Recent Statuses

6 mos ago
Current Help me drive my GM to the brink of insanity and let's see how many poeple he can handle:…
6 mos ago
Who needs pork and beans when you have porn and memes. That makes no sense but it sounded good so f*** it.
6 mos ago
When you're having a slow day, waiitng for your RP partners to post, and you think, "should I start another one?" But know you'll just burn out if you take on too much...
6 mos ago
Yes, but that's why we love cats. That and they are warm and floofy.
6 mos ago
Go outside, it's winter. You'll be cooler than cool, I promise.


Facts about me:
1. I like writing.
2. I like cats.
3. I like RWBY. (#Yangbestgril)
4. I am 25 years old.
5. I have graduated college.
6. I'm trying to get better at drawing.
7. I'm a dude.
8. I eat far too much cheese.

Various, relevant links:

Most Recent Posts

He'd dug his own grave in a way. Christine had talked him into this mess, and he'd assumed he'd be on the same team as her. So he'd gone and found Bak, thinking that would be his third and final teammate. Only to find that Yuuto and Vittorio, with Bak taken, had then gone to Christine who'd said yes, and so on and so forth and now he was on a team with motherfucking Thobias.

It was par for course really. Make any effort and life would without fail turn around in kick you in the mouth for daring to think anything would go your way. The validation was nice, he supposed...?

He winced as Bak fired off a volley of missiles, trying to make a big show of things. Well, she was succeeding. Bak might have been off-putting for a lot of people, but from the safety of their seats the masses loved a big, scary monster. He saw a few people glancing at him expectantly, wanting him to join the display. He indeed gave them something: his middle finger.

Play the role, right?

Speaking of Bak, she'd... confided in him about Vittorio. It had been surprising. He wasn't exactly friends with her, he just sort of knew her better than most. They'd been actual friends for maybe a week or two before she'd decided he was a disappointment. Not shocking. He was a lousy friend -- lazy and pessimistic. He was fine in a group, with other people to make up for his less than sparkling attitude, but one-on-one? Well, some days he wondered why Christine stuck around.

Regardless, what she'd told him was concerning, even for someone like him whose motto was: "I don't care." He could at least understand why Bak was worried. In the end, though, there wasn't much he could do. He'd promised, not that she'd left much room for choice, to keep an eye out and stop him if he saw him doing anything crazy. It wasn't like they could babysit him, but he'd try.

He wanted a nice, quiet night after this. If Vittorio went nuts, he'd probably be dealing with some variety of nonsense for at least a week.
. . .
. .

Cassius just sort of smiled nervously as some of his classmates gave speeches. He had to hand it to Andreim, his speech was worthy of applause. Not many had the confidence to unprompted give a speech. Then William tried to follow suit and, in Cassius's opinion... well maybe it would have helped if he wasn't following in Andreim's wake.

It was certainly a speech that held meaning, but he couldn't say he felt super motivated by it. It was a bit awkward. Victory within the bounds of the law? Well, he supposed Mephisto's was known for cheating, not that it could usually be proven, so there was that. He guessed William wanted to take the high road.

He tried to clap for William too, but he just couldn't get into it and it turned into more of a pitying slow clap despite his best intentions. Still, just like Andreim, he'd gone and done it. He must have been motivated.

"Let's hope he's better at fighting than he is at speech giving, eh pal?" he whispered to Katherine with a whimsical smile. William was on their team after all. She looked a little distracted now that he looked at her. "By the way, you're not gonna totally lose it if we end up against that Mephisto's guy are you?" He thought he might have caught a glimpse of him earlier. Unfortunately for Kath, KOing the opponent wasn't the goal today. He wondered if maybe that's what had her preoccupied.
. . .
. .

. . . The Meeting With William. . .

In the end, Wolf didn't shake William's hand.

"Like I said, nothing's changed. I'll do my best to keep Andras safe and if that ends up helping you, so be it," Wolf told him. Like it or not, Vera had put those thoughts of his mother in his head. Maybe, deep down, with that connection drawn... he really did resent William. He'd never thought too much about William's plan. He'd sat safely on his fence, able to protect Andras and do his job without having to form an opinion.

In a way, that was still the case, but now he'd been forced to think about it.

