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Lightsnowe

Unto Others [Open!]

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The sun hung high overhead, wearing a light skirt of gently drifting clouds, and issued forth a delicate warmth into the dense thickets of the South Shroud. A slim maiden of a breeze whirled and danced and spun playfully through the boughs of the orderly lanes of the ancient wood, kicking up leaves and spores alike. Finches peeped and chirruped, small critters scurried over the forest’s gently sloping floor, and Olivian oen Vitus was bored senseless.

 

My oh my my my, what a dreadful day, he thought sourly, shifting to maintain his perch atop one of the hard barrels as the wagon pitched side to side. One of the wheels was shorter than the other three, and that just about summed up his ill fortunes in a single pathetic image: not even the damn wagon would give him a break.

 

What wickedness had I gotten up to in my past lives, to lead me here. Its too bright, and too loud, and my arse has gone numb. It may have fallen off entirely, and I’d not know until it is too late. And how does one go about finding one’s lost arse? Is there a Market Board for that? Besides Limsa, of course. Limsa is just one giant arse hospital now isn’t it.

 

Thought of the ocean-side city did nothing for the woeful Hyur’s humors, which sunk further and further with each ship-like lurch of the wooden contraption as it ambled unevenly down the merchant’s path. You’d have thought that, given its well-known route and subsequent usage, the road would be worn smooth in the years since the Lumberline’s conception, but popularity had done nothing to make the ride to Buscarron’s Druthers particularly comfortable.

 

Or safe.

 

The job had been shockingly straightforward: Accompany a merchant’s shipment to the Druthers, then await further instructions upon arrival. There was general report of banditry occurring along this particular trail, as desperate and lazy an occupation thievery could be. And besides which, the Druther's woodsfolk would have eager need of able hands, Olivian had been assured, in growing their little hamlet into something more approaching a village.

 

Eager hands, and numb arses. Let it never be said the Empire does not care for its small-folk. Let it never be said Olivian oen Vitus passed the opportunity to safekeep a month’s supply of…

 

‘Higane-cut Beans!’ bleated Bubali Dobali, the wagon’s lone driver. He was a stout Lallafellow with an impeccable moustache and a great warm baritone voice that would be quite soothing to hear, were it ever stopped long enough to reflect upon. ‘Shredded down the middle they did! Well I tell you, that’s how you let all the flavor out! Now don’t get me wrong, them Higane fellers know a thing or two about a thing or two but you can’t go choppin up beans all willy nilly like and tossin’ them in yer soup! Now sit me down and pass me a bowl of Tinillian chowder and we’ll talk. Those Tinillians know their way around a bean, let me tell-’

 

And onwards and onwards thence. Olivian never knew there were so many things to know about beans, nor there were so many words that could be used up in the span of a single morning, yet here he sat numb arsed and astounded.

 

A waste of his talents, to be certain. Tall-ish and well-made, Olivian struck an impressive figure in his dark suit and darker overcoat, his curly obsidian hair hanging around his pale, haughty face in gently bouncing coils. Armed with a masterfully honed resting bitch-face and a green-eyed glare that could peel the paint from a Magitek walker, he would more than suffice as a deterrent to any of the rumored bandits who might or might not be lurking in the nearby vicinity, or anywhere in the world for that matter.

 

Well ordered and well trained, he might’ve been better placed astride a war-bred steed, commanding troops and unleashing deadly stratagems upon some distant battlefield, calculating the dirty arithmetic of war. Yet this particular day found him sitting straight-backed on a bouncing barrel of beans in the woods, trundling off to some back-water no-place with only an over-enthusiastic Lalafell and a determined migraine as company. 

 

Such a dreadful day, Olivian pined with a frown, raising one of his start white gloves to shield his squinting eyes from the glare of the overhead sun.

 

Where is a decent Meteor when you need one...

Edited by Lightsnowe

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"Well Well Well, lookie here boys." She sniffs the air. "smells like a big lump some of gil"  Kallopea the  toughiest leader of the Scarpaw bandits, was hidden in the trees eyeing a wagon go by with one small guard. "Nope that was Rupert, he let one cut again" Benson, said as he fanned the air of Ruppies fart away. Kallopea rolled her eyes in the longest most dramatic way possible, she used her tail to whip at Ruppie, the smelly Lalafell. For a small guy he sure let out the deadliest ones. " RRRuuugh, just go get the newbies, time to see what they're made of.." She smirked as she slowly stalked the wagon. 

