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Ask to Join Powerless

Discussion in 'General Role Play' started by E.K.A.N.S., Jun 7, 2018.

  1. https://pokecharms.com/threads/powerless-discussion.19390/

    Pless is a kingdom of early risers, and sure enough, the streets were crowded when it was only eight in the morning. Perhaps the townsfolk couldn't sleep, with the Aberrant Scare just as palpable as it was 50 years ago, if not more so. But Neta lived with a fear of her own: that one day the daughter of Briarwood would be found here, taken away like her father and die or live the rest of her days as the kingdom's test subject. The last scared Neta the most, because it is worse to deny someone a life than to give them death.

    It had been 14 years since she'd come to this town. The lady at the inn filled the void that her mother had left, giving her a room and an evening job as a waitress when she came of age. But even after all these years, Neta couldn't say that she felt safe here. As she stepped out of the inn and walked the streets to the clinic, everyone stared at her; the beggars, the merchants, and even the nobles in their carriages looked her way. A town full of noises and distractions did nothing to dull the piercing gazes. This was a common problem for Neta. No matter how conservatively she dressed, men would always stare. Laying low was hard in this stage of her life.

    Visibly uncomfortable, Neta crossed the streets as quickly as she could and entered the dull medical building with the uncommon feeling of relief. She had been a nurse here since she was ten, and the only reason she was hired at such a young age was her soothing presence that calmed any patient down. The old doctor needed it now more than ever, because he had bad news for a pregnant woman.

    "You took this medicine as instructed for the past week," Dr. Lind began, holding up a bottle of dark green liquid, "and you said that the baby is kicking less frequently now?"

    "Yes," the woman answered nervously. "Doctor... please tell me. My child... is my child an Aberrant?"

    "No, no. It's not as bad as all that," Lind told her. "But... I'm afraid that this boy won't live."

    The woman's breath wavered as she inhaled suddenly, as if some demon had tried to take it away and she'd barely pulled the air back into her mouth. Tears were streaming down her face as she muffled her cries. Maybe it was just Neta's imagination, but part of the woman was subtly relieved.

    Blinking the wetness from her eyes, Neta approached her and placed a caring hand on her back. "Please... come with me. I can't bear to see you like this."

    Dr. Lind nodded to Neta as she led the woman into another room. "Tell Carey at the front desk to send the next patient in," the old doctor said in his gravelly voice.

    Neta and the expectant mother were alone now. "Please have a seat, Rachel. Close your eyes." The broken woman did as she was told, and Neta turned around.

    She tapped the glass on her ring, and a writhing vine shot out of the dirt. "No, no, it's okay, I'm not in any danger, X," she whispered to the plant. "I just need an Etherflower."

    A bright pink flower bloomed on Plant X and released an even pinker gas. Neta held her breath, but the pregnant woman was instantly asleep. "It's not my place to do this. I need to tell the patient everything and get consent..." she hesitated. "But if I do that, they'll know what my powers are and I'll be in danger."

    Neta shook her head and composed herself, continuing with the procedure. Plant X entered the woman's uterus and passed through the fetus's amniotic sac. The vine then released its juices into the amniotic fluid, before retracting and leaving the woman's body. This would allow the fetus to develop into a healthy baby boy.

    When ten minutes had passed, the woman awoke to a lovely smile. "Rachel, your baby will be just fine," Neta told her.

    "But the doctor said-" the pregnant woman couldn't finish her sentence, because Neta's expression assured her that everything would really be okay. This nurse was an angel, she thought, as she gently stroked her bump and returned the smile.

    Dr. Lind knew nothing of this. He'd allowed Neta to work at his clinic because she soothed the patients, but he'd come to value her ability to obtain rare medicinal herbs. He had no clue where she got them and was probably too old to care. As far as he knew, these predicted stillbirths that produced healthy babies were just miracles. There have been thirty of them in the past seven years, and none before then.


    It was seven in the evening now, and Neta was back at the inn working her second job as a waitress. The streets were not as packed as they were in the morning, because the crowd had spilled into watering holes like this one. But the drunks weren't nearly as nice as the patients.

    "Get back here, you hot piece of ass!" one of them shouted at Neta as she was carrying his dirty plates away.

    "O-oh, I-I'm really sorry, I can't. I-I'm very busy..." Neta was trembling, and her eyes were on the floor.

    "Gah! You're no fun!" the drunk dismissed her as he downed another beer.

    Neta was at another table now, where a man tipped her a generous ten silver coins. "I'm grateful, sir!" she said politely and bowed. "Please get home safely, and enjoy this lovely night." She smiled her delicate smile.

    But it melted as soon as the man revealed what he was really after. "Don't give me that crap! I practically just bought you! Now strip, bitch!"

    Neta looked like she was about to cry. It was coming from all sides.

    "Why're you working as a waitress when you could be making millions on the streets?!"
    "What a lousy husband, giving you a dirt ring! I can get you a better one..."

    There were tears streaming down her face now. "I... I... h-have to k-keep going. Anka was kind enough to give me a place to stay. It's... the least I c-can do." Neta froze. But she forced herself to move. All her coworkers were busy, and she felt totally helpless. The sexual harassment only got worse and worse.
    #1 E.K.A.N.S., Jun 7, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
    SailorInSpace and Sky_ like this.
  2. Fire Mana

    Fire Mana Previously Top_Smug_

    "Somebody catch that damn brat!"

    Parker raced through the city streets, it was past six which meant it was the perfect time for his fingers to grab some coin. The bags of gold the boy had stolen rattled at his side where he latched it to his belt. His daggers and sword did the same, clanking against the leather pouches.

