"This must be the famous southern hospitality I've heard so much about"
Qasem stepped forward so as to be in line with the others at the front of the group. His arms and smile were both stretched wide- almost friendly and inviting enough to distract from the spear moving from the strap on his back to a readied placement braced against his forearm."I wonder which of us warrant such greeting?"
He turned a questioning eye to the know natives in their group, hoping for a translation.
Kaspar listened to Qasem’s words, his own eyes scanning the crowd of bandits around them with a seemingly passing interest. It seemed, at present, that the role of translation would fall to him.
He repeated their words in Kerremand, the language flowing smoothly over his tongue as he gestured toward Qasem and then, when he had finished the first inquiry, toward Casii. His words were near-exact, though he didn’t capture as much of the yasoi’s unique speech patterns.
He did, after finishing translations, snort lightly to himself. Still speaking the language that came so easily to him, the boy remarked, “Personally, I wonder when the council decided on this one rule.”"Humph."
Casii sounded in response, leaning on her staff almost looking bored. Her attention was focused on the ring leader. She didn't know the language here, sadly. Gran Na said there was bad blood between the yaniis and yasoi in this region of Kerremand. So she never bothered to learn the language, though she wished she had now. "They ain't goin' hos-pit-tail-ity on us, no sir. Why you'n yers goin' waste our time lyin' with the fake hos-pit-tail-ity scheme. Such a yanii thing. Just try'n open up robbin' us. Skip the for'in play."
Casii hoped, anyway, that the others would get the point. With their attention focused on elsewhere, Casii was channeling through to the nearby trees allowing their roots to grow underground and creep towards as many gun wielders as she had time for from behind. "Holum fo yr lap'sii. Mar tii'tum'it narp t'uum."
Casii muttered in native yasoi like it was a private curse. She shook her head and spat, although she didn't have jamb'ysp in her mouth. She returned to yanii-speak. "Just what'r yer thinkin' we have to be so rich'n worth it? We ain't got nothin'."
These were criminals. They would prey on their fellow people for their own gain. They had made that much clear and no more needed to be known here. Edyta, small and inconspicuous towards the back of the group, faded into the space between realities and drew her weapons, ready to deliver Dami's justice with Eshiran's force.
Ismette, meanwhile, was not nearly so stealthy. "Casii!"
she cried, playing good egg to her partner's bad egg, "Perhaps they are just poor and need a helping hand and are going about it very poorly!"
This could still be solved without murder. "Let's all just put our weapons down,"
she exclaimed, "Alright? There is no need for violence!"
Somewhat cynically, she injected a note of fear into her voice.
The roots were working their way over: a good non-lethal solution. Then, perhaps, they could ask some questions of these people as well... safely. "Tuur'oip?"
she whispered in Casii's direction, protecting it with some sound dampening.
Dorothea was adjusted her gloves in case it became necessary to use violence. The girl placed one hand close to the handle of her knife. "Now now, there's no need to rob Yasoi or clergymen you know? These knife ears have barely anything on their person and to steal from the church would not be looked at favourably, no?"Sie zu töten würde die Kugeln nicht wert sein.
The girl smiled. "Wollen Sie reden?... Bevor es für uns beide schmutzig wird?"
Ashon rolled his eyes when the ambush was sprung, and muttered under his breath. "Yaniis..."
Once he noticed Casii's plan, he smiled widely, turning it into a grin as he listened to Isii's suggestion, a rather big goofy playful smile. He did a few party tricks with his lucky stick as he moved to present it to the lead individual. "My friend is right, you must be in dire straits to be resort this. We will make sure you and your friends reside in comfort tonight!"
He offered the stick to her, whilst he moved to each of the individuals in turn. "My friend, we have come from the City of Ersand'Enise, where the pavements are laid with gold. We have with us the very valuable coin of Benedicto the Blessed, the old Royal King of Perrence! Please, take my coins so you may have food in your bellies and partners to warm your beds."
He gets out his bag of bennies, as he began to perform for them, doing nice magical tricks to create a brilliant distraction. The hefty bag of coins, One Magus worth of Bennies, had the coins start to float out of them one by one, he poked and prodded them to each of the individuals around them as he sang a merry tune. "A Toss a coin to your Yanii. O Valley of Plenty! O Valley of Plenty! Oh. Toss a coin to your Yanii. O Valley of Plentyyyy...!"
