Team Nippon@VitaVitaAR@PKMNB0Y@Click This@Crusader Lord
Lazhira had made her way over to Leannah, helping the other girl back to her feet as gently as possible and giving her a quick look over for any major injuries. Seemingly satisfied it would most likely only her ego that was going to be bruised slightly, she took a few steps back after seeing if Leannah could stand.
“Sorry, sorry.” Lazhira pouted apologetically. “Its my fault. I didn’t realize you guys were all so...uh, good at this? I should have started with um…‘how not to blow yourself up’ first I guess.” She quickly rebounded, however, switching back to her previous energetic demeanor. “Is everyone outside this village really good with magic?” She questioned, her tone curious. “All of you seem pretty good at just...having it work. I’m the only one here with any sort of ability with it so its weird seeing you all so good with it.”
By now however, night was currently falling over the village. The long day the group had was probably catching up to them, and even if they wanted to practice a bit, it might be best to wait for tomorrow considering the lateness of the evening.
“I’d be happy to help more though, if you all want! Tomorrow, anyways. Assuming old man Enli doesn’t drag me off somewhere so he can ramble about some old stories...or...lecture me about work…or how dangerous the forest is...” She grinned. "And don't worry too much about my home! I destroy it on a regular basis, heheh. Not like anyone but me ever really comes here anyways..."
The Roma Mob@ERode@Pyromania99@Guy0fV4lor@PaulHaynek
Isidore’s face remained stony as the boar struggled in its final moments, blood running down the blade and staining his hands with that familiar sensation. At death, it was strong enough still to tear open his skin, but that was all. He lowered the beast onto the ground, pulled his sword out of its body, and flicked the blood off his blade. Even in his most desperate of times, he never had to skin and gut an animal; it would be an enlightening experience to take part of, once he returned to the others.
But first off, there was the matter of that
creature. A deer, almost redundantly imposing in its size, had announced their presence. The boss of the horned beasts within this forest, was it? Isidore could understand that. The man hefted the boar on his left shoulder, held his sword in his right hand, and as the deer approached, steps rousing a storm, so did Isidore, his trail marked with blood.
He breathed in, but no thoughts came to mind, so he breathed out, white fog escaping into the darkening skies. “I’ve no quarrel against you and yours. But I and my allies are outcasts, and we, like all others, must eat.”
That was all there was, and that was all there would ever be. To go into the night with no food, after all that they’ve gone through, was simply a slower death than one upon the horns of a monolithic deer.
Donovan stood slack-jawed as he laid eyes on the creature approaching Isidore. Sure this may have been a world of magic, and it would be foolish to not suspect the existence of innately magical beasts to be commonplace-- this animal seemed far beyond just being a giant of a deer. Between the intelligence in its eyes, majesty in its movements, and it's somehow immaculately groomed fur; this was likely one of the 'Elder beasts' the goddess had mentioned.
The large man chewed his lip in absolute silence as he watched Isidore's response to the creature. The lad had chosen wisely to not attempt fighting the colossal deer-- but Don had a feeling that the Elder Beast wouldn't take kindly to being told off so casually. For now, all Donovan could do was watch; ready to intervene for Isidore's safety at a moment's notice.
No words came from the Deer, if it was one of the beasts the goddess spoke of, it deigned to keep silent as it stopped a few yards away from Isidore. If it had heard his words or not, it didn't acknowledge. In fact, it barely even acknowledged Donovan's presence. There was something regal, airy, and distant about the way it carried itself.
Yet, it definitely knew they were there. The breeze suddenly shifted directions, centering itself on the beast as a ball of energy formed within the deer's horns. Fast as the wind it seemed to be controlling, a blast of wind was aimed towards Isidore.
Isidore kept his pace steady. The telegraph was obvious enough, but the intent? That was unclear. No response, not even any sense of a threat, but the wind gathered all the same, a vacuum that stole his own breath away. Only a few yards away now, and still, Isidore walked, closing the distance between the two. In his right was the sword. In his left was the boar. And in his pocket was the seed.
