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Kanami

Angelic Devotion Ch1

218 posts in this topic

[i]"Better than usual, in fact. These bandits weren't ready. They were busy celebrating when they should've been on their toes, and we were lucky enough to crash the party," Ivan said to Andra. One of the first and foremost rules of warfare rose to Ivan's mind: Never underestimate your enemy. Always assume that you will need to perform at your peak in order to win. These bandits hadn't followed that rule, and they'd paid the price. "Actually,"--Ivan looked around for bodies belonging to any of the militia, but found none--"I'm fairly sure that casualties on our side stand at a whopping zero percent. Think that deserves a bonus, captain?"

The captain smiled at Ivan's comment, grateful to the merc in spite of the man's unashamed greed. A tremendous thorn in his side, a blight on his whole community, had been removed without the loss of a single one of his men.

"Perhaps. You did admit yourself, our exceptional performance was also influenced by luck, not just your own skills. We will see," the captain said. "Regardless of your pay, however, I am greatly indebted to you. You and your friends will always be welcome in our homes."

"No problem, I was happy to do it. Not much respect for men like them," Ivan said.

"Yes, and we're quite grateful for your work. What should we do with these bodies? A proper burial?"

"No, these aren't honorable foes slain on the fields of battle, or anything like that. They're bandits. Let the crows pick at their rotting corpses, they deserve it."

"Hm, well, I'm not sure if I want to put such an image in my mind, but I can't disagree with your general attitude. Well, I need to gather the men together. Many of them have lost relatives or friends to these ruffians, and they'll be in good spirits after taking care of them. Would you like to join us for a celebration? I'm sure ours will go a little better than the bandits' did."

"Hah, sure thing, hopefully the drinks are on you. Maybe we can discuss that bonus over a few mugs of ale, hm?"

Ivan began to walk away from the scene with Andra (and Laterite, who had appeared at some point during his exchange with the captain), the soldiers following not far behind.[/i]

---

Good times, good times......A sudden knocking sound jolted Ivan awake. That kind of pissed him off, because he had been enjoying the dreams about past jobs which had been a good bit more fun than this one was. Now he had to stare at drab old Fort Talgusta again--smelly, dirty, inhabited by drunks and fools. Ivan almost wished there was something for him to fight out there, he was getting a bit tired of lazing around this trashbin all day. Andra did make a good sparring partner, but you could only fight the same opponent so many times before your matches began to feel like a chore. Suddenly, Ivan became aware of the knocking noise's source.

"I think that's my hat," a soldier said, holding his head in one hand to stave off a painful hangover. The man had rapped on the table sharply to wake Ivan up.

"Nah, don't know what you're talking about. Had this hat for years. Go bother someone else, or do us all a favor and drink yourself back to sleep," Ivan said.

The man scowled, clearly skeptical, but not quite sober enough to see through Ivan's lie, and well aware that it wouldn't be in his best interest to start anything with the surly mercenary. Ivan stared him in the face until the man reluctantly trudged away, then pulled the cap back down and tried to resume his nap.

"......Ah, fuck it, I'm not gonna get back to sleep. You guys tired of this damn place yet? Yeah? Me too. Sucks here. If things don't pick up, maybe we should get moving soon," Ivan said, speaking mostly to Laterite, as he wasn't sure whether or not Andra had awoken yet. Edited by CATS

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"Not yet," mumbled Andra. The spearman turned over in his semi-sleep, eyes still closed. "Things happening. Talked around earlier, give it two days, tops, and tha' should be enough." He yawned and opened a bleary eye.

"Say, could someone go check on Rak-" a bit of drink was poured over his face, their standard reaction to him asking them to take care of his wyvern. "Right, right. I'm doing it, I'm doing it..."

Yawning again, Andra pushed himself slowly up, stretching and noisily cracking a few stiff joints. He cast an uncaring eye over the mess and noise around him and nodded to his companions. "I shall be back shortly." With a jaunty wave, he left for the stables.