Ambushes were nothing new at this point and neither was the experience of not quite understanding the language being shouted at them. Ymiico had been through worse both at the printing press and by a savage sanguinaire that one time. These two bit thugs would be quick work for the likes of them. She saw that Casii's trap failed and thought about making her own but she didn't have enough prep time as the battle was underway. Instead a few blades slid to the divots in her fingers, resting, waiting to be fired at the riflemen that stood around them.
Casii's "distraction" did not impress the head of the group, “What about that, then?”
she pointed at Dory's crown with the tip of her blade whilst closing some distance, “I agree,”
she then addressed Ismet's ploy, “Nobody will be hurt if you obey.”
although Dorothea's words quickly got the woman riled up, “Dann nehme ich deinen Kopf und deine Krone.”
Just as the boss was about to declare an attack, her blonde lieutenant glared right through Casii, “Wuzel?”
he repeated a key word that she had uttered but in Kerreman. Quickly, he focused on his surroundings and noticed the coming ambush, “Annette, Wuzeln!”
and quickly the rapier-wielding thief turned around slash away at the creeping roots, “Shoot them! Especially the monkeys!”
she howled. She alone seemed capable enough in repulsing most of the nearby roots, especially as she started to unleash electrical currents through her bladE.
The ambushers readied their rifles from afar, while those with rusted axes and old spears circled the group to look for an opening. A couple from the back, however, were not as confident in their approach as their peers. The nun was missing, having vanished in an instant as if she wasn't ever there. Was she, even? Surely someone had scythes in this group. Hesitant, they still acted on their leader's orders, with the riflemen taking the first shots."Ilish yanii'aca..."
Casii cursed as her attempted trap was discovered. She would have preferred not to let things get dicey as they were quickly now becoming. It wasn't just because Isii would have preferred it, though that was a major factor, but Casii too didn't want to just slay needlessly. Broke yaniis trying to make a living, albeit a wrong living, didn't deserve to be slain. Just beaten up.
Her classmates and friends all lashed out around her. Meanwhile Casii focused on the leader in a bit of petty revenge to try and knock her under by manipulating her brain to try and induce a severe high that could put anyone to sleep. "Isii..."
she gave her lelan'elar a sympathetic look. "...I tried."
The once confident thieves were now falling like flies, some of them dead, others gravely wounded or unconscious. Clearly they had bit far more than they could chew, and this became pre-maturely evident when Laska had made quick work of a fourth of the force with a single cryogenic attack. They still fought, but almost none of their attacks were met with success, with the exception of the tall Cristophe and his burning of Jamboi. But even such a dangerous adversary fell prey to Qasem's poison.
Annette, on the other hand, was afflicted by nefarious chemicals too by Casii. It was for the better, allowing the student group to wreck havoc onto their enemies before the leader could fully realize what was happening. “Annette! Jetzt oder nie!”
shouted Cristophe as he built a wall of fire with the help of his customized rifle, buying him, Annette and the four injured grunts they had left a bit of time. “Scheisse!”
she groaned as her vision returned to normal, “Der dumme Affe hat nicht gelogen. Sie sind von der Schule.”
the remainder of the broken squad looked to their leader for help, except for Cristophe who focused on maintaining his flames. Annette grit her teeth and then spat into the flames, “Kein Rückzug, wir kriegen diese Affen.”
From her large coat pocket she pulled a cube-like device. It looked old with many scratches on the metallic surface. Those that partook in the Roses and Neskals finals could maybe recognize it as Marci's trump card, although even then they looked different enough to be a long shot. What was familiar to some would be the effect it'd have on them when pointed at their direction: They had no magic! “Was wirst du jetzt ohne deine Kräfte tun?”
scoffed Annette in pure resentment. Then, she whistled. The wall of flames went down and instead smoke bombs were hurled toward student group by the bleeding grunts. The two mains heads of this vicious hydra were now returning the favour to the group with the power dynamics shifted.