The ball of energy burst, and Isidore leapt to the side, body bending to compress and then release to evade, his feet kicking against the snow-dappled ground. He had not yet demonstrated his speed while under the surveillance of the great deer, only his strength and his endurance. It would be good if he could evade.
But what after? Would he kill this one too?
An electric chill shot down Donovan’s spine as the air shifted unnaturally. He wasn’t sure what the hell this thing was doing-- but based on it’s lack of response, it likely wasn’t good. Everything in his mind was screaming at Isidore to make a break for it. To drop the boar and run like hell. But kids these days just always had to act invincible. In a swift motion, he drew forth his warhammer; his teeth gritting as he launched himself into a dead sprint, aiming to flank the colossal animal. Don still thought that trying to fight this thing was damn suicidal, but it’d be a cold day in hell before he abandoned his fellow man out of cowardice.
Isidore dodged, the blast of air slamming into the ground behind him, impossibly fast, compressed razor-like wind cutting into his clothing as it slammed into a tree some distance away and cracking, warping the wood. Without even turning its head to even glance at Donovan, the beast stamped its hoof against the ground. A blast of air shot from the ground, a violent gale exploding upwards and outwards, slamming into Donovan and completely halting his steps before he could get closer.
The beast turned its head slightly in Isidore's direction. Between its antlers air whistled as it was accelerated to dangerous speeds near instantly, multiple smaller wind blasts aiming for Isidore, seemingly in an attmept to prevent him from dodging all of them.
Donovan? Shit, why the fuck was he there? Isidore’s eyes widened at the man’s reckless charge, his sudden appearance, then narrowed at the effortless magic used to halt him. Whatever this creature was, it was something far beyond them, capable of splitting its attention against two superhumans and fending them off without having to take a single step. Did he make the wrong decision?
No, he didn’t. The boar would have attacked him anyways, and Isidore would have cut it down anyways. He held onto that thought, recalled his own cold fury, back when those fuckers broke in and knifed the wrong guy. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, but calm enough not to kill one who attacked directly. In which case…
“Donovan, get the fuck outta here!”
Leaping backwards, Isidore shifted himself to where the concentration of the wind blasts were the lowest, before shrugging the boar off his body and using it as a rudimentary shield. The initial blast had been forceful enough to almost snap a tree in half, and impacts like that went more than skin-deep. The armor may protect him from cuts, but were his organs made of the same stuff?
Didn’t matter much. Even if the blow blasted him backwards, Isidore planned on running. Away from Donovan, away from the camp. This deer only wanted him, after all. He could figure the rest out once some good-two-shoes weren’t in range to eagerly sacrifice themselves for him.
Even for all his strength and weight, Donovan staggered from the force of the beast’s gale. Elder beast or not, this giant creature clearly wasn’t something the two men could handle. The large man scowled at Isidore’s remark as he quickly regained his footing, ”An’ what, leave ya tah bleed tah death while ye run fer yer life? I oughta beat some sense inna that skull o’ yers lad!”
Twisting the warhammer clenched tightly in his grasp, Don slammed the pointed end of his weapon into the ground, anchoring himself near the side of the deer. Both he and Isidore were hopelessly outmatched by this creature; meaning there was only one way to avoid certain death. Kneeling at the side of the deer, head bowed, and shield braced against his ‘anchor’, Don made one last plea for the Elder beast’s mercy. ”Please! Aye beg ya oh great one-- let the lad go! Neither he nor aye knew we was trespassing’ on yer domain! Aye swear in the name o’ all things holeh, we’ll do whatever it takes tah repay the debt we owe yah! Just let tha’ poor boy go!”
The smaller blasts of wind slammed into the flesh of the boar, beating against its hide, the force enough to cause Isidore's already tired body to strain to withstand the force. A few blasts would cut into his legs, painfully tearing his flesh as his armor began to fail at its job of protecting, it finally seeming to wear off after its usage.
