier to guard her and the Rabbit from the barrage of arrows, Hyuna knew this was time to go. "I'll buy you time." She hissed. "Get the hell outta here."

With that, she lunged straight for the legion of Imperials, barreling through their ranks, using an air barrier in front of her to buffer any strikes from the front. With a snarl, she flashed her left hand- wind quickly gathered in a spinning movement, blowing some of the guards to her left away, while she also summoned illusions of demons, and leapt out of that circle of contact, seeing some guards stumble over each other in confusion. This was it. This was how to fight; her element. Her specialty. Once in the air, she lunged down again, stabbing through one guard's shoulder, and using wind to blow him into some others that were trying to approach, spinning to trip another; noticing that some were trying to combat the demons she'd created. Once finishing with this point of contact, she burst herself into the air again, leaving behind more demons in her wake, before directly appearing before Painji - the old friend that she actually felt bad for turning her blade on.

"Sorry about this." She muttered. "It'd be nice if we could meet sometime again." With that, she used wind to blow him, and the other strong looking one beside him, back, and looked back to see if the guild had left yet or not. Once confirming that Muna had gone, the spear girl burst into the air, flipping through the air to fly back to the Palace; fly back to Orion. A few moments reappeared on the balcony, seeing the orange idiot, fighting the urge to cry.

"I'm... b-back." She said nervously. "All dealt with. Let's go find more Yins, shall we?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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Orion rummaged through his bag and pulled out his helmet. Orion gazed at the crude angry face that was painted on the front of the helmet, a parting gift from his 8 year old son. Orion thought about how old he must be now, after some quick mental math Orion figured that his son should be about 28, which meant that Minene is also 28. Orion tried to imagine how his daughter might look now after so many years. Orion smiled to himself, staring at the angry face one last time before putting it back into his bag.

Just then Hyuna returned, murmuring about how she had taken care of business, Orion nodded silently, there was something obviously bothering her, “Everything all right? You don’t have to answer that question, I’m not going to force an answer, it’s really up to you.” Orion walked over to the edge of the balcony and sighed, “So, I’m guessing you weren’t able to find the little pansy. It’s probably why you’re up here and not down there arguing with that twat.” Orion thought about the conundrum that they were in now, “Well by judging the size of the explosion, we can probably just say that your guild master died in that fiery monstrosity, and because your guild master was killed by unforeseen circumstances your contract is now null and void.”

Hyuna asked if they could continue their hunt for the Yins and Orion gave a quiet chuckle, “You have any idea where any Yins are at, cause I don’t. I hope you realize that finding an entire family of nobles who have gone into hiding isn’t a walk in the park. Hell it took me a while to find Ukyo, and finding Elan was just a stroke of luck. Right now what is important is that we find Fie, let’s just say she has, important information."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Cha'Valkar Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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#, as written by Rann
Orion turned to face Hyuna who wasn't saying anything, something was eating at her, "Hey Hyuna, you okay? You look a little, I dunno, lost. If anything happened you know you can talk with me, I ain't gonna judge."

Hyuna shuffled her feet anxiously, not really sure how Orion was going to respond. She walked past him, almost in a huff, to make sure the orange idiot couldn't see her face as she felt her resistance against the urge to cry weaken. This was goddamn stupid, wasn't it? She sort of wished she could be back with the guild - but it's far too late for that now. "Nothing." She sniffled. "Let's go kill shit. Doesn't even -doesn't even gotta be a Yin."

Orion glarred at the girl, "It isn't healthy to deal with problems by just killing things, makes a person go crazy. Now stop with this circular dodging, if something is bothering you then spit it out."

She, still turned away, stopped her hurried walk. What the hell? Killing thing were the only things she could do during the war. If she didn't have that, she'd have lost herself in despair. With an angry clenched fist, she suppressed the urge to just lunge at Orion right then and there. "Who are you to judge me?" She spat. "Or d'you want me to wallow at a fucking failed l-love... confession! Should I- "Tears then burst out, and she rubbed at them furiously. "cry, like a weak fucktard? is that it?" Calming down just a bit. "I'm s'posed to be strong, Orion. All I need is to kill people."

That girl needed a hug, so Orion gave her one, "Child we can't all be the poets of our dreams and woo whomever we please. A confession isn't for our likes, we are warriors, for us actions speak louder and words, and the words will never be our subordinates. Crying isn't for the weak, it's for the strong, it takes strength to show our emotions." Orion released the girl from his hug, "Lets get some proper supplies and hit the road, we don't want to be around when the army comes investigating."

She let out a gasp of protest as the orange idiot wrapped his arms around her shoulders; weight pressing down onto her. What the heck... what was going on? Why was he... hugging... Hyuna stood there with a blank expression, not knowing at all how to react. The weird voice in her head, also, didn't respond. Hyuna supposed that it too, was utterly baffled at this. She wriggled a bit, testing the hold Orion had on her; but she really was more or less stuck. So she just nodded dully at his words.

"You're heavy." She murmured. "Let's get goin', I guess."

She shot an angry glare at the orange idiot. "Also! I- I wasn't crying! I just.... I just got punched in the eye and it hurts like fuck, that's all!"

And so, the two warriors left Jiefong via the north entrance, heading to Hanshan; wandering, mostly, not really knowing where to look next.




And so, the intrepid trio mark II kept walking. Gridiron was in front, with a stern step; Nee just behind, floundering and pattering. And behind the both of them, almost like a dark omen, was the living suit of armor, Amanhã, taking heavy pounding steps. They were following now, the path into Haraan Fields, and Nee breathed in the fresh smell of the grass and the plains. Almost instantly, she took advantage of the floral life surrounding them; pheromones drifting through the air, letting their minds slow down and rest. Nee, for once, let them drift to her, as well, and inhaled contently. She was too on edge recently. She had to relax, and think.

She had to reorganize her thoughts, put more checks in place to make sure the revolution and her allies went right. Valkar... he was going to have to be her trump card, wouldn't he? She was most confident in having him stand by her, than anyone else, even the NNA. Surely, he wanted to redeem himself; set right his sins. Because he truly isn't a bad person - just terribly mislead. But it's not too late to give him salvation. As long as he did what she, Nee, wanted. Although she wanted to avoid this - perhaps the only route was to use him and the Ku'Rannos as a threat to keep the Nobles in check. Rule by fear, until she managed to get power.

She let out a depressed sigh. She really wanted to avoid the fear route. Nee then turned to Gridiron demurely.

"What's the name of the border town where we'll meet your group?"




Valkar stood there, axe in hand, standing over quite a few corpses. Gore splattered the inn's entrance in Hanshan. He knew who they were - some of his slavers had apparently tracked him down and tried to eliminate him in his sleep. It was thankful, at least, that Riev and Lunan were still asleep. Breathing hard, Valkar wiped the blood off of his weapon, and sheathed it into it's strap.

What the hell?

Sure, the deaths didn't do much. But they did warn Valkar that something was going wrong with his slave empire. A power struggle. He could only think of two likely suspects; Moga, deciding to get ambitious, or Nee, if she managed to get away from Tiamat somehow, got herself back into Gwan, and started doing her wordplay to twist people's will around her own. Valkar didn't know which of the two was more likely, but it had to be one of them.

He hoped it was Moga. He didn't want to have to kill the girl.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung

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#, as written by Rann
The coincidence of coincidences had struck. Enroute to Hanshan, it turned out that the warrior duo - Spear wielder and speedster Hyuna and the jack-of-literally-everything Orion were happening upon a caravan up ahead. And, well, caravans were really only used by nobles. There was no way, really, to know which noble it was - could've been that too-influential Nee, could've been the Owari family that ruled the south, could've been any. They weren't close enough to tell - and even if they were close enough to see the family crest on the horse's saddles, or on the wagons, it's not as if either Hyuna or Orion could really tell which family it belonged to. Orion only really memorized by heart the one that pertained to the Yin family, after all. Orion dove behind some of the bushed along the road, dragging Hyuna along.

"Who could it be?" Hyuna asked. "Could move in for a closer look, but I-"

Orion shook his head, trudging behind the flighty spear girl. "Let's not get ourselves killed. Besides, we don't want to blow our cover so soon. Let's wait for a better opportunity."

The girl's face fell - she really was looking forward to blowing herself into a huge-ass fight. Sure, maybe Orion did say that killing was a bad way to vent her frustrations. But it was still a way. And it was her way of doing it. There were good victims up ahead, and Hyuna really wanted to do her stuff. Why the hell not? And waiting around for a good opportunity to check which family it belonged to was really a hassle. The damn meat was right in front of her - the doglike Hyuna kept shooting longing glances up at it.

"Hell, No." Orion repeated himself, more sternly. "Do you really think you can take on all the guards on your own?"

Hyuna smirked. "Could just fling you in first. Use you as a cannon ball."

Orion looked as if he wanted to say, vehemently, that no, that was a terrible idea, but when he realized that Hyuna was more or less joking, he let out boisterous laughter, patting the girl's back with a jolly hand; "You have no tactical sense and that's funny" The girl let out a pleased chuckle.

"So. So." Hyuna started, with another query. "Fie. What's she like?"

Orion thought about the question for a second, "She's a cat girl, bout 6 foot even and with ginger fur. I'm pretty sure she's a gigantic alcholic and from what Rocky has told me she's a big trouble maker. She used to be a slave, freed her with a few backroom dealings with a friend of mine. Of couse this was all because she had some information that I needed to aquire, never got it though." Orion thought about it for a little bit, wondering if she really was telling the truth about knowing Minene. Orion shuddered at the thought of his failure, he could save and protect millions, yet he couldn't protect the one person who mattered to him. Orion shook his head, he couldn't dwell on this for now - better not get distracted when a fight was imminent. Still, Hyuna's eyes lit up with recognition when he finished describing Fie.

"Saw her back in Jiefong." Hyuna replied. "Cut her collar off with my chi. Touched her a bit." As Orion looked at Hyuna with a raised eyebrow, Hyuna let on an almost dreamy, goofy grin. "Yeah. Yeah, she was nice. Felt great to the touch. Not as good as Mun-"

She fell silent, almost immediately, looking away with a bitter frown. Orion figured that this 'Mun" was the one Hyuna had confessed to - and was rejected by. A depressed Hyuna was pitiful, wasn't she? Orion had seen stuff like this happen to too many good soldiers in his time.Time to change tacks a bit. Orion pulled out his helmet from his bag. Orion locked the helmet into the armor to make sure it couldn't get knocked loose.

"Okay, let's get a closer look."

Lighting up, Hyuna didn't even respond. She blasted herself up into the air - making Orion stumble back with the force of the wind - and flew overtop the caravan. One guard looked up in confusion and started whispering something to the guard beside him. Manuevering herself in the air, Hyuna let herelf glide down slowly, closer to the caravan. She couldn't tell which family it was, but she was going to tell Orion it was the Yins. Might as well. They were probably deserving of death anyways. As Hyuna prepared another burst of wind to shoot her back at Orion, she suddenly saw a volely of arrows screaming in her direction - dodging most of them, but also getting hit on the wrist - Hyuna hissed in pain as the sharp barbs cut into her wrist, almost appearing on the other end; ichor dripping down from her position in the sky. Her glide faltered, and Hyuna let herself fall back to land, covering herself with a barrier of air.

