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Ask to Join Once Upon A Time In Suimera

Discussion in 'Pokémon Role Play' started by PentheWonderful, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. (Discussion Thread for those interested.)

    Long ago, there once was a man who traveled the world in search of ‘home’.

    High and low he searched, many years he spent. They say he would fly for days at a time, resting only after he lost all feeling in his wings, the Dragonite man. His journey was where he met his wife, the Dragonite woman, and his journey was where his children were born and they too flew for days at a time. Others would follow him in his search for ‘home’, as he would tell them. Those who were strong followed, by foot, by air, or by sea, and those who were weaker claimed land of their own and settled. But the Dragonite man did not rest until he found his ‘home’.

    Home. Some claimed he had been delusional. An utter madman. For any place could be home, yet no matter how picturesque or rich they had been, he always insisted forward, leaving behind homes just as lovely. “No, this is not home.” He would argue. “Home is where your heart is.”

    “Is it your heart that you seek then?” They would ask him.

    “No, for my heart lays with my family.” He would argue again. “I seek a place for my heart. Where it will be able to settle peacefully, where I will be proud to rest for the remainder of eternity, and most importantly, a place where all the hearts around me will be able to settle peacefully in as well. A place they, and I, can proudly call home.”

    The journey had been spectacular and long, until finally did he come across paradise. There, in a continent so green and lush, was a meadow protected by the mountains, elevated so high you could almost touch the clouds. It held many a rivers that ran to pristine lakes with water so still and calm, they were able to hold the sky in their surface. The grass was never bare of the companionship of flowers, and the air was cool, and crisp.

    It was home.

    And so he, his family, and what few others still faithfully followed behind him finally settled. In the north, they built simple homes from the trees of the forest that receded from the meadow, and they planted crops in the fertile soil and raised animals that grazed in the fresh green grass that was abundant around them.

    And there was always more than enough to go around.

    Until one fateful night, the Northern Winds blew so violently it took down five houses within a single gust. And that was when they became aware that this home was not theirs, for a Suicune had appeared to them that night, radiant in the shroud of darkness, and revealed to them how this meadow was rightfully his; all the lakes and rivers that gave life to them and the nature around them were his haven, his pride and joy, and has been for over hundreds of years.

    At the threat of eviction, the Dragonite man stepped forward where the others had cowered away. He brokered a deal with the legendary creature, on one knee, vowing to personally care for and protect his rivers and lakes in the time he was away, if they were allowed to stay. “Your haven is my home.” Were his legendary words. “And I will protect it with my life.”

    And so, he was given the very first Guardian’s Mark, as a reminder of his vow. But to the people, the mark was much more than that. For leading them to this paradise, and facing threats with bravery and wisdom, they made him a king, and his marks were his crown.

    In honor of Suicune’s generosity, they named the new kingdom Suimera.

    It was a story buried by time, passed down generation to generation through the children, and the children of their children, and words were changed, and scenarios morphed. But the premise always remained the same.

    The small settlement grew into a village, and then a town, a city, and then several smaller towns across the meadow’s perimeter, where the forest line had become the kingdom borders, as more and more settlers came and found solace in the mystique of the meadow’s isolated beauty. A palace was erected in the north where the original settlements had been, with ivory towers and marble pillars, it stands tall and elegant for all to behold. Within its sturdy walls is a vast land containing a small town of itself with three levels to house royal guards, and knights of the court, and the palace on the third, and highest level of elevation. With lush, rolling gardens, it holds a luxurious view of the entire kingdom from its elevation. It breaches the forest line where it would be closest to Suicune’s blessing of soothing northern winds, and there, the Capitol was built. Farmlands greet you upon entry from the main trail in the southeast, connecting to other towns.

    Constantly buzzing with life, day in and day out, it is the epicenter of the kingdom’s economy. It attracts people from all walks of life, the rich and famous, the shady and enigmatic, to common folk. The streets are paved with stones carefully arranged in unique patterns, with beautiful fountains in nearly every roundabout. Shops and eateries are abundant, as abundant as the narrow alleys that will take you to gorgeous secluded locations unknown to the rest of the world. Aside from the palace with ivory towers, the Capitol is famous for its marketplace; the largest in the entire kingdom, where you can find most any good from anywhere, the grand library compiling literature from all over the world, and the town square, massive and grand, where festivals are held.

    As the night to its day, the seedier areas in the west bring a bad name to the Capitol. Commonly referred to as Delinquent Town by the locals, it is a place where the Darks, Ghosts, and Poisons settle, gather, and hold higher power. Constantly cast in the shade of the western mountain’s peak, it seldom sees sunlight, or the palace’s attention. It is the place you go when you don’t belong in society, as the delinquents say. An infamous red light district known for theft, gambling, battling, gang activity, and adulterous fun, it is frequented by those who seek to spice up their lives after a hard day’s work. Nobles and common folk come together and rub elbows here, though as rumor has it, illegal goods circulate there as well.

    In recent days, the amount of visitors and activity have increased tenfold, for within the count of weeks, a big festival and ball is being held in honor of the crown prince's coming of age ceremony, and coronation. Farmers have been busied with delivering farm produce to the palace and market for those who will be preparing for the festival’s feast, while locals decorate and prepare the town square; building stalls and stages, pulling streamers and hoisting banners across the streets to liven the city for the historical occasion. Many have also taken to decorating their homes and businesses, repainting those faded spots to make it all look brand new. Servants in the palace grounds experience a similar process; cleaning and decorating, pulling out the good cloths and linen, and polishing every reflective surface until they shone. The gardens are cut and pruned and weeded and planted some more with the brightest of flowers until there wasn’t a leaf that was out of place.

    The festival is drawing in people from all over the world; travelers, common folk, to nobles, and royalty. Everyone will want to see the coronation of the new king of Suimera. As such, business in taverns have tripled, each one always full and desperately looking for more help and entertainers. The nobility preparing for their court appearance have spiked business for tailors and jewelers. Even streets normally empty and quiet now see a lot more life in them with street performers and artists practicing their performances.

    Unfortunately, with increased economic activity also came more crimes. Heathens constantly put the festival preparations at risk by theft and utter vandalism. Thus, to put the people at ease, more knight troops have been dispatched to patrol the streets, royal guards run a tighter shift around the palace and with the recent string of thefts, officials have kept a closer observation on Delinquent Town.

    However, in the cover of dusk when the clock hand strikes well past two, all these activities cease to exist, and matter, and be. Beneath the solemn watch of the moon, the city remains the same. The same quiet. The same peace. The same smoke puffing ever so gently out of each chimney. All candles have long been blown out, and everything remained in the cover of darkness, permeated only by street lamps.

    From the roofline, rises a figure dark and lonely.

    Silhouetted by the light of the moon, their tattered cloak flutters silently in the breeze. Silver eyes catch the light, scanning the quaint neighborhood below, and indiscernible lips pull apart to reveal rows of sharp white teeth.

    They lifted their dainty foot, bare and almost paw-like in shape, and stepped forward,

    Into the nothing below.

    And the silhouette drops to the ground, revealing a lithe, female figure beneath before she is swallowed by the darkness, and utterly vanishes. But she would not be the only thing vanishing that night.

    Although, who’s to say you didn’t simply… Misplace your valuables?

    And as the dawn breaks, life resumes in the city, and the events that occurred in the night before it would remain a secret known only by the moon, and the phantom herself.
     
    #1 PentheWonderful, Sep 26, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
  2. There was a yowl of pain, and Diana nearly lost her footing. Luckily, after having given so much of herself to practicing her dancing, she kept her balance and righted herself fairly quickly. Instinctively she turned to look over to the charizard whose tail she’d accidentally stepped on.

    “My apologies, sir. I wasn’t watching where I was going,” Diana said with calm sincerity.

    “Lies!” the charizard exclaimed, “you did that on purpose! I ought to burn you to a crisp for that!”

    Diana paused for a moment to assess the situation. She knew for a fact that there would be no winning an argument with this person. He seemed like he was a fire type before he was a rational type. Anything she did or said was likely to irritate him even more. So the Ekans did the only thing she could do to deescalate the situation.

    She walked away.

    “Hey, hey!” the charizard exclaimed, “I was talking to you!”

    Diana ignored him and moved through the crowd elegantly and effortlessly, like a hot knife through butter. Even though she was a bit bulkier due to the various pouches full of supplies and clothes that she had, it didn’t take long for her to finally get out of sight and earshot of the brute.

    Reminder to self: try not to LITERALLY step on anyone’s tails while I’m here, thought the serpentine woman with a small smile.

    The preparation for the festival officially started a few days ago, yet Diana hoped it wasn’t too late to apply for a job as an entertainer. Sure, it would likely only be a temporary position, but coin was coin. It couldn’t be all that much worse than any dancing gig she had in Deliquent Town.

    The only obstacle now was to find an establishment that needed entertainment…

    ________

    Of course. Perhaps this was what Diana deserved for not arriving to the festival the other day. The shops she’d chosen to ask for any job openings had rejected her, saying that they’d already hired the stalwart youth they wanted for entertainment.

    Many of the dancers that’d gotten to these shops before her were beautiful. And while their dancing style didn’t necessarily appeal to her, Diana could appreciate it for what it was.

    One shop, however, had hired a dancer that looked like she had two left feet. The shop owner looked like he was very frustrated with her, and yet he still didn’t take Diana up on her offer. Not even taking her name down so that she could be contacted in case the current inept dancer had an accident—which the Ekans saw as inevitable.

    It wasn’t until she’d given up on finding an establishment that she finally understood why the last shop owner wouldn’t hire her. It was because she was an Ekans, or more prominently, because she was a poison type. In retrospect, Diana felt that she could have read his face a little bit better. The non-trusting eyes, as though she was going to be a nuisance to his customers by simply visiting his shop.

    Or, perhaps I would be an eyesore. Diana sighed and began setting her bags down against the front wall of another shop—a jewelry shop by the looks of it. If she couldn’t find anything official, then the street would just have to be her stage. It wasn’t anything new. She was used to earning money on her own merit.

    The Ekans slipped around the building into a back alley, clutching onto one of her bags and leaving the rest unattended for the time being. Her forked tongue flicked between her fangs as she looked left and right. Once she was sure that the coast was clear of any prying eyes, she began to quickly undress. After stripping down, she redressed herself in the beautiful purple dress that hugged her form in a few key areas (hips, stomach, chest), yet covered her up enough to leave a lot to the imagination. Intricate yellow, red and black designs were sewn into a piece of fabric that bridged between her wrists and her hips, giving her the look of an Arbok.

    Her body was now decorated properly for a performance

    After once again being fully-clothed, she placed her casual gear into the bag and started walking back to the front of the business. She hadn’t thought to take her other bags with her to change, since she would only have been a few minutes. Additionally, this wasn’t Deliquent Town. From the stories she heard, thieves weren’t as much of a problem here.

    At least, she hoped those stories were true.
     
    #2 Chrocey, Sep 26, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
  3. Location: Suimera, Royal Palace, Prince's chambers
    Time: Early morning
    Tagging: Irana, Salem
    ----------​

    Irina, the Prinplup maid, was on her way to the prince’s chambers on orders from her mother. She had not wanted to go but one should always listen to her mother, especially when said mother also happened to be the head maid and in charge of all the serving staff within the palace.

    Her mother, madam Zoya, was a very strict and proud Empoleon who ran the palace with an iron fist and a steel demeanor. When she gave an order no maid nor butler, and often not even the guards would dare to disobey. She had to be strict of course, one cannot run such a large organization as a royal palace without dedication and absolute control. This made the woman very respected and disliked in equal measures unfortunately, and that dislike would often trickle down to her daughter Irina.

    Irina did not have it easy. Doing the same job as her mother left her with large shoes to fill, shoes that she was expected to fill. Her mother was extra strict on her for that very reason, yet her peers still treated her as if she was somehow privileged. It had been tough growing up like that in the palace, but not terrible. There were many good things in her life as well, two of those being the prince, who she had had the privilege of growing up with, and the son of the general. It had been quite intimidating to always be near such prestigious people, but the boys had never pulled titles on her, they had not really needed to because her mother never let her forget about the difference in their social status.

    Irina walked through the open corridors of the royal wing, on her way to the tower of the prince. The corridors here were essentially balconies build halfway into the walls and granted a splendid view of the upper gardens.

    It was a gorgeous morning, with clear skies and a bright sun. A welcome change from the gradually colder summers each year. For the last ten or so years the temperatures had been slowly and steadily dropping, but lately there have been bursts of warm and sunny days.

    Today was such a day and Irina was sure that everyone in the kingdom would be enjoying it to the fullest, everyone except her. She could not really explain why that was thought. She enjoyed the sun as much as any other, but for some reason these exceptionally bright days always clouded her mood somewhat. Perhaps it was because of her water type and that she felt inherently more comfortable in cooler weather.

    Irina reached the top of the stairs at the end of the corridor and stood in front of ornate double doors. Normally there would not have been any guards stationed here but with the upcoming coronation of the prince everyone was getting a little nervous, and so security had been distributed slight different from usual.

    The young penguin greeted the guards, who nodded back to her clearly having a good morning, before knocking on large doors.

    “You can just go inside,” one of the guards told her.

    “That’s what the others did,” the second one added with a wink.

    Irina looked at them both confused for a moment, but nodded her thanks and entered when they pulled the doors open for her.

    Like all the royal suites, the prince’s quarters were large and spacious. There were several rooms such as a receiving room, a study, a living room complete with fireplace, a dressing room, and of course the bedroom. Each of these suites also had a bathroom, but these were relatively small and often not used unless the need for privacy was very high. No, most of the royals would opt to use the palace baths several floors down, which were very extravagant and more akin to small pools.

    Irina made her way through the waiting room and receiving room, and strode into the living area where she would find the entrance to the bedroom. As soon as she got there however, she understood the comments the guards had made. Strewn across the floor were the discarded robes of the prince as well as several maid outfits and under garments.

    A blush hit the Prinplup’s cheeks and she could feel them burn, though she wasn’t quite sure if it was from embarrassment or something else. The queen had sent summons for her son, which Irina was here to deliver. She could not afford to be distracted so she walked up to the double sliding doors marking the entrance to the royal bedchambers and threw them open.

    In the middle of the room stood a very large, four post bed heavily draped with cloth and linen. The curtains were open so she could peer directly inside and make out the pile of naked bodies only partially covered by the white sheets.

    Irina stood there gaping for a moment, searching for the right words while reigning in her flaring emotions, emotions she should not be feeling in the first place. Finding her voice after a minute she began loudly, “I beg your pardon, your majesty. The queen…”

    “Why don’t you let them sleep,” a deep voice interrupted her calmly. It sounded very smooth and controlled, and while it had asked a question, it felt more like a suggestion. The voice came from the corner of the room to her right and when she turned to look she saw the crown prince sitting there, reclined in a comfortable sofa.

    He was wearing nothing more than a robe as far as Irina could tell, and it was only loosely tied, but fortunately providing some modesty. For a moment she wondered how she could have missed him. In the dim light of the room his green eyes practically glowed and his royal markings actually glowed. The patterns pulsed with a soft light that had an oddly calming effect on the maid, mesmerizing even. Only when he stood up did she realize she had been staring. He walked over to her, moving silently, gracefully, fluid even.

    “M-m-Majes…” she stammered but fell silent when she felt the tip of his long tail press softly against her lips. He strode past her, out of the bedroom and into the living area and his tail traced along her body as he did so. Irina was suddenly welcoming the darkness because she was sure her face was beat red. Feeling suddenly frustrated with herself she takes a couple of deep breaths before stepping back out of the room and closed the sliding doors behind her, loudly.

    ‘I hope that jolted those girls awake,’ she thought bitterly. ‘Sleeping on the job… Mother would flay them alive and turn them into a stew.’

    The prince had thrown open the balcony doors are stepped outside into the morning sun. The wind caught hold of his long hair and tossed it about while also playfully tugging on the man’s garments.

    Irina noticed she was about to start staring again, she swallowed her hesitance and stepped up behind the prince.

    “Majesty, your mother the queen has requested your presence in her private garden,” she spoke formally with her face to the ground. A long moment of silence followed, with the only sounds being the wind howling outside and the flapping of robes.

    Irina was about to repeat her message when the young royal sighed and said, “Salem.”

    She waited a moment longer, but when it became clear he wasn’t going to say anything more she asked, “Your majesty?”

    The prince looked back over his shoulder then and his long tail gentle touched her chin and forced her to look up and meet his eyes.

    “My name,” he said, “is Salem.”

    Irina almost lost herself in his eyes, they were so alive and swirling with emotion. Behind him, over his shoulder she could see some clouds beginning to form and swirling in a similar fashion, and immediately she was reminded of the rumors about the young prince. He had never actually confirmed them to her though, but then again, she had never asked. There were a lot of things she had never asked, it simply wasn’t her place to do so.

    “Your majesty, of course I know who you are,” she said softly, “everyone does.”

    “How can they?” he asked, somewhere in between stern and sad. “I have never met everyone. You and I have grown up together within these walls and even you have never spoken my name.”

    ‘Oh I have,’ she thought immediately and cast her gaze to the ground feeling a blush return, ‘Just never in your presence.’

    Out loud she said, “It is not proper for me to do so your majesty, I have my status to consider.”

    The maid shivered slightly, she could almost hear her mother speak through her.

    She heard a sharp intake of breath from the prince and waited for him to speak again. When the prince remained silent she glanced up, only to notice he had turned his back to her once more and was looking over the balcony railing, no surely he was towards the clouds in the distance. Behind her Irina heard some stumbling coming from the bedroom, followed by muffled giggling.

    “Thank you for delivering my mother’s summons,” the prince finally said. “I shall make myself presentable and be on my way shortly.”

    “Very well your Majesty, I will deliver your words.” The Prinplup said formally, bowing deeply to his back and then turning around. Before she could walk away however, she felt his tail snake around her waist and pull her back to him, closer than what would be appropriate. Her heart jumped and her mind was screaming both yes and no inside her head.

    In the distance the clouds broke apart and dissipated allowing the sun to beam brightly again.

    The royal Dragonair slowly turned around to face her, and she could see the sunlight glitter of the millions of tiny scales covering his skin. She caught her breath as her mind went blank.

    “I need to tell you something else,” he said huskily as he brushed some stray hairs behind her ear and bend closer.

    “Y-yes?” she whispered breathlessly. If it wasn’t for the fact that he was holding her up with his tail she was certain she would have fallen to the floor right then, her legs had simply turned to jelly.

    His lips brushed her hair and his breath tickled her ear and then he spoke,

    “I just dropped Ajax from the balcony.”

    He said this so quickly and so matter of fact that it took the maid a moment to realize what had just happened and what he had just said.

    “W-what?” she asked confused at first, then exclaimed loudly “What!?” before pushing against his chest forcing him to release her.

    She brushed past him, all etiquette forgotten, to look over the balcony railing. There, several stories down and bobbing in the garden pond, was a little Blastoise plushy. The toy had been the very first sewing project she had ever completed and she had proudly gifted it to the young prince, back when he was still only a little Dratini. He had been very happy to receive it, but then he had been happy about anything and everything. Still, she took pride in the work and he had always kept the toy somewhere in his chambers.

    Now, the old plushy was soaking up pond water from the royal gardens.

    ‘How, why?’ she wondered.

    She hadn’t even realized that he had been holding it during their conversation just now. Shaking her head she jerked back around to look at the hapless prince. He just shrugged at her, smiling, and then dashed across the room for the door to his bathroom and fled inside.

    Irina just stood there flabbergasted, gaping after the fleeing prince, so childlike now when he had been such a, such a… ‘Man,’ mere moments before. She was warring with herself, uncertain whether to be angry or relieved, happy or sad.

    ‘He always does something like that,’ she fumed. ‘Always leaving everybody’s head spinning.’

    In the end she just stomped her foot in frustration and let all the emotions go with that.

    She strode toward the bedchambers and yanked the sliding doors open. There before her stood three women wrapped in nothing more than the bed sheets. Two Lopunny and a Wigglytuff she noted with a small wiggle of the nose. They looked at her as if caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

    “Go bathe your prince and get him ready for an audience with the queen,” she sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose between thumb and index finger.

    The maids stared at her a moment longer.

    “Go now!” she said with steel in her voice, so much like her mother.

    The three naked women scrabbled out of way, hastily grabbing their uniforms of the Livingroom floor and following after their future king.

    “What’s her problem?” Irina heard one of them say.

    “She’s probably just jealous,” another responded.

    “Why though? She is pretty, surely she has been with the prince.” The third one, the Wigglytuff, asked innocently.

    “She can’t,” one of the Lopunny hissed. “Her species is compatible with the prince, she could get pregnant and they cannot risk that.”

    Anything else that was said she couldn’t hear any more for they had moved out of earshot.

    “Stupid bunnies,” the Prinplup huffed quietly to herself. “They shouldn’t talk about stuff they don’t understand.”

    She picked up the blanked and tossed it back onto the messy bed.

    “They are wrong,” she said to no one in particular. “They don’t… We can’t… He and I are…”

    “Arg!” she eventually exclaimed, throwing her hands up. “Stupid bunnies!”

    Irina stormed out of the royal chambers, blowing right past the guards without acknowledging them.

    Nothing was going to distract her now, she had a message to deliver to the queen after all.

    And a turtle plushy to rescue from drowning.
     
  4. Clunk.

    With a hard, metallic timbre, a shiny hunk of heaven's gates fell to the floor and rolled approximately a centimeter on the layers of now-dead wood that lined the base of the room. With a sigh, Alora tore herself from her seated position and averted her eyes to the slightly round bit of gold that had slipped through her fingers for the millionth time. She bent her knees, minding the desk lined with her precious materials adjacent to her hip, and scooped up the gold that had fallen. It was a sneaky little thing- about a centimeter and a half in diameter and height, and about four karats; not very pure, but gold nonetheless.