The beast, if it was one of these fabled 'Elder Beasts' indeed seemed too much for their current strength to handle. It likely wasn't even using whatever abilities it had at its disposal, either. It took a light, airy step towards Isidore, displacing more snow and dirt that had dirtied its path. Another vortex of wind began to form.
however it paused
A slight tilt of its head towards Donovan.
Its legs swayed, body moving as though a soft breeze had been blowing it. It inhaled…
“You seek not to trespass, yet...the wind carries the scent of the moon. What reason does the Blessed of the Storyteller have with this forest? If she seeks to turn me or my kin into a feat for tragedy or heroism, she will find I am not one to play along with her capriciousness.” The voice which passed its lips was neither hostile nor-violent. It was close, yet almost felt as far as the skies themselves, and as wispy and light as the wind the beast seemed to command.
Isidore’s armor decided now, of all times, that one hour had elapsed, and searing pain shot through his legs. More blood stained the snow, strips of flesh flayed off his body. He stumbled, knees quaking as the limits of his endurance neared. What caused him to pause was not pain though, nor exhaustion. It was Donovan’s prostration. The man wasn’t going to run. Wasn’t even going to fight. He was going to...throw his weapons down and beg for forgiveness on another’s behalf? And, more amazingly, for a creature that had been the subject of Donovan’s attack
mere moments ago, this act was enough to coax language out of its mouth, rather than simply a hoof through the head.
Isidore breathed. He did not run, after all. He walked, instead, tracking blood in the forest until he stood beside Donovan. Fucking idiot shieldbearer. The apathy in the voice of this creature meant that they were both, quite literally, at the whims of some alien creation. What sort of gamble would it even have been? How many deals with incomprehensible monstrosities would they have to broker before this day could end?
“If,” he spoke, meeting the monolithic deer’s eyes, “you could speak, then you have listened. I killed this boar to feed my...allies. We are outcasts. We know nothing of this world, and we possess nothing but what we stole or found.” Isidore struck his sword into the ground, planting it there. “If there was crime, it was rooted in my ignorance. I don’t care for stories. I care for food and shelter, which would be harder to find in the mountains or on the beach.”
“Now that the ignorance of both
sides have cleared somewhat, let’s talk. What do I pay for food and a place to sleep?”
Donovan paused to level a deathglare at Isidore before turning back towards the Elder Beast before them. ”Pardon the lad’s rudeness--”
he began with an exasperated sigh, ”He’s young, prideful, and lost quite a bit o’ blood… As et so happens, we ain’t from around here… Nother’ world entireleh in fact. Th’ moon goddess plucked our souls from th’ hands o’ death and tossed us intah this world head first with little explanation bout’ what we’re here tah’ do. Sure, slayin th’ Elder Beasts may shape a good yarn; but aye could care less about writin’ a storeh.”
Slowly, Donovan rose to his feet. A confident light filling his eyes as he continued to speak.”Me onleh concern is buildin’ a better world fer mankind. There are plenty o’ tales bout men slayin’ creatures such as yerself where aye come from… And et near always causes calameteh. I’ve no intention of bringin’ such a fate on me fellow man, nor to cause yerself or your kin harm. Aye think the lot o’ ya exist fer a reason. We might not understand it. But ya do. An’ I’ve no problem acceptin’ that.”
“...does one trust the word of a stranger that has intruded upon their home, blade drawn to their neck?” The deer replied coolly towards Isidore. “And...you...speak respectfully, yet acknowledge that you humans bring destruction in your so called 'progress'. Pleasantries will fade when either side is irreconcilable.”
The beast exhaled.
“But, If you do not intend to cause harm...then travel south. This forest shall become swallowed by the sea, a prison for something beneath if events continue as they are. If you seek civilization, you will find more of your kin, across the mountains.” It pawed the ground, a hoof making a line in the dirt. “...or perhaps you would find the Mountain Folk and those of the Shadow that live in those mountains more amicable...stay for the night, if you wish upon the treeline, but that hound that is with you - do not bring it into the forest. Even as a pup, no longer connected to its nursery will prove...difficult to deal with, should it grow."
