Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Falkon
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“Teruk, I’ll remember that.” Griga said, looking over the goods as the scrub made his pitch. “Your own work, eh?” Griga asked, “I’ll just have to figure out your specialty, then!”

The Zora took the chit from Teruk, scanning over the note quickly, before turning his attention back to the merchant and his wares. “Alright,” Griga said, “I think I might find something here, though. Seems like the right mat.”

When Teruk brought up the Great Bay, Griga’s eyes lit up, and he was quick to respond. “Born and raised,” the Zora said, “Spent quite a while inland, too, though. Even lived in the Swamp for a while.” As he talked, Griga examined a few of the potions. “So, why do you ask? Thinking about taking a visit?”

He set down the potion he had been holding, and asked, “Do you have much experience with magic?” Although the potions certainly seemed to be quality, Griga found himself most secure with alchemists that knew their way around magic. He figured their concoctions probably had a lot more field testing than a normal alchemist.
Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Kiddo
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"Come on, I have something to show you!" Rissie pulled her tutor along, he providing as much resistance as he could without toppling the little girl over, the ever-present frown still present as ever. Whatever it was that his pupil had to show him, there was no way that it could be as important as schoolwork. Why, today they were going to cover the Pick-Me-Up spell, his favorite... again. It was good to relearn such useful spells every week, he had decided, with the excuse that since Rissie didn't have field training to pound the magic into her memory, book training would have to do. In reality, his extreme partiality for this spell was from an ineptitude in his own white magics, and he'd been doing his best to cover up that he'd already taught Rissie almost everything that he knew. Almost: he'd managed to stretch it out long enough that they weren't quite finished with new things yet, and good thing, too, since she'd already begun whining about not learning anything in the seven hours he got to "enjoy" in her company. He would insist that the reason she learned so little was because of interruptions like the present one, but then she'd just say that no, it was because he was a grump.

Which he was not. This was not the face of a grump, this was the face of a... studious professor. And said professor was always too busy thinking "big thoughts" to wear anything on his face but a contemplative frown. Not that Rissie was the only one who told him he looked like a grump, but really none of their opinions mattered. He would frown if he wanted to.

Rissie had managed to drag him up two flights of stairs and to her study, and finally released his sleeves to gesture widely at her desk, upon which sat various books and one vial of an almost-purple liquid. "I made a potion! And I want yooooou to try it out!" She got around behind the teacher and pushed him now, against the friction of his firmly-planted heels, toward the probably terrible concotion that he would eventually, more-likely-than-not, drink down reluctantly just so that they could get a move on. This wasn't the first time that he'd been in this situation. There had been the time with the potion that gave him hiccups (though Rissie said she was sorry and that the potion hadn't actually been made to do anything), the one that tasted like smashed pears in vinegar (smashed, not normal-old pears. Rissie had insisted on the distinction, and he'd kind of agreed, too. The words "smashed pears" had come to his mind upon first drinking, not just "pears"), and the one that had made his tongue swell up until they had to take him to the infirmary, where the nurse kindly spent some time explaining allergies to Rissie. Hopefully they were past any repeats of that one.

He let her pester him for a good two or three minutes before relenting, and sniffed the almost odorless liquid for another few before downing it. Rissie ran off to get her pictobox to take pictures "for posterity's sake", and the teacher got to be alone for maybe thirty seconds. By the time that Rissie was back, he'd collapsed in a sleeping mass on the ground.

Well that had gone as well as she'd dared to hope! Rissie jabbed at the man with her foot a few times to make sure he was actually truly asleep, and then her smile grew even larger. Today was the day. She was gonna do the biggest thing in her entire life today, and her professor was going to help. Not that he knew that he would be doing so, but Rissie decided that she would wait a week or two longer before complaining about him again and ending up with a new tutor. He deserved at least that much for aiding her in getting outside to see the town on this Carnival of Time.

But the carnival would start the next day! It was going to be an odd wait, out there beyond the walls that she called home. But she couldn't have escaped tomorrow, because the teacher wasn't going to come over that day: something about it being a holiday and he didn't "intend to spend my Clocktower Festivities sitting in this house making sure that you don't misbehave." And nor did Rissie. And whereas other years she'd settled for making sure that she misbehaved, today it was time to go all-out. Outside the walls, that was.

Her plan was perfect. She'd been working on tuning an illusion to look just like this professor, since she knew that the guardsmen never bothered him; his grumpy face was enough to keep them from asking questions. She would escape one day early since he wouldn't be at the house tomorrow, but that would doubtless be no problem; she could already hear the starts of wares being bartered, and surely finding somewhere to sleep wouldn't be that hard. Maybe she could just climb a tree and sleep in the branches; she'd read plenty of books that used that method, so it must have been a good one.

But she had to get out of here before the sleeping potion wore out. She grabbed her nearly-empty bag, ran through a mental checklist of what else she would need (nothing), and slung it into position over her shoulder. No need for books for two days, certainly she'd be able to find something better to do with her time. She eased down the stairs, and then, as the clock tolled the hour after the professor's arrival, she cast the spell that would make all this possible. Where once little Rissie had been standing now stood her tutor, reflected perfectly visually, all the way down to that frown. Copying the way that he walked, Rissie (for it was, of course, her under the disguise) approached the gate and, without the guards even giving her a second look, stepped through.

Haha, she was free! For the first time in like, forever, she was going to see what the outside world was like!
Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Bad Wolf
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Aaaaaaaaaand Alex left. Apparently Dillan had crossed a line with the poison joke. Oops. He hadn't expected her to react like that, though. There had been lots of thoughts buzzing around in that head of hers, judging by the look on her face, and then she'd just...left. Did he hit too close to home somehow? He couldn't have known that. He knew nothing about this girl, save the name she told him. Oh well. If he saw her again, he'd apologize. He didn't like it when he accidentally made someone leave.

His attention turned back to the customers, some of which were glad that Alex had moved along. They could buy Dillan's wares now, and he sold a couple of the toys and an ornate dagger in the next few minutes. He continued to sit on the counter customer-side, too comfortable to move. Besides, his terrible outfit was on full display when he was in the open like this. Made it easier to attract attention.

"Have a nice day," he told one of the customers as she left with a new toy for her son. "Enjoy the carnival." He certainly hoped it would be a good one, aside from the history-making arrival of the Ikana crowd. Their gates opening again was big news. He was extremely curious as to why they'd shut their doors in the first place. Just what had been going on there? Maybe after the carnival, he'd take a little time off from work and explore the canyon. Yes, that sounded like a wonderful idea.
Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Baklava
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“Hm,” Lynnette took the flyer back with a suspicious smirk, a bit doubtful that this Clyde Kenneth character wasn’t some joke name as well. Nonetheless, it sounded like he at least recognized that Grout Mutah was their main competitor, so maybe it really was a ‘little joke’.

"So you're the troupe's exotic dancer and he's your servant boy, right?"

Lynnette paused for a moment in writing Clyde Kenneth’s name, blinking irritably with her head still down so Oliver couldn’t see. Exotic dancer? She was a vocalist, dancer, sorceress, and professional performer of the highest grade—not a stripper. She didn’t consider the frustratingly ignorant mistake worthy of a response.

Marcus’ laughing fit ended there, obviously not very happy with his own label either. He didn’t have a chance to voice his resentment, however, as Oliver went on to ask them about magic. True, by the look of his sword and armor, Oliver definitely didn’t look like the magic using type-- but Lynnette wasn’t really the needlessly nosy type. She couldn’t really care less why the man was looking for some ‘arcane consultation’, as he put it. In fact, she was beginning to feel quite done with this little exchange—eager to go on with her shopping before the Prince’s speech.

“Sounds like the person you want to talk to is Madame Fanadi,” Lynnette suggested, handing back the signed flyer a second time, “She’s a bit… eccentric, but don’t let that fool you. Madame Fanadi would be my first choice if I were looking for some arcane knowledge.”

Oliver received an Autographed Black Marsh Circus Flyer (Limited Edition)!

A flyer for the Black Marsh Circus. Also lists show times for the carnival season. Includes limited edition Lorelei the Siren autograph. Estimated to be worth several hundred rupees... probably.


Marcus scoffed, “Don’t expect her to just hand over any information for free, though. Penny-pinching bitch made me fork over rupees just to tell me whether or not she’d seen my misplaced bottle of sword polish.”

“You’ll find her in room 201 at the Stock Pot Inn,” she continued (only savvy with this information because it happened to be the room right beside her own), “She doesn’t usually like being bothered when she isn’t actually working, but it might be worth a shot—if you’re really that desperate, you know?” As she spoke, she took one of the flyers from Marcus and jotted down the information for Oliver-- any excuse to get rid of another flyer. She might’ve made out a personal note he could have used to see Madame Fanadi more easily-- or at least get a discount—but she wasn’t feeling quite that nice at the moment. …exotic dancer her ass….

“If you can’t get a hold of her there, you can always stop by her booth during any of the hours listed on that flyer. She’ll be working one of the tented stalls surrounding the center performance ring anywhere between 9 and midnight,” she motioned towards the Black Marsh Circus tent on the far side of the park, tucked in the corner amongst the other Deku stalls.

As they were originally from Marshfall, Fyer had spent years ensuring their spot there in the park for the carnival each year-- where the moonlight through the trees nicely accented the purposely-eerie look of the place each night. Not to mention it was far from all the other competition. In the daylight, however, and with the wooden beam framework still being constructed, it was hardly intimidating.

“We usually collaborate with several of the carnival merchants around this time of year. They set up shop in the hall around the center ring and it's usually pretty cram-packed so it’s easy to get lost. That map should help you find it more easily.” Special favors for unenlightened not-customers like Oliver? No. But never let it be said that Lynnette wasn’t one to support the business of her fellow troupe members… with the exception of Marcus, who obviously had no problem with it.

Oliver received a Folded Black Marsh Circus Flyer!

A flyer for the Black Marsh Circus, folded in half with the number 201 and “Madame Fanadi - Stock Pot Inn” scrawled in neat girly hand-writing on the back. Also shows a small, simplistic diagram of the Black Marsh Circus stadium-like tent, indicating exactly where to find Madame Fanadi’s booth in addition to show times for the carnival season. Estimated to be worth absolutely nothing... probably.