"Get Tio out of here!" One of the guards screamed and smacked the horse of one of the wagons, but there was a calm cry of protest, and said man exited from the wagon - Tio, apparently - holding his own bow. "A good noble doens't leave his men behind in a fight." He said with resolve, and took aim at Hyuna's form.

It was at that moment that a crack of electricity broke through, and the orange form of Orion, drawing a bull-headed axe from his impossibly large bag, Orion bull rushed into the fray, crushing one of the guards against the wagon. He took a glance - yes, for sure, it was the Yin family. He shot a glance at Hyuna, whose spear was going through three guard's bodies at once, and made a mental note to heal her wound after the fight. With a shout, he waved a hand and streams of electricity shot out - bouncing between guards as the lightning attracted to the steel armor, arc lightning. Still, just as he did that, some of the faster guards, wielding silver katanas, delivered strikes at Orion, who then swung forward with his large axe; the two guards dodging the slow but powerful swing, and struck at chinks in Orion's armor before he could switch positions.

There was a fierce burst of razor sharp wind - Orion only just barely dodged it, and Hyuna went barelling through the two katana guards; spear going through one, chi powered hand imbedded into the other, tearing the man's lungs.

"Got your back." Hyuna puffed, before launching herself back into the fray.

"His bag!" One guard cried out. The next second, volleys of arrows went flying towards Orion. He turned his back to tank the hits, before counter attacking with an electric ball. A little part of Orion wanted to change weapons, but now wasn't the time and place. Charging up another lightning strike, he rushed forward as fast as he could, with another curving swing, bisecting two guards as they tried to get out of the way.

Then he felt incredibly strong hands on his arms, pulling him back. Orion responded with electricity running through his body - direct contact electrocution - but it was redirected to him and his body jerked as the current fizzled through. He'd faced this sort of thing once or twice before - the rare 'element redirectioner chi', a specific form of telechises. Shit, it was one of those damned psykers. Orion collapsed onto the ground trying to focus on preventing the lightning from damaging his important organs, this what I get for overdoing it. With that, his axe was wrenched from him. He looked through the chaos for Hyuna - she was already pinned in a chokehold, bleeding profusely from her torso. This had to stop, Orion lifted his arms in surrender. "We give."

But apparently it wasn't enough since one of the large spears was driven underneath the plates, puncturing his back. He grit his teeth to bear the exploding pain.

"Look at what we've got 'ere." The guard captain said nastily. "Assassins?" He scoffed. "You think us guards can really lose ones as low as you?" He flicked Orion on the nose before turning to his guardsmen. "Probably should kill the man. But take the girl with us - she could use some discipline."

Tio gave a tired sigh, and Orion recognized him as the heir to the Head of the Yin family.

"No, Ling." Tio said, addressing the guard captain. "When you're under my order, you won't do lewd things to girls."

It was tense, really, as Tio Yin looked back and forth between Hyuna and Orion. something seemed to click together in his mind after a few moments, and then both were brought in front of him.

"I'll let you two go free." Tio said warningly. "No further punishment. As long as you don't attack me again."

Considering the cirucmstances, Orion had no option but to nod and agree. Anything else would probably get him and Hyuna killed at the moment. He was pretty badly injured, not to mention Hyuna's severe bleeding. They didn't stand a chance in their current states.

Tio Yin sighed with relief, waving his guards off. "I need to speak with them privately." He said. "Don't worry, Ling, I'll be safe. Go back to the caravan."

The guard captain, apparently named Ling, grudingly nodded, rounding his surviving men back, and tended to his wounded.

"Okay." Hyuna growled as menacingly as she could, considering that she felt she was near septic shock at the moment, blood pooling beneath her. "Whad'ya want?"

You're the ones killing off my family, right?" Tio asked. Hyuna let out a sick laugh, shivering, and nodded. Tio looked at the two carefully, before continuing. His family members had been dying one by one over time, and just recently, Ukyo and Elan had met their ends. Or at the very least, gone missing. It was to the point tha tthe current head - Nirus, and his wife, Reina, wanted to take the surviving members and leave Yune before it was too late, really. Tio knew there had to be a reason why his parents were afraid - and it was probably tied in to their sudden influx of cash that remained unexplained. But this was a chance to get answers. And by Horat, he'd figure out the mystery today, here and now.

"Why?" Was Tio's query. "What did they do?"

"Ha, long time no see, what has it been, twenty four years or so. Children really do grow up fast." Orion muttered. Orion chuckled to himself, "I guess your family never did tell you." Orion winced, his whole body hurt to all hell; he felt the burns from his electricity, let alone the spear to the back. And, with a glance at Hyuna's pale face, he knew she had it even worse.

Tio frowned. "No, actually." He said, after a pause. "They always leave me out of the more important dealings. Do I know you?"

For some reason, Tio's frustrated and earnest face was enough to assuage Orions doubts. Orion smiled to himself, some people never do change. The pain clouded his thoughts preventing him from finding a suitable escape route, but Orion knew if he gained the man's trust, a path to safety would be opened up. And if Tio was being truthful - it wouldn't be a trap.

"Time does have a way to cloud memories." Orion said simply. "I shouldn't be surprised that you forgot me, I did leave rather early."

The Yin dug into his old memories of childhood, trying to think. Who was this - why did his voice seem somewhat familiar? He thought harder; vague images of a bodyguard flashed through his mind- but they were swarmed by memories of the first girl he really was attracted to at all, even at a ripe young age. Minene. And... if this man reminded him of her, then it had to be...

"Orion."

"Bingo, took you long enough."

"Why are you killing us? Where did you go?" Tio paused, almost hesitating. "Um.... how's Minene doing?"

"Revenge, should be a simple concept, they sold my family like dogs, so I'm killing them like dogs."

Tio just stared at Orion in shock. What the hell? The man almost fell down; legs going weak at the revelation. But seeing the expression on Orion's face... he knew it to be true. His beloved family were damn slavers. Tio suddenly felt overcome with nausea and revulsion, all at once. He felt betrayed. He felt deceived. He felt... shame, at having once been proud of being a Yin. He felt disgust. So many tumultuous emotions ran through his body and mind. But he also felt hatred. For himself, for not noticing, and at his family, for doing it in the first place. Tio always fancied himself a good, honest man, that really cared for people. Someone the people could trust to look out for them. In fact, when the Me-Hyung family tried to deal with them, Tio was the one that was all for an alliance of sorts between the two - something his uncle Ukyo, and cousin Elan were vehemently against.

"They're heading into Tengala." Tio said in a thick voice. "Meeting up in Carthia. If what you said is true..."

Tio then went down on his knees, almost begging. "Please kill me here. And then kill them. If you speak the truth, good sir, then.... none of us deserve to be alive for another second."

"And why should I kill you? You haven't wronged me, I may be a madman, but I do have morals."

"I should have realized something was happening." Tio kept his neck down, exposed, and was ready for the kill. He needed this. If it alleviated his guilt at all, if he helped make things right. "Should've told them 'no. Should've saved your family. Saved Minene." A few tears of regret appeared on his eyes and he clutched at Orion's feet.

Even Hyuna nervously looked back and forth beween them. "Uh, hey." She murmured weakly. "Orion? We're letting him live, right?"

Orion nodded solemly, "Yes Hyuna, we aren't killing him."



Entering Harad itself was pretty uneventful. Taking aside glances at Gridiron and Amanhã, Nee sighed. Her legs were aching again, but she didn’t really want to admit it. Still, they weren’t all that far from Furoe, were they? Just about half a day to the north on the Najjiro Road and they’d be right there. It was a cinch. Nee was excited and dreading that, to be completely honest. She missed her home; where she knew all the street corners and little shortcuts, and most of all, the people, but then again… when it was time to enter Furoe… Nee wouldn’t have any option but to commit an atrocity. It made her tremble at the thought; but it was necessary.

She couldn’t trust her father to do it right, after all.

The buzz of Harad was starting up, more hurried whispers, and the like. Nee caught at one point; “-looks like Me-Hyung’s daughter. But wasn’t she kidnapped?” Nee touched her face. Did she really look all that different that some of her own people couldn’t recognize her? This was her province, after all. Had the experiences with Valkar, Amanhã, and Gridiron really changed her, physically? Nee idly took out her blade and looked at her face, reflecting against it. It was almost a shock, but not wholly unexpected – bags were starting to form under her eyes, and she’d lost a great deal of weight, looking almost unhealthily gaunt. If anything, it served to dampen her mood further. What to do, was there any real solution at all?

Valkar. Nee, once meeting him again, she had to make sure there was a way to ensure his loyalty. That he wouldn’t turn against her. Taking out Moga requires some trust from him, after all, and no matter how fond of her he may be – she can’t expect the man to put her over his slave empire, Ku’rannos, named after a Gwanish warrior of legend that bent people to his will. Maybe… she could play as if she’d fallen in love with him. But, shuddering, Nee considered the obvious faults with that plan, specifically the fact that she can’t stand touching or being touched by anyone right now. Defeated; Nee pocketed the blade.

A man walked up to the trio, pretty unassuming overall.

“Travelers!” He cried to them. “Where are you headed?”

“Stopping by here for a bit.” Nee answered quietly. “Then, to Furoe.”

A frown crossed the man’s face, and he shook his head. “Y’see… no can do my friend. The Najjiro road is blocked off. Bandits, they say. Anyone who tries to go that route ends up dead.”

Alarm went across Nee’s face. The first thing she could think of was – this has to be Moga’s next move – and then she turned her face to Gridiron, whispering.

“Might be related to the people who tried taking me, back on the Comrade Mountains.” She said in hushed tones. “While you and Amanhã can take them - it might be smarter to avoid alerting the one at the top of our location.”

The man looked quizzically at them for a few seconds, and then stared at Nee, uncomfortably close to her face. “Y’know.” He started. “You really look like Me-Hyung’s daugh-“

“I’m not.” Nee said tersely, without thinking. “I get that a lot.”

It would be bad if word got out that she was there. Especially if this Moga really was trying to hunt her down.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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Orion stared at Tio thoughtfully, so this is what is going to remain of the Yins when I'm done with this whole ordeal. Maybe they'll become an honorable family under him. "Get up, you are not deserving of death." Orion extended his hand to Tio, who accepted it, allowing himself to be pulled up by Orion. "I can see that you've become a man of honor, it isn't right for you to grovel. Now if you'll excuse me I have to care for my wounded companion." Orion knelt next to Hyuna who was bleeding profusely from her abdomen, Orion pulled out a few bandages from his bag and wrapped them around the wound tightly in order to stop the bleeding. Orion attached the bag to his back and scooped up Hyuna, "Stay with me, I'm going to patch you up." Orion turned to Tio, "Goodbye for now." "Wait, where's Minene." "Her fate is yet to be determined. I'm sure you two would have made a lovely couple if things had turned out differently." Orion turned away and began double timing it, Hyuna mumbled something as she started slipping out of reality, "You're going to be all right, I'll be damned if I let you die on me."

