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Fantasy Aerumen

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Wert

Something
@Never

The midlands were more lively today than Blu had ever seen. Not that he had often wandered far from his parent's home to test that. No, he could tell from the forest that surrounded their little farm. That morning the birds were chirping something harsh, waking him from a good sleep earlier than usual. He could hear his parents talking about a festival, and a crown, from the nook they made for him to sleep in. Try as he might to pretend he was still sleeping, his mother was quick to notice. She beamed at him and brought him some food to eat as she told him they would be gone most of the day. Of course, this also meant he would have to pick up the work they hadn't already done that morning. Cleaning the stables, milking the goat, gathering eggs- it was practically drilled into his brain by now. His mother was a short and round woman who always kept her hair pulled back from her pink, chubby face. She greeted him that morning already dressed in clothing she didn't wear every day. The ensemble was a dress and cloak made of a soft, blue material, but it was rather heavy on his fingers when he hugged her after eating. His father was also dressed different, the tall man clothed in clean leather and blue surcoat. Blu only saw them dressed this way when something important was happening in the village they spoke about so often. It piqued his curiosity, but he already knew he wouldn't be able to join them. He had a job to do, after all, and leaving the farm unattended could only lead to trouble for them.

"Remember, Blu, to be gentle with Petunia, and don't stray passed the tree lines," His father spoke more softly than usual, but there was still a sternness in his gruff voice. Blu nodded to him, following the two as they left the tiny cottage and climbed onto a horse-drawn carriage.
"Don't forget to eat your lunch!" his mother called to him as they rode off onto the trail, obviously still worried.

Blu turned to look at the gray goat that knocked the side of his leg with her horns, his nose scrunching at the small amount of annoyance he felt. "Okay, Petunia," the boy spoke to the animal as he trudged along, tail coiling above the ground. "What's so special about that village," he vented to the goat who started to chew the grass on the other side of the wooden fence. Blu wasn't really jealous of the village, in fact, he wanted to go himself. He didn't see why his parents never took him, always telling him that it wasn't safe. Even so, the curiosity never left him, especially on days like this. The animals in the forest were lively as if it was flower budding season, though the trees had been green with leaves for a few weeks now. Blu decided to forget it and continue his work for the day..

The sun has just started to set and Blu had finished his work, now settled on the roof of the cottage. From where he sat, he could see just over the top of the trees, though that wasn't saying much. The village was brighter than usual, that much he could tell, but as he stood to see farther he could hear the sound of a carriage approaching. Laughter followed it, the familiar sound of his mother who had probably drank too much ale as they called it. Blue climbed down from the roof just in time, as they steered the horses up to the stables. Blu rushed to help his mother as she nearly fell from the carriage, catching her side just in time. His father was already putting the horses up before they made it half way to the cottage. The boy could already guess he'd go to make sure Blu hadn't forgotten to do anything before coming inside, so he took it upon himself to help his mother into bed. However, his father was in sooner than he thought, and his parents shared a good bit of laughter together. This was new, as Blu had never seen his father quite so happy when coming back from the village. He spoke to them some, but could barely understand their slurred words.

It was difficult to admit that he was upset by this, upset that they would come back in such a mess, that they never took him with them. However, he did admit it, at least to himself. His anger was small, but it was more than he knew what to do with. Instead, he decided to wait until they were asleep, which wasn't long. He changed his clothes and grabbed the cloak his mother made him, wrapping it over his shoulders before he left. It had just become dusk when he took one of the horses. He wanted to see the village, see what lies beyond the forest he's been kept in his entire life. Even if it was just for a few hours, even if he was alone. And so he did. Blu traveled a relatively short distance, following the trail towards the light of the village. Much of the land was covered in night by the time he made it there, tying his horse to a nearby post. Guilt struck him for a moment, thinking of how tired the horse must be by now, his tail curling under the cloak.

His first thought was how loud the village was. Music played into the street as a throng of people danced and laughed together drunkenly around the fountain in the middle. There were men and women dressed in fine clothing and clad in shining armor, the gleaming of the metal catching his eye fairly easily. Some had swords, others had nothing but a tankard in hand. Blu secured the hood around his head as he walked in to the crowd of talking people, observing the wooden and stone buildings as he could. His anger was soothed by curiosity and the excitement he felt to be somewhere different, somewhere new. However, his nerves proved to still be present as a man climbed onto the side of the fountain and blew into some kind of loud instrument that made him jump and slink to the back of the crowd. The sound caught almost everyone's attention, and Blu was no exception. He was a giant of a man, dressed in thick armor, with a scar running across his face. Yet, his intimidating appearance was off-put by the happy grin on his features.

"Today is indeed a day to celebrate!" The man exclaimed, his booming voice echoing over the now silent street, "The old king has fallen, and a new king rises from the ashes!" There was so much emotion in his voice that Blu himself almost cheered along with the crowd, though he knew not what they spoke of. "We of the Night Guard have sworn ourselves to King Ballard, the new king, to protect our nation, and everyone who lives in it. If you wish to join us, to rid this word of evil, then come find us in the Rusty Nail! Now, let the celebration truly begin!" Again the crowd cheered, so loudly that Blu couldn't hear the person approaching behind him. Blu bounced on his toes to try and see above the raised hands and cups in front of him, trying to see what had appeared in front of the giant man. In what felt like a split second he was yanked backwards into the ally once behind him, letting out a yelp. The hood of this green cloak fell off of his head when he hit the hard ground, turning onto his back to see who it was.

A dirty looking man with green eyes peered down at him, a disgusted look distorting his narrow features. His face was pink and his words slurred as a he spoke at him,"Look at this thing, sneaking in to the village." Blu remained quiet aside from the startled breathing he couldn't control, his eyes flickering to the mans hand as the man pulled a dagger from his side belt. Upon noticing it, he was quick to scramble onto his feet and run farther into the ally, though he was only met with another man in silver armor. The armored man made a grab at him, and Blu ducked from his reach, sliding under the man only to climb up the wall behind him, settling himself on the roof of a small balcony. His tail swung wildly at his side as the two men stood under him.

"Get back down here, you devil!" The dirty man yelled at him, waving his dagger at the air just before throwing it at him and cutting into the boy's shoulder. The armored man pulled his sword from his side and attempted to stab Blu several times, though it was only long enough to pierce the wood at the bottom of the balcony. By now the music and people were loud again.

"Go up," The armored man said to the dirty one, to which they argued for a moment before the dirty man tried, and failed, to climb the wall. Blu wasn't sure what to do. The roof of the building was too high for him to reach with his shoulder injured, and going down would only lead to him probably getting killed. He thought to himself that he should have listened to his parents, the pain of his shoulder finally kicking in. Blu grabbed at a loose stone in building, attempting to pull it out whilst the dirty man started to pile things up to reach him. He got the stone loose and threw it at the dirty man, hitting him on the head. The man toppled off of the boxes and onto his side, which seemed to throw the armored man into more of a rage. He kicked the shin of the dirty man as he got up, yelling things at him that Blu couldn't hear. He could barely hear anything beyond the ringing in his ears, but he could feel the pain from his shoulder and the tears that started to stain his cheeks clearly. Blu had little experience with fear, but he was sure it was what he felt now.
 
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Never

Screaming Mute
It's green skin was plucked with brown craters over the surface, a visual representation of something slowly rotting to the core. Her focus on the apple blurred, she finally stopped staring at it and curled her hand over to put the fruit back on the pile and instead shifted through the lot to find a better one. She tried to hurry herself as two people either side of her were getting fidgety and clearly wanted a look at what she was browsing; though her stubbornness surfaced and she stood her ground to take the time to find the quality that she wanted. Though that apple she had abandoned kept popping up into her mind. She clawed back at the stock and grabbed at the cratered apple, sliding it into her cloth pouch; with a swift swipe of her arm she handed the merchant his coin and backed off from the fruit stand. Just as quickly as she left, the gap she had stood was filled again by bartering customers.

With her shopping done, Mission walked out of the village and into the forest that circled it, diverting from the main path that split the trees she climbed over shrubs and grass until she reached a very tiny clearing. The horse whinnied a greeting at her where it sat next to a smouldered campfire and a beige cloth mat. She sat on the cloth and patted her horse' tummy, flashing her friend a small smile. "I got you something." Reaching her hand into the bag she pulled out an apple, leaning forward reaching for the horse's mouth; it sniffed and licked and bit, crunching on the apple breaking through it's flesh until it was basically all gone. Mission retreated her hand and shook off the juice, slobber and bits of apple still stuck to it.