 

Somewhere, not to far from the road, a hyur female, laid lazily in the tree on a single branch, she held a leaf between her fingers. How the hell am i suppose to whistle with this? she thought, as she put it to her mouth, an blew, only feeling the leaf vibrate against her lips, tickling her a bit. When no sound came out, she tried again, until she heard a  voice below her. " Still trying to whistle Ajisai?"  His voice sounded calm and clear like a pond and deep as the depths of the Ruby Sea.  Lazily rolling over, on the branch onto her stomach, she looked down at her dark midnight blue, scaly friend, his Horns hung long on the side of his face, his eyes vibrant blue with a purple rim. " Aye Altan i was, its bloody, stupid it is.. I have no idea how to work the damn thing.." She clicked her tongue, out of frustration and flicked the leaf, only to watch it flutter down into Altan's hand. Using two fingers he carefully put it to his lip, before letting out the same pfftttttt noise she did. Ajisai cackled,  Altan the one whose good at everything couldn't whistle either, she opened her mouth to tease him, when the soft thud hit next to him, one the Miqo'te came to fetch them calling Ajisai by her Eorzean name Nubia, talking about the Boss Lady wanting them to show their stuff. I'm starting to wonder about these guys.. Ajisai thought as she looked over at Altan as he just lifted his big shoulders in a shrug. 

 

"Alright then fine.. we're coming"  Sitting up she swung her legs over and hopped down, landing almost softer then a Miqo'te, standing full five foot, eleven inches off the ground, she leaned forward touching her toes, before twisting from one side to another and then rolling her neck. " Right now, shall we hunt from the rich and give to the poor?" She chuckled, gripping her bow, she strapped on her quiver,  before stringing up her short bow  and following the Miqo'te, with Altan behind her. 

Ajisai, caught up, with the boss lady, she nodded to her before slowly pulling out an arrow from her quiver, she relaxed her arm before pulling  it back, nocking the arrow.  Just breath, in and out  She felt it, like she always did, her blood rushing through her body, eyes dilating, sweat beading up at her brow, the muscles twitching, the feeling of this adrenaline, made her soul hum. " Wait for it... Wait for it"  She aimed at the guard who was at the back of the wagon, she watched as she heard the Boss Lady hiss for her to hurry and take the shot.  Ajisai chuckled,  staring at this person, she could see his most delicate features. " He has one heck of a resting bitch face, Altan"  She let go, her Arrow making silent whistle, soaring  to hit its mark. " Well what are you waiting for.. if he's a good enough guard he will block it.. maybe." She smirked, still eyes on him as he seemed to have his arm raised to block the suns rays.  " What a beautiful day.."
 

Edited by Nubian

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Gainfully unaware that the coveted bean-hoard was being ogled by a bean-consuming brigade, Olivian was dutifully contemplating a sneeze when the impact punched him from his perch and shoved him off the wagon entirely. With an ungentlemanly shriek he cartwheeled artlessly and landed in some otherwise unoccupied brush, face down and arse up. And there he lay for the span of a few heartbeats, trying to figure how he’d gotten deposited there so suddenly.

 

He blinked and coughed out a leaf and squinted at the sunbeam that just so decided to mock his inelegance by shining right into his irritated, handsome face. And he started to flounder and writhe and flap effect-lessly to his feet, but his legs were just a mite too long and his coat just a bit too heavy and he couldn’t find purchase.

 

Friggle…. Fraggle…. Oh sod this.

 

‘BOYS!’ he shouted in a voice that echoed like a peal of thunder, a simple syllable carrying with it the weight of command. A voice that harbored no repeat, a voice that would snap petty officers into attention for fear of immediate retribution.

 

And just as suddenly as he’d shouted, four massive figures just ‘pop’ed into being. They were the each of them utterly identical, bronze-skinned and oil-slick muscle-men with undercuts and tremendous beards, utterly nude save for scandalously placed clouds of darkness. Their powerfully built legs terminated in miniature tornados, kicking up small plumes of dust where instead mortals would have left footprints.

 

Two of the Titans set to fishing out their Summoner from his compromised state, while the other two floated soundlessly over to the wagon, drawing it to a halt with simple, unignorable gestures.

 

Hefted back to his feet, Olivian raged over his now-dirty coat, and took to slapping away the dust with his immaculate white gloves, which served only to transfer the filth from one garment to the other. There was also the matter of the annoying protrusion jammed through his chest; fortunately the arrow had only pierced lean muscle but was no less painful, and no less bloody. The white of his elegant shirt was already stained for all time, as more of his blood pumped in joyous release from the wound.

 

Green eyes misted with pain and incandescent with rage, the tall fellow yanked the arrow from his chest and held it aloft like excalibur itself.

 

‘Rrrrrrrrrrrgghhh WHO SHOT THIS?!’ he yelled, as his four Titan cohorts posed around him like some jojo meme.