    Alora sat down once more, training her eyes on the precious metal. It could most definitely become quite the masterpiece, with a bit of work. Naturally, it'd have to be melted into a liquid and combined with the other pieces of four karat gold that her client had provided for her. A peculiar man he was, her client. His hair was very short, but almost milk white despite not a wrinkle on his face, and he was adorned in guard armor; carrying a shield with sharp spikes standing erect from it's shiny surface. Presumably, he was of the Chestnaught species, but Alora's not one to judge. This man provided a feeble sum of gold to create a necklace; for his wife, he said, who was going to produce his first child. The gemstones, of course, we're going to be provided by herself.

    Smiling, Alora stood up suddenly; refreshed by the idea of having new children around. They were such sweet, innocent creatures, but society eventually closes its icy grip upon the carefree children, and suddenly, the reality of poverty and the fears of safely raising a family, the sudden need for a job and the panic of forever being a widow crash down. Then they become like everyone else; looking only after a select few trusted ones and themselves. She hates that. Can't everyone just get along? It's a childish dream, but Alora told herself many months ago that humanity was corrupt, even in a sanctuary such as Suimera, and that she should remain polite, but her interests do not lie in communicating with other people. Perhaps the absence of her parents were influencing her. Alora didn't know, and honestly, she didn't care.

    It was sunny outside still, but it didn't look much past noon. Sunlight filtered through the window of her store, Northern Jewlery, and the dust from dozens of boots that had trodden on the floor thus far in that day was visible from a couple different angles. The room was family barren, which may come as a surprise because that was her home. The first floor, the one conducted her business on, was adorned with a flat table pushed to the far right wall with three chairs seated around it (a fourth was backed against the wall to the right of the door). A basket of bread and apples lay in the middle. A large series of stacked shelves, looking much like a bookcase, were visible directly across the room from the doorway; strategically placed there so that the Jewlery that was hanging from multitudes of pegs would sparkle in the sun as the visitor walked in- no doubt that would draw them to her handiwork. The hearth and chimney sat directly to the right of that, as a thin pot covered the empty space between the shelves and the wall.

    Aside from that, a large pot was placed near the fire, a few cabinets were hanging on the wall near the tables, a red, threadbare rug decorated the floor, a chest sat directly underneath the window-sill, hidden from sight, and a few spare paintings adorned the remainder of the walls. It was a fairly small abode, but the lack of furniture made it seem much larger. Finally, in the back right corner of the room, was a winding staircase that went both down and up- one to her room and the other to her 'workroom' where she created her goods. Alora had removed a large door from the shelves that displayed her work, but every night she placed the door back on it's hinges and locked it with a key she kept around her neck. That same key opened the chest under the window and the door to her work room in order to ensure protection against theft. Thus far she hadn't been robbed.
    ____________________________________________________

    Alora had been in her work room and had walked upstairs, happily humming a familiar tune and dusting the main room when a knock vibrated on the door and it opened, revealing the figure of a young woman. "Miss Alora! Miss Alora!" The young woman cried as she shut the door and dashed into Alora; nearly knocking the woman over. The shock of having someone run at her spiked up her nerves and inhibited her to asses the situation. It took a moment, but the mass of sobbing fire that embraced her out of fear was recognized as Reena- a Ponyta human nearing age fifteen.

    "Oh, Reena, settle down now! No need for waterworks, you're going to extinguish your own flames." Alora soothed as she gently led the crying girl to the table where she sat her down and offered her an apple. "Now, what happened?" She asked once the young person sank her teeth into the apple; surprisingly now happy and somewhat alarmingly calm. With a slightly yellowed, toothy grin, Reena closed her warm, brown eyes as she tried to recall. Alora's face fell into a small frown. "Reena, don't tell me you've forgotten!" The silence and toothy grin that stalked that remark only made the Amaura's face fall more as she sighed. "Well, stay here a while. If you remember, just say so." Alora remarked as she stood and pushed in her chair with the intentions of returning to her cleaning. She was walking to her broom that lay cast away on the floor when a sharp gasp whipped her head around to face Reena again; the young girl's face was contorted with remembrance.

    "Oh!" Reena said suddenly. "I've remembered. There was this big, scary, burly, dark, menacing, terrifying, colossal...."

    "Reena, get on with it."

    "....Feraligatr man who sprayed me with water! See? It ruined my new cloak!"

    There was indeed a darkened spot near the shoulder on the flaring red cloak that hung loosely around her shoulders and fell just below her knees. After a pale hand lifted up the cloak, there was a lighter, but still darkened spot on her shoulder on the peach colored tunic Reena wore. Scoffing slightly, Alora walked over to the girl and patted her shoulder, "Dear, that is nothing to be worried about. A little water won't kill such a strong fire type such as yourself. Was that it? Surely you've bathed before. I do not see why a water splotch is such a big deal for you." The girl's face scrunched up again, in a mock look of offense, but then it straightened out and her brown eyes shot up to meet Alora's. With a smile, she said, "Oh, and Denver fell into the underground lake today."

    "What!?" Alora shouted in fear, slamming her hands down on the table and leaning down to get closer to Reena's face. "Is he ok? Where is he now?" She demanded. The Ponyta backed off a little by leaning back in her chair.

    "He should be fine. I think he was outside of the cavern's last time I checked. He might be somewhere near Deliquent Town by now."

    "He should be fine? What does that mean? Reena, thanks for relaying the information. Go home and say hi to your mother for me, ok? I'm going to Delinquent Town to check on Denver, so could you, before going home, walk over to Abel's shop and ask him to keep an eye on this store? Thank you dear."

    Alora hastily walked across the room; her fear and briskness followed in her wake. She grabbed a blue cloak from the wall and slung it over her shoulders, tying the strings together at the base of her neck and pulling the hood over her head to avoid attracting attention. The hood sat uncomfortably on her head, mostly likely due to the two yellow/pink 'fins' that lived within her mess of blonde hair. The Amaura human didn't even wait for Reena to leave before she left her shop and walked quickly down the bustling streets; she was anxious to go check on her "friend" (he was a trusted person she cares about, but Alora would most definitely never refer to him as a friend, more like a companion in her work. His dad also recently retired and was a family friend.)

    Introversion is one of Alora's most prodominate qualities, however, despite her unwavering opinion on other humans, she does happen to care for a select few ones she's grown closer to. Hypocrite might just be another word coming onto her list of words to describe her. Besides that, the streets were slightly crowded, but fairly easy to slip through the packed bodies of other people. Finally, after a good few minutes of walking, the crowd thinned as she grew closer to Deliquent Town.
     
    #4 EspeonTheBest, Sep 27, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
  5. Wake up. Sit ups. Push ups. Jumping jacks. Then food. As usual.

    Every morning was more or less similar. Some form of exercise routine would be followed up by food, then it was off to find a fitting sparring partner for Ajani. Every single morning, the same deal: Wake up, exercise, food, training.

    Ajani, despite his endless training and aspirations to become an official knight, lives in a not-so-great area, pretty close to the infamous Delinquent Town. He was always careful of what he did and where he did it, even if he hated with a fiery passion the stereotypes placed on its inhabitants. Ghost types, poison types, and dark types all received quite a bit of hate, and unfortunately for him, he fell under not one but two of those types, specifically the latter two of the three. He knew that they could be good, that they weren't evil or soulless, that they weren't instinctively or inherently malicious and that, deep down, they could all be genuinely good.

    Ajani was determined to be proof of this, no matter how hard it would be.

    Rather than opening his door to exit, he felt as if he would leave through the window today, just because. One leap and he was outside, landing on his feet and immediately running off to a place he knew well.

    Between this house and that one, through the alleyway, take a right here, then just past this house, take a left. There! Easy!

    Ajani's running slowed to a walk as he approached a small area, one he knew very well. When he was younger, he had set up a few logs here, among some other things made from scraps and junk. It was his own little training ground. "Let's get to work..." he muttered to himself as he removed his cowl, getting into a fighting stance.

    One respectful bow later, and Ajani was throwing punches and kicks left and right at the 'training dummies'. Right roundhouse, left jab, right hook, right roundhouse, left roundhouse, jump spinning right roundhouse, and right jab! Ajani relayed his attack plan to himself, grunting as he made repeated impact on the wooden target. The 'head' of the current target fell off on the final jab. With a sigh, he grabbed it and set it back up.

    Take two: Left hook, right side kick, higher right side kick, jump, switch to left roundhou- oh come on! Another sigh of annoyance escaped Ajani's lips as the head of the dummy flew off again. He kicked the dummy's center once more in anger before moving on to the next dummy.

    This next one looked like it had been through a swamp, it appeared to be rotten and corroded. This one was a specific dummy, one he used to test his poison skills. He was slowly getting better, but the dummy itself was slowly disintegrating. Concentrating on his palm, he felt something just barely coat his hand. When he looked down, his hand was covered in a translucent purple ooze, so clear that it was tough to see. Fortunately, this was all he needed. One swift palm strike and the dummy started to fade away. "Ah, garbage. I gotta make a new one... well, I was meaning to go to the town today anyways," Ajani muttered to himself, kicking what little remained of his dummy aside before running off in the direction of the market.

    Taking several shortcuts, he passed by a store that he couldn't help but stare at: a jewelry store. It always grabbed his attention as he passed it, but this time Ajani chose to stop and stare through the windows. The exquisite jewelry shone brilliantly, and any passerby would swear that his eyes were doing the same. Such pretty gems hadn't been seen by his eyes previously. As luck would have it, this store was also a metal store, which was a material that he required, but Ajani's attention was solely for the things in the window for the time being. His tail swished rapidly as he stared in awe, almost hitting a few pedestrians. "I wonder... how much it costs..." he muttered with a smirk on his face, eyes still glued to each and everything in that window.
     
  6. What was I thinking? Diana thought, why would I have expected any different from here than Delinquent Town?

    The serpent woman closed her eyes and looked upward, wishing so hard that when her eyes opened again that all of her supplies would be there. Her coins, her food, at least the pouch that contained the jewelry that she normally wore on her face to give herself an extra shine when dancing.

    But alas, upon gazing where her bags once were, she could clearly see that fate was going to be cruel to her today. This meant she was going to have to dance like her life depended on it. No money, meant no food. Lest she scrounge through whatever leftovers people had discarded.

    Never. Again.


    Diana bent down to set the bag with her casual-wear in it on the ground in front of the jewelry shop, propping it open to indicate she was accepting any money people had to offer. In that same moment, a rather concerned looking Amaura came striding out of the shop. The Ekans wasn’t sure what her rush was, but she’d hate to be the person that got between her and wherever she was going. The way she walked reminded Diana of her mother when one of her younger siblings was doing something dangerous.

    Not too long afterward, a Drapion was approaching the jewelry shop. Having been in close proximity of his gaze, Diana smiled and bowed politely toward him before he began what looked like window shopping. A small voice in the back of her mind made her wonder if he too was in need of money.

    As his back was turned to her, she observed him briefly. He didn’t really have the recommended form or posture for dancing, at least, for the type of dancing Diana did. She thought about commenting on this before silencing her inner critic.

    The snake woman shrugged it off. Now wasn’t the time to pry into other people’s lives. Now was the time to focus so that she could eat, and possibly afford a hotel to sleep in.

    Taking a deep breath, the Ekans started off her dance with her hands held out to her sides and her eyes closed. The rhythmic beating of her heart became a slow and steady tempo. Her own internal metronome that, when she truly listened to it, sounded as loud as war drums. Beat by beat, she began to feel the rhythm tug and pull on her. It ebbed and flowed through her body, making her hips sway side to side first. Then, her body began to follow. The serpent’s eyes partially opened and showed a small portion of her yellow irises, before closing once more. The current of passion gently pulled her hands above her head in an attempt to show off the curvature of her body.

    Left and right.

    Left and right.

    Diana’s tongue flicked out of her maw for a second as she extended her arms out to her sides, looking to the sky as though she were awaiting its embrace. Doing this showed off the fabric between her arms and her waist that looked like an Arbok’s hood. If she’d named any of the moves she did when she was dancing, she would call this one ‘evolution’.

    The girl’s mind felt like it was in another dimension.

    A place where her family was happy, and definitely not mad at her for leaving them without saying a word. A place where her money and jewelry weren’t stolen. A place where she didn’t have to worry about what she would eat, or where she would sleep that night.

    Diana finally lowered her gaze from the clouds down to the pouch that she’d left open. Even though it’d only been a minute or two, part of her was hopeful to see at least something in the bag that indicated she was going to do well today.

    To her dismay, there was nothing.

    It was going to be a long, tiring day of dancing.
     
  7. White socks squeaked with a rubbery echo on smooth bricks, the noise flat in the tasteless night air, seemingly hushed by the disapproving stare of the moon and its cold, winking stars. The squeak turned to a muffled crunch of fabric on gravel and earth, and this crunch was echoed with another, stronger, more circular bite of the turning of pots, underlayed by a sort of hissing swish as arms and legs maneuvered fabric in absence of a nightly breeze. Pale skin glowed eerily in the star's ancient, graying light, their hues shifting in strength and position with a sort of ghostly, glowering befuddlement, as a dwindling fire shifts its tone in bland contempt, and the skin glowed with such a dusty, pasty hue that it resembled a sort of ghostly moon, so wane was its color. Gray fabric winked in the shadow of the night, slipping in and out of existence depending on where it stood beneath the moon's beams, and the soft flicker of lamplight cast an acrid yellow wave over the street, just missing lighting on the boy himself, but close enough that his shadow sulked in its beam. It moved slowly, in a sullen, deaden gait, hands periodically tugging at something quite near his head while it maneuvered strangely shaped things both large and small, the two shadows seeming to join together and melt in the yellow beam. Once, the light flared just enough to peak upon these things and found they were pots, a sort of rusty red in hue, strangely formed creations of clay, and in such a flare that acrid yellow strained so close that a hand slipped into view on the rim of an hourglass like creation, its pale white molded a passive yellow, bony and thin with the lack of both flesh and sinew, knuckles bumpy and skin eerily smooth, without a single mar or scuff. Beneath the surface of the ghostly skin there pulsed veins, and these veins corrupted the pasty color with a bluish-grey tint, so it seemed almost as if the skin itself was translucent. Dust clumped beneath long fingernails, the hand turning slightly to reveal an intricate weave of veins on its palm before the burst of yellow light died and both the ghostly hand and the rusty clay pot slipped back into the shadow of the night.

    A scrunching sound of a crouching form, doggedly tagged by the shhe shhe of skin wiping over clay. The night, for most, was utterly silent, accompanied by simple thumps in the dark reprimanded by the shushing of wind over trees, but for the form it proved to be pure relief, for never was there silence but when all souls were hushed in their periodic deaths every night. The shadow in the lamplight tugged at something quite near the head, as if pulling down a hat, for even in silence there was a troubling noise, a rolling bank of emotional fog, a never ending white whisper, and the occasional fires of souls and ghosts drifting through the night. Scrunch, shhe, shhe, scrunch, a haah of pondered breath.

    There came a pause to all sound, whereupon the noise of the night took over with a soft, shhh of the wind, and then a crunch on gravel, a squeak of white socks, rubber like on smooth bricks, a groan of a door rarely used, a breath of dust.

    And silence as the boy disappeared, his shadow slipping from the torchlight, an awestruck neighbor left cowering behind her window, shivering with excitement and fear and the tales she could tell for the rest of life, for she'd seen the Ghost of the Allein Home, of whom resided in a house of forgotten stone and lurked behind shutters and shadows, of whom almost no one could rightfully claim to have seen, and all for a simple nighttime thirst. She laughed for a moment to relieve the tension in her muscles, positive that she would never forget the blue veined hand nor eerie lack of eyes, for most creatures eyes seemed to glow in darkness, but the ghost had blank, empty sockets, shadowed by a hat, perhaps, or simply too dark to be noticeable in the fragile realm of the night. Again, the girl laughed, and smiled at such an idea of her fear of a ghost with no eyes, but as she walked towards the kitchen for a sip of water, she double checked the lock on the door and ran past the window on her return, feet clomping loudly against the floor of her abode.

    And the night grew quiet, but for the mutterings of ghosts.




    Dawn revealed a ramshackle sort of building, its walls peeling and choked with dust, windows cracked, while shutters grew brash in their blocking of light, twisted and broken as they were. It seemed that such a home, taken care of in the manner that the neighborhood so prided itself for, for this particular neighborhood was those of the try-hards and particularly prideful, would have been just as if more encapsulated by the welcoming, homely splendor of those around it, and would have been just as bright and desperately shiny as the homes that hugged its edges, with a lawn sheared by a critical eye and makeshift ornaments decorating flower beds or rock piles that tried to entice the eye away from large patches of rotting grass or holes dug by children too excited to get out and play. It would have the newest style of roof, been periodically splashed with water and cleansed of cobwebs by brush and broom, and exude an air of overwhelming eagerness that caused the hardworking and particularly community driven neighborhood of people who'd spent their lives working to get this far to appear almost ahead of their time in their deathly eagerness in a strive for the top of the pile, physical and spiritual alike. As it was, the home was a sore thumb on a hand that had been scrubbed far too many times in an effort for the cleanliness and majesty of the classes above.

    In retrospect, it appeared that such an occurrence had to happen eventually, especially with the almost workaholic mindset the community indulged in, but there had always been the children and the wives to keep it lively and fresh. The neighborhood had never quite expected this, never anticipated such a mother who seemed to breath physical labor, hadn't the time for a husband nor the home nor the child who lived within the home she'd worked so hard to obtain.

    As it was, the Allein home was a ghastly mess. Ramshackled, with peeling walls choked with dust, cracked windows, and brash shutters, it held the oldest, leakiest model of roof and a lawn overrun by tall, tick filled grass and weeds, tormented by large, barren patches where nothing dared to grow, so madly wild and forsaken that it threatened to infect the houses beside it with weeds and crude vines as it did on a multitude of occasions, for there were no barriers between the mildly sized pockets of grass, and the neighbors were constantly waging war against the neglected lawn of the Allein house, throwing both tool and insult alike. Despite the wildness of the lawn, there lived within it no life. Aside from a rare tick or two, nothing resided in or around the Allein house, not a bird nor spider nor even a fly, and the mosquitoes that buzzed their haunting parade strayed wearily from its dusk choked walls. Even the lawn itself seemed not to be alive, simply an infection, dull and ghastly and grey.

    The doors of the Allein home were always locked, the windows always closed, a rocking chair forsaken beneath the roof's slant as evidence to a stray wish long dead, the face of the house morose and silent. Shutters concealed its light from view, crooked as rotten teeth, and every once in a while shadows passed before them, sometimes pausing in such a manner that passerbys shivered and quickened their pace, for fear that some witch or ghost would bring upon them a great terror that they could never really put into words, such was the irrational fear of the unknown. Every day, before dawn would break, and night, just as the sun fell, a Meowstic would enter or leave the house, appearing out of nowhere and disappearing into its depths. Tales told of a boy who lived within and rarely ever came outside, and these tales ranged from horrific descriptions of a soul stealer or wicked enchanter to those of a pale, ghastly ghost, a demon, a boy forsaken who appeared to have no eyes. Neighbors couldn't deny a small stirring of pity for whatever had become of the house and the boy, but they strayed clear of the cold, dead home, sometimes going as far as to walk to the other side of the street before crossing, for it was brutishly bland, and cold, and metallic, and sulking, and dull, and secluded, and, in a word, forsaken, and there was nothing that sent more of a shiver through the town as a home that stood forsaken.

    Yet something queer had occurred during the night, for, quite near the street, on a sort of gravelly, dirty patch of ground that lay at the end of a smooth brick path from the weary, shuttered door of the house, were a selection of pots that weren't quite pots at all, made of clay but abandoning the ovular forms of their ancestors, queerly shaped and oddly patterned, large and small and every size inbetween. Their shapes were oddities, bottlenecked to hourglassed, heavy on one side, thin on another, shaped in a myriad of collections that seemed symbolic of a fearful wildness and a ghostly vision, and upon every pot were pushed into their previously malleable sides patterns, not really things in their own right, but when looked at from the corner of the eye chilled the heart with a simple thrashing of emotion. In front of the pots lay a wooden sign requesting, in a shivering, demented handwriting, a silver piece for every pot, and these were to be placed upon a plate before the sign. Nothing prevented the score and a half or so of pots or future silver pieces from being stolen, save for the forbidden coldness of the house behind them and the constantly bustling street of neighbors who kept eyeing the oddity that had appeared in the middle of the night, curious of who would approach, for there was always the one person who felt as if touched by a certain pot that wasn't really a pot at all, and who strided up to the Allein home with a massively courageous gait and looked away as they threw down a piece and picked up their pot, feeling foolish at the necessity that had struck them for such a useless creation. The adults on the street had seen the occurrence of the pots before, sometimes sold by the Meowstic or simply placed before the house on seemingly random occurrences, then disappearing again during the night.

    A shadow slipped from the shutters where it had been eyeing the two and a half score pots, for though he had a multitude he seemed to love each one, and light gleaned stronger from inbetween the cracks. Hands pulled a hat tighter over the noise of the world, slouching form bent in observation, hunchbacked, constantly observing the cluttered floor, upon which lay rocks and books and pots and a numerous other items that seemed scattered without a home. He bent once to pick up a book, adding it to the pile in his bony arms, white socks shuffling over the dusty floor, humming

    shush
    shush
    shush

    in the quiet morning air, as if tormented by a sound that no one else could hear.

    shhh

    shush
    shush
    shush
     
  8. A sliver of sunlight poured through a crack in the curtains, and slowly slipped across the floor. As the curtain swayed slightly in the damp air, the sunlight crept up onto a bed and rested upon a sleeping face. A single eye lid slowly rose upward, as if struggling to hold up its own weight. A red iris stared across the room at the offending curtain, and then a dainty hand rose up to rub sleep from the eye.

    Mai-Ling let out a wide yawn and stretched her arms out to each side of the bed. She lifted her upper body upward from the warm comforting embrace of the bed. A long tangled mass of blue hair slowly pooled off the pillow behind. The Teenage girl swung her legs over the side of the bed and shook her head, as if trying to banish sleep. The greninja looked longingly back at her bed for a moment, before hopping off the bed and firmly onto her feet in a fluid motion.