Time passed with Mission now resting her head on her Horse whilst it sleeps, it's breathing stomach lifting her up and down. The painted sky was beautiful and night was slowly taking over, but she didn't have her eyes on it. Instead Mission was tossing the rotting apple that she was staring at earlier, catching it as it came back down towards her face observing it as it spun around. No person would willingly buy a rotten apple for their own benefit, but something that had lost it's grace had to have some use? For someone's own entertainment, to procure something finer or maybe to serve as a warning. No, there was other potentials - who knows what could grow from this apple's experiences. Mission sat up and slid the apple after catching it a final time into her pouch, she looked to make sure she didn't disturb her horse before slowly standing up and put out the fire she had restarted. The village was loud and eventful tonight, so she probably wouldn't get too much sleep anyway - instead she'd go enjoy a drink herself if she could. After folding her mat and laying it over her steed's back, she returned to the streets with a hood over head.

There was a lot of drinking, laughing, shouting, running and stumbling. Mission was okay with this atmosphere, she was used to it and sometimes she enjoyed being a part of it. Though with strangers it was a bit more of a risk, sometimes she took that risk when she really didn't care; but some men try to take advantage of that and even though they may regret that decision in the end, one day she might have a bit more trouble, especially alone. A loud instrument managed to pierce the noise of the crowd, gaining everyone's attention; even hers as she looked in the man's direction.

"Today is indeed a day to celebrate! The old king has fallen, and a new king rises from the ashes! We of the Night Guard have sworn ourselves to King Ballard, the new king, to protect our nation, and everyone who lives in it. If you wish to join us, to rid this word of evil, then come find us in the Rusty Nail! Now, let the celebration truly begin!"

It was hard to see being at the back of the crowd and it seemed a bouncing boy was having trouble seeing too, but Mission swore she recognised that scarred face anywhere. Still as jolly as usual, she was now glad she ended up coming here - it might be possible for her to get some work after all. Though since he was celebrating it was probably best to wait till the next day to ruin his night with her presence. Suddenly Mission was shoved as someone had reached passed her to grab the bouncing boy from earlier and drag him away. It pissed her off that someone was that rude, it was quite violent too... and none of her business.

She ended up pressing her back against the wall to the Alley and peering inside, she watched the drama unfold and the boy turned over to face the dirty man who had pulled him away. His face, it was impossible. Mission looked away and pressed the back of her head against the wall, her face in shock as she remembers where she saw that kind of face before instantly. She was lost in her memories, kids like that kid, her chest fluctuating as she breathes more panicked. Moments had passed before Mission clenched her fist and pulled herself together and stepped into the entrance of the alley. It seemed the boy had pulled himself to some form of safety, but the two men were still trying to relentlessly get to him. Mission pulled the rotten apple out of her pouch and launched it towards the armoured man; the apple shatters against the metal and interrupts their arguing. Mission strides into the alley and pulls down her hood, "Go back to your celebrating, leave the child alone."

The armoured man turns to face the figure that had thrown the apple at him and sneers at her. "That's no child." Mission looks up at the boy, clearly afraid, clearly feeling. She looked back down at the man as she approached and shook her head, "You have no honour, hurting a kid. Call yourself a Soldier? A Man?" Maybe Mission hit a nerve, whatever fuelled his anger to hurt to kid came for her next, he thrust his sword at her torso. She was quick and saw it coming, strafing to the right and raising her left arm, moving passed the sword thrust she brought her arm back down and sandwiched the man's wrist between her side and her elbow locking it in place. A right cross with her gauntlet covered fist, connected with the man's face and it snapped to the side. She felt his grip weaken and thrust her left elbow into his locked wrist again, forcing him to drop his blade. She then kicks him away from her and he stumbles cupping his jaw. The dirty man charges at her next, cursing her out as he did and she simply just punched him square in the nose, sending him falling back on his ass covering his now blooding nose with both his hands. "Are you both done now?"

She walked passed them both and looked up towards the boy, her expression wasn't exactly friendly, but it wasn't attacking him either. "They're not going to bothe-..." Mission whipped forward and crashed into the wall below the balcony when was tackled into it, banging her head off the wall it dazed her and she fell against it. The armoured man looked filled with rage, probably not too fond of being clobbered across the jaw. She should've made sure he was down and took the hint. But no, she was still clouded by the boy's appearance and rushed through them both, now look where she was. The man's hands curled around her throat tight as he got on top of her and forced Mission onto her back upon the Alley's hard floor; she struggled with his grip, her hands going to his wrists to try and pry them off, but he was strong now. She tried reaching out to her sides, but all she scratched at with her nails was floor. Air was struggling to get into her body now, and her writhing was getting more feral and instinctual, her body was in danger and her mind wanted it to stop. Mission tried for the dagger sheathed across the back of her right hip, but the weight upon her stopped her hand from being able to pull it out. She let out an angry scream as she focused on twisting her hip over, pushing her waist up to relieve the pressure from the sheathe. With each thrust of her waist and twist of her hip she pulled at the handle of her dagger, each time she screamed with every relief of pressure. Until nothing. It stopped. Mission was dead still and so was the man above her... blood dripped on her face. She let out a cough as the man's grip loosened, she twisted her body over and he slumped to the side of her, the dagger stuck through the parting in his armour under his arm into his torso, popping his heart. Mission was knelt above him, regaining her breath, coughing. Her expression calmed and her mouth closed, teeth grit as she yanked the blade from the corpse and cleaned it on his leathers. There was still cheering and celebrating that hung over the silence of the alleyway, Mission stood up and walked over to the groaning broken nosed man and kicked him in the face, knocking him out cold. The boy above her, she looked up with a bit of a scowl and held her arms out towards him, "We need to get out of here and you need me to let me look at that shoulder."
 

Wert

Something
The boy had grown quite restless on the small roof as he watched the fight unfold, his instincts telling him to stay above ground despite him wanting to help the woman. His tail coiled away from her as she spoke to him again, conflicted on whether to trust her. Blu was still fidgeting, still trying to calm the nervous swaying of his feet as he noticed the blood pooling under the armored man's body. It didn't take him long to assess that she didn't want to harm him, at least not in that moment. Cautiously, he crept down from the balcony's roof, his tail grabbing the railing along the way to help balance the arm he couldn't use well until he reached a distance where she could help him down. He glanced down at the knocked out, dirty man laying on the ground, wiping the feeling of tears from his face as he softly spoke, "Thank you." His left hand held his other arm still, trying to keep the dagger from moving more than it had whilst his tail curled around his leg beneath the cloak. The sounds of the village celebrating were still going on, but couldn't distract him from the pain of his wound and the questions flying through his mind.
 

Never

Screaming Mute
Helping the boy down, Mission couldn't help but give him a scan over before he even planted his feet on the ground. She just nodded in response this him saying thank you, her eyes narrowed at the wound - she couldn't deal with it here, and taking it out now and dealing with it later was going to be more harm than good. She lifts the boy's hood over his head and uses his cloak to cover over the dagger. "I know it's going to be awkward now, but if you can hide your tail as best you can. Please do. Be light on your toes, try not to attract much attention."

Mission stands up straight and stands behind and beside the boy, her hand slips under the armpit (the none-wounded one) of the boy with a bit of a harsh grip and then walks him forward out of the alleyway. There was still a bit of a crowd, and luckily they weren't all really paying attention - so she could make her way through them without much trouble. The odd person stumbled passed her and there was even one that almost fell in front of her, she dragged the boy out of his way, Mission didn't really pay much care to the boy and if she was pulling him along too harshly. She just wanted to get them both away from the alley as quickly as possible. They finally pushed their way out of the crowd and neared the exit of the village, Mission glanced down at the boy and adjusted her grip under his armpit. Upon leaving the boundaries of the village she took her diverted path through the trees at the side of the main path; reaching the very small clearing, she was greeted by her horse again.

Mission sat the boy down next to her horse; the white maned beast licked his face pushing passed his hood. Mission was behind the boy on the other side of her horse, looking through the packs and pouches attached to it's saddle. It took a moment, but eventually she came back around the back of the horse and knelt down in front of the blue boy, placing down an assortment of items beside them. She holds her right hand between them to get the boy's focus, "Watch my hand." If the boy kept his focus on her hand, was entirely up to him - but she slowly moves her hand and hopefully his eyesight to her right; holding her hand close to the fire she clicks her fingers. The runes on the smouldering campfire lights up and ignites the wood, erupting into a fire and simultaneously to this Mission pulls the knife from the boy's shoulder. She didn't apologise and just moved on, "I'm gonna lift your arm now." And she did, slowly lifting his wound-side arm and began dabbing his wound with water and cloth, she pushed some green herbs into his wound with her thumb and then started wrapping it up with bandages, going under his armpit and over his shoulder.

Mission completes wrapping the wound and then sat back on her bottom, taking the pair of tongs and a very small glass vial of a wispy green liquid, holding it over the fire to prime it. She doesn't look at the boy, and watches the vial carefully. "Have you ever drank a potion before?" The horse nudges the boy's left shoulder with it's grey head.
 

