Octavio quietly nodded at Chres. Earlier he had reasoned that there must have been some important reason behind taking along such an… interesting
familiar around, but didn't expect tragedy. He was at a loss for words and didn't know how to comfort the man who had just revealed an intimate part of himself to him. He nearly sighed from both the frustration of being too inexperienced to handle honest conversations and a growing empathy for his party. Would cheering him up be the right thing to do? “My condolences, Chres,”
he finally uttered. Forming a grin on his face, he added, “I suppose this means I´ll have to warn Lynx against battering her around.”
As he continued their errand the unmistakable air of tension began to manifest in Octavio´s surroundings. He knew it was ridiculous, but it was a relief to be thrust into a situation he was much more familiar with. His eyes glazed over the scene unfolding before him with a false warmth, discretely monitoring all of the little changes in the facial expressions and body movements of the innkeeper and the cultists. This was definitely more than haggling gone wrong, and by the way the thugs in particular tensed, things were going to get ugly.
In response he began to form an illusion in his mind, working slowly so as to maintain his unassuming appearance. He started with big, broad strokes to get the fundamentals right, and then moved on to the more complex parts as the image took on a more solid grip in his mind. It almost felt automatic given the amount of times he had created illusions of himself. With luck, the tension would defuse and his safety measure would result useless.
"But Sightless Syella, on the other hand..."Damn it.
They took to the alleyway in a storm of footsteps, Chres leading the way and Octavio hurriedly catching up to him. At some point during the commotion he had summoned his illusion unintentionally, much like someone holding a heavy object tended to drop it while running. He wasn´t sure if the amount of intelligence he had imbued in this one was even enough to make it viable, but there was no time to spare in escaping the quintet of armed thugs behind them.
Octavio chuckled to himself. Seeing Chres do the exact same thing he was planning on made him respect the man more. There was no doubt in his mind that some of the others would have tried tossing themselves into battle had he been paired up with them. Near his legs Lynx shot out like an arrow, successfully outpacing everyone present. The cat jolted even faster at the sight of another warrior joining their claustrophobic battle.
While the appearance of another stranger urged him to run faster, he shouted their names and even slew one of the thugs. Another warrior appointed to join their improvised party of hostages?
He could always ask that later. Right now, the prime opportunity to strike presented itself right before him. Octavio descended on the closest thug, his illusion joining him and doubling the pressure with no time wasted. This one was definitely a bit harder to control than his typical illusions. Had he been an unrestrained man, a large grimace would have covered his face. Instead he remained fairly neutral, wearing a small smirk on both of them.
His combat style consisted of waiting, gathering his power, and striking when his opponent was weakest, typical for a rogue. The current situation he found himself in was the total opposite however. He was fighting at a disadvantage, and had to compensate for that by going on the defensive. Using his natural dexterity and the fact that there were two of him, he watched his own back and stuck to landing safe slashes on his opponents, not letting them strike at him in return. Rather than target any one thug in particular, he had dangerously placed himself close to the center of the action and settled on punishing anyone who got too close. Chres could use ranged magic, so this could be helpful for him, right? He made a mental note to claim that that had been a part of this strategy from the beginning when asked.
Throughout the chaos of battle several shallow cuts had been successfully scored against the skin of both Octavio and his illusion. The ferocity of the thugs was rising, leaving Octavio no choice but to pull back. A thug noticed this and went in for an opening in his stance, successfully striking at the illusion. The heavy blow had carved an enormous gash across his shoulder and incapacitated him. Not letting the pressure get to him, Octavio´s smirk grew by a fraction and the man sped to try and catch the thug by surprise.
He dug his dagger messily into the man´s flank and prepared to fight any resistance with his remaining short sword. Throwing knives weren´t an option with so many allies close. His strategy had switched to being fully offensive, circling the thug with both of his selves, making it impossible to completely defend himself from attack. His illusion went in for the kill, impaling the man brutally in the throat. The illusion´s movements were sloppy and he let the sword linger inside of the man far longer than he should have before dragging it out, a sign that his injuries were grave. He couldn´t create another one either, as the alleyway choked out the light and would extend the length of the process. This battle would have to end fast.