    She rarely ever got much sleep with her long nights spent doing things for her Lady, and her days spent running messages, serving her lady as a page. She stumbled over to a small alcove with blue marble floor. She grabbed a large wooden bucket of water that she had set out the night before. With a bit of effort she carefully lifted the bucket above her head and upended its contents.

    The cold water ran down the girls hair and over her naked body. As the rivulets of water danced across her skin, Mai seemed to stand taller and more aware. The young woman took a moment to bask in the wonderful feel of the water against her skin. Her crimson eyes snapped open completely alert, and different than before revitalized by the life giving water.

    She smiled and spun the bucket atop a finger before tucking it under her arm, and springing lightly into the center of her small room. Outside she could hear the hustle and bustle of other palace servants running around the servants wing. She turned and surveyed her room. It was rather spartan, which was fine with her. A dark type like herself, didn't deserve to own a lot of nice possessions

    There was her bed, a small wardrobe with a few pairs of clothes, one mirror, and a single piece of splintered wood. The wood was about two and a half feet in length and seemed to be of a resin treated oak. Her mind tried to draw her into it's cruel embrace of memories. "If only I had been faster that day, if only I had been a little older, if only Wan did not have to carry me." She shook her head violently causing her long, wet, blue hair to sling about and slap her in the face. "No that is the past, and not my life anymore. Now I serve Lady Alize. That is all that matter in my cursed life."

    Mai-Ling move quickly over toward her wardrobe and pulled out her page garment with Lady Alize's brilliant red and gold colors. She laid the outfit on the bed and proceeded to grab a comb. After several moments of fighting with her hair, the young Greeninja emerged victorious with her hair neatly brushed and in a long braid down her back. She smoothly slipped into her clothes and completed the ensemble by placing the feathered cap on her head nestled in-between her long ears. She turned back to her messy bed and quickly and efficiently made it back up. The girl then took a moment to look at herself in the mirror, making sure that nothing was out of place before giving a satisfied nod and heading out her door.

    The hall outside was busy with all manner of servants either busy at work on the preparations, or taking a break gossiping as they awaited their next task. Mai lowered her head and began to weave through the crowd with a skillful level of grace. As she moved past a gaggle of maids she could see a Lopunny and a Wigglytuff. Her long ears picked up their discussion about the crown prince and his bedroom. Her ears flexed downward and she frowned quickening her pace. "They should not talk about someone above their station like that. They should be grateful that the royal family has graciously provided them with such an important job, and not talking about their private affairs. Still it is not my place to challenge them as one such as I is far below even them in station."

    Mai finished weaving through the crowd of servants and exited the wing through a pair of double doors. The doors were only about twelve feet tall, made of a burnished russet mahogany. Each door had intricately carved dratini slithering up and down the sides with inlaid silver handles shaped like dragon claws. It was by far the least impressive set of double doors leading to a wing in the entire castle. Mai took her bearings and headed off toward Lady Alize's chambers, to see if her Lady had any task for her today.
     
  9. Three pieces of silver was handed to the baker.

    "Thank you." The man behind the counter told the consumer, and a loaf of bread was given to the original owner of the coins. A young man by the name of Gerald. Gerald Des Appoint. "No, Thank you." He told the merchant, and gave him a smile. It was what he was taught; A smile made everything better, as the Delphox said. The baker only nodded back, before attending to the next customer.

    Continuing on his day, the Growlithe couldn't help but nibble the bread's edges, fluffy innards of dough being revealed under the thick crust being chipped away by his yellowed teeth. Gerald quite enjoyed this kingdom, perhaps not as much as the quaint village he was raised in, but this place was nice. It's economy was great, for starters. The village he had left was on a dry spell, which meant a water shortage, which meant no farms. No farms, no food, no food, no trade, no trade, no money. That's how the Crow explained it, anyways. The population in between the two settlements was quite different as well, with one being an ever dwindling one while the other was rapidly growing, which showed in the crowded square he was navigating through. And finally was the noticeable...bias against certain Pokemon. The village hadn't looked twice when the Murkrow walked into a shop, they never stumbled when a Dusknoir shambled through, or when a Nidorina needed a job desperately. He couldn't place why though, certainly they weren't all bad spirited? Gerald was always the type to believe someone is good deep down inside.

    Of course, this made him a vulnerable target with an open wallet.

    Sadly, those who frisked him would be sorely disappointed. His money was scarce and his ears were acute; he'd likely catch you in the act. But instead of spite being shown to the would-be-pickpockets, he welcomed them with an open heart and arms. The thieves would get the money anyways, but voluntarily on the boy's part.

    Speaking of such things, Gerald's attention was stolen by another boy standing alone, his hair a wild mess of crimson and a pair of yellow gazers rested in his head. A blade sticking from his scalp revealed him as a Pawniard, no doubt about that.

    The pawn boy was not having a good day. Unlike the "shelter"of the Delinquent town, everyone here watched their backs...Except one. A Growlithe, yes? He must've been a foreigner. The fire-based man never checked his back, never looked more than once. The perfect target...Yes, he'd please his Bisharp leader yet!

    The boy followed Gerald like his shadow, ever so slowly creeping up on him. When Gerald stopped to store away his loaf for a later time, the Pawniard's greasy hand extended into the Growlithe's pocket, grasped a small pouch. It made a soft jangling in the bag, muffled by the leather. It was going perfectly, until...

    It fell with a loud clatter on the ground.

    Gerald's body whipped around, ears perked at the sudden noise. The Pawniard said his prayers, knowing what would come next: He'd get melted by this Growlithe, jailed, or escape just to be beaten by his gang leader. But surprisingly, none of the above occurred. In fact, nothing was even pinned on him. Gerald's only action was crouching down and recovering the pouch. "Sorry. I dropped my wallet."

    "No, no." The Pawniard said, dumbfounded at his luck. "No needed apologies." The pawn's voice was a forced happiness, with a twinge of a rasp behind it. The Growlithe's mind jumped to a conclusion; "Are you sick?"

    A devious plot formulated in his head. "No, I'm fine...But my mother is terribly ill." He forced a grimace, bagged eyes drooping in shame. "But the medicine...It's so expensive."

    "That's terrible!" Gerald responded sincerely. "How much is it?"

    "At least ten pieces."

    Barely thinking, the Growlithe opened the pouch, revealing seventeen silver coins. He could go without ten if it meant the Pawniard's mother could live another day. He counted them under his breath, before handing over the Silver coins to the dark type. "Oh, thank you! I'll pay you back for this!" The pawn lied. With his new found money, he slunk away, snickering to himself, For future reference, the dog is an easy target.

    Unaware of the scam however, Gerald was quite happy. He got his joy from assisting others, even if it meant he had to suffer. With seven pieces left though, he'd best be off finding a new job for him to do.

    However, yet again the boy found himself distracted and flowed back into the crowd over time, pouch once again safely tucked in a pocket. A jewelry store, which had several things of note nearby: A Drapion, enamored by jewels that shone brilliantly, mindlessly waving his tail back and forth as if he were in thought of what to buy. A lonely, empty pouch sat itself next to a dancer girl, her movements mesmerizing as they were mysterious; and he had difficulty identifying exactly what she was. While her physical appearance mimicked that of an Ekans, some features reminded him of the bigger scaled creature who's name slipped the boy's mind.

    He hadn't seen anything like it before.

    The Growlithe once again didn't think before dropping three more pieces of silver into the pouch.

    "Good dancing," Was all he said. There were no better words to describe it: "Good dancing."
     
  10. Carefully setting up a small stand in the town square, Allen couldn't mind all these people circling him. Nobody would help him, but that was to be expected. The rushing around the center fountain was a bit too close for comfort, but he had to work with it. After all, the festival was coming soon.

    This festival was supposed to be the biggest in all the lands. He had heard a few legends, but since he was only visiting, he didn't know much except for the fact that there was a new king crowned every time this festival was held. Allen didn't know much about what it meant or what happened, but it was sure to be interesting and get him some silver.

    Heh.. Maybe I should take a break, Allen thought to himself. It was a bit loud for his taste, but he had been working for a while and needed some rest. Just as he was about to close his eyes, something caught his eye.

    The hustling slowly grew quieter as they left the area. However, it was still the morning, or it seemed. People were still rushing around, but not as much. This gave him a much better view, as people weren't crowding the front of small shops. One in particular had his attention. Right at the front of the road across from him. Two poison-types, One, what seemed to be a Drapion, and two- well, they were a bit confusing. They looked like an Arbok at first glance, but a longer look showed an Ekans.

    The storefront in particular was a bit more lively than others, or so he thought. He couldn't put a finger on it, but he had seen it on his way in. Was it food? Cloth? Wondering couldn't help him, so he turned back around.

    Anyway, Allen decided to get back to his magic kit. It was a group of tricks from over the years, from card tricks to balls and so much more. He pulled out his favorite, one involving a small ball and some cups. "Hey, any children wanna see some magic?" Aleen decided to yell, just to get a chance to practice. A small Wurmple lept to the opportunity, but thier mom seemed to hold him back and kept walking. After seeing that, he sighed and sat on his stand.

    Only then did Allen remember what that store was. It was a shop full of jewelry and precious stones, filled to the brim. That explained why such a large group would be there. Where Allen was from, you could not find a necklace of any caliber near what this city offered. Suddenly, he was brought back to reality as the crowd sank back in. The sights were good while it lasted.
     
    #10 Sciencewars, Sep 27, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
    SUPERRNOVAA and Blue moon like this.
  11. The chamber was always warm.

    No matter how cold, no matter how harshly the wind blew, or how far the temperatures dwindled, in autumn or winter, Alize’s private hall would always remain. Unchangeable. Unwelcoming. The air is always thicker. The atmosphere heavy. Most have attributed it to the massive hearth built into the countess’ study.

    Others, to her inexplicably unnerving presence.

    Their doors were large and imposing, laden with bronze and carved by the finest hands within the kingdom, and the hall within was a lair, furnished top to bottom by polished mahogany, seemingly a massive office in of itself. A vast expanse of book filled shelves lined closely together by the walls, their continuity broken only by the windows that remained ever covered and locked doors leading to private quarters. Air tight. Dark. Suffocating.

    The hall relished in the candle light of grand chandeliers hanging from the ceilings, the only decorations aside from the scrolls lined neatly on wide mahogany tables and maps pinned in perfect organization onto the walls. Some framed. Others, hastily put up by pins. Each corner was decorated proudly by her bright colors of scarlet and gold, such were the cushions on each seat and couch, the linen over every table and window.

    Bathed in the solemn light of flickering flames, that some say, have never gone out for as long as the countess has resided in the hall.

    And before these flames was the epicenter of the hall’s contents; a grand desk and a grand seat, occupied by a grand Pyroar woman working through grand amounts of papers and maps. The countess herself. Alize Deidre Moreaux, the head of kingdom security, the dragon whose keep was impenetrable, omnipotent, and absolutely flawless, and those who dared challenge her authority will be faced by her flames. The kingdom’s safety is her life and the royal family, her priority. Hence, she made it her business to know everything and everyone within the kingdom borders.

    She has eyes and ears everywhere.

    A stern, confident, and imposing woman was she. Draped in the dark of her fur lined coat, it did little to hide the tan corset she wore underneath. Along with her belt, it held up the long, dark skirt draped sleekly over her long legs, the cut on both sides of the skirt allowing for more free movement, but also showing off the fair skin beneath. Her hands were very paw like, with tan fur running all the way up to her forearms to resemble a sleek glove, just as the tan fur running up all the way several inches past her knees resembled stockings, though they were mostly covered by tan heeled boots.

    But the pinnacle of any woman was her mane, and what a mane Alize possessed. From the crown of her head was lengthy fire red hair accentuated by the occasional golden streaks, matching the tufts on her long, slender tail. It flowed just past her generous breasts and partially braided, simply to keep them out of her work. Her brows were ever knitted, thoughtful and calculating, painted lips still and unmoving while the surprisingly cold of her striking blue eyes bore into the map of the kingdom she scribbled across with her quilt, cascaded by her long, red lashes.

    The festival brought more headaches to her than she can afford. More people to keep in check, more crimes to be vigilant of, more knights to dispatch, more guards to station, more valuables to watch, more crooks to catch and crush, and more eyes and ears to position. Especially in the west side. It was always more, more, and more. Everyone always demanded more, more, and more.

    And they were fortunate because she could handle so much more.

    One last circle was scratched delicately onto the surface of the map, and the woman let out a breath she hadn’t necessarily been holding. Her hand stuck the quill back into its jar of ink with an uncanny precision, and she rose from her seat in order to roll the grand map into a neat scroll which she tied with her colors. It shall be delivered to the general so that he may coordinate his troops accordingly.

    But until then, it would sit on her desk.

    And in the meanwhile, she turned to face the inferno blazing within her hearth, placing a paw atop the arm rest of her seat. As a middle aged woman, she was a lovely sight to behold. It struck most with a surprise to discover that she was not married, nor a mother. Such things have never caught her fancy, she would tell those with inquiry. After all, she was much more concerned with the vandals that roamed about the streets of the capitol.

    And the chain of thefts occurring each night.

    One house at a time.

    And the hearth burned brighter beneath her gaze.

    “You may enter.” Alize spoke when the sound of a timid knock echoed in the silence, and she was loud and proud in order to carry her voice all the way to the other end of the hall. It was a molten steel that pierced through the thickness of the atmosphere.

    She raised her head, and straightened her back, and she folded her hands behind her. But not once did she peel her gaze away from the hearth.

    From the fires raging inside of her.
     
  12. As Diana dipped and swayed, she felt a shred of uncertainty in her chest. Was this going to go as well as she’d imagined? Her whole plan had been to leave Delinquent Town and dance for those who had made an honest living. Surely people with so much money would be willing to part with some of it for a dancer such as herself.

    Yet, it didn’t seem like they were as willing to give away their coins as liberally as those in the town she grew up in. Perhaps that was why these people were here, and why all the lowlifes were there. The residents of the capitol understood hard labor and how to hold onto their coins, while Delinquent Town residents only spoke the language of instant gratification. A language that Diana and her family were quite fluent in as well.

    The thought of this made her grimace. Perhaps the rumors were true. You could take the girl out of Delinquent Town, but you couldn’t take Delinquent Town out of the girl.

    As luck would have it, the very second she’d made a slightly disheartened expression, she’d caught the eyes of a passerby.

    “Good dancing.”


    The voice caught her off-guard, but she managed to hide her surprise with a smile. For a brief second she’d all but forgotten that she was still dancing for coins. She mentally scolded herself, remembering her lessons on not letting your emotion place weight on your body when trying to dance. It was the equivalent to tying your leg to an anchor before attempting to swim.

    The serpent’s yellow eyes locked onto the person who stood before her.

    It was a growlithe. No doubt about that. From his ears to those puppy-dog eyes. She’d met some of his kind before, or at least seen them from a distance. Their innocent expressions always appealed to some part of her that she couldn’t quite explain. Perhaps it was some visible trait of purity that she got lost in, as if they were content with whatever situation they found themselves in.

    Then again, that was all based on how they looked to her.

    This growlithe in particular was no exception to Diana’s stereotype, and he already was off to a good start with her. He deposited three silver pieces into her bag. Her tongue flicked out, then back in while the rattle at the end of her tail shook vigorously for a few seconds.

    Where it seemed like the passion behind her dancing was beginning to wane, it immediately picked back up. Money was as good as an inspiration as anything, especially for those in desperate need of it.

    “Thank you very much, kind sir.” Diana said cheerfully followed by a wink, her smiling melting to more of a smirk. “Every donation is appreciated.”

    There was a brief pause and another shift in expression, her smirking now looking more like a wince of pain, before she worked up the nerve to speak again. “I...hope you don’t mind me asking this, but would you happen to know of any shops that are in search of hiring an entertainer for the festival? At least, any shops that would be okay hiring a poison type?”

    Despite engaging in a conversation, Diana kept dancing as though she weren’t truly controlling her body. Just because she was talking didn’t necessarily mean she needed to stop trying to garner any more attention from locals with loose coin purses.
     
  13. It had been an almost perfect morning on Dale Street, as the sun crept into the sky nobody had yet stirred, the hustle and bustle of the day long forgotten amongst the dreams of its residents as they slept soundly in their beds. The only creatures at work were the bees that drifted lazily from flower to flower and the song birds that had chosen to get up early to sing their lovely tunes, perched atop almost every house in the neighbourhood. In fact other than nature’s vocalists there was almost no sound at all, a peaceful veil had descended upon every single person there and it seemed as if nothing could disturb it.

    Or at least this is how it may seem to a passer-by, somebody who was unfamiliar of the daily routines that took place in this sleepy part of Suimera.


    THUNK

    Wilhelm opened his eyes groggily, dust settling on the crooked floorboards before him as he got to grips with what had happened. Looking around it became clear that he had fallen out of his bunk in his sleep, landing heavily on the floor after the short drop that had followed.

    With a groan the Aggron slowly got himself into a sitting positon and groggily glanced around the room at the other guards he shared a home with. There was Draco, completely passed out and draped over the only chair in the bedroom, his long green ponytail hanging down to the point that it almost reached the ground. John and Edward were intertwined with one another on the rug and the sight of them there in each other’s arms brought back a vague memory from the night before, had he positioned them like that himself? What had happened here?

    Sitting back down on his bed with a sigh Wilhelm’s electric blue eyes settled upon a colourful playing card, the printed character on it staring right back at him. The king of spades, in this case represented by their very own king to be, prince Salem.

    The card was just a single part of the orgy of evidence that pointed towards some kind of party happening the night before, bottles lay on their sides anywhere you could imagine, the remains of poker game littered the large oak table in the centre of the room and then there was of course the actual residents of the room who, excluding Wilhelm, were still in various states of unconsciousness.

    A smile tugged at the corner of his mouth as remembered how first John then Edward had fallen to the effects of the drink as the game went on, and how he and Draco had twisted their slumbering forms together as if they were lovers.

    The ticking of the clock laying in the corner was enough to remind Wilhelm that he had other things to do than just set around here all day and laugh at the misfortune of his colleagues. He had a job to do, a city to serve and protect!

    The springs in his mattress groaned as the mountain of a man got up and made his way out of his room, careful not to wake anybody as he did so by knocking them with his tail, and headed into the Washroom they shared with the house next door (Another group of local guards who had decided to save some money by living with each other.).

    Quickly shedding his shorts and shirt, Wilhelm grabbed one of the two buckets that rested in the corner and filled it to the brim with water that one of the neighbours had filled the trough with. The rock type part of him naturally disliked water and urged him to avoid it whenever possible, but washing, of course, was a necessary evil so he had to endure.

    A shudder passed through his body as the lukewarm water dripped down through his short, jet black hair and then all the way down his back to and finally to the tiled floor and slipping away into the metallic grate beneath him.

    After drying himself off with a cloth worn from regular use by 7 different men, Wilhelm was finally ready for the day ahead of him. Glancing at the clock anxiously as he hurriedly donned his uniform and armour, he slowed down only when putting his helmet on, his majestic and well-polished horns always making it a slight hassle. He had to carefully align the custom made holes in his helmet to avoid making a new pair in it with his own metallic weapons.

    Fully armoured he was certainly an imposing figure, standing at over 7 feet tall he towered over a majority of the population, and stood out from the crowd in his armour, a shining beacon of security for those around him. His own reflection caught his eye in the mirror as he left the room and he smiled, pleased with the image he had made for himself.

    “Sweet dreams my little princess.” He said sarcastically as he crept past Draco and out of the door. No doubt all of his friends would be getting a bollocking from the higher ups later today but he knew from experience that it was better not to wake them. Unlike himself they all suffered from horrific hangovers and not even he wanted to face down three angry guards in their underwear if he could avoid it.

    As the door swung open wide on its rusty hinges the bright sunlight assaulted Wilhelm’s eyes, forcing him to squint as he stepped out into the street and headed off to work. As he walked there, each heavy footstep accompanied by a metallic clink, he noticed that the streets were unusually full for this time of day. Glancing around him he even caught glimpses of some of the more nocturnal species out and about, most likely due to the upcoming ceremony.

    A new king huh? If Salem is half as good as his father I’ll be happy thought Wilhelm as he scanned the faces of the crowds drifting past him, most of them caught up in the excitement of the preparations that were being strung up on every home in the whole city.

    Reaching the door of the local guards station Wilhelm ducked his head, minding his horns as he prepared to officially begin his day at work.
     
    #13 Jake Acker, Sep 27, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
  14. Mai-Ling stood in front of the familiar bronze inlaid double doors that marked the end of her destination. This was the entrance to her Lady's hall and set the start of her duties for the day. The Greninja girl once again ran her hands over her clothes, straightening out invisible wrinkles and making absolutely sure that not so much as a single stitch was out of place. Her Lady was perfection and she would not sully her noble eyes any further than they already were with her presence. She took a deep breath and lightly knocked on the door knowing that her Lady's keen ears would detect the sound.

    After hearing the proud voice of her Lady saying "you may enter", the page took one more deep breath and grasped the door handle. She slowly pulled one of the heavy doors open. The action was accompanied by a small creak..., a sound that was almost immediately swallowed up by the wooden walls and bookshelves of the large chamber. The stifling heat hit her like a surprise attack from some unseen assailant, intent on stealing away her very breath. It was always painful for the water type girl to enter such an acrid atmosphere, no matter how many times she had done so previously. The girl just bowed her head and slightly smiled feeling that all was right with the world, as she slipped quickly inside and let the door shut gently with almost no sound.

    "Of course I feel this way every time. It is only natural for a lowly individual such as I when in the presence of such greatness. No cursed creature of the dark could ever stand comfortably in these halls of fire and light." Mai quickly stepped to the side of the door and unlaced her boots, stepping lightly out of the foot wear she began to pad lightly across the hall. Each of her steps on the magnificent red and gold rug left not an audible sound, as the greedy fabric swallowed up each decibel into the ether.

