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File: 1500259157012.jpg (511.32 KB, 1920x1080, Heveron3.jpg)

Heveron #3 : To The Shattered Root Legacy Of The Crystal!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41517810[Last 50 Posts]

#Closed / Invite Only #Canon: Heveron #Fantasy

<The world is such a fragile thing, easily broken and forced to bear the scars left upon it for centuries, millenia. Though the shapes upon the surface shift and change, though the skylines shatter and grow anew, the fractured soil that begets life remains twisted, torn and shattered. Great spires of crystalline light reveal naught but the cruel work of the afflicted, the champions turned renegades turned executors of a justice that merely fit the eye of the beholder. Such is the legacy of the Crystal.

<Welcome, then, to Alethbedia, the world trapped between itself and the ever-present Aether. Though many lands have their grand history, their remnants of a time long since passed, none bear the marks more closely than the continent of Heveron. The light and power of the crystals fuels most everyday convenience, the power of magic almost a currency in this prosperous age with those born already bearing such potency standing at the forefront of power and control. Yet within such power lies many secrets, many truths that would best be left untouched and well alone.

<Far be it from me, then, to reach for those secrets myself... don't you think~?

[Elizabeth Carmilla - 1886, The Documents of The Scarlet Witch]

Welcome to thread three everyone! Here's hoping we can recover from the mass erasure that killed off our prior adventures, thankfully saved and available through other means. Here's to a productive third year!
Hahahahahaha I can't believe I'm actually writing that. Let's hope we can get more posts out than one every week.
This post was edited by its author on .

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41517846

File: 1500272869942.png (1018.12 KB, 1920x1080, 35.png)

>For all the cold pessimism Jerome had lived his life by, the man had certainly not expected himself to be making any grand offers of companionship on this desolate mountain top to a cold-blooded assassin. Yet, what he had expected even less was perhaps that his offer would be rejected and thrown back at him in a warped way. With eyes wide, the grown, scarred, and calloused knight could only watch as his illusions of what the proper relationship between a knight and his companion was thrown to the wayside. For if not one of subservience then what could a relationship of equality look like he could not fathom.

>Still, no matter the strangeness of the morning's happenings, Jerome still had to deal with the still crying girl in front of him even as he himself handed her back the bloody knife with which she had gouged a chunk of flesh out of her own arm.

Uh... yea sure, here.

>But though he couldn't know what life had in store for him, perhaps for the first time in a long time, the knight errant found the will and desire to see what may come of it all.

You... feel like getting off this mountain yet?

>He asked awkwardly, a thin smile showing in the face of his companion's tears.

Sarah Locke!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41519440

File: 1501193034320.gif (1.95 MB, 500x230, tumblr_o5odwrWEyf1sg75a4o1_500…)

Fuck yes. It's so brittle and cold even in summer, I'm tired of shitting feeling like passing a spiked brick and by the flame I could use a warm fucking tea or a good terminian ale...

>It had felt like so long since they started the trek, and here up high were the dangers of monsters, wyverns and all manner of fatal missteps. Remembering it all, the fond warm confines of the guild hall or even some populated city streets brought a sense of odd nostalgia to her, despite having hardly been all that long ago.

Though, question... where will you go? Once we're back down, I mean.

>The tears had stopped falling, but the pain still made her wince from how fresh it was. Better to think on other things, to keep her worries fresh from her mind by focusing on the here and now. Despite all her complaints and problems with the man, she couldn't help wondering about his fate... whether hers might align with it again someday.

>Or perhaps whether it didn't have to part at all.

Logan Faust!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41519446

File: 1501194203181.jpg (224.93 KB, 789x743, Oh, I see.jpg)

>Watching Ameya's incredible intense struggle to contain the heat of the agnaktor tail was far too good. It was like true, unbridled vengeance had taken root in him and it was even more hilarious than the one time he managed to trick Elias into eating Riest's tofu.

>But he had to calm himself. He couldn't lose his composure, not now, not when he'd spent the whole day keeping it up as a proper noble! The best thing to do was ask if she was okay, take responsibility, treat her nicely and then she'd swoon for him like a lady swept off her feet by a true knight-


I CAN'T Oooooh fuck, I just can't, ppffttaaahahahaahaa...!!

Outta the frying pan and into the fire, right? PFFTTTHHAAHA!
I guess you could say you can't handle yourself in the heat of the moment!

Haaahaahaahaaa HA HA HA HA HA!!!

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41519469

File: 1501205964353.jpg (54.96 KB, 500x706, 927304cd28b1b98f2318cb54a794f0…)

>Wincing visibly at the mention of Sarah's bathroom difficulties which he had gone out of his way to ignore as a jest of courtesy for the young woman's difficulties in adapting to the outdoor lifestyle, Jerome nonetheless was forced to admit that she had done admirably well to follow him all this way whilst complaining as little as she had.

Well you mentioned having to head back to Kingsmeet for pay once and I had been going there originally as well.

So long as we enter the city separately I shouldn't have any trouble disappearing into the crowds.

>But as to what would happen after that separation he would not say and found it hard to dwell upon. They had never been meant to meet in the first place and though he certainly thought of Sarah as his companion he held no illusions that she might share the sentiment. No, in all likelihood, once they separated they would go on their own ways and life would go back to what they had known before. Though, Jerome thought he would make the most of the time he spent with her from now until then.
This post was edited by its author on .

Sarah Locke!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41520123

File: 1501462759955.jpg (24.02 KB, 564x398, 23e8fb7a48e2a4f92abaa8c59675e6…)

Who said anything about separately? That eager to leave?

>It was a playful rib, but again, humour was one of the few things keeping that throbbing pain at bay. Even so, she had a point to make on his proposition. Kingsmeet was a nice choice, she'd get to go back, relax in her room, pick up some pay and not worry about money for the next while. That assassination contract from before still needed picking up, after all.

We can head back to the guild and I can set you up with lodging for a day or so. After that, well... we'll see how things go. If you've gotta go your own way, I'm at least gonna make sure you get a good rest beforehand, because seriously, sleeping on the dirt and rocks sucks.

Though we've still got a little while of that ahead, I guess... best to make a start, right?

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41520132

File: 1501464060093.png (1.03 MB, 1632x918, 43.png)

>After all this time spent together Sarah still knew so little about Jerome's own situation that it was somewhat painful to hear her joking optimism for they aught to do and the soft bed he should sleep in.

Its a good plan, really, and I'd love to take you up on it but I'm going to have to pass on it.

>He was in pain, honestly his back felt like it was on fire and would only feel worse in the next few days of trekking down a mountain but he would stomach the sensation as best he could. It wasn't the first time he hurt himself the way he had and, in time, he knew the sensation would vanish to the back of his mind.

Out here in the middle of nowhere I'm safe from the reports of agents but if I'm seen entering Kingsmeet with a woman and staying at home then the repercussions might be...

>His back flared in white hot agony at the mere thought.

... severe.

Sarah Locke!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41520134

File: 1501464334289.jpg (837 KB, 1024x1024, ciri_sketch_by_sonellion-d9217…)


>As difficult as it was to process anything other than getting the heck out of the mountains at the moment, the words he spoke left a sudden strange revelation in her mind.

... reports? Agents?
What are you talking about?
Don't tell me you're actually saying that people go out of their way to watch your every move to see if you're breaking those rules. Because that'd be beyond ridiculous.

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41520138

File: 1501465084318.jpg (110.66 KB, 300x647, bf8b3965b275473ede47239bc1d55c…)

>Her naivety was almost charming and Jerome felt ashamed for having felt such anger towards the way she acted when she honestly hadn't known anything about his order or what it meant to be a part of it. For all that her "father" had been a member, it seemed that the man had made a fine point not to let his charge know of the less romantic aspects of being a Cassiline.

Not as ridiculous as you might think.

>Again the knight winced at the pain of his back. This really would be a problem and he would have to change those bandages before long else he might run the risk of something going astray in his wound.

Think about it, we're an order of glorified celibate knights whose vows include giving up any and all claims our birth might have otherwise garnered before our knighting.

In actuality, beyond being the acting priests of an otherwise almost forgotten god, the order is the perfect dumping grounds for any unwanted bastards or would be pretenders for all of Termina's royalty. That same royalty gives the order very generous donations to ensure that those would be troublemakers are properly indoctrinated and watched so that they can't be used by their rivals as pieces in their political games.

Add it all up and you've got yourself a well funded, very motivated spy network who are more than willing to divulge any and all misdeeds on my part to the order where I would be recalled for discipline.

Sarah Locke!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41520145

File: 1501466008150.jpg (172.62 KB, 1733x975, Sabertooth196.jpg)

>That was... quite the flood of information. She really knew nothing about what the 'Cassiline Brotherhood' truly were. Admittedly Bertrand Locke hadn't been the most forthcoming with the details, so her impressions and what little he'd told her had helped build up a very different picture in her head. Jerome hadn't exactly met her expectations of a knightly man, honourbound and with a duty to do what was right - but looking at it from this dark, new perspective showed an entirely different light... and a horrifying new revelation.

>How much risk had her father set upon himself by taking her in? To go so far for an unappreciative girl and essentially putting his life at risk with his own order, not that he'd been very obedient as far as a lot of those rules went anyway.

>All in all, it made her sick, which said a lot considering she already felt shitty enough after travelling so much in the wilds.

... huh.

>A simple sound, but one of contemplation. The swirling emotion inside her switched from surprise to regret to a hint of sadness... until it turned into a gentle, silent rage.

So, what, you can't just leave? I'm sure if you took that armour off, no-one would even know. A hood over your head, just walk into town like an ordinary man.
Unless they'd go so far as to hunt you down eventually... spineless cowards.

>It was almost the opposite of her way of life. To be watched nigh constantly, to never know peace from the fear or control. Even if they didn't have spies everywhere, the fact that they apparently had enough made constant vigilance a priority.

... and who decides these policies, again?

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41520152

File: 1501466756069.png (1.07 MB, 1920x1080, vlc 2015-10-27 15-56-15-55.png)

>He hadn't meant to incite her anger but merely to inform her, though, from the tone of her voice it was clear that felt some agitation for what she had been told. He looked on at his companion in silence, the early morning mountain breeze whistling between the two of them in a moment of silence shared between two companions.

>He didn't answer her question on policy nor did he tell her that sneaking into the city was something he shouldn't do to avoid the suspicion that he might have something to hide. Instead, he just looked on and paused whilst he sorted his thoughts out and wondered at the meaning behind her anger being raised for his sake.

All it means is that we should enter the city separately and avoid seeing each other until I have a chance to fade from their radars Sarah.

Abris Phinn!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41520524

File: 1501630262313.jpg (61.36 KB, 300x330, AWWWYEEAAH.jpg)


>And there it was.

>Oooooh yessss. That was what he'd been waiting for.

>The pint sized princess carved into her blazing hot tail with all the elegance and grace you'd expect of a flimsy noble like her, took a bite...And experienced true hell. The agonising sonic scream that ripped across the restaurant did absolutely NOTHING to abate Abris' joyful gales of laughter, even as he clamped hands against his ears to try and deafen the still ringing sound of Ameya's agony.

>She threw herself onto the ground in sheer spicy overload, and it was only when the ringing died down that Abris removed his hands from his ears and with all the dignity and solemness you'd expect from the Guard of Kingsmeet, he started laughing at her misery.

HAHAHAHAHAHA! That'll show ya, dumbass! Agnaktor's got more than a little kick to it, something your sheltered little palate wouldn't be able to understand! Next time you wanna make light of commoner food, YOU'RE the idiot who bit off more than they could chew!

>All argument about their meeting had swam from his mind, not a care in the world troubled Abris Phinn. Only the joy of his foe receiving her just desserts.

>Or...just dinner, perhaps!

Viveka Ferrous!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41520540

File: 1501638136838.jpg (120.58 KB, 1024x724, ciri___witcher_3_by_faruuk_sam…)

>Well, so much for the plan to waltz right on in and kill the bastard... though she didn't know exactly where the brotherhood headquarters was to begin with, and a lone assassin wandering blind into guarded territory was usually a self-imposed death sentence. As much as she wanted to punish those responsible, she'd marked her shoulder for a reason - the throbbing pain reminded her that she needed to start thinking before she acted.

Ugh... fine. I can't promise that if any of them make themselves known they won't meet a bloody end, but I'll behave if that's what's best.

Let's start getting off this gods-forsaken heap of rock before I give it all too much thought...

>Not that such a subject could really be avoided anymore, but at least the journey might prove distraction enough against the woes of her newfound friend.

>... friend? Well that was certainly a new one. New, but not entirely unpleasant. Not that she'd say as much.

Lei[i] & Ameya!aLEJudith.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41520587

File: 1501677679986.png (452.72 KB, 500x586, tumblr_n2z66jJ5YY1r1geyyo1_500…)

>Along with Logan and Abris' uproarious laughter, Lei found herself chuckling as well as she tired to fight off the ringing in her own ears.

Can't take heat, poor dear!

>Ameya however was the only one not having a good time at all, and while the raging inferno in her mouth was finally dying down, a new fire burned inside of her and that was a blaze of anger as she pointed an accusatory finger at Logan.

Y-you tricked m-mee!! How dare you!!

>It wasn't bad enough that he was slinging dumb puns at her but it was now clear that was his intent from the start! How cruel! Why would he do such a thing to a lady like her?!

Logan Faust!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41520952

File: 1501903905844.png (89.36 KB, 399x442, 41316936_p2-2.png)

>Amidst the laughter, it seemed he was being singled out as the cause of it all - not that he minded, it was the perfect vengeance for the day. There was no way in hell this date was going to be the real start of anything and even if he'd doubted that early on, it was clear he'd poured most of his savings down the proverbial toilet of her needs and wants.

Tricked you!? Of course I did! I spent all bloody day having to dote on your every whim, so I needed some entertainment at some point!

>Logan took a hefty swig of the wine in an entirely unrefined manner, totally giving up appearing in any way noble and tossing aside whatever pretense was left, slamming the glass back down on the table with a satisfied sigh and a burp and taking a bite out of his freshly cooked steak.

Besides, if you won't eat that, Lei probably would. You've had a fair bit of it before, right? Can't say I'm a fan. Suits your taste far more than it does hers, though, by the look of it!

>Engaging in casual conversation with someone he'd supposedly only just met (according to two of the people at the table) would likely shed some light on his identity, but at least that way Lei would know he'd given up trying to be someone he wasn't. After a little more steak and another swig of wine, he looked back across to Ameya.

But seriously, that was hilarious - if you want something to actually eat though, I'll getcha something else. Watching you flail about like you were on fire more than made up for all the crap you had me carry around today.

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41521056

File: 1501988040463.jpg (97.97 KB, 1024x614, misty_mountains_by_ninjatic-d6…)

>The journey down the mountain for the pair of adventurers began as soon as they were able to meet with their great host and bid their farewells. The likelihood they would ever meet such a legendary figure again was beyond slim so Jerome, at least, treated the matter as a farewell to a great and kind being beyond their own making. The next few days were spent in a constant downhill slope through the wilderness that tried their knees and backs in a way that the uphill ascent never did eliciting discomforts of a whole new variety than the ones they faced on their way up. After a difficult descent through the far wilds spent alternatively hiding from large wyverns and feeling their aching muscles bunch up in agony at the days of continuous effort the pair finally found their way to the first of a series of curious small borderline hamlets inhabited by beastmen that would guide their way down the mountain far faster with the use of trails down to the lowlands. Progressing from hamlets to villages and finally into towns, Jerome and Sarah eventually emerged out onto a main merchant's road some two weeks after they'd started their descent.

>Two days of traveling on the merchant road following caravans that came and went from the great city in the middle of three great empires had them reach the outskirts where the pair split up with Jerome circling around to enter the city from another entrance. Making his way through the city without too many problems, the knight found lodging in a port-side inn of the name "The Silver Mermaid". Laying low and recovering from his many pains in that area for some time, it would be two full days before the knight was tracked down by his companion.

Sarah Locke!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41521213

File: 1502078739908.jpg (263.3 KB, 550x320, tumblr_o2xjjcX0B11ui44q7o1_128…)

>Finally, home, or at least the best place she could call it. After such a long time walking and travelling, the only thing she wanted to do was rest - no long conversations, no huge reports, just collect her payment for the assassination contract on the church officials (long overdue) and relax. Thankfully not many in the guild viewed her in any particularly favourable light. She wasn't particularly disliked, either, but she was always known to keep to herself aside from those she chose to keep company with, so it was rather easy to hide away. The festival was nearing its conclusion, so most were out enjoying the atmosphere anyway - which was great! More time to quiet herself down.

>Thusly gold found itself spent on ales, wines and bitters, on delicious, comforting meals and the wholesome purchase of fresh, clean, unworn clothes. Returning to all of that, it was a wonder how they'd survived in the wilderness like that, with little but their wit and what resources they could gather. It was then the reason for doing such returned to Sarah's mind, and the ridiculousness of her folly became truly known to her. Had she really become so possessed by the idea of finding that one truth that she'd risked life and limb to follow a stranger into unknown lands?

>That very man was in town, hidden away somewhere no doubt. She hadn't seen him since they parted, and a little piece of her couldn't help but wonder if he'd already left, not wanting to say goodbyes and simply leaving their journey behind him - but if he was truly human, in any way, she had little doubt that he too would need to spend some time in the comforts of civilisation after such a draining trip.

>The question, then, was what to do from here. Sarah had resolved to find her answers to the question of why she had been spared that day, but what path could lead her down it? At first, she'd thought the Cassiline Brotherhood held the secrets she sought, but the more she heard of and witnessed their practices the more she strayed away from that line of thinking. From all Jerome had told her, Bertrand Locke seemed to betray nigh every tenet of their creed, yet to her she seemed the most truly knightly of them all.

To follow the rules, to be safe, yet shackled by burden... to break them, despite the risks, and become truly just... bah. None of it seems to mean anything or point anywhere!

>Such was the problem with rest and respite, it allowed the mind to wander along such deep and intricate wonders, yet does so often alone, without a clear answer in reach. Even then, however, one might stumble upon a nugget of truth within the smog.

But maybe that wasn't the point. He'd wandered so far, traveled miles and miles from Empyrean to the Wastes and to the Ruby Isles themselves. Is it all in what he saw, what he did, that led him to betray his cause in order to not lose himself?

>The bartender stared, perplexed, at the rambling ashen-haired girl.

I ain't got a bloody clue, miss. But I do know when some'uns had a little too much at this time inna mornin'. Aye, yer armored friend's stayin'ere. Soon as ye said 'miserable face' I knew exactly who ye meant.

Ah... thank you. Guess I'll take another pint while I wait!

Yer off the tap, miss, or I'll 'ave none for the eve'! Get some water an' bread in ye, girl, it ain't even noon!


Patrick Frye!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41521396

File: 1502153906995.png (675.01 KB, 600x800, 955f668f0333caadac4220e9d00ce8…)


>Patrick's astonishment was only held back by the Dragon's stern, dominant tone as the words echoed through the cavern. A real, actual dragon atop a hoard of coin and treasures galore, like a scene from myth itself. As much as he'd seen and read about over the course of his relatively short life, to witness such a thing was a terrifying honour, one in which the likelihood of that life ending was perhaps the highest it had ever been.

>Rakohl was the first to speak, perhaps his instincts as a beast pretty close to the top of the food chain causing him to confront the red scaled mistress of the clan, while the fire mage hadn't the words to speak. The reasons for coming to such a place had all but washed away in the flood of awe that gripped him (the kind that no doubt led to Melody fainting on the spot) and, for a reason unknown to him, a fear that was rooted far too deep to be called mere instinct.

>No sudden movements, Mr. Frye...

Ahem, uh... we came here on behalf of the village... y'know, that one to the south?

>Crap, crap, what was the one piece of advice ol' teach had to say about dragons, again!? Oh- that's right. Respect. Dragons were, above all else, prideful creatures. Much different to his more feral compatriot, Patrick slowly but surely bent a leg, coming down to a kneel and bowing his head before the creature of legend.

I humbly ask of you, great one... please listen to their plea!

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41521399

File: 1502156630310.png (1.22 MB, 1920x1080, vlc 2015-10-27 15-57-03-72.png)

>For the last two days the knight had spent in Kingsmeet, Jerome had tried his damndest to simply take it easy and sleep for as long as he could everyday. Now that there was no longer a need to scavenge for food everyday or hide from vicious monsters, the plan had thus been to simply take his routine at a much more leisurely pace than necessity had compelled him to adopt in Astrolia. However, after spending the last month and a half waking up before the sun rose everyday, Jerome's body simply wouldn't allow him to rest for such a long time and the man had spent the last two days waking up far too early for his own liking.

>The result of which was a dissatisfied knight who was compelled to train and tend to his wounds the same way he had in the Astrolian wilderness. Walking out of his room on the upper floor of the inn without his armor, Jerome made his way down to the commons where he spotted his companion's grey hair at the bar easily enough and made his way to the stool next to hers.

A meat pie and a large helping of mashed potatoes.

>The knight called out to the bartender with his customary dour disposition before waiting for the man to move away before turning to talk to Sarah.

Enjoying your return to civilisation?

Abris Phinn!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41521523

File: 1502227399361.jpg (56.89 KB, 289x293, Cute.jpg)


>And to top it all off, the deception was revealed. Her so called gentlemanly date revealed a FAR more interesting side to him than the simpering noble, and the entire grand scheme to give the shitty little princess what was coming to her was unveiled. He couldn't keep but cackling and jeering, a gleeful sadistic smile threatening to split his face in half

So much for your 'true gentleman' eh? Couldn't even get a proper date without them turnin' on ya! Not that I can blame the guy, only took me a day to get completely sick of you!

>He shot a glance at the guy in his more...natural persona, perhaps. He knew Lei pretty well? Maybe another one of the Vult-...Guild members. Well, either way, the guy had suffered Ameya for the better part of a day, so Abris would at least make an attempt not to shit on his chosen profession.

>As long as the guy didn't bring it up.

Lei[i] & Ameya!aLEJudith.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41522344

File: 1502657072510.png (190.97 KB, 500x280, tumblr_n0usqaUipW1r8ououo5_500…)

>Letting the deceit sink in for a few moments longer, Ameya's mind bubbled with all kinds of violent ways she could react to this. One of the foremost being scream at them until their insides rupture but that'd be quick for such a betrayal... Though letting it stew in her mind for a moment, along with the offer Logan gave her of ordering something she'd could actually eat and Lei's mostly innocent position...
>Really the only who needed to be punished was Abris and she knew all too well now that getting mad at him would just give him what he wanted so... It was time to start the water works.