Wert

Something
Blu nodded his head as the woman spoke, curling his tail up to be hidden by the cloak. He tried his best to go unnoticed as they pushed through the crowd, the grimace of pain on his face hidden beneath his hood. When they reached the end of the village he relaxed a bit, his nerves not having time to catch up with their movements. He kept an eye out for where they were going, and complied to sit when where she placed him. Finally, her rough grip was released, and he has less pain bothering him. The boy gave a half smile when the horse licked him, his sharp canines protruding from his mouth as the hood fell from his head, gently nudging the horse's face away for a moment so he could see. The woman had taken some objects from the saddle and placed them in front of him, a few of them he recognized. His right brow rose whilst he looked them over, flickering to the woman when she spoke again. He wanted to ask why, but it would seem she didn't want to give him a chance to. So far listening to her hadn't harmed him yet, and so he did as he was told, following her hand. With a snap, a fire arose from ashes in the direction of her fingers, and a sharp pain came along with it causing him to whimper. Blu's attention was immediately pulled to the woman who had yanked the dagger from his shoulder. She let him know now what she was doing, and he tried to be helpful by moving his arm for her as she needed. He didn't much like the feeling of the weird smelling mush she was tying to him, but it was better than the dagger.

When she finished wrapping his shoulder she moved on to something a little more familiar to him. The horse nudged him a bit after she asked if he'd ever seen a potion, and he started to pet the white steed gently as he spoke, "ah...yes....mom always makes me drink them when it's time to file." Of course, Blu wasn't aware of how unusual such a sentence might be, but just the thought of filing made his head ache a little and he shifted his position awkwardly. He never minded the potions, but unfortunately they didn't always work to ease the pain. Was she going to make him drink one too? Blu blinked and looked back to her, questions chewing at his mind. "Who are you?" the question slipped, but it was hardly inappropriate to him.
 

Never

Screaming Mute
Mission twisted her wrist over, watching as the flame of the campfire wrapped around the vial of glass, the green wisps in the potion glinting and warping slowly. Though her concentration was on the vial, she couldn't help but glance over at the boy's appearance when he gave his strange answer to her question. 'file', she furrowed her brow and looked back at her campfire to ponder. The potion's wisps had disappeared and the liquid was a full vibrant green now, she pulled it from the fire and puts the tongs down beside her as she took the vial delicately into her right index finger and thumb the metal of her gauntlets tapping against the glass.

It was only a matter of time before the boy started asking questions, it was normal, especially when he was essentially kidnapped - even if it was for his own safety. Mission shifted, not answering straight away as she took the cork from the potion vial and sipped at the liquid inside. She felt the warm liquid run down her throat, the pain around her neck reacted to the potion, growing in pain slightly before easing; it would take a but for it to fully take effect. There was still most of the potion left, she stretched her arm out to give him the rest.

"You can call me Mission; he's Ludo." she gestured to the horse with a flick of her head. She wanted to inquire about this 'filing' and maybe ask his name in return, but Mission had become more interested in the boy's so called mother and any other family he may have, "So you have a Mom? You shouldn't be wandering a village alone. What about a Dad?"
 
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Wert

Something
Blu was hesitant to take the potion at first, but seeing as she had also drank from it he wasn't as worried. His long ears twitched as he took the glass in hand and drank it. His eyes rose to look at the horse, Ludo, when he was given their names. It was oddly suiting for the beast, nothing like Petunia the goat. He gave the horse a gentle pat and looked back to Mission when she spoke again. She had inquired about his parents, a tinge of guilt hitting him for even mentioning them. His fingers came to tug at the short grass below, fiddling with the blades. He knew he wasn't supposed to go to the village. What if he got his parents in trouble?

"Yes..." The boy, cautious to answer farther, spoke after a moment of silence, "...It's not their fault I came. They go so often, I just wanted to see.." His voice cracked, breaking the nervous rambling he'd begun, his eyes scanning the dark surroundings to avoid looking at Mission. The events of tonight ran through his mind, causing his worried confusion to become apparent on his features. Blu was slightly annoyed as well, his tail tapping against the grass behind him, "I didn't do anything wrong."
 

Never

Screaming Mute
It seemed this boy hadn't been out and about much, but Mission could see that from when they first met. A child that had been cooped up for a long time, way too curious for his own good of the outside world. It was tragic that his first venture out of his lair would go downhill so fast; though it didn't surprise her, with how he looked, what he was. Mission stared at the fire, seeing pictures in the flames, a ringing in her ear grew slightly before she shook her head lightly stopping herself from spacing out too obviously.

Admittedly, Mission didn't really know how to deal with this now - she wasn't too experienced in the field of looking after the boy. Let alone an Impline. She looked at him, he was upset and with good reason. Eventually she sighed, got up off her backside mainly so she didn't stare too deeply into those fires again and responded, walking over to the boy patting his head as she walked passed to get to the other-side of er horse, "No you didn't. But there are bad bastards that don't care what you do." Mission untied something that sounded like metal from her horse, it didn't take her long but eventually she stood above the boy again looking down at him; holding what looked like a metal helmet with a face guard. "Alright I'll take you into the village to look at what you want to look at as long as you wear that, it might be a little loose and a bit heavy on the neck. You're in dress up so everyone should leave you be, then I'll take you home okay?" Mission wasn't too fond of going back into the village she commuted murder in, but because of how distracted everyone was; she should be fine. She wanted to be quick, so she was already moving through the trees towards the entrance of the village.
 
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Wert

Something
Blu stood when Mission did, watching her carefully and listening as she spoke. A jolt of fear bit at his mind when she mentioned going back to the village, and he grasped the helmet tightly. That fear showed itself in hesitation at first, and he watched after Mission as she started on her way. Her abruptness reminded him of his father, never one to wait around for long doing nothing. You can run away from what you fear, Blu, but you will have to face it eventually. His words echoed in the boy’s thoughts from a time when he was frightened by the night. It kicked him mentally, and he stuffed his head in to the heavy helmet with stubborn determination. Perhaps too hastily, as his ears ached with the sudden metal scraped against them. Luckily, it was sized enough that he could still hear and see out of, if not a somewhat awkwardly. The boy rushed after Mission, helmet buckling around his neck he tucked his tail beneath his cloak as they neared the village again.

The sound of music was now surrounding them as they reached the village. People moved about the dirt and cobblestone streets in erratic liveliness. Placed near the center of the village was a building with a wooden and metal emblem of a large nail hung beside its open doors. People of all shapes and sizes entered and left the Tavern, some wearing normal clothes, but most with armor. He peeked into the window for a moment, the large scarred man sitting at the table across from the boy was talking to people of the same likeness. It caught his attention for a moment, but what curiosity he had was overruled by caution when he reminded himself of tonight's events. His amber eyes turned away from the window and he walked onward, looking at Mission every now and then as if to make sure she was still there.


Instead, he took to a group of people who were standing near the fountain in awe at something. Strange sounds came from in front of them, causing some of the people to exclaim their amazement with ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’. Blu tried to see over them for a moment, but of course it wouldn’t work. A flash of blue fire erupted from the border of humans and some shrieked back with laughter. He could barely hear anything else. The impline huffed and moved to walk around them and climb on to the side of the fountain to see. It seems he wasn’t wrong to do so, as two others also sat there, and he didn’t raise negative attention by doing it.

“Thank you for joining us!” A small figure said to him and the other person who joined the crowd, the throng’s attention being pointed at them. Blu was confused, since the ground in the middle was empty except for the small person. He couldn’t quite tell if the figure was a child or an adult, since the female looked small but her voice was more mature Blu’s. She was shorter than him with black hair that curled upwards at the ends and vibrant red eyes. It was a color he hadn’t seen anyone have aside from himself. Her ears were also pointed, yet, again, smaller than his own, and her skin was similar to his mother’s. She smiled at the crowd modestly as she spoke, “It seems our little friend has hidden himself somewhere. Ohh, where could he be?” She sounded amused, and the people in the crowd started looking around in confusion.

Just as some started to get worried or leave, a yelp sounded from the fountain near Blu. The young woman who had been sitting there was now on her feet and scrambling away from the creature that had seem to appear on her shoulder. Blu gazed in awe of it. It was scaled like a prism, with miniscule horns trailing its long body and four clawed legs. I gave a tiny roar and blue fire erupted from the gills on its neck, flames encasing its form and dancing around its skin as its twitchy head looked at the people surrounding it. Blu’s heart raced at seeing the flames, though he couldn’t tell if it was fear or amazement of this new creature.

“Silte, Come here,” The small woman spoke sweetly, as if talking to a pet, and approached the lizard-thing. However, Silte bolted towards the next person on the fountain, raising its front legs and vigorously waddling towards the boy that sat near Blu. The boy swung his grilled fish-on-a-stick backwards as he jumped up from the fountain and smacked Blu with it. The male stood back from the creature, leaving Blu on the fountain with fish stuck to his cloak with a laugh from the crowd. The creature made a strange cooing noise and started at Blu.

Blu nearly jumped, but he felt like if he did the creature might follow, and the small woman was struggling to reach the fountain side. The boy ended up freezing, the creature coming to slow down as it neared him and settling onto all fours again. It climbed onto the shoulder of his cloak and started biting at the cloth wear the fish was. It didn’t hurt, the creature’s teeth weren’t long enough to pierce the thick fabric fully, but he was still unsure about what to do. The crowd was watching him, and he couldn’t find Mission’s face from the rim of the helmet.