Manfred felt his magic short out and he knew what it was immediately. "Split!"
he shouted, suiting words to action as he darted for one side of the road. The Inipori and the Nikanese seemed already to have acted. "Both sides of the road. Spread out and offer them multiple targets! Surround them and they can't point that thing in every direction!"
He dashed to his right, to allow him to shoot better and cover himself while he ran. Sinking into the damp roadside forest, his mind was burning with questions: Are these really just highwaymen? How did they get that box!? Is this linked to the Beast?
He had no time for such distractions, however. Instead, as he noticed the woman with the anti-magic box tracking the other way, he took aim and pulled the trigger. He had one
trump card remaining, but it was an absolute last resort and he was loath to reveal it.
Edyta Laska, meanwhile, was unused to being without magic. She did not question the Kerreman boy who so eagerly barked out orders: she obeyed, running in the opposite direction. Oraff is my protector,
she prayed, I fear not the enemy. Eshiran empowers me, even though I am tested. I trust in Dami's knowledge, Shune's wisdom, and Ipté's love.
A rush of adrenaline hit the girl as her rifle worked better than she could have imagined. Then as if the gods themselves brought down punishment for her vanity all her magic was taken away and fear set in. Her rifle did not remake the bullet when she attempted it, no magic to defend herself.
Without a word, Dory ran further into the forest to try and make herself scarce, perhaps even able to hide. The feeling of complete helplessness was not a new feeling but one she would have rather not felt ever again.
Qasem dodged left, narrowly avoiding the device's effect which left him near alone with the ability to use magic, however little it might have been. Manfred’s words rang out, but Qasem did not run.
Instead, he focused his attention on the caster; Cristoph. Spear in one hand, knife ready in the other, he charged the man, attempting to plough through and past him down the path. A disruption of the spell and distraction to allow his defenceless team-mates to run.
Ismette stood tall as the others scattered, in the middle of the road, the lone target left facing her assailants. "Your situation is irretrievable,"
she warned, eyes narrowing. "You have one box and we are many."
She shook her head, taking a step forward. "Maybe you'll kill one or two of us: lives lost to senseless violence, but you cannot cover all angles and then we will be furious and I will not be able to stop my allies from killing each and every one of you...painfully. Lay down your weapons now,"
she advised, spreading her arms, "and you may yet escape with your lives. Attack us and I swear to you that your fate shall be sealed."
She continued to walk, unarmed, hands visible, towards them, relying only on their goodwill and her own reflexes.
Ashon was left rather bewildered at the new surreal experience, it felt like the world around him turned flat, as if trampled by an on-coming carriage of horses. He looked towards the other, they appeared to be effected, but they were looking at their hands. Oh, the gift. He wiggled his fingers. It was certainly a surreal experience, it was as if he has been cut off from the world and now lying face-first into the mud. In some-ways, the world was clearer too, as if a fog had been lifted, picking out minor details that he just seemed to never notice before. He drew his stick, holding it close, as his fingers grip upon the gnarled texture. He ducked down, keeping close to the ground as he started to skulk, moving to the side as he picked his target to take out.
Casii didn't like it.
The little yanii box that the lady had done something to make the yasoi all tingly inside and not the good kind. In fact, Casii didn't even know a sensation like this one existed. One where she was without the Gift. When her side scattered, Casii had spaced out looking on in furrowed frustration at empty hand flexing her fingers as if trying to squeeze an invisible ball. She was trying to channel anything, even a light but nothing came. Her reality check came in the form of violent lightning a moment later.
Casii stiffened as the bluish arcs danced around her now stiffened straight-up body, her teeth clenched while her muscles convulsed. This was another new sensation, having never been shocked before. When the attack finished, she fell onto her back like a board, splashing into the mud. Her muscles would still tremble in quakes as she rediscovered she could move again. She propped herself up on her forearms and crawled back, not turning away from facing Annette and her yanii crew. "Why you'n yers gotta be so violent? A little help 'ere...."
Casii whined, sounding more aggravated than traumatized for now.
