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Okumi Chrysanth

"... ...! ..."

0 · 848 views · located in Cre' Est

a character in “Assassin's Pledge: Awakening”, as played by Tanman

Description

Okumi Chrysanth
Image



Age: 22
Height: 5' 2"
Weight: 113lbs
Voice Example: Rachie
Basic Personality: An honourable and kind shrine maiden, Okumi used to be a bundle of positive energy. Nowadays she has tempered her personality somewhat, but she still tries to maintain an optimistic outlook. Although somewhat talkative, Okumi frequently limits herself to gestures and written communication, as the medical mask she wears tends to become uncomfortable if she speaks too much. As such, many believe her to be mute, and might find themselves surprised to hear her voice. Determined and hardworking, she arduously does what needs to be done without complaint, and quite enjoys simple and peaceful living.

Basic Background: Born to a scholar and a priestess in Gweynura, Okumi had a loving pair of parents and two younger brothers. With her mother hailing from Triveila and mildly ostracised in Gweynura due to her beliefs, the decision was made to migrate back to Triveila with her new-found love and establish a worshipping shrine. The first born in the family, Okumi helped with the daily life and running of the shrine - their lives self sufficient as they grew their own food, cared for the animals, and only rarely headed into town to trade. It was a simple, peaceful life; catering to and allowing travellers rest while praying to the gods for peace and prosperity.

This lasted for quite some time, until tragedy struck. It had begun innocently enough. Okumi had been enjoying a morning walk through the forest when she saw it. It seemed to sparkle and shimmer in the sunlight, a vibrant piece of flora. In the end she brought the strange purple flower home, as it was quite pretty, and she'd never seen anything like it. No one knew the consequence such an action would have. A sickness spread through Okumi and her family, leaving all of them but the young girl bedridden and ill. Suddenly, life became harder as the work to maintain their livelihood that had been split between the five of them was now handled by Okumi alone. Not only that, but the girl was now responsible for caring for the four of them. It was unsustainable.

Desperate, Okumi made a journey into town, but with little to trade and fewer coin to share, she was left to fend for herself. One by one, her family succumbed to the illness over the coming months. They fought valiantly, but it was too much for them. She was alone. Shattered, shaken and broken from her ordeal, Okumi decided to move into town and see if she could perhaps find work and start a new life. What greeted her was a valley of death. The town was abandoned, decaying and diseased, the sickness having swept through while she'd remained in the mountains. She'd brought it to them. Unbeknownst to Okumi, she'd developed an immunity to the illness of the flower through exposure to the other plants of the forest. But it was still within her. She had been a carrier. She'd brought this plague to her family and the town.

Still, Okumi did not give up. Though she despaired for a time, her will to live was stronger. She'd carry on her family's memory herself. Over the next month, Okumi prepared herself for her journey, collecting up all manner of items. Most notable among them was her mother's ceremonial Naginata, but more than that, she discovered her father's journal. He'd been studying the flower and illness that had struck them, and although unsuccessful in cultivating an antidote, the information about the disease and how it was carried lead Okumi to one conclusion. Everything was her fault. She couldn't risk exposing anyone else to its fatal sickness. Having gathered everything she needed and buried the dead, Okumi gave a final prayer before taking herself into a voluntary exile, crossing the land all the way to Cre'Est and making a meager, peaceful living in a shack in the mountains.

Despite the occasional aggressor, for the most part, travellers to her small shrine were grateful for a place to stay and free food. Having learned more of her nature as a carrier, Okumi adopted a face mask over her mouth and nose at all times, which seemed to prevent its spread. Those that were hostile found that her time alone had made her strong and capable of defending herself to some extent, though she was certainly no combat expert. With her home somewhat near to Atlum and knowing of the plight they experienced, Okumi made way to help bury and honour the dead. It seemed like the only way she atoned these days.

So begins...

Okumi Chrysanth's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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Lonán, for most of the time was quiet as the group made their way into Valoc. Witnessing the various activities reminded him just why he felt this land was a danger to itself at times. However, when he witnessed the slaver with the young girl his blood boiled, inching closer to his sword when Aetrius beat the slaver and comforted the young girl, allowing the more honorable side of him to relent in attacking a downed man. If he got back up to try anything he was thus ready.

However, Linde, gentle Linde once again reminded The group that whilst she was a healer, she sometimes used her knowledge to turn her enemies bodies against them. However, her fierceness caused him to pale a bit more then his skin tone, followed by a massive blush. Whilst he knew Aetrius seemed to have some crush on her, Lonán couldn’t help but see why she was attracted to her. She was beautiful, and could hold her own. He struggled with the sudden urges of Saharan Customs.

”By the gods, I need to get a drink before I think about trying to steal her from Aetrius, or whatever she calls herself. Otherwise I just go search for a house of lady favors or go flirt with Local tough women (if any)!” He thought, before hearing Aetrius applaud Linde’s punishment as he agreed with her with a nod, still slightly pink.

At the asking of any plans Lonán simply said, ”We find a place to stay first off, then ask around for the establishment of Lady Favors your friend supposedly is in then go from there.” he suggested, uncertain whether or not it was the most thought out plan. Mostly because his feathers, in a word, was ruffled.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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{OOC: Kumo gave me the go to post a second post to move things along in the Saving Kieran Arc, of this RP. So, according to him we're not anywhere close to ending this, not even close to being half way. So, more to go. OOC Wolf out!}


After devising plans of what to do next, the group agreed of searching for a camp of operations first. Preferably an inn, but even in a city like this, inns here would be far different than what the group was used to by this time. They kept to themselves and stayed out of causing further scenes, blending in with the locals and fellow travelers easily. They looked around for places, abandoned/empty buildings, some came up but they were in the lower, poorer sectors of the city and wouldn't even consider staying in a place like that. So, search of finding an inn was voted upon, from much disagreement from Kyero, but majority ruled, and they ruled for an inn. After a few hours of searching and trying to bargain for reasonable prices, and after being chased out of a few by angry inkeepers, they came to their last chance. A good sized, two story inn in the above poverty level of the sector. Aetrius told Kyero and Lolan to stay with the horses and Okumi, as leaving her alone in a city like this was as good as selling her outright to sex traffickers. Which, they'd never consider, obviously.

So that left Aetrius and Linde, they entered the inn, keeping their eyes open for any sign of danger as well as knowledge they could use, but without seeming suspicious. Aetrius walked to the front desk that was in the corner, an old and grayed man sat on a stool behind the desk, obvious a drunk as well as a creep. Aetrius cleared her throat and looked him in the eye, "How many rooms do you have left?" she asked.

The old man looked up at her with a scowl, as if he didn't even want to deal with someone, he groaned, "How many you asking for?"

Aetrius thought for a moment and then spoke up, "Three. Doesn't matter the size. Just need three rooms. The rest of our group is outside. Five of us in total. " she chose to be honest and not seem to be worthy of any trouble to him the best she could.

"Three rooms, eh? For how long?" he croaked out, his breath smelling of old ale and decaying teeth.

Aetrius did her best not to gag on the noxious smell that assaulted her nose, feeling sorry for Linde if she dared to even inhale. "About a week or so. Maybe two at most." she said as she adjusted her position and stood up straight, never looking away from the man, no matter how ugly and unkempt he may have been.

"Three rooms, for two weeks at max...Five people...." he yawned and scratched his ever balding head. "Shit ain't cheap, doubt you'd have the money. Each person costs 1 Silver ($25), and you have five people ($125/night), and are here for two weeks (14 days), then your total comes to about 1,750 or 70 Silver." he said as he coughed and hacked up some phlem at the end. Causing Aetrius as well as Linde to reel back a bit in disgust.