“I’m sorry, he must be hungry.”

It only lasted a moment before another unfamiliar voice spoke and a man was approaching his side. Another strange person, a type he’d never seen before. The man was tall, with dark purple skin and black hair, and his voice was somewhat deep but melodic. Blu flinched slightly as the man reached his side and grabbed Silte at below it’s limbs and gently lifted the creature from Blu. The crowd peered at them with confusion.

“Apologies, I’m afraid we will have to feed him,” The small woman chimed to the people, reigning in their attention towards her, “We will bring him back out once he has eaten.”

“That’s right, it’s no good for anyone when a Lither gets hungry,” The man added, a smile on his face as he handed the creature to the small woman, “In the meantime, I will be doing fortune telling. Come, meet me at the Broken-Hammer Inn,” He hand gestured to a two story building off-center from the fountain, “It’s only two coppers a telling, and I promise it will be worth your time.” After he finished speaking, the small woman and him left the crowd and most of the people in that rabble dispersed to participate in other things provided around them.

Blu hopped down from the fountain and rushed towards Mission when he pinpointed her, his curiosity getting the better of him, “What’s a fortune telling? How do you get it? What was that creature? Where does it come from? HHH- Can I get fortune telling? ” His voice was littered with excitement, the helmet on his head rattling around with his abrupt movements. A few people chuckled at him as they passed, but Blu didn’t seem to notice,he was too focused on keeping his tail from moving with his excitement.
 

Never

Screaming Mute
Mission kept a close eye on the Boy now that they were inside the Village, it seemed like it was the prime time of the night for vendors and performers to take advantage of all the intoxicated festival goers. There were a lot of people crowding the streets, and it seemed to become more a task to make sure that the boy was in her sight - though she was personally amused by how the helmet rattled around his head, so it's not as though she wasn't getting some form of entertainment from watching him walk around like a ringing bell. Mission glanced through the glass that the boy was staring in to, kinda curious what caught his attention she saw the man she thought she may be able to get work from earlier; before all the drama with this Impline. Now it was up in the air if she was ever going to get work when she was sidetracked with this sudden task - obviously her curiousity was going to get the best of her, she had to find out answers which would probably get her in trouble... if she wasn't in it already.

Her trail of thought had her zone out for a moment, before snapping back into reality. She noticed the large scarred man was now looking at her with confusion or bewilderment on his face. She blinked before he mouthed clearly through the glass her name, recognising her. She let slip a passive smile and waved in response. Her beckoned for her to join him and rose his drink, but she couldn't - remembering that she was roped into being responsible for someone. Mission shook her head and tried to mouth and make hand gestures that could be translated as "maybe later." He seemed to understand and nodded in response, giving her a parting wave which she returned before moving out of view of the glass. She sort of realised she may have looked like an insane person out of context.

The Boy. Where'd he disappear to? Mission felt a bit of worry, she lost track of him when communicating with her possible work contact. She looked around, people in armour - people not in armour of all sizes. It'd be proper easy to find that boy if he was blue - though she felt kind of relieved that if she couldn't point him out then troublemakers couldn't either. Eventually her attention was drawn to the lights of flame erupting from a crowd, she moved closer to it and recognised a certain helmet wanting a better view of what was going on. She wanted a look to, moving cautiously over to the crowd, she pushes her way passed a couple of people - as annoyed as their expressions were, Mission couldn't care any less and they'd get over it or confront her if they wanted to make an issue about it. She didn't manage to get all the way to the front, but close enough to see over shoulders. The act seemed to have moved over to the Boy and the others on the Fountain, Mission couldn't really see very well - but it looked as though it was a little lizard causing a bit of havoc to it's audience. It amused her. Though it was cut short, the Sprite and her Elvish Friend dispersed the crowd allowing the boy to easily pinpoint and make his way back to her.

He was excitable, an abrupt child that wanted to see more of these things he hadn't before. It sort of caught Mission off guard(ian HA), with how they ended up being acquaintances - it was kind of strange, but he was distracted by curiousity and that's what kids do to forget bad experiences. She was visibly taken back for a moment before relaxing and thinking about how to respond, it was hard to say no - for some reason. She probably would've found it way easier to say no to an older person. She didn't want to put the boy at risk getting up close and personal with a 'fortune teller' she didn't know; but he had no idea what one was and it would be cruel to not let him get one done - especially with it being so cheap. Mission's shoulders slumped, she was defeated. "Fine." She lead him towards the Inn, continuing to answer his questions out of order.

"He claims to see what possibilities there may be for your future." Mission never really believed in that sort of stuff, if any of her past experiences with fortune tellers came true, then she definitely wouldn't be here right now. They were always faux happy endings to keep customers satisfied. "Also that creature from what I could see looked like a Lither, there are many kinds of Lither and they're not easy to get. They're sort of related to dragons or something, I've only met two up close before." Mission didn't go into too much detail of her past and where she saw these creatures before, one was a spotted Lither - pet to an alchemist of the court and the other was a Scaled Lither like the one seen today, her old lieutenant's pet. They entered the Inn and joined the short-ish queue for the fortune telling, it was taking place in a backroom he must've hired out near the counter. When they were next in the line, Mission would get copper out enough for the two of them to get a reading; it wouldn't hurt.
 
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Wert

Something
Blu could've screamed in excitement for Mission saying they could try it but instead lightly bit his lip to smother the urge. He listened to what she said, letting her answers mull over in his mind like a cow chewing cud. Perhaps what he had asked was too complicated for this time, or his lack of experience kept him from understanding certain things. Either way, by the time he let the thoughts settle they had already made it to the inn. It was a two story building with wooden frames and disordered glass windows. Everything about the outside was average for an inn, at least from how his mother would describe them. The inside was adorned with the warm glow of candlelight keeping even its darkest corners at ease, it's decorations and echoing music simple and to the point. However, among the mundane folk who sat at it's tables were those of unusual appearance to the boy. Small and tall, thin and plump, dressed in an array of vibrant colors and basking in an air of exoticism he'd never seen before today. A few also had skin like his own, ones that stood apart from the likeness of his parents and most of the townsfolk.

There was one partially familiar face among the chattering peculiarities. The very small woman he saw before sat at a table with prismatic Lither eating fish from her hand. He watched them while the two waited in line for a few minutes, exchanging gazes with some of the oddly alluring people who in turn looked at him as something strange. Blu thought he was staring too much and shifted closer to Mission, unsure of what he was feeling about the stares he was now getting from the new type of folk. He hadn't noticed how detail oriented their eyes were, hadn't noticed two of their gazes were fixated on the bit of tail peeking from his cloak. But the small woman caught his attention when she hopped from the wooden seat, the Lither climbing on to her head as she seemed to strategically place her self behind Blu.

"Hello," She gave a short wave, "I'm Esra, you were at my show tonight."

Blu nodded, the helmet waving with his head.

After a moment of silence she spoke again. "I just wanted to apologize for Silte biting you. You're not hurt, are you?"

His gaze faltered from her face to the Lither balanced on her head, it's bright eyes flickering around Blu before it gave another strange cooing sound.

"Um, no, he didn't get through my cloak."

"I'm glad!" Esra beamed before looking at the cloak with a surprised face, "This is so nice, did you make it yourself?" She gently grabbed part of the cloak and tugged it, "Heavy, but it flows nicely."

"Ah.." Blu wasn't sure what to do. The small woman spoke so quickly, and even tugged on his cloak, his main form of protection right now.

"Oh, I must be making you uncomfortable. It was rude of me to grab your cloak like that." Esra said, shame biting at the edges of her voice. Silte eyed Blu again. Well, it really hadn't moved it's eyes off Blu. "Sorry to be a bother, but It's your turn."

She had her tiny hand gestured towards the, now opening, door as a tired man came out with a disgruntled expression tugging on his weathered features.

Blu stood confused for a moment as Esra smiled at Mission and walked away. He discretely peeked at the back of his cloak to make sure she hadn't exposed his tail, but it was covered entirely.

"Come in," the smooth and mellifluous voice of the man before sounded from the half opened door and Blu entered with Mission in tow.

"Close the door."

Blu closed the door and looked around him. Candles were lit but they were dim and varying in the colors of their flames, embers of burning incense still shown in the dark and the stone hearth was not but remnants of what was once a fire. The man sat at a polished wooden table near the candles, his red and magenta coat hung around the back of the chair as he organized colored cards into a stack.

"My name is Mircea, I will be your fortune teller tonight. I'm going to assume you are his guardian since you entered here with him, and I don't care otherwise."

Blu had a hard time deciding whether he sounded pleasing to the ear or too blunt, the graceful energy the Mircea had about him was strange.

"Before we begin, I'm going to need you to remove any items of magical significance and leave them at the door." Mircea's sly eyes shimmered with gold and silver.