Before long, he was there, patting the beast's neck. Any mounted soldier will take care of their mount, of course. It's suicide not to, no different in that respect than entering a fight with a notched sword or rusty, brittle armour. But for those that fly the skies, be they pegasus knights or wyvern riders, it's deeper than that. Most flying knights spend their whole career with just one mount, no matter how long or short their career may be. Rider and mount develop a closer bond than ground-bound knights, weaving through the skies together. If pressed, Andra probably couldn't come up with the words to describe it, but nevertheless he knew it was true.

He was down there a while. Checking that Rakka was fed and watered didn't take long, but that was only the first and simplest of care. More importantly, he had to make sure she was healthy and fit to fly. Andra didn't often trust other people to be able to take care of wyverns properly, especially outside of the Garius region. He carefully wiped down her scales with a damp cloth, checking for any spots where his touch made her flinch. He looked at her teeth (trying not to breath, wyvern breath is rather foul) and her claws. Once content that everything was fine, only then did he bid his companion good night and, with a final pat on the snout, returned to the mess hall.

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Naomi stood from the tables, almost knocking over the bowl of soup. SHe didn't care, someone else could clean it up later. Honestly, where all the people around here corrupt soldiers and cutthroat mercenaries? The room seemed unusually small with their foul odor near her. She was a bit too uncomfortable near the brutes. She turned and walked away, down the hall to the armory. Please let the tools be easy to find. She did not want to be stuck down there all night, probably being crawled on by bugs and rats.

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Three months prior...

[i]The council of nine shall hereby be convened.

And the topic of discussion for today, Headmaster Chaucery?

War is upon Granford and Crestia, as I'm sure you're all aware. Normally, I could care less about the feuds of other countries, but I sense an ominous presence hidden deep within the war. This will certainly be no ordinary conflict.

Yes, I have sensed it too. But what would you have us do? We certainly have powerful mages, but we are a small country and weak militarily. Even after being weakened by this war, it is regrettable, but the victor could sweep through and destroy our nation as well.

Indeed. Above all else, we do have a certain duty to our students. While the slums are hardly our concern, it's true that they aren't going to be inclined to help us should war come to Tolmaeus. Our top priority is to find the source of this darkness and eradicate it.

And that would imply that one of us would need to get involved?

I... I do not like to admit it, but I'm afraid so.

I will go myself, said Arias, speaking for the first time.

And why you?

I'm the youngest of us, and it will be easy enough for me to pass as a mercenary... or one of the students. While keeping up with the war is important, above all else, we must not let our involvement be known.

Very well, we are counting on you. This meeting of the council is now dismissed.[/i]

Present time.

Blast! Stupid bugs are everywhere. I know that I can't be expect to find pristine hygiene at a military locale, but this is just too much. I'd love to burn those good for nothing cockroaches into dust, but I'm not supposed to use magic outside of training and battles, and certainly not without my thunder tome.

And these robes are way too hot. I never realized that it would be this impractical to wear this. I guess I'm too used to being in the academy. Do have to love the use of ice magic to keep the temperature down. Meh, I think I'll go get some food - the mess hall should be opening for dinner soon. Then I can eat, contact the headmaster, get some meditations done, and go to sleep. I get the feeling that things are going to get hectic in a few days.

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Beatrice awoke to the screeching, overbearing sensation of pain. The last dredges of adrenaline had gone away, and she was thrust back into harsh reality. She tried to smile, but could hardly manage to move her lips. Pain was a good thing, after all. It meant you were still alive and eventually, you'd be back up on your feet, ready to crash all the way back down again. Beatrice forced her eyes open as much as possible. There wasn't much to see or do caged in the cell like she was. She noticed someone had left her food by the door. Nothing more than the leftover slop from yesterday, some salted porridge and stale bread. Much too tired to pick up a spoon and slowly scoop the food into her mouth, Beatrice simply set her head on the side of the bowl and lapped it up like a kitten. At any given time a body part would scream out in pain, making her wince. Then it would quickly subside, only to be replaced by another body part, as if they were taking turns telling her, 'hey, you're really messed up.'