"Seventy silver??" Aetrius exclaimed in shock and revulsion, as that would be over whelming and drain them dry of all their money.

"Told you it's not cheap here. You pay for what you get. Your rooms are nothing special, but they work and that's all that matters. Now, fork over the fuckin' money if you want to stay and leave me be. Or you can go fuck off and find some place else, ya bitch. Yer choice." he said as he spat on the floor after he was done talking.

Aetrius' fists tightened as he spoke to them, such disrespect out of nowhere and no for shitty rooms at an overwhelming price? She was tempted to deck his ass right then and there, but they needed a place to stay. And this was their last chance of getting any place for their time here. Aetrius sighed, looked at Linde and silently shrugged. She had just enough money to make it for their time there, as well as help from the others. She knew she'd need to do some dirty work to make money for them to be able to survive, nevermind live comfortably. As well as find and get information to find Kieran. She sighed and tossed her money as well as what they could pitch in on the desk, accepted their keys and went back outside. The way to get up to their rooms was by a walkway in the back. The Prancing Pony as it was called was known to be rather dangerous and constantly filled with drunks, murderers, and rapists. But they needed a place to stay, and this was the best they could muster up.

"We'll work out something...If I need to do work to make money, so be it. I'll do it. Just for now we lay low and get intel, work our way up to finding her. We can speak more inside. The stables are in the back as well. Much as I don't like it here, it's what we got. Three rooms, for two weeks....Choose who you want to bunk with and we'll move on from there." she said as she crossed her arms and let the others understand what the plan was, and let them discuss who they'd be staying with while they're there in Valoc.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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Linde was grateful that nobody seemed to dwell on how she treated that man. He was a piece of refuse, after all. He deserved much worse than what she gave him. But still, part of her heart ached due to her behavior... She was a doctor. She should be better than this.

They moved on from there not long after, and it came to pass that she and Aetrius went to numerous inns trying to secure rooms. Finally, they ended up at the Prancing Pony and the innkeep was incredibly rude. Linde had considered using her feminine charm, but Aetrius managed to secure their rooms. However, it drained the last of their funds. Aetrius' silver plus Linde's and the last remnants of the other's finances which were donated to the cause just in case.

So now the group was literally broke and without a single copper to its name.

But they had a place to stay for two weeks, and that was something. In this place, that was more than they could otherwise ask for if they lived here.

As Aetrius spoke about their conditions, Linde spoke first.

"This might sound odd, but I have a suggestion to make about our room arrangements."

She made sure everyone was listening before speaking again.

"I suggest we move beds around a little. Kyero in the room on one end. Lonan on the other. All three of us in the middle. In a city like this, full of corruption and unscrupulous characters seeking to do harm to women, it would be prudent for all three of us to be in one room with the men on either side. That way they can both react in their own time instead of fighting to get out the door first to reach us and potentially needing to run down the hall to do so... And if need be, Kyero can use his orichalcum daggers to carve a makeshift door between his room and ours for easy access, using the cutout as a "door" so we are not without privacy. With the way the inn keep treated us, he can consider this an investment into the safety of his guests." She said with a hint of pride.

She looked up to the others.

"Does anyone have objections?" She asked.

Kyero shook his head.

"I feel it sound. What do you all think?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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Aetrius looked at Linde as she spoke, and thought over the plans for the rooms. In a place like this, Aetrius would be easily awoken to almost any noise as is, as she's trained herself to wake up at any sound when she knows she can't fully trust it. That, and she'd keep watch for most of the time, not being one that needs much sleep anyway. She nodded at the suggestion in agreement with Kyero. "It is a safer option, as well as an easy way to move around the place without causing attention to be brought to us while we're here. The plan is sound. As well as me staying up to keep watch, and only sleeping when I need to, works for me. I'll be alert at all times to keep you safe, you all safe." she said that, first she looked at Linde with a quick glance, then to the others to pass off what she said as if she meant the group itself. She cleared her throat and nodded, going over to Bree and taking off her supplies, as they couldn't trust any of their things outdoors.

"Sorry, girl. But you'll be an outside horse for a while." she gave Bree a gentle pet and kiss on the forehead, which garnered a whinny and a huff from the horse. "I'll have none of that attitude with you, missy." she chuckled and picked up the rather large amount of supplies she had on Bree, and began carrying them up the stairs to their room. "We can discuss things better as we settle in. Plan things further without getting anymore attention than we've already gotten. I say we find a place for future food and supplies after settling, then retire back here and plan things out. What says you all?" she gave a rather small and genuine smile to the others, then resumed to go to the rooms that were mentioned.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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Lonán, stroking Hawk’s snout as he listened to The discussion of their current place to rest their head a few days, and the arrangements thereof only nodded. To say he was a bit sour about using up his entire purse was an understatement, and the fact he was getting hungry didn’t help lessen that mood. At least he’d have a room to meditate in, and perhaps clean and maintain his weaponry in too.

At the mention of Kyero’s Dagger, or at least the metal thereof, made him fill with a small hint of regret for his grandfather, who had heard of such metals but could only dream of creating something of it. His ‘Magnum Opus’ as it were. But dreams, the Old Wolf claimed were for those who didn’t work hard to perfect their skills. Lonán Mentally shook the memory from his head, as he unburdened hawk of his things and hugged him. ”Be good my friend, keep Bree from trouble. If anyone tries anything kick them or run.” He said quietly to him. The horse chuffed and shook his head to get him off. ”If it weren’t for me calming your attitude you’d be at Uncle’s Knackery. Ass.” He joked as he walked to the inn.

”And Yes, I agree we need to fill our bellies first and formost. Find someplace decent to eat and all that.” He commented, as his stomach began to growl like an angry tiger at the thought of it. He entered his room and began to set the things he carried down. He then set up anything unimportant for an alarm for intruders. He nodded to himself in satisfaction and looked about his clothing for something decent, preparing for the rest of the day ahead, with questions to possibly ask to Planning for the weeks ahead.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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Linde nodded as the proposal was accepted.

"All right then. The girls and I will room together in the center room. You boys can take one room on either side."

Kyero nodded, pulling his hood down a little farther and entering the inn to quickly make his way to his room and shut himself in.

When Kyero was inside and tucked away, Linde helped move Aetrius and Okumi into the central room with her. They had Kyero's assistance in moving one of the beds over to accommodate three of them in one room. Once that was done, Kyero returned to his room to await the call to the meeting.

Linde and Aetrius had a conversation, with Okumi chiming in a tiny bit as well, about how to proceed. And the general consensus was that they couldn't do much of anything with all of their money spent on these rooms. Aetrius would have to take a bounty or two to find some cash while the others did what they could around this area to find anything they could about Kieran's whereabouts.

Aetrius described her for them so they'd know what to ask after, and then left them to find a bounty. Kyero as well decided to assist, but chose to go for more high profile targets. Given that he was the Red-Eyed Demon, it was what he lived for, essentially. Linde wasn't too happy about him killing anyone, but a bounty was a bounty. And it was fair work.

Kyero departed with Aetrius, heading for the nearest bounty hunter establishment to find the best work they could to help sustain their efforts here.

Meanwhile, Linde kept Okumi company. She helped her pick out another outfit for this trip, one a little more robust than the cute dress she'd gotten before. She wanted her to preserve her shrine maiden outfit as much as possible. So she got Okumi a simple kimono-like robe with a tiny bit of leather armor covering the breast/heart area. She wanted her to stay as safe as possible without attempting to look imposing or like a warrior. No need to draw unwanted attention to her. Not in this city.