    Mai kept her crimson eyed gaze fixed down firmly on the carpet, as she traversed the red and gold environment like some supplicant walking across the hall of a temple to their chosen god. She stopped approximately three steps from the front of the massive desk, and bent to one knee. She kept her head down as she placed her right hand on the floor and her left on her knee, both her hair and the plume of her hat resting backwards between her ears and shoulder blades. She waited still as stone willing herself not to sweat from the oppressive heat, as she waited on her Lady to take notice of her insignificant presence.

    "This heat is nothing, merely my trial every day, for the honor of being able to live and serve such great beings. I would gladly endure such heat for all eternity if it meant that I may please my Lady and serve her another day. I am the only one left to carry on my family's honor and to atone for the sins that my parents committed."
     
  15. Ajani turned around at the sound of... well... things. There was some talking, quite a few people, some metal clanging assumed to be from a coin, and other noises among those. His tail slowed to a halt as he turned around, and the first thing that he noticed was an Arbok girl - er, Ekans, upon closer inspection - dancing. The dance was quite beautiful in Ajani's opinion, mesmerizing even. Though the training dummy replacement still remained a proirity in his mind, he couldn't help but toss a coin into the bag in front of the dancer. She was talking to a Growlithe boy, but still dancing. Such a feat amazed Ajani, but he didn't want himself to be a distraction. Instead of engaging in conversation, he took a seat under the window of the jewelry store and watched the girl go.

    Her movements seemed to grab hold of Ajani's attention, not wanting to let go. It just looked so elegant, his eyes refused to look away. A few "wows" escaped Ajani's mouth as he watched the dance, his tail swaying slowly behind him. The dummy can wait for a bit, I want to watch this. She's really good at dancing, maybe she'll be part of that huge festival thing, he wondered to himself, his body starting to sway from side to side in an effort to match the Ekans girl's mental tempo. The swishing, swaying movements captured his mind and didn't want to let go for a few moments, Ajani's brain slowly but surely registering the tempo.

    After a few more moments of silence, he couldn't hold himself back. He stood up and walked beside the Growlithe. "Say, those are some pretty nice moves! Some talent you have, your dancing is really great. You gonna be in the festival?" Ajani asked, a smirk playing at his lips, as such an action was practically habitual for him.

    He flipped another coin from his pocket into the girl's bag. Might as well strike up a conversation, seeing as though any poison type not immediately yelled at by another is bound to be a good one. That's what Ajani always thought when he spotted someone who fell under one of the three big umbrellas for prejudice. That being said, this was one of the first times that the one in question was female, and again one of the first times that he actively sought out conversations with them. After shifting his weight from one leg to the other, he placed a hand on his hip and leaned backwards slightly, using his tail to prop himself up. "Would you mind if I asked for your name?" Ajani asked, smirk ever present and now accompanied by an eyebrow raise, again a habitual action for the Drapion man.
     
  16. Allen looked upon the hustling crowd from his small stand, viewing the rushing people. The stone walkway clun-clunked against the shoes of the people he was looking onward at, like a musical performance of a beginning Kricketot. He wondered what this walkway would sound like in a pitch-black night, or during the opening ceremony of the upcoming festival. Important-looking people rushing to and fro, to stands not unlike his, offering goods and services from far off lands- this was what life should be like.

    However, this train of thought was interrupted when a small boy, seemingly a Pidove, walked up to his stand. This boy looked amazed at the wooden pieces decorated quite lazily as if it where the massive stone castle itself. This boy was quite small, about six or seven, and has blond hair, bright, blue eyes, and a smile that could kill if cuteness were deadly. What seemed to be the child's sister, a Tranquill, looked worryingly at her brother, but to that Allen paid no mind. Once again, his thoughts were broken when the child spoke up. In a small, squeaky voice, he uttered, "Y-you can do mahik?"

    Allen sat in shock for a moment. This was one of the first people who actually was interested in his small skill, much less somebody who was willing to speak to the man. He couldn't pass up another opportunity to put a smile on somebody's face. Allen responded slowly, "Well, yes, indeed I can. Do you want to see?" With this, the small child's face lit up once again with excitement, his sister's glare turning into a more relaxed face, slowly inching in to see.

    I haven't practiced this one much. Here it goes... Thoughts similar to this flew into his head the second he pulled out a small deck of cards he had obtained from a local shop. Folding them out, he noticed artistic renditions of two Dragonite, the king and queen, as well as a Pyroar and what appeared to be a dog-like pokemon that Allen couldn't quite put his finger on dotting the cards. There were quite a few number cards as well, but he didn't pay much attention to them as he shuffled them in what seemed to be a random order, making sure that there was one of each card. When he was done shuffling, he took a look at the one on the bottom before telling the kid to pick a card without showing him.

    The small Pidove took a second to decide before grabbing a card and looking at it like he needed it to live. "Please memorize this card, and give me it back," Allen said in a gentle voice. The sister was now completely sure that this person was safe and went to stand next to her brother. The child handed back the card like instructed, so Allen put it directly at the bottom of the cards without looking. Slowly cutting the deck, making sure the back cards stayed together, he finally convinced himself that he was ready to show the world that Allen Puck could make somebody happy.

    With this though, he started putting the deck on the table, face-up. The small boy's eyes grew larger as he eyed the pile of cards on the stand. Finally, Allen saw the bottom card from earlier, about halfway through the deck. He placed the card down, one of the Queen cards from earlier and drew the final card. Wow, I hope this works. With this thought, Allen asked, "Is this your card?" Both the child and her guardian dropped their jaws wide open. "Yea! H-how did you do tat?" The kid blurted out with excitement. The only response that Allen got out was,"Magic." With this, the boy ran off with excitement, his sister close behind. They were probably going to tell their parents or something like that. All that mattered now is that Allen Puck just had one of the best experiences in his entire, miserable life.
     
  17. Alora had gone out. What was she supposed to do again? Something about Abel?

    Reena gave herself a toothy grin at the thought of her own forgetfulness. Quite suddenly, she stood and bounced up; her ears twitching wildly in pursuit of an intruging topic to nose her way through. The Ponyta trotted her way outside of the store, and with a loud bang, she closed the door behind her. What she saw in front of her was quite different than usual.

    So many people! Reena's brown eyes scanned across the small groups assembled before the Northern Jewlery Store. Amidst the crowd was a woman, an Arbok to be exact. Wait wait, not an Arbok. On closer inspection, the woman was an Ekans, but dressed and adorned with Jewlery that an Arbok would generally wear. She was dancing beautifully; the sun made her shimmer. Her movements were as fluid as the water she dreadfully feared, yet charming was too light of a word to describe her. She was gorgeous. No, not even that word could describe the lady dancing.

    This holdup set the Ponyta girl back. How come she couldn't think of a word? It bothered her tremendously. "Ugh!" She said aloud, stomping her hooved feet on the stone street and throwing her arms to her waist, where once the pale hands were latched to her hips, her foot repeatedly tapped on the ground in an impatient manner as she thought desperately of a word to please her own thoughts. Finally she breathed out and accepted that she wouldn't be able to think up a word to describe her. Nonetheless, she dashed back inside the Jewlery store.

    With the speed of the messenger that she had picked up from her part time job, Reena bounded up the stairs to Alora's bedroom, instantly found a stunning chunk of gold- shining as brilliantly as the woman's dancing. "This shall do." Reena mentioned to herself as she plucked the precious metal from its resting spot on the wooden desk. Surely, since it's not in her workshop, Alora has no use for this. Grinning to herself, the Ponyta bounded down the stairs in a similar fashion to how she climbed them and once more ran outside.

    "Miss! Miss. You're so pretty!" She exclaimed as she marveled over the dancing for a second more before she dropped the piece of gold into the bag, where an assortment of other coins were gathered. It fell with a small chink as it made contact with the other coins in the bag. Reena was far too excited to even note that a Drapion man was attempting to strike conversation with this woman, nor did she notice the Growlithe man accompanying him. She gave a large, toothy grin.
    __________________________

    Shivers?

    Never had she ever gotten cold. Alora, part rock and part ice type, never has ever experienced what it would be like to be cold, but the rows of goosebumps that raced down her neck and spread like wildfire through her spine at first triggered the thought of the cold. Delinquent Town now grabbed her and she was within its boundaries. It was far less lively than her street which was full of shops and a main pathway to get to the palace. Dancers, music, merchants, they all were the source of such activity. None were very visible here.

    The streets were not abandoned, of course, and they had a few people walking to and fro, but it seemed like a graveyard after emerging from such a packed place. Occasionally, Alora felt the burning gaze of some inhabitant of this area on her back, only then prompting the goosebumps to refresh their reign on the flesh of her back. 'You're just a little bit different. You stand out Alora, that's why they're looking at you. They're not going to hurt you- honestly. They're just humans, like you. Now stop fretting about illogical things and just move on.' the Amaura told herself as she frowned at her own thoughts. She was not one to judge.

    Finally she arrived at the house. A small homestead, but it released a very home-y kind of feeling. This place absolutely bathed in the sunlight and radiated warmth and happiness. Somehow, this place, out of all the places she's ever been to, was the most welcoming. Even her home didn't release that kind of feeling. Tentatively, she brought her hand out of her hooded cloak and rapped upon the door a couple times, and she found herself smiling in anticipation.

    Finally a familiar face was revealed from behind the door- Denver. "Alora? My Arceus, why are you here? Please come inside, it's fairly warm outside. Surely we don't want you melting." He said in a mixture of surprise and humor. Alora smiled and nodded, intending to answer once she was out of the sunlight, and stepped inside.

    The interior was fairly basic. It had a table in the center of the room with four chairs, a cabinet on the far left wall along with an assortment of pots and mining gear, such as a pick axe and a shovel leaning against the wall. A small kitchen was in the far left corner, adorned with minimal decoration. Light from a single window poured in onto a small couch and a pelethora of papers laying abandoned on a desk. There were also stairs leading to the top floor, where Denver's family must sleep, as he's voiced many times that he sleeps on the couch due to a new addition to his family.

    "Denver, I was concerned about your fall. Honestly, you klutz. Falling into water? You're a Nidorino! I don't want you getting hurt. The mines are already dangerous enough, and sometimes I feel like I don't pay you enough for this job." Alora complained as she took a seat across from Denver at the table. He shook his head lightly and averted his gaze away. "You pay me more than enough- at least I'm grateful you hired me. But, as you could see, I can walk and I'm moving fine. I should be able to go back tomorrow; I'm certain that I'll just be a little sore."

    "Honestly. No, please just take tomorrow and the weekend off." Alora looked right at the man, only older than her by three years. A single, poisonous horn sprouted from his forehead, and it complemented his scraggly mess of black hair. Gleaming red eyes emerged from his troubled eyelids as he finally breathed out and returned her gaze. "Are you sure?" "Yes." "Ok, then I'll rest."

    Easy enough. The Nidorino looked extremely tired, and dark bluish purple circles became evident beneath his eyes. "Well, I'm glad that we cleared that up. Now please rest, feel better." Alora demanded as she gently led him over to the couch, much like the way she led Reena over to a chair. He yawned and nodded his thanks, and Alora took that as her dismissal. As quietly as her feet could managed, Alora left, and began to walk back to her house, and her work.

    (Sorry I lost detail by the end, I'm so busy and I have like five minutes. >_<)
     
    #17 EspeonTheBest, Sep 27, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2016
  18. "You know Trini? I've heard this city is special," said Delilah as she went back to what she was doing.

    The dark hands of the Jynx ran through the small Mawile's hair as if petting an asleep beast. Despite their big size, they moved with grace and delicacy through her daughter's black hair. Trini just sat quietly, her eyes focused on the not so far away city as she allowed her mother to do her every day hairstyle. There, quiet, with her ruddy cheeks, Trini would easily be confused with an actual doll. Perhaps, she varely even seemed alive. "What does it have to make it special, Mama?"

    The tall Jynx smiled warmly, sorting her daughter's flyaways as she leaned closer to her, having her lips inches away from the small girl's ear. "This town was founded with magic..." she whispered softly in an attempt to make the fantasy of the tale more tangible.

    "Mom, don't start with your strange magical tales again..." Trini wrinkled her nose in skepticism, Her mother had always been a woman of dreams, fantasies and magic, probably due her own nature. Since she was a child, she had the ability to speak the language of destiny, to take a glance at the future. Even though it wasn't such a rare power in psychic types, she had always given her best to develope her gift, therefore, at the young age of seventeen she was already able to give detailed descriptions of what would happen the next day. By this time, she was already able to guess fortunes in love, economy and other subjects from the next month to a couple of years.

    Unlike her mother, Trini lived for the moment-'The past is far behind us, future doesn't exist'. She had learned to live without regrets, why to have them when you could restart walking to the next town?

    "You don't understand! This one is diferent!" the dark skinned woman insisted as she covered her daughter's hair with the yellow cap of her hood "It talks about this magestic dragon seeking for a home, flying through the glorious sky for a place where he and his family could live..."

    "But if he lived traveling through the sky," Trini interrupted, turning her pale face to her mother "why wouldn't he consider it his home?"

    "'Home is where the heart is'" was her mother enigmatic response "That's what he used to say."

    "Then the dragon was stupid," she turned her head back to her place as she spoke, pride residing between her words as she closed her eyes and held her head high "his heart would always be with him, if it wasn't, he would've died."

    "You are so cold my lil' Trini," murmured Delilah kneeling in front of her daughter to look straight into her eyes "but soul creatures need a place to let their hearts rest. thet's why we're always seeking for a home, just like the dragon in the myth. He didn't rest until he found a place to stand in body and soul, do you know where that place was?"

    Trini stood quietly, her red iris fighting her mother's dark ones in silence, waiting for the end of the story to be said outloud.

    "Here, in Sumeria, right where we have arrived," she concluded, standing up once more to braid her long silvery blond hair "If that lost wanderer could find a home in this place, why can't we?"

    Trini didn't answer, her eyes were still focused on the city not too far from their tent. She would have liked to say yes, to agree with her mother and call that place home. Even though, she felt as if the road had became her own home.
     
  19. Alize remained.

    Her gaze fixed, unwavering. She did not waver, for wavering meant hesitance and hesitance was uncertainty, and uncertainty was not perfection. Of which, she could not possibly be. So the woman released a second breath and the fires within her lost their fuel to grow and consume, and so did the hearth before her.

    The golden inferno shied behind their railings, where they would remain contained and ever hungry, right where they belonged. Everything must be where they belonged and everything out of their place was a mistake. But Alize had always found that mistakes often birthed opportunities, and being opportunistic was a virtue that she proudly cultivated.

    It was eat, or be eaten in this big, bad world.

    The heat that permeated through the fire lit halls seeped into every crevice, every nook and cranny and it was an extension of herself. She did not miss a spot. It was simply not in her nature. Every dark corner must be shed with light to reveal what they contained, and she knew the contents of every shadow cast within the kingdom.

    She must know, because she knows the Queen does not.

    It was difficult to rule a kingdom without a spouse, and with her loyalty to her queen, she would lighten her load as best as she could. And keep her safe. And keep her family safe. And atone to her previous failure.

    King Zachary.

    May he rest in peace.

    Within those halls, Alize could feel every slight shift and change. For whatever the heat touched, she would be able to see. Within her mind, she followed the small figure of Mai Ling as she made her way across the grand hall. She could see her body temperature lowering, even below their usual cold, and it filled the countess with a sense of satisfaction.

    To know that she struck fear into the hearts of those she encounters.

    As the young Greninja kneels behind her, the Pyroar takes in a breath, and straightens out her arm to gesture fluidly, yet sternly to the scroll she had prepared on her desk. “This scroll,” Alize began, snatching the scroll with an efficient flick of her wrist. And contemplatively, she waves it back and forth with movements likened to a metronome. “Is to be delivered to the general within the hour.”

    Her voice was a roar of fire, confident, passionate, stern, and commanding. With perfect cadence and clear pronunciation, her words were direct and clear, and there could be no excuse of not understanding a command that had been uttered from her lips. “Do not lose it.” She pressed, turning her head precisely ninety degrees to burn holes in the direction of the girl kneeling behind her, providing her page with a side profile of her face silhouetted by the burning hearth. “Or I will make sure the chefs will be serving cuisse de grenouille tonight.”

    Her gaze returned to the hearth, with a single flick, Alize tossed the paper behind her back; an abstract move with a hundred calculations behind it. The scroll would land precisely before Mai, should she decide not to catch it, and her hand returned to their original position, folded behind her back. “I do not expect to see you until dusk. Do not disturb me until then.”

    She waited for the Greninja’s confirmation, and soon after, she said, “And Mai Ling,” From the first time they had met until that very moment, Alize had always referred to her by her full name. “Do not get any ideas with the prince.” Another pause to allow Mai to confirm, not respond, confirm, before the Pyroar once again raised her hand to wave her off dismissively. Signaling the end of their interaction.

    But when the page was mere three feet away from the safety of the bronze doors, the countess spoke offhandedly, but still clear enough to be heard,

    “The last thing this kingdom needs is for Darks to mix in with the royal lineage.”
     
  20. Mai remained in her position of servitude as Lady Alize finally looked away from the fire and began to address her. It seemed she was to be given an important mission, delivering a scroll to the kingdoms general. It was a mission of such grave urgency that it had a set time period. Her heart leaped at the chance to serve her Lady in such a momentous task. The Lady's command to not lose it and the following threat were received as well.

    Of course the threat was unnecessary as the girl would never let herself fail her Lady in such an important task. If she somehow did, returning alive would be out of the question and death would be a fitting reward for her incompetence. She would not desire to be fed to the royal court, only because a cursed being like herself might poison them with her tainted flesh. The scroll was neatly tossed over the table and without missing a beat; Mai's hand shot out and snatched the object from the air holding it delicately and reverently in front of her.

    "Yes my Lady. I will protect it with my life and I shall not fail you. You will not have to suffer my presence until the sun begins its decent in the sky." The young Page placed her free hand over her chest as she said those words. However her Lady's next words caught the teenager completely off guard. "“Do not get any ideas with the prince.”"

    Mai blinked her crimson eyes rapidly several times as her brain ran in spiraling circles trying to process the level of incomprehensible information she had just begin given. "Me.. and the P..P..Prince. How could she even imagine something like that ever happening? I would never even wish to sully Prince Salem's sight with my cursed existence. It's not like a being as noble and magnificent as the Prince would even look at me directly; much less see me in such a manner. The man was chosen by a god to rule this blessed land, his very touch would surely cause the darkness inside me to burn my skin."

    Mai-Ling realized that she had not answered her lady, as she had dared let her mind wander in these hallowed halls. In her shock she had even looked up at her Lady without being asked too. Her cheeks burned with shame and she snapped her head back down before blurting out. "My Lady, I would never let one as blessed as the prince be sullied by my cursed self!" Mai realized she had raised her voice to Lady Alize and she wanted to die in shame on the spot.

    The Greninja, saw her Lady's waved dismal and smoothly and expediently beat a hasty retreat across the hall carpet. She put her boots back on in a new record time and slipped out the door as quietly as a passing shadow. Once on the other side Mai leaned against the wall and began to hyperventilate. Tears slipped from her eyes as she thought about the horrible way she had conducted herself in front of Lady Alize.

    She thought back to the first time that she had been summoned to those halls, as a scared little eight year old froakie child. How Lady Alize had shined like some powerful goddess of the sun illuminated by the fires of heaven in all her glory. The child had been completely awed by the sight, and then she had promptly passed out from the heat on the hall floor. Upon waking later in a bed softer than any she had ever slept on before, all she could think about was that image burned into her very soul. At that moment she had vowed that she would give this goddess made flesh, who had saved her life absolutely everything she had until the day she died.

    Mai-Ling shook her head banishing the memory, taking several deep breaths as well to calm herself down. "Focus on the mission Mai. Your Lady has given you an important task and there is not time to wallow in your own fears and past." Mai peeled herself off the wall and carefully cradled the precious scroll in her hands. She focused her eyes ahead of her and took off at a light sprint for her destination.
     
  21. "Here you are. Please, take it. It will help you, I promise."

    "It will help you, I promise."

    Why did this six-word phrase seem to be repetitious to her? To nearly every patient she had helped in the year or so she had been living and working at the hospital-like building, she said this at least twice or maybe even thrice. Why, she asked herself, do I always say this? To give them false hope that everything would be alright in the end? As much as she wanted this to be true, she had seen multiple occasions when this was not the case, and it always ended in a tearful and sometimes even gruesome way, her young age getting the best of her. Every time she said this to a patient, she started, hating herself for it, but she never corrected the 'verbal slip-up', as she called it. Why must I say this to everyone? I really should learn to control myself...

    But the patients listened, following eight-year-old Opel Fay's order, struggling through whatever they were given because they thought if they did, they would heal and be able to leave the infirmary, go back to their homes, if they had one before coming here, or find a new one. The patient the young Mareep gijinka sat with now was an elderly Mamoswine man, who grabbed the cotton ball from the girl as soon as she said the words "please, take it".

    Without much of a warning, merely a tiny tap next to the deep cut, Opel pressed another cotton ball to the wound, generating a terrible stinging throughout the man's leg. "WATCH IT, WILL YAH?" he yelled, not noticing a Cherubi gijinka flinch from his voice's intensity.

    "So sorry, sir," replied Opel, voice small and high-pitched, unfazed by his volume, "but I can't do anything to stop the pain. Sorry..." Her voice became quieter and quieter with each word, and a tear grew in the corner of an orange eye. Even though she was used to yelling and comments like the one the Mamoswine had made, they did always seem to put a damper on her mood, due to her emotions being a bit over-the-top most of the time. This is the farthest the tears would ever go, though. They would never actually run down her cheeks to her chin, but just sit in her eye until they were whisked away, by what, she did not know. Her words sometimes got to some of the not-mentally-disabled sick people, too, as they thought they were a bit mature for someone her age, but Opel shrugged them off. She spoke the way she did since she did not know how else to speak; she never really knew any other kids, apart from her friends a year back, and all the patients were much older than her. Basically, she gained this trait from the adults she had known throughout her life. "This will help stop the bleeding, though..."