...*sniff* You would? Even though I been so... *hic* mean?

>The tears welling up in her eyes, though an act, were quite realistic and were at least enough to fool one person at the table...

Aaaaw! We sorry, just prank! That's all!

>The moment the act was put on Lei fell for it hook, line, and sinker. It probably helped that Ameya did look like a kid still, and Lei could never resist a kid. Especially one that was crying. She had quickly scooted next to her in her chair and scooped up the pink sneak girl in a hug, burring the smaller girl's face in her chest.

Sarah Locke!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41522485

File: 1502751828199.jpg (24.63 KB, 564x352, be21c935935c54c03fa57a66300672…)

You kidding? Fresh cooked food, good ale and warm beds to sleep in? I'm starting to wonder why I ever left.

>It seemed she wasn't as drunk as she'd like to be, which was a good start. A little blush on the face, sure, but hardly the slurring, wasted vagabond Jerome had seen at least twice over the course of their long journey. The barman grunted in response to the knight's arrival, though not unpleasantly, before putting the order in with the cook.

And you look decidedly less ragged, for once. Well, I s'pose there was that one mountain village with the bathhouse, but even then you had more of a scowl on you than you do now. Seems the lakeside air agrees with you.

>The drink had made her noticeable more conversational, though, much more than she tended to be otherwise. The prods and jabs at his person were a little less sharp and, oddly enough, she seemed pleased to see him - at least until she took another last swig of her mug, which finally ran out of her last available portion, though that didn't seem to be the only thing on her mind.

You seem a lot better, though, so... guess that means you'll be movin' on soon, right?

Logan Faust!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41522507

File: 1502762618490.png (187.42 KB, 500x500, 43342575_p6.png)

Wow... and here I thought she'd only been that bad to me. Well, she certainly played me for a fool, but she gave me a shot, which is more than I can say for most!

>It had been a pretty damn awful day and his purse was as light as it had ever been, but it was no wonder he'd fallen for it - he'd been so elated at the prospect of getting a date for the festival at all that it was easy to lose himself in it.

>And, well... another wow. Of all things, from everything he'd seen he hadn't expected Ameya to be the crying type, and Lei was already on that. As awful as the pink-haired girl was, he couldn't really lower himself to trampling all over her pride, right? At least he could get her an actual meal, and then he'd never have to run into her again.

Yeah, yeah, whatever you like, as long as it's not expensive. You've run me outta money. Sheesh, if i'm gonna get my savings back I might have to actually work for it...

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41522694

File: 1502856041409.png (737.07 KB, 1920x1080, vlc 2015-10-27 15-57-28-55.png)

>Leaning forward towards the bar Jerome yawned and turned to look at his companion more fully. It had been a long time since he'd taken the time to really stay in a city for any length of time and given the trying journey he had just survived then perhaps some rest was in order.

Actually I was thinking of staying put for a week or two and learn about the city that is famous the world over.

>Without going so far as to smile at the notion, Jerome looked genuinely relieved at the idea of some rest in a place far removed from the jaws of wyverns and mosquitoes.

After that then... I suppose we'll see.

Sarah Locke!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41522938

File: 1502927324503.jpg (79.06 KB, 1648x927, Sabertooth113.jpg)

A whole week or so, huh? If we haven't missed it you might actually see the Beach Elf migration...

>Given the surprising lack of all-night parties, it was pretty clear they hadn't arrived yet, but the subject shift was also to hide her relief. Sarah didn't even know if she'd catch him, so to hear he'd be sticking around for a couple of weeks was nice. She might actually get to spend a little time around her adventuring companion in the comforts of an actual town.

Well, can't say I've been here all my life, but I know the place pretty well. If you happen to get a little lost, just wander toward the massive spire around the middle bit - that's the church. Not that anyone here really worships anything, thing's really just gathering dust at this point.

Abris Phinn!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41522939

File: 1502927329093.jpg (62.21 KB, 298x308, Uhoh.jpg)



>Abris glowered and looked away from the crying noble. Everyone was so quick to comfort her, she even got smooshed into Lei's Lei's! She was awful, mean spirited, a total bully! She can't just...just turn on the waterworks and expect it to be okay!

>He couldn't help but feel the seed of guilt start to grow in the pit of his stomach. Even as unlikely as it seemed for the venomous snake to start crying, it had happened and it was...uncomfortable to say the least. He would not apologise! For all the hell this stupid gremlin had put him through, he was not going to break even if the dam broke!

>Instead, Abris aggressively drank more of his Rift, looking ANYWHERE but at the 'crying' young woman with her face buried in his girlfriend's cleavage.

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41523004

File: 1502948231782.png (916.6 KB, 1920x1080, vlc 2015-10-27 16-03-50-822.pn…)

>Pausing for a moment, Jerome tilted his head in confusion at the girl's assessment of the church's condition and lack of followers. Although on its borders, Kingsmeet was still a city within the territory of Termina and as such was likely subject to the same regulatory bodies that ruled over much of the theocratic monarchy.

It gathers dust?

I knew Kingsmeet had its own unique culture of sorts but I hadn't thought that the main temple of a city so large would go deserted.

>Pausing for a monent, the knight again tried to envision a temple to the Holy Flame going decrepit and couldn't quite picture it if only because he had never seen such a thing happen in his travels.

Could we visit it? The church I mean.

Lei[i] & Ameya!aLEJudith.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41523040

File: 1502977700783.jpg (632.85 KB, 1280x1692, tumblr_oj7m9lK4xv1ut1x7bo1_128…)

>From Lei's chest comes a muffled.

I want waffles.. with sugar... *sniff* please.

>Lei, even though she was comforting Ameya, couldn't help but eyeball the temping agnaktor tail that was hardly touched... still sizzling with heat and fire... looking absolutely wonderful--


>Lei stabs a fork into the slap of meat and takes a huge bite out of it, making a happy little noise as the flavor assaults her mouth. She takes her time chewing and swallowing the perfectly spiced morsel.


>Ameya sniffling and quiet sobbing stop as she realises what Lei had just willingly done to herself. She pulls away from Lei's Leis and looks at her incredulously.

Even though I know it's food common where you are, I still can't believe you ate that...

>Act broken, she scoots away from Lei as if she had some contagious plague and frowns at her for eating such a horrible creation of spice. There couldn't have been anything worse out there then what she just ate and this woman just eat it up like it was candy!!

Want not, waste not!

Sarah Locke!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41523116

File: 1503012551327.jpg (34.4 KB, 564x345, 35c258ae51315e600e7bae832a194c…)

Visit? I mean, sure, I guess. Plenty of stalls around it this time of year, one of the few times it actually gets popular.

>There were numerous reasons the church itself was fairly decrepit, and it was hard to pin down exactly what had really caused it. Kingsmeet was already a town for the lost and the poor so you'd think those sorts would flock to it, but in truth they all held many beliefs, not so many aligning with the Flame. Not to mention the church was old and very few had offered to apprentice there as priests, so much so that they'd send what they could spare from other places - usually very little.

>Which left the disturbingly more likely culprits - others in power. The church was always an extension of Terminian influence from the capital, and as such it held power, but the more power it held the less went to the crime syndicates or the mayoral delegate or other interested parties. The more poor beggars who affiliated with the church, the less that could be used as informants or throwaway pawns, and the less influence the church had the less it could get in anyone's way.

>It's not like the Church itself had ever come down to intervene, anyway.

Hope you like dumplings.

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41523165

File: 1503031279771.png (681.13 KB, 1920x1080, vlc 2015-10-27 16-02-11-72.png)

>Blinking at the mention of stalls and food, Jerome couldn't help but wonder at how visiting a religious monument could have anything to do with the Powderkegs meal though, the idea of stalls nearby lent credance that there really was a festival going on now. Given the time of year, it was likely a celebration of the summer solstice though, given the scale of the celebrations he'd seen, it would be ironic for such a secular city to celebrate a Flame dedicated festivity with such fervor.

I couldn't say, I've never had any.

>Though the notion of food really did get his stomach rumbling. Luckily for him, his food arrived at that moment. Carried over by the surly barkeep.

Ah, my thanks.

>With that said, the knight picked up fork and knife and began to tear into his pie and potatoes with gusto.

Sarah Locke!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41523198

File: 1503035944179.jpg (220.81 KB, 1280x720, tumblr_o2dxxkcGml1rkdx7eo2_128…)

>With her mug finished, Sarah reached into a small sack and left a few coins on the counter - more than it would cost for a single drink, how many had she bought already? Not that she really gave time to think about it, reaching over to Jerome's plate and snatching a small piece of pie on the side without hesitation and snacking on it ravenously.

Better hurry up and get through that or I'm gonna finish it for you.

>Seemed she also got a little more callous with drink too, but she wasn't going overboard at least. Standing up from the bar, she gave a stretch of her arms and legs, probably having been sat there for more than an hour.

Phew... or hell, pay for the plate and take it with you! We've got places to be and snacks to, uh.. snack on, I guess!

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41523661

File: 1503129061890.png (1011.52 KB, 1920x1080, 33.png)


Hey wait a...

>Objecting at the blatant theft of a part of his meal, Jerome cut himself off when he noticed just how pleased with herself his companion looked. Damn her, after all this time it looked like the more he got to know her the more she enjoyed toying with him and his affairs.

>Normally he'd complain that Sarah was using her hunger as an excuse to visit the festivities but with food so close at hand, he could understand the girl's eagerness if not her tact. Still, given that the man was living off his earnings made fighting off corpse-walking flowers, Jerome couldn't exactly see himself comfortably throwing money at plates and meals on the go. So, in a way to satisfy both his companion's urgency and his wallet's trembling, Jerome simply shoveled the rest of the food into his mouth and washed it all down with a long draft of water.

F-Fine, lead the way.

>He said, standing up and readying himself to leave though walking around with only a belt and his daggers as a mark of his station felt awfully odd to the knight.

Sarah Locke!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41523780

File: 1503196462222.jpg (837 KB, 1024x1024, ciri_sketch_by_sonellion-d9217…)

>While Jerome contemplated his purse size, Sarah didn't have such worries as she stepped out into the town streets. She'd been waiting to pick up her contract pay since she'd even started to wander into the mountains, and it was a lot more than they'd been paid to take down the plants. A little lighter, perhaps, for the additional rent and taxes she'd had to pay for her unexpected absence, but not a great deal so.

Oof... been inside a little too long. Sunlight hurts my eyes.
Maybe he was right, prooobably a little too much for the morning...

>At least she wasn't stumbling or anything. Sarah didn't seem as though she needed any support, which was probably a good thing for the knight - carrying her around like that was sure to draw attention. As it stood, they both blended into the crowd rather nicely, at least while he wasn't in his armour - sellswords and mercenaries were fairly common here, knights not so much. The streets were littered with all kinds of people, bearing the hard features of the west, the more nuanced grace of the north or the startling curiosity of the south.

Aaaah, it's so nice to be back! Actual cobblestone streets instead of stony, muddy paths. You've really never been here before? Most lost souls seem to wander through eventually.

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41523961

File: 1503355132533.png (584.95 KB, 790x994, 26.png)

>Wincing at her comments and realizing just how much she must have had to drink so early in the morning, Jerome wondered if her drinking so early meant she really was in an unnaturally good mood at being back in Kingsmeet. Yet, the sheer joy with which she celebrated the very cobblestones of that paved the roads showed just how much she loved the city she called home. That being said, looking around at the locals and the ease with which they walked the crowded, rough and tumbles, roads of this city made it clear that she belonged here.

And what makes you think I'm a lost soul?
I might be perfectly well adjusted for all you know.

>The knight said with only the tiniest amount of humor in his voice even as he pulled out an old wooden pipe from the small pack that hung at his waist and began stuffing the thing with an unknown red dust.

Sarah Locke!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41523962

File: 1503355517249.jpg (14.48 KB, 236x330, a41099df65a8e6289dc9da35ecd883…)

>At his statement, Sarah turned to him with a look of slightly shocked disbelief, before the edges of her mouth curved upwards and she found herself bending down a little.

Pfft... haha... hahahahahaha! Oh my god.. hahahahaha...!

>The utter hilarity in his sentence and her half-drunken nature caused her to burst into a mild fit of laughter in the middle of the street, causing the turning of a few heads. Perfectly well adjusted? After all the bitterness, anger and hatred he seemed to have both for the world around him and himself, after cutting himself so many times like that?

Hahahahaha! Wow... wow, I think I needed that! Thank you, that was great.

>Offering no further explanation, she simply smiled and turned, leading him further down the busy streets with the spire of the church in view over the rooftops, and the smell of cooked meat wafting through the air from all kinds of directions, overpowering the simple dishes of the stands that dotted the sides of nearby stores.

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41523964

File: 1503356048678.png (685.66 KB, 718x985, 18.png)

>Well, he certainly hadn't anticipated her to take it quite so humorously. Masking his embarrassment at her mirth by lighting the pipe in his mouth, Jerome followed the assassin at a somewhat leisurely pace as he puffed and breathed in an acrid yellow smoke that somewhat masked the smell of meats cooking and replaced it with a clinging somewhat spicy odor that left the knight feeling all the calmer for the fact that he didn't feel all that bad right then.

Hmmmm... and which stand has those foods you wanted to eat?

>The knight was feeling quite full from the meal he'd hurriedly gobbled up at her direction but that certainly didn't mean someone who burned as many calories as he did couldn't eat anymore.

Sarah Locke!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41524222

File: 1503531719809.gif (1.85 MB, 245x146, tumblr_o6qebfajvr1v86697o6_r3_…)

Weeeelll, all this stuff's just filling and no flavour -rice balls from the northwest, weird bread shapes, pretzels - the good stuff's by the church!

>It was an expensive place to put a stand, but with it came popularity. Everyone typically headed for the barbecue there anyway, so picking up extras barely became an afterthought.

There's a few bits of mediocre stuff there, but there's also stuff like hot wings and fried chicken and dinky donuts and I even heard the pick n' mix is back this year! The freakin' pick n' mix! I had to travel to the outskirts last year to pick up a bag!

>The conversation helped the journey pass quickly, and sure enough they'd reached the park circle that housed the church at the very back. Ordinarily this would be a clear area where people would come to relax or the children would play their games, but now it was packed with stalls and carnival festivities, along with all the mess that came with it. It was such a busy place that the church almost seemed to fade into the background of it all, despite the large shadow it cast over the surroundings.

Flame's wrath, I've missed this! Real big difference to empty fields and barren rock, right?

Logan Faust!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41524441

File: 1503757450788.jpg (133.28 KB, 729x1032, 55397956_p5_master1200.jpg)

Mhm, mhm... sugar waffles.

>Hopefully that'd be the last thing he ever had to buy this girl. At least the hot meal didn't go to waste, despite Lei having supposedly had a meal just earlier. With Ameya taken out of his hands for a moment, it have him a chance to study the other curiosity of the table - Lei's date.

>Why a guardsman, of all people? Awkward seaweed hair, seemed grumpy the entire time they'd mildly bumped into each other - except where Ameya's suffering was concerned. There hadn't really been much time for impressions, maybe a poke or a prod would shed more light?

>Heading over to the counter, he placed the order as well as some dessert for himself.

"Ah, it'll be with you in a moment, sir."

>On the wander back to the table, things much as he'd left them, he leant on the far side of the table from the pink-haired witch for a short moment, speaking in a low tone.

Really sticks to the whole 'Privileged Noble' thing, doesn't she?

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41524536

File: 1503821238672.png (1.22 MB, 1920x1080, vlc 2015-10-27 15-57-03-72.png)

>Puffing away at his pipe, the knight trailed behind Sarah with something like an ease to his step even as the pair found themselves more and more pressed by the thickening crowds of festival participants surrounding the church of the holy flame. Whilst leaving a trail of potent smoke behind him, Jerome wondered at the many sights and sounds having never seen the like before in his many travels across the lands. For all its flaws, Kingsmeet really did have a unique culture all of its own that could only have come about from the mixing of all these other cultures into something unique.

Hrmmm, so you're saying that I aught to save my coin for the good stuff then.

>Placing his hand on the coin pouch dangling off the side of his belt with the intent of feeling how much capital he had to spend on his person, Jerome came to the very obvious and distressing realisation that the pouch in question was, by then, completely missing from his person. Stopping dead in his tracks, the stalwart Cassiline's expression froze even as the pipe in his mouth suddenly looked almost comical on his otherwise dour expression.

Say Sarah, would you say that this area is someplace one would have to watch out for pickpockets?

Abris Phinn!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41524539

File: 1503853988424.png (289.68 KB, 442x418, Butwhy.png)


>Abris jolts from draining his can of rift when he was addressed, still pre-occupied with glaring at Ameya from the corner of his eye. It wasn't fair! She was an endless bitch and she got a cuddle AND waffles because she screwed up her face and wailed for a few seconds?!

>He had also been addressed by the one person he didn't really know much about...He knew that he wasn't that impressed with Ameya, at least enough to pull that little prank, and that he knew Lei somehow...Presumably from her job? Well, no time like the present too find out more. In response, Abris let out a derisive snort, glancing briefly over at the tiny snake before leaning towards the mercenary and speaking just as lowly

Tell me about it. I'm surprised you put up with her as long as you did...though I guess if you're working with Lei, you guys are used to hard stuff.

>And charging the innocent to make a profit off of their suffering instead of doing what's right-NOT THE TIME! Lei's nice. Lei is very nice. This guy works with Lei. He can't be all that bad.

Sarah Locke!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41524824

File: 1504042173365.gif (345.41 KB, 160x170, Defeated.gif)

Huh? Of course! It's Kingsmeet! Everyone knows you oughta keep your coin a little safer than usual. Why do you as--

>Jerome's face said everything the moment she turned around, hand still reaching for a pouch that wasn't there. Were she capable of more than a blank look Sarah might've sighed, instead simply shaking her head and bringing a hand to her face, which peeled down her cheek to reveal an eye between her fingers as she spoke.

... you have any idea when you last had it?

>Her eyes scanned the crowd for odd movement in the meanwhile. It was usually the small ones that liked to work around here...

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41525362

File: 1504226471757.jpg (45.79 KB, 296x800, ec12156a5550a0f3fae08bdf238489…)

>Puffing thoughtfully on his pipe, the knight's expression visibly scrunched up as he recalled the immediate events that led up to him standing in that spot leading to the Church of the Flame with Sarah.

Well, I know for a fact that I had it when we left the inn I must've lost it somewhere from then until now.

>Scanning the crowd with her experienced gaze, Sarah spotted the small dark shape of a young girl darting in and out of the crowd before slipping into a dark alleyway between two street carts clutching what looked like Jerome's small coinpurse.

For all I know it could have happened anywhere from there until now.

>The oblivious knight continued, his back fully turned to the form of the small thief who had made off with his posessions. In the feral landscapes of Astrolia the man had proven to be capable and willing to take care of both himself and his companion in an environment where most would have perished. But here, in an urban environment that would gladly take everything he owned, Jerome looked just the part of the clueless country knight fresh off the fields of his fiefdom.

Sarah Locke!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41525625

File: 1504487546455.jpg (156.32 KB, 1432x906, Sabertooth51.jpg)

>Oh, that little scamp! Sarah couldn't exactly blame her, but it was poor fortune to pick on her friend like this. Jerome, however, seemed completely unaware of anything going on.

Tch... that pipe of yours really does you in, huh?

>She'd have to handle this herself, it seemed. If she didn't take off now, she'd lose the thief in the crowd - the little ones always knew the passages to fit through, something she knew from experience. Thankfully, being older meant she was faster.

>Putting a hand on Jerome's shoulder for a moment, she stared him right in the eyes.

Festival or not, this city's no safer than the damn mountain. Stay here, and don't do anything stupid, mkay?

>Leaving him with that, she pushed off in the direction of the young girl, now more than few steps behind. Hopefully she'd catch a glimpse as she entered the alleyway, anything that could point her in the right direction.

>Hunting targets like this was her specialty, after all, but it'd be wrong to think this kid didn't have a few tricks up her sleeve of her own.

>Thankfully, being half drunk didn't dull her senses all that much. Mild alcoholism allowed for some fringe benefits...

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41525845

File: 1504570643351.jpg (116.28 KB, 564x835, 5ac4d54c7c124858fc428d07dc2488…)

>Standing in the spot where she left him with a befuddled expression and a wooden pipe gently smocking in the breeze, the knight found himself nodding to his companion's words even as she rushed off after the business of his disappearing purse.


>Pushing her way through the crowd of festival dwellers with an ease that only a lifetime of practice could grant, Sarah found herself entering the alleyway she saw the thief go through just in time for her to see girl turn and see Sarah spot her at the end of the alley.

>After the briefest of hesitations, the girl took off at a dead run immediately rounding a corner and pushing off and on out of sight of the mercenary assassin.

Sarah Locke!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41525847

File: 1504573171025.jpg (57.49 KB, 1648x927, Sabertooth72.jpg)

>It was always the alleys, with these ones... well, she supposed they didn't exactly have other options. Getting caught out was the fatal mistake.

>Turning to the side, she leapt and kicked her way between the walls, using the daggers for grip before reaching the rooftops. Oh, how she loved being back in the city - open fields and forests didn't have nearly the same kind of versatility. From this angle, she could easily catch up and follow her down the pathways - alleyways required buildings on either side, after all, and anywhere there were houses and shops she could follow just like this.

!MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41525875

File: 1504627746222.jpg (45.79 KB, 296x800, ec12156a5550a0f3fae08bdf238489…)

>With Sarah able to leap from wall to wall with a grace beyond what one would image a drunken girl could manage, the small cowled girl turn her head to see the white haired adult gaining on her rapidly through the twisting alleyway. Desperately pushing herself to go faster still, the small brown form of the girl darted through the open backdoor of a restaurant and risked capture by one of the employees to escape the pale acrobat after her.

>Bumping into adults and scrambling out the other side of the shop, the girl emerged through the shop's front door and pushed her way through the traffic of festival goers to reach the other side of the street and disappear into an alley on its other side.

Sarah Locke!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41526287

File: 1504820951948.jpg (70.76 KB, 1648x927, Sabertooth93.jpg)

>Going through Chubby's, huh? Well, they wouldn't care to catch a small girl like her, but they'd get in her way, which gave all the advantage she needed.

>Leaping from the rooftop of one building to the top of the restaurant, she followed the sounds of chaos to the front door, watching her dart through the crowd across the main street. This was a bit too much of a gap to just jump across, but there happened to be a small set of stands with wooden tops to hop across.

>Leaping from each one to the next, she hit the side of another small building and scrambled up to the rooftop, running over to the side to peer down into the alley below. With any luck the girl wasn't paying attention, and might even think she'd slipped away - but luck rarely ended up on her side, the Rathalos from before a sore reminder of that fact.