When that was over, they both got together with Lonan to discuss what to do.

"While Kyero and Aetrius collect bounties, I think it would be prudent for us to get familiar with the layout of the city. I'll take Okumi with me to map out the area for us so we can plan emergency escape routes back to the inn, and so we get the gist of what's around us. Lonan, I want you to take Aetrius' description and inquire around the city as casually as possible. Try not to ask directly about her. Just drop hints in conversation about a woman of her description and see who bites. If you think you find someone who knows something, take a mental note of them and we'll send Kyero to investigate further when he comes back. Does that make sense?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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After they settled into the rooms, they discussed further plans. She knew they'd need money, and they'd need it fast. After Aetrius talked with the others, they agreed that Aetrius and Kyero taking bounties was the best option, next to selling things of value. Which would be more of a last result. Aetrius was asked to give a general description of what Kieran looked like, "She's older than me, but not as tall, slightly shorter. Same color hair, but longer....Linde's length. She has more....how do you say, a more feminine build than mine, and has green eyes. Best way to describe her without going into bigger details, which would come across as suspicious. For now, you have that to go by. Best of luck you three." soon after she and Kyero left to go to the local Bounty Hunter Collection, seeking work.

Aetrius dressed in an outfit she hadn't worn in a while. Usually whenever she'd go bounty hunting is when she would wear it, special assignments usually. She took her bow and quiver with her bolts, as well as a dagger and one of her swords, leaving the other with Linde if she needed it for safety reasons, or a last resort. Once she and Kyero arrived at the place they searched for, she talked with him in private first to make sure her plans would be cooperative with his. "What's our go to plan, here? Said you'd go after the higher profiler kills, meanwhile I'll go for the....lower likes. Work my way up as we get situated with the town. When we're done, we'll come back here and go back to the inn. Sound good, Kyero?" she asked the hooded figure that stood casually across from her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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Lonán listened to Linde’s instructions implicitly and nodded. ”Ask around, inform Kyero of the ones who know something, do it discreetly. Understood.” He said, at the same time absorbing the description of Aetrius’ friend In the back of his mind. He nodded to himself and waited for another minute before he went out into the city with a “wish me luck” stated to the remaining people at the Prancing Pony.

Now if he wanted to find info and gossip while he was still fresh, he knew of only one place to wander to. In every city, be it capital or not, there would always be the gambling house. Gambling. He hated it but he also enjoyed the concept of it. A battle of luck, wits, and games. One would either know how to win and quit when you had soundly proven yourself good or you’re not so good and owe thirty thousand in debts, dishonoring yourself and your family’s honor, and screwing up your child’s chances of going to the military to attain greater honor.

Lonán was soundly familiar with the latter, and vowed to be a master of the former. Of course, whenever he decided to write to home, he only addressed his mother or The Old Wolf. He wasn’t on speaking terms with him anymore. The mere thought of him made him angry, his right hand quivering to draw out his sword in public and rant and rave-

”Stop. Take a breath. No need to get worked up or severely stressed.” He thought, putting common sense and the appointed task at hand. This woman named Kieran. It was then his eyes finally settled on the destination he wanted to see. A medium sized tavern known to also be a gambling den. Perfect place to start sifting for information on who they were looking for! Nodding to himself in affirmation to what he intended to do, the Saharan Warrior ventured towards it, where he could begin his intel gathering by first familiarizing the waters of the potential Gossip Trade....

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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As Aetrius left the Hunter's cabin she pondered on what to do. She would need to find Shatal and his merry gang of scum, and she'd need to find them as soon as possible. With the sun beginning to set at this point, it would make her hunt easier to proceed with stealth instead of caution like she normally would. She walked down the streets until she made it to the West side of Valoc, which took about an hour to do so. She was now in the slums of the city, specifically, Aetrius was in the worst part of the West sector and would need to watch her back at all times and keep her eyes and ears open for anything and everything. She had studied the bounty paper she had received, said their headquarter's was a large, foreboding building in a tucked away corner of the West district.

By this time she had scaled up the side of a building with simple ease, thanks to her years of being in the circus, she had become very flexible and could climb almost any sort of structure. She jumped over ally way gaps as she progressed to her desired and hopeful destination. She was nothing more than a shadow in the night, and could only be seen if looked for. Her foot steps were as equally light as a feather and her speed was impeccable. As she neared their hideout, she slowed her speed and came to a brisk paced run, eventually slowly to a mild jog, to an eventual slow walk, and then eventually a complete stop as she came to the edge of the building's roof she had been on. She looked over the side, dimly lit ally ways were below, she had a full aerial view of Valoc, and she was rather pleased with the sights. As terrible as this city was, she had to admit with the lights and flames dotting the city, it wasn't a bad view. She crouched down as she examined her domain, resting her finger tips just barely over the stone and wooden roof. If I was scum of the earth, where would I be... she mused in her head, her eyes taking in every little detail. As she looked she softly yawned, she hated the waiting game and waited she did, reluctantly. At this point I could have found her already... she thought with a huff and slight growl. Suddenly something caught her eye, a rather large, cloak covered figure loomed in the darkness, slowly edging their way along in the city streets, then eventually the ally way. She followed from above silently as she kept the figure in her sights, the poor fool none the wiser as they were being followed. Eventually they came to a stop as the figure walked into an old, raggid looking building. Found ya... she thought.

She rose to her full height and leapt off the side of the building, and tumbled gracefully and eventually landing on the ground with equal grace. She had sadly managed to land right behind one of the town's guards, minor problem but nothing she couldn't take care of. Before he managed to turn around, she grabbed him from behind, wrapped her right arm around his neck and slowly added more and more pressure until he slowly went unconscious, she laid his sleeping form on the ground and progressed after the thug. She easily slipped into their building, and at a distance slowly followed the man. Down and down, and down they went, until they arrived in a massive, stone brick room with corridors and doors to other rooms leading off from the main room. She kept to the shadows, and stayed up in the rafters, keeping her distance as she watched. There was a man sitting on a rather large chair in the center of the room, Must be Shatal....Just as ugly as I thought he'd be, she subconsciously chuckled at her attempt at a joke. Aetrius remained up in the wooden rafters as four men entered the room and walked up to who she assumed was Shatal. She couldn't make out exactly what they were discussing, but that isn't why she was there. She was there to end the life of their leader, and it is what she was going to do. She noted that the four men were strong, tall, large frames, and well equipped with various weapons.

She patiently waited as time went on, it was dragging out faster than she would have liked. Aetrius had been surveying the room, there was a large and heavy looking chandler hanging above from where the men were grouped together, could be a good way of disrupting their party. As she eventually had enough waiting, she took out her dagger and precisely threw it at the rope that held the light fixture. It fell and crashed below, thankfully it managed to hit one of the men, killing him instantly. Perfect, they were distracted and then was her time to strike, she jumped down from the rafters, her cloak fluttered behind her as she made a thud as she landed, the men looking up and behind them as they were finally alerted of her presence.

"Who in the fucking hell are you?" the man in the seat asked.

"No, no. You first. Shatal, I presume, correct?" she flaunted as she rose to her full height and pointed her sword out as she made eye contact with Shatal. She grinned at the men as they looked at her in shock as they were taken aback by the sudden attack, but they grinned when they discovered their attacker was female.

"Depends, who's asking?" Shatal sneered as he remained seated.

"Who I am is none of your business. But what is your business is that your time has come to an end, Shatal." she grinned.

"You don't scare me, bitch. But if you insist. Lucian, finish her off, please. Her head will make a lovely decoration on the wall." he grinned.