    "WELL, IT DOES NOT FEEL LIKE IT'S MUCH HELP NOW!" cried the Mamoswine man, face buried and voice muffled by the cotton ball he had been given earlier.

    Why does he have to yell? wondered Opel Fay, brow furrowed slightly. He's bothering the others...

    Just before she was able to respond to his words, a familiar face walked over to her spot in the midst of multiple patients to the infirmary, who all sat around not doing much basically all the time. Smiling down to the girl, Idella carefully removed Opel's hands from the ball, replacing them with her own. "How are you doing here, hun? You're looking pretty good!" she complimented.

    "Thank you, ma'am..." Opel replied, a hint of a smile grazing her lips as she looked up to the Wigglytuff gijinka, the same woman who had adopted her a year ago, who she could never quite call 'mother'. "What should I do now?"

    "Well, hun, we've just run out of cloth to make more splints. Think you could fetch some more?" Idella asked, eyes glued to the cotton ball in her hands.

    "Yeah, I can!" Opel Fay responded, nodding, and taking one last look at the Mamoswine man before rushing through the crowd toward a back room, where she knew the shillings she would need to make the purchase were located. Taking a handful out of their bag, she placed the coins into her own cloth bag she owned ever since a very young age. Out the way she came into the room and over to the main entrance she went, pausing for a second to look back and wave at Idella. Then she headed into the utopia known as Suimera.

    By many people she passed, head low and a determined gleam in her eye, heading straight to the merchant's shop, taking no detours or back routes. Even though she was afraid of the jingling sound the money made in her bag, thoughts of being robbed fresh in her mind, Opel trekked on, ignoring it like she hoped others did.

    It took only a minute or so before she arrived at the shop. "Here we are," the Mareep gijinka whispered to herself, opening the door and letting herself in.

    (OOC: Anyone want to be a merchant for, like, a post or two? :p)
     
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  22. Once he deposited the coins, the snake's dance became ever more interesting and vigorous. A forked tongue flickered from her mouth, a flash of pink. She said her thanks for the donation, though she also had a more interesting question. Her dance refused to fade even as she conversed.

    "I...hope you don’t mind me asking this, but would you happen to know of any shops that are in search of hiring an entertainer for the festival? At least, any shops that would be okay hiring a poison type?"

    "Huh. I mean...uh...The best place to check would be around or in the western parts of town, I think. I don't really visit many places where people dance, the taverns are always crowded and smell of alcohol, and are much too pricey. But one thing I don't understand about this place is why everyone dislikes the Poisons and the Darks! Why would anyone not want to hire them? You seem nice! The Pawniard I met not too long ago seemed nice! I don't understand why this happens...I knew this Murkrow, he was a real nice man! He helped me learn things! He's taking care of the Delphox right now...I started rambling, didn't I? Why do I always keep going on unrelated spiels and...There I go again. Sorry, I don't know about any jobs that involve dancing or entertainment. I’ll keep my eyes peeled though!" If it was any consolation, he placed one more piece of silver in the bag, as if an apology for not giving her a good answer.

    The scorpion from earlier approached, seemingly enthralled by the serpent's almost hypnotic moves. Gerald wondered how long the Drapion had been observing the dancer. The scorp complimented her, and ended up dropping in two coins for the Snake as well. He asked her name, which Gerald wanted to remember that name too, just in the case he did find an opening somewhere, and so he didn’t keep referring to her as “The Snake” or “The Ekans”, which may come off as rude. The last thing he’d ever want to be was rude.

    Though, speaking of rude, a young woman butted in suddenly. She was hooved, and every one of her steps clopped in the Growlithe’s ears. A Ponyta, given the lack of horns or bulk that other horse like people had. But was more interesting was what she had dropped in the coin bag. It wasn’t a coin at all, it was…

    A good-sized chunk of gold.

    Gerald’s eyes went wide for a moment. Was this Ponyta girl rich or something? “Where did you get that? Are you rich? Do you work in a mine? Do you work here?" He motioned to the jewelry shop. "Because I'm no expert, but gold is preeeetty valuable."
     
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  23. Wilhelm’s local guard station was nothing special. The squat and almost toad like structure was no different to half the other stations posted at various points around the city, it was just as uniform as the armour that every guard in Suimera wore. It might not look like much but every citizen around knew where to come if they needed help and that was what mattered to Wilhelm.

    As he entered the building he was greeted by the familiar sights and noises he loved so much. Even this early in the morning the place was a hive of activity, his fellow guards already hard at work going about their daily duties.

    He had his own routine to follow, it was as familiar to him now as eating and drinking. His foots traced the same root they had done every weekday for years now, over the rough wooden floorboards, down a short flight of steps and into a darkened room that reeked of polish and leather.

    The armoury had always been Wilhelm’s favourite room at the station. It had been that way ever since he first set eyes on the place, freshly employed and full of inspiration after seeing the other officers in their pristine uniforms, the rows of armour and weapons had captivated his mind and filled that young head of his with ideas of grandeur and that he would be something more than the everyday citizen.

    He felt the same way today, almost three years later, nothing had changed in heart. This is where he belonged.

    “Morning Seamus, just the usual today, no need to get up.” Wilhelm said to the willowy old Galuvatula who sat at dark oak desk in the corner, pouring over a pair of thick books. Seamus had run the armoury for almost twenty years now and greeting him every morning was just as essential to Wilhelm’s daily routine as lunch at this point. The elderly man give the young guard an almost toothless smile as Wilhelm went about collecting his personal set of weapons.

    “Your old lady still giving you hell for watching those dancers down on Teal Street eh you naughty old dog?” Wilhelm said with a disapproving tut shot across the room at the armourer as he slipped a standard issue shield into its home upon his back.

    The old man only let a wheezy cackle as the Aggron collected his favourite war axe from its place on the weapons rack. “You can hardly blame me can you boy? You think that old hag could move like them? Worth every second.” Seamus rasped between peals of laughter, his gnarled old hands grasping his belly as the process made his whole body shake violently.

    Having collected everything he would be needing for the day Wilhelm headed back up the flight of steps he had come down calling out behind him as he disappeared from view. “Watch yourself friend, I might just tell Agnes that later!” echoed around the room playfully for a moment before abruptly being shut off by the slamming of the door, leaving the ancient electric type alone with his thoughts once more.
     
  24. Diana’s eyes were distracted as she fixed them on the Drapion she'd seen earlier. He, too, generously placed a coin in her bag, which made her eyes brighten even more. She nodded politely toward him and rattled her tail once again before gracefully swaying into a turn. She wrapped her tail around her own waist, as if it were a separate entity and were trying to constrict her. Her movements flowed on like dull waves in the ocean. Never breaking, only rising and falling.

    When she turned to face him again, he was gone, or at least, had retired to a sitting position outside the jewelry store. The surprise on her face was short-lived as she quickly spotted him. At which point she sent a smile his way and turned to continue her conversation with the Growlithe.

    "Huh. I mean...uh...The best place to check would be around or in the western parts of town, I think. I don't really visit many places where people dance, the taverns are always crowded and smell of alcohol, and are much too pricey. But one thing I don't understand about this place is why everyone dislikes the Poisons and the Darks! Why would anyone not want to hire them? You seem nice! The Pawniard I met not too long ago seemed nice! I don't understand why this happah blah blah blah…”

    As the Growlithe had started delivering his rather long answer, Diana found her interest shifting away from whatever it was he was actually saying. Instead, she decided to take another look at his features. The way his mouth moved when he talked, every other word giving her a glance of the yellow canine fangs in his mouth. The way that his eyes had a hint of determination about what he was saying, yet she could also detect something else.

    Insecurity?

    Possibly, but it was hard to tell without being a mind reader.

    The dancer smiled. If there was one thing for certain, this Growlithe was undeniably cute.

    As he finished up his paragraph answer, the Ekans nodded toward him. It warmed her that he’d keep an eye out for her. Even if he didn’t find anything, she would be glad to know that someone was wishing her the best.

    The high tink as another one of the Growlithe’s coins fell into the bag initiated the dancer to, as per tradition, rattle her tail in response.

    “Say, those are some pretty nice moves! Some talent you have, your dancing is really great. You gonna be at the festival?”

    Diana had to catch herself. She was so taken aback by just how much praise she'd gotten thus far. It was truly astounding.

    Every coin she received made her feel more and more embarrassed by her initial despair. Having almost all her belongings stolen must have made her a little more frazzled than she originally thought. That and, perhaps, she was still under the Delinquent spell; stuck yearning for instant gratification like a spoiled child.

    A spoiled child with little money, at that, Delilah thought with wistful amusement.

    A soft chuckle escaped her lips and Diana shrugged playfully, not halting her dancing for even a second. With how well her performance was paying already, she dared not stop. “I don't know. That all depends on my reception, I suppose. If enough people like me, and opportunity presents itself, I suppose anything is possible.”

    The Ekans’ tail rattled once more as he dropped another coin into her bag. She kept herself from looking at what she’d collected so far, as she thought it would be rude, and also break her rhythm. All that she could really do is hope that she’d have enough to eat and have a comfy bed to rest for the night. Lest she turn to Tales Haven.

    An invisible force pushed down on her stomach whenever she thought of that place. A strange sense of disappointment enveloped her each time she imagined herself turning to them for help. The establishment itself was reputable and kind, so her disappointment didn’t stem from any sort of disdain for the building or its patrons.

    Could it have been pride? No, Diana knew how to keep herself in check when it came to arrogant emotions. She knew that asking for help wasn’t something to be ashamed of.

    After a moment of contemplation she settled on her reasoning, which was the fear of discovering that a place such as Tales Haven was actually necessary.

    Call it illusions of grandeur, but Diana had the image of a paradise in her mind whenever she thought of escaping to Suimera proper. Where everyone smiled, shops treated customers with respect, and many paths were opened to achieve your dreams. This image turned out to be true...partially. She hadn’t considered that her type would really weigh her down at all, so long as she maintained a generally nice personality. And yet it had managed to already lose her a job that may have paid well.

    Perhaps the most uplifting argument to that negativity, more than the money she’d received, was her current situation. She’d obtained an audience, others who seemed to enjoy her dancing almost as much as she enjoyed performing. That was something that kept her hopes, and dreams, alive.

    “Would you mind if I asked for your name?”


    “Not at all,” Diana said smoothly, “my name is Diana. However, I prefer Ana.” She glanced back and forth between the Growlithe and the Drapion, “and what might both of yours be?”

    Before either of them could answer, a young Ponyta practically galloped toward them with something in her hands.

    “Miss! Miss. You’re so pretty!”


    Diana looked delighted by her praise, but inhaled sharply at the chunk of gold the fire type had dropped into her bag. The serpentine woman’s tail rattled much more furiously than the previous times, lightly disrupting the elegance in her movements. She half-expected the item to be fake, until she remembered that the girl had exited the jewelry shop.

    Perhaps she ran the business, or helped run it. Either way, the gold brought forth excitement in Diana’s chest. This was accompanied by the sensation of joy and accomplishment.

    The first thing she'd thought of was how she was going to use the money received for this item. Perhaps the serpent would be able to stay in a luxury inn tonight and still have enough money to purchase clothes that were even better than the ones that had been stolen from her. She’d be able to have a large, exquisite dinner, one that would leave her feeling bloated for the next few days. Her mind raced through the various jewelry she’d be able to buy and adorn herself with, possibly jewels from this very shop!

    As was usual for Diana, however, inklings of morality went to war with her selfish aspirations. It polluted her mind with kindness, philanthropy, and all the other good traits that meant she wouldn't be getting a new dress.

    Though she liked to imagine how she would use this money for pleasure, she knew full well that she wouldn’t. Instead, the dancer would settle for a cheap inn, and a reasonably portioned meal. Instead of buying jewels and clothes, she would send the rest of the money back to Delinquent Town. Back to the family that she’d abandoned, in the hopes that it would show them that there would be more to come. That things were working out better since she’d left. That she made the right call.

    The Ekans was aware that nothing would make up for simply leaving them without a word. In retrospect, she should have at least told them where she was going. Diana admitted that she deserved whatever tongue-lashing occurred once she stepped through the threshold of her home. With enough coins to support them, however, she would at least prove that something became of her mistake.

    “Thank you ssssssooo much!” Diana exclaimed, her forked tongue once again flicking out and in. “That is very generous of you! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed my dancing so much to give me this!”

    Suddenly, a flurry of questions began sounding off from the Growlithe, putting his suspicion on proud display.

    “Where did you get that? Are you rich? Do you work in a mine? Do you work here?" He motioned to the jewelry shop. "Because I'm no expert, but gold is preeeetty valuable."

    Diana pondered, such suspicion...but is it warranted? This is quite a bit of gold, but perhaps not compared to the other items a jeweler may possess. Perhaps she works here, and found she had spare gold that could be used as a donation.

    After having kept up her dancing for a while, the sensual woman just now realized she was no longer moving. She stopped and faced toward the Ponyta, eyes filled to the brim with hope. Wishing with all of her might that the gold wasn’t a mistake.

    Longing for selfish needs felt like a distant memory at this point. Diana just wanted something that she could send to her family. Some amount of money to show them she was living the life she dreamed about, and intended to help make things better for them.

    ________

    A gust of wind whistled between the stone alleyways of Delinquent Town. It blew away various papers that had been stuck to the walls of buildings, most of them advertisements or scams (as if there was a difference between the two). One of these papers landed at the claws of a young girl. She’d been bundled up in clothes, so much so that one couldn’t see an inch of flesh, aside from her eyes that peered out from the eyeholes cut into a silky fabric covering her face. Even with so much of herself concealed, the narrow pupils and yellow irises indicated that she was likely an Ekans.

    A stack of paper was tucked loosely beneath the pit of her arm, some of the pages inadvertently falling out of the stack without her knowing, and being swept away by the wind. Off into the “who-knows-where.” In her opposite hand, she held a role of adhesive around her wrist as though it were a bracelet.

    The bundled girl reached a black gloved hand into the stack and withdrew one of the sheets, then froze and looked over her shoulder as a slow, sultry voice came singing from behind her. To say it was the voice of an angel would be sacrilegious. It was better described as the voice of the mythical siren, leading enchanted sailors to their doom.

    Sister, won’t you hold on tight,
    Fight despair with all your might.
    If there’s one thing you should know,
    Never forget as we go…


    An Arbok woman approached the little girl from behind, adorned in a long purple dress, one that looked as pristine as the day it was purchased. She placed a comforting hand on the girl’s shoulder, at which point the girl turned her eyes to the ground, her free arm drooping to the side in a gesture of defeat.

    The woman reached down and slipped the sheet of paper out of the girl’s hand. She stared at the image printed on its front for a moment, then proceeded to take some of the adhesive the girl had, and stuck the poster to the wall.

    The poster had the image of another Ekans, this one much older, but younger than the singing serpent. She was dressed in a manner that almost made her look like an Arbok.

    The improvised song continued:

    We’re still sisters in her eyes,
    Even if her spirit flies
     
  25. White noise.

    It was the noise of the universe, of constantly moving atoms, of rivers foaming and tides washing over the sand, of the wind whispering, serpentine, words so jumbled they seemed white, incomprehensible and constant. It was the noise of emotion, of beating hearts, of a thousand bows on a thousand strings trapped in a constant tremolo so that each voice was obscure, a single viola unable to be told from its siblings- yet all of them, rising and falling, never ending, rushing, foaming, frothing, a thousand different voices each playing a different note at a different pace, bows shivering on their strings. It was white noise that swaddled him, choked him, suffocated him in its never ending, shushing beat, white noise that told his story, so great and constant and jumbled a sound that it appeared nothing more than a blank white.

    White noise was a ghostly noise, pale and blank, with a voice like a snake, and as the white noise rushed around his ears with a greater, frothing vigor so, too, did the presence of the ghosts grow stronger until he felt he was overcome by them, these great, white, faded beings of emotion with pulsing hearts and blue blooded veins. They surrounded him, always, a thousand shades of grey, mixing, tumbled, sadness, fear, hatred, love, every shred of the heart pulsing around him in the forms of people, with hallowed gaits, pushing their struggle into his heart, sharing a piece of their soul. But he didn't want their souls- no, no it was too overpowering, too entangling, and every piece was a new layer of bondage to the wild and the selfish and the ugly and the human and the emotional, and for forever he could feel their souls and was choked by their hearts until the boy wasn't sure whether he wanted a soul of his own at all.

    Did he have a soul? Did he exist if he didn't? Did it really matter?

    The boy stared out of the shutters, running his ritual of daily thought as he watched the world's ghosts drift past, pulling hard on his hat when it became all too much to bear the emotion of these blue blooded creatures whose hearts pulsed with his own. Although all sense told him to turn away, he stared with a hungry, beast like lust, statuesque, unable, even, to turn his head, entranced as much as he was disgusted, as if searching for a lesson within the passing ghosts, some way to make them go away forever, so that they would drift past and just keep on drifting for an infinity, and everything would grow quiet, so quiet...

    There was one ghost that never moved. He stood, always, by Que's side, grey and flat, eyeless, features as chalky as that of a shadow, and for as long as the boy could remember there was this shadow by his side, and this was the ghost that Que hated the most, for his emotions were nauseating, soul, overpowering. And it was always sour- no matter what moved within the creature, it was sour, tangy yet brutally bland, so faded it was as an aftertaste on the tongue, and the ghost was always filled with an unmistakable lust, and a metallic emptiness, as blank as a silhouette and as hollow as a cicada shell. It was a ghost of sour emotion, and if it had a face, featureless as a trail of dust.

    An angrily shut door repulsed the boy from his window, a bitter taste residue upon his tongue. White socks droned morosely across floorboards, like a sullen river draped across the earth, carving a path through the clutter of the Allein home, pushing away books, pebbles, and puzzle pieces with a dull surge of the dusty white fabric. The boy's steely eyes roved over the mess, shoulders slumped, back hunched, neck curved, pupils shrouded by the shadow of a tightly pulled hat, and the boy walked across the floor as if pushed on by the earth.

    As if affixed upon his shadow, the boy drew to a ponderous halt and turned his gaze along the floor, watching as his earthly silhouette turned, faceless, to gaze towards him. He raised an arm, curled the hand and fingers, then took a puzzle piece from atop his pile of books and balanced it between two fingers, entranced as the shadow mimicked his movements. It was so much like him, and yet- yet it fell, flat and cold, twisted by items littered on the floor, and in this shadow there came no distinction between human and book, nor puzzle piece, for everything was melded together into a single silhouette, to be molded and morphed as the earth pleased. And the boy gazed from his hand, distinctly lined with grey-blue veins, sharp edged, the puzzle piece acutely different in both texture and form, to the shadow, hazy and soft, where all was black and simple and alike, so that his skin was as much a wooden piece as the piece was his skin, and he wondered which of them were real, or whether neither image existed at all.

    White noise shrouded all thought in a simple drone, tide like, washing in and out of his ears. The boy dragged his foot across the border between the living area and his mother's room, searching for one last item, thoughtfully drawing a line across the doorway with the tip of his toes in mindless fascination of the dust that trailed around them, ribbons drifting from the sole of his foot. Pushed on by the earth into the room, the boy added a last book to his stack and turned to leave- slowly, always slowly, viscous like, slouching gait. A piece of paper caught his roving gaze, and he paused to read the hurriedly scrawled letters, as he had read them a thousand times before. She had started reusing notes at least three years ago- to save paper, of course.

    I'll return before night falls.
    I promise.

    If there was music, it would have screeched as high as the howl of the wind, the intensely polyphonic murmur of the world dying to a single viola's note, and the boy's thin lips turned low into a grimace, then a sneer as he ran his tongue across the tips of his teeth, scolded by an unmistakable bile like aftertaste. His veins burned blue, grayish blue, with such intensity that it seemed his heart itself was outlined on his chest, arteries ghost like, veins described sharply upon his pale skin, a billion spiraled fractals lacing over each other, pulsing to one grand, snare drum beat, and the ghost beside him surged with a sour welling of disgust in his shell of a heart.

    How he
    despised
    promises.

    Sick, selfish lies.

    The stack of books drummed against the floor as he dropped them, puzzle piece fallen with a distinct clatter as the boy pulled his hat low across his steely eyes, hunching lower into his shoulders, running his tongue across his teeth, and the color faded from his blood until only veins ran across his skin, ghost like, as if it were translucent. He turned to walk away, running his feet across the earth, eyes uncaring of the ribbons of dust drifting from his toes. The world dulled as the boy's thin lips fell flat, and his eyes seemed to grow featureless beneath the long shadow of his hat, blank and white.

    White noise, tide like, washed over his brain, and the being who tagged him pulsed with such a sour longing that it seemed to drive him towards the window shutters, stumbling once over an open book. Eyes peered out of the brash shutters, gleaming with a steely sheen, before they disappeared into empty sockets with a tug on his hat.

    And Que Allein stood on the bank of a river, a ghost isolated in a barren land, listening to its constant rush as he watched the world bustle on the other side, pulling his hat so far down he could barely peer beneath it.
     
  26. Location: Suimera, Royal Palace, Council Wing
    Time: Morning
    Tagging: Salem
    ----------​

    ‘I am so bored.’

    That was the conclusion Salem reached when he discovered that he had been walking up and down the empty corridor without a real goal in mind. Normally this realization might have annoyed someone, but Suimera’s sheltered prince managed to find some humor in the notion.

    “How can I be bored?” he wondered out loud, “I have everything I want, and I can do anything I desire.”

    ‘Except go outside.’

    And there it was. That same thought that always came bubbling to the surface sooner or later, and lately more frequently than ever. There used to be a time when he would have given voice to his frustrations and complain to his mother about his ‘confinement’, but seeing the look on her face whenever he brought up the topic quickly silenced him. It was a look filled with pain and grief, and he quickly understood that however bad he felt about his ‘captivity’, his mother seemed to be suffering more from it. So he bottled up his frustrations and did not speak of it again in her presence. It would not make a difference anyway, and Salem disliked wasting time on things he knew would gain him nothing, few as those were.