For a moment Blu thought the light was playing tricks, but no. Mircea's eyes were glowing in the dimly lit room.

"You can stay with them if you'd like, but they must remain five feet from the table." The man continued, as if on cue to settling some suspicion in the two.
 

Never

Screaming Mute
Mission looked down at the two talking, the sprite addressed the Boy directly so there was no need for her to interject. She was sure the boy could have a normal conversation and didn't need saving from that, so she let it innocently happen. Though her eye kept flicking towards the Sprite every time she spoke. It was the occasion where she got a bit handsy on the Impline's cloak, Mission could've reacted quickly and suspiciously, but she kept her cool - she just had a visible look of aggression plastered on her face, eyes locked on the boy's waist area seeking the glimpse of a tail; they were safe. The Sprite retreated from invading the boy's space and Mission protectively put her arm around the boy and pulled him in front of her, returning the Sprite's smile with one that was hella sarcastic.

She entered the room after the boy and let him close the door and choose a seat first, she half-listened to Mircea's introduction slumping down in the seat to Blu's left rather boyishly and crossed her arms. Just as she did the Teller began to tell them to leave any magical items near the door and her face replied with that of a bitchy scowl. Mainly because she just sat down. Instead of getting up she huffs and sharply unsheathes the dagger that is located on the back of her right hip and turned in her chair; whipping her wrist in the direction of the door, the dagger stuck in the frame with a keen twang. She turned back to face the Teller and raised her eyebrows at him,

"When I look back and if that Dagger is missing, I'll throttle you. Your cards will tell you that too." She repeats the split-second smile she gave the Sprite outside to Mircea as well and folds her arms, gesturing for him to continue.
 

Wert

Something
"Very well," Mircea responded, amusement tainting his voice and the edge of his lips with a wry smile. The cards danced between his fingers with soft flicks before he moved them to the side, like a cat no longer interested in its toy. Instead he moved a bit, leaning his elbow on the table as he spoke. " I sense something from the two of you, and I wish to look in to it. Now, I can give you a normal palmistry reading as most people expect, waste your time and your coin, and send you and your metal-headed friend on your way." The soft metal trinkets and crystals hanging from the man's pointed ears and long hair chimed with his movements. "Or, I could show you the powers of a real teller, an ability few can offer, but I will not offer again." He held out his palm to Mission as if gesturing for her to put her hand there, a carefully blank expression on his face, "I just need your permission."

The teller waited for her to place it at her own pace, whatever pace that was. Nimble fingers grazed the crevices and hills of their hand, calloused from a rough life. His glowing eyes peeked up at the woman for a split second, "mm, that’s a heavy burden..." His voice trailed off as his fingers traced some form of symbol on to her skin. A dim glow followed his fingertips and he clasped her hand.

It was a quiet moment. Blu watched as Mircea’s eyes glazed over and closed. Mission didn’t seem too pleased, though he was starting to think nothing here could please her. Blu stared at their hands as they glowed, a brush of cold air emitting from the area.

“You’ve known hardship, but the path you’ve chosen will not be easy. The Divines have made it so,” Mircea suddenly spoke, his previous smooth voice now almost solemn. “You will face the consequences of your actions...From tonight and long ago...You will be cold, but the blood on your hands will lead you to greater things if you make the right choice….”

Blu nearly flinched when Mircea opened his eyes suddenly, slowly taking his hands away from Mission's in a grazing motion. The symbol disappeared in to his fingertips.

“What did you do to piss them off,” Mircea said, more so a statement than a question, his tone now just as amused. There was something about his expression that didn't seem right to Blu, it mirrored the one his mother would make when the harvest was bad yet she didn't want to accept it.

"I-isn't that bad?" Blu spoke up, watching the glimmer in Mircea's eyes return as the man's attention was pulled from Mission.

"It could be, " He seemed gentle at the moment, though it quickly smoothed in to something more easy-going as Mircea pressed his back against the chair, "The Divines, the Fates, they give us trials to overcome. Our decisions can change what they have set out for us."
 
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Never

Screaming Mute
Mission did as she was told for the most part, going first and expecting nothing much even with his little speech on showing them what a real teller could do. She just retorted with a nonchalant "Sure." What followed next was not what she had usually witness when getting her fortune told in the past, and she had to give it to the man - he put on a very convincing show. She started having doubts in her mind about him doing this for everyone, because the man before him looked very bored - unless he's just that hard to please. Maybe this Mircea was telling the truth, and he did only do this once. Her hand even almost retreated, instead only flinching slightly when the symbol was drawn upon her palm. She wasn't too pleased when he clasped her hand though, feeling slightly uncomfortable. What Mircea said next however, truly spooked the Ex-Knight;

“You’ve known hardship, but the path you’ve chosen will not be easy. The Divines have made it so. You will face the consequences of your actions...From tonight and long ago...You will be cold, but the blood on your hands will lead you to greater things if you make the right choice….”

Mission's hand retreated quicker than Mircea's did when he allowed her freedom, she held her hand that was a terrible liar apparently in her other hand. Rubbing them together, she visibly had a look on her face that held some form of fear and thought - and she was also silent. Her heart had sank and her whole body had went cold, she didn't really feel bad for committing the murder earlier - in her eyes it was self defence, but hearing it from someone else's mouth usually was followed with severe consequences. Especially when it was so abrupt. Mircea also mentioned someone getting pissed off, and at first Mission just thought he meant the Divines he was going on about - but she realised if he saw what she did today, then he probably meant those men and that he didn't know that the boy was an Impline of Northern blood. Yet.

Now she was stuck; she didn't want to cause a massive scene and leave like this, but to let the boy have his reading could be very risky. Mission got the thought in her head that maybe he was just very lucky, and that anyone could've been up to no good on an eventful night like this; it just hit her harder than usual and it was still a broad assumption. She was still being stubborn about the whole situation and thought that she may have just been a bit paranoid.

"The Divines can sit up there and go f*ck themselves like they usually do." Mission was grumpy, "Lets get this over with."
 

Wert

Something
Mircea glanced at the woman and stifled a chuckle between his casual smile.

"I'll take that as it being your turn, young sir?" He spoke, holding his hand out for the helmeted-boy to take.

Blu finally sat down next to Mission and put his hand up to place it on Mircea's.

"No gloves."

"O-oh," Blu quickly corrected himself and removed the glove from his dominant hand, placing it on to Mircea's own.

Mircea seemed to hesitate for a moment, his smile just barely faltering from the edges of his mouth as he saw the hand that lied within his. It was an unmistakable blue, something he earlier thought was from his candles when looking at the boy, and lacked the same amount of digits as his own. His silver and golden eyes crept up to peer at the boy before he continued, repeating the same steps he took with the woman.

Blu watched the man's hand move around his own, ridges of scarred flesh being shadowed by the light. He couldn't tell if it was the candlelight tricking him, or if the scars on Mircea's flesh moved slightly. He looked up at Mircea as the man's eyes closed, watching them move beneath their lids.

But, it was quiet. It felt like a long quiet. Mircea didn't say anything until he jerked his hand away, the glowing mark on Blu's palm fading with the lost touch. A droplet of deep, sullen red began to trickle from the man's nose and he stood, covering it with a hand. It seemed, as Mircea moved his casual grace was stomped by a sense of urgency to find something. He began rummaging through the black trunk near the hearth, an object that was since hidden well by shadows.

"I told you! I told you no magic!"

"I-I don't have anything that is magic!" Blu seemed startled, subconsciously leaning closer to Mission. The man paused and stood with a huff, giving up on whatever it was he had been searching for.

"No, no, of course not." Mircea, though he held some form of annoyance to him, was hard to pin point. One of his hands held his nose, the other dancing in the air as he spoke in frustrated whispers at Mission, "Why would you bring him here, do you realize how dangerous it is for him? He's a cub! He can't even control his own magic! And why for the love of the Divines is there a block on his mind?!"
 

Never

Screaming Mute
"Wai..."

Mission almost interjected, but the boy complied almost instantly with Mircea. Removing the glove and showing his skin, Mission's hand retreated sheepishly back to her chin as she stroked it, though the elf played it off well and she sort of relaxed for now, even with his little hesitation.

Mission watched with more interest, especially after her experience. Making sure to look closely, to make sure no funny business happened. It was strange to her, that the flow faded and nothing was said yet - she looked up at Mircea with a slightly cheated look on her face. Though that expression changed immediately when she saw the blood from his nose. The teller's mannerisms suddenly changed and he his passive aggression began to match Mission's own, which to her first meeting with him was very out of character and strange.

"I told you! I told you no magic!"

Mission's head flicked at the boy as he defended himself and got closer to her. She stared at him for a moment, a light bulb in her head switching on. "Ah, of course." Mission had been treating this boy a bit too much like an ordinary child this evening. Regretfully. She switched on, her mindset that this was just going to be a fun event switched completely off and she became a soldier. Mission took her eyes off the boy and stood up, she walked around to the other side of the table and took in everything Mircea said; though she didn't answer immediately - she would indulge him momentarily. Mission grabbed the man by his top and aggressively begun to pull him about, forcing him close to her face so that she could whisper loudly & sternly at him.

