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The Invisible (Now closed!)

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Crowded hallways are the loneliest places for outcasts and rebels

Or anyone who just dares to be different






"Why are those kids playing with dung?"


It was in the Pearl Lane, years before the Calamity, when Sarameda asked her mother that question and faced the sight of true poverty. Her mismatched eyes bright with inquiry and wariness at such a strange sight. After all, she never saw children in Limsa do something like that before. Even as she asked, she was clutching at her mother's skirt and shirking against the side of her leg as if to shift into her and hide away from the possibility of being caught looking. Those kids not only looked dirty, but scary too!


Lili looked towards them as well. They were ragamuffins. The city's lowest of the low, whose parents likely hadn't ate in days in order to let their child have needed nourishment. Or perhaps (and most likely) they had no parents. No one to tell them that it wasn't right to kick around a rolled up ball of chocobo dung as a means of entertainment.


Or...maybe they did know better. But had no feasible substitute for a ball.



And you've been trying for so long to find out what your place is

But in their narrow minds, there's no room for anyone who

dares to do something different


"Mama? Can we go?"


Sara moved to march down a side street with her hand fisted in her mother's skirt, but her mother didn't budge. Instead, she continued to stare at the children ahead of them. There was about five of them, with two leaning against the wall and cheering as one of the children kicked the dungball against a nearby wall that it shattered and showered bits of feces over their ragged heads. One of the little girls squealed with disgust.


Oh, but listen for a minute


"Actually...I have a better idea."


Raising her head a little higher, she moved forward towards them. Under one arm had been a basket of baked goods she was going to take to the soldiers: Steaming hot rolls slathered with butter and honeycomb. A truly delightful treat! Meanwhile, Sara followed after her meekly and a few fulms behind so she didn't have to get too close to the icky children.


One of the older kids spotted the mother first, tensing and glaring at her defiantly. A piece of dung was in his hair, and his tunic had little holes in the hem from where rats had fed on the material as he slept. It was a sad day when the rats were reduced to eating fabric in order to survive.


The mother stopped as soon as the boy moved to take a step back. This also got the attention of the other kids, who turned to collectively stare at the nicely dressed lady with the little girl trailing behind her. No one spoke, but she could see the distrust and wariness of a stranger in their eyes.


So, moving slowly, she removed a roll and held it out towards the boy.


Hear me out, there's so much more to life than what you're feeling now

Someday you'll look back on these days and all the pain is gonna be...


"Would you like a roll?"




He sneered, lips curling back over his surprisingly straight teeth as he bit out in response, "Why should I? You nobles wouldn't mind poisoning some of us and having a few less potential criminals on your hands!" One of the nearby girls whimpered and scampered behind the older boy, who never looked away from the woman as he placed his hand protectively atop her head.


Calmly, she brought the roll up to her own lips and took a bite. Chewing slowly, deliberately, swallowing, and then opening her mouth so that they could see it was all gone.


So your confidence is quit

To them quiet looks like weakness but you don't have to fight it


"There. Not poisoned. So, do you want one or not?"


Cause you're strong enough to win without the war


"How can I be sure that wasn't the only nonpoisoned one ya got!?"


In the back of her mind, she realized what a sad world it was that a child was paranoid enough to keep an eye out for poisons in the handouts of strangers.


"Because eating the whole batch seems a rather silly way to go about it."


When he still didn't look convinced, the mother set down the roll in the basket and took out another one. Taking a bite, she then reached for another. And another. And another...


Every heart has a rhythm, let yours beat out so loudly

That everyone can hear it, yeah, promise you don't need to hide it anymore

[align=right]Oh, and never be afraid of doing something different



There had been twenty rolls in all. She took a bite out of each and every one. Chewing, swallowing, and opening her mouth so the children could see that she wasn't hiding anything.


                                                                         Dare to be something more


Only then, feeling bloated from eating so much and having a normally tiny stomach, did the boy come over and snatch a roll from her offering hand. He didn't offer a thanks or even a kind nod of the head. Just marched to a nearby wall, leaned against it and whistled to the other kids. Where he proceeded to take off a piece of the roll and hand it to each and every one until the tiniest of morsels was in his palm. Only then did he eat.