    Thinking about his mother made him recall the breakfast he had just shared with her in her private garden. It was something they did several times a month, or as often as possible really, whenever her schedule allowed for it.

    Salem had often asked her to share some of her burdens with him, but she always argued that his time would come soon enough and that he should relish his freedom while it lasted.

    ‘My freedom,’ he thought with a wry smile as he looked out over the balcony railing that ran the entire length of the corridor.

    He had wandered into the section of the palace which connected the various offices of state. This early in the day these hallways would be mostly abandoned. The staff cleaned here maybe once or twice a week, but aside from them only the officials and their pages came through here. There were very few side corridors and no rooms connected to the hallway he was currently in. This was so that important messages did not run the risk of getting impeded by staff members.

    ‘Or wandering princes,’ he thought, his smile widening.

    His foot felt very warm suddenly and looking down he saw he had stepped directly into a sunbeam streaming through the window. As per usual Salem had been walking around barefoot. It gave him a greater sense of freedom and he liked the sensations of difference textures against his skin. On top of that, Zoya ran such a tight shift that one really had to look for any specs of dirt or filth, and woe to the maid responsible for that particular section of the palace if it were discovered.

    Salem stepped forward into the warm light and raised his hands, turning them slowly as a looked at them. The soft inside of his palm stood in stark contrasts to the darker scales on the back of his hands. The sun reflected of the tiny scales so that his hands and arms sparkled. For a moment he just stood there transfixed by the effect, but then he knelt and lay down with his back on the warm floor. The stone was polished smooth for the most part, but he could feel the occasional, rough imperfections that gave the material its much needed traction.

    He stayed like that for a while, softly humming to himself, then lazily turned over onto his stomach and pressed his cheek against the heated stone, reveling in the sensation of it. He closed his eyes and sighed, content to just lay there and soak up the sun’s comforting rays.

    ‘I wonder how I should entertain myself today,’ he mused and mentally began to compile a list of possible activities.

    His thoughts were disturbed a moment later when he felt a slight irregular tremor. They felt like footsteps, feather light footsteps. So light in fact that he could not hear any footsteps and wouldn’t have felt them had he not been laying with his ear to the ground, literally.

    ‘Impressive,’ he thought, but gave no outward sign of life. ‘Let’s see if some fun can be had with this.’
     
    #26 Nygenn, Sep 30, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016
  27. The crowds had really began to fill the streets in earnest when Wilhelm swung the heavy oak door of the guard station wide, taking a confident first step as he smiled at the scene before him from behind his visor.

    Most citizens gave the armoured giant a wide berth when he made his way through crowds and today was no exception. He cut through the crowd like a knife through butter, none but the largest and bravest of people refusing to move from his path. And so it was with ease that Wilhelm took off on his usual route, one engraved so deep into the furrows of his brain that he could probably take it with his eyes shut. Not that you would want to however, Suimera was too beautiful to simply shut out when it so readily presented itself to you at every given opportunity.

    Bright and fragrant flowers bloomed in wicker baskets under every window sill, decorations for the upcoming festival gave every street a vibrant palette of colours and you would be hard pressed to find a location in the city where some form of music wouldn’t float into your ears.

    Strolling down the street as he was, Wilhelm’s easily identifiable uniform made him a target for greetings and questions from anybody who saw him as he continued his stroll towards the centre of town. He was used to it, enjoyed it in fact, after all what was the point in calling yourself a guard of the city if you didn’t even interact with it?

    Excuse me? Mr guard?”

    Wilhelm turned around in search of the source of the nervous squeak of a question. He broke into a wide and friendly smile when he found it was a young boy, maybe 4 or 5, his long brown ears indicating that he was of the Furret species. Standing behind the child was what Wilhelm could only presume was his mother, a middle aged woman with the same ears as her son and a polite and patient look on her round face as she watched over her son. Wilhelm gave her a quick reassuring nod before addressing the child Furret.

    “Oh! Hey there little guy! What’s up?” he said in his deep gravely tones, kneeling down on one knee so he was as close to eyelevel with the kid as he could possibly get while maintaining his professional appearance.

    “Well it was just…just that I want to be a guard as well one day!” the Furret exclaimed, clutching at a small teddy, his saucer like eyes focused solely on the Aggron, waiting to see what the iron giant thought of his dream.

    Wilhelm’s smile had only broadened when he heard what the child had to say, even lifting his visor up so that he was able to meet the boys gaze. Another little guard in the making huh? He certainly has the potential that’s for sure Wilhelm thought to himself happily, proud that he and his colleagues were maintain appearances well enough to inspire another generation of young men.

    “Is that so young man?” He said with his bushy eyebrows raised. “Well I guess all those criminals better watch their backs then! Look at you, you’re gonna be stronger than a Machamp, I just know it.”

    Seeing the ecstatic look on the boy’s face, the way he turned back to his mother as if to say “See! I told you so!” plucked at Wilhelm’s heartstrings a little. After all under all the metal he was still a man, no more immune to the cuteness of a child than anybody else.

    “And listen maybe teddy there will help you train till you can join us for real hey?” He added as he slowly got back to his feet, an action accompanied by the creaking of steel plates as his armour strained at the seams.

    The boy looked back at Wilhelm, now back by his mother’s side, and waved the slightly scruffy teddy in front of him. “His name is Rupert!” he said indignantly a little offended that his friend hadn’t been addressed properly. “The Phantom brought him to me, all my friends were super jealous!” He called out behind him as he was led away by his mother, the pair quickly disappearing into the crowd, vanishing as if they had never been there at all.

    Wilhelm’s smile froze. The Phantom brought him to me. Those words bounced around in his head as if they were nails in a shaken tin can.

    The Phantom? He was real? Wilhelm had heard the rumours of course, if you hadn’t you lived under a bloody rock. Tales of the spectre, more shadow than person, who had broken into homes all across Suimera, taking everything from the rich, giving to the children of the poorer families but never leaving a trail to follow in their wake. If it wasn’t for the stolen goods themselves you would be completely unaware to the fact you had been robbed! Madness.

    Some of the guards down near Delinquent town claimed they had seen a figure, a being of pure darkness, flitting through the areas maze like alley ways but Wilhelm had always just considered them rumours, tales made up by board patrol members who wanted to creep out the new recruits just a little bit. Now Wilhelm’s unshakeable confidence had taken a knock.

    Suddenly gritting his teeth Wilhelm rose to his full height, slamming his visor shut with one armoured hand as he set off again in a determined stride. He couldn’t let his mind be clouded by a pathetic myth concocted up by old women to tell their grandkids about! He was Wilhelm Greystone, protector of the realm for crying out loud. He hadn’t been scared since he was a boy. But that didn’t stop the thoughts of somebody like that sending a cold shiver down his metallic spine.
     
    #27 Jake Acker, Sep 30, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2016
    SUPERRNOVAA, Chrocey, Nygenn and 3 others like this.
  28. A long breath heaved.

    Eyelids fluttered with emerald lashes, tugging open, ever so mournfully, to unveil brilliant ruby irises underneath. Sunlight grazed upon the tight, fair skin of a man sprawled bare upon a disheveled bed. Well defined muscles were relaxed in his waking, twitching every now and again as he shifted to push back locks of his tousled green hair. A scarlet crest protruded from between his firm pecks, glimmering proudly in the morning sun, not unlike the emerald appendages protruding from his forearms.

    A Gallade man, warmed and dazed by sleep and utter fatigue.

    Articles of clothing lay strewn around the simple room, consisting nothing more than a bed, dresser, and wardrobe. There were two doors. One, presumably being the exit, and the other, he assumed to be the bathroom from what he could peer into. And yet the utter lack of paintings or personalized items made one thing undeniably clear; this was not his house.

    A tavern?’ Adam wondered with a befuddled bat of an eye.

    He noted the strain in his muscles upon pushing himself up to sit, but the strange comfort he discovered, coupled with the utter satisfaction reverberating within his very being, kept him laying contently upon the spot he had warmed with his body temperature. And he relished that strange lightness within the confines of his sore limbs.

    A second breath released.

    His hand dug beneath his head in order to prop his head up some with his arm, where his eyes stared blankly into the ceiling. But a slight movement caught by the corners of his eyes snapped him back, and he quickly turned in the direction of interest. There, gazing into the luminescent silver eyes of a slender, lithe young woman as she slowly laced the strings of her yellow corset, everything returned to him.

    Adam recalled trudging down the streets late into the night after retiring from his knightly duties for the day. He had reported back to the palace and returned his gear to the armory, and he recalled the night being oh so lonely and still. His house, a flat located in a decent neighborhood anyone would prefer, that he shared with his two brothers, was a mere two blocks away, just past the grand library and left of the bakery, when he saw her.

    The Liepard who was entranced by the moon.

    There she had stood, seated on the fountain of the deserted roundabout just outside of the pale ray’s reach. One hand outstretched, timidly breaching the tender beam with the reluctance of grass that dared to graze a fire, and the awe of a child who marveled the wings of a butterfly.

    He recalled how her long, slender tail snaked out from beneath her tattered cloak to curl around her bare, paw-like feet, how ears had been pressed back against the top of her head, nestling into the wild, dark violet locks of short chopped hair. How they curled and framed a youthful, delicate face illuminated lovingly by the moonbeam, how the fur covering her hand shone like bold basked within it.

    And Adam recalled finding it hard to think anything but, ‘She’s more beautiful in person.

    Miss Cassandra De L’allee.

    The infamous heart thief.

    And losing all thought when their eyes met, and her eyelashes drew him in from where he stood as they brushed against the top of her cheeks, and she had turned away with a swing of her hips and a sweep of her cloak as her tail seemed to wave him farewell. And the flow of her movements entranced him and indulged him and before he knew it, he had grabbed her wrist and enjoyed the feeling of her fur against his palm.

    The moon did strange things to those beneath it, because soon he was feeling that very same softness of fur against his cheek, caressing him with the tenderness of a lover, and all he remembered were her eyes and their enlarged slit-shaped pupils.

    Adam knew he was falling victim to her games, but the moment her rose petal shaped lips brushed against his, he really could not care less either.

    She had chosen him for that night.

    Lest to say, he ended up being sidetracked far, far from where he was meant to be.

    And now, in the morning light, he was staring directly in all her glory. The ringlets of golden fur that peeped from underneath the low collar of her violet shirt, the olive of her skin tone and the faint pink of her eyelids. Her slender, button nose and those rose petal shaped lips he had proudly gotten intimately familiar with.

    This was the curious woman who did not hold jobs, or a house, or any family to be known of, yet she always seemed to possess enough silver to get by. Rumors in the west claim her to have once been a street urchin in her younger years, but had supposedly turned in her ways. Switching one taboo profession to another, many assume, entertaining unsatisfied men for spectacular prices.

    If only could simply hire her.

    Miss De L’allee was not someone you could run into on the streets, nor was she someone who displayed herself in show houses in the west or anywhere for that matter. Some proudly tell their tales of seeing her disappearing into the disorienting alleyways after purchasing bread and fruits. Some boast on their spotting her traverse empty streets in the night, while others claimed to have seen her appear in taverns during certain times of the day. But a commonly accepted opinion was that one does not simply find Miss De L’allee. She found you.

    The few people who spotted her on a regular basis were shopkeepers and stall owners, from whom she would purchase their goods, and tavern workers, whose service she often employed. Unfortunate souls who were often badgered in favor of information on the reclusive woman. Men who snagged a night with her were entitled to ultimate bragging rights, but it was one that hardly anyone ever used. For how could they when their hearts have already been stolen and their minds follow her wherever she may go? Meanwhile, others who have yet to live the experience cross their fingers at night and pray they would be next.

    And she’s right here.’ Adam thought in awe as the petite female tied her tattered cloak over her shoulders, hiding her silhouette and belt full of pouches varying in size and sheathed knives beneath it. ‘With me.

    And it was then did Cassandra finally take notice of the man sprawled naked on the bed. With a gentle shift of her feet that barely creaked the floorboards below, she turned to face Adam and her fringes fell and curled playfully into her face and over her soft gaze. Her ears stood erect on the top of her head, her tail once again curling elegantly around her feet.

    “I- had a great time last night.” Adam spoke exasperatedly, it was difficult to draw breath under her contemplative gaze, glowing against her silhouette and it beckoned him to follow as she circled around the bed with long strides that seemed like a continuous flow. “How much do I owe you?”

    Like a ribbon caught in the wind, her body flowed, and even her cloak seemed stiff in comparison. And he realized only later that she was standing by the door with one paw on the handle, when she laughed musically, flashing him a glimpse of her fangs.

    “Tu es drôle.” She purred, a twinkle of mischief in her eyes, and Adam felt shivers up his spine, leaving him wondering if it had been due to a Dark spell she had somehow put him under. When he finally did gather his senses, he was left with a shut door.

    And a lonely room.

    Cassandra glided down the stairs and into the main area of the tavern, still waking from its slumber in the night before. The workers were sluggish, eyes half open, and the customers barely keeping themselves from face planting into the dish they‘ve ordered.

    “Fun night, Miss De L’allee?” An older, slightly lethargic Mr. Mime asked playfully from behind the bar in between his polishing of the beer glasses when she passed by.

    “Oh, same old, same old, Ramon.” The Liepard hummed in response, not looking, nor pausing. She kept on moving until she reached the doors and left.

    Ramon, the tavern owner, was a humorous man well into his middle ages who had grown quite accustomed to the dark feline’s dropping in from time to time, as, despite his apprehension towards mistypes, he could not deny that the enigmatic feline brought more business through his doors from young men clambering to catch a glimpse of the miss. And of that, he was earnestly grateful. Thus, during early mornings, when no one was around to see or hear, he would bring himself to strike up a conversation.

    Even if it lasted only a few seconds before she took off again.

    Into the blinding sunlight where her limbs hid within the confines of her cloak, far away from the shade of Delinquent Town. Out of place, out of touch.

    The streets were bare, but filling up fast. Men and women poured out of their homes to attend jobs and shop for daily necessities. Cassandra approached a particularly empty fruit stall that the owner, a burly Mankey, had just finished arranging the last of his goods in. Her eyes were wide and unmoving from the scarlet confections that were the apples, and before the Mankey could bark at her to scurry off, she outstretched her arm and dropped a silver coin upon the table. And she quenched whatever nasty insult he had planned on using. Begrudgingly, the Mankey accepted the coin and inspected it with suspicion, going as far as biting to see if it would bend or snap.

    And when it didn’t, he finally nodded in approval.

    Cassandra reached forward and snatched a fine apple from the top of the pile, rubbing it gently against the skin so that she may see her own reflection upon its red skin. But she had also seen something else in it.

    A pair of women, a Beautifly with long, black hair, and Vivillon with braided light hair, both possessing large, bright wings fluttering anxiously behind them as they whispered, and conspired, and her erect ears twitched and picked up every single word.

    "Isn't that... Cassandra De L'allee?" The Beautifly murmured, and Cassandra watched their expressions from the apple's skin.

    "Hmph, she's not that pretty." The Vivillon fluttered her wings indignantly. "I honestly can't see what the big deal is about. Men must truly be retarded to chase after that. She's a Dark! And just look at those awful rags."

    “It must be a dark hex.” The Beautifly gasped quietly, and Cassandra felt a grin pull at her lips. The women would always sneer in her presence, speaking only of the dirt they managed to dig up, or, more often than not, concoct. And it inflicted a strange kind of joy and hurt that amused her to no end. “She is a Dark type. She must be using some sort of devious trick to get all those men to fawn for her.”

    “Clearly she’s a witch.”

    She tucked away the apple, and turned nonchalantly around to face the two women. Her eyelids drooped half way down her eyes, a wide smirk pulling at her pink lips as she chewed, and swallowed, and basked in their fearful gazes. "Oh, you best watch what you say. Otherwise, I might just make all your hair fall out."

    And as the ladies sucked in a petrified breath, Cassandra flashed them a glimpse of her fangs, and a playful wink. She then disappeared into the accumulating morning crowd with a sweep of her cloak and a victorious flick of her tail, turning sharply,

    And vanishing into an alley.

    The shadows welcome her home and she could finally release that withheld breath when the coolness of the shade replaced the warmth of the sun. There she stood, just out of sight and out of way for anyone to see and blending ever so spectacularly into the dark being cast by the buildings. Cassandra peeled back her cloak, if only slightly, to free her arms and legs, and finally did her smirk fade. A solemn gaze and a ghostly existence. A specter looming in the alleyways. That was Miss De L’allee.

    She stepped forward soundlessly and relished the coolness of the stone pavement below, and traversed the lonely alleys with a quickened pace. Her movements were in silence, and she glided above the ground as if floating. Her hair swayed gently against her face, cloak flapping with each sharp turn that she knew like the back of her hand. Left, right, down an intersection, over a metal gate, and past the lonely fountain forgotten in the shadows.

    The low, faint hum of the busy main streets were slowly drowning away into gentle pitter patter of feet and hoofs and the occasional wheels from wooden carriages. The roofs of the houses grew more elegant and new and the buildings rose taller and larger.

    But their true beauty was lost to her from where she wandered in the darkness. In the back stage. Everything looked the same. Same old faded walls, and chipped surfaces. Bare of splendor and without the façade of grandeur and luxury, they were just buildings.

    Cassandra counted four buildings and thirty long paces and once again halted. Turning her head exactly ninety degrees, she found her destination; a house not unlike all the others from the back, save for the strangely old fashioned roof in an otherwise elite roofline. That was how she could tell it apart every time. She figured it must be much easier to tell from the front, the inside where others looked out, the norm. For it was the queerest establishment, the only blemish in an elite neighborhood where everything was beautiful and expensive and neat and remembered. With its untamed lawn and peeling paint, foreboding cries of locked doors and shut windows hiding above drawn shutters.

    The Allein house.

    The establishment that people naturally avoided, repelled, kept away. They change routes, turn back, and cross the street in the presence of the home. Anything and everything to remain as far as they can in fear of ghosts and demons and a boy with no eyes. As if such beings would latch and stalk them should they come too close. Absolute blasphemy.

    For within this home, this downtrodden establishment of peeling paint and layers of dust lived a pale, delusional boy with delusional mumblings who casted delusions on everyone and everything that dared wander too close and a mother who had lost sight of what she worked for and forgot of the boy’s existence, perhaps repelled by him as well as he imprinted himself onto the house and morphed it in his image causing everyone and everything to stay away as well.

    And that was exactly why she had chosen this very home to hide her trophies. For such delusions did not affect a Dark like her.

    Cassandra released a breath, and faced her head forward. She pushed out the long claws from her hands and feet and fluidly pressed her back against the wall of the building opposite to the Allein home. The alley was narrow, and even with her size, she managed to clear it with one, long step.

    And then, she sprinted forward, and leaped off the ground.

    Her claws latched onto the chips and cracks of the Allein home several feet above the ground, and with her momentum, she pressed herself against the wall to cushion any sound or vibration she might’ve caused. And before gravity could realize that it had been defied, Cassandra pushed off once again and leaped across to the opposite wall. Her claws dug into the paving and allowed her split second leverages before she would fall off. Back and forth she bounded, zigzagging up between the two floor buildings until she propelled herself onto the roof of the home that was falling apart.

    Cassandra pressed herself low against the tiling, and with fluid muscles she crawled right behind the chimney that was never lit. Pulling her hood over her head and ears, with a firm grip on the rim of the stone lined nozzle, the Liepard heaved herself up and over and dropped into the dizzying fall below.

    The Liepard could not help the grin that pulled wide on her lips at sensation of free fall in her stomach, counting one, two, three, before abruptly extending her limbs outward to grab hold of the rocks besides her. Her fall came to an abrupt halt just inches from the hearth’s opening, and her calloused hands buffered any pain that would have come from the friction. Retracting the claws in her feet, she slipped her legs free and carefully released her grip to drop into the bed of ash below, unison to the drumming of books and the clatter of a wooden object against the dust caked floor.

    The black particles puffed mournfully, drifting to the air of the dust layered home and within their dark cover, she ushered herself out, standing straight and dark like a specter formed from the ash. There she saw the boy, peering out of his window, unaffected, unaware.

    As he usually was. Everything reality was fantasy and everything fantasy was reality at the same time within his mind, that much she knew from the way he stared, but never quite saw. She could be right there, before his very eyes, and he never acknowledged her, not once. It became a thrilling game to the Dark, after a short while, and he would have come to be used to the ghost, he called her, which drifted into his home from time to time. Or perhaps he hasn’t. She never really knew.

    A wider grin pulled at her pliant lips and urged by the creeping ash, she slinked across the room with muted steps and loomed curiously by his back, peering over his shoulder to see what it was that caught his fancy but soon finding she did not really care. So instead, she pushed her paws out from beneath her cloak, and pressed them against his sunken eyes. And with a grin, she hummed,

    “Guess who.”
     
    #28 PentheWonderful, Oct 1, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2016
  29. As the sun continued it's way above their heads, Trini and Delilah prepaired to disarm the camp they have built to spend the night. The next one, would be in the city of Suimera.

    Delilah had a feeling about this new place, and it wasn't her future sight, it felt more like the city itself was throwing smoke signals to them. First the carnival, a perfect oportunity for a pythoness like her to make some money, then the legend of the dragon, a tale which's similarity with their own history couldn't be just a coincidence. The Jynx had learned not to believe in coincidences, not when the future was written just once.

    Caught in thoughts of hope, the Jynx didn't even realise that they were ready to go.

    Trini quickly put on her bag, a huge amount cloths and kitchen tools that, along with the treasures she had stolen during the long journey her life was, made her package even bigger than her own body. She could feel the pain in her arms while taking the bag from the ground to place it on her back. Her body was weak, like an eight year old child who needed help to carry his bag to school. If she had been from any other species, she wouldn't be able to carry such a weight. But Mawiles were different.

