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4 mos ago
Current Forever alone.


Just your average Joe.
Bagus Surya is the name.
From Indonesia.

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@Remuri v2
When the Master Shinobi went back to the camp with the party. He automatically go his scanning routine so that he can notify them when a familiar or a foe closing by with their campsite

Considering everything that just happened in the past 24 hours, Nanashi knew his boundaries. Every step was taken cautiously, in a way not a single fallen leaf would be disturbed.

It was just a light recon, and an uneventful one at that until Nanashi saw a faint smoke rising in the distance. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary in that part of the forest, and the smoke looked like coming from one or two campfires that served nothing but a generic source of heat deliberately lit up by a group of people. Probably twice the size of this party.

The question was, who was it? Wasn't this region supposed to be Varenheim's no man's land?
The Monster was still oozing greenish venom from its mandibles, it changed in color and viscosity upon being extracted, and if one would inspect it closer, it emanated a trace of a magical signature that seems of a foreign origin.

Gray advised not to touch the substance without any precaution, though typical of him, did not elaborate in detail on the important properties of such venom and its usefulness in regard to making an antidote out of it. So for now it was just very potent poison, capable of immobilizing a healthy grown man with a single touch.

With no longer stops ahead of them, they continued their march to the camp. The sun was already rising in the east when they arrived, and the situation at the camp appeared to be nominal at first glance.

Here they are at least, the result was far from optimal but at least mission accomplished. Vesemir, Gray and the remained young porter immediately unloaded some of the supply crates from the carriage and placed them under the giant chestnut, setting up makeshift beds where the injured could lay down.

"I thought you were going to give your verdict anytime now." Said Vesemir, in a defeated tone after Gray excused himself to get some rest.

"My wisdom can wait until I get a chance to close my eyes. For five or six hours, at least." Gray answered. "Until then, I would be no use to you. I am not a doctor you can consult on, Roxas is. though I am not sure if you will hear a lot of good news, even from her."

Everything seemed to be working out in the end. Carnathia would lead the way unburdened, and Gray was spared from the duty of hauling one of those injured porters. However, it should be mentioned that witnessing Roxas hoisting a fully-grown Tretagorian man like he was a bear pelt and carrying him away on her back was both confounding and... embarrassing, considering the party has no shortage of able-bodied men.

Yes, the Sky was their witness, and it was looking at you, Tillius, Gray, and Rezzelo.

Back to Gray Flame, he nodded at Roxas' request but did not say much when the healer conveyed her plan to neutralize the poison in their body. Nevertheless, the idea of collecting the White Lady's venom was a good idea, and he promised her that they would make a stop at the first site. After all, they need to evacuate that one guy with a punctured lung too.

“Actually, darling. I have a traveler’s potion kit. I don’t know if it will have what you need, but it’s something.” said Fia when they arrived at the first site. The dead arachnee was still there, in the same position, with its exterior looking even paler than before.
Fia once again proposed her plan.

“I can go about collecting the venom. I’ll catch up with you once I’m done, deary.”
"That too... is a sound proposition, miss Carnathia." Said Vesmir flatly. With Stepan on his shoulder, the monocled elf started their arduous walk back to the camp, seemingly uninterested in pleading for aid any longer.

"Master Gray, would you be so kind as to pass the lantern to Miss Carnathia?" He asked, and the masked ranger nodded.

"Well after you, Miss." He added, gesturing to Carnathia to lead the way.

"It's dawning soon," Gray mumbled, looking up to the sky that was no longer pitch black. Finally, it felt like the night had been unnaturally stretched as if every shadow in this region conspired to lead them astray. Regardless, they had no reason to delay the evacuation.

"We need a stretcher then..." He glanced at Engelbert. "I hope you wouldn't mind having more stains in your snazzy-looking coat."

Then to Tillius, he said. "And two of your spears, Friend. Those paralyzed drunkards can take some rough hauling, but that bleeding Dimitri guy over there? Definitely need a proper means of transportation."

Besides, he was too tired to just carry someone in his back.