The mother smiled. "See? That wasn't so bad." Sara had gradually moved closer to her mother, still skittishly peeking around her skirts towards the children. They still looked scary and dangerous. And the way they ate those rolls! When was the last time they ate?






These labels that they give you just 'cause they don't understand

[align=right]If you look past this moment, you'll see you've got a friend


"We're helping them, right?"


The mother, Lili, nodded and ruffled the top of her daughter's pale blonde head while her youngest continued to look onward at the quiet though voracious children. Not knowing that this one act of kindness would span a tradition to last many years to come.


Waving a flag, for who you are, and all you're gonna do

Yeah, here's to you and here's to anyone who's ever felt invisible



And so it was. Years later, and Lili found herself at the Lane again with a basket of rolls made the same way as she always did them: Dripping with honeycombs and butter and still steaming hot from the oven. As time went on, Lili made the trek by herself more and more often as her daughter and other two children grew too old and busy to accompany her.


Not that it bothered her much. It gave her time away from her company. Away from others. Allowed for her to people watch and get a sense of calm away from her work and current relocating. Moving her and Ado's things to the company house until they found a more suitable area of residence left her back and upper arms sore from shifting boxes and wrapping up more delicate articles so they didn't break or shatter in the transfer.


Like every trip, she dressed in feminine but light attire: a simple skirt, a blouse, and sandals. Her hair done up, no eye powder or lip paint. Just a woman with a basket of baked goods that she handed out to those who seemed to need them most. Men, women, and children alike. As she stood against the wall, she rolled her shoulders and glanced upwards. The rains would be coming soon. Her aching joints were proof of that.


Oh well. An early day never hurt anyone.


((OOC Notes: This is an open RP thread :) Any and all can join as this is a chance for me to get back into forum RP! If your character has a reason to be strolling in the Lane either as a regular resident or just passing through, that works! Or just to stumble across Lili at random, that works as well! Either way, enjoy :D ))

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It wasn't as if Verad needed a free meal or ten. Certainly, when he'd first arrived in the city, there had been lean times indeed, and he recalled at least one instance in which he'd abandoned his principles and allowed a customer to buy him dinner at the Coffer & Coffin as payment. For a man who had counted on food every other day, that had been a delicious roast marmot indeed.


Such concerns, of course, were no longer his own, and his regular quarters at the Harbingers' estate ensured that a great deal of real, unadulterated food came with it. Were it not for his svelte Elezen metabolism he would no doubt look a bit round around the middle from overindulgence. So it wasn't as if he really needed what he happened to espy the young woman offering from his position around the bend of Pearl Lane, offering free samples of his new line of Seduction Comments to limited success.


Then again, his observational activities on another front had found him eating so much shrewmeat that he was going to die if he didn't cleanse his palate. His mouth felt and tasted like the inside of a rotten lemon. In light of that, baked goods would suit a not-fully-but-rapidly-approaching-empty stomach quite nicely. But it was not enough that he merely ask for baked goods, for even in leaner days he had appeared far too handsome and magnificent for many to even consider him on the verge of starvation. No, Verad knew better; he had to sell the matter.


So it was that around the bend from Lilithium, a particular Duskwight shambled into view, in a manner that was clearly and elaborately feigned, hand clutching around his midsection and other arm reaching out imploringly into the space ahead of him as if blindly groping for some mirage of a grand feast. He couldn't make himself look gaunt, or haggard, because even a miracle couldn't make some things happen, but he was definitely able to adopt one of his higher-grade forlorn expressions, with beard half-drooped, mouth part-way open, and eyebrows squinted together.


"Oh, woe!" he began, because he was sure this was how such things started, and kept speaking in the midst of his stumbling, shuffling stride. "Woe and calamity indeed! My dubious goods for bread, for my stomach is a-weary, a-weary, and I would that I were dead!"


So saying, he fell down on the ground in front of her, suffering the indignity of laying face-down and prone in the middle of Pearl Lane. The smell of the street wasn't too bad if one stopped breathing.