Edited by Lightsnowe

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Ajisai, smirked her arrow not only hit, but sent the man flying,she turned to look at Altan with a grin on her face smirking, while he just looked at her and shrugged and said " Besides his little girl scream, i don;t think it did any actual damage.." Ajisai, frowned and clicked her tongue, in annoyance. "Well go on while his arss is face up in the bushes!" She whispered in a hiss.  The Boss lady nodded and was about to step out when, the ass bush man, yelled for his "Boys". " What reinforcements?! " Kallopea, looked at her scout, who shook his head. 

 

Altan said softly for them to look, as he summoned, monster looking things, that made Ajisai's blood lust tingle, how badly she wanted to fight those things, see how strong they were, and maybe to break them into pieces. It was as if Altan sensed her thoughts, as he gripped her shoulder, holding her back. " What is he??" She said her voice, sounded sweet like a little girl trying to get something form her father. One of Kallopeea's men answered, he was a Benson, a Elezen with scar on his face. " He seems to eb a Summoner, bastards always got monsters.. we gotta be careful." Ajisai snorted " Careful in not in my na.." She started to say until the Man seemed to be out of his bush and back on his feet, pulling the arrow out, calling out who did this.

 

Is this dude an idiot or what, like we will really come out and say or it was us, and the hell kind of pose was that. Ajisai thought that right as the Boss Lady, came out of hiding with her brand of boys in tow. " My Little birdy did, now do me a favorrr handsome, and  step away with your meat shields, and hand overrrr the carrrgo"  Kallopea purred as she spoke, as if to make herself sound wanting.  Ajisai, slapped her hand to her forehead, a gesture she learned out here in Eorzea, she couldn't believe these idiots.  Altan, tapped her shoulder and pointed over, to the wagon. Should i get the cargo, or should i help distract...hmmm. She didn't have a lot time to think, but she was always good provoking others. "I'll distract you get the goods, your faster, in these woods" She glared at Altan and sighed , there went her chance of possibly fighting, this Summoner. " Alright... keep em good n distracted, i'll get around  Dumb Dumb three, i suppose." She was speaking about one the Men of Pillars, standing behind the summoner.

 

She creeped bow still in hand, she quickly put it on her back,  before inching closer to the wagon.. I wonder if i should knock the driver out..should make it easier.

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A target for Olivian’s indignation emerged from the thicket, a lean catte-like slip of a woman as world-worn as she was pretty, with a whole posse of riffraff in tow. They shared knowing smirks with one another, reminding the Summoner of a ragged wolf pack. Or a squad of mates, fresh-faced and earnest, their uniforms still steaming from the Academy's irons. The woman cooed out a clever line about how handsome he was and how meaty his shields were, sounding every bit as smug as a catte cleaning her whiskers after her meal.

 

The sight trimmed Olivian’s fury considerably. 

 

In another life, perhaps these very ones would have marched on Ishgard, Olivian mused while he flipped the bloodied arrow around and around between his slender fingers. In another land, Garlemond would have fed these ones and raised them to be full of the pride of the Empire. Perhaps that pride beats still within their hearts, the pride of the Land.

 

But he was reminded of the sting of his arrow-wound, and more importantly the ruination of his fine shirt and with a stamp and a wave of his hand he cast the dark ringlets of hair out of his face and shot an accusatory point at the gang’s conspicuous leader.

 

‘You there!,’ he declared sonorously, his voice pitched with command. ‘These goods are under the direct protection of Olivian (don’t say it, you've got to remember to stop saying it) Vitus. That would be me. And I would see this chatty fellow and his… provisions to their rightful place. Unless you wish to put me to the test, I would advise you stay right where you are and contemplate every meaning of ‘still as the grave’, or you will find your ill-advised career has come to an unsightly end.’

 

Not too bad, as far as threats go. Olivian was never one to repeat himself, and though his initial wrath had subsided upon seeing the state of the woman and her brigand brigade, it simmered still just beneath the surface of his poison apple stare. He continued to regard the catte-lady with the intensity of a serpent staring down a blade of grass, while the ludicrously muscular Titan-Egi quartet set to flexing and throwing gang signs and crude, taunting gestures of their own.

 

And though his composure may not have presented someone worth taking seriously, having thus far presented a more suitable pin cushion than foeman, there was an off-putting quality to the discipline of the Hyur’s posture and a sharpness to his movements that betrayed a talent for violence forged by cruelty and tempered in the fires of war. For a very, very brief instant, his fingers of his right hand twitched towards the wrist of his left, peeling back the glove just a hair or so, before ultimately deciding against it.

 

Gloves on, for this one.

 

For now.