“Anyways, it was nice talking to you Mr. Pike IV,” she said with a scripted smile and slight tilt of her head, “Enjoy the carnival, sir!”

With that, she was off to peruse the wares and most likely pass out flyers to the aforementioned merchants that cooperated with the Black Marsh Circus at night.
Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by RavenWolf
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Amidst the hustle of the many compacted bodies, the shouts of merchants and shoppers alike, and the chaos that was known as West Clock Town, one could hardly take two steps before being jostled by a passerby, happily greeted by a red-faced entrepreneur, or unknowingly pickpocketed by one of the many theives that roamed the streets. The entire ordeal was exciting and breathtaking, even to those who had been attending the festival since it's early days, but made all the more so to a freshface and a young spirit who was not used to such affairs. One such being was a delicate young Zora woman, her dark eyes wide with excitement, arching her body to its fullest extent and balancing on the balls of her feet as she gazed into the surging throng of strangers, palms pressed against the surface of the wooden table she stood behind, barely aware of the merchandise she herself was offering.

Zanya was unuse to such a multitude of strange faces and colors, humans dominating with their patches of hair above or growing out of pink colored faces, foreign accents rolling off of tongues. She was fascinated. Several tables down, she barely caught a tantalizing glimpse of ostentatious pink and orange clashing together and the whirl of a mechanized bauble before her view was blocked once again by a bristling forest of elbows and backsides, her short stature only serving to decrease her opportunities to gaze in wonder at the fantastical items being offered. With a gentle pout, she dropped back down onto her heels, resigning herself to her limited viewing capabilities with a short sigh through her nose.

"Pull in that lip little trout or someone might just come along and hook such a cute fish." A deep gravelly voice chuckled, a heavy arm shoving against her side and pulling her out of her disappointment.

Black gaze flickering towards the owner of the voice, Zanya abruptly sucked in her lower lip that had been protruding, her expression momentarily brightening into a smile as she met her brother's kind expression, the huge Goron's face inexplicably soft. His thick arms were folded across his chest, attention focused on his brooding little sister, yet somehow still able to cast a penetrating glare at a hopeful shoplifter that was sniffing around the stone daggers, sending the urchin scampering off into the crowd with a squeak.

""Oh Beorn, I can't help but be a little disappointed." She justified, her melodious voice sounding wistful. "i've never been to a carnival before and everything is just so exciting. Yet here IM, stuck." She pointedly bounced on her heels once, gloomily rearranging a display of stone dishes that she had created earlier that day.

"things are not all that bad Zanya." Beorn rumbled in return, scratching absently at an itchy spot on the underside of his chin. "and I thought you were excited to be able to sell the things that you had created."

The Zora winced delicately at the reminder. "I still lamb! I just didn't imagine that it would be so..." She momentarily gestured with her hands through the air in front of her as she searched for an appropriate word that could encompass the thrill of the activity that surrounded her. "Exhilarating."

Her brother let out a booming belly laugh, abruptly drawing the attention of several passersby with alarmed expressions, before draping an arm around her slender frame and giving her an affectionate squeeze. "I remember the first time I accompanied father to a Carnival, how excited I was." Zanya looked up at him with a hopeful expression blossoming on her face. "i'll make you a deal. If you can sell three more of those beautiful bowls you were so proud to have made, I'll let you look around for a little while before the Prince arrives.

Her brother let out a booming belly laugh, abruptly drawing the attention of several passersby with alarmed expressions, before draping an arm around her slender frame and giving her an affectionate squeeze. "I remember the first time I accompanied father to a Carnival, how excited I was." Zanya looked up at him with a hope ful expression blossoming on her face. "i'll make you a deal. If you can sell three more of those beautiful bowls you were so proud to have made, I'll let you look around for a little while before the Prince arrives."

Emitting an excited squeal, Zanya twisted in towards her brother and threw her arms around his massive girth as far as they would go, giving him her tightest squeeze. "thank you so much Beorn! I won't forget this!" She trilled with one final squeeze and a bumping of foreheads, she twirled around to face the crowd, smile bright on her face, ready to do that which she needed to be able to receive her freedom.
Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Dervish
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“I’m mostly an alchemist, the craftsmanship is just something I do on the side.” Teruk explained. “You’d be amazed at what you can do with a knife and time to spare between sales.”

The Deku nodded enthusiastically when the Zora decided he was a prospective customer. It was a thing customers always did, making it seem like a shop was a step above the rest in hopes of being granted a discount. Teruk didn’t particularly mind, and he was flexible with the price of his goods. He wasn’t kidding when he mentioned that he picked up his carving skills and craftsmanship to pass the time. It was something that a lot of Deku learned how to do since they were young, since Woodfall rarely imported many goods from the outside realms, relying on their own resources and talents to eke out a living in the swamplands. Teruk was learning to tie knots and smooth out wood and bone almost as young as he was learning how to spit Deku nuts and bubbles. It was just an added bonus that he had a fairly creative eye when it came to knife work; several decorative engravings adorned the logs that framed his family’s home, giving it a distinctive flare compared to the neighbouring buildings.

Griga seemed rather excited to talk about his homeland. In truth, Teruk did find it interesting; he’d never seen the ocean before, and he’d heard much about the coast. He couldn’t imagine a stretch of water so vast you couldn’t take it all in, or clean white sand that wasn’t filled with rocks and decomposing organic matter. The water seemed to sound the most unbelievable of all; clear light blue water that you could actually see the bottom of, even several meters deep. It was simple impossible to fathom for a man who had only ever known the murkiness of the swamps and the rivers of Termina’s fields. “As a matter of fact, I am rather interested in going to the Great Bay; it’s something that’s rarely seen by my people. I’ve heard many stories, I suppose I’d like to see if it’s all true or not. I haven’t met many Zora, I must admit I find your people rather curious and interesting, considering how isolated Woodfall is compared to the rest of the world. I’ve always taken an interest in other people and culture, I just never had much of a chance to travel.” He admitted.

When prompted about his skill with magic, Teruk chuckled. “I very much so am quite handy with an incantation as I am with a pestle and mortar. I am rather adept in the Forest Magics, as well as Shadow Magics. It comes in handy, since being able to manipulate the flora can yield several useful reagents and Shadow magic helps me understand on a deeper level how my potions affect people. I’ve always been quite studious and careful to not to alter what works too much; after all, alchemy is a precise practice. Too little, and something may not work. Too much, and it could make someone quite ill… or worse. The fact I am confident enough to have a customer loyalty program should say volumes for how confident I am in my own abilities and your satisfaction as one of my clients. As a mage, I understand exactly what needs to go into a potion to get the most out of my energy reserves. There isn’t a potion on display here that I have not first tried on myself.” He stated confidently. “You will be most pleased, I assure you.”
Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Kiddo
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As soon as she was out of sight of the guards (around the corner of that accursed wall that she'd only ever seen from the other side before), Rissie let the facade fall. She never could maintain that spell for long, and it was important for her to keep some magical power in reserve just in case she happened to run into someone who would recognize her out here. For that, she had a different disguise planned, a sort of mashup of some of the neighbors' kids that she'd taken to watching from the tallest tree on her grandparents' property. No one would pay attention to the random Terminian kid she'd cobbled together.

But there was no need for that now, what she needed to do was mark her house so she could find it again! Oh, yes, she had everything planned out. Would be no good to get stuck lost somewhere and need to ask for directions to her own house! Not when she had books with seeker spells that she could learn just for this case. She finished the spell, and then, just to be safe, cast the homing version. It pointed her right to the point on the wall that she'd marked, so, satisfied, she looked both ways across the street and dashed across it, into town proper.

Rissie had never been exposed, at least as far as she could remember, to any place other than Dawn Heights. The first big difference that she noticed upon entering West Clock Town was oh man there were so many people! She stood, mouth gaping at the throng, until a guard looked at her curiously. Right, it wouldn't do to draw too much attention to herself. She slipped into the stream of bodies and instantly found herself jostled and pushed and tossed and thrown in a dizzying current that smashed her against other bodies and shut out the sky above her. It was impossible for her to really guide herself through the throng, tiny and confused as she was, until it spit her out in front of some merchants and she dizzily stumbled into the polite space that differentiated the shoppers from the passerbys. Well that had been a new experience!

An excited squeek pierced through the general noises from right behind her, and Rissie spun around to find yet another strange new thing. There, next to an almost-albino Zora lady (who was apparently the source of the squeal) was a man made of rocks. Rissie's mouth dropped open again as she took in the strange sight. His beady eyes were like gems, his back was covered in scoured ridges like tiny miniature mountains. Was this one of the Goron that Rissie had read about? He was so big! Especially relative to the tiny (although not quite as tiny as Rissie) Zora right next to him, whose arms couldn't even reach around his prodigious belly.

But that wasn't the only interesting stall right there. Just beyond this amazing sight was an eyesore, but on this man's counter were wares unlike anything she'd seen, spinning tops that, though she watched for a few prolonged moments waiting for them to show some sign of falling, didn't budge the slightest bit from their whirring motions. Wow, she'd have to ask for one of those, it looked like fun!

She continued down the shoppers' lane, taking in the sights. There were more Gorons, and even a couple of odd wooden people, and the wares on display covered a dizzying variety of uses. Swords, potions, instruments, magical cures for dirty dishes, jewelry, bombs, clothes; if she had heard of it, it seemed like she could find it there. But eventually the calmer lane ran out, and once again she found herself flung about by the press of other bodies going who-knew-where.

By the time she extracted herself on the other side of the throng, Rissie had been pulled along into a completely-different atmosphere. Here music filled the air, the odd mixture of various instruments, songs, and voices providing a strange thrum. Here a man played a guitar and sang of heroes of ages gone by, there a woman played the violin in accompaniment for a troupe of dancing Terminians, and across the street a fat lady belted out something in a language she couldn't understand (or maybe her pronunciation just needed work). Well this was certainly an interesting area! More so than the market, for sure. And maybe Rissie could find somewhere to play, herself! Why, the atmosphere demanded it of her, she couldn't stand by idly when the world was practically begging for her talent.