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Her head had been turned away from the staggering Verad, looking down the opposite end of the lane that led towards the Quicksand. The occasional patron would emerge, both the intoxicated and non intoxicated variety, and it was an idle past time of hers to wonder at their lives based on their appearance. One male Lalafell toddled out with a rather scruffy face and long blue robes. Thaumaturge? Conjurer? Perhaps was hoping to win over the ladies with his whiskers or maybe didn't have time this morning for a trim-


Her train of thought faltered as she caught the elezen in her peripheral. Right as she looked, he was already flopped on the ground before her and begging like a lame dog for scraps. It took her a moment of confused blinking and opening and closing her mouth in a search for the right words to say before she realized who she was dealing with.


"Heh...hello, Verad. I take it by your moaning you want a butter and honey bun?"


Her perked a brow, not moving down to help him but faintly smiling all the same. She knew the man from a time or two in the past. The first interaction of which led to her being rather colorful in telling him to, under no uncertain terms, 'go fuck a carbuncle'. Alas, neither party held ill will in return...that she knew of, anyways. Regardless, she didn't waist for a response before plucking up a roll and adjusting her skirts so she could crouch down and hand it to him on his level.

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The mere statement of her offer had been enough for him to, without a second's thought, lift one arm up in the air with his hand and palm outstretched to accept whatever offering was provided. It was a marvel of contortionism, arm straight out and nearly perpendicular to his face-down body. Hunger could do for Verad what would otherwise result in a dislocated shoulder.


"That would be very nice, thank you," he said, his voice muffled by the street. When the food was not immediately placed into his hand, he rolled onto his back, squinting at the few stray bits of sunlight that filtered in through the oppressive nature of Ul'dah's high walls and the slightly more natural but no less oppressive efforts of the clouds indicating the coming rains.


A roll entered into his visual range, casting a shadow. He furrowed his brow to block out the few bits of light as he took it, rising up into a seating position before picking out a piece of bread with one hand and popping into his mouth. The sensation of food of quality driving away the horrific taste of a few days' shrewmeat was as much a balm to his soul as any religious experience.


"I am much obliged to you," he said with the kind of gravitas one might expect of anyone other than a man eating a roll in the middle of the street. "It has been a few lean and unpleasant days, madam. I do hope - " Here he paused to eat again. "Twelve, this is divine - I do hope that this is a more frequent activity of yours, and that if it is, I ought learn your schedule."

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Jaques had been making his way back down the lane from the markets. He was getting a bit better at discovering which vendors were more likely to donate to his cause. As it turned out, the richer stores and booths would simply laugh him out. He didn't dare ask those that looked as though they were living day-by-day with the sales they made. But there were several merchants that were somewhere in between that could be sympathetic. He'd just negotiated a deal for a donated shipment of fresh greens to be delivered to the Rose after closing. As such, he was in a fairly good mood as he turned down the ally.


Now... he'd seen many odd things down these allies but the -entirely- over dramatic  display of the fellow Duskwight down the way was... embarrassing frankly. He could put one of the melodramatic plays that sometimes was performed at the Gold Court to shame. He'd seen the man before around the Harbinger's estate the couple of times he'd gone. He'd also seen him a few times in this alley and at the Quicksand. Just -why- the man felt need to beg and grovel the way he did towards the basket carrying woman was beyond him. Until he noticed the familiarity on the woman's face. Ah... so a joke then...?


So distracted by the display, he didn't notice the pair of children that came stalking down the ally behind the woman in time to call out a warning. A highlander boy no older than ten cycles lead the way of a younger miqo'te boy and both were very obviously street urchins given their grubby, half starved and nearly feral appearances. He watched as the older boy darted ahead to the prone Duskwight, sending a kick to the man's ribs. "Sod off damned Grey! Go crawl back t' yer cave!"


As the older boy caused the distraction the smaller went around to the other side of the woman, the side with the basket. His ears flat back, he attempted to grab an armful of the delicious baked treats. After he'd nabbed a good half dozen he turns to flee.

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He was an interesting man, that was for certain. Her amused smile shifted into more of a grin as she rolled her shoulders and continued to observe him as he shifted upright and began to partake of the baked good like it was the only thing he had eaten in days. For all she knew, perhaps it was. Appearances could be incredibly deceiving. For all she knew he hadn't eaten in days.