. . . At the Tournament. . .

"My what?" Wolf's face flushed as Ria ran off. Side piece!? Wait... MEREDITH!?! Dream message or not, she'd been MIA for over a week! And now his head was spinning. Not good. He just hoped he could calm down by the time the fighting started. Fortunately, Nas didn't seem to have any thoughts on Ria's comment and helped distract him from all that.

"Y-yeah... if they stand and fight, we should win," Wolf replied. There were lots of weird abilities that could complicate his life, but if he could get and keep his hands on anyone, he'd be fine. Then the flag could be taken at leisure.

He doubted it would be that easy.
@Hammerman So the Potato (6slyboy6) has returned from their 10 day absence and very strongly suggested that they want Thobias on the same team as Rurik and Bak.

This would leave Christine on a team with Yuuto and Vittorio.

You said you were fine anywhere, but that you did prefer the team with Rurik and Bak.

I'll let you decide how you wanna handle this.

(Also gonna ping @6slyboy6 I guess)

Christine Abigail

The training session had been an… interesting affair. The winning team’s princess, poor Bak, had been in a near ruinous state by the end, while the second place team was nearly unscathed as a whole. He didn’t count Annabelle’s effectively self-inflicted wounds, which had all healed on their own anyway.

Rurik’s team, however… well. Christine had done her job just fine. She’d even been one of those who’d gone after the exposed and helpless Bak. Rurik had done his ob as well… kind of. Not really. Oh, anyone he’d caught gunning for Christine had been stonewalled. Shut down entirely.

Before very long at all, they’d realized that aiming for Christine was useless. She herself was too powerful, and Rurik’s shield was just a nightmare to get past. Their only hope was an end-run to take out Vernon.

Vernon had realized just as quickly that Rurik wasn’t all that concerned about him, nor was he very good at following orders. His best bet had then been to just stick as close to Rurik and Christine as possible and be defended by proxy. Yes, he’d quite thoroughly overestimated Rurik’s ability to give a shit, Christine or not, and just as thoroughly underestimated his ability to be a spiteful little prick.

When Christine had gone off to take her shot at Bak, the team had been temporarily split up. Annabelle had known she was one of the few people that could get through Rurik’s defenses and simultaneously shrug off his attacks… And he wasn’t even allowed to attack. So, Rurik hadn’t done either. As she’d charged him, he stepped aside, and to make sure she didn’t follow him, he’d set the ground he’d been standing on to explode.

Catapulting her right into Vernon.


And that had been that.

As certain as Vernon was that Rurik’s actions had been purposeful, the guy wouldn’t admit it. At the same time, he hardly seemed upset by the outcome. It had certainly hastened his exit from the training session.

After shrugging off any admonishment or criticism aimed his way, Rurik took his leave of the area as soon as possible. The training session itself had ended up being mostly painless, but Vernon’s presence had made it distasteful enough all on its own. He just wanted to relax for the rest of the day, and hopefully with Christine for some of it.

“Hey, wait up!” A voice called after them. It was Vernon.

“Look, I already apologized,” Rurik said. Not that he’d meant it. “What more do you want?”

“Oh, it’s nothing to do with that,” Vernon replied. It was its own sort of lie. Rurik, either through negligence or ill will had humiliated Vernon. “I just thought I’d do you a favor. Clear the air if you would. I guess it’s more for Christine’s benefit, really.”

“Don’t you-” Rurik didn’t have to think all that hard to guess what he was getting at.

“Christine, my dear, did you know about Rurik’s reputation? I mean, I’ve heard it's quite prodigious in certain circles. If I had to guess, part of the reason he sleeps so much is because he’s always getting into fights! Good news is that he wins most of them, otherwise your relationship might be in jeopardy!”

“Vernon…” Rurik growled. It did nothing to stop the incoming flood.

“Oh, that’s right. He’s a bit of a gambling man it seems. His favorite wager is you! Bets your relationship on nearly every fight he gets into!” Vernon explained. “I just… got the impression you weren’t aware of all this. Figured it’d be good to get it all out in the open!”

