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ZONE - Manor at Redfield ((Chasing Shadows - START))


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#61 Klaykid

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 09:40 PM

Sef joined Stevan before the flag of Astra and knelt in prayer. Not to pay her respects, but rather thank the Goddess for her safe travels and for her relatively good fortune. It was silent, serene, calm, none of the templars spoke a word to one another as they concentrated on their own personal connection to Her. And in this silent meditation of prayer, it was in the hopes of becoming closer to Her and to feel the love She provided as well as reciprocate this love. But at times, Sef found herself wavering. It was this hesitation in her commitment to Astra that made her afraid. Fear of not losing her connection to the Goddess, there was no doubt in Sef's mind that the Goddess ruled over all. It was the fear of becoming that which she defends against.

 

Once Stevan finished his prayer, Sef turned to him with unease in her posture. She tried her best to hide it, but she figured Stevan's senses would catch on quickly.

 

"Captain... forgive me for what I am to ask... but..."

 

Sef bit her lip lightly, her thumb rubbed the wedding band upon her ring finger.

 

"Have you ever felt... your faith... wavering?" she asked. There was no one else she could turn to.


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#62 Balder

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Posted 01 July 2016 - 03:25 AM

"Aye, well." Mathias' face dropped. "The... thing that attacked me was..." The man hesitated for some moments. "She was known to me. Once." He said finally. Then his face was renewed with a new sense of purpose. "Rutger, do you want a drink? I've got a lot of questions and the thirst of a king, and I might as well sate both of them."

 

"Certainly!" The scribe answered with a laugh. "I'm always willing to help sate another's thirst for knowledge."

 

With that Rutger led the way to the kitchen were two women were already sharing the embrace of fine wine and a burned steak that didn't look appetizing at all. Grabbing a pair of wine glasses on the way over to the table Rutger immediately set about introductions. "Pardon me ladies, I do not mean to intrude. I'm Rutger Magnusson, Templar scribe and scholar, and this is my friend Mathias Quill. Mind if we sit down," he asked but didn't wait for an answer, instead pulling out a chair and making himself comfortable. "Do go fetch us a bottle, friend," he called out to Mathias, preventing him from sitting down.

 

Again before anyone could get a word edgewise on him Rutger refocused his attention to Adriana Dewitt. "You look like you've seen a ghost." he stated matter of factually.


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#63 Burger Warrior

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Posted 01 July 2016 - 01:41 PM

Eventually, after a rather long journey that probably had to do with Kye's height, Rosette made her way out - only for the demon-kin to start coughing violently once she started choking him, though she soon ended up in his left gauntlet. It was almost like he'd done this before… hmmm...

 

"You okay?" he asked, looking decidedly sullen. Since he was no longer in his human disguise, his tail kept waving or flicking around as he lay on his chest. Occasionally, its spearhead thunked against the bed.

 

The young Saffron couldn’t help but stare at… all of his features. She’d kind of missed that view earlier, after all. “Uh...” She managed, weakly, before remembering how well he’d been able to control his… ah, demon-y side. Rosette finally managed to clear her throat. “Y-yeah, i’m fine…!”

She paused for a moment. “...U-um, do you have a towel…?” The pixie asked sheepishly.

 

---

 

Caiden didn’t respond verbally as Marcus left, though he thanked him for his word and his service. The Venator said nothing more, remaining still, silent and lost in thought.

 

Percula went ahead and nudged his gut.

 

“Hey, you okay?” She called up, frowning with concern. I mean, not that you’re not usually quiet, but…


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#64 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 03 July 2016 - 07:03 AM

"Captain... forgive me for what I am to ask... but..."

Sef bit her lip lightly, her thumb rubbed the wedding band upon her ring finger. Stevan got to his feet and turned to regard her, listening with some concern.

"Have you ever felt... your faith... wavering?" she asked.

The other Templar glanced away from her but quickly met her gaze again. It was clear he didn't have to think about it long.

"When I was... bitten," he said quietly, "I started wondering about a lot of things. At one point, I wondered why Astra would do that to me and I felt forsaken. At another, I wondered if I should just take my own life, or if that was what she wanted. I wondered a lot of other things, some of them worse... Lycanthropy tested my faith in more ways than one, but in the end, I found Astra again. It wasn't easy, and..." His gaze drifted, the starlight hitting the scar on his throat just at the right instant. His voice lowered even further as he added, vaguely and quietly in a voice that barely sounded like his own, "I didn't have much help."