 

As for the wagon-driver, well he was blessedly ignorant of his own peril, and took go jabbering to anyone who happened to be nearby about the quality of variously sourced beans. He started hooting on and on to the Titan-Egi who had stopped the chocobo, then set to jammering further to nobody specific while lighting up his little pipe. Of eager Ajisai and stoic Altan, neither party made any notice, leaving them to their own unsupervised devices.

 

The Summoner snapped the arrow, discarding the broken pieces back unto the earth.

 

‘Now if you’ll excuse me, the day has already proven tedious enough without this needless bloodshed, and as it stands I must meet my destination before the set of the sun. I’ve a tailor in-town who will undoubtedly be glad to see me, or rather his pockets will. Honestly, I’m putting his kids through school by now, but such is the cost of quality goods, no?’

 

And he pointed out the best dressed of the brigands, further indicting him (or her!) with a slight upturn of his fair chin. ‘Ah see this one knows what I mean. That vest is impeccable! It really brings out the best of your build. Well done.

 

‘See? We are all friends now. Well, I’ll be leaving, take care. And remember! Still as the grave. Ta!’

 

And he spun around, kicking an elegant whirl in his overcoat and shrugging goodbye with an upturned glove.

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Ajisai, had nodded to Altan to jump in the mix, she had an ease plan on how to get two sack full of goods and get away,  her rogue training from Limsa back when she started here, would soon prove useful,  with her ability to use hidden, and her tactful way, of blending into things would make it as breeze. only problem was,  it would last long, and her moving into the wagon to get the goods would not help with a unstable looking wagon. This thing looks like it would leave splinters like a  cactuar shooting needles, how did he even sit in it for as long as he did?  Using her hand signs, she used the hidden skill,  only able to walk slowly did she get up to the wagon,  while listening to the nonsense the  Olivian man was spewing.  Keeping close to the shadow of the wagon, she kept outta sight of the Rocky minature he summoned, the Driver was to busy talking to the thing to even notice her, which made it perfect. 

 

Peeking over the wagon, she grabbed on sackful slowly, looking around doing her best not to smack it against anything or drop it. Success ! on one.. one more to go then i sprint outta here.  Was her thought, till  she looked up at the  Olivian man, about to look in her direction, she froze before remembering, she was hidden.  She let out a breath she didnt realize she was holding as Altan stepped out.

 

" Wait Wait, hold your horses, Mister spiffypants..." Altan, came  into his role of  distracting, moving his long limbs, giving off his best ( scary) smile,  when ever he played the role of distraction he would always do his best impersonation of Ajisai, her loud, and weird ways of always some how giving others absurd nicknames. unhidden behind a tree, he  stood in the direction of  the wagon facing, Olivian so that he would catch a glimpse of Ajisai. " You really think we would let you go just like that?" he raised a brow in question.  " The boy is right, Mista Olivian Feutus..." The Boss Lady, had figured her charms would work on this one, but she would mind still trying,  tilting her head to the side her ears flickered, while giving a swish of her tail she took a step closer. "We came here for the goods, and we shall get them... whether you want to be friends or not afterwards is up to you love" 

 

While they where trying for his attention, Ajisai,  reached for the next sack,  but for some reason it was alittle bit out of her reach, almost breaking her rib to get it, she touched it with the tips of her fingers,. " Come on almost got it...."

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Olivian shirked into himself a bit, shoulders tensing and head scrunching down in the classic form of a man hearing bad news from behind his back. He was facing the wagon by now, all squared up and contended to just walk away from the… colorful youths surrounding him. And his poisonous eyes passed slowly over the spot where Ajisai occupied, and although they did not stop upon her, his lips tilted into a cruel and knowing grin all the same.

 

And just then an Au’Ra fellow sauntered into view, must’ve been a trick of that damnable light which had hidden him prior. The Titans recoiled at the closeness of this individual, gazing between one another in silent debate over who done goofed and let someone get so close to the boss.

 

This new guy, with the horns and the scales and the forced bravado, seemed to be a very sad man roleplaying as a rambunctious girl, something about the quality of him giving away the game to a more studious eye. Or eyes. More on that later. In any case, Olivian found himself distracted by Altan’s performance, less so out of genuine interest and more owing to how the lad’s scaly mouth seemed more suited to frowning than spinning smooth lines about the state of one’s pants.

 

‘Why yes, they are rather spiffy aren’t they,’ the Summoner agreed, patting down his quite fashionable trousers with a sniff of pride. Not one to be outdone, the leader of the troupe spoke up again, drawing another languid peer over the Hyur’s bloodied shoulder. He frowned at her intelligently, and reached a fine white glove to rub at his forehead, or brush the dark curls of hair as one would part a curtain. He politely waited for her to finish.

 

‘Vitus, actually. Vie-tuss. Vitus! Now I do recall mentioning ‘silent as the grave’, yes, and I have to say dear lady you are doing a VERY poor job of listening.’