    Her mother used to to tell her how rare her species were, and how in ancient times they would only appear at night. Some people thought of them as demons, others, as wanderer beings that due their terrible sins were forced to carry a feral curse behind their heads.

    Of course, if her feral little friend was a curse, Trini was glad she had sinned in a past life. Her hair was for her the most important extremity. It was the one allowing her to carry that bag right now, it was the one that had her back covered all the time, it was the one that could always help her scape from those who caught her in her mischieves.

    And even though she couldn't see it, it was the one that had cursed her to live without a home, and that was something only Delilah was daring to see.

    It was painful to see her little girl grow up like this, without a room to keep her toys and a bed to spend the night, forced to wear caps even in the warmest days. She didn't know how to read or how to even write her name, something she could easily learn if it wasn't for their caotic lifestyle.

    "Mom, how about we get going?" Trini asked to her thoughtful mother, dragging her out of her reflections.

    It wasn't until then that she realised that they were just losing time. "Oh, of course honey, let's get going," Delilah said as she put her bag on and started walking.

    _____________

    A rush of energy ran through the Mawile's body once they entered the town. It had given her an special sensation, something that no city had made her feel yet. Maybe it was the blue sky above their heads, framed by the cobblestone buildings of the main street, or perhaps it could be the enthusiastic chatting taking place in every corner. Whatever it was, it made the city seem alive, as if it's own heart was beating somewhere between the crowd or under their feet, maybe even up above, where the sun, always shining, bathed the streets in warm light.

    Staying silent and quiet while everyone else chatted or laughed made her feel like an outsider, even though that was what she was. She felt the need to hurry up, to settled down and join the town's enthusiasm, to wonder through the streets seeking for treasures and to be part of that city that was, now for sure, alive.

    And even though she felt as energetic as ever, the weight of her bag straps on her shoulders was already making them ache. Of course, her hair was helpful when it came to loading heavy weights, but her shoulders could never avoid their part of the job. She didn't feel like taking a single step more with that thing on her back.

    "Mom, when are we going to stop?" she asked on a high pitched voice "I'm tired, and thirsty and my legs are starting to hurt."

    The Jynx would've liked to reach a good place to settle as soon as possible, but she'd be lying if she said she wasn't tired. The journey to Suimera was long anthough, with mountains and rivers interrupting the path. Her feet ached inside her leather boots, probably full of blisters created by the though road.

    Maybe the both of them needed a rest, just to get rid of the fatigue and have enough energy to build the tent once they reached their camping place. "Okay, let's stop by that square, we can sit on the grass and drink some water if you like," she said finally surrending to her daughter's question.

    "Yas Mom!" she exclaimed cheerfully, quickly recovering from the fatigue as she took the straps of her backpack in her hands and started running.

    Delilah smiled at her daughter from the back, amused by her childish attitude. She walked slowly behind her, her dirty red skirt almost reaching the ground as she made her way to the square. If someone had seen them from the distance, it would have been impossible to believe the both of them were mother and daughter. Trini, being delicated as a porcelain doll, could never be compared to her mother, a largue individual in every aspect. Her body was naturally thick, with largue hips and breasts hiding under her voluptuous red dress. Her factions, usually framed by the veil of her long blond hair, were though and thick, emphasazing above all her largue and defined lips, highlighting with a bright color pink on the dark skin of the female.

    And even though she wasn't pretty, she had one of the most bautiful smiles.

    She was one of these beings that inspired trust, that held kindnes within her dark eyes.

    "Come on Mom! Aren't you coming?!" Trini exclaimed as she let her bag fall to the ground, metters from her mother who took her time to take each step.

    "I'm heading there Trini! Be patient with me!" she answered, slowly approaching the spot where her daughter and her would stop for a break.

    The park shimmered in spring-like beauty. A couple of young Nidoran's enjoyed of a date under the willow, an old Roselia walked through the paths wattering the flowers as she spoke to them with a smile. Trini, meanwhile, sat by an apple tree watching as a pair of siblings, Minun and Plusle, curiously looked at the Driftblim magician, yet without daring to go and watch his tricks.

    "What a couple of fools," she told her mother as soon as she arrived the tree where she was sitting "They're probably scared of him because he's a ghost. Ha! What a silly reason to be scared of someone."

    "Are you going to tell me you aren't afraid of Ghosts?" asked Delilah with a mocking smile "Did you know they can curse you? Or how they domain the art of shadows better than anyone?" the playful smile on her face didn't fade as she spoke, in fact, it became wider and wider with every word "I've heard mistypes like Ghosts are even more dangerous in this town..."

    "They haven't been dangerous in any town," answered Trini calmed, a little pissed by her mother's foolish jokes "I seriously doubt they're different in this one. They're as fool as anyone else."

    "Trini, you're so cold!" Delilah complained.

    "I'm just saying the truth," she defended raising her shoulders. That rebelious attitude of her had accompained her all her life, looking as a little doll, pretending to enlarge her age was the only way she knew to be taken seriously.

    A short moment of silence emerged between mother and daughter. The flirty chat between the Nidorans could be heard from the distance, along with the sweet words of the Roselia lady. Delilah gave a glance to her daughter after which she redirected her eyes to the magician. She smiled, why not to have a little fun during her break?

    "Hey, what if we go and check that magician, eh?" the Jynx asked pointing at the spot he occuped in the square "Maybe he has some good tricks."

    "Are you kidding me? I'm not five mom! I'm not for those stupid shows!" Trini claimed.

    "Oh, come on sweetie, I bet it'll be fun!"

    Delilah, unlike Trini, was all for fantasy. Wether it was magic, tales or urban myths, she was always searching for things that defied reality. Trini, on the other way, thought of them as lies, foolish stories to get people distracted from the universe they actually lived in. She was the one to trick others, not the other way around.

    "Maybe we can convince him to teach you some of his tricks..." it was her last chance to persuade the young Mawile, and for her fortune, it worked.

    "Okay, but you better give me something in exchange for it."

    Glad she got her way with it, Delilah held her daughter's hand as she walked towards the Driftblim.

    "Excuse me sir," she said with a slight reverence "would you mind showing us some magic?"
     
    #29 Blue moon, Oct 2, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2016
  30. Leather boots fell rapidly on stone tiles, the tread light and airy barely touching the ground as if the footsteps of a receding dream or a thought just on the edge, out of reach as you try to grasp it. A red and gold blur whisked past other palace servants as they stopped and blinked their brains trying to catch up with the rest of their senses. The lithe young girl nimbly dodged and weaved in and out of small groups of people, passing close enough by that all they would have to do is reach out a hand. Yet the closeness was a deceptive illusion, like trying to grasp a plume of smoke in sight, but untouchable.


    Mai-Ling let her mind wander in thought as her body dashed through the palace grounds on well trained auto-pilot. After she delivered this missive, the girl would have a precious bit of rare free time. Mai resolved to take a short sojourn out of the palace grounds to visit the marketplace. She had been saving up her wage in preparation for one of the few guilty pleasures, the girl allowed herself to indulge in.


    Her thoughts were snapped back to reality when she entered the servants’ wing for a short-cut to her ultimate destination. The wing was particularly crowded today with the preparations for the festival well under-way. Gijinka's of almost every type and size were hard at work carrying supplies, building temporary props and furniture, and sewing special clothes. The atmosphere was like a hive of busy bees all hard at work doing individual or small group task, yet still dancing to a synchronized tune leading to a common goal. Mai stopped for just a second to take in the sight and smile. It made her feel good to see people working hard together for such an important event.


    The Greninja girl focused on the task at hand as she scanned the crowd, her brain determining all the weak points in the collective wall of chaos. She took a deep breath and dived into the fray, like some battlefield messenger trying desperately to get orders to a commander on the other side. She ducked under the arms of a tall, broad shouldered, blastoiste man, the large column he was carrying hovered barely six inches above the top of her head. Next she twirled past an angry looking geo-dude man as he barked orders at a group of men constructing the pieces of a stage. She was already passed before the man could glare where she had been, and send a few short curses aimed in her direction.


    As the girl darted about the smooth metallic scroll container lashed to her back bobbed around, its valuable contents kept safe from prying eyes. Just as Mai could see the end of the crowd a wigglytuff maid carrying a double armload of clothes, tripped and went sliding into the Page's direct path. Without missing a step in her momentum and unable to stop in time Mai gracefully sprung over the hapless young lady and her tangled sprawl of clothes, landing smoothly on the other side and continuing her run. Part of Mai felt bad at not stopping to help the fallen maid, but her mission was far too important. The girl pivoted and took a sharp right heading down some secluded back halls.


    Mai-Ling was approaching her destination, as these back hallways represented the home stretch in her race against time. The girl's concern was far overblown as she was well ahead of schedule. However to Mai every single second was precious when she had a task given to her by the Lady. Mai took note of the well scrubbed walls and floor and realized that they maids must have been through very recently in preparation for the upcoming event. Whoa be to the entire maid staff if the iron willed head maid discovered a single speck of dirt on the big night itself, or the walls did not positively shine.


    As Mai rounded a corner at full tilt, the sight before her brought the page to an abrupt halt. Her crimson eyes widened in alarm and her body took an immediate defensive posture. She crouched low and her left hand rested on the cool metal cylinder while deep blue water began to gather in her right hand. The water swirled around and took the shape of a small dagger before hardening into a solid blue razor sharp form. The sight before Mai was of a body lying motionless on the floor up ahead bathed in a beam of sunlight. Mai narrowed her eyes and studied the body for just a moment, before the blade of water dissipated in her hand falling harmlessly to the floor. Her Crimson eyes widened in complete alarm as her stance dissolved as fast as her blade had, her brain sounding an alarm.


    "That's prince Salem! Oh Suicune please don't let him be harmed! Who could do such a thing and in the blessed walls of the Palace itself!" The teenage girl darted forward, faster than she had ever moved before closing the distance in the blink of an eye she knelt down over the Prince, terrified of what she might find. She whispered aloud, "please be alright, please be alright." like it was some mantra that she could make true with her will alone.
     
  31. The crowd dissipated once more to reveal the marvelous fountain in the middle of the square. It had three layers, each smaller than the last, with water flowing in each of them. At the top was a beautiful statue, a Milotic, hair outstretched with eyes of ruby. Its stone tail wrapped around the base, carved patterns shimmering. Allen noticed that the fountain look refreshingly new, compared to some in other towns. It had no cracks or plant growth, and it was shining. Then, Allen remembered something- the Queen, or he heard, was also a Milotic.

    Suddenly, Allen heard a voice. It said, very comfortably, " Excuse me sir, may you show us some magic?" Allen zoomed around to the spice of the voice, finding a Jynx and a young Mawile. Allen quickly replied, " Of course! You guys seem excited. You're my second customers today, so I'll get right to it." Using two of his extra limbs- He never knew what to call them- Allen opened up a large case below his stand. It was full of random things he had picked up during his travels, both from stores and other places.

    Inside were tricks of all kinds- simple ones, for children, to ones complicated minds have trouble with. Both of these people seemed like they wanted the second kind- both Mawile and Jynx were known for being quite tricky. Of course, Allen prefered the simple kind, so he hadn't many. Carefully, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a small coin- but it was bent. Not letting anyone see the coin, Allen also reached and held out another coin. "Listen, I've never done this before," Allen quickly said. Of course, that was a lie; Allen had practice. Stretching out his arm, Allen said to the two, "Will one of you hold this coin?"

    Now, that lie wasn't a big one- Allen hadn't done this much. Coin tricks, ones that required a lot of presision and cooperation with the spectator, were quite hard. Anyway, nobody wanted to trust a ghost, and it was hard to find people who did. "I need you guys to trust me. Do everything I say, and the results will be amazing," Allen said. That was not a lie- This trick was one of his favorites, and the few times he did it, people liked it. However, he was very unsure, as some people were smarter than he could plan for. After all, it was a big world.
     
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  32. "My name? That's easy, it's Ajani. It's a pleasure to meet someone as talented as you are, Ana."

    Diana had stopped dancing, which left Ajani with a feeling within his heart, a feeling that wanted more. Putting aside the feeling, along with any remotely indecent thoughts that may or may not have threatened to accompany it, he extended a hand to her. "Don't mind the claws. Considering you're an Ekans, they can't do much to you," he said with his signature smirk.

    Ajani's tail lifted from the ground as he shifted his weight back to his feet. A few shouts of "Hey, watch it!" and "Whoa, are you trying to hurt someone?!" sounded from behind him. He turned his head around and apologized with his eyes, not speaking a single word to the pedestrians.

    The initial goal to replace his training dummy faded away completely, replaced entirely with the wish to get to know the others that stood before him. He now knew at least the name and a skill of the Ekans, but Ajani knew little to nothing about this Growlithe boy. His tail slammed back into the ground - er, more like slowly lowered, but still - as his weight shifted back to it. "Say, uh, Growlithe boy. What say you, eh? What's your name? It's a pleasure meeting you both, really is," he said, smirk and raised eyebrows now finally being replaced with a calmer expression.
     
  33. Location: Suimera, Royal Palace, Council Wing
    Time: Morning
    Tagging: Salem, Mai-Ling
    ----------​

    Much quicker than he expected, the person approaching was at his side and Salem heard the panic in the high voice of a young girl. Immediately his inner smile and mischief died away upon hearing it.

    He had planned to grab onto whoever it was with his tail and demand to know why they were disturbing his sunny nap, but this girl seemed utterly terrified.

    'What am I doing?' he thought to himself, and proceeded to berate himself a bit more mentally as he slowly opened his eyes to regard the person so worried about his well being.

    “Do not worry, I am perfectly…” he began to say until he took note of the girl’s features and his breath caught.

    She was small, very small, and lithe. Her skin was had a blackish fringe to it which made for a mysterious effect, and her long hair was a dark blue, darker than his own even. She had cute long ears, and large deep red eyes which practically shone with worry and teary panic.

    “…adorable,” he finished, releasing that held breath.

    He sat up and turned to face the girl, examining her more closely. He took note of her red attire and realize that he has seen her before, or at least he was fairly sure of it.

    Over the years he had caught glimpses of a girl with long blue hair and a red attire, but every time he thought he saw her in the corner of an eye, she was gone when he looked. It had become something of a mystery, a game, to him. He had imagined her to be all sorts of things, and when he was younger he had spent a great deal of time chasing after her ghosts. Searching rooms and corridors, looking behind curtains and inside armors, and even peering through keyholes and cracks in the walls. He had flipped the skirts of maids in an effort to find the mysterious tiny girl, and at a later age had sometimes used that as an excuse to just flip skirts.

    And now here she was, kneeling over him.

    Salem felt like a really long children’s game they had been playing, has finally come to an end. Here she was, another mystery solved.

    There had been quite a few such innocent mysteries within the palace walls. Many of them were not mysteries at all, but Salem had perceived them as such and spend a good deal of his youth solving the riddles no one else wondered about.

    ‘That just leaves the one of the echoed cries in the lower areas of the castle,’ he thought to himself. Although he was fairly certain that one had simply disappeared some years ago when the sound stopped one day and never picked back up.

    Salem reached out to touch the girl’s soft looking cheek, but stopped himself and instead offered his hand out to her to shake.

    “Tell me your name,” he said and placed a reassuring smile on his face.

    “You run for Alizé do you not? Thanks for worrying about me. Where were you headed?”
     
    #33 Nygenn, Oct 5, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2016
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  34. Darkness.

    It was a funny thing- a cloak, a shadow, a veil, a mystery. It was controversial- a thing some relished and others shunned, a greatest glory or a crippling fear. And it was always within the Allein home, to where the brash joked the abode was almost like a mistype itself. After all, daylight was a ribbon in a cloud of shadow, lamplight thin and yellow, sickly and wasted, a creaky sort of dusty, artificial light that hung only from the window and within the kitchen, to leave most of the house to a cloud of darkness. But never had it bothered the boy, this creature with skin so pale it appeared translucent, eyes sunken, cheeks thin, hunchbacked and ghostly, a picture of a person who lived only with lamplight licking his face. If anything, there grew a fear to the light by association, for the light was outside, across the river, bustling, lively, overpowering, malignant, rash...

    But despite his desire for the dark, it came as much of a surprise for light to vanish all together, the bustling ghosts whisked away to appear only in his eye's mind, floating through the cobwebs of the dark, a fly awaiting its master's fangs.

    The ghost beside him pulsed with a sour flash of fear, and the boy's veins glowed lightly, tinting the air with an eerie, purple-grey hue that kindled only a small flair within the darkness of the Allein home. Yet the boy remained calm- deathly calm, thin lips straight, eyes unblinking, hands held stiffly at his sides, not a twitch to their utterly silent fingers. And he was so calm, always calm, deathly calm, void of life, because to live was to care, and there brewed no passion in his heart but the acidic relish of a mastered pot.

    Que placed a hand against the brash shutters, finger tips drifting blindly down the edges of one slat, feeling the dust mingle across the coarse, splintered surface, relishing in the air spun by his ghastly touch. He made no attempt to lift the darkness from his sight, although whether this was from pleasure or a simply flat attitude was unclear. Instead, he closed his eyes beneath their cloak, curiousity drawing him to entertain his power- his hated power, and oh, oh, it was sickening, but it was just so interesting.

    Every ghost was different- not in their emotions, nor their struggles, nor their heartbeats, nor the blood that pulsed within them- no, those were all the same, to every last scrap and drop. But it was the fundamental ratio of emotion in their hearts that made each ghost that ghost- their core, you could call it. Some had a diamond of sadness that they could never chase away, another a ruby flare of anger that corrupted every thought, or charcoal love that had resided there for an eternity, and the boy knew that no one ever changed because each day the ghosts drifted past his windowsill and whatever gem or piece of coal would always be there, hiding, perfect, enviously smooth, the wind that mastered the ocean of a person, entangled them, corrupted them, raised them up and tore them down. And as the wind, it was unpredictable, and the boy was convinced that everything changes because the oceans swirled and whipped and lashed at the gem's will, and this will grew strong and faint and nonexistent without a cause. And always did he find intrigue at the masterful realm of these gems, sending their whims on a frosty breath, and always did he find disgust at their power, for he knew that, as he could tie and relinquish a cord or rope from its bonds, there was a core within him that was the fingers, tying and untying the boy without a single thought, and he'd watched them work, these perfect little pearls, and he'd heard the after taste of their cozening songs, and for as long as he remembered there'd always been wars, feuds, disasters, unpredictability, chaos, laughter, he thought he knew a person before their gem breathed its frosty breath and forever they'd be changed, they'd be ghosts, they'd be oceans at war. The world was uncertainty and change and storms, and he knew the cause, and he watched every day how it built society only to tear it down, primeval and unpredictable, fiendish, ghastly, those little charcoal gems. He'd seen love and hate and knew they had one source, peace and feuds and found the end the same, day to day life behind the brash window shudders of children, digging holes in their front yards, mothers fuming at their fun, husbands tired, neighborhoods strained, fear, distaste, harmony, tension, and he saw the world as a work of art, as a devious masterpiece, of ghostly creatures controlled by the irrationale, possessed by little gems.

    His mother said to be human was to feel emotion.

    Sadness, love, fear, hate, excitement, anxiety.

    He'd respond that, if that was the case, than to be human was to be controlled. Wild. Mindless. A puppet, a length of rope to be tied and untied time and time again.

    Que swallowed, a sour tang in his mouth, an unease, an apprehension from the ghost who always shadowed his side, and he focused on the creature behind him- the creature who'd asked ''Guess who?'' and he searched for her heart, her pulse, her blood, and he found he couldn't find it-

    the girl had no core.

    She was dark, ghastly, a cloak in tatters, a dark room beneath a shuttered window where light was a basilisk, fleeting, existing simply to be driven out, unveiling little that hadn't already turned to stone. The beat of her heart was muffled beneath a thousand shadows, her pulse escaping his mind's fingers, her emotions shrouded, smog, smoke, slithering into the air only to be banished by the wind. And the more he searched, the more he recognized the quietness, the darkness, the solitude- yes, he remembered the dull hearbeat, the tattered cloak, the darkness, the voice-!

    ''Hi Ghost,'' he murmered in a crinkly tone, monotone and steely with a childish rise, similar to a sheet of aluminum foil. The ghost beside him beat once with a sour pleasure, and the boy agreed, for once, with its heart. She was quiet. Oh so quiet. He knew she had to have a core, but it was so dark, so hidden, what if... what if she didn't, what if she hadn't fallen beneath its tyrannical hold, what if she was something greater than human, uncontrolled, masterful, only answers and predictable thoughts? Oh, couldn't he hope?

    No- no, hope was a promise and promises were gilded lies. But always lay the fleeting thought of the girl without a core. She was Ghost- one with a capital G, somehow more distinct, with a pulse that always hid from his mind's probing fingers. And the boy stood still before his window, eerily content in her darkness, not making a move to push away her hands from his closed eyes.

    Before all at once his arms rose, snappish like, pushing the ghost away, turning quickly from his window, and as he did so, or perhaps before, a large crash sounded throughout the neighborhood, and every ghost's heart raced with the maddened slamming of a door. Que's throat grew hot as he slouched further, hunchbacked, fingers shivering, hands shaking, steely eyes a maddened blue, lips curled in a malicious sneer, and he hated his husband for he did no work and left the children to their own devices and how she wanted to throw another vase at him, make him cringe again, chase him from the house where he deserved not her labor and love, and- no, and how she hated- no, wait, he hadn't a husband, this wasn't his heart, this wasn't Que, and the boy pulled his hat down so low that it just touched his nose, clenching his fists against the narrow tassles, breath receding, sliding against the cold wall, searching for a heartbeat of his own.

    Footsteps jarred the surprised street as the woman walked quickly away from her house, taking her anger with her and away from the merry row of houses, all but for one cast in the shade of neglect, and Que's pale hands slowly died in their shiver into a deathly calm. The boy pushed his hat high enough to just peer beneath it, casting a distasteful glance out of the window, deserting it again for the second time that day, lest he be corrupted by another's gem.