A tall, large built man stepped forwards from the shadows, one she could only presume was the one that was called Lucian. He grinned at her as he walked towards her, "It will indeed be a shame to see such a pretty lady like yourself end up as nothing more than a puddle of blood. But alas, here we are." he grinned, unsheathed his dual swords, he got into an offensive stand, which resulted Aetrius to get into a defensive stance. Never once did she take her eyes off him as they engaged in combat. His moves were quick, swift, and heavy. He was a naturally good swordsman, she gave him that, but she was only better. After a minute or two, he went for a down swing, as she went from a side step into a jab.

"Blegh..." he coughed, blood splattering on the floor as he coughed. Aetrius smiled, "What, cat got your tongue?" she grinned. Lucian coughed once more as blood spilled from his lips as Aetrius retrieved her sword from his stomach, his body crumpling to the floor as she wiped her blade clean from his blood.

"Anyone else? That's worth my time that is?" a sadistic chuckle emitted from her mouth.

Shatal growled as Lucian fell to the floor, his right hand forming a fist. "Gah, Markus, you're up next! Kill the bitch!" he barked.

Out stepped a younger looking man, who went by the name of Markus apparently. She had to admit, he was a good looking guy, just not of any interest to her. "It's truly a shame, pretty lady. But now...Now that you killed my brother I have no choice but to kill you!" he barked and charged at Aetrius at full force, swinging his sword.

Aetrius grinned, that's exactly what she wanted. To make someone go into a blind fury that they forget how to fight properly. She side stepped his initial attack, and kicked him in the back as she pivoted. He grunted and turned around, "That's it, you bitch!" he growled and charged again, Aetrius grinned and got into a defensive stance, they engaged in a sword lock, causing her to grin as she pressed her blade closer to him. "Gotta admit, you're about as cute as you are good as a swordsman." the comment caused Markus to grin, "Oh yeah? That so?" he beamed, seemingly having to loosen his sword lock with her's.

"Yeah, too bad you're not very good." she chuckled and forcefully pushing him back, causing him to reel back. Markus grunted and engaged yet again in a swordlock. Which is what her intent was, she swept her foot under his and tripped him, causing him to awkwardly land on his ass.

"Y-you're such a bitch!" he snapped and hopped to his feet, she smiled and parried his attacks with ease. Side step, side step, block, repeat. She was waiting for him to wear himself out, which eventually he did. He huffed as he looked at her with hate filled eyes, "You...You killed Lucian...Why? He did nothing to you!" he yelled and went for a tackle, Aetrius grinned and let him tackle her. He pinned her down and barked, "He was a good man!" he yelled with tears in his eyes.

"A good man that would kill someone with no remorse? Yes, I did kill him. Now step aside and let me kill Shatal and I can be on my merry way. No reason to get in my way, kid." she said as she kicked him in the groin, Markus groaning as he fell off.

"What are you? Eighteen? Ninteen at most?" she looked down at him. Markus coughed and looked up at her as he tried to stand, "Six....Sixteen...I'm sixteen..." he panted, tears in his eyes. Aetrius sighed and shook her head. "You're just a kid...Go home. Or I will kill you as well." she said as her grip on her weapon tightened. Markus looked up at her and spat at her, "Go to hell!" he growled.

Aetrius sighed and looked down at him, with one swift motion she slammed her foot into his face, a nice crunch sounded as her boot made contact with his face. Nose was broken for sure, but nothing else. She turned back to Shatal. "A mere child, really? Thought you'd be better than this, Shatal." she goated.

The man finally stood to his feet, showing his immense size, even with Aetrius being the height she was. He slowly strode over to her and seized her by the throat, "You come here, kill one of my best men, and dare threaten to kill another? You are no assassin. You're simply a child. Must I snap your neck just to make you shut up?" he growled as he tossed her to the side, Aetrius landed on the ground with a thud as her sword was thrown from her grasp, landing on the other side of the room. She gasped as the air was sucked from her lungs, slowly getting to her feet. She felt a hard pressure on her back and was picked up with immense ease.

"I will kill you, bitch! Do you hear me??" he growled, his hot breath brushing against her face. She gagged and looked him in the eyes as she was slowly being choked. "Y-you really ought to brush your teeth." she coughed, and with one swift motion, blood spurted through the air. A knife fell and clattered to the floor as Aetrius was dropped to the ground. She was unmoving. Then a gasp erupted from her lips as she scrambled to her feet, gasping for air. She looked down at the ground, at Shatal's slowly growing cold body. His throat slit from ear to ear. She grinned, panting heavily. She looked up and to her surprise none of the other men were in sight. In the ensuing fight, the others had escaped. She chuckled, voice raspy as her vocals cords were currently raw and sore from being choked. She picked up her sword, and sheathed it. She walked over to his body and pushed his corpse over, she looked him over and took his rings, necklace, money pouch and whatever else she could loot from the poor bastard.

She would need something as proof of his death, as she looked him over she noticed he had rather particular tattoos on his hands. That was one of the details on his bounty. She grinned and grabbed her knife and got to work.

As time passed, she made it back to the Hunter's Club, and walked up to the counter. The man behind it looked at her, and was a bit taken aback when he saw her covered in blood, it splattered on her face, hands, and neck, as well as a few scrapes and cuts on her hands and face, as well as a dark coloring on her neck.

"Did you get the job done-" he was cut off as a rather strange shape was dropped on the desk. The sound it made was fleshy and meaty. As he looked at it, he realized it was a hand, or what was left of it, as it was only the middle finger and tendons, marked with his tattoos. The man chuckled and handed over the money that was due. "I like yer sass, mate. Come by anytime. We're always open." he said with a chuckle.

Aetrius grinned and grabbed the sack of money and walked out of the building. She slowly made her way back to the Prancing Pony, where they were staying and trudged to the back where the entry way was to the rooms. She knew it was late and doubted they were still awake, but she wasn't going to stay out all night. She walked up to the door that hopefully was guarding her from the others, and knocked three times in a pattern only they would have known, and waited. Hoping either Okumi or Linde would open it sooner rather than later, as it was late, and it was only getting colder as time passed. In all, her first bounty in Veilbrand went by without a hitch, and she grinned as she was looking forward to the next hunts.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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#, as written by Tanman
Okumi Chrysanth
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~♬White Palace♬~



From the day Okumi had met Linde, Kyero, Aetrius and Lonán, the days had moved by so quickly, it was all a bit of a blur. Perhaps she was having so much fun, time was going by faster? Or perhaps, it was something else entirely? Sitting in the Inn, alone for the moment as Linde had stepped out while everyone else had headed to work, Okumi thought back over the past few days travelling, recalling how she got herself into all this mess, and why she was considering such a risky plan. The first couple of days with everyone had been pleasant enough, Okumi hadn’t noticed it at that point. Maybe she was blinded by the novelty of being amongst so much company for a change? Clad in the white dress Linde bought her, Okumi partook in sitting and listening with the others, allowing time for her wounds to heal under Linde’s care. Now aware of Okumi’s condition, Linde was more than accommodating to the strange habits of the strange shrine maiden, and whether out of politeness or disinterest, the remainder of the group didn’t question her silence or the mask that she wore.