There were no visitors of course, aside from the occasional guard coming to give her food. No one really cared about the dirty, no-good raider holed up in the cell. It didn't bother her that no one cared, it actually bothered her more how bored she was. Though, even if there was a person here, she doubted she would be able to respond beyond the typical heavy breaths and groans. She finally finished her porridge and now went to negotiate the rocky chunk of bread. Mmm, delicious. Reminded her of her last job before she went all horse raider. Good times... no, not really.

[i]I've got to get out of here[/i], Beatrice thought passively. Her bones still ached, but it was getting to the point that they could move without waves of pain thrashing through her entire body. [i]Bored.[/i] [i]Maybe I should start weightlifting this ball and chain. Soon as I can move my arms again...[/i]

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"Hmmm?" Shziunai said, breaking from the meditation. It wasn't much, but he at least strengthened his spirit somewhat. For now, the girl was the most important thing right now.

"Oh hello again. Are you calmed down now? If so, that's good. I'm not an enemy, I'm a soldier here." He paused to let this sink in to Kieru.

"How come you're here little girl? A fortress is for soldiers or members of the military only. Did you slip in or are you the daughter or little sister of a soldier here? Either way, unless you tell me you are working for them, which I seriously doubt, you should go home or to your guardian. There's a lot of rough types here though. I'll escort you back if you wish. I won't hurt you."

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[i]I see... Well, I shall remain in touch. Oh, I have to go now...[/i]

Yes, reporting to the headmaster is sometimes a pain in the rear. To be quite honest, I can't say I actually like the guy all that much. Still, I am devoted to the academy, and to my country. To that end, I will carry out my duty.

Of course, if there's one thing that I've come to hate more than anything, it's these blasted bugs flying around all over the place. Love to fry them all, but I'm not supposed to use magic except for during battle.

I think that I'll go for a little walk. Might meet someone to talk to along the way. Might not. Either way, it's bound to be far more pleasant than sitting around in this cooped-up cell. Besides, it'll be nice for some exercise. Being cooped up doing experiments all day is one thing that I do NOT miss about being here to spy on the war efforts of these two nations.
--------------------

It certainly is a lovely day today. Yesterday was quite atrocious, actually. Of course, part of it is that I finally decided to get some more comfortably clothing. Certainly lacks the elegance of my academic robes, but then again, I can't say that sweating like a mad cow is particularly elegant either.

Arias chuckled to himself over this.

Indeed, I suppose that that's a true statement. Arias smiled. He continued to walk around the fort, not sure what he was looking for, but all too certain that he'd know it when he found it.

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"Kieru isn't a little girl, she's a lady" she said defiantly as the man spoke. She didn't like being treated like a child and wasn't going to put up with being called childish by this strange man, who still wore animal masks. "Kieru is a really really powerful healer" she boasted, "Soldier people came all the way and begged Kieru to join so Kieru said okay because she felt sorry for them, and Kieru's a nice person so she couldn't say no to people who wanted help, but she didn't know that this place would be so stinky, so Kieru doesn't really know if she wants to stay here, don't you think the food here is awful? I don't like it one bit, Kieru would go home, but she hasn't got one anymore so she doesn't have anywhere to go, so she has to stay here until she finds-" she was cut off as the swung open forcefully and a fully armored soldier hurried in.

Soldier: "You're the sister right?" he asked grabbing her wrist without waiting for a response. "I've got orders to get you out of this fort immediately" he shouted clearly in a hurry.

Kieru: Stunned by the mans loud voice Kieru only blinked a few times before being led out by the well presented man, he didn't have that stench the other soldiers had. Looking around she saw a few other men in full armor holding weapons. Had something happened? She wasn't sure but figured if she was being given a chance to leave this dreary place, she should take it. Waving at Shizunai as she exited the infirmary she was pulled away in the opposite direction from Elrest.