"You think I don't understand the severity of the situation that I'm in? The boy I've only met today and I don't even know his name and not to draw attention to him I thought, why not let him prance about like a normal child and see some of the outside world; because he had no idea what a Lither was or what a bloody Fortune Teller does. I think out of anyone I would know the dangers of bringing an Impline like him in public, but this is where I found him and I felt..."

...Responsible. Mission let go of the Teller and slammed down a fair amount of coin on his table, a lot more than there should've been. She looked at the boy and walked behind him, grabbing him by the underneath of his shoulder again like when they first met she took him to the door without another word being said; her other hand took the dagger out of the frame and she opened the door and left through it. She didn't care about the stares from people in the tavern, ignoring it all - she stormed through until she left the building completely and took Blu outside into the busy streets. She continued to walk, not saying much anymore whilst still holding onto him pretty tightly;

"I'm taking you home."
 

Wert

Something
Blu jolted from his seat when Mission got physical with Mircea, though he knew he couldn't do anything about it. He was small in comparison to the adults, and his voice was easily drowned out. Yet, he still tried to speak.

"What do you mean magic, and what's a bl-"

He only had a moment before Mission was pulling him from the room by the shoulders. It was a helpless feeling, knowing he would probably never meet this man again to ask him what he knew. It seems the ruckus within the room had drawn attention, mostly from the vibrant people now staring at Mission and Blu as he was dragged out. The worried expression of Esra being the last thing he saw before they were crowded with townsfolk enjoying themselves. Blu tried to keep up with her, noticing the dagger she had pulled. Try as he might, he couldn't seem to keep himself calm enough to focus on walking properly.

When they made it to the outskirts of town he struggled to be released from her grasp.

"Let me go! I can walk on my own!" He snarled, his canines shown though his head was faced away from Mission.



Meanwhile...

Micrea pulled himself together, wiping his shirt as if trying to sweep the remnants of the aggressive woman away. Esra hurried in to the room with confusion written all over her features.

"Mircea, what did you do?"

"I did nothing but my job, until.." He trailed off turning to the black trunk and pulling something out of it that he quickly slipped in to the inside pocket of his top.

"I heard you scolding them...You didn't know their circumstances, Mircea. It was wrong of you to start that."

"Ah, Esra, your hearing is as good as ever." He shifted, his smooth tone and gracefulness back as if his outburst hadn't happened. He grabbed a cut cloth from the bedside to clean his nose of the drying blood. "Does it not worry or surprise you that one of them is still alive...and here, of all places?"

"Hmmmm, No," Esra shrugged, though a melancholy smile now sat on her lips, "After all, he told us a few were still alive. I trust his words more than my own."

"Ai, he did."

"The Midlands, that is what concerns me." Esra moved to hop onto the bed next to where Mircea stood, her feet dangling from the side, "Why would he choose such a dangerous place to put one."

"It's the last place those hunters would diligently look, and besides, it seems whoever is caring for the boy was doing fine until today."

"Oh? Just fine?"

"He knows not what he is, and there's a block on his mind Esra. A strong one."

"Do you think he put it there?"

"There's only one way to find out. We have to find the boy."

"But how will we do that? We don't even know where he lives."

Mircea smiled that familiar, mischievous smile that Esra was fond of as he pulled a worn leather glove from the table a short distance away, "I didn't remove my mark." He wobbled the glove in his hand and looked towards the door," We wont be doing any more shows tonight. Tell everyone to gather at the caravans."
 

Never

Screaming Mute
Mission let go of the boy when the reached the Outskirts of the Town, it was quieter here and he was clearly annoyed with her. She felt bad and tapped her finger on the back of his helmet before kneeling down and turning him by his shoulders so that she was eye level with him - gazing through the visor of his helmet.

"I shouldn't have brought you back into the Village."

She dusted off the boy's cloak and look passed his shoulder, noticing a bit of a commotion behind them on the other side of the street. She began to realise who was over there storming around the village, a man with a bloody face talking to three armoured figures. He stopped still and Mission stared at him, the two locked eyes for a moment before he began making angry garbled noises in the distance, pointing her out to the armoured men. She cursed right in Blu's face and did a half tackle at him, her right shoulder pressed against his tummy as she begin to get up, throwing the little lad over her shoulder whilst standing up. Mission turned on her heel and bolted in the opposite direction towards the Exit of the Village, she heard the men behind her pick up speed in their clunky armour after calling out to her to stop; obviously this wasn't going to happen.

She strode quickly to the exit she had left through earlier and of course, for some reason there was a guard standing at it this time. It was like her whole ordeal had just brought bad luck crashing her way. With the boy thrown over her right shoulder, Mission held her dagger in her left hand. The guard was pretty zoned out until she got closer, he saw that she was being pursued and he almost reached out for her, but Mission reacted - swiping at his hand with her dagger causing him to hiss in pain and turn away from her clutching his hand and she ran passed. Through the exit. Mission folded her tongue over between her teeth and sharply whistled out loud in the night, followed by shouting;

"LUDO."

It took a few moments before rustling was heard and the horse jumped from the treeline in front of them, intercepting Mission's sprinting. With the boy on her shoulder it was easier for her to throw him up onto it's back, he was still a heavy boy so he'd have to assist himself onto climbing onto the horses's backside. She followed up by swiftly mounting the horse herself, her hand patted against her steed's neck and he wasted no time bolting down the path. The men with no horses, clothed in armour would give up at the Village's entrance watching Mission leave on Ludo.

Mission had made a lot of ground down the path, she was pretty confident they wouldn't be able to chase them this far without going back for horses and were at a safe distance. Ludo stopped sprinting so hard and instead just pranced, it's hooves the only thing breaking the silence before Mission spoke, she didn't look back at the boy.

"Point us to your home."

Mission would take him whichever way he'd say they needed to.
 

Wert

Something
In the rush to escape yet again Blu scurried to adjust himself on to the horse and hold steady as Ludo ran. Though his hands were shaking, he was careful to not let go until Ludo came to a trot. Still, keeping one hand clutched around his anchor he pointed in to the direction of his home, over the hillside and in to a thick line of trees to the southeast. It would've been like him to choose a different place, to not lead any of this to the little farm where his parents slept peacefully, but at the moment all he wanted was to be home. It was all too much for one night, and he couldn't wrap his head around most of it.

Ludo hurried on his way under Mission's command, taking the three through the trees and down a path that was not often traveled. It wasn't until they reached a small opening in the trees that they slowed, approaching a cottage lined with crooked wooden fences. The footprints of light from fire being moved around came as a surprise to the boy, and he hopped down from the white horse as they neared, ignoring anything Mission would have to say about him doing so.

The vacant sounds of yelling spilled in to the quiet of the night, something he rarely heard from a familiar voice. He crept up to the window of the cottage, moving the half opened shutters with a slight creaking of wood to see inside. His father wasn't there, though the yelling continued, and his mother sat at the small stool near the fire, wearing the same dress she had fallen asleep in. Her chubby cheeks were red and lined with exhausted worry, tears streaming from her eyes. Guilt stabbed at him and he closed the shutters, rushing inside the cottage with his helmet still on. His mother jumped from her seat, startled, but her fear relaxed when he removed the helmet from his head.

"Blu! Oh, my little Blue cheese!" She came at him with a speed he'd only seen her move at when she was running away from an angry Petunia, wrapping him up into hug. He dropped the helmet when he was swept into her arms, clutching her shoulders tightly.

"Where have you been? Why did you leave? Are you hurt?" She still hadn't let go of him, and he was adamant about holding on to her for a little longer as well.

"I'm fine, mama. I'm fine," Blu said, reluctant to tell her about the attack, about the strange fortune teller, or how he met the intimidating company he brought to their home. Though a part of him worried Mission would do so on her own if she saw it fit, at the moment he just wanted to enjoy being in his mother's arms again.

"We've been worried sick. I woke to find my boy...just, gone! In the middle of the night! Your father's been combing the woods for you since. A stoic man but you know how he is..."

Blu finally let go of her, a sad smile lingering on his watering eyes as she sat him on to his feet. She quickly moved towards the back window, opening the shutters and yelling out to her husband.

"Eddie! Eddie! He's here, he's home!" It was followed by a distant 'what', and the two repeated as he heard his father's voice drawing closer to the cottage. It wasn't long before his face came in to view from the window, his aged eyes peeking in to the frame before he rounded the house and came inside.

"And who is this?" Eddie, his father, said to the armored woman, obvious suspicion in his voice.
 