Rurik pursed his lips. Well… he was right. Last he’d checked, Christine had never visited the little fighting ring he participated in. In fact, once he’d realized how many people were abusing it to try and get him to leave Christine, he’d tried to keep it that way. As far as he was concerned, the less she was involved in that garbage the better.

The only times it had ever come up were the two or three instances he’d actually lost and had “broken up with her”. . . for all of ten seconds before asking to get back together.

For example…

“So hey, I lost a bet and now we have to break up…” Rurik had told her. He’d then looked down at his wrist, where one might wear a watch and waited a second or two. “OK that should be good. Wanna go out with me again?” That had been the first time.

And then…

“Please don’t get mad, but it happened again. Which means I guess we have to break up again.” He sighed, feigning looking upset. It was about two months after the first time. “Damn, and we had that lunch thing planned too. Well, I don’t wanna mess up your schedule, so how about we do that anyway and we can talk about getting back together while we’re at it?”

It was hardly in the spirit of the wagers, but they’d never specified he couldn’t ask her out again right away. He’d always passed it off like he’d lost a simple bet over something like a coin-flip or something far less serious. He’d also never made it obvious just how many times it had been an issue, because he usually won, in which case there was no reason for Christine to ever hear about it.

That was the big issue. She liked fighting well enough, he doubted she’d be too mad about him getting into a lot of fights. Probably. But, now doubly so after Thobias’s scolding, the frequency of the bets made him think she might get offended. In his mind he’d only done it to shut people up… but… And then to top it all off he’d kept it from her.

And so he let out a sigh.

“Well it’s pretty much like he says,” Rurik told her. “So… you mad at me?” He offered no explanations or excuses. He’d just let it play out.

“Oh, really?” Christine responded. “Rurik getting into fights like that… I didn’t think he was that kind of guy…”

Her expression wasn’t that of anger however. Instead, it was one of curiosity and light surprise.

“I thought he would be too lazy to get into fights out of his own will,” she said to Vernon with a smile. “But betting his relationship with me… I wonder why his opponents wanted to accept such a wager… Hmm, I guess because they wanted to date me, perhaps? That explains those couple times when Rurik broke up with me. So that was the bet…”

“But really, even if Rurik broke up with me, that doesn’t mean I’m going to date them, especially when most of them are just troublemakers and perverts.”

Ever since Christine entered Mephisto, she had been attracting quite the attention from the hornier male students. Since it was Mephisto, so a lot of students were troublemakers, there weren’t any shortage of boys trying to grope her breasts or look up her panties. Every day she had to repel them and assert her dominance. Only after that then the harassment lessened, she got the “Snow Princess” moniker, and she was accepted as one of the student council members.

Rurik wasn’t one of those boys, which made Christine appreciate him.

“Well… it was mostly them making the bet and me accepting,” he clarified. And then she basically said for him exactly why. He hadn’t seen much risk in it. How likely had Christine been to drop him for one of them just because he lost? Apparently, as he’d suspected, not very.

“So, that everything then?” Rurik asked Vernon. He could see the tension in the boy’s face. Clearly he’d expected at least somewhat more explosive results by blowing Rurik’s little “secret” into the open.

“Well… yes. I suppose it is,” Vernon replied, far less energetic than he had been when he’d first approached. “Enjoy the rest of your day.” Somehow Rurik doubted he meant that.

He waited silently for a moment as Vernon left and then he turned back to Christine.

“So… I mean I get that finding out I was getting into fights isn’t really bad in your eyes… but as far as everything else goes… we’re good?” he asked her, now that they didn’t have the prying eyes of a witness.

“Yeah, we’re good!” Christine replied brightly. “Although I really prefer you to win in those matches. I would be troubled if they win and they actually decide to come to me and ask me to go out with them.”

Rurik did have to wonder why none of those people he’d lost to had ever gone up to Christine. Perhaps they just felt too awkward trying to ask out a girl who still had a boyfriend, even if they’d just managed to beat up that boyfriend. After all, if they’d truly though they’d had a chance, they probably wouldn’t have bothered with him in the first place.