If she knew the real truth of it...actually, it likely wouldn't make a difference. She'd still give him a roll anyways.


"How is life for you, dear? Your goods selling well? How is your company doing?" She made the idle chatter, cheeks flushing modestly in response to his praise of her goods though she just waved it off. "I don't keep to a schedule. Maybe I should, but with the Society I'm usual-"


As the street urchins acted, Lili didn't seem the least bit surprised or alarmed. In the years she had been doing this, it wasn't the first time her goods have been confiscated and it certainly wouldn't be the last. But after repeated trial and errors, she managed to be more pro active about how she would respond. In the beginning? She'd let them run away since them having food was what mattered to her.


But it began to show more and more over time that just letting them steal from her wasn't teaching them anything. It wasn't doing anything except giving them a temporary respite from the hunger pangs that more often then not caused them and their own to act out of starvation. They were taking nothing away from it except perhaps 'Oh! Look at that blonde broad! She's easy to take sweet rolls from!'.


She knew it was a distraction: street children were never so bold unless there was more then one of them. Especially not going after a full grown Elezen, even if he was prone on the street and distracted with food. She could smell the littlest one before she could see him, and right as he nabbed more then a handful or so of the rolls, her free arm snapped out to try and grab one of his ears at the base. It wouldn't be a rough grip, but she knew how sensitive their ears could be. And even with them pinned back they weren't hard to reach.


"Now, now," she tsk'd kindly. "You both are welcome to some without having to be so wretched about it."

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Vaughn followed close behind Jaques, as usual. His long, blonde hair was tied loosely back with a purple ribbon, and his form-fitting white tunic and pants was freshly pressed. He held a book and a quill, a bottle of ink in a pouch on his hip. He was quickly jotting down names and amounts as Jaques solicited, collecting the donations as any good bookkeeper would.


They walked down that alley, must have walked down it dozens of times. But never quite getting the scene he was seeing at that moment. The curious Duskwight begging for food, a lone woman with a breadbasket. He furrowed his brows and looked to Jaques questioningly.


A moment later, his thoughts were interrupted by the children yelling and kicking the Duskwight. The namecalling, he hated that part the most. He squeezed Jaques's hand before putting the book in his pack as he head over toward the prone Duskwight.


He held out his hand with a smile, both to the woman and the Duskwight. "Are you alright, sir? Here, let me help you up."

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There was a certain nostalgia to a good firm kick in the ribs, whether it be a slight one from an urchin or a heavy one from an irate customer. Why Verad felt this, he could not precisely say.


He could say that this particular urchin's kick was anything but slight, and the pained grunt he offered would have, if offered before the roll had been offered, given him a great deal more dramatic credibility. He made a mental note to hire one of them, or one very much like them, should such an opportunity arise.


For now, he was biting back choice words, cruel things like "scurrilous" and "ne'er-do-well," as he felt that old familiar pain radiate through his side before collapsing back from seating to prone again. The bun stayed in his hand, of course. He wouldn't let go of it so easily, and then only if the hand happened to be severed. And then, well, he had worse things to worry about than buns didn't he?


No sooner had he gone prone again than he found a hand helping him up. He took it, being one for hand-outs and hands-up in equal measure given the appropriate circumstances. "'Ank 'oo," he muttered in-between shoving the rest of the roll into his mouth. Knowing his luck, a bird would swoop down and snatch the remaining portion if he didn't.

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Blinks as Vaughn moved closer to assist, he'd still been debating getting involved or not as the woman had seemed to have everything well enough in hand. But it looked like they were getting involved.


The smaller boy gives a startled yelp at having been snagged, staring up at the woman with wide brown eyes that marked him as a seeker and couldn't have been older than six cycles, "Askin' never works."


The older boy however only grew more aggressive, "Le' him go!" He moved to shove the woman but by this point Jaques was close enough to interrupt. He snagged the harness that the Highlanders seemed to favor so and on such a young boy made for an -excellent- handle. He boy turns to kick Jaques's knee and he angles so the blow landed more on the side of his leg. With a vaguely irritated frown and a grunt he hoists the boy one-handed into the air. The boy struggles a bit, a couple of ineffective kicks landing against Jaques's thigh before going limp and glaring, "Le' him go."