Orion kicked down the door of the small inn that he found down the road. The inn keeper yelled at Orion screaming about expenses but Orion ignored the man and cleared a space on one of the tables and set Hyuna down. Orion quickly removed his metal gauntlets and the bandages on Hyuna. Her breathing was faint now, but she was still breathing, which was good. Orion cracked his knuckles and placed his hands around the wound. Focusing his energy, Orion lit up his hands as he began the healing process. Hyuna's body began squirming involuntarily at the pain from the healing chi. "Stay with me girl, stay with me."

Within five minutes the wound was sealed, Orion picked up Hyuna again and turned to the inn keeper, "I'd like a room with one singular bed. For my recovering friend, can you accommodate?" The inn keeper glared at Orion, and scoffed, "If you think I'll accommodate to a crazy person like you think again. I ain't helping an asshole like you." "I'll pay double your normal rate, and I'll pay for the door." The inn keeper reached under the bar and tossed Orion a key, "Third room to the left." Orion carried Hyuna up the stairs and placed her in the bed. Orion pulled up a chair and sat down, taking watch for the entire night.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Cha'Valkar Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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#, as written by Rann
"Not sure why I'm even bothering helping you with this." Lunan grumbled. At his father's urging, the young man and the slaver worked together to clean up after Cha'Valkar - the former slavers that had tried to kill him were not gone, stuffed into a river in strips of body parts. The man almost threw up - how could anyone just cut up a body so methodically like that? - but nonetheless, the deed was done. And no obvious evidence remained of the tussle. "You're a dirty slaver."

Valkar chuckled and patted Lunan's fuzzy head. It's been a long time since he really viewed his work as dirty, hasn't it? He was more or less used to accepting that things were the way they are, and that he shouldn't even bother trying to change things. Otherwise there was the threat of him being enslaved, wasn't there? Valkar looked Lunan over, the angry young man - quite a few times Valkar noticed some women looking at him over, and sure, the boy was conventionally handsome. But for some reason or another, he spurned all their advances; similar to how Valkar himself was in his younger days. And that rebellious spirit; the angry fire in his eyes, it was all him. Surely enough, Valkar was looking upon a younger version of himself. It was interesting, actually, to see someone with that naive spirit still persisting, even in adulthood. For most, didn't that get beaten out of them by the reality of life?

"Don't stare at me." Lunan spat, leaning against the door to the inn. His father, Kolan -or Riev, his real name at least - was still asleep. His illness was getting worse now, and to be honest, Lunan didn't know how long he still had to live. He wished his father could've just let go of his burdens and enjoyed life in his last years, instead of trying so hard to reconcile with his idiotic daughter. Lunan's anger burned deeper as her name crossed his mind. Hyuna. He'd loved her once; but after - after Yaeha, he just...

Can't forgive her for letting her die.

The next second, the door to the inn was kicked down - Lunan went flying to the ground as a man in orange, with a petite girl clutched to his chest, burst in, causing the innkeeper to shout out in indignation, about how much the door's repairs would cost. Everyone in the lobby area was now keeping their eyes on the orange man, as he removed bandages from the girl's chest - so much blood, and what a grisly wound - and as Lunan got up, he recognized his baby sister instantly.

Pain ruled Hyuna's world for a few instants. She was more or less unconscious, fading in and out of reality; dazed and not sure really what was happening. All there was was a long and oppressive cold weariness. That was all tossed away and she writhed against the stings and shocks of the healing chi. She had thought that healing chi was meant to be soothing, therapeutic, but this was almost as bad as the actual wound itself. She also felt the wound on her wrist being dealt with, and Orion wrenched the arrow out before tending to it. As the barbs tore through her skin on the exit wound, Hyuna let out a strangled, silent cry of agony, violently jerking with the sensation. Some blood gushed onto the table she was on, though. "Stay with me girl, " Orion urged. "Stay with me."

So Hyuna did, doing her best to stay aware. She was in an inn, wasn't she? Everyone was more or less staring at the scene they were causing - another shock of the healing chi made her squirm again, shuddering. Now that her eyes were open and a little clearer, she looked around at th- what the hell.

Brother and sister stared at each other, a myriad of emotions coursing through that one connection. Hyuna turned away first, tears burning as she remembered Yaeha, while Lunan felt more shame that his sister still couldn't own up to her mistakes, and face them.

"That's my sister." Lunan muttered, as Valkar noticed the mutual gaze. "First time in a while. Still as stupid as ever."

The slaver just nodded, and thoughts ran through his head on the possibility of capturing her. She had the air of a headstrong, cocky girl, and was also apparently, a fighter. Just the type for him to crush. He thought faintly of Nee, but then shook it away. She was still possibly a suspect, after all. Valkar patted Lunan's shoulder, before walking out the open door - the orange man and the little sister were now headed up the stairs-, and did his little whistle - the pigeon came almost instantly, ready to serve. The slaver hastily wrote down his message to Moga, figuring that one of the 'old guard' of the Ku'Rannos, and an old friend to his father wasn't likely to turn on him, and then rested his back against the wall of the inn, contemplating.

Lunan followed the orange man and his sister into their room. It was almost a shame that their father was still asleep... he'd spent so much of his health trying to get his baby girl back. But maybe it was better this way. He heard her voice -subdued and quiet - saying a bit of a thank you to the orange man. "Saved my life." She mumbled. "Sorry for getting hurt."

"Hey." He said curtly to the orange man. "Why, exactly, are you with my sister?"

Hyuna more or less stared at him. Why had he come to visit? She thought he hated her, no, wanted her dead for Yaeha's fate. And well, she deserved all of it, as far as she's concerned. Self disgust burned through her as she sunk deeper under the blanket that was draped over her form.

"Brother." She managed. "why-"

"Father's sick, you know."

Surprise ran through the spear girl, and she immediately shot herself up - succumbing to her weakness and collapsing back down onto the bed as a wave of dizziness overcame her.

"Probably best for you not to see him." Lunan said in a blase tone of voice. "The surprise might just kill him. Don't want to kill off another person I love, eh, sis?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Rumelis Morende Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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The large explosion launched Fie from the temple. Sending her plummeting to her doom, as she fell she began to wonder, what the hell happened? Sure she could blame the guys who actually blew up the goddamned place, but really it was the police’s fault, stupid police with their oppressive rules. Fie probably would have continued to grumble about the oppressive authoritarian system but she was interrupted by a very pressing matter, the ground. As luck would have it Fie was going to land in the river instead of the unwelcoming cobblestone. “I’m going to live! Take that gravity, I’m not going to get killed by your stupid rules. I’m not going to splatter on the ground, I’m gonna –,” and then it hit her, she was going to land into a river, not some magical shock absorber, a river, a mother fucking river, “OOOOH SHIIIIIT, I can’t swim, I’m gonna drown, FUUUUUUU— ”

With a large splash Fie entered the swirling river. As she was thrashed about by the underwater current a burst of air escaped her mouth. Fie desperately clawed her way through the water in pursuit of air. Fie’s head breached the surface of the water. Fie violently thrashed against the watery beast as it tried to pull her under again. In her desperate protest against the water’s grasp Fie was able to grab hold of a piece of wooden debris. The water gurgled in protest but it was to no avail, Fie would not relinquish her makeshift flotation device. The river slowly calmed down as Fie floated downstream and into the woods.

Eventually Fie was able to get back to shore, sure she wasn’t able to get off at the same point as the guild but she was sure that she could find them. It wasn’t like the forest would move just to mess with her; all she really had to do is just follow the river. Fie began following the river, after fifteen minutes of walking she noticed a tree, sure there were millions of trees in the forest but this one, it seemed familiar.

One doesn’t usually doesn’t pay attention to each individual tree in a forest but this tree was a bit more noticeable with its teal vines covering its trunk and its sheer hugeness. But that wasn’t the thing that was really irking Fie, the fact was that she kept passing this tree. “That’s it,” Fie pulled out her flask from underneath her shirt. Fie began chugging the XXL flask and stared at the tree, “You better be gone when I’m finished with this.” Fie finished her drink and was feeling a bit woozy, in other words drunk, like really drunk. “Wow, this some heavy stuff, but goddamn that is some fine whiskey.” Fie turned to the tree, the fucker was still there. “I told you to go away!” Fie began punching the tree, “ARRRGGG, You are a gigantic jerk ya know.” Fie would have continued punching until either her knuckles were a bloody mess or until the tree was killed so hard that it died to death if it weren’t for the wolf growling at her.

Fie, being the smart drunk person she was growled, back. The wolf started approaching licking its lips, Fie took this as the wolf was thinking lewd thoughts so she backhanded the creature. In her drunken state of thought, this seemed like a good idea. But in reality it was a horrible idea that just pissed the wolf off. The wolf lunged and Fie ran, fast, very fast. The forest must of thought that this series of events were hilarious for it teleported Fie and the wolf together. Realizing that there was no out running the beast Fie decided to climb the nearest tree. The wolf barked loudly as Fie made her way up the tree and onto one of the upper branches. “Ha you suck, you is the worst wolf of all everness.” Fie patted the tree, “You’re a good tree, you’re very —” Fie realized just then she was sitting in a large tree with teal vines covering its trunk. “Son of a bitch! Not you again!” Fie stood up on her branch and started yelling at the tree. This of course was a very stupid thing for the intoxicated Fie, since her balance was a horrid thing, and that was when she was sober. Fie fell towards the ground at a seemingly alarming rate. It was then the cursed forest decided to teleport the falling Fie right on top of something large and furry.

Fie bolted up from the furry mass that she had landed on and back handed it. “Take that you oversized wolf!” Fie stopped herself from striking the bear man again. “HOLD UP A SECOND,” Fie narrowed her eyes at the bear man. “You’re not a wolf.” Fie stumbled off the bear man and brushed the dust off her dress. “I’m really sowy, just been having a bad day with ‘dose thingsies, ya know,” Fie hit her own head as if she was trying to knock loose what she was trying to say. “‘dats right, explosions, ya know, BOOOM, KAPOW, and all that jazz. Thens there was tree, this gigantic jerk asshole jelly brained tree and I punched the pussy ass coward and then his browolf came and was all looking at me all funny so I hit him. So he’s all like ‘Ima gonna eats ya’ and I’m all like ‘Fuck you’ and I runs real fast. Thens I climb up a tree, and then it turns out it’s dat asshole tree and he pushes me off and I fall on you. I’m really sorry for hitsin ya.”

-------------------------------------------------------------

Who the hell does this man think he is? Sure they recognize each other as siblings, but were they really? “I’m surprised your douchebaggery hasn’t killed him yet.” Orion stood up and slung his bag over his shoulder. Orion turned to Hyuna, “If he causes you any trouble just tell me and I will send him to the depths of the void.” Orion grabbed his bag, “Now if you two will excuse me I have a bathhouse to visit. Play nice, or so help me I will rip you a new one.”