“Well, don’t worry, I don't plan on that ever being a problem.” Today pretty much sealed it. Thobias had told him to cut all that nonsense out, but now he had his own definite reason to stop. He figured he’d still get into the odd fight here and there, but he’d be leaving Christine out of it. “And besides, I think I’ve already beaten most of the people who wanna go out with you anyway.” Some days it felt like he’d literally blasted his way through half the school…

To be fair, not all of them had been gunning for Christine. Some had just really, really wanted to fight and a punch to the jaw shut them up faster than trying to talk them out of it.

“By the way, Rurik…” Christine suddenly changed the topic of the conversation. “Are you going to participate in this year’s tournament? It’s okay if you don’t want to. I’m just asking, that’s all,”

Christine secretly thought that he might be a little more motivated for the tournament as he had been doing fights all this time.

It was a good thing Rurik didn’t smile often to begin with because he’d have certainly stopped then. The tournament. He had completely forgotten that was a thing. He’d even glossed over the fact that that was why there had been a training session. Of course Christine was gonna bring it up.

“I wasn’t planning on it,” he told her. “You go to something like that and people start having expectations of you and it’s a lot more hassle than just a few street fights here and there.” If he won, then he had to progress further and keep fighting, and if he lost then everyone would give him that disappointed look… like last time. No, it was best if he just stayed out of it to begin with.

“Alright then,” Christine responded, sounding slightly disappointed. “If you don’t want to, that’s fine with me.”

“Right…” Good, no pressure then. He then patted his pants pockets as if he was looking for something. “Ah. I think I forgot something. I’ll catch up with you.” And with that, he turned on his heel and jogged back they way they’d came.

Meanwhile, Vernon had rounded up his two lackeys and was making his way toward one of the exits to the school. A sudden, sharp whistle got his attention. He turned his head to see Rurik, standing by a large rock, placed decoratively next to a tree.

“What does this idiot want n-” And suddenly the rock jumped five feet into the air and Rurik slammed his palm against it, sending it flying at Vernon. His eyes went wide. But no, there was no way he’d go through with this. It’d be diverted or something at the last second. Rurik wasn’t insane enough to throw a rock that big at someone!

Yes, Vernon would call the fools bluff and stand his ground!

“BOSS! WATCH OUT!” Not that he got a say in the matter. His henchmen tackled him off his feet and threw him clear of the rock. He then new two things. One, he was lying face first on the concrete walkway, covered in dirt, and two… the rock hadn’t stopped and totally would have hit him. He looked up in time to see Rurik walking away whilst giving Vernon a middle-finger salute.


A short time later, Rurik jogged back over to Christine.

“Sorry about that,” he said. “Did you hear that crashing? Bak must have found someone to discipline on her way… to wherever the hell she was going.” Where even did Bak go at the end of the day? He realized he had no idea. But then he paused for a moment and took a breath. “But actually that was me throwing rocks at Vernon because he made me mad,” he admitted. “Don’t worry, he’s fine.” Unfortunately.

He’d gotten lucky this time, but this whole awkward situation had spawned from him keeping things from Christine. A bit more honesty was called for, he decided. Well, at least with her.

. . . A Few Weeks Later . . .

She’d said it was fine with her if he didn’t participate, but she had kept dropping not so subtle hints ever since that she wanted him to join. After all, she was going to participate and wouldn’t it be so fun to be on the same team? And yeah, that had also told him it was going to be a team event. He wouldn’t have to do all the work alone, but that meant even more disappointed looks if he even threw a fight.
Eventually he’d been worn down, like a stone eroded by water, and agreed. But they still needed a third teammate.

Vernon? Make it the same team as during training? He barely even entertained that thought. Annabelle would probably actually say yes, but also screw that. Thobias? Considerably more potential, but he still didn’t exactly like Thobias. Win or lose, he’d prefer this to be as painless as possible. Maybe that weird ninja guy, he had been useful before, and apparently was a student. He’d participated in training after all.

But how the hell did one go about finding a ninja? That was sort of there thing after all -- not being found.

He grimaced. He only really knew one other person well enough to ask.

And that was how he’d wound up going to Bak of all people...

There was a bit of silence as they took in the information overload that William had just dumped on them. Then, finally,it broke. Slowly at first, but a shattering seemed imminent.

Clap... clap... clap...

Vera slowly clapped, something about it making the hair on the back of Wolf's neck stand up. He had a bad feeling about this. She looked too calm.