Lei[i] & Ameya!aLEJudith.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41526297

File: 1504823667271.jpg (179.35 KB, 750x750, 4279ec4d757fc6424a4c91d1a5a7b8…)

>While the two men talked amongst themselves, the women were doing the same. Largely about business and other work related topics.

>It was strange for both of them perhaps to see Ameya act so casually and normal. For Abris she had nothing but snide remarks and scorn which he slung right back at her and Logan only knew her for today and she squeezed every coin she could from him.

>But for Lei, she seemed almost... civil.

!MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41526738

File: 1505187849080.png (1.31 MB, 1277x675, Roughed Up.PNG)

>Turning just her head just as she entered the mouth of this new alley, the girl caught the movement of Sarah darting from one wooden roofed stand to another before disappearing behind a nearby building. With a burst of newfound panic, the small cloaked form ran through more of the filthy alleyway littered with empty crates and rubbish.

>As the girl kept running full on through the alley, the narrow space between buildings widened suddenly into an impromptu sort of plaza where an unkempt well once served the citizens of the neighborhood but now was little more than a breeding ground for mosquitoes. In this widened space, the young girl, in her haste to get away from Sarah, failed to notice the three young toughs that stood in her way and whom she ran headfirst into and fell to the ground as a result.

Woss this then, lil' scamp runnin' from the gards wiff som' coin?

>The largest boy commented when he saw the child's fallen form revealed Jerome's coin pouch she had clutched in her hand.

>Leaning down to lift the small girl from the scuff of the neck, the boy grinned dirty teeth as he spoke with the sudden confidence of a sudden windfall well in his grasp.

You'll hand it ova, won'tcha love. Else ya know wots commin' don'tcha.

>Nodding feebly, the girl struggled vainly in the bigger boy's grasp but to no avail. Knowing that her prize had gotten away from her and that a beating was well on its way, the girl's shadowy eyes accepted this development with the grace of one well used to such developments.

>But even as the scene would be uniquely distressing for the average onlooker to spectate; looking down on the scene from above, Sarah would find the scene all too reminiscent of what her own life was like before a certain man stepped in and changed it forever.
This post was edited by its author on .

Sarah Locke!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41526803

File: 1505354761219.jpg (93.62 KB, 1648x927, Sabertooth96.jpg)

>She hoped she'd never see that sort of environment again, but in truth she'd simply been ignoring it. This sort of thing happened all over the city, but while she'd managed to avoid letting any of it get to her so far, this scene hit a little too close to home - to early life in the sands.

>If she were a little more rational she might've taken those memories better, but she was still a little tipsy - her anger started to flare. It wasn't necessarily directed at the scene below, yet that didn't particularly matter. The girl had no weapon to defend herself, seemingly, or if she did she was too scared of being overpowered to wield it.

Too bad you didn't see this coming, did you..?

>Muttering to herself from above, she leapt down from above with a pinpoint landing between the two boys and the girl, and were the assailants to look they'd find a dagger each right up against their throats - not enough to cut, but more than enough to feel the cold, sharp air between the blade and their flesh.

You wouldn't be doing anything to harm my little sister, now would you?

>Spoken without batting an eye.

!MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41527090

File: 1505797216588.jpg (93.45 KB, 470x745, article-2139914-12EF320B000005…)

>Moving faster than any of the untrained eyes could match, Sarah positioned her daggers at the throats of two of the three boys so smoothly that it took the dazed boys a few moments to comprehend what was happening. Once they did however, the boys were quick enough to drop the girl and back away from the menacing woman, their eyes never leaving the sharp glint of the daggers she held professionally even as the girl crumpled to the ground in a heap.

We didn' know.

>The largest said, his expression fighting bravely to conceal any quavering his voice might have naturally produced at this stressful time. But with a brave expression, the nameless thug brought his conspirators further back from the woman and the girl before breaking into a run and leaving the scene entirely.

>A long moment passed then as the relative hush of the city descended on them in this isolated area. The girl, who had up until this moment been little more than a nameless urchin gripped Jerome's coin pouch tightly to her chest as she back away from Sarah, her legs quavering too much to support her weight just then.

Why did you help me?

>The girl asked, her tone betraying a slightly cultured accent not native to the "King's" criminal scene whilst her expression showed renewed fear at the sight of her daggers.

Sarah Locke!ReIheBaff.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41527414

File: 1506352176036.jpg (144.75 KB, 1601x922, Sabertooth4.jpg)


>Flourishing the blades almost out of habit, the daggers quickly found themselves sheathed so as not to draw any more ire or untoward fear. Their type was common, and she knew all she'd really managed to do was delay the inevitable - or worse incite an even darker future for the poor girl, were she to be left alone like this.

Well, now you owe me a favour, right? Honour among thieves, and all that, which means you'd best be handing back my friend's pouch.

>There was a plain look in the young girl's direction - not a cold one, but rather an expression that betrayed a simple honesty. Sarah wasn't some saviour of the people, that wasn't her role, but being shut down before having been given the chance to stand on your own was something she couldn't entirely abide.

Not from around here, are you? What accent is that... a Northerner? You come all the way here just to pick pockets?

!MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41527922

File: 1506488273064.png (54.72 KB, 268x217, 25.PNG)

>Shaking her head at the question, the brown haired girl paused and looked at the floor, her expression a mixture of fear and resignation at the fate she suffered. Clutching the coin pouch tighter still, so tight that her dirty fingers paled from the pressure, the girl eventually extended the pouch for Sarah to take.

>Whilst she offered the pouch, the girl kept her tired eyes locked on the alley's floor, whilst she began to speak again, her voice hesitant and faltering at the words that came dribbling out of her mouth.

We came from the capital as honest workers for the new tannery that opened along the riverside. We were poor and we worked hard every day but we were happy together at least.

>Her eyes still locked on the ground, the girl's voice began to tremble at the words she spoke, her voice cracking as the emotions overtook her.

B-But that was... was before it took them.

Now there's so little left, I... I can't stand to see them.

>The girl didn't know why she was telling her story like this. The woman hadn't asked for the details and in all likelihood would strike her for assuming she wanted to hear it. But, in all her days spent on the streets of Kingsmeet fending for herself, this was the first time someone had stopped to give her the time of day. Stopped to even speak to her properly without the violence and crooked meanness she found everywhere she looked in this disgusting place. Maybe she just wanted to tell someone, anyone what had happened. Maybe, somewhere deep down, she hoped that telling someone would make the pain in her heart lessen if not the hunger in her stomach.

I hate this city.

It took everything from me.

>She said with finality once she mustered her courage to look at Sarah once more. Her eyes red from the tears of anger and frustration welling up in her eyes.

Logan Faust!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41528386

File: 1506731068018.jpg (224.93 KB, 789x743, Oh, I see.jpg)

Huh. Maybe she just prefers talking to girls.

>Then again, Lei always did end up projecting something of a calming aura. Always there for the people who came back crying, at least when she could be. She must've been through something pretty tough to be able to cope so well with everything else.

>But to reduce the vapid Ameya to a civil, talkative girl? Maybe she was just far better at making friends for some reason, or at least getting people to like her. It was probably the boobs.

... gotta be.

-Huh? Oh, no, I don't tend to work with her. If anything she prefers to go it alone. Can't say I'd say no to a job with her, though, her style and mine'd probably mesh pretty good. But nah, Guildmaster says he's got something for me straight after the festival, so guess that'll have to wait.

>Now that he didn't have to pretend to be some noble, he felt a lot more open and calm, a little more down to earth. It was the feeling of freedom that reminded him why he left in the first place, especially after dealing with that city again.

Guard though, huh? Must be quite the masochist if you're willing to deal with the shit that goes on here every day. No wonder Lei likes you.
I hear she enjoys that sorta thing~

!MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41528643

File: 1506928053800.jpg (85.04 KB, 397x706, reddragon.jpg)

>Breathing out a large plume of smoke, the great red drake opened its maw, revealing rows upon row of dagger-like teeth, and spoke to the two conscious travelers as if speaking into their very minds.

Your request is denied, whelp. It is my imperative right as conqueror to take what I will from the land and so I shall.

>Moving its massive head closer to Patrick, the drake breathed onto Patrick a breath of an incredibly intense heat but whose nature was altogether different to what he was used to. Maybe it was just paranoia of being in so close proximity from a monster of myth but, in that moment, the fire prodigy couldn't be quite so sure that he would be immune to a dragon's flames.

I have heard your request and you have been denied. Now return from whence you came lest your coming here bring calamity upon those you sought to aid today.
This post was edited by its author on .

Abris Phinn!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41529209

File: 1507196439932.png (418.55 KB, 541x490, Irritated.png)


>Masochist?! She liked that?! His cheeks flared up into a bright shade of red that clashed horribly with the green of his hair as his mouth opened and closed without sound. Finally Abris managed to regain his tongue and he averted his eyes from the guy, still a tinge of red.

It's not masochism...I just want to help people is all. Thought the guard would be best for that.

>The guy seemed a ton more relaxed now without having to cater to Ameya's every whim and fancy, maybe he'd been playing up the whole noble thing while he'd been on the date with her? Either way, for a mercenary, he wasn't all that bad...Aside from the comments about Lei's...umm...preferences

Rakohl!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41529212

File: 1507201685821.png (563.83 KB, 867x490, Awfuck.png)


>Of course, it wasn't going to be as simple as just asking it to listen. Rakohl had not seen a dragon before, much less interact with it, but he knew enough from the tales. Proud creatures, strong ones too. This one, however, took that pride and threw it into straight into the depths of arrogance. Patrick hadn't even begun before the great monster refused to listen, outright dismissing any chance at a conversation regarding the village and it's plight.

>Rakohl's eyes narrowed, glaring up at the red mass of scales and teeth as it made it's display of force against Patrick. He could feel the heat, even from his position, and it was scorching to his skin, a promise of what the full wrath would be if it decided to turn on them. He would not cower, he would not buckle, but all the same...the idea of having to fight this thing if it continued in this way was...worrying.

>But what it said didn't add up. Making another attempt to speak out to it, Rakohl raised his voice and called out, to raise his question come what may.

You wish for our audience and we come, yet you deny us the chance to speak and demand we leave! I fail to see the purpose in getting your clan to speak to us peacefully and bring us here, and yet send us away again!

>His voice rang out through the cavern they were in, clear and strong. Dragons were creatures of great power and wisdom, but this raised a question that he required an answer for.

Sarah Locke!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41530325

File: 1507856037331.jpg (194.55 KB, 1733x975, Sabertooth167.jpg)

>The city where anyone could be king... or at least that's what they liked to say. In truth, the only kings were the rich or the powerful - both of which could be earned, true, but the methods for taking it were vast, and many truly underhanded. Sarah was under no illusions that her typical profession was a darker one, but it paled in comparison to some of the people hiding in the underbelly of this false home.

>But even that was just a drop the ocean of the true terror. To suffer was to live, with the pleasures of a smile a rare treat amidst a sea of woe.

It doesn't matter where you go, I've found. Whether it's this city, Empyrean, or the distant shores and sands, the world threatens to take away everything you hold dear with every step you take.

>Moving over to the girl and crouching down to her height, Sarah's eyes betrayed much of her past - a hollow shell of a girl who had only been given light by a sacrifice of the highest order - but there was light, despite it all.

Running from these things and hiding from them won't make them go away, it will continue to creep up until it consumes you. You have to be willing to step into that darkness, to wade through the muck, while still standing proud as yourself, not what the city made you, or them. Face it, walk through it - embrace it, even, so that it doesn't take what little you have left.

>A small tap of her finger to the girl's heart, a symbolic gesture. In truth, Sarah knew what it was like to lose oneself to the dark of the world, to fall to it completely - to lie, cheat and steal without concern, to kill and laugh at the power of taking life. It took the life of a man she had relied on to rescue her from that perspective, to let her walk through the filth as her own self and not what it had made of her.

I don't care how you do it. Fall as far as you feel you need to, but if you do, choose it of your own volition. Walk in shadow not because the world put you there, but so others can stand in light.

!MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41530360

File: 1507872546406.png (106 KB, 258x464, 32.PNG)

>Though she couldn't quite understand everything the older lady was telling her, the young girl knew from the look in her eyes that she had led a life similar to hers in the past and that the words she said were real and could relate to her. It hurt to think about her parents and the way they were, hurt to see them lifeless as vegetables or raving like madmen depending on the day but she knew that if what this lady said was true then she could overcome this difficult time in her life.

>Wiping her tears away with the back of her sleeve, the girl looked down at the finger pressed against her small heart and forced a smile at the woman who had taken the time to help her when she didn't have to. She didn't hit her or yell at her even, all she did was speak nicely and chase the bad boys away. She was strong and nice and wise, if ever the girl had a hero, this was how she found hers.

You're right, I won't let them force me to be as bad as everyone around me just because they want me to.

A-And if I have to run away to get away from the people using Glass then I'll do it because it was my choice to make.

>Stepping away from the woman, the girl suddenly felt a little awkward standing in the presence of someone she saw as so much better than her and everyone else she had met before.

>Pausing for a moment and looking at the ground, the girl suddenly perked up and found the courage to speak what was on her mind.

I hope I can see you again one day!

>And with those words, the girl blushed and ran off into the alley behind her, disappearing back to a life Saber knew all too well.

Patrick Frye!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41531686

File: 1508524970576.jpg (74.87 KB, 600x800, Portgas.D..Ace.full.672051.jpg)

>Damn it! Now that he thought about it, the pride of red dragons in particular was told to be maliciously great, of course she wouldn't partake to the requests of others. It held no benefit to her to help the village, so why would she even consider such a thing?

>Perhaps he'd been too optimistic... worse yet, she clearly saw no value in them - or at least himself; they had nothing they could offer in return. Maybe she even saw the mere act of bargaining as an insult, being the kind of monster that would simply take what it wanted.

>Not wanting to anger the great beast, he took a few steps back, only to look up in bewilderment as Rakohl stood up to the dragon. Had he no fear!? Sure, he was the 'Raijin' of which the Hellhounds had spoken of, but he was still human enough to feel like prey before a beast this large, right?

>The only thing he could do was watch and wait... and look out for little Melody in the meanwhile.

Logan Faust!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41531690

File: 1508525263737.jpg (43.89 KB, 750x720, 37927068_p0.jpg)

>Well, he got the reaction he wanted from the little prod toward his affections. It was always fun to poke at the stiff and stalwart types. The guard's answer was a curious one, though - it definitely made sense, of course, but Logan's nature caused him to question the response.

Help people, huh?
Think you can do that through all that red tape getting in the way?

>Part of him genuinely believed helping people was something more innate than picking a particular job, but he was curious to hear what an actual guard thought, especially one that Lei had actually found an interest in.

Sarah Locke!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41531693

File: 1508525771693.jpg (172.62 KB, 1733x975, Sabertooth196.jpg)

>She'd forgotten, for a moment, that she was speaking to a young girl. Sarah had described such concepts as though she were talking to a younger version of herself, one she felt she might be able to get through to before such drastic measures had to be taken as the loss of a good man's life. The only good man in all the world.

>Even so, the young girl seemed to take it well. Things were clearly bleak for her, but if Sarah's ramblings had given her a sliver of direction then perhaps she'd survive to see next week. In a world like this, it was all some could ask for. One thing weighed on her mind, though... something the girl said.


>She'd heard the word before, of course, but never the way that girl had said it - as though it were something to be feared or worried about. Maybe the local thieves had taken to using glass shards as weapons or something, but was there more to it...? Did she mean something else?

>Bouncing the money pouch in her hand, she resolved to save such thoughts for another time. Had the girl not run off, she might've spared a coin or two, but it wasn't really hers to give. Besides, if she didn't hurry back that shitty knight might wander off somewhere and get lost.

Right then...

!MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41531735

File: 1508537811291.png (581.26 KB, 634x386, D&D.png)

>Breathing out a breath of super-heated steam in the direction of her guests, the dragon's massive jaws moved open and closed for a few moments as it considered the mortal man who stood before her and thought to contradict her indomitable will.

I brought you here so you could see who it was that subjugated the Warbeasts and under whose rule they act.

I want you to know that I torment this village on a whim and that no creature in this world can challenge me over it.

>Rearing it head high, the dragon broadened its shoulders and let flames amass in its jaws, this flaming breath, a weapon rumored to be hot enough to melt stone, came to this giant as easily as breathing. And so standing in all its impressive might, the beast looked at the mortals before her with malignant glowing eyes.

You will know and despair that there is nothing you or anyone can do to stop me and must merely pray and fear that I do not fancy to destroy your city on a whim.

This world is my playground, and you my mere puppets to toy with as I will...

>Leaning down its massive head with its jaws still full of flames so close to Rackol that he could touch them if he wished.

... or to break at my leisure.

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41531740

File: 1508543651584.png (1.21 MB, 1920x1080, vlc 2015-10-27 16-51-54-59.png)

>Turning around to leave the alleyway Sarah finds that a figure stands at the mouth of the alleyway with a wooden pipe in its mouth and a light cloud of smoke surrounding it.

. . .

>Looking at the assassin with unconcerned eyes, the man she followed through a monster infested landscape stood with his back casually leaning against one of the brick walls of the alley as he gently puffed away at the pipe in his mouth.

>Even as Sarah approached him, the man stayed silent, looking for all the world as if he were deep in thought and his eyes considered the form of his companion.

>Eventually, after some time had passed, the knight spoke to the girl who had gone through so much trouble to retrieve his coin pouch and he said.

You've changed, haven't you.

>The words hung in the air as heavily as the potent smoke that emanated from his pipe yet no so easily dispelled by a wave of one's hand. The girl Jerome had first met when he stumbled across her in that Terminan village had been a self-interested model of the morally bankrupt assassin whose only motivation could be her own benefit. Yet, here in her own city, in a place where she might have been most tempted to revert back to her old ways, she had gone out of her way to not only retrieve the coin pouch of another but to help the thief who stole it to boot. Such generosity and care was something the knight would never have been able to associate with the girl who followed him up the mountain but, maybe that girl had nothing to do with the one who followed him on the way down.

>Reaching out and taking the coin purse from her hand, Jerome nodded to her and turned to leave the alleyway.

Come on, lets go see why everyone is making such a fuss about that roasted pig.

Abris Phinn!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41531847

File: 1508602078644.png (325.81 KB, 407x489, Hmmm.png)


>Red tape...That had been what had started this whole mess. If it hadn't been for red tape and bureacracy and clandestine meetings, he'd have never met the pink goblin...But, by the same token, if it hadn't been for red tape, they wouldn't have been able to break into the crime controlled districts and begin cleaning it up...And he'd have never met Lei.

>Abris lets out an amused huff underneath his breath. For how much he'd hated it at the time, it'd sure turned out well for him. He manages to turn his expression back to Logan as he spoke

Red tape sucks ass, but that kinda stuff never lasts for long. If somebody's gonna get in the way of me making sure people live safely and comfortably, I'll break through every piece'a paper work they got. You can't stop the hammer of justice.

>He patted the hilt of his sword, a confident smile covering his features. Abris hadn't encountered too much red tape, but he'd smash through it same as he'd smash through anything that tried to stop him from doing his job. Come hell, high water or disapproving superiors!

>...Not too much disapproval though, he'd like to keep his job.

Logan Faust!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41531854

File: 1508611034378.jpg (246.42 KB, 662x800, 49331340_p4_master1200.jpg)

>Huh. Not quite what he'd expected. Maybe Lei had given him a more positive outlook on the subject, because most guards might've gotten a little peeved at the comment. Admittedly not even Mercenaries got away without forms to fill in and risk assessments to be made - they weren't above the law, but they were a little less accountable for their actions at times.

Whoa, look out ladies, this one's confident. I'd better watch out or I'll never get a worthwhile date around here.

But 'Hammer'? Isn't that a sword?

>Another poke and jab, but one less directed at his position. So far the guy hadn't gotten argumentative, so he seemed like the type who might be able to dish out some harmless banter to. Sometimes Elias was a little too serious for that kind of thing, what with his mind almost always on the job - probably why he wasn't out here celebrating or something.

I mean, mine's bigger, but it's not size that counts, right? Right~?

Abris Phinn!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41531905

File: 1508677986020.jpg (56.89 KB, 289x293, Cute.jpg)


>Oh, a wisecracker, huh? Big swords were nothing to brag about, he'd seen what his Captain had and he doubted anything was bigger than that...But that definitely wasn't the point here! Abris' smile grows wider and he waved a hand in the air, as though dismissing his claims

Pffft. You can wave your hunk of metal around and see if it gets you anywhere, when you can kick as much ass as I can with a wooden sword, maybe then you can see if your metal slab's actually worth a damn.

>The comment about the 'hammer' of justice rolled off his back, not like it wasn't something he'd not heard before and it didn't matter anyway! The hammer of justice was a concept and he was that concept! He was that concept made manifest, and made into a guard!

...And besides, if we're going to talk about whether or not size counts...Who's the one who came here with an actual date?

>The grin on Abris' face threatened to split his head as he pointed out the one little flaw in Logan's carefully crafted jab. His training in the academy and hanging out with his co-workers had taught him how to fling shit at least passably...It didn't feel all that different to talking to them, actually, despite what this man was....

Rakohl!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41531927

File: 1508702296962.png (582.07 KB, 868x489, Grrr.png)


>As if it wasn't simply enough to bring them here to waste their time, it was intending to gloat. To rub it in their faces that this horrifying monster had decided to force the Hellhounds to raid the town that wanted their help on nothing more than the whims of an amoral beast. Rakohl's fists clench and the glare on his face widens into a snarl.

>The people who had asked for his help, even when their leader was aware of what he was and how his kind had hurt them, their village and their way of life was being destroyed not by anything understandable or negotiable. This was not one who needed to hunt to survive, or were fleeing an even deadlier threat. It was simply because this dragon could, that the people he had promised to protect were being whittled down and the land they had reducing in size

>He had placed them under his protection. His people. His territory. His land. No others allowed.

...I will not break so easily. Whether it's you, or anybody else trying. If simple self satisfaction is the only reason that you choose to ruin the lives of so many people...

>The narrowed eyes, the steely glare and bared, sharp teeth. Perhaps it was nothing to a Dragon, but there was something primal about this man, far more than a human. A raging, thunderous beast that snarled and roared and longed to escape, tightly packed away in the shell of this young man

>But the bars of it's cage were weakening...