When the group finally hit the road to leave Atlum and head for Veilbrand, Okumi thought that it would be the end of such pleasant exchanges. After all, she was a shrine maiden, and though she appreciated the offer to head to Veilbrand, her home was here in the mountains. She’d already been away for two nights, so the chickens were probably restless. Still, it would be worth it – She’d been rewarded with a horse for her good deeds, and even though that wasn’t the most useful in her position as a shrine maiden, it would be another companion to amuse herself with once back at the temple. She’d have to think of a name for the fellow. Alas… That wasn’t to be. The sight that greeted Okumi and the group was not one of a simple and well-kept shrine, and as the group watched Okumi rush around exploring the debris and wreckage, it became pretty clear what had happened in her absence. The entire site had been razed, her shack burned to the ground; the small, stone structure for tributes and prayer snapped in two; but worst of all, the fields she’d cultivated and the chicken coop had been utterly destroyed. Nothing of hers remained. It was all gone. She’d lost her home once more.

Whether it had been the bandits from Atlum or another party, Okumi couldn’t be certain. Still, it left her heart heavy, and so it was with a solemn expression and the faintest of tears in her eyes, the shrine maiden accompanied the group to Veilbrand. Pity. She hated being pitied, but it seemed that was all she was good for. That and following death wherever it went. Okumi was an optimist, someone who always tried to see the positive in things, and this was no exception. Perhaps it was a sign to remain with her new companions, to explore further in the world? And yet… Something in the back of her mind nagged at her. Ever since that day, it seemed nothing but ruin followed her. She’d always thought that the plant she’d plucked had been cursed. Now, she wondered if perhaps it was her that was a blight on the world around her…



Travelling with the group, Okumi couldn’t help but marvel at how amazing they all were. All so strong in their own way. On one particularly notable day, she got to hear firsthand the hardships and strengths of the people she now called friends. Or at least… The ones that called her friend. Okumi appreciated their company dearly but… She wasn’t sure if they even liked her. Slowly, her insecurities continued to eat at her. She was something pitiable. Disgraceful. Perhaps they only kept her company because they felt sorry for her? These people… They were warriors. Fighters. Assassins. People that fought against such hardship and strived to make something of themselves. Even now, as they travelled, they had goals and aspirations not just for themselves, but for the world or their legacy. Lonán sought to bring acclaim and recognition of his family name, to become a warrior legend and perhaps something of a hero. Aetrius, for all her gruffness, showed a softer side; and hinted that perhaps she wanted to do more than just fight for a living, if her tale was anything to go by. Not to mention that they were already on a quest to save her sister. Linde too, wanted to help others. To be there for anyone in need, and had already proved that she was living by those ideals. Even Kyero, who didn’t share his story, was trying to be something more than a death-bringer, if Linde’s earlier conversation was anything to go by. Then there was Okumi… When it came time for her to tell a story, she looked downcast. Soon enough, everyone realized that she couldn’t really give much of anything, especially while riding. Linde played it off with an apology and a joke but…

It hurt. To have friends this close, sharing things so dear to them and yet… Why couldn’t she speak? It wasn’t that she didn’t have a voice, and it wouldn’t cause her that much discomfort to tell a story with her mask on, so why…? Why couldn’t she..? Why…? Squeezing the reigns of the horse tighter, Okumi clenched her eyes shut. She could have told them of her past. Gotten that off her chest, become closer to them. That would have been fair. So why hadn’t she? And why was she even asking herself questions she knew the answer to? She was unlike Lonán, Aetrius, Linde, and even Kyero. They all had something she lacked. They all endured hardships, but now? Now, they were living for something more than just themselves. Okumi couldn’t say that about herself. She wasn’t fighting to live. She was living to die. Justify it all she wanted, but knowing what she carried. The danger she posed to everyone around her, the safest thing she could do for everyone… Was die. But she hadn’t. She’d buried that deep down inside of her, played it off like she was living on for her family to try and continue their legacy, but really, she didn’t care about that. She never really had. The truth was that she was afraid. Scared to die, and scared of what death might bring. Guilt and fear was the only thing keeping her alive. That’s why… That’s why…



Ukron brought with it festivities and more sorrow. The cold weather was beautiful, but also bitter. Falling snow was such an ephemeral thing. Sitting by herself on a bench, Okumi watched people enjoy the songs and dance, smiling in vicarious appreciation as Linde and Aetrius shared a moment together. It was tender, sweet and warm, even in the chilly night. Okumi was happy for them. In fact, the spirited music even began to coax the reserved shrine maiden to act. She always did enjoy dancing and fun, that was the one part of being a shrine maiden that she’d truly loved. The traditional dances were a challenge, and something special to break up the typical routine. Perhaps, she could let herself go for a change, dance for a bit…? Sitting up, Okumi began to take a step to join them, before suddenly, she couldn’t help but start coughing. Turning away, she wondered if it was the cold getting to her. It wouldn’t do her well to get sicker than she already was. Still, she could feel something on the inside of her mask, so she’d need to clean it or swap to one of her fresh ones.

Deciding to do so before dancing, especially since she’d likely work up a sweat if she really got into it, Okumi moved out of sight to trade out the mask. What she saw froze her stiff, the girl stealing a glance to either side of her, but the laughter from the center of the town confirmed that everyone was distracted with their own activities. Trembling slightly, Okumi quickly changed out her mask, taking a moment to move over to one of the torches that lined the houses for the night’s festivities. Holding her old mask over the flame, Okumi let it burn to ash and vanish amongst the snow. There was no trace of what had been there, but that didn’t change what she saw.

That was the first night Okumi noticed blood in her mask.



Continuing to Veilbrand, Okumi continued to think to herself about a great deal of things. More than the people she was travelling with, what was it she wanted? She did want to help Aetrius find Kieran, that was true but… What then? What was her purpose in this world? Did she even really belong with the group? They could all fight so well and contribute so much, but Okumi… Didn’t. She felt like a bystander, simply there, existing rather than actually doing anything to help. Was this… Should she be using her time like this..? Okumi hadn’t mentioned that night in Ukron to Linde. That woman would simply pity and worry for Okumi more if that was the case. Not to mention… Glancing over to Aetrius as Linde told her ‘story’, the shrine maiden smiled. Those two seemed to be hitting it off well, flirting every now and then. To bring up her own issues would be inappropriate. She wanted them to enjoy their time together; not guilt those around her into spending more time with her. Besides, there wasn’t much that could be done. No, she’d rather her companions be happy, showing them the same courtesy they showed her. And beyond that, Kieran was the priority. Besides, it could have been a one off.

As Lonán laughed and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves from Linde’s antics, Okumi played the part and smiled as well. Yes, this was the right choice. Just like she’d decided back then. This was her burden to bare.



Watching Aetrius save the girl from the slaver was admirable. Once again, Okumi was reminded on how much of a different level Korriban was compared to her. The strength and speed of a true warrior was something not to be underestimated. When Linde decided to follow up however, Okumi watched in stunned silence. True, she agreed that there was nothing more despicable than… that. But… Even so… She could never bring herself to do something like what Linde did. Crippling that man… It was far crueler than death. In fact, in this sort of world, Okumi knew it was basically a death sentence. Not being able to defend or provide for oneself, especially a man of his nature… No one would care for him. Maybe he’d starve, or someone would end his life in a mercy killing but… The fear of death… Okumi knew it well. She didn’t wish pain or suffering on anyone. Perhaps that was her weakness but… She couldn’t stomach it at all. Okumi didn’t agree with slaughtering those bandits back in Atlum, and for similar reasons, she couldn’t condone what happened to the man in front of her. Low as he was. Glancing amongst Linde and everyone else, she saw their expressions. They were… Happy about it. Well, happy may not have been the right word, but they certainly didn’t have the twisted feeling in their stomach like Okumi did. Pretending to be amused with the scenery, Okumi was glad her mask hid her expression for the most part. It was becoming clearer to her how much of an outcast she really was. Her values were different, and she wasn’t as capable as the others. All she would do is hold them back. She… Didn’t belong.