Young? Prideful? Under different circumstances, Isidore may have been coaxed into a smile by such an evaluation, but not here. He should have expected it, really, that one’s physical appearance would have been the lens through which all actions were judged. But he kept quiet, regardless. Donovan had spoken of Elder Beasts, but was this creature truly one such being? Memories of the moonlit waters washed over his thoughts. A hunter or an object of worship? If the former, there was no reason to stay their hand. If the latter, there was no reason to refuse the opportunity to demand an offering out of trespassers far beneath it.
Indeed, out of this exchange, itself had offered more than it had gained. The meat of its subordinate, shelter for the night, knowledge of where other, ‘civilized’ beings could be found, and the latent threat that laid within Octavia. Curious, the amount of mercy and benevolence granted. Had it been Donovan’s prostration? Isidore nodded, only the slightest of grimaces warping his otherwise carefully neutral expression. “Thank you. I will remember this.” It was all he could do with what he had. Demon flowers, deer gods, and the Storyteller who charged them with rebuilding this unnatural world. Time would be good. Time to absorb all this.
Isidore turned, and trudged off. Blood trailed his steps once again.
Donovan sighed as he watched Isidore head off, the lad needed medical attention-- but was too damn stubborn to admit it outright. Heaving what was left of the boar onto his shoulder, he turned toward the elder beast and gave a short bow. ”Thank yah fer yer benevolence o great one… Ya said this place were gonna be underwater soon, there anythin’ me an’ mah fellows can do fer yah before then?”
The deer watched Isidore leave, airy gaze following it as it replied to Donovan.
“If concern is genuine, there is a small village upon the shore towards the north. One I had, at a time, a close relationship with.” It turned, its long legs gracefully moving across the snow laden ground. “Some there seek what was drowned by the Moons tears, driven by the one who seeks knowledge above all else.” And just as quietly as the deer appeared, it began to quickly disappear into the forest, its coat and overall form soon becoming lost among the myriad of trees.
Nothing else would find Isidore and Donovan on their way back to the small camp, and with the Kyrnith’s leaving, the forest seemed to return to normal as it was. At least, small animals could now be seen and heard moving about, and by the time they had reached the treeline the sun was finally dipping over the horizon.
Night would fall soon, and it would likely be best to settle down for the evening, though no one had yet to make any sort of shelter from the elements but hopefully it wouldn’t prove too dangerous. At least they may find the sight of Nick playing with Octavia slightly amusing.
The pup leaned into the pets, eagerly accepting the praise. She let Nick give her as many pets as she wanted, but soon she wanted to run around some more. Backing off a bit, she ran in a circle, barking and seeming like she wanted him to throw it again, and so he did.
The stick sailed....
And dropped almost right in front of Isidore’s feet. The pup, too focused on the stick again, nearly ran head first into Isidore’s legs, but managed to stop before just before doing so, ending up right in front of the boar carrying man. She sniffed the air, hungrily eyeing the deceased boar he was carrying.
Send Feet Pics@Cu Chulainn@Crimson Paladin
“Eeeeh, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were looking for me.” The fox mused with a cheeky smirk. “Heh, not that I can blame you if you are. I’m about the only interesting thing that visits this little middle of nowhere village.” She sat the bowl on a crate, hopping up from her seat and languidly yawning and stretching her arms towards the ceiling.
“Wait…” She blinked, seemingly surprised. “You’re not insinuating that I stole it are you?” She twirled the pipe in her hands. “What a silly idea. I’m not a fox. Well, I am, but not that kind. Foxes can’t turn into people, fufu. That’s just an absurd idea.” The impish tone she was taking didn’t do any favors for her believability. If anything, as Novak was thinking it was just making her seem likely more suspicious. “Or...are you going to tell me that you believe that foxes can turn into people?”
As she got up and talked, they would perhaps notice a few more objects of interest that had been hidden behind her. A black and red mask fox mask, a pair of what seemed to be sheathed blades, a stack of what seemed to be gold coins and...a leather pouch. Full of leather working tools. She knocked the ash out of the pipe, stowing it in her clothing somewhere as she waited an answer.