Patrick Frye!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41532137

File: 1508804354694.png (523.08 KB, 1212x1628, Portgas_D_Ace-1.png)

>Ooooh dear. The atmosphere had shifted so suddenly that Patrick could almost swear he'd been standing between a pair of wild beasts the entire time - which wouldn't exactly be untrue. Powerful territorial creatures of pride and will, staring off before the clash. Not that the historian doubted Rakohl, or anything, but he looked awfully small compared to the dragon in that moment - yet even so there was a strange fierce confidence to his expression.

>Perhaps there were other options. The villagers could move, if it was explained that a dragon stood in the way of their livelihood they might accept it. Yet something felt off, strange... why here? Why had such a powerful being descended from the mountains above when there hadn't been a recorded dragon issue like this for centuries? True, it was an easy place to acquire food and grow fat with complacency, but...

Um! Excuse me!

>Stepping RIGHT in-between that stare-off between the two, it seemed curiosity had once again completely taken over his senses.

... why choose this place? It's kind of a dingy little hole under a rock compared to those mountains, right? It's pretty clear you don't hunt, otherwise everyone would already know you were here-

>The dragon could roast him any second as he spoke, yet he continued anyway.

- so... ah! Aaaaah! Oh wow!

>Looking astounded and flabberghasted, Patrick turned to the majestic creature, pointing at it with a wide, excited grin on his face at the mere possibilities his realisation held.

Something drove you out, didn't it! There's absolutely no way someone as powerful and proud as you would resort to letting lesser creatures do all the work for you unless you had to resort to it...! So then what... why? What in the world could possible scare a-

Logan Faust!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41532146

File: 1508808064960.jpg (47.85 KB, 453x600, Ross.600.1509978.jpg)

>Ouch. Ouch. Way to bat the ball back and strike the pitcher in the forehead, that one hit home! Not so bad that he couldn't take it, but sheesh, for a guard this guy knew how to use his wit. It almost would've been appreciated if it hadn't reminded him of just how sour the rest of his day had been.

Awh, c'mon man, you can't just wave Lei in front of me when I've had to spend all day with that.

>Even while she was being all talkative with Lei, it was hard to identify her as a girl instead of a money-soaking, fun-stealing gremlin. Why oh why did she have to be the first person to say yes in so long!?

Ugh, just thinking about the last few hours makes me want a stiff drink...

Sarah Locke!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41532243

File: 1508868989875.jpg (120.58 KB, 1024x724, ciri___witcher_3_by_faruuk_sam…)

>Typical. One of the few moments of weakness she'd willingly show and he had to be there to see it, much like all the other times. Did he not think she could handle it alone or was there some other motive? Curiosity, maybe - who knows. Either way, it was clear he'd been listening.

Changed? Hardly...

>Jerome wasn't really wrong, though. Perhaps it had been inside her since that day so many years ago, but she'd never really been able to face herself or what happened until recently. Now she knew she couldn't take back what she'd done - and she didn't want to either, it'd be like denying everything she'd been through until now. Instead, she could use it... and take a different path that was starting to build before her.

>All of that aside, however, the jolly old knight wanted to return to the festivities. He'd learn soon enough why people were making a fuss, that stuff tasted damn good.

Fair enough. Can't hurt to get some good food in us. Follow m-

>Yet as she turned to walk out of the alley, she spotted someone coming toward them both - someone who didn't seem to belong, even though they were wearing common clothing. A hooded cloak, and a small bag hung at their side, wearing a small golden pin... wait, that symbol-!

... seems like someone's here for you.

>The same symbol she'd usually find emblazoned on Jerome's chestplate. Was it really true, then...? Spies, all over? They certainly weren't trying to hide. Sarah readied herself, but didn't make any attempt to look aggressive.

Abris Phinn!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41532547

File: 1509058653792.png (502.95 KB, 664x490, Huh.png)


You're the first one to start wavin' stuff around, don't cry to me when it backfires!

>A sharp tongued response from the green haired guardsman. He wasn't all seaweed and sunny smiles! Still though, he wouldn't have wished Ameya on anybody, and the guy seemed a little irritated by it. Abris didn't exactly apologise, but he made a sympathetic smile and eyed the persnickety pink pixie out of the corner of his eye. Maybe she was nicer on an actual date, but he doubted it. She was probably just as much of an awful bitch to everyone she talked to...

...Well, y'ain't got to worry about that any more, eh? I'd sure as hell take whatever chance I got to not have'ta interact with her any more...Why'd ya even pick her in the first place anyway?

!MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41532572

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>The dragon roared with deafening rage at both Patrick and Rakohl's impertinent attitude that dared to stand up to a divine beast that had lived nearly forty times their puny lifespans and whose power and majesty could never be matched by their like. These insignificant creatures, these mongrels of the lowest order refused the natural order of things and thought to defy one of this world's natural rulers by divine decree. The impertinent arrogance, the sheer gall of the notion was enough to send the gigantic creature into a frenzy.

>How dare this mortal stand before her majesty unafraid, defiant to her might, and thinking that he could pose a real threat to her. And the other too was no better, as he spouted off his theories of why she would descend from the majestic heights of her mountain home to harass some mud-farming hovels who lived in squallor. He too was guilty of the crime of naming her shame for what it was and for reminding her of the baseness she was forced to endure due to that abomination's meddling.

If you will not bow and scrape to your betters as is your kind's natural state then you are no better than diseased pups who need be cleansed for the benefit of the litter.

>Rearing up to her full height, the colossal dragon breathed a long tongue of flame as her red eyes shone with the light of the violent inferno that dwelled within. And as she all but radiated more magic in an instant than most men would generate in their entire lifetimes.


>Screaming her rage, the dragon reared back her massive clawed foreleg and bathed it in crimson flames before smashing it onto the ground where Patrick and Rakohl had been standing. The force of the blow and the magic infused within pulverized the ground and left a cracked smoking crater in the solid stone of the cave floor.

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41532575

File: 1509087927467.png (778.15 KB, 951x982, 57.png)

>It really had been some time since Jerome had last insulted or lost his temper towards Sarah and he had wondered at himself for the changes he was starting to notice in his relationship with her. Once, he couldn't stand the girl who had been in the business of so callously taking lives for her own benefit even as she lived beholded to none but her own whims and fancies. But now, after all this time, he found her company agreeable and the change made him wonder if it was he who had changed through the time spent in her company or if it was her.

>Curious about the answer, Jerome had followed the assassin as best he could though he held none of the speed and acrobatics of her movements, he was nonetheless able to follow behind the chasing pair with little enough in the way of difficulties. He had followed because he thought that the way she would treat the girl would be able to tell him if she was still the same person he had first met or if she had changed. And through the kindness and sympathy she demonstrated to the young girl when there was nobody there to influence her actions, he had found his answer.

>Feeling light on his feet, he had gladly turned back to the main thoroughfare only to find his hopes dashed upon Kingsmeet's cobblestones for the insubstantial fantasies they were. The sight of the figure approaching Jerome made the knight's blood run cold and his fists clench even as his body shivered in panic. He had thought that the sheer size and density of Kingsmeet's populace would be enough to confuse the Sentries and leave them unawares of his presence here. But the though was a vain one and he know knew himself for a fool who had let his judgement sour with levity he had been feeling for too long already in Sarah's company.

>As the figure approached, Jerome noted absently through his terror stiffened senses that the figure was a slim woman of nondescript appearance. Her clothes were as common as mud and she wore no insignia or symbol to signify who she might be or what order she represented. Yet, any Cassiline knight would saw her would recognize them and know her as one of the order's Sentries - the Brotherhood's watchmen who watched those who would guard this world's most influential and important. The all knowing eyes and ears of the priesthood who made sure the precepts and vows taken by the knight-priests were followed to a letter and their crimes accounted for. And the ever present spies who had haunted Jerome all of his adult life.

>As the woman walked past Jerome, she pressed a letter to his chest and continued past him without slowing, without even looking at him. Holding the letter to his chest, the woman simply walked past and disappeared into the alley as suddenly as she had appeared. With the woman gone and the letter still held in his hand, Jerome stood silently in the alley for a few moments, his expression grim and reserved, his eyes cold and lifeless now completely devoid of the mirth they had held at the prospect of enjoying parts of a roast pig.

>And as the seconds ticked by, and the silence lingered, Sarah would find that this man, this knight, who had defiantly stood in the face a raging wyvern alone without so much as flinching was now trembling. His fingers tense around the letter, his shoulders slumped, when he was able to make himself move again, Jerome took the pipe from his mouth and dashed its smoking contents into the gutter.

>He couldn't taste the incense anymore, it was all ash and smoke now. Even the color seemed to have drained from the world. Pale and unwell, Jerome left the alley behind him and walked back to the thoroughfare, the fated letter tucked away neatly in his belt.

Logan Faust!ReIheBaff.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41533062

File: 1509464940511.jpg (32 KB, 355x400, tumblr_mvk2jqOMDu1sbjp0bo3_400…)

Phweh. She didn't look so bad at the start, or anything...

>Truth be told, he'd almost held some high hopes for today. It was a nice, sunny festival afternoon, he'd finally be able to relax a little after coming back from Empyrean so maybe, just maybe, he might've been on track to something nice - only to fall into the lap of a veritable pit viper and her money-draining poison.

At least the food prank was sorta worth it, but by the bloody flame I'm gonna have to take on something big to get all those funds back... at least you guardsmen get a regular wage.

Rakohl!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41533068

File: 1509481229105.png (1.14 MB, 1375x1290, WOOOOOARGH.png)


>The Dragon reacted...poorly.

>As it roared at them with the kind of volume that would shake the very mountain around them, Rakohl couldn't shake flinching at the sound. For all the boiling blood in his veins, the furious unwillingness to back down and the determination to not give into another creature staking it's claim...He was still human and humans knew to fear dragons.

>More talk of it's superiority. This creature knew nothing other than how powerful and awesome it was. For what it was worth, it more than seemed capable of backing up that power, without the need for bragging. She reared up, a long gout of flame bursting out of it's mouth in a stunning display of power and intimidation before it swung down a gigantic flaming claw towards the pair of them.

>There was no time to undress. He acted on pure instinct.

>As the flaming foreleg came careening before them, familiar sparks of yellow light burst into life around Rakohl. Growing larger and more frequent until within seconds he was engulfed in yellow lightning. A brown furred fist broke through the bright cocoon and slammed into the claw, abruptly stopping it's movement as the Thunderous Beast of the Mountain broke from it's human shell.

>Even a Rajang would struggle against a dragon though, never mind a young one. The gigantic muscled arm holding up the dragon's claw was visibly straining and shaking as the snarling and enraged ape made it's claim known


>That this was his territory. And he would fight for it.

Patrick Frye!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41533070

File: 1509482121141.jpg (26.38 KB, 704x400, PortgasDAceonepiece28969677704…)


>A violent mental scream occurred in his mind at that moment, as the fire raged from behind the tongue of the wyrm - a scream with a deep voice associated to it, and a pearly white, long moustache, the mouth it belonged to baring its teeth as it shouted to the heavens -'DOOOOOOOOODGE'!

>Hitting the dirt and scrambling forward, he could feel the rush of air above him as another mighty beast hurled itself into the fray. From what little he knew of the Rajang Rakohl would deal far better against those flames than the cold, but dragonfire wasn't to be treated with the same principles as mere flame. Crawling quickly over to Melody, he scooped her up in his arms and began to run for the exit.

Y-You got this, buddy! Just hold her off for a sec!
Come on, Melody, wake up...!

>Her frosty spells would be a good help here, given that his magic was essentially useless. They had to retreat for now - think up something else later!

!MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41533121

File: 1509517477334.jpg (92.89 KB, 525x770, 35c7268a12e51056698048f2fdb75b…)


>Where there should have been nothing but the feeling of crushed stone beneath her mighty claws, the dragon found resistance, and in so being denied again her rage only grew. Peering down at what lay before her, the dragon found the man she had intended to crush had morphed into a raging lightning beast the likes of which roamed the high mountaintops of her homeland.

>How disgusting, truly these men sought only to spite her and take her to the furthest extent of her fury. She had thought that mankind had lost the disgusting ability to take on the shape of their betters with only the Hellhounds' twisted shapes echoing their once great abilities but here too she was proven wrong. How dare that small man claim a form and power that were so much greater than he had any right to be? How dare this puny human echo the great apes that roamed the mountains alongside her?

>Pulling back her head in the face of the beast's challenging roar, the dragon filled her lungs with burning air and roared out her response with such force that the mountain rumbled with echo.


>Once she pulled in a lungful of new air, the dragon pulled her claw back only to slam it horizontally into the ape intending to crush the man within the shape to nothing against the stone walls of her home.

>Luckily for Patrick and Melody, they escaped the monster's notice entirely as all her attention was focused on the beast before her.

Melody Neige!aLEJudith.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41533131

File: 1509554577896.png (39.58 KB, 250x250, tumblr_nq04ksnfZp1sn1yebo3_250…)

>It was only after the sounds of the apocalypses started to ring out in the dungeon did the little noble lady finally awaken from her state.

Uh... wha...? What's going o--

>Then the uproar caused by Rakohl and the dragon's battle shook her fully from her state into the realm of the awake once more.


>Battle big battle! Giant ape vs. Dragon smackdown and she was right in the middle of it. She only had one thing she could possibly wonder or ask in this situation.


Lei[i] & Ameya!aLEJudith.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41533133

File: 1509555764248.png (130.33 KB, 238x347, 1386278810889.png)

>Though she was holding a conversation with Lei quite well, Ameya had been keeping an ear out on the conversation the two men were having even if it didn't seem like it.


>with the cat of out of the bag, the two of them openly talked about their dates and it was clear Logan and Abris were getting along well enough in spite of the latter's hate for mercenaries. She wasn't about to let that happen however. It was bad enough her date went poorly she wasn't about to let that ape get another victory by making friends as well.

>Though what to do to drive them apart? What petty insignificant things did the common folk squabble about that she could use the drive a wedge between them? Bah! What was that sport event that Imogen and her husband attended one time for a date? Bliztball was it? Sports seemed to be a good target. They had teams the commoners were loyal to and that loyalty could cause discourse among the fans of rival teams. It would be perfect!

So! Logan, Abris.... How about those... local... Bliztball teams?
This post was edited by its author on .

Sarah Locke!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41533196

File: 1509589912237.jpg (129.99 KB, 844x947, ciri_by_transmissiondream-d8vv…)

>She'd never seen him like that before. A little out of sorts, sure - maybe down on himself, maybe angry, and even on top of the mountain where he cut himself for reasons she still wasn't entirely sure about. This was a whole other ballpark. Her senses for people had told her that woman was rather dangerous yet equally nonthreatening, but despite that Jerome had gone practically pale at the entire exchange. The way he staggered out of that alley was like a man who'd been suffering from some kind of disease, and had just about given up hoping for a cure.

... of all the damn things to happen today.

>Sarah felt angry - bitter at the fact that even happenstance seemed to be against them enjoying a simple day. As much as she'd have loved to chase that woman and pry information from her like she would the bitch's fingertips, a thankfully calmer and more rational line of thought told her that not only would it accomplish nothing, it might very well get him in worse shit than he already seemed to be in.

>Even so... she had to take out her frustrations somehow, so she stormed forward to catch up to Jerome, taking a few calm breaths to stem the tide of her fury and stopped just in front of him, putting a hand to his chest.

Alright, look... obviously you've got a lot on your mind right now, but-

>A small flick to the forehead to try and snap him out of his stupor, as she patted the pocket he'd stuffed the letter into.

Forget about this, at least for today. I might only be starting to get how shitty the stuff you talked about before can be, but I'm so pissed off right now that I just want to do the one thing they seem to not want you to do - have fun. So that's what we're gonna do. We're gonna say 'fuck that' and enjoy ourselves for half a goddamn minute, and we're gonna start by eating some delicious, overpriced fucking pork.

And don't you dare say no or I will kick you in the damned knee and push you around this place in a wheelchair until you've tasted every awkward snack on the market, so I know what's safe and don't throw up like last year. Got it!?

Rakohl!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41533239

File: 1509638080825.png (214.54 KB, 510x506, Slam.png)


>The human was gone now. There was only the beast.

>The Dragon roared right back at it, in defiance, in fury. The mountain rumbled and the Beast only glared up at it's foe, air aggressively snorted out of it's nose. For any beast, Fight or Flight is paramount, and for this Beast in particular, there was only Fight. The quaking of the mountain didn't shake the Beast and instead, it only readied itself as the claw was pulled away.

>The Beast was no fool. Creatures such as he were far more capable of intelligence than the average animal, and it knew well enough what it's foe was capable of. The sound of the sharp claw whistling through the air was enough to attract his attention, though the speed of the Dragon was such that it was only barely. The Beast leaped into the air, only barely letting the tip of the Dragon's claw snag against his flank before it curled up into a ball. Rising ever so slightly higher into the air...before it rushed forward, straight towards the great Dragon's face

Abris Phinn!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41533240

File: 1509638384102.png (299.93 KB, 408x490, DidIleavetheovenon.png)


>Before he could make a comment about his wage and the terrible Mercenaries that were bleeding the needy dry in order to help them resolve their problems, Abris was interrupted by the shrill noises of a highly irritable gerbil. Bizarrely enough though, on a subject that he actually knew and cared about.

>The guardsman raised an eyebrow as he turned back to look at Ameya. She...really didn't seem the type to care, never mind want to discuss it with the pair of them? It was suspicious. Nobody that far divorced from the needs and the wants of everybody that didn't serve her would care...

>...Of course, Abris didn't really care enough to think further on it anyway, as instead he saw an opportunity to talk about his favourite sport.

...Didn't strike me for a Blitzball fan...Well, whatever, I'm a Queens guy. Been born'n raised in Kingsmeet after all...Gotta show some pride in the home squad!

>It definitely didn't help that the team was entirely comprised of very attractive women in very tight swimsuits.

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41533667

File: 1510041397072.png (728.34 KB, 1920x1080, vlc 2015-10-27 16-03-50-82.png)

>When he was at his darkest moment, when the glow of life and color that had been building up around him was abruptly snuffed out and replaced by a merciless monochrome of despair and duty, she was there to hold him up. In all his time traveling with her, Jerome had yet to understand Sarah's motivations or the source of her capacity to simply intrude herself in the lives of strangers and force them to live in a way that she approved of. The girl claimed to care little for the world and to only wish to do things for herself but everything he'd seen, everything he'd felt about her pointed to the opposite. Behind her rudeness, behind her uncouth attitude and rough mannerisms, behind her cruel profession lay a deeply caring girl who couldn't stand to see others suffer when she could feel their pain. Maybe she had closed off her heart to the world after the death of her Cassiline foster father, maybe she could bring herself to kill strangers because she convinced her heart and soul to feel nothing for anything but herself but deep down remained the kind of person who couldn't stand to see the ones she cared for suffer.

>The thought was enough to make him want to cry. She cared for him enough to force him to enjoy himself despite the world declaring that he should suffer continuously for the crimes he commited as a boy. She cared enough to feel anger at his circumstances and act out for him when she had nothing to gain. He didn't deserve her. Didn't deserve this kindness, this merciful nurturing of his battered soul. Didn't deserve to feel something that approximated love after what he'd done.

>Looking to be taken aback by her conviction, the Cassiline felt all his years of training crash into him like anchor chains dragging him towards an inevitable conclusion - that he couldn't deny the Order's will. Yet, faced with Sarah's insistent pain and his own budding emotions the knight grimaced and fought against everything he had known, fought against the years of training and indoctrination, fought against the eyes that even now kept a close watch on everything he did, and nodded his head in ascent.

Sure, ok, lets do it.

>She would never know what it cost him to say those words out loud or how much his own body recoiled and spasms at the thought of the punishment he would receive for not placing the Order's will before his own but for now he didn't care. It was better to feel pain later than to see her be disappointed in him today.

Patrick Frye!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41533773

File: 1510193236169.png (529.14 KB, 649x701, Ace_During_The_Battle_of_Marin…)

>With Melody awake all of a sudden, the best thing he could do in the moment was sling her back around to carry her from the front, rather than leaving her over his shoulder to witness the carnage behind them.


>There were times where a few quips here and there might help serve as confidence boosters, and there were times when it was best to just forget about all that and actually live. This definitely fell into the latter.

>Sprinting toward the exit, he got to the back of the dragon's large cave fairly quickly - but there was a problem, one that came with two big horns and a lot of attitude.

>Holding himself at the entrance for a little bit, he took a moment to turn and watch the ongoing battle. It was clear that the beast Rakohl had become was able to hold its own, rather handily really, but even if their claws were equal in size the body weight behind them was vastly different.

Come on, buddy..! Don't lose yourself out there! Wait... I know!

>Pointing a finger at the smaller monster, he shot out the smallest of fireballs right at the Rajang's ass. Monkey butts tended to be a little less covered in fur, after all. Hopefully it'd be enough to send the message, because it was really time for him and Melody to get out!

Logan Faust!ReIheBaff.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41534157

File: 1510589963871.jpg (391.64 KB, 1000x1000, Cross-Over.full.1666801.jpg)

Blitz? Huh.

>Logan hadn't been in touch with the scene for about a month, but he hadn't expected to be reminded of it by Ameya, of all people, particularly since the rich only ever looked at it for betting - but she'd mentioned teams...

It's gotta be the Kingsmeet Qu-
<"I'm a Queens guy."


>Logan fell silent while Abris finished his sentence, looking both a little stunned but reveling in the building excitement that could only come from two fans of a thing talking about said thing with great anticipation.

>Not to mention the fact that, unbeknownst to him, Ameya's plan was about to fall to utter pieces, before blowing back on itself.

Because you really can't beat Captain Aranea's 'Highwind Shot', the way it twists and curves after shooting upward... and the way the ball moves is pretty good too!

Sarah Locke!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41534234

File: 1510712955255.jpg (231.99 KB, 1733x975, Sabertooth233.jpg)

>The struggle he was facing was something she couldn't know, something beyond her own realms of cognition - but that didn't matter. All she had to focus on was the current objective, the rest would come later. He had said yes. That was enough.

>Gripping his hand and practically dragging him back into the streets, wanting to be sure he didn't lose his way, she took Jerome through a passing crowd full of cheers and jovial conversation, word blending into one another in a cacophony of general celebration, a much clearer sensation when it stood in contrast to the quiet darkness felt in the alley moments prior.

Come on!
>She called over the noise.
Have you ever played Spikey Hedgehog before!?

>A question she shouted behind her with a grin - one that, if she'd taken a moment to think about, even Sarah herself might have found odd. It wasn't the meat stand, they'd get to that later, but stopping to enjoy a game or two would hardly be bad for the man. Did the Brotherhood even allow games? If not, all the more reason!