Orion left the room with bag in tow, and headed down the steps. Orion quickly consulted the innkeeper in regards to finding a nice bathhouse. According to the man, he could find one a few blocks away. Orion nodded and thanked the man. Orion stepped out of the inn and made his way down the street.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Amanhã Tiamat Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Nee Me-Hyung Character Portrait: Teri Serizawa Character Portrait: Sainko Khasai

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#, as written by Rann
Nee slapped herself once Gridiron walked away. what the hell was she thinking, talking to her friend like that? If they even were friends, if Gridiron even really cared about her. Still, people were paying more attention to Gridiron at the moment. And all of these people around her sort of... it really was suffocating. She didn't sense any truly malicious intent anywhere near, so chances are Moga was putting his bets on the blockade. So she left the bar to idly walk around; tapping Amanhã's armor to more or less notice her that she was heading out for a bit, feeling mildly like manure.

The crisp, mostly clean air of very Sudean-influenced Harad. It was refreshing, at the very least. Nee nodded just a tad at the guide, before turning down an alley way, making sure her chain was close at hand, and that she was alert of anyone even remotely approaching. Hearing a tinkle of water somewhere, Nee suddenly felt the longing to take a bath. Scrub away every part of her body that was sullied; maybe, just maybe become clean again. Seems like right now would make a good opportunity for that, right? There was something of a lull in the action. She'd keep the chain with her, however, close. Probably won't let go of it. And thus, Nee slipped out of the outskirts of Harad.

It wasn't long until Nee found the little spring just outside the almost-desert town, where the river ran to. Past that was more Sudean territory than anything. It was the only real greenery around, with this nice fresh scent wafting to her. To be honest, the Harad Spring looked almost out-of-place, a blotch of green on the border of a sea of sand. She slunk her way through the shrubbery, and with a moment's hesitation, slipped her kimono off of small, lithe, and bruised form, keeping the chain wrapped around her. Muttering, "Why not?" Nee stepped into the glistening water.

It was calming. It was really serene, too. Nee felt the liquid slide over her frame, washing over her like a wave of cleanliness. It was therapeutic. It was soothing. It felt like perfection. And Nee felt utterly out of place, with her dirty, ravaged body. She still felt it all, both externally, on her pale skin; fingers grabbing and mauling her body, roughly and intensely- and then even worse, inside, violating the most precious part of her. The part that she didn't want anyone else to know at all. Breaking through; pain and blood and foreign sensation awash. Nee shuddered and started scrubbing furiously, violently, in a frantic daze; scratching at her skin almost as if trying to peel it all off. She kept on scrubbing, but no matter how hard she tried, the fact remained that she was broken. Dirty. Disgusting. Sullied.

She was pathetic.

Finally the girl was sobbing desperately in the spring as little trails of tiny blood droplets lined every inch of her body save for her face; her heaped and sorrowful form trembling as the pain of her scratches started stinging. It didn't help. This didn't goddamn help at all. Exhausted, she climbed her way out, using leaves to wipe the wet off her body. Once dry enough, she slipped back into the kimono, and wrapped the chain around her. Might as well head back. Might as well bottle this down; hide it. No one was allowed to see her weakened to this extent. Otherwise she wouldn't be able to manipulate anymore, either.

She felt someone approach. Nee spun around, snarling, with her chain swinging in an arc in front of her, grazing the guide's arm. Nee stared in shock and lowered her head in apology.

"Hey." The guide muttered. "Just wondering if you were okay, miss."

"I'm fine." Nee answered mechanically, walking past the guide. "Just fine."

Overhead she saw a familiar flying creature- Valkar's pigeon, was it? Nee decided to copy the whistle she heard Valkar make back at Furoe, and the bird flew down to perch on her shoulder, with a note tied around it's talon. Nee then took the note off its talon, and tried to read it -it was, unfortunately, in code; no way she could understand it for now. She'd have to decipher it on her own once she had the time. Any information would be helpful. But considering it was in code- it had to be addressed to Moga. Nee went cold - did that mean Valkar was going to mobilize against her, and was aware of her plot? She had to make sure. Nee quickly writ down a message to Valkar in neat, flowery print, before attaching it to the pigeon's talon. She made sure to keep the note, though, along with the fur from Garrus.

"From now on." She whispered coaxingly. "Deliver all of his messages to me, okay?" She then let it go. Feeling a little lighter, Nee re-entered the inn, tapped Amanhã's armor again, and then walked up the stairs to her room, shutting herself off from Gridiron's troupe.




Was she morose? Was she really? Teri was still pondering this by the time Sainko melted into the crowds of Hanshan, and Teri gave rudimentary look in the general direction, and somewhat slumped her shoulders. It was time to get into another fight for the higher ups of the Ruinguard. At least it wasn't as if they were going to kill this Shan. That was probably the only plus. Even Sainko wasn't all that much of a bonus, really, only really benefit is that she could be a help in battle. Anyone that could be loyal to the Ruinguard.... well, Teri felt hard pressed to really want to know them. A little sigh escaped her again - wasn't she always like this, with everyone but Fuuta these days? Always being more or less completely disinterested in others, and she blamed it on her status of being half-tengu. Probably messed her up too young back then.

Nothing she could do about it now. Teri fished out her metal plates in preparation for the battle; an idea suddenly striking her. She ignored a few people staring at her - trying to decide if she were tengu or human, even hearing a mumble of 'hey man, should we murdalize her, bet she's rich' and then a terse reply of 'dem metal plates are scary dude lets not'. Teri shot them a warning glance - teenage bandit, apparently. Reminded her a bit of what she once was, except... well, she hoped her band of thieves were a tad bit more civilized than that.

With the illusion dispelled, Sainko felt something of a weight lifted from her shoulders-- freer, physically and mentally speaking. A light smile playing at her svelte lips, she proceeded, a hint of a carefree sort of spring to her step as she considered the best vantage point she could reach. Along one portion of the alley's wall, composed of the walls of the buildings that ran parallel along the main street of Hanshan, the bricks had degraded, leaving small chunks missing-- footholds, if one so made of them, interspersed across the decrepit wall, reaching close enough to the rooftop for her purposes. Sainko leapt up to latch onto the first pair with her hands, and gradually crawled, vaulted, and pulled her way up to the top using the various crevices in the brick wall, eventually leaping up to the rooftop with an unnecessary but tasteful little flourish.

The rooftops of these ancient, abandoned buildings were littered with refuse-- junk, assorted trash, furniture scattered about, a disarray of clutter, precisely what Sainko had chosen the rooftops for. Up from this vantage point, amongst the disorder of refuse, she wouldn't even have to use any illusion to obscure her presence-- she had only to stand, and watch.

Her eyes zeroed in on Serizawa, down on the ground-- this point would prove advantageous when Shan emerged from that inn, but furthermore, she wished to gauge the extent of Serizawa's combat skills in a manner which she had been as of yet incapable, having had little opportunity. From here, in the initial moment of the clash before involving herself, she could formulate a general idea of Serizawa's tactics, her methods of combat, her fighting style and martial prowess-- information that could, perhaps, become useful knowledge at a later point, if it came about Sainko would have to use it. For the time being, however, it was merely a process of observing-- watching, and taking meticulous mental note.

"Thanks." Heavy footsteps. Teri ducked to the side; the time has come, after all. No one else had footsteps like that; at least, not around Hanshan. unless there just so happened to be a giant living suit of armor walking around. Actually, that wouldn't surprise Teri, now would it? Well, nothing technically surprised her, but still, something like that is probably to be expected in this weird world. Teri's existence was a testament to that, after all. She took a cursory look behind her; okay, the teenage bandits were gone, thankfully, so she could focus directly on the combat. With the element of surprise, hopefully this'd be over quickly. Knowing her luck, it'd be a long, drawn out engagement, with all of Hanshan in ruins afterwards.

The orange armored - why the hell do you even wear armor that brightly colored? It just makes you an easy target, does it not? - with purple hair - and the hair, is that dyed? Would a man like Shan even be interested in aesthetics? Because surely it couldn't be natural. Perhaps it was just something, possibly a chi-reaction. Teri wouldn't be surprised. - walked out of the oddly named inn. It was time.

Teri wordlessly lunged at Shan with her double-ended blade, doing a graceful fluid feint at his throat before deftly spinning around him, and flapping her wings in his face; blowing her safely back. Hopefully while he was stunned, Teri then tossed her metal plates into the air, diverting any lightning chi from targeting her, and then used her light chi - dazzlingly bright, and more than enough to stun anyone looking, possibly even burn their retinas. The crowd seemed to stagger around them as she did this, and then stabbed forward with her katana, aiming for chinks in his tough orange armor, in such a way that only the deftest of people could dodge. She didn't have her usual style of divebombing to gain momentum of speed, but she could still build momentum of her own, in actual melee combat. Dodging a possible attack, Teri flipped over him and stuck at the nape of his neck, wondering why Sainko wasn't helping. Finally, as her plates fell down, she flew up to grab at them, using them to plummet down at Orion in a makeshift divebomb.

Sainko watched with a meticulous eye as Shan emerged from the inn, and began to proceed down the avenue; she also noted Serizawa delving away to the side of the street as Shan approached. Firstly, however, Sainko focused on Shan, committing to memory what her sharp eye discerned of the chinks in his plate armour, estimated from his range of movement and agility whether he was wearing chainmail or any other such protective garment underneath his plate armour (he didn't seem to be), calculating such vital factors in the battle. And then, the time was upon them: Serizawa was about to initiate her attack. And as she did, a subtle grin pulled at the corners of Sainko's mouth. Serizawa fought intelligently, efficiently, and ruthlessly-- she would make an effective ally for as long as that relationship lasted, or, if the course of events so shifted, an interesting foe to fight and kill.

But this was no time for idle reflection: it was time for the assassin to make her entry as well. Still grinning somewhat, Sainko reached back, taking up the shortbow slung beside the quiver on her back; her other hand reached for the quiver, her fingers, well acquainted with the division of the arrows therein, clasping onto one of the arrows with an oddly shaped, tapered head. The slender point of the arrowhead made it much more suited to penetrating plate and mail armour than the standard broadhead arrows that inhabited the other two divided sections of her quiver, tipped with various poisons-- at this range, should it have struck true, this arrow would pierce armour and flesh. After all, she had been instructed not to kill Orion Shan-- that did not preclude injuring him to see how he fought whilst wounded, however minor or major. And anyway, if he managed to die to the two Ruinguards' little trial, was that not evidence enough that he had never been powerful enough to be significant to the guild anyway?

When she placed the arrow against the cord of the bowstring, pulled back, and released, however, she produced from the other side of the street, from the rooftops of the opposite side, the illusion of an identical arrow, following an identical path as the one she had just fired, both surging down toward Shan, aimed for his leg. With the arrow off, Sainko wasted no time; quietly, she produced another mirror illusion-- just one, so she could manipulate it with a greater degree of finesse than simply having it mirror her every action. As she herself vaulted across to the other rooftop and then landed down in the side alley, this illusion hurled itself from the top, rolling as it hit the ground to produce the impression of attempting to minimize the shock of the fall, before lunging at Shan.