In a daze as she thought through everything, Okumi remained silent as usual while she waited for Aetrius and Linde to go about their work, gently stroking her horse’s mane as she waited. It provided some comfort for the turmoil in her heart and mind. When they finally got to the inn, they all discussed the plan for finding Kieran and procuring funds, Okumi half-heartedly chipping in to the process. She’d been nothing but another mouth to feed. A sink of money and time. Not only that, but she wasn’t much use in work. She wasn’t strong, and not being able to communicate meant that there wasn’t much of anything she could do to bring income to the group. Despite her best efforts to refuse, Linde insisted on buying Okumi another outfit to suit the weather. Perhaps subconsciously, she’d noticed the cues in Okumi’s behavior caused by the dissonance in her mind? Regardless, Okumi felt even worse. Here they were needing to save money, and yet, Linde was still looking out for her. Okumi’s hand trembled. She felt useless. She hated that feeling. It reminded her of back then.

Later, Okumi and Linde headed out to map the town for escape routes to the Inn. Okumi was in charge of the drawing, which was easy enough. Linde easily could have done the task on her own, so this was clearly just a way of keeping Okumi out of danger and making her feel useful. She appreciated the effort but… Again, it didn’t sit right with her. Pity… Being useless… Okumi was sick of it. She was going to have to do something.

Waiting until nightfall was easy enough. After they were done with their tasks, Linde and Okumi went back to the Inn to wait for Aetrius’ return. Even though it was quite late, Linde was restless waiting for Korriban, possibly out of worry, but the two had clearly grown closer of the weeks travelling. In fact, Okumi was counting on that fact to get her opportunity. When Aetrius returned, performing the signature knock, Okumi let Linde answer the door. Seeing them make chatter, the Shrine Maiden moved up. After a series of gestures, starting first with taking hold of Aetrius’ and Linde’s hand to bring them together; then pointing in turn to Okumi herself, a spot just outside the door, and then the clock on the wall, making a ‘10’ sign with her hands, the Shrine Maiden intended to give the two some alone time in the room to catch up. She had no doubt they’d accept, even if they didn’t do much with it. Besides, both would know it was common for Okumi to take moments alone, given her condition. What they didn’t know, was that Okumi had no intention of just waiting there.

Heading out into the night alone would be foolish. A lone woman would likely be the target of unscrupulous people and at risk of so much. But that was what Okumi was counting on. It was impulsive, but she’d come up with a plan to help locate Kieran. What better place to do so then from the inside? After all, she’d worked out where the… ‘Seedier’ district was when she’d gone mapping with Linde. If she wandered around there, someone would try to lure her in, maybe kidnap her; and from there, it would be relatively easy to ask around the other slaves to find Kieran. As long as she made some sort of obvious mark or signal that the others could find; they’d be able to close in and rescue them, and best of all, all the money they’d earned wouldn’t have to go to the inn since she’d have saved them so much time. It was a flawless plan! And incredibly naïve. Oblivious to the dangers of such a town and the things people could do, Okumi had no idea what she was getting herself into. She didn’t even notice the men around her before a bag was over her head, and the world faded to darkness…

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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It was time to work.

As soon as he said farewell to Aetrius, he departed the Hunter's Cabin and slipped into the shadows of the city.

The sun was setting, and as the twilight engulfed Valoc Kyero reappeared from the darkness of the city's shadowy landscape near the edge of a building overlooking the slums. It was almost a literal divide between the two. On Kyero's side, the Noble sector. In front of and below him, the slums where the sector's refuse gathered to eek out a less-than meager existence.

Kyero's eyes glowed softly beneath his hood, scanning the world below for any sign of his quarry.

Slowly, as the sun descended further and the shadows overtook his position, his eyes flashed brightly and he disappeared into the darkness once again.

Abandoning his brown cloak in favor of his all-black outfit beneath, he moved through the shadows as if one of their own. There was no sound to his steps despite his weight and equipment. Several throwing daggers kept tight to his frame via leather sheaths and cloth underside to prevent creaking and groaning as it flexed and bent. His smoke bomb pouch, which he'd since filled with two extra, giving him three in total. Luckily they were small and made of a softer outer material so they didn't create much noise in the first place. He had a wrist band of poison darts around his right wrist, a series of star shurikens around a strap across his chest and back, and his Twin Daggers, made of orichalcum.

Despite its nigh indestructibility, the material itself was remarkably light weight. Each blade, 14" long from butt of the handle to tip of the blade, barely weighed more than two pounds in total.

Moving quietly through the darkness, he slowed his breathing and the light in his eyes faded, helping further cloak him in the void.

Slinking through the night, he observed the refuse of the slums. Their conversations. Their movement patterns and mannerisms. Their posture. Their skin tone. Their quality of their voices. Their physical ticks and quirks. And he began to see a pattern.

As he continued to sneak through the darkness, he happened across a group of men who didn't fit the pattern. Their clothing was not as ragged. Their voices clear and seemingly well taken care of. Their posture was taller and straighter. Their movements more coordinated and refined... These men weren't refuse.

Kyero sat quietly in the shadows, listening to their conversation.

"We have to do something."

"Yes. But what, exactly?"

"I don't know!"

"You never know."

"Mind your tongue!"

"It is but the truth. You are always the first to say we need a plan, but always one of the last to actually make one."

"I swear if you were not a business colleague-"

"You'd what, exactly?"

"..."

"I didn't think so."

"Gentlemen, please. We must focus on what's at hand."

This group was of noble status... That was certain with the way they were speaking with one another.

"The issue here is that there is a bounty on our associate's head. We need to find a way to get rid of it. If his business suffers because of this charade, ours will as well."

"Mm."

"Agreed... So what do we do?"

"We must find a way to remove the bounty. Perhaps killing the ones posting them?"

"That would draw attention to the bounty boards and we don't need that. Especially if we are unable to ensure all of the copies of the bounty are destroyed."

"Yes. A better plan would be to simply pay off the bounty hunter proprietors. Keep that bounty from appearing on the walls."

"But who knows how much that could cost! We should-"

Blah, blah, blah. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

Kyero was growing bored. This was one of the few things he actually despised about his work as an assassin... The listening to people like this go on about what they perceived to be "problems." Let one of them try actually living as a member of the city's refuse for a few weeks and see how they cope. But no. He needed to keep focused.

Their conversation eventually led them to the conclusion that they needed to meet with him. His name, evidently, was 'Kiltrap,' a rather interesting choice for a moniker. Kyero followed them to a residence further up the slums to the Northwest, near the very edge of the city and the walls. As they entered the residence, Kyero's eyes began glowing with a darker shade of red as he slowly disappeared, red glow and all, into the darkness of the night.

Inside the residence, the men from earlier walked up a rickety flight of stairs to the second floor where they entered a back room after a few rhythmic knocks. A pass code, no doubt. And as they all entered the room there was a soft whiff of air that went past them. They turned around, but there was nothing there. Just the empty hallway and the stairs. All the windows were closed.

"... Peculiar."

"Let's go."

They closed the door and moved to the back of the room, and there they beheld Kiltrap, as he was calling himself, sitting in a chair, wearing a cloak, and reading a book.

"Gentlemen... What can I do for you?"

His voice was deeper and more ominous than they'd previously dared to hope. He was their business associate, but they'd never met him in person before. He was also larger and more intimidating than they'd thought, easily being a man of 6' 7" in height and weighing likely 240+ pounds of muscle. A large and very imposing man.

"Kiltrap, I presume?"

"Yes... What do you want?

"We are some of your business associates. Perhaps you've heard of me?"