Never

Screaming Mute
Mission was pretty stuck on what to do next, this boy had two parents and if at least one of them is an Impline then it's just going to be double the trouble for her and any plan she may have. The house the boy took her too was pretty out of the way and snug. If the boy had been kept here all his life, the couple had done well so far - as frustrating as it must've been. They neared and the boy could hardly contain himself, taking off from her horse she responded slightly annoyed that he just jumped from Ludo;

"Oi"

She veered slightly in case he got caught under her steeds hooves and brought him to a stop. Mission dismounted, on the ride here she had put her gauntlets back on - just in case she got into any trouble. She drew her sword from it's sheathe and held it not in it's grip, but by it's blade, close to the cross-guard so that the tip of the sword was pointed to the ground. Mission gave Ludo a bit of a pat and some attention for doing good, her hand ran alone the underside of his jaw which he leaned in to. She heard a bit of a commotion from inside, probably the mother doing what a mother does when she's worried for their child. Mission's mindset was still in thought, her going through the steps of what next in her head even as she made her way to the door after the so called Father was called over. What she noticed first was that both of the boy's parents weren't his real parents, and that made the most sense and made things only a little better; for them.

Mission remained in the doorway, half in with sword in hand; like a sentry. She answered Eddie whilst looking outside, monitoring their land. "I'm Mission, we met under circumstances that the boy could not help. As you well know why." The last part of her sentence may have seemed harsh coming out of her mouth, more so when her narrowed gaze turned to both of the adults. Mission wore a sneer. She adjusted her posture and stood in the doorway, the tip of her sword pressed against the floor of the house and her hand rested gently on the pommel, the sword would spin in her current grip if someone flicked the cross-guard. She let out a sigh.

"I'm also going to be the one to tell it to you straight, your situation. It's not going to last passed tomorrow. But that's a conversation for after you've all rested."
 

Wert

Something
Blu's mother looked to her husband and then to the boy, her frowning face only deepening for a moment. Eddie huffed and moved to start stoking the fire burning from their small hearth.

"Come now, Polly, we knew couldn't keep him much longer," Eddie grumbled, seemingly very accepting of the matter.

"I don't care. I've spent the better years of my life rising this child, and you're telling me some smelly mercenary is going to come and take him, without us even batting an eye at it? He isn't safe with her, she doesn't know anything about him."

"Ma," Blu started to speak, but Eddie's stern gaze on the two hushed them both. Unlike his family, Eddie could tell the woman named Mission at least had military training, evident in how she held herself and the armor she wore.

"You can come in, an' put your sword away. We're not but simple farmers- wont be able to rest with it out. I understand you wanting to take the boy, an' wont try to stop you if you're civil. Polly can't even lift a sword." His gruff voice was stern and blunt, as it usually was. "If You're hungry, we have food. If you need rest, we have a bed and stable for your horse. But you'll not be taking the boy without talking to us." Eddie was standing away from the fire near his family now, in the same upright posture Blu was so used to seeing. It was, in some way he didn't understand, quite similar to Missions own.
 

Never

Screaming Mute
She didn't much like coming into people's comfy homes and telling them what was what, mainly because it made them just not like her so much - at least Polly anyway. Mission's eyebrow raised in response to the Mother half-bickering with the Father, she sort of looked to the side and lifted that shoulder, taking a whiff of herself. She let her shoulder drop and sort of agreed that she did smell a little. But in her own defence she hadn't had to access to such washing facilities. The man spoke at her now, and even though he was the perfect representation of 'the man of the house', he still welcomed her in to join them. She nodded in a respectful way,

"Okay."

She turned on her heel and left the House, walking back to Ludo. Mission expected for there to be some more harsher words said about her now that she was out of earshot; it made her slightly amused in the seriousness of the situation and was probably an unsuitable moment in time to be amused by the like. The woman is at risk of losing her son. Mission sheathed her blade onto the horse and gave him a pat; she then began to shuffle through her packs to keep count of everything and let out a little curse under her breath. She left her rune logs outside of the Village where she made camp. Mission tied the Dagger she kept on her back instead onto the side of her lower right leg and then walked the horse over to the stable by herself, she was fully capable - and she didn't mind the solitude to clear her head.

"Here Ludo make a friend."

She let Ludo roam in the stable, he was a good boy so she trusted him. Watching the horses greet each other, Mission zoned out in thought. They had already assumed that the boy would be going with her, she felt her heart sink at the thought. Not because she hated the boy or anything, just because of how completely fated it was for this to happen. Her History, and his Heritage. Her loneliness and his need. She clutched a wooden fence beam and then punched it hard with a loud scream; frustration overtook her for a moment. She didn't want any of this. Mission wiped the single tear from her cheek and then sniffed; closing the stable door behind her as she left. She wouldn't have done that in anyone's presence.

Mission returned to the house, walking inside this time she closed the door behind her. She scanned the room and took a free seat that was most opposite to the family, but also near the fireplace with a huff; boyishly collapsing in it as she did in seats apparently. At least in this environment it could be sort of relaxing, not needing to be constantly on guard right now helped her feel less stressed out. It wouldn't be until at the earliest, morning before someone disturbed these lovely people with their investigation.

"So..."
 

Wert

Something
Once Mission left to put Ludo up, Blu and his parents made themselves comfortable. Blu sat with his mother near his nook, her stubby fingers coiling around his white curls as he leaned against her. Eddie sat midway between the fire and Blu's bed, at the end of the small wooden table.

"Pa," Blu's voice broke the silence,"I'm sorry....I left your horse..."

Ed gave a look of annoyed surprise, the lines on his face growing with his raised brows, his lips folded in to a thin line.

"It's fine, boy. I'm sure old Mason has already found it."

Just as he finished his words, Mission returned to their home. Her presence was almost invasive, though only Polly made it apparent in her avoiding eyes.

Eddie huffed unknowingly at the woman's demeanor, his eyes shifting in thought of how to begin.

"Well, you might be curious about how the boy got here, or not, either way, we aren't entirely sure ourselves. A man approached our little farm, of all places. He was wounded and needed rest, so we helped him as we could, like any good folk would during those times. He was a strange man- never saw his face for the mask he wore over it. He talked in his sleep often, muttering things in a language- sounded elvish. "

"Eddie, get on with it." Polly scolded, pulling Ed from his rambling.

"Right, I'm gettin' there, woman," Eddie shifted in his seat, his arms coming to cross at his chest, "One day we were set on by a pack of Hypermutts, the damn things, and he protected us- killed them all before I could grab my sword. Got winded, so he had to stay longer, but we were left in his debt. After all, if he hadn't been there everything here woulda' been lost, including us. Well, he left one day, out of the blue. Left a note saying he would be back in three years to 'absolve that debt', an' I didn't believe him, but he did us no harm in telling. Three years pass, the Old King started that....hunt. An' I'd be damned if it wasn't him who showed up near the end of it all, with a baby in his arms. He asked us to take care of him an' keep him safe. Gave us gold to feed and clothe him. Said either he would be back, or someone else would come along to take him from us in a few years. Polly was more than happy to take him, we've never been able to have kids."

It was a pause, to Blu it felt quite long. A pause in the middle of a story about himself that he'd never heard before. His eyes were glued to his father, to Eddie, who now stood up from the wooden chair with solemn steps towards the old chest near the foot of their bed. He bent down and began searching through it, taking a fine cloth from it as he spoke.

"He sent us letters every now and then until five years ago- they just stopped coming. Thought the worst of it at the time- Blu was having issues we didn't know how to handle. Anyhow, he told us to give whoever finds Blu this letter," He unfolded the cloth and held the letter up between his fingers. The paper was browned and old, as if it had been in storage for more years than that possessed it. Its edges charred like it had been thrown in to a fire and refused to burn. A wax seal kept the folded paper from unraveling as Eddie handed it to Mission.

"It sounds crazy, an' I may be a fool to believe it, but if you're not the one this belongs to then I'm sure it will find the right hands. Ah- I'd be careful of trying to destroy it, should you be thinkin' it. Polly tried to burn it in a fit an' nearly burned our house down."

"Because it's been spellbound," A voice, unfamiliar to the inhabitants of the home, broke the short silence between Eddie's words and his actions. They turned their attention to the window above the boy and his mother, where one of the shutters had been opened. Blu bounced from his seat, his mother leaning away from the window with a protective arm around the boy. A man, looked to be a young man, stood with his head propped up on the windowsill, an amused glimmer in his pointed, yellow eyes.

"Oh, come on, it's obvi -" He quickly moved, ducking and cutting off whatever else he was going to say as a hand swiped at the air behind him from the darkness.

"Shut your mouth," A more familiar voice sounded, it's honey tones tainted with annoyance. Blu's ears perked up at the sound and Eddie moved with exhausted irritability to the door. He slammed it open as Blu waved to Mircea, who smiled at him from the shutter before turning to face the angry figure.

"Who are you and what are you doing here?"

Mircea's smile faded in to something weak as his hands lifted in the air, showing he had no weapons. "I'm merely a traveler," His head gestured towards a small band of caravans at the end of their road.

"And him?"

"He's my assistant, who is terribly sorry for spying on you. Isn't that right?"