@Conscripts @A5G

The unwrappings were done swiftly and efficiently, for the silky thread posed no meaningful resistance against the Shinobi's blade, or any blade in particular. In no time He had opened our cocoons from their bindings, in which two of the four were the abducted porters. Safe to say they were lucky-- very lucky compared to the other two bundles containing nothing but a partially rotting carcass, victims of the White Lady's previous hunt.

Thankfully the affair of the unwrapping wet and decomposing package was nothing but an insignificant spook for the shinobi.

Soon Roxas would examine them, but she had to take care of Stepan first.

The muscular Tretagorian man that was Stepan was unconscious, still fully clothed but with skin bluing and colder than bare polished iron. They knew he was alive because he was breathing, and no external injuries could be observed.

The other two seemed to be in a similar condition, but the last guy was missing a leg, with the silk wrappings seemed to be more prominent around the stump. Gray advised Nananshi not to tamper with that part for the time being.

"I think that's what's keeping him from bleeding to death."

Then he turned to Vesemir. at first, no words were coming out, Gray just shook his head, and Vesemir seemed to know what he was implying. It wasn't much of a good news, it seems.

Both men finally nodded in agreement, and Vesemir asked Gray to hold his lantern before speaking softly to Roxas first. "Dear Roxas, could you help me lift up our poor Stepan? I will carry him-- Those who still have strength, please lend me your aid. Let's take back these poor lands back to our camp."
Gray rubbed the back of his head and said nothing. Though a disagreement with Englbert could reinforce their disguises, he thought it was not worth the trouble and would prefer to keep discord at a minimum.

Walking past the hunk of white monstrosity, blood painted its pale exterior like blood upon the snow. The humanoid attached had stopped moving, petrified in its eternal yet restful weep, at least until time and decay claimed her. If that thing could rot, that was.

One thing for sure though, they didn't need an expert tracker to commence their search. The 'Snow Lady' wasn't such an inconspicuous creature it didn't leave any noticeable trail one can easily see even in the dark. After some turns and retakes, the track brought the team to a path that led them down the hill, which ended in a large but shallow cave. The ground around the site was suspiciously white, and sticky, like covered with white moss or a very thick smoke.

Upon closer inspection, the silkly thing was a spider web, and naturally, their guards were up.

But no more shrieking or singing was heard, and neither was the sound of movement on nearby bushes or branches above.

The air was foul and thick. From the entrance of that cave, they could see some bundles of white in a variety of sizes stuck in the wall, or suspended on the ceiling, or just laid down on the ground. Vesemir was the first to rush into the cave and approached one other bundle that looked like a human in fetal position.

"It's Stepan!" He announced. "I could use some help here!"

There were five other bundles that seemed big enough to be anything resembling wrapped adult humans. Thankfully none of them were high on the ceiling.

The battle had just ended, quicker and easier than a certain someone had expected. The spider's gigantic feature sprawled in a path it had made earlier, roughly 70 meters away from Vesemir and Roxas.

"The beast is slain." Exclaimed Engelbert as he returned to their employer to show off his kill. However if one would look closer, maybe that was not entirely true yet.

The humanoid being, gruesomely attached to the spider's head, twitched and raised its lanky being, a moment later it reached its bony arm out, while the other covered its face, which wailed eerie sobs.

Red blood slowly ran down from her face, onto her arm, and slowly but surely intertwined with the oozing greenish gore that started to puddle below.


While Neglebert and the others celebrated their small victory, Gray picked up his sword again and regrouped with them. He advised them to continue their search.

"I don't think any of us can find a suitable stream to wash it off. Not until the morning anyway. Let's keep moving, every second counts if we want to save those poor bastards."

"What about Dimitri?" Asked Vesemir, ready to move on, but still showing some reservations. Gray's eyes gazed at Roxas, who had voiced her decision to stay.

Vesemir's frown deepened.

"Who can say there will be no other monstrosity waiting for us in that thing's lair? I don't think I can be assured that it is a wise plan to go without our healer."

"I don't think we have time to debate this, if you ask me. And if you value your men's life, you will listen to me and get your legs moving." In audible exasperation, Gray walked and said to them. "Ever read about how spider eat their prey? It doesn't munch them like sausage, it injects poison. Worst kind of poison. You'll see it soon."