As the two were exiting another soldier walked in pointing at Shizunai, "You there, yeah you fox boy, spies have infiltrated Elrest, get your ass down there any earn you pay or I'll slit your damn throat you useless piece of crap" he said calmly despite his aggressive words. Before Shizunai could respond the soldier quickly left in search of more people.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It didn't take long for news of the events in Elrest to arrive at Fort Talgusta. Apparently a pack of wolves had appeared out of nowhere and had started slaughtering the citizens on sight. To further complicate things spies from Granford had also infiltrated the town and where looting and pillaging whatever they could get their hands on.

Soldiers ran around frantically trying to gather anyone who wasn't drunk or passed out to head to the city immediately. It was only a few minutes to sundown and the Lieutenant didn't want any idiots down their who'd complicate things even further. Since most of the soldiers were well and truly passed out, the focus was to get the mercenaries down there, it didn't matter if they died anyway.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Another soldier barged into the dining hall clearly repulsed by the alcoholic stench
"Any of you shits in here still able to hold your weapons the right way?" He shouted out at the dining hall which was full of sleeping and drunk men. The soldier snarled, explaining the situation in an overly loud voice before slamming the door behind him, disgusted that not one person had made a move towards the exit.

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Finally. I've been in this rathole for far too long. Time to flex this magical muscle for a change.

Sir, I think that charred wolf is on the menu today. Arias grabbed his Fira tome.

Just tell me where this village is and provide some backup for me. I can't fight at close range, but I know full well that I can take out these lowly beasts. Anyone else conscious at the moment, or did they all decide to go get drunk last night. Idiots. Oh well, I heard that's why they join the military, anyway. Free whiskey.

Alright, alright. Let's get those no good wolves before they wreck this place.

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Bullet was halfway out of the fortress when he realized that he'd left his broadsword back at the tavern. Oh well. No time to go fetch it now. However, one of the guards had other ideas.

"Hey, you. No leaving the fortress without a weapon." Bullet grimaced. He'd probably regret this. He then punched the guard in the stomach and ran off.

[s]---

Upon reaching town, Bullet immediately saw the chaos the wolves had inflicted upon the town. He reached down for a rock, and cursed when he saw that the patch of ground he stood on was bare. A wolf lunged at him. He barely avoided the snapping teeth before punching the wolf hard enough to distract it long enough to go find something that could be used as a weapon.[/s] Edited by Camtech075

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****Note, There is only one wolf :/
@Cocytus, If you are making non-RP posts please make the comment here
http://serenesforest.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=22700&pid=1273373&st=100&#entry1273373
Mine was only made here since I didn't want people slaying wolves en masse, if you combine my post with Snowy's post, you'll be able to figure out the true nature of this call. (Hint: It was a civillian from Elrest that reported it, not a guard)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The soldier looked the mage up and down before smirking, "Tolmean mercenary no doubt" he grunted not too pleased with what he saw, "Elrest is over that way, just follow the road and you'll be find, surely you great mages can figure out the way to some puny city without having us lower folk help you?" He looked around at a few others who were passing by.

"If you want backup then take your pick, I ain't going anywhere, and don't have the patience to help your kind, you probably don't need it anyway, just a few robed crazies and a dog or two"

Ending the conversation with another grunt he walked a short distance and turned his head, clearly indicating that he had no intention of speaking with Arias any further. Edited by Kanami

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[quote name='Kanami' date='28 September 2010 - 06:15 PM' timestamp='1285715723' post='1273347']
It didn't take long for news of the events in Elrest to arrive at Fort Talgusta. [b]Apparently a pack of wolves had appeared out of nowhere [/b]
[/quote]


[quote name='Kanami' date='28 September 2010 - 06:26 PM' timestamp='1285716387' post='1273377']
****Note, There is only one wolf :/
[/quote]

Out of character: So is it one wolf or a pack of wolves? I'm confused... :/ Edited by Cocytus

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The utter refuse of the dining hall had made no efforts to dignify their boss while Hubert waited impatiently and that impatianice was starting to quickly lead to thoughts of just setting something on fire to drag the leader out. But it was alas, not fated to be, as shortly after Hubert's thoughts drifted to the art of violence, another of the lowly dregs burst into the room with a demand for the slightly-less stupid kin who could actually hold a weapon the right way. Unfortunately for that man, he was speaking to these infantile lot and none made a move to assist. That man stormed off in a huff at their uselessness.