    "Catch him, he went down that alley!"

    Parker made a sharp left turn, cutting into an alley. A small mob followed him, they nearly ran eachother over trying to catch him. Just as the crowd thought they had cornered him, he turned to them.

    "Shadow Fire Flame Barrier!"

    His hand ignited in a black flame, he decided to make it cold this time. The flame spread into a wall in front of him, cutting off the mob of people. He took off again, climbing up the side of one of the shorter buildings and dropping down on the other side of the street.


    He sprinted off in a different direction, finding a somewhat small inn to hide in for the time being. He walked inside, making sure to muffle the sound of coin as much as possible.

    It was fairly busy for this hour, especially at a small inn. There were soldiers, market workers, and a few others just taking a break. However, his attention was drawn to a few particularly drunk men who seemed to be harassing one of the waitresses.

    "Hey, you guys should leave. I'll pay you if you're willing to go right now, and if you don't I'll make you leave by force."
    #2 Fire Mana, Jun 7, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
  3. "Pay us?!" a large and very drunk man grabbed Parker by the cloak and got in his face. "Listen here, brat! We're hard-working gentlemen who earn our money and we're here as paying customers! So why don't you mind your goddamn business?!"

    The other men at his table laughed. He wasn't lying. They must've had money if they could afford to get this wasted. The drunk holding Parker sized him up, but his vision was blurry from all the booze. He could make out the boy's ragged clothes. "Go back to the streets, scum!" the man shouted, followed by a second round of laughter from his drinking buddies.

    There was just no reasoning with drunks, and Neta learned that the hard way. "P-please, let's not fight..." she took a few careful steps toward the large man.

    "Stay out of this, whore!"

    He slapped Neta with great strength and she fell to the floor. She did nothing to break her fall, instead clutching her ring to keep X from revealing itself.
  4. Fire Mana

    Fire Mana Previously Top_Smug_

    Parker watched as the large man and his group of drunkards laughed in his face. That made him upset. He listened patiently as they told him to get back to the streets. That made him angry. He stayed still as the man slapped the woman, calling her a whore. That made him furious. His face went blank, his expression cold and unresponsive. He clenched his left fist at his side and placed his right hand on the arm that was still lifting him in the air. He exhaled, his breath was both calm and wavering with anger.

    "Excuse me miss..." He said slowly, "How much are you willing to let me injure this guy? If you let me go all out I can't promise the safety of the others in this inn, or the safety of the inn itself. So tell me, how easy should I go on him? Should I use 5%? 10%? What should I do?"
  5. It had been 2 weeks since the Oracion incident, the day Harmonia blew a part of Galilei's mansion with her new power that she suddenly acquired out of nowhere. It's clear as day what just happened. She had became an aberrant.

    It's ironic, because Guinard Galilei was a man who hated aberrant so much. He was one of the hugest patron of the Blood Knight, the kingdom's secret squad that specialized themself in hunting the aberrants. But later in that day when he finally realized who the aberrant is? He wavered.

    I knew this was a very hard blow to him. On one hand he knew he must keep supporting the aberrant-hunting, but on the other hand he must keep his daughter from the things he supported. If I were on his position, I would had a mental break down.

    So, in order to keep his daughter safe from the kingdom and other nobles who undoubtly would attempted to use the incident to destroy Galilei family. I had been ordered to take Harmonia away for a few weeks, avoid any detection and don't go to Galilei's properties. I, who owe the Galilei family everything, of course couldn't reject the request. So I took Harmonia out of Galilei's mansion before the kingdom's investigation unit arrive. I also made some fake identity for the two of us.

    The first few days of the travels felt good. Both she and I were in a good spirit. She really enjoy adventure, her reckless nature earned her friends and troubles along the way. But nothing I could not handle! When I was a squire I handle much more problems.

    Then the enthusiastic phase ends. I was tired of keeping up with her pace, she started to miss her rich girl lifestyle and threw lots of complaints at me. Forgive me for my words before, but being a squire was much easier that nurturing a children. At last horse turd and jousting spears didn't yell at me.

    I learned the hard way how to make compromise with the little devil: expensive sweets. My money burned so fast that I might need to do something about it soon. Now, I like to thought that we're getting better at this traveling things, she complaint less and I had regained my vigor. But there's still no words from the Galilei...

    Zaryu, Easen Artham closed his diary. He knew for someone who was on a secret mission writing diary wasn't a good thing to do, but by wrote down anything on his mind, he was able to calm down. Though, he would ripped the diary and throw it on the next fire he found.

    "We've arrived." The wagon's driver told us. Easen poked Harmonia Arisa, who had been sleeping inside a bundle of clothes beside him.

    "Wake up, let's look for an inn." Arisa sluggishly followed him, too tired to complaint ater spending all day on a rocking wagon. After he asked some passerby, they arrived at an inn that also has a tavern on the first floor. Good, they hadn't eaten anything since the afternoon.

    When their ordered meals arrived, Arisa immediately dig into her pancakes. Eating it ravenously like someone who never ate pancakes before. Easen scooped his soup slowly, the food here was pretty good so he wanted to enjoy it a bit longer. Until a commotion suddenly ensued on the next table.

    A man seemed to took some pleasure in harassing one of the waitress. This event triggered the inner knight inside Easen, he unconsciously put his hand on the hilt of hus sword. But... he was reluctant to act. The first time he intervered a problem inside a tavern with his sword, he almost start a bloody brawl, the second time, the waitress he was supposed to defend got punished behind his back, the third time... Stop it Easen, no need to recall all your failure. This was probably one of the time you need to sit down and do nothing. So he didn't do anything.