"A narcissist? But one who uses his narcissism it to fuel good deeds. Well, it's certainly something a narcissist might say," Vera told him. "So, now we're bringing back the dead to manipulate people? Gotta say, I'm impressed. I mean, really, I'm starting to lose track of who the bad guy is here!" She smirked and leaned toward William. Truly, she did almost appreciate how devious it was. She hadn't expected it from him. But at the end of the day, it was still the same plan, just with a new motive. "That's fucked up." Slowly though, the smirk faded and her usual, cold disdain came back.

So now William wanted to bring back Galbrek's dead brother? The whole thing was stupid and opened up a can of worms she thought was best left closed, but that... that rubbed her the wrong way for a completely different reason. William had devised a plan to bring back the dead, and this was what he was choosing to do with it?

. . . A Few Days Ago . . .

In a strange turn of events, Vera had shown up at Wolf's house and invited him to get lunch with her. It was really later in the day than lunchtime, but she'd waited til' he was done training with his father for the day. To no one's surprise, she had an ulterior motive. They ate mostly in silence, but as the food began to dry up, she finally spoke.

"So... what were you two talking about?" she asked him.

". . . what?" Wolf needed more context for that one.

"You and Meredith. She loses her shit and kicks me out, then drags me back in and loses her shit even more. What were you two talking about?" Vera scowled. "It feels like you're keeping secrets from me."

"She was just worried about me-"

"Why?" Vera asked. "If she was worried that means something is going on. Why don't I know this?" She didn't like not knowing things. "I mean, I was the one who had bad things happen to them, but you're the one who gets coddled?"

"No- Well..." She wasn't wrong, technically. He let out a long, tired sigh. "You know everything that happened. It's just between not being there for you and my mother's portrait, I wasn't in the best place. That's what really set her off too."

"The portrait? I mean, I get it. It's a nasty thing to do, but... all that?" Vera asked. "You know, you never talk about her. I know she's dead, but... still seems weird. I feel like I should have heard something by now." There must be something there. Wolf wasn't that old, so neither could his mother have been. That and the silence said something.

"It's... hard to think about her..." Wolf admitted. "She was great, but... with all the good memories still comes the bad."

"Bad? But she was great?" The implications were a bit concerning.

"Yeah. She was strong. Kinda strict, but always there. Looking back... she put everything she had into being a mother. But... it's just that..." His face fell into his hands for a moment. When his hands fell away, he looked more distant. "She died in front of me." There, it was out there for her to know.

Vera began shifting uncomfortably. She was regretting asking. "Like... in a hospital?"


Her face turned pale. "Oh." She swallowed and looked away. "OK." And that was all she could think to say.

. . . Day Before The Tournament . . .

Disapproval wasn't a strong enough word. Disgust was closer. Hate was probably becoming more worthy by the second. Vera stared at William as if he were less than an insect.

"Don't worry, William, I wouldn't call you a narcissist," she said, no longer even projecting sarcasm. She was stone cold serious. "There's so many more relevant options. Idiot. Fool. Insane. It takes that mix of things to come up with such a ridiculous plan and then double down on it. You know, I was willing to just sit back and watch it all happen. Not my problem either way it turns out, but now?" Her hands slammed down onto the table they sat at and she pushed herself to her feet. "You do remember who he is and what he's done right? And now he gets his brother back if you have your way?"

She lifted her arm and looked at her wrist. She waited for a few seconds. "Bam. Someone else just died. In fact, a few people probably have since we got here. Coulda been old age, coulda been murder. You wanna stop tragedies from happening? Well guess what, you officially suck at it. You're a failure. No ones death is any more or less tragic than any other, and there's almost always someone left behind missing them!" she snarled, face twisting up.

"So a guy who you admit is a threat to us gets his family back because it suits you? Well fuck you! You don't even know what you're asking!" At this point she was openly shouting. That sinking feeling in Wolf's stomach was only getting worse as he watched in shocked silence. She'd reamed him the first time he'd brought this up, like scolding a child, but somehow Vera seemed almost personally offended this time. "Why should we sit here and listen you go on about bringing back someone else's family when we could be missing our own!?"