If only she could find some place to setup. Every reasonably-spaced spot seemed taken, and even some that weren't so-reasonably placed. It wouldn't do to have her music drowned out by her neighbors, and certainly wouldn't be polite for her to try to overpower theirs. But she could be creative, and she liked heights... and there was no one playing in from of the door to that building over there. Mind made up, Rissie swam across the sea of traffic once more, managing to only get swept a few dozen yards off course, and made her way back to that door. The wall was pleasantly rough, almost tailor-made for climbing. It took her no time at all to pull herself up.

Too bad someone else was already there. Hoisting herself up, Rissie finally looked and saw that the area was occupied by a Terminian already. "Oh, ah..." Rissie looked at the person's lunch and the glowing bottle, and then began lowering herself back down. "Sorry." She'd have to find someplace else, darn. That had seemed like an advantageous spot.
Hidden 5 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by Prince of Seraphs
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Alex looked over South Clock Town from the roof of the Stock Pot Inn. This was an entertainment district containing the town's most famous Inn, the Milk Bar and several different gambling games like the treasure chest. During the year it was usually lively with drunks and street performers and a group of teens that Alex suspiciously had seen around Dusk Row more than once. It was peculiar but not something that she'd devoted a while lot of thought to. Now that the Carnival of Time was fast approaching every inch of South Clock Town had become jammed with performers, musicians, jugglers and fire eaters, all hoping to get the chance to perform at the festival. With so many players and so many different tunes it turned into a throng of what noise but Alex could pick out a few melodies here and there. The loud Goron drums and the heavy Deku Pipes and through it all she could pick up the shrill calming sound of a flute or ocarina of some sort.

Alex remembered a sound so much like it from so many years past. When Alex had fled Pirate's Landing with her sister they had no problems calling themselves thieves but in truth they had very little real idea was what they were doing. The twins took to playing on the street for change. Ali had a lovely reed flute that Alex had swiped from a traveling circus. They had a duo act. Ali played music that in another world would have been called Irish while Alex sang. People had often told her that she had a lovely voice but Alex hadn't used it since... the act fell apart.

"Isn't it beautiful Iris?" Alex said looking over the see of people. The glowing ball of light that Iris was generating turned to survey the musicians and performers. "It would look better if I wasn't seeing it through half inch glass." She said pointedly. "I'm not letting you out." Alex said watching one of the fire eaters breath flame to the amusement of the crowd. There was several seconds of silence. "Yes," Iris said quietly. "It is beautiful if a bit chaotic. It would be impossible to get this many of my kind together short of the Great Fairy's return." Alex felt like there was more to that story but Iris seemed to be having a moment of deep revelry for something long past and Alex knew well enough not to interrupt that.

Alex took another bite of her bread role when she heard a sound from the side of the roof that she had climbed up. A head popped up over the side and latched onto Alex. The thief's hand immediately went to the curved dagger at her side. The scimitar was good for intimidation but she was much better at knife fighting. "Oh, ah..." The sounds came out of the... (Alex thought it was a) girl's mouth. She must have been looking for a quiet spot and didn't expect anyone to be up here. "Sorry." She said meekly before starting to lower herself again.

"By the Giants, that's grotesque." said a voice from the bottle beside Alex. "Iris! Play nice." Alex couldn't exactly argue with the fairy, though she wouldn't have been so blunt. The (Alex had decided that it was a) girl appeared as a humanoid fish with green and white scales and a fin on her head but not in a million years would Alex have called her a Zora. She looked off; her scales were green like a trout as opposed to the blue salmon scales of the Zora people. Growing up in Pirate's Landing had given Alex a fairly good knowledge of fish. Could she be one of the aggressive River Zoras. No, Alex had seen River Zoras near the ocean every once in awhile and the girl didn't quite look like one of them either. Besides, everyone knew that River Zoras didn't fare well outside of the water like there saltwater cousins. Their skin required a moist environment or else it would dry out. This girl didn't look like a river Zora, she lacked the red spike like fins and green claws but at the same time she looked unlike a Sea Zora, her coloring was wrong and her head didn't carry the traditional shape of the Sea Zoras.

"Wait," Alex's curiosity had gotten the better of her. She wanted to know who and what this creature was. "Sorry 'bout my fairy, she's got no self-restrain. You wan' an apple?"
Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Kiddo
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"By the Giants, that's grotesque." Rissie paused a moment and peaked back over the balcony at the person up there. That wasn't her speaking, though, was that... her eyes rested on the bottle. It didn't occur to her that maybe whatever was in there was insulting her; she was only interested that there was some intelligent, talking thing in that bottle! Was it a fairy? She'd read about fairies and how often they would be confined in bottles, but, of course, had never seen one herself. So was this it? And they could talk?

She was learning so much! She'd only been gone from the house for an hour, and yet her mind was full of new sights, sounds, and experiences. And no one had kidnapped her or stabbed her or stolen her lute or anything! Honestly, what was so wrong with her being outside? Her excursion really hadn't provided her any evidence that it was a bad thing at all. Sure, this stranger had reached for her sword as soon as she saw her, but she hadn't drawn it or sliced at her or even threatened her, so it was probably just reflexive. And she had what was probably a fairy, and didn't fairies only hang around heroes? Then this was undoubtedly a good person, anyway.

And she was inviting Rissie up to eat with her! Not that Rissie really needed to eat, she'd just had lunch before running away and she'd made sure to pack enough sandwiches to last a few days, but wouldn't it be rude to refuse food? And she also confirmed that it was a fairy, so she was a good person: a hero! Rissie had never met a real-life hero before! Since she had invited her up, Rissie once more hoisted her small body up onto the balcony. "Sure! Do you... want a sandwich?" It would only be fair if she offered something in return.
Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Captain Jenno
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Captain Jenno Waltzing for Zizi

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It seemed that wherever Anemos seemed to pass- be it through tent city, the western district, the north or the east- and no matter how many different groups of people congregated within the town’s walls, there was one topic that every soul in Clock Town seemed to be collectively ecstatic about: The impending arrival of The Prince, son of Igos Du Ikana himself.
In Tent City, some of the impoverish spoke verbosely of how his return to Clock Town would mark “the end of their suffering”, as if he might take pity upon them all.
In the West and North, most of the enthusiasm was directed towards the possibility of perhaps establishing new trading relationships with the once dead kingdom… or at the very least, flogging off some wares to The Prince’s assembly.
And in the East, every performer worth his penny was keen to show The Prince himself what it was they had to offer in terms of entertainment, each of them self-assured that their acts were a notch above the rest.

Anemos, however, did not quite share this enthusiasm.
Whilst it was true that some aspect of him- the young child that’d dreamt of glory, and believed truly that Ikana would take him to it- was heartened by the idea that, perhaps, children he’d known then would be knights now, there was another part of him that juxtaposed it.
The part that begrudged the kingdom it’s right to withdraw its men, and surrender the land to lawlessness.
And whilst, true, Termina hadn’t fallen into degradation, the damage was definitely noticeable: In dark alleys, and small towns…
And Tent City.
Had the knights remained, would there be a killer on the loose at all?
That was a pointless train of thought, he supposed.

They’d left it to the likes of Orca and the local guard to protect the land: A squire, doing the job of a knight.
“The right way, and the hard way, is often synonymous,” he reminded himself, as he weaved his way out of the crowds, and found himself a place of relative peace in the shade of a skinny tree’s leaves. He closed his eyes, and took a moment to savour the Eastern District’s ambiance.
The music had been jagged- obscured in parts by the bustle of the throng- and impeded on his thoughts.
But now that he was focusing on it, it added a more joyful touch to the air.
There were so many different genres playing at once, though, and not a single one of them could be heard to completion: That much was a pity.

He opened his eyes again, to survey the scene.
So many people in one place: Prince or no, it was a remarkable-
Wait, just who the Hell is that?

Departing from a conversation with some gentleman Anemos didn’t truly recognise, came a pair of familiar- and by extension, disconcerting- faces.
Hurriedly, he scrambled to withdraw the poster he’d pilfered from the walls of Tent City: And lo and behold, he was staring down the likes of Marcus Bonner and Lorelei the Siren.
Whilst it was true, he harboured some intentions of visiting their performance, he had absolutely no interest in confronting them: If they shared even an ounce of Grout and Fyer’s loathing for one another’s troupe’s, then they’d surely take an immediate- and potentially physical- disliking to him.
And if he was to maintain his alter ego’s secrecy, he certainly didn’t want to be involved in any form of scuffle.

Of course, it was totally possible that they were actually perfectly lovely people- although Grout had ensured that they were nice and thoroughly demonised amongst the troupe- but even if that was the case, they probably wouldn’t be so joyous to meet the likes of him.
What Grout had said, he was sure their troupe-master had mirrored.

Quickly, fluidly, he motioned to raise his hands and blast himself aside with a sudden rush of wind: However, some other thought had reached his mind far before the air had left his limbs, and caused him instead to stall.
They hadn’t a clue who Anemos Seuhans was, truly: They knew only Gales Tempesta, just as he only knew Lorelei.
But whilst she featured quite prominently on her posters, Anemos always wore a mask in his.
In fact, he wore his mask right up until the end of a performance: Taking it off only to make his final bow.
She surely wouldn’t recognise him, not unless she’d actually attended his shows at some point, which seemed less than likely.
He was willing to wager a shiny rupee upon the fact he was a total stranger to her.

With a breath of relief, he returned the Black Marsh Circus’s poster to his bag, and leaned back against the tree again, watching as the two of them traveled around the district, browsing wares.
“Hm.”
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Griga picked up another potion as Teruk described his specialty, which, happily enough, was alchemy. Although he was more than happy to appreciate a good piece of art, Griga found more practical things, like water, food, or potions to be far more worthy expenses. No use in keeping around functionless items when one could have a little lifesaver, after all.

Griga smiled as the Scrub spoke about his interest in other cultures, the Zora having had a strong interest in the world outside the Great Bay for as long as he could remember. It was because of this interest that Griga had traveled through Termina, interacting with different environments, different people… it was exhilarating. "Well, I hope you get the chance." Griga said.