 

Olivian swiveled around to face the group again, eyes moving from person to person. Pulling in small details; reading the eagerness in eyes, observing the distributed weight of stances, measuring the quality of hardware. He determined quickly who was serious and who was along for the sake of it, but everywhere he looked he found earnesty and pride. It was nearing amusement, to see such energetic folk all gathered together for a single cause.

 

Hells above do I miss war. Sigh. 

 

There is a camaraderie you can only find on the field, a kinship tied between souls who have bled together, snored together, wept together, laughed together with their very lives on the line. He saw it here, in these dirty bandits, and that set him back a step.

 

-’come on, almost got it…’-

 

There was a hand peeking up over the rim of the wagon, patting around the interior in search for goodies, the way a cat paws blindly beneath a table. It was charming, and Olivian issued a brief melodic laugh in spite of the threats around him. Of course he could see the girl just fine, though concealed by a glimmer of some mudra or other. Very very few things could pass unnoticed by the third silver eye stuck like a pale bead in the center of Olivian’s forehead, though itself might have passed inspection hidden as it was behind the unruly crop of his jet hair.

 

He fired a knowing wink in Ajisai’s general direction, then righted himself to address the catte lady smouldering before him. 

 

‘But you know what, I think you’re onto something. Let’s be friends.’

 

The Summoner clicked his teeth twice, and immediately the quartet of oily, muscular manly Titans flexed one final flex before poofing out of existence with a comical plume of white Axe body spray. Well that isn’t true, one stayed behind. It hovered over to the Lallafell driver, who was catching it up on the storied history of the rare and coveted Giannantonio bean, and then proceeded to scoop up the little fellow from beneath his armpits and caber tossed him off into the distance. Some say Bubali Dobali never landed, and indeed continues his flight to this very day, jammering on and on about his wonderful fruit.

 

His conjured men fading from this realm, Olivian was left by himself, offering a devious smile and a courteous bow as he flicked the tailgate of the splintery wagon and down it clunked, freeing up the ill-gotten bounty to be plundered without contest.

 

‘The Adventurer’s Guild doesn’t pay well enough anyway,’ Olivian reasoned, straightening and adjusting his thin black necktie. ‘Besides which, you all seem much more interesting.’

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Looking up to see how the distraction went as, Ajisai struggled to reach for the bag,  she looked up to peek over, only to catch a glimpse at the man, winking at her. 

 

There is no way he can see me right?  She ducked down, frowning to herself, with a soft puffing pop sound, she was back in existence. The Hidden skill timer was up.

 

The 'Catte' Lady, purred at  Olivian, almost as if gliding the cat, slinked over to him and put one hand on  his shoulder. "That's morrrre like it"   Kallopea eye'd at him, while Altan crossed his arm, but his hands ready on his knives hanging on his belt.  Like always he didn't trust this man, like he didn't trust anyone who wasn't from the steppe, was ready to cut him down at any moment.

 

Stand up straight she stood next to Altan, arms crossed. " So just like that?"  She eyed the man she shot with the arrow before, what was his name... Vitus.  "Beetus? was it your name.. you just give up like that... by the way you winked at me, while i was  hidden there is no way your ordinary"  She needed to know, to question.  She could feel Altan tense up next to her, his muscles tensing up just when about to attack, The Boss lady snapped at her.  " Tch...i hope he.." She started in a mumble then bit her bottom lip.  

 

No there was no need, to get heated if he was to do anything, it be not her head he take but theirs.  She turned on the tips of her toes, walking over to pick up the first bag, she took and  dropped it back into the wagon without care at all. 

 

 

She could hear the stupid Boss Lady, purring at the man, saying how much of a temper she had, as Altan walked over to her, giving her a what now, look, she shrugged.  " Boss Lady i put it back its ready.." 

 

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As anticipated, his actions caused all manner of fuss and distrust. The crew seemed to snap to the Bosslady’s commands, both spoken and otherwise. They fanned out with some semblance of professionalism, checking the road for waylayers or other such unwelcome subterfuges. Olivian remained as still as prudence permitted, knowing full well any sudden movements or jerking gestures would be awarded with another skewering. Alton's open distrust promised it, nearly begging for the chance.

 

Speaking of, the arrow-wound had taken to mending on its own, owing to a technological marvel the details of which would remain unexplained until insisted upon. Hint: while the body beneath absorbed enough Aether to knit itself back together, the well-dressed fellow’s coat had taken to a shade even darker than before. A near-imperceptible difference, but a difference all the same. A true curiosity; the observant onlooker would have noticed the silver pearl of this odd man's third eye, marking him as a Garlean. And those born of Galarond are well known for having no magical sympathy what-so-ever. Hence the rise of their technologically advanced Empire: where one cannot contend with conjured balls of fire or storms of ice, one must make do with wartanks and mechsuits.