That cemented it then. Wolf knew exactly what she was getting at. Part of him was in disbelief, but it made sense in a way. She'd just found out about his mother, however many fine details she was lacking. And then here she was hearing William talking about resurrecting someone for Galbrek. He wasn't happy to hear it either, but now that Vera had said that... he couldn't get the thought out of his mind. His mother. The possibility of resurrection.

It stung.

Vera began to walk away, but as she passed by William she stopped, hands balling into fists so hard her arms shook. She spun on her heel, lifting her hand up.

"Vera!" Wolf's own hand shot out to grab her wrist before she could hit him. "It's OK."

"No it's not!" Vera pulled away. Honestly, he'd never seen her this upset, not like this. "Fuck..." This time she left quietly, but she'd already made more than enough noise.

When she was out of earshot, Wolf took a deep breath.

"Look... I'm not gonna sit here and tell you everything is fine and that Vera's just being how she is," Wolf said to William. "But nothing has changed. It doesn't matter if I agree with you. It's up to Andras, but I'll tell you clearly now. If she goes, so do I. I have no stake in your plan."

With that, he could only wait and let Andras speak.
Shit this wasn't supposed to go here... IGNORE ME!!!

OK, two things. We're making teams for the tournament on discord.

So far we have:

Team #1: Rurik - Bak - Christine/Thobias
Team#2: Cel - Vittorio - Yuuto/Christine
Team#3: Vernon - (Fill) - Gilliam
(Fill = whoever is left over)

Which means Christine could literally end up on any of the teams, depending on how things go. Thoughts?

Two, I had something in mind for after the training fight involving Rurik and Christine. Should only take 4 posts max, two from each of us, to tie that off. You game?

"Ah, well this may be a training exercise, but as I'm sure you heard, it involves plenty of fighting. So no worries there," Vernon said to her. "We do need a third person or no matter what Rurik decides, we'll be disqualified. You'll join us won't you?"

"Well see I don't like training or fighting all that much," Rurik said. Ironic for someone whose unofficial nickname was 'King of the Ring' in a certain circle. OK, so deep down he didn't hate fighting, but in this case it sounded like a huge pain in the ass. Teams? Vernon? He really wanted to pass on all that.

"Really? Not what I've heard." Vernon smirked at him knowingly.

"Well you must have heard wrong," Rurik sighed. Well, really it was debatable but Christine didn't need to hear about it! "Ugh, whatever. Fine. If Christine is in then... whatever. Just for today." He crossed his now thoroughly twisted arms.

"Excellent. There's a few strange rules, but basically one of us is the princess, aka the leader, but cannot fight. Then there is a defender and an attacker," Vernon explained for Rurik who had missed the earlier explanation. "Since I've drawn us together and Christine would prefer a more active role, I suppose I'll be leader."

"Sure thing, princess," Rurik rolled his eyes, earning a scowl from Vernon. He'd walked right into that one. "I'll... play defense I guess," he decided after a few moments of thinking. Christine was usually more stationary, but her powers could wreak havoc on offense just as well as on defense. Rurik figured, however, that defense was probably that role that would allow him to do the least amount of work... And if Christine wanted to fight, well, "That leaves attacking for you, if that's all right," he said to Christine. Of course none of it mattered if Christine didn't want to participate.

And if she backed out, well, that wasn't his fault and with any luck Vernon would keep his damn mouth shut. And then he could get the hell away from this mess.

But his luck had been pretty awful lately...

“Nice try, Vernon… but people outside school aren’t allowed. This is only for Mephisto students.” Suzume had said.

And so Vernon, glaring at his two cronies, was at a loss as to what he could do...

"Gah, if you idiots had just shown up in proper uniforms!" He was already busted, what did it matter if anyone heard his now foiled plans.

"S-sorry boss..."

"Hi." All three jumped at Annabelle's sudden interruption. He hadn't even seen her walk over. He'd seen her arrive with Gabrielle and some other poor student they'd abducted to be their third, but...

"What do you want?" Vernon frowned.

"Couldn't help but to overhear your problem. I have a suggestion," she said. "Sounds you need to grab yourself a new teammate."