At length, he returned his gaze to Sef, looking her in the eye. "I imagine there are times everyone's faith wavers. No one's perfect, despite what some of them might say. I had to find my faith again completely - it didn't just waver." Stevan glanced at the Astra banner. "But if it wasn't for her, I'd be dead long ago, my soul probably lost and irretrievable - and I would've deserved it."

---


Kye looked very used to the staring when Rosette kept looking at all his demonic traits, though he was clearly self-conscious about it, his tail jerking behind him almost spasmodically once or twice.

"Uh.." She managed weakly. Rosette finally managed to clear her throat. "Y-yeah, im fine!"

"That's good," Kye replied quietly.

She paused for a moment. "...U-um, do you have a towel?" The pixie asked sheepishly.

Kye glanced around before he reached into a pouch on his belt. He drew out a piece of cloth, stained with a few dark places. It looked like some kind of oil to put on metal.

"Um... I only got this. It's clean, it's just - stained." He offered a tiny smile that was clearly very, very forced as he offered it to her. "Sorry... again."

---


Caiden snapped out of it the instant Percula gave him a nudge, shifting around slightly.

"Hey, you okay?" She called up, frowning with concern. "I mean, not that you're not usually quiet, but..."

"I'm alright," Caiden replied, though he didn't sound it. "Just thinking. Wondering if this is all going to work." He shook his head. Under his breath, and not without a hint of remorse, he added, "Just a fair warning... I don't think Tom is coming with us."

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#65 Burger Warrior

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Posted 04 July 2016 - 04:57 PM

Kye looked very used to the staring when Rosette kept looking at all his demonic traits, though he was clearly self-conscious about it, his tail jerking behind him almost spasmodically once or twice. He glanced around after her request before he reached into a pouch on his belt. He drew out a piece of cloth, stained with a few dark places. It looked like some kind of oil to put on metal.

 

"Um... I only got this. It's clean, it's just - stained." He offered a tiny smile that was clearly very, very forced as he offered it to her. "Sorry... again."

 

Rosette didn’t seem to mind at all, seeming more curious than at all disgusted as she wiped herself off. “Ooh…!”

It took her a moment to finally put two and two together and to sheepishly snap out of it. “E-eheh, right, um, it’s okay!” The pixie scratched her neck, glancing at her feet. “I mean… it kinda was my fault I fell in your drink in the first place,” she mumbled. “So… weeell…”

 

Rosette found herself hopping off of his hand and darting towards his face, rather abruptly hugging his nose. “I-I should be the one saying sorry. So… sorry.” She mumbled, her cheeks starting to glow a little.

 

-----

 

"I'm alright," Caiden replied, though he didn't sound it. "Just thinking. Wondering if this is all going to work." Under his breath, and not without a hint of remorse, he added, "Just a fair warning... I don't think Tom is coming with us."

 

Percula continued her tiny massage. “I’m sure it’ll be fiiine…” She reassured him, though she paused at Caid’s warning. She shifted subtly, thinking for a moment. “...Considering the plan, that might be for the best, for now.” Saffron pointed out. Plus it means one less muscled hunk to distract me from you… She added mentally, taking care to keep that to herself.

 

“...Wouldn’t mind saying ‘bye’ to him before he goes, though.” The pixie went on after a moment, though.


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#66 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 06 July 2016 - 11:47 AM

“E-eheh, right, um, it’s okay!” The pixie scratched her neck, glancing at her feet. “I mean… it kinda was my fault I fell in your drink in the first place,” she mumbled. “So… weeell…”

 

Kye paused, watching her - until she hugged his nose. He flinched back reflexively in surprise and crossed his eyes to look at her before he realized he was doing it, blinking and watching her from his peripheral vision instead.

 

“I-I should be the one saying sorry. So… sorry.” She mumbled, her cheeks starting to glow a little.

 

"Um..." Kye swallowed, clearly not sure what to say. "That's okay," he finally managed. He didn't say anything more for several moments - it was clear she wasn't going to get much more out of him.

 

At length, he finally said, "I, ah... guess if you're looking for Percula, you should just hide out around here somewhere until we can find her. She's usually with Caiden, like I said. We're supposed to be going to a ship soon, but I guess it'll be a few days before we get there... I dunno." He shrugged vaguely, not really seeming to care much either way. "Whatever you want to do. If you want to find her, I'll help, if I can. Right now I think she's..." he gestured vaguely, "kind of - inaccessible?"