>Moving out of the crowd and to the streetside, the Knight would come across a somewhat battered-looking stand boasting oddly presentable decor, banners depicting small cartoonish-drawings of small spiked animals along with various treats and rewards to entice carnival-goers. As a small group of boys walked away from the stand, disappointed looks on their faces as they licked their consolation candy, the gruff shopkeep would turn his massive, hulking body towards them-

AH! Drummond!

Sir Foltest Drummond of Ainsley!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41534235

File: 1510713959894.png (852.33 KB, 900x682, reinhardt_for_tyrodin_by_laula…)

Oh-hoh! Our young tiger with a smile on her face? You don't get rare days like this very often!

>Still wearing his gigantic suit of armour which, unknownst to Jerome, he never seemed to be rid of, at the very least the pleasant features of the old warrior were plain to see. In a city like Kingsmeet one could never be too careful, so his large hammer was kept close to the stand, but seeing the man sitting on a stool far too tiny for him was humorous enough to offset any semblance of threat he might've given off.

What was it you used to say? 'These childish games mean nothing?'
What are you talking about? I've always enjoyed this game.
Pahaha! Well, I'm glad to see a little joy in you for once, if nothing else. And who's this gentleman with you here?
Ah, Jerome? He's...

>A difficult person for Sarah to quantify, definitely, but that wasn't the kind of answer she could give without starting a ramble. There was an easier response that would help avoid any questions, and Jerome would feel her visibly twitch as she tried to force herself to speak.

He's my d...date for today! That's right.

>The twitching wasn't out of nervousness or anything sweet like that, but rather the forced nature of making oneself say something incredibly out of the norm. Normally acting and pretending was easy for an assassin like her - one of her old tactics was to pretend to be an innocent young girl before taking out a target, even during her younger years - but this time there was hesitation inside her. Hesitation to say such a thing in pretense.

Ooh? You must be quite the charmer, young man! I don't think I've ever quite seen the Sabertooth'd tiger of the Wolves act this way!

Abris Phinn!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41534493

File: 1511114119244.jpg (71.97 KB, 328x351, DAMNIT.jpg)


>The thing about the bubbling excitement of sports fans coming together on common ground was that it was contagious. The excitement of Logan very quickly transferred over to Abris as his face split into a wide smile and his head was filled with near misses, heart pounding goals and the roar of a stadium. There was no room in there for hatred, be it of mercenaries or of nobles, there was only love for the Blitz.

Aranea's nice, but Alexis is best! She's so cute! And she seems so nice and friendly to the crowd!

>It didn't help that her primary method of scoring was slamming into the ball butt first.

But Aranea's a really good technician! She's not just a striker, she can set up shots really well for the others and I can see why you'd like her, she's just good for everything! If she hadn't been sick when we were at the finals with the Maximum's we would'a won...

>He trailed off, still sore from their defeat at the hands of Olstone. It had been a good game, all things considered, but the star playmaker being away due to illness had severely effected their performance, and had ultimately cost them the game...It still hurt damnit!

>This season they wouldn't lose to anyone!

!MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41534570

File: 1511251638988.jpg (243.42 KB, 1200x900, yiogRBQ.jpg)

>Rearing from the impact of the balled up ape, the great dragon staggered back a step as it regained its footing. The blow the Rajang landed was one which held far more power in it than its small relatively small body had any right to and this too angered the great wyrm. For although the dragon's scales where strong enough to hold and absorb some of the attack though what did make it through bruised and hurt the proud drake and the pain it felt only served to pour fire into the furnace of its rage.


>This man who would be a great beast, this tiny insignificant being who aspired to a station beyond its potential could not be tolerated to live. Roaring with renewed fury, the great dragon forced its way forward through the cave bodily leaving no space for the beast to dodge around behind it. If it could get its claws on it then it would trample it into mush before tearing the man apart. Let the pair of them despair and run for their lives, let them scream and beg for mercy that would not come. She ruled this world and would assert her station by ripping these offenders to shreds.

Rakohl!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41534932

File: 1511817366202.png (1.14 MB, 1375x1290, WOOOOOARGH.png)


>Flipping backwards off of the great dragon, the Beast skid across the floor. It had struck a great blow against it's opponent and that was already a good start, but they would not get conceited against the likes of such a gigantic foe. It would keep on fighting and it would wi-HOT

>Something very hot and painful had just singed it's backside. The great head of the ape turned around to face the very very small thing that seemed to have hurt the Beast. Two great unblinking eyes stared down at the small thing, the dimmest recognition firing in it's mind of what that thing was, and the small thing that it was carrying...

>The Beast hadn't the time to dwell on it however, as the raging scream of the Dragon rang out through the cave again and it lumbered forward at terrifying speeds. It was too big to dodge around, and the cave too small to continue fighting in...If the Dragon wished to change the arena, then the Beast was only too inclined to do so.

>The Rajang turned around fully, leaping forward with it's powerful arms and legs to bound past Patrick and Melody, going through the entrance of the cave as fast as it could with the Dragon charging behind it. When they were out in the open...then the battle could continue unimpeded. And the beast could not wait.

Logan Faust!ReIheBaff.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41534959

File: 1511883136412.png (269.26 KB, 746x701, 48983652_p0.png)

Okay, okay, not bad taste there - but you're right! Still, even I can't blame the entire loss on Aranea not being there, everyone knows that foul in the second half wasn't our fault, that Olstone brute slammed right into Katelyn and still managed to make the shot!

Ref had his eyes closed, I'm sure of it. Ah well, no-one's been suspended for any games or anything so I guess we'll just have to wait til the cup for revenge.

>The conversation had quickly consumed the pair of them as soon as it turned to talk about the age-old team rivalry. It was only then he noticed the awfully confused and slightly strange look on Ameya's face, turning to her for a moment with a raised brow.

... you're not a Maximum's fan, are you?
This post was edited by its author on .

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41535489

File: 1512821908035.png (1 MB, 1920x1080, vlc 2015-10-27 16-30-38-52.png)

>Having his hand taken and finding himself dragged along by his companion, Jerome felt himself entirely conflicted by the turn of events. On the one hand, he'd resolved himself to accept the girl's kindness and go along with her plans to have him enjoy himself despite his instilled instincts to march to the order's tune like a well-strung puppet. On the other hand, actually having Sarah touch him and allowing it to happen was something he found himself to be entirely unprepared for. In all his travels and experiences, Jerome knew nothing of the female touch and the subtle pressure in his hand meant nothing yet was a captivating source of subtle forbidden comfort for him.

>Jerome had been so captivated with the concept of holding hands with a girl that he almost missed Sarah's words. Had he ever played some festival game? No, the only festivals he had actively participated in as anything more than the function of a disinterested observer had been of Cassiline rituals and those did not involve the presence of any street stalls.

No I-

>He began to answer but found himself cut off by the girl's radiant grin. At a loss for words, the sight would have stopped him dead in his tracks had he not been pulled along by the girl he'd spent months trying to get rid of in the monster infested wild lands of Astrolia. When they came to a stop, it took a few moments for Jerome to even register the giant man who virtually towered over his surroundings in his old-fashioned plate armor whose size rivaled that of the giant they had met at the top of the world. Still thinking about what to make of the giant man and the colorful stand he manned, Jerome visibly jerked stiff and nearly had a heart attack at Sarah's words.

I'm your WHAT?!

>Still holding her hand in his, Jerome sputtered and reeled, utterly at a loss for words at the statement when he realized what his outburst must have looked like to the people around him. Blushing savagely, the Cassiline turned his gaze to the ground and began to speak in slightly catching voice.

T-That is to say, *ahem*, that I, err we, that we have come a long way together.

Melody Neige!aLEJudith.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41535501

File: 1512857383025.png (48.26 KB, 250x250, tumblr_nq04ksnfZp1sn1yebo2_250…)

You idiot! We were suppose to try diplomacy first!!

>She wanted to hit in the head with a snowball but given that Patrick was her current mode of transportation she didn't want to trip him up as he fled up the stairs towards the exit.

>The deafening roars below made it hard to hear even her own shouting, being like a drop of a pin next to a waterfall, though what could be heard over that was the terrified yelps following Rakohl blasting past them and the realisation that there was no nothing between her and the dragon but one admittedly strong and well built man.


Lei[i] & Ameya!aLEJudith.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41535505

File: 1512858618404.png (185.69 KB, 265x619, 1386881088088.png)

>It was official, the day sucked.
>Ameya's head hits the table and she groans out a response to her date.


>Of course they'd be fans of the same team. Why would she have expected otherwise? With little else then her shopping spree going her way today why did she think this would turn out in her favour?!

Abris Phinn!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41536146

File: 1513467297655.jpg (61.36 KB, 300x330, AWWWYEEAAH.jpg)


>Abris hardly even noticed that Ameya was still in the room, never mind that Logan had even addressed her, only speaking more on the game that he loved. And boy could he speak more. It was only Lei's lack of knowledge before that had spared her, but that wouldn't spare neither her nor Ameya now that he had the opportunity to gush

I know! The Maximums wouldn't know a clean game if it bit them on the nose, can't hold a candle to the technique of the Queens. Even the Terminian guys know how to play with a bit more style than them, and they didn't even like Blitz that much...

Well, you're right, the cup'll be back soon, and then we can play! I'm trying to get some tickets to an exhibition so I can take Lei, she says she's never really seen a game! I thought one of you guys would have taken her out or something? You can't just let someone not experience the game!

>The idea that it would probably be more intimate for the pair of them to go and enjoy the game together scarcely even crossed his mind, so engrossed in his discussion that the idea of romance had entirely left his head.

Logan Faust!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41536305

File: 1513559767685.jpg (700.32 KB, 800x1000, 45644363.jpg)


>Now that was a treat, beating her at her own game, even if just a little. It seemed she'd given up hope a little, which was fine by him - he'd felt like that for the last few hours, and revenge was so sweet!

Psht, everyone knows the Alaestian teams are only so good because they get to practice in the sphere more. But Lei? Man, you've really got it easy sticking to one place, huh?

Our jobs send us off far and wide - can't exactly plan a trip to the stadium when someone's stuck in Astrolia the whole damn summer! 'Course, she might shift her priorities if you ask. Haven't really seen her smile so genuinely in a long while.

>Logan wasn't really all that familiar with Lei's history. Everyone who knew her had the basics in mind, of course, but that was precisely why most avoided broaching the subject. Still... had he ever seen her dress up like that to go out and enjoy herself? He'd surely remember seeing a sight like that before, so this marked the first.

Patrick Frye!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41536307

File: 1513560672763.png (29.39 KB, 293x200, ace_chapitre_573_by_one_piece_…)

>He shouted in response to Melody's cry, and failed it certainly had. The dragon was letting out mighty screeches and blowing fire out at them, after all.

>Thankfully Rakohl had gotten the message, or so it seemed - he bounded past the pair of them and started to make his escape, after all, but that left the pair of them right in the raging matriarch's path!

Crap, crap, crap, we're outta here!

>A blind rush for the exit, there was no way he was quick enough to catch up to a Rajang at full pelt whether he was carrying Melody or not, but if they could get out then there was a chance to-

Oh shit.

>Patrick realised something as he hauled Melody into the caves, panting hard and narrowing his eyes.

>They'd angered the matriarch. They'd angered their leader. A thousand-some Hellhounds were waiting outside, and they were unlikely to sit quiet. This was going to be hell, whether inside the dragon's keep or outside, and who knew what it meant for the village.

Melody... when we get outside, I want you to stay as far away from me as possible for the next five minutes.

Sarah Locke & Drummond[b]!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41536321

File: 1513574043931.jpg (10.59 KB, 236x284, f27119891c6c3843f5a4dab2c359f1…)

From out of town, eh? You certainly don't seem like a Kingsmeet native!
Giving him the tour, Saber?

Y-yeah, something like that...

>She didn't mean to catch Jerome off guard, or maybe she did? It was hard to tell anymore, but as long as he wasn't thinking about just earlier it was all fine with her. Besides, it was inevitable that she was going to run into people she knew, so having a convenient excuse was handy.

So, just stopping by to say hello, or should I set up a round of Hedgehog for the merry couple?

>Sarah still got caught off guard at the mention of the word 'couple', though. Being in such an unusual situation made it impossible to hide a blush, it was like she was living an entirely different life for a moment... and it wasn't exactly bad. Drummond, meanwhile, seemed like he was either purely innocent and following along or knowingly teasing the poor mercenary, but he wasn't about to let on which.

We'll play! Here, I'll even pay.
Good! I'm not sure if it's my stature or my armour that intimidates people, but few have been stopping by my stall for very long. Mayhaps I should invest in some less imposing garments... but ack, the germs.

>With an exchange of a few coins and a set of large coloured rings, red this time, the armoured man hung a small wooden spiked object on a hook, covered in metal pins that stuck out like spikes. Even if he wasn't familiar with the game, Jerome would easily identify this as the titular 'hedgehog'.

Now, the rules, as is custom! Three or more spikes nets you nothing, just two for a minor prize, and if you can manage to hook just the one, a grand prize will be yours to keep!
I know how to play, Drummond.
Ah, but what of the young man? You mustn't be so discourteous, little tiger! You didn't bring him all this way just to watch, did you?

>A beaming grin from the armoured man, directed at the pair of them, humbled Saber and gave her pause. She gave a bit of a wave to Jerome, beckoning him closer while being unable to look his way.

>The game seemed simple enough - throw the hoop towards the spikes, and the fewer spikes within the hoop the better the prize, but his sharply trained eyes would easily noticed the problem. The hedgehog's spines were laid out in such a way that a group together could barely contain the full size of a hoop, and you'd more likely find one stuck between the outer spines than hanging on the single one.

To play, throw a hoop and roll a single d20.
Score 12 or higher to earn a prize!
Score 20 to get a critical hit and earn the grand prize!

Since Jerome is a sharp-eyed knight will skill at wielding light objects,
the critical hit range is increased to 18+!
Why not take a chance to impress her ;)

!MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41536323

Roll 1d20 = 16

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41536324

File: 1513575561065.png (593.71 KB, 1920x1080, vlc 2015-10-27 16-03-17-33.png)

>Watching the two figures interact was something of a fantastic experience for the knight. Although he had known Sarah for what felt like a very long time after their various misadventures he had never seen her interact with someone else with such ease and trust before. In all likelihood, her new demeanor had everything to do with the fact that she was in her home and it was in this wild urban landscape that she felt at home. Pondering the troubles she had experienced in Astrolia from a new perspective now that he saw what her "normal" self was like, Jerome's train of thought lapsed when he cought the words of the armored giant. Wait, did that man really wear that older traditional armor out of a fear for germs of all things?!

>Taken aback by the sheer humor involved in such a gruff man choosing to wear such stylized punitive gear out of a fear for the minutest of things, Jerome had to catch himself from laughing out loud and instead merely cleared his throat loudly at the comment. As the rules of the game where explained and the knight was waved over, Jerome took a step forward and picked up the proffered ring with his right hand and was about to set himself up for the throw when he noticed that his balance was a little off.

>Looking down at his left hand, the Cassiline finally noticed that Sarah still hadn't let go of his hand. In all this time, the brazen girl had continued to hold him throughout her conversation with her older acquaintance! Blushing with renewed fervor, the knight didn't dare draw attention to the fact now by openly removing himself and especially didn't dare catch her eye when she had gone out of her way to avoid looking at him throughout the whole thing!

>With panic rising in his chest and the many vows her was violating roaring through his mind as well as the punishments involved for the transgressions being more than enough to make him weep on any other day, Jerome took one more glance at the surprisingly demure Sarah and exhaled deeply. Everything could wait, it could all wait until later, Sarah had made a point for him to enjoy himself today and he would not disappoint her by having a fit now. Taking a laid-back stance that was only the vaguest approximation of the proper knife-throwing stance a Cassiline would use, Jerome casually swung the ring with his free hand towards the stand, a faint but genuine smile spreading across his face when he saw that he did a more than passable job at playing the game.
This post was edited by its author on .

!MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41536686

File: 1514070051015.jpg (64.91 KB, 564x705, 8edc1273be7f8b1c4be3d72af3358e…)

>Running through the cave as fast as their legs could carry them, the adventurers and Rajang would emerge out into the open space outside the dragon's cave only to find the Hellhounds Patrick had feared conspicuously absent. With no ravaging beastmen to contend with, the group might have felt a sense of relief at the averted potential disaster but must certainly felt shock when they noticed that the dragon who had been chasing them through the cave only moments before failed to emerge from its den.

>Turning to look at the cavern entrance, the group would see only the dark entrance to the cave look back at them. Then, a flicker of light emerged from the foreboding darkness that grew brighter and brighter until the light blotted out the dark and a torrent of scorching flame erupted from the cavern to engulf the meddling adventurers who had dared trespass upon the ruler of these lands.

Rakohl!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41536766

File: 1514242078484.jpg (24.81 KB, 466x458, I'vemadeahugemistake.jpg)


>The Beast finally bounded into the sunlight, and to a completely deserted village. If he had been more conscious and astute, he might have noticed the absence as something to worry about, but there was no man conscious in that body at the moment. Instead, grinding it's huge hands across the floor, the Rajang skidded to a halt outside the cave, whirling around to face it's opponent.

>...The opponent that was not there. If a gigantic raging ape could show itself as disappointed, it would give off that impression, remaining poised and ready on all fours, waiting for any sign of the dragon...signs that would show themselves shortly. The slowly growing flicker of light didn't register as what it was to the mind of the Ape until it was almost too late to react. With a furious bellow and widening eyes, it threw itself to the side, desperately trying to dodge out of the way of the huge gout of flame.

>It only partially succeeded. The flaming blast managed to catch the back end of the Rajang as it leapt to the side, and the ape howled in agony, the leap quickly turning into a crash as it slid into one of the Hellhound's makeshift habitats, wood and fabric crashing to the ground as the Rajang pulled itself into an upright position, now glaring furiously over at the mouth of the cave, waiting for the Dragon to come out to enact it's revenge.

Sarah Locke & Drummond[b]!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41537916

File: 1515799760614.jpg (13.14 KB, 236x335, c328432b5596433bd1787c76a9d09e…)

>The hoop spun gracefully through the air, precisely thrown despite the knight's nerve-wracked state, before it collided with the target and neatly settled across two of the large pins. Sarah couldn't help but blink in a state of slight surprise - carnival games had always proven a vastly different beast than the challenge work often presented, but he'd taken to it pretty well from the outset. Beginner's luck...?

O-hoh! A more than valiant first attempt from young Jerome! Are you sure he's new around these parts?

>Taking the comment a little bashfully, Sarah placed her free arm on her hip, only just now noticing that her other was still attached to the man standing beside her.

Well... he's just that good!
It's a shot worthy of praise indeed, but with praise comes prizes!

>The armoured man gestured to his left, away from the hoop range to the side of his stall, to an area adorned with all manner of strange little things that were separated into three categories; the Consolation prizes for those who attempted three times with no luck, mostly consisting of small baked snacks and little trinkets, the Winning Prizes, and the Grand Prize - a locked box that seemed large enough to contain any number of things, a secret to all but the one who packed it.

Now then, what strikes your fancy?

>The standard rewards for winning were the most varied; individual Blitzballs, large wooden-based board games, but most were carefully crafted woolen dolls of numerous designs. Jerome would instantly recognise one of them, coloured in stark red with those bright, azure eyes - the selfsame monster he'd fought in the mountains, only much smaller and a lot less threatening. It seemed a number of the fearsome creatures that roamed the lands of Astrolia had found a place on the shelf, though there were also a number of others - small plush knights of varying designs, bearing different banners. There was even a little Cassiline one, as strange as that was - two, in fact, and a spot where a third might have been that was now empty.

>But what would catch the eye of the man who wanted for so little in the world?

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41537952

File: 1515826677104.png (1021.28 KB, 1920x1080, vlc 2015-10-27 15-21-23-55.png)

>Struggling not to blush like a maiden at the praise directed his way, Jerome simply bowed his head in acknowledgement of the older stallkeeper's motion of the prizes. Knickknacks and trinkets the lot of them, nothing of substantial value though one wouldn't expect to find anything of real worth being dispensed as a carnival prize. Normally Jerome wouldn't bother taking anything from the list, though, were he acting as he normally did, he never would have played the game at all. Gripping Sarah's hand in his a little tighter, Jerome came to a decision. He couldn't keep any evidence of today's events, any and all traces would only add to the sins being tallied against him even as he stood in this crowded street, yet, that didn't necessarily stand true for his companion. It was for her that he endangered himself now and acted in a way so unlike himself, for her he had trudged through the mountains of death, and so it only felt natural that it would also be for her that the Cassiline would pick out a prize from this roadside stall.

I'll take the small wyvern.

>The knight said, pointing a finger from his free hand at the Rathalos plushy. Ironic that the semblance of such a natural killing machine could bring a smile to his face now when the genuine article nearly made mincemeat out of him not so very long ago. Still, it was a nice souvenir and one all too fitting to commemorate the adventure the two of them had just completed given their close encounter with the animal.

>When he would receive the small plush toy, Jerome would take it in hand for a moment before handing it over to Sarah. Too embarassed to say anything or even look at her as he did it, the stalwart knight would look away even as he gently trust the toy at her.

Melody Neige!aLEJudith.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41538045

File: 1516035452234.png (87.22 KB, 250x370, tumblr_odppfmhEGC1s6wx03o2_r1_…)

>Huh? Stay away from him?

Are you mad?! Who's going to protect me from those beastkin!?

>She was a delicate flower! A noble! She needed a tall strong man with rippling muscles and dashing charm to be her meat shield in the event one of them tried to lay a hand on her!

>Though it seemed that wasn't necessary. There was no Hellhounds in sight.

...where did they go?

>She was, of course, happy to not be dealing with them as well as a dragon. But the disappearance of all of them? That set of flags in her mind.


>Flags that would have to be looked into later, dragon to deal with. Melody reacted quickly to the rush of fire that came to meet them. Her snow wasn't as strong as her sisters ice. One wall created from her own magic wouldn't halted these flames, so she had to settle for many more.

>With an outstretched hand, Melody throws up as many solid sheets of snow as she can, each evenly spaced apart, before the flames reached them. The inferno blasts through the first wall, the second, and the third, only on the last layer between her and being burned alive did her defence pay off and stop the flames from reaching her.

Man... this is going to be a hellish battle.

>Nothing she was honestly ready for either. Adventures were suppose to start off fighting easy enemies first until they had the experience of fighting bigger things!

>Unfortunately, that hastily thrown up defense didn't extend to Rakohl who ended up taking a hit himself.

>The gears in her head were turning wildly now, a direct hit from that fire was not going end well for him regardless of his impressive strength. He'd need some protection himself, and she knew exactly how to provide it for him. Once again calling upon her magic, Melody targets Rakohl with her snow. Not to harm, but to protect him.