Now for Hubert that was good news, something to so had presented itself AND this confirmed the alpha wasn't in the hall. Yes, his body had obviously moved to show him that this building was useless and could be burned down later as punishment for not being useful.

Hubert strutted outside, pleasing no one with his obvious glamor and superiority. His body moved to the stampede of the rush leaving the fort. Ah, if he just followed everyone else he would be sure to find the leader-type fellow.

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[i]Bah. I suppose I've got to do everything around here, now don't I. Blasted soldiers. Oh well, just a drunken low-life, I imagine. Well, I suppose I've got to do something. I may not care two figs about this country, but I'm not so heartless as to allow some people to die on account of wild beasts.[/i]

'Alright, time to head out!' Arias said to himself. He started quickly walking over to the village, not quite sure what he was going to find.

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[s]Bullet, upon finding an old spear from an abandoned armory, ran straight to where the wolves seemed to be coming from, expecting the worst. He instead saw a man running away from a store, hollering about wolves. Bullet ran up and grabbed the man by the arm, forcefully stopping him.

"Hey, you. What happened in there? Don't worry, I'm not going to arrest you if you happen to be that spy. But please, tell me what happened."[/s] Edited by Camtech075

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"Perfect."

Plenty of guards running around in confusion, Naomi saw the moment and seized it. She ran down the corridor to the vault, pilfering as much money as she could. Her next move was to the armory next door, taking what appeared to be the tools for her future excavation in the corner. Old and worn down. Of course. Because no right minding general would cop out for new things. Good thing she had a bit of an overhead on her project now. She took a sword from the wall, just in case. She could always sell it, but you never know.

Her next plan of action to give her some time to get out of here, was to free the remaining prisoners. Searching the cells, only a strange red headed woman could be found. Naomi quickly picked the door, and threw the sword and a handful of gold at the woman. "You a mercenary? Well you just got a new contract."

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Wolves and... spies. He jumped at the word, almost expecting to see a row of eyes turn to glare at him, before remembering that, not only did he have some of the best cover in the business, he was also a Crestian, a noble's son, at that. Even if he were a discovered enemy spy, there was likely very little that could be done to him, with his political standing. Not that he planned on defecting or being found out - the only people who knew of his occupation were his "parents," and his comrades. He was dead set on letting no one else find out - if anyone asked, he was Laterite Defaux, heroic mercenary son of the noble Crestian Defauxs, and certainly not Laterite, the cunning spy who gathered information on anyone he could.

Laterite shrugged, turning towards Ivan, now that the taller and wider man was awake. "What do you thin- oh, why do I even bother asking? Of course you'll want to go somewhere to get out of this despicable place." He gazed quickly around the establishment, to the sleeping and gambling drunks, to the decrepit build of the place, the disinterested man behind the bar. "... I can't say I blame you. I think we've been here long enough anyways. Of course, we'll have to go get Andra and Rakka." He stood suddenly, grabbing the bag at the side of his chair, removing his cloak for a moment to set the strap over his shoulder. It left his clothing exposed for a moment - if anyone were paying any attention, perhaps they would realize that not every mercenary present was a poor sellsword - but he didn't really care. Being seen for who he appeared to be was all a part of the job, a major part, really. He considered, for a moment, standing on the table and declaring who he was - but that was a bit of an amateur's mistake.

"Shall we? Our comrade will want to hear the news of activity."

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Beatrice awoke to the clattered chaos and general disarray. The wonderful thing about her cozy prison cell was that, despite not having a single window, every single noise seemed to eventually seep down. It made it a pain to sleep, or it would, had not Beatrice already been in much worse pain. Beatrice got up and dragged her self-- all ball, chain, and body-- over to the iron bars, pinning herself against it.

"Hey! HEY! What's going on? We under attack? Hey! Lemme outta here! Hey!" Beatrice frantically screamed out. To her surprise, a women appeared from the entrance and offered her some gold and a sword. Beatrice was a bit skeptical of the whole idea, but what was the woman gonna do to her any way? Fight her?