Jaques's gaze settles on the woman, remaining silent as he waits to see how she wanted to further handle them. They were her sweet buns and the attack had been made on her... His gaze slides to Verad for a moment, mostly.


((ooc note: these lil darlings are npcs so feel free to take control of them to help fill out narrative if you'd like.))

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When Vaughn offered his hand, she smiled. "Ah, thank you. Though I've dealt with little ones like this before."


"It does with me, dear. After all." She gently released his ear, seeing that he was more calm then his older brethren (though perhaps out of fear) and took a roll from the basket. She held it out to him, only for him to try and immediately snatch it from her. She shirked it back, red lips curled into a mildly chastising smile. "And what do you say?"


The little boy looked confused as the older one sneered. "See? She ain' givin' anything to ya!"




"Indeed you may." He said the magic word, so he got the prize! Lili plopped the roll into his hand, which he almost immediately shoved into his mouth. Chewing nosily as he sunk down into a crouch against the wall. Lili made her way to the older one, trapped by his own harness, who had the audacity to spit a rather vile colored loogie at her face. It hit it's mark, right on her cheek. The blonde barely winced.


"Do you want one too?"


He tried to get a kick at her, but he was just out of reach. "Do I hafta say 'please' too?" Much of his fire seemed to extinguish at seeing that the little one got to eat. It was the whole point of the attack anyways. In response, Lili bobbed her head as she used the back of her hand to wipe off her cheek and smear it on her skirt. It left a stain, but oh well.


"Only if you also apologize for spitting at me." Seeing that she was actually serious, he grumbled out a halfarsed apology and said 'please' and got a roll. He was surprisingly more decent about eating then the six year old, though not by much.

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Vaughn managed to pull the Dukwight up from the ground in spite of his meager strength. He suspected the larger elezen didn't need the help after all, but it was far from him to be rude. He started to make a motion to dust him off, but stopped himself. Instead, the Wildwood looked to the greying man with a light smile. "You're very welcome. You're not hurt are you?"


His attention turned back to the woman, Jaques, and the yelling child, frowning as he was kicked. However, he was amused by the child being held at arm's length away by the harness. Jaques held him there easily.


The woman seemed to handle the brat rather well, even with being spit in the face with a nasty specimen of body fluid. He watched as the children were given their sweet rolls and ran off, turning back to the woman. "You're a saint for dealing with those undisciplined children with such grace. Especially the way they treated the two of you." He motioned between the woman and the unproned Duskwight.

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Jaques plants the boy back down onto his feet once he had the roll. The boy made move to throw one final kick at Jaques but he looked up to see towering duskwight watching him impassively and thought better of it. Instead he simply skirted around to collect the smaller boy and disappear back down the ally.


With the boy out of sight he turns his amber gaze to the others gathered around. Vaughn had decided to do the talking this time. Which suited him just fine and he was glad the small wildwood was deciding to be social. The light leather armour clad man then shifted towards the edge of the alley, angling to better pay attention down both sides in case something else unpleasant decided to make an entrance.

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"Ah, what weary times we live in," Verad said, in an oblique response to the man's question, "That an urchin might kick a 'grey' upon the ground as a distraction for such a simple thing as a roll!" There was a definite bemoaning tone to the statement, the man clearly being practiced at the art of bemoanery.


He dusted off his trousers, the clothing having collected a fair bit of the street's grime from spending far more time upon it than he'd originally planned. "Strange to hear that word in this city, though. I daresay in the Shroud? Certainly. Limsa? A possibility. But I daresay everybody is more gold than grey or green in Ul'dah."

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Lili bowed her head to Vaughn's compliments, shifting over to Verad to help him dust off his clothing and too make sure the boy hadn't left any scuffs or tears in the fabric. "Oh, this isn't my first trip here to the Lane with these rolls. I've seen all manner of children come and go. Even watched a few grow into adults, while others won't so lucky."


Satisfied that Verad wasn't hurt besides just being overly dramatic, she took a step back to look to the other two Elezen. "Thank you for helping us. It's appreciated, truly. I was just coming around for my semi weekly tradition when Verad joined me. Though I can't say I've seen you two around. New to the city or...?"