>In Frostfade, the mountain rams would roll around in fresh snow and let it clump on their wool. It created an extra layer of protection against the cold winds. She could apply the same defense against that fire, the snow would protect his hide from burns for a time... or she hoped so at least.

Sarah Locke & Drummond[b]!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41538291

File: 1516660792448.jpg (567.02 KB, 827x1105, lightning_farron_final_fantasy…)

Huh? Eh? That's... you... I... really?

>It was Saber's turn to get caught off guard. She was sure he'd take the wyvern as his own token of the memories they shared, that's what she hoped he would do at least, but the gift itself had triggered an uncertainty in her own thoughts. The scene was like one from a novel, a classic expression of affection, and the very idea that she, being who she was, would find herself caught up in such a thing brought an unstoppable redness to the girl's face.

Buhahahahahaa! The Sabertooth Tiger struck speechless, now there's a sight these old bones never thought they'd see!
Sh-shut up, old man! I was... I was just caught by surprise, that's all! Hmph...

>The break in tension served to settle her somewhat, but she still took the plush wyvern into her grasp, holding it close and refusing to look at Jerome lest he see the weakness in her face. It wasn't as if he was a stranger to her less cold side, but she had an image to maintain! She couldn't afford to let him break her composure like this!


>A barely audible whisper escaped her lips, and just as it had the girl was already striding forward, placing a few coins on the counter.

My go..! I can't be shown up by beginner's luck!

>Trying to maintain her former self was a little more difficult to do given that she was still clinging to her gift, almost hugging it with her arm, but the attempt was made regardless, likely having the opposite intended effect entirely. Even so, she gripped hold of a hoop and gave it a toss...

Roll 1d20 = 5

Sarah Locke & Drummond[b]!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41538292

File: 1516660998893.jpg (249.12 KB, 950x850, fd6c34d5fe1d7ec3941e8da30078e5…)

>Only for her shaky, unstable mind to translate directly to her fingertips, the ring barely clipping a hedgehog spike before flying off to the side entirely, clattering against one of the wooden posts and falling to the floor. For an assassin, it was a pretty poor showing of dexterity.

>For the first time, she turned to look directly at Jerome, an embarassed, red-faced pout on her face not unlike a belligerent child's, gripping her plush toy in folded arms as she stared in his general direction.

Not a word.

>The armoured man, meanwhile, was stifling another jovial bout of laughter, but seemed to know better than to let it loose.

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41538301

File: 1516675193164.png (1.73 MB, 1920x1080, vlc 2015-10-27 16-52-09-17.png)

>The Cassiline gave his companion's display a long considering look, everything about her screamed at a mind that was entirely out of her element and extremely uncomfortable for it. Whilst the otherwise cold and resolute assassin who had followed him through great peril had mostly cherished the cold and professional persona she affected, though, in contrast with his own bitterness, she had found it better to be less guarded with her sentiments lest he leave off entirely. After having survived the toughest things that Astrolia could throw at them Sarah's persona had faded until she had acted like an ordinary, if more martially adept, girl from any major city.

>Yet, despite him being used to seeing her in a less than austere light, Jerome saw that her loss of composure in front of her peers profoundly bothered the girl he had come to know. Smirking down at the girl, the knight considered his options but thought it best to respect the girl's demands if only because of the ideals he was meant to uphold.

>In light of her wishes, the knight uttered not a word and instead merely laughed in her face.


>Leaning back and then bending over from the sheer intensity of the mirth that bubbled up inside him, Jerome laughed loud and long at the poor performance of his companion and the embarrassment she showed after both receiving a simple gift and failing at her favored game in so spectacular a manner.

Patrick Frye!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41538431

File: 1516921603172.jpg (513.25 KB, 720x792, fire_fist_ace_by_x_sagi_x-d39t…)

>Though Rakohl, with his much larger frame, took a brunt of the blow from the flames erupting from the cavern, Melody's quick shield creation prevented the attack from reaching either himself or her, if only barely. As impressive as it was, it made Patrick worry - that gout of fire was probably effortless on the dragon's part, but the young snow mage couldn't keep putting out walls like that.

>The other concerning factor was the lack of anyone else in the area. It didn't make any sense - logically they would be waiting to handle those who had gained the matriarch's ire, but...

... they fear her.
Enough that they don't want to be around for what's next.
Which means she has a way out of that cave.

>That much felt obvious. He hadn't wanted to think about it, but the dragon had to get into the cave somehow, so there had to be another way to leave, large enough for her to get through. No-one had reported any dragon sightings in the area, that would be big news if they had, so she'd probably never had any reason to leave her hoard.

>Until now.

Stay by Rakohl, but don't use too much of that snow to protect him. Rajang don't handle the cold very well, so it'd be best if you don't let him get too shivery while you handle the burns.

>Even as he told Melody to back away from the area, however, Patrick stepped forward, moving further into the wide, open area. Now that there were no Hellhounds performing duties here, it was almost like pure field of grass, save for the charred mess by the prison entrance.

And Melody!

>A half-turn back to face her, his expression the same, simple smile he always tended to wear.

If this fails, run. If you don't go back to warn the village, everyone there will die.

>With that said, he stood with feet planted in the centre of the communal plain, pulling his hat down with his hand to hide an adrenaline-filled grin as his hand set ablaze, almost as though he were simply waiting for the inevitable.

>It had to work.
>If it didn't... well, they were probably going to die anyway.

!MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41538722

File: 1517453908729.jpg (259.37 KB, 1280x1024, Dragon Fireball Attack.jpg)

>Having pursued the invading interlopers out of its mountain, the red dragon turned and headed back the way it came only stopping when it reached a room whose high towering ceiling disappeared out towards the mountain's peak. Sinking its long claws into the rock face with contemptuous ease, the great wyrm began to climb its way up and out of the mountain, its long legs easily bearing the enormous weight of its bulk. After far too short a time had passed for our heroes, the dreaded red dragon emerged from the open cliff-side from which it had originally entered and, from its perch, spread her enormous wingspan before launching herself into the air.

>Appearing around the side of the mountain, the dragon quickly picked up speed as it swooped down to approach the offending creatures. It circled once over the head of our heroes before slowing down and taking the time to hover for a moment, cocking its head back then to unleash a massive torrent of incredibly intense fire down onto the area directly bellow. Here then was the reason why the Hellhounds kept well away from the dragon when they knew she was angered for in her incredible fury, the large drake spared none as her attacks inflicted immense collateral damage. Friend and foe alike, this beast would exterminate all without a second's hesitation and it was only the Hellhound's immense fear of what would happen to them should they try to renege on their given task that kept them from fleeing the matriarch and her cruel ministrations.

Rakohl!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41538949

File: 1517940360108.jpg (536.45 KB, 1600x1200, COMEON.jpg)


>The chill that it felt from the snow was already enough for the massive ape to shiver, eyes turning towards the small blue haired one, eyes narrowing. No. No the small one was a friend. It means to help. But cold was no good for the Rajang, and so it shook off the chill and glared back at the cave mouth.

>But the Dragon never came out of the cave mouth, what instead happened was that it came out of the cliffside. The sound of wings flapping and pulling the great beast into the air pulled it's gaze skyward, to watch and to glare. It hurt. The fire still hurt. The Dragon had hurt him, and would hurt the others. She cared nothing for them, even the people who served it, and would only ever use the people around it.

>The Ape roared. The kind of roar that reverberated around the area for hours to come, and could not be unheard. Rearing up onto it's hind legs and beating the great fists against it's chest, the brown fur began to change, overrun with golden sparks of lightning until it stood on end, and where there was once a brown ape, now stood the Thunderous Beast of the Mountain.

>The flame came down again, but this time, it was prepared. It was ready. The Ape leaped, almost enough for it to clear the entire settlement had it any kind of forward momentum, but it wasn't attempting to leave...Just to get a better shot. Since the beast was closer to the dragon now, and had dodged the fire...now it could show it the full might of the great thunder.

>With another great roar, and the opening of the Rajang's mouth, a streak of lightning burst forward from the beast's throat, blazing through the sky with incredible speed, and aimed straight at the flying foe who had dared to incur the wrath of the Rajang.

Lei[i] & Ameya!aLEJudith.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41538951

File: 1517948020693.jpg (232.23 KB, 686x1000, eda2442a673d004d9cc7b4efdfdcf6…)

>While the pink snake moped about her failed plans to sew chaos, Lei had been happy with watching everyone else enjoy themselves. She wasn't much of a talker on account of not quite having the local language down.


>So it came a surprise when Logan had mentioned her in the conversation and her lack of smiling.

>While technically true, she didn't her date to think she was depressed or anything. She totally wasn't! The picture of mental health!

Smile! I smile! Not often for you! Flirt!
This post was edited by its author on .

Melody Neige!aLEJudith.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41539028

File: 1518129110350.png (57.68 KB, 250x250, tumblr_nq04ksnfZp1sn1yebo4_250…)

>As the dragon soared into the air, flying above them and circling around to get a good angle in incinerate them, Melody only heard bits and pieces of what Patrick was actually saying as she already mad a beeline for the great ape.

Ice bad for Rakohl and save my own butt if things go south, got it!!

>She could only get so close before the stream of fire comes back down again.and the mage is forced to hide behind a rock while she piles on a heap of snow on her body to protect herself from the flames.

>She felt a chill as the snow touched her exposed skin, but that only lasted a moment before unbearable heat takes over and the snow around rapidly melts, not even leaving her wet as the fire dries her off near instantly after passing by.

Gods, this heat... what am I suppose to do to even help anyone here?

>Melody didn't honestly know. If she was her sister, she could just throw ice at that dragon until she finally beat her. But what could she do against that? Even trying to help Rahohl would do more harm then good!

What am I going to do...?

Patrick Frye!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41539211

File: 1518663504133.jpg (650.22 KB, 1920x1200, Portgas D Ace One Piece Wallpa…)

>And so it came, the torrent of flame from above that Dragons were often feared for, or such were their typical depictions in historic novel. Despite his strength with the element, the words of his mentor echoed in his mind, particularly as the heat blasted down across the fields, enveloping both him and the earth beneath - beginning to burn him, even, the symbol that honoured his father beginning to crisp and char.

<"Yer fire's a strong thing, Pat, but ye'd best beware o' the molten heat the Ruby isle holds in its belly. That, an' there's a more subtle thing that might jus' kill ye, f'yain't lookin' carefully.

>"What's that?"
<"Fairy fire, m'boy. Wildfire."

>The difference between what was conceptual and what was real had taken him a long time to understand through his short life, experience teaching him more than words ever could - here beneath the mighty elements of something tied to this world he would burn, feel pain, for this flame was more real than his flame ever could be. It was a certainty in the midst of miracles, in inescapable reality that most who called themselves 'magi' would ignore to the grave.

Yeah... it hurts, Pops. It hurts real bad.
This is fire.

>These were the burns he inflicted on others, the kind that he had never felt. This was the raging torrent of destruction, the heat that turned all the world to ash. His perception of fire had always been askew, a mere toy in the palm of his hand for him to manipulate. No... fire was much, much more.

Such are the rules of this world... haha.
But -

>Patrick's hand reached out, holding itself over the open flame, allowing it to burn on, to make his nerves ache and throb with pain, acclimating to the feeling.

- what is the role of humanity... if not to question the world!

>The red sea parted in an instant, like a gale had split the wall of heat in two, leaving a patch of charred earth with a single figure at the centre. Though burned, limbs trembling somewhat from the agony, the man who sought to unearth the secrets of the world refused to be undone by that which he, by rights, should be most familiar.

Your dominion ends here, Queen of the Skies!

>Raising both hands up, the flames began to rise - flames that weren't his own, but belonged to her, above. They swirled and distorted, lifting from the ground and propelling themselves upward in a singular pillar, connecting neatly with the lightning from the king of the mountain!

>Her scales would hold true against it, of course... but this was less an attack and more of a message, an unspoken vow.

>"Your flames belong to me!"

Abris Phinn!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41539461

File: 1519245019458.png (563.41 KB, 868x490, Happy.png)


I've seen Lei smile plenty of times!

>How could he forget? That sunny smile seemed to light up his day, and it had certainly made him feel so much better after his earlier encounter with Ameya. It was beautiful, dazzling, it shamed all other smiles out there! He wasn't biased! Either way, the vul-Logan seemed to be a little grouchy about his job sending them all over the place, Abris could actually sympathise with this, sure his patrol only ever took him over the town, but he loved the town, and always loved seeing more of it. There's no place like Kingsmeet, and no place in Kingsmeet like any others.

>Abris turned over to Lei and squeezed her hand tightly. If that was why she wasn't smiling so much, then he just had to make sure that he could stick with her and make sure that she smiled more! He hadn't really done anything wrong so far, right?

Well then we have to go! We can go see a game, and I can show you all the rankings, and the signature moves, it's such a cool sport!

>She had to experience the greatest game known to mankind! The only sport that MATTERED! And then they could smile together more! Be together more.

Logan Faust!ReIheBaff.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41540091

File: 1520440673532.jpg (140.08 KB, 550x777, 52147099_p24_master1200.jpg)

Oooh, sure, blame it on me. Alright, I'll play your game - How many actually *good* and *decent* guys did you turn down before this one caught your eye, huh?

>The question was admittedly a little personal, but he said it so jovially that it didn't seem to matter. Logan's tone implied that he didn't really need an answer, choosing to chuckle away the thought, simply using it to embarass the couple a little.

>That said, he didn't seem to be all that embarrassed about it. For all the fun he'd had getting revenge on Ameya, seeing a couple so easily smitten with each other reminded him a little of that bitterness sitting on the edge of his tongue. With the meal already paid for, no longer feeling particularly obligated to stick to Ameya like glue, maybe it was better to cut his losses and head home. Maybe he could wash that bitter taste away with something strong - not that he could really afford it.

>Dumping responsibility for Ameya's well being on the pair of them felt scummy... but maybe he felt like being a little scummy after such a *long*, *tiresome* evening.

Right, well... duty calls, and all that. With everything I spent today, I'm gonna have to look for work as soon as I wake up tomorrow. Don't do anything *too* crazy, now, we'd like our Sniper to come back in one piece.

!MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41540991

File: 1521955946244.gif (3.19 MB, 640x307, SmartSelect_20180325-013240_Yo…)

>Having doused the whole area with a torrent of flesh scouring flames the great beast expected the fight with the pathetic creatures to be over when a movement caught its attention from the corner of its eye. The great ape had flung itself into the air on its great legs to just bellow the dragon's flight. Turning swiftly to shield itself from the beast's lightning blast with its wings the drake expected nothing much from the attack only...

>"Your dominion ends here, Queen of the Skies!"


>As her own wildfire flames were turned against her at the exact moment where Rakohl's energy blast hit her, the two sets of wild magics interacted to alter one another's nature and therein annul their defining characteristics to release a blast of power exponentially more powerful than each attack could have been on their own.


>With an earth shattering blast whose sheer volume deafened all who stood too close, the great beast that owned the sky was wrenched out of its flight to slam into the mountain with a titanic concussive force near the base of the mountain. Covered in rocks and the immediate area covered in a thick layer of dust, a hush descended over the ravaged landscape then as the world paused to take in the incredible events that had just occurred.
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Sarah Locke & Drummond!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41541286

File: 1522559972608.jpg (49 KB, 500x560, df9d710cf402f6c4412ab09b276869…)

>If anything the chuckling was far worse than any word he could've shot in her direction, leaving the poor girl almost trembling in shame and with no rebuttal to be found - only the quick clutching of the stuffed toy for some measure of comfort.

>The ironclad knight simply rubbed his head of hair, chuckling a little to himself as he retrieved the small ring with titanic fingers, turning to face the pair with an amused smile.

I suppose it isn't your day, this afternoon! I don't suppose you'll both be playing another round? Hahaha... no, no, I fear irking the ire of the little cat would be too much for either of us to bear. Were I to recommend a quick remedy, it'd be the beef stand just about the way - (a personal favourite of hers!)

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41541287

File: 1522560773219.jpg (41.63 KB, 248x284, Happy 9.jpg)

>Looking down at the girl's silent consternation, the Cassiline smiled broadly to himself finding that, despite everything that had transpired that day and the horrid letter he still had tucked away in his clothes, that his worries had lifted away from himself and that he was now profoundly enjoying himself for the first time in, well, a very long while.

>Listening intently to what the huge man had to say, Jerome considered what was said a nodded, finding the proposition quite entertaining.

Ah, I see.

What say your highness "little cat", feel like having a meal then?

>The man asked, bowing deeply in mock reverence to the troubled girl in a perfect execution of a Cassiline bow with his arms crossed out in front of himself.

Sarah Locke!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41541288

File: 1522561517299.jpg (10.59 KB, 236x284, f27119891c6c3843f5a4dab2c359f1…)

Gah! Did you have to tell him that, Drummond..!? Careful or I'll have to sink my fangs into you the next time something decides to 'irk my ire'!

>The history of the nickname was a simple one; she came to the Wolves bearing a strange twin-dagger fighting style and often preferred to act alone and dangerously, earning her the mantle of 'the Sabertooth Tiger' - which of course led to all manner of cat puns and other such mockeries that always managed to grind her gears a little.

But food, sure, why not, let's do that before the giant germophobe here gives you more material to use - and would you stop bowing, already!? I'm starting to get self-conscious...

Sir Drummond of Ainsley!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41541289

File: 1522562029928.jpg (1.01 MB, 773x1000, overwatch___post_game_drinks_b…)

GAHAHAHA! You would try, little cat, you would try! But go on, shoo, enjoy your day - and do try not to drink everything in the hall before I get back, alright?

>The germophobe jibe didn't seem to get at him all that much, true as it was, likely because the sight of Sarah being caught up in this rather unique situation had him in a particularly jovial mood.

You seem like a good sort, lad. Here's hoping Kingsmeet treats you kindly and your skills stay sharp as a hedgehog's spikes!

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41541290

File: 1522564054387.jpg (31.65 KB, 182x245, Happy 5.jpg)

>Though the compliments hurt him to hear, Jerome took them without making a fuss over them. What people could see in a failure like him was something he could never understand but at least he knew better than to make an issue of it every time he received a compliment.

>Straightening his body to look at the larger man, the knight nodded and smiled amiably at Drummond.

And may you find good fortune yourself Sir, Flames keep you on this holy day.

>Turning back towards his companion, Jerome's smile again turned wry and amused as he considered the "little cat" that had so callously murdered others for profit and considered the sheer bravery, or stupidity, needed for people to give someone like that such a diminutive nickname and couldn't help but wonder at the insanity of it all. Mercenaries must have been a bread of their own in that sense.

Shall we m'lady?

>He grinned, toying with her discomfort as he motions for them to leave the alley.

Would you like to lead the way?

Rakohl!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41541495

File: 1522694903698.png (460.93 KB, 927x862, tumblr_nrmf4i0JLJ1ssr51lo1_128…)


>The Dragon knocked out of the sky by the combination of lightning and fire, the Rajang let out a roar of triumph. The great ape beat its fists against its chest as the dragon fell, crashing into the foot of the mountain, but the Beast was not satisfied yet. Not until the trespasser had left the area, had bowed down to the Thunder God as well it should.

>The Rajang bounded forward to the sight of the crash, snarling and roaring. While it couldn't see anything through the dust and the rocks, it was making itself known, that it was there, and it was still willing to fight, as charred and burned as it still was from the dragon's fire. It hardly even seemed to notice either Patrick or Melody as it leapt forward, hell bent on forcing its foe to submit.

>The Rajang seemed to almost twitch and shake in place as it tried to glare through the dust cloud and spot the crash landed dragon, there was so little left of the human that had once been, only the faintest understanding of anything other than bestial instinct kept it from charging even further into the cloud, clearly trying very hard indeed to fight off the mind of the beast.

Lei[i] & Ameya!aLEJudith.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41541612

File: 1522877317130.jpg (183.28 KB, 800x800, __yoko_littner_and_yomako_teng…)

>Lei manages a playful pout knowing that Logan was right and she couldn't really argue that with him.

>Thankfully he didn't really need an answer to that as he was ready to take his leave.

If not see tomorrow, come back safe!

>As much as Logan could be a flirt and an all around dork, he was still a fellow member of the guild and she didn't want anything bad to happen to him.

Hpmh, well if you're going I guess I don't need spoil the mood anymore...

>The little pink snake grumbles as she gets up.

I'd have my time off for today, it's back to my duties. Good day.

>with a rather curt fairwell, Ameya is the first to walk off, Lei at least waves goodbye as she goes.

Strange girl.

Melody Neige!aLEJudith.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41541616

File: 1522879001601.png (69.68 KB, 250x250, tumblr_nq04ksnfZp1sn1yebo8_250…)

>From the relative safety of her rock, Melody watched the great dragon fall from the sky... close to her location.

Oh crap!!!

>The girl ducks for cover just as the rubble starts flying and only after the last of the rocks come tumbling down to earth does she look up from the boulder and shout out.

Is she dead!?

>She hoped so.

Sarah Locke!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41541845

File: 1523403168991.jpg (47.15 KB, 564x451, f7b76f2eaf34f21dbd39d309468f77…)

You say that like there's much of a choice, Mister 'I couldn't find my feet for my toes around here'.

>This was fun. Nice. Like a dream another girl might've had, one less twisted and more.. normal. Was Jerome thinking the same? For all his dutiful nature, he seemed to almost genuinely be enjoying himself. Could they really just spend time like this, despite themselves?

>Chewing down on a simple beef and pepper skewer, Sarah couldn't help but allow herself to be consumed by the relaxing atmosphere of a warm summer's view from the bench at the top of the hill, tree behind them casting a near-perfect shade over the spot. Not an easy place to get access to in a busy time like the festival, but sometimes luck shone through.

Mmmng... chew .. THAT one. Righ' there - *swallow*. See the one on the corner? That's the guildhall.

>Her finger pointed out towards a building in the distance, likely a good twenty-minute walk from where they were sitting but still visible, even then, if only because of the bright banners that adorned it.

Home away from home. Or, well... just home, now, I guess. Honestly I spend more time away from it than I do actually there, but at least it's nice to go back to. Scummy city, sure, but I find that kinda comfortable.

>A sip of her water flask cooled off a little more of the summer sun's gaze, still peeking through the leaves, as her thoughts flashed with familiar faces and names. Despite her tendency to play the solo act, this recent experience with Jerome had at least forced Sarah to admit to herself that she'd formed bonds with quite a number of people here over the years, no matter what form they took.

Makes me almost want to ask... - no. Never mind.