"About dang time!" Beatrice jammed the tip of the sword into the chains on her legs and the brace on her arms, freeing herself from both restraints. Already she could feel her good old raider spirit rush back into her body. "What's this on about, lady? Somethin' about a job?"

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"Well, let's just say, I have a few people that need taken care of. I got my money so I'm happy. After you." Naomi held her hand out, showing the way out of the cell.

"Attacks are always great for starting ruckus and helping yourself to money, aren't they?"

Naomi thought to herself. Selvano could get what was coming to him. A measly budget, stupid restrictions, a supervisor? SHe was not some child that needed baby sitting. She could hide the body before dawn, and then get rid of that supervisor when no one was around. The soldiers would certainly enjoy a nice burger after weeks without meat. Or these wolves people keep shouting about could help her out.

"So, I suppose after hiring you I should get to know you. What's your name?"

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Arias arrived at Elrest a few minutes ago. He was a bit tired, but at the same time, he was eager to finally let loose for a bit, for life as a soldier, even a mercenary, was a bit too constraining for him.

'I see... That would appear to be a wolf. But at the same time, there's something not right here,' he said to himself. 'I won't attack just yet, but I do think that this could be problematic. If that's what I think it is, this town could have a big problem on its hands. Lots of very big problems...' I need to find who's responsible...

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As the group from Talgusta's fort slowly started arriving several noticed something which wasn't quite right. The entire city had fallen dead silent with doors tightly shut and curtains over every window. There wasn't any sign of wolves, spies or any other form of struggle. The only thing that seemed out of place was the lack of people walking around, sure it was late. But the sun was only halfway down and the deserted tavern should be bustling at this time of day.

As Arias started walking in search of something the man behind him, a bearded burly mercenary smirked before pulling out a piece of red cloth and tying it around his forehead. "Hey you" he shouted after Arias, "What do you think about my bandanna?" Edited by Kanami

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"Who goes there!" Arias exclaimed.

Instinctively, Arias, being on careful alert, turned around and began to cast a fire spell. As he looked up to prepare the spell, he saw that the strange figure was certainly not a feral beast, and probably not hostile. Arias put his tome away.

"There's something strange going around here," he thought to himself.

"Your bandana seems a little ragged," he said to the stranger. "Now, can you tell me what's going on? I have to run all the way to this village to chase off a pack of wolves, and there are no wolves to be seen!" Did you get a look at what happened?"

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((Ugh, ignore my last two posts.))

"What happened here?" Bullet asked, as he arrived in the deserted-looking town. "It looks a bit like a ghost town." [i]At least,[/i] he thought, [i]this can help me get out of here before people begin recognizing me.[/i]

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The man smirked, before raising his weapon slamming it down on where Arias had only been standing a few moments ago. "Nah lad, no wolves just a bunch of scared heretics and their imaginations going wild, not like it matters to you though" he grunted as he swung at Arias again, barely missing Arias head. Rugged looking men suddenly appeared from behind the building with wide grins on their face, all smirking as they appeared with red bits of cloth wrapped around their body. The words "Bandits" ran through the mind of all who were present, but the bandits were easily outnumbered 4 to 1. "Get'em lads" A man called out as bandit-like men started charging at the group.

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"You want my name? Beatrice, call be me Bea, Beat, Trix, whatever works. Now that we're 'friends' Miss... uh... whatever, I guess I don't have to pluck the teeth outta your mouth. I was unfairly imprisoned here by those stinkin' nobles, you know how it is." Beatrice didn't sound particularly convincing, but she didn't want to plea her side any way. She stumbled a bit as she ascended the stairs, having to constantly use the wall and her rescuer as support. "Sorry, but I'm a bit banged up, on account of the new Crestia therapy session. Keep goin', I'll be following. So who's this person you want cut open?"

Beatrice didn't fully trust the person she was following, but she didn't really care. She wanted to see where this was going before her sword hand got too itchy.

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