    Then a boy appear and offered the man money to leave, which was of course rejected. That was insulting, looks like the boy only wanted to fight him in the first place because the next thing he said some words that indirectly challenged the man.

    Easen clenched his fist. This should be stopped before the boy's head turned into bloody pulp. He took a deep breath and stood up.

    "Stay here and do nothing. I will go to the next table for a bit." He said to Arisa, she nodded.

    He won't use violence this time. He approached the table and put his hand on the boys shoulder, then he put himself between the boy and the man so the man's attention would be shifted to him.

    "Pardon me good sir," he looked at the man's eyes directly. "But my little sister over there could hear the words you said. I beg you good sir, please be considerate." He slightly bow his head to indicate respect and pointed at the next table, where Arisa was stabbing her pancake with the fork. He planned to tug the father instinct inside the man, if there's any, and possibly de-escalate the problem.

    "HAHA, BITCH!! I WAS PRACTICALLY BOUGHT YOU!!! NOW STRIP AND BECOME MY DINNER!" Arisa suddenly yelled before jabbing her fork repeatedly and ate the messed up pancake with an exaggerated smirk. That kid! I told her not to say anything!!
    #5 Spoiled Bread, Jun 8, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
    E.K.A.N.S. likes this.
  6. Neta wiped her tears and looked at the boy who stood up for her. Her answer would've been the same even after being slapped: Please, let's not fight.

    But before she could give him an answer, another man intervened. This man's tone was very courteous, but the boozed-up oaf wasn't impressed. He eyed him skeptically like an animal determining if this oddly polite unknown was a threat.

    Then, a voice louder than all the others: "HAHA, BITCH!! I WAS PRACTICALLY BOUGHT YOU!!! NOW STRIP AND BECOME MY DINNER!"

    Suddenly the whole inn went silent. Everyone stared at the scene that was unfolding. A soldier at a distant table had a hand on his sword in anticipation of the ensuing scrap, while his comrade urged him to save his blade for the Aberrants and not waste it on some useless drunks. All persons in the room seemed poised for action, unsure of how this precarious situation would unfold.

    And then the silence was broken by the sound of boisterous laughter. One of the men at the drunk's table was cracking up at what the young girl had said. Everyone was lucky that there was a happy drunk among them, because his surly buddies started laughing too. "GOOD KID!"

    The noise returned to the inn as quickly as it had left, and the large man released Parker and returned to his seat without a word. Just a low groan, like some dumb animal that had completely forgotten what it was doing. The innkeeper Anka was about to intervene and kick them out, but it was no longer needed.

    Neta got up, dusted off her apron, and bowed to the two men who came to her aid. "I-I'm sorry. I put you both in harm's way. But... thank you. A-and my name is Neta, so please let me know if I can get you anything."

    Her tears had stopped, but her voice was still a little shaky from all the crying she'd done. Finally, she swallowed and regained her composure, before walking over to Arisa's table and bowing to her as well. "Thank you... I'm Neta." She smiled at the girl, her usual delicate smile: the smile of a person who was too frail to express just how grateful she really was. From the looks of it, the girl enjoyed the pancakes a lot, so much so that she had stabbed them to pieces. "And if you'd like more pancakes, I'd be glad to bring them to you. On the house..." :)
  7. Fire Mana

    Fire Mana Previously Top_Smug_

    Parker sighed as he tried to cool down, his palm still had a small flame growing inside of it so he had to keep his fist clenched. If anybody in the inn found out he was an Aberrant, he would be hunted through the town again. He had still wanted to put a hole in the drunk's chest with his fire, but he knew that wouldn't do any good for anybody. He did perk up when he was addressed by the waitress, who's name was Neta, however.

    "I would've rather you just let me kill that guy. Who does he think he is anyway? All you were doing was your job, and he thinks he can just do that shit to you? Pisses me off thinking about it!"

    Parker really wanted to burn something, he decided he should probably just leave. As he exited the inn, a small amount of Shadow Flame escaped his hand, he would be lucky if none of the civilians in the inn saw that.
  8. The sudden silence of the tavern caught Easen off guard, and the outburst of laughter wasn't something he would expect. The harasser man was embarassed enough he just dropped his act and everything turned back like it was before.

    The boy left and the waitress approached Arisa. But Easen just stood there, contemplating what just happened. He never thought of using technique like that to dissuade conflict. Does this mean Arisa was actually a genius, or was she just lucky? Did she even gave thought about her actions?? Meanwhile, Arisa gladly took Neta's offer for more pancakes.

    "more pancakes, really!?" Arisa perked up, her eyes shone with excitement. "Then give me three more!!" Hearing Arisa's request, Easen immediately chimed in.

    "No, no, please ignore her request, miss. She already ate her second and won't be able to stomach another one. How about an apple juice, Arisa?"

    "Hmphh..... Allright. Apple juice and one more pancakes!" Arisa said while puffing her left cheek. Easen still didn't want Arisa to order more pancakes, but looking at her expression, it looked like she wasn't in the mood for another lecture. He sighed in defeat.

    "That's okay, I guess. Also, miss... Neta isn't it? I'm Easen and this is my little sister Arisa. Is there any empty room we can rent for a few days?" They planned to stay in the town for awhile. This place seemed good enough so he wanted to secure a place.
  9. "It's really nice to meet you, Easen, Arisa. We have plenty of rooms. I'll go talk to Anka about it," Neta replied, then smiled back at Arisa. "And I'll be right out with your juice and pancake."