The hairs on her neck spiked at the reveal of the cube in hand. Everything in the Nikanese yasoi's body pulled her away before it could go off. Using her acrobatic skill she pulled off from view of the cube allowing her to retain her magic, the others weren't as lucky. With some of them without magic she needed to rise to the occasion and finish off the riflemen before her. She listened to Manfreds words, but also found comfort in Eshiran's empowerment and choose to stay alongside Qasem. She followed Ismette's lead and was ready to act on her command.
Ismette's entreaties fell on deaf ears: her allies' and her enemies'
. They all seemed intent on killing. She stuttered in her previously sure-footed forward path, and then Casii fell wreathed in lightning and smoking. The Mycormish girl spasmed in the mud, covered in burns, and Ismette started to break off to go to her, but... her magic was gone and she realized that there was nothing she could do. She was nothing
without her magic! She couldn't even help her loved ones, not that she'd have helped anyway. She'd been too busy campaigning, as she always did, for peace, for love and levelheadedness and anything but a suicidally pigheaded desire to throw their lives at each other and go splat! It had been an entire year of futility: of screaming into a void and nobody - nobody ever
Now, that senseless violence had touched someone she loved and the yasoi felt the deepest, blackest
rage well up within her. Her fists clenched and unclenched as she stalked forward. She might've had faith that Oirase would protect her, that she would not die today, but Oirase was no help now. It was Exiran that she turned to and the Black God heard her immediately. She caught a glimpse of Ymiico out of the corner of her eye, up in a tree out of these bandits' line of sight. Without so much as a word or gesture, an understanding seemed to pass between the two and Ismette's face twisted into something truly ugly. She prepared to spring forward. "So you have chosen death,"
There was a target right before Annette and yet she carefully crafted the near-instantaneous network of lightning bolts to pass around her to strike her friends. Even the one that seemed to be initially destined for her was instead committed to striking Casii and a second time. “Come to get butchered, Affe?”
the ringleader grinned, rejoicing in the idea of getting close and personal before finishing off a Yasoi, “Like your friend executed mine.”
she readied her rapier, retreating her elbow back and rising her wrist over her head. Her posture was proper and better than what one would expect from a bandit.
Then, sparks burned her hand that held the box. She didn't let go, but it did scrub that taunting grin off her face. The device began to flicker, and so did the field as well. The group felt brief intervals where their magics returned, and then a bigger gap provided them a window to act. Annette, no longer bolstered by her provocative confidence, glared at the enraged Yasoi. But, even with this distraction, she would not fall prey to Ymiico's ambush. Just as the Yasoi attempted to make a play for the box, she would receive a kinetic-enhanced kick in retaliation to shrug the ninja off.
Ismet now had an opening.
Cristoph, meanwhile, did not avoid Ismette out of malice but instead was more pragmatic. He did his best to keep one of the bigger threats, Qasem, at bay while suppressing others that had shown to be genuine dangers but made vulnerable by the box. However, the box was now malfunctioning, prompting him to take a few steps back and revert to the defensive.
Death, however, was not what Ismette delivered. With her Dark Magic, she instead deleted Annette's right hand from existence. The yasoi reached down and picked up the fallen box, pointing it at her assailant, face cold and hard. "You were warned,
she said simply, stimulating the severed nerves. "Warned that you could not win."
She gazed upon her work unflinchingly. "You sought violence and now violence has found you."
Ismette shook her head. She called upon binding magic this time - though, in truth, it was Blood Magic, for this was the opposite
of healing - and began to unspool the woman's skin around the wound, threatening to tear up her entire arm and then her whole body. "You will talk and you will tell us everything you know, or you will die here, slowly and painfully. The pain stops the moment that you start."
There was no delay or intense stare shared between the women - Annette just screamed at the loss of her hand. The box that caused them so much grief was now pointed at the aggressors, making the ordeal that much worse for the maimed ringleader. He rapier was next to fall as she coiled her fingers around the stump of her bleeding wrist. But the pain wouldn't stop.