The illusion, the arrow, Serizawa-- all rather excellent distractions as Sainko herself unassumingly crept out of the side alley amidst the chaos that had engulfed the street, making for Shan with a veritably casual stride, as though out for an afternoon walk. And then, only once she was within a certain range, two things happened in quick succession: one of the daggers sheathed within Sainko's coat darted out into her hand, and she lunged forward, one arm swiftly snaking up to Shan's throat, pressing the dagger against it briefly, drawing blood but failing to truly injure the man-- if he was as much an experienced threat as the Ruinguard suspected he could have been, he probably recovered from such trifles effortlessly. Just as quickly, her hand darted away, the dagger was replaced fleetly, and she deftly maneuvered away from Shan with a backflip; as she did so, she reached for one of the throwing knives tipped with paralysing solutions, and aimed it at one of the weak spots in Shan's armour that she had perceived up on the rooftop before beginning her attack.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Teri Serizawa Character Portrait: Sainko Khasai

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Orion staggered back from the bright flash, Orion blinked his eyes quickly trying to get a hold of what was going on. Oh, he was under attack, sure the attacker was able to hit him, but really just a poke to the neck? The girl launched herself into the air and Orion watched as she grabbed … was she grabbing metal pates? She was going to attack him with metal plates … this has to be some sort of joke. Orion grumbled to himself, “Oh, so it’s going to be one of those days.” Orion watched as the girl dived towards him to hit with the plates, sure the hit hurt a bit, but Orion had faced worse. Orion shot his hand up and grabbed the girl’s ankle as she tried to fly away, “I’m done playing here,” Orion slammed the winged girl onto the ground releasing her ankle a second before impact, allowing the body bounce up and then back down.

A second figure emerged attacking him small daggers, this one was a little better, doing all sorts of acrobatics and illusions and shit. Hell she even made him bleed, just a little bit though. The second assassin quickly jumped back as if she was expecting a counter attack and threw a dagger into one of the few chinks in the armor. This one stung a little bit, must be using some sort of drug on it. Orion pulled the dagger from his arm; the thing was covered in thick murky substance. “A paralyzing agent, how cute, you run out of the real stuff? Cause this shit is weak as fuck.” Orion licked the agent off the dagger and smirked at his assailant, “Don’t be surprised, this ain’t the first time someone has tried to kill me, hell I had to inject this into myself everyday to build an immunity for this shit. You’d be surprised how many champions coat their weapons with the stuff.” Orion jumped back quickly away from both of the assassins and dropped his bag of weapons. Orion pulled the two hand axes from his hips, stepped into a fighting stance, and smiled at the two girls, “Let’s get this over with, I have shit to do.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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#, as written by Rann
Hyuna and Lunan stared silently after Orion, as he left the room to the bath house. And so, the siblings were left alone together, in that small little room in the inn. It was an awkward silence for a few moments, as they just more or less looked at each other, noting how much the other had changed. Hyuna was skinnier now; as if she wasn't eating properly. More scars. More lines on her face; from life's hardships? She had a generally even darker mood than before, a more impeding aura, as if whatever was paining at her heart was ebbing out to everyone around her. Lunan felt a familiar tug as his old and faded brotherly instincts strove to reach out to her. But then he remembered Yaeha - who died with child. That was enough to keep him grounded. Bad things had happened to his sister, and he didn't know the details of it all, both in the war and more recently.

Hyuna was almost dazzled. Lunan had grown bigger; more muscled. He was still slender, though, and probably always would be. He looked more ragged. Almost exhausted by life. And the permanent rings under his eyes, denoting his love lost. Dark bags of grief and loneliness. That was probably their link together. Both siblings bore a heavy burden of loneliness that neither of them would be able to be rid of for as long as they lived. Even with Muna and Yamato and Orion... even with Yaeha, her very best friend, Hyuna always had felt a disconnect. The only other one with such a disconnect was Lunan.

And, well. One might think their barriers would connect them... but instead it forced them even farther apart. And that was all the more apparent now.

"...So." Hyuna murmured in a subdued voice. She was trying to keep the Dark Guy out. Especially now. Didn't need it infecting even more of her psyche. If it wanted to, this was it. "How's... dad?"

Lunan looked almost mocking.

"You killed his daughter-in-law." The brother pointed out. "His unborn grandchild. You really think you have the right to even know if he's okay?"

Hyuna gulped and turned her gaze to the corner, lips tight and thinned on her face.

"...If I could've saved her, you know that I'd-"

"I was the happiest man in the world." The brother's voice was dark and imposing, almost trembling with his angst. "The damned happiest. I had a great sister; fighting to save Leiya together;, a loving fiancee, a child soon to come... Do you know how much I worried for you both, when you got stranded behind the border?" He took a harsh, heaving breath. "Do you know how much I wanted to beg the old Resistance to get back into the fray to save you? And you repay me with... with..."

Hyuna was silent. She had no idea, really, that anyone was trying to get them back. Her time, stranded in Tengala was... it was swarmed with memories of that damned Tengu. The one that had done...

She scowled just thinking about him.

"You should've been the one to die." Lunan looked daggers into his sister's eyes. "If killing you would bring my lover and my child back. I'd do it. Without a second thought."

"So that's how it is, isn't it?" Hyuna sighed. She'd had enough of this bullshit. She didn't want to deal with her mistakes anymore; the mistakes that would haunt her forever. She just wanted out. She wanted to kill. so despite the injuries, and the faint feeling of numbness in her right wrist, she blasted a hole in the wall of the room with her air chi, before shooting a troubled gaze at her brother.

"Sorry." She said. "I'd gladly die if it brought them back."

And with that, the spear girl shot herself from the second story, landing roughly onto the ground; catching an eyeful of the orange idiot, laying on the ground. Her murderbuddy. Hyuna approached him with a neutral face, adhering to the dark guy urging her to kill, to slaughter, to maim and destroy.

"The hell happened to you?" She asked, offering an arm to help him up. "got attacked?" Then, with an eager grin, a slasher smile, her eyes scanned the streets of Hanshan. "...can I kill'em?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hyuna Ka-nan "Falcon" Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Teri Serizawa Character Portrait: Sainko Khasai

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As Orion raised his potatoes for battle when the fluffy unicorn wizard launched a rainbow cat projectile at his chest. Orion’s world flickered between Orange and Razzleberry drapes as his hands slowly began to melt into a gigantic foamy land shark. “Why hello there Orion. It’s been a while since we last talked, your flesh was quite delishis.” Orion’s beak opened and formed a gigantic vortex that sucked in the quosalt land shark. “Your cups and knives were quite moist.” The fluffy unicorn wizard walked over to Orion and pulled out a panda egg and glided it over Orion’s neck. “Buffalo buffaloed the Buffalo buffalo.” Orion’s purple blood dripped out of the egg and became the night sky that draped over Orion’s body as he frolicked through the daffodil and kitten tree meadow.

He was then halted by gigantically tiny tree dwarf who asked for his ice cream ID card. Orion slapped the tree dwarf who muttered something about how flying was faster than swimming, and how swimming through the land was faster than water walking and disappeared with a dusky flash and was instantaneously replaced with pile of marigold and pansy colored puppies. Just then a miniature giant came and knocked over Orion who fell towards a pool of black water that turned into the mouth of a manticore. Orion stopped falling and the manticore placed Orion on its back. “You must help the universe, the purple fluffy unicorn wizard is planning on destroying the universe and all the other places too. In order to prevent this we must slay the purple fluffy unicorn wizard and its accomplice the gigantically tiny tree dwarf.” “Does this purple fluffy unicorn wizard have anything to do with the fluffy unicorn wizard?” The manticore stared at Orion with astonishment, “Art thou colorblind? The purple fluffy unicorn wizard and the fluffy unicorn wizard are clearly one and the same.” A bell interrupted the manticore and in came an oversized scroll attached to a coconut which was attached to a sparrow and it wasn’t any normal sparrow it was an African sparrow, whatever that meant.

The manticore captured the sparrow with its cage tail and sent its primate helper to retrieve the letter. The primate proudly raised the scroll which then proceeded to unscroll itself. From the depths of the scroll emerged the face of the purple fluffy unicorn wizard, who was now wearing a ridiculous moustache on its face. “I am totally not the purple fluffy unicorn wizard for you see I have a moustache.” Orion and the manticore quietly nodded their heads, this being who was totally not the purple fluffy unicorn wizard had sound logic, “I am here to warn you, do not interfere with the purple fluffy unicorn wizard’s plans or the consequences will be dire. Also your friend Hyuna says ‘Hello’” The purple fluffy unicorn’s face disappeared with a pop and Orion and the manticore were left there in silence. “I think that was the purple fluffy unicorn wizard with an ingenious disguise.” The manticore place his monocle over his right eye, “I believe you are right my good sir,” “Quite so,” Replied Orion who was now wearing a monocle of his own. The manticore removed his monocle and crushed it in his paw, “But enough silly talk, we must destroy the purple fluffy unicorn wizard before he or she or it destroys the universal shrubbery.” Orion pulled off his monocle in shock, “He or She or It intends to destroy the universal shrubbery? How shall we stop the dastardly fiend?” “With THE ALLFATHER SERUM! With its magnificent power you shall be able to destroy the creature once and for all.”

Back in reality Orion sat upright and reached for his bag, almost mechanically and dug in deep. After a few seconds of searching, Orion pulled out three syringes filled with light blue liquids. “MANTICORE! I HAVE FOUND THE ALLFATHER SERUM!” Orion pulled off the safety caps from the syringes and injected the combat drugs into his body.” Orion stood upright as the combat drug flowed though out his veins. “I must stop the purple fluffy unicorn wizard.” Orion dashed forwords and knocked Hyuna and her brother back. Orion then grabbed the nearby fruit seller who staring at this oddity, “Come Slime King, we must go and find the purple fluffy unicorn wizard and his or hers or its accomplice the gigantically tiny tree dwarf and slay them.” The man squirmed in Orion’s grasp, “Please sir I have no idea what you’re talking about, I’m just a simple fruit seller, I can’t help you.” Orion gave a loud boisterous laugh that seemed unnatural, almost demonic. “That is a brilliant idea Slime King! Your body shall make an excellent weapon set! But first we must find the purple fluffy unicorn wizard! Tally-Ho!”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Ten Fists Tuying

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Suddenly a blast of energy shot Orion in the back, planting him in the ground. "Book 'im, rookie," Tuying spoke assuredly as his assistant Rookie Jun-Sun nodded and slapped a pair of cups on the drug-addled perp. Smoke emitting from his right hand, which had shot off the chi energy. "Jun-Sun, do that chi thing, you do."

Jun-Sun nodded and summoned a small cloud in front of Orion, which emitted a voice, her voice, that read out all of the perp's rights, starting with, "You have been placed under arrest. You have the right to remain silent, or we'll get violent. You have the right to an attorney...appointed to you by the officials of Yune."

She then summoned another cloud and handed it off to Tuying, who spoke into it, "Yeah, we got a 5-9-8 on our hands here, copy that. Oh and yeah. He's a suspected ally of the guild. The Great Guild. Fortune. Was spotted by one of our spy clouds hanging out with one Hyuna Ka-Nan, who doesn't seem to be in the vicinity as far as I can tell. Nah, this guys isn't a pushover ,Jiefong won't hold him. We'll be takin' this one to the big house," Tuying said as he let go of the cloud which seemed to float off into the air...