 

Yet here he was, self-mending. And calling forth mini-Primals, no less.

 

Anyway. The bandits shuffled around him, taking stock of the wagon, murmuring among themselves. The Summoner observed placidly, simply raising his palms and side-stepping to keep out the way. From some private pocket he produced a thin, finger long stick of some white paper material and a little silvery rectangle; with the cup of a hand and the flick of a thumb, he bit one end of the little stick and produced a devious little flame to light the other. In an instant, the scent of minty leaves issued forth from him, riding along a long plume of pale smoke that expelled from pursed lips.

 

Olivian tipped some ash and smoked patiently, his poisonous eyes drifting from person to person.

 

The stealthy slip of a girl whom he’d spotted earlier came glowering over, making her demands of explanation.

 

‘Vitus,’ he corrected politely, curving his lips to the side to avoid blowing smoke in her dark, distrusting face. ‘And I wouldn’t -quite- say I gave up, my dear. More accurately I see no observable reason to oppose you or your industrious kin in your redistribution of locally sourced wealth, and frankly you’re all far too lively to pass up on.’

 

And she accused him of not being ordinary, which earned her a private, devilish smile.

 

‘Ah-hah! Hah, aaah… quite.’ he trailed off, as though that were the natural end of that conversation.

 

There were some allowance made about the girl’s temper, even as she grumbled away and shot-putted her rightfully acquired bag of beans back into the wagon with an unaffectionate ‘whump’. Olivian tipped some ash from his little stick, dismissing the notion with the masterfully good nature of a seasoned diplomat, or the flagrant disinterest of a sociopath. 

 

‘Well what a day. What’s next on the itinerary? Something out of this dreadful sun, I do hope.’

 

A puff and a plume and he chewed his mini-paper-pipe and pocketed his white-gloved hands and stood at the ready, wearing an expression of haughty amusement.

Edited by Lightsnowe

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Ajisai noted, how he didn't answer her  last question, though now she think about it, it was probably the wrong question to ask. 

 

Maybe, my hidden skill wasn't done properly... that or he has some third eye?  gasp. Like the samurai's back home!. .. She shivered, thinking about the Sekseigumi back in Kugane.  when Olivian.s voice snapped her back into reality. 

 

 " Good question, and for your sake.. i hope it is in the sun.."  Ajisai, answered replying to him, as he looked in obnoxious amusement.  She peeked at him with her topaz, colored eyes, as he chewed on his paper pipe, this time actually looking at his features. " how could a face like that.. be so annoying " She murmured  as she tugged on one her silver, blond and black braid,something she normally did when something interested her. While Altan, who was still giving  Olivian a very in depth stare, like he was looking for a Matanga, to jump out of his body.  Ajisai elbow'd him as he looked down at her. " Ya keep staring at him like that, and he might think you like him.."  She smirked, teasingly as Altan, turned to look at her with disgust, opening his mouth in protest before interrupted.

 

" Alright you two, listen up.." Kallope, the Boss Lady clapped to get their attention, as she announced what was to be done, next.  Since they acquired the Wagon of beans, all thanks to the cooperation of Olivian,  they decided to split the gang, majority would take and guard the goods, back to the camps hide out. while the other four would head to Buscarrion Tavern,  gather intel, on the next shipment of whatever goods that might, be coming or leaving. 

 

Kallope split the group up, sending Altan, Ajisai, Olivian and a Miqo'te  to act as a party, of adventurers heading form Quarrymill. 

 

Ajisai, couldn't believe this, she was not one for gathering intel, more for swinging her weapon around, and maybe painting someones branch with red, not only did she have to do this, she was assigned with the one sappy sod, she wasn't to happy to meet. Before, she could protest Kallope and the rest had already, making there way back to camps hideout. " OH for the love of  the Dusk Mother." She walked forward three, steps, then crossed her arms and sighed, loudly.  She bit her bottom lip again, thinking she knew Kallope plan, wanting to test the Summoner, of his worth knowing the redbelly shites are roaming  around Buscarrion. 

 

Maybe this be good time to really see, what this person is about... plus i suppose it be right to introduce myself...