    The innkeeper, a heavy-set lady, was tending the bar. Neta placed some coins on the counter. She knew she didn't really have the authority to decide if a meal was on the house, so she'd pay for Arisa out of sheer gratitude. This money came from today's earnings at Dr. Lind's clinic.

    "Neta, you're too kind. Keep your money. I'm just as thankful to them as you are, so I say it's on the house," Anka said warmly. "And don't blame yourself for anything that happened. Those drunks got off easy, because if I'd gotten involved they wouldn't have seen the light of day."

    "Thank you... I know I just met them but they seem like very nice people, Arisa and Easen. They need a room for a few days, and one pancake with apple juice."

    "We've got more than enough rooms. These days I feel like people forget that this is an inn and come here just to get drunk," Anka sighed. "About the pancakes, why don't I have another server bring them over? You've been through a lot."

    "N-no, it's okay. I promised Arisa." Neta was flattered that Anka was so concerned. She was like a mother to her, because she vaguely remembered her real one.

    "Here you go, Arisa!" In a quick 5 minutes, Neta was out with Arisa's pancake and juice, gently setting them down on the table. She smiled, then bowed slightly, excusing herself before going back to work. Judging her based on politeness, one would think that she was more suited to be a maid than a tavern waitress. Women who dealt with drunks on a daily basis were a lot more hardened than Neta was.

    "Neta, like I said earlier, you really have been through a lot. You should get some fresh air. We'll take it from here," Anka advised when the young waitress next passed the bar.

    Neta smiled, knowing that the innkeeper worried about her and that she wouldn't take no for an answer. "Thanks, I will."

    She stepped out into the crisp air, and her long blonde hair instantly blew in the windy night. When it settled, she saw the boy who had come to her aid earlier. This was awkward for her. He was really angry when he left, and he needed time alone, she was sure. But there was just no getting around it. She was here, and something had to be said.

    "H-hey, it's pretty late and if you need a place to stay, we have plenty of room..." Neta told him nervously. The boy still looked mad, and she was afraid he'd get the wrong idea and think she was assuming things about his life. He wore rags, and the drunk man had called him street scum. Neta knew nothing about him, and jumping to conclusions was not at all what she was doing here. She was simply being kind, as she was to everyone, rich or poor.
    #9 E.K.A.N.S., Jun 8, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
    Spoiled Bread likes this.
  10. Fire Mana

    Fire Mana Previously Top_Smug_

    Parker had still been fuming when the Neta from the inn confronted him. She said something about extra space, if he wanted to stay in the inn for tonight. He had to admit, it was a tempting offer for someone who spent his nights in piles of garbage. However, he knew he couldn't. All he did was potentially worsen the situation, he wouldn't be taking advantage of Neta's kindness like this.

    "I appreciate the offer, but I'll have to decline. A dirty rat like myself would only ruin whatever room you gave me, not to mention I'm more comfortable out here."

    The boy sighed, it really was a shame to have to pass up on the room. He ran his finger down the sheathed dagger at his side, the side of the sheath actually had a worn line where he ran his finger across it.

    "You can go back now, I would hate to be taking up your time when you could be doing other things."
  11. “Damn, how did I end up like this?” Mallory asked himself, “I am broke, I live in the forest, my parents were probably killed for something I did, and I’ve spent my life hunting animals for food and killing people who hurt others.” He said, “I’m like a hero but instead of fighting for what most would see is good, I fight for what I believe in.” He continued. “You know what, screw this, I’m heading into town.” He said as he grabbed his cloak and covered his hair and eyes from view and began heading into town.

    He managed to find an inn and decided to head inside, he didn’t see anything or anyone in particular that caught his eye but he suddenly felt a sharp pain in his left hand. “Wh- what?” He thought to himself, “someone in here has a fire elemental, but who?” He asked himself, as though it was instinct he looked at Parker and just stared at him, “Is it- that kid?” He asked himself again still staring.
  12. Arisa ate the extra pancake delightfully, but four bites later, she yawned widely. Easen sighed, this was why he didn't want Arisa to get more pancakes, she acted on her wimp alone and won't hesitate to waste food.

    "I'm full."

    "Want to sleep now?" Easen asked, she replied with a nod. They came to the counter and ordered a room. It's the farmost room on the second floor.

    When they arrived at the room. A slightly dusty medium sized room welcomed them. There was a bed on one of the corner and a desk, cupboard and cabinet on the other side. Arisa threw herself on top of the bed and fell asleep immediately.

    Meanwhile, Easen rolled out his sleeping bed on the floor but decided to continue writing his diary instead. Easen spent some time in silence, recalling Sir Maroonel's wisdom, The Oath and what is it mean to be a knight. The event this evening made him realized that his will might not be as strong as he thought. What kind of knight he was when a younger boy had more guts than him to be the first helper and a little girl had more brain than him to solve the problem?
  13. "Oh no, it's no problem..." Neta told Parker with a shy smile, then a pause. "Well, please stay safe then. And good night..." She still worried for him, but he'd been through a lot too and she couldn't exactly force her kindness on him. She wasn't like that drunk from earlier who'd told him to go back to the streets; there wasn't a forceful bone in her body. "But... before I go, might I ask your name?"
  14. Fire Mana

    Fire Mana Previously Top_Smug_

    "My name? Why would you need my name?"