Tuying then nodded at Jun-Sun. "Y'know what to do. The thing. With the chi," Tuying asked, to which Jun-Sun nodded. She then summoned a massive thunder cloud, which seemed to absorb the coked out cutter-upper and began to float him off...heading south.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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Things had been quiet at the reception platform. Hu Lang had been stationed here for far too long and he was waiting for his replacement to take his place in wait for any incoming prisoners. Hu Lang was man in his late thirties and old age was beginning to show. Hu Lang gave a deep sigh, it was nice up here, no worrying about having your arms ripped off by a crazy war criminal, no near deaths, no nothing, just peace and quiet, but hell was it ever boring. Hu Lang watched the horizon for any incoming carrier clouds how long had it been this hell hole had received another prisoner, one, maybe two months?

From the gatehouse came a voice, it was one of the new recruits, Private Bùxìng, he was a little young to be working here, but was he ever enthusiastic about working here.“Hey, I’m here to take you position, you can head over to the barracks for the day.” Hu Lang turned to face the replacement, “Ah, Private Bùxìng so nice to see you. You’re a little late though.” “Sorry, sir, there was a fight with some of the prisoners and they needed all the help could get to break it up.” “That’s okay, you had a job to do, I ain’t gonna hold it against you.” Hu Lang picked up his shock stick and was about to leave when the private spotted something on the Horizon. “Hey, isn’t that a carrier cloud?” Well there goes the nice evening.

The carrier cloud hovered over the unloading zone and Hu Lang and the private readied their shock sticks. The cloud dissipated dropping the prisoner onto the platform with a sickly thud. The two guards kept their weapons at the ready in case the prisoner was up to something. After some time Hu Lang lowered his shock stick and walked over to the armored body and kicked it, “He’s out cold,” Hu Lang checked for a pulse, “and he’s barely alive. Private, go get the medical staff, tell them we got one for the table.” The private gave a quick salute and rushed off. Hu Lang sighed, “They better pay me for overtime.”

The two doctors watched over the new prisoner from behind a glass wall. The prisoner was currently in stable condition but he would most likely not be able to regain consciousness for another couple hours. The older of the two stared at the medical report, unsure if he should believe what he was reading. “Are you sure the test are right?” “Double checked it and we got the same results.” The older doctor stared at his colleague with astonishment, “This can’t be right, he couldn’t have been on Frenzine, the stuff never made it past military testing. Did you at least get an ID on him?” “Former soldier and one of the primary test subjects for Frenzine. According to his file he is highly dangerous and is a powerful chi user.” “Well lets place him in Sector D before he regains consciousness, wouldn’t want to deal with him while he’s awake.”

Orion awoke in a small white cell. Orion rubbed his eyes and sat up, trying to get a hold of his surroundings. A voice emerged from the other row of cells, “Ah, so you’re finally awake.” “Where the hell am I?” “You’re in prison dear sir, and one of the most top of the line and highest in security. I guess your atrocious crimes have finally caught up to you, but then then again I’m not one to talk.” “What are you talking about?” “I don’t know what I’m talking about, I just assumed that you did something horrible to get sent in this wing of the prison. My name is Shi Renzu by the way, stop, control yourself, you sit across a god.” Orion stared at the man trying figure out if the man was telling the truth. “I Think I heard about you a while ago. Weren’t you supposed to be executed?” “Yes I was, did a little bargaining with them though, got myself a life in prison if I could help prevent catastrophic chi incidents, I’ve proved my worth several times over. So what you in here for? I’m in here for killing hundreds over the span of five years. Now it’s your turn to share.” “I honestly don’t remember…” “Aww that’s a shame, I was expecting something like killing an important government official or something.” Orion layed back down and stared at the ceiling of his cell, “So what happens now?” “You wait for your trial, and hope for the best."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Lo-muna Vanhi Character Portrait: Sunaarashi Character Portrait: Yamato Hibiki Character Portrait: Ann'Razul Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Rumelis Morende Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Shiisan Character Portrait: Gatger Yamus Character Portrait: Rune Iyora

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With Ann's blade driven into the Crane Demon's box...a hoarse cry rang throughout the entire temple. Sunaarashi smashing through the wall, Rumelis and Ann's attacks on the Crane demons minions, Shiisan's chi blasts, and of course the blade now piercing through the cursed box had all but severed the Crane Demon's ties to the temple and the world of mortals.

"This...won't be the end of me...I...return..." the Crane demon coughed as all of the vile shadow coating the walls of the room, as well as the hellish aura within the temple, as well as the dark cursed placed upon the forest, began to reel back and recede towards the box. A sense of tranquility had filled the air that the Great guild hadn't felt since they'd landed on Gangamai's accursed desert.

"Wow, totally didn't know that would happen," Shiisan remarked, sounding thoroughly unsurprised.

"Re--remarkable..." the old miner grinned. "You all did it! You..." the miner paused as something in the treasure box began to spark and shimmer with a loud hum. "I think...we should leave this room..."

"Yeah, good point..." Shiisan agreed as he and the other guild members hurried out of the Crane Demon's former domain and went back into the room with the pedestal where they'd found the treasure map key in. It seemed that whatever was emerging from the box was the Crane Demon's parting gift. But it had lost too much power...Electricity surged throughout the treasure box, smashing the walls surrounding the room and toppling them.

***

Suiken and the rest of the guild turned in surprise as one of the walls collapsed in front of them. The Hunter's Guild turned, equally surprised, as they saw the 'missing' Great Guild members standing across the other side of the massive hole in the temple wall. Their looks of surprise soon contorted into rage upon seeing the Guild was standing in the very room, they'd surmised the treasure map to be in.

"You...what were you...cheaters," Tawa frowned his face growing with rage. "All of you! Cheaters! You've forfeit the contest! Hand over the map!" Tawa demanded. "You get to rot in this cursed temple..."

"Yeah, it's not cursed," Shiisan pointed out.

"Wha-, come again?" Tawa frowned.

"The curse is gone and so...there aren't really any stakes left in this contest..." Shiisan shrugged. Tawa looked completely lost as he looked over to the other Hunter's guild members, who simply offered equally infuriated yet stumped looks.

"So...now I take it that we all can just leave and be done with this contest?" Suiken asked Tawa.

"I, uh...." Tawa stuttered, looking over to Tsukumo as she began to heal their unconscious teammates. "I'll have to ask the boss first...Can you all just, uh, wait here a sec?"

The entire guild gave Tawa a blank stare, before simply leaving through the new hole blown into the wall. The old miner approached them excitedly, asking. "Do you all know what you've done? The entire province must've been suffering for a long time due to this Crane Demon and you all just...well you done a very good thing to say the least! After spending months in that room with that wretched thing, I feel as if I am twenty years younger!"

"This has to be told to someone! Perhaps, I will go to Jiefong and relay the news..." the old man continued, scratchiness his chin. "Er, what do I call you people?"

"We're the Great Guild," Shiisan explained. "The Great Guild Fortune. We're a pretty big deal, right?" he asked Lo-Muna, elbowing her a bit on the shoulder.

"The Great Guild Fortune..." the miner repeated, before turning around, beginning to take his leave. "I will remember that!" he shouted as he began to run off, in another direction than the guild. Back to a now curse-free Ganga Desert and towards Jiefong. "And thank-you!"Shiisan nodded and looked back at the guild, pulling forth a burlap bag in one hand and the key/map to unlocking the treasure room in the other.

Needless to say, the Guild realized that it was finally time to take a bit of a reward for themselves after the past couple of days. The key had unlocked the treasure room without a hitch and they soon took as much as they could take with them.

There was only one thing left to do, which was make for the exit into Gangamai. The last room that needed to be unlocked was unlocked. It led to a simple tunnel that simply led them in a straight line. They traveled in haste despite their tired demeanor, until they were closer and closer towards a dim light.

And then finally....they made it. The underground City of Gangamai. They were soon greeted by a confused rabble of dirtied faces, giving them looks of shock and surprise. There was an odd silence for a couple of minutes, before Suiken spoke. "Aha...excuse us, we've traveled for a long time without a decent rest and we-,"

"Stow it, oni," a Gangamai guardsmen spat, still looking in amazement at the group. "Did you all...just come from that temple?"

"Why yes," Suiken answered. "We've come from Jiefong, across the river and trekked through the Ganga Desert to..."

"You went through the cursed desert?!" the guard laughed obnoxiously at them. "You washed up by the lake right? You ARE aware that there's a a mountain near that area...?"

"...Yes?" Suiken nodded, vaguely recalling the geography of the area. "What of it?"

"The curse doesn't go that far!" the guard snorted. "There's a passage in those mountains that'd taken you right near here safely!" he guffawed.

Suiken gave a low sigh and turned towards the guild, whispering, "Remember, let's...keep a low profile here. Perhaps news of our...activities in Jiefong haven't spread this far yet, but we should nevertheless, be careful. Now...I suggest we search for an inn."

"Woah, what'd you guys pull off in Jiefong?" Shiisan asked, waiting for an answer as he turned his head back towards the tunnel, where unbeknownst to the rest guild, a pair of eerie, but not particularly threatening eyes peered at them from the darkness. The eyes of the qilin. Shiisan gave it a nod, before it bowed respectfully and departed as quickly as it had arrived. Shiisan's attention soon turned back towards Gangamai as the guild continued to search for an inn.

***

A filthy gecko beastman of a guard tapped violently on Orion's cell with it's warhammer. Glaring at Orion with razing hatred and iron willpower, the reptilian beastman snorted, "You ready for the full might of the judicial system, scum-lord?" he asked Orion.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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Orion stared at the ceiling actively trying not to bolt up and rip the gecko’s arms off. Orion sighed, stood up to his full height, and looked down at the beastman who was a full foot shorter than him. “Well lets get this over with. The sooner we get going the sooner I get finished with your silly games of dress up and make believe.” The gecko scowled and cuffed Orion. The door opened up and Orion followed him. As Orion left the hallways of sector D Shi Renzu smiled to himself, “I’ll be seeing you soon. Whether it be in here or on the outside, I have a feeling that we’ll be meeting again."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Shiisan

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"Well, if you're worried about transporting them or messing, up then just don't go," Shiisan told Terra. "Bug dude didn't say all of us had to go." Shiisan then turned to look at the Dragonfly. "Hey, man...we're tired, most of us agreed to this, so...just give us the maps and the files, so we can look over this, alright?"

The Dragonfly beastman shrugged and complied, handing the map over to the guild as well as several scrolls, which contained the files on the three possible safehouses. The insectoid beastman then pointed to the right where all the beds lay. "They're not much for comfort, but we have plenty of 'em. Take your pick. Next toy your bed are some crates. Those contain all are tools of the trade, so to speak. Have a look if you want, you might need 'em tomorrow."

Walking towards the beds, Shiisan unfolded the scrolls and placed them on a small table. "Let's see, we've got the auction house. The Guards Barracks, and...the Slaughterhouse? Really?! That doesn't bode well...Either way...tomorrow? We should break into teams and decide who goes where. But tonight? I dunno about you guys, but sleep is definitely sounding good right about now." And with that Shiisan fell onto one of the beds, soon falling fast asleep.