Simultaneously, a combination assault from Cal's potent chemical magic and Ashon's mercilessly stick beating brought Cristophe to his knee, gun out of his reach. In what seemed to be a last stand, he drew his final knife from his belt and pointed it at his foes. Only to then drop it, “I give.”
he announced with his hands up to ear-level, “No more kill, please.”
he pleaded, although he didn't stutter or show much fear in his eyes. He recognized this was unwinnable with the screams of their leader singing the fanfare of the enemy's victory.“Affen ...”
when the screaming stopped and Annette's throat ached, she silently uttered the consistent insult of "monkey" to Ismet, “Ich werde keinem verdammten Affen gehorchen.”
she looked up right into Ismet's eyes, drool leaking down her jawline and her eyes bloodshit, “Geld! Wertloser Affe! Sie verdienen nichts mehr als diesen Gruß! Du bist nicht besser - nein, du bist schlechter! Sie verdienen es, von uns BESITZT zu werden!”
she wailed, spitting blood and saliva all over for all to hear. Her attention was mainly on the Yasoi, “Und ihr Affenliebhaber auch! Warum entscheiden Sie sich stattdessen für ein traditionelles Häuten in ihren Ländern?! Affenficker! AFFENFICKER!”
The remaining, conscious grunts watched in terror with Cristophe closing his eyes.
It wasn’t Qasem’s place to intervene. Not at first. He’d expected the Yasoi to step in- stop one of their own from torturing
a hapless woman. But none had. Then the sister at least should have ended things, the human fell under the pentad’s mercy in these lands after all. When her hand vanished, and wails of pain ensured, his patience broke. "Stop-"
Qasem said, reaching out to grasp Ismette's hand away as the woman began babbling whatever story she wanted to end the pain. "No more."
He said forcefully to the Yasoi, but quickly turned his attention to the tortured woman, using the little magic and knowledge he had to bind the wounds- or at least numb her pain.Why you'n yers gotta be so violent?
With the most recent happenings, this line Casii mentioned off-handedly played in her head as she witness Isii delete and then subsequently peel the flesh off like a tropical fruit. It was horrific to see someone skinned like that, flesh and muscle tearing from the bone. She had to look away. That wasn't the tender, loving Isii that she fell in love with. That was the creature that gnawed at the real Isii from the other side of the VOID, at least Casii liked to believe. It made stomaching the distorted existence of her girlfriend's magic preference easier.
Heaving herself up to her feet, Casii ignored the mud sticking to her bum or the burnt flesh that flared in pain as she moved. She just knew she had to stop this. "Isii, Isii."
Casii repeated, stumbling into Ismette from behind. She wrapped her available arm around the other yasoi, sliding forward to her side and then in front of her so that she couldn't be ignored."Thal Casii, Thal joipa."
She muttered, lifting her hand to Ismette's cheek to help serve as a gentle reminder. Love me, love yourself. It was a saying the two came up with to say to each other. It was originally a line to help cheer the other up as you can't love the other without loving yourself. Though it only really ended up being used to cheer up Casii as she struggled with yanii life like the fear of being trapped in a yanii building.
She never thought she'd have to use it for Isii's sake.
This yanii spewed nothing but dirt from her mouth: dirt and hatred and Ismette had had enough!
Dozens of times, she had counseled nonviolence, begged for it, even, and these people disregarded her, so intent were they on destroying each other. Now this dii'siil'soi
was telling her to stop!? Stop when she had already given this vile daxtai'lex
woman ample warning!? When her luush'elar lay half-dead on the ground!? She hammered the bandit with kinetic magic and flattened her against the ground before whirling on Qasem. "Now you're against violence?"
she shouted. "Now, when it is at my hand!? When I am attempting to get us answers? When it is my loved one she nearly murdered?"
Ismette loomed over him, glaring daggers. "Take your hand off of me,
" she snarled, eyes flicking over to the screaming bandit and the ragged stump of her arm.
Then, instead of fewer hands, there were more. Casii came up behind her and only an intense familiarity with the feel of her - the energy and even the sound of her steps - prevented Ismette from lashing out. Casii made herself unavoidable and it was suddenly like staring at the world through a keyhole. She could focus on only one small thing that she'd done. She looked at the criminal's face: ugly with pain, fear, and hatred. She looked at Qasem's: shocked and wary. She looked at Casii's. "Thal Casii, Thal joipa."
Her hands began to shake and there was the feeling of something imploding inside of her. You did this,
accused her inner voice, and she had! She had caused pain. She had caused Casii pain, as well as others! Her luush'elar was injured and she had been so focused on vengeance that she had forgotten to heal. "Thal Casii, Thal joipa,"
she repeated, reaching out with the same hands that had destroyed, to heal her special one.