    Parker hadn't ever really been asked his name. He was also called names, but never his own. More often he would be called things like scum, or brat, or useless. So when Neta asked for his name, he was taken by surprise. He was genuinely confused as to why she would be asking for a streetrat's name. In fact, even if he wasn't a streetrat, chances were that most people would like him because of what he was. Maybe she was really just that nice? No, there was no way. There's not a single person in the world that would be nice to him, nobody had any reason to. Parker held it in good faith that people were only nice if there was something to gain from it, he wouldn't trust her.
  15. "Oh, w-well I..." Neta, too, was taken by surprise. For such a simple question, this boy seemed so guarded... Maybe she said something she shouldn't have? Maybe he was trying to lay low just like she was, and it was too risky for him to answer? Neta didn't know his life story and didn't claim to understand what he might be going through. "W-well, you stood up for me, a-and no man has ever done that before... They all look at me a certain way. What I'm trying to say is-" she began, but she was still flustered and was finding it hard to get to the point. She took a deep breath and composed herself. "What I'm trying to say is," Neta smiled at Parker, "I look forward to seeing you, if we do meet again. And when we do, I want to call you by your name."
    #15 E.K.A.N.S., Jun 9, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
  16. Fire Mana

    Fire Mana Previously Top_Smug_

    Parker sighed, he really was unsure about Neta. Was she truly nice? He wanted to trust her, but he really just couldn't right now. He would rather keep his options open right now, and revealing his name might come back to bite him in the future. Parker stood for a second, thinking about what to do before he finally came to a decision.

    "If you're so positive that we'll meet again... well then maybe I'll tell you then. Right now though, I would rather keep to myself if that's fine with you. Anyway, I should be on my way now and so should you."

    He rose his hand as a goodbye and walked off into the security of the dark alleys of Pless.
  17. Mallory continued to stare at Parker for a while until Parker left into the darkness. “That kid, he’s got it alright.” Mallory said as he walked back out, “should I follow him?” He thought to himself, “No! No. Today’s not a good day, I’ll go back to my tree and sleep for the rest of the day.” He said as he proceeded to walk back.
    #17 AssassinGallade, Jun 9, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
  18. Allen began his nightly stroll like most others, completely unnoticed. Each step made a sound, but it was utterly overpowered by the actions of those around him. Allen liked the peacefulness he got from this. Nobody saw him, nobody could insult him. Nobody even knew he existed.
    Each step brought forth another stride of peace, yet doubt was still in his mind. What if someone did see me? Is being this way good? Allen had no answer for any question ever brought up. Just keep walking. Surviving. Ignoring. To his left, down in an alley people barely knew existed, one man seemed to be attacking someone. The someone was about 11 years old, her hair standing up. Allen didn't know what was going on, but that girl was in trouble, and Allen was the only one around to help.
    Unlike most people, Allen just walked up to the two. Neither of them seemed to see the boy walk up beside them until his blade was placed close to half a centimeter from the attacker's neck. "Now, lets forget this even happened." Allen said. The attacker seemed to stumble back some, only to look around some back to the girl. "What did you do? Your a monster!" The attacker insulted before running.
    Allen stepped forward to the girl only to see she ran away from him as well. He fought without being there, according to the others eyes. Allen was never there, yrt he was. Proceedng to his walk, Allen contemplated what was happening. He had a theory, and if it were true, he would have a problem.
  19. Neta's gentle smile never faded, and she bowed to the street boy as he was walking away. He was long gone now and the wind had reclaimed the night, but she stood there alone for a bit. "It's a promise..."

    Still lost in thought as she headed back inside, she almost bumped into a tall, silver-haired stranger in a cloak. "Oh, I-I'm sorry."

    Neta finished for the night, retired into her room, and thought about everything that had happened today. She'd worked as a waitress at the inn for several years but only when she turned sixteen did the harassment get this bad. She wasn't used to it. There were still dangerous people out there, even though she'd eluded the kingdom all these years. But Neta fell asleep on a positive note: that there were also kind people.


    She'd slept for a few hours, and it must have been around three o'clock when Neta woke up in the middle of the night. She turned on her side and looked towards the only source of light in the dark room: the window. There she saw a figure, but when she rubbed her eyes it was gone.

    A curious Neta got out of bed and approached the window to see if she was just imagining things. But as soon as she opened it and looked out, a pink gas was sprayed and quickly filled the room.

    "This...……. is...….." Neta coughed, trying not to breathe it in, "Ether...flower." She could make out the silhouettes of four children, but there were more coming in. She tapped her ring and roused X, who wrapped into a protective dome around Neta. Red flowers bloomed within the plant dome and began taking in the pink gas that had made its way inside. These were Antiflowers, and they absorbed the gases of the Etherflower like any other plant absorbed the carbon dioxide that humans breathed. Somewhere in Pless was the inaccessible Ether Meadow, overgrown with the flowers whose name it bore and shrouded entirely in their gas. The only thing that prevented the soporific fog from spreading further and rendering nearby towns unlivable was a thick band of Antiflowers trapping it.

    Neta had always wanted to go there, but now was not the time to be thinking about that. The pink gas lingered in the room outside her protection, so her attackers had limited visibility. She shot needles from the walls of her dome and managed to hit a few of them, before a knife lodged in X and corroded the vine. There was no mistaking it: this knife was tipped in the highly acidic juices of her pitcher plant, because the blade started to melt too.

    The haze pervaded Neta's dome through the opening, but her Antiflowers couldn't take it in fast enough. There were multiple Etherflower users among them, who all appeared to be children. How many were there... 7? 10? Maybe 15? Were they Aberrants? Why did they have her abilities? Neta could barely make them out, as she succumbed to the gas.