"What is your name?"

"Herald Gould. I run a-"

"A fence chain for thieves to sell their goods cleanly and without a paper trail, disguised as a local jewelry store in the Western district."

"Ah, so you do know of me?"

"Hmph. I know of your business. I was planning to take it over by the end of this year. But current circumstances have delayed those plans."

"Y-y-you were... What?"

"You heard me. Your business has potential, but you're not using it properly. It will become more profitable under MY control." He said, flipping a page in his book.

"Y-you... You slimey-"

"Mind yourself." He said, his stone cold ice-blue eyes appearing from beneath his hood.

"Even at this distance I could kill you in less than a second... Do not cross me."

The man shut his mouth, but tried to remain stoic and look unimpressed and unafraid.

............. This man... Kiltrap... Was he?

Kiltrap closed his book and stood to his full height, his head just inches from the ceiling.

"Do not waste my time, gentlemen. Though I choose to go into hiding for my own safety, my businesses are safe and secure despite this bounty. Even IF it were possible for someone to find and take my head, my businesses are set up to continue functioning without me."

... He has to be.

Kyero didn't know everyone in the organization, but there was a certain layer of confidence they all seemed to share. And this man had it in spades.

Now, see here! Your businesses, no matter your belief in their security, have come under fire. If the fall, so do ours."

"Because yours are poorly put together with nary a foundational platform to stand on. Mine shall endure regardless of what happens to me or what the opposition tries to do. Now, if you've nothing left to show me... Stop wasting my time."

"Nobody speaks to me like that and gets away with it."

The man pulled out a hidden flintlock pistol, cocked, the hammer, and took aim at Kiltrap's head.

"Either retract your crude statements, or prepare to die."

Kiltrap only smiled, and walked over to the wall on their left where he tapped his finger against the top of a bookshelf. He looked at the men with those icy-blue eyes, and his smile faded. His fingers curled around the bookshelf top, and he pulled back on it a little. A "click" was heard, and a moment later a smoke bomb, the same Kyero had used in the village to defend against the bandits, dropped from the ceiling to the men's feet where it went off and shrouded the room in darkness.

Kyero's vision went to absolute zero, but he still heard what followed. Kiltrap had moved in, killing the three men under cover of the smoke. Their screams were all cut short and silenced, and as the smoke cleared a massive pool of blood had filled the room near the entrance. The three men were laying there, all with their throats slashed open. With their carotid arteries and jugulars opened up, and their hearts pumping rapidly from fear and panic, they lost all the blood in their bodies in a matter of about a minute or less.

Kiltrap cleaned his blade casually on his pants, and sheathed it as he went to sit down and continue reading his book.

Kyero observed the man quietly from his corner, breathing quietly and slowly to reduce the glow in his eyes to nothing. He had to remain concealed. If Kiltrap rose and came for him, the battle would get very ugly, very quickly.

Kyero was around 6' 2" in height, but this man still towered over him at around 6' 7" with at least 40 pounds of muscle on him, if not more. He was fast, too. Kyero heard the sounds of the struggle and heard exactly three slices, all within about two seconds of one another. The fact that it was all from under the cover of smoke and from a distance of about fifteen feet from Kiltrap to their position...

There left no question.

Kiltrap was once a member of Te'i Sai, likely banished for malevolent practice or breaking one of Te'i Sai's tenets. As for his rank, there was little question of that either. Kiltrap had been a Master Assassin. His speed, calmness under pressure, and his efficiency all spoke to that.

Kyero, as the Red-Eyed Demon and having been trained by the Grandmaster himself, was the equivalent of a Master Assassin in terms of rank. But in terms of sheer strength and experience, Kiltrap had the edge. He was at least in his early 40's, and had a lifetime's worth of experience. Anyone could see that. Kyero was not going to be able to sneak up on this man so easily. And with as alert as he was, he was not tired or going to sleep anytime soon.

Kyero needed a new plan. He knew where to find him. Now he needed a better method of approach and execution... He'd need the other's help for this.

At first opportunity, Kyero left the building as Kiltrap moved to another room, and headed back to the inn to reconvene with the others...

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


Meanwhile, back at the inn, Aetrius arrived and was allowed in by Linde after the knock code they established. When she entered, Linde saw right away that she was covered in blood, small cuts, and bruises. Okumi indicated she was leaving for a bit, but would be back. Linde nodded to her, and ushered Aetrius into the room.

"Please remove that bloodied clothing. I need to grab a few things." She said insistently.

Linde hurried to the corner where she left her tools and started rummaging around in her bag. She placed a few bottles next to her on the shelf, and then a vial of liquid. She grabbed her bandages, and a few pads for dabbing disinfectant, and then went back to Aetrius' side to set all her items on a stool as she sat down next to the bounty hunter.

"Just what did you get yourself into out there?" She asked, more rhetorically than anything else.

Because her wounds were slight, but numerous, Linde sat very close to Aetrius and pulled the stool into her arm's reach. Their hips were touching, but Linde didn't notice. She only paid attention to the fact that she needed to deal with these numerous small wounds. She brought out one bottle, popped the top, and dabbed a bit of the salve onto one of her pads and stared dabbing it on Aetrius' small cuts. They stung a little, but they also cooled the wounds immediately afterwards.

"So many marks... Do you do this to yourself on purpose?" Linde asked playfully with a soft chuckle.

She had turned towards Aetrius to continue her work, pushing the full flat of her leg against Aetrius' leg from hip to knee. She was so close now. Their faces were only around 1 foot apart as Linde examined all of the bruising and sighed.

"You really need to start picking fights you can win without taking so many hits." She chided.

Linde popped another bottle top, and brushed her fingers through it. She brought the salve up to the bruises and, very, very gently, rubbed it into Aetrius' skin. The effect would not take place for several minutes, but Linde assured her that it would help relive the swelling and help prevent it from aching the way most bruises did when you woke up the next day. She continued this for all the bruises she could see until only one remained... The bruise around her throat.

"Oh, Aetrius... What did they do to you?" She said softly to herself.

Linde had just enough of the salve left to finish this, but it was a bit slower than the others because of how large the bruise was and how much of her throat it covered. Linde started on the side closest to her, gently rubbing the salve into Aetrius' flesh with her index and middle fingers. The contact was so tender it was like being massaged by water. Linde slowly worked around to the front of the throat, leaning in a little in front of Aetrius so she could see, putting their faces about 6 inches apart. She then leaned forward, so she could see around to the other side of her neck which brought them within about 3 inches of each other. In fact, despite being completely unaware of it, she was now leaning far enough forward that her left breast was pushing against Aetrius' arm.

Linde's cheek was so close to Aetrius' face that she could feel her breath against her cheek. But she was so focused on her work that she didn't notice...

Finally, Linde completed massaging the salve into Aetrius' neck and leaned back to let out a soft sigh of relief.

"That should do, I think. But please, promise me you'll be more careful. As Kyero says: 'No matter how strong or skilled you might be, to approach without caution is to court death'." She said.

She walked over to the sink and began to wash the salve off her hands, looking at Aetrius over her shoulder.

"You're strong Aetrius. But I think you've become a little too confident in yourself for your own good, based on what I've seen so far. You should exercise more caution in the future. Otherwise these little cuts and bruises are going to turn into something much worse. And I don't know if I'll always be able to fix them for you."

When she was done washing and drying her hands, she walked back over to Aetrius and sat down next to her with a soft and gentle smile.

"Promise?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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Linde smiled for Aetrius as she very sweetly offered her a piece of dinner, but before Linde could respond a knock came at the door. Linde wiped her tears and approached, asking after who was there. And through the door came Kyero's very distinct voice asking Linde to open it. She did so, and Kyero entered the room and removed his cloak.