Back to business, Griga was impressed by Teruk's pitch. The scrub certainly had a way with words. "That's good to hear!" Griga said, "How much for the magic potion?"
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“Thank you for your purchase!” a cheerful old Deku merchant chirped as she took the small box with the brand new silver pendant necklace with a single, smooth white pearl from wooden old hands.

“Geez, sweetheart, don’t you have enough jewelry?” Marcus harped as she opened the box to admire it for a moment.
“It’s a birthday gift for my mother, if you must know,” she sighed irritably. It was Vanessa’s 37th birthday on the day of the Carnival.

That?” Marcus sniggered, “I’ve never seen Venny wear anything even remotely that classy.”

Lyn pursed her lips and snapped the box shut… but he was right. Her mother had a tendency to lean towards clothing that was a bit more on the… tacky side-- if she was going to be completely honest. Every year she bought her mother beautiful things and every year her mother cried in thanks but always neglected to ever wear any of it. But still… Lynnette could dream. She slid the box into her satchel. When she looked up to survey more of the stalls she wanted to visit, her eyes instead fell on a somewhat familiar face—one which she had only ever glimpsed from afar maybe eight or nine times in the last several years....

The Immortal Gales Tempesta.

She'd know those facial tattoos anywhere. Her eyes locked on the nappy brunet for a split second. She could have sworn he had been looking right at her, but she wasn’t sure.

“Hey, uh… Marcus,” she said, still staring in the man’s direction as she swept her hand behind her to grab his sleeve, “That looks like a good spot to hang a flyer over there.” She pointed at large wooden community pin board just a few feet behind where the man stood (although it looked like she was pointing directly at Anemos, from his point of view).

“Fine,” Marcus shrugged and the two made their way in his direction. Lynnette stared fixedly at Gales Tempesta while Marcus casually glanced around at the young dames that passed them by in the crowd.
“I’ve been carrying half the load, so I say it’s your turn to hang this one,” she said suddenly, pulling the hammer and nails from her satchel and passing them to Marcus, “I’ll just hand out a flyer to that guy right there.”

“Okaaaay,” Marcus raised an eyebrow and took the stuff. Lynnette wasn’t exactly a pro when it came to hiding her intentions, but there was no way Marcus would recognize the man as Gales Tempesta. Fyer had made a strict rule that only he and Falbi would scout The Spectacle Rock Circus and he if he ever caught any of the other troupe members attending one of their shows he’d suspend them for three weeks. Absolutely no exceptions. He’d made that perfectly clear when Lynnette once tried to argue with him over it and ended up getting stuck on tiger cage cleaning duty. But Lynnette hadn’t let that stop her. Every chance she got, Lynnette always snuck out to see the competition. She just had to know. Simply taking Fyer’s word for it that she was “the best” simply wasn’t enough. And besides—she actually enjoyed seeing her competition.

And Gales Tempesta was one of her all time favorites….

As Marcus went on to pin up the flyer, Lynnette stopped in front of Anemos and held out a flyer, her friendly smile fading a bit as she approached, warping into a nervous lob-sided grin. Sure, Lorelei the Siren was a fast rising star, but The Immortal Gales Tempesta was a true legend. I mean, sure—she knew as well as the next attentive person that the man wasn’t really immortal, but the title itself was one deserving of respect. They didn't pass that title down to just any sub-par performer. She had so many things she would have loved to talk about with him, but if Marcus caught on that she had been going to his shows, he’d bust her for sure. She'd have to make this quick.

“Uhm,” she gasped, realizing that she’d just been staring for almost a solid three seconds and had yet to let go of the flyer he was trying to take from her, “Oh—sorry!” She laughed at herself and released the paper.

“Aren’t you… Gales Tempesta?” her eyes lit up in excitement every time she looked at him, but she kept throwing semi-anxious glances over her shoulder and at Marcus just in case someone was watching.
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Well, never wager a shiny rupee you aren’t willing to lose, he supposed.

He’d only been spectating for, at best, a few minutes- Which was admittedly somewhat improper of him, because even given the context, turning around to find somebody staring at you could be somewhat unnerving- when she’d wrapped up her business and was preparing to move to another vendor…
And only a few moments more after that, before she’d quite suddenly homed in on him from the distance, like a hawk linked on a thrush.

For a painful few seconds, they made mute eye contact: And the entirety of Anemos’ body was suddenly filled with a static sensation, a physical manifestation of anxiety.
Part of his fight or flight response wanted him to quite literally select the ‘flight’ option, and blast himself high up into the empyrean with the sum of his magical power, regardless of whether or not he ever came back down: But the rest of him insisted he remain stalwart and motionless, if not for the sake of courage, then because all of the blood rushing to his burning face would have most certainly never made it back to his legs in time for him to run.
”Damn,” was all he could manifest in terms of thought, his entire mental process having frozen at the shock of the situation.

After those few long moments had passed, however, she looked away to consort with her companion.
Anemos recognised him just as he did Lorelei: A sword swallower by trade, and no doubt handy with a blade if the situation called for it.
He breathed a sigh of relief, sharp and short-lived, and for a split second entertained the idea of disappearing suddenly into the crowds: But at that moment, The Siren (seemingly) pointed him out across the gap between himself and them, and for whatever reason, that action alone almost obliged him to stay put.
He wondered what they were talking about, as they exchanged muted words: Perhaps whether or not it was really him, and how they should resolve his presence if it was.
Whatever it was, he was certain it wasn't good: Grout had made it perfectly clear that, if ever Anemos found himself in the company of Black Marsh’s performers, they’d be immediately hostile…
That said, Grout did have a tendency to “over-exaggerate” when he was angry.
And by that, what Anemos meant was lie profusely.
He was, after all, a veteran of show business.

Suddenly, they began to advance on him.

It was around this time, he realized that he was still staring at them, and he immediately resolved this by turning his gaze suddenly to the left.
He even considered whistling unsuspiciously, but ironically knew no act to be more suspicious.
Perhaps if he pretended he didn’t speak the language, then? Or even-
He found his thoughts cut off again as the Sword Swallower passed him by, totally without acknowledgement, and carrying flyers.

Almost instantly, a wave of relief crashed down onto him, dispelling that tingling sensation and drawing a second relieved breath from his lungs.
They were just handing our flyers! What had he been worried about?
However, upon breathing said breath, Lorelei appeared- for Anemos, seemingly out of nowhere- before him, flyer outstretched.
His heart almost leapt up into his throat, followed very closely by every other major organ from his thorax to his abdomen: But that shock seemed almost abruptly intercepted by another sensation, as he saw her surprisingly personable smile slowly deteriorate into a nervous grin.
”My God, is she… nervous?”, he asked himself, his shocked expression softening into a more affable one: His concern overtaken by empathy.

She hadn't a single clue who he was, had she? Perhaps that was for the better.
Still, that brief moment had defused most of Grout’s nonsense almost immediately: Although whether Anemos would pick that particular bone with him or keep his “socialising with the enemy” a secret was a decision he’d have to make later.

Slowly, he looked down at her hand, reached out, and gently took hold of the flyer she’d offered him.
He had an identical one in his bag, of course, but he’d never be so impolite as to deny a free one.
Then, he gave it a gentle tug, and…
It stayed in her hand.
A second tug, once again came with no response.

He glanced up at her, inquisitive in his expression, only to find her staring at him.
He’d have felt uneasy, he was sure, had it been anyone else: But in this situation, to disapprove of staring would've been akin to the pot calling the cauldron black.
He smiled nervously at her, hoping the mild gesture would gain her attention.
“Uhm,” she’d gasped, upon snapping out of her daze.
“Hello there,” he greeted, warmly, in the hopes of putting her at some relative ease.
After all, if she hadn't recognised him yet, what was there to be uneasy about?
“Oh—sorry!”
“Don’t worry about it,” he chuckled softly, taking the flyer as she released it, and imitating the act of preparing to read it.

“Oh, I-”he’d begun, intending to maintain cover by feigning ignorance of either circus’ existence.
This, as it seemed, was not to be.
“Aren’t you…”
His heart sank into his stomach.
”…Gales Tempesta?”

He had to fight the urge to physically wince.
He’d misjudged the situation for a second time: Somehow, some way, she’d recognised him, unmasked.
Had she seen him before, or had he simply gotten careless? Had he bet his rupees too soon?
After that, a seconds silence passed, in which Anemos expected hellfire to begin raining down upon them.
But none came.
To the contrary, she seemed almost… excited, to meet him.
Surely she wasn't… surely she wasn't a fan?

He hesitated before replying, but smiled all the same as he spoke. Rival or not, she seemed far nicer than he’d ever anticipated her to be.
To think, the leading lady of The Black Marsh Circus had recognised him: To think she might be a fan!
“Haha, I’m not that old, am I?”, he asked, genially, as he lowered the poster, and with it, his act.
“Well, you’ve caught me, I suppose,” he admitted, with a nod, “But… how did you recognise me?”

As he spoke, he noted her frequent glances elsewhere, as if she thought at any moment they might be dragged away on counts of heresy. Perhaps Black Marsh really was as rough as he’d heard, although, he imagined being so close to Spectacle Rock territory did little to soothe her fears.
“Nevermind, it isn’t important,” he assured her, in hopes of mitigating her anxiety, "But... you can't tell anybody else, alright? It's a secret to everybody."
Then, he glanced down at the poster again, before looking back up to her, “And you’re… Lorelei the Siren, aren’t you?”
His smile grew a little more warm, and sincere: The flyer was like a direct invite, it assuaged his fears that he was doing something overtly wrong by attending.
Grout would still gut him like a fish if he knew, though.
“Thanks for the flyer… I think I might just catch one of your shows.”
He paused, and rubbed his neck awkwardly, “You know… provided nobody else there recognises me.”
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“Yes, that’s me” Lynnette smiled and nodded, thrilled that Gales Tempesta had recognized her. Well, technically he might’ve just glanced at the flyer she’d just handed him and figured it out-- but still! And he was agreeing to attend one of her shows! Awesome!

She glanced towards Marcus to make sure she had enough time to keep chatting. Luckily it seemed he was preoccupied with a small group of teenagers—obviously fans of his judging by the way they were taking turns to feel his biceps and squealing ecstatically as he blew a puffball of fire up into the air. She found it somewhat bothersome considering there was a true artist not but three or four yards away from them, but not everyone could have good taste when it came to showbiz it seemed. For now their loss was her gain and she hoped they preoccupied Marcus long enough for her to have a half decent conversation with Gales Tempesta.