"And oh, spider is not really a social creature."

Dimitri was unresponsive, but at least he breathed. Vesemir was still applying the pressure when Roxas performed her field surgery, and all things considered, the man would survive.

For now, at least.

The chaos had been shifted, now everyone was chasing after that fleeing Arachnee. Had he not been so occupied with assisting Roxas, he would have gone after them. It was not unusual for a predator of that type to lure its pursuer into a trap, so he heard.

Of all people, Gray Flame should know better, that was why he saved his breath and did not shout another warning at them.
But he hoped that they would find the others.

Looking back at Dimitri, the optimism he felt earlier was somewhat diminishing. A forest is not an ideal place to recover, even less so in this Land of Twilight. They could afford to have Roxas taking care of one wounded person, but what about three more?

Biting his lips, the idea of having less manpower alone had already been grating his senses, let alone abandoning the entire expedition for the sake of those who were thoughtless!

"Are we done?" he asked Roxas, coldly, yet his gaze was straight toward the pursuing party. Seeing them like a scholar witnessing a wasted opportunity.

"If he will be alright, you should catch up with them. Just leave Dimitry to me, I will watch over him."
Gray tried to yank his sword back, but the combination of bad angle and the sudden jerking from the gigantic eigh-legged monstrosity caused him to lose a grip on his jian. A series of reckless retaliatory reactions then followed in response to Fia's unadulterated blasting, and the only sane option to not get himself smacked by one of those nasty appendages, or get squashed to death by its gigantic rear, was to move away.

And he did. It turned out that Engelbert thought the opposite.

The leap was spectacular, and the strike was equally so. Engelbert's one-and-a-half-meter greatsword plunged deep into the spider's eye cluster, and he nailed it even deeper now with his iron fist--- unnecessarily so because the greatsword was now stuck in that thing, and it wasn't dead yet.

Recoiled, likely by the pain or fear, it was quick to rely on its survival instinct. It rapidly turned around, haphazardly brandishing its front legs to scare away the potential attacker, and dislodged Gray's jian in such a wayward process. The masked Rezello was not quick enough to capitalize on the opening, for the spider had already started to flee and the distance was too far already.

"Ah great! Just what I need right now!"

Gray Flame immediately started his pursuit but then stopped the moment he saw Tillius launch his spear toward the retreating spider. It was too dark to ascertain whether the spear found its mark, but the plan was sound.

His diamond-shaped arrowhead shone in pale luster as he channeled for a power shot and unleashed it before the Arachnee could get too far. Even in the dark, its massive abdomen was certainly hard to miss.
To the trained eyes like Gray Flame's, The White Spider wasn't fooling anybody. Not a beautiful, singing lass floating in the darkness; It was a monstrous being, ancient with a voracious appetite. It showed itself rather prematurely as if more confident with its raw strength rather than its trademark deception. For some reason, it wasn't really a good sign, especially in regard to the missing porter's fate. It likely had devoured them all, save this wounded Dimitri, and greedily sought more than a few Tretagorian to quench its hunger.

Gray flame made his move as soon as Carnathia lunged forth to fearlessly swing her blade toward the giant monstrosity in front of them. The naked humanoid being attached to that spider's head swayed helplessly following its main body's movement. It was still singing in agony, and although looking more like a half-decaying zombie, still a relatively normal-looking person. One could only imagine how many life was lost trying to rescue it.

With Carnathia hurting that monster and having it recoiling back, it was only sensible that they would expect a counterattack. The thing flaunted its protruding jaw, and with its attached body, they shrieked in morbid unison. Surely Carnathia can handle a predictable retaliation, so Gray went to the Spider's front leg; it looked like a sturdy hairy log that had been hardened by time, so he slashed it on its less-chitinous joint.

Behind them, Vesmir hastily approached Roxas and hung his lantern on his belt. "My dear, we have to relocate! It's too dangerous here," he said to the elven healer as he reached under Dimitri's arm and grasped his own wrist ready to drag that man somewhere safer.
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