"Sleep does sound good," Suiken yawned. Sitting on a bed of his own, glancing over to the crates beside the bed.

Then, in a short amount of time...night fell.

***
While most of the other guild members slept, Suiken could barely bring himself to sleep. He lay wide awake, eyes glaring up at the rocky ceiling of the thieves den. The bed was creaky and uncomfortable and despite the width of the hideout, Suiken couldn't help but feel cramped knowing that above this stone ceiling was another one, covering all of Gangamai. It was less a city and more of a massive tomb.

And no matter how many times he tossed and turned, Suiken couldn't help but hear the screaming. Slaves. Children screaming, begging not be beaten. And he wasn't sure if sounds were just through from the outside or if this place was really beginning to remind him too much of the a certain someone back home, in Onium. "That's does it..." Suiken sighed, sitting up and rubbing his eyes, more out of habit than anything as he wasn't remotely tired in the slightest.

The old oni stood up and walked over to the crate, carefully and quietly glancing over it's contents until he saw what he'd wanted. A simple hooded cloak and what appeared to be papers,documentations of freedom to be exact. Forged ones of a free oni. It was all he needed as he draped it over himself and made his way out the door to the hideout. He could find it again, retracing his steps was something he was fairly good at. He then made his way to town, walking at a brisk pace until he reached the streets of Gangamai. Not much different from when the guild first arrived there. Lepers and beggars. Orphans and the crippled. All of the surrounded the city streets, begging, pleading, crying.

Then there were the slaves. Still being put to work, still being rounded and threaten and beaten. Suiken pulled his hood over his head. Even with the forged documents in his hands, he still didn't feel any safer. Slavery was much more prevalent in Yune than in Onium, which...was insane to him, he'd thought it had been horrific enough back home. The ideals he'd always fought for had been turned on their head in Onium that day, when he saw those slaves, those children...put to work, made to suffer. No one deserved such a fate. And given how much worse it was here...Suiken couldn't help but have a prickling feeling a hopelessness creep up on him. How could you change a world that thinks this is acceptable...? He thought he'd had the answer long ago...he thought through traveling he'd gain better answer. But in truth he just still didn't know.

"Move it oni! Stop stallin'! And get! Back! To! Work!" the angered voice of a human slaver spat, enunciating each word with a crack of his whip. Suiken turned around to see the oni in question and his eyes widened at what he saw. A snow oni, like himself although younger, sporting ragged, weather worn clothing, and long slicked back hair. A familiar face to Suiken, one he hadn't expected to see in Yune if ever again, since he departed Onium. The expression on the oni's face was one made of pure, stubborn anger. Each strike of the whip did nothing to make him change the look of pure hatred on his light green face he was giving to the slavers. Every time they told him to hurry up he slowed down. Every time they'd told him to move, he'd stop for a few seconds.

If this act of defiance was just intended to get under the slavers skin, then it succeeded and more. "You're a lucky one, you know that, boy..." the slaver spoke in a quiet menacing tone. "We're running out of slaves for watermill, and you're just about strong enough to work the whole damn thing yourself, aren't you? But even so I'm not gonna just stand here and be mocked!" the slaver hollered, grabbing the shackles on the oni's hands and pulling them forward, causing the oni to collapse on the ground.

"Not by a gods damned oni slave!" the slaver shouted madly digging his heel into the still fresh wounds that the whip carved into the oni's back. As he finished, his eyes turned to Suiken. "You...elder Oni. Papers?" he said, a mad look in his eyes, almost gleeful. Overjoyed at the prospect of enslaving another oni perhaps.

Suiken raised his forged papers and the slaver immediately grew disappointed as he saw them. "I was getting my hopes up that you were a loose one..." the slaver mumbled. "Well you must be an slave catcher or something then, eh? Most of the oni that work here are. Guess they don't have it in 'em to be slavers."

Suiken sighed heavily. 'If only that were the case...' he thought. Luckily, the slaver didn't seem to read his discontent as he walked back over to the oni slave. "Here, you can take this one back to his pen. It's near the boneyard. I'm tired and I think I'm about due an early rest, don't you?" he asked,half threateningly.

Suiken contemplating punching the man in the jaw, but the Guild had already garnered enough unwanted attention in this unsavory place..."I'd say so..." Suiken muttered. The slaver gave a disingenuous smile and handed the oni slave off to Suiken. It was a good thing that Suiken had looked over Saaklemore's map prior, so he could at least make it look convincing when he pretended to go to the boneyard.

After Suiken and the snow oni slave managed to get a fair distance away form the obnoxious slaver, Suiken began to speak, "Tora...it's been a while."

"Fuck you," the other Oni, Tora, spat as they continued to walk, this time slowing down.

"Ah, so you did recognize me," Suiken sighed.

"It's not hard to remember the face of a traitor," Tora growled. "...Even if you have gained weight, Seinaru."

"Hmm," Suiken chuckled, though he didn't sound all to amused. "I know....I betrayed the trust of the Empress, the empire. But after what I saw, how could I not? I doubt my absence would damn the Empire in such a radical way as you seem to think..."

"You think...you think this is about the slaves? You think this is about the Empress?! Dammit Seinaru...," Tora mumbled, his voice raising slightly. He then quickly glanced around, appearing a bit nervous, weary. "We can't talk here, she could hear us..." Tora wheezed, his voice dropping to a very low whisper. "Find the old quarry, the abandoned one. It's one of the few safe places... " The two oni made their way towards the quarry in question. Two looming signs hung over it's gate, barring anyone from slavers to slaves from entering it. No patrols seemed to be making rounds around this area.

Tora took the time to examine the ground, leaning over and placing an ear to it, sighing a breath of relief. "No hollow ground here, mostly rock. We're safe..." Tora leaned against one of the boulders, propping his whip-scarred back against the stone.

Suiken sat down upon a flat-ish boulder and asked Tora, "You're certain you don't wish to sit down? Your wounds..."

"I'm fine," Tora snapped, shaking his head. "What business do you have here in Gangamai of all places? Couldn't have been to find me, you seemed just as surprised as I did when I spotted you."

Suiken leaned forward, resting a hand on his knee. "You first, kid. You're the one who managed to get himself enslaved. Hard to imagine someone captured you of all people."

"It wasn't an easy task for them...but I was outnumbered and outclassed. I thought I could outfight them, but I payed the price for my brashness, it seems," Tora grumbled. "Just another tragedy to sprout up after you abandoned Onium. Though I was the least of them..." Tora shook his head and stared at the sky...what little of it could be seen through the cracks in Gangamai's stony ceiling. There was a brief silence before Tora spoke again, "The Empress sent me after you, you know. News had been making the rounds in Onium, that an Oni of your description was spotted around Yune."

"Hmm, spies are everywhere it seems," Suiken noted,resting his hand on his chin.

"Everywhere? Ha!" Tora coughed a dry laugh. "So few of them we have now...their time could be better spent spying on the enemies encroaching on our borders, than tracking you down. She wanted me to find you on your birthday, you know? Said she wanted me to give you an leg of yak since she figured you hadn't eaten any in so long being in Yune."

"Oh!" Suiken stated, his eyes widening in surprise. Shock, really. "That's...unexpectedly kind of her after all we'd been through."

"Then after you'd eaten, she wanted me to kill you," Tora admitted, unable to help himself from chuckling slightly.

"Now, that's the Empress I know," Suiken grimaced. "Though, this doesn't explain how you landed in here."

"By the spirits, old man, I'm getting to it!" Seinaru growled. "I think I deserve a bit of rest, right?" Seinaru asked,to which Suiken nodded in agreement. "Now, as I was tracking you, I ended up getting lost. Bought a damned phony map from a human merchant called Ris-Ki. Ended up near the Ganga Desert. I caught wind of some minor demon plaguing the forest and thought to myself, 'Why not give the humans a hand and purify the forest?', so I was taking a detour towards the desert when I ran into one a massive slave caravan.

"Seinaru, this place is a fortress of hell. Barely any of it's secrets escape it's wall and neither do it's prisoners. What you saw and revolted against in Onium is nothing compared to this! There is an army of slavers within these walls and they aren't jokes or pushovers. For every one of the fat bastard who you just saw whip my back to shreds, there are over five hundred slavers here who could level the Ganga mountains to rubble. It was just my misfortune that the slave caravan I ran into was run by the worst of them."

"They're the couple form hell, Vyasana and Kupiga. Vyasana is an ashura and not just any ashura. He was a former general in the Ashuran's army. Led the ashura to defend against that massive navy of pirates that stormed the seas ten years ago? He won that battle for them, no doubt. Some say he did it all by himself. Even so, he was dishonorably discharged and banished. Why...? Well, that's a mystery. As is what he did prior to arriving here, climbing his way up the ranks to become one of the top slavers," Tora continued.

"General Vyasana..." Suiken muttered. "I've heard the name. Didn't know he'd ended up here or had been discharged, but I have heard...unsettling rumors."

"About how he bares the blackened blood of demonspawn? Or how he is no longer mortal...?" Tora grinned,somberly. "I can't say. Maybe that's why he was banished. He certainly acts like am monster. And he's not to hard to spot. The ashura with the golden helm. Front and back covered in nothing but scars. Eyes blood red as a pool of magma. Another rumor says he's never been scratched in battle. All those scars he gave to himself, the spirits damned sadist..."

Tora spat upon the ground. "Doesn't waste those six arms either. Usually has a whip in all six...and uses 'em on one slave. And then there's his wife," Tora closed his eyes, recollecting a painful memory. "She's a centipede beastwoman. They say she terrorized Askia for years before arriving here. She was warden before Vyasana even stepped foot in here. You always loved tall tales....you ever hear the legend of the worm that prowls beneath the Ganga desert, dragging lost travelers beneath the sand and devouring them whole?"

"...I've told the tale myself," Suiken commented. It was one of those he thought had no ring of truth to it. "Just a cautionary tale for traveling alone in the wilderness, I thought."

"Well, in all likelihood, it was probably Kupiga," Tora sighed, cradling his head in his hands. "If I'd never seen a demon before coming here, I'd certainly confuse her with one. In the day, she waits in her lair for any 'problematic' slaves. One that defy their masters one too many times and got away alive. They bring the to her and she rips them apart, sometimes sharing bits with Vyasana."

"That's disgusting..." Suiken nearly vomited.

"Oh, it can get worse..." Tora assured. "Sometimes it's a public display. And at night? She prowls underneath the soft ground, waiting...hoping for a slave to speak of revolting, hoping she catches wind of an uprising. She'll appear without warning, ripping open the ground and dragging any one unlucky enough to be remotely near her down. Only a few among us know how to avoid her then. Mostly it's the criminals of the town and their secret passageways, but I've noticed that she only treads near the soft ground. Rock, like this quarry? Safe ground. Weird how they'd barred it off though, nothing seems unstable about it..."