“Oh, I’ve seen your show several times,” she said cheerfully, clasping her hands together and twisting her fingers—trying her best to withstrain herself from exploding into an onslaught of questions, comments, and requests.

“You inspired so much of my act it isn’t even funny,” she tittered, “Don’t even worry—I wouldn’t dream of spoiling your identity or anything. But I would love to hear about what you think of my show! Nobody will probably recognize you… except my boss maybe— b-but I doubt he’d throw you out! Even if he did spot you in the crowd, you know? He’s always happy to take money from our competition… uhm… no offense….” She smiled apologetically, hoping that last statement wouldn’t discourage him from coming.

She shouldn’t even have mentioned it… agggh! Why did she mention it?
“Maybe we could talk more about it later? I’m really interested in learning more about your act! Is there a time you could—“

“Being this gorgeous is a gift and a curse, huh sweetheart?” Marcus returned, cocky as ever with a certain swagger in his step… like his head had finally become so enlarged he had trouble walking properly.

“Could… could...,” Lynnette struggling for a save, “I mean if there’s a time you could come see the show, I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed, sir! Enjoy the carnival!” With that she promptly swiveled on her heel and started walking.

Naturally, Marcus was growing more and more suspicious, raising an eyebrow at her back as she kept walking. He shot a piercing glance at the man she’d been talking to before finally turning to following her. “Who was that guy?” he asked once they were out of earshot.

“I don’t know. I didn’t catch his name,” Lynnette shrugged, puckering her lips innocently.

“Well you were talking to him for a pretty long time,” Marcus grumped.

“I can flirt with whoever I want, Marcus. Lay off,” she retorted, waving her hand like she was shooing a fly, “Now come on. We still have to hit West Clock Town before the Prince’s speech and we haven't even gotten rid of half these flyers.”
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Although Lynette seemed just so slightly irritated by the adjacent fire-spitter’s seeming popularity, Anemos didn’t begrudge him it: Honestly, he felt honoured to have even one person showing him such attention, so much so that the nerves had simply melted from him.
He’d been playing the role of Gales Tempesta for nearly fifteen years now, and this was the first time anyone had ever been so thrilled to meet him because of it.
That was not to say The Spectacle Rock Circus had a dwindling fan-base, of course: It’d been sizeable before Anemos’ time, and only continued to grow now.
But whilst Gales had many fans, Anemos had none.
The mask he wore on stage had become famous around the land, and even when he did reveal his face at the show’s closing, nobody took any notice.
Except for Lynette, of course: But the honour of being recognised, and appreciated, seemed to make the otherwise total anonymity seem worthwhile.
So he silently wished the sword-swallower luck: It wasn’t a feeling he’d have much liked to deprive anyone of.

“Oh, I’ve seen your show several times… you inspired so much of my act it isn’t even funny,”
Without Anemos even truly realising it, a light gasp escaped him, as he gestured slowly to himself, as if uncertain that he’d heard her right.
“My... my show inspired you?”, he asked, in a voice very low and soft.
Grout had once told Anemos that, if he became famous in person, it would go to his head: There was some truth in that, if ‘it’ was the heat rushing to his face again.
To think, a fan who knew his face: A fan inspired by him!
That was a performer’s dream. No, not just that… a knight’s dream.
He considered this for a moment, before realising that- like she before him- he’d been staring for a good few seconds.
He shook this off, and clambered around inside his own head in search of a response.
“Well, it-!”
He paused for another moment, and dropped his volume so as not to alert whoever it was Lynette was fearful of.
“Well… it was my pleasure, Lorelei.”

Then, she delved into her promise that she’d never reveal his identity: for which he gave her an appreciative nod.
“Nobody will probably recognize you… except my boss maybe— b-but I doubt he’d throw you out! Even if he did spot you in the crowd, you know? He’s always happy to take money from our competition… uhm… no offense….”
Honestly, the only part of the statement that wounded him was the apologetic smile that followed: As if she feared she might’ve offended him.
But he dispelled that fear immediately, he’d like to think, because he honestly couldn’t stop himself from laughing: Fyer reminded him of another penny-pinching oldster he knew.
One with a silly pair of eyebrows, for good measure.
“Haha, no worries! You’ve just described my boss,” he assured her, “I think I’ll just wear a mask, though, seems safer that way! I’m sure I won’t be tough for you to recognise, though.”
That seemed to put her at rest, to some extent.

“Maybe we could talk more about it later? I’m really interested in learning more about your act! Is there a time you could—“
Anemos once again had to resist the urge to flinch, as- seemingly from nowhere, for the second time that day- Marcus appeared between them, and instigated with Lynette.
There was no guarantee that he wouldn’t recognise Anemos, if Lynette had: And no guarantee he’d be as nice about it, either.
“Could… could… I mean if there’s a time you could come see the show, I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed, sir! Enjoy the carnival!”

As she turned to leave, he offered her one last response: A reply to her question, and also to her sales pitch.
“I’d love to,” was all he had time to provide her, as she departed. He smiled at her as she left, encouragingly, and then returned to leaning against the tree trunk.
The sword swallower didn’t seem all too clever.
Perhaps that was for the better.
Then, he looked down at the flyer, which he was still holding firmly in his left hand.
“Hah, well… guess I’m missing practice after all.”

“I beg your pardon, Seuhans?”, an authoritative, gruff tone scoffed from behind: The acrobat’s blood ran cold.
But he was an actor by trade, of some kind at least: When death defying stunts made the blood run cold, even behind his mask, it was the unspoken law to remain confident.
“I said I’m psyched for practice!”, he replied, back still turned to the fierce little old timer that stood behind him.
“Really now? Because it sounds like you said you were missing practice.”
“That’s the age getting to you, Grout. I’ll be the same one day.”
“I doubt it,” he grumbled.
“You’re right, I’ll also be a lot nicer. And handsomer.”
“You only get to pick one, son.”
“And you picked neither?”
“Why I oughta…”

Leaning forwards suddenly, Anemos narrowly avoided a strike across the back of the head from his crusty aged troupe-master, “Whoa!”
He span on the tip of his toes, and leapt back to create some space between him and Mutah, whom had since folded his arms and begun scowling in the most impressively sullen manner.
It almost transcended a scowl, the corners of his pallid lips somehow threatened to dip below chin level.
From this moment on, Anemos would mentally refer to it as “Mutahing.”
“Who was that girl?” he interrogated, Mutahing fiercely.
“When did you become a jealous girlfriend?”
“Anemos.”
“It was nobody, mother.”
Anemos.
“What does it matter?”

Mutah rubbed his forehead, clearly aggravated, before his scowl devolved into a thoughtful frown.
“Anemos, what’s that in your hands?”
“Huh? Oh, it’s, uh… nothing.”
“It’s obviously not nothing, you’re holding it. I can see it.”
“… it’s a flyer for The Black Marsh Circus.”
There was a silence, filled only by the sound of Mutah’s forehead vein throbbing.
“A… a what?”
“Grout, I can explain!”
“You better start quick, because I’m about to punt you over the city walls!”

Quick thinking time.
Anemos gestured after Lynette, “She was interested in their circus, that’s all!”
“Then why were you of all people talking to her? Why the hell have you got her poster?”
“Because I… convinced her not to go?”
There was a third pause, and this time Anemos could hear the distinct sound of metaphorical steam rushing from Mutah’s ears.
Slowly, the older man calmed himself, until he was speaking in a tone of mild interest as opposed to irritation.
“You… what?”
“Yeah, she didn’t recognise who I was, so I, uh… told her it was a terrible bore, and that Spectacle Rock was better. She gave me her flyer, it wasn’t like she was going to need it.”
Suddenly, Grout lunged forwards, and seized Anemos’ hand roughly.
In reaction, Anemos winced, as if he expected a left hook across the jaw: But instead, all he felt was the elderly man shaking his hand firmly.
“Att’a boy. If you aren’t playing dirty, you aren’t playing.”
“U-Um… thank you, sir?”
“No, thank you. Get outta here you scamp, go cause some more mischief. I’ll see you tonight, after practice. Which you’re definitely attending.”
“Definitely.”

“Before that, though. I hear the Prince is back in town.”
Anemos well knew that, but feigning ignorance, for whatever reason, seemed like the logical course of action.
“Oh, yeah?”
“Yeah! I figure you and your old man should go and watch his speech, right? You guys are from that Ikana place.”
“Well, we’re from a circus family- y-yours, actually- but we did spend some time there when I was younger…”
“Great, great! You guys’ll definitely have to go and watch. Oh, and,” he seized the flyer from Anemos’ hand, and grinned (presumably, it was hard to tell with the moustache), “You won’t be needing this, I wouldn’t think.”
“Of course not.”
“Good,” he tore it in two, and then wandered off with a bounce in his otherwise miserable old step.
Anemos breathed a sigh of relief, and silently thanked the fates that he’d stored another flyer in his bag.
“Well, I guess if I’m going to watch the Prince’s speech, I may as well get a good seat now…”
And with that, he began wandering again, through the eastern gates and towards the northern district.
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"Why not?" Alex said to the creatures sandwich. Alex looked the creature up and down. She looked excited and if Alex was going by Zora standards then she was young, though the thief didn't know how well those really applied. She could be several hundred for all Alex knew. She should try to figure out more. She should start with something small, get the girl comfortable talking. "You looking forward to the Carnival?" There nice simple no strings attached.

The girl opened up her bag and undid several complex knots in order to get to her stuff. Alex was impressed. While it might make accessing her bag a little more difficult no thief was going to be getting in there. The sandwich that the... girl retrieved was tuna, sea salt and kelp. A good deal of people would have turned their noses up at it but Alex had grown up by the sea. She'd never eaten this specific mixture before but salty food involving fish prepared in some way or another weren't new to her and besides. It was best to get food were you could. You never knew where your next meal would come from.