    They grabbed the unconscious woman and escaped through the window. The air was cold, and Neta was still in her nightclothes.
    #19 E.K.A.N.S., Jun 9, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
  20. Mallory had made it back to his tree and from there decided to look at the stars like he usually does while talking to himself about Parker and how his power was so intense that it damaged him without making contact. “That kid, if I can get him to join me, nobody else will get hurt, I’ll take care of him, he’s living on the streets for crap’s sake.” He said to himself, “then again, I’m living in a tree, there isn’t much I could give him to make him feel any more at home.” JuSt then Mallory looked up and saw a small glimmer near one of the windows of the inn he was at earlier, “should I really worry about?” He though for a second as he sat there silently for another few, “Damn it! Fine I’ll go take a walk.” He said as if arguing with himself as he jumped off of his tree and continued to walk towards the inn again.
  21. Fire Mana

    Fire Mana Previously Top_Smug_

    It was starting to get cold now, it was pretty late after all. Parker was still awake as he usually stayed up most of the night anyway. As he was making his way over to his "Trash Fort" he noticed a group of figures jumping across the roofs above him. He couldn't make them out perfectly, but they appeared to be a bit younger than him. Which would mean they're still children, and if that's the case then what were they doing out this late? This was starting to get suspicious. He looked closer at the group of figures and noticed one of them was carrying something over their shoulder. What was it? It looked somewhat like a human body... Okay this was way too suspicious now. He would have to do something about this, even if he normally wouldn't care about other people. He strapped his blade to his back and grabbed his knives as well as a bag of gold just in case he needed it, and ran after the group of kids.

    He had spent a while chasing them and it seemed that none of them had noticed him yet, he figured that at this rate nothing would happen. He would have to do something himself, take action. He climbed up the gutter of a building and leapt onto the roofs that they were on.

    "Hey, you kids! What're you punks doing up here at this hour!"
  22. Mallory continued to walk towards where he saw the light sparkle, “Am I even going the right way?” He though to himself, “What am I even looking for?” He continued when all of sudden he paused and began feeling the same sharp pain he felt earlier. “Damn, is it that kid again?” He said quietly looking around. He continued to search until he heard a voice say, “Hey, you kids! What’re you punks doing up here at this hour!” He thought for a second before acting and pulled out his bow and began searching while walking toward the voice.

    After a while of walking he found Parker and the source of the voice, “Hey! Who the hell are you? What’re you doing with those kids?” Mallory said to him prepping his bow, “just tell me and you won’t get hurt,” he said as the pain suddenly came back. Mallory grunted but kept his stance, “I know what your power is, so just spill it.” He said looking at Parker his eyes and hair still concealed under the hood.
  23. Fire Mana

    Fire Mana Previously Top_Smug_

    Parker glanced down momentarily at the man with the bow. Had this guy really just threatened him as if he was the bad guy here? Parker didn't have the time for this nonsense.

    "Stay the fuck out of this man! These kids aren't normal, they have a hostage of some kind!"

    Parker tried to explain before giving up and continuing to chase after the group of kids. If the guy with the bow tried anything he would have to deal with him too, but hopefully it wouldn't come to that. He drew the sword from his back with his right hand, holding the blade in a ready position as he pursued his targets.
  24. "We don't have to tell you anything!" yelled a seven-year old boy who was one of the two carrying Neta. He was the most senior among them and motioned for three children to stay behind and buy the other twelve some time.

    The three surrounded Parker and sprayed Etherflower gas at him, hoping to knock him out and throw him off their trail.
  25. Fire Mana

    Fire Mana Previously Top_Smug_

    "You damn brats aren't getting away with this shit!"

    Parker's hands ignited, now covered in black and gray flames. He didn't quite know what the gas surrounding him was, but he assumed it wasn't good. He would have to move fast before the gas consumed him.

    "Shadow Flame Barrier!"

    Both of his hands opened, palms extended to emit the fire. The flames surged forth from his hands, spraying out around him forming walls that rose and blocked most of the gas. The remainder of the gas was thin enough to run through if he held his breath, which he did. He emerged on the other side of the gas with both hands still in flames, he aimed them at two of the kids that sprayed the gas.

    "Shadow Flame Chains!"

    Chains of pure Shadow Fire now flew from his hands, coming directly at the children. He was trying to hold back a little bit and just lock them up instead of burning or killing them, they were just children after all.
  26. The two children didn't see Parker coming through the gas and were caught in his Shadow Flame Chains, whimpering slightly. They couldn't do anything to escape them, because their only power was the Etherflower. The same was the case for the third child who was left, a girl who started to draw back in fear because she knew she probably couldn't stop the older boy. But she tried anyway, running at Parker while he was busy chaining her friends, and sprayed more gas at him when she was close enough. Had she bought the others enough time? They were just kids, so they couldn't get very far. If she'd stall this older boy a little longer, they might be able to give him the slip.
  27. Fire Mana

    Fire Mana Previously Top_Smug_

    "If you're not gonna come over here and submit then I'll just bring you over here myself!"

    Parker jumped back to avoid the gas, simultaneously raising his arm as he did so. The gas actually did come pretty close, but he had experienced his fair share of close calls on the streets. This silly gas from a bunch of children wasn't gonna stop him here, not when they had another person held hostage.

    "Shadow Flame Grasp!"