 

" Well lets go right.. we look stupid standing in the middle of the damned road.. the sun not gonna get any cooler.... My E name is  Nubia... the one giving you the death stare, is Altan, and the furrbutt, is Nala'to" Ajisai nodded to the Miqo'te to lead the way, crossing her arms. " If you have no objections, shall we go, though i'm sure it won't happen, the Ixals like to pop up when least expected."  she said with longing expression on her face.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Nubian

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Like any accomplished worm, the deeper beneath her skin he got, the more satisfied Olivian seemed. It seemed genuinely more important to him to thrive off the disapproval of others than to secure his own safety, evidenced by the fact he hadn’t mentioned getting arrowed and how unpleasant and unfriendly that was. So it was, when Ajisai -or Nubia as the grumbly little creature had introduced herself- mentioned she hoped he’d be stuck out in weather conditions he didn’t find comfortable, she was presented a serpent’s smile of venom and appetite.

 

‘Ah hah, yes very good. Very good in-deed.’

 

And while his face certainly didn’t -feel- very annoying, he checked it anyway with a white glove and a ‘tut-tut’ reserved for only the most keen of ears. The tall fellow, looming a good head and shoulders above the fairer skinned Summoner, continued to squint at him as though he were trying to read something scandalous on his bones, but that girl teased him into finding insight elsewhere. Fortunately, the Boss interrupted with her instructions.

 

Olivian watched and listened, clearly straining to pay attention. It was altogether too bright for him, out in the middle of the road. He strode some paces away and listened from the cover of trees, polishing off his paper-pipe with a few hurried puffs.

 

Evidently the grand plan was to split up, sensible enough. The Boss seemed to know her guerilla warcraft just fine, hitting and running and forwarding a scout asset to the next mark while cycling the goods back to HQ. Olivian wondered whether she had any formal training, pursuing the thought to its logical conclusion and moving on.

 

Being placed on scout duty seemed to piss Nubia off, which served to deepen Olivian’s insufferable air of satisfaction.

 

‘Well lets go,’ she placated as amiably as an underpaid babysitter on a Friday night, and delivered on her assessment of annoyance by stomping off in the requisite direction. Introductions were handed out begrudgingly, and to each individual Olivian shared his name and a handshake, should one be welcomed. His hand was delicate, but his grip shockingly firm for one of such floral demeanor. It was a bit redundant to introduce himself three times in a row, but it displayed extraordinary care and seriousness, as though he were there to meet each of the three personally.

 

And with that, they were off.

 

The mid-day sun soon became wearisome along their dusty trek; Olivian shrugged off his jacket and loosened the throat of his tie, revealing his thinnish frame and attention to the high style of an ancient kingdom. He did well to conceal his third, silvery bead of an eye with an unruly plume of coiled black hair, artfully drawing the rest of the mass back into a low tail with a few efficient gestures.

 

‘Ixal? I am afraid I am not familiar with the term,’ he stated. ‘We will be soon to Buscarrion my dear, what is it expressly we will be looking for?’

 

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"  First of all, I'm not your dear.. second,what rock have you been living under, huh? Who goes in Black shroud, not knowing of the beast tribes that lives here..?

 

She stopped, she couldn't believe an supposed hired adventurer, in Gridania didn't know of the beast tribe of Ixals. She looked back at him, giving him a queer look before, shaking her head, and resume walking forward.  She didn't feel like giving him a lecture, on beast tribes in Gridania.  

 

"Third... our mission is very simple in which im sure you will strive in doing.. you use your annoying charm, and see if you get some information, about shipments of anything that would be of value, then we  go home.. Easy right?" She hoped, that was enough for him to keep his mouth shut, atleast till they got to the place. 

 

 As she walked, the path was straight forward and easy to get to Buscarrion,  she eye'd the wild life of antelope deer, that peeked in an out the trees. She always liked animals, they way they lived, was clearly simple, prey n predator, breed,  enjoy the surrounding terrain. She sighing loudly, feeling the sun play peek a boo with her,  shining in and out of the trees. Stretching her arms, up then out infront of her, when hairs on the back of her neck stood, and she heard it the sound of a arrow being launched, the soft whisper as it perced the wind, her first instinct was to duck behind the tree, she leand back against it, as she heard a loud thud hit the tree.  

 

" Ambush! What the hell!"

 

"  Fancy pants you alright??"  She called out to him.

 

She looked down as a arrow hit by an inch by her foot, on her right side  the long, shaft of the arrow, was dark the tail of it had feathers, that only Ixals used on there arrows.

Nubia looked over checking bodies, Altan and Nala'to ,were fine, both pressed against their own tree, With Nala'to already letting Arrows loose. While Altan waited for the  signal.  " What the hall are Ixals doing this close to a settlement, more important what  in the blue blazes are the Wood Wailers doing!"  She pulled her bow from erh back, getting read to let loose some arrows of her own. She peeked,  around her trunk, spying a Ixal getting ready to load a  arrow. " Too slow!  Get at him Altan" She pulled her arm back letting one fly into, hoping landing into the chest of an Ixal.