    He slumped slowly past the Ghost, watching the dust swirl around his white-socked toes, aware of a growing aching in the shadow ghost's heart the longer he pulled himself from the banks of the river, delving deeper into the loneliness of a wilderness neglected.

    He passed out of the girl's silent shadow, feeling white noise swell once more against his ears.
     
  35. The “merchant” impatiently tapped his fingers on the desk. Almost like it bothered him to be there. Oh yes, that was because it did bother him.

    The establishment was actually owned by a loving middle-aged couple, a Swoobat and a Lopunny. They weren’t quite rich, but they certainly weren’t poor. And the one at the desk was their oldest son, a young man at the age of fifteen. He was set up to be the next owner of the shop, along with his own lover and blah blah blah. He didn't care! What if he didn't want a shop?! Maybe he wanted a different life! As a...a...Okay, he wasn't sure what he was going to be, but it wasn't going to be a merchant!

    Some of his friends got the long end of the stick, being from a cool genus that would get jobs like being a guard, or an explorer, or a trader...wait, was that any different than a merchant? Meh, they still got to get out of the stupid kingdom, with the same stupid queen (So what if a new king was being appointed? The snooty dragon wouldn't be any better then the fancy hag!), and the same stupid people!

    But him? Nooooo, he had to be a born a Buneary. A natural weakling. Even after he evolved, the rabbit was only marginally, marginally stronger! And don't even get him started on his height. Even if Lopunny were shorter than most, he had the curse of being even shorter! The boy only stood at four foot three, and would probably only get a half a foot taller! That's what makes you unique! His mother always said. But it was just some silly proverb, just like everything else she spouted out!

    Now why he was standing at the counter of the store he despised so, was quite simple. His parents were out, if only for an hour or two, and he was shunted here to practice his "future line of work". But! Maybe, just maybe he got lucky. No one had come in for quite awhile. Perhaps the junior Merchant could get away with selling nothing this day! Maybe...

    A familiar jingle sounded as the door opened, and a annoyed "Ugggggh." Sounded from the Lopunny.

    Some Mareep had come on in, some wide eyed child who was probably here for food or something. Of course, they didn't have food here, so maybe, just maybe, he could shoo her off without having to deal with

    "Hmph. Welcome, welcome. To the shop whichhasanamebutIcantbebotheredtorememberit." That last part came out very quickly, and was in quite condescending in tone. "Anyways, I'm Percival, your clerk today. What can I get you? And if it's food, we don't have any. So you could leave right now if your looking for food."
     
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  36. Mai knelt over the downed robed figure of the prince. Just as she was about to reach for him, the young man sat up and spoke, although Mai-Ling did not hear the words. Mai froze as still as any ice sculpture as her heart beat wildly in her chest, as if it were drums signaling a call to arms. Her breath was shallow and made no sound as it whisked between her teeth. Her crimson eyed gaze wide and stunned as she starred at the man before her.

    Over her years of service to the palace and Lady Alize, she had seen the prince several times. However it had always been from a distance and never directly, as the lady had warned her not to rest her tainted dark eyes on the prince. In this very moment kneeling less than a hands-breath away from the dragon prince, she could not help but be dazed with the man's beauty.

    With his elegant cheekbones, lean but tall physique and sea-green eyes the prince would be considered handsome in any crowd. However standing in a single beam of sunlight that seemed to flow about the man like a river of light caressing his being, the most striking feature was the myriad of tiny scales covering most of his flesh. In the sunlight they shown like a million tiny polished sapphires, each scale capturing the light and shinning with its own radiance. Add in the mystical glowing effect of Suicune's markings on the prince and he appeared more like some master jewelers prized statue created as a tribute to the concept of royalty itself, than a living being.

    The young Page's brain finally broke the daze and snapped her back to reality with a painful vengeance as all of her pent up thoughts flowed in like an unstoppable tidal wave from the ocean itself. "The prince, I am just crouched her in front of prince Salem himself and he is addressing me. I must look like a senseless dolt just resting here motionless in front of his face. Wait, I am looking the prince in the face! Lady Alize told me never to look directly upon him, she is going to skin me and make a new foot rest!"

    Mai-Ling's darker skin flushed a light pink around her cheeks and the teenage girl quickly bowed her head downward fixing her eyes to the floor. The prince was holding out his hand towards her, and the Greninja had no inkling as to what the gesture meant. No one had ever held a hand out to her like that before. "What does he want? Am I supposed to help him up, but I shouldn't touch the prince. I am so confused. Wait he just asked me for my name, stop disobeying the prince and give him your name Mai before you disgrace yourself any further."

    "My name is Mai-Ling my Lord. I am the Lady Alize's Page." The prince’s query as to where she was headed caught the girl even further by surprise and she began to sweat slightly. "What do I do? Lady Alize gave me this special secret mission and I need to get it delivered with discretion and haste. This is Crown Prince Salem though, and the Lady told me to give everything to the crown, to which we all serve faithfully. However will I be failing my mission if I tell anyone? No, the crown is above all, and I must follow the Lady's earliest orders. I cannot disobey the prince."

    Mai kept her head down as she spoke, not daring to gaze upon the royal visage before her once again. Part of her yearned to see such beauty just one more time, but it was not her place to do so. "I am to deliver an urgent scroll to the Realm General's office within the space of an hour, my Lord. Please forgive me my Lord but do you need help rising to your feet, I do not understand your gesture. My ignorance is a horrible offense."
     
  37. Spark.
    Spark.

    Flicker.
    Flicker.

    With each snap of his fingers, a blinding flash of wicked electricity emerged from Kane's thumb and middle finger before gently disappearing into the metallic desk he sat at. A desk made of cheap copper with red leather on the table top, propped up facing the wall, next to a small bookcase filled to the brim with various paperwork and trinkets.

    Kane, sitting in his wooden chair, stared down at the abnormally large piece of paper lying in front of him with one hand to rest his head on, and the other to continue clicking his fingers with. The paper held a wide variety of little paragraphs of black, hand-written text and little diagrams and drawings of metallic bits and pieces. In the center of the page was the finished product. An extremely fancy looking table, shaped in a long rectangle with engravings of Dratini on each leg and a pristine silk tablecloth to finish it off.

    "Hmm." Kane grumbled in his deep, rough voice. He pulled a pencil off of his belt and began to start scribbling things down and making additions to the blueprints. After he was done, Kane put the pencil back under his belt and picked up the paper by it's corners. His crimson eyes flickered back and forth at every little detail on his drawing, and upon that, he decided.

    'It's perfect. A table for the ceremony, befitting of a king.'
    Kane thought, as he sat up and rolled the paper up into a scroll of sorts and placing it haphazardly on to his bed in the corner of his generously spacious living area. He pushed his chair into his desk and took three long strides before arriving at the other side of his office, where a singular window lied. Kane, with mighty force, pulled open the curtain, letting his figure be showered with the rays of the sun and his long, spiky black hair being whipped back and forth by the nice spring breeze flooding into the room. Kane almost always pulls all-nighters to get some kind of project finished, often during that time he works in pitch black darkness. But that doesn't matter, his eyesight can see anything clearly in any condition, an ability he was glad he inherited from his father. He was a person who was hard to fool, and even harder to get away with fooling him.

    A tiny bead of sweat rolled down the Luxrays forehead and continued on to his chest, and then on to the floor. As per usual, Miss Alize had the heat cranked right up throughout the interior of her quarters. Kane absolutely despised it, but unfortunately it was a necessary evil. Anything the warmth touches, she can see, therefor anyone who does anything without her consent, is punished.

    Kane stood by the windowsill for just a moment, basking in the glory of Suimera. His worries were easier to cope with that way. Afterwards he stood back and strolled over to the wooden coat hanger by his door and took a gothic black jacket off of it before effortlessly slipping it over his white shirt. He rolled the sleeves up, revealing his somewhat muscular arms and took a pair of black, fingerless gloves, clad in rubber placing, from the pocket of his pants and put them on, this time, with a bit more hassle.

    After getting ready, Kane let out a small growl of delight as he passed by a red wall, a wall with some of his best... 'inventions' on it, if you could even call them that. An wooden, oval shaped, shield-looking object with dragon-like wings made of paper and cotton sprouting out of it lied at the center of the wall. Some other weird machines around it included an almost completely transparent ball, within another almost completely transparent ball, and a pair of black tinted glasses that let out a tiny puff of smoke from it's frame every couple of hours. The wall was like a freaky magic show of rare items from a far away land. Kane was proud of himself for making such wacky things that serve no real purpose, and his confirmation was all he needed in order to believe that what he was doing wasn't borderline insane. He always insisted it was a hobby, but it was more of an obsession rather than anything else.

    Kane snatched the roll of prints off of his bedsheets and walked over to the door, where he took a deep breath in and exhaled in a calm manner before opening it and closing it behind him. This route he was going to take was one he had taken many times before. You simply go down the spiral staircase, through the lobby, out the door, down the stone road, take a left and there it was. The workshop, where almost everything in the kingdom was forged, like furniture and currency. Despite being a noisy, messy building, it actually blended right in with the rest of the palace. The only thing that distinguished it was the large, tubular chimney made of marble, spewing forth white smoke that blended in with the clouds. If you looked closely, it really was a sight to behold.

    The Luxray slammed the doors to the workshop open and everyone inside paused and stared at him. Gijinkas of many, many different species all said in unison, "Yes Sir!"

    "Aight everyone, where's the Chief? I'd like to pass over some documents to him." Kane said as the concrete doors flew shut behind him, letting the area return to it's factory-like atmosphere.

    A short, burly man approached Kane with the look of a happy dwarf. It was Chief Baldwin, a Camerupt, he had two large holes on his back made of some kind of rock like substance and short, orange hair, he also wore blue and red attire.
    "C'mon everyone! GET BACK TO WORK YE LITTLE BASTURDS!" Baldwin screamed at the top of his tiny lungs in a Scottish accent. Everyone stopped staring and work continued. Kane could barely contain his laughter every time the Cheif yelled, but somehow he managed.

    "Right 'ere sir. Have ye got the prints sorted?" The Camerupt asked while calming down a little bit.

    "Yup. They're right here. I'm trusting you'll have at least four of these done by tomorrow? Right?"
    Kane responded while forcefully handing the scroll of paper to the Chief, asking another question in the process.

    "O-Oh. Of course! Anythin fur Miss Alize and her Accomplice. Gold is just a wee bit expensive is all... Work has tripled since the announcement of that royal ceremony, I honestly don't know how we're keeping up with all of this work! But we are, and that's the main thing. As long as we're doing that, we can get anything done!" Baldwin stated while unrolling the blueprints and scanning them thoroughly. "Also, if you don't mind me sayin, this table looks absolutely amazing. Perfection as always, Caspian."

    "No No! Not at all. I really could have done better on it. If anything, I reckon it's almost too fancy." Kane lied. He acted like this all the time. As long as you're humble, people think of you as a good person. That was his philosophy anyway, and he liked the attention he got for it. "Well, thanks for your cooperation Baldwin. I appreciate it, as always."

    Kane exited the workshop and back out into the lovely, cool breeze that swept the land. The clicking of his boots against the stone paths always ended up mesmerizing the Luxray on his way home. It tickled his senses, and the perfect tone of the noise was one that he really, really liked. This made walking through the streets more of a time to relax, rather than a chore.

    After climbing up the spiral staircase, Kane stopped at Miss Alize's private quarters. Just as he was about to enter however, a frightened looking Greninja flew out at what seemed like the speed of light. Luxray simply knocked on the now open door and fearlessly let himself in, shutting the door behind him. Kane politely stood in front of his commanders desk, the air was way too thick for his liking in the pristine gold and red room, it irritated him greatly, however, it was somewhat tolerable, barely.

    "I've finished designing and submitting all of the work to the shop Miss Alize. I couldn't find anyone who might have seemed like they were sabotaging the production line. Do you have any further requests?"
     
    #37 SUPERRNOVAA, Oct 6, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
  38. Location: Suimera, Royal Palace, Council Wing
    Time: Morning
    Tagging: Salem, Mai-Ling
    ----------​

    “Within the space of an hour?” Salem mused thoughtfully. “How unexpectedly generous of Alizé.”

    He considered their currently location in the palace, then looked down the corridor in the direction the girl had come from.

    “Is that why you risked taking sensitive state Intel through the servant wing?” he asked her teasingly.

    He dropped his hand and used it to push himself off the floor when it was clear she was not going to accept his greeting.

    “Well, I am glad you did because I would not have been able to solve one of my longest running mysteries otherwise.”

    Back on his feet Salem looked down at the tiny girl prostrating herself on the ground at his feet. His smile faltered when a flash of annoyance surged through him. He knew that everyone aside from those of highest rank were supposed to revere him, but with no one ever really looking directly at him it made him feel isolated, dismissed. As if he was not allowed to walk among them.

    He let out a deep sigh, found his smile again and wrapped his tail around the tiny page’s waist. Before she could resist he lifted the blue haired girl overhead so that he could look her in the face when he spoke next.

    “There is no need to study the floor so closely,” he told her. “I assure you it is very clean, I just checked it myself.”

    ‘This girl is incredibly light,’ he noted inwardly, ‘and surprisingly well balanced.’

    He proved these last thoughts by rotating the girl in the air, holding her upside-down, then sideways before carefully setting her back onto her feet. He was being gentle about his handling of her of course, for he did not wish to harm her after all, although the prince suspected that it would take a lot more to harm this particular servant if her lithe and firm body was any indication. She found her balance remarkable fast after this and Salem was thoroughly impressed with her. This tiny thing was nothing like the other servants running around palace hallways.

    Standing before each other the prince could clearly see how much smaller the girl was. She stood a full head shorted than him, not counting the large ears. Those ears were another something that intrigued him and he reached out to touch one and stroke it lightly.

    ‘Come to think of it, I have no idea what species she is,’ the Dragonair suddenly realized. ‘A Water type if I would have to venture a guess, but she could also be a Dragon type, or perhaps both?’

    The more he took in this unique girl’s features the more excited he became. His father had died when he was young, much too young to remember the man, and he had never encountered another Water Dragon before.

    He knelt before her so that he could look up into those big red eyes of hers. She had an annoying habit of avoiding his gaze and he felt he had handled her enough already.

    He stood back up a moment and considered what his next action should be. It did not take long for him to settle on something.

    “Alright Mai-Ling-Mai-Lort, listen up,” he began then changed his mind. “Actually, can I just call you Mai? Mai-Ling-Mai-Lort sounds very nice and musical, but it is a mouthful. So I will call you Mai and you will address me as Salem.”

    He said this last part with sort of finalism to it, but his conviction wavered when he saw her begin to squirm. Rolling his eyes he huffed in frustration and added,

    “In private... Call me Salem in private, when there is no one else around to hear it and get you into trouble.”

    Salem manage to refrain from adding ‘please’ at the end of that sentence.

    With the matter of their introductions and address sorted out as far as he was concerned he turned back to the topic at hand.

    “Alizé is a strict one so you should better complete your assignment for her, but after that I want you to spend the rest of the day with me. I will go tell Alizé now that you will be by my side today. Meet me in front of her chambers when you are done delivering her message.”

    The prince stood back then and waited for a moment to make sure the girl had heard and understood him. If she had something to say he would hear it, otherwise he would be on his way.
     
    #38 Nygenn, Oct 6, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2016
  39. "Hmph. Welcome, welcome. To the shop whichhasanamebutIcantbebotheredtorememberit... Anyways, I'm Percival, your clerk today. What can I get you? And if it's food, we don't have any. So you could leave right now if your looking for food."

    From looking at something that rested not far away from the shop's counter, the Mareep girl whipped her head around to see who was talking. Hand clutched to her chest, she breathed heavily, another tear coming to her eye, but not falling out. "Oh- Please- Pardon me- You startled me," she explained, regaining her composure and standing up straight, hands at her sides.

    "Heh, hello there, sir," Opel responded to the Buneary boy's greeting, her head bopping down for a split second in a nod, a sheepish (no pun intended) smile on her face, brow furrowed in the slightest way possible. "No, I'm not here for food. I'm here for cloth. I live in the infirmary, and we've just run out... But this..." Turning back to the thing she looked at earlier, Opel pointed a tiny finger in its direction. "...This drew me to it. I'm not sure what it is, but it looks neat! How mu..." Her smile growing more and more genuine as time progressed, the Mareep child cut herself short, clearing her throat awkwardly, once again turning away from the object. "Sorry. I probably don't have enough for it, anyway. The cloth, though..." She walked up to the front counter, standing on her tiptoes to see over it. "...That, I need. Could you get me some, please?"

    Opel Fay asked the question in the sweetest tone she could muster. Yes, there's a reason behind this. A long time ago, while they were in this city for the day, her friend from the orphanage showed her a trick. She had gone up to a merchant... a Spoink man, if she remembered correctly... and asked in the highest-pitched voice the world has ever heard if she could have a small trinket. The man, pitying her, since she was so young and poor and an orphan, gave her the thing, free of charge. Never has anyone like him showed their faces here since then, by what she knew, and never has the Mareep girl tried her Poliwag friend's trick.

    Well, never say never, right?

    "I reeeaaally need some cloth," she drawled out, clutching the edge of the desk like her life depended on it, looking up to Percival like he was a giant. Jingling the coins in her bag by jumping, her smile returned, open-mouthed and full of happiness.
     
  40. Mai knelt prostrated before the prince as she waited for his response to her grievous fault of decorum. Her sensitive ears easily detected the prince picking himself up off the ground and standing over her. With her small stature, being on her knees, plus the foot and some change of height difference between them already, the dragon prince towered over her some like god about to pass judgment. Of course Salem was in actuality just standing casually, but to Mai in her nervousness that was not the case.

    "“Is that why you risked taking sensitive state Intel through the servant wing?”" The words rang ominously in her brain as Mai's thoughts once again raced in downward spiral of negativity. "Oh Suicune! I did take Lady Alize's document through the crowded servant’s quarters. The prince must be so mad at me right now and to think I endangered my Lady's mission to such a degree. I am sure that I will be punished grievously for this, and I will deserve every bit of it." Mai's thoughts were screaming so loudly that she completely missed the next sentence the prince said about solving mysteries.

    Then she felt a powerful scaled tail curl around her waist and Mai stifled a gasp with iron determination. "The Prince himself is going to punish me for endangering state secrets and being so careless. I have failed you Lady Alize and now the prince will sully his hands with my blood. I am prepared to die." Mai felt her body easily lifted off the floor by the young dragon's strength and she closed her eyes and tensed her body preparing for the worst. In her mind’s eye she saw the prince, with his face twisted in anger slashing into her with sharp claws, or blasting her with the divine wrath of Suicune itself.

    When after a moment no pain, rage, or even yelling accompanied her exodus from the ground, the teenage girl opened her crimson eyes. She found that once again she was looking into the sea-green eyes of Prince Salem. The Page did not see rage, or anger reflected there but instead amusement, curiosity, and a light hearted shine. Mai blinked her eyes several times in utter confusion at the transpiring scene, as her fears were not made manifest in the slightest. "I don't understand why is he looking at me like that?"

    The young dragon prince then proceeded to rotate her around as if inspecting some foreign animal he had never seen before or a vase he was considering purchasing from a vendor. "I am merely a servant after all perhaps he is considering acquiring me from Lady Alize or maybe he has other plans. I do not know what such a noble would want with a dark type like me, but I imagine it will not be fun."

    Again the girl's thought process was interrupted when she was set back on her feet gently. She shifted her stance and balance instinctively to accommodate the new change in gravity and footing. Their large difference in height left Mai with a very good view of the prince's chest. Then the prince reached out and grabbed her ears and the Greninja had to fight every instinct she had to remain still. Few people knew just how damn sensitive her ears were to touch, pain, temperature, and sound. The prince's touch was very gentle and did not cause her any pain, but more the opposite in fact. The feeling was rather sensual and Mai stealthily bit her lip, in order to not let out any inappropriate sounds.

    Finally after what seemed like an eternity but was merely a matter of seconds the Prince released her ears and knelt down to once again make eye contact with her. Mai released her lip instantly just before the Prince's head came into her view. "I still cannot believe how beautiful he is." Her cheeks once again took on a slightly pinkish hue as the embarrassing thought ran through her brain before she could squelch it. "If Lady Alize knew I had that thought she would use my skin as a new scroll case."

    The Prince then stood back up to his full height and addressed her again, messing up her name in the process. He then informed her that he was going to call her just Mai. "He is the prince, the man can call me whatever he so desires and I will certainly not dispute him." Then Prince Salem continued his sentence and ordered her to address him without honorific. Mai's eyes widened and her face visibly blanched as another assault of thoughts ran through her head. "That’s just not proper; everyone in court would have a heart failure and my Lady..." The thoughts were replaced with an image in her head. The image was of a giant Lady Alize with eyes literally on fire glaring down at her wielding two large kitchen knives and running them against each other, while a large dining table sat in the background ominously.

    Mai shuddered, and then thankfully was given a reprieve from her plight as Salem added ““in private”” to his command. The girl's shoulders lowered and she visibly relaxed at that last part. At least she relaxed for a moment, "The Prince wants me to address him by name but why? I am so confused, does he not realize that I am a cursed dark type whose very presence he should not even acknowledge."

    The Prince had further to say commanding her to complete her assignment, which she needed no prompting to do. However, then he commanded her to spend the rest of the day beside him, and what was worse he was going to tell Lady Alize personally with Mai present. The earlier image of an angry Lady Alize once again sprang to the forefront of her mind. Still, it was a direct command from the crown Prince himself and no matter what the command was she would carry it out. The page bowed her head to the Prince hiding her fear, "Yes my Lor… I mean Salem as you command."

    She waited just a moment longer to see if the Prince had any further responses before speeding off down the hallway as fast as she possibly could, heading directly for the General's quarters. Her brain spun like a top with thoughts the whole way with her fear and resignation to her fate. "I must make peace with my ancestors, for today I go to meet them. Finally I will see my family once more as I am sure that my Lady will order my death shortly."

    The girl was so lost in thought that when she looked up she realized that she was in the hallways of the General's office.
     

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