    With his hand extended, Parker shot another hand from his palm. He used the gas itself as a way to conceal the attack, the Shadow Fire hand wouldn't be visible to the girl until it emerged on the other side, hopefully that would be enough of a surprise to capture her as well. He had been making sure to use cold flames so the kids didn't get hurt, but if this kept up he might accidentally increase the temperature.
  28. The little girl was yanked off her feet by a powerful Shadow Flame Grasp and pulled toward the older boy. She was around five years old. It was at this time that the other twelve children looked back and saw their friends in trouble, realizing that if they wanted to shake this pest, they all had to team up and take him down. The seven- and six-year-old boys who were carrying Neta stopped in their tracks and put her down. She was heavy in the chest area but pretty light overall, so it hadn't been too hard for them. "We'll wait. And when he gets here, all twelve of us will take him on. We don't have any Etherflower users left, but the rest of us each fight with a different plant. He'll have a lot to deal with."

    The Etherflower gas was starting to wear off, not completely, but enough for Neta to open her eyes. "Why... are you... doing this..."

    "Shut up! This is all your fault!" the seven-year-old spat when he turned to face her. "It's because of you..."

    "What... do you mean? I never-"

    "You're the reason that we're like this! You're the reason why our parents were taken away from us! Why we grew up on the streets! Why our lives were so horrible!" the boy growled.

    "I'd never... hurt you. Please, tell me who you are... and why you're doing this." Neta was slowly recovering from the gas.

    "You act so innocent, yet you don't realize how horrible a person you are," he answered, "...Mother."


    "We're the children you saved with your powers in the seven years you worked at the clinic," another child spoke up. "We were supposed to die! And you made us live! Only for us to inherit your powers and be born as Aberrants!"

    "But... I couldn't let you die." Neta still didn't fully understand what was going on. She was still under the influence of the Etherflower, after all. "And... I didn't know that using my power like that would cause you to inherit-"

    "Save it, bitch!" the seven-year-old cursed at her. "We were treated horribly all our lives because of what we were, because of what you made us! Our parents were taken away, and the only way we can get them back is if we capture you and bring you to the kingdom! You ruined our lives! You should have let us die! It's better to die than to live as an Aberrant, but you wouldn't know!"

    Still barely able to move, Neta didn't have the strength to dispute anything that they said of her and teared up. "I... I'm... a horrible person..."
    #28 E.K.A.N.S., Jun 10, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
  29. Mallory groaned as he watched the events play out and decided that he might have to help Parker our due to the circumstances. He jumped in landing next to Parker, his bow in hand and for some reason his pain had left, “Hey, kid.” Mallory said to Parker as he looked at him, “We got off on the wrong foot, let me help you.” He said as he placed his hand on an arrow and watched as it was engulfed with ice shards. “You’re not the only powerful one here.” He continued as he shot the arrow towards the gas freezing a small amount of it away.
  30. Fire Mana

    Fire Mana Previously Top_Smug_

    Parker frowned as the person with the bow arrived to "help" him. Parker didn't know what he could do, but he assumed it wasn't much. He wouldn't let this guy get in the way of saving this person though.

    "Just don't get in my way and we'll be fine." Parker said, acknowledging the person's comments.

    He continued on the roofs towards the group that he been lessened by three. They seemed to have stopped, which was actually good for him considering if they stopped much farther away his Shadow Flame Chains would disappear from the other children. The hostage was still hard to make out, but it seemed to be a female. This made Parker question just what exactly these children needed her for. He shook those thoughts out of his head and kept after the kids until he finally arrived on the same building.

    "What do you want with that person! Explain everything or I'll turn the Flame Chains I have on your friends from hot to cold! You wouldn't want your them burning, would you?"
    #30 Fire Mana, Jun 10, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
  31. Mallory followed Parker atop the rooftops and they managed to catch up to this gang of child bamdits who seemed to be holding someone hostage. In his head he thought, “this fire kid, he’s not messing around, he’ll kill these children if he has to. I like him.” He thought as he aimed his bow at one of the children.
  32. He's bluffing, the seven-year-old boy thought. But even if he isn't, I don't like playing by someone else's rules. I have to act fast.

    A vine quickly shot out from the boy's hand and attempted to bind Parker before he could act. If he somehow managed to dodge that, he'd have little time to deflect the three poison-tipped knives that were heading his way. While the Shadow Fire user was wrapped by the fast vine and immobilized or at the very least distracted, one of the children shouted to his captured friends, "Fire can't burn without oxygen! Use your Etherflower gas to snuff it out!"

    All that was left was the bowman. The pitcher plant user among them was ready to catch his arrow in the plant, where it would corrode instantly.
  33. Fire Mana

    Fire Mana Previously Top_Smug_

    "You shitty brats!"

    Parker clenched his fist and his flames switched from cold to hot. The instant change in heat made his hands erupt in Shadow Flame, covering most of his arms. He let the vine wrap around his one arm, he knew the fire would burn it soon enough. His swung the other side of his body around to dodge to of the knives, drawing his own knife to deflect the third one. By the time he had finished with the knives, the vine wrapped around his arm had turned to ash on the rooftop.

    "What did I tell you? Your friends are burning by now, and you will be too if you don't explain to me what the hell you're up to!"

    Parker was getting angry now, his flames would be heating up more and more as time passed.
  34. Mallory needed to think through his next move seeing what these kids had just done to Parker, “they managed to piss this kid off, for all I know they’d be willing to kill me.” He said to himself as he continued thinking, “I’ve got it!” He thought as he aimed his bow at one of the boys. “Hey kids!” He yelled. “You need to cool down!” He said as he shot the arrow and quickly put the bow back onto his back and prepared for what he was going to do next if the kids had some sort of counter.
  35. "Burning, huh? You sure about that? Take a look behind you," the seven-year-old vine user said. The Etherflower users had cut off the oxygen supply to the flame chains with their gas, thanks to their comrade on the other side who gave them the idea. They hadn't used enough of the gas to snuff out Parker's attacks when they'd fought him earlier, and he'd been moving too fast for them to do so anyway. But the stationary chains were a lot easier to extinguish.