Alex took a bite of the sandwich. It wasn't half bad, extremely salty and slimy but all together edible. Alex knew of course that she was among a small number that would have said so. "What do you mean, looking forward to it? Is... Isn't it started already?" asked the girl confused. Alex smiled. That was just too cute, the little fish must indeed be young to be that naive. "Sure the festivities have started but a good portion of the major acts of the Carnival have yet to open, the Marshfall and Spectacle Rock Circuses, paid performers and bands, some of the Carnival's signature food that you can't get any other time of the year and of course at midnight on the last day of the Carnival they have fireworks and open the Clock Tower." It was a thief's dream, so many people doing so many different things that they didn't notice their wallets were missing. Of course the little fish beside her would only be interested in the awe of it all. "You must not be from around here. Is this your first visit to the Carnival of Time? Oh and what's your name by the way?"

Alex sensed something strange. There was something wrong with this girl. Well apart from her physical appearance. Maybe it was Alex's distrustful upbringing but it seemed to her that no parent should be letting there little girl run around and even more so by the age that Alex assumed the girl was going by Zora standards perhaps thirteen or fourteen she should have been taught that going up to a stranger accepting food then starting a conversation involving personal details wasn't a good idea. Speaking of food Alex had offered her an apple hadn't she?

The girl was looking at awe over the crowds before she responded to Alex's question. "Yep, I've never been out before, this is my first time!" The last bit of the sentence turned into a squeal of excitement. One piece of her statement caught Alex's attention, 'out'. Perhaps she meant Great Bay or Woodfall or wherever she was from but Alex had a very strange feeling that the girl was saying it the way that one in Alex's line of work would refer to a prison. She sounded like she was talking about a building, strange. Her name Rissie was definitely a Sea Zora name and a pretty one at that.

There was a slight tap on the glass bottle next to Alex who turned to see what Iris wanted. The tiny fairy was pointing at the apple that lay next to Alex. She'd completely forgotten. "Oh sorry, I think I offered you an apple." She said passing the fruit over the roof to Rissie. Unavoidably the little fish wanted to know Alex's name. In all honest there wouldn't be any harm in telling the girl her real name but for the moment Alex felt like being anyone else. "People call me Mary." It was true enough. She'd had a dozen or so people that had called her that in her lifetime.

Alex decided to pry a bit more, if Rissie was as cluelessly honest as Alex thought it wouldn't take much. "So you live in Clock Town? Your parents don't let you out much?"

Being a thief Alex learned to read people, to know if a contact was about to give you a job or a knife in the back, to know if a mark was carefree or concerned about his wallet. It was all in their eyes and body language. Alex was picking up on a few things about this "Zora" girl.

Rissie was excited with that see the world awe, she had stock piled food and safeguarded it against thieves, though she'd apparently lived in Clock Town for years this was her first Carnival of Time and from the sound if it her parents didn't seem to give a damn. Put together it spelled one very clear picture, Rissie was running away from home. Alex supposed that it took one to know one.

Though if her parents didn't care then who had been keeping her sheltered all her life? Alex wasn't going to get anymore answers by tiptoeing are the issue. "I take it your guardians don't know you’re out?" Alex asked calmly. If it where her Alex would be running now but Rissie seemed more trusting. "And if it's not rude to ask, what are you? I've seen many of Termina's raises but never someone like you." Alex had pushed to hard she knew it but there was no turning back now.

"Weeeeell... My guardians... might? know that I'm out?" Alex had stepped over a line. That was the sort of response given when you're looking for a way out. If she trusted Alex she would have said yes or no. If she didn't she would have said yes with enough details to make it believable. This was the kind of response a scared girl gave when they feel trapped.

Rissie thought that Alex was plotting something which was ironic considering this was one of the rare moments when she did just want to talk. Something seemed to calm Rissie down a bit though. Alex followed her glance to Iris's bottle. The fairy was silent which was not unusual in the presents of strangers. There must have been some story that said only good guys had fairies, it was a load of crap but it got the kids to sleep.

The answer Rissie gave to Alex' second question Alex found just as perplexing as it appeared the girl had found the question itself. "I'm a Zora..." Not possible, no one had ever told her she was different. "I grew up in the vicinity of Great Bay. I've seen a lot of Zora's including the violent river ones but I've never seen a Zora that looks like you."

Alex almost winced as she finished. It had sort of just come out and Alex couldn't think of a way she could have been more insensitive.

As she spoke Alex saw the truth dawn on Rissie's face. Clearly her parents or whoever it was that looked after her had never spoken of it to her. She'd just assumed that she was a different strain of Zora and there were more like her in Great Bay. Alex needed to say something. She'd just shattered the girl's perception of the world with her curiosity. Alex had just assumed that Rissie knew she was different. There was a reason that Alex stuck to thievery and short cons. She didn't do people very well. A long con involved discovering a person's deepest desire and making them believe that you could give it to them. Alex could read people but she had a good deal of trouble interacting with them especially when it was important.

She had to say something to Rissie, the girl wasn't grotesque or an abomination regardless of what Iris might say. "You're not grotesque Rissie, you're just different and that's not a bad thing. Maybe you're not all Zora, maybe your mother was a different race. Did you ever meet her?"

Alex didn't know how the girl was going to react. She might go running back home demanding answers from her grandparents or she would fall apart. Anger and depression were the most likely responses to a game changing event. The girl seemed to crumble were she was sitting before she finished answering "No, I never met my mother. I'm sure she was..." Rissie sort of trailed off but Alex could guess what she was thinking, beautiful. Every motherless child wanted to imagine there mother's as a beautiful, sophisticated woman but the truth was often far more harsh.

"Rissie, being different is something to be proud of. How many of those Zoras out there can show off glittering green scales like yours." She said nodding out at the crowd. Alex was scrambling to come up with some other helpful things to say but she never got the chance. From the ground in front of the Stock Pot Inn there came a voice. "Hey Firelocks, get down here."

Alex sighed with exasperation. She'd hated that name ever since she was a little girl. Mathias Wraith was one of her most reliable contacts and she'd known him since she was ten years old. He'd helped get Alex and her sister out of Pirate's Landing when it all became to much. He still used the nickname that he'd given her when her hair still looked like flames.

"I'm sorry Rissie, I've got to go. Bear in mind what I said, there's nothing wrong with you." Alex took one last look at the Zora child before she pushed her half eaten lunch and Iris's bottle into her bag and jumped from the roof. It was only about ten feet and the thief landed with grace. The man standing in front of her was a goof foot taller than her. Everything about him was big, his neck was thick, his head was large and he was muscled from years of wielding a long blade. "Uncle Matt what do you want?" She asked slowly.

Mathias wasn't actually her uncle, that's just what Ali had called him and it sort of stuck. She wasn't entirely sure that his name was Mathias either but she didn't give that much thought. Most people didn't use there real names in her business. "I got a job for you. A family in Dawn Heights lost a Zora kid. The girl's supposed to look pretty strange too, green scales and stuff. They're pretty sure she ran away to see the Carnival. They found her professor knocked out in the study. Four hundred rupees to the one that brings her back safe and they want there name kept out of it. Hence why it came to me and not the official bounty circuit" Alex glanced at the rooftop where mercifully Rissie was invisible to the eyes down below. It was a decent price and it wasn't uncommon for thieves to take on the occasional bounty but she figured that the kid could look after herself and she deserved a couple days freedom.

"Matt, as strange as it sounds I am actually here to enjoy the carnival. Let some other punk get the reward."

Mathias grunted. "I'd have thought this one'd be right up your alley considering your rule."

Alex sighed in frustration. "Matt when I do my job right no one has to get hurt, if I make a mistake then I'll do what I have to but that doesn't mean I run after every lost school girl."

Mathias rolled his eyes. "Well if you change your mind or want a different job I'll be at my usual hide out." He turned and left her standing there. She knew what that meant, the Milk Bar.

Alex turned back to the roof of the inn. "Hey Rissie, you're family's lookin' for you. If you ain't lookin' to get caught I'd get yourself a good cloak. I gotta go. Maybe I'll see you round." With that final word Alex disappeared into the crowd.
Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Kiddo
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Kiddo

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Rissie delved into her bag, undoing the complex knots that she'd used to seal it so that not a single finger could reach in. Wouldn't have wanted thieves stealing her supplies, after all! When the thing was finally open, she pulled out something wrapped in a handkerchief, and opening it, handed it over to her new friend. "Here you go, tuna, sea salt, and kelp!" It was one of the few sandwiches that she could stand, though not her favorite. As polite and friendly as she wanted to be, no one was going to take those from her.

"What do you mean, looking forward to it?" Rissie glanced around at the crowds and musicians and dancers below them, and then back at the woman. "Is... isn't it started already?" What more could there be to a carnival than this? There were all the things that her siblings talked about right here, even what she suspected was the shooting gallery and what looked like some game stalls down the road.

Rissie sat for a few moments, watching the person eat with a bit of confusion. They... had agreed to share food, right? Or did this person think that Rissie was just in the habit of giving out sandwiches to random strangers? Not that that was the worst assumption that someone could make about her, but she really had expected to get an apple in return, regardless of whether-or-not she would eat it right now. She glanced at the apples that the woman had put aside to take the sandwich, and decided that she'd just wait. Maybe the person hadn't forgotten and was just testing her patience! In that case, she could be as patient as could be.

Rissie had never had the "stranger danger" talk with her grandparents before. Not that they were negligent in their duties, but there had just never been a reason for it; after all, the only people who she would ever see would have already been screened by them, so there really weren't any strangers to deal with, or much danger. And so Rissie didn't really have the proper qualms with simply answering this woman's questions truthfully. "Yep, I've never been out before, this is my first time!" She let her excitement shine through, still surprised and overflowing from her little rebellious adventure. "My name's Rissie."

She sat there a few moments, imagining circuses and whole bands and signature food... it all seemed magical. She'd seen the fireworks every year, already; thankfully they were fired high enough that she could see them over the roofs of the intervening houses. But she'd never seen a circus, or heard a band, or seen the Clock Tower open up. This was surely going to be an amazing few days.

"So... what's your name?" Ah yes, there was someone else there, and it was only polite for Rissie to ask for her name, since she'd asked for Rissie's.