 

---

 

“I’m sure it’ll be fiiine…” She reassured him, though she paused at Caid’s warning. She shifted subtly, thinking for a moment. “...Considering the plan, that might be for the best, for now.”

 

"Maybe," Caiden said, as he tended to, his voice low and thoughtful. But, a bit more strongly, he added, "It probably is. I've often wondered if he's more of a help or a liability."

“...Wouldn’t mind saying ‘bye’ to him before he goes, though.”

 

The Venator grunted something in agreement. "I'll look for him," he replied, heading upstairs. He stopped at the first door and knocked, but received no answer. After a moment, he glanced up and down the hall and then tried the knob. Unlocked.

 

Slipping inside, Caiden looked around. All of Drake's possessions were gone. Moonlight spilled across the floor at the monster hunter's feet. Wind whispered past the manor outside, and Caiden shivered briefly. He quickly learned why: the window stood wide open... a disturbingly direct portal into the night.

 

Caiden approached the window, looking out across the low roofs of the commoner homes in Redfield. He reached up and gently pulled it shut, but he felt something on the lock. Drake's hands had been sweating badly enough to leave some moisture behind. At least that meant he'd left as a man, albeit a worried one, rather than a monster.

 

"Sorry, Percula," Caiden said quietly, "I think we just missed him."

 

---

 

Eventually, everyone found a place to bed for the night. Not that everyone got some rest - particularly Rosette, who, if she chose to stay in Kye's room, quickly discovered that the demon-kin had a tendency to scream in his sleep - but at least an effort was made.

 

When the morning came, some of them said their goodbyes. Drake was already gone, something that made Kye sulk even worse, even if he seemed to have fully expected it and perhaps knew more about it than anyone else. Ben had orders to be elsewhere, and he said his farewells, as did many others - except for Stevan... and Plexaura.

 

As the motley assortment of strangers gathered their gear and prepared to set out for Templaria on the backs of whatever animals they could afford - some horses, a few mules, others donkeys, and still others having to ride double or in carts pulled by someone else's mount - Stevan stepped up to Caiden.

 

"I'm coming with you," he said firmly, offering a gauntleted hand. Caiden gave it a shake. "You're going to need all the help you can get. And with something like this, it can't hurt having another Templar by your side."

 

"I'd prefer to have another friend," Caiden replied, giving one of his rare, small, one-sided smiles, which Stevan returned in a much more apparent form. "Thank you, Stevan."

 

The Templar promptly moved off to find his beautiful white stallion, his perfect coat shimmering in the morning sun. But Caiden was next approached by someone very different: Kye Vakurseth.

 

"Going to join us, Kye?" Caiden asked, and Kye shifted his weight between his feet. He shot Stevan in particular a look and breathed a long sigh.

 

"I don't really have much choice," said the disguised demon-kin, his voice low. "And I'd like to help you. I just..." he shrugged, "um... don't really want to die horribly under some Templar spell."

 

"I'll do everything I can to make sure that doesn't happen."

 

That didn't seem to help much, but Kye nodded. "Thanks," he said, sidling off toward his own white horse.

 

Caiden was just about to turn away to mount his brown steed when someone else tapped him on the shoulder, and he turned to look his little sister in the face. Plexaura gave him a huge grin and threw her arms around his considerably larger form. Caiden just blinked in surprise.

 

"I thought we...?" he started, but Plexaura cut him off.

 

"I was given leave," she said cheerfully. "Turns out I don't have to report back immediately. Ben and Durante vouched for me, too, saying I needed some time off. Durante took the job I was supposed to go on, and they're delaying my training for a bit longer."

 

Plexaura released him and took a step back, looking more serious. "Let's end this," she added in a lower voice, her eyes showing the same eagerness - but of a different kind. This was not eagerness to be with her big brother - it was a thirst for revenge.

 

"Careful, Plex," Caiden replied, resting both strong hands on her shoulders. "Remember this isn't just personal."

 

Silently, she lifted a hand on his blind left side, brushing a few fingers over his eyepatch. Caiden set his jaw and swallowed.

 

"No... it isn't. But he's the one who made it personal," the channeler whispered. But she patted him on the arm and abruptly moved off, leaving Caiden standing there watching her for a moment before he shook his head and turned to his horse, mounting as he tried to settle in for a long ride...

 

 

- End of Prologue -

 

((AREA TRANSITION: ZONE - Imperial ship at sea ((Chasing Shadows - Chapter I)) ))


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