    "We don't have to tell you shit! That woman is evil, and if you're here to save someone like her, then you're evil too!" the vine user yelled. The Aberrant child next to him caught an arrow in her pitcher plant, where it stuck and would soon be corroded by the plant's juices. "We'd kill her if we could, but we have direct orders from the kingdom to take her alive! So fuck off!" That's all the vine user would say for now: that the government had sent them. They'd have to beat the rest out of him. And he was a street kid who'd seen much scarier people than this older boy, so he wasn't afraid to curse him out.
  36. Fire Mana

    Fire Mana Previously Top_Smug_

    "You think some little street shits like yourselves are tough huh? I've been on the streets longer than any of you have been alive, and let me tell you what! You think some kingdom is really gonna help you if you bring this woman to them? You're a bunch of Abberant rats! You're absolutely nothing to them, you're trash! You're just like me!"

    Parker shut his mouth, maybe that was a little bit harsh for the kids... They needed to be hit with the truth though, it wouldn't get through to them if he wasn't harsh. He drew the blade from his back and began walking towards the vine user.

    "You know what happens to Abberant street rats when they get caught, right?"
  37. The seven-year-old boy had his head down. He was gritting his teeth and appeared to be seething with rage, but when he looked up at Parker there were tears streaming down his face. What the older boy had said had gotten to him. "You don't know anything! So what if the kingdom doesn't help us! It's the only hope we have of seeing our parents again! So even if it turns out to be a false hope, we'll still cling to it!" the vine user shouted. The tears kept coming, but he didn't waver. "This woman ruined our lives! She's the reason our parents got taken! She turned us into Aberrants! Neta Briarwood is a witch, and if you knew what she was capable of, you'd stand down and let her get what's coming to her!"

    The gas had worn off some more, allowing Neta to get up and barely stand. Her distinctive blonde hair blew in the wind and was visible even in the darkness of night. "Oh... it's... you. I knew we would... meet again." She smiled weakly, because that was all she could muster.

    "WHATEVER!" the vine user yelled, wiping his tears sloppily and regaining his composure. "We're nothing like you! We have strength in numbers! You're all alone, except for that archer behind you whom you probably just met! Let's go, guys, we can beat them!"

    "He came all this way... for me? And that archer... I've seen him before, though I can't remember when. But I can't let them fight on their own... I have to do something..." Neta said under her breath, barely pronouncing the words.

    The children were prepared to take them out, but Neta used the strength that she'd regained and shot vines from her ring. The seven-year-old was only capable of producing one thick vine, but the original Plant X could manifest itself as multiple smaller ones. She cocooned each of the children in vines up to the neck and held them in the air. Each child might have only one of her many powers, but they definitely had more stamina than she did. They were born Aberrants, after all, and didn't wear any parasitic rings that sapped their strength.

    She struggled to keep the children bound, but with the last of her energy she hugged herself to cover up. "H-hey... it's nice to s-see you again..." Neta blushed in embarrassment because Parker had seen her in her nightclothes, which were much more revealing than what she normally wore.
    #37 E.K.A.N.S., Jun 10, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
  38. Fire Mana

    Fire Mana Previously Top_Smug_

    "Neta Briarwood..." Parker mumbled under his breath as the name of the hostage was announced.

    Parker's mouth hung open at the name reveal, and remained open as said hostage stood up and entrapped the children in vines. His expression immediately changed to embarrassment as he noticed that she was wearing something he would hesitate to even call an outfit.

    "H-Hey, nice to see you as well..."

    Parker stood still for a moment before realizing his focus wouldn't be held with Neta standing next to him like this. He slung off his cloak and threw it to the woman. The night air was chilly now that he only had one layer on his torso, but it's better than being distracted.

    "Just hurry up and put that on so we can focus on the brats."
  39. Still embarrassed, Neta did as she was told and put Parker's cloak on. She felt bad that he had to stand in the cold, but exposing herself and making it more awkward for everyone was the alternative. "Thanks..." she smiled softly.

    The kids seemed fine in the cold because the vines kept them insulated. Neta couldn't wrap herself in vines to keep herself warm, because Plant X would not touch its host body under any circumstance for fear of harming it, unless she was in grave danger.

    "Put us down, SLUT!" the seven-year-old boy shouted. Anyone with less of a heart than Neta could crush them in the vines right now, or cause thorns to appear on them and injure the children. But she wasn't that kind of person. The boy cried desperately, then, to Parker, "You'll regret this! She's a witch! I can't believe you're siding with her! She has you under her spell!"

    At this, Neta looked down at the ground, her eyes glossy as if she was tearing up again. The guilt was heartrending, and she felt horrible.
    #39 E.K.A.N.S., Jun 10, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
  40. Fire Mana

    Fire Mana Previously Top_Smug_

    Parker's hands trembled with rage, these brats didn't know anything. He would have burnt each and every one of them to a crisp if Neta weren't here. Even with her here, he seriously gave thought to it. They were suspended in the air, easy targets for a Shadow Fireball. He only got more angry at the comments as time went on. Parker didn't think he had ever been so angry in his life.

    "This witch is the only person who's ever even asked for my name sincerely, so I don't care what you say about her! If you rats want to oppose her then you're opposing me too, and I'm nowhere near as nice as her! If if weren't for Neta here I would have turned you all into steaks!"

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