Aha, she had remembered the apple! Patience won the day again. Rissie accepted it, wrapped it in the previously-sandwich-containing handkerchief, and placed it in her bag, busying herself with all the knots that would mean that the apple would still be there next time she looked. It was a decent trade, on her part. Fruit was one of those things that she enjoyed, but one couldn't really horde fruit for days without someone noticing. Sneaking extra sandwiches was okay, because no one ever counted the slices of bread left, or the amount of salt or kelp or tuna. They just weren't very countable things. Apples... apples were countable. And kind of a delicacy, what with seasons and all.

So yes, go apples! And patience! Rissie idly wondered how much better this whole running-away-from-home thing was going to go, because so far it had certainly been a pretty sweet deal. Sure, she hadn't dealt with her grandparents' disapproval yet (and she was pretty sure that it was highly likely that there would be plenty of that to go around when she did come back), but this was definitely worth it.

"Mary." Thankfully, one of Rissie's siblings had a friend named Mary, so she'd already gotten all of the awkward questions about why someone would be named after getting married out of the way, so she didn't have to do that this time. Had been bad enough trying to get her grandparents to explain it to them. It was an okay name, even if Rissie still didn't really get why anyone would have ever thought to name their child after marriage.

"Yeah, I live around here. And... well, I don't know." She scratched at her chin pensively. "I guess my father would probably let me do whatever I wanted? And I think my mother probably couldn't care less, too."

The woman was studying her, and all of a sudden a thought crossed Rissie's mind that made her happy expression falter for a moment. Wait... why did this person want to know about her parents? Why did she want to know where she lived?

Was this a kidnapper? That had to be what this was, it all made sense that way. The apple was probably poisoned (good thing Rissie hadn't eaten any of it!), and now this person was trying to suss out whether or not anyone would come after her if she were to be stolen away.

What then was the best course of action? Should she Inferno this person right here and jump down off the balcony and run off into the crowd? But maybe there were others working for her, maybe...

Oh wait, that was silly thinking on Rissie's part! This wasn't a kidnapper, it was a hero! She still had that fairy, after all. Relief washed over Rissie's face and she smiled again, though she still found the questions maybe a bit personal? But it was okay, that meant that they were friends, right? Friends knew all of their friends' secrets, that's what she'd heard, at least. So Rissie had found her first friend, this Mary person, and she was gonna be a good friend and do this secret-giving thing the right way, just like she was supposed to.

"Weeeeell..." her smile turned sheepish. "My guardians... might? know that I'm out?" They really shouldn't yet, the professor should have still been asleep, or maybe just beginning to untie himself from the chair where she'd bound him. And her grandparents and and siblings had gone out to enjoy the festivities themselves (the main reason why she was saving magic power for another illusion at any moment. If they walked around the corner, Rissie would have to disappear quickly). So unless someone were to go back to the house to check on her for some reason, she'd still be good for another while. And even if the professor were to free himself and alert the guards, there really wasn't much that they could do. It would be impossible to find her grandparents in such a humongous throng of people to tell them that she was missing. Nope, her escapade probably wouldn't reach her guardians' attention until that night.

The other question was odder, though. What did she mean what was Rissie? "I'm a Zora..." Rissie looked at her skeptically. How could she have never seen a Zora before? She said that she'd seen many races, was it even possible to not have met a Zora? Rissie glanced down into the crowd and could see a few dozen just from here! She returned her gaze to Mary with a questioning quirk of the brow.

Grew up in the Great Bay? And yet... Rissie's brow furrowed deeper. She knew what the Great Bay was, she knew that it was where most Zora (or rather, all Zora were born there) came from. But if there weren't any Zora there like her...

Rissie had always known that she looked weird; her siblings looked a lot more like her grandparents than she did. But her grandparents would not allow any questions on the subject, or any bullying, or any... well, any mention, really. It was just Rissie's thing. But she'd always assumed that she just looked that way because her mother must have looked that way.

Rissie glanced out at the crowd and surveyed the Zora out there. Sure, some had slightly green scales, but none as green as hers. They all had arm fins and tails on their heads, but none of their fins had the same speckling of orange that hers did. In fact, none of the other Zora had any orange on them... or ear fins, or fins on the top of their heads. Their noses were pointy, hers was stubby. Why, it looked like all of the Zora here looked like her siblings.

And none of them looked like her. She hadn't noticed, really, but now it was obvious. And no one looked like that in the Great Bay, either? What did that say about her, then? Was she a freak? Did she come from outer space? She suddenly recalled something that she hadn't thought was directed at her, but now she realized that it was. "By the Giants, that's grotesque." Was that what she was? So horrible to look at that others called upon the Giants for protection just upon seeing her?

Her smile had faded away as soon as Mary had said that. After her moments of introspection, she could only say "Oh." Wait, no, she could say more. "I... I'm grotesque, aren't I?" She wanted her new friend to deny it, but at the same time realized that it must be true. And her mother must have been dead, too, or she didn't look like her mother at all, just like some terrible mutant, since Mary had never seen anyone who looked like her.

As she'd expected, it didn't make Rissie feel any better to hear her say that. Of course Mary would deny it, she was her friend; friends didn't tell others that they looked out of something from a horror story. But "just different." Yeah, that was all, she was... different.

But unlike Mary's reassurances, Rissie knew that different was a bad thing. Her younger brother (well, one of many of them) had come home week after week for two years, bruised or crying. It had taken him until her was seven to learn how to say 's' correctly, and he'd been teased and bullied mercilessly for it, because it was different. And now that she saw just how different she was, Rissie finally could make the connection between her odd looks and the reason that she'd always been kept locked away; namely that they were the reason. Maybe her grandparents didn't want her to have to deal with bullies, or maybe they didn't want to make anyone have to look at something so hideous. Were they ashamed of her, was she some family monster to keep hidden away?

For a few seconds, she considered going back. There was still time to make it back before her grandparents would learn of her escape, and maybe before anyone had realized at all. Maybe this was as much of the carnival as she should see, and she should just go and lock herself away again to spare the world her horribleness. Surely that would make the world better, right, since that was what her grandparents were doing. Why, probably everyone who had seen her today had had their day ruined by her strangeness.

But she also realized that no, the world really didn't revolve around her, and she wasn't that hideous. Maybe she insulted some people's sensibilities, but they weren't going to have a bad time at this carnival because of it; no one could have a bad time at such a wondrous event. Not even she could, and she steeled her will to see her plan through. She'd demand an explanation from her grandparents when she got back, but for now she was going to have a good time and not think about it.

Though it would be rude to not answer Mary's new question. "No, I never met my mother. I'm sure she was..." Well Rissie had been about to say beautiful; after all, what daughter didn't want to imagine their mother as a queen, since that would make them a princess! But she just let the sentence trail off. Though in her mind she still saw her image of her mother: someone who looked like her, but older, and bluer, and with kind soft eyes; though she still saw this and thought it was beautiful, she realized that that too would be horrible and grotesque to these people. It was better just to keep her vision to herself.
Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Chanda
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Chanda Just Barely Enough Effort

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"I'm just saying, try not to get your hopes up, okay? There are probably hundreds of Ikana Knights out there, so I'd say the odds of your dad being one of the prince's escorts is pretty slim," advised Zunari, taking a swig from his flask before offering it to Oliver, who refused. The young contractor and his employer sat on the edge of the small platform in front of the Clock Tower's (currently closed) upper entrance. With the preparations for the procession completed just in time, South Clock Town was already packed with spectators eager to witness the first public appearance of Ikana's royal family in over 25 years.

The parade path, blocked off by a series of gaudy golden fence-posts connected by a sturdy metal chain, began at the southern gate, wrapped around the Clock Tower, and continued through the northern park, finally ending at a small stage in front of the mayor's residence, where the Prince would be giving his highly anticipated speech to the eager masses. From their lofty perch, Oliver and Zunari could see the entire parade path. The two had elected to stay out of the crowd and watch from afar, more for the sake of comfort than anything else.

"I know, I know. I'm just excited to finally see some real Ikana Knights either way," added Oliver. "I doubt I'd be able to recognize Swiftblade even if he was there. My mother only ever told me he was handsome. I guess pictographs weren't in style back then," he mused, with a sigh. He secretly wished his mother could've been there with him, but he'd resolved to avoid dwelling on such thoughts. Oliver was surprised when Zunari, who was absolutely drowning in paperwork with all the contracts coming, offered to keep him company at the parade. At the end of the day, in Oliver's world of week-long acquaintanceships, Zunari was perhaps the only person Oliver considered a real friend.

"I'd wager he wouldn't be able to recognize you either, Ollie. Last time he saw you you were just a little baby. Now you're a slightly taller baby," smirked Zunari, rubbing his spindly black goatee.

"Oh, I'm a little toddler, am I? This coming from the guy who needs a custom made high chair just to make eye contact with clients?" sneered Oliver. It was true; Zunari was not blessed with even average height, something that the snide merchant-thief was loathe to discuss. An exotic looking little man, Zunari had strangely dark skin and beady black eyes that were somewhat enchanting, if a bit shifty. Perhaps to make up for his lack of physical ability, Zunari was a shrewd negotiator and a cunning thief; it was under Zunari's tutelage, in fact, that Oliver had developed his own brand of guile.

Before Zunari could retort, however, the low chime of the midday bells erupted from the Clock Tower behind the pair, startling both of them. Perhaps there was a reason why no one else found their spot so desirable. Nevertheless, shortly after the bells ceased, the sound of a lone trumpet echoed from the South gate, followed by the sound of distant drums. The Ikana had finally arrived, it would seem, and in a grand fashion at that. First through the gate were four bannermen, flanked by two drummers dressed in ceremonial battle garb. Next came twenty knights, marching in rows of five, armed with spears and tower shields. Compared to the conservative garb of the Clock Town locals, the Ikana seemed like they'd stepped right out of a museum. The armor of the Ikana had an exotic feel, to be sure; instead of plate mail and full helms, the Ikana favored elaborate headdresses, light chain armor, and elaborately decorated mantles like the one Oliver had inherited.