"Yes, I'll just go pluck a few from the nearest classroom like you did," Vernon rolled his eyes. "It's not that easy!"

"True. That only works because we're special," Belle admitted. "But I had someone more specific in mind. You see, we have a lovely visitor in the form of the esteemed Christine. Go grab her boyfriend Rurik, and things just might fall into place for you."

"You... want me to grab that lazy idiot?" Vernon raised an eyebrow. "Even if I wanted to, why would he help me?"

"So short sighted! I already laid it out for you, put the pieces together!" Belle scoffed and shook her head. "Don't you think Christine would be delighted for him to show up to training?"

"I don't really ca-" And finally it clicked. If he got Rurik, Christine might switch from observer to participant. Rurik might want to just slack off and leave, but maybe he'd be inclined to stick around because of Christine! "Well, it's worth a try. You two! Go fetch Rurik!"

"On it!" the female of the pair nodded.

"Be right back!" the second saluted. The two ran off... only to return ten seconds later. "What does he look like?"

Vernon pinched the bridge of his nose. Somehow he'd totally forgotten about that. Belle meanwhile looked about ready to fall over laughing. She managed to stay on her feet, stumbling over to the two dunces and giving them a description and even places to look for him.

Vernon could only hope that this time they wouldn't somehow fuck it up. But he should have know better.

When they came back, they indeed had found Rurik. Except they seemed to have basically dragged him there by force, with his hands bound behind his back and everything. He looked less than pleased to be there.

Vernon's jaw dropped as Anabelle fell into hysterics in the background. He almost began admonishing his cohorts, but then just shut his mouth and sighed. He'd just let this one happen.

"Hey boss, we found him!" they announced... and then...


The ropes binding Rurik's hands together burst apart and he then lifted his hands, one to the side of each of the idiots' faces. BLAM! And the two were blasted away, flying off until they crashed into the first solid object they came across.

Vernon glanced at the two crumpled heaps that had been his lackeys. ". . . they really deserved that," he muttered to himself. Maybe once they slept off the headaches they'd be smarter. Unlikely, though.

"So... I take it you're behind all this?" Rurik said, slipping his hands into his pockets. Strangely, the jacket he almost always wore was in tatters, being held together by half a dozen patches, but still frayed around the edges. Well, strange to anyone who hadn't seen his scuffle with Thobias.

"Well, I-"

"Sorry... what was your name again?" Rurik blinked.

". . . excuse me?" Vernon had to do a double take. Was this guy serious? "We're both on the council!"


"Vernon!" said boy barked.

"Right, so, Vernon," Rurik said. "The fuck?"

Vernon took a breath, taking the moment recompose himself, "Well you see, Rurik, we have a little training session about to start he- Hey! Don't walk away from me while I'm talking!" So much for composing himself.

"Not interested!" Rurik shouted over his shoulder, still making his way to the exit.

"And here I thought you liked a challenge," Vernon called after him.

"You got the wrong guy."

"Not even when there are stakes to be had?" That got Rurik to stop, even if just for a moment. He turned to look at Vernon, who simply pointed in Christine's direction.

"Really...?" Rurik grumbled. "How do you eve-" And that was when he noticed Annabelle, who gave him a sly wink. "That... utter... bitch!"

"So what do you say? Go along nicely and we'll keep your little habit under wraps," Vernon didn't mince words.

Rurik had to think about it for a moment, but then he just shrugged and turned again to leave anyway. He could talk all he wanted. Rurik would just deal with the aftermath later, and he had a feeling it wouldn't be nearly so dramatic as Vernon hoped.

"Oh Christine!" Vernon called out, causing Rurik to flinch. OK, so maybe he was a little anxious. "Rurik here can't seem to decide if he wants to join us for training or not. Care to weigh in? You do have so much more influence over him than I."

Rurik spun around to face Vernon once more, now struggling to keep his face neutral.

"I'm gonna fuckin' kill him..."

"I'm home!" Wolf called out as he stepped into his house. "Dad... why is the door gone?" It was later in the day now, but even in the fading light it was hard to miss an entire part of the house having been removed.