The stranger gave a flat, "yes, terribly," as he stood to his feet.


"What do you want?" Eddie grumbled, obviously tired.


"I believe we have some things we need to discuss with you and your boy, the Impline." His hands slowly came to rest at his sides, "I can assure you, we mean him nor you any harm."


"Assure all you want," Eddie retorted to Micrea's words, something judgmental in his voice, "What could a traveler like you have to discuss with us?"


"The masked man, perhaps. He was a dear friend." The stranger answered for them.

There was a moment of silence while Eddie thought. It would only be for a few hours, and they didn't have to offer beds to anyone else. "Fine, but only you two. No more. And you leave well before sunrise."

"Understood," Mircea complied, eyeing his companion before following the man inside. His gaze shifted to the woman who sat away from the family, his calm expression unchanged though there was a hint of reluctance to his movements.

The stranger, however, entered fluidly in to the cottage with unbothered steps. Blu could finally get a good look at him, taking in the differences between the two. They held similarities, sly eyes and long bodies, though the stranger was shorter and tan skinned. His hair was also shorter, a darker black that hung from his head like silk. Blu couldn't see his ears well, but they weren't the same long ears Mircea had. The man bent to a bow, as if addressing them for the first time.

"I'm Bast, it's a pleasure to meet you."

"Yeah, and I'm Ed." His father spoke as he corralled the man named Bast away from the door so he could close it.

"Blu.." The boy sounded somewhat meekly, his hand raising for a second as if he was going to wave and then decided against it.

Polly remained quiet, tugging on Blu's cloak until the boy moved back to her.

Bast's gaze trailed over everyone as they spoke, fixating on the woman near the fire, "Ah, you must be the one who attacked My- Mircea."

"Don't, Bast, It's done and over with. We have more important matters to discuss." Mircea moved still with that casual grace, finding a place to make himself comfortable before continuing to speak, "The masked man, as you know him, was someone who I traveled with in my early youth. A wispa who went by the name of Ahur. That may be hard to believe, I know, but hear me out. During the most recent war, we met again, and he gave me a task to complete that, until now, I didn't think would be possible."

"Ahur died, and we thought all of the northern Implines had been wiped out." Bast interrupted, unaware of the boy's unknowing circumstances.

Blu's ears flicked, confused by all of the information he was being given in one night, "...Is that what I am?"

"Yes, you're from one of the original clans in the north. You-"

"Bast." Mircea stopped him, "Blu, do you know what an Impline is, or what happened to them?"

Blu shook his head, coming to look at his mother who held a frown with silence.

"Well, it's your species. The rest- The rest doesn't matter right now," Mircea had a certain sadness to his voice. "Just, there are very few of your kind left, and some people would do anything to see that none remain. I'm not trying to scare you with this, but I think it is important to know."

"Ahur asked for us to seek you out," The yellow eyed man added, leaning on his feet, "He knew what would happen, somehow. It was like him to always know."
 
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Never

Screaming Mute
Mission listened to the man speak to her, explaining their history straight to her. She couldn't say she wasn't interested, it also explained a lot of things, even if most of what he was saying was surprising; it made sense. When Hypermutts were mentioned, Mission became visibly concerned - the man must've been strong to take on a pack of the creatures on his own. She had never faced a pack before, she didn't want to either - a lot of men under her ranks liked to impress her or their fellow soldiers; boasting that they've hunted down a Hypermutt alone before. She knew they hadn't, because they were always happy about it. Whenever her Dad told her about the time he and his men came across a couple Hypermutt; he was almost brought to tears and she had never seen her father come close to crying, he never really said what happened to the rest of his men that day but Mission wasn't stupid.

As Eddie left to get something, Mission was stewed with thought. Guilt pulled on her heartstrings and made her tummy heavy, the mention of the Old King's Hunt, something she was on the front lines of and "decorated" for. A hand in genocide, Mission felt like a war criminal and a monster. She managed to hide her sorrow and just remained blank to the others. She was almost afraid to speak, lest her voice betrayed her by breaking. Eddie returned and handed her a letter; a lot of talk about fate had happened tonight and it wouldn't surprise her if this letter was for her. It had been too much of a coincidence at this point. She took it from his hand as it was passed to her, noticing the burns as Eddie talked about how that happened.

Mission reacted quickly, jumping from her seat whilst drawing the dagger from her leg. Standing in front of Eddie and the family almost protectively, looking at the window where the stranger's voice came from. She was on edge until Mircea showed himself, she was still on guard but she relaxed a bit as they were unarmed. Mission tucked the letter into her shirt. Eddie spoke with the two new guests which gave Mission a chance to collect her thoughts of what had been told her, even though these guys had came out of no where - she felt some form of relief knowing they had a bit more information.

The Male called Bast directed his words at Mission, she smirked and pointed her dagger at him with a shrug of her shoulders, "Feeling left out?"

Mircea maturely moved on to the more important, Mission sheathed her dagger again. She didn't sit back down however, she offered Mircea her chair with a gesture and instead found the window and looked out of it while listening to what he had to say. Talking about a Wispa and a Task, sounded like a fairytale - it probably was, there was no way that they knew a Wispa, let alone were close friends with one. If there was a Wispa getting involved with the affairs of the Northern Impline slaughter, Mission would know about it. Though with the talk of the fate of the Impline being brought up again, Mission's guilt resurfaced. Her fists tightened.

"Sounds like you were all tricked by a very powerful sorcerer. Wispa? Ha. You've just been dragged into this man's issues and he died because of them. Does he expect us to all die as well? So what is it that he wanted you to do once you found this boy?"

Even though she was questioning them rather harshly, like she wanted to catch them out on something. She actually really wanted them to have an answer, a good one at least. Any opportunity for this to just; get out of her hair was an opportunity she was willing to take. She had no reason to trust these people, but she was starting to feel like the boy wasn't her problem anyway; she just didn't think she could handle the emotional trauma.
 

Wert

Something
Bast's eyes narrowed at the woman, though a voice didn't sound from his throat.

"If that is what you wish to believe, then so be it. Wispa or not, he was indeed very powerful," Mircea spoke softly, a smile on his lips, "Unfortunately, he didn't give us too much to go on. He told us to take him to a High Elf priestess in the Westlands by the name of L'uaderell."

"The Westlands..." Polly seemed to be mulling over this information, her voice chiming in to the conversation like a bell long silent, "It should be safer there for him, yes?"

Mircea's gaze trailed to the side, "In some parts, that would be true. Yefadorei is a city without many humans, but I can't promise it is entirely safe- No city is perfect." This seemed to disappoint the woman some, her hand coming to pet the back of Blu's head slowly.

"It would be easier to move him if he could use his glamour." Bast finally spoke, his eyes now on the boy. He continued after recognizing the confusion on Blu's face, "It's a form of magic you are born with. It can disguise you to look, well, like anything remotely human-y."

"Would it make me look like a man?" Blu said with a string of childish hope that cause the two men to chuckle.

"No, you'd still be as small as you are now."

"We'd be able to help you use it, but...ah," Micrea tried to think of how to word it without repeating himself, but it seemed there wasn't another way say it, "There is a block on your mind, something like a river dam, that is excessively limiting the magic within you. Usually when I do my tells, I can see what the Divines may have in store for a person, but the block kept me from being able to make a connection through you. It was like trying to connect to your friend's trusty dagger. "

"You some kind of fortune teller?" Eddie said, pulling Mircea's attention to him.

"Ai, a real one," Mircea confirmed, a hint of pride in his smooth voice.

"Hogwash, they are all 'real ones'." The elderly man didn't seem pleased, "And What's this magic nonsense. Aren't none but elemental." Mircea only shrugged, knowing it was a battle he couldn't win without exerting himself.

Bast on the other hand sighed, "Such narrow-minded thinking. Do you honestly believe that elemental magic is the only kind to exist?"

"I know what I've seen, boy, an' seen nothin' else."

The man called Bast turned his head to look at Mircea, who only gave a short shrug. He smiled a small line as the thumb of his right hand dug in to his left, a symbol lighting on his arm and moving towards his palm. It was only a moment, and Blu slowly moved from his seat to watch as something began to appear in in the man's hand. It bathed the area in purple light before settling in to it's proper form- A sword, it's blade was curved and had a trinket tied to the hilt. The stone-like jewel danced as Bast handed the sword to Eddie.

"You can touch it, it's not an illusion." He was careful to move his fingers from the edge of the blade as Eddie took the sword in hand. There was confused grumbling from the elder as he flipped the sword around in his hand.

"Fine, there might be more, but don't go tellin' me to believe in no future seeing." After a moment he handed the sword back in a manner that could make one think he was pouting for being wrong.

"Very well," Bast said, his voice almost a whisper as the sword was placed in to the rope that tied around his waist sash like a sheath.


"Men, I swear it," Polly rolled her eyes with an aggravated tone, "You've gone off point! What of my boy? Is he gonna' leave with all three of you?! Will you protect him?"
 
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