She trailed off to let them finish of their own accord. A little ways farther down the lane a little girl with matted hair and dirty cheeks peeked around a crate to watch the three male Elezen and the Hyur lady. She didn't make any move to approach them, however, and thus stayed at a distance for now.

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Vaughn wrinkled his nose as the greying Duskwight mentioned the racial slurs. "All of it is horrible to call someone in the first place. I'll never understand them."


"New to the city or...?" the woman asked.


Vaughn smiled and shook his head. "No. Well, not me at least. Though I was away for well over ten cycles. We just moved back a few moons ago, but I can see not much has changed." He catches a glimpse of the beggar girl, but when he actively looked, she was gone. He turns his attention back to the other two, absently starting to lean back against Jaques. "But I haven't seen you around either. Either of you, I think. You say you've done this for a while?" He motioned to the woman's breadbasket.

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Jaques glances to Verad. "It happens occasionally. But I've never heard it said here with quite the same vehemence that you get up in Gridania. Even the boy just now sounded as though he was just garnering for attention... which he was." He falls silent as Vaughn starts to speak again, watching the girl out of the corner of his vision to make certain a pack didn't start forming up.


If he could catch Lili's gaze he attempts to indicate the lurking child to her subtly. If -he- spoke to the girl she'd undoubtedly run off.

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It was a terrible thing, giving Verad an idea, even unintentionally so. His attention was momentarily diverted as he reached into the loose folds of a half-open and tastefully revealing shirt to take out his pocket ledger, a device that served as balance sheet and repository for stray ideas. A scraggly quill pen followed, and Twelve only knew where the ink came from, but something was scribbled down in a very quick and abrupt fashion before the ledger was snapped shut again.


"Indeed, indeed, it is this kind of indifference to clan or people when it comes to discrimination that truly makes me appreciate this city," he remarked, as if he had written nothing at all. "Quantity of coin is a far better indication of whether one should be taken seriously or not, is it not?" He smiled. Probably he was joking. Wasn't as if he had any himself, and there was a certain wry tone to his voice.


"But, while I am in the vicinity of you fine folks," he went on, "And not to detract from the value of the good lady's charitable efforts, can I interest any of you in any dubious goods? Free bun with your purchase."

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Aioux sighed softly to himself, walking the streets of Ul'dah. He'd been walking in circles for hours trying to find a merchant that just might sell him the scorpions he needed. An odd request to be sure, but he had specific plans for the husks of the creatures. Peering through his monocle at the map that the last merchant had drawn him, he wandered the direction it directed. Which led him right through...


Well. If this wasn't familiar. He'd lived on a street like this for years after his ship had gone down, though that one been a bit more damp and smelled of rotten fish and brine. A brief grin crossed his face spawned by memories of the past... but a thought struck him and he glanced around. Why send him to a place like this for 'rare' insect husks, so out of the way and far from any common merchant's tent? To set him up...?


His eyes settled on a group of Elezen standing about the streets, attracting attention with their out of place garb and height. Out of place, to be sure. Hm... that must be what I look like. Forget that he was the shortest Elezen he'd met, his clothing would certainly stand out here and he was a head taller than most Miqo'te. The slurs, though... he knew them, all of them. He'd heard others called by them. Never him. When was a grey not a grey? When he wasn't very grey at all.


The sight of a few waifs turned his head, but it wasn't the children that worried him despite the danger they could pose. Getting mobbed by adolescents with sharp sticks wasn't on his itinerary for the day. No, it was the Midlander man in the shadows, knife in hand watching the woman with the bread. Aioux caught the man's eyes with his own, face deadly still as he stared at him unblinking. The man paused, then offered a snarl of bared teeth. Aioux returned it with a grin, wide and feral. A look of understanding crossed the man's face and he slid back into the shadows and vanished.


Aioux turned and approached the group, a gentle smile on his face, "What an odd place to find so many Elezen..." His eyes settled on Verad. Oh. He knew this one.

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((OOC Note: Closing the RP for now :) We have plenty of folks to make this a more then worthwhile ride! Look for the new posting order after this post!))