"Welcome back, son. Indeed, some things transpired while you were out," his father strode into the main room. "I'll-"

While his father spoke, Wolf's gaze wandered over to his mother's portrait. He saw the graffiti upon it. For a moment the rest of the world faded away, becoming muffled and colorless. All that he could really hear was a dull roaring in his ears, broken up occasionally only by his own accelerating heartbeat. Something clawed at the back of his mind, trying to unbury itself, and his vision began to blur- no, the room seemed to be shaking.

And then it stopped.

His father pulled the portrait from the wall, turning it over and removing the painting from the frame and rolling it up.

"Huh, what are y-"

"You're right, Wolfram. There's no point in leaving it up in its current state," the man said. "I'll have to get a suitable replacement. I don't know that it can be repaired."

"So, uh..." Wolf shook his head, feeling like he'd just been suddenly woken up from a deep sleep. He realized his palms hurt and looked down to see he'd nearly torn them open from clenching his fists so hard. "What happened, exactly?"

"There was a break-in of a sort. Your girl and a friend of hers came here seeking shelter, but I was out at the time. The assailants followed them in and apparently decided to add vandalism to their list of crimes," his father explained.

"What?!" Wolf pulled out his phone. He'd received a message earlier, but hadn't been in a position to read it. Indeed it was from Vera. He didn't even bother reading it. "Is she OK?!"

"For the most part, yes. I got them both back to Victor's safely."

"I-I need to-"

"Yes, of course. Go," Guntram urged him and Wolf wasted no time, turning on his heel and dashing back out of the house.

. . .

Vera stepped outside, having finally received a response from Wolf. She saw him walking over to her nervously.

"Y-you're OK!" Wolf was relieved to see it with his own eyes, but there was still that sinking feeling in his chest. He knew better than to expect a happy reunion.

"No thanks to you. But yes, I'm in one piece," she told him, crossing her arms.


"I can't keep doing this, Wolf!" Her brow furrowed as she gave him a harsh glare. "It's your job to protect her, not mine. I can't even do anything anyway! You need to be there!"


"She's practically a prisoner here! She can't leave without some fucking creepy ass doll trying to drag her off somewhere! If she needs to go somewhere, then you show up! Got it?!" Vera commanded.

"Well, that's why I-"

"What good is your stupid training if you're not even around to use it!" she snapped. "Whatever you're doing, you cut it short and move your ass over here! I'm sick of being in the firing line to cover for you!" She stomped over to him and jabbed him in the chest with her index finger. "GOT IT!?"

"Y... yes..." He nodded, feeling his body tremble.

"You need to fix this! This isn't over when the job is. Just because whatever stupid plan William has is done, doesn't mean the people trying to kidnap her will be! So I suggest you get rid of them sooner rather than later!"

"I... don't know. How would I even do that?" He agreed, to be fair. Andras was a friend, not just a job. He'd have loved to get rid of the problem, but short of murder... how?

"Well I suggest you figure that out." Vera seemed ready to leave it at that and just walk away, but Wolf grabbed her wrist.

"Vera... I... I'm sorry."

She quickly pulled away, seeming offended that he'd dare touch her, "You should be." She took another few steps away and then stopped. "So what had you so busy?"

Wolf flinched. This wasn't going to help his case, ". . . one of William's stupid plans."

The silence that followed said a lot.

"I see," Vera finally spoke. "And?"

"There was an old building filled with bloodthirsty, mutated animals..." He explained. It sounded especially ridiculous saying it out loud, but the truth was what it was.

"Well, you survived. So good for you." Vera still wouldn't even look at him.

"Yeah... I guess." Wolf lifted a hand to his ribs, where the giant horse creature had kicked him. He felt like mentioning how close he'd come to not surviving wouldn't even phase Vera. Part of him was scared to find out if he was right. A big part of him, apparently.

He couldn't bring himself to speak up.

"Goodnight," Vera said, dismissively of course, and all Wolf could do was watch her walk back into the house. He knew he was free to follow her. No one would stop him. Most would even welcome him.

"Good... night..."

But instead he just wandered over to a nearby stone wall and slide down to sit against it. Speaking of getting kicked by a giant, fire-breathing horse, running there had actually hurt quite a bit. After Vera's dressing down, he wondered if maybe he deserved it...

Featuring: Vera, Andras, and more...

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