>Her hesitation was clear as the day had been, something obviously caught on the tip of her tongue.

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41541846

File: 1523404901070.jpg (57.99 KB, 668x147, Neutral 33.jpg)

>Having eaten his fill of the spiced meats Sarah had picked out for them, Jerome ended up looking over at the scenery the contract assassin was pointing out to him. All in all he had enjoyed himself immensely in the last few hours he had spent with her, games and all. The woman wasn't someone easy to get along with but the knight felt that once you got a grasp of her then she became more tolerable if not easier to handle.

. . .

>Looking out in silence at the sun-soaked scene before him and the guild hall which was the girl's home, the place where her friends lived, and where she belonged. Though elated as she was, Jerome felt glad that she would share with him what made her happy and show him the sides of her life that even a seasoned murderer could enjoy. Bloody hands or not, she was still human and, more than that, she was still a young girl whose life was still in the bloom of youth. And though Jerome feared that she would forget who he was and the implications of it in her cheer, no, in the end she reigned herself in on her own accord.

>Leaning silently on a wooden fence near the edge of the cliff, Jerome wondered at how he should proceed. Tomorrow he would leave this town and head towards the Cassiline Valley. Bringing her, Jerome knew all too well, even if she wanted to come, would be impossible. He couldn't account for a stranger to follow him around without having the order suspect his virtue and yet he himself knew nothing of the letter's contents. Regardless, he knew he would have to return to the order if only to account for his irregular movements of late. But then, if he couldn't bring her, and her would be leaving soon, should her tell her? Sarah had certainly become amiable to him recently but what more did he owe her beyond that? What even was their relationship beyond acquaintances? Thinking deeply on just what he should do, the Cassiline sighed and looked up to his companion to smile faintly at her.

I enjoyed myself today, thank you.

>He said simply, knowing that it would be no kindness to break the peaceful mood the girl was feeling now.
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Sarah Locke!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41542071

File: 1523566133741.jpg (110.02 KB, 564x824, a107a59b66dc7ffd72cc8f182b25c0…)

>Much like that same dream she felt she was having, the afternoon sun continued shining down on such a wondrous day, illuminating the man who leant against the fence a little ways away from the bench she was sat upon. It was an odd thing, to feel some small kinship with another, though she wasn't sure whether it was the journey they had shared or some deeper measure.

>A gentle sigh accompanied the finishing of her drink, setting it down on the armrest and leaning back, staring out at the scenery below. His comment in response to her words earned a shy look away for a moment before her gaze focused on him, a smile catching her lips.

You aren't just saying that, are you?
A guy like you feeling some emotion other than constant apathy? Colour me surprised.

>A taunt and a jest on her part, spoken lightly and without care. Just how comfortable was she around such a fellow to make casual jokes on as deep a subject as that? Perhaps because she found herself similarly complacent, before...

I enjoyed it too.
It's funny, you know. I've never really thought about enjoying myself for my own sake, and knowing that old scowl you were always wearing before, I doubt you did much of that either. Yet here we are, just letting the day go by and having what everyone else calls fun.

Almost a shame it all has to be so short...

Abris Phinn!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41542082

File: 1523571859832.png (332.32 KB, 457x490, Lookingdown.png)


>The sudden farewells caught him by surprise, Abris blinked and watched as the tiny nobless walked away, and the guardsman made plain his intent to leave. While Abris tried and subsequently failed to not poke his tongue out at the retreating snake, he turned back to Logan. While he couldn't say he was all that upset about him leaving and getting to spend more time with Lei, he wasn't all that bad...you know, for a mercenary.

>Abris nodded over to the guy, and tentatively offered Logan a hand to shake in his exit, the lovestruck smile leaving in favour of a far more cautious, but still amicable one.

See you around, yeah? Maybe I'll catch you at a game or something.

>Maybe this was small talk that wouldn't really lead anywhere, but for all that this guy was probably a vulture and a money grubbing asshole dedicated to draining the unfortunate dry...Well, he liked the same Blitzball team as him and that meant he couldn't be that bad, right? Maybe they could get on if they ever saw each other again.

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41542092

File: 1523576764932.jpg (27.84 KB, 188x219, Neutral 32.jpg)

>Letting her comment go unanswered, the knight turned away from the girl to look back at the scenery, his smile slipping away to return his face to it's usual look.

>The wind blew by them both, not letting itself be bound by the problems of two mortal land-locked beings. Jerome had often wondered and what it would mean for someone like him to be free. Freedom, was a concept he himself never quite felt though he often struggled for its closest approximation in his estimation. Be it bound by station of birth or the rules of his order, the Cassiline had never knows what it was to have no duty to fulfill and so could only think of the wind as something completely alien to him.

>A long moment passed then as the knight simply listened to the wind, and looked down on the city whose freedom was something equaled nowhere else in the world. Perhaps, then, like the wind, it too was something alien to him.

>Not looking at the girl who had followed him through hell and high waters, Jerome spoke to Sarah, his voice carrying clearly to her.

I'll be leaving soon.

>He said, in a tone that was entirely normal, devoid of grief or frustration. It was a fact, and one he now chose to share with her now on the spur of a moment.
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Sarah Locke!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41542838

File: 1525020082062.jpg (837 KB, 1024x1024, ciri_sketch_by_sonellion-d9217…)

... I figured.

>The statement came in much the same tone as he had spoken in, very matter-of-fact with a sigh to complement it. The letter, everything about his style and choice of living, what part of her had tricked herself into thinking he might stick around for a little while? Every moment of their time had been a journey, and while she was used to journeys coming to an close, his seemed... unending.

Well, I mean, I guess I wasn't sure, but in the back of my head I always knew you'd head off sooner or later.

>Standing up, she put the cup down on the bench, looking out from the hill towards the rest of the town, enjoying themselves in the uproar of the festival. To think she'd been down there moments ago, exactly the same as the rest of them... a nice distraction from the thoughts on her mind. Her gaze locked with Jerome, staring at him with a strange resignation of acceptance.

Before you do, though... there's something I want to know.

>Drawing both daggers, she rose them up in her hands, looking between the disparate blades that glinted different hues in the sunlight.

Spar with me. I won't be satisfied until you do.

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41542875

File: 1525076005105.jpg (70.35 KB, 666x178, Serious 13.jpg)

>Listening attentively to what Sarah had to say, the knight waited until she was done speaking and had drawn her daggers before her turned slowly to face her. The look on his face was serious now, devoid of the lighthearted joy he had shown in the marketplace. What he had said was probably true, Jerome had, in fact, enjoyed the time they had spent together and had found joy there in those moments. But looking at him now, Sarah would have been hard pressed to find any trace of it.

>With her daggers raised and her affirmation clear, the mercenary girl looked to him with passion and desire for... something. What he wasn't sure but whatever it was, he knew that he could not afford to indulge her now that the order was watching him again.

>Still her stance remained and Jerome simply looked at her, the wind blowing between them and flapping at his simple clothes. He made no move to reach for his weapons, his body remained rigid, and his eyes ever so terribly grim.

You've traveled with me for this long and still you don't understand anything, do you?

>He told her drily, his words severe but his expression shifting slightly to include a rising sense of pity for the girl and himself. The girl still couldn't fathom what it was that knight she had first known had lived through, didn't know what made that man, and himself, tick the way they did now. And why the letter in his pocket still weighed on him like a lead weight impossible for him to ignore.

The order has made it clear that my movements are being watched, the fact they let me know they knew where I was and what I was up to makes it very clear just how pressing they see my returning to the valley to be.

That being said, the idea that they would thereafter leave me out of sight for even a moment is ludicrous.

>His eyes flat, his expression hard, Jerome shook his head at the girl, her internal turmoil and the desires she hoped to assuage with him. Silence then, the wind blowing past, ever moving, ever shifting to go where it would with no man able to change the course it chose for itself.

I'm sorry Sarah, but I can't.

A knight can only draw in defense of his charge, and this friendly duel you propose wouldn't be... proper.

Sarah Locke!ReIheBaff.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41542879

File: 1525082429178.gif (1.96 MB, 268x300, 1456942475_tumblr_nopsq9OqrS1s…)

I understand more than you'd think. You can stop underestimating me, because I pay attention - now that I've seen one, if any one of those people were in earshot, I'd know. Why do you think I brought us all the way up to such a wide, open space?

>She hadn't wanted to explain this - in actuality she didn't really want to do it at all, part of her had hoped he'd pick up on the idea, but after all this time of him helping her out, she wanted to do something that might make him feel a little more at ease than worrying so much about the future he seemed to dread, even if her view was a little naive.

We're probably being watched, sure, but that's the point. I'm sure if they looked into who I was they'd see what I am, and the fact that you were just 'hanging out' with me is something they'd use against you - you've known that all along. Clearly the solution is simple.

You were acting as you did to attempt to capture me. If they saw me with you on the mountain, that was circumstance and survival and you couldn't turn down someone who needed aid. But once you learned who I was, what I was, you came with me back to Kingsmeet to learn all you could before meting out the punishment I deserved, or at least attempting to.

>Throughout the entire crazy thought, she couldn't look him in the eye. It was like a flip reverse of emotion to try and force this kind of encounter after enjoying the day with him, but it wasn't as if she forgot how he looked when he got 'caught'. It was such a contrast to his nigh-constant self-assuredness that she'd been thinking about it all day.

>When she finally did make eye contact with him again, it was clear even she didn't really believe in this idea. It was just the rambling thoughts of someone that cared for his well-being, without the knowledge or experience in giving a damn about people to know whether she was doing right or wrong.

Surely that, at least, might give you some measure of leeway?

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41542881

File: 1525085194722.jpg (57.31 KB, 303x313, Shocked 6.jpg)

>Hearing her explanation, Jerome's stern expression turned to one of shock and surprise and it was all the knight could do but to not gape at the girl with his mouth open. So assured was he of his own inescapable misery, so certain had he been that there was nothing he or anyone else could do to alleviate what was to come for him and the terrible punishments he was sure to endure that he had never stopped to consider that, perhaps, his companion had understood all along and was actually looking out for him.

>Jerome had never been able to spot the Sentries, never been capable of seeing where they were or if they had been watching him save when they chose to reveal themselves, but then, Jerome had never been trained to see through their techniques and if anyone could, it would be one of their ilk.

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41542882

File: 1525085213654.jpg (81.93 KB, 602x276, Happy 10.jpg)


>Then, quite suddenly, the cold and grim knight burst out laughing, his voice booming across the field in a way that Sarah had never seen before. Long and hard did the man laugh, his mirth overwhelming the dread he had been feeling by an order of magnitude.


>Because she was right, and he had underestimated her. For as along as they had been together, Jerome had always looked down on her for being who she was and for not knowing what she hadn't been told. He had hated her for being an assassin without even knowing the circumstances that led her to it, despised her for being an attractive woman when his vows where such that he could never relieve his frustrations, and ridiculed her for being ignorant of the obsure ways of his order. Yet, despite her claim that she did nothing without a profit in mind, and the way she spoke of herself as being a self-styled monster, here and now, the blood thirsty assassin proved herself to be more noble and wise than the priest-knight.

>The ridiculousness of the situation, and the irony of it all hit him hard and he simply could not stop laughing. Finally, when he got a grip on himself again, Jerome straightened his bent-over body and wiped the tears away from his eyes. She had nothing to gain from helping him and everything to lose, still, she helped him and showed him the way out of the dark path his own heart led him towards, still, she believed in a man like him who deserved no redemption for what he did.

>The wind carried away his laughter, and with it, changed again in a new direction he hadn't anticipated.

You know... if it wasn't against my vows, this is the part where I would declare my love for you.

>Having casually spoken something he would have been mortified to say at any other time, Jerome drew both daggers from their sheaths and took on an aggressive fighting stance, grinning wildly with the elation he felt.

Come on then you ruffian!
Come and meet your fate by my blades!

>With that said the knight launched himself at his foe, swinging his blades recklessly and with abandon, always using the flat of the blade and never hesitating in his strikes. At that moment, Jerome vowed to never underestimate this woman again.

Sarah Locke!ReIheBaff.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41542889

File: 1525101088889.jpg (308.67 KB, 520x413, ciri_fanart_by_grobi_grafik-d9…)

>Jerome's reaction to everything was... unexpected, to say the least. In her head, she'd imagined him dismissing her idea, explaining away some strange factoid that made her thoughts null and void or simply disagreeing on principle. That laugh, though; it was unlike anything she'd heard from him before, so genuine and free from emotional burden, so much so that she could only stand flabbergasted at him, mouth slightly agape as her stance faltered slightly.

>As much as she'd been able to understand to be able to form such a plan, the way in which his entire being freed up from his former bonds... had she been the one underestimating how much everything had burdened him? Sarah had never expected this.

>But the true blow came just before he charged.


>Before she could even process his statement, his blades shot in toward her like the talons of hawk. Instinct alone caused her limp arms to raise upward to deflect the blunted blows, but her mind was so shaken that her body faltered, staggering backwards and immediately finding herself on the defensive as her face became red and flustered.

Wait-wait-wait-wait, you- I- WAH!

>It seemed there wasn't time to stop and think. Despite the sudden nature of his attack and the use of the flat of the blades, he was still a well-trained warrior who, for the first time she'd seen properly, was letting his passions fly. Four daggers between the pair of them, both held in similar styles, watching him reminded her of her own movements and strikes, the one's she'd learned long ago. Even as her mental state collapsed under the weight of his words, her body began to move as it had been taught; step by step, stance by stance, blow by blow.

>A strike toward the neck - parried. A follow-up of her own toward his striking arm - blocked by the very same arm pulling backwards while his free hand moved toward her left leg. A quick backstep, swapping stances to the right foot forward, left dagger reaching for his right arm. A pull back on his right leg, tearing his shoulder back, arm following to dodge the blow, the momentum breaking the contact of the two daggers on the other side as his left hand moves in to block her right. This leaves her right free, pushing it in towards his stomach, but the block turns into a pushed parry as he swaps footing again, a retreating step to bring his right arm's momentum over guard his mid-section, knocking her blade aside.

>It was like a flurry of guided blows. Where her freedom and creativity had surpassed his technique before, his sudden surge of passion and emotion put him at a previously unforeseen level of skill, easily adapting to her non-uniform movements and tricky steps through raw, eager and heavily-trained instinct. The sheer intensity of the spar, especially when she started so off-balance, was enough to give her mind focus, reminding her why, despite everything, she'd offered to do this in the first place.

>Her gaze hardened, a smile forming on her lips. Despite the current cause, this was fun. Battling in a not-quite mirror matchup felt far too familiar than she dared to admit.

You tricked me, you swine!
>She said with a fickle grin.
I should have known better than to trust one of your kind!
Loyal to the end for your masters, are you!?

>Talking about his shackles that way felt a little wrong, but that was the point of the act. If a little pain now would save him a great struggle later, it'd be worth it.

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41542908

File: 1525147772254.png (1.26 MB, 1920x1080, vlc 2015-10-27 16-48-10-77.png)

>The exchange of blows was loud and intense, the clangs of steel striking steel resounding across the windswept hill and carrying off into the surroundings. Charging forward, Jerome executed a number of quick combinations with his blades which Sarah matched well enough though the manner in which she executed the combinations were different to the way Cassilines would have used them traditionally. Her creative use of an otherwise rigid combat system brought about new possibilities for the age-old ways but simultaneously undermined her execution of the basics of the Cassiline way.


>Again and again the blades met, their bodies keeping close to one another as they circled and fought for dominance. Jerome might have been using the flat of his blades but his enthusiasm for the bout was very real and likely drew from the inspire passion he was experiencing. The battle was intense and showy but looked to be at a stalemate. But then, using his larger bulk and weight, Jerome pushed past Sarah's guard and shouldered her to the ground with a solid tackle.

>Standing over her with a victorious expression, the knight stood well within reach of the assassin as he began to talk.

You are done villain!
Surrender now and accept your defeat!

Sarah Locke!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41543420

File: 1525920716232.jpg (46.99 KB, 1280x720, ep_559692_3.jpg)


>Brute force, was it? She had to admit, with his heavier frame and denser muscles, he had the advantage there. Having clattered to the floor, finding herself a little out of breath from the move, she started to see why his organisation was a brotherhood first and foremost. He had clearly been trained to use his body to its most effective use, training she sorely lacked in comparison.

>So why not use some of what she had experience in..? If only to serve as a more convincing battle, of course! That was the only reason. It wasn't to prolong this last moment she was to spend with him in howeverlong, no, certainly not. A smirk reached her lips, though she wasn't entirely sure why.

If you were going to capture me, you should have done so during your tour of the city!

>Reason enough for their 'companionship' given, she kicked off the floor into a backward roll, quickly coming to her feet closer to the tree on the hill than she was to him. A nice, wide open area - nothing like the trees she'd been forced to fight within in the forest. Perhaps now she could make up for the mistake that had cost her the dagger before.

>The chains at her belt, formerly seeming as accessories, were quickly gripped into her hands, snapping onto rings at the ends of both daggers that had previously been only used for aesthetic. Jerome had bellowed out frustrated confusion the last time he saw her utilise this technique, perhaps now he would do the same in awe!

If you want to take me in...

>A pivot on her dominant foot sent her body into a spin, her hands gripping the ends of the chains and whirling the daggers around. Simple, carefully controlled twists of her arms and shoulders causing them to spin wildly about in a flurry of death that reached a good distance beyond the range of even Jerome's sword.

... you'll have to reach me first!

>... this was about pretending, right? Just a mock battle for the sake of a ruse and a lie, it wasn't about impressing him! It was meant to be a show, not about showing off... right?
This post was edited by its author on .

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41543447

File: 1525991073188.jpg (136.5 KB, 507x394, Dodge 1.jpg)



>Even though he had left himself wide open for her to trip him up and run off, here the mercenary was pulling out killing techniques she had learned on her own. Why was she even doing this, hadn't this all been meant for show? If so then pulling off a stunt like this was definitely going overboard just to make the fight more convincing because without his armor or vambraces Jerome couldn't block or deflect the whirling chain and blade and could thus easily slice into him even by mistake.

>As he was about to tell her off for doing something like this, Jerome's train of thought was cut short with the knife and chain whirling at high speeds directly for his head. Ducking down at the last second, the knight was able to lean out of the way just in the nick of time to avoid a nasty blow and cut to his face.


>Though he would love nothing more to show the girl why this technique was entirely unviable in combat with even a modicumly armored foe, as he was, she was at a great advantage and it was the best he could do to use his speed and dexterity to dodge and weave out of the way of her chain.

Sarah Locke!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41543455

File: 1526001429797.jpg (10.46 KB, 236x290, d042a8e671917d60f60d028fc0d228…)

>Whoops! That was kinda close, actually. Not the best thought to be having after the fact, but it made her realise she'd been getting a little carried away with it. Pulling the blade back on the chain a little, limiting her range, she looked over at his shocked expression- and in that moment, she had an idea. There was no way this was going to end in anything but the pretend fight - this was their goodbye, she couldn't risk returning to his side shortly afterwards to say it.

>This one little moment was the only opportunity to let bloom the thought now occupying her. Darting forward, she wheeled the blades around together in a single wide arc, looking as though she were about to bring them both down upon his cloth-covered frame-


>- but then she jumped, at full force, into something of a dive forward, yanking the chains and bringing the daggers back into her hands. Heading toward his surprised yet defensive form with all the speed she could muster, in mid air she twisted her body so she could face him properly, passing within millimeters of him until-

See you around, shitty knight~

>Flying right past him and into a roll on the ground, she continued her run and dove past the small fence surrounding the miniature park, rushing down the hill through the greenery that surrounded it, before disappearing into the mass of buildings below, lost in the mass of festival-goers and citizens alike.

>It would probably take him a moment to realise just quite what she'd done in that instant, one that almost seemed out of time, before she'd ended their little ruse and 'taken advantage of his surprise to run', but there was one thing he could be sure of without a doubt. Sarah Locke would be smirking down there, thoroughly amused by her unique method of farewell and response to his statement at the start of their little bout.

Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41543818

File: 1526873184757.jpg (41.58 KB, 203x277, Shocked 4.jpg)

>With the girl swinging an iron chain tied to a knife around, Jerome's entire focus was tuned towards looking out for the weapon rather than his opponent and thus wouldn't have noticed her move in until it was too late to pull back. Expecting a blow, Jerome tensed up only for his mouth to feel the soft caress of his companion's on his own.


>Shocked and bewildered by her actions, the Cassiline could do nothing but gracelessly lose his footing and stagger away from the contact as if struck by a vicious blow even as the girl made her escape. He couldn't believe that Sarah would dare do such a thing, let alone risk doing so under the eyes of the Sentries. Yet, before he could even wrap his mind around what had just happened, Jerome's training kicked in and his thoughts were replaced with a way of thinking that had been drilled into his very soul.

>"Oh No!"

>Was all he could think before his thoughts turned to how improper and dirty the contact had been. He had been sullied, he had ruined himself through that touch and now he had to purge himself. Purge, now, fire? No, there was no fire and it wasn't right to do so outside of, wait, the dagger, the knife! He could carve the corruption out of himself, he had done it before, he could...

>Wait, no, calm, he had to calm down. Despite the ragged panic that ran through his blood and made his heart beat far harder than exercise ever had; Jerome reasoned he had to calm down. There would be a time to purge himself of what had happened here, time to make amends and offer up reparations to the Companion and the Order at large. But for now he had to breathe, calm himself and just take it easy.

>Struggling to control his ragged, panting breath, Jerome was able to come to grips with himself and leave the hill behind and make it back to his room. There, he read the letter that had weighed on him so heavily and learned the reason why he was summoned back home.

The Next Day Jerome Bransg !MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41543912

File: 1527203780420.png (1.13 MB, 1632x918, 42.png)

>The night had passed and with it the sharp pain of cleansing the knight inflicted on himself. In the heavy fog of the predawn light, Jerome saddled a horse he leased off the night before. In the saddlebags stowed across the beast's sides were the few possessions that the Cassiline called his own. Having checked his tack one last time, the knight mounted the horse and pressed the horse forward with the heel of his boots.

>Ribs aching from his fresh wound, Jerome though back to the last few months and what they had meant for him. In his brief time of solitude spent in the wild mountains of the West, Jerome had found companionship, pain, hatred, frustration, kindness, friendship, and ultimately a budding sense of love. In that time, he had begun to dream and feel himself slip away from the reality of his condition. Yet, like all dreams, such delusions inevitably come to an end and the weight of the world once more reasserted itself on the knight whose past and present he could never escape.