He sat down on the floor, cross legged, and folded his arms as Linde sat nearby, watching him. Aetrius knocked on Lonan's wall, and Lonan made his way over. Once everyone was present, save Okumi... Kyero informed them of what he had found out.

"My target was located, but there is a complication... He was once part of Te'i Sai."

Linde gasped, covering her mouth.

"Given his bearing, speed, and efficiency in dispatching those who came to confront him about business, I can only conclude he was once a Master Assassin among Te'i Sai's ranks. He even used the same kind of smoke bombs I use. But the thing is... Only I have ever made this particular kind of bomb. For him to have duplicated it, he must have received the same training I did."

He looked to the others, around the circle.

"His bounty is eight gold, which would last us for a good long time. But if I am to kill him and fulfill the bounty, I'll need help. He's at least six feet, eight inches in height and has almost forty pounds of muscle on me. As skilled as I am, his age and experience will prove a challenge even for me. I learned the hard way years ago not to underestimate anyone, for any reason. And I know that I'll need all of you to help me bring him down."

He blinked, and looked around the group.

"Where is the shrine maiden?"

"Oh... She was with me earlier. But when Aetrius came home she left to give us time to talk. But... I haven't seen her since."

She turned to Lonan.

"Did you see her on the way in?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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Lonán was interrupted of his meditation, and so when he arrived at the meeting, he was well indeed without his shirt as he sat down and listened to Kyero’s hunt. Nodding every now and again. At the thought of eight gold definitely put the thought in his head that it might help him sift more information at the Gambling den. He nodded once more to affirm he’d help Kyero.

”Might have to squeeze in time between asking around but a share of that gold will go a long way.” He thought to himself. His thoughts were interrupted when Kyero asked a potential new worry. Their silent Shrine Maiden was noticeably missing. His eyes briefly widened at the thought of her absence. As Linde explained the last time she had seen Okumi Lonán wondered what she asked.

He tried to think of the right words to say, as his worry began to slightly bubble over, he found himself stammering. ”N-No, I don’t think so, I didn’t see her outside the Inn or anywhere on my route back here from finding promising gossip places... fuck This is not good.” whilst he may be jumping to conclusions, he however jumped to them out of concern and if his fears, that currently now pushed his encounter with Rose aside, were realized, they needed to find and rescue two people now.

Heresta’s Teeth. This became a whole new level of chaos.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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Before Linde heard the knock, Aetrius' attuned ears could hear his foot steps before Linde did. She knew who it was and relaxed upon hearing the knock. She stood up as he entered and knocked on the wall, signaling Lolan to join them. Once they were all together, aside from Okumi she sat back down on the stool. She crossed her arms and thought as Kyero mentioned Okumi not being with them, or even back yet.

"Fuck....Stupid kid..." she softly muttered under her breath as she looked around, shaking her head. Aetrius looked at the others and sighed, she stood up and spoke, "My best guess at this point? She probably did something stupid and now I have to go look for her..." she sighed and picked up the blood covered cloak and put it back on, putting her belt on that had her swords attached. She looked at the others and sighed, "I'll go and try looking, if I can't find her....I'll be back in an hour...Anyone want to come with?" she asked. Aetrius knew that probably none of them would want to join her, as they were probably tired and would need sleep. She looked at Linde and tried to give her a small smile, but it was so ever faint. She knew she'd have to do something Linde wouldn't like, and would accept the punishment for it later.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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Aetrius chuckled after Linde began to get dressed, keeping her eyes from looking as Linde dressed herself. She had manners, and even morals if one could believe it. No matter how gray there may have been. Once Linde had finished dressing, and apologized profusely, Aetrius chuckled softly and shook her head. "I-it's alright, just...wasn't expecting that to happen is all. Kind of just a start..." she chuckled again and sat down, only to hear Lolan in the hallway yelling to open the door and let him in and that he was sorry.

Aetrius groaned and stood up and somberly walked over to the door, unlocking it and flinging it open and pulled Lolan into the room and slammed the door. "Knock the first time, next time. Or I won't be so nice, got it?" she growled and grabbed one of the other plates and put it on the table across from her. She calmed herself down and sighed, taking her place back at the table on the left side of Linde, meaning that there was one place left to the left of Aetrius for Kyero or Okumi. Whatever one of them showed up first.

"Speaking of, anyone know where Okumi and Kyero are? I didn't hear or see anything from them since last night...Perhaps after breakfast we go and look around town for them? Then look for some more information about the slave trade that I have no doubt that Kieran got herself into? While you two are doing that, I will sell the items I looted off of Shatal and his men last night. It won't bring back what we had to spend on here, but it's a start..." she said as she started to finally eat the food that was on her plate, it wasn't entirely terrible, but could use some salt and other spices, not saying it was bland, but that it needed some more flavors. She also hoped that they wouldn't ask why Kieran's rescue was of such importance to her, but she had a feeling that eventually she would have to explain the situation to them, hopefully not as she knew that if they knew Kieran was her sister, it could mess up the mission entirely since they'd know that the mission was more urgent than they might have originally thought.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Korriban "Aetrius" Borral Character Portrait: Linde Xe' Almna Character Portrait: Kyero Character Portrait: Lonán Arzura Character Portrait: Okumi Chrysanth
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The kiss they shared lasted for what felt like an eternity, but eventually it came to a slow finish when Aetrius stopped it, by gently placing her hand on Linde's chest and with slight heavy breathing she spoke, "W-we...we can't...N-not...not now..." she said softly and gently kissed Linde's forehead and gently helped her to her feet, and they prepared for bed, eventually both getting in and cuddled tightly and closely as they fell asleep, Aetrius' arms were wrapped tightly and protectively around Linde's.

Morning came all too fast and Aetrius was already up, awake, prepared, and dressed by the time the others began to stir awake. She was outside with Bree, gently stroking her main and preparing her for the mission ahead. She loaded Bree with her supplies and kept her close to the Pony, and after making sure they'd have all the necessary items when they left, getting clothing and supplies for Kieran, she returned to the inn. When she went back to the room, Rose let her in, and she sat down at the table and studied the maps that Kyero had prepared for them, but on the map she had she crossed one of his exit's out and circled one of the lower exits, she had unbeknownst to the others, had explored a bit of the auction's place and studied some thing's Kyero didn't. She even placed some weapons in places that she planned on going to, small knives and retractable, one handed crossbows. After her planning was done, she dressed in the outfit that Kyero gifted her, and looked herself in the mirror and tied her hair into a short, and tight ponytail, and looked hard in the mirror. She had placed her swords on Bree, wrapped up in her supplies, as well as her other weapons, but she did place a knife in the lining of her right boot, and kept the small smoke bombs that Kyero gave her in the small pouch on her side. She took several deep breaths, and calmed herself as much as she could, the leather of her gloves creaked as her fists tightened. Everything was on the line tonight, and they'd give it everything they had.

Eventually the others joined them in their room for one last time, and Aetrius looked at all of them and stood up, "I...I appreciate all of you. For willing to come with a complete stranger and help her find her long lost sister. I don't know what will happen tonight, but...Thank you, that's all I really know what to say. We'll do our damnedest to get both of them out of there...And possibly, some point in the future help the others just the same...For now, we're few, a small rag tag team of strangers, that quickly became friends. Let's get this shit done, and let's shut down Mariah's organization the best we can." she gave them all a nod, her right fist tightening as the realization of what was going to happen fully hit her. It was now or never, and she was going to get this shit done now.