At last Prince Davos Du Ikana, atop an impressive white horse, came through the gate. His armor was perhaps the strangest of all; a chain cuirass with golden plate accents, a red cloth tabard-cloak bearing the Ikana Royal Family sigil in silver embroidery, and a fully enclosed helmet crafted from what appeared to be the skull of a fairly large wolf. At first the strange helmet shocked many onlookers (perhaps those who remembered a time when the Ikana were trully walking skeletons), but when the prince removed it with a grand flourish to reveal a human (and rather ruggedly handsome) face beneath, the crowd immediately erupted with applause.

Davos was flanked on both sides by two other mounted knights with elaborate skeletal headdresses and highly ornamented greatswords. These were likely the prince's first escorts, and they certainly looked the part. Both men were incredibly tall and muscular, so much so that their hardy black steeds seemed to be struggle under their sheer girth. After the Prince came another block of twenty nights, with two more bannermen bringing up the rear.

"The kingdom seems to be doing remarkably well for itself. Strange," wondered Zunari, scanning the ranks of the soldiers with a rather perplexed look on his face. Oliver gave no response; he was too busy searching the entire parade for a knight wearing a royal blue mantle like his own. Perhaps today would be the day he'd finally meet Sir Cecil Pike, the father who was nothing more to him than an old tattered cape and bunch of secondhand stories.
Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Captain Jenno
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In the end, Anemos had attended the Prince’s arrival, not out choice, but because Grout had insisted upon it.
”What if he recognises you, pal? Invite him to the show!”
“Get off of me, you greedy old reptile! He won’t recognise me, I was ten!”
“Take your old man along with you, then!”
“He won’t-”
“Go!”
“What about practi-”
Go!


But, despite having been forced to attend, he was somewhat happy to be there.
His pessimism towards the Prince’s return had steadily dissipated as the morning had passed him by, replaced instead by some insoluble excitement.
Perhaps he was just eager to get out of practice- which, admittedly, wasn’t a healthy attitude for a performer to have- And, of course, he was always grateful to get a few moments alone with his father.
It was a leisure that’d grown increasingly rare over the years: The man often buried himself in his work these days.

Arichias Seuhans was an admirable competitor, when it came to growing old with grace.
He still maintained an impressive stature of 6’1- Although, it’s rumoured he was even taller in his youth- and even at the age of 60, there wasn’t hide nor hair of a hump on his back, nor a hunch in his step.
His hair- unlike his sons- was respectably short, tightly curled, and had only just begun to lose its pigment, meaning its fair brown hue threatened now to transition into a platinum blonde.
Even his skin, sun-kissed and dark, retained its youth, and shine.
He might even have been able to pass for his mid-40s, if the features of his face didn’t betray him: And that was not to say it was plagued with flaws and wrinkles.

No, his pale green eyes were what betrayed his six decades: Light pools, in which lingered every joy and regret.
His lips, too, carried the faint signs of age in the lines that flanked their sides, the ghosts of laughter and of pensive frowning.

He and Anemos had taken a position towards the back of the crowd, but it was of little inconvenience to the pair of them, considering their substantial heights.
“Hell of a turn out, huh, Dad?”, Anemos asked, bouncing very lightly on the balls of his feet like a child, anticipating a treat.
“Hm.”
“Huh? Something wrong?”
“No, I’m sorry. I was… lost, in thought.”
“What’s on your mind?”
“Work.”
“Work’s always on your mind, cut loose for a change! Forget about The Rock for a half hour, won’t you?”
The elder of the two fell silent for a moment, and sighed softly.
“You take after your mother,” he observed.
“Well, I definitely didn’t get my looks from you,” Anemos replied, chuckling.
“True enough…” Arichias concurred, stroking his chin thoughtfully, “If you had, you wouldn’t have to wear that mask,” he grinned wryly: Anemos scowled.
“Come on,” Arichias coaxed with a chuckle that was frightfully reminiscent of Anemos’, “Looks like you didn’t inherit my sense of humour.”
“I did,” Anemos assured him, with a playfully indignant folding of the arms, “That’s the problem.”

The two bantered back and forth for a little while more, before the steadily increasing roar of the crowd pushed them into silence.
The moment had come at last, as the Prince rode proudly into through the walls of Clock Town, preceded and succeeded by the likes of his elaborately dressed royal procession.
Of course, the crowds exploded into riotous applause: This was the man who’d contributed nothing to this land but the shadow of his citadel, but by the thundering of their hands you’d have thought he was the people’s king.
The citizens of Clock Town were enthralled by the Ikana assembly- how couldn’t they be?- all, or so it seemed to him, except Anemos

Laying his eyes upon their lustrous cuirasses, and- quite honestly- convoluted headsets, he found himself overtaken by a nauseating sensation of dawning realisation.
Before him stood a life he could’ve lived: All he ever was, all he is, and all he could have been.
Knights, gallant and legendary, favoured by the roars of the crowd, and blessed by their decision to remain inside of Ikana’s walls.
This was it. These were his worlds- his reality, and his wildest dreams- colliding. And it was…
Ridiculous.

Although it was inaudible above all of the applause, and cheering, he couldn’t help but laugh and chortle, as he was swept by a sudden sensation of self-reassurance.
These knights were no more than he: They dressed in fancy garb, played a role, and nothing more!
What made them different, save for the circumstances of their alliance?
Anemos, too, had heard the crowds call this way: Except, he was never stationary.
He’d earned those applause. They had done nothing for two decades, and their fanfare would be, he hoped, short-lived.
They both wore ostentatious garb, as well, although Anemos’ was intended to spellbind the audience, whereas the knights simply wore theirs to assure the citizens that they were a higher class of man than them.
And did they not both undo the wicked?
No. They had done nothing: That had been Orca’s job.
“Knights!”, he chuckled, “Do you see these men, dad? At least we have the common decency to admit we’re performers! Right? … Dad?”

Anemos turned his head to his left, to find his father absent from his side, and instead stalking away, towards the alleys and away from the Prince’s welcoming party.
“Hey, Dad! Wait up!” Anemos called, before pursuing him.
Hidden 5 yrs ago Post by Dervish
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So, that's what a ceremonial procession of dead men looked like.

Ikana's old history was, surprisingly, passably familiar to Teruk. The entire nation was cursed, a land that suffered no living man. It was well and all before Teruk's time, a land that had maintained an isolationist policy that for all intents and purposes might as well been the exact same as if Ikana was still cursed. He watched, sitting on the roof of a nearby building with a few other Deku, as well as human children who couldn't otherwise find a decent place to watch. Despite the entirety of the Deku procession that came to Clockdown technically being here on behalf of the King, only a small handful of hand-picked dignitaries were sent as proper envoys and would very much be the ones to greet these impressive looking knights. For being a nation that was once a bunch of skeletons, they looked far more full of life than most of the crowd, some of which were watching in stunned silence. Teruk looked around at his fellow kinsmen, wondering how many of them were appraising the suits of armour these dark-skinned men wore not for the elaborate and stunning attention to detail, but rather for how much each individual piece would be worth. Just once suit, Teruk decided, was worth more than he'd likely ever see in his entire life. That was humbling. Most of the metals in Woodfall was imported; the precious metal available in Ikana must have been abundant to attach it to such fine armour. You simply didn't expend scant resources on impressing onlookers on something that was, in theory, meant for battle unless you had enough to spare on such trivial things, regardless of how important you were. The Ikana Knights were visually impressive, but all their pomp and pageantry and metal that caught the sun, they looked more like show pieces than warriors. An equal number of armed and armoured Gorons would look absolutely terrifying compared to the Ikana knights. Hell, even the Clocktown soldiers looked like they were a proper fighting force compared to what Teruk saw before him.

True to his word, his Uncle finished looking after Teruk's wares for him while he hurried off through the bustling crowds to find a good spot to watch the parade. It was exciting being among the sights and smells of so many different cultures; what some people found to be outright offensive smelling didn't have the same values to Teruk, given his entirely different physiology. He spent some of his rupees on a roasted turkey leg, which he carried around with him like children would carry candy or a balloon. It must have looked rather unnerving to some people, as it escaped some people's notice that Deku were largely carnivorous, subsiding on meat from their hunts to sustain themselves. Seeing a dimunitive, mostly harmless looking scrub stick a large leg of meat in his mouth and have a large chunk of it disappear each time certainly made some people uneasy. Teruk found it hilarious. At least when he ate, compared to other races, he didn't make people witness something like that rather disgusting biting and chewing motion.

As he found his way to the streets where the Ikana parade was to happen, he decided he'd attend that Blackmarsh Circus that seemed to be all the buzz... well, the buzz that didn't involve the sudden change of heart from Ikana. People seemed rather excited for it, and the performers were allegedly famous. Hell, this was as much of a business trip as a vacation. Might as well enjoy the sights while they're in town. It didn't take long for him to locate a Deku flower that someone had planted well before Teruk got there that other scrubs were using to launch themselves into the sky to stake claim to various points of interest to watch the parade. It was with that same flower that he found himself on the red-tiled roof with a bag of chocolate covered crickets, not unlike the child next to him with a bag full of sweets.

"Quite something else, aren't they?" Uncle Jera said from behind Teruk, taking a seat with his nephew with Aunt Loni in tow.

"Yeah, although I don't think I'm quite as flabbergasted as the rest of the crowd. I get they're trying to make an impression and not come across as terrifying warriors, but come on. They aren't living up to the image I had in my mind." Teruk admitted.

"Like how you thought Goron were all incoherent sub-intelligent rocks that only discovered bomb making by complete accident?" Aunt Loni prodded jokingly.

Her nephew grunted. "I was a child then. This... is a bit different, although I will admit it's a bit more reassuring than seeing an army of skeletons marching through the streets. They'd probably be tempted to eat a child along the way. You probably have a hell of an appetite when you can't digest anything."

The child beside Teruk gasped in shock, causing his Aunt and Uncle to chuckle in amusement. "Don't mind him, little one." Loni said. "He's always been fond of horror stories."

"Besides, he was really talking about Deku scrubs." Uncle Jera said, leaning forward towards the kid, who looked like he was about to scream. Jera laughed and handed the youth a toy he had in his own satchel. "I'm merely teasing you, little one. We're all friends here."

Teruk was quiet for a moment before he responded. "Yeah... but are they?" he wondered allowed, watching the brilliant-looking knights stroll passed, marching and riding in expert and somewhat unnerving precision.
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