"And you suffer all this all to search for me? I...have no words I can say to apologize enough, my old student," Suiken sighed somberly. To see an oni he trained himself since childhood end up undergoing such suffering on a quest to kill him? It ate at him worse than Kupiga ever could.

"I should've expected a non-answer like that from you," Tora sneered, though his expression did soften a little as he sighed. "Though, I finally realize what angered you all those years ago in Onium, Seinaru. When you saw the slaves? My way of thinking back then was that you were a fool, for sympathizing with them. The humans do the same to us, I thought. So why have the same done to them? I didn't even give a second thought to the beastmen or the goblins we'd enslaved...But when I arrived here...to see not just my people, but all people under chains, even children and meant to live and die like this? I understood. Shame it took so long."

"But," Tora continued, interrupting Suiken before he could speak. "While, I understood why you left, I do not condone it. You did a just thing when you spoke out against your betrothed, the Empress. Your intentions were noble when you left to live with that Fire Oni tribeswoman...When you returned, there was talk that maybe you'd lead a militia against the Empress...But instead, you tried and failed. You messed up and messed up bad, but that isn't why I no longer respect you. It's because after that for all of your speeches, for all of your idealism...you gave up."

"Gave up to become a bard, to wander free and to give up responsibility, only teaching heroism through song and not through action. You became Suiken, which, might I add, is a laughable name. 'The Drunken Fist'? Really? That's your pseudonym?," Tora paused to mock. "But I digress...you abandoned us and in doing so, doomed Onium, Koru and the entire world to die."

"W-what do you mean?" Suiken asked, after a moment, perplexed. He couldn't answer as his fellow oni's words stung him. He was receiving information he'd already known, but didn't want to hear from someone else's mouth, much less someone he once considered a friend and pupil. He could only wonder what his other, more hot blooded, former students thought of him. But what Tora said near the end....of him dooming Onium and Koru and the world. He didn't quite understand.

"When you left Onium, you didn't just abandon your country you abandoned your post," Tora sighed exasperated. "You were the chief among all of the Demon Hunters and the only one who knew anything about the Midnight Gate and the horrors that lay within it. Imagine the rest of us, four months ago. Still lacking complete training, spiritual awareness, and other patience, when and eclipse washes over Onium. The sun being covered by a blood-red moon. The light of energy beaming down from the heavens and into Hiehana Canyon."

"The gate opened?!" Suiken cried, standing up from his seat upon the boulder. The Midnight Gate. A sacred landmark in Onium, especially to it's famed Demon Hunters. A millenia ago the first Snow Oni demon hunter was said to have sealed a shroud of darkness, containing a million captured demons behind it's iron bars. Ever since the Demon Hunters had been among the most prestigious group in Onium. Until apparently, Suiken, the only snow oni heir to the original Demon Hunter's bloodline had abandoned them. By all means to seal the gate again should be Suiken's birthright. But if it's opened and all it's charges are loose, he's failed even at that. Tora nodded grimly. Suiken stuttered, "I-I would've never thought..."

"No, damn you! You didn't think!" Tora howled back, pointing an accusing finger at Suiken. "We have all of the armies of Yune right on our borders, at our doorstep and we're failing at fending them off. All because all of our greatest warriors, the Demon Hunters, and the empress herself are all busy protecting ourselves and the whole world, by keeping the demons at bay in the canyon. They're not small fry like the pitiful creature that claims the Ganga Desert, these are monstrocities beyond description."

"And this is a serious problem, Seinaru," Tora gritted, staring angrily at the ground below. "Demi-gods have been to aid us, Seinaru, but even they aren't enough to stop a crafty fiend from sneaking out of the canyon!"

"What do they want?" Suiken asked. "Something so simple as to destroy the world."

"Some certainly want to demolish Onium..." Tora informed. "But all of them have a purpose...They seek something. What that is, we don't know...but it's drawing them beyond Onium. They have a goal...but I'm not even sure they know what it is...The Empress doesn't even want them to escape, and you know how she feels about the Onium's enemies. Something's happening to the world, something's changing for the worst, sense-Seinaru," Tora cried out, almost slipping and referring to Suiken as a teacher once more. "Even in the lands of the humans, where the realms beyond those of mortals rarely show themselves, strange things are beginning to erupt all across Yune, Onium, Koru, Tengala, everywhere!"

"Sensei! Fix your mistake! Regain your honor and return to Onium!" Tora pleaded. "With your knowledge we could excorcise these monsters for good! Please! Even if that's not the case, at least learn to try again!"

"I cannot...I've taken a vow to give up such abilities..." Suiken said, simply, looking away.

"You really have lost your spine, haven't you..." Tora sighed. "You really are one fat piece of shit now, Seinaru. Just wanted you to know...What are you doing in Gangamai, anyway?"

"I'm traveling with a Guild. The Great guild Fortune. They...not me, but some of them, purified the desert of the Crane Demon's influence. And now we've traveled here to get some rest. A mistake on our part, it seems. We seek to free the slaves, you know. you could be the first," Suiken informed Tora, reaching over and snapping the shackles off of his hands in a display of force. Tora quickly snapped the ones off of his feet into bits.

"Your guild fights for a good cause...makes one wonder what you're doing on it," Tora quipped. "But it is a fight that will end in disaster. This isn't any ordinary cesspool, it's like I said. A damned fortress. With strong guardsmen. It's suicidal unless you have the strength and the army to back it up. But...I will say thank you for freeing me. You've done that much."

"Will you return to Onium? Or complete the task the Empress had sent you for?" Suiken asked.

"I wasn't necessary to hold the demons back in Onium. It's why the Empress could afford to send me after you. You're one of the few things that still gets under her skin more than the demons, I suppose. You should feel honored...I will head back to Onium, eventually. I'm going to be stopping in Yuna-Yae first...Though I have to tread carefully now. When I sneak out, it's perhaps best for you to go into hiding until you and your guild decide to leave...They'll look for a fat oni having freed me and let's be honest...you are the most obese oni anyone's ever seen."

Suiken would've roared with laughter, if he didn't have the sense to hold it in. Tora breathed a sigh of relief as he looked upon his hands. Free hands once more. "I will hide among the criminals for a time until I can sneak out and go to Yuna-Yae and I will not be caught this time. People must learn of the atrocities here...And as for your guild...they managed to purge the Crane Demon from the desert? Without your assistance?"

"Well, yes," Suiken shrugged. "We met a former desert...or forest bandit, rather, who joined our guild and aided us. Perhaps he knew something of how to get rid of the Crane Demon. He said he and his old crew had lived in the forest prior to it's arrival.

"...Seinaru," Tora frowned, as he scratched is chin in thought. "No bandits would be remotely insane enough to take up residence just outside the slavery capital of the world. Hell, the criminals within Gangamai's walls can barely go a day without one of their own getting captured or ending up dead. Just...be wary, old man."

Suiken nodded,remembering that Shiisan didn't seem to know much at all about Gangamai for a bandit that had lived near it and would've certainly seen slaves being transported form there, much less one that had been captured a pinned to a tree for months. "I will heed your words...Anything else you need to tell me, before you go?"

"Not much I can think of..." Tora shrugged...before suddenly recalling one more thing. "Actually...there is one thing. I did travel to Koru. I was almost barred access if not for your wife remembering my face. It seems your son has followed in your footsteps and made a bit of a mistake...but unlike you, it seems he has resolved to atone for it. He walks a deadly path, Seinaru. And so do you. Return to the oni you once were. The one that needs to rectify his mistake that would doom the world..."

And with that, Tora had run off. Sprinting without the heavy chains and shackles weighing him down. Sprinting through the night and out of sight. Suiken left as quickly as he could, returning to Saaklemore's hideout. He had much to think about.

***
"Quiet or we'll put ya in da grindeeeeeeeer!" The gecko beastman slobbered, whacking Orion on the head with the flat of his blade.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Orion Shan

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"Grinder?" Orion scoffed loudly, "That sounds pathetic, just like your hits." Orion gazed at the other prisoners who were lining their cells. "Hey, lets play a game, its called If-you-don't-bring-me-to-the-silly-trial-faster-I'll-crush-your-head-with-my-bare-hands. It's pretty simple and self explanatory, game starts ... NOW!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Yuwen Fortune Character Portrait: Suiken Character Portrait: Terra Himene Character Portrait: Orion Shan Character Portrait: Pele Mele Character Portrait: Jeon Oun

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Suiken walked in and gave a slow nod to acknowledge Terra as she greeted him. As she asked him how he was feeling, he exhaled deeply and replied, "Not even remotely..." as he made hsi way towards the beds. Suiken glanced to see ifany of the others were awake. They were not. He'd have to inform Lo-Muna and perhaps, maybe Yamato about Tora's warnings about Shiisan, who also appeared to have gone off for the night. But perhaps more pressing was the warning of the demons attempting to break out of their prison in Onium, seeking something...And if he had been there, he might've been able to stop it.

Another thing began to click in Suiken's head as he sat down on his own bed. The demons began to breach the gate four months ago, the Crane Demon was mentioned to have arrived in the forest three months ago...Was there a connection? Just what was going on in the world? Too much to think about, Suiken could barely sleep. Instead he sat up through the night, pondering.

***

"Not particularly in the mood for tellin' anyone," Pele shrugged.

***

"Wouldja look at this freak of nature?" the Gecko beastman chuckled to a fellow guard as he pointed a thumb at Orion." Orion was escorted down a long flight of stone steps. Eventually they'd reached the front gate of the prison and were greeted with arid winds. "Know what those are, CHUMP?!" the gecko beastman laughed. "Those're the winds of DEATH! Now. You're cart'll be here ANY minute now..."

The two waited for around five minutes. "ANY minute..." the gecko beastman assured. Half an hour soon passed and the Gecko Beastman could feel both himself and Orion get irritated. "Oh COME ON!" the Gecko Guardsmen bemoaned. "What is the meaning of this?!"

"What is the meaning of piss?" an old man questioned, dumping a barrel of urine on the Gecko Guardsmen and Orion. The old man soon walked in front of them. "Oh, hello. I'll be the court driver today. Come on." The old driver made his way to a sick and dying horse. Attached to the horse's saddle was a rope attached to a wooden, but seemingly sturdy looking cart, aside from it missing all of it's wheels. The gecko placed the still cuffed Orion in the cart and huffed off in a reptilian fury the likes of which the Earth had never seen before.

"And we're off..." the old man said, wasting no time in piloting the horse across the old prison courtyard to the courthouse. "courthouse is still a fairways away..." the old man spoke. "It used to be closer but...who knows why they moved it? At any rate as long as we don't run across any unforeseen obstacles, we should get there in no time flat," the old man continued as the horse lazily dragged the cart with Orion behind it.

"You know, I've had this horse for over sixty years? And my grandmother and father before me had her for longer than that? Could you imagine that? A horse that lives this long? I can't either. She looks as fit as a fiddle, wouldn't you say?" the old man said, giving a loving pat to the sickly horse. "Why some might say she's a spirit horse? Perhaps she knows more than even we do about the world today. What do you think, girl?" the old man asked his beloved pet as they were about one fifth of the way there.

The horse keeled over and fell to the ground.

"Oh no. She's dead!" the old man cried out.