While Verad rambled on about his goods and ideas, Lili was distracted by Jaques nodding over to the little girl still poised by the crates. This seemed to brighten her demeanor further, and she flashed Jaques an appreciative little smile before making her way over to the girl.


As she did so, it started to become apparent that the Elezen and Hyur group were being watched by more then just one pair of street rat eyes. Another boy, probably around the same age at the little miqo'te from earlier, was perched atop a crate in one of the side alleys. Two little girls came from the same side alley, not bothering to hide as their wide eyes locked onto Lili.


These children hadn't been there before. And now? They were surrounded on nearly all sides by hungry little street children. About ten total, all of whom namely were hiding and tucked away. With the approach of Aioux, a few of the little ones shirked farther back and out of sight of the new one to approach. It caused even Lili to look up, offering him a smile and not noticing the brief exchange between him and the undiscovered shadowy male.


"I think I found a weakness for them. Honey and butter rolls!" She gestured to the basket draped over one arm, the scent of the baked good still prominent. "Would you like one, dear?"

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Vaughn tilted his head in confusion as Verad began to write. Curious he tries to look over, but being only shoulder-height to him, and Verad putting the book away just as quickly, he didn't manage to catch a single thing. He smiled politely instead as he once again leaned against Jaques.


It took him another moment to realize the woman walking toward the crate he swore had a person behind it. Which it did clearly now. Glancing around, he noticed the other children gathering. It clearly made him nervous, and he reached out to grip Jaques's arm.


It was then he noticed another elezen approaching. One just as small in stature as he was. For an elezen, at least. He smiled politely to the approaching man before returning his attention back to the woman handing out the rolls. He shifted, glancing around to the surrounding children, unsure if they were there to distract and mug, or if they really wanted a sweetroll.

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Snorts lightly, unable to tell if Verad had been joking or not. But he matches the wry tone with his own, though his held a distinctly sharp undertone, "Truly the shining jewel of the desert..."


He listens to Verad start his pitch, noticing more bodies entering this section of the alley, mostly children as it seemed news of the woman and her basket of goods had spread. He did notice the fair elezen coming down the way, a Green by the looks of him and dressed far too nicely to be a refugee. The first thing he caught was the feral smile but his angle was too poor to catch it's recipient. This causes him to shift slightly, standing upright rather than leaning in case there was trouble about and he had to react quickly. At Vaughn's growing unease he absently rests a hand on the smaller man's shoulder.


His gaze flickers to Verad as he finishes his pitch and Lili moves off a bit to deal with the children, "Dubious goods? What exactly is so dubious about them?" He adds, "I also don't believe you'll be able to promise a sweet roll with any purchases." Indicates the gathering children. "They'll probably be gone here very quickly."


Glances to Aioux as he actively approaches them, giving a slight nod, expression his typical guarded scowl that many took as anger.

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"What indeed," he said, looking off to the side at some imaginary audience, grinning as if they were in on the joke. Turning back to Jaques, he continued. "My goods are of the highest of lowest qualities. You won't find anything quite like what I sell, because most people have the taste not to sell it. Nothing illicit, nothing nefarious. Only the properly dubious. Perhaps I can interest you in a gil-on-a-chain, for example? Authentic gil with an authentic hole on an equally authentic chain. Only five gil."


This was not one of his most popular items, but he was willing to start on the low-end of things. He then cast a glance towards the gathering children. The notion that Lilithium might be out of rolls at some point did not seem to phase him. "I am perfectly willing to draft some coupons for rolls with each purchase," he said, doing some quick calculations on the cost of paper. "Or perhaps offer sour rolls instead. They do make them sour, don't they? It would be, to be honest, the better accompaniment with the purchase anyhow.

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Lili was distracted from the Elezens' conversation off to the side. She contented herself with the ruffians (about ten in total) who were clamoring for rolls. Only able to get one after having said 'please' and then 'thank you'. Some she knew by name, and many of them knew her by her own. Despite the incident earlier with the other two little ones, she seemed to be well known for bringing rolls to the street urchins.


"Miss Lili, one for me and my sister!"


"You mean my sister and I, no?"


"Right whatever you said!" He was given two rolls before scurrying down the road to the little girl hanging back by the crate.


"Miss Lili!"



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