>Walking away from the dream, Jerome thought of the letter he received yesterday and the summons it contained. Over and over he had read it in the vain hope that he could somehow change its content if he simply read it again. By now, he could recite it by heart and with that imprint could not escape its contents any longer.


To the renown Knight Errant Jerome Bransg,

Your presence is requested in the Grand Cathedral of Saint-Grammacus on the third week after the festival of the Holy Flame to celebrate and perform the

marital rights between the great and noble Jean-Baptiste Bransg, scion and heir to the Bransg family line and twelfth in line to the royal throne of Termina, and

Princess Pir Londoh, scion to the great house of Londoh and second daughter to the royal majesty the king of Termina.

Your arrival will be expected one week prior to the wedding by the elders of the brotherhood in the halls of the Followers, delays will not be tolerated under

any circumstances. Godspeed on your travels.

- Falrin Brimmer, second scribe to Captain Atticus of the third company.


>Dreams, it seemed to Jerome, were an awfully ephemeral thing to base one's hope and aspirations on given that they would, inevitably, be reduced to naught when the dreamer woke up. However, when the dreamer does wake, there exists a chance, a small chance mind, that the dreamer would remember parts of his dream and thus, perhaps change their ways ever so slightly as a result. With such thoughts in mind, the Jerome remembered the final moments he spent with Sarah and the way her mouth felt against his in the brief moment before his conditioning kicked in. That feeling, alien and warm as it was to him, brought a smile to his face and gave him the strength to hold back the tears that came as he walked away from the best part of his life and willingly woke up from a sweet scented dream.

Logan Faust!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41544475

File: 1528318278603.jpg (121.79 KB, 600x360, 55235166_p3_master1200.jpg)


>A handshake? All being said and done, he couldn't exactly say he expected something halfway decent to come out of the day. Reaching out, he gave the guard a solid grip and shake of the hand.

You keep that stadium safe in the meantime, yeah?

>The handshake quickly turned into a wave, leaving the remaining two behind and not entirely wanting to dignify Ameya with a farewell. That said, he did have one last little gift to provide the happy couple, Lei in particular...

>Addressing Abris again as he walked off, he turned his head slightly and called out.

Just don't ask her about the Sapphic Bar stake-out, alright!? The Sapphic Bar stake-out! Three years ago, that cute guy who you enjoyed the evening with, what was her name? Hahahaha!

>Oooh anything to get some amusement out of life, and if embarrassing other people after today was a crime, they might as well arrest him there and then.

Patrick Frye!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41544476

File: 1528318501066.png (716.18 KB, 1000x510, 0c08fa3e1cbfa6ce5bc7571be65f24…)

>Compared to the other two, who seemed to be either impatiently awaiting the results or staggered at the events that had just taken place, Patrick took the whole sequence in stride, walking back over to Melody and giving her a pat on the head and a bright smile.

Hahaha, not on your life!
A dragon's pride is almost sacred, mock it and feel their wrath! Or so they say. I have no idea what happens after you give it a solid slap, but I have a feeling the worst is yet to come!

Isn't that exciting!?

!MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41544522

File: 1528422090495.jpg (400.84 KB, 2560x1600, 616730ec522bd3d61a969d7849d4ba…)

>Tense moments stretched into minutes as the group of runaway felons stared at the pile of rubble under which the dragon lay in anticipation of what was to come. When the beatst's resurgence would come into doubt, a low rumble would begin to be heard at the very edge of their hearing but steadily growing in intensity. Soon enough Rakohl enhanced senses would pick up on the deep trembling happening bellow his very feet moments before Patrick and Melody would. As the sustained tremor built in intensity, so too did the deafening noise that emanated from the pile of stones where the dragon lay as the Earth itself seemed to tear itself apart bellow their very feet even as the surface continued to look entirely placid.

>Though the flowers did not stir and the trees did not budge, all three members of the party would feel as though they were caught in an incredibly powerful earthquake whose source originated within the rubble in which the dragon lay. There, Rakohl would feel, the very essence of the world was being pulled up from its roots and forced to power a spell a monstrous proportions as the dragon accumulated titanic amounts of wild magic to its will and bent it into a shape that best suited its desires.

>Finally the trembling stopped and the mound of rubble began to smolder as smoke and ash rose from dragon's position. Suddenly the entire mound exploded outwards in a violent display of rage as rocks showered onto the flame blackened plains the trio of adventurers stood on. What emerged then was a beast of pure rage and frenzy as every inch of skin bellow the dragon's scales glowed with wild power and flames. Blazing beacons of hate locked onto the daring forms of those who would defy its right to rule with absolute impunity over its domain. Fire would be too good for these wretched bastards. No, rather than simply burn them, the dragon sought to utterly eradicate their very existence from this world so that not even their corpses would remain.

>Opening its glowing maw, the beast began to focus the worldly power that ran through its blood before it and direct its potency in the direction of those beings that would stand in spite of its will. Nevermind that most of the forest, and everything within, would vanish and become collateral damage to this beast's self-indulgent fit of rage, these creatures would vanish and that was all that mattered. Having concentrated as much power as it could and compressed it to a finite point, the dragon let loose with a beam of absolute power that could not be avoided and would inescapably annihilate our heroes.

!MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41544523

File: 1528422102179.png (1.51 MB, 1234x693, Airship Catastrophe.PNG)

>Or it would have, if the moment the dragon tyrant had let loose its incredible spell, a portal hadn't opened before its very maw and an absolutely titanic airship hadn't come crashing through the gate onto the dragon's face, exploding in the process and swallowing the beast in a mountain of fire, steel, and secondary ammunition detonations.

>Moments went by in which the sight of our adventurers was full of nothing but steel and fire as a new, incredibly large, construction occupied a space that had been mostly empty up until then. As more and more of the ship came through the portal even as its front half ground down on the ground in a collapsing heap of fire and steel, the portal of shimmering energy continued to spill out more and more of the ship as its monstrous engine continued to push it into the ground. Behind the ship, the vistas of the world from which the ship had come could be seen and it was one full of impossible colors and unthinkable creatures whose form made no sense to the aesthetics of men.

>Finally, when the ship had made it through, the swirling gates of power, a beam of red light, almost insignificant in size compared to the monstrosity that had ground its way into the world, shot its way from the top-most deck of the vessel and shot the portal which promptly vanished back into nothingness leaving behind only a strange smell of oranges and a lingering effect on the eyes of those colors that simply didn't exist.

>As the dust settled and the events which had happened in such rapid succession came to a halt before the adventurers, the lot of them could see that the massive wreck that had once been an unthinkably large airship larger than most cities had been tainted by wherever it had come from as its steel was colored in places with colors of the rainbow and strangely organic looking protrusions which had no place being on an entirely mechanical construction.

Rakohl!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41544609

File: 1528579531594.png (300.9 KB, 448x489, Nervous.png)


>The Beast most certainly noticed the rumbling of the world, the Power resonating from the ground beneath it, all funnelling towards where the dragon lay. The great Ape bared its fangs and waited, pounding its fists against the ground until the dragon made itself known, and made itself known loudly.

>The mound of rubble exploded outwards, and the dragon rose up, wreathed in flame and fury and the Beast now knew what had happened to all the Power that it had felt draining away. The shock ran through the Beast. All it could see and feel was the wild magic that gathered in the mouth of the dragon, inexorably targeted towards it. The instinct was to run. To flee as fast as it could, even the Thunder God could not fight such a greatly condensed attack. But it could not. There was no way to avoid it. It was too much, and too fast.

>Fortunately for the Beast, even as caught up in this question which would matter not in the long run, it would not have to decide. Instead, the decision was made for it. Between Fight, or Flight, there was the third option. Ship.

>And Ship was the answer, as some gigantic metallic thing that the Beast knew not of crashed straight into the dragon from a hole in the sky, and stopped the Wild in its tracks. Crushed beneath molten metal and what seemed like endless discharging of power coming across the ship.

>The Beast knew not of metal, or steel...But the Human did. And for a Beast, who did not know how to react to what was in front of it, the only thing that remained was for the Human to take the forefront.

>The Rajang before Melody and Patrick grunted, and shrunk in its posture, as though it were crouching...But it actually seemed to be shrinking. The body grew smaller and smaller, fur giving way to flesh, though wounds and scars from the dragons' attacks still remained as where there was once Ape, now was man.

>And man did gape, as Rakohl stared over in open mouthed shock at the sight before him, of the colours that he had never seen, of the organic growths on the airship that made it seem less like a wreck of metal and more of a natural landmass growing for eons and eons. Rakohl knew he did not understand...And yet it only piqued his curiosity further. All threats of the dragon gone from his mind, and only the haunting sight before him colouring his thoughts.

>...It even made him forget that he was completely naked.

Lei Jìjìng!aLEJudith.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41544690

File: 1528673370871.jpg (44.18 KB, 640x480, 575f7ae60a7b53f152424e46dfa6ed…)

>The Sapphic Bar. He mentioned *that* place.
>She shoots up out of her chair, as red in the face as her hair, and shouts at the man as he walks away.

Wǒ zuìle!! Xiànzài bùyào bǎ nàgè xiǎo péngkè dài shàngqù!
(I was drunk!! Don't bring that up now you little punk!!)

>It wasn't her fault that that woman had a handsome face!


>Oh right, she was on a date.

>She quickly sits back down and collects herself before explaining, carefally, what Logan was talking about.

Simply mistake, haha, had too much drink that all!

>Damn that Logan, if she doens't get a second date because Abris things she plays for the other team, then she'll tell Olivia it was him that drank her bottle of imported Astrolian Mountain Spring Water!

Melody Neige!aLEJudith.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41544692

File: 1528675112252.png (63.13 KB, 250x250, tumblr_nq04ksnfZp1sn1yebo7_250…)

>He honestly thought this life and death struggle was... exciting.


>Yeah it kind of was, once she got over the shock of coming face to face with her first dragon and being nearly incinerated several times over, Melody did feel something stirring inside of her. Might have been the adrenaline though, she wasn't sure. But it felt like she had been dying of thirst a moment ago and had just taken the first of many large gulps of cool water. Was this what the thrill of adventure tasted like?

>But before she could ask such a childish question to Patrick the dragon had confirmed that its demise was highly exaggerated and it was ready to obliterate them soundly. She could feel the ground tremble but it wasn't an earthquake, what on earth was it about to do...? No, regardless of what this was it was going to destroy them and she truly had no way of defending herself.

<"Goodbye cruel whimsical world, you gave me a taste of adventure I've been craving for so long only to snatch it away from me in such a short time. Woe is me, what could I have done to deserve this? Someone as beautiful and intelligent is I to face death here before I could even make my mark on histor--"

>Suddenly airship.
>Melody's jaw dropped as the fabric of the world seemed to tear open and a goliath airship was thrown through it. Careening into the face of the great dragon... and continuing to do so with all the gratuitous destruction and explosions of a Michale Basin play. Eventually, the symphony of chaos settled into eerie silence as she gawked at the wreckage.

...Why is the Grand Dalamander here?

>Even with the strange discoloration in places and odd growths upon it, Melody recognized the Terminian airship. It was the largest sky-fairing vessel in the world, after all, she even took a tour of it with her sister. It was hard not to know it when she saw it. But that didn't explain why it appeared through that rift in the sky, or how it was produced in the first place!

...I hope nobody was aboard.

>If they were... well there was little hope for any survivors.

>Her legs were already carrying towards the ship even as she thought that, however. She was still a noble lady! She had a responsibility to help her people if she could!

Patrick Frye!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41544757

File: 1528746288947.jpg (185.76 KB, 776x596, 770936c5baa612a2801c6ede4a68de…)

>Strangely, the entire event sent ripples up his spine. He'd never felt energy like this before, even if it was just the tingling sensation of it all - an almost foreign feeling, kind of like the fire he'd channeled just earlier, rippling through the ground toward the dragon's position.

>He'd expected something worse to come out of this, but in all honesty he'd underestimated the dragon. How many records were there of dragons losing their shit, anyway?! Nothing in the books the old man had talked about rippling energy and giant -

>-oh look, an airship.


>The spectacle of watching a colossal machine collide with a gigantic creature and the explosion that followed felt like a spectacle beyond most of what had been told in the old books, or maybe equal to the mythical Lost Age, but the difference here was he was looking right at it as the fire roared and explosive force echoed across the plains.

I, uh... I have a funny feeling the Hellhounds aren't going to be too happy about this...
Thankfully, I'm so confused I bet they are too.
Alright, team!

>Pushing off into a sprint, he dashed across the open fields, turning back to face the other two.

Let's go look for survivors-

>Skidding to a halt all-too quickly, raising a brow toward Rakohl.

-... maybe after we get you a cloth or something.

!MrCarnage2Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41544771

File: 1528755894192.jpg (1.18 MB, 1920x1037, 2015-10-11(168538)_Cazuun_loca…)

>As the trio adventurers continued to gawk at the fresh wreck that had once been the gem of the gem of the Terminan fleet, the mass of metal settled into the ground with a final groan and shudder, kicking up a final cloud of dust before finally lying still. From where they stood, the group could clearly see the sheer scale of the ship before them and absurd amount of firepower and crew such a titanic war machine could have been fitted with. In its prime, had the great machine been fielded against an enemy city, it was hard to see what anyone could have done to defend themselves against something of such a massive scale. But now that it had been crashed into the ground, its wings broken and its back twisted in two, it was hard to think of it as being anything but dead.

>Wherever the ship had come from had left its mark on the ship as vast plates of metal still shone with maddening displays of unearthly colors and entire shards of metal continued to quiver and shift independently from the rest of the structure, dying in a magical atmosphere that could not support it. But whilst the life within the metal died and the colors drained away from the wreck, faint sounds of explosions and magitech discharges could be heard echoing within the structure of the ship. There were still people in there and their own conflict was apparently ongoing.

Rakohl!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41544911

File: 1528921361575.png (390.91 KB, 626x490, Eyyyyy.png)


>Rakohl still stared at the wreck of organic mess and metallic fragments. Wreck seemed too small to cover it, it was less of a wreck and more of a catastrophe...But that wasn't what caught his attention. It was the magic that flowed through the atmosphere, the colours that danced and shone...But were dying. Even affecting the ship as it turned lifeless and grey. It was so haunting that Melody and Patrick's call to arms was dulled, and he couldn't even hear the sounds of combat going on within the wreck.

>But before he could dwell too long on the familiarity of the magic, of how it resonated deeply with him, with the Thunder God within...He was reminded of his precarious state.

<"Maybe after we get you a cloth or something."

>Rakohl blinked and looked down at himself, before his pale face was coloured suddenly with a fiery red and his hands moved to cover his modesty from the sight of his comrades.

...Forgive me. I transformed without thinking...

>Normally whenever he was naked he was alone...Or only a few moments from transforming anyway. Even if he had undressed, it was unlikely that his training gi would have survived the dragons' fiery breath...How embarrassing.

I am unsure where we could find any clothes nearby though...

>Rakohl's eyes flitted from side to side, desperately looking for something that could cover him, but the only thing really around him was rubble and broken houses. He wasn't massively picky at this point, but he'd have to find something at all first.

Abris Phinn!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41544913

File: 1528922263716.png (258.5 KB, 421x445, Uhhh.png)


>Abris waved the man off, he didn't seem entirely too bad, and a firm handshake was evidence of a firm character, or at least that's what dad kept saying...But he seemed to have one last parting gift. Abris raised an eyebrow at his words, trying to make sense of them. He hadn't heard of any Sapphic Bar around, and for all that he seemed to be a good guy, bringing up more of Lei's previous encounters was just going to ann-

<"What was her name?"



>Abris' eyes go wide with shock and he turned around to Lei, his face a mixture of surprise, confusion and...curiosity. It didn't help matters that Lei got up and started angrily shouting after Logan. He couldn't understand a word of it, but he could certainly understand tone.

>As Lei sat back down and tried to brush it off, Abris nodded along with her, not entirely willing to have an argument over it given how flustered she seemed...But well, he was a young man, and the mind had a tendency to wander when presented with an image that sounded fairly appealing.

Hahahaha! We all do silly things when we drink!

>But drinking didn't give you ideas you didn't already have

>Abris looked into the bottom of his glass, long since emptied and wishing he had something to fill it with to try and give him something to do that wasn't think about whatever Lei was doing in a bar with another 'her' in the evening...

...Was it a nice evening?

>Goddamnit Abris.

Melody Neige!aLEJudith.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41545225

File: 1529553573171.png (51.25 KB, 200x200, tumblr_o8j2gj72fH1vx8wtfo2_250…)

>Melody had left Patrick to find something to dress Rakohl in. She was a lady after all, she needed to be shielded from such a such perfectly chiselled abs and strong arm--
>Damn it.
>Anyway, she didn't have anything on her that would even fit him and she wasn't about to have her brand name trousers stretched beyond repair trying to contain those tone leg musc--
>Damn it.
>What purity she had as a lady was going to vanish before the adventure was through.

>Onto more pressing matters!
>As Melody approached the twisted remains of the Grand Dalamander, her eyes strained against the odd colours assaulting her vision. She had to wonder how those vibrant otherworldly hues came to be, along with the rapid morphing of many of the ship's parts. Was that a result of the portal? Or did this ship pass through [i]somewhere else[i] that caused some odd effects.

>Getting closer still, she brakes into a sprint as she heard the sounds of battle within the wreckage. There was people in there, they needed her help!!

Lei Jìjìng!aLEJudith.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41545226

File: 1529554023332.jpg (267.61 KB, 800x600, 997b364d87d192c363f34bd7f064e9…)

>Wonderful, a change in subject that didn't involve bars or drunken mistakes!

Very nice! Enjoy myself a lot! Would do again with you!

>Lei too had finished off her meal a while ago and was ready to move on to the next part of their date, where ever it might take them in this festive setting.

So, what next Abris?

Abris Phinn!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41545247

File: 1529619045019.jpg (78.17 KB, 349x384, Youdumbfuck.jpg)


>That wasn't the answer he had been expecting.

>Abris' face screwed up, the expression nearly unreadable for the fraction it remained on his face. Was it good that she'd missed the point? She didn't really want to talk about it, but he wanted to know! Surely ANY red blooded man would want to know about such things? Was it a crime to want to image your girlfriend in sexy scenarios?!

>Maybe it wasn't a crime...But he was supposed to be the gentleman here! A good man, the kind of good man Lei would like, and if she didn't really want to talk about it...Then as much as it pained him, he would move on. Abris took a deep breath, and then his face turned back to normal, though slightly forced for now, he would press on.

Good! Good...I'm glad.

>Next though...That was one helluva question. But it HAD been one helluva day, the festival had a lot of food and games for them to play through, and in the end, while he'd met the irritable little snake again, it had been good food, great company, and all around, a really good evening! He was pretty bushed...And part of him wondered if Lei was too.

Well...I'm shattered, I think. That was a really exhausting meal...Unless you've got another idea, I think I'd be happy to walk you home and call it an evening...?

>Abris looked over at her, an eyebrow raised and a questioning look colouring his face. He wasn't subtle in the slightest as he tried to gauge her reaction to what he was saying. He was sure he could find more stuff to do if she wanted to, but it'd take some effort...He wasn't quite hoping for her to agree, but Abris wouldn't complain if she was as tired as him.

Patrick Frye!pR.BaFF/ukCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41545935

File: 1530903559532.jpg (344.61 KB, 408x909, Portgas.D..Ace.full.1643921.jp…)

Man... now that's an oddly nostalgic view.

>He hadn't seen colours like that since... well, since he could really remember. It was so long ago that though the familiarity remained, like a childhood memory faded to grey, the place and time escaped him entirely, much like the ephemeral nature of the ship's strangeness itself.

>Unfortunately the more modern noises and flashes of light quickly took precedence.

Alright, guess we don't have the time for a cosy walk!
Melody, make an ice wall behind me, and both of you get over here.
We're gonna take a shortcut!

Lei Jìjìng!aLEJudith.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41546117

File: 1531271742017.gif (80.07 KB, 500x455, tumblr_ly0sccH1Qm1qdjbzko1_500…)

>It certainly was getting late now that Lei looked at the time, it would be a good idea to head back so wind down or the night.

Good idea to head home. Yes, would be happy to have you.

>She offers to him with a bright smile. While internally screaming at herself for answering "Was it a nice evening?" with what amounted to 'yes' by accident!!

Abris Phinn!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41546279

File: 1531602811935.png (556.88 KB, 869x490, Yaaaay!.png)


>Abris breathed a silent sigh of relief. She seemed more than willing to call it an evening, and frankly, he wasn't going to complain in the slightest...They could most certainly leave it at that.

In that case...It'd be my honour to accompany you home tonight, Miss Jijing.

>He got out of his seat and made a mock low bow to Lei, with a small grin and a cheeky wink to cap off the evening. Arm in arm, they'd return home, lit by a moonlit sky, and with a lot of stories to tell later. Maybe they wouldn't appreciate it for now, but later, when these kind of memories were precious and scarce, they would be an anchor in an otherwise stormy sea.

>But for now, Abris was content to call the evening a success when he went to bed later, for in spite of everything that had happened, the feeling of Lei's lips on his own made all bad thoughts and feelings float away without a care in the world.

Rakohl!Ren/VL7f/QCountry code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41546280

File: 1531603118627.png (206.6 KB, 365x398, [Internalscreaming].png)


>More than anything, he was just confused. Confused and naked. Rakohl stared over at Patrick as he made claims of a 'shortcut.' He looked back at the downed airship that seemed so far away from the pair of them, and then back to Patrick.

...I'm unsure of how we could get there any quicker in our current states...We possess no transportation to make the journey shorter, and any chance of carrying the pair of you in my other state may risk...Well...

>Rakohl trailed off, his brow furrowed in thoughts as he frowned at the floor. Consecutive transformations ran more of a risk of succumbing to the beast within...and with the nature of his own beast, that could end poorly for everyone involved, never mind just himself.

>Nonetheless, despite his misgivings, Rakohl trod over to Patrick, hands still dutifully covering his privacy as he waited to hear out this shortcut idea. It had to be better than walking naked...

Melody Neige!aLEJudith.Country code: ponychan.png, country type: customflag, valid: 41546595

File: 1532324738291.jpg (42.84 KB, 540x449, tumblr_nqbxzui8Ry1rj5c1jo1_540…)

>make an Ice wall behind me.

I'm not my sister you know!

>Large amounts of snow were about the best she could produce... so a wall of compact snow would have to do.

>She produced one in quick order before approaching the man.

Now what is this 'short cut' of yours?

>It probably involved an explosion.

>As for Rakohl... he needed something if only to preserve what was left of her own purity. She rugged through the bag she had taken with her and pulled out a large blanket to toss over to him.

It's not much, but I think you could fashion a robe or something from it...

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