 

 

 

 

 

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Olivian smiled disarmingly, smoothed back his hair. He turned to one of the miqo’te, cupping his mouth conspiratorially.

 

‘She thinks me charming. Haw!’ The acidity of Nubian’s sarcasm evaded him with prodigious talent.

 

They marched along, dappled by passing streamers of sunlight. The lush green vegetation flanking their merry little band locked in an explosion of vibrant green color, inching up to smother more and more sunlight as the years strained along. Olivian occupied his dawdling mind by wondering whether the trees could hear themselves growing. Ring by ring, bark by bark. 

 

How utterly dreadfully boring. And predictable! Imagine it, being rooted in the same dull place seeing the same dull things day in and day out. Grazed upon by some ungrateful, turd dropping four legger. Wizzed upon by some passing predator, as though your form were THEIRS to claim as territory. And then hacked to splinters and folded into some simpleton’s cookbook or what have you. Or a cradle for his mewling spawn. Ugh.

 

Surely there was no justice in being born a tree. The forest as equal parts savage and unfair as the great cities of man. At least here the inhabitants would keep their foul and simpleton opinions to themselves. Save for the song of the birds, as they darted in and out of cover overhead. 

 

The birds were nice. Pleasant even.

 

Olivian was locked in some deep reverie about what might constitute his most favorite species -leaning heavily towards the north-eastern chickadees for their dark little helmets and brave little hearts- when the call of ambush shouted out and everyone else ducked into cover. Leaving him gawking there in the middle of the road with a curve of his brow and for all intents a thumb up his ass.

 

‘Hm,’ he stated regarding his predicament. And he twisted about to frown ever at the clutch of birdmen emerging from deep cover. Arrows sliced on by, and with a careening scraw of battle several Ixali warriors sprinted into the dusty road. Unnerved at being so crudely jettisoned from the sanctum of his thoughts, the Summoner swung his bundled coat around in an abrupt arc and slapped aside a volley of projectiles intended for his person. He assessed the positions of his newfound best-friends, the nature of the oncoming foemen. And from the snakepit of his imagination hatched a sufficiently cruel plan.

 

‘Garuda, my love. Fly to me on your wispy wings!’

 

His voice was pitched with spectacular effort. He struck a specific, odd pose and relaxed it. There was a savage gust of wind, just then. It swept through the forest, dislodging loose leafs and crackling dry branches. Some lime-green THING darted down from the skies, shrieking with otherworldly superiority. It alighted before the Summoner with a flourish of brilliant wings and a down-gust, regarded him with open amusement.

 

‘Ah- there you are. Who is my most favorite girl? You, yes you,’ Olivian purred.

 

The miniature primal, a being composed of intense green aether and swirling air shook her head and rolled her eyes, swatting the incorrigible master with one of her arm-wings. She was a meagre fraction of the true Primal whose form she so elegantly imitated, all slender limbs and effeminate hips. But she bore the power of the windy aspect all the same, and when the Summoner gestured to the oncoming wall of Ixil, it was with sudden violence that she swooped in and attacked.

 

It seemed befitting to conjure a simulacrum of their own goddess, after all. Most of the ambushing beastmen gave sudden pause to the sight of their treasured Highness, even while she slashed their throats and sliced their limbs with claws of sharpened air. Would they muster the heart to strike at an image of their most sacred idol? Olivian for his part was interested to observe.

 

Sadly his role as passive note-taker would soon be interrupted. A nimble birdman leapt high above the fray and came raining down upon him with an outrageously long spear. The barbs of its stone head poised for his heart -as little and evasive the black thing could be- and the Ixili shrieked with indignation as it descended faster than lightening.

 

‘Oh bother,’ Olivian murmured and he ripped off one of his fine white gloves and reached up. He pushed his bare palm into the beastman’s face while catching the spear’s haft with his free hand, the sheer force sliding him back on his heels for several yalms. The Garlian Summoner had broken into a malevolent smile since the ambush had been upon them, and he hadn’t stopped since. The birdman’s face began to smoke and smoulder where the man’s bare skin touched it. It tried to cry out in shock and pain, but only an arid hiss escaped its agape beak, as its skull began to shrivel and crumble into ash. The Aether was being sucked from it, like the intensity of the sun sucking a puddle from the desert. An instant later, it was shriveled like some overcooked poultry, wafting off a similar scent.

 

Olivian tossed the dry carcass aside, his attention set to the crudely crafted spear he now possessed. Too heavy, too brutish, he seemed to assess, merely dropping it in the road. His conjured mini-Gardua screeee’d and scrawwww’d and swooped and killed, and Olivian turned his underwhelmed gaze towards Nubian and her crew.

 

‘Oh. -These- Ixal. Of course, how could I have forgotten.’

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