Ismette knew that Casii could heal herself, but she
had to do this. "Suuluun, suunei,"
she squeaked. "Suuluun!"
Energy flowed into Casii, and the burnt flesh quickly gave way to fresh new skin: pinkish and healed. "Ismet dii'yax cuul'op. Nax wiip tuur'ohmoad."
Tears began to spill down her cheeks. "Ga Oirase!"
She looked about at her handiwork as the haze in her mind began to clear and Ismette knelt in front of the downed human. "You are a terrible person,"
she stated matter-of-factly, roughly reaching out and touching her remaining hand. "But I am a healer, not a torturer, and I have done you wrong. I do not wish to become a terrible person."
As she made contact with the hand, she read its patterns. She felt the blood rushing through it, the branching of the arteries and veins, the body's map of itself. What a wonder the yasoi - and even the human
body (in this case) - was! Ismette closed her eyes, then, feeling deeply this woman's injured form, tracing the memory that lived inside of her. It was a different sort of intimate experience. She did not know this random, hateful bandit, but she did
, now, in a sense. She breathed in and out and grabbed the ruined arm. "Be still if you want your hand back."
the fibers were gathered from the grass, the dirt, and her clothes. They began like small threads, ending at the tips of her dancing fingers and the edge of the bandit's battered flesh. Then, they began to weave themselves: into bone, flesh, nerves, and skin! Ismette's face was a mask of concentration and she breathed heavily. Then, it was finished and she stumbled back. The hand that had ceased to exist mere minutes earlier was returned and, aside from a few quickly-purpling bruises, was as good as new.
As Dory felt the ability to use her magic return to her so did her confidence, loading in a round before coming out of her hiding spot. Returning to the others present, rifle pointed towards the woman that refused her offer for a peaceful resolution. The sight of Ismette healing their enemy pissed her off. "Why? Why are you helping her out?"
the desire to act out and give this woman something to remember them by tugged at her, however she also knew once Ismette made up her mind she could not stop her let alone go against her...
Sighing, the girl lowered her rifle as she spat on the ground out of pure annoyance. Why does filth like them deserve mercy when others receive none whatsoever.
A soft whisper escaped her mouth. "Barmherzige Narren""Are any of us dead?"
Ismette questioned quietly, still recuperating from the exertion of a spell that she'd thought beyond herself until mere moments ago. "Do any of us suffer a permanent impairment?"
She shook her head. "The goal is never to cause more pain."
She turned to Casii briefly. "I failed in that and I'll try not to fail again."
She was on her feet again in a single smooth motion, still unbelieving that she had actually managed to restore
the entire hand. In truth, she was not quite certain how
she had managed it. It had been almost as if something was... guiding
her: some knowledge or ability that was part of her. Ismette could feel the eyes upon her now, and she flipped her riding hood up and wrapped her arms around herself. Such violence! How!?
Such an ability! How!?
It wasn't long before her thoughts turned to her cousin Tyrelle. They hadn't grown up together and they hadn't been close when they'd first met, but that had changed over the course of a year. When Ismette was not spending time with Casii, she was with Mirette and Tyrelle: Tyrel'yrash
- almost certainly Vyshta's living avatar. Could
she restore her cousin's leg? She had grown up and lived without it some thirteen years. She was the image of the fallen goddess. It would be sacrilege, and yet... for all her shows of resigned holiness, Ismette well knew that Tyrelle's feelings were mixed. Being the goddess was everything to her - her entire self-worth and identity - but also an onerous burden. The yasoi shook her head to clear it and forced herself to look about, but she could not shake the idea.“Surrender and survive. Follow the example of this smart Yanii here.”
Ashon taps his staff under Christoph’s chin as if holding him hostage, a far more menacing gesture to encourage compliance in the others rather than any need with the gentleman himself. Once the others follow suit, he let go and allow Casii to do her thing in binding them up.
His eyebrow raised as she peered over to Isii and the attention she attracted, though paused to speak with the Feskan girl. “It is simple, we are better than them and they accepted defeat. There is nothing to prove.”
He hooked his arm around Christoph, guiding his head into the discussion. “What is your opinion, why do you deserve mercy?”
The miracle that Ismette had just pulled left the bandits wordless - even the raging head of the crippled beast could only watch in a mix of horror and awe what was happening to her hand. Instead of immediately getting hostile, she closed her restored hand, completely obsessed over this appendage that wasn't truly her's. It didn't feel like her's, even if it functioned ultimately the same. And when Ismet's mind drifted to another plane, the grudging Annette immediately eyed her fallen rapier buried in water and mud, “Don't belittle me, fucking wicked affe.”
she muttered under her breath before pulling her weapon towards herself.
Surely, she was to be shot down by the many eyes on her, but it was Cristophe that took notice of her distinctive mannerisms before the rest. With a simple shove of his shoulder against the increasingly annoying Ashon that he kept silent toward, he cleared the way to smack his fist behind Annette's head to knock her out cold. He wasn't going to have more of his group die due to a grudge, nor was he going to lose his leader despite her flaws. He huffed in exertion, still disarmed and hands raising to chest level to show a lack of hostility, “Elei joi muul - What do you want?”
he asked in both Yasoi and Avincian, “Cristophe par yim - I will try to say.”
the rest had completely surrendered too.
Qasem remained close to the human woman, ensuring Ismette hadn’t come closer just to finish the job. What she did instead was somehow doubly unnatural if not impossible. The truthseeker kept his mouth firmly closed, and eyes focused on the patient- but sure enough, there was nothing left to heal.“We should go.”
He said, standing quickly and turning to see if the entire group had returned. “We’ve wasted enough time here. Take the box and leave them.”
For all the attention he’d given the injured woman before, he pointedly ignored her, and instead looked only to his team-mates for agreement.
Ashon shook his head at Qasem's suggestion. "That not be the Yanii way."
He has his arm around Christoph as he crouched by him. "If we were across the border over there."
As he pointed across to the Yasoi lands, "We could leave them for the plants to suck the nutrients from their bones"
He made painful sounding slurping noise, then a pop, with a smack of his lips by the man's ear. "But the village is only over there, we can take them with us. Besides, where do you think these people come from. How would you explain little Timmy's disappearance as his mother weeps for him? They are most likely on the same task as us, till fear and greed led them astray. We bring them back with us, explain our side of the story, and they will most likely free them, but we earn some good will. How does that sound, a good arrangement? Nod for yes, shake your head for no."
Qasem stared at the male Yasoi in bewilderment. Even he, with not even rudimentary understanding of the language, could tell the woman’s screams had hardly been those of compliance; even under torture. “I do not think we would receive the welcome you are expecting…”
He trailed off, but gestured vaguely in the direction of the corpses. “If they do not comply with us now, spending more time will be a wasted effort. That we heal them, take the box and continue our journey remains my council.”
Manfred surveyed the scene before him and he scowled. "I can tell you this: they are not from around here. They don't speak the Northwestern dialect."
He switched to Kerreman. "Für wen arbeiten Sie?"
He did not sound angry, distressed, or much of anything as he drew his gun. "Antworte oder ich erschieße einen von euch."
He held it to the leader's head. "Es ist nichts Persönliches, aber ich wurde angeheuert, um dieses Chaos zu beseitigen, und ich muss es wissen."
He narrowed his eyes. "Ich musste in den letzten Stunden mit Affen reisen und meine Geduld nähert sich ihrer Grenze. Bitte testen Sie mich nicht."
Qasem let out and audible sigh, but reached out to grasp one of Cristophe's raised hands, allowing his few manas to cycle through both their bodies. If they weren't going to leave, he'd at least verify that they heard the truth. And stop further killing, he hoped, eyes fixed on Manfred and his weapon.
Ashon shrugged his shoulders toward Christoph as they took over, simply allowing them to. "Ich habe versucht zu helfen."
as he moved to a nearby tree, pulling himself up onto it, "Verbringe nicht zu viel Zeit mit den Schweinchen."
He winked as he began climbing toward the tip, perching upon it as he went on watch duty. His dialect was surprisingly local, or not too surprising given the proximity to the border.